April 13, 2014

AP Goes to Occupy Movement-Supporting Enviro Group For Comment on Bundy Ranch Standoff

Guess who’s all of a sudden standing up for law and order? Why, it’s radical environmentalists, who despite their general disdain for lawful behavior have felt compelled to speak out in support of the Bureau of Land Management’s attempts to round up Cliven Bundy’s cattle and ultimately force the Nevada rancher to abandon his family’s century-old business.

Martin Griffith at the Associated Press relayed the comments of one such group in a Sunday report in the aftermath of the BLM’s abandonment of its roundup efforts, in Griffith’s words, “after hundreds of states’ rights protesters, some of them armed militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals’ release” (There’s much to it than that; go this archived Drudge Report page for more; bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Reuters Covers Two Dozen Anti-Tech Protesters in San Francisco, Ignores Their $3B Demand, Call to End Capitalism

On Friday, Reuters dispatched Sarah McBride, a San Francisco area reporter, to cover a protest by two dozen people. Seriously.

According to the headline at McBride’s story, the presence of these two dozen protesters demonstrated that “San Francisco tech money protests intensify.” McBride utterly failed to describe the protester’s ultimate goals: lots and lots of money and an end to capitalism. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Regulatory Tyranny Flies Under the Radar

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:59 am

Courtesy of Barack Obama’s Department of Labor.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

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While those who cherish what’s left of our freedoms are rightly concerned about the sacking and the blacklisting of Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, Democrats’ media-coordinated lying about and demonization of the Koch brothers, and other visible evidence of unfettered intolerance, the regulatory tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”) which has become the default modus operandi of Barack Obama’s administration continues unabated.

Three examples of the quiet despotic work being carried out by Dear Leader’s government come from the Department of Labor, where Tom Perez succeeded the scandal-plagued Hilda Solis last year.

One lightly reported element of Obama “equal pay” initiative — an effort which is based on an objectively false premise, and which the press almost joyfully admits is primarily about motivating uninformed voters — is an “executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation.”

This unwanted and harmful interference with a common and time-tested employer practice is bad enough. What’s far less well-known and far worse is that Obama has, in USA Today’s words, also told Perez to “to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race.” DOL says this information will “encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws” and enable “more targeted enforcement.” Trust me; the latter is far more important than the former.

This information will provide a handy litigation roadmap for DOL and Eric Holder’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It will also be a bonanza for trial lawyers, who will immediately demand this information in discovery any time they bring a pay-related legal action. Most trial lawyers “just so happen” to favor leftist candidates and causes. There is one problem which I expect the judicial system will blow off: The only way to ensure that the submitted data is complete and probative would be to force each and every employee in America to declare their race, a provision which is currently optional. I would suggest that every job applicant alarmed by this development should henceforth exercise their option to not disclose. Those who are currently employed should see if they can undo any previous disclosure.

Further interfering with employer prerogatives, Richard Griffin, who is general counsel at Perez’s National Labor Relations Board, intends “to give unions a veto over a unionized employer’s decision to relocate.” Predictably, he plans to achieve his goal through subterfuge:

Griffin’s guidance will be to order an employer to be prosecuted not on the basis of what the law is but on the law as Griffin would like it to be. This will give the board an opportunity to change the law (though the change will be prospective — the employer who is prosecuted will not be punished for violating the new rule).

Finally, DOL’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has begun to implement an interpretation which should have set off alarm bells when it was first disclosed a year ago, and clearly didn’t:

The new interpretation from Richard Fairfax, Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, to Steve Sallman, Health and Safety Specialist with the United Steelworkers Union, asserts that OSHA’s standard for Representatives of Employers and Employees allows workers at establishments without collective bargaining agreements to designate outside representatives or union agents to represent them during OSHA inspections.

This ruling contradicts the plain language of OSHA’s governing regulation …

As if they care.

