A tweet from Congressman Mark Meadows

Meadows Applauds President Trump’s Regulatory Reform

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on President Trump’s speech today at the White House, recapping the Trump administration’s progress in rolling back the regulatory state:

“Today’s speech from President Donald Trump represents the exact kind of culture change Washington, D.C. has desperately needed for so long. The American people are fed up with our government’s out-of-control regulatory state that puts the interests of insiders and bureaucrats ahead of everyday Americans on Main Street. They sent President Trump here to lead the charge in fixing it—and the President is delivering. As OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said, the administration has cut 22 old regulations for every new regulation issued. Business as usual is over.

 President Trump is right: ‘Unchecked regulation undermines our freedom.’ That’s why, in May, I introduced a bill in the House to codify the Presidents directive to eliminate two out of date, unnecessary regulations for every new regulation enacted. This measure would go a long way toward jumpstarting the economy, reforming our government’s approach to regulating, and changing the culture of Washington, D.C.

 This is what the forgotten men and women voted for. This is draining the swamp. I give the President a standing ovation for this initiative, and I wholeheartedly join him in his effort to ‘cut the red tape.’”

To read more about Rep. Meadows’ bill H.R. 2623, the Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act of 2017, click here.

This Founding Father Will Renew Your Hope for Liberty

FEE – John Dickinson was among America’s most important founders. He was a colonial legislator, member of the Stamp Act, Continental, and Confederation Congresses, chief executive of both Delaware (by a 25 to 1 vote; his being the only opposed) and Pennsylvania, president of the 1786 Annapolis convention that led to the Constitutional Convention, and among the most informed and seasoned statesmen to attend it. Historian Forrest McDonald wrote that, but for Dickinson and a few others, “the resulting constitution would not have been ratified.”

Penman of the Revolution

Despite his other roles, Dickinson was best known as the “Penman of the Revolution.” Perhaps his most important writings were his Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies. After publication as letters, beginning December 21, 1767, in the Boston Chronicle, they were republished as a pamphlet, reprinted in most colonial newspapers and read widely, making him America’s first homegrown hero. As we pass their 250th anniversary, we would again profit by recalling John Dickinson’s words promoting our liberty.

Click here to read more.

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An engaging introduction to the principles of the United States | taught by FEE Courses Click here to enroll.

Climate Alarmists Reinterpret Data to Make Sea Level Rise Worse Than It Is

The New American – Climate-change activists parading as scientists are at it again: falsifying data in order to show an alarming rise in sea level in the Indian Ocean. Australian scientists Dr. Albert Parker and Dr. Clifford Ollier detail the scientific skullduggery of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) in their paper entitled “Is the Sea Level Stable at Aden, Yemen?”

Raw data from three key sea level recording sites in the Indian Ocean — Aden in Yemen, Karachi in Pakistan, and Mumbai in India — show a steady, gentle rise in sea level since monitoring began at the outset of the 20th century. But the raw data has been “reinterpreted” by the PSMSL to show a dramatic increase in sea level.

Admittedly, the PSMSL has a big job to do. As the keeper of all sea level measurements globally, it is their job to collect data from disparate sources worldwide and come up with sea level trends. In other words, the PSMSL is responsible for telling us if sea levels are rising, falling, or staying the same. This is a worthy endeavor.

Click here to read more.

Meadows, Johnson Introduce Bill to Eliminate Failed Obamacare Program

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Repeal Insurance Plans of the Multi-State Program Act (RIP MSP Act) on Tuesday — an effort to terminate Obamacare’s failing Multi-State Plan program.

Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with at least two national health plans, one of which must be a non-profit plan, to compete directly with private plans in every state. These plans are called Multi-State Plans, or MSPs — and under current law, they are required to be available in all 50 states, as of 2017.

Multi-state plans were intended to drive competition on the health care exchanges. However, the program has failed to meet the Obama administration’s 750,000 enrollment projection or the 50-state statutory requirement. Only one state, Arkansas, has agreed to offer a MSP option in 2018, and it is likely that fewer than 2,000 Arkansans will participate. But the federal government is still funding the program at $10 million per year.

“This mandate is the definition of government waste. The program has failed to meet statutory requirements and is diverting necessary resources from what should be the OPM’s priorities, such as retirement and security backlogs. Congress needs to let the OPM focus on its job, eliminate this failed program and work to ensure health care is more affordable for all Americans,” – Sen. Ron Johnson.

“Multi-state plans were a poorly conceived provision of an even more poorly conceived bill, Obamacare,” Rep. Meadows said, “and repealing these plans would be a good step toward getting our health care system back on track. It makes no sense for the OPM to dedicate its finite resources toward the creation of government plans that clearly do little, other than stifling the competition our health insurance market so desperately needs. The OPM should not be in the business of contracting health insurance plans. I’m grateful to work with Senator Johnson on this bill as we seek to restore common sense, market-based principles to our health care industry that will bring premiums and overall costs down and help make quality care affordable for all Americans.”

Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not

The New American – On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan launched a sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, shattering the peace of a beautiful Hawaiian morning and leaving much of the fleet broken and burning. The destruction and death that the Japanese military visited upon Pearl Harbor that day — 18 naval vessels (including eight battleships) sunk or heavily damaged, 188 planes destroyed, over 2,000 servicemen killed — were exacerbated by the fact that American commanders in Hawaii were caught by surprise. But that was not the case in Washington.

Comprehensive research has shown not only that Washington knew in advance of the attack, but that it deliberately withheld its foreknowledge from our commanders in Hawaii in the hope that the “surprise” attack would catapult the U.S. into World War II. Oliver Lyttleton, British Minister of Production, stated in 1944: “Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war.”

Click here to read more.

Millennials Get It Wrong about Socialism

FEE – Most Millennials have a positive view of socialism and communism, but they don’t have all the facts.

Last month’s 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution is an appropriate occasion to remind us of the human atrocities committed by communist regimes. But we also should take time to reflect on the progress that has occurred since the fall of the Soviet Union and its socialist economic system in 1991.

A recent poll of Millennials found that 51 percent of them identified socialism as their favored socioeconomic system, with an additional 7 percent identifying communism as their favored system. Only 42 percent favored capitalism.

Socialism Kills, Always

A socialist system naturally selects leaders willing to exercise coercion to see that the plans are carried out.

Most Millennials I’ve met—and I meet quite a few as a college professor—are nice enough people. Most have no desire to see their fellow humans suffer. So I’m left to conclude that they have no appreciation for how socialism actually works in the real world.Socialist regimes—through executions, intentional starvation, and brutal prison-work camps—killed more than 100 million of their own citizens in the 20th century. In places such as Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela the atrocities continue.

Click here to read more.

HR38 Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is just another infringement of our 2nd Amendment Rights.

We ALREADY have the right to CARRY ANY WHICH WAY (see below).   When will the infringements stop???   When will our Governments follow the CONSTITUTION?   By doing this Congress admits it can and quite correctly override a Unconstitutional State law. 

About Unconstitutional Federal Arms laws, regulations and rules.

Oath of Office: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3

Oath of Office  – U.S. Senators and Representatives

I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God” (5 U.S.C. §3331).

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Note: the people form the Militia, so the right is of the people, NOT the Militia.

The Second Amendment protects the rights of all citizens of the United States and its territories. And puts limits on the powers of the Federal and State Governments, plus EVERY other government in the United States. No Government can violate a citizens rights guaranteed to them under the U.S. Constitution.

Therefore, any and ALL Federal and State including any governments within a State, whose laws concern ARMS are infringements and are ILLEGAL under the U.S. Constitution and are therefore Null and Void as they are Unconstitutional. And this is the point of this paper. In order to be in compliance with they oath of office, our Senators and Representatives need to repeal all laws, regulations and rules concerning Arms. Please, keep in mind that the insane and criminal do not obey laws.

Unconstitutional Official Acts

16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256:

The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be In agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:

The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it…..

A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.

No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.

