INTELLECTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE: Tara Reade, denounced by those who know her!

MONDAY, MAY 18, 2020

Recalling what Bazelon said:
Way back at the dawn of time—on April 30, 2020—Emily Bazelon offered two warnings concerning Tara Reade.

Bazelon offered her warnings during a podcast at Slate. Speaking with a pair of male colleagues who were being extremely correct, Bazelon offered these winged warnings about Tara Reade's accusation:
BAZELON (4/30/20): You know, in some cases, we’ve had people who’ve seemed incredibly durable as witnesses in terms of their credibility coming forward. So I’m thinking of Anita Hill. I’m thinking of Christine Blasey Ford. And I don’t see Tara Reade in that category.

Now, I realize in saying that I’m basically showing my own bias against people who are alleged victims who also have a lot of, like, questionable actions in their past. I mean, reading about Reade’s activities with this horse rescue operation she was involved with, where the owner and employees are saying, like, "You stole stuff from us," and it just looks really like not credible.

And I guess my own basic bias is that, if you are going to bring a really long-ago serious allegation against a public official, and you can line up some pieces of corroboration but not real proof, your reliability is going to be on the line. And we should not err in the direction of deciding to let people destroy the careers of the men they accuse in those settings without some real sense that we are sure, because otherwise we are in a world in which the MeToo movement has turned into a place where we’re perilously close to letting people who, who lie, or who have problems, destroy other people.
There was more to what Bazelon said that day. Because we transcribed the bulk of her warnings, you can peruse them here.

Concerning the passage posted above, we're sorry that Bazelon used the term "bias" in describing her own words of caution. In our view, she wasn't displaying a "bias" at all.

In our view, Bazelon was displaying painfully basic common sense as he advanced her warnings. As we noted in real time, she did so in the face of two male colleagues who kept changing the subject to avoid what she had said.

At any rate, let's simplify! In the passage posted above, Bazelon said she that she didn't regard Reade as highly credible. She specifically cited an incident in which Reade was accused of stealing from a horse rescue operation—an incident her male colleagues didn't seem to want to discuss.

In the more general sense, Bazelon offered a pair of warnings concerning accusers like Reade. Sometimes accusers are lying, she said. And sometimes accusers "have problems."

Sometimes accusers are lying, and sometimes accusers "have problems!" For those reasons, Bazelon said, we need to "exercise caution in believing high-profile accusations which can destroy other people."

As events of the past thirty years have shown, those accusations can also change the course of world history, bringing death to innocent people all over the world. Perhaps for that reason, Politico's Natasha Korecki has "interviewed more than a dozen people, many of whom interacted with Reade through her involvement in the animal-rescue community."

Korecki conducted these interviews "as part of an investigation into Reade’s allegations against Biden—charges that are already shaping the contours of his campaign." Having said that, good lord:

Last Friday afternoon, Korecki published a lengthy account of what those people told her about Biden's accuser. We'll strongly suggest that you read every word, but at one point, the nub of Korecki's findings came out sounding like this:
KORECKI (5/15/20): [M]any of those who knew her well in recent years said she frequently lied or sought to manipulate them, in many instances taking advantage of their desire to help a person they felt was down on her luck.

“You can use these words: manipulative, deceitful, user,” said Kelly Klett, an attorney who rented Reade a room in her home in 2018. “Looking back at it all now, that is exactly how I view her and how I feel about her.”

“She has a problem,” said Lynn Hummer, who owns a horse sanctuary where Reade volunteered for two years, beginning in 2014.

She described Reade as “very clever, manipulative. ... I do think she’s a liar.”
For the record, Hummer is the person to whom Bazelon referred when she mentioned the claim that Reade had stolen from the horse rescue operation.

According to Korecki, Hummer said that Reade is a "liar," and that she "has a problem." As you can see, Kelly Klett said similar things, as did other people with whom Korecki spoke.

Meanwhile, those are the specific concerns which Bazelon voiced. That's what Bazelon said!

Is Tara Reade lying about Biden? Now, exactly as before, we have no way of knowing.

People with problems can get attacked too. In some cases, a sexual assault can be the source of a person's later "problems."

That said, something else is plainly true—and, as Bazelon noted, we've had a string of examples, whether confirmed or apparent, dating back to Gennifer Flowers in 1992:

Especially in cases involving public figures, sex accusers are sometimes lying. Sometimes, accusers may perhaps be delusional, due to some previous problem.

They may be lying to gain attention. They may be lying for profit. They may be taking money from Putin. That's always possible too!

Korecki interviewed a range of people who say they've been scammed by Reade down through the years. We suggest you read every word of Korecki's report, but we'll offer three cheers for her work, with four cheers for Bazelon's thoroughly sensible warnings.

