Yes…yes, of course we had everything to do with it! And so says JAB:
Dear Your Czarness:
Dang, you fellers in the Castle do work most swiftly! I don’t know if a time-traveling trick or a mind-control-ray was deployed, or if you just sent Mr. Puter to make ’em an offer they couldn’t refuse, but those meddling ninnies at the Dept. of Labor ran away crying like little girls!
The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.
[Translation: Run Away!]
Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.
What’s especially amusing about that last sentence is that the Farm Bureau, 4-H and Future Farmers of America have ongoing programs focused on farm safety. I should probably have explained this better in my original missive, but my niece, a.k.a. Miss Hell-Raising-Anarchist, spent months feeding and caring for that afore-mentioned prize hog, before it was taken to the county fair for its day of glory. All of those steps took place within the context of her high school FFA program.
Your Czarness rightly wondered where the outcry was from the “…our major political candidates.” If you were referring to Romney, I wouldn’t expect that he could correctly identify the business end of a bull any more that Obama. I mean, you don’t learn that stuff at Harvard Law, do you? You learn that on a…farm. I saw lots of Republican congressmen, as well as Senators Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tester (D-Montana) come out strongly against this, but what about other Democrats from farm states? Anybody?
You reckon the Dept. of Labor apparatchiks might should have consulted with “rural stakeholders” BEFOREHAND??? Then we “rural stakeholders” might, I say might, not develop the strong urge to hoist heads on stakes. Lucky for us hicks that this here is an election year, and that Axelrod & Co. can crack heads within the Democratic ranks.
I suspect that those who visit the Castle and who were not priviledged to grow up on farms might wonder what the big fuss was about. After all, who would want a 15-year-old maimed by farm equipment or gored by a bull???
But if you live on a farm, you must learn from a very early age that, in fact, farm equipment and some farm animals are dangerous. You can get hurt. So you cannot “play” around grain-augers, walk up behind tractors, etc. My father didn’t plop me on a tractor when I was 13 and say “drive.” It was a years-long training process.
The other thing that I reflect on is how ingrained FFA, 4-H and the Farm Bureau are in rural lives, although they seem to be foreign to our betters in the higher reaches of government. My mother first came to my father’s attention at a 4-H cow show. His steer kicked her, and there she was in the show-ring, trying not to cry. My brother and sister both raised Hampshire hogs for their FFA projects, and used the very same sign that our late uncle hand-painted years before any of us were born.
When the Labor Dept. issues regulations that would prohibit kids from carrying on these traditions, they show just how completely out of touch they really are.
With Gratitude from the Double-wide, JAB
Glad we made you happy. All the same, we might just stay out of your frying pan-throwing range for a couple of days.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.