Oct 1, 2013

Breaking Bad: Republican Idealism Personified

Ayn Rand's Superman Heisenberg. Gus Fring came out of Ultra-Rightwing Chile. Uncle Jack and his Neo-Nazis. Even Gayle Bettiger was a devout libertarian. All the immoral characters in Breaking Bad were right of center, only Hank Schroeder was right of center personality and a good guy but was an agent of the government that the Republicans constantly bash; this week the Republicans have chosen to shut down the government in attempt to appear self destructive that alludes to the emergence of Heisenberg and Walt's first interaction with Tuco.

Tuco Salamanca: Oh yeah. I remember that little bitch. So you must be daddy. Let me get this straight. I steal your dope, I beat the piss out of your mule boy, and you bring me more meth? That's brilliant.
Walt: You got one part of that wrong. This is not meth.

[Government shutdown!]

Does the military contractors not get paid during the shutdown? Does private contractors like Booz, Allen, Hamilton who are responsible for blanket unconstitutional surveillance set their employees on furlough? Prosecutors (at least the ones that I'm friends with in US AG's office) have 2 weeks if emergency funds, then they will be furloughed. Air traffic controllers that caused the delays for our esteemed representatives and then their subsequent creating a loophole from the sequestration, will they get another loophole from the government shutdown to allow overtime?

The government shutdown should not be welcomed as it has been by the far-right; government could overreach but currently hasn't come close but instead has been kowtowed corporate interests while ignoring the people (or at least the people that can't contribute to Congressional campaigns).

Sep 6, 2013

Tribalism Trumps Truth

Turns out no matter what facts are presented to politically minded individuals, the decisions on what is a valid fact depends on who is delivering the fact rather than the what the fact is.


I would like to apologize to all of my conservative friends for getting frustrated with them while discussing public policy and current affairs. I couldn't get past their identifying with conservative ideology, just as they could not get past my identification with progressive/liberal ideology.


Sep 5, 2013

Patrick Gaspard: Complicit in systemic homophobia

Sent: Thu 9/5/2013 12:37 PM
To: 'patrickg@1199.org'; 'patrickg@dnc.org'; 'patrickg@democrats.org'; 'pgaspard@dnc.org'; 'pgaspard@democrats.org'; 'patrickg@whitehouse.gov'; 'pgaspard@whitehouse.gov'; 'patrick.gaspard@democrats.org'; 'patrick.gaspard@dnc.org'; 'patrick.gaspard@whitehouse.gov'

Mr. Gaspard,

You very likely do not remember me or the incidents that occurred around May and June of 2007 while I was employed by SEIU 1199's political department, but as the forwarded email below shows you were aware of it at the time. With your likely appointment to Ambassador to South Africa I hope that the spirit of reconciliation, that could bring even F.W. de Clerk to admit his responsibility and apologize for his part  of Apartheid, would enter your heart so that you too would be able to own up to your part in a vastly smaller infraction to human equality. There is as Ms. Platt said five years ago professional repercussions to challenging someone as influential as you, but if it is more advantageous to buttress the status quo and let malevolence go unchecked I do not wish to profit from such systemic evil.  

I want to refresh your memory, that on the June 29th before the meeting of all the organizers (essentially a closing ceremony) you called me to further explain that you had not done anything wrong, and that it would be illegal to fire any of the organizers (under what I could only assume was the presumption that the organizers that were released from their contracts to work for your department still had some collective bargaining agreement with SEIU not just their union shops); I had even given examples of organizers refusing to work, sleeping on the job, and taking SEIU rented van to drive into Manhattan to complain about not being authorized to drive the SEIU van any longer (the last example was not fully fleshed out at the time). In each instance you held to your belief that they couldn't be fired. I stated that New York State was an At-Will Work State, and employers could fire employees at will just as employees could leave the employer, even after the declarative statement you still held to the belief that it was still illegal to dismiss these employees. You, within the course of our discussion, mentioned that you had been called the n-word in the work environment. We hold different opinions on whether or not that would be just cause for termination-- I would have no qualms about sacking an individual for stating such racial epitaphs and you have no objections to continuing that bigot's employment.

Yesterday a federal jury awarded Brandi Johnson $280,000 for her supervisor using the n-word towards her in one incident that happened to be recorded. The consistent culture and use of homophobic phrases within the department that you were head of, is your responsibility. I bringing this up not for litigious reasons, but to ensure you know the labor laws in New York State are the opposite that you so emphatically assured me, and you carried out in policy within the SEIU's Political department.

Sean Finnerty

Due to not knowing which if any of the emails I'm sending to you will reach you, I am also going to post tread of emails on my own website and send a link to your twitter.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Finnerty
Sent: Fri 6/29/2007 9:56 AM
To: Patrick Gaspard; 'kymplatt@gmail.com'; Joshua Gold; Van Parish; Betel Manjura; Robert Constant; Debra Pucci; Laura Santucci
Subject: RE: Kym Platt

Other than the pluralization of the homophobic comment from yesterday's 4:00PM meeting everything that was in Ms. Platt's email was consistent with the truth. The omission of Mr. Gaspard's squashing any intolerant language in Ms. Platt's email does not take away from the essential message. The greater issue that I believe Ms. Platt was referring to is the culture of intolerance that exists within the union membership as well as Friends & Family campaign employees. In large part the hateful outbursts that occurred May 31st was the catalyst to the June 6th meeting that was attended by Mr. Parish, Ms. Manjura, and Mr. Gold. The May 31st outburst was also witnessed by former SEQ Area Coordinator Mr. Daniel May who had commented to me afterward that he was shocked at how angry and hateful they were.

On May 21st the community organizers were directed to get confirmations from pastors for a church blitz for Sunday June 3rd and after getting a confirmation with a specific church that they would write which of the community organizers would be attending which church on piece of butcher paper on the wall. On May 31st, 3 days till the church blitz, there were only 2 churches written on the wall. As a reaction to the utter lack of initiative on the part of the vast majority of community organizers was that Ms. Platt and myself gave them the direction that the activity they would blitz on Sunday was the Queens Gay Pride Parade/Festival. Due to Ms. Platt's and my justified assumption that the community organizers already held homophobic beliefs I took it upon myself to be the only lead to give the direction, with the intent that as a heterosexual it would soften the community organizer's homophobia. Their intolerant outburst and hateful language would have ended in an immediate termination in other organization that I have worked with in the past, but the culture that permeates throughout the union of lax or non-existent discipline creates the effect of absence of accountability on the part of the community organizers.

