Free State Project Forum

FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: michLinoregon on June 01, 2003, 03:25:27 pm

Title: Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 01, 2003, 03:25:27 pm
Whereas I believe in the fact that government should not be intrusive into our lives, I wonder about the fate of children should they be victims of abuse in a free state.

The government should not be in charge of the family, but since they won't be, who will be? Would the abusers be prosecuted under normal initiation of force laws? Wouldn't that raise the status of children to having the status of adults? Which rights should they have and which shouldn't they? I have some views on this, but they just don't seem to mesh up consistently with my values and then I feel like a bleeding heart haha!

Right now they have power they really shouldn't have, they have the power to ruin lives if they so chose. So do you guys have any thoughts that would help me along in my logic here? I'd really appreciate any discussion on this.

Respectfully,

Michelle In Oregon
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 01, 2003, 04:55:01 pm
Hi Michael,

I don't work the topic nor have any background in this field.

Since you seek discussion, may I suggest you glance at some of the national think tank sites, eg Heritage, Cato, ThomasJeffersonInst.org, etc

I believe Dr Wade Horn used to have a site.  It might still be around.  

If I run into anything, I'll post it here.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 01, 2003, 05:04:16 pm
Bob,

Thanks, and that's Michelle  ;D. I kind of wanted to know how the people who are actually agreeing to participate in this project feel. Rather than people who have not necessarily agreed to participate.

I am a mother and am concerned with the plight of children in abuse situations. I don't want to take control of the family away from the parents, but when they clearly abuse their position who will represent the child's best interest? I guess on this position I can come off as socialist, but don't get me wrong, I think the government has no place raising or educating our children.

I guess I'll check out the sites you told me about and see if this clears up my contradiction. Thanks for your help!

Respectfully,
Michelle In Oregon
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 01, 2003, 05:21:19 pm
Hi Michelle,

You're no socialist.  

Government is not ipso facto evil.

Big government is evil

Any size abusive government is evil

The state represents the child in the absence of the parent(s).  Nothing strange here.

I'm not familiar with this field.  I too, am a parent with my daughter in college.  If you are interested in this area, do check out the several sites.  There are organizations who specialize in this.  

Those participating at FSP probably mirror your personal political views regarding the best interests of a child.  My views are the same as yours.


(Please excuse my spelling of your name in my initial post salutation.  I am the product of the public schools.)

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 01, 2003, 05:34:48 pm
It's okay Bob!

I do believe that big gov't is evil, but have you ever heard of the "foot in the door" phenomenon? If they ask for a little from you in the interest of something apparently beneficial or at the very least not too harmless, it's only a matter of time until they ask for more from you, for more intrusive programs. Whenever gov't gets into anything whether it's schooling, helping the poor, fixing streets, delivering mail it asks for bigger and bigger pieces of the pie monetarily and asks bigger sacrifices from the givers. They remind me of car salesmen. I used to work at a dealership as an administrative assistant and one of their philosophies was "leave no money on the table." So they ask you to give till it hurts and only offer pathos as evidence that one should do it.

The more my eyes open to what is happening on this planet, the more I sometimes wish I'd never woke up and taken notice. I know that sounds a little cowardly but I want so much to do something about this, yet I feel like a speck of sand facing a tsunami! heh! Of course here in Oregon I am routinely called heartless and misguided. Being a Libertarian in college is no bowl of cherries either! But I will continue to get some resolution on this matter and seek out other rational viewpoints. I thank you for your imput so far.

Respectfully,
Michelle
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: JasonPSorens on June 01, 2003, 06:04:09 pm
To allow government a proper role in preventing abuse but keep it from overstepping its bounds, I think we should abolish all "protective services" agencies and allow the government to take abusive parents to court, where they must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.  I don't believe in taking children from their parents unless the parents can be charged with an actual crime.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: cathleeninsc on June 02, 2003, 08:10:19 am
Michelle,

I don't think there is a slam dunk libertarian answer to this. But I would much rather face this and other issues requiring thoughtful solutions in an environment where I am among people who understand my libertarian streak. The free state will have a populace with more energy and resources available to tackle the toughies. I expect innovation and pilot programs and a "what can we do to address this" attitude rather than the current "they should do something" one that currently exists.

Cathleen in SC
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: MajesticLeo on June 02, 2003, 08:30:43 am
While child abuse is a very real problem, the current solution has become a self-perpetuating monstor which can be used to exact vengence on your neighbor just by annonymously reporting them with such garbage as "they practice witchcraft so you must protect their children" (which I have seen happen).  

In order, as Jason suggests, for the "government" to take the parents to court there needs to be an official entity within the government to do so.  I seem to recall there are "child advocacy" positions in some places.  Replacing so-called "Child Protective Services" with child advocacy "agents" who sole function would be to initiate court action and act on behalf of the child might be a solution.  They would have no authority to remove children from the home, although the sheriff or local law enforcement agency might in an emergency, but would act "in loco parentis" in court proceedings.  Their salaries or funding must NOT be tied to the number of cases they initiate either since this is one source of abuse in the current system.  There does need to be a specific source where complaints about abuse can be made and frivilous complaints must be punished to prevent abuse of the system.  This doesn't have to be a "Department of Government", just a contact point, perhaps it could be handled as pro-bono work by law firms.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 02, 2003, 04:59:55 pm
Thanks cathleen and leo,

I appreciate your time and thoughts on this issue. I have found this to be a subject I am particularly ruminating on, only because of the thought of systematically downsizing gov't programs within a state. This being a gov't program and being such a good example of gov't gone awry (sp?)(for just the reasons Leo stated) I have to ask how such things might be taken care of without it. I would love to know what it's like to raise a child without fear of losing her because I'm an atheist. I have to hide that fact now, for the most part. I have been accused of harming my child by not bringing her up in a particular faith or any faith at all. She's smart and logical and listens to reason and offers counterarguments when she wants something I tell her she can't have. Not physical harm mind you, just spiritual harm or moral harm. She seems fine to me though.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 05, 2003, 04:23:07 am
Hi Michelle,

I ran across the web site that's probably a good entry into the bureaucratic nightmare regarding children and families.

Check out the  USG's:

http://www.acf.dhhs.gov

Dr Wade Horn holds some political position at this organization.  

Go through the policy/planning section and you'll realize how the little house on the prarie now requires Washington, DC guidance.

BobW

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 05, 2003, 11:08:50 am
Thanks Bob,

Will check that out right now!

Michelle
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: SandyPrice on June 05, 2003, 01:36:27 pm
I guess I don't understand what kind of abuse you are talking about.  

Not everyone raises their kids in the same way.  If we see bruises that are gotten from a beating, I believe we should say some thing to the parents that we are aware of the fear of abuse.  Hopefully we will be teaching our children in cluster homes where many of us can keep an eye on the kids.  

I'm always worried about kids beating and abusing each other and their pets.  If we act like adults we should be able to control this kind of behavior.  

If you are talking about sex abuse then we are required to go to the authorities reporting our questions.  As long as we don't involved the federal authorities but keep the complaints local why would this be a problem?

We will be mingling with established communities and it would be to our credit to blend in and check out the good things and the bad before we make any changes.  I absolutely believe we should establish home schools and think about doing them in clusters where the kids can make friends among the other FSP and locals too.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Reaper on June 06, 2003, 10:29:29 am
The problem (well, ok, the biggest one) with the current "Child Protection" scheme is that absolutely none, zero evidence of any crime is required for a child's whole world (and a parents) to be destroyed.

Child abuse should be a crime, and it should be treated as such including the rules of evidence, innocent until proven guilty, etc.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 06, 2003, 10:45:33 am
Yes Reaper this much is evident. But how do we enforce such laws without becoming intrusive and using scare tactics to break up families and convict possibly innocent adults without due process? This is my conundrum. The current system, in my opinion, started out probably meaning to stand up for children that can't speak for themselves when violence happens to them. But what it's become is what you described. The advocacy system would be the best in cases where abuse is evident. But sexual abuse isn't always that evident and sometimes children are so scared to report it that it may never come to light. This much is true, anyone who commits an act of force upon a child without due provocation (i.e. self defense) should be punnished as if he'd committed assault against an adult. But the way it is now, the agencies of child welfare sometimes create the cases so that they can legitimize budget increases and as a result their own incomes.

Government isn't always evil, and in this case I think they were trying to do good. But as with our government in the past and now especially they have the attitude of "in for a penny in for a pound." Once we gave this kind of agency a small foot hold to police the families of America, for abuse, they have tended to do so with extreme prejudice!  ;D

I will read more on this and think much about this. Thanks for your imput Reaper.

Respectfully,
Michelle
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Tony Stelik on June 06, 2003, 11:11:16 am
Wherever our discussion goes keep in mind the rules:
1) No government program ever dod what was intended to do
2) If there are any questions look at rule number 1)
Government - means federal or state or city or even the group of residents in part of the city
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 07, 2003, 03:00:02 am
Tony,

I realize that, that's why I asked my question in the first place.

