Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What Patriotic Christians Can Do For America

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is founder-pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He is also the host of a lively, hard-hitting radio talk show called, "Chuck Baldwin Live." He was the 2004 vice presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. I agree with much of Dr. Baldwin's advice for the patriotic Christian. He writes:

Continuing to vote for the majority of establishment candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties will accomplish nothing. Voters have been changing the composition of their various and sundry elected offices for decades, and nothing has changed. The country continues to plummet down the proverbial slippery slope.

Neither will listening to the major news media, including Fox News, prepare one to be a difference-maker...

If you are a Christian, do your best to find a church where the pastor knows what is going on and is not afraid to teach and preach politically incorrect Bible truth...

Our country's problems are, first and foremost, spiritual in nature. Therefore, solutions will ultimately never be discovered inside the halls of Congress; rather, they will be found in the hearts and lives of God's people...

Secondly, begin educating yourself. Stop relying on the major news outlets to bring you the news. I heartily recommend the New American Magazine...

Internet news sites such as News With Views and World Net Daily are also valuable sources of information...

Thirdly, get involved with likeminded patriots. Hook up with your local John Birch Society. Join Larry Pratt's Gun Owners of America...

Fourthly, never discount prayer. God's true champions have seldom, if ever, been a majority. Throughout history, God has used a small number of faithful and courageous Christian soldiers to accomplish His divine will. He can still do so.

If everyone reading this column would sincerely and seriously be willing to change their affiliations and associations, would endeavor to personally educate and inform themselves with the truth, would endeavor to not knowingly support organizations and individuals that contribute to the compromise of our national sovereignty and independence, and would be willing to fervently and faithfully pray for America, there is no telling what may result.

So, what are you waiting for? Get busy!

What Patriotic Christians Can Do For America

Chuck Baldwin Endorses The New American and JBS

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jefferson Davis by Charley Reese -- Who are the real Democrats?

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years. He writes:

And what, you might well ask, is a Jeffersonian Democrat? He's a person who hasn't forgotten that the sovereign states created the federal government, not the reverse, as some today seem to assume. He believes that what the Constitution created was a republic of sovereign states, and that the carefully limited powers assigned to the federal government were all the powers it had, in peace or in war. He believes the Constitution is a binding contract, not a rubbery document that can mean anything a judge or a politician says it means. He believes in a system of checks and balances. In short, he believes in the Declaration of Independence.

That document, you might recall, says that the only purpose of government is to protect rights already granted by God, and that when a government fails to protect those rights and begins to abuse them, the people have the right to alter or overthrow it...

H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore journalist, in his usually blunt way said the only thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was that it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for government "of the people, by the people and for the people."

So to add to the definition of Jeffersonian Democrats, they were a majority of the Founding Fathers, a majority who fought the American Revolution, a majority who wrote the Constitution, and a majority who fought for Southern independence. No wonder the precious few still extant make big-government lovers so nervous.

Jefferson Davis by Charley Reese

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Got Ads?: Nerdiest Comment Ever

Well, I had my five minutes of fame yesterday in the blogosphere.

I was credited with "out-geeking" an uber-geek.

Got Ads?: Nerdiest Comment Ever. - Google AdWords and Overture PPC

jdigittl: I'm the operator with my pocket calculator

Who Makes Foreign Policy? by Ron Paul

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Dr. Paul writes:

The media, Congress, and the American public all seem to have accepted something that is patently untrue: namely, that foreign policy is the domain of the president and not Congress. This is absolutely not the case and directly contrary to what our founding fathers wanted.

The role of the president as Commander in Chief is to direct our armed forces in carrying out policies established by the American people through their representatives in Congress. He is not authorized to make those policies. He is an administrator, not a policy maker. Foreign policy, like all federal policy, must be made by Congress. To allow otherwise is to act in contravention of the Constitution...

So Congress is charged not only with deciding when to go to war, but also how to conduct – and bring to a conclusion – properly declared wars... But the notion that presidents should establish our broader foreign policy is dangerous and wrong. No single individual should be entrusted with the awesome responsibility of deciding when to send our troops abroad, how to employ them once abroad, and when to bring them home. This is why the founders wanted Congress, the body most directly accountable to the public, to make critical decisions about war and peace.

It is shameful that Congress ceded so much of its proper authority over foreign policy to successive presidents during the 20th century, especially when it failed to declare war in Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, and Iraq. It’s puzzling that Congress is so willing to give away one of its most important powers, when most members from both parties work incessantly to expand the role of Congress in domestic matters. By transferring its role in foreign policy to the President, Congress not only violates the Constitution, but also disenfranchises the American electorate.

Who Makes Foreign Policy? by Ron Paul

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WorldNetDaily: How about a federal 'nice crimes' law?

Linda Harvey is founder of Mission America, which monitors and reports on the promotion of homosexuality to youth. With her tongue firmly in her cheek she asks us if a "nice crime" is better than a "hate crime".

Now that the left has ascended to power in Washington, San Fran Nan and her munchkins have declared that adding "sexual orientation" to existing federal "hate crimes" law will rise to the top of the congressional priority list.

But wait. Why not first pass a "nice crimes" law, at the federal level and also in some states?

After all, selecting some crimes for special designation as markers of "hate" is helpful, but only if we first recognize other "non-hate" crimes as the nice ones.

For instance, I would nominate all nice murders, where the offender expresses tender sentiments toward the victim before bludgeoning him/her to death...

Local police officers, based on the federal 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act, are required to conduct interviews when a crime is committed against a homosexual to find out "why" the offender committed the crime. Victims who are window-washers, stamp collectors, vegans or blues musicians wouldn't get this courtesy even if the actual crime is the same, say, an act of theft. But a homosexual does. If the offender has a negative ("homophobic") opinion, or if he/she added a homosexual insult to the injury, that crime becomes a statistic, counted as part of a miniscule-but-predicted-to-grow "epidemic" of "hate" crimes against homosexuals...

Such crimes need to be carefully tracked, the offenders and all their allies or potential allies interrogated, with extra penalties for even daring to commit a crime while holding, or seeming to hold, the wrong beliefs. To stop at simply punishing the crime would be, well, insensitive to "hate." How much better for everyone, even the victim, if one is robbed or murdered while nice views are held by the felon...

Thanks to that 1990 statistics law, we know the correct definition of a "hate" crime, as opposed to all those "nice" crimes out there. And I'm sure the new Democrat majority, backed up by their trial lawyer friends, will help us with further categories, labels and stereotypes, so we know what "nice" beliefs to hold.

Or else.

WorldNetDaily: How about a federal 'nice crimes' law?

WorldNetDaily: Why we love government

Walter E. Williams, Ph.D., is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He writes:

Unlike today's Americans, the founders of our nation were suspicious, if not contemptuous, of government...

Today's Americans hold such liberty-oriented values in contempt, and any presidential aspirant holding them would have a zero chance of winning office.

Today's Americans hold a different vision of government. It's one that says Congress has the right to do just about anything upon which it can secure a majority vote. Most of what Congress does fits the description of forcing one American to serve the purposes of another American. That description differs only in degree, but not in kind, from slavery.

At least two-thirds of the federal budget represents forcing one American to serve the purposes of another...

In other words, once Congress establishes that one person can live at the expense of another, it pays for everyone to try to do so. You say, "Williams, don't you believe in helping your fellow man?" Yes, I do. I believe that reaching into one's own pockets to help his fellow man is both laudable and praiseworthy. Reaching into another's pockets to help his fellow man is despicable and worthy of condemnation.

The bottom line: We love government because it enables us to accomplish things that if done privately would lead to arrest and imprisonment. For example, if I saw a person in need, and I took your money to help him, I'd be arrested and convicted of theft. If I get Congress to do the same thing, I am seen as compassionate.

This vision ought to bother the Christians among us, for when God gave Moses the commandment "Thou shalt not steal," I'm sure He didn't mean thou shalt not steal unless you got a majority vote in Congress.

WorldNetDaily: Why we love government

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Should Christians Support Slavery? by Laurence M. Vance

Laurence M. Vance writes:

Should Christians support the government-enforced, involuntary slavery of human beings? ...

A greater evil, however, is that some Christians would support – right now, in the twenty-first century – not only government-enforced slavery, but government-mandated slavery.

The government-mandated slavery I am referring to is military conscription...

Now wait a minute, Mr. Vance. I thought you were talking about slavery? The draft isn’t slavery...

But I am talking about slavery. The draft is a form of slavery or involuntary servitude...

What else are you going to call the draft if it is not slavery or involuntary servitude? A young person is told that he must join the military. He is then told when to go to bed and when to get up. He is told when to eat and when to sleep. He is told to move here or move there. He is told what he is allowed to do and what he is not allowed to do. And worst of all, he is told that a certain group of people is the "enemy" and therefore must be bombed into submission or killed.

The draft is not at all about defending and protecting the country. It is about getting cannon fodder to fight in an immoral and unnecessary overseas war. How many young men who didn’t know where Vietnam was located would think of going there to kill or be killed unless they were forced to do so?

A real invasion of American soil would necessitate, not the conscription of young men to fight, but the need for Americans of all ages to wait in line in order to get a chance to shoot the invaders. Every able-bodied man (and even some women) would fight without having to be coerced or threatened.

The draft is something that all patriotic Americans should abhor because, as Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has said: "A government that is willing to enslave some of its people can never be trusted to protect the liberties of its own citizens..."

