Monday, November 29, 2010

Why I quit the USPP

I write this, because I am increasingly disillusioned with the party and it's current direction, as well as the actions of certain officers (or as often, the lack thereof). It brings to a head, an issue that has been building for some time. As such, I formally submitted my letter of resignation, from the position of Legal Officer for the United States Pirate Party (USPP).

The main issue has been the flagrant, and repeated violations of the party Constitution, by one officer, Jay Emerson. In a period of one week, between 9 and 12 violations of the constitution were committed over three separate, documented instances, by this officer. Each of these violations has a penalty specified – 'may be removed from office with cause'. During the first instance when misconduct was brought to the attention of the Chairperson ('chair') the eventual response was
And I quote, "Officers who demonstrate an inability to operate within these limitations may be removed from office with cause. "(Bolding is mine).
The word 'may' apparently means that any kind of punishment is only to be selectively enforced, such as when someone's been murdered, rather than just publicly lying about an action, and making the statement to be the public position of the party. Because, just making the party look REALLY stupid, and acting unilaterally in his own interest by libeling someone, is acceptable, and should be condoned by no punishment. Instead, he was told to 'tone it down' (along with complaints) a request from the chair he honored, by.... doing it again several days later, with new lies, but still libeling the same person, myself. When this was brought to the chair's notice, the response was... “I'm working to resolve this. I'm in the midst of holiday stuff, though, so please be patient.” Not even a 'taking it seriously', or any comment on the contents of the complaint. Just a Captain Scott-like 'It may be some time”

Of course, what really breaks the banger, is that in between these two instances. It was made aware to myself, and the chair (amongst others) that the actions said officer has accused me of doing, had actually been performed by that same officer, a few days earlier. (the accusations were that it was a unilateral action by one officer, had nothing to do with the party, no-one else knew of it, was written entirely by myself, and published in a blog by myself, to fix a slow-news day). On thursday November 18th, a 'news' article was posted [see update at end] (the disclaimer that '*Note: This is not officially proposed by the USPP, was added November 27th')saying that the USPP was going to start employing people from overseas, because those people were having problems getting their student visa's supported, and that because we would be have to employ them for their visa, we'd pay them very little, and they wouldn't actually do anything; The exact quote was:
This means that we can do something called "I-9" in terms of contracting workers from foreign nations so they can do work for the USPP.
However, we will have them "work" but the pay will be low so the work will be minimal.  The point is that the work visas will allow the student to maintain legal residency while still being able to go to school in the U.S. We don't wanna give them too much work because they need time to study ;-)”
Funny thing, I-9 is proof of eligability to work in the US. Perhaps he meant a H-2B

Anybody with a high school education or better knows what this is called. “Immigration visa Fraud”. It's very much against the law. Here's the kicker, when you employ someone from overseas, in this way, you have to say what their job is, and why you have to hire a foreign national. “Job: nothing really. Reason why visa should be granted: because their school visa is taking a while” is not going to be approved – anyone with half a brain can see this. So, you have to lie on the application. That's a crime. So, we have advocated, by an officer of the party, a big-time crime, made out to be a position of the party, that no-one had heard of, and has no relation to any Pirate Party philosophies at all. All HUGE no-nos. It's about 8 different violations of the party constitution, and can even lead to the party being shut down. Well, I say no-one knew, but the chair did, somewhat. She'd been asked about hiring people considered traitors in their home countries, to get them here. She said she didn't see why not (the better question is 'I didn't see WHY – it's a political party, not a refugee charity) but since we didn't have any money at the moment, she didn't know why he was making a fuss now (I think it was a slow news day on his blog)

Not a 'holy shit, that's bad' or 'he's gone too far, with this and the lies about the O:P letter, he's destroying the party. A “I said I guess so if we weren't broke, so why's he pushing this right now”. So, just about every single accusation made by Mr Emerson regarding the O:P letter, was in fact an accurate description of his actions 2 days earlier.

Someone is actively trying to destroy the party, has jeopardized it's existence, libeled another officer, and flat-out ignored the wishes of the chair. Action? Nothing. 3 hours after an email from the party's website host that the site had been taken down for some sort of malware, we get a 'working on this now'. 7 days after being made aware that someone has violated the rules of their position, 4 days after being notified they'd done it again, in a HUGE way (and potentially landed all the officers in a lot of brown smelly stuff) and 48 hours after being notified they'd done it again, a 3rd time, nothing has been done.

I could see a 'working on this' after the first time, but not the second and third. A pattern has clearly been established that said person is not trustworthy, reliable, or in any way fit for the position they hold. Nor, I am told, was I alone in my feelings. Others had said to they were similarly unhappy with the person in question over their actions, and that they had expressed similar objections to the officer's actions to the chair. I have no way to know if it is true, or I was being placated, but if true, it shows a complete lack of consideration for the protests of team members which are well founded.

And so, I have tended my resignation. In July 2009, I tended my resignation as head of Pirate Party International, because the stress of running such an organization single-handed was too great. Today, I tender my resignation from the USPP, because the stress of dealing with an ignorant, arrogant, addled whittle, and his attempts to gain populist support amongst anarchists and ne'er-do-wells, through exploiting his position with the party to the party's great detriment, and through repeated lies.

Over the 4 years I was with the party, I've had to restart it twice. To do so a third time is more than I can stand to do, and yet it will probably be needed at some point. I will not be the one to do that though. If the top two officers of the party, the chairperson, and the vice-chairperson (or Operations Officer) don't give a damn about the party, it's ideals, or even it's continued existence, why should I?

Instead, I will work towards the supposed goal of the US Pirate Party, using the sort of methods that the party should have been using (fact-based awareness to both the wider public, and governments), and leave what's left of the USPP to it's refugee smuggling and rabble-rousing.

Andrew Norton
(image-grabs of the various emails and pages involved will be added shortly)

**UPDATE** 11/29/2010 15:30 EST
The article claiming that the USPP would be attempting to fraudulently obtain visa's for people has been taken down by it's author, Jay Emerson. I apparantly wasn't the only one very annoyed and upset with his claims. Of course, an overview is still available here, and if you want to see the entire article, it's on the right here, or you can see it through google's cache here. Maybe he'll actually be big enough to stand behind his words, and issue a retraction, but I doubt it. That's why he tried to delete it as quietly as possible.


  1. It's never a good news to hear that motivated people are leaving an active movement which defends the rights of citizens on the net.
    But It's not a good thing either to witness that something is going wrong in those parties. And moreover, it seems that this problem is not local, as I experienced it too here in France. I just hope those talents will not be just lost...

  2. I agree with cwicket. All over the world, "good people" are leaving the Pirate boat.
    Then, people, stereotypical "politicians" take over, pushing their own personal agenda, as brainless as it can be.

  3. Why the fuck does the pirate party need to be importing people?
    What is the point of this? Do you guys have so little support in the US that you need to higher an indian to be a gofer?

  4. uggh, this is horirble.

    Then again Jobs is the leading American export... >.>