OK, Facebook Friends, Let’s Pretend It Isn’t Kavanaugh…Let’s Pretend It’s ME.

I’ve had this post composed in my head for some time, and have hesitated to complete it. I really don’t like upsetting people I care about, much as some might think otherwise.

However, there has been such escalating fanaticism on Facebook (and elsewhere, of course), ringing through the echo chamber, about how Dr. Ford must be “believed” and how the judge is a “serial rapist,” I have to ask: would you all treat me this way? Would you react to seeing my career and reputation derailed by the sudden appearance of a high school acquaintance who announces that she has only recently come to realize that I had sexually assaulted her at a party? After hearing my denials, would you decided to determine that her account, with no verification by any witnesses, with the large amount of time past and with absolutely nothing in my record, professional or private life, to suggest any such proclivities, should be sufficient to have me labelled as untrustworthy?

Don’t resort to the “but he’s going to sit on the Supreme Court” trick. I’m a professional ethicist: an accusation that is widely metastasized into doubts about my character, including using it to tar me a liar, would be just as ruinous to me as the late hit on Kavanaugh is disastrous to him. There is no “well, this is wrong UNLESS its a Supreme Court nominee” principle: that’s a pure rationalization. No, if the Ford accusation, with all of its flaws, its basis in fading and rediscovered memories, the fact that it involved juveniles, all of that, and the objective professional observations by Rachel Mitchell that found several reasons why Ford’s testimony was incredible, is still enough to allow you to condemn Judge Kavanaugh, then it must be enough for you to condemn me too.

But I’ll make it easier for you: let’s say its me that is the current Supreme Court nominee, and me that your favorite party has condemned as a threat to civilization. (And lets assume that you haven’t read any of my judicial decisions either.)

How could you  treat me that way? I’m trying to imagine anyone on my friends roster who wouldn’t have ample reason to dismiss Ford’s accusations against me as a mistake or a lie. Some of you knew me in high school. I made a lot of mistakes, but did anyone think of me as threat to girls? I had exactly two dates in high school. I know I went to less than ten parties in four years. I was at one–one–where drinking and strange activities in dark rooms were going on, and I suppose one of the women there could now hire Michael Avenetti and say that I looked like I was hanging around doors waiting to participate in a gang rape. Would you believe her? Well, if you would decide to believe her about Kavanaugh, and you know absolutely nothing that he has done in the last thirty years to suggest that he acted like that, I guess you would be just as willing to believe that about me.

Some of you have known me since college. I had my first kiss with a woman as a sophomore—she was drunk, I wasn’t, and kissed me. Come to think of it, she sexually assaulted me. I graduated without having sex, just like Kavanaugh says he did. I was, as always, involved in theater, and was at some pretty wild cast parties, including one that merged with an all-gay party in the same house. Does that make me guilty of sexual assault in high school? Does that make this accusation sufficiently reliable to justify harming me and my family  today?

My many friends from law school, I thought I could say with confidence, know that I was notable for my respectful treatment of women, particularly since a lot of stage directors–many of you know me from the shows I directed at Georgetown—take advantage of their position, and engage in subtle and not so subtle sexual harassment and worse. Some women from that period know that I intervened when actors mistreated them. Yet now it is conceivable to you that I am a ticking time bomb of sexual predation?

Some of you worked with me, and for me, at the U.S. Chamber, Georgetown, and the Association of Trial Lawyers, where I supervised several all-female staffs and mentored some of the young women in my charge. I never flirted with you, touched you, or in any way treated you with disrespect, in part because I grew up with a brilliant and accomplished sister, and was raised by a life-time  Boy Scout father owed his unshakable values to an amazing single mother, and he modeled absolute intolerance for any misconduct, sexual or otherwise, by men toward women.

In light of all this, and also considering how I have lived my life since I was married to my wife Grace, another brilliant woman, almost 38 years ago, I am stunned that anyone would take the word of a previously unknown accuser from the past over mine in a claim of sexual assault. Don’t tell me about all the women who are sexual assaulted and have reasons to not report it, and stay silent for years. That has nothing to do with me, just as it has nothing to do with Brett Kavanaugh. His accuser isn’t some abstract symbol of all the abused women in the world and through history. They don’t make her more or less fair or accurate when she comes out of the shadows to point to me to cue my personal destruction. She is a real person, and so am I. And the truth is that none of you have any more reason to doubt Brett Kavanugh’s denials than you would have reason to doubt mine, unless you had an ulterior motive to destroy my life and reputation, just as you have—you know you do, don’t bullshit me— a reason to destroy Kavanaugh’s.

You didn’t want him on the Supreme Court before Ford appeared, and you were thrilled to have another way to defeat him, even if it meant turning him into a target of hate.

This is called “the ends justifies the means,” or absolute utilitarianism, an invalid, unethical, ruthless and totalitarian way to treat people. The conduct also violates Kant’s Categorical Imperative, which holds that it is wrong to exploit another human being for another’s wants or need. That’s also what you are doing to Brett Kavanaugh, so I have to assume that if I stood in the way of a political and social agenda about which you were convinced must be the only good and true way, and that all dissenters and critics were not merely citizens with a different view, but enemies, you would allow Ford to wreck my career just as you cheered hr on last week.