Michelle
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: elginx on June 11, 2003, 10:13:57 am
Quote
I think we should abolish all "protective services" agencies and allow the government to take abusive parents to court, where they must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

In cases of severe abuse, this method would prove fatal to these children. There are many cases where the abuse is reported and before social services can even get to the child, he or she is dead from abuse or neglect. Imagine how much worse it would be if we let the parents keep the child while a lengthy trial was conducted. That is not an acceptable solution. I think the problem with the current system is that after the child is removed, the parents have no rights. The new system should have the burden of proof on the state to be able to keep a child that has been put into protective custody.  There should be clear definitions of abuse so the children won't be taken away for "morally objectionable" but not harmful reasons.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: JasonPSorens on June 11, 2003, 10:22:44 am
Well, depending on how severe the suspected abuse is, the children could be taken away while the parent(s) await(s) trial.  I'm not sure exactly how your "burden of proof" criterion would be satisfied except through a trial-type process.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Reaper on June 11, 2003, 10:28:26 am
It's the abusive parent who should be "taken away".

Perhaps liklihood to reoffend (ie continue to abuse the child) should be considered at the bail hearing and they should just remain in jail until trial.

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: elginx on June 11, 2003, 10:52:49 am
Well, depending on how severe the suspected abuse is, the children could be taken away while the parent(s) await(s) trial.  I'm not sure exactly how your "burden of proof" criterion would be satisfied except through a trial-type process.
I think the child should be taken away and the govt should be given no more than 15 days to go to court and show conclusive evidence of abuse, and 30 days to prove that the child is being abused. I have volunteered with many abused children and when you see the effects that the abuse has on their little bodies and their psyche, you realize why the government errs on the side of caution but they do go way too far in some cases, violating the rights of the parents, and the children.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 11, 2003, 11:19:55 am
Hi elginx,

I infered the theme was to replace the public sector "child protective services" with private sector agencies doing the same type work.

They exist and are less costly than the public sector.

Plus, what little I've heard, those public sector agencies are not a visit to Grandma's house to recover from the trauma.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Reaper on June 11, 2003, 11:36:31 am
Not to mention that according to the Florida DCF's own statistics children are 80% more likely to be abused once in the "care" of the state than they were while in the care of their parents.

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 11, 2003, 12:35:35 pm
Who said something to the effect that parenting is the most important job you'll ever have and the one you will be least prepared for?

I think that in considering child abuse, there is the tendency to try and 'black-or-white' the issue.  Sadly, it is far more complex and not just because of differences of opinion over the appropriateness of spanking.  The fact is, humans being what they are, almost anyone could be driven to an act that may be construed as abuse.

This is not to defend abusers, but to point out that it is not necessarily a moral defect of the parent, per se, that is causitive.  It can also be a confluence of events pushing an individual past their ability to handle the situation, given their level of parenting skills.  Put another way, abuse can be reduced or eliminated and the child's life greatly enhanced by imparting to the parent effective parenting skills.

How do I say this?   Well, not because I am such a paragon of parenthood, and certainly not because I want to preach to anyone about how they should raise their kids.  What I want to suggest is that parenting, like any other human enterprise, may be analyzed, tested and improved.  In essence, parenting is just like any business workflow process and may thus benefit from applied science.

As it happens, I had the privilege of doing a bit of software development for a Dr. Kirby Alvy, clinical child psychologist, a number of years ago.  He was doing a NIMH-funded study during the Reagan administration to determine the demographic correlations of familial dysfunction.  Were Blacks or Latinos more likely to have dysfunctional families simply because of their race, or were other factors at work?

Predictably for those of us who do not buy into racist theories, the results were quite clear.  The primary indicators of familial dysfunction were economic status and educational background.  To put it bluntly, poverty-striken, uneducated whites were exactly as likely (that is to say more likely) to have dysfunctional families as their Black and Latino peers,  while gainfully-employed, educated families of color were just as likely as whites of equal status to have well-functioning families -- i. e., low child abuse.  At least in this study, whose science was quite good, increased employment and educational opportunities for citizens are indicated as the best ways to reduce child abuse overall.

From this work, parenting skills programs were developed that are still available from this government site:

http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/prevent/parenting/r_effective.html (http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/prevent/parenting/r_effective.html)

I realize that this program is directed towards African Americans in an urban setting, but hey -- that's where the money was spent, and the program has been demonstrably effective.  The numbers don't lie.  If you think "what about all the bad stuff that still happens", all I can say is that it could have been much worse.

Anyway, Dr. Alvy has continued his researches over the ensuing years via his foundation, the Center for the Improvement for Child Caring:

http://www.ciccparenting.org/ (http://www.ciccparenting.org/)

Here is the 'moral' of the story if you will -- what can Libertarians in the Free State do to leverage the good work that has been done?  To assume on ideological grounds that removing government from the equation will somehow result in daughter-raping, unemployed, uneducated drunks forsaking the bottle, getting a job and becoming model fathers, I think is naive at best and 'who cares' hard-heartedness at worst.  

Yet, I also agree that socialized family-policing is a bad thing with many abuses.  And, for better or worse, I have direct experience with professionals who have in fact done good work in the area of scientifically advancing the knowledge of parenting and creating effective programs to improve it, even among the high-risk groups.  So, I can't just close my eyes and say "eliminate Big Gov and the problem will go away for everyone who isn't morally defective to begin with."

To put it in a Christian perspective (no, I'm a Deist), as Jesus observed that even the evil will not give their own child a viper instead of dinner, even a down-and-out, uneducated drunk will become a better parent if given some better tools to do so.  It's not like they wake up in the morning saying "You know, I think I'll abuse my kids today!"

What private, quasi-private or even government sponsored approaches do folks think can be taken to improve parenting skills, or even to spread the word that (for a small cost) they can avail themselves of the training materials, etc. available?

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: michLinoregon on June 11, 2003, 01:53:46 pm
Rhythmstar,

You make many valid points. I was thinking, as I was reading your entry, that maybe there would be a way to have a private agency of some sort, use volunteers to teach some of the scientific data and parenting methods to prospective parents while pregnant or planning to become pregnant? I don't know about anyone else, but I would find that a very worthy cause to volunteer for. So not recieving pay for the position would not bother me as it wouldn't be a sacrifice.

I actually never thought blacks and latinos had a higher abuse rate than whites, it's funny how the government will fund studies based solely on stereotype. Maybe they're hoping to disspell the stereotype? I dunno.

Anyway I'm glad I got to hear something about this from someone who's worked on the scientific end of it!

Respectfully,

Michelle
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 11, 2003, 02:05:50 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

I am not a Libertarian but do want to respond to the questions you posed.  

Ensure new studies are by and directed to the private sector sector  -  to the maximum.

Stop funding studies such as the NIMH funded study you mentioned and participated in.

Prior to the study's published conclusion, many of us knew the results you mentioned.  Juan Trippe (Latino, founded Pan Am World airways) was not from a dysfunctional family.  Ambassador Ralph Bunche (black) had parenting skills.

Low economic classes with low to no education mirrored  high economic classes with higheducation levels.  Guess what; the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation of immigrants from Eastern Europe produced functional families - all without the benefit of NIMH, HEW (now HHS) etc.

We have a difference of opinion.  I DO SAY "eliminate Big Gov [sic] ...".  Your initial paragraphs did not mention that the cited studies were fund from taxes collected from those who wanted to spend the money on their kids.  You proved it here.  Dr Alvy now has his own foundation.  

Before government in family issues, life continued.  After government involvment, life still continues.  Now add a factor.  Compare black out of wedlock births prior to LBJs Great Society and after.  

Did the Eastern European immigrants have any "training materials"?  Did the Asians?  

Now I know some drank and some smoked and some gambled.  So what!

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 11, 2003, 03:31:58 pm
Quote
We have a difference of opinion.  I DO SAY "eliminate Big Gov [sic] ...".  Your initial paragraphs did not mention that the cited studies were fund from taxes collected from those who wanted to spend the money on their kids.  You proved it here.  Dr Alvy now has his own foundation.

I did not mention what should have been obvious -- government agencies are financed by taxpayers.

If you do a little research into CICC's funding, you will discover that much of it comes from private donors -- individuals, local businesses and major corporations, along with income from the sale of training materials.  NIMH funding is specific to a given project.  As far as the implication that Alvy is somehow culpable for this, what can I say?  He is a clinical psychologist, not a political theorist.  Most scientific disciplines today advance in part via Federal funding.

The Reagan administration thought this to be a worthy avenue of research and I suggest that the results speak for themselves.

You seem to suggest that everything there is to know about parenting has been known since time immemorial.  I think this is as valid a view as saying all that there is to know about astronomy was already known in the time of Moses.  A quick skim through any history book or newspaper should provide a preponderance of evidence in favor of the contrary view.  And if you don't think there are legions of extremists shouting racist messages from the rooftops, you haven't read the Yahoo messageboards lately.  However, these issues are really strawmen.

The real questions are these:

1) Will the Free State take responsibility for protecting the Natural Rights of children?

2) If the answer to 1) is "Yes", then will the Free State consider the work of science in formulating its policies, or not?

The funding issues are really just implementation details.  An abused child doesn't care if Mommy quits beating her because of familial, Christian, Liberal or Libertarian intervention.  

When it comes to the abuse of a child, I also tend to lose my zest for such details, preferring to help the child first and worry about the political niceties later.  Perhaps this is an error.  No one is perfect. (shrug)

Yet, I do agree with Libertarian philosophies more than others. So, I am taking time out of my day to share the information I have with those who might be able to come up with a pro-active way to address these real issues in a Libertarian manner.  You may be sure that these, and many other issues, will be raised along the path to the Free State ideal.  Better to plan now than to scramble later.  :)

Michelle:

Quote
You make many valid points. I was thinking, as I was reading your entry, that maybe there would be a way to have a private agency of some sort, use volunteers to teach some of the scientific data and parenting methods to prospective parents while pregnant or planning to become pregnant? I don't know about anyone else, but I would find that a very worthy cause to volunteer for. So not recieving pay for the position would not bother me as it wouldn't be a sacrifice.

