J'Accuse!


For Democrats, the chickens have come home to roost.

Trigger warning:  We don't do trigger warnings here.  Grow up.

Hoisted with his own petard.   It happens more often than you think.  The people running the guillotine end up victims of it.  The fellow running the firing squad is put in front of it.  Those administering the witch trials are accused of witchcraft.   That's the problem with being a Nazi or a Communist.  Your last words, in front of the firing squad are "Heil Hitler!" or "Long Live Stalin!" as the leader you pledged your life to, takes it.

In recent years, we've seen a radical and regressive form of feminism take hold, called the "Me Too" movement.   The idea is that transgressions from decades past should be brought forward and people prosecuted, or at least shamed and damned, based on little more than he-said, she-said accusations.

Now, this is not to say some of these accusations are not true, or that some of the perpetrators weren't guilty - extremely guilty, in fact.   Indeed, in many instances, people have been tried for crimes and sentenced, as they very well should have been.   But in other instances, well, it is a little more vague and unclear what actually happened.

Of course, this trend is not limited to women.   Men and boys are encouraged to come forward to indict the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, and their local YMCA summer camp, based on events from decades ago.   Again, it is not to say that these things didn't happen, only that it is all-too-easy to fabricate an allegation of 50 years past, when there is money on the table.

For example, the State of New York decided to abandon the "statute of limitations" on claims of molestation, for one year only.   As a result, a flood of lawsuits have been filed against various organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, and other "deep pocket" institutions.   All you have to do to claim your share of this booty is to claim that a camp counselor, or Priest, or Scoutmaster touched you inappropriately, and you'll be awarded enough money to buy a new car.  If you filed early enough, maybe a million bucks.  And as we all know, no one ever lies to get money, ever.

Myself, I could file multiple claims and win money, but I choose not to.   When I was at YMCA camp, there were counselors who liked to take boys up to the rifle range after dark.  By "boys" I mean 14- and 15-year-olds.   When I was 15, I was drinking beer, smoking pot, and owned a car.  I resented going to YMCA camp, which was just a ruse my parents used to get us kids out of the house for a month every summer.  "You'll like summer camp!" they said, "You can go swimming, fishing, sailing, and even waterskiing!"

"Mom, we live on a lake, and own our own ski boat, sailboat, and canoe.  I can do these things right here!"  we replied.

"Yes," she admitted, "but then you'd be here."

Not a lot of love lost there.  Then again, children can be little monsters at times, and it is nice to have "time off" now and then.

Anyway, one night I was smoking pot with two camp counselors and another boy and they suggested we all go to the rifle range.  Now, camp counselors giving drugs to kids sounds really bad, but then again, this was 1975, and it was a different world.  And it wasn't the first time I had smoked pot by a long shot.

But here's the deal, I declined to go. You see, I had a choice in the matter, even at age 15.  In retrospect, I probably regret not going - Counselor Jim was a hottie.   But I was young and nervous and felt sex was "wrong" so I declined.

And that wasn't the first or last time that happened in a number of circumstances over the years.  In each case, I refused, even though I was underage and a child, in some instances.  I was intrigued, of course, but also afraid.  After all, I had been taught from birth that sex was bad, naughty, and evil.

Therein lies the problem today.   A generation has been raised on the idea that sex is somehow bad.  Helen Gurly Brown, the editor of Cosmo, promoted the strange idea that women might actually enjoy sex.    Radical thinking, I am sure!   Now read this obit of her, and realize how far we have regressed.

I have been fortunate enough in my youth to have dated many such women - women who enjoyed sex and didn't feel there was anything naughty about it, or that somehow it was something that had to put up with.  In fact, they were often less inhibited that I was, at that young age - youth is indeed wasted on the young.

Sex today is all about being victimized.   And it is not hard to see where this can come from.  We feel guilty about sex and still think it is naughty.   We have regrets about having sex - could we have caught a disease from it?  Potentially fatal?  Gotten pregnant?  Gotten someone else pregnant?  There is an old joke along the lines of "If you aren't embarrassed after having sex, you didn't do it right." and there is a nugget of truth to that.

Consider sex.  It is like a hypnotic state.  People call it being "horny" or "randy" and you have to induce this state in your partner to get them to go along with it.   Reducing inhibitions is necessary - a cocktail or a joint helps (or harms, depending on your point of view).  It is called seduction and used to be considered an art.   Once in this hypnotic state people will engage in activities that, when back to their "normal" inhibited state, would shock them.

Indeed, people dress up in costumes and perform sex acts that may shock you (sometimes literally, as some S&M people apply mild electric shocks to each other).   Bondage, cross-dressing, S&M - you name it.  Things that people would decry in a "normal" state, will engage in, once under the hypnotic effect of seduction.

And later on, they may regret it.  And later on, they may say they never consented to it.   This is normal.  It is a way of rationalizing things in your own mind.   So it is not surprising that people claim to be seduced, harassed, or even raped, when their partner thought it was consensual sex.  And indeed, this even happened to me at one time.

One night, many years ago, some drunk banged on the door of a neighbor's apartment, hoping to find "Melissa" there.  She had moved out months ago.  The guy persisted, and I had to call the cops to get him to leave.  It was 2:00 in the morning.  My other neighbor, Julie, woke up and asked me what was going on, and I told her.  Her boyfriend was out of town.   We got to talking and she invited me in for a "cup of hot cocoa" which was kind of odd in the middle of July.  Her apartment was very small, and she invited me to sit on the bed.   She sat right next to me, and before I knew it, we were making out and, well, so on and so forth.

Her boyfriend came back later that week, and she apparently was embarrassed at her indiscretion.   I was helping another neighbor move and his wife was being a real dick to me.  I asked her what her problem was, and she said, "Julie says you seduced her!" which sort of shocked me.  I explained what happened - that she invited me in, and that it was consensual sex, but that she had regrets about it, because she and her boyfriend got back together.  So she told our neighbor this story, apparently worried I would brag about our encounter, and thus posit me as the "bad guy" while she was a "victim".

Back then, the accusation was "seduction" - today it might have been rape.   It is amazing that anyone has sex anymore these days.

I mentioned a cocktail or a joint.  Today, many on the radical left say that anytime a woman has sex with a man after consuming an "intoxicant" it is de facto rape.   While that may be true in the case of Bill Cosby (or Roman Polanski) giving young women Valium or Quaaludes, or fraternity "brothers" slipping rophenol into a young co-ed's drink, that is not what these radical leftists are limiting themselves to.  The traditional candlelight dinner with a bottle of wine is no longer considered romantic, but merely grooming a victim for date rape.

Again, this is not to trivialize date-rape, and again, I have some personal experience here.  When I was 25 years old, I went to the local gay bar in Syracuse on my 25th birthday.  I made the mistake of mentioning to someone it was my birthday (perhaps the bartender noticed it on my driver's license when carding me) and people started buying me drinks.   Before long, I was feeling a little woozy, and some nice fellow wanted me to go back to his apartment with him.   Yes back then, I was actually somewhat good looking.  Anyway, we got back to his car, and he lit a joint and I felt even woozier.  Something wasn't right.  I ended up barfing out his car door, which sort of put a fortunate end to the "date".    I finally made it home after sleeping for hours in my car (and it was cold that night).  I hadn't had that much to drink, but something knocked me flat on my ass.   I can only conclude that someone (the nice fellow who wanted to drag me home to his dungeon) slipped something in my drink.

It is sad to say this, but you can't trust people.  It is not that they are all bad, but all it takes is that 1 in 100 or 1 in 1,000 or 1 in a million to screw things up.   And that is why it is a really, really, bad idea for young kids to run away from home.

So yes, there is a lot of truth to the "Me Too" movement.   Sexual harassment is no joke, but of course, not at the same level as rape.  Our society needs to change - and is changing - to eliminate these things.   But in some instances, like any other movement, it gets taken a little too far.

Andrea Dworkin, the famous feminist, has been accused of saying that "all sex is rape" but what she actually said was far more interesting:
Dworkin has also disavowed the quote as a false statement circulated by her opponents. She has denied saying that “all sex is rape” or “all men are rapists.” When asked to explain her views on the topic, Dworkin replied: “Penetrative intercourse is, by its nature, violent. But I’m not saying that sex must be rape. What I think is that sex must not put women in a subordinate position. It must be reciprocal and not an act of aggression from a man looking only to satisfy himself. That’s my point.”
This is an interesting comment, as it illustrates a salient fact - if you are going to penetrate another person, it is, by nature, an invasion.  It is one reason why so many men are simultaneously scared and intrigued by sodomy - the idea of being penetrated scares the crap out of them (no pun intended).

And perhaps this is why this hypnotic state we call "seduction" or "horniness" is necessary in order to consummate the sex act - when consensual.   Because in the cold sobriety of dawn, it seems all so, well, nasty.

This is not to say rape doesn't occur.  In fact, this "Me Too" movement in some instances, trivializes rape by equating unwanted sexual advances with brutal sexual assaults.  As I noted in another posting, a girlfriend of mine was raped at age 13 - and it was brutal not only in the actual assault, but in how she was treated by her parents and the authorities.   She was held down at knifepoint by someone wearing a ski mask and violated against her will.    It was an horrific experience, and when she came home covered with dirt and leaves and disheveled, her parents, who had been arguing at the time, said, "what's your problem?" and flat-out refused to believe her, and waited hours before calling the Police.   Yea, that was what it was like back in 1974 - and even today.

To say that someone making lewd remarks or coming on to you is the equivalent of that is wrong on many levels.   And I'm not saying this is what many in the "Me Too" movement are doing, but some indeed are.  In a way, this is somewhat regressive, in that it posits that women are victims all the time, that they cannot assert themselves or say "No" to sexual suggestions, or even sometimes say "Yes" and enjoy sex without being shamed or damned.

Therein lies the other half of the problem - men and their attitudes toward sex.  Sadly, it seems that men still enjoy the double-standard.  A sexually active man is a stud or a Lothario - with one sexual conquest after another.  Interesting word, conquest, no?  Women, on the other hand, are deemed "sluts" if they actually enjoy sex or even engage in it.   Men are expected to have multiple partners, but a woman is expected to remain chaste - and the fact that one excludes the other, logically, seems to elude most folks.   Men are horrifically insecure, it seems.  Men still freak out if they discover their wife had sex with another man before they were married, but the woman is expected to accept that her husband "slept around" before they wed.

There is the stereotype of the man coming home from a business trip, to find his wife in bed with another man.   He is deemed a "cuckold" and it is expected he would shoot the other man, his wife, or both.   In the subsequent trial, the fact he found his wife in bed with another would be exculpatory evidence and perhaps reduce the charges from murder to manslaughter.

On the other hand, if a wife finds her man in bed with another woman, well, divorce is her only option, and not a very attractive one at that - often resulting in financial ruin for the woman.

Maybe the answer to this is to level the playing field.  And by that, I don't mean wives shooting their husbands (or cutting off their penises as in some instances has occurred) but rather people being less hung up about sex in both directions.   Maybe it could be considered "normal" for both men and women to enjoy sex, and that "innocent flirtation" could once again be innocent.   That women would be empowered enough to talk back to men, with no consequences to their lives or careers, and of course to say "No" if they wanted to, or indeed, "Yes" if the mood struck them.

Maybe, but I doubt it.  It seems that women and men are wired differently, and hormones may be part of this.

