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Week's End Thoughts & Reflections, September 15, 2018

The Brett Kavanaugh nomination saga took another dismal turn yesterday with an anonymous accusation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh when he was in high school. The letter detailing the misconduct was reportedly leaked by Democrats and the story broke in The New Yorker. Kavanaugh categorically denies the accusation.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose the Kavanaugh nomination. An anonymous accusation is not one of them. The charge is serious. I do not know how best to go about seeking a just resolution in a case where the alleged offense occurred decades ago, there are few details and no corroborating evidence, maybe no possibility of corroborating evidence, and the only witness says he has no recollection of it. The conventional requirement for proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt may set the bar too high. The principle that accusation confers guilt is surely a bar too low.

The use of anonymous accusations to undermine political adversaries has a dark history. Some in the Democratic camp are eager to use this accusation to derail the Kavanaugh nomination. That is wrong. I cannot in good conscience sign off on it no matter how concerned I am about the prospect of Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.


What other fresh outrage is visited upon us this week? Let me see, said the blind man, as Uncle John used to say. Nye County, Nevada, Sheriff Sharon Wehrly set the standard for, well, something, when she inadvertently left her Glock .45 service pistol in a casino bathroom. The gun was discovered by a cleaner, who I gather did the right thing and turned it in. The sheriff told a reporter this was not first time she mislaid her weapon and apologized for the mishap. (Jon Swaine, Sheriffs who cheered Trump's attack on press have their own media run-ins, The Guardian, September 8, 2018).

Law enforcement comes under a lot of fire these days. Sometimes it is merited, other times not. Then there is Sheriff Wehrly.

Congressman Steve King (R) of Iowa seems to make a habit of retweeting white nationalists and neo-Nazis (Jarod Holt, Rep. Steve King Quotes a White Supremacist While Comparing ‘Leftists’ to Nazis, Right Wing Watch, September 12, 2018). Most recently he found a tweet by white nationalist Lana Lokteff impressive enough to share with his followers.

Who are these people? Lokteff was born in Oregon and attended Portland State University. She is married to the Swedish host of the web media company Red Ice, which started out in 2003 covering the paranormal and conspiracy theories before moving on to nationalism and antisemitism. It seems a natural enough progression. Lokteff has declared that America "can never, ever, ever, be too white" and has asserted that interracial dating is "more devious than blatant in-your-face mass murdering."

Good grief. Maybe I should liven up this post with video of me with jaw dropped and head shaking.

My thoughts are with family and friends in the Carolinas.

Keep the faith.

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