Security at NXL Chicago Open Paintball Tournament
I worked security for the NXL paintball tournament in Oak Forrest, IL. I accepted the position intent on earning badly needed money, but life occurrences cause considerations, and when those considerations possess merit I’m inclined to write them down. The following consists of thoughts related to what I learned about paintball, working security, and interesting conversations I had with the second man on post with me.
NXL, Players, and Working Security
After learning how much money was spent by the professional players, and the limited potential for return, I didn’t want to be the reason why a player didn’t have a good time at this event. There seems to be a misunderstanding of what the players are worth to the league. The league cannot exist, and tournaments cannot take place without the players.
I had one job. Check player IDs to make sure people had the proper credentials to be in the players pit area. On the face of it, it seems necessary to ensure players have their personal space to prepare for matches, and to make sure semi-pro and divisional players didn’t enter the pro-pit area to spectate. In practice, what we were asked to do in the pro-pits, was to prevent players from bringing acquaintances into the pit area, many of which were participating in team processes.
There are three possible league motivations for the rule: capacity, environment, and profit. If players inviting people into the pit causes the pit area to become over crowded it is a problem, as such a condition obviously interferes with team’s ability to prepare and compete. Most of the people I turned away were people who thought the pro-pit entrance was the general entrance. Over the first two days, it was apparent who had reason’s to be there and who did not, outwardly identifiable by team jersey’s or equipment. Myself and the person I was working with who I think referred to himself as Norm, let everyone in who was known to a team and expressed a purpose for being there. There were a few exceptions which I will comment on later. The point is, capacity is not an issue and therefore cannot be the motivation for preventing players from having non-roster pit staff or members of their inner circle present in the pit.
On the third day Braden, head of security, manned our post with us and enforced the policy not only to the letter of the rule but beyond it. Braden told the teams only players and up to 4 staff members were allowed in the pit. He made this rule up and began to enforce it, having to except one team who referred to the rules which clearly stated anyone who was on the teams roster could be included in the pit. I think the teams required at least 7 players to play and there were 17 roster spots, meaning a team without substitutes, could have 10 staff members on their roster.
Norm, my post mate, said he understood the need for enforcement because he had experience in crowd control, stating it could become over crowded. I cited the previous two days where it wasn’t crowded despite lax enforcement of the rule as evidence there was no risk of overcrowding. On the third day, there were divisional teams coming to the pro-field to play their championships. It is difficult to know if there were actually more teams total than there were during the first two days. The reason being, is by the third day half or more of the pro-teams were eliminated, which is at least 10 teams. I received a list of 8 divisional teams who were to be allowed into the pro-pits. There were maybe 4 teams who were finishing up their games at the time I was given the list who were added. This means there was roughly the same number of teams in the pro-pit on the third day, as the previous two. Capacity was no more likely to be an issue on day three due to lax enforcement, than it was on day 1 or 2.
Further evidence that capacity was not an issue is based on visual estimation. The amount of people turned away in strict enforcement amounted to about 30 people at most, and inside the players area you could fit at least 100 more people comfortably, without having to worry about capacity. Despite these clear and obvious facts, Norm maintained that he sees how it could be a capacity problem, failing to acknowledge that A: We operated on lax enforcement for the first two days with about the same number of players and teams, and didn’t have an issue with capacity, and B: if it is argued that there were more players and teams on day three, the amount of space verses the amount of people turned away is evidence that on day three, capacity couldn’t be an issue. This was one of many disagreements I had with Norm, that led to good conversations and passed the time. Despite our many differences, there was points of convergence and I was appreciative of the conversation and company.
Capacity is not a motivating factor because the amount of people who gain access to the pro-player area through affiliation does not begin to raise concerns about issues regarding capacity. Second is whether or not it compromises the environment, where unauthorized affiliates of teams obstruct the process of teams preparing to play. There wasn’t a single issue I can recall where any player or team member complained of people being in the way, or affiliates obstructing any pit process.
Following a match when a team was exiting, there was a man in a coat with a beard who was leaving the pit who was seemingly intent on disguising his identity. As he walked past he said they’re not supposed to have beer in there. I commented to Norm that I hadn’t been given any instructions on alcohol in the pit area. For the first two days beer was common in the pit and it is sold by vendors at the event. More importantly, I see nothing inherently wrong with people drinking beer at the event. If people were drinking and disrupting the event then alcohol could be a problem, although even in that scenario it isn’t a problem of alcohol, but a problem of the behavior of individuals who should be dealt with on an individual basis.
I thought the person who said this was an affiliate of a losing team who was trying to get back at the winning team by depriving them of their celebratory beer. On the 3rd day, when Braden was explaining to people who had been there previous days that they couldn’t come in, a man with a beard and a red NXL shirt said “you guys (players) ruined it (lax enforcement) by bringing alcohol in”. I realized this was the same person who commented to me earlier in the coat that “they’re not supposed to have beer in there”. Meaning the one complaint that could be considered evidence of dissatisfaction among players due to a compromised environment, came from staff and not a player. I don’t know this, but I presume the individual had negative experiences with alcohol in his own life, possibly an alcoholic in recovery or someone who has known or been close to alcoholics. He had an issue with beer being in the pit area, but not based on any effect the beer had on the environment.
I was offered and accepted a few beers while working security. First was a man who asked me to remember his name while he goes to get a beer. He returned and gave me a tall can of Bud Light. I took a gulp and set it down. Soon after, Braden came and reassigned me to the pro-pits. I left the beer there not knowing whether or not I was allowed to drink on the job. Later I thought how foolish it was that I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. I asked a pit member from a team if he could grab my beer I left at the other post because he was part of a pit crew which made frequent trips past the other post to get boxes of paintballs. He talked to another member of his crew who gave me a beer. The point was I didn’t want to waste the beer the other guy bought me, so later when I went to the bathroom I stopped and finished the beer before returning to my post. I was given another beer later that day. Not enough to catch a buzz, but when you’re sitting in the hot sun all day doing a whole lot of nothing, the beer is refreshing. The second and third day I was given a beer each day. I should have brought beer, the job would have been more enjoyable if I had a buzz going.
There is no issue with capacity, and there is no issue with the environment being compromised by team affiliates. The motivation is league profits. In the pro-pits, I estimate maybe 100 different people gained access through team affiliation, not on the rosters. If these people had the means, access to the pits would require a $75 VIP wristband to grant them access. There was a potential to make $7500 through strict enforcement, which is unlikely to translate into $7500 as most people will simply forgo entry. This brings me to my main point concerning the NXL and the players.
The league collected $389,500 at the Chicago Open, roughly $60,000 is paid in player prizes, the top prize is $12,000 to the first place pro-team, which isn’t enough to cover the entry fee for each player into the tournament. I’m bringing up these numbers to express two points which will serve as the basis for others. First, is putting the lost revenue into perspective. The league has the potential to make maybe $7500 on the event by compromising the quality of the experience of the players, whose participation and entry fees make the event possible and comprise probably the bulk of the revenue. While I was working security I thought about being a player at the event. $3000 to participate in the tournament, the time and money to work my way up to the pro-level, and time and cost of travel, to be harassed by security and rules that do not benefit the competition I would be disappointed. My approach to security in the pro-pits consisted of checking IDs only if it wasn’t obvious that the person was a player. When people didn’t have cards if they had a purpose and knew someone from the team I let them go back.
The second point regarding the $7500 of potentially lost revenue in proportion to the $389,500 contributed by player entry fees, is how ungrateful the league is to the players who are responsible for the leagues existence and profits. The difference between the relationship between the players of the NFL or NBA, and the players relationship with NXL, is the benefit to the players. Other professional sports players are paid. The other sports leagues provide them an opportunity to earn a living doing what they like to do. The NXL does not offer paintball players this opportunity, instead the players through their entry fees support the profits of the NXL. Presumably, with the right mind and organization, the players at an event could begin organizing their own league and tournaments, possibly find an investor, which could create the potential for professional paintball players to earn an living from their sport.
This was something I discussed with Norm, where the primary obstruction to professional players being paid is attention. Norm thought they needed better marketing, which I agree with, but I also think the presentation and possibly the game play of the sport may need to be improved to make it exciting for spectators. Possibly actual league play, as I was told there are only 5 tournaments per year. If there are two months in between important competition, it isn’t something that people can become engaged in and follow closely. Another way of increasing spectator appeal, is by having announcers and commentators who explain the intricacies of the game as they occurring. A fan of the sport has to understand what they are watching, so they know what a player or team needs to do from the positions they are in, and when a spectacular play occurs.
What needs to be done is subject to debate, and what I’ve mentioned are few casual observations, but the objective is to gain attention which will present opportunities for non-paintball sponsors to advertise through the attraction. This may be a conflict of interest between the players and the NXL. NXL has a business model which is profitable and the interests of the players making a living from their sport has nothing to do with the profit motivated interests of the NXL. Investments in marketing and efforts to bring paintball into the mainstream, although it creates the potential for increased profit, is not required for the NXL’s continued success. More importantly, if national media attention was gained through ESPN Plus, or some other sports media outlet, which would attract sponsorship, it is safe to presume that most of the additional revenue would benefit the league and not the players. The reason being, is the players express interest in the tournaments for the existing prize pools, and it is more about participation than it is the prizes. Meaning even if the league benefited from increased revenue and could afford larger prizes, they have no reason to sacrifice profit to prize pools because players will participate in the tournaments for the prizes being offered.
I thought about these things because anyone who is the best in the world at what they do should be able to earn a living doing it, and professional paint ballers spend a lot of money to participate in their sport to compete at the highest level. One player estimated annual costs at around $20,000 per year out of pocket. To make a commitment like this, and then participate in events where security is led by a harassing security manager intent on adding at most a few thousand dollars to the leagues revenue represents extreme ingratitude. The future of professional paintball, and the potential for professional paintball players to earn a living from paintball will probably require a league created by the players. Considering the cost of an event is largely covered by player entry fees, it wouldn’t be that difficult should the NXL fail to give greater consideration to interests of players, and show the players the proper gratitude and respect they deserve for participating in NXL events.
Many of the negative impressions I have about the security detail came from the third day where the head of security was working our post with us. I mentioned the enforcement of a rule which is not in the rules, where he limited the amount of staff that could be present with the team in the pit, which may have hindered the ability of teams to perform. He imposed a limit of the players plus 4 staff members. In between rounds during matches the pit crew is required to supply paint balls, fill up tanks, and wipe down players, among probably other tasks I’m not familiar with. One staff member is the coach, which leaves only 3 people to perform pit crew duties. Again this is not a rule, this is something he decided he wanted to impose.
Prior to matches, similar to NFL games, players try to motivate their teams, shouting cliches like “leave it all out on field”, “this is it”, “lets fucking go”, and things like that. The head of security was mocking their pre-match speeches, calling them “corny”, among other things. They were corny, but so are all pregame motivational chants, and this is their moment, the finals, to determine who is going to compete for the honor of being the best paintball team in the tournament, among the highest level of competition.
While Braden was explaining to a group gathered at the entrance to the pro-pit that teams could only have 4 staff members, one person said he was 1 of the 4 for a team which was trying to decide who their 4 would be. When the 4 entered Braden told them they already had 1 which was the guy who went in ahead of them. They said he wasn’t with them. Braden walked through to find this person. He came back out and said he identified him, and the team put a headband on him to give him the appearance of a player. Braden said, I’m going to wait for his team’s match to start, then I’m going to kick him out. It seemed malicious. If he waits for the match to start and then kicks the guy out, he is going to miss at least part of the match going from the pit to the spectators section. It is as if he fails to realize that he has a job because of the players, and player satisfaction relates to their experience at the event which includes how they and their guests are treated. The event isn’t about his career in security, and it isn’t about the league, it is about the players, whose dedication and passion for the sport is the only reason why the league and his security position exist.
Maybe the players are satisfied with how the events are managed. My opinion is based on this one event and represents how I would feel if I was a player. Braden was an easy and fair person to work for, but as I commented to Norm, if I was a player, I wouldn’t like him, and I have a negative view of him as a person based on how he approaches his job. His approach to his job is suggestive of qualities I do not value, mainly, a desire to impose on people without any benefit derived other than what is inherent for him through the act of imposing.
Most of the people who I turned away were people who were mistaking the players area for the general entrance. I turned away a player’s mom and dad because if Braden saw them in the pit, it would be obvious that they weren’t supposed to be there.
I regretted almost ejecting a pair of people who did not have credentials. The two were with a person whose credentials I either saw or a team member vouched for, and had been in the pit the previous day. The woman said we’re part of the pit crew. They proceeded to an area right behind the fence and began engaging in casual conversation. I shouldn’t have, but I felt personally offended, like they were taking advantage of my player inclined to approach to security. It had to do with telling me they were pit crew and immediately drawing attention to the fact that they were not. Even though I commented to Norm that I didn’t have a problem with people lying to get in if they had some affiliation with a team.
I entered the pit and told them they couldn’t be back there if they didn’t have credentials. They said they would leave. At about the same time, a member of New York Extreme who I talked with the day before told me they were with him, and I said that’s fine then, I just wanted to make sure they were supposed to be back here and weren’t disrupting the players. Shortly thereafter one of the people who entered without identification came out and showed me his ID.
There was a player whose wife and baby I denied access 1: on the basis that no one under 10 years old is supposed to be in the pit, and 2: even without the rule, there are potential risks to the safety of the baby in the pit area. The child was well under 2 years old.
The first day for the few hours I was working the divisional pit one of the other security staff prevented a man from bringing his son into the pit area. His son was 7 and the rule states no one under 10. This security staff member did his job more in line with how Braden probably wanted the job to be executed. I didn’t see any reason why the child couldn’t enter the pit but I was not in a position to override the other staff member. He asked me if I could keep an eye on him while he tried to find someone who could sit with the child while he played his match. The boy had a game system, I asked him what he was playing and he told me Sonic Racing. My aim was for the child to be comfortable while he waited for his dad to return wanting him to know shit was cool. I offered to keep an eye on the child if he couldn’t find someone, but he made accommodations.
The security staff member who prevented the child from coming in was over zealous about his position. On the second day he came over to the pro-post, and told us about all the people he caught trying to sneak in. He said there were girls who would have their boyfriends ID cards and show the back. He said he checked the pictures and they were men’s IDs. I’m sure a few did the same thing in the pro-pit, but I didn’t notice because as long as the sticker indicated they were allowed, I allowed them.
Beyond these incidents the only disorder were brief disputes between teams. The first was a coach from who was upset with a player. I don’t know for certain that the dispute can be reduced to this detail, but the coach seemed to be upset that a lesser skilled player was blaming a point, or a loss on two players who were better than he was. He was shouting and threatened to fight the player. I would have been within my right to assert myself into the confrontation, but it wasn’t the best way to resolve the problem. One of the team members intervened and removed the coach from the pit area. I would have intervened only if it came to blows, and only to prevent a party involved from sustaining serious injury, if no one else intervened. Otherwise, if there is a dispute between the members of a group, it’s stupid to assert yourself unless necessary.
There was another similar incident where a player threatened to fight a player on the same team, which was resolved by the team, and a heated argument between a coach and player that did not include threats.
When Braden was around I enforced the policies he was enforcing, and checked IDs more thoroughly. After he left on the third day I applied the rules more thoroughly for a time because I did not want him to return and find unauthorized people in the pit after he had been there for the last hour ensuring no one without the proper credentials was in the pit. I felt shitty about it afterwards, but how much I was going to be paid was partially based on performance. 130 per day guaranteed, but 150 per day if I was on time and did a good job. Despite doing the job intent on maximizing player satisfaction in respect to security, I also wanted to present the illusion that I was serious and effectively performing the job to earn the extra $20 per day.
Thoughts on a Distant Conversation
The first day I worked by myself, and I posted the following to my facebook, which was a response to a comment I overheard in the pit.
Working security at a paintball tournament yesterday, I heard a person say Trump is a shitty person but a good president, going on to cite the economy as evidence of his assertion. I wasn’t involved in the conversation but overhearing it is a sobering reminder of just how limited people’s understanding of politics and economics is.
The size of the economy is measured in gross domestic product which is the total amount of goods and services sold in the US. Every so often there is a poll where voters are asked which issues are most import, and the economy is typically one of if not the most important issue. What this actually means is these people have financial issues in their own lives.
The economy is measured by the growth of GDP, but the growth of the economy does not guarantee increased prosperity for the general population. Recently I explained that half the population is poor, based on the economic data and the definition of the word poor. The individual median income is 31,000 dollars per year,(1) and the state with the lowest average cost of living is 43,000 dollars per year.(2) Meaning most people cannot afford the average cost of living which is “lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal”, and is the definition of poor according to the oxford dictionary.(3)
There is supporting evidence in the wealth distribution as the bottom 50% of the population possesses only 1.2 % of wealth, and the bottom roughly 40% possesses negative wealth where their debts are greater than their assets.(4) Wealth is the accumulation of surplus income, meaning people with negative wealth do not have an income that is sufficient to meet their expenses.
The president usually has very little to do with economic growth in a market based economy. All this is to say that people believe things are true because they are told they are true without even a basic understanding of the subject. They know neither what is true nor the causes of implications if said thing is true. Peoples civic decisions are largely a product of information they have no understanding of. People’s true opinion of the economy depends on their own circumstances, where whatever their position is within the economy, determines their opinion of the economy, and of course the health of the economy is no indication of an increased quality of life, prosperity, or improvements for the general population.
1: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 9/13/2017 “Real Median Personal Income in the United States”. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEPAINUSA672N Source: US Census Bureau $31,099 Individual Median Income
2: USA Today 5/10/2018 “Cost of Living: The Purchasing Power of the Dollar in Every State”, by Michael B Saunter. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/05/10/cost-of-living-value-of-dollar-in-every-state/34567549/
3: Oxford Dictionary https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/poor
4: Statista 8/9/2019, “Wealth Distribution in the United States 2016”, by Erin Duffin. https://www.statista.com/statistics/203961/wealth-distribution-for-the-us/
The first day I left my weed in my car, thinking I would have time to go to the car during the day and I did for the first 4 hours when I was working at the divisional post. When I moved to the pro-post the first day I worked it by myself, and didn’t have an opportunity to return to my car. Needless to say the affects wore off. I smoke marijuana because it reduces stress, stimulates thought, and focuses attention on the moment. I intend to explain the effects on mood more precisely through Sequencing and Comparison, which is a theory of the mind that reduces all thoughts, feelings, and behavior to components and the comparison’s used by the mind to produce thought.
The second day, not knowing I would have a partner I smoked a bunch of weed before I came in, failing to acknowledge the fact that smoking more contributes more to intensity, than it does to duration. After arriving, there was about a 15 minute period where we couldn’t be at our post because the portable toilets were being cleaned. I was walking to the portable toilets in another area. I was in thought when I noticed I didn’t have the rhythm of my step right, and the uneven surface of the grass was a contributor. Noticing this caused me to focus on walking which completely prevented me from being able to walk like a human being. The three other security staff were positioned by the divisional post as I walked a length of probably 50 yards in front of them, before anyone else was visible in that area of the tournament. I laughed as I thought about how ridiculous I must have looked.
The third day, knowing I had relief I went to the car, but it was a good 5 hours since I returned to my car. When I came back from my car I told Norm I felt good. I hit the sweet spot of exactly as high as I wanted to be, and then contrasted that with the previous day where I was higher than I wanted to be. I think the other conversation consisted of talking about Braden, who said he received complaints from his general manager that we were on our phones too much. Most of being on the post is looking up and nodding to a familiar face, it doesn’t interfere with our work. I didn’t dispute with him about it, but Norm suggested that he doesn’t have a general manager, and the general manager was just a pretext because he didn’t want us on our phones. One time he did a walk through and told me there were some people in the pro-pit who weren’t supposed to be back there. I thought if there were people in the pit who weren’t supposed to be back there why didn’t you send em out? LOL. Other than that he was a cool person to work for. He was respectful, ensured we had what we needed, and didn’t ask much of us.
When we were finished talking, Norm took a trip to his car, and a woman wearing an NXL shirt came out of the pit. It seemed possible she could hear our conversation, and I can be kind of a loud talking mother fucker. I thought about the possibility that she was listening to me talk about going to the car and smoking weed, and my levels of high. I considered that she may tell Braden and I could be fired from this job. Which meant probably about $85 less on the job, and since I was in IL, I’d say it was medicinal, and probably would keep the job since it wasn’t specified in the ad which was posted in a medical marijuana state. It was kind of funny because shortly there after, Braden came walking up from about 60 yards away, which was strange because every other time he drove a cart. At the same time, the Oak Forrest police who were present at the event, drove their cart from the parking lot into the field. I was like no shit, these mother fuckers called the police on me? It was coincidence, Braden didn’t mention anything about weed, and the police were passing through to where ever they were headed.
Some people would say this represents the propensity of weed to produce paranoia, and I’m sure it does, but this is not an example. It is carrying forward a possible sequence of cause and effect, which is plausible based on the uncertainties of the act, and her value of marijuana. The way she came out after we stopped talking, as if cued by a few seconds of silence, meant maybe she took her job very seriously and was listening to us. If she was, I don’t know if she thinks someone smoking marijuana on the job is appropriate for the security staff. Based on those uncertainties, I carried forwarded a possible sequence of events in the event that the outcome occurred, I would be prepared to deal with it. I was prepared with a lie asserting I had a medical card and I should have been informed of the policy since the event was in a medical marijuana state. Paranoid would be thinking the events were staged, and schizophrenic would be thinking I was shown the events previously, or that people watch and hear my life. All this was, was preparation for a possible outcome, not paranoia.
Before I continue, I met Norm the second day when we were working the post together, but I don’t remember us introducing ourselves. Second day started off much higher than I wanted to be, and we may have found conversation before any introduction. I do remember him referring to himself as Norm, which is why I’m calling him Norm. I don’t know if that is his name. We were talking about football which included a discussion about Antonio Brown, which led to a discussion about Josh Gordon. I didn’t know this but Norm said Josh Gordon tested positive for marijuana and was suspended, which I assumed was something that happened with the Browns, but he told me it happened with the Patriots.
