Letters to the editor, Oct. 18

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

What I am sure of on Kavanaugh

When Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois asked Dr. Christine Ford, “To what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?” Dr. Ford answered, “One hundred percent certain!” The Senate of the United States is a (self-made) pompous place and its senators often excessively verbal. (Perhaps such goes with our lore that the chamber is contemplative.) Durbin’s question should have been to the issue of what happened to Dr. Ford and not to her belief(s). For her part, Ford should have rejected Durbin’s framing the question about her beliefs. Unfortunately, she, as a modern-day academic, followed Durbin and quantified her (own) belief.

As a response, “one hundred” is misleading. It firms-up nothing that is relevant! We were not interested in Dr. Ford’s beliefs. We wanted to know what happened. Dr. Ford’s reply should have been framed in terms of what happened—not in terms of her frame of mind. Her answer to Durbin should have been prefaced by her assertion, “Senator, it is not a matter of my belief, Brett Kavanaugh was in my face!”

Unfortunately, her professionalism—the quantified belief business—plunked us squarely in today’s swamp of reductionism where claims are taken as personal, and personal is treated as (nothing but) belief. We are left isolated in a mass.

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Garodnick not running for mayor

Council Member Dan Garodnick

Council Member Dan Garodnick

By Christian Brazil-Bautista

The list of possible contenders for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s seat just became a bit shorter. Council Member Dan Garodnick, whose name has been thrown around as a possible challenger for the position, denied that he was eyeing a run at the mayoral seat.

“No,” Garodnick said when asked at an event on Tuesday if he was going to run for mayor. The event was the B’nai B’rith luncheon, where he gave a presentation titled, “Midtown East Rezoning: What’s Next?”

Garodnick, a Democrat who is serving his third term as a council member, has remained vague about his future plans. Previously, he ran for comptroller, bowing out after Scott Stringer declared his candidacy. Stringer eventually defeated Eliot Spitzer for the position. In 2013, he conceded in his bid for the city council speaker seat, resulting in a unanimous vote for Melissa Mark-Viverito. Term limits prohibit him from seeking re-election next year.

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