Grand juries came into use in England in the Middle Ages, their function being to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to accuse a person of committing a crime. This was a great improvement over a government being able to bring someone to trial without first determining whether there was enough evidence to do that. A ‘star chamber’ court there was an example of the latter kind of unfair justice.
In gathering information enabling them to decide to bring, or not to bring, persons to trial who may be guilty of a crime by indicting them, grand juries also serve as protection against unfounded and oppressive prosecution of individuals.
The evidence-gathering and indictment function of grand juries are part of the very demanding criminal justice system in the United States, but in most of the rest of the world, a ‘preliminary hearing’ fills the same function. (The word ‘grand,’ simply signifies that there are usually more members on such a jury than on a trial, or ‘petit’, jury. Both words come from the French for ‘big’ and ‘little.’)
Former Vice-President Pence testified for several hours a few days ago before a Federal grand jury investigating possible crimes committed by the defeated former president and possibly others as well. He is the highest-ranking former government official to appear before such a grand jury.
Testifying before a grand jury requires taking an oath agreeing to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, something testifying before other bodies may not demand, and which can lead to the indictment of the subject of the grand jury’s investigation for committing a crime.
That is why whatever Pence told the grand jury is very significant, far more so than would be his testifying before Congressional panels that only serve to gather information to use in proposing legislation. Pence’s testimony before a grand jury, on the other hand, can conceivably lead the defeated former president to a fitting in a dressing room for a future orange suit. And speaking of ‘dressing rooms’ …
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Does What Occurred in a Dressing Room at Bergdorf-Goodman Doom the G.O.P.?
Contrary to a criminal case, a civil action cannot result in jail time, only in monetary damages. That is what the litigation brought by E. Jean Carroll against the defeated former president is all about. She accuses him of raping her in a department store dressing room, many years ago. Carroll, a writer for Women’s Wear Daily, was meeting with him in the store for business purposes.
|Ms. Carroll Entering Courthouse|
Even if Ms. Carroll does not prevail in court, the defeated former president will not be able to survive the disgrace which is becoming a permanent part of his persona. Many women will not vote for him, and if that party is stupid enough (they are) to nominate him for president in 2024, that will result in a nationwide ‘Blue Wave’ which will destroy the G.O.P. for the foreseeable future, with many governorships and State legislatures turning Democratic because of him.
Disgust with the defeated former president will just be more icing on the layer cake of issues that most people support such as abortion rights and gun control.
Right now, some Republicans recognize this but can do nothing about it because control of their party rests with an ultra-conservative right-wing that will find some excuse to support him. They would prefer to be the party’s pallbearers as they proceed to its burial, steering the hearse by using its rear-view mirror only.
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Collidge Football Ain’t Whut it Usta Bee
Once upon a time, a promising high school athlete might anticipate that a college would possibly offer him (and more recently ‘her’ as well) a four-year education, with all expenses paid, if they would enroll there and continue competing, but wearing the college’s colors. And most colleges lived up to their offers, even if the athlete’s skills were less than anticipated or if an injury ended their competitive career.
But those days are gone. Now, athletes choose a school that will arrange to offer them the most compensation should their skills became marketable to merchandise-buying alumni and the public. Furthermore, loyalty to the school whose scholarship offer they initially accepted is non-existent. The ‘transfer’ portal enables them to switch schools, usually to one which would offer them not only a better deal for using their names to sell merchandise but offering them better exposure to professional scouts, as well.
These practices are destroying college sports as we know them. But the games will continue, of course, but with the teams functioning openly as the equivalent of minor league baseball, preparing athletes to hopefully move on to compete in the big-time, lucrative, professional athletic world. This has nothing to do, please note, with the real purpose of colleges and universities, supposedly educational institutions.
In addition to the transfer portal and compensation of athletes, we cannot ignore the legalization of sports betting in much of the country, made simple by TV and the internet. The games bet upon include intercollegiate sports. Sooner or later, there will be a scandal as there always have been when the stakes are high enough. (I suspect that even some chariot races back in ancient Rome were fixed.) Few remember the bribery scandals which plagued college basketball in the 1960’s, even without legalized wagering, and the fixing by gamblers of the 1919 World Series (the Black Sox scandal). This is another reason why college sports, as we now know them, will die.
But fear not. A few excellent, well-endowed, schools will still have teams and compete among themselves, with a very limited number of athletes receiving academic scholarships requiring them to agree to remain in the school for four full years, and not seek to transfer elsewhere, and receive no other compensation whatsoever. Harvard will still play Yale. The remaining personnel of such teams will consist of real ‘student-athletes.’
Some colleges and universities will totally shun intercollegiate sports and be none the worse for it. Schools throughout the rest of the world, institutions that incidentally provide an increasingly large number of those doing advanced graduate work in this country,
and do not concern themselves with bowl invitations nor NCAA basketball tourney bids, get along just fine without intercollegiate athletics.
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Coming up in May! The Return of the Original ‘Chrissy Frost’ Stories
All eight of them, originally included on this blog back in 2017, recount the story of a Florida entertainer and will be published again on the blog. Together they form what might be a novella, entitled ‘Time After Time – The Crissy Frost Story.’
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A Final Word ... or Two
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There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though! Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible. If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which the blog will be forwarded, along with a comment from you. Each will receive a link to the textual portion only of the blog that you now are reading, but without the illustrations, colors, variations in typography, or the ‘sidebar’ features such as access to the blog’s archives.
Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting, but I recommend sending them the link.
Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it.
Have a nice day!
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