Politics is Stupid

NPR’s Fresh Air broadcast an interview with the journalist that wrote an article for The New Yorker about the accusations against Al Franken that led to his resignation from the Senate two years ago. The thought behind the article was since he never got to go before a Senate ethics committee like he wanted, what would the kind of investigations that would have been done uncover?

One of the first things Jane Mayer does is play the Fresh Air interview with Al Franken from 2004. In it, he talks about the USO tour he just gone done with, and he describes a Bob Hope-style comedy sketch about putting Karri Turner, the actress from JAG, in a position where she’d have to kiss him, she objects and it’s eventually one of the military personnell from the audience that gets to kiss her. At the end, there’s lines about how she needs to take care of herself and part of that would be getting a yearly breast examination. The punch line is “Lucky for you, Dr. Al Franken is here.”

Jane Mayer notices that’s exactly what the first woman, Leeann Tweeden, accused Franken of doing to her on the USO tour in 2006, but it’s centered about what happens in the rehearsal where he’s trying to force her to kiss him. Tweeden’s statement is that Franken wrote the sketch just to have an excuse to kiss her, but now Mayer has information that the sketch existed a few years before, so already there’s a problem with her accusation.

The link I provided above has both the streaming audio of tonight’s broadcast and a transcript. Here’s some of the important points:

  • Two other people at the radio station Tweeden worked at helped her prepare the information so it could be published on the station’s website.
  • Mayer interviewed those two people and found out they did not do any fact checking on Tweeden’s accusations and did not conduct any interviews of their own before they published it. They took her at her word.
  • The radio station gave the information to The Drudge Report before they contacted Al Franken to see if Franken wanted to comment on it, but they contacted him after they had already published it.
  • At the time, the radio station was trying to position itself as a very pro-Donald Trump station. Al Franken has been very publicly against President Trump. As of now, the station is the leading pro-Trump station in the Los Angeles area.
  • Mayer found that the photo Tweeden published about Franken leering over her while she’s asleep on a military transport and poised as if he’s going to grab her breasts (which are covered by a flak jacket) also matches the events in the sketch.
  • Mayer interviewed other actresses that participated in USO tours with Franken after 2003 and before Tweeden joined also performed that same sketch. Another point against Tweeden’s claim of “he wrote it just to kiss me”.
  • Mayer interviewed the seven other women that made accusations against Franken, and what each of them described was a single incident that lasted 3-5 seconds and may have just part of Franken’s normal behavior at the time, which was to be a “hugger” and a “kisser” when he greeted people.
  • After he went on the campaign to become a Senator, one of Franken’s staff pointed out that that was kind of inappropriate. Franken was surprised because he didn’t realize it, but he changed his behavior and those kinds of greetings faded out.
  • Franken later said that no photos should ever be taken of someone while they are sleeping because they can’t give their concent. Mayer classifies Franken’s behavior when the photo was taken as matching his “jerk” persona that he played often as a comedian.

So we get to the point where Tweeden’s accusations are made and it’s really too late for Franken to react to it, so he wants to go before an ethics committee so he can present evidence. He’s not given that chance and is pressured into resigning. The Democratic party was faced with “how can you condemn what Donald Trump and others did when one of your own also did it”. Eight people made accusations, there must be something going on, especially when the first person to make the accusations put him in the same category as Harvey Weinstein.

Now, some of those same people that helped pressure Franken to resign have said they regret doing so. After listening to that broadcast, it seems to me it’s another case of where #MeToo became #MeTooFar because people were so caught up in the furor that they didn’t take the time to look closer. If they had, they might have seen the same holes in Tweeden’s story that Mayer did.

That’s one of the things I hate most about the MeToo movement: Presumption of guilt.

We have to believe the accuser. Not “we have to investigate their claims” but rather “if she said it it must be true.”

I’m sure there are other cases like Franken’s that would be seen differently under a different scrutiny.

It took several years after a Democrat gets caught up in this for the Democrats to realize what many people were saying all along during #MeToo and #BelieveAllWomen. Add to this the number of college student’s who’s careers have been ruined because of the Title IX Dear Colleague letter and that’s a pretty high body count. But it’s Franken they are worried about.

Of course, if Republicans did the same type of digging on Kavanaugh’s accusers it’s because they hate women. There was some digging done and it what I remember seeing wasn’t very positive.

We are in an environment where the mere accusation of improper behavior leads to career derailing if not flat out crashing. The Pence Rule makes more sense every day, and women in the professional world are suffering for it. Sure, you don’t have to worry about the minuscule chance that your boss will harass you, but now you miss out on one on one time with a potential mentor, not to mention the social firewalls being built to keep men safe.

It’s segregation, and I sometimes think it was the goal, I’m just not sure why.

By #MeToo’s standards history, ignorance, and comedy are all no excuse. Neither are perpetuation of the species, or prior consent.

