Response to comments on "mistaken identity" and suggested reading for Senators
The responses keep pouring in on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, most recently regarding my “mistaken identity” commentaries. To allay concerns that reader comments might just be going into the void, let me say that, no, they are most assuredly not. It’s impossible to answer each one personally, but they are read and are important to me.
Some readers thought I was much too easy on Dr. Ford, as they had concluded she was deliberately lying her head off during last Thursday’s Senate hearings. Of course, she may have been doing that very thing, though we must remember that none of us can be (to use the phrase of the moment) “100 percent sure.” It’s also possible that she believes what she was saying. Democrats desperate to keep Kavanaugh off the Court are certainly not above coaching their emotionally fragile witness (who 100 percent did not want to be there; thanks, Sen. Feinstein) and even using hypnosis and the power of suggestion to make sure a “memory” remains embedded in her hippocampus so it will hold up under cross-examination –- which, sadly, she didn’t even get from the horrendously inadequate questioner. For people who, after listening to Dr. Ford, think it’s probable that she was genuinely harmed by...someone...during her teenage years, mistaken identity is one way of reconciling the “100 percent” certainty of the accuser with the “100 percent” certainty of the accused.
I’ll offer up, in slightly edited form, the comments from reader Ronald L, Ph.D.:
“Malleability of human memory is proven fact. Dr. Loftus is best known for her ground-breaking work on the misinformation effect and eyewitness memory and the creation and nature of false memories, including recovered memories of (childhood) sexual abuse. The misinformation effect paradigm demonstrated that the memories of eyewitnesses are altered after being exposed to incorrect information about an event through leading questions or other forms of post-event information, and that memory is highly malleable and open to suggestion. The misinformation effect became one of the most influential and widely known effects in psychology,
“It was possible to implant false memories for entire events that had never taken place. Some recovered memories might in fact be false memories, created by the suggestive techniques used by some therapists. “Imagination inflation” refers to the finding that imagining an event which never happened can increase confidence that it actually occurred. This effect is relevant to the study of memory and cognition, particularly false memory. “Imagination inflation” is one way that techniques intended to retrieve repressed memories by way of recovered memory therapy may lead to the development of false or distorted memories.”
Thanks, Dr. L. And another thank-you goes to reader Barbara V, who was reminded by the the refrain that “all women must be believed” of a similar crazy time in the 1980s when the same was said about children. Remember the case of the McMartin preschool, whose teachers and administrators were frantically accused of Satanic ritual abuse of children? The stories were wild and grotesque, like the gang-rape stories that are being told about Kavanaugh. But we were repeatedly told that “children never lie” until it became a mantra. Children do lie, quite a lot, and to recognize that fact is not to care any less about the horrible reality of child abuse. The McMartin case is a real-world example of mass social hysteria that ruined scores of people’s lives, similar to what we’re seeing now with the women crying and screaming on the elevator in front of Rep. Jeff Flake, in a surreal moment that really did play like a scene from “The Crucible.” I won’t go into a lot of detail here about the McMartin case, but in case your memory is hazy (ha), this article will refresh it. From 2015, it refers to a book about the case by Richard Beck, entitled “WE BELIEVE THE CHILDREN --- A Moral Panic In The 1980s.”
A couple of readers mentioned the work of French developmental psychologist and researcher Jean Piaget. I did a little research and found that a central theme of his studies was that the child’s mind works differently than the adult’s, that we grow in cognitive skill (in other words, reason) and ability to manage our environment as we mature and experience life. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Dr. Ford struck many observers as extremely childlike in her manner. To many, she seemed stuck in adolescence. In fact, many of the boomer-age women who wrote to me about this could not believe she hadn’t been able to more forward in the approximately 36 years it has been since the event allegedly occurred. Quite a few of them had experienced much worse than the clumsy scenario Dr. Ford recalls today, and they could remember details quite vividly. In general, women of this generation, who worked hard in the early days of feminism to be taken seriously as mature professionals who can take care of themselves thank-you-very-much, are dismayed by the current portrayal of women as helpless, immature and unstable. Tammy Bruce, a favorite radio host and commentator who appears often on FOX News, calls this “the infantilization of women.” How ironic that in 2018, it’s the left that insists on depicting women this way.
The bright side of this (if we’re forced to somehow come up with one) is that we all get to become psychology experts now. Judge Jeanine Pirro offers us our word of the day: “confabulation.” In psychology, this refers to a memory error defined as the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive. According to Wikipedia, people who confabulate are “generally very confident about their recollections, despite contradictory evidence.” I would add that a lot of them are “100 percent sure.”
As long as we’re talking about recommended reading material, I have some for every Republican member of the Senate, especially Jeff Flake and the few others who feel compelled to wait for still more “investigation.” Andrew C. McCarthy, one of our go-to legal experts, explains exactly what is going on with this new delaying tactic. He knows the score and minces no words. You Republican senators who have spent any time dealing with Democrats in Congress and/or the Senate should know it by now as well, but some of you apparently have a learning disorder. Read this now.
Danger, danger, Will Robinson!! The President had better take McCarthy's warning seriously, too.
Liberals: “Believe all women who make claims of sexual assault! Unless they’re Republican women, then viciously mock, belittle and deride them!” (And no, for once, this doesn’t involve Bill Clinton.)
Remember the Obama maxim for the left, that “when they go low, we go high”? Can we all now finally agree that that’s complete garbage, having seen them in the past week go lower and lower, until they reach this editorial cartoon that proves they've gone lower than an earthworm in a limbo contest?
A New Trade deal with Mexico and Canada
Despite his tough talk about Canada last week (or maybe because of it - Art of the Deal!), President Trump has reached an agreement with Canada to create a new trilateral trade agreement with Mexico, replacing NAFTA with a free trade treaty that’s more advantageous to the United States. This fulfills another one of Trump’s signature campaign promises, one that his critics claimed he wasn’t serious about and would never accomplish (or would crash the economy trying to accomplish). To make it even more head-explodingly infuriating for Never Trumpers, his top advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, whom they love to sneer at, reportedly was instrumental in keeping the talks going with Canada and securing the deal.
This new deal is called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or “USMCA.” Among its provisions: Canada will open its milk market to US farmers, Trump’s auto tariffs won’t apply to cars made in Mexico or Canada, and more car and truck parts will be made in North America. It will also be interesting to hear liberals come up with some way to denounce a deal that makes sure most auto workers earn at least $16 an hour (three times the current going wage in Mexico), improves labor and environmental rights, strengthens intellectual property protections and makes it harder for investors to fight government decisions in Canada and Mexico. But I have faith that they’ll find something to whine about. They always do.
If the Democrats win...
Democrats already assume they’re going to be voted back into power in November so that they can ramp up their various witch hunts and reprisals against their enemies, and reinstate the same failed policies that resulted in eight years of stagnant growth, slow job creation and rising threats from abroad. (By the way, the New York Times finally noticed that the US had a “mini-recession” in 2016 that especially harmed the energy, agricultural and manufacturing sectors and that “many missed” – well, Trump didn’t miss it, but Hillary did):
I don’t know why Democrats think Americans want all that misery back with a side order of hatred and bile, but in case you’re flirting with voting for them, consider this:
The November election isn’t just another election. It marks the halfway point since Trump’s election. Nothing the Democrats predicted - worldwide depression, stock markets crashing, nuclear wars, immigrants put into concentration camps, governing like he’s “literally Hitler!” – has come to pass. Even though Trump’s had less than one-half of one term with a Republican House and marginally Republican Senate, and still hasn’t been able to get Congress to give him some of what he promised (Obamacare repeal, a border wall, etc.), he’s been able to check off an astonishing number of campaign pledges. Trade deals are being renegotiated in our favor, ISIS has lost 98% of its territory, growth is nearly three times what it was when Obama left office, jobless claims are at their lowest in half a century, Iran is on the ropes and North Korea is literally sending him love letters.
But, but…Trump is just so darn unpresidential when he tweets!
I’m reminded of what Abe Lincoln said when someone complained about General Grant’s drinking. He said to find out what Grant was drinking and send a barrel of it to all his generals.
Due Process For Me, But Not For Thee:
Rep. Maxine Waters is outraged over a story that some edits on Wikipedia that deliberately exposed the home addresses of Republican Senators were traced to someone in her office. On Saturday, she put out this statement:
“Lies, lies, and more despicable lies. I am utterly disgusted by the spread of the completely false, absurd, and dangerous lies and conspiracy theories that are being pedaled by ultra-right wing pundits, outlets, and websites who are promoting a fraudulent claim that a member of my staff was responsible for the release of the personal information of Members of the United States Senate on Wikipedia. This unfounded allegation is completely false and an absolute lie.”
As you can imagine, this got a chorus of horse laughs on Twitter. The responses practically wrote themselves: Wait, so now people are innocent until proven guilty again, or is that just for your staff? Whatever happened to “We must believe the accuser”? And doesn’t that furious response to being falsely accused prove that Maxine doesn’t have the temperament to be a member of Congress?
Of course, they’re not really serious about that. Maxine Waters proved she doesn't have the temperament to be a member of Congress long ago.
The Democrats have made it abundantly clear that they have nothing but contempt for the idea of “making America great again,” having first argued that it was un-American to suggest that it wasn’t already great, then argued that it’s never been great. But lately, it’s becoming obvious that many of them think the only way to make America great is to turn it into Cuba or Venezuela. But they might not realize just how bad that kind of lunacy sounds to immigrant and minority voters who came to America to escape those socialist paradises.
Here are two examples, both must-reads for your Monday. Helen Raleigh, who came to America from Communist China, has written an article on how to successfully debate a “Democratic” Socialist. It provides answers to their ludicrous claims about how this is a new, pain-free form of socialism, complete with examples and quotes that definitively disprove their most popular claims and show that virtually every failed socialist system starts with the same happy talk promises, then quickly runs out of other people’s money, and once the public starts complaining, down comes the hammer of oppression.
My favorite quote: Adding the adjective “Democratic” to socialism is “like trying to put lipstick on a pig, although it’s not fair to pigs to compare them to socialism.”
And then there’s this, which I sincerely hope is a sign that the Democrats’ slash/burn/destroy campaign against Brett Kavanaugh is blowing up in their faces. It’s an article written under an assumed name due to an understandable fear of retaliation from “tolerant” liberals (I use those quotation marks the same way I do for “Democratic” Socialists). It's by a Latino writer who fled to the US from a nation that was taken over by a military coup. He notes that he twice voted for Obama, never even considered voting for Trump, but now plans to vote straight Republican because the behavior he saw from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee was a chilling echo of what he’d seen in his former homeland, where the leaders stopped at nothing to destroy anyone who stood between them and power. His writing is both eloquent and terrifying. Here’s a brief sample:
“We saw the devastation that comes to a society when men of power believe their political objectives so justified that they are willing to pursue them by any means necessary. In the eyes of those men of power, we could see the deadening of souls that occurs when a man’s perceived benevolence blinds him to his own tyranny…During the Kavanaugh hearings, I saw that same look in the eyes of Senate Democrats…
A mentor once told me, when discussing how to respond to inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace, ‘You promote what you permit.’ If Democrats are allowed to delay this nomination and the elections in 2018 and 2020 benefit them, both Republicans and Democrats for a generation will have learned that the American people prefer to be ruled by tyrants that punish their enemies instead of representatives in a republic who adhere to the rule of law.”
I hope that excerpt alone will make you want to click the link and read more. This write-up has a link to the original essay in the Federalist, along with information on the #WalkAway march in Washington on October 26-28, where fellow former Democrats who still hold traditional liberal values will express their disgust at what the bullying, censorious, “seize power at all costs” Democratic Party has become. I like to take any opportunity to promote that rally because social media sites seem to be doing everything in their power to prevent you from knowing about it.
The ACLU has apparently gone the same way as the SPLC, taking what was once a respectable organization that safeguarded civil rights and flushing its reputation down the toilet by warping it into a tool of leftist partisanship.
The first sign that the ACLU’s commitment to its mission was crumbling came after the deadly clashes between white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville. The group was criticized for defending the alt-right’s right to assemble and speak, with some groups and leaders resigning. So while ACLU leaders denied that they would no longer defend “offensive” speech, they said they would no longer defend the speech of any group that insisted on carrying guns. That raised the thorny question of why they would defend someone’s First Amendment rights only if he didn’t assert his Second Amendment rights.
But I think we can now lay to rest the argument over whether the ACLU has sold out its mission of defending civil rights, after the group officially came out in opposition to the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh based solely on an unproven allegation.
ACLU President Susan Herman announced that the group was taking this unprecedented stand because “As a nonpartisan organization (!), the ACLU does not oppose Judge Kavanaugh based on predictions about how he would vote as a Justice. We oppose him in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him.” She added, “The standard for such an appointment should be high, and the burden is on the nominee.”
So it’s now official: America’s leading organization in defense of individual civil rights has just defined an allegation with no evidence or details and that is denied by all the named witnesses to be “credible” and declared that that alone is enough to presume the accused guilty until he meets the burden of proving himself innocent. I don’t think you could create a sentence that contradicts more basic due process rights if you tried. And that’s the official stance of today's "American Civil Liberties Union." At least, that's what ACLU used to stand for. Maybe it's now "All Civil Liberties Undermined."
Someone order up a tombstone to mark the death of the ACLU’s credibility. Maybe we could get a 3-for-1 discount if we ordered it at the same time as tombstones for the SPLC’s and the Democratic Party’s credibility.
One of those “new allegations” that Democrats are demanding the FBI spend taxpayer money investigating was an anonymous letter sent to Sen. Cory Gardner from someone claiming that he saw a drunken Brett Kavanaugh shove his girlfriend against a wall in an aggressive sexual way in 1998, although the letter had no name or return address and didn’t include the names of the sender or the alleged victim.
Well, luckily for Democrats, Kavanaugh’s girlfriend from 1998 has come forward voluntarily. Except she’s not telling the story they hoped for. At the time, he was dating Dabney Friedrich, who is currently a federal judge. She called the claim “both offensive and absurd,” adding, “At no time did Brett ever shove me against a wall, including in an ‘aggressive and sexual’ manner. When we dated, Brett always treated me with the utmost respect, and we remain friends to this day. I have never observed (nor am I aware of) Brett acting in a physically inappropriate or aggressive manner toward anyone.”
That utter lack of evidence and adamant denial from the alleged victim can mean only one thing: we need an even more thorough FBI investigation! While they’re at it, maybe the Democrats should demand that the FBI investigate that poor Nigerian prince who keeps emailing them for help getting his fortune out of the country.
Today’s “Fake News” Item:
“Journalists” from such outlets as the Nation, MSNBC, the Washington Post, Vox and others retweeted a claim that Senate Republicans pulled the female prosecutor after she determined that Brett Kavanaugh was lying. The story was attributed to the Wall Street Journal, but none of the “professional journalists” who retweeted it bothered to check that. It was a completely fake story that never ran in the WSJ. I guess it was just too good to waste time checking to see if was true. That seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of Brett Kavanaugh news.
One year ago
Today (October 1st) marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in US history, where a sniper firing from the windows of the Mandalay Bay Hotel killed 58 people at a country music concert below before turning his gun on himself.
Tonight will bring the rarest of sights, when the blinding marquees along the Las Vegas Strip will be dimmed at 10:01 p.m. to mark the exact moment the shooting began. But even after a year of investigations, there is still no explanation for why the killer did it, and authorities admit that there likely never will be. There can be no rational explanation for inexplicable evil, although the first step would be to admit that evil really does exist. One year ago, we got irrefutable proof of that.
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