Category Archives: Law

The Warlock Hunt

Claire Berlinski (who we almost got to have coffee with in Paris a year ago), on #MeToo and if it’s gone too far:

If you are reading this, it means I have found an outlet that has not just fired an editor for sexual harassment. This article circulated from publication to publication, like old-fashioned samizdat, and was rejected repeatedly with a sotto voce, “Don’t tell anyone. I agree with you. But no.” Friends have urged me not to publish it under my own name, vividly describing the mob that will tear me from limb to limb and leave the dingoes to pick over my flesh. It says something, doesn’t it, that I’ve been more hesitant to speak about this than I’ve been of getting on the wrong side of the mafia, al-Qaeda, or the Kremlin?

But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.

…In recent weeks, I’ve acquired new powers. I have cast my mind over the ways I could use them. I could now, on a whim, destroy the career of an Oxford don who at a drunken Christmas party danced with me, grabbed a handful of my bum, and slurred, “I’ve been dying to do this to Berlinski all term!” That is precisely what happened. I am telling the truth. I will be believed—as I should be.

But here is the thing. I did not freeze, nor was I terrified. I was amused and flattered and thought little of it. I knew full well he’d been dying to do that. Our tutorials—which took place one-on-one, with no chaperones—were livelier intellectually for that sublimated undercurrent. He was an Oxford don and so had power over me, sensu strictu. I was a 20-year-old undergraduate. But I also had power over him—power sufficient to cause a venerable don to make a perfect fool of himself at a Christmas party. Unsurprisingly, I loved having that power. But now I have too much power. I have the power to destroy someone whose tutorials were invaluable to me and shaped my entire intellectual life much for the better. This is a power I do not want and should not have.

Yup. Read the whole thing.

[Update a while later]

The wandering eye is just part of the human anatomy.

Yup. We can control our behavior and fidelity, but it’s really hard not to look.

Plus, the up side of office flirtation.

And so far, so good for Claire.

[Monday-morning update]

Are women really victims?

Feminists of my mother’s generation resisted furiously the claims that women were too timid, too fragile, too neurotic and too easily upset to function in the public sphere. They won this battle. Sisters began doing it for themselves. Women took their places alongside men in boardrooms and political arenas, on lecture hall podiums and in operating theatres, in courts of law and in armies.

This is currently under threat from a cultural shift within feminism which has shifted the aim from female empowerment to status-by-victimhood. It threatens to undo the progress made for women, valorise fragility, discourage resilience, weaponise victimhood and fatally undermine gender relations. It’s not good for women to be treated as fragile victims rather than competent actors in the public sphere. It’s not good for either sex for men to become afraid that talking to women, complimenting women, criticising women, flirting with women or touching women in friendly greeting could destroy their careers and reputations.

You don’t say. One of the women who tells their story is my friend Amy Alkon.

[Update a few minutes later]

Judith Curry relates her own experiences in the context of the climate debate:

If you see ‘misogyny’ everywhere (even from other females!), then perhaps you need to step back and reflect. What is being objected to is not your gender but your behavior: your attempt to gain fame and build a career based on ‘victim’ status, your unfounded attacks on serious and responsible scientists in your field, and your irrational statements and general intolerance of anyone who is not in your ‘club’. This negative reaction to your behavior is not sexual harassment (or any kind of harassment) or discrimination.
Climate science has developed a perverse incentive structure that seems to reward this kind of unethical, bullying behavior — and I’m seeing more and more female scientists taking full advantage of this.

Unfortunately true. There are a lot of women in space and tech that I follow on Twitter, but I avoid getting into political discussions with them.

[Tuesday-afternoon update]

Sarah Hoyt: The sexual-harassment frenzy is madness, and must stop.


[Wednesday-morning update]

Can we be honest about women?

[Bumped again]

The Mueller Farce

It’s time to end it:

n a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7, current FBI Director Christopher Wray consistently deflected questions regarding these types of conflicts by deferring to ongoing investigations being conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general. He also continued to stonewall on providing information on the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier and the FISA warrant it helped generate, citing vague national security concerns.

We are left with an appearance of an unacceptable degree of political prejudice and a troubling series of unanswered questions. It is dangerous to subject the office of the president to a gravely biased investigation undertaken with a reckless spirit. Should further evidence of untoward bias emerge, Americans may conclude that the justice system itself is illegitimate, with all that entails.

