California Dems: Let’s make sure parents provide OT, rest periods, and WC to babysitters

California state Senator Doug LaMalfa (North-Central CA.) provides further proof that the state of California is going to hell in a handbasket (via Memeorandum):

How will parents react when they find out they will be expected to provide workers’ compensation benefits, rest and meal breaks and paid vacation time for…babysitters? Dinner and a movie night may soon become much more complicated.

Assembly Bill 889 (authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco), will require these protections for all “domestic employees,” including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers.

The bill has already passed the Assembly and is quickly moving through the Senate with blanket support from the Democrat members that control both houses of the Legislature – and without the support of a single Republican member. Assuming the bill will easily clear its last couple of legislative hurdles, AB 889 will soon be on its way to the Governor’s desk.

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer including cumulative penalties, attorneys’ fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers. (On the bright side, language requiring an hour of paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked was amended out of the bill in the Senate.)

Absolutely unbelievable.  Well, ok, it IS believable, considering the serious consideration of such an idea (you can read the bill in full here) is coming from arguably the most liberal, pro-tax state in America. 

Rick Moran gets to the heart of the matter:

The Feds have already cracked down on evil garage sales. Municipalities have outlawed lemonade stands. And now, we can imagine empowering that 18 year old girl who babysits your kids to sue you if you don’t pay minimum wage, overtime, or vacation.

NBC San Diego reportsthat a “Senate analysis” of the bill “cited a report, which found that child care workers, garment workers, maids and housekeepers had high rates of minimum wage violations.”

Anyone who thinks this is about “the rights of workers” more so than California Democrats wanting to collect more tax money (why else would there be a call by them for “meticulously calculated timecards/paychecks”?) for its deep red coffers raise your hand.

I didn’t think so.

The Democratic Party: the party of class and race war?

**Posted by Phineas

I want you to look at two videos, both from Naked Emperor News (1), that illustrate the intellectual bankruptcy and political desperation of what passes for leadership in the modern Democratic Party. Not the average, working- and middle-class rank and file member who’s been a lifetime registered Democrat out of habit, but the career leftist pols who’ve risen to the top thanks to a pernicious combination of seniority and safe districts.

First we have Nancy Pelosi (whose San Francisco idol was avowed Stalinist Harry Bridges) offering an unusual motive on the part of those who oppose economic redistribution and advocate lower taxes: they’re the filthy rich who want immortality!

(via Pirate’s Cove)

Okay, okay. So, she’s talking about “immortality” through getting buildings named after them. It’s still bunkum. Not only are the most vociferous advocates of federal restraint and tax reform not among the filthy rich (2), but, in my experience, most of the money that buys names on buildings comes from rich liberal donors. And what about all the wealthy liberals just screaming for higher taxes, such as Warren Buffet or Stephen King? Are they conspiring for immortality at the expense of the poor and downtrodden, too, Nancy? Do all wealthy people look alike to you?

Oh, and while we’re at it, how goes your own search for life eternal? I mean, you are worth $35 million, after all…

Even more bizarre, however, is her attack on those opposed to raising the minimum wage: it’s all a conspiracy meant to make people dependent on private credit companies and lenders!! Seriously, Nancy? Are you actually arguing that, if we only kept making the minimum wage higher, people wouldn’t need to use credit cards or take out a loan to buy a car? Just how high a “minimum wage” do you envision, O Former Speaker, and what level of taxation do you think would be needed to support it?

Just how much of your $35 million are you willing to give up to save the counter-person at McDonald’s from the evils of the private credit market?

Ignore the fact that a rising minimum wage destroys jobs, this is utterly hypocritical class warfare and pathetic demagoguery that demonizes people who are successful or who are simply concerned about the self-destructive fiscal path this country is on.

But wait! It gets worse!

Earlier this summer, we heard Democratic National Committee Chairwoman (3) Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) claim that Republicans wanted to take America back to the era of Jim Crow. Debbie had to walk that back under fire, but the Congressional Black Caucus has decided that the Tea Party is the new Klan and to play the race card for all it’s worth. Just listen:

Ed Morrissey concentrates on Congressman Andre Carson’s (D-IN) claim that Republicans and Tea-Partiers would be happy to see Blacks lynched. That’s outrageous enough as it is — Carson shouldn’t just apologize and resign, he should be expelled from the House. But listen to the rest: claim after claim that Americans advocating limited government and fiscal sanity are motivated by racism (4), are the enemy, and, as the execrable Maxine Waters puts it, can go “straight to Hell.” This is class warfare blended with good, old-fashioned racism — only the racism is coming from the CBC.

(Be sure to click through to Ed’s post for a second video, this time with Congressman Allen West responding to Rep. Carson and making it quite clear that he’s reconsidering his membership in the CBC. I’m also sorry to see featured in the video my former Assemblywoman and former Speaker of the CA State Assembly, Rep. Karen Bass. She should be ashamed.)

Anyway, there you have it. With a dismal record in office and with the increasing rejection of progressive ideology by a majority of the nation, all the Democratic Party “leadership” has left to offer is class envy, ethnic vitriol, and social division.

Now there’s Hope and Change.

UPDATE: Heh. The Washington Examiner contacted Congressman Carson’s DC office to ask if he would identify which members of Congress want to see him lynched. So far, no response.

(1) How does NEN get these videos? They must have a spy network to rival the CIA…
(2) Last I checked, the Tea Party counted very few millionaires and billionaires in its ranks.
(3) Yeah, I’m un-PC. I shall report to my nearest reeducation center right after lunch.
(4) I’d like to see them pull this crap on Allen West, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, and other minority conservatives who’ve risen to political prominence. Or does that call for the related “Uncle Tom card?”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

A study in contrasts: Well-behaved schoolchildren vs. unruly union thugs

I’m a few days behind on this story, primarily because I spent the majority of my weekend monitoring and/or Tweeting about Hurricane Irene developments, but I think you’ll find it a fascinating case study in terms of the contrasts it portrays between well-behaved young children at a private school versus “gimme mine” unionistas petulantly protesting outside the school … because Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was visiting.  The Wisconsin Reporter has the story:

MILWAUKEE — The anti-Walker protest movement is kicking it up a notch.

Protesters on Friday hoisted “Recall Walker” signs and chanted outside Messmer Preparatory School in Milwaukee, where Walker was slated to read Dr. Seuss’ “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” to elementary school students.

Just hours ahead of Walker’s visit, vandals destroyed locks at the Catholic school, said school officials.

Jacob Flom, of the Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he did not know who vandalized the property, but he did say Walker opponents would bring the protest to the governor, wherever he goes.

“We’re not going to let him go anywhere, especially in our community, without him being protested,” he told the newspaper. The society is a liberal organization of students and youth who advocate against war and for education rights, according to its website.

In a statement released Friday morning to FOX6 News in Milwaukee, Messmer President the Rev. Bob Smith said the Catholic school’s mission is to educate students and instill values.

“We teach our students to respect adults and individuals they disagree with. Our students work hard and succeed. There are no gimmicks or tricks here, just a focus on traditional values,” Smith said in the statement.

Hmph. A far cry from what was going on outside, as this MacIver Institute video clearly demonstrates:

Make sure to watch it all the way through, and note especially the differences between how the kids inside acted versus the “adults” who were stomping their feet marching outside. Also of note: the jerk towards the middle of the video attempting to intimidate a female school employee who was standing outside quietly watching the protesters. Kyle Olson, writing at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog, is calling for people to come forth and identify the man who got into this woman’s face:

The protests got so raucous that at least one parent said that she felt unsafe entering the school with her child.

But the low point occurred when a protester got in the face of a female school employee who was standing quietly on the sidewalk, not engaging the mob in any way. He told her:

“I’m ashamed to have you in my neighborhood. I’m ashamed. Where do you live, by the way? Do you live here? Do you live in this neighborhood? Do you live in the suburbs and drive here for work? You don’t even live here, do you? I’ve got some advice for you: stay where you came from. We don’t want you here.”

Could this be the face of the 21st Century Ku Klux Klan? Think about it. Union thugs are now using intimidation tactics against anyone who dares to disagree with Big Labor’s agenda, and tell them they are not welcomed in the community. The union only wants to associate with “their kind.”

Keep in mind that during the height of the Madison protests, union supporters bullied local business owners into displaying pro-union signs in their store windows so union members would know who was “with them” and who wasn’t.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey’s summary of the protests was spot-on:

It got ugly on the street outside the facility, which is no surprise, since Messmer is a “choice school” — an alternative to the union-gripped public school system. It’s an alternative that sends 85% of its high-school graduates to college. It’s also no surprise that “choice schools” threaten the union’s power in the state, which gave them extra added incentive to protest Walker’s visit … and to attempt to intimidate Messmer staff while doing so. The video provides a jarring disconnect between the well-behaved students on the inside and Brother Bob’s explanation of teaching positive discipline and self-control to the self-indulgent nastiness taking place on the sidewalk outside.


Finally, have unions bothered to change their protest marching cries in 40 years? We hear the ubiquitous “hey hey ho ho” rallying cry, and a chorus of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” last seen on the charts as recently as 41 years ago. For the unions, it’s the same old, tired song, the same old, tired rallying cries, and the same, old, dismal failure in both public schools and public relations. I’d call them childish, but that would insult the well-behaved and well-educated students at Messmer Prep. Let’s just call them ugly. This is what it looks like when those who feel entitled to power and control lose both.

Does that not describe modern-day liberalism to a “t”? Still pushing for old big government ideas that don’t work, and throwing temper tantrums when they don’t get their way. It’s a sad commentary for today’s left that representatives for their warped belief system get shown up by well-behaved young students during a visit from the Governor of their state. And for any liberals reading this who may think I’m suggesting that liberals sit silent, in awe, and giggle approvingly at their political opposition, get a clue. If you don’t understand the reason for the study in contrasts between the school kids and the marchers outside, then you in your infinite cluelessness are PART of the problem, NOT the solution to it – the solution being to respectfully disagree with your political opposition by way of acting like adults who have even the tiniest modicum of understanding about when and where how it is appropriate to stage protests against your government’s policies.

Unionites remind me of little kids who have been given “shut up candy” by their parents for years every time they visit the grocery store. The parents, tired of fighting with the child over the candy request at the check out counter and too weary from a hard day at work to say no, give in to the child and buy it candy time after time, to the delight of the child, who eventually becomes spoiled by it. Then one day, the parent says no, and in response the child pitches a fit in the middle of the store, laying down and stamping its feet, slamming its little fists sideways on the floor as it yells and screams to the point its face gets red. The parent has decided its time to wean the child off the candy, and naturally the child protests violently at this perceived “injustice.”

But … there is a difference in that child versus the children masquerading as adults at these anti-Walker protests: Eventually, the child grows into a young adult and learns to do without the candy, and at some point gets a job where he earns the money he needs to be able to buy that candy himself when he wants it without having to rely on his mom and dad to purchase it for him. He doesn’t always buy it; the candy is a luxury item he can’t always afford, but when he can, he treats himself – and appreciates it more.

This is exactly the way “gimme mine” public sector unionistas need to be treated. They should to be weaned off the luxury taxpayer-provided health benefits and retirement plans until/unless they’re willing to contribute more to pay for them out of pocket. Families struggling to make ends meet should not have to sacrifice a portion of their family’s quality of life just so someone who makes their living at the government’s expense can get a Cadillac health coverage and retirement plan that Joe and Jane Six-pack could not afford even on their best days.

Liberals talk big on the issue of “shared sacrifice” by way of suggesting that the “middle class” should not have to “shoulder society’s tax burden”, and suggest that “the rich” ought to cover it instead. Interestingly enough, however, they don’t apply that same “rule” when it comes to the middle class paying out the wazoo in the form of tax dollars in order for the government to provide fancy perks for public sector union workers that the average American worker doesn’t get to enjoy. They’d rather a non-union worker go without than to have a union worker “robbed” of “what’s his.” We’ve seen this play out often over the last several decades, most recently with the changes put in place by the Walker, Kasich, and Christie administrations respectively, and with the shameless attempt by Big Labor via their allies on the NLRB to rob South Carolina workers of jobs because Boeing thought it made good sense to put a facility in a non-union state like South Carolina.

It’s liberal duplicity at its most transparently disgusting – and it’s high time their two-faced tactics were exposed for what they are.

Global warming causes mental illness?

**Posted by Phineas

Is there nothing that can’t be blamed on a harmless gas that serves mainly as plant food?

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ”emotional injury, stress and despair” in the wake of these events.

The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, called the past 15 years a ”preview of life under unrestrained global warming”.

”While cyclones, drought, bushfires and floods are all a normal part of Australian life, there is no doubt our climate is changing,” the report says.

Emphasis added, because that bit is key to the whole fantasy built by this article — that dangerous man-caused climate change is leading to an increase in mental illness.

First, let’s remind ourselves of something. According to one of the high priests of the Cult of Global Warming, Dr. Phil Jones, former Director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (1), there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. Another, Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, once wrote in an email:

“The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.”

So, I ask the article’s author and the Climate Institute, where is the “unrestrained global warming?”


But let’s get back to the article’s thesis. It rests on two pillars:

  1. That changing climate (2) and severe weather events can lead to stress and various mental illnesses.
  2. That these events and therefore the mental illnesses can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming.

I have no disagreement with the first point, nor am I making light of the mentally ill. Fire, drought, earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes… all these and other disasters can lead to the loss of property, loss of a job, injury or even the death of loved ones. Sure, all this can lead to stress and possible mental illness. I’ve seen it myself in the wake the wildfires and temblors that periodically ravage California.

So, sure. A connection between natural disasters and mental illness? No problem.

But it’s in the second point that Erik Jensen Health of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Climate Institute take a Wile E. Coyote-like leap off the cliff of logic. First for assuming anthropogenic global warming exists when it is very much in question. (See also Carter and Plimer.) And second for listing event after event with the underlying assumption that AGW must be the cause, while never presenting a skeptical viewpoint and without ever investigating if these events fall outside the norms of Australia’s climate history, whether as recorded by human observers or seen in the paleoclimatological record.

This wasn’t an article about science or even the problems of mental illness. It’s just unchallenged assertion after unchallenged assertion, all meant to scare the reader by invoking the dread demon Climate Change. It was nothing more than a fire-and-brimstone sermon at an Al Gore revival meeting:

“Repent, ye racist greenhouse gas-spewing sinners, lest your communities collapse and your children go nuts because of your crimes against Gaea! THOU SHALT DE-CARBONIZE!!”

The SMH should be embarrassed for running such tripe.

via WUWT

(1) Also a key figure in the Climategate scandal. (See also)
(2) Of course the Earth’s climate (really, a range of regional climates) is changing. We live on a dynamic planet that has never been in a steady state. But there is no evidence showing that any changes now occurring are beyond what has happened in the past. It’s not CO2, folks, it’s the sun.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)