Monday, October 31, 2005


Btw, I am avoiding talking about Bush's SCJ nominee today. It is just too depressing and I am trying to keep in good spirits.

On the other hand, Masson is blogging about the new nominee, so get your fix there.


This is my first Halloween as a homeowner and we've stocked up on candy bars to give to the neighborhood children. I wonder which of our unfriendly neighbors will show up at our door tonight. Anyway, I hope we've bought enough candy and I question of my wife's selections--do kids (or anyone for that matter) really like white chocolate reese cups? That sounds like a closeout brand that one might find at Big Lots. I know when I was a kid we'd get the Hershey miniatures and I couldn't give away the "special dark" flavor. Of course, special dark still rated above the black and orange wrappered taffy or that hard candy that looked like strawberries. Don't even waste my time with that stuff.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

NYT reports: Rove not likely to be indicted....Yet

Aide to Cheney Appears Likely to Be Indicted; Rove Under Scrutiny

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 - Associates of I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, expected an indictment on Friday charging him with making false statements to the grand jury in the C.I.A. leak inquiry, lawyers in the case said Thursday.

Karl Rove, President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, would not be charged on Friday, but would remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. As a result, they said, the special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration on Friday.

New York Times

I am always the last to know

The Patio is closing. I have moved so far south that Broad Ripple is no longer on my radar but I used to go to some cool shows here. I saw Local H, Evan Dando, and many other national and local bands there. I even lit Evan Dando's cigarette once one the floor after a show at the Patio. Thanks to Jim and Indygirl for pointing this out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The Beyond Understanding blog cites two excellent articles about health inequalities in the United States. One particular article argues that these inequalities lead to 84,000 deaths a year.

Wal-Mart memo: Unhealthy need not apply

I think this article belongs in the F--k WalMart file. I live two minutes from a Sam's Club yet I drive to the Costco 30 minutes away because of practices like this.

Wal-Mart memo: Unhealthy need not apply

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An internal memo sent to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. board proposes numerous ways to hold down health care and benefits costs with less harm to the retailer's reputation, including hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from seeking jobs, the New York Times said Wednesday.

The paper said the draft memo to Wal-Mart's board was obtained from Wal-Mart Watch, a pressure group allied with labor unions that says Wal-Mart's pay and benefits are too low.

Oh, and just in case unhealthy people don't get the message, Walmart has this strategy

To discourage unhealthy job applicants, the paper said, Chambers suggests Wal-Mart arrange for "all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g., all cashiers do some cart-gathering),"

Things that annoy me…

NPR pledge drives

People who cannot form a proper queue.

That commercial (I don't even know the product) where people are in a panic by the office copier and everything rhymes.

That person who calls me everyday to ask me if I want to buy gutters…I don’t understand. Don’t these things come standard with houses?

The Nick/Jessica divorce watch, ok, Nick/Jessica in general

Most of the bloggers at the Indianapolis Star

Those who don't recognize the sheer sexiness of a volvo wagon.

People who wear those damn bluetooth earpieces at all times even when they are not speaking on the phone.

People who talk very loudly on their mobile phones in their elevators.

Lawrence: Chockful of Nutters

Star Columnist Matthew Tully dares to look closer at Lawrence politics.

Lawrence elevates squabbling to high art

Here are a few of the more memorable moments -- which included conspiracy tales, tears and bizarro behavior -- that came with reporting today's column about city government in Lawrence.

• City Councilwoman Linda Treat threatened me with a lawsuit for asking questions. Then, as I sought to end our chat, she sobbed. Finally, the Democrat, who usually votes with Republicans, said she's received death threats since joining the council.

• Mayor Deborah Cantwell, a Democrat, agreed to an interview but came armed with two aides who tried to answer many of my questions. Cantwell talked about political opponents who allegedly have had her stalked, and later forwarded e-mails from a council critic, hoping to make the council member look bad.

Indianapolis Star

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And the hits just keep on coming...

I haven't blogged much about the Plame Affair because I figured it would all be swept under the rug, but this is definitely getting interesting.

Report: Cheney named in CIA leak probe

NEW YORK (AP) -- Notes in the hand of a federal prosecutor suggest the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney first heard of the covert CIA officer central to a leak investigation from Cheney himself, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper said notes of a previously undisclosed June 12, 2003, conversation between I. Lewis Libby and Cheney appear to differ from Libby's grand jury testimony that he first heard of Valerie Plame from journalists.

