Friday, July 31, 2015

Quote of the Day!

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture

By Henry I. Miller and Drew L. Kershen

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good.  Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides. If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted. However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”

 Another poorly recognized aspect of this issue is that the vast majority of pesticidal substances that we consume are in our diets “naturally and are present in organic foods as well as non-organic ones. In a classic study, UC Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.” Moreover, “natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests.” Thus, consumers who buy organic to avoid pesticide exposure are focusing their attention on just one-hundredth of one percent of the pesticides they consume.....To Read More....

Ohio’s Obamacare expansion has cost $4 billion

By Jason Hart / July 10, 2015 / 18 Comments

Part 15 of 15 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

Expanding Medicaid to working-age Ohioans with no kids and no disabilities was supposed to cost $2.56 billion in its first year and a half.  So much for that.

After just 18 months, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Obamacare expansion has cost federal taxpayers more than $4 billion.

ohio-ocare-expansion-cost-2015-06


Kasich underestimated the cost of the first 18 months of his Obamacare expansion by roughly $1.5 billion. Enrollment was almost 600,000 at the end of June, compared to Kasich’s projection of 366,000.
 
Ohio’s Obamacare expansion has cost far more than expected because enrollment and per-member costs have both rocketed past expectations.
 
Benefit costs have exceeded $325 million each of the past three months, and $300 million for seven months straight — setting a course for a total cost of $5 billion before the end of the year.
 
Obamacare provides 100 percent federal funding for Medicaid expansion through December 2016. States will have to pay five percent of the expansion’s benefit costs starting in 2017, and ten percent starting in 2020.
 
With the federal government $18 trillion in debt, Congress is likely to make changes to Obamacare expansion’s federal match rate, further increasing the burden on participating states.
 
 
Jonathan Ingram, research director at the free-market Foundation for Government Accountability, said Ohioans should be concerned about who will be “put on the chopping block” to pay for Kasich’s Obamacare expansion.
 
“In just a year and a half, Kasich has put more able-bodied adults on Medicaid welfare than his administration thought would ever enroll,” Ingram said.
 
He noted that in Kasich’s last two budgets, the governor “has proposed slashing funding to pediatric hospitals and kicking pregnant women off of the program.”
 
“At this point, one thing is clear: Ohio’s Medicaid expansion costs are rapidly spiraling out of control,” Ingram said.
 
“Instead of traveling the country lobbying other states to expand ObamaCare, maybe Gov. Kasich should stay in Ohio and figure out a way to roll back his disastrous Medicaid expansion, before it’s too late,” he concluded.
 
Kasich contends his Obamacare expansion is paid for with “Ohio money” and has been a rousing success. He has bashed the policy’s critics during unofficial presidential campaign trips to South Dakota, Montana, Georgia, North Carolina and elsewhere.
 
 
On Thursday when the Ohio Department of Medicaid released its June spending report, Kasich was in Tennessee telling Gov. Bill Haslam to keep up the fight for Obamacare expansion.
 
“Part of the problem is people develop an ideological opposition and then don’t want to be confused by the facts,” Kasich told Obamacare supporters at a campaign stop in Nashville.
Unlike Kasich, who expanded Medicaid unilaterally after Ohio lawmakers voted against it, Haslam — a fellow Republican — has been thwarted repeatedly by his state’s legislature.

Part 15 of 15 in the series Ohio's Obamacare expansion

Neonicotinoid ban based on precautionary principle, not science

Posted on July 27, 2015 @ The American Council on Science and Health by Gil Ross

An op-ed in the Wall St. Journal by Owen Paterson, U.K. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2012 until 2014 and Member Parliament (MP) since 1997, tries to bring scientific perspective to the ideological, precautionary-principle based ban on the safe and useful class of modern pesticides, neonicotinoids (“neonics”).

Paterson points out that the data seeming to incriminate neonics as a factor in the alleged decline in bee colonies was itself highly unreliable. In fact, bee colonies are thriving and were when neonics were commonly used. But several important agricultural crops are suffering serious declines due to resurgent pest infestations, thanks to the loss of neonics.

