At a time when the industrialized world, from Europe to the Americas, is teetering on the brink of a complete economic collapse, at a time when politics in all so-called advanced democracies are locked in dispiriting stalemate, Occupy — in its varied forms, from its various encampments — is prompting a public rendered brain dead by 30 years of self-delusional politics to wake, to ask the right questions.
Occupy faces its own challenges in meeting the future. But trying to shut it down — by force, as in New York, or by a material embargo, as in Boston — does the nation a disservice.
PENN STATE FALLOUT
Maybe Jerry Sandusky is a grotesque pedophile guilty of the monstrous crimes for which he has been charged. "Maybe," however, is the operative word. The feeding frenzy that has engulfed Sandusky's indictment — long overdo — is indicative of the hugely unfortunate situation that has subsumed the American justice system: the trial, conviction, and punishment of an alleged criminal in the court of public opinion replete with irreparable, life-destroying actions before the defendant has had his day in court.
The point here is not about if Sandusky is guilty and convicted.
What if, just what if, Sandusky is acquitted? That certainly is a possibility — remember the alleged pedophile Michael Jackson?
Is Sandusky even able to get a fair trial at this point? Even before the broadcast of his admittedly creepy recent interviews, Sandusky was already guilty in so many eyes. In this disgraceful case of institutional misconduct, so many lives already have been completely destroyed. But that is not a license for an electronic lynching now — even before Sandusky's trial begins. This rush to judgment, this AK-47-like rapid firing is by itself frightening — and is once again leaving what is supposed to be our blindfolded justice system bullet-ridden.
The Massachusetts State Legislature this week passed important protections for the rights of transgendered people in the commonwealth, with Governor Deval Patrick expected to sign the bill into law. They should be applauded for that accomplishment — and encouraged to now move forward separately with a public-accommodations provision. We celebrate progress, but demand true equality.