That is probably a pipe-dream fantasy.   There are some political forces that don't want to see change - that want to see women as perpetual victims, because this means a voting bloc and more identity politics.  And ironically, this is backfiring on the very political party that is promoting these narratives.   Republicans don't resign in disgrace to "spend more time with family" when they are caught in wrongdoing.   Democrats have to.

Where "Me Too" crosses the line into too far, was the idea that every woman should be believed if she raises an accusation of even the mildest harassment, and what's more, the standard rules of evidence and rules of law should be thrown out the door.  If a man denies such an accusation, he is not to be believed at all.   This creates a situation where a woman - any woman - has absolute power to destroy someone's life at a whim, and as we know, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Statutes of Limitation have been around for centuries in one form or another.  The basic idea is that you can't bring up an accusation decades after the event in question, simply because it becomes impossible to defend oneself against such accusations.    If you were to accuse me of robbing a bank last night at 6:00 PM, I could prove the accusation false, as I have a credit card receipt from my local shrimp shack, and several people can testify that I was there at that time.

Now, if you accuse me of robbing a bank in 1978, I have no way of even knowing what State I was in at the time - much less tracking down witnesses to provide an alibi for me.   It becomes a one-sided narrative, with the accuser making detailed allegations and the defender being able to say nothing.  You have to bring these charges at a time contemporaneous to the event.   The only exception to this rule is often serious crimes - sometimes including rape, depending on State, almost always including murder.   Of course, in a court of law, the burden of proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt" - the highest standard of proof - a standard that is harder and harder to prove as a case gets older and older.  Once a case goes "cold" it likely never gets solved, although DNA evidence, if preserved, is proving otherwise, lately.

As I noted above, if you eliminate the Statute of Limitations, anyone can bring any accusation against any organization or individual, with very little proof required.   Often the goal is to win a civil suit or judgement, which puts a lot of money into the pockets of attorneys.   If the crime is abhorrent, many people merely assume guilt, which makes getting a "fair" jury trial all but impossible.  Even a trial by Judge gets tricky, if the Judge is elected (and wants to be re-elected).  No one wants to be the Judge who let the molester go free (particularly if he is caught molesting again).   Organizations settle these cases - often for huge sums of money - rather than go to trial.   Like I said, I could add my name to the class-action lawsuits and rake in cash.   But somehow, I don't feel like a victim.

Many of these "Me Too" cases are not being tried in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, with the idea being to shame or damn someone, or destroy their political career.   In this era of Roger Stone politcal dirty tricks, it is not unfathomable to think that someone might push forward an accuser with the idea of destroying someone's political career.   Nearly every politician and candidate has had to deal with some sort accuser - even Bernie Sanders.

The whole Monica Lewinsky thing is a case in point.   While it was inappropriate for Bill Clinton to have a sexual relationship with a subordinate, Ms. Lewinsky was a willing participant, and in fact, seemed to pursue the President, with offers of slices of pizza (and what else).   It was only when Republican operatives bribed Linda Tripp (who no one ever sexually harassed, ever) to befriend Ms. Lewinsky and illegally record telephone conversations (with friends like that!) did it become an issue because Republican operatives made it an issue.

Act shocked.  If you know the history of Rodger Stone and the rest of the "dirty tricksters" as well as Watergate, you understand how politics really works, and how the "News" often just doesn't happen, but it orchestrated to happen, as the news loves a good press-release if it means ratings.

Which brings us to Joe Biden.

There is ample photographic evidence that over the years, Joe Biden has not respected the personal space of women.   Certainly not "social distancing"!     But the values of today are not what they were a year ago, or a decade ago, or decades ago.   Shaking hands, holding hands, hugging, and kissing people used to be a norm, believe it or not.    It was not considered a sexual thing, but rather just being affectionate.    Today, you can only do that with a pet - don't even try it with your spouse!

It is funny, but it is also a cultural thing.  In America, we would think it was "gay" for two men to walk down the street holding hands.  In some Arab cultures, this is considered a sign of friendship, and we find it jarring when a President of the United States is photographed walking and holding hands with an Arab leaderGet a room, guys!