We'll offer no cheers for Dickinson and Plots, Bazelon's male interlocutors. They were exquisitely correct that day—correct in every respect. Have we mentioned the fact that people are dead all over the world because of such past correctness?

Two other reports casting doubt on Reade's accusations have appeared of late. One came from Laura McGann of Vox.

McGann receives only two cheers. We're stingy for a reason:

According to McGann's report, she has been in contact with Reade since April 2019. To McGann's credit, she never published a report about Reade's ever-shifting claims.

"I couldn't prove it," McGann writes at one point. At another point, she writes this about one of Reade's constantly shifting claims:

"But that wasn’t the narrative I wanted. I wanted the truth."

To the credit of McGann and Vox, she didn't report what she couldn't confirm. On May 7, she did publish a lengthy report—a lengthy report which also casts substantial doubt on Reade's claims.

Once again, McGann and Vox deserve full credit for failing to rush into print. So why does he only get two cheers? She gets only two cheers because, at various point, her report includes such problematic remarks as these:
MCGANN (5/7/20): All of this leaves me where no reporter wants to be: mired in the miasma of uncertainty. I wanted to believe Reade when she first came to me, and I worked hard to find the evidence to make certain others would believe her, too. I couldn’t find it. None of that means Reade is lying, but it leaves us in the limbo of Me Too: a story that may be true but that we can’t prove.
Should a reporter "want to believe" certain types of claims? Wanting to believe some such claim, should a reporter "work hard to find the evidence to make certain others would believe [it], too?"

In our view, that's a Halloween-inflected version of the reporter's mission. Rather plainly, though, that's what happened at Rolling Stone in the journalistically gruesome case of the UVa fraternity gang rape allegation, a claim which turned out to be false.

At Rolling Stone, an experienced reporter wanted to believe the claim. This led her to blow past various warning signs concerning the accuser, "Jackie," a young woman who rather plainly "had a problem" and needed some help, as we humans sometimes do.

"Jackie" apparently ended up getting help, the kind of help we people sometimes need. First, though, her false accusation caused tremendous harm to various parties, with reporters and editors at Rolling Stone "wanting to believe" her tribally pleasing tale.

Unlike the reporter at Rolling Stone, McGann didn't publish prematurely. But even now, does she understand the basic logic of a case like this? We were struck by these passages:
MCGANN: Eight women have now said they’ve been made uncomfortable by Biden in public settings. Reade is the lone woman to accuse him of sexual assault. This is a situation out of her control, but it means that reporters can’t build a story about Biden around a pattern of behavior, where multiple accusers boost one another’s story. Instead, reporters are looking at Reade’s account in isolation—and that account has changed.

[...]

If Reade had told a consistent story and shared all of her corroborating sources with reporters, if those sources had told a consistent story, if the Union piece had shaken loose other cases like hers, or if there were “smoking gun” evidence in Biden’s papers, her account might have been reported on differently in mainstream media a year ago. It is not fair to an individual survivor that their claims require an extraordinary level of confirmation, but it’s what reporters have found is necessary for their stories to hold up to public scrutiny and successfully hold powerful men accountable. So we are here.
In those passages, McGann says that the lack of other accusers "is a situation out of [Reade's] control." She says the need for such types of corroboration, or for some type confirmation, "isn't fair to an individual survivor."

In those passages, McGann still seems to be boo-hoo-hooing on behalf of Reade, who has changed her story a million times. According to McGann herself, Reade has offered a string of unconvincing accounts of why she has done so.

"It isn't fair to an individual survivor that their claims require an extraordinary level of confirmation?" The fact is, McGann doesn't know if Reade is a "survivor" of anything at all!

She doesn't know if Reade's a survivor! But does she know that she doesn't know? We'd say that still isn't clear.

In truth, Reade may simply be lying, whether for attention or for money. Given some of her crazy writings, she may be on the Putin payroll. There's no way to know that she isn't.

Putting profit from Putin to the side, Reade may be lying, or she may be delusional. Such situations exist in this world, just as Bazelon noted.

Last Friday, the PBS NewsHour also published and broadcast long reports casting doubt on Reade's accusations. In this post for New York magazine, Jonathan Chait links to all of these reports, at Politico, Vox, PBS.

We're going to give Chait one cheer, not three, for what he says in that post. We may be especially jaundiced at this site, but we hear hints of tribal positioning games when he starts like this:
CHAIT (5/15/20): When Tara Reade first made her assault allegation against Joe Biden, I thought the charge was more likely to be true than false. To be clear, I had no intention of changing my vote. The allegation came too late to reopen the nominating process without doing violence to the expressed will of the electorate. And I’ve always believed the primary criteria for voting on a candidate is their policy impact (which is why I wrote a column in 2018 defending Republicans who still supported Roy Moore over Doug Jones). But I did feel bad about voting for a candidate I suspected had done something terrible.

