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Messages - honk

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 27, 2023, 04:33:52 AM »
Sexual abuse, not sexual assault. And let's not go crazy here - even setting aside statutes of limitations, there's no way anyone would be convicted in a criminal trial based on a he-said-she-said incident from over twenty-five years ago. For a civil trial, the verdict was reasonable, but even so, I suspect the main reason Trump lost was because he was caught lying about his preferences and whether or not he had previously met Carroll in his deposition, and that soured the jury against him. If he had acted like a normal person for once in his life and simply calmly and firmly denied the allegation, I think he would have won.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 23, 2023, 03:22:40 PM »
In all my life, the word scheme has always held a negative connotation, typically involving criminal acts or fraudulent acts.

That's exactly why nobody who truly meant it would ever describe what they were doing as a scheme. It's just not how criminals talk.

We have two people who came up with a premeditated plan

Accusing the President of the United States of rape is a serious matter, and one that I'd expect to see some premeditation over.

to hurt Trump politically because they didn't like his politics

The excerpt you quoted says nothing about them being motivated by their dislike of Trump's politics. They certainly wanted to hurt Trump politically - because of the rape.

The friend is also an alibi who verified that she was told about the rape at the time it happened.

Presumably that's the whole reason Carroll contacted her in the first place, because she was there and she knew about it. There's no suspicious "also" here that needs an explanation. You're basically pointing to someone already involved in the case and saying "What are the odds that this person involved in the case...would turn out to be involved in the case?"

Jean Carroll did not scream when it happened.

Many rape victims don't. Trauma and paralysis often take hold during such an encounter, as well as the fear that their rapist will retaliate against them if they scream or resist.

She did not tell the police.

Many rape victims don't. They often fear that they won't be believed by the police, or feel ashamed that they ever "let" it happen to them.

She did not write about it in her ongoing diary that she was keeping.

Again, shame and embarrassment can lead to rape victims trying to "omit" the incident by pretending it never happened, which would lead to them not mentioning it in a diary. Not that you'd even believe it happened if she had written about it in her diary.

The first we hear she started speaking about it is in a book she wrote shortly after plotting with her friend on a scheme to get Trump.

Yes, she wrote her book and sued Trump after he was elected. I repeat, this line of argument only sounds suspicious if you don't take the time to think about it. Of course a rape victim who had up to that moment kept quiet could be compelled to speak out after their rapist had become the most powerful person in the world. Of course a rape victim could be more invested in stopping their rapist from being the most powerful person in the world than in seeing their rapist as a private citizen be punished for their crime.

And yes, she discussed and made plans with her friend who partially corroborated her story before she took the momentous step of accusing the President of the United States of raping her.

A jury, too, also assessed this and rejected the claim that she was raped.

I don't know how you can in good faith keep repeating this point while completely ignoring the rest of the story. Carroll said she was raped, and the jury disagreed and said she was sexually abused. Is this a significant repudiation of her story? I would say no, but setting that subjective point aside, we then have Trump's side of the story. Trump said that nothing between him and Carroll ever happened. The jury disagreed and said that not only had Trump sexually abused Carroll, but that he had been lying and defaming her as a liar when he denied the incident happened. Who comes out of this exchange looking better? The woman whose charge of rape was downgraded to sexual abuse, or the man whose claim of complete innocence was downgraded to being found liable for sexual abuse and defamation?

In the end we are supposed to believe that in a 1996 department store a 50 year old billionaire named Donald Trump, who could and did get models much younger than himself, could not resist forcing himself upon a 52 year old liberal sex advice columnist named E. Jean Carroll.  ::)

Men of all ages, appearances, and occupations have committed rape, and women of all ages, appearances, and occupations have been the victim of rape. Rape is an act of power, not passion. That being said, though, it was amusing during the trial when Trump first insisted that Carroll wasn't his type, mixed up Carroll with his ex-wife Marla Maples, and was forced to admit that Maples (and presumably Carroll too, by extension) was in fact his type.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 20, 2023, 04:09:15 PM »
There are several elements there that do suggest an actual scheme.

