Poll: What do you think of Denmark’s long term welfare policy for able bodied people?

This New York Times article is from six years ago, but I just found out about it.

The article talks about able-bodied people in Denmark who have been on welfare for a very long time.

It says these able bodied adults get more money from welfare than what many full time workers get from their jobs.

Here’s one example from the article:

It began as a stunt intended to prove that hardship and poverty still existed in this small, wealthy country, but it backfired badly. Visit a single mother of two on welfare, a liberal member of Parliament goaded a skeptical political opponent, see for yourself how hard it is.

It turned out, however, that life on welfare was not so hard. The 36-year-old single mother, given the pseudonym “Carina” in the news media, had more money to spend than many of the country’s full-time workers. All told, she was getting about $2,700 a month, and she had been on welfare since she was 16.

Here’s another example from the article:

Robert Nielsen, 45, made headlines last September when he was interviewed on television, admitting that he had basically been on welfare since 2001.

Mr. Nielsen said he was able-bodied but had no intention of taking a demeaning job, like working at a fast-food restaurant. He made do quite well on welfare, he said…

… Mr. Nielsen, called “Lazy Robert” by the news media, seems to be enjoying the attention. He says that he is greeted warmly on the street all the time. “Luckily, I am born and live in Denmark, where the government is willing to support my life,” he said.

So when you hear Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and other American politicians say they want the U.S. to be like Denmark, please ask yourself if the two people cited above by the New York Times are how you would want your own able bodied children to behave when they grow up.

January 29, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics, Polls. 2 comments.

Good guy with a gun stops bad guy with a gun at Oregon school

According to this article from NBC News, a good guy with a gun just stopped a bad guy with a gun in Oregon.

And this happened at a school.

In a hallway full of students.

And the bad guy was carrying a backpack full of ammunition.

Who knows how many innocent people would have been killed if there had not been a good guy with a gun at the school.

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-bodycam-video-released-showing-fatal-shooting-parent-oregon-school-n962651

Police bodycam video released showing fatal shooting of parent at Oregon school

Authorities said the shooting happened following a custodial dispute at the school.

January 25, 2019

Police bodycam video shows the moments right before an Oregon officer fatally shoots the parent of a student outside of a middle school following a confrontation.

The fatal shooting happened Jan. 11 at Cascade Middle School in Eugene, following a custodial dispute involving 30-year-old Charles Landeros. The video was released Thursday after the Lane County district attorney ruled that the officer’s use of deadly force was justified.

Landeros’ family, however, said in a statement via their attorney that they will be conducting their own investigation “to review the use of deadly force that resulted in the tragic death of their loved one.”

“We know this is a complex situation and that these situations often involve split-second decisions that are not fully appreciated simply by watching a video,” the family said, adding: “The video, and the accompanying statement from the DA’s office do not change the fact that many in the community are still grieving and that Charlie’s daughters are now without their father.”

The incident began when Landeros’ ex-wife went to the school after learning that Landeros had enrolled their child into the middle school without her permission, the DA’s office said in a press release.

The school told Landeros — an Army veteran who served from 2006 to 2012 and was honorably discharged — to come to the school, and also called the school resource officer Steve Timm.

When Timm learned that “there was a custody dispute occurring,” he called Eugene Police Officer Aaron Johns for assistance, according to the release.

The video shows the two officers in the school’s hallway ordering Landeros to leave the building.

“The police do not have jurisdiction over here. The principal has not asked me to leave,” Landeros says, before appearing to walk away from the officers.

As the officers were trying to get Landeros to leave the building, the child walked into the hallway. Landeros started yelling at the child to “go,” according to the DA’s office.

The video shows one of the officers grabbing and pushing Landeros out a door. Police then announce they’re arresting Landeros.

During a struggle, Landeros pulled out a handgun and fired two shots at Timm, the DA’s office said. Timm, who was not wounded, returned fire, striking Landeros in the head.

Authorities said students were in the hallway and in a nearby classroom during the altercation. Two people at the school, as well as Landeros’ child, witnessed the shooting, the DA’s office said.

An investigation following the shooting found that Landeros was carrying an extra magazine with ammunition on Landeros’ belt and another in the car, authorities said. Landeros was also wearing a backpack that contained additional ammunition, authorities said.

