Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rick Steves--PBS--16th century girls gone wild

The American Taliban is attacking the mild mannered travel writer Rick Steves' show on PBS. Apparently, the Rick Steves can no longer show nude works of art like Titian's Venus on his show because it may run afoul of the FCC.

See link at Daily Kos and thanks to Reverent and Free for pointing this out.

Happy Birthday, IndyGirl!

Visit her and compose a birthday haiku even if you don't know her.

Today in the news

I have not always agreed with Mayor Peterson, but I think he has done a good job this year considering all of the problems Governor Daniels, the legislature, and now the City-Council have given him. Matthew Tully writes about how Peterson is willing to compromise.

Oh, and Doug Masson points out that our Governor is breaking the law! Breaking the law!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New Orleans to go Wi-Fi

City-Owned WiFi System To Be Announced Today

Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans will deploy the nation's first municipally owned wireless Internet system that will be free for all users, part of an effort to jump-start recovery by making living and doing business in the city as attractive as possible.

The system, which Mayor C. Ray Nagin is scheduled to announce at a news conference today, also will be used by law enforcement and for an array of city government functions, such as speeding approval of building permits.

Washington Post

I am sure all of the commercial internet providers are going nuts over this announcement even though they are still not able to provide access to most of New Orleans. Years ago, the library in my hometown offered free dialup internet access to all patrons. It was one of the first libraries in the country to offer this. The local ISP sued the library for ruining his business.

Also, check out this Reason article about the failure of journalism during Katrina. The interrupted rescue due to gunfire and the 7 year old rape victim stories never happened.

On September 1, 72 hours after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, the Associated Press news wire flashed a nightmare of a story: “Katrina Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire…Shots Are Fired at Military Helicopter.”

The article flew across the globe via at least 150 news outlets, from India to Turkey to Spain. Within 24 hours commentators on every major American television news network had helped turn the helicopter sniper image into the disaster’s enduring symbol of dysfunctional urbanites too depraved to be saved.

Golfer Tiger Woods spoke for many of us on September 2 when he remarked, during a tournament in Boston, that “it’s just unbelievable…how people are behaving, with the shootings and now the gang rapes and the gang violence and shooting at helicopters who are trying to help out and rescue people.”

Like many early horror stories about ultra-violent New Orleans natives, whether in their home city or in far-flung temporary shelters, the A.P. article turned out to be false. Evacuation from the city of New Orleans was never “halted,” according to officials from the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Louisiana National Guard. The only helicopter airlifts stopped were those by a single private company, Acadian Ambulance, from a single location: the Superdome. And Acadian officials, who had one of the only functional communications systems in all of New Orleans during those first days, were taking every opportunity to lobby for a massive military response.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Indiana Blog Review

Nathan at the Indiana Blog Review does a great job of keeping a digest of Indiana blogs. Check him out if you want to know what is being said all across the state.

Also, CCINDems has an informative post on how progressives can buy "blue" and "green" this Christmas.

And check out Lawgeekgurl who cites a Lousville Courier Journal editorial which shows what a dark age we'd live in if it were not for the Warren Court.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Feeling blue

It's a year too late, but most of the US is looking blue. Apparently, George W. Bush will have to marry Karl Rove in a courthouse in Massachusetts before voters in Utah and Idaho will desert him.

Thanks to Democratic Underground for the poll link.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

George Will on Mitch Daniels

Tomorrow's George Will column in the Washington Post lauds Mitch Daniels. He compares him favorably to Governor Granholm of Michigan by contrasting her comments about Delphi with Daniels. Granholm criticized "Delphi's executives, Washington and globalization" while Daniels apparently contacted Delphi and asked for more Delphi operations here. Will praises Daniels' action in this age of "entrepreneurial federalism" where states compete for jobs. Does Indiana win if we attract companies like Delphi? They've already asked their employees to take a pay cut from 27 to around 10-12 dollars an hour. This is the company who proposed 90 million dollars in bonuses to its executives in the same bankruptcy proposal which would cut wages so low its workers wouldn't even be able to pay its mortgages. I do not see how Indiana wins here.

Hoosier voters were hoodwinked by Daniels' brand of populism last fall. He rolled up his sleeves, spoke plainly, slept in supporters' homes as he traveled throughout this state in his RV. He created a character who acted as if he cared about the general public. The majority of us voted for him even though he gave IPL employees Indiana's Enron. Now, he has shown he is willing to support corporate executives over Hoosier workers. This may impress George Will, but I do not know how well it fly with Indiana citizens in 2008.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Washington Post on Hostettler/Ellsworth 2006 race

The good news is that the Post mentions the race as one of ten Congressional races to watch. The bad news is that it is ranked least likely of the ten to change seats.

10) Indiana’s 8th district – Rep. John Hostettler (R): Yes, we know Hostettler does almost nothing incumbents typically do – raise money, for one – and still always managed to win reelection in this southern Indiana district. And, yes, we know that Democrats tout their candidate in this seat every two years only to be disappointed on Election Night.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bumpersticker Zeitgeist Issue #1

I love bumperstickers. I am too chicken to put them on my car though as they are so hard to tear off, but I enjoy to read them on other people's cars. Each week or so I pledge to report what bumperstickers I encounter while driving. I probably won't report on ribbons since they get on my nerves and half of the time I cannot read them because the type is too small. On the other hand, I will report if I see another "Support Roadhead" ribbon.

The list (it's been a short week):

Blessed are the Peacemakers
Proud to be an American (with flag of course)
These colors don't run (another flag)
Save a horse Ride a Cowboy

Worst President Ever

Get Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs (so dumb)

Anti-discrimination ordinance

Even the Indianapolis Star says it is time. Hopefully some of the African-Americans on the council who voted against it last time will re-acquaint themselves with history.

Time for council to do the right thing

Our position: Council should allow time for full debate, but passing discrimination ban is the right thing to do.

Eight months ago, the City-County Council turned away a proposal to give gays and lesbians the same protections against discrimination that other people have in their workplaces and in their housing.

Now, the same questions have returned: Should employers in Marion County be legally allowed to discriminate against workers simply because of their sexual orientation? Should landlords, home sellers or real estate agents be permitted to turn away potential buyers or renters for the same reason?

Fairness dictates that the answer to each question is no.

Star Editorial

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Padilla finally indicted

Nevermind those earlier allegations, you know the ones we held you on for over 3 years? I guess this is a way to avoid a Supreme Court showdown. Throw a few things on the wall and hope something sticks.

'Dirty Bomb' Suspect Jose Padilla Indicted
Charges Don't Include Government's Earlier Allegations That He Planned Terror Attacks in the U.S.

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held by the Bush administration for three years without charges as an enemy combatant plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in the United States, has been indicted on charges unrelated to any potential terrorist attack in this country.

Padilla, 35, a former Chicago gang member who converted to Islam, was indicted by a Miami federal grand jury Thursday on charges he and four others were part of a U.S.-based terrorism conspiracy to "murder, maim, and kidnap" people overseas, Justice Department officials announced at a press conference in Washington today.

Washington Post

Monday, November 21, 2005

Just in case anyone would like to stop by to heckle...

From a Star press release:

Legislative preview today
The 2006 Central Indiana Legislative Preview is today at 11 a.m. in the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, 1 S. Capitol Ave. Speaker Brian Bosma, President Pro Tem Bob Garton, Senate Minority Leader Richard Young and House Democratic Leader Pat Bauer, will discuss the priorities and challenges the state faces.

Also, according to the Indianapolis Star, none of the Indiana GM plants were on the closing list.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

South Keystone Art Cinema to become Dollar Show

I knew this would happen. It is no coincidence the theater is closing one week before the multiplex 7 screen "art" theater opens on the northside. This new theater will not be dirty and in poor shape. I am sure there will be no draft in the theater either. On the other hand, I am certain this corporate chain will "show" relatively safe and inoffensive films.