The ban was instituted at the behest of anti-science NGOs and their millions of adherents — people who had little familiarity with science or farming or farmers. Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, writes, the 2013 ban “was based on faulty science and pressure exerted by environmental lobbyists…caused a widespread deterioration in crops across the U.K. and Europe. Now that the ban is set to expire in November, the EU has a chance to correct its mistake before any more damage is done.”

“If neonics are banned, then we will have to revert back to the much more savage pyrethroid sprays, which have been proven to do so much more harm to bees—and all other insects,” says Viv Marsh, a horticulturalist working on biodiversity conservation in my North Shropshire constituency.
 

What canola fields really look like without neonics:
Left has not been treated, while the right has.
Credit: Gregory Sekulic, Canola Council of Canada Agronomy Specialist

The anti-neonic hysteria drummed up by anti-science groups is but one example of how science, economics and simple common sense are all too often sacrificed to the mob mentality easily harnessed by so-called “environmental” groups. Merely a claim of some adverse effect on vulnerable species can be an inspiration for some activist crusade, based on nothing more than fear-mongering and the compliance of green-leaning precautionary EU regulators and bureaucrats. The campaign against neonics is another example: there are many others.

As MP Paterson concludes: “The ban is an indictment of Europe’s ‘precautionary principle’—Brussels’s trump card for implementing regulations without proof that it is necessary or beneficial. In this case, it was supposed to be an opportunity for the European Commission to examine the facts and determine whether continuing the ban after the initial two-year period was warranted. Now that the facts and the science are in, rarely has a supposed environmental hazard been so completely debunked.

“If the Commission does the right thing and allows the two-year ban to expire, it would be a huge relief to farmers trying to save their crops and conservationists trying to save the bees. Just as important, it would be a repudiation of the scare mongering employed by environmentalists and an indication that maybe, at long last, Brussels will start putting facts, science and common sense back into the process of regulatory decision making.”

I would be content with a reversal of the neonic ban. To imagine that this lesson will be emblazoned in the EU’s regulatory schema and be used to counter future such unscientific, counterproductive edicts is merely wishful thinking, I fear.

The Bees Are Safe—Now Lift This Pesticide Ban” demands Paterson. EU’s farmers and the scientific world couldn’t agree more.

American Council on Science and Health

Former Greenpeace founder criticizes organization’s “lack of science” in video - When Patrick Moore helped start GreenPeace his intent was to stop nuclear war, and to prevent whales from becoming extinct. However, somewhere along the way he realized he was the only scientist in the group. So he left. In a recent video he explains why. Read more.

Playing the name game with autism - There is a wealth of data that shows an increase in prevalence of autism over the past few decades. There is also a wealth of activities, such as pesticide use and vaccines, that have been blamed for this increase. However, a new study from researchers might finally have the answer to the cause of this increase. Read more.

Does organic food contain prohibited substances? USDA says many do. - Organic food aficionados proclaim that their preferred products are ‘healthier’ because they contain no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. But a recent report from the USDA suggests this really isn’t true. We question whether it even matters. Read more.

A new class of cholesterol drugs. But are they worth it? - Since 1987, the year in which the first of the statin-class drugs, Mevacor/lovastatin, was approved, statin drugs have been the standard of care for reducing high cholesterol, especially LDL (‘bad”) cholesterol. Now, there is a new option for reducing LDL cholesterol but is it worth the cost? Read more.

Data suggest we’re seeing a real decrease in Americans’ calorie consumption - The good news is that Americans seem to be buying and consuming fewer calories than before — perhaps signaling a slowing of the obesity epidemic. In spite of difficulties with data acquisition and analysis, the trend seems to be solid, and lends hope for the health of future generations. Read more.

Why GMO labeling is confusing, misleading, and ultimately pointless - On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 – a bill that would ban states from requiring labels for all genetically modified foods. James Hamblin, MD, in The Atlantic explains why such a label is totally unnecessary. Read more.

Reduced nicotine in cigarettes failed to help smokers quit: Study - One tactic promulgated by anti-smoking advocates over the years has been lowering the nicotine content of cigarettes to less-addictive levels. A new study by one such advocate seems to show that method will not help reduce the toll of smoking. Read more.

