William Lawrence Sr. Omnibit 10-9-17

Sorry Columbus, John Cabot discovered North America –for good, we mean — in 1497. He was an Italian working for the English.

So why is it called America? Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian working for Spain, discovered the South American mainland about the same time. The map makers figured it was all one great big place and Amerigo got better press.

John Cabot discovered North America William Lawrence Sr. Omnibit 10-12-17

John Cabot discovered North America

Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn

Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn. Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn. Yes, we should celebrate Columbus. Celebrate Columbus. Celebrate Columbus. Celebrate Columbus. Yes, celebrate Columbus.Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn –Let us today, this Columbus Day  ignore Howard Zinn, who was after all a very bad historian, and celebrate the guy who, for all intents and purposes, discovered America.

Vinland, after all, never really took.

Howard Zinn was a socialist who wrote  “A People’s History of the United States” which used to be able to be read for free  at a site, appropriately enough regarding Zinn, called HistoryIsAWeapon.com. It no longer seems to be available there, however.

Zinn claims that America has always been ruled by oppressors — the 1 percenters who own a third of the wealth and keep control by fermenting dissent among the 99 percent who are the rest of us  — and starts his claim with Columbus who he says committed genocide on the residents of the West Indies.

It seems to be the theme pushed by the hipster crowd in the twenty-teens.

Well, the truth is the Spanish were pretty rough on the native peoples of the Caribbean, something we know from Spanish sources, but the cruelty was obviously not done at the direction of Spanish authorities as steps were taken to stop it when complaints reached them. Further, the native peoples of the Caribbean were not without their flaws either. The name for the Caribbean comes from the Carib tribe, from whence we also get the word cannibal.

And while Columbus was  far from perfect he does not appear to be the gratuitously cruel tyrant Zinn and our hipster friends claim him to be. In Columbus’ own words this is what he says about the Lucayan peoples of the Bahamas who Zinn et al alleges he mutilated and slaughtered: “They are very gentle and without knowledge of what is evil; nor do they murder or steal… . Your Highness may believe that in all the world there can be no better people … they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are always laughing.”

It seems the revisionists are getting their signals crossed, which is understandable as Zinn is a rather bad historian.

America is a place that allowed tens of millions of Europeans and Asians to escape the feudalism that infected their homelands and her discovery only deserves to be celebrated. Even Africans should celebrate. Slavery existed in Africa — it wasn’t Europeans doing the slave catching — before the trans-Atlantic slave trade and it was only after the founding of the United States did the push begin to end it. Pennsylvania was one of the first recognized governments in in history, to ban slavery which happened in 1780 in the middle of the Revolutionary War.

Hipsters ironically want a day named for Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas and there is a point to that as the Bishop is one of history’s good guys.  On the other hand, he was the one who suggested that the labor lost due to the death of Indians be replaced by Africans and some credit him with the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

History is a bit more nuanced than Zinn and the hipster crowd make it out to be.

One more bit of irony:  Zinn’s work was popularized by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck who grew up near Zinn and were family friends. Damon and Affleck are now part of the one-percenter crowd. They have yet to give most of their money to the rest of us, and certainly have not led any crusades to end the tax breaks for performing artists who receive mega millions per film.

Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn

ISIS Losing MAGA Winning

ISIS Losing MAGA Winning

ISIS — which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and is also known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and DAESH which is an Arabic acronym — is losing big.

More than a thousand fighters who have sworn to die rather than surrender surrendered last week.

The group of fanatics that Barack Obama called the J.V. team in 2014 captured huge swaths of the Middle East in the last two years of his term including the major city of Mosul. They subjected the conquered to depravation and terror.

And now, during the last 10 months, they appear have been crushed due to American support and policy changes.

MAGA. That stands for Make America Great Again.

ISIS Losing MAGA Winning

ISIS Losing MAGA Winning

 

 

Property Tax Referendum Explained

Property Tax Referendum Explained  — The Republican State Committee has distributed an explanation of the Nov. 7 ballot question on whether school districts may exempt homes from property taxes.

We are republishing it. Hat tip Donna Ellingsen.

Chairman’s Update

Dear State Committee Members:

This November, there will be a referendum on the ballot that could shape the future of Pennsylvania’s property tax system. Below I have included a research packet with information of the referendum along with background references.

