Monday, 28 May 2012

The FCT & The Magnificent Wrongness of Ross

There are few figures in public life in Ireland who have been as wrong or whose wrongness have done as much harm as Deputy Shane Ross.

As the leading cheerleader of Anglo Irish Bank & its disastrous business model Ross piled pressure on the other Irish banks to imitate Sean Fitzpatrick's insane asset inflation banking. Waving Anglo poms-poms in the Sunday Independent & on his own website, Ross demanded that Sean Fitzpatrick, the banker that broke Ireland, be put on the Board of other large banks. In the perfect proof that democracy allows us to make our own mistakes, Ross was elected to Dáil Eireann on the day that other less culpable figures were swept away by the tide of public revulsion. That Deputy Ross achieved election by ten months preaching loudly against those whose praises he sang for ten years seems to have caused this reed in the wind no shame.

Other men, having been so wrong & done so much harm to their country, would have retired from public commentary to the modern equivalent of a monastery, a quiet village in rural County Offaly. Instead, braying his orotund vowels, Deputy Ross has returned to the fray, neither chastened by public outrage nor having learned an iota from his mistakes. His monumental self regard protects him from the slightest trace of embarrassment.

Deputy Ross has now seized on a fiction of his own creation &, like his earlier pom-pom waving for Seany Fitz, intends to convince as many as possible to be wrong with him.

Taking the electioneering of Françoise Hollande seriously & using some of the topsy-turvy arguments of his Technical Group colleagues, Richard Boyd-Barrret & Joe Higgins, Deputy Ross has concluded that the the Fiscal Compact Treaty on which we are voting (and which you can read Here) merely represents one half of a treaty. The other half, according to Deputy Ross, is some putative Growth Pact.

To argue that that the FCT can be changed in any way AFTER we vote to ratify it (should we do so) is to ignore the position the treaty would have in the Irish Constitution, European Law & also the realities of politics in Europe.

Once we ratify the a treaty then that is the treaty we ratify. We have referenda on treaties because the Government may not share power or sovereignty without consulting us: that process would be worse than nonsensical if we were to be consulted on A which could subsequently be changed to B. Change means re-ratification of a new treaty, a complete re-negotiation.

The reality of European politics means that, leaving aside the legal impossibility of re-writing a ratified treaty, that the FCT is a closed book. Nothing will persuade European Governments,especially Germany, that this is a process to be abandoned for a complete restart.

Nothing that the FCT can do could be a worse the blow to confidence in this country & its debt that rejection would achieve. Far too many who now argue against ratification, from the libertarians to the Marxists, are on a house burning mission with the hope of building their utopia in the ashes. To many are not so much opposed to the treaty as the current order & their arguments are meant to believed by others, not themselves.

Given his track record of  failure on the one area he in which he professes competence Deputy Ross may believe the untruth he is peddling  & he is at least altruistic in his desire, as always, to share his muddle headed ideas as widely as possible. That is the best I can say of him, a fool's pardon instead of a knave's crown.

Friday, 4 May 2012

A Cardinal Disgrace, Brady MUST Go

"There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity...You can smell it. It smells like death." 
Tennessee Williams

The stink of mendacity has hung around the Irish Catholic Church for far too long. Two generations of gilded clowns have by their vicious refusal to consider child rape a crime condemned thousands of children to abuse, disgraced the church & thrown any moral authority the church had to the wind. 

Cardinal Sean Brady has worked all his life for the preferment he now endures rather than enjoys. He is a Cardinal but merely a cardinal example of moral blindness, cardinal disgrace, cardinal example of a man damaging the office he holds by holding it. Brady makes a mockery of the title he has worked all his life to achieve.

The facts are simple. Sean Brady KNEW Brendan Smyth was a child rapist. Instead of exposing him, of even insisting his Bishop take action Brady used the enormous might and weight of the Church to force two victims to swear secrecy about their own rape. Not once did it occur to this well schooled Canon Lawyer that his knowledge of the foulest of crimes was reason to go to the Gardai. That might stand in the way of his advancement, could even mean a a relegation to a poor & backward parish. 

In other jurisdictions this  itself would be a crime, witness tampering. Morally nothing can justify this action, not the time, not the prevailing custom, not the canon Law in which he is so expert. Brady swore those children to secrecy for the sake of his own career. The children endured a burden of imposed, cruel silence to go with their horrendous abuse & because of the cover up  the monstrous Smyth was free to rape again and again and again. That Brady did that, allowed that evil for his own miserable ambition, is beyond shameful.

Now we know that another victim of Smyth, in an act of far sighted courage & humanity, gave the then Fr Sean Brady the names of children he knew to be at risk from the monster. Brady claims he gave the information to his Bishop & the fault of inaction lies with him.

Only a moral pygmy could claim that merely passing on the information to the Bishop sufficed as action. Brady had a clear duty to make sure the information so painfully & courageously entrusted to him was used to protect the children. No career, no reputation, no moral equivalence can be weighed against the suffering of children.

Cardinal Sean Brady is a coward, a man who balanced the rape of children against his own ambitions, a disgrace to the Church & to every Catholic. If he does not resign he must be forced out, not by politicians who have no moral standing on the issue of child protection, but by ordinary Catholics.

The politicians who are now bleating for Cardinal Brady's resignation should be reminded that their record on child protection is every bit as bad as the Cardinal's. Where are the two hundred or more unaccompanied minor asylum seekers who have disappeared? What of the children in State( and I use the word in the absence of any term that conveys the neglect & disregard with which these unfortunate children are treated) care?  

Cardinal Sean Brady must be reminded by ordinary Catholics that vox populi, vox dei. If that means shying rocks at his red hat then we must shy those rocks. Brady oportet!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Abortion Icons, Tweet Crime & Herding

Last night I committed tweet crime, became briefly a bête noir for a small chattering class & went to bed happy.

There are few reasons to watch anything on RTE, the home grown output is invariable appalling, the journalism unreliable & the imported dramas widely available elsewhere. There is even less reason to watch RTE's Late Late Show where the near talent-free Ryan Tubridy seems engaged in an a futile exercise to re-capture the show's glory days under the young Gay Byrne.

This is not 1970 & Tubridy is is trapped both by his inability to see beyond the groupthink of Socially Acceptable Ideas & the fact that other media have the issues well aired long before he gets to them. In Tubridy's case it appears that very airing is necessary for him to soak up what he should talk about from the Irish Times & a small group of its Dublin readers. He is a poor purveyor of second hand liberal consensus.

Last night the show featured an extended interview with three women who during the week had been touted on the front page by the Irish Times for talking about their abortions. It is important to note that lots of women in Ireland have talked about their abortions in the last year but did not make the front page of the Irish Times because they were not talking the way the Irish Times editors wanted them to talk about abortion. Those women & their stories can be found here

The women the paper (& Tubridy by that second hand osmotic process that makes him such a whimpering bore) featured believed their abortions were a positive move & that Irish State was much remiss in not providing for abortion here. The reasons for the abortions were that in all three cases the women had been given the horrible news after a scan that the babies they carried suffered terrible deformities.

In all cases this meant the child, even if carried to term would die soon after birth.

There was an absolute acceptance of the false claim that such deaths would be agonising for the child: it was a if modern medicine was devoid of effective analgesia. Not once, given the women's stated desire to avoid a painful death for their children was there reference to the real horror of death by burning saline or by surgical dismemberment. Abortion was presumed to be be painless but natural death in a modern hospital surrounded by caring professionals with the best modern medicine could offer, presumed to be an agony.

One of the women, who wept during the interview had her labour induced at thirty weeks. No question was asked as to the alternative to what must have been a nasty ordeal.

The near meaningless phrase "incompatable with life" was used over and over again as a mantra of justification. That any human will die is a poor excuse to hasten their end let alone inflict on them the death babies suffer under saline or D & C.

Tubridy had no intention of  questioning the women on the issues, their word was taken as truth even when,as in the case of the allegations that babies would be left to die in agony, they were patently peddling porkies. There were other areas where the truth was at least bent to fit the narrative of children living lives not fit to be lived. The accuracy of the claim that child suffering from trisomy 13 could only live five minutes, a dubious statement however short the brief lives of children born with that condition that kills 80% in the first year (Trisomy 13 information)  or that more fundamentally that brevity of life was a argument for abortion, was ignored entirely. This was, behind all the emotion, a piece of unashamedly campaigning television. Tubridy no more wanted to come to the truth than he wanted some woman in the audience to interrupt the propaganda with a story of regretting her abortion.

