Tag Archives: regulation

Speaker Boehner Demands President Help Pass Phantom Job Bills Stuck In Senate

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image of  Speaker Boehner cryingOn Thursday US House Speaker John Boehner stood before reporters and, in an attempt to deflect growing pressure on his party’s obstruction of President Obama’s jobs plan, demanded the President help pass 15 so-called Jobs bills passed in the House and stuck in the Senate. The bills that Boehner defines as “job bills” have nothing to do with actual jobs. The bills only help the 1% by gutting EPA rules and allowing more environmentally suspect oil drilling.
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Wild Animals In Ohio Had To Be Put Down

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image of press conference Jack Hanna and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz
Jack Hanna (speaking) and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz

There has been a lot of anger and complaints about how most of the exotic animals that got loose at a farm outside of Zanesville, Ohio were killed rather than corralled and captured to save them. The facts of the situation led to the rational conclusion that the safety of the community trumped the need to save as many animals as possible.
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What is the REAL nanny state?

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The preamble of the US Constitution says: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” That means the government should act in the best interests of the people and in a way that betters our lives such as protecting our health, liberty, and property. Some conservatives like Senator Rand Paul complain about a “nanny state” restricting our freedom to eat as much as we want when we want, waste energy, and to be homophobic no matter that doing all that might encroach on other’s rights.

Recently Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said:

Sen. Rand Paul, in a tussle with an Energy Department official Thursday, complained about what he described as burdensome, “busybody” regulations that were forcing him to buy a bad bowl.

“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house, what I can do. You restrict my choices,” Paul said.

The issue on the table was a 2007 law requiring a phase-in of energy efficient bulbs. Paul and others are trying to repeal portions of the law, arguing that it restricts the American consumer.

At a Thursday hearing on the issue, Paul — a freshman Republican who shares a libertarian streak with his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) — aimed his complaints at Kathleen Hogan, a deputy assistant at the Energy Department.

He began his remarks by asking Hogan if she was pro-choice. She replied that she was “pro-choice of bulbs.”

“The point is that most members of your administration probably would be frank and would be up front to characterize themselves as being pro-choice for abortion,” Paul said.

Toilets join light bulbs on Sen. Rand Paul’s list of necessities burdened by ‘busybody’ rules0

Setting aside the ridiculous point of comparing abortion to buying light bulbs, he isn’t the only cheap labor conservative to complain about government regulations that force you to change the behavior you are use to.

I understand Paul’s point about low flow toilets. Early models were clunky, but the current models are cutting edge and leave the old complaints behind.

I support the use of CFL or LED light bulbs over the old inefficient incandescent bulbs that haven’t really changed in over 100 years. I have several CFL bulbs and one of them I bought in 2003 and it is still working. I have not had to change a light bulb for more than 3 years now and I have seen a slight reduction in my electric bill. I plan on moving to the even better LED bulbs once the costs moderate a bit more.

What moron would want to spend money on old bulbs and give up savings on their electric bill? Sen Rand Paul I guess and other Luddites like him. Besides I would rather spend extra now for new technology and make that transition than be forced to do it later when we have to save energy either because oil is running out or some other nasty reason. I’m sure there will be someone who demands the right to pay $10 a gallon to gas up their old SUV that gets 5 miles to the gallon.

To me that is being stupid.

There is also complaints about the insurance mandate and other parts of the new health care reform law, belly aching about the First Lady’s efforts to curb child obesity, and the First Family speaking out against bullying.

They might have a point about the insurance mandate of the health care law over reaching by taxing people who don’t buy health insurance, but who would want to let insurance companies decide if life-saving procedures were cost-effective? Why do some people want to put profit over people? How is that moral?

At least if the government decided what was covered, those decisions wouldn’t be based on the bottom line. Just talk to people who spend hundred of thousands of dollars so they can have a few more weeks with their loved one. Compassionate people can’t and won’t put a price tag or profit over their loved one.

I don’t worry about rules and regulations meant to benefit the most people but I do worry, and find it ironic, that people like Senator Rand Paul thinks its okay to interfere in a woman’s health decisions while whining about the government doing that to us.

He would rather force women to have unwanted children, have the IRS police if tax dollars were used for abortions, yet doesn’t want to spend money to help take care of those children.

It seems when Democrats “overreach” they at least help the most people but when the GOP overreach they want to hurt the most people.

What is really a “nanny state”? One that tries to better the human condition or one that wants to be a selfish ass.

Big business is NOT our friend

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I have been watching the events surrounding the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and it reaffirms my philosophy that Big Business is NOT our friend.

I’m not a Marxist or advocate state ownership of business but I do feel that industry needs to be heavily regulated. Big businesses, left to their own devices, will screw us over in some form if we aren’t watching them like a hawk. The corporation only answers to their owners and shareholders. With some rare exceptions, benevolence from big business only exists if it doesn’t cost them very much money and if they benefit from it.

History is full of the damage and chaos when big business is left to run amok. The big example is the Crash of 1929. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 89 percent of its value by 1932 and put us into a depression that didn’t subside until the start of World War II. That was 12 years of massive unemployment and suffering.

We had the robber barons of the 19th century which included John D. Rockefeller, John Jacob Astor and Andrew Carnegie. These guys were the Goldman Sachs and AIG of their day. Men like that were known for extensive use of child labor, deadly working conditions and strong arm tactics if workers complained.

Upton Sinclair wrote “The Jungle” that exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry and led to the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. Now we seem to be returning to those days when you didn’t know if your food or medicine was safe. The food industry have worked for years to reduce the regulations in place.

More recent follies included the Savings and Loan crash in the 1980s and there was Black Monday in October 1987 when the stock market dropped 500 points or 22.6 percent of value. We’re still experiencing the damage from the crash in 2008 and the collapse of the housing loan market.

The BP oil spill isn’t the first or last example of big business raping our environment in the name of profits. Google “superfund” and you will find a lot of information on trashed environments that taxpayers paid to have cleaned up — places like Love Canal, Times Beach and smaller locations like old factories that found it was cheaper to dump their hazardous wastes on their property than to have it properly disposed.

The problem with “big business” is shown in little ways as well. Grocery chains don’t locate in low income areas so those people are forced to pay more for their food. Money and favorable policies meant to help family farms end up going to agriculture conglomerates like ConAgra. Wal-mart treats their employees so bad that many have to apply for food stamps and welfare to make ends meet.

What bothers me the most is most people let these things happen or look the other way. One reaction is that they would rather have a cheaper price than a company that acts ethically and responsibly. Big business isn’t the driver of the economy. The engine of our economy is small businesses— the mom and pop locally owned shops and services. Big business’ charity work comes from their advertising budget and most of their profit leaves the area and contributes nothing where they operate.

An obstacle to stopping this screw over is the government. Legislators in D.C. or in the states are bought and paid for by big bushiness in some way. Both Democrats and Republicans. If we want to return our country to the people we need to only vote for people who will refuse to be bought.

Unless that happens, things like the BP oil spill will continue.

*This article appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of The Central Ohio Humanist*