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Credible accusations

Credible accusations

The word “credible” keeps coming up in sexual harassment discussions, but what does it really mean?

In the wake of the recent spate of sexual offense allegations, particularly against politicians such as Roy Moore, “credible” and “credibly” have become the latest buzzwords.

Take this Politico piece, for example, written by a former Bush speechwriter named Matt Latimer [emphasis mine]:

In the wake of the Roy Moore fiasco, a number of “hot takes” have made their rounds in the media. How obviously hypocritical it is, for example, for evangelical leaders to stand behind a man credibly accused of sexually assaulting a minor…

…How have we reached a point in this country when nearly half the voters of a U.S. state so mistrust, and even revile, major media outlets that they are willing to brush aside credible evidence and elect an accused sexual predator simply out of spite? …

…[We live in an] an era where some 50 people can credibly report sexual misconduct allegations about a Senate candidate to a major newspaper and yet that candidate still has a chance to win…

Why the emphasis on “credible,” as though if something is credible it must be believed?

And what is Latimer talking about when he writes that “50 people” have “credibly report[ed] sexual misconduct allegations” about Moore? I’ve never seen anything approaching the number 50 in connection with that story. But Latimer puts that number out without explanation or details or names or even a link so that we could assess their “credibility.” The closest I can find to what he might be referring is the following, and it really doesn’t seem to fit. It’s from the WaPo article in which the Moore accuser stories originally broke:

This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up.

Are these 30 people credible? How can we know? Except for the named accusers, who don’t number anywhere near 50 (or 30, for that matter), we don’t know their names, we don’t know what they’re saying, we don’t know who they are, we don’t even know whether they really did know Moore or are actually accusing him of anything at all. We have no way whatsoever to access their credibility except the word of the WaPo.

The word “credible” is ordinarily defined this way:

1. capable of being believed; believable:

2. worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy:

Those two definitions are quite different. The first definition describes a possibility, the second a likelihood. Definition number one fits the accusations against Moore. They certainly might be believed. They’re not fantastical, and they might be true. I won’t go into the reasons to disbelieve them—there are many, some of which have been discussed previously on this blog and others—but suffice to say that reasonable people can differ on that issue.

That brings us to definition number two. Are the accusers (particularly the two with the more serious allegations) worthy of belief or confidence? There seems to be no particular reason to invest that sort of special trust in them, due mostly to a host of glitches in their stories and the politically sensitive timing of their accusations.

But according to the current PC belief system, women are credible merely on account of being women. We are supposed to believe women without serious challenge to their stories or even any careful fact-checking or questioning, which is often defined as “attacking” them. This is a dangerous sort of reasoning that can lead to miscarriages of justice both in the legal system and outside of it. Failing to try to authenticate their stories makes it impossible—literally impossible—to separate the wheat from the chaff, truth from fiction. It allows anyone with a political agenda and the will to create a good story to destroy a political or other public figure.

“Believe the women” is meant, however, to correct a different sort of injustice: that of letting sexual assaulters/harassers go free because the allegations against them can’t be proven. In the past, that was the more likely scenario. But now that’s been turned on its head.

Sometimes even the simplest of fact-checking fails to take place (attempting to perform expert authentication of the yearbook inscription allegedly penned by Moore, for example). This leaves much of the perception of credibility as an emotional reaction to the accuser’s tale. But before believing or disbelieving, why not ask the hard questions and demand answers?

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

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Comments

I’ve thought of two examples that I use to define what I view as credible, and what is not. When Mike Tyson was accused of rape, a controversial charge, his accuser reported the event to authorities within 24 hours, the accuser testified under oath, and her story never changed over time, in spite of great amounts of pressure being put on her to recant. I found her story very credible.

On the other hand, when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of harassing her she waited at least 10 years to say anything, she had no corroborating evidence despite these things supposedly happening in a public office space, and her story shifted and evolved over time considerably while retelling it. I found her claims to NOT be credible, for those reasons.

“Sometimes even the simplest of fact-checking fails to take place (attempting to perform expert authentication of the yearbook inscription allegedly penned by Moore, for example).”

First, neo, YOU appear to have failed “even the simplest of fact-checking” relative to your own piece. When did you contact Latimer for a comment on his number?

Did you take into account that the 30 people mentioned by the WaPo could easily have been expanded subsequently as people came forward? I see no evidence that entered your mind.

No handwritting expert I’ve had any dealings with would DREAM of issuing an opinion without multiple samples of a person’s handwriting. Each of those samples would have to be authenticated by the person offering them, or taken from their public or private records over time.

“This leaves much of the perception of credibility as an emotional reaction to the accuser’s tale. But before believing or disbelieving, why not ask the hard questions and demand answers?”

