Reasons to Vote NO on the creation of the
Denver Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission
Item 1 Brief:
Initiative 300 promotes a belief system that space aliens are visiting us, based solely on stories, but no actual physical evidence. While everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs, the Denver City government should not be used as a platform to promote a belief system.
Distilling the ET Affairs Commission ballot initiative down to its essential duty, it seems to be Duty 3, “To display in the most cost-effective manner on the City of Denver web site, and otherwise, the most credible evidence and witness testimony regarding the existence and activities of extraterrestrial intelligent beings on earth”. This seems to mean to publish whatever information it believes in, regarding UFOs, aliens, conspiracies and cover-ups, on the city web site.
We do not understand why we have before us a ballot initiative whose sole purpose is to allow its supporters to publish their opinions about ETs and UFOs on the city web site. The supporters of this initiative could easily do that on their own web site. These supporters should not be given the city web site as a platform to try to give more credibility to their beliefs, by allowing them to claim their beliefs are published ‘by the government’ – that is, on a city government’s web site.
We believe the initiative should be withdrawn and the information the supporters wish to present, be presented on their own web site. Blog space is cheap. If perchance the initiative passes, and since Duty 3 again says its opinions are to be displayed “In the most cost-effective manner on the City of Denver web site, and otherwise”, we suggest that the most cost-effective way for the city is not on the City Web site, but “otherwise”. That is, on the supporters own web site and blogs, such as they are doing now. We recommend that fact be communicated to the supporters of this initiative now, and see if they even still want to pursue it.
Item 2 Brief:
The supporters of the initiative claim it will funded only through “grants, gifts and donations, and so will not cost the Denver taxpayers anything. The City budget office has already estimated its first year costs at $22,800. The initiative provides no evidence that it will receive any funding at all, and if it does not, the taxpayers will be stuck with the tab.
We do not see how the current wording of the ET Affairs Ballot Commission is supportable were it to pass.
It says that the operations, duties, and responsibilities of this commission are to be funded only through “grants, gifts and donations.” But it also says in Sec. 2-255.65. “Departments, offices, and agencies of the City and County of Denver that are responsible for administering the systems and related services shall cooperate with the Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission to support the purpose of this division.” How can these departments be at the beck and call of the ET commission’s requirements, when the commission has no budget? Do these departments have to absorb all these unknown costs themselves? Is there a procedure in place to require these departments to estimate these unexpected budget requirements for each request, and submit them to the ET commission, and try to schedule its implementation of these requests around the commission’s fund raising activities? Does the commission even have a fundraising estimate, or a plan, or a schedule?
We suggest the initiative be sent back to the drawing board until it is corrected, and an actual budget is included by the commission as part of its operation. It is folly to believe any such government commission can operate with no official budget.
Item 3 Brief:
Everyone has a right to their own beliefs, their own faith, and to free speech. But without hard evidence, stories of extraterrestrial visitations remain in the category of a belief system, not science, law, or civics. Implementing this initiative, so as to make this law, would establish this belief system as part of our government. Our constitution prevents the government from establishing such belief systems under which all its citizens must then be bound.
A belief in Extraterrestrials covers a lot of ground. As you search the internet on this topic, you find that its proponents not only include a belief in other galactic civilizations, but also include spiritual beliefs, such as higher states of being and of consciousness. The term “New Age” seems to be the common category for this belief system. Jeff Peckman himself, the author of this initiative, even sells new age items on his web site, such as a credit-card-type object called the Metatron Personal Harmonizer, for $149, which he claims reduces the stress of the possessor.
Given these new-age entanglements, and products reminiscent of those sold by televangelists, and the requirement to believe in something (extraterrestrials) for which there is no proof, puts this ET belief system more in the realm of a religious faith, than of a general issue for the public welfare.
Everyone has a right to his or her own beliefs, their own faith, and to free speech. But is it even legal for the proponents of such a belief system to use Denver and its resources as a platform to amplify the credibility of those beliefs? Is it legal to implement this initiative, so as to make this law, which establishes this system of belief, as part of our government?
And if we do, what will be the costs to the citizenry, as Denver finds itself in lawsuit after lawsuit over the initiative, and the contents this group posts to the city’s web site: lawsuits challenging a potential abuse of the First Amendment and the establishment of a particular religious belief by the city?
Item 4 Brief:
The initiative's commission requires each applicant to "be a knowledgeable expert in some area related to extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles". There are no standard tests, licenses, or degrees in "knowledge of extraterrestrials". Therefore it is not possible for the Mayor to conscientiously implement this initiative, as he or she will have no criteria upon which to evaluate each applicant's credentials.
In the ET ballot initiative, Sec. 2-255.61 says:
“There is hereby created an extraterrestrial affairs commission. The commission shall consist of seven (7) regular volunteer members approved by the Mayor who shall give preference to four (4) residents of Denver, Colorado who satisfy the selection criteria. Each approved member must be a knowledgeable expert in some area related to extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles. Members who are not Denver residents may participate from anywhere in the universe by any means available.”
In order for the Mayor to conscientiously fulfill this requirement, how can the Mayor determine whether a volunteer meets the requirement of being “a knowledgeable expert in some area related to extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles”? What kind of test could a candidate be given, what kind of license must they have, or what credible educational degree must they have achieved? If it currently cannot be shown that extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles exist, how can a criteria be developed to determine if anyone is a “knowledgeable expert” about them?
Since no criteria is currently possible, the Mayor will not be able to perform his duty of appointing members. Therefore, this initiative cannot be implemented even if it passes. And therefore, this initiative should be made invalid.
Item 5 Brief:
Supporters of the initiative often claim it will allow disclosure of secret government information on extraterrestrials and their technology. The ballot initiative simply creates a commission to communicate its opinions on UFOs. It does not give the commission any new special powers to force the government to disclose any secret alien technologies, or disclose the existence of aliens.
This ET campaign uses several claims of secret and withheld alien technologies to justify an ET Affairs Commission. The ballot text, its web site and other communications(1), claim these technologies can replace fossil fuels, and can cure cancer. The campaign goes on to ask “Should the U.S. government decide if and when you have a right to know these facts”?
But how will the ET Commission insure government disclosure of this information? According to the ballot text, it does not.
The ballot initiative simply creates a commission to communicate its opinions on UFOs using the city’s web site and other venues. It does not give the commission any new special powers to force the government to disclose any secret alien technologies, disclose the existence of aliens, or force a disclosure of a secret cure to cancer.
In order to put forth disclosure of a cure for cancer as a justification for this commission, and since the commission itself has no special powers to force disclosure, there seems to only be two possibilities for the claim. First, the proponents have seen this cure and know it exists, but are holding it hostage to the public unless the commission is created. Or second, they have not in fact seen it, and are using empty claims of a cure for this terrible disease to manipulate the citizens to vote for something that otherwise has no believable justification.
6. Initiative 300 promotional materials consist mostly of celebrity stories of UFOs (including, of course, from Elvis), and claims of government conspiracies (again, with no real evidence). But Initiative 300 is not about determining whether or not any of these claims are true. It just asks you to believe them, and to believe that space aliens are visiting us. If the supporters really had proof of this, they would show it to you now to insure the initiative’s passage. But they only present stories about UFO sightings and rumors and conspiracies. Without such proof, Initiative 300 is all flash, no substance, and just a big waste of time, money, and effort.
(1)Sources: The Ballot initiative. The official campaign web site at www.extracampaign.org.
Articles in the Denver UFO Examiner, written by Jeff Peckman, the initiatives chief proponent and author.
A recent poll of Denver City Council District Two has already shown what the public opinion is: