Katherine Coble is, by all accounts, amazing. She’s a liberterian fan of Kurt Vonnegut and a LOST aficionado. She’s also being bulled by J. L. Kirk Associates for, among other things, say:
That the amount [she was] asked to pay â€œneatlyâ€ coincided with [her] tax refund â€œwhich is a matter of public record.â€
(Apparently, “neatly” will join “paddy o’doggun” as a word one just cannot say anymore.)
JL Kirk Associates
The threatened lawsuit (warning: pdf) has attracted widespread attention, including thoughts by Curtis Gale Weeks. The kirking also ties into an article written by Dr. Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee College of Law. And the Jim River Report has featured the story on its front page (all day!).
More substantively, J.L. Kirk & Associates‘ actions, as documented by the Better Business Bureau, have been brought to light:
This company has a pattern [more than 2 complaints involving the same allegations usually within 12 months that are significant in relation to the company's size and volume of business] of complaint. Complaints allege the company offers career advancement services including marketing/resume writing, training for improved interview & negotiation skills, job leads/interviews and on-going support once a career has been obtained. Consumers state once they complete the marketing/resume writing and training for improved interview and negotiation skills, the company fails to follow up and provide assistance with job leads, interviews are not scheduled and careers are not obtained. All complainants request a refund to resolve the issues.
Is there a moral here? Yes. Don’t kirk yourself. Don’t SLAPP.
Chirol of Coming Anarchy has done great work on domestic application of the work of Thomas P.M. Barnett (“Pentagon’s New Map (PNM) Theory”). In three now-famous posts
Barnett himself (commenting on an excellent article in Reason) note that caboose breaking, “voting more populist candidates into office in democracies (e.g., India’s Congress Party) to political unrest and violent protest in authoritarian states,” “is basically when politicians/leaders realize and fear/anticipate/respond to unrest from disconnected populations.”
An early American attempt at caboose-breaking the country’s Gap was the Great Society, succeeding in driving up Gap unemployment and fatherlessness to record highs. Another attempt, affirmative action, was nearly a textbook case of how to teach racial resentment and divisiveness.
Now that another wave of agitprop is subsiding – a failed lynching in North Carolina and a “high-tech” one on the air. – one might except a second wave of this. Obvious possibilities might include zero-sum transfers of wealth, property, and position (a Jackson / Sharpton plan). However, considering that the most popular black candidate yet produced in America is the descendant of slave-owners but not American slaves, the political possibility of that seems unlikely. Another, different, take woudl be attempt to overload America’s gap with feedback in the hope of forcing a deeper change. Yet inciting riots is dangerous, and not the risk.
That takes us to the most obvious form of Gap-shrinking that can be expected in the near-future in America: nothing. Those who power makes them important feel outrage must less than those who are powerless, and thus little can be gained from Imus or Mangum agitprop. Life will continue, with those in America’s core living good lives, and those in America’s gap not.