Meadows Applauds POTUS for Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital & Meadows, HFC Members Call for Investigation into FBI’s ‘Special Treatment’ of Hillary Clinton

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement in support of President Trump’s announcement that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the undivided Capital of Israel:

“What a powerful statement it is, on the 50th anniversary of reunification, for President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the true, undivided Capital of Israel. I applaud the President for this decision and for delivering on yet another key promise he made during his campaign.

After 8 years of damage, constant undermining, and broken promises, the world will once again know that the United States stands, unwaveringly, alongside Israel.”


Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) joined several members of the House Freedom Caucus in calling for an investigation into the FBI’s special treatment of the Hillary Clinton investigation.

“This issue is not about any one individual,” Rep. Meadows said. “It’s about the fact that no American, regardless of wealth or political status, should be given a pass under the law. Every day we learn more and more concerning information that indicates Hillary Clinton was given special treatment by the FBI during their investigation last year. It’s time for Attorney General Sessions to start leading and appoint a second special counsel so that the American people can get the truth and the answers they deserve.”

“This will not improve with time,” Meadows continued. “The time for action is now, and there is a short fuse on getting the truth and the kind of answers the American people deserve.”

You can watch the video of the full press conference, including Rep. Meadows’ speech, here.

The Senate Voted to Kill Obamacare’s Individual Mandate. Why That Was a Wise Call.

The Daily Signal – Obamacare’s individual mandate to buy federally standardized health insurance is a tax, courtesy of the Supreme Court’s elaborate exercise in creative writing: National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012).

Legislators should judge a law by its results, not by good intentions. The record is clear: This particular tax is both unworkable and unfair. The Senate’s decision last week to repeal it is thus sound policy.

The individual mandate tax is not working. Its policy objective is to increase enrollment in private coverage and deter un-insurance.

To accomplish this goal, the law says that any person who does not buy an Obamacare plan would pay an annual tax penalty equal to 2.5 percent of their household income or $695, whichever amount is greater.

Click here to read more.

DACA Is Not What the Democrats Say It Is. Here Are the Facts.

The Daily Signal – Some members of Congress are threatening to block government funding unless Congress provides amnesty to so-called Dreamers—the illegal aliens included in President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Donald Trump is ending.

Responsible members of Congress should not give in.

Such an effort would be fundamentally flawed and would only encourage even more illegal immigration—just as the 1986 amnesty in the Immigration Reform and Control Act did.

Democrats portray the DACA program as only benefitting those who were a few years old when they came to the U.S. illegally, leaving them unable to speak their native language and ignorant of their countries’ cultural norms. Therefore, the reasoning goes, it would be a hardship to return them to the countries where they were born.

Click here to read more.

Congress Stalling Trump Ambassadors, Harming U.S. Effort to Combat N. Korea, Conduct Diplomacy

The Washington Free Beacon – Trump administration insiders are becoming increasingly concerned that a congressional holdup of key ambassador posts is beginning to interfere with critical American foreign policy efforts, particularly those to rally the international community against North Korea and its contested nuclear program, according to Trump administration insiders and congressional officials familiar with the situation.

Amid a global showdown over North Korea’s repeated and increasingly dangerous nuclear tests, Republican leaders in the Senate have declined to hold a vote on several of President Donald Trump’s picks for U.S. ambassador, most notably Richard Grenell, the former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations who was tapped in September to serve as the next American ambassador to Germany.

Click here to read more. Are you mad yet?

Trump Admin Orders Withdrawal From UN Migrant Accommodating Agreement

On Saturday, December 2, the Donald Trump administration alerted the office of the United Nations secretary-general that the United States of America is withdrawing from a UN agreement aimed at handling migrant and refugee issues.

“Today, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations informed the UN Secretary-General that the United States is ending its participation in the Global Compact on Migration,” the U.S. mission to the United Nations announced in a press release.

In September 2016, the UN General Assembly unanimously agreed on a resolution — the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants — that the organization’s member states would be committed to the document, which “reaffirms the importance of the international refugee regime and represents a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move,” as described in a UN statement on the goals of the policy. Click here to read more.

In 1 Chart, the Differences Between the House and Senate Tax Reform Bills

The Daily Signal – The House and Senate have now each passed different versions of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Both bills are a big improvement to America’s out-of-date tax code and could boost the economy by almost 3 percent, leading to more jobs and higher wages for working Americans.

Both bills cut taxes for individuals and businesses, largely repeal the state and local tax deduction, and allow businesses to invest more in the American economy through temporary expensing.

The bills now head to a conference committee where a unified bill will be crafted. Here are some of the major differences you need to know about: Click here to view chart.

Election protests could cause problems without an election board

  Carolina Journal – Municipal elections came and went, largely without issue. But the newly created Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement remains in limbo, and the potential for complications persist every day the board isn’t operating.

The General Assembly and Gov. Roy Cooper are embroiled in a legal fight, which began with the passage of Session Law 2017-6 in April, otherwise known as Senate Bill 68. The governor has long argued the merger of the election board and ethics commission into one bipartisan board is unconstitutional, but the General Assembly contend it’s within its power to merge the boards.

The law requires Cooper to appoint all eight members of the election board — four Republicans and four Democrats — but the governor has refused while the case is pending. The issue is expected to go before the N.C. Supreme Court.

Despite the continuing legal fight, the election board staff conducts day-to-day business.

“By statute, in single-county contests, the results are certified by the county boards of elections,” said Patrick Gannon, spokesman for the election board. “In multi-county contests, the State Board office has conducted all of its usual post-election audits and plans to issue letters to winning candidates in those contests.”

Certain functions are reserved for the board.

“One issue we are dealing with presently is the fact that there is no board to hear appeals of county board decisions on election protests,” Gannon said.

Without a board in place, election protesters wishing to appeal county board decisions must take their complaints to the Wake County Superior Court.

Another legal battle — this one involving the legislative redistricting — may affect upcoming state and local elections. The court case may continue past the February 2018 filing date for candidates, potentially delaying or disrupting the primary election.

“This agency, as it has up to this point, will continue to keep the courts and legislators aware of the time lines necessary to ensure elections are conducted lawfully and fairly,” Gannon explained. “The court is aware of the 2018 filing deadlines.”

Source: https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/election-protests-could-cause-problems-without-an-election-board/

Audit finds excessive use of state vehicles by DMV workers

Carolina Journal – A state Division of Motor Vehicles inspector violated agency policy by improperly collecting pay for a 3 ½-hour daily commute, costing the state $85,000. He attributed his misdeeds to working for “a paramilitary organization,” according to an investigative report released Tuesday by State Auditor Beth Wood.

Auditors called on the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General to perform a review of all assigned state vehicles to identify other potential commuting violations.

Responding to the audit, the state Department of Administration said its motor fleet management staff is installing GPS tracking systems in state-owned vehicles to increase monitoring. The computerized telecommunications devices should be in all vehicles by the end of the fiscal year.

The tracking devices are expected to eliminate unauthorized vehicle use, track fuel and miles driven, improve driver safety and liability concerns, decrease maintenance costs, help prevent vehicle theft, and increase accountability.

The Office of State Controller amended its policies in response to that situation, and the case of another DMV employee who received $5,616 in improper personal benefits from private use of a state car. The policy revision is to ensure management and supervisors know what daily activities an employee performs before approving their work time.

According to the audit, Tim McLawhorn of Washington, a DMV inspector in the License and Theft Bureau, was assigned to a duty station in Greenville.

But he drove to Raleigh daily, totaling 91,000 miles from January 2014 through December 2016, to work on special projects for the former DOT commissioner and deputy commissioner, neither of whom was named in the report. Kelly Thomas was commissioner during that time. Randy Dishong was deputy commissioner.

That commute violated a policy requiring employees assigned a state vehicle to live within 50 miles of the county line of their work station. McLawhorn was paid for commute time from Beaufort County to Raleigh. Combined with wear and tear on the vehicle, costs totaled $85,000, the audit said.

“When somebody tells you to do something, you just go do it. It’s a paramilitary organization, you don’t question people,” McLawhorn told auditors when asked about the infraction.

When his supervisor was asked why he approved the improper work time, he told auditors “you don’t really ask too many questions” when an employee is assigned to the commissioner’s office.

