Daddy Says Everybody Is Now An Ethnic Studies Major

In this Fall of Capitulation, Yale University doesn’t want to be left behind.

Responding to student demonstrations and demands related to the racial climate at Yale University, its president, Peter Salovey, introduced a host of initiatives and promises in a letter to alumni on Tuesday.

“It is clear that we need to make significant changes so that all members of our community truly feel welcome and can participate equally in the activities of the university, and to reaffirm and reinforce our commitment to a campus where hatred and discrimination have no place,” he wrote.

What? You’re paying tuition so junior can learn particle physics? Heh, you naïve fool. Did you not see the viral video of brave students protesting for #BlackLivesMatter in the library at Dartmouth? Because so many students are at risk from racist paper cuts, libraries being what they are. And if that was your daughter who was told, “fuck your white tears,” suck it up, as somebody has to take a bullet for the causeContinue reading

“Broken” Bail And Pissed-Off Judges

Dan Wise, former New York Law Journal reporter and always an excellent source for the ugly underbelly of the New York criminal system, reports that judges are not pleased with their aging-out Chief Judge, Jonathan Lippman.

Judges, both present and former, in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx report in interviews that a wide swath of their colleagues handling criminal cases are adamantly opposed to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s bail reform plan.

Welcome to the party, judges. But I somehow suspect that your problem with CJ Lippman’s parting shot isn’t the same as mine. So what’s your beef?

The judges say there is a widespread sentiment within the criminal bench that the Lippman plan is not reflective of the realities they face in setting bail; will sow discord among judges handling criminal cases; was rolled out in a manner that was demeaning to judges and the quality of work they do; and is at odds with statutory requirements and ethical restraints designed to protect the judiciary from outside influences.

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Crowdfunding* Criminal Defense Isn’t The Answer

Within minutes of the O.J. verdict, every criminal defendant called his lawyer and demanded a “dream team,” because if it worked for O.J., it will work for them. That’s when criminal defense lawyers were compelled to explain in small words that (1) they weren’t O.J., and (2) they could barely afford one lawyer, no less four. Hopes were dashed and clients were angry. It was all so unfair.

A new panacea for those accused of crimes, or otherwise under the thumb of the system, is offered by a headline at The Marshall Project, the group of writers slapped together to be the saviors of criminal justice in the absence of any actual knowledge about criminal justice.

Need Cash to Hire a Lawyer? Try Crowdfunding

Oh cool. Except if you read through the shallow anecdotes, two things become clear.  First, to the extent it works at all, the only people who might even consider contributing to a defense are friends and family. Second, even then, it’s not enough to work. Continue reading

“Got A Warrant?” Asked The Dead Man

The Harnett County Sheriff’s office finally explained as much as they were going to explain for the time being:

According to authorities, “a confrontation with an individual resulted in a shooting.” The person involved in the confrontation was pronounced dead at the scene, while the deputy received minor injuries.

That’s code for “one of our guys shot and killed” some poor sucker. And they added this:

Harnett County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Kehagias was involved in the shooting incident, according to Maj. Jeff Huber. Kehagias has been employed as a deputy sheriff since July 2013 and is currently assigned to the patrol division.

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Want To Make A Quick $100 Billion? One Word: Plastic

Imagine if there was a medium of exchange where it was quick and easy for the consumer, no risk of fraud or loss to the merchant, and no third party sticking its finger in the middle to pull out a few points for doing nothing?  If only someone could come up with such a thing.  Maybe they could call it, I dunno, cash?

From the New York Times:

“That is the crux of the matter,” said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report, a payments industry publication. “The real savings is not about fraud, the real savings is about interchange.” Last year, merchants paid about $61 billion in interchange fees, Mr. Robertson said, compared with about $30 billion in fraud losses.

Let’s pull out the old Texas Instruments calculator: $61 billion, plus $30, and all of a sudden you’re talking real money.  The second, smaller number, is what gets lost to fraud, which is sold to the public as if it’s just a bunch of banks being really thoughtful about protecting them. It’s nonsense. It protects the credit card issuers, who are responsible for fraudulent use of their card.  Continue reading

That Cop Who Killed You? Thank The Arbitrator

Jeremy Dear was a problem cop. He seemed to keep getting caught up in controversy, which is hard in Albuquerque given how there’s so much police controversy that standing out isn’t easy, but Dear managed to do so.  The last time began with the killing of 19-year-old Mary Hawkes, for which he was, of course, cleared.

But that wasn’t the end of Dear’s problems.

“I remember at the end, I was like oh (expletives), my camera, it was unplugged,” Dear told investigators. “I mean, I’ve had problems in the past, they come unplugged, you catch that little cord on something and it snags out.”

Dear has since been fired from APD for insubordination and untruthfulness. He’s been fighting to get his job back.

What exactly happened with Hawkes’ killing is shrouded in a mystery because, you see, his Taser-made body cam was unplugged. He claims he was very upset to learn “that little cord” became unplugged. Continue reading

Where Is The Lash?

In an epic rant, Jonah Goldberg, who can find a lefty under every rock just as quick as a feminist can find a misogynist, sneaks in a point worth repeating at The National Review:

I almost feel sorry for those decent, sincere career liberals standing there in the quad as the little Maoists scream in their faces and strip off the suede elbow patches on their tweedy jackets like a lieutenant being busted down to a private. As the kids fit lifelong members of the ACLU with their duncecaps, the poor souls can hear the conservatives hooting and laughing off beyond the fence, throwing nerf footballs and telling jokes at the liberals’ expense.

With the Left given total control of these oases of tolerance and citadels of progressivism, what do we get?

