Archive - May 2014

May 29th

Not So Great Actually

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Memo to the VA, John Kerry, and allegedly, Bill Weisenberger: YOU ARE DUMB.

It has not been a good week for American exceptionalism. Not that it's ever a good week for American exceptionalism in the world of You Are Dumb Dot Net. If you really think we're better than anyone else, and you're not using as your metrics insensitivity to veterans, blustering machismo from our ostensibly liberal politicians, and racism above and beyond the call of duty as your metrics, then you need to pay extra attention to today's SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY.

Credit where credit is due - the VA scandal is the first scandal attached to the Obama administration that deserves to stick. I mean, extrajudicial drone killings and NSA spying deserve to stick, too, but with those, I'm still waiting for them to become scandals. The VA thing, at least, people are paying attention to.

That said, I know a little bit about bureaucracy. and while "cooking the books" was clearly wrong, anyone who wonders how it could have happened is deluding themselves. If the word from on high is that you're going to get in trouble if people wait more than a month for an appointment, and the resources at your disposal give you wait times of five months, people will find a way to lie.

You don't get to a five month waiting period through incompetence. The number of doctors available, the number of patients seeking appointments, and the time an appointment takes are all quantifiable. If they don't add up to short waits, then maybe we need more doctors. Which costs money. Or maybe we shouldn't have made so many goddamned sick and injured veterans.

John Kerry decided to get in a dick-measuring contest with Edward Snowden this week, claiming that "Edward Snowden is a coward, he is a traitor and he has betrayed his country. If he wants to come home tomorrow to face the music, he can do so."

And there's almost a point to that. Almost. If you want to break a law to prove a political point, ideally, they should face a fair justice system and be willing to pay the price for what they've done. But we don't have a fair justice system, and when it comes to national security, not wanting to be thrown in solitary confinement for years before you're even charged with a crime, while the government makes its case in the court of public opinion and you rot in an extrajudicial hole, makes you a "coward". It makes you understandably terrified.

So, fuck John Kerry. As bad as the second Bush term was, I can take some small comfort in knowing that either way, we'd have had a shithead in charge.

And speaking of unfair judicial systems, Mississippi!

Now, this is all alleged. Interestingly, the accused judge hasn't spoken in the week since these charges came to light. Usually there'll be at least a pro forma denial statement. But I want to recount the charges, because when put together in narrative form, they paint a hilarious/disturbing picture of rural Mississippi in the "modern" era.

Bill Weisenberger, a former law enforcement officer and current Madison County Justice Court judge, was freelancing as a security guard at a flea market when, according to his accusers, he slapped and kicked a mentally handicapped black man and then yelled "run, nigger, run" at him when he fled.

Racism is everywhere. But there are certain varieties of racism that are unique to the Deep South, and racist beatings by a judge working security at a flea market that he thinks is a big joke? If true, that's the fucking cheese grits and fried green tomatoes of racism right there.