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Midweek musings

I got up early this morning and the quality of the moonlight slanting in from the west was so striking it reminded me of that old barbershop quartet song.

Orion appeared above the trees, fully visible for the first time this season. Through a trick of the light, it stood alone. While moonlight and mist obscured most stars, Orion was clear and strong. Even the fuzzy “stars” of his sword were visible.

Although generally when it comes to the sky I couldn’t tell Cassiopeia from the Perseid meteor shower, I learned to love this constellation when I was a kid in California. Its appearance signaled the return of blessed rain and clean air after the too-hot, too-dry, too-smoggy summers. Here, of course, it just signals the return of more rain after the season of less rain. But it’s still beautiful.

I sat a while watching out the big south window. Then I ruined it all by turning on the computer.


Yesterday after Ava and I visited Furrydoc for her physical, Furrydoc’s husband walked me into the parking lot and immediately asked, “What’s the libertarian view on the Brett Kavanaugh business?”

(Is there one?) “Who needs a libertarian view?” I shrugged. “What we need is a civilized human being’s view.”

And we launched into a mutual rant about mob mentality, the politics of mud-slinging, the shallowness of contemporary discourse, the embarrassing absurdity of the MSM giving so much sober credence to evidence-free accusations, and above all the horror of being judged forever by actions we may — or may not! — have committed in high school.

He told me he couldn’t even face F*c*b**k any more. We both agreed we thought often about totally bailing out of the Internet.

But there we were, talking avidly … about matters taking place mainly online. Sigh.


I’ve said I’m no great fan of Brett Kavanaugh, an authoritarian who doesn’t like the Fourth Amendment. But whatever he was — or wasn’t! — as a privileged prep school jock, he seems to be an honorable man who’s more than proved his mettle as a grownup.

Does anybody deserve to be judged forever based on what he or she may have done as a teenager? Or worse, based on what someone says, 36 years later, that he or she may have done? Only if they carried slimy teen behavior into adulthood.

I wish every person, and especially every journalist, publisher, and politician who wants to see Kavanaugh pilloried this way could also have their reputation and their career forever judged by the worst thing a high school acquaintance claims they ever did.

Man, we’d all be sunk, wouldn’t we?


That said, why has the Supreme Court and so much of the rest of DC become so dominated by the Harvard-Yale-prep school crowd?

It wasn’t always this way. Supreme Court justices used to come from varied backgrounds, including hardcore working class. Now, whether they’re “right” or “left,” they’re first and foremost members of the same elite ivy league club, carrying with them the same elitist attitudes.

And they may well carry the same elitist histories of prep school boozing and privileged pawing at weaker peers. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Kavanaugh was a complete jock-jerk in school; but he’d hardly be alone.)

Of course the whole idea of setting nine unaccountable rulers over the rest of us is insane on the face of it. We just forget that because we’re used to it.

But as the population has shifted westward and become more varied, why has government, and the court in particular, taken such a snobby eastern ivy league shift? How many of those people have ever had to dig a ditch? Did they ever work at McDonalds? Take a year off to earn money for college? Go to an undistinguished state university? Grow up eating cheap hot dogs and beans? Not know where the next month’s rent would come from?

Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t deserve what’s being done to him, and wouldn’t even if he’d actually done some drunken mauling when he was 17. But he’s not exactly “one of us.” Not that a person of elite background can never understand or stand up for We the Peasants. But when you get them in self-referential gaggles, everyone else’s everyday reality ceases to exist.

We the People have no representation. But then, we knew that. Matters are merely trending worse. But then, we knew that, too.


The Wandering Monk is due back this morning to help me with a bunch of miscellaneous finishing details.

With a little luck, he’ll even help me take the waves out of the front gutter. (I never should have tried to do that job by myself.)

Whatever we accomplish, I’m looking forward to working with him in the fall sunshine. And to being away from the ‘Net and its manufactured travails.


  1. Bear
    Bear September 26, 2018 10:40 am

    “Civilized”? I’m looking for a sane human in the whole Cirque du Kavanaugh. I read the Swetnick statement. If I take every word as gospel truth, then…

    For two years, she voluntarily went to parties she knew would be drug/alcohol-fueled gatherings of sexual predators and their victims. She got drugged and raped in 1982…

    And kept going to the parties into 1983.

  2. James
    James September 26, 2018 11:25 am

    Claire, I’m still looking — without success — for those “waves” in your gutter. Not saying they aren’t there. But as all those who’ve done work of this sort know, what’s obvious to you, the person who spent lots of time and effort wrestling with the task, may be effectively invisible to someone who just looks at it with fresh eyes.

    On the other hand, go ahead and straighten it out if you get the chance. Because it seems to be preying a bit on your mind.

    I once had a Fakebook account. And, of course, it connected me with all kinds of people, clear back to school days, people I used to work with, and so on. And, like Furrydoc’s husband, I found my newsfeed to be a real burden. Basically because of these peoples’ political opinions, which they assumed would be welcome and delightful additions to the day of any right-thinking person. I’m happy to read a reasoned argument leading to conclusions that differ, even radically, from my own. But this bumper-sticker crapola … it made it very easy, once I read about Fakebook’s enthusiastic cooperation with the government’s data-hoovering, to close my account. I know that doesn’t solve the Panopticon Problem. But it’s great to at least not have that newsfeed, convincing me that the people I thought I liked … well, I didn’t.

  3. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay September 26, 2018 1:09 pm

    I’ve started hiding anything political, even things I agree with. It’s just not what I want from social media.

    Using it at all is difficult enough without being subjected to someone else’s politics all the time.

    F*c*b**k says it will hide all posts like that, but it doesn’t.

  4. Steve Watt
    Steve Watt September 26, 2018 4:04 pm

    I always thought Orions Belt was a waist of stars!

  5. John
    John September 26, 2018 7:31 pm

    Steve Watt,

    HAHAHA !

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 26, 2018 8:00 pm

    I have a long association with Orion. Back in the day when the first get-acquainted question was, “What’s your sign,” I always replied, “Orion.” Well, I was a hunter, and later a warrior, so it fit. And it gave fits to those who tried to discern astrological meaning from a constellation not on the zodiac.

    I think the cynical and hysterical progressives have run into a force they can’t understand, someone who, regardless of his politics, is the real deal ethically, and who isn’t going to be intimidated. I also don’t think the conservatives understand him any better. I keep hearing that regardless of the outcome, neither “side” is going to change their mind, and it’s probably true.

    OTOH, for the peons caught between, the Kavanaugh spectacle is convincing lots of people that contempt of Congress is entirely reasonable.

    I have a feeling that Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, is going to be just as interesting as Nov. 9, 2016 was.

    In other news, Bill Cosby began serving 3-10 years in prison, effectively a life sentence. I still have the gut feeling he was railroaded because of the popularity of his “black men can be good fathers with good families” TV show.

  7. RickB
    RickB September 27, 2018 6:30 am

    “…eating cheap hot dogs and beans”

    Sounds good. Now I’m feeling hungry.

  8. Michael Stone
    Michael Stone September 27, 2018 7:22 am

    I like coming here.
    It’s a lovely place to hang out.

    Thank you, Claire!

  9. Claire
    Claire September 27, 2018 7:33 am

    Why, thank you, Michael Stone. How nice of you to say that.

  10. Claire
    Claire September 27, 2018 7:37 am

    “On the other hand, go ahead and straighten it out if you get the chance. Because it seems to be preying a bit on your mind.”

    Ayup. It was preying on my mind to the point where, when I looked at the place from the street, instead of seeing 5 years and 5 months of progress, all I saw was wavy gutters. The Monk took care of that yesterday as I stood across the street going, “A quarter inch lower … an eighth of an inch higher …”

    I’m much happier now. 🙂

  11. Claire
    Claire September 27, 2018 2:13 pm

    The mainstream media is going to have to print this, from today’s hearings. It’s too powerful a quote not to acknowledge, even if they hate it. Those who don’t report this are the most contemptible:

    “Listen to the people who’ve known me my whole life,” Kavanaugh said. “Listen to the people I’ve grown up with and worked with and played with and coached with and dated and taught and gone to games with and had beers with.”

    “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” he asserted. “The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced … ‘advice and consent’ with ‘search and destroy.’”

    I think they meant to write “advise,” not “advice.” I doubt Kavanaugh would have made that mistake.

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