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Opening Arguments

Lunatic-Americans

My first thought was that this was a joke, some college sophomore's attempt to parody the PETA people:

Pacelle pledged his ongoing commitment to legislation and lobbying as key paths for the animal rights movement to move its agenda forward. He urged the audience to continue pursuing animal guardianship laws to replace animal ownership laws. Pacelle suggested using the term ''Canine Americans'' instead of dogs to emphasize the rights of these animals.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Remember when

This site was passed along to me by my sister-in-law. I liked it, so pass it along. If you like it, do the same. It's a poem about growing old set to the Alan Jackson song "Remember When."

I not going to live forever,
but while I am still here,
I will not waste time lamenting
what could have been,
or worrying about what will be.
but will continue
to rejoice in what was.

Size matters

As the United States edges closer to the 300 million mark, there will probably be lots of stories like this one exploring the benefits and drawbacks of having such a big population:

In the past 39 years, the United States has added 100 million people - the biggest population spurt in its history. At the same time, America has sustained greater economic growth than any civilization before it.

Is there a link?

Posted in: Current Affairs

Rue Britannica

You've probably seen interviews with some in the mainstream media who are in a state of denial about the effects of the electronic revolution on their ways of doing business. Here's someone else who doesn't seem to get it. Dale Hoiberg, editor-in-chief of Britannica, in a Wall Stree Journal-hosted exchange with Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder:

Posted in: Current Affairs

The earnings gap

Well, duh:

Adults who don't finish high school in the U.S. earn 65 percent of what people who have high school degrees make, according to a new report comparing industrialized nations. No other country had such a severe income gap.

Posted in: Current Affairs

A choice of vows

This editorial in the Anderson Herald-Bulletin, deploring the whole idea of "covenant marriage," finally gets around, in the antepenultimate paragraph, to revealing the faulty premise on which its conclusion is based:

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Divided we stand

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 America seemed united, but that was only because of the rage and fear we felt. In truth, we were still the same polarized nation:

The only consensus on 9/11 was that a terrible tragedy had occurred. There was no consensus as to who was truly responsible. And that is why within hours we began to hear, "Ask yourselves why they hate you." They knew that America had brought this onto itself; deep down they knew that we deserved it.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Let's chill out

OK, I take it all back. Global warming is real, and the consequences even scarier than anybody has said:

GLOBAL warming has its detractors but English wine-makers won't have a word said against it.

The rise in average temperatures is making all the difference in the world to the English wine making industry, which is expected to expand by 50 per cent over the next year.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Worse staffing than the BMV

This has been designated Suicide Prevention Week in Indiana, which means its time for the state to crank out a press release but not do much else. If this is the problem:

Indiana has a higher rate of suicide than the nation as a whole. In 2002, Indiana had 12.1 suicides per 100,000 people, compared with 11 suicides per 100,000 people nationally, the coalition says. In 2002, 743 Hoosiers died by suicide, according to the coalition's Web site.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

My report to you

Somehow, I let this get by me last week. I very pleased with the progress of the Daniels administration, as graded by Gov. Daniels himself in the latest of his six-months report cards:

Roughly 64 percent of the measured categories were defined in the report as needing improvement or unsatisfactory during the first six months of this year, compared with 73 percent in the previous six months. The report covering Daniels' first six months in office in 2005 rated 87 percent in those areas.

No respect

Quick what was Rodney Dangerfield's first "I don't get no respect" line? "I played hide-and-seek, and they wouldn't even look for me." If you got caught up in the "Path to 9/11" stuff or just had to see the Colts-Giants game, you probably missed this Comedy Central tribute to one of my heroes (and it's worth looking for the rerun):

Posted in: Current Affairs

Five years after

I found these two of the more interesting commentaries on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. People keep saying the "war on terrorism" is one that will go on forever. But is it possible we've already won?

The difference is that for many years, it was fighting an adversary who was not really fighting back. In the fall of 2001, al Qaeda found, to its shock, what it was really up against.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Cultural divide

Boy, if it weren't obvious before that absolutely everything about the infidels is reviled, this should clear it up:

Pet owning is not common in the Arab world, though dogs are kept for hunting and guarding. In large cities around the Middle East, stray dogs often wander the streets and are considered pests. Street cats are also plentiful, and people will often feed them or play with them — but it isn't a widespread custom to keep one in the home, and many cannot afford it.

Posted in: Current Affairs

The new Macy's parade

One way you can tell you live in Fort Wayne instead of Chicago. Here, we note coming of Macy's with tearful reminiscences about the passing of the L.S. Ayre's era. There, they take to the streets:

Protesters marched, carried signs and called for a boycott Saturday because their beloved Marshall Field's store, the shopper's magnet on State Street for more than a century, had been replaced by a New York icon — Macy's.

Posted in: Our town

The business of fear

An interesting take from Britain's Guardian on why an Indiana popcorn business in the middle of Amish country ended up being a "terrorist target": It's all about the money:

Five years after the World Trade Centre fell, a highly lucrative industry has been born in America - homeland security. There has been a goldrush as companies scoop up government contracts and peddle products that they say are designed to make America safe.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Student bodies

One of the things I regret missing out on is the campus experience. I started college at IPFW, continuing to live with my parents. After military service, I finished at Ball State, commuting from Marion, where I lived with my in-laws. So when people talk about dorm parties and all-night study sessions and getting together for pizza after the football game, all I can relate it to is sharing barracks with 30 or more other soldiers, not nearly (I suspect) the same experience.

History on deadline

Newspapers face extraordinary challenges these days, as so many people continue to point out. But they have chronicled the history of this country as it unfolded. So this is very cool:

Google News is getting a sense of the past to balance out its relentless focus on the present.

Posted in: Current Affairs

War news

Yeah, sure, as long as the military action lasts only a few days and doesn't involve anything messy like destruction or deaths that might make it look like an actual war:

Most French and Americans would support military action against Iran as a last resort if other means fail to stop it acquiring nuclear weapons, a major transatlantic opinion survey showed on Wednesday.

Posted in: Current Affairs

The 1,000-foot rule

OK, show of hands. How many rights do you think a child molester should have?

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Headstrong

This week's nomination for headline stating the obvious: "Lack of sidewalks could stymie movement." In all fairness, I think the headline writer was trying to be cute, "movement" actually referring to an advocacy group trying to encourage more walking to school. But it takes awhile for cleverness to sink in -- most readers probably scratched their heads until they got a few paragraphs into the story (if they did) The story itself is interesting:

Posted in: Hoosier lore
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