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TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Ex-Bishop Foley teacher sentenced for sex with student. “A former high school Spanish teacher was sentenced to at least six years in prison Thursday morning in Macomb County District Court for her sexual relationship with a student. Kathryn Kronk’s sentence will run concurrent with an identical 6- to 15-year sentence she received in March from an Oakland County judge for having sex with the 15-year-old student. Kronk, 30, a former Bishop Foley High School teacher, appeared in both Oakland and Macomb county courts because her sexual relationship with the student was in his home in Macomb Township and in Sterling Heights. She also engaged in sexual acts with the teenager in classrooms at Bishop Foley High School in Madison Heights.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): A female teacher ‘seducing’ a boy isn’t just a laugh – it’s cruel abuse, says Rachel Johnson.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): False rape report filed by Manhattan girl. “Officers have filed a report for filing false information in the rape reported over the weekend. Investigators found that the juvenile female’s claims of rape against a 19-year-old acquaintance were not true. Because the case involves allegations of a sexual crime, RCPD is not releasing additional information at this time.”

Related: Woman accused of false rape claim ‘after fitness watch proved she wasn’t dragged from bed.’

WHAT DOES JURASSIC WORLD’S BOX OFFICE DOMINATION MEAN?  Lots and lots more sequels and event blockbusters, that’s what.  That’s not necessarily bad news though.  I loved Fast and Furious 7. I saw the movie on opening night at a multiplex in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  One of my proudest moments as an American was when they dropped multiple cars out of a plane and then opened their parachutes.  The entire crowd gasped and then applauded and laughed.  Same deal when they jumped a sports car through  three different skyscrapers.  America baby!  This is what we do.

HOW TWITTER UPENDED THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN COMEDIANS AND AUDIENCES. “Twitter’s outrage mobs have always reminded me a bit of puritanical scolds: They sniff out heresies and denounce the heterodox, rejecting the defense that artists must have license to transgress the sensibilities of those claiming offense,” Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Post

“If it doesn’t get laughs, you’re not gonna get work, and you’re not gonna be a comedian,” Seinfeld replies. “So the audience ultimately decides. It’s a very democratic system.”

Seinfeld’s point is an interesting one in this context. The scolds will often claim that their censoriousness is simply an artifact of the marketplace at work. But this is misdirection. The aggrieved don’t leverage their power by unfollowing an offensive person or refusing to watch their routine. When Metzger defended a fellow comic whose routine was reviled by the social justice set, his newfound foes did not say they’d skip his stand-up act and force clubs to choose between a guy who could fill a room and a guy who can’t. Rather, they combed through his Facebook history before calling for him to be fired from “Inside Amy Schumer.”

As Metzger tells Maron, Schumer and Comedy Central ignored such pleas. Similarly, Comedy Central and Jon Stewart dismissed the denunciations of Trevor Noah when it was revealed he made a few questionable jokes about Jews and girls with tattoos. And here’s where we can see how to balance the rights of comedians to crack jokes with the rights of the perpetually outraged to vent their anger. You are allowed to participate with a comedian and his employer on Twitter in ways that you aren’t allowed to at the Improv. But the employers of these comedians are, similarly, allowed to ignore you.

Speaking as a fan of comedy? I hope they do.

But CEOs and bakery owners will always be fair game for the “burn the heretic” outrage mobs.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Britain Realizing Full Extent of Muslim Rape-Gang Problem.

CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT AND THE “PROVE YOURSELF INNOCENT” APPROACH: FIRE’s Joe Cohn examines the problems with New York’s “affirmative consent” bill. Supporters call it the “yes means yes” bill, but maybe it’s more accurately called the “prove you are not a rapist” bill. Joe concludes:

In sum, this legislation is an unwelcome development for people who believe in fundamental fairness—one that doubles down on the failed policy of steering sexual assault complaints away from law enforcement and into amateur campus tribunals that are ill-equipped to handle such serious matters. New York’s approach will probably not reduce the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, but it will likely lead to more unjust punishments.

Scott Greenfield ​also blasted the new NY bill over at Simple Justice. His title makes no bones about what he thinks of the law: “Sex At New York’s Colleges Is Screwed.”

PAKISTAN HEAT WAVE KILLS 1,000: “By Thursday, the death toll from the oppressive heat wave in Sindh province topped 1,000,” CNN reports. “Daily power outages, as the city tries to keep up with the demands of 16 million residents, mean the cold storage unit that houses bodies is hot and sticky.”

Back in 2012, the New York Times tut-tutted from their air-conditioned Eighth Avenue skyscraper, “Is it a good goal for everyone in the world to have access to air-conditioning — like clean water or the Internet? Or is it an unsustainable luxury, which air-conditioned societies should be giving up or rationing?” So presumably, they’re OK with the death toll in Pakistan, right?

In sharp contrast, in her syndicated column this week Michelle Malkin writes, “Unlike Pope Francis [and Pinch Sulzberger’s cohorts – Ed], I believe that air-conditioning and the capitalists responsible for the technology are blessings to the world:”

While the pope blames commercial enterprises and the “global market economy” for causing “environmental degradation,” it is a worldwide commercial enterprise made in America that solved the human-caused degradation of, and environmental damage to, the Vatican’s most prized art and assets.

If the pontiff truly believes “excessive consumption” of modern conveniences is causing evil “climate change,” will he be shutting down and returning the multi-million-dollar system Carrier generously gifted to the Vatican Museums?

If not, I suggest, with all due respect, that Pope Francis do humanity a favor and refrain from blowing any more hot air unless he’s willing to stew in his own.

EARLIER: Unabomber or Pope Francis? Take the quiz!

And as Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition asks at PJM, “The Pope’s Climate Letter Urges ‘Dialogue with Everyone,’ So Why Did Vatican Single Out and Harass Us?”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE: “Anne Lakey, 55, was found guilty of 13 counts of indecent assault on a boy of 13 or 14 and another boy aged 15 over a three-year period following a trial at Teesside crown court,” the UK Guardian reports.

NBC’S DATELINE INADVERTENTLY MAKES THE CASE THAT THE POLICE ARE THE BEST METHOD TO ADJUDICATE A SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE, Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner. Note which politician NBC chose to appear in the segment:

“Dateline” turned to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to drive home the point about campus sexual assault as an alleged epidemic.

“Schools are obligated to get this right,” Gillibrand said. “We’re talking about rape. We’re talking about a felony offense, a dangerous crime – and dangerous criminals on these campuses.”

But if rape is a felony offense, why are colleges being required to adjudicate it when the worst punishment they could impose is expulsion? Gillibrand said last week at an event in Washington, D.C., that the reason schools can use lower standards to prove sexual assault is because kids aren’t being thrown in jail.

Gillibrand can’t have it both ways. She can’t say on one hand that sexual assault is a serious offense and on the other hand imply that expulsion isn’t that bad of a punishment.

In each of the above examples, Emerson College handled the sexual assault accusations to the best of their abilities given the limited resources they have for investigating crimes. They can’t subpoena evidence and they can’t investigate information they’re not provided.

If anything, the “Dateline” episode should be an educational opportunity for students making accusations to learn how to provide evidence and witnesses for their hearings. Beyond that, the episode clearly shows us that colleges and universities should not be playing investigator, judge, jury and executioner in the first place.

Read the whole thing.

CALIFORNIA: RUNNING ON EMPTY, writes Victor Davis Hanson:

Domestic and agricultural wells are going dry all over Central California, especially in the corridors south of Fresno to the Grapevine, along the Sierra Nevada foothills, and out west of the 99 Freeway — anywhere there is not a deep aquifer. I have never seen anything quite like this water madness in 60 years, as families scrimp and borrow to drill, or simply move to town to take advantage of municipal wells. I have developed a habit as I drive to work to Stanford of counting the abandoned homes I see west of Highway 41 (sort of like counting those who sit in Wal-Mart not to shop, but to enjoy the air conditioning they cannot afford).  The number increases each week.  Retired couples — or families in general — apparently do not have tens of thousands of dollars to drill a deeper well, especially given the uncertainty of how fast the dropping water table will soon make their investment superfluous. Without water, there is nothing.

Read the whole thing. As I was prepping VDH’s article to run last night at PJM and looking for suitable accompanying illustrations, I came across this photo and caption on the AP wire:

In this June 3, 2015 photo provided by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, juvenile coho salmon, or fry, rescued from Green Valley Creek, a tributary of the Russian River, wait in a container to be relocated to suitable habitat in Santa Rosa, Calif. State water regulators want vineyards in Northern California’s Wine Country to start reporting how much groundwater they are pumping up, saying excessive withdrawals to irrigate grapes are draining creeks that host an endangered population of coho salmon. (Eric Larson/California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

In this June 3, 2015 photo provided by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, juvenile coho salmon, or fry, rescued from Green Valley Creek, a tributary of the Russian River, wait in a container to be relocated to suitable habitat in Santa Rosa, Calif. State water regulators want vineyards in Northern California’s Wine Country to start reporting how much groundwater they are pumping up, saying excessive withdrawals to irrigate grapes are draining creeks that host an endangered population of coho salmon. (Eric Larson/California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

Sacramento: going into its fifth decade of putting fish over humans.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE . . . PIT BULLS? Florida Woman Took Selfies During Sex With Pit Bull, Police Say. Actually, to be fair, I expect the pit bull consented.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: If You’re Going To Fake A Rape, Remember To Take Off Your Fitbit. “Technology can be a useful tool for the rape hoaxer, but inevitably it leads to the hoaxer’s downfall. Social media can catapult a mattress-carrying liar all the way to the State of the Union Address, but then her text-message record can show her for the fraud she is. (And if she subsequently decides to post amateur porn online, well…) A once-respected magazine can put a rape hoaxer in the headlines, but then a handful of bloggers questioning the story can bring it all crashing down.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: ‘Accused is guilty’: Campus rape tribunals punish without proof, critics say. Yes, “critics say” that because it’s true.

SHOULDN’T THEY HAVE TO GET AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT? Lawyer to have ‘no choice’ in representing woman who cried false rape.

ASHE SCHOW: Finally, someone in the national media is standing up for due process.

This week marked the first time someone in the national media reported that due process is under attack at colleges and universities across the country.

For too long, only accusers of sexual assault had their side of the story told in the national media. Their stories were rarely questioned, as activists claimed that to question an accuser was to be a rape apologist.

The only time an accusation was ever questioned was when it fell apart spectacularly, as in the Duke Lacrosse case and the Rolling Stone gang-rape story. Even then, those who questioned the accounts were labeled denialists and chastised for daring to question a “victim.”

Meanwhile, accused students across the country have been pushing back, insisting that the accusations against them are inaccurate and that they lacked the due process to prove their innocence. They’ve been largely ignored by the national media. Until now.

This week, Fox News host Megyn Kelly took issue with a particularly egregious case in which a male student received a sex act while he was blacked out and two years later was accused of sexual assault. He was not given the tools to defend himself, such as the representation of counsel (an adviser was allowed to sit with him but couldn’t advocate on his behalf) or the ability to compel evidence that could persuade the hearing panel of his innocence.

