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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2018 Legislative Delegation Meeting ...

The date, time, and location has been set for the 2018 Annual Pickens County Legislative Delegation 

Public Meeting.

TIME:  5:30 P.M


Pickens County Performing Arts Center (Previously known as the Liberty Civic Center)
314 W. Main Street
Liberty, SC 29657

 If you would like to be put on the agenda to speak, please contact me. Please limit your comments to 3 minutes.

The delegation consists of Pickens County Senators .. Rex Rice & Thomas Alexander, and Representatives ... Neal Collins, Gary Clary, Davey Hiott, and Joshua Putnam

Saturday, December 23, 2017

January 11 2018

Conservatives of the Upstate will meet to REORGANIZE our leadership.


Going forward we will be setting up a LEADERSHIP TEAM as opposed to having a President.

Pickens County is in danger of becoming more Progressive and less Conservative and WE NEED YOUR HELP protecting Conservative Ideology.

We will be meeting at our usual location at 6:30PM

Blue Ridge Bible Church
769 Belle Shoals Rd
Pickens SC 29671

We will be discussing future locations of meetings as well as agendas and goals which will vary as we are trying to meet the needs of our Conservative voters in Pickens County.

Please join us Thursday January 11th 2018 and become ACTIVE in our government.

COTU Mission Statement:
1. To inform the membership and the public of problems & opportunities facing Conservatives in the 21st century 
2. To communicate our views on Conservatism which include: 
• Our belief in God 
• The sanctity of private property 
• Capitalism & free enterprise 
• Limited Government 
• Constitutional & lawful government conduct 
• Against illegal immigration 
• Lower taxes & less government 
• Transparency of government 
• Accountability of government 
• Improve education 
• Eliminate nepotism 
• Eliminate conflict of interests with politicians

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Attendance Zone Hearings ...

Pickens County Schools said Tuesday that the Pickens County School Board is considering making changes to the attendance lines for elementary schools in the Easley area.

The proposed changes were drawn based on 10-year enrollment projections created by an independent firm.  

The changes, officials said, will aim to meet the following goals:

  • to use school facilities more efficiently based on projected attendance and available space (East End Elementary is above recommended capacity, and its student population is projected to grow over the next five years, while Crosswell Elementary, Forest Acres Elementary, and West End Elementary all have capacity for greater enrollment);
  • to improve car and bus transportation routes within school zones;
  • to improve attendance
  • and to increase space for students to choice in to the upcoming McKissick Academy of Science & Technology from outside the McKissick attendance zone.

Middle school and high school attendance patterns would not be changed by any of the proposals, the school district stated.

The school district will be holding informational meetings on January 9 and January 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Easley High School cafeteria. District administrators and board members will answer questions and listen to feedback during the meetings

That’s life!

Pickens County is considering consolidating into one fire district which would most likely result in higher property taxes, but could potentially lower insurance rates.

To this, I propose the following ...

I pay more for gas because I live way out in the country. It actually takes more effort for the station to receive and transport the gas  and the station has less business.

I don’t want everyone in the state to pay 2¢ more so I can pay 10¢ less. If I want cheaper gas, I get it when I’m out, I move, or find alternatives (Tesla).

Same with insurance. 

If I want cheaper insurance, I consider that when I buy, build, or plan. Maybe I eliminate some costs to offset my higher insurance bill, maybe I can just afford it.

Everyone has to stop thinking like a socialist. Some people pay more, some pay less, most pay in between. That’s life!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Why you should(n't) care about Net Neutrality ...

I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of coverage today on the topic of Net Neutrality being repealed by the Federal Communications Commission.

What is “Net Neutrality”?

In essence, it portends to be the level playing ground that will keep internet and communication companies competitive by not allowing them to charge more for competitive services or less for their own service.

Example: Charter cable couldn’t (under Net Neutrality regulation) charge a fee to stream Netflix nor could they do what’s known as zero-rate their own service. In other words, they’d have to penalize you or not penalize you for either service. There couldn’t be an imbalance.

What “Net Neutrality”  is NOT ...

