Work on Thanksgiving? No, Thank You

One Democrat has found his solution:

A lawmaker in Ohio wants stores in the state to pay triple wages for employees who work on Thanksgiving, an effort that comes as Macy’s, the holiday’s quintessential retailer, is allowing its workers to choose whether to work that day.

Both are attempts to counter frustration among workers and their families over holiday store hours that have expanded into the holiday.

State Rep. Mike Foley, a Democrat from Cleveland, said his bill would allow employees to bow out of the holiday shift without job sanctions while protecting family time from excessive consumerism…

I absolutely loath the idea of working on a holiday. As a matter of principal, I’ll accept being fired before I’d ever work on Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving. My employer is currently closed on Christmas and asks for volunteers on Thanksgiving (and pays them triple time for doing it), while on Easter I’ve always managed to get a vacation day for it. Things like New Year’s Day, Fourth of July and such are a bit of a different animal – New Year’s Day off is only really important if you’re rather hung over from the night before, while the Fourth only gets rolling as the sun goes down. But the basic idea I hold is, still, that holidays are, well, holidays – and by and large everyone should be off. Other than crucial things such as hospitals, pharmacies and gas stations, everything else should be closed to the largest degree possible – some exceptions for vacation resorts, of course, because vacation resorts are designed, as it were, to care for people during holidays. But to have some retailer drag their people in on a holiday? Obscene. Stupid, too – you don’t actually increase your sales by doing that: you just move them from the day after the holiday to the day of.

I don’t like the idea of the government forcing businesses to close or pay massive increases in pay for holiday work but, goodness, corporations can be infuriatingly inhuman in their actions. I don’t know which nimrod in a boardroom first thought that being at work on a holiday would be a good idea, but I’d erect a statue in his memory, with “Idiot” on the name plate.

There is nothing wrong with working hard and trying to get ahead. Businesses do have to be profitable to survive – but there’s a time to work, and a time to not work. God is a little wiser than all of us, after all, and He did state that we should take a day of rest every week…not be open 24-7 in the hopes of squeezing out one more tenth of a percent of profit for the quarter. Let us, good people, be human – and let us therefore take a day off. Its not like its every week there’s a holiday – if the cash register isn’t ka-chinging merrily four or five days a year, it won’t kill anyone.

A happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Brown Family: Wilson “Wanted to Kill Someone”

Even given the fact that she’s grieving, this is astounding:

Michael Brown’s family reacted with anger and tears to the first televised interview with Darren Wilson, in which the officer said he “would not have done anything differently” about the sequence of events that led to the shooting death of Brown.

“He didn’t do what he had to do, he did what he wanted to do,” Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden told CBS Morning News. “I don’t think he wanted to kill my son, but he wanted to kill someone.”

In the mind of Ms. McSpadden, it appears, is this picture: Officer Wilson, uniformed and in his police car, is cruising the streets of Ferguson looking for someone to kill.

Like all human beings, I suppose, there have been times in my life when I have been almost frantic with anger and sorrow. I’ve never experience the death of a child, of course, but I’ve lived long enough in this world and experienced enough things to peer into the depths upon depths of anger and sorrow that Ms. McSpadden must feel – but even with that, I simply cannot put the two together. I cannot comprehend someone actually believing that a police officer – in the normal course of his duties – would be out to kill someone…some random person on the streets. To be sure, there could be a situation in which there is a psychotic cop who does such a thing, but unless one has rock-solid evidence of this being the case, to make such an accusation is massively beyond the bounds of rational thought. But Ms. McSpadden thinks this.

And trolling the Twitter feed over the last couple of days on Ferguson, I realize she is not alone. Quite a lot of people believe the same sort of thing – and not just about officer Wilson, but about the police, in general.

As readers here know, I believe we need deep reforms of both the police and our larger criminal justice system – but to believe that the police, on the whole, are out to do evil in the world is, well, stupid. I really don’t like to use that word, but I can’t think of a word which better describes it. I mean, you’ve really got to be disconnected from reality to believe that – you have to have woven yourself (or have had woven for you) a series of myths which are entirely impervious to the facts. Police are, of course, human beings – they are prey to all our faults. They can be unreasonable; they can be unjust; they can make purely stupid mistakes – and in the case of Wilson and Brown, maybe the police officer didn’t handle the situation in the best possible manner…but it is abundantly clear that Brown also didn’t behave in the best possible manner. To hold up Brown as some sort of complete innocent in this case is to defy facts and logic – and to turn about and accuse Wilson of a malevolent desire is to go completely ’round the bend.

