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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 17, 2010     Hays Free Press
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February 17, 2010

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Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT? '7 call him Buda's local hero because he grew up in Buda, and now he is both firefighting and saving the taxpayers tons of money." - ESD #8 Commissioner Joe Segovia, regarding Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby, who was recently awarded Fire Chief of the Year by the Texas Fire Chiefs Association February 17, 2010 EDITORIAL Abhorrent thievery s often happens, unidentified thieves in the night have besmirched the political process by . aling a batch of political signs from vacant lots, fenced yards in area neighborhoods and front lawns of candidates' supporters. These signs cost a sizeable sum of money. They re- quire a considerable amotmt of sweat to erect and, in hard rock ground, occasional words that aren't heard in Sunday school are often muttered. Although some of the miscreants may be engaging in ahat they mistakenly claim to be innocent fun, they are in fact indulging in outright theft. They have robbed the candidates of their financial resources and trespassed on the private property of voters. It is neither "cute" behavior nor an "innocent" prank. And, it doesn't seem to be partisan in natdre. The March 2 primary elections are a winnowing process for both the Republican and the Democratic parties as they work toward choosing a single nomi- nee for the general election this November. We have used this selection process inTexas for more than a 100 years. Prior to the establishment of these party primaries, candidates were chosen at party conventions where there was considerable chicaner including the outright"purchase" of votes by wealthy interests and powerful politicians. Money. of course, still talks, but in cotmty and pre- cinctlevel elections, candidates with limited resources have a much better chance of success than they did in the pasL wth the use of relatively low-cost yard signs. Theft of these signs is a criminal act. We under- stand that some enterprising victims have managed to get video shots of the license plates at several sites that fell prey to the "perps." The Sheriff's office and appropriate police officers are hot on their trail. If caught and charged with criminal acts, we intend to publicize the results and names of any of the culprits who are charged with criminal acts. Fresh faces for the future iiii KYLE  LIM!TS  'could not believe the energy in downtown last Saturday. From early in the morning until after .dark, folks of every age and color and size lined the street waving at cars, hoisting hand-held signs and getting out the vote. Everyone seemed in high spirits, even the traditionally cranky Center Street drivers who honked good-naturedly and thumbs-upped as they crawled past. And when the numbers came in, we were rewarded with the fact that this election will go down in the history books as the most heavily voted special election in Kyle with more than 1,000 citizens casting a bal- lot. It was an important election and the turnout showed that people took note. I know that in some towns, not only do the citizens not bother to vote, it is often difficult to even find folks willing to run for office. Notthe case here, thankfully, with eight people vying for three seats. And with the dawn, we began a new era in Kyle city government, full of promise and opportunity. It was a hard-fought battle and some folks definitely showed their colors but, I think, for the most part, it was an amicable race fought with good intentions. We'll be filling two more council seats in the May election so, by summer, the face of Kyle government will be overwhelmingly fresh. And, just when you thought that the coast was clear of all the local politicking for a while, early voting began yesterday for the March 2 primary. Although in primary elections, registered voters can vote anywhere in the county, we'll only have two more chances to cast an early ballot in Kyle before the primary, this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., both at City Hall. Primaries enable you to cast a vote within your party to select the individuals you want to run against opposing-party candidates in the Novem- ber election. And although we have several folks running unopposed in the primary such as U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Ray Bryant running for Pct. 2 County Commissioner, and Hays County District Attorney Sherri Tibbe, we can't rest on our laurels. We have trusted and established candidates like Ronnie Earle for Lt Governor, State Rep. Patrick Rose, Jeff Barton for Hays County Judge and County Court-at-Law Judge Anna Martinez-Boling who need our votes to advance to the November election. This one is important, too, folks. If you don't vote, someone else is going to have your say in what happens on a local and state level. And we can't have that, now can we? CHISPA I I CORRECTION In last week's editorial praising two local fami- lies, the lohnsons and Ways, for making generous land donations of conservation easements, we said we were looking forward to hearing about the closing of the properties. We didn't have to wait long. As it turns out, both transactions were com- pleted at the end of 2009. P.MRS SIZ00TING TEAM Toilet-stall rhetoric eb. Jim. Ned. Fred. Chip. lobe. Flip. Flop. Whatever your name, Mr. Well-Combed Congressman Texas, you got schooled. President Obama got one thing wrong in his televised face-offwith House Republicans. His last accuser was named leb - Jeb Hensarling- not Jim, as Obama mis-IDed him. Beyond that, a newly and tndy combative president, one still able to flash a knowing smile, flat-out slayed 'em. One can only hope it begins a sustained counter-attack to convince Americans that they need to join the fight. Who's them of ceding the ftoor, and the bull horn, to people waving racist placards and pretending that Sarah Palin is the face of America's future? Who's tired of the cheap shots about deficit spending from the very Republicans who bequeathed mountains of debt upon this land? Who happened to notice last week that when Obama proposed a bipartisan- you know, meaning "two-party" - commission to curb federal deficits, Republicans in the Senate rose to oppose it? Who noticed that a bill to impose "pay-as-you-go" anti-deficit requirement comparable to that agreed upon by President Clinton and a Republican Congress, caused the Republican minority in this case to say "no-go"? This reminds me of what I read in a toilet stall the other day. There in black marker, someone had borrowed words from a popular Tea Party bumper sticker: "So, how's that hope and change going for ya?" I'm thinking the author had been too long in the stall. What wisdom- high testimony for a movement that stands for absolutely no movement at all. Real