The Jeffrey Epstein Case Is Like Nothing I’ve Seen Before

Ken White, writing in The Atlantic, outlines the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein and they are horrifying. What Epstein’s legal team managed to get when faced with extensive, detailed allegations was not remotely normal.

Epstein’s team secured the deal of the millennium, one utterly unlike anything else I’ve seen in 25 years of practicing federal criminal law. Epstein agreed to plead guilty to state charges, register as a sex offender, and spend 13 months in county jail, during which time he was allowed to spend 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, out of the jail on work release.” In exchange, the Southern District of Florida abandoned its criminal investigation of Epstein’s conduct, agreed not to prosecute him federally, and—incredibly—agreed not to prosecute anyone else who helped him procure underage girls for sex. This is not normal; it is astounding.

This time though it looks like Epstein is not getting off so easily.

The feds, as is their habit, raided Epstein’s New York home while he was being arrested. In their motion asking the court to detain Epstein without bail, the government claimed that it had seized hundreds of photos of nude women or girls, some of whom appeared underage, kept on CDs thoughtfully labeled with things like Girl pics nude.” The clonking sound you heard was 10,000 criminal-defense attorneys banging their heads on their desks. Such materials are not just potentially devastating evidence in Epstein’s prosecution. If Epstein had pornographic images of minors, he can expect the feds to add child-pornography charges to the indictment—and those charges are much easier to prove, without the challenges of a 15-year-old case.

Great wealth insulates people from consequences, but not always, absolutely, or forever. And even the richest people in America lack the implacable, mindless power of the criminal-justice system. Now that Epstein’s past plea deal is public and radioactively controversial, he’s unlikely to get another one. Epstein will have the best criminal defense money can buy, again. But this time, that will probably not be enough to save him.

What a monster. I’m curious to know what deal Epstein might try to cut to save himself and throw others under the bus. I don’t really care who the pedophiles are, I’d just like them all to rot in jail.

July 10, 2019

Hack

Brent Simmons has a simple calendar hack.

My calendar hack is that I add two alerts for each thing. One ten minutes before, so I have plenty of time to prepare — and another five minutes before, because I will have forgotten about the previous alert.

This is me.

July 10, 2019

The Music of 1985 Was a Perfect Mixtape

Elizabeth Nelson, writing in The Ringer, takes us on a musical journey of that faraway time of 1985. Inspired by season three of Stranger Things, she reminds us all how incredible that year was for music.

I was in high school and all these songs and artists take me back there. Personally, I was surprised by the ages of Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Tina Turner as well as the young upstarts of Madonna and George Michael. I did not remember We Are The World” was created in 1985.

She ends her piece with a note about the differences between the stars of then and today.

Nostalgia is a potent cocktail and potentially dangerous in large doses. Like all businesses, the music industry is cyclical and susceptible to convulsive market forces and unforeseen technological shifts, developments that help to explain its vast contractions in recent years. Maybe, as Howard Jones put it in 1985, no one is to blame. But maybe there is some utility to looking back at the mid-’80s musical big tent as well. The paradox of the streaming era is that for all of its ostensible limitless access, it seems to create far fewer memorable and bankable stars. This is not a reflection on the current pool of talent, but it may be a referendum on how that talent is presented. If nothing else, the industry’s imperial phase is a reminder that big sellers need not emerge from careful market testing and microtargeted playlists. They gave us the full gamut—homegrown and exotic, ancient and modern, frothy and fretful—and we loved the unkempt lot if it. It was a wild world, but we are the world after all.

July 9, 2019

I Did Not Die. I Did Not Go to Heaven.”

Ruth Graham, writing in Slate, has the definitive story on the bullshit of The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven. Of course it wasn’t true, but so many rubes want it to be true they dropped hard earned cash to feel better about themselves.

