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Friday, December 30, 2005 
miss ann goes federal
while it might not seem like the miss ann story has been progressing, especially with my relative absence from the blog, things are moving along slowly and my old posts continue to bring in comments—mostly anonymous, but mostly civil also.

i have now been notified that miss ann is filing a motion to move her case to federal court. she says:

I am asking the US District court to hear my case because I believe my 1st Ammendment rights may be violated in that the language of the zoning ordiance is vague and overly broad. I feel certain it will be accepted and equally certain that Ms. Prosecutor will try to move it back into Marion County Environmental court where it is currently slated.

I have already filed an appearance and have been granted an enlargement of time. I have not yet filed an answer to the charges, but plan to do so soon. After that I plan to do discovery from the prosecutor's office.

Soon I will have the documents I've filed published and available on my site. I intend to keep this very public.

this might be a bit of a risky move, but if she wants get the zoning ordinance struck down as unconstitutional, this is probably a necessary step, as i'm sure it wouldn't (and couldn't) happen on the marion county court.

the edible horseshoes of springfield illinois
on wednesday, virago and i drove to springfield illinois to visit some of her family: her paternal grandmother as well as one of her uncles (and his family). wed night we drove down there, ate dinner at ryan's, and watched a bit of the 1976 remake of king kong on IMC.

on thursday we visited the abraham lincoln presidential library and museum. being the week between xmas and new year's, it was a bit more crowded than i'd like. but the museum was very cool. it has some really interesting exhibits, like a tv studio set up to show you what tv campaign ads for the 1860 election might've looked like (hosted by tim russert), or a hallway filled with editorial cartoons from the time that mocked lincoln: everything was at skewed, non-right angles to give it a more unsettling feel, while nonstop voices came out of hidden speakers telling us how incompetent and downright evil lincoln was. it was surreal, and probably not a good place to take psychotropics.

then we drove around springfield for a bit, did a little sightseeing, and finally went to dinner with virago's family. at this dinner we were introduced to the local taste sensation called the horseshoe.

a horseshoe (also available in a smaller portion called a "pony shoe") is an open-faced sandwich on toast. on top of the meat or veggie of your choice, they pile on a stack of shoestring french fries. on top of that, they pour a heaping portion of cheese sauce. the place we went (the dublin pub) even gives you a choice of white or yellow cheese sauce, but not all places do. i live only a 3-4 hour drive from springfield, and i'd never heard of horseshoes.

there were 8 of us at dinner, and everyone at our table ordered a pony shoe. i had a hamburger pony with yellow sauce. it wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. and it sure as hell isn't healthy: like cheese fries and a hamburger merged into one food item. but hey, it gave me the opportunity to say i've eaten a shoe, so that has to account for something.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 
which is worse: walgreens or domniatrixes?
even if you've never been anywhere near indianapolis, you're still likely to have heard about atlas supermarket, a local landmark at 54th st and college ave. david letterman worked there as a bagboy in his youth and played that up heavily on his show. atlas was closed a couple years back. one version of the story involves a dispute with the butcher's union. another version simply says that the owners were old and ready to retire.

marsh bought the property and promised that it would build an arthur's market at the location of the popular grocer. but that arthur's market has never come. someone even installed an ugly chain-link fence around the property, but that eventually came down, presumably because of local uproar.

now marsh has finally admitted that it is looking into selling the property. there is a brief blurb about it in the indy star but i would rather discuss a piece from the indiana business journal. i can't actually find the article on the ibj website as it's not very friendly to free browsing. however, user flinchbot has posted it to the off-topic forum at IMN (again, paid membership required to view the thread, so no link):

Tom McGowan, Kite's chief operating officer, told the neighborhood representatives that they plan to put two structures on the property: one for Walgreen's and one for two additional commercial tenants.

According to Jim Garrettson, president of the neighborhood association, McGowan said the property comes with a steep price tag.

While details are unknown, a retail real estate broker, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the sale price is likely around $2 million.

Walgreen's is one of the few tenants that can afford a lease at the site, McGowan told Garrettson.

Garrettson and other members of the neighborhood association are furious. They had hoped for a market similar to the former Atlas, which was locally owned and stocked a wide variety of fresh products.

"Given the fact that we couldn't get the dominatrix to move her house there, I can't think of anything worse than a Walgreen's, with the possible exception of that," Garrettson said, referring to a recent news story about a sex industry worker with a home in the area.

ooh, check out the cheap shot by MKNA'a jim garrettson. he gets in his little dig at miss ann, and the ibj happily obliges him by referring to her as a "sex industry worker". seems like jim has sex on the brain. maybe if he stopped by miss ann's house for a session he would loosen up a bit.

but despite all that, garrettson does have a point that the location is an odd choice for a walgreen's:

He's perplexed that Walgreen's would want to open a store at the location. It already has two locations less than two miles away--at 51st Street and Keystone Avenue and at 38th Street and College Avenue.

One real estate broker, speaking off the record, said Kite should expect a good fight from the neighborhood association.

"[The Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association] wants things that are unrealistic in terms of development standards," the broker said. "They seem to be contrarian to anything anybody wants to do."

i don't know what to make of the anonymous broker's comments; the broker likely has their own agenda and i might not agree with their actual view at all. but as far as MKNA being "unrealistic" and "contrarian", that does sound like the MKNA i know...

holiday greetings etc.
i hope everyone out there who celebrates christmas had a good one. mine was reasonably good. my big present this year was a new suit. that might be a surprise to some of you who know that my wardrobe revolves primarily around my huge t-shirt collection, but it was mom's idea, because you never know when you might need or want to dress up and do something fancy. i think it looks pretty good, actually, and am looking forward to a good chance to wear it. i also got some other good stuff, like a $20 gift certificate to indy cd & vinyl from virago.

i gave virago a 20" replica of the "major award" lamp from a christmas story (which i found courtesy of indyscribe and i knew she'd love) as well as a copy of the movie and an interesting calendar featuring "fabulous '50s advertising". i also ordered a copy of the new jason forrest on LP from forced exposure but it hasn't arrived yet and probably hasn't even shipped.

and of course i'm enjoying all my time off work. yesterday we went to the new landmark theatre at the fashion mall to see capote. i really enjoyed the movie and the theatre is nice, though it sucks to have to walk through the fashion mall (popularly called "the fascist mall" in some circles) to get there. tomorrow we plan to visit some of virago's family in illinois. but other than that, we just plan to relax some more.

if you don't celebrate christmas, the good news is that soon, you won't have to hear about it again until next november!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 
while you were gaming...
while i've been away from the blog and not paying much attention to the news, the world has kept on turning.

prop 622 passed last night. it is now illegal to make hiring or housing decisions on the basis of sexual orientation. and steph was on fox59 news a couple more times. i saw the teasers for it on sunday night, but didn't get to see the segment itself.

i did hear that the move to extend the patriot act was blocked by a senate filibuster. but in my seclusion i totally missed the story that bush approved secret NSA wiretaps against american citizens without a warrant. this is illegal, but bush claims he has the authority under executive privelege. and there's also been some debate about the nytimes's timing on the story: reportedly the times knew about this for "a year", possibly since before the election, and sat on it until "it became apparent a book by one of its reporters was about to break the news".

ouch. the things you miss while you're not paying attention. (tip to atrios, where you'll find lots more on the NSA snooping story.)

