Thomas Jefferson Spins While Government’s Gravy Train Rolls On

By Bradley Harrington

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” — Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to William Ludlow,” 1824 —

TTP Column #3 Illustration -- Gravy TrainSo, after the Cody Labs crash-and-burn we discussed last week (“Cody Labs fascism collapses around our ears,” “Truth to Power,” July 6), you’d think Wyoming would learn a lesson or two about the dangers of economic interventionism.

If you thought that, however, you’d be wrong:

“Plans to develop a $17.8 million manufacturing plant in Cheyenne are moving forward … The Wyoming Business Council board on Thursday recommended the state approve a $9.35 million loan for the construction of an 80,000-square-foot biomedical facility on the city’s east side.” (“Business Council recommends $9.3M for Cheyenne manufacturing plant,” “Wyoming Tribune Eagle,” June 21.)

So, who’s the new “darling on the block” in the Business Council’s eyes? Who’s the next outfit in line for a ride on the government’s gravy train?

A California-based company named Innovive, “registered as WYTEC locally.” Innovive, it seems, is “working with economic development groups to design and build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in the Cheyenne Business Parkway within two years. Cheyenne LEADS, which owns the business park, would sell the acreage to WYTEC.”

That should be sending off a volley of red flares, right there: Any company interested in honest production would simply buy the land, build the facility, open for business, earn its profits and be done with it.

Is it a shortage of capital? If so, and if Innovive’s proposed facility is such a great idea and truly does pose all the opportunities for “economic development” and “diversity” everyone says it does — then why wouldn’t a bank look to be making a tidy profit off such a low-risk loan?

The story does mention that “WYTEC’s bank  would put up $4 million,” but this proposed facility’s capital requirements are substantially more than that. Why won’t Innovive’s bank take it into the end zone? Or why couldn’t Innovive consort with another bank or banks for the remainder of the needed funds?

Instead, it’s a quest for a government handout. (Sure, such “loans” are supposed to be paid back. Tell that to the taxpayers, who are still awaiting their $2.5 million reimbursement for what the Business Council blew on the Cody Labs warehouse construction.)

So, for educational purposes only, let’s continue laying out the general outlines of the “economic development” game. So far, we’ve got:

The Looters — the Wyoming Business Council in this case, with their economically corrosive “programs” offering “grants” and “loans” to businesses as it deems appropriate, seeking to suspend the normal market operations of supply and demand;

The Moochers — Innovive/WYTEC, in this case, who sponge off “the system” and gain “profits” through force not production (to the extent their operations rely on such “revenue”);

The Facilitators — and, finally, you’ve got the “Good ‘Ole Boy Network” organizations, Cheyenne LEADS in this case, who operate in the background, serving to bring the first two groups together, while arranging tidy “profits” for themselves in that process.

And the news story itself gave away the clues on one way this last strategy can be made to work:

(1) Buy up a bunch of land; (2) Get government “economic development” funding (“the City of Cheyenne, Laramie County and the Cheyenne-Laramie Joint Powers Board”); and (3) Sell your land parcels, at greatly increased prices, to the companies you’re able to cajole into relocating here.

LEADS CEO Randy Brun and Company are laughing all the way to the bank! Who says there’s no money in “economic development” schemes?

And, to cap it all off, this constant back-and-forth “shell game” of “economic development” between all of these various factions is all made possible by one thing and one thing only: YOUR tax dollars being extracted from you by force.

YOU, Mr. and Ms. Taxpayer, have had both your money as well as your market choices robbed from you. By what right? By what standard?

If old Thomas Jefferson thought the sandwich and glass of milk offered up by his 1824 government was out of control, what do you think he’d think about the orgy of state smorgasbord pork we’re confronted with now? And how many revolutions per second is the old boy spinning in his grave?

Wyoming could actually be a leader amongst states when it comes to tax cuts, deregulation and property/contract protection, and such policies would result in instant consequences: Real jobs, real production and real economic development.

Instead, we’re supporting a bunch of taxpayer-funded economic hooliganism by means of a non-market system best described as fascist cronyism. And those policies too, Dear Reader, will have their consequences as well.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. He also blogs at www.reignitinglibertystorch.com. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published on the “Truth to Power” blog on July 11, 2019.