Volunteerism would be a fine way for good works to be done.  As would private contributions to fund work, obtain training materials, etc.   As would non-profit corporations that collected money from members.  If Free State advocates can point to pro-active efforts that demonstrate viable alternatives to NIMH-funding and nanny-Statism, not just ideological tracts, then existing citizens of the chosen state may be far more likely to consider giving the reins of power to a bunch of Libertarian  activists.   Some things must be taught by example.

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 11, 2003, 11:59:14 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

I agre that much research can be traced to federal funding.  I also agree that the Reagan Administration thought it a good venture.

To preclude hints regarding my thoughts, parenting is not a constant over the eons.  I don't follow the field.  I do follow public funding issues.  The astronomy folks at NASA want more money.  NASA has attributes like NIMH.

We are slowly but surely discrediting racists and extremists (less a footnote exception to the Goldwater doctrine from his famous signature line).  This could be expedited if the public sector was smaller.

I can't respond to the "real" questions.  I am not an officer/director of FSP nor even a declared porcupine.

I do want to mention something about public finance.  Funding issues are NOT - repeat NOT - just implimentation details.  They are the ultimate cause of the problem.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: LisaLew on June 12, 2003, 10:36:44 am
  Here is an interesting tidbit to through into the fray.  I am contemplating becoming a childbirth educator.  I read one of the books on the recommended reading list for the program I am interested in, and the book has chapters about the history of childbirth, mainly in the US, but in other countries too.  The authors, William and Martha Sears, discussed how when childbirth was moved out of the hands of midwives and into the hands of "scientific" doctors, people began to view parenting as something that needed to be "scientific" as well, and the parenting "experts" came crawling out of the woodworks.  
  The changes in how we birth our children came around the turn of the century, when science and medicine was beginning to grow leaps and bounds.  Pregnancy began to be viewed as a medical condition instead the the part of our life process that it is.  Yes, it can become a medical condition in the course of giving birth, I know that.  However, the point the Sears were trying to make is that when society began viewing birthing as a medical condition instead of a natural condition, and the centuries- long traditions and knowledge of midwifery was pooh-poohed as "archaic", people began to doubt their abilities to parent as well, and "experts" peddling their wares began to pop up everywhere.  Add to that our mobility as a society and the breakdown of proximity of extended family, where Mom and Dad could view role models, receive instruction and respite care, and who do people turn to for help?  It is pretty darned easy to check out a book from the library from a supposed "expert."  Who says the person is an expert?  Well, he or she does, along with their expert buddies, their book publisher, the magazines that publish their articles to boost their sales, etc.  
  As for poverty and education as abuse indicators, I have reasons to doubt that.  I know it happens in lower economic sectors, but it happens in very socioeconomic level.  With the statist views of national education reform, these studies funded by the government naturally support the statist views that states are looking out for children while parents are not.  Part of Goals 2000 is called "entering school ready to learn."  That does not mean a child is to enter school ready to write, read and do math.  This means that a child is to enter school without the "biases" of their parents and be open to learning and accepting statist and global views. Parents do not know what is best for their children, and in extreme views, their "biases" are abusive-- that is a statist mantra we see repeated everywhere from the local school, to magazines, boys and girls clubs, scouts, you name it. What easier way to realistically bring about such goals than to pick on the sector that is least financially able to defend themselves?  
  There have been studies in the private sectoron homeschooling that show conclusively that the educational level of the parent does not matter in producing a successful, educated student.  It is their commitment to their children, and the time spent, that makes the difference. So, if a parent is of a low educational level and poverty level socioeconomically, but is determined and committed to their children, then where there is a will there is a way happens.  Being indifferent and uncaring to your children is not socioeconomically pigeonholed-- it is just easier to hide, or hire people to replace you, if you have more means at disposal.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: JasonPSorens on June 12, 2003, 10:49:24 am
It's also good to remember that correlation does not equal causation.  The greater success of parenting shown by better-off families may have to do with the fact that those individuals who are responsible and hard-working and pick themselves up out of poverty also tend to be good parents.

If this interpretation is correct, creating opportunity for "bootstrappers" is far more important than releasing hordes of social workers on the "less fortunate."
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 12, 2003, 12:35:57 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

I agree that much research can be traced to federal funding.  I also agree that the Reagan Administration thought it a good venture.

To preclude hints regarding my thoughts, parenting is not a constant over the eons.  I don't follow the field.  I do follow public funding issues.  The astronomy folks at NASA want more money.  NASA has attributes like NIMH.

Yes, in that they both do work that is unlikely to be done by the private sector, yet is very valuable long-term, especially in the NASA case.  The future of the species is off-planet.  If I were King (and I'm not), we would be colonizing the solar system and mining the Moon.  The Earth could be a giant biodiversity park. :)

Quote
We are slowly but surely discrediting racists and extremists (less a footnote exception to the Goldwater doctrine from his famous signature line).  This could be expedited if the public sector was smaller.

Discredit can become a badge of courage for enculturated attributes.  Nevertheless, Alvy's study does help put the lie to the notion that there is something inherent in being black or Latino that biases a child towards gang membership and drug addiction.  At the time of the study (17 years ago), those views were even more prevalent than they are today.   Better, he proved that designing a program to be culturally adaptive yields measurable results.

Quote
I can't respond to the "real" questions.  I am not an officer/director of FSP nor even a declared porcupine.

Same here.  I share the ideals of self-ownership and the thinking that the current system is FUBAR, but I'm not yet convinced that I'm going to go FSP.  I might, but only if I believe that one form of reality-denial is not being replaced by another form, just to get the tax break incentive.  Things have a true cost and those costs must be recognized and dealt with, unlike today's government, that likes to bribe the public with money picked from their own grandchildren's pockets.  

I guess my most conservative value is fiscal conservatism -- if we can't pay for an elective program without borrowing, then we should not do the program, period.  As to the nature of those programs, I want to trust the democratic process, but it seems that without structural change, the only thing government is really good at is getting bigger, more intrusive at home and more interventionist abroad.

Quote
I do want to mention something about public finance.  Funding issues are NOT - repeat NOT - just implimentation details.  They are the ultimate cause of the problem.

If I take a broad enough view, I certainly agree that the organized coercion of statists and other authoritarians has created much of the world's trouble.  Like the Africans who sold their fellows into bondage and the Colonialists who purchased them and transported them to America.  It's a sad history. Yet, the history is ours, as are the bitter fruit thereof.   And the effect of the welfare state has been not to end the misery, but to make it a lifestyle.  A religion, even.

FWIW, I am a white guy married to a black woman.  Her father was a career Marine and she was raised on military bases, where true integration has been a reality for a long time.  She has no ebonics accent.  Her work ethics are like her Marine Dad, which is to say if she has no actual work left to do, she'll repaint the house and redo the gardens to pass the time -- never a still moment!  The whole West Coast clan is like that... industrious folk, home owners, church activists, successful parents, anti-stereotypes all.  Also, lots of mixed couples... black/white, black/Asian... the get-togethers are legendary for the food. :)

Sadly, it is not so with the back-east branch.  Lots of troubling stuff there, as we discovered when a 13-year old girl cousin from Cleveland came to spend summer with my mother-in-law.  I won't go into the details, but the fact is that the same people raised in the urban 'ghetto' environment came out very differently than those who came out West, had successful military careers, and then went on to successful 2nd careers in aviation (McDonnel Douglas, Boeing), etc.  The difference?  Aside from personality, I think the military life prepared my father-in-law so well for success, he took the private sector like any good Marine takes a beachhead -- he was programmed for victory, and so he won.

Interestingly, both paths were funded by Federal money.  The difference is that one path led to self-pride and accomplishment, while the other led nowhere.

Anyway, learning (and thus teaching) is the key to personal growth.  Whether it comes from a Marine drill instructor, or a gentle counselor-type, the point is the results.  I think the funding implementation is less important to those results than to the payers, but I don't begrudge the payers their complaint.   I do think that unhappiness over the past can hide opportunities in the future -- no coercion does not necessarily mean no collective action for the common good.

What can be done to get effective results without coercion?  

You know, FSP isn't just about the Porcupines -- the media will paint the whole Libertarian movement with the success or failure of the FSP, if only because it makes good copy on a slow news day.  Therefore, even Libertarians who cannot make the move have a stake in FSP success.  See?  A common issue that only group action may properly address, but without coercion. :-)

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: JasonPSorens on June 12, 2003, 12:55:42 pm
no coercion does not necessarily mean no collective action for the common good.

Absolutely correct!  It would have struck Americans as bizarre and silly just 70 years ago to imagine that effective communal and collective action on behalf of the unfortunate, poor, and oppressed required organized coercion.  Unfortunately, since organized coercion has "crowded out" almost every other kind of efficacious social concertation, it's becoming difficult for us to imagine how to do some of these things without force.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 12, 2003, 12:57:56 pm
It's also good to remember that correlation does not equal causation.  The greater success of parenting shown by better-off families may have to do with the fact that those individuals who are responsible and hard-working and pick themselves up out of poverty also tend to be good parents.

If this interpretation is correct, creating opportunity for "bootstrappers" is far more important than releasing hordes of social workers on the "less fortunate."

Indeed, it is true that correlation can be coincidental.  There are well-known techniques for tuning out such misleading results.  FWIW, given that I only wrote the data-entry system and it was 17 years ago, you probably should not look to my words to judge Alvy's work.   Rather, you should look to the documented results of the subsequent training materials in the field, and to the testimonials of people who have actually taken the courses developed.   I was only using Alvy as an example of a 'common good' program that was providing results.

BTW, I also note that making good self-improvement courses available is just the sort of opportunity a 'bootstrapper' might benefit from.  Who says hordes of social workers must be released?  Not I.  Just because a social worker once offered me a drink, then gave me a huge tax bill for it, I should not disavow water to spite social workers.  The water wasn't the problem, it was the way it was provided.  :)

RS


Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 12, 2003, 02:13:36 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

There is too much fo me to properly respond to so please accept some specific comments basically keyed to your format above.

NASA came from the Defense Department.  The real  mission is core government security.  The rest is disguised unemployment and "pork".  The first launch center was Cape Canaveral (sp?), Florida.  Then, after LBJ became president, MSC, Houston, Texas, then Alabama got a site and of course, Vandenburg AFB, California (Where was President Nixon from?).  Virginia has a small launch site along with a couple of other places. NASA also funds some foreign government launch sites.

The mental health private sector is LARGER than the government's programs.  Although there is a blend, most can be accomplished by the private sector.  NIMH is a drain on public funds.

Mining the moon is out.  I know because we tried to mine the ocean floor.  The Europeans stopped the US from this.

I agree that things have a true cost.  However, everything cannot be measured.  "Nothing vast enters the human mind without a curse"  Socrates

"Borrowing" is not ipso facto bad.  It is actually healthy when properly done for the right reasons.  Borrowing for nongovernmental functions such as programs in competition to the private sector mental health professionals is bad.  

I do want to challenge you on a point with a view to have you review your position.  I believe the US experience with slavery  was not "sad history" in the realm of world history and the US response to human bondage.  The US forbade the importation of slaves after 1808.  It was so common an industry both worldwide and in the US, that this restriction on the slave trade at this early date is as shocking as the French Revolution.  

Interracial marriages are so common now, it's not too much to even discuss - except for filling out government forms for the kids' schools.

My last point is another "challenge".  Re "both paths were funded by Federal money" has no relationship to self-pride and accomplishment - nor to dead ends.

Human attributes need not even involve money.  Sometimes only a little is needed.  Dr. Albert Schweitzer did more for Africa with his small donations than the World Health Organization and the other UN catastrophies.

Whatever was accomplished by Federal money caused some amount of suffering by the person who gave the money for the program.  A proper ratio is required.  A space center in  every state is not needed.

BobW

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 13, 2003, 12:02:05 am
Hi Rhythm Star,

There is too much fo me to properly respond to so please accept some specific comments basically keyed to your format above.

...

My last point is another "challenge".  Re "both paths were funded by Federal money" has no relationship to self-pride and accomplishment - nor to dead ends.


Hi,

Lots of stuff for us to talk about, but I don't want to hijack the thread with off-thread-topic stuff.   I'd love to discuss those other issues, but perhaps in separate threads, or even in a different section.

Just to briefly respond,  I wasn't making the claim that the money was causitive, only that the paths had different outcomes.  How much is due to the path and how much the walker?  I don't know.  :)

Anyway, I think there are examples of good things done using government money.  That doesn't mean I think everything government does is good (far from it), or that anything ought to be done funding-wise the way it is done today.  Yet, there are still community needs.  In fact, without the common bond of those needs, one wonders why the word 'community' applies at all.

There are ways that Libertarians can replace coercive programs to address community problems.  Since so much really boils down to information these days, an information technology solution might help.  Why not a common online library of Libertarian-oriented courses, training materials, how-to's, model plans, etc.?   Kinda like the Library of the Congress for the FSP?  Rather than an authoritarian structure, why not an open-source model with volunteers doing the work?

1) Online document-management system where individuals can create 'Projects', like an American History course, or a Parenting Skills Course.

2) Built-in change-management so that the authorship can be a community or a group effort.

3) Rating and reviewing system so that people can rate the good stuff and criticize the not so good (thus driving improvements).

Advantages are that no one dictates the materials, yet everyone interested gets to play. It's a 'coalition of the interested' model.  

For the community member or other interested party, they can use the system to get the tools necessary to help themselves, rather than looking to state programs.  Why take a state parenting course when one that is just as good or better can be had on the FSP Library site?  Why search the web for homeschooling stuff than you can go to the FSP site and find exactly what you need?

I think this idea is one way for Libertarians to build their community without statist constructs.  If someone wants a more secular curriculum, they'll start one and the coalition of the interested will help them build it out.  If someone else wants a more religious curriculum, the same follows.  And both can look to accreditation guidelines and like information also on the same site, so that the quality of the FSP-hosted projects can be improved with some consistency.

FWIW, as a software engineer, I kinda tend to see everything as a software application waiting to be written, but that's not always so bad.  :)

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 13, 2003, 01:34:32 am
Hi Rhythm Star,

Will reply with a focus to the thread title "Children in a free state".

I agree with your idea of online programs.  Had thought they already exist.  

The Conservatives have a university, Yorktown University on line, the libertarians have a think tank Cato, this site links to a "how to's" re "gulches"

Ref your 1) " 'Projects, like an American History course,..".  They are out there. I'm 1 of 12 who work a history site for Middle School, High School and college students doing reports on the Vietnam war.  We are corp funded, positions need not be the "official line" and we self-police with internal controls, eg no insults, no doing someone's report for them, etc.


It's not fair to write "there are examples of good things done using government money." It's true but not the basic issue facing American society.  

The public sector is suffocating the country.  

Rating and reviewing already exist.  Decide to buy the LA Times or refuse to buy the Washington Post.  I don't know what's best for you and your family nor does someone in Washington, DC or Austin, TX.

Although you probably do not read the FEDERAL REGISTER, it is the current document we all theoretically read for what's going on.  It's nonsense and many of us know it.

It is a good thing for the USG to monitor certain financial  institutions against fraud.  It can be done cheaper and better by the private sector.

You and I funded the Resolution Trust Corporation to make whole those who didn't want nor care to make their own arrangements.  

The public sector is suffocating the country.  Here it is true, on point and urgent to recognize it is indeed the children who will suffer.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 13, 2003, 04:18:47 am
Hi LisaLew,

Ref Reply # 27,

I read something very close to the Sears material you posted above.

In a book on the history of advertising in the US;

"McDermott's familitial social engineering was an updated version of the "influence" advocated by Horace Bushnell and other liberal child-rearing advisors since the mid nineteenth century.  But the whole idea of submerging one's opinion and defering to a reassuring consensus acquired an intensified appeal amid the insecurities of the Depression era.  It could even provide a basis for expansion of state power. "

Fables of Abundance; A Cultural History of Advertising in America, Jackson Lears, ISBN: 0-465-09076-1

The titles are definitely a mosiac.  

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 13, 2003, 10:25:53 am
On titles being a mosiac and all that, I have to say that just as people who refer to the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' tend to sound a bit paranoid to me, those who seem to believe that every scientific treatise ever published with the help of public funding is somehow an evil tool for statist brainwashers do not seem 100% objective in my view.  

Like I said before, unhappiness about the past can hide opportunities in the future.

One thing about actual science is that the scientific method is a known quantity.  Rigorously applied, regardless of the bias of the researcher, the scientific method and especially the subsequent peer review will squeeze the unrepeatable speculations from a work, leaving only that which can be demonstrated by any experimentalist to be factually true.  Why didn't cold fusion make it into the textbooks and power plants of the world?  No one could replicate the results with their own experiments (correct me if I'm wrong -- that's the gist of science).

Getting back to parenting skills, the work in this area that is scientific involves observation and measurement.   The resulting courses use techniques inspired by observation and measurement.  The effectiveness of those courses are evaluated via the same method.  If it cannot be observed and measured, it isn't science.

From the University of Wyoming page on Dr. Alvy's work:

Quote
Two major parenting strategies are presented:

The Family Approach for Developing Respectful Behaviors (utilizing family rules and family rule guidelines) and the
Thinking Parent's Approach to Disrespectful Child Behaviors (utilizing systematic decision making processes).
The program teaches:
rule development,
family meeting and problem assessment skills, and shares
basic child development information to help parents make age appropriate rules
several basic child management skills:
- effective praise,
- mild social disapproval,
- systematic ignoring,
- time out, and
- special incentives.
The regular program consists of 14 three-hour training sessions and a fifteenth session for a graduation ceremony. Each training session includes an extensive review and role playing of ideas and skills which were taught in previous sessions. Optimal group size appears to be about 15 to 20 parents, but more could be accommodated if necessary. A one-day seminar version of the program can be conducted for 50 to 500 parents.

Now, from the University of Utah's "Strengthening American Families" project, a bit on the evaluation of Alvy's program:

Quote
Evaluation: EBPP was field tested on two cohorts of parents and their first- and second-grade children. Pre-post changes were compared in a quasi-experimental design with 109 treatment and 64 control families. Significant reduction of parental rejection was observed, along with improvements in the quality of family relationships and child behaviors. At 1-year followup, reductions in rejection and problem behaviors were maintained. Both the long and short versions have been well received in African American communities nationwide, and 1,500 instructors have been trained and are delivering the programs.

