Wednesday, June 01, 2005

During Our Brief Intermission...

May I recommend:

The Egglestonian Creed for great coverage of this week's National Spelling Bee. I don't even have to go there to know this former champion will give his unique perspectives. And yours truly will join with baby brother to go after the BookExpo America Spelling Bee crown in Manhattan this weekend.

Saturday marks week two for the restored Downtown Farmers' Market. Locally produced crafts and produce (mostly leafy greens this early) are the highlight, but watch for musicians, jugglers, and other entertainment as the summer approaches. Join the early risers and late arrivals and get the scoop on upcoming events, like the cooking demonstrations planned by Federal Hill and Ermin's.

Sunday at the Carnegie Center, Americans United to Preserve Social Security will hold a town hall meeting to lay out the facts about this naked attempt to restructure retirement and disability security while raising your taxes, mostly to the benefit of idealogy, those making more than $90,000 a year, and the financial services and brokerage industries, who have long coveted those commissions and fees.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Think For Yourself

OK, here's the deal. First, you ask your questions...THEN, you draw your conclusions.

To let someone else tell you what to think is irresponsible citizenship.

A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

-Alexander Pope

There is no secret knowledge in New Albany. Seek the truth about all things. Don't come to the issues with preconceptions. Assertions aren't facts. Opinions aren't facts. Facts are facts.

We may disagree on an issue. For example, I think a community investment (and a government investment, for what is government but the expression of a community's will) is the right way to utilize the resources we have downtown. Others believe it is a waste that will benefit only a few. That's a disagreement.

But it is the facts that matter. Unless we can agree that truth is our barometer, there is no possibility of civility, or civilization, for that matter.

The truth is available. It is not hidden under a rock. It is not inaccessible. Just ask. We live in a system of government where the facts are readily available. And if someone is withholding facts that are yours by right, I'll stand beside you to demand them.

But if you seek to lead others to follow your path by obscuring the facts, by layering them with untruths, by exploiting those without the same advantages you have in education, time, or aptitudes, then don't expect any support from this quarter.

In the Bible we are taught that anyone can apprehend God, but comprehending God is beyond us humans. Government is not God. It can be comprehended.

Taking advantage of the prejudices and preconceptions of others is the basest of politics. Telling half-truths and sowing confusion is the realm of the ward-heeler, not the servant.

There is no "secret" being kept from the citizens of New Albany. But there are citizens of New Albany who are allowing themselves to be led astray in the belief that there is a "big, bad wolf" called government. You are the government. Be personally active in finding out the truth. Don't let anyone else tell you what to think.

Randy Smith,

Sunday, May 29, 2005

In memoriam

Remember our troops in war zones, who follow the orders of their commanders and put their lives on the line each day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the count of U.S. military fatalities in Iraq approaches 1,700, give thought this Memorial Day to those families and the families of all who died in the service of our country.

The King vs. The Wizard

With kudos and apologies to lyricist and composer Scott Davis, as interpreted by Big E, himself:

As the rumors fly…

On a cold and gray Indiana morn’
An angry little demagogue is born
In the Grotto.
And his mama cries.
‘cause if there’s one thing that she don’t plead to
It’s another simple mind that she's got to read to
In the Grotto.

People, don’t you understand
The child is a boy named Dan
And he’ll grow to be an angry councilman some day.
Take a look at you and me,
Are we too blind to see,
Do we simply turn our heads
And look the other way.

Well the world turns
And an angry man Dan with a chip on his shoulder
Jangles bathroom keys to make him feel bolder
In the Grotto.

And his anger burns
So he starts to bully everyone in sight
And he learns how to lie, throwing mud each night
About matters even he really knows are slight
In the Grotto.

Then one night in desperation
He brings on board a little congregation
He builds straw men, he hatches plots,
Takes advantage of all those who are have-nots
And his mama cries.

As a light exposes an angry councilman in
Stopping anything he don’t have his hand in
In the Grotto.

He fired his shot with the tools at hand
Looking out for his spot as the man named Dan
From the Grotto

And his mama cries.

Now is the time for integrity and leadership from our City Council. Members should identify themselves as being part of the conspiracy to defame Mrs. Garry, or should speak out loudly to condemn this abuse. That includes you, Mr. Coffey. If this is your doing, take responsibility for it. If not, then condemn it as the gutlessness it is on its face.
Randy Smith,