AreYouLiberal.Com
22Oct/14Off

Tonight on The Independents SCRATCH THAT: Your Indies Co-hosts Will Be on a Special Live Discussion About the Ottawa Attack, Hosted by Neil Cavuto

Instead of seeing The
Independents
 tonight on Fox Business Network at 9
p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT, alert viewers will see the co-hosts of
The Independents, talking with FBN/Fox interviewer
extraordinaire Neil Cavuto about the
onslaught in Ottawa
, implications for civil liberties, and
maybe even the fresh new White
House lawn-jumper
, all through the hour. Fear! Fire! Foes!
Awake! And tune back in again Friday, for a great show on "Midterm
Madness."

Want to catch up with some recent Independents
segments? Click
here
.

22Oct/14Off

VIDEO: FEARBOLA grips the America!

FEARBOLA is plaguing America and is spreading at alarming rates. According to CNN this is an airborne disease spreads solely through conversation. It is so contagious that some victims have

22Oct/14Off

Fact Check On Fact Check Of Dana Loesch’s New Book ‘Hands Off My Gun’

Dana Loesch’s new book “Hands Off My Gun” went on sale yesterday, and naturally the liberal media immediately want it quashed and destroyed. Loesch is a favorite target for these attack groups, not least because she is such a fierce advocate for gun rights and protecting the constitutional freedoms guaranteed to Americans.

One such outlet, Media Matters for America, posted a supposed fact check of some of the Founding Fathers quotes that are included in the book. Their claim is that Dana “botches” the quotes, because as you know, girls are stupid. But the assertion requires a little more perusal, if for nothing more than satisfaction of curiosity.

Here is how the article begins. And remember, “Botches” is in the title of the post.

Conservative commentator Dana Loesch’s new book Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America includes spurious quotes from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers, despite the fact that it purports to teach readers about “the history of the Second Amendment.”

Spurious, they say. Botched, they say. That is quite the pair of charges. I say “pair” because one implies malicious intent, while the other implies ignorance or stupidity. At Media Matters, they don’t like to leave any pejorative phrase unturned.


Here is an example of the “spurious” and/or “botched” quote from George Washington.

“A free people ought to be armed.” – George Washington

And the quote as posted by Media Matters:

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

MMFA reasons that Washington was advocating merely for an armed militia, not for the free people to be armed. Presumably, this is because the words discipline and uniform appear, which everyone knows are very militia-y things to say. They rely on a PBS website posting of a transcript, and a Politifact expert who helped them “translate that into 21st-century-ese.”

Dana Loesch’s book, which “went through two legal reads” for accuracy, sources the quote to Buckeye Firearms, where their page of Founding Fathers’ quotes included the version in Loesch’s book.

A third version also appears online. It, like the one MMFA used, is from a media transcription, albeit a teensy bit more contemporary than PBS. It’s from the newspaper Massachusetts Spy, which article was published on January 21, 1790. It reads: “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined. And to be independent of others.” The contemporary Spy reports that Washington’s context was strengthening America to be “self-sufficient domestically.”

It’s available from the Archiving Early America website, which was founded by archivist for the Keigwin and Mathews Collection of 18th century historical documents of early America Don Vitale, former senior lecturer on journalism at USC.

Botched, they say. Spurious, they proclaim. Poppycock, says reasoning.

The analysis of the language is apparently subjective, as two different experts offer two different explanations. As proof that Washington didn’t believe in the rights of citizens to own guns, MMFA has offered nothing at all. Loesch’s quote withstands scrutiny.


Another quote MMFA says was similarly wrong is from Thomas Jefferson.

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Thomas Jefferson (quoting eighteenth-century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

But of course, after they present Loesch’s version, they offer no other. Because there is no other. That’s just the quote. That he wrote. With his fingers.

Botched, they say. Spurious, they claim. Accurate, they mean.

They claim “Loesch presents this quote as if Jefferson were quoting Beccaria approvingly, but that is not necessarily the case.” WHOA! Not necessarily what he meant? Well call the Massachusetts Spy! We have a breaking story here! Headine “Nuh-uh, probably!”

Speaking of quoting someone incorrectly, here is MMFA’s reasoning.

Jefferson copied the Beccaria quote in Italian into his legal commonplace book, a “journal or notebook in which a student, reader, or writer compiles quotations, poems, letters, and information, along with the compiler’s notes and reactions.” Jefferson notated the copied passage with the words, “False idee di utilità,” which is a summation of the idea contained in the quotation and is not evidence of what “our Constitution’s drafters intended when they drafted and approved the Second Amendment.”

In fact, Jefferson’s notation doesn’t mean what MMFA says it does at all. Jefferson notes the passage with the phrase “False idee di utilità” in his commonplace book. The passage quoted and marked with that notation, which means “false ideas of utility”, includes examples of such false ideas.

Laws that are examples of a false idea of utility “are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent.” Well gosh, what can that mean? Luckily, it goes on:

“Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance?”

