A Shifting Pendulum in American Politics

The Democratic Party is moving farther to the political Left, embracing more collectivist modes of ideology and doubling down on their identitarian activism. Today’s typical “Progressive” is now a caricature of my generation.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

The Democratic Party is moving further to the political Left, embracing more collectivist modes of ideology and doubling down on their identitarian activism.  Today’s typical “Progressive” is now a caricature of my generation (Generation Y, the millennial generation) and it’s embarrassing; from screaming at Republican senators in the nation’s capital, to banging on the door of the Supreme Court of the United States after the confirmation of a new conservative-leaning Justice, to forcefully shutting down academic events hosting conservative speakers, it is apparent that Leftists (not liberals) are becoming more radicalized in this strange post-truth era.

How did we get here?

I think it started with internet connections and the World Wide Web which dramatically increased access to information for the general public.  Greater access combined with more diversity is a double-edged sword in media because, with more choices of programs, confirmation bias becomes more prevalent; individuals will naturally gravitate toward programs that confirm what they already believe.  This is why it is so important to make an effort to seek out points of view alternate to your own.  The American public is currently experiencing the negative, balkanizing effects of confirmation bias.

What’s the solution? 

I think the solution to our wide-spread confirmation bias ironically involves the very tools that encouraged this virus of the mind, although it also requires a change in mindset in each individual.  We need to consider different sources, the motivations behind particular narratives, and power bases behind specific media companies.  The ideological leanings of a journalist or commentator affects their news coverage as does the primary financing of an organization.  In short, we need to be more skeptical.

Skepticism requires curiosity and acting on curiosity requires initiative.  Journalist Tim Pool points out one the most stark differences between the political Left and Right today: the Left generally has no qualms with alienating individuals whom disagree with their mainstream narratives while the Right is constantly seeking out disagreements for the sake of discourse – the Left pushes people away with their dislike for nuance while the Right is actively recruiting people.  This new inclusiveness on the Right will likely lead to a new conservative movement among younger Americans.  We’re already seeing rising conservative media outlets catapulting young and energetic talking heads to national fame – figures like Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren, Roaming Millennial, and Dave Rubin are immensely popular with young people partly because they don’t condescend young people about how “oppressed” they are by forces beyond one’s control.  A general narrative on the Right is one of an individualistic spirit of exploration and invention endemic in American history.

Liberalism was once the champion of individualism and personal liberty but liberalism has been corrupted by its own hubris.  Leftists coming to dominate the fields of entertainment became obsessed with the appearance of diversity while ignoring diversity’s most important facet: the intellect.  Now, the intellectually lazy neo-liberals are being beaten in the marketplace of ideas by their Right-wing counterparts who still see value in showcasing diverse opinions regardless of appearances and communicating across ideologies.  If the Left wants to have a fighting chance in this new media landscape of individualism and curiosity, I think they need to rediscover liberalism and the intellectual traditions of Western civilization – from Hammurabi’s Code, to the oratory of Pericles, to the revelations of the Enlightenment, to the rational populism of Presidents Roosevelt.

Did Professor Christine Ford lie while under oath?

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Yesterday (10/2), the Wall Street Journal reported that the renewed FBI investigation into the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh could be over “very soon, well ahead of the end-of-the-week deadline.”

This is not surprising considering that Senator Diane Feinstein had already approached the FBI with the allegations prior to Judge Kavanaugh’s planned confirmation hearing; the FBI had denied to investigate the allegations further.  The public has also seen a statement from Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona-based prosecutor hired by the Senate Republicans as an independent investigator, saying “I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.”  (See my previous blog entries for the sources.)

I mean no disrespect towards Professor Ford, whatever trauma she has experienced in the past.  If there is not enough evidence of the alleged crime, action should not be taken in her favor.  That is the unfortunate reality sex crimes, they are exceptionally difficult to prove.

A new development now brings Ford’s credibility into question: a letter from a person claiming to be an ex-boyfriend of then-Christine Blasey.

