Posts Tagged ‘libertarian’

Do Public Employees Have The Right Not To Piss In Public? #union


When you consider the information that should be public for public employees, you need to ask a few reasonable questions.
What is it that can legally be made public?
And what information must be protected?
Those should be the first two questions.   The answers will vary from place to place, but how you answer them may determine the solvency of our government itself. Clearly we don’t want released any personal information on these non-elected employees that is not related to their public function.
So the next question is what is personal information?
I will leave it to you to decide, but consider the consequences of your answer. Can you imagine what danger we put the public employee in by releasing personal information if we are asking public employees to deal with potentially dangerous individuals and demanding they deny them services?  The class action suit by such a release could cripple the country, especially if some irate individuals start going after public employees they have a grudge against. The necessary information can be obtained by filing a freedom of information act (FOIA) request, but does that mean that information can be freely be published on the internet in total?  It is being so released in many areas, particularly areas with Republican administrations.  This information is being published unchallenged in many cases.
What does someone’s full name, gender, race, town of residence and zip code have to do with their function as a public employee? How about how much sick time they use or their personal 401k contribution?
A sociopathic parolee denied services somewhere like the board of elections, the department of motor vehicles, or social services are just as likely to find those employees on the internet and go after them as their arresting officer, the judge, the parole officer or the district attorney. My understanding is that some district attorney’s offices can and have blocked their information from being published.  How are they a protected class and how are they any more in danger than any other public employee?
..
On top of all that, I have found less information on many elected officials (whose information is supposed to be the less private) than their employees across the country.
This cannot go unchallenged.  It is the Republicans (with the exception of Ron Paul, a libertarian)  that so strongly object to the Anonymous or Wikileaks release of private information (although the Democrats have condemned the release of what they consider state secrets).  But these same Republican representatives do not appear to be so concerned about the same information being released on their employees. The fact that a public employee’s salary is public already and can be found at any public library (or over the phone) without a FOIA request is telling.
This pertinent fact suggests we are dealing with harassment, not transparent disclosure.
The fact that you can look up and see how much  earned sick time and vacation time each public employee has used in some areas is not related to their public function.  You can see how much time they are allowed from the same public library (or on the internet) along with their current and historical salary.  To publish 25% of the population’s information on the internet is clearly harassment and not furthering any specific state interest.
It is part of a union busting process and, as such, must be stopped.
Public employees do not give up their constitutional rights at the door.  They do not work for you personally.  To think they do is to abrogate the whole of the progressive civil service movement whose legislative intent a hundred years ago was to keep politics out of non-elected public service, and it is a matter of established law.  For Republicans to tout the rule of law is a myth in this area as it is in most others.
Many public employees are paid out of local general funds and you do not have any reason or standing to see any information on the county clerk’s secretary in Bakersfield unless you happen live in Kern county.  The idea that I can look it up and see an employee’s personal 401k information that they pay for themselves is unconscionable. What right do I have to know that the program coordinator of the HR department of University of Arizona has not gotten a raise in three years and is grossly underpaid? The publication of this information on the internet is an arbitrary and capricious  release of information to people that have no business knowing it. That we have so many lawyers in this country and so few have successfully brought a challenge to these unconstitutional practices is mind boggling to me.
You may might think that this must have passed the muster of the local government attorneys that reviewed it, but those attorneys are not civil service attorneys, they are appointed by the local elected administration and their jobs depend on their decisions.  This is the very reason for civil service itself and is being worked around. I challenge all of you to start looking for the personal information released on public employees around the country and write, email and call your local legislatures telling them what you think about the release of such personal information. How is that release any different than let us say, all corporate employee information for corporations that receive any government funds? That will be next. In many areas that may involve more taxpayer dollars than the government employees. Also consider the pension information that is released.  These people are no longer public employees, and most of them, around the country, contributed from their paychecks for that pension.  What right does the general public have to that information?  What state interest is served by its release?
 …
If you are still not moved by my arguments, then consider it the next time you call the police or fire department, get a call from the school, want your road plowed, ask for an increase in your child support, have to call child welfare, need to apply for some public benefit or just want to live in a civil society.  I assure you, your decision to allow the disclosure of private information could influence all public employees’ decisions.   Every public employee in the nation will have to consider whether his life is put in jeopardy by the decision that he should make,  even though it is his job to not consider it, by law.  That is what you risk changing by insisting on such disclosure.
In sum, every public emplyee is required by law to give every citizen the right of due process and equitable treatment.  The very thing you are denying to that employee.
I continue to look:
To continue the argument consider that NJ releases information to the press to maintain a public database on USPS workers salary and positions, yet taxpayers have not funded the USPS since the 1980s. What public interest is being served by this release of private information? Even when you feel as a taxpayer it is your right to know the salary and benefits of those public employees in your area, does everyone everywhere have a right to know it? For example, school boards and budgets are locally voted on and debated in a public venue.  What public interest does publication of individual information outside of the that school district serve?  Clearly this is done to incite rather than inform.

Ishtarmuz’s Rebuttal to: Opposing Gay Marriage By Bill O’Reilly


Ishtarmuz’s Rebuttal to: Opposing Gay Marriage By Bill O’Reilly for BillOReilly.com Thursday, May 21, 2009

… There is no stopping the gay nuptials now, even though most Americans say they are opposed to extending marital law to same sex couples.

Yes, there is no stopping it.  Why? It is because being gay is an identity and those that embrace that identity already marry.  They jump the broomstick as it were.

Right now, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, and Maine allow gays to marry. New Hampshire will soon do so. Once the legislatures of New York and New Jersey get finished taxing the life out of their citizens, they, too, will most likely pass gay marriage. And, even though the folks in California voted down gay nuptials, the Supreme Court there is desperately trying to find a way to nullify the vote.

What happened to the rule of law? Are we returning to the anti-civil rights arguments of the 50s combined with the propaganda techniques of the 30s? Is this fair and balanced bigotry?

A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll says 54% of Americans oppose gay marriage, while 45% support it. But if you oppose gay marriage, your opinion makes you a bigot. … That’s what the Miss California controversy was all about.

Where have we heard this ‘we the people’ line before?  That front groups that oppose gay marriage appear to be affiliated with other corporatist front groups that oppose anything that might cut into their profits.  Is this is the great great moral stand that O’Reilly touts? Does he stand with the Mormon Church because they know the evils of gay marriage, like plural marriage, or because they know its power?

Your humble correspondent doesn’t really care much about gay marriage because I believe it is no danger to the republic and the deity can sort all this stuff out after we’re dead. I take a libertarian position on issues like gay marriage because I want all Americans to be able to pursue happiness equally.

Humble is not the word I would have chosen. The idea that this is a libertarian view is de facto absurd. Is this a separate but equal argument against gay marriage? No government sanctions on marriage of any kind would be more libertarian.

… most Americans believe heterosexual marriage deserves a special place in our society. Our Judeo-Christian traditions, which have made the United States the most prosperous and just society the world has ever known, speak to a family built around a responsible mother and a father—certainly the optimum when it comes to raising children.

Let us not forget to do some drum beats for the great American way while we are at it. Pleas to common practice (tradition) and authority are bad enough, but conflating correlation to causation, and just plain rallying of nationalist fervor are quite beyond the pale. None of this is proof, lest it be of pandering to the right. It does remind me of journalistic propaganda from somewhere though. Reality may not have a right wing spin, but O’Reilly sure does.

I also understand that once America changes marital law for one group, homosexuals, it will have to allow plural marriages and other types of situations under “equal justice for all.” Also, there is no question the Scandinavian marriage model of anything goes has led to a drastic decline in traditional marriage.

Oh, I see, Gay Marriage is like a gateway drug? And yes, if you legalize something, then the tradition changes.  Hopefully for the better, promoting the values of marriage, not just the form.  Like many other issues defined by the right, this is all form and no substance.

…When was the last time you saw a Catholic cardinal or archbishop speak against gay marriage on television? …

After some more left wing biased media bashing, then he goes after the Catholic Church for being silent. I wonder where he got that from?

The truth is that pro-gay marriage forces have succeeded in their bigot-branding campaign and will not stop with marriage. … The left knows it has a powerful cannon with this bigot stuff.

