Off the Record

Post election aftermath of the U.S. Senate hearing

If the left was energized in the midterms by hatred of President Trump, the right was motivated by rage at what Democrats did to Brett Kavanaugh. The former helped Democrats take the House. The latter helped Republicans keep the Senate.

The Ford-Kavanaugh Senate hearing was always about politics and the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation. But it was also about the rule of law. Who were you going to believe in the absence of proof? And how would that dynamic play out in future cases?

Fair and balanced, or not at all?

Brett Kavanaugh was as calm as could be expected at the Senate hearing Sept. 27, for someone who has been publicly accused and convicted without proof of assault, rape and exposure.

The people who have been truly hysterical throughout all this are not Kavanaugh or Christine Ford, but the media, especially The New York Times. Their parsing of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook in a desperate search for evidence of bad character takes investigative journalism to a new low.

Enemy of the people; or, war is hell

If the press doesn’t like being called the enemy of the people, perhaps it shouldn’t be waging war against the president of the people — or at least the president of the 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump.

Dickinson: A famous poet’s faded photographs

“Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality.”

— Emily Dickinson


Eyeball injections are fun. Really.

When my doctor told me two years ago that she was sending me to an eye specialist who might give me eyeball injections, I just smiled. There was about as much chance of my sitting still for eyeball injections as there was of Donald Trump’s being elected president that fall.

Two years later, Trump has been president for 18 months and I’ve had 20 eye injections. So much for complacency.

But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought (the injections, I mean. Trump, of course, has been worse).

Democrats make hay, but share the blame

President Trump’s signing of an executive order halting the temporary separation of illegal families at the border came too late to prevent his millions of adversaries from making political hay of the issue.

A visit to the Gray Lady

The New York Times recently held a reception at its Manhattan skyscraper for its “regulars” — a group of about 60 people whose letters it prints on a regular basis.

The Times receives 400 to 600 letters a day from every geographic location and partisan persuasion. Out of this flood it prints as many voices as it can, but the regulars get printed over and over, sometimes for decades.

Physical and intellectual harassment: drawing lines

Drafting rules to govern workplace harassment seems to be as difficult as monitoring free speech on college campuses. In both cases, subjectivity and politics keep getting in the way.

On campus, liberal students know they can claim that any conservative speaker or idea is harmful and their administrators will respond like Pavlovian dogs and coddle them.

Why men won’t ask for directions

Since women are always wondering why men will never ask for directions, it’s only fair to wonder why women always leave their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle.

The reason men won’t ask for directions is very simple. It’s because most people don’t know north from south – especially women – although I say that with great respect. But really, why can’t they move their carts over to the side so the next fellow can get by?

Christmas books in Dickens’ England

“Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes — gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun.”

— Charles Dickens, “Bleak House,” 1851