Patterico's Pontifications


Better That Ten Innocent Suffer Than One Guilty Go Free

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Education,General — JVW @ 3:34 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Rep. Jared Polis, Democrat from Boulder County in Colorado, has stirred controversy with comments he made at a House Subcommittee on Higher Education meeting. While in full-blown pander to the campus rape hysteria crowd, Polis let loose with the following regarding students who have been accused of sexual assault:

If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people. We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about them being transferred to another university, for crying out loud.

Polis uses “people” in his revised Blackstone’s Ratio, but one doesn’t have to be a mind reader to understand that he really means “men.” He dismisses the idea that lives could be ruined by suggesting that it would be practical and easy for students to transfer, overlooking the fact that most universities aren’t keen on taking in students with a record of expulsion on their history. Fortunately, he seems to be way ahead of even left-wing sentiment here. The reliably progressive editorial board at the Boulder Daily Camera, his hometown newspaper, has dubbed the nascent Polis Ratio as “a spectacularly bad idea.”

I have worried for some time now that the most ridiculous ideas from the left are initially dismissed, but have a tendency to stick around and gather momentum among the academic, media, and advocacy classes until they suddenly become the latest manifestation of Social Justice. Would anyone want to bet against this idea being adopted in the Democrat Party’s 2024 election platform?


Kim Davis: “My Conscience Or My Freedom”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:26 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk who was jailed for her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses, returned to work this morning. Davis explained how she felt caught between a rock and a hard spot as she announced that she will refrain from authorizing the marriage licenses, but will not stop her deputies from doing so:

“I am here before you this morning with a seemingly impossible choice, which I do not wish on any of my fellow Americans,” she said. “My conscience or my freedom.”

“My conscience or my ability to serve the people that I love,” Davis continued, choking back tears. “Obey God or a directive that forces me to disobey God.”

Her decision was clear, she said: “Effective immediately, and until an accommodation is provided, by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.”

“I love my deputy clerks and I hate that they have been caught in the middle. If any of them feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them,” Davis said, but added: “Any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.”

Given that Judge Bunning’s order clearly warned Davis not to “interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples,” will this be enough to satisfy the court? And then, what of Davis’s most recent appeal to the Sixth Circuit?

Ed Morrissey considers the possibilities:

If the state of Kentucky recognizes these licenses as valid, then it should not cause Davis any more legal troubles. On the other hand, that would almost certainly moot the appeal, since the accommodation would allow Davis to act on her own conscience and still allow Rowan County residents to access the licenses. The state legislature will need to act to adapt licensing laws, perhaps more to ensure that county clerks cannot hijack the process in the future regardless of what the issue is, but they can also amend the statute to recognize the licenses that Davis’ office will now issue, with or without her signature and name on them.


City Worker Forced To Resign Over Anti-Semitic Website

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

Three months ago, John Friend was hired as a division coordinator in the Escondido City Manager’s Office. He was responsible for supervising support staff as well as working on the development of office policies and procedures.

Last week, Friend was forced from his job due to the discovery of his anti-Semitic website, the Realist Report, where he espouses white supremacy and 9/11 Israel conspiracy views.

City officials said they were unaware at the time that Friend is an outspoken blogger and contributor to several white supremacist publications.

Friend told a reporter he finds “inspiration and guidance from America’s Founding Fathers” as well as “white Christian patriots” such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.

City Manager Clay Phillips said he was unaware of Friend’s activism until a reporter began asking questions about it on Tuesday and a second person called in the same tip.

Friend was then called into Human Resources and given the option to resign or be terminated. He chose to resign, claiming he wasn’t surprised by the city’s reaction:

“(I thought) it was inevitable that my political and historical views would become known to the city,” he said in an email to the Union-Tribune. “I thought that their knowledge of my writing, publishing, and speaking activities, as well as the political and historical perspective I openly espouse, would ultimately result in my termination.”

Friend stated that while he did not attempt to hide his political writings, he did not include them on his resume. According to the report, he kept his political views to himself and did not discuss them at work.

City Manager Clay Phillips commented:

“John worked in this office and I did find out about some of his writings on the Internet and it certainly raises concerns for the city and for me personally as his boss.”

I read several reports about Friend’s termination and could not find any accusations that Friend wrote blog posts on city time, that Human Resources received complaints about his proselytizing at work, or that his social writings interfered with the execution of his duties.

However, in spite of complaints about employer overreach and Friend being improperly let-go for his thought crimes, he was considered an “at-will” employee of Escondido and as such, according to the city’s Personnel Rules And Regulations, the city had the right to terminate him without cause and without any right to appeal:

31. “Unclassified Service”: The unclassified service includes temporary, interim, provisional, seasonal, most part-time employees, grant funded personnel, contract employees, and employees in the classifications designated by City Council resolution. Employees in the unclassified service are at-will and may be removed without cause or right of appeal.


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