Sunday, August 29, 2010
Here I sit, a 24-year-old husband and father of a 15-month-old son (with another on the way as well, thank you very much). I have a mortgage, a car loan, and probably too many credit cards. I work 40-plus hours a week, plus attend school full time, plus my plethora of hobbies and commitments with politics. I can be drafted, I can be called on for jury duty, and I'm expected to pay my taxes.
Yet I'm deemed so stupid and apparently childish that I can't make my own decision as to whether or not I wear a seat belt. I can only buy so many cans of beer at a time, and certainly not on a Sunday. In some cities, I'm not even allowed to salt my food! And God forbid a want a few tasty trans fats on my burger.
I remember thinking when I was in high school about all the freedom I'd have when I became an adult, how I wouldn't feel like I was being treated like a child anymore. I don't want to go as far as calling this a "big brother" society just yet; there are quite a few other liberties that would need to be eroded before I'll be willing start espousing such quips. However, with the direction that we've been moving as a country, I wouldn't be surprised if such a horror could become a reality.
"Adult kids" are becoming more of a norm than the exceptions to the rule. It's one thing to live with mommy and daddy while attending school, or saving up some money, or because an individual is just dealt a few bad hands in life and needs some recoup time. It's another when no too little effort is put forth to become a productive member of society.
While this is ultimately a job of the parents to give the "adult kid" a good swift kick in the behind for some motivation, and granted not enough parents are willing to do this and so the fault falls on them in a major way, the laws that we've been passing are not helping out at all.
Take this latest health care reform bill, for instance. All other parts aside, agreements and disagreements and politically charged debate aside, the worst thing we could do is to extend the age to 26 for "adult kids" to stay on the insurance of their parents.
Now, a college student? I could understand that. But there are no such stipulations. Should I, as a husband and father and adult, be able to piggy back on "daddy's" insurance? Absolutely not! At age 26, one is supposed to have some kind of direction, some goals of one sort or the other. They aren't supposed to be given even more incentive to leech off of their parents.
But these are only a few of the instances where we, as society, are treated like children, and they are only the symptoms of the greater problem -- that so many in government truly believe we should all be taken care of, with no regard to the examples being set and incentives that make people in society shrug their shoulders and let their proverbial diapers be changed.
I can clean up after and take care of myself quite well, thank you very much, Mr. and or Mrs. Politician. I already have somebody to tell me what to do: she's called my wife.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It states that the County Chairperson had no authority to appoint me. Not only is this untrue, but the Indiana State Republican party is on record (through its spokesman) stating that everything was done properly. Why then was it filed?
I don't know what was in the heart and mind of the challenger, a Republican town councilman from Winfield, but he claims that he was improperly excluded from consideration to be the judicial candidate. He clearly had the same opportunities I did to put my name in the hat. His challenge was filed by a lawyer with longstanding ties to the Democratic party and although the challenger knew about the situation last May he waited until August 10 to file the challenge.
Why wait? You may be surprised to learn that under Indiana law the mere filing of this challenge -- whatever its merit -- takes me off the ballot until the Indiana Election Commission or a Court orders me back on. A hearing has not yet been scheduled and the absentee ballots for the general election will probably be printed in mid September. That leaves a few weeks to get a determination that I should properly be on the ballot. My hearing is before the Indiana Election Commission - a four person body made up of two Democrats and two Republicans. A split decision does not return me to the ballot and if I am unsuccessful there I must file a suit to be returned the the ballot. I will let the voters decide what has happened.
Early in this campaign I stated that there is no room for politics in justice. Here again, political gamesmanship may trump the voter's ability to choose the best candidate for the position. This is reminiscent of the circumstances in the Democratic primary where only two candidates learned in time that Judge Arredondo would retire from the race.
Merit selection is a far better method to choose judges. In what is unavoidably a partisan election for judge -- why can't the voters simply be allowed to choose the better candidate?
In a place where the names of most candidates are well-known and predictable, my name is not on everyone’s lips. Let me tell you something about myself because I am asking for your support to be elected the next Judge of the Lake County Circuit Court. I was born and raised in Lake County. I am a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), the Indiana University School of Law (Bloomington) and then Purdue Calumet (where I received a Master's degree in English).
