Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
 

Recommended Photo Store
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading? Click here to find out.
 
Make your Amazon purchases though this banner to support this blog:
 
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Contributors:
  •   Please send any comments or suggestions about America 3.0 to:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • It’s a Matter of Trust

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on January 28th, 2013 (All posts by )

    As the old Billy Joel song goes; that is, a fair portion of a civil society is built on trust. Or at least – a large portion of the citizens in that society not only trust each other, but they generally also trust the civil institutions, too. There is an assumption, albeit slightly frayed around some edges that our institutions are generally benign and have the well-being of the larger public at heart. We assume, or did in the past, that laws are passed for our benefit, that rules are instituted for the same reason, that our elected leaders did, or at least mostly made a convincing pretense of representing the interests of their constituents, and not those of lobbyists bearing large favors. We assumed that our print and broadcast outlets were generally telling the truth and living up to their oft-stated mission to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. We assumed also that our various law enforcement bodies – with the occasional horrible local exception – were out there to protect us from crime and the bad guys. We generally trusted our local town and city governments – unless of course, we lived in a sinkhole of civic corruption and incompetence like New Orleans, Washington DC or Chicago, or anyplace where former mayors and city councilmen frequently wind up in prison. We also trust our fellow citizens, in a large part; a trust which appears perfectly astounding to foreign visitors. We trusted our doctors, to do their best for us, within the scope of what is and was medically possible. And there still remain many places in flyover country where hardly anyone locks the back door of their house, and keeps elaborate garden ornaments in the front yard, secure in the believe that everything – inside as well as outside – will remain in their proper place.

    It is to my sorrow that this trust – is becoming ever more shredded every day which passes. Oh, there always was that fringe who maintained a lively distrust in civic authorities and institutions, about anything and everything from fluoridated water to godless communists on the school board. Members of all minority groups maintained a lively distrust of mainstream establishments over the years, from country clubs to those who enforced the law, to city hall and mainstream churches, frequently with good reason. But at present all that I might see when I look around is the accelerating pace of mis-trust, and an increasing degree of suspicion. Distrust has gone mainstream in a big way. After the Supreme Court ruled on Kelo, who still feels secure in their ownership of property, given the circumstance that it might be a nice bit of property and potentially more valuable in the hands of a corporate owner, aided by a cash-hungry municipal authority? Who, reading about the confiscation of large sums of cash and property from travelers on the bare suspicion of criminal involvement – and knowing that the income from such confiscations becomes part of the law enforcement body’s budget – cannot put aside the suspicion that such seizures are only a pretext to loot the citizenry? The same also goes for stop-light cameras; traffic safety is not the issue – but a substantial cash-flow to the municipality from fines is the main motivation. And older citizens and those with chronic health complaints might have good reason – pace the example set by the so-called Liverpool Care Pathway – to suspect that under universal public healthcare, the cost of treatment might be more of a concern to the healthcare provider than the care of the individual patient? Knowing of the infamous ‘JournoList’ and supposing the existence of a successor to it, one might look at the stories given wall-to-wall coverage, and those which are shoved below the fold and onto the back pages, one also has reason to suspect the worst of journalists as well.

    I could go on with a good few more examples of how trust in what is published and broadcast with regard to the current administration has been severely and perhaps fatally damaged public trust in our newspapers and television news programs.

    Yep, trust is become a diminishing and precious commodity these days. Of all the damage that has been done to these United States and it’s institutions since 9/11, I wonder if that hasn’t been the most telling blow – and the one from which it will be hardest to recover from. That is, if it will be possible to recover at all.

