17 July 2022

He's a Witch!

So Steve Bannon is gonna go medieval on teh courtz {$}.1 Well, in the spirit of imposing some original public meaning, I therefore suggest a pretrial session with His Majesty's enhanced-interrogation specialists, followed by a verdict delivered after the accused is bound and thrown into a moat. If the accused floats, we've found a witch; if the accused drowns, otherwise (but no doubt still guilty of something or (s)he wouldn't have been brought to trial).

On to the platter:

  • But that is vastly more respect than should be granted to the bar exam, which is not entitled to any due process at all. Professor Carter neglects to mention that the bar exam presumes that a majority, or even a significant proportion, of newly-minted lawyers will be immediately engaged in general practice. Umm, not so much. Professor Carter also neglects to mention that the bar exam includes precisely no material requiring prospective lawyers to move from "actual evidentiary record" to "statement or finding of fact" — despite that process being at the core of actually preventing or resolving disputes short of bloodshed (which is the law's job, and will especially be the job of the factfinder sitting over Mr Bannon).
  • Then there's the problem of fabrication — this time, not of evidence (or so it seems) but of art, by skilled artisans working to a designer's specifications. Naturally, the court didn't resolve all necessary questions (and this time not just because it was a French court2).
  • Last for now,3 when I saw the article title What John Bolton gets wrong about coup attempts – and Donald Trump my immediate reaction (without reading it) was "Virtually everything, of course." Reading the article did not change that assessment.

    "Sophistication" matters to plotting a "true" coup, eh? Explicitly without evaluating the truthfulness of specifics contained in the linked accounts or otherwise endorsing them, here are several counterexamples, both violent and somewhat less so. Characterizing any of these schemes easily within the capability of the average sixth-grader as "sophisticated" can rest only on a definition well outside the scope of any ordinary public meaning of that word. Which is, at least, consistent with Bolton's method of discourse for over 30 years. (I think there's more than one witch on this platter.)

  1. Apologies for the paywall. I try to avoid them here when possible, but sometimes the refusal of media investors to pay the First Amendment rent (second-to-last paragraph) comes back to bite us all. If you're going to be the "paper of record," you have to be "of record" and not "primarily for profit" — if it's on the front page, it doesn't belong behind a paywall. That's the entire point of being "the Fourth Estate" — with all of the privileges and responsibilities thereof.
  2. disclosure Plaintiff-appellant's counsel is a friend. The underlying facts appear to be much uglier than the sterile recitation in the opinion makes them seem; ponder this along with the preceding sausage. It's also very much worth pondering who is paying for all of this on the defendant's side of the v.
  3. Being carefully elliptical and Glomarish regarding the source(s) of my knowledge and conjectures. I can neither confirm nor deny that I have ever myself engaged in, or as an officer of the United States overseen, any search for manganese nodules on the sea floor.