It's Complicated

« February 2011 »

Memo to Jeff Cox and Objectivist assholes: YOU ARE DUMB.

I have to say, I'm not entirely comfortable with the firing of Indiana deputy attorney general Jeff Cox.

Well, let me rephrase that. I'm entirely comfortable with Jeff Cox being out of a job. He's clearly a dickhead. What gives me pause is the manner and means of his dismissal - he was, essentially, canned over a political tweet from a private account.

For obvious reasons, I have a problem with people's private Internet opinionating causing them to suffer recriminations in the workplace and loss of livelihood. If the person's not speaking as an employee, then they should be free to express their opinions publicly as a private citizen. For it to lead to a firing, it has to affect actual job performance, and in a real way, not in a "his private statements caused a controversy that people are now asking us about" kind of way.

So, did Jeff Cox cross the line? What did he say? Well, on Twitter, he made the following suggestion for dealing with the Wisconsin protesters: "Use live ammunition."

That's not good. It's pure eliminationist rhetoric, mixed with a bit of paramilitary authoritarian fetishizing. Cox also maintained a blog with a lot of similar, extreme right-wing stuff on it. Dickish, but not illegal. And while I'm not thrilled that an Illinois prosecutor holds those views, it's fuckin' Twitter. It was mouthing off on the Internet. No big deal.

But the thing is, he mouthed off in response to Mother Jones, who tweeted the rumor that riot police would be clearing out protesters in the middle of the night. Mother Jones saw this, followed up, found out who he was and who he worked for, and here's the key, asked him if he stood by his statement. His response, on the record? "You're damn right I advocate deadly force."

And now we have a problem. Because shooting protesters is against the law. The protesters clearly weren't, as Cox claimed, threatening the governor and state legislators. And even merely "threatening" doesn't justify deadly force against the entire crowd. And as a deputy AG, Cox' job is to uphold the law, not openly advocate for blatant violations of it. So I guess I'm OK with it, but it's VERY close to the line. A line I don't ever need to see crossed.

In other news, news I've been meaning to get to for almost a month now, it was revealed toward the end of January that author Ayn Rand, whose books and philosophy are the basis for the absolute stupidest subset of American libertarianism... collected Social Security and Medicare benefits late in life.

Now, I'm not suggesting that she didn't deserve Social Security and Medicare. I'm just saying that her legions of worshippers, who want both programs to be destroyed, who worship independence from government above all else, need to be aware that all the mental gymnastics they went through to justify this in their own minds? They don't matter.

You don't have a fucking leg to stand on, and you know it. Your idol couldn't do it on her own. She couldn't pay her medical expenses from the sweat of her brow and the proceeds from her labor. She needed, and took, the government's help. She was what you call a "parasite". She was what I call a "hypocrite".

Maybe she knew that. Maybe she even felt a little bad about it. I'm not gonna judge her harshly for her life choices. Judging Ayn Rand harshly is a task best left to the discipline of literary criticism. But all you fuckers who take her word as law? Enjoy the little voice in the back of your tiny brains that's whispering how full of shit you are just a little bit louder as a result of this news. Nobody gave that unease and self-doubt to you. You earned it all on your own.