No, Tennessee Does Not Have the “Most Regressive” Tax System

[Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared on the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s blog.]

New Net Neutrality Order Is a Nadir for the First Amendment & Internet Freedom

censored press

If a court affirms the FCC’s ruling that broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) have no right to exercise editorial discretion over Internet transmissions on their networks, the First Amendment could not stop the government from censoring the transmissions of end users on ISP networks.

The First Amendment is premised on a simple idea: Ensuring mass media communications are free of government control is a “precondition to enlightened self-government and a necessary means to protect it.” Though this principle should be obvious, it has been lost in application to the Internet age. In its recent order adopting net neutrality rules and reclassifying Internet access as a common carrier service subject to telephone regulation (“Net Neutrality Order”), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded that Internet transmissions on networks operated by broadband Internet service providers are not entitled to protection from government control. According to the FCC, the transmission of Internet communications is not constitutionally protected speech, because it is not “inherently expressive.” The FCC relied on this conclusion to justify its decision to regulate the Internet as if it were a plain old telephone network that transmits only common carrier communications.

OECD Scheme to Boost Taxes on Business Sector Will Hurt Economy and Enable Bigger Government

Originally posted at Mitchell’s blog International Liberty.

 

Citing the work of David Burton and Richard Rahn, I warned last July about the dangerous consequences of allowing governments to create a global tax cartel based on the collection and sharing of sensitive personal financial information.

I was focused on the danger to individuals, but it’s also risky to let governments obtain more data from businesses.

Remarkably, even the World Bank acknowledges the downside of giving more information to governments.

Here are some blurbs from the abstract of a new study looking at what happens when companies divulge more data.

Relying on a data set of more than 70,000 firms in 121 countries, the analysis finds that disclosure can be a double-edged sword. …The findings reveal the dark side of voluntary information disclosure: exposing firms to government expropriation.

How To Beat Hillary And Put A Republican Back In The White House

 

 

“Is that you, Jesus? My bad-brain-bleed-thingie makes it hard for me to see and to reason. What’s that? Wear more pantsuits? OK, Jesus.”

Originally posted at The Ancient & Noble Order of The Gormogons.

 

Hillary Clinton will surely be America’s next president, to hear media tell it. There’s no need for a general election, much less a messy Democrat primary. Accept your destiny, America, and move on.

Yet ‘Puter’s noticed the media’s tiny, black hearts aren’t fully in selling the lie. Media liberals were pleased to see Bernie Sanders enter the race,* hypothesizing his presence will pull Mrs. Clinton to the Left, where much of media dwells.**

Regardless, Mrs. Clinton is the odds on favorite to win the Democrats’ nomination, and thus Republicans must determine how best to beat her. Here are a few helpful suggestions, in case there’s anyone in the Republican party interested in retaking the White House.

Nominate someone who at least appears reasonable. This lets out Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and any and all human beings sporting the name Huckabee. Viable candidates include: Bush (hate him, but he’s viable), Walker and Rubio. Candidates that may have a chance include: Fiorina and Christie. Candidates that are dead on arrival: Graham and Palin.*** Your mileage may vary, but in ‘Puter’s experience, America will not elect a hard core conservative candidate. Quit your bitching and accept reality.

If You Want Real “Social Justice,” Support Free Markets and Small Government

Originally posted at Mitchell’s blog International Liberty.

 

Since almost everybody wants a society that is just, that presumably means we all favor “social justice.”

But in the American political system, the phrase has been adopted by those who favor bigger government and more intervention. Sort of the way “solidarity” and “social” are code words for statism in Europe.

Leftists think that this phrase gives them the moral high ground, but shouldn’t we judge “social justice” by outcomes rather than intentions?

Is statism really compassionate if it actually winds up lining the pockets of wealthy insiders?

Is statism really compassionate when it gives people an excuse to be stingy, as we see in Europe?

Is statism really compassionate when it means less long-run growth and lower living standards for ordinary people?

The answers to those questions probably depend on one’s definition of a just society.

Massie Amendment Prevents ATF from Banning Bullets

bullets

It’s become increasingly clear that we shouldn’t trust President Obama’s friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Earlier this year, the ATF proposed a rule that would have banned commonly used rifle ammunition. In an attempt to scare the American public, the ATF claimed that “armor piercing (AP)” ammunition was being used to kill police officers and should be banned. In reality, the specific ammo in question—M855 5.56x45mm NATO—is just an average sporting rifle cartridge used by sportsmen, hobbyists, and firearm enthusiasts alike. It turned out that the ATF had no basis for its cop-killing claims.

Fortunately, freedom-loving Americans pushed back. Over 310,000 comments were submitted to the ATF about this backdoor attempt to unilaterally ban M855. Realizing that Congress wouldn’t allow the ban to stand, the ATF backed down.

However, the ATF left the door open to banning the ammunition in the future.

Enter Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), a staunch defender of our Second Amendment rights, Chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus, and a strict adherent to the U.S. Constitution. Sensing that the ATF may attempt a similar ban in the future, he decided to propose an amendment that would prevent similar ploys to restrict our ammo options.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted the Congressman’s amendment – House Amendment 341– to H.R. 2578, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.

The language of the Amendment reads as follows:

At Altar of Diversity, “PC” Means “Plane Crashes”

FAA

 

We live today in a world saturated with the groupthink of political correctness. Ideas, beliefs, and traditions that were just a few years ago non-controversial because, to borrow from the Declaration of Independence, they were “self-evident”, can now bring upon you heaping condemnations, boycotts, and even lawsuits for their mere utterance. Merely disagreeing with those that have parted ways with tradition can brand you as a “denier”, a bigot, homophobe, racist, or worst.

We have become a nation where the wisdom of generations of collective understanding, and human experience, has been replaced by the shiny new novelty of “enlightened” thinking, which tells us that there is no difference in the sexes, that gender is a social construct that can be chosen or changed at will, rather than a biological characteristic inherent at birth. This same groupthink elevates “diversity” as the Holy Grail of social engineering, a goal to be pursued at the expense of common sense, fairness (actual fairness, based on merit, not the redistributionist fairness of “social justice”), and achievement.

Red State: Obama’s better than Rand Paul on security

randdove

Not content to let Rand Paul have his minor, temporary Patriot Act sunset victory, conservative blogger and video auteur Ben Howe took to Red State just minutes before the expiration of the act’s surveillance powers to proclaim the Kentucky senator and presidential candidate worse than Obama on national security.

As far as I’m concerned, Rand Paul’s view of ISIS and our role in “creating” them is pretty much a deal breaker. It shows such an uninformed and naive view of radical Islam that it makes me expect President Paul to be as dangerous as a President Obama in this regard. In fact I’ve reached the point where I question whether Obama might actually keep us safer than Rand Paul would.

Howe joins a crescendoing chorus of Republicans who might have a hard decision to make come November 2016 if Rand Paul is indeed the party’s nominee. I predicted this intra-party schism almost two years ago, but I’m stunned by the accelerated timeline. I expected Republicans hawks to flip to Hillary if Rand was the nominee. I didn’t expect them to all but do so 8 months before any primary votes are cast.

Whether or not you think it’s outrageous for Rand to have said “hawks in our party” “created” ISIS, let’s review the evidence. (Because that’s what thinking people do. We don’t just hear something that sounds outrageous, gasp, and shun the speaker.)

Poll Shows Rand Paul and Marco Rubio Best Positioned Against Hillary

ran marco

Yes, it’s 18 months until the 2016 election, so head-to-head matchup polls don’t really matter right now. But over the next 8 months, Republicans have to decide who will face Hillary Clinton. They’re primarily deciding that question on ideological grounds, but electability should be a big factor too, and today we have a new national poll that suggests Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have the best shot.

Thursday’s release from Quinnippiac University shows that not only does Paul get the most support of any Republican in a general election contest with Clinton, but he also holds her own support down to 46%. However, Marco Rubio holds her even lower, 45%, but his own support is also lower than Paul’s in that matchup, 41%. Both are within the 3.8% margin of error for the Republican-only questions.

Rand

Rubio

A second question reinforces why both Paul and Rubio’s already strong support within striking distance of Hillary is only likely to grow. Hillary has a -2 favorability rating, with only 8% having no opinion or response. That means that 45% of voters like her, 47% don’t, and there’s almost no one else left to make up their mind. She’s been a national figure for more than 30 years. Everyone knows who she is and already has an opinion of her. Her support is capped.

The Giant GOP Field is Proof of American Exceptionalism

GOP2016field

Libertarians and conservatives have this strange need sometimes to kvetch loudly about how the many scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, and the unabashed narcissism of our current Commander in Chief, and the look-the-other-way tendency of the mid-level bureaucratic leaders like the ones heading up the turmoil that is Baltimore, are the worst things ever. This is not, they argue, the country the founders had in mind when they wrote, inarguably, some of the most brilliant guiding documents in the history of mankind.

But that’s a load of malarkey. All of this is exactly what the founders had in mind because it is the lowest common denominator of human behavior. They knew it well and wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to counter what was the native tendency of man: strife, dishonesty, unwarranted power grabs, unethical leadership, meaningless strategies designed to weaken rather than strengthen. Read the Federalist Papers. It’s all about countering human nature to get to something finer, something better, something never before tried.

American Exceptionalism. That’s what it means.

That’s why this article, arguing that the gigantic GOP field is actually a sign of very good things, is so refreshing.

With all the media concern-trolling about the swarming GOP presidential field, it should not escape our attention that you’re getting exactly what you asked for. Voters incessantly complain about the lack of choices in politics. Well, for the first time in a long time, nearly every faction of the American Right is represented in an open primary.

 


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