U.S.A. Now the U.S.S.A.

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The United States of America is no more.  Our experiment with representative democracy in a constitutional and federalist republic is finished, and it failed.  We are now the United States of Social Acceptance.

You are not free.  Everything you do must be explicitly or implicitly be approved by the government.  We’ve gone from the idea that the laws of the land draw narrow boundaries for government to the reality that laws and regulations draw the increasingly restrictive boundaries of what you are permitted to do.

The examples are everywhere proving that those who dominate our government see themselves as an authority over every personal interaction in the country.  One I spotted over the weekend while reading legislation from the General Assembly’s last week, and that was featured in the Providence Journal on Sunday, gives the government authority to judge whether employers are making reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees (and those who recently gave birth).  In the Senate, the bill is S0276 from Hannah Gallo (D, Cranston); in the House, it’s H5674 from Shelby Maldonado (D, Central Falls).

As it happens, I agree — as I’m sure most of us do — that an employer should make accommodations for such employees unless doing so causes “undue hardship.”  In such decisions, I agree that some of the relevant factors are “the nature and cost of the accommodation,” “the overall financial resources of the employer,” “the overall size of the business,” and “the effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of such accommodation upon the operation of the employer.”

But in most cases, both the employee and the employer are adults.  It shouldn’t be up to me to decide whether the inconveniences to the employee outweigh the business needs of the employer, and it shouldn’t be up to the government, whether legislators, judges, or bureaucrats.

In the progressive mindset that dominates in Rhode Island and, increasingly, at the federal level, we are not adults.  We’re children who need some superauthority over our lives to whom we can run when we’re not happy with each other.  Whining ten-year-olds run to their parents when they think their peers have done something that isn’t “fair.”  Adults shouldn’t require the same condescension.



  • ShannonEntropy

    This ‘pregnancy protection’ law is just the latest evidence to support an argument I’ve been making since the late 1980’s

    Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire begins in the 2nd century A.D. at the height of Roman power wealth & influence

    When the same book Decline and Fall of the American Empire is written, it will begin in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution — women’s suffrage

    Virtually every social, political and economic ill bedeviling our nation can be directly traced to our politicians’ need to cater to women voters — who not only are a majority of the population, but also way out-vote men both in terms of percentages and absolute numbers
    See =►http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/voters/documents/genderdiff.pdf

    Liberals use the courts to get what they can’t obtain at the ballot box. But both the civil and criminal court systems are also stacked against men at every phase — just ask any guy who’s ever been in divorce or ‘family’ court

    And yet women have the nerve to say that THEY are the oppressed ones !!

    Men, if only read one book for the rest of your life, make it this one =►

    http://tinyurl.com/of86yua

    • D. S. Crockett

      Shannon: You might add that owning property was once a prerequisite to being able to vote. How did relaxing that law work for us?

      • ShannonEntropy

        No single political act has been as destructive to the fabric and indeed the very core of our nation’s well-being than women’s suffrage

        It is the root cause of everything from food stamp, welfare & disability fraud to the disintegration of the academic standards of our education systems —public or private

        Simply eliminating the requirement to be a landowner to vote was totally benign — until 1920

        • D. S. Crockett

          What’s the significants of 1920? In so far as suffrage is concerned, then, maybe, the Mohammedan community is on to something?

          • ShannonEntropy

            What’s the significants of 1920?

            You really otter read the entire original post you are responding to, Davy. Try it some time !!

            As for your “Mohammedan community” remark … there is a huge cultural difference between the way strict Islamic // ‘Sharia’ communities treat their women and how Western societies do

            But I suppose such modern nuances are lost on a coon-skin-cap-wearing anarchist like you ☺

          • D. S. Crockett

            LOL

  • D. S. Crockett

    Can any contributor to The Ocean State Current post their idea of what the next wedge issue the left will inflict on us? Race politics, gender politics, police politics, identity politics, flag politics have already been tried with much success. The left’s goal is to break down society so as to prepare the way for their main goal which is replacing the U.S. Constitution with a totalitarian regime.

    • Justin Katz

      I think they’re going for the gold ring of property rights next.

      • ShannonEntropy

        Waddaya mean, “NEXT” ??

        With the recent SCOTUS decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. 13-1371
        [[ the “FHA Disparate Impact” case ]] … the assault is already well-advanced

        And here in Li’l Rhody, the alleged “logic” behind the ‘Taylor Swift Tax’ shows that the camel’s nose of eliminating property rights is already deeply into the gum·mint’s tent

        • Justin Katz

          The topic is still on the edges of public awareness, like same-sex marriage 10-15 years ago. The Left hasn’t ramped up the real hard rhetoric. That’s about to start on the property rights issue.

          • ShannonEntropy

            When the book Decline and Fall of American Property Rights is written, it will begin with the 2005 SCOTUS “takings” case Kelo v. City of New London 04-108

            … which held that the gum·mint can seize your property and hand it over to another private citizen, for virtually no reason other than they think it is a “good idea”

            But you are right that the wall-to-wall CNN coverage of the issue has yet to begin

          • Justin Katz

            Kelo is like the gay-marriage case in Hawaii in the ’90s, which sparked DOMA. The Texas “disparate impact” case is like Goodridge in MA.

          • ShannonEntropy

            Those are excellent analogies

            For those of you unfamiliar with those cases and want to google them, they are

            Baehr v. Miike SCOH No. 20371 and

            Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health
            798 N.E.2d 941(Mass. 2003)

          • Warrington Faust

            Nothing new here, just politics. If you take the train into Boston’s South Station you will pass an enormous group of brick buildings. That land was “taken” somewhere around the 1920’s. Not sure what was paid the owners, but it was sold to Gillette razor for less. Sounds a lot like New London to me. I understand that Massachusetts is the only state where it would have been “legal” at the time. No real idea, but I wonder if the aw was changed to accommodate it.

      • Warrington Faust

        We are already there, it began with Euclidean Zoning. Most people would be amazed to know how recent Zoning is. It is not a “taking” under the provisions of the “police powers” clause of the Constitution. Most people now find it perfectly legitimate to use it to protect property values, they believe that to be its purpose. Note that any proposed revision includes a reference to “public safety” however ridiculous,or remote. That is to meet the “public safety” requirement of the Police Powers clause. I want to separately dispose of the grey water from my house in a dry well to relieve the septic system. this is simply a hole in the ground filled with crushed rock, perfectly legal. I find there are now “design requirements” for the hole in the ground. Yet, I can wash my car in the driveway.

        • ShannonEntropy

          So sorry to hear your tale of woe about discovering that you need to pay for a city permit to dig a hole in your own back yard

          As a ‘retired’ carpenter, Justin could prolly regale us for hours with stories about the absurdities of Building Codes

          Or I could tell you about the recurring nightmares I have about dealing with the local building czars when I want a deck rail 40″ but … IT *MUST* BE 42 INCHES !!!

          But what is this “Police Powers” clause of which you speak ??

          The “Takings” clause is from the US Constitution’s 5th Amendment =►

          http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/takings.htm

          • Warrington Faust

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_power_(United_States_constitutional_law)

            I used “police Powers Cause” out of habit, it is really just the “Police Powers” of governments to regulate for the health and safety of its citizens.
            For instance, regulate distance between wells and septic to promote health. “lot Size” and “side yards” to prevent spread of fires. Railing heights to prevent falls. Governments like it because it is “free”, it was long ago determined that it was not a “taking” for which the government has to pay. As when they declared 2 acres of mine as “wetlands”. Not a “taking”. Consequently it is getting a lot of play in Land Use Planning. That is why provisions insist their purpose is safety; i.e. road width to provide for “emergency vehicles”. Street lot width for an in-law house behind a house, “access by emergency vehicles”. They sure love those “emergency vehicles”.

            Massachusetts is the only state I know of with an “anti-snob zoning law”. The Town of Lincoln declared “5 acre minimums” to keep out the riff-raff. The court determined there was no legitimate purpose for lots greater than 2 acres (I think I have my numbers right). The legislature followed (it had hurt developers who could now get 2.5 houses on 5 acres).

            You will hear me rail against “safety” here, I have bumped into this one a lot. Give them an inch, and they will take a mile; or at least a side yard. Who’s against safety?

  • Warrington Faust

    I confess that I read Gibbon’s in my long ago youth, even then it was the abbreviated, three volume, version. What I seem to recall is a lesson we must relearn. Caesar wore red to conceal his wounds. The Government is a foreign power occupying the United States. Just as the Roman Senate (debased after the fall of the Republic) was a group of “elites” who simply controlled the masses for their own benefit. Providing “bread and circuses”, dolling out “citizenship” and attempting to win favor with the Emperor.