My wife and I raised three wonderful daughters and I built a successful civil law practice by stressing creativity, scholarship, integrity and service to my clients. Lake County has been good to my family and it is the only home we have ever known. After concentrating on practicing law full-time for 34 years, I am seeking my first political office and first government job – as Judge of the Lake County Circuit Court. I have not spent my entire career negotiating the world of Lake County politics. What I bring to this campaign are excellent academic credentials, extensive legal and courtroom experience.
Please tell five of your Lake County friends about my campaign and ask them to call five of their friends. This election offers you many excellent, highly qualified candidates who are asking you for the opportunity to serve our community. We need to spread the word that the voters of Lake County have a real choice this November 2nd. The Lake County Circuit Court is a powerful position and the individual you elect should be carefully vetted and meet your highest standards. Your vote should be based on a candidate's merits and not simply on the familiarity of his name or blind party loyalty. You have already taken the first step in making that choice by visiting this website. Take the time to compare my opponent to me and then decide who is the better candidate. I hope I can count on your vote and your support.
P.S. Please visit my Facebook page, "William I. Fine for Judge," and show your support for my campaign. We reached 300 supporters by early August. Can we hit 400 by October 1?
William I. Fine for Judge
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kim Krull – Lake County Republican Central Committee Chairwoman
(219) 775-8488 (after 4:30pm M-F)
Lake County Republican Website
Democratic Machine Wants to Take Voters' Choice Way
CROWN POINT, IND., August 19, 2010 – Lake County GOP chairwoman, Kim Krull, has worked very hard since she was elected October 31, 2009 to find qualified candidates to run countywide. In 2009 the Lake County Republican Party voted to give the chairman, whoever he or she might be, the authority to appoint qualified Republicans as candidates if there was an opening after the primary.
The only positions the chairman could not fill are those vacancies after the primary for a state office.
The resolution which was filed per law with the Indiana Republican Party is office specific and not person specific. But that is not stopping the Democrats from trying to use that resolution to remove voters’ choices from the November ballot. Voters may only be allowed to vote for 2 democratic candidates that both have broken the law and now want to be employed by the hard-working citizens of Lake County.
Ms. Krull stated, “The mob-like tactics of the democrats is an offense against not just the Republican party but the residents of Lake County. We have given the voters a choice this November and the democrats want to take that choice away. And the sad part about this is when this challenge to Mr. Adams is heard before the Lake County Board of Elections, it will not matter how right we are or how flawed the challenge is.
The Election Board has 3 democrats and only 2 Republicans and the democrats can vote to uphold the challenge and keep our candidate off. Every voter in Lake County should be outraged by these strong-arm maneuvers that the democrats are using to prevent qualified people like Mr. Fine and Mr. Adams from even being placed on the ballot They know they are in trouble this November so now they want to bully us off the ballot.”
So far the democrats have not challenged any other Republican appointments who should appear on the ballot this November. They have only filed against the top two county Republicans who were expected to win.
However, the deadline to challenge is not over. There could be more challenges. It’s a sad day for voters in Lake County who are being controlled by the democrat mob.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Should Indiana 'Stand With Arizona' ?
This Saturday, August 21st, 5:00pm at Woodland Park, 2100 Willowland Rd, Portage, IN we will have an opportunity to answer just that question here in NW Indiana.
State Senator Mike Delph, whom I have come to respect, will be in town proposing that question. Mr. Delph has proposed this question before as he has in the past introduced legislation similar to Arizona's.
However, the Justice Department and the Federal Government are arguing that the Arizona Statute is unconstitutional. The 14th Amendment empowers the Feds to restrain the States, through litigation, when they see the States superseding their constitutional boundaries. In 1939 the State of Pennsylvania enacted legislation requiring all aliens to register with the State as they were concerned with Nazi sympathizer, locating them and detaining them. Of course, the law made it to the Supreme Court where it was struck down. The reason, for the same reason that Arizona law is unconstitutional, is because when States join this union they give up their ability to deal with foreign nations and foreign nationals. That is strictly Federal domain. Essentially, this falls under the supremacy clause and even tho I am a strong defender of State Sovereignty, dealing with foreign governments and foreign nationals is strictly a Federal domain.
