Saturday, March 22, 2014

Case Study: A near 50 year rent control activist may have been key in the Destruction of Rent Control in Cambridge, MA, USA.

1. Introduction
2. Rent Control — The Key Issue.
3. The Statewide Rent Control Referendum — Initial Analysis.
4. State Wide Referendum — More Detailed Analysis.
5. The Key Activist is a typical victim of the Cambridge Machine.
6. Summary.

1. Introduction

I have been going through GOOD questions and responding to them on this blog.

One of the best came from George Despotes who has had a number of good questions.

He, for good reason, wants me to meaningfully communicate exactly what the Cambridge Machine is.

He gave me the question by email and I gave him a thoughtful response by email. Many of my recent posts have been codifications of responses to questions raised by email or the equivalent.

The trouble in this case is that neither one of us can find my answer.

In drafting an answer anew, it seems to me that it would be helpful to show the depravity of the Cambridge Machine by its using a long time rent control activist to do harm to the rent control movement and, possibly, to be a key person in the killing of rent control.

The rottenness of the machine is, at least in part, demonstrated by its abuse of good people, and its maneuvering of good people into destroying their own cause.

2. Rent Control — The Key Issue.

Rent Control was immediately challenged by the property interests in the City of Cambridge after its passage and implementation. The attacks resulted in a key decision in the 70s by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

The SJC found rent control to be a responsible and proper action of consumer protection taken by the government to even the playing field in rental property where the landlords constituted a shared monopoly over a scarce resource and were abusing that monopoly.

This is not a concept made up by me. This is my fair attempt to communicate the SJC’s decision.

The SJC found that the minute rent control was used for other than consumer protection, i.e. as a tax on landlords for the benefit of tenants, Rent Control was dead.

So naturally, the landlords ran around calling Rent Control a tenant subsidy.

There was no grounds to prove that rent control was a tenant subsidy rather than consumer protection, so the landlords never won in court.

Rent Control had a lot of symptoms of being destroyed from within by people functioning as folks fighting against their own cause.

One of the victims was the Key Activist. Somebody got to the Key Activist and talked the Key Activist into believing the Landlord Position. After all, it sounds so good. This is the constant con from the Cambridge Machine. Pick out a key point, use outrageous nonsense that sounds good, and get the supporters of a cause to adopt that Key Point which destroys them.

3. The Statewide Rent Control Referendum — Initial Analysis.

I would have liked to have participated in the tenant side of the statewide Rent Control referendum. I, however, saw two individuals in the statewide group who had very destructive records in the ranks of the Cambridge Tenants Movement. At one point the movement took a vote to expel them because of their destructiveness. The vote resulted in a tie.

A key reason for the tie? A “radical” group with all the stench of the Cambridge Machine trooped in people to the vote who did not have the slightest idea what they were talking about, but knew who did their thinking for them.

They saved the Destructive Duo from being thrown out of the tenant movement.

I knew the record of the Destructive Duo. I knew how destructive they were. So I became a director of the Massachusetts Tenants Organization which was key in the statewide organization. I hoped that, from MTO, I could neutralize their destructiveness.

The report I got out of the statewide organization comported with my expectations. My contact was shocked at the destructiveness of the Cambridge contingent. My contact was of the opinion that, because the vote was so close, the Cambridge Contingent’s destructiveness could very easily have kept the organization from properly functioning and thus killed rent control.

Looking at this report and knowing the record of the Destructive Duo, I considered his report accurate and saw my expected damnation of the Destructive Duo.

This function is a normal tactic of Company Unions, of which the Cambridge Machine is very clearly one.

Prevent action by the good guys and thus hand a victory to the bed guys.

4. State Wide Referendum — More Detailed Analysis.

I have recently had my opinion of the key activities in that election changed by talking with the Key Activist.

My change of opinion does not change my condemnation of the Destructive Duo, however. That is because, in my opinion, by preventing appropriate action for perhaps the last ten years of rent control, they created a stench of self-serving in the tenant movement. Among many other things, during two consecutive elections, the Destructive Duo vetoed action THROUGH ABUSE OF OFFICE to prevent the implementation of binding votes by their organization. I won the votes. They simply lied about the position of their organization.

Prevent implementation of the goals of their organization through tactics no matter how irresponsible — sound familiar — they sure sound like just two more agents of the Cambridge Machine / Company Union.

These are guys the Radical arm of the Cambridge Machine kept from being thrown out of the tenant movement.


The Key Activist is another situation.

This person was involved in the fight to create Rent Control in the 60s and is an undisputed fighter for Rent Control. His behavior has been very consistently positive, WITH ONE KEY EXCEPTION. The trouble is he got handled. If somebody gets handled in Cambridge, the answer is obvious. The Cambridge Machine.

The Key Activist, after being conned by the Cambridge Machine is an aggressive supporter of the Landlord Position, that Rent Control is a subsidy for Tenants, in spite of the very clear court decision that, if Rent Control is a subsidy, Rent Control is dead.

The Key Activist admits to fighting and fighting for the Landlord Position during the statewide organizational meetings. The Key Activist admits that the Destructive Duo fought against him. The Destructive Duo pointed out that his position would kill Rent Control because of the SJC decision.

The Key Activist has or had a very strong problem of fighting his points way beyond the limits of reason. He just keeps talking and won’t let the meeting do any business.

That sounds like they report I got from my contact, very much like the report I got from my contact.

The Key Activist was key in the two subsequent referenda to reinstitute rent control. The Key Activist made certain the Landlord Position was included in both referenda. The Key Activist made certain that Rent Control could only get reinstituted if it were illegal because of his demand to include the Landlord Position.

5. The Key Activist is a typical victim of the Cambridge Machine.

The Key Activist is aggressively fighting against Rent Control because he has been persuasively conned. He will not allow Rent Control to be reinstituted unless it is illegal.

The Key Activist is a normal victim of the Cambridge Machine.

The Key Activist has no meaningful distinction from Rent Control opponents except that he thinks he is fighting for Rent Control.

The Key Activist is an excellent example of how the Cambridge Machine can be so effective.

All they have to do is fool one key person, and that key person will destroy his/her own cause.

Interestingly, I recently antagonized him/her by saying that he/she has been fighting for the Landlord Position for years. That made him/her very hostile. It is very dangerous to meaningfully communicate to a victim of the Cambridge Machine. They can get very hostile.

This is a normal reaction in a victim of a skillful con operation.

6. Summary.

This is the sickness of the Cambridge Machine.

It is impossible to tell the difference between the knaves and the fools, and it is irrelevant.

A fool who have been effectively conned can and does destroy his/her own cause.

And the Cambridge Machine continues its tradition of destroying so many causes it claims to support.