Sunday, August 14, 2011

Death and taxes and books and buses and potholes and Peyton Manning.

When Franklin Township in Indianapolis discontinued free school bus service due to budget shortfalls, from the reaction in the media you'd have thought that the lights of civilisation were going out. Never mind that a private company picked up the busing contract and would be happy to tote your spawn to and from the schoolhouse in exchange for cash; obviously right after we stop the school buses comes the part where we're huddled in the ruins, cooking rats over bonfires made of English Lit textbooks.

Instead, many parents (who had already voted down a tax increase to keep the buses running) decided to drive their kids to school. Chaos was predicted! Children would be ground to paste under the unfeeling tires of Gaia-raping SUVs in the Parking Lots of Academe! It would be like Somalia! If only all those private schools would share the magic teleporter technology that they use to get their kids to Mrs. Grundy's 1st period English class safely and on time...

Also on the municipal tax front, Adaptive Curmudgeon weighs in on his opinion of government-funded sports arenæ:
Profitability doesn’t make wrong into right. Popularity does not make wrong into right. Using the force of government to build a toy for a private franchise owner is immoral, it’s wrong, and it’s not the proper role of the government.
tl;dr version: He's agin' it.

Meanwhile, the pavement on Indy's streets is so bad that all four wheels on the Zed Drei have now lost their little glued-on plastic BMW roundels from the center. But we've got a swell new $720 million retractable-roof china cabinet in which to store our Peyton Manning.
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20 comments:

Bruce H. said...

>> ... Franklin Township in Indianapolis discontinued free school bus service ...

You have independent school districts within the city of Indianapolis? That's quite remarkable. Praiseworthy, too, but mostly remarkable.

og said...

As someone who doesn't consider anything a sport unless it involves the distinct possibility of something dead coming home at the end (Hunting, fishing, open wheel racing) none of this crap would happen if people weren't willing to sit in front of their blab slab for hours at a time watching someone else play a game. If that's your thing, fine. I'm sick to death of paying for it. There are privately funded stadiums, so the business model obviously works. I have not heard of any indy or nascar tracks receiving federal funding, does anyone know if this is the case?

More annoying to me is the Indiana DNR funding. I believe they run on 20 million a year or less, IIRC. It's a tiny budget considering what they do, and is the smallest DNR budget of any of the 50 states, or was in 98, the last year I saw the real numbers. And this is supported- again, if memory serves- by ammo and sporting goods taxes.

let the sports junkies have their stadia. And let them pay for it. Get your hands out of my pockets.

Buzz said...

For shame, Tam. You don't think Peyton is the greatest quarterback, athlete, spokesman, philanthropist EVER in the history of the world?
You need to drink a few buckets of Kool-Aid®, purchased at a restuarant in Marion county or one of the "ring" counties where you can pay the extra sales tax for paying the debt on his purty cabinet.

Peyton WAS a decent quarterback, but he's well past his prime and completely one-dimensional. The fact that the Colts keep putting all their china in the same cabinet means the Colts will continue to slide down the standings as dust collects on his statue.

Mike said...

Those roundels fall off all the time. They're pretty cheap to replace, and they just stick back on. Have the roundels on the hood and trunk faded out yet? Those take a little more to replace. You have to pry them off and pop the new ones into place.

Ken said...

Peyton wears nearly the same laundry as Johnny Unitas, the great Unitas (one of the best there ever were, along with Otto Graham and Joe Montana).

As for Adaptive Curmudgeon, he's dead right. The same thing applies to municipal rec centers, for all that we have a nice one in our town. Why should non-users be made to pay?

staghounds said...

I'll bet that interschool sports weren't cut due to budget shortfalls.

As my stepfather said, "Tennessee would burn the books in the library if that were the only way to illuminate Neyland stadium.

Ruth said...

There were damn near riots here when one of the local school districts decided that, to save money, instead of picking up the snowflakes at their houses they were going to have to walk a block or two to the main road and be picked up there. You'd have thought they were all going to freeze to death in the space of a couple hundred feet.....

Rob said...

At my school the only kids who road the school bus were the ones who lived outside of town. If you were in town, either your parents gave you a ride or you walked.

Borepatch said...

Me, I won't roast rats over English Lit until I've gone through all my Jacques Derrida texts.

Oh, wait ...

And FWIW, I walked to school. Through the snow. Up hill both ways.

Old NFO said...

Gotta agree with AC :-) I lived in 'town' as a kid, and walked/biked to school until I got a car and started driving myself. I never rode the bus.

wolfwalker said...

... the part where we're huddled in the ruins, cooking rats over bonfires made of English Lit textbooks.

As fine a use for an English Lit textbook as has ever been devised.

og said...

Don't forget too flog the blogmeet. I'll be there probably along with partner and Mr B and Midwest Chick and possibly others on that sunday.

greg said...

As a New England Patriots fan, I can totally understand why you don't think it is worth it to spend money on a Peyton Manning led team...

Joe in PNG said...

og said:"Don't forget to flog the blogmeet..."

so, that's what you're calling it these days...

Joe said...

But something is rotten in Franklin Township when the school "leased" their buses to the private company for $1...the private company's CEO is the Superintendant of Franklin Township Schools.

Franklin Township put themselves in this position buy building outlandish athletic facilities and new schools.

Matt said...

35 is way too young to play the "walked a thousand miles to school uphill both ways through 5-mile-deep snow drifts even in July, and don't get me started about winter..." game. I walked. Or my mom drove me, sometimes, when the weather was bad. But most days I talked her out of that, and at least half the time when I lost that argument, it turned out that school was closed anyway.

Busses were for the crippled kids, and the ones who lived out in the sticks where the sidewalks didn't go and walking to school might actually have been enough of an ordeal to be worth exaggerating in classic oldfogey fashion.

When did riding the bus from home to school become the default even for people who live in an actual...you know...CITY?

There are parts of Indiana where I'd have some sympathy with that. On a per-square-mile basis they might well qualify as "most of the state". But I've looked at a map, and Franklin Township ain't one of 'em.

Scout26 said...

My sister lives in Franklin Township, she vote against the tax hike. She has told all her neighbors they have two weeks to get their school transportation issues sorted out, before she has to once again start driving her daughter to the private school she attends.

And add me to the Blogmeet/Indy 1500 Fun Show list. I'll be down from Chicago that weekend.

Adrian K said...

I keep sayin' that you really need to get a dirtbike for those Indianapolis streets, Tam. Soft, long-travel suspension and great gas mileage.

They've got all the freeways under construction here in Seattle, so the trucks have to use surface streets.

The scary part is that an awful lot of the local froot-loops here really believe that everything will be peachy keen if we got rid of all the freeways and those nasty heavy industries. Stupid nihilists.

Larry said...

You'll want to hold on to that Manning, it will be a collector's item one day. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

Now, you only need a payton manning to store in that convertible monstrosity... Seriously diggin this blog o' yours. :)