Why wouldn’t I assume that? You have no reason to believe Kavanaugh is a simmering sexual predator, and no reason to think that of me, either.

You and all of the rest in the anti-Kavanaugh lynch mob don’t care about him as a human being, and know nothing about him or his character. He drank a lot in his youth. So did  many of my friends, and more of them used illegal drugs to excess. His alcohol abuse doesn’t mean he’s a sexual predator, nor does it mean he’s an alcoholic, not that some of the finest people I know aren’t alcoholics. (And thank you, Senator Whitehouse, for putting public understanding of this pernicious disease and its lack of any moral stain back 50 years. May you rot in Hell for that.)

Maybe because you actually know me, you are confident that would stop you from “believing” my completely unsupported accuser. Is that your thinking? Foul. The Golden Rule requires each of us to treat others as we would want to be treated, whether we like or know them, or not. Nobody reading this would feel fairly treated if, at a moment of a great personal and professional advance, a figure out of your deep past emerged to undermine everyone’s trust in you, based on something she said you did many decades ago. You don’t get to pick and choose who is worthy of being treated ethically, or decide that your agenda is more important than another human being’s life, or that getting your pathetic little “likes” and “loves” for joining a mob that wants to make the rejection of  decency a virtue suddenly justifies ignoring due process, which simply means fair and consistent standards that you would want applied to you in a similar situation.

By applying a cruel and unethical standard to Brett Kavanaugh, you are laying the bricks for this to be the standard for everyone, like me. I resent it, I fear it, and reject it. Another of Kant’s useful ethical clarifications  declared that if you believe  a system is ethical, then you should be willing to have it apply in all cases. This is the Principle of Universality.  If you are willing to apply this brutal standard to Brett Kavanaugh, then I have to conclude that your current position is either ignorant of ethics, ruthless, or a willing betrayal of our friendship—because you want the same standard to be applied to me. What did I do to you, or anyone, to deserve that?

Yes, I take this disgusting cultural and political moment personally. So should every male who could find themselves in range of a stranger’s accusing figure, and so should anyone who can wrest themselves from political mania and start thinking about what all of us owe everyone: reciprocity, fairness, compassion, empathy, the benefit of the doubt, and the presumption of innocence.

91 thoughts on “OK, Facebook Friends, Let’s Pretend It Isn’t Kavanaugh…Let’s Pretend It’s ME.

  1. Of course I’d apply the same standard to you.

    If you asserted under oath that the “devils triangle” was just an innocent drinking game, and other terminological inexactitudes.

    If there was documentary evidence that you’d lied under oath at previous confirmation hearings.

    If you’d been appointed as a senior federal judge without once trying a case.

    If you made it clear, under oath, and reading from a prepared statement, that you’d have your revenge on political enemies, no matter how you backtracked later in the WSJ saying you were stressed and made a few minor intemperate remarks.

    Then I would question your suitability to be on the bench in any capacity.

    Much as I question RBG’s physical and mental fitness to continue in her position.

    However, the fix is in, and should the next nominee be Roy Moore, I’m confident every Republican would vote to confirm him. Just as I’m all too sure that should the Democrats ever get a majority in the Senate (something I consider increasingly unlikely, no matter how many votes are attempted to be cast for them), they’d vote along strict party lines too, no matter how unsuitable the candidate. For ‘balance’.

    • But none of that is true of Kavanaugh OR me. 1) Not remembering a drinking gamne the same way as someone else or the Urban dictionary isn’t “perjury,” because the topic isn’t material, and a lie can’t be proven. 2) There is not substantive evidence of lying in previous hearings. Good to know you read Mother Jones, but that is adversarial spin. Very weak. AH! he said he didn’t receive Miguel Miranda’s stolen material, but it looks like he received material that he didn’t know was stolen. Literally nobody is called a liar in a dispute like that. 3) Huh? Many, many great judges never tried a case. See, the lawyer’s role and the judge’s role are completely different. 4) That’s your characterization. I would also be pissed if I was treated like that, it WAS partisan, and that speech saved his nomination.

      Mine would have been stronger.

      The comment is a warning that some perspective or a vacation is in order. Now you’re regurgitating fanatic talking points.

      • Here, just to clarify, is a fair analysis of what went on, from Patricia McCarthy:

        With each passing day and with each bit of information that seeps out about Christine Blasey Ford, it is clearer and clearer that what the Democrats have done to Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been a setup from the outset.

        …Ford’s testimony was obviously scripted, practiced, massaged, and fabricated out of whole cloth. Ford may have seemed like a victim, not of Kavanaugh, but perhaps of her Democrat operatives. Over the past days, however, what is nearer to the truth is that she was and is part of a faction of anti-Trump activists bent upon destroying Kavanaugh in order to deny Trump another nominee to the Supreme Court.

        They have badly misjudged the wisdom and sentiment of the American people. These Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are so deluded by their belief in their own intellectual superiority that they felt comfortable publicly, derisively attacking a man with a reputation finer than any of those who sat in judgment. This was like Salieri sitting in judgment over the music of Mozart – preposterous.

