2nd Amendment advocates worry over opinions of OSHA nominee
By Bob Unruh
Second Amendment advocates are expressing alarm that the most significant attack on gun rights across the United States in years soon could come in the form of a workplace “safety” regulation under President Obama’s nominee to run the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Obama has nominated David Michaels, a George Washington University professor and the chief of the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy, which reportedly partially is funded by George Soros.
“The controversial OSHA nominee and left-leaning public health advocate also seems to have strong views on firearms,” wrote Walter Olson at Overlawyered.com.
“That’s by no means irrelevant to the agenda of an agency like OSHA, because once you start viewing private gun ownership as a public health menace, it begins to seem logical to use the powers of government to urge or even require employers to forbid workers from possessing guns on company premises, up to and including parking lots, ostensibly for the protection of co-workers.”
WND has reported on Obama’s czars and has published a Whistleblower magazine issue on the “shadow government” officials gradually being installed in positions of power in Washington.
Two already have met problems. Green jobs czar Van Jones quit his post after reporting, largely by WND, of his self-described communist beliefs and his belief that the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks. Also, White House communications director Anita Dunn, who launched a verbal assault on Fox News as an “arm” of the GOP, reportedly will step down this month.
Now comes Michaels, who although he would have to be approved by the U.S. Senate, comes with views that concern Second Amendment advocates.
Only two years ago, Michaels condemned proposals in Georgia and Florida that would have allowed workers to carry guns to and from their places of work for protection.
He continued in his 2007 writing to laud the ability of the federal government to respond by creating new laws to ban activities or behaviors.
“When the toll of preventable and pointless deaths or injuries from any single event or related events becomes so great, or particular aspects of the story bring it to the public’s attention, our nation invariably demands more and stronger regulation, not less,” Michaels wrote at the time.
“We saw this recently with the disaster at West Virginia’s Sago Mine, when a mine explosion and failed rescue attempts resulted in the deaths of 14 miners. Within months, Congress passed the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act,” he said.
“This is not true only of recent times. On the heels of the Elixir Sulfanilamide scandal, in which a medicine manufactured with antifreeze killed scores of children, Congress passed the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, requiring for the first time that pharmaceutical manufacturers prove the safety of their products before marketing them,” he continued.
“It’s hard to count all of the lives that this Act has saved, but one example stands out: The United States avoided the plague of thalidomide-related birth defects that ravaged Europe in the early 1960s as a result of controls granted the FDA under that legislation. A regulatory hero, FDA medical officer Dr. Frances Kelsey, had blocked U.S. licensing of thalidomide on the basis of inadequate safety data,” he wrote.
“In the U.S., we see an average of one gun-related homicide every 45 minutes, or 32 each day,” he wrote. “These are usually treated as isolated incidents, until a horrific event like the Virginia Tech massacre reawakens the public and strengthens public health advocates who are attempting to prevent gun violence.”
At RedCounty.com, writer Bryan Myrick noted that the Washington Times has urged the Senate to reject Michaels’ nomination.
“OSHA is an agency that already has a well-earned reputation for abusing its authority and reaching beyond its stated purpose. Add one zealot and it easily becomes an oppressive entity with immense power over all American businesses, large and small. At a time in which America’s businesses desperately need the freedom to responsibly pursue earning profits and put workers back on the payroll, the chemical potency of combining Obama’s left-wing agenda with an anti-business zealot manager at OSHA could prove toxic,” Myrick wrote.
The first vote on Michaels’ nomination already was canceled by the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions.
At the Examiner, gun rights writer David Codrea warned that some “public health” excuse could be used for imposing draconian restrictions on gun owners.
He cited the comment from a director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention that, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.”
“Does anyone doubt that Michaels will bring a similarly creative agenda to apply through regulatory measures under the guise of ‘occupational safety and health?’” he asked.
