July 7, 2013

For the ‘Where Have You Been?’ File: AP’s Rugaber Discovers Temporary Hiring ‘Is Exploding’

In a Sunday morning story which will likely have limited reach, and will then probably be considered old news by the time the business week resumes tomorrow, the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, finally got around to recognizing a trend on which yours truly and others have been commenting for at least 2-1/2 years: the surge in employment at temporary help services.

That the item’s author is Christopher “Gone Are the Fears That the Economy Could Fall Into Another Recession” Rugaber makes it especially rich, once he explains to his readers some of the reasons why temp services is one of the few sectors employing more people now than it did at its pre-recession peak (bolds are mine):


Big Brothers at the EPA Want to Control (i.e., Dictate) Your Appliance Use and Energy Consumption

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:22 am

Anyone who thinks that Big Brother hasn’t gotten out of control needs to read this Friday editorial — and wonder why they had to learn about it in an editorial — at Investors Business Daily:

EPA Wants Gov’t To Control How Cold Your Beer Can Be

No longer the stuff of science fiction, a little-noticed change in energy-efficiency requirements for appliances could lead to government controlling the power used in your home and how you set your thermostat.

In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an “optional” requirement for a “smart-grid” connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider.

The feature lets the utility provider regulate the appliances’ power consumption, “including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times.”

So far, manufacturers are not required to include the feature, only “encouraged,” and consumers must still give permission to turn it on. But with the Obama administration’s renewed focus on fighting mythical climate change, we expect it to become mandatory to save the planet from the perils of keeping your beer too cold.

“Manufacturers that build in and certify optional ‘connected features’ will earn a credit towards meeting the Energy Star efficiency requirements,” according to an EPA email to CNSNews.com.

… “Eventually,” she (former EPA director Carol Browner) told U.S. News & World Report in 2009, “we can get to a system when an electric company will be able to hold back some of the power so that maybe your air-conditioner won’t operate at its peak.”

The same year, President Obama, who had won election on a pledge to “fundamentally transform America,” signed a stimulus bill to “transform the way we use energy” with a smart grid that would abandon “a grid of lines and wires that dates back to Thomas Edison — a grid that can’t support the demands of clean energy.” [1]

To make sure we respond properly to the “demands of clean energy,” Obama said this “investment will place Smart Meters in homes to make our energy bills lower, make outages less likely and make it easier to use clean energy.” It’ll also make it easier to monitor and control our energy use. [2]

[1] — That’s funny. One of the “demands” of clean energy is back-up fossil fuel-based generation, because the sun isn’t always shining and the wind isn’t always blowing. The level of redundancy needed is incredibly wasteful, and the herky-jerky nature of these power sources makes one wonder if they’ll even be able to generate consistent current into America’s households and factories. If they can’t, it seems quite likely that a lot of electrical appliances will burn out from the inconsistent power supply. (What if the government causes an elderly person’s old air conditioner to fail during a heat wave, after which she dies from heat stroke?)

[2] — This will give a raft of nanny state busybodies yet another excuse to invade your home, in this case for using (or trying to use) “too much” energy. Many people will respond by going to self-contained home generators (then you’ll get visited for using “too little”). Of course, the NSA will duly note the related power consumption fall-off — if it doesn’t detect the generator purchase itself — and consider that an indicator that you’re some kind of troublemaker.

The cause of freedom is in soooo much trouble.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (070713)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Former Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to be canonized

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jul 5, 2013 / 07:38 am

Pope Francis has approved the cause for canonization of two previous Popes, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII.

The announcement was made on July 5, the same day as Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “The Light of Faith,” was released.

The previous steps towards Bl. John Paul II’s canonization had been completed in recent months.

In the case of Bl. John XXIII, however, only one miracle has been formally approved by the Vatican. Normally, two miracles must be approved before a person can be canonized.

Although such a decision is unusual, Vatican press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained that it is within the authority of the Pope to waive the second miracle for a canonization cause.

Since there was already one approved miracle that allowed Pope John XXIII to be beatified, the canonization will still be valid, even without a second miracle, he explained.

He also referenced talks among theologians about whether separate miracles for beatification and canonization are necessary.

Bl. John XXII is known for his encyclical, “Pacem in Terris,” and for calling the historic Second Vatican Council. The Church is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the council during the Year of Faith.

Bl. John Paul II became famous throughout the world during his 27-year papacy for his charismatic nature, his love of youth and his world travels, along with his role in the fall of communism in Europe. The beloved Polish Pope died in 2005, making his 2011 beatification one of the quickest in recent Church history. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Bloomberg/BizWeek Acknowledges ‘Obama Call for Muslim Brotherhood Role’ in Egypt

Nicole Gaouette and John Walcott at Bloomberg BusinessWeek have revealed that the Obama administration has specifically stated that it wants the Muslim Brotherhood to have a role in any new Egyptian government. Meanwhile, other news outlets, particularly the Associated Press, have avoided disclosing that specific detail.

There are two “little” problems with the administration’s disclosed position. The first is that now-deposed Mohammed Morsi’s final speech on Tuesday was seen as a promise that there would be civil war if he were ousted. The second is that Morsi supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups have promised to carry out a campaign of terror until Morsi is reinstalled, and are keeping that promise. Those two factors should objectively disqualify the Brotherhood’s involvement. Excerpts from the Bloomberg pair’s report follow the jump (bolds are mine):