And it gets worse: the entire liberal narrative is built upon the concept that the police are deliberately malevolent, at least towards minorities. The belief that the system is built against black people and the police are created to enforce the system against black people is the core of this – and in the comments from the Brown family, we see it writ large. Understand it’s not an accusation that Wilson just didn’t do his job right – it is an accusation that Wilson is a murderer who went out to find someone – almost certainly black – to kill that night, because that is what police officers do…and they do it because a racist system sends them out to do it, to keep the black man down (we won’t even get into the particular lunacy of such a belief in a land where the President is black – and so is the attorney general; we don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole lest we get swallowed up – stare into the abyss long enough and eventually the abyss stares into you, dig?).

I have things to say to my fellow conservatives on this. Don’t trust the word of the police – that is just the word of the government and if we don’t trust the IRS, no reason to trust the police, either. Understand that in the African-American community a lot of people are caught by the system and rather ground up in it – sure, maybe some so caught aren’t pure as wind-driven snow, but a lot of people are caught in the gears over trivialities and the overall community reasonably feels that they are being unjustly singled out: a lot of our laws are designed to be worked by people with plenty of education and resources but when applied to people with less education and resources, they can become an unjust burden. The police shouldn’t be so militarized. The police shouldn’t be effective strangers in the areas they patrol. We conservatives have our own blindness in the matter and we should be kind and understanding and try to see it from a different point of view.

That said, we’ve got a real problem in this nation – there are tens of millions of Americans who aren’t living in the real world. They are living in an intellectual fantasy world. I always wondered when I read accounts of the death of Stalin why so many Russians would be crushed under genuine sorrow for the man’s passing. If you look back into it, there was genuine grief when the man died – and not just from senior apparatchiks of the Stalinist regime, but from regular folks. A man who had done in at least 20 million of his own people – and millions of his people wept at his passing as if they had lost something good. Now I understand it a little better – just feed people enough lying propaganda long enough, and some will come to sincerely believe it. The American people have been fed a line of propaganda about race and the police – and for some, it has sunk right in, and they really believe such things as that racism is still a bar to achievement in America, and that the police are out to get minorities.

The cure for this will be a long time coming – because as we reform things, we’ll be also trying to undo 50 years of lies.

Ferguson, the End

Well, there ya go – a Grand Jury of American citizens good and true ruled there was no cause to indict officer Wilson. We all suspected as much – when the autopsy information was leaked a little while back, it looked pretty clear that for whatever reason, Mr. Brown decided to attack the police officer. You do that, you’re risking your life. As I said when this whole thing first came up, the police had better have a very good reason for shooting when the dead person is unarmed. Per the jury, they had very good reason.

As for the “riots” in Ferguson – I don’t get a “riot” feel out of them. I was in the Los Angeles area when the King riots erupted and that was quite different from what happened in Ferguson. In Ferguson, I just get the feeling that criminal gangs had scoped out where they wanted to loot and were just waiting for the verdict – which makes the decision to release the verdict after dark exceptionally stupid. Also stupid was the decision to not have the police more spread out. From what I can tell, they were concentrated – ready to move, as it were, but not able to just be there out in front of likely looting targets. I could be all wrong on this, but I figure a couple of cops on each corner in the shopping center might have worked better in keeping the looting from happening.

Plenty of people were on Twitter, of course, venting their feelings – what most struck me is the rank ignorance of how the justice system works, and the sheer idiocy in people demanding a certain verdict from a court. You can’t do that – if you want justice, you have to just be fanatically in favor of juries and deeply respectful of whatever judgement they provide. It isn’t that juries are perfect, of course: but they are the only real defense any of us have against tyranny. People these days don’t seem to understand fully just how hard fought the battle was to just ensure that any accused will have a jury of his peers to judge the facts in his case. This is crucial to human liberty – only thus are we freed from fear that the police will just clap is in jail on the whim of the ruler. Trust me, I’ve seen jury verdicts I thought screwed up – but I still want to live in a world where if I’m ever accused of a crime, it will be 12 random citizens who will sift the evidence and decide if I did it.

