Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/17/2018: Serena And Kavanaugh

Not everybody’s morning, but today (and tomorrow) Paul Morella’s stirring Clarence Darrow is MY morning, along with some fortunate and ethical Virginia lawyers…


I’m getting ready for an early morning CLE seminar on the ethics lessons from Clarence Darrow’s career, so this is going to be quick and brief.

1 Now that’s a double standard! Ann Althouse flagged an aspect of the statistics on male penalties in tennis we discussed yesterday that I neglected to mention. The men play longer matches, five sets against the women’s three. Thus there is more time on the court to commit rules breaches. She also asks why women play less. That IS a double standard, but I’ve never heard a female player complain about it. She also writes,

Look at the prison population. It’s less than 10% women. Does that mean men are held to a high standard of behavior? I think we’re comfortable with the extreme gender disproportion because we feel awfully sure that men commit many more crimes, especially the kind of crimes that deserve a substantial prison sentence. We like thinking that the prisons are confining individuals who pose a danger to the rest of us, and we think of those people as overwhelmingly male. Maybe we’re wrong, but you can see we’re pretty resistant to the idea that there’s a “double standard” that’s unfair to men.

Ann’s comparison is a bit off, don’t you think? Yes, the prison stats presumably mean that men commit more crimes, but would any female defendant, in the face of such figures, throw a tantrum in court claiming that the system in biased against women?

2. High school. High school. I just listened to several critics of the late-hit accusation by Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, as they expressed problems with the years, decades, that have passed since the alleged incident. Never mind the length of time: it was high school. The participants were minors.

Am I going crazy? First we had multiple baseball players who sportswriter were saying needed to be fined and suspended for politically incorrect tweets they made to their seven followers when they were still shaving only every other day, and now a distinguished judge, nominated to the Supreme Court, who has been cleared by six FBI background checks and assembled an unassailable career in a field, law, which makes character an entry level requirement, and an account of a drunken episode of teenage stupidity is considered relevant by progressives? In Washington state, liberals and especially feminists assembled to demand that a woman’s prior record of illegal drug dealing and gun possession be set aside as a reason to deny her a law license, and she was an adult when she was convicted and served time in prison. Are we really going to accept a new paradigm in which the mistakes we make on the way to adult responsibilities as clueless students and teenagers will be held against us forever, as if growing up doesn’t count?

I’ve been trying to think back to my high school years, my miserable dating experiences, and the dozens of stupid, wrong things I did that today embarrass me every time I’m reminded of them. Should those juvenile episodes continue to shadow my reputation and handicap my career forever? That seems to be what the latest anti-Kavanaugh strategy is arguing for.

3. Disgusted. It’s hard to disgust me, but the reactions I am reading on Facebook regarding the Kavanaugh accusation reveal how thoroughly progressive cant and anti-Trump mania has corrupted once -reasonable people and leached them of all integrity is horrifying. I asked one such corruptee if he would feel justly treated if, in the midst of a process that would bring him a major advancement in his career, an old high school acquaintance emerged to detail her version of an episode that reflected badly on his character when he was 17. How about if the accuser was anonymous? There was no answer. Nobody would feel such an accusation was fair, because it isn’t fair. It’s only fair because it advances an anti-conservative, anti-Trump agenda.

4. Yes, she should. Apparently the Trump administration has decided to pander to the worst of #MeToo fanaticism. I just heard Kellyanne Conway say “This woman should not be insulted, and not be ignored.”

Yes, she should be. She should be insulted because she has interjected herself into a Supreme Court confirmation based on a distant memory she cannot prove, denigrating a veteran professional based on alleged conduct that he may have engaged in as a minor, and she should be ignored because even if it could be proven, high school misconduct is not and should not be relevant to Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve now.

153 thoughts on “Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/17/2018: Serena And Kavanaugh

  1. Fine. Trot Ms. Ford out there and let her be questioned. Though it is very shady and murky, at best, Clarence Thomas seems to have survived his similar experience.

    • Z

      He should do so only if his appointment fails to achieve the votes. That would stop future spurious claims. Those opposing him have focused on getting Collins and Murkowski to vote no. If they do – for whatever reason- and he files suit against Ford it will be evidence of damages. The mountain of evidence is in his favor in a civil suit.

      If he files a suit now he will appear to be using his power and influence to intimidate the female accuser and feminists will use such claims to show he abuses women.

        • I agree. However, it will not advance his confirmation if he files suit before a vote. A nay vote is provable damage to his reputation.

          • Chris Marschner_ wrote, “…it will not advance his confirmation if he files suit before a vote.”

            I disagree. Either this lady needs to be willing to put up or shut up, filing a defamation lawsuit forces her to make a choice right now.

            This lady does not have the right to be believed.

            • Z.
              I get where you are coming from. I too would like to see her and her co conspirators publicly castigated in court.

              Unlike Jack, I do have reason to reject her statements. Not because she is female but because there is no corroberating evidence. I further reject the notion that she must be believed simply because she makes an allegation of sexual assualt.
              She admits she did not attend the same school as Kavanaugh, she cannot remember when it happened, where it happened, who invited her to attend, she was drinking and many other details relevant to the issue at hand. Furthermore, she used her professional credentials as a psychogist to undermine the Trump zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration relating to family separation and has since scrubbed her entire social media history.
              Nonetheless, from a practical point of view she is creating a situation in which every husband, father, brother or boyfriend can have their careers scuttled by mere accusation. How is this playing among suburban moms who the Dems are counting on to take back the House and Senate? Uncorroberated allegations that appear spurious may cause women to turn against Trump but Kavanaugh is not Trump. Kavanuagh could be any man some woman with a grudge wants to smear.
              This campaign may just backfire on the progressives in the elections. I don’t know but based on what I am seeing from social media it is energizing alot of woman to come out against Ford.

              If he files suit now it might cause women that see this as defamation of his character not to come out and cast their vote as a message of support for Kavanuagh.

    • Question: Is it possible that if this accusation is not completely resolved in court by means of a defamation lawsuit or something similar that it could come back in a way that forces Judge Kavanaugh to recuse himself on a future case before the Supreme Court.

  2. Ann, Ann, Ann. Pull yourself together. You can’t cite prison statistics. Come on. The only reason anyone is in prison is to oppress people of color. Get with the program. For God’s sake. Prisons are simply used to take men of color out of their communities to further damage those communities and deny their children a father. Prisons should be legislated out of existence! As should the criminal justice system. Too many people committing crimes and going to jail? No problem, eliminate the concept of crimes and jails. Presto chango! Problem solved!

  3. ”She also asks why women play less.”

    X-Chromosomal Units also use a lighter shot put, a smaller basketball, and hit from different tees for shorter golf hole distances.

    Must we wait for a female track-n-field, basketball player, or golfer to have a very high profile whiny hissy fit for that to become common knowledge?

  4. Let me clear. If Kavanaugh’s accuser is lying, I hope she rots in Hell. If she is not lying, I do think it’s a generally a good idea to have Supreme Court Justices who have not attempted gang rape — and whether they were 17 or 18 when they did it is pretty immaterial.

    This is not Progressive spin. I am well aware that we will have another Conservative Justice on SCOTUS — indeed, a new pick might even be more to the right than Kavanaugh. And that’s fine — elections have consequences after all and Trump gets to pick.

    We’ll see if the Senate finds her testimony credible.

    • Because the Democrats don’t plan on doing this routine on the next nomination from Trump if Kavanaugh’s nomination is halted.

      I would bet good money there is a game plan for a smear campaign for EVERY individual on the “short list” that Trump has been working on.

      • Well sure. And the same thing happens when a Democrat nominee is on the line. The whole process is ugly and disgusting — I hate politics. But none of that changes my analysis about Kavanaugh specifically.

        • The Sotomayor (an intentionally political pick) hearing was NOT turned into a fiasco by Republicans, nothing near that done by Democrats to Kavanaugh. She was confirmed 68-31.