Many are framing the argument that it’s the regulation that sticks it to the big corporations like Charter, Comcast, AT&T, or Verizon - that it’s the regulation that was put into place in 2015 by the Obama administration that was your defense - because dang it - these companies are evil and they have bad customer service and forget them!

Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with making evil companies better or any company competitive - like big guys (think Charter) vs small guys (think Northland Cable) in the market.

I used to be a heavy supporter for Net Neutrality. I admit I drank the kool-aid and I fought hard to keep my sugar rush of what I thought was freedom on the internet. I was told there’d be higher prices. I was told there’d be anti-competitive monopolies. Then, in 2014, Verizon did something rather odd. In a move to end their unlimited plans, they decided to limit specific streaming service Netflix for its users. Why? The biggest reason is that Verizon was trying to push its own streaming services up North. Verizon’s biggest cellular customers were also starting to complain about network congestion. So, Verizon made up this ridiculous restriction on their network which wasn’t even at 85% capacity in most areas - in an aim to publicly pronounce “measures to please our customers”.

I thought, “Evil Verizon, I moan git em!” I put a lot of advocacy into fighting FOR Net Neutrality."

Then, a good friend and trusted politician posed this question to me,

“How can you be against socialism, yet for socialistic internet?”

He explained that “a level playing ground” in economics, sociopolitical ideals, or the internet is just the last word to fill in the blank of this sentence...

“Socialism aims to make the playing field level for all people in regards to _______________.”

He asked me to think about that for a week and then call him back.

I’m the kind of guy that is stubborn about facts and sticking to those stubborn facts. However, even with my arsenal of good reasons to support Net Neutrality, I didn’t have an answer for him.

Then, Trump was elected. With him came a new appointment to the FCC named Ajit Pai.

Pai promised that there’d be little to no enforcement of Net Neutrality rules. Immediately, AT&T offered a new unlimited wireless plan to compete against T-Mobile who had been gaining subscriber ground for a few quarters. Then Verizon brought back their unlimited plan. Then AT&T one upped them all by giving a steep discount on DirecTV and giving away AppleTV devices to stream TV and offering free wireless to WiFi connections (tethering) - services that were usually $40 each to add.

My monthly AT&T bill went down over $100 and I was getting many more perks and services.

T-mobile started offering free Netflix and free streaming of Netflix. Last week they announced that they too will start offering a TV streaming service soon - one that will outprice AT&T.

To make my point - all I see is competition. All the talk about there being anti-competitiveness is just that - talk.

Friday, December 8, 2017

2018 Pickens County Legislative Delegation Meeting

The date, time, and location has been set for the 2018 Annual Pickens County Legislative Delegation 

Public Meeting.

TIME:  5:30 P.M


Pickens County Performing Arts Center (Previously known as the Liberty Civic Center)
314 W. Main Street
Liberty, SC 29657

 If you would like to be put on the agenda to speak, please contact me. Please limit your comments to 3 minutes.

The delegation consists of Pickens County Senators .. Rex Rice & Thomas Alexander, and Representatives ... Neal Collins, Gary Clary, Davey Hiott, and Joshua Putnam

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pickens County Media Relations Claims Taxpayers Can’t See New Ordinance On Social Media Due To Copyright ...

Yet another way that Agenda 21 affects taxpayers - not subject to FOIA because of some ridiculous copyright claim.

The government CANNOT under any circumstances copyright a document- but these Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can. 

The main problem with the claim in this screenshot is though, no one was asking for any of the documents listed - only the affected document specifically as it relates to Pickens County.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

COTU Concerns About New County “Building Ordinance” ...

Conservatives Of The Upstate members share these concerns with the updated building codes ordinance that is before the Pickens County Council ...

1. What special interest or special individual made the request for these changes?

2. How do these “new updates” vary from SC State regulations and are they compliant to state codes?

3. Not siding with a landlord, tenant, occupant or owner, the process of private property matters is supposed to be arduous and follow a strict judicial procedure to prevent abuse and ease of breaking contracts between business associates or reasonable covenants between family, friends or neighbors. This new process seems to put a lot of arbitrary power into “an enforcement official” and the hands of any politician that may want to harass disagreeable taxpayers.