He was found responsible and expelled. He hired a lawyer, who discovered text messages sent from the accuser immediately after the encounter indicating there was no sexual assault. When the accused student presented these texts to the school, they refused to reopen his case.

Kelly discussed the case three nights in a row. On the first night, she brought on K.C. Johnson, co-author of a book about the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax. The second night she discussed the case with Fox News political analyst Brit Hume, and on the third night she interviewed the accused student’s lawyer. Each night, viewers could see the outrage Kelly felt toward the university and the “injustice,” as she called it, done to this student.

Bravo.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): Jailed: Tube worker who called police to falsely claim she was raped outside east London nightclub at 5am. The judge told Comfort Yinusa she had “let down genuine rape victims.”

A Tube worker, who dialled 999 at 5am to falsely claim she had been raped in the street, was jailed for eight months at the Old Bailey today.

Comfort Yinusa, 23, accused two men of attacking her outside a club near Liverpool Street station.

Judge Peter Rook told her: “You have let down genuine rape victims, your actions led to a costly and unnecessary police investigation and two innocent men being put through the trauma of arrest and the procedures that follows.”

Yinusa had claimed she had left the Dollhouse club with the two men and made the allegation after phoning her boyfriend in distress and asking to be picked up.

Two police officers and an ambulance with two paramedics were sent to investigate and treat any injuries.

But detectives discovered CCTV footage in a nearby McDonald’s restaurant showed Yinusa and her two alleged attackers laughing together.

Phone records showed one of the men was combing streets of the City looking for his car when the alleged rape was said to have happened.

Police were able to track down the two men who spent six weeks each on police bail before suspicion was dropped.

More than £3,000 was wasted on forensic lines of inquiry before her lies could be proved and she was arrested in December 2013.

At first Yinusa pleaded not guilty to doing actions intended to pervert the course of justice but changed her plea before she was due to go on trial last month.

The Brits seem to be better at actually punishing false accusers.

OF COURSE THEY HAVE: Sexual harassment claims at State Department soar under Clinton, Kerry.

In a disclosure that could have political implications for election campaigns, the State Department’s chief watchdog reported Thursday that worker harassment complaints have nearly tripled inside the department during the tenures of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John F. Kerry — but the department still doesn’t have mandatory training for all employees.

“A significant increase in reported harassment inquiries in the Department of State over the past few fiscal years supports the need for mandatory harassment training,” the department’s inspector general warned in an oversight report that reviewed the agency’s Office of Civil Rights.

The report states that formal harassment claims rose from 88 cases in 2011, during Mrs. Clinton’s third year as America’s top diplomat, to 248 in 2014, Mr. Kerry’s second year as secretary. Hundreds more informal complaints were lodged during the same period.

Yeah, you read that right: They don’t even have training.  One would think Hillary, in particular, would be keenly aware–given her husband’s indiscretions–of the need for such awareness and training.  But then again, Hillary has a long, sordid history indicating that she doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously, including attacking the veracity of  12 year-old rape victim, and looking the other way while her own State Department officials engaged in inappropriate behavior.

But hey, she wants to make sure women make more money, so it’s all good.

WHY DOES THE WASHINGTON POST HATE COLLEGE MEN? K.C. Johnson Discusses. “To get its large number, the Post included alleged assaults that occurred off-campus by non-student perpetrators. It led with a story that doesn’t appear to have been a sexual assault at all, and in which the alleged attacker wasn’t a student at the same college as the alleged victim.”

ASHE SCHOW: Another problem with that WaPo campus sexual assault poll.

On Monday I detailed how the Washington Post’s survey claiming that one in five women have been sexually assaulted in college is deeply flawed. But there was an aspect of the survey I didn’t get to, one that does not bode well for the future of relationships among students.

Deep in the poll, respondents were asked to decide whether a particular action “establishes consent for more sexual activity.” They were given five examples. The only example that fell clearly in the “yes” category among men and women respondents was “nods in agreement.”

To the example “takes off their own clothes,” men and women were split on whether that established consent. Fifty percent of men said “yes,” while 45 percent said “no.” For women, 52 percent said “no,” while 44 percent said “yes.”

For the example “gets a condom,” men and women agreed that it does not establish consent for further action, although the margin was wider for women than for men.

As for the examples “engages in foreplay such as kissing or touching” and “does not say ‘no,’” the vast majority of men and women said neither action established consent.

This finding (though, to be clear, I question the validity of the whole document) indicates that the future of sex must contain a strict format for establishing consent. Nothing except a question-and-answer session will do, as actions such as foreplay and getting a condom no longer count.

No one actually has sex this way, as I argued in a recent article about attempts by two law professors to criminalize sexual contact that doesn’t follow the Q-and-A format.

I’d like to know the back stories on those responses. Did men say those actions didn’t establish consent because they fear a campus hearing wouldn’t accept them? Or are the behavior police starting to get through?

I remember when college was fun.

Related: Megyn Kelly blasts Amherst College over campus sexual assault ‘injustice.’

Kelly, speaking with author K.C. Johnson (who first broke the story), described how a woman accused a young man of sexual assault nearly two years after the encounter.

“The injustice of the process that happened at Amherst once her ‘case’ went through the authorities is where things get really awful,” Kelly said, before prompting Johnson’s response.

Johnson explained how the deck is stacked against accused students from the beginning, and how they are denied basic due process rights like an attorney or cross-examination.

“You’re done. Once you are accused, you’re done,” Kelly said.

After explaining that the accused student is now suing, under the pseudonym John Doe, Amherst and has discovered text messages strongly suggesting his innocence — which the school refuses to accept.

“This cannot stand. It cannot stand,” she said. “This does violence to the justice system that is set up to protect victims and the accused — the unfairly accused — who have rights as well.”

Remember when Democrats told college students that Republicans were a bunch of sour prudes who hated the idea of people having sex?

Plus: K.C. Johnson & Stuart Taylor: More College Rape Hype — This Time from the Washington Post.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Ex-Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck pleads guilty to rape. “Shattuck, 48, the former wife of former Constellation Energy CEO Mayo A. Shattuck, was accused in November of sexually abusing one of her son’s classmates, including performing oral sex on him in a rented vacation house in Bethany Beach.”

A QUALITY HEADLINE FROM ED DRISCOLL: Moonbat Tat Spat Falls Flat.

The Left’s cycle of victimhood appears to be in freefall and accelerating towards the abyss rapidly these days, doesn’t it? Let’s review: The Rolling Stone campus rape case that wasn’t. Oppressed Mattress Girl who doubles down by releasing a sex tape. Rachel Dolezal reliving James Whitmore’s Black Like Me B-movie.

Finally, it’s come to this: Far Left Socialist Justice Warrior at Jezebel demands a neck tattoo for one of her first tats and throws a fit screaming — but of course! — sexism and oppression when the tattoo artist very sensibly refuses.

But of course. Plus: “Other than possibly invitations to Lawrence Welk revival concerts, I doubt there are many things a tattooist will say no to. When he comes across as the calm, reasoned grownup in your story, it just might be time reevaluate your worldview.”

MORE SOCIAL “SCIENCE” FROM THE WAPO: Ashe Schow: New campus sexual assault survey proves just one thing: The Washington Post believes in ‘rape culture.’

But it’s the Post’s definition of “unwanted sexual contact,” which is used interchangeably with “sexual assault,” that really dooms the survey. David French of National Review pointed out that these two words are not synonyms, and can actually include “behaviors that are not only not criminal, but may not — depending on the circumstances — even constitute unlawful sexual harassment (which the Supreme Court has said requires proof of conduct so ‘severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to an educational opportunity or benefit’).”

Further, as French noted, “unwanted” is also not a synonym for “without consent.” . . .

The Post’s examples of possible conduct (which include “forced kissing, touching of private parts, grabbing, fondling, rubbing up against you in a sexual way”) are similar to the questions asked in two other studies used by activists to claim campus sexual assault is such a big problem that we must enact draconian measures to convict more men. The category is so broad that the 20 percent figure includes everything from a kiss born from a misunderstanding to a forced rape.

The Post also includes a broad category of being “unable to provide consent or stop what was happening.” The reasons listed for being unable to consent were “passed out, drugged, or drunk, incapacitated, or asleep.” Almost everyone agrees that sexual contact while passed out or asleep constitutes rape, but just being drunk or the loosely defined “incapacitated” don’t necessarily point to sexual assault. Adding “drunk” into the mix helps to bump up the numbers without actually giving an accurate picture of criminal activity.

With this in mind, the question about “sexual contact” (the actual questions didn’t even say “unwanted”) while “incapacitated” (which had been defined to include “drunk”), which 14 percent of women answered “yes” to, isn’t as powerful. It could mean that any portion of that refers to women who had sexual contact while drunk, and how many sexually active adults can say they’ve never had drunk sex?

Stigmatizing drunk sex as rape is an assault upon Dionysexuals.

And, seriously, the effect of all these bogus claims is to normalize rape. If 1 in 5 or one in 4 college women is raped — and parents keep sending their daughters to college anyway — then rape must not be such a big deal. And, if you increase the kind of conduct that’s treated as rape to include all sorts of trivial incidents, then just as many women will be guilty of rape as men. Yet it’s overwhelmingly men who are targeted, suggesting that the whole thing is sex discrimination, creating a hostile education environment for male students.

OLIVIA NUZZI REPORTS FROM HILLARY’S RE-LAUNCH SPEECH: Welcome to Hillary Island, a Pleasant Little Police State.

Saturday’s event, according according to The New York Times, was organized by a small group of Clinton insiders including Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide and the vice chair of her campaign and Jim Margolis, who helped orchestrate both inaugurations for President Obama.

The result felt borderline dystopian.

Roosevelt Island, transformed by architects in the 1930s to serve as a “living memorial,” looks like a cross between something out of Grand Theft Auto and a ghost town. It has a fake forest, and brutalist apartment complexes. Its abandoned insane asylum was turned into a luxury highrise. . . .

The park feels divorced from Manhattan, whose skyscrapers loom from across the water, not just geographically, but spiritually. With the bomb-sniffing dogs, security guards, metal detectors, police officers, Men In Black-looking security guards and campaign staff speeding around on golf-carts, Hillary Island felt like its own world with its own rule. It’s a serene summertime police state—wherein campaign staffers told reporters to stay in their designated area, away from attendees—pleasant and creepy at the same time. . . .

Some of Clinton’s notes were sour, however. In her criticism of the Republican field of candidate, Clinton alleged, “Now, there may be some new voices in the presidential Republican choir, but they’re all singing the same old song—a song called ‘Yesterday.’” She continued, “You know the one—all our troubles look as though they’re here to stay, and we need a place to hideaway. They believe in yesterday.” Clinton tried to crack a joke, “You’re lucky I didn’t try singing that, too, I’ll tell you!”

At another point, Clinton said, “I may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I will be the youngest woman President in the History of the United States! And the first grandmother as well.” She followed it up with another joke attempt. “And one additional advantage: You won’t see my hair turn white in the White House. I’ve been coloring it for years!”

