Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Regulations

Blowback Against Washington State’s Anti-gun Initiative Just Beginning

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 21, 2014:

Despite opposition from individual gun owners, Washington State sheriffs, the state’s Republican Party, and the National Rifle Association, Initiative 594 passed easily on Tuesday, November 4, by 59 percent to 41 percent, with Bloomberg’s money promoting myths about it.

This makes Washington the seventh state (along with the District of Columbia) to require universal background checks not only on all sales of firearms but on “transfers” as well, even between friends. Washington is the first state to pass such restrictions through a citizen-driven initiative.

Largely unknown to voters, the complex 18-page initiative also greatly expands the state’s handgun registration program, with every sale or transfer of a handgun resulting in

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Taxi Union Flexes Its Muscle, Shuts Down San Francisco International Airport

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 20, 2014: 

International Terminal of San Francisco Intern...

International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport

Stung by increasing competition from ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, independent taxi drivers in San Francisco — where Uber got its start in the summer of 2010 — decided to do something about it: They joined a union. And the first thing that union did was what unions always do: They conducted a “work stoppage” — right in front of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) — with more than 600 taxis blocking traffic, honking their horns and flashing their lights from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday night, while refusing to pick up passengers.

Most unions are wont to picket employers, hoping to blackmail them into

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Israel Considering Relaxing Gun Laws Following Synagogue Attack

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 

Following the horrific attack by two Palestinians on unarmed worshipers at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, vowed to ease restrictions on carrying firearms for self-defense. The attack by the Palestinian cousins who wielded knives and a gun resulted in four deaths and eight seriously wounded. Police who arrived at the scene killed the attackers but only after the innocents had been slashed, shot, and murdered.

Aharonovitch announced other measures as well, including

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China’s Economy Now Number One? Not Quite

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 10, 2014: 

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping a...

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping at the entrance of the Lychee Park in Shenzhen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following the announcement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that China’s economy has just surpassed that of the United States, headline writers and establishment economists had a field day. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Business Insider, “China Just Overtook the US as the World’s Largest Economy,” while London’s Daily Mail chortled, “America Usurped: China Becomes World’s Largest Economy — Putting USA in Second Place for the First Time in 142 Years.”

A cursory glance at the charts and graphs provided by these worthies shows the size of the U.S. economy at $17.4 trillion by the end of this year compared to China’s, which is predicted to be $17.6 trillion. The IMF estimated that as recently as 2005 China’s economy was less than half that of the United States, and forecast that

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DUIs drop when Ride-Sharing Companies come to town

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 25, 2014:

Franzia, straight from the tap.

Hearty partying

As ride-sharing smartphone apps like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar continue their inevitable expansion, additional benefits are being felt. Last June Uber announced that DUI arrests dropped 10 percent in Seattle after they entered that market. Other cities noticed similar experiences, so one of the Washington Post’s writers enlisted the help of Nate Good, a statistics expert, to prove it. They looked at Philadelphia: DUIs have been declining there ever since Uber entered the Phillie market in early 2013. The decline is especially notable for those under age 30.

In San Francisco, the birthplace of the ride-sharing phenomenon in June 2010, the results are even more remarkable:

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Texas Beats California: No Income Tax, Booming Economy, Friendly Folks

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 8, 2014:

texas our texas

Texas, Our Texas!

Following Toyota’s announcement April 28 that it would be consolidating its three American business headquarters and moving them from California to a new $300-million campus in Plano, Texas, the debate over why has heated up once again. Toyota follows Occidental Petroleum (which is leaving Los Angeles for Houston, after being there for a hundred years), Raytheon (which is moving its El Segundo headquarters to McKinney, Texas), and Legal Zoom (the largest legal-issues website in the world, which has already moved from Los Angeles to Austin). In the past 18 months more than 50 companies have made the same decision to move from California to Texas.

Some say it’s because of the lower cost of living in Texas. The cost of living in Plano is about a third lower than in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area where Toyota is currently located. As calculated by the Dallas-based conservative think tank National Center for Policy Analysis, “People of all incomes will save in Texas,” according to Pamela Villarreal, a senior fellow at the institute. Some will save a little; others will save a lot by moving to Texas to keep their jobs with Toyota. As Villarreal explained, the calculation takes into account property taxes “which are pretty high in Texas” — about twice what they are in California for equivalently priced homes. Once real estate taxes are factored in, a single woman in Texas making $75,000 a year will have about $14,000 more in discretionary income than she would if she lived in California, but married workers making $150,000 a year who move from California to Texas would not see as dramatic a jump in discretionary income.

The Manhattan Institute says it makes sense for California companies to make the move to Texas, owing to California’s high taxes, oppressive regulations, expensive electricity, union influence, and the high cost of labor. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the cost per kilowatt-hour for commercial establishments in California is 13.11 cents while it’s only 8.2 cents in Texas — a saving of almost 40 percent. For industrial users, the savings are even greater: 10.72 cents per KWH in California versus just 5.86 cents in Texas. That cuts a heavy user’s energy bill in Texas nearly in half. Advantage: Texas

The advantage enjoyed by Texas is reflected in the states’ comparative economic growth rates: nearly four percent last year in Texas versus half that in California. In job growth, Texas regained the jobs it lost during the Great Recession by May of 2011 while California just made it back to even by May of this year — a three-year difference in favor of Texas. Since May 2011, Texas has added more than a million new jobs, while California has added barely 25,000 new jobs since this past May. Advantage: Texas

According to the blog 24/7 Wall Street, Texas ranks eighth among the country’s most quickly growing states with GDP growth jumping by $1.5 trillion in 2013. Its population continues to grow as well, with unemployment below the national average. California is well off the pace. Advantage: Texas

Bradley Allen, a pediatric heart surgeon in Paso Robles, just announced his candidacy for Congress in California’s 24th district, and in the process noted the difference between California and Texas in an opinion article at the Wall Street Journal: “Texas has no state income tax, while California’s 13.3% marginal rate is the highest in the country. Electricity rates are about 50%-88% higher compared to Texas due to the Golden State’s renewable-energy mandate, and its gas is 70-80 cents per gallon more expensive because of taxes.” Advantage: Texas

Allen’s opponent is incumbent Lois Capps, who sports a dismal Freedom Index rating of just 21 out of 100 on constitutional issues. Out of California’s 53 congressional districts, 18 of them have FI ratings of 20 or lower, while just one has an FI rating of 80 or higher. In Texas, by contrast, just three representatives have a rating of 20 or less out of the state’s 36 districts, with one, Rep. Steve Stockman, holding an FI rating of 95. Advantage: Texas

One of the best measures of the difference between the two states is just how much a Californian would have to pay to move his family to Texas. In November 2012, a Californian living in San Francisco would pay $1,693 to rent a 20-foot U-Haul truck and drive it San Antonio. On the other hand, a Texan in San Antonio moving to San Francisco would pay just $893 for the same truck. (Since then the numbers have become even more favorable: A Californian moving his family on August 1 from San Francisco to San Antonio would have to pay $1,890 for the same truck while a Texan moving the other way would pay only $737.) Advantage: Texas

However, David Horsey, writing for the Baltimore Sun, noted that Californians moving to Texas will leave an awful lot behind:

California has Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Texas has oil and gas.

California has Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi. Texas has Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert.

In California, billionaires get taxed more to pay for programs for the poor. In Texas, billionaires get to keep their money, and the poor go without health care.

[California Governor Jerry] Brown got voters to approve a tax hike to balance the budget and fund education. [Texas Governor Rick] Perry balanced the budget by slashing spending on education.

In lots of places in California, it’s tough to live on a middle class family budget. In lots of places in Texas, it’s hard to live outside a church-going, football-loving, white, heterosexual lifestyle.

Absence of snarky, politically correct, bitter liberals. Advantage: Texas.

 

How much is a Trillion Dollars, anyway?

Historical government spending in the United S...

Historical government spending in the United States from 1902 to 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wayne Crews has a problem. For years now he has been updating the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “Ten Thousand Commandments” but the numbers, despite his best efforts, are simply beyond human comprehension.

 

But he continues to try, nevertheless. He says that the regulatory state takes

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The Supreme Court upholds Michigan’s ban on Affirmative Action

Constitution of the United States of America

Constitution of the United States of America (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

On Tuesday, April 22, the Supreme Court ruled that Michigan voters who overwhelmingly approved an amendment to their state’s constitution back in 2006 banning affirmative action – called by some as “affirmative discrimination” – were free to do so as there was no part of the federal Constitution that prohibited them from doing so. Its holding was clear:

A ban on affirmative action through a state constitutional amendment is permissible under the Constitution of the United States.

In simple terms the Supreme Court ruled that

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Solution to LA’s Pension Shortfalls? Create Another Commission!

City Heights

City Heights (Photo credit: Christopher.F Photography)

Expectations that the Los Angeles 2020 Commission’s second report would address reality and set in place strong recommendations to rescue the foundering city were dashed with its publication on April 9.

In simple terms, the commission wimped out.

A year ago Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson asked former Clinton Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor to put together a group of experts familiar with Los Angeles’ problems and come up with some recommendations. In December its first report was alarming if not downright chilling:

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Senator Levin Castigates Caterpillar for Using Legal Loopholes

Caterpillar logo

Caterpillar logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using the power of the bully pulpit as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Michigan Senator Carl Levin attacked Caterpillar on Tuesday for using loopholes in the law to save the company an estimated $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. Executives from Caterpillar as well as the company’s accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were called on the carpet for

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Feds Determine Bleachers are Unequal, must be torn down

English: President Lyndon B. Johnson at the si...

English: President Lyndon B. Johnson at the signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. White House East Room. People watching include Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Senator Hubert Humphrey, First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover, Speaker of the House John McCormack. Television cameras are broadcasting the ceremony. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six years ago some parents of high-schoolers in Plymouth, Michigan, decided they couldn’t see their students play baseball very well through the chain-link fence surrounding the field, so they chipped in and built some bleachers so they could see better. Last week the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in the interest of fairness and equality, told them to take it down. One of the parents who helped pay for and build the bleachers, Dan Gilbert, told a local Fox News affiliate, “It was hard to watch the game through the black chain link fence, so we created our seating deck to sit above it.” They also bought a new scoreboard as well, using their own money.

But someone – anonymously – complained that

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UN Report Criticizes Biofuels Mandates

Dual-fuel gas station at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Al...

Dual-fuel gas station at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Alcohol (ethanol) and G gasoline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week the British newspaper Telegraph leaked a portion of the report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due to be released today, in which Robert Mendick, the paper’s chief reporter, said the UN now officially warns that growing food for fuel rather than for people hurts the environment and starves people. Said Mendick:

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EPA to Snuff out Wood and Pellet Stoves

It took more than six weeks before the new EPA rules on wood and pellet stoves percolated into the media, which then generated pushback ranging from anger to outrage. The new rules impose a maximum of fine airborne particulate emissions from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air down to 12. As Larry Bell, writing at Forbes, put it:

To put this amount in context … secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed-car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.

That will virtually end the burning of wood for heat or cooking in the United States, according to Reg Kelly, the owner and operator of Earth Outdoor Furnaces in Mountain Grove, Missouri:

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Age and Acrimony End Dingell Dynasty in the House

Born in Colorado Springs in 1926, John Dingell (D-Mich.) took over from his father as a Representative from Michigan in 1955 and has never stopped promoting his father’s progressive agenda. On Monday, February 24th, Dingell announced that he would not seek a 30th term partly due to

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Moody’s blames Obamacare “uncertainty” for its downgrade of health insurers

In announcing credit rating firm Moody’s downgrade of all health insurers, Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk placed the blame firmly and directly on the Obamacare rollout and implementation:

The ongoing and unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change. The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.

Translation: health insurers could lose their shirts if

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America’s Economic Freedom Slide Continues, says the Heritage Foundation

The latest Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal shows just how successful the Bush and Obama administrations have been in their seeming attempts to turn the United States into a third world economy. The index shows

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Obama-appointed Judge rules Chicago’s gun ban is unconstitutional

The gushing of victory voiced by National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesman Todd Vandermyde on Monday following U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang’s ruling was predictable. The fact that a federal judge appointed by President Obama “ruled in favor of the Second Amendment shows how out of step and outrageous Chicago’s ordinances really are,” said Vandermyde.

What Vandermyde was celebrating was the

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Gun Accessories Maker Keeps its Promise to leave Colorado

Just when some of its customers were beginning to question the company’s sincerity about moving out of Colorado in response to anti-gun legislation passed last summer, Magpul Industries announced it has finalized its moves to

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When the Free Market is allowed to Flourish, It Does

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 1st, 2013:

When the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) was signed into law in April 2012, it was designed to create a “regulatory exemption” for crowd funded securities – a crack in the 6-inch thick slab of concrete the government regulatory agencies are determined to pave over every manner of entrepreneurial activity in the country – so that entrepreneurs could meet with capital largely free of regulations under Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other noxious restrictions on freedom.

It was highly controversial at the time, with the New York Times leading the way in an article entitled

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Kickstarter Marks Another Milestone

Just over a week ago Kickstarter, the crowd funding platform, revealed that it had successfully funded more than 50,000 projects since its inception in 2009. As of October 31st that number had jumped to 50,844 with another 4,130 currently being funded.

Kickstarter has helped entrepreneurs with ideas, songs, gadgets, video games, publishing concepts and fashion design ideas connect with low-budget capitalists interested in supporting them. And, thanks to provisions in the JOBS Act, signed into law in April 2012, they can do this without

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.