31 March 2011

Disturbing Doings in Wisconsin

The union-led effort is an outgrowth of a boycott campaign by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and other unions in which M&I Bank and Kwik Trip were targeted because either the companies themselves or their executives supported Gov. Scott Walker's budget initiatives.
From here.

What exactly does it mean when the police boycott your business?
Nothing good, I think.
And that's why police unions seem like a bad idea to me.

22 March 2011

At the cemetery

The sun was warm on our faces and shoulders. Old men in crisp uniforms moved deliberately or stood respectfully. My grandfather's children, my Mom and her brother and sister, sat with their spouses under the blue velvet funeral home tent. Two of the veterans ceremoniously unfolded a flag and held it as if over a casket, although there was no casket, only a slate gray urn holding Granddaddy's ashes.
When all was ready, an ancient marine, leaning on a cane, spoke with practiced eloquence of the nation's gratitude and of debts owed to its young men sent to foreign lands to fight for liberty. His voice was strong and his Appalachian accent made a kind of music of his speech.
A military chaplain prayed briefly and then warned us about the salute that would follow. Rifle shots echoed among the hills. Into the silence that followed poured the sound of Taps played on trumpet and bagpipes. The song was beautiful and haunting and perfect.
The two soldiers holding the flag refolded it and presented it to my Uncle. The marine who had spoken first turned the remainder of the service over to the ministers who spoke of dust and ashes and loss and peace.
And then it was over.
People stood for a moment and then gradually mingled and wandered and more gradually made their ways to cars and trucks and then away.

12 March 2011

Heinlein says

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.