The Keystone cinema was far more daring than Castleton Arts. While Castleton Arts might be showing an independent American film, Keystone might have something from Pakistan or Tibet on their marquee. They showed a lot of leftist documentaries and films targeted to gays as well. I live on the southside and I do not want to drive clear to the northside to see a decent film. I admit I like Ben Stiller/Will Ferrell/Luke Wilson/Vince Vaughn films as much as the next guy, but sometimes I like to see more obscure films.

Their website proudly proclaims they will be switching over to 50 cent movies starting December 2nd. There is no explanation.

Monday, November 14, 2005

South Carolina

I will be in South Carolina until Friday, but will be posting sporadically.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Liberal Indiana blog has reminded me of a very important birthday. In spite of his family history, depression, the Germans, allied bombers, fires, and Pall Mall non-filter cigarettes, Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut turns 83 today.


"What's good for General Motors is good for America"

The chairman of General Motors once uttered that statement in front of Congress. The corporation which once was the largest company in the world in terms of revenue now appears destined for takeover or bankruptcy.

GM VEERS OFF ROAD: Automaker is ripe for bankruptcy

Its solution: Cut costs and make better cars

General Motors Corp. is unraveling -- fast.

Its stock price plunged to a 13-year low Thursday after the latest in a string of financial problems dismayed shareholders once again.

Wall Street experts say the unthinkable is more likely than ever before: Michigan's largest company could be bought by a corporate raider like Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, forced to file for bankruptcy, or both.

Detroit Free Press

Anti-Mitch Daniels site.

Thanks to CassCo Ind Dems who found this on TDW's site.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pat Robertson warns Dover, PA

“If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin..."

Dover's school board members who supported intelligent design were voted out of office in Tuesday's elections.


Also, please read Stephanie Salter of the Terre Haute Tribune Star's column about the recent Eugene V. Debs dinner in Terre Haute.

Thomas Frank (author of What's the Matter with Kansas) was a featured speaker and an award recipient. Some notable excerpts from his speech (courtesy of Salter's column):

“You vote to stop abortion and you receive a rollback in the capital gains taxes..."

"It's like the French Revolution in reverse: workers come storming down the street screaming, ‘More aristocracy!'”

“With a little more effort, I think they may repeal the entire 20th Century.”.

More on Hostettler

Congressman Hostettler has an odd way of showing that he cares. Of course, politician visits to disaster areas are largely symbolic, but I do not really think a visit by the Congressman would have hampered the relief effort.

Hostettler won't view damage

WASHINGTON - Rep. John Hostettler has decided not to tour any of the tornado destruction this weekend when he's back in the district.

"He doesn't want to interfere," said his spokesman Matthew Faraci. "He is very adamant.

"Our district staff members are literally in the field trying to do the best they can to assist FEMA. From Mr. Hostettler's perspective, he does not want to get in the way of state and local officials doing their job."

Evansville Courier Press

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

When Liberals attack!

College Republicans are under attack at Indiana State University as their flyers have been vandalized with libelous messages. What nefarious body is behind this campaign? There is only one group who is evil enough to attack the College Republicans during Freedom Week*--Liberals.

Read about the terrible attack here.

*I didn't know what it meant either. Apparently, Freedom Week is a week long celebration of the victory over communism.

Senator Lieberman and Alito

Joe Lieberman seems confident Alito would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, but he often has one foot across the Republican aisle, so I do not always trust him. Alito has been pilloried by pro-choice advocates for his dissent in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. This case is controversial because he argued to uphold a law requiring women to notify their husbands should they seek an abortion. On the other hand, Alito sided with those defend legalize abortion in three other cases before him. He has followed precedent on other abortion cases and also held that the fetus is not protected person under the Constitution in a wrongful death case.

At this point, it appears unlikely that Democrats will have the necessary 41 votes for a filibuster. Of course, this may change by January.

Alito Signals Reluctance to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. has signaled he would be highly reluctant to overturn long-standing precedents such as the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling, a move that has helped to silence some of his critics and may resolve a key problem early in the Senate confirmation process, several senators said yesterday.

In private meetings with senators who support abortion rights, Alito has said the Supreme Court should be quite wary of reversing decisions that have been repeatedly upheld, according to the senators who said it was clear that the context was abortion.

He basically said . . . that Roe was precedent on which people -- a lot of people -- relied, and been precedent now for decades and therefore deserved great respect," Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) told reporters after meeting with Alito yesterday.

Washington Post

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Urban Legends

This could be why southwestern Hoosiers reelect John Hostettler over and over again.

The following is an excerpt of an email from a person in southwestern Indiana who sent it out to her mailing list which is in excess of one hundred people.

Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society.They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.


For example, Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

You can read the full text of the email the urban legends site Snopes lists the email as false and gives detailed reasons why it is wrong.

The interesting thing is that at the beginning of the email it says, "Just a side note, Congressman Hostettler opted OUT of this special benefit plan. (Just a little personal political endorsement.)

These ridiculous urban legend emails are a dime a dozen. I receive them every day. What I find interesting is this person claims to have personal knowledge that John Hostetler opted out of a program that does not even exist. Someone is lying.

58 Percent in Poll Question Bush's Integrity

Elections are all about timing. Bush pere knows this all too well. In a span of 18 months, he went from the most popular President in history to an early retirement. I thought the state of the country was bad enough last November to make W a one term loser as well, but Karl Rove put just enough sawdust in the transmission to allow the Bush regime to sputter past November into a second term. Now, the American people are stuck with a lemon and we have no warranty.

Bush's Popularity Reaches New Low

For the first time in his presidency a majority of Americans question the integrity of President Bush, and growing doubts about his leadership have left him with record negative ratings on the economy, Iraq and even the war on terrorism, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.

On almost every key measure of presidential character and performance, the survey found that Bush has never been less popular with the American people. Currently 39 percent approve of the job he is doing as president, while 60 percent disapprove of his performance in office -- the highest level of disapproval ever recorded for Bush in Post-ABC polls.

Washington Post

Monday, November 7, 2005

Daily Kos on Hostettler ---Updated!

If you remember, Congressman John Hostettler voted against the Katrina aid package. Now, he has a natural disaster within his own district. It will be interesting to see how he reacts.

The Indiana 8th CD is known as the "bloody eight", and it produces some of the tightest races every single cycle. It's been held by Republican John Hostettler for a few cycles now, but a new sheriff is in town (literally) -- Brad Ellsworth -- and he aims to clean house (literally).

For those of you who do not know this, Ellsworth is the latest in a long line of talented Democrats run against this neanderthal. Sadly, all of these fine candidates (including current Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel)have failed. Ellsworth seems like a good candidate, but so did the others and the bloody 8th is as red as its ever been.

Update: Hostetler has now asked for Federal relief

St. Monday

Send yourself an email time capsule 20 years into the future


Josh Grayson. I had no idea who he is, but I saw him last night at Max and Erma's in Edinburgh, Indiana. My aunt who watches American Idol was very impressed.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Mitch Daniels--We could do worse

I am not a fan of Mitch Daniels, but at least he's not of the Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum or locally, Patricia Miller ilk.

Yeah, one of his first moves was to decertify the state employee's unions, which is unforgiveable in my book. On the other hand, he suggested that we make the state income tax progressive. He relaxed heating bills. He changed the guidelines so that more Hoosier families will be able to qualify for energy assistance this winter. He stood up to the bigot Micah Clark and a lot of his party base by including sexual orientation and gender identity within his state employment policies. And now, it appears he is not going to make intelligent design part of his legislative agenda.

Really. In a way he is not much more conservative than Evan Bayh while he was Governor.

Daniels hesitant to back intelligent-design bill

Governor says legislature shouldn't impose curriculum rules

The state should be removing mandates from schools -- not adding to them, Gov. Mitch Daniels said Thursday, maintaining he'd be reluctant to sign a bill requiring teachers to incorporate intelligent design into their lesson plans.
His comments come as House Republicans are trying to gauge public opinion for the concept, which maintains that the development of life on Earth required a supernatural designer. At least one Republican has said he will sponsor a bill in the upcoming 2006 session if no other lawmaker steps forward.

