Holding People Accountable

On Thursday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about a recent common-sense ruling by the Supreme Court.

The article reports:

Alternate headline: Pottery Barn rules apply to walkouts. In an 8-1 decision in which only Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson fully dissented, the Supreme Court ruled today that unions have to reimburse employers for damages caused by striking workers. The National Labor Relations Act does not confer immunity to unions or workers — the latest ruling from a court that has stiffened the boundaries for labor activities in the last few years:

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that federal labor law did not protect a union from potential liability for damage that arose during a strike, and that a state court should resolve questions of liability.

The majority found that if accusations by an employer are true, actions during a strike by a local Teamsters union were not even arguably protected by federal law because the union took “affirmative steps to endanger” the employer’s property “rather than reasonable precautions to mitigate that risk.” It asked the state court to decide the merits of the accusations.

The opinion, written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Three conservative justices backed more sweeping concurring opinions. A single justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissented.

The case involved Teamsters who created truckloads of cement and then walked off the job–leaving the trucks full and no one to offload the trucks. Obviously, if the cement was left in the trucks, it would ruin the trucks. The Supreme Court (with the exception of one Justice) held the Teamsters liable for the damage they had caused. Striking is legal–damaging property is not.

The article also notes two important aspects of the case:

The Teamsters argued that they can’t be responsible for hypothetical risks to employer property in the absence of workers. Barrett emphatically rejects that, and concludes that the union organized the walkout specifically to create the highest potential risk of catastrophic damage when they had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent it…

…Congress created the National Labor Relations Board to deal with labor disputes, not property torts. The latter are matters for civil litigation separate from labor-management negotiations. It’s this argument from KBJ that has Thomas call for an end to the Garmon precedent, and which Alito et al expressly reject in their concurrence. To think otherwise would be to create an Open Season on employers’ property under the guise of ‘negotiations.’

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes some very interesting arguments.

Dealing With Crime In New York City

Mayor Adams has released his plan to deal with crime in New York City. On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about the plan.

The article reports:

New York, as with other Democrat-run cities, is experiencing a crime wave. Retail theft–shoplifting–has gone through the roof. Gangs of people go into stores and steal with impunity, leaving with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. It is both organized crime and disorganized. Thousands of people engage in the practice, with hundreds at least who do it as a living.

The article reports the plan:

The new crackdown includes giving first-time offenders intervention programs instead of prosecution, de-escalation training for retail employees, establishing neighborhood retail watch groups to share information about a theft in real-time with one another and the police, and installing kiosks in stores to connect would-be thieves with social service programs.

No, this isn’t the Babylon Bee.

The article concludes:

Kiosks offering social service programs. Neighborhood groups to watch the crime happen–nobody, after all, is authorized or encouraged to interfere. We all know what interfering with a crime will get the good samaritan: time in Riker’s.

De-escalation training? Now that is funny. Expect to wind up on YouTube being smeared as a White Supremacist for not allowing yourself to be victimized. Oh..you don’t have to imagine it. It happens, and the MSM and the Left work overtime to destroy you.

…It took 6 months to come up with this plan.

Six months.

What is the point? When the tough-on-crime ex-cop suggests that kiosks with social service information are the solution to an ongoing crime wave, there really isn’t a point in sticking around. Pick up and leave.

As long as actions don’t have negative consequences, they will continue.

Even Legal Immigration Has Consequences

On Tuesday, Hot Air posted an article about some employee changes in big tech.

The article reports:

Another sort of talking out-of-one-side-of-the-mouth while doing something entirely different example today.

We’ve been keeping abreast of the lay-offs in the tech sector here as part of our watching the Biden economy teeter and totter precipitously, and there has been quite an adjustment in those overall numbers since last fall.

…The employees that are retained are dealing with a vastly rejiggered cultural landscape as far as the perks, expectations, work from home, and general employment indulgences that were an ingrained part of their jobs for decades. Suck it up and tighten that belt if you want to stay.

In one example of shifting business practices in “subdued” times, Microsoft is still paying people, but they’ve announced they won’t be handing out annual raises this year.

Heartbreaking? Oh, those poor companies are struggling. Wait. Not so fast.

The article continues:

Based on data the government just put out, it seems Google, Meta, Zoom – shoot, they all went on a hiring spree last month for visa recipients. It’s a schweet workaround for tech firms, big and small.

The top 30 H-1B employers hired more than 34,000 new H-1B workers in 2022 and laid off 85,000 employees

The article concludes:

Of course, if you’re already a visa worker and included in the lay-offs, you’re screwed. You have 60 days to find a new gig or you’re supposed to leave/be deported.

Rather a kick-in-the-teeth for the American techs they could have rehired who might well have been willing to work for less as their severances packages eroded or were already gone, if they got one.

And that’s how the visa game is played, ladies and germs.

This is how our government subsidizes corporations while giving Americans a raw deal. The practice of laying off Americans and employing foreign workers needs to end. We encourage our children in STEM studies then undercut them in their search for jobs. That is not a good business model.


Is This Fair Competition?

On Friday, Hot Air posted an article about the Tour of the Gila. The Tour of the Gila is what’s known in cycling as a stage race, i.e. a race which takes place over several days. Each stage of the race has a winner, and the person with the lowest overall time wins the overall race. Earlier this week, the race was won by Austin Killips, a trans women.

The article reports:

…Killips also won the climber’s jersey (called the “Queen of the Mountains” jersey in this race) which is a competition within the overall race for those who score the most points on the climbs. To be fair, the overall winner in these type of races is often one of the top climbers so this isn’t unheard of but it’s a sign this was a fairly dominant performance. Killips apparently only started racing in 2019.

The fact that Killips began racing only four years ago and is now winning major victories is telling. Like it or not, men have different body structure than women.

The article notes that not everyone celebrated Killips’ victory:

This isn’t the first time Killips has stirred up controversy in the sport. Last month former champion racer Hannah Arensman quit the sport over having to compete with men including Killips.

…Decisions about who can compete aren’t up to the individual race organizers. Races of this type are governed by a world body called the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) which sets the rules for all sanctioned races including the rules allowing trans women to compete in women’s events. So after the race there were complaints that UCI needed to do something about the rules. Former tennis champ Martina Navratilova was one of the people who complained.

On May 5th, The U.K. Telegraph reported:

The International Cycling Union [UCI] is discussing the possibility of banning transgender athletes from female categories amid the outcry over Austin Killips’s first prize for women at the Tour of the Gila.

Killips’ victory in the premier road race in New Mexico prompted immediate calls for a rethink on rules drafted just last year and the governing body has now announced it is “reopening consultation”.

Telegraph Sport reported on Tuesday how UCI hierarchy is divided at the highest levels over calls to tighten international protections – but it now appears new rules could be agreed upon by August.

In a statement the body said on Thursday “participation of transgender athletes in international competitions was discussed” at a UCI management committee meeting. 

“The management committee decided to analyse the current situation by reopening consultation with the athletes and national federations, and therefore agreed to debate and take an eventual decision at its next meeting, in Glasgow, in August.”

The fact that trans-gender women are competing in women’s sports has cost many young women scholarships and opportunities to compete at higher levels. This is something that needs to change. It may be necessary to create a separate category for trans-gender women to compete in sports. I wonder how many would be competing if they did not have an advantage. Please follow the link to read the entire article at Hot Air. Some of the comments are very interesting.

This Would Be Funny If It Weren’t So Serious

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted an article about the ongoing battle between Congress and the Supreme Court. According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress and the Supreme Court are co-equal branches of government–neither has oversight responsibility over the other.

The article reports:

According to both Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, 15 Democrats from the Judiciary Committee have sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee asking that funding for the security that defends the lives of the Supreme Court Justices and their families be denied until the Court buckles to the demands of the Democrats.

The article reports those demands:

The Democrats are making demands that the Court accept a Code of Ethics being pushed by the Left, and apparently, they have threatened to withhold funding for the security details that protect the Justices unless Chief Justice Roberts caves to their demands.

The article quotes The Washington Post:

Justice Samuel Alito was supposed to speak to law students at George Mason University in Arlington, Va., but when they showed up, he wasn’t there. “That Alito was speaking via closed circuit from a room at the Supreme Court seven miles away, rather than in person, was a sign these are not normal times,” the Washington Post reported. The Post didn’t explain what made the “times” abnormal.

It wasn’t a lingering fear of Covid-19. In a mid-April interview in his chambers, Justice Alito fills us in on the May 12, 2022, event: “Our police conferred with the George Mason Police and the Arlington Police and they said, ‘It’s not a good idea. He shouldn’t come here. . . . The security problems will be severe.’ So I ended up giving the speech by Zoom,” he says. “Still, there were so many protesters and they were so loud that you could hear them.”

…He adds that “I don’t feel physically unsafe, because we now have a lot of protection.” He is “driven around in basically a tank, and I’m not really supposed to go anyplace by myself without the tank and my members of the police force.” Deputy U.S. marshals guard the justices’ homes 24/7. (The U.S. Marshals Service, a bureau of the Justice Department, is distinct from the marshal of the court, who reports to the justices and oversees the Supreme Court Police.)

A federal law called Section 1507 makes it a crime to picket or parade “in or near” a federal judge’s residence “with the intent of influencing” him “in the discharge of his duty.” During a hearing last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland told Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) that the marshals have “full authority to arrest” violators of Section 1507. But according to training slides obtained by Sen. Katie Britt (R., Ala.), deputies on the justices’ residential details are told to enforce the law only as “a last resort to prevent physical harm to the Justices and/or their families.”

Maybe it’s time to send our Justices through Concealed Carry Training and issue them weapons. I am not sure the police are able or willing to protect them.

The Exploding Number Of Migrants

On May 1, Hot Air reported that over 15,000 migrants have illegally crossed the river near Brownsville, Texas, since last week. This is a sharp increase over the 1,700 migrants Border Patrol agents encountered in the first two weeks of April.

The article reports:

Chavez (Gloria Chavez, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector) said the reason for the sudden increase isn’t clear yet but it may have to do with migrants being frustrated with the government app that allows them to seek asylum at a port of entry. The app is plagued with problems. Some migrants who crossed the border last week said cartel threats motivated them. Brownsville is across the Rio Grande River from Matamoros, Mexico, there is a huge camp of tents that house 2,000 people waiting to cross into Texas. Some of these tents were set on fire last week. Migrants blamed the cartels but government officials said the fires may have been set by frustrated migrants angry about their long wait on the border. Imagine that – migrants are so arrogant now that they expect to cross the border on their time schedule. This is what Biden’s border crisis has created.

The article notes:\

DHS Secretary Mayorkas still refuses to take accountability for the Biden border crisis. He put all the blame on Congress during an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday morning.

“We are seeing a level of migration not just at our southern border but throughout the hemisphere that is unprecedented,” Mayorkas said Sunday, adding that he believes our hemisphere is seeing the greatest level of migration since World War II.

Mayorkas said President Joe Biden “delivered a solution” to the crisis “on Day 1” of his term in the form of immigration reform legislation, and Mayorkas put the blame on Congress for being slow to act.

“Within the constraints of a broken immigration system, we are doing so much,” he said of the Biden administration.

“Our approach is to build lawful pathways, cut out the ruthless smugglers, deliver the lawful pathway so people can access humanitarian relief without having to take the dangerous journey from their home countries,” Mayorkas continued. “And at the same time, if they arrive at our southern border in between ports of entry, we will deliver consequences.”

It is very obvious that no one in the Biden administration takes any responsibility for the mess they have created.

A Scary Thought

On Tuesday, Hot Air posted an article about President Biden’s re-election campaign. The theme of the campaign is going to be “Let’s finish the job.” That is a scary thought. So far we have through the roof inflation, the loss of energy independence, domestic spying, misuse of the Justice Department to target political opposition, and seemingly major corruption. What does the President want to finish?

The article reports:

Now that President Biden has rolled out his first campaign advertisement of the 2024 cycle, we’ve learned that his theme is going to be “Let’s finish the job.” As with so much else that we’ve watched unfold over the past two years, that video left me feeling like I was watching some sort of poorly scripted dystopian movie. He’s hardly the first president to adopt such a theme, but surely he’s aware that most of his target audience (likely voters who are interested in the election) have access to the internet or at least a television, right? We’ve all witnessed “the job” that he’s done thus far and the results that have been produced. Can Biden actually believe that people like the way things have been going? Let’s take a brief walk down memory lane, even though “memory” might not be Uncle Joe’s strong suit these days.

The article concludes:

So what was that you were saying about how everyone needs to give you a chance to “finish the job?” If the “job” in question was to completely wreck this country for far too many Americans, you probably don’t need a second term. The job looks like it’s nearly done already. But if you’re somehow arguing that your plans will make life better for everyday Americans, take a look around at all that you have wrought in barely two years. Why on earth would we believe you?

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. When you write it down all together, what the Biden administration has done to America is scary.

Who Has The Right To Compete In Women’s Sports?

On Tuesday, Hot Air reported that H.R. 734 is currently making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is how Congress.gov (you have to type in the bill number as the specific page expires) summarizes the bill:

Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023

This bill generally prohibits school athletic programs from allowing individuals whose biological sex at birth was male to participate in programs that are for women or girls.

Specifically, the bill provides that it is a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for federally funded education programs or activities to operate, sponsor, or facilitate athletic programs or activities that allow individuals of the male sex to participate in programs or activities that are designated for women or girls. (Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs or activities, including in public elementary and secondary schools and in colleges and universities.) Under the bill, sex is based on an individual’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.

The bill does not prohibit male individuals from training or practicing with programs or activities for women or girls as long as such training or practice does not deprive any female of corresponding opportunities or benefits.

This sounds like common sense to me. However, not everyone agrees with the concepts stated in the bill.

Hot Air reports:

A new bill (H.R. 734) titled the Protection of Women and Girls Sports Act is currently making its way through the House with a vote anticipated later this week. The measure would prevent biological males from competing in women’s and girls’ sports in schools. The bill has even attracted some bipartisan support in the Senate, meaning that is should have a realistic chance of making it out of the legislature. But yesterday, the White House issued a statement saying that Joe Biden will veto the bill if it reaches his desk. This statement is the clearest sign yet that the President has fully bought into the ongoing transgender craze. But one aspect of the legislation could provide a watershed moment if a challenge to it reaches the courts.

…One interesting twist in this debate comes with the bill’s references to Title IX. For a long time now, starting with Barack Obama, Democrats have been fighting to expand the definition of the protections offered in Title IX to include transgender definitions. H.R. 734 seeks to turn the tables and invoke Title IX to apply directly to actual women as it was originally intended.

The second and more important facet of the legislation is found in its definition of the word “sex.” It clearly defines sex as being “based on an individual’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” This is precisely the sort of legal barricade that we need to drive home and put before the Supreme Court. The unscientific nonsense driving the entire transgender debate can’t be allowed to impose insanity on our legislative process and the laws of the land.

The fact that this bill is drawing at least some bipartisan support could be a signal of things to come.

What would happen if I decided to identify as a six-year old and signed up for t-ball? I might score a lot of home runs. Generally speaking, the physical structure of a man has more muscle mass than that of a woman. Men have no place competing in women’s sports. It’s not a fair competition.

When The Article Has No Relationship To The Truth

On Friday, Hot Air posted a story about a recent article in the Miami Herald that totally mislead readers regarding an arrest. The article in the Herald claims that the 13-year-old son of Rebekah Jones was arrested over memes he posted. That is totally misleading. Ms. Jones claimed that her son was kidnapped by the police, yet the article contains a video of her sitting in the police station as her son is arrested by a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Deputy for threatening to shoot up a middle school.

The article includes a screen shot of the case. The screenshot includes the following:

This is obviously a disturbed child. His arrest may have prevented a school shooting. He is not a victim. He is suffering the consequences of his actions.

If is a safe bet that if this child had shot up the school, the media would blame the gun. This is one of many reasons the mainstream media is never to be believed.

Please follow the link above for the rest of the story.



Does Anyone Actually Believe That The United Nations Is A Positive Force For World Peace?

On Sunday, Hot Air reported that due to the normal rotation of leadership, Vladimir Putin has now become the president of the United Nations Security Council.

The article reports:

The United Nations Security Council rotates new members in as the president of the council on a monthly basis. This month it was Russia’s turn, making Vladimir Putin the president. While this was no doubt an annoyance to most of the NATO allies in the UN, it was particularly bothersome to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski. Last night he took his complaints to the press, describing the move as “absurd and destructive.” He pointed out that a five-month-old child had been killed by a Russian missile strike only the day before. His Foreign Minister joined him in protesting the situation, calling it “a slap in the face to the international community.” But the position is almost entirely ceremonial and it’s unlikely that Putin will be showing up for any meetings in the near future.

The article also notes:

Look at the current membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Some of the most autocratic nations guilty of massive human rights abuses are seated there, including China and the United Arab Emirates. (And Russia, of course.) Other examples abound throughout the entirety of the UN.

But how likely is it that Vladimir Putin will actually show up to gavel a meeting into session? Keep in mind that the International Criminal Court recently issued an arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes committed in Ukraine. The court isn’t technically part of the UN, falling under the Assembly of State Parties, but it runs pretty much in parallel. Wouldn’t the other members of the council feel obligated to slap some handcuffs on Putin if he showed up?

That would make for an interesting wrinkle in this story. If anyone had the audacity to actually arrest him, Russia would almost certainly retaliate, potentially expanding the conflict to dangerous levels. Then again, Putin may be counting on everyone being aware of that possibility. While it seems unlikely, he might just show up to prove a point.

Let’s kick the United Nations out of New York City and turn the building into affordable housing!

When The Department Of Justice Decides To Enforce Only Some Of The Laws

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted an article about the protests outside the homes of the Supreme Court justices after the leak of the Dobbs decision.

The article reports:

Freshman Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) exposed an inconvenient truth Tuesday during a budget hearing. Attorney General Merrick Garland was questioned during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the fact that U.S. Marshals guarding the homes of Supreme Court justices have been instructed not to arrest protesters even though Garland previously claimed that the marshals have a free hand when it comes to making arrests.

Senator Britt came with proof that the marshals are instructed in the training package that arrests of protesters outside of the homes of Supreme Court justices are not priorities. The protests are regularly held outside the homes of the conservative Supreme Court justices in response to the Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v Wade. Ever since a draft was deliberately leaked last spring that indicated the Court would overturn Roe v Wade, protesters have violated a federal statute that outlaws protesting at a judge’s home with the intent to influence a ruling. That is exactly what the protesters are doing.

In today’s highly-charged political atmosphere, such protests have the potential to turn deadly. Last June, local police arrested an armed man who traveled from California to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in suburban Maryland with the intention to kill him. He told police he was angry about the Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion and guns. He was charged in federal court with seeking to assassinate the Supreme Court justice. That incident highlighted the potential danger the justices and their families are in while they are in their homes. Congress approves additional security for the justices.

There are a number of problems with the protesters at the justices’ homes. First of all, protesting at a judge’s home to influence a ruling is illegal. Secondly, Justice Roberts created a problem when he voted to uphold Roe v. Wade. Because his vote made the decision a 5-4 decision rather than a 6-3 decision, it sent a message to the abortion lobby that all they need is one justice to reverse the decision. That was a bad move on Justice Roberts’ part and may result in violence against one of the other justices. Meanwhile the protesters breaking the law don’t have to worry about the fact that they are committing a crime.

Watching America Become A Banana Republic

On Friday, Hot Air posted an article about the latest January 6th conviction. My heart hurts for the people who have been unconstitutionally kept in jail in less than idea conditions for more than two years. Meanwhile, actual rioters during the summer of 2020 have had their charges dropped.

Just to refresh your memory, Real Clear Investigations has reported (posted September 9, 2021, revised and updated 2022) the following:

  • The summer 2020 riots resulted in some 15 times more injured police officers, 19 times as many arrests, and estimated damages in dollar terms up to 740 times more costly than those of the Capitol riot.
  • Authorities have pursued the largely Trump-supporting Capitol rioters with substantially more vigor than suspected wrongdoers in the earlier two cases, and prosecutors and judges alike have weighed Capitol riot defendants’ political views in adjudicating their cases.
  • Dozens of accused Capitol rioters have been held in pretrial detention for months, where they have allegedly been mistreated.
  • In the summer 2020 riots, the vast majority of charges were dismissed, as they were in the Inauguration 2017 unrest. 

Meanwhile, Hot Air reports:

Riley June Williams has been sentenced to three years in prison along with three years of supervised release and a $2,000 fine. You’re to be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Ms. Williams since she isn’t exactly a household name, but she was one of the rioters who went into the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. She was just 22 years old at the time. Prosecutors had done their best to throw the book at the young woman, asking for more than seven years in prison. Her attorney requested one year and one day. The judge apparently felt that three years was a compromise. But as with so many of these show trials, a closer look at what Williams was actually accused of and the charges where they managed to obtain convictions doesn’t exactly paint the picture of a dangerous desperado.

…She eventually reached Pelosi’s office and, as mentioned above, she later claimed to have stolen a gavel from the then-Speaker’s desk. I did some shopping online and found that most of the really nice wooden gavels can be purchased for less than fifty bucks. But let’s just say that Nancy Pelosi had a really top-of-the-line gavel made of crystal. That’s still less than 200 dollars. With apologies to the prosecutors, there’s no such thing as Grand Theft Gavel. But while the AP article claims she stole the gavel, there is no indication in the Justice Department report that she was even charged with theft, to say nothing of being convicted. Given how desperately the prosecutors seemed to be trying to charge her with everything under the sun, why would they pass on the opportunity to take her down for theft? We may never know.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. I started this blog as an outlet so that I wouldn’t throw shoes at the television. This situation might drive me back to throwing shoes.

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant

On Monday, Hot Air reported that at least temporarily Microsoft has ‘suspended’ the use of the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) as a result of The Washington Examiner’s exposing their blacklists.

The article reports:

It’s a win. It might only prove temporary, but it’s still a win for now.

Last week, the Washington Examiner’s Gabe Kaminsky exposed secret blacklists of conservative sites created by the “Global Disinformation Index.” Those blacklists included Hot Air, Townhall, RedState, and Twitchy, and lots of other conservative sites under the ambiguous guise of “disinformation.” No one from GDI or its sponsors ever bothered to contact us to discuss their “assessment,” nor did their reports ever cite any specific data for any of the sites blacklisted, despite a lengthy yet completely data-free discussion of their “methodology.”

…Several House Republicans demanded hearings on GDI in the immediate future. It will fit nicely into the GOP’s efforts to expose the political weaponization of government. It also comes at the same time that the Twitter Files and a lawsuit against Facebook have exposed government efforts to quash and silence dissent and debate on social media platforms. This takes that effort several steps further — attempting to strangle conservative voices even outside of the Big Tech platforms.

The article notes:

Once again, this is why we fight. We knew that we could not rely on Big Tech to provide us easy access to advertisers, but we didn’t know they’d adopt blacklists to cut us off entirely. Our members are what keep us going, and we appreciate them for standing up to the GDIs and the other McCarthyists.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. The only way to change things is to speak out.

Targeting The People Who Can Least Afford It

On February 8, Hot Air posted an article about the Biden administration’s plan to crack down on unreported tips.

The article reports:

Remember when we were told that the army of new IRS agents Biden wants to hire was only going to go after billionaires? Good times. If that’s the case, somebody should check to see if Bill Gates and Elon Musk have taken some side gigs slinging hash at a diner somewhere. (Of course, in Musk’s case it may come to that if he can’t get 10 million more people to sign up for Twitter Blue.) As it turns out, the Tax Man is launching a new program to crack down on tips received by wait staff in the food and beverage industry. That’s right. The IRS thinks that waiters and waitresses are pocketing too much money in gratuities, and Uncle Sam plans on getting his piece of the action. (Fox News).

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed a revenue procedure this week cracking down on service industry’s reporting of tips.

The so-called Service Industry Tip Compliance Agreement (SITCA) program would be a voluntary tip reporting system in which the IRS and service industry companies cooperate, according to the announcement Monday. As part of the proposal, the IRS will give the public until early May to provide feedback on the program before implementing it.

“Those 87,000 new IRS agents that you were promised would only target the rich…” Mike Palicz, the federal affairs manager at Americans for Tax Reform, tweeted. “They’re coming after waitresses’ tips now.”

The article concludes:

The whole concept of an “income tax” is based on the compensation a person is paid by their employer. The wait staff’s tips shouldn’t be taxed at all because the patrons are not their employers and are under no obligation to tip them. It’s really more of a gift given in appreciation for good service.

But that probably won’t stop the IRS from doing this. And it’s policies like these that have made me develop a habit of always tipping in cash when we dine out, even if we pay for the meal with a debit card. I tend to be a bit of an exorbitant tipper (at least according to my wife) but regular customers who tip well generally wind up getting much better service in my experience. And I enjoy the looks on the faces of hard-working servers when they find some twenty-dollar bills that they can just stick in their pockets waiting for them. As far as I’m concerned, owners of bars and restaurants should tell the IRS to keep its nose out of their employees’ tips.

At some point, I wish the government would realize that what people earn is theirs and the government actually has no right to any of it. If the spending habits of our government were a bit more sane, some of us might not mind paying the ridiculous taxes that we pay. Right now–in
America–taxpayers pay more money to the government than the Midievil surfs did to the lords of the manor. That is not acceptable.

The Jury Gets It Right

On Monday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about the federal court jury that found Mark Houck not guilty. As you may remember, Mark Houck was arrested in an early morning raid on his house by an armed swat team in front of his children. What was his crime? He was charged with violating the The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act). Mr. Houck leads a pro-life group that provides sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics in Philadelphia. The incident in question involves one of the abortion clinic escorts harassing Mark Houck’s son. When the case was originally brought to court, the court threw it out. Then the federal government decided to get involved.

The article at Hot Air reports:

By the way, this isn’t over yet. Eleven others face prosecution for FACE Act charges for allegedly blocking access to abortion clinics, as Greg points out in a subsequent tweet. The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan covered this in October:

…Amid accusations that it is targeting pro-lifers to silence and intimidate, the Justice Department has charged 11 more pro-life activists with violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act for blocking the entrance of an abortion clinic in 2021.

The 11 activists were charged with FACE Act violations stemming from their 2021 “blockade” of an abortion clinic in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. This blockade was peaceful, pro-life activist AJ Hurley told The Daily Signal on Wednesday evening.

Several of the activists were arrested on the day of the blockade, after reportedly successfully preventing abortions from taking place at the clinic for most of the day, but police reportedly released these activists later in the day after they posted bail for misdemeanor charges, the pro-life news outlet Live Action reported.

The article also notes:

Meanwhile, the FBI has done little to pursue actual acts of vandalism and political violence that targeted pro-life clinics. Two people got indicted last week in Florida. but most other victims have barely heard from the FBI — and the 30-agent raid model somehow didn’t get deployed in these cases, either.

It seems that the process is the punishment at the Department of Justice. It’s yet another good reason that Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have established a new select committee on the weaponization of federal law enforcement. Mark Houck will no doubt provide chapter and verse on that subject, starting with the astonishing raid over an argument.


Good News For Covid Patients In California

On Thursday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about a recent ruling by US District Court Judge William Shubb on enforcement of AB 2098.

The article reports:

Can the state of California enforce its own idea of “scientific consensus” on doctors who treat patients for COVID-19? Not after last night, when US District Court Judge William Shubb slapped an injunction on enforcement of AB 2098. This undoubtedly sets up a showdown at the Ninth Circuit, but for the moment the gag rule on doctors has been shut down.

After reading Shubb’s opinion about how badly the state legislature crafted the law, however, Gavin Newsom might want to think twice about further exposure. In the first place, the law forces doctors to only convey the “scientific consensus” on COVID-19 rather than their own judgment, when no one — not the legislature or its attorneys — can provide a definition of that term in relation to COVID-19:

…Shubb agrees with the plaintiffs in this action, noting that the “scientific consensus” regarding a novel virus only under study for three years is at best an aspirational concept. In practice, as Shubb notes, the “consensus” — as defined by California’s reliance on public-health officials — has changed repeatedly in that time. That puts every doctor at risk for prosecution in California no matter what they might say in any given moment, a standard so unreliable as to practically embody the terms “arbitrary” and “capricious”:

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Physicians know their patients better than the government. A physician is much more able to look at a patient, understand the degree of risk that person will have in dealing with Covid. There doesn’t seem to be logic in the way different people react to Covid, and doctors should be allowed to do what they think is best for their patients. For example, the doctors at Frontline Doctors had a very high success rate in treating Covid patients, yet the government did everything possible to silence them and to prevent them from successfully treating patients.

Hopefully this case is the beginning of patients and doctors reclaiming the rights of Americans to good medical care.

Penalizing One Group Of People To Save Money For Another

There is a housing crisis in America. Housing prices have skyrocketed (although they have come down slightly and the real estate market has cooled as interest rates have increased). Rents are going up and inflation is making it difficult for people to pay their rents. This will eventually work itself out, but unfortunately, the government is planning to get involved.

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted the following headline, “First step towards national rent control? Biden admin to mandate “fairness”” Government “fairness” has a way of not being fair.

The article reports:

If you’ve been renting, especially a single-family house vice an apartment, you’ve been on pins and needles the entire time, not knowing if it would be sold out from under you if the owner decides to cash in on good times, vice continues to deal with tenants. Almost every aspect has been fraught with anxiety for all concerned.

A good portion of this is attributable to measures taken (with questionable authority) by the Centers for Disease Control. In an unprecedented order on 1 September 2020, the CDC brought an immediate – and “temporary” – halt in residential evictions to “prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” Congress and then the Biden administration extended that order through various incarnations for another year, claiming a surge in Delta variant infections justified it.

What is being overlooked here is that fact that even if t he renter cannot affort to pay his rent, the homeowner is still required to pay his mortgage.The renter may not be evicted, but the owner is in danger of foreclosure.

The article concludes:

Also, please note – there’s nothing about independent landlord protections. Who is going to want to rent their home to anyone and face not getting paid with the government’s stamp of approval? Here people were, hoping for rents to start easing off some and housing to open back up. ‘Tis to laugh.

The government’s going to sanction both non-payment of rent and pay for the scofflaw’s lawyers? As the landlord is also a taxpayer, you could look at it that he’s getting shafted twice in this deal.

Well, hello. There’s another house sold to Blackrock for cash.

We need to look at any government interference against the free market as an attack on our freedom and treat it as such.

The CDC Censored Information On Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs)

On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about the CDC’s censorship Defensive Gun Uses statistics.

The article reports:

Gun control activists know that Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs) are a thorn on their side because they make selling gun control harder. Therefore, in what can be uncharitably described as a conspiracy against the civil rights of The People, they mounted a months-long pressure campaign, using influence from a Democrat Senator and the White House, to privately meet with CDC officials to get higher-end DGU statistics removed from the CDC website.

Beth Reimels, Associate Director for Policy, Partnerships, and Strategic Communication at the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, said in one email to the three advocates on December 10th. “We will also make some edits to the content we discussed that I think will address the concerns you and other partners have raised.”

While conspiring with gun control activists behind closed doors, the CDC at the same time did not bother reaching out to the researcher whose higher-end DGU estimates were yanked from the CDC website:

Kleck, Professor Emeritus at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, stood by his research. He said the CDC did not reach out to him for his perspective before making the change. He argued the removal of the reference to his estimate was “blatant censorship” and said it was evidence of the politicization of the agency.

The article also notes the lack of media coverage of the censoring of the statistics:

What the CDC did was indeed censorship, but there’s more censorship at play here. And that’s the mainstream media’s complete and total blackout of this story. I have been following the news just about daily to see who does and doesn’t cover this story. So far, to the best of my knowledge, the only coverage from a large media organization has come from Fox News, who reported on the collusion between the CDC and gun control activists, and then followed up with another story on some Republicans in Congress demanding that the CDC reinstate the statistics. Other than these stories, there’s minor coverage at The Daily Caller, Real Clear Politics, and the New York Post which reports it as the “grumbling” of a researcher.

It seems as if some of our government agencies are not being honest about sharing important information with their fellow Americans.

Refusing To Acknowledge Achievement

On December 24th, Hot Air posted an article about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology located in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The article reports:

Located in Fairfax County, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has long been ranked as one of the premiere high schools in the nation. It’s a “magnet” charter school that focuses on the sciences and STEM curricula. But for several years now you wouldn’t have guessed that based on the school’s record of students receiving National Merit awards. That’s because none of the students reportedly received those honors. Except that’s not true at all. The top students in the school did indeed receive National Merit awards, but two administrators at TJ have been withholding notifications of the awards from students. They reportedly did this as part of their “equitable grading policy.” And the parents of students who were not credited with those achievements are seeing red.

Refusing to reward accomplishment does not promote equity–it simply removes the incentive for students to try to achieve. If achievement is recognized, it provides motivation for struggling students to try harder.

The article concludes:

The student mentioned in the excerpt above took the PSAT and achieved a score that placed him in the top three percent of students in the nation, along with winning a National Merit award. But he couldn’t list that on his college applications because he was never informed that he received it. This year, after being caught, the school did eventually distribute the awards, but they waited until after the early college admission deadline had passed.

The principal of the school and the director of student services reportedly conspired to withhold the awards for years, impacting as many as 1,200 students. Under their “equitable grading policy” described above, almost no student will ever fail and they get a 50% grade just for showing up. This is being described as a “race to the bottom,” which definitely sounds accurate.

As we’ve seen with other charter schools in California, efforts have been underway to eliminate merit-based achievements. In the opinion of the progressives pushing such “reforms,” too many of the “wrong” types of students were getting the awards, most commonly students from Asian families. To correct what they see as an “unfair” system, they keep lowering the standards until everyone reaches equality. Tragically, it’s an equality of poor performance. This barely disguised racism should not be tolerated and it’s a mystery why Thomas Jefferson High School continues to employ the administrators who were responsible for this plot.

This is socialism in education–no one is allowed to be rewarded for their efforts and eventually the achievers stop achieving.


The Reverse Impact Of Releasing Donald Trump’s Tax Returns

The real lesson in looking at President Trump’s tax returns is that he lost money while he was President. Not only did his businesses lose money–he refused to take a salary. Contrast that with some of our recent Presidents who were middle class when they arrived at the White House and left as millionaires. Or contrast that with Congressmen who arrived in Washington as members of the middle class and left a few years later as millionaires.

On Friday, Hot Air noted the following:

He is already rich. So rich that he donated his salary every year that he was president.

All the ridiculous talk of emoluments, schemes to use the office to enrich himself seemed beside the point. Trump loves himself some money and will do ridiculous things to make it, but even if he did use his office to enrich himself he wouldn’t be stupid enough to have it show up on his tax returns.

And sure enough, his returns tell us little except that Trump seems to be the only human being on the planet who didn’t get richer while he was president. He lost over a billion dollars of net worth.

As with most Trump controversies, it was much ado about nothing. Nothing bad was done by Trump, and while lots of commentators are cherry picking years when Trump paid little in taxes due to business losses, they ignore the fact that over his presidency he paid a million dollars in taxes.