The pliant attitude towards discipline that is held by Ms. Manjura, Ms. Pucci, Mr. Parish, and Mr. Gold causes the continuation of a work environment that is complicit of intolerance and bigotry. Mr. Gold and Mr. Parish were both aware of the behavioral problems from the South East Queens team previous to the beginning of phase 2. Ms. Manjura became aware of the behavioral problem no later than the morning meeting on June 6th in the Political Action Department’s office, which resulted in her attendance of the South East Queens team meeting at 12:00 of the same day.

Within the same spirit as Mr. Gaspard’s comments that ‘there are community organizers, and then there are community organizers-in-name-only,’ it is my belief that a substantial minority of the Friend’s & Family campaign’s community organizers are wholly unemployable, and that a majority of the  community organizers are incapable of performing tasks beyond that of a canvasser. Under serious scrutiny and a thorough interview those that are unemployable would have never been hired.  Under Mr. Gaspard’s tenure as Political Director the union delegates that are delegates-in-name-only continue to hold their positions, it would be counter-intuitive for any direct supervisor or objective outside observer to come to the conclusion that if the head of the political department is frustrated with dead weight within the organization and cannot do anything about it there is little if anything that direct supervisors can do about ridding the same dead weight that exists beneath them. 

As Ms. Platt had noted in her email, the 4:00PM meeting was simply a venue for sub-par employees to pile-on complaints towards their supervisors. I also did not feel comfortable in the room, but due to the futile belief that my staying and taking hypocritical and unjustifiable attacks on my work performance would show my ability to be the bigger man would accomplish anything. The complaints and the reiteration of incidents heard yesterday, as stated in the meeting by me, was nearly a daily occurrence. Nothing was resolved yesterday in large part because of the systemic problem that the union’s culture is counter productive. If a line worker chooses not to work, they can simply distract themselves, coworkers and their supervisor with petty interpersonal problems and not held accountable for his/her choice not to work. It was never expressed throughout the 3 hour meeting that the leadership style of Ms. Platt, Mr. Constant or myself detrimentally effected their ability to accomplish their work duties.

Sean Finnerty
Friends & Family Campaign
Area Coordinator
(917) 612-9021

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Gaspard
Sent: Thu 6/28/2007 10:10 PM
To: 'kymplatt@gmail.com'; Joshua Gold; Van Parish; Betel Manjura; Sean Finnerty; Robert Constant; Debra Pucci; Laura Santucci
Subject: Re: Kym Platt

Kim, did Sean tell you my response to that derogatory language? I'm certain that he must have. I didn't tolerate a hint of homophobia in that meeting. I made it abundantly clear to all that we have zero tolerance for hate speech. And to be absolutely factual, this negative expression came from a single member of the team and others showed their disapproval when I chastised her. Sean would be doing you a disservice if he failed to communicate the incident in its full dimension.

This afternoon, I moved quickly in response to what I saw as a cowardly attack against you and Sean in the form of a petition. I clearly stated my displeasure with the organizers at the start of the meeting. I did not deprive you of the letter. You never gave me an opportunity to share it with you. You stormed out of the room after I asked every participant to be mindful of tone and language. You weren't robbed of the opportunity to defend yourself. You left when I asked you and all to refrain from cursing. That is a perfectly reasonable ask in a professional setting. I was disappointed when you indicated that you are unable to conduct a conversation without resorting to foul language. In your absence I spoke out vigorously on your behalf. Your storming out of the room was inappropriate and immature. Sean can attest to my defense of your leadership style and my promotion of your accomplishments. I hope that he will be honest enough to do so as a response to this email. Any repurcussions you experience as a result of your decision to exit today's conversation will be entirely unrelated to your performance in the field.

The details of the incidents in Southeast Queens that you allude to were not directed to my attention. I would never allow you to suffer such indignities in an 1199 space without addressing the offenders. Gary Hilliard and others who targeted you based on gender or sexual orientation will be properly addressed. Please accept my deepest apologies for any hatred directed at you by anyone on this organization's payroll.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kym Platt 
To: Joshua Gold; Patrick Gaspard; Van Parish; Betel Manjura; Sean Finnerty; Robert Constant; Debra Pucci
Sent: Thu Jun 28 21:37:27 2007
Subject: Kym Platt

This afternoon I was verbally abused and called a "dyke bitch" by community organizer Gary Hilliard, who called me this inches from my face in a threatening manner.  A few hours later, a meeting was convened as a forum for the community organizers to express their complaints against me and my co-Area Coordinator Sean Finnerty.  The impetus behind this meeting was a letter and petition calling for my removal from the project as the Area Coordinator.  I was never shown the letter or the petition, although both were sent to the entire leadership staff of The Healthcare Education Project, including George Gresham, the President of 1199.  This alone is character defamation.

I felt that from the moment that I walked into the room that it was nothing more than a venue for personal attacks rather than constructive criticism.  Still hurt and frightened from Gary Hilliard's offensive and bigoted comments, I chose to leave the meeting rather than further subject myself to the hostility and attacks of what felt like a homophobic lynch mob.  Especially, when I knew that I would be unable to defend myself properly, and had received no support from my supervisors.

It was later confirmed by my co-worker, Sean Finnerty, that several references were made by community organizers regarding my sexual orientation and gender expression, including being called "manly" by Yvonne Ming.  

Throughout this entire campaign I have worked in a charged and hostile environment in which there are documented cases of explosive behavior and near-violent incidents by several community organizers.  I have endured numerous personal verbal attacks and been made fun of because of my sexual orientation and gender expression without being allowed any professional leverage as a supervisor to counter any of it.  I had previously alerted Josh Gold and Van Parrish about the challenging conditions I was working under when community organizers Michael Harris and Anne-Marie Parris stated to me that they "hated gay people" and did not wish to attend the scheduled Gay Pride event in Queens.  Nothing was done about this.  I feel management has not defended me.  My complaints have not been dealt with and little support has been given to me to enforce my very basic human rights; rights supported by New York State Law.
I have worked extremely hard on The Health Care Education Project: Friends And Family Neighborhood Action Plan.  I strongly believe in the focus and goals of the project.  However staying for today's meeting to face more bigotry and anger was more than I felt I could do.  Now I fear professional repercussions because of the disempowering situation within which I was required to navigate.

Kym Platt

Aug 10, 2013

President's Justifications For Discontining The Constitution

Below is a quote from the paper the NSA released yesterday to outline the role and authority of the agency regarding the dragnet surveillance of Americans.

According to figures published by a major tech provider, the Internet carries 1,826 Petabytes of information per day. In its foreign intelligence mission, NSA touches about 1.6% of that. However, of the 1.6% of the data, only 0.025% is actually selected for review. The net effect is that NSA part in a million. Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court.
For the Obama administration to justify unconstitutional surveillance using the rational that it is microscopic in nature, goes in the face of the constitution itself as well as contradicts the administration previous statement that it wasn't occurring at all. On top of that The administration has refuted similar rational when put forward regulations such as Toxic Substances Control Act of 2009, which sought to regulate toxins that routinely showed up in fetuses and newborns that could not have been exposed to the toxins but from the bloodstream of their mothers-- only parts per billion within the bloodstream was beyond the pale, while parts per million of data (1,000 times larger) of unconstitutional searches should be acceptable to the American people?

Additional to the NSA paper explaining the extent of the surveillance, the Obama administration put out a 22 page unclassified 'white paper' in attempt to pacify citizens that have learned there government is spying on them, providing hokum justification that based upon the Patriot Act's Section 215's clear language that searches would need to a specific Foreign Intelligence investigation with a specific target-- not all denizens of the Internet and Americans that use phones within American borders. Glossing over those pertinent facts that, President presumes that this announcement will pacify the critics and that the reforms to the edges of the unconstitutional program is sufficient rather than uprooting and ending the illegal activities of the NSA. Senator Ron Wyden expectantly disagrees that the reforms go far enough to resolve his issues with the program. He goes as far as stating the following:
I have seen absolutely zero evidence that the bulk collection of Americans' phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act has provided any unique value to intelligence gathering or actually made Americans any safer, so I believe that these reforms should ensure that bulk collection is ended.
As there is no apparent end to bulk surveillance, and that the President's comments are to confirm to public the justifications of the mass surveillance, the President can no longer deny complicity in the unconstitutional activities that his administration is committing, leaving only one result: impeachment.

As someone that voted for Barack Obama in the New York State Democratic Primary, 2008 General Election and 2012 General Election, it is of great disappointment to me that he should now be removed from office.


Jul 30, 2013

Restore the Fourth meets with Rep Greg Meeks

Six Restore the Fourth organizers (myself included) met with Congressman Greg Meeks to discuss his 'Nay vote' on the Amash/Coyners Amendment that was to defund NSA's unconstitutional blanket surveillance of all Americans.

Jul 26, 2013

Amash Amendment: Spying On Americans Should Not Be Done With American Tax Dollars

Wednesday night by a 12 vote margin the Amash Amendment failed and nearly defunded domestic unconstitutional surveillance currently being done by the NSA. This thoroughly bi-partisan effort of 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats, had come so close to being successful despite leadership of both parties had pressured their rank and file members to oppose the amendment. If it is so essential for the security of the nation (though I do not hold the opinion that there is even an external existential threat to America) to disregard the fourth amendment then make the argument, and repeal the amendment. Until the fourth amendment is repealed, then any and all general searches without a warrant or "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" is unconstitutional. Under the Patriot Act's section 215 the activities of the NSA wholesale surveillance of the American public (or just the Americans with internet access and conducted telephonic communications) were illegal*; rather than stop this illegal action it is the bi-partisan defense of the criminal activity both within the Congressional leadership and the executive branch (the activity started before Barack Obama was inaugurated), that 'secrecy is needed but trust us it is all legal'. When someone shows themselves to be a liar, it is sage advice to believe that they are liars; when intelligence community keeps perjuring themselves in front of congressional hearings going back as far as the 1970's with the Pike and Church Hearings, then we the American people should take as a fact that clandestine services and those individuals speaking on their behalf are not to be trusted.

The President's statement refer the Amash amendment as a "...hastily [attempted effort] to dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools" as if the previous 5 years that he was unaware of what was being done in the American people's name is the reason that unconstitutional surveillance should continue. On January 21, 2009 when the President began his first term he may have not had the same reaction as the American public or their 205 members of the House that was shocked that the actions taken supposedly for the benefit of the American people were actually being done to the American people, but to claim that no action should be taken to reform the intelligence gathering of America's "enemies" after it turned out to be the American people themselves being "enemies" is ridiculous and sickening. What the President and the other defenders of constitutional debasement need to be reminded that their positions do not exist to hide decisions from the hoi poloi but instead to allow the American people make educated decisions when they mark their ballot as well as redress their government and participate in their own government in between elections.



*(b)(2) shall specify that the records concerned are sought for an authorized investigation conducted in accordance with subsection (a)(2) to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.


Jul 17, 2013

Virtual Tiger Trap of America, Great Firewall of China And Other Innovations in Repression

Totalitarian government clamp down on free flow of ideas and communication under the presumption that doing so will extinguish any subversiveness. That same hetero-ideology that is being attempted to be eradicated is what burnishes the open society with so much innovation and economic progress. So a Nazi or a Soviet regime is successful to instill fear throughout the populace that anyone could turn them into the authorities and they may disappear for saying a disparaging remark; in the fear-centric world of a totalitarian regime the economic innovation also comes to a screeching halt since what was acceptable economic activity yesterday is still acceptable today and no new business paradigms are ever attempted. People's Republic of China under Mao was certainly a totalitarian regime, But Deng Xiaoping was able to open up the country at least economically and provided pseudo-property rights to get GDP growth going. As the rise of the Internet made it essential for China to participate in the global economy, the CCP found it necessary to allow the Chinese people to have access to the internet for commerce but necessitated a solution to prevent political or anything non-economic from being communicated. Thus the invention of The Great Firewall of China that prevented domestic Internet communications of undesirable (at least by the CCP's judgement) ideas or speech that was not benefiting the state/status quo.

In many third world totalitarian regimes counter-intuitively there often were elections held; these elections never were intended to let the people's voice be heard instead they were to identify where or even who was the opposition. It typically was so effective that the people (to avoid being disappeared) voted unanimously for the tin-pot dictator, who then go to the world community to show that his people loved him.

The combination of both technological surveillance and use of misdirection is where the American innovation in political repression gets both genius and diabolical. Instead of blocking websites proactively and other known undesirable forms of communication the American intelligence community allows every American with an Internet connection to freely say anything they want to whomever they want, and nothing changes in their day-to-day life. All 300+ million Americans have their communications cataloged and archived, with some secret algorithm scanning to determine who may be a threat (threat to whom and what constitutes as a threat is evidently not up for discussion), so at some future date FBI agents on the order of the Department of  Homeland Security comes and arrests a citizen either at home or at work. Any attempt to ferret why the citizen was arrested will initially be informed "Sorry, but that is classified." A tenacious attempt to get information about a love one may very well result in the questioner also in custody. Let all of the citizens run around on the internet looking up subversive information about Ag-Gag rules, financial service industy's improprieties, and the like; they can be deemed terrorists after the fact and receive the "Bradley Manning" treatment stuck in a hole for years without ever being charged. Bonus points for constitutional flexibility since it is unlikely to have public attention and therefore never need to be taken out of the hole.

But the defenders of the status quo will respond to my dystopian perspective: "Sean you have it all wrong, America isn't like that-- we are the land of the free and home of the brave. We have a constitution that strictly forbids what you are describing." The constitution is no defense if there is no means to determine what the government is doing under the veil of secrecy. The U.S. government has already dispensed with the fourth amendment since it is very explicit: ."..no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Can not get less particular in describing who and what is to be searched than everybody and everything. Edward Snowden's whistle-blowing  has had a very telling response from those already in the know, no on has denied the veracity of Snowden's claims. So we know it is true that all of our internet communication and telephonic communication both content and metadata is being archived for the past 7-8 years and also going forward for the foreseeable future.

But I would have to also have evidence that our government has disregarded constitutional protections of due process, specifically that some authoritative federal judge being instrumental to being deprived of freedom or life. Except there is already evidence that has been done to American citizens all without any judicial review nor anything other than  committee of people individuals who gather for "terrorism Tuesday" within the White House. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder when questioned why American citizens abroad could be killed without even an indictment via drones responded:
“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security,” Holder said. “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”
The previous 225 years since the ratification of the constitution it has been interpreted that due process was judicial process-- but here we have amazing legal innovation to squeeze what is clearly not constitutional to be pseudo-constitutional but only in practice while ignoring our tradition and legal precedent. So what would prevent our government from implementing my dystopian foreshadowing? Is it left to each of the individuals that are directed to carry out unconstitutional orders? The individuals that question the orders constitutionality, are they assured they won't be targeted for obstructing justice or prosecution under the Espionage Act or no actual crime charged but held in custody indefinitely in some legal limbo like the 80+ detainees held in Gitmo and have been cleared for release for at least 5 years now? Thomas Drake released budget overruns of NSA surveillance programs that were not classified in 2006 and was not charged until 2010 for violating the World War I era Espionage Act. But Barack Obama when coming into office in 2009 said repeatedly would look forward and not back regarding the unconstitutional torture/enhanced interrogation program, but decided to look back when he perceived the State was being embarrassed.

Arbitrary execution of law is a vacuum of law, and we were such a fine upstanding country that once long ago abode by our own self-determined laws. Alas that was so antiquated, so old fashioned, so 20th century.

Jul 10, 2013

Libertarian Father & Son Heroes Seem to Have A Racism Problem

Whenever one says "I don't mean to be offensive, but..." or "No disrespect, but..." you should always be prepared to be offended or disrespected. Similar to Ron and Rand Paul that keep having to say that their supporters, their newsletters, their staffers, their political party, their policies, are not racist. It came out yesterday that Rand Paul's director of new media and co-author of his 2011 book The Tea Party Goes To Washington Jack Hunter had the alter ego and column with Charleston City Paper as the "Southern Avenger."
Image used on Jack Hunter's Southern Avenger website in the past.
Jack Hunter has previously described his alter ego as "super hero/ pro-wrestler persona, and entertained FM rock audiences with his antics and conservative political views until his departure from 96 Wave in 2007." Though he has stated today through his blog "In radio, sometimes you’re encouraged to be provocative and inflammatory. I’ve been guilty of both, and am embarrassed by some of the comments I made precisely because they do not represent me today. I was embarrassed by some of them even then." He continues to be an unapologetic defender of the "Old South" and former chairman of the Charleston Chapter of the League of the South, a self described Southern Nationalist organization that seeks to establish a Southern Republic. Acknowledging that things he said while a radio personality was offensive and did not speak as to his beliefs as a political operative ignores all the stuff he has stated as a "serious" columnist and political operative.

Such embarrassing statements as: 


The second quote especially embarrassing to Mr. Hunter's employer Senator Rand Paul, since the Senator back in April incredulously asked traditional black college Howard University students "How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race?” The question was asked with his new media director, and former chairman of the League of the South, present and staffing him at the Howard University event. Rand Paul should not be too surprised since he himself has defended the right of businesses to discriminate and that Title II of the Civil Rights Act that bars businesses from that practice (which was extensively used in the former Confederacy) on his first national cable TV appearance on the Rachel Maddow show in 2010; it is not too far of a leap to defending the "Old South" when purporting that all public service should be provided by private enterprise that should be allowed to discriminate against people based upon the color of their skin.

Like father like son. Ron Paul in the 1980's had a newsletter that had very questionable topics that expressed sympathies for white supremacy. When it came to light during his 2008 presidential campaign that his newsletter (that provided millions of dollars in income in between his stints in Congress) had routinely articles without bylines that were thoroughly offensive--Ron Paul excused himself for being  "moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name." Unlike the newsletter, Ron Paul has repeatedly stated in his own voice his opinion about about the civil war and how unnecessary it was as well as the tragedy that Lincoln imposed the supremacy of the Federal government over the state governments that they had just scrapped their inclusion into the America we celebrate every July Fourth. Ron Paul woefully ignores Civil War History by purporting Lincoln could have just bought the slaves instead of "starting" the Civil War. Ft. Sumter was taken by secessionists December 26, 1860 (84 days prior to Lincoln's inauguration) Confederate States Of America was founded February 4, 1861 (44 days prior to Lincoln's inauguration) with seven states four of which included slavery being the cause for secession by South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi. 

