Monday, April 25, 2011

From the Pages of Atlas Shrugged

In Ayn Rand's magnificent book Atlas Shrugged the leftist politician-regulators, near the climax of the book, pass a law forbidding businesses change their activities in any way. The directive is called 10-289. It attempts to chain employers and employees to their current jobs, current locations and current practices.

Their motives are three-fold.

First they are animated by a moral opposition to profit seeking per se. They call it 'greed' because they can't imagine an intellectual or moral defense of self-interest so they prefer to describe the pursuit of profit and the pursuit of happiness in emotional terms, 'greed'. (Remember this distinction when you consider similar controversies described in emotional rather than intellectual terms, e.g. 'hate', 'hope', 'compassion'.) They are opposed to businessmen changing their activities in an attempt to make more money.

Second they wish to protect their cronies in business who aren't able enough to make good decisions, like moving to more business friendly regulatory environments, businesses that instead thrive on government protections, handouts, and loan guarantees. Think of pre-nationalized GM here, that didn't have the brains, balls or perhaps the legal ability to move to the more business friendly southern states, while Toyota et al. were doing well there. By preventing any further changes the regulators hope to keep their cronies in business while together they, the government and crony businessmen, pick over the carcass of the dying economy. They can only imagine redistributing wealth, not creating it.

Third they wish to prevent the irrationality of their existing policies from becoming evident. If businessmen are allowed to change, move, or quit in response to the disincentives of current regulations, the harmful effects of those regulations become clear to all. California politicians are starting to panic over all the businesses and individuals that are moving to Texas. And unions have always been upset that businesses could move to 'right-to-work' states that recognize some elements of free employer-employee relationships in opposition to collective compulsory bargaining laws.

Straight out of the pages of Atlas Shrugged Obama-appointed Lafe Solomon has filed a complaint on behalf of the NLRB contending that Boeing must manufacture 787 Dreamliner airplanes in Washington, a non-right-to-work state, rather than completing a new plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. Thus by regulatory fiat the NLRB might soon declare that its illegal to move to a freer state to do business. Can you hear the shackles clicking closed on your legs? By what right? By what right does a government bureaucrat dictate where we can work?

Those of you who have read Atlas Shrugged know why this is happening (collectivism and altruism). Those of you that haven't, might want to pick it up to get an idea of the destructive moral power behind these kinds of directives and what they'll lead to if we do nothing about it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Regulation Watch - 04-24-2011

Two big items of note this week in the realm of the unaccountable statism. The first isn't exactly regulatory, but relates to earlier stories that did directly involve the regulatory agencies (energy and health and human services to be precise). It is Obama's continued, demonstrable contempt for the Constitution. Obama has openly declared that he won't abide by a law passed by congress and signed by himself, the portion of the budget that defunds some of his czars. He's also trying make an end run around the Surpreme Court's ruling that struck down the DISCLOSE act, in an attempt to stifle free speech in the upcoming elections.

The other big item is the NLRB's attack on business. One of its members has filed a complaint that would prevent Boeing from building a plant in South Carolina. If this is allowed, it has grave implications regarding our freedom of movement and association.