Only a stone hearted sociopath would be unable to sympathise with with a couple told that their child is too deformed to live, that the end result of the pregnancy will be a tiny child whose very minutes are numbered. If told that this information means the couple have decided to have the child killed (the real meaning of pregnancy termination) no matter what our beliefs we could still sympathise for their pain loss & suffering & the extremity that drove them to such action. When the experience is used to to justify baby killing on a wider scale & the story is accompanied by lies about babies dying in agony after birth that sympathy is much harder to maintain & we need to put our sympathy where it really belongs, with those who are & will be killed. 

There was no medical reason for the women interviewed to have abortions: there are never medical reasons for abortion. The children they clearly loved did not need or benefit from the killings & would have had better, kinder deaths born in an Irish Hospital. Elevating the women involved to the status of secular saints, pretending that they have been wronged by a state that will not legalise abortion is an effort to make abortion as Socially Acceptable Idea. Having lost every argument, with the tide of public opinion  turning in strongholds like Britain, abortion advocates have hit on the tactic of not arguing but creating icons.

Little psychological insight is needed to see why why the women involved in last nights interview seek to justify their decision & to normalise abortion by seeking to change the law. By doing so they have entered the political arena & no tears or sentimentality can or should protect them from questioning. They are not icons but campaigners.

In the promotion of Socially Acceptable Ideas the social media are essential. There is a tendency to regard Twitter as the real world or even a subset of real opinion when it is neither of those It is, on many issues, merely a reinforcing tool of groupthink divided into armed, hostile camps. SAI proponents must police its tiny landmass in the hope of occupying the wider reality later.

Last night Twitter lit up with pro-choice advocates praising the women's courage, describing them as heroines & warning that the could not, must not be judged. There only proper response to such outrageous censorious propaganda is outrage: tweet crime. I tweeted that the women were murderesses, not heroines. It was neither polite nor  politic nor was it intended to be.

The policing action leaped in to action with commendable speed & thoroughness. Much of the tweets in reply were merely childish obscenities strung together, vulgar abuse, name calling,  & recommendations about my mothers pregnancy. None of it was original or interesting but I re-tweeted the more startlingly extreme pieces. Almost all of such abuse from the self styled policers of ideas follows a simple pattern of faux out rage masquerading as concern, the stock-in-trade of the left's politicians. The pattern of name calling, even the names called have an invariable sameness. Bigot is always a starter followed by the de rigeur charges of utter stupidity but as the faux outrage works it self-up streams of obscenity are used. This abuse is intended to distress, it is a slap on the face so that we remember not to cross the boundaries set by the Thought Police again. In my case it is wholly useless, even counter-productive as a policing action.

In Gene Wolfe's "Citadel of The Autarch" Severian of the Guild of Torturers is given a graphic account of the horrors in store for him by his enemy, Agia. His reaction to her threats is one of honest boredom, he had spent most of his life assisting at tortures much worse. He advises her to get professional torturing assistance. I went to St Kieran's College when it was less an educational establishment than a poorly run borstal. I've been bullied by professional bullies with an intensity & application that left me immune to such terror tactics. That personal immunity was hard won in the prefabs of 3A but few were privileged with that particular rite of passage.

The tactic of mass insult, may be seen as a kind of digital biological reaction with some tweeters, unable because of their position on a moral high ground to participate directly, re-tweeting the offending text to their followers to increase the the hive activity.The tide of abuse, triggered as if by pheromones, is magnificently effective as a censoring device since few can come unshaken from a page of insults designed to hurt.

In the past two days I have seen a a wonderful, deeply thoughtful, intellectual gay friend reduced to self doubt by a bout of such vile abuse that included the stupidity & Nazi charge from an academic economist (in this particular economists case it is academic whether he is an economist given the level of inaccuracy he has shown on the subject) for my friend's uttering of secular blasphemy by opposing Same Sex Marriage. On the same subject of SSM an intelligent, gentle Catholic blogger friend almost gave up using the 'net after threats of a disturbingly sexual nature involving cement left her paralysed by disgust & fear.