Be this as it may, I do agree with enacting Arizona style legislation for it serves as a wake up call to the Federal Government that it is time to take this problem seriously. For if they don't, it leaves one ultimate option to the States:
It is of my opinion, regardless of whether Arizona's legislation is constitutional or not, that Indiana and other States of the union should take steps like this to wake the Feds up.
So I'm asking all the readers to support Mike Delph and Shawn Olson this Saturday in Portage by 'Standing with Arizona' !!!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I used to read a blogger who called a lot of his posts com-posts: they started as comments but grew into posts that he couldn't leave on someone else's blog. This is one of those mighty oaks which grew from a tiny acorn. I wanted to be lighthearted, like about the county courthouse dome, and now time to be heavy.
I want to thank Mr. Tracy for thoroughly proving Mr. Gearhart's point. To modify Warhol's famous quote: in the future, everyone will be a bigot for fifteen minutes. I was told back in February by an old classmate of a friend of mine that anyone against Obamacare is a bigot. When I was against it packaged as Hilarycare I wasn't a bigot, but under O's name now I am. There used to be a score of anti-war folk at the Highland flag memorial all the time when Bush was in, but since Obama, none. I guess they don't want to be called bigots. McDermott wanted to replace Seaton on the Democrat ticket for assessor, and Rudy Clay called that racism. We all including Mr. Gearhart agree that there's nothing the state can do to stop this, but we think it's in poor taste and a foolish idea on which the Muslims will follow through. Now we're bigots and or idiots, for disagreeing on whether this move is a bad relations move for them.
There are some points with which I shall disagree with Mr. Tracy. 90% of blacks didn't vote against Republicans or conservatives. Being white and being fully able to participate in politics without hold-backs is something we are so used to, it's like the oxygen around us, so "there" that we forget it is there. Blacks saw the first candidate who was one of them who had a decent shot, and this was their chance to see their school win the state title, so to speak. And I saw both after the election and the inauguration how they stood a little more straight, held their chins a wee bit higher, and carried themselves with a bit more swagger and bravado, and thought if there was anything good to come from his election, it was African Americans' ability to finally take a deep, free breath and feel they arrived after 400 years of fringedom. Good for them! Catholics did the same for Kennedy 48 years previously, before which they were the "not quite 100% Americans" in majority eyes. Oh, California: blacks voted in droves to give Obama a landslide, and those same hands that voted for Obama also voted in droves to make Proposition 8 pass with flying colors in a very socially liberal state, liberal except for the black preachers and little old church ladies and choir members etc.
Many Catholics vote Democrat for the same reason they call themselves Catholic even though they haven't seen the inside of a church except for funerals and weddings since Confirmation 25 years ago: identity. Practicing Catholics who live the tenets of the faith, receive the Sacraments, and go to church at least 3/4 Sundays a month and support it with their labor and donations, let's poll them. The rest, they're as Catholic as Christopher Hitchens, and couldn't name the 7 Sacraments or the 7 Deadly Sins on a bet. You know RINO's. These are CINO's and DINO's.
Republicans will never, ever, get Muslims in their camp as a group, social issue conservatism or not. After all, remember it's the liberals who cover for them at every turn: that's their ally until they achieve Critical Mass, beyond which point non-Muslims of any persuasion are irrelevant. If any other group, whether old school Mormons, or Mafiosos, or militiamen, even private community, tries to establish a government within while outside the purview of the US or state government, in comes the RICO Act, ATF, and all sorts of stuff to flush it out. But Muslims can start their Sharia in their closed communities and the liberals will defend them to the hilt, as has happened in Europe.
I now like the 15 story (it was 13, now fortified with two count 'em two more stories of F You) Islamic Conquest Center idea. It so puts to the lie all the PC stuff. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and this falls under the Stulac revision of Twain's, "Why be quiet and have them think you're an insufferable tool, when you can build a tower at the attack site and remove all doubt." One thing Islam has today that Catholicism lost is its powerful, thorough belief in itself (witness all the pro-abortion voting Catholics). It reminds me of Germany re-occupying the Rhineland: a tactical failure if the bluff is called, the destruction of the rebuilding campaign with the swipe of one French division. But the West caved, and France had the wind knocked out of it while Germany was the rooster of the block.
