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Acknowledging and punishing crime
Louis C.K. did 15 minutes at a stand-up club last week. The audience seemed to like it. They gave him a standing ovation. This is not allowed because he copped to sexual-harassment allegations less than a year ago. He is a pariah and has been ostracized for it. That is his punishment. It's unclear how long this is to last, but one year is definitely not enough. There was never a ruling and his exile was more-or-less self-imposed, but it's been made very clear that he should never be allowed to work or be heard again. Anyone who laughed at his jokes is a misogynist. John McCain finally succumbed to brain cancer a couple of weeks back. The media have supplied one encomium after another for this grand old man's great career. Barack Obama attended his funeral. He did not attend Aretha Franklins' (it's unclear whether he was invited, though). Anyone who points out that McCain was a war-mongering, raving madman is a traitor. Instead, you're only allowed to endlessly quote McCain's daughter's speech at his funeral like it <i>means anything</i> that his daughter thinks he was a great guy. According to <a href="https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/03/wtf-why-adulate-this-warmonger/" source="CounterPunch" author="Gary Leupp">WTF? Why Adulate this Warmonger?</a>, that's what <i>everybody who's anybody thinks</i>, too. <bq>However moving this spectacle is, it is fundamentally sick. That this particular man, with his particular history, gets suddenly thrust into the public face and promoted as national icon even by the likes of Sanders and Ocasio-Chavez is a virtual declaration of national moral bankruptcy.<fn> [...] McCain never saw a war he didn’t like. He regretted not winning the war in Vietnam—like some Nazi pilots no doubt regretted their failure to destroy Stalingrad in their 30,000 (heroic?) sorties over the city in 1942. He advocated U.S. intervention in any number of conflicts as a matter of imperialist entitlement; he shameless articulated American Exceptionalism—but then so did Obama and all this unified cohort rallying to glorify this thug.</bq> The article <a href="https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/03/the-mccain-death-tour-reaches-its-imperial-apotheosis/" source="CounterPunch" author="Paul Street">The McCain Death Tour Reaches Its Imperial Apotheosis</a> continues, <bq>Has there ever been a public high-imperial church-and-state ritual more nauseating than the nationally televised (on CBS, FBC, ABC, WGN, FOX, CSPAN, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, FNC, FBN) funeral of the mad dog killer and longtime Roman-, I mean US-Senatorial warmonger John McCain? I suppose there has, but I am hard-pressed to remember it.</bq> Yes. When Nixon and Reagan died, there was just as ludicrous a hagiography of those criminal's careers. It's just something that the empire does. We focus on manageable outrage, on localized crimes and the criminals who perpetrate them. We feel good when we exact justice on them. The real criminals smirk as we expend our energy on issues that are meaningless in the face of the real problems we have. Eight (or is it five now? Four?) people/families own more than half the world. Much of what matters in people's lives is in the hands of corporations larger and richer than most countries (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. Apple and Amazon have both, at least briefly, achieved trillion-dollar market capitalization. They sit on cash reserves that could solve world hunger multiple times over. They took their <i>tax cut</i> and made their money pile bigger. Wolfgang Shäuble still more or less runs Europe. He's caused more misery and suffering with his financial policies than Louis C.K. Dick Cheney's got yet another new heart (or something like that) and he's going to live forever. Healthier than ever. He's been wreaking havoc for decades. George Bush has a best-selling book, is a terrible painter, an overpaid speaker and is besties with Michelle Obama. Henry Kissinger is still alive and on the loose. Obama has exorbitant speaking fees and a venture-capital fund to keep him busy. Also, polishing his Nobel Peace Prize. Nearly everyone in charge of anything ignores impending climate collapse in favor of promulgating a growth economy for short-term gain---even though to do so nearly ensure that there will be no viable medium- or long-term. The list goes on and on. We have run out of ideas and energy and have long since lost our moral compass and capacity for useful outrage. But let's all pile on the people who laughed at Louis C.K.'s jokes. Once we've taken care of them, everything will be all right. <hr> <ft>From Leupp's article: <bq>[...] the “Democratic Socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Chavez tweets <iq>represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service.</iq></bq></ft>