Exploration of the HIV epidemic in rural Indiana finds ideology over health - A perspective article in the NEJM re-explores in depth the ongoing epidemic of HIV in rural southeastern Scott County, IN. The authors (from San Diego, CA and Baltimore, MD) discuss the various factors responsible for the onset and spread of HIV — and HCV as well. Read more.

USPSTF recommends all adults should be screened for depression - The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is updating their recommendation for depression screening. Now they urge family physicians to regularly screen all adults for symptoms using standardized questionnaires. Read more.

Swan song for antibiotics? Can phage therapy and gene editing fill the gap? - It’s time to face the music: the golden age of antibiotics is over. They revolutionized medicine in the 20th century, and have together with vaccination led to the near eradication of many diseases in the developed world. But its time to move on to something thing new: phage therapy. Read more.

Will Aspartame Critics Now Be Less Bitter? - I’ve been writing about artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame (NutraSweet) for years. Why Well, the same reason that I write anything—to cut through the crap. And if you want to find more junk, you’d better get yourself tickets to a political debate. Read more.

Pepsi exchanges one artificial chemical sweetener for another artificial chemical sweetener - Pepsi has joined the ranks of Chipotle, Kraft, and many others who have forgone science in an attempt to win customer approval. In just a few days, Diet Pepsi will no longer contain aspartame, but it will contain a different artificial sweetener. Read more.

Changes in attitudes about obesity led to drop in Americans’ calorie consumption - Why have Americans’ calorie intake dropped over the last several years? Was it a shift in professionals’ attitudes? Perhaps the public’s perception of obesity as a health threat changed? Or was it the public’s recognition of the obesity-linked increase in chronic disease? Probably all of the above played a role. Read more.

Another Greenie Crisis That Wasn't

Beepocalypse Myth Handbook: Dissecting claims of pollinator collapse  posted @ Genetic Literacy Project -  This is the latest in a series of GLP reports on The Real Facts About the Birds and the Bees. Myths and truths about bees: There is no dangerous recent decline in the global honey bee population and a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are not fostering a global pollinator crisis. For years, environmental activists and the media have been warning of an impending “bee-pocalypse” in which a drastic fall in the honey bee population, which they claimed was already underway, would threaten bees with extinction and – because bees pollinate much of the food we eat – the word with starvation. The number one culprit in this extinction scenario is a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, for short. In fact, the honey bee population did face a crisis in 2006, when honey bee queens began turning up dead in hives and the hive population dove. It is a phenomenon dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder. First GMOs and then later neonics were fingered as likely drivers of the bee deaths……

Also see:



What do the EPA, Endangered Species Act, Center for Biological Diversity, new Floodplain Standards, Environmental Justice and Obama have in common?

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."  [Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928) (dissenting)]” ― Louis D. Brandeis

By Kathleen Marquardt

What they have in common is the desire for complete control over private property and thus nothing less than our liberty, our freedom. Without the right to private property man cannot be free. What you see are bureaucrats (and their laws) conspiring with NGOs to take our land by a proliferation of restrictions, edicts, executive orders and laws. The cfact article enumerates just a few of them.

Below that is the URL for the EPA’s Environmental Justice Screen mentioned in the cfact article.

Greens, Feds team up to link land-use restrictions to climate change: Their goal -- complete control over all private property

“In determining what constitutes a ‘future flood risk,’ the White House assured the nation that such decisions would be closely tied to, in Obama’s words, ‘a national policy on resilience and risk reduction consistent with my Climate Action Plan.’ In other words, the administration’s policies to ‘combat climate change’ will serve to justify a new bundle of regulations and standards imposed on communities throughout the country in the name of protecting them from flooding.” [Read more]

Social Justice Warriors don’t want justice; they want to upend civilization

By Kathleen Marquardt

Social Justice has nothing to do with justice; it is a tool – an especially big and powerful tool in the Sustainable Development realm – being used to tear apart Western Culture and replace it with chaos and civil war. As a tool it is doing the job very well. In this Observer article, Cathy Young does an excellent job of shining the light on SJWs.

The Pecking Disorder: Social Justice Warriors Gone Wild

“Working to correct inequities is a noble goal—which explains the appeal of the “social justice” movement to many fair-minded people. But the movement in its current form is not about that. It elevates an extreme and polarizing version of identity politics in which individuals are little more than the sum of their labels. It encourages wallowing in anger and guilt. It promotes intolerance and the politicization of everything. It must be stopped—not only for the sake of freedom, but for the sake of a kinder, fairer society.”  [Read more]

My Take - Another example of how the left uses our own values to destroy us.

Why The Patriot Act is Tyranny and Rand Paul is a Hero

Posted by Tom DeWeese @ American Policy Center

Senator Rand Paul is taking a lot of heat from establishment Conservatives and some in the media for his unwavering stand against the Patriot Act. The party line that is emerging says that we are now vulnerable to terrorist attack. Even Senator Paul, himself, said he was being accused of damaging America’s defenses against such attacks.

These accusations are almost humorous considering that many of these same establishment Republicans have refused to force Barack Obama to enforce immigration laws. That fact now allows literally anyone who wants to harm our nation to cross over the border and to not only remain here, but also to receive tax payer benefits and perhaps even the right to vote. Reportedly, Obama is allowing people from the same Middle Eastern nations that give rise to terrorism to flood into our nation at horrific rates.

Newly announced presidential candidate Lindsey Graham is especially guilty of this let down in American security as he has pushed for policies to open our borders even further. So too have Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Has anyone accused them of damaging American national security?

The fact is Rand Paul is a defender of American security unlike any other candidate currently running to lead this nation. He’s one of a very few to openly stand for the Constitutional rights of all Americans to be secure in their homes and free of government snooping into their private business.

The created hysteria over the Patriot Act being a guardian of our freedom is hog wash. This is the Patriot Act that was rushed into place just after a horrific terrorist attack – 911. Of course the nation was scared and of course out went the cry – “Do something NOW to protect us.”

When introduced, we were assured by the Justice Department that the Patriot Act was simply to give federal law enforcement agencies the surveillance and investigative tools they needed to deter future terror attacks. However, the emotional rush to “do something” by quickly passing the Patriot Act, left little time for lawmakers to put its measures under scrutiny. In fact, then Congressman Ron Paul said he couldn’t even get a copy of the Act before the vote.

As a result, provisions of the Act offered major opportunities for government abuses of law-abiding private citizens. The Act says that the government does not need to have a suspect or to even be conducting an investigation related to terrorism to monitor your visits into web sites on the Internet.

The Patriot Act changed the definition of terrorism, allowing even legitimate protestors, such as pro-life activists, to be at risk of being labeled “terrorists” if violence erupted at their events. And since its enactment, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has officially contracted with the Department of Homeland Security to create definitions of what and who constitute domestic terrorists. Just as predicted, that definition does not include Middle Eastern men connected with groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS. Instead, in many official circles it has come to mean those Americans who demand that the United States government adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

The Patriot Act expands the capability to obtain warrants and conduct searches without disclosing them immediately. Under the Act, law enforcement can walk into your home and take records without your knowing they were there. If a warrant is obtained, you may never know about it. It doesn’t even require a real judge to obtain one anymore.

The Act requires fuller identification of bank customers. A year before 9-11 more than 150,000 Americans protested these very provisions in a scheme by the FDIC called “Know Your Customer.” Congressman Ron Paul wrote of the Know Your Customer plan, “Under these regulations, banks will be required to first create a profile of all new and current customers. The profile will include such information as their credit history and other standard financial reviews, but will be expanded to include the customer’s deposit and withdrawal habits. This information will be gathered over the first few months of the account’s creation. After that, any account activity that deviates from the profile will be considered suspicious behavior.”

Rep. Paul went on to say, “Not only will ‘unusual’ deposits into your account trigger suspicion, but so too might large cash withdrawals.” Privacy advocates were able to officially stop the Know Your Customer scheme. But most of its provisions returned in the Patriot Act. And just this year, 2015, the Justice Department announced its intention to carefully watch the activities of all Americans and their bank accounts by suggesting banks report anyone withdrawing at least $5000.

Under the Patriot Act, a special software was developed to help firms in 25 finance-related industries, covered by the law, to compare millions of customer records with thousands of entries on federal blacklists.

Businesses such as car dealers, insurance companies, investment brokers, lenders and real estate firms are required to file “Suspicious Activity Reports” to the Treasury Department.