Well, okay then.

NICK GILLESPIE INTERVIEWS CAMILLE PAGLIA: Everything’s Awesome and Camille Paglia Is Unhappy! The author of Sexual Personae talks about feminism, rape, academia, and Hillary Clinton. “My clashes with other feminists began immediately. For example: It was 1970 or 1971, there was a feminist conference at the Yale Law School, and major feminists were there including Rita Mae Brown, who said to me, ‘The difference between you and me, Camille, is that you want to save the universities, and I want to burn them down.’ How can you have dialogue with these people? Later she became a rich lesbian novelist and has a horse farm in Virginia. And then I had a screaming fight with the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band over the Rolling Stones, because at that time, hard rock was seen as sexist. Now this argument seems so retrograde.”

Plus: “I was told by the founding members of the Women’s Studies Department at the State University of New York at Albany that I had been brainwashed by male scientists to believe that hormones even existed, much less had any role in the shaping of our identity and character.” Hormones are socially constructed. Like race!

And: “Any authentic leftist who had a job at a university in the 1970s or ’80s or ’90s should have been opposing the entire evolution of the university-that is, toward this administrative bureaucracy that has totally robbed power from the faculty. The total speciousness and fraud of academic leftism is proven by the passivity of these people in every department of the university to that power play that happened.”

Also: “Hillary is a mess. And we’re going to award the presidency to a woman who’s enabled the depredations and exploitation of women by that cornpone husband of hers? The way feminists have spoken makes us blind to Hillary’s record of trashing [women]. They were going to try to destroy Monica Lewinsky. It’s a scandal! Anyone who believes in sexual harassment guidelines should have seen that the disparity of power between [Bill] Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was one of the most grotesque ever in the history of sex crime. He’s a sex criminal! We’re going to put that guy back in the White House? Hillary’s ridden on his coattails.”

AND YET, IN COLLEGE, HE PROBABLY MOCKED REEFER MADNESS: Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacts policy based on propaganda film.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was so taken in by the documentary “The Hunting Ground” that he is using it to promote his campus sexual assault agenda.

Cuomo screened the film for a private audience at the Lincoln Center last week, and promoted his “Enough is Enough” strategy for combating campus sexual assault. His proposal would make “yes means yes” consent standards the law of the land for all New York colleges and universities — including private universities.

Late last year, Cuomo directed the State University of New York and its 64 campuses to adopt the consent policy, which requires “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” that is “ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.” The policy also states that a “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.”

This new definition of consent makes nearly every sexual encounter illegal unless a constant back and forth of “May I…?” is practiced. Also, consuming drugs or alcohol negates consent, as all an accuser has to say is that she was too drunk to consent. The law provides no due process protections, so accusations are the main — if not the only — evidence available. Combine that with a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which says that a campus hearing panel must be just 50.01 percent sure the accuser is telling the truth, and a culture that says no one lies about rape, and you have a recipe for injustice against accused students.

Cuomo’s basing his agenda, in part, on “The Hunting Ground,” an alleged “documentary” film with nearly as many holes as Rolling Stone’s gang-rape story (the film at least includes accusations against real people). The film relies on dubious, misleading and one-sided accounts of sexual assault allegations — and the filmmakers didn’t give accused students or universities a chance to respond until after the film was finished and submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. It also relies on debunked statistics to claim that American college women are living in a “rape culture” with danger at every turn.

But Cuomo fell for — or sees an opportunity in — “The Hunting Ground” hook, line and sinker. And now he’s using it to curry favor with activists with no regard to the damage these policies do to the wrongly accused.

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, sexaphobes would be micromanaging people’s sex lives. And they were right!

ED DRISCOLL ON HOW TOM WOLFE WAS AHEAD OF HIS TIME. “A decade ago, Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons warned of the mindset driving today’s campus ‘rape crisis’ hysteria.”

K.C. JOHNSON: Amherst’s Version of Kafka’s ‘The Trial.’

Kafka was born too early to write about Amherst College. At campus hearings on claims of sexual assault, procedures are relentlessly stacked again males and evidence of innocence doesn’t count. Amherst expelled a student for committing rape—despite text messages from the accuser, sent immediately after the alleged assault, (1) telling one student that she had initiated the sexual contact with the student she later accused (her roommate’s boyfriend); (2) inviting another student to her room for a sexual liaison minutes after she was allegedly raped.

Amherst, on grounds that the accused student (who, per college policy, had no attorney) didn’t discover the text messages until it was too late, has allowed the rape finding to stand, even though the college’s decision relied on the accuser’s credibility (which is now non-existent). Amherst faces a due-process lawsuit in the case. . . .

The expelled student’s complaint begins by noting the hostile campus attitude toward due process—both from pressure from the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, and because of a highly-publicized 2012 article from a student and self-described “survivor” who claimed that the college mistreated her. (Wendy Kaminer summarized the case in The Atlantic.) The outcry prompted Amherst to cancel classes for a day to discuss the issue, led to the forced resignation of the college’s sexual assault coordinator, and caused Amherst to change its sexual assault adjudication procedures to focus on “empowering victims,” rather than on, say, pursuing fairness and justice in its hearings.

These procedures, unsurprisingly, are wildly one-sided.

Related: Man receives sex act while blacked out, gets accused of sexual assault. Men are always responsible. Women are never responsible. Because equality!

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Saugus mom faces new sex assault charges from twin. “A Saugus mom’s plan to plead guilty Friday to raping her daughter’s 15-year-old ‘off-and-on’ boyfriend has been derailed by the emergence of a second, alleged victim: the boy’s identical twin brother, her lawyer said. The change in plans came late yesterday when new charges of aggravated rape of a child, indecent assault and battery and child enticement were brought against Heather Salines, 39, by an Essex grand jury. The new charges come just 10 days after the alleged new victim came forward.”

I’LL BELIEVE IT’S A CRISIS WHEN PEOPLE WHO TELL ME IT’S A CRISIS START ACTING LIKE IT’S A CRISIS: Despite hysteria over “campus rape epidemic,” NYU drops criminal background checks on applicants.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): After a shocking confession by a colleague a former teacher asks: Why ARE so many women teachers seducing boy pupils? I blame our pervasive modern culture of female sexual entitlement.

ANDREA PEYSER: Bernie Sanders’ rape-fantasy essay reveals left-wing hypocrisy. He can’t be a creepy perv. He’s a lefty!

WHEN YOU’VE LOST JEZEBEL. . . Emma Sulkowicz’s Newest Art Project is a Disturbing Sex Tape.

Artnet has confirmed that Emma Sulkowicz, the former Columbia University student known for “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight),” is behind the website “Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol .” The site hosts an artist’s statement from Sulkowicz, who graduated from Columbia in May of this year, and a video she filmed with director Ted Lawson several months ago over the university’s winter break. . . .

Sulkowicz warns viewers in the accompanying text: “If you watch this video without my consent, then I hope you reflect on your reasons for objectifying me and participating in my rape, for, in that case, you were the one who couldn’t resist the urge to make Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol about what you wanted to make it about: rape.”

Yawn. Your 15 minutes are up. Now it’s all over but the depositions.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE: No criminal charges for teacher who seduced two pupils. “A teacher who seduced two of her pupils – including ‘sexting’ them and pulling one boy out of classes so they could have sex – has lost her teacher’s license, but will not face criminal charges over the inappropriate relationships. Melanie Hendriks initiated sexual relationships with the St John’s College pupils when she was a drama teacher at the Hamilton school.” I blame today’s pervasive culture of female sexual entitlement.

MEGAN MCARDLE: What We Don’t Know About False Claims Of Rape.

The number of false rape reports is obviously a number we’d like to have. Whether that number is many, or few, alters how vigorously police interrogate victim’s stories, how the media treats accusations of rape, how juries decide tricky cases. Maybe it shouldn’t, you’d argue, but humans are imperfect, and it inevitably does. It’s not surprising that in the wake of the Rolling Stone debacle, we’ve had a lot of feminists claiming that we should draw no wider lessons from this case because statistics show that false positives are rare, and a lot of people on the other side arguing that they can show beyond a reasonable doubt that false reports are epidemic. Both sides should stop, because they are wrong.

I don’t mean that they disagree with me. I don’t mean I think they are wrong. I mean that they are wrong.

Any number of pieces have recently been written suggesting that we actually know — or have a pretty good idea — how many rape reports are false. Deadspin, for example, of the Jameis Winston case: “There’s no doubt that being falsely accused of rape is a dreadful thing that no one should have to endure. One of the reasons it is such a dreadful thing is that false accusations of rape basically do not happen. Statistically, between 2% and 8% of reported rapes are found to be false, but only about 40% of rapes are reported. Do a little math and that means that, for every false accusation of rape, there are up to 100 actual rapes that take place.” When I pointed out on Twitter that the author did not know the percentage of false rape reports, and therefore could not possibly calculate the ratio of false reports to rapes, he suggested that this was a matter of opinion: Maybe I liked one study better, but he thought his was pretty good. This is not a difference of opinion; it is simply a misunderstanding about the data. He has substituted a number he knows — which is, presented in its absolutely best light, the percentage of reports that can definitely be shown to be false by investigators using stringent criteria — for a number he does not know, which is how many reports of rape are actually false.

Perhaps a parallel will make what I mean more clear. Every year, it’s virtually certain that some number of people get away with killing their spouses. More than occasionally, it happens that investigators think they killed their spouses. They’re maybe even pretty sure that they killed their spouses. But they can’t prove it. In the statistics, this will not show up as “spousal murder” or “intimate partner violence”; it will show up as an unsolved case. But they still killed their spouse. How often does this happen? We have absolutely no idea.

I’ve now spent quite a bit of time reading research on rape prevalence over the last few decades. What you see in the literature on false reports is a general move from methods designed to exclude more false negatives (finding a rape report to be true, when in fact it was false), toward one that is designed to minimize the number of false positives (finding a rape report to be false, when in fact it was true). They use quite stringent criteria, where you basically need a confession, or strong evidence that the attack could not have happened as described, to declare it false.

First determine the outcome you want, then develop your methodology. It’s not social science. It’s social science.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Former Heights student teacher charged with unlawful sexual relations. “The incident reportedly happened in February while Moore ‘was a teacher in authority at a school and victim was a student enrolled in that school,’ the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office said.”

HEY, KIDS — LET’S CELEBRATE DIVERSITY BY HATING PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM US: Students protest Greek life at ‘check your privilege party.’

Hundreds of students at the University of Washington held a rally on campus last weekend to protest the Greek system, accusing members of fraternities and sororities of being exclusive, racist, misogynistic and violent.

The Facebook page called the event, “Check Your Privilege Block Party,” and has been flooded with posts and comments from students who feel marginalized by the Greek community, as well as pushback from fraternity and sorority members.

The event description calls on the “rebels and rejects of society” to “take over and claim space on Greek row,” and accuses fraternity members of physical and verbal abuse towards other students.

“They have said black lives don’t matter, they have raped us and then called us sluts and liars,” the description reads.



Stand up against stereotyping!