Father and son Paul both are apologists for racist institutions, and only have wishful thinking to save them from repeating the same systemic bigoted problems. They both believe that the magic of the private market will solve everything, ignoring all historically evidence to  the contrary. Do I think Rand Paul should dismiss Jack "Southern Avenger" Hunter? I don't particular care if he does or not, if it doesn't come along with acknowledgment from the Junior Senator of Kentucky that Jim Crow South could not have ended without government (specifically judicial intervention) and the antebellum South was a tyrannical racist police state not some revisionist version of a genteel Southern paradise that that "no good Lincoln" went and messed up for us "real Americans" that continue to toy with the idea of seceding from the America that has already come to a consensus racism in all its forms are evil.









Jun 13, 2013

Aldous Huxley letter to George Orwell, comparing their two divergent dystopias

Wrightwood. California.
21 October, 1949

Dear Mr. Orwell,

It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book.
It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Agreeing with all that the critics have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is.
May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals — the ultimate revolution?
The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution — the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual's psychology and physiology — are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf.
The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it.
Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful.
My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.
I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognizance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile, and the rest.
Partly because of the prevailing materialism and partly because of prevailing respectability, nineteenth-century philosophers
and men of science were not willing to investigate the odder facts of psychology for practical men, such as politicians, soldiers and policemen, to apply in the field of government.
Thanks to the voluntary ignorance of our fathers, the advent of the ultimate revolution was delayed for five or six generations.
Another lucky accident was Freud's inability to hypnotize successfully and his consequent disparagement of hypnotism.
This delayed the general application of hypnotism to psychiatry for at least forty years.
But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.
Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.
In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World.
The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency.
Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large scale biological and atomic war — in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.
Thank you once again for the book.

Yours sincerely,

Aldous Huxley

Jun 12, 2013

Subjunctive Intelligence Community: Just because one calls themselves an intelligence service, doesn't make them "intelligent"

We are told that the actions that are being taken by the American intelligence community are both Constitutional and effective; to believe either would ignore recent American history and the public statements from the alphabet soup that makes up the American intelligence community. Faisal Shahzad and Najibullah Zazi, failed Times Square bomber and and NYC subway bomber respectively, both were legitimate terrorists that were unsuccessful but not due to American intelligence agencies instead due to vigilant street vendor (Shahzad) and interrogation of the Al-Qaeda recruiter Bryant Neal Vinas (Zazi). I make this distinction due to all the other instances that FBI, NSA, and CIA have had their fingers involved in very dicey cases; such instances were all claimed to be heroic uses of the intelligence community in protecting our security while plausibly trampling on our rights.

2001: Jose Padilla American citizen, accused of planning a dirty bomb attack on Chicago. Our intelligence community saved America from that horror,

that is only IF...
  • Al-Qaeda network had access to fissionable material
  • Jose Padilla could have transported the material into the heartland of America without setting off Geiger counters of customs agents.
  • Jose Padilla's travels to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, and "enhanced interrogation" of Abu Zubaydah that initiated the intelligence community to set sights on Jose Padilla prior his return to America (empty handed, as in no fissionable material) and his arrest at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport-- not any actual attempt to attain the material to carry off his Jihadist dreams.

2006: Liberty City Seven, 7 Americans in Miami accused of planning to bomb Chicago's Sears Tower quite possibly taking down the tallest building (at the time) in America. Our intelligence community saved America from that horror.

that is only IF...
  • Any of the seven had any experience with any explosives or access to explosives.
  • Any of the seven had taken up the multiple offers of weapons by the dubious FBI confidential witnesses
  • The persons who were the impetus of the entire idea had pushed them harder to go through with it, but then they would not have been very good confidential witnesses. 
  • Both confidential witnesses hadn't negotiated deals to avoid prison time and hadn't at the direction of FBI told the Liberty City Seven that they being of Middle Eastern descendant had connections with Al-Qaeda. So had any involved actually been terrorists involved.
  • Charles James Stewart, the only named paid-informant in the indictment, wasn't the only person in the "conspiracy" that had been to Chicago.
  • The FBI was not the only source of money and space to train (an empty warehouse in Miami)

2009: 'New York City Bomb Plot' where 4 Newburgh men who described themselves as Black-Muslims plotted to attack Bronx synagogues and shoot down military aircraft from a nearby air force base. Our intelligence community saved America from that horror.

that is only IF...
  • FBI informant, Shahed Hussain, hadn't been trolling Masjid al-Ikhlas for strangers interested in Jahid.
  • Had the enticing offer of shoulder fired missiles not been entirely an instigated by the FBI and not initiated by  
  • It wasn't a fact that the only weapon that the four had access to was the handgun James Cromitie bought from a street gang member and the impotent props provide by the FBI.

6-10-13 #1The unconstitutional overreach the American intelligence community has already had a survey to find out what the American public thinks of it. The survey asked if it was acceptable to track phone calls and monitor emails and internet of Americans *IF* it *MIGHT* prevent terror attacks. All instances had a slight majority of acceptance, but the use of the implausible subjunctive of *IF* takes away any real credibility to the response. Would the same 56% of respondents find it acceptable *IF* the government intrusion had less than a 1% chance of success? Or would acceptance drop more so *IF* it were known that internet monitoring and cell phone tracking are wholly useless when targets are thoroughly trained by Al-Qaeda such as Faisal Shahzad and Najibullah Zazi that depend on the face-to-face communication rather than the neophytes that are hoodwinked by FBI paid informants? Demarcation from tracking all your phone calls (sans content) and then retroactively go back to listening to the calls after getting a warrant from the rubber stamp FISA court seems to disappear when authorities are asked 'does our intelligence community listen to our phone calls?' *IF* the virtual dragnet was effective then why wouldn't the alphabet soup prevent the Boston Marathon Bombing? *IF* the virtual dragnet was effective then why wouldn't the alphabet soup prevent the shoe bomber Richard Reid not a fellow airline passenger? *IF* the virtual dragnet was effective then why wouldn't the alphabet soup prevent the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab not a fellow airline passenger? Why have PRISM and phone tracking of all Americans when it doesn't protect America and isn't within Constitutional restrictions of the fourth amendment? In my humble opinion, NSA and the other intelligence agencies have have wholly gone rogue and are no longer accountable to our elected officials in government therefore should be dismantled immediately.

