Saturday, July 30, 2005

Bush flips off the press again.

Watch the link in the One Good Move blog

Scott McCellan claims it was his thumb, but anyone who saw the video can clearly see that the White House is lying. Or can they? The evidence was clear on yellow cake, Iraq's "involvement" in 9/11, Mission Accomplished, his AWOL from military service, etc, and 51 percent of American voters either were blind or did not care.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Daily Digest

Here are some noteworthy Indiana articles:

The Dukes of Acton This is an Indianapolis Star segment on an Acton family that has had a participant in the demolition derby for each of the last 27 years. When I was a little kid, derby winners were heroes. Hmmm, I think Hollywood is ready for a movie about demolition derbies. Correct me if I am wrong, but there aren't very many films in this genre. I can only think of the Fonz participating in one on Happy Days.

Taking Down Words has a good piece on that (expletive deleted) BMV Commissioner Silverman.

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette has a good editorial urging our Senators to vote against SB 397, which would give immunity to gun manufacturers and would block the ATF from going after gun dealers who deal guns to criminals. I think this is a good idea as certain manufacturers used to cater to customers in the underworld. The makers of the Tec-9 or DC-9 (because it was used in so many DC homicides) marketed directly to criminals using the "DC" name and even bragged that their guns were resistant to fingerprints.

The Tube

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Moshe Dayan's Eyepatch is on sale on E-bay

Yes, if you have 75,000 dollars you can own the legendary General and politician's eyepatch

The Patch

More on John Roberts and Bush's "activist" judges

George Bush on judges, "I am troubled by activist judges" Source: NY Daily News, Feb 24, 2004. Ok, but let's look at John Robert's history.

Roberts Urged Limited 'Judicial Activism'

WASHINGTON - John Roberts as a young government lawyer pushed for a limited Supreme Court role on hot-button issues in the 1980s such as death penalty appeals, newly released documents show. Senate Democrats quickly pressed for release of more material that would shed light on the high court nominee's views.


George Bush uses the term "activist" to frame liberal judges as distorting the Constitution to reach their end goal. However, one should look at some of the judges he has brought forth for appointment. For a full list go to this website

Alabama Attorney General, William Pryor, whom Bush placed on the Eleventh Circuit through a recess appointment, raised money from corporations doing business in the state that he was supposed to be policing. Pryor has called Roe v. Wade "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history" and has argued that the Supreme Court should cut back on the protections of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, nominated to the DC Circuit, has suggested that the Social Security system is unconstitutional and accused senior citizens of "blithely cannibaliz[ing] their grandchildren."

Attorney Thomas Griffith, nominated to the DC Circuit, has argued against a key component of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (which bars sex discrimination by educational institutions), raising broad concerns about his approach both to that landmark law and to other critical areas of civil rights law.

Idaho lawyer William Myers III, nominated to the Ninth Circuit, has compared federal laws protecting the environment to the "tyranny" of King George III over the colonies.

Richard Griffin, a Michigan state court of appeals judge nominated to the Sixth Circuit, has shown hostility to workers and civil rights, as well as the rights of the accused.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pushing While Intoxicated

This should be an interesting case. I don't know of any caselaw on this, but the deputy prosecutor is probably right as they were "operating" the vehicle.

Women pushing broken car get DUI

PORTAGE, Ind. — Two women who took turns steering a broken-down vehicle face drunk driving charges after their slow-moving car crashed into a parked car.

Kaylyn Kezy, 34, of Gary, was pushing the disabled car, while Melissa Fredenburg, 32, of Chesterton, steered from the passenger seat, police said. The two were moving the car into a parking lot at a nearby motel early Friday in the city about 10 miles east of Gary.

Police said both women had a blood-alcohol levels of 0.17 percent, more than twice the state’s legal limit to drive.

Authorities said the women were operating the vehicle while intoxicated — even though the car’s engine wasn’t working.


