Posts Tagged ‘Regulation’

Rick Perry Comes Out For Marijuana Decriminalization

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Rick Perry has come out for marijuana decriminalization and for states rights on legalization (though he still opposes legalization himself).

This makes Perry objectively more pro-legalization that former frequent choom-abuser Barack Obama.

This will be a great surprise to people who know Perry only from the liberal caricature of him in their head, or who haven’t been following the intellectual debate among conservatives, which has leaned toward the “legalize it, regulate it and tax it” position for almost a quarter century now.

Perry has been a staunch supporter of the Tenth Amendment and States Rights. To reiterate what I’ve said before, I oppose the War on Drugs for reasons of general principles (it’s not the purpose of government to save people from themselves), the specific application of constitutional federalism (the Commerce Clause should not apply to the regulation of drugs manufactured and sold within the confines of a single state), and for reasons of budgetary philosophy (making drugs illegal has expanded the size and power of the federal government while increasing the budget deficit; legalizing, regulating and taxing drugs would reduce both the deficit and the harm to individuals and society). My position is not uncommon among conservatives, Republicans, or members of the Tea Party.

So liberals: Stop acting shocked when conservatives come out for decriminalization and legalization. The only reason it is a shock is that you refuse to listen.

Hot Stuff

Friday, January 10th, 2014

A couple of days ago I mentioned that hot sauce maker Sriracha had been temprarily shut down due to more stringent California regulations.

Now the followup: In good news for pho restaurants everywhere, Huy Fong Foods announced that Sriracha shipments will resume by the end of the month.

Moreover, Texas Republican state representative Jason Villalba has invited them to come on over to Texas.

Villalba, who has been in office for a little under a year, happens to be a Sriracha fan, but he’s looking to move the company for more than personal reasons. He notes in his letter that in Texas there are no personal or corporate state income taxes and a plentiful non-union labor pool. He also mentions that Forbes Magazine named Texas the best climate in the country to grow a business.

“The great state of Texas would welcome you and your employees with open arms if you would consider moving…” reads the letter. “…Texas could provide you with exactly what you need to continue to grow, build and maximize the opportunities of Huy Fong Foods.”

Houston Democratic state rep Gene Wu has also invited them over as well.

No word on whether they’re considering moving or not, but plenty of California businesses have already relocated from California’s failing blue state model to Texas’ booming economy, so it’s certainly possible…

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

Today’s Most infuriating Quote

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Via Dwight comes a link to this Jonathan Chait piece in New York magazine. Which contained this gem of prevarication:

Bloomberg’s health crusade is so unusual because it embraces a political mode usually associated with the right. Conservatives favor regulation of vice and personal behavior, especially related to sex, because they believe that the state has a legitimate role in shaping the culture. Traditional social values, they believe, undergird stable families and a well-functioning community. Liberals traditionally want to remove the government from regulating personal behavior and to deploy it only in the economic realm.

That quote might have had some nodding relationship to reality in, oh, 1980 or so. But it’s certainly not conservatives who have been pushing to:

  • Ban civilian firearms ownership
  • Increase tobacco taxes
  • Ban incandescent light bulbs
  • Force Catholics to pay for abortions
  • Ban “high flow” toilets
  • Ban “hate speech”
  • Ban plastic bags
  • Ban transfats
  • Ban crosses and managers on public land
  • Ban liquor stores in black neighborhoods
  • Ban talk radio
  • Ban government use of the word “Christmas”
  • Ban SUVs, or any other vehicle that get insufficiently “virtuous” gas mileage
  • Ban genetically modified foods
  • Ban foie gras
  • And don’t forget that the “War on Drugs” was an extremely bipartisan affair, with Hubert Humphrey, Joe Biden and Tip O’Neil all among its enthusiastic backers.
  • Etc.
  • This poster makes many of the same points:

    The idea that modern (as opposed to classical) liberals “want to remove the government from regulating personal behavior” is a naked, vainglorious, self-flattering lie on Chait’s part, and only someone living in the coastal Liberal Reality Bubble could possibly type it with a straight face.

    Should Someone With Downs Syndrome be Allowed To Fight MMA?

    Monday, August 19th, 2013

    Florida stopped a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight between two consenting adults because they have disabilities. Garrett Holeve is a 23-year-old with Down’s Syndrome, while 28-year-old David Steffin has cerebral palsy.

    Here’s a profile of Holeve:

    Should Flordia allow an adult with Downs Syndrome to fight in an MMA event?

    It appears on the surface that this is a hard case, given that MMA blows could reduce Holeve’s already diminished mental capacity. But it’s really not:

    1. Is Holeve a free adult citizen of the United States? If so, he’s free to make up his own mind.

    2. If Holeve is not a free adult, but is a ward of his parents, it is up to them to give their consent. As the above video makes clear, his father has determined that the benefits Garrett Holeve gets from MMA training and fighting (increased concentration and drive, greater physical well-being, etc.) outweigh the risk of injury.
    3. Only if Garrett Holeve were a ward of the state of Florida should that state get to decide what he should do with his life. That is clearly not the case here.

    If I had a Downs Syndrome son, I probably wouldn’t enroll him in an MMA program. But Garrett Holeve isn’t my son, and it’s not my call to make. Nor is it that of the state. The job of the state is not to protect people from themselves.

    Let him fight.

    Texas vs. California Update for February 21, 2013

    Thursday, February 21st, 2013

    Another Texas vs. California update! And I don’t even have a line item on how the Houston Rockets picked the Sacramento Kings’ pockets’ in yesterday’s trade.

  • All of TPPF’s Texas vs. California updates in one handy place.
  • California is raising taxes and decreasing services.
  • Mainly because pension funding is crowding out everything else.
  • Good news for California: They got $5 billion more in revenues than they expected in January. The bad news? It was only “an accounting anomaly.”
  • California voters approved a few modest pension reforms last fall. Naturally, unions are sponsoring legislation to have them overturned.
  • Logic: “No amount of legal argument can sidestep the grim numbers facing San Bernardino. The City Council and employee unions alike should recognize a basic fiscal fact: The city will never climb out of bankruptcy without reining in personnel costs.” Unions: You and your oppressive math and logic can die in a fire.
  • Who says California’s high taxes and excessive regulation are driving businesses away? According to The Sacramento Business Journal, 54% of Californians.
  • One reason businesses flock to Texas from California is lawsuit reform. Texas has it, California doesn’t. “For decades, its leaders have consistently pursued policies that promote excessive litigation, making it among the most litigious states. These policies create obstacles for the new and small businesses that drive California’s economy and have allowed abusive lawsuits to delay or halt projects.”
  • The Economist sniffs that Texas’ spending restraint meant the state spent less than the could have. That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.
  • Liberal compares Rick Perry to Stalin because Texas won’t spend as much as liberals think they should. I’m sure we all can agree that was the very worst thing about old Joe Stalin: Fiscal restraint.
  • The Joys of Watching Matt Yglesias Miss The Point

    Monday, February 4th, 2013

    It’s always fun to watch liberals stub their toes against reality. This time around it’s JournoLista Matthew Yglesias who is shocked, shocked to discover that trying to start a small business (in his case renting out a spare house) is wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape. When this was pointed out to him on Twitter, he protested that he had often complained about local government red tape. Fine and dandy, but why is he such an enthusiast for big government at the federal level?

    His dichotomy of thought seems to suggest there are several blind-spots in his understanding of economics (a rather significant drawback for a journalist who regularly write about economics). Watching him fail to draw the obvious conclusions on the baleful effect of big government on small business is almost priceless in its cluelessness. Let’s discuss a few of the many, many ideas that never seemed to have occurred to him, shall we?

  • In ways big and small, every single day is like what Yglesias described for small business dealing with big government.
  • Trudging between bureaucrats, Yglesias should have thought to himself: “ObamaCare will be 1000 times worse for small business than this.” Because it will be. But of course he can’t do that, given what a cheerleader he is for ObamaCare and how he belittled business owner concerns. But it’s always different when it happens to you.
  • The idea that red tape scales (at a minimum) with the size of government does not seem to have occurred to him.
  • And excessive red tape begets excessive local red tape complying with federal mandates.
  • It’s like he never heard of Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.
  • He complains that the process he had to go through could have been made more efficient. What does he think all those Democratic patronage machine jobs are for?
  • If he’s been writing about economics for years, but is just now discovering the problems of how big government slows down business, you wonder: Does he never get out of DC? He could have picked up the phone and talked to real business owners who work outside the Liberal Reality Bubble and discovered all this many many years ago.
  • Bureaucratic inefficiencies are much like cockroaches: for every instance you see, there are thousands you don’t. And just like cockroaches, they swarm and multiply off in the dark while you’re not looking.
  • I’m going to bet that Yglesias has never read James Q. Wilson’s Bureaucracy.
  • And yet there’s a certain perverse pleasure in watching Yglesias wrestle with the problems of big government and not draw the obvious conclusion. It’s like watching a man hold the 6th piece of a 6-piece jigsaw puzzle, look back and forth between the piece and hole and declare “I just don’t understand!” It’s like watching a blind man suddenly given sight and see the elephant he had been feeling for the first time in his life, then resolutely put on opaque glasses and mutter “No, that can’t be it.” Or like Butt-Head trying to figure out what happened to his TV:

    He can’t figure it out because he won’t let himself figure it out. Too much of his own self-love is tied up in the notion that he’s good because he’s a liberal, and liberals are good because big government is good in and of itself. For every maddening piece of red tape, somewhere out there was a Matthew Yglesias who thought that having government run and regulate something was just a swell idea.

    You do it to yourself, you do. And that’s what really hurts…

    A Dollop of Gun News

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    Lots of news in the world of guns and the Second Amendment today, so here’s a quick lunchtime roundup:

  • So Obama has issued his executive orders on guns. The good news is that the Executive Orders themselves are not nearly as bad as many feared, at least on the surface. But remember that if you give Obama a constitutional inch, he’ll take an unconstitutional mile. His requested legislation, with restoration of the cosmetic Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban and other such mischief, are a different kettle of fish, but I’m cautiously optimistic that none of them will pass muster in the Republican House.
  • Hell even Harry Reid says that the “Assault Weapons” ban is doomed.
  • The title pretty much says it all: Joe Manchin: Lying Sack of Shit on Guns.
  • All Obama’s proposed legislation is just the latest in a long line of passing
    gun laws that in no way would have prevented the crimes they were passed in reaction to
    . (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)

  • “The D.C. gun control laws irrationally prevent only law abiding citizens from owning handguns.”
  • Cracked, of all places, offers up a dose of perspective. “Gun violence has, generally speaking, been working out pretty spiffy for us.” The writer’s suggestions are as useless as the “Assault Weapon” ban, but are at least less harmful.
  • An average of 22 children a year are killed on school buses or in bus loading zones. Where’s the outcry for bus safety?
  • Mark Steyn notes that for MSM elites, laws are for the little people.
  • Ruger’s automatic letter generator for your congresscritters.
  • Jeff Soyer at Alphecca could use your help.
  • Travis County Gun Show Ban Shot Down, Stuffed, and Mounted on the Wall

    Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

    Today law-abiding gun owners declared total victory over the gun-grabbing plans of the Travis County Commissioner’s Court:

    Travis County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to reverse course on a proposal that would have banned gun shows from county facilities.

    Commissioners also agreed to honor an existing contract for nine more gun shows at the Exposition Center.

    “I take very seriously the idea of abiding by the law. State law prevents this court from doing much of anything on this issue,” Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt said.

    I think it’s great that Travis County Commissioners are actually concerned about obeying the law. Maybe the could spread that attitude to certain other officeholders.

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the NRA-ILA a large share of credit for derailing this very bad idea, as do Dwight and all the other gun owners who stood up and made their voices heard,

    Hopefully the gun-grabbers on the Austin City Council will take the hint.

    Brief Impressions of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2013 Policy Orientation

    Monday, January 14th, 2013

    I enjoyed attending what little I could of the Texas Public Policy Foundation 2013 policy orientation held January 9-11. Here are a few quick and largely random impressions:

    Because I just started a new day job, I wasn’t able to attend until Thursday evening, which meant I got to enjoy Austin’s lovely rush-hour traffic on Mopac and only got to hear about half of Ted Cruz’s pre-recorded message. (Cruz was originally scheduled to appear with Sen. John Cornyn, but had to fly off to Afghanistan and Israel on a Senate Foreign Relations trip. Cruz also appeared at lunch that day, a session I was unable to attend.) Then it was time for Texas’ senior U.S. Senator, John Cornyn, to be interviewed.

    He defended the Fiscal Cliff deal as necessary to avoid a huge tax increase. He talked about the Senate’s inability to pass a budget. “Shame doesn’t work on Harry Reid.”

