Tag Archives: political courage

Civilized Travel

I’m so jealous.

I’m writing this in the absolutely magnificent St. Pancris station in London, using the free, fast wifi while waiting for the Eurostar to depart for Paris.

I may be jinxing us by saying this, but so far we’ve found travel far more efficient than our experiences at home led us to expect.

We’ve flown Baltic Air twice and Ryan Air once–each time leaving promptly on time, with a minimum of fuss. No removing our shoes, no “getting intimate” with security personnel. No boarding by row numbers. (In the case of Ryan Air, no assigned seats.)

We flew from Dublin to Birmingham, and took the train directly from the airport to London’s Euston Station. The train was high speed; we were served breakfast, and there was free wifi. Businesspeople plugged in their laptops and worked, and there was no clickety-clack to disturb them–it was smooth continous rail. When we arrived in London, we walked three blocks to St. Pancreas, which, in addition to being beautifully renovated, is immaculate and inviting. The rest of our trip to Berlin will also be by rail.

Trains here are modern and clean. Electronic signs on the platforms tell how many minutes until the next arrivals; similar signs are at bus stops. (We have access to the technology, but to my knowledge it isn’t being used by IndyGo. It would be helpful in Indianapolis, since unlike the five-minute headways here, our buses run every forty minutes or so, and are frequently late.)

It’s so civilized to travel on a dependable, integrated transportation system. We could have such a system, if we had the political will.

Instead, we aren’t even repairing our bridges.

Gasp–An Actual Exhibit of Political Courage!

We have all become used to elected officials who approach their duties with their fingers raised to test which way the wind is blowing, and their ears to the ground to see which way the crowd is going.  As one wag put it, it’s hard to look up to someone in that position. Once elected, all too many of them put being re-elected at the very top of their “to do” list, and conclude that laying low is the best way to accomplish that.

So it was both surprising and gratifying to see Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry come out against Senator Delph’s ill-conceived and mean-spirited immigration bill.

Curry pointed out the bill’s legal flaws, including the fact that immigration is a responsibility of the federal government. But he went farther, describing the proposal as a waste of resources–not only because a legal challenge would be inevitable, but because the law would further erode the ability of local law-enforcement to focus on their primary duty to ensure public safety.

Curry is correct on all counts, of course. But more importantly, he was willing to speak out against a proposal that would marginalize some of our citizens in order to play to the prejudices and misconceptions of others.

A prosecutor who wants Indiana to respect the Constitution and the law and is willing to say so–how incredibly refreshing!