Here's a video of Dearborn MI, where Muslims have their critical mass. Notice all of the Muslims speak Stand American English with zero accent: they are born here.
Mr. Tracy I'm so glad you're back. I was going to ask if it made sense for Lake County to reskin its government center, since the ugliness of the current facade might be responsible for the current miserable condition of county government.
A few quick thoughts on today's luncheon at Strongbows Inn in Valparaiso today. Congressman Mike Pence was invited by the Porter County Republicans to speak and help raise money for local elections. He was introduced by Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas with the quote: "we need change not just for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren ..."
Attendance was high, probably higher than organizers expected, since I saw extra tables being set up even as lunch was being served.
Perhaps the statements that Congressman Pence made that will make the papers were his comments on the 9-11 site and the possibility of a mosque being built there. Although acknowledging that local officials have the decision making authority and responsibility and therefore Congress has no role, he said (paraphrase) a cultural center celebrating Muslim heritage and philosophy is no more appropriate at the site of the World Trade Center 9-11 attacks than a similar Japanese cultural center at the site of the Pearl Harbor attacks in Hawaii.
He even said that this is the first time he has commented on the controversy. Thanks for picking Valparaiso for the place to go public Mike!
More later, and links tomorrow to news reports, the cynic in me thinks the reports will be twisted just a bit. All the other comments were focused on retaking Congress and the Indiana House, with a groundswell of grassroots effort all over Indiana, including Porter County.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
On a legal basis, there isn't much to be said against it. Private groups can privately buy property and put up whatever the hell they want to. The permits were all approved, and really, that's that.
I understand the opposition, however. While I can't see anything that can be done about the mosque being built, it does give me an uneasy feeling. Not because it's necessarily a "celebration mosque", although I can't say for sure it's not, but because it just...doesn't feel right.
Let's say that I decided to build a museum dedicated to the most successful white people in Gary, Indiana. It wouldn't be right, and the predominately African American community in that city would be rightly pissed off because it would seem like a slap in the face.
Or, let's say that I decided to buy property and put up a KKK historical museum next to the building that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in. It would be a huge slap in the face, and there would be a LOT of negative reactions.
Granted, this is a LITTLE different, since it has to do primarily with freedom of religion in our country that allows anyone and everyone to worship however he/she feels, but it's a little bit similar as well because it involves an uneasy clash between cultures that has resulted in violence and death.
Now, some may read this opinion and immediately jump on the "he's a bigot" bandwagon. That's a shame. I would have hoped that we were a civilized enough society where people could intelligently speak to each other and express concerns. Sure, there are some bigots that have a somewhat similar view as me. I'm also against abortion, and so automatically fall into the "male chauvinistic pig" category to some. That's o.k. with me, really. I know what I am and I know how I feel about certain things, and as I showed earlier on in this article, I know how to separate my feelings from my intelligence, something that far too many liberals aren't capable of doing.
As noted at the beginning, there isn't anything anyone can do about it. What I would love to see is the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomburg, a pretty liberal Republican, take the initiative and arrange a meeting between the people that are trying to build the mosque and those in charge of the Anti-Defamation League, the nations largest Jewish civil rights group and most vocal opponents of the mosque, along with, perhaps, some of the family members of those that died during 9/11, and work out an agreement. Hell, have a beer summit!
In fact, I think President Obama would have been better off taking this approach as well rather than simply coming out in support of the mosque. I agree with his stance on religious freedom (although it would be nice if liberals had this same zeal for it during Christmas time) but he really pigeon holed himself and allowed for an "open Obama season" to spring up, and especially with the general election coming up so soon, I'm sure a lot of moderate Democrats are shaking their head right now and wishing he would have taken a more moderate approach.
