The New Revolution

The New Revolution

I trust that it’s become clear by now that some US citizens are under siege.  I use that word guardedly.  If under siege, we are in self-defense mode.  That means we can take whatever measures necessary to defend ourselves.  We have that right.  It can’t be taken away under threat, because the threat itself gives us the right to defend ourselves.  

If we are at risk of our lives if we don’t respond, that is a threat.  If the threat is just to a few of us, the case for siege is hard to make.  It’s a matter of where to draw the line between ‘falling through the cracks’ and stopping those cracks from opening to swallow more of us.  Where to draw the line between things like misfeasance or malfeasance, and outright siege that will destroy more and more us?  Readers will decide where to draw that line, where the tipping point is between neglect and abuse for a few who don’t matter enough (your choice), and neglect and abuse for so many people that it has to be called a siege.  Here are some pointers.

Healthcare is one clue.  It doesn’t cover tens of millions of Americans at all, barring charity and emergency room access.  That includes Americans with and without health insurance when health insurance is the same thing as a junk bond.  Medical treatment for cash is too expensive for almost everyone.  Those who can afford to pay cash can much more easily afford real health insurance.  But medical treatment is still there, best in the world, so that’s supposed to be enough even if it’s out of reach.  There it is, just over there, right across the street.  It’s there, it really is!  But if we can’t pay and we’ll suffer and die if we don’t, then we suffer and die because we don’t get in. That is 100% predictable.  But we can window shop, walk by and look to remember what it looks like.  Health care has been priced out of reach for those without real insurance coverage, creating a fortress.  Those inside it have health care, and those outside are left on their own with greatly diminished prospects for survival.  That is a siege against those outside.  If that includes you, you are under siege.  We’re being threatened with death by passive measures rather than active measures.  We are under siege.  We are begging government to do something, to intervene and stop it.  Begging to survive.  Begging to not be shunted aside and left to die from deprivation.

Katrina was another clue.  Government did not intervene to save lives.  The whole of that horror story of government neglect in favor of death played out in front of the whole world.  It can be spun and framed in other ways, but it was what it was in the final analysis.  Government did not care about US citizens enough to actually try and save them.  Or, maybe government cared deeply, but there really were not enough resources because they were diverted to an illegal war in Iraq devoted to killing anyone who got in the way of PNAC Grand SchemesTM.  That puts Iraq under siege, which is obvious, along with US citizens under siege by the same action.

NAFTA has long been a clue.  It is impossible for any policy maker to not have clearly understood what it meant to open “free trade” with countries who had cheaper labor and production costs owing to neglect and/or abuse of workers and environment sufficient to build criminal indictments in the US.  Rather than continue the higher costs of protecting US workers with such things as workplace safety laws and worker’s compensation – issues that were routinely passed through courts to settle the financial score – and the global environment, the lead narrative was framed as protectionism and isolationism in order to get to lower production and labor costs in the name of profit.  It would have been more honest to just scrap US labor and environmental protections and keep the jobs in the US.  That was impossible, owing to so many Americans needing labor protections and thus a powerful enough voice to trounce politicians who tried.  Not only were jobs shipped out of the US, they were shipped with US government paying the freight by providing assistance for US companies to set up abroad in accordance with new free trade agreements.  Companies in my hometown, a mill town in North Carolina, had been around for decades providing jobs and actually trying to help and look after their workers.  My first home was in a humble mill house that my parents purchased with help from their employer to start a family, and then they made me.  Owners hung in as long as they could, but finally had to fold or move abroad.  Some just folded, some moved abroad.  I remember one owner reduced to tears when he announced he finally had no choice but to move operations over the border to Mexico.  He figured it would be better to benefit people in Mexico than no one at all.  He also had his own family to think about, and prospects stateside were gone.  Arguments can be and have been made that US government or any other government do not owe citizens a living or a way to make a living.  It’s the market that’s boss, the invisible hand.  Citizens became subservient to market forces, forces guided by a hand that no one should be able to see, by definition.  Even if the market were intentionally rigged not in favor of workers, it was the invisible hand to blame. Meanwhile, behind the curtain, it turned out that the invisible hand was somehow producing great wealth for a very small percentage of people.  Everyone else was under siege by that same hand.  It wasn’t and isn’t a matter of if we’d be roughed up by that hand, just a matter of when.