We can’t write of Ferguson without taking a moment to note the race-baiters. Led, sadly, by our President and Attorney General, they had a field day in this. The really sad thing is that they helped to fuel the hatred and anger for the most trivial of reasons: just to try and gin up political support (Sharpton and Jackson joining in so they can rake off a few bucks and a bit of TV time).

All in all, an entirely pathetic performance – really sad for my nation.

Still Favor Amnesty, Still Disgusted With Obama

As those who read this little blog regularly know, I’ve been in favor of amnesty since 2007. Let me recap why:

Given the large number of illegal immigrants we have in this nation and the long period of time many millions of them have resided here, it is just not practical nor merciful nor just to deport them all. It is not practical because that many people would take massive resources to detect, arrest and move back to their home nations (they aren’t all from Mexico, after all). It is not merciful because ripping people from homes they’ve lived in for years is just not something that I, as a Christian, could ever support. It is not just because, in the end, we invited these people in. Sure, it was with a wink and a nod. Sure, many people have long been opposed and some tried hard to change the system – but on the whole not only was no real effort made to get them out, but plenty of efforts were made to entice them in.

Because of all that, I have favored amnesty – my basic idea was that if a person has been here for a number of years (5, 7, take your pick) without breaking any laws other than (a) crossing the border and (b) those laws which an illegal has to get around to stay here, then I figure we should allow them to stay. No fines. No going to the back of the line. Just have them come forward boldly and accept their green cards. If they stay a further five years and go through the citizenship process, then they become citizens…if they don’t, then back home, indeed, they go (I don’t want a class of people in this nation who refuse to become citizens – become American, or go back home). Anyone who has been here less time who is a criminal will be immediately deported (if not jailed for their crimes), those who have no criminal background will be provided with funds for transportation back to their place of origin, plus a bit extra – I’d want to entice such people to come forward for what amounts to voluntary deportation. That is the amnesty. Now, on to the rest of it:

The reason we have had all these illegals coming here is because our Ruling Class wants them here – those most concerned with politics were looking for a permanent underclass who could be bribed via welfare to vote Democrat; those most concerned with economics were looking for a permanent underclass who could be made to work for less than their labor is worth (I’ll never forget that time I saw illegals working on house construction on Christmas Day…no American would ever agree to that; but Big Corporation has no problem with a sub-contractor hiring illegals who can be made to work on Christmas…). If we are to amnesty, then we must make certain that the injustice of importing a political and economic underclass is never, ever repeated. And that means very strict border security – border security both in the sense of making the border physically secure, but also coming down like two tons of bricks on anyone who crosses the border illegally and, more important, on anyone who employs – directly or by the ruse of using a sub-contractor – illegal labor. I’m talking 6 months in jail for the illegal, 10 years in jail for the employer (6 months in jail is quite enough punishment to deter illegals who aren’t coming across for criminal activity – it just won’t be worth it for them to make the attempt in service of the goal of money-making if they’ll spend 6 months in jail making no money).

All Obama did yesterday – aside from a bit of Constitution-shredding – is do the bidding of the political race-baiters and those business elements who want cheap labor. It isn’t just or merciful – its a bit of liberal nonsense dressed up in false words of morality. Obama has ensured that the scam continues – and, worse, because now without border security, another 12 million are already lining up to come here, to be the drudges of labor, and the eventual votes for a corrupt political party. After having 24 hours to ponder over it, I’ve found that I am very angry over the whole thing. Disgusted. Nauseated that a President of my nation could do such a cynical, horrid thing and then claim that he’s on the moral high ground.

We’ve got our work cut out for us, good people. We do have to undo Obama. It can be done – but let us keep eyes on the prize. Don’t get distracted. Victory in 2016 is where we can start to restore our Republic, not in getting in a dog fight with someone like Obama. We must endure him for a bit more than two years – that is all.

Secession is the Answer Update

Just another example of what I’m always yammering on about:

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo is inaugurated for a second term in January, he will have New York City voters to thank.

Cuomo’s 13-percentage-point win over Republican challenger Rob Astorino on Nov. 4 was fueled by a large margin of victory in New York City, where he took home 77 percent of the nearly 1 million ballots cast, according to the state Board of Election’s unofficial results.

