There used to be a well-known gossip columnist in the mainstream American tabloid, famous for captioning her often eye-popping revelations with the catchphrase, “Only in America, kids. Only in America.”
Obviously, this was during the time when the Americans cornered the market with crazy behavior and before the rest of the Western countries got up to speed (as we are today) with serial frenzy.
But hitting the headlines in recent days is a story straight out of the “only in America” file.
A journalist was denied coverage of an event in Alabama on the grounds that her skirt was too short.
The event in question, hosted by the Alabama Department of Corrections, was the execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. by lethal injection.
Reporter Ivana Grinkiv Shatara was to witness this horrific dispatch, along with other members of the media and relatives of the convict and the young woman he killed.
Upon learning that she was dressed inappropriately for the occasion due to her hemline, Ivana says she tried to lower her skirt a bit around her hips to lengthen it. It still hasn’t passed the test.
Luckily, she was able to borrow a couple of waders from a photographer who also filmed the execution (I’m not sure what those waders are; I would have thought they were very long waders). But Ivana was still considered inappropriately dressed due to her “open” appearance. Whether she was wearing sandals or if her waders were a little odd, it’s hard to say.
Anyway, it was fixed by wearing a pair of tennis shoes. And here it is: a miniskirt, boots, and trousers—appropriate attire if you ever get invited to an execution in Alabama.
The issue of “property” overlooked by the Stasi with the skirt length was that they followed a dress code to witness the murder of a man.
In Alabama they don’t see barbarism for the knees.
Ivana pointed out that she had worn the same short skirt to previous executions, and no one said a word. How many executions did she cover? She makes lethal injection sound as routine as covering a council planning committee meeting.
According to her, she felt very uncomfortable during the three hours she had to sit there. Obviously, in such an outfit, it must have been awkward.
But eating is uncomfortable and eating is uncomfortable. And I guess in the three hours it took them to find a vein and then inject him with lethal chemicals, Joe Nathan James Jr. wouldn’t have felt terribly relaxed either.
In the United States, the death penalty is retained in 27 states. There are many people here who would say, “That’s good too.” Particularly on social media, you will regularly read calls for someone to be executed for something they have done or even said. “Bring back the hanging” is a frequent refrain.
Joe Nathan James Jr killed a young woman. There is no doubt that he committed a heinous crime and deserved punishment for it.
He took a life; he must lose his. This is an argument in favor of the death penalty.
I think the execution is wrong for two reasons. First, because it’s simply wrong. This is immoral and reduces the state to the level of a murderer. Besides, I think that a life sentence, properly imposed (i.e., life really means life), is just as severe a punishment: to know that you will never know freedom again.
The problem is that a life sentence rarely means life. In the UK, only a small number of notorious monsters, such as Levi Bellfield, received life orders.
Killers can go free in a few short years thanks to “good behavior”, while mourners serve their sentences for the rest of their lives. No wonder there is disgust and anger at the system.
In Northern Ireland, the last execution took place in 1961. Robert McGladdery was hanged for the brutal murder of 19-year-old Pearl Gamble. The death penalty remained the law here until 1973.
Had it been used during the long years of the Troubles, many prominent paramilitaries might well have faced the death penalty.
The death penalty will not return here, but in the US in 2022 it is still the winner of the vote.
And only in America, a short skirt at an execution is considered more indecent than depriving a person of life.
Pelosi’s belt in clothing makes a statement
Politicians love their careers to end with a bang. The problem with Nancy Pelosi (82), speaker of the US House of Representatives, is that the explosion in question could be nuclear. Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is seen as either an important gesture of solidarity or an attempt to poke a hornet’s (in this case, a dragon’s) nest with a stick. So Nancy only went there to cement her legacy? Critics deride it as a vanity project. But the owners were glad to see her and rewarded her with a gong and a sash. Great photo shoot for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. But one that also allows the Chinese to claim provocation from the US, embodied in the belt worn by Pelosi.
Women’s goal is equal pay
Congratulations to the Lionesses on their victory at the Euro Football, which we wrote about a lot. Like all of our own Commonwealth Games medal-winning female stars, they inspire young girls to take up the sport. But please spare us all this chatter about how to teach young girls to grow up to be anything: from Marie Curie to Serena Williams, girls have always known this. What they don’t know is why they don’t get paid the same as men when they are successful.
Case in Liz we Truss
We have always assumed that politicians will do anything to advance their careers, but the battle for the leadership of the Conservative Party has become a perfect example of political sucking up. How strongly did all these losing candidates suddenly support Liz Truss (who currently looks like the favorite in tenth place) in the hope that their “support” will now secure a seat in her cabinet if she does become prime minister? Even Sajid Javid, a friend of Rishi Sunak, turned to Truss. And if the momentum of her campaign continues, how soon will Rishi himself say that he supports her in the hope of future work?