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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Predictable After a Fashion

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I'm not wild about their name for this observation since I oppose such government intrusions as Prohibition and taxation. (And that is no endorsement of the person I am about to name!) Nevertheless, the general idea behind the "Al Capone Theory of Sexual Harassment" that Valerie Aurora and Leigh Honeywell discuss is more useful than one might think:

Image by Chicago Bureau (Federal Bureau of Investigation), via Wikipedia, public domain.
So what is the Al Capone theory of sexual harassment? It's simple: people who engage in sexual harassment or assault are also likely to steal, plagiarize, embezzle, engage in overt racism, or otherwise harm their business. (Of course, sexual harassment and assault harms a business -- and even entire fields of endeavor -- but in ways that are often discounted or ignored.) Ask around about the person who gets handsy with the receptionist, or makes sex jokes when they get drunk, and you'll often find out that they also violated the company expense policy, or exaggerated on their résumé, or took credit for a colleague's project. More than likely, they've engaged in sexual misconduct multiple times...
The name comes from the fact that the Federal government convicted Al Capone of tax evasion, which it could prove, instead of his smuggling-related criminal activities, for which it had difficulty making a case. The general idea is that a person with few scruples in one area probably will act unethically or illegally in other areas that are easier to detect. So, if one needs help in judging someone else (or building a case to convince others), that person has often provided ample evidence in places one might not be thinking about.

-- CAV

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