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schadenfreude corner - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2007-12-10 22:54
Subject: schadenfreude corner
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:contentcontent
Music:porcupine tree
Conrad Black has been lucky. Not that he'll see it that way, having just been sentenced to six and a half years in jail on three counts of fraud and one of obstructing justice, but the prosecution were calling for up to twenty-four and he seemed certain to be facing at least a ten-stretch, so in those terms he seems to have had a result. He could, had the judge been in the right frame of mind, have spent the rest of his life in prison. As it is, if he serves the whole six and a half years, he'll be around seventy when he gets out.
He still seems to believe he did nothing wrong, and presumably he'll still believe that when he finishes his sentence. I can't remember who said "The rich are not like you and I." Was it Hemingway? Fitzgerald?

Edit - oh, and I notice in The Guardian that he'll be doing his time at `...a minimum security prison near his beachside mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.' At least the climate'll be nice for him...
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pds_lit: Arthur
User: pds_lit
Date: 2007-12-11 04:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Arthur
Yep, that about sums it up. Prison for the rich is never the same as prison for the not so well to do.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-11 21:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's true enough, although I never expected him to be doing his time in a supermax.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-11 21:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
He certainly is not a Jay Gatsby. I haven't heard him interviewed recently, but I understand that all the way through the trial he kept insisting he'd done nothing wrong, which is why the prosecution were demanding 20 years.
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Chris
User: camies
Date: 2007-12-11 09:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Was it both of them?
Fitzgerald said "The rich are not like us"
to which Hemingway's sour reply was,
"No, they have more money."
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-11 21:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Really? I'd never heard the whole of the quote before. That's really funny. You don't tend to think of Fitzgerald and Hemingway as a comedy double-act, do you?
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Chris
User: camies
Date: 2007-12-12 09:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's a piece about it here. I had a feeling it wasn't quite as straightforward as a two-handed exchange; the first bit was in a story of Fitzgerald's, and Hemingway added to it.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 11:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's an interesting story. It just shows how history can be conflated together, even though nobody really means to do it, doesn't it? Mind you, whether they said those things to each other or not, it's still a great gag.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-11 17:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I must say that, without wishing ill even to Black, it's refreshing to see a modern megarichie facing at least an approximation of the same justice the rest would receive. Far too many of them get off scot free -- if even brought to court -- simply because of their wealth/celebrity.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-11 21:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is refreshing, and I think after Enron there's a greater willingness, in the States at least, to go after people like this.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-11 23:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"I think after Enron there's a greater willingness, in the States at least, to go after people like this"

I think that's a bit of an optimistic exaggeration, alas.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 00:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't know whether it's an exaggeration or not. Before Enron these people were, as far as I know, mostly invulnerable, walled off from retribution by power and privilege. Enron proved it's possible to take them down if they step out of line. And I think smart politically-minded prosecutors have their eyes on them.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-12 01:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My cynicism is because there's a stack of powerful politicians here who've effectively been protected from corruption charges by the Bush Administration's getting rid of the prosecutors who were pursuing those cases.

Had there been anything like it in the UK, not just the corrupt pols but the people in charge of the corruption at the Justice Department would be facing sturdy sentences. As it is, the chances are the whole fucking kaboodle of complete crooks will waltz of scott-free.

Ya know, when I moved here it was to a nation of laws, despite the "walled off from retribution by power and privilege" stuff you mention. That was a boil -- albeit a large and pustulent one, and perhaps even a whole rash of them -- on the side of a system that was at least approaching approximate honesty. Your pal Bush has changed all that. In any honest legal system, himself, Cheney and a whole passel of senior figures in the current Administration would be facing prosecution.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 11:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah, now, politicians, that's a different thing altogether, and I agree with you a hundred percent. In any rational society Cheney and his greedhead mates would be in jail. I was talking about white-collar corporate crooks like Bernie Ebbers and the late Ken Lay.

And Bush is not my pal.
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2007-12-12 14:14 (UTC)
Subject: Enrons crime
was in pissing off the plebs and messing with the stock market in a new and fancy manner. You can rip off poorer people all you like, but if you contribute to an economic maelstrom that dents peoples faith in "free" markets and the invisible hand, then you are nasty and evil and hung out to dry.

Thats the only reason the Enron executives were jailed.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-12 15:54 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Enron's crime
I'd say that's more or less accurate, yes.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 22:36 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Enron's crime
Me too, but it still seems to me there's a greater willingness to schmeiss these people than there was. Maybe, like Thog says, I'm just being optimistic, but that's how it seems to me. Forty years ago Conrad Black would still have been sitting in the House of Lords and using Hollinger as his private piggy-bank. Eighty years ago Ken Lay would have been in Congress.
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2007-12-12 23:10 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Enron's crime
Weeeellllll,
yes, I suppose there is a bit more willingness to get them. The problem is that i am not so well read up on old corruption and theft scandals.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 23:29 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Enron's crime
To be honest with you, me neither. I just can't remember trials like this in the Eighties and Seventies, so in that respect it looks to me as if there's less tolerance for corporate raiders in the States than there used to be. I could be wrong. Indeed, the law of probabilities favours it.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-12 23:36 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Enron's crime
"Eighty years ago Ken Lay would have been in Congress."

Today he'd not be scuzzy enough -- at least to be a Repug Congressmen. The Dems aren't precisely pure as driven snow either, but at least there are some of them who seem to think public service has purposes other than to line their own pockets.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 23:56 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Enron's crime
That is a truly scary thought.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-12 17:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Politicians and entertainment/sports stars.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 22:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Surely you don't include the sainted Lord and Lady Beckham of Sawbridgeworth?
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-12 23:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Lady Beckham"

You mean The Artiste Formerly Known As Podge Spice?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-12 23:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
To be fair, I don't think you'd ever have been able to describe her as `Podge.' You'd think they'd be able to afford to give her a decent meal every now and again.
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RealThog: 'Ronica
User: realthog
Date: 2007-12-13 04:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:'Ronica
"I don't think you'd ever have been able to describe her as `Podge.'"

Um, I just did.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-13 21:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, yes, you did, obviously... You know what I mean.
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