A market for the protection of schools 8

A few days ago, a nineteen year old psychopath shot and killed seventeen people at the school in Florida that he had been expelled from. He entered the school, set off a fire alarm, and shot randomly into crowd streaming out of the classrooms.

How to prevent such a crime?

The Left’s solutions are not solutions at all:

Pass a law making it harder to obtain guns? Criminals by definition do not obey laws.

Confiscate all privately owned automatic and semiautomatic guns and shotguns? A gift to criminals.

Defy or change the second amendment to the constitution so no citizen who is not in the armed forces or the police is allowed to carry a gun? A help to would-be tyrants, most notably and threateningly those of the “community organizing” kind.

What then?

Let’s start with the proposition that central planning is always a bad idea.

What non-governmental action might work?

Jeff Deist writes (in part) at the website of the (libertarian) von Mises Institute:

There are no top-down political solutions available from Washington. Gun control doesn’t actually prevent crime, but it does provide the political class and media with another diversionary bitter cultural debate. Americans are deeply divided on guns, just as they are deeply divided on abortion and climate change and scores of other issues. …

Contrary to popular belief, the Second Amendment neither “federalized” gun laws nor created a right to private ownership of firearms. It simply enshrined the notion that “the people” need to be armed to defend themselves potentially against the state itself. …

The libertarian response to mass shootings, in particular school shootings, is to allow teachers and other personnel to carry weapons on campus. In fact, the broader libertarian program is to have most people armed, or at least potentially armed, to create a safer (not to mention more polite) society. If we cannot snap our fingers and produce crime-free cities and neighborhoods where nobody needs to carry a gun, then at least we allow everyone the ability to dissuade or defend against criminal shooters.

This is all well and good, but ignores the market impulse to outsource services to specialists. This is why neighborhoods hire private security patrols, and why celebrities hire professional bodyguards. Not everyone wants to carry a gun or train themselves in gun proficiency. And there is the issue of scale, where individuals might find themselves arrayed against organized criminal gangs.

Rather than endlessly debate the fraught political process of crafting illiberal gun control laws, we ought to think about private-market solutions that focus on controlling crime.We should think in terms of market economics, where private property and correct incentives give us what government and laws cannot: a mechanism to determine possible harms and the cost of protecting against or preventing those harms. People want safe neighborhoods and schools, which is just another way to say there is a market for them.

Generally speaking, the US legal system imposes premises liability on property owners whose negligence (or willful conduct) results in someone getting injured on that property. This arose conceptually through common law courts and juries applying general negligence concepts.

We accord different degrees of legal responsibility (“duty”) to landowners based on the identity of the injured party: a trespasser, for example, has less recourse to sue for injury than a business invitee (i.e., a customer). The law considers whether the injured party had a legitimate purpose being there, and in some cases whether they contributed to their injury through their own negligence.

The duty to make one’s property safe from a particular harm relates to, and in a sense hinges on, the foreseeability of that harm. Leaving spilled milk in a grocery aisle too long could well subject the owner to paying damages for a shopper who suffers a fall — a fall that was quite predictable and clearly caused by the wet floor. But intentional criminal acts by a third party … generally absolve the property owner of liability. After all, no shooter ever entered the grocery before, so why must the owner guard against this most unlikely event?

But should a public school district have a higher duty to keep students safe than the grocer has for shoppers? Arguably yes, in that society values children’s lives, well-being, and innocence perhaps more than adults’. And we force children into school attendance via truancy laws and meddling protective services agencies.

Furthermore, are school shootings now foreseeable even though they remain exceedingly rare? Does the media attention and notoriety given to such shootings change the calculus? At some point, perhaps today, school shootings could become foreseeable in the eyes of a jury.

We can’t necessarily draw conclusions here, but the question is whether the owners of public schools — generally municipal or county school districts — should be immune from lawsuits for school shootings simply because they are political subdivisions of states? Should sovereign immunity apply to them, or should they be forced to consider security measures just as private owners must? After all, it seems clear that a mass shooting at a prestigious private school would result in litigation.

It seems clear that imposing tort liability on school owners and operators, even government owners, would both improve security and provide a ready source of compensation for the families of victims. Private security agencies, which have a market reputation to develop or protect, almost certainly would provide more efficient service than government police — for the simple reason that more crime punishes their bottom line, while it often creates calls for increased police budgets.

To put it another way: Private security businesses must maintain a good record of keeping their clients safe, or they lose business and lose money; whereas government agencies such as the police can blame their failures on insufficient funding, so the more they fail the more money they get.

And private security models like Disneyland benefit from wanting to create a peaceful and happy environment, where security forces have every incentive not to escalate situations or incur liability.

Furthermore, private insurance models could help schools rationally allocate funds relative to the risks involved. Since school shootings are rare, premiums to cover such an event should be constrained. But other lesser types of crime in schools could be insured against as well, helping administrators better understand what they’re up against. And insurance companies would bend over backward to offer advice on avoiding shootings, since they would bear the cost of liability payments.

Admittedly, public schools using taxpayer funds to hire private security and pay insurance premiums muddies the waters. But at least it moves all of the parties involved — school districts, administrators, teachers, security providers, and parents — toward a market-based approach to safer schools. Tort liability, however imperfectly administered by government courts, offers one way to align the interests of parents and school owners in preventing further horrific events.

To sum up the message: Let school administrations choose to buy protection, the best the market can provide, at a price a competitive market puts on it.

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the link to the Jeff Deist article)

Posted under Law, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, February 22, 2018

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The worst slums in the world: San Francisco and Los Angeles 2

San Francisco and Los Angeles are extremely expensive slums.

Years of rule by Democratic Party Progressives have made them so.

NBC reports on the Diseased Streets of San Francisco:

How dirty is San Francisco? An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city – the more than 20-mile stretch includes popular tourist spots like Union Square and major hotel chains. The area – bordered by Van Ness Avenue, Market Street, Post Street and Grant Avenue – is also home to City Hall, schools, playgrounds, and a police station.

The Investigate Unit spent three days assessing conditions on the streets of downtown San Francisco and discovered trash on each of the 153 blocks surveyed. While some streets were littered with items as small as a candy wrapper, the vast majority of trash found included large heaps of garbage, food, and discarded junk. The investigation also found 100 drug needles and more than 300 piles of feces throughout downtown.