Obama declares he won't abide by budget law defunding czars
GOP rep: budget signing statement is unconstitutional
Ten examples of regulatory state attacks on our freedom
How government takes non-discrimination seriously and hires the worst
Google and Microsoft embracing regulation and lawfare
California: The boot about to land on the necks of California's farmers
California: 69 companies leave in Q1, fastest ever
California: San Diego redistricting commission rigged by unions
Energy: Fascism on the rise, Google partners with DOE to promote destruction of internal combustion engine 
Energy: Yet another 'public-private' boondoggle. Blue Heron bankrupt despite $13.75M in public support 
FCC: F*&% that! Obama asks court to let FCC regulate more swear language
FDA: attacks freedom of speech with gag rule. forbids reporters from consulting outside experts
FEC: Obama intends to implement portions of DISCLOSE
FEC: Obama moves to sabotage Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling
FEC: Obama planning to impose DISCLOSE anyway
FED: Shadowstats special inflation report
Indiana: Its regressive and its a handout, but still a move in the right direction. Indiana's largest voucher bill ever
Interior: No drilling, but useless wind farms get the green light
Justice: Edited. Online pokers situation cries for regulation freedom. Pragmatists...
Justice: More pragmatists welcome poker regulation, what ever happened to freedom?
Justice: DOJ's attack on online poker explained 
HHS: A lesson to industries hoping to cash in on regulation by looting other industries: Big Pharma concessions justifying support of Obamacare now gone
Maine: Small farmers getting killed by regulation
New York: wiffleball, tag and kickball need regulation
NLRB: This is where gov't protection of thuggery is going. SEIU plans more WI style thuggish protests
NLRB: Good piece on NLRB's attack on Boeing's freedom of movement and association
NLRB: South Carolina livid about NLRB attack on freedom of movement
NLRB: Boeing's Dreamliner Nightmare
NLRB: Obama to Boeing: Drop Dead
NLRB: Boeing to fight NLRB's attack on freedom of movement
NLRB: (satire) assumes control over business location decisions
NLRB: Neither union nor gov't should have a say, but funny that the union is backing sleeping on the job
NLRB: Collective compulsory bargaining's latest victim: the soap opera
NLRB: (Video) New Hampshire to become right-to-work state
NLRB: New Hampshire fight over right-to-work might dwarf Wisconsin's
NLRB: Unionization isn't about protecting labor, its about attacking capital. Unions oppose unionization of their own employees
SEC: Vineyard's profits shrink even as revenues increase. The cost of complying with SEC
SEC: New swaps regulations incoming
SEC: Judge calls SEC 'sloppy', 'uninformed' and 'irresponsible' but dismisses case.  Do people still think that its better for other people to tell them what to do than just decide themselves?
TSA: LaHood would object to groping his grandkids, unless its for air passengers' 'safety'
TSA: Hawaii, Alaska and others form caucus to reign in TSA
TSA: GOP supported budget increases TSA funding with specific provisions to hire more screeners
TSA: un-American
TSA: normalizing the unthinkable
TSA: from the mouth and spirit of Ellsworth Toohey: TSA declares arrogance a threat indicator
TSA: More on TSA's assault on self-esteem
TSA: Surprise. Courts agree with government
TSA: Raped by my government
TSA: Begging congress to help Alaskans enjoy their rights to freedom of movement, to due process, to reasonable searches with judge-issued warrants

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Event: APA features Objectivism this weekend in San Diego

For those of you in San Diego that are Objectivists, Tea Partiers, or sympathetic and interested in philosophic discussions (looking especially at you and your bar friends Dueling Barstools and you at Left Coast Rebels), here's an event this weekend. Two sessions of the American Philosophic Association will be discussing Rand's ideas. This is a first and looks fairly interesting. (Posted on HBL and communicated separately to me by Prof. Gotthelf)
From Allan Gotthelf

The Pacific Division of the APA meets at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront this weekend. Two of its programs deal, in part or in whole, with Objectivism. This is extremely rare, and I would like to urge all of you (or your friends) who might possibly attend to try to do so. It will be important to show that there is a serious interest in Ayn Rand's philosophic thought, and attendance at these meetings, which unfortunately have stiff competition from other meetings of more common interest among philosophers today.  (For registration information, see below.)

 22 Apr  1-4 pm:   The first APA program ever to feature Ayn Rand in one of its lecture titles is called "Uncommon Virtues: Creativity, Productivity, and Pride".  Aristotle and Ayn Rand will get the bulk of the attention.

The main speakers were to be Christine Swanton (Univ. Auckland) and I. Greg Salmieri is scheduled to comment on Swanton and Helen Cullyer (Mellon Foundation, formerly of Univ Pittsburgh), an expert on pride in Aristotle, was to comment on me. For medical reasons I have, regrettably, had to withdraw. Dr. Cullyer will do a paper in my place, focused on Aristotle but pointing to fundamental similarities concerning the nature and virtuous character of pride. Greg Salmieri will comment on that paper as well.

Saturday 23 Apr 6-8 pm:  The Ayn Rand Society will hold a program on "Rand on Punishment", with papers by David Boonin (Univ. Colorado) and Irfan Khawaja (Felician Univ.). I was to chair this meeting, but in my place Greg Salmieri, a member with me of the ARS Steering Committee, will chair.