(Source: Strengthening America's Families Project, University of Utah, Model Family Strengthening Program Descriptions)

Again, I note that while Alvy meant to address a particular demographic, the parenting skills are not demographic specific.  Rather, it was the presentation that was culturally tuned.  

Anyway, here we get back to the comments about how Libertarian-oriented information is available "out there".  Out where?   How do I know that I'm reading material that won't be judged part of the vast statist conspiracy to brainwash me into paying high taxes and loving it?  Even if I can intuitively tell the difference, how much time am I supposed to have for researching and evaluating alternatives in the midst of relocating my family and participating in a bloodless coup to take over the government of an entire State?

There is value in aggregation.  There is value in being able to see what other FSP folk think about a particular work.  Above all that, there is enormous value to having the work in a content management/version management system, so that the information can be improved by a community of users, commented on, redlined, and in essence peer-reviewed by a host of experimenters with a common set of biases.  It might not be science per se, but it would be an interesting experiment in whether or not there is a coalition of the interested at all.

Just a thought.

:)

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 13, 2003, 10:56:20 am
Hi Rhythm Star,

It is not my position that government assisted research is evil.  Much is good.  Please reread my material.

I'll concede I am not 100% objective.  Please note that this  100% standard does not exist in the human species.

Rhythm, you are missing the theme of our concerns.  

USG scientific research incorporates substantial use of funds not related to the research.  

Cold fusion is not unknown.

The scientific method is not relevant.  The size and scope of government is.

Please post a list of parents who you know who purchased a copy of Dr Aluy's work.  I know of no parent who did.  There are parent participants here.  Maybe they can augment the list you post.

I cannot answer how you will judge material.  

Rhythm, it is a defamation to write "bloodless coup".  I am a Republican who strongly supports Senator Enzi and the rest of the delegation.  I am not "taking over" anything, other than my own destiny in assisting Senator Enzi.

I am not familiar with =version management system [sic]=. Ii do not believe you can evaluate world trade policy positions.  Hopefully you will prove me incorrect.  The information is available.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: LisaLew on June 13, 2003, 11:23:07 am
BobW-- that quote from the book on the history of advertising is very interesting.  I do not have the Sears book on hand anymore, as it was a library book, but the Sears talk in the history portion about how quickly views on childbirth changed in this country. They had statistics on midwife births vs hospital births.  By the Depression era, the whole thought on childbirth changed and the common thought was home birht was only thought of being used by the most uneducated, poorest families because they just didn't know any better.  RThe advertising approach used by the doctors in the ob field was to rope in the rich families, change their opinions, which then spread to the families in lower socioeconomic levels, until as a society people did not think of home birth as a realistic, viable option.  Common persecption for a long time was onluy whacky, crazy, or uneducated people did that.

I am confused by your responses Rhythm Star.  I have not read any where on this thread that anyone said that any publicly funded research is bad.  I did state I have my reasons to doubt government funded research in this area, and why.  The observation criteria you site in your two examples in your last post seem pretty simplistic for measuring something as complex and variable as human behavior.  Also, the viarable of belief systems  is one that is so huge it is almost impossible to scientifically measure, really, IMO.  Not attacking here-- just voicing my opinion, so please do not lambast me.
There have been so many changes in theories about human behavior over the centuries, that it is probably healthy to be wary of reports and presenting of theories as fact, which is my opinion of what alot of these research projects do.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 13, 2003, 01:03:31 pm
Hi LisaLew,

The FABLES OF ABUNDANCE also addresses the MDs entering the new children market via advertising.


I'm not sure what my 2 observation criteria examples are.  Wasn't I joking?  

My entire position doesn't relate to the research.  It relates to the public sector doing projects (in the example, it was research but this is not substantive) more appropriately and cheaper in the private sector.

Actually, "belief systems" go well beyond being a variable.  I hold some government studies on human factors research involving belief systems.  

I agree that belief systems don't plug into scientific studies.  I'd catalog them under eg social or political.

I have nothing against research.  My concerns voiced to Rhythm Star involve the public sector absorbing too much of GDP.

Our country is far from impoverished.  If a study is needed, it usually shows up.  Some fields are purely core government and, of course, these studies must be commissioned and funded.  

Our goal must be to trim down what is not core governmental.  

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 13, 2003, 01:08:13 pm
Well, I keep saying "look at this here science" and people keep telling me "eeuwww, there was government funding!"  Seems a logical extension (to me anyway) to think that there is political resistance to some information, regardless of its quality.  This is the essence of my observation that unhappiness about the past can hide opportunities in the future.

The topic of this thread (I thought) was how issues relating to child abuse were to be addressed in the Free State.  I was just trying to  provide some factual information, hoping that the participation of 3 Republican administrations in the creation and dissemination of this information might at least keep it from being labelled 'liberal'.   I was also hoping that people might focus on the practical methods where by good work that existed might be assimilated, improved and disseminated in a Libertarian framework.  Somehow, these hopes seem to be overly optimistic.  Oh well, us programmers are eternal optimists.

Perhaps it is my fault.  (shrug)

>>what is version control?

You may want some coffee... :)

In the engineering fields, we have a subdiscipline called 'configuration management'.  Think of your car.  It has many parts.  Each of those parts has a design document and a revision number.  A given model of car with a particular list of optional features may be assembled from a list of those parts and their revision numbers.  We call that list a 'configuration list' and the parts 'configuration items'.   The assembled car is known as a 'configuration', or alternatively a 'build'.   In the software field, since computer programs are also created from subassemblies of parts (called subroutines), and since these parts are in fact text files, we store them in computer programs called 'version control systems'.   In the software subdiscipline of website design, we call specialized version control systems geared towards staging pages onto (and off of) a website 'content management systems'.   A given program you use, or website you view, is built from a given list of items and revision numbers.  Say build 1000 has feature X in it, because it includes version 200 of file Y, where that feature is implemented -- that's like saying Revision 10 of Book A has the Thomas Paine references in it, because it includes Revision 27 of Chapter 15, wherein they were written.

You've heard of Linux? Linux is created and maintained by legions of individual programmers, who volunteer their time.  The Linux source code is online in a web-based version control system.  A programmer 'checks out' a piece of code (a text file), modifies it, tests it, then checks it back in.  The changes that are good (as judged by the rest of the community and ultimately Linus Torvalds, originator of Linux), are included in the next official version (build) of Linux.  Without software configuration management (SCM), it would be really hard for there to be a Linux as it currently exists.  SCM is a HUGE lever.

These sorts of systems are also used for teams of people working on documents.  Law firms use them for contracts.  Authors use them for writing big reference books (FWIW, have been a contributor to a number of books for Que, Sybex, etc.  I also helped program one of the more effective software configuration management systems (StarTeam), which was recently acquired by Borland.)  

Any time you have a large document, such as a course, curriculum, book, or software application, and you want the thing to be worked on by a team of people who are not in the same place, such a system is just the tool you need.   If someone were to say, donate such a system to the cause, it could be used to create ad hoc working groups for a variety of purposes -- white papers, courses, items addressing various topics, party platforms, etc.  Obviously, all of this could be done by alternate methods, but none of them would have the utility, the security, or the project management capabilites of the system.

Anyway, if there is no coalition of the interested for such a beast, that's fine by me.  I'll just go back to lurk mode, but I'll leave you with this thought:

Innovative political solutions require innovative practical methods.

:)

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 13, 2003, 02:04:44 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

All I ask is not to group my posts in that collective noun "people".

My recent post to Lisa clearly identifies my position that government funding is not ipso facto bad.  Plus, it's not just a research issue.

Core government functions must be met.  Those not core will be handled by the private sector.

I only "attacked" your child study because you referenced it.  There are loads of wasteful government studies absorbing precious funds.

"Practical methods" are one of the attributes of the American character.  Good works will, indeed, be enhanced.  Still, the problem is a bloated public sector.

Appreciate the computer engineering info and admit to not knowing about Linux.

I'll offer a counter to your thought:

"If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome.  If you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.  If you believe the theologicans, nothing is pure." Lord Salisbury

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 13, 2003, 03:35:17 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

I just found the NASA study by Fred Reed.  It is private sector.

http://toogoodreports.com/column/general/reed/050901.htm

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 13, 2003, 07:10:58 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

All I ask is not to group my posts in that collective noun "people".

Sorry.  Sometimes, I'm too polite for my own good.

Quote
My recent post to Lisa clearly identifies my position that government funding is not ipso facto bad.  Plus, it's not just a research issue.

Glad we agree on something.

Quote
Core government functions must be met.  Those not core will be handled by the private sector.

That depends on how you define 'core' and 'private'.  

Quote
I only "attacked" your child study because you referenced it.  There are loads of wasteful government studies absorbing precious funds.

Sure are. There are also projects that yield the desired benefits at a reasonable cost.  Plus, there is quite a body of work already done that is there to be leveraged.   If tax dollars built a bridge, should we tear it down and wait until some private firm builds another one and charges us a toll to cross it?   I expect you to reasonably answer 'No', just like I would reasonably expect you to want to retain the value of other resources already built with public money.

Quote
"Practical methods" are one of the attributes of the American character.  Good works will, indeed, be enhanced.  Still, the problem is a bloated public sector.

