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Thoughts on Events the Week of July 19

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on July 28, 2021

Justice for January 6 criminals: In the first felony trial of those who stormed the Capitol to overturn the presidential election, the defendant received a sentence of eight months in prison and two years of probation.

At first blush, I thought the sentence was too light, but upon reading the judge’s reasoning, I think he made a reasonable call. This defendant didn’t destroy anything, he committed no violence, he pleaded guilty and expressed sincere remorse, which are reasons for some leniency. (Plus, he had the good sense to shave his beard and moustache for the trial.) So, his crime boils down to criminal stupidity, which is not a major crime or jails would be fuller than they are now.

What this sentence does do is give us a base upon which to measure what sentences may be for defendants who did destroy property and commit violence. I will expect them to be considerably harsher.

It’s a basic tenant of criminology that certainty and swiftness of being caught and punished are greater deterrents than length of sentence. This tenant will get a good real-life test with the January 6 trials. Most of these defendants were caught dead to rights by photos, videos, and their own braggadocio (read certainty). And most of them have been quickly caught and charged (read swiftness).

If the criminologists are right, and I think they are, these trials will have a very chilling effect on this type of wacko behavior in the future, as I have predicted.

Justice for Gitmo Prisoners:  One of the 40 prisoners remaining in this monument to injustice was released by the Biden administration this week, leaving 39 cases to be resolved. (Actually, this prisoner was scheduled to be released in 2016, but what’s his name, the disgraced former president, kept him there. So, in addition to the injustice already done to this prisoner, WHN had him held in captivity four more years just for spite.)

Of the remaining 39, twenty have never been charged with a crime and will never be tried for one. One of the main, awkward reasons they cannot be tried is that we tortured them while they were in our custody. Can’t have that coming out in an open court room.

Technically, some of these prisoners were not tortured by us per se, but by some other country with our knowledge and consent. But this is a distinction without a difference. We were complicit.)

I have always despised the very thought of the Gitmo prison. It is, in my view, as great an insult to our laws and values as what went on in the administration of what’s his name, the disgraced former president more recently.

I lay all of this at the feet of former president George W. Bush, which is why – in addition to the fact that he made the greatest international relations blunder in American history by invading Iraq – I considered Dubbya our worst president in history, until WHN came along.

Bush is at home painting pictures of himself from his mirror while these prisoners have been rotting away without hope or justice for 20 years and counting. Our moral standing, and my respect for my own country, have been frayed ever since.

January 6 hearings: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rejected two of Kevin McCarthy’s nominees to the committee to investigate the insurrection – Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. I knew that the Speaker had that authority, but I didn’t know that it had never been used before. I guess this is a result of the period of ultra-polarized politics we are in today.

I don’t know much about Banks, except that he is an ultra-conservative Republican, if that’s not redundant today, and that he voted to overturn the certified results of the presidential election, which is all I need to know about him.

I know more about Jordan. He is not a serious person, and should not be in Congress, let alone on this committee. These guys were Trojan horses, set as a trap to destroy the committee, pure and simple.

McCarthy is now saying he won’t let any Republicans serve on the committee, which is not actually his call, because there is already one – Liz Cheney from Wyoming – who is as conservative as you can get, but who still wants to get to the bottom of the insurrection.

I think the nation would be better served not to have any more Republicans on the committee. No matter who is on the committee and what it concludes, Republican leaders, and much of their base, are not going to believe or accept it. But if the committee does a credible job, which is much more likely sans disrupting bozos like Jordan on it, the facts will be there for all people of good faith and an open mind to see, and upon which to make changes going forward.

Fear of Facts: Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising again. But fortunately, vaccinations are starting to rise also. Some people must be seeing the statistics and putting two and two together. Others may be influenced by admonitions to get vaccinated by Fox News personalities, which are motivated by Fox’s fear of having its ass sued off.

So, you can’t fix stupid, but apparently you can scare the shit out of it.

The ‘Boys are Back in Town: Since they play in the very first game of the NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys came to camp a week before other teams, and they are all anybody can talk about. I hope the best for them, but I think we should remember that they are a lousy team and have been mediocre at best for years. And their weaknesses are the worst kind: poor coaching and underperforming players.

Worst state: As I am writing this, three states – Florida, Missouri, and Texas – account for 40% of new Covid-19 cases, and surging.

I can understand Florida. There are a number of older citizens there who are more vulnerable to the virus, and the state is led by a knuckle-dragging governor who is also dragging his state into the shitter as he tries to emulate what’s his name, the disgraced former president, in hopes of inheriting his base.

I don’t understand Missouri at all. When I was growing up there, it was a really sane state with both Democrat and Republican elected officials, and the Republican ones were reasonably responsible conservatives (My parents were responsible Republicans). But somewhere along the line, Missouri lost its mind.

Texas is easy to understand. It has been a reactionary, hidebound state for years, which selects its elected officials from the very dregs of the crazy barrel. So, Texas gets the cup this week.

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