Indianapolis Star

Monday, October 24, 2005

2000 years of sex advice

A new book looks at the evolution of Sex Advice around the world. Some excerpts:

Never marry these women
“Redheads. Any girl named after a mountain, a tree, a river or a bird. Ones with rough hands or feet. Ones who sigh, laugh or cry at meals. Any girl with inverted nipples, a beard, uneven breasts, flap ears, spindle legs or who is scrawny. Girls whose big toes are disproportionately small. Girls who make the ground shake when they walk past.” Koka Shastra, The Indian Scripture of Koka (12th century)

Single-handed signs
“Look at the habitual masturbator! See how thin, pale and haggard he appears; how his eyes are sunken; how long and cadaverous is his cast of countenance; how irritable he is and how sluggish, mentally and physically; how afraid he is to meet the eye of his fellow, feel his damp and chilling hand, so characteristic of great vital exhaustion.” Dr Henry Guernsey, Plain Talks on Avoided Subjects (1882)

And, if you can’t find it, don’t worry
“The clitoris, while important, is not nearly as important as many of us have been taught or led to believe.” Edward Podolsky, Sex Technique for Husband and Wife (1947)

Read the Review in the London Times

Saturday, October 22, 2005

How much is your blog worth?

My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?

Trust me, I could be bought for far less.

Here is the worth of a few famous blogs.

Daily Kos: $5,689,434.12
Atrios: $2,118,154.08
Crooks and Liars: $2,611,562.04
Talkleft(Where I found this Calculator)$901,570.38.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I am sorry, but I would have said that I want to honor Robert Parish

Man requests longer prison term to honor Larry Bird

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to -- all because of Larry Bird.

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

In these Times

The Chicago publication In these Times is one of my favorite magazines. Kurt Vonnegut is a frequent contributor.

Poverty and the Brazilification of our country has been on my mind a lot recently and this article does little to make me feel any better, but go ahead, and read it anyway.

Climate Change Needed

The notion of what makes a "good business climate" needs to be radically rethought

What's the heart of the Bush plan to revive the hurricane-shattered Gulf Coast? Cutting business taxes and workers' wages--with dollops of federal contract money to a favored few corporate cronies. But that shouldn't be surprising. Whatever the domestic problem, his solution is similar. Bush may be especially single-minded in pursuit of this strategy, but it has a long history that helps to explain why inequality has grown in the United States over the past several decades and why the quality of public life and institutions has suffered.

In The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation, Greg LeRoy tells an important part of that history--how corporations use the promise of jobs (or the threat of their loss) to avoid state and local taxes, win public subsidies and fatten their bottom lines at the expense of ordinary taxpayers and crucial public services, like educating children and maintaining an efficient physical infrastructure on which businesses and everyone else rely.

In these Times

Perhaps John Hostetler should have voted differently on the bankruptcy bill

Rep. John Hostettler, a Republican from the 8th District, reported between $30,000 and $100,000 in credit card debt.

For those of you who do not know of the theocratic nut that who represents the district where I grew up, here are a few quotes and snippets about the man.

"When the courts make unconstitutional decisions, we should not enforce them," he told attendees. "Federal courts have no army or navy.. The court can opine, decide, talk about, sing, whatever it wants to do. We're not saying they can't do that. At the end of the day, we're saying the court can't enforce its opinions."
--spoken to the christian coalition

I cannot find the direct quote but he once responded to a question and said that Americans have the right to bear arms--even nuclear arms.

"the long war on Christianity in America continues today on the floor of the House of Representatives...Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians."
-- Spoken on the house floor.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The new bankruptcy law starts today

The tougher terms now facing the bankrupt

The path into bankruptcy is now rougher, the path out is steeper, and the change could hardly come at a more difficult time for many US consumers.

An overhaul of the bankruptcy code - which takes effect Monday - means that Americans will face higher fees and higher burdens of proof before having any debts wiped clean in court.

The law aims to encourage more responsible behavior by a debt-drenched nation, and to rein in abuses of bankruptcy protection.


Teenager battles City Hall

The Indianapolis Star has an interesting article about 16 year old who made a film about Kokomo's mayor. The film is called "Words of Sedition: How the highest levels of Power shut down free speech in Kokomo". He has now filed a public access request for the email list of a city hall newsletter because he thinks that it may have been used for campaign purposes. The Indiana Office of the Public Access Counselor ruled in his favor and now the city must turn over the records.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Human Development Index

I have been meaning to write about this for sometime. The 2005 report of the United Nations Human Development Index has been out for over a month. The United States has fallen to number 10 in the list of best countries for its citizens. We were 8th in 2004 and 3rd a mere six years ago. The Human Development Index (hereinafter "HDI") is a complex system of measurement various life factors in three main categories:

1. a long and healthy life,
as measured by life expectancy at birth and other health indices

2. Knowledge

as measured by the adult literacy rate and
the combined gross enrolment ratio for primary,
secondary and tertiary schools

3. Decent standard of living

as measured by GDP per capita in
purchasing power parity (PPP) US dollars.

Top 10 countries

High human development

1 Norway
2 Iceland
3 Australia
4 Luxembourg
5 Canada
6 Sweden
7 Switzerland
8 Ireland
9 Belgium
10 United States

link to HDR

I think the crisis for the United States is deeper than what is indicated in the reports. The US placement is bolstered by strong performance in the third category of GNP per capita. In that category, the US trails only Luxembourg, Norway and Ireland(!), but even these results are misleading because in the country with high development the US stands alone as having a severe gulf between the wealthy and poor. Even though the US has a high per capita income, that wealth is not evenly distributed. If there were another way to put the national wealth statistic into perspective, then we would probably be further down the list along with countries who we rival in other other indices. For example, our infant mortality rate lags behind developed nations. We are behind nations such as Chile and Costa Rica in infant mortality and life expectancy.

Also, in regard to poverty, there are several stories that I have read recently which indicate that there are no signs of improvement.

Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20 percent of households. (source CIA World Factbook) Also, since the year 2000, the American billionaire club has gained 76 more members while the typical household has lost income and the poverty count has grown by more than 5 million people. cited by author Holly Sklar

Four decades after a U.S. president declared war on poverty, more than 37 million people in the world's "richest" country are officially classified as poor and their number has been on the rise for years. Poverty in the United States is more widespread, by far, than in any other industrialized country. This article also relates that the US poverty figures are finessed to make it appear that poverty is decreasing.

The figures used for the 2005 HDI are from 2003. Our status relative to other developed nations has been in sharp decline since around 2000. Wages and spending power are decreasing for most Americans while healthcare costs are skyrocketing. There are several statistics that indicate sharp decline in our quality of life, but no one is paying attention. The alarm bells are ringing but America's dreaming.

Wilco Tonight

Wilco is playing tonight at the Murat. I am pretty excited as they are one of my favorite bands and I haven't seen them live in years. Tonight's show is a benefit for Rock for Riley, an organization which provides support for families served by Riley Hospital for Children.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Energy Conservation and Mitch Daniels

Perhaps he is using some of that IPALCO money to help fill up his GMC Envoy.

Governor keeps SUV, RV rolling despite pump prices

Gasoline prices are just under $3 a gallon, and the White House is urging motorists to conserve fuel.

But Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is driven around Indiana in either a dark blue 2004 GMC Envoy sport -utility vehicle or his trademark RV 2001 Beaver Patriot Thunder, said he has no plans to exchange either for, say, a hybrid fuel-saver such as a Toyota Prius.

“People are buying more fuel-efficient cars now in greater numbers, so people are responding in common-sense ways,” he said of the consequences of high pump prices.

He just won’t be one of them, at least for now.


Thursday, October 6, 2005

Good news for bloggers

Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger

DOVER, Del. - In a decision hailed by free-speech advocates, the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official.

In a 34-page opinion, the justices said a Superior Court judge should have required Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill to make a stronger case that he and his wife, Julia, had been defamed before ordering Comcast Cable Communications to disclose the identities of four anonymous posters to a blog site operated by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News.


Since Sliced Bread

A contest sponsored by the Service Employees International Union is looking for ideas that will help the economy grow, encourage existing companies to expand and create well-paying jobs.

