Ten Points Regarding The Rob Porter/White House/Domestic Abuse Scandal…

1 We know that the FBI had told the Trump White House about allegations from Porter’s two ex-wives that he had been physically abusive. Apparently, the FBI did not confirm, or could not, that the accusations were true. The allegations were still sufficient to prevent Porter from getting security clearance, whether they were true or not. There are good reasons for this. That does not mean that it is fair that someone’s career can be derailed and his reputation smeared without proof of wrongdoing, but it is necessary.

2. The position of an employer that has its own integrity and reputation to protect when an explosive allegation of personal and criminal misconduct regarding an employee arises is an ethics conflict. The Golden Rule suggests that such an employer should not jettison such an employee absent due process and sufficient proof of wrongdoing. However, the greater duty in this case is to the administration.

3. Porter should have resigned. In fact, that he did not resign was the best reason to fire him. This was his domestic problem, and he had no right to  inflict it on the White House, even if he was innocent.

4. There was nothing inconsistent about President Trump’s tweets condemning domestic violence and regretting the lack of due process and fairness in the current #MeToo witch hunt environment. He is right on both counts. As usual, he was not as articulate as he needs to be when opining on such delicate topics. He is not going to become more articulate, however.

5. Porter’s denials of wrongdoing, absent more, should carry no more nor less weight than the accusations against him.

6. Nobody who does not know Porter, the women involved or the intimate details of their relationships should be saying things in public like “I believe the wives” or “I don’t believe them.”  This flips us back to “I believe Anita Hill but don’t believe that slut Paula Jones” territory. People believe who they want to believe. Women who accuse men of abuse have no more claim or right to be believed without evidence than any other accuser, including those who accuse you.

7. Domestic disputes are infamous for the frequency with which previously honorable combatants will use false or exaggerated accusations to gain legal leverage or for old-fashioned revenge. It is possible that Porter’s two wives want to destroy his life. They seem to be doing a good job of it, if that’s their objective.

8. Neither of Porter’s ex-wives, Colbie Holderness or Jennifer Willoughby, ever called the police or filed charges against Porter. That matters. I know all the reasons why abused wives choose not to file charges—I have known a few— but that matters. That’s how the law works. You can not ethically seek punishment for wrongdoing by making an unsubstantiated accusation of criminal wrongdoing in a  manner that ensures personal destruction of your ex-spouse because the opportunity arises years later. That is wrong, and not only is it wrong, it is a method that invites abuse.

9. This op-ed, in the Times, is unconscionable, but typical of the news media’s and the pundit class’s attitude in this matter. Lindy West, who Ethics Alarms flagged for this unethical commentary, writes in part,

CNN reported that chief of staff John Kelly, aware of the allegations for months, “told associates that Porter was one of the few competent professionals on his staff and wanted to ensure that he was being used to his full potential.” One wonders if Kelly saw the photographs of Porter’s ex-wife’s face, the gold and the purple nimbus around her eye, the angry swell, the throb of it.

That was the photo of a Colby’s black eye, above, It was not connected in a verifiable way to an incident, a doctor visit or a police report. Porter may have done it, or he may not have. It could have been an accident, his or hers.  My wife once had to have stitches in her scalpwhen she startled our English Mastiff (she bussed her on the neck) and she nicked my wife with a tooth when she jerked away. It was a complete accident. She could have used a bloody photo to have Patience killed. The black eye could have been self-inflicted. It could be make-up.  West is endorsing bias, prejudice, and emotionalism.

More…

What a luxurious degree of compartmentalization we afford white men — to not only separate Porter the guy-whose-ex-wife-filed-a-protective-order-against-him from Porter the guy-who-is-pretty-good-at-being-a-staff-secretary, but then to weigh their relative importance and choose the latter. (I believe that unit of measurement is called “capitalism.”)Inasmuch as we can judge a person’s interior based on their actions, it’s fair to say that a man who disregards women’s physical and sexual boundaries, as President Trump reportedly has, does not care about women. If it is possible to simultaneously care about women and subordinate their wishes to yours, to prioritize your sexual urges over their bodily autonomy, then what does “care” even mean? I think it’s also fair to say that a man who lashes out at women with physical violence, as Porter allegedly has, harbors some degree of hatred for them. What else does “hatred” mean if not this — the object of our fury, the thing we love to hurt?

She’s a sexist bigot, but at least she makes it screamingly clear how biased she is. I wonder what “alleged” means to Lindy. This paragraph piles alleged on to alleged, making it clear that to West, if the alleged accusation comes from a woman, it means the man did it.

