You HAVE to read this column by Washington Post blogger Alexandra Petri
Petri is a favorite of mine; I read her regularly. For those who aren’t familiar with her: Her blog columns are humorous ones about (mostly) politics, and of course these days mostly about the presidential election.
Suffice it to say that this column of hers today is not along those lines.
I’ll just say that this kind of thing is not entirely in the past, and leave it at that for the moment.
(The title of this post is also the “subject” title of the email I just sent to, well, several friends.)
PS: My heartfelt condolences to Ms. Petri on the death of her grandfather. R.I.P., Editor Neal.
“In the days since losing him I have been hunting down this story in newspaper archives — partly to pay tribute to his work for journalism, but also, selfishly, so that I could hear from him again. And he is there to be found, in all the stories, in every interview, with his familiar quiet humor and steady dedication to doing what was right. Each sentence is a gift, another chance to wrap a familiar, beloved voice around myself like an old sweater.”
I knew someone very much like that.
Also want to note that the Indiana ACLU has been one of the best ACLU chapters in the country, dating at least back to the ’80s.
Thanks for pointing me to this beautiful story.
You’re very welcome. There are two, unrelated reasons why this article has particular resonance for me. People who know me very well know both reasons.
Thank you for your comment.
Apropos of nothing, my Mother’s family is from Noblesville, my Uncle has been in business there since the end of WWII (93 years old and still goes to his store everyday), my grandparents are buried there and I actually went to two years of H.S. at Noblesville High.
Doesn’t have a lot to do with the story at hand, but I didn’t really expect to see The Ledger in a national historical context. Even in the 70’s it would have been considered a ‘local’ while serious newspaper types would have also subscribed to an Indianapolis paper like the Star.
Interesting. Your uncle probably knew Petri’s grandfather, considering that they were only two years apart, and both were among the last surviving WWII vets (your uncle still is) in the city.
Yeah, that case was shocking. But one reason I posted the post is that, although almost no one knows this, there’s still intense pressure in some quarters to not criticize a judge, even for unabashed bias, and even when it’s clear that something illegal is going on.
There’s a now-infamous situation from Pennsylvania in which two judges were receiving massive kickbacks from some private juvenile detention institution for sentencing adolescents and teens to long sentences there for things like a fistfight at school or such–things that should not even have involved law enforcement. This went on for years and years even though many lawyers were all-but-certain that something very strange was going on behind the scenes. But everyone was afraid to raise the suspicions with law enforcement–even federal law enforcement.
Eventually someone did, and the two judges and their briber were indicted, tried, convicted and are serving long sentences. It became known as the Kids-for-Cash scandal. It ruined some kids’ lives.
I am sure Uncle Bob knew everyone in Noblesville. For one thing it wasn’t that big a town then, about 9000 when I moved there in 1971. And I am sure he was a prominent advertiser in the Ledger, he sold and repaired sewing machines and branched out into home appliances and then into fabrics. Exactly the kind of products you see advertised in a local paper. But as I said not really pertinent to the story at hand.
He must have been at the funeral. And still being mentally competent at age 93, he must have some awesome memories of back-in-the-day.