Category Archives: Government waste

Time Change is a Waste of Time

March 16, 2017

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I will make this short this week. You see, I don’t have the time to do much more. I lost an hour Sunday and I will not be able to do what I should have done during that hour.

Actually, I didn’t lose it; the State of Colorado took it from me. Not to worry though, they promised to give it back in the fall. At least they are not going to redistribute it and let the goofballs in Washington, D.C. have part of it before they give it back. If they did that, I would probably only get about 13 minutes back, and only that if I agreed to wear a seatbelt in the bathtub.

I was once told a story by a learned old man. He told of an Indian warrior who sat for many days making a new bow. He then took several more days to make a handful of arrows for his new bow. But alas, when he tried to use the bow and arrows together, he found that the arrows were too short and would not work with his brand new bow. To solve the problem the Indian sat down, mixed up a special batch of pine pitch and some other secret ingredients, then cut off the front of each arrow and glued it to the back of the arrow to make the arrow longer. Only when each arrow failed again did the frustrated warrior realize that he had wasted a lot of time that could have been used to do it right in the first place.

When I was growing up in Ouray, there were a few hundred men working at the two major mines in the area. I remember at least once when the mine my dad worked at adjusted their work hours so those working underground could come out an hour earlier in the evenings. What a novel idea it was for them to make that adjustment without government intervention.

I see now that the Colorado legislature is considering at least one bill, and probably some others that would put us on permanent Daylight Saving Time. They have tried this before and spent many hours debating and rehashing the whole thing. The last couple of times, in 2011 and again in 2013, the proposals were to keep Standard Time year around. Obviously, they both failed and we continued with this silly ‘spring ahead and fall behind’ routine that does nothing but give our lawmakers a reason to sit on their loincloths and re-invent the arrow.

My big question now is this: If we do stay on Daylight Saving Time who is going to give me back my hour?

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2017

 

 

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Justice (?) Department

November 28, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I will be damned if I can figure out where our top-heavy, regulation oriented, United States Government is headed. It seems that, more and more, the bureaucrats are making worse and worse decisions.

It also seems to me that Colorado is all to often on the top of the headlines for some stupid reason.

The latest goofball turn of events is that the Denver Sheriff’s Office was fined by the U.S. Department of Justice for making U.S. citizenship a qualification for being hired as a deputy sheriff.

Let me clarify one thing before I go on: The Denver Sheriff’s Office is not typical of the rest of the state. Denver is both a city and a county and does not elect a sheriff as their chief law enforcement officer. Sheriff’s deputies in Denver County are responsible for maintaining the jail, transporting prisoners and serving civil process. Sheriff Patrick Firman is an appointee of the City and County of Denver. That being said, the deputies are Colorado law enforcement officers.

So, some guy goes to the Sheriff’s Office (probably through the Denver City and County Human Services) and applies for a job. He is turned down because he is not a citizen and evidently is not fluent in English. The Justice Department, through the Civil Rights Division gets involved. Ultimately, Sheriff Firman enters into an agreement with Alberto Ruisanchez, the deputy special counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. The Sheriff’s Office agrees to pay a $10,000 fine, but they agreed to a whole lot more.

Under the agreement, the S.O. will go through all job applications received from non-citizens and offer them another opportunity for employment “with no consideration of their citizenship status.” They are also agreeing to provide certain printed material in “applicant’s preferred language.”

This all means that a person whose English is so deficient that he (or she) has to have printed material in another language is expected to communicate efficiently with a population of inmates, the majority of whom speak English. He (or she) will be expected to transport prisoner to and from jail and to and from the courts and I suppose have a laptop with a version of Rosetta Stone in seven languages on the dash of the transport vehicle, for which they will probably be criticized for using because it distracts them from their driving, which they may not be able to do legally because they didn’t get a driver’s test in Archi.

Another twist on this whole thing is that a provision of Section 8 of the United States Code, which is the one supposedly violated by DSO, provides that it is not a violation to “hire, recruit, or refer an individual who is citizen or nation of the United Stated over another individual who is an alien if the two individuals are equally qualified.” In my evidently screwed up mind it would seem that the applicant who speaks English has an edge here. But that is just my opinion.

By the way, Archi is considered by many scholars to be the least known language in the world and is spoken only in a small village of just over 1,000 people who live in Southern Russia on the Caspian Sea. Putting up a “Right To Work Poster” in Archi could be difficult because one verb could have more than 1.5 million conjugations.

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

 

Amendment 69 – a potential disaster

August 22, 2016

 

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado. 

Colorado is flirting with going down another socialistic path that can only lead to financial disaster.

Somehow, and I can tell you my theory sometime, over 150,000 of our fair citizens became signatories on petitions that placed another proposed amendment on the Colorado ballot. Amendment 69 is potentially one of the worst amendments added to the Colorado Constitution, and there are plenty bad ones to go around.

In effect, Amendment 69 would create a single-payer heath system in Colorado. That system would likely cause patients to suffer through long waiting periods and even reduce the quality of health care for Colorado citizens. And it would definitely cost a lot of money – money that must come from the pockets of those waiting in line.

You will likely hear more of the pros than the cons on this, because it seems that the Denver news media is all about covering the pros and leaving the cons to be labeled as op-eds and letters to editors.

Vermont tried this very thing just a few years back. Vermont is not a huge conservative state, quite the contrary, but they looked at this proposal closely and defeated it. The same thing needs to happen here.

This amendment could easily double the state’s budget. It is a $25 billion tax increase that citizens will pay into from two directions. First they would pay a 10 percent employment tax. Secondly, the cost to business owners and sole proprietors will go up significantly. Those costs will be passed on to consumers and patients and their pockets will be picked while they wait for a Canadian-style health care system to decide when, and if, they will get treated.

Interestingly, one of the organizations that would normally be all on board for this type of thing has come out against it. NARAL ProChoice Colorado is opposing the amendment because it fears it will limit access to abortions. I never thought I would be on the same page with these people, but I find myself there now. There are some arguments whether or not the amendment would replace the current ban on using public funds for abortions. I think it is possible that Amendment 69 could supersede Article V, section 50 in that regard.

The bottom line is that Colorado cannot afford this and health care will suffer because of it. I can just hear the flower children and the drugs, sex and rock and roll people of my generation lamenting the fact that this socialistic, big government push for power has not taken place much earlier, so they could have been under a system run by the government long before they signed up for Medicare, which is what many of them are doing right now.

If this thing passes, all Colorado citizens will lose their current benefits plans and those plans will be replaced by benefits that comply with regulations made by some entity that has yet to be identified or defined. We cannot let this happen.

One of the worst things about this whole proposal is the fact that, by the time all those give-it-to-me-free advocates figure out that it is not working, it will have been embedded into the Constitution and will be very difficult to remove or even amend. This is as good a reason as there can be to get your ballot counted.

Remember, I only send out these missives by email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

Grow Government, Grow

August 15, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

 

We all know how I feel about the crazy proliferation of governmental regulations over the past several years. My concerns seem to be given credence in a recently released analysis conducted by Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren on behalf of the George Washington University and the Weidenbaum Center on Economy, Government and Public Policy. The study has been referred to by some of my favorite commentators, including Matthew Andrews and James Gattuso, both affiliated with the Heritage Foundation.

 

The analysis, in the world of government at least, is not long; only 26 pages, but some of the findings are staggering and I think show how much damage the big government politicians have done to this country.

 

The study focuses only on regulatory agencies that impact the private sector. The analysis does not include Social Security, IRS and similar regulatory agencies.   Throw those in and things would look even worse.

 

Now, not all this started with the Obama administration, but the 2016 budget shows that he and his supporters are all-in on this massive government expansion. From 1960 to 2015, the money pumped into regulation increased 1,800 percent. One of my favorite goofball agencies, the EPA, was established during the Nixon era in 1970. Its primary purpose was to respond to the ever increasing and highly visible onslaught of air pollution and what people like Rachel Carson (author of Silent Spring) viewed as indiscriminate use of pesticides. It has since expanded at a rate that is almost unbelievable. The employment numbers of the EPA have increased, according to the analysis, by well over 10,000.

 

From 2014 to 2015 the economy grew by a dismal 2.6 percent. The powers-that-be have manipulated the unemployment numbers, and to some extent the economic numbers, to make things look much better than they are, but the 2.6 percent number is dwarfed by the 4.3 percent that the regulatory agencies grew. And remember that the 277,000 employees referred to in this analysis do not include those put to work in the IRS, Social Security Administration, Defense Department or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those agencies actually amount to about 33 percent of the money we send to Washington for abuse each year.