4. There seems to be a slight insertion of Comprehensive Plan actions in this new update - something Council has promised taxpayers would no longer be considered except to comply with a loose resubmission WITHOUT changes at Census time intervals. The “new updates” have an Agenda 21 feel to them - taking power away from accountable judges or due process and putting the process into the hands of a paper trail - decentralized and difficult to decipher.

*You may leave a comment on this post with your email address and a copy of the new ordinance can be emailed to you. Your email address will not be published nor kept or shared for any purpose other than the transmission of this document.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Building Codes Ordinance ...


Tuesday, November 28, 2017 @ 6:30 PM

Pickens County Administration Building Auditorium
222 McDaniel Ave.
Pickens, SC 29671

Members of the public are invited to attend and provide input on the proposed Building Codes Ordinance on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 6:30PM

Building code officials will be available for questions on Tuesday from 8:00-4:30 p.m., at the Administration Building or by phone at (864) 898-5950.

The proposed Ordinance will have a separate official public hearing before the third reading.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

For your enrichment & understanding...

The S.C. Policy Council has put together a list of ideals and points that are crucial to understanding where South Carolinians need to be focused in 2018 ...

From the article:

Property rights
In South Carolina private property can be seized by a practice known as “eminent domain.” State law allows government to take private land for “public use”: for example, to build a road or government building. But the state constitution doesn’t define “public use,” which means government could ostensibly take land for almost any reason at all. Further, a state constitutional provision permits seizure under eminent domain if the property is “blighted” – in which case the land could be applied to private use. The General Assembly introduced legislation in both 2015 and 2016 that would have given eminent domain powers to a private company – an unprecedented step with enormous potential for abuse.
The past several years have seen an increasing number of similarly framed bills empowering the state to seize the property of private citizens in the name of rehabilitating run-down buildings. In these bills, typically, the owner of the property would be billed for the repairs or be forced to sell it. Absent in this legislation is any assumption that the owner of property has a right to it. The governor vetoed one such bill that passed in the 2017 session, although the General Assembly may override that veto when they reconvene in January.
Many other topics are covered ...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2018 Pickens County Legislative Delegation Meeting

The date, time, and location has been set for the 2018 Annual Pickens County Legislative Delegation 

Public Meeting.

TIME:  5:30 P.M


Pickens County Performing Arts Center (Previously known as the Liberty Civic Center)
314 W. Main Street
Liberty, SC 29657

 If you would like to be put on the agenda to speak, please contact me. Please limit your comments to 3 minutes.

The delegation consists of Pickens County Senators .. Rex Rice & Thomas Alexander, and Representatives ... Neal Collins, Gary Clary, Davey Hiott, and Joshua Putnam

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Understanding Tax Reform ...

3rd District Representative Jeff Duncan shares ...

I have been getting a lot of calls, messages, emails, and notes asking about specifics on the tax reform bill. I thought it might be helpful to answer a few of the frequently asked questions I have been getting: 

Q: Is this closing loopholes?
A: Yes. This legislation is closing dozens of complex loopholes for special interests. 

Q: What’s happening with the mortgage interest deduction?
A: If you currently hold a mortgage, your deduction will not be changed.  Starting next year, under this legislation, your deduction on any new mortgage will be capped to the interest that applies to the first $500,000 of your mortgage debt. In 2016, the average amount of mortgage debt was $156,150 in South Carolina. 

Q: What’s happening with the state and local tax deduction?
A: Low-tax areas like ours subsidize high-tax areas like New York, Boston, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Under this legislation, we are cutting rates across the board and eliminating that deduction – which will stop South Carolina from subsidizing Manhattan’s high taxes. Check out this map to see a county-by-county breakdown: 

Q: Is this tax reform retroactive?  Will it sunset like the Bush tax cuts did, setting up some future cliff?
A: No. This is permanent reform that would take effect with the 2018 Tax Year.

Q: Does this tax reform end football tax subsidies?
A: Yes. This bill stops NFL teams from getting tax free bonds to build stadiums.

Q: What about charitable contributions?
A: There are some technical changes on making sure that cash donations get receipts but the deduction will stand.  We believe it’s more important that private and non-profit institutions help people than having the federal government do it. Regular people know how to help other people far more effectively than bureaucrats do.

Q: What about education?
A: This reform keeps and consolidates education tax credits, expanding 529s to cover elementary and secondary education, and allowing 529s to be created for as-yet-unborn children. It also allows credits for tuition which will save college parents thousands every year.

Q: Why do away with exemptions? 
A: To simplify the system. To make up for this, the standard deduction is being doubled and indexed to inflation, the lowest bracket (of 12%) is being expanded to the first $90,000 of income, and the child tax credit is increased to $1,600. For most families, that’s going to result in an overall savings of around $1,280/year.

Q: Doesn’t cutting the corporate rate only help the rich?
A: Not at all. Most economists agree that the cut to the corporate rate will result in higher wages for American workers, an average raise of $3,000/year. They also estimate that the corporate reforms will add 1 million American jobs over the next few years. That amounts to an overall increase of around 5% to GDP.

Q: What happens to Social Security?
A: This bill doesn’t impact Social Security, benefit recipients, or payroll taxes. 

Q: What about Obamacare taxes?
A: I would love to get rid of those, in this bill or any other.  The decision (for now) seems to be to avoid complicating this bill with the Obamacare tax issues, but handling those in a health care specific bill. I’ve asked our Leadership to specifically kill the medical device tax, the health insurance tax, and the net investment tax, but so far that’s not being included in this discussion.

Q: Why can’t you go to just a Flat Tax/Fair Tax approach?
A: I am a cosponsor of H.R. 25, the Fair Tax Act of 2017, and I am a supporter of both Fair Tax and Flat Tax approaches. However, there weren’t enough cosponsors on H.R. 25 for it to be part of the discussion. The more deductions we can eliminate, the better off we will be to ensure a fairer and flatter system for all Americans.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

What part do you disagree with?

A message from Jeff Duncan, (Republican Representative SC) ...

It is interesting to read the comments from the Trump haters, the Liberals and the just anti-Trump crowd of both Republicans and Democrats in response to my recent FB post and subsequent newspaper articles.

Donald J. Trump isn't a politician. That is what the American voters liked about him.  Yes, he said some things during his days as a Democrat that you would not want your President, brother, husband, son or best friend to utter.  Yes, he seems to over-react to things that are said about him, usually on Twitter, especially when those attacks come from people like Senator Jeff Flake within our own party.

But America..........this nation has problems. And the American voters looked to a non-traditional, successful businessman to help right the ship.  The same voters had given us the US House, then the US Senate - without seeing the expected results versus the big government, less liberty policies of President Barack Obama.

Donald J. Trump, now the 45th President of the United States, ran on a simple Make America Great Again agenda #MAGA.

The American people didn't embrace someone they hoped would be a Nobel Peace Prize winning, smooth talking, appeasement-minded apologist of the historical American greatness.  We already had that and are $20 Trillion in debt with big government programs driving the spending train in DC.

The American people elected President Trump, knowing full-well his non-traditional methods and actions.  It is time for the anti-Trump Republicans to get over it and embrace, not the POTUS, but the AGENDA that the American people support and voted for:

-Repeal Obamacare and get government out of the relationship between us and our doctors.  Repeal.

-National Security begins, for a sovereign nation, with border security and enforcement of the law. Time to secure the weak under-belly of our nation - our southern border.

-National Defense.  Sequestration continues to hurt our defense readiness and capability.  We seem to be able to find cuts to the Constitutional role of defense but never can find cuts to the social programs that, being on auto-pilot, are continuing to cause deficits and debt.  It is time to return to the Superpower that the world needs America to be!

-Tax Reform.  Americans, after 31 years, deserve to keep more of their paychecks at the end of the month, businesses deserve to keep more of the profits they create - for reinvestment, debt reduction or dividends to the investors who took the risk by believing in them. The US Tax Code is 73,954 pages.  The US Constitution (4,543 words) is four pages.

-Repatriation of overseas earnings by American Corporations at a fair tax rate.  Possibly more than a Trillion dollars sits offshore in ghe accounts of American businesses who haven't brought those earnings back due to the oppressive confiscatory tax rates which would apply.  A fair tax rate creates a wind-fall in tax revenue for government while also creating a huge cash infusion into the American economy!  Economic activity and job growth!