The social media are thus used to herd thought & its expression into forms acceptable to the hive. That is why very poor & even vicious ideas now go unchallenged. Without the rite of passage of St Kieran's 3A too many flinch, doubt themselves, or give up. Many more internalise the bullying & become effective self censorers.

We have a choice whether we are now tame lemmings being herded over a cliff by ignorant activists or a people concerned about our lives & our country. The cost of even making some arguments may be a bath in vileness we would rather not experience but the cost of losing the culture war is death.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

An open letter to Catherine Byrne TD

Dear Catherine,

At the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, when the motion on Same Sex Marriage was not debated as those of us who wished to speak against the motion were studiously excluded, you congratulated the young man who spoke for the motion on his courage. Leaving aside my disagreement with a debate that refuses an opposition or the manifest unfairness of a platform that congratulates one gay man on his courage while refusing another the right to speak, I resort to this vehicle of an open letter for a more immediate reason.

As an openly gay Fine Gael activist this congratulations gave me cause for concern, even for worry. What are the dangers, for surely there is no courage in safety, that exist for being openly gay in Fine Gael?

I have confidently been a branch & constituency officer, a campaign manager at all electoral levels (bar the Presidency) & a County Director of elections and have clearly been lulled into a false and perilous sense of my own security. My exposure to Fine Gael has been as widespread as it has been trusting. Now I am horrified at the risks I have run & haunted by the fear of peril.

I badly need to know where these dangers lie so that I may avoid them. Is it solely at Ard Fheiseanna that I risk death & disablement at the hands of a group of militant middle aged homophobes with membership cards? Are some constituencies worse or better than others? I appear to have been particularly blessed with Carlow Kilkenny but maybe Fine Gael gatherings of Dublin South Central teem with skin-headed yobs carrying baseball bats marked "This Bat Kills Queers"?

This worry for my personal safety will naturally impinge on my ability to organise & canvass for the party, after all one cannot give one's best if momentarily expecting to be battered by some recidivist County Councillor and his cronies in the name of God, Eoin O Duffy & the dead generations.

This worry goes beyond the personal selfishness of liking my features in their current un-baseball battted alignment. I am not alone in being openly gay in Fine Gael though for obvious safety reasons as you can well understand, I cannot name names in the climate of fear engendered by your congratulations.

I can only beg you to allay my worries, help all of us stay safe & out of the clutches the stoners & bashers by having the courage to publicly delineate the areas of danger. If this involves naming & shaming some violent homophobes remember that the party is better off without them.

Yours Most Sincerely,
Paddy Manning

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Which Arab Season?

When the founding fathers of America  brought forth a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal they changed the world forever. Many believed that such a country could not long endure, that such a nation was neither possible,plausible or permissible. How wrong they were.

"Conceived in liberty" that men might own themselves, be their own masters was a shattering blow whose effects are still rattling dictators & enslavers.

 "The proposition that all men are created equal" gave each a stake in a nation of free men, a radical idea that would make men and women from all over the world patriotic citizen's.

That noble experiment in liberty worked, worked beyond the dreams of those founding fathers. America became a magnet for millions & a beacon of hope in some of the darkest days of humanity. Freedom made America rich & and those countries who followed that template of economic freedom also found prosperity.

 When vile men slaughtered the innocent on 9/11 in the name of Islam America & American's showed the tolerance of liberty: how many countries would see their people react so well? We mourned in Ireland, 3/4 of the first responders that died were Irish or of Irish descent. What is less well known is that the attacks left 30 Muslim children orphaned. America's strength from her founding principles was her ability to bind people from all faiths & countries as one free people. Osama Bin laden could kill civilians & knock the towers but he could not change that & the Armageddon of Islam versus the West was a creature of his perverted mind.

This is not to say that America was perfect, slavery darkens the past but the nation paid in blood, nor that those freedoms that made America great & rich are not being now radically undermined, but it is worth reminding ourselves of why & how the United States inspires.

In kleptocracies in North Africa, countries where business cannot be done without bribing some government official, where the army picks off the best business opportunities & the presidential family amasses billions that radical message of liberty is inspiring again. 