        At first, those of us paying attention were anxious to hear Ford’s story. The bits of news that preceded her appearance before the Judiciary Committee were titillating. Was it possible that this man, Brett Kavanaugh, with a thirty-years-plus record of impeccable judicial service to his country, had a dark side? Then we heard Blasey Ford “testify.” How anyone who listened to her practiced, phony childish act could believe that this was not calculated is a mystery. She was obviously scripted, coached, and performing.

        Perhaps she did not expect to have to appear before the committee. She and her handlers may have assumed that the taint of her accusation would bring about his withdrawal from the nomination or that Trump would withdraw it. Guess they have not been paying attention to how Trump operates or who Kavanaugh is. They guessed wrong.

        Given the numerous falsehoods of the FBI and DOJ we now are aware of – the “two front doors” lie, the fear of flying lie, the claustrophobia lie, her polygraph lies – what seems credible now is that this was a manufactured, orchestrated setup at the outset. They used Mark Judge’s book as a template and contrived a tall tale.

        Trump nominated Kavanaugh, and the left shifted into overdrive; he would be defeated by any means necessary. Schumer said as much twenty minutes after Trump announced his nomination. From that moment on, they would dig down deep into the reservoir of radicals willing to go to the mattresses. Schumer likely began the plan with Feinstein. They knew that Katz and Bromwich would come aboard. Blasey Ford most likely volunteered her services. Ford’s lifetime friend, retired FBI agent Monica McLean, may have been on board to help write that ridiculous letter that ended up in Feinstein’s hands. Schooled, allegedly, in psychology, hypnosis, and all the attending versions of mind manipulation, Ford probably felt confident she could pull off the charade; she would use her baby voice to appear fragile and vulnerable. But she did not pull it off. There is a mighty chorus of Americans who pay attention to these issues and events. They were not fooled.

        The “narrative” of her alleged groping was vague enough to provoke doubt but wholly without corroboration. That the persons involved in this farce thought she would be convincing without a shred of evidence is comical. They really do think all of us outside their bubble of leftist groupthink are imbeciles. They actually thought we would all fall for Ford’s absurd performance. Sure, the dupes on the left loved every moment of it. They don’t need evidence or witnesses. They believe survivors. Survivors of what? Nothing.

        Ford now looks like a liar and a fraud. There is most likely a real journalist out there right now who will dig deep and write the book about this travesty a few radical leftists perpetrated on all of us. It was all a lie.

        These people feel so entitled to force their agenda upon all of us that they have lost all moral sense. They will lie, cheat, and steal to win in the end. That is exactly what they did. They lied, cheated, and stole Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation, his life’s work, his love of teaching and coaching girls’ basketball. They did it without a moment’s thought for what it meant to him or to those of us out here in this great nation….

        • https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/we-were-brett-kavanaughs-drinking-buddies-we-dont-think-he-should-be-confirmed/2018/10/04/923cf6ac-c821-11e8-b2b5-79270f9cce17_story.html?noredirect=on

          And a “Devil’s Triangle” is no more a drinking game than BDSM is the Beatific Devotion to Saint Mary. Or going out for snow and brewskis means an alpine holiday. Or doing a few lines of coke means getting soft drinks from a vending machine.

          That Kavenaugh’s diary mentioned participation in a threesome when underage does not in my opinion disqualify him. Lying under oath by saying it’s a drinking game does.

          • As i said, signs of derangement. Who cares what anyone’s old drinking buddy thinks about whether a judge belongs on the Supreme Court? This is desperation, squared. Has HE read any of Kavanaugh’s opinions? Wh o is he? And if I had been asled about “the Devil’s Triangle” if it turned up in a yearbook I hadn’t looked at in decades, I’d say off the top of my head that it was that space around Bermuda where flying saucers are seen. Would I be lying?

            Do you people listen to yourself?

          • Huh – so that book of drinking games that was written about a decade ago that includes the Devils Triangle as a drinking game was actually written in advance to provide cover for Kavanaugh if this ever came up in a confirmation hearing. Damn – those guys are really good! /s

          • Sue, it has now been reported repeatedly that Devils Triangle was a drinking game, as well as other things. Part of the problem with your argument is that it depends upon a self-validating premise – Kavanaugh must be lying, therefore Devil’s Triangle must be something other than a drinking game in his usage.

            You transparently are putting the conclusion before the facts, and you’ve done it each and every time you responded. Yes, I know many in the media are doing exactly the same thing, but I don’t care about them. I care about the fake argument you have made here, deliberately ignoring reported facts because they are inconvenient.

            But even if Kavanaugh meant something other than the drinking game in what he wrote, what does that prove? Isn’t it just possible he doesn’t remember the usage, and is opting for the least incriminating definition? If you proved categorically that Devils Triangle referred to the most obscene sexual act you can imagine, that does not prove Kavanaugh lied, because the term means more than one thing.

            So your argument defeats itself, irrespective of the pure insanity of asking a person about their state of mind for a 36-year old yearbook entry.