Jun 10, 2013

If the intelligence community from nearly it's inception has nothing but failures: handpicking brutal dictators such as the Shah of Iran, Pinochet, Sukarno, Nicaraguan Contras, etc;  failing to foresee the fall of Communism, and Indian, Pakistani nor North Korean Nuclear tests; siding with mujahideen that brought the rise of Al-Qaeda; despite rolling back constitutional rights failed to protect the American public from the underwear bomber, Times Square failed bombing, Boston Marathon bombing and the events of 9/11 all occurred under the nose of America's much vaunted intelligence community.

So I ask, if the choice is that Americans have to give up civil liberties without any benefits or continue to have Constitutional civil liberties and not have these bumbling "masters of the universe" shouldn't the American public chose the latter? If we are not able to chose the nature of own protection then why bother pretend we are a democracy?

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings."
John F Kennedy

Jun 7, 2013

College GOP: Wrong medium, wrong message, wrong messenger; But we can move the around the Titanic's deck chairs!

This week the College Republicans (CRNC) released a report regarding the failures in persuading voters under the age of 30, and possible remedies. Regards to the medium, College Republicans after 6 focus groups around the nation of attainable voters, that social media should be top priority in reaching younger voters but the issue that is ignored that social media is easily challenged so that creating a new meme like a chain letter that can be debunked by the crowd of friends. Unlike traditional media broadcasting the message that can never be refuted, social media is made to be interacted and if dubious will be called out on. So assuming that the right's agenda will be accepted if only there some very share-able picture associated with it, fails to accept the inherent counter-authoritarian nature of the Internet. Traditionalists believe that traditional authority whether "well breed" aristocrats, successful businessmen, or church leaders, should always be deferential to the authority. The culture of the Internet is in dire opposition to this supplication, due to anonymity and pseudo-meritocracy that exists on the Internet, and any self proclaimed authority is constantly challenged (best scenario) or demeaned (worst and most frequent scenario). So how the College Republicans hope to persuade netizens and young voters to capitulate to corporate or religious authority is not just implausible but impossible.

The College Republicans (CRNC) discovered the typical under-30 voter strongly objects to the conservative's social views, and wants public policy to make their day-to-day life easier. From both the survey and multiple focus groups the conclusion drawn is that if the Republican party avoids social issues and focus on positive solution based policy these voters could be won. The report also acknowledges "perhaps most troubling for Republicans is the finding from the March 2013 CRNC survey that showed 54% of young voters saying 'taxes should go up on the wealthy,' versus 31% who say 'taxes should be cut for everyone'.” While taking as a silver lining, the same survey showed young voters are resistant to more government spending; what type of spending are these voters opposed to is omitted from the CRNC's report. So it would be difficult for Republicans to persuade this segment of voters to only cut government spending that do not help big business given the opinion of the general electorate is mistrust of both Big Business and the Big Government that according to "one respondent in {the report's} Orlando group of young Latino voters noted, people in the higher tax brackets “have a lot of tax breaks and loopholes” that allow them to avoid “paying their share” and can be inferred that Big Government that is not confrontational towards Big Business will be perceived as in collusion with Big Business. Within the report it states that 93% of survey respondents agreed with the following statement "We need leaders who aren't afraid to fight existing interests like big companies or big unions in order to reform outdated and unsustainable programs." The conclusion of the report is moderate the message to associate all business with that of small business and keep social issues to the minimum.

As far as who should be delivering this message, the report concluded with the following:
To shed the brand of being old-fashioned, the GOP need not just find young candidates who can make pop culture references with ease. Instead, candidates need to be able to show that they understand the problems young people face when it comes to economic opportunity and have a plan to break down the barriers that are standing in their way
The most significant aspect about this conclusion is that through CRNC's own focus groups attributed their perception that the GOP was considered old and old-fashioned because of their policies and stated values and not their relate-ability nor understanding the problems they faced. Republicans' solutions and public policies is contrary to what these young allegedly "attainable" voters state within focus groups and the March 2013 survey. That the advice for GOP candidates to accentuate "caring" aspect of an economic program and how it would help the downtrodden; also that the party doesn't believe itself to be "the leave me alone" party. I have some bad news to the authors of this report, the Republican Party is "the leave me alone" party that doesn't want to change their ways just to win over votes from "the other". The report's solution to how celebrity-centric and seemingly cool President Obama is with Sara Jessica Parker inviting people over for a fundraiser and the President posting a picture of himself drinking a beer in a college dive bar that spread like wildfire across social media is to advertise towards the audience of Family Guy reruns. The focus groups participants responded to question of the most prominent Democratic leaders being former and current Democratic elected officials, while Republican leaders were listed of the media stars like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Family Guy guest star Rush Limbaugh. If the starting point that CRNC acknowledges is that the wrong medium is being used to deliver the wrong message being delivered by the wrong messenger but there is no need to admit the policies and values of the Republican party need to be adjusted, just how and who delivers the message can be fixed to lead the party back into salvation of successful general elections.

My advice to my own Democratic party, challenge every entrenched interest and upend the status quo where ever it benefits the individual employee or student and every small business owner. Opposition to those that have already made it economically who will use any and all of their machinations to disparage this, but the electorate will recognize and reward the effort made and being the gladiator for the little guy against the behemoth of the powerful speaks to a truly American trope that is as old as ragamuffins of Lexington and Concord taking on and winning against the most powerful military the world has ever known the British Empire.



Livery (gypsy) cabs allowed to pick up street hails in he outer boroughs... what else is new.

So what is the significant change from yesterday's court decision on the city's taxis? Livery cabs practice of picking of street cabs that previous was "illegal" has now been codified and the Lincoln Town Car which had  been out of production for 5 years will be replaced by apple-green Priuses as the standard livery car. 3 years from now there will be no longer any confusion whether or not that 2010 black Toyota Avalon is privately owned car or a livery car seeking an illegal street hail, since all livery cabs will be an ugly green color with a TLC designed logo on the side.

Yesterday New York State Court of Appeals sided with New York City's Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) regarding allowing livery cabs picking up street hails in the outer boroughs and Northern Manhattan. Yellow cab medallion owners were quick to complain that 18,000 additional cabs picking up street hails will detrimentally affect them. On weekends I do see yellow cabs out here in Queens-- in front of the independent driver's house or apartment parked on their day off; outside of the parked yellow cabs I have never seen a yellow cab that was available to be hailed in Queens. It has never been against any TLC regulation for yellow cabs to pick up street hails outside of Manhattan and yet they have never done so.

