Category Archives: Uncategorized

Indy, Meet Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Meet Indy

With all eyes on the 317 area code this weekend, I thought I would take an opportunity to introduce the citizens of Marion County to the shiny newborn city of Indy located in the middle of the county. Its a small city, and it not only gets all of the tax revenue generated countywide, but even rakes in millions from the region and rest of the state as well. About the size of the Vatican, Indy is roughly bounded by I 65/I 70 on the north, east and south sides of downtown and White River on the west.

Its a very beautiful city built special for the Super Bowl to make the folks from out of town believe “there’s more than corn in Indiana” which is the important targeted message they have settled upon to sell folks on Indy. But Indy is a different place than Indianapolis, the real city surrounding Indy. This is a tale of two cities that live on top of each other.

In Indy, beautiful buildings, shiny new amenities, clean streets and absolutely NO homeless seen anywhere near Super Bowl Village is what you will see while here for Super Bowl 46. If you take a cab out to Indianapolis though, you’ll find a much different scene. Payday loan centers, pawn shops, liquor stores and fast food shops galore are the usual scene where I live. Streets are filthy and riddled with holes, and your brother, his wife and their baby are sleeping in your living room since their foreclosure so you personally are acquainted with homelessness.

In Indy you can wander the streets with an open container of beer in your hand, drink it in front of cops and no one says a word. In Indianapolis you get arrested for public intoxication and end up paying steep fines for doing the same thing in your own home’s driveway. If you have a joint in your cigarette pack and the cops find it, you can do a year in jail and pay up to $5000 in fines. In Indy, folks feel free enough to walk around smoking a joint in front of cops.

In Indy thousands show up for free concerts by corporate logo draped musicians selling products from the stage for their corporate masters. In Indianapolis, local musicians who write far superior music with emotion and feeling play to rooms with their girlfriends and family members mixed with drunks from the neighborhood.

In Indy, if you lose your child or developmentally disabled adult the cops will help locate them for you and reunite you with your loved ones. In Indianapolis, the cops will show up with Child Protective Services because your 11 year old daughter called 911 to say “Mommy was being mean and won’t feed me” because you wouldn’t let her watch raunchy music videos on YouTube.

So visitors, keep in mind you are seeing our best foot forward when you visit Indy, but if you want to see a real picture of this city, come and visit Indianapolis sometime.

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How to Make Friends in Blogtopia

pwlogo.jpgAs anyone who has met me in person or online knows, politics and news about politics pretty much dominates my online activities. I’ve been a political activist most of my life having got started at a fairly young age with an incident involving a PTO meeting, a pop song and a complete misunderstanding of lyrics by parents that I felt strongly should be explained. For more on that story, visit my fellow FireDogLake commenter Miss Fiddyment’s site.

One of the daily resources I use to keep up to date on political news is Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire website. Every morning the first thing I check in my email inbox is the daily digest sent out in the wee hours of the morning by PW that is a compilation of stories Goddard is tracking on his blog. This is a valuable way to cut down the time I spend reading through the feed reader by getting my hands on the top headlines happening in the political world via a single email so when I opened today’s email and saw this item posted I felt compelled to take part.

Now, to be honest, this is a selfish post for both Taegan Goddard and myself. We both get something out of the deal. The 5 or so people who read my blog get a chance to find out “what does Joh do when he wakes up, what is he reading?” and Goddard gets to have my blog post about his site along with the dozens of other sites that will link to him today, giving him an impressive one day traffic boost which never hurts the Google ranking and hit counter. I usually avoid this sort of thing, but he is asking for advice from bloggers, I like his site, plus he asked nicely and hey – I wouldn’t mind a link to this place from him and the shot at $100 to spend at Amazon on the kind of useless crap I buy from there.

So on to the advice portion of the post since he asked for some. My first thought on this is that his site does a fantastic job on the information side of things. He always seems to have a great handle on the actually important stories of the day, so I can’t really knock him for this. There are a few things about his site that if I were running it I would probably resolve to work on, first of which is a noticeable lack of images that appear with his postings.

Now I understand the sparse, info-is-king approach that Goddard takes is one of the key features of his site, but I’m not saying he needs to turn into Flickr and become a photo sharing site or anything. All I am saying is it might be nice to include a post every day with a new photo of the day or image roundup that posts a few photos from the campaign trail. There is always a campaign going on somewhere every day that generates an image he could feature that would be an enhancement to his posts.

