In Which a Judge Gets It Right

…but is forced to rule wrongly.

The SEIU sued University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, alleging “unfair” labor practices in that, claimed the union, UPMC management interfered with employees’ right to organize. In connection with that suit, the NLRB issued three subpoenas demanding “highly confidential and proprietary information” be released from UPMC to the union.

Federal District Judge Arthur Schwab found the NLRB’s subpoenas, among other things, over broad and unfocused, and so illegitimate. He also found the subpoenas fundamentally irrelevant to the underlying case (which itself would have rendered the subpoenas inappropriate). He went further. In noting that the NLRB itself made no serious effort to argue the relevance of its subpoenas, he wrote [emphasis added]

Continued VA Cover-Up

This time with the VA’s IG participating. It’s an unfortunate side effect of having an organization’s inspection/watchdog function be an internal one, even if it works for the organization’s boss and not for anyone further down the totem pole.

Crucial language that the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General could not “conclusively” prove that delays in care caused patient deaths at a Phoenix hospital was added to its final report after a draft version was sent to agency administrators for comment….

Words Have Consequences

KT McFarland pointed out some of their consequence in a Friday interview on Fox NewsHappening Now program against the backdrop of the Russian-supported “rebellion” in Ukraine and the just being agreed “cease fire” between those “rebels” and Ukrainian forces.

It seems that President Barack Obama, while spending a day in Estonia, had assured the Estonians that NATO would, of course, rush to their defense in the event of “an attack” on Estonia. The next day, Obama repeated that assurance, sort of. This time, he said NATO would rush to Estonia’s defense in the event of “an armed attack” on Estonia.

Resign, or Resigned?

The parents of a SEAL lost in Afghanistan, on seeing the butchery of ISIS and President Barack Obama’s decision not to respond, have written an open letter to him, via World Tribune. Here is their letter.

Billy and Karen Vaughn

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

About the Ukraine Crisis

Zbigniew Brzezinski had some thoughts in Foreign Affairs. In 1994.

Insurance is needed against the possibility, one might even argue the probability, that the weight of history will not soon permit Russia to stabilize as a democracy, and that the single-minded cultivation of a partnership with Russia, while downgrading other interests, will simply accelerate the reemergence of an ominously familiar imperial challenge to Europe’s security….

The Problem with a Law

In 2012, the Labor Department threatened to seize the blueberry crops of a couple of Oregon farmers until they settled a Labor complaint and signed away their right to appeal the settlement. With crops at risk of rotting away, the farmers settled, agreeing to pay Labor more than $240,000. The alleged “crimes” were Labor’s claims the farmers had violated minimum wage requirements under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. Labor used the threat of seizure of these perishable crops to extort the settlement.

After signing and getting their crops back, the two farmers sued.

The courts were unimpressed with Labor’s behavior.

In Which I Side with the “Liberal” Judges

Regarding the NSA’s broad (much too broad, IMNSHO) surveillance of American citizens, the three judges hearing an appeal to the 2nd Circuit Appellate Court (Democrat appointees, all) expressed concern about that breadth. A Federal District Court had ruled the surveillance constitutional, and the ACLU is leading the appeal (and so I’m siding with that crowd, too, on this matter).

In an oral argument that was set for less than 30 minutes and lasted nearly two hours, three judges on a panel hearing the case at the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan probed claims by the ACLU that the federal government’s collection of data relating to “every phone call made or received by residents of the United States” is illegal and unconstitutional.

Wave Election

There are wave elections, and there are wave elections. In 1894, for instance, the Republicans gained 130 seats in the House out of a total of 357 seats up for election. In 1932, the Democrats gained 97 seats out of 435. In 2010, the Republicans picked up 63 seats.

But all politics is local.

In Alabama’s 2nd District, for instance, the Republican won by 5,000 votes out of 216,000 cast in 2010, a margin of 2%. In Texas’ 23rd District, the Republican won by 7,000 votes out of 151,000 cast, and in the 27th District, the Republican won by 700 votes out of 105,000. In South Dakota, the Republican won by 7,000 votes out of 319,000. In Minnesota’s 8th District, the Republican won by 4,000 out of 277,000 cast.

The PRC’s Aggressiveness

…extends to reaching inside sovereign nations and trying to influence internal matters. And the People’s Republic of China is using its manufactured grudge (based on events of 70 years—three generations—ago) to manufacture justification for this…intrusion.

China’s government on Thursday called on Japan to “break clean with militarism” after Tokyo confirmed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a note earlier this year to a ceremony honoring more than a thousand World War II-era war criminals praising their contributions.

Will the PRC also “break clean with militarism” and cease their grabs for the East and South China Seas?

Democracy People’s Republic of China Style

And democracy Hong Kong style.

The PRC’s view of elections in its satrapy is that only candidates acceptable to the Communist Party of China can stand for office in Hong Kong. Indeed, the Deputy Secretary General of the National People’s Congress’ Standing Committee, Li Fei, has said out loud that openly nominating candidates would create a “chaotic society.” He went further:

[R]ights come from laws, they don’t come from the sky. Many Hong Kong people have wasted a lot of time discussing things that are not appropriate and aren’t discussing things that are appropriate.