False Alarums

Even young children are aware of what is fair and what isn’t … and boy, they’ll let you know about it. Heck, even the animals know about fairness. As a teenager, a primitive form of animal life to be sure, I remember coming home from my first day at high school and telling my long-suffering mother, “Mom, high school isn’t fair!”

And what did that wise woman answer?

“Who ever told you that life is fair?”

Agreed, it isn’t … but we have put into place an entire range of laws and customs to make it fairer. And chief among them is the American law that says we are all innocent until proven guilty, the “presumption of innocence”.

This assumption is not just in the courts, it is in all parts of our lives—schools, jobs, meetings, everywhere.

This assumption is one of few defenses that we have against false accusations. Most folks likely haven’t been falsely accused of a felony in their lives … but I seem to be the guy blessed by experiencing a host of oddball things that others got to miss.

This one started out on a lovely sunny day in about 1969 in Santa Cruz, California. I drove into town, parked by the beach, and walked through the Boardwalk. It’s a riot of sound and color, plus that known attractant for a young victim of testosterone poisoning … young women. I walked and marveled, feeling like a total rube.

santa cruz boardwalk.png

So I walked the full length of the beach. And when I was walking back from the Boardwalk, to my surprise, a police car pulled up alongside me and told me to stop right there.

He got out of the car and started to question me. Where was I from? San Francisco. Where was I going? LA. Where was I staying? Wherever night fell. How did I get to the beach? My car. Where was my car? A couple blocks further on.

About that time, a taxi pulled up alongside the police car. The policeman said, “Is this the man you saw breaking into the parked cars?”

“Parked cars”, I thought? “Breaking in”? Whaaa? … it began to dawn on me that I was in serious trouble.

The taxi driver got out. He walked around me, studying me intently.

“That’s him,” he said.

“Are you sure?”, the policeman asked.

“100% sure”, the driver said, “That’s the guy I saw taking things from cars. No question.”

I was mystified. Foolishly, I’d always believed that eyewitnesses were reliable. But I’d been checking out the babes at the Boardwalk, not breaking into cars.

And now, here was some guy I’d never seen saying he was sure that I was a thief. A common thief!

I gotta say, at that point, I almost lost my judicial temperament and tried to rearrange the taxi driver’s facial molecules … a wave of rage broke over me, and it was only the presence of the policeman that kept me from threatening the driver with unpleasant alternatives. Alternatives like “Admit you’re not telling the truth or I’ll smash you so flat you’ll have to unlace your shoes to take a piss!”, with various bad words thrown in for flavor.

With great effort, I restrained myself from saying bad words. I pasted some totally bogus smile on my features and denied that I was the thief. The officer said “Let’s go look at your car.” I said fine, and we walked to where I’d parked. There, he had me empty my pockets. He patted me down. Nothing. He turned to the car.

Now, at the time I was driving an MG Midget, one of the smallest cars of that era.

Google ChromeScreenSnapz168.png

So it didn’t take the officer long to search the car. He checked the glove box, the door pockets, and under the seats. Then he took everything out of the trunk one at a time and examined it.

He took out my guitar and shook it, and when it rattled he was convinced he’d found something. He couldn’t see what it was, though … so he handed me the guitar. I shook it in that certain way guitarists know and out fell … a guitar pick.

Then he found my bag of white powder. At this point, I’m sure visions of busting a drug kingpin were floating through his head. He tasted it and frowned. Sweet, not bitter … huh?

I told him it was the powdered milk for my coffee.

Finally, once everything was out of the trunk, he gave up. He didn’t apologize, nor should he have. It was on the taxi man, not on him. He told me to drive safely. And somewhere in there, the taxi driver had driven off and I hadn’t even noticed.

So I was left there, so furious I could barely see straight, with no one to lash out at. Frustrated? You bet. I wanted the taxi man to come back so I could tell him what I really thought of him. My brain was flashing “UNFAIR! UNFAIR! UNFAIR!” in big red neon letters …

Now, I bring this up because the memory of all of this came flooding over me as I watched Judge Kavanaugh get angry at his tormentors on the Judicial Committee. For the first time in my life I thought “Man, I got off easy. I didn’t have a wife and two daughters getting death threats. I wasn’t accused on nationwide TV and every newspaper on the planet. And I wasn’t accused of a sexual crime, just garden variety robbery. I’m a lucky man!”

And perhaps because I’d been through a very minor version of what the Judge has endured, I understood his anger perfectly. In fact, I was surprised and impressed that he wasn’t angrier. I can’t imagine what he’s been through. And I was overjoyed that he’d actually gotten angry and called out the sham proceeding for what it was—attempted character assassination.

Now, since he gave his impassioned speech, the case against him has been shown to be totally bogus. Even Dr. Ford’s longtime friend says she has no memory of Dr. Fords claims, and that she never met Kavanaugh. And the other claimed participants have said the same, all under penalty of perjury. There’s not one scrap of evidence or testimony that supports her claim.

In fact, at this point Sasquatch has more witnesses than Dr. Ford has …

sasquatch.png

Now, in a sane world that would have been the end of it. But nooo … I’ve been astounded at how fast the accusation from the Democrats has seamlessly morphed from:

“Judge Kavanaugh is disqualified because he’s a serial gang-rapist!”

to

“Judge Kavanaugh is disqualified because he got angry when we falsely accused him on nationwide TV of being a serial gang rapist!”

