A time to mourn

Millions of words will be written and spoken about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tonight and in the days ahead. I don't have much to say that won't be said better in a dozen other places.

I met her once, about 30 years ago. She and her husband gave a joint speech at the graduation ceremonies of the school where I teach. She was on the D.C. Circuit then. There was a reception for them the evening before, at the college president's condo in the KOIN Tower. They were an amazing couple. We walked with giants that weekend.

The darkness of the news of Justice Ginsburg's passing is surpassed only by the darkness of the speculation about her successor. I will save you a lot of heartache and bandwidth: Yes, of course, Moscow Mitch will ram through her replacement before the inauguration. If we even have an inauguration. God help our beleaguered country.

Anyway, farewell to Justice Ginsburg, to whom we owe so much. She fought, with great skill and grace, many a good fight. There are many more ahead, and we must remember always to ask ourselves what she would do. Condolences to her family and to her many friends.


  1. My pick for the most impressive thing RBG ever did comes from my own personal experience. I have known two people in the last few years who had pancreatic cancer. Remember Dave Anderson, the co-host of AM Northwest and the afternoon radio guy? He was my friend. I was a professional comedy writer so I got to know Dave and Dwight Slade and then later Mark Mason, radio host and the Blazers P.A. guy.
    The first thing Dave said when he wrote everyone about it
    was not to search the internet for his prognosis. Too late. I had
    just looked at it and it was beyond grim. Something like a 5%
    survival rate after 5 years. Pancreatic cancer is an absolute
    motherfucker. I'd never tell anyone there's no hope, but the odds are
    long. Then in a cruel twist my longtime doctor and friend - the legendary
    Ronald Naito - came up with the same thing. We buried him this past
    January. Both men were strong and had everything to live for but in less
    than 2 years both had been taken down by this incredible villain. They
    withered away.
    The brutal treatments last for about a year when it is announced that they are basically cancer free. But apparently the remaining few cells are the baddest of the bad and when they return they swarm the patient and finish him off. Alex
    Trebek is going through his version of it right now. He made one
    recent statement that summed up what this is like. He said in effect
    that he was not sure he still wanted to go on living. It's a brutal
    Before it was over, Dave Anderson would do his radio
    show and you could occasionally hear the pump in the background
    pumping more chemo poison into him every few minutes. Let me stop
    here for a few minutes to weep. I miss the laughs, Dave and I miss you Dr. Naito
    as well. Wow, Ron, you die just before the pandemic? Thanks a lot.
    RBG had an earlier bout of colon cancer but she was
    diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011. (Another article said 2009) The
    fact that this tiny powerhouse fought it for basically a decade is
    incredible to me. Look, I'm sure we'll hear a lot about the landmark legal
    stuff these next few days, but I already know what impressed me most about RBG. What a fight she just put on. She knew what was at stake and she gave it her all and then some. That should be respected. She definitely outlasted the men I've known with a similar problem. She battled harder and outperformed them. That sounds like her, doesn't it?


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