Tuesday, September 25, 2018

SHE SAYS-HE SAYS and A Few Diversions

   In this post, we'll open and close here-something good, something very good and nice. We need diversions, don't we?
  The other stories in the Kavanaugh confirmation coming up, but first a good bye------
one tough old bird

     Our little village tucked between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific lost a big force this weekend, Reggie Perkins at 92. Some of us lost a buddy.
    Here's an sketch of how tough Reg was. A few years ago he had a heart attack on Christmas Eve. He was back on the tennis court New Year's Day.  
     A WWII vet, he had been a battalion chief on the LA Fire Department. He helped build the Cambria Fire Department and served on the community governing board, the CCSD.
      He and his late wife founded a volunteer group that assists people in need or needing medical equipment, or trips to the doctor. They started the annual Easter Egg hunt. He was active in the American Legion and had been a long time treasure of the Odd Fellows benevolence lodge.
     On the tennis court Reg, who played up to only a few months ago despite knees that hurt him every minute, had one of the toughest drop shots in tennis. He chuckled many times as I ran like a banshee to get to the ball, only to watch his patented spin make me look like a fool. I was not alone.
     Reg was one of the founders of the "prayer meeting" that I was invited into about 12 years ago. A group of old boys meeting on someone's porch or deck at precisely 4:00 to have coffee and a cigar, if you were so inclined. Way back the group met on Wednesdays and Sundays. In the last few years the gatherings were on Sunday and wine had been added as well. As a new retiree in the village the tips, insights and history I heard from Reg, John Angel and the late Phil Allen, plus the jokes, made a newbie feel right at home. 
      Reg listened more than he talked, but when he said something, it stuck. These were truly old boys still full of life. 
     It was only a couple of weeks ago Reg was on my deck reminding me I needed to add cushions to my hard wood furniture. We all thought Reg would go on forever. He filled his 92 years and left us all with a target to shoot for. He will be missed.

     What you see in the frame above is the largest lemon I've seen. It was grown locally.  How big is it?

an appropriate pause
     In a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, the new accusations have to be taken seriously enough to be investigated and either tossed aside or validated. 
      What's the rush? Mitch McConnell considered a year a valid wait. The Kentucky wheeler dealer denied America's first African American President a chance to get even a hearing on his nominee. So, what's the rush now? Does someone sense American voters are fed up with Republican rule and acquiescence to the malignant narcissist and Russian stooge?
      More important than Republicans protecting their advantage is the fact the American public deserves resolution as do Judge Kavanaugh and Professor Ford. And the same goes for the more recent accusers and the Judge. 
       But there is an ugly strain in all of this. Some, on both sides of the political aisle, wonder if accusations this old have any bearing on the decision. The default position for many is, what really matters is if the judge is telling the truth. Well of course that matters. 
      But I am one who thinks the behavior all those years ago matter as well, though it is complicated. It is possible that people can change. I think it is entirely possible that youthful and foolish behavior can be left behind. And we know  drinking can contribute to poor judgement and horrendous behavior--but....wrong is wrong, and violence is violence. Also, a patriarchal mind set is wrong and too often has been enabling. 
       The idea that "boys will be boys" is wrong headed and dangerous. That attitude permeates American culture and it was certainly in play at the time that Judge Kavanaugh was a beer drinking, hell raising, privileged preppie and Yalie. It was wrong and if we are ever to get fair and healthy in relationships between men and women we need to recognize it. It shouldn't have been condoned then. It cannot be condoned now. Should it bar him from the court? If it was something he did repeatedly, but now lies about, then yes.
       If Kavanaugh did not in fact act like a boorish, privileged drunk punk then it goes beyond what and how he described himself at the time. Still I'm sure boys who behaved badly have grown to be responsible adults and that may in fact be the case for the judge, unless he is lying now, embarrassed about his previous alleged behavior or too drunk to remember.
       He is where few people go, nominated to the Supreme Court and we have a right to know. Our right to know supersedes his privacy, her privacy, since she had made the accusation and certainly supersedes any thing Mitch McConnell wants.
      The last thing on this is fairness-fairness in this case and the historic issue of fairness in how women have been second class, abused and treated. I read this contemporary culture as being invested by women and men who say
time's up. We want to play by new rules.  We want to play by fair rules.
      I think there is enough accrued injustice and resultant anger that the old white men on the Judiciary Committee better realize what year it is and what fair now means. If Republicans behave as they did in 1991, they belong on the ash bin.

and now to the diversions

there are some things you just can't explain

no matter where you look


at this age, and in this time, diversions are healthy


      See you down the trail.   


  1. The picture of ??? standing on her kitchen counter brings to mind a photo of the legendary British chef Marco Pierre White. Every night after service he participated in cleaning up his restaurants' kitchens and the photo shows him up on a counter like that scrubbing out the grease vent!

    That lemon is reminiscient of some we grew in Mexico that were (like yours) as large as grapefruit.

    And when I was looking at the pictures of that bridge dinner and the menu I couldn't help thinking "Isn't it nice having rich friends!"

    As for Kavanaugh, I've been saying for days that he will NOT get the votes to put him on the court. Now if only scumbag McConnell were up for re-election this year.

    And finally, RIP Reggie, who welcomed me to your group one Sunday afternoon.

    1. I believed you that ??? on her kitchen counter. You used to work in the same company as her hubby.

  2. My college girlfriend and went to a party on Saturday night, we'd been at a movie and we we're late to the "show". $ seniors had rented a house and it was party central. When we arrived around 10:30 it was a drunken shit show. I wasn't an angel in those days but this party was bad. One of the pledges from my GF sorority was at the party and she was totally shit faced The senior she was with was getting drink after drink. My GF asked her if she was okay, the senior guy answered for her. We left. I heard later that she "pulled a train" that night. She packed up and left school the following Monday. The guys at the party lives went on as before Nothing changed, nothing happened except a very nice girl had her life ruined. One of my GF's sorority sisters started dating the "train conductor" later that school year. My GF warned her about the guy, she didn't listen and ended up getting knocked around by the guy Once again, nothing happened until her older brother,an offensive tackle for the Eagles came home and beat the guy within an inch of his life. This kind of thing has been going on for a long time, it's time it stopped. As for Kavanaugh, he should be disqualified for belonging to a frat at Yale whose drinking chant was "Mo means yes, Yes means anal" and being a member of a secret society called "Truth and Courage" or T&C, code for Tits and Clits. He's lying scum.

    1. The list of questions you posed in another communique should have been asked of Judge Kavanaugh.

  3. I don't know how people find the time to do all the things it sounds like Reg is doing. I mean, 92 years, I suppose you have time, but I do less and less as I get older.

    I've given up thinking that the political parties, especially the Republicans, are going to police their own ranks. The voters are the ONLY ones who have a shot at doing that.

    1. Thanks for your comments about Reg. You are correct about the voters being the essential element. I think it is a crime not to vote.

  4. “One of the pledges from my girlfriend’s sorority was at the party and she was totally shitfaced. ... My GF asked her if she was ok. The senior answered for her. WE LEFT.”
    Nice job of taking care of your sorority “sister”!!!!
    Your GF (and you) should be ashamed.

  5. That is no absolution for the assholes who abused this poor girl. Hopefully they have been hauneted every day of the past 40 years for their savagery and may they roast in hell for all eternity. But as Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  6. And sorry TC, I get that you feel honor-bound to right the “historic” injustice perpetrated against women in one fell swoop. But if your idea of the “new rules” of fairness includes an accuser who conveniently remembers a rape attempt at a “party” that she can’t remember an approximate date for or a location of, nor any other attendees — none of whom are forthcoming — then what have we come to??? As you said, he-said vs she-said. And, sorry, my friend, nothing — NOTHING — in Brett Kavanaugh’s life points to any remote reason to believe the accuser. The idea— as advocated by at least 5 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee — that a person who has “the courage to come forward need to be BELIEVED”. Seriously Tom? THAT is the standard for “fairness”. The accuser is “believed” regardless of substantiation. Which means that the accused is GUILTY by accusation. No evidence required! No corroboration required! No common sense in judging veracity —- if the “survivor” has the “COURAGE” to accuse then we shld believe —- and what —- too bad for the poor accused. I have First hand knowledge of an incident on a college campus in which date rape was alleged and the university was on the path to expulsion of the young man. Unfortunately, for faux heros righting the scales of historic “justice,” the young man had the indecency to have recorded the entire episode. And NOTHING the girl alleged was true - in fact the precise opposite. She was expelled. (She shld have been criminally charged.)
    So Senators who have already announced they “believe” the accuser — including the Senate minority leader and at least 5 (if not all) of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have already announced
    And this dipshit Senator Coons from Delaware who has the audacity to stand in the United States Capitol and say that Judge Kananaugh “BEARS THE BURDEN OF DISPROVING THESE ALLEGATIONS” is an embarrassment to the constitutional office he holds. As no less than Allen Dershowitz said a few days ago, this is “the jurisprudence of the inquisition”
    The politicization of the serious issue of sexual abuse is a giant disservice to those of us who take it seriously. (Unlike Jager’s GF)
    And when it comes to “FAIRNESS” I hope you are wrong Tom. I hope that our country hasn’t yet stooped so low as to ruin a good man as a human sacrifice on the altar of gender reparations. If that can happen, no one is safe. Madame Lafarge will have both our names knit into her scarf.

