Archive for October, 2010

You call this a lynching?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 by a4synapse

I frequently read Kathleen Parker, who is syndicated in the Washington Post.  She’s normally semi-sensible. Here‘s her take on the recent dustup involving Virginia Thomas and Anita Hill.

Ms. Hill testified that:

had sexually harassed her by verbally sharing his enjoyment of porn films and his sexual proficiency.

Ms. Parker comments:

Yes, yawn if you must. This was scandalous, of course, because . . . well, I’m still not certain. You see, to be scandalized, one must be deeply sensitive to the mention of anything sexual. Indeed, in this case, one needed to be scandalized for an indefinite period of time.

Hmmm.  I personally don’t welcome office discussions of pornography and/or sexual proficiency.  I think it’s more than a yawning offense: it’s inappropriate and I don’t know a sensible adult that doesn’t know it’s inappropriate, and that community standard goes back to at least 1991 and probably further.  Appropriate, effective responses on the part of women to this conversational foray have changed over the last 20 years, however.  In the years leading up to the Thomas hearings, women (and men) received inappropriate sexual comments and it was hard to know how to respond effectively, because one could lose one’s job, or a promotion.

Or, at the very least, assuming deep offense, complaining to a higher authority. She did neither, apparently.

Thomas was the higher authority; head of the EEOC.  Where would Ms. Parker have complained?

Of course, Hill said nothing.  She wanted a career, and probably did not want the aggravation.  But Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court and Senator Biden had asked women who had worked with Thomas professionally to testify.  He did not ask women who knew Thomas socially to testify.  One of Thomas’ former girlfriends has confirmed his personal tastes and sense of entitlement, but was not asked to testify.

Parker refers to this latest kerfuffle as a ‘second lynching’.  The man is now in an essentially untouchable position.  I think there is ample evidence that he lied to the senate committee to get there.  He referred to the hearings as a ‘lynching’.  It was an injustice to true lynching victims then and it is more so now.



Here Comes The Night

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 by a4synapse

As the evening comes on, it’s low-hanging clouds and warm for fall, with a light breeze.  There’s heavy weather on its way from the midwest.  We won’t get the worst of it, but there are motorcycles on the main road (somehow they sound different in the humid, heavy air) working hard to get in the last ride before the weather closes in.  Knowing it will get violent changes priorities and I become tense.  Have I done that?  How bad will it get?

I usually love storms.  I worked in the Adirondacks in the summer for a while.  There was a porch on a second floor overlooking a lake.  Those storms were violent – thunder, wind, lightning.  Perched safely under the roof with it coming down was delicious.  Watching it come at me across the wide, black, pitching water was the apotheosis of anticipation.

The Most Highly Taxed (Property) Counties in the U.S.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2010 by a4synapse

From the Economix Blog of the NYTimes, as a percentage of assessed value.  Note the extreme darkness of upstate New York here.