And why the fuck should he?

Confederate Flag Vest-Wearing Ohio Police Chief Won’t Apologize

An Ohio police chief isn’t really addressing controversy that has unfolded since he was seen in photos wearing a Confederate Flag vest while vacationing in South Dakota, WKYC reports.

Port Clinton police Chief Robert Hickman said that he doesn’t “look at the Confederate flag as a racist symbol,” with some residents defending him, saying he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body.

“I think he was just wearing a shirt,” Port Clinton resident Bryan Meek told the news station. “Out having a good time one day, and that is basically it.”

“I have known Rob since before kindergarten, basically my whole life,” he added. “And I could tell you, that there is not a racist bone in his body.”

However, some aren’t very impressed. Sandusky NAACP president Jim Jackson told the Sandusky Register that the attire was inappropriate in light of the controversy surrounding the flag, particularly since the Charleston, S.C. shooting.

“There are likely very few Americans who don’t understand that symbol,” Jackson told the news site. “You can’t be ignorant because every individual in America understands what that flag means.”

“With all of the things that have transpired in the news recently you have to know what that flag represents,” Jackson continued.

Hickman’s vest has also inadvertently drawn attention to his wife, Roseann, who is running for city council, and was also seen in a photo sticking up her middle figure in a joking gesture.

Roseann Hickamn said “I will not discuss my personal Facebook page, which has a privacy setting for my friends only,” in response to the Register’s questions surrounding the controversial photo.

According to WKYC, the Hickmans eventually released a statement insisting, “our private life is not open for discussion.”

I feel better about my tax dollars now, how about you?

A Caltrans engineer was playing golf instead of working, according to a new report from the California State Auditor. This happened 55 times between August 2012 to March 2014 — for an estimated four and half hours each day.

“It is not acceptable, it is outrageous,” Caltrans Deputy Director of External Affairs Will Shuck said. “He retired and he’s frankly lucky that he retired.”

Shuck said the employee worked in District 11 in San Diego. He said a fellow employee reported the extracurricular golfing.

According to the report released Thursday, the engineer retired in July 2015 and worked for the district for at least 16 years. A note was made in the employee’s personnel file that he retired during an active investigation.

The report also said a supervisor approved the employee’s time sheets for 19 months without knowing the hours he actually worked. During March of 2014, there was also confusion after the employee was transferred to a different division over who was supervising him for a month.

The report states: “Because neither Supervisor A nor Supervisor B believed that Employee 1 was under his or her respective supervision, neither could verify the accuracy of the weekly time sheets that the engineer submitted for this onemonth period.”

“Part of the reason that went missing is that he wasn’t filing a daily, a daily activity report, which now is required in a way that it wasn’t at the time,” Shuck said.

State Senator John Moorlach said this instance highlights a need for change.

“We’ve got a department that’s inefficient. We’re paying the fourth highest gas tax in the nation and we have the worst roads in the nation,” Moorlach said.

He said a few things could be done.

“Maybe we could have a new department head, maybe we shouldn’t have public employee unions running the place, maybe we should be outsourcing a lot more work so that when you have a cycle that is the down cycle that you don’t have to layoff employees you, you terminate contracts with outside contractors,” Moorlach said. “There’s a lot that could be done, but we can’t just coddle and hold onto employees that are union members just for the sake of protecting them. They don’t work to serve themselves, they work to serve the taxpayers and so we’ve got to change the mindset.”

Caltrans insists they are making sure an incident like this won’t happened again.

“Nobody is more indignant than we are,” Shuck said. “This is not ok; it’s not acceptable; we’re not going to put up with it.”

The report said the main supervisor involved planned to retire in August 2015 with a similar note in his personnel file as the engineer, stating he retired during an active investigation.

Caltrans said in the report it is implementing mandatory weekly submissions of daily activity reports.

Every time we pay for a gallon of gas we are paying for someone in Caltrans to go golf on the job? Somebody give me a rebate on gas please…….

And we have a state senator posturing for the media but will anything actually be done.

The Labor Ruling McDonald’s Has Been Dreading

McDonald’s, Burger King and every other company that relies on a franchise business model just suffered the legal setback they’ve been fearing for years.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Thursday that Browning Ferris Industries, a waste management company, qualifies as a “joint employer” alongside one of its subcontractors. The decision effectively loosens the standards for who can be considered a worker’s boss under labor law, and its impact will be felt in any industry that relies on franchising or outsourcing work. McDonald’s, for instance, could now find itself forced to sit at the bargaining table with workers employed by a franchisee managing one of its restaurants.

That’s a big deal. In the case of McDonald’s, roughly 90 percent of its locations are actually run by franchisees, who are typically considered the workers’ employers. One of the main reasons companies choose to franchise or to outsource work to staffing agencies is to shift workplace responsibilities onto someone else. But if a fast-food brand or a hotel chain can be deemed a “joint employer” along with the smaller company, it can be dragged into labor disputes and negotiations that it conveniently wouldn’t have to worry about otherwise. In theory, such a precedent could even make it easier for workers to unionize as employees under the larger parent company.

The Democratic-majority board, whose members were appointed by President Barack Obama, ruled 3-2 along partisan lines, with the two Republicans dissenting.

