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The Village Is a Sack of Pus Waiting To Burst

BDBlue's picture

Anne Applebaum on Roman Polanski:

He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers' fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar.

Richard Cohen on Cap Weinberger:

Based on my Safeway encounters, I came to think of Weinberger as a basic sort of guy, candid and no nonsense – which is the way much of official Washington saw him,” Cohen wrote. “Cap, my Safeway buddy, walks, and that’s all right with me.”

The New York Times last year:

For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

The report, from the Pew Center on the States, also found that only one in 355 white women between the ages of 35 and 39 are behind bars but that one in 100 black women are.

Ms. Applebaum again:

If he weren't famous, I bet no one would bother with him at all.

I'll take that bet and say that if Roman Polanski weren't famous, at least one person would bother him - his cell mate.*

NOTE - Bruce Dixon provides more context to the incarceration rates of African Americans here. He's right that it's an American tragedy that gets insufficient attention.

* Or would've bothered him 31 years ago because if Roman Polanski weren't a famous director, there's no way France harbors him for three decades.

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Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

The girl was 13 when he drugged her, got her drunk, raped her and sodomized her.

Roman Polanski is not an artist. He's not a director. He's not some kind of saint who's paid a horrible price after an overzealous prosecutor wrecked his career.

Roman Polanski is a predator. A rapist. A paedophile. He confessed. He entered a guilty plea at the time. He thought he'd get off with a slap on the wrist -- but a judge in California wasn't having any, and this particular paedophile, having money, went on the run.

Just like all those Catholic paedophiles posing as priests and all those Mormon paedophiles posing as prophets, he's a child rapist.

Belongs in jail. No parole. Period.

Sic semper paedophiles.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I've never expressed any opinion on Polanski other than he should be held accountable for his crimes, like anyone else. Admittedly, the main point of my post is the double standard that Versailles continues to apply to themselves and the people. Whereby the people do time in jail for even relatively minor, nonviolent offenses, but it's enough that Polanski missed the Oscars.

It's quite amazing at how open they now are about advocating for the different standards. They don't even hide their expectation of special treatment anymore.

Submitted by lambert on

The Atlantic.

I'm not sure this is a hard call. I mean, did he flee the country, or what? I think that outweighs whether the victim has forgiven him or not, and I don't think his greatness as an artist weighs in the balance at all. Nobody said that great artists had to be nice people (see Wagner) but that doesn't mean we need to treat them like amoral supermen.

Seems to me that I'd want Jeralyn on my defense team; but that doesn't mean I agree with her brief.

And I do agree that the timing of the whole thing is very, very curious.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... recalled:

The urge to wipe the slate clean with the presidential campaign still in progress — and progressive leverage over either presumptive nominee apparently non-existent — is symptomatic of our species's hyperdeveloped, kneejerk impulse to "move on":

Years ago on “60 Minutes,” they did a segment about an ex-Nazi honcho who was living in NYC. They had people in a nearby bar saying things like “hasn’t he suffered enough?” though apparently the only suffering he seemed to have encountered was living in a city with a huge Jewish population and being unable to do anything about it.

Ditto for all the “let it go” crap we still hear about Florida 2000. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead or wounded because of that, but we’re supposed to let it go.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

not least because this scumbag admitted guilt and then ran like hell.

There's been an arrest warrant out for how freaking long? Is it the longest-riding warrant since Kissinger?

I don't care if they are trying to send a message about UBS.

If this scumbag (see, Hipparchia? I found a better word than dirtbag!) ends up in jail, it's all good.

Furthermore, if we can take down money launderers and dirtbags (see Gramm, Phil) with the information we did wring out of UBS, and put more of the Lords of the Universe where they belong -- behind bars -- I don't care if it harelips the whole Oscar Committee.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Most of the arguments for Polanski are: "hey he is one of us, he deserves better." And they are right, our justice system treat the "better people" way better. In reality Polanski committed an awful crime. Since our penal system resembles the Syrian one, it's better to have Polanski serve his 18 month agreed time in the Swiss system. No reason to subsidize yet another private jail with extra money.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

isn't that Polanski should or should not be incarcerated -- its the gross hypocrisy of the political class in the USA which, by and large, is "outraged" over those associated with the artistic community who are arguing on behalf of Polanski, but who simultaneously are silent or advocate against prosecuting Bush administration for torture and other war crimes.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

We call for the punishment of those we can I suppose.

Which is not to excuse Polanski's crimes or "equivalate", but..... Mass murder of hundreds of thousands and institutionalized torture? Surely Bush and Cheney didn't get any visceral, personal satisfaction from those acts, but they did receive "satisfaction" and still do. They haven't even been formally condemned and shamed for their crimes by society. Would I be satisfied if they were in detention in a high security prison for medical surveillance of their sanity for a few dozen days?

Would be a start!

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

The one the state agreed to and reneged on, or the one that the grandstanding tuff-on-crime prosecutor and judge wanted once they saw there was a media opportunity?

Address the prosecutorial and judical misconduct, please.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

when they're the ones who abrogate something.

Quoth Anglachel:
Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old child.

In response to that accusation, Polanki pleaded guilty to the crime. He stated for a court of law that he knowingly planned and executed the violent rape of a child. Whether he did so as part of a plea bargain is irrelevant. He pleaded guilty to the full extent of his attack on a minor.

Far as I'm concerned your sensitivity to the needs of this fugitive are worth spit.

Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old child.

If he'd not been notorious for his so-called 'artistic talent' he'd've still been in the California system somewhere as, at the very least, a registered sex offender.

The "artistic community" rallying behind him is defending the indefensible, and we'd ought to make notes of those who are backing this jerk.

From my perspective, what he deserves involves a rusty chainsaw,

except that the SOB would likely bleed out too fast for any justice to ensue.

Not that that would break my heart. SOB got away with raping a 13-year-old child.