            • I know, right? It is like she only hears the news she wants to hear, instead of the truth and rational logical analysis.

              In ohter words, a progressive who does not care about ethics, posting on an ethics blog.

              Short form: troll.

          • A man far more intelligent than I once asked, when faced with a book titled specifically as 100 authors refuting him, “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would have been enough.” Of course, that was Albert Einstein, and while we’re not discussing high-energy physics, his point stands: if you have to point to the quantity of your allies rather than the substance of your position, that detracts from your argument somewhat.

            More topically, just because 2400 (or 24, or 24 million) professors of law (or physicists, or plumbers) abrogate their own responsibility to honor the golden rule, it matters to me not one whit. As Catherine Aird once said, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” The gentlemen and ladies you reference have chosen the latter path.

            Even more topically, Jack just covered this mob of ethics dunces on Thursday. I suggest you take a moment to go back and read his post, as he takes this group to task far more thouroughly than I ever could – that is, if you’re actually willing to consider why it may be imprudent to do anything less than dismiss this specific view out of hand.

          • I think that letter is so illogical and transparent that it should be used in schools to teach critical thinking and rationalization. If you found that persuasive, you have left half your brain in a jar by the bed. Did you not read the recent post?

          • Jack addressed this. There are many thousands of law professors, most of them ideologically opposed to Kavanaugh. That they only got 2400 to sign the letter (which is utterly unethical in its construction) is an argument for his confirmation, not against it.

            When was the last liberal justice that was subjected to a media smear campaign, falsely accused of sexual impropriety when he was a minor, and subjected to a search for ideologically opposed lawyers (not judges) who would not want that judge confirmed?

            Never, you say? I think that matters, don’t you?

          • There are more than 25,000 law professors in the United States. You could probably find 2,400 within the Beltway: Georgetown, GW, Catholic, American, George Mason Universities, and more). What impact should a minority group of law professors have on the perceived ‘judicial temperament’ of Kavanaugh? Liberal lawyers abound, of course, and frankly, with this highly organized smear of Kavanaugh, I’m surprised the list wasn’t longer. Maybe it’s just possible that many law professors, who have never sat on the bench, and perhaps never even tried a case, realize that they cannot and should not pass judgment on Kavanaugh’s ‘temperament.’ This is getting so ridiculous I want to scream.

            And I think Jack is right: it’s open season on all men, now. Guilty until proved innocent? Whose rights are being violated here?

            PS I am a woman, and realize that sexual abuse is a significant and growing problem, in the workplace and elsewhere. But if a woman wants to wait 35 years to play “gotcha” with a man at the peak of his career, I think she needs more than a teary ‘report’ of her abuse, and real witnesses or facts that prove her case. One prosecutor asked if, truly, she confided in no one — mother, girlfriend, husband — about her trauma for 35 years? Odd, but her accusation is too timely, too timely indeed, to be believed on its face.

        • Oh, I mean personally, like a trip to Disneyland, not regarding the blog. “Vacation” is not the same as a “time out.” You’re welcome here whether you’re losing it or not. You broke no rules, and I apologize for using an ambiguous term.

          I still think your recent attitude show that Trunp Derangement has the global reach of Ebola.

          • To the extent that an apology is warranted, it is accepted with grateful thanks.
            I’m not sure that an apology was warranted of course. You’re playing it safe to ensure you are acting in accordance with the highest of ethical standards.
            Kind of you though. Thanks. I’ll try to live up to your example.

          • You forget – or perhaps didn’t know – people like me are now prohibited from entering the US, and have been since late 2012. So Disneyland is right out.

            More importantly, so have been a number of professional conferences, including one where I was invited as keynote speaker. I’m not exactly Robinson Crusoe there, many are in similar situations.

            The rot set in before Trump, in the name of compromise. He just dialled it to 11.

    • Okay, folks – Point of Order. We can count the number of liberals/progressives who still comment here on one hand and not use all of the available fingers. This makes Sue Dunim the rarest of breeds – and while I, too, find most of her posts on this thread specious at best, let’s debate with respect. Sue knows the lay of the land here on Ethics Alarms, yet she still has the courage to post. That should be encouraged, lest this become yet another online echo chamber.

      Speaking of courage, there have been times when Maine’s Senior Senator had me tearing my hair out. Yesterday may have been her finest hour as a politician. Many of my progressive Facebook friends – especially those from the beloved State o’ Maine – would have her tarred, feathered, drawn, quartered and hung from a lamp post – after torture, of course. Many proudly stated that they turned off her speech five minutes in, saying they just couldn’t take any more. Pity. Collins laid out a brilliant rationale for her position, and if these folks had even the faintest trace of an open mind they would read the transcript (or watch it in its entirety). They might find that while they still detest her decision, it was made with clarity of thought and deep understanding of the way the federal government is supposed to work.

      They never will, I’m afraid.

      • Their hate of critical thought, reason and the requirement of fact is no longer. At some point you just have to call them exactly what they are, useful Leftist idiots.

      • While I thank you for the praise of my courage, it’s unwarranted.

