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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Allowing three people a day to be jerks

I used to get excited over every little thing, particularly when I was behind the wheel of a car, so I adopted a philosophy that stood me in good stead for years:  allow three people a day to be jerks before you take anything too seriously.

  I don't know if I can keep it up much longer, though.  A philosophical question:  do the three people have to include Chuck Shumer?  Or can I make an exception and get my blood pressure up every time I see him on television without abandoning my convictions?

  I'm not extra fussy.  I can take Maxine Walters in my stride any day of the week, as when she announces that 600 million people will lose their health insurance or something like that.  Nancy Pelosi doesn't bother me, I know she's a big liar; Al Franken doesn't get my goat, neither does that old blowhard, Joe Biden.  But Shumer gets to me every day that Congress is in session.

  Thank God Congress is taking a vacation soon, so I can take a vacation from them.  It does wonders for my blood pressure.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Denunciation as a form of punishment

My father, who was a lawyer, had a conversation with me when I was a teenager on the subject of rape.  I can't remember how it started, but ultimately he told me that allegations of rape were hard to defend against, and that angry women might seek revenge against an innocent person by alleging rape falsely.  Therefore the authorities were hesitant to prosecute such accusations because they could destroy reputations and even lives of innocent men.

  Of course, that was before rape kits and DNA and such.  But he had a point. 

  Now this Me too business has gone too far.  Mere assertions of rape or even loutish behavior are enough to destroy lives. No proof is necessary.  After the first accusation, more complaints pile up.  The accused grovel in public statements and lose their jobs immediately. Their wives leave them.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the family dog has bitten the offender. 

  Take Al Franken.  I never thought the day would come when I would defend Franken.  But mere accusations of boorish behavior--which is all that has been alleged--should not have destroyed his career and his livelihood.  And that photograph of him leering over that unconscious woman clearly is not harassment.  Rather, it is sophomoric showing off.  If every man who behaved clownishly were deprived of his job, there would be far less employment in this country.

  Being a nasty person is not a criminal offense.  If a man behaves boorishly, a woman should have enough self-respect to defend herself, not to accuse him of harassment years later, when nothing can be proved and all witnesses have forgotten the circumstances.

  There are other ways of being boorish.  Of being a lousy employer, of picking on subordinates.  If your boss behaves criminally, report him to the authorities.  If he's just a mean son-of-a-bitch, suck it up or look for another job.  Behave  like a grown-up. 

  My fear is that men will be reluctant to hire women.  Hiring a woman would be like giving someone a loaded gun.  It's likely to go off unexpectedly. 

  No one gets a chance to defend himself.  No one gets to confront his accusers. The press acts a judge and jury and the public buys it.  It's not a good way to run a country.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Trump presidency--how can we stand it?

Sarcasm alert, of course.  Trump has been president for almost a year, and the secret police have not visited me even once  The stock market is up  I am still as free as I ever was.  So are my friends and relations.I can live with this distressing situation indefinitely., but apparently they can't.  They are more delicate, I guess.

  What has he done?  A lot of this and that, none of it affecting me.  He made anti-semitic remarks.  Except that he didn't.  He's racist, so they say.  Apparently they can sense this through the air, they know it in their bones.  Except their bones are wrong.

  The last I heard this kind of talk, it was about Reagan.  That damn fool made a speech asking Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.  .  It was awful. The man didn't have a lick of sense. All his advisors warned him not to do it.  But he did it, and shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall was torn down, by a coincidence, no doubt.

  Trump haters, get a grip.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

About Roy Moore and guys in their thirties attracted to teenagers

I am finally giving this my full attention.  -Not that I care who wins the election in Alabama.  They both seem like dopes, as do most of those already serving in the Senate.  So who cares who wins?

  By the way, how can any body that includes Alcee Hastings object to anyone joining their ranks?  He's already been impeached, convicted, and removed from the judgeship.  Good lord, if he can serve in Congress, so could Bugs Bunny.  So, for that matter, could Caligula's horse.  The horse, at least, could not preen himself about his high moral standards.

  Back to Roy Moore, now an old guy but once a thirty-something who was interested in teen age girls.   Let me cite my uncle.  My uncle, an unmarried physician in his thirties, met my aunt at a social event, and asked her out.  I don't remember her exact age at the time, but she must have been a teenager, because they got married when she was 20.  No one considered this scandalous.  They had three children and lived together for at least fifty years.  So it's not exactly unheard of for a man in his thirties to be interested in a younger woman.

  It was not unheard of, back in the unenlightened years of the twentieth century, for a woman to get married in her teens.  Both Elizabeth Taylor and Shirley Temple got married at 17.  No eyebrows were raised in either case.  And very pretty brides they were, too.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Bad courtship

I am gripped by the revelations pouring forth about all these esteemed entertainers and sages.  Aren't these fellows married?  How did they court their wives?  Did they show up for the first date and remove all their clothes?  As a chaser, did they feel her up?  Or rape her?

  Lots of married men have extramarital affairs, but they are usually the result of mutual consent. .Alexander Hamilton comes to mind, and crossing the pond there is the example of David Lloyd George.  JFK is an outstanding candidate--no complaints from his many girlfriends.

 The usual courtship template went like this in the 20th century:  call the woman up; ASK HER OUT, take her to a movie or  to dinner or to a ball game; start seeing her regularly, buy her flowers or candy for Valentine's Day.  Many of us followed this procedure and ended up in bed, married or not. You could even be single.  If you had a wife and family, you could work around this.  Malcolm Muggeridge was fascinated by what he called the Administrative Side of Love, involving logistics for the inconveniently married.

  There are plenty of ladies out there who go for married men with their eyes wide open.  Go find one of those,, and stop hitting on interns and teenagers.  Isn't life complicated enough without adding charges of rape to your resume?

Friday, December 01, 2017

A ragbag of ideas

1.   My internet was down for a week.  I couldn't get anything on my computer or my two Kindles  (Don't ask.)  I could get Internet on my phone, but I don't like doing it on such a small screen.  Therefore I was incommunicado.  Not a place I like to be.

I signed up for personal training in August and paid $320 that month.  For some reason, the credit card company thought this was a recurring item, and took out $320 in September and October.  If they hadn't written me a stiff note about the November payment, I might have been paying it still.

I went to the emergency treatment center Tuesday and they found several things wrong with me which I hadn't even thought of.  That's good, I guess.  I hope this does not mean that I'm dying of some mysterious disease.

My family was here for a week, during which time they misplaced the downstairs broom and the downstairs mop.  (I keep duplicates of these things as I don't like to carry them up (or down) stairs.  My daughter is famous for putting things where she believes they should logically be placed.  Therefore I can't find them.  Anyway, I brought the upstairs mop downstairs and mopped the kitchen floor.

Someone commented that I read so many books I should have a book blog.  I don't seriously want to do that.  I don't like reading most books, particularly those highly esteemed by the critics.  For instance, if you put lighted matches under my fingernails I would read the work or Margaret Atwood.  And if I could get to a sink or other source of water, I would put out the flames posthaste so i could stop reading her work as soon as possible.