“Better safe than sorry” is not a truism. In fact, it’s more often wrong than right.
Too much safety is its own danger. If you stayed in a wheelchair all the time, your muscles and bones would soon become so weak that walking really would be dangerous.
Mothers who try to protect their children from too much, of course, end up raising adults who are a danger to themselves, unable to deal with real-life situations once they’re out from their mother’s skirts.
And it’s no coincidence that our ever more “protective” government is called a nanny state; it does the same thing to us, even as adults.
But, in the case of the needlessly deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, this burden of destructive protection caused death in a whole different way:
Another response some children, and plenty of adults, have to a needlessly smothering authority is to stop taking safety seriously, even when it matters.
In 1973, the Joplin area responded to a particularly damaging by dramatically lowering its standards to include “dangerous” rainstorms, not just tornadoes. This means that when you hear a tornado warning in Joplin, it probably isn’t a tornado.
On top of that, the standards for what to trigger a tornado warning, nationally, has changed more recently to not require any actual tornado. At one time, this was called a “watch”, but now “there might be a tornado” triggers a false alert, not just a watch.
In fact, because of such “better safe than sorry” alarmism, there three quarters of all tornado alerts are false alarms, nationally. Therefore, people have wisely started ignoring tornado warnings.
Thanks to this, plus the abuse of the system for mere thunderstorms:
When the second-worst tornado in sixty years hit Joplin, people did what they’d, quite rationally, learned to do whenever the tornado siren went off; ignored it.
A pair of national media journalists, coincidentally in town for other reasons, felt the normal east coaster’s panic at the sound of tornado sirens, but were puzzled to discover that everyone else just went about their business, as if nothing were wrong.
This has happened many times in the past decades, and the locals had always been correct to sneer at it..
But — this one time — there was an actual, deadly tornado bearing down on them.
Sadly, the Culture of Safety has turned into the fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
How many lives would have been saved without the government’s ridiculous alarmism?
Just seven years later, with warnings legalized and an siren system in place, a nearly identical tornado hit a nearly identical urban area, and only resulted in 15 deaths.
Now that progress has been undone, by the increased in government busybody mentality.
The way I see it, government alarmism is responsible for horrible, avoidable deaths of at least 100 people in Joplin, Missouri…and probably a large part of the other tornado-related deaths this year, for similar reasons.
Neocons and other violent interventionists keep talking about how bad it would be if the Egyptian people were to gain their freedom, because there is popular support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and if they were part of the government that would, obviously, be a really bad thing…even worse than a dictator like Mubarak who outlaws many religious beliefs and slaughters people for their political ideology.
But wait…it’s not “obvious” that this organization, the Society of Muslim Brothers, is any worse than the Christian Coalition in the US. And America doesn’t deserve a dictator just to keep the Christian Coalition out of political power. What’s more, it seems the Muslim Brotherhood is usually more akin to the Salvation Army, except they’re Muslim instead of Christian. Let’s look deeper, and see which interpretation is true.
Who Are They?
What is this group, so ominously touted by the neocon supporters of Hosni Mubarak?
Just like the Christian Coalition, it is a voluntary social and political movement, organized around the idea that followers of their religion should choose to live by the tenets of that religion.
People who think that a religion’s members should live by their beliefs? If anything, that seems like a truism, to me. A “well, no duh” sort of thing.
Also like the Christian Coalition, some of its members, sometimes, want laws passed that happen to support their morality. I don’t like that in either case, but I will fight against anyone who wants to imposing a dictator over people who would vote for such laws. Hopefully, you will too, since the Christian Coalition voters are American.
And let’s be real, it’s not always bad if religious beliefs become law: the Ten Commandments that both Muslims and Christians accept include prohibition of murder and theft. Do I want murder legal because a religion wants them banned?
Of course not.
Before we get into the claims against the Muslim Brotherhood, let’s mention the part that is not denied by anyone:
What everyone agrees about, regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, is that they mostly do community service, charitable efforts, and other good works. I think even the worst neocon would admit this, if you pinned him down on the subject. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people, of diverse cultures and races, who are alive right now solely because of the efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood. Again, this is not even disputed.
But what about their Dark Side?
Al Qaeda and the Taliban are charitable, but they still seem evil overall. If the Muslim Brotherhood is like that, I’ll oppose them.
Many Conservatives and Liberals in the media seem perplexed by the claim that Egypt should remain a dictatorship, but whenever they have a neocon on, or that Israeli ambassador, or some “former CIA officer”, they’re told that it’s because of the Muslim Brotherhood, who is accused of three general things:
Glenn Beck was shouting, the other day, about how the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto on their website is “Be Prepared”.
Well, yes, I’m not sure you could be more obviously, patently evil than to have the motto Be Prepared. To the right, you can see a variation of this logo. It is for another religious organization, that requires its members to take an oath of obedience to their god much like the Muslim Brotherhood does. Worse, the bearers of that symbol are, unlike the Society of Muslim Brothers, actually members of an openly paramilitary organization.
Surely such symbols should be banned, along with target and sniper scope graphics.
Of course the Boy Scouts will probably object.
To be fair, the thing the Society of Muslim Brothers emphasize that Egyptians to be prepared for, right now, is war with Israel.
Beck seemed to infer that this means they’re planning to attack Israel…which makes me worry about his reading comprehension, because the quotes he read off their own website to “prove” this clearly were saying that the government of Israel might attack Egypt for overthrowing the dictator they’d helped keep in power for 30 years. What they say is that the Mubarak government can be brought down by cutting off the gas pipeline to Israel, which will bankrupt Mubarak’s dictatorship…but that this will cause war with Israel. In other words, Israel will attack, because they want the gas and, the Muslim Brotherhood believes, will even cause the death and destruction of war to get it.
I don’t blame any of Israel’s neighbors for fearing that it will go to war with them. It’s done so before. The people of Israel, themselves, fear this of their own government. The recent threat had been an unprovoked attack against Iran, but now Egypt is the popular target. I join with the people of Israel and the Society of Muslim Brothers in opposing any violent aggression on the part of Israel against any other country.
To be fair, I and most Israelis, Jews, Egyptians, Muslims, Coptic Christians, Protestants, Catholics, atheists, and every other non-sociopath, oppose all initiation of aggression, by any country or person against any other. We’re opposed by the neocons and other self-described Marxists, but that’s another debate.
While we’re at it, Beck keeps mentioning Islamic Socialism, a bizarre fringe movement that goes against the basic belief of Islamic fundamentalism that socialism is evil. As it happens, the Muslim Brotherhood is on the “socialism is evil” side. They believe in voluntary charity, not coercive socialist government like Mubarak and Saddam Hussein imposed.
Then there’s the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood is evil because its members believe in…well…Islam. If you’re one of the poor rubes who’s fallen for the “Islam is a religion of evil” scam, I don’t think there’s much that will convince you otherwise.
The Koran saying something like “kill any unbeliever who supports tyranny over innocents or Muslims” gets quoted out of context as “kill any unbeliever”, but that contextual lie has been pointed out plenty of times by now, you should have been capable of learning, and responsible enough to do so.
The few craziest, most old-fashioned Muslim rules are no worse than the crazier Jewish or Christian rules. Should we all sacrifice doves when our babies are born? Stone women who have sex out of wedlock? Burn witches? Those aren’t just Islamic rules, they’re old Christian and Jewish rules, too. And the vast majority of followers of all three religions have outgrown such nonsense.
Likewise, like how everyone who’s murdered an abortion doctor is Christian, but it does not mean Christianity is murderous, so it is with Muslims who kill people in the name of their religion. The Catholic terrorists murdering random Protestants because of their religion in Ireland don’t prove anything about their religion, and neither do Islamic terrorists.
But, even more fundamentally than this, it’s hypocritical for anyone to claim that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to govern themselves because of their religion, when so many in the socialist world hate Christianity the same way, and think that Americans, who are majority Christian, are similarly unable to govern themselves. Should we have tyranny imposed on us, to keep Christian mores from becoming law? Again I say “no”, and I’m not hypocritical enough to turn around and deny another country or religion the same right.
It’s also worth noting that the Muslim Brotherhood is Sunni, while the Islamic Revolution in Iran is Shi’ite. That’s important because these two groups are oppose each other completely. It’s not like Protestant vs Catholic…they literally see each other as Satanists. There’s never going to be any real collaboration between the Muslim Brotherhood and the current Iranian government. They’re more likely to help overthrow the Iranian tyranny, too.
And they’re also the most spiritual, historically least violent form of Sunni Islam, they are Sufi. To quote a previous article here:
Pretty much all of the terrorist organizations in the world that are focused on the United States are Wahhabi, funded and trained by our allies in Saudi Arabia, and often closely coordinated with our allies in the Pakistani military.
Wahhabism is a crackpot fundamentalist version of Sunni Islam. Think of Sunni as being like Protestantism, a relatively liberal branch of the religion overall, and Wahhabism as being like the Protestants who dance with snakes and talk in tongues.
Meanwhile, most of the rest of the terrorist organizations in the world that are Islamic at all are Shi’ite. This is the second of the three branches of Islam, and the most basic one, with an older lineage than Sunni Islam. Think of that as being somewhat like Catholicism…most Shi’ites are peaceful, but you have the crazies, like the Irish Republican Army is for Catholicism. You can’t really blame the rest for those nutjobs in the IRA targeting other peoples and religions.