Second, his site tends to be more of a one way flow of information kind of site. I have found that sites such as this tend to get hamstrung slightly and lose out on the benefits of a strong comment section culture where all the people who read his site can gather, trade comments, praise him, bitch and moan about him, whatever. It may be a design issue that prevents this, it may be the tone of his posts or something else entirely that prevents a strong comment culture from forming, but if he were to make a commenting culture take root on his site I think it might benefit him and his readers since I am fairly certain he has a bipartisan readership and not enough sites can do what he does and maintain that bipartisanship.

Third, I would also like to see more video and audio used on the site. There are numerous video and audio items generated for political Blogtopia daily, he ought to aggregate the best of those and include some podcasts and vlog posts in his roundup every morning. This works hand in hand with the image issue I raised earlier. Rich media is a great way to punch up the impact of a site and doing what he does with PW is hard to do and keep things interesting on its own, having pretty pictures that move and things to listen to while reading the rest of his site would only be a bonus for his readers.

Well that’s it for me, I think those are the only issues I could offer advice on. I hope this review of your site helps you out a bit Taegan, I really enjoy your work and I hope you will keep at it for a long time to come. If you would like an experienced multimedia producer to work with you on punching up the multimedia on your site, send me an email or give me a call at the number over there on the right in the contact me section. Good luck with everything and I hope this advice helps in some way to improve an already great site.

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State of the Blog Address

Well its been a while since this blog was updated and this has bugged me for some time so I decided to do something about it by conducting a State of the Blog address. The State of the Blog is not too good. I feel like I’ve neglected a good opportunity to do some work here by myself for a change and find myself not able to focus on blogging for my own priorities. I’ve been otherwise engaged in some attention diverting projects and my health as a consequence has become compromised so once more I am finding myself scaling back my activities in January to refocus energy on healing and putting health issues behind me.

I am also saddened by the situation my brother Tom and his wife April are finding themselves in at this time. April is having surgery on Monday, January 22nd at which time she is having a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy due to her second bout of breast cancer. In an effort to help them I am asking everyone to keep April Padgett in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for her.

Also, please keep Jane Hamsher in your thoughts and prayers as well. The lioness of Firedoglake.com has been a wonderful friend and is herself entering her third bout with breast cancer as well. I hope that the thoughts and prayers of the Netroots community will carry her through this as well, and she will be prayed for right alongside my sister in law April and all the others in this world suffering from catastrophic illnesses.

As soon as I feel up to returning I will come back to this blog and begin anew the effort to use this space for productive purposes. For now I am taking a short hiatus to reorganize things and I look forward to a return in the near future.

Sincerely,

Joh Padgett

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Election Day Snafus

Looks like we have the first problems cropping up in Muncie. 75 precincts could not start voting until technicians worked with pollworkers to start the machines. More at WISH TV.

Closer to home, Sheila Smith showed up at her precinct on the south side of Indianapolis to vote like she has every election day for more than a decade, only to find that she was not registered to vote any longer. A mistake in the database assembled for the state by their contractopr Quest was behind the snafu, and a Certificate of Error was issued allowing her to vote after confirming that she did indeed have a valid registration.

This outsourcing most of the election duties to others thing is working out real well isn’t it?

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What He Said

My friend SteveAudio has a post over at Corrente today that is well worth reading and then some. He discusses the recent Worldwide Press Freedom report issued by Reporters Without Borders and a separate article from Amnesty International about bloggers being the target of government censorship worldwide. The money quote from Steve comes at the end: Continue reading

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Donita’s Debut Podcast

I’ve been editing the column Donita Sparks does called The Spin I’m In on Firedoglake.com every Friday since it began in June and just yesterday we finally launched her first podcast. We had been planning to launch this for a while but just now got around to doing so.

It went very well, we had 68 plays according to our page on Odeo as of this writing. Not bad, not a huge number but still not bad for a podcast that no one knows about yet in great numbers. Maybe a little promotion will boost that number. I urge you to check it out regardless, she has an interesting set of tunes she picked this week.

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Friday Night Videos

So this second installment of Friday Night Videos I figured I would expand the post a little and give you more than one video to make this a worthwhile time spent on ye olde blog here. There is no real rhyme or reason to my tune selection so don’t read anything into that other than these are tunes I felt strong enough about to share with folks. All of these have the FiniFinito/DJ Joh Seal of Approval and are videos I think a person with a modicum of musical taste would enjoy. With that in mind, I give you the following 5 videos beneath the fold. Continue reading

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