Here’s the problem with many, if not most accusations of sexual assault.  Especially when the accusation surfaces years later, there is little or no proof available, and little or no defense possible.  I’m inclined to believe almost all the women who make these accusations, if for no other reason than they are usually put through hell, especially if they accuse a prominent public figure.  There are, however, some occasions where I lean toward believing the person accused, especially if I have known that person for a long time.

One case that has nothing to do with politics is the family doctor we saw for many years.  He was a man who delivered both of our children, and the first to suspect that there might be something wrong with our daughter’s heart.  One day, out of the blue, a drug-addicted woman charged that this doctor had sexually abused her.  He said, in his defense, that he had refused to provide her with prescriptions for the pills she wanted to fuel her addiction.  He claimed she made the accusation against him for vengeance.

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?  At first, we believed the doctor, until other women came forward and he was charged with several crimes.

Now to the political elephant in the room, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  First, Christine Blasey Ford came forward and claimed that Kavanaugh assaulted her when both were in high school.  Although Professor Ford has called for an FBI investigation, I remain doubtful that this accusation can be proved.  It’s possible it happened.  History also tells us that many women don’t come forward for many years after such an event.  The fact that she called for the FBI is in her favor.  I’m sure she knows that telling lies to the FBI is a felony, whether you’re under oath and whether you’re being investigated for a crime.

It’s also possible that someone who is politically motivated to the extreme might come up with a story like that to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination or at least to postpone Senate approval until after the mid-term elections, which are now fewer than six weeks away.  The idea behind such a strategy is that perhaps the Democrats will take control of the Senate, and therefore have the votes to keep Kavanaugh from being seated on the nation’s highest court.  I’m not saying Professor Ford did that.  I’m saying lawyers could advance that theory as at least creating reasonable doubt.

But, now, two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, have come forward leveling accusations against the nominee.  At least one of them is also calling for the FBI to investigate.  If you’re not impressed with that call, go two paragraphs up, and reread it.  I also saw this morning that Brett Kavanaugh’s lawyer now says Kavanaugh, who still denies all the accusations, may have met Professor Ford at some point in their distant past.

I can’t quote you the number required, but clearly, the more women who come forward, the more troubling and the more likely the accusations of sexual misconduct are to be true.

To all the people who say the accusations can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, at this point at least, that’s true.  However, this isn’t a criminal trial that requires the unanimous vote of 12 jurors.  It’s a Presidential appointment pending before the U.S. Senate.  That requires 51 out of 100 votes.  Moreover, all of those votes can be based on opinion, or on something unrelated to these accusations. 

What disturbs me is how many people are taking one side or the other based on whether they believe Kavanaugh will rule on cases before the court in a way that agrees with their political beliefs, not on whether he did what he’s accused of.  The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear from Doctor Ford Thursday morning.  I hope everyone on the committee listens to and considers testimony from both sides.

Things I Know

Did you watch Aretha Franklin’s funeral on TV?  Emotional, wasn’t it?  She was a world-renowned musician.  Many of the people on the dais were too.  So, what struck me about the event was how bad the sound was.  It cut out often.  There was a 60-cycle hum throughout.  That means the sound equipment wasn’t properly grounded.  Whoever operated the sound board didn’t always shut off mics that weren’t in use, so extraneous noise was included in the audio feed.  And, worst of all, the main mic on the podium made noise when anyone touched it.

It’s been possible for decades to make a mic that doesn’t do that.  Just look at an EV 635A.  I used one of those almost 50 years ago, and Electro-voice still makes them.  It’s designed for speech, not singing, so I don’t suggest they should have used one, but there must be a better mic for the purpose than whatever it was they did use.

As for the content of the program, I think it could have used fewer speeches and more Shirley Ceasar.

As an Optimum cable subscriber, I’m a week away from losing my access to Newsday.com, the website of Long Island’s major newspaper.  So, I checked into what’s necessary to get free access until the end of the year. I may do it, but I’m not happy about it. First, I must give them my credit card info to get it for free. I’m sure that’s so if I forget to cancel by New Year’s Eve, they’ll charge me rather than turning it off. Second, and I’m going to call Newsday about this, it looks as if after the free trial, my wife and I will have to pay separately for access to the website. Either that, or both of us share the one sign in. If we do the second, can we view it on two devices at the same time? And third, just for web access, it costs more than the NY Times! I don’t know if it’s going to go over like a lead balloon, but it doesn’t look to me as if it’ll take off like a helium-filled balloon either.

Speaking of the NY Times, the anonymous op-ed piece about resistance to the President inside his administration astounded me.  I think it’s extremely likely that the identity of whoever wrote it will be found by the FBI, the NSA, the Secret Service, or some federal agency in short order. 

I don’t think it’s possible (and it would certainly undermine democracy) to remove President Trump from office under the 25th Amendment.  If the Vice President and the Cabinet, or the Vice President and Congress tried to remove him that way, he could assert that he is fit to continue.  If anyone attacks Donald Trump, he does fight back.  That we know.  So, he would claim he is able to continue.  Then, it would take a two-thirds vote of both houses to remove him.  I don’t see that happening.

President Trump said on Twitter a few weeks ago that making basketball star LeBron James look smart isn’t easy.  I disagree.  If I had the choice of spending four years in college or beginning immediately to amass what is now a nine-figure fortune, I’d probably do exactly what Mr. James did.  It sounds like a smart decision to me.  Plus, whenever I’ve heard him on TV he sounded intelligent.  Moreover, he certainly deserves credit for all the charitable work he’s done, including starting a new school in his hometown of Akron Ohio this year.