Over the past week or so it's been fun to see Rachel Maddow take on apparent Xeroxer-in-Chief, plagiarizer, the duplicitous, Rand Paul. He's in the middle of "Liftgate", the scandal. It's become evident and reported all over the news that Senator Rand Paul has an apparent Wikipedia addiction and his abundant uncredited usage of their copy as his. Time after time, just like in the song, (Sinatra, not Cindi Lauper), the Kentucky Senator has been proven to have lifted entire passages without referencing or crediting the source.
Now here at TPC, we work under the rule that you can quote, just attribute. It's pretty simple, and this way the point you're making is given some weight. After all, who knows me other than as a television/movie writer-producer-author-humorist. So when I discuss politics, science, culture, or just about anything else, it's valuable to show where that foundational information is coming from.
Of course, if the source is not the most reliable, like a rumor I heard at the grocery store or the barber, you should know that too. Then you can make up your own mind how much weight you want to give my musings. It's really not too tough to prove your points if what you present as facts really are. Generally sourcing is routine. It may take time, but the Internet is pretty handy for that. JAR (Just Ask Rand)
So shame on Rand Paul for not just taking the time and prefacing a point (even lifted word for word) with, "...And according to (fill in the blank)" then making the quote. That's not hard. And it can even boost your presentation as you've added to your arsenal with the heft of the source -- even if it is Wikipedia. Hey, I admit it -- sometimes that's the quickest reference, especially when you're just looking for a simple definition or historical background on a person. Something like what years did Reagan serve as president? Wikipedia is fine for that.
Well, though this post is about plagiarism, it's not really about the Maddow-Paul feud and maybe even their duel. It's about our Congress and more specifically, the finance laws that are being plagiarized and passed behind our backs.
Yesterday I wrote about the Republicans defunding programs that protect us from illegal financial practices: When You Can't Beat Them, Defund Them
Now to prosecute a banking institution you need to catch the banks red-handed. To do that you need the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to press charges. They're our watchdogs. They, by statute, have the authority to bring about legal actions on the public's behalf.
See what I did there? I attributed the statement to it's source. Anyway, according to another source, consumer watchdog and commentator, Mansur Gidfar, reports that the Congressional financial market watchdogs, our protectors, have become afflicted with plagiarism of their own.
Congress seems to be in co-opting other people's writings and passing them off as their own. Sadly in this case, it's the good guys stealing horrible concepts and turning them into law to protect the bad guys. Our financial regulations. Our elected officials are letting the criminals literally draw up the regulations (which of course favor them) and then passing them -- all while taking money and kickbacks from the B.G.'s. (bad guys)
Rather than blather on about how wrong this is, listen to Mansur. In a few minutes he'll have you pulling out your hair asking why we're worried about Rand Paul who just delivers lifted speeches. While we're fixated on that, we're doing nothing about our congressmen/women who are plagiarizing self-serving regulations from the people they're supposed to be protecting us from. Inadvertently we're becoming victims of the old diversion play.