- Category: Politics
- Written by Jim Dee
Lemme put on some music as I type ... . Ahh yeahhhhh, James Brown's Payback. Damn, I love that tune. So, just a couple of comments today:
First, I'm happy to announce that Jimmy Hook (maker of the incredibly cool videos that I linked to a couple of days ago) has graciously agreed to be my first-ever interview on this mighty blog that entertains literally tens of people per week. It'll be good practice for him, I suppose, as he'll no doubt become wildly famous in the not-so-distant future. I'm usually pretty good at interviewing people, btw; my ignorance is generally misinterpreted as a kind of reserved wisdom, and my subjects tend to open up like never before. You'll enjoy it, trust me. (And, it'll be "real" content -- like something you'd read in a magazine, as opposed to my ramblings.)
Anyway, there's a line in Jimmy's Episode 1 that I was thinking about today. What countries have no extradition agreements with the USA? (The answers appear here in the almighty Wiki.) What got me thinking about that was the ubiquitous news of Jeffrey Skilling's 24+ year prison sentence. Christ, it seemed light to me, considering all the M-Fer did. Now, I know nothing about our legal system as it relates to criminal cases, but one detail caught my interest in the Yahoo news article: " U.S. District Judge Sim Lake denied Skilling's request for bond and ordered him to home confinement, wearing an ankle monitor."
Am I misunderstanding something here? The article cited figures amounting to at least 62 BILLION motherfucking DOLLARS worth of losses, with this asshole in charge of it all and found guilty. And we send people like this home, with nothing more than an ankle monitor, prior to sentencing? Lemme tell you something: Guilty or not, if I wind up some old rich codger looking at 24 big ones in a federal penn, I'm gonna have a Plan B that involves a sawzall, several large gym bags filled with cash, and a four-wheel drive vehicle. (The sawzall -- or reciprocating saw, for you non-powertool-literate folks -- is to cut off the ankle monitor two seconds before I burn rubber out of the driveway.)
Christ, the motherfucker is in Houston, right? All he's got to do is get into Mexico and use that as a jumping-off point to some godforsaken country where US currency really means something. Somehow reminds me of an old saying my Irish grandmother had hanging behing the bar in the basement: May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead. Christ, I'd be long gone before they knew what hit 'em. And, trust me: no one's looking when you cross the border heading south -- especially if you're some old white dude.
Lemme tell ya: I've been to India, and Mexico's not all that different. If you have some deniro, you can get yourself a whole new identity. Money talks in third-world places like that. I remember being in a palace overlooking the Indian Ocean -- giant Krishna mosaics on the wall, the blue god with more arms than you can keep track of, each one ending in a busty handful of ancient courtesan. Large signs all over the place read, "No Photography." But slip the guard 50 rupees (not even two American bucks at the time), and he'd cordon off an entire room for you.
But, if you want to really get somewhere with no extradition, your choices do not include Mexico (other than, as I said, a pretty good starting point). Going back to the ominum-gatherum, here are your choices (below). Actually, I'm just saving myself the trouble of having to do this when I'm older and need it. So, if it were ME, here's what I'd do:
- Afghanistan - um, no. It's a long list and I'm sure we can do better.
- Algeria - probably nice along the northern coast, but it's just not stable enough. In fact, Africa as a whole is just too unstable. (I'm basing that mostly on the fact that I'd have my family with me. Were I to escape alone, I'd probably take a chance on many African countries.) So, I'll call this The Africa Instability Rule. It's also a Muslim country and, baseless or not, I'd always have this lingering fear of death by beheading (the whole "let's make an example of the Ugly American" thing). So, I'll call this the Death by Beheading Rule. Low-lying countries are another automatic deal-killer. I'll call that the Fear of Tsunami rule. So, based on those three (or various combinations thereof), I'd have to rule out Angola, Bahrain, Burkina Faso (even though it's got a capital that's really fun to say: Ouagadougou -- pronounced wa-guh-DO-go ), Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, The Comors, Cote d' Ivoire, Djibouti (Sheik Yerbouti?), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, SAÂ£o TomAÂ© and PrAÂncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zaire, and Zimbabwe.
Wow, that's a lot. So, what's left? Still quite a few. But first, a few more bulk eliminations, based on various prejudices (in the sense that I'm pre-judging these countries before really researching them -- not in the sense that I bear any ill will toward the people of these countries): Armenia, China, Laos, Lebanon, Moldova, Mongolia, Vietnam.
More eliminations, based on quick research:
- Andorra - Probably livable, but too small and too tough to get to. They'd likely pick you up in Spain of France before you crossed the border. Plus, you'd always be landlocked (which is better than a small jail cell, admittedly).
- Bangladesh - not a bad choice, really, but not my style. Crowded as hell, of course. Good food, probably. Monsoons, right?
- Brunei - not bad. Perhaps a little hot for my tastes.
- Cambodia - probably not that awful, really. Angelina Jolie's been there and is bound to return at some point. That's a big plus. On the downside, I've been that close to the equator before and didn't enjoy the heat too much. Maybe I should also have a Too Close to the Equator rule. Many others on this list qualify for that, though I haven't identified them all.
- Ciskei - WTF? I'd never heard of this one. Count me out, though I kind of like their flag. Plus, it breaks my no-Africa rule.
- Marshall Islands - Nah, probably still glowing with radiation. The U.S.A. blew the absolute mother fuck out of this place back in the 50s. See here.
- Myanmar - What? Oh, it's Burma. Damn, I hate it when countries switch names on me.
And so, I present: Patrick's Finalist Countries, based on absolutely no decent research:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina / Serbia and Montenegro - Somewhat war-torn, sure ... But, find a nice little cottage on the Adriatic somewhere, pehaps? I'd have to do some more research to see about any proliferation of land mines. Aside from that, it's probably rather temperate.
- Madagascar - Interesting ... I know it's Africa, but my Africa Instability Rule may not apply since it's an island -- and, a huge one at that, which means my Fear of Tsunami rule may also not apply. I'm sure it's unbearably hot, but they have lemurs (which I've always found entertaining). Hmmm, keep it on my short list, I guess.
- Nepal - Yeah, I could get into the whole Nepal thing. Why not?
- Russia - Plenty huge enough to find a nice home somewhere.
So, there you go. I started wtih a gigantic list, and got it down to the Adriatic coast, Nepal, Russia, or Madagascar. Where would YOU run off to?