This is the modern version of the Salem witch-finding procedure—throw the witch in the water, and if she floats, it proves she’s a witch …

Or as we practice it today, falsely accuse someone of being a heinous sexual criminal, and if they get angry,  they’re obviously not qualified …

Here’s what I say about this. If I had to endure what Judge Kavanaugh has gone through, the threats, the bogus media articles, the leaks, the accusations from Senators, the fact-free rabid claims of guilt, I can assure you that I would not have been anywhere near as calm as he was. I know what it’s like to be falsely accused, and I can assure you—it angrifies the blood mightily …

And if you do NOT get angry when you are falsely accused of being a serial gang rapist, I do not want you to be a judge of anything. Anyone who doesn’t get angry in that situation is a damn robot, and I don’t want them anywhere near a position of power of any kind.

All I can say is, I greatly hope he gets confirmed. Oh, and one more thing.

If y’all truly think he doesn’t have the “judicial temperament”, how about you come up with some real evidence from his thirteen years on the bench that backs up your fact-free claim? Y’all remember evidence, right? It’s part of the way that we make the world a fairer place—we require evidence, not just accusations. If he’s too angry or too prejudiced as you claim, surely you can provide us with some evidence of that, it would have surfaced at some point during his time on the bench.

I’ll wait … and while we are waiting, we can consider the wise words of John Adams, who somehow saw into the future far enough to discern the real issue underlying the Kavanaugh farrago …

john adams big.jpg


Here, sunshine after rain, sunshine smiling on the surrounding forest greenery, sunshine that reminds me that despite our worst efforts, the earth abides …

My best to you all,

w.

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41 thoughts on “False Alarums

  1. Thank you for your work and writing. The clarity you bring to the subjects, even if I might differ somewhat from your take, makes thought, reasonable logical thought much easier. My wife is German, and experienced fact-free accusations as a child. She was repeatedly punished by her mother who, it appears, believed everyone but her daughter. She is still sensitive to allegations to this day. She listened to the testimony, and promptly said, “It doesn’t make sense.” She repeated it in German emphatically. It said all without an FBI investigation as far as I was concerned.

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  2. Excellent article! I am so disappointed in the way this was “handled’ by the opposition and the press. To make things worse, it also brought his wife and children into the process… fully unacceptable for a so-called fair and truthful system that is supposed to demonstrate why the selected candidate should be confirmed. This particular process will be remembered, sadly, as an example of how NOT to run a government process but how to destroy a man and his family for political gain !

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  3. Willis, a great post. Back then, you made a mistake of having a long hair (I guess). Judge Kavanaugh made a mistake of being male.

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  4. John Adams was an optimist*, he said “If such an idea as that were to take hold”. He could have said “When…”, for as we know, such an idea has periodically taken hold and it never ended well. It never does.

    *That’s rhetorical. He probably was not an optimist.

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    • YMMV, I was intrigued by your mention of the word “optimist”; I’ve lived in the same house here in Birmingham, England for over 30 years and have spent years boring people with my tale of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who came to Birmingham in the 1790s as it was a hotbed of radicalism and he thought his Radical magazine would get a wider audience here. He also worked as a tutor to a banker’s dissolute son very close to where my house now stands. Thus, it’s unlikely though not totally impossible that Coleridge was standing on the road outside my house when he invented the word “optimism”.
      This has amused me for years and recently, when someone doubted any of these details, I attempted to prove the circumstantial evidence and found that I couldn’t be more wrong because Coleridge invented the word ” pessimism”. Ouch.
      Willis, this is indeed a marvellous quotation.

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  5. Willis: “In fact, at this point Sasquatch has more witnesses than Dr. Ford has …”

    And they all remember where, what day, how they got there, and how they got home.

    That was an excellent personal story to illustrate your broader point. I did get a laugh when I found out your car was an MG Midget. No wonder you kept the pick in the guitar; no room for it otherwise. 😜

    For the last 20 years of my career, I bought and used my own office supplies: pens, note pads, tape, paper clips, high-lighters, etc., and brought in and used my own tools, even when company tools were provided. The only exceptions were copy paper – a pain to put my own in the machine – and staples. I did not ever want even the merest thought to arise that I would take anything from the company I worked for, including theft of time.

    I am nearly impossible to rile, but impugn my integrity and the room better be cleared.

    Really well done article, Willis.

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    • H.R., I grew up among cowboys and ranchers who generally had little in the way of valuable possessions … except for their honor, which they prized above all. Best way to get me angry? Same as with the cowboys and ranchers—accuse me of lying or being dishonest …

      w.

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  6. OK, I am 97% sure I closed the italic after quoting you, Willis. Chefio mentioned to me that sometimes, when he does a fix for someone, the HTML is ok but WordPress blows by the close. (Most of the time its actually my fault, but he has caught a few where I was innocent.)

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      • Ha! Slash and burn? I got burned by a slash.

        I was sure I had the right arrow in place. I did! Necessary, but not sufficient.

        Thanks, Willis, and thanks for letting me know the exact error of my ways.

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  7. I wasn’t aware of that quote but it shows the depth of our founders understanding of why we have such laws.

    The fact that you were driving a Midget brought back my much more minor brush with the law. I was driving my Midget (looks like yours had side curtains also) in Baltimore which I wasn’t totally familiar with and following a bus. Of course in a Midget I had zero visibility ahead of me and decided to follow the bus which was making a left turn. Halfway though the turn I looked up and saw the sign: “Left Turn Buses Only”. Of course by then I had already made the turn and a furious cop blew his whistle at me and motioned me to the side of the road. “Crap” I thought. I knew I was wrong but I had no way of knowing I’d broken a traffic law when I made the turn. Never heard of such a law either. The cop huffed and puffed and demanded my license which I handed to him. I wasn’t even going to try to explain what happened and just take my medicine. He stared at me and said “How old are you?” “I’m twenty officer” I replied. He stared at my license in disbelief handed it back to me and stormed off muttering about teenagers (I looked really young at the time). My jaw dropped. If I’d been a year or two younger he would have read me the riot act and probably gotten the ticket. Talk about age prejudice! Actually made me mad even though I got out of a traffic ticket.

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  8. Well stated and illustrated with your own experience. False accusations have almost no power to make anything better and the ability to ruin lives and relationships. They were aimed at me in my professional career trying to force me to loose my license and cost me and my family 2 years of heart aches and headaches. In the end I was absolved but the accuser was untouched and never even apologized.
    Another good post on this debacle is at https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2018/10/03/which-women-should-we-believe/ where Donna points out the hundreds of women that have given the Senate information underscoring the good judges high moral character and asks us “How do we decide which women to believe?”

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  9. LORD POLONIUS
    My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

    HAMLET
    God’s bodykins, man, much better: use every man
    after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?
    Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less
    they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
    Take them in.

    (Be grateful most people don’t judge you as your 17 year old self)

    However much certainty the principals (Kavanaugh and Blasey-Ford) might have in their own minds, it is impossible for either one to impart that same certainty to those of us who weren’t there and don’t know them. Anyone whose knowledge is only second or third hand and claims certainty regarding who is telling the truth and who is lying is a fool. 99.9999995% percent of all Americans simply cannot know what did or did not happen 35+ years ago between Kavanaugh and Blasey-Ford.

    If you wanted to be objective and thorough, you would take the approach that centuries of experience have taught us are most effective.

    First, look for forensic evidence: pictures, recordings, DNA, and anything else that does not depend on witnesses. I suspect there is none remaining; certainly nothing has been brought forth.

    Second, look for contemporaneous accounts recorded at the time or shortly thereafter: police reports, diaries, letters, calendars, etc.

    Third, identify and interview everyone identified as potential witnesses and continuing with everyone else they suggest as a potential witness.

    Fourth, examine the internal consistency of the different accounts. More specific and detailed is better both because it suggests a more authentic memory and because it supplies more specific assertions that can be corroborated or refuted. An account containing few specific assertions is more difficult to investigate.

    Finally, examine the history and likely motivations of the principals. A history of alcoholism, drug use, mental illness or documented untruthfulness are all appropriate reasons to discount a person’s testimony. In this case both Kavanaugh and Blasey-Ford have ample motivation to lie: Kavanaugh wants the job and Blasey-Ford identifies with those who claim women suffer if he gets it (“millions of women will die …”).

    When all that is done unless there is hard forensic evidence, the best you can say is the preponderance of evidence supports one story or the other.

    Those who haven’t already seen Akira Kurasawa’s 1950 masterpiece Rashomon, or the 1964 remake The Outrage should do so: your notions of certainty and witnesses credibility will be challenged.

    Having only indirect evidence to go by, I believe everything revealed so far supports Kavanaugh and nothing supports Blasey-Ford. But there is no question that Senate Democrats entered the confirmation process in bad faith, determined in Senator Schumer’s words to defeat the nomination “by any means possible”. And the past several weeks have demonstrated just how low they are willing to go. They took an account that was vague and unsubstantiated and turned it into the assertion that a distinguished attorney was a serial rapist. And they abandoned any pretense of reason and fairness at the same time.

    There was ample time for the accusation to be investigated quietly but Senator Feinstein withheld the letter until the 11th hour. Blasey-Ford claimed she was afraid to fly and couldn’t possibly make it to Washington on the date initially offered (false statement: refuted by facts subsequently presented). Senator Grassley offered to fly the entire Judiciary Committee to California to interview Blasey-Ford. She claims she was not aware of the offer (either false, or indicating professional malpractice by her attorney — recommended to her by Senator Feinstein).

    With everything taken together, it is clear that the factual basis of Blasey-Ford’s claim was never of interest to Democrat Senators; it was just a pretext they could manipulate into the appearance of a reason to make wavering Republican Senators cave.

    They crazy thing is I believe Democrats are wrong in thinking Kavanaugh will take away “the precious” (Roe v Wade). He may very well vote to overturn that decision [it’s a poor one IMHO], but at the same time I believe he will respect the power of the States to establish their own rules on abortion by legislation. Would that be so bad? So even if Texas bans all or most abortions — can they stop someone from getting on a plane and flying to California?

    But Democrats can’t see that. The party of Tolerance and CoExistence simply cannot tolerate or co-exist with anyone who doesn’t accept their shibboleths. They are just a step or so shy of being complete totalitarians, and appear to be lacking any internal restraint on taking the next step or two in that direction.

    Ronald Regan said many years ago (when the Democrat party was much more centrist than today):

    I didn’t leave the Democrat Party; the Democrat Party left me.

    I also used to be a Democrat, but don’t judge me by that — I was only 17 at the time.

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  10. I just received advertising asking me to move my writing to an editor who studied at the Journalism Institute for Social Diversity at Wayne State. Nuff said? PS Johannes-Gutenberg University near Frankfurt now has an Obama Institute, set up by Obama’s sister.

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  11. One more thought on “judicial temperament”, since retired SC Justice John Paul Stevens has brought it up. Appeals court judges never deal with the actual litigants; issues of fact have been settled by the original trial and what is in dispute on appeal is whether the trial judge applied the law correctly. Even if the actual litigants are present for oral argument they are never questioned; attorneys do all the talking (assuming the judges don’t interrupt them all the time). And oral arguments occupy just a sliver of the time judges spend considering a case; the vast bulk of the dispute is laid out in briefs which the judges study in their chambers.

    So in terms of challenges to one’s temperament, appellate judges work in a very low-stress environment. They interact with their clerks and their colleagues, and in the case of the US Supreme Court, the lunchroom staff. And I doubt even the most spirited disagreement between justices even begins to approach the venom and rancour we saw directed at Kavanaugh during the hearings. Judges are supposed to be disinterested, which is a lot easier if the issue does not involve you personally. Hence the old saying: “any lawyer who has himself for a client has a fool for a lawyer.”

    I think Kavanaugh can manage to keep his cool just fine.

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  12. Thank you, Mr. Eschenbach, for another interesting episode.

    I cannot help but be greatly amused by the solicitation to the right for donations to the “Union of Concerned Scientists.” It warms the cockles of my heart to know that the UCS is wasting its supporter’s donations with a fruitless appeal to readers of your blog.

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  13. He didn’t apologize, nor should he have.

    I disagree. I am not a cop but I worked in law enforcement for thirty years and road along with the police on numerous occasions. At least in my mind, the difference between a mediocre and great cop was how they treat the people they come in contact with.

    I’ve seen cops chat amiably with career criminals and murder suspects and all to a purpose. Being a hard-ass, simply makes suspects raise their guard and innocents less cooperative.

    As for the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, it is obvious that she lied several times: about her “fear” of flying and about her “second front door”.

    The lie about fear of flying was no big deal since its only purpose was delay, but attributing the fear to her encounter with Kavanaugh should have tossed red flags.

    The lie about the second front door was more deeply troubling. Again, she attributed the need for the door to the alleged attack when in reality it was merely to create rental income. But there was no motivation to lie about the door – it was just a lie, but again attributing it to the alleged attack was utterly false for no good reason.

    Suspects and witnesses often lie to deflect guilt or avoid embarrassment — but when they lie to embellish an accusation, it is almost always because the accusation is false.

    That alone should have ended the testimony.

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    • Thanks for the interesting insights, Almost Iowa. One point. The policeman was professional and courteous throughout. He was not unkind or harsh. I was serious when I said he didn’t owe me an apology. I felt no rancor towards him. He had a mistaken witness and a job to do, and he did it well.

      And yes, your point about her lies is well taken. All of this could have been avoided by doing it in closed session six weeks ago when her accusations surfaced.

      The more I saw of Dr. Ford, the less I liked her. I think she’s right that something happened to her sometime somewhere or other … I absolutely don’t think Judge Kavanaugh was involved.

      Regards,

      w.

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      • I have big doubts about Dr. Ford. A body language expert (and I have to say I have my doubts about the practice) says that she was lying through the whole testimony. To me she seemed to be a total neurotic. Since we’ll never see a thorough background investigation on her (the howls from the left would be deafening) we’ll never know whether she purposefully lied about the whole thing, was manipulated, or just delusional. Remember too that she’s a trained psychologist. I suspect she knows how to manipulate impressions. I’d love to hear her talking outside of this star chamber to see whether that little girl voice is her normal one or a put on.

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        • The very idea of therapy bringing back buried events causes me to shudder. After the family which ran a Daycare was accused of molesting children and the psycho-vultures created the memories in the children, the parents were sentenced to extremely long terms in state prison. After 7 years it turned out that the memories were manufactured by the PVs. The family was subsequently released and pardoned, but after way too long. I personally have had a family member worked through the same process, with the same totally bizarre results. There are some very sick members in the field of psychiatry.

          Liked by 1 person

          • https://www.thisamericanlife.org/504/transcript

            One incident, and the two stories told about it: about a vulnerable refugee teenager, Emir Kamenica and his young teacher, Lauren Ames, who relate two wildly divergent memories, and tales, about what happened between them decades ago. Read and ponder the reliability of memories as decades pass and people grow up and move on.

            NOT a sex crime tale, by the way.

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  14. People used to take this kind of thing, slander and reputation, more seriously.

    He called

    Bill Smith

    A Liar
    — inscription on a boulder at Mount Pisgah Cemetery, Cripple Creek, Colorado.

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  15. Now that he has been confirmed, the burning question is which one of Kavanaugh’s new colleagues will be the first one to suggest they go out and get a beer? Or maybe they will stick with Court tradition: “hey new guy: bring me a coffee!”.