That is but one of our problems.  Assume that no government programs at all exist tomorrow, as that is the ultimate ideal of many Libertarians.  What then?  What do people do in the meantime, while they hope some private company comes along to charge them some of their tax money savings to do what used to be done by gov't. spending?   What happened to the value of all those things that their tax money had gone to create over these past generations?  How are those social issues currently addressed (however poorly) by gov't programs going to be dealt with?  

It's not enough to decry the status quo, one must formulate working strategies for change.  If the FSP is to gain any success, it will have to demonstrate viable alternatives for each and every statist edifice it aims to deconstruct.  If the answer is privatization, extreme skepticism will be the response, unless there is some plan for handover, equitable reimbursement of the public for public property, and a seamless transfer of services.  Otherwise, it's like shutting down the public utility and having people sit in the dark while they wait for a private solution to emerge.

Quote
Appreciate the computer engineering info and admit to not knowing about Linux.

You seem to be interested in economics.  Therefore, you might find the Linux thing interesting:

http://linux.com/article.pl?sid=02/03/09/1727250 (http://linux.com/article.pl?sid=02/03/09/1727250)

Linux is free and publically developed by individual volunteers.  Yet, it is a very powerful operating system (Microsoft Windows is an operating system), that is popular with companies like IBM and Oracle for running corporate web and database servers.  Also, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world are running Linux.  MS' Bill Gates doesn't like Linux.  He calls it a 'cancer', eating away at the heart of the intellectual property industry.  This is because his operating system isn't as powerful as Linux in many ways, but costs big money.  So, Bill Gates worries that if free Linux gets too popular, Microsoft will go out of business.

Microsoft is like Big Government.  They keep asking for money to pay for stuff you neither wanted, nor needed, while breaking the stuff you did want and need.   Linux is like Libertarianism, in that it claims to do all the stuff MS Windows claims to do, only better and without having to spend all that money.  

Well, except that Linux developers don't get paid.  They get other benefits, like status and pleasure (yes, they LIKE to program).  Also, they get to advance an alternative way of organizing the society of programmers and program users, where the programmers get paid for consulting, rather than royalties, and the users enjoy low-priced software.  Or, the programmers work for companies that use Linux and thus need Linux programmers around to tweak their in-house systems. Either way, the Linux source code is free to all comers.

Linux is an example of a 'coalition of the interested' doing a big project for no money that has proved so powerful and capable a product that it has got Bill Gates wondering if MS is going to fall.   Kinda like Libertarians would like to see the Big Gov. bureaucrats doing, after the centralized systems were voted out.  

Example:

If Libertarians got together and authored a parenting skills course and made the course freely available on a website, then self-helpers could access it for free, and those with more money than time could pay private counselors to train them using the same course, or perhaps an 'enhanced' version.  If it came to pass that the numbers for family dysfunction in the recipients of the training demonstrated the same (or perhaps even better) improvements as the gov't subsidized courses lke Alvy's, then when asked on the State floor "What are you FSP people going to do about the children?!?"  the honorable representative could reply "We don't believe in government subsidies for everything.  However, here is a private project that combines volunteerism, grassroots activism and private companies to address the same problems.  This report shows that their efforts are just as effective as this NIHM-sponsored project, yet it cost no tax money, the training is available on a free website, and private companies are making money repackaging the work."

I offer that example as an alternative method of doing things, not to plea for the creation of a parenting course per se.  Plenty of other information-based government services could be co-opted and replaced using the same method.

Capiche?

Quote
I'll offer a counter to your thought:

"If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome.  If you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.  If you believe the theologicans, nothing is pure." Lord Salisbury

If you believe the engineers, nothing is impossible, but neither is it free. :)

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 14, 2003, 12:40:12 am

Hi Rhythm Star,

We probably agree on a lot of things.  Responses are generated by disagreement or clarifications.

Sure, "public" and "private" are not clearly defined.  The principle must still be met.  Otherwise, the USDA will continue to publish pamplets on how to mow a lawn.  

Your next para misses the thesis of those seeking smaller government.  A USG study, more properly a function of the private sector, can NEVER have a "reasonable" cost.  There are practical exceptions but I allude to principle and not certain matters of state.

Otherwise, economic distortions occur, eg large government hospitals with large fixed budgets located in areas of depleted population.

The bridge example is called fallacy.

I am not a Libertarian.  I am a Republican.  Your supposition can't get addressed by me.  I have many posts here discussing transition from government programs to the private sector.  Again, I believe in transition.  My writings document this and my work products demonstrate this.

Those "working strategies" already exist.  I accept the FSP program because it concentrates these preexisting programs in a small state to get magnified.  

Extreme skepticism is not a problem.  It will always be present.  "Equitable reinbursement" never occurs.  "Deals" always occur.  Read up on Teapot Dome and the Penn Central RR transfer to the USG.

Your example of closing down a public utility is fallacy.  If the operation is indeed a public utility, it must be retained and maintained.  Review of the tariff is another matter.  Dominion Resources/Virginia Power is exempt from review because of lifestyle requirements of some. I'm sure this situation can be found in 2 or 3 other places.  

Appreciate the computer example, esp re Microsoft.  I once bought a camera with features I never used.  It was the only camera available.

A collective question could not be:"What are you FSP people going to do about the children?!?".  The more realistic scenerio will be asking in the hallway  :" Who can I speak with to get my grandson in your school over at Maple Street and Elm? X needs a little help in Y and I know that you successfully helped...."  

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 14, 2003, 11:39:29 am
Sure, "public" and "private" are not clearly defined.  The principle must still be met.  Otherwise, the USDA will continue to publish pamplets on how to mow a lawn.


In computer tech, the quality of documentation and technical support are big factors in selecting a vendor.  I guess this is something that all vendors could benefit from doing, although I also see how gov't presence would impede that.

HOWEVER, there is a need for technical standards, especially in the engineering fields.  This is an area where I see unbridled privatization as having potentially disasterous side-effects that would be difficult to explain to non-technical voters.

Quote
Your next para misses the thesis of those seeking smaller government.  A USG study, more properly a function of the private sector, can NEVER have a "reasonable" cost.  There are practical exceptions but I allude to principle and not certain matters of state.

As an engineer, I like detail.  The single-minded focus on their thesis by small-gov't advocates sets off alarms for me regarding details being ignored.  Perhaps I am just focusing on the wrong end of the elephant.  However, those who argue for statist constructs always bring up these details.  Mantra-like repitition of a theme may be good for some things, but it leaves implementation-minded folks hungry.

Quote
Otherwise, economic distortions occur, eg large government hospitals with large fixed budgets located in areas of depleted population.

Large and centralized is in general a bad thing.  Wherever it happens, the risk that demand will wane exists.  

Quote
The bridge example is called fallacy.

It is a rhetorical example to illustrate a point.  Even if one assumes that the publicly-built bridge is far costlier than a privately-built alternative, it's functional value as a bridge is not lessened.  While you may not need to be convinced of this, it seems there are those around here who do (albeit not in this thread).

Quote
I am not a Libertarian.  I am a Republican.  Your supposition can't get addressed by me.  I have many posts here discussing transition from government programs to the private sector.  Again, I believe in transition.  My writings document this and my work products demonstrate this.

I am registered as a Libertarian, but I am not purely in their camp.  I tend to vote Libertarian for local politics and Democrat at the national level.  The reason is that I would rather pay an extra 50K a year in taxes than to have my civil liberties abridged by social conservatives and religious reconstructionists.   Since the desire to curtail civil liberties is so often a religious issue, I see the chance of getting Libertarians to recognize the Fair Use rights to the commons, and to make some principled decisions regarding their fellow citizens' well-being, as a far better bet than getting those other people, who think allowing me to live free will incur the wrath of God on the nation, to let my civil liberties be.  

I also do not buy into the foreign intervention thing, which seems to always expand under Republican administrations.

Besides, I am very staunchly AGAINST deficit spending.  If herion is the irresistable addiction for the morally weak, then deficit spending is the heroin of the political class -- they get to bribe themselves into office with the future earnings of children, while neatly avoiding all the hard fiscal questions.  I guess my position on deficit spending is as flexible as your position on publically-funded research. :)

Quote
Those "working strategies" already exist.  I accept the FSP program because it concentrates these preexisting programs in a small state to get magnified.  

So pick a problem domain and lay a few on me.  People looking for solutions cannot allow themselves to fall prey to the 'not invented here' syndrome.

Quote
Your example of closing down a public utility is fallacy.  If the operation is indeed a public utility, it must be retained and maintained.  Review of the tariff is another matter.  Dominion Resources/Virginia Power is exempt from review because of lifestyle requirements of some. I'm sure this situation can be found in 2 or 3 other places.  

FWIW, the LA Dept. of Water and Power is a great foil to the fallacy that all publicly-run enterprises must be inefficient and badly-managed.  In a state full of failed private utilities and sky-high rates, LADWP delivers energy at a rate far below the private utilities, competitive with (probably) any private utility in the nation.  They also generate a surplus of energy, which they sell to surrounding communities.   If one can set aside ideology for a moment, one should be able to see that whether an enterprise is well-run or not has everything to do with management and far less to do with who owns the shares.   For example, if all LA DWP customers were given shares in LA DWP, and the LA DWP was reorganized as a non-profit corporation, how would this model necessarily be bad?

Quote
A collective question could not be:"What are you FSP people going to do about the children?!?".  The more realistic scenerio will be asking in the hallway  :" Who can I speak with to get my grandson in your school over at Maple Street and Elm? X needs a little help in Y and I know that you successfully helped...."  

That presumes connections that often do not exist.  Information must be where people can find it, and you cannot assume that they will find it from their neighbors.  Who says they know their neighbors?  Who says their neighbors will help them if asked, or be able to help if willing?  The Internet is the only mechanism (today) that may effectively combat the natural stratification of connected vs unconnected, by connecting everyone regardless of station.  Yet, even there, we have the 'digital divide'.  

OTOH, as long as free libraries with free Internet access for users exist, then there is the possibility that all people can find what they need, when it indeed exists.

Anyway, it is my opinion that as long as the small-government movement meets the challenge of 'how will you do it?' with vague allusions to private means, they will always be viewed by the majority as being selfish at best, and duplicitous at worst.  I don't happen to think that's the case, but I do think some evolution needs to happen on the small gov't side before the PR issue will fade.  Concrete examples would go a long way towards that end.

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Zack Bass on June 14, 2003, 12:01:00 pm

  ... if all LA DWP customers were given shares in LA DWP, and the LA DWP was reorganized as a non-profit corporation, how would this model necessarily be bad?


What good are shares in a non-profit corporation?
Will anybody give me money for them?  Am I even allowed to sell them, since you say they are "given" only to Customers of the DWP.
The only value I can see for them is in their corrupt use: use their voting power to skim money from the corporation, e.g. through bribes for contracts.  I certainly have no incentive to make the corporation profitable, since that is impossible.

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 14, 2003, 12:21:08 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Basically, we're just "fighting" over details.

The small government movement is throughout the country.  It's just not going anywhere witho ut concentration.

In government selection of vendors there are other superordinate factors.  The horror stories are well known.

Many industries have tech standards, eg aviation, maritime, finance.

Alarms are healthy.  Details are not ignored.  They are assigned to engineers and others.

Actually, foreign intervention is bipartisan.  Since "modern times" both parties expanded this.

Working strategies are in the mill even the N.I.H. (Not Invented Here) is pending.  Transport Canada is being watched to privatize FAA, financial crime investigations by private contractors in the UK is being studied for the US to copy.  Educators have embryonic programs to expand on.  You know the roadblock here.

A major headache - with a quiet plan is health care rationing.  It can be seen in Dept of Vet Affairs.

I'm not familiar with LADWP so cannot comment.  One general problem is that shareholders can sometimes pick management that shouldn't be there.  I'm not addressing LAPWD but am thinking of Wall Street.  

A nonprofit could be bad for shareholders as soon as a competitor moves in.  The company can't always make quality businss decisions.  It's the United Airlines syndrome (ESOP [employee stock ownership plan]).

The small government movement is not operating on "vague allusions".  Heck, the Defense Department is being contracted out.  it's no illusion. The PR is following our reforms.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 14, 2003, 02:46:19 pm

  ... if all LA DWP customers were given shares in LA DWP, and the LA DWP was reorganized as a non-profit corporation, how would this model necessarily be bad?


What good are shares in a non-profit corporation?
Will anybody give me money for them?  Am I even allowed to sell them, since you say they are "given" only to Customers of the DWP.

They give you a voting share in the election of the Board of Directors, just like any other corporations.  And no, it would be silly to sell them as that would give other people your voice in the operation of the utility.

Quote
The only value I can see for them is in their corrupt use: use their voting power to skim money from the corporation, e.g. through bribes for contracts.  I certainly have no incentive to make the corporation profitable, since that is impossible.

Bylaws can prevent such corruption.  IAC, it is a Bad Idea to usurp the power of the BOD to manage, as the shareholders rarely have the time or inclination to become familiar with the details and operations often have critical time factors.  Nevertheless, contracting guidelines can help control cost, although forcing bids to go to the lowest bidder is a formula for disaster, if you ask me.  Cheapest is NOT always the best value, particularly in the power generation business.

As for the profit issue, operating surpluses could be folded into the utility cash fund and earn interest.  At the annual shareholder's meeting, the question of whether the monies should go to some capital project, or be reimbursed to the shareholders as a utility bill dividend could come up.  So, there is no reason that a profit of sorts could not be generated.   In fact, if the utility had saleable excess generation capacity, there is no reason that you couldn't get your electricity for free AND get a check too!  Why not?

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 14, 2003, 09:48:07 pm
Hi Zack,

Ref: Reply # 46

That's an excellent point, Zack.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 14, 2003, 10:00:51 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Bylaws, contracting guidelines, shareholders meetings etc aren't working as of now.

Utility cash funds (paid vacations) arent working in California.

Besides electricity and a check too, why not throw in free lunch at the shareholders meeting?

RS, are you writing from California??

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Zack Bass on June 15, 2003, 05:45:55 am

  ... no, it would be silly to sell them as that would give other people your voice in the operation of the utility


I don't consider a share I can't sell as something I "own".
And if I do own one it is not silly to sell it, since I get something of value in exchange.  Heck, I'm moving anyhow.

Quote

  ... it is a Bad Idea to usurp the power of the BOD to manage


Not if by doing so I can skim money from the Corporation to line my own pockets.

Quote

Bylaws can prevent such corruption.


Then Permit Bureaus and Zoning Boards ought to have bylaws, and many of our problems will be solved.
If only Enron had had bylaws....

Quote

As for the profit issue, operating surpluses could be folded into the utility cash fund and earn interest.  At the annual shareholder's meeting, the question of whether the monies should go to some capital project, or be reimbursed to the shareholders as a utility bill dividend could come up.  So, there is no reason that a profit of sorts could not be generated.   In fact, if the utility had saleable excess generation capacity, there is no reason that you couldn't get your electricity for free AND get a check too!


Shareholder Dividends... sounds a lot like a For-Profit Corporation to me.

If I get a check just for being a Consumer, I'll be sure to subdivide each room of my house into an apartment and get multiple checks.  If I save carefully, in a few months I can get a loan to wire up thousands of new teensy-weensy one-square-foot apartments and get a check for every one of them.  I don't see any limit to the wealth I can generate.

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 15, 2003, 02:30:06 pm
>>bylaws, etc. not working

Corruption exists and must be rooted out, prosecuted and punished.  That's what we have laws and police forces and prisons for.

As for Enron et al, Waksal got sentenced many years in prison for his white-collar crime.  I sure hope some Enron execs follow him into the slammer.  

>>for-profit

Actually, I think the current formulation of for-profit vs non-profit corporations is a little arbitrary.  However, there is nothing stopping us from creating new vehicles of joint ownership, except perhaps a bit of political inertia.  I would think political inertia would be the thing FSP folk would be the least discouraged by, considering the project. :)

>>free vacations

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Corporations are collectives.  The only difference is in how one comes by the shares and what one can do with them.  In all other aspects, they are structurally quite similar -- authoritarian rule by committee, individual autonomy sacrificed to the group, joint ownership of the means of production, etc.  In essence, a for-profit corporation is a collective you can buy and sell shares in, while the non-profit corporation is one where the shares are granted to provide voting rights pertaining to electing the BOD and are generally not transferable, while the organization has certain restrictions on its activities in return for a tax exemption.  

I note that there are also some restrictions on the transference of certain classes of shares in many for-profit corporations as well.  (shrug)

If one eschews all collective enterprise, then you may as well ABOLISH corporations altogether an allow only partnerships and LLCs.  And even that does not protect you from the spectre of employees and customers being also equity partners, although it may limit the possibility in practice.

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 15, 2003, 02:34:08 pm
Zack says:
Quote
I don't consider a share I can't sell as something I "own".
And if I do own one it is not silly to sell it, since I get something of value in exchange.  Heck, I'm moving anyhow.

OK.  Can I buy your right to vote in the Free State?  I think maybe if I just buy all the voting rights, then I can be King and you guys can all work at my garbage-oil plant.  :)

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: jeanius on June 15, 2003, 03:25:33 pm
I believe that the crime and courts response to child abuse is the best approach.  Just as assault and battery is dealt with between adults violence (including sex abuse) to children should be treated similarly.  

The argument so many have proposed which has led to the incredible power of the government in this area now is "what if a child slips through the cracks".  This has led to the ability of a neighbor with a dispute to call CPS and file a report that could cause your children to be removed from your home.  "Better a mistake than a child abused" is the cry of the protectors.

Well, children in bad situations are *still* falling through the cracks and the rights of people who have done no harm have been trampled.  I would argue that children will fall through the cracks regardless of the method used.  I would also argue for not trampling on the rights of parents.

There is no 100% solution.  Something that might help is to confront adults we think might be abusers.  If your neighbor's kid is black and blue all the time, talk to the neighbor, talk to the kid.  Abusers like to hide so confrontation could be a deterent.  I'm not talking about being a spy but rather reacting to obvious evidence.  This could be problematic if people treat this idea as open season to pry into their neighbors' lives.  Before the government stepped in to take care of us all communities played a bigger role in this sort of thing.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: RhythmStar on June 15, 2003, 04:40:39 pm
Suppose that a non-invasive technology existed that could tell if a person was lying with 100% accuracy.  Assume that the device had been proven effective in all cases where the subject knew they were telling a falsehood.

Should the state be able to use such a device to pre-screen alleged perps?  Kinda like a mental Breath-a-lyzer?   Or, would this violate protections against self-incrimination?