Why didn’t you?

    puhiawa in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I have dealt with several cases involving handwriting and you are wrong. Multiple examples are required to identify the author. An expert can and will render an opinion if the author is one or more. In the case of the women photographed such has been done. Now they wish to see if they can ascertain the authors. That will require the original for examination.

    “Attempting to perform expert authentication of the yearbook inscription allegedly penned by Moore, for example…”

    Don’t worry, we went over to her house and checked it out over the weekend. We worked her and Gloria Allred over with rubber hoses to their shins till they came clean: it’s all fake.

    We let the accuser go, but kept Allred for more questioning.

    neo-neocon in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Ragspierre:

    Latimer is the only person mentioning anywhere near 50 people, and he neither sources his assertion of that number nor explains in any way where he got it, nor does he link to it. We are supposed to take it on faith, but why should we? Whether it’s true or not, he’s given the reader no reason to find it credible.

    Are you actually suggesting that no person can point out and criticize Latimer’s complete lack of sourcing for a fact that no one else is reporting, unless that person has interviewed Latimer about it?

    And even the WaPo never said that 30 people had “credibly report[ed] sexual misconduct allegations.” They merely said that 30 people were interviewed who had known Moore during the years in question.

    Allred and the accuser refused to turn over a yearbook for authentication of any sort, a yearbook in which there was an inscription they offered up as credible evidence of a relationship between the accused and Moore (and a prelude to an alleged sexual assault they say occurred shortly after the inscription was written). However, if they had agreed to offer it up, that writing sample in the yearbook (the one that might or might not be by Moore) could then have been compared to many samples of Moore’s writing at the time, which no doubt exist and which could be donated by Moore, whose lawyer made the suggestion in the first place. But because the yearbook has not been turned over by the accuser, that comparison is impossible to make. Roy Moore was a public official at the time and plenty of easily authenticated (because they were on official documents) samples of his writing and particularly his signature exist. So the problem is not a lack of possible handwriting samples with which the yearbook could be compared. The problem is the accuser’s refusal to turn the yearbook over.

The WaPo never claimed that 30 people had “report[ed] sexual misconduct allegations about” Moore. All it claimed is that it had interviewed that many people. For all we know 29 of them had nothing but good to say about him.

4th armored div | December 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm

if and that is a BIG IF, Moore did what was alleged why does that have ANY pertinence to 40 (FOURTY) years later if there were no further behavior of this kind ?

as far as the females involved, why the allegations and no personal lawsuit for damages ?
for the 14 year old there are many stories of her being a wild and uncontrollable person. for the other one, i am not clear as to what the allegation(s) are.

If Moore’s behavior over the recent 25 years were in doubt, there would be scores of complaints, since he has been in public office and the oppo research (including by the GOPe McConnell) would have surfaced. How did WaPo have such luck to find it now, when there could not be a substitute on the ballot ?

if it smells like a dead fish it most likely is.
this is not to say that Moore may be guilty as charged but I have a hard time believing it.

    4th armored div in reply to 4th armored div. | December 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Time for Rags to flame me as he does all the ones he doesn’t like.

    Ragspierre in reply to 4th armored div. | December 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    IF he did as alleged, he’s lying his ass off.

    THAT’S why it is pertinent. Don’t you agree?

      4th armored div in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      IF he did as alleged, was this a single occurrence, in which case he very well may not remember a 40 years ago event.
      If this is/was a pattern then he should not be in civil society.
      have you any additional charges, with PROOF dear atty ?
      or are you oing your usual blowing smoke out of your nether regions ?

        4th armored div in reply to 4th armored div. | December 3, 2017 at 4:44 pm

        sorry, i should not return your usual slurs with my own –
        Truly apologize for my response to your character.

        Ragspierre in reply to 4th armored div. | December 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm

        You poor, dishonest little person.

        I remember everything I did on dates 50 years ago, everybody I dated, and in fact further back than that, since I was married 40 years ago.

        If I could not remember, I’d say so, contra Roy “Jail-bait” Moore. I would not lie.

        Would you?

          Somebody dated you?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm

          Your wife.

          MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

          Morris must not feel creditable if he has to tell us he has been married 40 years. Well if you only had one date, it is understandable why you can remember so much.

          My guess is Morris can’t relate to Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Something tells me that Moore can’t relate to it either which is why I am guessing that the allegations are BS.

          Since I am creditable, then anything Morris says is not true.

          My wife would never date you. I asked her.

          I felt sorry for you (my wife is great-looking), so I approached a hooker I came across at to the entrance to the subway, asking if she’d be interested in helping you out. I showed her your blog comments, and she read them with great interest. However, she declined your business, citing your pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction despite a strong desire to be close to others. I had to make my train, but she kept talking: she said she understands you to be socially inept, personally unappealing and as such, you avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked.

          She had a trick to meet to at a hotel nearby, but as she walked off, she turned back and stated she believes you are an avoidant, with a comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder with the a high risk of engagement in self-harming behavior.

          She said maybe she could help, but she’d have to charge double.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm

          Yeh. Your wife is a liar. As is her husband.

          MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm

          That’s a lie!

          “you avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked.”

          At least on this blog it is. Morris does not avoid any of this.

          It is funny how Morris would think that Neo would want to contact WAPO to fact check. It is a blog and that is how the internet is suppose to work before sponsors got in the game. I also think it lays the foundation of the 1st Amendment.

          Tom Servo in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

          You remember everything you did on dates 50 years ago? Seriously?

          Some of my most embarrassing social moments these days are when I’m out someplace local, and someone (or a couple) walks up and greets me by name, starts talking like we’re old friends, and I’m smiling and attempting to carry on a conversation while what I am thinking is “my god, I’ve never seen you people before in my life!”

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 7:01 pm

          “Everything”…???

          No. I sure CAN remember the main incidents of the date, like who I was dating, where I picked her up, where we went and what happened.

          Can’t you…???

          Actually, no. I remember songs or smells (a beach fire, Drakkar, etc.) or sounds (bats hitting baseballs, certain songs, etc.), but no way do I remember every date I ever had or who said what to whom or much of anything else after several decades have passed. I do remember the name of the guy who taught me to shoot pool simply because he was a leftie, so I, a rightie, shoot pool as a leftie to this day. Something like that sticks in one’s mind. Maybe you just weren’t that popular or didn’t date much, Rags? Or maybe dates were more important to you than they were to others?

          Most people can go on a date and never see or think about that person again. That’s healthy. Who wants to bemoan crap dates from 50 years ago, replete with color film reels playing over and over in one’s brain? I went out with a guy when I was 20 (or 16 or 18 or 25), and I never saw or thought about him again. Wouldn’t know him to this day if I fell over him. Fight those voices in your head that urge you to believe otherwise. The voices are wrong, Rags. Normal people over the age of 30 don’t have total recall of every date or failed short-term relationship. In fact, most of us don’t want to remember the guy who didn’t leave a tip (so we had to go back and do so) or the guy who spent the whole time talking about his ex.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm

          Here you are with your “voices in your head” bullshit again, Fussy.

          As it happens, I just stated I don’ have total recall of everything about a date.

          You’re just lying. Again.

          I DO remember people I dated. I DO remember places I took them, and other incident of the date.

          Maybe your insanity has caused you to lose memory. I retain my memory in bright detail.

          Poor old dirty joke…

          gospace in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 7:39 pm

          There are a number of women I dated prior to marrying my wife 39 years ago whose names I cannot remember. And one I can remember but I can’t recall anything we did or where we went on the date. I remember talking to her father for 45 minutes before we left the house. About someone we both knew who killed his family, mom, dad, and 2 brothers- and I won’t relate why it was a topic of interest… That conversation overshadowed the date details.

          Memory is a funny thing. I’ll bet all those women you remember remember different things then you do about your memorable dates.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm

          STFW…???

I see how the media, entertainment & political mighty have fallen in a credible manner in recent weeks, and I find the stench of their hypocrisy nauseating. Why credible? They confess to it; there’s a photo; they enter sex rehab; there’s a settlement agreement (paid with your tax $$), etc.

We say they behaved badly in our decadent culture that says there is no standard of bad or immoral. Our decadent culture castigates the polite society of Miss Manners as prudish. It demands men be ‘woke’ to feminist enlightenment because we’re all the same. It doesn’t require men to behave like gentlemen. It chastises those who treat women like ladies as patriarchal. The obvious result is men without self-control acting with impunity inside their lil kingdoms, yet this is a surprise to the mightiest people in the room??

But I find even more disgusting the women in all these arenas who admit to open secrets among the sisterhood for years about these pervs, pederasts & predators in hollywood, throughout networks, on Capital Hill, etc., and covered it all up.

What the mighty DID take time to uncover was Trump bantering with Billy Bush about women who’ll let him grab them by the nethers, and then hypocritically feign outrage. The mighty DID uncover 40 year old allegations of Roy Moore(R) trolling for teens at the local mall after coming home from ‘Nam a decorated war hero. I find the Moore allegations to be credible, but other than ‘he said, she said, lacking in evidence.

In contrast, the credible evidence I DO see against Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones (D), are the 900,000 babies aborted every year. I see credible evidence that Doug Jones (D) supports 3rd trimester abortions, and in his liberal wet dreams, would force tax payers to pay for it. Why credible? Jones admits it publicly.

We live in decadent times. We scrape the bottom of the barrel for some of the highest offices in the land. Alabama must choose between an accused cradle robber or a baby killer advocate. On the sliding scale of morality, at lease the cradle robber doesn’t advocate killing his victims. Your choice, Alabama.

