Author Archives: SHG

Who It Wants, Who It Will Take

The New York Times has “broken with convention” by endorsing two white women white womening for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, and hence for the presidency because Trump.

Curiously, the name given this image by the New York Times is “blackcupcakes.”

The convention of endorsing one individual isn’t merely a “convention,” but an acknowledgement of a fairly basic point, you can only vote for one person at a time. By indulging its dual personality disorder, the Times might seem to be defeating the point of an endorsement. But by understanding the curious division in the Times’ approach, it makes more sense even as it makes no sense at all. Continue reading

Can Section 230 Be Policed As A “Subsidy” To Platforms?

Among the alt-right, the distinction of “platform” and “publisher” has become the rallying cry for imposing liability on internet platforms who toss off the unwoke voices of their favs. How dare these platforms censor the voice opposing social justice and create the impression they don’t exist, that there is no one on the internet challenging progressivism or identity politics, that there is no one to speak for them?!?

If platforms want the benefit of the law, they must not favor one political agenda and be fair and balanced in their content. That’s what the law requires, they say with certainty and fervency. Except Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act says no such thing. It never did. The argument is absolutely baseless, no matter how passionately it’s believed. It’s a catchy argument, both because it serves their purpose and makes sense, in a self-serving sort of way, but it’s false.

And then there’s the other team. Continue reading

Even Hypocrites Deserve A Defense

It was true for Ron Sullivan. It was true for Hillary Clinton. And it’s true for Alan Dershowitz.

And then there’s Dershowitz, whose past clients have included such sterling fellows as Epstein, Claus von Bülow, O.J. Simpson and Harvey Weinstein. How did he miss Ted Bundy? Still, Dershowitz has put himself on the side of an impressive pantheon of villainy in the realm of violence against girls and women.

That’s from Maureen Dowd. No doubt she would spew the empty mantra that everyone deserves a defense, because saying otherwise would be too obviously wrong, but when put to the test of defense in action, she’s just as much of a flaming hypocrite as the rest. Her prosaic “impressive pantheon of villainy” is less the key to her flagrant hypocrisy than the “put himself on the side of,” Dersh’s offense being that he chose to defend “those people.” Continue reading

Can A National Cataclysm Be Enjoined?

A bunch of kids sued to prevent the end of the world as we know it. And did pretty well.

In the mid-1960s, a popular song warned that we were “on the eve of destruction.” The plaintiffs in this case have presented compelling evidence that climate change has brought that eve nearer. A substantial evidentiary record documents that the federal government has long promoted fossil fuel use despite knowing that it can cause catastrophic climate change, and that failure to change existing policy may hasten an environmental apocalypse.

Accepting the premise that climate change is real and will “hasten an environmental apocalypse” is a big deal for a circuit court, even if it is the Ninth. Indeed, the plaintiffs surmounted the many hurdles before them, save one. Continue reading

Will IJ’s Class Action Shut Down TSA’s Cash Machine?

The story of how the law as to civil in rem forfeiture came to be is apocryphal. It was formed largely in the 1980s, using the cute phrase, “take the profit out of crime,” and was directed at drug dealers. Everybody hated drug dealers, and so they not only had no qualms about it, but applauded it. After all, who didn’t support taking the profit out of crime?

Then the creep began. The presumption that money was dirty and there was no reason any “honest” person would carry any significant amount of cash, meaning it was entirely reasonable that possessing “too much” cash was obviously because it was criminal proceeds. What else could it be? Us normies kept our money in banks, used plastic to pay for things, didn’t need to walk around with bundles of cash. That was something criminals did, right? Continue reading

The “Predator Pipeline” Fallacy

Come up with a cute name and people will believe anything. It usually involves a phrase that either rhymes or is alliterative, and that’s more than sufficient to get the unduly passionate on board. This time, it was USA Today that came up with the phrase, and Congresswoman Donna Shalala who’s pushing the syllogism.

The NCAA will review its stance regarding athletes accused or convicted of sexual assault, the college sports organization said Wednesday, amid pressure from Congress calling for an independent study of the NCAA’s lack of accountability for such athletes.

Both the congressional call and the NCAA’s commitment to reviewing its policies come on the heels of a USA TODAY Network investigation that exposed how college athletes can keep playing sports even after being found responsible for sexual assault.

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Why? Did Lev Parnas Catch The Truth Flu? (Update)

While most people listening to Rachel Maddow question Lev Parnas, with my old pal Joe Bondy keeping his eagle eye on his client’s inquisitor just in case, will spend the day focused on his damning statements about the Cheeto Gang, it was Maddow’s opening questions that grabbed me.

Why is he doing this?* The “answer” given by Parnas is that he wants the truth to come out. The truth needs to come out.

While every word spoken may (or may not) be otherwise accurate and truthful, particularly given the discovery provided to the House, made public and forwarded with the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, this response as to Parnas’ motivation to separate from his pals, including his child’s godfather, Rudy, with whom he engaged in the very nefarious deeds without, obviously, any qualms about their legality, morality or truthiness, belies his opening assertion. Suddenly, Lev Parnas cares about the truth? Continue reading

5th Circuit’s Judge Duncan Begs Pronoun Controversy

As reflected in the dissent by Judge James Dennis, it really wasn’t an issue at all.

Motion to Use Female Pronouns When Addressing Appellant

I am a woman and not referring to me as such leads me to feel that I am being discriminated against based on my gender identity. I am a woman—can I not be referred to as one?

Was this a motion to compel the government to use female pronouns? Was it anything more than a pro se litigant’s request that the court refer to the litigant as a female? Continue reading

Short Take: Constitutional Tourists

In a scathing review of Adam Carolla’s documentary, “No Safe Spaces,” Anthony Fisher coins the phrase “free speech tourists.”

A true commitment to free speech requires defending the right to express the most vile, transgressive, and unpopular ideas. And the truest demonstration of that commitment is to hold one’s own political tribe to account when it fails to walk the walk on the principle.

You won’t find such introspection in “No Safe Spaces,” a new documentary that exemplifies the growing “free-speech tourism” on the right.

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Riding The Crazy Train With Ian

There are rational parameters within which discussion may be worthwhile, but they don’t seem to constrain too many otherwise nice folks these days. It was floated that Chief Judge John Roberts, presiding over the impeachment trial in the Senate, could call John Bolton as a witness. The rationale? The Constitution doesn’t say he can’t, and it says he presides, so there.

And some people who want Bolton to testify, which spans a larger group than just those who so desperately want Trump impeached that they’ll believe anything, bought it. Except it’s nonsense talk.

I regret to inform you: This is a delusion, if a pleasant one. The chief justice is not going to arrive on a white steed to save the country from Trump. Indeed, a minimalist approach on Roberts’s part is not only the all-but-certain outcome — it is also the wiser course, better for the court and the country.

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