Black Sheep Rising – Episode 60

 

James gets arrested • To upload or not to upload? • Love your haters • Nice people like to obey • Cops love punching folks • James, Rapsher, and Freerock join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org

Veterans for Peace

This week’s Letter to the Keene Sentinel Editor.

You can barely see it. It’s right on the back of the war monument in Central Square. It’s a faded red peace sign. The statue was chalked more than two years ago, maybe longer. When asked where it came from, one atheist Free Keener said he didn’t know and, “Maybe God put it there.”

Until recently, few who frequent Central Square knew it was even there.

At the City Council graffiti meeting recently, one person demanded that it be removed, asked when it would be done and when an ordinance would be created to prevent it from ever happening again.

I oppose its removal.

Today, many are warming to the idea that war monuments, parades and holidays are just government propaganda. It’s less about the debt and honor owed the soldiers, and more about trying to justify past and future military endeavors. The people who think this way are not all hippies and peaceniks.

I happen to be a young veteran with a normal job and a normal life. I “served my country” and then one day I woke up when I came to realize that war is not the solution, it never was, and never will be.

Sending our sons and daughters across the globe to fight in countless undeclared wars in countries that most Americans couldn’t locate on a map is beyond immoral. Spending almost $1 trillion a year to fund more than 1,000 U.S. military bases and 250,000 soldiers to act as global policemen in a state of permanent war is self-defeating, wasteful and unconscionable. How can anyone in their right mind support such insanity?

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Black Sheep Rising – Episode 58

Roughing it at Porcfest2014 • Quitting Facebook? • Veterans for Peace • Should the city pay for PumpkinFest? Homeless shelter? • Shaunna and Joe join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org

Black Sheep Rising – Episode 57

ALP, PNN and other podcast stuff • Derrick jumps through fiery hoops • Old DMV grannies conspiracy • Young libertarians.  Why we do what we do and why the opposition is wrong • City nanny proposes chalking ordinances • Who owns the commons? • NJ boardwalk mandatory dress code • Ellen and Derrick join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org

Black Sheep Rising – Episode 56

Tired of chalking yet?  Too bad.  The war continues.  We break down the madness from every angle • Rebels or Empire? • Keene city budget public hearing • Pumpkin fest lobbyists • What the hell is tax increment financing? • Doom movie review • James and Garret join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org

Who pays for Keene’s downtown parking?

Rome BurnsIt’s budget time and of course it’s going up again.  Just like last year.  And the year before.  Surprisingly, the Parking Fund is going down $200,000 even though the city collected $80,000 less than it had planned on (no doubt thanks to Robin Hood and his merry misfits). Some have been quick to applaud the city bureaucrats in this reduction, but wait.  The TIF tax portion went up $200,000.  What the hell is a TIF tax?  If all you saw was “tax” and you already knew it was something bad, then you would be correct.  Here is a brief explanation in my LTE to the Keene Sentinel:

 Tax Increment Financing is not “free money”

Who pays for Keene’s downtown parking?

If you were to ask city management, they would tell you it’s paid for through rentals, fees and fines. If you then asked them if the taxpayers paid into the parking fund as well, they would most likely tell you “no.”

This is a flat-out mistruth. Let me explain. This year, $1 million (47 percent) of the $2.2 million proposed parking budget will come from the city’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) tax pool. This is a huge increase from $840,000 (34 percent) last year.

The TIF tax pool is generated from Keene’s two developmental districts and the revenue collected can only be spent in those districts. It cannot be spent elsewhere. The idea is the money will be put aside and used to improve the assessed value of these properties and therefore increase the potential tax revenue over time because, according to social engineer Mayor Lane, development in these areas would never happen unless they had a little help from the taxpayers. This is a ridiculous notion.

One of the biggest problems with TIF is how the money is spent. Right now, almost half of Keene’s TIF revenue goes to the parking fund. The other half is spent mostly on principal and interest. We’re talking about $2.4 million that could be going directly to the general fund to pay for city services, which would ultimately help lower the already unsustainable tax rate.

But instead it gets spent on snow removal.

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