There is the now-infamous case of the exploding Ford Pinto.  Ford Motor Company – one of the greatest beneficiaries of the invisible hand – produced an automobile that was found to have a design flaw leading to the gasoline tank exploding from rear-end collisions to the car.  Ford did a cost-benefit analysis to determine how much it would cost for a recall to fix the problem versus paying off lawsuits for injury and death arising from the defective product.  Ford concluded it would be cheaper to pay off lawsuits within cost parameters they dictated rather than go to the expense of not killing people.

The crux of the public debate about The Ford Motor Company was the decision not to make improvements to the gas tank of the Pinto after completion of the risk/benefit analysis. Internal Ford documents revealed Ford had developed the technology to make improvements to the design of the Pinto that would dramatically decrease the chance of a Pinto “igniting” after a rear-end collision.  This technology would have greatly reduced the chances of burn injuries and deaths after a collision. Ford estimated the cost to make this production adjustment to the Pinto would have been $11 per vehicle.  Most people found it reprehensible that Ford determined that the $11 cost per automobile was too high and opted not to make the production change to the Pinto model. [Most people.  But not all. Guess who won? Ed.]


While not stated neatly in algebraic terms, such as in the BPL analysis, this entails a balancing of utility and risks. This standard is not easily quantified and must be decided on a case-by-case basis by juries. They must decide in each instance whether the risks associated with the product are reasonable for society to absorb given the benefits of the product. Therefore, the duty of the jury is not to decide whether the conduct of the manufacturer is reasonable, but whether the product, after the full ramifications are revealed, is reasonable. The difference is that risk/utility analysis requires a determination of the costs, risks and benefits of society’s use of the product as a whole, while the 13PL cost/benefit analysis entailed determining the costs and benefits of preventing the particular accident. In the end, the risk-utility’s primary duty is to establish a threshold of acceptable risk that every good must equal or exceed, a threshold that can rise with changing social and commercial experience.   This leads to a economically efficient use of resources and overall wealth maximization.


In conclusion, this framework is economically efficient and the proper one to apply. However, companies [sic] beware. The result of the Ford Pinto case indicate there is a belief held by most of the public that it is wrong for a corporation to make decisions which may sacrifice the lives of its customers in order to reduce the company’s cost or increase its profits.   With this widespread attitude among those who make up juries, trial lawyers would not be wise to defend cases on the economic analysis of why it was not efficient to redesign a faulty model. Instead, trial lawyers argue that the alternative design compromises the product’s function or creates different risks in the product, but not that the costs of the alternative design outweigh the injury or death toll that may be avoided.  These options did not seem plausible in Ford’s case, which spelled trouble. Therefore, while it may be valid economic efficiency reasoning, the Ford Motor Company and others are forced to think twice before utilizing a risk/benefit analysis in their decision making process. [or else there’s an intangible risk of how killing people will affect profits. Capping damage awards with tort reforms is the solution to that problem.  Ed.]


Emphasis added

Capitalism trumped people, and therefore trumped democracy.  What we have now is a capitalist republic.  The democracy part gets the back seat.  We are disposable, legally.



   ˈs?j also ?s?zh\




   Middle English sege, from Anglo-French, seat, blockade, from Old French siegier to seat, settle, from Vulgar Latin sedicare, from Latin sed?re to sit – more at sit


   13th century

1: obsolete : a seat of distinction : throne

2: a: a military blockade of a city or fortified place to compel it to surrender b: a persistent or serious attack (as of illness)

– siege transitive verb

– lay siege to

1: to besiege militarily

2: to pursue diligently or persistently

(Emphasis added)

We don’t have to take this laying down, hammered into financially constrained corners.  But we can if we want to.  Most of us won’t do much until the wolf arrives at our own door.  Before that, it’s tolerable.  That’s common behavior among most of us everywhere.  We look after our household and family first, because that is our main support and base of operations.  (Remember ‘Family ValuesTM, copyright © US Republican Party, 1994-forever.  Q: WTF?  A: Shut up.  All rights reserved.’ in the 1994 election?)  Well, they rammed NAFTA home with the President’s blessing, then changed the welfare safety net to five years time limit with the Welfare Reform Act of 1996.  That shows, if there was any doubt, that policy makers knew well enough what NAFTA would do to families, and they moved to cut financial losses.  The budget magically balanced a couple of years later, owing to baffle-with-bullshit econ theory obscuring the likely outcome that the herd would be thinned enough in ten years to get cost/benefit algebra satisfied.  We were getting econ instructions from Alan Greenspan, for God’s sake.  Everybody pretty much agreed that almost nobody knew what he said for the most part.  Deciphering what amounted to incomprehensible rants was guesswork, and/so he was left at the helm of the economy.  Stocks and bonds fluctuated directly on speculation of what it was he actually said.  I think he understood enough to spot ‘irrational exuberance’, which was a fairly easy call, but made most of the rest of it up.  It served to hide other things.  Thin the herd and economic recovery would follow.  Just let the herd die out a bit and the economy would work out.  Cut them off healthcare, talk about making it better but don’t, and accept that some people were going to have to go down to balance the budget and heal the economy.  No one from government volunteered to be one of those who go down, whether going down from inflicted neglect at home or dying in a bogus war aimed at war profiteering and the most flagrant ransacking of the US Treasury — OUR money — in US history.  Most importantly, it was a flagrant violation of the good faith and credit of the American people who guarantee our debts.  Government broke that faith.  There is no question about what happened.  Is there a guarantee now, after ‘our’ government broke against US citizens?  Money was stolen, we know who stole it.  We also know who to turn to in order to obtain relief and restitution.  That would be the folks who stole the money.

This country was sparked by protest of taxation without representation.  If we are under siege from government now, it follows that government is not representing us anymore.  In that case, we are not obliged to pay them to continue neglecting us.  That means we are not obliged to pay taxes.  That does not mean to just up and go on an impetuous tax revolt.  It does mean that we have the right to organize that, and then implement as we see fit.  A government rendered illegitimate by its own actions and betrayal of the people who hired them is not entitled to payment and cooperation.  We can cut them off, and we are obligated to do that if it means we’ll die if we don’t.  Self-defense means all bets are off.  If we do that, it must always be peaceful and civil.  There can be no call to violence under any circumstances.  We avoid taunts and provocations that will come from brothers and sisters who don’t know any better.  They are not us and we hate them because they are stupid and ignorant.  When we think that, we must agree to at least consider going to the nearest mirror and reviewing our problems.

The Intertubes didn’t get taken over quickly enough.  A civil, peaceful, well-organized tax revolt can be done.  We can slowly turn off cash spigots and shut down illegitimate government in a calm, controlled way.  If there’s enough interest, I’ll do another diary and explain strategies — although I suspect that some folks around here just might make that redundant. 🙂  But be clear: to be serious, at some point we might have to face a Kent State showdown.  If doing that is required, are you ready to do it?  I, for one, am.  If so, and if we get shot or equivalent — tossed in prison, stripped of property and smeared, for example, that will be worldwide media exposure via Intertubes, at the least, that didn’t get shut down soon enough, for some reason.  Whatever reason that was, it was surely under the Law of Unintended Consequences.


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  1. We need more tips!

  2. My Russian boss says he has lived now in two socialist countries.

    Expat-Germany was the beginning of my truth quest so nobody knows like an expat.

  3. US expat Ukraine!

    soon i’ll be US expat Netherlands… should be leaving at end of this month!!!



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