Since then, however, three detailed reports—by Vox’s Laura McGann, PBS NewsHour, and Politico’s Natasha Korecki—have delved into Reade’s allegations. Neither reaches a definitive conclusion. But all of them on balance add a lot of grounds for skepticism. At this point, Reade’s allegation seems to me to be more likely to be false than true.
Before these debunking reports appeared, Chait "thought the charge was more likely to be true than false." He doesn't explain why he thought that, or why he had formed a provisional judgment at all, but this keeps him on the side of the tribal angels.

Meanwhile, don't get him wrong—he was still planning to vote for Biden! This stance also conforms to the tribal agreement which had taken shape as of Friday last. Our tribe had now decided that, while we should continue "believing women," we didn't have to let the purity of our unfounded assessments affect the way we vote.

Did Chait "feel bad about voting for a candidate [he] suspected had done something terrible?" Out here in the real world, he wasn't going to vote for six months! To our ear, this too sounds like the performative tribal morality which had Bazelon's male interlocutors changing the subject whenever she suggested that Reade might be lying, or that she might even "have problems."

Chait didn't know whether Reade's accusation was true. Why did he think the ugly charge was likely to be true? Why did he think anything at all? Skillfully, he didn't say.

Starting in 1992, we've gone through similar charges from Gennifer Flowers, from Kathleen Willey and from Julie Swetnick. We've had Stormy Daniels seeking cash for a report about one alleged instance of fully consensual sex ten years in the past.

Along the way, we also had the false accusation in the Duke lacrosse case, followed by the false accusation in the UVa case. But people like Chait are still pretty sure that we should believe such accusations, even when we have noway of knowing whether they're true or they're false.

All the way back on April 30, Bazelon offered a pair of winged warnings. We offer four cheers for Bazelon, with the standard three cheers for Politico's Korecki.

Concerning the basic logic of such situations, we human beings, with our flawed intellectual architecture, still have a long way to go. We'll have more on this case as the week proceeds, and on other examples of our species' extremely frail intellectual infrastructure.

We'll look at The Crazy and at The Dumb, as seen in more than one tribe.

50 comments:

  1. "And I don’t see Tara Reade in that category."

    Why, it's no wonder, dear Bob: she is a dembot, after all.

    And so are you, dear Bob, in this post, I'm afraid.

    Sad but true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to thank Dr Emu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Emu and told him every thing and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him, i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within 48 hours, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with via email: Emutemple@gmail.com or add him up on his whatsapp +2347012841542 is willing to help any body that need his help.
      Website: http://emutemple.website2.me/

      Delete
    2. Hello my name is Sally my finance broke up with me last week i was so sad I changed completely, I wasn't eating and i wasn't talking to anybody, I cried a lot,I was so depressed and stressed out that I was scared I'm going to end up in the hospital because of all the stress and depression until one day i search online on getting love tips because I Love & care about him deeply and I just want us to be together as a couple again and I want us to last forever then i found a powerful spell caster Called Priest Ade that he solved so many relationship problem then Priest Ade told me he will come back to me between 24hrs after he cast spell on him never believe it until my finance called me on the phone and told me he want us to come back and live happily together forever , Am so happy now that Priest Ade help me bring my finance back to me. Thanks so much Priest Ade  he can also help you Email him at 
      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com 
      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com
      Blog: https://priestade.blogspot.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me
      WhatsApp +2347059715465





      Hello my name is Sally my finance broke up with me last week i was so sad I changed completely, I wasn't eating and i wasn't talking to anybody, I cried a lot,I was so depressed and stressed out that I was scared I'm going to end up in the hospital because of all the stress and depression until one day i search online on getting love tips because I Love & care about him deeply and I just want us to be together as a couple again and I want us to last forever then i found a powerful spell caster Called Priest Ade that he solved so many relationship problem then Priest Ade told me he will come back to me between 24hrs after he cast spell on him never believe it until my finance called me on the phone and told me he want us to come back and live happily together forever , Am so happy now that Priest Ade help me bring my finance back to me. Thanks so much Priest Ade  he can also help you Email him at 
      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com 
      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com
      Blog: https://priestade.blogspot.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me
      WhatsApp +2347059715465






      Hello my name is Sally my finance broke up with me last week i was so sad I changed completely, I wasn't eating and i wasn't talking to anybody, I cried a lot,I was so depressed and stressed out that I was scared I'm going to end up in the hospital because of all the stress and depression until one day i search online on getting love tips because I Love & care about him deeply and I just want us to be together as a couple again and I want us to last forever then i found a powerful spell caster Called Priest Ade that he solved so many relationship problem then Priest Ade told me he will come back to me between 24hrs after he cast spell on him never believe it until my finance called me on the phone and told me he want us to come back and live happily together forever , Am so happy now that Priest Ade help me bring my finance back to me. Thanks so much Priest Ade  he can also help you Email him at 
      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com 
      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com
      Blog: https://priestade.blogspot.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me
      WhatsApp +2347059715465

