Violence? Look for the union label. UPDATED: video link added

August 17, 2011

Ever notice how the Right is regularly accused of violent rhetoric, fascist sympathies, and plain-old knuckle-dragging thuggishness, but it’s from the Left that we usually see garbage like this:

Ohio Business Owner Shot For Being Non-Union, Police Investigating

With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home.

(…)

Last Wednesday, however, the attacks on Mr. John King became much more serious when he was awakened late in the evening at his home in Monroe County, Michigan and saw that the motion lights in his driveway had come on.  When he looked out his front window, he saw a figure near his SUV and went outside.

As soon as he got outside his front door, King yelled at the individual who was crouched down by King’s vehicle. As soon as King yelled, the suspect stood and, without hesitation, fired a shot at Mr. King.

Luckily for King, as he yelled, he also stumbled. If it weren’t for that, however, John King’s injuries might have been much, much worse. In fact, he might have been killed.

Upon scrambling back into his house, King got to his cell phone and called 911. However, due to the pain in his knees and shoulder from falling, King was unaware that he had been shot in the arm.

At first, King thought that his assailant was merely trying to break into his vehicle. Little did he know, however, that the perpetrator was targeting him–because of his non-union company.

The night of the shooting, police recovered a shell casing from a small caliber handgun. In addition to the shell casing, police also found a Swiss Army knife that police say was likely going to be used to slice the tires on King’s SUV.

While neither the police, nor Mr. King can say which union was behind the attack, it is very clear by the word ’scab’ scrawled on his SUV that it the attack was union-related.

Emphasis added.

What upsets the unionistas isn’t that King is exploiting defenseless workers like some caricature of an 1890s robber baron. No, they’re angry because he is providing jobs they can’t, because his union-free status allows him to charges prices in-line with a bad economy, while the labor union’s cartel’s contracts have priced them out of the market. In other words, they would rather their workers have no work at all, if it can’t be under the union’s terms.

And those who defy them get their property and even their lives threatened.

Tell me again who the fascists and the thugs are?

RELATED: I suppose Kenneth Gladney should be glad he was only beaten into a wheelchair by union thugs, and not shot. “Labor Union Report,” the author of the quoted article, maintains a very informative site that tracks union intimidation, corruption, and violence. He (or she) can also be followed on Twitter.

FOR THE RECORD: I am not opposed to private-industry* labor unions per se; the right to form one is part of our right to freely associate under the First and Fourteenth amendments. However, I am unalterably opposed to laws that force one to join a union just to have a job; not only does that deny the freedom of the individual negotiate his own contract (yes, I’m a fan of Lochner), it creates a labor cartel that enables price-fixing just as harmful to the consumer as any corporate monopoly. And when labor unions engage in intimidation and violence, they become little better than rackets and should be treated as such.

*(As for public-employee unions, I agree with that noted conservative, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)

UPDATE: Breitbart.TV has video of an interview with John King, the victim in the shooting.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Plant a garden, go to jail

August 4, 2011

Oh, the evil of people trying to be self-sufficient, and the obscenity of doing it in public — in front of the neighbors!!

Presenting Reason.TV‘s Nanny of the Month: Oak Park, Michigan, official Kevin Rulkowski, whose objection to Julie Bass’ front-yard garden might cost her 93 days in jail.

Now, I’m not wholly without sympathy for Mr. Rulkowski; I was taught in real estate classes that uniformity in look helps maintain house prices, and I’m sure many of us have had to suffer with neighbors who park junk vehicles on their front lawns or paint their houses garish, eye-hurting colors. (Such as the bright orange house with black trim near me.) So I can see some reason to sensible zoning regulations.

But a garden? Really? Jail time? Seriously??

Rulkowski should leave Ms. Bass and her garden alone and concentrate on a real problem — such as rogue lemonade stands.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, those naughty little Michigan Democrats!

March 17, 2011

Caught creating fake Tea Party candidates to dilute the conservative vote in the last election:

Two former leaders of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing a total of nine felonies for allegedly forging election paperwork to get fake Tea Party candidates on November’s ballot.

“It is not a partisan statement, and we need to make that very clear,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.

Former Oakland County Democratic Chair Mike McGuinness and former Democratic Operations Director Jason Bauer face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

“Some of the people didn’t even know they were on the ballot till they began receiving delinquency notices of filings that were required as a candidate,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

The sheriff says 23 statewide races had questionable Tea Party candidates on the ballot and the investigation may go beyond Oakland County.

Bad liberals, bad! No biscuits for you!

Try 14 years in prison, instead.

Ed Morrissey notes that the grand jury is still investigating this, even those these two cheating weasels Democrats have been indicted. That hints at further indictments, maybe at a statewide level.

Oh, and you know what the cherry on top of this Scandal Sundae is? It was all for nought! Try as they might to rig the election*, Democrats lost control of the legislature and the governor’s office, turning the state bright Red.

Great job, guys. That should make your prison experience that much more meaningful.

OBSERVATION: In his book Stealing Elections, John Fund notes that Republican electoral corruption tends toward voter intimidation, while Democrats are more likely to engage in voter fraud (dead voters, double voting, &c.). Looks like they’re staying true to form.

(By the way, that is an essential book for anyone concerned about the health of our electoral system.)

*And I don’t for a minute think this was just a local matter.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Don’t cry over spilled milk – call the EPA!

June 27, 2010

Yes, according to the EPA, cow’s milk is now classified as “oil:”

Having watched the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, dairy farmer Frank Konkel has a hard time seeing how spilled milk can be labeled the same kind of environmental hazard.

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is classifying milk as oil because it contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil.

The Hesperia farmer and others would be required to develop and implement spill prevention plans for milk storage tanks. The rules are set to take effect in November, though that date might be pushed back.

“That could get expensive quickly,” Konkel said. “We have a serious problem in the Gulf. Milk is a wholesome product that does not equate to spilling oil.”

Remember that the next time you wonder why the price of milk has gone up. And it’s not that I don’t believe agricultural pollution can be a problem, but with the Earth vomiting tens of thousands of barrels of real oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, you’d think that the EPA would have more pressing matters to deal with, instead of spilled milk. Then again, if their boss isn’t worried…

But some politicians should be. This won’t play well in any big dairy state, not just Michigan, whether it’s California (“It’s the cheese!”) or Wisconsin, which has such large dairy industry that it bills itself as “America’s Dairyland” and where liberal Democratic Senator Russ Feingold is in a tough reelection battle. It’s another intervention and expense imposed by a regulatory agency at a time when most believe government does too much and has too much power. And, as the party of government and the party pushing for a vast expansion of an already intrusive government, the Democrats are doing a bang-up job of turning the public’s suspicion into electoral anger.

Come November, they may be crying over more than a spilled glass of oil milk.

(via Legal Insurrection)


Unclear on the concept, 1st amendment edition

May 31, 2010

We revere free speech in the United States, rightly considering it one of the essential liberties of a free people. In fact, we consider it so important that our ancestors made the protection of free speech a part of the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(Emphasis added)

So, I have to ask, what part of “no law … abridging” does Michigan State Senator Bruce Patterson not understand?

A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”

Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets–traditional, online and citizen generated–and an even greater amount misinformation.

“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.

He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

“We have to be able to get good information,” he said. “We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.”

There’s a face-palm moment in almost every paragraph. Does it not occur to the esteemed senator that giving government, over which the press exercises a watchdog function, the power to decide which is a legitimate source of information and which isn’t might have a bit of a chilling effect on that same free press? If you say or write the wrong thing, do you lose your license? And how has that “licensed journalism” thing worked out in, say, Cuba, Senator?

Patterson’s bill, for which he can find no co-sponsors (It seems some pols still have a sense of shame), would impose the following requirements:

According to the bill, reporters must provide the licensing board proof of:

  • “Good moral character” and demonstrate they have industry “ethics standards acceptable to the board.”
  • Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent.
  • Not less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant background information.
  • Awards or recognition related to being a reporter.
  • Three or more writing samples.

The article goes on to say registration with the state would be voluntary and that no one would be barred from acting as a journalist in Michigan without a license, but, come on. Inevitably, some schmuck legislator who’s mad at the press would want to make registration a requirement “for the public good.” And the very act of registration almost certainly will create a legitimate/illegitimate distinction in the mind of the public that in turn will put pressure on journalists (staff or independent)  to submit to licensing in order to maintain credibility.

Even if this doesn’t violate the letter of the 1st Amendment, it sure as the Devil goes against its spirit. And this guy practices constitutional law? Between him and con-law professor Barack Obama, maybe we should consider licensing constitutional lawyers, instead.

Really, Senator, I think the good people of Michigan are smart enough to decide what is a legitimate news source and what isn’t without the state’s help.

(via Big Journalism)


Big FBI raids? Updated!

March 28, 2010

There’s not much detail, but the FBI conducted raids in three states last night, at least one of which involved the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force:

Federal officials would not say who they were targeting or where, but the FBI has set up a command center at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department in Ann Arbor (MI), where they have brought in two satellite trucks and a radio tower.

Last time this happened, it was tied to a jihadist plot to murder one of the cartoonists responsible for the Muhammad cartoons and attack the publisher. This time… ?

(via The Jawa Report)

UPDATE: Homegrown militia troubles?