“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at University of California, Berkeley. He warned that once fecal matter dries, it can become airborne, releasing potentially dangerous viruses, such as the rotavirus. “If you happen to inhale that, it can also go into your intestine,” he said. The results can prove fatal, especially in children.

Riley has researched conditions across the poorest slums of the world. His book, titled Slum Health, examines health problems that are created by extreme poverty. Based on the findings of the Investigative Unit survey, Riley believes parts of the city may be even dirtier than slums in some developing countries.

The contamination is … much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India,” he said. He notes that in those countries, slum dwellings are often long-term homes for families and so there is an attempt to make the surroundings more livable. Homeless communities in San Francisco, however, are often kicked out from one part of town and forced to relocate to another. The result is extreme contamination, according to Riley.

The solution that the ruling Democratic Party Progressives come up with is more of the same that caused the problem in the first place: providing for bums

“Unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “We’re losing tourists. We’re losing conventions in San Francisco. All of this is happening because we aren’t addressing the root cause, which is we need more temporary beds for street homelessness.”

Ronen believes San Francisco has been too focused on permanent housing for the homeless and that the city has neglected to provide enough temporary shelter, which can provide the homeless a respite from the streets. The city currently has about 2,000 temporary beds. Ronen, however, believes an additional 1,000 are needed, at a cost of about $25 million.

Oh, it will cost much more than that. As soon as the word spreads that there will be more “temporary beds” for the “homeless”, more “homeless” will pour into your city, Mr. Ronen. You didn’t think of that did you? Or did you? Is that what you actually want?

“We need to find a source of revenue,” said Ronen. “Whether that’s putting something on the ballot to raise business taxes or taking a look at our general fund and re-allocating money towards that purpose and taking it away from something else in the city.”

Yeah –  make it a priority. Raise your enormously high property taxes even higher. That will mean more property tax paying home owners will leave the city. But don’t think about that.

Until the problem is fixed, Mohammed Nuru, the Director of the Public Works Department, is charged with the towering task of cleaning the streets, over and over again. “Yes, we can clean, he said, “and then go back a few hours later, and it looks as if it was never cleaned. So is that how you want to spend your money?”

The 2016-2017 budget for San Francisco Public Works includes $60.1 million for “Street Environmental Services”. The budget has nearly doubled over the past five years. Originally, that money was intended to clean streets, not sidewalks. According to city ordinances, sidewalks are the responsibility of property owners. However, due to the severity of the contamination in San Francisco, Public Works has inherited the problem of washing sidewalks. Nuru estimates that half of his street cleaning budget – about $30 million – goes towards cleaning up feces and needles from homeless encampments and sidewalks.

Even without actually doing it? Well, it’s not easy:

A single pile of human waste, said Nuru, takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean. “The steamer has to come. He has to park the steamer. He’s got to come out with his steamer, disinfect, steam clean, roll up and go.”

A Herculean task. Mission almost impossible.

Asked if he’d be willing to give up part of his budget and allocate it to more directly addressing the homeless problem – which would likely alleviate his cleaning problem – Nuru said, “The Board of Supervisors, the mayor – those are decisions that they need to make.”  He added, “I want to continue cleaning and I want to be able to continue to provide services. The Public Works Department provides services seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

An attempt at a clean-up in San Francisco

And this is from the Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles County’s homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region’s homelessness agency.

The report showed that officials two years ago far underestimated how much new housing would be needed when they asked city and county voters to approve the tax measures.

It has simply never occurred to them, that the more free housing they provide, the more they will need to provide. Demand will grow exponentially.

As a result, a $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county’s comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple …

Providing permanent housing for the county’s chronically homeless population would require more than 20,000 new units, about 5,000 more than projected two years ago, the report said.

The estimated shortage of emergency shelter and short-term rental subsidies also increased by double-digit percentages.

The report, known as the Housing Gaps Analysis, offers the latest sober assessment of the years-long surge in homelessness, marked by widespread tent encampments and rising demands for urgent action to curb the problem.

Curb? Not cure?

In a departure from its previous report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority provided no analysis of costs associated with the needed housing in the revision released last week. …

Peter Lynn, executive director of the homeless authority, said Friday that new cost figures had not been calculated …

“Now,” [he said], “we have a plan for deploying new permanent supportive housing through Proposition HHH and Measure H. That does give us a way forward.”

The original analysis was prepared to quantify the difference between the housing and services existing at the time and what would be needed to get all the chronically homeless off the streets and quickly restore housing for those falling into homelessness.

Ah, that will fix it. Sure. No more “homeless” after that. Dust the problem off your hands. Get this lot tidily tucked away and you will not be expected to provide free permanent housing for anyone ever again.

The report became the basis for both Proposition HHH, the homeless housing bond approved by Los Angeles city voters in 2016, and the countywide Measure H sales tax for homeless services approved last year. …

When the supervisors review the budget in June they’ll face hard choices.

Phil Ansell, director of the county’s homeless initiative, acknowledged that the rising demand for housing and services will influence those deliberations, but he said that nothing in the report should deter the county from fulfilling its promise to voters.

“During the Measure H election we projected that Measure H would enable 45,000 families and adults to move from homelessness into permanent housing in the first five years of expanded services and that an additional 30,000 families would avoid becoming homeless,” Ansell said. “We are on track to achieve those targets.”

The 2015 homeless count, on which the previous analysis was based, put the number of people living on the streets across the county at just under 29,000.

Last year, the annual January count raised the number of unsheltered homeless people to nearly 49,000 …

The analysis released last week projected that more than 20,000 new units of supportive housing are needed to establish homes for chronically homeless people.

The earlier report had set the number at about 15,000, two-thirds of which the city was expected to provide with new construction funded by Proposition HHH. The rest would come from long-term rental subsidies funded by Measure H to supplement federal rent subsidies.

The gains in housing, however, were outstripped by the rising homeless population.

What a surprise!

The earlier report projected a reduction of 14% each year. If that had occurred, the total homeless population — including unsheltered and sheltered — would have dropped to 41,323 last year.

Instead, it climbed to nearly 59,000.

But of course Hollywood celebrities, those ardent Democrat Progressives with hearts perpetually bleeding for the poor, will help to alleviate the problem by offering a few rooms in their mansions to “homeless” persons or families.

Goes without saying.

