My Government, My Election System, and My Kitchen

 

Charles C.W. Cooke, writing in today’s National Review about the Biden Administration’s plan to ban gas stoves, quoted the apparatchik in charge of the relevant agency as making the following, remarkably stupid, statement:

Justifying the administration’s proposed move, CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. explained that “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” What, I wonder, would be excluded from that definition?

Very good question, Charles.  A few years ago one of my elderly patients was parking her car at a grocery store and bonked into something.  She said she was barely moving, but her airbag deployed, breaking her arm.  So airbags are dangerous, right?  Well, yes they are, but they can also save your life.  But since they “can’t be made safe” we should ban them, right, Comrade Trumka Jr?

Richard Trumka Jr. was appointed Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission by President Biden.  You might think that Mr. Trumka Jr. might be uncomfortable with tyrannical power structures, controlling people through the threat of force.  You would be mistaken.  His father, Richard Trumka Sr., was the president of The United Mine Workers, and later he was president of the AFL-CIO.  So it runs in the family, I guess.

Which means that a Democrat president owed a favor to a union thug who helped him get elected, so now I have to change how I cook supper.

Our government is simply out of control.

Just imagine what our founders would think of this.  Heck, imagine what FDR would think of this.  This is bonkers.

Our government is so insane that it’s hard to envision what it was before, or how we got here.

This is absolutely bonkers.

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  1. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    One more detail:

    Biden apparently really owed Mr. Trumka Sr. a favor.  Not only did he give his son a plush job.  Mr. Biden also awarded him – president of the AFL-CIO – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Dr. Bastiat: Richard Trumka Jr. was appointed Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission by President Biden.  You might think that Mr. Trumka Jr. might be uncomfortable with tyrannical power structures, controlling people through the threat of force.  You would me mistaken.  His father, Richard Trumka Sr., was the president of The United Mine Workers, and later he was president of the AFL-CIO.  So it runs in the family, I guess.

    I thought that name sounded familiar. Can we find a more obvious case of Washington’s nepotism?

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    One more detail:

    Biden apparently really owed Mr. Trumpka Sr. a favor. Not only did he give his son a plush job. Mr. Biden also awarded him – president of the AFL-CIO – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    I understand some of the vote-fraudsters and cryin’ cops got medals, too.

     

    • #3
  4. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Trumka Sr. is a dead-ringer for Stalin.

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Trumka Sr. is a dead-ringer for Stalin.

    He looks like him, too… 

    • #5
  6. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Coolidge
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    Dr. Bastiat: A few years ago one of my elderly patients was parking her car at a grocery store and bonked into something.  She said she was barely moving, but her airbag deployed, breaking her arm.  So airbags are dangerous, right?  Well, yes they are, but they can also save your life.

    Cars.  Cars are dangerous.  That’s the point.

    Of course, Jack Williamson predicted this a long time ago.

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I agree with your conclusion, Doc, that a ban on gas stoves is a bad idea, but I disagree with your reasoning.

    Part of the problem may be a poor justification presented by the short quote from Trumka cited by Cooke.  The short portion of Cooke’s article that I could read due to the paywall — just the first paragraph or two — did not include the quoted portion, and was a pretty weak argument under existing Commerce Clause jurisprudence.  (Though that jurisprudence is subject to question, but doing so would undermine a great many federal laws and would, I expect, lead to the prompt adoption of a broader version of the Commerce Clause by Constitutional amendment.)

    Back to the main point, though.  Trumka is quoted as saying: “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”  That’s a bit unsophisticated, but is a pretty good point.  To put it better, one might say that “products that can’t be made reasonably safe can be banned.”

    This has long been the law in our country, and I think that it is very reasonable.

    The “reasonably” part of the current rule is important, because it implies a cost-benefit analysis.  I can’t think of any product that is completely safe.  Even water can drown you.  However, some products are unreasonably dangerous and can, and have, been banned.  Things like 3-wheel ATVs (I think), lawn darts, and many explosives.  (Though in the case of explosives, I think that they are still available but controlled.)

