Why I Support the Philadelphia Soda Tax

June 12, 2016

Lately there’s been a lot of discussion about the Philadelphia Soda Tax. Basically, the City of Philadelphia has decided to tax all beverages that contain sugar (high fructose corn syrup). This affects a whole lot of beverages.

According to Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax, it will mostly impact small businesses and people who are economically disadvantaged:

This regressive tax stands to hurt Philadelphia’s lower-income families and small businesses the most, burdening them with higher costs even though they are still struggling to emerge from the recession. It could also hurt retailers and restaurants, which are likely to lose sales and customers. It’s a slippery slope – this discriminatory tax is singling out beverages. Which grocery items are next?

So why would I support this, especially as a conservative? Shouldn’t I be supporting everyone’s right to do what they want, and oppose any taxation to regulate one’s freedom of choice?

It’s more complicated than you think, and the problem in the first place was actually created by the federal government…

Read the rest of this entry »

Is the Brock Turner case as bad as it looks? Yeah, it is.

June 11, 2016

Brock Turner really is raping everybody out there

When it comes to commenting on court cases, I don’t get my information from silly clickbait blogs like Gawker. Instead, I try and pull the actual evidence and adduce what I can from it. Blogs like Gawker simply want people to click on links, and pander to the lowest common denominator.

Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with the name Brock Turner. The narrative going around is this: Brock Turner, a Stanford swimmer, pulled a woman behind a dumper, raped her while she was unconscious, and then ran away. After getting convicted, Judge Aaron Persky then gave Turner an extremely lenient sentence because he’s white and wentΒ to Stanford.

Of course, the internet was incensed. College rape, a white kid of privilege, a heinous crime, and parents who just don’t seem to get it. Then, of course, there is a powerfulΒ victim impact statementΒ which has been circulated all over the internet, combined with a judge who seemedΒ to favor a rich white kid and completely ignore her suffering.

When I first heard about the story, it sounded tooΒ outrageous to be true. However, most of what was coming up in my newsfeed were from sources that either aren’t typically credible or didn’t provide a lot of substantive information.Β So, I decided to do a little digging, using actual documents submitted in court.

After reviewing the evidence, police reports and trial documents, believe it or not, this one might be as bad as it looks…

Read the rest of this entry »