11 December 2019

The Old Munster Circuit is alive and well

I have long been intrigued by Churchill's celebrated aphorism that Britain and the US are two nations divided by a common language. Recent news suggests its abiding relevance.

If you are an impecunious non-American, and an American billionaire accuses you of being a 'pedo', there is no point in your suing him for libel in the American Courts. After the most scrupulous philological enquiries, the jury, thank goodness, will find him not guilty.

This reminds me of an anecdote in that wonderfully funny collection, Maurice Healy's The Old Munster Circuit. A judge called Richard Adams dismissed a prisoner with the words "You have been acquitted by a Limerick jury, and you may leave the dock without any other stain upon your character".

Perhaps I shouldn't have written this daring and subversive post. Perhaps it will result in my being kidnapped and taken by Extraordinary Rendition to some dark and dingy corner of the Americanosphere where I will have to undergo Enhanced Interrogation, and possibly even be denied all reading matter other than the Collected Speeches of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It's all very strange. Every American I have ever met has, with no exceptions apart from the officials in Homeland Security, been gracious, decent, and civilised; generous, amusing, and intelligent.

However have I alone been so lucky?


Victor said...

Elon Musk might or might not bear a US-american passport - but he was born and raised in the Republic of South Africa, and his mother is Canadian.

ccc said...

You know it's funny..... you mention DHS officials as if they are somehow different. They are mostly characterized by bureaucratic incompetance at administering the welfare state. There are some good eggs, CBP and ICE. But that's l i'm mired to a particular sphere.

If you are concerned about renditions, think OGA rathar than DHS..... those are guys that I have worked with. Pretty good eggs also.

Banshee said...

Currently, it is really difficult to win any US defamation case. Doesn't matter who you are. The courts seem to think that anybody can say anything about anybody. Some judges also seem to think that if somebody says nasty things about you on Twitter and it goes viral, you are retroactively a public figure.

If you want to really dive into the weeds, look into the nasty things said about Vic Mignogna, Richard Meyer, Gibson's Bakery over in Oberlin, young Mr. Sandemann, etc. It is practically public lynching, but without anti-lynch laws.

Mr. Nick Rekieta's YouTube channel, Rekieta Law, has covered a lot of these defamation cases. They go on and on, and very little is done to the malicious. (Except maybe the Oberlin College people, but that is dragging out.)

armyarty said...

Maurice Healy had a falling out with his uncle, A.M. Sullivan over the book, because he stole the best bits from the uncle, who was planning a book of his own. Sullivan was the very last Serjeant at Law, and defended Sir Roger Casement. I have a copy, but what I really want to read is his Stay Me With Flagons, but second hand copies are not cheap.

Anonymous said...

when did you personally meet with any from DHS Father? I meet with one or two when I cross the border south of me. They treat me with a great deal of respect and with very good humour.

Patrick said...

I am amazed to find another person (Banshee) who reads our good host's blog and follows the Meyer v. Waid case, Rekieta, et al.

Donna Bethell said...

Perhaps, Father, you should not have mentioned DHS.