The most prudent move would be to suspend the special counsel investigation until the Justice Department inspector general’s office and other watchdogs can conclude their investigations into possible illegitimate or illegal actions taken by members of Mueller’s team. Then Congress must be given time to review the conclusions of the internal investigations as well as conclude their own ongoing inquiries. The stakes are too high to allow a clique of politicized government agents to destroy the integrity of the investigative apparatus, and damage the office of the presidency.

I wish this were something new, but I think this kind of corruption goes back a quarter of a century, when the Clinton gang came into national power.


It occurs to me that the texts/emails likely reveal something much more serious than a simple love of Clinton or hatred of Trump. Perhaps they actually provide evidence of a conspiracy to help the former and hurt the latter. e.g., “Yeah, they fu**ed up, but I’ll make sure that none of Clinton’s people have any problems with this email thing.” Or “Don’t worry, we’ll come up with something impeachable on Trump.”

Either or both of these would both destroy the prevailing media narratives. The former would require the investigation into her server be reopened, and the latter would so taint the investigation that it would not be possible for it to be used against Trump. In fact, it would help him, bolstering his own claims of bias and double standards.

[Update early afternoon]

Kim Strassell writes that Mueller and the FBI are obstructing justice. And more from Byron York on the dossier.

And Kurt Schlichter writes that “liberals” (and by “liberals,” he means leftists) have turned the FBI into a disgrace.

The FBI’s Obvious Bias

Yes, at a minimum, those texts have to be released to the public. There can be no question now that there is rot and corruption at the bureau (and I think it goes back to the nineties, with the Clintons). It may be that it is institutionally incapable of policing itself, and it’s the FBI itself (including Mueller) that needs an independent investigator.

But this should cause us to look back at the 90s scandals, in which the Clintons got away with so much, in a new light. I’ve been looking for the entire original Starr report on the Vince Foster “suicide” from an original source (i.e., a government web site) and cannot find it. All I see is this from the WaPo. Which (conveniently) doesn’t contain footnotes or appendices. Including the Knowlton appendix.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Well, well, well…Clinton aides went unpunished for making false statements to the FBI.

Punishment is for the little people, like Republican lieutenant generals.

[Wednesday-morning update]

Hugh Hewitt: Time for an independent investigation of the Justice Department and FBI.

It’s long overdue.


[Update a couple minutes later]

Aaaaaand, a Mueller deputy was Ben Rhodes personal attorney, and represented the Clinton (Crime Family) Foundation. But I’m sure he can be completely impartial in the investigation of Republicans.

[Update a while later]

And then there’s this.

[Update a while later]

Peter Strzok’s story will hurt the credibility of the federal government at the worst possible time. He’s like the Zelig of the whole thing. Everywhere you look, he’s there:was increasingly politicized under Mueller and Comey

Yes, it’s good that Mueller removed Strzok when he discovered the text messages. No, Strzok is not solely responsible for the conclusions reached in either investigation. But his mere presence hurts public confidence in the FBI, and it does so in a way that further illustrates a persistent and enduring national problem: America’s permanent bureaucracy is unacceptably partisan.

Unfortunately, it’s only unacceptable to one party. The other one thinks it’s exactly the way it should be.

[Update late morning]

The FBI was increasingly politicized under Mueller and Comey. You don’t say.

[Update a few minutes later]

The double-crossing FBI agent must be held accountable.

He’s no rogue; it’s not just him.

An Interesting New Wrinkle In The Flynn Case

Over at Instapundit:

Did the prosecution tell Flynn’s lawyer that their main witness against him was removed for bias? Since Strzok led the interview and his testimony would be needed to establish untruthfulness, he is a critical witness not just a prosecutor. If not disclosed, would this not be a Giglio violation? This is the kind of misconduct that can get a case dismissed and a lawyer disbarred. It is a Constitutional violation. This has bothered me since I heard about it.

This stinks on dry ice.

I were Flynn’s lawyer, I’d petition the court to withdraw the plea on the grounds it was made on false information (that Mueller had a credible witness to Flynn’s lying). And I’d request that it be done with prejudice, and that prosecution be sanctioned. And if that’s successful, it would be grounds for demands from Republicans for Mueller’s replacement, and perhaps an end to the probe entirely, since it continued to be a dry hole.

Out Of Town

I was driving up to San Francisco yesterday, and today I’m at the Foresight Vision Weekend. There was a session on longevity (including cryonics) this morning, and now there’s a panel on blockchain and it’s potential applications. One of the panelists says that one app he’s woring is with a company that wants gas stations in space. I’ll have to talk to him later.