Raising Up A Standard




Caption reads: Mona Ramouni, who is blind, rides a bus to work with her guide horse in Lincoln Park, Mich. Growing up in Detroit, Ramouni could never get a dog because her devout Muslim family considered dogs unclean

Sharia law in America. The government will require businesses to admit mini-horses as guide animals, as an accommodation to the canine hatred under Islam.

This Muslim blind girl's parents denied her a guide dog throughout her childhood because it was "unclean." They preferred to see her struggle rather than get her a guide dog. What kind of people and warped values would do that to a blind child?

US Congressman Jason Chaffetz points out that the President of the Miniature Horse association explained that the mini-horses cannot replace guide dogs, and that they are unsuitable for this use. (hat tip Choi)

New Disability Regs Limit Slope of Mini Golf Holes, Require Businesses to Admit Mini Horses as Guide AnimalsCNS

(CNSNews.com) – [...]

Among the provisions in the "Revised ADA Standards for Accessible Design," which went into effect on March 15, is one requiring businesses to allow miniature horses on their premises as guide animals for the disabled. Another limits the height of slopes on miniature golf holes.

“The new standards, for the first time, include requirements for judicial facilities, detention and correctional facilities, and recreational facilities,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said during a conference in Baltimore on June 7.

“We expect the implementation of these accessibility standards to open up doors for full participation in both the responsibilities, such as jury duty, and the benefits, such as playing at city parks, of civic life for people with disabilities,” he said.

“Miniature horses were suggested by some commenters as viable alternatives to dogs for individuals with allergies, or for those whose religious beliefs preclude the use of dogs,” the rules state.  Also mentioned as a reason to include the animals is the longer life span of miniature horses – providing approximately 25 years of service as opposed to seven years for dogs.

“Some individuals with disabilities have traveled by train and have flown commercially with their miniature horses,” the Justice Department notes.

“Similar to dogs, miniature horses can be trained through behavioral reinforcement to be ‘housebroken,’” it adds.

However, “Ponies and full-size horses are not covered.”

A business owner can deny admission to a miniature horse that is not housebroken, whose handler does not have sufficient control of the animal, or if the horse’s presence compromises “legitimate safety requirements.”

The miniature horse addition has come under the scrutiny of at least one member of Congress, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who offered an amendment that passed the House, banning funding to implement the provision. Chaffetz penned an editorial last month in opposition to the rule entitled, “Horses in the Dining Room?

Horses in the dining room? by Jason Chaffetz Herald 

(Jason Chaffetz represents Utah's 3rd U.S. Congressional District.)

Should a restaurant be required to allow horses in the dining room? Incredulously, a recent Justice Department ruling now says yes. In response, last week I proposed an amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice appropriations bill that would repeal this ridiculous mandate. Having passed the House, the proposal now awaits the Senate's unlikely approval.

Despite the difficulty (some would say impossibility) of housebreaking a horse, the Obama Justice Department ruled that "service" horses -- miniature horses used to accompany people with disabilities -- are no different than guide dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, shops, restaurants, hotels and even airlines could be sued if they did not accommodate horses.

That regulation joins a long list of rules with which small businesses must comply. The New York Times recently reported on a particularly insidious scheme in which lawyers recruit disabled people, pay them a fee, and use them to file lawsuits against businesses that fail to comply with any one of hundreds of ADA rules. (Online ADAscam.notlong.com.) For small businesses, the cost of compliance with a law that designates 95 different standards for bathrooms alone is just the beginning. They must also pay attorneys' fees to the litigants in such cases, even though many businesses say they would have complied without a lawsuit.

Some 1.65 million lawsuits are filed each year over enforcement of federal regulations according to Berkeley law professor Sean Farhang, author of The Litigation State. Estimates by the Competitive Enterprise Institute suggest that regulation cost the economy $1.75 trillion in 2008. That's Trillion with a T. If you were to spend $1 million a day every day, it would take you nearly 3,000 years just to get to $1 trillion.

That's a massive drag on the US economy. With an average of nine new rules appearing in the Federal Register every day, small businesses with fewer resources struggle to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment. Some 65 percent of the nation's net new jobs are created by small businesses according to the Small Business Administration. Overregulation has direct affect on their ability to create jobs and compete in the marketplace.

In response, the House recently passed the REINS Act, intended to require Congress to hold an up-or-down vote on any regulation deemed to have an economic impact in excess of $100 million. But without approval from the Senate or the President, the bill has yet to become law. This law should be seen as a starting point. Congress must assert more authority in the rulemaking process. More importantly, we must recognize that one size does not fit all. What works in California may not be right for Utah. In many cases, regulatory authority can be returned to the states, where the leaders are closer and more accountable to the people who live with the consequences of their decisions.

While Congress is guilty of passing sweeping regulatory laws with broad and often undefined powers, another problem is the delegation of authority to executive branch agencies with virtually no accountability to the public. With the implementation of massive new regulatory regimes in healthcare and finance, federal bureaucrats are more empowered than ever to weigh down the economy with new rules.

Meanwhile, the federal workforce, many of whom are regulators, has increased. Since January 2009, the Obama Administration has added 144,700 new employees -- a net increase that excludes postal employees, uniform military and census workers. While the private sector has seen employment decrease 4.2 percent since January 2008, federal employment has jumped some 11.6% during that period. The expansion of government and the expansion of federal rules leads to the contraction of economic opportunity and freedom.

If we are serious about creating jobs and growing the economy, we have to reduce the regulatory burden on our most prolific job creators -- small businesses. Government cannot be all things to all people. We don't need a rule or regulation for everything that might possibly go wrong.

If a person wishes to bring a horse into an establishment, the request should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis -- not through a federal mandate. Ironically, even American Miniature Horse Association President Harry Elder does not condone the use of the animals as a replacement for guide dogs. "The American Miniature Horse can be readily trained to be lead or driven," he told Fox News, "but, in most cases, it would not make a suitable replacement for an animal such as a guide dog."

We have to give businesses regulatory certainty, give states more autonomy, and give federal regulators more direction from those who are actually accountable to the American people. The REINS Act is a great start. But it's not enough.

Jason Chaffetz represents Utah's 3rd U.S. Congressional District.



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