North Dakota has on its books a law which clearly infringes upon First Amendment protections of political speech. In Century Code 16.1-10-06 the law states,
The display upon motor vehicles of adhesive signs which are not readily removable and which promote the candidacy of any individual, any political party, or a vote upon any measure, and political advertisements promoting the candidacy of any individual, political party, or a vote upon any measure which are displayed on fixed permanent billboards, may not, however, be deemed a violation of this section. (Download as PDF)
Not only does this farcical law violate protections on free speech, but it also doesn't apply equally to all - ie, people with stickers on their car or "permanent" signs. The fact that this law even addresses such exemptions indicates that someone in the legislature realizes how ridiculous, unenforceable, and downright unconstitutional it is.
Of course, it doesn't apply to Democrats buying gas cards or big screen TVs for people or giving college students free rides and pizza, does it? Well, it looks like they eventually stopped the pizza thing when people found out what they were doing. I never heard of anyone actually being charged with a misdemeanor pursuant to Section 16 of the North Dakota State Century Code, however.
I took down my yard signs as we're all warned to do, simply because I want to use the parts for a project I'm working on in the Garage Majal. Here in my "digital yard", however, allow me to assert my political opinion as protected by the First Amendment:
Measure One: This is a clear YES. It says that as a politician I can't arrange to have a government job created, then later on assume that job. I also can't arrange to give a government job a disproportionate raise and then later assume that job. No-brainer.
Measure Two: This is ill conceived and a clear NO, even though I want property taxes abolished. If it had simply said, "North Dakota government entities may not derive income from the levying of a property tax." and left it there, I'd be urging everyone to vote yes. In this case, however, the proposed measure does some very BAD things:
- It places spending decisions in the hands of one large, central government;
- It puts fiscal responsibility in the hands of a state legislature which hasn't exhibited any such responsibility since the Schafer administration;
- It requires the legislature to make a "magic formula" which will somehow "properly fund" all North Dakota cities and towns, no matter how great or small, no matter how flooded or oil-rich;
- It will create a need for full-time legislators. Right now they serve part time and for little money. Imagine if it became a full-time job, doling out your money to whoever lobbied them the best? That's how the United States Congress ran off the rails!
- Codifies itself into the Constitution, where it can not be modified without another Constitutional ballot measure. What to do in the mean time?
Again, if Measure 2 simply said "No more property taxes" and left it up to the legislature to react within its means, I'd be on board. As it stands, it pulls the rug out from under them while also handcuffing them at the same time. It's a recipe for disaster.
Measure 3: Again, a clear YES. This measure simply restores protections for faith and religion which have gradually been eroded by the federal government. It has passed legal muster after examination by entities at Harvard, Stanford, Notre Dame, U Virginia, et al. It sets a legal standard by which people are protected from new laws which would, for instance, force photographers like me to photograph homosexual "weddings" against our convictions. No, it doesn't mean I can beat my wife or marry a twelve year old. And remember, its financial support comes from close to a million dollars in blood money from the abortion factories at Planned Parenthood.
Measure 4: This one is convoluted, but vote NO to KEEP the UND Fighting Sioux Logo. The administration of UND and the State Board of Higher Education have been nothing but misleading in this regard, claiming that we wouldn't be allowed into the NCAA Big Sky Conference when we've already been ratified members for over a year. They're still claiming the sky will fall on UND athletics when they've been playing under sanctions already without ill effect. We need to stand-up for out of state liberal politically correct" types who think they know more about what's offensive to Indians than the actual Native American tribes themselves, which have never been allowed to meet with them!
There we go. Since I'm not a Democrat, I'm now a dissident and a criminal. But wait, I did take down my yard signs as ordered! If you feel so moved, please click on the Donate link to the right and chip in some bail money. After you do so, please go to the nearest poll - remember, the polling places have CHANGED for many of you, and you can find your new polling place here. Vote YES, NO, YES, NO, and sit back to watch the TV stations try to beat each other with the best election coverage. See you when I get out.
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With the estimated amount of blood money poured into North Dakota by abortion factory "Planned Parenthood" organizations approaching one million dollars, you can imagine there's plenty of misinformation bouncing around out there. Of course, it's all put out there by the pro-abort propaganda mill who see faith and religion as their primary adversary. No shocker there.
An informational sheet has been put together answering some direct questions that should probably address any concerns one might have about Measure 3. Those concerns would most likely be brought on by the disinformation campaign waged by the pro-abort bunch.
If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you're good to go. It may take a little bit for the program to load, but the file should download reasonably quickly. Click on the icon below to download the free Adobe Reader if necessary.
Now onto the video. This addresses some of the same disinformation sneaking around out there but can actually give more background:
There you go. This measure basically provides protection against people passing laws to stifle faith and religion, a war which is being waged heavily here in North Dakota right now, and does not do any of the weird things the pro-abort groups claim it does. Please vote YES on Measure 3.
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As a motorcycling advocate I was pleased to see this sign on I-94 this weekend. During the pleasant riding months we have a lot of motorcyclists in the area, and I'm sure attractions like Buggies 'n' Blues (photos forthcoming) and the ABATE Menoken Rally brought a measurable increase in numbers of two-wheeled motorists this weekend. Whenever I hit an unmarked section of chip-seal gravel around Bismarck I tend to think that we bikers are forgotten...but not by the DOT this weekend!
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I noticed something interesting when driving by this sign the other day, so last night I made an effort to actually have a camera with me and sought it out once again...
This line from Atlas Shrugged jumped out at me the instant I saw it (the first time). Plenty of rumors abound regarding Mr. Galt, I guess we can add his chiropractor visit or spa appointment to the list. Even revolutionary fictional characters need a massage or an alignment every now and then! :)
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Despite the efforts of my friend and Burleigh County commissioner Mark Armstrong, the city tore down the former Wilton train depot, known for the past twenty-plus years as the Meriwether's building. It also doubled as the ticket office and souvenir for the various incarnations of riverboat which docked thereby. One interesting feature in the area was the sign you see above, which the Big Muddy decided to relocate far south during its flooding rampage last year.
It was Mark, in fact, who tipped me off to this sign last year already. Obviously it's taken me quite a while to find the time to get down there and see it up close for myself. I finally did, however, while taking my little boys on a sandy walk to throw rocks into the water and enjoy a warm sunset. Someone apparently found this sign, which had been washed from the vicinity of the Grant Marsh bridge to a sandy stretch well south of the Memorial Bridge, and decided it to stick it into the ground. It's stayed there ever since, a testament to its resilience.
As far as the plight of the Meriwether's building goes, I can't say I have any feelings one way or the other about it. The last restaurant I remember in the building was driven out of business by the closure of River Road when a section slid, and I can't remember anything ever taking its place. The building is a pretty remote location for a business in all but the warmest few months, so I'm not sure it would have been a good candidate for business even if it had been restored.
I was on board one hundred percent when Phil and Mark were the super-duo on KFYR AM 550 radio and they set about preserving the Provident Life Weather Beacon. That's a piece of history well known to thousands of people, one which many of us still consult when we want a snapshot of what the weather forecast holds in store. The old depot down by the river? I'm not sorry to say that I doubt many people held the same attachment to it. Sure, there were parts of it that were pretty cool...but one of the best of those has found itself a home about a mile down the river.
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