Seaton: In Memoriam, The Iron Sheik

In the storied world of professional wrestling, few figures loom as large as the late Iron Sheik. Born on March 15, 1942, in Tehran, Iran, as Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, the Iron Sheik would go on to become one of the most iconic villains in the history of the business. As we take a moment to remember his life and legacy, it’s worth reflecting on how he shaped the world of wrestling and how he became a symbol of bravado, pride, and patriotism – albeit, one that was often controversial.

Sheik’s life story is one of perseverance and determination. Born into a working-class family, he showed an early aptitude for wrestling and quickly rose through the ranks of Iranian wrestling. He won his first national championship at 18 and went on to represent Iran in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Vaziri even caught the eye of the Shah of Iran and served as the Shah’s personal bodyguard! Continue reading

He’s “Innocent,” Send Money

As Damon Linker writes, there is always some degree of taint when a politician of one side is proscuted by the other. As David French writes, no politician, no matter how high or mighty, should be treated better than or worse than any other citizen. What’s Trump got to say? Send money!!!.

His political advisers had been preparing for weeks to exploit the federal indictment for full effect. His team has come to view federal law enforcement actions against him as a core part of its fund-raising strategy. Online fund-raising — which has long been the lifeblood of Mr. Trump’s political operation because high-end Republican donors largely shun him — has dried up for all Republican candidates over the past several years, including Mr. Trump. Continue reading

Lies, Damn Lies and Election Lies

At Techdirt, Mike Masnick has received a flurry of press releases in response to YouTube’s decision not to moderate election misinformation.

Judging by the number of very angry press releases that landed in my inbox this past Friday, you’d think that YouTube had decided to personally burn down democracy. You see, that day the company announced an update to its approach to moderating election misinformation, effectively saying that it would no longer try to police most such misinformation regarding the legitimacy of the 2020 election: Continue reading

Santos’ Secret Sureties

Whether it’s Sam Bankman-Fried or George Santos, law is often crafted in the wake of people we despise, or at least for whom we hold little sympathy. Magistrate Judge Anne Shields (EDNY) ordered that the names of the sureties for Santos’ release be made public. The order has been sealed in order to allow Santos an opportunity to appeal the decision to the district court.

ORDER: For the reasons contained in the attached Order, the motions to unseal the identities of the Suretors who signed the Bond for Defendant’s pretrial release, filed herein at Docket Entries 13 and 14, are granted. To allow Defendant to appeal this ruling to the District Court, the Clerk of the Court is directed to maintain the attached decision and all previously sealed documents, including the Bond, under seal. Any appeal of this Order must be filed by noon on Friday, June 9, 2023. So Ordered by Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields on 6/6/2023.

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Tuesday Talk*: For The Birds

What comes to mind when you hear the name Audubon? The magnificent images of Birds of America? The society that protects birds and other animals? Conservation? Natural sanctuaries? Or slaves, racism and stealing the skulls of indigenous peoples?

In 1896, a pair of upper-crust Bostonian ladies founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society in a bid to outlaw feather hats. They named the group after John James Audubon, the fine artist and bird collector whose paintings and books influenced Charles Darwin and sparked public protections of animals, helping birth the modern conservation movement. (The national wing formed in 1905.) Continue reading

“Vocational Awe” On The Picket Line

Despite Chris Seaton’s best efforts, the writers’ strike continues and we may never see a sitcom again. It presents an interesting contrast to many of the more popular platitudes of the unduly passionate, where people who followed their passion are now constrained to admit that love doesn’t pay the bills.

Last month, in an interview about Warner Bros. Discovery’s $50 million streaming profit in the first quarter of 2023, the company’s chief executive, David Zaslav, told CNBC that he believed the Writers Guild of America strike would ultimately end because of “a love for the business and a love for working.” Continue reading

Ten Years Detained

It’s been about ten years since Maurice Jimmerson;s arrest, and he’s still awaiting trial.

It’s unclear why exactly Jimmerson has languished in jail for so long. Gregory Edwards, the Dougherty County district attorney, told Atlanta News First that some of the delay can be attributed to a 2021 courthouse flood, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a previous judge’s decision to try Jimmerson and his codefendants separately for the 2013 double-murder charge. Two of Jimmerson’s codefendants were tried—and acquitted—in 2017.

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Was Rehnquist A Segregationist?

In the grand scheme of reviled Supreme Court justices, William Rehnquist was no Roger Taney. But it was bad enough to be Rehnquist that he didn’t have to be. And so there’s a natural inclination to want to believe the worst of the show pony with his velvet stripes on his black robe. And Rick Hasen and Dahlia Lithwick do just that.

The late chief justice, who long sought to turn the 14th Amendment on its head, notoriously drafted a 1952 memo as a Supreme Court clerk that defended racial segregation in the South and the disastrous Plessy v. Ferguson decision on which the institution’s legality was based. Although Rehnquist denied during his confirmation hearings that the memo reflected his own views—saying they were meant to reflect those of Robert H. Jackson, the justice he was clerking for in 1952—a newly released court document, not previously reported, lays bare Rehnquist’s abhorrent true position on segregation as late as 1993.

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Seaton: Project Alpha (Or My All-Time Favorite Con)

Greetings, dear readers of Simple Justice! Today, I want to delve into a fascinating story of a hoax that rocked the world of parapsychology and exposed the charlatans who peddled their wares as psychic phenomena. I am, of course, talking about the con game called “Project Alpha,” run by three magicians that exposed just how little rigor scientists apply to their methods when they want to believe something is true.

For the uninitiated, James Randi was a magician and skeptic who devoted his life to debunking claims of paranormal and supernatural abilities. He founded the James Randi Educational Foundation, which offered a million-dollar prize to anyone who could demonstrate their paranormal powers under scientific scrutiny. Though Randi has left this world, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) still stands, and that million dollar prize has never been collected. Continue reading

DEI, Inc.

When Stanford law school’s DEI dean, Tirien Steinbach, took to the mic to stand up for the students who silenced invited speaker Judge Kyle Duncan, she was suspended from her position and roundly castigated for both failing to enforce the law school’s policies as well as encouraging the heckler’s veto to silence free speech. What, I pondered, did the deans and pundits expect a DEI dean to do? Wasn’t this her job?

[H]ow could it be that well-trained DEI Deans at elite institutions can have such a fundamentally flawed vision of the purpose of an academic institution? And what are these DEI staff teaching law students? Indeed, Steinbach doubled-down on her position in the WSJ: Continue reading