Naturally, I had no issue with it. If it doesn’t compromise his performance on the field, and doesn’t give him an athletic advantage, there is no reason why the substance should be banned, especially since it clearly serves a good purpose for the user without any significant immediate health risks. He disagreed saying it was unprofessional and I asked him what that meant? If a player conducts himself respectfully, works hard in practice, doesn’t create off the field controversy that affects the team, and performs well in games, isn’t that the true mark of professionalism? Being proficient in your service? I didn’t provide him with those points at the time, instead I left it to him to define professionalism, so we could see why a player smoking marijuana was unprofessional.
I went on to explain the rule of rules, of which I intend to make the law of laws. Universal interest, what does everyone wants? Everyone wants to do what they want to do, at all times. This is liberty. Every creature can do what they want to do so long as they are not imposed on by any other creature. Meaning we create rules to prevent imposition, and each individual’s liberty extends to a point where it is unreasonably or intentionally imposing on someone else. We agree to rules because we are freer with them, than we are without them.
The other aspect of liberty is having the means to be free which consists of money and ability. Systems exist by the consent of the public. Systems that circumstantially trap people, financially, as well as intellectually, is collective imposition through public consent. This has nothing to do with the general point but does have to do with liberty, since it is mentioned.
Liberty considers setting, where an individual must accept subjective imposition or rules when interacting with someone in or with their property. If I’m in your house you may have preferences I must follow which may be useless impositions, but I must accept them if I want to interact with you in that setting. Obvious, but mentioned for the purpose of how setting relates to liberty.
The other aspect of rules or procedure is efficiency. When people work together to achieve some common purpose that purpose is the subject of desire, and so rules or procedures are created that may not prevent imposition directly, but ensure purposes are fulfilled efficiently, which protects against imposing against time. The purpose of rules is to prevent against imposition, which occurs when the action of one or a group prevents someone from doing what they want to do; and to prevent against imposition by delaying the delivery of a desire, which is the consequence of inefficient conduct.
I wasn’t as thorough in my explanation on the spot, but I thought I explained enough to bring him to the true conclusion that the purpose of rules is to prevent imposition, which includes imposition against inefficiency. The reason I brought him here was in an effort for him to realize, that the justification of a rule requires the prevention of imposition, or the maintenance of efficiency, and to show that marijuana use did not impose anyone, and there was no evidence that caused him to be less efficient in service which was evident by his performance on the field.
He said we know marijuana slows down your thinking, and I think he may have meant reaction time or perhaps finding the former to be the cause of the latter. He went onto say if there was a 300lb defensive end running at him the marijuana could put him in danger because he won’t be able to react quick enough. He claimed that Josh Gordon was high during games, and although I doubted that detail was true, I accepted it as fact for the sake of argument. I mentioned how marijuana affects people differently, meaning although it may decrease reaction speed in some, it may have no effect in others. Then I proceeded to my explanation I used for maintained efficiency, which is performance on the field, and there is no indication if he did smoke marijuana before games as Norm asserted, that his performance was compromised.
This subject was a stalemate either because the value he had of his position was greater than his value of what is true, or he failed to understand the objective purpose of rules. Where image is used as a justification of efficiency in purpose, as in the team’s profits, if something has a negative image for no objectively justifiable reason, the assertion of the explanation is sufficient to change that image. Rather than allow a popular misconception to undermine the merit of a substance, and those whose desire consists of using that substance based on that merit.
On Antonio Brown, we both agreed the allegations against him were dubious. The woman who worked for Brown, claims he sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions since 2017. I don’t have a huge problem with her not contacting the police because sending him to jail could compromise her ability to recover damages. I do have a problem that the first incident was alleged to have happened in 2017, and if it is sexual assault as she says, a traumatic experience, why did she keep him as a client? There is no good explanation for her decision not to file the suit after the first incident and to continue working with him. Maybe she thought it wouldn’t happen again, but after the second time, why did she keep him as a client and why didn’t she file the suit then? After it happened a second time, she knew it would happen again. I can’t understand why someone would be sexually assaulted twice and return knowing they would sexually assaulted a third time.
Norm thought the Raiders knew about it and told her when to file the charges. I doubted that theory because this complaint was probably being prepared long before he signed with the Raiders. Something interesting happened. He brought up that she waited to file suit until after he got a contract intentionally. I initially disputed this but forgot the point. The reason I disputed it was because it was in the context of the Raiders conspiracy theory. Later on, I brought up that she probably did wait for the new contract, because she could potentially get more money in punitive damages based on the total amount of money he has. Norm reminded me that this was his point earlier. I learned I can forget a point if the point is attached to a sequence that I believe is untrue. He attached the point to the Raiders conspiracy theory, which I believed was untrue, and so I attached my conclusion (false) to the sequence, to all of its components, including her waiting to file the lawsuit, which I didn’t pay attention to because I considered it false based on the likely false assertion it was attached to. This language may seem strange, but it is relevant to Sequencing and Comparison.
We also discussed Laveon Bell, where he thought Bell made a good decision by not playing for the Steelers last year. We both agreed that running backs need to sign big contracts early in their career because running backs probably have the greatest risk of career ending injury out of all football players. I thought he should have played for the Steelers because he didn’t make any money last year sitting out. The Steelers actually offered him more money than the Jets, but when we looked up the contract it didn’t say how much of the Steeler’s contract was actually guaranteeing, only that 33 million was guaranteed over the first two years.
As I returned to the question as I’m writing this, I found out the Steeler’s contract was only 10 million guaranteed on a 70 million dollar 5 year contract, whereas the Jets 4 year contract for 52.5 million guaranteed 30 million. Looking back on it, Norm was correct about it being a good move by Bell, because had he been injured early last season he was only guaranteed 10 million dollars.
We did encounter a snag in the discussion. I asked him if Bell held out on the last year of his contract or he was franchised? Norm continued to say he was on the last year of his contract and they franchised him. This didn’t make sense but he couldn’t recognize why it didn’t make sense. If he is on the last year of his contract, he can’t be franchised because his is already under contract. He can’t have two contracts, it can’t be in the last year of his contract and then be given a franchise contract. I went through this at least three times before we looked it up and established that Bell’s contract was up and he was franchised for the season he sat out. I wasn’t following the story closely last year, and I was under the mistaken impression that Bell was on the last year of a contract and wanted a new contract. This is why we had to establish the circumstances of Bell’s hold out.
Comedy and Political Correctness
Stand up comedy came up in conversation, I think after he brought up movies and mentioned I didn’t watch many movies or TV, that I watched youtube for news, sports, music, and stand up comedy. Stand up comedy was a point of common interest which led to discussion of Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special and the manufactured controversy surrounding it. This led to a discussion about political correctness, and the overemphasis of racial, gender, and sexuality discrimination.
I summarized something I wrote recently about the over emphasis of sexuality discrimination, mainly, that people are not intolerant of LGBT people, but some have issues with the promotion of it. Children are considering their gender identity. My daughter had a friend come over a while ago and my daughter’s mom told me she was non-binary. I don’t care about her gender identity, I care about the fact that she helps my daughter clean her room, she’s respectful, and my daughter enjoys her company. She left good impressions when she was over here. She’s only 13 years old, but many children who are considering their gender identity and sexuality are under the age of 10. I mention this as evidence of LGBT promotion. The reason it is evidence is because a child absent the suggestion, would probably never consider am I really a girl in the body of a boy, or am I a boy in the body of a girl. These are questions of external origins, through the promotion of the LGBT agenda, that promotes under the guise of tolerance and equal treatment. That is what I’m contending and what I have an issue with. Tolerance and equal treatment exists in abundance for LGBT people, but what they are promoting is a preference for the lifestyle.
The previous point leads into my next point but I have to address the anticipated leftist, PC, LGBT criticism of the word preference. They will contend that I am making sexuality a choice and people are born predisposed to their attraction. There is a recently published study where hundreds of thousands of people whose DNA profile was mapped out, responded to a survey asking if they had a same sex experience. There was a lack of genetic consistency between those who identified as gay, as well as those who had a same sex experience. A comment summarizes the conclusion of the findings “the authors say that the genetic similarities still cannot show whether a given individual is gay. “It’s the end of the ’gay gene,’” says Eric Vilain, a geneticist at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.”(5) This is to say preference is the scientifically correct term to describe LGBT, which isn’t to say it is a choice, as there are clearly physiological responses and same sex attraction which is not a choice, but it also isn’t genetic.
Attraction and sexual arousal towards the same sex is developed. This isn’t to say I support anti-gay conversion therapy for a few reasons. The first reason is conversion therapy is developed by people who believe there is something inherently wrong with same sex sex. It begins from a point of reasoning that being LGBT is wrong, and this is both incorrect and potentially harmful. Second, the development of same sex attraction and arousal is unknown. Meaning even if people who have developed same sex attraction and arousal want to change their sexual orientation, there is no proven method of doing so, because the cause of sexual orientation development is unknown. I think the only way for a gay person to change their sexual orientation is through a pussy immersion program. Something I mention as a suggestion for anyone interested in changing their sexual orientation, not because I believe people should, but because I believe people should be able to do what they want to do.
The other aspect of the promotion of the LGBT lifestyle, which is promoted for tolerance and equality is the special treatment that results from being considered a disadvantaged group. The group is made to appear the victim of discrimination by their advocates who over emphasis the problem. An example is how Democracy Now reports the murder of all transgender people, which implies transgender people are being targeted for violence because they are transgender. Based on the number of homicides that occur in the United States annually (17,000), in proportion to the number of transgender people in the country(.6% of the population is trans gender),(6) transgender people are murdered at a rate that is 4 times lower than non-transgender people. 102 trans-murders per year would be proportionate to their numbers in the population (17,000 x .006), last year only 24 trans-people were the victims of homicide. Democracy Now has reported and re-reported the murder of trans-people. This is an example I have fresh in my mind but what I’m trying to demonstrate is, it is easy to make a group appear the target of discrimination. If you can report a new story about an incident that seems to represent discrimination a few times per month, and increase the impressions by reporting the developments in the story, these infrequent incidents appear to indicate a serious problem for the group. The same as a roofer needs to convince people there is a problem with people’s roofs, an activist whose cause is racial, sexuality, or gender discrimination must find, either through interpretation or event, examples of discrimination to justify their existence.
How does this affect the promotion of the LGBT lifestyle and how it influences the sexuality of children? Beyond gender identity considerations by children, ideas that come from promotion, a child who is considering sexuality, may not be considering sexual orientation based solely on their attraction or arousal by the same sex. LGBT people are people who receive special treatment from the general public. LGBT people are a group perceived as receiving less than equal treatment because of their sexual orientation, and it is socially unacceptable to do so. Therefore many people treat LGBT people special because giving a seemingly disadvantaged group special treatment carries with it feelings of moral superiority which carries good sensations with it, and B: people do not want to appear to be homophobic because of the social repercussions. Special treatment may influence a child’s reason for same sex orientation. Along similar lines, a child who lacks belonging in a social setting, being without quality peer relationships may see an LGBT identification as an opportunity for social interaction and belonging.
As the research asserts, no one is born gay, people become gay through what is largely unknown factors. There may be psychological studies that identify some environmental contributions, but probably not the circumstances, and limited data on patterns of thoughts and feelings that lead into same sex attraction and arousal. Of course this research may be tainted by the promotion of the idea that people are born gay, or born the wrong gender. Meaning a respondent to a study is inclined to emphasize thoughts, feelings, and behavior consistent with the ideas they believe, which is they are born with same sex attraction and arousal. To some degree it begs the question what harm is there in the promotion LGBT sexuality? At worst it may lead to experimentation and broaden that individual’s perspective even if the experimentation doesn’t change their sexual orientation. The problem is the LGBT culture generally, is the promotion of feminine qualities. The promotion of LGBT sexuality is an assault on masculinity, which doesn’t mean I am opposed to people who are LGBT. As I said I am for people doing what they want to do, but what is unfair is that the promotion heterosexuality, absent intolerance or the promotion of unequal treatment of LGBT people is considered homophobic.
My points are,
1:LGBT discrimination is overemphasized.
2:The promotion of tolerance and equal treatment of LGBT people, is the promotion of LGBT sexuality.
3:Children question their gender identity because the idea is made known to them, and in some cases this is harmful to development. It is not an organic question, which is why Dave Chappelle’s bit about being a Chinese man in a black man’s body was so funny and illustrative. People had proclivities to dress up like women, wear make up, and live their idea of the opposite gender, which probably began with them being gay. They became gay and developed attraction to and arousal from the same sex. The idea of gender identity was born out of this, and promoted to the extent that children are aware of the idea and consider the possibility.
4:Because sexuality is being promoted, there shouldn’t be a problem with people promoting heterosexuality so long as that promotion doesn’t promote intolerance of other sexual orientations, or promote the unequal treatment of others based on sexual orientations.
5: Most importantly, by claiming a group is the subject of frequent persecution over their sexuality when they are not, it creates a sense of urgency for their cause when the problem itself doesn’t exist to a meaningful degree. It is also divisive and divides the underclass, leaving class interests neglected.
We also discussed race, where after I explained that black people born into money benefit from all the same advantages as white people born into money, and white people born poor face the same disadvantages as black people born poor. Norm said he felt black people born poor faced slightly more challenges, but didn’t mention anything specific. I didn’t go much deeper into it because he seemed uncomfortable on the subject.
If we ask the question of what is important to liberty, we return to imposition, and for ease of explanation opportunity for income and education. Are black people being denied jobs based on race? The answer is no. Are black people being denied educational opportunities based on race? The answer is no. Is it socially acceptable to be intolerant or to treat someone unequally based on race? The answer is no, unless of course the treatment is directed at white people, which there is more tolerance for. Are their groups that advocate for black people that are racially exclusive? The answer is yes, black lives matter, the NAACP, the AAAED, and a whole host of other black advocacy groups. Ask these questions again, and replace black with gender or sexuality, and the answers are the same. Which means generally, that these issues of discrimination are overemphasized.
I feel like I am being more than fair when I say poor white people face the same disadvantages as poor black and brown people. In some ways more so because despite the fact that poor white people comprise the majority of poor people in this country, they are an unacknowledged group, and it is acceptable for any white person in this country to be called to account for his white privilege. Not only are white people when disadvantaged not counted as being disadvantaged, they are assumed advantaged based on the myth of white privilege. The reality is there may have been more white immigrants and the descendants of poor farmers whose race went from minimally beneficial in times past, to no benefit in times present.
