Seaton: #ButHisEmails Dispatches From Mud Lick

I obtained the following emails on a private Discord server from someone with the online handle “StickyWeeks.” After thorough vetting, I am convinced these emails are from the Mud Lick Sheriff’s Department. In the interests of full public disclosure, I provide them to you, the loyal SJ readership.—CLS

August 5, 2019
FROM: Templeton, Roy ([email protected])
SUBJECT: Highway Cleanup Vest Alterations

Hello everyone: Continue reading

No Leg To Stand On

When Stephanie West Allen sent me the link, I was as appalled at the idea of “tranableism” as could be.

Smith’s patients are just two examples of people who have body integrity identity dysphoria, also known as being transabled: They feel they are disabled people trapped in abled bodies.

The gut reaction, that this was either good old psychosis or some nouvelle scam to get a handicapped parking permit came swiftly. But the next sentence took it to a very different place.

Some people feel that they are meant to be amputees and will even injure themselves in order to create the desired amputation or make it medically necessary for a surgeon to perform it. Other people feel that they were meant to be blind or deaf.

Continue reading

Short Take: Fight Or Flight Or . . . Whatever

In an article with a really well-crafted headline, “The Provability Gap,” and a trigger warning, “Warning: This story contains descriptions of sexual assault.” some detectives in the Austin Police Department explain why cops get sexual assault wrong. Beyond repeating the usual debunked stats that reporters effortlessly embrace, the story is an homage to “trauma-informed” policing.

The Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice defines trauma-informed care as identifying and limiting potential triggers to reduce retraumatization. In other words, it’s a form of sensitivity training.

“If you don’t understand how deeply personal the crime of rape is, then you don’t need to be doing this work,” said Elizabeth Donegan, a 26-year veteran of the Austin Police Department and former head of the APD Sex Crimes Unit.

Continue reading

May The Court Please Me

Do you remember the debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, where Trump said he would appoint Supreme Court justices who opposed abortion? In reply, Clinton said she would nominate justices who supported abortion. Much as it served to create a dividing line on the issue of abortion, few people noticed that both candidates did the same thing, a terribly bad thing: they promised Supreme Court justices whose votes were predetermined.

If the promise suited your views, that didn’t seem to be a problem. If not, then it clearly was a terrible thing. After all, wasn’t a core purpose in electing a president getting a Supreme Court that would do his bidding, be a faithful cog in the wheel of politics? Both sides wanted it, promised it, but Trump won.

That meant any person he appointed would be tainted, even if they were already on circuit courts, confirmed without issue, doing their jobs in a way that no one questioned. Suddenly, they went from good, competent judges to political hacks and, well, a lot worse. Continue reading

Only Women Need Apply

The need for more women in STEM has become a mantra, accepted as a truism and blamed on sexism and the discouragement of women from participating in science education rather than women exercising their agency in choosing to focus their education elsewhere. The result has been an array of mechanisms to encourage women to major in STEM subjects.

new study released Tuesday found that 84% of about 220 universities offer single-gender scholarships, many of them in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. That practice is permitted under Title IX only if the “overall effect” of scholarships is equitable. The study, by a Maryland-based nonprofit advocating gender equity on college campuses, showed the majority of campus awards lopsidedly benefited women.

How lopsided? Continue reading

Where Can Weinstein Get A Fair Jury?

For a brief moment, Harvey Weinstein was only the third most hated accused sex offender in America. Then Jeffrey Epstein took himself out of the running, and he’s back to the second spot, with trial looming in Manhattan next month. With his 29th* Dream Team now in place, Weinstein has moved for a change of venue.

“New York City is the least-likely place on earth where Mr. Weinstein could receive a fair trial,” wrote Arthur L. Aidala, a lawyer for Mr. Weinstein.

Certainly “news” of Weinstein’s guilt has been pervasive in the New York media, including “Mr. Weinstein’s name was mentioned online by Page Six, The New York Post’s irreverent gossip column, more than 11,000 times.” Even for the Post, that’s a lot. But it’s not merely the volume, or even the absolute certainty of Weinstein’s guilt, but the nature of the peculiar audience in Manhattan. Continue reading

Tuesday Talk*: Can There Be A “Day Zero”?

When the House of Representatives held hearings on H.R. 40, it went poorly. Not so much because the concept of creating a “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans” was itself a bad idea, but because the concern that it would devolve into a cesspool of obsequiousness or being ripped to shreds as a racist, or self-loathing black person, happened almost immediately. Coleman Hughes spoke against it, for which he paid dearly.

In memory of the first ship of African slaves to land at the colonies, the New York Times has published the 1619 Project.

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

Continue reading

Altered Photo, Positive ID

It’s almost surprising this hasn’t happened before, but it’s happened now. Tyrone Lamont Allen was a suspect in four bank robberies. Why he was a suspect in the first place is unclear, as the most that could be said was that random callers who saw the image of the bank robber on TV said it looked like Allen, which isn’t much to go on,

But what was clear that one unique aspect of Allen’s appearance was missing from the images of the perpetrator and the description by witnesses. Allen had facial tattoos.

When asked to ID the perp from his mugshot, witnesses failed to pick Allen. This was a problem for the government, since they had already decided Allen was guilty but lacked the identification to prove it. They came up with a plan.

They covered up every one of his tattoos using Photoshop.

“I basically painted over the tattoos,’’ police forensic criminalist Mark Weber testified. “Almost like applying electronic makeup.’’

Continue reading

Orange Cat . . . Caught

The big question around Casa de SJ was whether the hated, vicious, despicable terrorist, bad orange cat, was stupid enough to allow itself to be caught again. This morning, we have an answer.

This does not, of course, answer the overarching question about what I plan to do with the cat. For reasons that make my head hurt, many of you assumed I was seeking advice on how to either eradicate the “vermin,” turn it into my own precious pet or otherwise rid myself of this meddlesome cat. I was not. Continue reading

Separating The Brock Turner Problem

For very good reason, more attention has been spent addressing Stanford prawf Michelle Dauber’s war against now-former Judge Aaron Persky for not being nearly as harsh as she demanded, but only when she wanted, in imposing sentence on Brock Turner. But what about Brock Turner, who has now completed his jail sentence of six months, released in three for good behavior?

Cornell prawf Joseph Margulies parses the issues, unclouded by the the sort of rhetorical outrage used by Dauber to lead the townspeople with their torches and pitchforks.

But what exactly is the criticism in the Turner case? For many, the answer to this question is obvious—so obvious that they have not paused to consider the question carefully. But care is demanded, for in truth, there are two, very different complaints. Admittedly, they are related, but they reflect different criticisms about society. Observers have not paid sufficient attention to this complexity. But the solution endorsed by the State of California is likely to make one problem far worse, without making the other any better.

Continue reading