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Opening Arguments

Warm and fuzzy

At this post, you can find a list about what it means to be a conservative and, by clicking on the appropriate link, the list on liberalism that inspired the conservative list. Reading the list that relates to your particular phiosophy will make you feel warm and fuzzy. But beware:

Older drivers, safer roads

If things are getting too dull in the General Assembly, we can always count on state Sen Tom Wyss to propose something new to get people arguing:

"If you're talking about the age group between 16 and 20, the greatest single cause of death in that age group is auto crashes," said Indiana State Senator Tom Wyss.  "Regardless if the numbers are one or 100, it's a tremendous tragedy to lose someone at that age just because they didn't have the driving skills necessary."

Posted in: Hoosier lore

You're in a 5.8-percent minority

With the U.S. population approaching 300 million and the world's having passed 6 billion, I started wondering how many people had ever lived on Earth. I started looking around on the Web and finally found someone who addressed the question. You have to go almost to the bottom, but the answer is 106.5 billion, which makes today's 6.2 billion about 5.8 percent of the total. There are lots of qualifiers for the estimate, as we might expect:

Posted in: Current Affairs


Azest Different people have different ways of deciding when the summer season ends. Some just go by the calendar. Some consider Labor Day the dividing line, while others mourn when the new school year starts. This has always been my emotional trigger.

Posted in: Our town

Mr. Personality

The Washington Post says the "most obvious winner" in Mark Warner dropping out of the presidential race is Indiana's Evan Bayh, since the two share "much of the same ideological territory." But:

Bayh still has a number of challenges to overcome if he hopes to ascend to the top tier of the presidential field -- most notably his perceived charisma problem . . .

Who knew? Has anyone told Richard Lugar that Bayh is the one with the charisma problem?

Just one thing after another

So there you are, just minding your own business, growing a little pot in your cornfield, videotaping an unsuspecting naked woman once in a while, just for recreation -- you're not a pervert or anything. Then along comes this busybody cop, who was off-duty and should have been minding his own business:

Posted in: Hoosier lore

The full disclosure continues

After a great deal of thought, I have also decided not to run for City Council next year. Though the landscape is littered with the names of people who are running or not running for mayor, I do believe I am the first person to declare his intentions in the council race. Perhaps this makes me worthy of some newspaper space and a little TV air time.

A little Amish in all of us

Living in Indiana, we are familiar with the stubbornness of the people who live in Brown County's Nashville in wanting to keep their town a certain way. But on occasion an outsider like USA Today stumbles in to observe the quaintness of it all:

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Welcome to the anthill

Perhaps we're all mired in politics right now, which can be pretty shallow. So let's take a break and, as they say in football, go deep. In the "My Turn" column in this week's Newsweek, DePauw University philosophy professor Erik Wielenberg complains, "I think, therefore I am misunderstood." People are always asking him, "But what do you do?"

He also throws out this tidbit:

Posted in: Hoosier lore

On a mission

Just an observation after having spent a few weeks interviewing political candidates. There are two types of people who run for office -- those who are on a mission, and those who run for a variety of other reasons (an interesting challenge, a good career move, they think they can do a better job than whoever is already serving, etc.). The race that is the most likely to draw those on a mission is the one for school board. People don't seem to just wake up one day and decide they'll run for school board because it seems like a good idea (which some DO in many other races).

Yes, you CAN be too thin

Amodel_1 This is one of the most disturnbing photos I've seen in a while.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Puff, puff

For those of you who vowed to just quit this country and move to France if Allen County even ever considered a smoking ban, too bad:

The prime minister announced Sunday that a ban on smoking in schools, offices and other public buildings will start in February, while restaurants, dance clubs and some bars have until 2008 to comply.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Maybe next time

After much soul searching and consultation with friends and family, I have decided not to seek the mayor's office next year. I thought maybe I should give something back to the community but then decided, well, if they don't know I have it, why don't I just keep it? My press secretary will hold a news conference some day next week, at which she will issue the following announcement: "Mr. Morris will be available for interviews later in the month, at which time he will express his intentions and take questions."

I approved this message.

Listen up, maggots

Finally we have it, a kinder, gentler Army:

Hollywood may have to tone down its portrayal of the military's screaming, in-your-face boot camp drill sergeant. In today's Army, shouting is out and a calmer approach to molding young minds is in, says the head of Pentagon personnel. The Army says it has reduced by nearly 7 percent the number of recruits who wash out in the first six to 12 months of military life.

[. . .]

Posted in: Current Affairs

Book burner

I guess you could file this one under "technology isn't everything."

Some lowlife torched the four-year-old Williamsport Library in northwestern Indiana. I don't know how many books a library in a 2,000-population town would hold -- probably not many by Fort Wayne standards. Almost any of our branches would likely have more.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Thrust and parry

Third District Rep. Mark Souder has been running his radio attack ads for weeks now, which are so mean-spirited they seem to be turning off even some staunch Republicans. The spots accuse Democratic opponent Tom Hayhurst of being a millionaire doctor who wants to "retire to Congress" so he can spend all your money, nationalize everything and hand Nancy Pelosi the keys to your children's future. And that's just one of the mild ones.

No problem

Today's entry for the "If there is no solution, there is no problem" file: A Fort Wayne man, in a letter to the Indianapolis Star, complains about Indiana's political image:

George and Tony

I am overwhelmed with frustration on being confronted, at the same time, with two situations I have absolutely no idea how to solve. (So what's new about that? as my brother might say.)

Posted in: Current Affairs

Fishing for coal

I have no idea whether the Black Diamond Coal Co. should be allowed to operate in the Glendale State Fish and Wildlife Area. I've never seen the place, so I might like to know what kind of operation there would be and how that would affect what's there. I might also like to know what percent of Indiana is public land and how that might compare with other states, both in total acreage and on a per-capita basis. Lots of information is still needed.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

It ain't over till it's over

Yes, there is another side to the all-day-kindergarten debate: