Friday, January 19, 2018

Best of the week from Strong Towns: "It's time to pump the brakes."

We make many references to Strong Towns, and to understand why, just take a glance at the headings and brief synopsis for each. Agree or disagree with the Strong Towns theme, these are the discussions we need to be having.

Perhaps we'll make this a regular Friday feature.


3 dollars-and-cents arguments that definitively prove the need for people-oriented, walk-friendly places.


This summer, I broke my jaw in a crash with another cyclist who was going the wrong way in my bike lane. But I don't blame him for what happened. 

3. SLOW THE CARS by Charles Marohn | January 16, 2018

The most compelling thing we can do today to make our cities wealthier and more successful is to substantially slow automobile speeds on our streets.

4. TODAY IS YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW by Jason Segedy | January 17, 2018

Over the last 70 years, our cities and towns have spread out in a way that our forebears never dreamed of, and that future generations will never be able to pay for.


The transformation of downtown Vancouver begins to illustrate the potential return for cities that work to make their downtowns conducive for families with kids.

City Council Thursday: Knable seeks the HRC's reanimation and appoints a heavyweight. Coffey rightly speaks up for public comment placement. But who squelched free speech in the first place?

Thursday's city council meeting clocked in at a brisk 32 minutes from gavel to gavel. The only ordinance on the agenda was Haven House homeless shelter funding (3rd and final reading). It was tabled until February owing to administrative something-or-another.

Mike Hall promptly performed 30 seconds of workmanlike stand-up mayoral ventriloquism, and then President Al Knable introduced council member appointments, three of which deserve special note.

Matt Nash (D) joins David Aebersold (R) on the Horseshoe Board.

Knable (R) will serve as one of two council appointments to the ignominiously beached Human Rights Commission (the other council appointment is local realtor Paul Kiger), supplanting Greg Phipps (D), who in 2017 vocally wishy-washed his hands of "his" crowning achievement.

Knable announced his intention to request two remaining mayoral appointments to the HRC (the body itself then chooses a fifth member) and to reanimate it. Jeff Gahan let it die, so this should become interesting very quickly.

Finally, David Barksdale (R) remains posted to the Duggins Turbo Pay Play Station (Redevelopment Commission), but Bob "Human Rubber Stamp" Caesar (D) is removed, to be replaced by an extremely well-qualified citizen, new Albany native Scott Stewart, who recently retired from his position as director of the Port Authority. Previously, Stewart was an executive at Proctor & Gamble, and worked for Governor Mitch Daniels.

Pro tip: time to start attending Redevelopment Commission meetings. 

Now, let's comment about comments. Last night, something was missing.

Last year, former council president Pat McLaughlin (D) echoed the local Democratic Party's aversion to dialogue by implementing a requirement to specify one's subject when speaking.

Knable now has removed it, and this is good. 

Meanwhile, it is perfectly normal (if surreal) for 1st district councilman Dan Coffey (I) to be on his best behavior during the first few meetings each year. He's studying the terrain for maximum self-aggrandizement, and sniffing the best opportunity to maintain beak-wetting.

Last night, the "good" Coffey ventured a genuinely thoughtful point, sans his customary theatrics: Why not move non-agenda public speaking time back to the beginning of meetings, rather than keeping it at the end?

Wouldn't this be of benefit to long-suffering members of the public, who simply want to be heard?

Shouldn't their comments be made first, up front, without restrictions?

Have a seat and a shot, because Coffey's right. This way members of the public would be spared the inexcusable agony of enduring Coffey's customary theatrics.

Nash asked Coffey how these public comments came to be pushed to meeting's end in the first place. Coffey chuckled and replied (paraphrased): let's just say some council persons weren't interested in listening.

Who was it?

You're in luck, because THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE.

Let's begin in January of 2010, when at-large councilman John Gonder was elected president. Previously, public comment time was on the agenda at the beginning of meetings. It was not divided into agenda and non-agenda slots. There was a single sign-up sheet, and before the introduction of ordinances and resolutions, those persons listed on it came forth and spoke.

(There are legitimate questions about how long members of the public should be allowed to speak, but these aren't the point, at least at present.)

Gonder changed the agenda; if memory serves, he lifted the original wording from the city's enabling ordinance. Throughout 2010 during Gonder's term, communications still occurred at the beginning of the meeting, in this cadence.

(E) Communications, in the following order:

(1) From city officials
(a) Mayor
(b) Controller)
(c) City Council
(d) City Attorney; and
(e) City Engineer

(2) From official commission:
(a) Board of Public Works;
(b) Plan Commission; and
(c) Park Commission

(3) From members of the public, including petitions and remonstrances

Other council business came after these communications, including committee reports, appointments, and the introduction of ordinances and resolutions.

By the first meeting of February, 2011, the agenda had been streamlined under a new council president.

You might even know him; it was an ambitious veneer peddler by the name of Gahan (D), in what was to be his final year as 6th district councilman prior to enthronement as mayor.

By February 7, 2011 the Great Wall of Comment Segregation had been erected.

From this point forward, members of the public were compelled to restrict their comments to items on the evening's agenda, or cool their heels -- maybe 30 minutes, maybe two hours -- to make general observations about the zeitgeist.

In 2017, McLaughlin cynically refined it further; now general comments were to be strictly delineated, too. Mercifully, this petty suppression is gone, and last evening, Knable also seemed amenable to re-ordering public comments according to Coffey's suggestion. He should. We can't help it if Coffey's right every now and then.

In closing, let's be clear.

If, according to Coffey, some council members back in the day didn't want to listen, it was Jeff Gahan as council president in 2011 who was most eager to rig the proceedings to result in less communication, as opposed to more of it. 

Because as we know, in 2011 or 2018: THAT'S WHY HE'S HERE.

Exciting things are happening in conflict of interest, right newspaperman?

It's a screenshot at the News and Tribune, snapped via iPhone late last evening.

If you’re wondering about the newspaper's averted eyes and softball tosses, here’s the answer: ad revenue. The Fourth Estate accepting money from local government.

What could go wrong?

The ad itself isn't well executed. The white text set against the color splash isn’t clear, although I believe it represents some level of truth in advertising:

A Deforestation City: Where Men Are Cash-Stuffed Envelopes, and Trees Are Scared.

It's a whole other topic in itself, because six years of Gahanism has failed to produce a sustained branding or marketing effort apart from the ubiquitous and sadly metaphorical "weighted down" anchor plague.

We patiently await the day when the newspaper's Bill Hanson takes a few minutes away from the exhausting process of hiring new Christian advocacy columnists to explain why we're wrong to point to these self-interested Gahan-generated campaign ads, as intended expressly to produce friendlier coverage.

Communication, newspaperman. Ever heard of it?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

ON THE AVENUES: During our State of the Gahanaissance Address for 2018, feel free to resort to hard liquor. I did, and will.

ON THE AVENUES: During our State of the Gahanaissance Address for 2018, feel free to resort to hard liquor. I did, and will.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Oh, but don't mention love
I'd hate the pain of the strain all over again
A rush and a push and the land that
We stand on is ours
It has been before
So why can't it be now?
And people who are weaker than you or I
They take what they want from life
-- The Smiths

If by “resistance” we are implying a principled opposition to idiocy, cupidity, mendacity and persistently bad writing, then the resistance begins right here at home, in your New Albania.

Let’s take stock of the civic miasma (sorry, Shane) as Our Era of the Soulless Weighted Anchor begins its seventh interminable year. Note that by contrast, Drumpf’s been around for only one.

Spoiler alert.

In 2018, there’ll almost surely be monthly reaffirmations of Gresham’s Law, meaning that any “good money” we find lying next to a clogged storm drain will be instantly displaced by the inevitable arrival of bad pennies.

In a dysfunctional organization, a “leader” with poor leadership skills will hire a bunch of yes-men and women to surround him so he doesn’t look as terrible as he is. Anyone who raises the bar or excels gets pushed out by the company, or sometimes even shunned. Thus, the organization gets worse and worse, and little to no progress is made due to peoples’ egos and power trips blockading and stonewalling innovation.

Ouch. That’s an apt summary of insidious (and infectious) Gahanism. Did the author used to live here or something?


It hasn’t even been three weeks, but 2018 already has yielded joyfully unanticipated manna from heaven in the form of a citizen’s video showing our agoraphobic mayor at his most robotically dismissive, facing a well-informed group of principled property owners in the aftermath of a shambolic, potted public spoon-feeding, and finding his pitted needle skipping over corroded vinyl.

See for yourself. It's both addictive and repellent.

Orwell’s grave keeps levitating, and you expect a Roger Waters concept album about encroaching totalitarianism to break out at any second, except the damned party chairman keeps playing the same old song.

On the public housing front, it’s been all pain and little gain for the mayor’s toiling demolition minions. The louder they scream in paranoiac repetition about enemies, enemas, heebie jeebies and false information, the more it seems they’re hiding something.

Never before has Gahan managed to unite so many onetime supporters, now turned against him in disgust with the putsch. For that, we’re thankful, but will they follow through, take command of the ballot box, and punish the DINO-in-Chief?

Only time can tell.

In the interim, NA Confidential has delighted in examining the small-fish powerbrokers Gahan put into place to preside over the NAHA's dismantling, and unsurprisingly found numerous donors to the mayor’s campaign war chest.


They’re the same rusted sycophants, over and over again, and now that regime's end draws ever nearer, they’ll be fighting like the proverbial junkyard dogs to preserve those ancestral beak-wetting privileges ensuing from the DemoDisneyDixiecratic Party’s slush-packed hegemony in the municipality.


Concurrently, we’ve also come to understand that former NAHA director Bob Lane had a powerful and far-reaching plan to further affordable housing in New Albany; moreover, it has become increasingly obvious what a mortal threat this plan posed to Gahan.

Not only would Lane’s plan have failed the typical 50+-year-old NAHS politician’s mythological imperative of halving the number of public housing units, but the result -- a tangible renewal of neighborhoods and their reattachment to the street grid – stood to be something of value that Gahan could not claim personal credit for achieving.

In which case, plaque off, jack.

It’s crystal clear that if Jeff Gahan can’t usurp a project or a person for his own political self-aggrandizement, they’re worse than dead to him, which leads us to the mayor’s ongoing effort to convince us he’s perfection personified.

Most of us know better. The recurring question: does he?

Egomania may be a harmless eccentricity within the confines of one’s own household, but it becomes considerably more disturbing when the test-tube shaters, and the ensuing toxic cloud spreads far past placid, suburban Eastridge Drive.

Will Gahan’s surreal and absurd cult of personality continue expanding toward ultimate Ceausescu-esque Champale Supernova dimensions, or will terrified party members persuade him to shrink the self-aggrandizement (for heaven’s sake, Jeffrey) before one of them gets hurt?

Definition of cult of personality: a situation in which a public figure (such as a political leader) is deliberately presented to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved.

When Gahan returns to the wonderful world of veneer on January 1, 2020, his primary legacy will be this bizarre attempted personality cult. It has included verbal grandiosity …

Mt. Tabor Road Restoration and Pedestrian Safety Project
Downtown Grid Modernization Project

… and a loving embrace of the anchored-into-place symbol (see Mark of Duggins), currently breeding through town like Viagra-engorged bunny rabbits, so as to mark territory in precisely the same way as that gangland graffiti we spend so much time scrubbing off garage doors in our alleys.

Then there is the rampant self-glorification, as when Mayor Jeff M. Gahan presents the sunrise, the sunset and all the random acts of photosynthesis occurring between dawn and dusk.

The personality cult benefits when taxpayers foot the bill for social media feeds depicting Dear Leader scaling mountains, performing piano concertos and defeating Romeo Langford at H-O-R-S-E. They also pick up the tab for the surreal mayoral selfies on Kroger shopping carts.

When you start believing your own city-as-fiefdom press clippings, that's when you call the fire department to change a friend's tire -- although on second thought, why not utter a curative incantation, or in a real pinch, just do it yourself?

It’s why the Mt. Tabor video is so welcome, because the stammering reality and inability to improvise put the lie to the endless public relations gloss ’n’ dross.

Gahan’s as much of a ruling party hack as any sclerotic Soviet luminary who ever wobbled unsteadily atop Lenin’s Tomb, watching through glassy eyes as the phallic missiles roll past.

In the Taborite Revolt video, Gahan's menace can be seen gradually building, and you know the usual 3:00 a.m. phone calls will be going out to career-minded underlings who value their paychecks more than their spines.

But why aren't they all being rewarded with a doubled pay packet, like Gauleiter Duggins was?

Will these apparatchiks eventually rebel against the robotic, self-indulgent rudeness, the harassment and the ill treatment?

Probably now, but I'll write no more now -- 'til I get a drink.

In case there was any remaining doubt, NA Confidential proposes to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer – or, the next 656 days. Let’s all work together to end this reign of error, shall we?


Recent columns:

January 11: ON THE AVENUES: Return to sender; decency is such a lonely word ... the sounds of silence reign o'er me.

January 4: ON THE AVENUES: Opposition? It is defined as resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument, and in New Gahania, now's the time for it.

December 28: ON THE AVENUES: It's the beginning of the end of insipid Gahanism, so let's look back at the Top Ten columns of 2017.

December 21: ON THE AVENUES: Truth, lies, music, and a trick of the Christmas tale (2017 Remix).

As if today's world isn't grim already enough, let's revisit Pol Pot and the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

I remain an avid and unrepentant history buff, and when drinking, exercising and passing time at home, I'm usually watching reading or documentaries of substance. To me, a day that passes without the opportunity to learn something has been a day utterly wasted.

So it was that a random spin of the Google wheel led me to this film, and in turn, to several other educational tools and links.

Enemies of the People
 (2010) is an incredible, easily digested history lesson. Since the filmmaker implicates himself in the story, in history, with nuance and no vanity, the film reads much more essayistic than didactic. We see, at times, the off-frame bleed into the frame back and forth: the filmmaker’s impavid face setting up a shot, a trunk full of miniDV tapes rubber-banded together, a tripod rooted in a rice field just beneath a mass grave. This is an extraordinary historical document, an archive of confessions with potential for closure, atonement, and belated punishment from one single man on a mission.

This superlative documentary recalls the excellence of Claude Lanzmann's Shoah. The running time is far shorter, but the intensity level is gripping, especially when the actual human beings who carried out orders to murder their fellow human beings are allowed to explain themselves, which they do matter-of-factly.

Some seem haunted by ghosts. Others note that had they not obeyed orders, they'd have been next.

Cambodian history and culture have been on my personal radar of curiosity previously, notably surfacing in 2010 in the form of an incredible glimpse into pre-Khmer Rouge musical times.

Music review: Electric Cambodia, by Mandy Southgate (A Passion to Understand)

 ... All of these artists lost their lives in what has been called the Cambodian genocide but their musical legacy can continue with this wonderful collection. It is a musical legacy that was almost lost though and were it not for the older sister of Dengue Fever’s Cambodia-born lead vocalist Chhom Nimol, many of the songs would have remained unnamed and anonymous. As it is, there is one song on the album where the artist has not been identified and another where the name of the song remains unknown. This is a testament to the destruction of war time situations and regimes such as the Khmer Rouge that in the end, people are only left with incomplete and tattered snippets of their culture.

If not for the visible efforts of Dengue Fever, an American cult band with a Cambodian singer, many people probably would not have been exposed to the country's history: Dengue Fever: "They’ve Got Those Mekong Blues Again."

As Enemies of the People ends in 2009, the process of accountability is only beginning.

Why the world should not forget Khmer Rouge and the killing fields of Cambodia, by Adam Taylor (Washington Post; August 7, 2014)

On Thursday, 83-year-old Khieu Samphan and 88-year-old Nuon Chea were found guilty in a Phnom Penh court. A United Nations-backed tribunal had decided that these two men, elderly and frail as they are now, committed crimes against humanity more than 30 years ago. They were senior members of a regime that created the deaths of almost 2 million people.

A final set of charges took another three years (and millions of dollars) to judge.

Khmer Rouge Trial, Perhaps the Last, Nears End in Cambodia, by Seth Mydan (NYT; June 23, 2017)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The genocide trial of two senior Khmer Rouge leaders concluded its hearings on Friday with an angry scolding by the lawyer for one defendant and a humble bow to the victims by the other.

The half-day hearing could be the last in a decade of proceedings against leading figures in the four-year rule of the Khmer Rouge, the radical Communist movement that killed an estimated 1.7 million people in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.

Nuon Chea, number two on the Khmer Rouge depth chart behind Pol Pot and the subject of the filmmaker's quest, may finally have been put on trial and convicted, but the plain fact is that virtually all of the perpetrators of Cambodian genocide have avoided answering for the Killing Fields.

This omission owes to both domestic and international considerations, the roots of which are capably surveyed here.

Pol Pot: The Journey to the Killing Fields
Timewatch, 2005-2006

Documentary which looks at the reign of terror of dictator Pol Pot, responsible for the deaths of two million people in the killing fields of Cambodia. He used hunger and fear to control not just what his people did and said, but what they wore, where they lived, even who they loved. Though no true record was filmed of his new society, with the help of carefully researched drama scenes, and drawing on Pol Pot's own words and of those who were closest to him, the film charts his rise to power.

As such, it's very much worth one's effort to recall the manifestations of imperialism that made possible Pol Pot, Nuon Chea and the practice of murdering with pipes and knives, so as to save valuable bullets.

Nixon and the Cambodian Genocide, by Brett Morris (Jacobin)

Pol Pot’s rise to power, the Cambodian genocide, and the absence of justice for the KR’s victims are inseparable from broader US intervention policies in Indochina from 1945–1991 — in particular, the US’s vicious bombing campaign waged against Cambodia.

In closing, shall we allow equal time for the ... other side?

As occurred following the Holocaust in Europe, there is a rather minuscule school of thought that might be termed Killing Fields Denial. Oddly and ironically, the chief apologist for the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge is a man named Israel Shamir.

Pol Pot Revisited, by Israel Shamir (CounterPunch; September 18, 2012)

... However, Cambodia’s population was not halved but more than doubled since 1970, despite alleged multiple genocides. Apparently, the genocidaires were inept, or their achievements have been greatly exaggerated.

The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life ...

I'll leave it there.

Forecastle steps in it.

If you're going to join the chorus led by asscaps like Matt Bruenig and praise corporate monopolies even as you're decrying corporate monopolies, then maybe a spate of research into audience demographics is merited.

We know women are attending (Forecastle) and others like it. We found this 2014 study from The Nielsen Company that says about 51 percent of the 32 million people who attend at least one music festival every year are women. So we think there's probably an audience for female performers.

Selling out is such a dreary business, eh Matt?

Hey Forecastle, please don't take this the wrong way. But where are all the lady performers?, by Bailey Loosemore (Louisville Courier Journal)

So the 2018 Forecastle Festival line-up was released today and we have to say, we're pretty pumped.

Really. Chris Stapleton, Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse: We're super excited for all of them.

But, uh, we do have one small question for the organizers, if that's OK. We're not mad or anything, we just thought we might ask — where are all the ladies at?

Don't get us wrong; this isn't an outrage thing. Forecastle is huge for Louisville, and we all love it.

BUT. We did notice that the first female performer — Courtney Barnett — isn't named until ninth on the list. And only eight of the 45 named acts that include female singers.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

#SLOWTHECARS ... "Streets emphasize wealth creation. Roads are about movement."

The primary reason why Jeff Gahan botched the two-way grid reversion is explained right here. It's because he didn't know, or didn't care, about the difference between a street and a road.

Charles Marohn could have told him; Jeff Speck tried. So did numerous advocates in New Albany.

Deaf ears ... Deaf(er) Gahan.

SLOW THE CARS, by Charles Marohn (Strong Towns)

We design our streets like roads, as if their primary function — and sometimes their sole function — is the movement of automobiles.

Many people don’t grasp the difference between a street and a road. They think the terms are interchangeable, and rightly so. In the United States, we’ve spent decades — and trillions of dollars — blurring the distinctions.

To make our cities financially strong and successful, we need to reclaim the lost art of building great streets, and we must empower our transportation professionals to build high-performance roadways. There is a serious difference between those two pursuits.

Streets: The function of a street is to serve as a platform for building wealth. On a street, we're attempting to grow the complex ecosystem of businesses and homes that produces community wealth. In these environments, people (outside of their automobiles) are the indicator species of success. Successful streets are environments where humans and human interaction flourish.

Roads: In contrast, the function of a road is to connect productive places to one another. You can think of a road as a refinement of the railroad — a road on rails — where people board in one place, depart in another and there is a high speed connection between the two.

With a street, we’re trying to build a place. With a road, we’re trying to get from one place to another. Streets emphasize wealth creation. Roads are about movement ...

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: A heartbreaking work of staggering asininity.

Today's column is occasioned by National Review's Jonah Goldberg, whose writing style I admire although his political worldview isn't always my particular brand of kombucha (it's an insider reference) -- well, after all, I'm more of a pre-Putin kvass kind of guy.

Our word is right there in the title: The G-Files by Jonah Goldberg: Authentic Asininity.

Asininity is a noun describing the quality of being asinine.


1. foolish, unintelligent, or silly; stupid: It is surprising that supposedly intelligent people can make such asinine statements.
2. of or like an ass: asinine obstinacy; asinine features.

Origin of asinine
1600-10; < Latin asinīnus, equivalent to asin(us) ass1+ -īnus -ine1

Related forms
asininely, adverb ... asininity [as-uh-nin-i-tee] noun

Relax, Jeffrey. You have the day off.

In case you were wondering, Goldberg is pointing "asininity" directly at the defenders of POTUS in the wake of the now-forgotten "shithole" furor.

... Let’s start with the question of Donald Trump’s racism. I find the competition to be most offended by the offensiveness of President Trump’s fecal-crater comments to be more than a little tedious. Don’t get me wrong: I think they were offensive and, yes, racist. But that, to me, is the least interesting aspect of this episode of The Trump Show ...

... The idea that anything the president says can be justified by simply asserting that he’s speaking in the authentic voice of his base is an argument no conservative would dream of making under an Elizabeth Warren presidency. Lending credence to it is not only politically myopic, but it lends support to the centrifugal forces tearing this country apart. It is the type of thinking I associate with “sh**hole” countries — to borrow a phrase. In many third-world countries, tribes and other factions vie to gain power and then reward only their team. That is contrary to virtually everything good and noble about our constitutional system.

Asininity enters here; like father, like son, so let's meet the latest Jerry Falwell, latest charlatan in a line of Falwells, described by Goldberg as "the Bishop of Hereford of the Trump administration."

AUTHENTIC ASININITY ... Falwell, in a riot of sycophantic sophistry, not only wants to argue that whatever a president does is presidential but also seeks to elevate the idea that authenticity is its own reward. This is contrary to vast swathes of conservative and Christian thought. A person can be authentically evil, crude, bigoted, or asinine. That is not a defense of any of those things. I’m no expert, but my understanding of Christianity is that behavior is supposed to be informed by more than one’s “authentic” feelings and instincts. Satan is nothing if not authentic. As I write at length in my forthcoming book, this society-wide romantic obsession with authenticity — not just among Trump supporters, but across the left and much of the right — is a deeply corrupting force. But let’s stay on topic. The White House’s initial statement — which didn’t deny the sh**hole report — says in part, “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people.” Put aside the blasé and unsubstantiated insinuation of unpatriotic motives to critics and the political class generally. The upshot of this claim is that calling scores of nations — many of which are our allies — “sh**holes” is really a form of fighting for the American people. If that were true, virtually any crude insult would be just another example of “presidential” heroism. Count me out of that idiotic argument.

I'm happy to allow a conservative thinker to draw his conclusion, especially here at a bastion of pants-down socialism.

THE REAL ISSUE(S) If anyone is still with me, let me now turn to what I think is the real significance of all this. It’s not immigration or racism or profanity; it’s Donald Trump and what he is doing to the country and his party ...

 ... Republicans have bet that James Carville was right and that the logic of “it’s the economy, stupid” will vanquish all obstacles. But this has never been an Iron Law of Politics ...

 ... The long-term threat to conservatism and, by extension, the GOP is profound. Young people — the largest voting bloc now — are utterly turned off to the Republican party. That doesn’t make them right, but that’s irrelevant. Their opinions are hardening every single day, even as old white people shuttle off this mortal coil. Maybe there’s a deep and principled argument to make in favor of Trump’s sh**holish gaffes. But very few people outside the ranks of the converted want to hear it. All they hear are defenses of, or deflections from, the issues that arouse their passion. When conservatives and Republicans rush to defend Trump’s indefensible actions, all they are doing is convincing more people that “Trumpism” isn’t confined to Trump. That damage won’t be erased by another record stock-market closing or an uptick in the GDP numbers. It will outlive The Trump Show for generations.

Too bad so few Democrats have a palatable alternative. Thanks for the link, K.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

THE BEER BEAT: Chili cook-off at Donum Dei Brewery on the 28th, to benefit APRON.

This sounds like fun. Thanks to my pal Blake Montgomery for making me aware. Before we get to the gritty details, just a bit about the good cause of choice.


“Helping you out of the weeds”

APRON, Inc. was founded in 2011 by a group of individuals with ties to the local restaurant community. Apron supporters include owners, servers, chefs and others concerned about our local independent food and beverage service workers. They realize that independent restaurant employees may be susceptible to financial distress in times of crisis.

Now for the rules of engagement.

Just when you thought "Bowl Season" was finished, we present the first chili cook-off to benefit Apron, Inc. We need 10 contestants for this event. Already have 6 entered so need 4 more brave souls. Entry fee is $10, prizes for first, second, third and last place will receive the Dilly Dilly Award. Open to the public! Samples are just $1.00 and bowls of chili are $5.00 (all proceeds to Apron). If interested in being a contestant the first 4 people that PM us will be entered. (no professional chefs/cooks). Prizes include filled growler of beer, pint glasses, t-shirts, and beer candles from Wik'd. plus a trophy for 1st and last place. The only rule for the contestants is NO PASTA (we are NOT Cincinnati) Any meat, any beans, any peppers/spices are allowed. Must cook the chili prior to the event and deliver in a crockpot or any type of kitchen appliance that you can plug in. (ovens and grills are excluded) Come one come all and don't get the Dilly Dilly Award

Hemorrhaging votes, an increasingly disoriented Deaf Gahan sidesteps Mt. Tabor-Klerner intersection ... for now.

