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: State Government

Illinois Sends “Dear Contractor” Letters Ordering Them to Stop All Road Construction

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 15, 2017: 

English: A photograph of the Springfield Capit...

A photograph of the Springfield Capitol Building

Illinois contractors working on the state’s roads just received a “Dear Contractor” letter from the state ordering them to halt work because the state is out of money to pay them:

At this time appropriate funding is not available after June 30, 2017. Thus, work shall cease effective June 30, 2017.

Please bring all projects to a condition that will provide a clear and safely traveled way….

On July 1, 2017, all work shall cease except for maintenance.… The department will notify you when work may resume.

Right now the state has $14.5 billion in unpaid bills, an increase of nearly $4 billion just since the end of December, with no end in sight. When Republican Governor Bruce Rauner took office in January 2015, he promised he would bring order out of chaos by

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Connecticut Bill Would Allow Police to Arm Drones

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 31, 2017: 

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile

Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile

The Connecticut State Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill on Wednesday that would allow local police to weaponize drones. The vote by the Judiciary Committee was 34-7 and the bill’s threats to privacy were downplayed by the committee’s co-chair, Republican John Kissel:

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Apple Supplier Foxconn Negotiating $7 Billion Plant in Pennsylvania

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 23, 2017:

Speaking at a meeting at company headquarters in Taiwan on Sunday, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou (shown, on left) expanded on his company’s plans to build a $7 billion flat-panel display facility in Pennsylvania. He said the factory could employ between 30,000 and 50,000 people, depending on what kind of deal he could strike with state officials.

Those plans were inadvertently disclosed following a meeting in December between Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. A photo revealed a clipboard Son was carrying that clearly said:

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States Beginning to Demand SWAT Team Transparency

SRA Dave Orth (L) and SRA Clarence Tolliver (R...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Examples of no-knock raids performed by SWAT teams on innocents across the country have even raised the consciousness of the London-based Economist magazine which declared in its most recent issue that “America’s police have become too militarized.” It opened with the story of the raid on the home of Sally Prince in Ankeny, Iowa, by a SWAT team fully helmeted and

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U S District Court Rules that Colorado Sheriffs Lack Standing to Sue in Gun Lawsuit

The lawsuit brought back in May by 54 Colorado county sheriffs and 21 other parties complained that two recent laws enacted by the Colorado legislature violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Without ruling on those complaints, Chief Judge Marcia Kreiger of the U.S. District Court of Colorado said that the sheriffs lacked

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Hurdles Facing Supporters of North Colorado as 51st State are Daunting

The national media are beginning to pay attention to movements threatening to secede from existing states and form their own new ones. There’s even a competition between efforts in western Maryland, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, northern California’s Siskiyou County, and parts of southern Oregon to be the first to become the country’s 51st state.

None are as far along, however, as those efforts pushing to win the honor for

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States’ Nullification Efforts: All Bark and no Bite?

This article first was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor:

 

In a dreadfully slanted and intellectually dishonest offering from Associated Press writer David Lieb on Friday, efforts by the several states to nullify unconstitutional federal laws are derided as irrelevant and the matter already settled.

So why did he write it? Perhaps that’s the underlying message: the feds are getting nervous.

He calls the possibility that a state might actually arrest a federal agent for enforcing a federal law that a state thinks is unconstitutional “farfetched” but “conceivable.” He refers to the bill about to become law in Missouri as

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Federal Government’s credibility continues to decline

Thanks to Pew Research we now know what we have suspected for a long time: even Democrats are losing faith in Washington. That can’t be a bad thing. 

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I now fear the state government more than the federal government

The old bumper sticker, “I love my country but fear my government” used to apply, so I thought, to the federal government. I thought, naively it turns out, that the state government would resist the temptation to become like the federal government: intrusive, overweening, ignoring freedom and individual rights, etc. I was wrong.