Take away the city, however, and the rest of the state backed Astorino — albeit by a slim margin. Outside of the five boroughs, Astorino collected 1.3 million votes — or 49 percent — compared to Cuomo’s 1.2 million, or 46 percent, in a low-turnout election. Three third-party candidates were also on the ballot.

New York isn’t one State, it is two. There is the NYC-Albany bit of the State, and then there’s the rest of it. And the two are not in any way, shape or form of the same ideas.

Cuomo’s New York is perfectly within it’s rights in getting the government it wants. Those people want a nitwit socialist like De Blasio as mayor and a liberal political hack like Cuomo as governor. Good for them. But why do the rest of New York’s citizens have to put up with it? Why do the people of Buffalo have to deal with a governor – and a government – which is entirely subservient to the people of New York City? Don’t the people of Buffalo deserve to have people leading them who reflect the values of Buffalo?

The answer, as I’ve been saying for years, is secession – break up New York into two States. West and East New York. Think about it – the liberal pinheads of East New York will have a happy hunting ground for pure, unadulterated liberalism even more so than now, while West New York would get a chance for sanity in government. Everyone’s happy – and, Democrats, think about it: you’d have two Senators-for-life in East New York and still have a shot at some times grabbing a Senator from West New York. Its win-win for ya! Win-win for West New York, too, of course…because they won’t have to put up with quite as much liberal nonsense.

Can the Constitution be Saved?

Charles Cooke notes that some on the right appear to be eagerly anticipating the time when a Republican President can invoke the “Obama rule” and just start doing whatever he or she pleases – and he doesn’t like it:

…I am afraid that I consider this approach to be little short of suicidal, and I can under no circumstances look forward to a system in which the executive may pick and choose which laws he is prepared to enforce. On the contrary: I consider the idea to be a grave and a disastrous one, and I would propose that any such change is likely to usher in chaos at first and then to incite a slow, tragic descent into the monarchy and caprice that our ancestors spent so long trying to escape. During the last 500 years or so, the primary question that has faced the Anglo-American polities has been whether the executive or the legislature is to be the key proprietor of domestic power. In one form or another, this query informed both the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution that followed it, and it was at the root of the Revolution in America. Cast your eyes across the Declaration of Independence and you will notice that the majority of the “long train of abuses and usurpations” have to do with the violation of the rights of assemblies by individuals who believe themselves to be the dominant arbiter of the state’s affairs…

I don’t like it, either; but the question is, can the cat be put back in the bag? That is where we get into very doubtful territory. Earlier in his article, Cooke notes the impossibility of actually explaining what is at stake to the average audience – which either won’t know the issues (thanks, public schools!) or won’t have the patience to deal with it. We are a very long way from any sort of America which fully understands what is at stake. This puts anyone who wishes to have a constitutional republic at a disadvantage as it is useless to discuss the finer points of what is actually a human right against someone who is promising the sun and the moon in a political campaign.

No system will ever work better than the people who run it. And the trouble with all human systems is that they are run by human beings – human beings who are prey to cowardice, greed, pride, flattery and all that. The historian Will Durant, in discussing the Principate established by the first Roman Emperor, noted that in legal terms the powers the Emperor had were no greater than those of an energetic American President – how, then, did the Principate so swiftly degenerate from the high tone of Augustus to the madness of Caligula and Nero? Because the people who ran the system allowed it to happen – it was easier to just let the Emperor rule; to take the bribe, the obtain the sinecure position, to let things slide. Fighting for principal only forced you to work and exposed you to attack. Better to go along to get along. One would have hoped in 2009 that Congressional Democrats would have been keen to preserve their own power vis a vis the White House, regardless of who is in office. But, nothing doing – once Obama was sworn in, Congress became the merest rubber stamp…and once the GOP gained the House in 2010, nothing happened in Congress because Reid, the alleged leader of the Senate, decided that it was just easier to let Obama do whatever he pleased. This it the nature of things in human affairs – and no system we have or can create will really change it.

Our now-tattered and broken system had a good run. From 1787 until 1950 it pretty much worked as planned, aside from a few abuses. It worked because everyone kept it working – the President didn’t abuse and Congress was vigilant in protecting it’s power. Since 1950, though, it as rather fallen apart (the signal for this, by the way, was Truman’s commitment to war in Korea without obtaining prior Congressional authorization: going to war in Korea was correct American policy – but Truman should have got a declaration of war from Congress, first). We have just drifted along with the tide of events – and Congress passed its legislative powers away: first to the Courts, later to the bureaucracy and now to the merest whim of the President. The one defense the Founders gave us against Executive abuse – impeachment – is a dead letter. It never really worked (if it had, a good dozen Presidents would have been removed from office over the years), and it was killed off when Clinton was acquitted by the Senate even though he clearly had broken the law and should have been removed from office. Unless by some political miracle you can get 67 Senators in opposition to a President, impeachment will never happen – and I can’t see either major party ever getting to 67 Senators while the other party is in the White House. Freed from any fear of impeachment, a President can do as he pleases while in office – there’s really no way to stop him (some people hold that the power of the purse can still be invoked: I ask, how? Suppose the President draws money out of the Treasury which hasn’t been appropriated; what is the only sanction you can hit him with? The aforementioned dead letter of impeachment…).

I don’t know how we get back to a place where the President holds himself in check and/or the Congress vigorously protects it’s own power. It could be that we’ll need to go through a period of executive tyranny (you know, dictatorship) which leads to revolution and the re-establishment of constitutional law. I hope it doesn’t come to that. And as a means of trying to prevent that, I do have some suggestions:

1. Don’t be afraid to rake over the past a bit. When a new Administration comes into office, one of its first orders of business should be the investigation of the previous Administration. This is especially true when it is a change of political party as well as a new Administration. Sure, this means that Bush Administration officials would have been raked over the coals by Obama people – but it also might mean that Obama people get the same raking over by President Walker’s troops. The thought that in just a few years the other guys might be in power and thus looking to send you to jail would produce a great deal of fear about abusing power and breaking the law.

2. Term limits. Part of the problem with Congress is that they can stick around too long…you’ve got a nice office, a large staff, things are going pretty well: why rock the boat? Might cause you to lose office. Better to just go along to get along. Term limits brings that to an end – if you can’t re-seek your current office next year, then might as well do your job (true, some people will just coast along to the end of their term…but others will be ambitious for different office, and what better way to make a name than to shake things up?).

3. Make all government officials – elected and appointed – directly responsible for their actions. No more government pays when official so-and-so screws up: nope, the official pays. In criminal and civil penalties. No more immunity for government officials: and no more anonymity, either…their names, salaries, positions and performance reviews are on line for everyone to see. Having the people kinda looking over their shoulders might make them less willing to do wrong.

That is just a few things; other people can come up with other ideas. But do keep in mind that there are two ways to make a government behave: have honorable men and women as a majority of the government, or put the most intense fear of retribution into the minds of government officials. We can’t ever be sure that anyone is actually honorable (even the best of us can go wrong), so we should concentrate on putting the fear on them – the thought that you are to be hanged in a fortnight does concentrate the mind wonderfully…and if a government official is worried every day that he might be called to account for his actions, he’ll either do as little as possible or be as honest as possible…in either case, we’re ahead of the game.

Weekly Open Thread

A few topics to discuss:

- ISIS beheads another American. How many more Americans need to be beheaded before Obama takes this seriously?

- After 6 years of essentially doing nothing – Obama now deems immigration to be a crisis and promises to act unilaterally before the new Congress is sworn in. Polls show that a vast majority of Americans have other top priorities, but when has that concerned the leader of the new permanent minority?

- Open enrollment for the ACA is on again, and while 56% of Americans disapprove, MSNBC was able to find that those enrollees who receive subsidies actually like the law. Imagine that? The Supreme Court could change all that soon however if they actually uphold the law as it was written – meaning that only State exchanges can hand out subsidies. Of course, Justice Roberts has once before violated that trust, so who knows.

- And Ferguson remains on edge. Apparently, being completely wrong and over reactionary about the facts of the case have not embarrassed the instigators and race baiters, nor has it given them reason to pause and reassess their juvenile actions.  Instead they move forward, sell merchandise, and request that the UN be involved in their struggle for justice. Justice of which fits with their narrow views and victim mindsets.