It's funny ... and no, I've no idea who is doing it.
Come to think of it, you don't think it could be the same parodist, do you?
Jeff I Am: https://twitter.com/JeffJongUn
Rogar Bayler: https://twitter.com/RogarBayler
New Albany is a state of mind … but whose? Since 2004, we’ve been observing the contemporary scene in this slowly awakening old river town. If it’s true that a pre-digital stopped clock is right twice a day, when will New Albany learn to tell time?
|How about here?|
Two Views on Speech, by Adam Gopnik (New Yorker)
... The absolutist American view, let’s stipulate at once, still has much to be said for it. It says that once the state gets into the business of distinguishing acceptable dissent from unacceptable dissent then what we have is no longer dissent. Instead, we have state-sponsored and defined dissent, like that of the tiny “dissident” parties that were allowed to persist, once upon a time, in Eastern Europe, pendant to the chief Communist one. As John Stuart Mill said, in what is still the greatest defense of freedom of speech ever written, the free contest of ideas, even bad ones, is necessary to discover the truth of things. Or, to borrow a turn of phrase from the N.R.A.: it takes a good man with a pencil to stop a bad man with a pen.
But the view that governs the opposite position, in Canada and Europe alike, is not irrational or truly hostile to liberty. The laws and rules vary, but all have a simple distinction at their core, which is that criticizing an ideology, including a religious ideology, however vociferously, is different from inducing hatred of a people or persons. In plain English, hate-speech laws are based on the simple truth that there is a huge difference between an insult and a threat, and that it isn’t actually that hard to tell one from the other.
If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath, by Lucy Mangan (Guardian)
... Politicians, for example, are apparently completely baffled by Poor People’s propensity to do harmful things, often expensively, to themselves. (That’s politicians of all stripes – it’s just that the left wing wrings its hands and feels helplessly sorry for Them, while Tories are pretty sure They are just animals in need of better training.) The underclass eats fast food, drinks and smokes, and some of its more unruly members even take drugs. Why? Why?
Where’s the Empathy?, by Nicholas Kristof (New York Times)
The funeral for my high school buddy Kevin Green is Saturday, near this town where we both grew up.
The doctors say he died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.
Lots of Americans would have seen Kevin — obese with a huge gray beard, surviving on disability and food stamps — as a moocher. They would have been harshly judgmental: Why don’t you look after your health? Why did you father two kids outside of marriage?
That acerbic condescension reflects one of this country’s fundamental problems: an empathy gap. It reflects the delusion on the part of many affluent Americans that those like Kevin are lazy or living cushy lives. A poll released this month by the Pew Research Center found that wealthy Americans mostly agree that “poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.”
Land use code is a long-term solution but, like many other places, we can't continually grant waivers and expect it to matter. In the shorter term. those trucking companies should be doing everything in their power to avoid densely populated streets. If they won't do that voluntarily, then we need to address it on a civic level. The idea that a largely residential urban grid should be set-up to specifically accommodate comparatively rare wide loads is absurd. A specified truck route might be helpful but, to the extent these trucking companies are currently using those streets for those loads sans any flagging/escort/safety effort of their own, they should be granted the same level of respect they've shown, i.e., they should be legally required to do so. At that point, their concerns become less of an issue.
New Albany residents sound off on plan that would convert one-way streets, by Cary Stemle (Louisville Business First)
More than 100 New Albany residents turned out Thursday evening for their first opportunity to comment on a street study that advocates converting many of the city's one-way downtown streets to two-way.
"This is democracy in action," he said. "We have a reputable study from a reputable, nationally recognized city planner who studied our street grid. ... We'll be taking everything we can into consideration. This is a compromise situation. The goal is to improve the city for everyone."
NEW ALBANY — There’s no guarantee the facility won’t close, or that the bond will pass, but the New Albany City Council agreed Tuesday to proceed with the steps to foot a $7 million bond in hopes it will convince General Mills to keep the Pillsbury plant open.
By a 5-2 vote, the council approved a nonbinding resolution that stated its support of moving forward with the bond. The council and likely the New Albany Redevelopment Commission will have to cast ballots on the $7 million bond before it becomes official.
Councilmen Kevin Zurschmiede and Greg Phipps voted against the resolution, saying they need more details about the bond package before agreeing to use taxpayer funds to support a business.
Should New Albany be giving General Mills $7 million?, by David A. Mann (Louisville Business First)
... But such offers aren't necessarily beneficial for cities. In general, this kind of move doesn't really pay off for cities because they will never recoup their investment through higher tax revenue, he said.
"They're just handing a company a pile of money," (Josh) Pinkston said. "If that's a good idea … why just General Mills? Why not hand out a big pot of money for other companies in New Albany?"
He described an incentive package such as this one as political risk management. City leaders do not want to be seen as the guys who let General Mills leave, he said. But paying companies to stay is not really efficient economic development policy.
"This is $7 million they are taking away from the taxpayers of New Albany and giving it to General Mills," Pinkston said. And, he wonders what the long-term cost of that would be.
General Mills purchased Pillsbury in summer of 2000 from British food company Diageo for $10.5 billion. In fiscal year 2014, General Mills had global net sales of $19.2 billion.
Indiana economic development officials provided General Mills more than $100,000 in incentives in the last 10 years to ensure kept its workforce of about 480. But over the last three to four years, the company shifted manufacturing of some product lines to its more modern operation in Murfreesboro, Tenn., plant. The food giant spent $100 million expanding there four years ago.
Worth the dough? New Albany may offer $7 million to keep Pillsbury Plant, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)
NEW ALBANY — Last week, several New Albany City Council members pledged to diligently work on solutions to keep the General Mills plant open.
On Tuesday, the council will be asked to give its blessing for a $7 million bond package Mayor Jeff Gahan’s administration hopes will stave off the closure, which General Mills announced Jan. 8 could happen within 18 months ...
... "We have assembled a business retention and factory-modernization package for our friends at General Mills to consider,” Gahan stated in a news release issued Friday afternoon.
“Our goal is to keep the New Albany facility in continuous operation for as long as possible.”
|Photo credit: Guardian|
The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs ... From outside, Greece looks like a giant negative: but what lies beneath the rise of the radical left is the emergence of positive new values – among a layer of young people much wider than Syriza’s natural support base. These are the classic values of the networked generation: self-reliance, creativity, the willingness to treat life as a social experiment, a global outlook.
Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe, by Ian Traynor and Helena Smith (Guardian)
- Voters reject EU austerity for radical alternative of far-left party
- Upstarts fall two seats short of an overall majority
- ‘Greece has turned a page,’ says 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras
European politics has been plunged into a volatile new era following a historic victory in Greece’s general election by far-left radicals committed to ending years of austerity.
More than five years into the euro crisis that started in Greece in October 2009 and raised questions about the single currency’s survival, Greek voters roundly rejected the savage spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Europe which reduced the country to penury ...
... The clock is already ticking. When the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande, British prime minister David Cameron et al assemble for an EU summit in Brussels in just over a fortnight, they will be joined at Europe’s top table by (Alexis) Tsipras, probably the only man there not wearing a tie. The symbolism will be enormous. Europe’s anti-mainstream mavericks and populists are no longer just hammering on the doors.
Corporations are Artificial, Too, by David Atkins ("Political Animal" blog at Washington Monthly)
... But there’s another key lie in the conservative “natural economy” story, which is that modern corporate capitalism is anything but natural. It’s an artificial system encoded arbitrarily into law and interpreted in a specific way that tends to give maximum advantage to executive and shareholders at the expense of society.
'American Sniper' Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize, by Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone)
... Filmmakers like Eastwood, who could have cleared things up, only muddy the waters more. Sometimes there's no such thing as "just a human story." Sometimes a story is meaningless or worse without real context, and this is one of them.
SPANNING TIME: New downtown bridge to open ahead of schedule, by Matt Koesters (News and Tribune)
LOUISVILLE — Two summers ago, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear predicted that in three years’ time, a new bridge connecting downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana would be open to traffic.
Beshear admitted Friday that he doesn’t mind that he was wrong.
“This time, it’s a good thing that I was wrong, because I’m excited to announce that just a year from today, three months ahead of schedule, the mighty towers of concrete and steel that you see rising behind me will be complete,” Beshear said, speaking at a press conference on the Louisville bank of the Ohio River. “The cables will be strung, the deck laid, the stripes painted and cars and trucks will be flowing across the first new bridge in more than half a century across the Ohio River into downtown Louisville.”
The accelerated schedule for the opening of the new bridge will allow for more in-depth work to be done on the existing John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. When the new downtown bridge opens, Interstate 65 traffic in both directions will shift to the new bridge for six months.
“In recent weeks, we made the decision to invest in a more complete and long-lasting overhaul of the Kennedy Bridge,” Beshear said. “We made that decision for two reasons: First, more extensive improvements are needed to add decades of life to the 52-year-old bridge, and second, completing the work now will save money and reduce impacts on drivers long-term.”
NASH: Looking for a few good leaders, by Matt Nash (News and Tribune)
While candidates for election this year that run as Democrat or Republican have less than two weeks to file for their candidacy, anyone wanting to run as an independent in the general election in November has until the end of June to declare. There has been some talk on social media about the possible run as an independent for mayor and another for the fifth district council seat, but there has been no official announcement. Also, if any of the positions up for election this year are not filled, the party leaders may enter a candidate in one of those positions for November.
In an article earlier this week in the News and Tribune, the GOP chairman claimed that at least two people were interested in running for mayor, but they would decide between themselves who would be the candidate. This makes me think that neither candidate wants to be mayor very badly.
County Councilman Burks wins New Albany trustee’s seat
FLOYD COUNTY — Republican Steve Burks will be trading one seat for another after scoring a victory over an incumbent Tuesday night.
Burks received 5,540 votes, or 52.9 percent, while Democrat Jeannie Freiberger received 4,926 votes, or 4,926 votes, in the New Albany Township Trustee race.
Burks is a pastor and also an at-large Floyd County councilman, so he will have to resign his seat.
“I do benevolence all the time. That is what I do,” he said of his new post, which is largely tasked with helping the less fortunate. “I will try to be more efficient in that department. I want to give people a hand up instead of a hand out. I want people to be accountable."
"The greatness of our nation is diminishing because we have lost our moral compass. In order to be great again morality is not an option."
“You can rest assured that we won’t do anything to let those anti-establishment inmates run your asylum.”
1. cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc., while moving forward.
2. be in charge or command of.
"a military delegation was led by the Chief of Staff"
synonyms: be the leader of, be the head of, preside over, head, command,govern, rule, be in charge of, be in command of, be in control of, run,control, direct, be at the helm of
1. the initiative in an action; an example for others to follow.
"The US is now taking the environmental lead"
synonyms: first position, forefront, primacy, dominance, superiority, ascendancy
2. a position of advantage in a contest; first place.
"they were beaten 5-3 after twice being in the lead"
synonyms: the leading position, first place, the van, the vanguard
What baffles so many of them, though, is how ordinary Americans in startling numbers have been persuaded to dislike "big government" and yet support its new representatives, bought and paid for by the rich.
Locals Everywhere Want to Know: What's Wrong With America?, by Ann Jones (The Nation)
Other things I've had to answer for include:
* Why can't you Americans stop interfering with women's health care?
* Why can't you understand science?
* How can you still be so blind to the reality of climate change?
* How can you speak of the rule of law when your presidents break international laws to make war whenever they want?