It is not Islamacists nor some terrorist factions that are behind the Arab Spring. That season is the child of ordinary freedom loving men & women, men created equal with us in their desire to live free,decent lives. They are inspired, not by Che Guevara or Lenin but by Steve Jobs & Larry Page. This is a capitalist revolution, much more Tea Party than Occupy Wall St.  

They may yet be betrayed as the partially have been in Egypt with the army retaining control. They may yet fail, as in Syria where the price of their failure will be slaughter, barbaric torture & even worse repression. As I write 100,000 civilians in Homs are cold, hungry & being slaughtered by Russian artillery. Sadly Israel, the one country that could stop the slaughter of Homs cannot intervene.

Powerful elites & kleptocrats do not give up their privileges easily & even if the protesters do succeed with free elections, the best organised & funded political parties in all these countries will be the Muslim brotherhood or its equivalent. That is a call to all free nations' civil society, not an excuse to repress.

I have seen it argued that America should have helped crush the movement in Egypt, for Israel's sake. That would have been a terrible betrayal of the founders, of the very idea of nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. If Israel can only be kept safe by keeping the people of Egypt in slavery then Israel  will never be safe. America has always been a friend to freedom: that policy has made the world a freer, safer place and made every free nation America's ally. Repression not only would betray Americas most profound ideals but would store up hatred & resentment for centuries.  

I have talked to men and women involved in the struggle to own themselves as free people in countries not run to enrich an elite. They want the right to work, open businesses & get on with their lives. For this, like the men of Valley Forge, they are willing to die. Many already have. Does it matter that they are Muslim? That they follow a different faith than I? 

When the riots in the British cities were at there height last summer 21 year old Muslim,, Haroon Jahan was one of three men murdered. Hours after holding his son as he died on the street his father Tariq Jahan was appealing for calm, for no further deaths or revenge attacks. On the worst night of his life Tariq's faith inspired him to save other families the grief he was enduring.  He succeeded & prevented a certain race riot breaking out in Birmingham.

As in Scott Fitzgerald said, the fundamental decencies of life are unequally divided. Just as the creeps from Westboro find justification in the Bible for picketing the funerals of fallen heroes, bad men will find justification for terror in the Koran. It may even be there but the men & women that that protest & hope for a better future are not those men. It would be Osama Bin-laden's greatest victory & a posthumous revenge if he succeeded blinding us to that.

ECB grennmailing Ireland- A La Kermit

What do you have if you hold a green ball in one hand and a green ball in the other hand? The bawdy riddle, current the last time the Muppets were in the cinema brings to mind the European Central Bank , the ignored institution in the story of Ireland's financial crash.

The answer was Kermit the Frog's undivided attention & the ECB has not just the Irish Government's undivided attention but near total control over that Government. The green balls are the short term funds of the Irish banks. Without this funding none of the still existing Irish banks could function. Troubled banks are forced to rely on one of their main destroyers for funding lifeline.

The ECB is a Franco-German institution: describing it a "European" despite the fact it now has a token Italian , albeit a fairly brilliant token Italian, as its head, is a lie. Draghi was appointed because the Germans had lost their candidate & the French just had their turn, in the person of the startlingly incompetent Trichet. The French, in the kind of corrupt back-room deal in which they specialise, still got one up by having the Italian on the six person board to resign to make way for a French candidate: it is hardly likely he brings as little to the party as Trichet but one is not sanguine.

The ECB has used our Kermit The Frog position stifle any official criticism of it's own role in the disaster & to ensure our government does not break ranks on debt payback, both to bondholders & to the moneypit that is the ELA. This is blackmail.

Under the Maastricht treaty the ECB has a duty of to ensure the stability of banks in the Eurozone. Trichet ignored this to the point of deliberate negligence.

Short-term paper (bonds) are heroin to banks, providing funds that need to be repaid in relatively short order. Commit to much of those funds to loans & a bank is dependent on rolling the bonds over rather than repaying them. That is financial addiction: cold turkey of a bond market withdrawal leads to disastrous results.