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Cody Labs Fascism Collapses Around Our Ears

By Bradley Harrington

“The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution.” — Ludwig von Mises, “Human Action,” 1949 —

TTP Column #2 Illustration -- Economic InterventionSince we spent our introductory rant (“Getting Fired From the WTE — and Revving Up for Another Ride,” June 24) discussing, in part, the fascistic realities of government “economic development” schemes — “fascist” because they involve extensive state economic control without property nationalization — what better place to land immediately afterwards, than with the story of Cody Labs?

For those who might recall, “Less than two years ago, Cody Laboratories was home to 135 higher-paying jobs, planning a massive expansion and praised by local and state leaders as an example of how Wyoming could diversify its economy. But by the end of this summer, the pharmaceutical manufacturer will cease operations and close its doors.” (“Cody Labs to close, dozens being laid off,” “Casper Star Tribune,” June 16.)

For those who might not recall, however, there’s a bit more to it than that. Not once, not twice, but three times had come Cody Labs, hat in hand to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB), looking for “free” government “economic development” money:

■ 2012 — $2.5 million — (“State Loan and Investment Board approves over $6 million in business ready grants,” www.wyomingbusiness.org, April 12, 2012);

■ 2016 — $11 million — (“SLIB approves $11 million for Cody Labs,” “Cody Enterprise,” Oct. 10, 2016);

■ 2017 — $12 million — (“Pharmaceutical company lands new state loan,” “Wyoming Tribune Eagle,” Oct. 6, 2017).

And the purpose of this $25.5 million orgy of taxpayer-funded foolishness? To “create jobs,” according to Cody Labs President Bernhard Opitz, who had said previously that the company’s goal was to spend “$50.5 million while creating 57 jobs.” (“Cody business seeks loan from state of Wyoming,” WTE, Oct. 2, 2017.)

So, now, consider this trio of taxpayer-funded SLIB loans that had been granted to Cody Labs. Formerly praised to the skies by everybody from the Mayor to the Governor as the greatest thing since sliced bread for Wyoming economic development, what does our crowd of “economic development” cheerleaders have to say now?  You can hear the crickets chirping up in Balcony C.

What happened to all the glitter, the jobs and the “economic diversity” promises, people? Wouldn’t NOW be a good time to discover how such a brilliantly-engineered spectacle of government intrusion transformed itself into a $25.5 million money-pit instead?

Well, to begin with, for anyone capable of simple long division, the numbers never added up in the first place. As I pointed out back then, “The taxpayers, allegedly, can expect to receive 57 jobs in return for having their pockets plundered to the tune of $23 million, which means: Each of those jobs costs $403,508.77.” (“Cody corporate ‘welfare’ fiasco: Fascist to the core,” WTE, Oct. 15, 2017.) Hardly what I’d call an engine of “jobs creation.”

And that’s the rub, Dear Readers, the “nature of the beast”: Even at their best, fascist “economic development” schemes are all losses right out of the gate. None of them can ever hope to produce an amount of wealth even equal to the size of the hole its seizure left behind.

And, in this case, things were decidedly not at their best, were they? Mix in a few multi-million-dollar lawsuits about price-fixing, then blend in a stiff downturn in demand due to the “opiod crisis,” and you’ve got … A guaranteed recipe for more loss and failure.

Significantly but not surprisingly, the local news outlet lamented the Cody Labs crash-and-burn — but, characteristically, it failed to understand the significance of their own words. In an editorial (also reprinted by the WTE  on June 25), the “Cody Enterprise” said:

“Businesses come and go. Some economic development projects are successful, some are not.” (“Loss of Cody Labs jobs is a blow,” www.codyenterprise.com, June 19.)

All of which completely misses the point: In a market economy, it’s the people who put up the money that either reap the rewards or pay the price, not some defenseless taxpayer being forced to fund government’s idea of what “economic development” should consist of.  

Let me repeat that, folks: This is YOUR money these schemes of thuggery and political power are being played with! Through the legal power to tax, it’s YOUR money that’s being taken from you through coercive action. You are not being asked whether these practices are acceptable to you, nor are you being asked who you think should be the beneficiary of your plundered dollars. No, you’re being forced, lied to and stolen from instead.

No true capitalist would ever dream of acquiring wealth in such a fashion. For the “economic development” fascists, however, it’s “business as usual” — and your ignorance of their games, Dear Reader, is the only limit they see in sight.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. He also blogs at www.reignitinglibertystorch.com. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published on the “Truth to Power” blog on July 6, 2019.

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Getting Fired From the WTE — and Revving Up for Another Ride

By Bradley Harrington

Editor’s Note: For those who’ve wondered about why I don’t run in the WTE any longer, read the rant below. Afterwards, I decided to take an extended writing break and focus on other things for awhile.

Now, however, the vacation’s up and it’s time to get back to work. Former WTE Executive Editor D.  Reed Eckhardt and I have teamed up together to launch a new blogsite, “Truth to Power” at www.bulldogwithteeth.blogspot.com, and this rant was my first contribution. (Yes, Reed and I hatched the blog idea together, but let’s give credit where it’s due: Reed first proposed it and Reed does all the work. I’m just there, basically, to fill the right-winger chair for liberty, individualism and capitalism (since it seems to be decidedly empty).)

Reed and I both want the blog to represent a diversity of opinion and to serve as a clearinghouse for comments on local society and government, and we want readers of all types to find at least a few things of interest there. I seriously believe that “Truth to Power” is shaping up to fulfill that objective — again, with many thanks to Reed and his hard work. Go check it out for yourself!

I’ll get around to fixing the other references I need to update on other portions of this blog over the next few days — and you, Dear Readers, can expect regular posts both here and at “Truth to Power” from this point forward, on a relatively weekly basis at minimum. So sit down, strap in and hang on for the ride! — BTH

********************

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.” — Frederick Douglass, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, American Slave,” 1845 —

TTP Column #1 Illustration -- The Soul of the WTESo, for those few of you Dear Readers out there who may have noticed my absence from the editorial pages of the “Wyoming Tribune Eagle” since last September, the explanation is quite  simple: I got fired.

Well, “fired” might not be the best word to use, as I was never an actual paid employee of the WTE — simply a free-lance commentator. But I was certainly told by Managing Editor Brian Martin, in a phone call a couple of days after my last WTE rant ran back on Sept. 2, 2018, that my words were no longer desired for WTE publication.

When I asked Brian about the reason for the termination, all he would tell me was that he had received a “large” number of complaints about my most recently-published columns, through both phone calls and email … And that, as a consequence, the item came up to a vote by the WTE’s Editorial Board. A vote which I lost.

“Did I misquote somebody, or get my facts wrong?” I asked Brian after he conveyed that information.

“No, nothing like that,” he said. “No one challenged your facts. They just basically expressed that they were tired of what you have to say.”

“No problem, Brian,” I told him. “If the WTE is not interested in my columns any longer, then that’s your right, as a private company, to make that choice.”

More than one person suggested to me, in the weeks immediately following the WTE’s decision, that by refusing to run my column in their newspaper any longer, the WTE was interfering with my First Amendment rights.

Sorry, but — while I appreciate the sentiments, I’d respectfully disagree. The First Amendment guarantees that we cannot be persecuted by government for our statements or beliefs — it does not mean that we have to be provided with newspaper commentary space, bull-horns or university lecterns by those who disagree with our views, nor does it mean we’re above being challenged on our statements. It means: Freedom from government persecution. PERIOD!! As a privately-owned company, the WTE can run anyone’s opinion as it sees fit … Or not. Finis. End of story. The “Big 30.”

Just because I’d never legally challenge the WTE’s right to run whatever commentary swill they find palatable, however, doesn’t mean that I don’t have thoughts about how those selections are made — nor does it take much imagination to figure out what actually happened behind the scenes regarding my weekly rants.

Consider, to begin with, as anyone who has ever read me regularly can attest to, that the fundamental thrust of all my columns has always been to combat government overreach, waste and ineptitude wherever it might be found, as well as to challenge government’s unconstitutional involvement in  the myriad sectors of our society and economy best left, in both reason and morality, to the workings of the free market.

Then, let’s add to the mix the fact that the most often-frequented target for my  exposés was: The “economic development” schemes always being hatched, presented and engineered by local “leaders,” whether they be attempts to force county taxpayers to fund “Children’s Museums” (shot down in 2016), for example, or the corporate-“welfare” handouts distributed by the Wyoming Business Council.

Such adventures are always cast in the light of “development” for our economy (“We created 13 jobs with this subsidy!”), but none of the proponents of such schemes ever tell us how they intend on producing wealth by stealing it first. Nor do they ever bother to explain the role in actual wealth-creation those forcibly-extracted tax dollars would have played had they been left alone to do their work in the private sector instead.

Then, let’s also point out that I spent most of the summer of 2018 beating up on all the political hacks running for the Wyoming governorship on the Republican ticket, most of whom claimed to be “free-market conservatives”  but most of whom were receiving a taxpayer-funded handout of one kind or another instead (such as now-Governor Mark Gordon’s USDA farm subsidies for his Merlin Ranch, for instance).

So, roll it all up together and what do you get? A lot of people, with both political and economic interests in maintaining and expanding government control over such “economic development” boondoggles, who wanted me to SHUT UP. Yep, I’m quite sure that the local “Good ‘Ole Boy Network” was “tired of what I had to say” alright!

So, do I have to be a fly on the wall to figure it out? No, at least a few of the GOBN got together, obviously, and decided to launch a complaint campaign against me. And, given the WTE’s spine status as that of a wet noodle, once such a “large” number of complaints were received, the WTE acted to excise my opinions from their pages.

Notice that no one bothered to actually pen a commentary themselves and refute, publicly, the facts I’ve always pointed out about such fascistic “economic development” schemes (schemes the WTE generally support editorially, by the way). No, that would require work, consistency and integrity, and the fascists would much rather simply shut me down instead.

(Sidebar: Remember, Dear Readers, that “fascism” is actually a precisely-defined word, not just a generalized name to call someone and hurl about, and what it actually means is: “a governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.) …”

Observe that Mussolini and the rest of his Italian fascists did NOT nationalize factories or advocate the abolition of private property … They merely controlled such property instead, manipulating the marketplace for their own ends with handouts to their boot-licking cronies and further controls on their enemies — and all of it paid for by prior plunderings of the productive members of the population they ruled.

So, to the extent to which our local “leaders” advocate the same type of “economic development” schemes for the same reasons, and act to fund them in exactly the same manner — well, then, they qualify as “fascists” as well.)

Well, to Brian Martin and the rest of the WTE’s Editorial Board, as well as the “economic development” fascists who decided they couldn’t tolerate my opinions any longer: Yes, you can silence my voice in the WTE, but that doesn’t alter the facts of reality by one atom or erg of energy. Your schemes still conflict with what’s real. You can’t take money you haven’t got from people at the point of a gun, then hand it out to your cronies, and then call that “economic growth.”

Even more telling, however, is the fact that instead of rebutting the charges I’ve made repeatedly over the years, which you are all apparently unable to do — you have simply sought to gag me instead. Operating on the epistemology of savages, who don’t worry about what they don’t see right in front of them, you people seem to think that muzzling my public voice means muzzling the facts of reality as well. Sorry, but that’s not the way the world operates; blank-outs never work.

Nor, speaking strictly now to the Editorial Board of the WTE, does your cave-to-so-called-public-opinion approach speak well for your journalistic integrity: Whatever happened to objectively analyzing the facts? Or to acting out on the media’s role as a watchdog over out-of-control government’s constant meddling in our lives? Rather than challenging such practices, you advocate and encourage them instead.

No, instead of courageously acting on such principles, you WTE folks prefer to declare that they don’t exist, or are irrelevant in our lives. When you could have stepped up to the plate and actually done your job, you chose to allow public opinion polls to become the barometer of your soul — a soul which now, in the words of Ayn Rand, is little more than a “shapeless piece of clay stamped by footprints going in all directions” (“Philosophy and Sense of Life,” 1966).

The WTE constantly claims that it supports a “diversity of viewpoints,” but firing me makes the reality clear: That “diversity” only occurs within the framework of the mixed-economy systems so prevalent in the United States today. Challenge that model, Dear Readers, and you’re in big trouble down at the WTE.

The surprise, quite frankly, is that I was allowed to rant in the WTE as long as I did. I’ve always known my approach to socio-politico-economic issues has flown in the face of both conventional “wisdom” and WTE editorial philosophy, so whatever run I was ever able to get away with was “good to go” with me … And I’ve always known that that ride would be cut off eventually.

Neither the Editorial Board of the WTE nor the local “economic development” fascists control this blog, however, so, Dear Readers, be on notice that — after a much-needed break — we’re about set to resume our exposés on government graft, manipulation and corruption. And you can just call that “doing the job the local news media refuses to do.” Are you people ready for another ride??

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. He blogs at www.reignitinglibertystorch.com. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published on the “Truth to Power” blog on June 20,  2019, under the title of “Local Newspaper Tried to Gag Me. It Won’t Work.”

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U.N. One-World Thugs Seek Theft of Our Wealth, Liberty

By Bradley Harrington

“I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.” — H.L. Mencken, “The Chicago Tribune,” 1927 —

WTE3 Column #113 Illustration -- One-World ThuggeryAmericans, by virtue of their mostly benevolent natures, tend to assume the best about people — so, when they hear a group speaking of “compassion,” they generally take them at face value.

Like Councilman Richard Johnson, for instance:

 “Two weeks after announcing plans to revive a Compassionate Cheyenne resolution, he [Richard Johnson] says he already knows he won’t get a majority — and he doesn’t care … ‘This entire thing is about being nice,’ he said. ‘So your no vote on this says, ‘Hey, I’m on the record for being an a–hole.’’” (“Councilman Johnson to push for Compassionate Cheyenne vote,” WTE, Aug. 29.)

While the chances are high that the locals involved in “Compassionate Cheyenne” are just as benevolent as Mr. Johnson, however, none of that applies to the parent international organization, the “Charter for Compassion” — which, upon an examination of THEIR statements, can only be described as evil incarnate.

After all, Mr. Johnson, what does “being nice” have to do with United Nations schemes to wipe out the final vestiges of liberty and individualism in these United States?

By their own admission, NOT my accusations, as discussed just last week, this “Charter” is out to establish a one-world totalitarian state in charge of mandating standards of “sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth” (fascism) and “reducing inequalities” (socialism). What part of that Charter’s declaration do you not understand?

So, let’s take a deeper look:

■ In Goal 17 of the Charter’s “17 Sustainable Goals” we find that “developed countries” need to “implement fully their official development assistance commitments” … “Commitments” that comprise “0.7 percent of GNI to developing countries” and “0.15 to 0.20 percent to least developed countries.”

Well, Mr. Johnson, our GDP this year is projected at $18.767 trillion, so let’s do the arithmetic: 0.7 percent of that is $131 billion; 0.15 percent is $28 billion; and 0.20 percent is $37 billion. The United States, therefore, is being ordered to spend anywhere from $159-$168 billion, nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars, YEARLY, on … WHAT? International “welfare,” pure and simple. To which I would ask: By what right? By what standard? And to be paid for by whom?

■ And if that’s not enough “welfare” for you, Sir, Goal 17 also declares that we should be “fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring” in the undeveloped countries as well, not to mention addressing their “external debt” in order to “reduce debt distress.” Really? While WE, with thanks to just those kinds of schemes here at home, are now  $135 trillion in the hole?

■ And, in the U.N.’s “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” — the source from which those 17 goals spring — we find plenty of other totalitarian provisos as well, such as:

Point 28: “We commit to making fundamental changes in the way our societies produce and consume goods and services.” Really? The “fundamental way” OUR society “produces and consumes,” Mr. Johnson, is through capitalism and the free market — the little bit we have left, that is. Clearly, the one-world bureaucrats are “distressed” with the speed with which we’re dismantling that system ourselves, and are out to hammer the final nails in that coffin for us. Or do you think these international hoodlums are just teasing?

Well, Mr. Johnson, there’s plenty more collectivistic slavery where that came from, covering everything from “climate change” nonsense to the alleged evils of fossil fuels to “free” systems of indoctrination. Stuff I could easily write about for weeks. I’ve read the entire mess, and all of it tells you exactly what these thugs intend for us. Why is it, Mr. Johnson, that you want us to take YOUR local group at face value — but can’t seem to take the “Daddy of ‘Em All” at THEIRS?

