Donald J “Smoot-Hawley” Trump – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Here we are again – our government doing what they do best – picking winners and losers. President Trump has done a lot of good things for this nation thus far, but protectionist tariffs aren’t one of them.

The first protectionist tariff, the “Dallas” tariff, was enacted in 1816. It happened again in 1824, in 1828, the infamous “Tariff of Abominations,” in 1832 to fix the problem in 1828 (which it didn’t), and in 1842, the “Black” tariff.

All these were passed to benefit the Northern States at the expense of the South, and all were major contributing factors in the run-up to the Civil War. No, the Civil War was not just about slavery.

And then there was the infamous “Smoot-Hawley” tariff of 1930. It was named after its authors, Utah Senator Reed Smoot and Oregon Congressman Willis Hawley. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.

By the time 1930 rolled around, practically every legislator had added protections to Smoot-Hawley for their states’ industries. The bill ended up with proposed tariffs on 20,000 individual imported goods. Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? It’s why bills are thousands of pages long – to attempt to hide such things.

This time, instead of agriculture, our government has chosen the American Aluminum and Steel industries to be the temporary winners. Yay! read more

Graffiti Artists Make Big Bucks

by: Brent Smith at The Common Constitutionalist

Warehouse building owner discovers the hard way that he really can’t do what he wants with his own building.

What would happen if your young child drew all over his or her bedroom walls? Of course as a doting parent, you would say it was art. I mean – what’s a coat of paint. It’s not worth getting upset about. The child is too young to understand anyway. So instead you say: “You did such a great job I think we’ll just leave it be.” And accept it you do, at least for a while, as the work of art it was intended. You even have him or her sign it, or make some sort of identifying mark to make their own.

Now years go by and your son or daughter is grown up and moves out. You then decide to rid the room of the once great work of art. But wait…not so fast. Instead of the shoulder shrug response you would expect from the lad or lass, he or she protests, and doesn’t want you to defile the masterpiece. What then?

You pull out the old, “This is my house” card and paint over it. A month or so goes by and you receive a letter from an attorney. It seems your child is suing you for damages under 17 U.S. Code § 106A – Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity. read more

New Flu Pill Works in One Day – And You Can’t Have It

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Many of us don’t think much of the flu, other than the warnings on commercials for various remedies, that it’s cold and flu season. It’s never been thought of as a killer disease or affliction.

However, the fact is that Worldwide, the flu has become an epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, “these annual [flu] epidemics to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 290 000 to 650 000 deaths.”

Up to 650,000 deaths worldwide from an illness, that until recently we’ve put in the same class as the common cold.

But one might say – okay, that’s worldwide, and worldwide means a lot more third world nations with poor healthcare than developed nations. Yes, to some extent this is true, and it skews the curve as it were, but even here in America, influenza kills about 50,000 per year. That’s 137 Americans dying every day. In fact, it’s number eight of the top 10 killer diseases in America – above kidney disease and approaching the same level as number seven, diabetes.

But fear not, for a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Shionogi & Co. has developed a drug that is capable of killing the flu virus in a single day. That’s right – one pill – one day. read more

We Don’t Need a Tide Pod Protection Law

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Another stupid law proposed by Nursemaid legislators to try to govern every aspect of our lives. Will we ever learn that we cannot legislate stupidity out of society? Guess not.

This time it is a law proposed only by the State of New York, but I wouldn’t expect this safety edict to be limited to just one State. Sooner or later, some Congressman or Senator will pickup the ball and run with it – straight to Capital Hill.

As with many eventual decrees handed down by tyrannical busy-body progressives, it starts first with a request, or in this case an “urging.” It is then followed with a threatening demand, as in the case in New York.

New York State of Politics writes that, “While our legislation would only protect New Yorkers, we urge Procter & Gamble and all manufacturers of colorful detergent pods to offer the same protections to the nation and immediately commit to the precautions set forth in our legislation,” wrote the lawmakers, Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas.

“It’s time that you recognized the danger to those least able to protect themselves from a poisonous product packaged like candy. If not, these products should be removed from store shelves as soon as possible.” Leftists do like to make demands. read more

No More Besties

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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In 1968 singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson wrote and performed a theme song for a television program entitled, “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” starring the original Bruce Banner, Bill Bixby. The song was called, “Best Friend.”

Little did Harry know at the time, but his song should have been entitled, “Best Friends are bad and Exclusionary.” At least that’s the way one psychologist sees it.

In an article for US News & World Report, Dr. Barbara Greenberg asks: “Should Schools Ban Kids From Having Best Friends?”

Yes, you read that right. And just like most wacky leftist ideas, this too originates in Europe. “I am always fascinated by trends. And I am especially intrigued by the emerging trend among European schools, and now some American schools as well, to ban best friends,” writes the good Doctor. She adds that, “This, to me, seems like a Herculean task. The notion of choosing best friends is deeply embedded in our culture. Nonetheless, there is, in my opinion, merit to the movement to ban having best friends.”

Can you see where this is going? It may seem like just a silly notion, but it’s not. It’s actually part of something much larger and much more disturbing. read more

Does Apple Need to Curb Your Child’s Smartphone Use?

from IBD:

No, Apple Is Not Responsible For Your Kids’ Smartphone Addiction

Apple is now coming under fire from two big investors for not doing enough to curb childhood addiction to smartphones. What’s next? Government warnings and a class-action lawsuit against Big Smartphone.

In an “open letter” to Apple, Janus Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — which combined own roughly $2 billion in Apple stock — scolded Apple for failing to “take steps” to curb overuse of smartphones by children.

The letter goes on at great length citing research into the harmful effects of too much smartphone use — from increased risk of depression and suicide risk to sleep and learning problems. read more

Podcast – The Sugar Tax – A Study of Cartoon Dialect

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The city of Seattle Washington has just instituted a massive tax on sugary beverages that is already hitting consumers hard. The tax is almost doubling the cost of sugary drinks. Consumers and small businesses are upset by it, but matters not to the Nanny State politicians and egg heads who are doing this for our own good.

Two academics have taken it upon themselves to study the dialects of childrens’ cartoon characters, and have found something both startling and apparently disturbing. Virtually all good guys (and girls) portrayed in cartoons have American accents, but villains are predominantly represented with English accents. This, they say, is a problem, because, as we know, Americans, particularly white Americans, are not supposed to be the good guys. read more

Social Democracy Won’t Work in America

from the Washington Examiner:

What liberals and progressives get so horribly wrong about taxes

It’s a consistent complaint that those wondrous social democracies over in Europe get so much more from government, so why can’t we here in the U.S.? Some advocating this are even willing to make the (true) point that to get so much more from government, we’ll all have to pay so much more, as they do, in taxes.

Well, as long as people are willing to point out both sides of this, that we can only get “free” healthcare and college if we pay for it, then that’s fine. It becomes an argument over what is either efficient or fair as a method of delivering those things which we know we’re going to have, healthcare and college. read more

Trump’s War on Women Continues

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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The left is once again in melt down mode over Trump’s latest supposed war on something they hold dear. This time it is the President’s wanton disregard for ObamaCare’s mandate requiring free contraception and his “administration’s increasingly bizarre war on abortion.”

The New York Times writes in an article entitled, “Why Judges Matter,” that the Trump administration is attempting to block access to abortions for “undocumented teenagers” and employee access to birth control.

As if right on cue, a leftist hack federal district court judge in Philadelphia, Wendy Beetlestone, stepped in and blocked the administration’s attempt at both saving human life and providing for employer’s religious and moral objection to contraception.

Imagine the lengths the left will go through to get these young illegals to this country safely and insist they stay at any cost, only to authorize and encourage the murder of one after they arrive. This is exactly what they are proposing, by offering free and easy abortions to illegals. read more

Net Neutrality Finally on the Chopping Block

from IBD:

Net Neutrality Advocates Are Modern-Day Snake Oil Salesmen

When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to repeal the Obama administration’s heavy-handed “net neutrality” regulations, critics acted as if the world were coming to an end. Actual consumers, however, aren’t likely to notice any difference, because the “problem” those rules were supposed to solve has always been wildly exaggerated.

Net neutrality sounds at first blush like a noble goal. Internet service providers shouldn’t, the argument goes, be allowed to favor some traffic over others, either by throttling speeds, charging more or taking any other action that discriminates against bits of data crossing their network.

But to enforce the rules, the Obama administration had to treat ISPs as if they were monopoly phone providers, which let the government not only impose net neutrality requirements, but gave it sweeping authority to regulate everything the ISPs did. read more