Taylor Haynes: Wyoming’s Only Pick for Constitutional Government

By Bradley Harrington

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” — James Madison, “The Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights,” 1791 —

WTE3 Column #106 Illustration -- Taylor HaynesI evaluate political candidates according to one simple standard: Their commitment to the principles of individual liberty. And, when it comes to the Wyoming Governor’s race, there’s only one candidate worth talking about in that regard: Taylor Haynes.

I’ve already discussed just a few of the problems with the other five candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination — positional inconsistencies, slopping at the public trough and inabilities to understand just what true constitutional government consists of, to name a few (“Most gubernatorial aspirers don’t clear the liberty hurdle,” WTE, July 8).

Haynes, however, suffers from none of those flaws — and, when he says he intends to “promote Wyoming’s sovereignty and the absolute need to establish a constitutional relationship with the federal government” (www.taylorhaynesforgovernor.com), he’s not kidding.

Moreover, as I’ve discussed before (“Fedzilla’s land grabs, Parts I and Parts II,” WTE, July 29 and Aug. 5, 2016), from the time of the 2nd Continental Congress’s Northwest Ordinance (ratified in 1787, and reaffirmed by the U.S. Congress in 1789), that means all new states were to be admitted to the Union on an “equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever.”

Which means: “Since the original states maintained control of their lands even after the founding (with the exceptions enumerated in the Enclave Clause), it therefore follows that any new states, once admitted to the Union, should have its previously federally managed territories turned over to it as well.” (“Part II.”)

Yet, this never happened, either here or in any other Western state — and, to this day, the federal government “manages” 48.4 percent of Wyoming.

This has been Wyoming’s biggest problem since the beginning — and, as Haynes puts it, this is an issue of “federal interference in our individual liberty, in our schools and in managing our natural resources … They control those resources and our mineral wealth.” (“Taylor Haynes interview,” July 9.)

And the implications? ““Let’s say I come into your business and take over half of it,” Haynes said. “I take half of your income and half of your wealth. And then I also restrict what you can do in your own yard. So, if I do that, how free are you?”

How free, indeed? Not very free at all … And yet, of all the candidates running, Haynes is the only one who recognizes these facts and seeks to correct them.

“I’m not against the federal government, per se,” Haynes stressed. “But they need to respect the bright line of jurisdiction that’s strong in the Constitution — and they need to act only on their enumerated powers.”

Regarding the rest of his Republican competitors, however, Haynes continued, “when it comes to the test of enforcing the Constitution, the other candidates back down. They back down on the 2nd Amendment at the University of Wyoming, and they all express that they will not take over management of the federal lands.”

“Hageman claims to differ in that respect,” I said.

“Well, she doesn’t,” Haynes replied. “She wants to ask for permission to manage a million acres. So, I’m running your company and I’ve taken over 48.4 percent of it. And then you come to me, hat in hand, to ask for permission to manage 1 percent of your own company? Really?”

And that, said Haynes, is what brought him to decide to run again for the seat he ran for back in both 2010 and 2014: “I feel like I’m trapped and I had to run one more time, because of that — because there’s nobody else in this race who’s truly constitutional whatsoever.”

And, it bears mentioning, Haynes had a quite respectable showing back in 2014: He earned 31,532 votes to Matt Mead’s 53,673 — and that was against an incumbent Governor, and a fairly popular one at that, even with contender Cindy Hill splitting the “hard” conservative vote (she cleared 12,464).

Well, it’s a safe bet that the people who voted for Haynes back then will vote for him again — and, with little more than statist political hacks standing in his way this time, Haynes is well-poised to clear the votes he needs to put Wyoming on the path to the sovereignty and prosperity she deserves.

And, Dear Readers, as I survey the mess the “establishment” has made of Wyoming over the years, it’s also something she NEEDS — and now more than ever.

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 July 15, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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Most Gubernatorial Aspirers Don’t Clear the Liberty Hurdle

By Bradley Harrington

“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” — Abraham Lincoln, “Lyceum Address,” 1838 —

WTE3 Column #105 Illustration -- Broken Statue of LibertyAs we all know, 2018 is an election year — and there’s not a single local race running, from a liberty standpoint, that’s more important than who’s going to run the State of Wyoming for the next four years.