Once gloria allred is in the picture, “credible” is out the window.

A very incredible number of these accusers had contact with Moore that was decidedly unpleasant. He was either the prevailing attorney against them or a judge that ruled against them.

“Credible” simply means that there is no overt or independent reason to believe a story. It’s just the flip side of an ad hominum attack; it could be called ad hominum support, I suppose, or maybe ad hominum belief. A logical fallacy in either case.

Oddly enough, people tend to regard repetitions of the same story from the same person mush as they would repetitions from different people; like some sort of independent confirmation. Of course it’s not; it’s non-independent confirmation, which isn’t worth much.

    Ragspierre in reply to tom_swift. | December 3, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    You, again, don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The ad hominem fallacy is a fallacious response to a claimed wrong, and takes the form of, “Oh, yeah..your guy did it too.” (Look it up.)

    It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with an allegation. Your “logic” is total bullshit.

      Rags, I don’t need to look it up to know that what you describe (“takes the form of, “Oh, yeah..your guy did it too.”) is an tu quoque fallacy, not an ad hominem.

      Ad hominem is what you do when you attack others’ character in order to avoid addressing the actual point.

      Look it up.

      Those voices in your head telling you that everyone is evil, wicked, lying, and etc. are misleading you again.

        MarkSmith in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | December 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        I wonder if those voices come from his cat.

          OMG, that made me laugh out loud. I’m still giggling as I type this.

          snopercod in reply to MarkSmith. | December 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm

          I’m thinking the voices more likely come from a bottle of Scotch.

          You know, that did cross my mind, snopercod. Better a scotch problem than the neighbors’ dogs telling him to alienate his friends in the name of . . . um, who the heck even knows what is going on in Rags’ mind? He makes no sense at all; it’s just lashing out and name-calling and accusations that make zero sense. He’s all spite and venom and bitterness, add in his delusional belief that his former (by his choice) friends are wicked and evil demons of some kind, and . . . sad.

          Ragspierre in reply to MarkSmith. | December 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

          Poor StooperClod. You read up the thread, and see if YOUR voices can answer the questions I’ve posed. When you’re sober.

          Ragspierre in reply to MarkSmith. | December 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm

          Using your ability to insert out-of-sequence comments is another of your dirty little trollish tricks.

          What a pathetic shadow of what you once were is evident here.

          I retain a record of your out-of-the-blue filthy attacks on me. I’ll be more than happy to show you for what you’ve become.

          Wow, Rags. Just wow. So the exact same way I have posted comments on LI since becoming first an author and then weekend editor is suddenly a “trollish trick”? I explained how it works in a comment to Gary Britt, who by the way sounds eminently reasonable and normal compared to you these days. Even he didn’t rail against WordPress tech as a “trollish trick.” In fact, when I explained this back then, I don’t recall you decrying it as a witchy trick of sorcery and bad magic.

          To refresh your memory: I don’t read comments on the site itself; I read them in the dashboard. This means that I can respond directly to any LI comment by clicking “reply.” It’s the magical “dirty little trollish trick” of WordPress. Ooooh, scary! And dirty. And trollish.

          Good grief, Rags, do you even hear yourself anymore?

          Rags, you may not be able to grasp this since basic WordPress functions are befuddling and “magical” to you, but we have access to every comment ever made on LI. Really! I know this may sound outlandish, weird, and even futuristic to you, but the WordPress platform allows us to keep LI comments (and we do. Every one.). Feel free to horde your bizarre little trove of “hate” or whatever, but I recommend filing your record of my “out-of-the-blue filthy attacks” on you right next to your tinfoil hat collection and stack of psychiatric appointment cards.

          Ragspierre in reply to MarkSmith. | December 3, 2017 at 9:15 pm

          You’ll be astonished to know I don’t read every word you write.

          I also now don’t believe much of what you write, or have written.

          You and your bankrupt tricks are not “scary”. They’re just disgusting. I wonder what happened to you? Whatever it was left you evil.

          Rags, this is insane. Why can’t you hear it? You’re actually calling me evil. Do you get that?

          Okay, let’s try something new. Rags, tell me what evil actions I’ve taken or whatever evidence you have that I am “evil.” Seriously, do this. Build your case for my evilness and share it with me.

          Ragspierre in reply to MarkSmith. | December 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

          “New…”…!!!

          This is the oldest troll trick in the book!

          “Pwoooooooooove it”…

          No, honey. I won’t fall for your trolling.

          People who can read the thread will see you. I sure as hell have, and not just here.

          Being seen is one of life’s most terrible prospects, and you are revealed.

          Rags, asking someone to explain their comment (in this case I asked you to explain why you find me “evil”) is not trolling. There is no “troll book.” Honestly, I have no idea what to say to you. If I called you “evil,” I would be able to explain, support, and defend it. I would certainly not call you so without being able to make my case. You just . . . rage and blow and spout incomprehensible nonsense.

