Further to previous, I'm increasingly weirded out by the strange need of Conservative, Inc to pretend that what's going on is normal. I'm still on my Euro-sickbed, so I confess that American headlines break through the fog of medication only fitfully. Nevertheless, a few manage to make it. So:
~If you kill a teenager because you're worried he might be a "Republican extremist", you'll get five years in gaol with a year off because you've been under "house arrest" since last September - and anyway the media sob-sisters will happily finger the real perp. Moist but pointed headline from The New York Times:
A Small Town's Tragedy, Distorted by Trump's Megaphone
Shannon Brandt is the beneficiary of the usual crappy plea deal that makes a mockery of American "justice": He was charged with murder, but agreed to plead it down to manslaughter, and in return other charges - such as leaving the scene of the fatality - were dropped. But don't worry, his driver's license will be suspended for a year.
Plea deals are one of the dirtiest, stinkingest and rottenest of the corrupting aspects of the dirty stinking rotten corrupt US "justice" system.
Shannon Brandt who murdered Cayler Ellingson for being a Republican was sentenced today to 5 years in prison.
Shannon reportedly told 911 that Cayler was part of a "Republican extremist group."
Meanwhile Republicans are getting jailed for 17 years for tearing down a fence. pic.twitter.com/8tL8L3y3Li— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) September 8, 2023
If you're a foreigner and thinking of hopping a flight, renting a car and traversing the fruited plain, you may be wondering what your sentence is likely to be if, in the course of your motoring, you mow someone down. Well, it's a spectrum. Mr Brandt got
five four years for taking out a suspected "Republican extremist", but, on the other hand, twenty-year-old James Alex Fields Jr, whose car fatally hit Heather Heyer during the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, was threatened with the death penalty. So he too agreed to a "plea bargain" - and what a bargain! He's serving one (state) life sentence plus an additional 419 years plus a second (federal) life sentence just in case he rises from the grave. So in America sentencing guidelines for vehicular homicide run from four years to half-a-millennium. Useful to know.
~Everything about American "justice" is bollocks. After over a decade in the dank toilet of the DC Superior Court, that's one thing I know. The consultants advise that the Charlottesville crowd are unhelpful types, so best not to mention them. Likewise with Proud Boys at the Capitol. Oh, and Florida gran'mas too... Do you remember a chap called John Adams? He's what they used to call a "Founding Father", back before everything he founded got undone. Made his bones defending the most unpopular guys in town - British soldiers who'd fired on the crowd during the Boston Massacre and left five dead. He took the case because he understood that a land of laws is about first principles. If you run a red light, it shouldn't matter if you're Gandhi or Hitler.
No one in this dying republic cares for first principles anymore. Trump has a harder job finding a lawyer than those British soldiers did - and the few willing to take the gig wind up, at the behest of their fellow attorneys, facing disbarment or indictment. Thus, the death of equality before the law.
Just to underline the point, what's the betting these guys will be getting 22-year gaol terms?
BREAKING: Far-left activists have stormed U.S. Speaker Kevin McCarthy's office.
A very sad day for Democracy... will they be thrown in prison for years on end for this?
The radical activists stormed McCarthy's office to riot in favor of a 5 year reauthorization of PEPFAR, a... pic.twitter.com/OVB5jjEUgE— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) September 11, 2023
As we noted, on January 6th Dominic Pezzola broke a window at the Capitol, for which he has been sentenced to ten years in prison, which is two-and-a-half times as long as Shannon Brandt will serve for taking a life. Thirty years ago in New York, the "Broken Windows" theory posited that, if you let small crimes go unpunished, bigger ones such as murder will soon follow. Now we have the New Broken Windows Theory: We have to give perps four years for killing people because it's a gateway crime that could easily lead to far more serious offenses like breaking Nancy Pelosi's window.
