The number of days trash pick-up has been canceled worries me. I think the administration of Greg “Give Me a Reason to Toss Sweet Deals to Pals” Ballard will use the days trash pick-up have been canceled this winter as a pre-text for final privatization of that service by the City.
First, let me say that I understand what it is like to work in sub-zero weather. During college, I worked for my old man’s construction company. His company was union, but there was an exemption for…
Added by Mark Small on February 24, 2015 at 6:59am — No Comments
Representatives of the United States government—members of Congress, officials in the executive branch—often talk about our “friend” and “ally” Saudi Arabia.
One needs to overlook a few unpleasant aspects of that country, the first part of the name of which is derived from the name of the family that has ruled it since the 1920s. There is the marked weakness of human rights. For example, to criticize the King or other governmental officials is also to risk imprisonment. There are…
Added by Mark Small on February 10, 2015 at 7:14am — No Comments
Sheila Kennedy blogged about the attempt by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to remove language from the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement that its mission it to “extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campus” and to “serve and stimulate society.” Ms. Kennedy reports Associated Press as noting “He also wanted to remove the statement ‘Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.’”
Paul Ogden, at “Ogden on Politics,” took issue…
Added by Mark Small on February 9, 2015 at 6:58am — No Comments
As a fan of the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball Club®, I have experienced a lot of anguish. As a citizen of the United States, I have seen my rights erode concomitantly with bestowal of rights on corporations—fictional entities created to shield shareholders from liability (the most popular reason to incorporate).
Now a sports agent Scott Boras proposes playing The World Series on a neutral field. Boras criticizes the “surprise” of where The World Series is played as bad for…
Added by Mark Small on January 28, 2015 at 6:29am — No Comments
January 22 is the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
“They should take politics out of selection of judges,” a fellow seated to my right commented a couple of days ago.
We should be clear about one matter: judges, as part of our political system, are selected by various processes—Federal appointment for life after nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate; various hybrids, at the State level, of…
When I have spoken with friends about Islam, none has read The Koran—the holy book of the religion. In yesterday’s blog I criticized those who are ignorant of the religion. Ignorance produces fear and fear begets violence.
I want to clarify that I am not an advocate of Islam. Nor am I an advocate of any religion. I do not believe in the existence of a supreme deity. As I wrote yesterday, I am an atheist because I have studied religions. A principle dynamic of religion is a basic…
Added by Mark Small on January 9, 2015 at 7:05am — No Comments
Yesterday’s mass shooting of editors and other staff at “Charlie Hebdo,” a French publication known for satire, most prominently of matters related to Islam, demonstrated some people cannot tolerate humor.
Religious extremists exist, be they in Islam, Christianity or Judaism—all, by the way, from the branch of religions arisen from the concept of Abraham—and have carried out other atrocities in history. Christians flayed the head of the library of Alexandria—Egypt, not Madison…
Added by Mark Small on January 8, 2015 at 7:15am — No Comments
SONY Pictures produces a movie that sucks—according to the critics whose reviews I have read. “The Interview” is a one punch line film of questionable taste. Because the flick is centered on a pair of journalists who plan to assassinate Kim Jong Un, and the film’s makers do a lot of promo (they appear on “The Daily Show,” as I recall, and other places), the flick garners more attention than perhaps would have been the case.
Here is where matters become more interesting. Kim Jong Un…
Added by Mark Small on December 25, 2014 at 7:46am — No Comments
The quarries north of Bloomington during the summer in the 1970s were sort of like a Hoosier variation of Woodstock. My recollection of how we got there, and the route we took and the destination—did we crawl over a fence near 17th Street?—is vague. Ultimately we walked down a dirt lane, along which a guy sold Coors beer—the real stuff that one could not purchase in Indiana legally and it was maintained cold all the way from Colorado, or at least that was what anyone who asked was…Continue
Added by Mark Small on December 21, 2014 at 9:03pm — No Comments
There only is one real party in the United States, and it is a Party of Green.
I did not write the Green Party—the left-wing, environmental-focused party—is the only real party in the United States. That would be a silly statement to write.
The “green” of which I write is the color that has figured so dominantly in United States currency. Money controls the United States. Voters, except in the immediate run-up to elections, can be damned. In the time immediately before an…
Added by Mark Small on December 16, 2014 at 7:21am — No Comments
No: this is a day to celebrate because the date lines up in a numerical “straight.” December 13, 2014 is 12/13/14.
Sometimes life stretches out, a gray expanse of days. One after the other, each day is comprised of routine mixed with nuances of detail overlaid with the same levels of stress. Joy must be taken in the odd moment available.
In 2006 I wanted to throw a party on June 6, maybe something outside on the deck, but the kid with the Rottweiler guard dogs showed up on…
Added by Mark Small on December 13, 2014 at 7:32am — No Comments
When the Big Banks received the largesse of billions of dollars from taxpayers after the melt-down of banks in 2007-08, much of the blame was placed on derivatives markets in which the Big Banks speculated.
A derivative is a contract that derives its value from the performance of an underlying entity, often called the “underlying.” The underlying can be an asset, an index, or an interest rate. (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, United States Department of Treasury,…
Added by Mark Small on December 12, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments
The grand jury failed to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. There appear to have been irregularities in the procedure by which evidence was presented to the grand jury. For example, while some eyewitnesses who claimed Brown had raised his hands—a near-universal show of surrender—were cross-examined by the prosecutor, Wilson was allowed to give a narrative that, one may reasonably infer, was intended to be exculpatory.
Added by Mark Small on December 3, 2014 at 7:27am — No Comments
Pat Andrews at "Had Enough Indy?" blogged about the ordinance that has been proposed regarding electronic billboards in Marion County. As a result of her blogs, she was invited to meet with some of the folks in the billboard industry. She invited me along.
On Tuesday, a little before 1 pm, I took a elevator to the27th Floor of what used to be the Bank One Building, but has been renamed Chase---after the bank that has done so much to so many people. We were o meet in the offices…Continue
Added by Mark Small on November 29, 2014 at 7:55am — No Comments
In the aftermath of last week’s blizzard in the Buffalo, New York, area, various television networks ran footage taken from drones—unmanned aerial vehicles—to show viewers how bad the snow had been. I was surprised the different angles we were given from, what the anchors said, were different drones.
A few weeks ago, a couple of YouTube videos went viral. In each the viewer was treated to an incident from the drone’s eye view. In one, a hawk attacked the drone. In another, the…
Added by Mark Small on November 24, 2014 at 7:22am — No Comments
America no longer is the “land of the free.” With five percent of the World’s population we have nearly twenty-five percent of the World’s correctional institution (prison) inmate population. We have more people in prison than such progressive nations as North Korea and China.
Since Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs, we have seen billions of dollars invested in a large-scale effort to scuttle parts of the Constitution and a failure in cessation of people from seeking the…
Added by Mark Small on November 22, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments
Pat Andrews at “Had Enough Indy?” and Gary Welsh at “Advance Indiana”® have done their usual excellent jobs of research on another topic of local concern. They have blogged about an ordinance being considered by the City-County Council that would ease restrictions on construction of digital billboards in Marion County. Others, particularly on Advance Indiana®, have posted comments about the proposal and the process by which it has snaked its way behind the scenes.
Worst aspect of the…
Added by Mark Small on November 21, 2014 at 7:24am — No Comments
“What’s your dog’s name?”
The Chihuahua lapped up beer from a bowl on the bar. Beer is not good for dogs, but the dog’s owner looked as testy as his pet. I was disinclined to criticize. Also, the bar was a few doors down from a place into which I recently had moved. I was a stranger to the regulars there. I always would be, as it turned out, but that is beside the point.
“His name’s Tojo,” the man, who looked to be in his late 60s, replied.
“Are you a veteran of…
Added by Mark Small on November 13, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments
The “person on the street” was setting was cliche. A student at Texas Tech was on-camera someplace on campus where the student pedestrian traffic was brisk. The day was sunny. She began to stop and ask students, one at a time, questions.
The first question was: “Who won the Civil War?” One of the students asked, “Is this a trick question?” Only one of about a dozen students answered correctly and said, “The Union ...The North.” Two students said, “The Confederacy.” The rest failed…
Added by Mark Small on November 12, 2014 at 7:11am — No Comments
“Birdman” stars Michael Keaton as an actor who, years before, played a superhero—Birdman—and stages a Broadway play to show he has talent.
I had not read any reviews of the movie before seeing it. I only have read a couple of blips since. One there appears to be Keaton is a washed-up actor, Reggin Thompson, who seeks to rejuvenate his career by adapting for the stage, starring in, and directing the play. Perhaps that was how the movie was pitched, but the plot I caught was…
Added by Mark Small on November 10, 2014 at 7:19am — No Comments