Look at the excuses made for Creepy Uncle Joe, “He was raised in another time with different standards” and this is the same people who got on Paula Dean for using the N word in the south in the early 80’s.

The only standards the political left has is getting the other guy and protecting their own.

Interesting article.

Franken with his level of privilege is getting reconditioned, for something that likely wasn’t a crime in the first place. But others are stuck getting out of it the hard way.

The link to the blog section on the Dilbert website disappeared recently. I thought it was due to maybe some topics that were more controversial than his usual, but it turned out that the blogs got shifted over to a different website called ScottAdamsSays.com. If you tack on “/blogs” to the end of the Dilbert website, you get forwarded to the new location, which has same appearance and layout. “Nominally separate for appearances” is more accurate.

He finally posted a new blog that’s written instead of a video blog that brings up the concept of “two movies on one screen” again, then goes through the events of the past couple of years to see how each one fits the two movies and therefore, which movie is more likely to be accurate for predicting future events.

There’s some other video blogs about the Democratic candidate debates which I may listen to later. For this particular blog, it’s kind of a reminder that the next election may come back to the idea of regardless of what you think of him as a person, is the current President getting the job done?

Personally, I really do think he needs to use more tact and diplomacy and tweet less. Being completely politically correct would never happen. He’s never said he would be, but there should be a way for him to get the job done and and at least soften his public image a little bit. Oh, and maybe get the portrait retaken that’s on military bases that currently shows him with his “I’m being really stern so you don’t want to mess with me” face that looks more like he was grumpy and didn’t want to get his picture taken that day.

OK, I don’t remember if I mentioned this before. But back about 7 months ago or so our Town Police Chief was caught posting stupid edgelord crap on Facebook. It wasn’t really all that horrible, but not the crap you want the police chief posting as it indicated multiple potential biases.

Instead of apologizing and saying they weren’t well thought out or something and begging forgiveness he hit back with a “I was teh haxxored” defense. Apparently this hack also made him argue the positions online and lasted for months.

So, town council bounces him. Conduct unbecoming and a bunch of other crap. Town goes into near riots and meetings are packed out the door. Town council members are pilloried… and here is where it gets interesting. The chief is a Democrat, 4 of the five Council members are Republican. The people are complaining about an good ole boys network, but the two new female Republicans and the metro male Republicans are the ones who voted him out. The two old white men are the ones who voted to keep him.

Anyway, after about a month he keeps his job as a standard patrolman with a 12 month suspension on promotion. And now there are posts about the Town Manager having an affair. This blows over.

A couple months ago an employee quit because there is a Father Son issue on the town street department. There is a paper thin excuse for this as technically the Town Manager runs the Street Department, but this Dad is in charge of the day to day stuff. So, small town Indiana there is some nepotism.

This is raised to fever pitch by the same man who spread the sleeping around rumors. He has publicly announced he will do anything he can to remove Town Manager. Employee who quit jumps on that bandwagon and 5 more people quit. Interestingly only three have been replaced. There is also some bruhaha about town vehicles being used to move fill dirt left over from project to employee’s dad’s house. As well as the same employee drawing double pay when he is called out on fire calls as a volunteer fireman.

The metro town council member gets divorced and moves out of town, new Republican member is appointed after through vetting that he will not bend if Chief matter is brought up again. Last week it was brought up, by him, off agenda, and he voted to return him to position as Chief. Let grave dancing begin.

I am friends with two of the town council. Guess which two. So I’m pretty aware of what’s going on, at least what is shareable. So I’ve been battling it out on the community Facebook page, but I have to be careful because these people are crazy. Some of the comments last week involved running people out of town and talking to someone’s husband to put pressure on him to talk some sense into her (Spoiler, she’s not married.)

But the kicker here is all the people screaming about the liberal PC, um… Republicans and defending the frankly now out in the open racist and homophobic Democrats. I’ve seen more comments about “Them”, “Those People” and “Teh Gays” in defense of this police chief than I have in ages. Most of them from Union Democrats. Unfortunately a few from Republicans as well. But most of them railing against progress in teh sense of all of them want it to be 1955 again so they can all be racist together again, make this a good little Democrat town like it used to be. Most of the Republicans in this place are transplants and we don’t want to be known for this crap. We also don’t want to turn this town into anything but what it is, except more egalitarian.

Anyway, I just got an email from someone planning a resistance. It’s not quite come to violence but a couple businesses have suffered from this. The Republican appointee is up at the caucus tonight to see who runs for the Republican at large office for council. There are two other people running and I think people are trying to get behind one of them to make sure this dude is gone. But we also need more people talking at town meetings and making our voices heard. These people currently think they are in the majority, but from the backlash, I’m pretty sure they aren’t. They are the louder, and more intimidating people though. So we’ll see.

It is really interesting to see this battle between super socially conservative Democrats and libertarian Republicans though. And all because one person just couldn’t accept that they were wrong in the first place. Thinking that being a little racist was OK, and that everyone agreed with him.

Politicians daft brainfarts and decisions will lead to Interesting Times.

Prehistory : World War II was caused indirectly by the Treaty of Versailles. Had they done things differently back then, then WWII may never have happened.

Which brings us to the here and now.

According to the ANC government, “transformation” of businesses is taking too long and too slow. So, therefore they want to introduce harsher measures in speeding up “transformation”.

The problem is twofold :

  1. A paltry 13% of the South African population of 56 million people are the ones paying income taxes – with the other 87% not contributing anything (though still contributing to VAT). Businesses also contribute to VAT (see Taxation in South Africa for a breakdown on how things work, but be warned, it is a lot of TL;DR…). The less businesses, the less income from tax, of course.

On the basis of personal income tax, the top 1% or so of taxpayers (the 480,000 people earning more than R750,000 per year) pay 61% of the total income tax bill.
2. Once you alienate the tax payer, or cause further job losses due to said harsh measures being implemented, where will taxes come from? There is already a diminishing taxpayer base due to skilled workers emigrating to other countries.

This will not end well. The Government either will have to increase the tax rate (and place a higher burden on those tax payers still being able to work and pay for taxes) in order to sustain their expenses etc.

Which made me thought of the Versailles treaty.

Xenophobia rears its ugly head once again.

We think it is just an excuse to get stuff from the shops without paying. Bonus points if you kill a foreigner who’ve “taken your job away” :roll_eyes:

Of course there are others who will try to stir the pot in order to get what they want.

This situation is still ongoing.

And in the usual news it seems as if our govt is dragging its feet on the xenophobia issue, which gave rise to a couple of “retaliatory” attacks by Nigerians in Nigeria on a Nigerian shop.

Go figure.

This world is on a downgrade to destruction

Literally nothing in the news here, what’s going on? Are you concerned for your safety?

Interesting to note that there’s no news of any xenophobia attacks on your side.

Things have calmed down somewhat, but feathers are still ruffled.

Most of us think these attacks are just excuses for looting to get free stuff.

Turns out if I actually look I can find something.

I’ve been reading a bit about in on Al Jazeera’s website.

And yay, xenophobia is alive again… (this was yesterday)

Think I’ll start a thread up, this level of nonsense deserves its own thread.

I don’t usually post about politics because I hate politicians and how they seem to be screwing over the average citizen and destroying the social norms that make up our society.

However, our current (AU) government is in a bit of trouble at the moment. (It has a 1 seat majority, so is holding onto power by the slimmest of margins. They’ve also destroyed our economy, Universities and housing market over the past decade. The opposition aren’t any better.)

And now, a Chinese-born politician (who won her seat by a tiny margin of something like 2000 votes) has been revealed as having close ties to the Chinese Communist Party, rather dubious business connections, and allegedly lied when she stood for selection.)

Andrew Bolt is a right-wing nutjob that I detest with almost every fibre of my being. But when he does something like this, I have to agree with him:

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/09/andrew-bolts-full-scott-morrison-treason-indictment/

A bit more info, for background:

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/09/are-the-dictators-in-beijing-now-writing-morrisons-lines/

And you Americans thought the Russians were bad. At least they don’t own half your country.

I’m not so.sure about that. There are small news stories about Chinese infiltration here and there. And if you look for them there are stories about the tons of money being funneled into American Universities, to create cultural understanding. There also seem to be a lot of supposedly US research projects at universities that have Chinese Nationals on them.

Pelosi had a Chinese spy as a driver for years if I recall correctly. I’ll have to double check who it was, getting duck to school soon.

Berkeley Breathed sums things up ever so nicely once again:

Oh, it is rampant. In the past couple of years, the overseeing entities started investigating the gross misappropriation of intellectual property, but only because they got reprimanded for their inaction; they had turned a blind eye for far too long. There were a few stories about it in the newspaper, but much more that isn’t as widely known. Let’s just say that there is a disturbing amount of US funded research data/results that has been funneled to China.

And if you thought our government was pressuring our manufacturers to add in back doors. Think what China does.

And in Africa… Zambia in particular.

China informed the Zambian govt that they’ll build a freeway from the copper belt to Maputo (in Mozambique) in exchange for free copper.

So what the political w@nkers does not realize is that construction on the freeway is going slowly, and in the meantime the mines are being mined like crazy.

I know because we supplied a system to the one toll plaza, and it haven’t been activated yet.

Also we see long distance articulated trucks carrying heavy loads of copper on our roads to Durban. (edited to add) On a regular, almost daily schedule.

So the Chinese most probably is trying for world domination the Pinky and Brain way.

Edit2 : Rest of Africa is the same. Chinese will grant loans and take over that way.