    Look at your own example about airbags.  Do you know what is banned?  Cars without airbags.  Because they are not reasonably safe, given the state of technology.

    So I don’t think that it’s a very good, or sophisticated, argument to simply say that trying to ban gas stoves is “tyrannical” and to make references to the Soviet Union.

    Gas stoves do present some danger, but I think that it’s a reasonable danger.  They’ve been widely used for decades, have benefits over electric and other options, and the risk is fairly small.  

    I do have a suspicion that the proposed ban has more to do with climate alarmism than with safety.

    The other thing that I just don’t know is the extent of the supposedly proposed ban which, based on Cooke’s phrasing — “the Biden administration’s reported desire to institute a nationwide ban on gas stoves” — doesn’t even appear to have been proposed in writing yet.  What if it is just a phase-in, prohibiting the sale of new gas stoves, which is how such changes are almost always implemented?  Then it won’t affect your kitchen.

    I still think that it’s a stupid idea, and agree with you about that.

     

    • #7
  8. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    From Influence Watch, Richard Trumka Senior:

    After completing law school, Trumka went to work as a staff attorney for the coal miners’ union, the United Mine Workers of America. By 1982, Trumka had been elected president of the union, a position he would hold until 1995.

    In 1989, Trumka led a strike against Pittston Coal Company following a dispute over health care and pension benefits. The strike led to substantial civil disobedience, with allegations of substantial violence and intimidation. Strikers and associated outlaw “wildcat strikers” allegedly spread bent-nail devices on roads. Union members were charged with throwing rocks at non-striking employees and company vehicles. A Pittston coal truck driver was wounded by fire from a shotgun.

    In 1993, Trumka ordered 17,000 workers to walk off jobs with Peabody Coal, reportedly telling strikers to “kick the [REDACTED]” out of employers and workers who resisted the union. Strikers reportedly vandalized homes, shot at a mine office, and cut power to another mine, temporarily trapping 93 miners underground.

    During the wave of violence, a nonunion heavy equipment operator named Eddie York was shot in the back and killed as he attempted to drive past strikers. Those who tried to help York were pelted with rocks. Instead of denouncing the horrific incident, Trumka declared, “I’m saying if you strike a match and put your finger in, common sense tells you you’re going to burn your finger.” York’s widow sued the union for $27 million, naming Trumka as one of the co-defendants. The case was settled out of court in 1997.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    To be even more clear, he said CAN be banned, not SHOULD be banned.

    But they’re still idiots.  Him, and Biden.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    The argument in Cooke’s opening paragraph, by the way, is just ludicrous.  The title of his article is “The Only Proper Response To A National Gas Stove Ban,” with this explanation:

    It falls so far outside the federal government’s purview that it doesn’t even merit a counterargument.

    This is shocking ignorance from a major commentator on Constitutional issues.  I realize that Cooke is a libertarian/conservatarian ideologue, but he should know better than this.  His statement is either knowing falsehood, or a demonstration of incompetence.

    The standard Commerce Clause jurisprudential rule authorizes everything from the Civil Rights laws to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the FDA’s regulation of prescription drugs to the EPA’s regulation of pollution to agricultural regulations, and much more.  This jurisprudence has been in place since the 1930s.

    It was approved by every single Justice on SCOTUS — including Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas — in the 1995 case US v. Lopez.  I should know, as I wrote my Law Review Note on this one.

    So back to Cooke.  Cooke thinks that the argument that carried the day with every single SCOTUS justice in Lopez — and in every other Commerce Clause case that I’ve seen since around 1940 — is so weak that it “doesn’t even merit a counterargument.”

    Again, that’s either a lie, or incompetence.

    It would be perfectly fine for Cooke to present a reasoned argument against existing Commerce Clause jurisprudence.  He doesn’t.  He doesn’t even seem to understand the argument of the other side.

    Maybe if he were a lawyer, he’d know that he couldn’t get away with such malpractice.

    I must add a caveat.  The article is behind a paywall, so I’m basing this opinion on the title and introductory sentence.  It is possible that these are just misleading clickbait, and that the body of Cooke’s article does a better job of articulating his argument in a more sophisticated way.

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):
    Can we find a more obvious case of Washington’s nepotism?

    If we look, yes.

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Trumka Sr. is a dead-ringer for Stalin.

    Well, they are both dead.

    • #12
  13. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Look, there comes a time when you have to when you have to acknowledge that there are some people out there whose lives are so empty the only pleasure, they have left is interfering in the lives of others.

    Those people are attracted to government positions.

    There are times when displaying the impudent digit is a reasonable response to those who wish to determine what you should eat, and how it is cooked.

    • #13
  14. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The other thing that I just don’t know is the extent of the supposedly proposed ban which, based on Cooke’s phrasing — “the Biden administration’s reported desire to institute a nationwide ban on gas stoves” — doesn’t even appear to have been proposed in writing yet.  What if it is just a phase-in, prohibiting the sale of new gas stoves, which is how such changes are almost always implemented?  Then it won’t affect your kitchen.

    Here are a couple of quotes from a CNN article:

    The CPSC has been considering action on gas stoves for months. Trumka recommended in October that the CPSC seek public comment on the hazards associated with gas stoves. The pollutants have been linked to asthma and worsening respiratory conditions.

    And:

    “Agency staff plans to start gathering data and perspectives from the public on potential hazards associated with gas stoves, and proposed solutions to those hazards later this year,” the commission said in a statement. “Commission staff also continues to work with voluntary standards organizations to examine gas stove emissions and address potential hazards.”

     

    • #14
  15. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    The commies are using asthma and climate change as a pretense to deindustrialize America.  They are evil.

    • #15
  16. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    You can pry my gas stove away from my cold dead clicker.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    If anyone has a gas stove without a vent, the solution is to install a vent, not ban the stove.

    • #17
  18. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Look at your own example about airbags.  Do you know what is banned?  Cars without airbags.  Because they are not reasonably safe, given the state of technology.

    I agree with you that that short quote is perfunctory.

    But cars without airbags have not been banned.  Driving, buying, and selling cars without airbags has not been banned, or even with airbags that are not functioning.  Even manufacturing cars without airbags has not been banned.  If any cars have been banned, it is the commercial manufacture of new civilian cars intended for driving primarily on public roads that has been banned.

    Banning the manufacture or importation of gas stoves may be what they mean.  But outlawing existing stoves, I don’t see that happening.  The easier answer is to stop the delivery of natural gas to homes.  Assuming that home furnaces present the same problem, they would have to be done away with as well.

    And I also would assume that home bulk delivery of liquid propane would have to be stopped as well.

    But if the government’s rationale is the real reason, and like you I don’t think it is, commercial kitchens would be allowed to keep gas stoves.

    It’s a funny thing.  I once heard a female chef give an opinion on why most of the world’s chefs are men.  She said, it involves sharp knives, fire and raw meat.  What’s there for a man not to like?

    It’s interesting that the UK did (or tried to) outlaw pointed knives, the US is set to outlaw cooking with fire, and the Davos set is already working to stop people from buying raw meat.

    I don’t think this confluence has anything to do with saving the planet or protecting society, but taking away civilized man’s greatest hobby — cutting, grilling, serving and eating delicious meats.

    • #18
  19. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I agree with your conclusion, Doc, that a ban on gas stoves is a bad idea, but I disagree with your reasoning.

    Part of the problem may be a poor justification presented by the short quote from Trumka cited by Cooke. The short portion of Cooke’s article that I could read due to the paywall — just the first paragraph or two — did not include the quoted portion, and was a pretty weak argument under existing Commerce Clause jurisprudence. (Though that jurisprudence is subject to question, but doing so would undermine a great many federal laws and would, I expect, lead to the prompt adoption of a broader version of the Commerce Clause by Constitutional amendment.)

