From “The Rule of Nobody”

By Walter Olson
donkeyrock shared this story from Overlawyered.

We mentioned Philip K. Howard's new book “The Rule of Nobody” the other day. Here's another excerpt (which also appeared in the Wall Street Journal's “Notable and Quotable”:

The 2009 economic stimulus package promoted by President Obama included $5 billion to weatherize some 607,000 homes—with the goals of both spurring the economy and increasing energy efficiency. But the project was required to comply with a statute called the Davis-Bacon Act (signed into law by President Hoover in 1931), which provides that construction projects with federal funding must pay workers the “prevailing wage”—basically a union perk that costs taxpayers about 20 percent more than actual labor rates. This requirement comes with a mass of red tape; bureaucrats in the Labor Department must set wages, as a matter of law, for each category of construction worker in each of three thou- sand counties in America. There was no schedule for “weatherproofers.” So the Labor Department began a slow trudge of determining how much weatherproofers should be paid in Merced County, California; Monmouth County, New Jersey; and several thousand other counties. The stimulus plan had projected that California would weatherproof twenty-five hundred homes per month. At the end of 2009, the actual total was twelve.

Tags: Crisis of 2008, labor unions

From “The Rule of Nobody” is a post from Overlawyered - Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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Demonizing Alcohol To Your Kids Isn't The Answer

By Amy Alkon
donkeyrock shared this story from Advice Goddess Blog.

Demonizing Alcohol To Your Kids Isn't The Answer
Barry Adkins writes at Good Men Project about his son dying of alcohol poisoning the day he moved out on his own, but Adkins takes the wrong approach in advising other parents how they might avoid this, thinking his intuition is enough:

I am not advocating that we go back to the days of prohibition. It didn't work before, it won't work now. I am guessing that at least one person reading this article is asking this question; Barry, do you drink? The answer is yes, typically I will have one beer and I am not talking about one of those huge, 24 oz. beers.

I am advocating better educating our children about the dangers of alcohol abuse. Uneducated decisions, made by our children, can lead to tragedy; Educated decisions will lead to a far better outcome. As a society we do a lousy job of discouraging our children from drinking. Television shows and movies glorify binge drinking. They show people getting drunk and having a "good time." They don't bother to show you the bad things that can happen when your child drinks. Your child could get behind the wheel and kill someone or themselves, die from alcohol poisoning, or get a DUI. There could be things like rape or sexual assault--your child could be either victim or assailant. For your precious little girl, unwanted pregnancy and STD's. For that boy you are so proud of, he could be assaulted, or assault someone, or become an unplanned father.

...I am often asked for advice on how to talk to teenagers about the dangers of alcohol abuse. The standard advice is: "talk to your teenager." Great advice, but I suspect for many of us, including me, it turns into an awkward conversation, with your teenager tuning you out. I believe that the easier thing to do, in the beginning, is to have conversations about alcohol with your spouse/adult family member while your teenager is within hearing distance. Teenagers are typically much more likely to want to listen in on a conversation than to be in the middle of it. The car is always a great place for this. Start by talking about a recent news story, and there is no shortage of them, where alcohol led to something bad happening.

Another fairly easy thing to do, is to make a list of the bad ...read more

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Islamist plot: six schools face Ofsted special measures in Birmingham, UK

Six schools implicated in the so-called 'Trojan Horse' plot by extremists to 'Islamise' secular state education face being placed in special measures

At least six Birmingham schools at the centre of an alleged Islamic takeover plot are set to be placed in “special measures” by Ofsted in a move that could see their entire leadership removed.

The six schools are implicated in the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot by extremists to “Islamise” secular state education in Birmingham which has allegedly seen the illegal segregation of pupils and discrimination against non-Muslim pupils.

via Islamist plot: six schools face Ofsted special measures - Telegraph.

islamist photo

Photo by Voyou Desoeuvre

Photo by Voyou Desoeuvre

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Medical Homelessness Under Obamacare

By Amy Alkon
donkeyrock shared this story from Advice Goddess Blog.

Medical Homelessness Under Obamacare
CBS Local's ConsumerWatch says some "Covered California" patients say they can't see a doctor:

Rotacare, a free clinic for the uninsured in Mountain View, is dealing with the problem firsthand.

Mirella Nguyen works at the clinic said staffers dutifully helped uninsured clients sign up for Obamacare so they would no longer need the free clinic.

But months later, the clinic's former patients are coming back to the clinic begging for help. "They're coming back to us now and saying I can't find a doctor, "said Nguyen.

Thinn Ong was thrilled to qualify for a subsidy on the health care exchange. She is paying $200 a month in premiums. But the single mother of two is asking, what for?

"Yeah, I sign it. I got it. But where's my doctor? Who's my doctor? I don't know," said a frustrated Ong.

Nguyen said the newly insured patients checked the physicians' lists they were provided and were told they weren't accepting new patients or they did not participate in the plan.

And Nguyen says - while the free clinic isn't technically supposed to be treating former patents they signed up for insurance, they can't in good faith turn them away.

Dr. Kevin Grumbach of UCSF called the phenomenon "medical homelessness," where patients are caught adrift in a system woefully short of primary care doctors.

Being a primary care doctor has become an idiotic career choice. For all the years of medical school, internship, and residency, and all their financial and other massive costs, doctors become government serfs with a lot of paperwork to fill out and controls on the amount of money they can make.

I predict huge shortages in the years to come.

via @instapundit

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Imagine Paying $14 For A Subway Sandwich

By Amy Alkon
donkeyrock shared this story from Advice Goddess Blog.

Imagine Paying $14 For A Subway Sandwich
Michael Saltsman writes in the WSJ about wonderful Zingerman's deli, in Ann Arbor, where I attended the University of Michigan. If I were having a last meal, Zingerman's would be on the list of places to consider for takeout.

Seriously, go there if you're in Ann Arbor. Your tastebuds will thank both of us.

Back to Saltsman, his piece is about Obama's call to raise the minimum wage, and how he touts doing it at pricey restaurants and not the fast food places where it would hurt:

In a visit this month to the University of Michigan, for instance, the president stopped at the local deli Zingerman's. He raved about its Reuben sandwich as well as the generous wages that the business offers. Like Mr. Jelinek, Zingerman's co-founder Paul Saginaw supports hiking the minimum wage. He posted a minimum-wage manifesto on a company website last September.

As Mr. Obama relished the perfect sandwich prepared by well-paid employees, he neglected to mention how much he paid for the happy experience: Zingerman's Reuben costs $14. That's about three times as much as a Subway foot-long. When I was an undergraduate student at Michigan, I rarely dined at Zingerman's because it was so expensive.

If every deli could charge $14 a sandwich, then perhaps an $11 or $12 minimum wage would be feasible. But your local sandwich shop cannot match the price points of a shop serving a parent-subsidized clientele in a college town. Expecting restaurants everywhere to do so is a recipe for business failure.

I believe in paying and treating employees well, but I don't believe the government should be setting wages. And I say that as somebody who deplores the idea of having an "intern" who does anything more that sit around and observe. If they're working, I think they should be paid. And for the record, I've never had an "intern," and never will.

Commenter James Hishmeh wrote at the WSJ:

Minimum wage jobs were never meant to pay enough to raise a family and buy a home. These jobs were a way for young people to enter the work force and learn good work habits and to give them a chance to improve their skills and move on to higher paying jobs which would sustain them to do the aforementioned.

But that is hard to understsnd for anyone(even a president) who has never had a real check a week job.

It also doesn't make sense economically ...read more

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Employment For Young Adults in Lakeland/Winter Haven Area Scant

donkeyrock shared this story from Local Articles from The Ledger.

Trisha Horsley eventually wants to become a surgeon. Right now, the 18-year-old is a senior at George Jenkins High School. She also is working part-time at Burger 21 in Lakeland.

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Fight Grub

By Adam
donkeyrock shared this story from Bug Martini.

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