          People who see this thread will see a ranting, incoherent lunatic who can’t rub two thoughts together without sinking into straight-jacketed incoherent mumblings that sound like they came from a deranged fortune cookie manifested from the Twilight Zone.

          Case in point: “Being seen is one of life’s most terrible prospects, and you are revealed.” What the heck are you on about? “Being seen,” “terrible prospect,” I’m revealed . . . huh? As what? By whom? This is crazy talk. Seriously. Crazy. Talk.

          Again, asking for an explanation and evidence is not a “troll trick.” No normal and sane person would even think of, much less say, this.

          MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | December 3, 2017 at 11:57 pm

          Hey, I would like to get some of this “Troll Trick” stuff you guys are holding out on me. There’s a book?!

        Oh, Rags, that’s just sad. “literarydevices.net”? Really? Not “everything I know about literary devices I learned on tv dot net”?

        Heh. You challenged us to look up the meaning of ad hominem attacks and then presented a tu quoque fallacy as an example of your stellar, credentialed “literary devices R us” faulty understanding of ad hominem. How could I not respond? That’s my wheelhouse.

        Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | December 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm

        I cited a valid source, liar. Anyone can find many others.

        Poor ol’ Tom’s nonsense is irrational, and that’s apparent.

        You’ve become a dirty joke. Why? I’m not the one to say.

        Dear Ms. Slippers,

        Please don’t be too hard on poor Mr. Ragspierre; logic is really, really, super duper difficult. May I suggest the following: https://classicalacademicpress.com/product/the-art-of-argument-program/

        Here in our homeschool, we used this curriculum in 7th grade logic, so it just might be simple enough for Mr. Ragspierre to follow.

        Your welcome in advance. 🙂
        Anonamom

          Anonamom in reply to Anonamom. | December 3, 2017 at 7:21 pm

          That would be *you’re* for the non-typing impaired. We also used a fantabulous grammar program, but I’m afraid that my credibility is now somewhat suspect! 😛

          Ragspierre in reply to Anonamom. | December 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

          IF you have a point, make it clearly, or STFU.

          I understand logic. I use it professionally. You don’t. In either case.

          Heh. Seriously awesome, Anonamom, so subtle and pointed. 🙂

          As to poor old Rags, he wrote:

          IF you have a point, make it clearly, or STFU.

          I understand logic. I use it professionally. You don’t. In either case.

          I’m not sure I can ever explain the concept of snark to you, Rags, since simpler concepts like ad hominem are beyond your grasp. But I will try: Anonamom’s point, and she not only has one but makes it extremely well, is that you are misusing literary terms that 7th graders learn via homeschooling. What do you imagine she means by that?

          Study question: If a 7th grader understands basic logical fallacies like ad hominem attacks, what does it say about me that I don’t? Look, no one is saying a 7th grader would know what a tu quoque argument is; this is more advanced and probably not covered until a high schooler’s senior year.

          Ragspierre in reply to Anonamom. | December 3, 2017 at 7:44 pm

          You can no more cover bullshit with “snark” than with “parody”, you poor dishonest troll.

          Anyone can see you’re just a pathetic liar.

          Tom’s point was illogical. You know it. You’re just too dishonest to deal with it.

          His first paragraph is a bit bewildering, Rags, but in his second, Tom makes a very good point. Do you disagree that a lie repeated often enough takes on the appearance of truth? Heck, that’s one of Alinsky’s pet tenets: tell “the big lie” often enough and people will believe it.

          As to the rest of your bizarre ramblings, Rags, you don’t see it (obviously), but you sound completely unhinged. About what am I lying (much less pathetically lying)? What have I said that is dishonest? Seriously, you are ranting and raving and flailing around in a most alarming way.

          As an aside, “troll” doesn’t mean what you apparently think it means.

          Tilting at windmills and screeching (effectively) “burn the (evil wicked) witch” make you sound like a crazy person.

          Ragspierre in reply to Anonamom. | December 3, 2017 at 8:07 pm

          Anyone can see you’re just a pathetic liar.

          Tom’s point was illogical. You know it. You’re just too dishonest to deal with it.

          Even when you, in part, admit my point to tell a bigger lie.

          Poor thing. Sucks to be insane.

        Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop eating popcorn

        Remember the admonishment against arguing with a lunatic…

          Let’s not drag you mother into this…

          Heh. Good point, Fine.

          “Let’s not drag you mother into this….”

          Actually, let’s drag her in: she’s the one who taught it to me.

          You know, most of us grow up with a few emotional bruises from the well-meaning mistakes of our parents. But a child who grows up with a psychopathic mother and only had two dates 50 years ago may inherit a legacy filled with self-doubt, confusion and unhinged rage as he struggles to differentiate who he is from the object a psychopathic mother attempted to create and manipulate.