So let’s take a look, from that liberty standpoint, at who we’ve got to pick from:

On the Democrat side, we have Kenneth Casner, Michael Green, Mary Throne and Rex Wilde; and, on the Republican side, we have Bill Dahlin, Foster Friess, Sam Galeotos, Mark Gordon, Harriet Hageman and Taylor Haynes.

Well, as I’ve discussed before, I NEVER recommend voting for a Democrat, under any circumstances, as their pro-government, anti-property-rights agendas are simply too highly destructive to our freedoms. So: Sorry, Mr. Castner, Mr. Green, Ms. Throne and Mr. Wilde, but you’re all off the Liberty List.

Now, then, let’s take a look at the Republicans, and find out whether or not any of them live up to THEIR names. Understand that these points are not to detract from any positive aspects to these individuals, and they all have more than a few.

From the standpoint of advocating a maximum of individual liberty and the absolutism of private property rights, however, I consider all the following points as complete killers:

Bill Dahlin: According to his website at www.dahlinforgovernor.com, Dahlin supports Medicare and Social Security, has no interest in freeing up federally-“owned” lands in Wyoming and also believes that government should “protect our energy and mineral sectors at times” — i.e., non-market protectionism and statist interventionism.

Foster Friess: Recently, Friess was interviewed by Glenn Woods on KGAB 650 AM, and I about dropped my teeth when I heard him say that the federal government should just “write a check to the Governor of Wyoming” for its Medicaid expansion — and that, worse still, this is a “10th Amendment” issue. (!!) (“Foster Friess, Candidate for Wyoming Governor,” KGAB 650AM radio, www.kgab.com).

Sorry, Mr. Friess, but that’s not what the 10th Amendment says at all … And, in case you haven’t noticed, the Feds are now $133 trillion in the hole. Next?

Sam Galeotos: Here we have an allegedly “conservative” businessman who’s flooding the media with his “business” credentials, but who spent nearly a year (July, 2017 – March, 2018) as  President of the Board of Directors of Cheyenne’s Downtown Development Authority, wasting both time and taxpayer money doing all the anti-business things the DDA is famous for — hardly anything I’d be bragging about, but that’s just me.

Nor does his work experience speak well of his “conservatism” either, as he’s currently the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Greenhouse Data here in Cheyenne … And Greenhouse Data, through the Laramie County Commission, has been slurping at the public trough to the tune of: $413,131 (2011); $534,294 (2012); $552,565 (2013); $661,289 (2014); $838,711 (2015); and  $750,000 (2016). Galeotos has been on Greenhouse Data’s board since 2014 and was promoted to Chairman in 2016.

Mark Gordon: Favored considerably in this race, Gordon qualifies as the “Establishment” candidate, and is doing his best to convince Wyoming voters of his “conservative” credentials as well.

According to the FEC’s website, however, Gordon has donated to Democrat causes and elections: $1,000 to Democrat Kathy Karpan, $1,000 to the Sierra Club and $200 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) (all 1996); $2,500 to the DNC, $1,000 to Democrat Ted Ladd and $2,000 to Democrat John Kerry (all 2004); and $1,000 to Democrat Gary Trauner (2006). Total: $8,700.

Not to mention that, according to the Environmental Working Group’s website at www.ewg.com, Gordon’s Merlin Ranch (in both its “Merlin Ranch” and “Merlin Ranch Ucross Land Division” iterations) has received a total of $464,349 in USDA farm subsidies ($259,360 for “Merlin Ranch,” 1995-2015, inclusive, and $204,989 for “Ucross Land Division,” 2000-2007, inclusive). More slopping at the public trough.

Harriet Hageman: Hageman probably comes closer than nearly all of the candidates to actually being an advocate of properly-limited government in several respects. Her solution to funding Wyoming’s infrastructure needs, however, by means of “federal block grants” (“Gubernatorial  candidates talk economic diversification,” WTE, June 12), wipes all of that out, and then some. Again, Ms. Hageman: The Feds are BROKE, and have been for decades.

So … Sorry, gang, but not a one of you managed to make it to the Liberty List.

Which leaves Taylor Haynes. And that man, Dear Readers, deserves a column all by himself. Which you can expect next week!

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 July 8, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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You Can’t Keep Liberty Unless You’re Willing to Give it Away

By Bradley Harrington

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin, “Pennsylvania Assembly Response to Governor,” 1755 —

WTE3 Column #104 Illustration -- Police Raid Lemonade StandFor anyone who might think that our freedoms to produce, trade and keep the products are efforts are alive and well here in the United States, you haven’t been paying attention:

“Denver police shut down a lemonade stand put on by a group of brothers over a permitting issue … When Jennifer Knowles helped her sons set up their first lemonade stand over the weekend, she thought it would be a lesson in entrepreneurship and charity.” (“Child’s lemonade stand shut down for lack of permit,” Channel 4 CBS Denver News, May 29, www.denver.cbslocal.com.)

An admirable goal, no doubt — but it “turns out you need a permit to operate a lemonade stand in Denver … The city says it’s about health and safety, but in the Knowles’ case, competition may also be in play.”

What, some OTHER kids’ stand next door? Not quite: “The Knowles set up right next to the Denver Arts Festival, where there was a lemonade vendor … The family sold lemonade 2 for $1, while, she says, the vendor sold it for $7 a glass.”

Oops! Well, we sure can’t have any punk kids undercutting the bureaucratically “approved” competition, now can we?

“In hindsight,” Knowles said, “we would have never set up where we did, when we did, and we would have just done it another time. Lesson learned.”

Except, Ms. Knowles, you’ve learned the wrong lesson: Instead of caving in to the Lemonade Gestapo, you needed to have resisted their encroachments upon your liberties! Up to, and including, the possibility of having you and your boys being arrested in order to bring attention to such a bogus infringement upon our alleged “American” right to peacefully produce in any fashion we see fit.

Now, I realize, Ms. Knowles, that not all of us citizens are as “gung-ho” on civil disobedience in the face of such stupid laws as I am, and I’m not necessarily saying that such a move would have been practicable in your particular case … Although a picture of your kids being placed in handcuffs for daring to operate a non-city-approved lemonade stand would certainly have given the rest of the citizenry a picture of the true situation, would it have not?

I AM saying, however, that to simply give in and walk away is to grant the Denver bureaucrats the right to control your non-aggressive activities. Why should YOU be retreating while the bureaucrats, armed with their silly little permits, win the day?

On a free market, if the “competition” can’t handle being competed against, the price-gougers lose and go out of business, while consumers gain through lower prices. Which is exactly the fashion in which this country got built in the first place, isn’t it?

From the attempts of the “mercantilists” back in Colonial times onward, so-called “free-marketers” have always been expert at getting special legislation passed in order to throttle those would undercut their inefficiencies.

Legislation, I might add, that is not possible in a truly free market — for, in such a capitalistic social system, the executive powers act solely to protect life, liberty and property from aggression and they have no legal ability to engage in such blatant social engineering schemes.

As for the claims on the part of Denver’s bureaucrats regarding “health and safety,” that’s nothing more than a smokescreen for establishing near-omnipotent power and control over all our lives. After all, wouldn’t our “health and safety” demand that we not ride four-wheelers on steep hills? Or that we not engage in hang-gliding, or horse racing, or bungee-jumping, or rock climbing, or greasy-cheeseburger-eating, or a million other activities?

Once we grant the bureaucrats the “right” to control us in order to protect us from ourselves, where does it end? The only place it CAN end: With the government manipulating every little minute aspect of our lives, all for “our own good” and our “health and safety” of course … While our individual rights to do whatever we peacefully please disappear into the bit bucket because we’re all apparently just too stupid to be able to handle anything as explosive as individual freedom.

So, Dear Readers, if any of you would like to fight this kind of lemonade-permitting nonsense, I’d suggest fighting the idea that it’s based on: That ANY of us owe ANY explanations to ANYONE for our peaceful, non-aggressive behaviors. It’s called “liberty,” and you’ll never keep it if you aren’t willing to also give it away.

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 July 1, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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LCC Candidate Gunnar Malm States Mistruths About His Campaign Donations

By Bradley Harrington

Apparently my commentary of June 25, “Liberty-Oriented Commission Candidates in Short Supply,” must have stung Mr. Malm quite a bit, inasmuch as he published this “Letter to the Editor” in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle a week later (July 1).