Officer Timm saved the life of Officer Johns, himself and perhaps many others,” the DA’s office ruled. “There is no clearer circumstance that the use of deadly force is justified than this.”

January 29, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Guns. Leave a comment.

Elizabeth Warren doesn’t seem to know that France’s wealth tax caused a REDUCTION in tax revenues

This is what the Washington Post wrote about France’s wealth tax:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/15/AR2006071501010.html

Old Money, New Money Flee France and Its Wealth Tax

July 16, 2006

Eric Pinchet, author of a French tax guide, estimates the wealth tax earns the government about $2.6 billion a year but has cost the country more than $125 billion in capital flight since 1998.

Anyone who looks at the above numbers would know that all of that capital flight means less income tax, less capital gains tax, less sales tax, less social security tax, and less of many other taxes too. Whatever tax revenue France gets from its wealth tax is more than dwarfed by the reductions in other taxes.

And Warren’s proposed wealth tax rate is actually higher than France’s, so its potential for harm is actually bigger as well.

That doesn’t sound like a good idea for anyone who wants to increase the amount of tax revenue that gets collected by the government.

On the other hand, if Warren’s real goal is to appeal to Democratic primary voters who feel envy and jealousy, and who don’t understand math or the concept of capital flight, then her proposal is a brilliant strategy. Her horrible proposal could very well get her elected President in 2020.

January 28, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics. Leave a comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t seem to know that there is actually an INVERSE correlation between billionaires and dangerous intestinal parasites

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that it was immoral to allow billionaires to exist when there are people who have ringworm.

She later said that she had meant hookworm, not ringworm.

Hookworm is transmitted to people when they walk barefoot in the feces of other people who are infected with hookworm.

And in the real world, there is actually an inverse correlation between the existence of billionaires, and the rate of hookworm infection.

According to wikipedia, this is how to prevent hookworm:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookworm_infection

Hookworm infection

Prevention

The main lines of precaution are those dictated by good hygiene behaviors:

Do not defecate in the open, but rather in toilets.

Do not use untreated human excreta or raw sewage as fertilizer in agriculture.

Do not walk barefoot in known infected areas.

The places with the highest concentrations of billionaires, such as Manhattan, Silicon Valley, and Singapore, have very few or even zero cases of hookworm. (Although I will admit that San Francisco may be an exception to this trend, as an expert on global public health recently stated that the city’s high rate and tolerance of open defecation actually makes the city dirtier than third world countries. San Francisco is run so badly that the government spends $37,000 on each homeless person per year, and yet they still somehow manage to remain homeless. Can you imagine how much housing any city that wasn’t run by idiots could rent or buy for that much money?)

A long time ago, when there were no billionaires anywhere in the world, hookworm was very common all over the world.

Anyone who is truly against hookworm would be in favor of the existence of billionaires, not against it.

And that’s not even taking into account the charitable work of billionaires such as Bill Gates, which has saved huge numbers of lives.

And that also doesn’t take into account all the jobs that these billionaires provide, as well as the goods and services that these billionaires provide. For example, think of LEGO billionaire Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and IKEA billionaire Ingvar Kamprad. Does anyone seriously want to argue that the world would be better off if the countries of western Europe had not allowed these two people to become billionaires?

January 27, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Animals, Economics, Environmentalism, Health care, Science. Leave a comment.

CNN analyst Bakari Sellers wants teen to be “punched in the face”

Bakari Sellers is a CNN analyst.

He recently deleted one of his tweets, but archived versions of it can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here’s a screenshot taken from this archive:




The text of the tweet states:

He is a deplorable. Some ppl can also be punched in the face.

Sellers has been a lawyer with a prestigious South Carolina law firm since 2007.

I’m not a lawyer, but even I know that it’s illegal to threaten or incite violence.

I’m curious to see if CNN gives any kind of official response to this.

January 22, 2019. Tags: , , , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Here’s proof that Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann is innocent

Below is the complete video of what happened on January 18, 2019, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

But first, the video’s description states:

Full video of what transpired regarding Catholic High students

First 45 minutes are african americans being incredibly racist and threatening violence against the students directly. Kept that in the upload in case someone accuses me of deceptive editing. Nothing here was edited, at all. This is the whole video of the entire event.

