Over the weekend, a blow was struck for freedom in the blue state of New York, not too far from the state capitol of Albany: Freedompaolooza! There was quite some justification behind the call to arms:
Now in his third year as Governor, Andrew Cuomo has raised taxes by over $2 Billion, killed tens of thousands of jobs and over $1 Billion of new investment by giving in to radical anti-jobs environmentalists, and imposed the most anti-individual liberty, anti-gun laws in the United States. Instead of repealing mandates and business regulations, he is making the business climate in New York even worse -- New York is at the bottom of the barrel for attracting new jobs and business growth.So how did it turn out? More below the Orange Omnilepticon.
According to the Albany Times Union...
Freedom rang at the Altamont Fairgrounds Saturday, albeit quietly.Behind the populism you'll find some not too surprising bedfellows in this political effort. SCOPE NY is upset over the passage of the NY SAFE act. You see their signs popping up all over lately. (Possibly a branch of the larger Industry of Crazy Charles P. Pierce picks up on here.)
Three thousand people were expected to attend the first Freedompalooza festival put on by the recently formed New York Freedom Coalition, but three hours into the event at 2 p.m., roughly 150 people sporadically dotted the fairgrounds' large open grass area, where information booths and food vendors were set up in a horseshoe around a center stage for country music acts. The early performers livened up the grounds, but when the music stopped, the air fell silent with patrons spread out far enough that talk created little buzz.
The pro-business, anti-government, safety net slashing side is firmly in this effort.
New York is by far the least free state in the Union. It is therefore no surprise that New York residents have been heading for the exits: 9.0 percent of the state’s 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation.1Mercatus Center? Oh yes - this place.
New York has, by a wide margin, the highest taxes in the country: 14.0 percent of income, three and a half standard deviations above the national mean. New York is also the most indebted state, setting its own record high in FY 2010 at 33.2 percent of income. * Mercatus Center of George Mason University, 2013
Instead of a "new New York" we have the worst of the old New York, and it’s getting worse. Jobs and business continue to flee, our State debt gets bigger, and entitlement programs push taxes higher every year.
The Mercatus Center, part of George Mason University, is one of the best-funded think tanks in the United States at the moment. It is listed as "sister organization" to the Institute of Humane Studies. "Mercatus generates knowledge and understanding of how institutions affect the freedom to prosper and holds organizations accountable for their impact on that freedom," it states on its website. Thank you Sourcewatch! Somebody has to keep track of all the places the Koch Brothers are tossing their billions.
The Mercatus Center was founded and is funded by the Koch Family Foundations. According to financial records, the Koch family has contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason, much of which has gone to the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit organization. Democratic strategist Rob Stein described the Mercatus Center as "ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.”
The Mercatus Center has engaged in campaigns involving deregulation, especially environmental deregulation. It now fills the role once played by the economics department at Chicago University as the originator of extreme neoliberal ideas. Fourteen of the 23 regulations that George W Bush put on his hitlist were, according to the Wall Street Journal, first suggested by academics working at the Mercatus Centre.
The Wall Street Journal has called the Mercatus Center “the most important think tank you’ve never heard of,” []
And of course, Freedompalooza wasn't just about organizing or the bands - it was also about history!
"Revolutionary" Figures – Throughout the DayAnd if they're anything like the history Robert Parry says the Right Wing has invented, I'm sure they had some interesting answers for the children.
Ever had a question for George Washington? Here's a sneak peak of some of our "revolutionary" figures coming to the event.
... the Right’s modern interpretation of the Founding Principles was not shared by the key Framers of the Constitution. Instead, the Right’s position on the Constitution apes the opposition to the Constitution by the Anti-Federalists, who warned that the new federal structure would subordinate the states to the central government and endanger slavery in the South.So, how well did Freedompalooza meet expectations? Back to the Albany Times Union:
Despite that real history, today’s Right has largely succeeded in distorting the Founding Narrative to convince millions of lightly educated Americans that – by joining with the Tea Party – they are defending the Constitution as the Framers devised it when, in reality, they are channeling the views of those who fiercely opposed the Constitution.
For those who did show up, the sparse attendance didn't seem to matter.Ah, the soft bigotry of low expectations...
"It's a sensitive issue," Chuck Fitzgerald of Cohoes said of the event's pronounced pro-gun tone and the low turnout. Fitzgerald spent part of his afternoon sitting and talking with Dutchess County legislator John Forman, a potential state Senate candidate. Forman, who attended to support Second Amendment rights he said officials have tried to take away from law abiding citizens, said there is never a perfect day to schedule any event, though Fitzgerald didn't mind the low turnout.
"If only him and I showed up, that would be enough," he said.