-- Joni Mitchell, "Don't Interrupt the Sorrow"
Readers of this newsletter are probably pondering how to vote for Secretary of State in November. Those who refuse to vote, on the sound anarchist principle that it only encourages them, are at least pondering the desired outcome of that race.
Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner J. Bryan Nicol verbally confirmed again last week what his agency and state Democrats have implied through their actions the past 12 years: Democracy and responsible government have no place in Indiana or in the state's Democratic Party.
Bloomington voters will find Green Party candidate Jeff Melton's name on Indiana's 9th Congressional District ballot in November, even though he apparently did not receive enough votes to qualify for the ballot.
In a solid piece of civic journalism, the Indianapolis Star last week exposed definitively what is probably the No. 1 social injustice in a country where social injustice lurks in every shadow - the disproportionate number of African-American males incarcerated in our prisons.
The look on Keith Klein's face last primary election night spoke volumes about Lucille Bertuccio's grass-roots campaign for Monroe County Council. As he reported throughout the evening on Community Access Television that Bertuccio was leading incumbent David Hamilton, that it looked like she might beat him, and finally that she had, Klein's countenance evolved with the story, from disbelief, to concern, to shock.
Sometimes, being an American is just too embarrassing to contemplate. Times like these, for instance, when our elected leaders in Washington, acting on our behalf, are arrogantly snubbing the rest of the world on critical 21st Century questions of environmental degradation and global poverty.
Day One February 6, 2002
Tonight, I was arrested for nothing more than exercising my rights as a citizen in what I thought was a free country. Dick Cheney came to my town to stump for one of the Environmental Dirty Dozen, Indiana 8th District Congressman John Hostettler.
Make that $128,000 of taxpayer money that local elected officials will hand the Bloomington Economic Development Commission next year. The Monroe County Council last week preliminarily approved adding $50,000 in county funds to the $78,000 BEDC subsidy that the City Council approved last month.
It appears that Wal Mart did not get to be the nation's leading retailer through shrewd business practices or volume sales, as some might believe. According to lawsuits filed by Wal Mart Stores Inc. employees in 28 states, the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant has built its empire in part on the backs of its workers.
Nothing is more gratifying for a small-d democrat than witnessing the sort of massive outpouring of citizens telling their government what they want and why they want it, as happened in Terre Haute, Bloomington and Evansville last week at the I-69 public "hearings." That was democracy at its best.