Thursday, October 27, 2016

Boy twice victimized--of statutory rape, and of a false rape claim

In this news story, a woman had a "sexual connection with a minor"--specifically, a 14-year-old boy--the news report says the sex was "consensual" though it is far from certain how a child can adequately "consent" to sex with an adult, even if he is a boy. Nevertheless, the woman claimed the boy "forced himself" on her.

So now, this child has been twice-victimized--by the same woman: he was statutorily raped, and he's the victim of a false rape claim.

Do you think the news reports would call such an encounter "consensual" if the genders were flipped?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Never fabricate a claim that 66.5 million eyewitnesses can refute

Did you see the second Presidential debate last Sunday?

Did you know that Donald Trump "stalked" Hillary Clinton during that debate?

No? Neither did 66.5 million eyewitnesses.

But, hey, I guess if a woman said it, it has to be true--eyewitnesses be damned.

All kidding aside, the fact that this allegation was lodged by Mrs. Clinton--even though a massive audience knows it wasn't true--and the fact that the allegation wasn't refuted by the mainstream media tells us everything we need to know this campaign.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Using sexual assault to further a political agenda

Donald Trump held a press conference before last Sunday night's debate with Bill Clinton's sexual assault accusers. Then he had the accusers sit in the audience and watch the debate--the same audience where Bill Clinton sat. It was an unprecedented political spectacle. Fox News Trump supporter Sean Hannity and others on Fox News have treated each of Bill Clinton's accusers as sexual assault victims.

The goal of many allied with Trump is to claim that Hillary Clinton hates women as shown by her actions in attacking her husband's accusers. We previously decried this tactic, noting that "the attacks on Mrs. Clinton for defending her husband echo the shrill siren of radical feminism" which assumes guilt on the basis of an accusation. While it is certainly fair to point out Mrs. Clinton's hypocrisy when she urges that women who cry rape "should be believed" while her husband's accusers should not, it is absurd to suggest that it's proper to assume rape on the basis of an accusation.

Ah, but the plot thickens--things just got a lot more complicated for Trump allies. Last Sunday, we wrote about Donald Trump's repulsive locker room bragging about sexual assault. We added this: "And I'm wondering when the women will come forward, a la Bill Cosby? Perhaps this disclosure will trigger women coming forward."

I didn't have to wonder long. The accusers have come out of the woodwork and, mirabile dictu!--they somehow found their way to the New York Times, less than four weeks before the election. The one accusation concerns an alleged event that occurred more than 30 years ago.  That's right--30 years ago. Chances are, Trump can't possibly prove he was somewhere other than where the woman claims he was because any evidence that could support an alibi is obviously long gone by now.

Trump claims his locker room bragging was all talk--that he did not sexually assault anyone. For the same reason that we should not assume Bill Clinton committed sexual assault based on accusations, we should not assume Donald Trump did so, either. Nor should we assume the accusers are liars. We should not take sides unless the claims have been subjected to a fair hearing.

Unfortunately, that's not how a lot of people will look at it.

The mainstream media--which has no use for Trump--will report these accusations 24/7 if possible in an effort to put the final nail in the coffin of the Trump campaign.

Trump supporters will take a different approach--and the real question is: how will Fox News treat these accusations against Trump? Will Sean Hannity et al. give Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt--something they steadfastly refuse to do for Bill Clinton? Will they try to smear the accusers even after they treated Bill Clinton's accusers as if they were Mother Theresa's sisters? Or will they do the right thing and report the facts about these accusations without taking sides as to their veracity? And if Fox News does the right thing in this instance, will that expose its hypocrisy because Fox News has failed to do the same in Bill Clinton's case?

My guess: Trump supporters will try to make the case that the accusations against Bill Clinton are credible while the ones against Trump aren't. And my guess is that most objective people will see through that.

That's what happens when you use sexual assault accusations to further a political agenda. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Off-topic: Americans are stupid

No one should complain about the outcome of this election, whatever it might be. Americans don’t deserve a good president because they don’t demand one.

Mrs. Clinton and her news media allies (pretty much the entire mainstream media) are only interested in talking about Donald Trump’s idiocy du jour. For his part, Donald Trump is primarily interested in attacking leaders of his own party who aren’t supporting him. The rest of the GOP and its media outlet, Fox News, are more interested in catching Clinton in lies about old emails or maybe even hoping she faints again.

The American people are even worse. We just witnessed the most dramatic presidential debate in history--and the most talked-about thing is what? A guy in a red sweater who asked a question that wasn’t important.

So what's so important that we should be discussing, you ask?

For one thing, Americans ought to be talking about Obamacare. Barack Obama considers it his signature accomplishment, and Mrs. Clinton is running as an Obama acolyte. Obama sold it to Americans with his Pajama Boy ad campaign and promises that it would “reduce the costs of most Americans” and that “no matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor . . . .” In fact, Obama made those claims repeatedly.

The Pajama Boy campaign turned out to be a dud—akin to trying to peddle New Coke (younger readers may not know--in the mid-1980s, Coke changed the formula of its iconic drink--it didn’t last). And the promises turned out to be wrong, to put it charitably. An architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, later admitted in a moment of arrogant candor that the promises were deceitful—because “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” in this instance. Health care premiums have skyrocketed to the point that Bill Clinton—the man Mrs. Clinton said would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy” in her administration--last week said this: "So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world."

At this week’s debate, a questioner asked: “Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone up. Copays have gone up. Prescriptions have gone up. And the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?” Even Mrs. Clinton agreed with the questioner. “. . . I agree with you. Premiums have gotten too high. Copays, deductibles, prescription drug costs . . . .” And: “. . . we've got to get costs down. We've got to provide additional help to small businesses so that they can afford to provide health insurance.”

The most important accomplishment of the Obama administration is a mess, and you'd think this would be the principal issue in this campaign. So why aren’t we holding both candidates’ feet to the fire and insisting that they lay out detailed plans about how they’re going to fix Obamacare, or replace it?

Because we're too busy talking about a guy in a red sweater.

And . . . maybe we’re stupid?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Donald Trump's repulsive comments

[Edit: During the October 9, 2016 presidential debate, Donald Trump stated that his comments in 2005 were "locker room talk" and that he did not sexually assault women.]

Back in 2005, Donald Trump bragged, "I just start kissing [beautiful women] . . . . Just kiss. Don't even wait. And when you're a star, let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you wait. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

Should we believe Donald Trump was telling the truth--that he would kiss women, and grab women "by the p**ssy," without waiting for anything, including the women's consent? Because that sure sounds an awful lot like sexual assault, doesn't it? Or maybe Trump thinks that the women's after-the-fact consent--because he's a "star" and all--could undo sexual assault?

If Trump grabbed women before the women manifested consent, that's sexual assault. The fact that the women didn't complain doesn't undo the sexual assault.

Pointing this out is not to condone Hillary Clinton's conduct or policies. Readers of this blog know that--just look at the link at the top left of this page. I am just asking if we should take Donald Trump at his word, because if we do, it sure sounds like he was bragging about committing sexual assault.

And I'm wondering when the women will come forward, a la Bill Cosby?  Perhaps this disclosure will trigger women coming forward.

One way or the other, this presidential election might just present the worst choice we've ever had.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Airline changes woman's seat to accommodate Pakistani Monks: discrimination. Muslim women get men kicked out of gyms: a reasonable request

When Pakistani monks--who are men--had United Airlines move a female passenger because their cultural beliefs forbade them from sitting next to her on a flight, the media gave voice to the woman, who felt she'd been discriminated. “We can’t discriminate against half the population,” the woman said, “for a belief from another nation.” The woman has demanded that United Airlines apologize to every female on that plane, including United employees, and change their policy. The woman said she was intent on protecting women’s rights. United said it regretted that the woman was unhappy and that it has "zero tolerance" for discrimination. See here

But when Muslim women insist that they can't exercise with men around at Harvard and a lot of other places, the men are often banned from the gym for hours each week. The women find it "awkward" working out in a co-ed gym--it makes them "uncomfortable." The communications director of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences called it a "reasonable request."

When Muslim men asked for a religious accommodation that, in truth, did not inconvenience a woman at all, the media gives voice to the woman who insists she was discriminated against. When women ask for a religious accommodation that indisputably does cause some inconvenience to men, it's a reasonable request.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Surreal moment from debate

There were many surreal moments from the first presidential debate. Here's one:
CLINTON: . . . But this is a man . . . who has said...women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men.

TRUMP: I didn't say that.
Okay: now, what am I missing here?

Is Clinton suggesting that it's wrong for Trump to say a woman should not be paid what a man is paid unless she does as good a job?

And Trump denied saying it, as if it's wrong?

The implications are staggering.

Criticizing Clinton's smugness is not "sexism"

This was Hillary Clinton much of the night whenever Donald Trump spoke--smug condescension oozed from every pore of her face. She donned this visage pretty much every time Trump talked about our broken system or lodged a criticism of her positions.

It was a look intended to derisively mock, belittle, and trivialize Trump. At one point, while laughing smugly, she actually said this to Trump, "You know, just join the debate by saying more crazy things."

Some pundits are claiming that any criticism of Clinton's smug demeanor is rank sexism--see, e.g., here and here. Of course, some of these pundits could find sexism in a ham sandwich.

If we can't criticize a candidate for her actions without being accused of being sexist, then America isn't ready for a woman president.

The problem with Clinton's smug attitude isn't that it mocked Trump--Trump is often an overbearing buffoon who deserves to be mocked in other settings. The problem is--like it or not--that Clinton's smugness in this setting implicitly disrespected and mocked Trump's many supporters and a lot of other people who are on the fence but who are sympathetic to his core message.

Trump gives voice to the frustrations of millions about a broken system--and the establishment that runs it--that has utterly failed them. Yet for too much of this campaign, Clinton and her ilk have disrespected these people and their concerns--and have dismissed Trump's movement as nothing more than a "basket of deplorables."

Clinton and her supporters, in and out of the media, dismiss--and mock--the millions who feel disenfranchised, and who look to Trump as their voice, at their peril.

And Clinton's media pom-pom girls do her no favors by dismissing criticisms of her smugness as "sexism." They need to urge her to ditch it next time around--or else maybe America really isn't ready for a woman president.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who "won" the debate?

Who cares who "won" the debate? At least, who cares who "won" in any traditional sense--you know, "on points." The  political "experts" don't know what the hell they're talking about. A lot of them thought Jimmy Carter tied or beat Reagan in their October 28, 1980 debate.

Trump's pitch was Hillary et al. have made a mess of things for a long time, so why does anyone think it will improve by electing her? Hillary's pitch was, I'm not Trump.

Hillary was plastic, uninspiring, smug and condescending. Trump was angry, obnoxious, inarticulate and overbearing. But the only thing that matters is how it played to undecided voters who have paid little to no attention to the election until last night--almost everyone else has made up his or her mind. What they saw was a steamroller who manhandled the moderator and his opponent unlike anything in memory--it was absurd, shocking, and historic. It was typical of Trump's performance in debates throughout this election season.

As for Trump--he's not a conservative, of course. It would have been interesting to see a true conservative, like Cruz or Rand Paul, debate Clinton. Trump's primary issue in this campaign is and has been trade. When it comes to trade, his positions are a threat to free markets and global commerce--very anti-conservative. So are Hillary's, though a lot of people suspect her positions are designed to buy votes and that she wouldn't carry through on them. President Obama is much better on trade than either Trump or Hillary. Trump doesn't care much about any other issue--the "law and order" thing is a recent campaign strategy. And sometimes at his rallies, he almost forgets to mention "the wall." He's not articulate--a great friend of mine, who happens to be an expert on rhetoric, said this about the debate last night: "You’d think that someone who talks so much, who spews such an incredible, non-stop volume of verbiage, would eventually, even accidentally, answer a fucking question." Trump eschews serious study of the issues. The GOP got what it deserved when it nominated him. Any of the other GOP candidates would have been more articulate, more civil, and more knowledgeable about the issues than Trump--just as Mitt Romney was. Then again, Romney lost. And for the first time in a long time, a Republican wasn't pushed around by the moderator or his Democrat opponent. If Trump lost, he beat himself.

