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Monday, July 26, 2010

An Op-Ed: Freedom

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Freedom
by Junius Smith


It seems that many have forgotten their history of the United States. Many of us want European style government. Remember how it was in the 1600’s? Our ancestors could not worship God as they wished. So ... they braved all sorts of adversity just to get here. Many died, but half of them starved to death after arrival in the first year trying to emulate European common store house methods. The next year they went to the old fashion free enterprise way of growing your own and eating it yourself. None starved in the second year.

As time went on, others came to the new land, many as indentured servants. The price of the trip was at least seven years of servitude in which they were the “slaves” of the people who paid their way. Most thought this was a small price to pay for freedom and the experiences that they had faced in Europe.

By and by the first negroes came to America. They for the most part after they had been captured by Muslim Arabs, European ship owners, or the local tribe chieftains who sold them to slave ship owners like John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace” before he was saved by the Holy Spirit After arriving in America, many went to the potato farms in the Colony of Maine, where for one reason or another, they did not work out and were sold to farmers in the south.

Southerners made a large investment in slaves, which was declared a legal investment by the United States Supreme Court headed by John Jay as Chief Justice. The South, especially in the coastal areas, began to make huge investment in human labor . First it was in rice, then in Cotton. Many families entire wealth was in the land and the slaves. In fact one of the largest slave owners in Charleston, South Carolina was an African American.

Contrary to what many have said, The War for Southern Independence was not fought solely over slavery, although that was definitely a factor. As my old professor of Economic History, Jack Williams, later to become the President of Texas A&M said the first day of class, “the wrong side lost.” The wharfs in New Orleans, Charleston, and along the Mississippi river were stacked with bales of cotton that the Northern States had slapped a tax on before shipping to New York. The North had a strangle hold on the South who could not meet the payments for their plantings and the money owed to the North for the slaves. War of the worst kind followed.

For four long years and over 680,000 dead and severely wounded; the two sections of this nation struggled in a death grip. The South ... with its bravery. The North with its industrial complex and bigger populous. In the end, Abraham Lincoln set all the slaves free in the South, and the entire South was in ruins. He is given credit for freeing all the slaves, but he did not. It was not until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1865, as there were many slaves in the Northern states. Some do not remember, but the State of New York flirted with secession because of their ties with the South.

There was no freedom for the war participants in the South. Carpetbaggers and scalawags stole farms, land, and other properties for the taxes that people couldn’t pay. Unqualified slaves were put in office by them. Corruption and ugly incidents rained supreme. Folks would not go out on the streets after dark. The North did not help with rebuilding, they just feasted over what was left.

Time passed and the South slowly began to recover. Yet, for the most part, southerners and African Americans managed to get along in their misery. It was not without problems, and God knows both races struggled with schools, rest rooms, buses, water fountains, and equal opportunity. Slowly but surely, progress began to be made, but not without some agony. My own uncle, Brian Butler, can be found in Springwood Cemetery in Columbia; shot in the back of the head by an African American as he departed from a bus to the arms of his waiting wife after he had participated in World War I.

Incidents like this have happened from time to time and forgiveness has been accomplished by many, but there are those on both sides,especially black leaders that feast on the black population for money. Only through some real soul searching and good old fashioned love of God can these attitudes change.

Here are some ideas that I have. The African American population has had more opportunity for advancement than any other race at any other time in history the past 50 years. I do not think everyone will agree to this because there are some that profit from not believing it. But just look at a few facts. One of the wealthiest women in the world, Oprah Winfrey is black, so is Barrack Obama, so is Condi Rice, Judge Thomas, the basketball player Lebron James and 88% of the NBA, 80% of the of the NFL, millions in management positions, thousands in political arena, millions that have their own businesses. There is no place in the world where blacks have more authority and income. It is not even close. Americans should remember that their ancestors came to this country to worship God, and He has made nearly all of us rich.

If we do not follow God and the free enterprise system that has been so kind to us, obey the Constitution, and follow the Golden Rule, we will do just as the other 23 cultures that have vanished before us. The Government will spend more than we can produce. All we are owed by this country is opportunity and we should work hard to maximize our efforts.

This planet has been in the process of change ever since God created it. Nothing is sustainable forever. There have been floods, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and many more natural disasters. There will be more. Sun spots can change our climate at the speed of light. One tilt of the axis and the earth will go back to prehistoric days. Man should be good stewards of the planet, but the nature of man is to be selfish. Pray for a quick return of Jesus the Christ, but even then it will be for only a thousand years ...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank you!

