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2018-09-23 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 438 references
[Comments enabled]  

I've received my fair share of vulgar, profane and worse in response to my post on Kavanaugh which was mostly about the probability stack.  Of course (as is my usual practice) it was titled that way, on purpose, because that's what it was about.

I also received a bit of pushback from some people I know reasonably well -- and while I disagree, in that they tended to focus in one specific place (which is demonstrably incorrect when one writes an entire piece) it nonetheless is worthy of response.

So here it is, since this nonsense is still going on.

First, I want to dispel something right up front -- there are those who say that because a Supreme Court justice is appointed for life it is imperative that any investigation warranted on anything, ever in said person's past be complete before the vote is taken.

This is a damnable, intentional lie.

Supreme Court justices, like the President, can be impeached.  Article 2, Section 4 covers this and applies to all federal civil officers -- all federal judges, not just Supreme Court justices, are covered.  In regard to the Supreme Court it has only happened once in the nation's history, and the Justice was acquitted (Justice Samuel Chase, 1805); like impeachment of a President it is extremely rare.  Nonetheless there is a mechanism to remove a justice who has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors", the meaning of which is entirely political and up to the Senate to adjudicate just as is the case with an impeachment of the President.

Second, the animus against Kavanaugh appears to be largely motivated by the belief that he will vote to overturn Roe and if he did that would make abortion illegal nation-wide.  That too is a damnable, intentional lie. 

It is rather unlikely that Roe would be overturned en-masse.  The opinion itself, which I have read multiple times over the years, is a literal tour-de-force in terms of cataloging the history of abortion and the reaching of the conclusion found therein.

However, contrary to popular belief as put forward by the so-called "progressives", Roe did not provide for a blanket, unconditional right to an abortion.  Indeed the opinion only rendered the abortion decision fully private and between a physician and the woman in question during the first trimester.  It left to a balance of harms test the period of time from the first trimester to fetal viability and explicitly permitted the outright prohibition of abortion from the point of fetal viability onward.

Yet the left has never accepted this decision as actually written, and does not do so today.  Never mind that a women would have to miss at least two expected menstrual periods while taking no action to discover her pregnancy and that today tests for same are available at WalMart for about a buck each in the aisles of the store, along with dramatic advances in birth control options for women, many of which cost less than one coffee -- at a place like McDonalds', not Starbucks -- per day.  (As an aside the non-permanent birth control options for men remain pretty-much what they were in WWII -- condoms.  So much for "equlity.")  The screaming harpies on the left and their sycophants in government in fact claim that Roe authorizes a woman to procure an abortion during the actual delivery of a baby by puncturing its skull as its head emerges through the cervix, thus destroying the brain of the about-to-be-born child, never mind that the court in Roe explicitly found otherwise.

In other words the position of the left, those who wish to destroy Kavanaugh, is a series of flat-out and intentional lies.

Nevermind the other inconsistencies in the Roe decision and the operation of law today.  A woman has a right to privacy in her medical decisions during the first three months because the court found the fetus incapable of independent living and insufficient development to be considered a "person", at which point the fundamental, pre-government right to life would assert.  Ok, but several states will charge you with two murders if you kill a woman that is days, not months pregnant -- one for her and one for the fetus the Supreme Court said is not a person and thus is not entitled to life.

The left's head explodes when this is put forward, yet it is fact that the law is supposed to be neutral in this and all other regards.  If you can kill a fetus on a "balance of harms" basis until viability or simple preference under Roe, and you can, then there is no basis to charge anyone with killing said fetus since it does not have the protections afforded a person - period.  You can charge someone with assaulting the mother, but not the fetus; it is mere property prior to viability according to Roe and thus at worst you could charge such an assaulting individual with destruction of said property.

In the converse after viability a mother who consumes drugs, alcohol, tobacco or otherwise takes any negligent action that harms said fetus through either intent or negligence is criminally liable for same, as such is at minimum an assault on a person -- or worse.  Procurement of an abortion post-viability, except where the mother's life hangs in the balance is thus, under Roe, manslaughter or even murder -- with the physician guilty of the offense and mom an accessory before the fact.  Again, the left's head explodes at this assertion and yet the decision itself is clear on this point.

None of this is in dispute from the text of the decision; go read it.  And no, it's not likely to be overturned en-masse, simply because, if you read the entire decision, you will find that it's well-reasoned and founded on a series of previous decisions and precedent as is usually the case for well-argued and fought Supreme Court cases.

But even if Roe were to be overturned doing so would return the issue to the States, not ban abortion nationally as the lunatic left claims.  It is true that there are several states that would likely almost-immediately pass legislation to ban abortion on a blanket basis (Alabama being one of them) but the landscape is very different today than it was in the 1950s and 1960s.  In the 1950s and 1960s air travel was extraordinarily expensive and flatly beyond the means of most Americans, and certainly beyond the means of poor Americans.  Today, with two weeks notice, you can fly damn near anywhere in this country for less than a week's wages at minimum wage which is less than the abortion itself costs.  You can also drive to a neighboring state and back for under $100 in virtually every case across the country, never mind Greyhound if you don't have a car, so the premise that repealing Roe would make abortion "inaccessible" or "illegal" on a national basis is a damnable lie.

In fact Roe is one of the salient problems with the destruction of Federalism.  The premise of Federalism is that there are and should be 50 state political laboratories; if you don't like the one you're in today you can freely move to a different one more-aligned with your political and social beliefs.  Over time this tends to propagate and make stronger the good ideas and destroy the bad ones.

It is only those who wish to demand that others live as they command, on both sides of the aisle, who want to see the remnants of that model destroyed -- and yet sticking the middle finger up in response to such demands was the very premise on which this nation was founded, on purpose, through the Constitution.

Finally, Roe itself was put forward as a lie.  The woman (Norma McCorvey) was not raped, as it was portrayed to the public at the time -- although you'll note that the actual decision contains no reference to same.  She was bisexual and generally preferred women, but did sleep with men -- voluntarily, although often drunk, and the technology of birth control at the time was a bad joke.  She had borne two previous children.  And then, when she got pregnant with a third child, she was sucked into a political game by people who had both money and power and were intent on reading into the Constitution a right that simply wasn't in the document -- or its Amendments, as the proponents of the position advanced by those who used Norma as a political pawn knew they couldn't get it passed via that mechanism.

In the 1990s Norma converted to Christianity voluntarily and disavowed both lesbianism and the decision that bore her pseudonym.  She died in 2017, convinced that the decision which she helped advance through a false narrative was not only wrong but deeply immoral -- and yet, during her life she wrote two autobiographies that were full of fictional fantasy interspersed with fact.  Whatever you make of her as the nominal plaintiff or the case in question this much is certain -- she was a deeply troubled woman for most of her life, a "corner case" if you will, and if there is one truth above all it is that corner cases nearly always make for bad law.

The problem in the instant case for the left is that Kavanaugh in fact actually reads opinions, and he looks at historical precedent and the text of the Constitution.  This is clear from surveying his previous opinions as-published.  I have not read them all (that would take far longer than time permits) but of those I have surveyed what I've yet to see is an outright dismissal of precedent or the text in either.  That doesn't mean I particularly like Kavanaugh; like all justice nominees from each side of the aisle from Marshal onward (at least) they all arrogate to the court powers it does not have.

Let me be clear here: The Supreme Court has no power to change the words in the Constitution, as amended -- and never has.  Period.  The people of this nation should have long ago told them to cut that crap out "or else", and when they didn't enforce same, as the Supreme's actions over the last several decades are exactly identical to those that gave rise to the American Revolution.  The Second Amendment, for example, does not say "except for military arms" or "except for machine guns" or "except for short-barreled rifles" or even "except for convicted felons who have served their sentences in full."  It says shall not be infringed.  Yet the court has repeatedly ruled that all those words captioned above but not present are in fact there.  In Miller it ruled that a short-barrel shotgun was "not a militia weapon" and thus properly able to be regulated; in point of fact the government lied in that not long before the case arose it had purchased short-barrel shotguns for military use in WWI.  Nonetheless nowhere does the Second Amendment condition the type or character of personal arms that may be purchased, owned and borne by ordinary civilians and the context of "well-regulated militia" was clear (by law it was and is, as this has never been overturned, all men between the ages of 16 and 60!)  The Roberts court ruled PPACA ("Obamacare") constitutional by re-writing a provision that they found unconstitutional (the "penalty") into a second form that is in fact directly prohibited in the Constitution (a non-capitated direct tax.)

So with that as the background on what we're really talking about here, including the now-blatant threats by Democrats to continue their "opposition" to Kavanaugh, including impeachment (which incidentally moots the hearing they are demanding, so let's have that vote Monday) I want to revisit the original issue.

Let's remember the following facts in the probability stack; assign them whatever probabilities you like and then multiply it out, because probabilities are multiplicative:

  • The accuser has three times (at least) changed her story.  First there were two other people present when she was allegedly assaulted.  Then three.  Now four people, one of whom is a girl.  One person has refused to comment and the other three identified have said no such assault or any conduct of similar nature ever took place; they have nothing to testify to as they have claimed, at least two according to reports under penalty of perjury, that the incident as claimed never happened at all.  (Ed 9/23 0715: The fourth person, a girl who says she does not know and never met Kavanaugh but claims to be a lifelong friend of Ford's, now also says it never happened.)

  • The assault, if it occurred, was almost-certainly a misdemeanor at the time given the most-aggressive read of the accuser's events -- and likely still is a misdemeanor even if it happened today.  There was no penetration of any sort or any attempted penetration, there was no injury (lasting or otherwise) and no clothes were actually removed or damaged.  In other words this assault, if it occurred, is approximately in the same category as a "grab-ass", "copping a feel" or "grab-tits" (through clothing.)  That it might have continued to something more-serious doesn't change what she actually claimed happened.

  • Under a only slightly less-than-literal reading of the accusation there was no offense at all.  That is, if the accuser in fact found the accused attractive, they went into the room after some amount of flirting and then when he played "grab-ass" she objected and, as she reported, the event was broken off then there's not even a misdemeanor offense present.  That is, there was consent, at some point consent was withdrawn and when it was withdrawn the contact stopped.  Even in today's hyper-must-get-a-specific-yes world there is no assault of any sort present in that circumstance, sexual or otherwise.  All she's got there is that he was "aggressive" in his suggestion for further activity but as soon as a lack of consent was expressed the conduct stopped.  That's not a crime; indeed, that's exactly what you'd expect an honorable person to do -- drunk or not.

  • The accuser is unable to identify the location of the alleged assault even to the level of the name of a street or the date of same, other than "summer" and a year.  The best she can do is state that the house has immediate proximity to a specific country club.  The problem with this is that none of the identified alleged people involved live in close proximity to same so how did they get access to said building, who owned it, and how did this happen as described if none of the people involved lived within a few miles of the alleged location?  Are you next going to tell me that they broke into the house -- yet no police report was filed on that by the owners when discovered?

  • The accuser is unable to identify why she was there, how she got there or how she got home.  Yet she explicitly remembers wearing a one-piece bathing suit under her street clothes -- not ordinary underwear such as panties and a bra -- and which she alleges the accused tried to remove first, from under her clothing.  First, why would you be out in street clothes over a one-piece bathing suit yet not know why you were at said party or what its purpose was?  Second, being 15 (and not driving, obviously), how'd you get there and how did you get home?  "Someone drove me" would be a decent answer I suppose -- but "I don't remember" in answer to all of the above questions stretches credibility as to whether the alleged event and what she was wearing have any factual basis at all.  Finally, perhaps you can explain to someone (using a mannequin as your exhibit) exactly how you "attempt to remove" a one-piece bathing suit from under clothes in that the ordinary street clothes preclude removing your arms (and legs, unless the bottom was a skirt) from same without removing the corresponding piece of street clothing first.

  • The accusation includes conduct consistent with someone who lived in the house where the alleged action took place.  Specifically she was allegedly "dragged" into a bedroom and groped/grinded/etc.  The person who did so, if it happened, apparently knew in advance of their action that such a room was immediately available and what was inside it.  Since it is alleged this was a small group (now five people total, including the accuser) and not a big "house party" again, the alleged activity appears to suggest the accused had at least moderate knowledge of the layout of said house and thus where to corral the accuser.  (e.g. The last thing you'd want to do is assault some random girl on the parent's bed as any sort of physical evidence you leave there, even something as petty as a "removed sock from a foot" is going to be big trouble, and fast!  If said girl turns out to be a virgin and its the parents' bed.....)  In other words the alleged series of events are far more-consistent with the person who committed the act, if it occurred at all, being a resident of the house, but remember -- Kavanaugh lived several miles away from the supposed country club at the time so it clearly wasn't his house, nor that of any of the other allegedly-present persons that have been identified.

  • Is there another person, perhaps another attendee of Kavanaugh's school or a similar one in the area, that lived right near that country club and who might have held said small party?  There are unverified reports around the Internet that indeed there was.  So what if there was a small drinking party one summer day, there was an accosting (either starting with consensual flirting or not) but Kavanaugh and his friends were not the people who were there and thus their denial that anything of the sort took place by all three of them is accurate?

  • The accuser did not name Kavanaugh in either of her psych "reveals" starting in 2012 as neither psychologist's notes have a name associated with same.  The only person who claims to have heard a name associated with the incident from 2012 until very recently is her husband.

  • The accusation came from allegedly-repressed memories that showed up in 2012.  The psychology profession itself is strongly skeptical of the veracity of allegedly repressed memories being factual, not only to specifics but even to the basic substance of same, especially when these alleged memories arise in the context of counseling rather than being the initiating factor for it.  These accusations allegedly arose during marital therapy for the first time.

  • The accuser has displayed known and severe animus toward conservative positions, conservatives personally and is a liberal activist.  She took great pains to conceal this immediately prior to making her accusation by scrubbing her social media accounts.  This is hard evidence of scienter -- that is, a guilty mind, in that she knew her personal animus would become an issue and attempted to hide it from the public.

  • She now apparently claims to be afraid to fly, which is cited as the reason to not testify Monday, yet she apparently studied and surfed in Hawaii and announced an intent to move to.... New Zealand!  Let me guess -- she swam to Hawaii and intended to swim to New Zealand?  Or did she..... fly?  Exactly how many lies do you get to tell Ms. Ford and if you lie once and get blatantly caught how many other statements should we consider to be lies?

  • The only person who has said there was some contemporary knowledge of this event right after the fact has now recanted.  That claim was a potential bombshell when it surfaced in that contemporary corroboration would pre-date any potential political animus and thus strongly support the accusation as to form and substance -- but not necessarily the identity of the person who committed the act.  However the woman who claimed she "knew about it" a day or so later retracted that claim when holes in her story surfaced.  That is, the sole person who claims to have been a material witness to immediate "after the event" reports has now retracted her claim.  So much for that; now we apparently have two liars, not one.

  • The school yearbook for the accuser's years, which was formerly available online, has been removed.    Sadly for those who think they actually "removed" it from view nothing ever disappears from the Internet, and it's been found in various archive services.  Assuming those caches are real (I have not verified them personally in detail) the yearbooks from those years contain utterly-shocking content for a High School yearbook, including overt racism along with both pictures and text condoning and celebrating outrageous levels of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.  If those really are the school yearbooks, and not doctored copies, Animal House had nothing on this "school."  I went to a private, boarding high school and there was never any such content in any yearbook there. Yeah, there was plenty of drinking that went on (and still does) in High School (including mine) but to have such in a yearbook boggles the mind.  Exactly what sort of inmates were running the asylum at this tony, exclusive and expensive "educational institution", may I ask and exactly how did both the administration and parents who were paying for it explicitly solicit, pay for and approve such content?  While this does not go to the accuser individually it sure does go to the culture of the "educational environment" in question and those in the surrounding area at the time of the alleged event and whether anyone who attended can realistically remember anything with accuracy -- whether it be Ford or anyone else!

  • Kavanaugh has a wide variety of women, many of whom have known him for decades going back to High School, who say he never engaged in any such conduct with anyone during the entire time they have known him.  Those men who are sexually aggressive are almost always serially-so.  It is extraordinarily rare for someone to do this once, and only once, at any time in their life.  These are not just people who have known him since he has been a judge or any such thing; their personal experience with him, including women who he dated, have said he has never been anything other than a gentleman going all the way back to his High School years.  While this doesn't prove he never did a bad thing I remind you that it is nearly impossible to actually prove a negative.  This sort of testimonial support is about as close as you can get.

My conclusion: Ford is lying; it may have been a mistake originally but faced with every one of the people she claims were there refuting that any such thing occurred all by itself, when none of them have a personal stake in the outcome (other than the accused) I say she's full of crap.  Now add on the rest of the above and it's even more-clear.

Finally, let's assume Kavanaugh did play "grab-ass and grind" once, in High School, never did it again and, most-importantly, stopped when challenged (that is, when consent was clearly withdrawn) -- whether by a friend playing "make a pile" or otherwise.  In other words let's assume he did a creepy thing, one time, which was at worst a misdemeanor offense while he was a 17 year old High School student.  Are you willing to subject everyone who enters public service or is appointed for any public office, anywhere, to that standard?  How about all corporate CEOs and board members?  School teachers?  How about college professors -- like Ford?  More to the point do you meet that standard?  Did you ever push a bit too hard in personal relationships in High School?  Ever go to a High School party or dance and put the make on someone?  Ever grab someone by the ass in the hallway between classes?  Ever grab a guy's crotch?  Give a hug that was a bit creepy and suggestive (e.g. with a "grind" to it with your upper or lower body)?  Get drunk at a party and cop a feel or two on a clothed person?  There are extraordinarily sexually-aggressive girls along with boys in High Schools all over the country -- both then and now.  Many of them drink on the weekends (or more-often) and get even more aggressive when they do.  Does doing any of those sorts of things one time in a person's life as a High School student give rise to someone being able, decades later, to use such an incident to destroy that person's ability to earn a living, to raise a family and to have an ordinary life?  We are not talking about a******which is clearly both felonious and outrageous; at worst this was a misdemeanor assault and that assumes that every single element of the accusation is true.  If any element is false, whether intentionally misrepresented or simply "misremembered" then either there was no assault at all or Kavanaugh wasn't the person who committed it!

Here's the basic issue folks -- there is a Statute of Limitations for a very good reason.

People are presumed innocent for a very good reason.

You require probable cause to bring a criminal case for a very good reason.

Perhaps it is true that Ford did suffer a misdemeanor assault as a 15 year old girl.  If so that's a terrible thing.

