Sunday, April 26, 2015

On Writing — A Few Thoughts On Solving Crime The Old Fashioned Way

NCIS — Top-Rated Crime TV

It appears that every popular TV show dealing with crime has the same ingredients.  There is a team, with a tough curmudgeonly leader who has a tragic past, a couple of younger, attractive action members, a colorful eccentric medical examiner and a funny, lovable, quirky computer geek or two who, with just a couple of quick taps on the keyboard, can come up with whatever is needed precisely when it is needed. Crime solved.

I appreciate the modern approach.  Even though actual crime solving lags behind its TV counterparts technologically, pursuit of criminals through DNA, digital tracking devices, cell phone towers and computer hacking is real and increasingly common.

However, because I am of a certain age – the age of uncertainty, I suspect – the only challenge for the modern writer is not so much the ability to deliver a clever plot, but a hungry technological mind. When all else fails, the computer will match an overlooked hair with the DNA on a computer match. This puts readers, who haven’t the high-tech background, at a great disadvantage when attempting to solve the crime along with the on-screen protagonists.  Colombo’s brilliant villains don’t stand a chance.  And Perry Mason loses his cases before the trial even begins.

What I miss most in contemporary crime fiction (movies, books and TV) is character development — not just of the protagonists, but also of other characters important or who should be important to the story. The underlying theme of a really good story is about the depth of as well as the failure or survival of character itself.  I believe the reason books like The Maltese Falcon or L.A. Confidential suggests that readers rightfully want a tight mystery with a well-developed motive for the crime, we also want there to be something larger at stake.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Confessions — Writing On Steroids

I’m not a sports fanatic, but I do follow baseball. I was a Cubs fan while I lived in Indianapolis and a Giants and A’s fan soon after I moved to San Francisco. I followed and admired Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.  When the accusations came down that both power hitters had burnished and tarnished their records by taking steroids, I had to think about what that meant.

People alter their minds and bodies all the time. Botox. Body lotions. Blueberries.  Even if that record-breaking left fielder isn’t taking hormones, he is probably on a special diet and is trained in a special way to maximize his performance. In a similar reach-for-the-stars situation, did the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Pink Floyd drop some acid to reach new heights in music? There wouldn’t even be some forms of music without drugs. Has it made a difference in how we regard those who excelled?

In the case of Bonds, there had to be some excellent, inherent skill and a tremendous amount of devotion and work to achieve what he achieved with or without chemicals. Does it matter if he took a growth hormone?  Is a work of art a work of art if the artist was on mescaline?  Is a prize rose disqualified because the grower used a certain fertilizer? And what about those champion pumpkins? All that we do involves chemicals. Our bodies and minds interact with chemicals all the time — food, some call it. Models and sumo wrestlers go on special diets.  More protein, more carbs. At what point is messing around with your body immoral? I don’t wish to sit in judgment, though, these days I prefer it to standing.

Now, my confession:  I write on steroids.  My just released book was written while I was on steroids. I’m on steroids right now.  My writing used to be fueled by caffeine and nicotine and, by the end of the day, more than a couple of glasses of wine.  Many of the great writers couldn’t function without whiskey or marijuana or both. Burroughs and Ginsburg and Hunter Thompson wouldn’t have dillydallied with something as lightweight as wine and cigarettes. The legendary writers and artists who spent time in Paris treated themselves to wormwood — Absinthe. None of this was good for the consumer.  But we’ve decided to indict our sports stars for doing whatever it took to achieve the highest form of their art while we romanticize the use of drugs by artists as an exciting and incredible part of the way they lived. A sacrifice for their art? I don’t know.  How are we supposed to measure these things?
Before the arcs descend, I should explain. I spent a good portion of 2011 and 2012 recovering from surgeries — one lung surgery and two brain surgeries, the latter leaving me with a condition called persistent radiation necrosis — swelling and inflammation of the brain. During most of that time I wrote in fits and starts.  I rode the ups and downs caused by attempts to control the condition by medical professionals experimenting with various levels of various steroids.  Sometimes I sat and stared at the wall. This was the zombie-in-the-chair phase. 

Then there was the steroid bat-out-of–hell phase.  Despite motor nerve impairment of my left side, I would suddenly have more energy than I knew what to do with. My mind raced. I didn’t have the presence of that mind to think through a new novel, but I worked. I self-published e-book and trade paperback versions of four previously published early novels and a new novella I had completed before my extended medical entanglements. I also started this blog and completed the first and very rough draft of an autobiography using the extra punch of the otherwise unpleasant drug. A veritable whirlwind was I.

All this was without the use of my left hand. Typing was and is a clown act. The fingers on the left flail about while the fingers on the right do precisely what they’re told and then correct the missteps of the left. Typos reign because of this half-assed dance, but also multiply because of the strange blind spots in my left eye. Proof reading has never been my strong suit, but this is ridiculous.

Though the overall brain condition persists, the steroids work well enough and they are likely an on-going part of my life to keep the swelling at a minimum.  Possibly, the appropriate sustaining dosage has been found. Now I sleep a lot, nod off, nap. But when I’m awake I am or seem to be surprisingly clear-headed. And I write.  And I write and I write.  I am compelled as if by a mild madness to do so.

I am certainly no Barry Bonds, no major league all-star of the writing world. I’m still on a farm team.  But how am I to weigh the effects of the steroids on what I create? However good or bad they are, are my accomplishments valued less because I’m taking steroids? I don’t ask this to get reassurance or sympathy. I’m fine with things as they are. In fact, dealing with some of the weird effects of my condition is fascinating. In many cases I must consciously engineer movement when dealing with things on the left side.  New worlds have opened. Getting out of a chair at a restaurant requires serious forethought. It is a feat of engineering. I must consciously use the hinges that are elbows, knees and and ankles and bones as levers and braces, switching from a wayward left set of machinery to a predicable, intuitive right.  The fact that I am unaware of my blind spot even though I know I have one and even know roughly where it is remains puzzling. I would have expected there to be darkness where I could not see.  It is not the case. I think I see everything that’s there; but I don’t. That notion has broader ramifications. I see the world differently. This isn’t a bad thing for a writer.

So aside from the extra pounds and a round face I can happily blame on steroid side effects rather than my lack of discipline, all is well. Life is fine. But I remain curious. What I’d like is an answer to the question I originally asked.  Put the official baseball rules aside for a moment. There are no such rules for artists, dancers, musicians and writers.  In the overall scheme of things, even if he took steroids, did Barry Bonds really cheat? What about athletes who have personal trainers and nutritionists? What about psychoactive drugs — anti-depression and anti-anxiety prescriptions? I could see how anti-anxiety medication could help a shortstop.  Might such pills be considered performance enhancers as well? What about so-called natural supplements as if anything in this world isn’t natural? Deadly maybe, but not unnatural.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Film Pairings — The Oddness Of Other People

Around Christmas each year my parents would force (yes “force”) my brother and I to visit their old friends and their families, bringing with us a tin of mother’s oatmeal cookies. The older folks (25 or so) would talk of old times while we kids who did not know each other, would stare at each other with controlled disdain. I remember how odd it all was.  I remember other people’s houses had their own smells and the furniture was, in my mind, depressing. The cookies they served were just wrong. How could people live like this?  Strange places, strange kids, strange parents. I was always glad when this awkward holiday tradition was over and we were home where things weren’t always good, but where they were comfortable.

Thank goodness, I’m over that particular childhood peculiarity. Generally I love the diversity that exists in the human species.  But watching these two movies I revisited this sense of unease, prompted by the oddness of others, especially others in an eternal state of disconnection. This double feature is an odd pairing, two films inhabited by people who live in bubbles that glance each other in passing.

Foxcatcher validates the cliché, “truth is stranger than fiction.”  John du Pont, ornithologist, philatelist and philanthropist as well as having a wrestling obsession is a member of the du Pont dynasty,  probably America’s richest family at the time. As John Steve Carrel) provides a portrait of a convincingly strange and needy, gun-toting loser whose mother had to buy him a friend when he was young.  Nothing much changed as he grew older. Only now he could buy his own friend.  He sought out, manipulated and essentially bought a young and vulnerable Olympic wrestler ostensibly to groom for the Olympics. The motive is iffy and subject to interpretation.  The new protégé, (Channing Tatum), has self-worth problems of his own.  He grew up in the shadow of his more talented older brother (Mark Ruffalo) and welcomed du Pont’s attention.  The new emotionally wounded friends were destined to destroy each other. Vanessa Redgrave played the cold, wealthy matriarch who could barely tolerate being in the same room as her son.  Bennett Miller directed this critically hailed film. The cast is flawless.

American Beauty validates another cliché, that truth is often found in fiction. Away from the chilled and rarefied air of the the upper class in Foxcatcher, we descend into the middle class, its hunger for conformity, its silly materially measured success and its great capacity for and encouragement of insincerity. Kevin Spacey plays a man bored with his own mediocrity and the values of the living dead who surround him.  He wants out. While his current life has left its share of collateral damage, getting out isn’t without wreckage. He has a neurotic daughter, a disconnected wife and damaged neighbors. With help from a solid cast  Annette Bening, Chris Cooper and Wes Bentley among them — the film reminds us that even with salvation, we don’t get out alive.  Sam Mendes directed the multiple award-winning 1999 classic.

Both films provide a smooth but far from simple glimpse into the complicated lives of their inhabitants. There are no simple answers.  Right and wrong are not self-evident. As crime films of a sort, guilt and innocence are nonetheless hard to parse. Both are movies you might like to savor or discuss. Both, it seems to me, take us to unpleasant worlds, its inhabitants bumping into each other blindly.  Perhaps you should sip your wine until the credits role.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rant Follow-up – Dear Governor Pence, Save $2 million, Resign Now

The people who make up the largest percentage of this blog’s readership aren’t from from Indiana.  In fact, there is a huge block from Russia and another from Europe. And for the most part, my posts focus on writing crime fiction and film. So why am I fixating on the ignorant Governor of one-mid-sized state?

Dear Lt. Governor, Why So Quiet?
I’m sorry.  He’s like a stone in my shoe.  He is a prime example of what I like least in human behavior – bullying. He is making his personal fundamentalist religious beliefs law and says he is doing so for the cause of “religious freedom.”  There is, of course, no freedom, religious or otherwise, when one’s religious freedom trumps another’s.  

While a congressman, Pence voted against the notion that women must be paid the same as men when they do the exact same job and was consistently anti-gay. As governor, he disliked the results of the school superintendent election so he created a new state office to which newly elected superintendent must report, essentially putting himself in charge despite the electorate. No one is less qualified to run any educational program, which is why the electorate ignored his candidate in the first place He’s not particularly fond of any class that teaches the world is older than what the creationists’ believe. He doesn’t believe in evolution or climate change. And he has strange notions about being poor. “We’re ‘ennobling’ poor people by cutting off food stamps,” he said.

Unsatisfied by how the largely conservative Hoosier press was treating him – apparently they had the audacity to ask him questions – he tried to set up his own news agency. That didn’t go well.  Then the tsunami hit. He had proposed and the gerry-mandered state legislature agreed to legislation that would permit if not encourage discrimination against LGBT people and by logical extension would also revive all sorts of discrimination. This upset a lot of people, not only in Indiana, but elsewhere.  Businesses threatened to move.  Other states instituted boycotts. Performers cancelled concerts. Conventions threatened to move. Corporations delayed expansion plans.  Lost business hit Indianapolis big time, and it had begun to affect other Indiana cities, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Bloomington to name a few.

What did Pence do?  He stood firm.  The law wasn’t intended to discriminate, he insisted, despite the fact that that the bill signing took place in a private ceremony attended by the most rabid anti-gay leaders the state could produce. He denied the obvious and stood firm as the state began to fall apart. Five mayors of Indianapolis, four former and four of them Republican, wrote to express their outrage. He squared his jaw and tightened his lips. He was standing his ground.

Indiana was getting the reputation of being the most confederate state north of the Mason Dixon line. Even Arkansas, which considered copying the law, backed off.  But not Governor Pence.

The state legislature folded and Pence relented, finally signing a “fix.”  Pence went off to Europe, perhaps to clear his head or negotiate a deal with a P.R. agency.  Once touted as a presidential possibility or, at minimum a VP candidate, Pence was now in trouble.  No one expected a Republican to be progressive on social issues, but they were supposed to be good for business.

Pence’s penance turns out to be $2 million of Indiana taxpayer money to hire a P.R. firm to improve Indiana’s image, which was actually pretty good until Pence became governor. The money went to the departments of Business Development and Tourism. No fan of his privatizer-in-chief predecessor, Mitch Daniels, Daniels nonetheless manufactured the perception that Indiana was a great state for business and a great place to live. Indianapolis, in particular, was and is seeing a kind of renaissance, no thanksto the governor. Pence and his inability to manage a crisis of his own creation, destroyed years of hard work. His incompetence was broadcast nationally not by opinionated pundits, but by Pence himself.

Dear Pence, Save $2 Million:" Resign
There are many questions here. What does all this say about the man’s competence, let alone intelligence?  Perhaps more important, is the expensive, tax-funded P.R. campaign designed to restore Indiana’s image or Pence’s? First you beat up the citizens and then ask them to pay the hospital bills and buy you a new suit and a haircut. 

There are those in Indiana who think Hoosiers should move on, that continued attention to Pence’s folly only further embarrasses the state. It’s also true: If he were to resign, the lieutenant governor (a person of similar political persuasion) would take over and be in a position to go after the seat herself, unless, of course, she was complicit.  Though constitutionally in charge of the Department of Commerce, to which business development and tourism, usually report, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann has been strangely quiet. Is she in hiding?

Meanwhile Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard may consider a gubernatorial run during the GOP turmoil. Another connected Republican has quit his day job and hinted he might challenge Pence who only a short time ago was invinceable. Now, a battle for Indiana’s top job – between pro-business and socially conservative Republicans – may ensue. The Grand Old Party’s Good Old Boys suddenly have to deal with a restless herd.

Whatever happens, a bully like Pence should not be allowed to skate, though I worry that his new $2 million connection to a gigantic international P.R. firm could net him dividends in his golden years or keep him afloat during his potential exile.  He has made, some might consider, a substantial down payment on an office with a K Street address.

What he really deserves is to be ennobled. Really, a Pence resignation would do more to restore Indiana’s image than a $2 million P.R. campaign. They would make a big deal of it on the evening news.  There would be a big sigh of relief and we could again think about other things: Chris Christie in a revival of “The Sopranos,” for example.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Film Pairings — Gone Girl, But Here Comes The Judge

These two films are more recent than those that usually find their way here. But I was fortunate they were almost immediately available despite their Academy Award considerations.  Both are solid. Worthwhile.   Gone Girl is brilliantly cynical while almost its opposite, The Judge is life affirming.

In Gone Girl, Ben Affleck plays a rather dull husband, who initially at least, is out of his league with his far more exciting and creative wife, played by Rosamund Pike. The wife goes missing. A forensics team discovers what appears to be a murder scene at the house and the husband begins to look good for the crime. Early in the film I felt like I was watching some true crime drama – “48 Hours maybe” — only with better dialogue and better lighting. The author of the best-selling book itself, Gillian Flynn hands over a great screenplay to a director, David Fincher, who knew how to put it on film. A top supporting cast, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and my favorites, Carrie Coon as the husband’s sister and Kim Dickens as the top cop help give this first-rate film its smooth play. But beware.  It has a nasty, unsettling end. Just when you think you have it, it has you.  Who says you have to be happy?

Fine acting also marks The Judge. Though neither Robert Downey Jr. nor Robert Duvall test their respective ranges, playing types they’ve successfully played before, they are nonetheless perfectly cast in this story of a dysfunctional family on the verge of  complete disintegration. Duvall has the pivotal role  — a harsh judge not only to those who come before him, but of his family, particularly his smart-assed son played by Downey.  But the judge is nearly destroyed by the death of his wife, his stage IV cancer, mentally challenged son and, finally, a crime he is accused of committing, but cannot remember. David Dobkin directed this film which rises from the merely predictable to something worthwhile thanks to the ability of all the actors, which also includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, a magnetic Vera Farmiga and a cameo appearance by Billy Bob Thornton who brought tremendous presence to a small but significant role.

In the first film, Rosamund Pike is forced to move to a small town in Missouri, a fate she regards as worse than death.  In the second Downey is forced to return to his home, a small town in Indiana, a fate he believes is worse than death. The cure for this unhappiness? Inbibification, of course.  For those who wish to imbibe, I recommend tonic and lemon with or without the gin. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Commentary – Republicans Light Up Broadway

Word is out. Sarah Palin’s daughter will be in a road revival of the musical Annie Get Your Gun.  What makes this even more exciting is that Bristol ”the pistol” Palin’s show is produced by the National Rifle Association. It’s apparently the NRA’s brainchild, a way to build support for the organization’s sagging image. Maybe they can get Ted Nugent to play Buffalo Bill.

I think it’s a brilliant idea. Imagine the possibilities for other organizations needing a little help with their public perception.  The Mormon Church could revive Seven Brides For Two Brothers, starring the Romneys.

Tom Cotton: Senator
Anthony Perkins: Psycho
Breaking News:  Marco Rubio will replace Jeb Bush as The Man From La Mancha when Bush finally realizes he’s not Hispanic. In a search for an Anthony Perkins look-alike for a Koch Brothers’ musical version of Psycho, they are thrilled to announce that Tom Cotton will play the part. “He’s perfect, wound, you know, just a little too tight,” said director Karl Rove.

Other Broadway snippets:  It is rumored Mike Huckabee will take the lead in the Music Man. His song, “Trouble, oh we got trouble right here in Indiana, trouble with a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘G’ and that stands for gay.” In the interim, Huckabee will take the lead as the sheriff of Mayberry. Bobby Jindal will take the role as his nervous deputy, Barney Fife. In this new Broadway-bound version, gays, poor people and uppity women will go to jail. Ted Cruz will guest star as Jesus H. Christ, who visits Aunt Bee to take back her Social Security check in a particularly touching episode in which Opie is refused admittance to the local hospital for lack of health insurance, but is treated by Floyd the barber, in a cameo by Mitch McConnell.

Christie: "To the moon, Alice!"
The Odd Couple Returns again and again. This time, the organization, People For Continual War will produce a Broadway version featuring John McCain and Lindsay Graham.  Next on Lindsay’s schedule is La Cage Aux Folles, where he will pretend he knows more about football and soldiering than designer ball gowns.

Ralph Kramden
My spies are checking the rumor that Donald Trump will star in a restaging of Hairspray.  “I know they're looking for someone tackier, but I felt that I could reach deep down in my soul and find this quality,” Trump said.  His PACS have already raised $3.75 in crowd funding, not quite enough for a slice of pizza, but Trump has plans to sell his failing casinos to Wal-Mart to get his show up and running.

Perry: Do these glasses make me look smart?
The Honeymooners on 42nd Street.  Watch for Chris Christie as bus driver Ralph Kramden and Rick Santorum as Ed Norton in this revival.  Pundits say his is a real stretch for Santorum because Norton’s character is supposed to come across as a human being.

Rand Paul and Rick Perry will star in an adaptation of Deliverance, The Musical. Rand, it is reported, will play a dueling banjo in the production. Insiders aren’t sure what that means.

The Eagle Forum will produce a Broadway tribute to The Golden Girls, starring Phyllis Schiafly as the oldest resident of a shared house in Arizona or Arkansas — one is a dry heat.  The show also stars Carly Fiorina, Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin. In a departure from the original concept, none of these Golden girls are particularly bright.

Carly Fiorina: Golden Girl
The Family Research Council is begging the trending Ted Cruz to join them in various productions, but he said the only role he was prepared to take is Jesus Christ, just not that last part.  He is currently auditioning for the U.S. Presidency or “the Savior” as he prefers to be called. He had admitted he was concerned he would be confused with Tom Cruise, or perhaps with Christ himself.  Scott Walker, in an effort to compete, tried to find a role he could play.  Unfortunately there is no character for someone who has no character. “Mean and petty, isn’t enough,” said a spokesperson for the Club For Growth, which denies they help people grow hair.  They suggested Walker take the title role in The Invisible Man, but Dr. Ben Carson had already been cast.

I’m sorry, Democrats, you’re just not as silly as Republicans.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Blatant Promotion — E-Books At Bargain Prices

Though Amazon and B&N have been selling and shipping my new book Killing Frost before the official May 1 release date, I’ll begin my blatant promotion of the new book closer to the official release date.  In the meantime, what I would like to do is call attention to some real bargains for all of you e-book readers with regard to some of my other books.
The Carly Paladino/Noah Lang San Francisco Mysteries
 “the makings of a superior series. Tierney, author of the Deets Shanahan series, has a winner here. Library Journal

$2.99 Death In North Beach
$2.99 Death In The Haight
$3.99 Mascara: Death In The Tenderloin

Noah is a streetwise P.I.  Carly is a highly trained professional. Together with a gender-bending associate, they cover the eclectic City by the Bay.

The Shanahan Indianapolis Mysteries
... eccentric characters, wry humor, and a spare but compelling writing style. Engaging and entertaining. — Booklist

$2.51 Bullet Beach
An aging P.I. tries to tie up loose ends as he nears the end of his life. One of those loose ends is his brother who disappeared when they were children and who might be a criminal living in Thailand.

Standalone Mystery
Tierney serves up a dark, twisty little gem…. Every year the genre has its Goliaths, bigger and better ballyhooed than this modest entry. Come Edgar time, however, Tierney’s well-written, tidily plotted, character-driven David of a book deserves to be remembered.Kirkus Reviews

$ 2.51 Good To the Last Kiss
This is the darkest of all my novels. Much of he darkness comes from the mind of a serial killer. And much of it has to do with collateral damage that occurs when someone is compelled to live out his obsession no matter what the cost to others.

All of the above titles are available in hardback and on Audible as well

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rant — To Pence: Repeal And Resign

At some point, the brouhaha over the anti-gay Governor of Indiana, will blow over. Arkansas, Arizona or Oklahoma will do something stupid and the people will take the pressure off the Silverback anti-gay Governor of my native Hoosier state. That would be a huge mistake.

A few months ago, Pence tried to set up his own in-house government news agency to report on his activities. His Putinesque attempt was laughed into oblivion. Pence said his intent was misunderstood. Besides homosexuals, he has disdain for others.  He and his party’s hatred of Planned Parenthood resulted in the closing of Scott County’s only HIV testing Center. Predictably, HIV cases have since spiked. Emergency measures have been taken in reaction to the epidemic that should never have taken place.

But back to the future: Pence said that this current controversy had nothing to do with discrimination against the LGBT community, despite his well-documented history of doing so.  If all was just for religious freedom (nobody’s against that), why did he sign the bill in a private, press-free, invitation-only ceremony, where conspicuously present were leaders of Indiana’s most virulent anti-gay organizations? If his was such a great law, why wasn’t it shouted to the rafters?  We know. Pence, when pushed, finally indicated that civil rights for LGBT people were “not on his agenda.” But, he continued to claim, he doesn’t discriminate.

Meanwhile, the state’s business community is being crushed. Company expansions have been postponed. The NCAA may move from Indianapolis,* “the amateur sports capital of the country.” Conventions and concerts have been cancelled. Indiana is losing a fortune and is the butt of international jokes.  Still he plays his sad little violin while Indy burns, all because he is trying to save face.

On national television, Pence had the same empty run-out-the clock answers to every question.  He’s been misunderstood, he said. It’s the media’s fault, he said.  Later he even said it was Obama’s fault. Good grief.  He used the same strategy during his election campaign when asked if he believed in evolution as he did when asked if gays should have civil rights. He equivocates, changes the subject and answers a question he wasn’t asked.  He is an ignorant man, and his actions indicate he might even know that.  But he doubles down.

Perhaps Pence thinks this is his big chance to catch up in the Republican presidential primary, getting to the right of Cruz, Rand, Rubio, Jindal and New Jersey’s ultra-right swerving thug governor Chris Christie as well as Jeb Bush who ought to know better, at least politically. 

Historically, what Pence has actually done is put himself in league with former Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus and former Alabama Governor George Wallace, not to mention Indiana’s own KKK Governor Edward L. Jackson. And this is an important note almost lost in the conversation. The wording of the bill not only threatens gays, but all minorities. Remember, past interpretations of the Bible have justified segregation laws. No wedding cake for a mixed-race couple. No room at the lunch counter.

The sound and fury of Pence’s folly may blow over quickly, but it is vital he’s removed from Indiana governance before he destroys the state completely.

*Credit goes to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, also a Republican, for calling Pence out on this crass piece of legislation.