Monday, January 20, 2014

silent political privilege

slate |  The excuses are weak. In the words of the committee report, “it is difficult to believe that Holder’s judgment would be so monumentally poor that he could not understand how he was being manipulated by Jack Quinn.” And presidential pardons don’t just slip through like this, especially not pardons of wanted fugitives. If Holder had followed protocols and made sure the Justice Department was looped in, there’s no way that Rich would have been pardoned. Hundreds of thousands of men sit in American prisons doing unconscionably long sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. DNA tests routinely turn up cases of unjust convictions. But Marc Rich bought his pardon with money and access, and the committee’s response to that purchase is worth quoting in full:
The President abused one his most important powers, meant to free the unjustly convicted or provide forgiveness to those who have served their time and changed their lives. Instead, he offered it up to wealthy fugitives whose money had already enabled them to permanently escape American justice. Few other abuses could so thoroughly undermine public trust in government.
But there was no real lasting damage to trust in government, or to anyone’s reputation, really. Bill Clinton retired to wealth and adulation. Eric Holder got his wish and eventually became attorney general. And Marc Rich died a wealthy man in Switzerland. He never came back to the United States—if he had returned, he would have been subject to civil suits, which would have ended up costing him money—but he was able to live out the rest of his life without having to worry about being arrested, having bought his freedom from craven politicians who were only too willing to sell.

34 comments:

BigDonOne said...

"I hope to live in a future where people who already have the interest to pursue CS or programming don't self-select themselves out of the field."
Better to follow where one's DNA leads. Genetics rule. It's why Asians are not significantly found in the NFL & NBA even though they may "have the interest"....

Vic78 said...

Professional athletes are outliers. There's only room for around 450 players. A little over 200 of which get significant playing time. It isn't genes, it's interest and encouragement. There is heavy investment in Black basketball players from all levels. You have parents dreaming through their kids. You have coaches and shoe companies looking through neighborhoods for kids that are halfway decent. There's sophisticated coaching for youngsters all over the country. Most of those resources are targeted toward Black kids. When one sees over representation, it's due to investment. The US has decided to invest in Black basketball players. If you don't believe me, look at Michael Jordan and all of his endorsements.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Bro CNu:


Is there room to investigate the question:


"What forces make 'Weak Groups' take a certain course of action (and investment of their valuables) with the PROMISE of being strengthened, only to remain WEAKENED?"


* This after their GOVERNANCE CULTURE is stolen via conspiracy from inside and outside confidence men that systematically destroy the INSTITUTIONS that, if properly governed - would lead to their acquisition of the desired standard of living AND the means at producing sufficient self-defense against this said enemy?

CNu said...

At the end of Jim Crow, the hood's "governance culture" turned its back on the hood and fled to the burbs where the white man's grass is greener, his ice is colder, and his grocery stores sell fresher meat and produce..

The burb's "governance culture" turned its back on the burb's at the end of the Church Committee Hearings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee


Both sets of abandoned, lower-class populations have been degenerating and imploding ever since...,

BigDonOne said...

At least The 'Hood got itself a National Holiday. It could have been someone like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Orville Wright, or even Steve Jobs, you know, IQ-160 White Guys who actually created benefits for society. Instead it was someone whose main contribution was to facilitate an environment that trashed the once-great public school system, trashed once-great major urban centers, and fostered creation of a multi-generational OOW-bred cradle-to-grave dependency. Today's flags should be displayed at a shameful half-mast....

CNu said...

Read your Murray son. WASP elite had already decided to withdraw from the task of governing and uplifting your cave-dwelling, blue-painted monkey asses. Left to your own devices, you managed to phuk what they gave you up beyond all recognition because you're irrational, id-governed primitives whose logic, language, values, and character is exemplified in what we see all around us right now. Poor black folk got the karmic short end of the stick of being the "least of these" whose travails comprise the American canary in the coal mine signpost of what's very shortly up ahead for you and yourn.


The WASPs had enslaved your forbears for centuries, imprisoned and deported you in droves (Australia) and even attempted to genocide you (Potato famine) but to no avail. By my reckoning, and based on a comparative assessment of our respective reception within the WASP fold, you and the other red-headed step children have a very great deal to be afraid of inasmuch as you've never particularly garnered any kind of civic or kinship favor from those you worship and identify with - but who despise you.

Constructive_Feedback said...

BigDonOne:


The greatest strategic mistake by THE BLACK RANK & FILE was - in their failure to see the distinction between "The Rank & File Black People" who are SEEKING DEVELOPMENT and the "Black Racial Services Machine" (The Black POLITICAL overlay force - from both parties are POLITICAL OPERATIVES selling Black people the notion of "VOTING FOR OUR SALVATION").


Just as a corporation is divided into:
* The Policy Makers (the board)
* The Executives (the managers of the resources as they execute the policy)
* Analysts & Auditors that MEASURE the results and provide outlook
* Journalists and Investigators that protect the interests of both the SHAREHOLDERS and CONSUMING PUBLIC


........the Black community has been tricked into "CONGREGATIONAL UNITY" - engaging in a constant FIGHT against the ENEMY that the "Black Racial Services machine" stands up.