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Energy independence in seven years? Look to North Dakota

This article from American Spectator reads more like a travel brochure or a puff piece from the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, but there are nuggets of gold buried in it. Let’s take a look.

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Three State Studies Confirm Freedom Works Best

North Dakota state quarter

North Dakota state quarter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year 247 Wall St. publishes the results of its survey of all 50 states and then ranks them from top to bottom – from “best run” to “worst run.” CNBC does the same only with a more concentrated focus on the business environment in each state, and then ranks the states on their overall “measure of competitiveness.” The Mercatus Center at George Mason University looks at all 50 states from the perspective of individual freedom and then ranks the states based on its Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.

The parallels and correlations between economic and business performance and personal freedom are clear and persuasive: when state governments stay within their limits of protecting lives and enforcing contracts, the states thrive. And vice versa. North Dakota and California are examples sufficient to prove the point.

247 Wall St. admits that measuring the effectiveness of how a state government manages its affairs and allows the free market to operate is

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Marijuana Legalization and Nullification

bragging about joints

(Photo credit: alepuz)

Although this article is more about “marijuana tourism” in Colorado and Washington, it gives me a chance to highlight the much more important issue in the freedom fight: state nullification of unconstitutional federal interference.

Kristen Wyatt, the AP writer, mentions it only in passing, wanting instead to explore the tourism issue:

Marijuana legalization votes last week in Colorado and Washington state don’t  just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug laws for residents. The  measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

She’s right. This amendment to Colorado’s constitution does set up “an epic state-federal showdown” and I welcome it. In my opinion, (and not just mine, as you’ll see) the feds are going to end up on the losing side. The only way they can avoid losing is to acquiesce, which opens the door wider for

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More Positives from Tuesday’s Election

Don Irvine with Award winner Michelle Malkin a...

Michelle Malkin at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on March 1st, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew it! I just knew it! Someone astute (this time Michelle Malkin) would look at the carnage wrought on Tuesday and see some good things. She did, and there are:

  1. Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives
  2. Voters in Alabama, Montana (yea!) and Wyoming passed measures limiting Obamacare
  3. Ted Cruz, a bright star in the conservative universe, won a Senate seat in Texas against an establishment Republican opponent
  4. Odious House member Pete Stark (Freedom Index rating: 34) was finally booted out of office in California
  5. A charter school initiative succeeded in Washington state despite opposition from teachers’ unions
  6. A collective bargaining effort in Michigan failed, again despite opposition from labor unions
  7. No more race-based preferences in Oklahoma for college admissions, public contracting or government hiring.
  8. Montana (yea! again) turned off the spigot for unlimited benefits to illegal aliens
  9. Washington voters put limits on that state’s legislature’s ability to raise taxes
  10. Republicans, for the first time since Reconstruction, took control of the Arkansas state house
  11. Tax hikes were rejected in Arizona, South Dakota and Missouri
  12. Louisiana passed a pro-gun measure
  13. Kentucky voted to protect hunting and fishing rights
  14. Montana (yea! once again) voters passed a parental notification law for minor’s abortions
  15. North Carolina Republicans claimed the governor’s office, made congressional gains, and took control of the state’s general assembly
  16. Paul Ryan won reelection to the Senate from Wisconsin
  17. Conservatives won big victories in the Kansas state legislature
  18. Republicans won big in Tennessee
  19. The GOP took back control of Wisconsin’s state government
  20. There are now 30 Republican state governors

No doubt there are more victories flying under the radar, over which we can rejoice and in which we can take comfort. Thank you for these, Michelle!

Planning for Military Action Against the Tea Party

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Divisi...

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division wearing ACH helmets in the M81 Woodland pattern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kevin Benson, a retired U.S. Army colonel with a strong background in military tactics and a degree from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and Jennifer Weber, an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, have just developed a scenario whereby U.S. military forces quashed a “tea party” insurrection in South Carolina in the year 2016.