Los Angeles

Posted under Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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A safe space for Allah 4

Doctrinally, the relationship between Islam and Christianity is sadomasochistic: Islam wages its holy war in its quest for global dominion, and Christianity kneels and offers its throat. Historically, Christianity has sometimes fought back and won. But it’s been a hundred years now since any part of Islam was defeated by the remnant of European Christendom. Now the shrinking remnant is back on its knees to Islam.

The Lancashire Telegraph announces:

Blackburn Cathedral is to host a seminar which aims to create a safe space to explore common ground and discuss the differences between the Muslim and Christian faiths.

The language tells you immediately that this is the fawning religious Left speaking.

The seminar will take place at Blackburn Cathedral on March 7 as part of a larger nation-wide tour.

The announcement of the seminar comes just weeks after the BBC aired a controversial Panorama documentary questioning the relationships between communities in Blackburn.

Speaking of the documentary at the time, senior Anglican clergy said that the BBC Panorama program White Fright did not paint an accurate picture of Blackburn.

The title tells you immediately that, even though the documentary was on a BBC program, it did actually paint an accurate picture of Blackburn: bullying Muslims, terrified white British natives. 

Saying it “failed to tell the whole story”  the cathedral will now hold the seminar: Jihad of Jesus, an event which aims to create a safe space to stimulate helpful and powerful conversation between faiths.

Mohammed Ali Amla, founder of Christian Muslim Encounters and someone involved with bringing the seminar to Blackburn said: “We want this to be an event where people can come to and learn about communities working together. We have worked hard to create a panel of people who can discuss their thoughts and own experiences with the audience, stimulating frank discussion and rich, important conversation.”

So you know nobody worked hard at all to find people who would dare to express their thoughts and relate their experiences of Islam in Britain. You can already visualize the make-up of the panel, see the hijab and the beard over there, and beside or between them, those familiar indulgent Christian Lefty smiles.

Confirmation of those expectations follows immediately:

One key member of the panel is Dave Andrews, an Australian Christian author and writer of the book: The Jihad of Jesus: The Sacred non-violent Struggle For Justice.

Keen to ensure that a local angle was brought to the seminar, Ali said it was of key importance to make sure figures from the community were also speaking at the event.

The Bishop of Burnley, Philip North and Imam Saleem Seedat will also make up the panel on the night.

Another member of the panel will be Julie Siddiqi, a mentor, consultant and activist with a focus of gender issues, Jewish-Muslim relations and social actions.

“The people who will be joining us to discuss relations between Muslims and Christians on the night all recognize the challenges and differences that we face” said Ali.

Ah! The usual recognizers rounded up. But he “worked hard” to find them?

The announcement of the seminar comes just weeks after the BBC was slammed for claiming that segregation levels had increased in Blackburn over the past years.

Speaking about the documentary, Ali said: “What it didn’t look at is the great work that is happening within communities in Blackburn. It only wanted to depict one picture of the town. This is something we aim to change through our work and the seminar.”

The seminar has been organized in collaboration with Lancashire District of the Methodist Church; Near Neighbours; Churches Together in Lancashire; Blackburn Interfaith Forum; Light Foundation and Lancashire Forum of Faiths.

Upon this foolish enterprise Robert Spencer comments at his website Jihad Watch:

Jihad of Jesus, eh? It’s always the Christians who host these outreach events to Muslims. Never do we see a mosque holding a “Eucharist of Muhammad” or some such event.

Mohammed Ali Amla, founder of Christian [-Muslim] Encounter[s], says: “We want this to be an event that people can come to and learn about communities working together.”

A master of the art of proselytizing with taqqiya [permitted deception] Mohammed Ali Amla must be.

Robert Spencer knows what not to expect:

Great. So there will be an honest discussion of obstacles to working together, won’t there? And a forthright mutual exchange about how those obstacles can be surmounted? Somehow I doubt it. Generally these events simply ignore such unpleasantness, and prey on the ignorance of the general public to preclude unwelcome questions. It is extraordinarily unlikely that there will be any discussion of these Qur’an verses:

Jesus is not the Son of God and belief in the Trinity is wrong: “O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion or say anything about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and his word which He conveyed to Mary, and a spirit from him. So believe in Allah and his messengers, and do not say “Three” –- Cease! It is better for you. Allah is only one Allah. Far be it from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as defender.” — Qur’an 4:171

And:

It is not befitting to Allah that he should beget a son. Glory be to him! When he determines a matter, he only says to it, ‘Be’,  and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35

Jesus was not crucified:

“And because of their saying: We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger, they did not kill him or crucify him, but it seemed to them as if they had. Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except pursuit of a conjecture; they did not kill him for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157

Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers:

They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary.” — Qur’an 5:17

Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received:

“From those, too, who call themselves Christians, we took a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between one another, until the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14

Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed:

“The Jews call Ezra a son of Allah, and the Christians call the Messiah the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; they simply imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!” — Qur’an 9:30

Christians who do not accepted Muhammad and the Qur’an are the most vile of created beings:

“Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded anything except to worship Allah, be sincere to him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakat. And that is the correct religion. Indeed,they who disbelieved among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of created beings.” — Qur’an 98:6

Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians:

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or the last day, and do not forbid what has been forbidden by Allah and his messenger, and do not acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya [the fine Islam imposes on dhimmis] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29

Islam will never accept Christianity. If Christians want to integrate with Muslims, they must give up their religion and take on Islam instead. There is no possible compromise between the two; no running parallel; no tolerance of Christianity by Islam.

The only relations Christians can have with Islam are what Islam offers them: as converts, as dhimmis, or as corpses.

Despite claims to the contrary, Christianity, Judaism and Islam do not worship the same god.

The God of the Jews, Jehovah, is a god of justice, vengeance and reward. He is omnipotent, omniscient, but not essentially or consistently benign. He commands obedience, but lets his followers struggle with him (Israel = Struggle with God).

The Three-in-One divinity of the Christians – the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is merciful and good; commands humility, selflessness, forgiveness, and love.  The god “saves” some sinners – aka human beings – to enjoy eternal bliss after death but, though a god of lovecondemns others to eternal agony. Neither the Trinity itself nor the (inseparable) Father, considered separately, resembles Jehovah of the Jews or Allah of the Muslims.

The god of Islam, Allah (Arabic for “god”), though singular, is in an immutable Duality with his mortal partner, Muhammad. He is good only to those faithful to him and his mortal partner. He commands submission. (Islam= Submission). He also demands relentless slaughter, military conquest, enslavement, the humiliation of unbelievers, and the subjugation of women. Through his mortal partner he positively forbids his followers to identify him with the Christian god: “Do not say ‘Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary’.”  “Do not say  ‘Three’!”