It is too bad that more young men didn’t use whatever means they could, legal or otherwise, to avoid being sent to Vietnam. Fifty-eight thousand Americans and perhaps two million Southeast Asians are dead because millions of American soldiers obeyed the dictates of the state.

Why, then, would Christians who are opposed to slavery be in support of military conscription? The answer is because they are not opposed to the state. In fact, many Christians are in love with the state. Sure, they may complain about paying their taxes or following some regulation, get upset with Supreme Court decisions about abortion, and even get outraged about government-funded pornographic art, but when it comes to the subject of war and the military they lose their mind. Bombing, maiming, interrogating, and killing are okay as long as it is done in service for the state...

Even if they acknowledge that a war like the one in Iraq is unconstitutional and unnecessary – and even immoral and senseless – some Christians still say that the troops are not responsible and we should support them.

What are the Christians who live by the "obey the powers that be" mantra going to do when the state conscripts their young women? ...

What are these Christians going to do when U.S. troops are directed to attack American citizens in the name of fighting terrorism? Will they still encourage their children to join the military? ...

Christians who continue to defend Bush’s war of aggression in Iraq are in a state of denial. They refuse to believe that the president lied the country into war. They refuse to believe that loving one’s country has nothing to do with loving the government. They refuse to believe that being patriotic does not mean blindly following whatever the government says...

Should Christians support slavery in the form of military conscription? Of course not. The draft, whether into the military or into some form of "national service," is about serving the state...

Should Christians Support Slavery? by Laurence M. Vance

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Second Amendment, North Korea and Iran by Michael Gaddy

Michael Gaddy is an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut. He has some good food for thought on the clamor against the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.

Serious supporters of the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense of one's person, family and personal property, fully understand the amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with hunting, skeet and trap, or Cowboy Action Shooting. It has to do with protecting ourselves from a tyrannical out-of-control government.

North Korea and Iran fear the same tyrannical government we do, and insist on being armed for the same reasons.

I know the above is going to be a hard pill to swallow for many – but the evidence is clear: a runaway government maneuvers to control the means of resistance from those it seeks to enslave...

If a criminal had threatened your family along with several other families in your neighborhood, and had then followed through with the threat; invading one of the homes and killing several in the family and then threatening others; would you not seek a deterrent to the possibility of a similar invasion and killing?

Again, I remind you: the governments both Iran and North Korea fear is the same government we fear will become tyrannical and necessitates our being armed to resist. If we fear our own government, why should other nations not fear it also?

Yes, we have been told the Theocracy in Iran and Kim Jung il of North Korea are nuts and fanatics. Have we supporters of the Second Amendment not had the same said of us by leaders in our government? Are we not often referred to as "gun nuts" and pelted with lies and distortions about who we are and what we believe?

Kim Jung il was said by one BBC report to "head a very secretive regime where no dissent is tolerated." Does the recently passed repeal of Habeas Corpus and the old "you are with us or with the terrorists" speech not speak of a similar regime here in our own country?

The last 3 years of the current administration have made it perfectly clear this government intends to become an empire and control the world’s resources – that includes its people. Those of us who support the right of self-defense and the right to be armed should fully understand why North Korea and Iran are determined to arm themselves: after all, only one nation on this planet has ever used atomic weapons on another nation. Why should that nation’s government not be feared? Would you not arm yourself against a criminal who threatens your very existence?

The Second Amendment, North Korea and Iran by Michael Gaddy

Not Yours to Take, by Carmon Friedrich

Thought-provoking article by a home school mom on expecting our neighbors to provide the books we want.

Carmon Friedrich writes:

While many would agree that the government school system is utterly corrupt and not worth keeping on life support, most homeschoolers are aghast when I suggest that government-operated libraries deserve a similar demise...

Folks, that money is not yours to take...

take a few minutes to read... Davy Crockett’s essay, Not Yours to Give. He tells about a wake-up call he had when running for re-election to Congress -- he realized that other people’s pockets were not to be pilfered, even for the best of causes. He points out that those who are so ready to avail themselves of the largesse of others become rather parsimonious if their own purse-strings are involved.

Local libraries are sacred cows for many people, especially homeschoolers...

The assumption that the tax-financed library should provide those things for one’s family is akin to saying government hand-outs are just dandy, as long as they provide for my kind of candy...

How conservative is it to promote limited government, decry pork barrel spending and welfare, criticize tax-funded education, yet avail ourselves of the so-called “free” library? Though it’s available to all regardless of race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, or income, public libraries are really just a middle-class entitlement program. They are also a handy venue for corrupting the values of the hapless children whose parents are not careful to protect them from the insidious influences lurking on their shelves. Those bad influences come in many forms, including the socialism that is inherent in the demand for government-financed libraries.

First spotted at (Reject Government Libraries by Carmon Friedrich).

Buried Treasure Books: Weblog » Not Yours to Take

Free People Are Better Drivers, by Alan Scholl

Alan Scholl writes:

Now some areas of Europe are doing away with other traffic restrictions after having the revelation that free people acting in their own self interest can be expected to behave in a rational and safe manner when on the road.

According to those who are pushing for the simplification of Europe's traffic rules, too many regulations make people irresponsible because they look to the state to tell them what to do...

The European experiment with reducing traffic laws would be nothing more than a curiosity if it did not serve as an illustration of an important fact, namely that government interference in most areas of daily life is both unnecessary and harmful. Just as the European cities that have reduced traffic regulations have seen accidents decrease, history has shown repeatedly that those societies that are most free, meaning those societies in which people are free to interact and cooperate without arbitrary regulatory interference, are the ones that experience the greatest degree of wealth production and cultural development. The real lesson of Europe's budding traffic libertarianism is that freedom works.

I have long suspected that the speed limit fetish in the United States leads to reduced personal responsibility, without a corresponding increase in public safety. It would be interesting to know more about the philosophical debates that took place when legislators first started enacting speed limit laws.

Free People Are Better Drivers | The John Birch Society - Truth, Leadership, Freedom

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Judge Monroe misquoted by letter writer

Following is my letter to the editor which ran in The Republic (Columbus, Indiana) Saturday, 28 Oct 2006.

I was dismayed when I read the letter to the editor of Sept. 30 from Jeff West.

Mr. West alleged that Judge Chris Monroe was very harsh toward him at his visitation hearing and that the judge also told him in a hateful voice that "God is not in this courtroom, and he cannot be your witness today."

I do not know Mr. West at all, and I do not know Judge Monroe very well.

I stewed for about three weeks wondering whether and why Judge Monroe might have said such a thing. But I also kept thinking of the words of a very wise man, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."

So I e-mailed my concerns to Judge Monroe Oct. 21. The judge promptly composed a thoughtful reply to my e-mail and also gave me a phone call to discuss his reply.

At his invitation, I went to the courthouse today and we listened to most of the 25-minute public recording of the hearing for Mr. West. I concluded that Mr. West had seriously misquoted the judge.

When Mr. West began to affirm a statement with the phrase, "as God is my witness," I heard the judge briefly interrupt him. I believe the point he was making was that Mr. West had no need to add any confirming oath or affirmation to his words, but to simply give his testimony, without adding any additional claim that he was telling the truth.

The actual words the judge used to make this point were "God's not going to testify here today... that's not really helpful."

I wrote these down while listening to the recording about six minutes into the hearing. The recording is still available if anyone else cares to confirm it.

I did not hear any indication that Judge Monroe ever said anything about God's not being in the courtroom. In fact, the subject of religion came up several times during the hearing, and I thought that the judge always treated Mr. West's religious beliefs with respect.

I also did not detect any overall tone of harshness nor hatefulness in the judge's comments. There are three letters that Mr. West wrote to his wife. They are also in the public record for anyone who wishes to view them.

In these letters, Mr. West admits to serious moral shortcomings in his life, including lying and unfaithfulness. The judge sternly reminded him that his loss of fellowship with his son was a result of his own actions and choices.

The apostle Paul wrote, "For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad... But if you do wrong, be afraid... For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." (Romans 13:3-4)

God also commissions judges in 2 Chronicles 19:5-7, saying "He appointed judges in the land... and said to the judges, 'Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment.'"

Mr. West, Judge Monroe, and I all claim to be followers of Christ.

It appeared to me that Judge Monroe made a good-faith effort to fulfill his God-given responsibility to hold Mr. West accountable for his actions.

Perhaps Mr. West chose to interpret the judge's stern demeanor in fulfilling this responsibility as harshness or hatefulness.

As Paul Harvey might say, now you know the rest of the story.

Letter: Tape indicates judge misquoted by letter writer

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Letter to the editor: Candidate omitted from S41 Right to Work survey

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 13:12:30 -0400
To: "John Harmon --", "Johnson County Daily Journal --"
Subject: Letter to the editor: Candidate omitted from S41 Right to Work survey

I received a political mailing today from the Indiana Right to Work Committee based in Indianapolis.

I am not very familiar with this organization, but they claim to endorse no candidates and to be a nonpartisan organization.

The cover letter says that they sent their 2006 candidate survey to all candidates for the Indiana House and Senate.

The subject is whether Indiana workers should be forced to join or support a labor union as a condition of employment.

Unfortunately, the survey only includes results for two of the three registered candidates for State Senate District 41.

Whether due to design or carelessness, the survey lists candidates Greg Walker and Terry Coriden, but fails to include Kenn Gividen.

I support the right of Indiana residents to work without having to join or support a labor union. This right is not currently protected by Indiana laws.

I am alerting other voters who receive this mailing that if you want to know where the third candidate stands on this issue, you will need to look further than this "nonpartisan" voter education mailing.

You have my permission to publish this as a letter to the editor.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Letter: State should be in Central zone

My letter to the editor, published Saturday, 8 July 2006.

We have now lived through our first three months in recent history of daylight-saving time. In June and July we observe the more conspicuous peculiarities of staying on Eastern time rather than going back to Central.

The longest day of the year was June 21 — almost 15 hours of daylight. If we had only 60 minutes of daylight shifted from morning to evening that day, sunrise would be 5:32 am, midday 1, and sunset 8:28 pm.

Instead, our earliest sunrise of the year is 6:17 am, our latest midday is 1:50 pm, and our latest sunset is 9:14 pm.

These later times illustrate that we have about 105 minutes of daylight shifted from morning to evening in Columbus. Compared to Central time, this is about three times further than necessary from the DST “design goal” of 60 minutes.

I have heard mixed feelings about this 45-minute excess of evening daylight compared to “nominal” DST. For example, one of my coworkers says he enjoys the extra time for a longer bike ride after work. But, like poet Robert Louis Stevenson, he notices that it is harder to get his visiting grandchildren to sleep when they “have to go to bed by day.”

I frequently hear those with early morning jobs and appointments lament the difficulty of trying to fall asleep while it is still light out, or of getting up by dark on midsummer mornings, when it is “supposed” to be light out.

Indiana is the narrowest state split into two time zones. The next wider is Idaho — more than twice as wide as Indiana. The entire state of Indiana falls well within the natural boundaries of Central time. All 92 counties were on Central time for more than four decades (1918 through 1961). The sun takes 60 minutes to cross each of the 24 time zones. It takes just under 13 minutes to cross from our eastern to our western border. I.e., Indiana is about one-fourth of a time zone wide.

By contrast, Alaska is about 18 times wider than Indiana. It takes about 228 minutes for the sun to get from one side to the other. It is wide enough to be in three or four different time zones and yet it is virtually all on one time zone. Indiana is so narrow it makes me wonder what the feds were thinking when they ever carved us into two time zones in the first place.

The predominant reason Gov. Mitch Daniels gave for pushing Indiana back onto DST was the economic benefit and increased efficiency for business of changing time with the rest of the country. It only stands to reason that putting the whole state back on a single time again would be even less confusing, and therefore even more beneficial for Hoosier businesses.

In their 2006 ruling on Indiana’s time zone, the DOT wrote that their decision was meant to allow communities to fully assess the impact of DST observance. They also reminded governmental representatives that they are free to petition at any time for further changes to the time zone boundary.

Now that we have had a chance to assess the impact of DST on our daily lives, I see much to be gained, and little to be lost, in urging our governor and state legislators to ask the DOT to put the whole state back on Central time again.

Letter: State should be in Central zone

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Congressman Tom Expresses Disappointment at Pence’s Immigration U-Turn

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Chairman of the 97-member House Immigration Reform Caucus, expressed disappointment at Rep. Mike Pence’s policy shift on immigration reform. At a Heritage Foundation speech this afternoon, Pence presented what he called “a rational middle ground… between amnesty and mass deportation” that turns its back on a enforcement-first strategy, grants rogue employers amnesty, and would in effect reward illegal aliens for breaking the law...

“Unfortunately, like the President, Pence is breaking from House conservatives who remain steadfast in their support of a security-first approach to immigration,” said Tancredo...

Pence wants to start the new foreign worker program before border security is even proved effective, which is the same strategy that was used in the 1986 amnesty. Twenty years later, the U.S. got amnesty as promised but no border security.

“Pence’s W visa... gives the Administration exactly what it wants: unlimited foreign workers first, enforcement later or never,” said Tancredo...

The Pence plan includes no prevailing wage standard for foreign workers... In fact, almost all current visas require employers to offer the job to American workers before seeking foreign labor, but with no enforcement mechanism, the requirement is laughable.

“The House’s strategy in H.R. 4437 was to fix the illegal alien problem by enforcing the law. Over time, as illegal workers cannot obtain jobs, they go home because they have no other option open to them. Pence takes a much different approach: fix illegal behavior by legalizing it,” said Tancredo. “As a conservative and a friend of Mike Pence, I am baffled by his shift on immigration. I hope he reconsiders his position and returns to an enforcement-first position.”

Congressman Tom Expresses Disappointment at Pence’s Immigration U-Turn

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Time Changed -- Curious Inklings

I enjoyed your thoughts on the daylight saving time clock changing.

Sadly, moving back to Kokomo won't help anymore. As of April 2006, the whole state of Indiana now observes daylight saving time with the rest of the country.

Unfortunately, it's still hard to figure out what time it is in Indiana. Indiana's legislators and governor, and the bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Transportation, saw fit to leave Indiana as the narrowest state split between two time zones. The next larger state split between two zones is about three times wider than Indiana. I believe Indiana is the only state originally well within the confines of a single time zone (central time) to be split into two zones by the federal government.

Most states have gone the other way. E.g., Ohio was originally split down the middle between eastern and central but now lies entirely in eastern.

Most of Indiana now lies in the eastern zone. If the Indianapolis clocks read noon at midday today, the sunrise would be 4:37 am and the sunset 7:23 pm. If we had sixty minutes of daylight shifted from morning to evening (the nominal goal of daylight saving time), sunrise/set today would be 5:37 am and 8:23 pm -- plenty of time for after-work chores and recreation before dusk at 9 pm. Instead, because of the lunacy of putting the majority of the state in the eastern zone, we get a sunrise/set of 6:20 am and 9:05 pm -- 102 minutes shifted from morning to evening -- and it doesn't really get dark until 9:30 to 10:00.

Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana
Tue, 30 May 2006, 7:37 pm EDT

Time Changed -- Curious Inklings

Monday, May 01, 2006

Theodore Roosevelt on immigration

Timely words from the past for the U.S. today.

From More Liberty, 23 April 2006.

"The following is one of my favorite thoughts on the issue of immigration. It's from President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to the American Defense Society in 1919, 10 years after his presidency."

--Lou Dobbs, CNN Commentator

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

--Theodore Roosevelt, 1919

Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Few protections for migrants to Mexico

I had this called to my attention by the "More Liberty" newsletter.

Points out Mexico's inconsistency with how they demand that their illegal immigrants to the U.S. be treated.

Few protections for migrants to Mexico

Monday, April 03, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Airport screener 'roughs up' woman, 83, in wheelchair

This kind of airport "security" doesn't make me feel any safer. How about you?

WorldNetDaily: Airport screener 'roughs up' woman, 83, in wheelchair

WorldNetDaily: Washington drowns in Republican red ink

Move over Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The 21st century Republicans have outpaced you in federal government spending growth – and it's not a record all members of the GOP are pleased about...

WorldNetDaily: Washington drowns in Republican red ink

Monday, March 27, 2006

GOP spending habits obscene

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist. He writes:

NOT SO LONG ago, in a country that now seems far, far away, Ronald Reagan said: "...we don't have deficits because people are taxed too little. We have deficits because big government spends too much..."

Last week, a Republican Senate voted to raise the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion. Senators quickly passed a record $2.8 trillion budget. What would Reagan say now? ...

That Republicans are outspending the most reckless 1980s Democrat (and 1960s Great Society Democrats and 1940s FDR Democrats) is the sorriest spectacle of all.

The Senate vote increased the debt ceiling for the fourth time in five years. The statutory debt limit has now risen by more than $3 trillion since President Bush took office. That any Republican majority could preside over such fiscal irresponsibility is grounds for revoking their party membership...

Why should Republicans be re-elected when one of the major reasons the GOP exists is to reduce the size and cost of government...

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, "This budget could be the final nail in our coffin if we don't watch it." He said GOP spending habits are demoralizing voters...

The Bush administration has sired the biggest new entitlement program in history -- a prescription drug benefit for the elderly. And let's not forget "No Child Left Behind," which massively increased federal education spending.

[Reagan] left the presidency with a surplus. So did Bill Clinton. That a GOP Congress and administration are engaging in such spending is obscene. Little will change if we vote in Democrats. who also have engaged in deficit spending. What to do?

Maybe it's time for a strong third party, or failing that, another revolution. | 03/22/2006 | GOP spending habits obscene

Monday, March 13, 2006

WorldNetDaily: Fight for your right to third party

Doug Powers writes:

Come on, third parties – it's time to gallop into Washington, D.C., in a Trojan horse

WorldNetDaily: Fight for your right to third party

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sri Lanka clocks go back to Tiger time as experiment fails

Maybe the Indiana legislators and governor could take a lesson from this episode 9,000 miles away.

The Associated Press writes:

Sri Lanka is to revert to its previous time zone from April 14 after a failed experiment, lasting nearly 10 years, aimed at maximising daylight hours.

As the country's traditional new year begins clocks will be set five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, falling in line with the rebel Tamil Tigers, who refused to make the switch a decade ago.

In 1996 Sri Lanka advanced its clocks by an hour, then later that year dropped back by 30 minutes.

But the hoped-for cut in electricity consumption did not happen and the move was unpopular as it had upset children's bedtimes.

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Clocks go back to Tiger time as experiment fails

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sink the Dubai Ports Deal!

R. Cort Kirkwood has been writing about American politics and culture for more than 20 years. Regarding the proposed management of U.S. ports by an Arab company, he writes:

Our ports are gateways to America, and it does not make sense to put them under the control of a foreign power -- particularly an Islamic regime tied to al-Qaeda...

If the deal goes through, an Islamic regime will control shipping on the eastern seaboard of the United States...

What the president knew and when he knew it will remain a mystery, but whatever he knew, he knows enough now to threaten vetoing a suggested congressional measure to investigate the deal. This veto threat comes from a supposed conservative... who has never uncapped the veto pen during his five years in office. Not once has Bush seen a spending bill cross his desk that could be cut by a mere penny. But suddenly he sees a bill that merits the veto.

The Bush administration would put a despotic Islamic regime, whose potentates and bankers boast significant ties to al-Qaeda terrorists, in charge of American shipping... The deal is yet another plot, approved in secret, which would undermine American national security and sovereignty for the benefit of the transnational political and commercial plutocrats who manage government and business across the globe...

Unsurprisingly, the government secretly sanctioned the deal...

One marvels that Bush appointed an executive of DPW to a marquee position in his administration, yet knew nothing of the deal that the executive’s employer was consummating to establish financial control of major American ports...

Aside from all this, the Times reported, the deal never received the 45-day review required by U.S. law... Bush officials, apparently, did not believe the company’s owner, a foreign government, warranted that review. The Committee on Foreign Investment was created specifically to review such transactions...

Average Americans are tugging their chin whiskers, wondering whether Bush and his crew are rowing around with one oar... Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda used the UAE, a small country on the Persian Gulf bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman, as a logistical and financial base of operations for the attacks...

Bush’s approval of the sale of our ports to the UAE represents a deal with the devil where American security and sovereignty are concerned. And if those aren’t concerns enough for Bush and his understrappers, then perhaps the UAE’s dismal record on human slavery and child welfare needs considering. The UAE is a major destination for women sex slaves... as well as imported child slaves, stolen or purchased from other countries, who serve as camel jockeys. A law passed in April 2005 supposedly outlawed the practice, which features oil-rich sheiks gambling on the races, while the children, who run the risk of being trampled to death, train in the burning dessert, live in hovels, and beg for water...

Whatever happens with the ports deal, Americans need to know this latest scheme to undermine American national security and sovereignty is of a piece with nearly everything else this administration has done or failed to do. Bush not only refuses to stop illegal immigration from Mexico, but also suggests a “guest-worker” entitlement that would permit the alien horde to establish a permanent presence on American soil. He also supports handing Social Security benefits to these criminal aliens. The tsunami of illegal immigrants across the southern border poses a domestic security threat not just because so many are drug dealers, rapists, and murderers, but because Islamic terrorists can sneak across the open border unnoticed amid the tide.

Aside from that, the Bush administration hasn’t stopped the unimpeded flow of government-authorized immigrants and visitors from Islamic countries...

Thus does the government spend less time performing constitutional and legitimate duties, such as controlling immigration and providing for national security, and more time supporting a massive, intrusive, and unconstitutional “homeland security” agency with the authority to trace the activities of everyone in the country...

In the same way, perhaps if the Bush administration were not waging an unconstitutional war in Iraq, it could spend more time and money controlling immigration here, which would obviate the unconstitutional, garrison-state security measures that harass law-abiding citizens...

The government now wants to scrutinize the private lives of all Americans: their financial transactions, their e-mail, their phone calls, and their political activities. Someday, the government may force real Americans to carry identification cards. Already, uniformed federal police search old ladies at airports and harass men who have received the nation’s highest decoration for bravery...

Thus has Bush promised to veto a bill that would provide some measure of national security, and a cadre of internationalists and global elites who care nothing for American sovereignty support him...

Average Americans might wonder why any foreign company, state-controlled or not, is running an American port, the way companies from Singapore, Japan, and Denmark run them now...

Thus, this sale. It is another piece of the plan, which includes subverting national sovereignty via immigration and billion-dollar global transactions, to cede control of American business, government, and institutions to the corporate, political, and cultural elites who contrived and command the plan, and will augment their considerable powers at the expense of the consumers and taxpayers who unwittingly support the nefarious enterprise.

It mightn’t matter to Bush and Wall Street’s elite who runs America’s harbors, industry, and commerce. But it might just matter to the average Joe, who wants physical security for his family, a job that pays a living wage, and an economy that flourishes — not wilts. Americans must ask themselves: “Would anyone approve this mad idea for the ports but a man who has gone mad, or a man who isn’t mad at all but perfectly sane, whose loyalties lie not with his people and his country, but with a grandiose liberal abstraction that travels hidden under such disingenuous names as equality, democracy, rights, and freedom?”

Further, Americans must ask themselves: “Despite blustery claims from defenders of the Bush administration that Bush is doing what’s right, is the administration loyal to U.S. citizens and doing what’s right for them, or only to itself and to the rootless elites who empower it and thereby profit from the concentration of political and financial power among the few at the expense of the many?”

An empowering of the elites in our society would explain the threat to veto. Until the average American understands this truth and does something about it, he will toil in futility for Bush, Cheney, and the elites who are plotting America’s demise.

What You Can Do

Readers are encouraged to contact their U.S. senators and representatives urging them to pass legislation blocking the Dubai Ports deal.

Sink the Dubai Ports Deal! (by R. Cort Kirkwood)

Decision hurts state wineries

The editors of the Richmond Palladium-Item have a good editorial on this bill. As they point out, there does not need to be any conflict between active lawsuits and new legislation, as long as the new legislation is not retroactive in scope. Senator Garton makes the claim that everyone would start bringing their lawsuits to the legislature if they do not follow this policy. That assumes that every litigant would be able to find a sympathetic lawmaker and would be willing to wait through the months the legislature is not in session on the gamble that they might pass favorable retroactive legislation.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton exercises a selective respect for the independence of the judicial branch of government.

The Republican Senate leader last week unilaterally killed a bill that would have allowed wine to be shipped to customers in Indiana, a move that, left unchallenged, could cause great damage to the state's promising homegrown wine industry...

Garton killed the bill arguing, speciously, that because there is a lawsuit pending by Indiana wineries, "it will not be considered further by the Senate this year."

"We are not the judicial branch of government," the Republican leader said.

Consider the ramifications of Garton's position. Want to stop a bill, any bill, from making its way through the Indiana General Assembly? Apparently, all it takes is the filing of a lawsuit? Now consider the hypocrisy.

The Legislature is not, as Garton asserts, the judicial branch of government...

About 30 wineries in the state get up to 40 percent of their sales through mailed shipments, according to state winery officials who say that many could be forced out of business if the Legislature fails to act.

Gov. Mitch Daniels needs to enter this fray forcefully and on behalf of the state's wineries, which are important to the state's tourism and economic development. The days of legislatively picking winners and losers among the state's diverse and competitive alcohol beverage interests must fall beneath the weight of open markets.

Palladium-Item - - Richmond, Ind.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Senate's health perk: They still don't get it

The West Lafayette Courier and Journal editors write:

Have your boss try on the thought of a retiree health plan that kicks in after six years on the job, offers coverage at today's premiums, lasts for life and even covers ex-spouses.

Just don't blame us if the peals of laughter ring in your ears as you slink back to your cubicle. Blame [Indiana] senators who just don't get it.

Journal and Courier Online - Editorial

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Old-school politician flunking government reform |

Matthew Tully is a columnist for the Indianapolis Star. He has an interesting column on this session of the general assembly. He writes:

The bill, proposed for the second year in a row by Gov. Mitch Daniels, seeks to go after the pensions of some government workers -- such as excise police and gaming agents -- who take bribes or otherwise rip off the state...

This proposed law would let the state cancel the taxpayer-funded portion of a pension if the worker "is convicted of a felony arising out of (their) service." The felony must be tied to on-the-job "fraud, deceit or abuse," and must result in "financial loss to the public or an unlawful benefit to an individual."

To summarize: If you use your state job to steal money from taxpayers, don't expect taxpayers to fund your retirement...

The bill, however, does not meet Garton's Rules of Good Government. This year, that rule appears to be this: If an idea has anything to do with good government, there's a good chance Garton will make sure it's good and dead...

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, who introduced the bill for the governor, ... got the bill through the Senate Pensions Committee last month, only to watch Garton dump it. Kruse made clear the decision to kill the bill was Garton's...

Garton... acted amid talk of amending the bill to include scofflaw lawmakers -- not a popular idea with some lawmakers. The problem was that passing the bill without lawmakers would be a bad public relations move. So Garton did the easy thing. He shelved the bill.

Still, Garton is not the only one at fault. Some Democrats opposed the bill because unions opposed it. Sen. Sam Smith, D-East Chicago, told me he voted against the bill in committee because he was asked to by "somebody back home."

He would not elaborate beyond saying the bill opponent was a woman who could lose her state pension. Hmm, who could lose a pension under the bill? Only felons who stole from the state. Is that a solid source of advice for a state legislator?

Old-school politician flunking government reform |

Friday, February 10, 2006

Brian Howey: Garton has the power... and two opponents

Brian Howey is publisher of The Howey Political Report, the weekly briefing on Indiana politics. He writes the following comments on Indiana's Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Garton:

Just about every major piece of legislation passing through the Senate has needed Garton’s imprimatur. While Gov. Mitch Daniels and other Republicans have often blamed the three previous Democratic govenors for this weedy mess, it was actually Garton and the previous Senate Finance Chairman, Larry Borst, who determined what was in the budget, which tax got cut, or which Hoosier industry was revitalized...

Garton is powerful. Governors worried about angering him. Legislators quake in their boots...

He’s got two opponents this election cycle. Greg Walker, a Republican accountant from Columbus, is challenging the president in the May primary. Urged on by state and national Right to Life organizations, he will take on Garton’s 81 percent pro-life voting record (he has mixed votes on informed consent and has voted against cloning restrictions).

In the November election, Garton finds Democrat Terry Coriden, who served as city attorney for Columbus from 1996 to 2004...

The recent formula for dislodging Senate dinosaurs has been the primary, as Sens. Brent Waltz and Jeff Drozda pulled off in 2004 and 2002...

Brian Howey's Newspaper Column: Duoh! Garton has the power... and two opponents

Advance Indiana: Garton Now Has Serious Democrat Opponent

Gary R. Welsh is a practicing attorney in downtown Indianapolis. He writes:

Senate President Pro Tem Robert Garton can now expect a serious Democratic opponent in this November's election if he survives a primary challenge he faces in May according to the Howey Political Report. Long-time former Columbus city attorney, Terry Coriden, shown above, filed to run as a Democrat in Senate District 41 today.

Garton is already facing primary opposition from Greg Walker, a conservative accountant from Columbus...

Earlier this week Howey reported that Garton told The Republic in Columbus that he was planning to make changes to the legislator health care for life perk, but he made it clear that he did not understand the public's outcry over the benefit. Both Walker and Coriden should have success in exploiting this issue to their advantage.

Advance Indiana: Garton Now Has Serious Democrat Opponent

Advance Indiana: Is Garton About To Be Dethroned?

Gary R. Welsh is a practicing attorney in downtown Indianapolis. He writes (28 Jan 2006):

In the last election differing Republican interests gathered to topple the long-time chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Larry Borst (R-Indianapolis) in the Republican primary with a little-known candidate Brent Waltz. With the announcement at week's end that the longest serving Senate President Pro Tem in Indiana's history, Robert Garton (R-Columbus) will have a primary opponent, it appears those same forces may be coalescing to bring about a similar fate to Garton.

The Howey Political Report tells us that Greg Walker, an accountant from Columbus, filed the necessary papers with the Secretary of State on Friday to challenge Garton in District 41. Garton has never had a serious primary challenge since joining the Senate 36 years ago in 1970, and he has rarely had a serious general election opponent. If Garton isn't running scared yet, he should be.

Garton has never endeared himself to the Christian right. He struck out a moderate position early in his Senate career when he fought for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, parting company with many of his more conservative Republican colleagues...

It is likely that Walker will not only have plenty of grassroots support from the Christian right in getting out the vote for him in the May primary, but he will also likely have money from disparate Republicans. That would probably include the likes of former Indiana State GOP Chairman Rex Early, who was instrumental in helping Brent Waltz raise big bucks to challenge Larry Borst two years ago...

Garton's enemies will have plenty of political fodder with which to chip away at him. The worst albatross he faces is the ridiculously self-serving health-insurance-for-life benefit he and his fellow lawmakers created for themselves several years ago. In the face of the staggering liability and public outrage over the program, Garton has remained steadfast in his opposition to modifying the program...

Advance Indiana: Is Garton About To Be Dethroned?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

U.S. & Indiana Code on time zones and home rule

Following is a link for United States Code, Title 15, Chapter 6, Subchapter IX, that provides DOT the authority to adjust the time zones.

Until today, I had primarily viewed the U.S. Code at this page.

I went looking further today and found out that this is sort of a "Reader's Digest Condensed Version".

The version at the following link is quite a bit more comprehensive, giving some interesting history about when various facets of Subchapter IX were enacted.

One thing I noticed for the first time is that the enforcement provision in Section 260a appears to apply only to that section, which deals with the dates of beginning and ending DST, not the other Subchapter IX sections.

Also in 260a, I don't remember anyone ever pointing out the following clauses before:

"Ex. Ord. No. 11751, Dec. 15, 1973, 38 F.R. 34725, ... The Secretary of Transportation... is hereby designated and empowered... to grant an exemption from section 3(a) of the Act (which establishes daylight saving time as standard time), or a realignment of a time zone limit, pursuant to a proclamation of a Governor of a State finding that the exemption or realignment is necessary to avoid undue hardship... in the State or a part thereof...

"In deciding to grant or deny an exemption or realignment, the Secretary shall consider, among other things, ... the convenience of commerce, as well as ... undue hardship to large segments of the population..."

I did not hear the DOT even mention this "undue hardship" clause in its description of the criteria it considered for its recent ruling, nor did I hear anything about the governor's power to issue a proclamation of the hardship that falls on Hoosiers due to our being less than half as wide as all of the other states that are split between two time zones.

Also, I think I may have previously opined on Section 262, which deals with "Duty to observe standard time of zones", that it appears to technically only apply to interstate and international common carriers, federal government employees and offices, and legal contracts. Unlike Section 260a, Section 262 has no section on penalties and enforcement for non-compliance.

This could be picking nits, but it might help explain why the federal and state governments never seemed to be much concerned about the five counties which observed eastern daylight saving time for so many years without any official state or federal sanction or authorization.

It might also have a bearing on the success of any attempted "home rule" by counties who prefer to be in a different zone than that assigned by the DOT -- particularly any eastern counties which might prefer central time.

It's interesting that Section 265 actually provides for a couple of specific Texas counties to decide their own time zone just by making a written request.


On another subject, I also dug up the section of Indiana Code (36-1-3) that has to do with home rule (it is actually called that).

Somewhat interesting reading. One thing that particularly caught my eye is that in 1980 the legislature changed the default from the assumption that the local body does not have a particular power to the assumption that it does -- strengthening the hand of local officials in any areas that might be considered "gray areas" of the law.

"A unit has: (1) all powers granted it by statute; and (2) all other powers necessary or desirable in the conduct of its affairs, even though not granted by statute... the omission of a power from such a list does not imply that units lack that power... State and local agencies may review or regulate the exercise of powers by a unit only to the extent prescribed by statute."

If I read it correctly, the term "unit" refers to any governmental entity smaller than the state as a whole.

Looks to me like the feds might be hard-pressed to justify suddenly beginning to take enforcement seriously after 40-some years of effectively condoning violation by the five counties near Cincinnati and Louisville.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Northwestern Indiana county changes mind on Central time

I see that county officials in northwestern Indiana's Pulaski County have voted unamimously to declare "home rule" and stay on eastern time with Indianapolis, whether the DOT grants their appeal to do so officially or not.

While I personally favor central time for the entire state, I am pleased to see this declaration of local sovereignty. Perhaps there are a few counties on eastern who would prefer to join their neighbors on central if it turns out to be this easy.

Pulaski County officials point to the five counties in southeast Indiana that have been exercising "home rule" for decades to keep their clocks in sync with Cincinnati and Louisville, without any official sanction from the state or federal governments, and yet apparently with no objections from them either.

I'll bet there will be lots of pro-eastern folks pleased to see this move, who would raise quite a howl if St. Joseph decided to follow the same precedent and go on central time instead.

AP Wire | 02/06/2006 | Northwestern Indiana county changes mind on Central time

Thursday, February 02, 2006

South Bend Tribune Forums -> Time Zone

I just had this forum called to my attention for the first time.

I think DST may end up being a plus for Hoosier businesses engaged in interstate commerce, but I thought the legislature and governor should have petitioned for the whole state to be on central time (possibly excepting the five counties near Cincinnati and Louisville).

This is because we're three time further from the middle of the eastern zone (near Philadelphia) than from the middle of central (near St. Louis). Just look at January 30 in South Bend. There are about 10 hours of sunlight that day. The way the time zones are set up, that should mean sunrise about 7:00 am and sunset about 5:00 pm -- 5 hours before midday and 5 hours after. Instead, on EST, the actual sunrise is 7:58 am and sunset 5:59 pm. (

While people certainly disagree on whether it's a good thing or not, at least we can all agree that this is virtually one hour of DST in the middle of winter.

At the other extreme, look at August 11 -- another day for which the math is pretty simple to do in your head. There are about 14 hours of daylight. With one hour shifted from morning to evening for DST, that should mean sunrise about 6:00 am and sunset about 8:00 pm -- 6 hours before midday and 8 hours after. Instead, the actual sunrise is 6:49 am and 8:50 pm.

Again, people disagree on whether this is a good thing or not, but at least we can all plainly see that EDT puts us within ten minutes of what some would call "double daylight time".

The latest summer sunset in South Bend on EDT will be 9:24 pm in late June. It won't really get dark for another 30 to 60 minutes after that. I lived in South Bend from 1987 to 1992. I thought 8:24 pm was plenty late enough for sunset. There are about 15 hours 10 minutes of sunlight that day. Even on year-round CDT/EST as we have had for decades, 8:24 pm sunset still means about 48 minutes of morning sunlight shifted to the evening. That always seemed reasonably close to one hour of DST to me.

Following up on the anonymous comment of January 19, while it's clearly true we are not "part of Chicago", we're much further from being "part of" New York City or Philadelphia, which are near the center of the eastern zone.

Following up on another anonymous comment that day, it's a bit of exaggeration to say that sunset would be 4pm in the winter. The earliest sunset in South Bend would be about 4:15 pm in mid-December, and true darkness does not really set in for another 30 to 60 minutes.

When you decide to live at 42 degrees from the equator, like South Bend, your shortest winter day is only about 9 hours 10 minutes of sunlight. If you divide this evenly between morning and evening, it is reasonable to expect the latest winter sunrise around 7:30 am and the earliest sunset around 4:30 pm, give or take 30 minutes depending on how far you live from the middle of the nearest time zone. It's just simple math. If this is not tolerable, then moving nearer to the equator is the only thing that will really help. There just aren't that many hours to spread around this time of year.

"Home rule" is not that outlandish of a consideration for any county unhappy with where the boundary got drawn. Look at the five counties near Cincinnati and Louisville. Both the state and federal governments have been basically looking the other way for the last 40 or so years, while these counties observed eastern daylight time seven months of the year without the rest of the state, and without any official state or federal authorization or sanction to do so.

Regarding the comment from January 19, it's easy to jump to the wrong conclusion about whether more of our neighbors are on central time or eastern. Actually it's split just about in half -- about 394 miles of Indiana borders land on central time and 393 miles borders eastern. What people forget is that Kentucky is split between two time zones too.

Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana
Thu, 2 Feb 2006, 11:42pm EST/CDT

South Bend Tribune Forums -> Time Zone

Searching for a New Direction by Ron Paul

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas. Congressman Paul helps put the Abramoff lobbying scandal in perspective.

[I]f we merely tinker with current attitudes about what role the federal government ought to play in our lives, it won’t do much to solve the ethics crisis. True reform is impossible without addressing the immorality of wealth redistribution. Merely electing new leaders and writing more rules to regulate those who petition Congress will achieve nothing...

Could it be that we’re all looking in the wrong places for a solution to recurring, constant, and pervasive corruption in government? ...

Believe me, if everybody benefited equally there would be scant outcry over a little bribery and influence peddling. As our country grows poorer and more indebted, fewer people benefit. The beneficiaries are not the hard-working, honest people who pay the taxes. The groups that master the system of lobbying and special interest legislation are the ones who truly benefit...

The founders detested democracy and avoided the use of the word in all the early documents. Today, most Americans accept without question a policy of sacrificing life, property, and dollars to force “democracy” on a country 6,000 miles away. This tells us how little opposition there is to “democracy.” ...

Our system of democracy has come to mean worshipping the notion that a majority vote for the distribution of government largesse, loot confiscated from the American people through an immoral tax system, is morally and constitutionally acceptable...

Buying influence is much more lucrative than working and producing for a living. The trouble is the process invites moral corruption...

Dealing with lobbying scandals while ignoring the scandal of unconstitutional runaway government will solve nothing. If people truly believe that reform is the solution, through regulating lobbyists and increasing congressional reporting requirements, the real problem will be ignored and never identified. This reform only makes things worse...

The theft that the federal government commits against its citizens, and the power that Congress has assumed illegally, are the real crimes that need to be dealt with. In this regard we truly do need a new direction. Get rid of the evil tax system; the fraudulent monetary system; and the power of government to run our lives, the economy, and the world; and the Abramoff types would be exposed for the mere gnats they are. There would be a lot less of them, since the incentives to buy politicians would be removed...

Even under today’s flawed system of democratic government, which is dedicated to redistributing property by force, a lot could be accomplished if government attracted men and women of good will and character...

Considering the [Iraq] war had nothing to do with our national security, we’re talking big bucks being wasted and lining the pockets of many well-connected American corporations. Waste, fraud, stupidity, and no-bid contracts characterize the process. And it’s all done in the name of patriotism and national security. Dissenters are accused of supporting the enemy. Now this is a rip-off that a little tinkering with House rules and restraints on lobbyists won’t do much to solve...

[W]e now qualify as the greatest international debtor nation in history. Excessive consumption using borrowed money is hardly the way to secure a sound economy...

The biggest rip-off of all – the paper money system that is morally and economically equivalent to counterfeiting – is never questioned. It is the deceptive tool for transferring billions from the unsuspecting poor and middle-class to the special interest rich...

Wealth is transferred from one group to another, and it’s all related to the system that allows politicians and the central banks to create money out of thin air. It’s literally legalized counterfeiting...

The incentive for Americans is to buy consumer goods from other countries whose people are willing to save and invest in their factories and jobs. The only way we can continue this charade is to borrow excess dollars back from the foreign governments who sell us goods, and perpetuate the pretense of wealth that we enjoy...

During this administration the dollar has... depreciated in terms of gold, the time-honored and reliable measurement of a nation’s currency, by an astounding 55%...

Once Rome converted from a republic to an empire, she depreciated her currency to pay the bills. This eventually led to Rome’s downfall. That is exactly what America is facing unless we change our ways...

We have come to accept our role as world policemen and nation builder with little question, despite the bad results and an inability to pay the bills...

The Abramoff-type scandals come and go in Washington... [b]ut our efforts should be directed toward eliminating the greatest of all frauds – printing press money that creates the political conditions breeding the vultures and leeches who feed off the corrupt system...

Counterfeiting money never creates wealth – it only steals wealth from the unsuspecting. The Federal Reserve creation of money is exactly the same. Increasing the dollars in circulation can only diminish the value of each existing dollar. Only production and jobs can make a country wealthy in the long run. Today it’s obvious our country is becoming poorer and more uneasy as our jobs and capital go overseas...

The Abramoff scandal can serve a useful purpose if we put it in context of the entire system that encourages corruption. If it’s seen as an isolated case of individual corruption, and not an expected consequence of big government run amuck, little good will come of it...

Congress was not meant to be a rubber stamp. It’s time for a new direction.

Searching for a New Direction by Ron Paul

Saturday, January 28, 2006

More of Indiana in the same time zone now?

I noticed this week that House Speaker Brian Bosma and Governor Daniels are both using a similar factoid in their replies to Hoosiers who write about the DOT time zone ruling:

"... we have a higher percentage of Hoosiers on the same time year round than we've ever had."

I am a skeptic, so I ran some numbers with the county population data from the 2000 census.

If all they are comparing is the 77.9% of Hoosiers (in 77 counties) that were observing year-round CDT/EST to the 78.5% (in 74 counties) that are now on year-round eastern time, then this statement is true -- by less than a percentage point -- not much to crow about.

However, looking at the bigger picture, we had 82% of Hoosiers (in 82 counties) on the same time for 5 months of the year, and 96% (in 87 counties) on the same time the other 7 months -- both higher percentages than the 78½ year-round figure.

However, their assertion breaks down when you remember that 100% of Hoosiers were on year-round central time from 1918 to 1961 before the federal government decided to make Indiana the narrowest state to be split between time zones.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Winter daylight saving time in Columbus, Indiana

Today is one of the days in Columbus, Indiana on which the folly of being on eastern time is most easily seen.

According to U.S. Code, the time zones were laid out to divide the winter daylight as evenly as possible between morning and evening.

On January 25, there are ten hours of daylight in Columbus. It's easy to see that the nominal sunrise and sunset today are 7:00 am and 5:00 pm -- five hours before midday and five after.

If Indiana were all back in the central time zone again (as we were until 1961), today's sunrise and sunset in Columbus would be 6:56 am and 4:56 pm -- within four minutes of nominal.

Since we're still on eastern time, today's sunrise and sunset are 7:56 am and 5:56 pm -- four hours before midday and 6 hours after -- effectively observing daylight saving time in the middle of winter and making for an abnormally late sunrise for our latitude this time of year.

Just for comparison, sunrise in Los Angeles today is 6:55 am, Chicago is 7:10, and New York City 7:12. Our sunrise is pretty out of touch with the norm in other major U.S. cities.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Time to Rest

The Evansville Courier Press writes:

Federal government moves six area counties into Central zone. Our View: That was a good result; now let the issue cool.

I replied:

I have to agree with the Courier-Press on this one, although I'd love to see all of Indiana back in the central time zone again too.

The DOT's ruling actually says "Furthermore, DOT does not have a statewide proposal before it nor has the Indiana legislature endorsed such an approach. It is, therefore, beyond the scope of this proceeding to consider such a significant change to the State’s time zone boundaries."

The implication is that if the governor or the legislature had requested that the DOT consider a single time zone for all or most of Indiana, they would have considered it. Not only did the legislators not request such a consideration, they virtually ruled it out by requiring that the ten counties on year-round Chicago time stay on central time and that the five counties (illegally) observing year-round New York time stay on eastern.

Hoosiers certainly disagree on which time zone is better, but at least we can all look at the same facts and agree that we are effectively on winter daylight saving time and summer double daylight time in the eastern time zone. A couple of simple examples make this pretty clear.

U.S. Code shows that the design goal of the time zones is to evenly divide the winter sunlight between morning and evening as nearly as possible and to shift about 60 minutes from morning to evening during DST.

On January 26, Indianapolis has about ten hours of daylight. The nominal sunrise and sunset are easily seen to be 7:00 am and 5:00 pm -- five hours before midday and five hours after. On central time, sunrise is 6:58 and sunset is 4:57 -- within a couple of minutes of nominal. On eastern, sunrise is 7:58 and sunset is 5:57 -- 4 hours before midday and 6 hours after -- effectively DST in the middle of winter.

Correspondingly on August 8, Indianapolis gets 14 hours of sunlight. The nominal sunrise and sunset on DST are easily seen to be 6:00 am and 8:00 pm -- 6 hours before midday and 8 hours after. On central DST, sunrise and sunset would be 5:50 am and 7:50 pm -- within ten minutes of nominal DST. On eastern DST, sunrise and sunset are 6:50 am and 8:50 pm -- 5.2 hours before midday and 8.8 hours after -- effectively "double daylight time".

Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana (Bartholomew County)
Tue, 24 Jan 2006, 11:54pm EST

Ref: { U.S. Code on time zones }

Time to Rest

The Issue: Federal government moves six area counties into Central zone. Our View: That was a good result; now let the issue cool.

January 22, 2006

From a strictly regional perspective, the great time-zone debate in Indiana turned out about as well as it could have for the southwest corner of the state.

The only way it could have been better would be for all of the state to go on Central time, but as we learned this past year, that is not going to happen any time soon. What did happen this past week is that the U.S. Department of Transportation agreed to allow Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin, Perry and Pike counties to move from the Eastern to the Central time zone, joining Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, Gibson and Spencer counties.

The common interest among those 11 counties has always been there. People cross county lines daily to work, conduct business, shop and dine, acquire services, go to school, and enjoy entertainment and recreation. But the time-zone differences made it a less than comfortable fit for half of the year. Because of differences with daylight-saving time and the time zones, the two groups of counties would be on the same time half the year and an hour apart half the year. But beginning April 2 of this year, they will all be on the same time, year around. It was a good result for the region.

But it didn't turn out so well in Northwest Indiana, where St. Joseph County, which wanted to move into the Central zone and on the same time as Chicago and the Gary area, was denied its request.

And we will have to see how it turns out for Gov. Mitch Daniels, who started it all with his push to put all of Indiana on daylight-saving time. He won that one, but with the agreement that he ask the federal government to hold hearings on possible time-zone changes. But instead of a process that looked at putting all or a large part of the state in the same time zone, the feds said they would consider requests, county by county. That upset folks who felt that daylight-saving time should not go forward without major time-zone changes.

And now some lawmakers who reluctantly supported Daniels' push for daylight-saving time will be sweating re-election this year. They, and Daniels, would prefer to put the issue behind them.

We share that view, though for a reason other than their political survival. Most of Indiana remains today in the Eastern time zone. Goodness knows why, but a lot of people in our Midwestern state prefer Eastern time.

Yet some lawmakers who are still upset with the time-zone outcome want to see a statewide referendum on whether all of Indiana would be in the Central or the Eastern time zone. Let's not risk it.

It would be great to see all of Indiana in the Central time zone, but not Eastern. Who wants it dark at 8 o'clock in the morning?

CourierPress: Editorials

Pulaski County may want out of Central

Doug Masson writes:

Why wasn’t it time to move on last year or the year before or the year before that? Because the folks at the Marion Chronicle editorial board hadn’t gotten what they wanted: Eastern Daylight Time. Why is it time to move on now? Because they got what they wanted. So could the rest of us please shut up now?

I added the following comments:

I don’t buy the comment from Josh Needler, “the state is going to be split, so we all do need to just get over it and move on. If you want to live in the Central Time Zone so bad, move.”

I have heard the same “the state is going to be split” mantra from a couple of other Republican legislators who seem to be hoping this issue will just dry up and blow away. I would not buy it even if I were a Democrat, but I’m actually an elected GOP precinct committeeman.

There are a few flaws in this logic.

First, it is based on the red herring claim that there is something special about having Chicago to the northwest and Cincinnati to our southeast that magically prevents Indiana from ever returning to a single time zone, although all 92 counties got along just fine on central time from 1918 through 1961.

The reason I call it a red herring is that the five counties near Cincinnati and Louisville have been doing their own thing since 1967 or so, living on eastern time year-round while they were legally supposed to be on central time for 7 months out of every 12 with the other 77 counties not on year-round central time.

Even if the whole state were back on central time again, why shouldn’t the federal and state governments just keep on turning a blind eye for 12 months out of the year instead of 7, as these five counties keep on doing their own thing. The businesses who deal with these 5 counties are used to having them different from the rest of Indiana 7 months out of the year anyway, so 12 out of 12 shouldn’t be too big an adjustment.

Additionally, this puts the only time zone boundary within the state exactly where it’s been for 40 or so year, right next to the 5 counties who could put it on the state border if they cared to join the rest of the state on central.

Second, even if you think we should maintain the status quo, the status quo for the eastern 82 counties was central time 7 months out of 12.

Also, there is nothing so unique about Indiana’s situation that says we need to be the narrowest state split between two time zones. Alaska is 15 times wider than Indiana and has only two zones. All of the other 11 states that are split between two zones are between 2 and 5 times wider than Indiana — 3 times wider on average. We stick out like a sore thumb staying on two zones unnecessarily. It only takes the sun 13 minutes to pass from one side of Indiana to the other — far too narrow to justify the inconvenience to Hoosiers and our out-of-state customers and suppliers of staying split.

Finally, I know it’s been beat to death, but the nominal mid-point between eastern and central runs down the middle of Ohio. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who bothers to check that central is three times better at evenly dividing Indiana winter daylight between morning and evening than eastern, and three times better at shifting 60 minutes of morning daylight to the evening in the summer, which are the design goals of the standard time zones and daylight saving time.

Richard wrote, "If the Eastern portion of the state did not observe DST, that does not make it Central Time! It is still Eastern Time."

This may be correct, but I find it a moot point. Call it what you want, but CDT is 5 hours from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and EST is 5 hours from GMT. Our clocks read the same whether you call it EST or CDT. There is no denying that the middle 77 counties were with Chicago 7 months out of 12 the last few decades and with New York City only 5 months of 12. You can choose to interpret the facts however you want, but they are the same facts for all of us.

Richard wrote, "I believe more counties than Pulaski will petition of EST when they realize the mistake they have made. It will only take one Winter of afternoon darkness and you will see petitions again."

It all depends on whether you dislike your winter darkness more at the end of the day or at the beginning. There are some Hoosiers in both camps, and absent a statewide referendum, it's anyone's educated guess which camp has more in it.

I think lots of Hoosiers who are looking forward to the new later sunsets are going to be somewhat surprised to see that the sun waits about 6½ weeks longer than they're used to to start rising before 6:30 am (from April 2 to mid-May), and that it starts to rise after 7:10 am again about 8½ weeks earlier than they've been used to -- around the end of August instead of the end of October.

When you live near 40° latitude, as we do in central Indiana, nature decrees that we get ten hours or less of daylight from mid-November through late-January. Since most of the world does not observe DST during those months, this means that, on the average, sunrises are after 7:00 am and sunsets are before 5:00 pm during this period around the world.

By being on EST, which is the same clock time as CDT, we rob Peter to pay Paul. Instead of sunrise near 7 and sunset near 5 on January 27, when Indianapolis gets ten hours of sunlight, our sunrise is 7:57 am and our sunset is 5:58 am. This is about four hours before midday and six hours after.

Whether you think it's a good thing or not, there's no denying that we're effectively on DST this time of year.

Masson's Blog - A Citizen's Guide to Indiana -- Pulaski County may want out of Central

Handout and remarks at Third House 23 Jan 2006

Following is the text of the handout I distributed at the Columbus, Indiana Third House session on 23 January 2005 with state legislators Senator Robert Garton and Representatives Eric Koch, Luke Messer, and David Yount.

I made the following accompanying remarks.

I realize that this is not a popular issue this session.

Other than Alaska, which is 15 times wider than Indiana, there are about 11 other states split between two time zones like Indiana. These are all two-to-five times wider than Indiana.

Just to be very clear, I am not calling for repeal of Daylight Saving Time (DST).

After the legislature and the governor approved DST last spring, many Hoosiers were hoping for statewide time zone hearings, with potential progress toward getting Indiana back in a single time zone again for the first time in 45 years.

According to some media reports that I see, one might think that it is mainly Democrats who are disappointed this didn't work out.

As a fellow Republican, I just wanted to remind you that this is a broader issue than that. I encourage you to support action toward a single time zone for all or most of Indiana.


Why not a single time zone for Indiana?

  • Now that the DOT has issued its ruling, is Indiana's time situation settled for good?

It could be, but many Hoosiers would like to see the government finish the job and put Indiana back into a single time zone again.
  • Have any bills been filed this session which would move Indiana toward a single time zone for most of the state?

Senate Bills 79 and 93, as well as House Bills 1205, 1014, and 1057 have had first reading and been referred to committee ( One or more of these bills would need to receive a committee hearing and a favorable vote in the house of origin by February 2 in order to be passed to the other house.
You can leave a phone message requesting that your senator (800-382-9467) and representative (800-382-9842) support a hearing for these bills. Contacting Speaker Bosma (317-232-9604) and Governor Daniels (317-232-4567) might also help these bills get a hearing.
  • What are the advantages to being in a single time zone?

There are many, but one obvious advantage is eliminating problems like school systems that cross the time zone boundary at county lines. Another obvious advantage is that customers and suppliers outside the state could easily determine the local time of any business in Indiana without having to figure out 1) what county it is in and 2) what time zone that county is in. (This advantage was supposed to be the rationale for switching to DST. But we're still not there - only one time for Indiana can do that.)
  • Hasn't Indiana always been split between two time zones?

No, all of Indiana was in the central time zone from the official beginning of U.S. time zones in 1918 until 1961. But in 1961, the federal government shifted 43 Indiana counties into eastern and another 36 counties in 1967 (with the understanding that DST would not be observed). These wholesale shifts were very likely initiated by the state government, rather than by individual petitions from the affected counties.
  • Isn't eastern time the natural time zone for Indiana?

Indiana lies well within the natural boundaries of central time. The U.S. Code specifies that the nominal midpoint between eastern and central is 82½° W longitude, virtually in the middle of Ohio. In Indiana, central time more evenly divides wintertime sunlight between morning and evening and, in the summer, more nearly shifts 60 minutes of daylight from morning to evening. In addition, since 1967, most of Indiana has been on central time 7 months out of every year.
  • Wouldn't statewide central time wipe out the benefit of DST?

Not at all; indeed, they are separate subjects.
  • But how much daylight saving benefit would we have on central time?

On the average, central DST shifts about 45 minutes of sunlight from morning to evening. For example, on August 8, there are 14 hours of daylight in central Indiana. Nominal sunrise and sunset are easily seen to be 6:00 am and 8:00 pm -- 6 hours before noon and 8 after. On central time, sunrise and sunset near Indianapolis are about 5:50 and 7:50 -- within ten minutes of nominal for DST.
  • Several other states, like Kentucky, and Tennessee, are in two time zones. So what's wrong with Indiana's being in two time zones too?

None of those states are as narrow as Indiana. Virtually all of the other states with two time zones are 2-to-5 times wider than Indiana. The sun passes Indiana over head in only 13 minutes - we don't need to break ourselves into two.
  • Was the DOT's county-by-county process a good indication of opinion throughout Indiana?

No. It served as an imperfect proxy for a public vote, and then only in the counties near the current boundary. Of the counties near the boundary, about 2/3 of those on eastern petitioned for central time, but none of those on central petitioned for eastern. According to the DOT ruling, only about ten percent of Indiana's counties explicitly expressed a desire to stay in the eastern time zone (or at least in the same zone as Indianapolis).
Unfortunately, this process also worked to divide neighbor against neighbor (especially St. Joseph and Elkhart counties).
  • Why didn't the DOT consider putting the whole state back in a single time zone again?

The DOT said that they would not consider such a significant change without an endorsement from the Indiana legislators. And the legislature avoided making such a recommendation when they passed the DST bill.
  • But can the governor and the legislature influence the DOT any longer?

The legislators and the governor would likely wield considerable influence with the DOT if they enact a bill requesting that at least 95 percent of Indiana's counties be reunited in a single time zone.

Compiled by Bill Starr, 22 Jan 2006.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Letter to the editor: Why not a single time zone again?

Without reuniting Indiana into a single time zone, many see the switch to DST as an incomplete and hollow achievement. Today's approval of less than half of the petitioning counties by the DOT need not be the underwhelming anticlimax of the past year's political drama.

With encouragement from the voters, our legislators still have adequate time to send a bill over to the other house by February 2 moving us closer to a single time zone. There are several active bills from which to choose ( My personal favorite is SB 79, which has bipartisan sponsorship in the senate.

With this action, the legislators and the DOT would end an unfortunate 45 years of Hoosier neighbors in different time zones, and also substantially reduce the continuing confusion as companies outside the state deal with Hoosier businesses in different time zones from one another. Numerous comments at the DOT docket, as well as many who spoke at the hearings, express the fervent desire of many Hoosiers to see the entire state once again unified on a single time.

If the legislature and the governor had deliberately undertaken to keep Indiana in two time zones, they could hardly have designed a more effective approach than encouraging the DOT to leave the decision-making with individual counties. In fact, in their ruling today the DOT as much as says that they would have considered a statewide proposal had the legislature or the governor simply asked.

A decentralized process like this was almost guaranteed to be piecemeal. We saw exactly this result last fall -- nobody wanted to risk asking to be an "island" in the midst of neighboring counties in a different zone. About 36 counties lie one county or less from the present time boundary. Of the 26 or so of these on eastern time, about 2/3 petitioned to join the ten counties already on central, but none of those already on central petitioned to go to eastern.

Unlike Indiana, which lies entirely within the natural borders of central time, Ohio is split down the middle by the natural boundary (82½° longitude) between eastern and central. Ohio residents long ago saw the benefit of shifting this boundary to their state border in order to be unified in a single zone. Indiana could just as easily be reunified with a similar shift of the current boundary back to our border.

Ohio is 1½ times wider than Indiana and yet resides in a single zone. In addition to Indiana there are about 12 other states split across time zones. Except for Alaska, which is 15 times wider than Indiana, the remaining 11 all range from 2 to 5 times wider than Indiana -- more than 3 times wider on average. Given the many potential benefits, I see no compelling argument why a relatively narrow state like ours should not be restored to a single zone as well.

For several decades, Hoosiers were relatively content with the status quo of 45 minutes or so of year-round daylight saving time. For the sake of hoped-for substantial additional business growth, we have now joined the rest of the country on DST. There are many arguments for which statewide time zone would serve us better. If maintaining the previous status quo as nearly as possible were a significant criterion, then central time would be the obvious choice.

With ten counties on year-round central time, five on year-round eastern, and the remaining 77 with central for 7 months and eastern for 5 months, a simple weighted average shows that Indiana was with central time about 60 percent of the year and with eastern about 40 percent.

For over four decades after the U.S. formally adopted time zones in 1918, Indiana residents enjoyed the benefits of a single statewide time zone. The only effective alternative to a piecemeal, drawn-out approach to unifying Indiana's time again requires courageous and visionary leadership by state government. With Indiana citizens encouraging such a proactive resolution by the General Assembly this month, we could likely enjoy a single time zone again within the next 12 months.

Sincerely, Bill Starr
Bartholomew County resident
Wed, 18 Jan 2006

cc: Indiana legislators, Governor Daniels

Another Undeclared War? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire. Mr. Buchanan writes:

Congress should thus hold hearings on how close Tehran is to a nuclear weapon and whether this represents an intolerable threat, justifying a preventive war that would mean a Middle East cataclysm and a worldwide depression. Then it should vote to declare war, or to deny Bush the power to go to war.

The "Bush Doctrine" notwithstanding, if Congress has not put the "military option on the table," neither George Bush nor John McCain can put it there. That is the Constitution still, is it not?

Another Undeclared War? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Request for Indiana House time zone bill hearings

Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 23:02:14 -0500
From: "Bill Starr"
To: "Representative Randy Borror"
CC: "Luke Messer", "Tim Harris", "Steve Heim", "Michael B. Murphy", "John E. Smith", "Jackie Walorski", "David B. Yount", "Scott Reske", "David L. Crooks", "Jerry Denbo", "Carolene Mays", "Dennis Tyler"
Subject: Please schedule hearings on time zone bills

Dear Representative Borror.

I see that several bills related to Indiana's time zone have been filed in the Indiana House and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, of which I believe you are the chair.

Since the legislature did not explicitly address the time zone issue on a statewide basis when they passed the DST bill, I urge you to support a committee hearing for one or more of these bills, while Indiana's time zone boundary is still relatively malleable.

I am convinced that the legislature would wield considerable influence with the DOT should you choose to pass a bill such as this, which would make the time zone situation even simpler for everyone in Indiana, as well as for those with whom we do business outside of the state.

Without reuniting Indiana into a single time zone, many see the switch to DST as an incomplete and hollow achievement.

With a bill like this, the legislators could not only conclude the unfortunate era of Hoosier neighbors in different time zones, but also substantially reduce the likely confusion when companies outside the state deal with Hoosier businesses. Numerous comments at the DOT docket, as well as many who spoke at the hearings, express the fervent desire of many Hoosiers to see the entire state once again unified on a single time.

If the legislature had deliberately undertaken to maximize the odds of Indiana's remaining in two time zones, they could hardly have designed a more effective approach than encouraging the DOT to leave the decision-making with individual counties. A decentralized process is almost guaranteed to be piecemeal. We saw exactly this result last fall -- virtually no county wanted to request a time zone change unless they were about one county or less away from the current boundary.

Of course it's not likely that that all 75 non-petitioning counties are happy with Indiana's being in two zones -- just that nobody wanted to be the first to ask the DOT for the time zone they really wanted unless they were pretty confident at least some of their neighbors planned to as well.

About 36 counties lie one county or less from the present time boundary. It is telling that, of the 26 or so of these on eastern time, about 2/3 petitioned to join the ten counties already on central, but none of those already on central petitioned to go to eastern.

Unlike Indiana, which lies entirely within the natural boundaries of a single time zone, Ohio is split down the middle by the natural boundary (82½° longitude) between the eastern and central zones. Ohio residents long ago saw the benefit of shifting the boundary to their state border in order to be in a single zone. Indiana could also easily be reunified with a similar shift of the present boundary back to our border.

Ohio is 1½ times wider than Indiana and yet resides in a single zone. Alaska is 15 times wider than Indiana and gets along with only two zones. In addition to Alaska and Indiana there are about 11 other states split across time zones. They all range from 2 to 5 times wider than Indiana -- more than 3 times wider on average.

Given the many benefits to shifting the line to our state border, I see no compelling argument against a relatively narrow state like ours being restored to a single zone, like all the other states of width comparable to ours.

For several decades after our nation formally adopted time zones in 1918, Indiana residents enjoyed the benefits of a single statewide time zone. The only effective alternative to a piecemeal county-by-county approach to unifying Indiana's time requires courageous and visionary leadership by state government. With action this month toward a proactive resolution to the DOT by the General Assembly, we could likely enjoy a single time zone once again.

Following are specific bills for which I encourage you to schedule a hearing, in order of my preference.

HB 1205 -- Indiana time zones. Lehe. Locate 87 counties in central time zone.
HB 1057 -- Daylight saving time public question. Heim. Referendum: 92 counties to central or eastern?
HB 1014 -- Indiana time zones. Crooks. Referendum: 87 counties to central time?

Thank you for your service and your consideration.

Bill Starr
1421 N 475 E
COLUMBUS IN 47203-9380
Bartholomew County GOP precinct committeeman
Tue, 17 Jan 2006, 11:02pm EST