10. Once again, we see the truly unprofessional standards of the Times by printing such inflammatory and dishonest junk. Would they allow this kind of screed under their banner it it didn’t involve impugning Trump? I wonder.

Feminists and sexual assault activists are misplaying a strong hand so egregiously and dishonestly—dealing from the bottom of the deck, hiding cards up their sleeves, shorting the pot, that they guarantee a backlash from those—like me—who should be their natural allies.

 

60 Comments

Filed under Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement

60 responses to “Ten Points Regarding The Rob Porter/White House/Domestic Abuse Scandal…

  1. I was wondering when you were gonna prompt the impeach-24-7 wing of the commentariat to comment again.

  2. Other Bill

    You deserve a bigger megaphone, Jack. You could call it, “There is an Adult in the Room.”

  3. Chris

    4. There was nothing inconsistent about President Trump’s tweets condemning domestic violence and regretting the lack of due process and fairness in the current #MeToo witch hunt environment.

    6. Nobody who does not know Porter, the women involved or the intimate details of their relationships should be saying things in public like “I believe the wives” or “I don’t believe them.”

    From the Washington Post:

    The FBI also asked Porter to explain Holderness’s black eye, according to a person familiar with the conversation. It’s unclear what he told investigators. He has privately told others that they were arguing over a vase, and she was somehow hit with the vase.

    Your stance is that a reasonable person can’t look at that obviously ridiculous explanation and come to a reasonable conclusion about whether Porter is guilty?

      • Rich in CT

        Corner says 1989

        • Chris

          Google is really a terrific invention. Through it I was able to confirm that Trump stood by his incorrect stance on the Central Park Five as recently as 2016.

          Through Google you can also find numerous other stories about Trump’s stance on due process. There was his speech to officers in 2017 where he encouraged them to rough up suspects upon arrest. There were his multiple calls to bring back torture during the campaign. There were his many slanderous claims about his opponents, including the birther claims about both Obama and Ted Cruz.

          All of which makes his tweet decrying false allegations and asking “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” ridiculous, and the statement that “there was nothing inconsistent” about such tweets incredibly ignorant. Trump does not believe in due process, except for himself and his friends.

          • There was his speech to officers in 2017 where he encouraged them to rough up suspects upon arrest. False: it was not a serious comment, and it has nothing to do with due process.
            There were his multiple calls to bring back torture during the campaign. Again, unrelated to due process.

            There were his many slanderous claims about his opponents, including the birther claims about both Obama and Ted Cruz. Also not due process. Allegations and opinions do not breach due process.

            And the tweet about due process was still correct. If someone has said the sky is green, it doesn’t make him wrong when he says the sky is blue.

            Christ.

            • Chris

              There was his speech to officers in 2017 where he encouraged them to rough up suspects upon arrest. False: it was not a serious comment, and it has nothing to do with due process.

              If it wasn’t a serious comment, then explain the joke to me. I don’t think you can. Was he being ironic? Was he satirizing police brutality to make the point that it’s actually terrible? That’s a risky move, and absolutely no one, including police organizations that decried the comments, interpreted it that way. They took it as a serious call for more police brutality, because it was, and the fact that he said it with a smile doesn’t make his meaning any less clear. He likes to see people roughed up. We know this from his campaign events where he told supporters to rough up protesters. We know it from his violent fantasies about pigs’-blood-laced bullets against Muslim terrorists. We know it from his calls to bring back torture. Were those not “serious comments” either?

              Imagining that Trump did not seriously mean police should rough up suspects when he said police should rough up suspects requires us to forget every single relevant fact we know about Donald Trump. I know that doesn’t stop you, and you operate as if every single action he takes should be analyzed as if it occurs in a contextless void, but that’s not how you form your opinions of any other individual in the universe, and it shouldn’t be how you analyze Trump.

              Your assertion that stating police should rough up suspects before a trial has “nothing to do with due process” is nothing short of scandalous, especially as you have just declared Trump right for invoking due process in the Rob Porter affair, which actually has nothing to do with due process. Either you don’t know what due process is, or you’re choosing to forget what it is so you can bend over backwards to defend Trump in this case.

              There were his multiple calls to bring back torture during the campaign. Again, unrelated to due process.

              You’ve got to be kidding me. Has John Yoo stolen your keyboard? Of course torturing people violates due process rights.

              And the tweet about due process was still correct. If someone has said the sky is green, it doesn’t make him wrong when he says the sky is blue.