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  16. Wow, it’s obvious but I it didn’t really hit home until I was reading something on WUWT. The left is very consistent. If you disagree with me then you’re evil is their mantra, be it climate or sexual assault. Anyone who makes a claim that they agree with must be right regardless of evidence to the contrary. Poke holes in Dr. Ford’s story or climate claims and they’re ignored. Ford lied about being afraid to fly, the reason for the door, and her claustrophobia for example. Climate alarmists have the Climategate emails and the “hide the decline”. Find lies and attempts to deceive and you’re called a denier or worse, while you are accused of the being the liar without proof. And of course there’s the screaming and personal attacks which they accuse the right of but their the first to resort to it.

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  17. A psychologist should have no less integrity and forthrightness than we expect a judge to have or an engineer, accountant, medical doctor or anyone whom we are obliged to trust to serve society skillfully and honestly.

    Professional engineers are subject to disciplinary hearings by Associations of P. Engineers (provincial or state juridictions) for matters concerning ethics, quality of work, etc. In mentoring a young engineer, a question in the application for membership even requires one to testify to the good character of the candidate! Similar requirements are apparently front and center for the other professions, too. globally.

    The deviousness of changing fundamental professional claims Dr. Ford had on her website bio and shredding her facebook pages in order to hide compromising info on her is pretty damning of where she is ethically.

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  18. Hi Willis,

    Just back from a long trip, so the thread might be dead already, but anyway, I’ll give it a shot to stir things up a bit before we all agree on everyhting :-).

    The problem I see is that everything is so politicized that real guilt or innocent doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Look at how the vote turned out, everyone according to the party line (except for one D senator that needs to survive in an R state). What are the chances that, after deep soul searching, a hundred individuals come to such a precisely-cut conclusion?

    Furthermore, as much as I appreciated your insistence on evidence, and could understand that, given the lack of hard evidence, you see the end result as a witch hunt, I cannot understand that JP Miller’s comment in the first post to the effect that “even if he did what Ford accuses him of, he should still be confirmed” went by unopposed. That’s just wrong in more than the obvious way: lying about *anything* under oath is enough for me to not appoint *anyone* to the highest court of justice. This commenter should maybe also apply a Dershowitz “hypothetical”.

    For me, though, Kavanaugh should not have been appointed. If he had just said: look, “I drank and partied too much when I was a student, but that’s long ago and I never hurt anyone”, that would have been okay for me (given lack of hard evidence). But to me it looks like he deliberately downplayed and lied about his wild years (as described by several of his friends from the time).

    A supreme court judge really *should* be above things like that. It’s the other side of your John Adams quote. If one known dirty judge sits (for life, mind you!) in the Supreme Court, the citizen will lose faith in the judiciary system. Better to keep looking a bit longer for a better candidate (or pick the next one from the list they had ready). But no, because it’s so politicised, they all dig their heels in the sand and ram another divisive issue through the people’s throat.

    As for your call for actual evidence on bad rulings, I decided to read up on a few here: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/09/brett-kavanaugh-track-record-675294 .

    Now although I don’t agree with many of his views, an opinion is just an opinion, so what can you do, but two of the points struck my eye: In one, he dissents with the majority of judges, and wants to give religious folks not just the right to not have to pay for health insurance coverage for contraceptives, but also the right to not even have to fill in a form stating that they can’t pay for religious reasons. In the other, he’s in favor of using public means for religious purposes in schools. So atheists should pay for the religious activities in schools (even though they might very well be against it) but the religous don’t have to pay for (extra-curricular ;-)) activities they don’t agree with. Now if your job is to hold new legislature to the gold standard of the constitution *independently of your own opinion on the matter*, I’d say this isn’t something you want to put in your curriculum vitae.

    Some food for thought, or at least a lively and interesting discussion.

    Frank

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    • Frank de Jong October 15, 2018 at 5:14 pm
      Hi Willis,

      Just back from a long trip, so the thread might be dead already, but anyway, I’ll give it a shot to stir things up a bit before we all agree on everything :-).

      I leave my threads open for this reason.

      For me, though, Kavanaugh should not have been appointed. If he had just said: look, “I drank and partied too much when I was a student, but that’s long ago and I never hurt anyone”, that would have been okay for me (given lack of hard evidence). But to me, it looks like he deliberately downplayed and lied about his wild years (as described by several of his friends from the time)

      Please provide us with:

      1) The actual quote(s) under oath from Kavanaugh where he said that he didn’t drink too much, and

      2) Any statement(s) under penalty of perjury that he DID drink too much. Not just one of his bros telling some reporter “Yea, he used to drink a lot”.

      You are accusing a man with a lifelong reputation for honesty of lying WITHOUT GIVING US ONE SCRAP OF EVIDENCE TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIM.

      I grew up among dirt-poor ranchers and cowboys who often had little to their name but their honor. One thing you didn’t do in my youth was to accuse someone of lying without presenting damn good evidence to back up your claim. That would get you what we called a “knuckle sandwich”.

      You have provided nothing.

      Here is his statement under oath:

      “I drank beer with my friends,” Kavanaugh told senators in his opening statement, describing his younger days. “Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer.”

      and

      “I liked beer,” he said in his opening statement. “I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone.”

      I’m not seeing any lie in any of that. He said sometimes he drank too much. It appears he did. He said he never blacked out. Nobody has come forward to say he did black out.

      Where is the “lie”?

      I’m very sorry to say it, but you just damaged your reputation greatly with me. Accusing a man of lying without providing evidence to back up what is an extremely serious allegation, serious enough in your estimation to deny him a seat on the court, is a dirty underhanded trick … time for you to put up the evidence or retract your accusation.

      Sadly,

      w.