More details are available on the ARS website: (scroll to 2010-2011 Programs).  Attendees must register at the APA Registration Desk at the hotel for the convention, but as explained at that ARS website page, you can register for individual meetings at $10 (or so) per meeting. That is the only cost.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Regulation Watch - 04-17-2011

The big news this week, not extensively covered below, is that the federal budget for the remainder of 2011 was passed and signed and the GOP did not manage to cut any spending or cut any regulatory activities. The rider to defund greenhouse gas regulation was ultimately abandoned. Shameful in my opinion. My GOP representative Bilbray voted for the budget and I've told him I'll never vote for him again.

Meanwhile California politicians and activists continue to promote the same kind of economic suicide and the story of the tomato farm in Camp Pendleton closing is emblematic of our future with Fed created inflation and state regulations crushing farming, especially water regulations. More and more businesses will be destroyed or driven out with the government the only remaining growth 'industry'.

Our unelected rulers: regulators
Obama working to make regulators even less accountable to Congress, appointments without confirmation
Obama says he wont recognize provision in budget defunding czars
Eliminating a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and 100 private sector jobs
ATF: Gun shop owner warned ATF. The morality of Americans far more trustworthy than that of our bureaucrats.
ATF: Grassley unloads on ATF for gun running operation and coverup. Good listen.
California: Coastal Commission considers implications of Japanese quake. Is there any pie the CCC doesn't have its finger in?
California: renewable portfolio standard requires 1/3rd energy be 'renewable' by 2020
California: Renewable Energy Suicide
California: 125 groups support destroying California farming
California: farms may face new water rules
California: 70-year-old Camp Pendleton tomato farm to close, cites rising fuel, labor and water costs
DHS: why does this make me nervous? Napolitano meets with european counterparts to fight 'terrorism'. does she mean jihadis or tea partiers and gold bugs?
DHS: wonderful. Leftist begging for DHS/TSA expansion into boating
Education: IMPORTANT: tax credits for private schooling not subject to challenge as vouchers would be
Education: high court recognizes difference between tax credits and subsidies
Education: TOS on tax credits vs. vouchers ruling
EPA: new regulations of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and other elements by 2012, no discussion of property rights
EPA: Forces Tennesee Valley Authority to shut coal plants
EPA: official admits what we all knew, doesn't consider jobs impact
EPA: threatens to take over regulating Utah air
EPA: GOP whiffs on cutting 'clean' energy loan boondoggles
EPA: after TWO YEARS the EPA decides that milk is not like an oil spill
FCC: Talks about redividing broadcast spectrum, no discussion of property status, but lots of talk about 'fairness'
FCC: Genachowski torn about how to redistribute the output of the internet industry, proposes internet welfare rather than just waiting until it gets cheaper
Fed: Calls for more regulation to ensure 'stability'. That's a good one. Been working out for you so far?
Fed: Hoenig says big banks should be recognized as Government-Sponsored Entities, since they are
HHS: to conduct massive propaganda campaign for Obamacare 
HHS: AAPS: Medicaid hurts physicians, taxpayers and the poor
HHS: States fight Obamacare exchanges. once you accept federal money, they have you over a barrel
Justice: FBI Raids Chuck E. Cheese for "undermining U.S. Currency" (spoof)
Justice: Fine for President to go to war without congressional approval if its for the UN
Justice: attacks online poker with barrage of charges. are they serious? don't they have some new black panthers to investigate??
NLRB: GOP whiffs on cutting NLRB funding
NHTSA: Why is it Government Motors competitors are all being pressured to conduct huge recalls?
Ohio: Fishing regulation silliness
TSA: Geraldo speaks against TSA child molestation
TSA: review of TSA injustices, what exactly is it preventing?
TSA: 8-year-old full body searched. 'i didn't know what they were doing to me'
TSA: No privatization of airport security
TSA: agency of failure
U.K.: Reminds me of the time I was scolded by the fire department for putting out a fire in a large hospital because I hadn't been trained. Extinguishers banned as a fire safety hazzard

Thoughts on Atlas Shrugged Part 1

I saw Atlas Shrugged Part 1 last night. There was lots of awkwardness in the dialogue, unevenness in the scenes, and some miscasting. BUT the positive portrayal of businessmen and productive activity was once in a lifetime. I don't know if the movie itself will convince people to read the book. I think not. My wife thinks it will. The media buzz clearly is already though. If you don't ever plan to read the book, seeing the movie will at least give an idea of what Rand is about when you hear about her ideas. And you will more and more often over the next many years (and decades).

