Current Affairs – US

Beware – Whataboutism

Whataboutism as a defense for bad behavior has become endemic on social media in the last few months. My own phrase for this is “but they did it too!”.
As a defense, it has no merit. You wouldn’t accept it from your own misbehaving child.
However, if you are a partisan supporter and Your Side is in trouble, oh yes, it is a great defense.
Right now, the deployment of whataboutism is being orchestrated on social media by a bot network supporting the Trump administration. Twitter user Conspirador Norteño, who is a data scientist, has been analyzing the conflation of the names “Manafort” and “Podesta” in tweetstorms that have appeared since the announcement that Paul Manafort has been indicted. The conflation is a campaign to point the finger of guilt back at the Democratic Party, for whom Tony Podesta operated as a lobbyist.

It’s Whataboutism, Twitter-style. Don’t get played.


Fercryingoutloud – Monday 23rd October 2017 – Treason

No, you blustering bloviating authoritarian asshats.
Shut it.
People who disagree with you and your cockanamie ideas of “freedom” are NOT guilty of Treason.
Treason has a very narrow definition, as explained here. It is narrowly defined in order to guard against the sort of fuckwittery that I read from you on social media.
POSTSCRIPT – This website, which is claiming that George Soros should be arrested for Treason sedition and just about anything else anybody can think of, takes today’s award for insult word salad with its deployment of “Globalist PedoSatanic Supporting Libtard Crybullies”. A few too many syllables, but it sure reads well…and the few comments on the post are delightful. Intolerant eliminationist keyboard warriors? Oh no. Absolutely not…scribble like those comments always reminds me of this XTC song.


Harvey Weinstein and Colin Kaepernick…

…represent two slightly different outcomes of the same underlying pathology.
The pathology that is on display here is the excessive tolerance of assholes simply because they are perceived to be successful.
Weinstein had been, by all accounts, behaving like an asshole for decades, and not just towards women. As this article explains, he really should have been fired a long time ago, not necessarily for abuse and harrassment of women, but simply because he was, most of the time, a weapons-grade jerk.
Bob Sutton has documented the many reasons why corporations should not tolerate jerks and assholes in the past. They poison the entire corporation in which they operate, and create other little monsters who emulate their behavior, on the grounds that, gee, it sure seemed to work for the guy at the top.
At the same time, a long and dishonorable tendency for the NFL and most of its teams has been unfolding, with the teams seemingly doing their best to turn a blind eye to misbehavior by players off the field, as long as those players are perceived as important performers for the team. Beginning with the Ray Lewis affair, where Lewis ended up being arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to a murder, and was defended by his team until and after he accepted a plea bargain conviction, through the Michael Vick dog-fighting conviction, the deeply unsettling Ray Rice domestic abuse incident, and numerous other examples of players engaging in domestic violence, the NFL has shown itself to be astonishingly willing to ignore or minimize player misbehavior. And yes, Michael Vick, post-retirement, is now a television commentator.
But…then Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel for the National Anthem. Suddenly, he was the Devil Incarnate, the personification of un-American-ness, the lightning rod for every faux-patriot ranter in the USA. He terminated his contract with the 49ers after being informed that he would be released anyway, and has now been passed over by just about every NFL team. He remains a free agent in a league that has a severe deficit of capable quarterbacks, and where almost every week, at least one starting quarterback leaves a game with a significant injury. (Two more starters suffered injuries on Sunday that will probably end their seasons).
Kaepernick’s example is a polar opposite one, of how the NFL treated a player who started a structured, peaceful protest against racial injustice by engaging in an unofficial boycott of that player, while tolerating and sometimes willingly embracing numerous other players who behaved like assholes, in many cases committing felonies. The double standard is glaring.
The examples of Weinstein and Kaepernick show just how far we really are from a mode of operation where being an asshole is derided instead of venerated.


Wellllll now…

I sure hope that this guy has a guaranteed cushy job in a family business waiting for him somewhere, because I have a feeling that he will have trouble explaining this to potential employers. Although, having had to wade through a lot of Tweets and other extracts from the authoritarian echo chamber, I am sure that he is probably still being high-fived online, by both real people and bots saying “yeah! that showed those pissy whiny-ass snowflake libtards! Way To Go!”.


The level of corruption and mendacity in the modern USA is laid bare

…in this bizarre series of events, where a Cub Scout asks a State Senator to explain remarks that she made in a 2013 radio interview, remarks that at best are negatively and dumbly stereotypical, and at worst downright racist. It seems that one or both of the State Senator or the Scout group did not appreciate the Cub Scout’s line of questioning, because he has now been expelled from the den.
This story has so many bad looks in it, from the mendacity and casual lying and bullshit of the State Senator, through to the idea that the right way to handle awkward questions from people is to simply shut them up and punish them. It is an excellent example of the underlying authoritarian culture of impunity that infects the modern USA.

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