        I receive, apart from the valueless ad hominems and insults, valued and rational critique. When it’s accurate, it hurts, but is valuable as it causes me to refine my views. When it’s inaccurate, very often it still spurs me to think about my beliefs, to make sure the critique really is inaccurate.

        Courage? I’ve only had my house fire bombed by religious nutters once. I haven’t been shot at (ok, I have, but not in this context, Hez’b’Allah tried to neutralise a military threat, I would have done the same in their shoes but I’d like to think more effectively) or beaten up, or seriously threatened by more than two people, and in both cases, law enforcement and psychiatric sectionng dealt with those.

        I know people who have had to have courage in a political context. A handful, less, I can think of three who I knew well, were slain . One still recovering from brain injury. None in my own country though.

        Posting unpopular opinions on a mildly right of centre blog requires more Chutzpah than courage, the egotism that says that 50 million Frenchmen *can* be wrong. It’s not in the same league.

        I wish I deserved your praise – but when it comes to the ad hominems and insults, courage would only be required if I respected those insulting me, if my ego wasn’t so monstrous that I often don’t notice them. They’re human. They deserve respect. It is a grave fault in me that I don’t just ignore them, I’m often unaware of them.

    • Sue said: “Much as I question RBG’s physical and mental fitness to continue in her position.”

      It just occurred to me that, at least right now, Justice Ginsberg cannot resign as that would leave an opening to be filled now and the prospect of another non-progressive to attain a position on that court. Could this be so? I would assume that she, and others, are aware of this.

  2. Very nicely stated, and I fear not enough to penetrate the teflon bubble against reason. I would like to add that this level of hysteria is against men this time, but could easily and has been used to hang and burn women in an earlier with as little evidence. Spirit evidence, hearsay, not examining accuser’s motives, no statute of limitations, and lynch mobs were banned long ago for good reason. This tars the left and their mob far, far more than any one boor elected to office or their appointees.

    The smart thing, the thing that had been done for so many other elections, was to suck up the loss and shift their goals and methods to appeal to the middle again. This doubling, quadrupling down is alienating far more than they understand. I’ve voted Dem, or mostly Dem many times. But this is embarrassingly childish. (we’re going to scream and cry and hold our breaths until our faces turn blue and we *die*…) There is one local Dem here who is staying out of this drek and doing an acceptable job, and I plan to vote for him, but I’m expecting to make that a lone exception on election day.

    Let us know if this appeal to empathy and the golden rule resulted in anything, right?

    • “There is one local Dem here who is staying out of this drek and doing an acceptable job”

      That sounds like my home state. In the Republican primaries, the commercials were all arguments over who supported Trump more. Now that the election is coming up, the Democratic incumbent is running ads stating that he will support Trump on issues they agree upon and not support him on issues they don’t. But he has steered clear of the hysteria.

      I wonder if this is the case in many flyover states.

  3. Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man’s laws, not God’s– and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.

    Do the Democrats not understand the magnitude of the winds they unleash by dismantling the rule of law? Thank you for providing an island of calm in a hurricane.

  4. Well you as a justice, ok by me as you and I agree 90% of the time, but this entire thing has made me sick! One innocent until proven Guilty is a burdensome concept, but so important. But it is the reason that victims of sexual assaults are often mistreated by our court system. Sexual misconduct real or perceived is ugly any way it is applied. Using it as a political weapon if that is what happened, or denying it if it did happen, are both highly inopropraite. This entire political partisan parade, has been an embarrassment to our entire culture. I get it, I identified as a Republican for years, though my parents assumed I was a Democrat because I was gay! Today I am an independent why. Because I am ashamed of the lack of decorum from both parties. The fact that politics has gone to the extreme games and cheap shots, that it has. Our health system is failing and both sides of our political spectrum is in the pockets of those controlling it. Jack you are constantly telling us to stop making you defend the President. I have always held this office in the highest regards. But the men in it have made their shares of mistakes. This is the first President from either Party that seems like the mistake! Yes. The news media is slanted, both ways, I have to read everything to get a glimmer of the truth. I am equally embarrassed and disgusted that there are gofundme pages. Set up that have raised over $500,000 for each Dr. Ford. And the Hon. Kavanaugh.
    Sorry they are doing ok people there are real causes out thier that need your charity. As for the opinion that Kavanaugh is to angry for the office. If. He is innocent of the charges leveled against him, years after the events that supposedly happened when he was a minor, who drank too much. You would be angry too! That anger and outburst is natural if he is innocent. He could be a good actor! But we must in our society Give him and her chances to air their stories! But it should have happened years ago. If that is the case, and not in the spectacle it is now. When the congressional circus makes its rounds. The political posturing makes sure that the truth either way does not get attention. To my mother Kavanaugh seems credible. To a great number of Jack’s and my mutual friends Dr.Ford seems credible. What I notice is these views mirror thier party affiliations. I sometimes wonder why both sides are not as disgusted by the obvious partisan and political machinations as I am!

      • The problem is in protecting the accused civil rights and innocent until prove guilty,the victim is often not treated with the same respect by the defense and Ends up feeling victimized again. Unfortunately there is no fix for it with out Being unfair to the accused. Anyone who has worked with Victims of sexual assault. Or violent crimes can tell the process of seeking Justice puts you at great emotional risk. This is no small thing and it is an issue that seems unfixable. It has been discussed among victims advocates since the 60’s. It isn’t left wing propaganda, either. It effects victims. Regardless of political perspective. Many right wing pundits have hurt their own credibility by not recognizing the victims needs and rights. It is one of the few things that was well handled this time. Though the leftist leaning are trying to deny, that it was handled well.

  5. Great post.
    I would like to also point out to all the college professors that have no problem crucifying a person based on uncorroberated allegations, who argue this is a lifetime appointment, so too is faculty tenure and they are far better able to exploit the power dynamic than a SCOTUS justice. Should we evaluate tenure decisions based on unsupported allegations of behaviors they may have done in high school and college?

    I await Bill Ayers, Univ. Of Chicago’s answer.

  6. Mrs. OB has become frustrated with her facebook contacts, two friends from high school in particular. Both rabid lefties. She dated one of them when they were both seniors. I suggested she accuse him of having raped her. They in fact had had consensual sex. I was looking forward to his response to such an accusation. They’re both in their sixties. He’s a medical doctor and still practicing. As near as I can tell, he’d have absolutely no viable response to Mrs. OB’s accusation. She’d have to be believed since she was a survivor of sexual assault. He might as well have a piece of duct tape adhered to his mouth. Mrs. OB didn’t go for it, but she is completely fed up with the insufferable arrogance of her lefty facebook friends.

  7. These people feel so entitled to force their agenda upon all of us that they have lost all moral sense. They will lie, cheat, and steal to win in the end. That is exactly what they did. They lied, cheated, and stole Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation, his life’s work, his love of teaching and coaching girls’ basketball. They did it without a moment’s thought for what it meant to him or to those of us out here in this great nation….

    It is important to hold in mind that *these people* do not seem to be acting in bad faith. They honestly believe that the agenda they have is good, natural, part of positive evolution, ethically & morally correct, and to go even a bit further still: metaphysically sound insofar as among those who might think in such terms it accords with God’s will.

    So, they feel compelled to force their agenda not because they have lost their moral sense but because they see no alternative but to authoritatively insist on their version of morals and ethics. I again refer to the time immediately following WW2 when everyone, everywhere, became engaged in profound revision of those harsh ideas — strict, even scientific, also hierarchical and divisive ideas — which were common and largely accepted here in America and generally in the world.

    To put it in the most direct terms, those who still chose to think in those regressive ways as the after-war 40s turned into the 50s and the 60s and a new moral and ethical paradigm was affixed, were described as and seen as Nazis. Certainly among the religious there could be no way to see the the world in terms of *necessary divisions* or *ethnic hierarchies*, and out of this there developed the modern model of a specific doctrine of egalitarianism. If you have not been convinced that these new views are *metaphysically sound* and necessary, and if you do not accept them and also teach them, you are ipso facto a bad person. You are not with the times. You are an agent of regression and devolution.

    What I find interesting is to consider this loaded phrase in a different light:

    “They will lie, cheat, and steal to win in the end”.

    I think this needs to be seen in a broader perspective. I think we must see and understand that it has become necessary, and is also seen as a ‘good’, to self-engage in lies (and if you wish to use the hyperbolic terms to cheat and steal) in order to be certain that certain values are upheld in the present. In fact, our present has been constructed upon such activities. But when the violence, let us say, or the extremes of intolerance, or the sharp prejudice is used against an accepted and recognized enemy, then in that case we find it easy to allow that to be. I have an illustration for this:

    This is an example of a very very sophisticated public relations. These show sophisticated cultural memes that were employed with incredible force in the post-Sixties to remold culture according to specific moral & ethical visions. This is just one obvious example among thousands. It is, in fact, a *religious sentiment* insofar as a sense of rightness and righteousness stand behind it and prop it up; make it possible to act in that way with impunity.

    As I often suggest — this has been one of the main areas that I have chosen to focus in as a result of encountering this wonderful blog and diving into the ethics question — to understand our present we I have to understand how it was constructed.

    In order to understand what is now occurring in our present, and why it is all so vehement and passionate, one has to understand that all this had been taught to us; instilled into us; installed into the mind but more than that: installed into our interpretive structures and the way that we *see the world*.

    Therefor, I cannot blame, necessarily, those people who are now acting in this way. They are battling the Nazi, plain and simple. They see and define themselves as agents in an ontological struggle against what they understand to be ontological malevolence.

    I fully admit that turning against the Liberal Agenda and its necessary predicates is extremely difficult insofar as we are challenged to examine our own moral stance. Indeed, the way that we view reality. But I do suggest that unless a counter-proposition is defined *they* will continue to advance.

    This is what has happened: the progressives represent the moral anchor. As they move further and inexorably toward their stated and ideal object, they pull the entire *anchor* with them and so-called conservatives come right along with them. It is not that

    These people feel so entitled to force their agenda upon all of us that they have lost all moral sense…

    But rather that they in fact control and define what moral sense is.

