“Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions, and give ground on issues that were important to them, and I certainly did that.” -- Barack Obama, April 8, 2011.
Last weekend, Republicans and Democrats squared off in a budget showdown of historic proportions. Fortunately for thousands of federal employees who might not get their paychecks, or countless tourists who would be denied access to national parks and museums, cooler heads prevailed. At the 11th hour both parties reached a hard-fought consensus that narrowly averted a government shutdown.
With regard to nuclear reactors, Don Lichtenberg operates on the principle that “if things can go wrong, they will -- though not often.”
On March 31, Lichtenberg, professor emeritus of theoretical nuclear physics at Indiana University, spoke at the Monroe County Public Library on lessons on nuclear power that the United States can learn from the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.
It is time for 17th Street to go on a diet. More than a decade ago, it served as a primary connection between Ellettsville and Bloomington. Accordingly, it was designed primarily for through traffic. It has wide car lanes, no sidewalks, inconsistent shoulders, intimidating and dangerous intersections, and a low level of commercial development.
Times have changed! Traffic has declined substantially. Dense residential developments are on both sides of 17th street. Thousands of students cross 17th street on foot each day. But the streetscape is still an uninviting nightmare for pedestrians.
The history of the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area southeast of Bloomington can be officially traced to 1964 and the Wilderness Act. Or to 1973, when Congress directed the U.S. Forest Service to examine every acre of the National Forest System in the east for wilderness potential. Or to 1982, when Congress created the 12,982-acre Deam.
More compelling, however, are the stories of the extraordinary people who made the wilderness happen, some of whom will gather at 5:30 p.m., April 20, at the Lilly Library on the Indiana University campus, to remember a time when reasonable citizens could effect positive change for the benefit of all. Participants who will share Deam Wilderness memories include Jeffrey Stant, Bill Miller, Bill Hayden and Jeffrey St. Clair.
This year’s Midwest Peace and Justice Summit, the seventh annual, bristled with ideas for social justice activists. It took place March 26 on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis and was sponsored by the IUPUI chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
The all-day, free summit began with a plenary session on grassroots organizing: from the Middle East to the Midwest, by two state activists, Omar Atia, president of Bridge, and Allison Luthe, community activist with Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, with Carl Davidson, a long-time activist and writer from western Pennsylvania, moderating.
A few weeks ago, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted to defund NPR. The good news is that the Democrat-led Senate is not expected to pass the measure. For the time being, it seems, NPR has survived this latest ideological assault.
Nevertheless, this episode raises important questions about the future of US public media. For instance, could public radio survive without federal funding? The short answer to that question is yes: NPR could survive without public financial support. However, it would be a greatly diminished service -- one that caters to relatively affluent audiences and without the national reach, let alone the relevance, that it can and should have.
Jean Smith holds one end of a 7-feet-long poster that first entered the protesting scene five years ago. It should be a third longer, she said.
“It’s the cost of I-69 expressed in millions,” the longtime opponent of the Interstate 69 extension from Evansville to Indianapolis via Bloomington said, looking down at the small numbers. “When I printed this, the state said it cost $1.8 billion, but we estimated that it cost $3 billion. The state now admits that it’s $3 billion."
Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR) has calculated the cost to be $4 billion, so the poster should be longer.
Colorado passes a civil unions bill, and Indiana is busy trying to write discrimination into the state constitution. Why are we living here instead of there?
It’s been a long time since we’ve been in touch. Are we a couple of slackers or what?! It’s not that we haven’t been busy reading, working, observing and thinking (uh oh!), and it’s certainly not that we didn’t want to share our opinions with our wonderful readers. In fact we weren’t sure why we’ve been so quiet until we realized how angry we were and that the anger forced us to be silent for awhile.
A national expert who was instrumental in unraveling the Enron accounting scheme has filed testimony with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) opposing the murky, risk-shifting plan for a coal-gasification plant proposed for Rockport by New York-based Leucadia Corp.
Robert McCullough’s testimony revealed a complicated “derivative” scheme based on the price of various commodities over time. Customers are not paying for service, or a natural gas substitute, but instead are paying for a financial hedge to cover the losses and share in the profits, if any, that the plant’s owners might make. McCullough’s testimony shows that if the contract were in place today, it could lead to a loss to ratepayers of as much as $500 million.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s plain to see just how anemic and irrelevant much of what passes for “news” is these days. In times of crisis, the public needs a robust, independent press willing and able to “speak truth to power.” Problem is, the art and craft of journalism is in crisis.
Neither you nor I have time for a lengthy treatise on the sorry state of the Fourth Estate. After all, it’s spring break. Here, then, are five unmistakable signs of shoddy journalism.