Friday, September 30, 2005

Republicans in Action

I have been busy for quite a while and I haven't been able to keep up with the news as well as much as I'd like. On the other hand, Indiana Politico has and she gives the latest rundown of all of the Republicans news whether it is of indictments, near indictments or speaking of the benefits of aborting black babies.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

We're not quite as Bloodthirsty as Texas...

Last night State of Indiana executed its fifth person this year. We're not quite on pace with Texas, which has had 13 thus far, but I think we're actually ahead of them if you view it on a per capita basis. I still do not understand why we need a death penalty and why the American public holds such similar views to countries like China and Iran. Until the Supreme Court put a stop to it, we were the only country in the world to execute juveniles.

What Alan Matheney did was terrible, but isn't life in prison without parole enough of a stiff sentence?

5th execution might be Indiana’s last in 2005

MICHIGAN CITY – The execution of Alan Matheney on Wednesday for the beating death of his ex-wife was the state’s fifth this year, the most since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s.

Matheney’s execution also might have been the state’s last for at least several months.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sometimes, I lose faith in my fellow man...

Police: Homeless man burned at crowd's urgin

A homeless man on the Northeastside was critically burned on Monday night by a man who poured lighter fluid on him and set him on fire.
Anthony W. Eldridge, 22, was trying to sell the lighter fluid on the street when he encountered a crowd of about 20 people in the 4000 block of Brentwood Avenue near 42nd Street and Post Road, Marion County Sheriff's deputies said.

"The crowd said 'light him up,' " said Capt. Phil Burton, and a man used a cigarette lighter to set the fluid on fire.


State sheds light on Sewage

The above is an actual headline from the Indianapolis Star. My first impulse is to laugh, but that quickly passed when I read this:

The combined sewers in Indianapolis overflow more than 60 times a year and dump about 6 billion gallons of untreated wastewater into waterways in older parts of the city.

Also, just last week the Belmont Wastewater Treatment Plant in Indianapolis had an incident where 16.3 million gallons of sewage entered our waterways.

IDEM's weekly sewer overflow update. This might come in handy the next time your Dad calls you up to say "Hey, let's go fishing in the Wabash River this weekend".

And my family is going to have a "freshwater" fish fry this year for my birthday. Gross.
Leather Pants for sale

I've never owned a pair of leather pants, but I have made similar embarrassing purchases.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'll be away from my blogging duties for a few days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I have a burberry coat and no closet to hang it in

The blogging world and media is full of horror stories of abuse of FEMA cards. People are buying home sound systems, Louis Vuitton purses, lap dances at strip clubs(relying on a story from the totally unreliable worldnetdaily) with their FEMA cards or at least that is what the rumors are. Of course no one cares about the abuse of millions of dollars of Iraqi reconstruction money.

Why does it bother people when a few poor or possibly black people are rumored to have spent their two thousand on frivolous or luxury items when corporations like Halliburton are gouging taxpayers to the tune of millions? I don't even believe these rumors. I am sure there are isolated incidents, but I imagine most of these stories are just racist fables in the same vein of Reagan's Welfare Cadillac Queen

I am the Alpha and Omega

Hurricane Center May Run Out of Names

Each year, 21 common names are reserved for Atlantic Basin hurricanes, with the list arranged alphabetically and skipping certain letters. Rita is the 17th named storm in the Atlantic Basin this year. There are only four left.

So what will officials do after tropical storm Wilma develops, assuming it does?

"We go to the Greek alphabet," said Frank Lepore, spokesman for the
National Hurricane Center.


Monday, September 19, 2005

From the Seattle Times

Clock ticking as Indiana puzzles over time zones

By Mike Smith

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's decision this year to observe daylight-saving time statewide was supposed to end 30 years of clock-changing confusion. Instead, it started a battle that could create a state time-zone system as puzzling as a Rubik's Cube.

At least 19 counties had asked to move from Eastern to Central time as of Friday, the deadline to submit requests. If the federal government says yes to all the requests, a person driving from Chicago to southwestern Indiana could go from Central time to Eastern to Central to Eastern and finally back to Central.

"What we are doing is just creating new confusion for ourselves," said retired Indiana University economist Morton Marcus.

Indiana, like a dozen other states, has long had multiple time zones. But most states are either split roughly down the middle or have only slivers in a different zone.

In Indiana, the situation is more complicated. Eighty-two of the state's 92 counties are in the Eastern time zone, but only five change clocks with daylight-saving time. Ten other counties — five in northwestern Indiana and five in the southwest — are on Central time and have observed daylight-saving time.

Seattle Times

Friday, September 16, 2005

Does anyone really know what time it is?

Or will be...

Masson is probably doing a better job keeping up on the Eastern/Central debate than anyone else in Indiana.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ok, I saw this headline on an online forum


This is kind of cool. Add graffiti to your website.

Tag me here.

Gary offers plan for BMV branch

City employees would staff facility; state would provide equipment, training.

Gary's mayor has proposed having city employees staff that city's only Bureau of Motor Vehicles license branch, while other communities are also working on plans to save services at branches facing closure.

Gary Mayor Scott King submitted a plan to the Daniels administration on Tuesday, saying his office reached an agreement with the landlord of the current branch to extend its lease, which was set to expire Saturday -- the day the office is to close.

Under King's plan, the city would staff the office, but the state would pay the city $36,000 a year and the BMV would also provide equipment to run the branch and would train staff members.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Older and Bleaker

Indiana legend Kurt Vonnegut has published another book.

Vonnegut's humor has become more pessimistic. 'I now give up on people,' he writes.Kurt VONNEGUT doesn't want any part of contemporary culture. Or, at least, that's what he says. At 82, he's lived through some of the worst history has to offer, from the firebombing of Dresden at the end of World War II — which he survived as a 22-year-old POW — to the attack on the World Trade Center and what he sees as the collapse of American values beneath an avalanche of public and private greed.

"Look," he says by phone from his home in Manhattan, his voice robust but rheumy, as befits someone who has smoked for 70 years. "I think we're a very bad idea. Look at the 20th century. You've got the Holocaust, two world wars, Hiroshima. Let's just call it off."


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mitch pulls the switch

The state's most Democratic city will lose its license branch Saturday. One has to wonder with the new voter ID law if this isn't an attempt to suppress the vote in this city. How will those without transportation make it to the next branch?

Protesters left happy, but mood didn't last

Gary group thought it had won a reprieve for BMV branch set to close Saturday.

The state says it still plans to close Gary's lone license branch Saturday despite an angry protest at the Statehouse by busloads of Gary residents Monday.

Gary Mayor Scott King and other city leaders left Indianapolis thinking they had an agreement that would allow the branch to keep operating until Oct. 1 while he tried to arrange financing for the city to take over management.

Instead, he learned in a phone call late Monday afternoon with Harry Gonso, chief of staff to Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Joel Silverman, commissioner of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, that he still has only until Saturday to come up with a solution.

"This does appear to be a bit of a moving target," said King, mayor of Indiana's fifth-largest city.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Gary, Indiana wins reprieve on BMV closure

Satisfying a couple hundred Gary residents protesting at the Statehouse, Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration reversed a decision by Bureau of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Joel Silverman today and agreed to continue discussing ways to keep open a full-service license branch in Gary.

Silverman had earlier said the branch would close on Saturday, although the state planned to open a mini-branch, with one employee handling drivers' license and state ID card requests at a local mental health center.

Friday, September 9, 2005

I've been busy this week and have neglected my blogging duties. I won't be able to write much this weekend either as I will have company and am hosting a party. We're getting a keg and my friends are bringing their children to the party. It's come to this...

Enjoy this photo from Dailykos.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

From the lady who brought you "rhymes with rich"

When Spammers Attack

I love to read comments on this blog, but lately I've been receiving spam. I have enabled the word verification feature in order to fend the spammers off. You will only have to type in one word or phrase to leave a comment. I apologize for any inconvenience.

BMV Commissioner Silverman

It's been some time since I've written about Silverman, but this story merits attention. The Middletown branch manager, Patty Lockhart, told the media that she felt "betrayed" after learning her branch would be closed. Ms. Lockhart, a fifteen year veteran of the BMV, was fired within a few days after those comments.

Bob Denver


You don't have to live like a refugee...

The Reverend Jesse Jackson has claimed that it is "racist" to call American citizens "refugees" (see article).

Webster's Unabridged defines refugee as:

1. One who flees to a shelter, or place of safety.

2. Especially, one who, in times of persecution or political commotion, flees to a foreign power or country for safety; as, the French refugees who left France after the revocation of the edict of Nantes.

Well, obviously, the Americans who have left New Orleans do meet that definition. I don't understand why Rev. Jackson would choose this battle to fight when there are so many other more important questions following the evacuation debacle in New Orleans.
Rev. Jackson, you should address why the poor in New Orleans were left to fend for themselves; why there is a stratification of class in this country; why we have some of the highest poverty rates of the OECD member nations; question the affect that the "war on drugs" have had on the poor; preach accountability and leadership within your own community; and a myriad of other issues because you do have power to raise awareness. It is obvious that the media pays attention to you. Why do you worry about word choice when you have all of these other issues in front of you?

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies of Cancer

WASHINGTON - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening of cancer, ending a 33-year Supreme Court career during which he oversaw the court's conservative shift, presided over an impeachment trial and helped decide a presidential election. His death creates a rare second vacancy on the nation's highest court.

Rehnquist, 80, was surrounded by his three children when he died at his home in suburban Arlington. His wife died in 1991.


Thursday, September 1, 2005

Race, Class, Katrina and...Silence

I have been noticing this in the coverage. We see so many images on our television of poor African-Americans trapped in New Orleans. The news channels loop the same images of poor, young African-Americans looting some of the stores. Why is there no commentary about why they might be the only ones left? Or even why are there so many poor African-Americans in New Orleans? Why were there no contingency plans to bus poor people from New Orleans out of the city before the hurricane? No one seems to have the courage to talk about this on television.

I did turn to talk radio the other night while driving. NPR was playing its musical program and I wanted to hear some commentary about Katrina. I found Michael Reagan's show and he was fixated on the fact that all of the looters were black. He seemed to want to make a connection between a type of behavior and skin color. I did not hear anything about New Orleans' high poverty rate or that 67 % of New Orleans is African-American or any other obvious factor.

I imagine Michael Reagan has never been poor or trapped in the middle of a natural disaster without food or water and deep down I bet even he does not know how he'd react if it came down to scrounging for his next meal.

Lost in the Flood

Why no mention of race or class in TV's Katrina coverage?

I can't say I saw everything that the TV newscasters pumped out about Katrina, but I viewed enough repeated segments to say with 90 percent confidence that broadcasters covering the New Orleans end of the disaster demurred from mentioning two topics that must have occurred to every sentient viewer: race and class.

Nearly every rescued person, temporary resident of the Superdome, looter, or loiterer on the high ground of the freeway I saw on TV was African-American. And from the look of it, they weren't wealthy residents of the Garden District. This storm appears to have hurt blacks more directly than whites, but the broadcasters scarcely mentioned that fact.


Senator, mayor spar over cutbacks

Indy Works hearing on police merger turns heated when the 2 differ on budget woes.

The city's government consolidation plan led to some heated words Wednesday between Mayor Bart Peterson and state Sen. R. Michael Young.

Young, R-Indianapolis, said the Democratic mayor has wrongly blamed the Indiana General Assembly for recent budget cuts, including early pool closings, cutbacks in park maintenance and a reduction of 78 police officers and 44 firefighters.

Peterson has said that if the legislature had approved his entire government consolidation plan, Indianapolis Works, many of those cuts wouldn't be necessary.

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