Another example of a false idea of utility was legislators “who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned.” Does that sound like something Thomas Jefferson would do? Sacrifice liberty in pursuit of safety? His notation was blatantly drawing attention to these transgressions against liberty as being “false ideas,” and that includes the false idea that disarming the law-abiding citizens serves any useful purpose. To put it another way, Media Matters is dead wrong, both in their understanding of the quote, and their understanding of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s explanation of the quote.

In short, they have misquoted those correcting a common misattribution of a quote which was correctly quoted and attributed by “Hands Off My Gun”. Now that is a dandy of a trick.


The next is another in the ongoing absurdness of gun control nuts. This comes up over and over and over, and it is a blatantly silly premise. Here is the quote.

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” — James Madison

.. and the quote as Media Matters posts it:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

And their reasoning? They call it a “mangled summation of The Federalist Papers #46 that distorts Madison’s meaning.” Again, it’s “but but but that’s not what he meant.” Emanations and penumbras and all that. They then add the gun control trope that it was clear Madison was “talking about state militias being a check on government tyranny, not privately held arms.” As if Media Matters would be totally fine with a bunch of armed Texans walking around as long as they called some random guy “sir” while they did it.

In fact, what is actually clear is that Madison is saying that armed people as a check on government tyranny is an awesome idea. He says “besides the advantage of being armed” .. BESIDES that … “the existence of subordinate governments” etc etc. Let me translate that from Liberaleses: Not only is it super badass that we can own our own guns, but also we get to have big old gun-owning super clubs that are practically mini-me governments so the big britches boys in DC can’t boss us around.”

You know what else Madison said?

“A Government resting on a minority, is an aristocracy not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical & physical force against it, without a standing Army, and enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.”

Oh yeah, he hated private guns. Great point.

Botched, they sneer. Spurious, they whine. Completely supported by facts, say facts.


Next up is this quote by Patrick Henry:

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined… The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” –Patrick Henry

And the Media Matters version:

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined… May we not discipline and arm them, as well as Congress, if the power be concurrent? So that our militia shall have two sets of arms, double sets of regimentals, and thus, at a very great cost, we shall be doubly armed. The great object is, that every man be armed. But can the people afford to pay for double sets of arms, Every one Who is able may have a gun. But we have learned, by experience, that, necessary as it is to have arms, and though our Assembly has, by a succession of laws for many years, endeavored to have the militia completely armed, it is still far from being the case.”

Once more unto the trope, dear friends. Their reasoning, again, is “Henry was actually talking about ensuring that members of the militia were adequately armed, not the general public.”

Let’s examine their text. “May we not discipline and arm them, as well as Congress, if the power be concurrent? So that our militia shall have two sets of arms, double sets of regimentals, and thus, at a very great cost, we shall be doubly armed. The great object is, that every man be armed.”

I offer you this comparison: “We already have a health care system. But may we not create Obamacare, in addition to the private sector, if both have equal footing? So that our citizens may have two sets of protections and thus, at very great cost, we shall be doubly sure no one falls through the cracks? The great object is that every person be covered.”

The object is that every man be armed. In most of the documents linked by MMFA, it was taken for granted that where one heard militia, one heard “every able-bodied adult white male who is a citizen”. And doubly-armed obviously refers to the idea that the provision of those weapons would be a financial burden both of the Federal government and of the organized state militias, so that every man should have a gun. The gun controllers confuse methodology with intent. They presume the intent was an organized army, and the methodology was arming citizens as a militia. It is clear from volumes of context that the reverse is true. The intent was that every man be armed, the method was through the militias and the army.

Furthermore, MMFA cites a historian, who says that over the years the quote was assembled from two different speeches through the judicious use of the ellipses. Links to the speeches are provided. Here is a full excerpt from one of them.

“The honorable gentleman who presides told us that, to prevent abuses in our government, we will assemble in Convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”

This is part of a broad argument against centralized power made by Patrick Henry at the Virginia Ratifying Convention. It refers, likewise broadly, to the power of the individual states but also to the power of individual citizens. “How different from the sentiments of freemen, that a contemptible minority can prevent the good of the majority,” he argues. The entire philosophical basis of his days of speech-making is abundantly, overtly clear: that the tyranny of government is inevitable, that it must be prepared against, and that such preparation necessarily means empowered citizens with arms speaking as force. This is the most elementary and clearly stated case for the Second Amendment as a bulwark against the terror of a dictatorial, centralized federal government as can possibly be made. Literally, arm the people so they can shoot back if the government gets a wild hair. It could not be more clear.


And at long last we come to Thomas Paine. Here is the quote from “Hands Off My Gun”:

“Arms… discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were [the law-abiding] deprived the use of them.” –Thomas Paine

.. and here it is from Media Matters:

“… arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them …”

This is a quote about armed nations according to Media Matters. In it, Thomas Paine makes the following reasonable argument: If no nations had guns, then all nations would equally not have guns. But since nations will have guns, nations are only equal that likewise have them. Paine is specifically referring to arms. To guns. Now in the first case, that argument as a philosophical point could not be more obviously or easily applicable to individuals as well as nations. Eg: If nobody had guns, everyone would equally not have guns. But since some criminals will have guns, law-abiding citizens are only equal who likewise have guns. Pretty simple.

But there is, of course, more. The section heading of the work where Thomas Paine wrote this is, indeed “Thoughts On Defensive War.” And it begins thus:

Could the peaceable principle of the Quakers be universally established, arms and the art of war would be wholly extirpated: But we live not in a world of angels. The reign of Satan is not ended; neither are we to expect to be defended by miracles. The pillar of the cloud existed only in the wilderness. In the nonage of the Israelites. It protected them in their retreat from Pharaoh, while they were destitute of the natural means of defence, for they brought no arms from Egypt; but it neither fought their battles nor shielded them from dangers afterwards. I am thus far a Quaker, that I would gladly agree with all the world to lay aside the use of arms, and settle matters by negotiation; but unless the whole will, the matter ends, and I take up my musket and thank heaven he has put it in my power.

“I take up my musket and thank heaven he has put it in my power.” I, he says. My, he adds. You see, above we used the defense of a nation to justify the defense of a man. But in full work, it is clear Paine means precisely the opposite.

“That which allures the Highwayman has allured the ministry under a gentler name.” The purpose of the metaphor is to use what is supposed to be commonly understood as self-evidently true: that man would defend himself against a robber. He is justifying the use of arms by the nation in the terms that would be most obvious to his contemporaries. If a man can hold a weapon in defense of himself, therefore cannot a nation bear arms the same? “In the barbarous ages of the world, men in general had no liberty. The strong governed the weak at will,” he says. “The peaceable part of mankind will be continually overrun by the vile and abandoned, while they neglect the means of self defence.”

It is a truth he finds inarguable. “For while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.”

Additionally, his defensive war argument is not some mere justification of the existence of war in the abstract, as Media Matters suggests. It is entirely specific to the time and place, to the American revolution, and to the defense of the colonists through their own arms. Defensive war. As waged by armed citizens. “The live of hundreds of both countries had been preserved had America been in arms a year ago.”

Botched, they intoned. Spurious, they protest. Self-evident, says Thomas Paine.

Loesch has included quotes from the Founding Fathers to establish again what was at the time so well understood as to barely be worth remarking on. That a citizen of America was entitled to retain his natural, God-granted right to defend himself, his liberty, and his property, by arms if necessary. The barest study of just the documents provided by Media Matters itself bears out the truth of this. Far from correcting “Hands Off My Gun”, MMFA has provided ample documentation of just how right Dana Loesch is. The founders, the framers, intended for the right of each citizen to bear arms to be protected and not infringed upon.

Revisionist attempts have not, and will not, unwrite what has been written, undo what has been done, or disarm we who have been armed.



Hand Off My Gun: Defeating The Plot To Disarm America is the new book from Dana Loesch that just went on sale this week. It does, among many other things, talk about the Founding Fathers.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter about the Founding Fathers and their message on guns.

CHAPTER 8
FOUNDING FIREARMS

DanaBookRarely in history have so many people quoted the United States Constitution and yet seemed deliberately obtuse to its meaning than have the members of the United States Congress. Why that still comes as surprise probably says more about me than it does about them. Let’s face it. Liberals always have had a love-hate relationship with the Constitution — they love it when they can use it to abort babies or let gay people get married. They hate it when its language gets in the way of their big-government schemes, like censoring conservative media outlets or investigating troublesome, truth-telling journalists. They especially hate the fact that the Constitution explicitly — yes, explicitly — protects gun owners. To get around that inconvenient truth, the left does what it does best: It denies that things say what they actually say, or mean what they actually mean. Or as everyone’s favorite sexual harasser once famously put it, “it depends on what the meaning of is is.”

The gun grabbers’ useful idiot, Sen. Chuck Schumer, once claimed that his fellow Democrats needed to admit that there was such a thing as a Second Amendment that gave people “a constitutional right to bear arms.” But before we think Senator Schumer was actually on our side, he went on in the same breath to call for a “compromise” that allowed the left to ban a whole bunch of different guns and thus infringe on that aforementioned constitutional right to bear arms.

Things got a little testy in the Senate in 2013 when Ted Cruz tried to explain to Diane Feinstein that the Second Amendment protected gun owners. “I’m not a sixth grader” she snapped, as she continued to argue that the Second Amendment was irrelevant to her latest gun-grab legislation. (Respectfully, I would argue that most sixth graders understand the Second Amendment, and civics, better than Senator Feinstein.) Liberal academics given a megaphone by various media outlets, have told us again and again that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what we think it means or it doesn’t mean what it says. Always good for a laugh, the Huffington Post once went even further with the #WTFbananas headline: “The Second Amendment Demands Gun Control.”

It’s long past time for a basic tutorial on the Constitution. Our founders meant for it to be read, not trampled under foot. We should present it in a way that even someone with the reading comprehension of a dolphin could understand it. Or a member of Congress.

Guess we know who should be the first ones in line for that tutorial.

The post Fact Check On Fact Check Of Dana Loesch’s New Book ‘Hands Off My Gun’ appeared first on RedState.

22Oct/14Off

Press Freedom Deteriorating Throughout the Americas, Says Media Advocacy Group

GagThe bad news is that the United States has
been slapped again for its government's downward-spiraling respect
for freedom of the press. The good news is that our officials'
transgressions pale in comparison to the crimes inflicted on free
speech and free inquiry throughout the Americas, as compiled by the

Inter American Press Association
(IAPA).

Basically, free press-wise, the whole hemisphere is sliding.

With regard to the U.S., IAPA points out:

The U.S. government of President Barack Obama is continuing to
prohibit officials from talking to the press. In the United States
and Canada defeated were legislative reforms aimed at limiting
exceptions on the part of these governments to continue restricting
public information for reasons always attributed to national
security.

Yes, we've
heard this before
. It doesn't get less depressing in the

repeating
. But it could be a whole hell of a lot worse. Like in
most everyplace else in the Americas. "Freedom of the press and of
expression in the hemisphere underwent a marked deterioration in
the last six months due to a significant increase in direct and
indirect censorship and physical attacks on journalists," notes
IAPA.

Cuba,
of course, continues to outright imprison independent journalists
and dissidents. The Venezuelan
government denies foreign exchange to critical media outlets so
that they can't purchase supplies, including news print, forcing
many out of business. That's when its goons don't just beat the
crap out of journalists.

Argentina,
Chile,
Colombia,
Ecuador,
and Haiti
use the law to squash critical press, and Bolivia,
which already limits the speech of opposition politicians, is
poised to follow suit.

Brazilian
officials use the courts to block publication of targeted
content.

"Perhaps the most positive news this semester," says IAPA, "has
been the enactment of the Law on Access to Public Information and
Transparency in Paraguay."

Well, that's nice for Paraguay.

For what it's worth, Freedom House
announced this year
that "global press freedom has fallen to
its lowest level in over a decade." So it's not just our
hemisphere that's in the crapper.

22Oct/14Off

PHOTOS: Strong showing at I-594 protest rally in Seattle against gun control

  Last Saturday, on October 18, 250 to 300 gun rights activists met in downtown Seattle’s Westlake Park to protest I-594, making it the safest place that day to be

22Oct/14Off

Union vs. California Farm Workers Fight: Real Controversy or Right-Wing Myth?

Who's the bully?

"Being allowed to choose your hangman doesn't mean the process
is fair," says Dan Gerawan, co-owner of Gerawan Farms, one of the
nation's largest producers of peaches, plums, and nectarines and a
major employer of California farm workers.

His business is in the midst of a messy brawl with the United
Farm Workers union (UFW) and the state's supposedly neutral labor
mediator, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). Gerawan
laughs every time he hears the word "neutral," and the hangman
analogy is his morose response to UFW's argument that Gerawan had a
hand in choosing which mediator would force a union contract on his
employees. 

This morning, the Los Angeles City Council weighed in on a labor
dispute between Gerawan Farms, its employees, and the UFW by

passing a resolution
condemning Gerawan Farms.

Council president Herb Wesson and council member Paul
Blumenfield attended a rally beforehand in support of the UFW, who
had chartered two buses to bring in members from the Central
Valley, some of whom had worked for Gerawan at one time or
another.

"We're standing in solidarity with these folks," said
Blumenfield of the UFW members before casting a vote in favor of
the resolution.

But Gerawan Farms co-owner Dan Gerawan believes that the UFW
pulled a fast one on the council.

"I think it's really sad to see the L.A. city council be used
for PR this way," says Gerawan.

Reason TV covered this conflict, an unusual case in that a
number of workers are fighting for the right not to join
the UFW, though the union claims that this dispute is Koch-backed
right-wing propaganda (Full disclosure: David Koch sits on the
Board of Trustees for Reason Foundation, which publishes Reason.com
and Reason TV
):

At the heart of the conflict is the question of whether or not
the UFW is the legal representative union of Gerawan Farms'
workers. The union won an election in 1990 but never finalized a
contract and has not bargained on behalf of Gerawan Farms' workers
since then. Gerawan Farms' management claims UFW walked away, and
UFW doesn't offer an explanation.

Last year, UFW officials began to claim that they had been the
workers' representatives the entire time and demanded to have the
original contract implemented shortly after the state legislature
passed SB 25, a law allowing unions to force reluctant agricultural
companies into "mandatory mediation." Governor Jerry Brown vetoed
SB 25 last month and raised questions about the fairness of the
process. But the case against Gerawan Farms was already long
underway. 

A group of Ger"Law"awan
employees, less than eager to reliniquish 3 percent of wages to an
absent union, began petitioning for an election to decertify the
union. The Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) eventually
administered an election but never counted the votes, alleging
unfair labor practices, such as encouraging anti-union behavior, on
behalf of the company. 

Since the production of the above video, the ALRB has filed five
separate charges for violation of labor practices against Gerawan
in a case being heard before an administrative ALRB judge.

That's right. The ALRB is hearing a case being filed by the ALRB
over disputed elections administered by the ALRB. This is why
Gerawan scoffs at the word "neutral." ALRB General Counsel Silas
Shawver says that it's a non-issue because of a firewall that
exists between the prosecutorial and judicial arms of the
agency.

"We have really tight controls in terms of my ability to
communicate with the board," says Shawver.

Sylvia Lopez, the Gerawan employee who led the petition drive to
decertify the election, also believes that the ALRB is too cozy
with the labor unions and is ignoring the thousands of workers who
signed her petition.

"At Gerawan, more than 90 percent of employees don’t want to be
represented by the union,” Lopez told the council. “I think the
right thing is to support the workers, not the UFW.”

The UFW claims that Lopez is nothing more than a stooge of
Gerawan's management team and points to allegations in ALRB's

unfair labor practice complaints:

Sylvia Lopez began her involvement in anti-union activities at
Gerawan before she started working for the company in late June
2013... Gerawan Crew Boss Reynaldo Vilavicencio allowed employees
Sylvia Lopez and Belen Solanto [Lopez’s daughter] to miss work
approximately 75 percent of the time during the period of
approximately July 1, 2013 through October 25, 2013, without
requiring justification and without employee discipline

"It was instigated by management. There's no question about it,"
says UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez of the anti-UFW petitions
circulated by Lopez. "The growers are rich and powerful and refuse
to obey the law."

But Gerawan says the company has nothing to do with the protests
against UFW by his workers and says that UFW wants to strip choice
from his employees to boost their
rapidly shrinking ranks.
He points to a clause in the new
contract that prohibits protests against the union.

"All the information is completely coordinated and fabricated
[by UFW]," says Gerawan. "They are professionals at this."

Gerawan could not provide employment records for Lopez, but
Lopez claims she has worked off and on at Gerawan for years and
that sporadic employment is quite common in seasonal picking work.
Efforts to discredit Lopez and her fellow employees appears to be
part of a larger UFW strategy to tie Gerawan to Grover Norquist,
the Koch brothers, and other right-wing activists. 

The Center for Worker Freedom is a subdivision of Norquist's
Americans for Tax Reform and has created web sites and billboard
advertisements promoting the anti-UFW side of the story, but
Gerawan says they are not affiliated with the company.

"I have zero to do with them," says Gerawan.

While the legitimacy of both UFW's and Gerawan's claims still
remain in question and will in all likelihood play out in court as
documentation becomes publicly available, what is clear is that
both state and local government are on the side of the union in
California.

During the meeting, council member Gilbert Cedillo proved his
union bona fides by regaling the audience, in Spanish, with tales
of his previous work as general manager for the Service Employees
International Union (SEIU). Wesson spoke with pride about designing
the labor review process in question during his time as a state
assembly member. 

“I support the mediation process, because I designed it,” said
Wesson.

The only member to raise any objection was Bernard Parks, who
wanted to clarify whether they were voting to show support of the
process or to tell Gerawan Farms to implement the disputed
contract. Cedillo argued that the process had already run its
course and that the contract should be implemented, despite the
fact that the legal hearing will not conclude until early
January.

“Is it binding?” asked Parks.

“Well, all things are binding until they’re not," answered
Cedillo.

Before the final vote, council member Paul Koretz, the bill's
author, amended the language to make clear that the council was
indeed voting to support implementation of the contract.

Because the lawsuit against Gerawan Farms involves state and
federal law, the resolution is purely symbolic and of no legal
consequence.

22Oct/14Off

6 Outrageous Times VA Employees Did Wrong and Still Got Paid by You

The Department of Veterans Affairs remains embroiled in a scandal that resulted in the deaths of at least 40 veterans assigned to its medical facilities. Now, a report from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., outlines the actions of numerous VA employees who were suspended for various offenses but continued to get a salary from taxpayers.

Coburn today released his annual Wastebook, which highlights “frivolous” projects backed by taxpayer dollars.

This year’s edition notes that taxpayers shelled out $19 million in compensation for government employees placed on administrative leave for a variety of transgressions.

When on administrative leave, Coburn writes, these federal workers are “essentially relieved of their duties including having to report to work or do work” but receive pay and benefits such as health insurance, life insurance and retirement.

The Oklahoma Republican points to 12 specific instances in which government workers were found to have engaged in “unacceptable and sometimes criminal conduct” yet continue to receive paychecks.

>>> Five Factors from the New CBO Report on Veterans’ Healthcare

Half of the examples involve VA employees:

1. Executives at VA clinics nationwide were found to have manipulated wait times for patients to secure bonuses.

Officials attempted to cover up months-long wait times encountered by many veterans before seeing doctors at the VA. More than 40 veterans at one clinic died during such manipulation.