At the moment Rotten Tomatoes has Atlas Shrugged at 10% among critics and 85% among viewers. Is this another example of the divide in America between the leftist, intellectual 'leadership' and the immeasurably more honest, rational and selfish general public?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Part 1 Showtimes in San Diego

UPDATE (06-27-11): Atlas Shrugged is no longer showing in San Diego. Hasn't for a while. Read or reread the book instead. Its a thousand times better. Or read my blog. :)
UPDATE (05-10-11): As of today, its still showing in San Diego. Go to the San Diego Reader link for updated showtimes.

Showtimes from The San Diego Reader (for other cities check here):


Note: Movie showtimes are subject to change. For possible updates to this schedule, please call the theater.

AMC Mission Valley
1640 Camino del Rio North
San Diego, CA

Get Directions

* Friday, April 15: 11:25 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
* Saturday, April 16: 11:25 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
* Sunday, April 17: 11:25 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
* Monday, April 18: 11:25 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
* Tuesday, April 19: 11:25 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
* Wednesday, April 20: 11:25 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.
* Thursday, April 21: 11:25 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 10:15 p.m.

Reading Town Square
4665 Clairemont Drive
San Diego, CA

Get Directions

* Friday, April 15: 12:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9:50 p.m.
* Saturday, April 16: 12:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9:50 p.m.
* Sunday, April 17: 11:40 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m.
* Monday, April 18: 11:40 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m.
* Tuesday, April 19: 11:40 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m.
* Wednesday, April 20: 11:40 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m.
* Thursday, April 21: 11:40 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m.

Regal Horton Plaza
475 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA

Get Directions

* Friday, April 15: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
* Saturday, April 16: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
* Sunday, April 17: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
* Monday, April 18: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
* Tuesday, April 19: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
* Wednesday, April 20: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
* Thursday, April 21: 1:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.

Regal Mira Mesa
10733 Westview Parkway
San Diego, CA

Get Directions

* Friday, April 15: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
* Saturday, April 16: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
* Sunday, April 17: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
* Monday, April 18: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
* Tuesday, April 19: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
* Wednesday, April 20: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
* Thursday, April 21: 11:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.

Regal San Marcos
1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard
San Marcos, CA

Get Directions

* Friday, April 15: 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
* Saturday, April 16: 11:30 a.m., 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
* Sunday, April 17: 11:30 a.m., 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
* Monday, April 18: 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
* Tuesday, April 19: 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
* Wednesday, April 20: 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.
* Thursday, April 21: 1:50 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Regulation Watch - 04-10-2011

A relatively thin week. Many of the stories I had collected had to do with how agencies would be effected by a government shutdown, but now that promise has passed. The biggest news is the expansion of the ADA's definition of a 'disability', about which I've blogged elsewhere.

As I delve more into news sources, I'm shifting even more away from mainstream media articles and towards blogs and sites who's focus is for the protection of individual rights and against unaccountable regulatory agencies. In that way I hope that you will find not only stories, but entire organizations that will help intellectually arm you against state intrusions.

