Category Archives: Uncategorized

Is It Charity or Duty?

Assuming we can get past the cognitive dissonance of how the same government that’s so massively incompetent, if not venal, in the performance of functions you don’t like will miraculously perform sufficiently, if not spectacularly, when it comes to the execution of Biden’s “Build Back Better” reconciliation bill, the contents of which remain largely a mystery because, as Bernie Sanders contends, the media has done a crappy job of selling to the public as the bros expected it to do, the next question is “why?

Some proponents of President Biden’s plans are inclined to grant Mr. Manchin’s point and then argue for programs like the child benefit on the grounds that it is a worthy kind of charity. Continue reading

Did Portland Go Lawless?

Protests in Portland caused substantial property damage and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. But this time, the Portland police stood down.

A crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown Portland, Oregon, this week – smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at least $500,000 in damage – but police officers didn’t stop them.

Portland Police Bureau officials say that’s because of legislation passed by Oregon lawmakers this year, which restricts the tools they can use to confront people vandalizing buildings and causing mayhem. Continue reading

Short Take: Must We Take Every Grievance Seriously?

Cathy Young wrote a great post at Arc Digital about the Othello outrage at the University of Michigan. John McWhorter followed it up with a post of his own at the New York Times. Both took the complaint of the students outraged by Sir Laurence Olivier in blackface seriously, and put in a good deal of effort to explain why it should not have generated the outrage it did.

When I wrote about the “incident,” I took a somewhat different tack. It wasn’t real. It was a manufactured outrage, a non-event that students who are finely attuned to reasons to see outrage saw outrage and acted upon it. Continue reading

Can Criminal Defense Lawyers Take Family Leave?

Did you know the Secretary of Transportation, Pete B-something, took family leave after he and his husband adopted twins? Tucker Carlson made a breastfeeding joke, because he’s an ass putting on a show for dopes, but then it’s not as if being a cabinet secretary, especially when container ships are stacked on one side while tractor trailers are parked on the other, might be a national supply chain issue.

And Buttigieg says he learned to appreciate the value of parental leave. Continue reading

Seaton: My Son Gets Into Sports

I signed my son up for karate this week. He’s finally into sports, and one that won’t (theoretically) give him a concussion or turn him into a toxic-masculinity-fueled youthful super-predator. Theoretically.

He deserves it. I’m proud to say attempt #2 at child rearing produced a selfless young man with incredible heart and a level of polite manners that would turn a society debutante’s head. Karate was the one thing yours truly could get behind that he really seemed to enjoy.

So I guess I’m a karate dad now. Continue reading

Short Take: “Paralysis By Analysis” On Biden’s SCOTUS Commission

The Presidential Commission on SCOTUS issued its “discussion materials,” more than 200 pages of incredibly exciting academically moderated words that largely ended up where pretty much everyone expected, whether because the commission was crafted for the purpose of going nowhere fast or because there was never any other serious option given that the cries for radical change to undo the putative conservative theft of the Court were childish and just as partisan, if not more, than Mitch McConnell’s refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing.

And the people who expected otherwise are pissed. Continue reading

A Very FAIR Response

Not that I was familiar with the organization before, and based on its board of advisers, it will no doubt be the target of the usual critics for whom people who are not progressive range from evil scum of the earth to black “centrist” race traitors, but this dissection and response to the open letter to President Biden from the National School Boards Association is pretty impressive. The organization is FAIR, Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism.

Its mission statement is unabashedly liberal, not in the sense of people calling progressives liberal but in the liberal ideals of civil rights, freedom and tolerance. You know, what liberal meant when conservatives tried to turn it into a dirty word back in the good old days. Continue reading

Short Take: A Trap House Grows at YLS

Whether it was a joke in good taste or not is a matter of personal opinion. It’s not a joke I would have made, but then I find a great many things that law students today believe to be funny to be insipid. They are not a particularly witty group. But then, so what? If it had been racist or sexist, that would be one thing since even the most conservative students these days take for granted that most progressives taboos are forbidden. But trap house?

Administrators at Yale Law School spent weeks pressuring a student to apologize for a “triggering” email in which he referred to his apartment as a “trap house,” a slang term for a place where people buy drugs. Part of what made the email “triggering,” the administrators told the student, was his membership in a conservative organization. Continue reading

Sentences Above The Government’s Request

Much has been made of President Biden’s efforts to diversify the federal bench, whether from the race and gender perspective or based on prior position as prosecutor. The reason why nominees for federal judgeships tended to come from a certain group was fairly obvious and banal. It wasn’t that the government wanted to topload prosecutors or white shoe lawyers, but that was who had access to senators, and senators recommended judges to presidents. You didn’t think presidents knew these people personally, did you?

To the simplistic, this was going to change everything. All we need are more women judges, more judges “of color” whatever that means, but most of all, more judges who came from the ranks of public defenders. Not criminal defense lawyers, mind you, but public defenders, because they are pure and don’t do it for filthy lucre (even though they get a paycheck, but I digress). Surely a public defender will make the sort of judge that will be merciful. Continue reading

The Propaganda War

To read the New York Post, you can’t venture out into the streets or subway of New York City without being likely to be beaten, robbed or shoved in front of a train. Of course, the Post is the right wing tabloid of the City, so that’s what it’s expected to say. Thankfully, we also have the New York Times to provide balance and thoughtfulness to the news.

Let’s take a step back. My admittedly dry account above of the newsworthiness of the new FBI data and subsequent efforts to twist it is how the story could and should have been reported by journalists. No sensationalism. No speculation. At least some context and nuance. And what we can actually determine based on the data. Continue reading