Three officials at a VA clinic in Phoenix–including the director and associate director–were put on paid administrative leave in May as a result of the scandal. The director makes $170,000 a year.

2. A VA drug addiction treatment specialist brought a patient to a crack house and helped him pick up a prostitute.

An employee of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System in Montgomery, Ala., helped the patient, who was being treated for addiction, obtain illegal drugs and solicit a prostitute.

Besides exposing the veteran to a “dangerous environment” in March 2013, an investigation found the worker guilty of “patient abuse, misuse of government vehicles, filing false overtime requests and multiple ethics violations.”

>>> VA Spent Millions on Solar Panels as Veterans Awaited Care

3. Top VA officials in Alabama falsified appointment records.

The director of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System oversaw a clinic that was rife with corruption, including falsifying appointment records and neglecting to read “hundreds of X-rays.”

Director James Talton and the  clinic’s chief of staff were put on paid administrative leave in August. Talton said employees who falsified records were fired, but actually they were “relieved of their duties” and continue to collect a government salary.

4. A “rehab specialist” for VA was indicted for homicide after a fatal car crash while driving drunk.

Also at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Center System, a vocational rehabilitation specialist in the mental health department caused a fatal car crash last year while driving drunk.

A grand jury indicted the worker in September for homicide by motor vehicle when a passenger died. The employee was off duty at the time, but his job requires him to operate a government vehicle. His case was sent to human resources, but as of last month he continued to work at the center.

5. A VA employee was charged with sexual assault.

An employee of the VA Southeast Network who worked in Tuskegee, Ala., was placed on administrative leave after he was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a female patient in an incident in which he fondled the veteran’s breast.

His attorney delayed a preliminary hearing twice, but it was held in August. He will face charges only if indicted by a grand jury that meets next year, the Wastebook says.

>>> Veterans Warily Welcome Action in Congress to Cure VA’s Ills

6. A VA employee sent lewd messages from government computers, misused a government credit card, and unnecessarily traveled up and down the East Coast.

A February report details the “out of control” behavior of  a VA worker in Nashville who was put on paid leave in March. He resigned in July.

He was found to have sent sexually explicit messages to friends using VA computers, taken 34 trips to Washington, D.C., as well as Florida and New Jersey, and “worked at his own time and pace.” His travel cost taxpayers $109,000.

He also used a “government travel charge card” to:

  • “entertain female companions.”
  • withdraw cash while at home.
  • buy $170 worth of personal items at Target.
  • pay for liquor from a hotel room minibar.
  • purchase personal commutes to visit his family.

The post 6 Outrageous Times VA Employees Did Wrong and Still Got Paid by You appeared first on Daily Signal.

22Oct/14Off

Gohmert! Gay Massages Will Destroy Our Military

YouTube

Here he is again, folks, the Dumbest Man in Congress, with a truly crack-brained theory about why gays shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military: because they'll be sitting around getting gay massages instead of training for battle.

Louie always comes through with the craziest shit. Never change, Louie!

"I've ...

22Oct/14Off

ObamaCare: failure at any price

It was rather refreshing to see the very brief return of cost/benefit analysis to the American Left during the Ebola crisis.  You had to listen carefully to hear it, but the muddled arguments against imposing a travel ban on the West African outbreak nations boiled down to an assertion that the safety benefits would not be worth the costs, which would be paid primarily by inconvenienced West Africans, whose prosperity America was held vaguely responsible for, because slavery.

It’s quite reasonable to measure cost against benefits, but the Left hates doing it, because many of their ideas look less attractive – if not downright absurd – when such calculations are made.  Much of modern politics can be thought of as the art of promising benefits without regard to cost.  If necessary, cost gets straitjacketed and locked in a closet until the political discussion is over.  The related subject of exactly who covers the cost, and how that group overlaps with who gets the benefits, is considered extremely rude to bring up.  Politicians are very generous with other peoples’ money.  No one is more gregarious than the liberal politician who has never, in his life, been forced to make a business payroll, but is eager to burden those who do with minimum wage increases.

All sorts of ideas are palatable to the American electorate only because they don’t think about the cost.  (The belief that the Evil Rich can cover those costs out of loose change from their treasure vaults is another way of ignoring cost, because people who think that way are convinced looting the rich is a “soft” crime – they’re not really injured by confiscatory taxation, because they have plenty of money to spare.)  For example, no Big Government enthusiast likes to talk about the way rising fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles kill people, but it is undeniably true – the fatality rates for traffic accidents rise as cars get smaller and lighter.  It’s a trade-off, and such standards have benefits, ranging from consumer savings on gas to environmental benefits, but nobody wants to think about those benefits in terms of human lives lost.

ObamaCare is a fantastic example of how abject failure can be portrayed as success, provided the costs are completely ignored.  In this case, people who complain about their personal costs – rising insurance premiums, lost access to doctors – are actively muzzled.  It’s infuriating, but also undeniably amusing, to watch ObamaCare apologists claim that if you just ignore everyone injured by the program, and count only those who seem pleased with it, it looks like it’s working.  It’s hard to imagine an enterprise that wouldn’t look good under that kind of analysis.

