American Feudalism – Obama Travels to Brussels with a 900 Person Entourage

Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Brussels for the E.U. summit, but he was not alone. In fact, he is reported to have traveled with an entourage of 900 people, no doubt leaving a gaping expense for U.S. taxpayers. Brussels itself also took at major hit, with the city spending over $10 million on security compared to the usual expense of roughly $700,000 for E.U. summits.

Of course feudal trips are nothing new to 21st Century American Presidents. As The Washington Post notes, George W. Bush took 700 people with him on a trip to London in 2003.

Oh, and if you think these trips don’t cost much, let’s not forget that the Obama family trip to sub-Saharan Africa was projected to cost the U.S. government anywhere from $60 million to $100 million.

From The Washington Post:

As President Obama and his entourage, which The Guardian estimated at 900 people, arrived in Brussels for the E.U. summit Tuesday, the Belgian capital braced for the significant expense of hosting him.

Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur told The Guardian his city will spend $10.4 million to ensure Obama’s security during the president’s 24-hour visit. Hosting an E.U. summit typically costs the city about €500,000 ($690,000), the newspaper reports. “But this time round, you can multiply that figure by 20,” Mayeur said.

Obama’s security needs are not unique. When his predecessor, President George W. Bush, traveled abroad, he didn’t pack light. In November 2003, just months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Bush brought 700 people with him on a visit to London, which The Guardian at the time described as “worthy of a travelling medieval monarch.” The British government expected to spend around £5 million to protect Bush over his four-day London stay.

Not only do these trips require host cities to shell out considerable capital, they also come at a hefty price to American taxpayers. The Washington Post reported in June 2013 that the Obama family trip to sub-Saharan Africa was projected to cost the U.S. government anywhere from $60 million to $100 million.

Meanwhile, still barely a peep can be heard from the peasants.

Full article here

Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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American Feudalism – Obama Travels to Brussels with a 900 Person Entourage originally appeared on A Lightning War for Liberty on March 28, 2014.

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“World’s Safest Car” To Get Underbody Blast Shield To Avoid Embarrassing Car-B-Q Moments

Once upon a time, Tesla’s Model S was supposedly the world’s safest car. Then a few of them spontaneously combusted either in the comfort of their own garage, or while doing the unthinkable, i.e., driving over pieces of debris on the road, and questions emerged just how much money was used to bribe the NHTSA which had rushed to proclaim the Model S the safest car it has ever tested without apparently doing any actual testing. Today questions of NHTSA bribes re-emerged louder than ever after NHTSA reported earlier it had “closed an investigation into fires involving electric sports car maker Tesla Motors Inc’s popular Model S sedans after finding no “defect trend.” Obviously a forced recall by Tesla would have promptly shifted the spontaneous combustion from merely its cars to its all important for marketing purposes stock price.

Yet there was one person who did not quite agree with NHTSA’s assessment: Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Elon Musk, chief executive and founder of Tesla, announced on Friday that all Model S cars – the company’s top model – manufactured from this month will be fitted with a triple underbody shield.

Because, you see, the “world’s safest car” needs what is effectively a bomb blast shield planted in the floor. Just in case.

In a blog post on Medium , Mr Musk said the company decided to fit the shield to reduce the risk further. It follows an “over-the-air” software update to increase the ground clearance of the Model S at highway speeds to reduce the odds of a severe underbody impact.

What risk? Isn’t the Model S the world’s safest car… at least in those times when it is not burning uncontrollably of course.

Mr Musk said Tesla would also retrofit the shields, free of charge, to existing cars upon request or as part of a normally scheduled service.

 

Although he noted there have been no casualties as a result of the fires, Mr Musk wrote: “We felt it was important to bring this risk down to virtually zero to give Model S owners complete peace of mind.”

 

During the course of 152 vehicle level tests the company found the shields prevented any damage that could cause a fire or penetrate the plate that already protects the battery pack.

 

We have tried every worst-case debris impact we can think of, including hardened steel structures set in the ideal position for a piking event, essentially equivalent to driving a car at highway speed into a steel spear braced on the tarmac,” Mr Musk wrote.

And yet one piece of stray metal allegedly managed to lead to this:

 

One thing is certain: if after the inclusion of what is effectively a mafia-style bomb blast shield Tesla’s continue to have occasional Car-B-Q moments, it will be far more difficult for the damage control brigade to come up with excuses. Which, of course, is all an enterprising arb, who buys the car and “hedges” with a few million in puts really needs for one of the best possible pair trade returns in 2014.


    



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Here Is The YouTube “Start A False Flag War With Syria” Leaked Recording That Erdogan Wanted Banned

UPDATE: *TURKEY’S DAVUTOGLU SAYS LEAK IS ‘DECLARATION OF WAR’: TURKIYE

As we noted here, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had blocked Twitter access to his nation ahead of what was rumored to be a “spectacular” leak before this weekend’s elections. Then this morning, amid a mad scramble, he reportedly (despite the nation’s court ruling the bans illegal) blocked YouTube access. However, by the magic of the interwebs, we have the ‘leaked’ clip and it is clear why he wanted it blocked/banned. As the rough translation explains, it purports to be a conversation between key Turkish military and political leaders discussing what appears to be a false flag attack to launch war with Syria.

 

 

Among the most damning sections:

Ahmet Davutolu: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”

 

Hakan Fidan: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”

 

Feridun Sinirliolu: “Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”

 

Ya?ar Güler: “It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”

 

 

Feridun Sinirolu: There are some serious shifts in global and regional geopolitics. It now can spread to other places. You said it yourself today, and others agreed… We’re headed to a different game now. We should be able to see those. That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organizations are extremely open to manipulation. Having a region made up of organizations of similar nature will constitute a vital security risk for us. And when we first went into Northern Iraq, there was always the risk of PKK blowing up the place. If we thoroughly consider the risks and substantiate… As the general just said…

 

Yaar Güler: Sir, when you were inside a moment ago, we were discussing just that. Openly. I mean, armed forces are a “tool” necessary for you in every turn.

 

Ahmet Davutolu: Of course. I always tell the Prime Minister, in your absence, the same thing in academic jargon, you can’t stay in those lands without hard power. Without hard power, there can be no soft power.

A full translation can be found here

And just in case you had faith that this was all made up and Erdogan is right to ban it… he just admitted it was true!

To summarize: a recording confirming a NATO-member country planned a false-flag war with Syria (where have we seen that before?) and all the Prime Minister has to say is the leak was “immoral.”

 

Erdogan is not amused:

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the leaking on YouTube on Thursday of a recording of top security officials discussing possible military operations in Syria as “villainous” and the government blocked access to the video-sharing site.

 

 

“They even leaked a national security meeting. This is villainous, this is dishonesty…Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?” Erdogan declared before supporters at a rally ahead of March 30 local polls that will be a key test of his support amid a corruption scandal.


    



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Should Libertarians Support Religious Exceptions to Generally Applicable Laws?

Steven Mazie thinks
it’s weird that libertarians like me are defending freedom of
religion in
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby
. I think it’s weird that he
thinks it’s weird. In a
Big Think post
headlined “Godless Libertarians Find
Their Religion,” Mazie says “it’s a delicious treat to watch
libertarians rise to the defense of Protestant evangelicals.” How
so? “The libertarians are allergic to religion,” he says, “yet
speak out in ringing endorsement of the right of the fundamentalist
Christian employers to exercise a line-item veto over the
contraceptives their employees may access under their health
plans.” 

Are libertarians “allergic to religion”? Many of them are, but
many are not. Some of them are even fundamentalist Christians.
There is no inherent contradiction between libertarianism or
classical liberalism and religion, as long as religion is not
forcibly imposed on people by the state. In any case, since when
must you be religious to defend freedom of religion, which includes
the freedom not to be religious at all?

The American Civil Liberties Union, which in my view has taken
the
wrong position
in the Hobby Lobby case, has a Program on
Freedom of Religion and Belief. That organization, which probably
has more than its fair share of agnostics, atheists, and secular
humanists, nevertheless has been known to
defend
the religious liberty of people whose beliefs it does
not endorse, just as it defends the free-speech rights of people
whose views its members abhor. That is the sort of thing civil
libertarians are supposed to do. If religious conservatives and
secular libertarians are a “novel conglomeration” of “strange
bedfellows” in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, as
Mazie says, how would he describe the left-liberals and neo-Nazis
who were allied in
National Socialist Party v. Skokie
?

