‘Calling Kevin Borden at MHAction, Calling Kevin Borden at MHAction – Judas Priest! – man!’ What are you doing and who are you doing it for? Phrases.UK explains that: “”Judas Priest” is a “swear.” It’s used on the theory that it is better to swear using the name of Judas Iscariot…who betrayed Jesus rather than saying “Jesus Christ,” taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Scripture says that Judas Iscariot was one of twelve apostles or disciples of Jesus Christ. Judas sold Jesus out to the Temple priests, who were de facto working in league with the Roman conquers of ancient Israel at the time of Jesus. While the context is clearly different, Judas is a betrayer. Judas in some sense is not unlike Benedict Arnold in America’s history, or Vidkun Quisling (see this report’s featured image) in Norway who betrayed his people to collaborate with the Nazis during the Second World War era. Perhaps Arnold, Quisling, and Judas Iscariot all thought of themselves as something more noble? Did they think think of themselves as scoundrels, mere profiteers of convenience? Of did they think of themselves in some sense as darkly heroic souls who also hoped to benefit from their respective actions? After all, isn’t self-justification how every evil deed in history has transpired? Someone ponders something they want to do, justify or rationalize it, and then they go about doing what they rationalized?
What, if anything, does this have to do with Kevin Borden at MHAction and manufactured home living?
Given that it is the Jewish Passover and the Christian Holy Week, this might be an apt time to explore the notion of betrayal, which perhaps every adult in the world has experienced at various times in their life. Let’s see how problematic betrayals may play out in the manufactured home community sector.
Before proceeding, that question of what do collaborators or betrayers think of themselves – if they consider that role in life at all – is worthy of attention. Why? Precisely because betrayal – various forms of infidelity, ‘sellouts’ or collaborators – are a nearly universal human experience.
In our time it is a common and understandable thought that the Nazis – National Socialists who were corporate fascists in bed with the ruling political class of Hitler’s Germany – were terrible people. Thus collaborating with the Nazis would be an awful thing.
Yet in every nation that Germany conquered or had some degree of control over, there were examples of collaborators or people like Norway’s sellout to Nazis, souls like Vidkun Quisling. Left-leaning Wikipedia says of him that “Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway after World War II. He was found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason against the Norwegian state, and was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945.” The term “a Quisling” entered our language to describe such betrayers, collaborators, and sellouts.
Says Wikipedia, “Quisling…is a term originating in Norway, which is used in Scandinavian languages and in English for a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force – or more generally as a synonym for traitor. The word originates from the surname of the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during World War II.”
Quisling “first came to international prominence as a close collaborator of explorer Fridtjof Nansen, organizing humanitarian relief during the Russian famine of 1921 in Povolzhye. He was posted as a Norwegian diplomat to the Soviet Union, and for some time also managed British diplomatic affairs there,” says Wikipedia. “In 1933, Quisling left the Farmers’ Party and founded the fascist party Nasjonal Samling (National Union).” It was after the Nazi led Germans invaded Norway that Quisling “attempted to seize power in the world’s first radio-broadcast coup d’état.” As part of his personal biography that source says that the at times personally lost in his search for his life’s purpose the talented Norwegian “Though dismayed at the living conditions he experienced [in Russia], Quisling nonetheless concluded that “the Bolsheviks [pro-Communists and Marxists] have got an extraordinarily strong hold on Russian society” and marvelled at how Leon Trotsky had managed to mobilise the Red Army forces so well; by contrast, in granting too many rights to the people of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government under Alexander Kerensky had brought about its own downfall.”
It is good to recall that Quising was a fascist. What is a fascist? Britannica says that while there are several strains of the system, a fascist has “a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites…” Miriam Webster similarly says in part that facism “stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition…” It is also aligned with “Corporate statism, state corporatism, or simply corporatism is a political culture and a form of corporatism – closely related to fascism – whose adherents hold that the corporate group which forms the basis of society is the state,” says Wikipedia. It should be noted that while many think this is a far right movement, a closer look reveals that this can just as easily be and was often leftist. The Nazis, who were fascists, were “National Socialists.”
National Socialists or German Nazis differed from ‘international communism’ or the ‘international socialist movement in as much as they were ultra-nationalists. As is often the case with such groups, they demonize some segments of society – for instance, the Nazi demonization of Jews or minority groups like the Gypsies, who were often dealt with much like Jewish people were. Authoritarians of every type are often adept at demonizing a group via clever propaganda in order to mobilize the support of others.
To sum up, “Corporate statism, state corporatism, or simply corporatism is…closely related to fascism.” While Ronald Reagan’s use of the term liberal here is less than ideal – he more aptly should have said leftist, not liberal. Nevertheless, with that tweak, Reagan claimed that it is the left that has often aligned itself with fascists or corporate power grabs of a society.