ADA: Obama declares half of american workers disabled
ADA: EEOC redefines 'disability', effective May 24
ADA: New rules would label millions of american workers disabled
California: Water board considering new regulations of farm water, monitoring and cleaning groundwater
California: Farmers feel like they're being water boarded
California: PLF to attend "Creating Jobs by Overcoming Man-Made Drought" on tuesday
California: (LONG and OLD) Coastal Commissions history of abusing property rights
FCC: to force AT&T, Verizon to carry freeloading rivals mobile internet service
FCC: Court declares lawsuit vs net neutrality premature
FDA: Smothering Medical Innovation
Florida: Frees 20 professions from regulations, democrats hoping for accidents
Health: Overbearing perfume out, overbearing regulation in. a vision of what's to come for us all
HHS: King Barack's Waivers. On the unconstitutionality of HHS dispensations
HHS: Mourning obamacare's birth at 1 year
Missouri: Man needs permission to post sign protesting eminent domain abuse, IJ defending on 1st amendment basis
NLRB: More cleansing sunlight to reach Obama's labor board. FOIA over google ads
North Dakota: passes cease and desist resolution regarding unconstitutional federal laws
NTSB: Let no accident go to waste. Schumer to kill cheap tour buses. "Beginning of a new day [the end] for the low-cost tour-bus industry"
SEC: Johnson & Johnson fined $70,006,316 by US for bribing other countries. keep the bribes at home?
Washington: Victoria Luhrs wins 10-year battle to protect her home from shoreline erosion, was prevented by county
Who works, who doesn't in a government shutdown
International Code Council recommends sprinklers in all houses. Some counties and states adopt rules, others fight.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act

This is not getting nearly as much press as it should. The EEOC recently published new guidelines regarding what will be considered a disability protected under the ADA, effective May 24. The two changes are that minor and episodic diseases will now be covered, including for example diabetes and bipolar disorder. The second, and more significant change, is that the burden of proof will now rest on the employer to prove that the litigating employee does not have the claimed disability (a near impossibility given how modern diseases are classified and diagnosed) or that he, the employer, is making accommodations. Since the former won't stand in court, employers will now be forced to accommodate an endless series of demands by 'disabled' employees. Besides the ramps and special bathrooms we'll all have onsite medical facilities to deal with medical problems, perhaps psychiatrists, extra security for violent disorders, meetings shortened to 5 minutes to accommodate those with attention deficit disorder, cafeterias with all manner of foods to accommodate the gluten intolerant and nut allergic, the list is endless.

The ADA should be repealed, and urgently so with these new changes. A disabled person has no more right to a job than an able person. It is the employers right to hire who he wishes, under whatever terms he demands and to fire them should he decide their employment is not in his interest. A right is not a claim on another's person or property. A right defines freedom of action, freedom from coercion. Disabled or not an employee's right is only to accept employment offered him, not to compel the employer to hire him, give him special consideration or force him to build wheelchair ramps and supply an on-site psychiatrist and security for his manic rages.

I have nothing against someone who has an inconvenient or debilitating condition through no fault of their own. But it is not the responsibility of the rest of humanity to make up for that condition. It is a fact of life, neither the fault of the victim nor of anyone else and must be adjusted to by the victim, their family and friends.

Furthermore, that condition can to some extent be treated or overcome through wealth, i.e. technology, science, robotics, medicine. and it is not in the interest of the disabled to make it impossible for businessmen to create that wealth or institutions to discover that science. Shackling our economy with these kinds of regulations and lawsuits is just suicide for all, including the disabled. How well did the disabled fair before industrial civilization? Not well. And that's were the ADA is taking us if its applied with any consistency.

Of course it won't be applied consistently, it will be used as a weapon by disgruntled employees, bitter job applicants, business rivals and political foes to bring any company of their choosing to its knees. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Koch brothers, vilified among leftists for their vocal defense of capitalism, attacked this year under the new interpretation of the ADA.

Would you be shocked to learn that George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law in 1990 and that George W. Bush signed the ADAAA (amendment act) in 2008? I'm not.

From the Colorado Independent:
Come May, employers will be required to provide accommodations for a new range of issues and diseases that have recently been given the distinction of “disability” after an update to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week published the guidelines as to how to define a disability under the latest version of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which was amended in 2008 as the ADA Amendments Act.

The document published in the Federal Register includes the final revised ADA act and interpretative guidelines, which, according to an EEOC release, are ”designed to simplify the determination of who has a ‘disability’ and make it easier for people to establish that they are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The regulations go into effect May 24.

In the most current version of the act, “disability” is defined as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities of such individual.” In other words, a disability was always considered to be constantly “debilitating.” The new regulations maintain the ADA’s definition of disability, but major changes come from how the terms “impairment” and “life activities” are interpreted. With the new language, “impairment need not prevent or severely or significantly restrict performance of a major life activity to be considered a disability. Additionally, whether an impairment is a disability should be construed broadly, to the maximum extent allowable under the law.”