    (Crossposted at www.ncobrief.com)

     

    26 Responses to “It’s a Matter of Trust”

    1. David Foster Says:

      There’s a novel, “Mayday” in which an airliner on an over-the-ocean flight is accidentally hit by a missile, disabling the flight crew, and a private pilot who happens to be on board is trying to save the airplane. The twist is that the people from whom he is seeking advice, at the other end of the radio link, DO NOT want the plane to land safely. The missile that hit the plane was being tested by the Navy, contrary to a test-ban treaty, and the certain senior officers are entirely willing to sacrifice the airline flight and its passengers to keep this information secret. Also, the insurance carrier on the plane figures it would be much less costly to have all the passengers killed outright than to pay for the lifetime institutionalization of those (almost all of them) brain-damaged by rapid decompression.

      The original version of this book, written by airline pilot Thomas Block, came out in 1979…a more recent revision, substantially modified in a collaboration with with Nelson DeMille, is fairly recent. I’d suspect that in 1979, few people would have thought that deliberately crashing an airliner for financial and careerist reasons was anything that could happen outside of a novel…whereas today, quite a few people would be unsurprised if it happened in real life.

    2. grey eagle Says:

      In 1979 government offficiala believed in God. Today the Godless Communists have taken over. The Bibles are out. Guns are on the way.

    3. Bill Brandt Says:

      I first became a bit – ugh – disillusioned when the vet lobby in CA got passed a low prohibiting these companies from cleaning a dog or cat’s teeth
      without a vet present (meaning at least double the cost).

      Meaning whose palms got greased the most – the vets have a lot more money than the small businessmen who provided an affordable service everyone liked.

      (and the vets charge up to $700 for the same service – what we were paying $100 for)

    4. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Trust, and the existence of a cohesive society, has to have as its basis a sense of commonality with the mass of that society, a set of shared beliefs, assumptions, and a society wide understanding that even if there are differences between individuals and groups; that no one will use coercion, force, violence, or the power of the State to impose their view on others.

      That does not exist in this country anymore. Speaking from the Conservative side, the Left is pushing to force all to submit, willingly or not. The last couple of months being confirmation. The very concept of a limited government that does not interfere in or rule over all aspects of life is rejected by the Left. The Constitution itself is being ridiculed, ignored, and threatened by the Left, in actions by the Federal government and in the Leftist media.

      The New York Times called for the abolishment of the Constitution on December 30, 2012.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/opinion/lets-give-up-on-the-constitution.html?_r=0

      Yesterday, CBS News devoted a segment to “Is the Constitution Obsolete” taking the stand that it is.
      http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50139828n

      We do not speak the same language, believe in the same things, or value the others’ existence. This is not a situation that has ever been resolved benignly in history. There is no indication that this will be the first time for such a resolution.

      Subotai Bahadur

    5. VSSC Says:

      Ah but hope on. Hamilton’s Great Beast awakens, and literally arms itself.

      Yes it’s leaderless at present. Most of the people who would lead it are far too comfortable…and often in the pay of Leviathan.

      Worry not for that Beast is power lying fallow, not it’s natural State. For power anywhere to remain fallow there has to be absence of conflict, and we have conflict.

      Advice: do not fight the people. They did not do this, for they have not been sovereign since the New Deal. You cannot blame democracy, we do not have it.

      And do not consider the constable the enemy, for they are not. Quite the opposite by nature. And indeed we have lived long enough to see open Law Enforcement Nullification. Which is I’m certain dwarfed by the quiet nullification. Certain.

      A Trial? Almost certainly. Hopeless? Certainly not.

      Hopeless would be the Beast allowed to fall back into slumber and LOOK! Our enemies nature does not allow them to permit ANYONE peace, and they are not…they poke the bear with more sticks every day.

    6. VSSC Says:

      Speaking of sticks..have you seen the news clip his Majesty put out on how he enjoys Skeet shooting?

      That should quiet the bitter clingers, it can be a comfort to them that His most Serene Sultan can still enjoy potting clay pigeons as they are disarmed.

      A sane government would not ask this people of all peoples on earth to disarm, ignore their reaction of arming to the teeth at a wartime mobilization rate, and then as salve…televise the object of their Royal Fears SKEET SHOOTING.

