I think I am gonna change things up around here after this brutal campaign season. These last few months, it seems I have spent too much time sitting at my kitchen counter reading and writing, then writing and reading some more.  Actually, I plan to keep doing that.  But I am planning on much of the tabloid style content that has been overwhelming my readers to fizzle out in the days and week's that follow November 8. That way, I can restake my claim as the edgy smart aleck who isn't afraid to write about the tough topics.  "Tough" means difficult in ...

Keith Cooper has served his time. Actually, he served someone else’s time in what appears to be a massive failing of Indiana’s criminal justice system. These things happen. The world, and the people living in it, are unquestionably imperfect after all. Cooper is the man who spent nearly ten years in Indiana prisons for a crime he didn't commit. He was convicted of armed robbery in 1997 and then released in 2006 as a result of a plea deal and is now living in Chicago. He is asking for a pardon of the erroneous conviction to have the felony removed from ...

I was overcome on Saturday with the urge to do some research on a great quote from a great man.  "Knowledge is good." Oh, how difficult it is to argue with the elegant simplicity of that. And who is the inspirational leader who said those words? Why Emil Faber of course! Faber is the fictitious founder of the fictitious school, Faber College, home of Delta Tau Chi fraternity.  Which is otherwise known as "Animal House." Laugh all you want, but "knowledge is good" are words we need badly right now. So this week I have chosen seven random incidents to put on a list ...

Keith Cooper is becoming a household name around here these days.  It's ironic because all he wants from the State of Indiana is to have his name given back to him. Cooper is an African American convicted felon who lives in Chicago. He was released from the Indiana Department of Correction in 2006, after spending nearly ten years in prison, much of it at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. He wants Gov. Mike Pence to issue a pardon for his conviction for an uncommon reason: he is innocent. In 1997, Cooper was convicted in Elkhart County of armed robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison. ...

A couple of weeks ago, we replaced the television in our bedroom for one main reason: the “smart” part of our old smart TV quit working and we couldn't watch Netflix. I need Netflix because of its endless library of stand up comedy. My wife on the other hand decided the first order of business was to re-watch all of “The West Wing” from the start. I had forgotten what an awesome show that was. Oddly, Martin Sheen’s performance as the fictitious President Jed Bartlet is incredibly believable. The character is not perfect, however. In season one, we learn that he withheld ...

It was a maddening week on the racial harmony front here in America. And in my quest to find a quick and easy solution to it all, I came across some great reading. My confidence is low that any of you have read what I read, but since a couple of these columns made me feel a little better, I felt it my duty to share. The first piece was by Dr. Laree Kiely in the August 6, 2013 edition of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) newsletter titled “The Art of Disagreement.” An old ASPA newsletter doesn't sound exciting ...

For my forty-ninth birthday, I am going to Chicago to see my favorite musician, David Ryan Harris. On his latest record he sings some great fatherly advice his grandpa once sang to his dad: “When the sun is on your shoulder, may it give you strength to shine. So that as you grow to be a man, you never lose the boy inside.” Losing “the boy inside” has never been my problem. I just spent four days with my younger son on a fishing trip. Seems like pretty standard father/son fare. And I guess it could be if one was inclined to let ...

The craze of the Olympics missed me. I don't really know why. I admire the athletes and I love to see American women and men win the biggest prizes on the biggest stages they will ever occupy. The personal stories of the athletes and their families is also classic fodder for the patriot in each of us. I haven't heard a bad one. I understand the fanaticism in the games and I want see it continue and grow. It's fun. And these athletes are extraordinary. This first week of the games though has provoked many opinions about the coverage by NBC, mostly ...

It is the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. June 26, 2015 was the day that the fundamental right to marry became guaranteed to same-sex couples in America. A year ago, I suggested that this date would someday appear on high school history exams. Hopefully this reminder will help. Today in Indiana, the LGBT community is still not defined as a class for purposes of civil rights protections by the state. Many local units of government have passed ordinances, but the Indiana General Assembly remains paralyzed on the issue. Arguably worse though, Indiana also ...

Early in the morning on June 12, a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub. The incident immediately became the new largest mass shooting in American history. On June 13, a 13-year-old boy from Cumberland, Indiana was charged with murder for the May 27 shooting of 9-year-old, Anthony Harmon, Jr. The catastrophic news from this suburban Indianapolis neighborhood seemed to be demoted by the day prior’s global sized drama. At least it seemed that way for most. The fact is that these are a couple of exhibits of undeniable proof of an intolerable cultural scourge that no American should tolerate. Most Americans defend ...