Built on a foundation of sand, the Leaning Tower of Pisa would have toppled over long ago, if not for ingenious engineering projects that keep it from tilting any further. The same thing is true of ethanol, automobile mileage, power plant pollution and many other environmental policies.
The federal government is yet again acquiescing to the ridiculous anti-free market demands of the Left. We the People will yet again be forced to pay dearly for the resulting damage.
We have looming before us a wireless spectrum crunch. Spectrum being the finite airwaves we use for all things wireless – from cell phones to car key fobs.
The Federal Communications Commission has a Procrustean problem. The agency would do well to acknowledge it as a means of reforming its regulatory process.
I borrow from FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen’s address, “The Procrustean Problem with Prescriptive Regulation,” delivered at the Free State Foundation’s Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on March 18. If you missed the conference and haven’t seen the C-SPAN video of Commissioner Ohlhausen’s speech or read it, you should. It ought to be required reading at the FCC.
The New England Journal of Medicine and authors of a commentary on e-cigarette use have ignored our call for correction of a substantial error regarding e-cigarette use among American schoolchildren in 2011 and 2012. Authors Amy L. Fairchild, Ronald Bayer and James Colgrove of Columbia University double-counted some users in a figure they used to illustrate data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
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.
Your average government – anywhere in the world – has more resources at its disposal than just about any private company on the planet.
So when a government sets its sites on making a private company’s life miserable – it almost always can. Because it can put the full weight of the Leviathan behind the push – and it is spending Other People’s Money to do it.
The United Nations Agenda 21 has quietly changed the makeup of our cities and rural areas through highly questionable tactics, clothed in lofty adjectives such as “smart growth” and “sustainability,” as we’ve written previously. Agenda 21 activists have quietly initiated laws that allowed the government to confiscate our land, water, private property, and wilderness areas. Their ultimate goal is to strip Americans of personal rights and freedoms, creating a socialist future and eventually a one-world government. Not a pretty picture!
It’s crucial you don’t see a free 40-minute documentary film out today or you might get concerned about an effort to control and dramatically reshape every American child’s education. Building the Machine has Common Core right: It’s the biggest reform you know nothing about.
I was pleased that Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly accepted my invitation to participate as a keynoter at the Free State Foundation’s Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on March 18. We engaged in an informative and interesting lunchtime conversation, and I am grateful to Commissioner O’Rielly for indulging my questions.I was pleased that Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly accepted my invitation to participate as a keynoter at the Free State Foundation’s Sixth Annual Telecom Policy Conference on March 18. We engaged in an informative and interesting lunchtime conversation, and I am grateful to Commissioner O’Rielly for indulging my questions.
On March 14, the Obama administration announced it was initiating a process to transfer oversight of the Internet from the United States to some yet-to-be-defined global entity.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling said, “The timing is right to start the transition process.”
You don’t need to be a credentialed foreign-policy expert, however, to harbor reservations concerning the plan to turn over management of key Internet functions to what the Commerce Department called the “global multi-stakeholder community.”
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.
Who could forget about the botched ObamaCare roll out of last fall by the Obama administration when on September 26 Obama said, “… most of the stories you’ll hear about how ObamaCare just can’t work is just not based on facts. Every time they have predicted something not working, it’s worked.” But when people did start shopping for insurance coverage on October 1, Healthcare.gov crashed.
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.
President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and 28 Senate Democrats remain fixated on “dangerous manmade climate change.” In the process, they are ignoring real threats to our living standards and very lives.
Just one year ago, the Wall Street Journal has reported, saboteurs attacked a power substation near San Jose, California. They cut fiber optic cables and shot up 17 transformers, causing them to overheat and fail. Apparently, they wanted to trigger a monumental blackout. Thankfully, grid operators were able to reroute power and avoid blackouts.
A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission official called the attack “purposeful, extremely well planned and executed by professionals who had expert training.” Other utility experts said it could have been a “dress rehearsal” for much bigger operation – one that could take down much of the entire US or even North American electricity grid for weeks, months or even a year. That would have a devastating effect on our economy, living standards and lives. Indeed, many people would likely die, as food, fuel and even safe drinking water become unavailable.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal took note of what has occurred since the 1990s when some three dozen gray wolves were captured in Canada and transferred to the wilderness of Idaho. According to federal biologists, this was necessary to restore the ecological balance in a region teeming with elk and other creatures on the gray wolf food chain.
The article noted that more than 650 wolves roam the state today according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game which has been hearing a lot of complaints that the wolves “are wreaking havoc on Idaho’s prized elk and livestock, and prompted the governor’s office to embark on an effort to wipe out three-quarters or more of the population.”
Look, it is a fantasy that a group of legislators in Washington, DC or Albany New York can wave their magic wands and make everybody do what they want. A few years ago, I gave a speech to a group of state legislators in Albany shortly after New York enacted a new law prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. In the taxi going from the airport to the venue I noticed that every single car on the highway was violating the 55 MPH speed limit, without exception, and at least a third of the drivers were chatting merrily on their hand-held phones.
NONE OF THIS EVER WORKS!
The U.S. has the greatest energy reserves, coal, oil and natural gas, of any nation in the world, but Obama has been waging a “war on coal”, delaying the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, and slow to issue permits to explore for new sources of energy reserves on federal lands. The impact on the economy is incalculable, but it is driving up the cost of energy for everyone and every industry.
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.
Ezra Klein recently released a 2-minute clip explaining the need for individual mandates under Obamacare. Man, does that guy talk fast!
Mr. Klein gets most of his explanation about right, with one big exception. He says that a family making $80,000 a year will (eventually) be penalized $2,000 for failing to buy coverage — “less money than health insurance will usually cost you, but you don’t get anything for that money,” he says. Uh, that’s understating things quite a bit. A family insurance policy costs $16,351 according to the most recent employer benefits survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.