Wednesday :: Nov 16, 2005

Wealth Gone Wild


by pessimist

It's been an interesting week in the tabloids. The wild antics of Paris Hilton and her cohort have been all over the news, pictures of her mother are surfacing for purchse [find your own links - this post is going to go low enough already!], and Michael Jackson gets busted being in a woman's restroom in Dubai.

Why is this news? And why are there no consequences for the actions of the rich when they transgress?

And just why am I covering this on The Left Coaster?

Believe it or not, there is a reason, and the reason is that we have a double-standard in this world, one which is based on how much money one has. It is this willingness to look the other way when one is wealthy that lies at the root of the 'tolerance' Bu$hCo is allotted in spite of their transgressions against freedom and justice in the world.

The majority of Bu$hCo - if they were much younger - would surely be seen hanging around partying with Paris and the Fortunate Ones. It shows in their behavior.

Paris'now-ex-boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos, got drunk even though he's underage (California legal age is 21 - he's 20), caused an accident and drove recklessly - all caught on videotape. The LAPD didn't even arrest him for any of these offenses. Serve and Protect, indeed!

In addition, it's nothing for such people to wreak havoc as if they are entitled. Niarchos is no different. He and his friends caused over $100,000 damage to a hotel in Las Vegas. Niarchos is alleged in some reports to have whipped out his American Excess Card as if that was intended to pay for it. The hotel took it to the limit ($25,000) even though they will probably have to sue him for the balance.

If anyone 'normal' had done something like that, do you really think that they could walk away a free bird and not instead be sitting in the Greybar Hotel?

And then there is Michael Jackson. I really have a hard time accepting that he isn't sitting in the UAE version of the Greaybar awaiting the separation of his head from his shoulders for his transgression. I guess it helps to have connected friends.

But it does get worse. The victim was threatened with prosecution for breaking the law:

The police informed Latifa that the UAE laws do not entitle her to any financial gain from the situation and they convinced her to hand over the mobile, which she did after erasing the photos for the fear of being penalised.

And Michael skates again.

I took a shot at Bu$hCo earlier, but I want to point out that while this sort of behavior is lately more likely to be done by Republicans, the Democrats are no strangers to this sort of favoritism.

For instance, there is reason to believe that William Kennedy Smith got away with rape while cousin Michael Skakel was convicted of murder. He says he didn't do it.

That's also what former Congressman Joe Scarborough says concerning the mysterious death of his political aide in his office.

That silence you hear over this GOP 'non-scandal' equals in intensity the vocal outrage over Chappaquiddick and Ted Kennedy's irresponsible (at minimum) behavior there.

But I digress.

I also want to point out that the Kennedys are not the only family who have scandals in their closets, nor are the Democrats any more or less immune to temptation than are the Republicans. Google Prescott Bush and check up on his activities which benefitted the Third Reich. Not only did he escape conviction for treason against the US, he was later elected US Senator from Connecticut!

Party affiliation means nothing when compared to the power conferred by status. That is why I cite Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson. We let them all get away with things for which they would not forgive us.

I was lucky to discover that someone else is outraged by the unruly behavior of rich tyros, even if for somewhat different reasons. I'm going to add [my own commentary] where I feel it necessary to make my point:


JASMYNE CANNICK: Why You Should Be Outraged at Hilton’s Treatment Courtesy of the L.A.P.D.

After a night of drinking and clubbing, white blonde heiress Paris Hilton and buddies were surrounded by paparazzi when her boyfriend Stavros Niarchos tried to accelerate away and smashed into the back of a large commercial truck and then left the scene. The car was soon pulled over by police and after a short interview, the friends were allowed to continue on their way, but not before Paris blew a kiss to the cop, saying, “Thank you officer, we love the police!”

[After over two years of conducting a war for reasons long since proven to be fallacious, the War Crimes Tribunal has yet to order the arrest of George W. Bu$h and members of his cabal. Bu$h is currently kissing-up to the Asian holders of US debt instruments to prevent a reduction in celebrity status which might facilitate such an arraignment.]

Let me recap this story a bit more accurately for you.

A car full of white drunk people was involved in a DUI and then left the scene of the crime (therefore making it a hit-and-run) before eventually being stopped by a white Los Angeles Police Department officer and then being allowed to go on their way. Driving under influence is a very serious crime and with it brings heavy penalties including fines and jail time. Hit-and-run’s are considered particularly heinous, especially when bodily injury or death is involved.