Monday, December 19, 2005 
hot seat vacation blogging
virago's classes are done for the year. i had enough vacation time left over that i'm taking the next two weeks off work. while i'm on vacation i might not have a lot of blogging time, though i'll try to make an appearance every couple days at least, and hopefully soon i'll have time for a big post about antisemitism in bibleman.

now that connie is on winter break, i thought i'd give her an early xmas present: her own copy of civilization 4. i knew she'd want to play over break, and with her own copy i wouldn't have to sit and watch her play on my computer. also, i figured, with multiple copies we would be able to play multiplayer.

only then did i bother to read the "multiplayer" section of the civ 4 manual. so only then did i discover what "hot seat" meant.

i'd seen the term on the box and knew civ 4 supported it, whatever it was, but it hadn't occurred to me to look it up. turns out you can play civ 4 multiplayer using only one computer if you play in hot seat mode. it works just like you expect: i take my turn, then when i'm done, an alert pops up saying "VIRAGO, it's your turn!" then she takes her turn, and so on.

while i've heard it argued that a single-player game at standard speed is too short, that could not be said about two-player hot seat, which unsurprisingly takes almost twice as long. it's a pretty good game length.

but we're not only playing the game. friday night we went by local's only to see lunar event and infinite number of sounds. saturday night we went to a great dinner party. yesterday we made xmas cookies with my family. and pretty soon we'll be running out to do some gift shopping. so i'm getting some stuff done, just not blogging necessarily.

Friday, December 16, 2005 
friday cat bending: iron lan returns
this is friday cat databending #7. (link to #6)

continuing from last week, here are a few more bends of iron lan! this is likely to be the last friday cat bending of 2005.

iron-lan2.JPG: original image:

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i bent this file repeatedly until it rendered differently in firefox and internet explorer. it took a lot of bending, but finally i got there. so below is the actual bent file, along with what it looked like on firefox and ie on my home computer. the only real difference between those two versions is all the blocky, pixellated stuff at the bottom. but maybe it'll look different on your computer... take a look.

iron-lan2.JPG: actual bent image

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Thursday, December 15, 2005 
inside indiana politics
i'm a bit behind on all this—if you're already reading hoosier blogs like advance indiana or the ones on my blogroll (and i should add advance indiana to my blogroll) then you've already heard most of this—but with the holidays coming up i might not have as much time to blog, so let's get some content up while we can, eh?

the HRO (prop 622, which would among other things protect people in indianapolis from discrimination based on sexual orientation/identity) passed out of committee the other day, on a 5-3 party-line vote. word is that the meeting was long, crowded, and vocal. tons of people came in to testify, with the HRO supporters outnumbering the opposition, which resorted to the usual irrational hate and fear arguments.

totally by chance, i was watching a recorded program on tivo, and after it ended i was left watching fox 59. fox 59 news did a brief report on the HRO's passage, and i just happened to see a clip of steph mineart on tv testifying. (steph and i work for the same parent company, in the same building.) but my favorite quote comes from this indy star piece:

David Matthias, who said he was a business owner and landlord from Warren Township, said if the proposal fails, he will fire all his heterosexual employees and evict all his heterosexual tenants. He pointed out that the ordinance would protect heterosexuals, as well.

"Why would I do it?" he asked council members. "Because I can. Only you can stop me by voting for this proposal."

heh. of course, this is right, and reports that the HRO would "protect gays and lesbians" are inaccurate. the HRO would protect everyone from sexual-orientation-based disrimination, although heterosexuals are never discriminated against in this way. but they could be, and they would not be protected unless the HRO passes. still, some people don't get it, and some councillors have reportedly started receiving threatening emails and letters.

and speaking of threats, indiana house speaker brian bosma has decided to appeal the recent decision that would ban sectarian prayer from the statehouse.

b-boz's arguments are still disingenuous; he tries to frame it as though prayer was banned or his first amendment rights have been trampled, neither of which are actually true:

While the state fights the ruling, Bosma said, "we will find a way to have prayer within the (judge's) order in one fashion or another."

of course, the judge said it was perfetly fine to "have prayer", so long as it isn't overtly sectarian, doesn't proselytize, and doesn't mention jesus etc by name. so this is a line of bull from bosma; hardly surprising since b-boz has been breaking up rails of bull for us to snort for a long time now.

then there's this quote, which almost every blogger seems to mention:

"I've taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of this state and the United States 11 times, 10 as an elected official and one as a lawyer," Bosma said. "Direct defiance of a federal judge's order I don't think would be a respectful means of an elected official showing that we are a nation of laws and not of men."

i'm mildly (and pleasantly) surprised that bosma figured out this fact, which i had pointed out in my previous post on the topic.

not that b-boz has been reading my blog or anything. i'm quite certain he hasn't. state officials, especially republicans, have other priorities than reading this meager blog. now, city officials, on the other hand...

yes, last week's nuvo article about miss ann and her appearance on abdul in the morning last friday attracted a lot of attention to the miss ann story, including some people with the city of indianapolis. people on city computers started poring through miss ann's website on friday, and chances are pretty high that they at least stopped by here too. hi there, city flacks!

it also attracted a swarm of new commenters to the miss ann posts. this one in particular now holds the record of "most-commented-on entry" on the blog, currently at 17 comments (though i wrote 7 of those). that got a little hairy, as a few commenters insisted that the area where miss ann lives is "undesirable", which i had a bit of a problem with considering that i live in that area and grew up there as well. i was a bit confused by it all, since if you were standing in front of miss ann's house looking at the neighborhood you would probably think it was a pretty damn nice area. what these commenters really had a problem with is the poor people who live a few blocks away; i tried to explain the intricacies of MKNA politics and demographics, but they weren't having it. (and i suspect what they really had a problem with is the fact that those poor people nearby are predominantly black.) but that discussion died down a couple days ago.

and the story even attracted at least one troll, who started polluting the comments with silly nonsense and some distasteful comments. see the last comments on the previously mentioned post for some examples. i will not feed the troll by linking to or rebutting any of his comments. i was strongly tempted to delete one particular comment that even hurt my feelings (it wasn't on a miss ann thread; that's the only hint i'm giving), and was even tempted to turn on comment moderation for a while, but i have done neither and currently have no intention to. trolls come with traffic, and i'll just deal with it. but i still reserve the right to delete comment spam, and even offensive comments if i feel it necessary.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 
stunt rock review on pitchfork
read the review here... if you can stomach reading pitchfork, that is.

while it's great that artists i know and have worked with are getting attention (srock released a tape on bad taste and collaborated on mono a mono), it's a typical pitchfork review. which means that it gets basic facts wrong and says absolutely nothing of substance.

the whole paragraph about how the songs don't have titles is particularly ridiculous. anyone who knows anything about stunt rock knows that the song titles are half the fun, and yes, those "quotes" are indeed the song titles.

this is really a review of the cd packaging and liner notes. it doesn't have much to say about the actual musical content of the album; certainly no real insight into the content is given here. and what's with the lowly 6.5 rating? it's hardly a negative review, but no explanation is given for the mediocre score.

on top of all that, reports on the addict board are that the original review stated that this was "his debut album under the Stunt Rock moniker", a particularly silly error considering that the album's title is This Is Stunt Rock Volume Three! if you read it now, it says "latest album", so this blatant error has since been corrected, but i have no reason to doubt the addict board members on this fact. it sounds like par for the course for pitchfork.

possibly even worse is this review of jason forrest's latest cd. the whole review is written in the context of "the parabolic course of the mashup/bootleg craze"... but it doesn't just describe jason forrest/donna summer as an outcropping of the mashup scene: apparently "the willfully underground breakcore scene" is a progression of the mashup scene, too. and if you're wondering who the "forefather" of the breakcore movement is, you might be surprised to learn that it's kid 606.

the jason forrest album does merit an 8.2, which is a pretty decent score. but dear god, the entire framework of the review is so incredibly off-the-mark that i could barely bring myself to keep reading after the first sentence. jf/ds a part of the mashup scene? breakcore a progression of the mashup scene? clearly the reviewer, rob mitchum, has absolutely no conception of electronic music before 2001 or so, as breakcore predates "the mashup/bootleg craze" by at least 5-6 years and plunderphonic collage has been around since... what, the '40s?

i guess i knew what i was in for going there at all, but damn do i hate pitchfork.

sam seder is a hawk in the war on christmas
you know, i wasn't going to post about the ridiculous "war on christmas" meme spearheaded by bill o'reilly and john gibson because i thought that more people discussing it (even derisively) gave it more seeming validity, and it was too absurd to waste my breath on. the whole idea that there is some "war" on christmas, that non-christians get offended when someone says "merry christmas" (or worse, that christians honestly get offended when someone says "happy holidays") is so completely asinine that it's hard to believe anyone, even foxnews pundits, could take it seriously.

but then i saw this on atrios and i had to share.

sam seder is the co-host of air america's show the majority report (hosted by janeane garofalo). and if you couldn't tell from the fact that his name is sam seder, he's jewish. normally, i wouldn't feel the need to mention something like that, but it's somewhat relevant considering that the subject is christmas. and sam seder is possibly the most jewish-sounding name i've ever heard in my life. his last name is seder, for solomon's sake!

sam seder was on cnn debating someone named bob knight (no, not the basketball coach, though it does seem that people named "bob knight" have a propensity to go off their rockers) about the war on christmas, and advocates immediate military action:

SEDER: Listen, as far as the war on Christmas goes, I feel like we should be waging a war on Christmas. I mean, I believe that Christmas, it's almost proven that Christmas has nuclear weapons, can be an imminent threat to this country, that they have operative ties with terrorists and I believe that we should sacrifice thousands of American lives in pursuit of this war on Christmas. And hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

PHILLIPS: Is it a war on Christmas, a war Christians, a war on over-political correctness or just a lot of people with way too much time on their hands?

SEDER: I would say probably, if I was to be serious about it, too much time on their hands, but I'd like to get back to the operational ties between Santa Claus and al Qaeda.

PHILLIPS: I don't think that exists. Bob? Help me out here.

SEDER: We have intelligence, we have intelligence.

PHILLIPS: You have intel. Where exactly does your intel come from?

SEDER: Well, we have tortured an elf and it's actually how we got the same information from Al Libbi. It's exactly the same way the Bush administration got this info about the operational ties between al Qaeda and Saddam.

later on, knight got desperate enough to bring in the references to the nazis. being compared to nazis tends to piss off jews, for reasons that should be obvious, but sam was prepared and mentioned that puritans banned celebrating christmas, etc.

see the video on crooks & liars or think progress.

Monday, December 12, 2005 
RIP richard pryor
i learned from syntax's blog that legendary comedian and entertainer richard pryor passed away this weekend. his effect on the entertainment world was immeasurable. he was truly one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century.

pryor knew a lot of tragedy in his life, from growing up the child of a prostitute in peoria illinois to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. but he somehow always seemed to overcome adversity and then work it into his act.

i'm sad to say tha my personal richard pryor collection is somewhat skimpy... i own maybe a couple records, and can only think of one of his movies that i own—the mack, which has some great moments but is hardly a great film. though with his passing, i expect a lot of his older material to be re-released in 2006.

his official biography at is worth a read, though the site hasn't been updated since his death, and his trademark phrase "i'm not dead yet, motherfucker!" is not so poignant anymore.

Friday, December 09, 2005 
xerox those song lyrics for me
i saw this bbc story this morning about how next year, the music publishers' association (MBA) is going to start going after websites that provide song lyrics and guitar tablatures. and the MPA doesn't want to just shut down some websites and collect some fines: MPA prez lauren keiser said he wants to "throw in some jail time".

when i was younger i always hated when i would buy a tape and it wouldn't have the lyrics printed in the liner notes. being young, idealistic, and still naive about intellectual property issues, i couldn't comprehend why any band or label would want to put out a record without including the lyrics. how else were music fans like me supposed to memorize the words and sing along?

i have since learned about the multiple kinds of licenses and rights involved in the music business. song lyrics are protected by publishing rights, which are totally separate from recording rights, and often the copyright owner for the recording does not own the publishing rights (though it's always been routine for artists to sell off all their copyrights in a desperate attempt to get a little more money from the labels). so if a record doesn't have the lyrics printed in the liner notes, it might be the case that the label and/or artist don't have permission to reprint them.

these days i use lyrics websites to help me track down music i hear on the radio. the djs on 96.3 (blazin' hip-hop and r&b) never back-announce the songs they play. when i start to hear a new song that i like, i try to remember some of the lyrics and type them into google when i get home. most of the time, this leads me to lyrics sites where i can learn the artist name and name of the track, and then i can set about acquiring a copy.

then later today i was browsing boingboing and saw their post on this story. i'd already skimmed the story, but on second read, i noticed something peculiar about the passage that boingboing quotes:

"The Xerox machine was the big usurper of our potential income," he said. "But now the internet is taking more of a bite out of sheet music and printed music sales so we're taking a more proactive stance."

fairly typical hardline IP rhetoric, so i didn't think much of it the first time around. but read it more closely. keiser is using the brand name xerox as a word to mean "photocopy".

xerox corp. hates it, absolutely despises it when people use "xerox" as a synonym for "photocopy". in the industry this is known as trademark dilution. trademark holders must battle against trademark dilution because if they don't, they stand to lose their trademarks. for example, once upon a time, bayer held trademarks on the terms aspirin and heroin, but the US govt later genericized these marks, so that now anyone can call their products "aspirin" or "heroin" and bayer can't do a thing about it (though "heroin" is not a smart word to use in most markets). if the same were to happen to the word "xerox" then any jagoff could build a copy machine, slap "xerox" on it, and sell it. this would be devastating for xerox corp.

so, in virtually the same breath in which he proclaims that he wants to toss people in the slammer for violating his intellectual property, keiser is himself abusing the intellectual property of xerox corp! gotta love the irony there.

friday cat bending: iron lan!
after days of virtually nothing but posts about the miss ann story, i'm sure some of you are itching for something lighter (or at least different). so i'm especially proud to present the return of friday cat databending!

this is friday cat bending #6. (link to #5)

i couldn't resist using the cutesy filename of "iron lan" for this shot because he's laying next to a big stack o' comics. i don't normally read iron man, but i like warren ellis and thought i'd give a shot to his take on the character. (if you still don't get it, recall that leland also goes by the name lander kitt.)

i decided to go back to JPG bending this week, so i resized iron-lan2.JPG to 1024x768 and resaved with progressive encoding. to try something different, i set it to 5 scans instead of 3 (the default), though my results weren't noticeably all that different.

the file bent pretty easily and i ended up with lots of results; even after deleting all but the best ones, there were still too many for one post. so this week i'm posting the first 6, and next week i'll post another 5-6 as well as the actual bent file.

iron-lan2.JPG: original image:

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Thursday, December 08, 2005 
stAllio!'s greatest hits
now that miss ann's website links to me as a "news blogger" covering her story, i figured it was about time to add a "greatest hits" section. this is a little section at the top of my blogroll (immediately beneath the turntable graphic at the top right of the page) that links to past blog entries of particularly high importance or interest. because, although right now it might seem like it's "all miss ann all the time" (i haven't had time to post about much else, and this is a developing story that nobody else is blogging about with any depth), sooner or later i will run out of things to say about that story and move on to other subjects. but those are relatively important posts for my meager blog, so new visitors should still be able to find those posts easily, even after they've drifted off the "front page".

in contrast, other new/future visitors might be more interested in friday cat bending, where i blend the blog tradition of friday cat blogging with databending and post new databent images of my cat on fridays (but not every friday, and i'll soon branch to friends' cats). so the "greatest hits" section has links to some of those posts too. and hey, cat bending fans, chipper up: friday cat bending will return tomorrow!

but those are pretty recent posts, from the past couple months or so. i've had this blog for two years now. surely there must have been some posts between november 2003 and october 2005 that deserve to be placed in the greatest hits section.

so here's my question to you: what should i put there? what was your favorite post or most memorable highlight? what sticks out in your memory? for the most part i can hardly remember what i blogged about more than a couple months ago, so help me out here, and help out the newbies by letting 'em know where to find the good stuff.

what exactly is jack rinehart's beat?
after my previous post, where miss ann takes RTV6's jack rinehart to task, i thought i'd check on some of his past work.

rinehart's official bio lists him as a "general assignment reporter" but what does that mean? "general assignment" could be pretty much anything. so if you could find an archive of his stories, you would imagine to find a wide variety of topics covered. and in a sense, i guess you could say that was true. but on further inspection, i noticed that all the stories i could find seemed to have something in common: they are all salacious and full of vice. drugs, prostitution, molestation, grand theft, murder, you name it. if it bleeds, it's probably by jack rinehart.

his bio states that his "proudest moment" was breaking the mike tyson rape story. granted, that was a big story, and he apparently won an emmy for his reporting on that story. but a scan of his work suggests that most of his stories are about crime or other R-rated subjects. it's pulp journalism.

take a look at this google advanced search, which collects all occurrences of the phrase "jack rinehart" that appear on (RTV6's web presence).

on page 1 of the search, in addition to two stories about the "dominatrix" (miss ann) and the link to his bio, we find the following stories:

Police: Church Fire Intentionally Set
Deliveryman: I Shot Man in Self Defense
Man Questioned After Body Found In Car Trunk
Man Apologizes For Teen's Slaying, Calls It Self-Defense
Officer Loses Eye, Suspect At-Large Following Shooting
Police: Man Wounded Would-Be Robber In Self-Defense

so we have three dead bodies, two wounded bodies (including a cop with a gouged-out eye), a church fire, and a dominatrix... and that's only in the first 10 hits! seriously: you might think i'm being selective and picking only the juiciest stories, but see for yourself.

want more? let's skip to page 2:

Police: Prostitutes Worked At Home Massage Business
Pacers Players Questioned About Credit Card Scam
Defense Attorneys Fight Man's Death Wish
Sex Offenders Elude Police Tracking
Truck Crashes Into Indianapolis House
Student Accuses School Workers Of Inappropriate Contact
Police: Man Killed Wife After Hearing Divorce Plan
Officers: Pet Store's Condition Worst We've Seen
Veteran's Missing Medal Of Honor Found
Allegation Against Scientist Means DNA Retests In 64 Cases

starting to get the picture? page 2 has more dead bodies, prostitutes, a car crash, sex offenders, fraud, and a war hero whose prized medal was stolen. if you're still not convinced and proceed to page 3, you'll find more sex offenders, more condemned properties, another car crash, a driver's ed teacher caught DWI, a bridge burning (literally), and yes...even "terror concerns".

terror concerns! if any phrase i found in this google search truly epitomizes the idea of sensationalized fear-mongering pseudojournalism, it's "terror concerns".

page 4 has a carjacking, a police shooting (of a sword-wielding man!), a swinger's club, a chemical spill, a prostitution ring, still more dead bodies, and a headline featuring the wonderful quote "it felt like hell".

it goes on and on like that. practically every story involves lurid crimes or seedy things happening behind closed doors. what's up with that? is rinehart working the sleaze beat?

i suppose i could come up with other explanations. like maybe he also collaborates on stories that are more "wholesome" but doesn't get his name in those stories as often. or maybe his work on other stories just doesn't end up on the website (he is a tv journalist, after all). or maybe his most salacious stories simply get more clicks and thus higher google page ranks while his less juicy work ends up at the bottom of the pile (though the last page of results, page 16, includes tales of robbery, assault, voyeurism, homicide, and arson, which pokes some holes in that theory). but occam's razor would suggest that if it looks like tabloid journalism and sounds like tabloid journalism, it's most likely to be tabloid-style journalism.

in a way, it's kind of a shame this didn't happen last month, because november 10 was officially jack rinehart day! celebrating 30 years of sleaze.

miss ann versus jack rinehart
jack rinehart is a journalist at WRTV-6 (the local abc affiliate) who first "broke" the story about miss ann's dungeon with a sensationalistic sweeps-time story back in 2003. he was also apparently the lead reporter for WRTV's first follow-up report... which mysteriously appeared the day before mayor peterson's press conference (the second follow-up was apparently by norman cox). the other media outlets didn't pick up the story until the next day, after the press conference.

miss ann doesn't much care for rinehart's reporting style and has some not-nice things to say about him on imn's off-topic forum. because a paid "VIP" membership is required to view or post in off-topic, i will not bother linking to the thread and will instead repost her comments here. i suspect she won't mind, as she's been very appreciative of my blogging on this subject so far.

[miss ann's original post misspelled rinehart's name as "rhinehart". i have tried to correct this, but other than that, the following block quote is unedited and verbatim.]


I thought it was time to talk about what I know about Jack Rinehart. On November 30 at 1pm or so I was sitting in my sunroom office working on the computer at the time Jack Rinehart from Channel 6 was heading up my sidewalk with a camera man. This may come as a shock, but the camera man from channel 6 actually pushed his camera right up to my sunroom windows and was filming inside my home! This is nothing short of being a 'peeping' Tom. I did not know journalists were allowed to film INSIDE someone's home without permission, but he did it anyway. (How does he live with himself?)

Jack Rinehart then produced my summons to appear for the zoning violation and I read it. He would not let me touch the copy for some reason. While I read the summons through my window, he told me with glee in his eyes, that the Mayor was holding a press conference the next day in regard to my "illegal" businesses. I asked where and he would not tell.

After Jack left I got on the internet and started poking around for information and asked some friends I know in the city what they knew. None of my contacts knew anything. One of my friends got back to me and said that there was no official announcement from the Mayor's office. He told me, he would keep an eye out for me though. At 5pm, I was telephoned and told that at 4:30pm the press conference announcement was finally sent.

How is it that Jack Rinehart knows when the mayor's press conferences are before anyone else in the media or in the city? Why is it that Jack Rinehart and channel 6 always have lead stories on these so-called "crackdowns" of illegal "sex businesses"? I wonder who Jack is in bed with at city hall.

Could it be that city hall knows Jack will stoop to tabloid journalism and gives Jack tips before the rest of the media who have more scruples than to point a camera to film inside someone's private residence? Could it be that the city knows Jack is not above harassing their intended targets (me)?

It is also interesting to note that Jack was right there on the scene to film (for dramatic effect) the sherrif serving me the summons; the same summons Jack Rinehart got to see and read before even I did.

It is shameful how our city treats its citizens. And it is shameful how Jack Rinehart stoops to the invasion of privacy of Indy's tax payer citizens and harasses them.

The role of journalists is supposed to be watchdogs and to report truth in events.

Jack Rinehart, from my experience, has done nothing but work as a media operative to advance the city's campaign to frame me as an illegal "sex" business, when indeed I am not an illegal "sex business" according to the definition of their written laws.

A scan is being created today of my summons to appear in court and will be added to my website. I was advised last night that the summons is missing the official seal and is not technically a legal summons without it. Should I force them to resubmit the paperwork? Afterall, it seems like the city has plenty of money to spend on attorneys and clerks to do this sort of thing to 'protect the children'.

I'm not so sure, however, why there has not been money to give city employees a raise for over two years, why the foster mom's checks were sent two weeks late, why we cannot afford to maintain and fuel the firetruck in Broadripple, and why my property taxes are going up again next year. I seem to remember my Mayor promised us in 2003 that there would be no more assessments.

I am sure that everyone agrees it is good that the Mayor found extra money to go after a business that was not even legally classified as "adult", that was in operation for years without a single incident complaint from neighbors or clients.


p.s. I linked all the press I've received over the last 2.5 years on the front page of my website. My business was/is legal and on full radar. Why else would I write so many press releases to get in the papers? Why did the mayor pick now when the city is at its poorest to spend money we don't have to go after me?

miss ann talks about zoning
miss ann contacted me this morning and asked me to post this more prominently, so here goes. if you read all the blog comments last night, this post won't have much new content for you.

yesterday someone posted this anonymous comment here on the blog:

Has anyone brought up the fact that Melyssa was told several times (once by a lawyer on the Mayor's City Counsel) that she was in violation of an Indianapolis zoning ordinance? Or that she chose to ignore these notices....?

i replied, asking anonymous to cite a source for this allegation. so far, none has been provided. i'm not holding my breath either.

a couple hours later, miss ann posted her own rebuttal. here it is in its entirety:

For the record, I was not told about a zoning violation by a lawyer or member of the Mayor's Counsel. It is interesting that the alledged lawyer's name, the date, and place of this alledged meeting are not mentioned. I believe it is cowardly to make public accusations while maintaining anonymity.

I did attend the July neighborhood association meeting where I was accused of a zoning violation, when in fact no one quoted the zoning code, nor did they distribute copies of the code I alledgedly violated. To my knowledge at the July neighborhood association meeting, I was the only person who knew the city zoning code.

The polite and professional zoning official, Kevin Tamosaitis 317-327-5019, who subsequently inspected my shop and took dozens of photos told me on his second visit that the city attorneys determined my boutique was not classified adult. (This is visit was documented in my on line group.)Teri Kendrick, city attorney, confirmed the shop was not classified as adult again at the press conference.

Had I not attended the Mayor's Press Conference and tipped off the press about the zoning code, would the media have known to specifically ask Ms. Kendrick if The Reformatory was classified as 'adult'? Thank God someone in the media spoke up, for this might be how the truth of the matter comes to public light.

Journalists keep politics in check and I, for one, am grateful they do.

Zoning official, Mr. Tamosaitis, went on to say that the city might determine that a retail zoning variance for The Chatham Center only allowed for retail in the suite formerly occupied by LAMP Fine Art Gallery. He said my landlord might have to apply for new variance to permit retail from the specific suite THE REFORMATORY occupied or for the whole building.

Mr. Tamosaitis said that as long as I kept my inventory mix exactly as it was, I could locate my shop anywhere, including Masschusetts Avenue. He cautioned that I should first make sure I see the actual paperwork proving the space was zoned for a retail boutique and art gallery.

Shortly thereafter I did look into subletting basement space on Mass Avenue, however, decided I did not want to renovate new space, spend the money to move, and continue to work for no more than I was making at the small boutique.

If the city made a decision to split hairs over which suites inside The Chatham Center could or could not be used for retail, our local artists could also be found in violation for retailing their art from any space except where the former LAMP gallery was.

Was anyone thinking about Art?

Did anyone consider that the artists I paid, would lose their side income?

I decided on October 14, to close my shop on the anniversary of The Erotic Arts Ball (10/29/05). I decided instead to focus on my growing private practice consulting with couples' looking for help in navigating a healthy D/s relationship dynamic and my well documented work promoting chastity and foundation building work of establishing and maintaining trust in personal relationships.

and before anyone complains about posting zoning inspector tamosaitis's phone number, note that his contact info is publicly available on the staff directory of the dept of metropolitan development at

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 
nuvo: matter of zoning and dominance
one thing to dislike about the nuvo website (other than the atrocious new design is the fact that it tends to take them until at least 11am to post content from the new issue to site. i don't know if this is an intentional strategy to encourage people to grab paper copies, a technical issue, laziness, procrastination, or what. but it's in stark contrast to most news publication websites, which tend to post new stories online before the print edition even comes out. today it took until around 12:15 for this week's content to show up online.

but now it's up, so i can link to paul pogue's new article about miss ann, titled matter of zoning and dominance. pogue also wrote nuvo's first story about miss ann back in 2003, a response to WRTV's original story that "outed" miss ann to the public (and the neighborhood).

the first few grafs of the story are basic review for those of us who've been following the story, so let's skip to paragraph 4:

"There are certain kinds of businesses that can be operated in the home, and we are taking the position that this is not one of them," city prosecutor Teri Kendrick said.

After media questioning about repeated use of the phrase "illegal adult businesses," Kendrick noted that neither The Reformatory nor the home business matters were considered criminal activity — nor were either legally classified as adult businesses.

"'Adult entertainment business' is a very technical term. This technically does not fit under any of those ... But you look up the word adult in the dictionary, one of the definitions of the word adult is activity of an adult nature," Kendrick said. "Kink and merchandise for sexual and erotic torture is ... not what the historic preservation commission had in mind when they granted a variance for gallery and studio space."

wha-huh? kendrick says that miss ann's businesses are not the kinds of businesses that can be run from the home, yet she concedes that they are not legally classified as "adult". so what kinds of businesses are they? will the city go after all businesses that fall under the same legal classification, whatever it is?

call me naive, but i thought the role of a prosecutor was to enforce the law by going after people who (allegedly) break the law... not to enforce the dictionary. the dictionary has no legal authority over anyone. it cannot issue subpoenas or testify in court. the dictionary doesn't even have much authority over logical debate: dictionaries are written and compiled by people, who are fallible and often disagree. in fact, the old "the dictionary says blah, therefore i'm right" is an excellent example of a logical fallacy known as appeal to authority.

in other words, just because "the dictionary" says something doesn't make it right. in cases like this, legal definitions are the only ones that truly matter, and kendrick acknowledged that miss ann's businesses were not "adult" by the legal definition. the city is using any derogatory terms it can think of, regardless of whether they actually apply, just like they used the term "sexual torture".

but let's move on to the end of the article:

By the end of the afternoon, both sides had laid down battle lines for the future. Donaghy said that she intends to fight the violations, and is attempting to get the ICLU involved and seek out community support. She's setting up a legal defense fund, in which an anonymous donor is matching donations, which will remain available for others with similar cases.

"I have a choice: I can lay down and bow down to them and give in, and let this affront to personal freedom go unchecked," Donaghy said. "However, if I have overwhelming community support to protect freedom in this city, I will fight … I am going to be leading an effort so that there is a legal fund in this city for people who practice these arts, so that their government doesn't run over them."

Peterson said that he would remain committed to maintaining neighborhood quality of life with strictly construed zoning laws.

"We're going to have to constantly fight this battle," Peterson said. "If you want to try to keep people from opening these kinds of businesses, you’re going to have to continue to fight all the time."

again, what are "these kinds of businesses"? they're not adult businesses. and mayor peterson doesn't say that he wants to keep people from opening these businesses in residential zones; simply that he wants to prevent people from opening them. maybe that's merely a slip of the tongue, and if someone wanted to open a dungeon on, say, pendleton pike near the strip clubs, bart wouldn't have a problem with that. or maybe it was more like a freudian slip, and bart truly meant what he said. i suspect it's the latter, but admit it could possibly be the former.

in other story developments, after i got a post on indiana blog review about this story, doug made an offhand comment about the story, linking here, in an otherwise unrelated post. so indiana's sub-blogosphere is starting to catch on to the story.

then this afternoon (in fact, while i was writing this post), someone left an anonymous comment on my previous post alleging that miss ann "was told several times" about her alleged zoning violation. if this were true, it seems like the kind of thing that the city would want to mention. if someone can give me a source for that allegation, i might accept it, but i've read just about everything that's been published about this story and i haven't heard that. and i'm not going to grant much weight to an anonymous comment that lists no sources.

update: miss ann responds to the anonymous commenter.

also, i forgot to mention earlier that the print edition of this week's nuvo is supposed to have a political cartoon by wayne bertsch about this story, but i haven't seen it and i don't think the cartoon is online.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 
how the dominatrix debacle got started
(see my first three posts on this story.)

miss ann is taking her story to the people, hoping to create a grassroots PR counterinitiative to combat the city's attempts to shut her down. she urges people to contact the mayor as well as the ICLU and media outlets such as WXNT's abdul in the morning. supposedly nuvo will have a story tomorrow.

she's also started an account at the IMN board and begun posting in the off-topic forum (no link; paid subscription req'd to view forum). here is an excerpt from a post of hers explaining the origins of her current legal troubles. i have annotated the excerpt by adding a few links.

Everyone knows I am a Dominatrix. I don't hide that fact because I am not ashamed or afraid. I opened a shop downtown inside an arts/business studio building called The Chatham Center. It was a regular retail shop and its inventory was arranged in such a way that it could not be defined by zoning code as "adult". That meant only 24% of my inventory could be what the code defines as sexual. 24% of my inventory was made up of leather restraints, floggers, canes, and paddles.The rest of my inventory was apparel (corsets & stockings) and fine art. If anyone knows Lunar Event's, Gwynneth Hermann, she can tell you first hand I sold a LOT of her art. I even sold Tim Brickley CD's.

I had a big champagne grand opening with Lunar Event and my brother's band. Always thinking free, NUVO covered my boutique with a small story and I started advertising my new business. I am an agressive marketer (that's how the Erotic Arts Ball got produced). I knew without a store front, I had to drive every bit of traffic to my location myself. I did a pretty good job because people found me even though the building's location is obscure.

Anyway, in June the building owner leased the rooms in the front of the building (formerly LAMP Fine Art Gallery) to a theater group from Butler. They covered the front windows with black plastic to block the light; for a whole month. The day care director across the street saw the black plastic on the windows at the same time her people saw my ad in NUVO classifieds under adult.

Next thing you know she called the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association. The president of the neighborhood association (Clay Miller) has long feuded with my landlord (who is super cool). He doesn't like my landlord's future plans for the property which will be to build a 4-story condo building with retail on the first level and underground parking. I became Clay Miller's easy pawn to get at my landlord. Clay Miller is an ass and also needs to be spanked.

Black plastic and adult classified listing could only mean the worse and the neighbhorhood association went after me like I am a witch. Really most people in the association were against action or neutral, but they managed to get a motion passed to send complaint to the Mayor's office.

Clay Miller has a good friend at Indiana Historic Preservation Counsel and used his connections to apply pressure on the Mayor's office. Someone decided that this could be spun into a political 'win' for the Mayor and they did a press conference. They probably thought this would scare me and I would go away for good. They didn't count on Miss Ann being a Libertarian, smart, informed, well networked, and a political activist. This surprised me because any boob could research all I've published and deduce that about me. Instead, they thought I would be an easy pawn to exploit.

So, that is how it happened. Since the Mayor started this crusade in the media, I thought it should be fought there. Ultimately, I want them to back off the ordinance violation and grandfather me in to continue to practice my art from my home. I want my government to respect and protect my freedom and to trust that I am a good citizen. My neighbors like me because I am good to them. My clients like me because I care about their personal growth.

so she just got stuck in the middle of a dispute between her landlord and the chatham arch neighborhood association? curious. this could also explain why the city has changed its tune regarding the legality of her private practice out of her home (which is in the meridian-kessler neighborhood): it would look pretty hypocritical if the city went after one of her businesses but not the other one. (of course, it also looks pretty damn hypocritical for the police to declare that her business was legal and then turn around & try to prosecute her two years later.)

miss ann has also updated her website with links to news coverage of her legal woes. she also links to me, calling stAllio!'s way an "excellent blog" (and emailed me also)... to be fair, very few blogs seem to have picked up on this story, and many of the ones that have are from out of state. there's been a lot of chatter on message boards (see threads on and the nuvo forums), but for whatever reason, the prominent indiana blogs have been silent. and what few blogs i've found that are discussing the story have maybe one post on the subject; nothing close to the depth of coverage i've tried to institute here. i try, but my blog just doesn't have the reach that, say, TDW has.

i'll post again tomorrow once the nuvo story goes up (assuming i can find it on nuvo's horribly [re]designed site).

update: miss ann is now booked to appear on abdul in the morning this friday, 7-8am on 1430AM. sadly at that time i'll likely be too busy sleeping and showering to actually tune in, but at least abdul keeps show notes on the web. [originally i misidentified the show as being on WIBC, although i linked to the correct website, the correct station is WXNT.]

update: i emailed chris3000, who is blogsitting at indiana blog review, and scored a a post there on the story.

black ministers vs. the HRO
prop 622 is also known as the indianapolis human rights ordinance (HRO). among other things, it would ban discrimination within indianapolis based on sexual orientation or identity (though churches, for example, would be exempt). last night the city-county council's rules & public policy committee held a hearing about prop 622. advance indiana claims that GOP committee members boycotted the hearing, therefore there was no quorum, therefore there was no vote last night on the HRO.

it was reportedly a standing-room-only crowd, as many from the GLBT community showed up to testify, as did some of the usual anti-gay crusaders like advance america's eric miller. but the real buzz is about the black ministers who turned up:

In a marriage made in hell, leaders of the Christian right united with a group of black ministers to lead the charge against the HRO. The Christian right triumvirate of Eric Miller of Advance America, Curt Smith of the American Family Institute and Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana joined about a dozen African-American ministers in speaking against the HRO.

The union of these two distinct groups is quite a paradox. The Christian right once largely comprised the Ku Klux Klan, which ran Indiana politics during the early part of the 20th century, and which used its power to enact discriminatory laws against blacks, Catholics, Jews and any other group with which they morally disapproved. The Christian right, for example, supported the enactment of laws in Indiana and elsewhere banning interracial marriages.

A central theme of the black ministers' argument was that civil rights belonged to African-Americans alone, an argument which would have brought tears to the eyes of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of King's most famous quotes is that "No man is free until all men are free." King didn’t use any adjective to define "man" such as "black" or "Christian." One black minister, holding true to his Christian belief that "homosexuality is an abomination," said that the ministers speaking against the HRO represented "Christian" churches in contrast with the ministers speaking in favor of the HRO who he said were of "other denominations." In other words, if you don't oppose homosexuality, you are not a Christian according to this minister.

Borrowing a page out of the anti-gay bigoted Micah Clark, Republican 7th District congressional candidate RSR, whose campaign would have been better served by remaining more of a mystery, dropped jaws with his testimony. RSR argued that gays were "the most wealthy individual segment of Indianapolis’ economy," which demonstrates that "gays are not being denied employment and fair housing opportunities." Indianapolis Rainbow Chamber President Chris Douglas appropriately discredited RSR's testimony with legitimate economic analysis and noted that major business organizations such as the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce support the HRO. Anti-semites in this country have similarly used wealth to disparage Jews ala Adolph Hitler.

advance indiana also rightly points out that arguments that homosexuality is an unprotected/unprotectable lifestyle choice are pretty much demolished when you consider that religion is also a lifestyle choice. these ministers would never argue that their religion is not protected or that it would be fair for employers to fire them or deny them housing on the basis of their religion.

jeff newman at bilerico thinks that the presence of black clergy in the debate is an explicit political strategy spearheaded by eric miller, and offers an interesting suggestion on why these clergy members and black representatives fail to see the human rights issues involved in this sort of discrimination.

Recently, a white city-county councilor pointed out to me that one of the problems the GLBT community faces when talking to black councilors about discrimination is they tend to see people like me.

I am unmistakably a privileged white American. I am a business owner, I live a comfortable life in the suburbs, and I have two wonderful kids who will attend the college of their choice and grow up to be privileged white Americans just like their dad. When black councilors are approached by people like me, they can't help thinking "what are these people talking about? What does a guy like this know about discrimination?"

While this is a completely understandable reaction, what I hope these councilors are beginning to realize is that those GLBT people who truly fear (or outright suffer) discrimination simply can't represent themselves without great personal risk. No matter how strongly an individual may feel about a social situation, the fact is we all have to eat and survive in society regardless of whether that society is treating us fairly. There are many (I would argue most) GLBT people in this city who simply cannot speak out without facing serious real-life consequences, in particular the loss of their job. If you didn't already know this, there is nothing in state or local law to prevent an employer from looking an exemplary employee in the eye and saying "I just found out you're gay, and no queers are allowed here. You're fired."

they're both good posts, and both blogs are worth checking out for more on the HRO story and other such stuff.