          The Kagan hearing was NOT turned into a fiasco by Republicans either.

          This is not a “both sides acting badly” sort of thing. Has partisan vitriol gradually increased on both sides? Sure.

          But every single time the instigating factor here has been unilateral, and every single time it’s ratcheted up severely, it’s been unilateral.

          This is the Left and it’s destructive.

          • Are you seriously arguing that the refusal to even consider Garland was anything less than a desperate partisan ploy that happened to have worked?
            Give me a damned break.

            • Partisan ploy? Sure, absolutely.

              Desperate? Not a bit. Calculated. The Republicans had nothing to lose, and quite a bit to gain. It was an easy calculation.

              I’m not defending it as a good idea, I don’t think it was. Our country suffers enough from this sort of partisanship, and it further poisoned an already rancid well. But from a partisan perspective, it was a worthy gambit that came at no cost (from a partisan perspective).

              • AND it was the Democrats getting exactly what they dish out, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

                Which is why the left hates it so much.

                Get used to it: you set the rules, and chased the decent players out of the game. Now live with the New Right who plays like your side has my entire life

              • I can’t disagree with this more. It was a shittily partisan thing to do, and it was almost designed to fail.

                The only way failing to confirm Garland paid dividends for Republicans was if Trump beat Clinton in a race where, at the time, Trump was polling double digits behind Clinton, and then Trump actually nominated someone other than his daughter. The fact that both those things happen is pure consequentialism. Garland was probably the most centrist candidate Obama could have fielded and he is an excellent jurist. Go figure, the only SCOTUS judge Obama picked that was worth confirming didn’t check off all the diversity boxes, and the Republicans failed to confirm. Meanwhile, the most likely outcome at the time would be foisting the nomination onto Clinton, and anyone Clinton would have nominated would be worse almost by definition, and probably would only be nominated after a sizeable donation to the Clinton Global initiative.

                • You don’t think that the instant a hypothetical Clinton victory was demonstrably known in the wee morning hours of the 9th of November that the Republican Senate wouldn’t confirm Garland?

                  • Do you really think? I mean, I suppose I accept that is was possible, but I’m having a real hard time imagining what that would even look like. After months of stonewalling the vote, Republicans have a Come To Jesus moment and rush the doors and vote Garland in? I think pride gets in their way.

                • What’s to disagree with? You agreed with me, except for the part about whether or not it was calculating, and about that you are transparently wrong. I never said it was good, I said it wasn’t desperate. I think Garland deserved a hearing and a vote, and I have never said otherwise.

                  Depending on your viewpoint, Garland would’ve been just as bad as anyone Hillary could’ve nominated. His deference to government was legendary, which is why Obama nominated him. He could be counted on to rubber-stamp the governments case in controversies before him, and even though he was way more moderate on some issues than the worst-case scenario, it was still a calculation where the Republicans had little to lose from a political standpoint. Rather than take 30% of a loaf, they gambled on getting the whole thing.

                  So it was a chance they took, and politically it was a good gamble. Also, it isn’t a foregone conclusion that Clinton wouldn’t have renominated Garland based on the fact that from the Democrat perspective, “he wuz robbed.” It might have been hard to defend not renominating him, since his nomination was never considered.

                  The Republicans rolled the dice and won. Was it good? No, definitely not from the standpoint of ethics or our polity. But it paid off for them, and there was nothing desperate about it.

            • It was a wretched political maneuver. But it wasn’t the fiasco that the Democrats will most assuredly run every single hearing on a Republican nomination from here on out. By comparison, sitting on a nomination that technically falls within Constitutional limits is leaps and bounds better (even if still not good) than the decorum-crushing circus that the Democrats turned the Kavanaugh hearings into.

          • Let’s not leave out Robert Bork and the wretched personal attack leveled by Sen. Kennedy on the Senate floor.

            That’s 3 on the R side that have been subject to vicious personal attacks to the ZERO on the other side. Garland was never personally attacked.

    • Isn’t it just possible that the interaction fell way, way short of “gang rape,” since there is no credible accusation, not even by the accuser, that rape was the intent? Isn’t it possible that they all were drunk, including the accuser, and got into a little rasslin’ where a cheap feel or three were copped?

      There’s a whole lot of behavior between a perfect gentleman and “gang rape,” and your choice of that term suggests you are not the least bit interested in anything anyone has to say – your mind is made up, not because of the facts at the time, but because of the circumstances now.

      I don’t mind hearing her testimony. I think it will serve to show that her accusation is ridiculous on its face. I can’t wait for someone to ask her how she can remember the incident, but is unable to remember where or when it happened with any kind of precision, or who was in attendance. Or how she failed to mention it even in general terms to any of her closest friends or family for 35 years.

      Yes, there are a lot of questions I’d like to ask her, but only one of Kavanaugh, and he’s already answered.

      Now, if some other credible witnesses come forward, then maybe there is something to talk about. Right now, the only thing worth discussing is the disgusting behavior of Dianne Feinstein, and the likelihood that this may have been made up out of whole cloth – because who could say otherwise, politics, and #metoo?

      • MeToo is rapidly building a culture in which rule of law and process doesn’t matter…all that matters is accusation and celebrity. The kind of anti-republican (not political party) nightmare that breaks a society down.


        • Unfortunately, this seems to be the case. The accusation has become the conviction, true, false, or indeterminate.

          If we get to that standard, we will be officially WROL (without rule of law). It needs to be squelched here.

        • I don’t see anything about not having made up your mind in the comment to which I responded, but to be sure, I don’t see an affirmative avowal of having decided. But if you haven’t, okay, great.

          Also, what kind of undecided person would use the term “gang rape” when describing the incident? Just asking. The absurdity of that usage may have caused me to come to the wrong conclusion, but I think understandably so.

            • No, it’s not even close. I would categorize it as misunderstood horseplay, but it could’ve been a little worse than that – possibly an attempt at inappropriate touching or “pantsing.” “Gang rape” is an absurd and wrongheaded characterization, in my opinion, even if her description is substantially accurate.

      • I really DON’T want to hear Kavanaugh’s accuser’s testimony… Scratch that, I mean her garbled half-recollections, colored by 30+ years of intervening incidents, partisan rancor, and cognitive dissonance. I know too much about the way memories are distorted and reassembled over time, leaving her convinced one young man was there when the original incident may have involved different people entirely.

        Even though her memories can’t be trusted, the emotions she holds would still come across just as powerfully. Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation would be further tarnished as her tear-filled oration was played over and over on television screens across the nation. Her claims might be fact-free, but they would certainly not be emotion-free.

        I have some experience with witnesses’ garbled memories: Back in 1985, I was called as a defense witness in a criminal trial involving some drunken college students. I didn’t expect to be called, so I hadn’t taken notes, and the trial happened about 10 months after the original incident. Some students had interfered with a police officer arresting their friend, while others were just bystanders caught up in the confusion. Despite my desire to clarify what had happened, I misidentified which student was which, even though the events were less than a year earlier. I can only imagine how garbled my memories would be after 35 years.

    • “If Kavanaugh’s accuser is lying, I hope she rots in Hell. If she is not lying, I do think it’s a generally a good idea to have Supreme Court Justices who have not attempted gang rape.”

      I think this is actually pretty much where I shake out too. But I also think that these drive-by, eleventh hour allegations have got to stop. If this is true and Kavanaugh is an attempted rapist, then it should have come out some time before now.

