Category Archives: Ashley Judd

Hot Air

Don’t Shoot; Don’t Kill Him

A fellow named Ryan Giroux killed a man and shot two others in a Mesa, Arizona, motel room yesterday, police say. He fled the motel, acc’d’g to the cops, stole a car, shooting its owner, and sped to a stranger’s residence where, while trying to rob the person who lives there, shot the poor soul. Giroux, police add, then dashed to another apartment complex where he shot another fellow. Running from that apartment, Giroux took a hostage briefly then holed himself up in yet another apartment complex where a manhunt team comprised of officers from five different law enforcement agencies apprehended him five hours after the spree began.

Let me tell you a little bit about this Giroux fellow. He’s accomplished a lot in his 41 years on this mad planet. He’s amassed seven felony convictions, including theft, burglary, and robbery, in three different states. He was convicted once of assault with a deadly weapon. He was nabbed shoplifting from a convenience store in 2006 by two police officers with whom he fought. The officers testified that he was carrying a pistol at the time and repeatedly tried to reach for it as he grappled with them. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for the incident.

Giroux is a known gang member who wears prominent tattoos indicating his affiliation. His very appearance screams danger. He admits to having a problem with meth which, he told authorities after being released from prison, turns him into an uncontrollably violent man. While on probation after prison, he missed one probation department appointment and, in another incident, left the scene of an accident without contacting police.


Ryan Giroux

It can be assumed that the law enforcement officers surrounding the apartment complex where Giroux was arrested knew all about his history. They most assuredly knew about his alleged trail of deadly violence that morning.

Still, police took great care not to shoot to kill him. They fired a taser at him, cuffed him, and brought him to the hospital for treatment before taking him downtown for questioning and processing.

Had Giroux been born with dark skin, it’s doubtful he’d have emerged from that convenience store parking lot fight with the cops with his life. The fact that he’s still alive after yesterday’s drama further proves the point.

Time For Planning

Is the Plan Commission full of knuckleheads or is it merely the planning process in this throbbing, thriving megalopolis that’s knuckleheaded?

Under the rules of this town, the mayor gets to appoint five of the nine Plan Commission members. (Acc’d’g to the PC’s web page, two of the spots are vacant at this time, one of them the mayor’s.) Those who are thankful that three-term boss Mark Kruzan is taking a powder after his stint concludes Dec. 31st are hopeful the new chief exec will clean house starting with the Plan C’mm’n. The idea being, I suppose, that a passel of fresh faces will be less likely to approve the next Burj Bloomington that’ll come in at 200 stories.

Proposed Dubai Tower

Coming To Kirkwood?

I’ve got it on good authority that Plan Commission members regularly receive their packages of documents only 48 hours before meetings, during which they have to decide the fate of this parking lot or that single-family home addition. Or, the next Burj.

Take February’s mtg. for example. Commissioners had a mere two days to consider the merits and drawbacks of the site plan for the proposed 146-room hotel at 210 E. Kirkwood Ave.

Compare that to last summer’s E! Online voting for the 2014 Best. Ever. TV. Awards. Viewers originally were given a window from Wednesday, July 2nd, at 6:30am to Sunday, July 6th, at 5pm to vote. But awards organizers decided even that five-day span was insufficient for the residents of this holy land to select, say, Glee over The Vampire Diaries, so they gave voters three whole days more.

We have, it is apparent, our priorities in this nation.

Perhaps the new mayor should look at the process in addition to the personalities involved.

One Thing Liberals And Conservatives Can Agree On

I’m with Ashley Judd on this one. The avowed liberal has been receiving online abuse, threats, and harassment since she committed the unpardonable sin of tweeting about her love for the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball game.



No, no, I’m not with her re: her Wildcat mania. They are, after all, a semi-professional sports team masquerading as a group of college students that does not need my spiritual or emotional assistance in any way. Their coach makes more than any public employee in Kentucky. More than any ten public employees in the state, for that matter. Oh hell, let’s be frank — John Calipari is making this year a guaranteed total of $6.5 million. In human terms, that would be what some 130 spanking new assistant professors make at that bastion of higher knowledge. Or, what approximately 282 entry-level administrative assistants make there.

The labors of one “John Vincent Calipari (hereinafter ‘Coach’ or ‘Employee’)” as well as the efforts of the respective coaches of some 350 other NCAA Division I basketball teams around this holy land are so meaningful to their respective fandoms that because Ashley Judd had the temerity to reveal her rooting interest in Calipari’s gang on social media, she was rewarded with threats of forced sodomy, rape, miscellaneous violent sexual depredations, and was labeled a whore, a cunt, and countless other pejoratives.