The typical livery cab servicing the outer boroughs is a black Lincoln Town Car, that is regulated to only pick up passengers via their dispatcher. In actuality livery cabs in the outer borough congregate at transportation hubs and shopping centers picking up street hails as well as offering their service to the people at bus stops as they futilely wait for a bus running ridiculously behind schedule.


Jun 4, 2013

Religious Extremism: There might be a cure

A leading neurologist at the University of Oxford, Kathleen Taylor responded to audience question regarding what in the future of neuroscience could be expected. Her response was surprising, as it inferred that radical beliefs whether religious based hatred or corporal punishment, could be treated and cured.

“I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults,” she explained. “I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness.”

Those currently under the rubric that their institutional violence or threat of violence is acceptable and their own lifestyle choice, it is especially acceptable if associated with "the one true G-d", will surely take offense that they are curable. Violence in general should be unacceptable in every flavor, whether it is a commandment from the neighbor's dog (David 
 "Son of Sam" Berkowitz) or that the most modern military should partaking in military adventurism due to Book of Revelations' 'Gog and Magog' (as George W. Bush did with Iraq). Maybe in the future there will be MRI scans at the airport to determine who among us are religious extremists, just as there are body scanners today to check if passengers are carrying weapons? 



May 21, 2013

Report Your Miscarriage So "The Limited Government" Crowd Doesn't Send You To Jail

Virginia State Senator and Republican nominee for Attorney General Mark D. Obenshain sponsored SB 962 Fetal deaths; when occurs without medical attendance, mother, etc., must report within 24 hours. This atrocious legislation thankfully died in committee in January 2009, but the candidate for top prosecutor is far from ashamed of the overreach into the private lives of Virginia's citizens. Instead his campaign responded to ThinkProgress.org (the left of center news organization that initially reported on the story), but the response pointed to a local news story from WVIR about an incident of a college woman disposing a stillbirth child. The woman received 30 days in jail and a year probation for not getting the permission of the private landfill before disposing the body; the crime is a class 1 misdemeanor exactly the same classification of Republican candidate for Attorney General Obenshain's SB 962.

What possibly could be the purpose of the additional crime that he alleged to be the impetus for legislation when a stillbirth occurred and was punished? In Obenshain's response to ThinkProgress.org inquiry, it was explained that the legislation was to wide in scope, and that there was no means to narrow the scope to avoid unintended consequences. The life of the legislation began January 12th and was stricken at the request of Obenshain on January 29th. For a politician that proudly and repeated claims 'that government is best that governs the least', it is odd to jump to legislation for a solution for such an intimate personal tragedy. Limited government is only between conception and birth, at least in Obenshain's eyes.





May 20, 2013

Moore, OK Tornadoes Destroyed Hundreds of Homes

My heart goes out to the town of Moore, OK that suffered devastating tornadoes.

IRS so called scandal

George Will said on ABC's This Week "A Tennessee group was told your entitlement to this status was contingent upon telling us the names of the high school and college students that you trained to participate in politics." The status that Mr. Will has his undies in a twist over is the nonprofit apolitical 501c4 organizations having their tax exempt status being delayed. If the Tennessee organization had nothing to hide, they could have sought out a 527 status and avoided the delay, instead decided to avoid contributors disclosures and obfuscate where their money is coming from denying the American public their right to know who is attempting to persuade public policy. 

There is a common theme in the conservatives' response across internet forums and social media, that liberals would not stand for the same actions if IRS used the same scrutiny on liberal nonprofits. No one needs to imagine what would occur if a Republican administration used the IRS to harass and audit liberal nonprofits; since it occurred under Bush against the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and others. The right-wing complains about delays in being granted tax-exempt status; what conservative organization was denied 501c4 status? I can tell you which progressive organization was denied, Emerge America as they transformed their 527 organizations to 501c4 was denied the only benefit of avoiding to disclosing their contributors. The Tea Party and Patriot movement creating nonprofit organizations explicitly for politically purposes were still able to retain financial contributors anonymity despite that is neither the letter of the law or the spirit of the law to grant the status to such poltical organizations.

Much can be understood by the modus operandi, if tax-exempt 501c4 organizations intended for apolitical purposes to promote the general welfare in comparison to tax-exempt 527 organizations intended for purely political purposes, then the reason for political organizations seeking out 501c4 does so for the only distinction between 527 an 501c4: not disclosing political contributions.

Stephen Colbert famously and poignantly mocked the tax statuses of Super PACs and their deceiptive partners in crime by creating Colbert Super PAC and 501c4 Colbert Super PAC SHH! to hide who contributed to the his fund. Unlike the Tea Party and Patriot movement 501c4, Stephen Colbert actually had apolitical purposes  to educate and entertain the public about the absurdity of the campaign finance and the tax code.


May 17, 2013

Tea Party is making satirists jobs that much easier.

Ironic that the Tea Partiers' non-profit 501c4 organizations are illegal if used for political purposes seem to escape the mainstream media's attention. So why are political conservatives complaining that in there attempt to get tax-exempt status for their evidently purely political organizations that were under extensive scrutiny? They still erroneously received tax-exempt status and proceeded to use the status for purely political purpose.

Tea Party groups kvetching that the IRS granting tax-exempt status for purely political intended organizations took to long and and were politically motivated is akin to a bank robber complaining that the bank cashier is taking too long while he/she is cordially handing over all the money, even offering immunity for the crime that is being committed. Hypothetical bank robber's response: "How dare this bank teller after offering me immunity slow my roll!"

May 15, 2013

John Boehner: Who is going to jail over this scandal? Which of the plethora of scandals?

John Boehner stated in a press conference today: "Who is going to jail over this scandal?" Which scandal? LIBOR? House GOP gutting diplomatic security a year before the Benghazi attacks? Banks auto-signing foreclosing on homes that were already paid off? HSBC money laundering for drug cartels and Al-Qaeda affiliates? Director of the SEC Mary Jo White being paid by financial industry defense law firm $500,000 a year bribe (ahem... I mean retirement plan)? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas obvious conflict of interest for his wife being paid by plaintiffs that appear in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, such as Citizens United Vs. FEC that created a new legal channel to affect elections and public policy with excessive and obtuse dark money?

No, none of that, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was instead referring to Internal Revenue Service bringing extra scrutiny to non-profit 501c4 organizations whose legal intended purpose was to "promote the general welfare" but public statements were to oppose taxes in all there forms. The scrutiny started back in 2010, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Citizens United, and the anti-government movement flooded the IRS with requests most with newly named organizations with "Tea Party" and "Patriot" in them. As I wrote yesterday that the of the non-profit organizations that the IRS provided extra scrutiny to, 25% had conservative leanings with telling anti-tax terms in their names. All of whom were non-profit organizations that were the children of the Super PACs and the Citizen United decision, whose sole purpose was to make their finances opaque as possible and hiding the contributors before they went off to run deceptive political ads for the upcoming 2010 midterm elections. The actions of the IRS were far from adroit but it was equally distance from being illegal; it was equally legal to the Bush administration auditing Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Greenpeace, National Organization of Women and other left from center non-profits that existed before the Bush administration, and continue long after the shot callers of their political harassment have left office (unlike a majority of the non-profit organizations that were targeted). Mark Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation sparking this controversy, after 8 years of promoting the politicization of the IRS under the Bush administration, brought this to national attention after a 13 month effort. So has it become common wisdom that audits and extra scrutiny are only a tools to be used against the left without repercussions? Could there be any possibility that the same standards of behavior be for both sides of the aisle not leniency for those calling for uncompassionate market forces to mete out "justice" and rigid higher standards for proponents of universal forgiveness?

Please comment what you think about the situation, and of course share and forward this to your social network.






May 14, 2013

IRS taking a double look at conservatives who oppose paying taxes-- is like Child Services taking a double look at NAMBLA

https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEiCJtp_ViYKlXaU3eaMBsGiG1aEsI-HudpGWQABqZ97nnw6gC2Aul9q66-WCYgHsR4wT-5vBnq8asVzL3ANjBVUIfW9YrxyPVVOarN4hk8p_-3nDjKHsiyZNQvFltuSbMre5ANHBA/s1600/teapartymovement.jpgLast week it was discovered that the IRS performed extra scrutiny on 25% of the 501c4 non-profit organizations if they had "tea party", "patriot", or other conservative identifier within their name; the double check was limited to the Cincinnati regional IRS office. This extra scrutiny was in response to the Citizen United decision that allowed Super PACs and the follow up of the 501c4 to hide the contributors from the public. It doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise that a burst of newly formed tax-free organizations created with the http://www.articlesweb.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/internal-revenue-service-12.jpgpatina of tax avoidance should come under closer examination by the agency that is responsible for regulating such organizations. This is in comparison to pacifists and non-violent activists coming under extra scrutiny of the FBI from 2001 to 2006, under the premise that they were dangerous to the security of the nation.

The facetious shock that the right wing pundits responds to this story comes from the same mindset that believes if government revenues can be shrunk small enough then the government can be small enough to be drowned in a bath tub. So those organizations that are advocating against taxes altogether warrant the double check by the IRS.

"Just imagine, Donna Brazile, if you will that the George W. Bush administration had IRS underlings saying we are going to target organizations with the word 'progressive' in their name, we would have all hell breaking loose."
-George Will on ABC's This Week

The kabuki that is being slung by conservative pundits regarding this story wholly ignores the recent history, and the administration’s defense is devoid of assertiveness (no surprise there).

May 13, 2013

What would a Libertarian/private market's response to Cleveland's House of Horrors be?

As certainly anyone with a beating heart in their chest, there is nothing but disgust and anger towards the evil Ariel Castro who kept three girls for ten years in his basement after snatching them up off the street. Two of the three victims (Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus) being returned to their families and justice will mete out to Castro, a scenario that even the most libertarian acolyte can admit still within the assumed role for government, but what of the third victim that had already been estranged from her family before being kidnapped? Libertarians not wanting the government to provide social workers to Michelle Knight, whom has no means to adjust after surviving such a tragic ordeal nor any support mechanisms since the her family (mother Barbara Knight was in an abusive relationship that endangered Michelle Knight's son) was the cause to her losing her child to the Child Welfare Services, would likely depend on charity to delivery such charity in a world with a negligible level of government service. In a high profile case such as Michelle Knight, there would be charities that would step up, but on the out of the spotlight tragedies such as Michelle's son being abused by Barbara's live-in boyfriend there is not enough charitable infrastructure to supply services to all of the victims of abuse on a daily basis.

In the Libertarian fantasy world, businesses unencumbered by any regulations and government interventions will rise and fall as new competitors creating market pressures on providing profitable services and products to the beck and call of consumers. Monopolies would be held at bay by individuals starting new firms all the time and magically having access to markets through hard work and gumption. But what is to be done to the victims of their circumstances, or victims of crime? Government would continue to dole out punishment to the perpetrators while the victims would just need to suck-it-up and get back to their job or start that Goliath succumbing start-up. Adjusting to life after suffer tragedy, someone out there could offer up for profit service, so that would be available if you could afford it, otherwise you would be out of luck. Who's responsibility for the injustices in the world, who is to make the effort to make things right? Only if you can afford to pay for justice and you consumer that is of a large enough market with dispensable income would you get assistance. Victims of violent crime, being an market that was serviced by a vibrant market of for-profit social workers would have an incentive to create more victims to continue their enterprise. World peace will never be provided when military contractors depend on continued war to profit; violence will always be with us as long as there is systemic incentives to continue servicing the aftermath of violence or selling implements of violence as products; poverty and starvation will end when it is no longer common place to privatize profits while socializing individual risk and liabilities on the least powerful of our society.

There is no market-driven solutions that prevents domestic abuse or child abuse, and dependency on charity to deliver such services when no social safety net is available is fraught with danger. Involuntary taxes paid to provide services, such as social workers to victims of their circumstances, regardless of the end user's ability to pay creates the possibility that a solution can be reached. A solution being reached is often the ideal for government solution (ex. a bridge is built), while a for-profit's ideal is never ending (ex. ferry service across a river); the ideal for the government is rarely met but it is better than the private market's ideal that is to turn the masses into Sisyphus eternally pushing the stone of profits up the hill every fiscal quarter. Though our social safety is the worse solution, it still is far better than all the other solutions.