IT’S FUNNY HOW IT SEEMS THAT EVERY SINGLE HIGH-PROFILE CAMPUS “RAPE” CASE THEY PUSH TURNS OUT TO BE A FRAUD: The continuing collapse of ‘The Hunting Ground,’ a campus sexual assault propaganda film.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Campus Justice: Punished Until Proven Innocent.

Northwestern put Kipnis through a lengthy process in which she wasn’t allowed to know the nature of the complaint until she talked to investigators, nor could she have representation.

But the process worked, says Justin Weinberg, because Kipnis was eventually exonerated. Weinberg, who teaches philosophy, also thinks it’s “not obvious” that writing an article about an ongoing complaint, which does not mention either the students or professors by name, is retaliation under Title IX. Like Brian Leiter, I find his summation of the facts underwhelming, and as Leiter says, “If Kipnis’s opinion piece about sexual paranoia on campus, in which the graduate student is not even named and barely referenced, constitutes adverse ‘treatment,’ then there is no right for any faculty member at any institution receiving federal funds to offer any opinions, however indirect, about any question surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct at the institution.”

But I’ll let Leiter argue with Weinberg about the case itself, because I want to take issue with this passage: “As I noted earlier, the Title IX investigation yielded no finding of retaliation against Kipnis. One can only imagine how disappointed she will be with this. It turns out that the process she had been demonizing—which of course may have its flaws—pretty much worked, from her point of view.”

I think this is deeply wrong, and for all that, it is not an uncommon sentiment. You often hear this sort of argument when people complain about the byzantine procedures that colleges use to adjudicate charges of a racial or sexual nature, or when they argue that we should always presumptively believe any rape accusation: “Well, if they didn’t do that, the system will figure it out eventually, so what’s the big deal?”

This ignores the fact that the process itself can become the punishment. Sexual assault, racial harassment and similar crimes are serious charges, that should be treated seriously. This makes being charged with such an offense a very big deal for the accused. The judicial process is time consuming, often confusing, and scary. The accused may need to pay for legal advice, even though they often aren’t allowed to take counsel into the system with them. Then there’s the worry of knowing that however crazy the charge sounds to you, the campus judicial process may have very different ideas.

The campus system is, in its own way, especially punishing: The accused has limited rights, the system is opaque, and it’s hard to even know how other cases get resolved. The system cannot send you to jail, but it can expel you with a mark on your permanent transcript that will make it harder to get admitted elsewhere, or if you work for the school, start the wheels in motion to get you fired. These are not small punishments. Some of the system’s defenders say it does not need the same due process standards as a legal charge would, because it can’t result in prison time. But I doubt these defenders would be so sanguine about this Kafkaesque process if it were directed at them, threatening their futures.

Well, I predict that more lefty professors will experience this personally, and their views will change. Remember, the entire notion of academic freedom was boosted mostly to protect campus communists. Once lefties were fully in charge, their commitment to academic freedom evaporated. If lefties find themselves in the crosshairs again, I predict a newfound movement in favor of free speech and free thought.

USA TODAY: Bernie Sanders’ ‘rape essay’ raises eyebrows.

BECAUSE “RAPE CULTURE” IS A LIE, AND BECAUSE “SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS” ALWAYS LIE: Radley Balko: Why do high-profile campus rape stories keep falling apart? “The anti-campus rape activists often claim that false accusations of sexual assault are practically nonexistent. . . . But that so many of the accusations that they themselves have chosen as emblems of the cause have been proved false or debatable suggests that they’re either wrong about the frequency of false accusations or that the movement itself has had some extraordinarily bad luck.” Yeah, I know which way to bet on that one.

BUT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO SAVE $2,500 PER YEAR!: Brace yourself for Obamacare sticker shock.

Health insurers are proposing to raise Obamacare rates more than in the past — some by more than 70 percent — now that they are finally equipped with all the information they need to price those plans.

Plans wanting to raise rates by at least 10 percent next year posted the proposed increase online Monday, as required by the 2010 healthcare law. Insurers are allowed to raise rates each year, but they must publish significant increases ahead of time.

Insurers have sold plans in the law’s new insurance marketplaces for two years in a row. But the difference in 2016 is that for the first time, they have a full year of claims data from enrollees that tells them how high or low to set the price tag. . . .

While plans and rates vary by state, a look at rate increases published Monday on healthcare.gov shows many hovering around 10 to 30 percent in many states.

But there’s also a sprinkling of even bigger hikes. Blue Cross wants to raise its most expensive “platinum” plan in Alabama by 71 percent next year. Aetna wants to charge 59 percent more for one of its small group plans in Virginia. Time Insurance Co. is proposing a 64 percent hike for an individual plan in Georgia.

Gosh, what happened to that $2500 per year savings we were promised? Same thing that happened to the “if you like your plan/doctor, you can keep it/him.”  I think we need trigger warnings for all Obamacare-related news items, since it inevitably causes painful flashbacks of these promises.  It’s like intellectual rape over and over again. 

THE GERMAN PRESS DISCOVERS THE COLUMBIA MATTRESS-GIRL RAPE HOAX: “What is unimaginable in Germany has a tradition in the United States.”

SO IF CAMPUS RAPE IS SUCH A BIG PROBLEM, HOW COME ALL THE FAMOUS EXAMPLES TURN OUT TO BE LIES? Emily Yoffe looks into The Hunting Ground, finds it wanting.

The recent documentary The Hunting Ground asserts that young women are in grave danger of sexual assault as soon as they arrive on college campuses. The film has been screened at the White House for staff and legislators. Senate Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, cites it as confirmation of the need for the punitive campus sexual assault legislation she has introduced. Gillibrand’s colleague Barbara Boxer, after the film’s premiere said, “Believe me, there will be fallout.” The film has received nearly universal acclaim from critics—the Washington Post called it “lucid,” “infuriating,” and “galvanizing”—and, months after its initial release, its influence continues to grow, as schools across the country host screenings. “If you have a daughter going to any college in America, you need to see The Hunting Ground,” the MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told his viewers in May. This fall, it will get a further boost when CNN, a co-producer, plans to broadcast the film, broadening its audience. The Hunting Ground is helping define the problem of campus sexual assault for policymakers, college administrators, students, and their parents. . . .

Willingham’s story is not an illustration of a sexual predator allowed to run loose by self-interested administrators. The record shows that what happened that night was precisely the kind of spontaneous, drunken encounter that administrators who deal with campus sexual assault accusations say is typical. (The filmmakers, who favor David Lisak’s poorly substantiated position that our college campuses are rife with serial rapists, reject the suggestion that such encounters are the source of many sexual assault allegations.) Nor is Willingham’s story an example of official indifference. Harvard did not ignore her complaints; the school thoroughly investigated them. And because of her allegations, the law school education of her alleged assailant has been halted for the past four years.

The Hunting Ground does not identify that man. His name is Brandon Winston, now 30 years old. Earlier this year, he was tried in a Massachusetts superior court on felony charges of indecent assault and battery—that is, unwanted sexual touching, not rape. In March, he was cleared of all felony charges and found guilty of a single count of misdemeanor nonsexual touching. Following the trial, the Administrative Board of Harvard Law School, which handles student discipline, reviewed Winston’s case and voted to reinstate him. This fall, he will be allowed to complete his long-delayed final year of law school.

Like most journalists and critics, I first wrote about The Hunting Ground on Feb. 27 of this year, the day the film made its theatrical debut, and did so unaware that, the same week, the unnamed man Willingham calls a rapist was standing trial in Middlesex County on the charges stemming from her criminal complaint. I learned of Winston’s trial when a juror contacted me after it concluded to express dismay that Winston had been forced to stand trial—and had faced potential jail time—for what she saw as a drunken hook-up.

“Regret rape” isn’t rape, but rather a symptom of immaturity and an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions, which appear to be far too common among American college women these days.

Related: Central Allegation in The Hunting Ground Collapses Under Scrutiny: Undermines entire documentary.

Of the details Yoffe reported, I was must struck by the fact that Willingham had offered Winston—an old acquaintance who had come to Willingham’s apartment to rekindle their friendship—cocaine, which they both consumed. The night eventually included a trip to a bar in the company of a female friend of Willingham’s. All three drank copious amounts of alcohol, and Winston and the friend (“KF”) made out on the dance floor. If there was an initiator in this encounter, it seems to have been KF.

The trio returned to Willingham’s apartment at 2 a.m. And guess what? Their recollections of what happened aren’t that great (alcohol and cocaine tend to have that effect). All collapsed on a bed at various points; there was some kissing and sexual contact, but no intercourse. There’s not a shred of evidence that Winston did anything criminal to either of the girls, aside from Willingham’s error-riddled assertions that he did. Some of her claims border on parody: she insisted that Winston had raped KF and a bloody condom in her wastebasket was the proof. But according to a lab test, it was Willingham’s blood on the condom, not KF’s, and no traces of Winston’s DNA were found.

Yoffe wrote that Winston “was hardly a perfect gentleman” on the night in question, and perhaps that’s true. But only if one assumes that all men, by nature of their physiology (or perhaps because of rape culture), are always the instigators in sexual encounters, and that women have no sexual agency whatsoever, could it be said that he was a rapist.

For his non-criminal ungentlemanly conduct, Winston’s academic future was put on hold for years. He was prosecuted, and eventually acquitted of felony charges but convicted of a misdemeanor, “touching of a sexual nature.” The Hunting Grounds holds this up as a travesty of justice, and it is. But, as Yoffe persuasively argues, that victim in this case was the accused, not the accuser.

Yes. Willingham’s career is the one that ought to suffer here. She is not a victim, but a perpetrator.

HIS HAIR IS, BUT NOT HIS ARTICLE:  Bernie Sanders tries to explain his bizarre fictional sex story, “Man and Woman,” as “Something like Fifty Shades of Grey.”

SALON: BERNIE SANDERS’ RAPE APOLOGIA JUST A CRITIQUE OF “HETERONORMATIVITY”:  Of course it is.  Katie McDonough at Salon offers this weak defense of Sanders’ odd 1972 fictional piece called “Man and Woman,” in which Sanders says,  ”A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.”

These ex post ”you just don’t get it” excuses for liberal/progressive actions are so tiring–reminds me of that Goldsmiths, University of London “diversity officer,” Mustafa Bahar, whose racist, sexist anti-white male comments were excused by a Slate writer as “ironic misandry.”

MICHAEL BARONE: Colleges and universities have grown bloated and dysfunctional.

American colleges and universities, long thought to be the glory of the nation, are in more than a little trouble. I’ve written before of their shameful practices — the racial quotas and preferences at selective schools (Harvard is being sued by Asian-American organizations), the kangaroo courts that try students accused of rape and sexual assault without legal representation or presumption of innocence, and speech codes that make campuses the least rather than the most free venues in American society.

In following these policies, the burgeoning phalanxes of university and college administrators must systematically lie, insisting against all the evidence that they are racially nondiscriminatory, devoted to due process and upholders of free speech. The resulting intellectual corruption would have been understood by George Orwell.

Some people appear to be using Orwell’s work as a handbook.

ACE HAS SOME THOUGHTS ON Bernie Sanders’ Rape Fantasies.

Charles C.W. Cooke says that we should not unduly persecute Bernie Sanders for his sexual heresies. . . .

Cooke is arguing for what he conceives of as free speech absolutism — one does not demagogue speech to whip up feeding frenzies of angry lynch mobbers about something merely said.

I agree with this, naturally, except that I don’t. As a tactical matter, there is no way to get the left to stop with its incessant Censorship Crusades except to visit equal pain upon them.

The greatest ethical precept in the world is the do-unto-others-test, which I usually think of as the shoe on the other foot test.

One can discover a lot of moral and ethical rules — and separate out actual rules of good behavior from self-serving rationalizations designed to punish one’s enemies — by always asking, “Would I support this rule if I were forced to live under it?”

The trouble is, of course, the left is almost never asked to wear the shoe on their own foot.

They think censorship, Speechcraft Trials, and mob justice for Thought Heretics is just awesome.

And why shouldn’t they?

These things are almost never visited upon they themselves– they have only the upside of a dark, censorious, paranoid regime. Almost all of the downside falls upon their enemies– just where they’d want it. . . . People don’t like the Tit For Tat regime because it sounds simple-minded, punitive, and awful. Well, it is these things.

It is also, as Steven den Beste persuasively argued, very effective for bringing about a more ethical environment. Meaning that while it may be crude in method, it is enlightened in outcome.

Read the whole thing.

SORRY, RAND, BUT YOU CROSSED THE LINE ON THIS ONE: Rand Paul says GOP hawks “created” ISIS.

The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people.” . . .  “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He continued: “They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

This has triggered understandable backlash, including the Wall Street Journal editorial board today:

Citing Iraq, Syria and Libya, Mr. Paul added that “everything that they’ve talked about in foreign policy, they’ve been wrong about for 20 years, and yet they have somehow the gall to keep saying and pointing fingers otherwise.”

Speaking of gall, and a word of political advice, an aide might want to remind Senator Paul which party’s nomination he is seeking. Republicans who begin their campaigns assailing other Republicans rarely succeed—especially when the accusation is culpability for a would-be caliphate that uses executions, slavery, extortion, rape and general terror to enforce oppression in the Middle East and North Africa, and whose ideology inspires jihadists world-wide.

More to the point, even President Obama now largely refrains from blaming George W. Bush for all the world’s ills, albeit with an exception here and there for old time’s sake. Maybe even he recognizes that the statute of limitations has expired for Republicans who haven’t run the executive branch for seven years and have had no perceptible influence on Administration policy. . . .

Mr. Paul seems to think he can win the GOP nomination on an anti-interventionist platform, though we think he’d be better off focusing on his domestic agenda. But if he wants to run as an Obama Republican on foreign policy, he shouldn’t also adopt the Obama trick of rewriting history. It reflects poorly on his judgment as a potential Commander in Chief.

It’s a critical error for Paul, who has exhibited a vulnerability to foot-in-mouth disease.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT’S SLOW DEATH: George Will’s latest column explains his own opposition to the death penalty.  He elaborates:

The conservative case against capital punishment, which 32 states have, is threefold. First, the power to inflict death cloaks government with a majesty and pretense of infallibility discordant with conservatism. Second, when capital punishment is inflicted, it cannot later be corrected because of new evidence, so a capital punishment regime must be administered with extraordinary competence. It is, however, a government program. Since 1973, more than 140 people sentenced to death have been acquitted of their crimes (sometimes by DNA evidence), had the charges against them dismissed by prosecutors, or been pardoned based on evidence of innocence. For an unsparing immersion in the workings of the governmental machinery of death, read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, executive director and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative.

Third, administration of death sentences is so sporadic and protracted that their power to deter is attenuated. And expensive, because labyrinthine, legal protocols with which the judiciary has enveloped capital punishment are here to stay. Granted, capital punishment could deter: If overdue library books were punishable by death, none would be overdue. But many crimes for which death is reserved, including Tsarnaev’s crime of ideological premeditation, are especially difficult to deter.

While I normally agree with Will on most issues, I must disagree on this one.  The conservative case supporting capital punishment has nothing to do with the “majesty” or “infallibility” or even “competence” of government (God forfend).  Conceding that mistakes both can and will, inevitably, be made, Will wants to know how can one support the death penalty?  This is an important question, but one for which there is a response that is too often overlooked.  The best articulation of the answer comes from Clatstop County, Oregon District Attorney Joshua Marquis [full disclosure:  Josh is my brother-in-law], an elected Democrat D.A. who is one of the most prominent supporters of the death penalty:

[Often cited by death penalty opponents is a] study by Professor Samuel Gross that came out of a Northwestern Law School symposium and subsequent issue of their Journal of Criminal Law. I used Gross’ own numbers to estimate the incidence of real-life exonerations, as opposed to those in TV shows or movies. Gross cited about 390 cases from 1989 to 2003 where he and his team believed serious felony sentences were unfairly handed down against innocent defendants. . . . Gross posits there must be many more exonerations than he identified because he asserts . . . that in many cases DNA or a recantation by a key witness does not exist. So I rounded Gross’s number up to 400 and multiplied it by ten, yielding 4,000 exonerations—far more than I believe exist for the time period. I divided the 4,000 by 15 million, the number of felonies committed during the same period, yielding a “rightful” conviction rate of 99.93%. My article in the New York Times drew howls of protest, many attacking my math, pointing out that my base statistic of 15 million was all felonies.

Okay, so let’s refine the numbers down to just willful homicide and forcible rape. This is narrower than Gross’s sample and amounts to about 1.5 million. Move the decimal one point and you have a “rightful” conviction rate of 99.72%. Small consolation if you are in that .28 of one percent.

The wrongful conviction rate should be lower and prosecutors can do more than anyone in the criminal justice system to make sure that happens by being very discriminating in bringing capital cases. Pharmacists and doctors separately kill 10,000 Americans—by accident—every year, but we don’t ban prescriptions or elective surgery. We try to find out what went wrong and fix it.

Garrett and his fellow opponents of the death penalty—and then true life, and then mandatory sentencing of any sort—claim they really just want to fix the problem. But, as Justice Antonin Scalia acidly pointed out in his concurrence in Kansas v. Marsh, they aren’t interested in fixing the system, but in tearing it down. I have no doubt their beliefs are sincere and deeply held, but if we are to debate such an emotional issue we should do so with context, not ignoring the stories that don’t make the front page or are relegated to the newspaper’s “airplane pages” (B-2, C-5, etc).

States are doing all kinds of things to prevent the errors  . . . better trained and paid public defenders and prosecutors, and a true national DNA bank . . . .

I can understand how libertarians generally don’t trust the government to get things right and accordingly might be even more leery of the government killing someone. Professor Cass Sunstein proposed in “Is Capital Punishment Morally Required: The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs” that if the series of nonideological studies done in the last decade are right, then having a death penalty spares between 10 and 24 innocent victims of murder. How can we abandon indisputably innocent men, women, and children to homicide?

So there is a very small “wrongful” conviction rate, (less than one-half percent) and it seems to be getting smaller and smaller due to advances in DNA and other scientific evidence, as well as a bigger, well-heeled and experienced capital crimes defense bar.  And capital punishment does have a deterrent effect– a point even Will seems to concede, albeit reluctantly.  This deterrence saves innocent lives, and overall, more innocent lives are saved than lost due to the death penalty.  And IMHO, there is an added societal bonus:  Capital punishment serves the important societal objective of good, old fashioned retribution–the recognition that crime, particularly violent crimes capable of triggering the consideration of capital punishment, are inherently harmful to the very fabric of society.  Retribution is a justification for punishment that liberals/progressives have long since forgotten/abandoned, but conservatives and libertarians should not.  (The issue of over-criminalization is a separate issue, but I will assume no one thinks punishment for murder is an example of over-criminalization).

I am content to let the people of each state decide whether the “costs” associated with the death penalty outweigh the “benefits” society derives. Each state should be perfectly free to decide whether it wishes to continue its death penalty as a matter of state law.  But as for the continuing attempts of death penalty opponents to try to “constitutionalize” their opposition, that is another question.

As a constitutional matter, capital punishment was clearly contemplated by the Framers, as the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments state that government may not deprive individuals of “life, liberty or property” without due process of law, the necessary implication of which is that “life” may be deprived by state and federal governments, provided “due process” is provided.  And the Supreme Court itself has stated, most recently in Gregg v. Georgia, that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments does not demand abolition of the death penalty for those who are mentally competent and adults.

If the death penalty is indeed going to die a slow death, it should come from a thoughtful, democratic debate within each State, not through litigation aimed at getting unelected federal judges to impose a “one size fits all” constitutional “solution” on this controversial topic.

ASHE SCHOW: Memorializing Mattress Girl.

Now that her 15 minutes of fame are up, what is to become of “Mattress Girl,” the Columbia University student who became famous after accusing a man of rape?

Many have wondered whether she will be able to find work after her “performance” of carrying her mattress around campus is over. I have no doubt she will, even if she was a visual arts major.

Emma Sulkowicz’s parents were prominent New York psychiatrists, she attended the best schools growing up and gained worldwide attention in school. How could she not find a job?

She’s already been speaking with sexual assault awareness groups, even appearing in the film “The Hunting Ground.” Her degree is probably superfluous at this point.

Perhaps she’ll continue working with victim’s advocacy groups or become a professor at a university. Maybe she’ll make a living through art. Maybe she’ll even be able to live off of selling the mattress project.

It hardly matters — she’ll always be a hero to those who think we should believe every accusation of rape, even when the evidence suggests otherwise.

The feminist lynch mobs, in other words.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Model’s rape claim falls apart after bogus pregnancy charge. DNA makes a difference.

The two chatted over champagne about a potential photo shoot and then went back to his condo in a nearby luxury high-rise.

About 45 minutes later, Riabenkova told a doorman she had been raped by the photographer and asked him to call 911, said his lawyer, Tom Kenniff.

Police arrested the lensman, and he spent a night behind bars. Prosecutors soon downgraded the charge to sexual misconduct because they found holes in her story and her rape kit tested inconclusive, Kenniff said.

Then, in January 2015, Riabenkova made a shocking claim — telling prosecutors she was impregnated during the alleged rape and wanted an abortion.

The DA’s Office told the clinic to preserve the biological material, and Kenniff immediately asked for a DNA test.

The results proved his client was not the father, and on May 15 the case was thrown out and sealed.

Riabenkova, 22, refused to talk to a Post reporter on Friday at her swanky Flatiron building, saying through a doorman that she was “sick.”

Well, that seems likely. I like it that the victim is thinking of suing her. He should.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher says she shouldn’t be fired for having sex with student. “A Brooklyn public-school teacher whines in a new lawsuit that she was unfairly fired from her job for bedding her 12-year-old student — even though DNA, videotape, text and financial records pin her to the dirty deed.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Greeley Teacher Katerina Bardos accused of long sexual relationship with middle school pupil. “The Greeley Police Department said the former Brentwood Middle School teacher allegedly had sex with a 13-year-old boy whom she taught in her sixth grade classroom in 2014. Police believe the sexual relationship continued over the course of a year. The teacher is also accused of providing the student with pot.”

THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE: Woman who helped launch the current uproar over sexism in tech is sorry.

In 2013, Elissa Shevinsky wrote an article titled “That’s it, I’m finished defending sexism in tech.” The article was based on her concerns that a major tech expo would open with a presentation with an app called “Titstare,” which, as the name implied, allowed users to take photos of themselves staring at women’s breasts.

Shevinsky had been in the tech industry for a decade at that point, and said she had put up with sexism all the time. She concluded her article by writing that one of the solutions to the problem was to get more women in tech.

Her article received 40,000 views and was shared around the web, helping to spark a debate about the lack of women in the tech industry, a debate with the notable accomplishment of making a grown man — a comet scientist — cry on live TV because the shirt he was wearing offended some.

Because of the movement she helped create, Shevinsky has been described as a “social justice warrior” — a usually derogatory term applied to those who engage in hostile arguments in the name of righting a perceived social injustice.

Shevinsky is now sorry for whatever role she played in creating all of this outrage and silliness. She’s sorry, she writes in her new book, Lean Out, and she adds that her initial position was “flawed.”

“I’m glad to come out in ‘Lean Out’ and say that my original essay — the one that has been the foundation for people assuming that I am [a social justice warrior] — was deeply flawed,” Shevinsky told the Washington Examiner. “I do see sexism and gender issues, a culture war, in Silicon Valley, but the knee-jerk responses (recruit more women! attack the men!) are not the answer.”

Do tell.

Related: Why the Left Waged the #WaronNerds: They’re Losing the Oppression Olympics.

There is no obvious answer. Indeed, the obvious facts seem to fly in the face of explanatory power, in just the same way it does when one sees an unrepentantly patriarchal religion with more than a few troubling inclinations toward medievalism being defended by the Left. Feminists, for instance, have spearheaded much of the sneering and hysterical censoriousness where popular nerd pastimes like comic books and video games are concerned. All this despite the fact that most nerds are hardly the obvious examples of “rapey” masculinity that, say, UVA frat boys might be (though the author takes pains to note, similar accusations are slander in their case as well).

In fact, as the ever excellent liberal author Scott Alexander notes, nerds are the absolute psychological polar opposites of rapists. That a movement designed to protect women from the most ungallant members of society would start with a group about whom the stereotype is that they run around talking and acting like unshaven medieval knights is odd, to say the least. True, there is a degree to which this species of man can be found in the sphere of pickup artistry as well (yet another feminist bette noir), but there, too, it’s not immediately obvious why they’d start here. Say what you like about pickup artistry, but at least it’s about winning enthusiastic sexual consent from its targets, which presupposes the necessity of consent in the first place. Not exactly something you’d expect from unapologetic rapists.

Dig beneath the surface, however, and you find two very compelling explanations for the #WaronNerds. The short version is that it is simply a manifestation of cynical, bullying cowardice combined with emotivist, envious resentment. The long version? Well, read on for the first part.

In the visceral and terrifying musical Parade, written about the Leo Frank lynching, a yellow journalist enthusiastically describes how he will play on the fears of his audience to drum up readership by attacking Frank, or the “little Jew from Brooklyn with a college education.”

“So give him fangs, give him horns
Give him scaly, hairy paws
Have him drooling out the corner of his mouth
He’s a master of disguise
Check those bugged out creepy eyes
Hell, that fella’s here to rape the whole damn South!”

Sam Biddle, know thyself.

The comparison between today’s feminist rape lynch mobs and those of the Jim Crow era has been made before, and is apt.

Also: The Media Is Losing The War On Nerds.

PRESCIENT: Camille Paglia on feminism from 1995. “I began to realize this in the Seventies when I thought women could do it on their own. But then something would go wrong with my car and I’d have to go to the men. Men would stop, men would lift up the hood, more men would come with a truck and take the car to a place where there were other men who would call other men who would arrive with parts. I saw how feminism was completely removed from this reality. I also learned something from the men at the garage. At Bennington, I would go to a faculty meeting and be aware that everyone hated me. The men were appalled by a strong, loud woman. But I went to this auto shop and the men there thought I was cute. ‘Oh, there’s that Professor Paglia from the college.’ The real men, men who work on cars, find me cute. They are not frightened by me, no matter how loud I am. But the men at the college were terrified because they are eunuchs, and I threatened every goddamned one of them.”

Plus: “[You can't have] the Stalinist situation we have in America right now, where any neurotic woman can make any stupid charge and destroy a man’s reputation. If there is evidence of false accusation, the accuser should be expelled. Similarly, a woman who falsely accuses a man of rape should be sent to jail. My definition of sexual harassment is specific. It is only sexual harassment–by a man or a woman–if it is quid pro quo. That is, if someone says, “You must do this or I’m going to do that”–for instance, fire you. And whereas touching is sexual harassment, speech is not. I am militant on this. Words must remain free. The solution to speech is that women must signal the level of their tolerance–women are all different. Some are very bawdy.”

DO WE LIVE IN A “RAPE CULTURE?” OR IN A “BREATHLESS HYSTERIA ABOUT RAPE CULTURE?” Sexual Assault Case Against Venice High Schoolers Collapses. “A high-profile LAPD raid on Venice High School that made international headlines after 15 male students were arrested on charges of sexual assault has resulted in prosecutors’ decision not to prosecute anyone in the case. The large number of students arrested in mid-March and the high number of law enforcement personnel that descended on the school’s campus and led students away in handcuffs drew widespread attention on the case. But now, over two months later, prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office cited ‘insufficient evidence’ as the reason that no charges would be pursued, the Los Angeles Times reported.”

ED DRISCOLL: Gaslighting, Then And Now. “We’ve mentioned the left devouring its own several times in recent months. The ‘campus rape epidemic’ seems like a bizarre intellectual climate to serve as the background for Hillary’s campaign — and she has no one else to blame but her fellow Democrats for creating it. Or am I simply gaslighting myself?”

It certainly presents opportunities.

GAME OF THRONES “RAPE” SCENE:  Feminists are in a tizzy about the supposed rape of Game of Thrones character Sansa Stark.  There’s a defense of the storyline and character development by Leslie Loftis in The Federalist today.  But even Loftis assumes that the scene involved a rape. I’m a fan of the show, and I saw the scene.  But I honestly don’t understand why everyone is assuming this was a “rape.”

During the episode, Sansa was married to character Ramsey Bolton (a creepy, sadistic character, for sure).  Immediately after their wedding, Ramsey asks Sansa to undress.  She complies, and then one hears her crying, presumably as Ramsey is raping her.  But the two are married, and Sansa never once indicates, overtly or even implicitly, that she objects to having sex with him.  So if she does not object in any way, would not her husband reasonably assume she consented?  If one wanted to shoot a “rape” scene, should not the script writer have at least provided some indication that Sansa articulated a “no”?

I understand that Ramsey is an icky character, that he asked his slave to watch them have sex, and that he would not have taken a “no,” even it if had been uttered or indicated by physical resistance (in which case continuation would clearly have been a rape).  But given that the scene offers no manifestation of objection by Sansa, is it even fair to characterize this scene as a “rape”?

BUT OF COURSE: Columbia mattress girl looking to cash in on art project.

Emma Sulkowicz, known for carrying a mattress around campus for what she claims is a protest of Columbia University’s failure to punish her rapist, is hoping to cash in on her alleged art project.

Sulkowicz told the New York Times after her graduation on Tuesday — where she carried her mattress across the stage — that she would sell the mattress if offered.

“If some sort of museum wants to buy it, then I’m open to that,” she said, “but I’m not going to just throw it away.”

Sulkowicz has for the past year carried her mattress around for course credit at Columbia, and said she would do so until the man she accused of rape either graduated or was expelled. On Tuesday, both Sulkowicz and the man she accused — Paul Nungesser — graduated.

Nungesser is suing Columbia for engaging in Sulkowicz’s harassment campaign against him. Nungesser was cleared of wrongdoing by a campus hearing and the police. He has also released Facebook messages showing friendly and loving messages between he and Sulkowicz after the allegedly brutal rape.

She was jilted, this was her crazy revenge, Columbia went along. Male students may reasonably fear that Columbia maintains a hostile educational environment on the basis of sex.

WELL, THIS SEEMS SENSIBLE:

A key House Republican is promising hearings on how college campuses in Georgia handle some campus rape cases.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, chairman of the subcommittee that oversees funding for Georgia’s public universities said he was disturbed by the findings in an April 18 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article which detailed how colleges use secretive judicial proceedings to expel and suspend some students accused of sexual assault.

“If it is a crime it needs to be deal with in the legal system,” the Republican from Powder Springs said. “We shouldn’t be using have an extrajudicial star chamber.”

Of course, some people like extrajudicial star chambers.

ROBBY SOAVE: As Another Accusation Bites the Dust, Columbia Rape Saga Takes New Turn.

Now, I have learned that after a hearing in late April, Nungesser was found “not responsible” in this latest case—altogether, the fourth time he has been cleared of a sexual assault charge at Columbia. When Sulkowicz first went public a year ago, the fact that her alleged attacker was still on campus and had never been subjected to any formal sanctions despite being accused of sexual assault by three different women helped fuel the outrage. Yet the latest investigation strongly supports Nungesser’s claim, made in media interviews and in his lawsuit, that the multiple complaints were not independent of each other and may have been part of a vendetta stemming from the original charge by Sulkowicz.

Perhaps the other false-accusers will get posters of their own.

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CATHY YOUNG: Feminists want us to define these ugly sexual encounters as rape. Don’t let them. “We need to stop prosecuting bad behavior as rape.”

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS:  Jim Treacher reports that these posters of Mattress Girl, Emma Sulkowicz, titled “Pretty Little Liar” are cropping up all over NYC, near Columbia University. Good to see someone is punching back.

ANNALS OF NEUROTIC ATTENTION-SEEKING: Columbia mattress girl carries her bed on stage at graduation.

Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who has carried a mattress around campus as part of an art project for the past year, has graduated. And she carried that mattress across the stage during the ceremony — to much applause.

Paul Nungesser, the man she accused of raping her, and who was cleared by a campus hearing and the police, was forced to watch, having walked across the stage just a few minutes earlier.

Nungesser is now suing Columbia for facilitating a harassment campaign against him. He alleges in his lawsuit that by allowing and even praising Sulkowicz’s mattress project, the school was complicit in defaming him.

The harassment “significantly damaged, if not effectively destroyed Paul Nungesser’s college experience, his reputation, his emotional well-being and his future career prospects,” the lawsuit alleges.

On Monday, Columbia circulated an email banning students from bringing large objects to graduation. It appeared at the time that Sulkowicz was being disallowed from carrying her mattress across the stage. But evidently, that was not the case.

Allowing Sulkowicz to carry her mattress may have helped Nungesser’s case in court, as the school made clear that large objects were banned but then did nothing to stop Sulkowicz.

