Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pence as Pontius Pilate: An Easter Meditation

"Pilate politics is when a governor, in the face of thousands of lives that could be saved, still chooses to deny Medicaid to people in his or her state, due to some gauzy longitudinal theory or misplaced fiscal principle."

(Yes, Governor Pence: he's talking about you.)

This is from "The Politics of Pontius Pilate: How Not to Lead" by Joshua DuBois, posted on the Daily Beast.

He writes, "But in seemingly benign ways every day, our leaders still practice a lesser form of Pontius Pilate politics — with dangerous, deadly consequences..."

"It's a difficult thing to go against the will of the crowd, to buck the norms of a given party, system or age—but in doing so, you never know who you might save."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Misplaced Priorities

On a day when a 16-year-old thug, accused of two murders, is (finally) brought before a judge after not one or two but 13 probation violations, this Indianapolis Observer can only wonder at Mayor Greg Ballard's misplaced priorities.

Computer programmers are being gunned down on the streets and we're giving (literally) hundreds of millions so a couple of billionaires can enjoy owning sports teams?

As Gary R. Welsh writes today on Advance Indiana:

"Indianapolis taxpayers have contributed more than $1 billion to support [Jim} Irsay's Colts organization and by extension his drug addiction, but the City will have no money to pay for basic city services in next year's budget unless you agree to fork over additional money by agreeing to pay higher taxes. But yes, it has $160 million to give to our other billionaire sports team owner, Herb Simon, over the next ten years."

I hope the misguided crew who brought down Bart Peterson [ironically over the homicide rade] are happy with the city they've managed to destroy by installing someone in thrall to "big business". Under Lugar, Hudnut (brief hiatus for Goldsmith) and then Peterson, we had a great run.

These days? We're known as the city with a homicide rate greater than Chicago's. Terrific.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Is It About the Artifacts...or Something Else?

As Gary R. Welsh writes, "Seriously, The FBI Devoted Massive Resources To Seize A 91-Year Old Man's Private Collection Of Artifacts?"

Rush County's Don Miller is, indeed, a collector of long-standing -- and his collection of pots, arrowheads, bones etc. is enormous.

But it hardly seems to warrant FBI overkill (when we can't even find all of Tim Durham's more contemporary assets).

Although this Indianapolis Observer is not a fan of Welsh's conspiracy theories, he does raise valid questions here: is there something else the Feds are looking for while using the artifacts as a smokescreen? Such as (he suggests) information on the space program of the former USSR -- a project in which Dr. Miller evidently was involved.

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Poet Richard Blanco Reads at IUPUI

Poet Richard Blanco (pictured) will read some of his poems beginning at 7:30 p.m. 10 April in the Basile Auditorium of the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, 735 West New York Street.

The event is part of the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series and is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research as part of IUPUI’s Research Day 2014.

In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States.

The poet was born in Madrid in 1968, immigrating as an infant with his Cuban-exile family
to the United States. He was raised and educated in Miami, earning a B.S. in civil engineering and a M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University.

He has been a practicing engineer, writer and poet since 1991. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, Writer’s Center and Central Connecticut State University. Blanco currently lives in Bethel, Maine.

His books include City of a Hundred Fires (1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013), Boston Strong (2013), and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (2013).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hoosiers Fail Math 'n' Reading

According to the Associated Press, Indiana is the first state to withdraw from the Common Core reading and math standards that were adopted by most states around the country.

This Indianapolis Observer is betting that's because the Indiana State legislators took a look at the level of competence the standards required, and couldn't pass muster.

Hoosiers don't want their kids to be less illiterate or innumerate than they are, don't you know? Book learning drives a wedge between parents and children.

Ignorance starts with adults who should know better.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When You're Here, You're Home

Yes: "Parks and Recreation" soars where the Indiana Department of Tourism crashed.

The fictional Pawnee decided on "When You're Here, Then You're Home", which (edited to remove the "then") would indeed be a perfect tourism slogan for Indiana.

The show's second palce slogan, "Storied Past, Bright Future", is better, too, considering Indiana's Bicentennial is in 2016. (Hat-tip to Paul K. Ogden for the information.)

This Indianapolis Observer thinks that "Honest to Goodness" is indefensible, and definitely not worth the $100,000 wasted on its development. The Hoosier State could have spent that money on tourism ads during "Parks and Recreation" had had a better return on its investment.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sinkholes in City Streets vs. Luxury Condos

This Indianapolis Observer doesn't have much to add to Gary R. Welsh's commentary on Advance Indiana: A Thought About Priorities.

On the same day a firetruck falls into a hole in the street ON THE WAY TO A FIRE, the City-County Council votes to give millions to a developer for an apartment (not coincidentally on the very land that SHOULD be used for expanding the justice center).

If only.... If only Indy had government watchdog journalists to shed light on the decisions to shovel tax dollars into private hands instead of projects that benefit the public....