If Mike McQueary had seen a child being raped in a boardroom or a storeroom, he wouldn’t have been any more likely to have stopped it, or to have called the cops, than he was as a graduate assistant football coach at Penn State. With unemployment edging toward double digits, and only about 10 percent of the workforce unionized, every American who works for a major company knows the penalty for exercising his personal freedom, or his personal morality, at the expense of “the company.” Independent thought is discouraged. Independent action is usually crushed. Nobody wants to damage the brand. Your supervisor might find out, and his primary loyalty is to the company. Which is why he got promoted to be your supervisor in the first place.
It is not a failure of our institutions so much as it is a window into what they have become — soulless, profit-driven monsters, Darwinian predators with precious little humanity left in them. Penn State is only the most recent example. Too much of this country is too big to fail.
Further, the institutions of college athletics exist primarily as unreality fueled by deceit. The unreality is that universities should be in the business of providing large spectacles of mass entertainment. The fundamental absurdity of that notion requires the promulgation of the various deceits necessary to carry it out. The “student-athlete,” just to name one. “Amateurism,” just to name another. Of course, people involved in Penn State football allegedly deceived people when it became plain that children had been raped within the program’s facilities by one of the program’s employees. It was simply one more lie to maintain the preposterously lucrative unreality of college athletics. And to think, the players at Ohio State became pariahs because of tattoos and memorabilia sales.
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Maybe I’ll switch my registration to Republican so I can vote for Gary Johnson in the primary.
Reporters were prevented from watching the raid.
Journalists said they were shut out and roughed up as the New York Police Department cleared Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street protesters in the early morning hours Tuesday. “I’m w/ a NY Post reporter who says he was roughed up by riot police as Zuccotti was cleared,” tweeted Brian Stelter of The New York Times. “He thinks violence was ‘completely deliberate.’ “ Julie Walker, a freelancer for NPR, and Jared Malsin were reportedly arrested. Josh Harkinson, a staff writer for Mother Jones, made it into the park and observed the police arresting protesters (which he described in tweets later), but said he was hauled out when he told a police officer he was working for Mother Jones. ”I decided it would be better to stay out of jail and keep reporting on what’s going on tonight, so I let him haul me out, arguing with him,” he tweeted. Josh Stearns, associate program director at Free Press, is updating his ongoing Storify of journalist arrests at Occupy protests.
Charlie Pierce on the inevitable SuperCommittee deal:
But the cuts will be real. Everybody agrees on that. Even Joe Lieberman, the world’s most revolting human:
“In the last week, each side has busted through a wall. Democrats are talking about entitlement reform, curbing the increase in spending on mandatory programs like Medicare. Republicans have broken through the wall on tax revenue increases. Now they have to figure out if they can meet each other somewhere in the middle.”
This is, of course, nonsense. While it is true that the Democrats have proven themselves willing to sell out their party on the essential social safety net — John Kerry, alas, has reported for duty on this one in a big way — the Republicans have no more “broken through a wall” on “tax increases” than they have all agreed to become Zoroastrians. The “tax increases” are the closing of some loopholes that most of the people who should be feeling the pinch of progressive taxation will never ever notice, and some of which the middle class has come to count on, and, anyway, here’s Grover Norquist, who swings the kind of weight that Lieberman can only dream of wielding:
“I am not losing any sleep” over the Republicans’ latest proposal. Mr. Norquist said he was confident that, “at the end of the day, the Republican House will not pass a tax increase.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is truly that.
One of the co-chairs of the SuperCommittee is Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican congresscritter from Texas and a real prize in his own right. In the past, Hensarling has been a real dope on the topic of health care. He got tough and stupid with the president and wound up launched into the cheap seats. And there he is in the WSJ, demonstrating for good and all that at least one very bloated part of the budget will be spared from the “draconian” budget cuts that are supposed to be triggered by the failure of the SuperCommittee to come to a deal.
“I have a hard time believing a 10-year sequester of national defense of that magnitude would ever happen.” He says, “At some point the American people rise up and say ‘Wait a second, we continue to live in a dangerous world, this is not smart.'”
This is why the SuperCommittee has conducted its deliberations in secret. So you won’t notice the chimps with the flamethrowers.
Would it surprise you if I said there was no evidence at all to support the current school “reforms”? If you have kids (or grandkids), go read this whole thing.
Nov 15th, 2011 at 8:03 am by susie
Following similar raids in St. Louis and Oakland, hordes of NYPD officials this morning forcibly cleared Zuccotti Park in Manhattan of all protesters; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took “credit” for this decision. That led to this description of today’s events from an Occupy Wall Street media spokesman, as reported by Salon‘s Justin Elliott:
A military style raid on peaceful protesters camped out in the shadow of Wall Street, ordered by a cold ruthless billionaire who bought his way into the mayor’s office.
If you think about it, that short sentence is a perfect description of both the essence of America’s political culture and the fuel that gave rise to the #OWS movement in the first place.
Protesters are moving to Foley Square after Zuccotti Park is cleared using tear gas and sonic cannons.
Greg Sargent on the very real success of Occupy Wall Street.
UPDATE: A judge has ruled #ows allowed back into Zuccotti Park until hearing later this morning.
Another brilliant idea from a one-percenter who believes in downsizing, off-shoring, privatizing and other strategies to drastically lower the quality of life for those of us who aren’t wealthy. More here.
Protesters disrupted a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event on health care today, interrupting speaker Scott Serota, the CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Chanting “we are the 99 percent,” the protesters stood at the luncheon event and used a “human microphone” technique to read a statement about how the “the one percent in the health care industry” is only interested in profit “at the expense of human suffering and preventable death.” The protesters decried the influence that the health insurance industry wielded in the debate over the Affordable Care Act, and called for “Medicare for all” or a “single payer health system.”