Monday, March 18, 2013

The Important Stuff

So the weekend started out with the CPAC convention hitting the giant rock of racism, then sinking without a trace as serial quitter Sarah Palin wowed 'em with boob jokes and pretend fellatio on a cup of soda.  Having a couple yahoos talk about "race pride" makes me want to slink off to some other country; I have nothing but pity for people too stupid to realize Palin lives by a motto Frank Zappa put on the cover of an album:  She's in it for the money.

These and other bits of CPAC ridiculousness - like the gay press trolling Craiglist ads to catch some major-league hypocrisy - kept much of the left-wing giggling behind its collective hand.  All the while two pieces of news, each horrible in its own way, emerged with only scant attention paid.  First, there was the revelation Friday not only that Richard Nixon actively worked to sabotage the Paris Peace Talks while he was only a candidate for the Presidency.  It turns out Lyndon Johnson knew about it because Hoover's boys had the transcripts thanks to a bug on the phone of the South Vietnamese ambassador.  Johnson was tempted to go public, but decided he didn't want the extent of FBI wiretapping on the diplomatic corps revealed.  Even though both Johnson and his Secretary of Defense, Clark Clifford, called what Nixon was doing "treason", they kept it hush-hush.  The story, as well as how it links up with later Republican international ratfuckery, can be found at Alternet, and is worth the time to read the whole thing.

The other big news item was the guilty verdict in a rape case in Steubenville, OH.  What makes this case, and the subsequent verdict, important are really two things.  First, is the intersection of good-old-boyism and the Internet, with videos of the victim and perpetrators uploaded to YouTube, videos that pretty clearly demonstrate how the poor victim was not only incapable of granting consent, but that not only the two young men on trial but others involved treated the young woman like a piece of meat.  The other is the way the trial, and the media's coverage, divided this small city of less than 20,000.  A young woman, passed out from too much alcohol, is repeatedly raped and sodomized and there is far more attention paid to and sympathy expressed for the young men convicted of these horrific acts than the young woman in question.  Excuse me while I withhold my sympathy a bit from them, and pretty much hold anyone who defended them in contempt.  Their conviction is a victory for justice in the midst of far too much ugliness.

Virtual Tin Cup

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