Labor unions and worker advocacy groups have been hoping for just such a decision. In their view, since companies like McDonald’s influence the working conditions in their franchised stores, they should be legally accountable to the workers who wear their logos, even if it’s a franchisee that’s technically signing the paychecks. Bringing companies at the top of the contracting chain to the table will help restore corporate responsibility in a “fissured” economy, advocates say.

The franchise lobby, meanwhile, has been warning for months that a ruling like this one would doom the business model. Franchisers argue that naming parent companies as joint employers would force them to take more control from their franchisees to contend with new liabilities. The lobby has worked hard to paint the “joint employer” standard as something that will hurt small business owners, not fast-food giants and other name brands.

The Browning Ferris case grew out of an organizing effort by the Teamsters. The union sought to have the waste management company named as a joint employer for workers employed by the staffing firm Leadpoint Business Services, a subcontractor for Browning Ferris. If Browning Ferris were deemed a joint employer, it would have to join Leadpoint in bargaining with the Teamsters. Such a determination could also make it easier for the Teamsters to organize workers at other staffing agencies that do work for Browning Ferris.

A regional director for the NLRB ruled that Browning Ferris did not exert enough control over Leadpoint workers to be considered a joint employer under current standards, but the Teamsters appealed that ruling to the federal board. Thursday’s ruling will change those standards for future cases.

The decision will no doubt agitate some powerful business lobbies and Republicans on Capitol Hill. The ruling will likely spur congressional Republicans to renew their calls to defund an independent agency they view as having been too friendly to labor unions in the Obama era.

McDonald’s and other franchisers have been bracing for a ruling like this for years. The board’s general counsel, who functions as a kind of prosecutor, has already named McDonald’s as a joint employer alongside some of its franchisees in several cases involving alleged unfair labor practices. Many observers took that move as a sign that the board would soon revise its standards for what makes a company a joint employer.

How a Gun in a Purse Became a Permanent Ball and Chain

At 27, Adele Langkil, mother of a 4-year-old son in Virginia, got her first extended break from her jobs as a single parent and waitress when her parents took the boy for a weekend. She spent a few days in New York.

Refreshed, returning home to Virginia Beach, she checked her bag at La Guardia Airport. It was 1985 and airline screening was not as rigorous as it is today, but the authorities noted that there was a handgun in the luggage.

“I was working as a waitress at night,” Ms. Langkil recalled Thursday. “A couple of people followed the girls home. I got a little gun. You didn’t have to have a permit in Virginia if it wasn’t concealed.”

For carriage of the gun, she was delivered to Rikers Island and charged with attempted criminal possession of a weapon and eventually posted a bail bond of $10,000. Appearing in court in Queens, she was told by a judge, she said, “‘This ain’t Texas; we don’t carry guns here.'”

A lawyer advised her that she faced one to five years in prison if she went to trial, but that the Queens district attorney’s office would allow her to plead guilty and get a year on probation. For a mother with a small child, it was hardly a choice.

Now 57 and a grandmother of two, Ms. Langkil to this day has been unable to outrun that arrest three decades ago.

She attended community college, was a member of the honors society and has worked her entire life. She is a notary public who is able to certify legal documents in the commonwealth of Virginia, and is permitted to carry firearms.

What she cannot do is fail to disclose her felony conviction. “I do clerical work and can’t advance, even when I’m qualified because of it,” she said.

Hired by one shipping firm for its accounting department, she was told a few days later that the job offer had been rescinded after a background check uncovered her conviction. The Norfolk, Va., school system was recently prepared to hire her for its collections department, she said. At a final-round interview, she explained to the superintendent that she had been convicted but had successfully petitioned for the restoration of her civil rights under Virginia law.

“He asked, ‘Did that mean you got a pardon?’ ” Ms. Langkil said. “I told him, ‘No sir, it did not.’ He said, ‘We can’t hire you.’ ”

A granddaughter was going on a field trip with her class and the school was looking for chaperones.

“The form asked if I was a convicted felon,” Ms. Langkil said. To keep from embarrassing her granddaughter, she pulled out.

Virginia has a program of “simple pardons” that grants official forgiveness for past crimes to people who have finished their terms and proven themselves in various ways to be worthy citizens. Two Virginia governors were sympathetic to her, but said they could not help: They were unable to pardon her for a crime committed in another state.

New York State offered her a “certificate of relief of disabilities,” which essentially restored her civil rights in New York State but says in bold type at the top, “This certificate shall NOT be deemed nor construed to be a pardon.”

She has applied to three governors of New York for a pardon. Mercy is a risky proposition for politicians at every level.

“Pardons are extraordinarily rare in New York State,” Donald D. Fries, director of the New York executive clemency bureau, wrote to Ms. Langkil in May, adding that they were considered “only when there is overwhelming and convincing proof of innocence.”

That’s not law; that is policy, and it conveniently shields governors from having to consider exercising their absolute authority to grant pardons, which erase a conviction, or clemency, which can lessen punishment.

For decades, prison and criminal convictions were national drugs that, it is now widely accepted, have been grotesquely overused. A number of federal judges are trying to untangle the knots that bind people for years after they got in trouble.

In 1985, when Ms. Langkil was convicted, 32,000 other people were arrested in Queens. Over the next 30 years, at least 1.1 million people were arrested just in that one borough of the city.

For a governor to fix one person’s needless problem by granting Ms. Langkil a pardon might, of course, mean that millions of others in the state could raise equally worthy claims. To ignore her and the others, though, is to let the dead hand of history continue to warp the daily lives of decent people.