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A Citizen's Guide to Indiana

Masson's Blog

Last Build Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:32:53 +0000


“School Choice” is like diverting money from parks to backyard swingsets and calling it “recreational choice”

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:32:53 +0000

There is more to “public” part of public schools than merely government funding. It denotes a population with a common interest. We are not merely a collection of individuals, workers, consumers, or taxpayers. The concept of citizens and the public are closely aligned. Public education isn’t important merely because it serves the public, it is […]

On Historical Perspective and Political Discussion

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 15:19:08 +0000

It’s difficult to talk to someone about how things are if you don’t share, or at least recognize, their understanding of how things have been. Anyone who has been reading this blog for very long will probably have stumbled across me ranting about the “kids these days” genre of social aggrievement. (I happen to think […]

Challenge to Election 2016 under the “Guarantee Clause” of the Constitution

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:23:35 +0000

Friend of the blog, and accomplished Indiana lawyer, Mark Small has become involved in a case challenging the 2016 Presidential Election. Pro se petitioners from Massachusetts petitioned the First Circuit for a writ of mandamus to conduct a new election, alleging that Article IV, section 4 of the United States Constitution guarantees a republican form […]

130th Anniversary of the “Black Day” of the Indiana General Assembly

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:59:06 +0000

February 24, 1887, became known as the “Black Day of the General Assembly” when political tensions devolved into an all out brawl. The following is from my bicentennial installment on Gov. Isaac Gray, “The Sisyphus of the Wabash.” In 1884, Governor Gray had aspirations to have the General Assembly elect him to the U.S. Senate. […]

Vouchers do not improve education

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:02:44 +0000

Kevin Carey, writing for the Upshot, has a column about recent studies that indicate vouchers are not improving educational outcomes. There has really never been strong evidence showing that voucher students do better than students attending traditional public schools. And, recent studies, show that they probably do worse. Given that traditional public schools add value […]

Indiana gets high ranking for “small business climate”

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:10:37 +0000

A few of our state legislators were on Twitter touting Indiana’s ranking for “small business climate” reported in Inside Indiana Business (your number one source for people saying “Inside Indiana Business.”) The rankings came from the “Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council” which appears to be a conservative advocacy group. The group’s rankings are based on […]

HB 1024: Mandating Creation of Limited Public Forum Permitting Students to Engage in Religious Expression during School Events

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:28:00 +0000

Rep. Bartlett (800-382-9842) has introduced HB 1024 which has a number of provisions concerning treatment of religion in public schools. The provision I’m concerned about mandates creation of a limited public forum at school events where students speak. I’ll get to that in a second. Some of the stuff that I like or am indifferent […]

Rep. Milo Smith blocked independent redistricting legislation instead of proposing amendments

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:45:13 +0000

Julie McClure, writing for the Columbus Republic, has an article on how Rep. Milo Smith (317-232-9620) blocked HB 1014, introduced by Rep. Jerry Torr and prepared by the interim special study committee on redistricting. The bill  establishes a redistricting commission “to create, hold hearings on, take public comment about, and recommend plans to redraw general […]

75th Anniversary of EO 9066 and American Internment of Japanese Americans

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:38:15 +0000

A couple of days ago, Amy and I were talking about the internment of Japanese Americans in the U.S. during the 1940s. One of the things we discussed was how little we learned about this monumental event when we were in high school. She didn’t remember hearing about it. I remembered a little, but no […]

Book: The Silk Roads

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:40:15 +0000

I’m only 50 pages in, but I thought I’d mention a book that I’m really enjoying at the moment called “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan. I responded to a friend in a Facebook post, and enjoyed my own response enough (I’m modest that way) to want to convert […]