              I didn’t object to you for saying the tweet was correct, I objected because you said it wasn’t inconsistent, when it is absolutely inconsistent with Trump’s previous hostility against due process.

              But I will now object to your assertion that the tweet was correct about due process. It was not. Due Process applies to state punishment of citizens. Porter losing his job because he’s become an embarrassment and a distraction isn’t state punishment, even if it’s a government job.

              Really, if your goal here was to convince people you don’t know what due process is, you’ve succeeded. Go talk to Popehat about this. You’re anti-anti-Trump bias is causing you to forget basic legal principles.

            • Chris

              I’d really like clarity on this:

              Allegations and opinions do not breach due process.

              I actually agree–I brought up the birther claims to show that Trump is not, as he indicated in his tweet, against false allegations. But then how exactly was Trump’s tweet about due process correct as it applies to the Porter affair?

              • Due process means that accusations and allegations alone are not sufficient to take punitive, tangible action, unless there is evidentiary reason to conclude they are accurate, and a fair process has been used to determine the truth. However, in cases of massive numbers of similar allegations, res ipsa loquitur may be enough.

                Trump has no ethics. His birther comments may have been sincere or not. They were just opinions, in any event. Not allegations. He had no first hand knowledge of anything. He couldn’t make an allegation of anything.

                • Chris

                  You’re splitting hairs. I can’t find a definition of allegation that requires first-hand knowledge, and that is not the only way it is commonly used.

                  Police brutality and torture are both certainly “punitive, tangible action,” and thus would violate due process as you define it.

                  I can’t imagine a country in which police brutality and torture aren’t considered violations of due process but firing an alleged wife-beater is. That country would not be based on the U.S. constitution.

                  It also just occurred to me that Trump’s tweet is inconsistent even with his own actions toward Rob Porter. If he truly thought firing Rob Porter was a violation of his due process rights (which it isn’t), he could have, you know, not fired Rob Porter. So there are layers of inconsistency to this.

                  • Torture and police brutality are crimes. Due process means a formal process is required before legal determination of guilt or fault. These words have meanings. Extra legal activities do not need a due process argument to condemn. It’s true that civil rights charges are used in double jeopardy loophole actions by the government when a cop is acquitted of a crime like brutality, but that’s a misuse of the principle that leads to overly broad uses of it, like yours here. Torture violates the 5th Amendment, also the 8th, as well as human rights under the Declaration of Independence, covered in the 10th. Trump doesn’t even know that; translating his pro-torture arguments into a knowing rejection of due process is an absurd stretch.

                    • Chris

                      Torture and police brutality are crimes. Due process means a formal process is required before legal determination of guilt or fault.

                      It also means a formal process is required before state punishment. I don’t know why you keep leaving that part out.

                      No legal determination has been made about Porter’s guilt, and there is no risk of that happening without due process, making Trump’s “due process” tweet meaningless.

                      Torture violates the 5th Amendment, also the 8th, as well as human rights under the Declaration of Independence, covered in the 10th.

                      Meaning it violates due process. Thanks for making my point for me.

                      Trump doesn’t even know that; translating his pro-torture arguments into a knowing rejection of due process is an absurd stretch.

                      I don’t know where you are getting the idea that people have to know things about the Constitution in order to be fairly criticized for being against the principles articulated in the Constitution. Lots of liberals think the Second Amendment only allows guns for a well-regulated militia. It is still fair to call them anti-Second Amendment. And it is still fair to call Trump anti-due process even if he doesn’t know what part of the Constitution it’s in.

                    • You were claiming hypocrisy, Chris. Trump’s previous comments about torture do not prove hypocrisy, and the question of whether the Torture subjects he was talking about, as enemy combatants, even should have the benefit of due process is questionable. The controversy over torture of enemy combatants, aka terrorists, always involved treaties and human rights. It is not punishment, never has been. Nor is police brutality punishment. An arrest isn’t punishment, and what occurs during an arrest isn’t punishment.

                      Procedural due process, as when someone is fired, is not what the Constitution is talking about, and not what Trump was tweeting about. The Constitution does not require procedural due process in the workplace, and that, and only that, was what Trump’s tweet was about.

                      You keep flying off on these tangents. I wrote that both of Trump’s tweets were correct: there has been a lack of due process in a lot of the #MeToo consequences, it is wrong in many cases, and domestic abuse should not be tolerated. They are still correct, and Trump’s past endorsement of torture and dumb comments about Obama’s birthplace and joke about letting criminals bang their heads getting into cars have no more bearing on them than his favorite color.

                      Back to the start, and all of your gratuitous Trump-bashing amount to nothing except a demonstration of an unhealthy tendency to spin, while demonstrating the common confusion between the ethical concept of procedural due process and Constitutional due process.

                      Al Franken was required to resign by #MeToo Democrats without procedural due process. It was wrong. It was not unconstitutional. End of tangent.

                    • “Procedural due process”

                      Due Process outside of legal situations, that is, what we consider is analogous to “due process” within our personal lives, or our work environment, is all a subset of manners and etiquette. “Due process” is just a short hand way of referring to a somewhat more formalized, thought still slightly arbitrary, version of etiquette in work place situations.

                      It’s a great term for saying “I’m going to give you benefit of the doubt and let you have your defense, but not at the expense of greater concerns” which in the American legal since is the same definition, but since we consider Rule of Law and “Innocent until proven guilty” as an essential American ethos — that is to say one of America’s “greater concerns”, the formula in American legal situations reduces to: “I’m going to give you benefit of the doubt and let you have your defense”.

                      But in the free market and workplace situations, the formula still holds that “but not at the expense of greater concerns” caveat.

                    • Chris

                      You were claiming hypocrisy, Chris. Trump’s previous comments about torture do not prove hypocrisy, and the question of whether the Torture subjects he was talking about, as enemy combatants, even should have the benefit of due process is questionable.

                      It really shouldn’t be. Here’s what the due process clause of the fifth amendment says:

                      No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …

                      It’s hard to argue that torture doesn’t do that.

                      Nor is police brutality punishment. An arrest isn’t punishment, and what occurs during an arrest isn’t punishment.

                      Wrong, and ignorant of case law. Kingsley v. Hendrickson found that excessive force on a suspect did violate that suspect’s right to due process.

                      Procedural due process, as when someone is fired, is not what the Constitution is talking about, and not what Trump was tweeting about. The Constitution does not require procedural due process in the workplace, and that, and only that, was what Trump’s tweet was about.

                      This is nonsensical. So he wasn’t talking about Constitutional due process, and he wasn’t talking about procedural due process…so what was he talking about? Again, Porter is in no danger of having his constitutional rights to due process violated. He’s being tried in the court of public opinion. That simply isn’t a due process issue.

                      You keep flying off on these tangents. I wrote that both of Trump’s tweets were correct: there has been a lack of due process in a lot of the #MeToo consequences, it is wrong in many cases, and domestic abuse should not be tolerated.

                      And you are wrong. There has been no lack of due process in these cases. Not one of the high-profile men accused of abuse, harassment or assault has had their right to a fair trial denied. Most of them haven’t even been charged. None of them have been roughed up upon arrest. None of them have had the police plant evidence against them. This isn’t a Constitutional issue at all.

                      They are still correct, and Trump’s past endorsement of torture and dumb comments about Obama’s birthplace and joke about letting criminals bang their heads getting into cars have no more bearing on them than his favorite color.

                      Again, if you’re going to call it a “joke,” I need you to explain what the joke was. “Isn’t it funny when I say things I actually mean?” isn’t a “joke.” Is your stance that Trump really meant that police actually shouldn’t intentionally bang their arrestee’s heads against a car? That can’t be your stance.

                      You won’t explain the joke’s meaning because it wasn’t a joke. It meant exactly what Trump said.

                      Back to the start, and all of your gratuitous Trump-bashing amount to nothing except a demonstration of an unhealthy tendency to spin, while demonstrating the common confusion between the ethical concept of procedural due process and Constitutional due process.

                      There’s no confusion. The Porter affair involves neither. And the spin here is all yours.

                    • As I said, you’ve gone way beyond any point or legitimate argument by now. Talk to yourself if you want. You’re not listening, or learning.

                      If you really are going to stick with the ridiculous proposition that Trump was seriously telling police to bang arrestees heads on cars, you are no longer capable of objective thought. The video is clear. It was another bad, stupid joke, and another example of the news media taking Trump literally when they would never do so with anyone else.

                    • Chris

                      I’ve asked you, repeatedly, what the joke was. I am open to an answer–I am trying to listen and learn. You won’t answer the question. If it is so utterly ridiculous to believe that when Trump told police to rough up suspects, he was trying to communicate to police that he was OK with them roughing up suspects, then it should be very easy for you to explain what Trump actually meant.

                      But you can’t. Because that’s exactly what he meant.

                    • It was facetious, Chris. Look it up. The audience laughed.