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      • “Where is the “lie”?”

        Reading Frank de Jong’s comment, I think the “lie” fell in the crack between the third and fourth paragraphs.

        In the third paragraph he objects to JP Miller’s comment:
        “even if he did what Ford accuses him of, he should still be confirmed”.
        Which has the conditional ‘if’. Meaning presumably even if he did try to grope…

        But in the fourth paragraph, it’s all about partying, which he admits, but which Frank accuses him of downplaying. Downplaying has now become a lie and disqualifying. No politician can pass that test, and very few humans.

        The second paragraph, that I can agree with.
        “The problem I see is that everything is so politicized that real guilt or innocent doesn’t seem to matter anymore.”

        This article will clarify that enormously, complete with poll statistics.
        https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/kavanaugh-hearings-americans-divided-by-marital-status-not-gender/
        “Mind the Marriage Gap: Voters Split on Kavanaugh by Marital Status, Not Gender”

        “the core opposition to Kavanaugh consisted of atheists, African Americans, gays and lesbians, and, most important, the unmarried or divorced of all ethnicities”

        I no longer have any doubt about it. Ford went after Kavanaugh because of Judge’s book.
        She figured she could get away with accusing Judge, and she knew (or thought she did) that wherever Judge was Kavanaugh would be there too.

        https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/10/dr_fords_willfully_tangled_web.html

        Like

      • First off, sorry for the delay in replying. Work and kids caught up with me again.

        As for your question 1), I don’t have to, because I never said that. I said that IF he did what Ford claims, he lied under oath and should not be confirmed. Then I said that he lied about his wild years (not necessarily under oath). But anyway, below I’ll try to limit myself to Kavanaugh’s sworn statements.

        As for your question 2), requiring a sworn statement to judge whether something is true or not doesn’t sound like something your ranchers and cowboys would do, if a whole lot of ranchers and cowboys said the same thing. The more people corroborrate a story, ythe less likely it becomes that it is false. Conversely, a statement being sworn doesn’t make it true – it just makes a lie more egregious.

        Anyway, to the facts:

        http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/09/kavanaughs-college-classmates-out-him-as-sloppy-drunk.html

        This article gives enough independent sources that all corroborrate the story that he was indeed a heavy drinker as a student.

        So then the downplaying and lying. These are some of the statements that Kavanaugh made during the hearing:

        —-
        “Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I, the boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal, senior year in high school, people were legal to drink, and we — yeah, we drank beer, and I said sometimes — sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers.”
        —-

        Using weasel words like “Sometimes” and “probably” and quickly adding that others also sometimes drank too much beer and is what I call downplaying.

        And then this:

        ——
        MITCHELL: During the time in high school when you would be drinking, did anyone ever tell you about something that you did not remember?

        KAVANAUGH: No.
        —-

        I contrast that with these statements from his college friends:

        —-
        Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” Liz Swisher, a college friend of Kavanaugh’s, told the Washington Post. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”

        The New York Times spoke to “nearly a dozen people who knew him well or socialized with him” and they all said Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker at Yale.

        Note that Kavanaugh said “No” emphatically. Like Swisher, I find that very hard to believe, given his record as a heavy drinker. He’d have to be the only human being that never forgot anything, not even what he did while being “heavily drunk”. And this is a very relevant statement, because he uses this emphatic No to make his case that the incident with Ford cannot and has not happened. It matters.

        Like

      • Frank de Jong October 19, 2018 at 3:45 am

        First off, sorry for the delay in replying. Work and kids caught up with me again.

        No worries, life happens.

        As for your question 1), I don’t have to, because I never said that. I said that IF he did what Ford claims, he lied under oath and should not be confirmed. Then I said that he lied about his wild years (not necessarily under oath). But anyway, below I’ll try to limit myself to Kavanaugh’s sworn statements.

        Question 1) was:

        Please provide us with:

        1) The actual quote(s) under oath from Kavanaugh where he said that he didn’t drink too much

        So I don’t understand your answer. You said he “lied about his wild years (not necessarily under oath”. But he was under oath for the entirety of his testimony.

        As for your question 2), requiring a sworn statement to judge whether something is true or not doesn’t sound like something your ranchers and cowboys would do, if a whole lot of ranchers and cowboys said the same thing. The more people corroborate a story, the less likely it becomes that it is false. Conversely, a statement being sworn doesn’t make it true – it just makes a lie more egregious.

        Anyway, to the facts:

        http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/09/kavanaughs-college-classmates-out-him-as-sloppy-drunk.html

        This article gives enough independent sources that all corroborrate the story that he was indeed a heavy drinker as a student.

        That article is full of crap like the following:

        “Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” Liz Swisher, a college friend of Kavanaugh’s, told the Washington Post. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”

        I have drunk to excess many times in my life, sometimes to the point of passing out. (Uh oh … I said “sometimes” …)

        But I have NEVER blacked out. I always remember exactly what happened, often to my shame. Some people seem to black out, and some don’t. So Liz Swisher is making things up when she says it’s not credible that he has had no memory lapses. She doesn’t know that, looks like she just wants to get her name in the paper. Which is why I’d prefer a sworn statement …

        So then the downplaying and lying. These are some of the statements that Kavanaugh made during the hearing:

        —-

        “Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I, the boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer. The drinking age, as I noted, was 18, so the seniors were legal, senior year in high school, people were legal to drink, and we — yeah, we drank beer, and I said sometimes — sometimes probably had too many beers, and sometimes other people had too many beers.”

