Friday, August 15, 2003

Nary an Edit!

This hasn't happened in years! The local 'alternative' arts & news paper, NuVo, printed my letter without deleting, paraphrasing or adding a single word. They've thwarted my before & after exercise! I'm rather pleased. Here's the letter:

Who can blame Steve Laudig's choice of Hawaii for his Ph.D. studies? Indy's loss is the 50th state's gain.

I am hopeful that you continue to look to the law offices on the corner of Market & Alabama for the issuing of blunt statements that need saying and the tormenting of the powers-that-be. You see, the firm of Laudig, George, Rutherford & Sipes is not only home to a Democratic power, but a Libertarian power as well.

Laudig's partner Mark Rutherford is the State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. Under Rutherford's direction, the LPIN has blossomed into a respected and growing party, gaining the admiration and support of citizens feeling the weight of property tax increases and of small business owners. LP candidates such as Rev. Greg Dixon and Brad Klopfenstein are poised to challenge seriously for City-County Council seats in November.

Democrats are no longer the underdogs in this city, and Laudig helped make this so. Libertarians won't be underdogs for long, either, and Rutherford will have had a significant hand in the rise, both in Indianapolis and statewide.

-Michael R. Kole
Secretary, Libertarian Party of Indiana

I honestly didn't even think they would print it. I have long been down on NuVo for at once calling themselves, "Indy's Free Thinking Entertainment Source," because 'free thinking' on their pages usually means 'Democrat' or 'socialist'. But hey, I was wrong and gave them too little credit. Now I say, "Thank You".

Bus Blues

Great gravy, has school resumed already? I've had to stop in traffic, seeing the yellow busses with the railroad crossing quality warning signals flashing ahead, letting kids on and off.

Every year, I get to thinking about the costs of bsuing kids to school. No- this isn't a complaint about desegregation busing. This is a complaint about busing kids in general.

With all of the charges of childhood obesity and poor physical condition, the bus looks like yet another enabler of that condition. Let the kids discover that they have legs, and that those things below the waist do a remarkable job of propelling from A-to-B.

With all of the budgetary shortfalls school administrators endlessly wail about, consider how many more books, computer labs, athletic items, and heck, roof repairs, could be had, if not for the expenditures related to busses:

The bus itself
Fuel for the bus
Maintenance for the bus
A bus barn
Property on which the bus barn sits
Security for these facilities

The salary of the bus driver
Benefits for the bus driver
Matching taxes- social security, workers comp., etc, for the driver
Ditto these three for the maintenance staff
Ditto these three for security

Insurance on the bus itself
On the bus barn
On the property on which the bus barn sits
On the bus driver
On the maintenance staff
On the security

I think of all of the fuel wasted in traffic as cars sit while mommies fuss one last time before the kid gets on the bus. I think of it in terms of lost money and gained pollution. I think of the time lost. I think of the lost opportunity for a nice, brisk, one-mile daily walk in the morning. I think of property released for other uses, generating tax revenues in so many ways. I think of new books, repaired roofs, new tubas, and new athletic gear. Get rid of the busses!

Certainly, the savings would be enough to put one copy Atlas Shrugged in the teacher's lounge, and a copy of The Road to Serfdom on the School Board President's desk.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

A Great Idea

Neal Boortz talked about a new method for taxation over two whole shows last week: the national sales tax.

The first time I heard the idea, I was against it, because I did not know that it is a proposition to replace all other taxes. In that case only, it would be an excellent idea.

Consider only a few small items that are subject to taxation today, and shouldn't be: savings and investment. It's such horrible policy to tax savings. Doing so punishes prudent, thrifty behavior, discouraging many from doing saving and investing. Taking all taxes off of interest earned in passbook savings accounts and CD's, and dividends earned from stocks, will encourage people from all walks of life to participate in these most beneficial activities.

Read up on this. The Fair Tax is a wonderfully good idea.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Campaign Manager

I've agreed to manage Brad Klopfenstein's campaign for City-County Council, District 15, in Marion County/Indianapolis.

That's a funny thing, because Brad is the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. By virtue of his job, he's made all the contacts and he knows all the people he needs to reach and all the events he needs to attend. By conventional wisdom, I'm perfectly useless as a campaign manager. After all, I've been in Indiana less than a year.

What I can offer Brad is inspiration, motivation, and the whipcracking of a taskmaster. That is something he really wants to have, so it will be unconventionally perfect.

We're running to win, which means we will raise money, make lots of appearances, go door-to-door, and try to win over the press. We have a tall task ahead of us, but we start with some fuel. The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Brad over his Democratic and Republican rivals. Also, he has some money left from previous campaigns that will be put to work here. But the district is mainly Democrat. We're used to working with taking votes from Republicans. Taking them from Democrats is a new challenge. We're working on strategy to do just that. It's our best chance.

Brad has a good theme to work from: Restoring Pride and Integrity to Indy Neighborhoods. That should resonate with voters of any pursuasion.

Less than 90 days until the election. It seems like a lot of time and no time at all, at once. I know it will go quickly.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Time to Compare Attendance Figures

Al Barger posted praise of Lynyrd Skynyrd about a month ago, lamenting that band's absence from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame while the Sex Pistols are there. I emailed Al and argued in defence of Mr. Rotten and the gang's place, saying that while Skynyrd may have made sweeter tunes, the Pistols' have had a lasting impact, inspiring more folks to form a band even today than Skynyrd ever has. Plus, 'God Save The Queen' is easily the late 20th Century's best- and most effective- protest song ever recorded.

As luck would have it, both bands are currently on tour, and both will play Chicago (closest stop to Indy) on the same day- August 29th.

Oak tree, your're in my way, I'm off to see the Sex Pistols!

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Dennis The Menace

Howard Dean is soaking up most of the limelight as myopic Stalinist dwarf #1 among Democratic presidential hopefuls. He has a rival, who is his idealogical equal: Dennis Kucinich.

It has always struck me that if you drew a Hitler moustache on Dennis, he'd really look a lot like Hitler. The only other politician who comes close in this exercise is Rudy Gulliani. Fittingly, Dennis is much more the socialist than Rudy is.

Back in Cleveland yet again this weekend, I was amused to see a Cleveland Plain Dealer article by Michael Heaton. He used to have a column called 'the Minister of Culture' which led me to call him the 'Sinister Vulture'. Now he writes politics, thereby demonstrating the contempt the Pee Dee has for politics.

Heaton argues that it would be great to have Kucinich as president, no matter his politics, because he'd be great for getting attention on Cleveland. No, actually, that's why he was voted to the House of Representatives, where he'd be there for Clevelanders. As President, he is supposed to act on behalf of all Americans.

But people should know Dennis' past. He took a bad situation in Cleveland and made it infinitely worse, turning a Republican's deficits into his City's default in the late 70's, relaunching all of the Cleveland jokes that became the rage when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in the late 60's. Any time any faltering comedian needed a quick cheap laff, the word 'Cleveland' was uttered and the guffaws followed. One cannot help but think that history would repeat itself in every way if Dennis were to become President, and that the words, 'the United States of America' would be spoken to the same result worldwide as the word 'Cleveland' once was, thanks so much to him. Fortunately for this fading Republic, Kucinich hasn't a prayer.

People should look at his policies. They are socialist in nature, anti-trade; anti-technology... at least as far as private technology goes. He's pro-NASA, which is to say, socialized technology; and generally a meddler in a walks of commerce, such as agriculture, banking, insurance, housing, transportation, and a host of others.

Heaton argued that if Kucinich was in the White House, Clevelanders would have his ear. When I lived on East 59th Street and Dennis was my Rep, I could never get his ear, despite my calls and letters. My letters to him got form replies that showed that he, via his staff, had no real interest in or understanding of my positions or concerns. That is a subject that I can go on about at length, and will another day.

Kucinich has bragged that his White House would be a 'worker's white house'. Ha! He's never worked a day of honest labor in his life, beginning in politics at the age of 21. Touch his hands some time and search in vain for a callous.
Reaping the Benefits of Capitalism, 2

Thanks to Al Barger for highlighting this site for my comments on the wonders of the low prices of gasoline. The exercise had me looking around my car for other benefits I've enjoyed.

My first car was a whiz-yellow 1979 Ford LTD. Here's a pic of a four-door model. Mine was a two-door. It had a V-8 302 engine, that was smallish by the V-8 standards of the day, and positively huge by today's standards. The car was wonderfully huge. I regularly drove six to school, plus myself, all in comfort!

That car blew Engine Number One after 35,000 miles. The timing belt snapped after about 48,000 miles. Engine Number Two blew after 70,000 miles. I sold the car at that point in sheer frustration.

The 1997 Saturn SL2 I drive was the first car I purchased new from a dealer. I bought it in March of that year. I have driven it on several road trips, including a Cleveland-Cochrane, Ontario jaunt, and a Cleveland-New York City-Sept Iles, Quebec trip. I turned 129,000 this afternoon on the way back from Cle to Indianapolis, the twelth time I have done the 660 mile round trip this year.

Major repairs to date? I've replaced two rotors, two sets of tires, brakes on all four wheels, and a serpentine belt. These are the MAJOR repairs. My uncle broke a seat belt receptacle, and I've replaced the tail lights and windshield wipers.

That's it.

The amazing thing: Both cars had the same sticker price at the time of purchase: $14,000.
You Get What You Pay For

Well, I pay nothing for this site, so how much can I whine? Unfortunately, I've been chomping at the bit over the past two weeks, just itching to get things posted, and the site has been repeatedly down for maintenance. Just in case you were wondering...