Sunday, April 14, 2013

Crisis - Making the Exception the Rule

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste.  And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." - Rahm Emanuel

He is not the first to have such a thought, but he is one of the most recognized in saying it.

What is the nature of a crisis?  A crisis is an unstable interruption in what was taken as the normal flow of things in life/society - generally before all the facts are known.  If we apply Rahm's admonition with the nature of a crisis in mind, we can see the emphasis of emotionalism.  What was known has changed and with that decreased rationalism, to sate fears of the public, a crafty politician may 'do things you think you could not do before'.

Fears trump facts.

What catches our attention as a crisis?  As a disruption of a perceived norm, a crisis is displayed anecdotally with an emphasis on the example being used becoming the new norm. 

'This one case happened, and will happen to us all unless we act'. 

In the rush to act emotionally, the 'noble goals' (that are amorphous and vague) are focused upon, while the real intent is the means, the implementation and methodology, used to assuage the problem, reach the goal.

The 'crisis' moment is truly twofold: one, the actual crisis event - that part is the obvious and seen part; the more dangerous and insidious part is 2) the crisis-response advanced by those crafty politicians who want to use part one to push their agenda.  Part one is temporary; part two is lasting.

Crisis moments are advanced in numerous fields, for the areas where the government may interject itself will match - politicians will try to make it match - every endeavor that humanity tries to branch out into, or may interact with.

One example includes Global Warming, once called Global Cooling, but as it has been fluctuating again is 'Climate Change'… a tautological definition.  Has the planet been warming or cooling?-both.  What can we do about it?  The nature of what is actually happening and what can be done depends on operational definitions.  However, that doesn't remove politicians from trying to implement new laws and taxes upon the people in order to 'combat' Climate Change.  Crisis: the planet is dying; emotional reaction: we can fight it if we just try.  That the facts are not laid out, or the specific plans on how one would fight Climate Change: what is the cause; how much does humanity contribute; how much do those who will be impacted by the law contribute; what will be the cost and benefit; are there better plans?

Those questions don't matter, as Hillary Clinton said "Never waste a good crisis… Don't waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security."  The veracity of Climate change is secondary; the agenda is prepotent.

After the attacks of 9-11[-11], there was an influx of emotional reaction, and appropriately so - to an extent.  However, what has come from the attacks show the triumph of emotionalism over rationalism in legislation.  The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism [USA PATRIOT] Act has many lofty goals, among them: strengthening U.S. measures to detect, prevent and prosecute financing of terrorism; establishing secure networks; enhancing domestic security against terrorism.  However, what is needed (is being used and expanded upon) in methodology for implementation shows what a more rational mind would have refused to sign: vast new bureaucracies, warrantless surveillance and searches, arrest and detainment without charge - even assassination.

Healthcare was another crisis through which Obamacare, and various other laws were enacted.  Stories of sick mothers and children filled the airwaves as politicians bandied about to gather support for enacting new legislation.  Emotionalism: there are sick people who need our help.  There is an 'obesity crisis'; here's Michael Bloomberg and "We're not taking away anybody's right to do things, we're simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision…"  At least he used the correct term 'forcing' for it isn't a recommendation when the State passes a law: it is a legal order with punishments for violating it.  Pelosi has the most infamous, and dangerous statement with "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." 

Think on what she said.  As the Speaker of the House, leader of those who write the laws - legal commandments that carry the legal use of force by the State - she said that we'll find out what it was they passed when the police can legally use force against us.

Agenda first.

Is anecdotal evidence ever valid for passing a law?-it can be.  What is needed to be examined is the congruence of what is being advanced with the story used as representation of why a thing is being advanced.

With the murders at Sandy Hook the gun control debate has come to the fore again.  Cries of how new laws are needed to prevent such attacks are heard from various sources: bans on certain guns, bans on 'high-capacity' magazines, more extensive background checks, licensing of guns as well as restricting who may purchase firearms.  How good of an example does Adam Lanza's murder of all those at Sandy Hook make for gun control?  It makes for a poor example for how gun control would have saved those lives.  The weapon used was legally purchased and owned; the owner (Lanza's own mother) was killed, and the weapon was stolen.  He fired 154 bullets in less than five minutes, using a weapon that had 30-round magazines.  With practice, anyone can change a magazine in just one second; without practice, it can take a couple seconds; 154 bullets could still be fired within five minutes with low-capacity magazines - it will only take more magazines.

Another example of gun violence that supports what was being advanced in legislation was the massacre of Luby's diner where 24 were murdered; the murderer crashed his truck through the building and then methodically walked about executing his victims.  Suzanna Gratia Hupp's parents were among the victims; she herself would have been as well, but she escaped.  Where this story is a good example in how it represents a change in legislation is in that Suzanna was armed - she was carrying a pistol.  However, to be a law-abiding citizen, as there was a law preventing her from bringing her pistol inside the building with her, she left it in her car and was unarmed as her would-be, and her parents' murderer, walked about killing his victims.

The Lanza case does not support the new restrictions on guns for everything was legal until he murdered his mother, took her weapon and fired it in a manner that low-capacity magazines could match.  The Hupp case does support the removal of gun restrictions by that if she didn't have to break the law (have the threat of legal punishment) to carry her pistol to protect herself, she could have fought back - [having her gun] "Sure as heck would have changed the odds" - Suzanna Hupp.  The Lanza case would not have been changed with new laws; the laws being changed to allow Hupp to carry her pistol in her situation would have also given the victims at Sandy Hook a chance by one who was armed having a chance at firing back at Lanza.  Jacob Tyler Roberts is an example where would-be shooter Roberts did murder two, but was stopped when confronted by armed citizen Nick Meli.

Crafty politicians don't want you to be self-sufficient and able to defend yourselves; they want you to come to them for help.  Trusting people to fight for themselves against those who want to do ill, doesn't benefit a politician; acting as a guardian who will protect your family, and the children gets people on the politician's side.  Emotionalism of fear-stoking is the bait, regulations and laws are the leash and the State is the master holding the leash.

The seen crisis is the break, the change.  The seen is finite in its scope; the unseen crisis is worse in its scope.  The seen is short-term; the unseen is long-term.  The seen is local; the unseen is widespread.  The seen, being an anomaly burns itself out after it's done; the unseen crisis remains in laws that have legal punishments long after the seen crisis burnt itself out.  

The unseen crisis is the result: the State dictating what we can or cannot do (allowances not just on 'sins' but on ounces of soda, and calorie counts), what we cannot or must buy (taxes, licenses, Obamacare and subsidies), with what or how we may defend ourselves (gun control), and loss of Constitutional rights (liberty, privacy and even life).  Each of these State intrusions upon our lives are done to remedy a crisis of some sort - all for the 'greater good' - all to make us supplicants to the State.

If we are to save ourselves, then it is to us to keep our emotionalism coupled with rationalism - not to loose one, but give each their place.  Emotionalism belongs in private life of an individual, not the public life of the State; rationalism belongs in individual life, and should be the only guiding factor in the public life of the State.  Emotions fluctuate; principles do not.