Legislatively, you cannot do anything more, it is already illegal to discriminate based on race. Socially it is unacceptable to an unhealthy degree. Meaning people often withhold comments not intended to be racist because they are worried about the social repercussion of having said something that someone thought appeared to be racist. Most racism isn’t actually racism, it doesn’t represent the assertion of superiority or inferiority, and does not promote or constitute unequal treatment. The prime minister of Canada is accused of being racist because he painted his face black when he would dress up in costumes.(7) I left the following comment in response to the report:
An act cannot be racist unless it promotes superiority/inferiority and promotes unequal treatment based on race. The definition of Racism: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Unless the act is done intent on antagonism, which most of the black face/brown face is not including this incident, by the definition of the word the act is not racist. People have associated the act with racism because they have an interest in creating the appearance of racism to justify their cause of being against racism. What this means is if you condition people to associate an act with racism, the act becomes a racist act in the reality of manufactured popular perception. People don’t know what words mean, words are associated with acts that do not represent the words, and these words carry with them negative value. If we remove the word racist entirely from describing this incident, what harm or potential harm is done to anyone? People should have the right to put on whatever kind of make up they want to put on for costume, dramatic or artistic effect. Why? BECAUSE IT DOES NOT PROMOTE PREJUDICE< DISCRIMINATION< OR SUPERIORITY, and is not done intent on ANTAGONZING!
Unfair treatment by the police is an area where people assert that black people are discriminated against. Like Democracy Now promoting a problem that isn’t a problem as mentioned in transgender murders, if all you see is one group being the victims of abuse, it seems to be motivated by the common element of that group. But for every Dylan Noble incident where white people are victims of police abuse and deadly force, (8) there are many more where the evidence isn’t strong enough, and you don’t see it. I have many of my own experiences of poor treatment and trumped up charges.
When I was 15 I was on the run, AWOL from my parole having served 13 months between a juvenile prison, and the YLTC boot camp program. The night before an officer ran my name and the warrant didn’t come back, so I thought I was safe to use my name. The officer the following night ran my name and the warrant came back. He grabbed my arm and I pulled away dragging him momentarily. He leaned back which swung my momentum, and then leaned again swinging me through my resistive effort, and I fell on the ground. After I was handcuffed, he kicked me in the chest.
As far as harassment, the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to even stop us and run our names. We didn’t know the law and the officers took advantage of that, but I’m also sure they had pretexts. I was 15, and when a group of more than 3 of us would be walking together, we would break up into smaller groups to reduce the likelihood of drawing police attention. Primarily white group.
Another incident, a friend of mine who is presently incarcerated, was suspected of being involved or knowing who was involved in an assault of an officer’s son. From the stories I was told, the officer’s son was trying to be about that life, and it caught up to him. The officers beat my friend and claimed his injuries resulted from him ramming his face into the holding cell door. I’m white, he’s white, and there are many other stories concerning myself and others, and many other white people I know incarcerated, or those I knew like Big J: Jeremy Cunningham, who died in prison when a correctional officer refused to respond to his cellmates call for help when he was having a seizure. All this is to say, I know police are abusive, but because I know of incidents, many of which were common, that clearly were not motivated by race, I am skeptical that race is the sole motivating factor for police unnecessarily asserting themselves, in many of the incidents where it is cited as such. Which isn’t to say that there are no police officers who treat suspects worse based on race, I’m sure there is, but it id far rarer than the public is led to believe.
One common feature shared by those incarcerated is pre-incarceration median income, which is 19,650 per year for all inmates, 21,975 for whites and 17,625 for blacks,(9) which strikes to the root of all our issues which is money. Blacks are made to feel like they are poor because they are black, brown people because they are brown, and white people because brown people are stealing their jobs, and black people are leeching off of the welfare system. None of it is true, but it serves the purpose of dividing people of a common class interest. More importantly, these interests become the primary political causes of groups while their more relevant and uniting interest goes neglected.
We didn’t discuss politics, but the three most important issues in this country is climate change, economic inequality, and the non-representation of non-moneyed interests in government. I have a solutions these issues as well as others on my website. (10)
5: Scientific American, 8/29/2019, “Massive Study Finds No Genetic Cause of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior”, by Sara Reardon. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-study-finds-no-single-genetic-cause-of-same-sex-sexual-behavior/
6: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States Source: Andrew Flores, 2016 “How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States”, Williams Institute of Law. http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/How-Many-Adults-Identify-as-Transgender-in-the-United-States.pdf
7: ABC News, 9/19/2019, “Justin Trudeau Admits Brown Face Photo was Racist,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4VdqyqIMVk&t=3s
8: CNN 7/14/2016 “Fresno Police Video Shows Shooting of an Unarmed Suspect” by Steve Almasy and Artemis Moshtaghian http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/14/us/fresno-dylan-noble-shooting-video/
9: Prison Policy, 7/9/2015 “Prisons of Poverty: Uncovering the Pre-incarseration Incomes of the Imprisoned”, by Bernadette Raybuy and Daniel Kopf. http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/income.html
10: Centers for Economic Planning address the disenfranchisement of the general population in decisions regarding production, representation, and income opportunities, including the quality of opportunities: http://orioncs.net/centers-for-economic-planning/
The Criteria for Deadly Force and Enforcement addresses the unnecessary use of deadly force by police officers. http://orioncs.net/poor-lives-matter/
The Homeless Liberation Initiative aimed to reduce the homeless population by 60%, providing homeless people with the opportunity to become liberated from their circumstances, restoring purpose and productivity, while reducing the county budget by over 100 million dollars per year. http://orioncs.net/homeless-liberation-initiative/
Known as “The Option”, the option creates a solution to end the conflict in Israel Palestine while serving the interest of all parties involved. http://orioncs.net/onlyrispalsol/
Liberty and Tyranny establishes the moral law of liberty, establishes the nature of a creator, and applies the nature of the creator to religions of the world. It addresses superstitious beliefs that pervade the thought, feelings, and behavior of most of the people on this planet. http://orioncs.net/liberty-and-tyranny-2/
The remainder of the website include analysis of political, economic, and social issues, including stories containing lessons learned related to the aforementioned. Orioncs.net
Norm asked if I watched Narco’s and I did, but the only season I saw was on Pablo Escobar, and I watched other documentaries and casually researched some questions I had regarding him. Norm said he did a report on Pablo Escobar and our views on Pablo were vastly different.
Norm called Pablo a terrorist, which he is, but he used it in the popular context of the word and not in the true context of the word. The word terrorism is the use of violence or intimidation to achieve a political result. To much of the general public it means to cause terror. When people hear the word terrorist they associate that person with one who causes terror, for the purpose of whatever benefit is derived from the act. It is dehumanizing, as the word terrorist defined by popular perception, implies there is no good reason behind the acts. Terrorist in the popular context represents someone who is unreasonable in their intent for violence.
I had to establish what terrorism was through an example. I chose the most prolific active terrorist I am aware of, which is the United States. I chose the bombings and sanctions on Iraq through the 90s as an example. The US bombed civilian infrastructure in Iraq and imposed sanctions, understanding the consequences and with overt intent.(11) Over 1 million people died as a result of the decade long sanctions, 500,000 children under the age of 5,(12) which prohibited the import of chemicals to treat water, the import of medicine, and prevented Iraq from importing anything not approved by the US, while also gaining access to Iraqi oil at a fraction of the price.(13) The goal of the United States was to make the living conditions on Iraqi’s unbearable to cause the population to remove Saddam.(14) This is the use of violence to achieve a political end. There are 200 years of history worth of events I could have chosen, but I chose this example because of how well documented the anticipated effects of the bombing and sanctions were, and clear admissions of US intent.