The article, appearing in Small Wars Journal and subtitled “Scenario 2016,” purported to question the military’s readiness to put down such an insurrection if it were to occur. By creating the “story” of such an insurrection, the authors were able to suggest how military forces would handle certain legal restrictions, limitations, and the media. Their conclusion was that, given the state of technology and the likelihood of such action generating public outcry and additional civilian resistance, the operation to put down the insurrection would be challenging but, in the end, successful.

The warning to those inclined to use force against the federal government was clear: 

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Will Senator Chris Lauzen’s Pension Reform Work?

Illinois State Capitol in Springfield {| cells...

Illinois State Senator Chris Lauzen made three simple suggestions to solving Illinois’ $83 billion unfunded pension liabilities: end abuses of the present system, raise the retirement age to 62, and limit cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) to 2 percent a year. What he failed to mention is how to get these changes implemented.

Lauzen has served in the Illinois state legislature beginning in 1992 when he ran on a promise to “work hard, stay honest, and use common sense.” Now that he is retiring he decided to spell out what was needed to bring order out of chaos in Illinois. He said that, if successful, his plan, “The Lauzen Plan,” could be applied to other states facing similar daunting challenges. And if it works there, it might even, he says, apply to Europe’s problems. First, Lauzen recognized the size of the problem. According to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) the total unfunded liabilities of all the states is at least $3 trillionpossibly more.

Many states, according to AEI, are in denial about that number, relying on old and outdated methods and assumptions used to calculate those liabilities. The interest rate assumptions and proper valuing of the assets held to provide the future benefits may be off, perhaps way off. As noted in an article in The New American, liabilities could be as much as

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Wisconsin Governor Walker to Win in a Walk, Polls Show

"On the Issues with Mike Gousha at Marque...

On Wednesday the Marquette Law School poll showed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with a comfortable lead over his rival, former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, in next week’s recall election, 52 percent to 45 percent. This was an improvement from their poll taken two weeks earlier when Walker held a six-point lead over Barrett. It was also confirmed by a poll taken on May 23 by We Ask America that showed Governor Walker leading Barrett 54 percent to 42 percent. More telling perhaps was the Intrade site which measures voter sentiment and showed Walker on Thursday with a 94.5 percent chance of winning the recall election.

The recall election process began in November last year when United Wisconsin, a coalition of unions and the state’s Democratic Party, decided to go after Walker because of his success in passing Act 10. That law limited unions’ collective bargaining powers and required that union members pay a little more for their health insurance and retirement benefits. Specifically, Act 10 required members to contribute 12.6 percent of their health care premiums (with the taxpayers picking up the balance of 87.4 percent) and 5.8 percent of their pension costs (with taxpayers picking up the remaining 94.2 percent).

Even after these increases, a study by the American Enterprise Institute showed that state government employees in Wisconsin are still enjoying a significant

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Boom and Bust in Stockton, California

A view of Stockton's city center and waterfront.

When Ann Johnston, Mayor of Stockton, California, informed the city council in March that Stockton was about to go bankrupt, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, it took her six hours to explain why. The primary reason was overborrowing, overspending, and thinking that the good times would go on forever. They didn’t.

Between 1998 and 2005 prices of real estate in Stockton, about 75 miles from Sacramento, tripled. For a time Stockton was attractive as a lower-cost bedroom community alternative to Sacramento as home buyers were priced out of that market. Revenues from builder fees and sales and property taxes soared, and then-Mayor Gary Podesto took advantage. First was a luxury downtown sports arena anchored by a Sheraton hotel followed by the redevelopment of the waterfront into a marina and riverwalk. Then came the inevitable expansion of government and generous pensions, including “Lamborghini” benefits for city workers: if someone worked for the city for one month he (and his spouse) became eligible for retiree healthcare benefits for life. To house its burgeoning payroll, the city purchased a high-rise municipal office building at the top of the market for $35 million.