          Symptoms include ranting blog posts and repeated use of potty language. Not to mention bed-wetting. (Come on – you can tell us. We’re like family here.)

          I think I hear the Jacobin’s mother calling:

          Morris, it is din din time……

          So Morris, how many cats do you really have?

      You must come from a family that has finally shunned you.

      What’s a phone number we can reach one of them at, so we can commiserate?

DouglasJBender | December 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm

I remember one date I had, back in 2010. I remember the restaurant, and city, but I’m not sure what meal I had (I think it was fish, but don’t sue me if it wasn’t). I don’t remember what I wore (jeans, and boots, for certain; and probably a button-down long-sleeved cotton shirt). I don’t recall what my date wore, but I think it was a dress. Don’t ask me the color. I actually can’t recall if we kissed that evening or not (if we did, it wasn’t a passionate make-out session or anything).

On the other hand, I CAN recall much more detail about a date I had back in 1993, even though I know my date and I did not kiss that evening. Emotional (and physical) “investment” heightens one’s memory, obviously.

So, one should, seemingly, be able to remember if he “got physical” with a woman or girl, even many years later.
For instance, unless Al Franken was given to grabbing the posterior of those “thousands” of likely females who supposedly posed for photos with him over the years, it quite unlikely he wouldn’t remember grabbing a woman’s behind in one particular instance. His defense seems to amount to saying, “I’ve grabbed a lot of asses over the years; I can’t recall the specific cases.”

I guess I am an outlier in all of this, I am only in my mid-40’s and I can’t remember every time I engaged in a heavy petting session even 20 years ago, especially during college. Heck I can’t even remember the names of some of the people I knew in High School.

Frankly I don’t find any of the accusations credible for multiple reasons, but mainly the complete lack of evidence.

I think one problem is that the norm has become to treat these allegations with “sensitivity and understanding” to the point that even the accused is expected to do so. However, the proper response to baseless allegations is not to be sensitive to or understanding of them. The response is to deny them and to refute them in the strongest terms possible. The proper response is to ask; “Where is the evidence?”. The whole trial but public opinion is BS and any thinking person knows it.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 3, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    But Moore hasn’t done what you suggest.

    He has, in fact, lied. He admitted knowing some of the young ladies.

    Now he’s saying in never knew any of them.

    That is “evidence”.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      It is only evidence of a lack of credibility not evidence that he actually did what he is accused of doing. His accusers have much more severe credibility issues. Therefore I find him to be more credible.

      I agree Moore hasn’t done what I suggested, he should have and he should fire whoever he trusted to help him handle this incident, they advised him poorly.

    gospace in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 3, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    There are 3 or 4 people on my facebook friend list from high school that I have no recollection of, but they’re in the yearbook. They remembered me well enough to friend request, so I said yes. I graduated in 1973 and there were 400 people in the class, so I didn’t know all of them to begin with. I didn’t grow up with them from k-12; I started in a new school district sophomore year.

    I do remember my wife and I being stopped once in a mall in Virginia by another couple, and we spent a few minutes talking about the bowling league we were in together at our last duty station, and where some of the others who bowled were now. Right after they walked away and were safely out of earshot, my wife and turned to each other and said simultaneously- “Who were they?” They knew all the people we knew, and knew all about the bowling league, but they were complete blanks on both our memories.

      Ragspierre in reply to gospace. | December 3, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      And would you claim in a public speech you never knew them?

        What does your cat think?

        Tell us what happened on those two dates you had 50 years ago.

        Please.

          Oh, please, no. Hee.

          Rags’ “I remember all three dates I ever had in my whole life, so everyone else must, too” is apparently supposed to establish him as the control subject, the normal. The problem, of course, is that most people don’t remember dates that never went anywhere, especially when they happened half a century ago. In fact, it’s not a little creepy to think that some guy I had a coffee with 20 years ago and found singularly dull is fondly remembering the moment as a high point in his life.

          Actually, like Jacobin Morris, I do remember in detail a majority of my dates from those early days. If refreshed, I would remember names, too.

          I remember crazy things kind the cowboy boot she was wearing or even some of the conservation points like something that was going on between her and her sisters. Other ones were easy to remember like “Hey, lookout there is a cop with a flashlight!” then being told they we should get home.

          I remember the weather on some dates like one New Year eve the road was icy or one New Year Eve I was not drinking and we got pulled over and the cop was mad at me because he could not bust me for drinking. I bet my date remembers that one because she was laughing so hard over the cop being so upset.

          Just because I remember many of them fondly or going bad (like those coffee dates), does not mean they are accurate. Time changes things.

          Perceptions are always different for others. I thought this one girl in high school was nice and my friend years later told me she was a total Bit..