In the comment thread under his post, Mazie concedes that “many
secular libertarians coherently (and rightly) support religious
free exercise rights,” and the “same holds true for secular
non-libertarians.” He says “the incoherence comes when libertarians
leap to defend individuals and corporations requesting an exemption
from otherwise generally applicable laws.” Here is why Mazie claims
that position is incoherent:

For libertarians, the contraceptive mandate is wrong, full stop.
No one should be required to pay for birth control for their
employees, they say. Having a religious belief should not give you
a stronger claim to exemption than anyone else. Yet Hobby Lobby is
basing its claim to exemption squarely on its religious objection
to abortifacients.

Before I get to the question of whether libertarians should
support such religious exemptions, it’s important to understand
that the general principle has support across the political
spectrum. The law under which Hobby Lobby is challenging
Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, passed Congress almost unanimously. Under that
law, “government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of
religion” only if it is “the least restrictive means” of serving a
“compelling governmental interest.” That was the test the Supreme
Court applied under the First Amendment until 1990, when it
reversed course in
Employment Division v. Smith
, holding that any burden
is acceptable as long as it is imposed by a neutral, generally
applicable statute.

Mazie seems to favor that approach, but the ACLU does not. The
ACLU of Oregon represented Al
Smith and Galen Black, the plaintiffs in Employment
Division v. Smith
. Smith and Black were members of the
Native American Church who were denied unemployment benefits after
they were fired for using peyote. The ACLU argued that the state’s
denial of benefits violated Smith and Black’s First Amendment
rights because peyote was a sacrament central to their religion. It
made a similar argument under RFRA in
Gonzales v. Uniao do Vegetal
, the 2006 case in which the
Court unanimously ruled that the statute protected a religious
sect’s sacramental use of ayahuasca, a psychedelic tea that
contains dimethyltryptamine, an otherwise forbidden drug. The
ACLU’s
brief
in that case was joined by Agudath Israel of America, the
Baptist Joint Committee, the Christian Legal Society, the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, the Unification Church, the
Minaret of Freedom Institute, and the First Church of Christ,
Scientist. More strange bedfellows!

Although the ACLU does not think the birth control rule violates
RFRA, it clearly is not opposed to the general idea of a religious
“exemption from otherwise generally applicable laws.” But should
libertarians be wary of such a policy, since it involves giving
people special legal privileges based on their religious beliefs
and invites the government to
scrutinize those beliefs
in a rather unseemly way? While those
concerns are legitimate, my general feeling is that it’s better to
have an unjust law with exceptions than an unjust law that applies
to everyone with equal ferocity. Religious and medical exceptions
to drug prohibition, for example, make some people freer without
making anyone else less free (although one could argue that such
exceptions help perpetuate prohibition by making it more
tolerable). I firmly believe that people should not need a
government-approved reason to consume psychoactive substances. But
it is hard for me to see how busting members of the Native American
Church or O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal advances
the cause of liberty.

If all laws were legitimate and fair, the Supreme Court’s
position in Employment Division v. Smith (which I
take to be Mazie’s position as well) would make sense. To use the
classic example (offered by the Court itself in the 1879 polygamy
decision
Reynolds v. United States
), people should not be exempt
from laws against murder simply because their religion demands
human sacrifice. More generally, religion should not override laws
that protect individual rights, which from a libertarian
perspective is the main (or only) justification for government. So
if people really did have a right
to free birth control
, allowing some employers to violate that
right because of their religious beliefs could hardly be considered
just. Since there is no such right, it seems to me that letting
some people escape this unjustified mandate is better than forcing
everyone to comply. I can see why people might be offended by such
special treatment, but to me that is an opportunity for a broader
discussion: If it seems reasonable to contemplate a religious
exception to a generally applicable law, that is a pretty good
reason to question the law itself. 

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Austerity: Italy’s Government Selling Its Luxury Cars

You know it’s bad when… Italy’s new prime minister Matteo Renzi has decided that around 1,500 non-essential government official cars will be sold off (via eBay). As La Repubblica reports, the cars (among them dozens of BMWs, Alfa Romeos, Lancias, nine Maseratis and a couple of Jaguars) have come to be a symbol of wasteful government spending. Renzi noted, via Twitter, “Why should an under-secretary have an official car? The undersecretary should go by foot.”

