My, the dissenters in the Purdue Northwest controversy certainly like to ramble. They seem to labor under the belief that high word counts and numbering of one’s phantasmagoria of hallucinatory points are tantamount to making a substantive argument. Since there is far too much absurdity to respond to, I will only note that:

1. The kind of warped thinking that is on prominent display in all of the dissenters’ comments is thoroughly unpacked and dissected by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in their 2018 book “The Coddling of the American Mind”. Please read this excellent book if you want to comprehend where this distorted and pathological mindset comes from. It’s kind of depressing, but sheds a lot of light.

2. Maybe I missed it, but it seems, as usual, that it is mostly whites (and whites that skew along the younger side of the age spectrum) that are making all the noise here and are calling for Keon’s head. As Bill Maher pointed out a while ago when Dr. Seuss’s estate pulled “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” from publication because of a couple of depictions in it, paraphrasing: “You know who doesn’t give a shit that Dr Seuss put out out a book in 1938 that had a racist caricature of a Chinese person in it? The Chinese”.

3. Toward the end of his screed, Steve T assured us that, despite his objections, he will not personally be offended if Chancellor Keon is allowed to keep his job. Whew! Now I can sleep at night!

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Jan 3·edited Jan 3

It will be interesting how the application of the 'no cash bond' is implemented. For people that could previously afford a bond, I wonder if more of them will be put in jail, or be required to wear an ankle monitor? I suspect not. So, the no cash bail rule is also a significant benefit to anyone that would have been burdened with the posted bail or encumbered assets. But it is certainly possible that the concern regarding flight risk, which was mitigated by the bail bond, will now only be mitigated with ankle monitors or jail. We will have to see if there are more people detained.

Also, 8% of the bonds that have been paid in the past went to pay court clerk processing fees ($12 million/yr) which means the clerks will have to reduce their costs or cover them with taxes. 62% of bonds paid were used to pay other fees and assessments, and 10% for fines and restitutions. Only 10% was refunded to the person that paid the bond (or their attorney). It will be interesting to see how this financial burden gets shifted.


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It is interesting to note the absurdities of policy that are fomented under the guise of equity, a concept now which is radioactive to contest at fear of immediate branding as a racist.

The original no cash bail legislation did not allow judges to take into account a defendants past history of failing to appear in determining whether they should be held or released. The revised legislation now forbids a single previous failure to appear to be raised as an objection to release. Excuse me, a person has to have multiple incidences of failing to appear for court hearings for this to be material or even allowed as evidence of their likelihood not to appear??

So let's just disregard previous bad behavior. And the absurdities continue to the detriment and menace to public safety of violent criminals being released back onto the street.

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Jan 4·edited Jan 4

Zorn has by far the more appropriate response to the Keon controversy, and I thank him for vigorously disputing counter-arguments that don't make sense.

For those folks, it isn't about what punishment fits the crime so much as an emotional desire to make clear that such utterances are really awful and not okay. But we get that. We just think that there's such a thing as an overreaction.

Much of the cancel culture stuff boils down a failure to recognize proportionality. The repeated insistence, for example, that "intent doesn't matter" seems more like a rhetorical dodge than an earnest judgment. Of course it matters. Intentional harm is a worse sin than unintentional harm -- in law, in life, in any sort of common sense morality in any context. But binary thinking prevents them from acknowledging this, lest they signal that the offense isn't really so bad. It's an ugly road to go down. It's ungenerous, it's not empathetic, it's self-righteous and closed-minded, it turns every instance of offense up to 11, and it's almost calculated to produce conflict at every turn.

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It's hard to argue with Zorn's point that whether you end up in jail pre-trial should have absolutely nothing to do with the defendant's ability to pay even one cent. The principle we claim to believe in -- that one is innocent until proven guilty -- pretty much demands it. And we should believe in that principle. It's not as though every accusation is right, even if most are. The point of due process is to protect even that relatively small proportion of people wrongly accused, and I'm sure you'd agree if you found yourself wrongly accused. Isn't it ironic that those most ideologically attuned to government tyranny and incompetence -- small-government conservatives, libertarians, and so on -- often seem to forget those worries when it comes to the arena where the government most directly and most significantly impacts individuals, the arena where government employees are authorized to seize your person, violently if necessary, and lock you up?

If jails were safe and humane, and trials actually happened speedily (in other words, quite soon after the defense is ready, and not delayed by the court's or prosecutor's docket), I could see moving toward pre-trial detention for just about any violent felony. Sweden's default is pre-trial detention for any crime we would consider a felony, a very tough rule that doesn't fit our idea of Scandinavian countries as super-enlightened from a liberal point of view. But they have quick trials and a compensation system for those wrongfully detained. https://www.fairtrials.org/articles/news/isolated-before-trial/

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Eriz…you have some long-winded correspondents who love to spew words to make the same point over and over.

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And two more candidates for least appropriate song at a wedding reception:

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”

“Used To Love Her”

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Purdue has just gotten destroyed by LSU, you continue to feature angry guys demanding the termination of one of their administrators. Let Purdue rest. And please end the arrogant lectures on this matter!

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