Screenshot_2018-10-03 Shannon Bream on Twitter

SOURCE: Shannon Bream, <https://twitter.com/shannonbream/status/1047293294567456770?s=21> (Twitter, 2018).

The author of the letter states at the end that he wishes to maintain his anonymity but still wanted to share what he knew about Ford.  If this person is who he says he is, there seems to be several things about Ford that contradict what the country saw and heard in Ford’s Senate testimony.

Professor Ford testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that she was hesitant to come to Washington D.C. because she has a fear of flying and it would have been nerve-racking for her.  This is despite the fact that Senator Chuck Grassley (the Judiciary Committee Chairman) offered to fly a team to her in California to record her testimony in a more comfortable location.  This letter, supposedly from Ford’s ex-boyfriend, reveals that Ford does not have a fear of flying or didn’t at that time.

Professor Ford was specifically asked by Rachel Mitchell in cross-examination if she has ever discussed how to take a polygraph test with anyone.  Ford responded, “never.”  This letter reveals that Ford assisted a friend of hers in obtaining a job in law enforcement.  The friend named as Monica L. McLean apparently had to take a polygraph as a condition of potential employment and Ford helped her prepare for the examination.  The letter reads that Ford was able to help her friend prepare for a polygraph due to her knowledge of psychology.

The latter revelation may be the most damning as it is a federal crime to provide false information to an government body during the course of an investigation, a crime that can carry a punishment of a fine or a 5-year imprisonment.

Did Professor Ford lie while under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Senator Grassley has re-submitted a request to Professor Ford’s lawyers for more evidence regarding Ford’s allegation.

Screenshot_2018-10-03 10 02 18-CEG-to-Ford-Attorneys pdf

SOURCE: Sean Davis, The Federalist, <http://confirmkavanaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/10.02.18-CEG-to-Ford-Attorneys.pdf> (2018).

Senator Grassley later explains to Ford’s lawyers:

“That the Senate is not a court of law doe not change the reality that Dr. Ford’s allegations have put Judge Kavanaugh on trial before the nation.  A sitting federal judge and Supreme Court nominee has been accused of committing a violent crime.  Dr. Ford, to her credit, offered her testimony to the Judiciary Committee, notwithstanding attempts at obstruction by her attorneys and Senate Democratic leadership.  The testimony hinges on evidence to which Dr. Ford has repeatedly referred – some of which has already been provided to a nationally circulated newspaper – but which you have refused to provide to the Senate.”

It seems strange that supposed evidence to a crime would be given to a national newspaper to be showcased before the whole country but not to an investigative body with the specific intent to investigate the allegation.

Why are Ford’s attorneys dragging their heels in cooperating with the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Another Week of Hyperbole and Slander from Clownish Jackasses

Another week, time for more hyperbole in media. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee caved to public pressure to delay Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States. The deciding vote to delay came Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) although he also stated somewhat definitively that he would eventually vote in Judge Kavanaugh’s favor.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Another week, time for more hyperbole in media.  The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee caved to public pressure to delay Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The deciding vote to delay came Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) although he also stated somewhat definitively that he would eventually vote in Judge Kavanaugh’s favor.

Screenshot_2018-10-02 Flake Statement on SCOTUS Nomination - Press Releases - United States Senator Jeff Flake

SOURCE: Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, <https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/9/flake-statement-on-scotus-nomination>, 2018.

A presumption of innocence?  Equality under the law?  It’s as if these concepts have become foreign to the over-sensitive activists we see advocating for entitlements, censorship, and uses of violence as an acceptable method of political maneuvering.  We need not look far to see the tactics of these feelings-based collectivists to see the violent nature behind their pathology.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his wife attempting to enjoy some personal time together at a restaurant:

SOURCE: TicToc by Bloomberg, 2018.

Senator Flake leaving Tuesday’s (9/28) Senate committee hearing:

SOURCE: CNN, 2018.

These radical activists seem to believe that confronting people in an intimidating fashion at inopportune times is preferable to seeking out proper methods of communication and initiating contact like a civilized person.  My advice to anyone who finds themselves the target of an unapologetic mob is to NEVER SUBMIT TO THE MOB.  Either stand your ground and peacefully defend your political stance or walk away without acknowledging any of the mob’s sycophants.

