Author: Duane (page 1 of 11)

Seattle’s Gun And Ammo Tax – Did The Government Actually Want This Tax To Fail?

Last year, after a great deal of wrangling in the courts, Seattle instituted a tax on the sales of firearms and ammunition, of $25 per firearm and “between 2 to 5 cents” per round of ammunition.  The tax was supported by Seattle City Countil President Tim Burgess, who stated the following justification for the tax:

Burgess has said Seattle’s tax is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Solyanik and other critics of the ordinance have questioned that, saying the tax won’t raise much at all if it drives the city’s few remaining gun stores out of town.

Free Market Shooter has covered a litany of tax increases instituted by the state that have turned out to be complete failures.  Almost always, the state implements the tax expecting to collect revenue on previous tax receipts, with nothing factored into how citizens will alter their behavior to adjust for the tax.

But in the case of Seattle’s tax, did the state actually expect and want it to fail?

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Mainstream Media Has Managed To Politicize A Frivolous Lawsuit, And Used False Click-Bait Headlines To Do It

Over three years ago, The Daily Mail reported a story about a 16-year-old boy who died at a border crossing.  Allegedly, the boy was trying to pass off liquid methamphetamine as “apple juice” and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers asked him to prove it was indeed apple juice:

Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of San Ysidro reported that the boy appeared nervous and their suspicions grew when they found he was carrying two small containers of an amber-colored liquid that he claimed was juice.

The officers took the teen to an inspection area, where he drank some of the liquid, said San Diego police Lt. Mike Hastings.

After the autopsy a few months later, Yahoo (via the AP) posted a story with the title  “Mexican boy died from drinking liquid methamphetamine at San Diego border crossing” and provided additional context:

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The Mainstream Media Is Using “Trolling” As An Excuse To Censor The Right

Free Market Shooter was recently presented with an article from Vogue detailing the steps Google’s Yasmin Green is taking to become a “slayer” of internet trolls.  A few notable excerpts are below:

“We have that geopolitical lens,” Green tells me. “We have the mandate to think ahead, rather than respond to what’s happening at the moment. To think prophetically.”

“Our job is to get more and better information in the hands of vulnerable people,” she says.

“How can we illustrate this?” asks Green. How, in other words, can the threat be explained so that you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley programmer to understand it?

Does this sound at all to you like a simple reprogramming of search algorithms?  Because it sure reads a lot more like McCarthy-ist censorship.  And a closer look at Google’s strategy reveals that is exactly what Google intends to do, with right-wing news as the target.

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The Only Thing More Laughable Than WaPo Changing Their Headline, Is The Defense Of The Story Itself

Yesterday, Jeff Bezos’s blog, The Washington Post, posted an article with the headline “Immigrants Are Going Hungry So Trump Won’t Deport Them”.  An excerpt is below:

In the two months since President Trump’s inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noted a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP — and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program.

Their fear, advocates say, is that participation could draw the eye of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or hurt their chances of attaining citizenship. Without federal nutrition benefits, many are resorting to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed themselves and their children.

The evidence is still anecdotal — and The Washington Post was unable to speak directly with immigrants who chose to cancel their SNAP benefits.

But all it took was one astute Twitter user to show the world that the headline they posted wasn’t the original one.

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Monsanto Collusion With EPA Brings About The Question: Is The Swamp Too Big To Drain?

Yesterday, Zerohedge published an article detailing the agribusiness giant Monsanto being caught red-handed colluding with the EPA regarding their weed-killer Roundup:

Finally, when all else fails, you call in those “special favors” in Washington D.C. that you’ve paid handsomely for over the years.

And that’s where Jess Rowland, the EPA’s Deputy Division Director for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and chair of the Agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee, comes in to assure you that he’s fully exploiting his role as the “chair of the CARC” to kill any potentially damaging research…”if I can kill this I should get a medal.” 

It’s not as if this is the first time Monsanto has used its political influence to skirt the law and market their dangerous products to consumers, not just in the U.S. but globally.  They even admitted as much in 2005, when the company paid a fine for bribing an Indonesian official:

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The Mainstream Media Is Helping Preet Bharara Politicize A Typical Executive Action

On Friday, the Department of Justice asked for the resignations of 46 US attorneys.  As a DoJ spokesperson pointed out, this is standard operating procedure when a new administration takes office:

“As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice. The attorney general has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed US attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said.