Regardless of what SHOULD be done, what HAS been done, and what WILL be done, regarding this mosque, people shouldn't immediately label those with opposing view points bigots. All that it shows is that that individual either doesn't want to take the time to have an intelligent debate on the subject, or doesn't really care about the matter anyways. By backing people into the corner of "racist", or "bigot", or "hate monger", all that does is get the attention of those that don't have a proverbial horse in this race and cause them to start being sympathetic to those that are being labeled wrongly. If you really want to make a point regarding such touchy issues as those mentioned in this article, take a breath, realize that everybody has a different viewpoint and a different slant on every issue, and calmly begin to assert your opinion. You'll be surprised how much could be achieved.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
So is anybody interested in the details or have any of their own war stories to share?
Top of the Ticket - Porter County Commissioner features incumbent Bob Harper against Republican challenger Nancy Adams. Bob Harper on facebook. Nancy Adams on facebook. Bob Harper's Fan Page. Nancy Adams Fan Page. For the record as of today we're tracking the facebook straw poll favoring Bob Harper 314-276. Although straw polls aren't very reliable, this one does only allow one facebook profile to vote one time each, not a bad representation so far.
Bob Harper's webpage link.
Nancy Adams webpage link, just went live today actually.
One leader said "this is the most important election of our decade for Porter County"
Bob Harper said "the future of Porter County will be decided in the next few years"
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
It doesn't have to be as grand as the original, just something.
Old court photo courtesy Porter County Government site, current image from the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce annual cover.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Since Rich Jackson and the Post-Tribune have referred to me as a "naysayer" in the past, and even though I patently reject the idea that one is a "naysayer" simply because one doesn't support another's agenda, I thought I would take up the challenge Jackson recently posted in his column.
As I understand it, he would like to know what the "naysayers" think we can do to improve the quality of life, as well as job opportunities, in Porter County.
I always have believed that the most important thing that can be done to increase employment opportunities in Porter County is to preserve those qualities that make Porter County the type of community entrepreneurs and business people want to settle down in to grow their businesses and raise their families.
How can we do this?
The first and most important aspect is our planning. We must ensure that we don't create a hodgepodge type of county where it is impossible to know where a city begins and ends. We must resist the urge to create a place of strip malls, bright lights and signs where no more rural or residential land remains.
To that end, we have passed the Unified Development Ordinance, which encourages commercial, retail and multifamily housing to be built within the cities so as to keep intact the rural residential and agricultural flavor of the county.
The Green Space Ordinance we passed requires new subdivisions to set aside a percentage of green space to help maintain some of the beauty that Porter County possesses.
Furthermore, the "naysayers" managed to pass a tree ordinance, along with numerous ordinances that deal with buffering zones. In this way we can save trees, as well as controlling lighting and the size of signage. All of this is done in an attempt to make sure that when a new subdivision comes in, it is an addition to the county rather than a distraction.
One of the biggest problems we have had in Porter County is with drainage. To that end we have passed drainage ordinances, some of which are the most progressive in the state of Indiana, to ensure that future development does not cause drainage problems for surrounding property owners.
We "naysayers" are concerned about providing park land, and because of this we set aside money each year for the Park Department so it can purchase new property and continue to set aside park land each year for future residents of Porter County.
Moreover, we created Porter County's first redevelopment commission. This commission is working to secure federal grants to improve sidewalks and roads within the county.
Most importantly, we "naysayers" wish to provide good government. If we truly want to attract good, quality development and industry, we need to do that -- not by growing government but by providing good government that is under control.
It is my belief that keeping taxes low is important to quality of life in any county, especially those taxes paid by homeowners. Moreover, this "naysayer" does not want to see a whole series of new income taxes put on the citizens of Porter County. I don't think in any way this will make us attractive to outside growth.
Another aspect we are interested in for the county's future is the wonderful educational opportunities we have, and to ensure these educational opportunities continue to be available. To that end, the Porter County Council and the County Commissioners each year have tried to help keep the Portage Adult Education program open.
Porter County has broken ground on one of the most modern and extensive hospitals in Northwest Indiana. We "naysayers" firmly believe this type of development will most assuredly attract new business to the county.
In all, Porter County is trying to provide good government, and I think we should be allowed to stand on our own and do that.
Bob Harper is a Porter County commissioner.