anger was in Obama's eyes when Hensarling tried to hijack a Q&A with the president and make it a partisan PowerPoint about GOP fiscal austerity. Hensarling can claim to, be a fiscal conservative, but he first should have been trying this pitch out on his fellow Texan, George W. Bush, if he thought that escalating debt was a threat to the nation. As Obama pointed out, he inherited $8 trillion in debt, along with one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. To stimulate the economy, he got Congress to approve spending that, with interest, will add roughly $1 trillion to that debt. Obama pointed out that many Republican congressmen were quick to appear at ribbon-cuttings for stimulus projects they opposed. In Texas, they used to call that Gmmmstanding- the arfform perfected by Sen. Phil Gramm. He would denounce federal spend- ing and then be the first to the microphone to claim credit for new spending for his constituents. I don't think Hensarling would mind me mentioning that he was a Gramm protege. The prickly pear doesn't fall far from the tree. Oh, and now that Obama has proposed to freeze or cut several key federal programs? This week the New York Times had a fascinating piece about Re- publicans who, always full-throat in Gramm-style denunciations of federal spending and Obama-style "socialism," were denouncing budget cuts the administration now proposes. Don't cut NASA, said Sen. left Sessions, R-Ala. It employs people back home. Don't cut farm subsidies, said Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Don't touch our Missouri-based defense projects, said Rep. Todd Akin. Obama continues to say he wants to work with these calculat- ing partisans. Thanks to the fact that the GOP now has shaved a vote from the Democrats' super majority in the Senate, this will be necessary. But let's not forget that the people did, in fact, say they wanted change a year ago. If the party ofleb, orlim, or Ned, or Fred, or lift, or Dubya, is that- change- then maybe the author in the toilet stall is onto something. John Young writes for Cox News- papers. What's God's solution? mOng the mechanisms God roposed for ancient Israel, o lead them in an upward spiral of increasing well-being (called "shalom"), are two ideas the United States has never tried. Perhaps the time has come. One is the Sabbatical year, and the other is the Year of Jubilee. The Sabbatical year comes once every seven years. In the Sabbatical year, all personal debts are cancelled. It is forbidden to charge interest on personal loans. This discourages consumer debt, by curbing the incentive to make loans. Our country is buried under a mountain of public and private debt, because of an easy- credit consumer society built after the Great Depression, in the name of prosperity. If we insti- tuted the Sabbatical year, private indebtedness would be drasti- cally reduced, very quickly. The Year of Jubilee comes every 50 years. In the Year of lubilee, each person was restored to his ancestral home. Thus, no matter how badly you and your ram- fly fared, you would be given a fresh start every 50 years. And no matter how well you and your family fared, every 50 years you would have to give up properties you had acquired, and return to your own starting point. Every 50 years, everybody would be set equal to each other, not just in theory, but in economic fact. The poor would always have hope. GODMD .... The rich would always have hu- mility. There would still be incen- tive to prosper, but it would not be the cut-throat free-for-all it is today. Greed would be curbed. Power would be based on leader- ship, and not on mere wealth. In our society, we have no ancestral home to go back to. So in America, aYear of Jubilee would mean calculating the aver, age household income, levying a one-time 100% tax on all income in excess of that amount, with a one-time rebate of all those funds to those making less than the average. For that one year, every- body makes the same amount of money. And since the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, has declared corporations to be indi- viduals, they would be,included in the Year of lubilee. Real prop- erty would not be redistributed, but the sharp drop in income for some and the sharp rise for oth- ers would mean that the wealthy would have to sell some of their assets, which would be bought by the less wealthy, effecting redis- tribution of real property as well. OI, so Wall Street had a field day at our expense. We are im- poverished and scrambling for mere survival, while the people who did this are richer than ever. Wouldn't aYear of Jubilee go good, right about now? Of course, this idea w)ll" never fly here in America. Even ancient Israel stopped observing the Year oflubilee after a few centuries. The rich and powerful hate the idea, because it requires them to sacrifice for the greater good. They would marshall a public relations campaign to denounce such an ideaas Communism, class warfare, theft, any shame- less label they can think up. And their millions of dupes and ditto heads would believe them. But the Year of lubilee is none of those things. It is not class warfare, but unification, through peaceful periodic class leveling. It is not theft, but sharing. It does not drive us apart, but reminds us in a tangible way that we are all in this together. Communism was officially atheistic, whereas the Year of Jubilee is the expressed will of God. Not that that matters. There was one who walked this earth once, who was completely obedi- ent to God, and was, to all intents and purposes, God in human form. The rich and powerful found his truth and goodness so threatening, they killed him. POLL QUESTION THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION Are you planning on voting in the Democratic or Rep,,b- lican primary races this year? A. Dem B. GOP C. Neither LAST WEEK'S QUESTION Are you planning on voting in the Kyle mayoral election this weekend? A. If I haven't already, I surely will. 40% * B. Nah, it's not worth the bother. 38% C. What election? 24% TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WEEKLY POLL GO TO WWW.HAYSFREEPRESS.COM, I m m MANAGEMENT Barton Publications, Inc. CO-PUBLISHERS Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton OFFICE MANAGER Connie Brewer NEWSROOM Managing Editor Jen Biundo STAFF REPORTERS Sean Kimmons Brad Rollins School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heidernan Pauline Tom Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul COLUMNISTS Bob Barton Bartee Haile Phil Jones Darryl Jamail Jack Linden Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart PROOFREADERS Jane Kirkhamn Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Cannon CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallamn CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallamn DISTRIBUTION Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minority owner of the Hays Free Press CONTACT US: BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397