Town wins first round on CPA-church funding

Note: I am one of the 13 Acton taxpayer plaintiffs suing to stop the Town of Acton from funding religious organizations under the Community Preservation Act (CPA), so am extremely biased on this topic. These views are mine alone and do not represent the position of the plaintiffs or their counsel.

The Town of Acton won the first round against 13 local taxpayers, represented by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, when a preliminary injunction against spending Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to restore "historic" church properties was denied.

The double standard

The news today is that candidate Hillary Clinton has adopted the Bernie Sanders proposal to tax large estates at a 65% tax rate upon death, up from the current 40% tax. These "tax the rich" proposals are unfair and should not be part of our campaign debate, but unfortunately and divisively, are.

Let's say you are rich, and have always wanted to own a classic Rolls Royce. So you find the car of your dreams and pay $1,000,000 for it.

The money you spent is yours. It is after-tax earnings.

Special Town Meeting's Senior Center proposal

If you didn't know it, there is a Special Town Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, 7 pm, at the ABRHS's upper gym (enter near the parking lot up the hill from the auditorium, where the meeting usually takes place.)

I went to the Town's website yesterday to confirm the date and look at the warrant. Nothing posted in the calendar for the meeting and no warrant, despite the meeting being just two weeks away. (Today, the warrant is available: http://www.acton-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/8411).

Town argues in favor of public funding for churches in court

By Allen Nitschelm

Note: I am one of the 13 Acton taxpayer plaintiffs suing to stop the Town of Acton from funding religious organizations under the Community Preservation Act (CPA), so am extremely biased on this topic! Below are my impressions from the court hearing on 9-14-16. These views are mine alone and do not represent the position of the plaintiffs or their counsel.

Currency manipulation

I read in today's Wall Street Journal (9/6/16) that the European Union's Central Bank is considering buying stocks instead of bonds, because they are running out of bonds to buy in their stimulus program.

The article, which sounded very supportive but also not alarmed by this suggestion, then gave some examples of countries that were already investing in the stock market. Switzerland, for example, has about 20% of its foreign reserve invested in stocks, with a value of around $1 trillion.

Jamie, leggo my wallet!

Senator Bernie Sanders made a fairly big splash this year, partly due to the energy of young, idealistic Democrat voters, and partly due to the toxic nature and many scandals of the leading candidate for the Democrat nomination who is now the nominee.

The snake, the farmer, and the epi-pens

There is an old tale of a farmer who finds a half-frozen snake in the field and takes pity on the poor, nearly dead creature. To warm it up, he puts it inside his shirt. When the snake revives it bites the farmer on the chest. The farmer is now going to die, but he asks the snake why he did it, after that act of kindness? And the snake replies, it is just doing what it does according to its nature.

What should journalists do?

Journalism has taken several big hits over the last ten or so years, but none bigger than the seismic shift from being impartial observers to being filters that try to shape the outcomes rather than report on them.

This might make sense to individual journalists who study something and then have a point of view, and then try to communicate that point of view through their reporting, but it is a dangerous turn for the profession--and our free society--when this becomes the norm. And it apparently has.

Debt-free college

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on Hillary Clinton's shift from trying to reduce public college costs to free public college education (or debt-free public college education) for all students except those from rich families. This shift in her position is explained by her deal to get Bernie Sander's endorsement and to appeal to the Bernie voters.

Ted Cruz and the Battle of Khitomer

Yes, it's that time of the month...time for another Star Trek reference.

It has been too long, hasn't it? And today's article is about the improbable rise of The Donald and what the Republican establishment did wrong to enable this outcome. And, of course, a lesson learned from a Star Trek incident that happened hundreds of years in our (possible?) future.