It is estimated that Pablo’s cartel was responsible for over 6500 deaths. Most of these deaths were the murders of people involved in that lifestyle. When you are involved in crime you understand the rules and risks that are inherent to that lifestyle. Other casualties were police, political figures, and civilians. Civilians were not actually targeted by Pablo, although civilian casualties can be expected based on the tactics employed to reach the target, like bombing the department of security building, or a plane believed to carry a presidential candidate. The civilian casualties are collateral damage of Pablo’s campaign against the government, but also beneficial to Pablo’s objectives. The same as the United States sought to pressure the Iraqi people to remove Saddam as their political objective, Pablo sought to pressure the Columbian government to capitulate to his demands, and the tactic did have success. An example would be overturning the Columbian-US extradition treaty, which the supreme court only agreed to hear motions on after Pablo and his allies paid leftist guerillas to attack the supreme court headquarters, which included murdering 11 of the 24 justices. Although civilians were not targeted, the death of civilians is an asset in the cause of Escobar, because civilians understand the acts are related to a war between the cartel and the government based on government policy.
I don’t deny that the acts are wrong because they kill innocent people who are not involved in the controversy between the government and the cartel. Norm said Pablo is evil because of this, and the act is evil, but it doesn’t nullify the fact that the government, under the influence and with the support of the United States contributed to the cause of these acts. Our prime point of controversy was related to acts perpetrated by Escobar, that caused civilian deaths.
Norm’s position is that Pablo’s down fall was precipitated by acts of terrorism. He stated that this led to increased attention from the Columbian government, and Pablo being betrayed by his inner circle. I contended that Pablo’s acts of terror although wrong for the harm it inflicted on innocent people, was a tactic that prolonged his operation. Norm cited the acts of terror as a cause for betrayal that contributed to his down fall, but most of the people closest to him as I understand it, were killed or captured, with a few examples of betrayal. More importantly, those who did betray him didn’t do so because what Pablo was doing offended their morals, they betrayed him because it appeared Pablo would lose, and it became advantageous for them to do so. The point is, his acts of terror didn’t encourage people to betray him as Norm mentioned as a way terror contributed to Pablo’s downfall. On the other point of it increasing the ferocity with which the Columbian government pursued him, there is some merit to that argument, although it is difficult to determine to what degree, as there was pressure on the Columbian government from the United States to pursue Pablo and a list of 60 other individual’s the US wanted to extradite for drug trafficking and related offenses. Meaning almost no matter what Pablo did, they were going to pursue him.
As we were conversing, he said he was telling me facts. This was important in contributing to my understanding of why people cannot understand simple points. I attribute much of the break down of communication to denialism, as a conflict of value. A person’s value of a position is often associated with their value of them self, as the position is part of their truth and part of their identity. People avoid information or refuse to acknowledge information that challenges their beliefs, and there is a negative feeling that results from information that challenges the belief. The belief is challenged when the truth or morality of the belief is compromised by information, and the compromising of the belief compromises an individual’s value of himself, which causes the negative feeling, which causes resistance to the truth.
Norm telling me he was stating facts contributed to my understanding of why communication breaks down. In this case, it wasn’t caused by Norm’s inability to acknowledge points because they challenged his beliefs and the value of himself, it was because Norm doesn’t know the difference between a fact and an opinion. I explained it to him and I believe he understood it. I explained Pablo Escobar committing acts of terrorism is a fact. His terrorist acts being the cause of his downfall is an opinion. Then I asked him if he thought Pablo wouldn’t have been stopped if he didn’t resort to acts of terrorism? He said he believes he still would have been killed or captured, but not as quickly. I think despite the tactics being morally wrong, the tactics were effective at achieving their intended purpose. Norm’s opinion that Pablo’s downfall was caused by acts of terrorism is colored by his own reaction to Pablo’s acts of terrorism, where it is fact to him because he assumes everyone finds the acts as morally reprehensible as he did.
My opinion of Pablo is somewhat complicated and difficult for people to understand, because I take no single act or set of acts in isolation, I consider the circumstances that produced the actions, and maybe most importantly, I think about how easily things could have been different.
In consideration of circumstances, the government of Columbia has long represented the interests of the wealthy minority in the country and the interests of the United States. These entities are just as ruthless and self serving as any drug cartel. In Columbia, extrajudicial killing, and torture are common. Most of the population is poor which speaks to the interests represented in government and their interests in the economy. The lack of popular support for the government and organization of society is probably best expressed through the armed resistance to the government which was ongoing for 5 decades, ending in 2016, only to resume this year.
Again, I take no single action or set of actions being the sole definer of a man’s potential. Pablo is a tyrant, in the literal sense, but more so in my personal application of the word which defines someone who imposes from a neutral place. My biggest issue with Pablo was his willingness to kill innocent people to achieve his ends in war against the government. Other cruelty and viciousness, while I may not approve knowing specific details, I don’t have a general problem with it. Again, when we are talking about people within his organization or other criminal rivals, we are talking about the rules and risks you take being involved in that life. You know if you fuck up the money or snitch what the consequences of those actions are. Police and the military killed and tortured members of his gang, so Pablo was reacting in proportion to what the police were doing to him. I don’t have much of problem with the murders and assassinations of police and politicians, because they were intent on the same action against him.
Between Pablo and the government I don’t suffer from the same bias where people see the government as the good guys and Pablo as the bad guy. I see two entities with primarily bad intents, with a slight edge to Pablo who demonstrated he served the interests of the disadvantaged in a liberating capacity, whereas the government did not. A judgement amplified by the fact the government is supposed to serve the people.
I have an issue with Pablo because he was willing to murder innocent people, people not involved with the government, and not involved in that lifestyle. Pablo also built homes for the homeless, churches, schools, parks, gave people money, and created opportunities for trapped people to make money. Most importantly was the offer to pay off the Columbia’s national debt in exchange for immunity.
A nation’s debt is used to control their economy. The debt of many developing countries is consolidated or is owed to the IMF and the World Bank. Loans are given on conditions that set the economic priorities of the country, consistent with the Washington consensus which among other things, includes privatization, cutting social spending, increasing exports, deregulation, reducing mineral royalties and generally, policies that increase foreign investment and impoverish the people. There was the potential to free Columbia from the influence of the United States and improve the conditions of the people of Columbia through this act. The will didn’t exist because the politician’s in Columbia, serve the interests of the minority of perennially wealthy people, who benefit from the same policies that benefit foreign investment, and many are probably involved in businesses with the multi-national’s who were doing business in Columbia at that time. But either way, policies intent on exploiting the general population, benefit all exploiters, foreign, and domestic.
I imagine what could have been had there been a government that represented the interests of the Columbian people. Paying off the nation’s national debt is a much greater benefit to the public than taking his life. I think about that opportunity and the opportunities the moment offered beyond that. 26 Billion dollars per year. I would be inclined to extort the cartels on behalf of the public. Allowing them to operate for an annual fee that represented roughly half of the profits, with conditions requiring a certain amount of private investment.
