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Sunday November 23, 2014
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Opening Arguments

Cool on hotspots

As the owner of a laptop with an internal modem who likes to get online whenever and wherever possible, I appreciate the city making wifi hotspots available downtown. But let's not pretend this is cutting-edge. Free  wifi hotspots are sprouting up everywhere in the country, even at McDonald's. The speed is somewhere between dial-up and DSL, not quite broadband, and connectivity is likely to be iffy in spots. And, as usual, when government decides to invest in something, it's a little bit behind the curve.

Posted in: Our town

So long, peace and quiet

For all of you who don't think fireworks are dangerous:

Police are seeking help in finding the person who shot and killed a 26-year-old Indianapolis man found dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

James Hudson, 2600 block of Guilford Avenue, was found in his Near-Northside home Wednesday. He had been shot five times.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Halt, you're . . . never mind

One criticism of Indiana's new self-defense law, eliminating the need to retreat before using deadly force, is that it will lead too many people to shoot first and worry about it later. If most of the people with guns were as quick to take the law into their own hands as these people, there might be a problem:

Two people who helped place a man under citizen's arrest when he strayed onto the wrong property found themselves in jail.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Bad clowns

Wouldn't want you to miss some of the really important news of the day: Organizers of a music festival near Newport, Isle of Wight, had asked festival-goers to turn up in curly wigs and large shoes. But they shelved the idea after a number of ticket holders said they suffered from coulrophobia:

Coulrophobia - fear of clowns - can cause panic attacks, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and overall feelings of dread.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Happiness 101

Here's an interesting idea. Instead of making our education competitive with the rest of the world's by raising our standards, we send one of our "experts" overseas so he can screw them up as much as he has us:

Lessons in happiness are to be introduced for 11-year-olds in state schools to combat a huge rise in depression, self-harm and anti-social behaviour among young people.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Wars of the world

Michael Goodwin is a little bit behind the times:

Last week's headlines prove the point: North Korea fires missiles, Iran talks of nukes again, Iraq carnage continues, Israel invades Gaza, England observes one-year anniversary of subway bombing. And, oh, yes, the feds stop a plot to blow up tunnels under the Hudson River.

World War III has begun.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Sins of our fathers

Posted in: Current Affairs

Orientation for dummies

If you have a son or daughter heading off to college whom you have been coddling all these years, you might want to rehink it in the next couple of months, WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME:

Posted in: Current Affairs

The empire strikes back

An excellent question: Where are Star Wars critics now?

North Korea's threatening spate of missile launches — including an unsuccessful try with an advanced version of its Taepodong 2 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile that is capable of hitting the United States — has sparked a cacophony of talk from leaders and foreign policy experts around the world.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Let us prey

What are we fighting against? The fundamentalists who think this is what civilization should be like:

Muslims who fail to pray five times daily will be sentenced to death under the rule of Islamic clerics who have taken over the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Go ahead. Blame such insanity on Western deecadence and imperialist arrogance.

Physician, heel, thyself

I've known some doctors with lousy bedside manners, but this guy takes the cake:

A judge has ordered the state Board of Medicine to stop disciplinary proceedings against a doctor accused of telling a patient she was so obese she might only be attractive to black men and advising another to shoot herself following brain surgery.

Posted in: Current Affairs

At the road-kill cafe

First, we had the finger in the Wendy's chili, and now:

A woman who tried to extort money from the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain by putting a dead mouse in a bowl of soup was sentenced to a year in jail.

Posted in: Food and Drink

The Cougar's lair

It used to be easy for anti-establishment rock stars (who manage to stay anti-establishment while making millions from it, by the way): Just support the liberal. It's apparently a little tougher these days, now that Iraq has beome THE issue, as we see in this account of John Mellencamp's ire:

Revolutionary Times

How The New York Times might have covered the American Revolution (via boortz.com):


Posted in: Current Affairs

It's all about the O

I guess I come down on the "be honest" side. You can't persuade people to change unless you make them understand what the problem is:

Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat?

That seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth -- if kids are obese or overweight, telling them.

Posted in: Current Affairs

One-world butterfly

Well, I guess not all border issues are insurmountable:

Wildlife officials in Mexico, the United States and Canada have agreed to work together to protect the Monarch butterfly, which makes a spectacular migration every year from Canada to Mexico.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Passing Bayh

Potential presidential candidate Evan Bayh says this about Democrats and Iraq:

. . . the Democratic Party has "a diversity of views ... about what to do in Iraq," which may have muddled the party's stance.

There's no magic test

OK, I'm convinced. I am for accountability in education, but you can now count me among those who think we're so obsessed with testing students that we don't have the time to teach them anything or, more important, give them the desire to learn. We have the state ready to release massive amounts of data:

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Still mad at the Colony

I hope you don't lose too much sleep over this, but the Brits don't like us much these days:

The YouGov poll found that 77 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that the US is "a beacon of hope for the world".

[. . .]

A massive 83 percent of those questioned said that the United States doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Sorry state of affairs

New Jersey has shut down. Did you notice? Do you suppose many people there did?

The dice stopped rolling, dealers quit shuffling and slot machines fell silent Wednesday as New Jersey's casinos closed for the first time, the latest victims of a five-day state government shutdown that showed no signs of ending soon.

Posted in: Current Affairs