Instead of A HOLIDAY FOR DR KING - where more details of his life are expressed each year (go look at the AJC.com today) - they should have had a STRAIGHT UP "CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS DAY".


When Martin Luther King III is allowed to stand up in Washington DC (this past summer) and tell the congregation "THERE IS MORE WORK TO BE DONE" - this sets the stage for the congregation to refuse to ask "WHERE IS THE MONEY THAT WE GAVE TO YOU ALREADY - YET WE REMAIN UNDER-DEVELOPED?". Instead they got a PROGRESSIVE PRESIDENT, control Atlanta politics and the schools and are ready to MAKE ANOTHER RUN against the RIGHT WING FORCES that remain in power - as the face of WHY they are under-developed.


The greatest strategic mistake for the Americanized Negro that has STILL not been undone despite its clear failure is the choice to make THE BLACK COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRUGGLE into a pure POLITICAL STRUGGLE at the hands of Bayard Rustin.


EVEN WHEN THEY WIN ON THE FRONT END (elections) - it is obvious: "YOU DON'T NEED TO DEVELOP THE AMERICANIZED NEGRO AS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR 'STRUGGLE MOTION' - you only need to KEEP HIM STRUGGLING AGAINST THE ENEMY THAT YOU STAND UP FOR HIM TO FIGHT".


The institutions in the Black Community (church, school, culture) will be MOLESTED to the form necessary to carry on this fraudulent divergence.


ONLY a refocus upon BUILDING THE AMERICANIZED NEGRO UP for the purposes that he might be made a tool to help the BLACK DIASPORA will cause the Americanized Negro to pull the Indian hair sold to him by the Korean retailers that dominate the retail commerce in his community and get some CONSCIOUSNESS other than that which OPPORTUNISM represents.

Tom said...

CNu I think you're skipping some steps here, can you slow it down for the IQ 100 crowd? Are you drawing an analogy between Haidt and the race-studies folks? (E.g., maybe both are distracting talkers who have not merely worn out their welcome but overtly conned many of us for years?)

CNu said...

Ninety-nine percent of our scarce political energy goes into
promoting dumbass weenies like Devega over the thick-skulled assheads
he's mocking (or the reverse). Nothing's left over to think about
what's really happening.

Ninety-nine percent of our scarce political energy goes into
promoting dumbass weenies like Coates over the thick-skulled assheads
he's mocking (or the reverse). Nothing's left over to think about
what's really happening.

Ninety-nine percent of our scarce political energy goes into
promoting dumbass weenies like Perry over the thick-skulled assheads
she's mocking (or the reverse). Nothing's left over to think about
what's really happening.

Works perfectly and never misses a beat..., http://libcom.org/files/ReedWhatAreTheDrumsSayingBooker.pdf

Vic78 said...

Here's what's really happening: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/fifty-states-of-fear/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1&

CNu said...

Yeah..., no. This doesn't take into consideration demographies whose proclivities I'm well aware of and by which I'm sincerely disgusted and in consequence of which I have no Christian compassion or empathy. Sorry.

Tom said...

Yeah. Wow. Public Intellectual.

CNu said...

and the reason it's troubling for me is that these scrubs couldn't remotely live up to the privilege of carrying their forbears' jock straps - seriously - yet to read or hear them tell it - the original old school cats back in the day spitting fire into the face of Jim Crow and genuine physical oppression didn't know the half of it when it comes to the "structural animus" that is the stock-in-trade of this tiresome, contrived field of study.

It's far and away the most troubling demography of known proclivity for whom I have no empathy and with which I am utterly disgusted. On a daily basis, the roman catholic church does more by 7:00am for the least of these than the whole and entire assemblage of public intellectuals has accomplished over the past 40 years scribbling books and whooping gums about cultural production and structural bias and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah....,

Vic78 said...

Reed's essay was published in 1995. Seeing that his targets have only grown richer doing the same thing tells me this country has accumulated some bad karma. What's really troubling is the enthusiastic support this group gets. There's something to Moldbug's idea of the Cathedral.

CNu said...

Is what I'm talking about!!! There was a bass crescendo in the pop cultural voice in the late 80's early 90's and then all of sudden, nothing but madness and stupidity coinciding with the complete and total feminization of the talking heads and intellectual spheres.

Nakajima Kikka said...

This is ok as far as it goes, but its author is working with blinders on, as he only focuses on the use of fear by the state. In fact, we now live in a profoundly fear-based society. Fear, mistrust, even nihilism course and pulsate through the culture, driving and motivating the thoughts and actions of all of us. The content of the article reveals the

CNu said...

Curious to know if you think Israel is a culture of, by, and for fear - and - whether you think Nazi Germany was a culture of, by, and for fear?

Nakajima Kikka said...

My last sustained social interaction with Israelis was 2004-2006 (American Jews =/= Israelis). Based on that, I would say that as of then, Israeli culture definitely had a strong element of fear to it, but fear did not course and pulsate through it in the way that it does now in American culture.
There's little doubt in my mind that Nazi culture was of, by and for fear, though.

