Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Have No Idea....

Jean Gabin as Inspector Maigret
In my last post regarding the DSK/Rape affair, I quoted Chief Inspector Maigret of the Flying Squad, the main character in many Georges Simenon mysteries. When asked by reporters or even associates if he had an opinion regarding a case he was involved in, he would invariably answer, "I have absolutely no idea."
One of the biggest headaches in his investigations was the attempt of The Judge of Instruction....a purely French legal personage, to direct the investigation to come up with the convenient conclusion that the Judge had already settles upon. Many times, the Judge would be acting under orders from "up above" to conclude the case with out embarrassment to notable figures. Maigret often found himself in hot water with his superiors and would drive them  nuts with his tight lipped, dogged methodology, but invariably he was right.
In France, the latest public opinion polls regarding the DSK affair show that almost 60% of the people polled believe that DSK is the victim of a plot. This reflects on the present sorry state of French political life. The present government is quite capable and amoral enough to believably have constructed such a plot in the eyes of most French people. That was my first reaction.
I am trying to keep an open mind, I have my ideas, but as of now, I have no idea.
I resent the frantic attempts of public figures to try to influence public opinion in this case. There is the "philosopher/media hound/best selling author, Bernard Henri-Levi writing of DSK as his friend. They are neighbors in Morocco, they share the same tastes for bling and loose women. He recently wrote a defense that found fault with the hotel worker for going into DSK's room alone. He found this "highly suspicious." He was shocked and outraged by the American justice process, which treated DSK as it would have treated any other man accused of the crime he was.  He claims that the affair is being exploited in France as an attempt to settle old scores by political rivals. Well, it is...that's a fact of life.
I resent Henri-Levi's attempt to justify the alleged behavior and blame the victim as he tries to defend DSK from the same accusations. He sullied his reputation in his defense of Roman Polanski, instead of logic, it became a defense of privilege. It was a class thing.
Frankly, if this incident had occurred at a great hotel in Paris, the hotels first concern would be to keep it out of the press and pay the victim off to protect its reputation.
Henri-Levi protests too much. It is as if he wants to quash this because it just might be a little too close to where he lives and he doesn't want his personal junk to be perused to closely. His agenda and ego are too big for him to be taken seriously on a philosophical level any more. It is the same aggressivity he uses to illogically defend Israeli violence against Palestinians. The guy needs to start buttoning his expensive shirts and get rid of the bizarre hair that seems to have propelled him into his own intellectual Trump World.
But the guy who took the cake, topped it with whipped cream and maraschino cherries before choking on it was fellow economist, the conservative Ben Stein, who tried to defend DSK by reasoning that there were no international economists who had ever been accused of sex crimes...
He said:
In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are usually not one of a kind." -Ben Stein, 5/17/2011

Well, I did a little checking to help out Mr. Stein, here's a few links to clarify his statement:
Cobourg’s former economic director goes to jail for sexual assault.
Economist on governor’s staff charged with child sex abuse
Former Rockford College economics professor pleads guilty to sexual abuse
assistant [economics] professor charged with online sex crime
Colby [economics] professor resigns amid secret-camera flap
Economics professor caught in teen sex sting
CSUN economics professor Kenneth Ng runs Thai sex tourism website
Yeah, I know. They’re not all violent. POINT STEIN!

oops, just found another one and it's a doozy: 
 Guess who else holds an economics degree?

For those not familiar with the case, Bernardo is one of the nastiest serial killers in history. He and his wife drugged, raped, and tortured to death a number of schoolgirls in the late 80's and early 90's. The story is the stuff of nightmares.
I'll leave the debate over the rest of Mr. Stein's article to others. But as for his suggestion that studying economics precludes becoming a violent sex criminal, it seems history provides one hell of a counterexample.
Meanwhile, my inner Maigret has absolutely no idea.......


Laci the Chinese Crested said...

You might find this artcile of interest:

microdot said...

Pretty good, Laci. I just saw the best screaming match on French Television with a writer from The Guardian trying to scream in French as well. Talk about social meltdowns! You had the editors of Figaro and Le Nouvelle Obs almost punching each other out. Figaro is as mainstream right wing as it gets and Le Nouvelle Observateur is pretty mainstream Left....
In the middle of the punch out, they cut live to DSK's bail hearing in NYC....
In spite of all of this, Francois Hollande, of the Socialist Party is still polling way ahead of Sarko and LePen...
Let just hope that the Sarko movie, La Conqueste really bombs big time.
The Guardian reviewed it premiered at Cannes last night and said it went over like a cold souffle....
Meanwhile, what Lars Von Trier won't do to promote his film....?

ny edge said...

Interesting to hear your take on this case. Here in NYC the rags are playing up the class angle -- rich, preditory Frenchman vs poor African born maid. There was undeniable glee in announcing he wouldn't be enjoying Chateaubriand & Merlot in Rikers, but balogna & Kool aid like the rest of the inmates...the usual media hype in lieu of hard facts.

microdot said...

I have no sympathy for DSK. He has always been his own worst enemy, it makes him a very vunerable target.
As his defense evolves, I have less sympathy for him.
I am passing to the next stage of grief...anger!
I feel anger because he has thrown the French Socialist Party in such disarray by his idiocy. We were ready to put the bank on him in the upcoming election against Sarkozy.
He sure made Marie LePen look even better to the yahoos she appeals to.
Maigret is beginning to have some ideas and they are not very nice....