Lets review: A bigot is someone with half baked ideas that asserts self serving views without proof against a group of people he knows little about and refuses to hear evidence to the contrary. Yes, the left does appear to have a point.

So the gay marriage debate is just about over. Conservative states won’t pass it, but liberal states will. There was a time when we were truly the united states. No longer.

Oh yes, then there is the fear monger divisiveness to top it off. We have different models of the universe so we will go to war over which side of the egg we crack open first. Pick your issue. Pick your commentator.  Fox News defining the issue is like Al Qaeda defining terrorism. Interestingly the divide on this issue is generational, not geographic.  Logan’s Run anyone?

To All Those Would-be Constitutional Scholars of Health Care Reform


An honest reading of the preamble of our constitution says all that needs to be said about our right to health care in this country.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People of the United States?  This is an expression that all the people as one voice declare what is to follow. In Order to form a more perfect Union?  This expresses the intention to come together as a single community.  Establish Justice?  To equitably do what is right for all. Insure domestic Tranquility?  To keep the peace amongst ourselves. Provide for the common defence?  To defend ourselves against common enemies. To promote the general Welfare?  To see to the needs of the citizenry that which they cannot do themselves. To secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity? To ensure that our freedoms are not taken away from us or our descendants. Do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America?  What is ordained and established in these words is the intent of all that follows.

The intent is clear. The intent is that all the people unite as a community in a just, peaceful manner under a government that would protect them, their freedoms and promote their welfare.  This is why we still have a country.  On the one hand you could say that the federal government is only there to promote these ideas and it is up to the states to carry them out, but then if it can’t or won’t do so, then what is a federal government to do? On the other hand the federal government is to establish justice? Is it just to let the helpless die? It is to insure domestic tranquility?  Is it insured if we allow inequities to fester to the point of domestic violence? It is to provide for the common defense? Not all our enemies carry a gun from without.  Some live in gated communities and have a sense that they are more entitled than others. It is to promote the general welfare?  This is a clear statement of providing those things that states and individuals cannot. Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?  Is there anything that endangers your liberty and your posterity more than illness or threat of illness? Among the many things that it has been decided appropriate that the federal government needed to intervene to provide, the provision of health insurance (read care) will go down in history as the one that made the most sense.  The one that had the most documented need.  The one that was covered in every phrase of the preamble of our constitution.

It is only a twisted libertarianism that would suggest that we should let people die that cannot provide for themselves. It is only a self-absorbed selfishness that cannot see beyond their own strength to what others might take as weakness.  It is only a perverse sense of entitlement that suggests the fruits of your labor should not be shared with the community even though it was the community that allowed you to reap those fruits. No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent. No one does it alone.

We don’t succeed by ourselves, but also we don’t fail by ourselves either. If the public option fails, then we all fail as a country.  The fiscal conservative Representatives have failed this country. They have failed on moral and economic grounds.  They are oath breakers, liars and have sold out their constituency.  A little math will suffice to show you the degree of the lie. Between fourteen to twenty percent of this country works in government depending on how you count.  Most have taxpayer provided insurance.  To expand the public option would lower that cost to the taxpayer of this insurance adding to the bottom line  every cash strapped state.  If all government employees were added to public option ( or asked to pay extra cost for private insurance) that could  save $600,000, 000.  This could end stalled union contracts across the country by taking health insurance off the table.  What might this do for other sectors of the economy? What might this do put people back to work? What could this do to end the recession? When are we going to see the conservatives for what they are, fascists?

Oh wait, maybe it is unconstitutional because the government can’t force you to pay for insurance.  Their is nothing in the constitution that allows that to happen and the Supreme Court would never let it stand.  OK, suspend all social security deductions and programs. Or maybe, pass the law and take it to court, if you are so sure.

The way I see it, this health care debate will become a moot point in the coming years.  I see two-thirds of the States passing a form of universal health care of necessity.  When that happens, it will be a short step to making it a federal constitutional amendment beyond the reach of the Supreme Court, even though the Court would never have overturned a universal health insurance law anyway.  Sometimes you just have to say stick a sock in it.

%d bloggers like this: