Archive | February, 2010

>Last Man

28 Feb

>This afternoon, I have a funeral to attend, a milestone of sorts. A sad one: the last of my father’s siblings passed away last week, a younger brother.

Even as it happens, it’s difficult to imagine, the last one gone — there were ten children in his generation; three I never knew, who died young, but the others I can remember as well as if they were right here. They’re not; memory is all that’s left. The house they grew up in is a vacant lot. Last time I was by, the little commercial building their father had built still stood, as do most of their nearby houses, the homes I remember from my childhood; but there’s no one I know in any of them. It was a little neighborhood of relatives all within walking distance for a short, sparkling while, but Time’s arrow flies inexorably onward and all we are left with is what we can carry in our minds.

Update: Yes, it was wrenching. In keeping with recent custom, there were plenty of photos of the deceased, many of them with my late father standing right next to him.

As the service neared conclusion, a fellow slipped in behind me, whispered, “There will be a little breeze,” and opened the window. This was not a mystery for long, as the preacher informed us there would be “military honors.” I’d seen the honor guard outside when I arrived (late; work had me on the phone). Rifle salute, followed by taps, right there in a parking lot along the main highway through an Indianapolis bedroom community — I do love this state.

My (little — 6′ 5″ is little, right?) brother looks more like Dad every time I see him; he doesn’t have the thick, jet-black hair but he has sure got the bone structure. And that’s a good thing. His son resembles him, which is even better. We come and go — genes linger.

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>EarHarmonicaWorm

27 Feb

>It’s earwormed me, so why not share? Finnish Harmonica Ragtime: Sv√§ng!
It’s all Mike Flynn’s fault.

>Gun In Your Car? Knifed In The Back

27 Feb

>Looks like Indiana House Dems are tryin’ to weasel out of the guns-locked-in-your-car bill; in their heart 0f hearts, they want you defenseless going to and from work. Some chick gets killed by a stalker, I guess that’s just funny as all hell.

Link goes to Caleb; Caleb’s gotta linked list of Dems with high NRA ratings and suggests y’give a call, drop an e-mail, maybe send ’em a candygram:

DEAR REP DONKEY COMMA WHAT IN THE WIDE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS ARE YOU TRYIN’ TO PULL BY GANKING A BILL THAT DID NOTHING BUT GOOD COMMA ESPECIALLY AFTER IT ALREADY PASSED BOTH HOUSES QUESTION MARK STOP I MEAN IT: STOP THAT SLEIGHT-OF-HAND RIGHT NOW STOP

It might not work but at least it’d get their attention.

>Bayh-Bayh, Evan

26 Feb

>He said it. He truely did; in re partisanship and gridl(hurrah!)lock in Washinton, the pixieish outgoing Senator huffed, “It’s testosterone poisoning; it’s not our fault.”

Yes, Evan says (male) biology is destiny and he appears to believe masculinity is regrettable. Did he pick up the wrong prescription?

That’s it; I’m officially proposing repeal of the 19th Amendment. Increasingly, it is obvious that you poor boys aren’t strong enough to stand up for yourselves when us wimmenfolk can vote.

>Guns In Parks: Tabled

26 Feb

>Faced with what they believe is a hard decision, the City-County Council’s Parks & Recreation Committee blinked: the motion to make it legal for permit-holders to carry their guns in city parks has been tabled.

The Usual Concerned-Citizen Quotes have been dredged up by the media, even as they tapdance around the fact that Indianapolis city parks can be dangerous and that criminals are not deterred from carrying and using weapons by a sign quoting a city ordinance; nor do they mention that (just as in National and Indiana State Parks), it’s still illegal to shoot (other than in self-defense); you still own every bullet and everything it touches. Nope, what we get are quotes from nitwits who say, “If I saw a gun on someone’s hip and they weren’t in a police uniform, I’d be scared.” –I’m sure IMPD’s detectives thank you, ma’am and I do wonder how you behave when you see a citizen open-carrying outside of city parks? Shriek and scurry?

It’s been legal to carry your weapon in Indiana State parks since 2006; note that bloodbaths have not ensued.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder; y’see, city parks are, generally, in the city and a large proportion of park visitors are African-American. Could it be our esteemed Mayor and Council are frettin’ ‘cos there might be black folks with guns in the parks? Hellooo? If a citizen passes the background check, that pink card that says License To Carry Handgun is the only color the City need notice.

>Our Legislators

26 Feb

>The boys and girls we pack off to the state capitols: many of them mean well, or at least want to be perceived that way. Sometimes it goes wrong — even when I agree with their vote.

Take, for instance, State Rep. Charlie Brown’s statewide smoking ban; he’s out to send it back to the State Senate, ‘cos he doesn’t know enough history to understand Prohibition. Nor does he read the newspaper carefully enough to see how well The War On (some) Drugs is doing. And him from Gary, IN, too; you’d think he’d look up from his pressing duties from time to time…. But never mind.

One of the other Reps got up to ‘splain why he wasn’t gonna vote for it: “I cannot support this measure. I can’t support telling the men and women who died for this country that they can’t allow smoking at their VFW hall even if they want to.”

Yep, you heard it: he’s concerned about dead people not being allowed to smoke. Brave dead people; folks who have earned our respect…but, um, not really (ohplease$DEITYnosmokingzombies) smokers.

Talk slower, Mr. Representative; talk slower and consider making notes beforehand. kthxbai.

>Gun In Parks

25 Feb

>[CUE overly-dramatic fanfare: da-da-daaa!] Indy [Red] Star soiling its drawers again; plus, Not Understanding The Process.

Yes, the Star’s panicking itself again over an ordinance that would allow persons with a License To Carry Handgun to do so in city parks without risking a fine. (And that’s all it is, a fine. What’s your life worth? At least a thousand bucks?)

Our timid former-Marine Mayor has pinky-sworn he’ll veto such an awful, awful thing if it comes to his desk — heavens forfend an honest citizen should be able to defend him or herself from attacks in the parks; Mayor Ballard would much rather see me raped and strangled on the Monon trail than carrying an icky-poo ol’ gun. Makes me wanna throw up. I used to like the guy, too. He must seriously want to be a one-term Mayor.

But let’s ask the Experts about armed self-defense: David Mason, of Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence* tells us, “There’s no crisis in our community that requires people to be carrying guns in parks.” Oh, really? David’s another guy who thinks it’s a lot more moral for you to get whacked in the face with a 2×4, beaten and robbed by “underprivileged youths” than have even a slight chance to say “NO” and back it up. You first, pal.

The best line, though, goes to Republican Councilwoman Susie Day, who airily tells us of this ordinance, “You can’t just say, ‘Here’s a proposal.'” Funny, I thought that was how the City-County Council was supposed to function…

This ordinance was proposed by Councilman Ed Coleman, the only Libertarian on the Council; I do believe a lot of the office-holder reaction is more about wanting to show him who’s boss than any concern for the issues. Certainly all sides are willing to throw you under the bus without a chance to defend yourself, and would happily add Ed.

The measure comes up for a hearing tonight at the City-County building. A public hearing. Better speak up!
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* Because “Hoosier Bedwetters” was already taken.