Too bad for Mr. Malm that he simply makes himself look like a fool all over again … But here is the full text of his “Letter,” followed by my online reply; I’ll let readers judge for themselves …

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

Gunnar Malm #NeverMoses IllustrationLaramie County Doesn’t Have Time for Partisan Politics

By Gunnar Malm

Readers of the WTE, thank you for the opportunity to reply to last week’s column by Brad Harrington and better explain my candidacy to you and the voters of Laramie County. It asked who I am; let me tell you.

I am a fiscally conservative Republican because I believe in responsible government spending and limited government interference in private business. I stand against bad policies pushed by any governmental body. I fought against a proposal by the Wyoming Legislature to enact sales taxes on services. I fought for a permanent ban against transfer fees on the sale of real property in Wyoming, all because I believed them to be wrong for the people of Wyoming.

I am a businessman and Realtor who invests time, money and energy into protecting the American dream of home ownership. As such, I regularly invest in the Realtor Political Action Committee that, in turn, invests in candidates that are supportive of the causes important to our industry, regardless of political affiliation. What businessperson wouldn’t invest in protecting their business and customers?

I know President Trump did – it is well documented that he has donated millions to Democrats and Republicans alike to protect his business interests, as have many other successful businesspeople. To not support a candidate who is business-friendly just because of the D or R next to their name is bad business, and it’s even worse politics. I am a realist who knows that the world isn’t black-and-white and that politics shouldn’t be a zero-sum process. Laramie County doesn’t have the time or the resources to be hindered by partisan politics. I don’t believe all Democrats are evil, just as I don’t believe all Republicans are righteous.  I also don’t believe the merit of one’s argument, nor their aptitude for public service, is solely based on their political party. We’ve all seen the damage such attitudes have incurred on Washington, and Laramie County simply cannot endure such needless bickering to be adequately prepared for the future.

I look forward to discussing my candidacy further and what I will do for Laramie County.

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

Real or Fake IllustrationAnd here is my online response:

Good Morning Mr. Malm:

Your “Letter to the Editor” begs a response, so here we go:

(1) First off, you again claim to be a “fiscally conservative Republican” … Let’s let that point lie there for a bit;

(2) You then proceed to state, “I am a businessman and Realtor who invests time, money and energy into protecting the American dream of home ownership. As such, I regularly invest in the Realtor Political Action Committee that, in turn, invests in candidates that are supportive of the causes important to our industry, regardless of political affiliation. What businessperson wouldn’t invest in protecting their business and customers?”

Two problems with that hypothesis:

(a) PAC donations to candidates do NOT show up as personal contributions on the FEC’s website, so your attempt to pawn off your $13,600 in contributions to Democrats all over the country as the result of your contributions to the “National Association of Realtors” PAC is a statement of mistruth at best. Any such PAC contributions would show up as coming from the PAC itself, NOT from you;

(b) As for “protecting … business and customers,” I’d sure like to hear how a contribution from ANY source, you OR your PAC, to Democrats, the bulk of which are notoriously anti-capitalist and anti-business, is going to move such a cause forward. Do you care to explain how giving money to Democrats in New York, New Hampshire, Arizona or Colorado is helping YOUR “business interests”?

(3) Even making a huge leap of faith and supposing that there actually are some Democrats around who might actually support your “business interests,” you attempt to justify your actions by pointing out that “President Trump did — it is well documented that he has donated millions to Democrats and Republicans alike to protect his business interests, as have many other successful business people.”

Except that President Trump has “business interests” all over the country, and the planet as well; are you going to make such a claim about your own “business interests,” since you are busy donating to Democrats all over the country? Please explain how contributing thousands of dollars to out-of-state Democrats helps you to sell a house.

I would argue, furthermore, that such a policy of giving money to your enemies will ultimately backfire in the end, as business-haters can’t be “bought off”; they merely become more energized to steal your rightfully-produced wealth through other means. Can we assume, therefore, that your failure to challenge such anti-business practices at their root — by advocating the elimination of that kind of power and control — and of seeking to “buy off” such thugs instead — is now your official campaign policy?

(4) And, on top of that, can we now, then, assume that you are of the opinion that such actions should never be taken by any other “fiscally conservative Republican” out there? And, if so, how much room does that leave for those who choose to wage that battle in other arenas? Such as in arguing that government, properly constituted, shouldn’t even be involved in such areas of our society?

And, finally:

(5) You state, “Laramie County doesn’t have the time or the resources to be hindered by partisan politics.”