 

And, just so you know that I am not leaving out Obama, his administration has added more than $100 billion to this problem. To make things even worse, we now have a candidate for the presidency that thinks Obama has not done enough. Hillary Clinton quite literally seems to want to double down on what Obama has done. That means that the number of economy busting regulatory employees could well meet the number of employees employed year around by McDonalds franchises. Maybe that is a good comparison because it would not surprise me if the future holds a drive-up window for obtaining citizenship financed under the guise of “immigration reform.”

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

Pretty (crazy) in Pink

March 14, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

I have commented several times over the past few weeks about things that I think are a waste of time on the part of our lawmakers. Today, I will probably get myself in a little trouble with some people that I have always had the utmost respect for, but things are getting out of hand.

 

I am getting real tired of just about everything being seen by some as being sexist, racist, anti-gay or improper assertion of religious freedoms.

 

Back in the decades before 1970 Colorado had literally gained a reputation of killing each other more so than killing big game during the fall hunting seasons. Hunters numbering in the double digits each year were being killed by their fellow hunters or by accidents on their own part.

 

Then, Colorado passed two very important laws. First they began requiring that hunters attend a hunter education class (back then called hunter safety class) and that all big game hunters were daylight fluorescent orange garments. When the law regarding fluorescent orange was first passed it required each hunter to wear 300 square inches of the color. There were those who so opposed the new safety requirement that they actually cut patches equaling the 300 square inches and pinned them under their armpits to comply without the color being seen. The law was then changed requiring that the color be 500 square inches, be worn in a garment above the waist and include head cover.

 

The result of those two laws was that we went from and average of 10 or more fatalities each year to an average of less than one. It worked, and it worked well.

 

I have been involved in the hunter education program for over 40 years. I have had numerous young people and adults in my classes. Not once can I remember anyone claiming that the wearing of daylight fluorescent orange had anything to do with being sexist. It had everything to do with being safe and I believe that, for the most part, my fellow instructors and I made that clear.

 

But then comes our esteemed left-wing lawmakers. A couple of months ago, when I first heard about Senate Bill 16-068, I doubted that it would progress beyond some discussion. I actually believed that the legislators and the public in general would chuckle and let it go as a colossal waste of time.

 

SB-68, introduced by Vail Democrat Kerry Donovan allows hunters to choose to wear fluorescent pink rather than the orange. Yep, she claims it is sexist; that wearing orange promoted the myth that hunting was a man’s sport and women were just not welcome into the camp.

 

My jaw literally dropped open when I found out that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced support for the bill. Then I shook the curls out of my hair when I heard that the bill passed in the Republican controlled Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. I almost went into shock, last Saturday, as I sat among hundreds of Republicans, when Rep. Don Coram told me that the bill was destined to become law.

 

I have a suggestion for Sen. Donovan and the rest of those wasting their time on these things. Maybe you should propose a bill that would stop the sexual discrimination of hunting so many male animals. Maybe we should be hunting more females to make it more “fair.” Or maybe you could get the biologists at CPW to start capturing elk and performing sex-change operations on them. Or how about this: We could stop hunting all together and give people tours in Pope-mobile-style jeeps through our government owned lands to observe the wildlife. Of course we would have to have a pink jeep and a blue jeep so as not to appear to be sexist. Then we probably better arrange for a black jeep and a brown jeep for obvious reasons and we could not use the older jeeps manufactured by American Motors, that might send the wrong message to our Mid-Eastern friends.

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

 

 

Simplify background checks

March 9, 2015

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

 

The various departments and divisions of the government in the state are deeply involved in the budgetary process for the next fiscal year. One of the early steps in this process is the Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee staff figure setting.

Basically, the JBC gets the requests and the justification for funding from each department. The staff looks at the requests, analyzes the justifications and looks at some independent sources of information. They then recommend certain things to the assembly for inclusion in the state budget. The staff figure setting for the Department of Public Safety (working document) is 107 pages long and brings out one of those troubling duplication of efforts that I have railed about for years.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation has, among a number of other responsibilities, the task of doing background checks for persons who are buying guns and for those applying for concealed weapons permits. This year they are requesting, as part of the concealed weapons permit application budget, $407,687 spending authority to support the hiring of 7.9 technicians and to reduce the processing time for those permits. More than $300,000 of that is in the form of cash funds and the JBC does not like the justification. But the JBC, I think, is looking at this in the wrong way. Let me explain where I am coming from:

Let’s say I decide to buy a handgun. I go to my favorite gun dealer, pick out a nice .45 caliber model 1911 and tell the dealer I will take it. Now, I fill out a form, commonly called the 4473 form. This is not a registration. It is a statement saying that I am not violating the 1968 Gun Control Act, and that I can legally own the firearm. The buyer must sign the form after reading the section that, in part, says, I also understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law.

 

After the form is completed, I pay a ten-dollar fee, which goes to CBI and the dealer forwards the information to the CBI. They do what is known as an Insta-check and get back to the dealer, usually in less than an hour, although times vary, and then CBI either authorizes or denies the sale. I pass and pay for the gun and leave contented.

 

Okay, so I purchase the .45 and like the idea of shooting it for fun, but I also like the idea of having it for personal protection so I sign up for a fairly expensive concealed weapons class, complete the class and take the documents to the local sheriff so I can apply for a permit. I fill out a bunch of forms and pay another fee (much higher this time) to have a background check done. I am told that the background will take about 45 days (a maximum of 90 is allowed) and I go wait, visit the shooting range a few times and wonder what all the fuss is about. But, eventually, I get the call, go back to the sheriff and get my permit. By then I have decided that the .45 is a little bulky to carry and decide to go look for something a little smaller. Back to the dealer, where I pick out a good-looking compact .45 and a $60 holster. I fill out another 4473 form, give the dealer my ten-dollar background fee and wait for a few minutes while CBI decides I can legally purchase the gun. As it stands right now, the fact that I had two background checks in two months has no bearing on the third one.

There has to be a way the legislature can address this, and in the process reduce the expenses incurred by CBI. There has to be a way to fast-track someone who has had several background checks over a period of time, and there has to be a way that the time required for the CCW permit can be drastically reduced. Presenting the CCW permit to a dealer and signing a simple form saying nothing has changed should be enough to walk out of the store with a gun. Is this so complicated? Most of us would not risk a felony for misrepresenting something on the 4473 form in the first place, and we certainly would not walk back in the store if we had a disqualifying circumstance between the original purchase and the present one.

By the way, as I pointed out, the JBC is not satisfied with the CBI justification for the extra funding (known as BA-03) and they recommend not appropriating that portion of the request.

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2014

The whole government is out of control

July 28, 2014
By Bob Cox
Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

I normally do not complain when I have to pay for a mistake that I made. I think that is just taking responsibility for being careless or even stupid sometimes, but some mistakes could be corrected, if only one was allowed to do so.

Of course, this all leads to me commenting on my increasing disappointment in how our government works. First, some history:

Way back before the turn of the century, in 1984 to be exact, an innovative group of people started a software development company. By 1992, Reserve America began specializing in providing a service for state and national parks, whereby we users of these lands of many uses could pre-register for campsites throughout the country. In 1997 the company formulated its first on-line registration protocol and was almost immediately embraced by our National Parks and U. S. Forest Service.

I really do not have a problem with paying a nominal fee for using some of the campgrounds, although that is not all encompassing. I do think that the partnership between these government agencies and Reserve America gave the government an easy way to charge us for something we are already paying for. Many of the fee areas probably would not exist if it were not for the fact that a third party is handling the paperwork – and they handle a lot of it. According to their own fact sheet, Reserve America oversees reservations for more than 300,000 campsites and cabins within various state and national parks each year. They process an estimated four million individual reservations each year. As near as I can figure, that is somewhere in the neighborhood of being an annual income of over $30 million. That figure comes about because Reserve America charges about eight dollars in “non-refundable” fees for each reservation.

It is that non-refundable fee that has my dander up this week. It all began because the U.S. Forest Service has two campsites with similar names and even in fairly close proximity to each other. By not paying attention, I managed to get reservations for two campsites in the wrong campground. I noticed the mistake within a few seconds after clicking that “complete” button on the web page and started the process of cancelling the reservation. That is when I realized that, not only is the processing fee non-refundable; there is also a cancellation fee. In my twisted logical mind, I decided that a phone call to a customer service representative and a brief explanation would solve this dilemma. All I wanted to do was cancel the reservations and make similar ones at the other campground. Simple, right?

After a long and admittedly confusing argument with a nice lady who kept apologizing for my problem, I ended up paying anyway. My original reservations tacked $72 on my credit card. After explaining everything, I received a $26 credit and went on to pay another $65 (including the non- refundable processing fee again) for the new reservations.

A forest service employee told me later that the forest service had no control over what is done by Reserve America. No control? They pay these people $30 million each year. They should have some control of some kind, but then I am beginning to think that it is not only the campground reservations that the forest service, and most other government agencies, have lost control of. In fact, I think most of them are completely out of control – period.

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

Bob

© Robert R. Cox 2014