The BD Law firm in Washington posted a statement that Michaels is expected to bring major changes if approved. The law firm quoted Michaels’ writing from earlier this year that OSHA “badly needs a change in direction and philosophy” and it should include a “campaign to change the workplace culture of safety.”
The National Gun Rights organization called him an “anti-gunner.”
Columnist Dave Kopel at the Independence Institute in Colorado said, “Plenty of Obama’s administration appointees have a longer record of anti-gun activism than David Michaels, but perhaps none of them have the ability to make such a dramatic, instant change in the lives of law-abiding gun owners.
“By its own fiat, OSHA could outlaw the possession of firearms in every workplace and every employee parking lot in the United States,” he wrote.
“That David Michaels is anti-gun is undisputed,” he continued.
“The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution means that a valid federal law or regulation wins in any conflict with a state law. Many states have laws that protect the rights of employees to store lawful firearms in parking lots at work. If an OSHA regulation prohibiting such storage existed, the federal regulation would trump state law,” he said.
“Under Michaels, OSHA could write a regulation stating that it is illegal for any business to allow guns in the workplace or in parking lots. No handgun could be locked in the trunk of a car, even if the owner has a Right-to-Carry license. No rifle could be stored in the car, even if there’s no ammunition around and the gun will be dropped off at the gunsmith after work,” he said.
Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, had supported Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns before it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. And since Obama has been in office, he’s already advocated for a treaty that would require a federal license for hunters to reload their ammunition, has expressed a desire to ban “assault” weapons, has seen a plan to require handgun owners to submit to mental health evaluations and sparked a rush on ammunition purchases with his history of anti-gun positions.
Besides its reporting on Van Jones and Anita Dunn, WND previously reported on the controversy over the appointment of Kevin Jennings, a homosexual rights promoter, to oversee the office of school safety in the Department of Education.
Regulatory czar Cass Sunstein also has, among other issues, stated that marriage discriminates against singles
Argues fewer people stimulates economy by cutting cost to state, federal government
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended huge sums of money for “family planning services” tucked into President Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package, claiming contraception will reduce government costs.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services,” Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi, “how is that stimulus?”
“Well, the family planning services reduce cost,” Pelosi answered. “They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”
Stephanopoulos immediately gave Pelosi, herself the mother of five children and grandmother to seven, the opportunity to retract a suggestion that it would help the economy if the government spent millions to help people stop having babies.
“So no apologies for that?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“No apologies,” Pelosi answered. “No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.”
As WND reported, President Obama is attempting to pass through Congress an $825 billion economic stimulus package, composed of both spending increases and tax cuts.
The effort comes less than six months after Congress approved a $700 billion bailout package, leaving many critics wondering if Americans will accept more government spending.
“I think a lot of Republicans will vote no,” Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “because they see this as a lot of wasteful Washington spending, padding the bureaucracy and doing nothing to help create jobs and preserve jobs.”
Rep. Mice Pence, R-Ind., said, “The American people know we cannot borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has already announced he will vote against the plan.
Pelosi expressed caution and the need for accountability under the watch of wary voters.
“Whatever we have to do will have to be clearly explained to Congress and to the American people as to what the purpose of the money is, why it is urgent, and then accountability for it as it is distributed,” she said. “So hopefully this next second installment will help turn our financial crisis around, but it’s not – if they come back – there’s going to have to be a justification, because people will be very, very disappointed in how his money was dealt with at first.”
Police threaten criminal trespass after delivery of anti-Dem letter
By Chelsea Schilling
A Kansas resident is claiming he has been unfairly threatened by officers after he hand delivered a note to a police department administrator explaining why he will not vote for Obama.
Brent Garner of Lawrence, Kan., told WND he composed an essay on Oct. 29 detailing Obama’s connections with communist Frank Davis and Weatherman William Ayers, the Democrat’s tax plan and his lack of protection for infants born alive following failed abortion procedures.
He then put the letter in an envelope and delivered it to Obama supporter and Lawrence Police Department civilian administrator Kim Murphree, whom he had met at his church.
“She demanded to know what was in the envelope,” Garner said. “I simply told her to read it that it was self-explanatory and then walked off her property. She then began to yell at me and call me names while I was in the street.”
Garner said his wife witnessed the incident from the couple’s minivan.
He then drove home, and a clergyman from his church called him, saying Murphree had complained about the letter. While he was speaking on the phone, only 10-15 minutes following his letter delivery, an officer from the Lawrence Police Department appeared on his doorstep.
“He belligerently demanded to speak with me,” Garner said. “I asked him if I was required to speak with him without an attorney present. He told me no, and I bade him leave my property. He then told me that Kim had lodged a criminal trespass complaint against me and that if I went on her property again I would be arrested.”
Urges Schwarzenegger to veto plan supported by ex-Hemlock Society
By Bob Unruh
A state senator in California has launched a campaign to urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto a plan approved by the legislature because he describes it as a “back-door” to legalized euthanasia.
The legislation is called the “Terminal Patients’ Right to Know End of Life Options” Act, and WND already has reported how it would allow patients under certain conditions to be drugged and then starved to death.
“AB 2747 allows a physician assistant or a nurse to opine that a patient is ‘terminal,’ and then push for unnatural death by ‘palliative sedation,’” charged Randy Thomasson, chief of the Campaign for Children and Families. “Depressed patients who succumb to this pressure will be drugged unconscious and die from dehydration.”
Now state Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, a licensed oral surgeon, says he’s urging the governor to veto the proposal.
“The so-called end of life options act interferes with the medical care of people who just received the worst news of their lives,” Aanestad said in a statement sent to WND. “State government has no business intruding upon the doctor-patient relationship at that time, yet that is exactly what this bill does.”
He said the bill was sponsored by a group called Compassion and Choices, which formerly was known as the Hemlock Society and has advocated for physician-assisted suicide legislation in the past. A founder of the group has praised Dr. Jack Kevorkian for helping more than 100 people die.
“I want the governor to clearly know that this measure cloaked as compassion is actually sponsored by a group of people who want to give physicians the legal right to take part in the death of another person,” said Aanestad. “Failing to do that in the past, they have introduced this measure as a small first step which looks innocent, but opens the door to further ‘end of life’ intrusions.”
Further, he said, “It also bothers me that this legislation is a back-door approach for advocates of euthanasia. AB 2747 contains language that can easily be amended in the future to include other treatments than those it now includes – treatments like those advocated by the bill’s sponsor, the former Hemlock Society.”
Aanestad noted dozens of individuals and groups representing cancer patients, minority rights groups, members of religious communities and hospitals spoke before the Senate Health Committee in opposition to the idea.
Aanestad said he believes patients facing terminal illness need information based on who they are as individuals, not an intrusion into their relationship with their doctor.
“Patients don’t need their doctors to dispense a laundry list developed by Sacramento politicians,” he said. “It’s downright cruel to take a list of treatments that may not even apply to a patient and have the doctor say ‘here, this is what the State of California legislates I must tell you when you find out that you’re dying and you ask me what to do.’”
Annestad said part of the reason he became an oral surgeon was because of his belief that serving God means valuing human life.
“Patients facing a terminal illness have many needs. Among them are comfort, pain relief and information to make critical decisions,” he said. “They need dignity, respect and the support of those who love and care for them. They need prayer and the help of clergy, family and friends. What they don’t need is an intrusion into their relationship with their doctor.”
He said the requirement that doctors tell terminal patients “would have to be told that they could be sedated into a coma and stop eating and drinking.”
“It bothers me that AB 2747 leaves no option for the compassion of a doctor who knows her patient best. A cancer doctor caring for a depressed patient who says ‘What can I do?’ would have no recourse other than to do exactly as the bill mandates – give the information the California Legislature says she needs when they say she needs it,” he said.
Forty-two Democrats in California voted in favor of the plan: 30 Republicans and two Democrats opposed the plan.