Tuesday, June 24, 1997

Fuck the Supreme Court

Right now I am so pissed off about the sexual predator decision that I don't have room to be pissed off about the decision allowing state teachers to teach in parochial schools.

First, let me point out, as neither the NY Times nor the Washington Post had the bad taste to, the incredible irony of Clarence "Pubic Hair in My Coke" Thomas writing a decision about so-called sexual predators. So people without the legal definition of mental illness can be incarcerated in mental hospitals forever, after serving criminal sentences. Nice to see mental hospitals (doesn't that word imply treatment?) being used for criminal purposes, just like the Soviet Union used to. Thomas says this is not punishment, hence subject to some sort of constitutional protection, such as that against double jeopardy, because it doesn't involve retribution or deterrence. Sure it doesn't. And it's ok that no treatment is on offer, by definition making the incarceration life-long. The people covered by the Kansas law are defined as suffering a mental abnormality or personality disorder that prevents them exercising adequate control over their behaviour. And who in prison does this not apply to? Including most of the guards.

If you're ever in Somalia, don't drink the water, since every UN soldier sent there in 1992 seems to have gone insane in a way that prevented them exercising adequate control over their behaviour. The meek, mild Canadians tortured Somalis, so did the Italians, Belgians roasted a Somalian boy over a brazier (and they will be sentenced this week to as much a month in jail and a $300 fine), and that's the most polite thing I know of Belgians doing; I will spare you the rest. Operation Restore Hope, wasn't that the name?

Hong Kong's currently illegal shadow legislature will not only implement all those awful laws you've been hearing about, but doing so retroactively to the first minute of Chinese rule, so that the demonstrations on the stroke of midnight July 1 will be illegalized ex post facto. The day after this announcement, Britain caved in to Chinese demands that it's troops be allowed in early, presumably so they can be in place to Tiananmen the Hong Kongese.

It's now clear that JFK had truly lousy intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and that armageddon was a lot closer than he ever realized. It also now comes out, from the Russian archives, that there were still 98 tactical nukes in Cuba when Kruschev was promising there weren't. They'd have stayed there, too, but the Cuban foreign minister couldn't keep his mouth shut about them.

I trust you're all following the tobacco settlement ($2 billion for the lawyers! Money so well spent) and the Louisiana implementation of two-tier marriage law (married, and really really married) without my prodding. And of course, the Russian justice minister videoed frolicking with naked women in a mafia sauna. And the sudden realization that since no one ever did anything about a crimes against humanity tribunal, if Pol Pot is ever really arrested, there's no place to try him.

Oh, I think I forgot, when I was making fun last week of the House analysis of the CIA, to mention that one provision of the new intelligence budget is whistleblower protection, for anyone who brings to the attention of Congresscritters, and only those on the appropriate oversight committees, of crimes, fraud and lying to Congress by the intelligence agencies. Clinton has the nerve to threaten to veto the bill because of this provision. Evidently it interferes with his authority to, well, um, presumably to order crimes, fraud and lying to Congress. He gets more Nixonian every year.

No comments: