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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Trump Wall update 

Taxing “Mexican Imports to pay for the wall” isn’t making Mexico pay for the wall. It’s making you pay for the wall.
After all, Mexico doesn’t buy Mexican imports. Americans do. Americans will be paying more for produce, equipment, and consumer goods. American businesses will have to pay more for machinery, and will pass the extra costs to you.
This is the least effective way to reduce welfare costs I can imagine. The real solution to the high welfare costs: end all welfare, including educational and medical welfare.
In fact, the wall building project is itself basically just welfare. It’s a big huge government project, that will waste billions on needless government makework “jobs”. That’s money that we could better spend on almost anything else.
Let’s end welfare, instead of creating more welfare with this big government boondoggle.
In Liberty,
Arvin Vohra

Vice Chair, Libertarian Party

Author, Why Hillary Lost

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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

EPA Remains A Paragon Of Government Waste, Fraud And Abuse

MAR 9, 2016 @ 05:00 AM

Forbes.com

Henry I. Miller , CONTRIBUTOR
I debunk junk science and flawed public policy..  
This time it’s violations of federal law by engaging in “covert propaganda” and “grassroots lobbying.”

The EPA has long been scientifically, intellectually and ethically bankrupt, arguably the worst regulatory agency in the history of the world. But perhaps I understate.

Just when you think you’ve seen every manifestation of incompetence, corruption and dishonesty that’s possible in a government agency, the Environmental Protection Agency comes up with something new and different. This time it’s violations of federal law by engaging in “covert propaganda” and “grassroots lobbying.”

Government Accountability Office investigators found that the EPA illegally used Thunderclap, a social media site, “to correct what [EPA] viewed as misinformation.” Government use of social media is not unlawful per se; many agencies use it to communicate their actions and policies to the public. But the EPA crossed the line when it asked members of the public to share EPA-composed propaganda on Facebook or Twitter without attributing it to the government. Neglecting to reveal the source was the basis of the “covert propaganda” violation, because the law says that citizens must know when messages presented to them were created by their government.
Federal agencies are supposed to be apolitical, and federal law prohibits lobbying for or against proposed legislation, but an EPA blog post contained links to websites that encouraged members of the public to, for example, “urge your senators to defend Clean Water Act safeguards for critical streams and wetlands.” This “grassroots lobbying” was a violation of federal law because at the time, Congress was considering a number of pieces of legislation to derail the EPA’s “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) regulation.
The combination of EPA’s “covert propaganda” and “grassroots lobbying” and the agency’s ideological efforts to achieve “environmental justice”–which it defines as “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies”–is a prescription for more of the zealotry and malfeasance for which EPA is renowned.
EPA has a long history of actions that are illegal, unethical and incompetent. Various national and state policy groups in January raised objections and concerns about Obama administration plans to impose cap-and-trade style emissions restrictions nationwide. A coalition coordinated by William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute compiled and submitted comments from more than 20 groups that questioned the legitimacy of EPA’s implementation of the president’s Clean Power Plan. Specifically, its Model Federal Implementation Plan appears to be a cap-and-trade scheme that is the product of a defective political process, and thereby raises concerns under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (In early February the Clean Power Plan was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which directed the EPA to cease implementation until the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court itself renders a final decision on litigation to overturn the rule.)

An EPA legal stratagem that has received attention from Sen. David Vitter and other Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee is the “sue and settle” maneuver that federal agencies, including the EPA, use to advance their radical environmental agenda in a way that substitutes a judicial mechanism for the customary interface of legislation and agency rulemaking. The way this works is that extremist environmental groups (some of which receive government grants) sue the federal government on the grounds that agencies are failing to meet their regulatory obligations, and then, behind closed doors, the activists and Obama administration officials concoct a settlement agreement that furthers activists’ (and regulators’) radical goals.

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Another underhanded scheme was exposed several years ago that would have diverted EPA “research” funds to pay outside public relations consultants up to $5 million over five years to improve the website of the Office of Research and Development, conduct focus groups on how to polish the office’s image, and produce ghostwritten articles praising the agency “for publication in scholarly journals and magazines.”