Starts getting interesting around @1:10:00

Native Americans invade the student rally at 1:11:24. You can see them come across directly, and instigate the confrontation with the kids. The kids were minding their own business.

At NO point in the entire video do they chant “build the wall.”

Now here’s the complete video of what happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQyBHTTqb38

In this next video, Scott Adams apologizes for an earlier video that he had made (and which he has since deleted) where he was very critical of the teens in MAGA hats. He says the reason that he changed his mind is because he watched the complete video that I posted above.

In this video, Adams says:

The teens were completely innocent.

The black Israelites were using racist and anti-gay slurs.

The teens in MAGA hats criticized the black Israelites for using racist and anti-gay slurs.

The native American man walked up to the teen and started banging his drum very close to the teen’s face.

The teen stood his ground and refused to move.

The teens stood and smiled.

The teens did not do anything wrong.

Here is Scott Adams’s video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1DrAeUNPU0

The Washington Post reported (the boldng is mine):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/01/20/it-was-getting-ugly-native-american-drummer-speaks-maga-hat-wearing-teens-who-surrounded-him/

Phillips said a few people in the March for Life crowd began to chant, “Build that wall, build that wall,” though such chants are not audible on video.

Here is the statement from Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann:

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/20/covington-catholic-student-video-issues-statement-his-side-story/2634008002/

Covington Catholic student from incident at the Indigenous Peoples March issues statement with his side of the story

January 20, 2019

The Covington Catholic student seen facing off with a Native American protestor in viral videos spread across the Internet issued a statement to The Enquirer through a lawyer and spokesman on Sunday night. The family, through the spokesman, declined any further interviews

Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School Junior, Regarding Incident at the Lincoln Memorial

I am providing this factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me

I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally, and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing.

When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group.

The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear.

Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group. The chants are commonly used at sporting events.

They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school. Our chaperone gave us permission to use our school chants. We would not have done that without obtaining permission from the adults in charge of our group.

At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant “build that wall” or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors.

After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera.

The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face.

I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.

I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand.

During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions.

I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why.

The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred.

I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration.

I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation. I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me – to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.

I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week. I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make.

I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings.

I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue.

I love my school, my teachers and my classmates. I work hard to achieve good grades and to participate in several extracurricular activities. I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen – that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.

I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself. But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech.

I am not going to comment on the words or account of Mr. Phillips, as I don’t know him and would not presume to know what is in his heart or mind. Nor am I going to comment further on the other protestors, as I don’t know their hearts or minds, either.

I have read that Mr. Phillips is a veteran of the United States Marines. I thank him for his service and am grateful to anyone who puts on the uniform to defend our nation. If anyone has earned the right to speak freely, it is a U.S. Marine veteran.

I can only speak for myself and what I observed and felt at the time. But I would caution everyone passing judgement based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas.

I provided this account of events to the Diocese of Covington so they may know exactly what happened, and I stand ready and willing to cooperate with any investigation they are conducting.

This is the only statement that has been made by the Sandmann family. Any comments attributed to any member of the family that is not contained in this document are fabricated. The family will not be answering individual media inquiries.

 

January 20, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Media bias, Racism. 9 comments.

Scott Adams: My Apology for Believing @CNN About the Covington Catholic Boys Fake News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1DrAeUNPU0

January 20, 2019. Tags: , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Video from Washington D.C. protests shows adult liberals using the n-word against a black child who supports Trump

This video is from the recent protests in Washington D.C.

It shows adult liberals using the n-word against a black child who supports Trump.

I couldn’t find a YouTube version, so here’s a Twitter version:

https://twitter.com/ava_quigley/status/1086796421226029056

January 20, 2019. Tags: , . Racism. Leave a comment.

Poll: Which one of these two Gillette ads do you like better?

Here are two ads from Gillette.

Which one do you like better?

Here’s the first ad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0

And here’s the second ad:



January 19, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Media bias, Political correctness, Polls, Sexism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

For liking hamburgers, the Washington Post praised Obama, but mocked Trump

In 2014, the Washington Post published this article, which is called, “President Obama and cheeseburgers: A love story.”

In 2019, the Washington Post published this article, which is called, “‘Trump has turned the White House into a White Castle’: President roasted for serving Clemson fast food.”

Media bias at its finest.

January 18, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Media bias. Leave a comment.

CNN legal analyst Areva Martin accuses Sirius XM radio host David Webb of having “white privilege,” despite the fact that Webb is black!

The below image of two people is taken from this link:




The person on the left is Sirius XM radio host David Webb.

The person on the right is CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin.

Here’s a transcript from a recent conversation between the two of them:

David Webb: “Shouldn’t their requirement, their primary requirement, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of network, be that they are capable of covering politics? For instance, if you’re going to cover political campaigns, sports may not be the most qualified background. And that brings to the point of if people want to get into these fields regardless of color, I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one. I never considered my color the issue. I considered my qualifications the issue.”

Areva Martin: “Well David, you know that’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege and things that you have the privilege of doing that people of color don’t have the privilege of.”

David Webb: “How do I have the privilege of white privilege?”

Areva Martin: “David, by virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege, which is a whole long conversation I don’t have time to get into.”

I’d be curious to hear Martin’s explanation for why she thinks it’s not possible for a black person to achieve the things that Webb has achieved.

Martin has just unintentionally presented us with what is – I think – the best argument against the concept of “white privilege” that I have ever heard.

This video contains the audio of their conversation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSHyAwErdFM

January 15, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Media bias, Racism. 1 comment.

San Francisco bans plastic straws, allegedly to reduce pollution, but gives more than four million free needles to illegal drug addicts every year, which is a dangerous pollution problem

The government of San Francisco has banned plastic straws, allegedly in the name of reducing pollution.

Meanwhile, the same San Francisco government gives more than four million free needles to illegal drug addicts every year.

The alleged reason for the city banning straws is that they end up in the ocean.

However, this ban ignores these four facts:

1) The real issue is littering, not straws. If people put their straws in a proper waste disposal unit, they won’t end up in the ocean.

2) Plastic straws make up only 0.02% of the plastic waste in the ocean.

3) 90% of the plastic in the oceans comes from just 10 rivers – eight in Asia, and two in Africa.

4) People with disabilities need plastic straws. Before plastic straws were invented, people with disabilities aspirated liquid in their lungs, developed pneumonia, and died.

There is no evidence to show that the plastic straws used in San Francisco have ever been a threat to the environment. San Francisco’s ban on plastic straws is nothing more than a form of virtue signaling. It won’t do anything to help the environment.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of evidence to show that the more than four million free needles that San Francisco gives away every year are a threat.

The San Francisco affiliate of NBC News reported that there was an abundance of used illegal drug needles on the sidewalks of San Francsiso, even on the sidewalks that are used by preschool students. The mother of a three-year-old girl told NBC that she “often” had to pull her daughter away to prevent her from stepping on needles (as well as human poop) that were on the sidewalk.

KTVU reported that a second grade teacher taught her students not to touch the needles they see on the ground.

Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley, said of San Francisco’s needle problem:

“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases”

Regarding the needles (as well as the human poop) on the sidewalks in San Francisco, Dr. Riley said:

“The contamination is… much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India”

On a global scale, the environmental Kuznets curve shows that richer cities tend to be much cleaner than poorer cities. The fact that San Francisco goes in the opposite direction of this trend is highly unusual.

Business Insider reported that at Starbucks locations all over the country (not just in San Francisco), employees who clean the bathroom have repeatedly expressed concerns after seeing drug needles in the trash and on the floor. Some employees have been accidentally stabbed with drug needles that were hidden in trash bags, and had to go to the doctor so they could take antiviral medications to protect themselves from the HIV and hepatitis viruses that might have been in the needles.

Clearly, the free needles that San Francisco gives to illegal drug addicts are a substantial safety risk to innocent, law abiding restaurant employees who are just trying to earn a living.

This problem would still exist even if the San Francisco government was not giving away free needles. But giving away more than four million free needles every year certainly makes the problem much worse than it would otherwise be.

Although every free needle comes with a plastic safety cap that can be used to cover up the dangerous tip of the needle, many illegal drug addicts toss these caps aside instead of putting them back on the tip of the needle.

Drug needles were cited as one of the reasons for the recent cancellation of a previously recurring medical convention which, in the past, had brought 15,000 conference attendees and $40 million worth of business to San Francisco during each previous event.

The needle problem is so bad that the San Francisco government recently hired ten new employees whose sole responsibility is to clean up these needles from the sidewalks and streets.

Meanwhile, there is no evidence that the plastic straws used by the people of San Francisco are a threat.

And yet, San Francisco has banned plastic straws, while giving away more than four million free needles to illegal drug addicts every year.

January 12, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Massachusetts government forces health insurance companies to pay for drug that costs $24,000 a year so gay men won’t have to wear condoms

I’m a libertarian. I don’t care what consenting gay adults do in the privacy of their own home.

But I do care about spiraling health care costs that, for decades, have been growing substantially faster than the rate of inflation.

There’s already a very low cost way for sexually active gay men to substantially reduce their risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control states:

When used the right way every time, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV

But there’s a problem  – at least to the people who work in the Medical Industrial Complex and make their living off of overinflated health care costs: condoms are very inexpensive. And low cost health care is the enemy of the Medical Industrial Complex.

To deal with this “problem” of low cost health care, the Massachusetts government has ordered insurance companies to pay for a drug called Truvada.

Truvada is a drug that sexually active gay men who don’t have HIV can take, which substantially reduces their risk of contracting HIV, even if they don’t wear a condom. It costs $24,000 a year.

So now, the very same Centers for Disease Control that says inexpensive condoms “are highly effective in preventing HIV,” is also saying that healthy, sexually active gay men who do not have HIV should switch to Truvada, which costs $24,000 a year.

The New York Times reports:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges men and women at risk for H.I.V. infection to take Truvada daily. Studies have shown the drug to be extremely effective at blocking the virus…

… 80 percent of people who take Truvada are gay men

Given that the CDC already says inexpensive condoms are “highly effective in preventing HIV,” it’s absurd that the very same CDC is now urging people to switch to a drug that costs $24,000 a year.

Clearly, the CDC, as well as the government of Massachusetts, are both aligned with the Medical Industrial Complex, whose goal is to make health care more expensive, not less expensive.

January 12, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Health care, LGBT. Leave a comment.

New York state fines Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign for not having workers’ compensation coverage

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims to support workers’ rights.

However, according to this article that was just published by the New York Daily News, the state of New York fined her campaign $1,500 because it broke the law by not having workers’ compensation coverage.

I guess Ocasio-Cortez supports workers’ rights for all workers except her own.

 

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-pol-ocasio-cortez-fined-workers-compensation-20190110-story.html

Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign fined by state for failing to carry workers’ comp coverage

January 10, 2019

ALBANY – The campaign for new Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has made helping the working class and poor her top priority, was fined by the state for not carrying workers’ compensation coverage for a month last year.

“The employer did not have the required workers’ compensation coverage from March 31, 2018, to April 30, 2018, and was issued a final penalty of $1,500, which was paid,” state Workers Compensation Board spokeswoman Melissa Stewart said. “This coverage is vital to ensuring workers are protected for on-the-job injuries.”

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, stunned the political establishment last year when she defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley, a longtime Queens powerbroker, in the Democratic primary. She went on to cruise to election in November.

Her spokesman said she had nothing to add.

One Democratic campaign veteran scoffed that “it’s not a great look” for Ocasio-Cortez that her campaign received a fine for not carrying workers’ compensation coverage.

“This is basic stuff, especially if you hold yourself out to be the champion of workers,” the Dem said.

State Republicans were chortling over the fine.

“Hypocrisy at its finest,” said state GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud. “The so-called champion of workers, when given her own responsibility, is not following the law. It’s unbelievable.”

January 11, 2019. Tags: , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Politics. 2 comments.

Student debt forgiveness is a horrible idea

Responsible adults pay off their debts.

If student debt does get forgiven, that will just give colleges one more reason to raise their tuition. Students will then borrow even more money, knowing that they won’t have to pay it back. The more money the government spends on college aid, the more the colleges raise their tuition. College tuition has already risen many times faster than the rate of inflation, and the last thing we need is to make this problem even worse than it already is.

Student debt forgiveness is unfair to the students who already paid off their debt.

Student debt forgiveness is also unfair to students who worked their way through college.

Student debt forgiveness is also unfair to people who never go to college.

January 5, 2019. Tags: , , , . Economics, Education. 1 comment.

San Francisco progressives wage war against women’s right to earn a living

According to this new article from the San Francisco Examiner, the progressives who control San Francisco’s government have ordered strip clubs to treat strippers as employees instead of as independent contractors.

Supporters of this new policy claim that it makes the strippers better off.

However, the strippers themselves say that it has actually made them worse off – so much so, in fact, that many of them have quit their jobs in San Francisco, and sought employment as strippers in other cities that do not have this same policy.

The article cites the following three reasons for how the new policy makes the strippers worse off:

1) The strippers get paid far less. For example, the article states:

A dancer at the Gold Club, who asked to be called Mary, said it had been common for dancers on average to sell around $1,000 in dances a shift and keep $750.

Under the new commission structure at the Gold Club, however, dancers said they keep none of the first $150 they sell in private dances, 40 percent of the next $250 they sell, and 60 percent of sales beyond that.

Some dancers said they must also pay a $100 fee for renting the private room.

Dancers at the Gold Club said they now walk away with only $60 on the first half-hour private dance they sell.

“When I make a customer pay $400 and I see $60 of it, it isn’t computing for me,” Mary said. “We want to do our job, and previously our business was to sell dances. And we still need to make living. But at the same time, where is the incentive?”

2) The strippers no longer get to decide how many days or which days they work each week.

3) When the strippers were independent contractors, they could choose to reject any potential client that they did not want. Now that they are employees, they no longer have this option.

The article also states:

He estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the change came down at BSC clubs, including Penthouse and Gold Club and said that the change has “dramatically affected the business and the profitability,” costing the clubs “several million dollars” a year.

and

The drastic pay cuts and availability of cheap flights have pushed some dancers to seek work outside of San Francisco, traveling as far as Las Vegas and Reno one or two nights a week while continuing to live in The City.

So there you have it. The elitist progressives, who think they know what’s best for everyone, claim that this new policy makes the strippers better off. However, the strippers themselves claim that this new policy makes them worse off.

 

http://www.sfexaminer.com/208300-2/

New rules for contractors have unexpected consequences for The City’s strip clubs

January 2, 2019

As some 30 dancers were handed the first employee paychecks ever issued to them by the Penthouse Club one evening in early November, a wave of panic swept the popular North Beach strip club.

“I opened mine in the locker room, and I was shocked,” said a former Penthouse dancer who asked to be identified as Jane. “All the other girls were also freaking out. Me and my friends decided right then that we were done. That was the final straw.”

Historically classified as independent contractors, the dancers were used to walking out of the club’s doors with cash each night — often hundreds of dollars — after their shifts ended. That changed suddenly when clubs across The City began enforcing a California Supreme Court ruling from April in an unrelated industry that set new standards for determining whether or not workers should be classified as employees.

The decision has shaken up the gig economy, but is also having an effect in unexpected places, such as in the hair salons and the adult entertainment industry, where workers have traditionally not been considered employees.

At local clubs, the move to convert dancers to employee status is causing an exodus, with many of them leaving San Francisco establishments.

“This whole business will be completely ruined. The whole point about being a stripper is you go in, get fast cash, no one knows how you’re getting it, it’s not documented and it’s not taken from you,” said a single mother who gave her name as Darla, who also recently cut ties with Penthouse Club. Like other dancers The San Francisco Examiner spoke with for this story, she asked to maintain anonymity for fear of retaliation.

Club owners say the changes are costing them as well.

A sign posted mid-October in the dancers’ dressing room at the Gold Club in the South of Market neighborhood said the club “felt that it was protecting your right and freedom to be an independent contractor.”

“However, as a result of the lawsuits and ongoing demands by the suing dancers and their attorneys, the club is now being compelled by Court order to eliminate the independent contractor option and require all dancers to become the club’s employees,” the sign read.

Axel Sang, marketing director of BSC, confirmed in an email to the Examiner that the dancers were formerly contractors but are now “club employees being paid an hourly wage and commission on dance sales.”

“The BSC-managed clubs now have matching payroll taxes, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, Healthy San Francisco costs, Affordable Care Insurance costs, and SF sick leave pay for several hundred new employee entertainers in addition to the hourly wage,” he wrote.

He estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the change came down at BSC clubs, including Penthouse and Gold Club and said that the change has “dramatically affected the business and the profitability,” costing the clubs “several million dollars” a year.

“A substantial reduction in the number of entertainers performing as well as the substantial increased payroll and other costs makes it very difficult to generate profits,” Sang said.

The California Supreme Court decision pushing the changes in the business came out of a lawsuit brought by two drivers for Dynamex, a same-day delivery and logistics company that converted its drivers to independent contractors in 2004. Under the ruling, workers may now be considered employees if they perform work within the usual course of the company’s business, said David Peer, a labor attorney in Carlsbad who has written about the Dynamex ruling.

“If you are running a strip club, you would think that the dancers are performing work within the usual course,” Peer said. “If the club owners want to play it safe, they should certainly be paying minimum wage and following the wage and hour rules that most organizations follow when they hire an employee.”

Lawsuits alleging improper classification of exotic dancers predate the Dynamex ruling, according to Harold Lichten of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, a Boston law firm representing Uber drivers who claim the rideshare company misclassified them.

“When you improperly characterize someone as an independent contractor you don’t have to pay social security tax, unemployment tax, minimum wage or overtime,” Lichten said, adding that the incentives were “incredibly great” for companies to “misclassify people because they were saving so much money at the workers’ expense.”

Lichten said the Dynamex ruling became leverage in ongoing litigation against Uber, and noted that it should also come as a benefit to the dancers, who now are now eligible for the protections afforded to all employees.

“The concern is that some companies may lower the amount they pay them to make up their losses,” Lichten said. “That would be unfortunate. But on balance, it’s much better to be an employee because you have legal protections.”

However the dancers interviewed by the Examiner said that while they are now entitled to minimum wage, benefits and the option to unionize, the reclassification has done more harm than good.

“Not one of those girls had a check for two weeks over $300. There was a lot of upset. A lot of girls packed up to leave that night. I was one of those girls,” Darla said.

“I can go work at McDonald’s for $15 an hour, and not take off my clothes, and not put up with the crap I put up with as a dancer,” Darla added, noting that all of the Penthouse dancers “have considered leaving.”

The vast majority of the strip clubs in San Francisco — 10 out of 12 — are owned or managed by BSC Management. The only exceptions are the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre and The Crazy Horse.

Sang said the company is not paying dancers more than minimum wage because they “are paid commissions on dance sales which in most cases far exceed the hourly wage.”

But dancers said the commission structure for private dances has also been significantly cut.

Policies can vary for each club, but before the reclassification, dancers said if they arrived to their shift early enough they would keep 75 percent of their dance sales — which is where they made the majority of their money.

A dancer at the Gold Club, who asked to be called Mary, said it had been common for dancers on average to sell around $1,000 in dances a shift and keep $750.

Under the new commission structure at the Gold Club, however, dancers said they keep none of the first $150 they sell in private dances, 40 percent of the next $250 they sell, and 60 percent of sales beyond that.

Some dancers said they must also pay a $100 fee for renting the private room.

Dancers at the Gold Club said they now walk away with only $60 on the first half-hour private dance they sell.

“When I make a customer pay $400 and I see $60 of it, it isn’t computing for me,” Mary said. “We want to do our job, and previously our business was to sell dances. And we still need to make living. But at the same time, where is the incentive?”

Some dancers also feared being classified as employees would mean not being able to pick and choose which customers to serve.

Joe Carouba, an owner of BSC, declined to speak with the Examiner for this story because of pending litigation. But in a deposition he gave in October in connection with a lawsuit filed by Olivia Doe, he said he “firmly believed” dancers should be independent contractors so they can assert more control over which customers they will and won’t serve.

“I think they should control their own sexuality, they should control their own bodies,” he said. “The difference there being, of course, if you’re an employee, you don’t have a choice who you perform for, as an independent contractor you get to choose how you perform, whom you perform for, and what level you’re comfortable at.”

Dancers said many of them were poorly informed and caught unaware when the new contracts were rolled out.

Jane said she was one of the first Penthouse dancers to sign the new contract amid confusion, and wasn’t given a copy or time to review it.

At the Gold Club, Mary said management called dancers into the office in the middle of their shifts, still dressed in bikinis and eight-inch heels, and told them to look at a new contract on a computer screen and immediately sign it. Some dancers had been drinking during their shift, she said.

“We were given no opportunity to look at the contracts or have paper copies beforehand,” Mary said. “There’s really been no communication, no transparency.”

Sang denied the allegations, and said cameras were installed to protect the clubs from legal challenges over the new contracts.

“Signs were posted clearly that the areas were under video and audio surveillance. Each contract signing on video and audio clearly shows each entertainer was required to fully read the contract before signing,” Sang wrote in an email. “On camera, each entertainer was clearly given a copy of the contracts that they signed.”

Dancers said morale has plummeted at clubs across The City. Many are unhappy with how management announced and rolled out the change, but fear losing their jobs if they complain.

Because BSC has a virtual monopoly on San Francisco strip clubs, dancers said if they are blacklisted at one club, they are afraid they won’t be able to work anywhere else in The City.

While dancers across the country have sued clubs saying they should have been classified as employees instead of independent contractors, those who spoke with the Examiner said not everyone wants to be an employee. There are advantages to being independent contractors — so long as they are actually treated as contractors.

Mary said being treated as a contractor would mean being able to negotiate dance fees with clients directly rather than have the club set prices, and to pick which dates and times to work. Previously, as contractors, dancers could pick which days to work, but not which hours.

“Contractors should have autonomy,” she said.

An often-touted perk of being an employee is access to benefits, such as health insurance. But to qualify, employees must work enough hours to be considered full-time — which isn’t practical for most people dancing at a strip club. Dancers said even working three days a week is physically exhausting.

“You do what you need to do to maintain your boundary while making sure they have a good time. It takes a lot of emotional labor to do that,” Mary said. “I don’t think people realize that’s the most difficult part of our job. It’s not really talked about in the public perception of stripping.”

The drastic pay cuts and availability of cheap flights have pushed some dancers to seek work outside of San Francisco, traveling as far as Las Vegas and Reno one or two nights a week while continuing to live in The City.

“Girls are scrambling to find a job to fit their lifestyle or even make ends meet,” Jane said.

 

January 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Police state, Politics. 1 comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez falsely accused one of her critics of being sexist because she can’t handle legitimate criticism

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez originally claimed on her campaign website that she grew up in the Bronx, and that she had a long commute every day to get to a better school in the suburbs.

Several people responded by saying that she only lived in the Bronx until she was five years old, and that she later lived in a middle class suburb, and that she did not have the long daily commute to school that she had claimed.

One of her critics wrote the following:

Right, but @Ocasio2018 didn’t grow up in a city. She grew up in a small, homogenous, affluent suburb, where she attended excellent schools before pretending she grew up in the Bronx.

In my opinion, it would have been best for Oxasio-Cortez to have done one of the two following things:

Either

1) Defend her original claim.

Or

2) Admit that her critics were telling the truth.

However, instead of doing one of those two things, Ocasio-Cortez falsely accused one of her critics of being sexist, when she wrote the following (the bolding is mine):

In which a Republican literally tries to mansplaining *my own childhood* and life to me.

And in true mansplaining form, he’s doing it wrong with an great degree of confidence.

It begs the question: is the GOP really “sending us their best?”

By accusing her critic of “mansplaining,” Ocasio-Cortez is falsely accusing him of being sexist.

In reality, there is nothing sexist in his criticism of her.

Ocasio-Cortez views herself as being a victim of imaginary sexism that does not actually exist.

Also, the fact that she changed her campaign website in response to the criticism suggests – very strongly – that her critics were correct. It appears that she did indeed lie about her upbringing.

I don’t care where Ocasio-Cortez grew up.

But I do care if she lied about it.

And more importantly, I care that she is so horrible at debating that she feels the need to falsely accuse her critic of being sexist.

January 1, 2019. Tags: , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Politics, Sexism. 1 comment.