  8. I’ve quietly observed this blog for some time now, about a year and some months if my memory serves. I’ve read my many posts, read many back and forths in the comment section, and I have remained silent on a great many issues both past a present…but now I can no longer stand idly by and say nothing.

    I have to thank you Jack for this post, as it has given me cause to rouse from my idleness.

    I, like many of you here, have been observing the ethics massacre that is, that has been the Kavanaugh hit job-and while yes, this is a political hit job, I believe this is something that has been incubating for some years now, and has its origins in halls of higher education. I’m sure that most of you have observed or have some knowledge of similar cases taking place involving men in college, how they bear some resemblance to the circus unfolding before our eyes in the seat of our government.

    This sexual assault scare, and the hysterics and ideologies surrounding it, has its origins in the universities. The tactics, the mechanics of this entire process were tried and tested in the universities-with devastating results. It was learned that this tactic was an effective way to shift blame, avoid responsibility, or to dispose of ideological threats.

    Against an accusation of sexual assault, there is no defense. Remember, the accusation IS the verdict.

    The fact someone can point a finger at a man and destroy his entire life terrifies me, and indeed should terrify any man-even so called “male feminists allies” are not safe, as they can and will be sacrificed for ”the cause” when it becomes ideologically necessary to do so.

    This not just a ‘job interview’ as so many of the talking heads on the Left are parroting-this is a criminal investigation, and Kavanaugh is on trial, but it is not before a proper criminal court, no, it is in that most malignant and sociopathic court of public opinion, and it is here that an entire political party has acted as judge, jury, and executioner. It is here that a man has been found guilty, had his personal record forever stained, and his life turned upside down, all based on unsubstantiated accusations from three decades ago.

    This not a system that I want to be held to account by, this not a system that I want my sons nor any other man to be held to account by.

    I believe in due process, I believe in innocent until proven guilty, I believe in justice, and I will never just “Listen and Believe”.

  9. Said to Sue: “Oh, I mean personally, like a trip to Disneyland…”

    Or perhaps to Africa?

    But please, try to show some proper postcolonial consciousness in your choice of head-gear!

    • Bonus Note

      I really do not know the ins-and-outs of American politics, and I do not very well understand the in-fighting that goes on. So, I am now and may forever be on the outside looking in.

      But when Melania showed up in a jeep on safari in a classic colonial hat — it has a name that I forgot — I thought: how could she, and how could *they* (those that surround her and advise here) not immediately know that it would not play well? They must have known and yet it was chosen still…

      Is there an alternative?

      Then I saw this following video, which is of course one of those *entertainment videos* that circulate that are seemingly silly and irrelevant but which in fact contain important messages in the same sense that *memes* do.

      [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZFlOoRDTMo ]

      It is worth watching just for the unreally bizarre footage of the now-president of the United States dancing, singing strange hillbilly songs with a pitchfork, and acting up.

      Then it occurred to me that, yes, DT is ‘trolling the nation’ and also ‘trolling the world’. He is not *an idiot* by any means but a very shrewd player in a very dangerous and complex game.

      Consider The Trickster:

      In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a character in a story (god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphization), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behavior.

      (What can’t *get through to us* by conventional means, then resorts to trickery to do so. Actually, we ourselves call forth The Trickster and, in some cultures, The Trickster is divine…)

      I could not imagine that Melania could also be a troller…but now I am uncertain. More thought will be devoted to this and I will soon report back as soon as things get more clear.

      In the meantime I hope that this Kavanaugh spectacle recedes into the distant past in about 48 hours of cultural memory so we can get back to the important task of hating Donald Trump!

  10. “OK, Facebook Friends, Let’s Pretend It Isn’t Kavanaugh…Let’s Pretend It’s ME.”

    I wonder; will your usual group of Progressively minded Facebook friends comment on the post or will they clam up?

  11. I haven’t read any comments just yet and likely need to reread your post but once I saw what you were doing I thought I would drop my first thought here. What if some of those in school with you are progressives who think you are moving into a spot better suited for a lefty?

    Seems to me if they don’t want you to succeed you’re fucked, someone will insure your name will be associated with vile behavior and the rest of the progressives will do thier duty to reinforce you are scum, anything that may be exculpatory will be viewed as just part of an act to allow you to continue your evil ways.

  12. Great post and excellent exposition of the fundamental issues involved. I don’t have many “leftist” or even Democrat (but I repeat myself) Facebook friends so my experience of Facebook hatred is admittedly limited. On Facebook these few usually defend the Democrat cant uncritically and with a fervor unaffected by rational consideration of their specious arguments. In reference to Kavanaugh, I was recently called a “defender of a rapist and perjurer” by one of these folks, who has known me for over thirty years. (Me, a guy who spent over 40 years as a law enforcement officer including an effective stint as a child abuse and sex-crimes investigator.) I can only ask them, as Jack asked of a recent commenter, “Do you people listen to yourself?”