CNu said...

Both were born from older and stable cultural materials subjected to extreme trauma and privation.

The fact that living memory history has been largely overwritten with regard to the extremism of the Jews is no excuse for failing to recognize what they were/are. http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2014/01/zionist-terrorism-drove-creation-of.html http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2014/01/since-my-people-are-better-than-yours.html

American Jewry and its hold on American political life has been foundational to Israel, and the disproportionate influence wielded by American Jewry on the collective conscious/unconscious of America could be considered foundational to American living memory history.

Nazi culture was of, by, and for lebensraum and for resources that it didn't have after having been stripped of them. I find it difficult to distinguish between American manifest destiny, the Nazi push for lebensraum, and the Zionist project. Except perhaps that the Germans moved faster, applied industrial methods, and had a wicked sense of style about their many and sundry predatory militaristic efforts....,

Nakajima Kikka said...

Hmmm. The early 1990s coincides with the arrival in force of third-wave feminism on the American intellectual scene:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism

Though the gradual feminization of men since 1945 is an observable cross-cultural phenomenon, I'm not convinced that any particular wave of feminism per se is the key driver. Third-wave feminism, with its emphasis on deconstruction of gender identity, particularly female gender identity, certainly could be a contributing factor in the on-going masculinization (and corporatization) of American women, though.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Interestingly, one concern that the Israelis of my acquaintance expressed repeatedly was the corrosive effect that American Jewish immigrants had on their culture and way of life. They strongly felt that these immigrants' fear and hatred of Arabs was not rational, and only made resolution of Israel's political disputes with Arabs and Palestinians more difficult, if not impossible. They also didn't care much for these immigrants' individualistic and self-centered lifestyles, which they felt were not compatible with Israeli communitarian values.

BigDonOne said...

Jews have great culture, strong family values - bear so few children OOW you can't even find a statistic on it....

CNu said...

Uh, yeah...., these haredim are a real peach http://subrealism.blogspot.com/search?q=ultra+orthodox

Tom said...

It's a nice perspective. George Will, or this O'Rly character, are just Al Sharpton, same schtick, different base. Same with horrible James Carville, or teh absurd Kos.

Vic78 said...

Speaking of public intellectuals, I found this from 1979. http://libcom.org/library/black-particularity-reconsidered-adolph-l-reed-jr

Vic78 said...

What really sucks is that the ratings don't justify the time and money invested into them.

CNu said...

aaawwwwwwwwww shit!!!!! looks like I'ma learn something today! Thanks, thanks, and more thanks for this meaty contribution to my understanding of the living memory history of black nationalist counter-insurgency.

CNu said...

Bears repeating: the entire Faux News cast'o'characters are just Al Sharpton with the same schtick and a different base. THIS is why George Schuyler is recommended reading hereabouts. He was calling out this nonsense in 1931 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_No_More - and nobody has done it better or more clearly in the 80+ years since!

CNu said...

Is how we KNOW it's not a simple, vanilla business proposition. This programming is heavily subsidized because it serves a very definite purpose in the constellation of elite establishment political propaganda. If you have a significant number of mouthy mediocrities in higher ed chasing after the brass ring of celebrated punditry, that's far fewer mouthy mediocrities you'll have to contend with in the fields of genuine business development, grass roots organizing, and brick and mortar political activism of the type that's much more difficult to govern and control.



From the perspective of the powers that be, this is small potatoes very well spent, and has been since the Ford Foundation first instituted and funded race studies programs in colleges and universities at the height of the black power movement.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Here's another one that's less than a year old.

http://nonsite.org/feature/django-unchained-or-the-help-how-cultural-politics-is-worse-than-no-politics-at-all-and-why

CNu said...

Not fine wine..., 30+ years of embedding in the Cathedral have robbed him of the eloquence and parsimony of the earlier piece. I'll finish it, but it's a struggle through a lot of limp-wristed encumbrance....,

CNu said...

Pure goodness, simply stated, a pleasure to read.

Nakajima Kikka said...

It seems like it could have been reorganized into two separate essays. Still, it's historically useful as an endpoint document. Placing the three essays side-by-side is illustrative of the process of response of black public intellectuals, and the American left more broadly, to the steady, relentless advance of neoliberalism from '79 to the present.

There also hints within it of "what is to be done?" given neoliberal philosophy's current position of full-spectrum dominance in political life. In the cultural sphere, the need to produce art and music expressing themes invoking the value of cooperativity, connectivity and organization over and against individualism and atomism. In the economic sphere, the rebirth of the cooperative as an alternative business model to both the corporation and the sole proprietor.

Nakajima Kikka said...

This particular behavior of Silicon Valley's IT leading lights could provide plenty of grist for artistic works containing a theme of organization over individualism.

http://pando.com/2014/01/23/the-techtopus-how-silicon-valleys-most-celebrated-ceos-conspired-to-drive-down-100000-tech-engineers-wages/

There's also that unionization thing.

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