Here’s an interesting fact. The Patriot Act only mentions protecting our northern border. It says not a word about the southern one. Our southern border remains, absolutely wide open, allowing anyone to literally walk into this country. And the Obama Administration has used that loophole beyond what any normal American could have ever foreseen at the writing of the Act.

In the name of fighting terrorism, we have witnessed a new kind of government “urban sprawl” oozing out of Washington, D.C. into every back alley, bedroom, and underwear drawer in America.

In 2004 the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA) reported that there were more than 100 federal entities involved in forging the largest conglomeration of government/private contractor interests since the creation of the Pentagon. GEIA represents hundreds of corporate members which had cashed in on the Homeland Security-citizen-surveillance-spending spree.

In September 2002, dozens of major high-tech companies formed the “Homeland Security Industries Association.” A key objective of the association was to win a piece of the action for the creation of national ID cards for travelers.

Business Week reported that the SAS Institute was among many corporations scrambling to launch a whole new line of anti-money laundering software designed to help insurance companies, investment banks and brokerage firms spy on their clients’ financial activities on behalf of the government in compliance with the Patriot Act.

Bert Ely, the head of a consulting company for financial institutions, warned that the anti-money laundering provisions of the Patriot Act would do nothing to stop the financing of international terrorists. At best, he said, the new provisions would actually provide evildoers with a road map to avoid detection.

What the Patriot Act provisions are really about, said Ely, is to have the United States fall into line with an international campaign being waged by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Financial Action Task Force against countries that serve as tax havens. It’s all about tax collection!

Business Week also reported that private-sector software makers were racing to develop programs to zero in on gambling. Business Week noted that, “the feds have put casinos on notice that they’re next in the line of security.” Now, how many terrorists have actually raised their funds in Las Vegas?

In mid-September 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of Homeland Security held an expo in Washington. Medium and small firms from across the nation were invited in to showcase the very latest in citizen surveillance wares.

The US Chamber of Commerce hired the former deputy assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to act as a liaison between the chamber and businesses seeking homeland security contracts. PoliticalMoneyline reported that 444 groups and individuals had registered as lobbyists to deal with “terror” and “security” issues.

IBM has opened a “Government Solutions Center” in Vienna, Virginia. The high-tech Unisys Corporation established a similar exhibition for inspection by federal surveillance planners, called the “Homeland Security Center for Excellence.”

Both corporations raced to cash in on billions of dollars for facial recognition systems at airports and, in anticipation of “trusted traveler” cards, a high-tech ID tied to extensive background checks and biometric identification.

So, in the name of fighting terrorism, America was saddled with a massive control over the actions of all Americans, yet it failed to foil even a single terrorist plot. What it did accomplish, however, was a massive buildup of government policing power, designed to keep tabs on every movement of the American people. In addition, the Patriot Act created massive financial opportunity for industries that produced surveillance equipment and software.

All of this is what Senator Paul was objecting to. This massive growth of government and the obvious loss of liberty that comes with it is what he was trying to stop.

Does it then come as a surprise that Senator Rand Paul has become public enemy #1 by establishment Republican hawks, big money Republican fund raisers, all big government proponents and their Patriot Act-dependent industries? As said in the landmark movie “Network,” he has messed with the natural order of things.”

Senator Rand Paul is a hero to all who value their liberty, personal privacy and private property rights. He is the only candidate now running for President to actually take positive action to try to preserve and protect our freedoms. He deserves the respect and support of all who claim to favor those liberties.

Rasmussen Daily Update


Trump Is Well Ahead As First Debate Looms  - Going into the first Republican debate of the primary season next week, it looks like Donald Trump, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are guaranteed seats. Read More

Voters Still Have Faith in Society - Even though voters don't have much faith that the country's best days lie ahead, most still believe America is a good place to live. Read More

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll: Check Out Today's Obama Approval Ratings - The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama's job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove (see trends). The latest figures include 25% who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 39% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14.......  (My Take - Twenty five percent Strongly Approve?  We now know the number of potential members for The Club For the Galacticly Stupid is really high. RK)

Do America's Best Days Still Lie Ahead? - A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters think America’s best days are in the past, up from 45% in April and generally in line with surveys since 2006. Thirty-seven percent (37%) now think the nation’s best days are in the future. While unchanged from April, it ties that month’s high since 2013. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.).......