But even the sole metric of “success” ObamaCare defenders can point to, the number of people who gained insurance coverage under the program, does not hold up well under scrutiny, and it falls apart like wet tissue paper when measured against the cost of the program.  Edmund Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski took a look at those enrollment figures at the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, using numbers for the second quarter of 2014 that captured enrollments delayed by what they delicately describe as “numerous problems experienced by the exchanges,” and concluded that the vast majority of “ObamaCare enrollments” are actually Medicaid enrollments.  Furthermore, the net number of people who gained new insurance under the Affordable Care Act is far smaller than the numbers bandied about by the Administration and its apologists, because most of them are people who found out the hard way that President Obama was lying when he promised they could keep their old insurance plans:

Our analysis of the data is reported in more detail in our latest paper, but our key findings are that in the first half of 2014:

  • Enrollment in individual-market plans (both on and off the exchanges) increased by 6,254,564 individuals.
  • Enrollment in private employer-sponsored group plans declined by 3,788,978 individuals.
  • In the states implementing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, enrollment in Medicaid grew by 5,716,977 individuals.
  • In the states not implementing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, enrollment in Medicaid grew by 355,674 individuals.

Applying a little arithmetic to those four key data points yields the following observations:

  1. The drop in employment-based coverage offset 61 percent of the gains in individual-market coverage, for a net increase in private-sector coverage of 2,465,586 individuals.
  2. Total Medicaid enrollment increased by 6,072,651 individuals, with 94 percent of that growth occurring in the states that adopted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
  3. The total, net increase in health insurance coverage (private-market and Medicaid combined) during the first half of 2014 was 8,538,237 individuals, but 71 percent of that coverage gain was attributable to Obamacare expanding Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age adults

Thus, while most of the attention this year focused on the new health insurance exchanges, the data indicate that a significant share of exchange enrollments were likely the result of a substitution effect—meaning that most of those who enrolled in new coverage through the exchanges already had coverage through an individual-market or employer-group plan.

Given that increased enrollment in Medicaid accounted for 71 percent of the net growth in health insurance coverage during the first half of 2014, the inescapable conclusion is that, at least when it comes to covering the uninsured, Obamacare so far is mainly a simple expansion of Medicaid.

Which is something the American people should have been given an honest opportunity to debate, but Obama and his allies were too busy blowing smoke about a brilliant technocratic reinvention of the insurance industry, under the wise guiding hand of the omni-competent State… okay, stop laughing, that’s what these people really believe, and they made you pay for it.

They made you pay a lot for it.  That train wreck of an ObamaCare website ended up costing us nearly $2 billion altogether.  (Wouldn’t you have preferred the Department of Health and Human Services to spend that money on oh, say, Ebola preparedness instead?)  The cost of Medicaid rose from $265 billion to $305 billion in just the first year of fully-functional ObamaCare, and it’s projected to double over the coming decade.  Subsidies for non-Medicaid enrollees were $17 billion in ObamaCare Year One, but they’re projected by the Congressional Budget Office to soar 800 percent within ten years.  “The combined $707 billion that the federal government will spend on Medicaid and ObamaCare subsidies in 2024 is roughly equal to the $716 billion the CBO estimates the government will spend on national defense that year,” CNS News tartly observes.

Meanwhile, insurance premiums are rising by so much that the numbers had to be kept secret from the American people until after the midterm elections, and insurance deductibles have gotten so out of hand under ObamaCare that many of its “enrollees” are afraid to use their “benefits.”  Many of them end up doing exactly what ObamaCare was supposed to prevent people from doing: marching into hospital emergency rooms to get “free” care.  The huge constellation of new taxes swirling around ObamaCare will drain more money from the private sector in various ways; the widely hated medical-device tax has been credited with killing over 30,000 jobs all by itself, and is so toxic that a couple of weeks ago, Hillary Clinton spent a full five minutes stammering nonsense to avoid answering a question about whether she would support repealing it.

That all adds up to a huge amount of money confiscated, and wealth destroyed, in the service of ObamaCare.  Arguments will rage forever about how much health care spending would have risen without the program, and how many peripheral costs should be figured into the total bill.  (Let us postulate that if you’re one of the people who lost his job because of the medical device tax, you probably take a dimmer view of ObamaCare than a previously uninsured person with pre-existing conditions who now has a health-insurance policy, 80 percent of which is paid for by other people.)

But look at those enrollment numbers from the Daily Signal again.  6.3 million people bought policies, but 3.8 million lost the insurance they used to have – a net increase of a paltry 2.5 million paying customers.  How can anyone argue that the immense cost to the American people as a whole – to say nothing of the burden placed on countless People Who Work Hard and Play By the Rules who got sandbagged by insurance cancellations and premium hikes – justifies such a modest achievement?  And that’s without getting into customer satisfaction, which isn’t great for ObamaCare, even among the previously uninsured.  Medicaid is not well-loved by its beneficiaries, either, which is something we should have discussed at length before shoveling another 6 million people into a program with chronic fiscal problems.

Forget about the cost, and ObamaCare, like many other government programs, looks a lot better.. which is why you should never, ever forget about the cost.

The post ObamaCare: failure at any price appeared first on RedState.

22Oct/14Off

NSA Groupie Rep. Mike Rogers Wants Edward Snowden Charged with Murder

He does kind of look like singer Meat Loaf, doesn't he?My original headline described
Republican Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers as an "NSA apologist," but
then I realized that would indicate he thinks the National Security
Agency might have ever done anything wrong. That is not the case,
and he has outshown pretty much every other defender of the NSA in
his strident attacks on Edward Snowden for leaking information
about how the federal government has been spying on its own
citizens to a massive, unheard-of degree.

Rogers, also the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,
visited the House of Commons in England last night and took his
anti-Snowden lecture even further; he says he wants the
whistleblower charged with murder. From
The Huffington Post
:

"The [US] government has pressed charges on Mr Snowden," he
said. "We are treating him, as I would argue, the traitor that he
is." Rogers added: "And by the way, and this is important, I would
charge him for murder." …

The explosive material provided by Snowden to The Guardian
exposed the depth and breadth of US and UK global and domestic
spying capabilities and activities. However the Michigan
congressman said the leak had caused the deaths of American and
British armed forces.

"He took information that allows force protection, not only for
British soldiers, but for US soldiers, and made it more difficult
for us to track those activities. Meaning it is more likely that
one of those soldiers is going to get their legs blown off or
killed because of his actions," he said. "Anybody that provides
information to the enemy is a traitor, period, pure and
simple."

At least Rogers has the good sense to realize the American
public is not behind him:

Rogers admitted though that despite the fact both Republican and
Democrat politicians had condemned Snowden, the public was not on
the side of the authorities and believed their private lives were
under surveillance. "We are just having a horrible time in the
political narrative," he said.

You have to love how he makes all these outrageous, unsupported
claims that people don't believe and then complains about not
having any control over the political narrative.

Anyway, Rogers will not be a congressman for much longer,
retiring after this term to apparently become a conservative talk
radio show. I wrote about some of the lowlights
of his career
back in March, and Ed Krayewski identified him as
a
politician making fools of us all
back in April.

22Oct/14Off

From Africa to the US: Ebola in One Timeline

President Obama calls the Ebola virus a “serious disease.” The World Health Organization classifies the outbreak an “international health emergency.” Below are the facts, tracking the spread of the West African epidemic to the United States.

>>> Use the arrows to advance or jump to an event using the scrollbar at the bottom.

The post From Africa to the US: Ebola in One Timeline appeared first on Daily Signal.

22Oct/14Off

A Voting Machine in Chicago is Hardwired to Vote Democrat

Voter fraud and Democrats go together hand-in-hand. So it’s perhaps not surprising to find out that a voting machine in Chicago (of all places!) is shockingly hardwired to vote Democrat.

22Oct/14Off

VIDEO: Dr. Alveda King Says The Ugly Truth Most Democrats Don’t Want to Admit About Obama

It’s the dirty little secret that liberals don’t want anyone to admit. Dr. Alveda King though, niece of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, isn’t mincing her words,

22Oct/14Off

Ebola Threatens Us Because of NIH Budget Cuts! And Here’s Our Latest $31 Million NIH Grant for Diversity

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) leader Francis Collins

has claimed that budget cuts
kept his organization from having
already developed an Ebola vaccine.

Today, the NIH proudly
announces
:

the award of nearly $31 million in fiscal year 2014 funds to
develop new approaches that engage researchers, including those
from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and
prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. These awards
are part of a projected five-year program to support more than 50
awardees and partnering institutions in establishing a national
consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to
encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research
careers. Supported by the NIH Common Fund and all NIH 27 institutes
and centers, 12 awards will be issued as part of three initiatives
of the Enhancing the Diversity
of the NIH-Funded Workforce program
.

There's nowhere to cut, and every dollar we don't give the
government is some vital-to-civilization goal unmet.

Nick Gillespie
blogged on the nonsense
of claiming budgetary restraint hobbled
the government's ability to respond intelligently and effectively
to Ebola.

22Oct/14Off

Anti-Gun State Senator was Armed With a 9mm When He Was Arrested in Ferguson, Refused Breathalyzer (VIDEO)

It’s the hallmark of a liberal to oppose something for us little people, while enjoying it for themselves. Jamilah Nasheed, an anti-gun state senator, was arrested in Ferguson… with a

22Oct/14Off

Jesse Walker on Ebola and the Media

Can I just point out that the question mark should be outside the quotation marks? Thanks.Since the Ebola outbreak began,
the press has wavered uneasily between intimations of doom and
assurances that everything is under control. Jesse Walker explores
the duelling fears—of a public health crisis and of mass panic—that
explain the media's mixed messages.

View this article.