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Thank you to all conservatives that came out to support our movement for the understanding of Agenda 21 with County Council.

They are getting the message that we DO represent Pickens County and that we DO NOT want what is in the Pickens County Comprehensive Plan.

We do need MORE to show up and more to attend meetings - the more people we can show Council - the greater the impact of our message.

Read up on Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 - you can follow the links at the top of this page.

Attend Conservatives of the Upstate meetings - every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Blue Ridge Bible Church.

Attend County Council meetings - speak if you wish on the subject or come to listen to others speaking.

Write your County Council - whether in Pickens South Carolina or anywhere - we MUST resist this!

Make it known to you County Council and State Government that you are educated on Agenda 21 and oppose it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

County Council Meeting Tonight

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There will be a Pickens County Council Meeting tonight at 6:30PM.

Pickens County Administration Facility
222 McDaniel Avenue, B-1
Pickens, SC 29671

Phone: (864) 898-5856

Normally the first Monday of each month is reserved for the public forum ... but that meeting fell on the Independence Day holiday this year. The public is encouraged to come and speak if they so choose.

We are asking that all conservatives attend tonight.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Regular Meeting To Be Held Tonight ...

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Dear Conservatives,

There will be a meeting tonight at the Blue Ridge Bible Church at 769 Belle Shoals Rd. This is our regular July meeting because our air conditioner was off last week. We will discuss what our approach will be at the County Council meeting Monday Night. Those of you who are not living in Pickens County can benefit greatly from this meeting as we will discuss the Comprehensive Plan. Time for the meeting is 6:30PM. Hope we will have a good crowd there.

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Over-collection ...

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Dear Conservatives,

Since our meeting place is out for this week, I thought I would give all of you some food for thought ...

1. The County Council has over collected $20 million dollars over the year and still owes it to the taxpayers of this county.

2. The School Board has over collected by $40 million and has made no move to repay.

3. Reassessment has netted the County and the School Board a whopping 523% increase since 1985. At this time, that amounts to $62.5 million every year in additional taxes - most of which is associated with reassessment over collecting. Both were limited to 1% for a while and that law was changed to 0.

4. The school board put in a $500-600 million building program (with interest) without a vote of the people; violating the 8% of appraised value of taxable property constitutional rule. In setting up the dummy corporation, which is the engine for the plan, they changed from bonded indebtedness to an operational expense which is the responsibility of the State; due to the sales tax swap. Yet, when they could have gotten the taxpayers a refund, they were not interested and keep on illegally collecting 40 mills.

5. The County and the School Board are believed to be installing sewer and water lines without a vote of the people as required by the constitution.

6. There are no qualified elected representatives on the dummy corporation board resulting in taxation without representation.

I could go on and on, but if this isn't government out of control ... please tell me what is!

Have a nice July,

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate

Some Notes On The Pickens County Comprehensive Plan

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1. The Pickens County Comprehensive Plan that Dr Stone wants to return to, as first written by the Advisory Committee, had not one reference to the capitalistic, free enterprise system, non interference with private property system. Enactment of this plan brings communism to Pickens County. It speaks of regionalizing problems making our elected leaders irrelevant, seizure and control of property, and ultimate tax increases.

2. Section 6-29-540 When the local planning commission has recommended and local governing authority or authorities have adopted the related comprehensive plan element set forth in this chapter, no new street, structure, utility, square, park, or other public way, grounds or open space, or public buildings for any use, whether publicly or privately owned, may be constructed or or authorized in the political jurisdiction of the governing authority or authorities establishing the planning commission until the location,character, and extent of it have been submitted to the planning commission for review and comment as to the compatibility of the proposal with the comprehensive plan of the community.

3. Along with this and other laws, the planning commission has total power over private property. All you have to do is read the comprehensive plan. This is why we have rewritten the plan in a capitalistic and free enterprise language. Please don't think you can win the game on enthusiasm. Talent and preparedness always win in the long run. Those that depend on emotion wind up with disappointment.


Sincerely,

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate

IT HAS BEEN HERE A LONG TIME . . .

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Conservatives Of The Upstate Member David Merck wished for this to be passed along ...

If you want to learn more about Agenda 21, comprehensive planning, etc. -- check out the following sites if you haven't already. They are the best I know of on the subject! I have had these sites on my list of favorites for several years.

Freedom Advocates

Soveriegnty International, Inc.