Trump never claimed that he liked paying taxes; he even bragged that he did everything he could legally to avoid the practice. As any red-blooded American should. The federal government wastes trillions of dollars and you are an idiot to simply donate to the government what isn’t legally required.

The article also notes:

I would be much more interested in seeing the financials of politicians who entered office without much wealth but have grown immensely wealthy during their tenure. By what mechanism, exactly, did they do this on their relatively modest salaries? What about their families, who also often find their fortunes improve during their tenure.

The idea that anybody who supports Joe Biden could care about any financial malfeasance by Trump is ludicrous. The Biden family is little more than a circle of grifters using Joe’s political connections to get rich. Bill Clinton entered office a relative pauper and together with Hillary is now worth north of $100 million.

That is quite an achievement for a guy who has never worked in business. “Public service” has been very good to the Clintons, I would say.

The article comes to the only really logical conclusion:

Not every grifter is a Leftist–there are plenty to go around–but nearly every Leftist is a grifter.

Still, I am not that interested in seeing their tax returns. I am sure their accountants are as good at manipulating numbers as well as Trump’s. What I would really like to see is somebody doing a correlation between the investments of politicians and the legislation they write and have access to.

That would be a great project for a forensic accountant.

The correlation between investments and legislation would be fascinating I am sure!

At Least Some Of Our Constitution Still Works

On Tuesday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The article reports:

A U.S. appeals court on Monday said the White House could not require federal contractors to ensure that their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of government contracts.

The U.S. government has contracts with thousands of companies, and courts have said the issue could affect up to 20% of U.S. workers.

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold a lower court decision that blocked President Joe Biden’s September 2021 contractor vaccine executive order in those states after Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi brought suit to seek invalidation of the mandate.

The article also notes:

It’s important to remember that this case deals with private sector employees, not federal government workers. The executive branch does have the authority to set working conditions in its own workplaces, limited by the obvious laws (the Constitution especially) and the need to work within collective-bargaining contracts. In this mandate, Biden attempted to force private-sector companies that provide goods and services to the federal government to impose vaccination requirements on their own workforces, and claimed that the Procurement Act provided Biden with that authority and jurisdiction.

The article concludes:

By the way, the court never does get to one of the core issues in this mandate — the fact that the extant vaccines neither stop transmission nor uptake. They do have a demonstrated positive effect in minimizing acute and severe cases of COVID, but that’s not the issue in workplace vaccine requirements. The only reason to impose such an order would be to stop transmission of an infectious disease, which none of the vaccines actually do. The only effect is personal and individual, and so the choice should be personal as well — just as with the tobacco analogy the Fifth Circuit wisely uses for demonstration.

The administration is fighting a battle they will lose on multiple fronts, in other words. They can appeal this to the Supreme Court, but that’s likely to deliver the same result in an ironclad historical precedent. Unlike the Academia bailout, Biden has no real political interest in fighting this out with the Supreme Court, and thus we may have seen the last of this battle.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. The arguments made on both sides are very interesting.

When A Prank Isn’t A Prank

On Tuesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the dinner hosted by President Trump that included a white supremacist. The more honest media has explained that Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist was brought to Mar-a-Lago by Kanye West. In an article posted Tuesday, Hot Air explains that Milo Yiannopoulos set up the dinner to troll President Trump. If nothing else, this even illustrates that President Trump trusted someone he considered a friend and got stabbed in the back. However, the American media, being what it is, has used to event to attempt to convince its readers that Republicans are white supremacists. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t know any better.

The Conservative Treehouse notes:

As NBC has now outlined in detail, a trio of dubious characters leveraged President Trump’s previous support for troubled Kanye West as an opportunity for an intentional smear campaign construct by Milo Yiannopoulos, Nick Fuentes and Kanye West himself. [Details Here]  Mr. West, now known as Ye, intended to make trouble by bringing uninvited guests along to carry out the operation.

The media and political opposition gleefully latched on to the successful targeting operation, in an effort to smear Donald Trump.  In typical Alinsky fashion, the goal is to controversialize the operational target.  Senator Mitch McConnell followed up today with his own pile on supported by his Senate leadership.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

Trump’s ego was bruised by Kanye who, I think it’s fair to say, has an equally massive ego. But what really happened here is that Milo set this up knowing it would explode and Trump would be left explaining why he was having dinner with an anti-Semite like Fuentes. And of course Trump can say he didn’t know but that just raises the next question which is why is the former president having dinners with complete strangers? It doesn’t seem very professional or smart and clearly it backfired in this case.

On the other hand I’m honestly not sure how any of this was supposed to help Kanye. It sort of makes me wonder if Milo isn’t doing this for his own personal reasons which have nothing to do with Ye’s plans to run for office. Or maybe he just assumed there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Except, as we found out last night, bad publicity seems to be the only kind Ye and Milo can get out of this whole thing.

Milo and Kanye are not people who care about America. It is a shame that they thought it was okay to create this controversy. Unfortunately the media and the Washington Club will play this up for all it is worth. Trump is a threat to the status quo, and based on the ferocity of the attacks on him, he may be exactly the right person to clean up the mess that is Washington.

Misdirected Complaints

Americans have endured record inflation in recent months, partially caused by skyrocketing energy costs. The Biden administration has been quick to take credit when gasoline prices have decreased slightly, but has consistently avoided taking responsibility for the role they have played in the increases in both gasoline and diesel prices. On Monday, Hot Air posted an article about the diesel fuel shortage.

The article reports:

During recent public appearances, President Joe Biden has continued to complain about energy prices as well as the potentially catastrophic shortage of diesel that has been forecast to hit the United States soon, particularly in the northeast. Of course, he never takes the blame for any of this himself. He instead tries to blame the “greedy” energy companies or, of course, Vladimir Putin. He has called for bans on oil and gas exports and even suggested a mandate that diesel stocks be maintained at a higher level. But a new report from the Institute for Energy Research addresses the actual root of these problems. What we’re facing is a significant loss in refinery capacity in the United States and its various territories. We’ve lost more than a million barrels per day in production capacity, but rather than working to rebuild that capacity, the White House is issuing new edicts that will result in diminishing it further.

