Rights Without A Home
Well, whaddya know? Our big sister up to the north, Indianapolis, this week passed a law to protect the homeless.
The homeless, for pity’s sake.
How very retro of the Circle City. Hell, you’d think this was 1964 or something. This development is so earth-shaking that the story is being carried in Al Jazeera, for chrissakes.
Not only that, AJ notes, there a whole goddamned “movement” to protect and care about those w/o McMansions or even well-appointed refrigerator cartons in this holy land. Can Al Jazeera be talking about the same country I know?
Acc’d’g to the story, homeless-protection laws are being passed in places like Washington, D.C., Madison, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. Okay, these three are People’s Republics, primarily run and inhabited by subversives, preeverts, and pointy-heads whose political and philosophical spectra run only from pink to red. But Indy?
Yes, Indy. Under the new law, awaiting the mayor’s pen, the homeless would be guaranteed “the rights… to carry out basic human functions such as sitting, standing, eating and sleeping in public areas.”
Heavens. Gov. Mike Pence surely tossed and turned all last night. Not only are the homeless not billionaires, thereby not worthy of due respect in this Free Market, Ayn Randian, I-got-mine-and-to-hell-with-you nation but they’re not even hundredaires! How can a patriotic American even think about them?
Apparently, Indy Council guy LeRoy Robinson has been thinking of them. He sponsored the bill. I didn’t know anything else about him, but I like him.
LeRoy Robinson Of Indianapolis
So I did a little digging into this Robinson character. Is he a Russian plant? A member of ISIS? Kim Jong Un’s man in America? Perhaps all three?
Here’s what one prominent Indy att’y said about him when he was running for his City Council seat:
I have watched Leroy grow since childhood into a very well rounded young man with a passion for his community, education, and public service.
Evidence, perhaps, that he wasn’t born in Kenya like some other elected officials we know? We’ll see.
He’s a former schoolteacher, which automatically should disqualify him from US citizenship if the likes of, say, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have their way.
Last fall, Robinson displayed on his City Hall desk a sign reading “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” along with four other council members.
I’m liking him more and more.
Funny thing is, he’s a Christianist, which should be cause for me to sniff dismissively. But maybe — just maybe — his religious belief has inspired him to care about silly things like education, justice, and the homeless. If so, he sounds to me like an honest-to-gosh follower of Jesus Christ — as opposed to those who say they are but aren’t.
Tears Of Joy
The National Weather Service is going way, way, way out on a limb and predicting high temperatures over the next five days to range from 43º today to 56º Wednesday.
I think I’m gonna cry.
Can It Be?
It was learned these last couple of days that no House Republicans were slated to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the first of the Selma marches and the Bloody Sunday police riot that shocked the nation — well, some of the nation — on March 7th, 1965.
John Lewis (Foreground) As The March Commences
Today’s celebration has been attracting pols like bumblebees to bright pink flowers. Jeez, even George W. Bush says he’s going to attend (of course, he doesn’t have to worry about alienating Right Wing voters anymore.) Everybody, it seems, wants to get in on the civil rights act. Everybody that is, except Congressional Republicans.
The tsk-tsking that all Republican members of Congress had better things to do today — including get their cars washed, shoot a round of golf, and clip their toenails — came as an embarrassment to the GOP. So last night, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the world that, yes, he’ll be in Selma this afternoon.
Perhaps he’ll see what it’s like to be a token.
In any case, do you need any more evidence that no matter what Republicans say, they really, really don’t give a shit about dark-skinned folk?
Hey, while we’re on the subject, here’s a reminder. You oughta get yourself a copy of the graphic novel, March: Book One, illustrated by B-ton resident Nate Powell. It’s the story of then-civil rights activist and current US Congressguy John Lewis’s road to Selma. Lewis was clubbed on the head by one of Alabama’s state troopers and suffered a fractured skull that day fifty years ago.
John Lewis Hits The Ground
Here’s my January 2014 interview with Powell on WFHB and here’s a longer interview I did with him for for the April 2014 Ryder magazine.
Set your clocks ahead tonight, woohoo!
Son Of Seymour
This should make a certain percentage of Bloomingtonians happy and a certain percentage nauseated: a new biography of John Mellencamp will be released next month. Titled Mellencamp: American Troubadour and written by David Masciotra, the book is being published by the University Press of Kentucky and is due on booksellers’ shelves April 6th.
I don’t know why it is but tons of my adopted town’s citizenry love to tell stories about how their girlfriend’s brother-in-law once ran into Mellencamp at some hardware store and the rock star emeritus was all kinds of a-hole-ish. Sometimes I think peeps expect guys like Mellencamp to pump their hands and say, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a fan. Can I pay for all your stuff? I s’pose it never occurs to folks that they might be the hundredth person to grab him by the arm that morning and stutter, You’re…, you’re…, that guy…. Right?
Or, maybe he is a jerk. I dunno. Read the book and find out.
She Likes Us! She Likes Us!
Search me as to why I missed this a couple of months ago but let’s celebrate it now: Comedian Amy Schumer named the Comedy Attic one of her 10 fave clubs in the country in USA Today.
All the rest were pretty much big city joints — the Gotham Comedy Club in New York, Punchline in San Francisco, Hollywood Improv in LA and the like. Schumer’s list ran in the paper’s January 11th edition. She had this to say about Jared & Dayna Thompson’s place and our thriving, throbbing megalopolis:
It’s the Midwest, but they’re nobody’s fool. The people are smart, and I love the culture there, and the restaurants and the bars. It’s kind of a happening city.