Last week our city council approved a city charter change on the May ballot. Voters would decide if the city council should have authority to create policy for professional service contracts. February 15, Mayor Beutler vetoed the proposal stating he thought the change would dilute his authority. (Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star 2/16/16) Beutler vetoed putting the question on the ballot.
Power is concentrated in the Lincoln mayor’s office. Our public mail-in ballot helped ensure Mayor Beutler retains his position of power. When voting by mail in Lincoln, citizens are not allowed a blank, sealed envelope in which to secure their marked ballot. To force a citizen to place the marked ballot directly into the Voters Oath envelope, which displays the voter name and address, is termed ‘voter intimidation’. In the last mayoral election, Andy Stebbing lost to Chris Beutler by less than 3,000 votes. Nearly 2,000 of the mail-in ballots were not even returned.
Beutler is the same mayor who used his authority to add to our tax burden by putting a ‘city dividend’ on the Lincoln Electric Service (LES) bill. It is not a ‘dividend’, it is a tax. Each month, when we pay our LES bill, we pay the Mayor Beutler tax known as the ‘city dividend’. Lincoln citizens had no opportunity to vote on the new tax. The mayor declared it under his authority.
In support of Prosper Lincoln, Mayor Chris Beutler described the American Way as WE identify, move and solve problems. I beg the Mayor’s pardon, but the American Way is more correctly summarized as creating an environment in which each INDIVIDUAL has the opportunity to reach his/her greatest potential.
Early morning February 10, at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, attendees were treated to a video which included prominent local citizens describe why they “Love Lincoln”. The initiative Prosper Lincoln to Lift Lincoln Higher is led by the Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF). It is a community-wide effort to help those left behind in our city. The LCF Vital Signs surveys of 2014 and 2015 identified dramatic increases in poverty, homelessness and food insecurity in our city. Lincoln residents will be sent community action messages suggesting ways they may contribute to the effort. (Nancy Hicks, Lincoln Journal Star (LJS) 2/11/16) “…some of the boats just need a little building up. And we can all help.” (LJS editorial 2/13/16) Sounds like the United Socialist States of America.
The American Way for the United States of America looks like this:
- Respect for the individual
- Freedom to develop one’s individual gifts and talents
- The free use of new knowledge
- Personal independence
- A sense of power over one’s fate
- Self reliance
- Non-interference with one’s neighbor
- The possibility of improving one’s life
- Tolerance of the different
- Healthy suspicion of power and authority
Education is the foundation for individual freedom and The American Way. The majority of Nebraska 8th grade students, for decades, have not been taught to read, write or do math well; just 38% are proficient. Unprepared to exercise their liberty, they remain dependent on government. However, children are entering school smarter than ever before. Highly educated individuals hold differentiated tastes and views. (Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom 1944) Low expectations and miseducation are the root causes of the expansion of the underclass, why does learning failure go unaddressed?
Learning failure expands the system in our unionized public schools. For 50 years, all levels of our government have been organized by labor unions. Union control of government over an extended period of time renders the citizen voice increasingly irrelevant. Elected officials’ incessant bickering has pushed governing down to the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats are comprised largely of whoever the union has allowed to be in charge.
An example of how the union may gain control is term limits in our legislature. If citizens have an outstanding representative, they are not allowed to reelect that person for a third term or longer. No senator has more than 8 consecutive year’s knowledge of legislative business. Senators are dependent upon lobbyists and bureaucrats (union approved) for the history and the bigger picture. This allows lobbyists and bureaucrats to frame and spin issues to their advantage. Following the adoption of term limits in our legislature, unelected appointments and boards are increasing as well.
Below is a short list of ways in which individual liberty and The American Way have been impeded by our local government. Actions taken serve the union and communists, but leave those not prospering in Lincoln and Nebraska, behind.
- Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods contributed to campaigns of our governor, attorney general and 20 of our state senators
- Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, lobbied for a bill which would allow packers to own our hogs.
- LB 176 was drafted, introduced, passed and signed by the governor to allow Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods to own our hogs.
- China will own the food grown with American soil, water and labor. (Alan Guebert, Farm and Food LJS 2/14/16)
- Though the science of reading, along with the brain research of reading, is readily available, schools continue to cripple reading ability in children by misteaching.
- Illiterate persons’ vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed, emotions aroused: the WE of group think and the collective.
- Promotion of serving alcohol at collegiate events, extended alcohol serving hours and expanded alcohol-friendly outdoor areas further a decline in moral standards.
- Citizens can be charged with violations and banishment from public buildings for the newly created infraction of ‘extended staring’ at staff and other citizens.
- Though never charged with a crime, a Lincoln small business owner’s home was raided by law enforcement, personal property seized, along with $224,000 as a result of an anonymous tip. Authorities refused to return his property and cash.
- University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Confucius Institute was named a “model institute” by the Chinese Ministry of Education at a conference in Shanghai, December 2015. (Chris Dunker, LJS 1/5/16) In 2014, the University of Chicago severed ties with the Chinese government-funded Confucius Institute due to concerns it advanced a state agenda in control of staff, curriculum and debate. China is a communist country.
President Franklin Roosevelt correctly predicted “The process of collective bargaining…cannot be transplanted into the public service.” Just 6.6% of private workers are unionized, compared to 35.7% of government employees. (George Will, Wall Street Journal 1/10/16/) The numbers suggest unionization may have a negative influence on efficiency and profit in private industry. In addition to learning failure in our public schools, government mismanagement at the Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and the Affordable Care Act suggest union influence over government policy-making and practices has a negative effect on efficiency and core mission, while expanding costs/taxes.
Thanks to senators Laura Ebke and Mike Groene in our legislature, Nebraskans have a rare opportunity to begin to rein in union-control of our lives, future and taxes. Legislative Bill 1044 to terminate the Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR) has been introduced and will have a public hearing Monday, February 22, 2016 1:30 pm in room 2102 at the capitol. The CIR has been an impediment to compromise on union issues which directly affect citizens and taxpayers.
Hopefully, even if you are associated with the Confucius Institute or the union, you still have the freedom to speak. Exercise your rights. Come testify February 22, fill the room. Both sides should be represented well. Mayor Beutler, It’s the American Way.