One more important point has to be made. No authoritarian – much less their collaborators – normally says in advance that they are coming to take away people’s rights.
Thus, a series of ruses are deployed in order to come to power and then hold it. They may often include the use of half-truths or factually accurate information that is nevertheless applied in a manner that does not actually cure the problem it purports to solve. Some of those ‘red flags’ of fallacies and false arguments are shown below.
Some sellouts or betrayers – say “Judas Iscariot” may never imagine themselves to come into a position of higher authority, as Quisling obtained in Norway in working with the German Nazi regime. History says, “Benedict Arnold was once a patriotic war hero valued by George Washington and admired by his men. But now his name is synonymous with traitor.” History says the motives may have been complex, but “Arnold’s betrayal was clear—he offered the British seizure of the military fortress at West Point, NY, in exchange for 10,000 pounds and a British military commission…” Be it Russia and the Bolshevik takeover, Germany and Norway in how Nazis came to power, or elsewhere, there have been collaborators and sellouts in the ousting of a more just civil order into a far more unjust one. It was routinely done under the pretense of promising more justice while denouncing one segment of society as the villains. Before showing videos about the dark side of manufactured home communities that have been taken up by so-called predatory consolidators – it is good to see that there is a flip side. That flip side is routinely exemplified by ‘mom and pop’ owned businesses. Those mom and pops are often living in or near the communities that they own and manage.
It is in contrast to that brighter picture above that what happens after a purportedly predatory firm enters a market that is reflected below. This is a tale of contrasts. Just as there are black hats, there are also white hats. As prior interviews – linked here and here – with this author by the consumer advocacy platform Pissed Consumer revealed, those shopping for a manufactured home are advised to find the above and avoid the below.
What Does This Historic Snapshot Have to Do with Kevin Borden and MHAction, if Anything?
To save time and avoid redundancy, it is useful to explore the in depth report linked below, which uses data that the Institute of Policy Studies or IPS and MHAction were among those reportedly participated in writing.
Let’s stress that as in the case of the reporting by MHAction – which lists Kevin Borden as their executive director – on how private equity giants are undermining manufactured home community living in numerous cases, there are valid evidence-based argument to be made. Their private report as part of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project was part of the information that the Washington Post, satirist John Oliver in HBO’s Last Week Tonight, and others used in their respective reports. See the report with videos shown below.
More on that report linked above later. But first, are there times that MHAction – their authors and allies – have exaggerated or taken something out of context? Yes, that case could be made. But in fairness, on balance, much of what MHAction has alleged is accurate.
So, why is it that the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League (GSMOL) prior president sound a warning to her members about MHAction? Why did she point out their link to the Tides?
As MHLivingNews previously reported, once that tip from GSMOL and Michelle Smith sunk in and the money trail was followed, they proved factually correct. The money trail to MHAction led back to the Tides. But the largest donor to the Tides in turn led back to a foundation supported solely by Warren Buffett.
Notice: After MHLivingNews and our MHProNews sister site
broke the story that MHAction was supported by the Tides, MHAction
added to the footer of their website the disclosure shown in the top of
the screen capture/collage shown below. Rephrased, MHAction apparently
confirmed their connection to the Tides – and thus Buffett bucks – that
GSMOL and MHLivingNews made.
The ties between Buffett and Bill Gates and their arguably corrupt “philanthro-feudalism” use of nonprofits has been documented from both the political left, centrists, and the right.
Kevin Clayton in his video interview with transcript linked below reveals how Kevin with some enthusiasm alludes to the role that nonprofits play in their vision. That is brought to life by how nonprofits such as MHI and MHAction – which appear to be rivals, are in some pragmatic ways arguably working for the same thing. Namely, what each of those nonprofits are doing purportedly tends to increase the power of the private equity giants, not decrease them.
James A. Schmitz Jr. and his fellow research colleagues have lifted up the value of prefab or manufactured home living. But in doing so, they made the compelling evidence-based point that HUD and and builders are working against the manufactured home option which is in their view a positive, viable option for potentially millions to become homeowners in an affordable and sustainable fashion.
They also made the evidence-based case that failure to deploy affordable manufactured homes were needed creates otherwise avoidable homelessness. To reframe that, from a complete different starting point, Schmitz and his colleagues arrived at some very similar conclusions to MHLivingNews and our MHProNews sister site have.
Is Kevin Borden a Judas [Iscariot] Priest? A Quisling or Benedict Arnold type of collaborator or betrayer? Is Borden a witting or somewhat unwitting sellout for mere money? He certainly appears to be paid for what he does.
Borden has been given several opportunities by MHLivingNews and our MHProNews sister site to weigh in on our analysis and commentary on numbers of these topics, including, but not limited those that have named him and MHAction. Borden has remained silent. That silence, of course, his Constitutionally protected right. That right to remain silent is to be respected.