Irish banks were allowed create just such an addiction trap between 1999 & 2007: the first 8 years of the Euro. As low interest rates encouraged more borrowers & property asset prices increased, the amount of collateral and loans increased, the vicious circle meant that deposits could not fund loans. (Some of those deposits were themselves the direct result of loans: fractional reserve banking is magic)

This growth in lending out paced the ability of deposits to fund it so the banks were relying more & more on short term Eurobonds. The Euro had gotten the banks over the exchange rate issues of borrowing abroad.

Lending grew from €120b in 2000 to €400b in 2006 and by 2006 Eurobonds accounted for €129b of the funding for that credit. Why was the ECB NOT warning the Irish Government about this massive inflow of credit? Why were no steps taken to to regulate this Amazon of euro's flowing into Irish banks. Did a compound annual growth of over 28% in lending in the final 3 years of the boom not ring alarm bells in Frankfurt?

If the answer is No, then Trichet was a fool, if yes, a knave. Either way the collapse of the Irish banks happened due to ECB negligence and we need to make this very clear to Europe. Then we need to stop paying the ELA debt to our own Central Bank.

We can compromise on that, we are a reasonable people. We will pay the money in, but instead of electronically burning it, the Central Bank will credit the government with the funds. We still pay our debt, but costlessly to ourselves, not to as a holocaust to the German Gods of Moral Hazard & Hard Money.

Perhaps it is time to consider what charges might be brought against Mr Trichet for his dereliction of duty. An arrest warrant might concentrate minds.


The Koch brothers are oil billionaires regularly attacked by the left in America for donating to free-market & conservative think-tanks. Shamelessly the Obama election campaign has cranked up those attacks. This letter, a response to that demonisation, is both a wonderfully elegant riposte & a clear defence of a free society. I got it on the web & think it is worth keeping.

Mr. Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Dear Mr. Messina:

Because every American has the right to take part in the public discourse on matters that affect the future of our country, I feel compelled to respond directly about a fundraising letter you sent out on February 24 denouncing Koch. It is both surprising and disappointing that the President would allow his re-election team to send such an irresponsible and misleading letter to his supporters.

For example, it is false that our “business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump.” Our business vision begins and ends with value creation — real, long-term value for customers and for society. We own no gasoline stations and the part of our business you allude to, oil and gas refining, actually lowers the price of gasoline by increasing supply. Either you simply misunderstand the way commodities markets work or you are misleading your supporters and the rest of the American people.

Contrary to your assertion that we have “committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama,” we have stated publicly and repeatedly since last November that we have never made any such claim or pledge. It is hard to imagine that the campaign is unaware of our publicly stated position on that point. Similarly, Americans for Prosperity is not simply “funded by the Koch brothers,” as you state — rather it has tens of thousands of members and contributors from across the country and from all walks of life. Further, our opposition to this President’s policies is not based on partisan politics but on principles. Charles Koch and David Koch have been outspoken advocates of the free-market for over 50 years and they have consistently opposed policies that frustrate or subvert free markets, regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican was President.

If the President’s campaign has some principled disagreement with the arguments we are making publicly about the staggering debt the President and previous administrations have imposed on the country, the regulations that are stifling business growth and innovation, the increasing intrusion of government into nearly every aspect of American life, we would be eager to hear them. But it is an abuse of the President’s position and does a disservice to our nation for the President and his campaign to criticize private citizens simply for the act of engaging in their constitutional right of free speech about important matters of public policy. The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.

This is not the first time that the President and his Administration have engaged in this sort of disturbing behavior. As far back as August, 2010, Austan Goolsbee, then the President’s chief economic advisor, made public comments concerning Koch’s tax status and falsely stated that the company did not pay income tax, which triggered a federal investigation into Mr. Goolsbee’s conduct that potentially implicated federal law against improper disclosure of taxpayer information. Last June, your colleagues sent fundraising letters disparaging us as “plotting oil men” bent on “misleading people” with “disinformation” in order to “smear” the President’s record. Those accusations were baseless and were made at the very same time the president was publicly calling for a more “civil conversation” in the country.

It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be “tired of hearing” that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint.Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.

We agree with the President that civil discourse is an American strength. That is why it is troubling to see a national political campaign apparently target individual citizens and private companies for some perceived political advantage. I also hope the President will reflect on how the approach the campaign is using is at odds with our national values and the constitutional right to free speech.

Philip Ellender
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

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