This “Charter” seeks to occupy a high moral plane — while it holds a gun as its final argument. It decries “wealth” — while it passionately begs for money. It ridicules “selfishness” — while the very survival of the planet depends upon its social and economic results, the greatest engine of prosperity and production ever invented in man’s history.

This “Charter” clamors, in other words, for both the unearned and the unreal. So, Mr. Johnson, please pardon me for being enough of an “a–hole” to bring it to your attention.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on September 2, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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Compassion Comes From Private, not Public, Action

By Bradley Harrington

“Individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights, the principle that a human being is an end in him or her self — and that the proper goal of life is self-realization.”  — Nathaniel Branden, “Capitalism, the Libertarian Vision,” 2014 —

WTE3 Column #112 Illustration -- Compassion at GunpointOnce in a while, like a reflection in a mirror, a chain of concrete events perfectly echoes and illustrates the abstract idea from which it springs. Not often — so, when it does, it serves as a vivid reminder that thoughts have consequences.

Take, for instance, the “Compassion Cheyenne” idea, and City Councilman Richard Johnson’s recent resurrection of it.

For those who might recall, “Compassion Cheyenne” ran into a few obstacles when it petitioned the Council last year for a “resolution designating Cheyenne as a Compassionate Community,” to wit:

“Mayor Marian Orr worried the Charter for Compassion, which speaks in broad terms about ‘absolute justice, equity and respect’ and ‘a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity,’ meant ignoring federal immigration laws. Councilman Dicky Shanor expressed concern about the international movement’s sustainability goals, which include reducing carbon emissions.” (“Councilman looks to revive Compassionate Cheyenne resolution,” WTE, Aug. 20.)

That was last October; then, two weeks later, “organizers led by Ed Boenisch … pulled out. They had no interest in political mudslinging.”

“Mudslinging,” gentlemen? Really? Well, it’s certainly true that the local chapter follows the lead of the parent organization, for you tell us so:

 “In June 2015 … community members gathered to broadly ask what they want for Cheyenne. Their exploration of that question led them to the International Charter for Compassion.” (“Compassionate Cheyenne forum seeks input on making city a better place,” WTE, Oct. 29, 2017.)

And it’s also certainly true that the Charter for Compassion has a huge political agenda as well, nor does it hesitate to declare what it’s after:  

“We believe that all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and that it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive,” the organization’s home page (www.charterforcompassion.org) trumpets. Then the kicker kicks in:

“To that end we support and work to achieve the seventeen sustainable goals of the United Nations … See how each of our sectors works to bring about transformative change.”

And, to get a flavor of where THOSE goals will be taking you, get a load of this, the lead-in to their “17 Sustainable Goals” — and it’s as political as you can get:

“Eradicating poverty … is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development … There must be promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.”

Well, that all sounds real nice — but how is it determined what “equitable” economic growth consists of, and who gets to determine it? And, just what kind of “inequalities” are we being asked to “reduce”? INCOME inequalities, obviously, as Goal 10 proves:  “While income inequality between countries may have been reduced, inequality within countries has risen.”

And, again — who gets to determine what constitutes “equitable social development,” and along what political-philosophical lines? And who is in charge of the “sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems”?

Clearly, all of this “managed equalization” will need both guns and bureaucrats — LOTS of each — and a very large pile of money, too. That source, however, is also clear enough: The individuals at the top of the “inequality” spectrum in the “developed” countries will be paying for it, through the use of force, as their wealth is coercively handed over to those who didn’t earn it … With the whole setup taking place within the framework of a highly-powerful, all-encompassing government, just exactly the kind of totalitarian state that will be required to wield those kinds of powers.

And such moral and political slavery, Dear Readers, is being preached in the name of “compassion.” Sorry, but it will never work — as compassion cannot be “cultivated” at the point of a gun.

So, instead of considering and passing such hot-air “resolutions,” Mr. Johnson, maybe you and the rest of your Council should just stick to protecting our individual rights instead — and leave each of us, as individuals, free to pursue our own peaceful goals and means as we see fit. After all, that’s how we “reduced” poverty the first time.

And the best thing for Mr. Boenisch and Compassionate Cheyenne? Drop the U.N.’s half-socialist, half-fascist “one-world” agenda and get back to the private-sector involvements that real compassion has always depended on. Do that and you’ll no longer NEED a proclamation.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on August 26, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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Chamber’s Questions Clash With Both Liberty, Property

By Bradley Harrington

“Liberty is always freedom from the government. It is the restriction of the government’s interference.” — Ludwig von Mises, “Liberty and Property,” 1958 —

WTE3 Column #111 Illustration -- Life, Liberty, PropertyThe Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, it appears, is now in the business of telling us which political candidates are “pro-business.” In a recent news release, here’s what the Chamber had to say on that topic:

“Reverse endorsements provide the business community the best way to identify business friendly candidates for office … The reverse endorsement process includes a survey of candidates … If a candidate’s response does not align with the business communities [sic] view, the candidate simply does not receive the Chamber’s reverse endorsement.” (“The Business of Politics,” Cheyenne Chamber,  www.cheyennechamber.org/blog, Aug. 8.)

“The process,” the release continues, “identifies potential elected officials who clearly support a robust community, vital economic development principles and who believe in a strong business community … To qualify for a reverse endorsement respondents are required to answer the questions with a 90 percent alignment with the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce’s mission for endorsement.”

Intensely curious as to the questions being asked of the candidates, I contacted the Chamber, and Director of Partner Relations Tonya Dove was gracious enough to send me a copy — the lists of which, she told me, were tailored for the particular races being run for.

The list I received was the question template for the Cheyenne City Council (13 questions); Laramie County Commission (14); State Legislature (10); Governor (12); and U.S. Congress (9) races. And, after review, I can say this much for sure: You won’t be finding any hard-core conservatives or libertarian-leaning candidates in the Chamber’s endorsements.

After all, with only nine to 14 questions being asked, and a “success” rate of 90 percent required, all it takes is one or two “wrong” answers to flunk … And, to get a flavor of the thrust of the questions, just consider a few examples:

On the city/county side: “Will you support utilizing [city/county] resources for a Minimum Revenue Guarantee for air service advancement?” And: “Will you champion use of [city/county] resources to advance community amenities?”

And, on the state/governor side: “Do you support continued funding for Air Service Enhancement in Wyoming?” And: “Do you support state funded business development programs?”

Well, any conservative/libertarian worth his or her salt would answer ALL of those questions in the negative, as they would consider neither “air service,” “community amenities” nor “business development programs” as functions of government, so … Bzzzzt! Thanks for playing!

But then comes the kicker question, asked of the congressional candidates: “Do you commit that you will not let ideology or party affiliation stand in the way of doing what’s right for Wyoming?”

How, just out of curiosity, does one determine what’s “right for Wyoming” without reference to either ethics or ideas? After all, isn’t that what an “ideological” process consists of?

And, in the absence of making connections between abstract principles and concrete practices, by what standard will we be guiding our choices and actions?

No standard at all, apparently — since any REAL standard, by definition, would be “ideological” in its nature. And how well, I can’t help but wonder, would such an “anti-ideological” approach ever work in the real world, where such connections have to be made by all of us hundreds of times a day?

But observe that the Chamber’s “anti-ideologists” don’t really expect you to function in the absence of ideological principles, they just want you to function according to theirs: That is, according to their vision of what THEY consider to be “vital economic development principles.” And their questions make it perfectly clear what such “principles” consist of: The theft of your private wealth through government taxation and the subsidization of what they — NOT consumers or the market — consider to be the proper dispensation of those looted funds.

Challenge that model, Dear Readers, and you’re in trouble at the Chamber. Indeed, it’s difficult to come to any other conclusion but that their questions were designed to root out any consistent advocates of liberty, capitalism and private property rights. To root them out and then cast them into the political abyss.

The final joke, however, is actually on the Chamber — since it’s only the advocates of liberty and property who can truly be considered as “pro-business.” After all, they’re the only ones who are serious about keeping their hands out of your pockets and off of your free-market choices, are they not?

Perhaps the “anti-ideologists” at the Chamber should remember, after all, what it is that “commerce” represents: Peaceful and VOLUNTARY market exchange.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on August 19, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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Taylor Haynes Poses Threat to the Wyoming “Powers-That-Be”

By Bradley Harrington

“This whole  thing has been an attack by the Cheyenne swamp; it seems as though Wyoming has its own Deep State out to perpetuate itself.” — Taylor Haynes, “Personal Interview,” Aug. 7, 2018 —

WTE3 Column #110 Illustration -- Taylor Haynes for GovernorIf there’s been an issue in Wyoming gubernatorial politics that’s roiled the waters more than the Taylor Haynes residency controversy, I sure can’t think of it.

