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November 4, 2013 4:36 PM

Cameras in the SCOTUS

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear arguments this week about local governments opening their sessions with a Christian prayer.  There are over 2,500 local governments (counties, municipalities, townships, school districts, and special districts) in Indiana, so this case might be of some interest here.   We can read, listen to, and watch coverage after the fact.  We can even read the transcript or listen to audio from the hearing shortly after…

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November 3, 2013 5:37 AM

Historic Preservation Becoming Economic Urbanism?

Indianapolis hosted the largest historic preservation conference in the nation this week, enjoying bus loads of visitors touring our historic sites and neighborhoods. While this made me proud of our local accomplishments, it also raised a lot of questions on whether Indy needs its preservationists to become “Economic Urbanists”. Preservationist have tended to focus on saving the historic physical fabric of individual buildings and assumed that the market or government would take care of the…

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November 1, 2013 10:48 AM 3 Comments

Bully for RINOs and DINOs

When someone labels another person the shorthand often is meant to harm. RINO and DINO are derisive acronyms used by political insiders to dismiss a fellow partisan. The R is for Republican, the D for Democrat. The “INO” stands for “in name only.” To see what I’m talking about, look here and here. I’d like to see these hyper-partisans called out for what they are: bullies. In this polarized political world we need more independent…

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October 31, 2013 1:34 PM 1 Comment

Where is Benjamin Harrison when we need him?

Anyone remember when politics was less intrusive, less ubiquitous?  Meaning before it dominated the press, monopolized night-time media, cluttered the mail, and loaded up my computer.  Unhappily it has become impossible to avoid.  Elections used to come in cycles.  Today they are nonstop.  Every day there is an invitation to a “reception” or dinner, involving a check for the candidate.  We adjust to it but we don’t necessarily like it The pervasive nagging is not…

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October 30, 2013 10:56 AM 3 Comments

Ritz is No Victim, She’s the Problem

The only thing worse than when someone drops the ball and then tries to blame everyone else for their failure is when that person is an elected official. Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and her enablers have tried to blame the State Board of Education for their shortcomings an inability to get things done. I had no idea the SBE had dropped the ball on so many issues, such as… Failure to make rules…

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October 24, 2013 6:30 PM

The Young. The Men. The Talented? The Capable?

Recently, an Indianapolis newspaper featured a letter to its editor that praised the qualifications of four “talented, capable and relatively young men” who presently “occupy important positions that can make a significant difference” in K-12 education efforts. Talented.  Capable. Right on! Young.  Men. Huh? Words are important.  Language is a powerful medium that can consciously and unconsciously depict what is the norm and exclude what is not. Education reform efforts are too important and the…

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October 24, 2013 6:12 PM 3 Comments

Let’s FINALLY Have a Debate!

Despite what you might have heard from newspaper columnists, special interest groups, or political experts, the debate on the gay marriage ban (HJR-6) isn’t settled. The debate hasn’t even begun. Beyond all of the rhetoric, what’s really happening here is that outside groups are mobilizing to prevent Hoosiers from actually having a say in this issue. To be clear, I’m not advocating either position on this amendment, but I am advocating that we ACTUALLY have…

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October 24, 2013 6:10 PM 1 Comment

Send Ritz Back to School

Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction needs to go back to school. She filed suit against the State Board of Education for allegedly violating Indiana’s Open Door Law saying the Board members had a meeting and tried to circumvent her authority and go to the Legislature to get the state’s A-F grades done. First, there was never a meeting, a letter was circulated amongst the Board members via email. Second,  when this matter was discussed, Ritz…

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October 24, 2013 6:09 PM

Budgets, Panhandlers and Orangutans

I recently heard Indianapolis Zoo CEO, Michael Crowther, a not so recent New Jersey immigrant, assert about his adopted home that people in Indianapolis strike the best balance he’s ever experienced between cynicism and naivete. Kudos to the Council and Mayor’s office for crafting a timely budget under difficult circumstances. Here’s hoping that a like bipartisan effort results in a meaningful panhandling ordinance. We should not be naïve about panhandling.  We know that panhandling is…

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October 24, 2013 5:50 PM

IMPD’s ‘thin blue line’ frayed

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s “thin blue line” looks pretty frayed in these post-David Bisard days. Just listen to the judge hearing Bisard’s case. “This is as bad as anything I’ve heard about the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department,” Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck said Wednesday when the jury was not in the courtroom. “I’ve heard a lot of bad things about IMPD.” Surbeck, a respected jurist who received the 2012 William Rehnquist Award for Judicial…

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