The cover of The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven calls the book a true story.” But the boy himself now says it was not true at all. Four years ago, Alex sent a letter to a conservative Christian blog dramatically renouncing the book. I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” he wrote. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. … People have profited from lies, and continue to.” Alex’s retraction also became a sensation, with reporters unable to resist the sudden, hilarious perfection of his last name: Malarkey.

The way everything just tore the family apart is heartbreaking.

July 9, 2019

USWNT Win World Cup

I’m man enough to admit I didn’t watch any of the World Cup. I was just busy taking care of things. However, what an amazing accomplishment.

This is what it feels like to have national pride.

July 8, 2019

Role Models

Will Leitch, writing in New York Magazine, makes the point that the political activism of the USWNT means their win was all the sweeter.

They spoke up, they stood their ground, they taunted, they danced, they sipped tea, they were joyously defiant from the very beginning. And that’s why they’ll go down in history in a way that even previous Women’s World Cup champions won’t. Previous generations have found activism, or even simply stating your viewpoint on matters of the world, a detriment: Something that got in the way of the game, of winning, of earning, of thriving. But this team and Rapinoe are legends now — and, even better, are role models now in a way that athletes actually should be role models, an investment that will only bear more fruit in the decades to come – because they demanded to be heard on the issues they cared about and then went out and kicked everybody’s ass to boot. They will be more beloved, and richer, and more successful, having spoken out than if they hadn’t. Activism was bold, but more than that, it was smart. This was so much more fun because of it.

July 8, 2019

Default Mode

Michael Wade asks a good question

What is your default mode?

Is it positive or negative? Does it tend to blame others or does it foster personal accountability? Is it quick to anger or is it less volatile? Is it universal and consistent or do you easily make exceptions for yourself or your allies? Is it feelings-based or thought-based? Does it promote self-discipline or self-indulgence?

The nature of your default mode is one of the most important influences in life and yet many people do not examine their mode. 

My advice is to know it well.

This is good advice I definitely need to take.

July 8, 2019

Broken Things

Daniel Nesbit is here for the broken things.

I am here for the broken things.

The daily struggle to just make ends meet. The harsh unfairness of dumb chance. Cracked dreams. Unbearable cruelty.

I am here for the broken things because in them I see the hope of a world repaired.

An unshakable foundation of well-being for all. Triumph over the privilege of circumstance. The unimaginable fruits of dreamwalking. The joy of a true neighborhood.

Things are broken. That hurts. It should. But even brokenness can, in a way, break.

July 8, 2019

Frank Chimero and Good Trouble

Writing in Creative Boom, Katy Cowan has a fantastic interview with creator Frank Chimero. I love this concept.

Good trouble is questioning and re-imagining the status quo, and having your actions stand in contrast to the norm. Maybe it’s society’s status quo. Maybe it’s your own — all fair game. There’s usually a fair amount of cleverness in it. Civil disobedience for social causes is good trouble — consider the criticism offered by the peaceful protests of MLK, Gandhi, and their supporters.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world”, and all that. But that’s a big form of good trouble, and I just have my little life, so I’m particularly interested in the small version — how the smallest thought can get under your skin and make you re-evaluate, you know? It’s the mischievousness of changing how you think by finding a new lens.

This last bit of advice is just perfect.

…slow down, find a quiet place, and create time for solitude so you can hear yourself. It’s so noisy out there. And find the good ones around you — the patient, compassionate, and interested — then elevate the conversation as often as you can. The things that nourish you are also the things that will nourish your work, give it purpose, depth, and soul. It’s hard to say what those things may be, but life has taught me over and over that, you don’t need to know if you are willing to ask.

July 7, 2019

The Truth About Phenibut

Isabelle Kohn, in MEL magazine, has an in-depth story on the latest wonder drug, Phenibut. I admit, I had no idea about this drug, but the story is intriguing. I know I wish there was some sort of Limitless” drug that could help everyone achieve greatness.

It almost makes me want to try it. Almost.

July 6, 2019

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