There’s an odd regulation Democrats and (mostly) Republicans have enacted in five states — and the reason for its enactment is still unclear.
Consider this: You want to buy the latest iPhone 6. Today, you can go to your nearby Apple retailer and pick one up directly from the company. In this instance, the manufacturer (Apple) is also the retailer. There are many companies like this, which both manufacture their goods and then sell them directly to consumers, either online or at a physical location.
But in five states it’s illegal for one type of manufacturer (in this instance, an automobile manufacturer) to sell directly to consumers. Most of the automobile industry sells its stock through licensed dealers. Manufacturers sell their automobiles at wholesale rates to dealers, who then mark up the price of the vehicles and sell them to consumers. You wouldn’t necessarily walk up to a General Motors plant and pick up a Cadillac. That’s just not how it’s done.
In Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, Maryland, and now Michigan, politicians are advancing protectionist policies that ban consumers from buying directly from automobile manufacturer — namely Tesla, the electric car company founded by billionaire inventor and investor Elon Musk.
The Washington Post has the story:
What’s good for General Motors dealers is good for America.
Some thoughts come to mind in the wake of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s shooting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, and the week’s earlier incident in which another alleged terrorist murdered a Canadian soldier using a vehicle. The incidents contradict ideas germinating in some spheres of Western thought that seem to cumulatively suggest that terrorists are fundamentally good people who are simply misunderstood.
For instance, one premise often suggested is that terrorists are libertarian in nature. They want nothing more than to be left alone to brutalize their neighbors in peace, the contention goes. Provided the Western world leaves them alone to kill and pillage the people of their own lands, they will reciprocate and leave the West in peace.
A second corollary premise arising from this argument is that terrorists are not evil. They are in fact sane, normal people. They can be reasoned with; they would not terrorize the Western world, murder diverse ethnic groups, or slaughter adherents of alternative religious groups if they did not have good reason.
Third and finally, some will argue that mainstream Christians are no better than Islamic terrorists. Jonathan Merritt, who made his name advocating that the church embrace homosexuality, made the argument in a Twitter exchange with Erick Erickson. In it, he wrote, “Christians let the drones do the killing for them.”
Mix of youthful idealism, tech-savvy culture could make Millennials prime target for terrorist recruitment
Millennials are many things, most of them innocuous and slightly detached, befitting a generation born into a world of smartphones and delayed adulthood. But they display a relatively vanilla cultural generational shift, certainly not as shocking as the counter cultural revolution of the late 60s-early 70s, to name a recent example. Harmless. Or are they?
Once they walked out, Dagan announced, with utmost poise, “It’s funny, because I am for a Palestinian state.”
He proceeded to speak at length about the roots of Islamic fundamentalism, the history of Islam, and the creation of ISIS—its philosophy, structure, economics, and future. His talk was utterly uncontroversial. The protestors, most of whom were graduate students, were ill-informed about their target. Dagan did not come to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor does he deny the need for a Palestinian state. And yet, because he served his country as a soldier and an intelligence officer, he was branded an enemy.
It’s not unusual, of course, for young people to get wrapped up in the chatter they hear most often, even if — as is the case in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict — much of what they hear barely scratches the complicated surface of the issue. As The Federalist piece puts it:
Fueled by an ideology where Israel is 100 percent guilty and Palestine is 100 percent blameless, these students failed to see the shades of gray. They protested a man whom they agreed with more than they would like to admit, and who was not there to discuss the topic they were so anxious to weigh in on.
WARNING: There is not a single detail, fact, or argument in this story that makes the slightest bit of sense in a rational, just world. You should take safety precautions before reading any further. Apply duct tape to your head generously so that when it explodes you will still have all the pieces. Stuff cotton in your ears so that your brain does not leak out of your head. Sit down in a comfortable chair so that when you are rendered temporarily (or permanently-it’s that bad) blind with rage you will at least not injure yourself.
After a two-year investigation, the Associated Press reported on Monday that the US government has paid millions of your tax dollars (via the mythical “trust fund”) in Social Security benefits to Nazi war criminals even after they left the US, some of them decades ago.
The payments flowed through a legal loophole that has given the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal government records.
So let’s get this straight: Instead of deporting (or prosecuting) Nazis that had been living here in secret for decades, mostly by lying on their immigration forms, we promised them they could keep their Social Security benefits, up to $1,500 per month, forever, if they left the country and renounced their citizenship or had it revoked.
We’re big fans of market innovation here at United Liberty. If you’re a frequent reader (and we hope you are), you’re familiar with our affinity toward ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
Uber announced this morning that it would bring flu shots directly to consumers at no cost in Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. from 1000am to 3:00pm today. From their blog:
That’s why we’re leveraging the reliability and efficiency of the Uber platform and launching a one-day pilot program—UberHEALTH—in select cities today. Together with our partner Vaccine Finder we will bring flu prevention packs and shots directly to you – at the single touch of a button.