But first, let me make full disclosure: I support Haynes’ run for governor and it is my sincere desire that he be our next governor.

That position, however, does not blind me to the facts — and, for those who’ve been on Mars for the last several months, let’s review the timeline:

■ On June 25, “An anonymous email — signed by ‘Anonymous Citizens of the State of Wyoming’ — was sent to the Laramie Boomerang … from a protonmail.com address, an encrypted email service. The email said Haynes ‘has misrepresented his residency in order to meet the qualifications for elected office.” (“Haynes: Residency accusation a pack of lies,” www.laramieboomerang.com, July 10.) Subsequent information makes it clear that this email was sent to all major Wyoming news outlets.

■ On July 5, Wyofile breaks the following news story:

“A complaint has been filed against gubernatorial candidate Dr. Taylor Haynes … Records suggest the complaint could involve the legitimacy of Haynes’ claim of Wyoming residency in his filing for his current campaign for governor.” (“Gubernatorial candidate Taylor Haynes’ residency questioned,” www.wyofile.com.) The core of the complaint is that Haynes’ ranch — the Thunderbasin Land, Livestock and Investment Company — straddles the border of Wyoming and Colorado, with the actual residence buildings on the Colorado side.

■ Two days later, in a video posted to his website, Haynes calls the accusations “a pack of lies” and states that “he has lived, worked and paid taxes in Wyoming for nearly 35 years with no residence in any other state.” On July 9 Ed Buchanan, the appointed Wyoming Secretary of State who quit gubernatorial candidate Harriet Hageman’s campaign to accept that job back in May, makes it known that both his and Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael’s offices are reviewing the matter.

■ On July 21, the Wyoming SecState and AG’s offices declare that “Haynes is not eligible to run for governor,” that the “Republican candidate’s ranch home lies in Colorado,” and that they are seeking a court ruling “ordering Dr. Taylor Haynes to withdraw from the race or otherwise cease his campaign.” (“Wyoming officials: Haynes ‘not eligible’ to be governor,” WTE, July 22.) A hearing is set for Aug. 1 and a trial date for Aug. 7.

■ On Aug. 3, Laramie County District Court Judge Thomas Campbell throws out the entire ball of wax, declaring that “it is impractical and unfair to the Defendant to bypass the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure entirely and compress the litigation process into less than a three-week period” — as Plaintiff Buchanan had been demanding. Campbell also notes that “at this juncture, the affidavits and the parties’ assertions might be sufficient for the court to doubt the likelihood that the Plaintiff will prevail on the merits.” (Docket No. 190-183.)

So, Dear Readers, just exactly what is going on here? An “anonymous” source, completely devoid of the guts to stand up and make these accusations in public, argues that Haynes’ ranch buildings are on the Colorado side of the border — and that this fact should invalidate Haynes’ gubernatorial campaign.

And yet, as Haynes has stated repeatedly, his ranch, addressed at 795 Bull Mountain Rd., Laramie, WY, 82070, has ALWAYS been considered as a Wyoming address.

To verify this, I contacted Ruth Rowe, the individual who sold Haynes the ranch and who lived at that property for about 20 years prior to that sale. When asked that question directly, she said: “My address has always been 795 Bull Mountain Road in Laramie, Wyoming. It was printed on my vehicle registrations, my driver’s license, my tax forms, you name it.”

So the question then naturally arises: Since 795 Bull Mountain Road has ALWAYS been considered by both Colorado and Wyoming as a Laramie address, what would motivate everyone to start thinking differently about it now? The fact that it’s now owned by Taylor Haynes?

Powerful political forces and people, obviously, are out to ensure that Haynes does not become Wyoming’s next governor. And, when considering the fundamental planks of Haynes’ campaign — promoting our individual liberties coupled with a greatly-reduced federal involvement in our state — it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why: Haynes poses a threat to the “powers-that-be” that they find intolerable.

Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email:  bradhgt1776@gmail.com.

NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on August 12, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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