How Is Corruption to Be Cleansed?

 

I have long held the belief that whatever else legalizing drugs might bring, a corrupted society is worse: lack of trust, widespread unequal application of law, bribery, etc. In ways I couldn’t have imagined, corruption has come to our society.

What brings me to the subject today is the report that Elon Musk’s attempted takeover of Twitter has spurred an “investigation” by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Maybe my antenna is up because of the overriding of civil liberty in the pandemic, the corrupt Russia hoax deployed against President Trump, the questions about election integrity coming out of 2020, the January 6 “insurrection” jailings and prosecutions, the impoverishment (when not imprisoned) of Trump supporters, the suppression of speech by the Big Tech-MSM-DNC alliance, etc. But my fear is that Musk’s attempt to end censorship in the “public square” will be crushed by the same ideological cancer that removed President Trump from office.

On the other hand, it could be simply routine given the profile of the suitor and the publicly traded status of Twitter. Musk is idiosyncratic and transgressive, the marketplace can be manipulated, and the regulators need to maintain order. But events of the last few years gives this the whiff of corruption.

So if it is corruption, how is it to be cleansed? A society in the grip thereof faces an enormous task. Can it be cleansed without fire? Must the structure be destroyed and rebuilt? Is there another way?

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  1. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Rodin: But events of the last few years, gives this the whiff overwhelming stench of corruption.

    FIFY

    • #1
  2. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    A list of corrupt people and organizations in Washington DC grows so long that it would be easier to list those who are not corrupt, if you can find any.

    • #2
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    A list of corrupt people and organizations in Washington DC grows so long that it would be easier to list those who are not corrupt, if you can find any.

    Genesis 18:32

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Rodin: So if it is corruption, how is to be cleansed?

    I think corruption is the #1 problem of society.   Most of problems cannot get fixed without removing political corruption first.  The first step to fixing corruption is to get more people to say it is their #1 problem.  The Pew poll below is from Apr 2021.

     

    Chart shows a majority of Americans say the affordability of health care is a very big problem in the country today

    • #4
  5. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Rodin: What brings me to the subject today is the report that Elon Musk’s attempted takeover of Twitter has spurred an “investigation” by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Maybe my antenna is up because of…

    I am reminded of a post I did in 2019 about the death of a high trust society that included this story:

    One of the great stories of the last decade left largely untouched by our reliably incurious press is the “tampering” done to Sharyl Attkissons computers:

    When Attkisson had her computer examined by an independent computer forensics expert, evidence was found showing that it had been “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions” and that “this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts,” according to a report from CBS in 2013. Furthermore, “forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.” The traces of software left behind after the attack were shown by the expert who examined the computer to be “proprietary to a federal intel agency,” according to Attkisson.

    Not only that, but buried in the system files of her operating system (where she would be almost certain never to look) were three classified government documents. Attkisson could have been charged under the Espionage Act for possessing those documents. …

    Speaking of reliably incurious, it has been obvious to me for many years that a FOIA request using a variety of misspellings of her name would reveal quite a lot about this type of corruption of our “high trust” system. (By the way, how strong is that “trust” now?)

    [Emphasis added]

    (EDIT: That should scare the hell out of Elon…and everybody else.)

    Add in – just off the top of my head – the unmasking of hundreds of US citizens under U.N Ambassador Samantha Power’s name (that she claims she did not authorize…<<crickets>>), the seemingly fake documents used in the Collusion Hoax (a crime coordinated with…or from?…the highest office in the land), the Crap Show that was the MI Gov Kidnapping Caper, and the 15 month silence from the authorities regarding their search for the agent man who conspicuously made sure he was recorded on several cameras in the area and talked on his cell phone while he planted cartoonish props pipe bombs in DC prior to the Jan 6 festivities:

    Kamala Harris was inside DNC headquarters on Jan. 6 when pipe bomb was found outside

    I think step 1 is admitting there is no “if” in “So if it is corruption, how is to be cleansed?” Beyond that, I tend to think it is rather clear that the corruption of some individual entities is not as superficial / cosmetic as most would like to hope. The resulting loss of trust in the greater federal behemoth will reflect the worst of these offenders. I just don’t see a path to “reform”.

    • #5
  6. American Abroad Thatcher
    American Abroad
    @AmericanAbroad

    The left’s Long March through the institutions has been wildly successful, but it has taken time and effort.  There is no reason why we cannot do the same, starting with school boards and local elections.  Or, maybe the unsustainable debt burden will force us to downsize government in the future.

    • #6
  7. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    American Abroad (View Comment):
    There is no reason why we cannot do the same, starting with school boards and local elections.

    Frankly, taking over school boards will not “solve” the problem.  The teachers have been so indoctrinated into lib think and CRT that they will not alter their beliefs nor actions of indoctrinating their young charges.  School boards be damned. 

    I say this as the father of a teacher and his wife, also a teacher, who both know they are making the world a better place by teaching CRT.  This agenda has been permanently inscribed into their identity as teachers by the universities.  

    I have little hope for the next generations as now all children are being indoctrinated into this cult of CRT, not just those who went to university.   In addition, we have the total acceptance of man-made climate change as a comprehensive religion which rules their decision making.  

    • #7
  8. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    I say this as the father of a teacher and his wife, also a teacher, who both know they are making the world a better place by teaching CRT.  This agenda has been permanently inscribed into their identity as teachers by the universities.  

    Whereas we once taught the 10 Commandments.  And they were permanently inscribed into their personality and world view even if they were not religious or particularly moral.  Now it’s apparently CRT, socialism, moral relativism, identitarianism and emotionalism that’s the new cultural standard.

    • #8
  9. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Nohaaj (View Comment):
    I have little hope for the next generations as now all children are being indoctrinated into this cult of CRT, not just those who went to university.   In addition, we have the total acceptance of man-made climate change as a comprehensive religion which rules their decision making.  

    Maybe there will be a great awakening in response to the great awokening.  I dream of a generation of Americans as skeptical of government as I am.  I see that Biden’s approval among 18-24 year olds is 20%.  Hopefully the other 80% are pissed that is too far Left and not too far Right!   That angry Swedish girl is not on the news much anymore.

     

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rodin: I have long held the belief that whatever else legalizing drugs might bring, a corrupted society is worse:

    I expect that legalizing drugs would bring other forms of corruption as well.

    • #10
  11. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    • #11
  12. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    A list of corrupt people and organizations in Washington DC grows so long . . .

    The DC Yellow Pages.

    • #12
  13. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Rodin: I have long held the belief that whatever else legalizing drugs might bring, a corrupted society is worse:

    I expect that legalizing drugs would bring other forms of corruption as well.

    Fair point. It takes a moral people to govern themselves.

    • #13
  14. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I think what used to be called the “spoils system” needs to return.  The bureaucracy is not composed of non-partisan “civil servants” as it claims, and it was a fantasy to think it could be.

    Make them all re-apply for their jobs every four years, between election and inauguration.  Even if the sitting President is re-elected.  Let the new administration keep only those it wishes, on any basis it desires.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rodin (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Rodin: I have long held the belief that whatever else legalizing drugs might bring, a corrupted society is worse:

    I expect that legalizing drugs would bring other forms of corruption as well.

    Fair point. It takes a moral people to govern themselves.

    I’m pretty smart sometimes.  :-)

    • #15
  16. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Here’s a simple solution:

    Every government agency should be required to hire employees so as to reflect the political attributions of the nation, within a couple precent.  Ie., a quota system.  Call it “affirmative action” (wink-wink).   Require all new hires to move toward some percentage Republican, some Democrat, some Libertarian, some Green, etc.

    (“But you guys don’t like affirmative action.  You’ve always said it’s a crock.”)

    This is not affirmative action. The mechanism is similar, so we know that’s cool with y’all, but it’s not for the sake of diversity, nor for the sake of correcting past wrongs.  

    This is specifically for installing some checks and balances in an organization that has none, and has enormous incentives for graft, mismanagement, corruption, and an even bigger incentive to be weaponized for political purposes.

    Republicans could pass it if they win a majority in November.  

    • #16
  17. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I think what used to be called the “spoils system” needs to return. The bureaucracy is not composed of non-partisan “civil servants” as it claims, and it was a fantasy to think it could be.

    Make them all re-apply for their jobs every four years, between election and inauguration. Even if the sitting President is re-elected. Let the new administration keep only those it wishes, on any basis it desires.

    Some government “workers” believe that they have property rights to the positions. 

