A solar company is suing the federal government because they aren’t getting enough taxpayer handouts. When your business model is to have Congress screw over taxpayers so you can line your pockets with money selling products that people don’t actually want, it’s understandable that you’d want those handouts to continue. Otherwise, these people would have to make things which are actually valuable enough to keep them in business, and that’s hard work.
May 17, 2013
May 15, 2013
The IRS appears to have targeted particular types of groups, subjecting them to intense and unconstitutional levels of scrutiny. Shockingly (shockingly!), these are right-of-center and Jewish organizations. The only valid response is to get rid of the culture of corruption at the IRS, and that means mass firings that go all the way to the top.
The likelihood of this happening, naturally, approaches zero.
Mitch McConnell notes that other governmental organizations might be complicit in similar activities and names several. I’d add the Department of Labor to that list, too. The Obama administration imported Chicago-style politics, and this is classic: use the power of the State to grind down political opponents.
Bonus snippet: an IRS agent gets a tiny piece of comeuppance.
May 14, 2013
Ruth Bader Ginsburg agrees that Roe was wrongfully decided. I disagree with her reasoning, but agree with her conclusion and some of her implications. Roe was one of the most egregious examples of the Supreme Court legislating from the bench and, far from settling the issue, created a cantankerous, multi-generational debate instead. At this point, the best outcome would be to overturn Roe and surrounding court decisions and return this issue to individual states. I agree with Ginsburg that different states will have different abortion laws, and I consider that a net positive because people can take abortion laws (among many other factors) into consideration when deciding where to live. Federalism works, whereas one-size-fits-all policy tends not to.
May 13, 2013
In the short term, 3D printed guns aren’t a big deal (somewhat contra Charles C. W. Cooke’s argument). You still need a high-end 3D printer, so it’s not the type of thing you can slap into a Maker Bot and get a working gun out of. In the medium term, I think it spells the end of effective supply-side gun control legislation. These plans will get better, the tools will get cheaper, and the knowledge necessary to create a gun will become internalized more effectively.
On the whole, I would consider this a good thing for the same reason I consider 3D printing in general a good thing: it reduces the power of the manufacturer relative to the consumer. So naturally, the end result will be banning the third dimension.
May 12, 2013
The House is taking a look at reducing overcriminalization. I like this idea, as long as it leads to something concrete. One consequence of the regulatory State is that criminalization becomes an end in itself: force people to obey an increasing number of laws to regulate behavior all the more tightly. Another, darker consequence of overcriminalization is blackmail potential: we are all likely guilty of committing various crimes on a daily basis (inluding things as simple as jaywalking). When the State can hold that over your head, it might be able to wrest out further concessions.
May 11, 2013
Government officials are required to act as stupid as possible because rigidity prevents corruption. This rigidity leads to insane results, such as laying a felony charge on a 16-year-old girl for performing a science experiment. As front-line soldiers in the fight against competence and intelligence, school officials did what they do best: panic, overreact, and expel the girl because school officials must be slaves to their own moronic rules.
If the State knew about the science experiments I did as a 16-year-old in chemistry class… (Hints: one involved thermite; another was a demonstration of the combination of ammonia and hydrochloric acid)
May 9, 2013
Courts have upheld a $222,000 fine for sharing 24 songs. This punitive fine is radically outsized considering the harm (if any) the sharing of these 24 songs caused. Republican politicians interested in capturing a larger percentage of Millenial voters should take this as an opportunity to revise existing copyright law and change damages to be representitive of provable losses. Ideally, I’d consider “provable losses” to be the market value of whatever copyrighted material a user is sharing. In the event that an item is not currently being published or distributed—for example, pirating a copyrighted book which is out of print—a nominal charge of a few dollars would apply.
Other (possibly superior) alternatives include limiting copyright to 3-7 years depending upon the medium, or eliminating copyright altogether.
May 8, 2013
The online Obamacare application went from a complex, 21-page document to being a streamlined 7-page document, plus an additional 8 pages (for four children), plus an additional 5 pages—in other words, 21 pages down to 20 is a “new and improved” document.
May 7, 2013
The National Association for the Advancement of Billionaire People (NAABP) has essentially-identical websites for Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning voters. Leave it to a software developer type to be so lazy as to create one template for both…
May 5, 2013
42% of people think Obamacare has already been repealed (were that those 42% were correct!). 38% of pro-lifers support the biggest abortion racket out there. When citizens don’t pay attention, politicians can get away with saying and doing pretty much anything.