      I’m not even saying 30 years ago when the incident allegedly happened, I’m saying a few months ago when the country was still in full #metoo motion and Kavanaugh’s name was being bandied about. The fact of the matter is that the timing on these accusations demonstrates how the people making these allegations actually feel about the behaviours in question: They don’t actually care. If not made up from whole cloth, they filed these allegations away for years, hid them through all the liberation movements and all the opportunities to come forward when these very public people were building their careers. If they cared, they would have made the allegations at the earliest opportunity, not when they’re designed to do the most damage to the process: This was designed to try to derail the nomination, under the auspices that if the nomination failed, a new candidate would have to be nominated, and that new candidate’s process would probably end up happening after the midterms, where Democrats hope to pick up seats. I mean, what else could it be? A coincidence?

    • When I was 22 and working in the summer, before going to grad school, a woman of color about 10 years my senior who worked at a bank who liked me a little too much. She came in all the time and finally backed me into a corner of the store where I was working alone and pushed her clothed breasts onto me. She wanted more than that. I did not.

      Despite the unwanted advance, she had made a misjudgement. Once that event passed never tried again. One time and we both moved on from her mistake.

      Are you saying this woman 35 years later is not qualified to or capable of managing a bank where she’ll manage 20ish white guys? I wouldn’t.

      Even if Ms. Ford’s accusation is 100% accurate, only insatiable bias could lead you to believe Kavanaugh is not qualified for SCOTUS.

      • I am saying that we should have higher standards for SCOTUS. Denying someone employment is not the same thing as rewarding someone with one of the most important appointments in the world. This isn’t hard people.

        • Higher standards than what? A disputed childhood incident that doesn’t even rise to the level of “he said, she said?”

          I’m sorry, but our standards are fine. The next thing you know, being accused of using the “N-word” as a minor will be permanently disqualifying for high office.

          This absurdity must stop.

        • Still Spartan,
          I’ve read all you’ve written but please answer these direct questions that get to the core of your opinion. Follow up with comments if you like but first answer the direct questions with either Yes or No.

          1. Does a woman that accuses a man of sexual impropriety have a right to be believed. Yes/No

          2. Is simply being accused of sexual impropriety good enough for you to keep Kavanaugh out of the Supreme Court and destroy his career? Yes/No

          3. If this Kavanaugh/Ford accusation ends up to be nothing but “she said, he said” should the Kavanaugh nomination be voted on? Yes/No

          4. Is Kavanaugh innocent until proven guilty? Yes/No

          Follow up with comments if you like but first answer the questions with either Yes or No.

          • 1. Right to be heard. No right to be believed. That depends on her credibility.
            2. No. Unless the testimony is credible. I’m keeping my mind open — unlike you who already is screaming for a defamation lawsuit without all the facts.
            3. It’s ALWAYS he said/she said. Again, let’s wait for the testimony and see if it’s believable.
            4. You are talking about a criminal standard, which is accurate. I’m talking about an ethical standard, which is greater. I am not against a Conservative Justice being appointed to SCOTUS. Indeed, I may not even be against Kavanaugh — I’m waiting to hear the testimony. But, if she is credible, then yes, we can find a Conservative Justice who ticks all the boxes who is a better, moral man.

              • Well, you’ve just described most sexual assaults as well as explained why most women don’t come forward. It doesn’t mean that the assault didn’t happen.

                • Most sexual assaults are suppressed for 30+ years?

                  I wonder what the stats are on most awkward teenage experiences being remembered as entirely different than what actually happened (if they happened at all) 30 years after the experience…

                • No, but it could mean that what she now remembers as an assault… wasn’t. Memories change over decades, details become confused. I have caught many people in misrememberances, and have been caught in several myself, including getting the participants of the memory wrong.

                  That’s why this is so dangerous. If this were ten years ago, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But this is a 36 year-old memory that, for some reason, never got revealed to ANYONE until 30 years after the fact, and even then, the details of what are memorialized do not match what she now says happened.

                  Look, it’s possible something happened. It’s possible, but not certain, Brett Kavanaugh was involved. It is also possible that Kavanaugh was not involved at all and she has substituted him for another person due to the age of the memory. I’ve personally seen that happen more than once in memories of this vintage, both by me and by others.

                  No matter what, unless more people with similar memories come forward, we will NEVER KNOW what happened with a shred of certainty. That cannot be enough to derail a nomination, and if it is, we have reached end-stage partisanship. All that is left is the shooting.

            • Still Spartan wrote, “I’m keeping my mind open — unlike you who already is screaming for a defamation lawsuit without all the facts.”

              Oh be nice Spartan, I haven’t closed my mind to a damn thing yet. Just like you, I don’t know if the claim is absolutely true as she claims, if it’s partially true, of if it’s a total fabrication.

              Here’s the actual facts as we know them:
              By her own admission and ignoring any possible motives; what Ford is doing is literally defaming Kavanaugh in a transparent effort to destroy his reputation trying to prevent him from being confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States and if this does not get completely resolved this could limit the cases that Kavanaugh could rule on in his current position or if he is confirmed to the Supreme Court because of an unresolved sexual accusation that may or may not be true. Kavanaugh said it never happened. The person Ford claimed was in the room at the time and jumped on the bed said it never happen. To my knowledge there are absolutely no facts to prove that it happened. Based on these actual facts, he should have his attorney sue her.

              What would you do if you were publicly accused of doing something, that you didn’t do, in an effort to literally destroy your reputation and inhibit your ability to perform your job that you’ve been doing for many years. I would take immediate legal action against the accuser. If I’m understanding your position about filing a lawsuit against Ford you’d likely cower and simply allow someone to very publicly defame you and destroy your life – maybe that would be your choice but it certainly would not be mine.

              We don’t know it there is genuine justification for the public smearing of Kavanaugh’s reputation, what we do know is the results of the accusation, whether they are right or wrong, are exactly the same and that is the goal of the accusation. Right now Kavanaugh’s reputation has been viciously attacked in the court of public opinion and absolutely destroyed for all time in the minds of the people that have already convicted him absent any evidence. These kinds of accusations don’t just fade away in the minds of the people that have already convicted him.

              I’m interested in actually seeing 100% of the video from the testimony from Kavanaugh and Ford.

              • What would I do? I’m not talking about Kavanaugh — I’m talking about YOU and other people here. Assume for just a moment that what she said is true — you all have called her a bitch, a liar, crazy, and worse. Who knows — she might be those things, but ASSUMING it did happen, does no one have any shred of compassion for her? How would you feel if this happened to your daughter at 15 or 16? Or any age for that matter?

                My position is quite simple — let’s wait for the actual testimony.

                • Still Spartan, “I’m not talking about Kavanaugh…”

                  The hell you’re not.

                  Still Spartan, “ASSUMING it did happen, does no one have any shred of compassion for her?”

                  Gotta love this kind of thinking, now we’re supposed to have compassion based on only an ASSUMPTION. Again Spartan, did you not thoroughly think about what you wrote?

                  Almost everything you’ve written in this blog thread has been biased towards believing Ford; be honest and tell us the truth, you are biased towards believing the accuser because of your history with abuse, you believe Ford and you think Kavanaugh is a liar and you’re just pandering with all your talk about gotta wait to hear the testimony.

                  Still Spartan wrote, “you all have called her a bitch, a liar, crazy, and worse.”

                  What’s this “you all” crap Spartan? No Spartan, not everyone here has done that and specifically I’ve done nothing of the sort. I have implied that it could be a lie but I’ve also implied that it could be the truth, I simply don’t know, and I think I’ve made that perfectly clear.

            • This bothered be since I read it, I was finally able to put my thoughts into words.

              I asked, “Is Kavanaugh innocent until proven guilty?”

              Still Spartan answered, “You are talking about a criminal standard, which is accurate. I’m talking about an ethical standard, which is greater.”

              Seriously Spartan, did you not thoroughly think about that when you wrote it?

              I’ve heard this kind of cant from fully consumed lefties for years. It honestly seems that they think the fundamental ethical principle of innocent until proven guilty should only apply to criminal standards and not everyday life. Their condescending “ethical standard, which is greater” is to assume guilt until innocence is proven as long as it’s not in criminal court; I think that’s signature significant to an underlying moral bankruptcy that’s been selectively applied to their world vision. How utterly “enlightened” these lefties are to toss aside a fundamental ethical principle; God forbid they ever get real control of their imaginary Utopia.