* How can you hand over the power to blow up the planet to one lone, ordinary man?
* How can you throw away the Geneva Conventions and your principles to advocate torture?
* Why do you Americans like guns so much? Why do you kill each other at such a rate?
To many, the most baffling and important question of all is: Why do you send your military all over the world to stir up more and more trouble for all of us?
January 21, 1924: Vladimir Lenin Dies (The Nation)
... Lenin is dead. His country has had to make many painful compromises since his ragged crew took power, but it is running the railroads and marketing the wealth of Russia today. The Communist Government preaching and, to the best of its ability, practicing the gospel of economic revolution, still fills the breast of [Secretary of State Charles Evans] Hughes with alarm. Whatever may come of it in Russia that doctrine—that political democracy without economic liberation is a farce—has swept the Western world, and the Western world will never again be quite the same. The French Revolution was crushed, but it molded the history of nineteenth-century Europe. The Russian Revolution is compromising; Lenin is dead and Trotzky is ill, but they will long continue to make history.
I understand that some readers can still say of New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan that "He's my guy." I only ask, "Why?"
Almost from the moment I arrived in this city, I've pushed, prodded, and pleaded for city officials to pay some attention to our broken streets, most often in the downtown area, but elsewhere, as well. At first, my quest was relatively simplistic. I asked why we couldn't change our one-way streets back to the two-way traffic patterns they were designed for. As the years passed and I educated myself and others, "my" quest became "our" quest and our petitions to our elected officials metamorphosed from simplistic to sophisticated, though no less simple to accomplish.This is my 11th year working on this. Coincidentally, this is Mayor Gahan's 12th year as an elected official. These were years where he could have educated himself and perhaps even become a champion for our cause. After 8 years as a city council member, Gahan put himself forward to serve as the city's executive. Many of you voted for him. All of you believed Mr. Gahan when he said he supported two-way streets.Today, we have available to us a comprehensive street design program that is, as they say, shovel-ready. Prepared by Jeff Speck, the most prominent city planning professional in this country, and his team, the program is elegant, simple, and inexpensive to implement. Whether you read the 60-page justification or the 40-page section-by-section program for street change, you are likely to feel your heart leap while imagining the probable outcomes if New Albany embraces the program.Yet, as recently as this past weekend, the mayor said to the News and Tribune that he "want[s] to emphasize this is just a study." (emphasis mine)Rather than embracing this opportunity, this mayor is pre-emptively knee-capping it. He is unwilling to claim it as his own. He is unwilling to step out in public and say "This is what I want to do. I believe it's in the best interests of this community. And here's why" ...
Wait continues for GOP mayoral candidate in New Albany, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)
NEW ALBANY — Floyd County Republican Party Chairman Chris Lane expects to present a candidate for New Albany mayor by the end of the week.
Though he declined to name the people, Lane said Tuesday two candidates have emerged and are basically deciding among themselves which will file for the race.
“They’re just trying to make it a cooperative effort,” he said. “They really don’t want a primary.”
Due to a larger than anticipated crowd - the meeting this Wednesday January 21 at 7pm will be moved to SEW FITTING 156 East Main Street. I anticipate short (30 minutes or so) informational and planning meeting with the goal of establishing talking points, enlisting volunteers, compiling an email list of attendees, rallying support and scheduling follow up meetings. I expect after adjourning the meeting, those that would like, could meet us at a local watering hole to get to know each other better. Please share!
I'm supportive restoring 2-way traffic in New Albany. The Speck study is a good document. It's all really just common sense. In fact, it was common sense 10 years ago to slow traffic and remove our one way drag strips. I'm confident the brain trust at the city understood this perfectly. But maybe a connection was lost between brain and balls. Alas, we will fight the fight for what we shouldn't really have to fight for. To be honest, all I really want to know is the implementation schedule. But we will do a little dance for a year or so. It's all a tad frustrating.