In the other case, Stacy Wooten of Winston-Salem, a DMV Central Regional Zone chief, used a state vehicle to commute from her home to the Winston-Salem office from January 2014 through January 2017. That violated state policy requiring employees to reimburse the state for personal use mileage through payroll deduction. Auditors called for Wooten to repay those costs.

In response, DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup said “it appears inequitable to require reimbursement after such a long period of time,” but the money either would be repaid or the employee’s W-2 statement amended to reflect the additional taxable income.

DMV issued a statement Tuesday acknowledging the “thorough audit of vehicle usage in the previous administration. As a result of this audit, we are working to strengthen our policies and procedures to ensure this does not happen again.”

Buncombe County Republican Men’s Club Meeting, 12/9

I am happy to announce that Mr. Brad Overcash will be the guest speaker for our December monthly breakfast meeting at 9:00 a.m. on December 9 at Ryan’s Restaurant 1000 Brevard Road in Asheville. He is a candidate to be the Chairman of the District 10 Republicans and we are glad he was able to fit a visit to Asheville into his undoubted busy schedule. We hope that you and your invited guests will be able to join us for our last meeting of the year.

Bill Gainer
BCRMC President

Failed megaport site still vacant and is losing value

Carolina Journal – N.C. Ports Authority bought land in 2006 and after megaport project collapsed still has no plans to use it

The 600-acre waterfront property in Southport set aside for a state-run “megaport” remains vacant and the N.C. State Ports Authority has no plans to develop or sell it. The property’s most recent tax appraisal also shows the land is worth half its original purchase price.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported in mid-November that the property, bought in 2006 by the Ports Authority for $30 million, was appraised at $15 million in 2013. The state also spent $10.2 million to develop the site before abandoning the megaport project.

In 2012, Carolina Journal noted the proposed megaport had three major problems: It is located adjacent to Progress Energy’s Brunswick Nuclear Plant; there is significant organized local opposition to the project; and a new port had little support in the General Assembly.

Caswell Beach resident Toby Bronstein, a former spokeswoman for Save the Cape, a group opposed to the megaport, still wonders why the authority is hanging on to the land. “The authority should let this property go. Sell it or develop it into a park. But I am not sure the authority has abandoned the dream of a megaport,” she told CJ this week.

The CJ story noted that in the early 1980s, Progress Energy Carolinas opposed a potential coal handling facility on the same site that had been proposed by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Companies.

For the site to work, Williams needed an agreement with Progress Energy, then known as Carolina Power & Light, to share the company’s rail line that wrapped around the nuclear plant. After a brief study, Progress officials decided not to cooperate, citing a significant safety concern: During an emergency at the plant, a long train on the rail line could block access to the site, delaying evacuation or containment efforts. Williams then abandoned interest in the site.

As the CJ story pointed out, freight trains servicing the proposed megaport typically would be a mile long, posing a similar safety concern for Progress.

The land along the river adjacent to the nuclear plant was vacant until the early 1970s, when the pharmaceutical company Pfizer bought part of it to manufacture citric acid. The facility was built in 1973, but did not occupy all the land Pfizer purchased.

By the early 1980s, Pfizer offered to sell some of the land, including the site the Ports Authority eventually acquired. In 1990, Pfizer sold its citric acid plant to agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland while retaining ownership of several undeveloped adjacent properties.

In early 2005, after learning the 600-acre tract was for sale, Ports Authority CEO Tom Eagar took measures to acquire it even though he had no feasibility study for the site justifying the development of a new port.

The sale closed the following year, but the project went nowhere.

“There is no way this project will fail. There is no way we can allow this project to fail,” Eagar told CJ during a break at a Ports Authority board meeting in May 2010. He said the state-owned ports at Morehead City and Wilmington were not adequate to meet the economic development mission of the authority.

With no imminent plans to use the site, the state continues to hang onto vacant, untaxed waterfront property that has declined in value.

