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Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:49 PM

 

Does ANYONE here, or anywhere, have a perfect past? Very doubtful.

OK, put your life under a microscope. I am not condoning inappropriate behavior, but fairness and context and degrees of things must ALWAYS be considered (as well as deliberate smear campaigns) because NO life has been perfect. NONE. Man or woman. We have all probably said or done something that seemed innocent and playful at the time but could later be considered inappropriate and maybe even regretful. Men do it. And women do it too.

So when someone like Al Franken receives shady accusations and when something happened 11 years ago meant to be a comical gag is thrown out there (most likely at the behest of right wing operatives), be FAIR and take things into degrees and context. (I know he apologized for the staged photo, and should have. I am making a larger point.)

And remember your OWN life and background and ask YOURSELF "Have I been perfect? Have I EVER done or said ANYTHING even years ago that someone could throw back in my face now if they really wanted to?" As a male I can say that I have said some things that today I wouldn't say, even jokingly as I did many years ago. And I also have received touches, gestures, and comments from women on a few occasions that today, or even back then, could be considered inappropriate. (At the time I took these as innocent playfulness and flirting on their part.)

Be fair. Be careful about judging and throwing stones. Examine thyself first. Serious and repeated allegations of predator abuse is one thing. A comical gag gone bad is another. In Franken's case, there is little evidence of a pattern of abuse. In fact, just the opposite. But has he been perfect? No. NONE of us have. Let's remember that.

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Reply Does ANYONE here, or anywhere, have a perfect past? Very doubtful. (Original post)
LBM20 Nov 2017 OP
DemocratSinceBirth Nov 2017 #1
Irish_Dem Nov 2017 #2
VMA131Marine Nov 2017 #3
Irish_Dem Nov 2017 #4
cwydro Nov 2017 #12
Irish_Dem Nov 2017 #14
LBM20 Nov 2017 #5
Igel Nov 2017 #15
tymorial Nov 2017 #27
panader0 Nov 2017 #6
LBM20 Nov 2017 #9
wasupaloopa Nov 2017 #7
LBM20 Nov 2017 #10
NightWatcher Nov 2017 #8
Iggo Nov 2017 #11
Drahthaardogs Nov 2017 #16
LBM20 Nov 2017 #20
unblock Nov 2017 #13
democratisphere Nov 2017 #17
LBM20 Nov 2017 #21
democratisphere Nov 2017 #28
hlthe2b Nov 2017 #18
L. Coyote Nov 2017 #19
Buns_of_Fire Nov 2017 #22
hexola Nov 2017 #23
Comatose Sphagetti Nov 2017 #24
WinkyDink Nov 2017 #25
sl8 Nov 2017 #26
brooklynite Nov 2017 #29
Cartoonist Nov 2017 #30
ProudLib72 Nov 2017 #31
Leith Nov 2017 #32
Squinch Nov 2017 #33

Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:51 PM

1. I have lived a less than exemplary life but I chose not to live it in the public square.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:52 PM

2. That is why a lot of us don't want to run for public office.

We don't want our lives under the microscope.

I think Obama knew early on he was going to hold high office and he lived a clean
life after his early years.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:54 PM

3. Turns out that living a clean life doesn't matter if you are a Republican

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:56 PM

4. Very true, only if you are a Dem. nt

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:08 PM

12. And then your fellow Dems will throw you under the bus.

Unreal.

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Response to cwydro (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:20 PM

14. We have been known to eat our young. :( nt

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:57 PM

5. You should now be able to run for office even if you haven't been perfect and incidents were

 

long ago and were not of serial nature or very serious (unlike Moore). Or we wouldn't have anyone run for office.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:34 PM

15. Define "public."

Do you have a job, perhaps running a company or a section of a company?

Or perhaps just a job, because while the allegations have been public they're only of note because of the people involved. If we go with anonymous allegations or 30-year-old allegations able to bring down prominent figures, think about the odds of an accountant or middle-management type having any chance to avoid being fired or disgraced.


A while back I was talking to a student. Looking at the student I was explaining things to, I swung my hand out to make a point. And my hand firmly contacted the breast of a female student who was walking by.

Was it sexual harassment?

Could be. If the student anonymously claimed--or even claimed with her name attached to the allegation--that I reached out and intended for my hand to land on her breast. Now, other students simply wouldn't remember the incident because it was brief and didn't involve them and the girl involved didn't point it out to them at the time. In other words, it's one of thousands of events that most students witness each day and promptly forget about. If not for the salience of these complaints, I'd probably not remember it. But looking around, if she made the charge I'd have no defense--and the mere act of defense would be taken as a kind of secondary non-repentance guilt that's much worse than the actual event. "He did this, and now he has the gall to deny it." Except that "it" is unproven.

I've suffered at the hands of anonymous informants or informants whose allegations were believed more than verified. It's reduced my trust of people quite a bit.

Thing is, though, I'm not important enough for the girl, in 10 years, to bother to complain about. If she doesn't complain by mid-summer 2018, I'm in the clear. But until then....

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Response to Igel (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 09:29 PM

27. Yeah I completely understand

I used to teach music lessons after I graduated college: voice and piano. Part of voice training is learning breath control, body position, etc. I would instruct the student to place their hand on their stomach to feel the change in how to breath properly and support their notes. I would discuss posture and how to emote. I would tell the student to watch me as I breathe properly. I would have them observe me as I demonstrated technique and style. From the educated Observer this would all seem innocent and yet someone uninformed could see it differently. Telling a young woman to place her hand on her stomach and to change her breathing for example. Most of my voice students were young women.

Most of my piano students were young kids with a few adults here and there. One of my favorite memories of that time was my last lesson with my very first piano student. She was about 7 or 8 years old. I was closing my studio and moving away. In the last lesson she brought me a drawing that she made of the two of us during our lessons. Towards the end of the lesson she started to cry and as she got up to leave she ran up to me and gave me a hug. Her mother was there and she started to cry too. It was one of those moments that I have never forgotten and it's a moment I cherish. It was all very innocent but I was a 24 year old man with an 8 year old girl hugging me. I patted her on the back and told her that I would miss her too . It was touching but I was very aware that she shouldn't be hugging me. I was certainly not going to push her away though and make her even more upset and crush her. I was grateful that her mother was there. She knew her daughter was just expressing her sadness and appreciation. Yet an outside observer could very easily view the scene as inappropriate and make a complaint. What if the mother wasn't there and that was witnessed.

I didn't encourage the girl to give me a hug and obviously there were no complaints but how do you handle a situation like that? Quite frankly it was a beautiful moment and there was nothing untoward or wrong about it. Still if the situation happened today I probably would extract myself from her as soon as possible knowing it might make the kid feel rejected and unwanted.

Another experience that sticks out,

I had two sisters who were taking voice lessons. They were both reasonably talented but very lazy. They didn't take the lessons seriously and always goofed off. I really liked them but one day they went too far and I had to lecture them on their lack of preparation. I expressed that it was unfair for their parents to spend money on their lessons if they were not going to practice and be prepared. I stated that I felt uncomfortable taking their parents money when they were not improving due to lack of practice and effort. They complained to their mother that I was mean to them and the mother called my employer. My boss called and asked what happened and I explained. There was no accusation of sexual harassment or assault but the school was concerned. The mother came to the next lesson and asked me what had happened. We sat down and hashed out all of the details. She apologized and stated that she was happy that I pushed her girls to be mature and responsible. The daughters apologized for trying to get me in trouble. I continue to teach them because I respected the fact that they owned their behavior by apologizing to me and the school.

My situation today this even more challenging. I am a substance abuse counselor and clinical social worker. I spend a lot of time one-on-one with patients. Because of the nature of our work many private and deeply personal experiences are shared and worked through. I have had to discharge patients for various reasons. Fear of an accusation of impropriety is not far from my thoughts.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:58 PM

6. I was an angelic child.....

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:03 PM

9. Right. And bears don't poop in the woods. (I know you are just being funny.) :-)

 

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 03:59 PM

7. How many here could run for office and survive opposition research?

 

Most of what is said here shaming someone else is projection or reaction formation

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:04 PM

10. Yup. Virtually ALL of us have made some weak judgements (often when drinking).

 

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:01 PM

8. I'm thankful that camera phones weren't around when I was 16-30

I'd have lots of explaining to do.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:05 PM

11. I don't. But, unlike Roy Moore, I never fucked children.

Or is that not what we're talking about.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:45 PM

16. No, no, no.

There is NO difference for attempting a kiss with a grown woman and making a child touch a thirty year old's erect penis.


DU taught me that.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 06:38 PM

20. Obviously, very serious stuff like that is at a very different level. Moore needs to be gone.

 

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 04:11 PM

13. what's idiodic is that our country uses past individuals' sexual histories to determine tax policy

seriously, we're either going to have a massive giveaway to the ultra rich and to major corporations and pass-throughs. or not.

it's an important debate, and we should decide carefully as the fate of the economy, distribution of wealth, long-term effects on corruption, asset inflation (i.e., bubble) here, and recession in europe, among other things hang in the balance.

and we're doing it not by careful econometric analysis, not by arguing about national priorities, not by arguing anything that is remotely relevant.

no, we're doing it on the basis of whether or not some people should vote for a pedophile, or whether a comedian's raunchy skit rise to a certain level of odiousness.


reasonable political discourse is dead in this country.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 05:05 PM

17. Everything I do is perfectly evil.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 06:39 PM

21. Can we please have a serious discussion.

 

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Response to LBM20 (Reply #21)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 10:04 PM

28. There is no such thing as a perfect past when you are dealing with imperfect humans.

Just trying to add a little levity to your post question?

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 05:19 PM

18. there is clearly a range of magnitude for past deeds, but we often view our own far more harshly

than others might.

That said, I do think those who have allowed their life to be an open book on social media are going to regret it. In the absence of context, even the most innocent comment or photo can be manipulated into something very ugly.

I'm bothered by the fact that Franken's comedian past may have left him more open to this, than would be others. Not defending bad behavior, but I am concerned that he would be an easy target. Just sayin...

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 06:03 PM

19. Redefining being Republican: Giving Trump his BILLION $$ tax break trumps child molestation.

Republican priorities: Allowing billionaires to heist a TRILLION dollars from the US Treasury is far too important to allow child molestation to stand in the way.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 06:46 PM

22. "I'm as pure as the driven slush." - Tallulah Bankhead nt

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 06:51 PM

23. I'll never be President...

 

put it to you that way...

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 07:33 PM

24. "Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners Saints." - Rolling Stones

Pretty much nails it.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 07:36 PM

25. I'm not sure "Nobody's perfect" is a good line to use outside of "Some Like It Hot."

 

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)


Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 10:07 PM

29. Nobody's arguing that Al Franken should be perfect...

Some of us are disputing the apparent notion that Al Franken IS perfect and that there couldn't possibly be merit to the accusations against him.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 10:47 PM

30. False charges

I didn't do it. Honest!

Something happened in my past that would bar me from politics. I wouldn't vote for someone who did what I was charged with. The kicker is, I didn't do it.

And the real kicker is that all the evidence points to me. No one would believe my innocence. That's why I give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 11:15 PM

31. I once got angry with my GF at a Tori Amos show

Everyone there was sure I was 100% at fault.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 11:27 PM

32. I've Done Some Really Rascally Things in My Life

Almost all of it decades ago. I'm sure that most of those involved don't even remember my name.

No, I'm not going to tell you. Let's just say that I want Maggie Smith to be the old lady playing me, narrating the move, and reflecting on a life well lived.

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Response to LBM20 (Original post)

Fri Nov 24, 2017, 10:01 AM

33. Ugh. What disgusting drivel. I can unequivocally state that I have never grabbed the ass or

penis or any other private part of a member of the opposite sex without their enthusiastic permission.

I have no opinion on Franken until the hearing he has requested in which all parties are given a chance to tell their story, and I think he should stay in office until that happens.

That being said, your OP is giving a blanket excuse to all who have sexually abused or haraassed others by saying, "Everybody does it." That's just a disgusting thing to say.

No. Everybody does not do it. People who do not feel entitled to the bodies of others do not do it. Only people who disrespect the humanity of the one they are abusing or harassing, whether for a moment or as a habit, do it.

Cut this shit out.

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