-A 21st Century infrastructure plan to address a 21st Century economy.  Keep pork-barrel spending out of it and spend money where needed to support this future economic growth.  It is a spending bill, but would pay for itself with a growing, robust economy.

These are the highlights of a #MAGA agenda which I support.  I wonder what part of this Agenda Senators Flake, Corker, Collins, McCain - and Republican colleagues in the House - disagree with?

Just think what we could accomplish for America if we truly supported this #MAGA agenda, regardless of personal feelings about the guy occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The voters in SC have entrusted their school board elected members with our country's most precious assets...children and their futures.

If more board members did their homework and learned the many well-documented facts concerning all the problems associated with the US Dept of Education mandates, they would be speaking out to the State Board of Education and taking a stand against further implementation of these faulty standards and mandates imposed on children. They should be lobbying for cutting the federal monies associated with these overreaching mandates. This is what true leaders do. 

The present Every Student Succeeds Actmandates, and the loosening of the protections for students in FERPA, by our USDE need to end in order for true local control to take place and a restoration of parents' rights to direct their child's education.

School board members are in a unique position to speak out against these issues. They should be the ones attempting to stop Federal overreach into the states' rights to oversee education. They should be the parents' advocates to ensure quality educational standards are in place and not child abusive ones. They should be fighting data mining and strengthening of FERPAThey should be mailing the state boards of education and state legislators with their objections. I have heard many state board and legislators say:

"We have not heard any complaints about ESSA or FERPA or US Dept of Ed mandates from local district school boards, we just hear from grassroots activists.”

There are too many nationally renowned organizations for me to name who are opposed to the direction public school education has taken and agree the US Dept of Education needs to be dismantled and shut down. 

Present legislation H.R 899 actually seeks to accomplish ending the US Dept of Ed. 

School board members should be pushing for H.R. 899 passage.

How many of your local school board members have spoken out about this issue? 
If they haven't then YOU need to fire them the next election cycle.

Local School Board Members have the power to make a huge difference and take a stand for our local schools!

REAL leaders would. 

REAL leaders who have concern for local control of education would. 

REAL leaders who love children and have their best interest at heart would.

REAL leaders who believe parents have the right to direct their child's education would.

Please contact your elected School Board members and ask them to step up to the plate and speak out.

Encourage them to join our efforts at:

Johnnelle Raines 
Pickens SC

Movement to end Fed Ed ...


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Today, while touring the Chickamauga Battlefield on a field trip with my daughter I had an epiphany. We, you, me - are immensely powerful.

Think about this ...

While there are many documents written throughout history, I’d like to focus on a few ...

The Declaration Of Independence told King George that men were created equal and could no longer be in servitude to his throne.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Constitution clarified these unalienable rights.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The 13-15 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution insured that the constitution applied to all men. The 19th amendment insured that women had the same rights as men.

While wars and hard protests took place because of these actions - it was the written word that was the ultimate weapon to decide the outcome.

Likewise, many in wars past wrote journals and letters to loved ones. None wrote for posterity - yet - we have their words - how hell awful war is - how heart melting their desire for war to end - and how they were just like you and me. What a powerful tool! 

We also have the most powerful written word of all - The Bible.

II Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Ephesians 6:11

Put on the full armor of God so that you may stand against the schemes of the devil.

God showed us that our words - if inspired by faith - led by the Holy Spirit - can be the most powerful weapon, and can inspire others to stand in righteousness. With words, if true and descriptive , even if harsh or critical - you’ve committed no crime, you’ve killed no one, you’ve made no one bleed. You have however, inspired change - on a mass and unlimited - everlasting scale.

I thank the Lord often for giving me the medium for people to read and hear the words I’ve written - for giving me a weapon more powerful than a nuclear weapon should I need it.

