Sunday, March 18, 2012

Here is The Best Part, You Have a Head Start, If You Are Among the Very Young At Heart.

Last evening Jo and I decided to go downtown to eat at Bazbeaux Pizza for dinner. Upon hitting the downtown area we quickly became aware of a lot of people on the streets. Many, for some reason wearing green. What's up with that? I ask. Oh Hell, it's St Patrick's Day. I don't think that fact had slipped Jo's mind, but it had mine (big surprise.)

But, I don't think having that in mind would have prepared us for the hoards of people we encountered. It became even more painfully obvious when we turned off of College Ave. and onto Massachusetts. "Oh shit! We'll never find a place to park. If we do, the wait at Bazbeaux will be forever."

As luck would have it, we did find a place to park only about a block away from the restaurant. We were told upon our arrival at Bazbeaux that the wait would in fact be 35 to 40 minutes. For me 20 minutes is about my limit. But we thought, what the hell. Where else are we going to go? Do we schlepp back to the car and drive back to south side suburbia? So we stuck it out. Glad we did.

Most anyone who has eaten at Bazbeaux will, I think, agree that their food is pretty damn good. But, the point of this little harangue is that while us suburbanites are usually put off by the crowds and the hassle of parking downtown, that it ain't all bad.

Now the parking hassle still holds. The new "privatized" parking meters are a major pain in the ass. And now, for those who don't know, week-ends are not free. You must pay to park up until 9PM What a crock! And, if you don't feed the meter, or don't get back before the time runs out, you will most assuredly find a ticket neatly tucked under your windshield wiper. Twenty bucks!

All that being said, downtown Indy is a rather fun place to be. Of course, most of the week-end revelers are young, but we did spy a few others of our, let's say, more mature ilk. There is such a vibrancy that you just don't get, say at the mall. I remember the days while our kids were in college, and how great it was not only to be with them, but to spend time with their friends as well. Ah youth! Youth is a lot of it, but not all of it. It is, I think, a frame of mind, an attitude toward life. Zeal. I think all too often that energy and optimism gets lost with our preoccupation with our various maladies and other set backs as we age. I always feel energized after being around younger people who haven't suffered so many of the inevitable hard knocks that life dishes out. It may be fleeting, but at least I know it's out there. Hitting Mass Ave. on a warm Saturday nite serves as a welcome reminder.

Monday, March 12, 2012


President Obama and the joint chiefs - or whoever would be appropriate - should meet and put together a strategy to get us out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. They can't do it overnite, but it probably could be accomplished over say a 6 month period. They should set it in motion and inform Karsai of our intent. The biggest problem would be security, but they just have to do it. There is nothing for us to win there. Karzai and his government are so thoroughly corrupt that nothing good can come from our continued support.

That the country will devolve into chaos is more or less a given. It is likely that the Taliban will regain control of the country within weeks or months, but that is likely inevitable whether we pull out today or 10 years from now. Afghanistan is a piece of shit part of the world being run by people with a 7th century mindset, but armed with 21st century weapons.

Such a tragedy as happened over the week-end was almost inevitable. We have a generation of young people who have been put to the test in war for much too long a time. It is said the perpetrator of the mass murder was in his 4th deployment to a war zone. We are asking far too much of these kids. And to what end?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who Are the Republicans?

Rush Limbaugh, Judge Richard Cebull of Montana, and now Bill O'Reilly are the definitive face of the Republican party. Limbaugh continued his absolutely dispicable and totally inaccurate charges against 30 year old Georgetown Law Student Sandra Fluke for the third day running. Judge Cabull sent a racist joke about President Obama via email to his chums. O'Reilly has doubled down on Limbaugh's attacks on Fluke.

No one on the right - none of the current Republican presidential candidates, no Senate or House Republicans, none of the right wing media - have offered anything resembling an apology. As noted above, O'Reilly and many others have turned to the offensive and are now attacking Fluke.

Democrats must come to understand that this is the nature and character of their opposition. By and large most Republicans, at least those in positions of power and influence, are as Neanderthals. (Perhaps I should make apologies to any actual Neanderthals.) They are certifiable knuckledraggers. They revel in their stupidity, hold education in disdain, continue to hold racist attitudes, and relish their mean spirited, adolescent "humor." (Apologies to adolescents.)