Friday Musings 07/22/2005

Fri – July 22, 2005


Did I mention that it’s hot, in San Diego?

I believe I did, but it bears repeating: It’s hot, in San Diego. Ninety degrees today. Which makes it very hard to do anything – outside, I mean. No distance runs, nor interval workouts neither. Nothing to do with a bike – can’t carry enough water to make it all worthwhile. You could swim, I suppose – but I swam competitively growing up and in high school, and tell the truth gentle reader? Just betwixt the two of us? If I never swam another lap in anger it would be far too soon, selah.

So, hot. So hot. And in a heat wave like the one we’re having here, you can apparently put the idea of making a hole in the garage for a wee, bitty, BMW 330i straight out of your head as well. We are reliably informed. In this kind of heat.

That’s how hot.



Oh, read an interesting editorial in the local today: Turns out a member of the Muslim community has been seeing all the bloodshed in the world and thinks it’s time to speak out against…. (wait for it:) Racism. *

Right. It’s not enough, as Norm Geras has done, to recognize that there are those among us who think that maybe the killers had a point. That maybe anonymous commuters ought to die for the purported sins of their political class. That maybe it’s all our fault, because of Iraq (and Afghanistan, too?). Who conveniently forget that this has all been going on for quite a while before ever a dangling chad was counted in Florida. No – not only is it our fault, but we’re probably going to be bigots about it, too.

Oh, it’s all the usual pap. Mr. Bisharat is concerned that, what with all the blowing up of London commuters, and the attempted blowing up of London commuters, some folks over here might come to the wrong conclusions with respect to Islam and its adherents. Jerry Falwell is called out, Timothy McVeigh too. Don’t forget the IRA.

Tell you what, Bish: I’ll put it on my list of stuff to worry about. But I have to admit, until grievance-crazed Methodists start blowing themselves up in SoCal mosques, and the mainstream churches tut-tut that, well it was awful really, but we had to think of the root causes of Methodist terror, it won’t go very far towards the top of my list. And my list is very long, with only the top five or so getting any actual CPU cycles.


No, Mr. Bisharat. You don’t get to do this. You don’t get to watch your co-religionists kill anonymous commuters and use the opportunity to lecture us about occupations, or to try on the mantle of victimhood. You just don’t, not in my house. Very sorry.


Oh, and Anita Hill weighed in today * on the John Roberts nomination. A step backward for “diversity,” apparently. She somehow manages to state that Roberts is both the product of a narrow selection process, geared towards the elite, and that he’s somehow simultaneously taking the place of some other, equally qualified candidate who is less elite but is more… diverse.

Whatever that means.

Look: I’m on board with the idea of righting past injustices, and of a level playing field. All I’m saying is that diversity can’t just mean something as immutable and out of the candidate’s control as skin color. Or is it really true that, for example, the scion of a wealthy family of color, with all the advantages of class and privilege, is still somehow a better candidate for (fill in the blank selection) than some poor white kid out of Appalachia who rises above his milieu? Because of “diversity?” And does every selection of a woman, person of color or LBGT justice then require that person’s seat to be bequeathed to the appropriate interest group in perpetuity?

No. That can’t be right.

Diversity should be the result of the process which gives opportunity to each according to their ability, desire and demonstrated capability, not an à priori (and therefore unappreciated – even, resented) gift given by a condescending elite, like table scraps from the Lord Mayor’s plate. We should strive to create a society in which women, Latinos, whomever are as competitive as anyone else for these nominations – not pretend that by nominating a less qualified representative of a tribal interest group that we have somehow rectified a past injustice. Not by pretending that, having given up one of nine seats on the land’s highest court, that we have somehow opened up new doorways to those who were only waiting for this sign before shaking off the legacy of racial oppression. This is the Supreme Court of the United States of America we are talking about for crying out loud. Pick the best qualified person.

Note: I am not convinced that Roberts is the best candidate. I worry when we choose someone, however wonderful their resume, simply because he’s a likely candidate to scrape by without a filibuster. Simply because he’s managed over the course of his adult life to never put anything remotely controversial in writing that might later engender a partisan brawl among people who are only to eager to test their arms. But that’s the lay of the land these days. Best choice? Who knows. Good choice? I guess.

I guess we’ll see.

Couple of kids came down to Sandy Eggo from the old sod, up in central California, where we lived four years ago. Friends of Son Number One, they’ve been here before, but always when I was deployed. First time I’ve seen them in four years. They were 15 when we left, and 19 now, and somehow it all comes as a huge surprise to see that they’ve grown up too. You tend to put the memories of other people’s children in amber, and store them away in a place where nothing is allowed to change. And then they show up four years later, with beards and man-laughs and attitude and you find yourself… surprised.

Well, this was a fine kettle of screed. Won’t get any better by stewing in it. Gomen nasai, I guess.

Blame it on the heat.

And have a great weekend!

* 07-10-18 Links gone; no replacements found – Ed.

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