      Delete
    3. Hello everyone i Am williams pater and i am from USA i am here to give my testimony about an herbal doctor called Dr,olu I was heartbroken because i had very small penis,not nice to satisfy a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my situation, i have used so many product which doctors prescribe for me, but could not offer me the help i searched for. i saw some few comments on the internet about this specialist called Dr,OLU and decided to email him on his email i saw on the internet,(drolusolutionhome@gmail.com ) so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words with his herbal product for Penis Enlargement, Within three weeks of me use it, i began to feel the enlargement, " and now it just 4 weeks of using his products my penis is about 8 inches longer, and i had to settle thing out with my ex girlfriend , i was surprised when she said that she is satisfied with my performance in bed and i now have a large penis.thanks to DR OLU for is herbal product. you can also reach him with emsil  drolusolutionhome@gmail.com though is..number WHATASPP him today on this number [ +2348140654426 ] 

      Delete
  2. "Have we mentioned the fact that people are dead all over the world because of such past correctness?"

    Who is dead anywhere because some woman made an accusation that was taken seriously?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The accusations against Clinton cost his VP an extremely close election. Then came History.

      Delete
    2. Blaming Gore's loss on Monica makes no sense when there were so many other reasons why he didn't become president.

      But thank you for clarifying Somerby's thinking -- the sentence was mystifying.

      Note that Monica herself made no accusation and did not want to testify against Clinton. Note also that she was telling the truth about what happened between them. She doesn't seem to fit the situation that Somerby is complaining about. She was used by Republicans in a political attack on the president.

      Gore decided not to pursue the recount in Florida, which gave the presidency to Bush. But I think his biggest mistake was letting Tipper attack rock and roll.

      Gore chose to run away from Clinton's legacy. That was a huge mistake. Clinton was popular and had a lot of solid accomplishments for Gore to run on, but he chose not to emphasize that in his campaign. It would be like Biden not running on Obama's record (because of ObamaGate). Stupid.

      Delete
    3. Monica didn’t publicly accuse Clinton, and I was in no way referring to her. It was the other women whose accusations, in number and type, gave Clinton the reputation of having committed worse than adultery. That is what Gore ran away from, and it was arguably the smart thing to do. In any case, in an election that hung by a chad, many, many reasons could be cited for the loss, and the totality of Clinton’s extra-marital activities was one of them. It could also be argued that it inured some of the public to Trump’s behavior. The legacy of Bill’s irresponsible, selfish, dickish (literally) actions live on.

      Delete
    4. You are aware that the recount showed that Gore won Florida, aren't you?

      Clinton wasn't running. Gore could have taken a principled position on Clinton's sexual behavior but run on his achievements in office, which were substantial. No one can argue that Clinton's behavior inured people to Trump's behavior. There is no intersection between Trump and Clinton voters. There is also an age problem -- many Trump voters weren't alive or following politics during Clinton's terms. No one argued that what Clinton did with Monica was right, least of all Clinton himself.

      I suspect that you are raising this in an effort to smear Democrats and excuse Trump. It won't work because your idea about how voters feel about Clinton is wrong. Only conservatives feel that way about him. They tend to think that if they find Clinton disgusting, then everyone else must feel that too. It doesn't work that way.

      Delete
    5. Gore was behind in the official count when SCOTUS stopped it.
      Not only were there substantial numbers of Clinton voters who went for Trump, there were significant numbers of Obama voters in battleground States who switched, a widely reported phenomenon.
      In a very closely divided country, presidential elections are won on the vacillating margins, not on the vast majorities of party loyalists.

      It does no good to impute bad faith to those like myself and Somerby who impart unpleasant facts.

      Delete
  3. Somerby keeps talking about female reporters and calling them interchangeably he and she. At first, I thought this was just a typo, but he did it several times in this article and did the same thing in Saturday's essay. Is it too much to ask for Somerby to proofread his work?

    When a mistake like that is made repeatedly, you start to suspect either (1) a motive, or (2) a subconscious motive, a la Freud. Why does Somerby use male pronouns to describe the work of female reporters, especially while praising them? Is he being influenced by a latent belief that anything good must come from male endeavor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don’t use second person pronouns to include the rest of us in your unmoored judgments like detecting subconscious motives “a la Freud” from typos. Have the common courtesy and decency to employ the first person. Here’s what you should write:

      Revised Anonymous Ignoramus @11:34A: Because I can’t seem to evaluate evidence properly or indeed think straight at all, I see a subconscious motive in typos in a blog entry that indicate that the blogger is influenced by a latent belief that anything good must from male endeavor.

