I Said, She Said

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Predictably, there is absolute and irreconcilable hysteria over the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court Justice hearings. One side says he’s a saint and she’s just another evil and sleazy Democrat party operative who’ll stoop to any disgusting low and tell any disgusting lie; the other side says she’s a tragic victim and he’s an alcoholic, drug-administering serial rapist and pedophile.

Neither side can prove its accusations or its defense which, just as predictably, gives us the truly sleazy and over-the-top hysterical theatrics of senators and media alike.

Let’s all take a step back, Gentle Reader, and consider a well-known truth of law enforcement.

There are reasons why there is a statute of limitations for almost all crimes except murder. I say “almost” all because the laws vary from state to state, but for our purposes here, almost all is close enough for government work, you should pardon the expression.

One of the primary reasons for a statute of limitations is the fallibility of memory, and before you accuse me of being partisan, hear my story:

Before we bought our little ranch, Darleen and I were living in a house at a fairly high elevation in the southern Sierras. We had put the house on the market with an eye to buying the ranch and one day a realtor called to request a showing. She showed up with a very distinguished, very elegant, very sophisticated gentleman. He made all the right noises; he chatted easily and graciously; he spoke German to me; he had a good eye and immediately identified and admired our two best paintings; he said nice things about the house.

He told us he was one of the men in charge of investments for the Vatican; that he had a flat in Rome and a house in Germany, both of which he intended to keep, but that he was planning for his retirement, hence his interest in our house.

I thought at the time it was odd that such a sophisticated and urbane man would want to retire to an impoverished rural county, but the southern Sierras are heartbreakingly beautiful, so I didn’t make too much of it. I also thought it odd he should be interested in such a small and modest house as ours, but as if reading my mind, he mentioned casually that he was planning to buy several homes in the area so that he could gather his mother and a sister around him when he retired.

It was all just extraordinary enough to be believable, and yet…

And yet, some instinct in me, some warning bell, went off, and while I smiled and chatted and shook hands when he left, I was wary, and I doubted anything would come of it.

I was both right and wrong.

A week later, I was home alone when I saw him driving down our driveway, unannounced, by himself, without the realtor. Those are all no-no’s and I was immediately on guard. He asked if he could take one more look around before he flew back to Rome. I said no. We spoke very briefly in the doorway, and then he got back in his car and I watched him drive away.

At the time, I attributed his visit to nothing more outrageous than an unethical and sleazy attempt to cut the realtor out of a commission. That was what I told Darleen when she got home and as the realtor was a friend of hers, she called to give her friend a heads-up.

Another week went by. I was in the local gym, working out, when our police chief and a detective walked in and told me they needed to question me. It turned out my instincts had been correct, but they just hadn’t gone far enough. Our sophisticated, urbane, and well-heeled buyer was actually just a slick con-man with a lengthy felony record, and the police now wanted to know what he had said to us, what he had told us about his plans, if he had mentioned any places in California other than our little community, and especially if he had mentioned the names of any other people. And on and on.

At one point, the detective, who was taking notes, asked me what car the man had been driving. That was easy: I had seen him driving to the house, and I had watched him drive away. It was brand new Something-or-Other, a new car that had just been introduced that year and was being advertised everywhere, so it was very recognizable. Did I remember the color? Oh, yes, of course. It was bright red.

There was a long pause and the two officers looked at each other.

Was I positive it was red?

Yes, one-hundred percent positive. Bright red.

Another long pause, and then the detective said, “We have him in custody, and when we arrested him, he was driving a brand new Something-or-Other that was bright blue.”

And I instantly knew what had happened. That car was being touted in commercials on every television channel and in print ads in every magazine, and in each case, in each print ad and each commercial, it was being shown in bright red. I had simply conflated what I saw in the ads and commercials with what I had seen in my driveway.

So how do we now reconcile the polar opposites of sworn testimony from two very believable people, each of whom is absolutely certain they are speaking the unvarnished truth? I suspect Ms. Ford probably did have some extremely unpleasant experience at some party at some house in some neighborhood at some time, but I also suspect her thirty-six-year-later identification of Brett Kavanaugh is due to a conflation of unrelated events. She may have seen him at some other party, or he may have reminded her of her actual attacker, or… Who knows? Memory is both fallible and unreliable. Hence the statute of limitations.

Contrary to a posting making the rounds of Facebook, presumption of innocence is not confined solely to criminal cases; it is the basis for all legal proceedings and, more importantly, all civilized behavior. Due process in a legal sense is not an issue here, but the same Facebook posting claims nothing is being taken from Mr. Kavanaugh. Oh, really? Reputation is no small thing and taking that from a man can destroy his life as effectively as taking his liberty or his rights or his property.

Alan Dershowitz, the liberal Democrat lawyer and legal scholar, doesn’t care one way or the other about Brett Kavanaugh, and he believes Merrick Garland should currently be seated on the Supreme Court, but Mr. Dershowitz rightly pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal article that this is no longer about Mr. Kavanaugh’s qualifications. Instead, according to Mr. Dershowitz, it has devolved down into nothing more than a fundamental issue of fairness. Mr. Dershowitz goes on to point out, quite correctly, that we live in a new age of sexual McCarthyism, where all that is needed is an allegation—never mind how outrageous, improbable or impossible to prove—to ruin a man’s life.

The poet, philosopher, and theologian Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined the term “motiveless malignity” to describe Iago’s evil glee in destroying Othello. The same term might be equally applied to the Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and their equally evil, equally gleeful attacks on Mr. Kavanaugh. If you really believe Roe v. Wade is so important a touchstone that preserving it justifies any degree of dishonesty, filth, hate-mongering, smirking innuendo, character assassination, and posturing, then you have no business serving in any government at any level.

