Top 10 US Institutional Injustices of the Past Decade
Take a beautiful green earth, full of blooming life and dripping dew beads, and watch man completely wreak havoc on it. After all, such is his nature… to destroy nature. No matter how far we come as a human race, through whatever triumph, there always exists a lingering corruption that is unshakable, and deeply rooted into the heart of vital institutions we’ve come to rely on to survive, worship, be educated, be entertained. And if there is any root, it has to be in the human fixation to acquire property, greed more often than not leading the way when it comes to a corrupted institution, one controlled by the corrupt and easily corruptible. Here are ten U.S. institutional injustices which have occurred in the past decade or so alone:
Barry Bonds was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for breaking the home run record. Meanwhile, he was on trial for steroid usage (found guilty and denying the fact). That his name still remains in the books is unconscionable, especially where Babe Ruth took the record without any kind of drug use that would work in his advantage. Then again that seems to be the nature of baseball. It’s the dismissive “everyone’s doing it” attitude that lets these things slide, even as Mark McGwire slides onto home plate completely jacked up on the stuff.
Examples include Tupac, several times over, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, and most recently Amy Winehouse. The releases tend to be little more than scratch book jottings pounded into overblown over-ambition by unfamiliar hands. The questionable part in it all is the intention: are these releases just to satisfy fans who long for material from an artist taken prematurely from their post? More often than not an obvious buck is to be made off an immensely popular musician’s star power, wherein which their name and likeness overrides what actually bears them. The production team behind Michael Jackson’s “Michael” were surely aware of how much money people would offer for just one last taste of the man. Meanwhile, not much new was being pumped out in the years he was still vaguely with us. Oh, how death increases the value of one’s life.
What makes these nominal fees so outrageous, more than for charging customers to access their own money, is why they were implemented – because banks were being forbidden from charging exorbitant debit card per-swipe fees (averaging 44 cents), and ultimately reduced to a maximal 24 cents, they needed a new way to profit off spending money, their solution being in their very customers. The CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, was quoted to have said in October that the bank has “every right to make a profit.” Meanwhile, banks take extravagant risks and essentially gamble its earnings, realizing security exists in the very people who trust the institutions. After much loud protesting, the fees were dropped, especially as many customers were switching to smaller banks which boasted having no fees. Any quote to follow such a decision can hardly be trusted – after all, they would’ve continued charging these fees if they could’ve gotten away with it. The arrogance is astonishing.
Everyone else is doing it so why not the healthcare industry; it needs not be said that the industry itself is a cash cow, wherein which money is pulled out of defective spleens and infected throats and the like. A few healthcare providers have even taken it a step further, to a level of greediness on par with you average bank CEO; some have been found to have been treating patients with needless and pricey procedures, billing dead patients, and billing for procedures and medications unperformed, undistributed, and unwitting to the patients they treat. Doctors are famous for receiving hefty salaries, befitting of the nature of their work, but these devious acts highlight a select few that seemed to have only spent 8 years in medical school awaiting that big pay-off, public health and wellness be damned.
In Chelsea, Massachusetts, the Boston Globe ascertained that the housing chief, Michael McLaughlin, was making $360,000 a year. And as if that’s not disgusting enough, he was only reporting $160,000 of it to housing officials. What we have is another misanthrope profiting off others’ poverty. Where money should be trickling to housing renovations, construction, etc. – it was, instead, paying for a castle and a Marie Antoinette-esque lifestyle of lavish disregard. Shame.
Misanthrope alert! We all know by now, and are thoroughly pissed, that big banks have gotten off completely scot-free, no prison sentences dealt for guilty CEOs and insiders (aside from a fall guy here and there, as any good crime syndicate keeps on retainer), in spite of selling acknowledgedly crappy mortgages to clients, and then betting against them. These are the same untouchable greed factories that got interest-free bailouts from the government all the while, and used them to shell out obscene bonuses to each of the evil masterminds. And even while the Occupy movement attempts to take an unignorable stand against such enabled greed, more and more protesters find themselves arrested for exercising their first amendment rights where they should be rightfully exercised. It’s fitting that some protestors have been wearing Guy Fawkes masks a la V for Vendetta, for If there has ever been a good reason for revolution…
Somehow this unconstitutional act has enabled the government to indecently invade human privacy. Put into effect during the post-9/11 Bush administration, it was intended as a form of public “protections,” by rooting out who may or may not be a witch, err, rather, terrorist among us. Defended as a national security measure, it strips essential human rights along the way, to where you wonder if it’s better to live in fear than not be free.
This is the Pentagon Papers all over again, essentially – during Vietnam, “Top Secret” government documents leaked to the mainstream which disclosed the true nature of the war, and how the Lyndon Johnson Administration lied flat-out to Congress and the public about our reasons for getting involved, which were little to none, in actuality. These papers, in essence, undercut the government’s dependability, as well as humiliated all involved.
Similarly, WikiLeaks disclosed classified materials, such as videos of the U.S. Military gunning down innocents in conflict areas, seemingly for sport, and clips of government officials bad-mouthing foreign leaders. The result of this disclosure; the U.S. military calling for site founder Julian Assange’s head on a plate. The military held that such materials are sensitive to national security, but in reality they only revealed the true nature of our military, an often irresponsible one with a reckless propensity for rogue antics. What they were mad at mostly was having their black curtain lifted and not getting away with, for once, all they do.
Football coach Jerry Sandusky was spotted touching a child in a shower by some young-up-and-comer trying to make it on the football team staff. He didn’t go to proper authorities (i.e. the police) with his dirty knowledge; instead he went to his superiors. Here comes the unthinkable part (as unthinkable as everything prior already was): they kept the lid on it. When it finally came out, they were all fired and the future of the team was put in question. Penn State sympathizers, however, were enraged at the firing of the non-Sandusky conspirators, as if there was a question of how the word “victim” is defined. To most, it’s that little boy in the shower. To Penn State, it’s the football season.
This has been an ongoing revelation of corruption for some time now, with some priests having been found guilty and sentenced to prison. But it keeps developing like some cancerous cell tissue. It was revealed not long ago that an archdiocese, a rarely indicted church official, had withheld knowledge of a priest taking indecent pictures of children. A cover-up of this nature isn’t unprecedented; priests have continued to serve in spite of having been found guilty of pedophilia. Why the church feels the need to shove its dirty laundry under the rug rather than send it to a cleaners (or throw it away outright) is inconceivable, but it reveals an inherent corruption with an institution that seeks, more than anything, to save itself, and not through any true form of salvation.