Saturday, June 25, 2011

Barabara Amiel Gets The Vapors

in happier times ...

Is Lord Conrad Black's fall a metaphor for the sorry state of neoconservatism at present? His excesses after a fashion curiously mirror the orgy of Empire and materialism that went on under the Bush administration, that we are just now extricating ourselves out from under ...

Lord Black's obnoxiously loud downfall is rapidly becoming a bad operetta. Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour, who resigned as chief executive of Hollinger Inc after it was found that $32 million in unauthorized payments had been made to him and some of his executives is back in the news.

Everything about this man is outsized and overly dramatic. Even his feuds with outsized public figures (traitorous friends)-- and their children after the principals die! His neoconservatism! Lord Black is a large man, of large appetites, of large friends, of literally large biographies of large historical personalities and, ultimately, of large fall.

From The Independent:

Conrad Black, the Conservative peer convicted of fraud and obstructing justice in the US, was last night ordered back to jail amid dramatic scenes in a Chicago courthouse.
His wife, Barbara Amiel, passed out and had to be revived by medics, as the judge disregarded a 20-minute oration by Black in which he argued that he and his family had already "suffered deeply" over eight years of legal action, including his 29 months in prison.
The former proprietor of The Daily Telegraph was freed last year after successfully persuading the US Supreme Court to limit the scope of potential prosecution arguments in fraud cases, after which two of his four convictions were quashed. Judge Amy St Eve yesterday slashed his sentence from 78 months to 42 months in order to reflect the reduced number of convictions, and his work as a teacher and mentor in prison, but Black will still have to serve almost another year before time off for good conduct.

Of course one could not expect lord Black to go quietly into the night. His wife would have to catch the vapors as he is dragged back to the pokey. Anything else would be uncivilized ...

Black accepted that "a reasonable person could conclude that I am guilty of these two offences. The same reasonable person could also conclude that I have been adequately punished."

The peer's lawyers put his and Ms Amiel's failing health among the arguments for clemency, and Ms Amiel in particular looked frail even as she walked into court. She had put off heart surgery until after her husband's fate was decided, according to court filings.

Of course one could not expect such a large man to go quietly into the night. His wife would be expected to have the vapors as he is hauled back to the pokey. Anything else from such an obnoxiously dramatic jerk would be uncivilized ...

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