Monday, July 25, 2005

You forgot Poland!

Yes, that was Bush's famous line during the debate. Now, I think the American press has forgotten Poland too. The story of Poland's agreed withdrawal from Iraq is all over the world's press, but I haven't seen it mentioned yet in the US media.

US 'accepts' Polish withdrawal from Iraq

WARSAW: The United States has accepted Poland's plans to pull most of its 1700 troops from Iraq at the beginning of next year, Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski said yesterday.

Poland, one of the US's biggest European allies in Iraq, runs a multi-national stabilisation zone south of Baghdad.

Stuff (New Zealand)

A journalist's dilemma

I am sure you've all heard this story, but this an interesting take by a journalist on what is "newsworthy".

When a Man Dies in a Sex Act with a Horse -- What's a Reporter to Do?

NEW YORK How do you report a story about a man who dies while having sex with a horse? With a snigger? Or straight?

Last Friday, the Seattle Times got wind of an Associated Press item about a local man who died after having sex with a horse. "The sheriff's department didn't expect us to report it because it was too gruesome," said Jennifer Sullivan, the Seattle Times staff reporter who would eventually author two stories on the ordeal.

The AP story gave basic facts about the case. It mentioned that the man -- who died of internal bleeding from anal sex with the animal -- died after visiting a farm in nearby Enumclaw that attracted "a significant number of people" looking to engage in bestiality.

Therefore, Sullivan said, "We thought if there was more than one person participating in this, it needed to be reported."

In her first probe, Sullivan wrote that the farm was discussed in Internet chat rooms as a "destination" spot for people looking to have sex with animals. She reported that this prompted an investigation into whether the chickens, goats and sheep on the property had also been victimized.

"We tried to make it as tasteful as possible keeping out the cause of death. As a surprise, I had at least 70 emails from people and the vast majority wanted to know what killed this guy," she said. "So on the second day we had to be more specific."

Although she never reported the man's name, in her second article Sullivan did say that he was 45 years old and added that he died of acute peritonitis due to the perforation of the colon. But because Washington is one of 17 states that does not outlaw bestiality, having sex with a horse is not a crime and his death will not be investigated.


Mastodons on Parade

Chicago did it first with its fiberglass cows. Others cities were inspired as well (e.g. Cincinnati with pigs, Toronto with Moose) and now Fort Wayne has its Mastodons.

There are so many good ones like Big Hunka Love, but click this link to see all of them.

15 years

My 15th year high school reunion was this weekend. It was interesting to see who was bald, who became fat/skinny, who came out of the closet, etc. Probably the most interesting tidbit of the whole weekend was learning that one of my classmates telling me that he once dated a member of the Village People. I will not divulge which one, but I thought it was interesting.

Sources: Teamsters, SEIU to Bolt AFL-CIO

CHICAGO - Organized labor is at war with itself as the Teamsters and a major service employees' union decide to bolt from the AFL-CIO, paving the way for two other groups to sever ties in the labor movement's biggest rift since the 1930s.

I think this will be a great thing because the AFL-CIO is as Walter Reuther once said a guardians of the status quo. They're hasn't been much real success in union growth since the CIO rejoined the AFL and created this sleepy monopoly.

The SEIU has been very active and has made several gains in membership and activism and they feel the AFL-CIO's policies are holding them back. I think competition in unionism will benefit all workers. Besides, the AFL has never been much of a leader for progress in workers' rights. I liked the more radical approach that the CIO and the Internatial Workers of the World took in the earlier part of the 20th century.

The CIO was greatly successful in the 1930s before its eventual merger with the AFL, but this rivalry led the short-sighted AFL to help draft what would later become the Taft-Hartley act.

The International Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) were another 20th century success for workers' rights. Well, until they spoke out against WW1 and the government used that as a pretext to sweep in and raid every single one of their offices, shut them down and imprison their leaders.