    Back to the main point, though. Trumka is quoted as saying: “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” That’s a bit unsophisticated, but is a pretty good point. To put it better, one might say that “products that can’t be made reasonably safe can be banned.”

    This has long been the law in our country, and I think that it is very reasonable.

    The “reasonably” part of the current rule is important, because it implies a cost-benefit analysis. I can’t think of any product that is completely safe. Even water can drown you. However, some products are unreasonably dangerous and can, and have, been banned. Things like 3-wheel ATVs (I think), lawn darts, and many explosives. (Though in the case of explosives, I think that they are still available but controlled.)

    Look at your own example about airbags. Do you know what is banned? Cars without airbags. Because they are not reasonably safe, given the state of technology.

    So I don’t think that it’s a very good, or sophisticated, argument to simply say that trying to ban gas stoves is “tyrannical” and to make references to the Soviet Union.

    Gas stoves do present some danger, but I think that it’s a reasonable danger. They’ve been widely used for decades, have benefits over electric and other options, and the risk is fairly small.

    I do have a suspicion that the proposed ban has more to do with climate alarmism than with safety.

    The other thing that I just don’t know is the extent of the supposedly proposed ban which, based on Cooke’s phrasing — “the Biden administration’s reported desire to institute a nationwide ban on gas stoves” — doesn’t even appear to have been proposed in writing yet. What if it is just a phase-in, prohibiting the sale of new gas stoves, which is how such changes are almost always implemented? Then it won’t affect your kitchen.

    I still think that it’s a stupid idea, and agree with you about that.

     

    This might be a stalking horse for guns. If you can’t make them safe, then . . .

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I thought Biden had a mortal lock on being the dumbest individual in his administration.

    • #20
  21. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Percival (View Comment):

    I thought Biden had a mortal lock on being the dumbest individual in his administration.

    Biden might even be average. 

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I thought Biden had a mortal lock on being the dumbest individual in his administration.

    Biden might even be average.

    Didn’t we already know that Kamala is dumber than Joe?

    • #22
  23. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I agree with your conclusion, Doc, that a ban on gas stoves is a bad idea, but I disagree with your reasoning.

    Part of the problem may be a poor justification presented by the short quote from Trumka cited by Cooke. The short portion of Cooke’s article that I could read due to the paywall — just the first paragraph or two — did not include the quoted portion, and was a pretty weak argument under existing Commerce Clause jurisprudence. (Though that jurisprudence is subject to question, but doing so would undermine a great many federal laws and would, I expect, lead to the prompt adoption of a broader version of the Commerce Clause by Constitutional amendment.)

    Back to the main point, though. Trumka is quoted as saying: “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” That’s a bit unsophisticated, but is a pretty good point. To put it better, one might say that “products that can’t be made reasonably safe can be banned.”

    This has long been the law in our country, and I think that it is very reasonable.

    The “reasonably” part of the current rule is important, because it implies a cost-benefit analysis. I can’t think of any product that is completely safe. Even water can drown you. However, some products are unreasonably dangerous and can, and have, been banned. Things like 3-wheel ATVs (I think), lawn darts, and many explosives. (Though in the case of explosives, I think that they are still available but controlled.)

    Look at your own example about airbags. Do you know what is banned? Cars without airbags. Because they are not reasonably safe, given the state of technology.

    So I don’t think that it’s a very good, or sophisticated, argument to simply say that trying to ban gas stoves is “tyrannical” and to make references to the Soviet Union.

    Gas stoves do present some danger, but I think that it’s a reasonable danger. They’ve been widely used for decades, have benefits over electric and other options, and the risk is fairly small.

    I do have a suspicion that the proposed ban has more to do with climate alarmism than with safety.

    The other thing that I just don’t know is the extent of the supposedly proposed ban which, based on Cooke’s phrasing — “the Biden administration’s reported desire to institute a nationwide ban on gas stoves” — doesn’t even appear to have been proposed in writing yet. What if it is just a phase-in, prohibiting the sale of new gas stoves, which is how such changes are almost always implemented? Then it won’t affect your kitchen.