    1. ML-I think you attribute too high a standard to the intentions of my post. Yes, as the father of daughters, I would like to right the historic injustice. However I was not advocating new rules as much as observing what appears to be a shifting sense of rules, profile of advocacy and manner of confrontation.
      "My first rule" would be fairness, equality and due process justice. As I wrote in my most previous post it is a shame "due process has been hobbled so that to question a woman who makes an allegation, risks scorn or political peril."
      As a reporter I saw court proceedings where victims of sexual crimes were further "violated" by the nature of the investigative process, court procedure and practices of defense attorneys. Some progress has been made, but we have miles to go. Alabama Senator Howell Heflin's question to Anita Hill in 1991, "are you a woman scorned" would be received much differently today, however some of Grassley's comments and those of Hatch-both of whom were apart of the 1991 Thomas-Hill affair-seem as tone deaf blind and stupid as some of things they and others said back in '91.
      I agree with you that an accusation does not automatically mean it is true or should be believed, HOWEVER it must be considered and not out of hand rejected.
      I am not saying as you say the Democrats have said, that she should be believed-but she should be listened to and the accusation should be investigated. Of course there must be evidence and corroboration and there is nothing that I have written that advocates otherwise.
      What I've tried to observe is that past offenses-the history of things-has created a sense of vengeance in some, maybe even in many. Of course there is always a danger of over reaction and your example of the French Revolution is one I have cited previously. That is why the system, the process, must be fair. Part of my intent in the comment about fairness was to advise against revenge blinding process and equity.
      The new rule I spoke of is that women, or men, who have been aggrieved or abused are not making sure they are heard, whether that is in the CBS board room, Fox News Room, NBC Today Studio, PBS, Weinstein partners or the Senate Judicial Committee.
      Finally, I wonder if you and I are seeing the same intelligence and reporting on
      Kavanaugh. I have read enough about his associations and alliances and comments during his Yale days as well as Georgetown Prep that would at least warrant an open mind about some of the accusations that are now being made. Maybe he is a decent man and paragon of virtue and if so as I have written repeatedly, the accusations if false are character assassination and criminal. But despite his professional level and experience I will not summarily assume what Professor Ford and other women say now are false and manufactured. The state of the "game" is such that a Supreme Court appointment is now a weaponized process and I regret that. However when one rises that level one must endure scrutiny. Much of the public and maybe even most of the public will disagree with that. I think they are foolish. I think we in the media and the votes have been too easily distracted and have not examined deeply enough.
      How else can we explain that a malignant narcissist, serial liar, sexual predator and Russian stooge got the GOP nomination, got in after a rigged election and now continues to threaten all decency and civility while arenas still cheer him and the Senate Judiciary Committee Majority acts as if they don't want to consider that a court nominee might have feet of clay?

    2. That should read that aggrieved or abused are NOW making sure they are heard....

  7. Thoughtful and insightful as always! Thank you for taking the time to write and share your thoughts with all of us. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your buddy Reg. He sounds like an inspirational guy, as well as someone who has left a positive impression for those he encountered. Hopefully those people will carry on in his legacy of improving the life of those around them as he did. He sounds like he lived a decent and respectful life, one which would be a welcomed sight in future politicians - but i digress. In regard to the diversions, and some things you just can't explain...that is picture perfect and started my morning with a delightfully appointed chuckle in response. Sometimes a higher perspective is just what's called for to see things a little differently. Here's hoping Kyle and I get to visit with you and the family next month when we're in town and that we can all discuss these topics further - particularly that dining and wine experience. It looks like a dream!

    1. We look forward to your visit. Last evening her highness and loyal liege along with Lana and yours truly were conspiring about a pizza evening. But not on the covered bridge. You'll have to work on her highness to get you there sometime. Cheers

  8. Tom
    You have captured the debate over the issues that America is struggling with and the winds of change that are blowing across this year's election. I am reminded that this country was founded by rich white men who had to allow slavery to exist in order to establish "a more perfect union." We are still wrestling with these class, race and gender conflicts.

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