And then you have the Sufi. These are a bit like the Mormons are to Christianity. They’re a “third way” sort of group, very peaceful and focused a lot on mysticism and spirituality, not the practical mechanics of the Big Two. No terrorist organizations, in the whole world, are Sufi. Some Muslims say they’re so different that the Sufi aren’t even Muslims, at all.
In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood are in a struggle against the violent, hateful Wahhabi movement, as well as considering themselves the polar opposite of Shia. In fact, the “Jihadi” movement of Al Qaeda and their ilk are excluded from the Egyptian uprising, perhaps because the Muslim Brotherhood are a part of it.
They’re Out to Get You!!!
So that just leaves crazy conspiracy theories: The Muslim Brotherhood secretly wants to bring about apocalypse, supports assassination of people they think are evil, et cetera.
I’ve seen more credible evidence of the fundamentalist Christians supporting those exact same things. In fact, I have personally known wealthy, powerful Christians in the US who are part of the Christian Eschatologist movement, and literally believe that they should try to bring about Armageddon, to hurry Jesus’ return, by supporting evil, oppressive government.
But in both Christian and Muslim cases, I assume that there are fringe elements who are like that, but that I can’t assume the whole group does, since it disavows them adamantly.
The 15 Principles of Egyptian and American Founding Fathers
In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood is so against those things that it has “15 Principles of Agreement” that it wants to institute in Egypt, that you would support, too.
The only disagreement the Founding Fathers of America would have with the Muslim Brotherhood’s 15 Principles is that Thomas Jefferson and friends opposed a standing army and standing police force. Is anyone seriously going to blame the Muslim Brotherhood for implicitly endorsing those two forces, but requiring them to stay out of politics?
Here are the 15 principles the Muslim Brotherhood says it wants for Egypt, each one summed up:
- Nobody may govern except at the consent of the people
- Free and fair elections
- Freedom of personal and religious conviction
- Freedom of establishing religious rites.
- Freedom of expression and the press
- The right to form and exercise political parties
- The freedom of assembly, as long as there’s no violence
- The right to hold peaceful demonstrations
- The right to a regularly elected, representative government
- The right of every man and woman to vote
- The right of every citizen to run for election and hold office
- The right to a truly independent judiciary, no special courts except for legitimate internal military affairs
- Prosecutors, public defenders, and criminal investigators must be three independent groups, from each other and the Minister of Justice, and anyone accused should have the right to appeal.
- The military must stay out of politics, only defending the nation’s external security.
- The police must only protect society, and is banned from interfering in politics or with political opposition
Please take a moment to read the full text of the 15 Principles of Agreement of the Muslim Brotherhood.
I wish our own government seemed to believe in these 15 principles.
Let’s make every elected or appointed official in the United States include them in his oath of office. And every government bureaucrat, while we’re at it.
If even a large segment of the Muslim Brotherhood believe at least somewhat in the 15 Principles of Agreement, then they’re probably no worse than our own government. And I see no evidence that they’re any worse. Individuals in that movement, yes…same as every other movement. But not the overall social organization.
Should we, in America, continue our government’s habit of supporting dictators in our name, like Mubarak, just in case the Muslim Brotherhood might be popular there?
Not even if they’d turned out to be “bad”.
It was ironic that I saw the former Israeli ambassador to the UN, the other day, quote Mubarak as paraphrasing Douglas Casey, that American foreign aid is “a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries“. He seems to have been mockingly referring to his own receipt of sixty billion dollars, from US taxpayers, over the past few decades.
This needs to stop.
TSA Screeners, known officially as TSOs, literally are committing a crime when they randomly scan or search you. There are several reasons why this is so:
Just Obeying Orders
I have rapidly tired of Liberals, especially Neocons, claiming we should sympathize with the Transportation Security Officers (screeners), because (yes, real quote) “they are just obeying orders“.
Has our socialized education system so failed that nobody remembers when, in the Nuremberg war crime trials, people who said “we were just obeying orders” were executed?
Anything for a Job
“They have to do it, or they will get fired!”
If you take a job as a private delivery man, and then discover that your employer is using you for drug running, the government would require that you refuse, even if you will get fired.
Doing something that is criminal is not OK just because you want your job. Not even if your employer is the government.
Porn-and-Grope is Illegal
“But it’s a law”.
No, it is NOT a law. It is a REGULATION. Regulations are not laws. To even treat them like laws is unconstitutional.
But even if it were passed by congress as a law, it would not be real:
An unconstitutional act is not law;
it confers no rights;
it imposes no duties;
affords no protection;
it creates no office;
it is in legal contemplation,
as inoperative as though it had never been passed.
–Norton vs. Shelby County, 118 US 425 p.442
Because it violates the 4th amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, any rule requiring a random search is not a real rule at all. It has no validity.
It is imposed only by threat of force, as any organized crime syndicate can do. When a government official violates the Constitution, he is nothing but a mobster, and has no more legitimate power or bearing on you than Al Capone’s hired muscle.
What’s more, it is literally illegal to randomly feel you up, in most cities with airports. Some actually are promising to arrest TSOs who try, if you call the police.
These TSOs are committing a crime each time they randomly search you. No constitutional law, or even regulation, supplies them with the power to search anyone without probable cause.
If the rule was that people behaving suspiciously, or otherwise giving cause to be suspected, had to be searched that would be legitimate. These random searches are not.
And anyone who engages in them is a criminal.
The 4th Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and 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.
Your prudism about being ogled by minimum wage goons who share pics and stories of your genitals with each other and post them on the Internet is not the biggest reason why the nude scanners and crotch gropings cannot be allowed.
It’s that they also violate your Constitutional rights. And that kind of violation, you must never tolerate.
The Fourth Amendment secures not only our external property, but especially our bodies against unreasonable search and seizure.
By “reasonable” the amendment says it means “with probable cause”, and this means government agents must suspect you, personally, of a crime or else they are not allowed to search you, no matter what.
The police are not legally allowed to search random the houses on your block, just in case they might find something illegal, and even the most law-abiding of us is glad our privacy is protected this way. And they cannot, for the same reason, search all people passing through the gates at the airport, just in case they might find something illegal.
Appeal to Cowardice
Big Brotherment tries to justify this violation of the Bill of Rights with Appeal to Cowardice:
“But aren’t you willing to put up with a little inconvenience, to be safer?”
But real Americans aren’t cowards. Even if the violation of your body were improving safety — and in real life, it does NOTHING for your safety — it would not be a tolerable reason.
The government could judge who seemed a threat, and search those people. That would be “probable cause”, valid under the Constitution.
Searching people at random, instead, violates the Bill of Rights, and helps the actually-suspicious people get through the line. If the searches could actually stop terrorists, the random nature of the searches keep that from happening.
They who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
— Ben Franklin
Nobody honest, not even on the pro-TSA side, denies that these random searches violate the fourth amendment…they just claim that you should surrender this Essential Liberty, to try to gain a little temporary safety.
But real Americans aren’t cowards. This expansion of the Police State ends, here and now.
Remember, remember, the 2nd of November, when Ron Paul took back the House, as the next step in the movement that exploded on Guy Fawkes Day, 2007.
With all the hubbub about this election, there hasn’t been enough talk about how it happened:
How Ron Paul Restored Republican Principles (and/or Power)
Remember, the Republicans were stripped of power by the very same voters, just four years ago. What changed isn’t trust in that party’s old guard leadership, but the restoration of that party’s roots by the TEA Party.
The reason they’re getting it back started three years ago today, when Ron Paul stunned the political world with the massive success of the Money Bomb his grass-roots supporters spontaneously organized.
The Money Bomb
In a single day, these TEA Party predecessors raised $4,700,000 dollars for Ron Paul…more than any other Republican candidate. They chose Guy Fawke’s Day to symbolically represent how Ron Paul was to metaphorically blow up the corrupt, establishment government…probably inspired in part by the movie V, where the hero re-enacts that historic event in his fight against a repressive, tyrannical government.
This brought the liberty movement of Ron Paul to the attention of the “mainstream”, touching off a snowball of support for his campaign that, while not getting him nominated against the will of the establishment Republicans in Name Only (RiNOs), left him with a huge “war chest” after the primaries were over. He used this money to found the Campaign for Liberty, supporting the general liberty movement he had empowered.
During his campaign, even before the Money Bomb, supporters started referring to their rallies as “Tea Parties”, some creating the backronym “Taxed Enough Already” to refer to their libertarian economic theme.
By 2009, these TEA Parties, with the support of Ron Paul-supporting groups like Young Americans for Liberty and his own Campaign for Liberty, had taken on a life of their own. As you know, that grew into the movement that people rallied around, and when that movement chose Ron Paul’s party for its candidates, the Republicans finally had an opportunity to return their party to its libertarian base.
They started as a fight against Democratic talk of raising taxes, fighting bailouts and “stimulus” spending, but got their greatest momentum fighting the socialized health care bill, which Ron Paul had opposed even back in 2003 when the Republicans were pushing socialized medicine.
Will It Stay True?
In 2010, of course, the neocons and other RiNOs saw the success of Paul’s movement, and started trying to hijack the TEA Party. They attempted to insert divisive social issues, like anti-Muslim fearmongering and hate, promotion of the drug war, et cetera…but it has not worked: This election was about the economy, smaller government, and other libertarian ideas that the Republican leadership has been forced to parrot, although their history is of doing even more harm to that cause than the Democrats.
The Tea Party movement started with Ron Paul, who is recognized even by his opponents as the most principled, honest man in Congress. It has overcome attacks by Big Government advocates on the “Right”, supposed leaders of the Republican Party and others, but has not lost its way, and almost singlehandedly won this election (except for help by the Democrats, in their own self-destruction).
Hopefully, it can continue to police the Republican party to stick to its base’s principles…or, almost everyone outside the Political Class agrees, the Republicans will have blown their last chance, and TEA will take its party elsewhere.
We are slowly coming to face the fact that many trendy “green” things actually harm the environment, instead of helping it.
Unfortunately, some of us are not learning their lesson, and new “green” activities are being pushed that are just as lacking in forethought, just as harmful to the planet.
One perfect example of this is the new composting fetish:
It is actually better for the environment to throw away garbage, than to compost it, if you’re worried about greenhouse gases, instead of just wanting good, free fertilizer.
Composting Releases Greenhouse Gas
Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are the second through fourth most significant greenhouse gases, after water vapor.
The materials in a compost heap contain nitrogen and carbon, locked away from the atmosphere.
The act of composing specifically converts nitrogen into nitrous oxide, and carbon into prodigous amounts of methane and carbon dioxide. No actual environmental scientist will deny this. It’s just a fact of chemistry…the two links above are pro-composting, environmentalist organizations, yet they confirm this.
Just to be clear on this:
- Water vapor is the main source of the natural greenhouse effect, causing about 50% of all heat retention, depending on local humidity. All scientists agree that nothing humans can do changes the overall amount of water vapor in our atmosphere.
- Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is the next greatest source, producing about 20% of warming.
- Methane, CH4, is 30 times more powerful, but there’s less in the atmosphere, so it contributes about 6%.
- Nitrous Oxide, N2O, is THREE HUNDRED TIMES more powerful, but even rarer, producing about 2% of natural warming. The biggest impact we could have, if any, would be to produce more of this more powerful, less common gas.
To be clear, composting produces extremely high amounts of nitrous oxide, as well as large amounts of methane, and even under the best conditions, more CO2 than almost anything else, in your entire household.
Landfills Reduce Greenhouse Gases
On the other hand, if you were to throw those compostables away, they would probably end up in a land fill. Recently, environmental scientists have bothered to actually check, and have realized that, in fact, materials in landfills do not rot the way they normally would, because of the way they’re compacted together. The International Encyclopaedia of Environmental Laws, pointing out that paper and corn don’t rot in landfills, asks why one should even bother substituting paper for plastic, or “biodegradable” corn bags.
Again, those are environmentalists saying these things.
Environmental scientist and Green advocate Bill Rothje says that you can find readable newspaper that has been in landfills for at least 30 years. That means the carbon in newspaper (which comprises 19% of all landfill space) can be retained in the landfill for decades…or released into the atmosphere by composting.
So, according to Environmental scientists, trash in landfills is removed from the carbon/nitrogen cycle, staying out of the atmosphere. A landfill is, in fact, a tremendous REDUCTION in our “carbon footprint”.
In fact, next time you’re thinking about “recycling” paper, remember that this requires more energy, fossil fuel, and chemicals than making new paper…and that if you just throw the paper away, you’re removing its carbon from the atmosphere for the long-term.
It Gets Worse
Some governments are using taxpayer dollars to force the production of “worm composting”. Yet nitrous oxide is an inevitable by-product of worm composting. Remember, this is about 300 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Meanwhile, not only do landfills produce mainly methane, not Nitrous Oxide, but nearly half of the methane they produce can be captures for use as green energy. Methane engines simply produce water vapor as a waste product.
Jim Frederickson, senior research fellow at Britain’s Open University, says “”We need to investigate all alternative systems for greenhouse potential.
“The emissions that come from these worms can actually be 290 times more potent than carbon dioxide and 20 times more potent than methane. In all environmental systems you get good points and bad points.”
The whole “composting” craze, from expensive plastic countertop bins to government-mandated worm farms, is just another example of people not caring what is ACTUALLY good for the environment, but pushing any ill-thought-out plan down our throats.
The job you really want, right now, is being held by some lazy, incompetent fool, whose boss wants to fire him…but cannot, thanks to people like Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee. In fact, Cohen probably identifies with the guy stealing your job.
This is because of the way government meddles with the hiring and firing of employees, now.
Obviously, part of the problem is that it’s so hard to fire bad employees.
