Copyright © 2014 jsd

Some Oppo on Barry Hess
John Denker

1  The Role of Barry Hess in the Election

I don’t entirely trust opinion polls, but as the proverb says, imperfect data is better than no data.

The polling suggests that DuVal and Ducey are running about even, in the low thirties, while Barry Hess is running a strong third, in the low double digits.

Hess did very well at the Tucson debate (reference 1). He had by far the best one-liners and the best zingers. In the judgment of several impartial observers, he won the debate. He came across as affable and witty. Since he is actually a nitwit, it pains me to apply the word “witty” to him, but that’s how he sometimes comes across to voters who don’t really know him.

The polling suggests that Hess is drawing more from Ducey than from DuVal, but not overwhelmingly so.

Therefore it seems likely that some political advantage could be obtained by weakening Hess in the eyes of Democratic voters – provided this can be done without appreciably weakening him in the eyes of Republican voters. Some possible ways of doing this are discussed in section 2.

2  Some Notes About Barry Hess and His Beliefs

I reckon that anybody who is considering voting for Hess ought to know more about him. So I dug up some video of him saying some kooky, creepy, selfish things.

I’m not an expert, so I leave it to you to flesh out this outline, to decide whether this it is advantageous to proceed down this road, and to figure out how best to spread the word. Here are some hypotheses for you to consider. The timestamps in curly braces such as {39m15s} link to the IKTV transcript below. Similarly the timestamps in angle brackets such as 16m50s are links to the Tucson debate transcript. The transcripts in in turn contain links to the video.

  1. Hess is a racist. This might actually increase his appeal to Arizona Republicans. It has the advantage of being true.

    He says that if a few people in New Hampshire have a small problem of their own making, he would rush to help his oh-so-white neighbors {39m15s}.   If tens of millions of displaced persons were to flee Bangladesh, fleeing for their lives because of problems not of their own making, namely climate change in general and flooding in particular, Hess cannot imagine why we should be concerned {37m38s}.

      He said this in a forum entirely devoted to global policy.

  2. We have him on video saying he doesn’t support public schools. Again this might increase his appeal to Arizona Republicans. See e.g. {42m17s} and 17m15s.

    Demonstrating utter contempt for the facts, he claims private schools cost half as much as public schools. See 40m09s.

    Note that Arizona already has the lowest spending per student of any state in the nation (reference 2), and Hess wants to make additional dramatic cuts.

    Furthermore, he says 39m52s it might be good to take money from the elected officials’ retirement program (EORP) – which is already in poor financial condition – and use that to pay for education. In fact, though, the EORP is not very big. You could confiscate the entire pension from every retired judge and every other retired elected official and it would barely be enough to cover the cost of the education system for one year.

  3. He is anti-science in general, and a vaccine denier in particular. He seems to think that vaccines make you more likely to get sick. This sort of contempt for the facts might increase his appeal to Arizona Republicans. He trots out anecdotes {50m00s} to support his position ... but the anecdotes are completely bogus, made up out of thin air, with no connection to reality whatsoever.
  4. According to his autobiography (reference 3), he used to earn his living doing “multi level marketing” (MLM). This whole field is exceedingly disreputable, often crossing the line into outright illegal pyramid schemes, as discussed in reference 4.

    He says he is now “learning to invest as a currency speculator in the foreign exchange market.” I can hardly imagine anything creeper, more Republican, more 0.01-percentish, more disconnected from the life or ordinary Arizonans who work for a living. It almost makes Mitt Romney seem wholesome by comparison.

    Actually it’s even more creepy than that, because it’s entirely possible that he’s not actually speculating with his own money, but rather engaging in another exploitive MLM scheme, getting gullible citizens to spend money on online trading tools and tip sheets. One clue is that the web page for his book (reference 5) is hosted on a site called “Signals in Forex” (reference 6).

  5. He thinks the government should provide the people with things like fire trucks {40m58s} ... but he doesn’t think the government should tax people to pay for the fire truck or anything else, because that would be stealing, 61m33s and 61m54s.

3  Partial Transcript of the IKTV Episode

The timestamps in square brackets such as [4m10s] are links to the youtube video (reference 7), synchronized to the transcript.

MO == Michael Oatman – host of the show
LH == Leila Hudson
BH == Barry Hess – comments shown in red, for emphasis
jsd == John Denker


MO: How do we handle all these people getting displaced, because this is gonna happen.


BH: Why do we have to handle it? Where did that presumption of arrogance come from?

MO: Well, should we?

BH: Why should we?

jsd: The theme of the show is “how to do better by the world”, so the world needs to deal with this.


LH: A basic principle is that, there y’know, in any crisis, whether it’s human or natural, the best solutions will be local, and they have to do with good governance.

jsd: I’m sorry, I gotta disagree with that. CO2 is not a a local problem. It does not respect borders. The problem is that people outside Bangladesh are putting CO2 into the atmosphere, and it is going to destroy Bangladesh and there’s not a darn thing the Bangladeshis can do about it, at all.


MO: And it’s really a worst-case scenario for it, because it’s not like China is getting inundated because of all the air that they’re polluting, or that y’know with you can’t see the building next door because of y’know, because that’s their fault and they’re suffering the immediate consequences.



BH: If you’ve ever been on a scene of an accident in the late of night in the middle of nowhere, and people around, you’ll see something called spontaneous organization, and it just happens, and there’s no government, there’s no nothing, and sometimes and coming from a volunteer state like rural New Hampshire where I do, you help people, and you help them right now.


And that’s what happens, automatically, without any government, and I think is how governments should be formed, to clean up the mess that the people make, y’know, not bad mess, just clean up the mess.


That’s what government has been always for, at least here in the United states, so it’s very hard to project that, that uniqueness on all of the world, because it just doesn’t fit,


and by our very attempt to help them, in what ever manner we think Oh we’re so damn clever we’ve figured it out, that’s what causes the problem. We’ve got to understand that’s true in much of the world.


LH: Well I mean I think there are different levels of the problem. Clearly, as John is pointing out, there needs to be coordinated global scientific solutions, and stopping the discourse of climate change denial is key to doing that,


but on the other hand, there’s not much you can do on a dime to stop sea-level rise, right now, and what you’re saying, Barry, what you’re saying about self-organization,


that doesn’t seem to me to be contradictory to the notion of good governance, but it’s certainly complicated when you have ...

MO: when India has a very big wall surrounding Bangladesh that complicates the whole thing.


BH: It gets complicated at the stages where we gotta have a fire truck. Everybody’s willing to come fight the fire, but we gotta have a fire truck, gotta bring some water over there. That’s when it gets complicated, because that’s when you need a government to kinda unify things and say, OK, we’re gonna buy a fire truck.


and that’s that is the level where it happens, but on the most base of levels, of the individuals in the community, it should be as hands off, well it’s not as hands off as possible, it should be hands off.


jsd: I’d like to point out that self-organization is not something you can take for granted. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve also seen it not happen, with people standing around like a bunch of headless chickens.


My point here is, that one of the ingredients that promotes that happening is a good education, people being y’know trained to know what to do, and you’re a lot more likely to get good results out of your self-organization if you’ve got a good public education system.


jsd: This is where some monumental hypocrisy comes in because a lot of times, the same people who are touting hands-off self-organization are the ones who are destroying the public school system ... and you can’t have it both ways.


BH: I’m not a big fan of the government, the school system at all, only because of the results and the inefficiencies.



... of those, incidentally, the 20 people who died of the flu shots, the flu, I think 16 of ’em had had their flu shots, so y’know, life’s a risk.

I know even at my alma mater, my college in New York, I was ashamed because there were like 17 students who had gotten chicken pox and so they wouldn’t let ’em come into class or anything, and the funny thing was, they wouldn’t let anybody come into class if they hadn’t been vaccinated but, all 17 of the students who did get chicken pox had been vaccinated.

I mean that’s the cart before the horse kinda stuff. It’s always the feel-good rather than the let’s-fix-it-the-best we can.

4  Partial Transcript of the Tucson Debate


BH: We all agree that education is certainly vital to our future, but I would disagree saying that money is the answer. Throwing money at the problem is what we’ve been doing. I’ve seen it for 12 years first hand without anything but a downward decline. So let’s not get too hyped up on the here I’m gonna give you money and make education better idea.


BH: I think it’s more important to allow business to come here and urge business to give specific training for the employment that they have available. That way people get a pinpoint education.


BH: Well I don’t agree obviously about the income tax, it for, by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s also another fund I think we should be looking closely at for taking money out to provide for the education that the former politicians have saddled us with


BH: and that’s the political retirement fund. Maybe that’s where the money should be coming from, in large part, because they’re the ones who saddled us with it. But I do think we should, we have to continue to find ways to educate less expensively, and we certainly can.


BH: I mean private schools half as much as what we spend on our government schools. There’s something fundamentally wrong there.


BH: Well, y’know, those are kind of issues that eat at the heart, and the truth be known, no politician is gonna be able to solve these problems, none of us, as much as we can give you all the happy talk in the world.


BH: But the truth is that the best way that we can get rid of the people, or get people off of the government rolls, is to give them opportunities.


BH: To get government out of the way, so that they can work and can be productive, and can have that measure of dignity that every single person needs and deserves.


BH: I think that we’ve divided ourselves up into groups too often, and we allow the government to tell you who’s poor, who’s not, who’s broke, who’s not, and it’s just total utter nonsense, and we have to get back to a more human side of government, where there is compassion


BH: and where we see, in my administration, will not see color, it will not see race, it will not even see political parties, because I don’t care.


BH: What I care about is good ideas to move Arizona forward under her constitution. And I think that’s the safest ground we should be on. Instead of trying to fix poverty, I mean c’mon, let’s think about that, we’re adults here, we’re not gonna fix poverty.


BH: What we’ve gotta do is give opportunities. People live where they wanna live, as a general rule, and what we’ve seen by all of these welfare programs is simply a measure to give people enough to get by, never enough to get up.


BH: It becomes a captive class of voters and they should all be libertarians because they’d be free right now.


BH: Well, I just have to reiterate the whole notion, we’re running for governor, we’re not running for God. And that’s what everybody seems to think that is going on here. There simply are no answers that can come from the political pulpit for every single ailment in society and certainly poverty is one of those.


BH: Education I think we’ve gotta bring back an appreciation for education itself, that’s what drives it, where people will go get education because they want it, not just because they want a little piece of paper that says they sat in a chair for so many days.


Well I think the international economy is an obvious, just because of the geographical location. We certainly need the influence to stimulate our own economy, because it’s always gonna come back to jobs.


and there’s no such thing as a jobless recovery. That’s what we’ve gotta focus, not just the movement of goods, but on the movement of labor, and getting paid for that labor. That’s why I’ve put together a completely comprehensive plan, to allow people the free flow of labor to come into this country freely and to work above board


BH: so that nobody can say they’re low-balling and so we don’t run into what I’ve called the La Migra syndrome. And that’s when you take a man’s labor, after a day’s work, and he’s expecting to get paid, and everybody knew he didn’t have his documentation, and instead of paying him they say they’re gonna call La Migra, and they steal someome’s labor, and that’s despicable.


BH: but the whole point of combining with Mexico, we are a separate states, separate nations, and it is important that we recognize that. So at the same time, we’ve got to allow the free flow up, up above and below the border, but I disagree with politicians trying to direct where it’s gonna go ...


BH: east, west, or north, and south. Why not let it go where the market pulls it, because that’s where the stongest pull is going to be. We’ve seen ghost towns because of politicians with other wild hare-brained ideas like that and trying to determine where things should go, and then we end up with nothing. The 86, the famous highway to nowhere, and that’s where those plans would lead us.


BH: I don’t know why the emphasis is just on Mexico. There’s a whole bunch of geography down below Mexico, too. I think we should incorporate an international aspect, not just an across the border aspect to our economy. And certainly the biggest influence is going to be Mexico because we’ve seen it, there’s no denying it, and it’s something we should welcome


BH: along with some serious reform of who gets to cross the border, because I’m a firm believer, I don’t care what Washington DC does or says, I think it’s time for Arizona to resort to self-help. We’ll fix our own border problem, and I think we can do that very seriously, without bloodshed.


Well I think a lot of it is gonna have to do with cutting some of the long-term contracts that are already in place that drive that kind of growth. We’ve got to be able to be flexible and reassess at every step. And that’s gonna be critical to our future I think economically.


But the idea that we can’t eliminate the income tax is ridiculous, because the rules are, we make all the rules, we own the place. We can, we created the rules, and we can un-create the rules. For me, it’s a simple matter, a group of people, us getting together, calling ourselves government, and saying we’re gonna go steal other people’s money, that’s theft.


It’s a simple moral thing. That’s why I need to eliminate the income tax, because theft is still theft, even by government, even if they come with a gun, and even if they say it’s for the children, because it’s not for the children.


I think we’ve got to get past that one hurdle, and once we do, when we understand, and we get a creative governor, who can work outside the box, all together, that’s when Arizona is gonna start to prosper, and not a minute before.

5  References

DuVal, Ducey, and Hess
Tucson Debate

National Educational Association
“Rankings of the States 2013 and Estimates of School Statistics 2014”
Executive Summary: http://www.nea.org/home/rankings-and-estimates-2013-2014.html Full Report: http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/NEA-Rankings-and-Estimates-2013-2014.pdf

Barry Hess Autobiography

Wikipedia article, “Multi-level marketing”

About Barry Hess

“Signals in Forex”

Oatman, Hess, Hudson, and Denker
Illegal Knowledge episode 612

Copyright © 2014 jsd