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Who Should Get Their Comeuppance in 2015?

So I’m reading year-end news wrap-ups and I’m thinking, “I want to see some of these sick bastards get their comeuppance next year!”

New Year's Dog
I’m tired of reading these phrases, “Nobody was fired for…” “Nobody has been prosecuted for…” or “None of the perpetrators are in jail for…” and of course, “Technically it was legal.”

Who do you want to see get their comeuppance? Are you doing anything now to make that happen? If it happens, would you be satisfied, or would you want more? I didn’t say justice, but comeuppance. (I like the word, I used to challenge a friend of mine to use it, which was hard since he wrote mostly about CAD/CAM products.)

In 2015 I want to see photos of perp-walks and hear about sentences that fit the crimes. I want to read about a high-level person going to jail because his abused underlings rolled on him and the prosecutor needed a bigger fish to fry. I want to read stories about the people and systems that weren’t subverted with the right amount of lying, lawyering, lobbying and lucre.

I also crave the old-timey ripple effect of justice. When justice is carried out, it is supposed to change people’s behavior. Not just on the people who got punished, but the people around them.

If you saw your boss arrested, handcuffed and led out of the office for knowingly and willfully delaying the disclosure of drinking water contamination with secret fraking ingredients, it might change your attitude about your future actions.

However, if you constantly see people avoiding punishment, it becomes a sick joke. We cynically sigh and say, “Forget about it Jake, it’s Cheneytown.”

The thought leaders in avoiding justice, people like Yoo and Cheney, understood that to get what they want they needed to make things that were illegal, legal. They had to convince people that immoral acts were necessary, even moral.

All this is designed for the people in an organization who are working from a traditional legal or moral framework. If they have new legal and ethical precepts to hang their conscious on, they are good to go. But not everyone is so intellectually and morally flexible.

I think a lot about the people in organizations who push back against actions that they knew/know to be wrong. What are the subtle or not so subtle ways they fight for what is right? Maybe you are one of those people.

Sometimes we get accidental justice or karmic justice, which might have been nudged along by someone who understands the need for justice, “Opps, we accidently released too much information in the FOIA request!” But I also really want to see intentional justice done.

For that to happen we need to help the people who actively work to make justice happen. That’s why I’m a huge fan of The Center for Media and Democracy. They have done kickass research and reporting on groups like the Koch Brother’s front organizations and ALEC. They recently got the 100th company, eBay, to cut ties with ALEC. That’s a big f’ing deal.

As I and my friends at Color of Change, Media Matters, and @StopRush learned, when you start making an actual impact on things people in power care about, they notice and hit back, hard.

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