      Now in the vernacular having a latent belief means that you believe something while not knowing you believe it. But I checked to see whether latent belief was a term of art and sure enough per Philippe Smets (The Canonical Decomposition of a Weighted Belief:

      A latent belief structure is represented by a pair of belief functions (X,Y) where X,Y∈B and B is the set of belief functions over Ω.

      Good to know. And by that I mean it’s good to know that your field of expertise is still full of charlatans and pseudo-scientific quackery.

      Delete
    2. Freud demonstrated that slips of the tongue aren't necessarily meaningless or even accidental. You don't have to believe anything Freud wrote, but I am not going to claim ownership of Freud's ideas when he was the one who originated them. I am suggesting that someone with a Freudian bent could have a field day with Somerby's repeated use of he instead of she over the past few days.

      Philippe Smets didn't develop the idea of latent beliefs, so the concept doesn't stand or fall based on his work -- his contribution is the canonical decomposition, which you take entirely out of context and present no evidence for or against, accept that you seem to find his formalism quackish. That's your problem, not Freud's or mine.

      For Freud, the subconscious is by definition not accessible to consciousness -- the person doesn't know what the subconscious contains. The existence of the subconscious has been proven empirically in a wide variety of ways, in experiments that show that most of human thinking occurs outside conscious awareness. If you reject all of that, you are the one choosing the pseudo-scientific over science.

      If you reject my suggested explanation, why do you think Somerby keeps using "he" to refer to women, with a frequency greater than chance?

      Delete
    3. Deadrat seems to have no sense of humor whatsoever.

      Delete
    4. Freud demonstrated that slips of the tongue aren't necessarily meaningless or even accidental.

      Yeah, I’ve read Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, if only in translation.

      I am not going to claim ownership of Freud's ideas….

      Who’s asking you to?

      I am suggesting that someone with a Freudian bent could have a field day with Somerby's repeated use of he instead of she over the past few days.

      Of course someone with such a bent (with emphasis on the bent) could do so. But no analyst or anyone with intellectual integrity would.

      Philippe Smets didn't develop the idea of latent beliefs,….

      So I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t claim that, eh? I just checked, as I am wont to do, whether a moronic et oxymoronic term was also a moronic and oxymoronic term of art. It’s not that I “seem to find” Smets’ “formalism” quackish. I actually found a cargo-cult formalist who uses the building blocks of abstract algebra and set theory to build structures that he hopes will attract actual science for a visit.

      Freud’s past caring about such problems. And so are you, apparently, but for a different reason.

      If you reject my suggested explanation, why do you think Somerby keeps using "he" to refer to women, with a frequency greater than chance?

      Follow along in your hymnals:

      The person making the claim carries the burdens of proof and production.

      The person gainsaying the claim need not provide an alternative claim. There are no wins by default, only by marshaling evidence and practicing logic.

      Sometimes “I don’t know” is the appropriate answer.

      What is the frequency of TDH’s use of third person personal pronouns? What is the frequency of TDH’s confusion of them? What’s the frequency of the polarity of the resulting errors? What’s the likelihood that chance explains the errors?

      I don’t know.

      It seems to me that TDH’s recent editing is sloppier. Why is that?

      Could he be ill? I don’t know.
      Could he be suffering from fatigue or sleep deprivation? I don’t know.
      Could the explanation be an upwelling of his subconscious? I don’t know.

      And neither do you.

      Here endeth the lesson.

      Delete
    5. If it were simply a matter of sloppiness, you would expect random errors. I am speculating about a systematic error in which Somerby changes the gender of the pronoun when talking about a woman he is praising.

      Your explanations talk about the cause of the errors, not their nature.

      Delete
    6. If it were simply a matter of sloppiness, you would expect random errors.

      Stop telling me what to expect.

      I am speculating about a systematic error in which Somerby changes the gender of the pronoun when talking about a woman he is praising.

      It’s worse than that. You’re claiming there is a systematic error. It’s even worse than that, since you don’t take into account your own systemic grievances.

      Your explanations talk about the cause of the errors, not their nature.

      What kind of dressing would you prefer for your word salad?

      Delete
  4. Where is Somerby's pity for Tara Reade, who supposedly has problems? Is she to be excused for trying to ruin Biden's life?

    Somerby is gleeful, with all his cheering, that so many women, and now Tara Reade, have been shown to be the liars that he has considered them all along.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In addition to Reade's changing story, Somerby says that eight women have accused Biden of making them feel uncomfortable with his unwanted touching. Is that a problem of not?