Rachel Mitchell, the independent investigative counsel appointed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, released a statement of her own regarding Professor Christine Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.

Screenshot_2018-10-02 Rachel-Mitchell-s-analysis pdf

SOURCE: Rachel Mitchell, legal memorandum, <https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4952137/Rachel-Mitchell-s-analysis.pdf>, 2018.

The document goes on to state:

“In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.  Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.  For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.  Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard (Rachel Mitchell, memo, 2018).”
If these allegations have no legal standing, then the Senate Judiciary Committee should stop wasting the American people’s time with this charade and hold the vote to either confirm or deny Judge Kavanaugh.

Tim Pool: “Allegations Against Kavanaugh Have LOST ALL Credibility”

Tim Pool: “Allegations Against Kavanaugh Have LOST ALL Credibility”

4 Possible Corroborators for Kavanaugh Accuser, Problems still at Issue

Credit for cover image: BBC, 9/23/2018.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

The USA Today reported this morning that the legal team for Professor Christine Ford, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s initial accuser, has four sworn statements from four different people corroborating the Palo Alto University professor’s allegation of sex assault at the hands of Judge Kavanaugh back in 1982 – one of the corroborators being Ford’s husband and the other three close friends.

“In documents sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by USA TODAY, Ford’s attorneys present declarations from Ford’s husband, Russell, and three friends who support the California college professor’s accusation that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and attempted to pull off her clothes while both were high school students in 1982.

The declarations will be used by Ford’s attorneys during a committee hearing on Thursday that could determine the fate of Kavanaugh’s embattled nomination.  He also faces a second accusation of sexual assault from Deborah Ramirez, who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself and pushed his genitals into her face at a drunken party during the 1983-84 academic year at Yale University.”

SOURCE: Steve Kiggins and Richard Wolf, USA Today, 9/26/2018.

While four sworn statements may be slightly more credible than one allegation on its own, the flaws in the Professor Ford’s initial allegation still have not been addressed.  Chief among them: the fact that the crime allegedly occurred over three decades ago making it incredibly difficult to track down specific corroboration from that area at that time, the lack of details regarding the specific place and time of the alleged crime, the apparent lack of consistency between Ford’s account to her therapist in 2012 and her recent account to U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, and the question of why the alleged victim waited so long to tell anyone about the crime.

There is also an issue with these four corroborators: they all were told of the alleged crime in the past five years (after Ford’s first telling of her account to her therapist in 2012) so it still does not answer the question of why she waited so long to come out.

This case surrounding Judge Kavanaugh has apparently spawned a discussion on Twitter under the hashtag “#WhyIDidntReport,” the discussion comprised of various women claiming to be victims of sex crimes explaining why they did not report the alleged crime to the police.  Most of the reasoning for not reporting seem to relate to the alleged victim’s emotional state at the time (which would obviously be distraught, I’m not denying that) as well as a distrust in the American justice system (which is flawed but still among the best on the world).

“Under the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, thousands of women began recounting why it took them many years to talk about their attacks.  By Sunday, there had been 675,000 tweets.”

SOURCE:  British Broadcasting Corporation, 9/23/2018.

There is one thing that Professor Ford could have done to avoid all of this political drama currently playing out.  Assuming that she is telling the truth, she should have reported the crime as soon as possible (back in 1982).  Ford says she was in high school at the time.  Why didn’t she at least inform her parents of this horrible crime against her?

Regardless of the emotional state of the victim, reporting a sex crime as soon as possible after the fact is the best way to get the law on your side, it will significantly increase that chances that the alleged criminal will be caught by police.  This is true for all crime, the longer the victim waits to report it, the more difficult it will be for law enforcement to raise legal charges and obtain a conviction.

Attorney for Professor Christine Ford unsatisfied with state of expected testimony in letter to Senate committee leader.

Screenshot_2018-09-25 Frank Thorp V on Twitter

SOURCE: Frank Thorp, NBC, 2018.