"The Future of Hockey" is a good slogan advertising the minor-league Indiana Ice, part of the USHL development league, where players are under age 20. However, I wonder why Indianapolis can't be part of a more prominent minor league, like the AHL. They used to be a member of the now-defunct IHL, if memory serves.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
More election fraud links
Stefan Sharkansky at SoundPolitics.com has been covering the fraud-tainted "victory" for Christine Gregoire (also known as "Governor-pretend Fraudoire").
GatewayPundit has been covering St. Louis-area voter fraud.
All this on top of Milwaukee.
It's remarkable, isn't it, that all of these instances of fraud involve Democrats?
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Hugh Hewitt links to the following quote by Jonathan Rauch in the Atlantic.
“On balance it is probably healthier if religious conservatives are inside the political system than if they operate as insurgents and provocateurs on the outside. Better they should write anti-abortion planks into the Republican platform than bomb abortion clinics. The same is true of the left. The clashes over civil rights and Vietnam turned into street warfare partly because activists were locked out of their own party establishments and had to fight, literally, to be heard. When Michael Moore receives a hero’s welcome at the Democratic National Convention, we moderates grumble; but if the parties engage fierce activists while marginalizing tame centrists, that is probably better for the social peace than the other way around.”
The question for Vox Blogoli, Vol. 2 No. 1: What does it say about the author, the Atlantic, and the left's understanding of Christian culture in America in 2005? Here are my thoughts.
I dare say almost all Americans support racial equality, that people should not be treated differently or judged differently because of the color of their skin. We may disagree about whether set-aside programs and public race-specific scholarships are appropriate, given the history of race relations, and we disagree about how much racism still inhabits our world. However, very, very few people will argue that someone with black, brown, purple, or gold skin should be kept out of Harvard because of their skin color.
Many of the greatest civil rights leaders were black, and preached equality and tolerance. They didn't preach hatred for people with different skin colors.
Now, do you remember the Los Angeles riots of 1992? In that riot, some black rioters targeted the businesses owned by people of Korean heritage for robbery and arson. If you think these rioters were representative of black feelings on race relations, then you, too, could write for The Atlantic.
You see, just like in my example, Mr. Rauch is making two errors: illustrating a large group (religious conservatives/pro-equality blacks) by way of the most extreme example (abortion clinic bombers/Korean bashers), and using this example (abortion clinic bombings/Korean bashing) despite the fact that it is in DIRECT OPPOSITION to the underlying principle. Even if the rioter says he's in favor of equal rights, his actions shows he's in opposition to those principles. Even if the abortion clinic bomber identifies himself as a religious conservative, he's not acting in a manner consistent with Christian faith.
Here's some general information: religious conservatives, who make up a sizable portion of the Republican party, oppose bombing abortion clinics and agree that those who do so should be convicted in a court of law and punished appropriately. No matter how strong their feelings on abortion, they are more likely to try to get you to understand and share their opinions with reasoned debate, and propose small restrictions (such as on the dilation and extraction procedure, and abortions for minors without parental or judicial consent). They hope one day everyone will agree that abortion is wrong. But they're not going to attempt to convince you with a glass jar filled with gasoline and a lit cloth.
And although I am no fan of the positions advocated by most environmentalists, I hardly think the Unabomber is representative of that group. Perhaps Mr. Rauch thinks he is.
The parties don't need to engage "fierce activists," at least the ones prone to illegal activities. There are places for them: fringe parties, discussion forums, and, what the heck, blogs, too. They can organize splashy and graphic protests and attract the attention of the media. But when they cross the line from dissenters to criminals, they belong in one place: prison.
As a former Milwaukee-area resident, I'm interested in the continuing fraud evident in Democratic parts of the state, particularly Milwaukee. Captain's Quarters reports on the overvotes of nonexistant people from nonexistant addresses. And Wisconsin Politics has the felony vandalism charges from where Democratic activists (some relatives of local Democratic politicians) slashed the tires on a vehicle that the Republicans were to use in their get-out-the-vote efforts.
And let me plug the Badger Blog Alliance, which is also covering the issue with a local focus.
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds has profiled his governor, Phil Bredesen, who as a rich white northern liberal Democrat won the election as governor of Tennessee. The article references a New Republic article describing his history and how he won the election. Glenn Reynolds' comment is well worth reading:
Bredesen's secret is no secret at all: It's respect. He doesn't view rural people, or southerners, with the thinly disguised contempt that is found, all-too-often among national Democratic figures. And he's also not afraid to talk with people who disagree with him. In fact, one of the striking things, to me, is that he does so well on conservative talk radio. He speaks clearly, doesn't duck questions or retreat into soundbites and blather, and treats others with respect while not acting ashamed of his own positions. The result is that talk-show hosts, and listeners, respect him too. If this is hard to replicate, it says bad things about the rest of the Democratic field; this sort of thing ought to be Politics 101, not the advanced class.
Just like I've been saying: no one likes condescension.
Plus, his background is something Republicans can endorse. He was raised in a rural community, attended Harvard on a scholarship, and built the company that made him rich, unlike, say, the two Senators from Massachusetts. (How Bredesen stayed a liberal is beyond me.)
Snow? Oh, wait, never mind
I was upset that the neighborhood and driveways didn't get plowed from Saturday's snow. I'm pretty sure we had more than the two inches of snow that's supposed to trigger the plowing service. However, three days later, most of it melted, thanks to another brief warmup. The temperature I saw at weather.com was 6°C (43°F), which only feels good because it's January.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Warning: this article is only for those strong of stomach.
In the article, you will see what has become a common thread for liberals, winning by any means necessary, even if the truth needs to be sacrificed.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Did that title catch your attention?
Tim Blair fisks an article on how U.S. soldiers turned one Iraqi family against them. The reason? Porn. Read this, and tell me if the journalist is rather missing the point!
The Postal Service
No, not the much-maligned U.S. government agency, the band. I picked up their album "Give Up" recently. I never thought for the life of me I'd ever own an album released by Sub Pop, best known as the original home of Nirvana.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Iowahawk is one of the funniest sites on the Internet. Here's his take on David Von Drehle's awful, condescending report on traveling through the Great Plains states.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
I watched the State of the State address today. In order to help close the budget deficit, Governor Daniels proposes a one year, one percent surtax on individuals making over $100,000 a year, promising a veto of any attempt to extend the tax, and veto any tax that is being used to avoid needed budget cuts.
I guarantee that taxpayers will be more amenable to a temporary tax. And anyone who demands that TAX CUTS be temporary who doesn't also applaud this temporary TAX INCREASE is a true hypocrite.
A good line from the speech: in acknowledging that cuts to programs will be tough, he made the important point that "taxpayers deserve compassion too." It's a point all politicians should remember.
Richard Hatch, winner of the first Survivor, pleads guilty to tax evasion.
It's not like he just hid some money he got for a public speaking engagement, or a personal appearance. He didn't declare the income from winning Survivor. Yes, the cultural phenomenon of 2000, subject of water cooler discussion everywhere, Internet speculation, and huge ratings. What kind of UTTER MORON thinks that not a single IRS worker would recognize his name, and wonder why his reported income was less than $1 million?
When it comes to school, girls rule
Such is the headline of a January 4th article. Girls are doing better than boys in pretty much all aspects of schooling. This isn't news to anyone who's been paying attention. Yet despite the obvious evidence, plenty of people (perhaps blinded by devotion to a particular agenda) have worked hard to help girls overcome their disadvantages.
Some statistics from the article:
- On statewide exams, girls have equaled or exceeded boys for every category and every age group.
- Two-thirds of special education students are boys.
- Sixty percent of state dropouts are boys.
Women are more likely to earn college degrees. Girls mature faster, behave better, have better language skills. They have female role models in the classroom at most ages. And let's not forget the obvious, that almost all violent criminals are men.
If these statistics were reversed, there would be calls to end the crisis. Who will stand up for this potential lost generation of boys?
Monday, January 17, 2005
Words to remember
"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
When you excuse criminal behavior because of the color of the perpetrator's skin *cough*O.J.*cough*, are you living up to Dr. King's dream?
When you set lower standards for people because of the color of their skin, are you living up to Dr. King's dream?
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Please read the article referenced by Tim Blair. Please read my post Condescension. Please consider how a similar-thinking politician is going to win the trust with attitudes like these.
I'd probably feel a little uncomfortable in small-town Nebraska, inner-city Washington, or a tony Manhattan community. But I'm not going to put down people who live there because they're not living in a community like my typical American suburb.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
So Indonesia wants foreign troops to leave, the sooner the better?
I can think of two responses. One, agree. “Yes, we’ll leave. Immediately.” However, that would not be fair for the people who need our assistance.
A better response: Share the words of Vice President Jusuf Kalla with the people we’re aiding. If there’s a video of the demand available, bring a portable DVD player and show the clip, subtitled in the local language if originally spoken in English. Let the people know what their “leaders” think of them. Let them see that giving them aid is less important to their leaders than staying free from the presence of benevolent foreign powers.
Look at how friendly non-discriminating, non-misogynistic leftists communicate with columnist Michelle Malkin. (Not for the faint of heart.)
Michelle, you have my respect for your wonderful writing and your unbelievable endurance in the face of such vitriol.
Unionized state employees may sue because the governor cancelled the collective bargaining agreement. Mind you, the collective bargaining agreement was established by an executive order. Not legislation. Not a provision in the State Constitution. Executive order. The will of one person. Why, pray tell, would the new executive not have the same rights?
Any money spent legislating this issue, meaning MY money, is a waste. I would like the judge who hears this case to throw the lawsuit out of court and charge the plaintiffs all legal fees.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Here's an interesting topic for discussion. Should states offer amnesty for tax dodgers, allowing them to pay what they owe without interest or penalties?
The Legislative Services Agency estimates that Indiana could collect between $20 million and $269 million through the grace period. If the state collected the same percentage of taxes that states with similar programs average, Indiana would bring in a little more than $103 million.
As a law-abiding taxpayer, it rankles me that someone would get away with cheating on their taxes like this. Still, if the alternative is not getting this $100 million, we're in better shape offering this amnesty.
We can analyze a situation like this with a cost/benefit analysis. How much of the owed taxes would be recovered under different options, such as amnesty or increased enforcement? Chances are, the amnesty is going to be the better deal.
Amnesty shouldn't be a common thing, since like recurring sales, we don't want someone who skipped a tax bill to just wait for amnesty. Most should be willing to own up to their mistake and pay the penalty.
Governor Mitch Daniels is eliminating the union contracts for 25,000 state employees, in order to more effectively overhaul state government. The contracts would have impeded a much-needed remodeling of the child welfare agency, which was involved in several high-profile, likely preventable deaths recently.
Predictably, union officials and their allies are unhappy. Here's one Democratic state representative, Greg Porter:
"Gov. Daniels has spoken long and loud about supporting those hard-working state employees who dedicate their lives to helping the people of Indiana, but now it appears that he does not support their efforts to earn a decent wage."
How about this, Representative Porter? How about we encourage these employees to work hard enough to earn a decent wage? Let their reward be commensurate to their efforts.
Government workers have a perception of not caring about their job, of being inefficient, and of being the worst of the lot. Certainly, every state employee who is unhappy with the new governor can leave and find a better-paying job in the private sector, right? Right???
In an article about air traffic at Indianapolis International Airport, it is mentioned that AirTran will begin to fly here in May. I fly to Atlanta about once a year, and will greatly appreciate a low cost airline to lower Delta's normally high ticket price.
AirTran, of course, is TAFKAV: The Airling Formerly Known As ValuJet. That airline collapsed after one of its planes crashed in Florida. I observe that plane crashes, however unfortunate, do not normally kill an airline's name. For ValuJet, perhaps the difference is the crash happened early in the airline's history, and the cargo the airplane was carrying perhaps contributed to the crash.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Kim du Toit has a funny and very true story about how liberals and conservatives would approach a family needing a wheelchair ramp for their wheelchair-bound daughter.
Via Instapundit, we have strong evidence that the nationalized health care vision supported by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton probably wouldn't have worked. All that program managed to do was elect the first Republican Congress in decades. (For this, I give hearty thanks.)
Tennessee's attempt to cover more people than a standard state Medicaid program (including uninsurables) meant that program costs skyrocketed, and now it's being cut back.
There's a telling line in the article:
Bredesen said it was federal lawsuits over past attempts to limit prescription drug use that had forced him to have ''hard'' rather than soft limits.
Yes, our nation's fine trial lawyers have demonstrated just how much they fight for the little people.
Confederate Yankee is reminding us about an underreported travesty, former Clinton national security advisor Sandy Burger's theft and destruction of top, top secret documents.
Did you remember he was once working for John Kerry's presidential campaign?
A previous burglary led to the downfall of a past President. That story led to a shift in the perception of what journalism is. Journalists became crusaders. But journalists became monolithic in thought. So, when a story as newsworthy comes up, but the admitted criminal is a Democrat, it gets ignored.
Is that good for democracy and the free press?
I must admit that it feels bad to see a new product advertised in the Sunday paper's coupon section, only to be unable to find the new product in the stores before said coupon expires. Either I'm not shopping in the right place, or I'm living in what the manufacturer perceives to be a backwater town.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Via Carnival of the Capitalists, here's a report on CD sales in the U.K. and the U.S. In particular, U.K. consumers buy 37% as many CDs as U.S. consumers, despite its population being 20% as large. [A handy comparison in the size of the music market is to compare the sales needed for platinum certification: 300,000 in the U.K., compared to 1 million in the U.S.]
Barry Ritholtz posits three possible reasons:
A more vibrant, less consolidated broadcast radio music scene (No Clear
Less mass produced corporate McMusic so prevalent on the radio in the States -- from Ashlee Simpson to insipid Boy Bands;
A robust economic expansion. The U.S. '90s bubble was far more muted in the U.K., so its after effects are also less insidious.
However, I have to disagree on two points. One, Boy Bands. Hasn't he heard of Take That? Or that before U.S. radio stations embraced their style of pop music, the Backstreet Boys were stars in Europe?
In addition, the BBC is the dominant music force in the U.K. If they don't play a song, it's not likely to be a hit.
Based on the U.K. music compilations I've listened to, I agree that the music scene is better there. There is more variability in the pop music scene there, with more styles of music embraced. One key difference: consider how long it takes to tour the United Kingdom. Compare how long it would take to play similar cities in the larger, more populous United States.
Unintended consequences of sales
Today, I picked up a CD, some anime, and a portable DVD player at Best Buy. Why today? I received a promotional mailing, offering 10% discounts for purchases over the four day period January 7-10. Best Buy makes these mailings all the time, with one of these sales every two months or so, normally around three day weekends.
It has gotten to the point where if I want something from Best Buy, I'll wait for the next sale. Why should I buy at full price? There are probably a lot of people who feel the same way. The company runs the risk that consumers will get a substitute from another source in the interim, or decide they don't want the product after all, all because they have predictable lower prices.
Companies like Wal-Mart, which advertise everyday low prices (even if prices change frequently), end up a common destination when you need to pick up something while waiting for the local grocery store to do its triple coupon sale or other bargain special. It's all perception.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Today and tomorrow mark the inauguration of Governor Mitch Daniels. Strangely, the celebrations started while the Colts were still playing.
Hey, I got invited to the inaugural gala dance! But that really doesn't interest me.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
It's a really useful warning for a toilet brush, isn't it?
That reminds me of an article in my college newspaper (a decade ago, but somehow I haven't forgotten it) about tryouts to be the team mascot. Each candidate got in the hot furry suit and was given various implements to perform with. One was a toilet brush, and in the tryout, the candidate used it like a toothbrush, brushing the mascot's teeth.
I wonder if he or she is scarred for life, perhaps even dead? That would explain the warning label. :-)
Wednesday, schools were let out early because of freezing rain. However, there really wasn't freezing rain, at least not enough to ice over the roads. Apparently, school was called because officials observed ice forming on trees and the like.
By the next morning, beautiful ice covered trees, bushes, and grasses. Some trees were obviously done for, with the ice bending the branches to the ground, almost making them resemble willow trees. Although beautiful, I couldn't help thinking "My fees are going to have to go to replacing those trees."
In the comic strip Get Fuzzy, one of my favorite comic strips, the psycho cat Bucky has a toy bear he named Smacky. Later, he gets two more, which he names Punk and Cracker. Why Cracker? Because the bear is white.
I don't mind the use of a (mild) racial slur. I do mind the double standard; a slur against any other race would not be deemed appropriate for a syndicated comic strip.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Megan McArdle at Asymmetrical Information highlights the inanity of the statistics used to highlight hunger in America. An article from Reuters (of course) begins:
In a nation where obesity is the second-leading cause of death, 33 million Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from....
She points out that this is more than 10% of the U.S. population, of which 12.5% is below the poverty line. And the poor are more likely to be obese.
The comments discuss how one can eat if one is on a tight budget. I don't do a whole lot of cooking from scratch, so when I buy some staples, I'm often shocked how little one has to pay. A five pound bag of flour? Cooking oil? Beans?
Don't forget every student's best friend: ramen noodles. I've seen them for as little as 10 cents each. Granted, you can't live off ramen, but they are filling, and can be expanded with a little meat or vegetables to create a meal. Example:
Ginger Beef and Noodle Soup
1 pound lean ground beef
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp pepper
2 cups water
1 can (13¼-14½ oz) vegetable broth
1 package (3 oz) beef-flavored instant ramen noodles, broken
3 cups frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetable mixture
In large saucepan, brown ground beef over medium heat 6 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink, breaking up into ¾ inch crumbles. Pour off drippings.
Add salt, ginger, and pepper. Stir in water, broth, and seasoning packet from ramen noodles; bring to a boil. Stir in noodles and vegetables; return to a boil. Continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Another stadium funding proposal, this one from Representative Luke Messer, will put real slot machines into play, but only at the state's two struggling horse-racing tracks. He admits that he's open to a casino Downtown.
I'm leery of any estimates of revenue at the horse tracks, given their current lack of success.
Joe Carter is making some informative posts on starting a blog, finding its niche, and increasing its audience. The link is to the 4th post in a series. (Via Instapundit, who doesn't need any help.)
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
I open the paper this morning, and what do I see, but the Governor-elect throwing his support behind my preferred daylight savings time plan! Even though he (foolishly!) thought Indiana should be on Central time, he's supporting House Bill 1034, which keeps existing time zones and adds Daylight Savings Time.
Personally, I give all the credit to this post. (BWAHAHAHAH! Yeah, right!)
Monday, January 03, 2005
It looks like there will be a new stadium, home to the Colts, conventions, Final Four basketball, and probably even a tractor pull or two. The model looks quite attractive, a welcome addition to the Indianapolis skyline.
The Colts news article doesn't discuss the proposed financing for at least part of the cost: gambling. Some people don't like it. It is proposed that the gambling includes video pulltabs, which look like slot machines but pay out like pulltab lottery tickets (with preset winning tickets).
Personally, I'd prefer real slot machines. Although I don't play slots, I am impressed by the many fun machines in Las Vegas, particularly the all-video fifteen-symbol machines with animated bonus rounds (Reel 'Em In, for example).
And I don't have a fundamental objection to gambling. I gamble, even buying the occasional lottery ticket. (For $5, I can fantasize about winning the lottery. And half the money supports the government.) It's a voluntary tax, which I definitely support. (Voluntary taxes on the rich don't have a high rate of acceptance, as anecdotally discussed here.)
Some people complain about how gambling (and taxes on tobacco and alcohol) disproportionately hit the poor. But let me repeat: It's a voluntary tax. No one has to gamble. Personally, I'm glad to live in a nation where we can exercise poor judgment. The alternative is to have no freedom to control our own lives.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is upset because the popular TV series 24, in its new season's plot line, has a Muslim family which turns out to be a sleeper cell for a terrorist organization.
"At first I was shocked," organization spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed told the New York Daily News. "In this particular case, they show an American-Muslim family and they portray them as terrorists."
Well, do you want a realistic plot, or not? That's what it comes down to.
I don't complain when the movies or television portray an embezzler as a white man. I don't complain how every Bond-level villain plotting world conquest is a rich white man. And any crime series focused on the rough streets of a large American city that showed all criminals as whites would be stretching the bounds of believability.
There are other terrorist organizations. However, I have not heard of the Irish Republican Army or Basque separatists staging terrorist attacks in America. Only Muslims fit that bill.
I long for the day when CAIR devotes its time to condemning Islamic terrorists, Islamic dictators who deny their nation's people basic civil rights, and Islamic nations that prefer to keep Palestinians living in squalor to score political points with the Western media.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
From the topic of debate on a mailing list discussing another Webcomic, I was pointed to Better Days.
Then there's this strip, with a pretty typical liberal teacher responding to some common sense from one of her young students.
President Jimmy Carter
Just because the President is from our state, people think he is good. I know a kid named Billy who is from Georgia, and he is retarded. He rides the short bus....
Daylight Savings Time
I had friends from Ohio visiting this weekend. I was expecting their arrival at 11 AM, give or take. A half hour late was to be expected, but when I called at noon, I got the response: Isn't it 11 AM there?
No, it isn't.
The only reason this confusion exists is because most of Indiana refuses to adopt Daylight Savings Time. Even smart people get messed up now and then.
In this case, all that happened is some friends got together an hour later than expected. But what if one was coming to Indianapolis to attend a sporting event? Or to catch a flight?
I personally don't like the fact that in the summer, our network TV shows come on an hour later than anywhere else in the Eastern or Central Time Zones. But more, I don't like that it's bright and sunny at 5 AM in the summer.
There are other real concerns for businesses looking to work in Indiana. If you want to keep the same call center hours for everyone outside (most of) Arizona and Hawaii, you need to change your employees' hours in the summer. You confuse your customers, clients, and suppliers.
Governor-elect Mitch Daniels says he wants to adopt daylight savings time. But there is a risk that we will adopt Daylight Savings Time but join the Central Time Zone, which to me is the worst of both worlds. Having lived in Connecticut, winters meant it was dark at 4:30 PM. I don't want to see that here, which would be the case if we were on Central Time Zone. Now, most people can at least see the sun set at the end of the work day.
Here are some arguments against Daylight Savings Time, and why I disagree with them:
Kids will be waiting for the school bus in the dark in October. The sunrise is comparable between October (the end of Daylight Savings Time) and the dates surrounding the winter break. And, if this is a problem, why start school so early? School (especially junior high and high school) typically starts before most people start work. School start times can be pushed forward a half hour or so.
We're closer to Chicago than New York. While true, what does that have to do with anything? So is Detroit. So is Rapid City, South Dakota. Both are in different time zones, because that's where they fit in the longitude of the world.
The cows don't like it. The stupidest reason I've heard. Sure, when the cows want to be milked is when you're going to milk the cows, and it really doesn't matter if the clock says 5 AM or 6 AM. I don't think farmers, whose work doesn't really care about the clock, should drive this debate.
But the most important concern I have is that we won't draw on what should be a plainly obvious resource. Why not ask the people at the same longitude who enjoy Daylight Savings Time? Michigan's West Coast, with more daylight in summer and less in winter, has Daylight Savings Time. They like it, don't they? Why not get their opinion before deciding for Indiana?
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Happy New Year!
Yes, I adjusted the time for the post. But is is after midnight.
Happy New Year to all in the Blogosphere!