                    • The audience must have laughed because they were all unabashed supporters of a police state in which individuals are “guilty until proven rich”.

                      I thought that was obvious…

                    • Don’t pretend like people don’t joke on a regular basis about what they “wish they could do” but don’t because society condemns it. That’s the joke…yeah it isn’t a “set up tension, here’s the punchline” joke that you are demand Jack explain. But that’s the joke.

                      Quit the pedantry.

                      It’s a bad joke, because Presidents should NOT make “I wish I could do this if it weren’t for the pesky Constitution and societal norms” jokes.

                    • Chris

                      Tex at least provides a plausible reading of Trump’s statement as something other than an actual call for roughing up suspects. But given that Trump has advocated unconstitutional practices in the past, including unconstitutional practices targeting criminals, I don’t see why reading this as advocating an unconstitutional practice targeting criminals is unjustified. The fact that people laughed doesn’t mean he didn’t mean it seriously; people laugh at things that aren’t funny all the time.

                    • Except that it was obviously a flip, ad-libbed remark and not a policy recommendation. Another example was the crack about hoping the Russians had Hillary’s spoliated e-mails.

          • Of course, the 1989 ad you mentioned does not even mention the Central Park Five. That his stance in 2016 was wrong does not mean the 1989 ad was wrong.

            • Chris

              Are you going for the gold in the Willful Obtuseness event at the Winter Olympics? The ad was about the Central Park Five. Everyone knows this. Why do you consistently pretend to not have access to knowledge that is readily available, at your fingertips?

    • Rusty Rebar

      It seems to me that the information in the statement you referenced is not enough information to determine anything. You have a second hand report that the FBI asked a question, and then conjecture as to what was said, coupled with a different second hand report that he said something to someone about a vase.

      In what world does that lead to a reasonable conclusion of anything?

      • Chris

        We have two identical allegations from two different women who were both married to Porter, and a report that he has defended himself from the allegations of one woman by claiming that “they were arguing over a vase, and she was somehow hit with the vase.” Yes, that’s enough for a person to come to a reasonable conclusion.

        • No, it’s not. And if I cared enough, I could find many examples of conclusions supported by far less equivocal and less circumstantial evidence that you have denied vociferously.

          • Chris

            I’m thinking of your conclusion about the Bill Clinton allegations, which I never denied but simply wasn’t sure I believed. They look more credible by the day.

              • Chris

                So you concede that reasonable people can draw conclusions about whether they believe multiple accusers against individuals without seeing hard proof that those accusations are true.

                • Phlinn

                  There is a material difference between 2 ex wives and 60 women with no known reason to be biased against cosby.

                  • Chris

                    I did not say Cosby, I said Clinton. The number of accusers who have publicly alleged sexual assault, rape or harassment against Clinton is three.

                    I’ll grant a material difference between 2 and 3, but it isn’t much of one.

                    • Phlinn

                      I’m sorry about that. For some reason I thought I saw Cosby.

                      There is still a difference between ex wives and women without a known reason for bias, although quantity matters. We also have, with Clinton, established fact that he engaged in sexual harassment of Lewinsky and committed perjury about that fact, which makes him provably untrustworthy when he claims innocence about other women. I think it’s plausible but unlikely that some of clinton’s accusers are false, but I have less corroborating or exculpatory evidence to go on with rob porter.

                      I think I agree with Jack that it’s enough that he shouldn’t hold high office.

                • Are these multiple accusers accusing him of the same act, or different acts?

    • It’ only an “obviously ridiculous explanation” because you don’t want to give the individual the benefit of the doubt. The explanation for many, many accidents are far more ridiculous, and you know it, because you have been involved in some, unless you live in a terrarium.

      • Chris

        I have never seen an accident produce a bruise like that one. Have you?

        • Phlinn

          Yes. My coworker, just the other day, gave herself a black eye slipping on ice in our parking lot.

          • Debra Lee

            Long time lurker, first time poster seeing an opportunity to finally dip a toe in the water without fear of making a fool of myself…. Yes. My father gave my mother a black eye in bed one night. He was dreaming vividly and jerked his arm. His elbow connected with her face. Furthermore, there’s me. I pushed open a door not knowing my roommate was standing right behind it. The door hit her and swung back hard, hitting me resulting in a black eye and three stitches. Perhaps I should rethink that bit about not making a fool of myself.

            • Congratulations for entering the fray, Debra, and thanks: I was looking for a good example of how a spouse could get black eye without being abused.

              I think it’s overwhelmingly likely that Porter is an abuser, but that doesn’t mean I have anything but a gut feeling, and none of us should be pilloried based on gut feelings.

        • Sarah B

          My husband and I were playing doubles raquetteball. We were both going for the hit right in between our zones when his racquet hit the left side of my face. Besides the black eye and bruised face, in the resulting trip and tumble mess I ended up with a sprained ankle and a strained wrist. Fortunately a doubles match in a glass box grants witnesses.

          • That your husband was completely innocent does not mean that he still should not suffer for what has always happened to women. Has the Statute of Limitations passed?

            • Sarah B

              Is this sarcasm?

              If not, I don’t know why an innocent man should suffer from non-ideal but known possible consequence of playing a game. I knew there was a risk when playing racquetball and accepted that.

              • I was going to compliment Alizia for finally making a comment that looks like she’s really assimilating into the blog culture. Because it was, in my opinion, solidly done satire. It smells of snark and sarcasm.

                But then she published a handful of Homeric tomes below that I don’t have a spare year to read.

                Assimilation is a process not a point in time.

                But yes, I think it’s sarcasm.

                • Those tomes, they’ll be waiting for you Tex. Solid, good material there. Almost ‘required reading’ to understand our present.

                  What I have resolved to do is write comments that I would wish to see on a blog such as this. And to write about my relationship to ethics and morality in this utterly bizaree and ever-unfoldingly strange present!

                  If even one person reads what I write, I am happy.

                  And aren’t you the one that has a 900+ Volume reading list?!?

              • Indeed it was sarcasm. You either include a 🙂 or you don’t.

  4. Ash

    > 3. Porter should have resigned. In fact, that he did not resign was the best reason to fire him. This was his domestic problem, and he had no right to inflict it on the White House, even if he was innocent.

    Can you clarify, is this specific to the White House, or politicians, or highly placed leadership positions?

    Does a person with allegations against them owe their resignation to any company or group?

    I can understand David Sorensen’s resignation, but I don’t think Sorenson owed anyone that resignation, and I don’t think he should have been fired had he not resigned. Presumably David Sorensen resigned because he does understand that he has these false charges against him and it will be a full time job to fight them and heat from above and outside would hurt that.

    But I could also understand Sorensen not resigning, because hell, the best way to fight a defamation charge is with a lawyer and lawyers frequently demand payment.

    I’m probably making a mountain out of a molehill, I just don’t understand why Porter should have resigned or otherwise should have been fired, unless it was because there is an assumption he is guilty, or there is something special about the nature of the job or organization.

  5. Red Pill Ethics

    I once tried to stop someone from hurting/killing themselves with a knife. They were mildly cut during the mad scramble with the knife. When I took them to the hospital and let the receiving nurse know it was an injury that resulted from an attempt at self-harm/suicide, they called the police for baker act proceedings. When the police showed up the individual, in a panic, claimed that I had deliberately cut them with the knife.

    The police gave me the benefit of the doubt – part past experience, part stoicism on my side – and after a few questions the individual admitted that it was an incident of self-harm and spent a week recovering at a very nice mental health facility in a resort town along the coast (gotta love that good insurance).

    I’m not especially butthurt about it. I probably should be given that it was an accusation that could have very literally ruined my life (a la, a junior league Wanetta Gibson) but the police weren’t SJW warriors, had seen distraught women throw every accusation in the book while under emotional or psychological duress, and the individual wasn’t fundamentally evil, just scared and mentally off-balance. It all worked out in the end.

    The point is that Jack is 100% right about domestic disputes. The truth is often more complex than what the evidence would immediately suggest (i.e. person A has knife wounds, and claims that person B caused them) and exaggerations and misrepresentation is par for the course. Only a detailed accounting of the stories, evidence, and individuals could possibly suss out the truth and anybody picking sides without those components is clearly choosing tribalism or emotionalism over reason.

  6. Jack writes: “She’s a sexist bigot, but at least she makes it screamingly clear how biased she is. I wonder what “alleged” means to Lindy. This paragraph piles alleged on to alleged, making it clear that to West, if the alleged accusation comes from a woman, it means the man did it.

    “10. Once again, we see the truly unprofessional standards of the Times by printing such inflammatory and dishonest junk. Would they allow this kind of screed under their banner it it didn’t involve impugning Trump? I wonder.

    Feminists and sexual assault activists are misplaying a strong hand so egregiously and dishonestly—dealing from the bottom of the deck, hiding cards up their sleeves, shorting the pot, that they guarantee a backlash from those—like me—who should be their natural allies.”

    In my opinion the *key* to understanding a good deal of what is going on in the present is I think the term ‘social hysteria’. There is the surface element —- what is visible and what seems to be going on —- and then there is an invisible element, which seems something profoundly psychological. To analyze that requires a person with skills in multiple disciplines, perhaps social psychology or perhaps some other unrelated field that could shed light. But what I principally notice is that there is no one who can make the assessment, no one to shed clarifying light on the social hysteria. If a problem is not clearly seen and understood how can it be addressed?

    On the surface it seems to me that it is hugely unethical, and bordering into the illegal, that the claims of these two women are made. That they can make and do so without having to suffer any consequences. If the reports of violence, the photographs, and the accusations that arise from them and which cause harm to Porter, but yet have not been substantiated through a police report, through a formal complaint, and through solid evidence, then it seems pretty clear to me that they should not be able to bring them forward without the possibility of suffering a legal consequence.

    I further suggest that some enlightenment must be available to any observer if they do apply some sort of psychological analysis to a great deal of what we see going on in the present, be it around race conflict and the psychological weilding of tremendous violence against Whites (the establishment turning against ‘whiteness’ et cetera), and also as it pertains to the feminist’s struggle against male power.

    It does seem to me a very strange juncture for a nation when its political and economic or gender issues are played out in massive national psychological rehearsals which also bleed out into the international! You’ve got to at least admit: this is unlikely to turn out well.

  7. It would be a tough assertion to uphold, so consider it speculative. I read up on the articles written by the abused women and also ones written about them. I have to say that it sounds convincing. But what I do not at all understand is making it into public allegations which are then picked up in the maelstrom of intensely combative politics and which, certainly in this case, touch on the presidency (and all the ‘evi;’ that is projected onto Pres. Trump).

    In one comment to these articles someone mentioned EUPD (emotionally unstable personality disorder). And because I am interested in the psychological dimension of these large, exteriorized social conflagrations, I then did a little research on this specific ‘disorder’. Here is one therapist who helps people with this issue: http://www.eggshelltherapy.com/bpd/

    The purpose here would not be to undermine the claims of women who are beaten and abused but rather to attempt to shed light on a massive social phenomenon that appears to have ‘unconscious elements’ operating in it and through it. But (I propose) these psychological elements are not recognized as such. Therefor, the ‘surface’ is made apparent but the ‘real underlying issue’ remains invisible.

    The argument would proceed to suggest as possible that some part of the #meetoo phenomenn and related phenomena are part of a deep psychological complex the only word I know being ‘hysteria’ which is coming out through mass-projections. A ‘projection’ is an unconscious exteriorization of inner psychological content.

    One simple way to entertain the idea of ‘projection’ is to see that the Left ‘projects’ onto the Right a wealth of unrecognized content that is in fact a part of the Left, but the Left and many leftists and progressives cannot see that they do this. Similarly, the Right has been known to ‘project’ its own unrecognized paranoid content onto the Left-Progressive. And with this reference we can understand a) The Crucible (Aurthur Miller) and the notion b) of social and political withhunts.

    I was ‘naturally’ suspicious of the Brock Turner incident and noticed in it a national rehearsal of Twitter-rage and Twitter-revenge. I read the entire police report and noticed some elements which made this woman’s case seem suspect. I concluded (though I really cannot conclude in absolute terms) that she was just as responsible for the outcome she suffered as he was for getting into it. I did write about my ‘conclusions’ way back then on this blog.

    So, what I am suggesting is not thoughtless exoneration of this man (Porter) but perhaps a different level of analysis of the women that are bringing these rehearsals forward. This line of analysis would also take into consideration what seem to be evidences of deep psychological issues that are coming to the surface and are being acted out on a national level. That is, one thing connects to another thing. It is in this sense a ‘conflagration’.

    The more difficult supposition, which also would involve an ‘Rx’ as they are called (a prescription, a medicine), would be in assuming and suggesting that the hysterical conflagration has some center in ‘unstable women’ or in women generally. Yet a great deal points in this direction I have to (embarrassingly) suggest and admit. To name a few:

    Deep currents of feminine ressentiment (of the Nietzschean variety) which appear to function through revenge-desire. This is very much evident when the race questions are considered: the pathological level of anger and hatred that are now coming out of their hidden recess as POC attack Whites and ‘whiteness’. But it is also (I suggest) quite evident with this female-rage. In both these instances both the White and the man-accused essentially have no line of defense. That is, at a social and cultural level they have no way of combatting or opposing the accusatory social movement that rises up to strike them.