Impairments that are in remission or are episodic, such as cancer or epilepsy, can now be interpreted as “substantially restricting the performance of a life activity” when the condition is active.

Under the regulations, “major life activities” include “major bodily functions,” such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and brain, neurological, and endocrine functions. The rules document clarifies that not every impairment will be considered a disability and gives clear examples, such as HIV infection, diabetes, epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

Formerly, the burden of proof was on the worker to prove he or she suffered from a condition that required certain accommodations; now it will be up to individual employers to make certain they have not overlooked any condition or disability that could be covered under the law.

A census estimate (PDF) from 2005 found that of all Americans, 16.5 percent of people aged 21 to 64 had some level of disability; 45.6 percent of this group was employed.
In its preliminary estimation of the effects of the amended ADA, the EEOC, predicted that the new regulations would increase the pool of those considered to be workers with disabilities by 160,000 people; but further analysis and input from academics and experts raised that estimation to between 12 million and 38.4 million new disabled workers.

The EEOC further estimates that the broadened definitions will lead to between 400,000 and 1.2 million new accommodations employers will be required to provide, which is estimated to cost between $60 million and $183 million annually. The commission notes that many of these accommodations will be low-cost, such as allowing breaks or making small modifications to office equipment.

“Just as the ADAAA [ADA Amendments Act] was the result of a considerable bipartisan effort by Congress, the final rule represents a concerted effort of EEOC Commissioners representing both parties to arrive at regulations that hold true to that bipartisan Congressional intent,” said EEOC Commissioner Constance S. Barker in a press statement. “I was pleased to have been able to vote in favor of the final rule.”

Read the full analysis and implications of the regulations here.

Law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides a list of implications for employers, essentially suggesting new tactics for fighting lawsuits. These include:
  • “Defendants are far less likely to prevail in court by arguing that an individual is not disabled and therefore is not covered under the ADA and/or does not require accommodation. “
  • Now more than ever, employers must focus on reasonable accommodation, and on whether an individual with a physical or mental condition is otherwise qualified to perform essential job functions, with or without reasonable accommodation.”
  • “Lawyers defending ADA cases in court must, in most cases, wean themselves off arguing that the plaintiff is not disabled … the employer must typically focus its arguments on accommodation – it made accommodation, the plaintiff failed to request accommodation, the plaintiff declined accommodation, the plaintiff failed to participate meaningfully in the accommodation process, etc.”
  • “The class action epidemic that continues in most parts of the country will now likely expand further to encompass mass actions under ADAAA. Some such actions will be brought by the EEOC under pattern and practice theory. Others will be filed by plaintiffs seeking class certification under Rule 23. … The EEOC’s repudiation of that approach could well mean a rise in class cases, e.g., by numerous individuals with a particular impairment, or numerous individuals having various impairments – all of them now protected.”
This video from Penn & Teller is also worth a watch:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Regulation Watch - 04-03-2011

I wouldn't call it a theme of the week, but the impending unionization of farm workers (through SB104) combined with the continued attacks on farming for the sake of the delta smelt and new proposed regulations of irrigation runoff adds up to a very pessimistic future for farming in California.

ADA: How to kill entrepreneurs #2,295
ATF: Malkin on gunrunner scandal
ATF: More government lawlessness, ATF director ignores deadline for documents
BLM: Will hold forum on fracking in Denver, Bismark ND, and Little Rock
California: Oakland gardener discovers anti-profit regulations, can't sell lettuce, will 'sustainability' advocates fight for free markets?
California: Quality Board considering plan to heavily regulate irrigation water from farms
California: The Man-Made California Drought, hearings on the 11th
California: Non-endangered bird >> humans having fun, Lompoc fights Fish and Wildlife for 13yrs for beach access
California: Now issue too small for meddling Coastal Commission, utility pole approved by DOT might have to be removed
California: SB 104 "Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act" to eliminate secret ballots, introduce union intimidation into unionization elections
Delaware: (Video) Using the DOT to harass your neighbors. Caught on video, DOT removes basketball hoops, lies to protesting owners
DHS: Should Homeland Security control the GPS network?
Education: (Old) 2008 video from ARI explaining why the state has no right to regulate your childs education
Energy: Republicans propose slashing DOE Loan guarantee program to save $41 billion in liabilities
Energy: The dirty secret behind the American Clean Energy and Security Act
Energy: Obama's speech in a nutshell "You're buying a f*#@*!g Volt if you like it or not!"
EPA: Hassling electricity, making good on Obama's promise to "bankrupt" coal and cause electricity rates to "skyrocket"
EPA: Manufacturers Launch Campaign against EPA's aggressive agenda
FAA: Obama threatens veto if FAA reauthorization requires majority of workers to actually vote for unionization
FCC: Dissenting commissioner explains how businesses will use net neutrality to attack their competitors
FCC: More on leftist attempts to stifle free political speech through the FCC
FDA: How are my rights being violated by not seeing calorie counts? FDA proposes counts on all chain's menus
FDA: Insider trading at the FDA?!? I thought regulation protected us and govt agents were paragons of virtue and wisdom?
FDA: Surprise, government controls medicine, prescription drug shortages
FDIC: Awesome! New Rule: Gov't, i.e. Fannie and Freddie, Exempt from New Mortgage Rules
Fed: When Private Money Becomes a Felony Offense
Fed: Ron Paul offers bill removing regulation of money
HHS: How 6 pages of law become 1,000 pages of regulation
HHS: AARP supported Obamacare for endorsement revenue from insurance companies
HHS: More on AARP's endorsement revenues and Obamacare
Interior: Arizona Game and Fish prefers wilderness to industry, banning mining in 1M acres by Grand Canyon
Interior: FDR and Hoover's zombies walk again, Interior contemplating massive hydropower push 
Nevada: Nevada might secede from Tahoe Regional Planning Agency over excessive Californian land use regulations
NLRB: Chicago's Daley Can't Do anything about sleeping teamster due to union work rules
Ohio: Gov. Kasich signs law limiting government union power
SEC: DeMint proposes repealing Dodd-Frank. Right on!
SEC: Ramping up enforcement in mutual funds, expect more pretend safety, poor returns and eventual crises
State: Department signs 20 year contract with Constellation Energy to deliver 'renewable' energy
Virginia: Politicians decide not to file against EPA, prefer taxing $500-1000 per resident in area with serious unemployment to clean up Chesapeake Bay
Borrower thrown in jail for acepting gov't engineered liar loans

Friday, April 1, 2011

Event: John Allison Speaking in La Jolla April 4th

This is for my local friends.

John Allison, Objectivist Businessman/Banker is giving a talk in La Jolla on Monday. He is a very successful banker and the only banker that I know of that spoke out publicly against the bailouts. Here is the announcement from the Ayn Rand Center's website. His talk is free and open to the public. I've only seen him before on John Stossel's show. The topic looks interesting and he's a fairly good speaker. Hope to see you there!

Using Ayn Rand's Values to Create Competitive Advantage in Business

By John Allison

While John Allison was chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation from 1989 to 2008, the company grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets to become the 10th largest financial institution headquartered in the United States. During this same period, BB&T expanded its insurance business from a small local agency to become the 6th ...largest insurance broker in the world. BB&T has weathered the Great Recession better than almost any bank in America.

Mr. Allison, who remains on the board of directors of BB&T, attributes the success of BB&T to the concept of Principled Leadership, based on an uncompromising commitment to fundamental values. In his talk, he will explain how Ayn Rand's ethical system can be used practically to create a competitive advantage in any organization. He will highlight how to use a clear sense of purpose and conscious commitment to rationality as a means of energizing your employees and avoiding fundamental business mistakes. He will also outline the necessity of having a fully integrated and non-contradictory set of principles for organizations and for individuals, and discuss typical errors in the decision process of pragmatic business leaders. Mr. Allison will show how the pursuit of personal happiness and organization success are in harmony when the individual and the organization have values based on reality and reason.

Time and Place

Monday, April 4, 2011
Hyatt Regency La Jolla
3777 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92122

Doors open: 6:15 p.m. PT
Talk: 7 p.m. PT
Q&A: 7:45 p.m. PT
This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is appreciated. Please email to RSVP.
For more information, download the event flyer.