    I still think that it’s a stupid idea, and agree with you about that.

    This might be a stalking horse for guns. If you can’t make them safe, then . . .

    No worries.  Guns have a built in safety.

    • #23
  24. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Cooks of the world unite! How dare the government tell us what fuel we cannot cook with in our own kitchens, in order to aid in their mistaken attempts to save the world from global warming. Believe it or not to you cannot get a permit to build a new house within the city limits of Seattle today if it has gas in it. Not long ago you couldn’t get a permit unless it had gas. We must get the government out of our personal lives or, am I just dreaming a silly dream?

    • #24
  25. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Trumka Sr. is a dead-ringer for Stalin.

    And if you had to imagine what the archetypical image of what a union thug looked like, you’d imagine what his dad looked like. 

    • #25
  26. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    The argument in Cooke’s opening paragraph, by the way, is just ludicrous. The title of his article is “The Only Proper Response To A National Gas Stove Ban,” with this explanation:

    It falls so far outside the federal government’s purview that it doesn’t even merit a counterargument.

    This is shocking ignorance from a major commentator on Constitutional issues. I realize that Cooke is a libertarian/conservatarian ideologue, but he should know better than this. His statement is either knowing falsehood, or a demonstration of incompetence.

    The standard Commerce Clause jurisprudential rule authorizes everything from the Civil Rights laws to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the FDA’s regulation of prescription drugs to the EPA’s regulation of pollution to agricultural regulations, and much more. This jurisprudence has been in place since the 1930s.

    It was approved by every single Justice on SCOTUS — including Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas — in the 1995 case US v. Lopez. I should know, as I wrote my Law Review Note on this one.

    So back to Cooke. Cooke thinks that the argument that carried the day with every single SCOTUS justice in Lopez — and in every other Commerce Clause case that I’ve seen since around 1940 — is so weak that it “doesn’t even merit a counterargument.”

    Again, that’s either a lie, or incompetence.

    It would be perfectly fine for Cooke to present a reasoned argument against existing Commerce Clause jurisprudence. He doesn’t. He doesn’t even seem to understand the argument of the other side.

    Maybe if he were a lawyer, he’d know that he couldn’t get away with such malpractice.

    I must add a caveat. The article is behind a paywall, so I’m basing this opinion on the title and introductory sentence. It is possible that these are just misleading clickbait, and that the body of Cooke’s article does a better job of articulating his argument in a more sophisticated way.

    Maybe he disagrees with the jurisprudence. Are you allowed to do that without being an incompetent liar?

    Because in reality, we all know that the Constitution was never intended to give the federal government the power to tell us we can’t use fire to cook, don’t we?

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    Believe it or not to you cannot get a permit to build a new house within the city limits of Seattle today …

    Why would anyone with money to build a new house want to do it there?

    • #27
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Cooks of the world unite! How dare the government tell us what fuel we cannot cook with in our own kitchens, in order to aid in their mistaken attempts to save the world from global warming.

    Of course they’ll dare. And they’ll do it. And they’ll dare you to oppose them.

    • #28
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The Federal Government has no business doing this, any more than it had with lightbulbs.

    Apparently, for some, if it is legal is is OK. 

    That is morally, and ethically wrong. 

    I don’t care what the laws say, I don’t care what the Supreme Court has said. The Constitution most certainly was not written to give the Federal Government these level of powers. 

    They should not have them, even though they do.

    Right and Wrong transcend the courts. 

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The Federal Government has no business doing this, any more than it had with lightbulbs.

    Apparently, for some, if it is legal is is OK.

    That is morally, and ethically wrong.

    I don’t care what the laws say, I don’t care what the Supreme Court has said. The Constitution most certainly was not written to give the Federal Government these level of powers.

    They should not have them, even though they do.

    Right and Wrong transcend the courts.

    Don’t let Gary hear that!

    • #30
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