October 09, 2002

A handful of headclearing thoughts before I head away on a quick trip...

First, and this is more diarylike than I'd normally be, a murder in the neighborhood last night was unsettling in so many ways. Not really because it occurred practically outside our door - the circumstances appear to have been such that I wouldn't say there's danger to the neighborhood or our "quality of life" here, it was awfully close to think of such personal violence.

The short version - AZ and I are sitting in the living room, having a late dinner when, as the saying goes, 'shots rang out' four or six, a pause, then one final report.

It came from the alley, where kids have periodically had some fun lighting off firecrackers, but this time it sounded distinctly different. I've never knowingly heard a gun in the city, only on the farm target (or varmint) shooting with my father. Enough to know the noise, the sense, of the sound to be quite different from firecrackers.

I look out the window, see an object that I'm pretty sure I know what it is. Look out the back door (against AZ's better wishes), know even more certainly, and call 911 almost without thinking, struggling to describe the location of the alley.

Say what you will, the cops and paramedics were there in very little time. But given how measured the paramedics were after arrival, it was clear there was nothing for them to do.

And then came the long standing on the back porch and the multiple reactions. How nobody had seen anything substantive, but we all heard the shots. What we'd experienced similarly, and yet so different, in the past. Watching the dozens of cops and detectives as they searched for shells, tried to find someone who could ID the victim, got pulled to other cases in the big city.

How many of the neighbors seemed to wander out, though we never get to see so many of them on the nice days.

How the L stopped in the tracks right after the shooting, the power from the third rail raising that hum, eerily.

How the cops can't move the person until they reach a certain stage in the investigation - they can even roll him over to see if he himself was armed until they have some core information. So the body sat, guarded by a handful of personnel, until after we'd gone to bed.

How someone has become a life truly wasted, when as people we can surely do better.


AZ has already pointed this out, but the responses coming into the not-your-government-but-a-portal-that-links-to-them site congress.org are largely in opposition to the current activities of the Bush adminiistration (and seem to have more direction than the muddled "we're afraid to disagree. hold us" reaction of many elected Democrats. Not that I have been shaken ever in the last 10 years in my belief that Hussein is an awful, horrible man, but that I haven been moved to support the current rush to attack him this fiscal quarter either.

For more reaction from the floor (and in the way our elected officials want us to get it, for better or worse) consider the current edition of the Congressional Record, housed at the valuable (and the one thing I thank Newt Gingrich for) Thomas. For more on the differences between legislative impressions and actions, consider this Ballot Box piece from William Saletan at Slate.


Finally, the gadget of the month, about which more later, is the Danger Sidekick. It's almost Dent's OnIt (as I understand the OnIt). Needs the "Third Party Opportunities" (Oh, Apple, how we miss your blown Newton Marketing, really we do) to flesh it out, though.

Posted by esinclai at October 09, 2002 09:48 PM |