 

 

 

 

The big question is… why sell all this non-essential crap when your yields are at record lows implying that everything is fucking awesome?!!!! (oh wait, what’s that red line)

 

Yeah, QE will really help eh?!


    



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Facebook Plans To Use Drones To Get the Unconnected Online

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that
the social media giant intends to connect the two-thirds of the
world currently offline to the Internet by using solar powered
drones, satellites, and lasers. In the announcement, published on
his
Facebook wall
, Zuckerberg said that Facebook would be working
with Internet.org to launch the drones:

Today, we’re sharing some details of the work Facebook’s
Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to
deliver the internet to everyone.

Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic
internet services available to every person in the world.

We’ve made good progress so far. Over the past year, our work in
the Philippines and Paraguay alone has doubled the number of people
using mobile data with the operators we’ve partnered with, helping
3 million new people access the internet.

We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but
connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology
too. That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot
more exciting work to do here.

In the promotional video from Internet.org (below), Facebook’s
Yael Maguire outlines how solar powered drones, satellites, and
lasers could be used to bring the Internet to more of the world’s
population.

Google has a similar project, “Project Loon,” which aims to get
more people online by using 20-kilometer high balloons. Thirty of these
balloons were launched in New Zealand last summer. In the video for
Facebook’s project, Maguire explains that the solar powered drones
Facebook is working on would also be operating roughly 20
kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Watch the video from Project
Loon below:

Predictably, governments could hamper Facebook’s and Google’s
attempts to get more people online, as Mark Little, an analyst at
the consultancy firm Ovum, told the BBC:

“It is going to have a lot of political hoops to jump through.
Some governments won’t put up with having that fleet over their
airspace.”

Mr Little thinks that for both Facebook and Google, the
technology in their projects may prove to be “the easy bit” and
that the real challenge will lie in persuading governments around
the world that its alternative networks are viable.

“Mobile operators are always under threat from alternative ways
of delivering net services. This becomes a concern for governments
when a nation’s communications rest on an outside provider,” he
said.

More from Reason on drones here.

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Wave Goodbye to Horrible, Surveillance-Defending, Snowden-Slamming Rep. Mike Rogers

Don't let the NSA post the surveillance video of the door hitting you in the ass on your way out.Michigan Republican Rep. Mike
Rogers puts pretty much every other political defender of the
National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance tactics to shame. As
chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he even manages to
outdo Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) defense of NSA intrusions
with his fearmongering and accusations that Edward Snowden is under
the
influence of the Russians
.

Rogers was still
pushing that story last weekend
, with no real evidence. He has
introduced his own version of NSA “reform” that experts say is
anything but. His “End Bulk Collection Act” doesn’t end bulk
collection at all and could actually allow the NSA to analyze even
more of our data without oversight (Trevor Timm of the Freedom of
the Press Foundation explains more
here
).

But raise a glass and toast: Mike Rogers is
retiring
from Congress. He announced this morning that he will
not run for re-election at the end of his term and will, instead,
start a conservative talk radio show. He
told
a Detroit radio show, “It’s a pretty rare opportunity.
They don’t come around very often.” I don’t think I need Politifact
to assess the accuracy of that observation.

Some more from the parade of awfulness that is Rogers’ political
career since he joined Congress in 2000:

  • Rogers introduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection
    Act (CISPA),
    which promoted sharing of data between the government and private
    Internet companies for the stated aim of preventing cyberattacks.
    It was criticized for lacking civil liberties safeguards and died
    after President Barack Obama threatened to veto it. He referred to
    critics of CISPA as “14-year-olds in their basements clicking
    around on the Internet.”
  • He has argued that publishers could or should be charged with
    espionage for
    printing classified information
    if they were paid for their
    work.
  • He called for American intervention in
    Syria
    , saying, “This is the time to act. Don’t wait until we
    have 5,000 dead. That’s too late.”
  • He has co-sponsored multiple bills to outlaw Internet
    gambling.
  • He was the primary sponsor of the censorious
    Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act
    , the legislation
    targeting the
    Westboro Baptist Church
    that makes it illegal to protest within
    300 feet of a military funeral on a federal cemetery an hour before
    or after the services.

Read his consistently terrible stands on choosing security over
liberty
here
. Farewell, Rogers. Tech and privacy journalists probably
beat the candy out of the Big Security piñata you represent weeks
ago.

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We’ve Seen This Movie Before

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

This week just happens to be the 160th anniversary of Britain and France’s declaration of war on Russia in what would eventually become known as the Crimean War. Part 1.

At the time, Russia was a rising power. By the 1850s, Tsar Nicholas I had expanded Russia’s domain into Ukraine and Crimea seeking warm water ports on the Black Sea, and it scared the bejeezus out of the rest of Europe.

Other nations in the region– particularly France and the Ottoman Empire, were in obvious decline. By 1854, the Ottoman Empire was only a few years away from outright default, and France was desperate to regain some of its geopolitical glory from the previous century.

All of this should sound familiar. As Mark Twain said, history might not necessarily repeat, but it certainly rhymes.

Today there is conflict once again in Crimea. And just as before, it has nothing to do with Crimea, but with several other powers trying to keep a rising power in check.

Let’s be honest– most human beings don’t get terribly excited when they get surpassed by someone else. Nations are no different.

And just as in the 1850s when France, Britain, and the Ottoman Empire ganged up to contain Russia’s growth, most has-been, bankrupt Western nations are doing the same thing today.

The hypocrisy is unbelievable. US Secretary of State John Kerry stated in an interview that “you just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in a 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.”

Apparently Mr. Kerry slept through the War on Terror and invasion of Iraq.

I have serious doubts that this will actually come to blows, however. Perhaps gentlemanly fisticuffs at most. The West is simply too broke.

Putin is the guy who blew $50 billion just to stage the Olympics. And that’s probably just a fraction of his own personal fortune, let alone how much money Russia has at its disposal.

It would be nothing for the Russian government to fund a war in Crimea. The Russians can write a check for it.

The West, meanwhile, has to beg, borrow, and print just to get a warship to the Black Sea.

In fact, just to demonstrate how broke they are, the West’s best move was suspending Russia from the G8, a toothless gang of bankrupt nations.

I mean– the combined debts of just five of the G8 members– the US, UK, Italy, Japan, and France is so prodigious it constitutes nearly 50% of the entire world’s GDP. It’s insane.

Successful negotiations always start from a position of strength. And the West has absolutely none. No teeth. No funding. No leverage.

This became quite clear just a few months ago when Mr. Putin chased everyone out of Syria.

By dropping Russia, even temporarily, from the G8, all they are doing is shining a spotlight on their own weakness… and rather embarrassingly.

They’re proving beyond a doubt that the G8 has no power… and practically shoving Russia into bed with China.

This is a classic example of how formerly great powers accelerate their own decline. And Mr. Obama and his colleagues seem to be following this playbook to a T.


    



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New York City’s Sick Leave Mandate May Make Small Businesses Ill

SickNew York City Mayor Bill de
Blasio, continuing his crusade to make the Big Apple a kinder and
gentler place to live (as enforced by penalties prescribed by law),
has pushed through an
amendment to the city’s still-new Earned Sick Time Act
. The
amended rule goes into affect April 1, and requires small
businesses of five or more employees—down from 15—to provide paid
sick leave to workers.

Supporters of the measure trumpet it as a victory not just for
workers, but for businesses that will enjoy improved morale at a
low, low cost. Even so, at least one of the city councilman who
voted for the sick leave mandate already has
second thoughts
about the impact on small firms.

A nice summary of the law’s measure comes courtesy of
Think HR
:

  • The Act now covers employers with five or more employees
    (rather than 15).
  • The definition of “family member” has been expanded to include
    sibling, grandchild, and grandparent. “Grandchild” means the child
    of an employee’s child, “Grandparent” means a parent of an
    employee’s parent, and “Sibling” means an employee’s brother or
    sister, including half-siblings, step-siblings, and siblings
    related through adoption.
  • The exemption for employers in the manufacturing industry has
    been eliminated.
  • Employers must maintain sick time compliance records for three
    years (rather than two).
  • Employees have two years to file a complaint (rather than 270
    days).

All of this benefit to ailing employees! And at little or no
cost to businesses for whom even a single paid sick person can
represent as much as one-fifth of the work force. At least, so
we’re told by one pro-regulation research outfit and the
journalists citing it.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR),
after Connecticut
passed a sick leave mandate
, everything was swell.