The Democrats and their chums on the bench are throwing gran'mas in prison for spending twenty minutes wandering gormlessly around the Capitol because it advantages them ...and cows their opponents. So, despite these outrageous sentences, the respectable fellows at Conservative, Inc still feel the need to genuflect to Uniparty pieties whenever they so much as mention the "insurrection". The head honcho of National Review, Rich Lowry:
Jan. 6 was a disgraceful day but a blip hardly worth mentioning relative to the perpetual, large-scale internal disorder in imperial Rome. [EMPHASIS ADDED]
By any reasonable assessment, the sentences being handed down - after two-plus years held in conditions from house arrest to solitary confinement, awaiting your much vaunted constitutional right to a "speedy trial" - are a far greater disgrace, and a grotesque abuse of state power. Had Conservative, Inc raised its voice in defence of the gran'mas and goofballs, perhaps the indictments of actual politicians might not have followed. Was the soi-disant "America's Mayor", Rudy Giuliani, present at yesterday's 9/11 observances? Or is he too now under house arrest?
~The above passage is an aside in Mr Lowry's advice to pay no attention to all these gloomy gussies skimming Gibbon's Decline and Fall and saying, "You know, a lot of this sounds vaguely familiar..." Oh, those doomsters, sighs Rich. America is no way like Rome:
Rome tore itself apart with constant assassinations, usurpations and civil wars. It weakened itself economically and militarily while confronting challenges from armed bands on its borders it became incapable of handling as it steadily lost its territory and tax base to barbarian groups.
Is this happening to America?
Well, an armed contingent of Quebecers isn't (like the Visigoths in Rome) wandering throughout the United States, fighting periodic battles with the US military and seeking subsidies from the US Senate before besieging — and eventually sacking — Washington, DC.
Nothing to see here, folks: wake me up when those northern frenchies manage to weaponise poutine. So relax: no "armed bands on its borders" and "barbarian groups" that the imperial administration is "incapable of handling as it steadily loses its territory".
Well, not on the Quebec border. But, if Rich Lowry were merely to swivel 180 degrees and remove his rosy-hued poutine-spattered spectacles, on the Mexican "border" persons from an estimated 150 countries are just walking in, 24/7/365, and in many cases being rewarded with an initial government stipend of 2,200 bucks. Are these foreigners "an armed contingent"? Well, sufficiently so to keep a hold of their Fentanyl cargo and sex slaves.
When President Trump was railing against bleephole countries, he wanted to know why America didn't get immigrants from Norway. The Kingdom of Norway has a population of five-and-a-half million people. If every single one of them were to move to the United States tomorrow (which they have absolutely no reason to do), it would merely equal the number of illegal aliens who entered the country in the first year-and-a-half of the Biden Administration. There aren't enough Norways in the world to counter that scale of demographic transformation.
Yet the dissolution of the southern border has apparently passed Rich Lowry by.
As to "steadily losing territory", well, you could ask landowners south of, say, Tucson, lying awake in their bedrooms all night listening to "barbarian groups" tramping through their dooryards. A now routine highway sign:
Smuggling and Illegal Immigration may be encountered in this area
Translation: Whatever it says on the map, the writ of the United States no longer runs. They're not yet posting those signs in upstate New York, but MS-13 is operating with impunity way up the Taconic State Parkway. Maybe that's why Quebecers are disinclined to invade.
Speaking of "barbarian groups", a country that accounts for forty per cent of the entire planet's military spending managed to take twenty years to lose to goatherds with fertiliser. But at least the goatherds aren't on the Quebec border. We're losing to them over there so we don't have to lose to them over here, as George W Bush probably said.
And remember, folks: Rich Lowry's "What - me worry?" shtick is what passes for mainstream "conservative" thought. He goes on:
US presidents have to worry about declining poll numbers, a recalcitrant congressional opposition and re-election campaigns. They don't, like Roman emperors, need to think all the time about potential assassination.
Really? In that case, what's with the seventy-car motorcade and the decoy Air Force One, and the lockdown of all surrounding roads when they venture out among their (carefully selected and background-checked) people?
They don't need to worry that if they assign a general to take over, say, CENTCOM, he will use the position to muster the troops and resources to challenge for power himself.
I wonder if Mr Lowry has heard of General Thoroughly Modern Milley, who assured his ChiCom opposite number that, if Trump's ever minded to start something, Milley'll give the People's Liberation Army a head's-up and refuse to obey orders.
Can even a Conservative Inkster be this complacent? It would explain a lot. In my decade-old bestseller "After America", I quote Gibbon on late-stage Rome:
The form was still the same, but the animating health and vigour were fled.
At the GOP debate, in the syndicated "conservative" columns, in the butch bumper music of talk-radio, the form is still the same, but do you detect much "animating health and vigour"?