              NO Still Spartan, innocent until proven guilty is NOT just for criminal standards as you so boldly stated (or directly implied), it’s a fundamental ethical principle. It’s one of the solid foundations that my ethical standards are built upon; it’s obviously not a fundamental principle for you and the vast majority of the political left that’s trying to absolutely destroy the principle.

              There is something seriously wrong with the political left.

              • If you don’t think there is a difference between ethics and the law then you haven’t been paying attention here — Jack writes about it all the time.

                • Still Spartan wrote, “If you don’t think there is a difference between ethics and the law then you haven’t been paying attention here — Jack writes about it all the time.”

                  Dammit Spartan, just stop it. Stop it!

                  I didn’t say or even imply there aren’t differences between the law and ethics. Seriously, what the hell do you think innocent until proven guilty is; an immoral, unethical, unjust, improper, dishonest, corrupt, or unrighteous principle? If you honestly don’t think that innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental ethical principle then just say so and present your reasoning as to why I’m some kinda damn fool for thinking it is.

                  Bring it…

        • I agree completely. It isn’t hard. Any fair, objective individual not pursuing an agenda should be able to recognize that the standard of “nobody is fit to serve who is ever accused of misconduct when he was a child 35 years after the alleged offense” is unfair, unethical, destructive, and insane.

                    • You’re right — I’ll give Jack a pass. In any event, any fair, objective individual not pursuing an agenda who is not able to recognize the reasons why victims do not report crimes is unfair, unethical, destructive, and insane.

                    • How do you spell a bronx cheer? Because you really earn one for this slime-fest. I recognize the reasons why people don’t report crimes, also the reasons why people steal to pay bills and kill abusive spouses. “Reason” do not make conduct fair, right or just. Yup, sometimes being responsible and fair and thinking of the welfare of others and society requires courage and sacrifice. But “not understanding” has no widespread consequences. On the other hand, you are advocating a standard in which old, teenager misconduct can be kept behind a “In Emergency, Break Glass” state in case a political foe has to be taken out, and such a smear must be treated with abject respect because and only because the accuser is female. Such a standard will cause unimaginable social and political wreckage. “Insane” is short-hand for reckless, irrational, destructive, indefensible,foolish and in defiance of common sense, history, basic ethical principles and self-preservation, and the term is absolutely descriptive of what you are arguing for.

                      Glad I could clear that up. Keep digging.

                    • I am happy to have the same standard for women who are accused of sexual assault. And to be clear, I’m not saying that the alleged victim has to be believed, but in a situation where there is a panel convened to judge the fitness of someone for a lifetime appointment, I think the testimony can and should be heard.

                    • Even though it’s irrelevant? Because a non-criminal, ambiguous act at a party under the influence of alcohol by a minor has no relevance to the adult character of a judge at all.

                    • I am happy to have the same standard for women who are accused of sexual assault.

                      I saw you palm that ace! You know damn well that were the situation reversed, an accused who is female would be protected from both sides. Conservatives tend to over protect females historically, and progressives because… she is a female accused by a male.

                      Take a look at how female teachers are treated regarding pedophilia (‘having sex with an underage child, ie. a student) versus male teachers, then tell me how your standard means anything at all?

                      No way, in our current society, a man could get away with a 35 year old accusation like this woman has.

                    • Spartan,

                      How does that address my point? You just diverted from the topic with an irrelevant statement.

                      Your statement is true, misleading, and appears to address the point while conveying no meaningful information.

                      I take it back: you ARE a lawyer!

            • Still Spartan wrote, “Careful with the name calling Jack. There is misconduct and there is misconduct.”

              Careful with the misrepresentations Sparty. There are willful misrepresentations and there are misrepresentations based on not properly comprehending what’s written. I think you failed to comprehend what Jack wrote.

        • I think we all have high standards for SCOTUS.

          I think we should also have high standards for accusations. A nearly 4 decades old accusation that cloudy, lacking definition, politically timed as part of a larger smear campaign, doesn’t meet ANY standard of credibility save the one imputed on it by the increasingly desperate Left.

        • I’m a 30 year old gay man, but literally nothing stops someone from making a false accusation of decades old attempted rape against me with absolutely no corroborating evidence, and you’re suggesting that accusation should be able to derail careers.

          “SCOTUS isn’t just a career.” Not JUST a career, but it IS a career. And while I can’t recall your exact response when we WERE just talking about careers, if you’re honestly describing your position from other cases, you’re probably about to be ejected from the sisterhood, because the people who otherwise think like you have been very clear in NOT making that distinction.

          This can not possibly be allowed to stand, Sparty, I just don’t see how a reasonable person could fail to see this. This is offensive to every man on Earth who isn’t huffing the hookah of feminism, and if you can’t at the very least understand where they’re coming from, I need you to shake your pretty little heads free of some excess estrogen and check your fucking privilege.

          • If women were out to get men, we would report it at the time of the assault, so at least we would get the pleasure of seeing them being thrown in jail and money damages from a civil suit. So, actually, women give up A LOT by waiting. And, even if we actually do come forward, we have the joy of having our careers and reputations ruined. Because no one believes us — and we run the risk of defending a defamation lawsuit.

            In the meantime, class is over. I need to get my estrogen-addled brain back to work.

            • “If women were out to get men, we would report it at the time of the assault, so at least we would get the pleasure of seeing them being thrown in jail and money damages from a civil suit. So, actually, women give up A LOT by waiting.”

              Bullshit. They’re what? Doing their assailant a favor by sitting on it for years? No, you say it yourself: They’re afraid. And while they’re afraid their assailant is free to reoffend. But that’s irrelevant. I get that this is a raw deal for women, I get that there are reasons why they might not come forward, but the answer to that cannot possibly be what we’re facing now.

              Further, you’re assuming that the allegation is true, and have absolutely no reason to believe that other than your bias. My point, which you conveniently aren’t engaging with is that there’s a very good chance that this allegation, and many others, are 100% false.

              Even if you assume that the 4% rate of false allegations of rape is accurate (I think it’s the low end, but regardless), that is still twice the rate of the next most often falsely reported crimes in America: theft and destruction of property. That’s interesting, because the motivation behind a false theft or vandalism claim is insurance fraud, what do YOU think the reason is that rape is literally the most falsely reported crime in America, if not “getting the men”?

              And once you actually engage with that honestly… Let me ask you again: I’m a 30 year old man. What keeps a woman from coming forth with decade old allegations that don’t include details like when or where the attack happened, and how do I defend myself if someone does?
              This isn’t about you.

              • I’m not assuming that these allegations are true at all. And I’ve already admitted it once, and I’ll do it again. I would be hard pressed to do what she is doing — I do not want a place on the public stage, death threats, my career being threatened, etc. I am a coward — and I was burned once. Even though I never reported assaults, I did report harassment and filed a lawsuit — because I had evidence. I settled AND my career was derailed for years. It’s a common story, I don’t expect sympathy, but a little awareness that these situations are complicated would be welcome.

                • This. Isn’t. About. You. And your experience isn’t important. You might think it is, but literally nothing from your past changes a thing here. That might be a bitter pill for you to swallow, but I think most people understand that. Here’s the part that might actually be hard to digest: The actual truth of this scenario doesn’t matter.

                  No, seriously. Whether or not Kavanaugh actually sexually assaulted Ford does not matter. What matters is if Ford can offer ANYTHING other than her accusation. She doesn’t need to even prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, she just needs SOMETHING other than an accusation. If she can’t, then Kavanaugh could have done everything she said he did and more, it doesn’t matter… Because we cannot possibly decide cases like this. We cannot possibly derail lives because someone said some shit.

