It doesn’t happen often that both the editorial board of the New York Times and the National Review, courtesy of David French, mirror each other. The singularity has happened.
If one of the perpetrators of this weekend’s two mass shootings had adhered to the ideology of radical Islam, the resources of the American government and its international allies would mobilize without delay.
The awesome power of the state would work tirelessly to deny future terrorists access to weaponry, money and forums to spread their ideology. The movement would be infiltrated by spies and informants. Its financiers would face sanctions. Places of congregation would be surveilled. Those who gave aid or comfort to terrorists would be prosecuted. Programs would be established to de-radicalize former adherents.
Conviction review units in progressive district attorneys offices are all the rage, which is a good thing. When prosecutors played dirty to get a notch on their gun, even if they really, really believed the defendant did it, the conviction is tainted. A subsequent prosecutor, more inclined to “do justice” as Justice Robert Jackson implored, should admit to the failings and correct unlawful or unconstitutional conduct by the office. That’s what integrity looks like.
Fortunately there is growing momentum to reduce excessive sentences. Legislation authorizing sentence reductions in old cases has passed in California and the District of Columbia. Senator Cory Booker has proposed something similar at the federal level. And in July, more than 3,000 people were released from federal custody under the First Step Act, passed in December, which allows certain federal prisoners to earn early release for good conduct.
Inventing new words to evoke emotional responses from people disinclined toward thought has proven a fairly effective means of manipulating opinion to overcome the hurdles of the law and Constitution. Rebekah Wells gives it a shot, courtesy of the New York Times.
It has been called “revenge porn,” “involuntary pornography” and “nonconsensual pornography.” But using these terms is like calling rape “involuntary sex.” It simply doesn’t reflect the emotional, psychological and physical costs. Revenge porn is cyberrape, and we should call it as such.
Wells comes at the problem with efforts to criminalize revenge porn honestly, having personally suffered enormously from her experience. Indeed, she spends the first 17 paragraphs of her op-ed talking about her case, as if there is any question but that she suffered, her suffering was horrible and the legal system failed to provide her with the relief she sought. Her purpose is to show the harm revenge porn causes, and she does so admirably. Continue reading →
It was one of those funny stories told to the incoming frosh, about how students would show up at graduation with wet hair because they had to take, and pass, a swimming test as a requirement for graduation. My son took the test during orientation week, assuming graduation would be hard enough without one more requirement. It was, he said, a hard test, but he passed.
Should everybody know how to swim? Of course. Along with how to drive and, as a corollary, how to change a tire. There are probably a few other things everybody should know as well, but they didn’t make the cut for a long editorial in the New York Times.
Every year in Harlem, hundreds of parents line up outside Riverbank State Park at dawn for an elusive prize: swim classes that they can afford for their children.
It was only a few years ago when the woke at the American Law institute tried their darndest to change the model penal code to make every defendant a rapist if someone said so. Sure, it’s ironic as the cognitive-dissonance-impaired scholars railed against mass incarceration, for decriminalization of drugs and rended their hair suits over the disproportionate convictions of minorities, while simultaneously doing the opposite when it came to sex offenses.
After all, anything that negatively impacted the feelings of women trumped every other concept for which they were ready to man the barricades. A rationalization was that sexual assault had become an “epidemic.” Of course, it became an “epidemic” because the woke eliminated any definition and turned it into “rape is whatever a woman feels it is, whenever she feels it, for good reason, bad reason or no reason.”
It brought a tear to my eye to realize just how horribly fragile and incapable these poor vulnerable and oppressed women were to be utterly incapable of anything from personal responsibility for any choice they made in their life to saying “no.” Or, if they said “yes,” to living with their decision rather than manufacturing excuses the next day, or next year, for why “yes” means whatever the woman wants it to mean. Continue reading →
There’s a sign in some antique stores that reads, “The only person who cares what your grandma had is your grandpa.” It’s not that the antique dealer is a mean person, but that they know what they’re selling is an item that was once common and now old. The desire to tell the story of how you remember it when grandma had it is common as well, and beyond pointless and boring. There is just nothing of interest about it.
It’s not as if Kurt Vonnegut didn’t warn us, but do the favored buzzwords of “inclusion” and “diversity” necessarily require us to reject excellence? Sure, the only way to create equal outcomes for all is to suppress excellence, since we can’t all play ball like Michael Jordan or sing like Andrea Bocelli,* but that doesn’t mean that only black guys can play basketball or white guys can sing opera.
The problem, among many others, is that the critical nuance is lost in the quest for diversity and inclusion. Under the simplistic grasp of the mantra, the feelings of the disaffected have been indulged to the point of constant rage at everything and nothing.
So why all the rage?
The answer lies in the title of Anthony Kronman’s necessary, humane and brave new book: “The Assault on American Excellence.” Kronman’s academic credentials are impeccable — he has taught at Yale for 40 years and spent a decade as dean of its law school — and his politics, so far as I can tell, are to the left of mine.
Kamala Harris’s Presidential campaign is dead. Tulsi Gabbard struck the fatal blow at a recent CNN debate. Please feel free to watch Ms. Harris’s campaign sputter out and die.
When Kamala Harris announced her run for the Presidency, I was honestly shocked. After all, when you run for the nation’s highest office, you’re practically begging people to dig up every particle of dirt they can on your past. It’s one reason why I’m afraid good, honest people don’t seek political office these days. Continue reading →
One would think there would be no need for the New York Times to publish an op-ed arguing for the virtue of recording police interrogations. After all, the problems of false confessions as proven by subsequent DNA exonerations, exposing the manipulative questioning using the highly effective Reid Technique, have left us without any doubt of the need.
With the ubiquitous presence of cellphones, that record every burp of humanity, how can there be any doubt that recording interrogations, and the confessions that follow, is critical to sound evidentiary practice and the legitimacy of the confession? Indeed, there isn’t. And there wasn’t a decade ago.
Except, of course, the one aspect that troubled law enforcement, that the public might not appreciate the means necessary to compel a defendant to admit his guilt. To cops, it was what needed to be done. To the unwary lay juror, it might look a bit too unsavory for their untrained tastes. Almost a decade ago, when Prawf Brandon Garrett explained the necessity of recording interrogations in the New York Times, this was laid bare. Continue reading →
Star University of Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus is on trial. No wait, that’s former wide receiver, as he was thrown off the team upon the accusation, ending his college football career and any hope he had of going pro. It’s not as if he spent most of his life working toward such a future that an accusation should be enough to kill it dead in his tracks.
But hey, he’s a guy, a football player no less, and even though he’s black (as are a disproportionate number of accused), isn’t it far more important to feel badly for the accuser, any accuser as long as it’s a “she,” then consider destroying the guy’s future? Something has to give, right?