Who Has Sold You

louis cypher the grand salesman
Screenshot of Louis Cypher. The man who could sell you a soul at a really great price. The American soul.
Schadenfreude is not my thing. Nor do I wish any one ill-will. Live and let others live better–that’s my motto. But there are times, moments, where I giggle and smirk at the goings and cummings of my beloved #americant and of those still trapped in all (her) confused greed-dollar-tendrils. On the other hand, of course, I don’t laugh out loud at what happens within those tendrils. That would be rude. Or would it? Actually, when I rehash it all in my head, I guess it wouldn’t be rude. I mean, all things considered, what is “rude” these days? A bubble world in which the participant’s lives are determined by the behavior of all participants–hence compulsive behaviorism, corporatism, cronyism, etc. It means that eventually there will/can be no difference between rude and not rude. Which brings me once again to The Donald. I can’t remember that last time I travelled to my beloved #americant and found so much excitement when turning on the boob-tube. I am, you know, a cord-cutter. But when I’m in America I can’t help but turn on the boob-tube. Obviously I’m not alone. The boob-tube runs twenty-four-seven here. Or? §Usually when I’m in the united mistakes I check the news, maybe see if tits are showing somewhere on HBO, or, at the least, bear witness to the cummings and doings of faux newz so that I may continuing standing on my limited raised pillar that keeps me a head above the rest. The good thing is, the rudeness can’t stop with The Donald or his adherents. Which means there will be entertainment forevermore. The bad thing is, as The Donald overwhelms the airwaves (and the fragile minds of the dumb-downed via ever higher levels of rudeness), there are so many other examples of why/how things are so so so bad. Or are they not so bad? Does rude equal bad? Obviously not. So. Are things good? Has my beloved #americant caught the curve, beat the bear around the last turn, sucked it up? I certainly don’t know. I’m only here for a few painstaking days then its up up and away eh in my beautiful balloon. I have to return my expat comfort where I have never seen a doctor bill, a dental bill, a psyche bill. Of all my gold fillings, none of them are ear-marked by a creditor or bank controlled location beacon. I most certainly don’t have to worry about the same beacon being put in the car that you will never own–volunteering as an indentured servant. But I’m off subject–as usual. This post is supposed to be about the articles below. About the people in the articles below. Who are these people? What are these people? Where do they come from? Where are they going? The simple answer is thus: America. The complex answer is thus: Money is God. Or maybe not. Need I mention the simple fact that the united mistakes of #americant is not only the sole perpetrator of giving the world a middle class but now it’s also the one to take that middle class away. Indeed. And don’t get me wrong. I could give a rats ass about the middle class. Seriuosly. Fuck it and fuck all those who adhere to it. I mean, hell, the middle class is where I was reared. I have seen all it has to offer. I have seen it naked and puking and defacating upon its mothers and its children–having convinced its prey that what it’s doing is Disney World. The middle class is the ugly picture of white men of Euro-heritage. They are perverts and simpletones who have found a way to rule the world. All because they prey on the fear of those who might wake to the true reality of their Disney World. Which means, in my worst-mind, in my worst-fantasy, the American middle-class should be left somewhere on the side of the road so that it may wither away or become the homeless it deserves to be and then, like us all, finally, finally, fucking die. Or maybe not. I mean. Why bitch & moan & rant. Why should any white man die? Someone has to survive. Survive this experiment in greed and idiocracy. Survive so that a child can sit on a perverts lap and wish for everything in the world as the tree gleams of snow white and her seven owned dwarfs. Which brings me once again to The Donald. The ultimate white man. The ultimate Santa. Yet even I, dear worst-reader, underestimated the size of the lust from which The Donald has emerged. Lust, you say, dear worst-writer? Yes, lust, dear worst-reader. For what is lust? Well, lust is what we all try desperately to fulfill as though it was the empty bucket that is our minds and our souls. The #americant dream, baby. Or. If you prefer, dear worst-reader, check out the articles below. Check out the personalities featured in them. Here we have the top of crop. The entrepreneurs. The college educated. College drop-outs. Those who are driven. Yes. Those who are driven. Look at what they do. Look at what they sell. Look closely. Look at who taught them. OYG! Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivate this post:

In Praise Of Dr. Capital And His Ism

Special leg room economy class
Got kinda lucky the other day. Extra leg room in economy class. Along side some good conversation.

Disclaimer: Names and some of the issues discussed but not places referred to have been changed in this blogpost to protect the innocent. §I told him right before we exited the plane at the terminal in PHL that I found our open and at times heavy inflight conversation fascinating. And then I thanked him with as much sincerity as I could muster and I put my hand out. Indeed. I was a bit flushed, a bit embarrassed, it was a long flight. §But before that, a bit on the travel. Flying over the Atlantic I sat in row 18D, the aisle. My new soon to be friend sat next to me inside the row at seat 18F. We were on LH426, an Airbus A340, departure Frankfurt, Germany. My new friend was connecting from Beirut. He was on his way back to school, and not just any school. He attended The University of Pennsylvania and during our conversation took the time to school me on Ivy League. But, wait, I wanted to worst-write about the plane. §We were on a discontinued Airbus—not unlike how a company may discontinue making a vacuum cleaner or a toaster. It seems that the airline manufacturing industry is getting away from four engine planes. Yet Airbus seems to have put a lot of their hopes in the A380, the successor of our A340. I had the pleasure of flying an A380 a few years back while traveling from Bangkok to Dubai. “Big” doesn’t begin to explain the size of this aircraft. But, as some people tend to note, size doesn’t matter. I’m not one of those people. I prefer the size of the greatest plane ever made: the 747. The problem is, last I read, Boeing hasn’t sold a 747 in two years. Everybody who is still fyling four engines buy the A380. But that’s another post. Oddly, or not, our A340 had a strange seating configuration. First, the cabin had no seats labelled E. Is that the same as skyscrapers not having floors labelled 13? Is the letter E a skeptical, mystical, ghostly letter? Second. The reason for the odd seating configuration–beyond the letter E–was due to the seats directly in front of me. Unfortunately I didn’t capture it in the pic above. But because the seats are from Lufthansa’s new premium economy class, which look like a cheap subset of business class seats. There are only three seats in the middle row and compared to sheople economy they are roomy as hell. Row 18 is where regular economy begins. Hence the pic shows the extra leg space I lucked out in getting. Oh. How ’bout those shoe laces! Ok. Enough about the plane. §On this 8 hour transatlantic flight I sat next to an ivy league grad student who just finished a semester in the middle east learning Arabic. If I had to place this kid somewhere to be able to size him up, I’d place him right in the middle of Occupy Wall Street–even though his elite demeanor could have placed him somewhere else. He wore his beard well, he exuded privilege, and he clearly had a big heart. And since I was sitting next to a millennial, I couldn’t help but be curious, the more and more we talked, about how his generation is destined to be the first generation that will end up in the historic dustbin named: wrong place, wrong time. Whatever. §After we reached cruising altitude and got our first round of cocktails, our transatlantic conversation started when I asked about the type of iPhone he was using. I was planning on getting a new iPhone once I landed where I would cross the border from PA to DE. DE has no retail tax, which means when purchasing the phone without contract you can save fifty friggin’ bucks. That started us talking about technology, Apple Computer and the legacy of Steve Jobs. It turns out we are both fanboys. He was impressed when I told him that my Apple experience goes back to owning two Newton devices. Eventually, though, it was inevitable that he notice how I used certain terminology combined with a cynical bent in most of what I had to say when it came to any discussion that required either depth or emotion. For example, he took notice of me using the term The Homeland whenever talking about the US. He also noticed how I always praise corporations for turning automatons into the consume-to-survive slaves occupy wall streeters didn’t know they were protesting against. And then there was the issue of the patriot act and the subsequent government expansion under the Dubya administration that rivalled the government expansion of FDR. Alone this act is a major determining factor for the welfare of millennials–and I don’t think, after this conversation, they are aware of that. Which means, it never crossed my new friend’s mind to refer to his world as Disney World, i.e., the united mistakes of America, or… The Homeland. Obviously, dear worst-reader, talking about Apple always leads to talk about politics, policy and #americant. With it all the company would never be the greed monger monster its become. Which brings me to another worst-writer term that caused him to blink more than thrice. §My young friend was sharp. I wish I was as experienced in and of the world at twenty-three. In order to cool down a potentially heated debate—during sleep-time of the flight—he wanted to know why I referred to it as The Homeland. I responded thus: “I also call it #americant.” (Pronounced: hashtag-american’t.) But he wanted to focus on The Homeland. This gave me the opportunity to switch from the frivolity of Steve Jobs—and his drug-ridden tech delusions and obsessions—to a subject that was closer to my heart: talking about the downfall of… we’re #1. Or, at least, the downfall of the pseudo middle class that is as much at fault as the upper class for all the demise. But the young collegiate whipper-snapper was not very enthusiastic about the subject matter. I can only assume that was due to his youthful optimism–which is a much his bent as mine is cynicism. This brought us to the issue of education and not because he was right in the middle of it. “Education serves no purpose, it is pretty much useless these days,” I said. “Look at The Homeland and how it’s run,” I continued, closing off his attempt at rebuttal. “All the managers, executives, pawns, automatons, etc., they are all higher educated. From the president, to cabinet members, to CEOs, the middle class, all educated to the hilt. Yet the only thing they have learned is how to cheat, lie, steal and cheat again. Where does that come from?” My young friend would not be disillusioned. He believed whole heartily in the American way of life albeit without considering how it got that way. For him–and I can only assume this was due to his proximity to one of #americants most notorious neo-liberal business schools–American capitalism was in turmoil but there was a way out (of that turmoil). And then I added, “You know, dear grasshopper, Das Volk can’t differentiate between politics and economics. That’s a real problem. It’s one of the reasons I call it #americant. Seriously. It cant differentiate. Cant. Cant. It’s not Ameri… can.” (Short pause.) “So it doesn’t matter,” I said. “Capitalism isn’t only in turmoil it is the essence of being American–and it doesn’t even exist. There is a difference between capitalism being an economic system and democracy being a political one.” (Shorter pause.) “Btw, get this, it’s almost 2016 and where I’m about to go after we land there are still front yards with “Bush/Cheney” signs on them, not to mention all the polished bumper-stickers bearing the same nonsense.” My little friend got a word in. He said that he was aware of the twisted politics in America. But then he added that regulation could somehow prevent a lot of the turmoil. Regulation? Yeah, he said regulation. A young man from an ivy league school used, with utmost sincerity, the word regulation in the context of a discussion about how to change the world. The only response I could come up with was to s
mirk and show-off more cynicism. Indeed. My cynicism vs youthful twisted optimism–regarding capitalism. And so, for a few hours of the flight we went down that road–we talked about capitalism, Marx and how it all can be fixed–with regulation. And I couldn’t help but notice that there was this growing monster in the form of a pseudo neo liberal from the Wharton School of Business. To say the least, worstwriter was freaking out about the youth that will assume the roll of rulers of a world I wasn’t about to consider leaving. (Unless, of course, a terrorist act takes us down. But I digress.) Somehow I couldn’t help but connect our talk about capitalism with education. “Look what these places of higher education have given us,” I said in a demanding way. He responded with the names of Wharton alumni. Which brought me ’round to The Donald who was business schooled there. Indeed, this young whipper snapper might be a study in the confusion of neo-liberalism and drunken optimism–devoid of reality. §With that I’ll end this worst-post. Except for one last thought. When we landed and were about to depart the aircraft we said our goodbyes. I introduced myself as worstwriter and he smirked unsurprisingly. Then he introduced himself as Dr. Robert Ism Capital. And with that, I entered Pennsylvania and it was good to be home.

Rant on.

-Tommi

US White Males And A Flat Earth Worth Jumping Off

US white males dying large
Red line USW=US white males age 45-54. Source below.

Got caught in a rut the other night while trying to find my new girlfriend who is named Sleep. A heroic bitch she is and I don’t know if my love for her is worth the effort. For as we all know love is an effort. For example, how many kisses have you wasted on Sleep this day? That’s why, historically speaking, marriage is the way out. Or is it jumping off the edge? Yeah, jumping off the edge sounds better. At the least, since we live in a flat world, wouldn’t that be a better way out than trying to circumnavigate a round world where we invent marriage and toasters? But I digress. §As the rut deepened in my search for Fräulein Sleep the following thought crossed my mind: if the world was flat then I could jump off the edge and race my burdens to the bottom. Then again, when I hit that bottom will I have to (eventually) jump off another edge? There are surely Fraüleins on any new shelf we jumped to. Either that or I should focus on a way to get to Fr. Sleep through other means. But enough about me and my frivolous joys and tantrums. §Check out the article below. Of all the negativity that I live for, for all the pessimism that gives me joy, finding an article about a subject matter like this should rock my world. Rock me right into Fr. Sleep. But it doesn’t. And the reason it doesn’t has nothing to do with the fact that I’m only partly in the demographic that the article deals with. Indeed. So let’s go there. §There is an alarming increase in death rates of US white males between the age of 45 and 54. These days rates are attributable to substance abuse and suicide. Gee. When I read such stuff I giggle and smirk. The giggle is because I have an advantage above and beyond this demographic. For you see, dear worst-reader, at 52–about to turn 53–there is an obvious advantage to being only half white. I smirk at this article because, well, I saw it all coming thirty friggin’ years ago! No. Seriously. When I left the (your) Homeland so many years ago (before it was called Homeland; when it was still mostly a country), my departing words, shed with a few tears, were: I will miss you very much but I won’t miss the madness and the madhouse. Now look at you. Indeed. I left the madness and its house and I have been staring back at what I’ve done ever since. But it was the only way out–the only way to rid myself the flat world that raised me. So I went to its edge and I jumped. And guess where I landed. I landed on another flat plain where the edge doesn’t call for me as abruptly and the wine is better, the beer is better, the food is better–but the grass ain’t greener. Seriously. Am I the only one to have seen this coming? To have seen the madness of the madhouse take over the show with the sole purpose of widening the horizons of being mad. Death of my peers, my compatriots, my fellow Federalists, comrades. By the millions you die because you can’t see through the prick of your heroin needles, the gulp of another bottle of rye or the leap from the tall building you mistake as an edge. No one saw this coming. Except me. Death in a world made of nothingness has to be the consequence of nothingness and life run amok. Or? I suppose if one propels death to higher levels, i.e. putting a price on life (living standard) and make one live be the objects that kill (the war machine + economic conscription = the only way out of poverty) this is what must come. Especially now, or at least since 2007 AD (the great recession), since there is even less than nothingness to fall back on. And with that nonsense in mind, good luck suckers. Rant on. -tommi

Links that motivated this post:

 

Just Say No And Then Rename It To Make Billions

just say no
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Say_No

Anyone remember it? Nancy Reagan perched on her pedestal, a pedestal desired by so many (mothers) of ill-nations, telling her underlings: just say no. When thinking back to those days I can’t help but wonder what was going on in the backrooms of pharmaceutical companies. I mean, they must have been laughing at Nancy Reagan and her illustrious, Hollywood attempt at intellectualising such an issue (sarcasm off). But they could only laugh so much. The patriarchs of pharmaceutical companies were alive and well during the counter-culture era that gave way to America’s need for alternative states of mind–which was peaking by the nineteen-eighties and the sudden, jolting effects of Reaganomics on the American psyche. Pharma bosses knew there was money to be made on things dealt illicitly, if only they could harness it. But how do they harness it? There were too many regulations, rules and south American dealers beating them to the streets. Well, for one, they could join ranks with the politicians. You know, “take two of these, relax, and forget about the fascist take-over of your country”. Pharma bosses provide charismatic characters who have a knack for making voters vote against their best interests with fun money so they can stay elected and in return laws and regulations will be changed so that, instead of letting all the street dealers make the dow, investors and share holders can make it. Neo-cons delivered. Alternate states of mind were now available to the masses–as long as you saw your doctor about it. A prescription here, and RX there, doctors were even getting kick-backs for the business. By the early 1990s there was no need to go to shady places and meet even shadier people to get your kicks. Dr. Givememore was available twenty-four-seven. No more blow or hack or mary-jane in the bathroom stalls of clubs. Now it’s Oxycontin, Vicodin, Ritalin, etc. And Just Say No has become just say yes to big pharma profits–all backed by a fake war on drugs that really is about pushing out all those old dealers. Of course, as is the case with this turbulent viral system of top-down rulership and bottom-up followers, sometimes the highs don’t meet the lows. No worry. The brains at big pharma have an answer for everything. Oxycontin (an opiate btw) has magically been approved for use on children as young as eleven. Yeah, baby. Get to them kids early enough and they’ll love you for life, right Ronald McDonald? The #Americant way, baby. Rant on. -t

Link that motivated this post: FDA Approves OxyContin For 11 Year Olds | NBC (Pseudo) Newz

Three Highlights And A Note

kindle notes may 2015

There was a time when I was angry with Amazon/Kindle for disallowing the random copying/pasting of highlights from its ebooks. I also don’t use the connection to Twitter or FB which is/was the alternative Amazon offered its customers when/as they/we expressed what they/we were willing to pay for. At the time, I think I had a second or third generation Kindle device and it felt like it could be a great tool to add to the toolbox of my information , i.e. get-informed domain. But I think differently now–thanks to the greed mongering of Bezos & Co. The really knarly (sp?) thing about this/our digital world is watching them try to stop us from coming up with new ways to get around their unwarranted authority. Below a screen shot from the notes and highlights I was reading this morning as my dream was interupted by storm and power outage at ca. 4:30am. From the book Capitalist Realism, by Mark Fisher. Here my worst-write-up on it. Rant on, baby.

Update: Oh no! It looks like they win again. Using iPad 4 and WordPress App, I’m unable to upload the original-size image for worst-reader viewing displeasure. Will update later.

Update 2: fixed it.

Capitalism vs Politics

capitalist realism coverWarning: this post is kinda NSFW on account I lose my shit at the end. Or maybe not. Oh well. ¶One of the things I tried to say in my play The Good Criminal is that business ain’t as evil as it obviously appears to be. That was back in 2001 and while producing that play I was also in the process of early-retiring from working-for-the-man (and not because I was having any success as a playwright). That is. I was on the verge of entering the drop-out and tune-in portion of (my) life and thereby planning my entrance to the sunny realm of perpetual exit-ship. Now that I’ve just entered my fifties I can look back (and forward) and say that it has all worked out pretty good so far–these precarious choices I’ve made. Yet. One thing has always lingered with me for the past two decades. First. I don’t care about the fact I made no money. Second. There is great satisfaction in having succeeded in a/my quest for (true and real) independence from monetary coercion. But the most important thing that has lingered with me all these years is the simple fact… I was right. That is. Not only did I make the right choices in life but the idears and thoughts behind those choices were right, too. I had spent the majority of my adult working life doing what society dictated and at the same time couldn’t help but think it was all for naught. Seriously. Every-time I stepped into an office building, slept in a hotel or travelled to some Euro-city, I knew that it was all a joke that was being played on me. By the time I reached my late thirties and had entered into what could have been a long (boring) career in corporate servitude a little but sharp voice spoke to me and said: self, you’d better get out of this krapp before it’s too late because no matter what you do you will never be able to catch up to the expectations of the system. And so. With the turn of the millennium I bagged it all (before it was too late). Hats off to me. ¶Here’s a question for you, dear worst-reader: What do you think, should I feel bad for all those who were unable to see the light like me? Should I feel bad for the conformists out there and the misery they now live in? Imagine this: Practically every person born in the western world after 1960 and driven by the expectations given us by dumbfounded and bumbling moronic parents (baby boomers) have lived their lives for naught. You will never have as much as your parents–even though you believed you would. You will have worked your life to an unknown-retirement–and yet your parents got their known-retirement. You have pushed pencils here, drawers there, tools this way, service that way–and it all has resulted into nothing more than a large glob of protoplasm subsumed by compulsive behaviourism and, perhaps, a smile of shiny teeth. You have achieved absolutely so much of nothing–except for popping out more ignorant babies so you can do to them what your parents did to you. And so. Full stop? Continue? Pause. ¶Obviously non-conformist thinking and drop-out self preservation is rare these days. But at least someone is here to cultivate such misnomer. And now that we are all forced to live in the awakening of the 2008 great recession which has standardised fail-upward-ness, what’s next? For some the answer to all ills lies in the analysis of said conformity. To others there’s the rowing they’ve been doing up-river all along. And then there’s the idear that people should start (at least) trying to think for themselves. Or? Hence conservative realism and/or the reality of the west’s elites and their ability to manipulate the farce of democracy and having convinced so many that they ever had a chance (to make it in life). As usual. Here we have the single greatest problem that will never be over-come in the quest to avoid the misery of this consume-to-survive non-sense we love by choice. Yes. Indeed. ¶This misery is a misery of choice. Conformists love this shit. Everyone has picked it–obviously because the alternative has been so brilliantly–via propaganda that makes Joseph Goebbels roll around happily in his grave–demonised. Yeah, baby. That’s the real ticket. Conformity mixed with the right flux of propaganda. And out of the mix we get neo-conservative, neo-liberal #americant where, imagine, a horde of humans all on the same mental plane act and conform to what is obviously against their best interests. With such a realisation the pied-piper enters the fray and he yells like the town-fool he is: up and be merry you ignorant fools for if all else fails have no fear for the white devils will provide you with credit, credit beyond belief, and then you can buy buy buy as the little birdie sings and when someone asks don’t worry for there is no need for you to think for your self; we have taken care of everything for you. ¶Yes. Indeed. Move on conformists. Allow the propaganda to work (so well). For it would be a sight to see if you decide to start thinking for yourself. It would make good reality-TV, too. But since it ain’t that way and never will be that way (i.e. thinking for yourself), where should all the worst-readers turn to fight off the(ir) conformity? Well. If you’ve come here for answers then all I can say toot-suite is: go fuck yourself. It’s your boat, cruise in it. It’s your bed, sleep in it. It’s your hair colour, die in it. I could give a rat’s ass for all the conformists schmucks out there that are part of this perpetuating fail-upwards system. For it’s not an issue of if this system works or if another system works better. What’s been going on goes on because no one has the balls to do otherwise. Except for Volk like Moi. You know, the Volk that saw this coming years and years ago and then took action. Which not only makes me better but above the whole shebang. That said, I’m not a sadist. If I had to give any advice it would be this: lower your expectations and then try to find a way out of the lines you have been compelled to wait in. (Because the waiting is over–just like the game.) Or. You can take my worst-word for it and read the book this post was supposed to be about. But be warned. This book might make you think enough to actually get off your ass and do something… about all the nothingness you have lived for so far. Or maybe not. Oh. And I suppose I should say a thing or three about the book. Ok. Don’t mind if I do. ¶Capitalist Realism reads like a rushed group of essays a professor of Marxist-Economics had to put together when he realised he was going to miss a deadline for his second PhD submittal. It is full of nuggets and tidbits–and some bad editing–regarding the imminent demise of the world as we know it. But it also cuts a new asshole in the body of capitalism which, these days, seems to be a sport for aspiring intellectuals (yours truly excluded, of course.) No. Seriously. It really does cut capitalism a new asshole. Full stop. Pause. ¶After the premier of my play The Good Criminal I was interviewed by a local newspaper reporter. My play was an attempt to portray the ills of capitalism in the context of the Dotcom Boom at the end of 2000. One of the things I told the reporter was that the reason I wrote the play was to try and understand why most Europeans, especially Germans, are clueless to the fact that capitalism doesn’t really exist. For one, the Dotcom boom was solely an American phenomenon drive
n by innovation and what looked like at the time a free-market. The problem in Europe is that it uses capitalism as part of a greater political scheme that ultimately shields the system from innovation and, of course, a free-market. That is, Europe believes that capitalism is sustenance for socialism. In that context how could any European understand the Boom? In the US, on the other hand, capitalism serves something other than the banality of politics. And so. IMHO and to come back to my play and how it relates (or not) to this book, America enabled the Dotcom Boom but then killed it off because it saw the danger/threat (to elite power) that a free-market could wield. It was the first time in my life that capitalism showed how it could actually be useful and, dare I say, serve a higher, more humane purpose–as opposed to how capitalism is actually controlled in order to serve the interests of the few. Ironically the killing off of the free-market that was the Dotcom Boom took until 2008 to show it’s true face. But I digress. ¶Let me close with this: To worst-writer capitalism is about economics and not politics. Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism addresses the ills of capitalism in the context of political and social failure. His ideas of how capitalism negatively effects society, although probably very true, is irrelevant because there is supposed to be a different and completely independent system of governance and law that takes care of things. To say the least, I felt and still feel vindicated for my efforts in The Good Criminal, especially in the aftermath of the crash of 2008 which should be proof enough that capitalism doesn’t really exist–which also means that I don’t dig all this demonising of capitalism. But, again, I digress. Rant on. -Tommi

The Few Who Would Not Play The Game

“Then these are the basic rules of a government in a free society: to provide a means whereby we can modify the rules, mediate differences among us on the meaning of the rules, and to enforce compliance with the rules on the part of those few who would otherwise not play the game.” -Milton Friedman, Government As Rule Maker and Umpire, Capitalism and Freedom Fortieth Anniversary Edition