    Somerby seems to dismiss those women's complaints. I will probably vote for Biden despite them, but touching women (or anyone) without permission shouldn't be so readily dismissed. There is a reason why Biden hasn't been accused by men, despite his huggy nature and his hands-on warmth. Other men don't permit it. Biden no doubt learned the rules of manhood which do not permit touching male strangers without permission. Handsiness would be considered a dominance move and most men won't accept it without creating a conflict that men learn to avoid (unless they want to start a fight or are trying to bully or put another man in his place).

    So Biden generally confines his touching to women and children. And why are women and children expected to tolerate this? Because of their one-down position in society and their physical size difference and the intolerance our society shows for female aggressiveness.

    So, this is a gender issue. It isn't rape or sexual assault, but it is sexism and it is wrong. I have never supported Biden in the past because of this gender-based differential treatment of women, and its reinforcement of lingering sexism in our society. He should know better. That he doesn't, makes me distrust his ability to govern in ways that will respect women's issues. And he gets no points for his passage of the Violence Against Women Act, because (1) it is the least he could do, and (2) it is consistent with his paternalistic protection of women, something that negatives their personhood and full participation in society as human beings with agency.

    So, Somerby is an ass, but so is Biden. But we are stuck with Biden because Trump is so much worse. This is when I lament, what has our country come to, but I will hold my nose and vote for Biden anyway. So, Somerby's efforts to tarnish him will have little impact, because if I will vote for Biden, so will many others who are less picky about gender issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ten seconds to put the terms "Biden hugs men" into a search engine to find dozens of pictures of Biden hugging and touching men.

      If only you were as picky about evidence as you are at being outraged about "gender issues."

      What a pathetic numpty you are.

      Delete
    2. Of course Biden touches men, but not in the way he touches women. Go look at the videos.

      He shakes hands, he may throw an arm over a man's shoulder. But do you ever see him standing with both hands on a man's (not a boy's) shoulder (from behind)? Do you ever see him giving a man a shoulder massage in that position? How many men do you see sitting on his lap? When he stands behind a man, do you see him letting his hands drift down the front of the man (again from behind), controlling their movement, as he does routinely with children of both sexes?

      How many women do you see him offer to shake hands with? It is different when the woman offers her hand first, because to refuse to shake it would be an insult. Note that he routinely offers a hand to a man.

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/he-speaks-she-speaks/201908/why-are-women-still-left-out-the-handshake

      Here is a video of Biden that was not created on the right, but is from CNN, showing him at a swearing in ceremony. Note in the first 5 sec how he shakes hands with the man but opens his arms to hug the woman.

      https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2015/01/06/biden-being-biden---video.cnn

      Go back and look at those hugs from the Google "Biden hugs men" search. They are mostly the one-arm across the shoulder type of hug. There are two with both arms wrapped but they are with boys, one grieving. Then do the same search with "Biden hugs women". You'll see him standing behind the woman with his hands on her shoulders or you see both arms wrapped around, from the front. You'll see the difference.

      There are studies of touching (nonverbal behavior) for men and women. I am not making these gender norms up. Biden not only violates norms for touching, but he treats women differently than men (as most men do). Here are some of the studies of this that came up with Google (the right way to do a literature search would be to use a proper database, such as PsycInfo):

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00990792

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1018885417249

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00986879

      This one (Relationship and Touch in Public Settings) says in the abstract:

      "Gender differences in touch in U.S. populations have been well demonstrated. The age of participants and the setting in which touch occurs have been shown to affect the gender differences. Some investigators have concluded that a gender asymmetry exists with men touching women more than women touch men. A number of studies have shown that men and women interpret touch differently."

      My point is that Biden adheres to norms more with men than with women, and that he touches women differently and inappropriately, in public settings.

      You need to be careful when selecting images using Google because several of the images are from sessions where Biden was explicitly responding to the criticism about his touching -- women are eagerly hugging Biden to show their disapproval of the criticism against him. Once Biden was accused, the hugging became a show of support, like those who are leaving off their masks to support Trump, who has been criticized for not wearing one himself.

      Delete
    3. I’m just gonna assume, as usual, that you’re the same Anonymous Ignoramus @2:48P as at @11:46A.

      In the PM, you say, “Of course Biden touches men,…."
      to explain what you said in the AM:

      There is a reason why Biden hasn't been accused by men, despite his huggy nature and his hands-on warmth. Other men don't permit it. … So Biden generally confines his touching to women and children.

      I hope those goal posts fall on top of you as you struggle to move them.

      Now, the thesis is that Biden touches men, but just differently from the way he touches women, and I’m supposed to “Go look at the videos.” cause “You’ll see the difference.”

      Sorry, Sparky, but going to the video was your job at the outset. And what did I warn you about the misuse of second-person pronouns?