          No sure what Morris’s point really is. Just because he remembers stuff does not mean everyone else does and I would not expect them to do that.

          As for Morris dumping on Fuzzy and using the term Honey, I am guessing he is a classic boring Male Chauvinist who was the 30 year old virgin. His rage stems from his jealousy.
          Maybe he is jealous because Moore sounds like a 30 year old virgin and did something with his law degree and created what appears to be a great marriage.

          I remember the date that wanted to hang out the moon roof of my car and take her top off (and she was not that type to do it either!). I actually do remember smells, color and even what food was ordered. It is a strange quirk I have and very few people I know can do that. I was terrible about remembering phone numbers, but my best friend was great at it. I would just ask him to remember it for me and the next day he would recall it for me. No cell phones then. On to my next date.

DouglasJBender | December 3, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Maybe Moore was using “knew” in the Biblical sense.

There is no difference between the Rags of today and the Rags of 2015 and 2016. He is the same then and now. The number of persons on the receiving end of his venomous character attacks has increased, but he remains the very same person then and now. Interesting that only now are a few of his “special friends” opening their eyes to that which was always there to plainly see when I and a few others who are no longer here were standing up to his abuse.

    I get your Schadenfreude. Gary, and to a certain extent, I think you’ve earned some “I told you so” glee. That said, I was here through all the things you mention, and I don’t think even you can assert that there was no name-calling and blaming and finger-pointing against Rags going on. You know very well that you poked and poked at Rags until he lost his patience and temper.

    There was a time on LI when Rags and I would disagree about something or other, but we did so respectfully, without name-calling and accusations of “evil,” and walked away as friends. That began changing as the 2016 primaries played out, and by the time you got here, Rags was already lashing out and being rude and offensive. He never got banned because the people with whom he was sparring crossed the line before he got close to it.

    I contend that this Rags is indeed different from the 2015 Rags (maybe not so different from the 2016 Rags, though). Rags went from making insightful points and critically thinking about issues that were then near and dear to his heart but hadn’t been mentioned in year and are no longer evident.

    He’s also amped up his vitriolic attacks and moved from “liar!” and “cultist!”to you, Fuzzy, personally, are an “evil, wicked person.” What the heck do you do with that? It’s nuts. All that said, you spent a lot of time in LI comments section screeching abuse, derision, and hateful name-calling on LI readers. You don’t get a pass because Rags has sunk to your level.

      MarkSmith in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | December 4, 2017 at 12:59 am

      Nice you would say that, but I did a little digging and found him to be saying the same crap he does today back in his earlier blogging days. Those post were way back in like 2010 time frame.

        MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | December 4, 2017 at 1:19 am

        Here is an example:

        Ragspierre says:
        December 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        “We can just ignore that modern medicine has a basic, underlying, unavoidable cost that is vastly greater than the costs of stitches and penicillin.”
        Another STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooopid attempt at misdirection.
        Nobody BUT YOU said any such thing.
        Nobody BUT YOU suggested we ignore anything REAL, liar.
        “Unavoidable cost”…!?!?! You have NO idea WTF you are talking about.
        So…for you…giving up is an EXCELLENT idea.

        later on:

        someone writes:

        Roland says:
        December 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm

        But then these are not Credible accusations are they?

        Rags, when you got booted from MM I was one of the guys who said I thought it was unfair.
        I was wrong. You are nothing but a stupid, antagonistic jerk.

        They go back farther, I think I found stuff from 2008 with the same MO.

        Quick easy google search “Ragspierre liar”

          MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | December 4, 2017 at 1:21 am

          Sorry about that, these are my words and should not have been italicized.

          But then these are not Credible accusations are they?

          They go back farther, I think I found stuff from 2008 with the same MO.

          Quick easy google search “Ragspierre liar”

          MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | December 4, 2017 at 1:41 am

          Why not one more:

          Ragspierre says:
          April 15, 2011 at 7:08 am

          nish is a hatefill, stupid, lying harpy.
          That kind of crap is where she lives. She’s that twisted.

      I’m going to respectfully disagree with you. I will add the caveat, though, that I did not read every comment exhaustively, I did not take notes, and I do not have the incredible memory that others have.

      I remember those ugly exchanges, but I recall the poking and goading going the other direction, at least during the exchanges that I read. It stood out to me because I tended to agree with Ragspierre, and I found it particularly annoying that someone on “my side”, so to speak, was behaving so very badly.