But if she was not assaulted by Mr. Kavanaugh specifically then she has done immense, permanent and in fact more harm to Mr. Kavanaugh, his wife and children than she allegedly suffered herself through the leveling of this false allegation.  She had no right to do that, she has no right to continue down that road and neither do Senators have the right to pile on in this regard.

It does not matter if the allegation was made with explicit evil intent or if it is merely a concoction of her imagination of events that either wasn't really an assault at all or someone else committed it yet she "assigned" it to Kavanaugh through political animus, conscious or not -- or simple expedience.

Sexual assault is serious.  But so are false allegations of assault.  The McMartin Preschool Trial destroyed the businesses and personal lives of many people on the basis of coerced claims of sexual assault of children, including people who could not make bail before trial and were incarcerated despite not being guilty.  The Duke LaCrosse case destroyed the lives of a number of young men, professionally, personally and financially.  The vast majority of these false allegations never make the papers.  You never hear of them but they are not isolated incidents -- they happen all the time and whether it's 2%, 10% or some other percentage if the allegation is false then it is and the harm remains real.  Even when there is no conviction and the accused is exonerated as was the case with the Duke team when one of the alleged accused persons was recorded on an ATM video surveillance camera withdrawing cash at the time of the alleged assault, definitively proving he was not there, the personal, reputational, psychological and financial damage is permanent.

This specific instance is one where the alleged conduct was at worst of a misdemeanor character, if it occurred it happened decades ago, there are no other reports of similar conduct over the space of decades and in fact multiple personal female associates and even girlfriends of the accused say he has never done any such thing or treated any of them in any abusive manner whatsoever stretching all the way back to the time of alleged incident.  The accuser only claims to know two of the basics inherent in reporting any incident -- who, what, when, where and why -- and points at Kavanaugh.  Her own story has been revised twice as to the number of person allegedly present.  The allegation is decades old and lacks any form of factual verification, the cultural environment she was in was one where clear recollection of events is questionable at best (being drunk will do that) and she has a personal political animus toward the GOP in general and specifically Kavanaugh as a potential member of the Supreme Court.  Finally, she knows, because Kavanaugh is a public figure, that she can make this sort of allegation with impunity as he cannot sue her for defamation and libel -- which, were Kavanaugh an ordinary private citizen rather than a Judge, he would both can and would almost-certainly do and win even on a simple preponderance of the evidence standard, ruining her financially for the rest of her life.

I rest my case.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)
 

2018-09-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 138 references
[Comments enabled]  

Yes, I mean it -- heroin.

Here's why.

The newest tool in the fight against opioid overdoses is an inexpensive test strip that can help heroin users detect a potentially deadly contaminant in their drugs.

Sales of fentanyl test strips have exploded as a growing number of overdose-prevention programs hand them out to people who use illicit drugs.

Though they weren't designed for it, the test strips can signal the presence of fentanyl in illicit drugs. Some health officials question their accuracy, but they have proven to be so popular that some programs can't get enough to satisfy demand.

This is a product that was designed to prove that patients were actually using the drugs prescribed for them - that is, they weren't diverting them to others "out the back door."  You peed on it and the metabolites and drug itself, if present, would be indicated.  As it turns out it's also quite effective in detecting fentanyl, which is much stronger than heroin, in a sample before being used -- in other words it's a specific test not for opioids generally but for fentanyl specifically, so if you have a sample that has all heroin in it you will not get an indication on it.

It's not perfect -- it misses some samples, and I assume it also probably misses carfentanyl, since that's a different drug -- but close relative, and even more-deadly (and, so far, more-rare too.)

But the answer to junkies ODing on fentanyl that they don't know is in their drugs isn't to make test strips available to them so they can check first.  It's to sell the stuff in pharmacies to anyone with ID for 21 who wants it in known purity and concentration, thereby both destroying the underground market (and all of the violence that comes with it) and stopping the accidental ODs -- essentially all of them.

You cannot stop drugs from being produced and used by arresting people.  All you can do, in the end, is create a violent subculture and illegal marketplace, powered by people shooting one another because they can't sue over their disputes.

I've known plenty of people with addiction issues, including in my own family.  Some of those issues are more-serious than others and in one recent instance in my family has taken a life, but all are nasty.  Drug addiction is drug addiction when you get down to it, and although that sounds cliche, it's not; most junkies have their specific drug of choice but if they can't get it for some reason they will use something else.  Some "graduate" to multiple drugs, but most addicts have their specific favorites and that's what they use.

Making drugs illegal -- even the nastiest ones -- doesn't stop people from using them.  What it does is destroy any ability of the user to know what they're buying in every case.  Cocaine, meth and heroin on the street are increasingly being laced with fentanyl because it's cheap and easily-available with most of the precursors for the illegal trade coming from China and routed through Mexico.  Since we refuse to not only stop the flow of illegal invaders and insist on so-called "free trade" there is literally no way to shut this completely down, as these synthetic opioids are very small in mass and volume compared to their intoxicating capacity.

The solution is to legalize and regulate all of it, from weed onward.  For weed and its derivatives this means a liquor-store like system, much as some states have now.  For hard drugs it means selling them in pharmacies over the counter to anyone who can prove they're 21, properly labeled and regulated as to purity and strength -- and to have medical outreach on the streets and available to provide support and intervention for those who want treatment.

No, you won't decrease the number of junkies doing this, and you might even increase them -- a bit.  Those who do not want to be a junkie or who want to stop won't be given an incentive to become one if the stuff can be bought through legal channels, but those who currently wind up ODing by accident will cease doing so immediately, especially those who have no reason to believe there is any fentanyl in their drugs at all.

Street interceptions are now showing that a large percentage of street drugs -- not just heroin but meth and cocaine as well, along with some others -- are laced with fentanyl.  Traffickers and dealers are doing this because fentanyl is cheap, especially compared with drugs like cocaine.

Opioid ODs are killing 70,000 people in the US a year at present -- and rising.  Declaring "war" on drugs hasn't worked -- not now and not ever.  Portugal faced an HIV epidemic due to injectable drugs, took them off the criminalization list entirely, and stopped that in its tracks. Instead of prison being caught there means referral to psychological and treatment resources, including for opioid users methadone handouts, but not prosecution.  The results are dramatic -- the nation has an OD rate one fiftieth that of the United States and one tenth of other European nations that have our (arrest and prosecute) model.  Their HIV infection rate from IV drugs dropped 90%.

It's easy to be skeptical of the idea of a van rolling around with a psychologist and medical workers in it, providing needles but insisting they be used on-the-spot and returned (so as to prevent what you have in San Francisco), along with handing out methadone on a daily basis to those who want to try to get and stay clean and -- in the meantime -- remain productive in society.  But what do we have now?  Tens of thousands of people dying, streets littered with used (and dangerous) needles and junkies defecating on the street, never mind dealers shooting one another over territorial and payment disputes.

Treating addiction as a medical problem and making safe supplies available to those who fall into the trap is a better option.  You can't do it under the present model, and as a result I'm forced to conclude that even for hard drugs there is no path forward with prohibition and incarceration that works.  Where there is demand there will be supply, and with illicit, untested and unknown purity of supply you get disease and death.  We don't tolerate that anywhere else in society so why do we put up with it here?

Getting off our high horse and facing reality is a better option and the only way we're going to stop this epidemic.

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2018-09-20 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 221 references
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I have said this before recently -- I want a divorce.

I mean it.

The current insanity with the US Senate's display is outrageous -- and directly caused by the situation under the 17th Amendment.  No state legislature would permit this crap to go on were we to not have same.

The people have their representation in the US House.  The Senate was designed to be the more sane and deliberative body; not a body that intentionally sandbags an allegation of assault with sexual overtones that bears on the nomination of a Supreme Court justice.

But The Senate did exactly that.

Then, much worse, the Senate leadership, which is Republican, refused to call bull**** on the tactics and take the vote anyway.  Yeah, I get it -- Collins and Murkowski might have voted no.  Let them die on that hill if they want to and die they will if they had done that, derailing the nominee.

Flake probably doesn't care (just as McCain didn't) but everyone else does.  Further, reality on this is that in the election that is just around the corner Democrats have more Senators up for re-election than Republicans and they are extremely vulnerable on this point.  Kill a nominee as a result of a directly and intentionally unfair smear campaign -- and that's what it is when you wait until the last second to raise it despite actual knowledge two months prior and they can die on that hill too.

But no!  Senate leadership has no fear of recall by the legislatures because they no longer are subject to same.

They used to be -- but no more.

Never mind McCain himself, who would have never survived in the Senate under a pre-17th system, nor would have Flake, Murkowski or Collins.

I repeat -- we must insist on a divorce and if we cannot get rid of the 17th by consent, and you know damn well we cannot since the Senate would have to vote itself out of a job then the chips fall where they may.

This nation is going down the toilet because we are no longer willing to stand up and call bull**** on this sort of thing, displaying righteous rage when it occurs.  Yet it must -- now -- or the hair-thin cooperation and social fabric that remains will fracture, and when it does you won't be able to put it back together again.

I've had a pretty good 55 years but my daughter -- and the other young lady in my family who is of roughly the same age deserve better than to live in a third-world, Rwanda/Bosnia-style hellhole, which is exactly where this nation is headed if this crap is not stopped now.

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2018-09-19 07:45 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 250 references
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Where did Righteous Rage, otherwise known as anger, disappear to?