      Right out of Mel Brooks History of the World. Sire the Peasants are revolting; of course they are, they’re peasants.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYpYs9GBXwY

      Americans. I think we can take these guys. They’re not very smart.

      Now buck up. Troop. TROOP. You know who you are…

    7. TMLutas Says:

      Trust, but verify is a wise attitude that Reagan made famous. Right now, who has the time to verify? The tools aren’t deployed, and attitudes towards informing the public are not appropriate to the task of informing them within the constraints of the time they have to devote to the problem.

      I see the solution. I just don’t have the funding.

    8. Mike Doughty Says:

      Subotai Bahadur: You are absolutely correct. And I agree that, unfortunately, this will not end benignly.

    9. VSSC Says:

      That would be a fascinating solution Mr. Lutas. The public knows well enough. 66 million of them voted for it hoping to get a piece of the gangsters action. 65 Million showed up [including me] for some vague reason..I’m Irish I can plead hopeless romanticism. It’s a birthright.

      The problem isn’t that they’re not informed, they can see quite well what’s going on.

      The Great Question isn’t how do we tell them…the Great Question is what is to be done? And by who…to whom?

      The enemies of Liberty know what they want to do, and they know to WHOM they want to do it.

      As yet Liberties Partisans sulk, mourn their sorry fate to be born to such times – as if every generation slave or free didn’t face trials – and Liberty’s lovers wring their hands in agony.

      Do you see the enemies of Liberty and the lovers of POWER so agonized and conflicted? NO. They are jubliant and striding FORWARD with confidence, nay arrogance, visibly smug. So far not without reason – look at Liberty’s sorry partisans!

      I would recommend the Trials of the Free rather than the Slave. Not to mention their chances. Mourn without hope when you are in chains.

    10. tyouth Says:

      For myself, the watershed incitement of mistrust, and increased distrust of the fed. govt. was the rejection of Robert Bork to the supreme court on purely political grounds. It seems that Bork believed too much in the validity of the constitution as a guide to what and what wasn’t legal.

      “You cannot blame democracy, we do not have it.”

      On the contrary VSSC. Assuming that there wasn’t widespread fraud (I don’t think so, but I certainly don’t rule it out) BHO won the last presidential election. Democracy IS to blame. Democracy let the Philistine’s candidate win. The republic has been corrupted by our most of our “leaders” (cynics and/or weepy fools) using government cheese and selectively not enforcing laws that they find inconvenient to their political advancement and creating blocks of “pets” whose votes they have bought. Democracy will always be a poor, arbitrary, corrosive solution – a tyranny of the many.

    11. VSSC Says:

      Our Founders came to Freedom as suitors, our ancestors until recently were faithful to Her.

      Then came the New Deal.

      The Deal is we were governed from then on not by democracy, or the Constitution of 1789, but by a ruling class that is immune to elections, indeed almost politics.

      The problem with being so governed is it requires as essential two things our Rulers not only lack but scorn: Virtue to be trusted with such Power, and Patriotism to wield it for the benefit of the Governed. Corruption cannot hold such power – but it does – and as for Patriotism they HATE those they govern. You cannot govern well a people you despise. Yet this is our government today.

      For a generation after the New Deal we were well governed. Then came their spawn. They hate us as they hated their parents and for the same reason – they desired their POWER, and now they hate us for the Liberties still remaining with us – they are POWER they do not possess…yet.

      Perhaps if we want our Mother Liberty to smile on us and our posterity we shall have to earn her love.

      Perhaps the Great Question is will we PROVE it? Will we act to prove we love our liberty..and hazard fortune doing so?

      You may say: But we expect the politicians to be faithful Stewards of the Republic? Yes let’s leave the work to them. We did. They weren’t.
      No politician can now safeguard our Liberty even if they wanted to..

      So now the Great Question.

    12. VSSC Says:

      Tyouth,

      Democracy does not govern. The last election merely affirmed the Rulers choice. Had the voters chosen otherwise do you think essential policy would be different?