The only thing to be done with Islam is to get rid of it. It is an appalling ideology: supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Semitic, stubbornly intolerant, habitually murderous, and savagely cruel.

Islam would wither and die fast if it were plucked out by the root, which is Allah. An entirely secular West, in which belief in Jehovah or the Trinity or any god has become obsolete and absurd, could do it with argument and contempt. But the remnant of European Christianity, still hanging about with its smile, is halal meat for Ali, Julie, and the imam.

Italy hotting up to civil war 11

… if enough Italians can bring themselves to fight it before they are drowned in the “flood” of  Third World – mostly Muslim – immigrants.

In this video (which we came to via The Participator), Professor Alexandre del Valle – who has written extensively on Islam, terrorism, the Arab world, and Turkey – warns that the Left and Right are “radicalizing” in Italy, taking up irreconcilable positions on the question of the nation state and its “flooding”.

The aim of the Left, he says, is the total destruction of that “absolute evil”, the nation state; of  Western “Christian” Europe and of all Western “Christian” civilization. (What we insist is Enlightenment Europe, Enlightenment civilization.) He rightly accuses George Soros and charities such as Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children of funding and promoting the “flood”.

While he seems reluctant to sound alarmist, his message is intensely alarming.

As he is one of too few Europeans who see the colossal disaster that is coming and can make their voices heard, may he stupendously alarm all Europe and the entire Western world. “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.”

Gods and the Three Worlds 6

The “god” idea persists. (Where Was God When The Florida Massacre Happened? asks the atheist, Professor Steven Pinker, today – pointing out that “God” was nowhere.)

So let’s speak of it.

The human species is the only thing in our known universe that is a creator and moral law-maker. If “God” is a creator and moral law-maker, the human species is “God”.

Not any particular human being, but the species as a whole.

It is not omnipotent, it is not omniscient, but it is conscious. It consciously creates – not always successfully. It formulates moral principles. It judges, it rewards, it condemns – not always justly. It is a fallible god.

And it is subject to nature’s laws.

Nature’s laws – the laws of physics – were accepted as “God” by Spinoza and Einstein. And by the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

Nature’s laws are all-powerful, but they are not conscious; they are not moral. Conscious humankind can use them for its own purposes and control some of them sometimes. But cannot dominate them. Rather, they dominate – in that they produced, and sustain, and can destroy humankind.

Human consciousness and the laws of nature. Two “gods” then? Yes if you want to call them that. But: They do not need worship. They do not need ritual. They do not need sacrifices. They do not need temples. They do not need priests.

Call them two gods or call them, more interestingly and fruitfully, two interdependent worlds. And together they produce another, a third world.

Which brings us to the Three Worlds of Karl Popper*:

World 1: The physical world – material objects, natural events.

World 2: The mental world – individual consciousness, perception and interpretation of World 1.

World 3: The artificial world – things produced by interaction of World 1 and World 2 eg. speech, books, documents, buildings, ships, vehicles, cities, sciences, theories, governing laws, institutions, machines, computers, gardens, animal and plant hybrids, pianos, songs, works of graphic art …    And gods.

All three Worlds interact with each other.

There is nothing that is not of one, two, or all three of these worlds.

There is no supernatural “god”.

Non-existence does not have to be proved.

“Seeing no reason to believe is sufficient reason not to believe” – Karl Popper.

Or, as Christopher Hitchens puts it:

 

 

 

*Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem by Karl Popper, Routledge, New York & London, 1994.

Posted under Atheism, Religion general, Theology by Jillian Becker on Sunday, February 18, 2018

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Fight for free speech 27

This video, published September 13, 2017, records the concluding part of a discussion between Mark Steyn and Jordan Peterson.

“Free speech is racism.”

That’s what the rising generation is taught to believe by the Left.

The video of the entire interchange, from which this is an extract of the closing minutes, may be found here.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 16, 2018

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The Muslim plan 7

… to make America Muslim:

Published February 14, 2018

Posted under America, Islam, Muslims, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 16, 2018

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Charity: a weapon of mass destruction 4

… and a means of enrichment for the charitable.  

The splendid columnist Daniel Greenfield has exposed new revelations about how personnel from Doctors Without Borders have been sexually exploiting the most vulnerable people, including children, in the poorest and frailest societies they go to “help”.

In another article he looks back at how, in the name of “helping”, the UN killed hundreds of thousands in Haiti, and the Clintons found a way to grow richer out of both the natural and the man-made disasters.

He writes at Front Page:

When an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, everyone who was anyone in the international community quickly showed up.

It was the “IN” place to be that year. For the virtue-signaling Olympics.

Bill Clinton had been appointed as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti a year earlier where he had touted the “unique opportunities for public and private investment” in Haiti. The earthquake opened up those opportunities to Clinton Foundation donors.

A year later, Bill Clinton was touting a $45 million new hotel owned by an Irish cell phone tycoon [Denis O’Brien] who was a close pal as the only thing a country with a million homeless needed. A CNN puff piece claimed that the hotel would house “aid workers, potential investors and other visitors”. …

Haiti was a gold mine for the Clintons. LiterallyHillary’s brother was added to the board of a small company that got a gold mining permit at half the standard rates with a 25 year renewal option. Tony, Hillary’s brother, is a college dropout who had worked as a repo man and a prison guard.

The Clintons not only turned a disaster into a slush fund, but even got Hillary’s idiot brother a gig.

But inflicting the Clintons on Haiti wasn’t the worst thing that the United Nations did to the impoverished island. The worst thing that the UN can do to any country is send in the blue helmets.

Before the UN peacekeeping mission arrived, Haiti was a disaster. After it left, it was a disaster with cholera. The UN peacekeepers brought the disease with them and spread it around, killing 10,000 people and infecting at least 800,000 others. None of them could get into a Clinton luxury hotel.

Before the UN showed up, Haiti had 99,000 problems, but cholera wasn’t one of them. Then UN peacekeepers spread their multinational fecal matter into the Artibonite River. Soon the UN was trying to raise $400 million to clean up the national disaster that it created on top of an existing national disaster. It asked its staff for money and those donations added up to $6K or a week in the Presidential Suite of the Royal Oasis, Haiti’s first 5-star hotel, with financing from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

But say what you will about the Clintons, unlike the UN, they’ve never given anyone cholera. (That we know of.) So far the UN has only come up with a few million. And everyone is demanding that the United States pay for the cholera that the United Nations spread even though we are already a cholera importer, bringing in top grade cholera from Latin American outbreaks to New York, Kansas and Virginia.

But that’s globalization for you. In a flattening world, Nepalese peacekeepers bring an exotic strain of cholera to Haiti. Refugees from Haiti bring it to America. Hillary Clinton’s brother tries to get in on a gold mine. And a horse breeder in Kentucky and a plumber in Michigan have to pay for the UN’s cholera.

But it would be a slow day at the United Nations if all it did was start a cholera epidemic that infected hundreds of thousands of people, lie about it for years, then pretend to take responsibility, refuse to actually pay for it, and then try to blame the whole thing on Trump who had been hosting Season 10 of The Apprentice back then. Unlike the UN, The Apprentice never infected 800,000 people with cholera.

Since it was the UN, it also had to sexually abuse children to give Haiti the full multilateral experience.

“One boy was gang raped in 2011 by peacekeepers who disgustingly filmed it on a cell phone. What do we say to these kids?” UN Ambassador Nikki Haley asked.

Those were the Uruguayans. The Sri Lankans had their own child sex ring of some 134 peacekeepers paying children 75 cents to abuse them and the Nepalese gave most of the country cholera.

That’s the international community for you. If it doesn’t get you one way, it’ll get you another way.

It’s hard not to look at that and conclude that the United Nations is its own war crime and that the best possible punishment is to put everyone involved on trial in one of the UN’s patented multi-generational war crimes tribunals that only end when everyone dies of old age. After 11 years, the Cambodia tribunal managed three convictions. Two others died of old age. That’s how the UN coddles those monsters it wants to punish. Haiti is an example of how it treats those victims it claims to want to help.

The UN might be more effective the other way around. Just imagine if North Korea’s Kim Jong Un had to worry about being “helped” and “protected” by sex-crazed and cholera-infected UN peacekeepers.

Ah, yes! If only the UN, and the operatives of the Western charities, especially the Clintons, could be let loose in the same spirit on North Korea! No need for war. No need for nukes. Charity is the arme du jour. The country would soon be brought to its knees. Devastation guaranteed. 

And then there is Oxfam:  

But it wasn’t just the Clintons and the United Nations living it up in Haiti.

The latest scandal has hit Oxfam. The leftist alliance claims to want to fight poverty, but it spends more time denouncing the rich. Its global inequality report is a staple of leftist talking points. Its Even It Up campaign is a blatant call for wealth redistribution. …

Oxfam’s Haiti director was using the villa rented by the charity to host prostitutes. Senior Oxfam aid workers had exploited women and possibly even children. Oxfam had covered up the scandal in 2011 and tried sweeping it under the rug. And now it’s offering awkwardly unconvincing apologies. …

An Oxfam spokesfiend explained that the cops hadn’t been called because it was “extremely unlikely that reporting these incidents to the police would lead to any action being taken”. Fear that the police will do nothing is generally why organizations don’t report crimes committed by their members to the authorities. That and a deep concern that their donors will stop subsidizing their child rape villas.

“I don’t think it was in anyone’s best interest to be describing the details of the behaviour in a way that was actually going to draw extreme attention to it,” Oxfam’s boss said.

It certainly wasn’t in Oxfam’s interest, but it might have been in the interest of the Haitians it was claiming to help. … But it was never really about the Haitians. It was about the gold mines, child sex rings and villa orgies. It was about the Clinton Foundation, the UN budget and all the money to be made from promising to save the world. …

The lefty politicians and professional activists who rushed to Haiti were as enthusiastic about helping the Haitians as the Congressional Black Caucus is about lowering black unemployment. … When [the Left]  shows up to help, there are going to be luxury hotels, villas and sex rings involved.

And the people it claims to be helping will be even worse off than they were before.

And then there is this  documentary which we first posted on July 27, 2017. It bears repeating.

It is derived from Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, and is narrated by him. It is long but it rewards attention. It demonstrates in detail how the Clintons have enriched themselves by exploiting – but never ameliorating – the desperate plight of the poorest of the poor, in the name of Charity.

Perhaps the worst of all the heart-searing accounts of their cold-blooded venality indulged in at the cost of massive and intense human suffering, is that of their activities in Haiti. The telling of this appalling story extends from 16.43 minutes to 29.43 minutes. But don’t miss the rest.

 

The UN must be destroyed!

A gold for tyranny 20

Who is Kim Yo Jong ? “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”, declared a CNN.com headline. This princess of Pyongyang received a royal welcome from South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. He seated her in his VIP box, near Vice President Mike Pence, for the opening ceremony. He hosted her for lunch at the presidential Blue House, where she delivered him an invitation for a summit with Mr. Kim. The resulting Reuters headline: “North Korea heading for diplomacy gold medal at the Olympics.”

Yes, the traitorous Left-biased press reporters of the free world were (all too predictably) delighted with Kim Yo Jong, who smiled for them at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Claudia Rosett (a perceptive writer and the most reliable authority on the iniquitous United Nations), writing at the Wall Street Journal (February 13, 2018), makes “this princess of Pyongyang” better known for what she really is:

[Kim Yo Jong]  holds a key post in Pyongyang’s fearsome and brutal Propaganda and Agitation Department. …

Missing from most of the media coverage was any detail about Ms. Kim’s day job in Pyongyang. In North Korea this kid sister has served under Big Brother as a deputy director of the powerful and omnipresent Propaganda and Agitation Department. She has apparently racked up a record so stellar that last year the U.S. Treasury blacklisted her as a top North Korean official tied to “notorious abuses of human right”. Mr. Kim gave her an alternate seat on his politburo.

In blacklisting Ms. Kim, the Treasury specified that her department “controls all media in the country, which the government uses to control the public”. That’s an understatement. The Propaganda and Agitation Department’s mission is to control not only media but minds — to indoctrinate all North Koreans, at all levels, in the absolute supremacy of Kim Jong Un and his Workers’ Party. … That entails a pervasive normalization of evil. Any deviation is suppressed via imprisonment, torture and execution. … 

In a detailed report published last year by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Robert Collins and Amanda Mortwedt Oh described the Propaganda and Agitation Department as playing “a key role in justifying Kim family rule through domestic and external propaganda.” They added that entire families may be punished if one member is suspected of dissent. The aim is to ensure the survival, glorification and total power of the Kim regime and its hereditary tyrant.

That’s the training and family tradition behind Ms. Kim’s visit to South Korea. Her delegation included plenty of backup, such as Choe Hwi, a vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department who has been blacklisted by the US [and even the UN] for human-rights abuses. The Treasury noted that Mr. Choe “has reportedly been responsible for maintaining ideological purity“.  Currently he is chairman of North Korea’s National Sports Guidance Committee.

Ms. Kim, with her freckles and enigmatic smile, is a trained and trusted royal brainwasher for a family regime whose court is built on totalitarian lies. Her admirers in the media ought to be impressed by the professionalism with which she snookered them.

Nothing to Envy,* a book by Barbara Demick about North Korea in the time of Kim Jong Un’s Father, Kim Jong Il, reveals that much of the population went hungry much of the time.

Here is a quotation, describing, as a common event, the death of a prisoner who has been worked and slowly starved to death. Prisoners are needed to work as slaves in the mines and other industries, so people are arrested on flimsy excuses:

[The prisoners were] mostly “economic criminals” who’d gotten in trouble at the border or the market. The actual thieves among them had stolen nothing more than food. One of them was a forty-year old rancher who had worked on a collective farm raising cattle. His crime was that he had failed to report the birth of a dead calf, instead taking the stillborn home to feed his wife and two young children. By the time Hyuck [who relates this story to the author] met him, he had served five years of a ten-year term. … The rancher was gentle and soft-spoken, but one of the senior guards took a strong dislike to him. His wife and children came twice to visit, but were not allowed in to see him or to send gifts of food, privileges allowed some of the more favored prisoners.

The rancher died of starvation. It happened quietly; he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It was a common occurrence that somebody would die in the night. Often it was obvious in the close sleeping-quarters, because the dying man would evacuate his bladder and tiny bubbles would appear on his lips as fluid seeped out of the body.  

As in all collectivist systems, the community of North Korea is organized for slavery, want, and death.

A few more extracts from Nothing to Envy:

In North Korea …. all staples are grown on collective farms. The state confiscates the entire harvest and then gives a portion back to the farmer… [As famine intensified] the North Korean government offered a variety of explanations, from the patently absurd to the barely plausible. People were told … that the United States had instituted a blockade against North Korea that was keeping out food …

Enduring hunger became part of one’s patriotic duty. …

Chongjin was always prone to epidemics because its sewage system … spilled untreated feces into the streams where women often did the laundry. With the electricity blinking on and off, running water became unreliable. Usually electricity and water worked for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, People stored water in big vats at home, which turned into breeding grounds for bacteria. Nobody had soap. Typhoid is easily treated by antibiotics, which by 1994 were almost entirely unavailable. …

How do you tell a mother her child needs more food when there is nothing more to give? [A doctor] would write out a slip admitting the child to the hospital, knowing she had no cure for this condition. The hospital didn’t have any food either …

Over the years the hospital provided less and less. The furnace in the basement went out after it ran out of coal, so the hospital had no heat. When the running water went off, nobody could properly mop the floors. Even in the day it was so dark in the interior of the building that that doctors had to stand by windows to write up their reports. Patients brought their own food, their own blankets. Since bandages were scarce, they would cut up bedding to make them. The hospital was still able to manufacture intravenous fluid, but they didn’t have bottles for it. The patients had to bring their own …

[Many] victims of the North Korean famine … did not go passively to their deaths. When the public distribution system was cut off, they were forced to tap their deepest wells of creativity to feed themselves. They devised traps out of buckets and string to catch small animal in the field, draped nets over their balconies to snare sparrows. They educated themselves in the nutritive properties of plants. … They stripped the sweet inner bark of pine trees to grind into a fine powder that could be used in place of flour. They pounded acorns into a gelatinous paste that could be molded into cubes that practically melted in your mouth. …

If you got out to the mountains, you could maybe find dandelion or other weeds so tasty that people ate them even in good times. Occasionally, Mrs Song [one of the author’s informants] would find rotten cabbage leaves that had been discarded by a farmer. She would take the day’s pickings home and mix it with whatever food she had enough money to buy. Usually it was ground cornmeal – the cheap kind made from the husks and cobs. If she couldn’t afford that, she would buy a still cheaper powder made out of the ground inner bark of the pine, sometimes extended with a little sawdust.

No talent in the kitchen could disguise the god-awful taste. She had to pound away and chop endlessly to get the grasses and the barks into a soft-enough pulp to be digestible. … All she could make was a porridge that was flavorless and textureless. … a porridge mad out of bean and corn stalks … was bitter and dry, and stuck in the throat like the twigs of a bird’s nest…

In the year after Kim Il Sung’s death the only animal product she consumed was frog … North Korea’s frog population would soon be wiped out by overhunting. …

The killer [starvation] has a natural progression. It goes first for the most vulnerable – children under five. They come down with a cold and it turns into pneumonia; diarrhea turns into dysentery. Before the parents even think about getting help, the child is dead. Next the killer turns to the aged … then makes its way through people in the prime of their lives. Men, because they have less body fat, usually perish before women. …

By 1998, an estimated 600,000 people had died as a result of the famine, as much as 10 percent of the population. … Exact figures would be nearly impossible to tally since North Korean hospitals could not report starvation as a cause of death. …

Between 1996 and 2005, North Korea would receive $2.4 billion worth of food aid, much of it from the United States … The relief was off-loaded into trucks by the military and driven away. Some food reached orphanages and kindergartens, but much of it ended up in military stockpiles or sold on the black market. …

By the end of 1998, the worst of the famine was over, not necessarily because anything had improved but … because there were fewer mouths to feed.

Kim Jong-Il had taken an even harder line against individual enterprise than his father. “In a socialist society, even the food problem should be solved in a socialist way. Telling people to solve the food problems on their own creates egotism among people,” he said in a December 1996 speech, one of the few in which he acknowledged the food crisis. … Food was not to be sold on the market. To sell rice or any other grain was strictly forbidden. [It was] considered illegal and immoral, a stab in the heart of Communist ideology. Any private endeavor fell under the rubric of “economic crime” …  In 1997, notices went up … warning that people who stole, hoarded, or sold grains were “stifling our style of socialism” and could be subject to execution. …

Then again, death was a virtual certainty for people who didn’t show some private initiative. A human being needs at least 500 calories per day on average to survive; a person subsisting on a diet of what could be foraged in the woods would not survive more than three months. …

Among the homeless population, a disproportionate number were children or teenagers. In some cases, their parents had gone off in search of jobs or food. But there was another, even stranger, explanation. Facing a food shortage, many North Koreans families conducted a brutal triage of their own households – they denied themselves and often elderly grandparents food in order to keep the younger generation alive. That strategy produced an unusual number of orphans, as the children were often the last ones left of entire families that had perished…

In the first years of the food shortage, the children at the train station survived by begging food, but before long there were simply too many of them and too few people with food to spare…

When begging failed, the children … formed themselves into gangs to steal together …

It was a dangerous life… There were strange stories going around about adults who … would drug children, kill them, and butcher them for meat. Behind the station near the railroad tracks were vendors who cooked soup and noodles over small burners, and it was said that the grey chunks of meat floating in the broth were human flesh. …

People … spoke of the large number of bodies scattered around the station and on the trains. At the station, employees from the cleaning staff regularly made rounds through the public areas, loading bodies onto a wooden handcart. Some days they removed as many as thirty bodies from the station.

Fox News reports that there have been changes for the better in North Korea since the time of Kim Jong Il. (He died in 2011 and was succeeded by his son, the present dictator, Kim Jong Un, who is threatening to nuke the US.) Conditions could hardly have changed for the worse!  According to the Fox report (derived from AP), one of the changes has been an improvement in living standards for at least some of the people.

Probably more out of pragmatic necessity than anything else, Kim Jong Un has allowed capitalist-style markets and entrepreneurialism to expand, invigorating the domestic economy and creating new revenue streams for the government, which profits by either taking a cut or by directly supporting such enterprises. Changes in farming policy that let individuals personally benefit from bigger harvests have boosted agricultural output. The relatively affluent capital of Pyongyang — home to the North’s most fortunate — has seen a significant increase in everything from taxis to coffee shops and streets stalls. But the rise of the “cash masters”, an empowered middle class more open to capitalist ideals, or just more determined to acquire material wealth, could prove to be a problem for Kim down the road.

He is unlikely to let them be a problem for him. More likely he will be a problem for them. One is reminded how Stalin allowed the Russian kulaks to “boost output” – and then he destroyed them.

 

*Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2009

Posted under North Korea by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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What happened in Nevada … 13

… could happen to you wherever you may be in the USA.

It is a story of a public-private partnership in crime that went on for years; of state-sanctioned exploitation of the old; the deprivation of their liberty; abduction, theft, and callous cruelty.

This is a summary, in our own words for the most part, of the true story told by Rachel Aviv and published (somewhat surprisingly to us) in the (usually all too politically correct) New Yorker magazine on October 9, 2017. The original needs to be read in full, so please read it if you have strong nerves and are thoroughly acquainted with injustice and cruelty posing as “caring”. 

Mr. and Mrs. North – Rudy and Rennie – lived in a nice well furnished house they owned in Las Vegas. They were in their seventies, retired. Although Rennie was frail, they both enjoyed life. They  read a lot, Rennie fiction, Rudy philosophy, science and much more. They were both comfortable and happy, though Rennie needed some practical help, which was given by a nurse who came in five days a week.

One Friday in 2013, just as the Norths were finishing their breakfast, the nurse arrived as usual and a few minutes later another woman turned up. She introduced herself as April Parks, a “private professional guardian”. With her were three other people who did not give their names. Parks informed the Norths that she had an order issued by the Clark County Family Court to remove them to “an assisted living facility”, and their consent was not required.  

They protested. The intruders threatened to call the police and have them moved by force. They were given about half an hour to pack a few personal things. In her confusion and distress Rennie forgot to take the cellphone. They were driven away from their home in a car marked “CRT-GRDN” (“Court Guardian”).

Parks returned to the house with another woman, Cindy Breck, whose company – called “Caring Transitions” – “relocates” elderly persons, and arranges the sale of their belongings. Here again, consent was not required. The “relocated” persons were simply robbed of the things they had acquired through their long lives and wanted to keep in their old age. So as soon as the Norths’ had been “transitioned”, all their possessions – their furniture, books, everything they had not been able to fit into the small bags they took with them – were assessed for sale value by caring Cindy Breck. Parks herself took documents (birth certificates, insurance policies) and valuables (a coin collection, a watch).

The Norths’ daughter, Julie Belshe, a fifty-three-year old married woman, with three sons, who ran a business with her husband, arrived as she did almost every day to visit her parents and found them gone and the house locked up. She tried calling their cellphone and got no answer. She called hospitals to enquire if they had been brought in from an accident. She concluded that her father and mother had been kidnapped. She revisited the locked house again later and found a note on the door with the name and number of April Parks, “guardian”, who could be contacted “in case of emergency”. Through Parks Julie learnt that her parents had been taken to a “facility” in Boulder City. Julie protested, “You can’t just walk into somebody’s home and take them!” Parks replied, “It’s legal.”

Julie drove to the facility in Boulder City. There her parents were lodged in a small room with a “kitchenette” and a view of the parking lot. Rennie was in a wheelchair. They had no phone in the room.

Mr. and Mrs. North no longer controlled their own money. Their estates were in the hands of April Parks. Each time Parks looked in on the Norths, however briefly, she charged them a fee “per hour”. How much she deducted from their funds was not limited by the court. She charged $24 for one eight-minute phone call that Julie put through to her.

It gets worse.

Parks applied to Clark County Family Court to have her guardianship of the Norths made permanent. Meet the Clark County guardianship commissioner, Jon Norheim. Officially he works “under a judge”, but what he orders has the weight of a judge’s ruling. Parks made all her guardian applications to Norheim. Norheim granted them – about once a week. The Norths had no one speaking for them. No lawyer represented them. So at the ten minute hearing, the Norths were made permanent wards of the court under Parks’s guardianship for life.

Their possessions were sold by another “transitions” firm, Even Tide Life Transitions. Their 2010 Chrysler was sold for under $8,000. Two Renoir lithographs fetched $3,800. A Brancusi table, $12,050. Other valuable things went for the same sort of song. Some pastel drawings made by their son who had died at the age of thirty-two were crumpled up and thrown away, though Rennie often asked for them. Their cash savings of $50,000 in the Bank of America were transferred into an account in April Parks’s name. 