1. The phrase "This has to stop", reportedly in relation to Trump

2. A suggestion to scheme

3. The suggestion to scheme is immediately followed by phrase "we must do our patriotic duty again"

Honk wants us to believe that they were not suggesting an actual scheme against an elected official and were merely making plans to hang out.

See item 3. It would be incredibly odd to tell friends that it was our "patriotic duty" to hang out. This does not make sense at all under the honk narrative.

Like I said, I'm sure that they did in fact discuss Carroll coming forward with her story with the goal of politically hurting Trump. I'm just saying that the fact that one of them used the word "scheme" does not indicate that what they were up to was in fact a criminal or fraudulent scheme.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Speech Warrior Elon Musk
« on: November 20, 2023, 04:00:51 AM »
In the latest update to this story, Musk is now fighting for free speech by suing the media organization Media Matters for America for...uh...accurately reporting that ads for mainstream brands are appearing alongside Nazi garbage and other hate speech that Twitter now allows. You might wonder exactly how you can sue over a story that is in fact true, but you have to bear in mind that Musk personally hated this story, and it led to a lot of lost ad revenue for him as corporations immediately began abandoning his website, so surely that tips the scales a bit. And besides, Media Matters made alternate accounts! And repeatedly refreshed their page! Those things are illegal, right?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 20, 2023, 03:47:09 AM »
Quote from: honk
My own more charitable interpretation of this - although of course I can't prove it - is that Carroll may have been doubting herself or her recollection in the aftermath of what happened (as rape victims often do), but when Trump denied the entire incident, it helped push her into realizing that what Trump had done was definitely wrong and that was why he was denying everything.

Considering that the explanation you came up with here involves her not being raped

No, it doesn't? I said that Carroll may have been doubting herself or her recollection in the aftermath of what happened, not that Carroll wasn't raped.

Indeed, there were many red flags in this case. Another one is the scheme email, in which prior to the rape accusation Jean Carroll's friend Carol Martin discussed stopping Trump with her in an unspecified "scheme".

    While asking about how Carroll developed her book, which marked the first time she made that startling accusation, Trump’s lead defense attorney pointed out an exchange she had with a close friend, the fellow journalist Carol Martin.

    “This has to stop,” Martin suggested in a Sept. 23, 2017 email about Trump. “As soon as we’re both well enough to scheme, we must do our patriotic duty again.”

    “TOTALLY!!! I have something special for you when we meet,” Carroll responded.

    Two weeks later, Carroll started a cross-country road trip to gather material for an upcoming book in 2019 about nasty men—one that ultimately included a bombshell account of Trump allegedly raping Carroll in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.

Coincidentally Carol Martin also happened to be Jean Carroll's alibi she allegedly confided in at the time of the event, who corroborated the story in court that she was raped by Donald Trump.

Of course, in your mind these are not red flags at all, and all of this exists as one explainable coincidence after another.

Is the fact that she used the word "scheme" really a major point of suspicion here? Because literally nobody, not a single person in the world, would ever actually unironically use the word "scheme" if they were genuinely taking part in what could be described as a criminal or fraudulent scheme. Sometimes friends will use the term among themselves to simply mean making plans together, which I'm sure is what was meant in this case. This is almost like saying that an accused murderer's use of the term "slay" in text messages to friends indicates a murderous nature.

Nevertheless, I'm sure that Carroll discussed coming forward with her story with Martin, and I'm sure that both Trump's election and Carroll's desire to hurt him politically played a role in her making her story public and filing her lawsuit. So what? Isn't that natural? I'm strongly reminded of the people in this thread some years back who made similar arguments about the several women who came forward to make their own accusations about Trump before the 2016 election. "Oho, so they expect us to believe that it's entirely a coincidence they're talking about this right before the election!" No, of course it wasn't a coincidence. "They're just trying to stop Trump from being elected!" Of course they were trying to stop him from being elected. Why is that suspicious? But they, like you, weren't interested in actually following through with their argument and taking it to its logical conclusion. These women tried to hurt Trump politically and/or stop him from being elected, which means they were lying. Therefore, only a liar would want to hurt Trump politically or stop him from being elected. Therefore, a genuine rape victim wouldn't actually care if Trump were elected president...wait, what? Of course a rape victim wouldn't want to see their rapist be elected president! The logic breaks down once you follow it through, which the pro-Trump skeptics never do. They'd rather just say, "Huh, nice coincidence you've got there, very convenient!" and use insinuation rather than logical arguments to cast doubt on their credibility.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 19, 2023, 01:01:24 AM »
See the statements of this MSNBC legal analyst covering the case. Carrol said that if Trump had said the sex was consensual she would have considered not suing him.


Rape victims don't consider dropping charges if the rapist says that the rape was consensual.

Not knowing whether or not she would have sued if Trump had claimed the encounter was consensual instead of nonexistent is entirely different to "considering dropping charges," as if she were actively floating that out there as a threat or an attempt at negotiation. You framed that very misleadingly. My own more charitable interpretation of this - although of course I can't prove it - is that Carroll may have been doubting herself or her recollection in the aftermath of what happened (as rape victims often do), but when Trump denied the entire incident, it helped push her into realizing that what Trump had done was definitely wrong and that was why he was denying everything. I'm sure Trump's lawyers pushed her on this point as much as they could, and clearly the jury didn't find it convincing, or else they wouldn't have returned the verdict they did.

The alleged victim said it was rape. So the fact that the court said that she was wrong and it was not rape is not a minor detail.

I was talking about the fact that you felt the need to say "actually it was sexual abuse not rape" in direct response to me deliberately not using the word rape precisely so we could avoid the "actually" correction from you. Clearly you were just bursting to say it and correct me regardless of whether or not I even needed to be corrected. But whatever, it's really not important.

They retired thinking that it was a strange verdict because the primary claim of rape was rejected -

What? I was talking about the jury there, not the lawyers. Lawyers don't "retire" in a case, and they certainly don't have the power to award money. To be clear, the jury knew what they were there to pass judgment on. They knew because it was the judge's job to tell them exactly what they were passing judgment on and the lawyers' job to make sure that the judge told them that. The jury did not award Carroll two million dollars because Trump called her ugly. Trump was not being sued for calling Carroll ugly; he was being sued for the specific incident that allegedly occurred between him and Carroll in a department store in the nineties. What we're left with is something that I just can't see as logically consistent - embracing the fact that Trump wasn't found liable for rape and seeing it as a repudiation of Carroll's story while simultaneously downplaying the fact that he was found liable for sexual abuse. Which is the bigger discrepancy here - that she said it was rape but the jury said it was sexual abuse, or that Trump said he did nothing wrong but the jury said he committed sexual abuse?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 15, 2023, 09:28:43 PM »
It's not a strange move. Next year is an election year. It helps them to have Trump under indictments and tied up in these cases.

No, these indictments aren't really helping Democrats politically. They're endearing Trump to his fans even more, adding fuel to his "They're out to get me" narrative, giving him a new topic to rant about at his rallies, and most importantly of all, aren't dissuading anyone from supporting him at all. You commented on this yourself a few months ago. If the goal is to hurt Trump politically, it's clearly not working, there's no indication that it's suddenly going to start working, and yet they keep pushing forward with these prosecutions anyway.

Rape victims do not say that they will consider dropping charges if their rapist agrees that the sex was consensual. There are a series of red flags here, of which you say it was 'possible' she was still raped. The fact is that the jury rejected her claim of rape and said that she was not raped.

Where did you see that she'd consider dropping charges if Trump agreed that the sex was consensual? I'm not seeing that anywhere, and it doesn't even make sense. Her entire claim was that what happened wasn't consensual, so how from her perspective could Trump be agreeing that it was consensual? I have read that Carroll said she expected Trump to claim that what happened was consensual, and was surprised when he flatly denied the entire incident, but that's obviously not the same thing. As to your other points, no, those aren't red flags, they're just your arbitrary, unsupported assertions of what is or isn't normal or suspicious. Everyone responds to sexual assault differently, and there's no right or wrong way to do it. Like I said before, a determined skeptic can twist any element of a victim's story to sound suspicious. She went out with friends after the alleged rape? You'd think she'd be shaken up and in no mood for socializing, how suspicious! She didn't go out with friends after the alleged rape? Imagine a rape victim not wanting to be supported by her friends, how suspicious!

Actually the jury consensus in that link is that she wasn't raped, but she was 'sexually abused' in some manner.

I specifically avoided using the term "rape" so that we could avoid the tedious "ehrm actually they said it wasn't rape" nitpick, but I guess a minor detail like me not needing to be corrected isn't enough to stop you from correcting me.

No money was awarded for that. The money that was awarded was for the other items in the sheet dealing with defamation. Read that document.

Okay, I can see your confusion. The link you posted for some reason cuts off the end of each page. If you look at the original document, which I'll link here, you can see the whole thing. The jury awarded Carroll $2,020,000 for the incident itself, and $1,980,000 for the defamation.

The case is still in appeal. Your claim that they would have gotten a mistrial is premature.

Right then and there they would have gotten a mistrial, I mean. The judge has to explain the law to the jury and what exactly it is that they have to decide on before they retire to deliberate. It's not like the only clue they have is the form they filled out. Trump may not have the best and brightest legal minds working on his behalf, but even they would have been all over it if there were any question or possibility that the instructions to the jury weren't crystal clear as to what exactly was their job. They did not retire thinking that it was up to them to award Carroll money because Trump called her ugly, nor for any other broad definition of "sexual abuse" that didn't actually correspond to what allegedly happened on the day in question.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: November 12, 2023, 02:09:11 AM »
RoboCop (José Padilha, 2014)

Not nearly as bad as I was expecting, but still not a very good movie overall. Its biggest flaw is that it's far more interested in the sci-fi elements at play than it is in its titular character. Everything is explained, everything is debated, and everything is commented on by a team of scientists. That last point is especially annoying in the pivotal scenes where Alex Murphy is struggling to regain his humanity, and any mood or atmosphere that might be developing is ruined by constant cutting to the scientists watching him so they explain what he's doing and what it means for him. This is a movie that wants to be smart, but still treats its viewers like morons. Being more explicit with the science also hurts the movie when it goes against its own rules, as Murphy on at least two occasions manages to just force his way past his programming through the power of bullshit. That wouldn't necessarily have been a big deal if the science had been more vague, like in the original - although it's worth pointing out that Murphy in the original never breaks his programming at all - but the movie makes it a problem because it takes its science so seriously.

While the original's critiques of capitalism, policing, and the media feel timeless, the reboot dates itself immediately by being yet another 2010s action movie that devotes itself to criticizing the U.S. military's use of drones, and yet doesn't really have much to say about it beyond indicating that it's bad. I'm probably being a bit unfair about this, because this weird trend hadn't quite been beaten into the ground by 2014, but it still feels like a such boring choice of theme. It doesn't help that I've never been convinced by the anti-drone backlash that was so fashionable in the 2010s, and I'm convinced that most of it was being spread by people who didn't actually understand what drones are and how they work. The closest the movie comes to some proper satire is Samuel Jackson's talk show infotainer character, but he's not over-the-top enough for it to properly register. There are plenty of talking heads on TV these days who are far more ridiculous than him.

And then there's the main character. Holy hell, the costume is fucking awful. The drop-down visor is bad enough, but the real kiss of death is it being all black. It's such a fucking douchey look. There's no better word to describe it. The funny thing is that the movie seems to recognize that the all-black look is a dumb, juvenile way to try and make him look cool and edgy, and clearly frames it as such by having it be the demand of an out-of-touch asshole CEO, but...they still do it. Pointing out that you know what you're doing is bad isn't a great defense when you just go right ahead and do it anyway. As for Alex Murphy himself, he's fine. I don't think the movie gets off to a great start with him by portraying him as an aggressive cowboy cop who threatens informants at gunpoint, but he's at least shown to be a loving husband and father, which goes a long way towards making him sympathetic. Focusing more on his wife and son isn't a bad idea for the reboot as a way to differentiate itself from the original, too.

That is, as long as it's done well. Unfortunately, this movie can't think of anything to do with the character of Clara Murphy beyond have her be a weeping widow, someone who cries, complains, cries some more, and then complains some more. That is her character. She is there to look sad, scold Alex for riding off to do awesome RoboCop things, and to become a damsel in distress at the last minute, because why not throw another cliché in at that point? Regarding the part about her complaining, it doesn't matter that technically she's in the right all along. It's like why Skyler from Breaking Bad was such a contentious character. The movie is called RoboCop and it's marketed as being about RoboCop doing awesome things, so if you have a character who's trying to stop RoboCop from doing awesome things (as strongly visually represented by Clara stepping in front of Murphy's motorcycle and pleading with him to stop fighting crime and just go home), you're setting up the audience to dislike her as a fun-ruining killjoy. I'll grant that it's tough to portray a character who wants the hero to stop doing what the audience wants him to do, but they definitely could have handled it more carefully than they did in this movie.

There's probably a lot more I could criticize the movie for, but one detail I've got to highlight because it really bugs me is the gender-flipping of the character of Anne Lewis, Murphy's partner in the original. A lot of action movies for whatever reason only have one major female character (including the original), which is bad enough, but what makes it worse is that this movie deliberately enforces the one-woman rule. Murphy's wife becomes a major supporting character in this reboot, and therefore the character of Lewis needs to be made a man to correct for this. That has to be the thought process behind this, right? I hardly think they gender-flipped Lewis and then decided to make Clara a major character, and even if they did, it doesn't make them look much better. And even if we do accept that there can be only one major female character, I can't imagine there are a lot of people who would find an entirely passive weeping, complaining housewife to be a better character than the tough, likable, and proactive Lewis, who plays a major role in helping Murphy defeat the villains and regain his humanity in the original.

The best thing I can say about this reboot is that it has a genuinely great cast. They do their best, but they can't save this. Oh, and I guess the movie is too cool to have anyone actually utter the term "RoboCop" in it, so that's nice. Nothing like a movie indicating to you that it's embarrassed by its subject matter.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 09, 2023, 05:00:49 PM »
If it was an agreement to flip on trump you might have something. However, it is not. It an agreement to truthfully testify

I've explained repeatedly why this is a pedantic quibble. We're never going to get anywhere if you keep returning to arguments that have already been addressed as soon as we're on a new subject.

which could have been given out of a number of reasons, such as desperation.

That's possible, sure. It doesn't seem very likely to me, as even if we assume that the prosecution is politically motivated, launching a massive, high-profile case and indicting a former president with a weak hand would be a very strange move. They could just as easily have not indicted Trump.

This was a ridiculous claim of rape in a dressing room which the victim admits to not have screamed during the event, did not contact police afterwards, continued to shop at the store, and who then admits to becoming a 'massive' Apprentice fan in the proceeding years. A victim who says that she would have considered dropping the claim if Trump had admitted it was consensual. Honk believes that this is totally normal for a rape claim and that we should overlook obvious contradictions.

None of these details are "contradictions," they're just things that you're arbitrarily declaring to be abnormal and presumably therefore indications of dishonesty. Who says that rape victims can't or don't behave like this?

Oddly, we saw from the jury conviction questionnaire that the conviction was heavily focused on defamation comments against the victim in recent years, and not focused on the actual rape allegation.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. The jury found Trump liable for both the incident and the defamation and awarded Carroll millions for both. How was their ruling "heavily focused" one way or the other?

There was one box which the jury checked which asks if the victim 'sexually abused', which could mean sexual comments about her looks in recent years like the other questions about recent events and not the rape, or maybe the jury believes that something else occurred.

No, it couldn't. This is the silliest argument you've made yet. Trump was being sued for a specific alleged incident, not for calling Carroll ugly. Courts are very clear with juries about what exactly it is that they're sitting in judgment of, and if they weren't in this case, Trump's lawyers would have gotten a mistrial in a heartbeat.

The jury specifically voted not to convict that the rape occurred, and voted no on that. They also left a box untouched which said "Did Mr. Trump forcibly touch Ms. Carroll". Somehow the position given is that the victim was sexually abused but there is not a position that the victim was forcibly touched, as if it was possible to be sexually abused without being forcibly touched, providing insight to their idea of 'sexual abuse'.

The document very clearly says to skip the question about forcible touching if they answered yes to sexual abuse, because it's redundant. These are meant as degrees of severity for what Trump allegedly could have done, with forcible touching being the least severe and rape being the most. Selecting a more severe option doesn't automatically exonerate him of the elements involved in the less severe options. Obviously you can't sexually abuse someone without forcibly touching them.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 04, 2023, 03:51:24 AM »
Sydney Powell signed an agreement to testify truthfully. That is all.

That agreement is itself strong evidence that her testimony will be damaging to Trump, because otherwise the prosecution wouldn't be interested in calling her as a witness and giving her a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony. You've talked a lot about movies creating false impressions of what trials are really like, and one detail I'd like to stress that they often get wrong is the idea that when lawyers question witnesses on the stand, the answers they receive are entirely new information to them. In reality, trial lawyers only ask questions that they know the answers to. They do their homework, they find out what the witness knows, and then they ask them carefully selected questions that are designed to form a narrative with the judge or jury that's favorable to their side of the case. So no, the prosecution don't want Powell to testify because they genuinely want to know what she knows, or because they feel that it's their duty to "justice" to publicly hear everything she has to say. They already know what she knows, and hearing her testimony is part of their legal strategy - the ultimate goal of which is of course Trump's conviction.

A close associate of Sydney Powell insists that she has not "flipped"

The two Substack articles cited are basing their argument almost entirely on the fact that the charges which Powell pled guilty to are ones that Trump wasn't charged with. Okay, so what? I guess Powell won't be testifying against Trump with regard to those specific charges. But why is that such a big deal? Is there some rule that says that you can't testify against someone in exchange for a plea deal unless you've been charged with the same crime? Powell probably has information about Trump's intentions and actions related to the other charges that she's been asked to testify about, even if she wasn't herself charged with those crimes.

I won't claim to be as confident about what's going to happen as the other posters in this thread are. Pretty much every prediction I've made about Trump has turned out to be wrong. I expected him to lose in 2016, to win in 2020, to fade from political relevance once he left office, and certainly to never face a criminal investigation or trial for his misdeeds. So I'm not going to make any definitive predictions about how any of these trials will shake out in the end. Maybe the deal with Powell won't last in the face of her defiance on social media. Maybe she has a cunning scheme to upset the prosecution's entire game plan once she's up on the stand. All I can say is that simply taking events as they happen, there's no doubt that this number of co-defendants pleading guilty is a bad sign for the principal defendant, as is one of those co-defendants making a deal with the prosecution to testify. Whether or not this will all end up being enough to take Trump down for good is entirely beyond me.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 02, 2023, 05:39:49 PM »
If most people are so shocked and surprised at who prosecutors really represent and how they function, how is it a valid argument to tell me that you are right about prosecutors based on (your) common sense and that all references which oppose your narrative are wrong, including statements by lawyers, attorneys associations, and academic papers?

Okay, I'll admit that I shouldn't have dismissed your sources as simply being wrong. It would be more accurate to say that you're taking them out of context and applying what's meant in a broad, general sense to how they should behave in a specific trial. Prosecutors should be unbiased/impartial/neutral in the sense that their primary concern should always be the pursuit of justice. Elements like politics, career prospects, or personal relationships should not be their concern. You don't prosecute someone whom you believe to be innocent because it would look good on your résumé, you don't refuse to prosecute someone because he's a pal of the governor, and so on. All straightforward stuff. However, once the indictment is issued and the case is publicly announced, the prosecution have essentially declared their side. Their goal - not their overall career goal, but their practical goal in this specific case - is the conviction of the defendant. They are no longer looking to convince themselves; they are looking to convince a judge or jury. The evidence they present, the witnesses they call to the stand, and the questions they ask are all intended to build their specific case that the defendant is guilty. To bring it all back to this case, if the prosecution has struck a deal with Powell to have her testify, it's because her testimony will be damaging to Trump. If Powell's testimony would be beneficial to Trump, the prosecution would not be calling her to testify. And if they had thought that her testimony changed the entire case and indicated that Trump was in fact innocent, then they wouldn't have indicted Trump to begin with. That's really what this all comes down to - the fact-finding stage of things comes before the actual prosecution.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 28, 2023, 10:53:08 PM »
Nobody here claimed that prosecutors directly represent the victims of crimes. ???

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 28, 2023, 04:06:27 PM »
No, no, Tom is right. Prosecutors don't actually prosecute. They are Zen truth-seekers with no interest in convincing the jury of any particular narrative. They have no idea what any witness will say until they're up on the stand, and they only properly understand what's actually happened after everyone has already testified and presented their evidence. It's a lot like Ace Attorney in that way.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 28, 2023, 01:34:17 AM »
To suggest that prosecutors are somehow neutral or impartial is insane. It's insane when you say it and it's insane when a guy on YouTube says it. Saying that it's really all about abstract concepts like justice is all well and good, but that's not something that's objectively quantifiable or assessible. In the concrete world, prosecutors file charges against people and argue for their guilt with the intention of having them be convicted in court. That is objectively what they do, and I don't care how many other people or websites you cite saying otherwise. It won't change how wrong they are.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 27, 2023, 11:29:10 PM »
We have an adversarial legal system, and the prosecution is absolutely, 100% in opposition to the defendant in any given criminal trial. That's not a creation of movies, it's the reality, and whatever lofty platitudes you can find online about how the ultimate duty of prosecutors lies with abstract concepts like justice do not change the facts about how prosecutors go about their business every day. Lawyers do not call witnesses to the stand or question them because they themselves are looking for more information about the case. They already know what information the witness has. They already know the answers to the questions they ask. It's their job to know these things. The witnesses they call and the questions they ask are designed to convince the jury of a specific narrative - that the defendant is guilty, in the prosecution's case, or that the defendant is not guilty, in the defense's case.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 26, 2023, 05:13:15 PM »
Yes, the deal is for truthful testimony, just like it is with all witnesses who flip, and truthful testimony must therefore be damaging to Trump, because otherwise the prosecution wouldn't be making deals with these witnesses to testify to begin with. I don't think I can put it any more simply than that. The prosecution is not on Trump's side. They are not trying to help him. If they're asking people to testify and making deals with them to that effect, it's because their testimony will hurt Trump. That's how this works. That's how it's always worked. You're quibbling about a distinction without a difference.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 26, 2023, 03:21:37 PM »
I think it would be a big mistake to stop making deals on the assumption that the case is "sealed" and further evidence is unnecessary. The more evidence we can get to hammer in as firmly as possible the fact of Trump's corruption, the better off we as a nation will be in the long run. We won't be able to kill off the cult of Trump within our lifetimes, but future generations at least should be able to accept Trump's corruption as a substantiated historical fact, not a controversial gray area of history that nobody really knows the truth about.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 23, 2023, 12:16:45 AM »
You don't need to bother pretending she's on your side. Trump will no doubt be yelling about how he's never even heard of her and also that he never liked her to begin with, if he hasn't done so already.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 21, 2023, 09:30:05 PM »
You are arguing that some kind of hidden language is being employed here, but that wouldn't work. What happens when Powell doesn't "flip" against Trump and supports his narrative and claims that she was "testifying truthfully"?

The same thing that happens to any co-defendant who is expected to flip and then reneges; evidence is produced to impeach them and discredit their testimony, and the deal is called off because of their dishonesty. Prosecutors are not taking a gamble when they offer a witness a deal to testify in the hopes that they'll say something that will hurt another defendant. They know what the facts of the case are, they know what the answers to the questions they ask are, and presumably they're prepared to handle a witness who tries to be tricky. I'm sure they have to phrase any deal they make carefully so as not to say that a specific kind of testimony from her is what's being rewarded, and I'm also sure that they wouldn't make such a clumsy mistake in a case as high-profile as this one.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: October 21, 2023, 12:37:45 AM »
If Powell didn't have damaging testimony to offer against Trump or other defendants, her testimony wouldn't have been a condition of the deal. The prosecution is not going to put her on the stand so she can testify that Trump is totally innocent. You can quibble about how actually she's just agreeing to testify truthfully and not specifically to testify against anyone else, but in practice it comes down to the same thing.

That being said, I think it's far too early to be celebrating over this. This wouldn't be the first time - or even the second time - that someone was convicted for being an accessory or accomplice to one of Trump's crimes while Trump himself walked free. There's something deeply paradoxical about that, but it's the reality.

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