SEIU membership, revenues plummet after state ends ‘underhanded scheme’

More than 44,000 home-based healthcare workers parted ways with SEIU Healthcare Michigan after learning they did not have to join the union or pay dues, according to reports the union filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. Thousands of the employees were allegedly forced into the union under a plan the SEIU successfully lobbied for that classified even unpaid family members caring for their elderly parents as “home health care workers.” Dues were then automatically collected from the care recipients’ Medicare or Medicaid checks.

Ouch.

via SEIU membership, revenues plummet after state ends ‘underhanded scheme’ | Fox News.

Border Patrol Threatens Mother, Slashes Her Tire, as Kids Watch

Ms. Christiansen stopped her vehicle and was approached by a Border Patrol agent. The agent asked her if she was a U.S. citizen; she answered affirmatively. The agent then  demanded  that Ms. Christ iansen exit her vehicle so  it could be searched. Ms. Christiansen stated that she  did not consent to a search and asked the agent why she had been stopped. The agent responded  that he would not provide an explanation until Ms. Christiansen exited her vehicle. Ms. Christiansen stated that she would not exit her vehicle until she was provided with an  explanation for the stop. The agent refused and was clearly agitated that Ms. Christiansen had  requested an explanation. At that point, two additional Border Patrol agents approached Ms. Christiansen’s vehicle.

Gods Damn.  If you live in the border states, get this app:

http://www.copblock.org/apps/

Border Patrol Threatens Mother, Slashes Her Tire, as Kids Watch – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

DOJ’s ‘Operation Choke Point’ May Be Root Bank Account Closings

Under “Operation Choke Point,” the DOJ and its allies are going after legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures by pressuing banks to terminate their bank accounts or refuse their business. The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it’s own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites.

via DOJ’s ‘Operation Choke Point’ May Be Root of Porn Star Bank Account Closings – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Physics-exploiting axe splits wood in record time

So what makes a lever different than a wedge in this scenario? The Vipukirves still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity). The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever. A single strike can open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is more than enough to separate it.

Watch the Video

via Physics-exploiting axe splits wood in record time | News | Geek.com.

Low-level federal judges balking at law enforcement requests for electronic evidence

Judges at the lowest levels of the federal judiciary are balking at sweeping requests by law enforcement officials for cellphone and other sensitive personal data, declaring the demands overly broad and at odds with basic constitutional rights.
This rising assertiveness by magistrate judges — the worker bees of the federal court system — has produced rulings that elate civil libertarians and frustrate investigators, forcing them to meet or challenge tighter rules for collecting electronic evidence.

via Low-level federal judges balking at law enforcement requests for electronic evidence – The Washington Post.

GH Reynolds: The ‘Footloose’ Fix for Repubs

First, get rid of the federally mandated 21-year-old drinking age. Introduced by Republicans (it was spearheaded by Elizabeth Dole) in the 1980s, it was always a lousy idea. The result has been more, not less, alcohol abuse on campus, as student drinkers have moved from public venues, where there was supervision, to dorm rooms and frat houses, where there’s less.
And it’s fundamentally unfair. At 18, people can sign contracts, get married and sign up for student loans that will haunt them for decades. They can join the military and go off to die in foreign lands. But federal law presumes they’re too immature to have a beer.
Would the preacher from “Footloose” support repealing the federal drinking-age mandate? No. And that’s yet another reason for Republicans to do so.

via The ‘Footloose’ Fix | New York Post.

Paglia: Alcohol Drinking of 21 is Past Its Prime

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts, and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant.

via Camille Paglia: Alcohol Drinking Age of 21 Is Too High – TIME.

‘How dare you bastards move here and bring your business, after we invited you.’

Now that the discussion of the Sriracha plant moving is taking on tones of actual possibility, Irwindale’s city attorney is acting confused about Tran’s response:
Irwindale City Atty. Fred Galante said he was confused and disappointed by Tran’s actions. Galante said Irwindale officials just want an action plan to be submitted, and Tran has not proposed any solutions for the city to reject.
“This seems very extreme,” Galante said. “It’s disappointing given that [air quality officials] have explained that there are readily available solutions.”
He seems to have forgotten the fact that Irwindale is already suing Tran’s company. Maybe that’s the origin of Tran’s lack of trust?

via Sriracha Plant Mulls Move, Providing Valuable Lesson to Government Meddlers – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

The Dumbest Federal Policy You’ll Read About Today

So naturally, last week Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe boasted that he had played “a significant role” in using state subsidies to revive a defunct ethanol plant in Hopewell, south of Richmond. Osage Bio Energy built the $200 million facility a few years ago in the hope of raking in federal incentives for turning barley into gas. That didn’t pan out, and the plant never even lit the boilers. Last year Vireol, a British firm, bought the plant, intending to disassemble it and ship it overseas.
But thanks to Riley Ingram, Hopewell’s representative in Virginia’s House of Delegates, the company is going to stay. He sponsored legislation ensuring that for the next three years it will get up to $1.5 million in state support to produce about 170 million gallons of ethanol. The company also will get a $250,000 state development grant, matching tax breaks from Hopewell, employee training incentives, and Enterprise Zone incentives. This is supposed to create jobs—if you don’t count the jobs that would otherwise be created if not for the economic inefficiency of all that government meddling.
Upshot? Virginia taxpayers will shell out millions to help make food and gasoline more expensive while making global warming worse. ‘Twas a famous victory.

The stupidity of the government knows no bounds.

via The Dumbest Federal Policy You’ll Read About Today – Reason.com.

My Ideas, My Boss’s Property

In these agreements, companies demand that employees, from those in low-level manufacturing positions to design engineers and creative workers, sign away all their innovations, and the knowledge they will acquire during the course of employment, and refrain from competing with their employer post-employment, whether that means taking a new job with a competitor or starting their own company.
While some states place some limit on such agreements in their labor codes, for the most part, employers can demand ownership over almost all aspects of our cognitive ability — from their products to their uses — long after we have moved on to different endeavors.

via My Ideas, My Boss’s Property – NYTimes.com.