    On foreign and defense policy, he noted (correctly) that keeping the American people safe is the number one responsibility of government. Cornyn says he’s opposing the nomination of Chuck Hagel and dinged Obama over Benghazi. “If the President and his Administration had been honest about Benghazi, they’re wouldn’t have been a scandal.” (Paraphrased.)

    Cornyn also displayed a certain tone-deafness in regard to his audience. When asked to mention possible 2016 GOP Presidential candidates, the first name Cornyn mentioned was NJ Governor Chris Christie, which drew audible groans and hisses from the audience, for good reason.

    After the Cornyn speech there was a blogger met-and-great at Rivals Steakhouse. I met a bevy of state Reps whose names quickly blurred together, as well as Ashley Sewell, AKA @TXTrendyChick, who I had already been following on Twitter, and a bunch of other bloggers. Most interesting bit of off-the-record gossip: Confirmation of my Rick Perry hopped-up on goofballs theory. “When I saw him running around Iowa in flats I knew he was in a lot of pain. The man practically sleeps in boots.”

    On Friday, I took a long lunch to attend the Newt Gingrich luncheon and signing. I sat one seat down from the indefatigable Holly Hansen (who has her own, far more extensive coverage), and @TXTrendyChick promptly plopped down between us. Obviously our table was the place to be.

    I get to hang out with all the cool chicks!

    Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was Gingrich’s warm-up speaker. Dewhurst has improved somewhat since his losing Senate race against Ted Cruz last year, but he’s still not a natural speaker. He tries to cram too many policy points into a speech, and isn’t skilled enough to distinguish between major and minor points. When it comes to conservative policy, he seems to know the words, but doesn’t hear the music.

    Dewhurst’s four points as to why Texas is doing better than any other state (1. We keep our spending low, 2. Keep our taxes low, 3. A light regulatory hand, and 4. Keep state government out of the way) were all very solid. He also promised additional budget cutting; let’s hope he follows through.

    Most interesting parts of Dewhurst’s speech: A clumsily-phrased plea for welfare reform (“I’m not going to pay people to sit on the couch and do drugs,” a proclamation that will no doubt disappoint many members of Occupy Wall Street), and a proposal to arm teachers in the classroom.

    Gingrich came on stage to a standing ovation. He said it was unfair for other states to compete with Texas, since we weren’t raising taxes and spending like California. (This is what people call “sarcasm.”)

    This was definitely Gingrich 2.0 (or maybe 8.6), an idea-a-minute futurist (I’d like to see him and Bruce Sterling bounce off each other for a couple of hours someday). He was saying things about America 2.0, ubiquitous diagnostic cell phones as a health care initiative, having the programmers behind World of Warcraft come up with ways to teach our kids, and puters mkn kdz wrt btr (I iz skptical). It was even more scatter-shot than Dewhurst, but seemed a lot more organic. And he had one truly fascinating factoid: Students taking Stanford’s online classes did better on tests than the ones taking classes in person.

    Gingrich seems genuinely optimistic about America’s future, which is a nice contrast with many of us after the 2012 election.

    After the speech I managed to get him to sign two books for me, To Renew America, and Jim Wright’s Reflections of a Public Man, which he was quite amused by.

    A few more luminaries:

    State Senator Larry Taylor

    State Rep Marsha Farney

    A very dapper Chuck DeVore. He wasn’t born in Texas, but he got here as quickly as he could.

    Hey girl, it’s Josh Trevino!

    Apologies to anyone I didn’t mention, didn’t run into, or didn’t get a picture of (some just didn’t come out well). It was a busy two days!

    And congratulations to TPPF honcho David Guenthner and his many minions, for all the hard work in carrying this off:

    In addition to the copy of Texas Got it Right handed out to everyone, David thrust a copy of DeVore’s The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State into my hands. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to say more about both in the not-so-distant future.

    Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

    Dwight has now put up even more extensive contact information for Austin City Council and Travis County bigwigs, complete with linkable, clickable goodness, providing a more efficient way to express your displeasure over the proposed gun show ban.

    Also, here’s Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson debating a gun grabber on the subject:

    And here’s a KXAN piece on the issue, including the Abbott news I put up yesterday. Notice how the writer ends with “Both Biscoe and Eckhardt are Democrats. Abbott is a Republican.” Funny that no news outlet felt the need to mention the political affiliation of these seeking gun control (including Ed Scruggs, the Travis County resident initially reported as seeking such a ban, who also happens to be the founder of Circle C Democrats) until a Republican got involved in opposing them.