But silence leaves unchallenged the de facto image of Borden as arguably an evidence-based collaborator with big business that is exercising increasingly fascist authoritarianism. Borden, who comes from the political left and groups tied to George Soros and others on the left, faces the implications charged by liberal attorney turned journalist Glen Greenwald, who has bluntly said in various ways and citing evidence how it is the left and their corporate masters who are building an authoritarian regime here in the U.S.
Intentionally or ironically, Greenwald made a similar case to the claim by Ronald Reagan noted above and decades before. But Greenwald’s thesis is far more detailed and of course contemporary case that the threat of facism is from the political left.
Coming from an entirely different set of researched topics, Greenwald’s evidence-based contention just happens to fit what Robert F. Kennedy – a lifelong Democrat – has similarly contended.
Revolutions are often fostered by monied powers that help fund and mobilize the disaffected into action. That is a lesson of history.
There are good reasons for those who live in manufactured home communities that have been bought up by private equity and then had their site fees dramatically hiked in often short order to be upset, threatened, or even angered. Their quality of life that in some cases were enjoyed for years or even decades is suddenly upended.
But the answer to can not be a one-size-fits-all rent control and other ‘regulatory’ fixes. At best, rent control can be a band-aid, to slow down the pain that is inflicted upon residents that are subjected to this pattern that MHAction and others have argued exists. But rent control can never cure the problem, which can only be solved by restoring the free market.
The solution is suggested obliquely by Tim Sheahan and directly by Robert “Bob” Van Cleef, both of whom are community residents who are living the issues of predatory consolidators – i.e. “sabotage monopolists” as Schmitz and company might dub it. must be a restoration of the free market. That means that the true villains are not only the private equity powers and their de facto allies. It is also those Quislings, Judas, or Benedict Arnolds who sell out for money – sometimes posturing good deeds but that when they are closely examined, turn out to be wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing subterfuges who aid the very ones who are being decried.
Ironically, Borden and his ilk are arguably correct that “the many can defeat the money.” That is historically true. It has been demonstrated time and again in various populist eras of American history, when a groundswell would oust the “Robber Baron” tactics of the financial elites, who are routinely monopolistic. How is that accomplished?
First by a proper understanding of what is actually going on in the manufactured home community sector and in the manufactured housing industry – and nation – as a whole.
This report will be given an update scheduled for later today that will be linked below.
MHProNews featured a report – based on a tip – that made the argument that MHAction – by accident and/or design are actually working in collusion with MHI member Frank Rolfe and others who are steadily consolidating the industry. The protestors in this video may not realize that, but what about MHAction leaders like Borden?
Almost every word of this video below is arguably accurate. But the question then becomes, what follows that understanding? Is rent-control alone going to solve it? No. Says who? Pro-manufactured home resident voices that include ROC USA President Paul Bradley.
There has to be more sites brought online. There has to be authentic competition. There should be a breakup of monopolistic forces.
The laws to do all of those things already exist, which the hyperlinked new report given to FHFA at the link here revealed.
- Which begs the question, why aren’t MHAction and their allies repeatedly calling to break up Berkshire Hathaway?
- Why aren’t MHAction and their allies calling for the break up under antitrust laws and possible RICO violations of the FAANG BM brands?
- Isn’t that the breakup of monopolistic oligarchs the logical way to breathe new life into the marketplace, as several third-party research reports that include voices across the left-right divide have pointed out?
One of our tag lines has long been “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. This is not a court of law. We can raise issues, document the concerns, make the arguments, and invite people like Warren Buffett – and their corporate surrogates – and people like Kevin Borden – and his allies and surrogates to debate, correct the record, or otherwise attempt to deny what the evidence above and linked from this report suggests.
But the case can be made that MHAction – along with others, they are far from alone – are some of the alligators, piranha, and deadly sharks in the waters of Warren Buffett’s moat as he seeks to protect and expand the powers of his castle.
In fairness, it is certainly possible that Borden – as well as others – got into their role without full awareness. That sort of thing happens often enough.
But once awareness arises, then responsibility and culpability follow, right? As a closing point, because Democrats as well as Republicans have made noise about antitrust enforcement, this point should be stressed. There is no need to enact new laws. There are voices from both major parties – conversant with antitrust law – that have said so. The time to act to stop the collusion between big money, big corporate media, big tech, nonprofits, and the Iron Triangle, is now.
To learn more, see the related reports, because “We Provide, You Decide.” © Yes, the many can beat the money, by applying the good laws that are explored in overview fashion in the report linked here.
And, yes, the case can be made that Kevin Borden and others like him need to be carefully examined and held to account for whatever role they are playing – wittingly or not – in pushing laws that big companies benefit from, and often end up doing quite the opposite of what they claim before those laws are passed.
That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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