Eight Decades of Debate: A Commentary By Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley -Next week begins what has become a regular presidential primary tradition: the debates. As a way of previewing them, we decided to look back at the history of primary debates. Readers may be surprised to learn that primary debates existed before the advent of televised general election debates in 1960. Less surprising is that the number of debates has been steadily increasing over time, although it appears that both parties will have fewer in 2016 than they did in their last competitive primary seasons (2012 for Republicans, 2008 for Democrats).......

What America Thinks: The Voter Generation Gap -When it comes to hot-button issues facing the nation, does age matter? We decided to find out what America thinks
.....(My Take - If this poll is valid it's more evidence we've lost our foundational values and our minds. Any personal views that the days ahead are going to being better are clearly self delusional. Even if the right people come into power they'll be faced with the daunting task of overcoming the disaster created by the leftists in this country, starting with paying back the 18 trillion dollars the nation owes, and the trillions the federal government "borrowed" from the Social Security trust fund. That doesn't even include the costs of Medicare and Medicaid.  Make no mistake about this - fixing America will be painful, and I've never seen a politician that bore pain well.  RK)
You Ask. America Answers.  Click here to start your own national poll.

Ohio Employers's Law Blog

 

 We know that the National Labor Relations Act protects employees who engage in protected concerted activity from retaliation. How broadly defined is concerted? According to 200 East 81st Restaurant Corp. [pdf], decided yesterday by the NLRB, concerted is defined pretty broadly.

The issue in 200 East 81st Restaurant Corp. was whether a single employee who files a lawsuit, ostensibly on behalf of himself and other employees, engages in protected concerted activity. The Board answered the question in the affirmative, holding that a lone plaintiff can engage in protected concerted activity via the filing of a lawsuit in which the employees seeks to vindicate the rights of his co-workers:

“By definition, such an action is predicated on a statute that grants rights to the employee’s coworkers, and it seeks to make the employee the representative of his colleagues for the purpose of asserting their claims, in addition to his own. Plainly, the filing of the action contemplates—and may well lead to—active or effective group participation by employees in the suit, whether by opting in, by not opting out, or by otherwise permitting the individual employee to serve as a representative of his coworkers….” (Quoting Murphy Oil USA, Inc. [pdf]).

Specifically, we hold that the filing of an employment-related class or collective action by an individual employee is an attempt to initiate, to induce, or to prepare for group action and is therefore conduct protected by Section 7.

Thus, as long as the intent of the lone-wolf employee is to “initiate, induce, or prepare for group action,” the lone-wolf action is concerted under Section 7.

This case has implications beyond a wage-and-hour collective action. Consider, for example, a lone employee who seeks injunctive relief in court for some work-related issue. Or, perhaps more practically, consider an employee who takes to his or her social network of choice to grip about work, yet receives no comments or replies from co-workers. Under the (il)logic of 200 East 81st Restaurant Corp., if the employee’s social-media posts are for the purpose of initiating, inducing, or preparing for group action, they are protected.

Since social media is, well, social, one could argue that any post written on social media has a group component. After all, Facebook, Twitter, etc., aren’t diaries or self-conversations. They are intended dialogues within one’s network, or with the public at-large. Thus, has 200 East 81st Restaurant Corp. killed any argument against a finding of concerted activity on social media?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Highlights From Jim Geraghty's Wednesday Morning Jolt

GOP Leadership in Congress Can’t Keep Ignoring Conservative Frustration. 

The major accomplishment is . . . a trade bill? What happened to all of that talk about forcing President Obama to veto popular legislation on a regular basis? Why did they go along with the Corker agreement, requiring only 34 votes to sustain the Iran deal? Why all the hesitation to have a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood? Why is Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell backing a reauthorization of the Export-Import bank? Are we really supposed to be excited about a long-term highway funding bill?  There’s the old saying, “If you aim at the king, you had better not miss.” And that’s true -- but if you aim at the king and miss, the king learns that some people out there are mad enough to take shots at him -- and maybe he takes steps to address that….. (Editor's Note: There's truth to the king analogy, but Boehner isn't a King.  He may be playing the role, but every two years he has to beg people let him continue to playing the role. RK) 

Democratic Firm to Media: Don’t Show Those Planned Parenthood Videos. See, when a PR flack calls you up or e-mails you to say, “Do not show this video,” and there’s no libel suit attached, you’re supposed to say, “To hell with you,” and show the video. But now we know better. Democratic PR firms think they can tell news networks what they should and shouldn’t air. Which patient’s privacy is being violated by the video?....... pledges of Planned Parenthood’s president as being a bunch of bull.

It’s news.

Quotable Quote

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes, "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Editor's Note: There's another quote by someone unknown I particularly enjoy, and it fits here.   "In earlier times, they had no statistics, and so they had to fall back on lies."   See, nothing changes! Except now statistics allow for more convincing lies.   

CNS News


This is from another source but you may find this interesting. 

Phony GOP Conservatism Has Worn Out Its Welcome

By David Limbaugh

The long-simmering disconnect between the Republican Party's conservative base and its leaders in government has degenerated into a full-blown schism.  While President Obama accelerates his increasingly radical agenda, the GOP, despite its congressional majority, can barely muster an objection, let alone block his momentum. Other than to offer a toothless public rebuke of Obama's destructive schemes, what was the point of the 2014 GOP congressional landslide? It's no longer just a small percentage of conservatives questioning the GOP. Our people are furious — and rightly so.

I've recently shared my opinion that Donald Trump's explosive surge is because of his giving voice to the conservative base's outrage and his refusal to be chastened or muzzled.

Significantly, establishment Republicans are united with liberal Democrats in their contempt for Trump. The latter attribute his popularity to some innate anger of mean-spirited conservatives who are supposedly soaking up Trump's straight talk like bloodsucking vampires. The former refuse to lift a finger against that liberal slander, and
some even pile on, saying that Trump supporters are nativists or xenophobes, as opposed to sane patriots determined to protect America's borders and sovereignty.


Let the elites look down their superior noses at us commoners. Be advised, though, that Trump is not the only one railing against the pervasive insanity, including the role that the GOP leadership is playing in it. Sen. Ted Cruz has set his sights on the "Washington cartel" — the quasi bipartisan ruling class that is presiding over the disgraceful dismantling of the United States as we know and love it........To Read More....

Atlas Shrugs

Devout Muslims accused in plot to behead Pamela Geller due in Boston court - There are a great many devout Muslims in this country who support jihad, the Islamic State, and plots of this kind. Security is an enormous ongoing expense — please contribute here.  They were coming to kill me because I am American and I live free. Because I believe in freedom and individual rights. Because I refuse to adhere to the blasphemy laws under the shariah (Islamic law). Because I will not abridge my freedoms in submission to savages. The results of a pollshowing alarmingly high levels of support for sharia law and violence among the American Muslim community. According to the nationwide survey, “significant minorities embrace supremacist notions that could pose a threat to America’s security and its...

Pamela Geller on NewsTalk Radio| Obama Policy Could Make Hitler Look Like a Goof Off - Listen to my segment this week on Jamie Allman in the Morning on 97 TalkRadio. I do a segment with Jamie every Wednesday, in addition to my weekly segments with Jaz McKay on KNZR (1560 AM and 97.7 FM) every Tuesday at 4pm, and Sam Sorbo, Tuesdays at 11:30 am Eastern. Tune in, make it a part of your regular radio listening schedule.  “If you’re an African nation and you’re not gay friendly you get a scolding from President Obama… if you’re an Islamic nation and you’re not gay friendly you get a nuke deal,” says Jamie.

NY Muslim Who Threatened to BEHEAD His Daughter ARRESTED for AIDING, RECRUITING for ISIS (Islamic State) - Another Lackawanna jihad plot — remember, The Buffalo Six, aka the Lackawanna Six, but also the Lackawanna Cell, or Buffalo Cell, a group of six Muslims convicted of providing material support to Al Qaeda. Now jihad in America is daily. Arafat M. Nagi was arrested by federal officials for knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Nagi, 44, is an American citizen who lived in a house on Olcott Avenue in Lacakwanna. Nagi said in Federal Court on Wednesday that he used to work as a delivery man for a medical supply company, but that he hasn’t worked since 2009. He is divorced and has a 23-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter. Nagi was arrested in 2013 for...

