The Weekend Politics Thread Reports Crimes in Progress

♬ Stick ’em up punk, it’s the Fun Lovin’ Criminal, the criminal
Stick ’em up punk, it’s the Fun Lovin’ Criminal, the criminal
Stick ’em up punk, it’s the Fun Lovin’ Criminal, the criminal
Stick ’em up punk, it’s the Fun Lovin’ Criminal, the criminal

People everyday recall the brief ascendancy of folk-rap addressing music and politics.1

Dear Weekend Politics Thread Forum,

Uvular never thought it would happen to him.

While searching for a new a job, he arranged an online job interview with a purported recruiter claiming to represent a major multinational pharmaceutical company in need of services only Uve could provide. If you know what he means.2

Long story shortened, the people on the other side of the screen eventually revealed themselves as identity thieves and bank account raiders. Give them points for committing to the bit, though. The phishers of men led Uvular through a pre-screening, had him participate in a lengthy email/text Q&A, and even sent an offer letter convincing enough to pass a cursory glance.

Uvular protected himself and his money by listening to his inner pessimist. “Too easy,” his constantly chirping cerebral consigliere cried.

“Asking which bank you use before inviting you to explain how you overcame a challenging situation at a previous job looks like a red flag,” alerted his alarmist good angel.

“Check the veracity of all this,” demanded his dilatory deductive daemon, arriving almost too late to save a drowning Uvular.3

The email address used to send the bogus job offer did not match the actual company’s. On closer inspection, the letterhead looked odd. Typos littered the text.

Untangling the skein farther, the self-described HR rep used a unique name that, according to Google, belongs to someone who could not possibly hold a talent acquisition post. The original contact came from a phone number no U.S. service provider issued.

So, your enlightened and chastened WPT host deleted the email, canceled the contacts of the scammers, and redid all his financial account logins. He remains an amanuensis in need of a dictator.4 Scarred, but smarter.5

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Uvular did not run to the cops. Or, more appropriately, the consumer protection bureau for his state of residence. First, job scams such as the one for which he nearly fell crop up so frequently that Indeed, ZipRecruiter and the rest run disclaimers boiling down to “Sucks for you, sucker, if you get suckered by some sucky sucks who suck.”

Also, the scammers surely live outside the United States. Uvular’s local constabulary holds no jurisdiction and lacks the resources to investigate, make arrests or pursue charges.

Then, most importantly, what Uvular went through amounts to attempted attempting. The scammers sought a copy of his government-issued I.D. and the information necessary to access his checking account. Even had they acquired those due to Uvular’s negligence in doing due diligence, they’d have needed to complete a few more steps before perpetrating an actual crime against your narrator. Embarrassing and inconvenient? Absolutely. Culpable criminality? Certainly not.

If the company used as the hook upon which the scammers hung their snare wanted to do so, it could sic a corruption of lawyers on the scammers. But an individual who did not suffer actual losses has no meaningful legal recourse.

++++

Now, some lawmaker who cared to pander for Uvular’s, and only Uvular’s, vote could rewrite wire fraud statutes to explicitly ban luring freelance writers and editors with siren songs chorusing of high pay, low hours and flexible schedules. But outlawing the showing of a little leg would make the world an infinitely worse place.

Speaking of both ongoing, possibly unstoppable, crime sprees and the oppressive legislation of outmoded moral codes, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Forget the likely sexual misconduct of two sitting justices. Turn a blind eye to credible suspicions at least one justice played and plays a key role in shielding the movers and shakers behind the January 6 insurrection. Ignore just for the remainder of this header that a radical right-wing supermajority on the High Court fully intends to enshrine theocracy and inequality in law.

Concentrate only on the portents of Samuel Alito’s core argument in his draft opinion overturning the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.

The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned by the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.

In essence, Alito declared the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment invalid except for fetuses. Everyone else, and especially impregnated persons, lose all rights without hearing or remedy unless the right in question existed for the person in question before the United States or its Constitution even existed.

Alito goes so far in asserting this that he cites a proponent of witch-burning who lived during the 1600s.6 To follow that assertion to its logical end obliterates the following amendments, all related statutes and jurisprudence:

  • Third—Damn skippy troops can quarter in your house without permission or rent. Just as they did for all of history until 1789.
  • Fourth—Why would a person who enjoys no right to privacy expect to rest secure in their papers and property?
  • Fifth—Clearly, police and prosecutors can compel testimony by any means since the government recognizes no interest in preserving personal secrets.
  • Sixth—You want jury trials? In this political economy?!
  • Seventh—Civil trials? How can a person with no other rights suffer a tort or deserve compensation?
  • Eighth—We legalized torture by repealing the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Do keep up.
  • Ninth—“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” You dear, sweet summer child.
  • Fifteenth—Even if we let you vote, you cannot cast ballots unless we watch and approve of your choice.
  • Seventeenth, Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth—Don’t make us tap the “Fifteenth Amendment” sign again.

The Thirteenth Amendment presents quite the conundrum here. If a fetus enjoys personhood from the moment of conception, keeping fetuses enwombed must, at the very least, constitute kidnapping. Confining a person in a defined location without allowing them freedom of movement for up to 10 months? Making fetuses entirely dependent on another for food and shelter? No way that passes muster under the Nȕ Constitution.

Leave a comment as you slide down the slippery slope.

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