Really, Mr. Malm? You sure had time for “partisan politics” back in 2016 when you launched your “#NeverMoses” campaign against M. Lee Hasenauer, investing quite a bit of time and money into that course of action as it turned out: Signs, Facebook pages, email campaigns, you name it. Can we therefore conclude, in the face of such evidence, that your stated disdain for “partisan politics” only applies to others, but that YOU are perfectly free to practice such tactics when it suits your goals? Sure sounds like it to me.

Sorry, Mr. Malm, but your LTE looks like a huge scramble to dodge responsibility, if you ask me, and I’m sure there’s more than a few Laramie County voters out there who are convinced of that as well.

Regards,
Brad Harrington

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

This time around, Mr. Malm didn’t bother to reply …

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Liberty-Oriented Commission Candidates Are in Short Supply

By Bradley Harrington

“No matter where or what, there are makers, takers and fakers.” — Robert Heinlein, “Time Enough for Love,” 1973 —

WTE3 Column #103 Illustration -- LC SealAs we consider the political races for the Laramie County Commission this year, one thing will occur to anyone looking at past county budgets: These people sure are good at spending money!

In 2010, for instance, Laramie County’s population was 91,881; in 2017, it had risen to 98,327, an increase of 7 percent (U.S. Census figures, www.census.gov).

And yet, during that same period, according to figures from the Laramie County Clerk, county payroll costs have mushroomed from $24 million in 2010 to $32.2 million in 2018 — a much steeper rise of $8.1 million or 33.85 PERCENT.

Thus, county government payroll cost increases have nearly quintupled their rate of growth as compared to county population expansion (4.83 times, to be exact).

Is there anyone out there in the private sector of Laramie County that can boast such a boost in salaries and benefits? Not many, to be sure. So, therefore, any politicians associated with such wasteful government spending — Troy Thompson and Linda Heath, in this case, who are both running for re-election — need to be handed their walking papers on that basis alone.

Is there anyone else out there, however, worthy of occupying those positions?

Well, let’s see: Since Commissioner Ron Kailey is retiring, there are three seats available – and running for them are Democrat Lee Filer and Republicans M. Lee Hasenauer, Gunnar Malm, Tom Scranton and Boyd Wiggam.

Well, anyone who knows me at all knows I would never recommend voting for a Democrat, so — sorry, Mr. Filer, but you’re off the list.

The problem is, I rarely have anything worthwhile to say about Republicans either, as most of them are spineless jellyfish who don’t even have the courage of their own convictions. Do we have any exceptions, in these cases?

While Wiggam has what appears to be solid credentials as a former member of the Wyoming Liberty Group, I simply can’t support anyone whose only argument against the monstrosity of PlanCheyenne back in 2014 was that it might impact affordable housing in a negative fashion (“Council gives OK to PlanCheyenne update,” WTE, March 11, 2014). So — sorry, Mr. Wiggam, but you’re off the list too.

As for Scranton — well, he supports zoning (“Retired banker, businessman running for commissioner,” WTE, May 29),  which is nothing more than a gross violation of private property rights, so — sorry, Mr. Scranton, but that’s where we part ways as well.

Which leaves us with Hasenauer and Malm.

For those who might not remember, Malm was the architect of the “Never Moses” campaign (“Man launches #NeverMoses campaign against M. Lee Hasenauer,” WTE, July 5, 2016), and Malm played quite an active and acrimonious role in keeping voters from re-electing Hasenauer after being voted out in 2014.

According to Malm at the time, he took umbrage “with Hasenauer’s particular brand of politics,” which Malm said “doesn’t sit well with me as a lifelong Republican.”

Really, Mr. Malm? Then do you care to explain why a “lifelong Republican” would spend thousands of dollars over the last several years on trying to get Democrats elected?

According to the FEC’s website (www.fec.gov), Mr. Malm, you’ve contributed:

$2,000 to Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter in 2012; $1,000 to New York Democrat Nydia Velazquez in 2013; $500 to Georgia Democrat David Scott in 2013; $500 to New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in 2013; $1,500 to Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in 2014; $500 to Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu in 2014; $1,500 and $100 to Sinema again in 2015; $500 to the DCCC in 2016; $500, $500 and $1,000 to Colorado Democrat Michael Bennett in 2016; $500 and $500 to New York Democrat Joe Crowley in 2017; and $500, $500, $500, $500 and $500 to Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill in 2017.

So, to add itWTE3 Column #103 Illustration -- No Fakers! all up, Mr. Malm, that’s $13,600 you’ve given out to Democrats running in races all over the country for the last six years — with $500 of that money going to the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for crying out loud, the “official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House of Representatives” according to its website (www.dccc.org).

So, while I can now understand completely your distaste for Mr. Hasenauer’s “particular brand of politics,” Mr. Malm, at least we know who M. Lee is. Who are YOU???

And, to my Dear Readers: With the exception of recommending a vote for M. Lee — the only commissioner who opposed those pay raises back in 2014 — if you have any interest in voting for liberty on the LCC, you’d better just write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck — for at least they aren’t fakers either.

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 June 25, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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Airline HEIST Advocates Keep Plundering All of Our Pockets

By Bradley Harrington

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” — Will Rogers, “The Manly Wisdom of Will Rogers,” 2001 —

WTE3 Column #102 Illustration -- CRAFT ThugJust when many of us have been thinking that it was well-nigh impossible for our local elected officials to slam any more doors on either fiscal integrity or common sense, up pops this story to prove us all wrong:

“The Laramie County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday [June 5] to approve an unconditional pledge of $600,000 to help subsidize a new commercial airline at Cheyenne Regional Airport … The funds will combined with another $600,000 from the Cheyenne City Council, $200,000 in federal funding and, possibly, $580,000 from the state’s Air Service Enhancement Program once a carrier contract is solidified.” (“Laramie County commissioners approve $600,000 for air service,” WTE, June 6.)

While all five commissioners approved this financial thuggery, however, two of them — Troy Thompson and Buck Holmes — were quoted in the story as having “apprehensions”:

“‘This is a lot of money,’ Thompson said. ‘It is the taxpayers’ money, and we need to take these decisions very seriously.’”

Really, Mr. Thompson? Where was your concern for “taxpayer money” two years ago, when you were busy stacking the Sixth-Penny grouping deck in favor of bloated government waste? Remember this?:

“‘When you look at a big $7 million project in there like the (Cheyenne) city (gymnasium and indoor sports facility) — when you add those big projects to a group, I think that puts them in jeopardy,’ said County Commissioner Troy Thompson. ‘But by adding public safety in those groups, it makes the groups more appealing to voters.’” (“Cheyenne, Laramie County projects packaged for sixth penny ballot,” WTE, Oct. 28, 2016.)

So, Mr. Thompson, please forgive me for viewing your “apprehensions” as little more than election-year sloganeering. It’s great to fill the room with your “conservative” hot air, but the facts tell a different story.

As for Mr. Holmes, his “apprehensions” allegedly center on his “faith in the free market”: “‘It bothers me when we have to subsidize, but I look at this as seed money,’ Holmes said. ‘If you don’t plant the seed, you won’t have any crop.’”

Really, Mr. Holmes? Speaking of “subsidizing” and “crops,” according to the Environmental Working Group’s farm subsidy database, it looks like you’ve received about $111,137 in USDA subsidies from taxpayers for your R Bar H Ranch operations (1999-2013, inclusive), (www.ewg.org). I guess “free” markets ARE good, as long as YOU aren’t the one paying for it! Or, would it be better to just say that one subsidy seems to breed another? More hot air.

Nor, Dear Readers, does it appear that we’re quite done yet with gathering up all the airline loot to be had — since Wendy Volk’s “CRAFT” (“Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team”) has now crossed the line from begging to plundering:

“CRAFT is also requesting another $100,000 from the Cheyenne-Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board.”

Shucks, folks, is there anybody else out there with some deep taxpayer pockets that we haven’t managed to raid yet? Instead of referring to this group as “CRAFT,” wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call it “Hacks Engaging In Stealing and Thieving” (“HEIST”) instead?

Volk, however, appears to have all the answers: “A lack of reliable air service has been identified as one of the top barriers to economic diversification in Wyoming,” she said. “Businesses are reluctant to relocate to a large rural state like Wyoming without passenger air service.”

Very well, Mrs. Volk, we get that. For both you and all your other fellow “HEIST”ers, however, would you mind answering a few other questions as well?