    • #17
  18. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I think what used to be called the “spoils system” needs to return. The bureaucracy is not composed of non-partisan “civil servants” as it claims, and it was a fantasy to think it could be.

    Make them all re-apply for their jobs every four years, between election and inauguration. Even if the sitting President is re-elected. Let the new administration keep only those it wishes, on any basis it desires.

    Some government “workers” believe that they have property rights to the positions.

    And they should be disabused of those beliefs.

    • #18
  19. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    In the old days, you hoped for muck-raking journalists to expose wrong-doers so voters and law enforcement could then correct matters.  Now, the media is pro-corruption, and the FBI/DOJ/SEC will go after those who seek to expose or oppose it.

     

    • #19
  20. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    The founders had the only solution. Otherwise, you are just picking between the fast train or the slower commuter train. Minimize the 3-letter agencies. Shrink government. Eliminate benefits for Congress and give them no more than what the military gets now, a matching retirement account and Tricare. Elect strong governors who tell the administrative  state to take a hike. Make Congress transitory, be retirement other than matching 401ks. Shrink the power of the courts with effective checks. 

    • #20
  21. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Right question.  A place as large as the US can’t be run from the top, no matter how arranged, sorted, pretended, and watched.  We can’t fix the top even if we knew how to make organized Washington interests behave.   So if we want to live in a representative country we may have to pull out.  The issue is who is we and what do we do about China should we split the country and thereby weaken ourselves.  If the Chinese already control Biden, which is likely but not clear what that means, does it matter?  How quickly can a new place prepare defense?  Strong governors should be able to move quickly and China, the only real threat, will have to be cautious, ( I hope).  I’m not sure we can finally wake up after the next election is stolen.  Some governors have to be preparing for this disastrous result now and talking to each other about it.  

     

     

     

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Right question. A place as large as the US can’t be run from the top, no matter how arranged, sorted, pretended, and watched. We can’t fix the top even if we knew how to make organized Washington interests behave. So if we want to live in a representative country we may have to pull out. The issue is who is we and what do we do about China should we split the country and thereby weaken ourselves. If the Chinese already control Biden, which is likely but not clear what that means, does it matter? How quickly can a new place prepare defense? Strong governors should be able to move quickly and China, the only real threat, will have to be cautious, ( I hope). I’m not sure we can finally wake up after the next election is stolen. Some governors have to be preparing for this disastrous result now and talking to each other about it.

    If real deterrence against China relies on nukes, even if various states have them, are the codes to use them available to local commanders?  If not, the silos might as well be empty.

    • #22
  23. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    In the old days, you hoped for muck-raking journalists to expose wrong-doers so voters and law enforcement could then correct matters. Now, the media is pro-corruption, and the FBI/DOJ/SEC will go after those who seek to expose or oppose it.

    Ironic that you say the FBI/DOJ/SEC now go after those who seek to expose or oppose  corruption, as if the old standard was different. It never was. Take the Teapot Dome scandal from 100 years ago:  The actions of the Bureau of Investigation (it was not yet the FBI) was to surreptitiously spy on and intimidate those who were investigating and opposed to the corruption. For example, Robert La Follette’s ([Republican Progressive]Senator fromWisconsin) office was ransacked right after he signed off on the committee to investigate the scandal. The head of the Bureau, William Burns, resigned over that scandal and the FBI’s scurrilous behavior. From that scandal, in which Hoover was involved, but didn’t get scrutinized, Hoover wound up as the head of the Bureau which became the FBI. He maintained a practice of spying on politicians until his death (he remained head of the FBI until his death). Plus ca change….

    The FBI was born, in their self proclaimed terminology, as a “bastard agency” because there was no Congressional authorizing legislation creating this national police force–indeed Congress passed legislation to prevent the AG (Charles Bonaparte, descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte) from “borrowing” Secret Service agents to do his investigations. Bonaparte of course had the blessing of that most Progressive Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, who had been a Civil Service commissioner, as well as the Police Chief of New York, and liked having his own personal police force, Congressional authorization or no.  The US federal government has been an anti-Constitutional entity since the Progressive era.

    Congress empowered the FBI during Prohibition due to the massive amount of crime that Amendment engendered.

    Given the utterly scandalous history of the FBI, serious consideration should be given to eliminating it. That would be one small step in the direction of curtailing corruption.

    • #23
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