Keep on rockin' in the free world.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Glitch leaves ‘dissident’ hanging by a .com

The url for this site was omitted from the online edition of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette the other day, so they were nice enough to run the correct address in this Sunday's paper.

More on John Roberts

The Pensito Review blog took note of a retraction from the conservative talk show host Joe Scarborough. He reported that John Roberts was against Roe v. Wade and would vote to overturn it. Apparently, Karl Rove did not like to hear this and within minutes the White House was on the phone with the show. Scarborough ran this half-hearted retraction:

Well, last night, we reported that on the show. And our banner actually said “Roberts: Overturn Roe v. Wade.’ Well, the White House called us up during the show. They didn’t like the banner. They said, we owe—we should—we should offer a correction. That is what I am going to do tonight.

So, conservatives, Republicans, members of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson, Pat Robertson, pro-life advocates across America, I offer you this correction. According to the White House, Judge Roberts does not oppose Roe vs. Wade. Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.

Friday, July 22, 2005

It is called BICK-null

The Vincennes Sun-Commercial has an editorial about the closure of the Bicknell BMV branch. I posted some time ago about some of the miscues of the current BMV administration when its courageous new leader of the BMV announced branch closures just a few days after the 2005 legislative session ended. A few weeks later they added new branches to the list and one of the new closures was the branch in the dying southwestern Indiana city of Bicknell.

Bicknell is near Vincennes in Knox County and was once prosperous mining town after World War I. Its fortune has changed though the decades as has the rest of the region. Now nine out of the ten poorest Indiana counties are in southern Indiana. According to the 2000 US census, more families in Knox County live below the poverty line than any other county in the state. The center of this poverty belt is in Bicknell where almost 37% of children under 18 and adults over 65 live below the poverty level.

The editorial at its strongest argues that the Daniel's administration does not realize that government's main goal is not to be profitable but to provide services to its citizens. Bicknell has a large indigent and elderly population thatdoes not have the means to travel to the nearest branch or use the internet to acquire BMV services.

The branch workers have offered several solutions such as reducing its staff by not replacing a retiring worker or assuming more responsibilities with mail-in orders in order to save the branch . The landlord has generously offered to reduce his rent in half because he knows how important the branch is to the local merchant community. The license branch is one of the main reasons that people come to Bicknell from other nearby towns and these trips do make a oositive impact on the economy. These ideas were brought before BMV Commissioner Silverman at a community meeting, but any hope was quickly dashed as according to the Vincennes Sun-Commercial he did not even bother to learn how to pronounce Bicknell correctly.

Governor Daniels was once named "The Blade" by the current President for his ability to cut budgets. He will wield his knife on Bicknell and the community will suffer. The Governor will be able to say to the rest of the state that he saved a few thousand dolllars from the state's ledger sheet, but there will be a greater cost to Bicknell that is immeasurable by any accounting standard.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Midwest Music Summit

There will be over 434 artists playing in over 30 locations as part of the Midwest Music Summit in Indianapolis. I'd love to see several of the bands playing (especially French Kicks), but I have Killers tickets tomorrow and will be out of town for the rest of the weekend.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The President's Man

The spin began immediately. I heard it in Bush's press conference and even in local newscasts which mentioned his "Hoosier Roots" and that he was a "Regular Midwest Guy". Some in the media have framed John Roberts as a "safe" choice, which will make the confirmation even more difficult for the Senate Democrat minority, bu we should look closer.

Last week, John Roberts wrote Bush a blank check.

But an opinion that the 50-year-old judge joined just last week in the case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld should be seriously troubling to anyone who values civil liberties. As a member of a three-judge panel on the D.C. federal court of appeals, Roberts signed on to a blank-check grant of power to the Bush administration to try suspected terrorists without basic due-process protections.