  • Your son is raped by a priest.  The law does nothing.  The church reassigns the priest, covers it up and hides the offense.

  • Your daughter is raped by an illegal invader.  Both political parties and businesses want these people here who have no interest in assimilating and in fact commit a crime as their first act in the nation.

  • Your daughter is murdered by said illegal invader.  A business up the road employed him intentionally not checking his legal status for four years prior.

  • Someone in your family dies of severe, multi-decade alcohol and drug abuse.  Their closest personal relation -- boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband, has been bringing them booze on a mass scale despite knowing that if they keep drinking (and/or doing drugs) they were going to kill themselves, as they know for a fact said person was told this by multiple physicians.  Yet they go procure and hand said drug to the person on a literal daily basis for years while claiming to "love" said individual.

  • A nutjob shoots up a school and kills your son.  It comes out that said nutjob had the Sheriff at his house over two dozen times in the previous years, including multiple felony allegations, and did nothing -- not even arrest him.  It would have been very hard for said nutjob to shoot up anything had he been in prison.

  • The above incident happens and the cop who is stationed at the school for the express purpose of providing security cowers outside during the event despite being armed and able to offer meaningful resistance -- then is allowed to retire with his full pension a few days later, and a dozen officers guard his house.  The number of officers who gave a damn while your son was being shot?  Zero.

  • The above incident happens and the Sheriff lies repeatedly, attempting to wave your dead son around as a political cudgel.

  • You order a car from a company.  The firm tells you the car is at a specific delivery location and to wire the funds to purchase it.  You do so, show up at the appointed time and place and the car is not there.  Two weeks go by and not only do you not have your car you have no idea where it actually is -- but the company has over $50,000 of your money and you're paying interest on a loan for a vehicle you don't have.

  • A sitting US Senator has a Chinese Spy on her payroll for 20 years, listing him as an "office director" at her home office.  Said person, once identified as a spy is not arrested and charged but rather is allowed to retire - probably with a government pension and full benefits!

  • You get in a car accident in Michigan and require an MRI.  The charge is three, four, five or even ten times what it would be had the same injury occurred while walking your dog.  As a consequence your car insurance is two to five times what it costs in other similar parts of the country.  This sort of behavior has been illegal for over 100 years (15 USC) yet not one indictment is issued over a period of decades.

  • The Catholic Church has become a nation-state that coddles and even promotes people who it knows are sexual predators.  We now have hard evidence that three successive Popes have done exactly that, including the present one.  Since the Vatican is a sovereign state and the Pope a legal monarch this leaves nuking the Vatican from orbit -- or something similar and more-personal -- as the only means that outside people have of forcing him to cut that crap out.

Decades ago this sort of crap was checked by two things -- the law, which would come down on you like a ton of bricks, and fear that the people would rise up in righteous rage and, if they could not find justice in the law they'd take care of it themselves.

People who pulled this sort of crap would slither out in the middle of the night, never to be seen or heard from again.  They knew damn well that the law would come after them and if by some chance it didn't the posse would if they didn't get out and stay out.  While the people were very tolerant in general that tolerance had limits.

Battle of Athens, Tennessee anyone?

But today?  Oh hell no.  None of those people have any fear of anything.  Not of the law and certainly not of the people.

Why should the law actually care as long as the stock market goes up if you don't care and refuse to act on your own?  If you never show anger, that is righteous rage, why should law enforcement do anything?  They aren't going to lose their jobs over it and they have no fear that if they don't enforce the law you will.  Why should not the priest bugger the boy, why shouldn't the doctor screw you for 500% as much because you had a car wreck and why shouldn't the sheriff deputy cower outside while your son is turned into hamburger by a nutjob?  Why shouldn't the "intimate" of a family member bring a bottle of booze a day to someone they know is killing themselves; what sort of "love" is that?  And why shouldn't the business employ illegals and the car company take your wire transfer and deliver nothing for weeks?

There's no reason for any of these people to behave reasonably.  There's no price being exacted for such behavior by anyone - not the law, and not society.  Said people are free to walk down the street and have their wealth, living in their nice little safe space as out of the millions of people who get screwed by such actions not even five can be found somewhere near said executives' homes who will stand on a public street outside their house with a picket sign, say much less take any sort of actual forceful action to put a stop to this ****.

Righteous Rage, otherwise known as anger?

We've forgotten what it is and why it's important.

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2018-09-17 06:25 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 1371 references
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Ah, so now we have it...

Ford, a 51-year-old registered Democrat who has published in academic journals and has trained students in clinical psychology, described the alleged incident in The Washington Post on Sunday, saying it occurred during a summer day in the 1980s at a Maryland house where teens had gathered. Ford claimed she headed upstairs to a bathroom when she was suddenly pushed onto a bed, as rock-and-roll music blared.

However, Ford told The Post she did not recall exactly who owned the house, how she came to be at the house, or how the gathering was arranged. She remembered only that the house was in Montgomery County, near a country club, and that parents were not present.

So she doesn't know who's house it was, why she was there, what the "gathering" was about (gee, I wonder.)

Now let's deal with FeinSwine first.  If, and I stress if, this accusation is truthful Feinswine should be drawn and quartered for sitting on it for two months.  In fact such is misprision of a felony, a crime itself, and for that the prime bitch employing alleged Chinese spies should go to prison -- right now.

But back to the claimed accusation.

There are several possibilities:

1. She was assaulted, and by Kavanaugh.  In other words, her account is accurate.

2. She was not assaulted; the "playing around" was sexual, was consensual at some point, she stopped consenting and so did the sexual escapades while her clothes were still on.  But now, being a hard-left "professor", an avowed activist who has attempted to conceal that fact by sanitizing her social media (gee, why, if it's not material?) she suddenly changes her mind about kissing a boy and playing "grinder" with him 35 years later.

3. She was assaulted but it was not Kavanaugh and 35 years later he's convenient to attack because she hates him and his political stance; 35 years prior he was perhaps somewhere within 10 or 20 miles at the time and he can't prove otherwise.

4. There was a party, she was (perhaps) drinking, others were (probably) drinking, everyone had fun and went home, but she was bent about words exchanged or being jilted and turned it into "assaulted" over the space of 35 years.  Think that doesn't happen?  Yes it does, and it sometimes doesn't take 35 years either; who remembers the Duke LaCrosse team accused by a stripper of gang-rape that, by all evidence, never happened at all?  Or shall we discuss Tawana Brawley?

Note that none of those means you fail a polygraph, by the way -- especially if you have months to study for it and practice -- and are trained in psychological responses.  Nor do we have the questions and the raw data.  So the value of said "event" (the polygraph) is zero.  The best polygraphs are not infallible -- and when taken by the interested party with a hand-picked examiner and questions are in fact worthless.

The other person accused of being there denies that anything of that sort ever happened at all.  In other words, not 1 or 2.  Either 3, 4, or it was made up entirely.

Now add into the mix this: The alleged "victim" has more animus and thus reason to lie as a consequence of her political orientation and advocacy than did the Duke LaCrosse stripper.  That may have simply been a matter of not getting a "respectful enough" tip for her dancing gig.

Finally, it appears she told nobody at the time -- not even her best (female) friend.  How many women tell nobody about an incomplete assault like this -- or any other incident when they have a bad time at a party?  None.  Ever.  Unless they have no friends.  But I'll assume she did, and like every other young woman of that time and the current time, told her bestie(s) everything.  Especially something like this.  If it happened, that is.

If you need more, there is more -- while she apparently spoke of being attacked in her "late teen years" twice in therapy, once in 2012 in marriage counseling and again (to apparently someone different and in individual therapy) in 2013 in neither of these cases did she name Kavanaugh.  In general clinical psychologists keep pretty good notes -- that's part of their job.  And then there are the internal inconsistencies; 15 is not "late teens", for example.

And for the final bit of eyebrow-raising, in what has to be the most-amazing and bizarre coincidence ever, there are reports that Kavanaugh's mother, who is also a Judge, was the judge who heard a foreclosure case on the accuser's parents. What are the odds that this is mere coincidence and not part of animus this woman has toward Kavanaugh personally to motivate a slanderous smear?  Ed: I've read the filing -- it doesn't support the claim.  Kept here for those who want to continue to make this a part of the debate.

Sexual assault is serious whether incomplete and attempted or completed sexual assault.  But there's no evidence to back up this claim, there's no pattern of behavior, there are dozens of women who have known Kavanaugh since High School and have said nothing of that sort was ever perpetrated by him to their knowledge or with or against them and the accuser lacks any ability to provide any sort of evidence at all nor can she even tell anyone why she was at the alleged location, how it was organized, it's purpose or what she was doing before and during the event in question despite wearing a one-piece bathing suit under street clothes -- and she claims he allegedly tried to remove the suit first (what?)

Oh, and both the accuser and Feinswine are known to want to derail Kavanaugh by any means possible -- Feinswine has specifically so-stated, yet she sat on the very thing that could have done so for two months.  This implies that she knows the claim is false because otherwise she would have been best served in her interests, which she has publicly stated, by immediately both releasing it and forcing an investigation -- in July.

I call bull**** and believe Feinswine sat on this allegation for two months because she did investigate it, knows it's a lie and also knows that if she played the card in July she would have gotten caught and not only would Kavanaugh be confirmed the consequences would be potentially fatal to the Demoncrat party.