Similar stories were told by other inmates, ten of whom were also under Parks’s guardianship. Some had been deprived of considerable wealth. They were even deprived of most of their clothes. When Rennie wanted to go shopping for clothes, Parks found out, forbade the expedition, and took $108 as a fee “for the conversation”.

Julie tried to get legal guardianship of her parents. Parks told the court that she was unfit, a “reported addict” who “had no contact” with her parents. Julie had no chance to challenge Parks in court and only found out about the lies much later.

It gets worse still.

Meet Jared Shafer. He is the super Guardian who trains the lesser guardians. He has thousands of wards and estates in his “care”. In 1979 he was appointed “public administrator”, in charge of the estates of county wards for whom no private guardian, such as a relative, was available. In 2003 he set up his own private “guardianship and fiduciary”  business. The racketeering operation was moved over from local government and Jared Shafer to Jared Safer alone – though he still kept his government listed phone number, and still had friends in official positions.

A relative of one of Shafer’s wards, Terry Williams,  took the shocking story of what had happened to her father to the Las Vegas police. She listed 23 statutes that had been violated. But the police returned her statement stamped “Not a police matter”.  Apparently the Las Vegas police never accepted complaints about the treatment of wards.

Next Terry Williams  tried bringing a civil suit against Shafer for racketeering. The US District Court of Central California heard the case in 2009. Terry Williams explained how people were “deemed incompetent” and then had their assets taken away from them.

The US District Court of Central California dismissed the case. Numerous other such cases were also dismissed by district courts.

Jared Shafer goes to some lengths to prevent wards appealing to the courts. One who made it to a hearing found himself before Jon Norheim. He asked to be allowed to live with his daughter. Nevada law requires courts to favor relatives over professional guardians, but Norheim dismissed his appeal. Anecdotes demonstrate how much influence Shafer has over Norheim –  and over  politicians. He boasts, “I wrote the [guardianship] laws”.  It is not untrue. In 1995 he got the Nevada Senate to allow his county (in effect himself?) to be the beneficiary of interest earned on the money of his wards that he invested. Another of “his” laws was one that permitted him – and other public guardians – to take control of wards’ property without a court order.

He restricts visits to confined wards by relatives and life-partners. Months go by without a visit being allowed by him.

He has the power to arbitrarily remove anyone from the position of co-guardian. He managed to do this even to the daughter of a ward who was herself a professional psychiatric nurse and a specialist in geriatric nursing. She appealed – to Norheim – not to have Shafer left as her father’s sole guardian on the grounds that Shafer was abusive. Norheim said he trusted Shafer completely – and dismissed the appeal.

What became of the Norths? Parks changed their health insurance to an insurer of her own choice. Then both Rudy and Rennie were dosed with mind-numbing drugs. Their daughter finally found out what the drugs were when a new director, Julie Liebo, took over the facility and, against Parks’s “orders”, allowed families to be given information about the medical treatment given to the wards. In retaliation Parks threatened the director with arrest and deprivation of her license. And she began to remove her wards from the facility. One who announced with some excitement that she was being allowed to go to a hair salon went out the door and never came back. Another  was “taken away in a van, screaming”. The director tried to get the state to stop this sort of thing happening, but failed. She went to the Clark County Family Court (Norheim?), the Department of Health Services, the Bureau of Health Care, and Nevada Adult Protective Services. “Each agency told her that it didn’t have the authority or the jurisdiction to intervene.”

The turn of the Norths came. Without giving them time to say good-bye to the friends they had made, Parks had them suddenly moved by Caring Transitions (remember Cindy Breck?) to a cheaper facility. When their daughter Julie heard of the plan to move them she rushed to see what was to be done with them, but when she got there they were gone. Julie gave vent to her fury,  shouting at Parks’s assistant Heidi Kramer, “April Parks is a thief.” Kramer called the police. They came, and a police officer told Julie Belshe that she “had no rights”. Julie Liebo, the director, had to admit that was true.

Julie Belshe drove, weeping, to the “cheaper facility” in Las Vegas. But Parks was there and would not let her see her parents. She ordered Julie to go away, and when Julie did not obey she too called the police. Julie tried begging them to let her see her father and mother. Their reply was a citation for trespassing, and a warning that if she came back to the facility they would arrest her.

The Norths had an even smaller room in the new facility. They found themselves among the hopelessly incapacitated. Rennie was dosed with a drug used for the pacification of schizophrenics.

Then Julie Belshe went to the local press. The Voice had already published a warning about Clark County guardians, that they “had been lining their pockets for a very long time”. One of its  editors, Rana Goodman, visited the Norths, and got up a petition demanding that the laws to do with guardianships be changed by the Nevada legislature.

Another paper, the Review-Journal, brought out a report on Jared Shafer and the complaints that had been made against him through many years.

And so, when at last the Norths got to a hearing – before Norheim – the court was full of journalists. Norheim underwent a dramatic change. He found that the Norths’ confiscated possessions had been sold without court permission. (He had let Parks get away with that racket for years.) He also suspended Parks as the Norths’ guardian. That had never happened to her before.

In March 2017, Parks was indicted for theft and perjury among other charges. The extent of the racket she had run came out in a summary of the investigation. “Parks went to hospitals and attorneys’ offices” to “generate more clients”. She had “secured a contract with six medical facilities … to refer patients to her”. She “often gave doctors blank certificates and told them exactly what to write in order for their patients to become her wards”. Needless to say, they were usually the wealthier patients.

April Parks is to go on trial in 2018. But Jared Shafer has not been indicted and “is still listed in the Clark County court system as a trustee and as an administrator”. And Jon Norheim has been merely transferred to another court “where he now oversees cases involving abused and neglected children”.

The Norths now live with their daughter Julie and her husband in California. They have no money. Parks used up all their cash, and all that she derived from the sale of their possessions, on their alleged monthly bills and fees to herself. She would of course have preferred them to be richer, and probably miscalculated what they were worth when she targeted them.

In their room, Rudy and Rennie have two pictures by their son. Julie had fished them out of the trash bags in which Cindy Breck’s Caring Transition staff had dumped them the day she helped “transition” the Norths.

They are restored to psychological health, though Rennie still has nightmares about what happened to them. And their daughter still fears that “guardians” might appear to snatch them away again at any moment.

She is right to fear it.

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