Liz Harrison

Recent Posts From Liz Harrison

Bill Gates Sides with FBI Against Apple and It Is No Surprise

Bill Gates

If anyone was really surprised at the fact that Bill Gates broke ranks with Silicon Valley on the Apple v. FBI issue, they obviously have not been paying attention. As TechCrunch reported, he is blithely claiming that the FBI is just being absolutely truthful, and that there is no way that they have a desire or intention of using whatever mechanism Apple might come up with to fulfill their request ever again.

No, that doesn’t change the fact that Tim Cook was telling the truth about his products. There would be no way to make a backdoor into an iPhone or anything else a “one-time use” fix. Gates knows this, and is lying if he claims otherwise.

Of course, if this had anything to do with Microsoft at all, it’s safe to assume that Gates would be singing a totally different tune. No, it doesn’t matter how much he clarifies his statement on Apple. The bottom line remains the bottom line, and his comments need to be seen as a back-handed attempt to level the playing field when it comes to security in tech.

Poll: Blame Mental Issues Not Guns

lightsaber

The left’s standing policy of never letting a tragedy go to waste when it comes to pushing gun control in the wake of gun violence is falling flat yet again with the public. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Americans are unwilling to blame guns for the recent shooting of two journalists in Roanoke, Va.

No matter how much Obama and his supporters may wish it otherwise, the simple fact is that the public is not buying the idea of passing more gun laws in order to stop the problem of shootings by the mentally disturbed. They aren’t even interested in laws that would be aimed at preventing those with mental health problems from acquiring weapons, presumably because the public realizes that the government would be in charge of deciding who is (and isn’t) sane enough to have a weapon.

The recent survey found that only 29% of the public think that stricter gun laws would have prevented the shooting in Virginia, while 60% believe that more gun laws wouldn’t have prevented it at all. Those results are consistent with previous ones in the wake of the shooting of Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords. Add to that the fact that 68% of those surveyed believe that the real problem is mental health issues, and the case against more gun control is even more solid. That result is also consistent with previous surveys after the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut.

Voters Believe Economic Growth Trumps Fairness

jobs

In a recent Rasmussen Reports Poll, voters stated that they believe economic growth is more important than economic fairness. With the 2016 election season promising to have wage equity on the front burner for the Democrats, this may not be the best news for them. The current results are also in the wake of a spate of protests calling for radical minimum wage increases - the now infamous $15.15 demands - which could indicate that the message is not resonating well with voters.

As reported on the Rasmussen site:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters say that economic growth is more important, while 39% say that economic fairness is more important….

Voters place higher importance policies which encourage economic growth over  
economic fairness. Ninety-three percent (93%) of voters say that policies that encourage economic growth are at least somewhat important, with 65% who say such policies are Very Important….That compares to 78% of voters who say policies which encourage economic fairness are somewhat important, with 53% who say such policies are Very Important.

United Liberty Owner Going Grassroots

pensive rand paul

Concerned American Voters is making waves as the new Super PAC on the block. Beyond filling a need in the Rand Paul campaign, it’s also gathering talent from all around the liberty movement. United Liberty’s own Martin Avila is joining the team as their Senior Tech Strategist - a generally unsurprising move since Avila did work for the Ron Paul 2008 campaign.

Avila will be joining Matt Kibbe, who is leaving FreedomWorks to join the newly formed Super PAC as their Senior Advisor. “Politics is more decentralized today and that makes insurgent candidates like Rand Paul more competitive,” Kibbe stated. “This is a big test for the liberty movement and I think our moment to deliver is now.”

As for the United Liberty family of writers, while Avila will be working with Concerned American Voters PAC, the UL site will continue to offer free thoughts on free markets and smaller government, even if the writers don’t happen to agree with the PAC. “I think we deserve all fair scrutiny just like any other organization,” Kibbe explained.

While Avila is not leaving UL behind, he also isn’t starting work with strangers. He and Kibbe have both worked together before, and with the PAC’s president, Jeff Frazee. Kibbe comes from FreedomWorks, Frazee comes from Young Americans for Liberty, and Avila has worked with both organizations.

Unintended Consequences of Protecting the Disabled

stressexams

Misericordia University in Pennsylvania is being sued by a student because she failed a course - twice. While it might be tempting to think that this is yet another “special little snowflake” case involving someone that simply doesn’t want to follow the rules, this involves a woman who suffers from depression and anxiety. The stress of taking final exams had been too much for her, and now she is suing for financial damages. However, her attorney contends that her primary goal is to have a chance to sit for the exams, and try again. She is no longer a student at the university, so that could be difficult in itself.

The student was enrolled in a nursing program, which would lead to a highly stressful career. While the attorney representing her was quick to claim that people can be nurses while suffering from depression or anxiety, there are probably at least a few mental health professionals that would state that a career in nursing can lead to those mental problems. Test-taking is not a direct indicator for success in a career, but if the stress from a test debilitates a student, it’s not unreasonable to assume that job stress would do the same.

This lawsuit is being filed as a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it brings up an interesting question of ethics when it comes to these protections. Is it proper for a person to be able to use the protections this law offers in all cases involving access to higher education, including when one’s disability would prevent that person from actually getting a job in the field of study? The ADA simply guarantees a person’s access to education, but does not guarantee that education would be paid for in full by government, thankfully.