Rus Smith

Friday, October 13, 2017

To all Conservatives,

I want to thank those who came to our meeting last night, the final one for me as President. It has been a long and arduous 15 years. First, we had to get the church ready for our meetings, then Jim Macdonald and myself walked away from the Pickens County Taxpayers Association and formed the Conservatives of Pickens County (later changed to Conservatives of the Upstate). Joe Murphree was instrumental in helping us form a membership as he knew very many people in Pickens County. Since we opened our membership we have had the largest number of members at the County Council meetings and at the School Board meetings. We have fought for Conservative principles as displayed on our web site We have worshiped God and depended on Him for our guidance. We have identified laws of our constitutions that were being broken and are still being broken. Our greatest failing has been that we were unable to find lawyers that were willing to sue to maintain our rights and keeping our laws from being broken by jackals. The legal profession has degenerated into a divorce happy, property settlement, loop hold looking group wanting the most money they can lay their hands on. They have ruined our society in my opinion. Lawyers, being officers of our courts, should do what is right not what is expedient and the most profitable.

Much to the the chagrin of politicians, we have trained other Conservatives to continue the fight. We have supported Donald Trump for President, but while we were doing so, the people of Pickens County went to sleep, including us, and allowed a bunch of Democrats and teachers disguised as Republicans to be elected to our local offices. Until we have closed primaries, I think we will experience more of the same. We must have more local participation. While it is important to elect the POTUS it is important to elect our local Board members and state officials. Judges should be elected because they do not follow the Constitution and make laws from the Bench.

I want to thank Johnnelle Raines and Tommy Raines for the cake and tea with all the trimmings to celebrate my retirement as your President. I have enjoyed serving you and fighting for the rights of the Pickens County people for a total of 40 years. Last but not least I want to thank Carol for her undying support and love, who without her I could not have lasted this long.

Junius Smith

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 2017 COTU Meeting ...

Conservatives Of The Upstate will hold its October 2017 meeting ...

Thursday October 12, 2017 @ 6:30PM

Blue Ridge Bible Church
769 Belle Shoals Rd
Pickens SC 29671

Conservatives of the Upstate will have its monthly meeting at the Blue Ridge Bible Church at 769 Belle Shoals Road. 

Our meeting will be held to one hour.

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate 

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Gun Conundrum ...

Interesting conversation that I would like to share ...

A friend posted ...

Stop. Stop. Stop. STOP. Please stop killing each other! And PLEASE stop saying guns don't kill. Yes. They. Do. Just STOP.

My replies ...

Sorry. Have to disagree.

Guns are inanimate and abundant.

If we banned guns at this point, there's so many - so many in the black market - that only criminals would have them.

I also divert attention to the Boston Marathon bombers - pressure cookers were used.

As for terrorists - they are mostly funded and equipped outside this nation where gun laws (and morals) aren't in effect.

Plus, right now, in our hands, we have a phone that anytime - anywhere - can show us how to make a gun from $75 at Home Depot. 

Personally, I'd rather have a real gun so I can shoot the guy trying to harm me with a pressure cooker or Home Depot gun.

Unfortunately it's not a gun debate. I could care less if I could buy this or that gun. I am a gun owner though. 

I fully understand that the right to bear arms means nothing today in regards to government tyranny. The government now has more power than the 2nd amendment could have ever imagined possible. We could not possibly defend ourselves against a tyrannical government any more.

So to me, it's not a gun debate. You cannot, will not, and should not try to legislate evil or stupidity.

The blessing of liberty is also a curse - a curse that someone will be jealous you have been blessed.

Again, I refer to another two incidents ... It just is always a different day, a different name.

911 = planes

OK City = fertilizer 

The Internet is a blessing as well. Though many are using it to recruit and perpetrate evil - and steal the blessings of liberty from others. 

What's the answer then?

Well. Switzerland, considered one of the most peaceful nations, requires being armed and requests vigilante justice from its citizens.

There's less deaths by gun violence per capita in Texas because they have open carry and a high death penalty rate.

I'm not saying these are answers. I'm saying what I see.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

South Carolina Should Tighten Up Like Tennessee GOP

It’s a step in the right direction, but the real reform would be closed primaries and taxpayer elected judges ...