All that has changed. The office building is now vacant, homes in the high-end Weston Ranch development that sold for $450,000 are now listed for sale at $100,000 with few buyers. Unemployment is at 16 percent, and crime has soared. Forbes ranks Stockton as one of the three worst cities to live in in the country.

Johnston told the council that they couldn’t make the interest payment on their indebtedness, that the city’s deficit is approaching

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North Dakota: A Study in How the Free Market Works

English: An Oil Pump in western North Dakota

The continuing boom in North Dakota seemingly has no end. Last June oil production from the Bakken Formation exceeded 11 million barrels a month. In February it reached 16 million with estimates that by late spring North Dakota could be producing more oil than either California or Alaska. That’s more than double what the state produced just two years ago.

The population boom in Williston and elsewhere continues to set records. The oil industry employs more than 30,000 people and could exceed 100,000 if production rises as expected to a million barrels a day. There are so many job openings that the state is sponsoring trade fairs across the country and has to deal with—are you ready?—budget surpluses!

Comparisons between North Dakota and other states struggling with deficits and high unemployment abound. Steve Moore wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal, noting that North Dakota has a budget surplus of $1 billion out of a $3.5 billion budget and it has already cut income taxes and is considering further reductions. Complete funding for the state’s pension plan is accomplished every year and the state is building “infrastructure” projects: roads, bridges, railroads and pipelines.

Moore compares this to the issues facing California: five straight years of budget deficits with the current fiscal year’s shortfall expected to exceed

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The Illinois Plan to Fix Its Budget Woes: Deny Reality

English: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn addresses...

The best thing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn had to say in his State of the State address on February 1 was that the legislature needs to face its “rendezvous with reality.” Under a newly enacted state law the budget process must now begin with estimated revenues rather than just a list of “needs and wants” and then craft a budget around that number.

It took considerable jockeying just to come up with that number, but as Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno noted, the $33.7 billion estimated revenue number is “not a cap,” but merely a good first step: “Unfortunately, adopting the revenue number may be the easiest part of this whole process. It’s going to be difficult to come to a consensus on the spending number.”

Under Illinois law the state government must balance its budget every year, and every year it has succeeded, mostly by stiffing its suppliers and borrowing to make its pension plan payments. Currently the state owes its 166,000 vendors approximately $9 billion, but plans to make its pension plan payment of $5.2 billion without having to borrow this time.

Illinois sports the most underfunded pension liability of any state in the union, at about $83 billion, which translates into having only 43 cents on hand for every dollar it should have to fully fund its pension liabilities. Amazingly, Quinn ignored reality and recommended that the General Assembly spend more money on

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Anti-Gun Group to Boycott Starbucks on Valentine’s Day

English: Starbucks at West Coast Plaza, Singapore

Elliot Fineman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) announced last Monday that its members will boycott Starbucks starting on St. Valentine’s Day to protest the company’s resistance to demands that they cease serving customers who may be carrying weapons, open or concealed. Its purpose, according to Fineman, is “to eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S.” Fineman claims that his group is “a network of 14 million gun victims” and that his boycott is being supported by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the United Church of Christ, the Fellowship of Reconciliation along with other secular groups that also support the anti-gun movement. Fineman said:

Starbucks allowing guns to be carried in thousands of their stores significantly increases everyone’s risk of being a victim of gun violence. Open and concealed carry are among the reasons there are 12,000 gun homicides each year in the U.S. If we had England’s gun laws we would expect 375 gun homicides each year—97% less than we have. England’s gun laws are based on protecting public safety, ours on maximizing sales for the gun industry…

Our boycott will reduce Starbucks’ stock price by an amount no rational company would allow.

It was two years ago that the Brady Campaign launched a similar boycott of Starbucks that “failed miserably” according to Dave Stockman, senior editor of Gun Week. Noted Stockman: “Starbucks made it plain in 2010…that it [would] abide by local and state laws and [would] not discriminate against a certain class of customers. Many open carry advocates began

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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.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann