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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 
brownie peanut butter cups
brownie peanut butter cups

i discovered these beauties at the bake sale at the st joan of arc french market, and was struck not only by their deliciousness but also by their simplicity. i was immediately determined to re-create them at home. (the only reason it took three weeks to do so was because i had to buy a mini-muffin pan first.)

you will need:
1-2 mini-muffin baking pans (like this one)
mini-muffin papers (optional)
~48 miniature peanut butter cups
1 batch brownie batter

  1. make your favorite brownie batter. i like to use a variation of this recipe because it uses cocoa instead of baking chocolate (my variation only uses 3 eggs and 1 cup of flour, so they'll be chewy and moist rather than cakelike). but any recipe should work, as would a box brownie mix.

  2. put the muffin papers in the pan and drop a small amount of batter into each one—no more than 2/3 or so full.

  3. open the peanut butter cups and sink them into the batter. press them down so the batter comes at least most of the way to the top of the peanut butter cup.

  4. bake at the temperate directed, but take them out early because they will bake much faster than in a pan. i took mine out after 15 minutes (the brownies normally take 20-30) and even then my wife thought i should've taken them out earlier.

as i said before, i discovered these at a bake sale, so i don't know the name of the person who baked the ones that i bought, or where they got the idea. whoever you are, anonymous bake sale contributor, thank you! i suspect i'll be making these a lot in the future.

press WIN
i've mentioned before that i've been moving away from abstract art & illustration toward more representational works. my first representational collages were a series of landscapes. but the problem with those is that they're all 30"x20"—too large to scan.

so lately i've been working on collages that are a bit smaller. recently i made this boombox collage to slap on the cover of a demo cd i was putting together, and when people seemed to like it, i submitted it to threadless. the result was my highest-scoring threadless submission to date. so now i'm kicking it up another notch with this bad boy:

Press WIN

this is best viewed large so you can see the detail work on the keyboard.

this is up for voting now on threadless, so if you have a threadless login, please take a minute to vote (and if you don't have a login, please consider signing up for one and voting):

Press WIN - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

this is probably the best work i've submitted to threadless and i expect it to earn my highest score ever. as for whether that translates to the design getting printed, only time will tell.

Friday, September 18, 2009 
there was a great gnashing of teeth
shorter voter ID proponents:

shorter gary welsh: the court of appeals decision was wrong because the judges are all democrats.

shorter governor mitch daniels: how dare these judges defy me? fie, fie upon them! they'll rue the day they ruled against me! behold, for my ad hominem attacks are mighty indeed!

shorter indy star editorial board: if the stupid court of appeals really wants to obey the state constitution, then fine, we'll make absentee voters show ID. but don't blame us when little old ladies get disenfranchised!

shorter frugal hoosiers: the US supreme court already upheld this law, so who cares if it violates the state constitution?

shorter attorney general greg zoeller: we're going to appeal this decision, but it doesn't really matter because we have no intention of obeying the court order, anyway.

note: there's one common element between all of these: not one of them even attempts to explain why the ruling was wrong on its merits. this is because the ruling is so simple and straightforward that they can't argue on its merits.

update: oops, i spoke too soon. here's gary's take, which boils down to saying that absentee voters were intentionally allowed to vote without showing ID so as not to disenfranchise senior citizens and the disabled. that's all well and good... but seniors and the disabled aren't the only people who vote absentee.

basically, the law creates two classes of voters—in-person and by-mail—and requires the former but not the latter to show ID. doing this violates the state constitution. gary's argument conveniently ignores this basic fact.

Thursday, September 17, 2009 
voter ID law violates indiana constitution
so says the indiana court of appeals (pdf link):

here is perhaps the most important part of the decision:

The crux of the League's contention is that mail-in voters are not required by law to execute an affidavit regarding their identity, but in-person voters are required to produce a government issued photo identification card which contains an expiration date. The League directs our attention to our supreme court's decision in Horseman v. Keller, 841 N.E.2d 164 (Ind. 2006). In Horseman, the trial court declared Indiana Code section 3-12-1-13 unconstitutional because it did not allow mailed-in absentee ballots lacking two sets of clerks' initials to be counted in a recount although ballots cast in-person, but lacking two sets of clerks‟ initials, could be counted in the recount. Our supreme court declared to the contrary that the statute was constitutional, because inherent differences make mailed-in ballots more susceptible to improper influences or fraud, and, therefore, “it is reasonable that the legislature believed it in the interest of Indiana voters to more stringently govern absentee balloting.” Id. at 173.10 Because of this conclusion, the League contends that it is irrational for our legislature to require identification of in-person voters but not require an affidavit affirming the identity of mail-in voters. We agree.

If it is reasonable to "more stringently govern absentee balloting," then it follows that a statute that imposes a less stringent requirement for absentee voters than for those voting in person would not be reasonable. This is what the Voter I.D. law does.

apparently, the voter ID statute also stated that "residents of state licensed care facilities which also happen to be polling places" don't need to show ID. the court concluded that this is unfair and violates the Equal Priveleges and Communities clause.

We have no indication from our supreme court that the legal proposition requiring that the regulation of electors and elections be reasonable, uniform, and impartial has been subsumed by the two-prong Section 23 analysis, and, therefore, we must consider it to be a viable independent analysis from Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause in spite of the fact that both address uniformity. Indeed, Section 23 analysis requires only that those similarly situated be treated uniformly once a class is carved out by our legislature, but we find no such limitation in Morris, Simmons, or Blue. All qualified voters must be treated uniformly and impartially. We fail to see how the Voter I.D. Law's exception of those residing in state licensed care facilities, which happen to also be a polling place, 29 would be a uniform or impartial regulation. Furthermore, the Voter I.D. Law treats in-person voters disparate from mail-in voters, conferring partial treatment upon mail-in voters.

It seems that the inconsistent and impartial treatment favoring voters who reside at state care facilities which also happen to be polling places could be excised from the Voter I.D. Law without destroying the primary objectives of the Law. However, the same cannot be said for the inconsistent and partial treatment favoring absentee voters who choose to mail their votes without destroying the opportunity for mailing votes. There may be different ways in which the inconsistent and partial treatment of the Voter I.D. Law could be cured, but it is not our task to form suggestions for legislation. See State ex rel. Indiana State Bd. of Finance v. Marion County Superior, 272 Ind. 47, 52, 396 N.E.2d 340, 344 (1979) ("Our constitution is clear that the judicial department cannot exercise any of the functions of either the legislative department or executive . . . ."). Therefore, we must reverse and remand, with instructions to the trial court that it enter an order declaring the Voter I.D. Law void.

update: doug has more, as does indiana law blog.

Sunday, September 06, 2009 
you don't get what you don't pay for
shorter paul k ogden: did you know that CEOs at nonprofits actually get paid? it's outrageous! you'd think that multi-million-dollar organizations like the united way of central indiana would have no trouble finding talented executives who are willing to work for free.

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