The referendum, which would amend the PA Constitution, could allow for significant reductions in property taxes. I encourage you to education your voters about this referendum and to use this as an opportunity to bring conservative voters to the polls, which will help our whole ticket.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comment.

Sincerely,

Val

Research Packet | 2017 Property Tax Ballot Referendum 

TOP LINE: A November ballot question will ask voters whether local taxing authorities should be able to exempt residents from paying property taxes on their homes.

What would the ballot question do?

Nothing would change immediately if the ballot question passed in November.

  • School districts, counties & municipalities would have the option to exempt taxpayers’ primary residences from property taxes.
  • Note: commercial and industrial properties would still be taxed if a local government or school district enacted the exemption.

Under current law,  taxing authorities can choose to exempt taxpayers from paying up to 50 percent of the median assessed value of all homes.

  • The proposed change would expand that exemption, making it possible for local governments to exempt ALL taxpayers from paying ANY property taxes on their primary residence.

The official text of the ballot question:

“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?”

Why is the ballot measure being championed by lawmakers? 

As reporter by the Philadelphia Inquirer:

  • Rep. David Maloney, R-Berks, who sponsored the bill that created the ballot question, said he receives weekly — and sometimes daily — complaints about property taxes from his constituents, especially those who are retired and live on fixed incomes.
    • “I had an elderly lady walk into my office unexpected,” he said. “She pulls out her property tax bill out of her pocketbook and said, ‘Sir, I can no longer pay this. Do you know how to help me?’ ”

Background information of property taxes:

  • In Pennsylvania, systems in place for property assessments and distributing school funding have sparked additional complaints about the real estate tax system.
  • Currently, property owners pay tax rates set by their county, school, and municipal governments.
  • FACT: School taxes account for the largest share of property-tax bills, and Pennsylvania’s school-funding system has long been criticized.

How do Pa. property taxes compare with other states’?

Statewide, property tax collections account for about 30 percent of local and state tax revenue, according to a study by the Tax Foundation.

  • Our tax rates are among the HIGHEST in America; Pennsylvania homeowners pay, on average, 1.46 percent of their home value in taxes, according to another Tax Foundation report, which ranks the state 10th nationwide for the highest effective tax rate. New Jersey, by comparison, has the highest effective tax rate of any state, at 2.44 percent.
  •  ***Pennsylvanians pay about $14 billion a year in school property taxes alone***

Opposition:

Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials

  • Jay Himes, Executive Director

Mr. Himes has said his group thinks the option to eliminate property taxes for primary residences is a good idea — as long as a sound revenue replacement is found.

  • But Mr. Himes and his association strongly oppose the Property Tax Independence Act and efforts to eliminate the school property tax. Under that bill, school districts would continue charging for property taxes to cover their existing debt until it is paid off, and county and local property taxes would remain the same. That would lead to even more unequal payments for homeowners depending on their school district, Mr. Himes said, and would not be total elimination of the tax.

School officials also oppose the loss of local school board control over education funding under proposals to eliminate the school tax.

  • “We don’t have a perfect tax system in place for school districts and we haven’t had one for decades,” Mr. Himes said. “It, however, is an inordinately complex and difficult issue because otherwise we’d of had a solution by now.”

Events on the horizon:

If the ballot measure is adopted by Keystone State voters, the legislature would need to find alternative sources of revenue before taxing authorities could move forward with enacting property tax exemptions.

Advocates for the Property Tax Independence Act say that the referendum could help them achieve the elimination of school property taxes.

  • Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, is the prime sponsor of that effort, which has attracted support from both Democrats and Republicans. It was defeated after Lt. Gov. Mike Stack broke a tie vote on it in 2015.
  • As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer:
    • Mr. Argall said he is open to amendments to his bill, which still lacks enough votes to pass. If the measure passes this fall, for example, he could amend his bill to eliminate school property taxes only for primary residences rather than all properties.
      • “It gives us more flexibility,” Mr. Argall said of the ballot question. “I believe it helps us to build some additional support for the concept across the state.”

 

Property Tax Referendum Explained

Property Tax Referendum Explained  -- The Republican State Committee has distributed an explanation of the Nov. 7 ballot question on whether school districts may exempt homes from property taxes.

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 10-9-17

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 10-9-17

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Wbunaa Jbystnat iba Tbrgur

much study is a weariness of the flesh Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Ecclesiastes

 

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