UberHEALTH will be available today, October 23, in Boston, New York and DC from 10 am until 3 pm EST, and Uber users can request this service within their Uber app. Upon arrival, users will receive a flu prevention pack and the option to request a flu shot from a registered nurse for up to 10 people – all at no cost. Even better, for every shot given, Uber will donate $5 to the Red Cross to support vaccination efforts for children including its Measles & Rubella Initiative.
You won’t believe what Big Government is spending your money on — actually, you probably will. And it’ll enrage you.
Government spending is out of control.
Outgoing Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., has been a fierce critic of wasteful government spending since he rode the “Contract With America” Republican wave into Congress in 1994.
Coburn’s 2014 annual report — his magnum opus, as he returns to Oklahoma to battle cancer — details $25 billion in absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable (but really, you likely won’t be surprised) spending programs coming out of Washington. Much of Coburn’s ire is directed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which has come under fire for (1) not having an Eblola cure and (2) blaming budget cuts on the lack of a cure.
In the introduction, Senator Coburn tells us what he’s learned during his time in Washington and asks readers to consider our national priorities:
What I have learned from these experiences is Washington will never change itself. But even if the politicians won’t stop stupid spending, taxpayers always have the last word.
As you read through the entries presented in this report, ask yourself: Is each of these a true national priority or could the money have been better spent on a more urgent need or not spent at all in order to reduce the burden of debt being left to be paid off by our children and grandchildren?
Increasingly, liberal groups — under the guise of “watchdog” or “ethics reform” organizations — are going after First Amendment protections; namely, freedom of speech and freedom of association.
Harry Reid and his Democratic colleagues attempted and failed to repeal a portion of the First Amendment in late summer that would allow Congress to heavily regulate protected political speech. The move was seen mostly as a campaign ploy in an attempt to hold the Senate and gained little traction in public discourse.
But liberals routinely explore other avenues when attempting to silence political opponents. One such effort is publishing donor lists of political enemies, which discourages some individuals from making contributions for fear of public retribution. Take, for instance, the firing of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich based on his financial support for California’s Proposition 8, which codified marriage in the Golden State as a union between one man and one woman.
As UL noted in August, political dissent equals hatred as it pertains to the Left. You see, it wasn’t a decade ago that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shared Eich’s position on marriage. And though polls suggest a gradual trend in support for gay marriage, it has become politically uncouth to oppose it publicly.
In our perpetual battle against the state, it’s helpful to have durable metaphors to frame the contest in which we are engaged. I think Ebola offers us one such metaphor.
Scientists are undecided about whether viruses are living things. Viruses use the machinery of living things to replicate; they hijack our cells, but are they, themselves, alive? It’s a difficult call. Several things are certain. Viruses do not act purposefully. They have no will. They have no mind. They are dumb, inanimate, strands of RNA wrapped in protein.
This fact presents a problem when we want to talk about viruses. Words fail us. Someone might say “Ebola infects” or “Ebola hijacks” or “Ebola replicates.” But these words seem to ascribe agency to the virus. They could be interpreted to mean “Ebola is a living thing that does something.” But a virus is dead, not living. It is only a thing. It doesn’t DO anything itself. Instead, it gets living things to do things “for” it, primarily: to replicate the virus and spread it around.
It was going to be hard to top the staggering tone deafness of hopless Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ attack ad targeting Greg Abbott’s alleged crusade against the disabled (Hint: Abbott is disabled). But there is no bar too low for a candidate who will likely lose by 15 points.
And just like that, the bar has been lowered yet again. Today, Davis attacked Abbott for refusing to say whether he’d defend a ban against interracial marriage in court as the state’s attorney general. Oh yeah, he’s married to a Hispanic woman.
Greg Abbott won’t say whether he’d defend an interracial marriage ban—troubling but not surprising from someone who defends a “poll tax.”
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) October 20, 2014
In the year 1729, famed Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick,” or, as it is more commonly known, simply “A Modest Proposal.” In Swift’s Proposal, he describes in painful detail the plight of Ireland’s poor and beggar classes, and suggests Irish society can benefit by encouraging poor people to sell their children to the rich as a source of food. For the skeptical he provides suggestions for proper preparation of the proffered progeny, a veritable smorgasbord of appetizing ankle-biters. Notes Swift, ”A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.”
Sadly, in our day, it has become nearly impossible to write effective satire about the political left; not because they don’t offer plenty of material to work with, but because liberals too often miss the fact that it is satire and instead use it as a blueprint for public policy.