Liberty 101: Same-sex “marriage” and the power of bureaucracy

Bureaucracy attacks.

Americans today are getting a crash course in the liberty we give up when we create bureaucracies and let the executive branch grow without restraint.

Consider these points:

1.  The appeal for California’s Proposition 8 was thrown out because of an issue of standing for the defendants (i.e., the backers of Prop. 8 – who, it will be remembered, stepped in to continue the appeals process after the original backers dropped out).  The last ruling of the lower court is being allowed to stand, but the issue itself – the constitutionality of defining marriage in traditional terms – has not been ruled on by the Supreme Court.  The Court didn’t say that it’s unconstitutional for a government authority or the people themselves to define marriage in traditional terms.

2.  What was ruled on was the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).   And in spite of Continue reading “Liberty 101: Same-sex “marriage” and the power of bureaucracy”

OSHA: An Astonishingly Representative Tale of the Regulatorily Surreal

Can you hear me now?

Reader Ritchie Emmons forwarded me the link to this post by the law firm Nixon Peabody on a recent OSHA decision to change its basis for enforcing the standards on hearing protection in the workplace.

The summary of the OSHA move is as follows: since 1983, OSHA has accepted the use of personal hearing protection as an adequate means of reducing noise exposure, in situations where personal protective equipment (PPE) is, in fact, adequate (that is, it meets the federal standard for protection against noise exposure).  An alternative means of reducing noise exposure is to reduce the noise itself, through equipment retooling, sound dampening, etc.  OSHA has generally declined to fine employers who did not take such noise-reduction measures, as long as the use of PPE in their workplaces provided adequate protection for workers.

But OSHA has filed notice in the Federal Register that it will no longer operate on that basis. Continue reading “OSHA: An Astonishingly Representative Tale of the Regulatorily Surreal”