June 8, 2013
In case you’re wondering why public policy institutes based in Washington D.C. issue myopic reports on current issues…
Source: gocomics.com via E.L. on Pinterest
But shadowy funding pipelines, leading to corporatists and political power brokers looking to have their interests legitimized, go a long way in keeping the doors of these institutes open. And you may (or perhaps not) be surprised to learn how some seemingly “legitimate” think tanks are, in fact, highly compromised because of that funding.
May 30, 2013
The Supreme Court just ruled in the Arlington v FCC case, which will be one of the most significant rulings from the Supreme Court this year that few Americans will follow:
“In a powerful and convincing opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s majority ruled that even when the agency is deciding on the scope of its own authority, it has the power to interpret ambiguities in the law. Scalia was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas.”
Five justices means the Scalia opinion ruled the day, and it cut across ideological lines within the Court.
“The court has ruled that the agency is entitled to interpret such ambiguities, as long as its interpretation is reasonable. The reasoning here is that by giving rule-making authority to agencies, Congress implicitly delegated interpretive power to them, as well. The court has also noted that compared with the courts, the agencies are politically accountable and have technical expertise, so they are in the best position to resolve ambiguities.”
The problem with this ruling is that the phrase, “reasonable interpretation” is just as ambiguous as some of the legislative mandates Congress passes on to federal agencies. Read the rest of this entry »
May 23, 2013
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, I was stunned by the extremely heavy-handed approach federal authorities took towards an already injured 19 year old, hunched over in the bottom of a boat preparing to die. Three stun grenades and a hail of bullets were launched at this kid discovered by the boat owner, an owner who had calmly peered under the boat’s canvas, found the suspect, then turned his back and walked towards his house to notify authorities without so much as a verbal threat from the suspect.
Now we get a story of another suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was being interrogated at his home, then shot during the proceedings. How in the hell does something like that happen? The whole purpose of having additional personnel in place during an interrogation is to ensure the suspect can be restrained should he launch himself against the interrogator. And wasn’t the suspect frisked prior to the interrogation? This, of course, assumes any validity of the story that the suspect had possession of a knife, a detail that is now being backpedaled out of the story,
At best, this is extremely sloppy police work. Beware: Amateurs at play.
Somewhere in between the best-worst continuum is the increasing evidence of police authorities getting far too hopped up on their own adrenaline. There’s no room for cowboys (sorry, didn’t mean to insult cowboys here).
At worst, what we have are outright lies emerging from an interrogation wherein the suspect revealed damning evidence against authorities regarding this case, and the suspect was silenced before the truth was able to emerge.
This Boston Marathon bombing case is beginning to smell like rotting roadkill, surrounded by the thick of summer heat.
May 21, 2013
The investment class is apparently drinking the Kool-Aid of its own making, truly believing the stock-market run-up represents substantive economic activity. This is very evident in a news story from Reuters, to wit:
“Stocks on both sides of the Atlantic were boosted after a survey of U.S. consumer sentiment in early May rose more than economists had expected, with more Americans giving favorable views about their financial and economic prospects, particularly among upper-income households.” (emphasis added)
This makes one wonder exactly how much the input from upper-income households skews the results from these consumer sentiment surveys. Anytime the survey reported a substantial upswing over the past five years, I had to ask myself if a) the data methodologies are skewed towards reporting positive results or b) fluoride in the water is actually an hallucinogenic.
2013.05.23 update: More Kool-Aid, less action.
May 14, 2013
An article in this morning’s New York Times reveals that federal law enforcement officials seized two months worth of phone records of 20 journalists and editors from the Associated Press.
Sadly, the story – and the huge implications for freedom of the press and government transparency – will pass largely unnoticed by Americans.
And here is the link to the story that drove the Justice Department to its unconstitutional actions.
2013.05.23 update: The Justice Department pursues
its prey a journalist.
May 1, 2013
Today is May Day, a universal recognition of labor everywhere save the U.S.: We have “Labor Day” in September, which serves as a proxy for the end of summer. Thus, Labor Day is a bit of a downer, even if the weather doesn’t start to change towards fall for another month.
May Day, however, has always been tinged with workers’ movements, socialism, communism, etc., etc., so its always been viewed as a little unseemly, hence the U.S. had to create its own day for labor recognition.
Nevertheless, labor is a hot-button issue these days in the U.S., so May Day seems to be a good day to post on labor issues.
Wait. What labor issues? Who’s talking about labor issues?
Well, if truth be told, the entire immigration reform battle, er, discussion, revolves around the labor issue, not the immigration issue. More specifically, cheap labor, and more specifically than that, cheap skilled labor. Read the rest of this entry »
April 29, 2013
With the latest failed attempt at gun-control legislation, perhaps it is time for a Second Amendment advocate to weigh in with a potential solution that balances gun-owner privacy versus the need for public safety. I make some assumptions here as to what will meet with approbation from gun owners, but I also recognize there may be unconsidered issues to these proposals that I overlooked. Nevertheless, I’m sure the community of gun owners will take me to task if I have overlooked anything.
First, we need to decouple the purchase of guns from background checks. This could be accomplished by a purchase-certification process, wherein a citizen would apply for a gun purchase certificate, using the same background check procedures currently used at the time of a gun purchase. This background check could bring a reasonable amount of assurance that guns are not being sold to criminals or those on record with mental-health issues. The purchase certificate should be issued as a plastic card, easily carried in a wallet, and required at the time of any gun purchase. The duration of the certificate could be established at one or two years, and is not automatically renewable. That is, a new background check would be required to obtain the next purchase certification, ensuring the any subsequent criminal or mental health activity precludes the next certification. Read the rest of this entry »