        —-

        Using weasel words like “Sometimes” and “probably” and quickly adding that others also sometimes drank too much beer and is what I call downplaying.

        You think he downplayed his drinking because he said SOMETIMES he drank to excess? That’s nuts. Unless he drank to excess every single time he drank, then sometimes he drank to excess.

        And then this:

        ——

        MITCHELL: During the time in high school when you would be drinking, did anyone ever tell you about something that you did not remember?

        KAVANAUGH: No.

        —-

        I contrast that with these statements from his college friends:

        —-

        Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” Liz Swisher, a college friend of Kavanaugh’s, told the Washington Post. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”

        The New York Times spoke to “nearly a dozen people who knew him well or socialized with him” and they all said Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker at Yale.

        Two things. First, I dealt with the Swisher claims above. It’s bullshit. She has no way of knowing whether he blacked out or not.

        Second, his statement was about HIGH SCHOOL. Not college. So his college friends statements about what he did at Yale, even if there were a hundred statements, can’t establish a damn thing about what he did in high school … and you are parroting that misunderstanding, just like the authors of the article wanted. You’ve been suckered by their sleight of hand, you didn’t watch the pea under the walnut shell.

        Note that Kavanaugh said “No” emphatically. Like Swisher, I find that very hard to believe, given his record as a heavy drinker. He’d have to be the only human being that never forgot anything, not even what he did while being “heavily drunk”. And this is a very relevant statement, because he uses this emphatic No to make his case that the incident with Ford cannot and has not happened. It matters.

        I don’t care what you believe. I say the same as he said. Like Kavanaugh, I drank heavily as a young man. And I say NO, very emphatically, to the idea that I forgot things I did while heavily drunk. I have never once in my life had someone say “Willis, you did XXX at the party last night” and not been able to remember it. Not once.

        However, by your standards, because I was a heavy drinker, I must be lying about memory lapses. Nasty accusation, you have no evidence and you’re wrong.

        Sounds like YOU have had memory lapses and you want to judge all of us by what happens to you … no bueno. Not everyone who drinks to excess blacks out and can’t remember things. I suspect it’s genetic, because in my experience, some people have memory loss from excess drinking, and some people never do.

        In short, you have not pointed to a single lie that Kavanaugh has told, and according to you I must be lying and downplaying things too … not a good look on you, my friend …

        w.

        Like

        • This isn’t about you or me, Willis, and please don’t make it so. It muddies the waters, and doesn’t help getting the best arguments on the table. You’re not up for the highest Judiciary job, and there isn’t a bunch of people saying that you misrepresented facts.

          As for facts regarding *Kavanaugh*, see also https://www.gq.com/story/all-of-brett-kavanaughs-lies and https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-fact-check.html . Note that quite a few of his old buddies or classmates that have come forward are well-educated people with a reputation to lose. Me, I find it quite unlikely that all of them are lying just to spite Kavanaugh. You can choose to not believe them (and it is a choice, in the end), but I do.

          Like

          • Thanks, Frank. I’m not making this about you or me, not sure why you think so.

            I read your linked articles. The NY Times made the same mistake you made, claiming that he said something about COLLEGE drinking. He did not, and thus claims by his college friends are meaningless.

            Next, the NYT said:

            “While it is true that the three people did not corroborate Dr. Blasey’s account, they did not “refute” it either. ”

            So? She claimed they were there. They said they have no memory of it. Three people. Saying that’s not refutation is splitting hairs. She said they were there. They said no.

            Next, Kavanaugh said that the term “Renate Alumnus” was meant as an affectionate gesture. In response the Times said:

            “Four of Judge Kavanaugh’s former schoolmates, including Sean Hagan, said the notion that the phrase was meant affectionately did not ring true.”

            Did not ring true? Seriously? That’s supposed to be evidence, how three anonymous people and one named guy say that something “rings”??? For the NYT to print that kind of vague bullshit is a true measure of how far they’ve fallen.

            Next, the Times said:

            Yearbook Lingo

            Judge Kavanaugh’s yearbook page included the entries “Judge — Have You Boofed Yet?” and “Devil’s Triangle.” On Thursday, he said that “boofed” meant “flatulence” and that “Devil’s Triangle” was a drinking game in which three glasses were arranged in a triangle.

            The Times FALSELY claims that these were “disputed”. They are not. In fact, “boofed” is in the Urban Dictionary, meaning “fart”. The kid who was identified in the Yearbook as inventing the “Devil’s Triangle” drinking game wrote in a letter signed by three other friends to explain the rules of the game and testify that it didn’t have a damn thing to do with sex.

            Now remember, here’s what the NYT said about the “Devil’s Triangle”, talking about what some anonymous “Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates” supposedly said …

            Similarly, they said that they had never heard of a drinking game called Devil’s Triangle, but that the phrase was regularly used to describe sex between two men and a woman.

            So the un-named “classmates” had their heads up their asses … but the NYT was willing to use them to lob ANONYMOUS ACCUSATIONS.

            Repeating anonymous accusations is somehow ethical journalism these days? Don’t make me laugh.

