EppsNet Archive: Al Franken

The Country is Turning Into One Big Junior Prom

9 Dec 2017 /

That’s interesting. Have any other men tried to kiss her? Or is that the whole list? Why does anyone need to know about this?

I’ve tried to kiss women. I hope Al Franken is saving a place for us in the unemployment line.

There seem to be an awful lot of apparently adult women who should not be allowed to leave home without a chaperone . . .


Al Franken and Ted Kennedy

6 Dec 2017 /
President Barack Obama and Senator Ted Kennedy

I’m old enough to remember when a U.S. senator could actually kill a woman and not only NOT resign but be considered a legislative luminary, the lion of the Democratic party.

(If you’re not old enough to remember that, google “Ted Kennedy.”)

I’m hearing that Sen. Al Franken will be resigning his seat within the next day.

The last straw was an allegation from a woman who said that Franken, before he was a senator, appeared to be about to kiss her and she moved away:

He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.’

Her brain “had to work really hard.”

Franken categorically denies the allegation but that hasn’t stopped an avalanche of senators from calling for his resignation, none of whom apparently have ever in their life tried to kiss someone who wasn’t interested.

Satan and Ted Kennedy must be having a good laugh together. Those were the good old days, Ted. Pass the Jameson . . .


Presumption of Guilt

1 Dec 2017 /

But some female lawmakers, like New York’s Kathleen Rice, have begun to ask why elected officials aren’t being drummed out like their private sector counterparts.

“You see the actions that CBS, NBC take when there are allegations against very well-known men in positions of power, and we don’t do the same,” Rice said. “I think it’s a disgrace.”

Kathleen Rice

Kathleen Rice

“Allegations.”

She’s talking about Al Franken and John Conyers. The Franken case has photographic evidence, so the allegations against him are provably true.

But Conyers vehemently denies the allegations made against him. Why should he be “drummed out”? Why is there a presumption of guilt?

Anyone who’s ever been alone with another person can be the subject of allegations. Why is there a presumption in favor of the accuser?

A case study on false allegations, which you probably remember if you’re old enough, is the McMartin preschool trial:

Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983. Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990. When the trial ended in 1990, it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history — Wikipedia

When charges were finally dismissed against one of the defendants, teacher Ray Buckey, he had been jailed for five years.


A Breakdown of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

24 Nov 2017 /

Another day, another batch of sexual misconduct allegations . . .

I would put these into two categories:

  1. Allegations that should be adjudicated in a court of law, like rape and anything involving a person below the age of consent.
  2. Everything else: unwanted sexual advances, lewd remarks, etc.

In some states, like Alabama, the age of consent is 16, so a sexual advance aimed at a 16-year-old in Alabama would be in Category 2. A sexual advance toward a 14-year-old would be in Category 1, even in Alabama.

Category 1

Regarding Category 1, I’m hearing things like “We went out for drinks, I invited him home and he raped me, and then on a later occasion, we went out for drinks again and I invited him home and he raped me again.” Or “I went home with him, he raped me, I spent the night, and we had consensual sex the next morning.”

If women are going on second dates with rapists and having consensual sex with rapists, I’m not sure I even know what rape is anymore. In any case, rape allegations should be addressed in a court of law. Due process, appropriate remedies, etc.

(As an aside, I hope it’s not out of line in a blame-the-victim way to say that if I had a daughter, I’d advise her not to go to someone’s home, apartment, hotel room, frat house bedroom — i.e., any place where there will be no independent witnesses — unless you’re confident that you can handle anything that might happen there. Actually, as I read that over, it seems like good advice for sons as well.)

Category 2

Is there any way to know ahead of time if a sexual advance is wanted or unwanted? Even with your wife or girlfriend, you don’t always know, right? You could ask — e.g., “Can I kiss you?” — but even that’s a sexual advance, isn’t it?

If having made an unwanted advance or lewd remark at any time within the last 40 years is a crime, we’ll all hang side by side. And not just the men. It’s gonna be a swingin’ party!

You might say that I don’t really understand the female point of view on this topic. But the targets are not all female . . .

When I heard a man report that Kevin Spacey “forcefully put his hand on my genitals,” I thought “So apply a forceful rejoinder to his genitals. That should clear the air.”

Al Franken grabbed my ass at the state fair 10 years ago.

I’m not a fan of Al Franken as a comedian or as a senator, but why are incidents like this worthy of national attention?

We’ve all had hands on our genitals, hands on other people’s genitals, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and gratification. We all have conflicts, impulses, disappointments . . . things happen that we don’t like.

We act on impulses sometimes in ways that are clumsy, crude, inelegant, insensitive . . .

Again, let’s adjudicate the Category 1 cases in the courthouse, but with no sexual advances, there’s no sex. An advance is made, accepted or declined. Let’s move on.