“Not okay,” she wrote in a Twitter response. And to prove how serious she is, she spent much of Monday filling out police reports on as many threateners and verbal abusers as, I suppose, her pen had ink for.

Good. Embarrass the little bastards. Better yet, throw their threatening, hate-filled, entitled asses in jail. Let them see what forced sodomy is all about.

I’m also with former Major League Baseball pitcher and avowed conservative Curt Schilling. He took to social media to crow about his young daughter making her college softball team. Tweeters, naturally, responded with many suggestions regarding bats and her anatomy and other sado-sexual concepts. Schilling actually tracked down a number of the offending tweeters. Among others, he found a college DJ, a fraternity vice president, an employee of the New York Yankees, and at least seven college athletes before he stopped tracking.



He ID’d them to their bosses and superiors. The athletes have been suspended by their respective coaches. The Yankees employee was fired. Once Schilling got tired of fingering these dopes, he posted a couple of other guys’ offensive tweets with their avatars and screen names intact. He wrote in his blog 38pitches:

I wanted to let you internet sleuths have a go. Here are two guys that, as you can see, thought they were somehow funny and tough at the same time.

[Schilling posts screenshots of their tweets.]

These guys went to town. if you guys reading this that know how to find people on the ‘net want to have at it, please do.

It doesn’t matter which end of the political spectrum you occupy: if you want to be counted among the Decent Human Beings of America, you’ll want these cyber-psycho-criminals stopped.

Free Parking

Just asking: Is it true that some or all municipal employees who drive city cars don’t have to feed the meters downtown when they’re on city business?

The Political Arts

Each of the four candidates for mayor are scheduled to speak about how the arts might fare under their hoped-for administrations at the Waldron Arts Center starting next week. Thanks to Cardinal Stage Company managing director Marc Tschida and the theater outfit’s media maven Heidi Harmon for the tip. The Cardinal is sponsoring these four Arts Talks with the candidates in the Waldron’s main auditorium:

  • Darryl Neher Thursday, March 26, 9:45pm
  • John Linnemeier Friday, March 27, 9:45pm
  • John Hamilton Sunday, March 29, 9:15pm
  • John Turnbull Thursday, April 2, 9:45pm

Herald Times editor Bob Zaltsberg will moderate the Neher talk and WFIU’s Yael Ksander will do the same for Hamilton’s. Moderators for the Linnemeier and Turnbull talks haven’t been found yet. It’s assumed that both Linnemeier and Turnbull will be found before their respective talk dates.

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Thursday


“Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson



I figure my first brush with sophistication came on a summer night in, oh, 1966, when I was ten.

The windows would be open throughout my family’s Natchez Avenue bungalow. If the wind were blowing just right, I’d be able to hear the clatter of a distant el train on the Lake Street line.

My father would be comatose in his recliner, his toes covered by his half rolled-off socks, an occasional snort emanating from his open mouth. Ma was already in bed. It’d be about 12:45am or so, and I’d be laying on the living room floor on my belly, craning my neck to see the TV screen, free as a bird.

In those summer vacation days, no matter how late I’d get to bed, I’d be sure to be able to wake up the next morning before the sun even climbed over the trees on Nagle Avenue, a block to the east. But I still had more TV watching to do. “Night Beat,” the WGN-TV late news show sandwiched between the 10:30 movie and the Late Show would be on.

Nightbeat, WGN-TV

The old anchor, Carl Greyson, would sign off and then the strains of the most adult music I ever was happy to hear would come on, the intro to that late, late movie. See, WGN would run a fairly recent movie at 10:30, something not too moth-eaten, like “Marty.” Then, after Night Beat’s house fires, shootings, and obligatory clips of Mayor Daley (the first) butchering the English language, there’d be a really old movie, often a hard-boiled detective feature from the ’40s.

For some odd reason, “The Dark Corner” sticks in my mind. Made in 1946, it starred Lucille Ball as a private eye’s hot tomato secretary who insists on helping her boss with his cases because, natch, she’s in love with him. It opens with shots of the big city, probably New York, but at that age I didn’t know the difference between The Loop and Broadway; so I dreamed of growing up and having my own office in some downtown Wabash Avenue building, where I could smoke, banter with pretty dames, and occasionally pull out my shoulder-holstered pistol just to see if it was still loaded.

Scene from "The Dark Corner"

Lucille Ball’s Got It For The Boss In “The Dark Corner”

That image gets mixed up with the intro strains of the Late Show, a jazzy thing, very subtle and smooth. A sax and a piano, mainly. In my dream it’d be playing repeatedly throughout my day in that office after I’d grown up.

It was Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

That was sophistication. That’s what I had to look forward to as I reached manhood.



For a while there, nobody screamed hard-boiled Chicago like David Mamet. The author of many plays including “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” “American Buffalo,” “The Water Engine,” “Speed-the-Plow,” and “Oleanna,” he copped a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984 for “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

Mamet’s dialogue was the thing. Loud, profane, often (too often, some have groused) obscene, it was the dialogue of men without the company of women, men who say the word fuck again and again simply because it sounds as good as it feels to blurt out. His characters are known to converse (or, more accurately, orate past each other) in something that has come to be known as “Mamet-speak.”

The only consideration of morality in Mamet’s plays is his obvious assurance that no one is moral, merely exigent. The whole gang of office brutes in Glengarry is as likable as a pack of stray dogs.


The Original Broadway Cast

In recent years, Mamet’s stage output has fallen off and he’s turned his attention to TV commercials and cop shows. He also has decided that this holy land needs straightening out because it’s become immoral — remember, he would know immorality or the lack of it. He released a book in 2011 entitled “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture.”

The book documents the handbasket-to-hell America has become, mainly because liberal Hollywood stars are actually press agents for some nefarious cabal, or something.

I tried to read “The Secret Knowledge” but I couldn’t get past the first three pages. It’s as hysterical as a Glenn Beck book without any of the charm. When your prose is less seductive than that of a borderline lunatic, your worldview is grim indeed. This comes as no surprise from a man for whom the effort of smiling appears agonizing.



Mamet this year got back on Broadway with a new play called “The Anarchist.” He lined up Patti Lupone and Debra Winger to play a radical leftist convict and a nebulous corrections department nabob, respectively. The two parry for a little more than an hour over right and wrong and those who managed to stay awake through the closing curtain reported it to be less than riveting. One reviewer called it “a short, brittle, stripped-down debate-club exercise on a stopwatch.”

And that was among the less crushing pans of the production. Accordingly, “The Anarchist” is closing after a little more than a month of performances, including 17 previews.

"The Anarchist" Marquee

And how soon will Mamet begin blaming the critics for the show’s demise (which would be like blaming a restaurant patron for suffering food poisoning)?

But isn’t that the way with the Right? Radicalized Republicans, Me Party-ists, Libertarians, and other such creatures crow about self-reliance and responsibility every chance they get but the moment they screw up they point fingers in 360º sweeps.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Mamet asks for a federal bailout now.


Mamet, like so many in the Nouveau Droit is made itchy by feminists. For instance, he battered Gloria Steinem for applying feminist criticisms to the idolatry of Marilyn Monroe. Steinem wrote that Monroe was essentially forced to play the infant and Mamet responded that Marilyn was the second coming of Madame Curie.

Mary Elizabeth Williams writes in Salon that female celebs from Katy Perry and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy to Marissa Meyer and Melissa Leo are climbing all over each other trying to proclaim to the world that they’re not feminists.

I suppose it makes sense that Perry, for one, a woman who relies upon the size of her breasts for much of her fortune, would be less than Susan B.-ish about things. But why are so many other accomplished women willing to eschew the tag, feminist?


A Different Kind of “Firework”

Is it merely ego? As in, I did it all on my own and I never needed Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem to fight any battles for me. It reminds me of the righteous indignation of newly-muscled baseball players after they’re accused of using performance-enhancing drugs; hey, I’m good — I don’t need no stinkin’ drugs.

Yes, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were good. That didn’t mean they didn’t think they needed a pick-me-up now and again. Same with the female CEO of Yahoo!. Marissa Meyer is talented, sure, but she is standing on the shoulders of giants.


And wouldn’t it be the coup de grace for Ashley Judd to oust jowly, humorless, and philosophically flatulent Mitch McConnell from Washington?


Out With The Old, In With The New?

Not only would the Republicans have to rethink their stance toward Latinos, but toward women as well.

According to a number of sources, the former actress is doing her due diligence in preparing for a possible US Senate run from Kentucky.

Fingers crossed.

The Pencil Today:


“The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.” — J. Robert Oppenheimer


Steve the Dog and I enjoyed the last of the really pleasant dusks of the season at Lake Monroe Thursday.

We go to Cutright and Paynetown three or four nights of the week to watch the sunset. Well, I watch the sunset — Steve is too busy sniffing every surface he can put his snoot near.

I got a special treat Thursday when two magnificent Great Blue Herons took flight together across the water from the direction of the Paynetown ramp all the way toward Mellencamp’s manse.

The birds were so close to the surface of the water that the tips of their wings occasionally plinked up a bit of water as they flapped.

Starting Friday, though, the lake area became a madhouse, meaning similar solitary sightings will become far rarer for the next three months or so. The campgrounds were overflowing, the trailer lots were packed, the shores were lined with fisherbeings casting their lines — I think I saw one woman reel in the man who was fishing next to her.

Of course, it’s the Memorial Day weekend but the summer season seems to be getting off to a chaotic start, what with a couple of knuckleheads wrasslin’ and horsin’ around until one of them drowned.

On a more pleasant note at an apparently less perilous lake, some people have seen one or more Brown Pelicans at Patoka Lake, about 50 miles south of us. Here’s a photo taken May 12 by Amy and Noah Kearns:

A week later, a fellow named Jim Sullivan snapped some glorious shots of the bird:

Who knows? Perhaps the pelican or one of his kin will make the trek up to Lake Monroe this summer. I hope so — toward that end, Steve the Dog and I will continue to run down to Cutright and Paynetown despite all the wrasslin’ and all the people trying to snag each other with their fishing hooks. He’ll sniff, I’ll keep my eyes open.


Just in case you’re one of those Luddites who believe everything created by science and industry is the handiwork of the devil, I submit this:

The Golden Gate Bridge opened 75 years ago today.

It is not only a triumph of humankind’s engineering prowess but of our capacity to create art.


How about that Dario Franchitti? If I’m him, I play the lottery. He won the Indy 500 yesterday, he’s one of the most successful IndyCar drivers in the world, he’s a charming and charismatic personality whom the TV talk shows love to have on, he’s loaded, and he’s married to the scrumptious and very cool Ashley Judd.

Hi Honey, I’m Home!

Some guys, huh?


Not that I’m lacking in the luck department. Here’s the latest on The Loved One. We purchased our first riding mower the other week.

We let it sit in the garage for a while, mainly because we were afraid to touch it. But by and by the lawn started looking rather rainforest-y so T-Lo gave the word, Let’s crank it up.

Sure, honey, I said, at which point I turned on my other side and fell back into a delicious snooze. Next thing I knew, I heard T-Lo pushing the contraption out of the garage to the driveway where she could fill its tank and try to turn the engine over.

Our New Hot Rod

I hauled myself up off the sofa and went to help, which is code for watching her do the work. She eventually dragged me into the process, though, and between the two of us we had the thing running within a half hour.

Okay, I said, it works. Let’s put it away now.

T-Lo had other ideas, though. She began mowing the front lawn with a demonic look on her face. Within minutes, she was handling the thing the way Dario Franchitti wheels his IndyCar around the Brickyard.

You sure you don’t want me to do it? I yelled over the roar of the engine. She gave me a look that implied I’d get myself bloodied if I tried to get her off it.

Now our lawn is the envy of the neighborhood. BTW: I was fast asleep again before T-Lo was finished.


Memorial Day. All the radio and TV stations as well as the newspapers and websites are chock full of stories about how wonderful we are because men have been willing to die for our holy land.

When I was a kid, I drank that brand of Kool-Aid. It was easier to believe it all then. The fellows who fought in what Studs Terkel dubbed the Good War, were still around, many of them in the latter parts of their prime. My own daddy-o was drafted in 1945 and was just about to get an all-expenses paid trip to the South Pacific when the Army Air Corps dropped the Fat Man on Hiroshima. He was lucky.

A Hundred Thousand Died So I Could Be Conceived

Memorial Day was a celebration of brave humans who sacrificed their lives so Fascists and Nazis and Imperialists wouldn’t take over the Earth.

Since then, though, it is these Great United States, Inc. that has become the empire. Thankfully, we’re not Fascists or Nazis despite what some overwrought drama junkies care to believe. Still, we often bully our way from one end of the globe to the other.

Korea, Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Grenada, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan — we’ve been racking up the advantage miles for some 70 years now.


Some of our little adventures have been noble. Well, noble-ish. Trying to stop the warlords of Somalia from slicing up the people there, or helping put an end to the Qaddafi crime syndicate were quasi-admirable decisions. Throwing the Taliban out of Afghanistan was good. Curbing Serb and Croat bloodlust in Bosnia had to be done.

But ousting the democratically elected president of Iran for the benefit of British Petroleum? Bucking up the corrupt petit-tyrants of Vietnam? Those were the acts of the world’s biggest bully.

American men and women lost their lives in many of those follies, too. They died because we weren’t so wonderful.

The truth is every nation demands its people die for it. Wehrmacht soldiers were just as willing to offer up limb or future for the cause as some farm kid in Iowa.

If we really wanted to honor people like Miles Craig or Ron Kovic, we’d demand our elected leaders knock off the bully-boy games.

Ron Kovic At 1972 Anti-War Rally

The truth is, though, we don’t give a shit about Miles Craig or Ron Kovic. We’re more concerned with drinking the Kool-Aid.

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