Disputes between cartels may be easier to reconcile, but could still result in blood shed and possible harm to the public. I’m not under any illusions that rivalries would cease to exist, but the cartels being under obligation for their dues, would be less inclined to war with one another because of the great expense. The general threat of violence to the public would be reduced, because the laws that prohibit the manufacture and distribution of the substance wouldn’t be enforced. This reduces harm to the public resulting from violence in apprehension efforts, as well as violence resulting from people informing. It would reduce violence and the risk of the public being the victim of violence caused by the drug trade. I wouldn’t repeal the laws I just wouldn’t enforce them which means we could resume enforcement on people as we choose, if they didn’t meet their obligations.
The other side of this is the armed Marxist guerrillas FARC, which as I mentioned formed in the 60s, and have been involved in an armed struggle against the government until 2016, and have just this year resumed. Their resistance would have ended with the agreement between the cartels and the government. FARC would recognize the purpose the agreement served to the people in a better distribution of income and opportunity. Second, I would use part of the extortion money to fund their ideas. Funding their ideas would likely lead to commune companies that would contribute to the growth and prosperity of the economy and the Columbian people.
The question one may have is, why not just expropriate the industry and legalize it? First, I rarely agree with expropriation, and this is not an industry or situation where I think it is morally appropriate. The second reason is more significant than the first, and the reason is you cannot export it because it is illegal in every country in the world. Which means it requires criminals to accomplish this feat who assume the risk in the countries of import. Fortunately there was already criminals in the country who specialize in exporting these goods.
Obviously there would be other implications of this policy, mainly the inability to keep the deal a secret and then keeping the United States at bay. The United States would probably say that state facilitation of drug exportation though non-enforcement of drug laws, and profiting from the export of drugs is an act of war. They may invade after attempting to foment disorder and achieve regime change.
I don’t see anything inherently wrong with drugs. The demand for drugs exist, and people use drugs either to cope with their situation in life or as a break from the structure and demands of their life. If your goal is to combat drug use instead of promote responsible use, you have to address the circumstances that cause people to develop drug dependencies to begin with, and most of it begins with opportunity. I don’t support legalization in the United States at this time, because selling drugs presents an opportunity for underclass people to make money, and that opportunity ceases to exist with legalization, where regulations are imposed that prevent small businesses from opening and being competitive as can be observed in states that have legalized marijuana.
If I were the president of Columbia during the late 80s to early 90s, I would have created a classified agreement with Pablo and the other cartels and exploited this resource and industry to benefit the people of Columbia. Which would have had dramatic impacts on the opportunities and prosperity of the people in Columbia, reduced the threat of violence, and ended the war with FARC. Beneath every position I take, I consider liberty. In political considerations, I think about the liberty of those who are supposed to be represented, and for every cause or principled position I consider the effect it has on liberty, and how relates to the quality of life. Looking back at this period, based on the cartel’s willingness to pay off the country’s national debt, I think about this possibility, and it influences my opinion of Pablo’s potential. Pablo told people in negotiations silver or lead? I would have given Pablo and the rest of the cartel leaders the same choice, the opportunity to make money while paying what they owe the public as the cost of doing business, or the war. Probably not my most popular idea, but it is an idea that if implemented at the time, served all domestic interests.
11: The following is a quote from a memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency to CENCOM, from 1991 which explains what the US understood about the consequences of sanctions against Iraq. It is significant on its own in understanding the lengths the United States will go to achieve their interests in the world, interests that have little to no impact on probably 99.9 percent of the country. It reveals the United States will kill children to achieve their interests, as the memo specifys that children will be effected by disease, because we are preventing the importation of cholrine, required to purify the water, and these children will likely die, because medicine requires pure water to manufacture, which will be scarce in Iraq. More significant than the United States will kill children to achieve its interest, the United States will target children to achieve their interests, which is something not even Pablo did.
“Iraq depends on importing specialized equipment and some chemicals to purify its water supply, most of which is heavily mineralized and frequently brackish to saline,”
“Importation of chlorine has been embargoed [by sanctions]”
“Recent reports indicate the chlorine supply is critically low.”
“[Iraq’s rivers] contain biological materials, pollutants, and are laden with bacteria. Unless the water is purified with chlorine, epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur.”
“Food processing, electronic, and, particularly, pharmaceutical plants require extremely pure water that is free from biological contaminants,”
“Increased incidence of diseases will be attributable to degradation of normal preventive medicine, waste disposal, water purification/distribution, electricity, and decreased ability to control disease outbreaks. Any urban area in Iraq that has received infrastructure damage will have similar problems.”
“Acute diarrhea brought on by bacteria such as E. coli, shigella, and salmonella, or by protozoa such as giardia, which will affect particularly children, or by rotavirus, which will also affect particularly children,”
“Iraq has made a considerable effort to supply pure water to its population”
(UN sanctions that the US held firmly in place along with the support of Britain, even as the rest of the world was in near unanimity they be lifted or significantly modified. Global Policy Forum “UN Security Council: Disagreements and Debates on the sancitons. https://www.globalpolicy.org/security-council/index-of-countries-on-the-security-council-agenda/sanctions/case-study-sanctions-against-iraq/42125.html) for humanitarian reasons, no adequate solution exists for Iraq’s water purification dilemma.”( “The Role of “Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities”, in Halting One Genocide and Preventing Others”, by Thomas Nagy, Association of Genocide Scholars, June 12th 2001. Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities, Defense Intelligence Agency to CENCOM, January 1991. http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_511rept_91.html)
12: New York Times, 12/1/1995, “Iraq Sanction Kill Children, UN Report”, by Barbara Crossette. https://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/01/world/iraq-sanctions-kill-children-un-reports.html “As many as 576,000 Iraqi children may have died since the end of the Persian Gulf war because of economic sanctions imposed by the Security Council, according to two scientists who surveyed the country for the Food and Agriculture Organization. These conditions were observed by Dennis Halliday who was the head of the Food for Oil program who resigned because of the conditions. He testified upwards of 6000 children were dying per month, 200 per day, which extrapolates to over 750,000 over 10 years. https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/170/42023.html
13: “$44 billion in oil has been sold, but only $13.3 billion worth of goods has been delivered to the Iraqi government.” Killing Sanctions in Iraq, The Nation, Stanley Heller, Jan. 21st 2002. http://www.thenation.com/article/killing-sanctions-iraq
14: A Pentagon strategist told the Washington Post regarding the bombing that damaged civilian infrastructure, which exacerbated the conditions produced by sanctions and paved the way for maximum torment: “The definition of innocents gets to be a little bit unclear…They do live there, and ultimately people have some control over what goes on in their country.”
An Airforce Planner: “We wanted to let people know, get rid of this guy and we’ll be more than happy to assist in rebuilding. We’re not going to tolerate Saddam Hussain or his regime. Fix that and we’ll fix your electricity.”
“Colonel John A. Warden III wrote in air power journal, “[Destruction] of these [electric power] facilities shut down water purification and sewage treatment plants. As a result, epidemics of gastroenteritis, cholera, and typhoid broke out, leading to perhaps as many as 100,000 civilian deaths and a doubling of the infant mortality rate.”( Nemesis by Chalmers Johnson, pp26,27, all three quotes and fills were taken from his book to serve as examples for commentary in the paragraph and the following paragraph. 100,000 civilians was a figure from the early 90s after 1991 bombings.)
To summarize US foreign policy in a sentence, all US foreign policy is motivated by market access and advantage and to remove obstructions to that end. Saddam was an obstruction, not only in Iraq but also as a challenge to US interests and influence in the region.