Quality of Healthcare Going Down Say Voters

GOPhealthcareplan

About 70 percent of likely voters rate the quality of the health care they receive as good or excellent, down one point since January, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. While that might seem “not so bad,” that is the lowest level in two and a half years of polling. This number should be relatively good for limited government activists, however it is coupled with another statistic that is rather worrisome.

About 38 percent of respondents on this poll stated that they are for a single-payer system for health care. More disturbing is that 64 percent of those voters feel that more government involvement in health care would be a good thing.

Now that everyone is really scared, the silver-lining remains that a majority (51%) believe that Obamacare will make health care in America worse, and support for less government involvement in health care (44%) still outpaces support for a single-payer system.

Yes, this means that more Americans are thinking that less government would be a good thing, however this trend is starting to flatline a bit. One big reason for this is the lack of a concrete proposal from Republicans to replace Obamacare. Repeal is simply not going to be enough, if only because of the few items under the new law that are extremely popular, like keeping children on parental policies until age 26, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Time to Sell Economic Growth

lower taxes for dummies

While many people like to pay attention to polls so that they can end up offering tidbits of information to their friends with relatively easy to understand numbers, when it comes to activists, polls often guide policy decisions. Right now, activists that are concerned with the concept of promoting small business growth should be leaping to sway the public and politicians toward initiatives involving tax reform. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, public opinion is trending toward cutting government spending, and decreasing taxes.

This is a concept that Libertarians and free market activists have been pointing out forever, and it seems the public is getting the message, since 52% of voters now believe that cutting government spending helps the economy. However, there is a minor dissonance in these results, since about 47% of voters would support a candidate that would tax the rich more, while dropping taxes for others - that number is up from 44% in December. So, while people are getting that taxes hurt the economy, they aren’t quite comprehending that the governmental definition of “rich” as far as taxation is concerned could include the family-owned coffee shop down the street that only employs a handful of people.

Obama Solving Voter Apathy by Antagonizing Voters

vote or die

If you’re looking for a solution to voter apathy, the last place you should look is anywhere that involves legislation. Barack Obama predictably suggested that it might not be a bad idea to make voting madatory in the U.S. Anyone that didn’t see this coming must have missed the new Oregon law that will automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they apply for or renew driver’s licenses and I.D.’s.

While it might be tempting to suggest that Obama simply wanted to outdo Oregon with his proposal, it probably has more to do with the fact that just making sure that more people are registered to vote won’t necessarily increase the number of people that actually cast ballots. The real issue is apathy, and the president’s solution is to simply force people to the polls. More cynical observers will also point out that the step after that would be to inform people who they must vote for in a given election.

Most Americans Agree: Government Should Keep Hands Off Private Property

Susette Kelo

(Susette Kelo, pictured above, became the face of eminent domain abuse.)

The concept of government claiming private property for public good is an issue that comes up with a fair amount of regularity, usually on the state or local level. Usually it is a matter of whittling away a small portion of a citizen’s property for something like expanding a roadway or updating infrastructure services, like sanitary sewers. Other times it is a much larger project, that would force the complete surrender of a property. Either way, it seems that the public does not have much faith in government to do what it should.

According to a recent Rasmussen Poll, the vast majority of Americans do not believe the government would use private property claimed for a public project in a way that would actually be beneficial for the community.

Only 22% of Americans trust the government to seize property through eminent domain only for purposes that legitimately benefit the general public. Sixty-four percent (64%) don’t share that trust. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

But the doubt extends beyond just eminent domain: Only 25% trust government PERIOD. Sixty percent (60%) do not. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

Of course, this shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that keeps tabs on government abuse, or liberty issues in general. However, this distrust appears to be bleeding over to many other issues, from the federal government securing the border if there was comprehensive immigration reform, to equitable enforcement of gun laws. Essentially, the people simply don’t trust the federal government.

Nobody really remembers the government shutdown

Government Shutdown

Remember the partial government shutdown last year? Good times, at least for the people that wanted to know exactly what would happen if even a fair amount of government money went out of play. You know, what would happen if we had even a slightly smaller government?

Well, in spite of the Democrats claiming that it would lead to the end of all the things, that didn’t exactly happen. In fact, with the exception of the dramas created by Obama himself (remember the barriers they paid employees to put up in the National Mall?), things really didn’t change all that much. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, the shutdown really didn’t bother very many people at all:

Just after the shutdown was over last October, 67% said it had a negative impact on the economy, and only 19% felt it had no impact.

But in terms of their own lives, 82% of voters view the impact of the shutdown as small at best, with 37% who say it was minor and 45% who say the shutdown had no impact on them at all. Only 12% say the shutdown had a major personal impact. This is unchanged from a year ago.

Still, 72% think the shutdown never should have happened. Three percent (3%) say it lasted too long, while 20% say it didn’t last long enough.

Liz Harrison

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Contributor

Liz is a recovering literary publisher and former political campaign "Jane-of-all-trades". Since leaving the outskirts of the Ivory Tower to escape the liberalism, she's been plying the trade she o... Click here to read full bio


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