Freedom 21

Agenda 21 is not headed our way -- IT HAS BEEN HERE A LONG TIME and is being pawned off on us in an incremental fashion by those who are willingly blind, woefully ignorant, and wantonly clever!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July Meeting Postponed One Week

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Dear Conservatives,

The meeting tomorrow night at the church is postponed until next Thursday because the air conditioner has blown a capacitor and must be repaired. Besides that, it is too hot. See you next week at the church at 769 Belle Shoals Road at 6:30 PM. Please read all you can about Comprehensive Plans, sustainable development, and Agenda 21. For some really indepth reading, go to green-agenda.com/index.html

Sincerely,
Junius Smith
President

Monday, July 5, 2010

Keeping Fuel Prices Permanently High?

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UK's Committee on Climate Change ...

The UK's Committee on Climate Change believes that the government should step in to keep fuel prices permanently high, a move that should force drivers to buy something more efficient. The commission suggests that the government sets minimum prices for both gasoline and diesel fuel. As the committee's chief executive David Kennedy remarked, "We know that people buy more efficient cars if the petrol price remains consistently high." But Kennedy's thoughts are not supported by the UK's Automobile Association president Edmund King. As King said, the committee's plans are "unrealistic." "People are already moving to more fuel efficient cars so there is no need to punish them by keeping the cost of fuel excessively high," he said. There are other ways to easily convince buyers to make the right choice.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 2010 Meeting

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Thursday July 8, 2010

Conservatives Of The Upstate
Meeting at 6:30 PM @ 769 Belle Shoals Rd Pickens, SC 29671
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The July 2010 meeting has been postponed one week and will be held on July 15, 2010.

The Complete Conservatives Of The Upstate "Comprehensive Plan"

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Pickens County Vision Statement


Pickens County is a beautiful county in the upper northwest section of the upstate of South Carolina. The county provides many opportunities for its citizens to participate in the American way of life. Through capitalism and a free economy many of our citizens have increased their wealth and happiness.

There are certain basic principles and goals that foster a well rounded life.

* Private ownership of property that is protected by the Constitution of the United States and the State of South Carolina. Agricultural property is highly valued and is to be controlled by the owner.

* Natural and cultural resources are protected by good training and religious care. The government is discouraged from buying private property since it is removed from the tax rolls, and puts a greater burden on the taxpayers.

* Pickens County citizens have control over taxes and fees and plan to keep them low for economic prosperity. Taxes will not be raised without a vote of the people for any reason.

* The people of Pickens County will create an atmosphere of accountability from our elected officials.

* Pickens County strives for quality education. There are kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools that provide the county with good results and some outstanding graduates. There are technical schools, adult education, and university programs. New construction will provide $400,000,000 in completed and renovated structures which should put a stop on any new structures for the next ten years. The county is limited to 8% of the appraised value of county property for construction of new schools which it now exceeds. Our vision is that the system will be modified to produce more quality students without increasing costs.

*County government is elected by and for the people. County Government will provide fire protection, law enforcement, and road construction and maintenance. Only elected officials can vote to spend county funds. All spending will be recorded on the internet. Non Government Organizations with anti capitalistic and free enterprise philosophies from outside the county are discouraged from influence in government activity. Activities not associated with county functions and setup by towns or cities or private organizations are not to be funded by the county.

* Zoning will be limited and instituted only after careful anaysis and two thirds vote by the County Council.

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Land Use

Vision Statement

The people want a Constitutional guaranteed vision of the private ownership of property without government interference. Good stewardship of the land is the responsibility of the property owner and the voluntary agreements that he makes with neighbors and the county government.

Land Use Element

Goals and objectives

1. It is not a function of government to dictate the use of private property.

2. There will be no seizure of private property without due process and fair market value compensation. The county or a private company must obtain the owner’s permission to use easements or right of ways on private property . Property lines begin where the recorded deed indicates they do.

3. The County needs to develop a plan to reduce complicated codes and permitting procedures. State laws require proper building codes.

4. Private enterprise should be encouraged to use abandoned sites.

5. County government will not involve itself in speculation and land development.

6. Small towns composition and layout will be determined by the people of that town.

7. Land for Governmental use will be purchased at a fair market price.

8. Shorelines along Jocassee, Hartwell, and Keowee will be managed by the Corp of Engineers and all other shorelines will be managed by private property owners. If county, state, or federal government wants to inflict regulations on the property owner, they must compensate the property owner a fair fee.

9. Specific zoned areas will be zoned at the will of the property owners by vote of the property owners in that zoned area.

10. Non governmental organizations are discouraged and out of the county NGO’s are forbidden to influence land use in Pickens County.

11. Study county wide land use, but be careful not to infringe on property rights.

12. Stop implementation of Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, and comprehensive plans after the order of those developed by Maurice Strong.

13. Meetings of appointed boards and commissions concerning land use cannot act without a two thirds quorum.


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Priority Investments

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to foster coordination and cooperation among all of Pickens County’s local governments.

Priority Investments Element

Goals and Objectives

1. Work with other local governments to study priorities for the various services offered by the county.

2. Promote cooperation between municipalities.

3. Study how to attract new businesses and industries.

Lowering taxes is the number one priority - exemplified by the state law on the subject.


4. Study new and old water and sewage lines and power and communications infrastructure with industry and property owners to see where modification and new construction is needed.

5. Study who funds long term transportation and provide a traffic plan for our road ways and growth.

6. Encourage coordination of public facilities and services.


Cultural Resources

Vision Statement

Our vision is to honor and preserve those resources owned by the county, and promote the unique heritage of Pickens County that serves our residents and visitors.

Cultural Resource Element

Goals and Objectives

1. Study easier, healthier access to cultural resources without infringing on private property rights.

2. Investigate the feasibility of pedestrian pathways for fitness or walking tours through communities. Schools have obtained far more land than is needed, these pathways and trails can be constructed on that property.

3. Further study the county recreation master plan.

4. When promoting lakes, mountains, and natural resources for tourism and recreation, private property rights are to be the first consideration.

5. Develop resources through private industry, private clubs, and businesses for youth in the areas of recreation, sports, art, culture and entertainment.

6. Promote healthy lifestyles, natural resources, available recreation, and safe communities with low incidence of crime. Properly fund the sheriff’s department in the area of crime.

7. All accesses to any public facility or trail must be permitted by property owners if private property is involved.

8. Promote art and cultural opportunities in the communities.

9. Promote the participation of private enterprise in art and cultural activities.

10. Review with property owners historic sites such as grist mills, homes, and churches provided it doesn’t interfere with private ownership of property.

11. Amass data on potential historic sites, but never interfere with constitutional rights of owners.

12. Study a development plan for cultural events, and the potential for a civic center.

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Transportation

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to improve transportation networks for the purpose of traffic safety and efficiency, scenic enjoyment, promoting tourism, and to explore local and public transportation systems as a means to foster our growing population and economy.

Transportation Element

Goals and Objectives

1. Study long term transportation and traffic plans for our roadways and growth.

2. Study the feasibility of a public transportation plan that can be funded with more cost to the tax payers.

3. A public transportation plan should be self supporting.

4. Study congestion and improve circulation on county roads.

5. Study possible pull off areas at scenic locations as long as they do not interfere with private property rights.

6. Study how to beautify road ways and have well attended public meetings on any decision.

7. Encourage the Sheriff's department to teach bicycle safety.

8. Study the feasibility of bicycle lanes with signage, rest areas, parking, lane delineation without infringing on private property.

9. Study the use of heavy rail routes for industry infrastructure.

10. Study transportation improvements.

11. In any study for transportation; we intend to be mindful of the constitutional rights of the property owners.

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Housing

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to encourage the private development of a broad range of housing to meet the needs of our residents.

Housing Element

Goals and Objectives

1. Study housing needs of the people and offer advice and assistance to private enterprise to make construction easier.

2. Lower taxes on all homes and use the same advantages in the housing industry that are used for industry.

3. Stop reassessment and implement "point of sale" valuation. Allow new homes a three year moratorium on taxes to inject fairness into the system.

4. Require a vote from the people to raise property taxes.

5. Provide a study for nonprofit developers.

6. Improve overall housing and quality of life by studying reasons for foreclosure.

7. Amend late payment of taxes to say that late payments will be increased to eliminate taxpayers who use the system to avoid paying taxes on time.

8. Be mindful of institutions that lend money at especially low rates as exampled by Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Population

Vision Statement

Our vision is to encourage balanced, rural and urban population, featuring a free market Pickens County quality of life.


Population Element

Goals and Objectives

1. Investigate the requirement for future community facilities, and economic development based on the impacts of expected population growth.