                  You’re a lawyer, for fucks sake. Open your textbook, what is the weakest form of evidence?

                    • Whether or not Kavanaugh actually sexually assaulted Ford does not matter. What matters is if Ford can offer ANYTHING other than her accusation. She doesn’t need to even prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, she just needs SOMETHING other than an accusation. If she can’t, then Kavanaugh could have done everything she said he did and more, it doesn’t matter… Because we cannot possibly decide cases like this. We cannot possibly derail lives because someone said something.

                    • I understand your point. You are saying that — assuming a crime did occur — it’s more important to protect the reputation and livelihood of the criminal over the victim unless there is physical evidence.

                    • Still Spartan wrote, “You are saying that — assuming a crime did occur — it’s more important to protect the reputation and livelihood of the criminal over the victim unless there is physical evidence.”

                      That is an unfair smear.

                      Read above.

                    • You know, your arguments are getting more and more divorced from reality and common sense the longer they go on. This is the very model of “doubling down.” Reporting a “crime” (I’m very dubious that this was a crime, or that it would ever be treated as one, anywhere, involving teens at a party.) 35 years after it has run and long after the SOP is irresponsible, and protects no one. How the hell does a late hit like that protect anyone?

                    • Jack Marshall wrote, “You know, your arguments are getting more and more divorced from reality and common sense the longer they go on.”

                      Here is a graphic representation of what Still Spartan is doing…

                      It’s already starting to look like you’re intentionally trolling, so you might as well continue to dig.

                    • Still Spartan wrote, “It’s frequently he said/she said. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

                      It also doesn’t mean it did happen. I think your statement show bias as do a lot of the statements on this topic.

                      I think we should change how we write about this to better reflect that we aren’t biased one way or the other. Take this simple statement that implies bias, “It’s frequently he said/she said. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen”, that can easily show a non-biased opinion by adding a couple of words “It’s frequently he said/she said. That doesn’t mean it did or didn’t happen.” It’s really a thought process that can at least try to show to others that you’re not biased regardless of whether you are actually biased or not.

                    • “I understand your point. You are saying that — assuming a crime did occur — it’s more important to protect the reputation and livelihood of the criminal over the victim unless there is physical evidence.”

                      I’m saying that it is better, not good, but better, for 100 guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to be punished, a maxim that far exceeds the current conversation, but absolutely applies.

                      Do we need physical evidence? I mean, it would absolutely help, but literally ANYTHING would make this stronger, specifically because it is so weak; ANY corroborating evidence… witnesses. the date and time, a location, ANYTHING more than “36 years ago at an unspecified place at an unspecified time, this person attempted to rape me in the presence of a third party that says the act did not occur.”

                    • I don’t know if this crime happened or not — my position is simply that her testimony can be heard. It is up to the Senate to believe it or not. They can certainly take the time that has elapsed into their analysis. I’m honestly confused why you think this constitutes a smear, slime fest, and whatever other tantrums you are throwing in my direction. This woman could be a psychopathic liar — how do I know?

                      Interestingly, I just learned that MD does not have a statute of limitations for attempted rape. (I would have bet against that if asked.) So, she could file a criminal complaint if she wanted. Do I think this would go anywhere — at least given what we know right now? Probably not.

                    • “I’m honestly confused why you think this constitutes a smear, slime fest, and whatever other tantrums you are throwing in my direction.”

                      I’d love for you to quote me saying any of that. My point, which you seem really intent on avoiding is that a 36 year old accusation from someone who cannot remember when or where an act happened, and whose only witness disagrees with her cannot possibly be reasonably believed. She might be telling the truth! It does. Not. Matter.

                      This woman could be a psychopathic liar — how do I know?

                      You could start with how she said that she never planned to come forward in the interview where she came forward, but had retained counsel and taken a lie detector test months before coming forward and months before Feinstein did her thing. I mean, literally the first thing she said publicly was a lie. Why do you assume honesty?

                  • Humble Talent wrote, “Whether or not Kavanaugh actually sexually assaulted Ford does not matter. “

                    False; it does matter if he actually sexually assault Ford, it just may not make much of a difference at this point in time in his life because there’s a complete lack of proof at this point and there seem to be plenty of “facts” that he has shown his character to be honorable since that moment in time; also, there doesn’t seem to be the usual onslaught of #MeToo’ers flocking to destroy the man with additional accusations, yes that’s a rationalization but it does say something about the man. The fact is that sometimes a person doing something bad/terrible/inappropriate/etc can absolutely change the course of their life for the better because they learned the right lesson(s) from their actions.

                    The following is not intended to be a rationalization to deflect, it’s an ethical question that I think we have all thought about over the last couple of years.

                    What were the accepted base standards for sexual assault at the time this incident took place; was a teenager groping a fellow teenager of the opposite sex considered sexual assault at that time? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.

                    Heck I remember plenty of consensual groping of fellow teenage female girlfriend(s) while we were making out and it “seemed” like the normal (whatever that is) thing to be doing, even as far as hand down the pants, no one ever seemed to mind one bit. Adolescent sexual experimentation. I only remember one girl ever saying no and I stopped touching immediately, it didn’t change a thing in our relationship as far as I knew we continued to date for quite a while after that. I learned respect long before my teenage years. Now, is it reasonable for one of those girls to come forward today blow a encounter completely out of proportion and accuse me of sexual assault based on today’s hyped up societal standards; I think not.

                    This has come up many times in the last couple of years, do we judge a person based on today’s hyped up societal standards for an action that took place in a period of time that didn’t necessarily share the same base societal standards. Consider the free love societal standards of hippies during the 60’s and 70’s; would it be fair to judge those people based on today’s hyped up societal standards where today if you accidentally touch the side of a woman’s breast through her shirt when you put your arm around her it’s considered groping and a sexual assault.

                    It’s just something to think about, no need to reply.

      • No. The fact that Feinstein sat on this until it was obvious the nomination was going to go through meant this accusation was planned as part of the disruption FROM DAY ONE.

        If it was planned from Day One, the accusation was also planned and manufactured from day one.

        Legions of leftist acolytes ran their dumpster diving research into Kavanaugh’s past, found a vindictive Leftist professor who could possibly claim she came into contact with him who also happened to be in therapy for something that might have possible happened sometime in the general vicinity of she and Kavanaugh’s high school that may have remotely occurred somewhere on the same continental region and got her to “remember”, conveniently that a SCOTUS nominee that is notionally diametrically opposed to her politics might have possibly done something heinous to her.

        Odd coincidences these are.

        • And don’t think there aren’t even BETTER and more WELL OILED attack plans on every single other individual on Trump’s nomination short list…the battalions of leftist trash manufacturers have had LONGER now for each of those names AND have seen what specifically works and doesn’t work given the Kavanaugh fiasco.

  5. Here is a Washington Post article about the incident:

    I find the whole account questionable. She can’t remember where it happened, when it happened, and who was involved. Oh, but she took a lie detector test. That’s settles it, no?

    This incident allegedly happened in the summer of 1982, but it first came to light in therapy sessions in 2012. She told her therapist about it, whose notes have been revealed. The therapist’s notes state that 4 males were involved; the Accuser had to correct them. In those therapy sessions, her husband recounted that “. . . his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.” Interesting, no? In 2012 she was worried that Kavanaugh could be nominated for the Supreme Court. She held out until the summer of 2018 to do something about this incident.

    The Accuser also states that her career was harmed as a result of the incident. Yet, she did not bring these allegations to the attention of the public until the summer of 2018 when Kavanaugh was on the short of Supreme Court nominees. She did not go public with the allegations but sent a confidential letter to a California Congressional representative, who sent it to Feinstein. Feinstein, in the interest of full disclosure, held up the confidential letter and sent it to the FBI, who reviewed and declined to investigate.