  13. Jack unlike you I was a complete ass when I was younger and was very interested in getting laid as much as possible. Although I can say with 100 percent certainty that every encounter I have had was 100 percent consensual I am also sure that many could point to things I have done that are, regardless of context, very unflattering and also true . I have many friends and family that want me to go into politics, I even have some desire to do so. My background checks have been even more extensive than that of Judge K, with no limitations on withholding clearance if the adjudicators just feel off about me. I can tell you they know embarrassing things about me because I was honest because the process is confidential. That allows assholes like me to be able to serve my country as an adult but it is clear now that I would never be able to go into politics or be an appointee in this atmosphere, how many others will this be true for?

  14. I am only speaking in regard to the question you asked pertaining to someone making claims of you like those made of Kavanugh or worse. I do not know you personally and am not a friend of yours or even a Facebook “friend”. I would be interested in what the woman had to say because I have read your blog for years and if what she said could be validated I would have to reassess what I believe to be true about what people give away about themselves in their writing. Under the scenario or test you created about yourself some may jump to the ridiculous conclusion that this blog in itself is proof of your guilt. “He teaches ethics! What a great cover!” I’m not telling you anything you and your readers don’t already know with that faulty conclusion. My thoughts are this…people reveal themselves in what they write. The words they choose, their tone and the subjects they choose to write about. And god knows, no one can TELL you what to write about. You have made it clear you write on what you feel is important. The fact you have mentioned this (sometimes very emphatically) is good. One small way to determine your true interests is by looking at the topics upon which you choose to write. One could even jump to the conclusion this blog is a subconscious reaction formation if you tended to focus on a particular subject with a little too much zeal. Obviously, one cannot make a conclusion based just on this about anyone…a very dangerous road to follow… but I remember coming across a blog of a community activist years ago who I felt was trying too hard to persuade others on the evils of pedophiles and something in his writing struck me as odd. I wasn’t too suprised to find him eventually arrested for having intimate contact with an underage boy. Again, please don’t think I am suggesting anyone who writes in depth about such things are not sincere in their feelings. Luckily, just using your blog, you are a prolific writer so I have quite a bit of material to work with. I see you focusing on ethics. That’s about it. Because I have read your blog for so long, I EVEN feel you are not a political mouthpiece for the “right” which I believe you tend to be accused of too much. I will vouch for you on that one. Your topics over the years lead me to this conclusion. As far as putting yourself through the test of being accused of what Kavanaugh was accused of or worse. That could be a very hard sell for me. I don’t know if I am being unethical or not. I obviously could not just take the person’s word for it but it goes further. Again, this comes down to what you have revealed about yourself in this blog I do not see the language of a predator. I do not see the language of violence. People employed in certain fields pick up on this language. Obviously, people who work in certain fields are even trained to pick up on this language. Again, this strategy is not foolproof and one would be very wrong to use this alone as a basis to making any conclusions. One could say you might have been trained in this type of thing and therefore deliberately refrain from using such language. I don’t find this credible and it is my opinion (take it for what it’s worth and that may not be a lot) this type of deception is nearly impossible because then I would not see the language of a predator or violence because I would see the language of someone trying to hide the language of a predator, deep rooted anger and violence which is even more blatant to me than the person’s actual language which they are trying to hide. It would be very difficult for me to believe you are some type of predator and if a woman came forward suggesting you were, I have to admit I would be extremely skeptical. Again, I don’t really know you so am I being unethical? Granted, there are always things that are not as they seem but my general impression is that you don’t have the time to be a predator because you spend way too much time buying duct tape in an attempt to not allow your short fuse on certain subjects which get under your skin.
    Final note: Bill Cosby is a great example of trying to use deception to hide who he really is but he couldn’t hide his contempt for just about everyone if you just listened to the man. And I’m speaking apart from what he did to women. If you have seen him interviewing lyoung kids on “Kids Say the Darndest Things”, it is clear he does not like kids. I saw this before I even knew about the women. It was obvious to me he took pleasure in saying cruel things to many of the kids. Yet, people thought it was funny! Even the parents of the kids sat in the audience and laughed as Cosby humiliated their kids. In the end, I felt I must be the one with the problem and needed to lighten up. His stand up? He was self righteous, self-entitled, hostile, angry, narcissistic and for lack of a better word just “mean”. Comedians aren’t always the happiest people, I realize, but I never felt he was performing comedy. I always thought people paid money to go see a man talk about his anger. I don’t mean to suggest that I am “gifted” at reading people because I am not. I make wrong assumptions all the time but every once in a while I do get it right. I do my best to not use emotion or feelings when it comes to due process in any situation but I have to admit that when I first heard about the allegations regarding Cosby, I felt something bad in my gut. I felt he was capable of doing what he was accused of. And I do not know him. Is that unethical?

    • …I have to admit that when I first heard about the allegations regarding Cosby, I felt something bad in my gut. I felt he was capable of doing what he was accused of. And I do not know him. Is that unethical?

      The answer to the question is yes, it is unethical.

      It is also human. We have discernment about people, and have to pay attention to this built in alarm system. We can be wrong, of course, but this is what tells us things that help us stay safe.

      Listen to your gut, but think as well. Recognizing your own bias, understanding what makes you feel that way, and deciding you actions are the responsible way live. It is not bad to have such feelings, but to act on them without rational thought and caution is the path many have taken, hurting themselves, others, and our nation.

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