• Point Of Order: If We're Going To Declare The War In Iraq Over, Shouldn't We Declare War On Iraq First?
Or, If We Were Going To Have The Last Person To Leave Iraq Turn Out The Lights, Shouldn't We Have Turned On The Electricity At Some Point?
My favorite bit, so far: WaPo entitling a slide show "From swaggering hope to quiet departure". Which is like seeing a review entitled "Dance incompetently staged" and discovering it was written by the choreographer.
• Actually, my favorite part of the story has nothing to do with Iraq, just with the sort of thing that got us there. It came from watching, yesterday, as my local teevee teleprompter readers sounded out the story of how the FCC was going to make commercials quiet. (On the same time-table as most social improvements: "Next year. Or the year after, if that's inconvenient." Because, god knows, you wanna make sure the engineers can get all the kinks worked out.)
And leaving alone the question of Just Where Th' Fuck These People Imagine They Work, I've read the story in three places today without once stumbling upon the inconvenient factoid that it's already illegal for commercials to be louder than programs, and has been at least since I was a child. Maybe I misunderstood something, or maybe I was misinformed, but I remember clearly having it explained to me, more than once, that what advertisers, and teevee stations, did to circumvent the regulations was to pitch commercials so that they were consistently as loud as the loudest explosion during programming. And, this being America, that baseline was then used as the level playing field on which they built the springboard to get up to the trampoline so they could jump up to some place where they could really start cheating.
It just slays me, really, when I reflect (as I did this weekend, winterizing my lawn mower in hope that that barely-merchantable, vaguely metallic piece of shit would last another year), that we have, at one and the same time, a public "debate" dominated, if not bought and paid for, by the idea that businesses of all sorts should be wholly unregulated, while the evidence of what results from that attitude breaks like a cheap shoelace right under America's nose, if it's not fucking it in the ass.
• The News from Tit Town: Lemme just say, if you happen to live in a mid-sized teevee market with a well-deserved inferiority complex, and the National Football League happens to grant you a Super Bowl in exchange for a billion of your tax dollars going to build it a new stadium ("or else we're moving to LA"), run, do not walk, somewhere, anywhere, else at least twelve months ahead of time.
First thing we did--the easiest, after dunning people in their sleep to build the thing--was to kick the homeless off the streets, then not enforce the (unConstitutional) ordinance so it wouldn't be challenged before we use it to sweep the streets free of unsightliness next month. Then our Ur-Teabagging Mayor, Gomer F. Ballard, USMC, starting spending money like a Kardashian who'd found a wallet on downtown "improvements". The City-County Council obligingly created new draconian measures to stop ticket scalping--which is legal in Indianapolis--by African Americans on street corners, not by white ticket resellers in the suburbs, something which we'd promised the NFL we'd do if we got the Super Bowl. Read that sentence again. I may even do it myself. Self-appointed representatives of the city of Indianapolis, sent by an accidental mayor, told the NFL that officials not yet elected would alter our laws to their liking.
Then--I think I mentioned this at the time--IMPD and the prosecutor announced they'd be on the lookout for the same sort of roving international-underage-sex-slave rolling limousine brothels that people from Dallas came to town to warn us was such a threat at last year's Big Game they'd had to invent it just to get the point across. This has, at last count, resulted in the arrest of up to two guys who went to meet Craigslist honeys, one of whom did so while being a former legislator, which is an additional Class A misdemeanor, if I understood correctly.
What we haven't been able to do is enact a wider smoking ban, due to some internecine squabbling on the Council, which will switch from Republican to Democratic control in January. This has caused Indiana House Speaker Brian "Preacher" Bosma, Republican and Champion of Individual Rights of Christians and Businessmen, to suggest that the Omnibus No Smoking and Right to Work law could be fast-tracked when the next session begins in January.
My personal favorite, though, is the exploding manhole covers. Been happening all over downtown for the past two years, but when it happened again a few weeks ago there was an uproar to get the problem fixed.
Thanks, Commissioner Goodell. When the NFL comes out against dumping raw sewage into your only semi-major river and main drinking water source, be sure to remember us, huh?