      We do not operate under the Constitution of 1789, we operate under the Constitution of 1933.

      You may well decry democracy’s well known maladies. Correctly. But democracy did NOT bring us here..

      As for the people – if I wanted a reboot of the USG – and at the time I wanted it I saw as if by miracle Hamilton’s Great Beast awakening I would not look Providence’s great gift horse in the mouth.

    13. VSSC Says:

      Do not fight the people. They are a power awakening to their situation. Which is they are not sovereign, they do not rule, their Rulers are the worst Ruling Class ever, and their Constitution “Dead Parchment”.
      Consider given recent events and the passions aroused by them that Hamilton’s “Great Beast” is awakening to it’s plight? Some can’t stand the idea [democracy, The Republic] however…the reboot has gotten closer. Do consider that the Progs stand astride the world because they had Jacksonian America [Mead, and he's correct] doing their fighting for them, and now The Worst Ruling Class Ever has not only offered endless insult but is clumsily demanding their arms?
      Now it doesn’t matter for this question what you think of them. [I don't think you know them in any case]. It matters the Beast is awake and angry.
      For 50 years the people had Liberty, for the next 100 they had Sovereignty as well, the New Deal took away Sovereignty and they were only dimly aware. For the last 50 years their Liberties have been eroded. Now these ruined, arrogant effete fools demand they disarm. They also have noticed Constitutional Lawyers such as Louis Seidman feel it’s time to drop the mask.
      It’s likely democracy would have come to ruin. But it was not democracy that ruined us, the people have not been sovereign since the New Deal.
      Again I point out it’s one thing to have Jacksonian America conquering for you, it’s another to have it first suspicious and then enraged at you.

    14. Mike K Says:

      “For myself, the watershed incitement of mistrust, and increased distrust of the fed. govt. was the rejection of Robert Bork to the supreme court on purely political grounds.”

      The time when I really began to mistrust anyone in government was when I spent 8 years on the California Medical Association Commission on Legislation. During that time, I managed to make one small contribution by helping a Mormon dentist from Oceanside become the first successful write-in candidate for Congress since the Civil War.

      Ron was a very small robin and he didn’t bring a spring but it was a rare win for the the good guys. I then was foolish enough to get involved in local politics. There is nothing worse than local politics because the stakes, as Kissinger said, are so small. I got involved with a good government group in the small city where I lived. The local city council was thoroughly corrupt, meaning that they were sure they knew better then anyone else what needed to be done.

      The city finally was able to elect one reformist council woman. The rest of the city council, three of whom were other women, would not speak to her. They voted down all her nominations for city boards and commissions. Finally, someone came to me and asked if I would serve on the planning commission. I was nominated and confirmed only because I had operated on the majority of the council. The woman who appointed me was a small person and had MS. She was constantly harassed by the city manager who resembled an angry pig. She was courageous and read the city check register religiously. It was amazing what she found.

      Finally, after a couple of years, the good government group was able to oust the council majority and elect a reform majority.

      Do you know what then happened ? The new majority made new friends and within a year had turned on the folks who supported them for election. The same old lobbies, with a local focus, went back to running the city. The council majority, before we got them out, had spent most of the city’s reserves and I don’t know what kind of shape they are in now. It’s a wealthy community so will probably survive, unlike five other California cities.

      I gave up then. They are all corrupt. There are rare exceptions, like Romney, but they are few.

    15. TMLutas Says:

      VSSC – You may be dubious but bear with me. What I’m talking about is a high colonic of government that has not been previously attempted.

      In Lake County Indiana, it is illegal to do curb side pickup. This is why we don’t have Megabus stopping off in our neck of the woods and we don’t have jitneys and we don’t have taxi/livery hanging out at the train stations to pick up tired and footsore commuters. That’s a corporatist deal that was brokered, in part, by the street car operators many decades ago. We don’t have the street cars anymore but we still have that law.

      In fact, we have thousands of laws just like it.

      Plenty of people on the right and the left would like to be able to hail a cab, or put up a tree house, or provide fish pedicures, or do a thousand other things that they are restrained from doing. We don’t know the laws. We don’t know who can change them. We have no ready made forums where opponents can gather and form a community to oppose such laws on a law by law basis. The technical work to create such things is large but not actually that difficult. It’s sort of like creating a domain parking website, for an internet registrar. You do it once and every subsequent iteration is fully automated.

      Other aspects will focus on assigning responsibility. If my sewer isn’t properly separated and a storm sees my basement with 4 feet of water in it because of it, who is responsible? Ahead of time, can I have a dashboard that identifies all these infrastructure vulnerabilities and the people who are responsible for making things right in each case?

      That’s not something that needs a lot of sophistication. It does need a lot of focused effort to actually get the work done. Nobody’s ever tried it. Or perhaps you know of an effort I am ignorant of. Please inform me if I missed something like that in my research.

      Mike K – One of the things I would like to accomplish is to normalize the posting of all government check registries on the Internet in a standardized format that is amenable to automated analysis.

      Reform candidates are not vessels of our hopes and dreams. They are ablatives thrust into the sand blaster of corrupt government. Get in, serve your time while fighting, and then get out before you lose your soul.

    16. VSSC Says:

      Good luck and God Speed Mr Lutas with your proposed Colonic Reforms.

      It’s quite useful to point out their laws defy simple enumeration, never mind codification, never mind reason or just administration.

      They are also POWER. Little councilman Tim can have his neighbor cited for a treehouse, or curbside pickup, or what have you.

      A description of our Constitutions Sir defied the powers of USG itself in 2009, in fact they couldn’t count the felonies. We have not only an unwritten Constitution but un-writable.

      A defense of said USG’s actual Constitution would strain the Powers of Lucifer. Never mind men. So that is what we should make them defend. Make them defend what IS.

      What I think is useful is to point this out with the object of pointing out that “legally” we may be said to already have a tyranny and a very corrupt one. Said tyranny was erected in part thru legalism, which is now of course it’s desperate hope.

      So your line of attack is useful. Bearing in mind that a termite does not seek reform.

      Reform is not possible, it would not be possible for a reform ticket of Lucifer, Almighty God and the Founders Risen back to life by his hand.

      For you see all of them – God, the Founders, and Lucifer – have MAN to deal with, MAN has Free Will, and these men have POWER. Which almost none surrender freely. Certainly not these men. Pointing out they are corrupt, that we have no Constitution that can even be listed never mind understood does not persuade them of the need to change.

      What actually IS our government is the strongest bar to office for people of good character and intentions, and the whips that drive them to submission or out of office.

    17. Mike K Says:

      “They are also POWER. Little councilman Tim can have his neighbor cited for a treehouse, or curbside pickup, or what have you. ”

      The case that lead to my resigning from the planning commission was a retaining wall that a guy built to replace an old wood one that was failing. He lived at the top of the hill and was a contractor. He built, with his neighbors’ permission, a concrete retaining wall that was far more substantial than the one he replaced. The trouble was that it enlarged his back yard by about ten feet and was higher than the old one.

      The house next door was subsequently sold to a young family and the husband eventually filed a complaint with the city because the larger yard next door could allow someone to look into his yard. Then two fat women down the hill got into the act by complaining that the man who built the wall could, by standing at the edge of his yard, see down into their bedroom windows. Why anyone would want to do so was never raised.

      It turned out that the contractor had not pulled permits for his wall. He thought that the fact he was replacing the previous wall was enough. He should have known better. He had photos during construction that showed the wall far exceeded code requirements. However, it was higher than the code allowed. His other neighbors at the top of the hill all supported him. He had lived there many years and was well liked. They even came to planning commission meetings to support him.