      You say,

      My point is that Biden adheres to norms more with men than with women, and that he touches women differently and inappropriately, in public settings.

      That’s your revised point now. Now that your intellectual laziness and lack of critical thinking have been highlighted. And still that laziness remains.

      According to your own evidence, there are “gender differences in touch,” e.g., men touch women more than women touch men. If that’s a “norm,” then Biden adheres to it. Period. And that’s what’s got him into trouble. That norm is now suspect.

      And I saw you trying to smuggle “inappropriately” aboard. Now that women are eagerly hugging Biden, perhaps the proper conclusion is that the uncomfortable ones were in the minority, eh?

      Delete
    4. The new rule (under pandemic conditions) is that no one should touch anyone else without permission. How hard is that to understand?

      Delete
    5. Thanks for your contribution, Anonymous Ignoramus 10:43A.

      Didja notice that we're talking about Biden's actions before the COVID-2 virus came on the scene?

      How hard was that to understand?

      Delete
  6. In the past few days we've heard the President's son call Biden a pedophile, and we've heard the President tout a conspiracy called ObamaGate in which Obama supposedly plotted against Trump's candidacy and his presidency, in cahoots with the intelligence community.

    There is no evidence supporting any of these accusations. But this stuff floats around the rightwing websites and is repeated endlessly in the conservative echo chamber. They don't carefully evaluate the truth of any accusation that is consistent with their political bias. They don't exercise any "correctness" or caution when it comes to believing whatever is spoken over there.

    But we are supposed to be exquisitely careful in order to earn Somerby's cheers? Get real! There will be no evaluation of Tara Reade's "problems" on the right. It is enough that she is damaging Biden.

    It isn't clear whether Somerby's "disbelieve all women" stance comes from the belief that the left should adopt the same tactics as the right, or whether it comes from his own misogyny, but the right fights dirty and that's where these "bimbo eruptions" come from. Tara Reade is being legally represented by a Trump donor. At least Avenatti was a Democrat. Somerby doesn't mention that -- he instead uses this as a stick to attack feminism and #MeToo, suggesting that good reporters do not consider allegations true unless there is a mountain of evidence, because they might be a Republican dirty trick. But that is a circumstance limited to this political context and not typical of the wider social context in which women are sexually assault, harassed, and touched without permission, routinely, because our society permits it.

    Somerby carefully limits his discussion of these issues, as if any act can be entirely separated from its larger context. He's only talking about reporters, only about SOME women, only about Reade. But Somerby's basket of deplorables includes women with legitimate complaints as well as those shown to be frauds and he never tells us how to tell the difference between the two, because he is willing to treat all women as liars, until proven otherwise, just as our society has done all along. And he doesn't care whether he makes a mistake (as evidenced by his failure to ever mention it). He doesn't want to consider "what if Reade is telling the truth?"

    Somerby says: "Is Tara Reade lying about Biden? Now, exactly as before, we have no way of knowing.

    People with problems can get attacked too. "

    But this is Somerby's pro forma covering of his ass, not a serious consideration of why women need to be treated first with suspicion and not given the benefit of the doubt. That suspicion permits men to abuse women while women have no recourse. In the old days, a woman's husband, brothers, father, would avenge her by beating up the perpetrator, on the strength of her accusation. That is forbidden now, but the power of the law didn't step in to give women redress. Now, women are just at the mercy of men, and Somerby thinks that is fine. If women don't like it, they can stay home where they belong -- I assume, but I don't know what Somerby thinks women are supposed to do, because he never tells us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume, but I don't know what Somerby thinks women are supposed to do, because he never tells us.

      Everything you write is based on evidence-free assumptions. Don't stop now.

      Delete
    2. An essayist who hints but doesn't state, is fair game.

      Delete
  7. "He doesn't explain why he thought that, or why he had formed a provisional judgment at all, but this keeps him on the side of the tribal angels."

    There are video compilations circulating on the right that clearly show Biden putting his hands all over women and children. Some of them are clearly uncomfortable with his behavior. Some of the parents try to put themselves between Biden and their kids. Some of the women are edging away from him. He is oblivious.

    That's why some of us find any woman's accusation against Biden believable at first blush. Biden's own actions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joe Biden is my senator and has been weird all of his life. He was weird when he lied about a scholarship and academic achievements including graduating at the top of his law school class. He graduated at the bottom.

      He was weird when he got fake hair plugs and his face is a weird flat mask.

      He's a weirdo and a pervert.

      Delete
    2. He also is a plagiarist.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/plagiarism-scandal-joe-biden-first-presidential-run-1988-2019-3%3famp

      Delete
    3. And we are going to vote for him anyway, because at least he isn't Trump.

      Delete
    4. You'd vote for him if Trump were Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, or any other Republican.

