Thursday, October 25, 2007

Patrick Byrne: 'You May As Well Burn Those Kids'


Herr Byrne pontificates on kids, and the burning thereof

Overstock.com's SEC-investigated CEO Patrick Byrne knows a lot about burning cash-- his money-losing company is an expert at that. But Byrne apparently confuses burning cash with burning kids.

And not just any kids. Poor Hispanic, Native American and African-American kids. They're down on their luck. They can't finish high school.

Burn them!

As he continues his charm offensive in Utah, where the lifelong bachelor is campaigning for school vouchers -- yesterday he called voucher opponents "bigots" -- Byrne has brought a refreshing Hitlerian tone to the voucher debate.

Dissatisfied with driving away potential supporters by using smear tactics, Byrne has decided to pull out all the stops and really alienate them.

Here are his exact words in a TV appearance, brought to my attention by an alert Utah reader:
Right now 40% of Utah minorities are not graduating high school. You may as well burn those kids. That's the end of their life in any signif... that's the end of their ability to achieve in this society. If they do not get a high school education, you just might as just throw the kids away.
Here's a Youtube video, so you can see for yourself.

I guess that's easy enough to say when you're the son of an insurance industry executive, and have never had to work a day in your life. Just burn the underclass. Useless people. Untermenschen.

I have no idea if Byrne really believes that people such as that don't have the right to live. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if he did. (This kind of thing makes me wonder. Who's writing his scripts: Judd Bagley?)

Byrne's millions may allow him to buy this voucher election, but it won't buy him a whit of common sense, or any of the integrity or emotional maturity that most people get without spending a dime.

UPDATE: The local NAACP has demanded an apology. Byrne responded with the same obfuscations that, I expect, he'll be directing toward the SEC as its formal investigation of him and Overstock proceeds.

My advice to Byrne: stick to not selling toasters.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site, gary-weiss.com.

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