Earlier this week, Greta Van Susteren, in an otherwise informative report, allowed OSHA to falsely claim that “allowing non-employee third party representative to accompany OSHA inspectors on walk around inspections is not a new OSHA policy … if that third party representative is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation.” Exactly how can a planted union “representative,” i.e., thug, who probably hasn’t done related or even any blue-collar work in years, possibly be of any assistance?

Van Susteren interviewed CEO Brent Southwell of Professional Janitorial Service, whose company has over 1,000 employees. Despite no employee-initiated complaints and “26 years without a single OSHA write-up,” Southwell disclosed that OSHA had recently visited him three separate times, in each instance accompanied by a representative of the Service Employees International Union. How oddly coincidental it is that PJS “is currently suing SEIU for $9 million” for alleged slander.

These actions, all of which appear to be inevitable and/or unstoppable, make a mockery of the administration’s oft-professed interest in economic growth. The prediction of a former NLRB chairman about its new “can’t relocate” rule really applies to all three DOL moves: They “will hasten those companies’ demise and harm the economy.”

Why would any sane person run a company or hire any or more employees in this hostile environment? A partial answer that question is that fewer Americans are choosing to start up new businesses, and those who do are deciding not to put anyone besides their founders on the payroll. The small firm start-up rate in recent years has been miles below where it was in the 1980s, and employment growth at such firms has been painfully slow.

Another online site recently noted that if its budget was seen as a separate economy, the federal government would be the third-largest in the world. Of course, the problem with seeing Uncle Sam’s enterprise as an economy is that it produces very little of value beyond providing national security, which is naturally where this administration is cutting military and diplomatic corners. Despite the Keynesians’ claims, sending out $2 trillion in entitlement checks per year is not an economy-advancing enterprise.

In such a vast organization, it’s not unreasonable to believe that a great deal of despotic behavior is going undetected. To cite just one accidentally discovered example, who would have known about EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz’s preemptive, evidence-free war on fracking if he hadn’t been caught on tape in 2012 telling an audience of coworkers that his regulatory philosophy was to “crucify” and “make examples of” alleged environmental offenders?

Unfortunately, too many on the right who should be monitoring internal developments and screaming when abuses are found, especially in Congress, have shown that they’re more interested in reelection and building their coffers than in the blocking and tackling inherent in their assigned oversight roles.

Thus, while only suffering minor setbacks from time to time, the regulatory tyranny advances.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041314)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

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At the Sacramento Business Journal (HT Breitbart) — “The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest business plan suggests the agency could run out of money next year unless it overcomes legal and legislative funding hurdles.”

Additionally, back in February, “Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, once a strong supporter of California’s high-speed rail project, told a conservative radio show host … that he no longer backs the bullet train and would like to see the money diverted to other projects.”

Governor Jerry Brown is determined to get this Mother of All Boondoggles started so he can then dare opponents to stop it.

Positivity: The Palm Sunday Story

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From About.com:

Scripture References:

Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19.

Palm Sunday Story – Triumphal Entry Story Summary:

Jesus Christ1 was on his way to Jerusalem, knowing full well that this trip would end in his sacrificial death2 for the sin of humanity3. He sent two disciples ahead to the village of Bethphage, about a mile away from the city at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He told them to look for a donkey tied by a house, with its unbroken colt next to it. Jesus instructed the disciples4 to tell the owners of the animal that “The Lord has need of it.” (Luke 19:31, ESV5)

The men found the donkey, brought it and its colt to Jesus, and placed their cloaks on the colt. Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In his path, people threw their cloaks on the ground and put palm branches6 on the road before him. Others waved palm branches in the air.

Large Passover7 crowds surrounded Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV8)

By that time the commotion was spreading through the entire city. Many of the Galilean disciples had earlier seen Jesus raise Lazarus9 from the dead. Undoubtedly they were spreading the news of that miracle.

The Pharisees, who were jealous of Jesus and afraid of the Romans, said: “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” (Luke 19:39-40, ESV10)

Point of Interest from the Triumphal Entry Story:

• When he told the disciples to get the donkey, Jesus referred to himself as ‘The Lord,’ a definite proclamation of his divinity. …

Go here for the rest of the story.