      Me Too is fake.

      Delete
    5. I might vote for Mitt Romney. I admire the position of conscience he has taken with respect to Trump.

      Delete
  8. The vast majority of rapes can't be proven after the fact with more than the word of the woman.

    Tara Reade has more evidence of her rape by Joe Biden than the vast majority of rape victims.

    Joe Biden raped Tara Reade and now lies about it. Democrats cover for powerful man Joe Biden because Me Too is a joke and always was.

    That said, DON'T believe all women. Don't believe any women unless they have at least as much evidence as Tara Reade has.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least as much evidence as Tara Reade has.
      Only 24 of the women Trump sexually harassed, but until others come up with more evidence, no more than just those 24. For now.

      Delete
    2. Here is an interesting article that examines why it is difficult to prove rape cases. Part of the problem lies with the way laws are written and the emphasis on physical violence.

      https://www.kut.org/post/provability-gap-why-its-hard-prosecutors-prove-rape-cases-beyond-reasonable-doubt

      You also have to ask why there is still a backlog of unprocessed rape kits. Men don't seem to have much commitment to gathering and using physical evidence, even when it exists.

      Delete
  9. We’re two months out from a slew of opinion pieces on how Biden’s less than rigorously accurate and articulate wordings are filled with an innate truth and wisdom that is the language of those outside the fussy and insular techno elite class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean like this:
      ‘nobody knows how to talk about "ordinary people like us," as he later put it, in quite the way Joe Biden does.

      He has access to amazing emotional memory, and he isn't afraid or ashamed to speak about "ordinary people like us."’

      http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2016/07/comic-relief-vice-president-bidens.html

      Delete
    2. No. Biden is four years older in a stage of life where that takes it toll.

      Now, no journo would try to pull off anything on that level.

      Well, maybe, Maddow.

      Delete
    3. Cec, You have forfeited for all eternity the right to question anyone's rigorous accuracy. Just a gentle reminder.

      Delete
    4. Flabbergastingly gentle. You must have just taken your meds.

      Delete
  10. “ And I guess my own basic bias is that, if you are going to bring a really long-ago serious allegation against a public official, and you can line up some pieces of corroboration but not real proof, your reliability is going to be on the line. And we should not err in the direction of deciding to let people destroy the careers of the men they accuse in those settings without some real sense that we are sure, because otherwise we are in a world in which the MeToo movement has turned into a place where we’re perilously close to letting people who, who lie, or who have problems, destroy other people.”

    Now they tell us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meh. Don't kid yourself. Next time when anyone outside the liberal cult is accused, they'll perform the full humyn sacrifice ritual, just the same.

      It's merely a tool for destroying undesirables. And when zombie cult VIPs are accused, then the accusers must be destroyed. Simple as that.

      Delete
    2. It’s over. Mao. There’s a stake in its heart.

      Delete
    3. Hmm. I have my doubts. We'll see.

      Delete
  11. “he was still planning to vote for Biden! This stance also conforms to the tribal agreement which had taken shape as of Friday last. Our tribe had now decided that, while we should continue "believing women," we didn't have to let the purity of our unfounded assessments affect the way we vote.”

    It should be noted that Biden himself said, on Lawrence O’Donnell, that, if you believe Tara Reade, you shouldn’t vote for Biden.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want to thank Dr Emu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Emu and told him every thing and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him, i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within 48 hours, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with via email: Emutemple@gmail.com or add him up on his whatsapp +2347012841542 is willing to help any body that need his help.
    Website: http://emutemple.website2.me/

    ReplyDelete
  14. I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr OSOFO for helping me to get my girlfriend back after 7 months of breakup. My girlfriend breakup with me because he see another boy at his working place and told me he is no longer interested in me and live me in pain and heart break. I seek for help on the internet and i saw so many good talk about this great spell caster Dr OSOFO and I contacted him also and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get back my girlfriend within the period of 48 hours and i am so grateful to him for the good work he did for me,that is why i also want to let everyone who is in need of help out there to also seek help from him so he can help.His email;(osofo.48hoursolutioncenter@gmail.com )  or whatsapp: +2349065749952 

    ReplyDelete
  15. I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr OSOFO for helping me to get my girlfriend back after 7 months of breakup. My girlfriend breakup with me because he see another boy at his working place and told me he is no longer interested in me and live me in pain and heart break. I seek for help on the internet and i saw so many good talk about this great spell caster Dr OSOFO and I contacted him also and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get back my girlfriend within the period of 48 hours and i am so grateful to him for the good work he did for me,that is why i also want to let everyone who is in need of help out there to also seek help from him so he can help.His email;(osofo.48hoursolutioncenter@gmail.com )  or whatsapp: +2349065749952 

    ReplyDelete