You have until December 5, 2005, to submit your idea and to weigh in. A panel of judges will select the top 21 ideas. All of America will be able to vote on the finalists, and on February 1, one person will win $100,000—runners up receive $50,000 each.

Website for Since Sliced Bread

Is this a surprise?

I remember being hounded by National Guard recruiters when I was in high school. I probably would have signed up under pressure, but my dad stepped in to save from doing so. It was a different time though as I never would have thought that I could be shipped to fight in Desert Storm. I mean, the National Guard was a place one joined to avoid being shipped overseas, right? Now, it is different. I don't understand why the National Guard seems to be carrying a heavier proportion of this current war than the regular trained army does. I would not recommend that my child (if I had one) join either branch, but if he/she had to do so, I'd rather that he join the regular army where it is safer.

Guard misses recruiting goal

Indiana Army National Guard recruiters fell 12 percent short of their goal in the past year but still managed to increase the size of the force by enlisting 2,161 new soldiers.


Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Be sure to check out Harriet Mier's blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Gay? Straight and Single? You could be SOL in Indiana.

Masson links to this article in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette . One of my least favorite State Senators, Pat Miller, chairs the Health Finance section committee in the State Legislature and supports a bill in the next term where reproductive assistance in the form of "intrauterine insemination, donation of an egg, donation of an embryo, in vitro fertilization and transfer of an embryo, and sperm injection" would be limited only to married couples. Gays and singles would be prohibited from using this form of reproductive assistance. Also, married couples will have to undergo a background check including an investigation into their participation in church or faith-based activities. I doubt that includes Wicca . There was no mention of this in the Indianapolis Star but this story has already been picked up by the national media. I am hopeful that this is one of those crazy bills that never make out of committee, but one cannot be so optimistic when the Republicans control houses in the legislature and the governor's office.

Monday, October 3, 2005

11 am Air Raid

Jim has moved blogs from his former great site with the cumbersome name of I will have the penne all'arrabbiata to the more sleek and stylish 11 am air raid.

Why is it called 11 am air raid? Well, Indianapolis citizens should know. Here is the description of his new blog:

It's 11 o'clock on a Friday morning. You suddenly hear that air raid siren. Right then, you know for sure you're in Indianapolis. A blog on art, culture, music, and other miscellany from beautiful Meridian Park, in the heart of the city known as Naptown.

Oh, and in other news check out Indygirl's coverage of what she has termed "Escalade on Escalade violence" in Indianapolis.

You were never a judge? No problem!

President Bush on Monday nominated White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, reaching into his loyal inner circle for another pick that could reshape the nation's judiciary for years to come.

Let's see. She has no experience in the position for which she is applying. She was the head of the Texas Lottery Commission. Hmmm, it sounds like she is a more appropriate candidate for the head of FEMA.

Monday Morning Madness

Someone has sent out one of those Bill Gates will pay you money emails if you forward it to so many people. The problem is that he sent it to several thousand people over a multi-office email network. Anyone with half a brain knows these things aren't true.

S I'm an attorney,And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Dear Friends; Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user) For a two week time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a check.

The reply to all was even funnier:

"THIS IS A SCAM!!! A friend sent this to me a month ago and I have yet to see any money nor has she!! Stop the nonsense."

Wow, you found out this wasn't true just a few months ago? I would not even admit that.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Palmer Raids Revisited...

Ok, I have taken many tests like this before, so the result is no surprise--I am a socialist. I am sure this information was immediately forwarded to Alberto Gonzalez.

You are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

The Crossroads of America

Terre Haute

It's not my hometown, but I have a connection to the place. I have spent many hours defending it to narrowminded people who cannot look past the scent of the city. Smelly Terre Haute was once known as "sin city", but that was before the decline. The corner of 7th street and Wabash Avenue was known as the "Crossroads of America". There was good reason for this as the major East/West (US 40) and North/South (US 41) highways intersected there. Then came progress in the form of interstates and Terre Haute was never the same.

At the center of the self-proclaimed "Crossroad of America" was the once majestic hotel The Terre Haute House.

It is slated for demolition soon as plans to restore the once grand building fell through. Whatever replaces the building at that intersection will certainly not match the marble fixtures and copper-clad bar. The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana has had the hotel on its list of most endangered buildings for several years, but it does not appear that anything can save it now.
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