    I watched some news shows yesterday. Retired Judge Andrew Napolitano told Steven Hilton that the Republicans should take it seriously, delay confirmation until the allegation is investigated, and should be very careful how it is handled in the Age of #MeToo; otherwise, it will blow up in their faces in the November 2018 mid-term elections. Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks they should delay confirmation.


      • About the lie detector test:

        The Post with results of an August 2018 polygraph test showing Ford was truthful when she said a summary of the allegations was accurate, the newspaper reported.

        That sounds shady – “a summary of the allegations was accurate…” Whose summary? How was she provided the summary? Why given a summary of the allegations – there’s not thousands of facts, why not just ask her about them?

    • So, I have one comment on this. I’ve been sexually assaulted a few times in my life. I don’t want to talk about it, and quite frankly, I’d be lying if I said I thought about these incidents every day — I do not. But, there are certain things that happen that trigger those memories. Like this woman’s accusations, or that person’s name coming up, or someone who recounts something similar happening to them — it brings back all those memories. So yes, if one of my attackers every rose through the ranks and got on the bench, I would start thinking about him more than I already do. I think that’s normal.

      • Spartan writes: “So, I have one comment on this. I’ve been sexually assaulted a few times in my life. I don’t want to talk about it, and quite frankly, I’d be lying if I said I thought about these incidents every day — I do not. But, there are certain things that happen that trigger those memories. Like this woman’s accusations, or that person’s name coming up, or someone who recounts something similar happening to them — it brings back all those memories. So yes, if one of my attackers every rose through the ranks and got on the bench, I would start thinking about him more than I already do. I think that’s normal.

        As a kind of counter-point: Andrea Dworkin wrote a book names *Intercourse* in which she revealed what she understood to be the horror of woman’s basic position. She blamed men for the plight of woman and seemed to say that men are the cause of woman’s problem. She says this, of course, as a radical feminist and a lesbian included.

        In fact, Dworkin is angry at *God*, if you will — the author of Creation. It interested me when I read her book that she was in truth rebelling against and profoundly angry with Nature, as in Nature the Goddess. Or Nature the natural world.

        American women, and to a less extend European women, have a deformed story they tell about their men, and about Man. Some part of this deformation results from so many years of radical feminist discourse: which is, if you examine it, as with Dworkin, less anger to men and much more anger at what Nature has assigned to woman.

        The radical American feminist takes this to bizarre extremes, and politically, socially, seeks to undermine the position of man and men. She wants to turn it upside-down, to rearrange it, and her project is, I began to see, one of rebellion less against man and more against Nature, her own body, her assignment as it were within creation.

        In this bizarre postmodern atmosphere, and among terribly confused child-women, the notion of man as the origin of evil has been constructed. This is ‘the myth of the monstrous male’ (another interesting title I glossed).

        So, there is no woman, except perhaps the most severely unattractive, who have not had to deal with the *reality* of who and what men are and how they act. And surely there is such a thing as *sexual assault*.

        But what is happening today is that woman seeps in her ressentiment of her own position which she has been taught is a punishment, or worse is imposed on her by evil men, and she simmers in her anger. But it is man and men that have done amazing things to liberate woman! The liberation that woman has, is a result of many things offered by men to women. The entire *space* given to woman was given, let us say, by generous man.

        What I think (surmise, intuit) is happening today is that any women, anywhere, is experiencing a reaction within her own psychology about which she is dimly conscious. Anger, frustration, hurt, confusion. She is both deeply dis-content at the result of her so-called ‘liberation’, but imagines that her situation will be relieved if she gets more, or different.

        But, there are certain things that happen that trigger those memories. Like this woman’s accusations, or that person’s name coming up, or someone who recounts something similar happening to them — it brings back all those memories.

        Thousands and millions of women, deeply reacting from within emotional centers, and reacting out of hurt or frustration — and anger — find a way to lash out, to punish both man and men. This is happening in the era of social media, and in a cultural situation which gives far too much power to the child-baby spoiled-brat.

        It is social hysteria that is empowered by people not seeing what it is, and stopping it. (The very same thing happened with Brock Turner. But when the case was examined one found that the feminist councillor who attended the women who herself remembered nothing (she was an alcoholic with black out problems), coached and instructed her to get memory of the *horror* she experienced in her own mind and after the fact, and destroyed a young man’s life).

        I would not say this happens *all the time* but I would definitely say it is happening some of the time. And the present ridiculous example is a manifestation of deep-seated female discontent fueled by general social hysteria.

  6. One of the many maddening things about this latest hoax is that even the supporters of Kavanaugh have fallen into the trap of calling this supposed event a sexual assault or, as Still Spartan calls it, an “attempted gang rape.” But everything about this recovered-memory narrative points to something completely different, and completely innocent.

    I, for one, believe that Ford is describing an event that really happened. There’s a very good chance that the incident didn’t really involve Kavanaugh. She barely knew Kavanaugh at the time and first mentioned the incident only 30 years later when he became a prominent public figure, so it’s very possible that she inserted him into the scene, either intentionally because of her political leanings or unconsciously because of his prominence. (My memory has played a similar trick on me. For years, I told an anecdote about an encounter that I had with one of my college professors, call him Professor A, who later won a Nobel prize. A few years ago, I was retelling this story at a school reunion, when one of my friends reminded me that actually, the incident had not involved Professor A at all, but rather Professor B, who is not famous.)

    The reason that I think there’s a real event underlying Ford’s story is in part that she so freely admits that her memory is very cloudy, but also because the actual events that she describes fit so very poorly into the narrative of a sexual assault. It sounds much more like innocent horseplay as misinterpreted by a confused and frightened girl (now woman). For example, she is convinced that this was a joint sexual assault by Kavanaugh and his friend Judge, but by her own description Judge wasn’t participating at all until he suddenly jumped onto the bed, sending all three of them tumbling to the ground as the boys roared with laughter, whereupon she left the room without interference by anybody (“made her escape,” as she remembers it). Does that sound like an attempted gang rape, or does it sound like guys who thought they are play-wrestling with a willing participant? I won’t parse the story line-by-line, but it is full of instances like that where her description of events fits poorly with her understanding of the same events.

    We all know people who are perennial outsiders and misfits, who don’t pick up on normal social cues, who are unhappy and fearful, who become hurt or angry at teasing that most people would recognize as friendly and humorous, who perceive playful roughhousing as a brutal physical attack, who are simply able to navigate the social scene without taking and giving offense where none is intended. High school is the most fraught time for people like that, because normal people have not yet learned to recognize the type and either avoid triggering their fears or avoid associating with them altogether.

    This type of person is also the one that is most likely to recall a trivial event in a therapy session three decades after it occurred and experience a sudden revelation that this one event was the cause of all of the unhappiness and alienation that she has felt every day of her life for the past 30 years.

    • This sounds perfectly plausible, and reasonable. Unfortunately, under #metoo, it might as well be a total fabrication with malice aforethought.

      Reason only matters to rapists, which apparently, all men, at least white men, now are.

    • “It sounds much more like innocent horseplay as misinterpreted by a confused and frightened girl (now woman).”

      I am not sure I would characterize this as “innocent horseplay”. I would characterize it, assuming without deciding an incident happened at all as she said it did, as a couple of drunk 15 – 17 year olds who tried to get together at a high school party at someone’s house. By her own admission (again, assuming her story holds true), all of them had been drinking at someone else’s home (whose parents obviously were not there), she went into an upstairs bedroom with two drunk male teenagers she barely knew, and they messed around until she left the room and the two guys stumbled down the stairs.


    • I think this is very possible, and the passage of time (and her general dislike for conservatives) allows Ford to embellish on her story, while still considering it to be true. I have observed pathological liars (sadly within my own family) do this. Because there is a kernel of truth to their story, they can lie with great conviction and passion. In fact completely believing their own lies.

