Introduced Version, Senate Bill 0077: Allows someone who towed your vehicle to have a mechanics lien on the vehicle and sell it if you don’t pay. I do not believe that the law applies to vehicles that are towed off of property where you weren’t supposed to park, but it could, depending on how broad the definition of “abandoned” vehicle is. At the moment, I’m too lazy to research the issue. My experience with folks in the towing industry leads me to believe that this isn’t a great idea.
Wired 13.01: The Shadow Internet I really enjoyed this article by Jeff Howe for Wired Magazine. It takes a look at how the bootleg networks work. From insider to ripper to top seed networks down the food chain to the P2P networks.
I caught a glimpse of some of this long, long ago in the mid-80s on the dial up BBSs. Upload a game to the BBS for credits and download a new game. I was never much good at it, and, at 300 baud on your C-64, it was easier to just go over to a friend’s house and make a copy. I imagine a lot of the infrastructure can trace its roots back to the old BBS warez networks.
I can’t get any information to load yet, but there are some interesting new Senate Bills posted.
I’m pretty excited to have run across Douglas Rushkoff’s weblog. I’ve really enjoyed his books over the years, and it’ll be nice to see what he’s thinking from day to day. He has a recent post entitled No Surrender. In it, he describes the dilemma of the Progressives. They just lost national elections to the Republicans. As they see it, Bush sold the red states enough mythology to get the poor people there to vote against their economic interests and to send their kids off to die in a war that has yet to be adequately justified. That 80% of Bush’s supporters seem to think Hussein was involved with 9/11 is evidence that a good line of bull trumps objective reason at the polls. He describes the leftie handwringing and the temptation to go the way of mythology to win elections.
What I enjoyed about the entry was his recognition that the Progressives have their roots in the Enlightenment. It’s probably a bad idea to try to betray that heritage in an effort to promote it. The Enlightenment was about the recognition that man best promotes his condition by recognition of observed truth rather than through obedience to revealed dogma. The real world is scary, though, and fairy tales can be comforting.
The good news is that Experts predict a $1.8 billion revenue boost according to the Indy Star. But, as the article points out:
But that extra money won’t go far. Public schools say they need more money over the next two years to operate at current levels. Public colleges and universities want an extra $500 million. And the cost of operating the Medicaid health care program is escalating.
I read a chapter or two in an Indiana history book last night. The author stated that Indiana’s constitutional convention and early political experience was very democratic and populist. There was an optimism about the ability of government to benefit the governed. The constitution called for free education and for a reformative as opposed to a punitive justice system. Early political efforts were to build infrastructure. Infrastructure efforts tended not to be focused on one or two particular projects but rather statewide and, as a result, piecemeal and rather unfocused. During the canal building era between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, Indiana engaged on a monumental group of infrastructure projects and borrowed huge sums of money. Shortly thereafter, a financial panic hit the country and Indiana defaulted on its obligations. Indiana became synonymous with fiscal recklessness. The theory goes that this wounded the state badly and has led to a cautiousness that tends toward a lack of vision and a government that provides the bare minimum to its citizens.
That’s mostly a digression. Vision or no, the Medicaid program is a financial black hole and it’s still not adequate. I don’t know what the answer is though. Sick people are just expensive. Maybe the state would be better off just spending a bunch of money on light rail and other infrastructure as well as kick ass schools and other investments that will help healthy people prosper. Nah, that can’t be the right thing to do.
According to thisstory in the Journal and Courier jobs in the service industry are expected to decline in the next quarter. Jobs in the durable manufacturing sector are a mixed bag, and the best prospects seem to be for nondurable manufacturing.
Good article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on the truck seat belt and road fund formula entitled: Journal Gazette | 12/12/2004 | Truck-plate fight looms for seat belts
The two basic issues are that 1) for seatbelts, there are going to be folks who think their rights are being compromised by having a truck and being required to wear a seatbelt; and 2) the formula restructuring that would likely help rural counties at the expense of metropolitan counties. I don’t believe the article mentions that the proposed seatbelt law also requires backseat passengers to be belted in. As I understand it, the road fund is currently divided up by counting the number of passenger vehicles (but not pickup trucks or SUVs registered as trucks) and giving each county its pro rata share based on the ratio of its passenger vehicles to the total number of passenger vehicles. Throwing pickup trucks into the mix would help your county if more of the counties vehicles were pickups than in other counties.
I wasn’t much taken by the article’s reliance on “local resident Jason Eminger” for constitutional analysis. He says that he shouldn’t be told to wear a seatbelt because “if I hurt anybody, it’ll be myself.” That’d be fine logic if Mr. Eminger is heavily insured against personal injury. But, my guess is that if Mr. Eminger required 30 years of tube feeding and diaper changes, it’d be the Indiana taxpayers or his family who bore the heaviest burden, neither of whom Mr. Eminger would have consulted before “exercising his right” not to wear a seat belt. I’m generally a hardcore Bill of Rights sort of guy, but wearing a seat belt is too trivial a burden with too great a benefit for me to get worked up over.
Back on the subject of the road formula, the article notes that former Senator Borst headed up the Finance Committee and was from Indy so he generally sat on previous road formula change bills. I’m not sure who will head up the Senate Finance Committee.
Apparently two of my favorite Indiana legislators agree with my previous analysis of why Daylight Savings Time has had such a hard time passing in previous incarnations of the Indiana General Assembly.
Republican Senator Richard Bray and Democratic Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan (formerly Majority Leader in the Indiana House) basically agree that it’s failed before because of the geographic reality of Indiana’s situation. We’re at the extreme western edge of eastern time or the extreme eastern edge of central time.
(Just as an aside, both of these guys are really extraordinary public servants. I’ve had the opportunity to work with both of them (briefly) and they are both intelligent, deliberate, and approachable. One tendency I noticed while working for the legislature was for the legislators to get way too busy and not really seem to pause to consider what, exactly, they were legislating. Neither of these gentlemen succumbed to that tendency, at least not as far as I could see.)
Gov.-elect Mitch Daniels on Friday named a retired GTE executive and former chairman of the Indiana Sports Corp. to run the state’s Department of Administration. Earl Goode will run the department which is in charge of, among other things, procurement for the State.
So, we have:
You know, I just wish the Indianapolis business community had more influence in this administration.
Some data with regard to the Bill to put Indiana on Daylight Savings Time.
If we’re on Eastern Daylight Time (and Eastern Standard Time statewide during the winter), which is what the bill calls for, in places like Gary, Terre Haute, and Evansville, sunrise will come at about 8:15 a.m. at the end of December, and sunset will not occur until 9:30 p.m. at the end of June.
If, on the other hand, we switched to Central Daylight Time (and Central Standard Time statewide during the winter), then places in the east like Richmond and Lawrenceburg would have sunset at about 4:18 p.m. at the end of December and sunrise at 5:12 a.m. at the end of June.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”