Jihad-terror prisoners who were segregated for religious bullying of other inmates win taxpayer-funded challenges at the Supreme Court that it was unlawful - Bear in mind that the prison system is a hotbed of jihad recruitment and widespread conversion of inmates is a worldwide problem. An inordinate number of jihad-terror plots involve Muslims converted to Islam in prison. If these activities were treated like acts of war and not “law enforcement” issues, these absurd and ridiculous rulings would not be possible. This unconscionable and feckless decision is the poisonous fruit of the denial of jihadic doctrine and its objectives. The savages who filed a long-running and expensive legal suit (funded by the kuffar taxpayer) against the British penal system were guilty of, among other things, a WMD plot with RICIN, a plot to launch suicide attacks on flights from Heathrow to...
 
ISIS Plans Massive Attack in India and Provoke “End of the World” — “Armageddon,” “Apocalyptic Confrontation” with America  - A recruitment document has revealed the Islamic State’s (ISIS) “grand ambition” to ignite a war in India, build a new terror army in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and provoke an Armageddon-like “end of the world” situation. The document also urges the world to ‘swallow the bitter truth’ that the caliphate will survive and prosper until it takes over the entire globe and beheads every last person who rebels against Allah. Obama’s response? His Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson said — wait for it that the government will call such attacks “violent extremism” over “Islamic terrorism” out of respect for the Muslim community. Jeh Johnson announced this policy mandate...

Georgia Muslim who tried to join Islamic State had Facebook page featuring “death to America jihad rhetoric” - I am sure Obama and his treasonous administration are scratching their heads for motive. It’s to laugh, it’s to cry (Bugs Bunny) Again I ask, if the Islamic State is not Islamic, what is it? How did this “misunderstanding” of Islam become so widespread? Why are tens of thousands of Muslims from the US, UK, Europe etc joining the Islamic State? And another mosque behind jihad activity — Al-Farooq. The Mosques Behind Jihad Attacks in America – Breitbart This is why AFDI does the work we do — to increase awareness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and put an end to the denial and willful ignorance about that threat, so that we adopt of effective counter-terror measures based on that...

Cameroon authorities close mosques and Islamic centres to counter Boko Haram threat - “Cameroonian authorities have ordered all mosques and Islamic centres to be shut in northern parts of the country.” Cameroonian authorities clearly don’t buy the nonsense that Obama and Kerry and Biden and David Cameron and all the other Western leaders peddle, that Islamic jihad terror has nothing to do with Islam. In Cameroon, they know where jihad comes from, and what must be done to stop it.  Maybe if the mosques work for real reform and expunge the Quran of the texts and teachings that encourage violence, hatred, misogyny, Jew-hatred, and more, they wouldn’t have been breeding grounds for Boko Haram activity, and authorities wouldn’t have had to take this step. But how much subversion are non-Muslim...

National Review

The Insidious Political Power of Minimum-Wage Laws: Politicians may break all sorts of laws, but they cannot break the law of supply and demand.

Why LGBT Activists Still Aren't Happy: Despite the Boy Scouts lifting a ban on gay scoutmasters, the lords of political correctness are displeased because the ban included a necessary exemption for church-sponsored troops — allowing them to set their own policies.

Time For ‘Pro-Life’ Republicans in Congress to Actually Do Something: Pro-life conservatives should ask the members of Congress who claim to stand with them one, simple question: Are you as dedicated to life as the Democratic party is to death?

Planned Parenthood's Grossly Misleading Poll: This poll is the perfect example of how surveys can produce misleading results. Even though it mentions the undercover videos, it says absolutely nothing about the activities they actually revealed.

On That Israeli Spy: This administration has few qualms about using sensitive U.S. intelligence operations as public-relations exercises.

Obama's Crony Politics: It’s the most far-reaching scandal in Washington that no one wants to talk about: Tens of millions of federal employees had their personal information hacked as a result of Obama administration incompetence and political favoritism.