31 January 2007

Schools of Thought

IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White recently stated that on the whole his schools are failing, mostly at the middle and high school levels. I would agree with that statement. The reasons though are not that of the teachers. More and more often, children of these schools are products of single mothers or raised by other relatives (ie: grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.)

Dr. White should not be pressuring the teachers, as they're working in excess of fifty hours per week educating, but should be aggressively involving parents in the upbringing of their children. It is not the job of the government, or to a greater extent, the schools, to raise children. Discipline and personal responsibility begins in the home, and children are more wont to imitate their parents' behavior than anyone else. Parents are around their children growing up more than anyone, and it's simply, follow the leader. The problem is that the leader is not leading in the right direction.

Dr. White should be focusing on more innovative plans to get parents and guardians involved, not telling teachers how bad of a job they're doing.

28 January 2007

What's the Point of Having the Juice if You're Not Gonna Use It??

Those famous words were uttered by City-County Council President Monroe Gray when Prosecutor Carl Brizzi was shunned by Gray for more funding for jail space. Nowadays, it appears that President Gray is losing his juice. According to the Indy Star, Gray's concrete business is in some deep stuff. Unable to pay his workers or his suppliers properly, he's been found in court to owe over $300,000. It's so bad for Gray, his wages as an IFD division chief are now being garnished so the payments can be made.

This is the leader of the City-County Council, folks. This is the guy that turned a blind eye to the 300 East bar. This is the guy who has become involved in United Water projects, yet says there's no conflict of interest. This is the guy who put public safety on the backburner to get his moment in the sun!

Monroe Gray to some has caused nothing but trouble since he took over the Council presidency from Steve Talley. In some regards, he has done this to himself, in both words and actions. There are ramifications for abusing the juice.

24 January 2007

State of the Union Thoughts

Last night was the annual speech by the President to Congress regarding the state of the Union. President Bush had, for the first time, a "hostile" audience, with Democrats in the majority of both Houses of Congress. Bush, the "compassionate conservative" talked like a bleeding hearted liberal hawk. Talked of funding health care yet balancing the budget, ending earmarks but staying in Iraq, how can he be talking out of both sides of his mouth??

President Bush did bring up some good points, such as ending earmarks, balancing the budget, and ending dependence on foreign oil, developing alternative energy sources, tax code reform.

Some points I don't like were staying in Iraq, asking for 92,000 more military personnel (sounds like a veiled inference to a draft), federal funding of health care, and expanding No Child Left Behind (my wife, a second grade teacher, wholeheartedly agrees with me on that).

I think the President makes a good case for a lot of points, but many "conservative" principles were abandoned. The education and health care initiatives especially made Speaker Pelosi jump out of her chair with glee while VP Cheney begrudgingly applauded. Likewise, when the topic of conversation moved towards the military and the war in Iraq, it was the exact opposite.

The state of the Union is strong, the President said, and I agree on some counts. A growing economy, more jobs created, more money in pockets are all proof of this. Reducing wasteful spending, restoring individuals' rights, and more governmental transparency will make it even stronger.

20 January 2007

Hotel Hypocrisy

It was announced recently that the city of Indianapolis will be giving up to $48.5 million in tax abatements and credits to White Lodging, the parent company of the new JW Marriott Hotel going up with the expanded Convention Center. $48.5 million to a private corporation at a time when the city struggles with an increase in crime, particularly homicides and carjackings.

How can a mayor (in an election year, no less) speak out of both sides of his mouth? Give ANOTHER private entity taxpayer money, then jack up already insane taxes in the name of public safety. The Mayor puts himself in an extremely vulnerable position if not this year, then next year in a gubernatorial bid against Da Guv.

Right now, The Mayor is a bit of an anti-Robin Hood. Take from the middle class and poor, give to millionaires. First, an increased fleecing of Marion and seven of the eight surrounding counties with the food and beverage tax to pay for the new stadium. Then a sweetheart deal where the Colts get virtually all of the monies from the new stadium that they don't own. A few months later, there were fears of more tax increases when the food and beverage taxes levied weren't meeting projections. It continues to degenerate, the stadium will cost $10 million/year extra, now the city is giving the almost $50 million to another private entity!!

All of this when there isn't money to fund public safety, the City-Council wants a 75% pay increase (for gas and dry cleaning, of all things!!) The way I see it, The Mayor does not even have a leg to stand on when it comes to he becomes a millionaire's Robin Hood.

17 January 2007

Colts Win, City Loses

The Indianapolis Colts are on the brink of the Super Bowl with the Patriots being their only obstacle (again). On a more serious note, Mayor Peterson has more problems than Peyton Manning right now. Da Mayor has a crime rate in the city that is doing nothing but going up. What did he do? He merged the police and sheriff's department, citing a savings to the taxpayers. Now, he's asking the state for a $450 million loan to shore up the pensions of our public safety officials.

My concern is that the state will say no, and in a year of growing property tax fears, he'll raise them. All of this money, and not another officer on the street, not a plan to get the criminals off the street, just more rhetoric and talking up the potential white elephant known as Lucas Oil Stadium, which is being built on the backs of taxpayers, and filling the coffers of Jim Irsay, the Colts owner.

Let it be known I don't hold Irsay responsible completely, but I do think he proved he was just as bad as the woman on welfare with five kids and five different fathers. Sticking his hand out and letting the government take care of him was crazy, but the way the mayor and state legislature bent over backwards to break their constituents' backs was crazy!! Now I'm worried about how the crime rate will affect my property/resale value on my home, and the fact that local government does next to nothing worries me more. Like I said, Colts win, city loses.

PS - Anyone who knows me knows I'm a diehard Bears fan.

It's My Property, Right??

My place of business is a restaurant in Fishers, IN, one of the last bastions of property rights, or so I thought. For those unaware, Fishers is one of the more affluent, faster growing suburbs of Indianapolis, and one of the more socially controlled as well. Signage has to meet strict standards, so strict that retailers have decided to go to other surrounding 'burbs in order to be able to do things how they want.

My restaurant opened for lunch daily six months ago and about three months later, we decided to post a sign on the building announcing it to all instead of doing strictly word of mouth advertising. Not on the fence paralleling the I-69 offramp, not off at the nearby major intersection, on the building proper. The sign was visible across the interstate, and business was improving. My place of employment gets a notice from the Town stating that the sign is out of order as it was not approved. So down goes the sign.

Point of the story is this: How is a free market supposed to truly be free when the government wants to control it?

Seeing Blue

Long time, no post...man you'd think I was a candidate as much as I was out of my own home in the past eight months. My job has really taken off and taken me many places (with more to go), and I couldn't be happier with what has happened to me. I am still happily married to Beth, I'm still a Libertarian and proud of it, and I'm still upset with the fact that Republicans are turning into Democrats and just afraid to publicly come out and say so.

Today was the State of the State. Da Guv was talking of funding full day kindergarten, privatizing the lottery, and "franchising" the Indiana Commerce Connector and Illiana Expressway. All of this while talking of cooperation with his Democrat colleagues across the aisle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but expansion of government education, selling off a profitable state asset, and expanding the reach of the DOT sounds a lot like the speech of a liberal Democrat.

This was considered the one of the reddest states in the Union, but it's slowly turning shades of blue based on the midterm election and actions of the "Republican" government.