    When I use the term ‘feminine’ I run right into the gauntlet. But yet to understand what I mean, and certainly what Nietzsche meant when he used the term ressentiment requires understanding a particularly passive-aggressive psychological mechanism. Certainly men can become infected with it, yet it is really a feminine-domain and is deeply enmeshed with the way that women use their power (psychologically). Just the use of the word ‘hysterical’ makes a reference to a female issue and ailment.

    These ‘social sicknesses, and these now-present conflagrations did not arise out of nothing, but they all flow out of Sixties politics and out of tremendous inner words of sentiment. In this sense they are feminine. And I suggest that the entire culture has been infected with That, which I admit to know not exacly how to define or describe.

    But this is a large part of my argument: we are dealing with invisible forces that have not been named. And that means not recognized, and certainly not understood (and made conscious).

    (Y’all might really benefit from my 10-Week Email Course! Lives are being transformed! 😉 )

    • Correction: “These ‘social sicknesses, and these now-present conflagrations did not arise out of nothing, but they all flow out of Sixties politics and out of tremendous inner worlds of sentiment. In this sense they are feminine. And I suggest that the entire culture has been infected with That, which I admit to know not exacly how to define or describe.”

      [Also I forgot to dedicate my ‘essay’ to Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromm]. 🙂

      • Try again:

        Correction: “These ‘social sicknesses, and these now-present conflagrations did not arise out of nothing, but they all flow out of Sixties politics and out of tremendous inner worlds of sentiment. In this sense they are feminine. And I suggest that the entire culture has been infected with That, which I admit to know not exacly how to define or describe.”

        [Also I forgot to dedicate my ‘essay’ to Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromm]. 🙂

  8. These paragraphs from Charles Blow (in an opinion-piece in today;s NYTs) seem to me to illustrate ‘projection’. At the same time a poisonous and I would say contagious ressentiment:

    “When more than a third of the country — among them many who once considered themselves part of the “moral majority” — stand with a man who is the literal antithesis of all the values they once professed, that is a problem for America. They are no longer interested in the health of the democracy. Their mission and objectives have veered into a dark place where vision is short and risks and dangers are multiple.”

    “”We patriots and dissidents, we many, we strong, we steadfast, are the last hope the country has of returning to what remains of a pre-Trump America, where porn stars weren’t paid off, accused wife beaters weren’t valorized and our president showed more allegiance to our country than to another.”

    I suggest that the ‘psychological state’ of this man demonstrates more or less precisely a group of different maladies and might provide a glimpse into the nature of the sociological and mass-hysterical conflagration that is playing itself at national levels.

    — Identification of ‘a third of the country’ and an association of them with *the enemy*.

    — Inference that the moral majority is not moral. This implies that the one making the observation is.

    — ‘Literal antithesis’ implies absolute ‘otherness’ and an absolute alienation from normalcy and of course ‘goodness’.

    — A declaration about the ‘health of democracy’ can be turned around to some profit. If 1/3rd of the demos has an opinion or idea or vision different from M. Blow, what advantage is there in labeling it ‘anti-democratic’? It seems a sheer projection!

    — Declarations about ‘dark places’ are quite interesting. A read a good deal on Christian and Catholic sites and there is certainly ‘projection’ onto the events of the day, and some of the personalities, of ‘darkness’. The Luciferian reference is very interesting, both from a theological perspective and then from a secular-psychological perspective. Shall the Left though be the pole that decides what is evil and what is good? It is a very peculiar, and a very difficult., problem from any angle-of-view.

    — ‘We patriots and dissidents’, from where I sit, is a problematical statement! But it certainly does go right to the heart of the issue. Even here on this Blog most everyone asserts, adamantly, that they are ‘civic nationalists’ and their patriotism and activism is expressed through the declaration of this value. But in truth there is a very large question that comes to the fore when one is asked to opine about who is a ‘patriot’ or not, and who is a ‘dissident’ or not. If seems a similar attempt to establish the sort of polarity that arose in the American Civil War, no? Oh dear how confusing all this quickly gets!

    — The last three assertions: 1) paying off of pornstars, 2) valorizing wife-beaters, and 3) having an allegiance to Russia, are really very rich. It is a strange and complex set of accusations, given the tenets of liberal leftism generally. Pornstars and wife-beaters aside the most interesting and psychological one is that of ‘allegience to Russia’. I suggest that this is where a tremendously unrecognized projection is to be found. What does ‘Russia’ mean in this psychological complex? Suite à la prochaine mes enfants. I promise to reveal all!

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