But again, the timing of the thing.  The woman in question (who appears to be quite a piece of work) claims she was "harassed" by Biden years ago and told friends about it.  She claims to have filed a complaint, but there is no evidence of this.  Her story changes nearly daily - now the complaint wasn't one of harassment but something else (what?).   And her allegation has changed from harassment to a Donald Trump "Grab 'em by the pussy!" incident, conveniently after Biden secures the Democratic nomination.   If you don't smell dirty tricks here, have your nose examined.

Again, the irony of Swift-boating.  Trump has a record of sexual harassment, payoffs, rude remarks about women, pee-pee tapes, and sexual assaults - a mile long.   And yet, he is genius at projecting his weaknesses onto his opponents.   Dodged the draft?  Well at least I didn't get captured!

There is a fine line between affection and harassment, though.  And in today's working world, to even touch an employee is considered a no-no.   You cannot put your hand on the shoulder of an employee as you talk to them, and certainly no hugs!   I am sure that with the corona virus, even handshakes will become a thing of the past.  We are developing into an isolated society, which is kind of scary, as people need interaction and socialization to maintain their mental health.

And hugs, yes.

But an unwanted hug can make one feel awkward.   Before the virus struck, old ladies here on the island would give hugs - wanted or not - or even kisses, sometimes on the lips, wanted or not.   It was a harmless, affectionate thing.   But if it is your boss doing it - well, that changes things.  You can't refuse - or can you?   At the very least, it is awkward, and the worst, harassment.

The current accusations against Biden seem too well-timed.   Why wait decades to raise these concerns, and then do so on the eve of an election?  It is akin to the Clarence Thomas hearings and the Kavenaugh hearings - accusers coming forward years, sometimes a decade later, to raise allegations that are too old to refute, in an effort to damage a candidate for office.   And in both those cases, these accusations went nowhere.

And, oddly enough, Joe Biden was on the committee that heard Anita Hill's accusations during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, and he didn't give them much credit at the time.   Chickens coming home to roost, indeed!

Democrats have embraced this "Me Too!" movement wholeheartedly, often embracing concepts such as "Women should always be believed, men, never!" and abolishing the statute of limitations for any form of sex crime or sexual harassment.   The net result of this has been that more Democrats than Republicans have been forced to resign as the standard for harassment has been relaxed.  Al Franken is out (good, I hate him).  Donald Trump is not (bad, I hate him worse).

Real advancement in terms of equality of the sexes has occurred and is occurring - and yes, this "Me Too!" movement is part of this, if it doesn't go too far.   What we should be shooting for is a world where women can say "no" to harassment and unwanted advances, without risking their jobs or career, and where men don't feel they can get away with such tactics.

We need to do this, however, without destroying sex and romance, entirely.   In my lifetime, most of the people I know met their spouses at work or in a work-related environment.   Today, such relationships would be considered verboten and if they didn't work out, result in a lawsuit at the very least.  We've created a tricky minefield to navigate, on the dating scene.

"Me Too!" has accomplished much good - putting some pretty horrific offenders in jail as well as highlighting this issue.   On the other hand, it risks going overboard, and like every revolution before it, destroying the very people who support it.  The real risk, in my opinion, is that it may create this notion that women are perpetual victims and thus a perpetual underclass, which will prevent them from ever achieving real equality.   And indeed, some may argue this is the intent - just as some well-intentioned government programs may create a permanent victim underclass of many minority groups, by positing they are damaged goods.

These things can become self-fulfilling prophesies.

As for Biden?  Who knows?   And who knows who is behind this - the Koch brothers or the Bernie bros?   Because both want Biden out of the way, the latter preferably before the convention this summer (remember, Bernie merely "suspended" his campaign - his hat is still in the ring!).  It could be a contested convention with Bernie emerging from the ashes....

Stay tuned.