The Happy Slave

This is my surrender to the Powers that Be, who wish we all were just happy little slaves, tooling along without a care in the world, doing what our better-educated masters tell us to do, not daring to step out of line. I'm so bad at surrender...

Location: Indianapolis, United States

I'm an old-fashioned Get-out-of-my-face-atarian. So long as the gubmint left me alone, I had no problems with it. Gubmint wants to run my life, so I'm doing something about it. (Not just blogging, either.)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Democrat = Republican = LOONIES!

I tend to like to actually add commentary to a link that I post, but this one just about speaks for itself. It turns out that conservatives and liberals are completely and thoroughly irrational. There's no surprise to me on that one. No doubt this will get no more mention in the press, especially since it repudiated a deeply-cherished bigotry of the left. (Other studies have long since repudiated many bigotries of the right.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Get the fox out of the henhouse.

Sometimes, tired old proverbs really do make sense. Some of them are so truthful that they exist in many languages. Machts nicht den Bock zum Gärtner! is one of them. It translates as "Don't make the goat the gardner." Our own version is "Don't let the fox guard the henhouse." We all know what that means. A goat as gardener or fox in charge of a henhouse will just set up the rules to devour everything, leaving the owner with nothing. For nearly two centuries, the fox has been in charge of the Hoosier henhouse and the goat has been tearing up our garden.

I am talking, of course, about gerrymandering. Indiana politicians love the 1800s. It was the era of biggest patronage, biggest spoils system hiring, and biggest political machine hijinks. Boss Tweed was an upstanding, honest, and purely transparent citizen with a strong social conscience by comparison. Indiana has one of the worst arrangements of state legislature elective districts in the country. Non-competitive districting destroys democratic institutions. It tells people who aren't part of the party machine that they simply do not matter. Set-aside districts guarantee that elected officials never have to actually listen to the people. So long as the borders are drawn with enough corruption, the blind partisan vote will keep them in office.

So, why am I bothering to complain about this now? Much to my surprise, the Indiana General Assembly House of Representatives has actually decided to enter the 20th century only five years after the 21st century began. A bill has been floated by the majority party to take redistricting out of the hands of the legislators and give it to a commission. The best part is that it would make using political data for redistricting purposes a felony. It's high time that Indiana stopped pretending that the year was 1831. It's quite telling that it's the Democratic party that is opposing this measure the most vehemently.

Evidently, Democrats are of the opinion that districting would be bad for them if it isn't don on the basis of special priviliges and set-asides. However, the Republicans in the state senate aren't much better. Any Hoosier who happens to read this should contact your state senator and state representative and let those creatures know, in no uncertain terms, that it is time for Indiana to stop pretending that it's 1831. It's time for Indiana to have open and competitive elections, not priviliged set-aside districts that gurantee a corrupt or incompetent incumbent a lifetime term. If you have any feelings for Indiana other than blind hatred, you will agree that a change like this is a long time coming. Specifically, contact your state senator and state representative and tell them that you want Indiana brought into the 20th century before the 21st century is over. Competitive districts produce responsive legislators. Non-competitive districts produce government of, by, and for entrenched anti-public interests.