      This occupied most of the time of the commission for a year. The young man next door who started it, eventually was convinced his concerns were groundless and withdrew his complaint. However, the two fat ladies went to the same church as one of the council women. I had recruited her as a reform candidate and later regretted it. She is still on the council, I saw when I looked the other day.

      Anyway, the city council finally voted to force him to tear down the wall. This would cost him about $20,000 plus whatever it cost to replace it. I quit shortly after.

    18. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I don’t think that it will not be very much longer before a majority of Americans move from viewing the government and all it’s agencies and departments as something essentially benign to something actively hostile. How many garage workshops and Etsy-ers making childrens toys and clothing looked at CPSIA – which was supposed to protect children against exposure to lead contamination in imports from China – and felt a cold chill. How many farmers landowners and small fishermen are looking at the EPA or theDepartment of Land,Air and Water Resources and feeling the same? How many more people, who have sold a car or property for cash, are going to be arrested on the suspician of a lawman that because they are carrying a large amount of cash, therefore must be up to something? Once there is a large number of ordinary and formerly law-abiding citizens who don’t feel inclined to obey the law of their own volition because they do not trust the law-givers, and feel that the law-givers are openly hostile to the ordinary citizen… we have entered into another dimension.
      I am also very certain that many of those well-meaning bureaucrats and politicians are doing what they are doing for what they believe are good and valid reasons, and to benefit their department and mission, but the overall cost in legitimacy is something they are increasingly blind towards.

    19. veryretired Says:

      Many years ago in school, we were studying the Egyptian dynasties, and there was a section about the mysterious fall of an early dynasty that had been very successful and powerful for centuries, but then suddenly collapsed in the space of one or two decades. I am not trying to sound arrogant when I say it seemed obvious to me that what happened was that the Nile floods failed, the pharoah and priesthood lost their legitimacy as direct connections with the gods, and the people revolted out of hunger and fear.

      I just saw a documentary about some archeologists making the same assertion based on some new evidence they had uncovered.

      Exactly the story of the French revolution, and, I’s sure, many, many others, including some also mysterious collapses that occurred here in the ancient American cultures.

      The fatal flaw in collectivism, whether monarchical, ideological, or theocratic, is that the more the rulers claim authority over, the more they become responsible for, and the more, and faster, their mistakes add up.

      This failure, which is inevitable, yet always unseen and unexpected by the ruling elites, is at the foundation of all these disillusioned populations, impotent elites, and collapsed establishments, from the pharoahs to the sun kings to the kremlin insiders.

      In ancient times, in a life of grinding work, poverty, uncertainty, and superstitious fear, it might take centuries for the accumulated stupidities of the ruling classes to add up to a regime ripe for failure when the drought strikes, or the enemy approaches.

      In a modern global economy and social environment, mistakes multiply with geometric ferocity, and the more the state claims power over, the faster the incompetencies of the strutting fools in their government offices, and the cadres in their office warrens pile up, until the weakened columns crack, and the overloaded roof collapses.

      We are now starting to see the blurred outlines of the writing on the wall, and soon it will become clear, as it did in ancient times, “Mene mene tekel upharsin”.

      You have been weighed in the scales and found wanting.

    20. VSSC Says:

      Actually if you take DeTocqueville as a source – The Ancien Regime and the Revolution – they’ve duplicated it.

      With critical differences: the actual French Executive – The Intendancy and the Royal Council – could not be called a Criminal conspiracy to extract as much from France as they could using Control Fraud and taxation as their criminal vehicle. They had taxes, they had corvees [as we would except for illegals] but they were not an open criminal conspiracy to extract as much wealth as possible and concentrate it in the Captial. It happened naturally. Here and now is design.

      And the French Monarchy and French nobility – actual real Aristocracies in History in General – didn’t hate their subjects. Nor sneer at them. No god or man ever ruled as Stalin. Find a picture of him sneering. Find a picture of our Rulers NOT sneering, especially at Tea Party types.

      Fools along with their other flaws.