Did a crime occur? Definitively. The crime that has occurred is the ruthless destruction of a man’s good name, based purely on allegations, without any scintilla of evidence, never mind proof, by the likes of such paragons of probity and honesty as Senator Spartacus, Richard I’m-a-Courageous-Vietnam-Vet-Who-Never-Set-Foot-in-Vietnam-and-Lied-About-It Blumenthal, Dick Weaponize-the-IRS Durbin, Mazie-I-Believe-Her-So-We-Don’t-Need-No-Stinking-Constitution Hirono, Dianne-My-Chauffeur-Was-a-Chinese-Spy-and-My-Husband-Has-Made-Millions-in-China Feinstein, et al.

There is no limit to the depravity of man, but it sure as hell hits its zenith in politics. Or should that be nadir?

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10 thoughts on “I Said, She Said”

  1. I have read An Accidental Cowboy several times because it is one of my favorite books. I also, many times, I insisted upon reading selections of it out loud to captive audiences who then also agree with me that the passage is highly affecting. Additionally, I have previously shared on my own Facebook timeline the account of the horse wreck as recorded in the blog entry “Fistfuls of Balloons!” What others inevitably find remarkable is your clarity and ability to record every last detail of those incidents.

    Either these details were embellished with entitled creative license, or, they are the product of a memory encoding under traumatic circumstances. If these details are authentic, and not an author’s embellishment, it demonstrates how the brain operates differently when in fear for one’s life. While the proposed Vatican associate raised the hair on the back of your neck, your life was not in danger.

    There is a boatload of clinical research that spans far beyond your individual anecdotal example that demonstrates human memory is not as good as we fool ourselves into thinking. There is also research that indicates we record a more accurate recollection when under traumatic duress. Those memories could easily span decades with the absence of affecting neurological disease or disorder.

    When I began working as a therapist for an agency that treats nothing but childhood sexual abuse, I received training to do that job correctly. Part of that training was a presentation from our local law enforcement including a discussion regarding investigations. It was made clear to us that, although we will be put in the position of taking statements, we are not investigators. We also have to gain the inside to understand our own bias and remain objective. It is my wish that we could all do the same, set aside our bias and allow law enforcement to perform its duties here, and remain accepting of the outcome.

    1. …ich stimme zu …bravo, sehr gut geschrieben…es gilt die Unschuldsvermutung, solange, bis die Schuld bewiesen ist ….. jedoch Herr Parker stellen Sie sich bitte einmal in Ihren Gedanken vor, das “vielleicht Geschehene” von der besagten Dame wäre vor vielen Jahren Ihrer geliebten Frau Darleen wiederfahren, wären Sie dann nicht auch voreingenommen und hätten die besagte Person schon in Ihren Gedanken vorverurteilt ? (der Mensch neigt dazu) Wollten/würden Sie die Wahrheit, welche das dann auch sein mag einfach so akzeptieren oder würden Sie dann nicht auch auf die Straße gehen und lautstark solange protestieren und alles daran geben, bis sich Ihre eigene Vorstellung von Gerechtigkeit vielleicht erfüllen würde ? Ich hoffe die Wahrheit kommt ans Licht, egal in welche Richtung diese gehen mag und derjenige/diejenigen würde Gerechtigkeit erfahren und für das Handeln oder aber auch für das Verbreiten der Unwahrheiten werden die Konsequenzen tragen, welche das auch immer sein mögen. …. Viele Grüße Manuela

    2. …einen Zusatz zu meinen Gedanken hab ich noch …keinem Mann und keiner Frau sollte jemals so etwas wiederfahren…weder ungerechtfertigte Anschuldigungen ( sollten die Ermittlungen das ergeben ) noch Vergewaltigung (auch nicht im Versuch, egal wie lange die Tat her ist) ….. Manuela

  2. Been a while since I posted on your blog. Been laying low the past year. Quietly following the political news, seething at it, laughing at it, shrugging… Some of the best times I’ve had this year have been solo canoe trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to find solitude and escape from the world; no cell phone signal!

    Your latest post is spot on. Been watching a man’s life get destroyed. It has been a sad spectacle watching event unfold. It wouldn’t have mattered who the nominee was, they would have been dragged through the mud and accused of ‘something’ all in order to smear them. And in the end it doesn’t matter, the Senators on the Left were never going to vote for him anyway, it was always going to be a party line vote.

    I’m looking forward to my next solo canoe trip Spring 2019… just want to escape if even for a week.

    TD Bauer

  3. That idea of one nation formed from a melting pot of many, may have been as much myth as truth and yet it gave all new immigrants a belief that with hard work and dedication they too could achieve the American dream for themselves and even see their children or grand children become President.
    Our society has become so polarized that we are hurling apart into fractions of what we once were.. We now appear to be becoming hundreds of little “mini nations”, each demanding special rights and privilege’s. It is the haves vs the have not’s, Blacks vs the whites, Males vs Females, Political Party vs Political Party etc and each time one of these cards are used our society structure becomes weaker.
    With the he said she said being played out in Washington, on tv and around the work cooler there seems to be no central ground or cool head that is willing to put aside their “mini nation” thinking and look at the whole picture of where we are heading and what we are loosing fast. I have trouble remembering who I spoke with the day before, much less 30+ years ago. yet our country is divided over two people who are facing off over one who claims she remembers and the other who claims he wasn’t the one. So who do we believe? Is is correct to ruin one life to appease another? My question is, why has it take so long for these charges to be brought forward and why now?

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