In a stunning roundabout turnabout, Deaf Gahan dispatched his Minister of Engineering to this morning's meeting of the Board of Public Works and Safety, and with little fanfare, erased his previous line in the sand -- and drew a new one to the west of the intersection of Mt. Tabor Road and Klerner Lane.

In the aftermath, City Hall's patented Tilt-A-Whirl propaganda wheel was utterly predictable: Don't you see, peasants? Dear Leader listened to your comments at the most recent public meeting.

Are your hip boots on?

On January 2nd, the City of New Albany held the third public information meeting for the Mt. Tabor Road Project. After receiving feedback and comments from residents and engineers, the City of New Albany has removed plans to modify the intersection at Mt. Tabor Road and Klerner Lane. As part of this federally-funded project, the four-way stop will remain ...

... “We will keep working to improve the roadway and infrastructure at Mt. Tabor Road,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. “We welcome and appreciate the input and feedback from our neighbors and business owners. Please stay connected by reading the News and Tribune and by visiting our website.”

Ah, but lest we forget, Team Gahan didn't want this meeting to occur in the first place. John Rosenbarger, Larry Summers, et al -- they publicly sulked and pouted when INDOT reminded them of their legal obligations v.v. the intersection's change in configuration, and as Gahan babbled incoherently ("that's why we're here") ...

 ... the functionaries smirked.

The Jeffersonville chain newspaper's Morris properly waited a bit to acquire quotes from the Taborite objectors, who did their homework.

It was worth it.

Plan for Mt. Tabor Road-Klerner Lane intersection on hold

NEW ALBANY — Bidding for phase one of the Mount Tabor Road project begins Feb. 7 and work is slated to start in April or May. But there will be one major change moving forward. Phase one won't include the intersection of Mount Tabor Road and Klerner Lane ...

... One of those residents, Scott Whalen, said he was happy to hear the city is taking a second look at its plans for the intersection.

"It is great news that the city has chosen to take another look at the traffic conditions at the intersection while they address the primary reason for the project — the hillside leading to Slate Run Creek," Whalen said via email. "As not only a stakeholder in the project, but also as an engineer, it is important to ensure the measured conditions represent the typical use. Performing the traffic counts for only 24 hours and while the intersection was the detour for McDonald Lane did not meet this criteria. The re-evaluation is what we at the corner have been asking for" ...

... INDOT told the city that it should complete an additional information document and involve the public with its plans again to become NEPA complaint, which is a requirement for federally funded projects.

"Although I’m relieved to learn somebody finally heard the residents, it’s disheartening to know that all parties involved have already spent thousands of dollars on legal fees. Why did we (the local residents) have to reach out to the top state politicians and INDOT management for our own city to listen to us," resident Kelly Feiock said in an email. "We’re not shy and we’re willing to talk. All of this wasted time and money could have been avoided five years ago with open communication."

So, really -- why the change of heart? Politics -- first, last and always.

It isn't so much about disappearing votes in the 6th district, Gahan's traditional home field. The 6th already is lost to Democrats, probably for a generation. Rather, it's about panicked quarantine.

No one's buying City Hall's limp palaver about the housing authority putsch, and with each passing day, more Democrats are looking at the dynamism of Dan Canon and Liz Watson, contrasting them with Gahan's agoraphobic, bunker-confined DINO disguise, and scratching their heads in bewilderment.

Dan's and Liz's direction is incompatible with Jeffrey's, and it's likely that DemoDisneyDixiecratic party chairman Adam Dickey has been cooing seductively in Gahan's ear, but the irony remains, because apart from his own self-generated mythology, the mayor is far more of a liability to the party than an asset.

And that's fine by the resistance. Don't forget: #FireGahan2019

They got a bum rat.

The ostensible reason for this post? Vindication for the rat, but scroll down for the subsidiary purpose.

Black Death 'spread by humans not rats', by Victoria Gill (BBC News)

Rats were not to blame for the spread of plague during the Black Death, according to a study.

The rodents and their fleas were thought to have spread a series of outbreaks in 14th-19th Century Europe.

But a team from the universities of Oslo and Ferrara now says the first, the Black Death, can be "largely ascribed to human fleas and body lice".

The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, uses records of its pattern and scale.

The Black Death claimed an estimated 25 million lives, more than a third of Europe's population, between 1347 and 1351.

One simply cannot miss an opportunity to remind the world about the existence of Brennivín, or Black Death schnapps from Iceland. It's what you do on a snow DAY, not to mention all winter long UP NORTH.

One evening, Einar came out from his basement lair, brandishing a sea-glass green bottle with a black label that read “Brennivín.”

“Want to drink some Black Death?” he asked.

“What the fuck is that?” one of our friends blurted.

Without waiting for the answer, the four people huddled in the kitchen unanimously agreed that we did. Visions of my Nordic former-roommate staring at his computer screen licking flecks of dried fish flakes off his fingertips flashed before my eyes while he opened the bottle. It seemed unlikely to me that anything out of Einar’s homeland would be delicious. I recalled too, the urban legend—I could only assume it amounted to as much—of fermented slabs of shark served for dinner. I don’t remember what we drank the Black Death out of—glasses, shots, or swigs from the bottle perhaps—but it tasted like licorice. I later learned that it is known as Brennivín, an unsweetened schnapps made out of potato mash that is flavored with caraway seeds, cumin, angelica, and a slew of other herbs native to Iceland. What I do recall from that evening involved hightailing it out of the party and into a cab back to my house in Northern Manhattan where I, inexplicably invigorated, spent the next two hours trying to master the complicated clapping rhythm that begins around 4:26 of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman.” Einar never explained why it’s locally referred to as the “Black Death” amongst Icelanders, but perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the name, Brennivín, translates into “burning wine.” The beverage tastes more like mild rye licorice than liquefied bubonic plague.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Attention, independent local business owners: "9 New Year's Resolutions for Small Business Success."

Phantom comeback?
After kicking off the year by allowing the mayor to prattle to the point of sheer inanity amid his Disney-flecked civic dreamscape, without anything remotely approaching a substantive cross-examination (Dear Leader advertises a lot, you know -- follow that money, people), the Jeffersonville newspaper eventually disgorged something of a scattershot counterpoint.

Gahan's loyal subaltern Pat McLaughlin duly mouthed the increasingly exhausted mayoral litany, but I was impressed the most by one small point on the part of Al Knable, as snipped here.

New Albany City Council members say more needed beyond downtown area, by Chris Morris (Coupon Gazette)

 ... (Knable) said he would also like to see a strong downtown merchant's guild.

Yes, we do, and it's something that should be completely independent of Develop New Albany's suburbanite cadres. I'm aware it was tried previously, with less than ideal results. However, times change. With patience, consciousness can shift.

Indie businesses should be coming together to pool their economic clout and community influence, and telling elected officials what is expected of them.

I'm highlighting two of these solid 2018 resolutions for small business people. If you're out there throwing punches, I suggest you click through and read them all.

9 New Year's Resolutions for Small Business Success, by Kimberly de Silva (Entrepreneur)

It's a good time to reflect on your business' progress and plan how you want to grow your business in the new year.

 ... A resolution, after all, is a decision to do something differently to bring about positive change. It’s a good time to reflect on your business’ progress and plan how you want to grow your business in the new year.

1. I will learn how to delegate and do more of it.

As a small business owner, your to-do list probably doesn’t even fit on one page. There are so many things to do, and it’s easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them ourselves. You can only work so many hours in a day. As a result, you’re probably exhausted, stressed and don’t have any free time outside of your business. Delegation is the key to a healthy work-life balance. However, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of upfront effort and requires a loss of control. So how do you let someone else do certain tasks, while making sure it’s done correctly? The answer is simple: communication and training. Make sure your employees are trained enough, to the point where they can take over some of your tasks. The next step is to clearly communicate the objectives and deadlines, so that you don’t end up micromanaging.

And this.

5. I will learn something new.

New year, new skill. Choose something new to learn in 2018 -- it may be directly related to your business or completely unrelated. Learning a new skill will add a dimension of interest to your life that will help to maintain that work-life balance. It will also help you to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, if you decide to take marketing classes or learn a new language.

MLK Day 2018: "On MLK Day, acknowledge the past to improve U.S. future."

Photo Credit: Indy Star.

Something to remember.

Baghdad on Bono: Jeff Gahan spent so much time planning to topple Bob Lane and annex NAHA that he forgot to plan the Pyrrhic victory parade.

"Gahan's people-purge is not exclusively racial, but on principle, it is the same. MLK Jr. Day should be a moment when JUSTICE is a top priority. Denounce Gahan and his expulsion plan."

Something to read.

On MLK Day, acknowledge the past to improve U.S. future, by John B. King Jr. (Baltimore Sun)

To truly honor Martin Luther King’s legacy, it is important for us not only to celebrate the progress that the civil rights movement made possible but also to grapple with the full truth of our nation’s history, to acknowledge the inequities with which our society still struggles and to recognize our individual responsibility for social change.

As I reflect on our continued march toward social justice, I’m reminded of one of the most moving experiences from my time as U.S. secretary of education. It was in St. Paul, Minn., visiting the J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School — the public elementary school where Philando Castile worked and was beloved by children, teachers, staff and families ...

THE BEER BEAT: V-Grits, False Idol Independent Brewers, their bricks 'n' mortar vegan brewery in development -- and the BSB Hangover Hoedown in 2015.

In the seemingly chaotic but ultimately coordinated way life tends to unfold, I've been working on a Food & Dining story about the Chef Space kitchen incubator in Louisville, where V-Grits Food Co. is on the verge of "graduation."

In fact, I spoke with co-owner Kristina Addington just yesterday during the photo shoot.

V-Grits is committed to making every ingredient from scratch, including its plant-based meats and cheeses. Let us show you that you can still enjoy flavorful comfort food, without animal products. Please use us a resource for your own food journey. We will patiently answer and help with any dilemma you may face, from wondering where your protein will come from, to attending family barbecues.

As has been widely reported recently, V-Grits is partnering with a brewery start-up to be known as False Idol Independent Brewers in a bricks 'n' mortar shared vegan brewery space at the former (and revered) Monkey Wrench at 1025 Barret Avenue.

You can read more about it by following the link below. False Idol is Shawn Steele's idea. Shawn is an enthusiastic vegan and a longtime craft beer advocate who has spent the past couple of years assisting our brewing friend Rick Stidham at Akasha Brewing Company, and learning the ropes. He couldn't have had a finer instructor.

From the moment I first became aware of the V-Grits and False Idol project, while simultaneously embarking on the Chef Space profile, I recalled meeting both Kristina and Shawn at Bank Street Brewhouse for the first time during an NABC event. However, it was fuzzy, so finally it dawned on me to search.


The event was on March 1, 2015, as part of the "Gravity Head at BSB" spin-off during the period of having no regular kitchen on site -- the post-Taco Punk, pre-Earth Friends Cafe merger era.

Also for 2015, we continue to experiment with a Sunday afternoon extension of Gravity Head at Bank Street Brewhouse. This Sunday concept isn’t intended to exactly mimic Gravity Head, but to provide a way of gently descending to reentry and the rigors of the workaday world following opening weekend’s excess.

It’s called the 2nd Annual Gravity Head Hangover Hoedown at BSB, and here’s the itinerary (NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse’s Sunday hours are 12 noon until 9:00 p.m.)

• Special guest beers from Starlight Distribution
• Unique vegan pop-up kitchen with V-Grits
• Debut of NABC Oaktimus in bomber bottles
• Return of BSB’s Build Your Own Bloody Mary bar
• NABC’s customary beers of proven merit
• Live music TBA
• Benefiting a great cause: Uplands Peak Sanctuary

Well, those were the daze. Weren't they?

Of course, this also was the precise time when I resolved to run for mayor, and took a leave of absence from NABC. This temporary expedient became permanent at my discretion shortly thereafter.

Consequently, Gravity Head in 2015 was the last one with my direct participation. I didn't attend in 2016 or 2017; 2018 will be the 20th anniversary, and if my business partners continue to drag their feet in terms of a fair and equitable settlement, I'll probably pass this year, too.

Ah, but I digress.

In my mind, the biggest irony of all is that once I decided to withdraw from the business, Earth Friends was brought in to occupy the Bank Street Brewhouse kitchen.

At the time Earth Friends was a vegetarian restaurant, although not strictly "vegan" as such, and as a contrarian omnivore perpetually fascinated by undervalued niches, I actually thought it was a brilliant idea to pair a vegetarian restaurant with a "craft" brewery.

Of course, I can't speak for the execution of the idea because I wasn't there. Eventually Earth Friends was wholly absorbed into NABC. Bank Street Brewhouse underwent a name change, and at some point meat dishes were added.

So it goes; so it went.

I strongly suspect V-Grits and False Idol will do quite well with this concept, and perhaps a yearly commemorative Monkey Wrench Ale would be appropriate.

INTERVIEW: False Idol Independent Brewers talk about their new venture with V-Grits, by Phillip Olympia (Never Nervous)

Nothing is quite as exciting to me as getting wind that a new micro or nano brewery is opening in Louisville. When I was told that a new couple of brewers were planning to move in to the space that the old Monkey Wrench used to inhabit, my ears naturally perked up as I became anxiously ready to chase that stick off the porch. It’s been a treat to watch Louisville’s beer scene continue to blossom over the last decade plus, so naturally this was welcome news.

The name of the Derby City’s latest nano brewery is False Idol Independent Brewers and they are partnering with V-Grits, a food truck that offers exclusively vegan street food that has been in operation for the last few years. Together, they plan to offer a truly unique dining and drinking experience under one roof. Expect to see them open in a few months in The Highlands at the intersection at Barret and Winter avenues.

To get a better understanding of what these folks are putting together and what there motivations are, I reached out to False Idol co-owners Shawn and Rebecca Steele and Kristina Addington of V-Grits to see if they’d be up for answering a few questions. Thankfully, they obliged …

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Trump? He's a symptom -- and he's not reading your tweets.

Come to think of it, it's also been just about a year since Dan Coffey demanded city council attorney Matt Lorch's head on a platter -- and both Jeff Gahan and Adam Dickey replied, "How'd you like it cooked, SIR?"

ON THE AVENUES: Jeff Gahan and Adam Dickey are Trumping the Donald when it comes to breathtaking moral turpitude. Have they no shame?

It’s where Gahan’s and Dickey’s creation, the Good Ship Democratic Lollipop, currently rests, and taken together, these two narcissistic beached whales in a child’s overmatched wading pool are managing against all imaginable odds to make the buffoonish serial liar Donald Trump look precisely like George Washington.

And it's been 367 days since I mentioned that I can handle only one resistance at a time.


If you intend to “resist” Trumpism by doubling down on behalf of the Democratic Party as it currently exists and operates on a daily basis right here in the real world, as opposed to Disney World, then you’re in for yet another apocalyptic shock, because the party requires gutting down to the foundations, and probably beyond.

Speaking personally, I don’t care. Both major parties can go to hell, and the Democrats might as well go first. If the Democratic Party disappears, perhaps something better can be built in its place. How can it be worse?

Our gutless right-wing local version of pretend-Democrats is on life support, and the chairman’s delusional cluelessness seems to have become institutionalized. The humane thing to do would be to euthanize the party, and start all over again.

It’s also time to consider a point that almost none of us are prepared for, including me. This is the element of risk sustained by the resistance during the course of the opposition.

Or, if you will, an occupation.

If you’ve studied history at all, you know that when the going gets tough, the majority usually remains seated atop its collective hands. Meanwhile, the minority resolving to openly act finds that standing up for what they believe requires some skin in the game.

It’s risky, and isn't always pretty, either. Demonstrators are beaten and jailed. Dissidents are harassed and lose their jobs. Neo-Nazis attack people in the street, and Soviets ship them off to the gulag. It’s precisely the sort of retaliation that blacks, union members and Native American pipeline opponents experience as a matter of course, although whites like me tend to think that we’re exempted – because “law.”

Yeah, right.

I’m guessing that precious few Americans have a clue about how painful this “resistance” might become. We’ve taken for granted inalienable rights and freedoms, and when these pipe dreams actually have existed outside our idealized and addled imaginations (again, mostly white), they have been gained through direct action -- agitation, peaceful protest, civil disobedience and at times, regrettably, bloody violence.

That’s history, plain and simple, and a better appreciation of history would at least be helpful, although you may or may not discover the most relevant bits on your iPhone.

Finally, it won’t be enough for the left-of-center resistance to be solely predicated on identity politics and social justice issues of the precise sort that Mayor Gahan routinely and insincerely barters to local Democrats who are sufficiently gullible to accept toothless Potemkin human rights lean-tos in exchange for looking the other way as Gahan’s increasingly self-serving and megalomaniacal “luxury” expenditures exit the rails.

Up and down the line, Democrats have fiddled past the carnage of neoliberal economic orthodoxy for far too long, and it helped bring us to this lamentably idiocratic juncture. Understand that what’s coming over the horizon is very much about economics, too. Capitalism didn’t “win,” and all those –ism frictions have never left us, although we may have left them.

Earlier today, I remarked to friends that there’s nothing like a room filled with annoyed citizens to produce remarkable levels of concentration on the part of local elected officials. Everything changes when humans act together, in concert, as opposed to separately, isolated from each other. I'm a cynic, but I haven't abandoned hope.


I’m trying my best here in Anchor Flats. If there is any time left over, I’ll help you with Trump.



Now, that was a vintage rant, and I'm sticking with it. Granted, I didn't foresee the Dan Canon candidacy, or the delightfully concurrent way the civil rights attorney's campaign for 9th district congressman has held a mirror up to toxic Gahanism during a time of Lorch purge, Speck grid botch, NAHA putsch and Mt. Tabor subjugation.

By the way, here's some truth from Bernie Sanders. Friends, look past the diversions and shell games ... and follow the money.

Let’s wrench power back from the billionaires, by Bernie Sanders (The Guardian)

If we stand together against powerful special interests we can eliminate poverty, increase life expectancy and tackle climate change

Here is where we are as a planet in 2018: after all of the wars, revolutions and international summits of the past 100 years, we live in a world where a tiny handful of incredibly wealthy individuals exercise disproportionate levels of control over the economic and political life of the global community.

Difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact is that the six richest people on Earth now own more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population – 3.7 billion people. Further, the top 1% now have more money than the bottom 99%. Meanwhile, as the billionaires flaunt their opulence, nearly one in seven people struggle to survive on less than $1.25 (90p) a day and – horrifyingly – some 29,000 children die daily from entirely preventable causes such as diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia ...

From Strong Towns: "A list of 10 questions you can pose to someone running for office in your town to see whether he or she is worthy of your vote."

Question them. Especially the chairman.

I've chosen to highlight just two of these questions, followed by a bullet list of all 10. Notice that none of them pertain to gesture politics or jeremiads beyond the realm of grassroots and local.

If you're reading from the hermetic tinpot confines of the 1st council district, you have our sympathy. Dan "Wizard of Westside" Coffey is beyond questioning; he'd commence to top-down filibustering before you were finished with query number one.


How can you tell if someone running for local office will do a good job? How can you ensure that he or she will improve your town's economy — not get your community further into debt? How can you figure out whether this candidate for mayor or city council is going to uphold Strong Towns principles and take a thoughtful, incremental approach to your community's problems?

Below, we've put together a list of 10 questions you can pose to someone running for office in your town to see whether he or she is worthy of your vote. You could raise these questions in a public forum, at a personal meeting, or even informally, if you happen to run into the candidate at the grocery store.

Familiarity with the needs of walkers and cyclists? Don't hold your breath on this one.

3. How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in our city? Do we have enough options? If not, what will you do to increase those?

What To Listen For: Keep an ear out for a candidate who doesn't just give lip service to transportation options besides cars, but actually demonstrates a familiarity with the issues facing bus riders, cyclists and pedestrians. Also note whether the candidate advocates for an incremental approach to improving transportation options (thumbs up) or advocates for top-down megaprojects (thumbs down).

Similarly, expect another platitude: Either run for office yourself, or accept your insignificance.

6. How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in our town?

What To Listen For: Your candidate should be able to genuinely answer this question with specific plans for engaging residents and listening to their concerns, not just platitudes about how "decisions are made by those who show up."

Here is the summary.

  1. Do you think our main street/downtown is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?
  2. What’s more important for our city right now: building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing/expanding/better utilizing our existing homes and storefronts?
  3. How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in our city? Do we have enough options? If not, what will you do to increase those?
  4. Some people in our community say that we have traffic problems. What do you think? How would you mitigate those concerns or change the situation?
  5. If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?
  6. How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in our town?
  7. If someone came to you with a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure in our city (road, bridge, etc.) how would you evaluate whether that project was worth implementing?
  8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?
  9. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
  10. What neighborhood do you live in? Why? Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Baghdad on Bono: Jeff Gahan spent so much time planning to topple Bob Lane and annex NAHA that he forgot to plan the Pyrrhic victory parade.

Not long ago, New Albany Housing Authority director Bob Lane and his team had their ducks in a row for 42 new units of supportive housing, to be constructed on NAHA-owned land near the hospital.

All that remained was to get Jeff Gahan's signature. Had the original time frame progressed, these units would be finished and filling now. Instead, Gahan waited until the last minute to refuse his cooperation, and subsequently, the dominoes started falling in the run-up to the mayor's hostile takeover of NAHA-- and Lane's cashiering.

Here's how Lane was running the NAHA.

Gahan and David "Double My Salary, Double My Fun" Duggins constantly refer to a future plan for public house, which they don't have -- or wouldn't they reveal it?

Conversely, Lane had a powerful and comprehensive plan, and had been working on it prior to 2012, Gahan's first year in office, when these Powerpoint slides were produced. 

The difference?

Lane planned to renew NAHA's properties on a 1:1 ratio, to be achieved in phases over time throughout the city's existing public housing properties. Not only that, but you'll note the proposed return to the original city street grid.

Fact: From the moment Gahan became mayor, his own "plan" (note the use of quotation marks, Davey) might have been scratched in pencil on a Roadhouse cocktail napkin: cut the number of public housing units in half, period.

That's the extent of it. All the verbiage Gahan and his shameless sycophants have emanated ever since is so contaminated with toxins that it would be refused processing at the sewer utility.

Monday is MLK Day, which inspired the News and Tribune.

MLK's 'Dream' yet to be fully realized, local leaders say, by Aprile Rickert

Progress made, room for more, leaders say

SOUTHERN INDIANA — As the nation looks back nearly 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech, local leaders consider how his words are reflected today — and look at the progress and the failures experienced toward becoming a more unified world ...

The Bookseller replied to the newspaper's tweet.

Gahan's people-purge is not exclusively racial, but on principle, it is the same. MLK Jr. Day should be a moment when JUSTICE is a top priority. Denounce Gahan and his expulsion plan.

I couldn't have said it better. Can your hear us NOW, local Democrats? In closing, here's a bit more about HUD and fair housing. How does this affect us here in NA, Gauleiter Duggins?

I mean, the ponies aren't even running now, are they?

One Way to Fight HUD's Heel-Dragging on Fair Housing, by Kriston Capps (CityLab)

As civil rights groups line up in opposition to a new HUD rule, a legal strategy emerges.

On Monday, protesters in Chicago jeered Ben Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A member of a grassroots seniors organization also interrupted his speech. It was Carson’s first public appearance since he issued a delay in a key rule for advancing fair housing and confronting racial segregation, and the resistance may only be getting started ...

William F. Buckley and Groucho Marx on Firing Line in 1967.

Is the world funny?

This meeting of the minds between Willian F. Buckley and Groucho Marx is awkward in places, which brings to mind an anecdote about the great Hollywood celebrity tennis match of 1937, which featured both Groucho and Charlie Chaplin.

As described in The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell (1982), match day found Groucho in his usual mood to avoid taking any sport seriously, including tennis. This irreverence wasn't to the liking of Chaplin, who nonetheless played along when Groucho produced a picnic basket and served lunch.

Thirty years later on Firing Line, Groucho is in similarly obstructionist fettle. Undoubtedly there is mutual respect between host and guest, and the comedian is serious at intervals, but he frequently deploys his legendary wit to remain safely detached. 

It's an interesting conversation between two intelligent people. Is this still possible? 


On July 7, 1967, Groucho Marx appeared as a guest on William F. Buckley’s current affairs show Firing Line to debate the topic “Is the World Funny?” Firing Line had been in existence only for about a year at that point, broadcasting on WOR channel 9 in New York City; four years later, the show would move to PBS.

Groucho was there to promote his new book The Groucho Letters: Letters From and To Groucho Marx, in which he reproduced selected correspondence with figures like Jerry Lewis, Irving Berlin, E.B. White, Peter Lorre, Edward R. Murrow, David Susskind, Booth Tarkington, Harry Truman, and James Thurber.

Many cities have night mayors. We'd settle for one in broad daylight.

To the contrary, being a "night mayor" is about more than keeping your sycophantic staff awake with bellicose phone calls.

Mirik Milan's thoughts on sustainable nightlife include bringing together stakeholders and ensuring dialogue. Needless to say, Jeff Gahan hasn't managed this much during bankers' hours.


The Night Mayor Goes Global, by Feargus O'Sullivan (CityLab)

When reports of Amsterdam’s Night Mayor started filtering into the international media, few could have imagined the concept would take off around the world with such speed. While the Dutch capital was not the first city to have an independent body or NGO working with the actual mayor to make sure its night hours run smoothly, Amsterdam has nonetheless been at the forefront of spreading the concept. Now a host of other cities, including London and New York, have adopted something similar and Amsterdam’s example is being widely celebrated as a healthy template for cultivating a harmonious nighttime atmosphere for citizens—whether asleep or awake ...