This payola scheme is similar to the agency’s longstanding practice of buying influence by doling out hundreds of millions of dollars each year to certain favored nonprofit organizations—money that, according to the inspector general and Government Accountability Office, is dispersed with no public notice, competition or accountability. The GAO investigators documented systematic malfeasance by regulators, including: (1) making grants to grantees who were unable to fulfill the terms of the grants; (2) favoring an exclusive clique of grantees without opening the grants to competition; (3) funding “environmental” grants for activities that lack any apparent environmental benefit; and (4) failing to ensure that grantees performed the objectives identified in the grants.
EPA rulemaking often makes little sense. The agency persists in spending more and more to address smaller and smaller risks. In one analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, of the 30 least cost-effective regulations throughout the government, the EPA had imposed no fewer than 17. For example, the agency’s restrictions on the disposal of land that contains certain wastes prevent 0.59 cancer cases per year–about three cases every five years–and avoid $20 million in property damage, at an annual cost of between $194 million and $219 million.
Another example of flawed decision-making at the EPA is the imposition of overly stringent ambient air standards under the Clean Air Act. Clean air is desirable, of course, but an EPA rule finalized in 2012 that created new emissions standards for coal- and oil-fired electric utilities was ill-conceived. According to an analysis by Diane Katz and James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation, “The benefits are highly questionable, with the vast majority being unrelated to the emissions targeted by the regulation. The costs, however, are certain: an estimated $9.6 billion annually. The regulations will produce a significant loss of electricity generating capacity, which [will] undermine energy reliability and raise energy costs across the entire economy.” 
Stung repeatedly by such benefit-cost calculations, EPA has begun more frequently to manipulate the benefit side by invoking so-called “non-use benefits” of regulations, such as “the value one places on knowing that an aquatic ecosystem is healthy” or secondary and tertiary ecosystem impacts.” The problem with such supposed benefits is that estimating them is highly prone to wishful thinking. (Read: plucking numbers from the air.) For example, regulators might “calculate” that a significant improvement in water quality in the Mississippi River could be a source of benefit to people throughout the nation, not just those who use the river or who live near it, because the river is nationally symbolic.


An EPA contractor works on the clean up in the aftermath of the blowout at the Gold King mine, which triggered a major spill of toxic wastewater outside Silverton, Colo., Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
EPA officials are the Darth Vaders of the federal bureaucracy. Typical was an incident last August when an EPA cleanup crew accidentally triggered a breach in an abandoned gold mine in the southwestern part of Colorado, spilling three million gallons of highly toxic mining waste that contaminated waterways in Colorado and New Mexico. Glenn Lammi of the Washington Legal Foundation has argued persuasively that EPA officials should be prosecuted for criminal negligence and reckless disregard, but of course that won’t happen.
Equally bad was the EPA’s handling of the lead contamination of the water supply of Flint, Michigan. Federal regulators battled Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality behind the scenes for at least six months over whether Flint needed to use chemical treatments to keep lead lines and plumbing connections from leaching into drinking water. The EPA did not publicize its concern that Flint residents’ health was jeopardized by the state’s insistence that such controls were not required by law.
To long-time EPA watchers, screw-ups that endanger lives and damage the environment are not at all surprising. The EPA has long been scientifically, intellectually and ethically bankrupt, arguably the worst regulatory agency in the history of the world. But perhaps I understate.

Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology.  

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

TPP is cronyism masquerading as free trade

Reprinted from Facebook
TPP is cronyism masquerading as free trade. Pulling out of it is the right thing to do.
Take a look at the “concessions” that the U.S. government pushed for. Did they push for more freedom of the press? Minority rights? Other freedoms?
No. They pushed to have member nations use very limited legal resources to fight music piracy and protect drug company patents. In other words, those countries were expected to pull police away from rape, theft, and murder, to protect big pharma and corporate music. That way, when companies like epipen raise prices, they won’t have to worry about competition.
Real free trade is a lot simpler than TPP. It starts by eliminating all tariffs and restrictions on incoming goods, along with cronyist border protections. For example, part of free trade is allowing Americans to buy medicine from any country they want.
Even if other countries keep tariffs high, free trade still helps us. For example, right now Brazil and Argentina, two notoriously incompetent economies, put heavy taxes on computers. Not surprisingly, their businesses can’t compete. They use outdated technology, which puts their architects, designers, engineers, filmmakers, programmers, banks, data managers, doctors, lawyers, teachers and law enforcement at a huge disadvantage. All they would need to do is eliminate tariffs to become more competitive.
The same is true here. The cheaper tools of production are, the more effective we can be. Eliminating tariffs on all tools of production makes it cheaper for Americans to be more productive, and thus makes us more competitive.
Eliminating tariffs lowers the cost of starting a business. It also increases potential wages. If your boss needs to spend a thousand extra dollars to pay for light bulbs, that’s a thousand extra dollars you can never get as wages. 
To create more opportunity, we don’t need to use TPP to bully countries into misdirecting their law enforcement. We just need to eliminate all import tariffs.
In Liberty,
Arvin Vohra

Vice Chair, Libertarian Party

Author, Why Hillary Lost

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Stop with the free healthcare shit, you’re not a victim if you don’t have it, you’re not a victor if you do.

The solution to hard to afford healthcare is not free universal healthcare. We are seeing that. It creates animosity among the payers, and dependency upon the recipients. There are so many federal regulations in the way of actual market competition – which always drives down price – that need to be removed. Private citizens should be able to form associations and share The cost of healthcare the same way companies do for their employees. As it stands they cannot, insurance, should be able to cross state lines and offer their individual services & create competition to drive down price, as it stands they cannot. Insurance companies also can’t find any profit when I have to constantly compete against the so-called free government alternative. Much like private schools.
We’ve been sold a bill of goods that tells us we need coverage for every little scrape and cut we get, we do not. If Insurance policies with high deductibles that cover the catastrophic events in our life were more common, that would drive down price because doctors would be seeing more people with cash in hand for the little things, instead of being able to charge exorbitant prices knowing insurance will cover it.