Nungesser’s lawyer, Kimberly Lau, told the Washington Examiner that Columbia’s acceptance of Sulkowicz’s graduation stunt was “absurd” and would help her client’s case.

This goes beyond mere facilitation; they have now granted a special exception,” Lau said.

Guilt is irrelevant. Men must be punished.

UPDATE: But there is some pushback.

ASHE SCHOW: Ambassador Samantha Power highlights discredited rape accuser in commencement speech.

Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, used her platform as Barnard College’s commencement speaker on Sunday to discuss campus sexual assault. She cited a familiar story. The problem was, the story she referred to has recently been called into question.

Power spoke of a “mattress” being carried around to bring attention to “victims” who are treated unfairly by their college or university.

“And yet, even as we are aware of the seriousness of this problem, it takes a woman picking up a mattress and carrying it around her campus to make people really see it,” Power said to applause. “A mattress that a good number of the women in this graduating class have helped carry. And men from Columbia, too.”

The mattress carrier Power was alluding to is Emma Sulkowicz, who made international headlines last year when she claimed that she had been raped by a fellow student, and that Columbia University (Barnard’s affiliate) failed to hold her alleged rapist accountable. In reality, neither the university nor the police found evidence to support her rape claim. After that, she started an art project for college credit in an attempt to shame the man off campus or force Columbia to overturn its “not responsible” finding.

But Power either did not know or chose to ignore Facebook messages between Sulkowicz and the man she accused of rape, Paul Nungesser. They tell a very different story than that of a woman brutally attacked and overwrought with pain. Sulkowicz sent Nungesser multiple Facebook messages in the days, weeks and months after the allegedly brutal assault (which supposedly included choking and punching) that professed her love and admiration for the man she would eventually accuse of rape. Nungesser is now suing Columbia for its role in facilitating Sulkowicz’s smear campaign against him.

On Twitter, Power seemed to analogize Sulkowicz’s situation to that of women in Afghanistan.

Given that Power has played a major role in our national security policy for the last six years, and that it’s been a debacle, this all makes sense.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO MOCK RAPE VICTIMS: Boston University prof in racist tweet flap accused of trolling white rape victim. “Go cry somewhere, since that’s what you do.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Woman pleads guilty to breaking into man’s apartment, raping him in his sleep.

SO OBAMA’S NATIONAL SECURITY/FOREIGN RELATIONS BIG-BRAIN doesn’t even know that the Columbia University mattress-girl rape story is a hoax. Or, worse, knows and doesn’t care. The replies are fun, though.

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ASHE SCHOW: Rolling Stone gang-rape author — still employed.

How does Sabrina Rubin Erdely — the author of the thoroughly discredited Rolling Stone gang-rape story — still have a job?

Erdely was not fired for her erroneous story, even after the Columbia Journalism Review released its damning report on the story. But it seems unlikely she could have a future in journalism.

A lawsuit filed by University of Virginia dean Nicole Eramo — who was vilified in the original Rolling Stone as being “indifferent” to sexual assault accusers —really lays into Erdely and her poor journalism. The lawsuit goes into detail about Erdely’s past articles and their issues, including two other Rolling Stone articles that the author apparently didn’t corroborate.

Erdely’s very first article, which won her an award from Rolling Stone while she was still in college, was completely wrong, according to Erdely herself. Eramo’s lawsuit quotes Erdely as admitting that “just about everything in the story was wrong,” and that because she failed to attend a press conference held by her subject, she just combined facts from other news outlets without verifying the claims.

Erdely’s past failure to verify facts could fit the same pattern as the University of Virginia rape story — narrative first and “facts” later.

When Erdely decided to construct her time-tested narrative of a woman’s rape followed by an institution’s indifference — this time at an American college — she went looking for an alleged victim to fit in to her predetermined story.

Eramo’s lawsuit details some of the other victims Erdely spoke to prior to settling on Jackie at U.Va. and their skepticism of Erdely. Erdely initially wanted to set her story at an Ivy League university, but she couldn’t find a victim who would fit the story she wanted to write. So she settled for a Southern university with a wealthy, white population.

Early on in her process of finding a victim to fit her narrative, Erdely spoke to Alexandra Brodsky at Yale University. At a recent panel in D.C. discussing campus sexual assault, Brodsky said that she “put [Erdely] in touch with a couple of students who had, like, normal rape stories, and none of them were good enough for her.” Brodsky added that it was “unsurprising” to her “that the story [Erdely] eventually decided to publish is one that was, like, literally sensationalized.”

Alex Pinkleton, who was interviewed for the Rolling Stone story, said she was skeptical of Erdely during their talks “because it seemed like she was unwilling to listen to anyone besides Jackie.” Pinkleton added that “[Erdely] did have an agenda and part of that agenda was showing how monstrous fraternities are and blaming the administration for a lot of these sexual assaults.”

Further, Pinkleton said that Erdely kept trying to get her to embellish the sexual assault she had suffered.

She wasn’t reporting. She was being a Social Justice Warrior with a byline. And in Social Justice War, the truth is the first casualty.

IF YOU NEED TRIGGER WARNINGS AND SAFE SPACES, YOU’RE TOO MENTALLY-ILL FOR COLLEGE. YOU NEED TREATMENT UNTIL YOU’RE WELL ENOUGH TO MIX WITH NORMAL PEOPLE. Classical Mythology Too Triggering for Columbia Students: Roman and Greek mythology “contains triggering and offensive material that marginalizes student identities in the classroom,” students say.

In Columbia University’s student newspaper, four members of the school’s student Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board call on professors to be more sensitive when teaching provocative or controversial material… such as the Roman classical poet Ovid.

Ovid is best known for The Metamorphoses, a 15-book narrative poem that covers more than 250 mythological stories. Written entirely in dactylic hexameter, The Metamorphoses inspired future writers from Dante to Chaucer to Shakespeare. Whether or not it’s something today’s students should spend time on may be up for debate, but I think most people can understand why an instructor teaching it would focus on things like the language and imagery invoked.

Not these Columbia students, however. See, some of the myths Ovid recounts involve sexual violence. Zeus’ daughter Persephone (aka Prosperina), for instance, is kidnapped, raped, and taken as a bride by Hades, king of the underworld. The op-ed writers suggest this ancient Greek and Roman myth is too triggering to be taught in today’s classroom.

Right. Even the Victorians could handle the classics. Cost of attending Columbia University: $63,440.

GOOD: U.Va. dean sues Rolling Stone over false rape story.Rolling Stone and [writer Sabrina Rubin] Erdely’s highly defamatory and false statements about Dean Eramo were not the result of an innocent mistake. . . They were the result of a wanton journalist who was more concerned with writing an article that fulfilled her preconceived narrative about the victimization of women on American college campuses, and a malicious publisher who was more concerned about selling magazines to boost the economic bottom line for its faltering magazine, than they were about discovering the truth or actual facts.”

Eramo is not suing Jackie, but I’ll bet Jackie winds up being deposed.

FASTER, PLEASE: Organic Electronics Deliver Pain-Canceling Molecules. “Researchers invented an implanted bioelectronic device that delivers therapeutic drugs to rats’ spinal cords with unprecedented precision, reducing pain without side effects, according to a study published today in Science Advances. The researchers say that by delivering lower doses of pain medication in a more targeted way, side effects that often accompany traditional administration of pain medications can be avoided.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! (CONT’D): My son’s life was ripped apart by a woman who falsely cried ‘rape’… twice: Police knew Oxford student was a fantasist – so why did they believe her? “‘She had a history of mental illness, depression, attention-seeking behaviour and lying. Most shocking was that this was the second time she had falsely accused a man of rape.’ It took a jury at Winchester Crown Court just an hour to clear her son when the case was heard in January. Even though the woman’s claims were entirely false, she is guaranteed anonymity by the law, unlike Hilary’s son.”

Because doubting her has political risks. Ruining a man’s life does not. Just ask Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who continues to smear a Columbia student as a rapist even though he was cleared by the university and police, and even though his accuser, Emma Sulkowicz, has become a campus joke.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE! U. Minnesota Student Who Claimed Dorm Rape At Knifepoint Is Lying, Cops Say. But is she being punished? Nope:

Another University of Minnesota official, Katie Eichele of the Aurora Center, “a safe and confidential space” for victims of sexual assault, suggested that no one should judge the unidentified student who made the armed rape allegations police don’t believe.

“The victim-survivor is the most important person in all of this, and supporting what it is they’re going through and what they may want in the process,” Eichele told the newspaper.

Well, when you lie about being raped, you’re not a “victim/survivor.” You’re a perpetrator. But acknowledging that would harm the campus victim-industrial complex.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Pictured: The female teachers who have undermined their positions of trust by ‘having sex with students in classrooms, at home and even in a school parking lot.’ “All of these teachers have been accused of sexual misconduct this week.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Partially naked principal arrested with student in car. “A Florida principal has been arrested after she was caught partially unclothed in a marijuana-filled car with a student. . . . Authorities say they responded to a report of people involved in sexual activity in a car and found Morton with a high school senior.”

SOMETIMES HATEFUL IS GOOD:  Case in point:  David French:  I’m more hateful than Pamela Geller.  A snippet:

I’m far more hateful than Pamela Geller. In fact, I’d argue there’s no way that she could hate jihad more than I do. I’ve seen jihad up-close, in an Iraqi province where jihadists raped women to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, where they put bombs in little boys’ backpacks then remotely detonated them at family gatherings, where they beheaded innocent civilians while cheering wildly like they were at a soccer match, and where they shot babies in the face to “send a message” to their parents.

Exactly– hating jihad/radical Islam is a good thing, because hating evil is always good.

ASHE SCHOW: It’s okay to victim blame if the perpetrator is a Muslim extremist.

Ever since two gunmen were shot dead in Garland, Texas, on May 3, the media’s focus has been not on the radical men who intended to kill some 200 people at the “Draw Muhammad” event, but on the woman who organized it.

The Washington Post ran the most egregious headline in this regard, writing “Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.” Seriously, WaPo?

The Associated Press came close with this gem: “Activist: No regrets about cartoon contest ended by gunfire.”

In both instances, the blame is clearly laid on Pamela Geller, who organized the event, and not on the murderous men.

But blaming Geller is akin to blaming any other victim or near-victim of a violent crime. Let’s rewrite those headlines to correspond with rape.

“Woman wearing short skirt offers no apology after thwarted rape attempt.” (Credit goes to Twitter user Sister Toldjah for this tweet.)

Or how about: “Victim: No regrets about night of drinking that ended in rape.”

No one would ever write an article with such headlines because that would be victim-blaming. But when the perpetrator is a Muslim and the victim is someone who organized an event that offended the Muslim’s religion, then somehow it is the victim’s fault.

It’s impossible to see how this would fly in any other situation.

Indeed.

Related: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Defends Pamela Geller.

And here’s that Erik Wemple piece from the WaPo.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: Attack Of The Killer Lesbians. “We’re told that the greatest predator on earth isn’t the tiger shark or the lion but the lowly straight white male, a violent, aggressive thug who prowls the streets, raping, beating and killing unsuspecting women. But it is not so: in fact, women in relationships with other women are dramatically more likely to get knocked about by their partners. Lesbian violence is poorly understood because it is poorly researched, and poorly researched because it makes the gay lobby deeply uncomfortable. We’re not supposed to admit that any kind of gay relationship might have a dark side. It’s all unicorns and Mariah Carey, as far as charities, politicians and the media are concerned. . . . Up to 45 per cent of lesbians have been the victim of at least one act of violence perpetrated by a female partner and that 30 per cent of lesbians have reported sexual assault or rape by another woman. And those are conservative figures from a small domestic violence support group.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Teacher Arrested For Sex With High School Boys Is Town’s FIFTH FEMALE RAPIST THIS YEAR. I blame our modern culture of female sexual entitlement.

DO TELL: Even After Exoneration, Life For The Wrongly Convicted Is No Fairy Tale. Nope. And you don’t even have to be wrongly convicted, just wrongly accused. Look at Paul Nungesser, who was falsely accused of rape by Emma Sulkowicz at Columbia. Even after being cleared by police and the university, he’s still being smeared by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Man is raped at gunpoint by THREE women so they could collect his semen in a cooler box and ‘steal’ it in South Africa. “The method is part of a growing trend.”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Florida woman had sex with teen boy, police say: Brittany Sonnier, 23, previously accused of having sex with dog. “Police said Brittany Sonnier enticed the teen to perform sexual acts knowing that he was underage. Police said she was also in possession of marijuana and shared the drugs, as well as alcohol, with him.”

To be fair, I’m pretty sure the dog consented.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Murfreesboro mom sentenced to 40 years for raping own children.

FEMINISM’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE SPACE PROGRAM: “The first woman to be raped in space has probably already been born.”

HOW BUREAUCRATS BUILD EMPIRES: Ashe Schow: Surprise, surprise: Campus sexual assault hysteria led to more reporting, now they want more money.

After years of claiming that large swaths of American college students will be sexually assaulted — and passing laws and directives to “solve” the problem — incident reports are up. And because of that, activists in Congress predictably want more money.

Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Tim Kaine of Virginia are calling for more money now that their campaigns have helped increase reporting. Of course, they don’t acknowledge that more reports doesn’t necessarily equal more assaults.

“This new data makes clear why the Education Department must step up its efforts to address the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses, and why Congress must ensure it has the resources it needs to protect students,” Senator Boxer said in a press release emailed to the media.

Gillibrand echoed this sentiment: “These figures still don’t reflect even conservative estimates of the actual incidence of sexual assault and rape on campuses, and still the Department of Education lacks the resources to promptly investigate the few complaints against schools that are filed.”

These senators have been major proponents of getting colleges more involved in adjudicating sexual assault. That effort has led to kangaroo courts and colleges are being sued by both accusers and the accused over the lack of a fair process. For accusers, the best a campus court can do is expel a rapist, meaning he remains free to prey on others. For the accused, the Department of Education and activists have helped foster a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality that forces colleges to find against the accused without providing them a way to tell their side.

Because of the constraints put on colleges, more students are suing and filing complaints with the Education Department. And because of that, Sens. Boxer, Gillibrand and Kaine are asking for increased government spending.

Kirsten Gillibrand hasn’t even apologized for continuing to smear a Columbia student, who was cleared by the university and the police, as a rapist.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: Woman faces jail after admitting making a false rape claim.

Seems like we hear more stories like this from Britain. Is it because they prosecute more false rape charges, or because British papers are more likely to report it when they do?

ORWELLIAN DOUBLETHINK, RAPE EDITION: “Inspired by the recent performance of The Vagina Monologues” on the Claremont-McKenna College campus, student Jordan Bosiljevac has penned an exegesis of the progressive view of sexual relationships, titled, “Why Yes Can Mean No.”  Ms. Bosiljevac explains:

In discussing this experience with friends, we coined the term “raped by rape culture” to describe what it was like to say yes, coerced by the culture that had raised us and the systems of power that worked on us, and to still want ‘no.’ Sometimes, for me, there was obligation from already having gone back to someone’s room, not wanting to ruin a good friendship, loneliness, worry that no one else would ever be interested, a fear that if I did say no, they might not stop, the influence of alcohol, and an understanding that hookups are “supposed” to be fun.

For me, and many others like me, consent isn’t easy. Yes doesn’t always mean yes, and we misplaced ‘no’ several years ago. This experience isn’t random, but disproportionately affects oppressed communities. Consent is a privilege, and it was built for wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied masculinity. When society has taught some of us to take up as little space as possible, to take all attention as flattery, and to be truly grateful that anyone at all could want our bodies or love, it isn’t always our choice to say yes.

. . . . When you’re poor, disabled, queer, non-white, trans, or feminine, ‘no’ isn’t for you. I don’t mean to insist that every person oppressed in these systems of power can’t have empowering consensual experiences, and I know many who do. What I do mean to say is that for me, finding ‘no’ is a process, consent is elusive, and sometimes, even when people don’t mean to—they hurt me.

It should be sufficient to point out that consent is the basis of much of law, and if “yes” doesn’t mean “yes,” then there will be no objectively fair principles upon which to judge human interactions, whether one is “wealthy, cis, white, wester, able-bodied” or otherwise.  Ms. Bosiljevac may not yet understand it, but the presumption that individuals– other than minors or those non compos mentis– are capable of giving consent to transactions evinces a deep respect for individualism, and indeed is the embodiment of equal treatment under law that progressives such as she purport to support.  It is also a fundamental basis for the legitimacy of any government–progressive or otherwise. In the words of the Declaration of Independence,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed 

Perhaps Ms. Bosiljevac should brush up on her liberal political theory.  She should have a lot of time, since I rather suspect she won’t be getting any dates anytime soon.

EMILY BAZELON SAYS THAT JON KRAKAUER’S NEW BOOK ON CAMPUS RAPE is too politically correct and unreflective to be useful.

FLAWED, DELIBERATELY DISHONEST, WHATEVER: Ashe Schow: How flawed statistics create policies that ruin lives.

The headline could easily apply to any number of government policies, but I am (predictably, perhaps) going to use it to discuss campus sexual assault.

The doom-sayers began with the statistic that 1 in 5 college women will be sexually assaulted to get their foot in the door. They screamed from the mountaintop that any woman in college will probably be raped any day now. Not in India, not in Iran, not in South Africa, but here. In America. On campus.

Using that false statistic (most are at least intelligent enough now to stop using it), activists began a crusade to right the injustices of the past (and potentially present) by swinging the pendulum to the other side. This, not surprisingly, has created a new problem of male students losing their due process rights and being treated as guilty until proven innocent.

But 1-in-5 isn’t the only statistic being used to create these new policies. Now that the issue is consistently in the news, other statistics with equally dubious origins are cropping up.

One is that only 2 percent of rape accusations are false. This factoid traces back to a single source (Susan Brownmiller’s 1975 book Against Our Will), which in turn cites a police officer talking about a study that no one has been able to find. But from this dubious claim springs the dogma that one must therefore believe all rape-accusers to be true victims.

Couple the notion that all accusers must be believed to another statistic — that relatively few men commit the majority of sexual assaults — and the prevailing logic becomes that anyone accused of sexual assault must immediately be treated as a serial rapist, because they likely are or will be.

It’s as if the whole thing has more to do with sexist hatred and will to power than with any concerns about justice.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Peoria High School teacher Bethany Newsome arrested on sex abuse charges involving two students. “A Peoria High School teacher and former varsity volleyball coach who ranked positive attitude above physical ability for her players has been arrested on multiple sexual abuse charges involving two students. Bethany Newsome, 29, of 2916 N. St. Philomena Court was booked into the Peoria County Jail on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Tuesday afternoon. The charges specify victims 13 to 17 years old.”

ASHE SCHOW: No such thing as evidence of innocence in campus sexual assault hearings.

If a student has been wrongly accused of sexual assault on their college campus, how are they supposed to prove their innocence?

I’ve asked a similar question to lawmakers and interested parties before — how is a student supposed to prove they obtained consent in a he said, she said situation? — but received no response.

One would think there might at least theoretically exist evidence that an encounter was consensual – outside of a videotape or recording, of course. Witnesses, for example, or subsequent messages between the two students.

And indeed, such evidence does exist in some situations, the problem is that college administrators either ignore such evidence or they twist said evidence to end up being used against the accused student who brought it up.

Take contact between the two parties after an alleged incident of sexual assault. Even if the accuser appears friendly toward the eventually accused, all they have to do is claim their messages didn’t accurately portray their feelings and suddenly, those messages are used against the accused.

This occurred in the Emma Sulkowicz vs. Paul Nungesser case. After what Sulkowicz claimed was a brutal rape in which she was pinned, beaten and choked before being raped, she sent Nungesser numerous messages asking to hang out, even telling him she loved him. Nungesser tried to get those messages introduced as evidence during his Columbia University hearing, but was denied. Nungesser, who has since become the victim of a public campaign of defamation by his accuser, was exonerated anyway.

After Sulkowicz began a mattress-carrying performance art project and publicly identified Nungesser as her attacker despite confidentiality rules, Nungesser released the post-alleged-rape Facebook messages.

Sulkowicz responded to the released messages by claiming she sent them because she wanted to have a “talk” with Nungesser about the encounter. Some people still buy it.

A similar situation played out at Vassar College when Peter Yu introduced Facebook messages showing his accuser apologizing to him for the evening. She apologized for leading him on and said that she had “a wonderful time” with him. But a year later, when Yu produced these messages for the disciplinary panel, his accuser claimed they “did not correctly reflect her feelings” because she was in a state of “shock and disbelief” about the encounter.

What we’ve learned so far: Women are too emotionally immature for college. They should be kept at home until a suitable man appears, ready to marry them and assume responsibility for overseeing their poor decision-making abilities.

THEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH: Georgetown University demands College Republicans edit video showing angry feminist protesters.

The controversy over scholar Christina Hoff Sommers’ lecture at Georgetown University last week is not over.

Lauren Gagliardi, the school’s assistant director for the center for student engagement, emailed two members of the College Republicans to request they edit the video to remove students who did not agree to be videotaped.

In the email, provided to the Washington Examiner, Gagliardi tells the students that the “edited version needs to be released without students who did not give permission to be taped.” She also says that if the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, which sponsored the event, is “unwilling or unresponsive to the request, Georgetown will need to step in.”

The video that has Gagliardi so upset features feminist activists holding up signs accusing Hoff Sommers of being an anti-feminist or deny rape.

Yeah, well, if they didn’t want to be on video doing that, then they shouldn’t have done that. Here’s the video.

Much more here. “I wonder if Georgetown ever heard of the Streisand Effect?”

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): My husband had a long affair with his aunt—starting when he was 16.

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): America’s Most Gullible Senator, Or Its Most Dishonest?

HOW OUR RULING CLASS THINKS: Gillibrand On Rape Hoaxes: ‘I Hope It’s Just Putting More Of A Spotlight On The Problem.’

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