            So the NYT is peddling bullshit anonymous accusations … but then, given that it’s the NYT, that’s no surprise. They hate all things Trump, and they are more than willing to bend the truth if they think it will hurt him. What is a surprise is that anyone still believes them …

            I also note that the NYT did NOT say even once that Kavanaugh lied … not one time. Instead, it’s all innuendo and “doesn’t ring true” and “disputed” and a bunch of other weasel words and anonymous sources. If they actually had evidence that he lied, you can be damn sure they’d have accused him of lying … BUT THEY DIDN’T!

            In other words … they’ve got nothing. And the GQ article is just a rehash of the same crap. The “Devil’s Triangle”. “Boofing”. College friends. They have nothing different, it could have all just been copied from the NYT article.

            Look, Frank, it took me less than five minutes to track down the word “boof” in the Urban Dictionary and determine it means (among many other things) “fart”.

            If those crappy “investigators” didn’t find that … well, that gives you an idea of just how biased they are. They ran with ACCUSATIONS, not facts. Kavanaugh says he didn’t drink much IN HIGH SCHOOL, and they are stupid or venal enough to claim that what his college friends said proves he’s a liar. Everyone I know drank more in college than in high school … so what. How much he drank in college does NOT mean his statements about high school are a lie, no matter how much GQ would like you to believe that. And GQ is actually unethical enough to do something that the NYT did NOT do, which was to accuse Justice Kavanaugh of lying.

            Now, if you want to buy those reeking piles of crap without actually doing the research that I’ve done, that’s your choice.

            But from my perspective, your unwillingness to do any research on your own, combined with your blind belief in an article in Gentleman’s Quarterly, and your implied claim that the NYT said he lied when the NYT didn’t say that, and your inability to distinguish between college (when he did drink more and never denied it) and high school (when he said he didn’t drink that much), and the fact that you accept anonymous accusations as facts … well, it doesn’t engender faith in your judgment. You need to turn up the sensitivity dial on your skepticism meter.

            Neither the NYT nor GQ are unbiased observers. Both of them are trying as hard as they can to turn nothing into something in order to convince the unwary … caveat emptor, my friend.

            Best regards to you and yours,

            w.

            Like

    • What he was accused of doing was groping someone close to the same age who had opted to attend a ‘drinking party’, the fears that it would have turned into Rape are just that, fears.

      If this had been reported, and there had been and investigation and conviction, the record would be sealed because it happened as a juvenile (for both of them). Most States have laws on the book that make exceptions for statutory rape if the two parties are within a couple years of each other in age, even when one is an adult and the other is a juvenile.

      I’ve seen people claiming that he should not be allowed to coach he daughter’s basketball team because he is “attracted to little girls”, If I’m understanding things correctly, Hillary Clinton claimed this weekend that Bill and Monica was not a problem because they were both adults, but Kavanaugh and Ford are a problem because she wasn’t an adult.

      All this ignores that he wasn’t an adult at the time either.

      Like

  19. Pingback: False Rape Accusations | Skating Under The Ice

  20. Willis – “I also note that the NYT did NOT say even once that Kavanaugh lied … not one time. Instead, it’s all innuendo and “doesn’t ring true” and “disputed” and a bunch of other weasel words and anonymous sources. If they actually had evidence that he lied, you can be damn sure they’d have accused him of lying … BUT THEY DIDN’T!”

    I don’t read the NYT, but I don’t see any reason to dispute that from someone who did read (probably) every word carefully. There have been some opinion pieces around baldly saying that Kavanaugh lied, though, but again based on no actual evidence. As I see it, people who don’t like Kavanaugh based on his politics are saying “bugger the evidence, he’s guilty of rape because he’s been accused!”. Meantime, a load of classmates have vouched for Kavanaugh’s character and that based on their experience he wouldn’t have done such a thing, the people Dr. Ford claimed were there deny being there under penalty of perjury, and even Dr. Ford doesn’t claim it was rape but instead she feared it might have become one. I don’t understand how such a character-assassination could be allowed in the USA, or why so many people ignore the actual evidence and believe the claims anyway.

    Unlike the witch-hunt in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, Kavanaugh hasn’t said “it’s a fair cop” and submitted to the lynch-mob. The FBI haven’t turned up any evidence that would be acceptable to a court, and nobody has turned up any actual dirt on Kavanaugh either. Somehow, also , the fact that Feinstein sat on the knowledge of the accusation for a couple of months during the questioning phase when it should have been brought up, and got Dr. Ford lawyered up and deleted any evidence they could find on her social media (but missed her year-book on the Wayback machine which paints a different picture of her attitudes to parties and sex at the time) and that it seems the whole thing is simply dirty politics.

    One question is whether it’s credible that Kavanaugh did what he’s been accused of. It’s possible, of course – young men are known to do things when drunk that they are ashamed of when sober. People who knew him at the time say however it’s not something he would have done. Nothing in the public record since points to him being a sexual predator, either. I doubt if anyone doesn’t have something less than perfect in their past, and if we only allowed absolutely perfect people into the judiciary then there wouldn’t be any judges. After all, if you see a coin on the ground and pick it up, legally that’s theft. If someone asks you “does my bum look big in this?”, and you assure them that, no, it doesn’t, then you could be accused of lying. The only way you can totally avoid doing something illegal is suicide – except that suicide is also illegal. Have you seen the size of the Law library?

    Like

    • Quote: The only way you can totally avoid doing something illegal is suicide – except that suicide is also illegal. Have you seen the size of the Law library?

      Like

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