- First, ridiculous laws allow privileged groups to claim discrimination or mean treatment based on race, sex, lifestyle, or many other things, claims as vague and unrefutable as fake neck injuries…and just as indicative of the evils of lawyers and our corrupt legal system.
- What’s more, an employer is nearly as likely to be assumed guilty, by the public or the courts, as if accused of child molesting.
- The maze of what is a privileged group is so insane that the employer can’t guess WHO might turn out able to sue. Are you of a privileged lifestyle? A favored fringe religion? They’re not even allowed to ask…so EVERYONE is seen as a potential trap.
So the safe thing to do is just leave the bad employee in his job, and suffer the economic burden to the company (and therefore economy), spending even more money to work around the problem.
If only employers were free to fire bad workers, it would be easier for ALL workers to get jobs, and then prove themselves to keep them. Even if you lacked experience, an employer could feel free to take a chance on you, and see how you work out.
Since you are banned from proving yourself on the job, you need to prove yourself before you’re hired, but when you first apply for a job, the employer knows nothing about you but some claims on a piece of paper. When he interviews you, he can ask questions that show how much you have memorized, and he can get an idea of how likable you are…but he still can’t know how you behave as an employee.
It’s to your benefit to be able to show a prospective employer what a great worker you really are, and the only really effective way to do this is through references.
But laws and our harmful legal system have made that almost impossible.
The references of bad former employees have to fear repercussions if they say anything bad about an employee…in fact, it’s considered increasingly dangerous to say anything NEUTRAL about an employee, as this has become a way of clearly not saying something good about him, to bypass the prohibition.
This means that anyone trying to call your references can’t really trust all your good reviews, so you’ve lost this tool for proving your value.
Know Your Associate
It is also illegal, effectively, to hire mainly people you know or have some social affiliation with, especially if most of whom you know are healthy, straight white males. You are required to have some artificial ratio of sex, race, sexual preference, even political viewpoint and other things, depending on how crazily PC your state is…and statistics say you won’t accidentally know exactly the right proportions of each, when thinking of what friends could fill that job opening.
This is unfortunate, because you have a better idea of the abilities of people you know, despite any biases you may have from friendship or other factors, than you could possibly know about strangers applying, especially under the current anti-reference conditions.
Another tool for finding a good employee, down the drain.
So employers are unable to screen workers well before they hire them, yet are trapped with the bad ones once they do.
Let’s Ban MORE Hiring Tools!
As employers grow more desperate to find ways to pre-prove employees they are scared to hold to any standards once hired, some are resorting to running credit checks. Obviously, while it doesn’t directly show how they work, it increases the odds of knowing something about the character of the person. Not perfectly, but it gives them some chance to reasonably guess.
So you can’t prove your worth on the job, because the employer fears firing being stuck with bad workers.
You can’t prove how great you are with references, because it’s effectively illegal for them to be honest.
One of the few ways left is to allow a potential employer to run a credit check. Sure, it doesn’t show how you do a job, but there is some loose correlation between character and good credit. If your credit’s at least OK, the odds are at least somewhat better of you taking commitments seriously. And, anyway, it shows you have less incentive to steal from the company.
Having them run a credit check on you may be the thing that seals the deal.
But now, Representative Cohen and others like him want to ban even this entirely plausible hiring tool.
They literally want to make it illegal for you to give your job prospect permission to run a credit check.
Obviously, aside from how almost any intrusion in the free market causes harm, this is wrong. They want to deprive both you and the employer of one of the few remaining ways to prove you should be hired.
Why, we wonder, aren’t they instead trying to restore the other, better ways that were already banned?
If checking credit does not work well, it will die out with competition. If it works well, they have a RIGHT to use it.
Interestingly, the only employers I’ve ever had do a credit check on me were government agencies and their contractors….and this bill exempts those, as corrupt Congresscritters typically protect themselves from the bad laws they impose on us.
This bill needs to be stopped, and the current laws preventing good job matching need to be fixed.
“Freedom is all fine and good,” they say,” until someone gets hurt. Then you realize it’s time to let Big Brotherment protect us.” Of course this is what Liberals say in general. But the neocons, unlike other Liberals, are pretending to be Conservative, discrediting our movement with their cowardice.
These timorous beasties claim that we should only believe in liberty when it’s convenient. After 9-11, for example, pretty much every American principle of freedom and justice should be out the window. Don’t we have a right to privacy? “We have a right to not be killed by terrorists”, they respond. Freedom of speech? “You can’t place freedom above safety!”
Well, as an actual American, and Conservative, I say:
They who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Ben Franklin, classic liberal and therefore modern Conservative, had it right.
It’s ironic to watch faint-hearted neocon pundits claim that Americans should be too afraid to put terrorists on trial in New York, giving otherwise-scared-of-everything Liberal New Yorkers the chance to say “bah, I lived through 9-11, and I say bring ’em on: Justice will be served!”
This very exchange, almost to the word, occurred on The Daily Show recently, Jon Stewart playing the part of justice-defending American, Newt Gingrich pretending to be a Conservative, yet advocating the philosophy of trembling terror.
Likewise, the neocons oppose the closing of the Guantanamo prison camp, or the opening of a prison for foreign terrorists in America…Gitmo North, they call it. Instead of supporting the principles of justice and natural rights the Founders recognized, we should be too afraid of terrorists to hold them on our soil, where those principles must legally be upheld.
These neocons fought against Reagan tooth and nail during his administration. They ran a Nixonian Republican, John Anderson, against Reagan as a vote-splitter in1980; they literally preferred that Carter win. More recently, they wasted eight years of Republican presidency violating every Conservative principle Reagan upheld, during the Bush administration. They are the opposite of anything we actually believe in. Remember, the bank bailouts, stimulus packages, and American automaker takeovers were all started by the neocons. Obama is only following their example.
It’s time we stood up and rejected their pusillanimous assault on our natural rights. Next time someone says “it’s a different world, since 9-11”, say “but the same principles of liberty and justice hold true”.
We are Conservatives, not cowards.
he Founding Fathers despised democracy. They called the idea of 51% voting to impose its will the “violence of majority faction“. Poor Thomas Jefferson spent a great deal of effort and political capital proving he wasn’t a closet democrat. When writing Democracy in America, French philosopher Alexis DeToqueville coined the phrase Tyranny of the Majority referring to an idea from Plato’s Republic.
Majority rule imposes the will of a mere half of the population, plus one vote, upon minorities in each issue.
You need only to look at how this impacted blacks in the US to understand how evil majority rule over the minority is.
The Founders sought to solve this problem, by banning democracy in America, setting up a Republic where the majority could never legally vote to violate the natural rights of the minority. The only powers allowed to the Federal government were those listed in the Constitution, with the 9th and 10th articles of the Bill of Rights banning it from doing anything else, even if the majority voted for it.
Majority as Consensus
Of course the Federal government has been corrupted enough to overstep its legitimate authority, but that’s another article.
The modern apologists for majority rule, who unfortunately have managed to get the word “democracy” spun into a positive thing in public schools, defend their tyranny over minorities by saying “hey, at least we can be sure that there isn’t a larger group who opposes a vote, than the group who supports it”.
Advocates of liberty, though, object that you still should not violate the will of ANY people, in a free society. They say that you have no more authority to violate the rights of another because you are a large group, than if you are one man trying to impose your will on your neighbor. At least not legitimately.
Of course, the obvious retort is “hey, the only way to solve the problem of having minorities on issues is to have a unanimous vote…and that’s impossible! If we depended on unanimity, then nothing would ever get accomplished at all!”
A free market is based, purely, on unanimity.
This is because the fundamental principle of liberty is private property:
Each person is a government of one, over his rightful possessions, starting with his own body.
But if someone wanted a vote on what everyone in the country is going to have for supper tonight, the odds are that he would not be able to get everyone to agree on the same thing. So if this were a power of the government, up to half of the population, minus one vote, would have their right to choose what to eat violated.
Of course that’s if there are only two options…which is a sort of farce of an election in the first place. With a real selection of all things people might reasonably desire for supper, probably more than 99% of people will be forced to eat something they would not have chosen.
And, let’s face it, with how goofy people are, you’re almost always going to end up being forced to eat something you don’t even like, much less want for tonight.
On the other hand, if each man governs his own life, as in a free market, then you may choose not only exactly what to eat, but even when to eat it.
Every time you are hungry, there is a vote, and you are unanimous. Sure, it’s limited to what you can afford, but what better way to determine what a meal is worth than that? Imagine if the majority were always voting themselves caviar and steak, bankrupting society.
With majority rule, you only get rare input at all, and only one option is selected, with most people being losers in the process.
But with the free market, you vote every instant, of every day, and are able to reverse yourself at will.
Of course, this also applies to groups, not just individuals, because their membership is purely voluntary, unlike an authoritarian government:
Sure, your chess club or paintball team may have majority votes, but your participation in them is purely consensual. Each moment of your life, you are free to leave, and if you stay you are voting unanimously for your own membership.
If you leave an organization in a free society, they are not going to blockade your house until you’re forced to fire on them, and then claim you started a hostilities, invade, and conquer you.