We get pampered and coddled students screaming that these institutions are hotbeds of racism, homophobia, sexism, and the rest of the 31 Flavors of Oppression.

Oh, there is racism. We see it in the bodies on the ground, in courtrooms, in prison cells. But on college campuses?  Not individual instances of racist behavior, because there will always be people who behave poorly and think even worse.  But in the most diverse and inclusive places in this or any other dimension, where sensitivity to claims of discrimination are at their apex. Continue reading

Does This Dress Make My Butt Look Fat?

Whenever someone argues why men are such monsters to women, they invariably invoke the hated strawman, a sexist word if ever there was one. Whether it’s the “too exhausting” argument that men feel entitled to women’s bodies (no, they don’t; they’re just horny, because hormones, except nobody wants your body because you’re yucky) or whether women are entitled to change their mind the day after sex (of course they are, because rape is whatever a woman decides it is), it’s based on some cartoon characterization of men’s motives. After all, aren’t men nothing more than what women tell us we are?

Is this worth more than a head shake and chuckle?  An op-ed in the New York Times by Brookings Institute’s Richard V. Reeves and Isabel V. Sawhill wants to free men from the burden of having a sense of humor.  They call it “Men’s Lib!” Yay. Who doesn’t like “lib”?

SO far the gender revolution has been a one-sided effort. Women have entered previously male precincts of economic and political life, and for the most part they have succeeded. They can lead companies, fly fighter jets, even run for president.

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The Supreme Court To Civil Forfeiture: Snort My Taint*

Though not the sexiest Supreme Court case this year, a few have recognized that Luis v. United States has an issue that could do some serious harm to nice folks who meet the criminal justice system. It’s one of those cases that, after the shit hits the fan, everybody will cry “how did that happen?”, as if this was a big secret.

Not so secret, really. It’s just that you couldn’t be bothered watching when it was happening before your eyes, so it will seem all secret-y when it comes back to bite you in the butt.  The issue is fairly straightforward.  Should the dreaded Monsanto case be applied, pre-trial, to concededly untainted assets?

The case of Luis v. United States arose in 2012 when Sila Luis was indicted in Florida on charges of operating a complicated scheme that allegedly defrauded Medicare of upwards of $40 million. The federal prosecutor in her case sought and obtained a pre-trial order freezing her assets. What makes this order notable is that the federal government moved to freeze not only her “tainted” assets, meaning those assets that can be arguably traced back to the alleged underlying crime; but the federal government also moved to freeze Luis’ undisputedly legitimate assets, which amount to some $15 million that cannot be connected in any way to any alleged criminal activity.

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Saratoga PD’s Office, A Search Warrant Too Far (Update)

James Murphy III was so fresh from being the Saratoga County District Attorney that he barely had time for his new robe to wrinkle before signing off on a search warrant for the Saratoga County Public Defender’s Office.

The unprecedented search warrant, signed Sept. 27 by County Judge James A. Murphy III, permitted police to search offices at 40 McMaster St., including the office of assistant Public Defender Matthew Maiello and the client file for Arthur A. Gannon of Corinth, according to a copy of the warrant obtained by the Times Union.

What could possibly necessitate this “unprecedented search warrant” remains unclear, though it appears to have started with an overheard jail telephone call.

Gannon, 47, was arrested in July on felony sex crime charges. The search warrant sought to find evidence of child pornography in the case against him, including “any and all material that Matthew Maiello obtained” from a black briefcase that Gannon’s mother, Patricia Gannon-Ramsey of Hudson Falls, gave to Maiello. An affidavit in which a law enforcement official lays out the probable cause in support of the warrant has not been turned over to Gannon’s new attorney, Danielle Neroni.

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Safe Space In Paris

According to the New York Times headline, the death toll in Paris from last night’s coordinated terrorist attacks stands at 127, with another 200 wounded. There are things to be said about this attack, not the least of which is that for all that’s been done, to appease religious groups, to sacrifice rights for safety, to put effort and fortunes into ineffective methods for the purpose of preventing them from ever occurring again, it still happened.

There will be advocates using this to further an agenda. And it will reduce the horror of mass murder to an abstraction, a tool to be used to manipulate the unwary and hard of thinking.  For now, the only thing to be said is to offer condolences to those whose family, loved ones and friends were murdered. Their deaths are real, and they cannot be undone.

As reports of the murders in Paris spread, so too did reactions from college campuses, angry that dead bodies stole the spotlight from their complaints.  A twitter account, @AmherstUprising, which may be an intentional parody or merely a parody in fact, announced that it would be protesting the school’s mascot at its football game today.


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Is The Washington State Experiment Committing Suicide? (Update)

It was a remarkably bold move when Washington State embraced the concept of Limited License Legal Technicians, or 3LTs as I’ve called them. There has been no shortage of truly bad, really unworkable, ideas to address the Access to Justice problem, but this was an idea that seemed to have merit. No, there was no assurance that this was “the answer,” but at least it was a sound effort.

And so, it’s imploding.

Last month, nearly the entire Practice of Law Board resigned along with several former or prospective Board members who had been nominated and were awaiting appointment or reappointment to the Board. We are a group of dedicated volunteers with decades of experience serving on a wide variety of professional and community boards and organizations. We have a deep commitment to and long track record of increasing access to justice. The Board’s mission is laudable and we could have accomplished much to help increase the availability of legal services to the public if we had been allowed to do our job. Instead of advancing our mission during the past two years, we have spent more time and energy responding to and fending off the Washington State Bar Association’s efforts to undermine and eliminate our Board.

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