      The kernel of truth might be as tiny, in this case, as “Ford was at a party and recognized Kavanaugh and Judge there. They drank alcohol. Ford felt awkward and didn’t have a good time at the party.”

      Or, someone else roughhoused with her and the two men weren’t even there. Or she saw a guy grope another girl. Or someone told her about a similar experience….

  7. Actually, Jack, it is probably unethical to insult her. Nor do I believe the facts can be known, given the decades that have passed; and I do agree that high school transgressions should (for the most part) not serve to disqualify one from being a model adult and advancing to the highest career aspirations. There is so much wrong with both sides of this “argument”. Dr Ford should not be vilified if, as it seems possible, she actually believes her version of events. We — and that includes you, of course — do not know. Your most recent point appears to be “it was high school”. Perhaps that is a valid point, although it most probably would not be if she had actually been raped rather than groped through her clothes. (If rape was a real possibility, then perhaps it is a case of “moral luck.” Did she fear she would be raped or seriously hurt? We don’t know. If so, was it a rational fear? Again, we don’t know. We do know that Judge Kavanaugh categorically denies the incident. If he is truthful — and was not too drunk to remember — th b this attack on him should stop. If he is not truthful, then he deserves an “ethics alarm”. Should we believe Dr Ford? Are her memories as first told to anyone in 2012, decades later, reliable? Yet again, we do not know. Does her polygraph show that her allegation is true? Not at all. She is a professor of clinical psychology. The American Osychological Association (APA) position on polygraphs is that they are inherently unreliable for multiple reasons, including faulty memory, trauma, believing something that is not fact, etc. The APA asserts that almost all “psychologists and scientists agree@ that there is no reliable study validating polygraphs. The APA recommends that polygraphs not be considered to demonstrate truth or falsehood. The inteliabioitybof pilygraphs as “evidence” is a primary reason their results are generally excluded from court. Dr Ford knows this — or should — as she teaches clinical psychology at the university level. So, we have multiple candidates for Ethics Alarms: Kavanaugh, if he is lying when he categorically denies the allegation. Ford, in multiple counts: if her story is not true and she knows it (she does, however, seem to genuinely believe it). Ford, for working with her lawyer to pull the polygraph “stunt” (Yes “stunt” as she clearly knew it should have known that polygraphs are unreliable and not supported by psychologists or scientists. One has to wonder if we would ever known the results of polygraph if the results had been different; and if the explanation would have been “the scientific consensus is that they are unreliable”). There are too many Ethics Alarms ringing on this story — we’ll beyond the two principals to the two political parties, to those who support eitherbDr Ford or Judge Kavanaugh with arguments that are not bottomed in demonstrable fact, to the journalists who opine rather than reporting (without clearly making the distinction), and especially to the Facebook commenters on both sides of the argument. Bottom lines: we don’t know; we can probably never know; if untrue, it is a tragedy that Judge Kavanaugh’s character is being assassinated; if true, it is a very question for the Senators to decide whether a (possibly) serious transgression while in high school decades ago should be disqualifying. As the lyrics indicate, “It’s not for me (or you) to day.

    • She should be vilified for 1) doing this in the first place, at all 2) dredging up a high school incident to impugn a an adult who has proven himself to be a trustworthy professional, 3) doing so with inadequate evidence, and 4) setting a horrible precedent.

      She’s despicable, and should be called on it.

      • 1. Disagree — assuming she’s telling the truth.
        2. What does that have to do with anything? Lots of trustworthy professionals (including lawyers) have committed sexual assault and other crimes.
        3. There rarely is adequate evidence to prove sexual assault — that is why it almost always comes down to “he said, she said.” If your standard is followed, then we should advise all women who have been assaulted to shut up and get over it.
        4. Is this the same as No. 1? I do disagree, but I can see the flip argument. I’ve been sexually assaulted and harassed. I reported the harassment (it got me nowhere), and I did not report the assaults. I didn’t for a number of reasons, but principally due to shame, not having adequate evidence, and being a pretty private person generally when it comes to sex. The emotional and psychic drain to report it would have been intense and I was pretty sure that nothing would come of it. Now, are these men scum? Yup. Should they ever be on the Supreme Court? Nope. If they were nominated, would I feel honor bound to say something? Let’s just say that I hope I am never in that position, because the last thing I would ever want is to have my personal and sexual life diagnosed and questioned on everything from CNN to ethics blogs.

        • Let’s put this another way. Assuming that a sexual assault did occur, who is more despicable — the assaulter who got away with it, or the assaultee who waited thirty years before reporting it? These are both bad acts, but I still think the assaulter tips the scales.

          • And you know full well that you cannot unring the bell once the allegation is made..

            Equality means equal treatment. This means you need to stand up and proclaim abuse when it happens. You cannot demand equality and then hide behind the rationalizations you gave. If you felt shame, ask yourself why do you feel shame. The innocent should feel no shame. That excuse should have died out in the 70’s.

          • Arguably, but so what? Adult Kavanaugh should not be punished for a non-criminal event that occurred before he could vote. Her bad act will ruin a career and upend the judiciary. His attempt at a bad act—if it happened—made her fall off a bed.

            • Attempted rape was and is a crime. Our prisons are full of people who committed sexual and other crimes as teenagers and were tried as adults. If true, he just wasn’t caught. And it will not “upend the judiciary.” That’s absurd. As for his career being ruined, we’ll see. Justice Thomas is doing just fine.

                • I’ve been harping about this for a while. What is it with the “attempted rape” and “gang rape” characterizations?? How can anyone remotely characterize this alleged incident this way?

                  At worst, this was juvenile groping and inappropriate touching, if it actually happened exactly as she remembered it. Her fears had nothing to do with the reality of the contact. I guess by the strictest possible definition, it could be a sexual assault.

        • 1) Even she doesn’t know if she’s telling the truth. Motives: dubious. Reliability: unknown. Fairness: NONE. What do you disagree with?

          2) Non sequitur. Wonderful public servants have misbehaved as teens. Their conduct as children is and should be irrelevant.

          3) What’s your theory? Just accuse and wreck lives out of spite? If you can prove it, it is wrong to count on biased judgments to get your way.

          4) Were the men, or were they teens? If not the latter, I don’t see the relevance. What other one-off misconduct do you think warrants a life-time of punishment regardless of remorse, contrition, and reform?

          • 1) Let’s wait for the testimony. If she’s lying, she’s been lying for 4 years.
            2) Not irrelevant. How do you even know that he is a wonderful public servant? Do you know him personally? You’re doing a lot of spinning here.
            3) How do we know she’s doing it out of spite? I would keep my mouth shut, but that’s because I’m a coward and I know what happened to Anita Hill. Most women don’t report sexual assault even when the attacker is a nobody because we know the shit show that will happen. The fact that this is so public actually makes me believe her a little more — only a psychopath wants this level of negative attention.
            4) He was 17. A 17 year-old Catholic kid from an upper middle class family. Assuming it happened, he knew better and it was a crime. A horrible crime at that. No remorse for him if he did it. If he didn’t do it, then I am happy to get out my pitchfork to go after his accuser. As for your latter — just about any serious sex crime, including pedophilia, incest, and rape. Also, premeditated murder. Arson that results in death. I have more, but is that enough?

            • 1) Let’s wait for the testimony. If she’s lying, she’s been lying for 4 years.

              Six, if she correctly remembered that she discussed it in 2012. Oh, that’s right, we have a memorialized conversation that DOES NOT MATCH her claim.

              2) Not irrelevant. How do you even know that he is a wonderful public servant?

              Because literally hundreds, if not thousands of people have said so in the course of his confirmation. How do we ever know? I’ll tell you – by what others say about them.

              3) How do we know she’s doing it out of spite? I would keep my mouth shut, but that’s because I’m a coward and I know what happened to Anita Hill.