If the majority of your local town council votes to condemn your perfectly sound family home, just to put up a strip mall that will bring them more tax money and campaign contributions, it does this in violation of the unanimity of private property rights, and you can’t simply withdraw your membership.
Don’t worry; in two years you’ll be allowed to cast a single vote against at least one of those politicians who stole your home…if you still live in town, and at a legal residence, not in a cardboard box.
You might even try to get 51% of all voters in your city to set aside all other issues and vote for the single challenger to each of those bad politicians.
Of course, if your private property rights were protected as they should be, you wouldn’t be in this predicament. Maybe you should just push for laws protecting those rights in general, so such things couldn’t happen in the first place.
While majority rule imposes tyranny over minorities, capitalism, through private property rights, protects even the smallest minority, that of the individual, with unanimity.
The political principle that underlies the market mechanism is unanimity. In an ideal free market resting on private property, no individual can coerce any other, all cooperation is voluntary, all parties to such cooperation benefit or they need not participate.
— Milton Friedman, The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits, The New York Times Magazine
Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
When people object anything relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, neocons claim that they should be quiet and comply, because the criticism hurts the feelings of “the troops”, who are busy “defending our freedom” over there.
I do appreciate that the soldiers feel like they’re serving America…but defending our…freedom?
Our freedom? We Americans, here in the United States?
When I’m faced with this argument, it is hard to give a clear, coherent response for or against, because the claim makes no sense to me, whatsoever.
This is an honest question, not sarcasm:
What, exactly, does the conquest of Iraq have to do with American freedom?
Did we conquer Iraq for American freedom?
- First, we built up momentum to attack because Hussein was supposedly involved in 9-11.
But then it became more widely understood that Hussein was one of Al Qaeda’s mortal enemies. In fact, one of the things bin Laden demanded was that Hussein, whom he referred to as a socialist infidel, be removed from power. So…
- Second, when we actually attacked, it was supposedly because of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We knew Iraq once had WMD, because we openly sold Hussein the technology for them, in the 1980s, and claimed we thought they still had somehow kept some, despite the years of inspections.
But it turned out, after we got there, that we had known he didn’t have the WMD any more at all, so…
- Third, we retroactively decided we were there to remove Saddam Hussein from power. He is a dictator, killed hundreds of thousands of people, imposed tyrannical laws, et cetera.
Of course we supported him doing ALL of those things, including the mass murder, for decades, we even sold him WMD tech months after acknowledging that he was slaughtering innocents with it, but let’s just pretend that’s why we invaded, anyway. It sounds good.
The problem is that NONE of those things have anything to do with American freedom.
The Warfare Facts
- First, 9-11 wasn’t an assault on American freedom. Al Qaeda was attacking in order to change our foreign policy (giving money to Islamic tyrants, occupying Saudi Arabia, killing a million people in Iraq with economic sanctions, backing Israeli war crimes).
…in fact, the only 9-11 related assault on freedom was domestic, like the PATRIOT Act.
- Second, American freedom wasn’t going to be threatened by Hussein having mustard gas, or anthrax, or even nuclear bombs. Nobody ever seriously suggested he could conquer the US with his mighty navy of 16 wooden patrol boats and his deadly force of a few dozen short-range SCUD missiles, no matter how many WMD he loaded on them.
Liberty depends on economic freedom…whomever controls your life needs, controls you. This war has crippled the US economically, which had turned into an assault on our freedom of choice. By the way, why exactly did we sell him WMD technology in the first place?
- Third, that’s barely even a fight for Iraqi freedom, since they’re voting as much against freedom now as anyone who knew about the region would have expected. The laws passed are on their way to becoming more repressive than under Hussein’s secular government. These include a move to make burqas mandatory, and growing bans on freedom of expression. Certainly overthrowing Hussein has nothing to do with freedom here in America.
Actual Assault on American Freedom
Because we’ve been “on war footing” for six years, BOTH parties have used the “don’t criticize the government during a war” argument, dramatically attacking American freedom of expression. We have had “free speech zones“, warrantless wire tapping, demands that we not criticize foreign policy lest the troops feel bad, secrecy regarding torture and other violations of American principles, et cetera.
We have had economic malaise caused by both the huge deficits and diversion of wealth-production the war produced, and the 700% increase in the price of oil that attacking or threatening four different oil-producing nations caused. And this resulted in a depression that Bush and Obama have used to expand government massively into our personal lives, and to loot our future to pay off failing multinational corporations, perhaps the most vicious of the attacks on our freedom.
You know, there may be a country closer to home than Iraq, where our troops should be fighting a government that is attacking American freedom…
Anyway, I definitely need someone to explain what is the “defending AMERICAN freedom” part of invading, conquering, and occupying Iraq.
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
— Oscar Wilde, A Portrait of Mr. W.H.