RS
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 15, 2003, 11:01:08 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 15, 2003, 11:03:45 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 15, 2003, 11:03:59 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 15, 2003, 11:06:35 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 15, 2003, 11:09:08 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 15, 2003, 11:09:45 pm
Hi Rhythm Star,

Ref # 52;

I am going to present a guarantee here.  Corruption wil not be rooted out nor prosecuted nor punished.  Some high-profile, easily adaptable to TV coverage cases, will be for the symbolism - but that's all.

The laws, police forces and prisons are established and run to serve a different era.  There is no way a block of 100 federal investigators at GS13 level can compete against a block of 500 private sector defenders earning US$3K.  This is what is going on now.  Save for the high profile cases suitable for broadcast coverage such as Enron, the big stuff is unknown to the American public.

Corps and not for profits can be viewed as a distinction without a difference.  Look at the payroll, the executive compensation packages and the ability to contract.  Then, look at the contracts.

There IS a roadblock to correction and it is not political inertia.  A "political machine" is needed.  As of 15 June 03, we do not have one. Maybe later.  I'm ready to move.

My comment re utility cash funds = (paid vacations).  Those funds encompass the slush funds.  By an Arkansas coincidence (term coined by Wesley Pruden, Editor of WASHINGTON TIMES), their meetings are sort of like ...

Please don't think I only address public utilities.  Two years ago, all the States Veterans Affairs Committee (about 40 states have their own state agency that is not critical to the citizenry)  had their annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico!  We didn't win on this one but some of our adversies are now scared because we monitor.

California isn't the worse place.  It's just a good place to report from because the broadcast journalists have good background scenery.  

Unless and until we move we are in a combined beer joint/coffee club.

Ref a for profit corp; pro forma, the shares might be available for purchase but as for buying in;...you still might need permission from the corporation.  Even in not for profits, don't label the B of D as holy as Oliver Cromwell's Round Heads.  These systems are rigged.

Collective enterprize isn't the problem.  An environment where the political aspects are addressed and maintained repeat - and maintained -is needed.

Until a move and a practiced machine in place, United Way will continue to compensate their honchos more than the rewards given to America's engineers who build things, invent things and repair things.

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 16, 2003, 02:07:05 am
Hi Jeanius,

Re # 54;

You've got my agreement.

I see the real problem as those agencies operating as fiefdoms.  The appratus is away from public view and uses methods from a bygone era.

Agree that there is no 100% solution.  

BobW
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: BobW on June 16, 2003, 02:17:28 am
Hi Rhythm Star,

Re # 55;

I attended a demo of the new MRI lie detector test.

This new machine has restictions on it's use and utility in the US and the political subdivisions.

As of 16 June 03, it will not be used regarding varacity issues concerning:
-California Board of Equilization
-ARAMCO Saudi Arabia
-Moody's

-etc < (not enough space)

RS, the problems are not technical.

BobW

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Zack Bass on June 16, 2003, 02:59:08 am
Zack says:
Quote
I don't consider a share I can't sell as something I "own".
And if I do own one it is not silly to sell it, since I get something of value in exchange.  Heck, I'm moving anyhow.

OK.  Can I buy your right to vote in the Free State?  I think maybe if I just buy all the voting rights, then I can be King and you guys can all work at my garbage-oil plant.  :)


No problem.  Yes, I believe we ought to be allowed to sell or contract anything we like, including Parental Rights and Votes.
But you're going to be disappointed.  In the Free State, a Vote won't mean what it means here.  The Tyranny of the Majority will be over.  The power controlled by the Vote will be minimal.
Most of our present problems arise from the fact that some people can get what they want by influencing Votes rather than by being productive citizens.  I intend to change that.

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Zack Bass on June 16, 2003, 03:11:35 am

Suppose that a non-invasive technology existed that could tell if a person was lying with 100% accuracy.  Assume that the device had been proven effective in all cases where the subject knew they were telling a falsehood.

Should the state be able to use such a device to pre-screen alleged perps?  Kinda like a mental Breath-a-lyzer?   Or, would this violate protections against self-incrimination?


Are you asking this in the context of The Free State?  Or in our current mess?

In the Free State, where the State has little power except to protect us from one another, sure, this is a great idea, I am all for it!

In the USA, never in a million years.  These guys are not to be trusted.  They can hurt you.

Of course this "violates" the current protection against self-incrimination, but in a decent setup I don't think we need such a special Law.  Think about this:  Even in our current setup, there is no "protection" against being Forced to testify against someone else, only against yourself!  Cops are always badgering perps to rat on each other, and there is no Fifth Amendment restriction on how they may proceed.  It's all Admissible Evidence, and no one bats an eye.  Hell, they even pay snitches (usually with guaranteed lighter sentences) to tell tales; but the Defense may not make any payment of any sort for exculpatory testimony.

Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Margot Keyes (SUNSHINE) on July 15, 2003, 10:53:44 pm
 :)Michelle in Oregon!!

Good to meet another mother .....and fellow atheist!! Though I consider myself far less religious, I am a recovering non-Catholic and have felt persecution for raising MY children against the "expected beliefs" of my parents and family.  Ah well....their loss.

Anyway... I believe the gov. has no bus. being involved with children, either for abuse or education (same thing in some cases ;)) so my vote is for Privatization.  Whether law firms handle court cases pro bono, or a private company handles these issues for a fee on a regular basis...if it is out of the government's hands it is better than it is today and will undoubtedly garner better results for the child.

Well, good luck with college and hopefully one day we will meet!

Double Mint Mom in Minnesota
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: MajesticLeo on July 16, 2003, 07:07:37 am
Sunshine, welcome.

As for child abuse, or rather the stopping of child abuse, it can NEVER be "out of the government's hands" entirely.  Prosecution of abusers must be done through the court system (The Government), unless you advocate formation of vigilante groups for that purpose (which would then, defacto,  become a part of "The Government"), which I am sure you are not doing.

Child Protective Services are an abomination, probably doing much more harm than good, because of their lack of need for proof before they act.  I personally have friends who were foster parents who had their lives turned upside down because someone got mad at them and reported them as abusing their foster children by "practicing Witchcraft".  Foster children were summarily removed from the home and they were subjected to investigation, which of course proved false, but cast aspersions on their character publicly.  Having couseled adults who were abused as children has not given me "the answer".  The fear and shame involved generally keeps them from self-reporting, that and the desire to "not get the parent in trouble cause they love them".  Abusers, whether of children or spouses, are generally very adept at creating the impression such abuse is in response to actions of the abused, thus "if they hadn't done such and such I wouldn't have to be doing this to you".    

However, this does not address your concern to remove all government influence from the lives of children.  As I said before, I do not feel government influence per se is bad.  I think it needs to be minimal, monitored by the parents, and control of education should be at the local level with much input by parents.  I know I am not presenting a "solution" and apologize for the vagueness.
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Herbalist on July 16, 2003, 05:07:52 pm
I just had to pop into this discussion, as a non-Christian mother and libertarian --

My hope for a truly free society is one in which the community is at the nexus of people's lives, and in a community where everybody is known, abuse would be less likely - more support of wives and mothers, more shame for the abusers - and community pressures could be brought to bear on abusive parents & spouses.

In such a community, a person who is known to abuse his/her family/spouse would be "shunned" while the abused would be taken in and supported by the community until they could manage for themselves, make a new life, whatever.

Not a perfect solution, perhaps a bit too utopian, but a dream nevertheless!  Also a bit easier than trying to harness technology ;)

H, an earth mother
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: LeopardPM on July 20, 2003, 07:26:02 pm
thanks for 'popping' in , herbalist!
in regard to your ideas of community, I believe this will be the natural tendency in a free state: without the government trying to take all the responsibility for everything away from us, we will be forced to be responsible... this also means that we will very much like to know who our neighbors are.  We also will naturally form neighborhood associations in an effort to keep the values which we all have in common with each other.

For instance: If a group of people do not want an oil refinery in their neighborhood, they will get together and attach covenants to their respective land deeds that restrict such endeavors.  The same goes for allowing naked people to walk down their streets or anything else that people decide they want to restrict.  Don't be afraid of all these possible 'crazy' rules popping up all over; having attaching a covenant to ones property will also decrease its value thereby allowing market forces to overall effect everyones 'rules'.  This means that, sure, someone could attach a covenant to his property that says,"All commerce or visitation on this property can only be done by a person without any clothing".  Imagine trying to sell that property to someone else?  I know I won't buy it!...

yours,
michael
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: Margot Keyes (SUNSHINE) on August 09, 2003, 11:03:26 pm
 :)Thanks for the welcome, Magestic Leo.  I doubt if anyone has all the answers to making the Free State  (and someday the world?) a better place.  My only thoughts on this thread are that the more families and communities are involved in the lives of children and the LESS government is, then the better.  There is no absolutely no government, nor absolutely only families-- but a very disproportunate mix of the two with the higher portion being with families/communities.

Herbalist I agree with what your ideas are - you may call them utopian, I call them hopeful and I hope we can work to achieve them!!  :D

Have a great day all!
Title: Re:Children in a free state
Post by: LeopardPM on August 10, 2003, 01:32:58 am
Sunshine,
I agree with you, but its important to note that this could easily be put forth into economic terms...

There is a 'demand' for proper upbringing of children
Currently the government is attempting to do so thru various programs, education, etc - it has the exclusive use of force on its side which prevents the free market from working.
If the government were out of the equation, then this 'demand' would be filled by the parents, neighbors, and communities - much more efficiently and with better results...

so, LESS government will naturally bring about MORE Parenting and community involvement....

my thoughts only,
michael