[A government full of white corporate executives was involved in an illegal war and now refuse to leave the scene of the crime. No action has yet been taken by the United Nations, which in theory has the authority to compel compliance - a position regularly advanced by the US to justify its intended international actions (as they attempted to do concerning invading Iraq). Conducting an illegal war is a serious offense (see: Nuremberg Trials) and brings with it heavy penalties including the death penalty and long jail terms. Fines might also imposed.]

Now we all know, had that been a car full of Black people, they would have all been courted off to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. End of story. Black actress Halle Berry was placed on three years probation, fined $13,500 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service in 2000 for a hit-and-run accident after she reported the mishap to police at the hospital.

Celebrity or non-celebrity, Black is Black.

[Had the government been full of Democrats, the impeachment would already be underway. If consentual sex qualifies for impeachment, would not a war undertaken without the support or approval of the opposition - especially if the justifications were later proven to be deliberate fabrications?

In power or not, Democrat is Democrat!]

Hilton and her friends, obviously intoxicated should not have been allowed to get back into their Bentley. At the very least, the officer should have checked the sobriety of each of the passengers to see if there was anyone who wasn’t drunk and was legally able to drive them home safely. What if there had been another accident, this time involving injury to one or more parties? I guarantee you that same officer would be in a lot more trouble than he is today.

[Bu$h and his friends, obviously intoxicated with power, should not have been allowed to go to war. At the very least, the world should have checked the action until the sobriety of each of the allegations against Saddam could be verified to see if there was any legality to drive the justification home. What if there had been another incident, this time involving injury to one or more countries? I guarantee you that same world would be in a lot more trouble than it is today.]

Young Black men and women looking at MTV and seeing what happened --or in this case, what didn’t happen to Paris Hilton, are left with the impression that there are different laws for whites and Blacks where the police are concerned. When that L.A.P.D. officer let Hilton and her friends go, he reinforced the message that it pays to be white and that no matter what the crime, whites continue to get preferential treatment, even from the police.

[Young non-American non-white non-wealthy non-Republican non-Christian non-coprorate men and women (some non-heterosexual) looking at TV and seeing what happened --or in this case, what didn’t happen to Bu$hCo, are left with the impression that there are different laws for America and everyone else where the world is concerned. When the UN let Bu$hCo go to war without repercussions, they reinforced the message that it pays to be American and that no matter what the crime, Americans continue to get preferential treatment from the rest of the world.]

Over half of all prisoners in America’s jails and prisons are Black and brown and are there for petty crimes and drug offenses. But because of their skin color, are more likely to get harsher sentences in state and federal courts than whites. Black and brown people are also less likely to be offered plea bargains, summary probation, or alternative sentences like alcohol and drug diversion programs in comparison to whites.

[Let's also ignore that the majority of those being detained under illegal conditions which violate those 'quaint' Geneva Conventions are also brown or black - and generally Muslim. In addition to their being racial overtones to the crimes of Bu$hCo, there is also one of religious bigotry. But with the world bought off through association with American celebrity, nothing is being done:]

It’s disheartening to see Hilton and her friends get off without so much as a warning from an obviously star-struck officer when Blacks everyday deal with racial profiling and mistreatment at the hands of the police. And while most of these incidents are never caught on tape or even reported, we know it still happens.

[It’s disheartening to see Bu$hCo get off without so much as a warning from an obviously star-struck world when non-Americans everyday deal with racial profiling and mistreatment at the hands of the American military and other organizations. And while many of these incidents are caught on tape or reported, few know it happens.]

The Black community needs to demand that Hilton and her buddies be charged with felony DUI and hit-and-run charges because right is right and wrong is wrong and no one is above the law. Not even an heiress like Hilton. In addition, the officer that let her and her buddies go is not without fault either and is obviously incapable of doing his job.

[The world community needs to demand that George W. Bu$h and associates be charged with felony warmongering and perjury charges because right is right and wrong is wrong and no one is above the law. Not even a political heir like Bu$h. In addition, the world that let him and his buddies go is not without fault either, and is obviously not doing its job to ensure world peace and justice.]

As is being made clear in several LA neighborhoods this week, when it comes to crime prevention, law enforcement can do little if there isn't active support of the community in those efforts. It doesn't matter if the crime is the murder of a little girl about to sit down to dinner with her family, an honor student killed in a hit-and-run while crossing a street, or the invasion of a sovereign nation with criminal intent.

If the people do nothing, nothing will be done. It takes a village, not just to raise a child, but to bring justice to those who murder that child.

As King George's approval ratings continue to decline, we may yet see that come about.

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