Reception and Dinner for NC House Representative Mike Clampitt

Mike Clampitt

You are Cordially Invited to Attend a  Reception and Dinner for NC House Representative Mike Clampitt

 

Saturday, January 6, 2018, 5:00 – 7:30pm

 

Quality Inn,  2807 Highway 74 EAST   Sylva, NC

 

 

 

Special Guest The Honorable Tim Moore, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives

 

Prime Rib Dinner, $45 per person  /  $80 couple

 

RVSP no later than Jan 2, 2018:

Patricia Chambers  (tgchambers13@yahoo.com)  OR

David Sawyer (dasawyer13@msn.com)

 

If you cannot attend, please send a Donation Check, Payable to “Mike4House” to:

Rep. Mike Clampitt   POB 386    Bryson City, NC  28713

 

Paid for by “Mike4House”

Not Printed or Mailed at Taxpayer Expense

Starting in January, 9 States Will Require Passport for Domestic Flights

– Starting January 22, 2018, travelers from nine states will need a passport for domestic flights.

Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington will require travelers to present a passport for traveling within the United States. A military ID or permanent resident card will also be accepted.

The change was made because of unmet federally mandated “security standards” in those states. Click here to read more.

New From Mattel: Hijab Barbie: Useful Idiots of Cultural Jihad

Gatestone Institute – Far from being a symbol of empowerment, the new Hijab Barbie is an example of a cultural and civilizational jihad — and the submission of a Western company, Mattel, to that jihad. Cultural jihad is the attempt to change and subvert Western culture from within, or more simply put: to Islamize it.

Rather than reminding girls of a world of opportunities, the hijab reminds them of all the things they cannot do in many Muslim countries. These include decisions about their own lives and bodies, such as not having their genitals mutilated, and generally not leading the free lives that women in the West — including the ones working at Mattel — probably take for granted

A new Barbie doll has been launched as part of Mattel’s “sheroes” line. It is a doll in full hijab modeled after American-Muslim Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American athlete to compete in the Olympics wearing a headscarf, which — apparently — Mattel felt was something for little girls worldwide to emulate. That and the possibility of selling millions of toys in the burgeoning Muslim market, of course.

CLICK Here to read more.

National apprenticeship week highlights company-based education options

Businesses beginning to fill gaps left when grads don’t have workforce skills.

Carolina Journal – RALEIGH — Blum Inc. had a problem.

In the 1990s, the international company’s North Carolina operation was running short of workers. Machinists. Technicians. Most of all, the company needed young employees who could expand the business and its bottom line.

So Blum opened an apprenticeship program.

“The idea was very simple,” Andreas Thurner, Blum’s apprenticeship manager, told Carolina Journal. “We wanted to do the same thing that we did in our Austrian [operation].”

Thurner went on to help found Apprenticeship 2000, a Charlotte-based organization that recruits apprentices for a number of businesses in the area.

In a country with a growing “skills gap,” Blum’s story is all too familiar. Universities are struggling to keep up with changing technologies, Thurner said. The lag means college graduates are unprepared for manufacturing and engineering jobs.

If companies can’t find skilled workers, Thurner said, there’s just one solution. Recruit and train them yourself.

click here to read more.

N.C. retains onerous occupational licensing burden, study says

Carolina Journal – North Carolina has some of the country’s broadest and most onerous licensing laws, resulting in a ranking of 17th-worst, a new report says.

The second edition of the Institute for Justice’s License to Work study looks at the occupational licensing laws of 102 lower-income jobs across the United States.

North Carolina ranks 41st for the most burdensome licensing laws. But because it licenses 67 of the 102 lower-income jobs surveyed, North Carolina jumps to the nation’s 17th most onerously licensed state.

North Carolina — on average — requires $199 in fees, 234 days of education and experience, and about one exam to enter into a number of job fields. Barbers, sign language interpreters, cosmetologists, opticians, and athletic trainers are just a few of the jobs requiring licenses.

A number of jobs regulated by occupational licensing aren’t even strongly connected to public safety, as IJ notes. Becoming a barber in North Carolina requires $270 in fees, 722 days for education and experience, and three separate exams. On the other hand, EMTs require only 43 days — 166 hours of education and 24 hours of experience — and two exams to become licensed.

Click here to read more.