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2017-11-18 07:18 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 380 references
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Recall the caterwauling from various Senators related to Moore, candidate for Jeff Session's seat from Alabama.

The allegations against Moore have become ever-more salacious and ever-thinner in terms of evidence, however.  It even appears that one of the pieces of alleged "evidence" was intentionally tampered with -- that is, manufactured, and what's even worse is that one of the people making the allegations seems to have a personal reason to go after the guy.

But let's put that singular incident aside for a minute to discuss sexual harassment and even rape in the context of our Federal Government.  You see, our government is fantastic when it comes to finding ways to evade the very laws they impose on everyone else.  You can pretty-well define an action of Congress to be the exact opposite of its title; "PPACA" being one of the prime examples (Obamacare.)  Not only were there damn few protections in the alleged "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" there's nothing affordable about the 200+% rate increases some people are seeing this year.

Well, in 1995, which I remind you was right at the time Bill Clinton was playing with stinky cigars in the Oval Orifice, Congress decided to pass a law which can be properly called "Congressional Protection For Sexual Assault Act of 1995." Of course it's not really entitled that; it's allegedly called "The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995."

This law was debated and passed in the House 429-0.  It then went to the Senate and was passed by unanimous consent and was signed by then-President Clinton.

You got it -- not one "No" vote between either chamber.

This must have really been a good law, right?

Well, for Congress it was -- if they liked to diddle their sexatary, pages, or other people in their offices.

Gee, I can see why Bill Clinton liked that bill too!

Let's look at it.

The bill says that all these other laws (discrimination, sexual harassment, OSHA regs, etc) do apply to Congress.  Wow, what a subject for a bill!  I thought we had a 14th Amendment that guaranteed equal protection of the law already; for what purpose did we need this bill?

Well, that shall become clear, I suspect, in a minute.

You see, Congress just ignored laws it didn't like for itself, or exempted itself.  This is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment to the extent it prejudices someone's rights, for example, if a Congressional employee is sexually harassed or assaulted by a member of Congress.  But naw, we can't follow the Constitution so we pass this.

It provides more protection (which might be Constitutional) -- right?

Uh, no.

First, it shreds the Statute of Limitations for all such conduct, capping it at 180 days.  Period.  181 days, tough crap cookie, your complaint goes in the round file.

Second, you are then (as an alleged victim with a complaint) required to undergo "counseling" for 30 days.  No, I'm not kidding:

(a) In General.--A congressional employee alleging a violation of a law made applicable to the legislative branch of the Federal Government under this Act may request counseling through the Office. The Office shall provide the employee with all relevant information with respect to the rights of the employee. A request for counseling shall be made not later than 180 days after the alleged violation forming the basis of the request for counseling occurred.

(b) Period of Counseling.--The period for counseling shall be 30 days unless the employee and the Office agree to reduce the period. The period shall begin on the date the request for counseling is received.

That's right -- you have to attend "counseling", and it must be for 30 days.  Miss one, tough noogies, your complaint goes in the round file.

It doesn't end there.

If you're still unhappy (gee, you think you might be if you got harassed or assaulted?) you then must, within 15 days of the end of the counseling, file a request for mediation.  Said mediation must include the person who harassed or assaulted you, and goes on for another 30 days, which may be extended for 30 more.

I'm sure that spending 30 or 60 days in the same room with someone who harassed or assaulted you attempting to "mediate" your dispute, which incidentally doesn't include a right for you to have counsel present (unless you pay for it out of your own pocket at the going rate, likely $300/hour+), is going to be perfectly fine.

Let's say you jump through both of those hoops.  You now have a fork in the road in front of you.  You can ask for a "formal complaint" and hearing, or you can sue in district court.  Note that if you fail to complete both of the above steps to the board's satisfaction your ability to pursue the complaint ends before you get here.

Now let's say you go for the hearing.  It's non-judicial, but the results are supposed to be published.  Have you ever seen such a decision?  Neither have I.  Are you telling me there have been no such hearings?  Hmmmm...

That's good enough to get out the wood chippers, but it gets better.  Irrespective of the offense or severity the member involved is completely immune from any financial penalties or costs.

That's right -- the Congressperson in question not only cannot be financially penalized and the taxpayer is forced to cover the bill for their proved unlawful acts their legal fees, if any, are paid by the taxpayer as well even if they're found guilty!

(h) Remedy Order.--If the decision of the hearing board under subsection (g) is that a violation of a law made applicable to the legislative branch of the Federal Government under this Act has occurred, it shall order the remedies under such law as made applicable to the legislative branch of the Federal Government under this Act, except that no Member of the House of Representatives, Senator, any other head of an employing office, or any agent of such a Member, Senator, or employing office, shall be personally liable for the payment of compensation. The hearing board shall have no authority to award punitive damages. The entry of an order under this subsection shall constitute a final decision for purposes of judicial review under section 11.

(i) Funds.--There shall be established in the House of Representatives and in the Senate a fund from which compensation (including attorney's fees) may be paid in accordance with an order under subsection (h) or as a result of judicial review under section 11 or a civil action under section 12. From the outset of any proceeding in which compensation may be paid from a fund of the House of Representatives, the General Counsel of the House of Representatives may provide the respondent with representation.

Oh, and unless the actions of this board are clearly arbitrary or an abuse of discretion, or procedure wasn't followed, you cannot recover in a suit following such a decision either.

Now let's say you decide to sue instead of going before this "board."  You can do that too (but not both), however the same rules apply when it comes to judgments.  The member of Congress or his/her staff cannot be compelled to pay anything, no punitive damages can be awarded and the member's legal fees are covered where yours are "possibly" awardable if you win.

Incidentally if you're not well-versed in civil law the odds of you obtaining a fee judgement to cover your legal costs in nearly all civil actions are approximately equal to the odds of being hit by an asteroid as you retrieve your mail this afternoon.  Got $50,000 or more for counsel you can afford to see go "poof" like a fart in a Church?  That's the opening bid on costs, by the way -- in a civil action with discovery and such at $300/hour it's not hard to wind up with a $100,000+ legal bill which you have to be able to pay yourself, with the likely retainer ask being anywhere from 20 to 50 large up front?  If not?  No lawyer for you!

Oh, and if that's not good enough?  Counseling, mediation and hearings are all confidential.  The public has no right to know.  At all.  The only exception is of course if you sue, since courtrooms are open and anyone can show up and watch.

Now let's review.

This law can best be described as the "Assault Your Secretary And Get Away With It Act of 1995."  It prohibits a member of Congress or his or her staff from being held personally responsible for their unlawful conduct.  It dramatically shortens the Statute of Limitations (unconstitutionally) for anyone who works for Congress in regard to these actions, it forces someone who has been violated by a member to mediate said dispute in their presence, it places absolute bars on filing suit unless you have first been "counseled" and "mediated" to the satisfaction of said board and finally, it forces the taxpayer to pay for all costs the member incurs, including legal fees and judgments if found responsible, while the person who brings the complaint is entitled to nothing, must hire their own counsel and pay them with their own money with a near-zero chance of recovering anything, ever.

Oh, and by the way, despite all these roadblocks this fund has actually paid out some $15 million anyway (in other words, after all those hoops some people have won) yet there is no public record, anywhere, of which Congresscritters got nailed, for what, and what the penalty imposed that the taxpayer picked up for each of them was.

You can talk about to me about "outrage" in Congress in regards to sexual harassment or even outright sexual assault when this crap law is repealed, the 14th Amendment is enforced with respect to all laws regarding sexual assault, harassment and employment law in general and every member of Congress, in either the House or Senate, who was present in 1995 and thus voted for this unconstitutional piece of crap that effectively authorized systemic sexual assault and harassment against anyone working for a member of Congress resigns, forfeits their pension and all other federal benefits and then drinks a can of Drano on television in public.

Until then, ladies and gentlemen in Congress, whether present in 1995 or not, you can all **** off.

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2017-11-14 08:53 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 393 references
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The worm turns....

Beverly Young Nelson, appearing with Gloria Allred, said that when she was 16 Moore groped her in a car, locked the doors, grabbed her neck in an attempt to force sexual contact and left her with bruises after she escaped. Her story will be subjected to scrutiny, but as a self-described Trump voter, Nelson has no apparent motivation to lie. She is the first accuser to say that Moore accosted her, and in fact says she feared he would******her.

Well, are we sure of that?  Gloria Allred has a long and well-documented axe to grind with anyone who isn't a Democrat.  Her very association with the story taints it.

I'm not convinced, but I don't get to vote in the special election.  I will say this, however -- there's a claim Moore signed this Beverly's High School Yearbook.  Does the yearbook still exist and has that been seen in public?  In other words, did he really do so?

That would make my eyebrows go up.  Oh, there are probably reasons for a 30ish year old adult man to sign a teen girl's high-school yearbook (including, may I remind you, her asking him as someone she thought was 'cute' or maybe even more) but that signed yearbook certainly would go to credibility, and it would be the first piece of documentary evidence to back up the story.

Or would it?

Let's assume she's got the yearbook (it has shown up) and Moore really is a creep and committed sexual assault behind her place of employment.  So she's got in her possession a yearbook that would make her cry every time she pulls it out for the last 40 years?  Hmmmm...

I'm not the brightest guy out here in newsland but I understand people and psychology fairly well.  Damn few people keep around and refer to things that cause them severe psychological pain to go back through unless they have to for some reason.

So tell me in the comments -- did the yearbook show up on the TeeVee with his signature?  Can we corroborate that Moore actually signed it and it hasn't been tampered with?  If so then someone ought to consider that one of two things has to be true:

1. Beverly had it signed after she was allegedly assaulted by the man who assaulted her.  In this case my bull**** detector goes off instantly and Beverly's credibility is immediately and permanently destroyed: The manifest weight of the evidence is that no assault occurred because nobody in their right mind would allow someone who tried to force oral sex upon them and left bruises on their body during the attempt to sign their yearbook.


2. Beverly kept a memento from a man who first signed the book and then, in reasonably close proximity time-wise, sexually assaulted her.  Yet throughout the intervening 40 years she never pulled out that yearbook in front of anyone for she would have been left teary-eyed and, of course, asked for an explanation. Oh, and she never defaced his signature either (like by writing "creep!" over the top of it)?

If I had been sexually assaulted and the person who did it had previously signed my yearbook I'd add an annotation or three to that page, and I might be inclined to do it at the gun range -- if I kept the book at all.  This, of course, assumes that I was assaulted after it was signed.  If that same someone assaulted me and then asked to sign my yearbook they would have wound up eating it -- because I would have rammed it up their ass far enough that they could taste it.

Of course there's always the possibility that the yearbook has been tampered with.  That's easily proved if so; a bit of forensics will get to the bottom of that immediately since it's easy to know whether the oxidation rate of the ink on the page is consistent through the signature -- and is 40 years old.  If not then the entire story collapses instantly since we then have proof of intentionally-false "evidence" and everyone involved in this must be prosecuted and sued, being asset-stripped to their underwear (such tampering would be legally-admissible proof of "bad faith".)

My jury is out, but IMHO it's not looking good for the Allred persecution, er, "prosecution" here....

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2017-11-02 09:56 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 178 references
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Let's talk about religiously-inspired insanity and what this nation has to do to put a final and complete stop to it for anyone entering this nation.

Let's start here:

8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.

9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.

13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

I see no fewer than eight commands to murder someone, one by burning (presumably at the stake), all for consensual adult conduct, one of them for mere speech.

Now let me point something out: I have not heard of one modern-day Jew or Christian that holds forth the belief that any of these commands are legitimate in the modern day.  Therefore, irrespective of one's claim to believe in the "Inerrant Word of God" that claim if "inerrancy" and "totality" is horse**** polemic and not factual within their belief system.

Both Jews and Christians, which I remind you share this part of their Holy Book intact, have eschewed those particular passages (among others) as not being actual commandments from divinity.

Any Jew or Christian who did profess that such commandments are real and in force would be a religious terrorist.  They would have laid claim to the right to arrogate to themselves a religious test for behavior, the failure of which brings upon common man not only the right but the duty to execute the violator(s).

This does not prevent someone from finding any of those consensual adult behaviors detestable.  You're free to look down your nose all you'd like. What you're not free to do is impose a religious test backed up with the threat or execution of murder.

I remind you that The First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The highest law in the land prohibits any such religious test.  It also prohibits the criminalization of mere speech, which means that you are a terrorist if you believe that Leviticus 20:9 is a factual commandment from the divine.

It further prohibits the imposition of the remainder of Leviticus 20's prohibitions as a matter of enforcement of religious sanction since that would be the very definition of "establishment."

It is a fundamental duty of the United States Federal Government to prohibit the entry of non-citizen persons into this country or the continued presence thereof who hold a sincere belief that they have not only the right but a duty to violate the US Constitution, especially when said violation comes in the form of murdering others.

It is therefore not only defensible but required that the State Department and US Customs make reasonable and diligent inquiry of any non-citizen as to their beliefs in this regard.  Such beliefs may have as their basis any particular religion or religious text but such is neither necessary or sufficient to result in being barred.  As the US Constitution forbids establishment such cannot be predicated on mere religious affiliation but in fact the US Constitution and First Amendment demand that such inquiry be made and followed up irrespective of the well from which same flows, whether it be the Judeo-Christian books known as the Torah or Old Testament, the Quoran or any other source, secular, religious or political.

Political correctness in this regard is not only factually wrong it is in direct contravention of the requirements of the United States Constitution.  Any federal employee or office-holder who proclaims same has thus violated their oath of office and by doing so has effectively resigned, forfeiting not only their right to claim any sort of protection or special privilege of said office but also any benefit, financial or otherwise, that they would but for their conduct enjoy.

We must bar, today and forevermore, those who hold beliefs that are correctly described as that of a terrorist.  When such is associated with a religion, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or otherwise we must attach the correct label to such persons and their beliefs, whether it be "Muslim Terrorist", "Christian Terrorist" or, if the belief is simply secular, just plain old-fashioned "terrorist."  In all such cases among non-citizens irrespective of any other qualification those person must be barred from entry to the United States and, if already present and non-citizens, must be immediately removed.


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2017-10-27 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 283 references
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64,000 dead last year, roughly, from unintentional drug overdoses. (ed: I'm not sure I trust that number, although it's allegedly official.  Nonetheless, it's huge.)

An over 100% increase in opiod deaths in the last few years, and several hundred percent among synthetic opiods such as fentanyl.

Most abuse deaths start with prescription drugs.

There are myriad overlapping issues involved here.  The profit motive among drug companies and doctors figure into the problem.  The utterly ridiculous amount of synthetic opiod (100x as strong in "neat" form as heroin) that comes in from China (illegally) to Mexico and then the US is a major component as well.  Congress passed a law a few years ago (by voice vote -- unanimous consent!) that made cracking down on abusive prescription opiod shipments harder and, in some cases, impossible -- lobbied for by, you guessed it, the drug industry.

Then there's Afghanistan.  Guess what one of their primary crops is?  Why are we there again, exactly?

Opiods have their place in pain management, most-particularly in patients where nobody cares if addiction occurs.  Hospice is the obvious (and utterly defensible) example.  But I can tell you with absolute certainty that when those meds are "diverted", even when it's detected literally within hours and the person who did so couldn't have ingested all of it yet (they'd be very dead), it is basically never investigated and prosecuted despite being a serious criminal offense.

I'm not guessing here folks -- I know this as fact.

We desperately need to stop treating all drugs the same at the same time.  There is a fair bit of evidence emerging that in places that have legalized marijuana opiod death rates are impacted for the better -- that is, they grow slower or even go down somewhat compared with locales that have not done so.  It's logical, incidentally -- marijuana has known positive impacts on how people feel when suffering from a number of conditions, and there's evidence it's directly helpful in others.  Cancer and glaucoma are just two of many examples; one in that it greatly improves tolerance of chemotherapy, and in the latter there is evidence of direct benefit.  Ironically one of the "side effects" listed from smoking weed for glaucoma would be beneficial to a large number of people -- it was observed to lower blood pressure!

Of course being stoned is incompatible with a number of occupations, but then again what you're stoned on isn't really all that material, is it?  I find it especially galling that those who are anti-marijuana are perfectly ok with you having a prescription for an opioid that produces a high -- so long as a doctor gave it to you.  If being stoned is bad then it's bad no matter the path that led you get stoned, right?

The temptation is strong to declare "war" on some malady like this, but usually what we wind up doing is jailing a lot of people and making no real dent in the problem.  The opiod epidemic is multi-faceted, but it is blatantly obvious that the drug companies have "pushed" these drugs, understated the potential for addiction (possibly intentionally with a motive of profit) and both physicians and others in the chain of supply have either said nothing or winked and nodded while cashing the checks.  The number of prescriptions for these drugs is staggering and vastly beyond any defensible evidence of appropriate use.

At the same time the illegal supply of synthetic opiods flooding into the country from precursors that are in the vast majority sourced from China is an outrage, and one that should be met with immediate and strong trade sanction.  There's simply no excuse for this and we as a nation should not be trading with nations that are, through their actions, intentionally poisoning our citizens.

We can hit China in the wallet on this, hard -- and we must.  I recommend we burn a million dollars of their T-bills and bonds on the White House lawn for every American that ODs on fentanyl until their sourcing of same into this nation, directly and indirectly via Mexico, stops.

There are answers to this problem but they are not going to be found through shooting first or, even worse, protecting those who have stoked and profited from generating this epidemic, whether those be drug companies, doctors or the Chinese.

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2017-10-24 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 733 references
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What keeps people up at night?

For ordinary folks it tends to be ordinary things.  You think you might have cancer.  You fear your kid is going to screw up big-time and wind up pregnant and alone, in prison or dead.  You fear an approaching hurricane; you have no money to evacuate nor can you rebuild if your home gets destroyed, as you couldn't afford insurance.

For people with lots of money and power all those ordinary things really don't bother them very much.  The kid-based fears are still real, but you can buy their way out of most -- but not all -- of those.  The others?  Meh.  Look at Steve Jobs, who got cancer and yet he both extended his life and finagled a transplant that nobody else could have managed, simply because he was rich.  Yes, the cancer got him anyway but it would have gotten anyone else a hell of a lot faster.  Hurricane?  Into the G-IV we go and call the insurance company.  There are a number of wrecked multi-million dollar yachts in SE Florida right now that could have been moved before the hurricanes came, but weren't -- they were left inadequately secured and were, as expected, destroyed. The (almost-certainly rich) owners basically sold their boats to the insurance company; it happens in every big storm and is why premiums spike like mad as soon as we are hit by one.  In the worst case (e.g. Richard Branson) you hide in your wine cellar and then rebuild when it's over -- you have both insurance and money, never mind other places to live while your palace is restored to its former glory.

No, what these people fear is the sort of thing that just happened with Harvey Weinstein. Not so much that Harvey blew up, of course, but rather instead of being contained to him, it is spreading like the fire from a match tossed on a pile of dry straw in a barn.  There are myriad people who have pulled the same crap for decades and suddenly the "social contract" (read: payoffs) that locked up the voices of all of those who were abused has been shattered.  It's a social mood shift and it brings the hammer down -- hard.

One would hope that the hammer which comes remains civil and lawful but there's no guarantee of that.  Reality is that nobody has eyes in the back of their head.  You can buy security, and most of these people do, but it's both expensive and following protocols to the letter, which you have to do to remain reasonably secure, is a huge pain in the ass.  You can't go to a Christmas party at a friend's house, you can't have one at your own house without screening the people who come, you can't even go into a Church on Sunday.  Travel in your own car, driving, is right out of the question.  So is a visit to an amusement park or shopping at the local mall.  Your home(s) are essentially encased in razor-wire, although you make it look pretty, with all the potential places someone could snipe you from 500ish yards away blocked by hard cover -- and guards.

You might have a big-ass yacht and a G-IV, but what you don't have is the ability to decide to get in your Chevy and head up to the local watering hole for a drink and watch a baseball game.  Or, for that matter, to go to one yourself.  Run a 10k Saturday morning?  On your own property, sure, but on a public street?  Hell no -- that's 3.1 miles each direction you'd have to evacuate everyone from for a radius of 500+ yards.  Forget it.  What I just did -- three races in two days, a 10k, a 5k that evening and then a half-marathon, all on open, public city streets with only a couple of cops (to try to keep the random idiot from hitting us with a car by accident)?  Not if you want to maintain physical security.

You basically have to build yourself a prison and then live inside it.

So most of these guys don't really follow the rules.  The President does, but then again he doesn't write the checks and it's part of the job, which all candidates know before running.  Having the Secret Service go into a hotel before he gets there a couple of days in advance and check everything is just part of the deal.  So is renting a whole floor so you can keep the random ******* in the next suite from being someone other than a random *******, never mind riding around in the back of an up-armored car that's damn close to a tank in terms of it's resistance to attack.

Harvey?  Ha!  Not a snowball's chance in Hell he plays by those rules.  Nor do any of these other guys.  Beyond heads of state nobody does because nobody will put up with that **** and neither will their families.

The local hospital director?  He goes home -- in a Porsche or Lexus, but he goes home and he probably drives himself.  He might have a big boat, but what he almost-certainly doesn't have is a private security force that has the force of law behind them like the Secret Service.  People like Weinstein have chauffeurs but most of them like to drive their own exotic cars a decent part of the time -- you see the chauffeur is a feather in their cap at big public events, of course, and maybe a burly dude or two packing along with him.  Even "big name" executives like Zucker****er and Bezos have the "trappings" of security but not the reality of it.

Nor do Congressmen and women, or any of the people in your State House and Senate, your County Commissioners and City Council members.  Even the mayor of most major cities has nothing more than a couple of cops hanging around him all the time and perhaps a somewhat-upgraded perimeter around their "mansion."  Ditto for the Governor of a state.

No, you see what causes Night Terrors in people with this kind of money and power, whether in the private sector or otherwise, are two possibilities, one "civil" and one not-so-much.

The "civil" one is that someone like Weinstein "blows up" and the rest of those who are guilty of the same garbage get fingered for it along with him.  That sort of event is completely out of their control, which is why they wake up with night sweats; they simply never know if or when the mood will rapidlshift in the country and what was a simmering series of payoffs to people and lawsuits over various very bad acts will turn into "Money ain't enough -- I want your ass in prison, out of a job and broke, and I don't much care in what order those things happen."

The very uncivil possibility is even worse, of course, because unless you're a head-of-state your so-called physical security isn't worth a fart in church.  Oh sure, against one lone nut these measures are almost always enough, and God knows there are a lot of crazy people out there.  That's why folks in those positions pay for said pseudo-security and why people below heads-of-state in fact are reasonably secure with a cop or two watching things in a civil society.  The nuts are pretty easy to defend against because they're crazy and, equally-important, they nearly always act alone.  After all, why would a bunch of sane people follow someone obviously missing a couple of cans from their six-pack?

But none of this applies to the civil or uncivil courses of action if the social mood shifts en-masse and now you have a whole bunch of people who aren't crazy but are hell-bent on justice -- or worse, vengeance. Suddenly you have coldly-calculating, thinking and intelligent folks who you screwed one time too many and they decide individually, but at roughly the same time, that you're not going to get away with it any more.

We're seeing what may be the start of the civil alternative right now in the entertainment industry.  If you're a very rich (or even moderately-rich) creep in that industry you can't be sleeping very well this last couple of weeks.  Who knows how far this goes before it burns out.  It might fizzle rather quickly but then again it might burn far and hot enough to get back into The Lolita Express and everyone who ever took a ride on it, along with going into the halls of government at both a state and federal level.  It sure looks to me like it's not stopping with Harvey Weinstein; every day or three there's another very wealthy and powerful person in the bizness who is finding out that his fingering is coming back to haunt him.  The only real question right now is whether it will remain contained to the entertainment industry.

The jury is out on that thus far....

Where things could get very sporty, however, is if people start recognizing some of the other and arguably much worse abuses that are regularly served up by the wealthy and powerful.  For example, what if people recognize that they're being robbed of a house each and every year and both very wealthy private individuals and government officials at all levels are responsible for it?

Then there's the quite-possibly far worse scenario: America recognizes as a body politic that 200,000 Americans are killed by these abuses every year, it is the third leading cause of death in the country, and it happens simply because there's no incentive to do things right when the hospital or doctor can bill you for the cost of fixing their own mistakes even if they're unfixable or kill you.  The human misery and cost in dollars is bad enough but 200,000 avoidable deaths..... is that an unsupported span far enough out for the mood to shift suddenly and without warning, leading to its collapse?

How many wives and husbands, or parents, have been dispossessed of a spouse or child via these scams and schemes?

The good news for our society and nation as a whole is that there is a civil approach to addressing this issue, should the noise level get loud enough and those who are pulling this crap decide to act before the public turns ugly.  That doesn't do the people who committed these acts much good though; I doubt any of them are going to like being broke and more than a few will probably go to prison, even under a civil approach.

If that doesn't keep you up at night, whether you're part of this scam or not, maybe it should.  If you're one of the bad actors, especially in the government where you can actually resolve problems like this perhaps you ought to consider that it's entirely possible to fix all of this crap before one of the other two paths -- an event that nobody can accurately predict as to timing or control -- happens.

Just remember before you dismiss this out-of-hand as paranoid nonsense that not only did Weinstein (and his entire board, it appears!) think he had and would continue to get away with it so did all the other people who are now being fingered almost-literally by the day.  Everyone one of those people are facing just consequences for their actions only because the Weinstein scandal was one straw too many on the camel's back and literally nobody knew in advance that would be the case.

Sleep well.

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