Friday, June 26, 2009


(Charlevoix, MI)- So, we arrived in Charlevoix for Ame's first marathon, and after a long drive dinner was beckoning. TVs were on in the place, and it was all Michael Jackson.

I could care less.

Really- We have a vote on cap & trade coming up, North Korea throwing nuclear rocks at the knees of the United States, Iran is coming unravelled, unemployment is rising and nearing double digits, the US is still in Iraq and Afghanistan... and people are riveted to coverage, 98% Michael Jackson, 2% Farrah Fawcett.

Bread & circuses. We are a very pathetic, very distracted nation and society. Watch this hideous cap & trade be passed while people watch 'news' reports about the pedophile.

Update: I just got a call from Ron Paul's Campaign For Liberty, urging me to contact my Congressman about cap & trade. Thank goodness he's not distracted. I had already contacted Dan Burton's office. I hope you contact your House Rep also.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Craig Coxe Interview Posted

I was happy to see my lengthy interview with ex-NHL player Craig Coxe posted at last on

The main thing that delayed the posting was the ambition of it. There is so much that could be done with it, because the interview was videotaped by Steve Wainstead. The video of Coxe sharing his stories really brings life to the mere dialogue. More than that, the ability to run Coxe's voice over clips of his fights is an incredible opportunity... but a lot of work. So, at least for now, the transcribed interview is posted. Check it out via this link.

For a look at what is possible for this interview, take a look at this snip from it, where Coxe talks about his scraps with Bennett Wolf, in the AHL:

Now, look at a clip of the scraps themselves:

It would be awesome to edit the clips such that you are watching the fight, and hearing Coxe speak about it.

A lot of potential there. Coxe talked about scraps with Joe Kocur, Dave Brown, John Kordic, Troy Crowder, and Ken Baumgartner, plus the Madison Square Garden incident. For now, I'm extremely pleased to see the interview itself have the light of day. Coxe was a magnificent interview subject.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Did This Happen?

I received a copy of the property tax statement from the Hamilton County Treasurer, and found that my property taxes went down by about 12% from last year.

This is remarkable, because they went down 10% the year before. I am astonished. So, why?

One large item: A "Supplemental Deduction" item added to my table of deductions, roughly equal to my Homestead Deduction.

It's still quite a soup sandwich. The "State property tax relief" item went down by 90%, meaning, I liked that one a whole lot more last year... but it's hard not to like this "Supplemental Deduction". Here's an interesting breakdown on the distibution on my property tax money, by taxing authority, by percentage change:

State: -100%
County: -15.73%
Township: +98.26%
School District: -54.06%
Corporation: -12.76%
Library: -18.31%
TIF: -22.5%

I guess that's a plug for eliminating Township Government. Everybody else seems to get that the economy is down, and therefore so should the spending be down.

Next year, the property tax caps will kick in for residential property at 1%. As my net liability was under 1% this year, I'm pretty happy with the progress there. It still isn't the elimination of property taxes, but it is movement in the right direction.

Now, I'll be interested to learn how others are affected. I still expect Marion County, and others, to feel it moving in the wrong direction.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Light Rail Crash in DC Area

No mode of transportation is without risk. Rail commutes are often touted as a safe alternative to auto commutes. I'd like to see comparisons on injuries and fatalities per passenger mile. I know this: When the train wrecks, many people are injured at once, with fatalities. From a USA Today report:

One Metro transit train smashed into the rear of another at the height of the capital city's Monday evening rush hour, killing at least six people and injuring scores of others as the front end of the trailing train jackknifed violently into the air and fell atop the first.

Cars of both trains were ripped open and smashed together in the worst accident in the Metrorail system's 33-year history. District of Columbia fire spokesman Alan Etter said crews had to cut some people out of what he described as a "mass casualty event." Rescue workers propped steel ladders up to the upper train cars to help survivors scramble to safety. Seats from the smashed cars spilled out onto the track.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said six were confirmed dead. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin said rescue workers treated 76 people at the scene and sent some of them to local hospitals, six with critical injuries. A search for further victims continued into the night.

Horrific stuff. Inexplicable quote:

"I don't know the reason for this accident," Metro's Catoe said. "I would still say the system is safe, but we've had an incident."

Yeah. Ok. Nothing to see here. I get it. What a load. If 6 people are killed when a train has crashed violently, and you cannot explain it, the system is decidedly unsafe, and dangerous. When you can explain the cause, and have it fixed, then the system is safer. Not safe, but more safe, since no mode of transportation is safe. All entail risk.

I know I don't want this in Fishers, sound economics aside.