Saints of the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web has grown a lot since it’s public premier (it’s no longer just for porn) and it’s easy to get lost in the electronic jungle as your L.E.D. monitor blares in your strained eyes but, once you carve out a path for yourself through the endless Googling, you can find friends in the strangest places.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

The World Wide Web has grown a lot since it’s public premier (it’s no longer just for porn) and it’s easy to get lost in the electronic jungle as your L.E.D. monitor blares in your strained eyes but, once you carve out a path for yourself through the endless Googling, you can find friends in the strangest places.

Enter the YouTube Saints.

The late-night comedy show starring entertainers Jeff Holiday and Nick Goroff airs on the popular (almost monolithic) video-sharing website once a week (every Friday at 7:30 pm, Mountain Time).  Holiday’s comedic timing and Goroff’s cynical wit makes for a hilarious (albeit depressing) Web program, but the insanity doesn’t end with those two bastards.  Since the inception of the show in March of 2017, a community of geeks, half-wits, and creepy losers have flowered around the two comedic geniuses.  To describe them as “saintly” might sound facetious at first glance until you take a look at their competition and then come crawling back to the relative Saints in abject horror.  The Web can be a scary place and finding your niche can help you come out of your shell.

Behind all the sarcasm and the intelligent mockery, you will find an inclusive community of individuals from all over the globe who aren’t afraid to live and laugh with each other.  For that, we can be grateful to Holiday and Goroff for bringing us together.

Praise the Saints of the Web.

 

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.

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.

An accusation is not a conviction and the media is not a court.

Since the accusation from Professor Ford, there have been many a proselytizing online from self-proclaimed feminist activists, self-righteous individuals shouting at the public through their Web accounts to “believe women.” At the time I’m writing this, there is a trending hashtag on Twitter, “#BelieveSurvivors.”

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Brett-Kavanaugh-Capitol-Visit-Article-201809132123-1

Photo Credit: New York Law Journal, 7/11/2018.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has been accused of a second instance of sexual misconduct.  This new allegation from Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Judge Kavanaugh, dates back to the 1983-84 academic school year at Yale University.

Regarding the first allegation from Professor Christine Ford (Palo Alto University) which dates back even further to Judge Kavanaugh’s high school academics in the 1980’s, the current university professor has agreed to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this coming Thursday after negotiations over the conditions of her appearance.

Since the accusation from Professor Ford, there have been many a proselytizing online from self-proclaimed feminist activists, self-righteous individuals shouting at the public through their Web accounts to “believe women.”  At the time I’m writing this, there is a trending hashtag on Twitter, “#BelieveSurvivors.”

This is the main problem with cases of sexual misconduct/harassment/assault: people are way too quick to run to the media in an emotional defense of the supposed victim defending themselves with the common objection, “why would someone lie about being assaulted?”  I don’t know why anyone would lie about being victimized.  I don’t know why anyone would rape or kill another person.

I don’t know.

Ben Shapiro at The Daily Wire breaks down the flaws in Professor Ford’s story in an editorial:

Screenshot_2018-09-24 6 Questions About The Sexual Assault Allegations Against Judge Brett Kavanaugh

SOURCE: The Daily Wire, 9/17/2018.

“You don’t have to believe that Ford is lying to believe that these allegations require more substantiation.  Thirty-year-old events are difficult to reconstruct; memories change over time.  Witness testimony is notoriously unreliable in many cases.  And she could be telling the absolute objective truth, of course.”

Ryan Saavedra breaks down the flaws in Ramirez’s story in another editorial:

Screenshot_2018-09-24 10 Serious Problems With New Accusations Against Kavanaugh

SOURCE: The Daily Wire, 9/24/2018.

Maybe Professor Ford and Ramirez are telling the truth about Judge Kavanaugh, maybe the judge did act inappropriately on more than one occasion in his youth.  The alleged actions supposedly took place decades ago and the accusers have not provided very many details as to the time and place making an official investigation damn-near impossible.  Professor Ford says that she wants the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate her alleged crime but we don’t even know if her alleged crime would fall under the FBI’s jurisdiction.

We don’t know the truth and, in the absence of the facts, we should not be taking any sides.  Taking sides in various media outlets will only serve to introduce needless bias into these cases.

 

The Media Outrage Machine Must Die

If you ever find yourself the target of an angry mob over something you said on a media platform, DO NOT make a public apology.  Double down and embrace the hate.

Featured image courtesy of <theantimedia.com>.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

If you ever find yourself the target of an angry mob over something you said on a media platform, DO NOT make a public apology. Double down on your ideals and embrace the hate.

The media outrage machine is arguably a product of the 24-hour news cycle and the extreme partisan climate Americans see in our politics these days. When television news stations run programs all day, every day, how much of what they’re covering is actually news worthy? What is news worthy? What topics are simply used as filler for day-time programs?

I think a news station that is required to run programs all day, every day, is destined succumb to partisan play (catering to a particular faction or ideology). Political journalists should be writing about promises from political candidates, candidates’ financial sources, financial corruption, elections, votes, election fraud, voter fraud, legislation, government appointments, government edicts, conflicts of interest, (you get my point) any number of issues relating government functions and public transparency. Drama between two specific commentators is not news worthy.

The new poster boy for the Democratic Party, David Hogg, was wrong to sick his sycophants on Laura Ingraham and attack Ingraham’s advertisers. Ingraham’s initial tweet about Hogg and his college aspirations wasn’t even that insulting compared to most political insults these days and, in any case, she already apologized for it (something Ingraham should not have done). Ingraham should have ignored Hogg’s whining and continued with her usual banter. On the flip side, Hogg cannot step into the political arena and then claim the victim card once he’s criticized. I don’t care if he’s a high school student, his ideas (like everyone else’s) are not immune to criticism.

I suppose I should be cheering Hogg and Ingraham for further contributing to the fall of mainstream media. That’s what happens with a business model that caters to the lowest common denominator of our society.

Lava Rock Brewery – Filling Food and Hearty Drink

If you enjoy classic American fried food and craft beers, the Lava Rock Brewery is definitely worth checking out.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

A few blocks away from my current place of residence there is a restaurant/bar called the Lava Rock Brewery, a fine establishment with filling food and hearty drinks that I would recommend to friends. Located on Unser Boulevard in west Albuquerque (north of Ladera), the brewery is in a relatively high-trafficked area of the city and within walking distance of several dense neighborhoods.

I walked to the brewery from my apartment near the Ladera golf course and ordered their “Killer Sandwich” – grilled chicken with slices of a tomato and a red onion and guacamole-smear – served with a pickle spear and French (I don’t think the food item colloquially known as French fries actually originated in France) fries. The food arrived at my spot at the bar within 15 minutes and, upon its delivery, I ordered a pint of Chocolate Milk Stout which I received immediately (after displaying my driver’s licence, of course). My review of Boxing Bear Brewing Company’s Chocolate Milk Stout is live here.

The food was well-presented on its plate and the restaurant looked clean and well-organized with a window into a back room where one could see a cook finalizing each order for the waiters. The building is spacious enough and I did not feel cramped or claustrophobic at all during my stay. The sandwich was not as large as I would have preferred but it was just as filling (most likely from the chicken and guacamole).

If you enjoy classic American fried food and craft beer, the Lava Rock Brewery is definitely worth checking out.