Of the 46 US attorneys, only one refused to tender his resignation as per the request of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, a high-profile Obama appointee in the prominent New York City district that prosecuted so many big cases.  So since he refused to resign, Sessions did what Trump had previously done so many times on his show The Apprentice… he fired him:

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Stephen Colbert’s Pizzagate Criticism Omitted A Major Conflict Of Interest

When Pizzagate was making headlines late last year, Stephen Colbert was incredibly dismissive of the saga, and slandered anyone who would dare question its authenticity.  Back in December (not long before this article was posted), he did a 10-minute segment on his show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where as the Daily Beast covered, he did everything possible to slander Pizzagate contributors but call for their prosecution:

“A conspiracy is what villains do. An agreement is what adults do,” he said. “Look around the country. Wouldn’t you agree we need some more adults? So WikiLeaks, Alex Jones, and the subreddit sub-geniuses—and I mean this in the nicest way possible: grow the fuck up.”

The entire segment, which has little if any comedic value and is more of a rant, is below:

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Why Force Parents To Keep Their Children In Failing Public Schools?

The nomination of Betsy DeVos was fraught with criticism from the left.  She was derided for having “no experience with public education, no political experience, no government administrative experience,” and her support for school vouchers/charter schools, among many other things.  Notably, most of the criticism came from educators, many of them members of the teachers’ unions, who have had many years and more than enough funding to fix failing public schools, with little (if any) success.

Which all begs the question – if your student is enrolled at a failing public institution, why should he/she be forced to remain enrolled there?

Recently, someone shared the experience of “Madeline” (the mother of a Philadelphia school student) and “Steve” (the student himself).  Their names have been changed for the purpose of this article, which as Madeline explains, is more than likely necessary, so they do not face reprisal from public school educators and administrators.  For her and her son, having a choice has meant the difference between years wasted in a failing school, and a real chance at a real education.

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If You Think Your Job Is One That Cannot Be Automated, You’re In For A Rude Awakening

It is pretty accepted knowledge that a number of lower-skilled jobs will disappear in the coming 5-10 years, due to the human element being replaced by autonomous machines.  One of the most at-risk professions is that of Truck Driver, which as 13D Research points out, is one of the no.1 reasons you rarely (if ever) hear President Trump discuss automation in the workplace:

A widely circulated NPR graphic shows “truck driver” was the most common job in more than half of the U.S. states in 2014?—?in part because how the Bureau of Labor Statistics sorts common jobs, such as educators, into small groups. Indeed, truck driving is one of the last jobs standing that affords good pay (median salary for tractor-trailer drivers, $40,206) and does not require a college degree. According to the American Trucking Association, there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the U.S. Entire businesses (think restaurants and motels) and hundreds of small communities, supporting an additional 5.2 million people, have been built around serving truckers crisscrossing the nation. That’s 8.7 million trucking-related jobs. It also represents one of Trump’s most important voting blocs?—?working-class men.

And while it may be further out on the timeline, if you think your job requires a higher, special element of skill and mental acuity that just cannot be automated, you are probably very mistaken.  In fact, there are few (if any) jobs in which a machine would be inferior to a person.  And this is not as far out in the future as you may think.

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Snapchat’s Absurd Valuation Illustrates The Dangers Of Shorting Overvalued Companies

Snapchat Logo

On March 2nd, Snapchat (SNAP) had its initial public offering (IPO) of shares.  Raising $3.4 billion by selling shares for $17, the shares quickly traded higher, closing at $24.48.  Trading $26.56 at the time this article was written, the shares reached an intraday high of $29.44 the morning of March 3rd.

As Zerohedge and MarketWatch covered, nearly all institutions have put a price target far below the current price level, finding the stock to be far overvalued:

In the past day since Snap’s SNAP, +12.07%  market debut, there have been at least six coverage initiations from brokerages on Wall Street. Morningstar initiated coverage with a $15 fair value on the stock, Pivotal Research initiated with a selling rating and $10 target, Instinet initiated with a reduce rating and a $16 rating, Atlantic Equities initiated with a hold rating and $14 target, Aegis Capital initiated with a $22 target and SIG Susquehanna initiated with a neutral rating and $22 target.

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