              We don’t, but we have evidence that is very damning: 1) her well-known partisanship 2) her deleting of social media profiles just before making this accusation public 3) her hiring of an attorney with a profile that fits partisan witch-hunts 4) her inability to offer any corroborating evidence such as time, place, or even the acquiescence of the other two people in the room, or any of the five persons supposedly present other than her.

              Anita Hill deserved exactly what she got. Worse, by my lights. She was a transparent liar.

              4) He was 17. A 17 year-old Catholic kid from an upper middle class family. Assuming it happened, he knew better and it was a crime.

              How would a 17-year old know that what he may have seen as wrestling around with a girl was a crime in the early 1980’s? Certainly, she didn’t tell him – or anyone else, apparently – until 30 years later during the height of #metoo hysteria when every kind of contact is a crime.

              What we have here, by the preponderance of evidence, is a dishonest attempt to smear a nominee for political reasons. That’s what this looks like, and it’s what I suspect it is. If she testifies, maybe she can be properly cross-examined and we can test her claims. I suspect she won’t. At this point, her mission is accomplished. Her testimony won’t substantially affect the outcome unless it has some form of corroboration.

              • Until more is known, I am with Glenn on this one.

                This story smacks of a political hatchet job against which Kavanaugh cannot defend himself. If he admits he did what she is accusing him of, he is toast. If he fights the charges, he comes off looking like another abuser taking further advantage of the accuser by challenging her reputation.


            • Still Spartan wrote, “If she’s lying, she’s been lying for 4 years.”

              Isn’t that pushing the border of being a rationalization?

              Have you ever met a person that you might consider a regular or pathological lair, I have actually met a person that is a pathological liar and a few that are I suspect are close. Standing behind a lie for 4 years is nothing to a person that thinks no one can prove they’re lying.

                • FOUL. What she did do is infinitely magnify the harm of the incident by not addressing it when it occurred, if it occurred. Then the alleged perp could acknowledge wrongdoing. Make amends. Put it behind him. The delay is unethical. I get it: a victim doesn’t want to come forward. Fine. But there are still consequences of that decision. In your increasingly irrational doubling down, you’re pretending that it is responsible to just keep an accusation in your back pocket in case you need it—to smear a candidate, to block a nomination.


      • I hate to agree, but I think I do. It’s the obvious issue with the temporal distortion of memory and partisan tilt of the woman, along with the timing, that makes this hard to accept as a valid claim.

        Ethically, even if it happened as she described, she would be ethically estopped from bringing it up at this point in time due to it’s manifest unfairness, absurdly long gestation and the effect time has on memory, and the appearance of partisan impropriety.

        • I really like your estoppel argument, Glenn. I think it’s the comment of the day. It’s been six years since the episode came up in therapy in 2012. Why not protect the country from a sitting Federal Judge six years ago?

  8. A question for our resident psychologist/psychiatrist:

    What the chance that this incident actually happened similarly to what she has claimed but she imprinted the wrong individual(s) into the event?

    Why do I ask, well…

    At a high school reunion two years ago a group of former classmates were recalling an incident that happened at that High School 40 years ago. The incident was violent in nature (not sexual) and it was witnessed by some of the classmates, which was quite routine around that school. One of the people that was directly involved in this incident was part of the conversation and swore up and down that the other person involved was X when in fact the other person involved was Y. I guess everyone that was part of the conversation that had witnessed the incident agreed it was Y not X. The person claiming it was X wouldn’t give up, he was dead certain it was X and everyone else was wrong. Well later on X arrived at the reunion and heard about the claim and confronted the guy, but before he confronted the guy he got Y on phone using skype, X and Y are close friends. Even when confronted by X the guy continued to claim it was X until X turned the phone around and he saw Y’s face and heard Y’s voice – the guy’s recollection seemed to instantly return and the humiliation was so intense he stormed out of the room. To be fair this guy and X were never friends and X had issued some serious tongue lashings but they never had any physical contact because this guy was noticeably smaller than X, most people were smaller than X; on the other hand Y was close to this guy’s size but smaller. This guy had picked a physical fight with Y who was smaller than him with a sucker punch using a chair across the back in a classroom and he lost that fight big time. Over time I guess he had either convinced himself that the guy that beat him up was the bigger of the two friends or he was just lying to save face.

    For the record; I’m Y.

    Like many others, High School sucked for me in so many ways and to be perfectly honest that day was the worst. I was taught not to start fights, which I didn’t, but I was also taught how to aggressively protect myself, he was attacking me and I had to defend myself. To this day I think he was on something when he attacked me.

    • I guess Greg touched on this angle above.

      The point is that this can and does happen and this lady does not have the right to be believed; she does have the right to be heard and so does Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is innocent until proven guilty. If this lady has no proof to support her accusation then, in my humble opinion, it’s defamation intentionally presented to destroy the reputation of Kavanaugh and Kavanaugh should have his lawyer sue the pants off of her.

  9. It’s looking even worse and worse.

    Now there are signs that this story came about by something akin to “repressed memory therapy.” Ford, who hates Republicans, just happened ton”remember,” in marriage therapy, perhaps prodded by a counselor to dig deep into her psyche for traumatic hidden experiences, that the guy who molested her at some party someplace sometime maybe in the Summer of that one year (but don’t hold me to that)…was in fact two prominent conservative guys.

    Oh, and there’s a lie detector test! We just need a psychic reading to complete the trifecta.

  10. One thing about taking lie detector tests is the tester can’t actually tell if what the person claims happened actually happened, they can only detect if the reacts as if they are lying about it; therefore, if the person taking the lie detector test actually believes something happened then they can easily pass the test.

    If my memory is correct, lie detector test are usually not admissible as evidence in a court, it’s only offered as opinion not fact.

    • This is true in most jurisdictions.

      I have mis-remembered several events in my life, a couple of them significant enough I would’ve thought to remember them correctly. I could’ve passed a lie detector on those, and been wrong each time.

          • …or has been trained to beat the test. This used to be possible, given training I once received 20 odd years ago.

            Having been through a course on the state of the art these days, my methods would not likely work any more, but that is not to say there have not been new countermeasures in response to the new technology.

            Sociopaths always could beat the test.

  11. If #MeToo means that we believe the allegations as prima facie truth and need not investigate them to find Kavanaugh unqualified, then isn’t the defense to such allegations also prima facie proof as well? Not Kavanaugh’s own defense, mind you, because we already know he should be pilloried in the town square. I am talking of those who grew up with him and did/can not corroborate the Accuser’s allegation. What if the other main participant in the alleged awful conduct was present and never mentions it? Isn’t the absence of evidence evidence that nothing may have happened or happened differently than the Accuser says?

    Case in point: Mark Judge is fingered as the co-conspirator. He is a conservative writer and teenage friend to Kavanaugh (who has written about Kavanaugh), has written of his rather . . . colorful past. He, by his own admission, seems to have been a downright awful person. He has written in books, articles, and on his own social media pages that he engaged in terrible behavior as a drunk. He is an admitted raging alcoholic. Yet, he has never written about this incident or his involvement.

    He has gone through a number of recovery programs including, but not limited to, Alcoholics Anonymous. A cornerstone of AA is its 12-step program. Here is link to the 12 steps:

    According to AA, Step 8 is regarded as one of the most challenging steps by many members. This step requires atonement, preparation of a list of people the alcoholic has harmed and to whom said person is willing to apologize and right the wrongs. This step is so challenging because it requires the person to take an honest look at just how much alcoholism has impacted others.

    According to two articles, rather blunt articles at that, Judge never discussed this incident or sought to make amends for participating in an attempted rape as the Accused alleges. Here are two independent articles to read:




    It would seem to that such an assault as alleged by the Accused would be an important event for atonement and reconciliation. Yet, Judge never brings it up or mentions it in his writings. Is that a coincidence? From what I read, he is pretty direct about his past. This allegation, is noticeably missing from his own story. What do we make of that?


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