The Arena

Why Texas Is Booming
Posted March 27, 2014 by Nathanael Ferguson

Alexis Garcia at Reason explores the reasons why The Texas Model has our state booming in a nationally down economy. It should be pointed out that while we are energy rich, the Texas Model isn’t predicated on energy production. It’s predicated on sound conservative policies of low taxes, low regulation, reasonable tort laws, and a predisposition to enabling individual liberty. Any state can copy the Texas Model and get Texas-like results!

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Irony Alert: Pro Gun Control CA Lawmaker Arrested For Arms Trafficking
Posted by Nathanael Ferguson

Why do those who work the hardest to infringe on our civil rights and tell us how to live our lives always seem to reserve the right not to practice what they preach? Via Breitbart, “CA State Sen. Leland Yee Indicted for Arms Trafficking After Supporting Assault Weapons Ban”.

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Cornyn Exposes Senate Plan To Redefine The First Amendment
Posted by Nathanael Ferguson

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has introduced legislation known as the “Media Shield Law”. Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle explains:

Schumer’s proposal would exempt a “covered journalist” from subpoenas and other legal requirements to expose their confidential sources in leak investigations and other areas. Other lawmakers have proposed similar ideas in the past, but the effort gained new momentum after a series of revelations about controversial tactics the Justice Department was using to target journalists.

Sounds great, right? Why wouldn’t we want to shore up the First Amendment’s freedom of the press protections?

But not all is as it seems. Senator John Cornyn of Texas blows the lid off of what this legislation is really all about: protecting the traditional liberal media and licensing the free press at the expense of new media upstarts. Back to Boyle:

Cornyn says Schumer’s proposal is fatally flawed and may be an unworkable idea altogether.

“They want to pick and choose which journalists are covered,” the Texan Republican told Breitbart News. “In other words, if you’re a blogger they might not cover you, but if you ...

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Egypt Sentences 529 To Death For Killing One Police Officer
Posted March 24, 2014 by Nathanael Ferguson

According to the New York Times, an Egyptian court has sentenced 529 people to death for the killing of a police officer. It is absurd on its face that so many people could be directly responsible for the death of one person. Such Kangaroo Court proceedings are a good reminder that as flawed as our justice system can be here at home, our due process rights are vastly superior to most (if not all) of the rest of the world. Maybe the Right On Crime folks would consider opening an office in Cairo.

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How The Want Ads Used To Read
Posted March 14, 2014 by Nathanael Ferguson

This is allegedly the text of Ernest Shackleton’s advertisement recruiting men for his next polar expedition.

MEN WANTED for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.

Ernest Shackleton 4 Burlington st.

Whether this is actually the text of Shackleton’s ad or not, I do not know. I do know that it accurately represents the spirit of the times. It’s very Texan in spirit, actually. Had Ernest Shackleton and William Barret Travis walked the earth at the same time and ever had the chance to meet, they’d have undoubtedly been great friends. The ad makes no mention of insurance, liability, pensions, or benefits. It’s simply an appeal to man’s innate desire for adventure, danger, opportunity to demonstrate courage, and the possibility of earning glory.

I wonder what response such an ad would garner today? Culturally we are more risk averse, liability concerned, and afraid of the unknown than people seem to have been in the times of Shackleton and Travis. But if I had to ...

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B Is For Boondoggle: $60M Bond-Funded HS Football Stadium To Close
Posted February 28, 2014 by Nathanael Ferguson

The Tyler Morning Telegraph is out with a scathing report on the rapid demise of the glorious new $60,000,000 (yes $60 Million) high school football stadium in Allen, Texas.

A $60 million Texas high school stadium that got national attention for its grandeur and price tag will be shut down indefinitely 18 months after its opening, school district officials said Thursday.

Oh, really? Where ever did they get the money for that shiny new stadium?

Built in 2012 as part of a $120 million bond issue, Eagle Stadium seats 18,000 people and sports a 38-foot-wide video board.

Unfortunately, this shiny new but now defunct stadium stands as a stark reminder of why voters should eye shiny new bond proposals with a high degree of suspicion. Not all bonds issues are bad. Not all are boondoggles. But with the rapidly accelerating local debt in Texas, voters default position should be opposition to every new bond proposal. The bar for voting in favor should be very high.


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The Wages of Federal Marketplace Manipulation
Posted by Nathanael Ferguson

While folks in the Northeast continue to freeze their way through this not very globally warmed winter, there is plenty of cheap fuel available in Texas to help warm them up. Unfortunately due to archaic federal protectionist regulations, there’s no way to get the fuel to them. When we free-marketers talk about unintended consequences of government intervention in the marketplace, this is exactly the type of thing we have in mind.

As freezing weather drained stockpiles of propane to their lowest seasonal level in two decades on the U.S. East Coast this month, shivering New Englanders couldn’t tap abundant supplies sailing out of Texas. They had to look 4,000 miles away to more-expensive heating fuel from Europe.

The reason? The Jones Act, a 94-year-old law that prohibits non-U.S. ships from transporting cargoes between the country’s ports. With pipelines full and not a single eligible propane tanker to deliver fuel from Houston to states such as New York, consumers have had to pay more than $100 a metric ton extra for propane from across the Atlantic.

Read the whole thing here.


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Breaking: Conservative Group Opposes Wasteful Spending & Tax Increases
Posted February 27, 2014 by Nathanael Ferguson

The Dallas Morning News today is agush with the shocking (shocking!) revelation that conservative groups in Texas oppose wasteful spending and higher taxes. Oh, the humanity! This is hard-hitting investigative journalism at its finest. Woodward and Bernstein would be proud.

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Reality Stands In Way Of $4 Billion Electricity Tax
Posted by Nathanael Ferguson

Texas electricity regulators and their allies in the power generation industry who have been advocating for a new $4 Billion electricity tax are being stymied by reality as more people realize that Texas doesn’t have a power generation capacity problem. As the Dallas Morning News reports today, there is no power generation capacity crisis. This may come as a big shock to the central planners in Austin, but the free market works. When the balance of supply and demand shifts in favor of new capacity, the generators will build new plants because it suits their interests. Until then, they should refrain from attempting to manipulate the agency rulemaking process to dip into the pocketbooks of Texas electricity ratepayers.

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Obamacare Is Killing Julie Boonstra
Posted February 19, 2014 by Nathanael Ferguson

In the long debate over Obamacare there have been many arguments put forward demonstrating why the president’s health insurance policy is wrong and harmful. Compelling arguments have been made citing facts, figures, and studies that prove Obamacare will cause health insurance costs to increase while health care quality diminishes and access dries up. But in the PR wars over Obamacare, well researched white papers didn’t stand a chance against the president’s hopeful platitudes about keeping the doctor and insurance you like all at a lower cost. Only now that the law is being implemented are we finding out the true human cost that all those think-tank white papers tried to warn us about.

Meet Julie Boonstra, introduced to us by AFP. She has cancer and Obamacare is killing her. Literally.

It’s time for Obamacare to be repealed.


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