2. Attract population through the quality of life in Pickens County and anticipated low taxes and a free market.

3. Optimize educational opportunities for all citizens and promote a new system for the public schools to go along with the new facilities.

4. Encourage private enterprise to sponsor or promote activities for the youth.

5. Work with churches to train youth to avoid unwed pregnancies.

6. Lower taxes on Senior homes, whether for first homes or vacation homes to increase jobs and economic activity.

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Natural Resources


Vision Statement


Our Vision is to continue the joint stewardship between local governments and private property owners.


Natural Resource Element


Goals and Objectives


1. Cultivate natural resources on government owned property so that the private property owners have a good example to follow without laws that infringe on the private ownership of property.


2. Work with the local water authorities to project future needs of residents and business, and working with water authority help develop a plan to meet those needs.


3. Develop materials to teach property owners to reduce erosion and improved water quality without infringing on their rights as property owners.


Example: Contouring of the land and the planting of grasses that prevent erosion which wasn’t mandatory, but was followed by most farmers.

4. Encourage farmers to use good land management policies.


5. Encourage developers to create open spaces and parks in their developments.


6. Adopt night sky lighting standards for government buildings.


7. Strengthen a tourism industry by marketing the county’s natural beauty and recreation opportunities.


8. Study the recreational potential of several areas in Pickens County.


9. Study the long term impacts of various environmental/ecological issues in the county.


10. Study the placement of air quality monitoring stations in the county.


11. At no time will the county government perform studies on private property without the consent of the owner.


Economic Development Element


Goals and Objectives


1. It is not the job of the county government to use taxpayer money for stimulus. Reduce taxes to grow the economy.


2. Study business and commercial growth in certain area. Make recommendations to business as they ask for permits to build.


3. Promote planned tourism with Pickens County as a destination.


4. Promote the individual identities of communities.


5. Attempt to recruit knowledge based industry such as software development and high tech manufacturing.


6. Study the feasibility of attracting “Green” energy for its low impact and high wage realizing that the few jobs that have been created have cost the tax payers large amounts of dollars.


7. Lower taxes on industry to attract them to Pickens County.


7. Attract members for the workforce in the county by offering education and raining in our local schools.


8. Encourage Tri County Tech to create more programs for training for existing as well as new industry.


9. Build cooperation and coordination between all of the educational facilities to increase the desire of industry to locate in Pickens County.


10. Work with Colleges and Universities to foster programs that benefit private industry.


11. Market our many attributes for having homes in Pickens County.


12. Promote a capitalistic, free enterprise business environment conducive to growing the economy using the expertise of fellow Pickens County economist Hugh MacCauley.


13. Support small business development and growth.


14. Encourage a Pickens County-based, for profit media source.


15. Encourage Pickens County as a retirement center by reducing taxes on Seniors.


16. Encourage recreational activity and venues for healthy recreation and related economic growth by establishing areas on the excessive school properties for the convenience of the citizens.


17. Promote some methods of alternative farming as a local industry and encourage the establishment of local distribution. Never infringe on the rights of property owners to use their property as they see fit unless government is willing to pay a fair market price to purchase said property. Use training


18. Use voluntary training programs to help farmers produce more efficiently.


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Community Facilities


Vision Statement


Our Vision is to provide through a vote of the people strategically located and high quality sewer, water, solid waste, fire and emergency services, along with cultural/educational community facilities, to meet the needs of the residents of Pickens County.


Community Facilities Element


Goals and Objectives


1. Address the water needs for future residents and businesses by developing a plan that includes solving future problems. Property owners must voice their approval by 2/3 vote by petition on any properties affected.


2. Study a long range plan for water resources in Pickens County.


3. Try to develop better coordination and communication with and between water districts.


4, Investigate feasibility of alternative, sewage treatment systems which consider water recycling.


5. Encourage county, municipal government,and special service districts in conjunction with property owners to adopt a countywide master plan for roads, water use, sewage, recreation and fire /rescue services.


6. Expand resources for emergency services, and law enforcement as the population grows.


7. Support the growing needs of law enforcement for training and resources.


8. Enhance within budget priorities interoperability of communication among all emergency response agencies.


9. Obey all laws on the books or get them changed.


10. Coordinate a public use facility sharing program with the Pickens County School District.


11. There should be no future school sites during this ten year period.


12. Study the need county community building with various functions.


13. Encourage the development of farmers markets.


14. All contracts and/or inducements with private industry or public entities will be posted on the internet


15. Study the development of a County Agribusiness Incubator.