Questions like: If you think your ideas are so economically viable, why aren’t you out there working to convince banks and/or other investors of that viability? If your ideas regarding air travel in Cheyenne would actually WORK, shouldn’t somebody be stepping up to the plate to make a profit on them? Why, instead, are you all seeking to implement your ideas through force, i.e., government force?

My guess would be that, implicitly or explicitly, each and every one of you understands that there’s very real economic reasons why such an air adventure WON’T work in this marketplace — so you therefore reach for your guns because it’s the only method left for your purposes.

If you people want to make something happen, how about giving a larger amount of  YOUR money to your cause? Or starting up your own airline? Or working towards getting a market-based airline in here through the old-fashioned methods of convincing and persuading?

Now THAT would be a true “free market,” and the only way any business in Cheyenne should ever get done.

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 June 17, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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2018 Elections: Sit Down, Strap In and Hold on Tight

By Bradley Harrington

“The right to vote is a consequence, not a primary cause, of a free social system — and its value depends on the constitutional structure implementing and strictly delimiting the voters’ power; unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny.” — Ayn Rand, “The Lessons of Vietnam,” 1974 —

WTE3 Column #101 Illustration -- 2018 ElectionsWell, Dear Readers, as we all know, 2018 is an election year, which means: We are now in the process of being inundated with promises to, as Herbert Hoover opined back in 1928, put “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”

These promises will only progress in their frequency and intensity from now until Election Day on Nov. 6, a veritable circus-time which will be replete with signs, news stories, interviews and sundry other proclamations. Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear, by mid-October, some would-be social engineer coming out in favor of squaring the circle.

We are also going to be deluged with much opinion and commentary, of course, and — as a regular column-writer for this newspaper — that’s where I’m going to come in.

Naturally, I’ve got a number of things to say on a number of races — as will the WTE’s editorial staff, other regular column-writers, guest columnists and letter-writers as well.

What you’ll not be getting from most of them, however, that you WILL be getting from me, is a non-political-party, liberty-oriented perspective solidly grounded in philosophy and reality. For anyone who reads me at all knows that, to me, politics is but the final expression of our fundamental ideas. And it’s those ideas that truly capture my interest; the rest of it is merely by-product.

Still, elections can be extremely entertaining, and this year is certainly shaping up to be one of the most interesting ever. Nor can I help but wonder, of all the candidates out there offering up those chickens and cars, which will bother telling you that it’s YOU, as a working stiff, who’s going to be paying for it all. (That’s one of those “ideas” you won’t be hearing too much about from anybody else.)

And, as I observe the slate of candidates now running for the various offices scattered throughout our fair land, I have to ask myself: How many of them truly understand what the proper role of government IS in our society?

For government, readers might recall, does not operate in this country on an unlimited basis, and our Founders were well aware that government, as a social institution, poses the greatest threat to man’s liberty in history. That’s why the Constitution was written, after all — to limit state power over our lives.

At least, that’s the way it used to be, another one of those ideas that you won’t be hearing too much about from other writers … Or most of our office-seekers, either, a few of whom will be accepting their victories come Nov. 6 as a “mandate” from the voters to do whatever they feel like doing.

Again, they’ll be doing whatever they’re going to do with YOUR money, since government doesn’t have any resources of its own that it hasn’t taken from us first. You, Dear Readers, might want to consider that fact of reality VERY carefully as you listen to the upcoming plethora of commitments, pledges, vows, affirmations, pacts, assurances, guarantees and other hot-air stipulations you’re about to be swamped with.

So, what’s our timetable? The filing period for all races ended as of June 1, with the exceptions of school and college board filings (Aug. 8-27) and minor-and-provisional-party filings (Aug. 20). The primary is on Aug. 21, and absentee voting for that primary begins on July 6.

So, time is flying by faster than you think, and NOW is the time to evaluate what your candidates are telling you; if you wait until the day you pull the lever, you’re probably going to be more uninformed than you should be.

Therefore, between now and then, I’ll be devoting a few columns to analyzing some of what I consider to be our key races as well as the candidates running in them. For our “right to vote,” while not an irreducible primary in our society, is still an extremely important expression of the few freedoms our culture has left to it — and that right should be exercised with intelligence and prudence.

So, as the Romans used to say, “let the games begin,” for — if what’s transpired so far this “silly season” is any guide — you’re going to need to sit down, strap in and hold on tight for the ride.

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 June 10, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.

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