The administration of these things costs a lot of money. The administration and bureaucracies in Washington giving us the free healthcare, which is not free, cost more than the medical expenses. Most of the Obama care bill is not about medicine.
And absolutely positively no conversation about insurance is complete until we talk about tort reform. Most medical expenses are so high because doctors have to cover their asses against frivolous lawsuits. Tort reform must come first. But congress is full of rx trial lawyers so

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What We saw At The whoa, Man’s March.

What we saw at The Women’s March

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Traitors, or as I call them, Unaware Libertarians 

Tylor, a gay man who works in the banking industry, spelled it out at the very start of a short documentary titled, “’Traitors’: The Minorities Who Support Donald Trump.”
“I’ve had more Christian Republicans accept me for being gay than I’ve had left-wing people accept me for being a gay conservative,” the 32-year-old said.

Tylor was joined on camera by three other millennials who also fall squarely in minority camps. But because their politics don’t fall in line with liberal thinking — and especially because of their support for the Republican president-elect — they said they’ve faced bouts of harassment and intolerance from the so-called tolerant left.
“They say that they’re for women, gays, people of color,” Tylor continued. “But what they’re really for is women, gays, people of color who vote Democrat.” He added that some liberals who disagree with his beliefs would “scream and call you racist sexist homophobic, bigot, transphobic.”

Tina, 26, is the the daughter of a former Vietnamese refugee and saw the same kind of intolerance from the left that Tylor did.
“It came down to the point of like, ‘Oh, I support your First Amendment right to free speech — unless it doesn’t apply to my opinion, then you’re wrong and you’re a disgrace and you’re a bigot and you’re a racist,’” she said on camera. “And you can’t just openly say, ‘Hey, I’m supporting Donald Trump.’”

A 21-year-old Portland State University student who called himself “Neil” and had his face blurred on the video told documentary director Andy Ngo that it’s difficult to hold conservative views as a “black mixed-race” person.
“You get kind of like excommunicated, you get harassed, your racial identity gets delegitimized,” he noted. “They’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re not a real black person.’ And they’ll say things like, ‘You’re an Uncle Tom,’ almost as if they subconsciously believe that they’re on some plantation.”

But amid all the noise, he said he sees Trump as actually caring about the downtrodden communities that Democrats long ago abandoned.
Adrian — a 20-year-old business major at PSU who is bisexual and comes from a Middle Eastern background — said he sees it as “ignorant and somewhat racist to assume a person of color wouldn’t vote conservative or Libertarian.”
He added with a smile during his interview that he can’t wait to see what Trump will do. 

Tylor — who said his big political issues are the economy and immigration — added that “the gay rights movement is just like an arm of the Democratic Party.”
“All the things that the gay rights leaders promote are things that don’t affect us directly,” he continued. “Their whole careers are invested in this culture of victimhood. So when there’s no one being victimized anymore, they have to keep it going and make people think they’re victimized so they can remain relevant or keep getting money or funding or whatever it is.”

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What you need to know about the Women’s march:

1. It’s not a women’s march. It’s a Democrat women’s march.
Some of the slogans, like “Pussy grabs back,” could apply women of any political persuasion. However, “My body, my choice” only applies to pro-choice women. There are plenty of pro-life women as well. Telling them to keep their opinions to themselves is literally mimicking the behavior of men from the 1600s.
The Democratic party’s favorite trick is to tell women and minorities that they are either Democrats or sellouts. But the fact is, there are plenty of women and minorities who are Libertarians, Republicans, Constitutionalists, Independents, and Greens.
The name “Women’s March” is literally designed to silence all women who disagree, of which, as this election shows, there are tens of millions. 
2. Beware of “yes ladders.” Democrats start protests by chanting something everyone agrees with (e.g., “It’s our America too!”) and gradually build up to to something preposterous (e.g. “RAISE MY TAXES!”)
They did this with the Occupy Movement. A movement that started out as unhappiness with the D&R Wallstreet Bailout was duped into literally supporting Federal Employee Labor Unions at various protests. 
If you hear a slogan you don’t like, I encourage you to yell out an opposing one.
3. Keep priorities in mind. Bombing foreigners is worse than locker room talk. So is the Drug War. So is the Patriot Act. The cynical purpose of many of these protests is to trick Democrats into believing that Barack Obama was some kind of saint, so that they will support whichever establishment drone they throw at you in 2020. It almost worked with Hillary Clinton, and there are plenty more establishment drones. 
Respectfully,
Arvin Vohra

Vice Chair, Libertarian Party

Author, Why Hillary Lost

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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