By R.C. Seely

IS OBEDIENCE TO a bad law moral? Or what about defience to a leader asking you to do an immoral command? We all know that issues of moralty can be difficult, as they should be, but are indoctrinating conformity when that’s the more harmful decision? I think the answer is a clear yes and always have felt that way. And I’m not alone in this. Ira Challeff the founder of the International Leadership Association’s Followership Learning Community and has studied the topic giving his take in his book Intelligent Disobedience. In the text he gave multiple examples of times when the inclination to obey has wrong and fatal, and other times when disobedience saved lives.

We know that many of the worst atrocities have been justified because the perpetrators were simply “doing their jobs” but what of those who didn’t obey because it wasn’t the right course of action.

Challeff talks about a young nurse who attended one of his lectures of her experience with Intelligence Disobedience. It was shortly after getting out of nursing school and she was assisting a cardiac patient in the ER. She was ordered by the emergency room physician to administer a medication that was questionable. After she objected, she was given the typical response from an authority figure to “just do it.” Her final response was:

“I hooked up the IV bag to the patient, and… injected the medication… ordered into the bag. Then I called the doctor over and told him the medication was ready to be administered. All that was needed was to open the valve on the IV bag, but that… violated my training. He would need to open the valve himself.”

Should the nurse have done what she were told, simply because her superior told her to? In this case it might have killed patient and her actions got the doctor to reconsider the treatment and the patient lived. If things had ended differently, there would have been a review and she would have to defend that act of insubordination. That is an admitted heavy weight which needs to be countered against your confidence in what your doing is right.

Challeff offers this as the simplest test of whether disobedience is valid: “Based on the information we have and the context in which the order is given, if obeying is likely to produce more harm than good, disobeying is the right move, at least until we have further clarified the situation and the order.”

We shouldn’t disobey because of power struggles. Challeff has his own experience with that in the dentist chair when a defient nurse kept second guessing him in front of Challeff and kept drilling the tooth getting a cavity taken care of. The end result was the tooth was damaged from the treatment and required more repair. Disobedience because ego satisify this definition.

Another example was the children who were told not “to leave the room for any reason” while their working mother had to give a speech at a work conference. The building caught fire and if the children had obeyed the would have perished. Or the commercial flight that wouldn’t have crashed if the co-pilot had been more insistent in his concerns. The investigation’s assessment even found his disobedience would have been the right choice.

Law enforcement and military are not immune to these issues either. Because of the power and extended legislative immunity they hold, it makes it even more important. The pressure to stay compliant is even more rigorous than for civilians but lives are on the line. It’s important to remember that as a police officer or soldier you face a tribunal for wrong doing. Military is extremely efficient at accountability too, law enforcement needs work.

Most occupations have watchdog groups keeping an eye out for misconduct. It makes society safer for the most part, but even they are not infallible. They are created and filled with flawed humans acting as our advocates, and occasionally they fall short. Maybe someone will come up with a perfect system but I doubt it. In the mean time we will have to settle for what we have and at times practice the Intelligent Disobedience to expose the flaws in that system.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and has new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible soon to be released.

Data Driven

Posted: May 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

BETWEEN THE NEGATIVE coverage in the media and the comments by the president, internet giant Amazon is getting beaten up in the public eye. And it’s all because of a lie perpetrated by their rivals. Many companies didn’t plan for the internet when it was new and over built on outlet stores. That’s why they have been losing money and had to contract.

You talk to the emerging online giants, they see brick-and-mortar stores as still a viable option, they weren’t properly utilized is all.

Take specialty glasses and sunglasses online retailer Warby Parker, it launched in 2010, and is expecting major growth. “By the end of 2016, it had 36 stores… Today, it has a total of 63 locations across the US and Canada, with plans to hit 90 by 2019,” reported Entrepreneur magazine, in its March issue.

How is this possible? You may ask. Retail stores are dying off so fast they may need to be placed on the endangered species list. Real estate firm Crushman Wakefield tallies the numbered of closed stores in 2017 at 9,000 and an additional 12,000, or more, by the end of 2018.

And Warby Parker isn’t alone in thinking store expansion is a sound idea. The Canadian company, Tease-Tea, plans on opening doors in New York. British based athletic brand Gymshot is considering opening stores in Los Angeles.

What do these companies know that the larger retailers don’t? Nothing really, they simply have proven better with the knowledge. It’s a system referred to as Deep Data, a set of algorithms based on the previous buying habits of past customers. Mostly it’s a s common sense sociological analysis–monitoring where they have the most sales when they were online only and only building there. Sounds like a practical model to me and like a winning strategy too.

E-commerce companies Birchbot, Everlane, Bonobos are talking about taking about going brick-and-mortar as well. Even though there’s a certain amount of risk to this strategy, Warby Parker maintains it worth it and appears they are not the only one.

In the Entrepreneur interview they also argue there are lessons to be learned:

“The physical store also creates data that no online store ever could. For example, Warby Parker recently tested a kiosk-style pop-up in … a mall in lower Manhattan… The company learned something unexpected: Customers don’t like trying on prescription glasses in a public setting: it’s too intimate… But sunglasses sold well.”

Deep Data science is comparably new, but it already appears to be an effective tool to avoid overbuilding and while some retail insiders say be cautious, ignoring Deep Data might be a missed opportunity. Used efficiently Deep Data may lessen the gamble.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

WHAT IS THE POINT OF CONVERSION OF unions and conservatives here in America? American protectionism in the economy. That warm feeling, they get to see that “Made in America” seal of approval. That seal has a great cost and it’s a loss of freedom in the free market. It also demonstrates that conservatives have less faith in the free market then they claim. I don’t share such sentiments, of course I’m a consumer advocate not a labor advocate.

Advocates on the conservative side are making basically the same arguments as unions too, that’s the confusing part! Both are claiming it’s better to only have American labor made products in the American market and keep out those cheap inferior foreign alternatives: A collective agenda. Free market advocates, on the other hand, recognize that a true free market isn’t one that favors labor or nationalism of any kind but empowers the consumer: That’s an individual agenda.

Even when they enjoy the fruits of foreign labor, they still complain about it. And fruits are one of the most common of all foreign labor, even with the diverse climates of California much of our produce comes from Mexico where it can be grown year-round. Keep that in mind when you are having an avocado or orange in the middle of winter.

Produce is not the only product that is made the US takes advantage of, those steel tariffs proposed by Trump will also increase costs to construction, which will increase costs to the consumer. Just because we pay more, doesn’t mean we end up switching to “American Made.” Foreign products are bought because there’s an economic advantage to it; if a consumable product, it’s either available year-round somewhere else or not, has a superior flavor from the foreign environment, or isn’t available at all in the US; with other products, other nations might also have environmental advantage or a developed a more effective manufacturing technique. If it’s the latter, that puts the burden to change on the US not the foreign competitor, which tariffs discourages.

Just like brick-and-mortar stores have to constantly evolve to compete with online challengers, so too the domestic markets need to alter their plans to compete with foreign competition. That’s the only way to achieve a free market.

As for the much-maligned NAFTA agreements, no it’s not a bad thing and is simply a contract between countries, a fact that I’m sure Trump knows. And like any contract, it can be renegotiated, so if the presidents not satisfied with the terms, he should do so and stop stirring up resentment.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and has a upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

Robocall Restrictions

Posted: May 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

SOCIETY HAS GOTTEN SO used to having big government ridding them of all life’s problems that now activists need to invent causes. An addition was brought to my attention via an email petition.

From the Change.org petition:

“Let’s stop the minute-to-minute annoyance of unsolicited calls constantly coming through to our mobile phones.
Calls when we are in a meeting, calls when we are with our children, calls when we are having dinner, calls when we are going to bed – when does it end?
Ten a day, then 15, then 20 – it just doesn’t stop.
We need the FCC to make the necessary regulatory changes on their end and then to start this mandate of the phone carriers.
Many of the hundreds of millions of calls are originating overseas. Companies and scammers are using computer technology to dial literally millions of numbers a day. With the push of a button millions of calls go out through the network at one time.
Furthermore, they are using ‘spoofing’ technology to have those calls come through to our phones as a local call by showing a local area code to try and fool people into picking up.
It is time for the FCC to require phone carriers to develop and implement technology that can detect when a flood of calls are coming through the networks and prevent those calls from ever making it to your mobile phone.

Seriously… The FCC isn’t involved enough in our lives with Net Neutrality, it’s deemed necessary to “protect” us from annoying phone calls as well as different views.

This is especially absurd since there’s already a system in place for this. A little thing called “the no-call list.” But let’s get real what this is all about, it’s one more progressive anti-capitalist stunt. A false bravado to attempt to demonize capitalism. Of all such demonstrations, this could be the most pathetic.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible

Return to Laissez Faire

Posted: April 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

THE NOTION THAT A LAISSEZ FAIRE SYSTEM wouldn’t work since previous attempts didn’t work is common consensus among capitalism critics. To be fair, the earliest attempts didn’t go as well as hoped and they do have a point, at least to a certain degree. In the US the two attempts were during the Industrial Revolution and the other in the “roaring” twenties.

The Industrial Revolution had its benevolence that is rarely acknowledged–such as Rockefeller’s saving the whales be eliminating the US dependency on whale oil to light our homes–and instead the history books look to be have been written by the labor unions who despise the industrialists because of their anti-union stances.

The struggle at the Homestead, Andrew Carnegie’s steel manufacturing plant, is considered one such opportunity to give one of the Industrialists a figurative black eye. it was labor anarchists that were in fact the ones wreaking havoc in the steel mill. Carnegie’s partner Henry Clay Frick, did play a large role in it, that’s true, but ultimately it was still labor that was responsible and drew first blood (literally) with the assassination attempt on Frick’s life. Another was when in 1884, the miners of New Straitsville, Ohio, started an underground fire–a blaze that was still burning in the 1930’s and didn’t calm until shortly before World War II. Noted by journalist Ernie Pyle, “you wouldn’t believe that hell is only a few feet underneath [the grounds of Ohio].” The estimated damage from the fires was around $50 million.

The other era of laissez faire was during prohibition. Yes, you read that right. Prohibition gave birth to one of the only eras of a “hands-off” economy is US history. It was the direct result of prohibition, in fact, the rise of the mafia. Even though they were publicly hounded by law enforcement, in reality organized crime was mostly left alone, at least prior to the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

Point is, laissez faire in the US has only been a reactionary side effect to intrusive government and labor actions. What if it were tried because of because of government inactions?

Government advocates claim that a hands-off economy would lead to bedlam and that capitalists are too inhumane to give them such autonomy. Shabby treatment of their employees are expectations, since it did happen previously, but things have changed. During the previous eras of laissez faire, sentiments about human life were far different and inferiorities against minorities and migrants was common. Now it’s not. Now we have a strong ethics in business and society at large and see value in human life.

This is to say that such attitudes are entirely gone but are have eroded. Signs of this new valuation of human life is demonstrated after a shooting. Whether the actions are right or wrong, the impulse is clearly showing that human life is considered precious by many, even if that’s not the greater goal. The protests against what Hillary Clinton called “the new normal” shows that America still has its best days ahead, although applying logic to these outbursts wouldn’t hurt. Add logic to the respect for human life and we could just end up with that almost perfect society that the world eagerly covets.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

 

By R.C. Seely

JUST WHEN THE GUN control insanity looks like it can’t get any worse, the well goes deeper.

A thirteen-year-old, Ethan Sonneborn, is running for governor in the state of Vermont. And his entire platform seems to be getting rid of guns. Referring to the Florida shooting as “a good opportunity to make change.” During the same CNN interview, he also expressed a feeling of a lack a “national dialogue about how we move forward” regarding guns. And that while he respects the prominent hunting culture in his state, “if it’s … between letting my friends have a good time at the firing range and them possibly being involved in a school shooting, I’m choosing legislation to protect them from the school shooting.”

Of course, the Democrat Party isn’t going to let this “opportunity” go to waste and state’s executive director of the party, Conor Casey, eagerly aggrandizes Sonneborn. Saying he “really did embrace the gun issue early on” and he’s “representing the younger people” and “a good voice for them”

Obviously, his candidacy has complications, like high school and no driver’s license. “He’s dependent on other people for rides to statewide events he speaks at,” Casey tells CNN. Thanks to the idiocy of Vermont’s not having any age requirements, the state could be saddled with a prepubescent politician.

Even Casey had his doubts at first of Sonneborn, thinking this was a part from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” but he claims, “that’s not the case.” More than likely it’s simply because he has the same maturity level as the child governor.

Children feeling strongly about issues and encouraging them to express themselves is good, it makes them confident in expressing themselves as an adult, but they also need to get used to backing up arguments with facts. Otherwise we end up not going forward and going by his statements on CNN he is well on his way to turning into a typical Democrat. All emotion, no logic.

Learning hard work and the beginning stages of a career will help a child transition into adulthood, that is true. And child labor laws make it more difficult for families to make ends meet, at the same time protecting union members jobs. But no child should have such a job that puts them in a position of power, we already have enough adults acting like children in Washington D.C.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has a new upcoming release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

IS BURGER KING THE king of burgers? Hard to say since the Burger industry has so many choices. And the king has decided to go social activists rather than focus on their product.

Starting with a misleading video on Net Neutrality, the chain now introduced an anti-bullying PSA.

Now what’s wrong with that? You might be asking. It could be nothing, but it gives the impression that they care more about social justice than their customers.

Take the new ad, they have teen actors pretend to bully another teen and send their customers “bullied” burgers, and record the reactions. Will the customers be more upset about the burgers or the bullied? If it were me, I’d be furious that they care more about catering to activists than to paying customers.

I don’t go to Burger King often, so losing my business would be imperceptible to their bottom line but that they value their customers, so little is troubling. Especially when the market has so many options and burgers, are not their only competition. Fast food and restaurants are a demonstration of the success possible in the free market.

If examined, there are probably already signs of distress within the company because this. Keep in mind this merely speculation on my part.

Besides the willingness to dismiss their customers, the causes they are advancing, and the marketing campaigns are baffling. So far, Net Neutrality and bullying are their causes. And both campaigns have issues; the Net Neutrality one is blatantly wrong in their analogy and the bullying one is inviting a lawsuit.

Either they don’t understand Net Neutrality, or they are on the wrong side. To do their concept accurately it would have to be, the customers getting more than the asked for. Net Neutrality using their burger analogy would be the customer orders a a burger and they are served the burger and a chicken sandwich, fries, a chocolate shake, a dessert and everything else off the menu. Or they never get the burger at all and only get everything else that you don’t want.

As for the other ad, I’m confused exactly what they were expecting the customers in their establishment to do. Verbally confront the “bullies?” But what if the patrons turned violent on the actors? That’s not even all that unlikely given how passionately people have gotten on the issue. Or worse what if one of the patrons were armed? Is the little impromptu theater worth the life of one of these actors? It’s not the patrons’ responsibility to make and keep a safe environment, it’s the business owners.

However you look at it, this idea by Burger King management is asking for trouble, starting with that it appears both ads are online only. The chain could have put these ads online and on TV, a plan that would make more sense. Maybe it’s just my skeptical nature, but when things don’t add up, it generally is because of the worst case scenario. In this case, I suspect they are trying to reach a specific demographic, the youth. Those passionate youth, that will cause “the next social revolution” and won’t question these causes. Can we just get the fries and hold the social justice, please?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.