…Banning petroleum exports (which are already at severely low levels) would only cut off markets, making the American oil and gas industry even less profitable, thereby disincentivizing any efforts to expand capacity. And as for an executive order directing a specific amount of diesel to be kept in stock, well… that’s simply insane. You can’t order more diesel to magically appear with a few scribbles of a pen. Someone has to produce the required oil, move it to a refinery, and create the diesel.

The article concludes:

Energy prices – including diesel – continue to rise and stockpiles continue to fall. We’re talking about a situation where people could literally wind up freezing to death over the course of the winter. There are steps the federal government could be taking to stave off such an outcome and improve the situation. But thus far, the Biden administration is doing the exact opposite. Some of you may want to start stockpiling blankets at this point. You might wind up needing them.

Bad policies have consequences. We are desperately in need of competent people in Washington.

Setting Up Two Classes Of Citizens

On Sunday, Hot Air posted an article about Canada’s plan to tax those citizens who were not vaccinated against Covid-19. Public outcry caused the plan to be scrapped, but it is entirely possible that the plan will show up again, despite growing evidence of the ineffectiveness and dangers of the vaccine.

The article quotes the Canadian Medical Association Journal:

Quebec’s recent move to tax people who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations reopened debate about the merits of such penalties.

Premier François Legault said that choosing to remain unvaccinated has consequences for the health care system and not all Quebecers should foot the bill.

Roughly one in 10 adults in Quebec remain unvaccinated, yet they account for an outsized share of COVID-19 hospitalizations and about half of all intensive care patients.

With hospitals postponing surgeries and some 20 000 health workers sick with COVID-19, fining those who refuse vaccinations becomes “a question of fairness,” Legault said.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

But if Canada is really crazy enough to take a fresh look at this policy, what will they say to all of the people who resisted but were eventually forced to take the vaccines in light of more recent news? Keep in mind that many European nations have now stopped offering the vaccines to all but the oldest and the most at-risk. These nations include Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Norway, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Others are considering similar policies as the dangerous side effects of the vaccines for some groups become more apparent. (And that news is finally being allowed to reach the public without immediately being censored.)

If you are fired from your job, you might find a new avenue of employment later. If the government takes some of your money, you may be able to make up for the loss in the future. But once you’ve been injected with these experimental vaccines, you can never be “unvaccinated.” And if you or one of your children suddenly develop a potentially fatal case of Myocarditis, your lives aren’t going to simply “go back to normal.” And it’s worth noting that even the American government is now finally admitting that the new mRNA vaccines will not prevent you from being infected or spreading the virus to others. They just reduce the worst effects of the disease for most people. (I finally caught it in September and managed to make it through to the other side, though I still don’t fully have my senses of taste and smell back.)

The virus is here to stay and it will likely keep morphing into new variants as the seasons go by. In that regard, it’s pretty much the same as the flu at this point. Let’s not return to the craziness of 2020 and 2021, shall we? Making mistakes when we are ignorant of all of the facts about something new is excusable. Continuing to do so after more facts are known is not.

I had the virus before it was fashionable (and before the vaccine). When I had my antibodies tested more than a year later, I still had them. I realize that the virus is dangerous for some people, but I still think the best defense is your own antibodies.


Sometimes The Police Are Just Wrong

Not every American is polite. Not every American willingly hands over identification when unjustly stopped by the police. However, police have a responsibility to do their jobs professionally rather than using a person’s bad manners as an excuse to arrest them. On Monday, Hot Air posted an article telling the story of an arrest that I believe should never have been made.

The article reports:

According to the arrest report, the deputy stopped 61-year-old James Hodges, because she thought he may have had a gun in his back pocket.

Hodges objected to being stopped, and shortly after deputies confirmed he was carrying a walking stick. Hodges refused to provide his ID to the deputies, while objecting to being detained.

“He repeatedly refused to allow identification of the object in his his pocket as well as refusing to identify himself,” the arrest report says.

Do police have the right to stop you and question you because they are suspicious of what you have in your pocket?

The story continues:

That’s what happened but it really doesn’t convey the sense of the encounter. Things started off civil with a “Hi there” from the female officer and a “Hey” in response from Hodges. “What’s this in your back pocket?” the officer asked. At that point, Hodges got a bit hostile. “It’s a navigational aid. What’s the problem are you a tyrant?” he replied.

The officer also seems to have abandoned her professionalism by responding in kind “Yeah, I am actually,” she said. It’s downhill from there.

Hodges does some sidewalk lawyering, refusing to give his name and asks what probably cause the officer had to stop him. She explained that it appeared he might have a gun which was not being carried properly. At this point, Hodges pulled out his folded walking stick and showed it to the officer. It turns out he is legally blind though officers didn’t know that at the start of the encounter.

Having established that there was no gun or other weapon involved (and therefore no probably cause to suspect a crime), that ought to be the end of it. Hodges seems content to walk on but the officers aren’t willing to let it go. Instead they handcuff Hodges and pull out his ID. He asks for their names and badge numbers but he’s not resisting in any way. Other than turning his head he’s not moving at all.

When police realized he’s legally blind they asked why he wasn’t using the stick to walk. Hodges replied that he doesn’t have to use it all the time but did need it earlier when he walked to jury duty because it was dark out.

After running his license a voice on the radio says the word “green.” The female officer then said to Hodges, who was still in handcuffs “All right Mr. Hodges was that that hard?”

“It’s gonna be. I want your name and your badge numbers,” Hodges replied. Now he’s not letting it go but he’s still perfectly calm.

The second officer snaps, “You know what, put him in jail for resisting.” And that’s what they did.

The local sheriff’s office says they are investigating the incident. I hope they are. I also hope that Mr. Hodges sues Columbia County Florida for arresting him. Generally I support the police, but I think they were wrong here. Please follow the link to the article to see the video of the arrest.