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It’s Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017…and here’s The Gouge!

Every now and then we come across articles and/or commentaries which literally jump out at us; we begin with two such items.  First, as reported at FoxNews.com

Dozens of workers lose their jobs for participating in Day Without Immigrants protest

 

“The Day Without Immigrants protest shut down businesses nationwide last week, but it didn’t come without some consequences for a handful of workers who decided to take part in the demonstrations. Dozens of workers said they lost their jobs after taking part in Thursday’s protest. (Imagine that: a worker who fails to perform his job and gets fired.) The boycott was aimed squarely at President Trump’s efforts to step up deportations, build a wall at the Mexican border and close the nation’s doors to many travelers. (Don’t forget, this highly inaccurate account of Trump’s crackdown on criminal illegals and improperly vetted “refugees” is from FOX, the supposedly conservative news source!) It was unclear how many participated.

Twelve Latino employees from the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill in Tulsa, Okla. told Fox 23 News they were fired over text message because they didn’t show up for their shift and failed to let their employers know about their absence. The employees told the station they expected to be reprimanded, but not dismissed.

The firings led to an outcry in the community. “If you have 12 people who feel strongly and want to make a stand, I think management should have taken a look at that and at least stood by them or give them some time,” Catherine Bishop, of Broken Arrow, told Fox 23 News. The restaurant had already posted on Facebook seeking employees for its open positions.

…According to News Channel 5, 18 workers from Bradley Coatings Inc. were let go. The workers told the station they told their employer they would be joining in the nationwide protest on Wednesday and when they returned to work Thursday they were informed they had been fired. “We are the team leaders directly under the supervisors and they informed us last night that we could not go back to work and the boss said we were fired,” one employee told the station.

An attorney for Bradley Coatings said in a statement that the employees were told they would “need to show up for work (on Thursday) or they would be terminatedbecause of the “time-sensitive” job they were assigned to. The statement contended that the firings had nothing to do with politics.

This is worth a listen if only to hear the blatant bias of the reporter, as well as a permanent resident who still doesn’t habla English.

Encore Boat Builders LLC, based out of Lexington, S.C., had 21 workers who didn’t show up for work Thursday. WLTX-TV reported they were told not to participate in the demonstrations or face termination and when they failed to show up, the company followed through on its threat…”

Juvenito Quintana (the “permanent resident” featured in the video above) and 20 others all missed work on February 16th and right the next day, they got a letter from Encore Boat Builders LLC in Lexington. The letter said they were being terminated for no show/ no call in. Their last day listed as February 16th, the day of the protest.

Quintana says some employees got calls from management the day before telling them not to miss or else they’d lose their job. That’s why he said a lot didn’t call in, for fear(Ahhh; the old tried-and-true, heart-tugging immigrant “fear” factor!) Most of the employees had been working there for years and have small children. Quintana is a permanent resident and feels like the termination was unfair.

So Juvenito Quintana “feels” the firings were “unfair”; in other words, despite not showing up for work even when warned their employment would be terminated, none of those who chose to protest rather than perform the function for which they were previously paid deserved to get fired!  Welcome to the world occupied by the rest of us, muchacho; the one where…

Talk about a complete and total disconnect from anything remotely resembling reality….and a condition so symptomatic of contemporary Progressivism.

Since we’re on the sorry, increasingly amoral state of modern Liberalism, we present this must-read commentary courtesy of NRO‘s Alexandra Desanctis:

‘Regretful Mothers’ Misunderstand Both Motherhood and Love

As women rue their parental responsibilities, rationalizations for abortion lurk in the background.

 

We live in a consumer-driven world. American political debates center around which party can give citizens the most of what they want for the least cost, whether financial, societal, or otherwise, and our cultural disputes stem from disagreement over how people can achieve the most personal satisfaction and fulfillment without upsetting one another in the process.

In this context, parents, but mostly mothers, who regret having had their children are staking out space on the battleground of parenthood and sexuality. (I first wrote about this trend in the fall.) Ending the “stigma” against regretful mothers is being enveloped into the progressive family-policy agenda — a natural corollary to the campaign for government-funded abortion, which renounces the inherent value of children.

Reporter Stefanie Marsh in recent feature piece in the Guardian — “‘It’s the breaking of a taboo’: the parents who regret having children” — explored this concept further, interviewing a number of women who had planned to become mothers but began to regret their decision after their children had been born. In most cases, the women explained that the myriad difficulties of being a parent made them regret their choice.

One mother in the piece said that “the exact moment the tiny baby was placed in her arms,” she felt as if she had made a mistake. Another said, “I felt like I was in a plot in a crime book, where the woman is being suffocated by motherhood.” According to Marsh, women who regret becoming mothers feel that they can’t speak about that regret without being shamed by others. (What she and they really mean is they can’t speak about that regret without feeling guilty as hell…and deservedly so!)

Yet at the same time, all of these women were adamant that their regret of motherhood was separate from their actual children; they all expressed love for their children, whom they seemingly wished had never existed at all. These contradictory claims point to the real problem underlying the crusade to abolish the stigma against regretful mothers.

The central issue isn’t whether these women deserve to be “shamed” for lamenting the paths their lives took as the result of their children, or even whether their regrets are understandable. The problem with articles such as this one — and with the movement that they fuelis that they imply either that children have little value outside of the emotional satisfaction they bring to their parents or that the value of children is necessarily diminished by the hardship that comes along with caring for them.

This is particularly evident in the implication that these mothers can both love their children and wish that those children didn’t exist. At the very least, that suggests a fundamental misinterpretation of the nature of love, which ought to be understood as more than emotional affection for another person. Authentic love, self-sacrificial and focused on the good of the other above one’s own needs, would never wish away the very life of the beloved.

To read the various pieces on this topic is to grasp that the drivers against the “taboo” believe that having a child is valuable only as long as it is rewarding, or as long as one is always successful at being a parent. “I had a very romantic notion of being a mother,” one regretful mother reports in the Guardian piece, “that I’d love going to the playground, that I would be always loving and understanding.” And one young woman says she doesn’t plan to have children because she’d “be a really horrible mum” and is “narcissistic.”

Such a shallow understanding of parenthood has it all backward. Being a mother is valuable not because it’s easy, and children aren’t inevitably going to evoke their parents’ best qualities. Indeed, quite the opposite is often true. The difficulties of raising children force adults to sacrifice their own desires and comforts, an endeavor that brings them out of themselves in the pursuit of the good of their child. For both our communities and larger culture, the best balance can be found in affirming the inherent dignity of children while also supporting men and women who faces challenges as a result of being parents.

This balance was well illustrated by a recent Twitter hashtag, #MyUnintendedJoy, which parents have used to tell stories about their unplanned pregnancies and the children who resulted. In these oft-ignored cases, men and women who never expected to become parents explain how their children have brought them joy despite the obvious challenges parenthood presented. That is what love looks like.

The push to normalize regretful parents, even to the point of wishing away existing childrenreveals the way in which our society has chosen to overlook the intrinsic value of every human life. This mentality is carried to its logical extension by the pro-abortion-rights movement, which views life as dispensable and children as commodities, and which shows a breakdown in social norms that we must challenge and reverse. Our society cannot flourish if we reject future generations because they might challenge our conception of ourselves or complicate our pursuit of satisfaction.

To mangle a phrase from Cordell Hull, the late, great son of the Volunteer State, in all our 61 years of life, we’ve have never seen a concept more crowded with immoral falsehoods and distortions – immoral falsehoods and distortions on a scale so huge that we never imagined until today that any person on this planet was so perverted as to be capable of uttering them.

Sorry, but this is a subject which requires no mincing of words.

Next up, writing at the WSJ, Holman Jenkins suggests Progressive are purposefully…

Missing the Meaning of Trump

Liberals desperately pretend his rise is a message from Russia, not voters.

 

The signs are as obvious as the ears on Dumbo’s head…

“Donald Trump comes to the presidency, it’s safe to say, with a steeper learning curve than just about anyone who has ever held the position. He’s working hard at a job he likely didn’t believe he’d have until late in the campaign. Give him credit. At least he appears upbeat and game for the challenge, abating one realistic fear. Calling him a failure at this point is ridiculously premature.

A Trump administration need not devolve into chaos—its real challenge is how to make use of a unique asset, Mr. Trump himself, to power the coalitions that get things done in Washington. This possibility still exists.

The saddest part, though, is how quickly Democrats, following their loudest, ninniest voters, have decided to turn Mr. Trump into the Antichrist. One example: In 17 years of Howard Stern interviews, Mr. Trump appears never to have uttered a sentiment unfriendly to gays. He is a lifelong New Yorker. He was a regular at Studio 54. His mentor was a powerful gay attorney. In his convention speech, Mr. Trump offered himself as the defender of “LGBTQ citizens.” Yet many gay activists now join a parade of those pronouncing themselves oppressed by a Trump presidency. Why? Pure cognitive dissonance: Democrats have been busy twisting his admittedly rococo image beyond reason to fit their partisan needs.

…for anyone other than those not willing to see!

Mr. Trump’s fundamental independence from party might have been, and still might be, an opportunity for the country. It perhaps merits eye rolling more than paranoia, but another obstacle is the deranged meddling of the bureaucracy. Recall that it began with FBI chief James Comey’s fatuous intervention in the election, clearing Hillary Clinton in the email controversy, unclearing her, and then clearing her again.

And now the so-called intelligence community shows itself unhealthily eager to traffic in claims about Kremlin influence in the election, to leak intercepts of Mike Flynn’s phone chats, to fill the press with vague insinuations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. All this smacks too much of the little Walter Mittys of our overfunded, underdelivering intelligence bureaucracy trying to punish Americans for how they voted.

They are fools to do so. The election represents serious data from the world. Sixty-three million Americans were trying to get Washington’s attention. We still hope for real achievements. At worst, Trumpian gridlock is probably better than Obama gridlock (look at the stock market). In the meantime, the body politic will listen to itself. In four years, thanks to Mr. Trump, it will have been drilled into both parties’ heads just how badly things have gone wrong in our country by the lights of millions of our fellow citizens.

In a related item courtesy of NRO via G. Trevor, Andrew McCarthy asks what inquiring minds still want to know:

Why Was the FBI Investigating General Flynn?

There appears to have been no basis for a criminal or intelligence probe.

 

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was dismissed amid a torrent of mainstream-media reporting and disgraceful government leaks (but I repeat myself). Among the most intriguing was a New York Times report the morning after Flynn’s resignation, explaining that the former three-star Army general and head of the Defense Intelligence Agency was “grilled” by FBI agents “about a phone call he had had with Russia’s ambassador.”

No fewer than seven veteran Times reporters contributed to the story, the Gray Lady having dedicated more resources to undermining the Trump administration than the Republican Congress has to advancing Trump’s agenda. Remarkably, none of the able journalists appears to have asked a screamingly obvious question — a question that would have been driving press coverage had an Obama administration operative been in the Bureau’s hot seat.

On what basis was the FBI investigating General Flynn?

…We are told that the FBI was monitoring the phone calls of Russian ambassador Kislyak under FISA. Makes sense — he’s an overt foreign agent from a hostile government. Flynn called Kislyak on December 29, 2016. It was not a nefarious communication: Flynn was a top adviser of then-president-elect Trump, a part of the Trump transition team, and just three weeks from formally becoming the new president’s national-security adviser. His communications with Kislyak were just some of the many conversations Flynn was having with foreign officials.

The call to Kislyak, of course, was intercepted. No doubt the calls of other American officials who have perfectly valid reasons to call Russian diplomats have been intercepted. It is the FBI’s scrupulous practice to keep the identities of such interceptees confidential. So why single Flynn out for identification, and for investigation? FBI agents did not need to “grill” Flynn in order to learn about the call they had a recording of the call.

They also knew there was nothing untoward about the call. We know that from the Times report — a report that suggests an unseemly conjoining of investigative power to partisan politics.

What he did or didn’t say to Bob Pence is a totally separate issue.

The report informs us that as the FBI set its sights on Flynn, its agents were consulting with “Obama advisers.” Interesting, no? Ever since Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump on November 8, Obama’s Democratic party had been pushing a narrative that “Putin hacked the election.” The narrative continues to have two major flaws. First, while the Russian dictator may have preferred Trump to Clinton, there is no evidence that his Russian regime did anything to compromise the voting process. The media-Democrat complex has desperately sought to obscure this problem by emphasizing Putin’s likely role in publicizing embarrassing Democratic e-mail communications. Notwithstanding Democratic talking points, that is a far cry from “hacking” the voting process.

The second flaw is that, although Trump has made disturbingly flattering remarks about Putin, there is no evidence his campaign has given or promised Russia any actual accommodation in exchange for Putin’s favor. Democrats hope to erase this problem by finding something, anything, that could be spun as a quid pro quo. Obviously, they hoped the Flynn–Kislyak conversation would answer their prayers. No such luck. As the Times puts it:

Obama officials asked the FBI if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal.

Asked not to be named discussing delicate communicationsThat’s a good one. Let me translate: The officials don’t want you to know who they are because they are corrupt (a) FISA intercepts are classified, so disclosing them to the press is a crime; (b) by revealing the Flynn–Kislyak conversation to the press, the “officials” inform the Russians that whatever countermeasures they are taking against U.S. surveillance have failed, assuring that the Russians will alter their tactics, making the job of our honorable intelligence agents more difficult; and (c) the FBI’s investigative powers are not supposed to be put in in the service of a political party’s effort to advance a partisan storyline, like “Putin hacked the election.”

So since there was no impropriety in Flynn’s call to the Russian ambassador, why did the Bureau continue investigating Flynn? Why did FBI agents interrogate him?…”

Two thoughts come to mind: first, one might as well ask why Hillary isn’t in prison; and second, whose fault is it the country doesn’t have an FBI Director we can trust to act in a non-partisan manner?

For more on the subject of rogue elements in the intelligence community acting to undermine our democracy, might we recommended the latest at Vic Hanson’s personal page, the aptly entitled Seven Days in February.

Which brings us, appropriately enough, to today’s entry in the Government Overzealousness At Its Zenith segment, and this just in from HeatStreet:

Court Rules That a Snuggie Is Definitely a Blanket, Not Clothes

 

Believe it or not, it took a U.S. court to determine whether a Snuggie counts as a blanket or an article of clothing. Why does a court care, you may ask? The simple answer: taxes. Blankets face an import duty of just 8.5 percent, compared to the much higher rate of 14.9 percent for garments.

That adds up—especially considering that Allstar Marketing Group sold more than 30 million Snuggies in its first five years. Earnings from the Snuggie matched the GDP of Samoa, Yahoo reported in 2013.

As this delightful U.S. Court of International Trade ruling notes, “The key inquiry… is whether the addition of sleeves transforms what may have been a blanket, into something that is not a blanket.” The federal government wanted to classify Snuggies as clothing, categorizing along with a swimsuit or leotard. In support of this classification, the U.S. Department of Justice posited that Snuggies look like “clerical or ecclesiastical garments and vestments” or else perhaps “professional or scholastic gowns or robes.”

But the court agreed with Allstar, which argued that, in part because the Snuggie lacks any rear closure, it’s not an article “ordinarily worn.” (Allstar did concede that “people have worn the Snuggie during pub crawls.”)

It came down to the very sleeves the DOJ said made the Snuggie a garment. “The sleeves support, rather than detract from, the Snuggie’s ‘primary design and use’ as a blanket because they ostensibly enable the Snuggie to remain in place and keep the user warm while allowing the user to engage in certain activities requiring of their hands,” the court said, concluding that the Snuggie’s “essential characteristic” was to keep sedentary people warm.

We shudder to think how much of their hard-earned cash Allstar had to spend to defend against this offensive example of government overreach.

Finally, we’ll call it a day with a walk on The Lighter Side

We’ll be out of town through Sunday evening enjoying a little golf junket in the Sunshine State, so until next Monday or possibly Wednesday…

Magoo