Click on text to read article

John Roberts on the issues

As a lawyer in the administration of President Bush's father, he helped write a Supreme Court brief that said, "We continue to believe that Roe (v. Wade) was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

Click on text to read Indianapolis Star article

Indiana Gross State Product Growth Lags

Indiana's gross state product grew 3.6 percent last year over 2003, less than the national average of 4.2 percent, according to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The state ranked 34th in percentage growth.

Source: Indianapolis Business Journal

It's interesting that Iowa(!) led the nation in GSP growth rather one of the Sun Belt or technology growth states.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Congress shall make no law....

Muslim Lecturer Sentenced To Life

A man convicted for what he said -- words that prosecutors said incited his followers to train for violent jihad against the United States -- had a few more things to say yesterday in a federal courtroom in Alexandria before he was sentenced to life in prison.


Torpor Indy makes the papers

So what if they messed the url up...

From the The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Political Notebook is not ashamed to admit that some of our best stuff comes from astute people who post on a number of Indiana-specific blogs.

With that said, here is a list of a few interesting blogs you might want to check out:

• – Not as much commentary, but a great collection of good reporting by the media statewide.

• – Written by a Democrat with a decided slant, but reading the comments posted back and forth by well-known Republicans and Democrats at times is priceless.

• .com (sic)– A blog “to chronicle the life as a dissident in the Heartland. Life in a red state leaves one blue.”

A few others include www.inpo, www.advance and

Link (scroll down)

The Fort Wayne newspaper has written about Masson's blog before and I am sure they noticed this site from the link on his blog. Thanks!
Indy joins TV crime drama locales

Show inspired by local prosecutor set for CBS this fall

For more than 20 years, lawyer Barb Trathen worked rather anonymously in the Marion County prosecutor's office, pursuing murderers, rapists and other criminals.

The anonymous part of her life is about to change.

Trathen, 56, still is pursuing criminals, now for the Hamilton County prosecutor. But she's also a consultant for a new drama that will air on CBS this fall called "Close to Home."

The show is based on the life of a female prosecutor working in Indianapolis. The lead character is loosely drawn from Trathen's real-life experiences.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Internet zeitgeist

Google has an interesting way to see what is on the mind of internet users around the world. For instance, Paris Hilton the number one search of users in Sweden, Netherlands and Germany, but doesn't even register in the top 10 in her home country. In China, the term "mother's day" is a popular search, while "used cars" are on the minds of the Japanese. The band slipknot seems to be popular in Brazil as are Star Wars and Avril Lavigne.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Karl Rove Strikes Back: Like a Petulant Child

I have been too busy to write much in my own words over the past week. However, I heard this excellent chronology of the "Valerie Plame Affair" or "Karl Rove strikes back (like a petulant child)" yesterday on NPR. Please take the time to listen to this piece. It gives an excellent chronology about how the White House tried to make its case for war and its reactions to those who dared get in the way.

NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr says that the real issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war, and how America was misled into that war.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Masson has a very interesting take on the dog poop girl. His piece is called Internet Panopticon. I recommend reading it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dog Poop Girl

Subway Fracas Escalates Into Test Of the Internet's Power to Shame

If you no longer marvel at the Internet's power to connect and transform the world, you need to hear the story of a woman known to many around the globe as, loosely translated, Dog Poop Girl.

Recently, the woman was on the subway in her native South Korea when her dog decided that this was a good place to do its business.

The woman made no move to clean up the mess, and several fellow travelers got agitated. The woman allegedly grew belligerent in response.

What happened next was a remarkable show of Internet force, and a peek into an unsettling corner of the future.

One of the train riders took pictures of the incident with a camera phone and posted them on a popular Web site. Net dwellers soon began to call her by the unflattering nickname, and issued a call to arms for more information about her.


Thursday, July 7, 2005

No regular post today

I have been stuck in a jury trial. I don't even have time to eat.

My thoughts go out to all of my friends in London.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Thought Police

It is a rare occasion that I agree with an opinion of the Wall Street Journal, but I cannot help but feel sympathy for this woman. I do not necessarily espouse her views, but Italy and the EU have forgotten the spirit of Voltaire. Freedom of speech is a topic where I usually break ranks with my left-leaning European friends. They argue that symbols such as the swastika should be banned. I argue that if one bans a symbol or organization, it only serves to mystify them or make them alluring. Neo-Nazi groups are on the rise in Germany for this reason alone. (See Shock Mom and Dad: Become a Neo-Nazi). Here in the US we have the KKK, but membership is not illegal and their right to march is protected speech. They operate in the open, which is a good a thing as they are exposed as toothless rednecks with barely double digit IQs. This openness does not allow them to achieve the power of outlaw status.

In the following article, the author does not even resort to overt racism. She wrote that traditional Europe is in danger of becoming "Eurabia" due to the large scale Islamic population growth. Several European leaders have spoken against this increased immigration, some like Le Pen are motivated by their own xenophobia. Others like Pim Fortuyn were not driven by a fear of the other, but mostly because he thought this immigration by religious fundamentalists was a threat to the Netherlands culture of tolerance. Fortuyn argued that "tolerance of intolerance is intolerance", but then he was assassinated.

It's dangerous to make words illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. Once you draw a line, you leave it open for judges and politicians with their own agendas to decide what is correct and nothing good can come of that.

Prophet of Decline

An interview with Oriana Fallaci.

NEW YORK--Oriana Fallaci faces jail. In her mid-70s, stricken with a cancer that, for the moment, permits only the consumption of liquids--so yes, we drank champagne in the course of a three-hour interview--one of the most renowned journalists of the modern era has been indicted by a judge in her native Italy under provisions of the Italian Penal Code which proscribe the "vilipendio," or "vilification," of "any religion admitted by the state."

In her case, the religion deemed vilified is Islam, and the vilification was perpetrated, apparently, in a book she wrote last year--and which has sold many more than a million copies all over Europe--called "The Force of Reason." Its astringent thesis is that the Old Continent is on the verge of becoming a dominion of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves fecklessly to the "sons of Allah." So in a nutshell, Oriana Fallaci faces up to two years' imprisonment for her beliefs--which is one reason why she has chosen to stay put in New York. Let us give thanks for the First Amendment.

Link to article

This is one way to end the reality TV craze

ABC: Roof fell in on new reality TV series

HOLLYWOOD -- On paper, it sounded like an intriguing idea.

ABC's six-episode reality series "Welcome to the Neighborhood" features seven families vying to win a four-bedroom house in a development in Austin, Texas. Given that the neighbors are mostly conservative whites and the contestants come from diverse backgrounds -- including Asian-American, black and gay -- the series was meant, the network says, to highlight issues of cultural biases and tolerance.

"Neighborhood" was supposed to debut July 10, but that was before a civil-rights group warned ABC that the program might violate federal housing laws barring discrimination.


Calvin, Hobbes and Scatology

Lemming wrote recently that owners of certain American made vehicles are more likely than import drivers to have Calvin peeing on another brand's name. This was confirmed over and over on my drive to Cincinnati on Saturday. I counted four Calvins, two "Bad Boys club", one brilliantly composed "Eat'n Fords and Shit'n Chevy's" and then one sticker demonstrating (advertising?) a certain sexual technique involving the fingers. All of these vehicles were either Ford, Chevy or Dodge pickup trucks.

Though the most interesting message of the weekend appeared on an old Ford Probe. I noticed one of those ubiquitous "Support..." ribbon magnets on a car. I had difficulty reading the magnet until I was able to pull a bit closer. It said "support road head".

Friday, July 1, 2005

The next battle in the cultural war

Dear President Bush:

This is to inform you of my decision to retire from my position as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor. It has been a great privilege, indeed, to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms. I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the court and its role under our constitutional structure.


Sandra Day O'Connor

Source: Washington Post
Banner eXTReMe Tracker