As for Clinton: aside from disdaining college men (any college man who would vote for her ought to have his head examined), she is perhaps the most unaccomplished major political figure of my lifetime. Her devotees typically don't really know where she stands on the issues. In the debate last night, she rushed to judgment and tied the Charlotte and Tulsa shootings to race, then she accused all of us as being "implicitly biased" when it comes to blacks, and in the same breath unwittingly contradicted herself by saying "too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other." She wants to deny anyone who's on a terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun (Trump agreed--but, to his credit, added that if someone shouldn't be on the list, we should help them get off).

There are a lot of issues that are manufactured by the candidates and the news media. Does anyone care about Trump's tax returns, except Hillary supporters? Does anyone seriously think the nutty birther issue was related to race?

But even the issues that matter don't really matter. And that's the point. Politics has become a religion--facts don't matter, feelings do. We rationalize to deal with inconvenient truths. If you liked Clinton, you thought she "won" last night. If you liked Trump, you thought he "won" last night. If you are someone who paid no attention to this election until last night and think the system is broken and want someone to shake it up, you might have thought Trump "won." That doesn't mean those people are too stupid to understand what Trump really is.

I'll vote for one or the other--full disclosure, I've become one of those "undecideds." I am watching one particular issue that would impact me personally--depending on this issue, I might vote for Hillary.

As for last night, I, personally, don't know who "won." I can think of a nation that has lost.

Hillary Clinton's hostility to the community of the wrongly accused

The current administration has manifested an unprecedented hostility to due process for college men accused of sexual assault. We've written literally hundreds of posts about it since April 2011 when the the Department of Education issued its infamous "Dear Colleague" letter. For a long time, it was difficult to fathom that any administration could be worse on these issues, but we have every reason to believe that a Hillary Clinton administration would be worse.

Hillary Clinton has unequivocally expressed her hostility to college men accused of sexual assault: "I think that when someone makes the claim, they come forward, they should be believed . . . ."  She also said this: ". . . in our country and on every college campus . . . any woman who reports an assault should be heard and believed . . . ."  In a major address on the issue, she told survivors of sexual assault the following: "You have the right to be heard, You have the right to be believed. And we're with you as you go forward." Clinton made it clear she believes that men accused of sexual assault should be presumed guilty until they are proven innocent: ". . . everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.” Clinton made that statement with a huge grin on her face, and the line drew applause.

Clinton has stated that the issue of college sexual assault is "deeply important" to her. She buys into the one-in-five canard. She has called campus sexual assault an epidemic, has pledged to "build on the progress" the Obama administration has made, and has made clear she wants a national conversation about it--as if the issue has been ignored until now. She plans to take the Obama administration's work to the next level: "The Obama administration has begun to shine a spotlight. I just want to make it a very broad and bright spotlight . . . ." She wants to "end" campus rape by broadening the war on sexual assault. She proudly admits that when she says this, she is "playing the gender card"  and "that's exactly where I want to be."

Clinton hired Zerlina Maxwell  to work for her. Maxwell has written this: “Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.” Maxwell said that false accusations "can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly."

As Secretary of State, Clinton made one of the most heinous false rape claims imaginable. In 2011, Clinton was trying to justify regime change in Libya–a goal not authorized by either the U.S. Congress or the UN. "Clinton told the press that Gaddafi was passing out Viagra to his troops so they could go out and rape dissidents en masse, and that the troops were indeed engaging in mass rapes." The problem? Amnesty International later reported "that there was absolutely no factual support for these accusations. As Amnesty International reported, 'Not only have we not met any victims, but we have not even met any persons who have met victims.'”

It is ironic that Hillary Clinton has not always exhibited fidelity to the decidedly unAmerican principles she now espouses. Much has been written about Mrs. Clinton's two-facedness on this issue--she did not automatically believe her husband’s sexual assault accusers, and, in fact, she actively worked to destroy their credibility. We won't repeat those arguments as they could fill a book.

Mrs. Clinton is, sadly, a product of the modern Democratic Party, which foments division by playing a nasty game of group identity politics that trumps fidelity to due process.