      Actively hostile? Sgt my brother has worked in the Civilian side of DC for some time. When he commented that Europe’s chances were better than ours as the French govt does not hate the French, the German govt does not hate the Germans. I pointed out that the American government does hate the average American. A light visibly came over his face, comprehension.

      You cannot govern long those you HATE. Not with any level of repression. That’s not even Stalin. That is Nero.

    21. VSSC Says:

      The reason to HATE is simple. They are at war with the rest of America, a war of conquest, a war of subjagation.

      And for them a war of profits. They treat this country and all it’s assets as the Spanish did El Dorado – the mountain of silver.

      The enemies of American Liberty are already pyschologicaly at war. So they do not approach us as a benign paternalism.

      We are approached with..Statecraft. Remember that when this man Obama speaks to us. He’s not misguided. He can say anything – no matter how ridiculous – because we are being approached with the view of Statecraft.

      We’ll see how capable a Bismarck he is…if he succeeds of course that’s how he will be remembered. This is an American Bismarck at the head of a Prussian collectivism. We’re not fellow citizens of the First Citizen.

      We’re targets. Of an American Bismarck.

    22. VSSC Says:

      And no…you can’t trust a Bismarck.

    23. David Foster Says:

      VR…”The fatal flaw in collectivism, whether monarchical, ideological, or theocratic, is that the more the rulers claim authority over, the more they become responsible for, and the more, and faster, their mistakes add up.”

      Responsibility can be largely hidden, though, if the regime adopts a system of economic Fascism rather than outright Socialism. Under pure socialism, if there is not enough food in the stores, people will blame the regime. Under economic fascism, the regime can cast blame on the evil middlemen, the greedy supermarket owners, etc…even though the shortages were *really* caused by policies imposed by the regime.

    24. TMLutas Says:

      Ouch, my last reply seems to have gotten eaten up so I’m reconstructing here a bit.

      VSSC – There was a budget, and a personnel roster, and a time limit in the 2009 effort to enumerate and one or all three of them simply ran out. That’s in the nature of a classic government program. What I am doing is different, because the maintenance costs for an established data conduit are very small, basically just a bit of electricity. The bulk of the costs are establishing the conduit and people will, if the job is packaged correctly, volunteer to do this sort of thing. And the problem of oversight is continual so as long as someone is willing to coordinate the effort, what you have is a positive ratchet. There is some ungodly large number of x conduits that need to be built and for every conduit that is successfully built, network effects make your effort more valuable and you draw more volunteers. It’s like that nasty government growth ratchet but in a good way.

      As a practical matter, I spent, part time, a couple of years freeing up the voter rolls of Lake County, IN. I would not have succeeded if the Democrat Party chair, for his own reasons because we never have talked about it, didn’t ask that this be done as well. Data is already coming online and will continue to do so. Once that data is free and a conduit is established to pull it into the data warehouse, all of a sudden, a whole class of oversight people who had been dealing with abstractions, guesswork, and fuzzy numbers will be able to speak specifically about what is wrong.

      Hiding the MEFO bills worked for the nazis because their amount and number were a formal state secret. This is not how the US hides the secrets that the ruling class wishes to hide. They take the needles and dump them into haystacks. The information revolution kills this strategy but only if you apply the tools to the problem of sorting needle from hay. Right now there is no comprehensive open effort to do so. We’re in the early 1980s in terms of the psychological space this field inhabits.

      I think you are dancing around a different point, that our leaders are not virtuous and that our society has a serious virtue deficit. You are correct there, but that is a topic for a different thread.

    25. veryretired Says:

      DF—Just wrote an essay on that very question over at samizdata if you are interested.

    26. steveaz Says:

      SgtMom,
      The scales fell from my eyes when I witnessed Madison, WI’s law-enforcement agents neglect to evacuate the state’s capitol building after a reasonable time.

      The lesson I took was, We citizens cannot expect unionized “enforcement” cadres to evict union-activists’ cadres from government chambers.

      The system’s broken.