      In any event, I certainly agreed that the name-calling went too far and that time-outs were in order. I was disappointed, however, that singling out one person merely emboldened the other’s jackassery. Had I been the parent in that situation, both ill-mannered children would have received a smack on the bottom and spent the afternoon holding hands on the couch.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Anonamom. | December 5, 2017 at 1:17 am

        If there’s a common thread in the nastiness it’s Rags. One rarely sees any other two (or more) people here involved in dust-ups similar to those in which Rags is a part. Certainly, one does not see any other single commenter on LI so regularly making personal attacks on others. While many may attack Rags, Rags attacks many all by himself. He has made himself a target by his own lack of civility. If the level of discourse here has been lowered, Rags has played a major part in the decline.

      Fuzzy: All that said, you spent a lot of time in LI comments section screeching abuse, derision, and hateful name-calling on LI readers. You don’t get a pass because Rags has sunk to your level.

      I defended myself against the attacks mounted by Rags and his then existing group of anti Trump supporters. I tried at first in 2015 turning the other cheek but when it became clear that Rags was protected by you and the moderators and would never be corrected I was forced to fight fire with fire.

      I think Anonamon below has a more fair view of these past events. In 2015 and 2016 you would actually sometimes join Rags in his attacks on me. And that is something you have never recognized as bad behavior on your part.

    Dragging down the integrity of this blog aside,he does make a great butt for jokes.

    Too bad don rickles didnt discover him while he was alive.

    I mean, who remembers 2 dates from 50 years ago, unless he got arrested or something. Or caught a bug that lives on today. Or still gets threatening letters. Or he’s never had a date since. Or all of the above. Maybe he still has the same unused condom in his wallet.Maybe he’s still trying to find the addresses after she gave him the wrong one…

No one’s mentioned this: in the photo at the top of this story, is that Allred reaching to grope the “Bozo bop bag” following behind her?

https://tinyurl.com/ycmfo58h

Sigh. Bypassing the ghoddawful mess above to return to matters of simple, easily verifiable fact:

The ad hominem fallacy is a fallacious response to a claimed wrong, and takes the form of, “Oh, yeah..your guy did it too.” (Look it up.)

As Fuzzy said, this is simply not true. That is tu coque, not argumentum ad hominem.

Argumentum ad hominem isn’t even a fallacy when it addresses a factual claim, which depends on the credibility of the person who made it; it’s only a fallacy when it addresses a logical argument, that ought to be just as strong when made by Joseph Stalin as it is when made by Mother Theresa.

I think the best way to illustrate this is by pondering why it is that you can introduce character evidence to impeach (or buttress) a witness, but not to impeach opposing counsel (or to buttress oneself). The reason, obviously, is that it doesn’t matter what sort of person a lawyer is; he’s not making factual assertions, he’s making logical arguments, and a sound (or unsound) argument is just as sound (or unsound) no matter who makes it. All the jurors ought to be deciding is whether he’s making sense, not whether they can trust him, because he’s not asking them to.

Rags, while I accept your claims about the strength of your memory, mine is nowhere near as strong, even though I’m pretty sure I’m younger than you; and I fancy (though I have no evidence) that most people’s experience is closer to mine than to yours.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | December 5, 2017 at 1:28 am

    A good friend of mine tells others that I have “a mind like a steel trap” because of my recall of so much minutiae. And it’s true. But much escapes the trap, and I have no idea how my brain selects what it will remember and what it will forget.

    For instance, an Army buddy asked me once “Do you remember when we visited Bob in the hospital in Frankfurt?” No, I did not. He produced photographs. There I was. Even after seeing the photos, it still didn’t jog loose a memory of the actual event. It’s been decades since I was asked the question, and to this day, repeated attempts to resurrect even the slightest recollection of the event have failed.

    I also remember the names of many of the people I served with, even though most of us were never in the same unit as much as two years, and some for much less time than that. And that was four decades ago. Yet I can’t recall most of the names of people I worked with (in a police organization) for eight years, even though that was only a few years ago.

I don’t know what to make of Roy Moore. But I do know that the moment Gloria Allred shows up on the case, it is completely discredited.

    Milhouse in reply to beagleEar. | December 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

    See, that is an ad hominem, except that it’s in a context where it’s not a fallacy, because she hasn’t presented all the evidence for her case, which thus depends not only on her client’s credibility but also on her own. Now if we were jurors, asked only to give our opinion on whatever evidence she presented, then it would be a fallacy to discount it simply because she’d presented it, just as it would be a fallacy to give it more weight if it were presented by someone of sterling character.

The statement “I remember every date I’ve ever been on” is illogical on the face of it: We all remember all there is to remember, except, of course, that which we have forgotten, no?
And, while we’re at it: Why is it that some people feel the need to insult and disparage those with whom they disagree?
This hardly is indicative of a superior mind and character is it, Mr. Rags?

Taking Raggsy’s declarations about his incredible memory at face value:

It just indicates he’s too stupid to realize that what he cannot remember, he cannot remember.

Credible:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

No evidence has been presented, just claims.

Politically motivated claims that often, surprise, turn out to be completely false after the election.

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