Sunday, December 04, 2005 
miss ann responds
miss ann has issued a press release to counter what she sees as misinformation coming from the mayor's office. here are some of the more interesting tidbits (the city's claims in italics; miss ann's responses follow):

"Illegal, adult businesses like the Reformatory have no place in neighborhoods, especially in and around schools, daycare centers, parks and other locations where our children play and learn," said Mayor Peterson. "The city will continue to work with the community and take action against those adult businesses that refuse to comply with the law and threaten the quality of life in our neighborhoods."

FACT: Other businesses inside The Chatham Center who interacted with the owner of THE REFORMATORY on a daily basis had no issue with her and frequently visited with her. All of the neighbors inside The Chatham Center got along marvelously. Clients of THE REFORMATORY had zero impact on the other businesses inside The Chatham Center or the surrounding neighborhood.

FACT: Any retail shop in Indianapolis from any location can legally offer no more than 24% of its inventory in items that can be construed as sex toys and/or adult items. This is how Spencer's Gifts in the mall stays open crawling with kids as customers. This is how farm supply shops can sell crops.
(732-217 City Code Definition of Adult Bookstore)

The case was initiated after an undercover Indianapolis Police Department investigation found that the owner was running a business in her basement where clients were paying to be take part in sexual activities, including sex-related torture. The suit calls for the owner to cease operating the illegal sex business from her home and pay a fine of up to $2,500.

FACT: The undercover agent REPEATEDLY solicited her for sex in his preliminary interview. He was emphatically told there would be zero sexual contact and that if sex was sought, he needed to look elsewhere. During his interview he insisted on wanting to learn about the role of the submissive. Because Miss Ann believes strongly that education breaks down misconceptions and stereotypes, Miss Ann described (for over an hour) her asexual relationships with her submissives, including her submissives in chastity. After hearing about her NON SEXUAL relationships with her submissives, he said he wanted to see what it was like to be a submissive and Miss Ann agreed to take his session. His session was completely non sexual and his genitals remained covered and untouched during the entire session. He was given a code word to say in the event he felt threatened in any manner, including psychological fear. At no time during the session did he feel the need to exercise this option. He was taught how to ACT while being in the ROLE of a submissive.

Neighborhoods have long expressed concerns about the negative impacts adult entertainment establishments have on nearby residences and businesses. Studies have shown that adult entertainment businesses often attract criminal activity - especially sex related crimes.

FACT: Since summer of 2001, in nearly five years of practicing domination from her home, the owner had zero complaints from neighbors in her upscale historic neighborhood. She teaches responsibility and trust in relationships and practices chastity with her submissives. Chastity is the OPPOSITE of sex.
Essay Written by one of Miss Ann's submissives: "From Sex Addict to Chastity: A Radical Reversal of Lifestyle"

The Reformatory is one of eight illegal adult establishments to close since 2002 under intense city scrutiny. In October, the city won another major victory when a court ordered the closure of Reel One, an illegal sex club on the city's Westside. In 2002 and 2003 the city helped shut down six lingerie shops, which were actually operating as illegal adult entertainment businesses.

FACT: Despite the Mayor's insistance upon referring to THE REFORMATORY as an adult business, zoning officials determined THE REFORMATORY was NOT an adult business and the city attorney reiterated this determination at the Mayor's press conference.

FACT: The owner voluntarily closed the shop 1 month before the Mayor's press conference because the shop did not pay her enough to run it.

read the whole press release here. you might find other items of potential interest at her websites and (sites have occasional images of mild bondage but no nudity).

Saturday, December 03, 2005 
odd music at oddfellows: tonight
big bad taste show tonight in anderson! check out the flier on awia news here.

we're likely to get some snow and/or ice tonight, so everyone be safe!

here are some directions. be sure to check an online maps site (mapquest, yahoo maps, google maps, whatever) for more details.

how to get there:

3217 marine drive, anderson indiana.

north on interstate 69.... get off on the st rd 67 exit... (go towards anderson, not pendleton.)

go down to 38th street and hang a right. (this intersection will have a speedway gas station to your left.) if you see a place called redbud estates and laugh cuz your stoned.. you're on the right track.

keep going down 38th street till you get to madison ave. turn left.

look on the right for NORM'S ALLEY!!!!! its really small and T's with marine drive, turn right. if you went under the train tracks.. you went too far.
IOOF is on the left before the tracks on marine drive.

Friday, December 02, 2005 
miss ann roundup
following up on yesterday's post about miss ann, a local dominatrix who the city is trying to shut down. as i mentioned in that post, two years ago, the police had said her dungeon was totally legal and she had every right to run it. but now, mayor bart peterson, most likely to score some PR points after the humiliating defeat of his proposed police merger, has decided to crack down on perversion.

mayor peterson held a press conference yesterday to announce his crusade against sex. so while i was hesitant to mention or criticize bart yesterday, today things are different. much like his failed efforts to censor violent video games a few years ago, bart has launched a new effort to promote prudishness in indiana. because indiana has no sodomy laws (that i know of, anyway), the city is using any piddling excuse it can to go after sex-related businesses. if someone's behavior bothers you, yet it's legally protected by the first amendment, what do you do? find any excuse you can to prosecute. in this case, it's about zoning violations.

the indy star has two short articles that are virtually identical and aren't particularly interesting either. as they are less interesting and less informative than stories from other outlets, i will not waste any more time discussing them. but there they are.

the wishtv story is a bit better.

It's unusual to see the target of a city crackdown show up at the news conference about her.

But that's what happened.

Melissa Donaghy used to run a business called the Reformatory in a building on North East Street. The owner of the building was granted a variance to maintain a gallery and art studios there.

But zoning inspectors found items inside that didn't exactly fit their definition of art. They say it was a sex shop that sold chains and whips.

yesterday's story didn't mention anything about the reformatory, which is a little peculiar. but all the stories today do, and they all mention that the reformatory was "across the street" from a day care center. as if the little kids are going to sneak out of day care and go buy some bondage gear or something.

miss ann disputes that the reformatory was a sex shop, insisting it was an art gallery.

After the news conference, 24-Hour News 8 talked with Donaghy about how she viewed her shop. "I had $20,000 worth of art, fine art, in that shop," she said. "I sold less than 24 percent of my inventory were floggers and props that could be used for role playing."

and indeed, rock shows, art shows, and more took place at that location before it closed (she also insists that she closed the shop herself because it wasn't making enough money, and that the city did not shut her down as bart claims).

and of course, wrtv (who were the ones who truly stirred up controversy by breaking the story in 2003—the people in the neighborhood had no idea until wrtv came along) has its own follow-up, with video.

"We're going to have to constantly fight this battle. If you want to try to keep people from opening these kinds of businesses and operating them illegally, you have to continue to fight all the time," Peterson said. "Our administration has been committed and will continue to be committed to fighting against these kinds of businesses when they are operating illegally."

but bart, two years ago the police said her business was legal. why is it suddenly illegal now? isn't this just an opportunistic attempt to look like a strong leader who is "hard on perverts"?

Donaghy showed up at the press conference and attempted to ask questions along with reporters. Peterson refused to answer her.

"Hey, this is a press conference for the media. I'm sure they'll be happy to talk to you," Peterson told Donaghy.

what a jackass. bart, his reputation only a glimmer of what it used to be, makes a lot of hoopla about running the pervs out of town, but when miss ann interrupts his dog-and-pony show, he refuses to answer her questions.

shame on bart peterson, and shame on wrtv for making a mountain out of a molehill int he first place.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 
legislating in the name of jesus
for many years, the indiana house has begun its daily sessions with a prayer, usually a prayer to jesus. yesterday a federal judge ruled that these prayers must be open and non-sectarian. starting off with a prayer is fine, the judge said, but the prayers can't mention jesus by name, for example.

house speaker brian bosma flipped out.

Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, who as speaker became a defendant in the case, called the decision "intolerable," "terrible," and "shocking." It violates the free speech of religious leaders, he said. According to the ruling, "the name of Christ will not be said in prayer during the coming session."

But Bosma said he hasn't decided whether he'll follow the order.

"This is an intolerable decision I hope cannot stand."

so he hasn't decided whether to obey a court order? sorry boz, but as a citizen of the united states, you are obligated to obey court orders. you don't have much choice in the matter. and as an elected official (not just any official, but the most powerful in the house) you are doubly obligated to follow the rule of law.

doug has a great post analyzing the judge's decision, with lots of good quotes. you might hear a bunch of claptrap that the prayers were not exclusive because some prayers were given by jews and muslims. but that's not quite true: in 2005, there was one prayer by a jewish rabbi, and another one by a muslim imam. doug includes this "insightful" quote from the court regarding this:

Clerics of religious minorities often have substantial experience in getting along with a majority who believes differently and in avoiding giving offense to that majority in a public setting. Perhaps it is not mere coincidence that the only transcribed prayer in the 2005 session from someone outside the Christian religion, that of the imam, was inclusive and non-sectarian.

doug also points out bosma's huffing and puffing about the ruling is bogus. the boz tells reporters that this decision violates free speech rights, but in truth, he's full of it. he knows that's not really the case:

As a matter of law, the Speaker conceded that prayers from the podium are government speech because the Speaker controls access to the podium. I doubt we'll see the government speech distinction from those who will criticize this decision. The Court says:

There is "a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect."

I predict the crucial difference between government speech and private speech will also be routinely ignored.

sure enough, doug has a follow-up this morning titled "as predicted":

Speaker Bosma is a smart guy who knows the law pretty well. He was one of the instructors for the bar exam review course I took. So, his "misunderstanding" isn't honest. He's just being disingenuous by ignoring the critical distinction between government speech and private speech.

nicely done, doug, though it's generally not that difficult to point out brian bosma's hypocrisy.

but i don't really care too much about what brian bosma says. other people have much more interesting things to say. for example, a commenter on TDW points out this lovely quote from the AP version of the story, which is startlingly close to something dicussed in the comments of this very blog just the other day.

During one prayer in April, elder Clarence Brown of Second Baptist Church in Bedford sang a gospel song called "Just A Little Talk With Jesus," prompting some lawmakers to leave the chamber and several people to lodge complaints with the ICLU.

Brown said Wednesday he disagrees with Hamilton's ruling.

"If it is not in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died on the cross, your prayers will not get answered," Brown said.

in the comments of my bibleman post the other day, we discussed a very similar statement made by a commenter at another blog. we had a nice chuckle about that commenter... yet here a baptist minister echoes the same thought, practically verbatim. and not just any minister, but one who has been invited to give the opening prayer at the statehouse. that's rather disturbing. it's easy to dismiss blog commenters as being trolls or crazies, but when a relatively powerful person makes these kinds of statements, that's frightening.

in the bibleman comments, i joked about the ridiculous logical contortions that this kind of thinking forces one into. i wrote "obviously, that means that prayers made by non-christians simply don't work. okay, simple enough. but does that also mean that if a devout christian offers up a heartfelt prayer, but forgets to explicitly mention jesus by name, that prayer won't be answered either?" it's as though god has some sort of "prayer checklist" to determine who gets the goods: prayer mentions jesus by name? check. prayer uses formal english? check. prayer includes animal sacrifice? uh-oh, sorry clarence, but no animal sacrifice means no merry christmas for you! someone's name is going on the naughty list...

seriously, people like clarence brown and his ignorant views are precisely the reason why statehouse prayers need to be non-sectarian if they're to be included at all. personally, i don't see why we would still open session with a prayer everyday, but if we must, let's be open and inclusive about it.

"sexual torture"
somewhere on the 4100 block of n. central ave (damn close to my house) lives a dominatrix who calls herself miss ann. she runs a dungeon out of her home.

miss ann is not a prostitute. she absolutely does not have sex with clients, nor does she draw blood or leave permanent marks. her dungeon provides a safe, discreet environment where clients (male only) can act out their bondage and dressup fantasies.

you'd never know from walking around the neighborhood that a dominatrix lives there. in fact, most neighborhood residents had no idea about her dungeon (and probably never would have) until wrtv first reported on her in 2003.

but now the city wants to shut her down:

The city of Indianapolis is asking a court to shut down what it calls a house-based sexual torture business, saying it violates zoning regulations.

The city on Wednesday filed a court complaint against Melyssa Donaghy, alleging that she is illegally operating a business in her home, located in the 4100 block of Central Avenue.

i must take offense at that term, sexual torture. what happened at abu ghraib, where arab men were physically tortured and humiliated by chuckling soldiers, that was sexual torture. what happens at mistress ann's dungeon is not. the biggest difference is that what happens in mistress ann's dungeon is consensual. she's not beating or shaming these men out of some twisted desire to harm them. these men want to be spanked around a bit. they love it. they even pay her to do it, and do it in a safe environment. that makes it pleasure, pretty much the opposite of torture. i find the city's use of loaded terms like "sexual torture" to be quite offensive. the city is using the most loaded, damaging language possible to defame mistress ann and her clientelle.

Authorities say an undercover Indianapolis police officer went to the home in September. He reported being forced to get down on his hands and knees and kiss Donaghy's boots and feet.

The officer also said he witnessed the use of spurs, whips, chains and clamping devices, and that he was subjected to degrading conversation, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

duh! that's the whole point! that's what you go to a dominatrix for! this is like saying you went to wal-mart and found a dirty store with poor service where you had to wait a half hour in the checkout line—it's tautological.

In addition to seeking an end to the business, the city wants Donaghy to pay a fine.

People in Donaghy's neighborhood have expressed concerns about the business's proximity to a Catholic grade school and a public library, Rinehart reported.

the dungeon is right around the corner from the school; this is true. i went to that school for several years growing up. but the idea that the dungeon endangers the kids is a little peculiar. miss ann's clients are submissives. they go to the dungeon because they want to be spanked, not the other way 'round. the types of sexual predators who prey on children are not submissives. they're just not, pretty much by definition.

and besides, the pastor of that church said two years ago that he wasn't concerned:

The Rev. Patrick Doyle released a statement saying he had "no reason to believe the house poses a danger ... We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that our school is a haven for our children."

and come to mention it, the cops weren't concerned back then either:

Police are aware of the business, but say it's legal, Rinehart reported.

"As long as it's legitimate, it's not breaking any laws," Indianapolis police Sgt. Ron Brezik said. "We receive no complaints about mistreatment from people that are there. She has a legal right to have it open."

in 2003, the cops said miss ann's dungeon was perfectly legal. now the city is trying to shut her down. what changed since then? has the police dept changed its position, or is the city trying to shut down mistress ann against the advice of the police force?

note also that they're trying to shut her down based on a zoning ordinance. apparently they couldn't find any sodomy laws or anti-kinkiness laws, and went fishing for whatever law they could use against her. honestly, what kind of zoning do you need to run a dungeon? and more importantly, how do you get your property zoned as a dungeon? i suspect that if you went to the zoning board and suggested such a thing, you would be denied. and if it were allowed, where would it be allowed? a private residence seems like a much safer, smarter location for a dungeon than space that is traditionally zoned for commerce (say, for example, strip malls).

i repeat: in 2003, police said miss ann's business was legal. now she's accused of a zoning violation. what changed since then? clearly the zoning issue was not a concern back then, so why is it now? it doesn't take two years to check the zoning laws; something else is going on here. someone is on a crusade to shut her down, but who?

update: as miss ann explains on her site (which is remarkably tame), she doesn't like the word mistress, so i've edited this post to refer to her only as "miss ann".

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