    While present day “government workers” (about 21% of the working population, nationally) whine about schools and taxes, they are removed. Like all co-workers, they associate primarily with each other. This results in the development of the “artificial consensus” necessary to believe they are operating correctly. Their jobs, at middle level and below, discourage initiative. Merit promotions are rare, so why extend yourself? Initiative is only approved when it advances the cause of a politician who can advance the career of the ‘regulator”. There being no reward for initiative and harm possible from error, it is “better” to deny the requests of the governed. If it were to go well, there would be no reward for the government worker. If it were to go poorly it might harm the career of the government worker. Why chance it? “Above my pay grade” is a perfectly acceptable response. You are not paid to assume responsibility. You are separated from the taxpayers. You work for the city, state, feds, you do not work for the taxpayers. What can they do for you? They are the “problem”.

    I think this true for all governments, across all nations, across all continents. All civilized people will recognize the joke in “I’m from the government and I am here to help you”.

    Ending with a question, do we really need i worker in 5 to “govern” the other 4? It is time for more questions.

    • ShannonEntropy

      Caesar wore red to conceal his wounds

      If Caesar was Li’l Rhody’s governor today, before he took a look at the Budget and the pension mess, he better be wearing his brown pants

    • ShannonEntropy

      You work for the city, state, feds, you do not work for the taxpayers. What can they do for you? They are the “problem”.

      Overheard last week at the DMV ….

      ” Hey, Doris !! We got us a real-life VIP in here today !!
      Mr Big·Shot Tax·payer here pays our salaries !! …

      … Tell ya what, Mr Tax·payer … you just go right ahead and QUIT paying those taxes … that’ll show us !! “

  • Warrington Faust

    I must continue. I will only abbreviate Justin’s comments for reason of space.

    “that an employer should make accommodations for such employees”

    True, but all of the factors stated require some form of “judgment”. Governments fear “judgment” because it gives rise to “responsibility”. voters don’t like it because it gives an opening for “favoritism”. So, government will hide behind “everyone gets treated the same”. This means “standards” will have to be developed. If these “standards” are not met, we require “regulations” to enforce compliance. Varying, difficult, situations will arise; that means more “standards” and regulations” will have to be developed. The agency will become large, a “Commissioner” will have to be appointed. The “Commissioner” will be granted “regulatory” “law making power”. This means enacting laws without consulting the legislature. As the agencies become very large, the legislatures will cower before them; explaining to the governed “These agencies are so large that we can’t control them”. This seems to be acceptable and works. It is not the malice of the legislators .

    “But in most cases, both the employee and the employer are adults.’

    Unfortunately, we have developed, and permanently implanted, the concept of “rights”. One the cheapest ways for a government to address a perceived wrong is to create a “right”. Usually the person “wronged” is on their own to hire a lawyer, find a court and prosecute an action. Sometimes if the “right” is truly important, they will create a “Commission” to determine matters (law requires that their decision be amenable to judicial review) (I am skipping over Administrative Law Judges, there isn’t space). These commissioners know who is paying them, and that they are paid to find violations. That gives the politicians “bragging rights”. Here is a quick one. I had a case before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, both litigants were black, so the female (having failed in litigation against my client) brought the claim that she was being discriminated against because she was a woman. In the middle of the hearing, the woman broke into singing gospel. The commissioners saw they had a problem. They immediately proposed a solution. If we would accept a fine of “only $5,000.00″, they would find us guilty in that amount. We refused, saying we would rely on judicial review. They found some means to extract themselves.

    In another case, I found the plaintiff had hired a private detective agency to pull credit reports on all parties and my witnesses claiming they they were pulled for “purposes of employment”. A clear violation of a “right” created under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Unfortunately that “right” only permitted us a law suit, since it was a “Federal Right”, it had to be brought in Federal Court. The only benefit was to create some bias against the plaintiff in the state court where the underlying action would be brought. Financial penalties could have been recovered, but would probably not have covered costs (what real harm?). Not a great “right”, probably on the order of the “right” to be put on the “Do Not Call” list.

    We need to think about this. “Every wrong should have a right”, but “the law does not concern itself with trifles”.

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