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports:
 The rules for who can run as a Republican in deeply red Tennessee are getting harder.
State Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden said Friday that the GOP wants to remain welcoming to new supporters. But that doesn't mean they should immediately be able to become Republican nominees come election time, he said.
"This isn't saying that we don't want people to be Republicans — this is the standard that we have for people wanting to get the Republican nomination to serve in public service," Golden said.
In the little-noticed change to party bylaws approved this summer, candidates must now have voted in three out of the last four GOP state or federal level primaries to be considered bona fide Republican candidates. For candidates Editseeking to appear on next year's ballot that will mean voting histories can be scrutinized going back to the August 2012 primary.

The previous standard was for candidates to have voted in two of the last four GOP primaries.
Exceptions in the new rules will be made for candidates not old enough to have voted in the last four primaries, moved from another state or had an illness or military service that prevented them from voting. A letter from established Republicans to vouch for GOP newcomers could override the primary voting requirement, at the chairman's discretion.
Challenging a candidate's bona fide status requires a complaint from two Republican voters. But in another change, those complaints must be made from the same district the candidate is running in to avoid activists from trying to interfere with races outside their home areas.
Golden, who will have the final say over all challenges, said he expects successful efforts to oust candidates to be rare.
"Of the close to 1,000 candidates who might potentially run as Republicans, you're talking about a handful of people that might not qualify," he said.
But one Republican candidate could have a high likelihood of being excluded from the ballot. Three-time Democratic candidate Larry Crim filed federal paperwork in October to run for the U.S. Senate — this time as a Republican.
"If you were standing with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as recently as 12 months ago, it's hard to argue that you are now a dedicated Republican worthy of serving our nation at its highest levels as a Republican," Golden said.
Golden said any challenge will have to wait until state candidacy petitions become available in January. But should that challenge be filed, it's difficult to envision Crim withstanding the party's scrutiny, he said.
"I think that is something the political committee will look at and say, it's not that we don't want you in the Republican Party, but in order for you to seek office on our ballot with our stamp of approval we would like for you to be involved in the Republican Party for a decent amount of time," he said.
Crim ran for Democratic nomination for Senate in 2012, coming in fourth. He came in fourth again when he ran for the Senate nomination two years later. And in 2016, he ran against U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis, even though Crim lives in Nashville. He received 406 votes, or less than 1 percent of the total.
COTU commentary:
So basically what you have here is someone like Neal Collins of Easley proving that he can’t win with his true loyalty to the “Democrat Party” - so in order to get votes, he runs as Republican in name only.

Friday, October 6, 2017

When considering who to vote for ...

Some thoughts on guiding you who to vote for in the upcoming elections ...

"If you want liberty, be bold enough to walk away from bondage."

Here are some thoughts on compromise and beliefs that both sides have too much wrong with them.

Do NOT compromise with the powers of doubt. 

We cannot compromise with the devil. 

We cannot compromise with God. 

We can only compromise with people. 

If a person is possessed by an ideology of evil, we cannot compromise. 

If a person is clearly enlightened with the principles of righteousness; we cannot compromise. 

If a person appears to be a leader, willing to lead others and does not know the exact path - we CAN compromise to a righteous end.

We can't show mercy to the devil - because he doesn't understand mercy. The devil only understands power. 

Sometimes, we must face the devil with authority to exercise our power over evil. 

If Jesus is in you ... If the Holy Spirit is controlling your actions and tongue ... 

Jesus says:

 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."

* Matthew 28:18

Ephesians 1:21 says:

[Jesus Christ is] Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.

We are in the age that is to come. Exercise your inner Jesus with confidence. Have no doubts about your choice for President. If you exercise that authority - you will have made the right choice.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Taken For A Ride: To Jail

Dear Editor,

I have long supported building a new and bigger jail. However, I do not support the way the new council is funding it by borrowing a ton and raising taxes the end of next year to pay for it.

The old council saved about $25 million. It decided to build the new jail, put down about $17 million cash and borrow $8 million over 10 years. It was going to keep about $8 million cash in savings.

That would have been the prudent thing to do. The rating agencies and financial auditors require cash balances of 17% and the $8 million cash savings left over would been about 19% of the annual budget.