The law had minimal effects on businesses. A large majority of
employers reported that the law did not affect business operations
and that they had no or only small increases in costs. Businesses
most frequently covered absent workers by assigning the work to
other employees, a solution which has little effect on costs. Just
10 percent of employers reported that the law caused their costs to
increase by 3 percent or more. Since the implementation of the paid
sick days law, Connecticut employers saw decreases in the spread of
illnesses and increases in morale…

The Associated Press
reported this
to mean “many small businesses say they don’t
find complying with the laws a burden. Many already gave employees
paid sick time before the laws were passed. And having paid sick
time makes employees happy.”

But the Connecticut measure applies to businesses with
50 or more employees, while the New York City measure
sweeps up those with as few as five. And CEPR doesn’t give us
context for a 3 percent boost in costs—that may or may not be a
lot, depending on a firm’s profit margin. And that 3 percent is
likely to rise for a smaller outfit for which a sick employee is a
higher percentage of the total work force.

By contrast, a study by
Ernst and Young
on behalf of the Partnership for New York City
found significant costs associated with sick leave mandates.

Implementation of the Paid Sick Time Act would raise costs, on
average, to 48 cents per employee per hour. Large businesses would
see an increase to 57 cents per employee per hour and small
businesses 24 cents per employee per hour.

This does not include the costs of benefits such as health
insurance, employment taxes or indirect costs that may be incurred
as a result of providing paid sick leave to employees. Nor does the
estimate include the administrative costs of compliance with the
bill. These costs could not be captured in the scope of the survey,
but anecdotal evidence suggests they are significant.

Although the payroll cost increase may seem small to advocates,
it is roughly equivalent to the .34% payroll tax (the “Mobility
Tax”) that New York State imposed on all employers in 2009 to help
fund the MTA capital program. Small business, government and
nonprofit employers have widely described this tax as very
burdensome and its rescission was one of the biggest issues in the
last session of the State legislature and in the upcoming
elections.

The Ernst and Young study has been
criticized
for overstating costs, but its estimates don’t seem
out of line with CEPR’s—and it provides some context for the
numbers it produces.

Ultimately, paid sick leave is a nice thing to have, if you’re
an ailing employee or one with a sick family member. But very
little in life, including the helpful and desirable things, comes
without a price tag attached. The price of mandating popular
policies like paid sick leave for employees may well be that some
businesses close or cut back, and some workers end up not on leave,
but unemployed.

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GM Halts Sales Of Chevy Cruze; Gives No Reason

And the hits just keep on coming for new CEO Mary Barra. By now she must be suspecting Dan Akerson threw her under the bus as he left the sinking ship. On the heels of all-time record high inventories (over-built amid a frenzy of mal-investment last year), massive recalls (amid ignition switch problems linked to 12 deaths), and potential bankruptcy fraud, GM announced today that it has instructed dealers to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruzes but gave no reason for the halt.

 

Reuters confirms,

“I can just confirm that we put a stop-sale in last night,” GM spokesman Alan Adler said.

 

He said he did not have any details on why the action was being taken, but said stop-sale orders can happen for various reasons. He said stop-sale orders mean the dealers need to do something to the vehicle before it can be sold.

Via WSJ,

Chevrolet dealers received a stop-delivery via email Thursday advising them to halt sales of Cruze models with 1.4-turbo engines, according to a copy of the notice viewed by The Wall Street Journal. A reason for the notice wasn’t provided.

 

“This is something we don’t see every day,” said one dealer who asked not to be identified since he shared the internal document. “To not be given a reason must mean GM has spotted an issue and is still trying to get its arms around it.”

 

A GM spokesman confirmed a notice was sent late Thursday but declined to provide details. Automotive News reported the stop-delivery order earlier Friday. The notice affects only 1.4 Liter turbo charge Cruze.

 

The number of vehicles impacted could be relatively small since the notice only covers 60 days worth of production.

If we build it (and stack them high on dealer lots) they won’t come if they fear spontaneous combustion…


 

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is scheduled to testify to both chambers of Congress next week as members of the House and Senate seek to learn how the problem did not result in a recall earlier despite being first noted within the company in 2001.

Bring your popcorn…


    



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