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

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

Trump is a Regulation Slashing Machine

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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As I have said many times over the past several months – that left to his own, President Trump is getting a lot accomplished, and virtually all of it is conservative-friendly. I’ve also stated ad nauseum, that I wasn’t a Trumpster, but have begun to come around. I will still never be a Trump apologist or mouthpiece. You know – those who go on Fox News and excuse everything the man has ever done, or will do. That’s just absurd.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. With all he’s had to contend with this past year, he’s done a remarkable job. Just imagine where we could be if the establishment would have given up their quest to torpedo his Presidency and come along for the ride.

One thing he’s begun, but not near completed, is government regulatory restraint. It is not as glitzy, and seemingly not as important as elections or scandals, but in fact, it as at least as important, if not more so, in the grand scheme of things.

And why is this? Well, I’ll you why. read more

Congress – Do Your Job and End the CFPB

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created out of the disaster that is Dodd-Frank. Mark Levin claims it is unconstitutional. And if he says it is – it is. It clearly violates the separation of powers in the Constitution.

In fact, in 2016, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the mere structure of the CFPB violates Article II of the Constitution, as it gives broad, unchecked authority to a single individual – the director of the Bureau. Writing the majority opinion, Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote that, “When the CFPB was established, it was structured to be headed by a single director rather than a multi-member commission. The director wields ‘enormous power,’ with the power to enforce 19 federal consumer protection statutes. The director can alone decide what rules to issue, how to enforce the laws, and what sanctions to impose.”

“No head of an independent agency has operated without a check on his or her authority—until now,” added Kavanaugh. It makes the director, radical leftists Richard Cordray, “In essence, the President of Consumer Finance,” and “the single most powerful official in the entire U.S. government, other than the president.” 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

Economics of Bacon and Natural Disasters

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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You may have noticed that the price of bacon is off the charts. I know I have. It appears to have basically doubled in the last months. Why?

It’s simple – supply and demand. Over the last few year demand for everything bacon has skyrocketed. It seems bacon is in everything. There is Maple Bacon ice cream for dogs. There are bacon cream Oreos, bacon flavored gumballs, bacon mayonnaise, bacon toothpaste and Amazon sells Lester’s bacon soda. I love bacon, but ick!

In February, Business Insider explained the effect the demand for bacon has had on the industry.

The country’s supply of frozen pork belly — the meat used to make bacon — fell from 53.4 million pounds in December 2015 to 17.8 million pounds in December 2016. That’s the lowest level the nation’s pork reserve has been at since 1957, according to US Department of Agriculture data. “Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, the president of the Ohio Pork Council, said in a statement highlighting the data. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

What we’re witnessing are naturally occurring market forces at work – basic economics – supply and demand, and why the cost of bacon has increased so much. As demand outstrips supply, prices naturally increase. If it didn’t, soon there would be no supply left. The free market, left to its own devices, devoid of government meddling, will then re-balance itself, allowing supply to catch up with demand. Bacon will then return to more reasonable prices.

Put it this way. You go to store to purchase something. For this scenario, it doesn’t matter what it is. Luckily, you happen upon a store offering the product at 50% off. Why? read more

Our Government is Being Taken Over From Within

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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We Constitutionalists have been warning America, for as long as I can remember, that the federal government will eventually grow to a size that is “too big to fail.”

Well, according to one author, that time is now. And because America sat back, content to watch the behemoth feed and grow, we are now witnessing an administrative coup.

The following are excerpts from an article at The Federalist entitled, “We Are Watching A Slow-Motion Coup D’etat.”

In this rather lengthy article (which is why I am merely sharing excerpts), the author, James Downton, astutely describes that we are currently witnessing a takeover of our government and our nation by the unelected Bureaucratic State.

Despite the length of the article, I would encourage everyone to read it. It’s well worth it. Downton doesn’t appear to be a particular fan of President Trump – just of small ‘r’ republicanism.

From the Article:

It’s nearly incontrovertible that a slow-motion coup d’etat is now taking place. Since November 9, 2016, forces within the U.S. government, media, and partisan opposition have aligned to overthrow the Electoral College winner, Donald Trump. read more

In Georgia – It’s Uber/Lyft 1 – Union Hacks 0

According to Forbes contributor and Communications Associate for the Institute of Justice Nick Sibilla, The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling dismissing a lawsuit alleging that a bill which allowed Uber and Lyft to operate in the state was unconstitutional.

The complaint by taxi companies centers around state law that requires taxi companies to operate under a “medallion system.” These “medallions” or “certificate of public necessity and convenience” (CPNC) permit taxi drivers to operate within a city or town. Over 20 years ago, the city of Atlanta determined that it would only allow 1,600 medallions for that city.

The cost of obtaining a medallion sat as high as $80,000 in 2015, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constituion.

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Pro-Business Republicans Still Meddling in the Private Sector

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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I thought the swamp was supposed to be drained, or at least draining – because this is pretty swampish. This incident is a shining example of the hyper-regulated State.

On April 9, Congress intends to drag Oscar Munoz and Scott Kirby, the Chief Executive Officer and President respectively of UAL, parent company of United Airlines, to testify regarding a passenger, the now famous Dr. David Dao. Recall that the doctor was forcibly removed, dragged out and screaming like a girl, by authorities when he refused to vacate a United Airlines flight.

Many might say that no – they’re not being dragged before Congress – they are voluntarily testifying. Right. When the all-powerful federal government requests your presence at a hearing, is it really advisable to decline?

My feelings toward Dr. Dao not withstanding, this was the dumbest move United could have made – and boy are they paying for it now.

All that aside, can anyone please tell me how or why the federal House of Representatives has the right or authority to summon the head of a privately owned corporation for something which is clearly none of the government’s business? read more

New Sheriff at the FCC Will Undo Net Neutrality

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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Free speech has been on the lips of many these days. In conservative circles, it has usurped most other news. To some extent it should, for without it, where would we be?

Of the many free speech issues, none has received more press than has the UC Berkeley vs. Anne Coulter flap. This issue goes to heart of free speech and the Constitution.

The right claims that Ms. Coulter has the right to speak and that her “speech” should be protected, just as any leftist speaker would be. Of course at Berkeley, a leftist speaker would more likely be canonized than protested and shut down.

While the issue of Anne Coulter’s right to speak at Berkeley and her guaranteed safety is an important one, a recent Trump appointment that may affect all our free speech should be getting a lot more press than the college speaking circuit. read more