Monday, April 27, 2015

They're Coming! They're coming!

Well, we're about 24 hours away from The Big Move. Needless to say, my bro and SIL are up to their elbows in "collections." Cut-glass collection, stamp collection, ugly pocketbook collection, airline ticket stub collection....the list is endless. My sister-in-law is a champ at this stuff and I think she is keeping everyone sane. 

Up here in L'Etoile du Nord, I am worried about the number of collections that are going to find their way here. There are hundreds of loose pictures that need to be sorted and I would imagine thousands of negatives. There is also the matter of the slides. Yes, I have a projector. And now, after having been told they had been relegated to the trash years ago, it appears some of the 78s might have survived the move to Flah-rida a decade ago. This may be a find of some significance; we shall see. 

Kaliedoscope by Crimson Shine 
There is also news out of Milwaukee...besides that they have a total moron for a governor....and that is the Senior Son's Main Squeeze has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This makes for an interesting pair of philosophical and emotional bookends for this family. As we recognize that at 92 and 94 my folks are frail and making all sorts of decisions no one ever wants to make while they get ready for the move up here, we are also acutely aware of the fragility of all life.  Age and otherwise good health are on the Main Squeeze's side. Knowing it's Hodgkin's and not some other form of lymphoma is a good thing, and we are all confident she will have a swift and complete recovery. And with Little Miss in the middle, that charmingly adorable baby with everything ahead of her, we are seeing the kaliedoscope version of life. Colorful, sharp, bits and pieces making up a unique and unpredictable whole.

So enmeshed are we in our own particular life-altering events, it's hard to look around at the rest of the world. Or at least not glance up only to be completely grossed out.

A while back...August 18th, 2014 to be exact....I wrote about Michael Brown's autopsy report. I admitted I was having trouble knowing who was to be believed, and what to believe. I struggle with the death of Eric Garner in New York. One might think the exposure, coupled with the enormous impact each of these horrendous events have had, would make cops more deliberate, more careful in their trigger response. OR, it's not that there are more events like these, and between the body-cam and the cell phones, it's that We, the People realize no action goes undetected.  Everyone with a cell phone has a video camera, and that makes everyone either Abraham Zapruder or a cub reporter. Jimmy Olson with an instant audience. Kinda scary.

But it doesn't stop bad stuff from going down. It's exactly that lack of videography that has sparked the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore. The time lapse between when a cell phone camera captures him being dragged into the paddy wagon and the arrival at the hospital is a terrible hole in space. What happened in the back of that wagon? How was his spine severed? There was more than one officer in there; why didn't someone stop what was happening? Meanwhile, 6 officers have been suspended....and today there were riots.

Like Ferguson and now Baltimore, the riots have nothing to do with the killing. Oh, yeah, people will blame that heinous act, but looting and rampaging and doing whatever else they're doing has nothing to do with Baltimore, the police, or justice. It has to do with free stuff, greed, and lawless behavior. The mayor neither instigated nor condoned it, yet Stephanie Rawlings-Blakes is being savaged by the right for remarks taken out of context and spun into something that has no resemblance to what she said:
I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.
She did not promote destruction; you would have to have more than your fair share of dead brain cells to get that out of this text. She said that in attempting to protect the Constitutionally guaranteed right to congregate and express free speech, it also meant that those who would turn to violence also had their rights protected. But she was right; there was no other way to protect the right of free speech. That protection is not without its dangers. 

The Constitution was written long before instant media and the 10-second news cycle. Taking that into account, we can continue to deny that some of the paradigm has shifted. We can continue to trust the police blindly and without accountability. We can also continue to blame the victims. Somehow, I don't think that's what the Framers had in mind when they drafted the blasted thing. Of the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson remarked,
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” 
For people that claim they want small government, the right wing is the first to demand more police, more interference, more provocation, and more controls on personal matters. They are the first who want to send SWAT, guns, and paramilitary operations into the street to "protect," when, in fact, they are creating a prelude to confrontation. Even a 6 year old knows how belligerency ends. 

I am not condoning nor excusing the violence in the streets of Baltimore or Ferguson or anywhere else for that matter. That should not be happening. Cops are there to preserve the peace, not exacerbate violence. 

Wake up, people; you cannot have it both ways. Either We, the People step up and demand accountability for police action, or we prepare to live in a police state. There is no in between any more. The right wing nutballs have seen to that. 

Wifely Person Tip o'the Week
Never utter the words, "Oh, just send it here....."


  1. Tip o'the Week: Never utter the words, "Oh, just send it here....."

    Your "self-tip" is too late -- everything is now en route to you.