Additionally, putting that much cash down would have minimized interest charges. If you are swimming in cash and decide to buy a house, you go with a big down payment to keep your borrowing and interest charges low.

The new council immediately scrapped that plan and decided to put nothing down on the jail, to borrow $25 million over 20 to 30 years, and keep all the cash to spend on a long list of other projects. Not only will their new plan will nearly quadruple the general obligation debt, but it will lead to an unnecessary tax hike the end of 2018. Additionally, the new council’s plan incurs an extra $7 million in interest costs over the life of the loan. Paying that $7 million in extra interest yields no benefit, not one repaved road nor one new sheriff’s deputy.

Reading the latest article, the estimate for the jail is now $30 million and they plan to borrow $26.5 million, making all the numbers worse.

And think about this. The school district is paying about $25 million a year on average for the school building bonds over 25 years. That money goes to bondholders, most who live outside our county or outside our state. So every year about this time, there is this loud sucking sound when we in Pickens County dig deep, make that $25 million payment and that money is sucked out of our county.

And now the county council wants to do the same, so there will be less of our money that will be spent at local stores or invested in local businesses. And we wonder why there is so little job growth in our county.

Finally, the county expected and the public was told the jail would cost $25 million or less. One of the councilmen said he thought we could see $20 million bids. The true cost is going to be $30 million. This tells me the councilmen and those advising them don’t know the construction market and pricing, and I worry they could be taken for a ride by these contractors.

In sum this new crop of councilmen know how to spend our money, not manage it, and that is quite apparent to those looking closely at this situation.

Alex Saitta
Pickens, SC

Monday, October 2, 2017

What’s a million and a half to someone with an infinite bank account?

How does a bank lend money to someone and not know what the collateral is worth?

(referring to the “bids for the jail coming in too high”) 

Why was the money approved before they knew how much to borrow?

How is the docket put out constitutionally legal ( according to SC Constitution Article X section V) - it doesn’t state the exact purpose of the extra general obligation amount AND has that extra been voted on with three hearings and had public input?


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 2017 COTU Meeting ...

Conservatives Of The Upstate will hold its September 2017 meeting ...

Thursday September 14, 2017 @ 6:30PM

Blue Ridge Bible Church
769 Belle Shoals Rd
Pickens SC 29671

Conservatives of the Upstate will have its monthly meeting at the Blue Ridge Bible Church at 769 Belle Shoals Road. 

Our meeting will be held to one hour.

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate 

Monday, September 11, 2017

About DACA ...

I won't make the "it's the law" argument.  Instead, I will lay out a case for why DACA should come to an end:

1.  Why are these children given elevated status and titles above our own? They're given in state tuition my own children wouldn't rate who are actually Americans?  I have a serious problem with this.  

2.  Why aren't my children "dreamers" too?  My children have hopes and aspirations just like anyone else.  This country is theirs first.

3.  Black youth is disastrously unemployed and their wages are driven down by an illegal labor force that shouldn't be here in the first place.  Last time I checked, black youth were Americans as much as any of us yet their futures get overlooked in favor of importing cheap labor and keeping them on welfare and in prisons.

4.  Amnesty of any form (which DACA most certainly is) begets more illegal immigration.  We should've learned that when Reagan gave them amnesty.  

5.  If you're not an American citizen, who the hell do you think you are to march in our streets and demand things from our lawmakers?  That rubs many Americans the wrong way and many of these dreamers seem to have a sense of entitlement. 

6.  Dreamers will be a permanent Democrat voting block.  Let's not kid ourselves that Hispanics already vote in large majorities for Democrats and these dreamers are bound to see the Democrats as the party that let their parents in here and the party that most favored giving them legal status.  

7.  So long as welfare is more attractive for most Americans than a low wage job, illegals will continue to supply this work force and corporate America will be more than happy to have them.  

8.  Not all of these "Dreamers" are doctors, serving in the military, or talented violinists.  The corporate media has waged a propaganda war to normalize these people and in many ways make them appear more worthy of citizenship than other immigrant children and even our own children.  Why do "compassionate conservatives" always fall into these pit traps laid forth by the media.  Why can't conservatives and libertarians make a concerted, intellectual case against DACA?

Written by James Skelton