24 Comments

I enjoy the juxtaposition of an article that ends on how SBF blabbed 1000x too much being posted on the most holy of days, Shut The Fuck Up Friday.

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Ken,

Does the judge take into account how aerodynamic the defendant is when evaluating whether they are a flight risk? Can the court appoint its own aerospace engineer as an expert to assist in the evaluation?

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Looking at the past decision making of Bankman-Fried, I would certainly take into account that while he could flee, his ability to actually disappear and evade justice for the rest of his life is not something he could ever possibly handle.

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Turns out the feds don’t watch all that close. Fat Leonard shipped himself out of the house from where he was supposedly cooperating like all get out …

https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/venezuela-arrests-fat-leonard-contractor-us-navy-bribery-case-2022-09-22/

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SBF couldn’t shut up long enough to ship himself anywhere.

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Surprised to learn Cuba and Venezuela have extradition treaties with the US! If I was an American with contacts in southeast Asia absconding with millions, Vietnam looks pretty good from cost of living, safety, and food perspective.

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The treaty with Cuba was signed in 1904 and the one with Venezuela was signed in 1922. I suspect that if you were a leftist fleeing espionage charges neither country would honor their treaty. But Fat Leonard is a crooked capitalist, and there's no real upside to helping him.

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Burn After Reading lied to me?!?

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Thanks for a level headed analysis. I wonder if some people do so much societal harm that the legal system is ineffectual. Thinking of the Sackler family or the loathsome Alex Jones

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I think it's more that the legal system struggles with harm where the victim or (especially) the cause is relatively diffuse. If Bob steals $10,000 from Alice, that's straightforward and the legal system can handle it, and is even equipped to get Alice a reasonable portion of that $10k back. If Bob steals $10 from 1000 people, that's more difficult to deal with both in terms of the case against Bob, and especially getting the victims their money back. If Bob and 999 of his best friends steal $10,000 from Alice and split it up among themselves, the legal system is going to have a really hard time apportioning blame, much less tracking down the money.

That's the issue with Alex Jones - no rational person would take him seriously, but clearly there is a population that takes him seriously. If he rants about you on the air, and one of his fans starts stalking you, how do you apportion the responsibility? How do you differentiate between that situation and, say, a crazy Dan Olsen fan who decides to start following Li Jin around? Clearly it's more likely to happen with Alex Jones, but Dan's probably got a big enough audience to include one or two absolute nutcases. At what point does public critique that could be taken out of context transition into a direction to commit crimes, given that not all members of the public are rational? IIRC Alex Jones is on record sharing contact information with his fans in addition to the baseline ranting, so that puts him very obviously on the wrong side of the harassment line, but that's not good enough to deal with more typical cases of what I call "stochastic harassment", where either a public figure uses dogwhistles to direct a large group to collectively attack someone or else a disproportionate hate mob rapidly and spontaneously self-organizes because nobody except the victim can see the full scope of what's happening.

I don't have answers in this area, to be clear; I just think it's important to properly frame the questions.

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Boy, his law professor parents certainly lost the thread on that brat somewhere.

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Ken, late to read this, but an article this morning states SBF is attempting to prevent the public from knowing who the two bail guarantors are.

Is this a typical thing to do and is it something you think the judge will grant?

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Another great 'splainer. Thanks. Gives me ammo when friends start bloviating on the subject.

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Exactly the responce Ihoped to evoke. The harm done by a few outliers (the Sackler family, Alex Jones) can’t be addressed by the legal system.. This seems to be Rachel Maddow’s conclusion in her recent podcast, Ultra.

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Ken and Josh,

You have to cover this case on an episode. Murder most foul, tarot card reading, TikTok, defamation. This case has it all.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/24/university-of-idaho-professor-rebecca-scofield-sues-ashley-guillard-for-defamation/amp/

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I almost hesitate to ask, but ... where are the tarot cards?

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On Tiktok

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It seems like a considerable part of the leverage here is the threat to hurt his parents, which feels unseemly, but I suppose that doesn’t make it an abuse of discretion.

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Thanks for the clear and concise explanation.

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On hearing that his parents' house was worth about $4 million, I wondered how that would secure a $250 million bail. Now I think I get the presumption that bail should be satisfied. I do wonder, though, if there are solid rules around how much is "enough" to satisfy bail, or if it comes down to judicial discretion.

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Apropos of absolutely nothing: For those worried that ChatGPT is going to overwhelm us with its fiction writing capability, I'd take a deep breath:

-------------

PROMPT: Write a story about a fight between Popehat and Josh Barro.

Once upon a time, in the land of Twitter, there lived two men named Popehat and Josh Barro. They were both known for their strong opinions and fiery personalities.

One day, a disagreement arose between the two men over a political issue. Popehat, who was known for his conservative views, took to Twitter to express his stance on the matter. Josh Barro, a liberal commentator, saw Popehat's tweet and decided to respond with his own opposing viewpoint.

The exchange quickly escalated into a heated argument, with both men using strong language and personal attacks. Popehat accused Josh of being closed-minded and not understanding the issue at hand, while Josh accused Popehat of being divisive and unwilling to listen to opposing viewpoints.

As the argument continued to spiral out of control, other Twitter users began to take notice and soon a crowd had gathered around the two men. Some cheered them on, egging them on to continue the fight. Others tried to intervene, urging them to calm down and find a way to reach a peaceful resolution.

But the two men were too entrenched in their positions to back down. They continued to hurl insults and accusations at each other, until finally, Popehat declared that he had had enough and blocked Josh.

Josh was furious and vowed to continue the fight, but Popehat was done. He had made his point and had no desire to continue the argument any further. And so, the fight between Popehat and Josh Barro came to an end, leaving behind a trail of angry tweets and hurt feelings.

The moral of the story: sometimes, it's best to walk away from a fight, rather than getting caught up in the heat of the moment.

Note: The above story is a fictional account and any resemblance to real life people or events is purely coincidental.

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(FWIW the prompt was picked out of the air. I have no reason to believe that Ken and Josh are about to come to blows about mayonnaise or something.

Though in retrospect, that would have been a much better prompt.)

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Doing a bit of reading about SBF's parents... the father was involved in traveling for FTX, the mother received donations ... why would they be considered viable people to keep him on bail when it is possible one or both of them were involved in some relevant way?

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Do you know how often this combination of monitoring terms -- "home detention and ankle monitor and intensive supervision" -- fails and defendants escape? I don't know if there are statistics on this anywhere, or if it's rare enough that a defendant gets this combination of terms that the statistics would be meaningless anyway.

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