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What it's like to follow investigations into the rich and powerful.

Let's take a guy, we'll name him "Mike."

Mike likes to drive his SUV over 60mph on sidewalks in crowded cities. He mows people down regularly, in front of hundreds of witnesses daily. Every few days we'll see a headline, "Investigators open criminal investigation into Mike for slaughter of pedestrians." And our reaction is, "Alright, cool, they're finally gonna stop Mike."

But then we hear nothing about the investigation for several weeks or even months. Meanwhile, Mike is still running over people on sidewalks in crowded cities. Everyone sees it happening.

Then another headline: "Third-cousin in law of Mike's relative flips on Mike." And we're like, "Finally, Mike is done for now."

Keep in mind that Mike is still running over people with his SUV. This never actually stops.

Then the NYTimes publishes a story: "Mike caught on surveillance footage running people over with SUV."

And we say, "Neato, video evidence. He's totally going down now." But in the backs of all our minds we're all wondering why we needed this video evidence of something millions of us have been watching him do every day for four years. I mean, we're all seeing it happen, thousands of people are recording him do it with their phones, it's on the nightly news regularly. So why does this video evidence matter? And why, after this video evidence is released, is nobody arresting Mike? Something isn't adding up.

Then 60 Minutes hosts an interview of Mike. Lesley Stahl asks him, "Mike, was that you running over people with your SUV on the sidewalk?" Good question, Lesley, but we know that was Mike. "Well," Mike responds, "I dunno, I just like it. It's fun." "Wait, are you admitting to killing all of those people?" "Sure, but look, nobody cares," he answers.

"Holy shit!" we say. "He just admitted to it in an interview! Surely Federal investigators will slap the cuffs on him tonight!" But Mike isn't arrested. He leaves the interview, gets into his car, and proceeds to maim dozens of pedestrians with his car at a farmer's market. Ambulances take the dead and the injured away, police take statements, and everybody carries on as normal.

The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, the months into years...and Mike drives over more and more people and he's never arrested and all the investigations we hear about never go anywhere.

If you're me, then maybe you can forgive me for getting it into my head that..

a) Mike is God and we're all subjects in his universe, or
b) Mike is an Agent and we're all in the Matrix, and every time investigators walk up to his house to arrest him, the Matrix is reset, the investigators pop back into their offices poring over witness testimony and surveillance footage, and Mike goes on his merry way, driving over people on the sidewalk for fun while the rest of us watch numbly.

You don't have to think I'm rational for arriving at these conclusions, because there's nothing rational about it. It's totally nuts. But I think you could understand why I might get those ideas in my head.
 

Mr Person

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Solution: jettison any remaining specks of hope for the human race.
 

Evilroddy

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Cardinal:

The best solution to a bad man with an SUV is a good man with an SUV. Run over Mike. ;) Failing that, an RPG will stop Mike's SUV in the flash of an instant.

All kidding aside, if the Rule of Law is not being respected and fairly applied by the authorities to all and if the institutions of the state in a society are flaunting the Rule of Law, then it is up to the people of that society to remove those placed by the people into positions of authority and to reform those institutions democratically so that they work and support the Rule of Law once again. Hopefully such changes can be done peacefully through the political process and reform but if not, then the people must take to the out of doors and paralyse the society and the economy until such changes can be made. If and only if the state or its agents use violence against the people demanding reform should the people use violence to topple the state and replace peaceful reform with violent revolution. Behold, the new Servile Wars!

Cheers, be well and Get Mike!
Evilroddy Guevara.
 

brothern

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One key distinction between this story and real life.

If it were real life, Mike would be never be caught committing such a "common" crime.

In real life, Mike would be embezzling from his employer by writing bad checks, or engaging in wage theft from his employees. He'd be cheating on his taxes. Or, trading on insider information. Mike would be funding some illicit scheme involving "classy" drugs, firearms, forced labor or sexual exploitation, but obviously through several layers of shell companies. None of that is "common," and so Mike gets a lot of free passes and benefit of doubt.

The people in real life who truly face the consequence of their actions are those that steal $100 from their employer's cash drawer. Or break into someone's car. They get into a bar fight, or get rowdy with the police. Or deal or use a 'common' drug. Maybe even forget to pay their parking tickets. Those are the criminals that face the fullest extent of law and justice.
 

Cardinal

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One key distinction between this story and real life.

If it were real life, Mike would be never be caught committing such a "common" crime.

In real life, Mike would be embezzling from his employer by writing bad checks, or engaging in wage theft from his employees. He'd be cheating on his taxes. Or, trading on insider information. Mike would be funding some illicit scheme involving "classy" drugs, firearms, forced labor or sexual exploitation, but obviously through several layers of shell companies. None of that is "common," and so Mike gets a lot of free passes and benefit of doubt.

The people in real life who truly face the consequence of their actions are those that steal $100 from their employer's cash drawer. Or break into someone's car. They get into a bar fight, or get rowdy with the police. Or deal or use a 'common' drug. Maybe even forget to pay their parking tickets. Those are the criminals that face the fullest extent of law and justice.
Well, that's kind of the point. It's absurd to think investigations would ever go on like this for common crimes.

It's not an accident that the kinds of crimes that require the investigator to be a mind reader and prove intent are drafted by the people who tend to commit those types of crimes. To roughly quote Ken White, the kinds of crimes you need to prove intent are the kinds you wear a suit and tie while committing them.

If drunk drivers were allowed to create legislation, you can bet that in order to result in a successful DUI conviction the arresting officer would be required to prove intent.
 

Utilitarian Technocrat

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TL;DR, please give me a summary.

Plus one could easily argue that being "rich" and/or "powerful" (as silly and purely speculative as those terms are to begin with) would actually draw much more attention to crimes or public screw-ups than comparatively "ordinary" people.

For example, anytime a "famous person" such as a politician or celebrity has an affair or "commits a crime" (even a minor crime like misdemeanor drinking and driving which doesn't result in an accident, or driving with a suspended license), the entire world knows about it via the media - this wouldn't be the case with an "average" or "less rich/powerful" person. Not to mention that the public at large becomes much more irate about it, since "rich or powerful" people are expected to have higher standards of responsibility than "average" people.
 
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Utilitarian Technocrat

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You didn't list any sources, it's one big wall of text - is this even something real, or is it just made up? And what are you using as the basis for this argument to begin with?

Back to the topic, "rich and powerful" are just vague and ambiguous terms, which are just speculation about a person's theoretical ability to influence or change others in some way (money or currency, for example, is just a device for streamlining negotiating or bartering) - which, of course, there is no exact science or means of prediction to begin with, it's all more of just a naïve illusion or presumption than anything else.
 

Mr Person

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So is this something that happened to you, or something that you just made up?

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MamboDervish

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You don't have to think I'm rational for arriving at these conclusions, because there's nothing rational about it. It's totally nuts. But I think you could understand why I might get those ideas in my head.
I think they call them "edibles".
 

post

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Is this explanation clear?:

Crystal !


"...Unfortunately, Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland is now appealing Jackson’s ruling. At first blush it seems strange that the Biden Justice Department is acting to protect the reputations of Barr and the Trump Justice Department.

But anyone familiar with government agencies, and how they act to protect themselves, should not be surprised. These institutions have their own self-preservation agendas that carry over from administration to administration.

The current Justice Department, in acting to safeguard the reputation of its former leaders and its lawyers, is trying to defend its ability to keep its own documents secret. But this action is completely contrary to the public interest: The Justice Department should not be shielding itself from scrutiny..."
 
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