Indianapolis Star

Also, I should mention that the Indianapolis Star's website search engine is absolutely worthless.

Splogs and Spamalanches

I bought a laptop online recently and I noticed everytime that I did a search I ended up on a "splog" site from These spam sites are clogging up search engines and may eventually lead many to exclude blogs from Yahoo or Google searches.

A New Place for Spam's Same Old Pitches

Now that Web logs -- blogs, for short -- are a popular online pastime for millions of people, scammers are finding new ways to exploit them as vehicles for junk advertisements.

The Internet has even coined a term -- splog, a combination of spam and blog -- for a phenomenon that follows in the footsteps of rogue advertising such as spam e-mail, junk mail, junk faxes and adware
Last month, Blogger, a free blog service, identified a "spamalanche" that hit its system, and the company had to dismantle 13,000 spam-filled blogs created in the course of a single weekend.

Washington Post

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Torpor Indy mentioned on

Oh, so what if the author was condescending? Any news is good news.

Liberals are livid. "The big question is why are they denying all access to the prisoners, even access by United Nations human rights investigators? ... I know that we have to go to extremes to fight the war on terror to protect our citizens, but does this mean hiding people, completely from view and imprisoning them indefiniatey without any trial to do it?" asks Those Bastards' King Bastard. "We have no moral high ground," bemoans Torpor Indy's Publius X, who reverts to quoting Nietzsche: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."


On edit: A friend of mine pointed out that the writer probably meant to say "resorts" instead of "reverts". I don't know.

And now for something completely different

Human Skateboard

(I took the hotlink away because it was giving me a headache, but check it out)

A year and a day

Lemming marked yesterday as a year since the election. The day had passed by unnoticed by me until she pointed that out.

We're almost five years into the Bush presidency and it's time to take stock and see how the Bush administration has affected me. On a personal level, I have stopped being diplomatic. I used to politely nod when people said things that I found offensive. I realize that I am out of the mainstream Hoosier thought. I wish it were not the case. My heroes are people like Eugene V. Debs, Robert LaFollette, Michael Harrington and Martin Luther King. Apart from MLK, whose image has been coopted to water his message down, you're not going to see any of those people competing with Ronald Reagan for a spot on our currency. Anyway, I don't challenge people and proselytize (well apart from here maybe), but I no longer let people (often poor random strangers) get away with some of their FOX News/AM Radio talking points. It probably doesn't do any one any good, but it helps me keep my sanity. Hopefully, this will keep me from becoming a crazy old man who lives in a cave.

Yeah, but the good new is that it is also the most expensive!

US leads way in medical errors: study By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Patients in the United States reported higher rates of medical errors and more disorganized doctor visits and out-of-pocket costs than people in Canada, Britain and three other developed countries, according to a survey released on Thursday.

Thirty-four percent of U.S. patients received wrong medication, improper treatment or incorrect or delayed test results during the last two years, the Commonwealth Fund found.


Wednesday, November 2, 2005

The USA has more torture centers than SBC has call centers.

I don't know mean to be flip as this news is very disturbing. We have no moral high ground.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
--Friedrich Nietzsche

CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

Debate Is Growing Within Agency About Legality and Morality of Overseas System Set Up After 9/11

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.

The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions.

The existence and locations of the facilities -- referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents -- are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country.

The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held. Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long.

Washington Post (registration required)

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

By now I am sure you've all heard of Robert Greenwald's movie.

Here is a list of places where it will be screened in the local area. I'd love to go but I'll be out of town all week. I wish this movie had a theatrical release and maybe it will if there is enough interest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

New Indianapolis based blog

Some call him Badlands.

Some call him Big Baby Jesus.

But everyone fears him at the poker table. Check out his new blog.

August and Everything After
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