With Tax Day 2014 behind us, it might be tempting to turn away from thoughts of the taxman and to let the pain abate a while. For decades Americans have done just that; they have accepted taxation, albeit begrudgingly, as a necessary part of life in society and have taken the hurt with a certain stoicism. Sometimes voices have been raised against the sapping power of taxation, yet taxes have continued to rise along with government spending. The time of stoic acceptance may be coming to an end.
For the few that have not heard of Google Glass yet, it is a hands-free, wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display above one’s eye to provide information to the user and enable video recording of whatever a user sees. What’s recorded is stored in Google’s data centers and that data will be integrated with most Google products and services.
They’re all actively preparing to enter the over-the-top online video business with their own streaming service or proprietary online programming to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and facilities-based pay-TV providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish, AT&T, Verizon, and others.
If there is one label more than any other that principled advocates of individual liberty are often stamped with it is that they are “extremists.” How can you be so extreme, it is said, what is wrong with a compromise between personal freedom and some “reasonable” degree of government regulation, welfare legislation, and social intervention?
Storm clouds have been gathering around the Common Core for some time. Until now, most of the critical attention has been on the political ramifications of the program, that it centralizes and federalizes teaching, diminishing the power of parents to participate in the educational process. When the criticism does turn to the content of the curriculum, it usually focuses on social studies, such as Joy Pullmann’s excellent account of the Common Core’s trashing of the Constitution and Founding Fathers. Yet the Common Core’s treatment of math is proving to be even more questionable.
In 2013 the price of gold bullion lost 28 percent and closed near its low for the year. It was the first annual decline since 2000 and the worst since 1981. Gold ETFs experienced record redemptions, shrinking the funds 33 percent by year end, but they were the exception. Marcus Grubb, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, reported, “2013 has been a strong year for gold demand across sectors and geographies, with the exception of western ETF markets.” While investors were leaving ETFs, demand for gold jewelry, bars and coins was increasing, as were purchases by central banks. Globally, consumer demand increased 17 percent for gold jewelry and 28 percent for bars and coins.
Your editorial “Rotten to the core” (March 23) pointed out a truth that many news articles omit or gloss over – namely, that opposition to the national Common Core standards crosses partisan and ideological lines. That is one reason to remain optimistic about the prospect for eventual repeal, despite anti-Common Core bills stalling out recently in Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.
I don’t agree with the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn very often, but in a recent article he said, “everybody should be cautious about making firm pronouncements about how the Affordable Care Act is doing.” Amen to that.
Of course, Mr. Cohn can’t help himself. He uses that reasonable statement as a launching pad for attacking, “…Cruz, Barrasso, and all the other hard-core Obamacare opponents on the right.” He just can’t imagine why these people might be skeptical of Administration claims about enrollment.
Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother and one of the key ObamaCare advisors, has been on quite a roll lately. Consider some of the headlines just from the past few weeks or so. In every instance his message is that he knows better than you do what is good for you. He knows a better way to do insurance than you do, he knows that you don’t really need a choice of doctor or hospital, he knows that you don’t really need a doctor at all for most services, and he knows that “things are actually going well” for ObamaCare despite the fact that you and most Americans don’t like it.
NLPC has detailed extensively the wastefulness and folly of spending billions of taxpayer and consumer dollars to subsidize wind energy, solar energy and electric vehicles, all in the name of fighting climate change.
But the complicated, uneconomical boondoggle that Duke Energy built in Edwardsport, Ind. so as to burn coal gas rather than coal – and thus produce less carbon dioxide than a traditional coal plant – may be the dumbest idea to fight imaginary global warming to date. If you swallow the alarmists’ premise and “solutions,” the plant so far is a joke, as recent evidence shows it is using more energy than it produces.
On Monday, March 17, on behalf of the state of Oklahoma and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), Pruitt filed a lawsuit against the federal government, specifically the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The lawsuit alleges the “FWS engaged in ‘sue and settle’ tactics when the agency agreed to settle a lawsuit with a national environmental group over the [Endangered Species Act] listing status of several animal species, including the Lesser Prairie Chicken.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s power grab and annexation of the Crimea has filled global news headlines as he attempts to reverse what he has called the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century” – the collapse of the Soviet Union. But it needs to be remembered that this conflict has its deeper roots in two ideas that have plagued the world for over two centuries: nationalism and government interventionism into economic affairs.
Project 21 contained twenty-seven principles warning against a mode of growth that was leading to the extinction of life on earth. As such, Project 21 represented a major step forward in establishing the basic principles that must govern the conduct of nations and peoples towards each other and the Earth to ensure a secure and sustainable future. This plan was developed rather covertly, and due to that lack of transparency, we are still discovering some of the more grievous aspects of their Agenda.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is out with news of higher transit ridership. APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy characterizes the new figures as indicating “a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities.” Others even characterized the results as indicating “shifting consumer preferences.” The data shows either view to be an exaggeration.
The editorial board of the New York Times had it right 27 years ago when it wrote, “The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00.” There’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the legal minimum price of labor will result in an increase in unemployment and it will be the least skilled workers, those most in need of work, who will be the first to lose jobs and the last to be hired. That would be the tragic unintended consequences if government forces the new law upon businesses.
The TSA does not make us perfectly safe. I don’t care much about being x-rayed and patted down, but it is not much more helpful than the old, discarded “security” question about whether I packed my own bag. The U.S. could learn from the Israelis and focus on behavior and likely terrorists.
The Ukrainian-Russian crisis over the de facto occupation of Crimea by Russian military forces, which has enveloped the concerns and fears of the world over the last weeks, revolves around two conflicting claims of national self-determination. It has, once again, brought with it the danger of war on the European continent.
The United States and Japan are at the trade negotiation table – for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Absolutely excellent. The freer the trade the better – the more the merrier.
Charter schools offer many cities a palatable mechanism for offering greater choice to families in the field of education. They do take some public funding, and they often rely on state infrastructure to operate, but these qualities ought to be weighed against the alternative, which is incompetent and corrupt state monopoly of education, especially in cities with greater levels of low-income households. The choice alone has helped revitalize competition in one of the most sclerotic and venal arms of the government apparatus. With the proven enhanced performance, wide popularity, and general social improvements charter schools provide it would seem like a no-brainer for city government to support.
Yet in New York City, the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been waging all-out war against the burgeoning charter school movement in his city.