Saturday, October 28, 2006

How The Conservatives Made Me Realize That I Am a Liberal

An acquaintance of mine is the most ultra conservative man that I have ever met. He is a republican who listens to Rush Limbaugh and believes every word that Rush says. He blames liberals for all of the problems of the world. I once mentioned to him that I listened to NPR, and he said “I didn’t know that you were a tree-hugger”. He is very homophobic. For example, his wife and son are not allowed to watch television shows with gay characters or people, such as Will & Grace and Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Also, he does not want his son to watch Dancing With The Stars because he is afraid that his son will want to be “a queer ballroom dancer”.
In 2006, I cannot believe that a person could have such a warped view of the world. Yet, I am well aware that there are many people just like my acquaintance, and some people who are worse. I have never been a political person until recently. I started thinking about the war in Iraq, and could not figure out how we got there. One day we were going after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, and the next day we were invading Iraq. Then, I started thinking about current political issues such as stem cell research. The Right continues to fight against stem cell research, even though thousands of people could be helped by this research. Then, I started listening to talk radio, both left and right wing, to learn about more political issues. I was shocked at some of the stances taken by conservatives. After considering everything, I realized that I lean toward the left. It took the conservatives and George W. Bush to make me realize that I am a liberal.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random Thoughts Friday

When is this rain going to let up?

I learned a very valuable lesson this week. No matter how old you are if you are leaving the country, call your mother first.

I learned another valuable lesson this week. Make sure you have car rental coverage on your auto insurance. Whoops.

I hit a pole a few weeks ago and the body shop is still not done with my car. Thankfully I have a friend with an extra car: a 1992 Chevy Corsica. You really don't drive a Chevy Corsica you just strap yourself in and feel the Gs (apologies to Homer Simpson).

I watched TV on Monday and I thought to myself, how in ten years have we gone to the most popular sitcom being a show of the quality of "Seinfield" to the most popular sitcom being the show of the quality of "Two and a Half Men"?

The Colts play the Denver Broncos this weekend. It is their most difficult test yet. If they beat up on the Broncos, let the real hype begin.

Why isn't Joseph Addai the featured back for the Colts yet?

Does anyone else think Al Harrington's new mohawk makes him look like a young clean shaven Mr. T? I keep thinking he is going to play B.A Baracus in a flashback dream sequence or something.

At what age do you stop wondering what you are going to be when you grow up?

Anybody read any good books lately?

Have a good Friday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lose a nickel, stay consistent

I read an article today in a free weekly here in Indianapolis. The gist is the writer decried Wal-Mart for its many predatory practices but still embraced it for its rock bottom prices. He specifically referred to Wal-Mart's discounted pharmaceutical program that has received a lot of attention recently.

I have heard several complaints from friends and co-workers over the years about Wal-Mart. Some have complained about Wal-Mart's effect on small businesses. Others about the further expansion of "Generica" that has spread across the country. Some have complained about how Wal-Mart treats many of their employees with many having to receive federal welfare benefits to make ends meat.

During these conversations I always ask the simple question "Do you shop at Wal-Mart". The overwhelming majority of the time I get the same general response as the writer gave today. They have objections against Wal-Mart for a myriad of reasons but their social conscience is usually trumped by low cost electronics and can goods for a quarter a piece.

I am not a Wal-Mart hater. In fact I have great respect for humble origins of the company. I read one biography a year about a great American and last year I read about Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. His idea of cutting out a distribution network in retail and having companies sell directly to the retail outlet seems logical today but in the past era of five and dimes, that thought process was revolutionary. It is hard to argue against Sam Walton as one of the most important figures in American capitalism in the past 60 years.

But I don't shop at Wal-Mart. Henry Ford wanted each of his workers to be able to buy an automobile that they made, and paid them accordingly. I find it troubling that a worker at Wal-Mart would need taxpayer assistance to survive.

I shop at Target because I like the products they have better and no one matches the company's generosity. I shop at Meijer because no one in retail pays their employees better. It costs me more money a year and although I am not in the position where I do not have to watch my pennies, I don't want to feel like a hypocrite.

If you find Wal-Mart objectionable, then walk the walk and don't just talk the talk.

Happy Birthday to "The Wave"

The sports phenomenon called "The Wave" turned 25 years old according to a news story on Yahoo. I want everyone to stand up at their desk and do the wave. Here is a link to the history of The Wave according to Wikipedia:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How many victories till BCS eligible?

I post this for Torpor and the other proud Sycamores out there. While traveling in Mexico I doubt that Torpor got this highlight on ESPN VIVO.

On Saturday the pride of Terre Haute, the Indiana State Sycamores, ended the longest active losing streak in Division I football. With their 28-22 defeat of Missouri State the Sycamores ended their losing streak at 24.

Congrats to all members of the Indiana State football team. Here's hoping for a new streak--winning.

****Thanks to Hugh for correcting my error. *****

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is Asia the next Middle East?

For years, the Middle East has been a mess, and it has only gotten worse since we went into Iraq. Now, Asia is becoming a mess because of the Bush adminstration's failure to negotiate with North Korea. "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday the United States is ready to use the 'full range' of its military might to defend Japan in light of North Korea’s nuclear weapons test."
It appears that North Korea's interest in nuclear weapons is going to create an arms race in Asia. Haven't we learned from the cold war that an arms race is a waste of time and money? In the Middle East, I agree that it is dangerous for Iran or others to have nuclear weapons because it is too easy for those weapons to fall into the wrong hands. Overall, I believe Asia is a safer place for nuclear weapons, but now, every country in Asia is going to be developing nuclear weapons to compete with North Korea. This will make Asia just as dangerous as the Middle East.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I am off to Mexico tomorrow morning for a month. One of my backup bloggers, the kid, left yesterday for Cancun, so that leaves my other backup blogger Brick in charge.

In the meantime enjoy a couple of photos of Petey.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lafayette Square Mall

So I am back. Well, at least for a couple of days. I leave for Mexico City on Monday and then onto a decent sized city named Pachuca. After a couple of weeks in Pachuca, we'll end up in a very small town in the mountains. This stop is the reason why I bothered to get vaccinations. It's one of the poorest regions in Mexico Some of the items that I bought in preparation for my stop in this town are toilet paper (apparently, they don't have any); flea collars (to wear around my ankles); deet (for the other creepy crawlies); goretex raingear (it's the rainy season); and clothes for the kids who will be my classmates. This leads me to lafayette square mall. I went there to go to Steve and Barry's. I was able to buy a lot of IU t-shirts to give away to the schoolchildren I'll be studying with. It will be humbling to have an 8 year old correct my Spanish, but I am sure I will get used to it. So I was at Lafayette Square and I saw this kiosk. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the sign which announced you could put a grill on layaway. I did take this picture though. Hurry to Lafayette Square before the sale is over.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 9, 2006

The Evolution of Dance

Here is a YouTube clip from Judson Laipply, a comedian. He does a six minute skit of The Evolution of Dance, and it is hilarious.

During my junior high and high school years, I developed a love of "hip-hop dancing", and by the way, I am a white guy with limited rhythm. I graduated from a small Indiana high school in 1991 (if that gives you a good time reference). This clip brings back some memories. I use to go with a group of friends to "Cloud Nine", an under 21 year old club at Indiana Beach on the weekends to dance and make out with girls. We would have contests to see who could make out with the most girls in a night. My high was nine girls, but I really "lowered my standards" to make it happen.
When we were not cruising for girls, we were dancing. I used to perform the "Running Man", the "Roger Rabbit", the "Cabbage Patch", the "Kid-N-Play", and of course, the "M.C. Hammer". My favorite song to dance to was "The Power" by Snap. Even though I probably looked like an idiot, I did have some good times at Cloud Nine and my high school dances. Well, I hope you enjoy the clip.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Random Thoughts Friday

I am not annoyed that often but I find nothing more annoying than when people put their year renewal stickers over the wrong spot on their license plate. Just today I counted three drivers who put their new "07" year sticker over where the month should be. Do we really wonder why Hoosier kids test poorly in comparison to their national counterparts?

This weekend is the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis. Our city is lucky to have some many great events and lucky to have so many people willing to spend their hard earned money in our city.

The Colts play the hapless Tennessee Titans this weekend. You think the Titans wish they would have treated Steve McNair just a tad bit better? McNair's Ravens are undefeated and the Titans haven't won a game. The Titans won't win this weekend either. Score: Colts 40 Titans 10.

Sentences I cannot say on Sundays anymore: "Our defense will be better once Corey Simon gets back." His absence will be a significant blow to the Colts and I wish the best for his health.

Tomorrow I will have one of the culinary gems on the Southside of Indy: the skillet at the Four Seasons restaurant on 135. The lady that will wait on me at the breakfast bar is 78 years old. I hope when I am 78 years old I won't work.

I also hope when I am 78 years old that I will have the energy that this sweet lady does.

Close to Home is on the TV right now (should let you know how my night is going). The best TV show in history that was based in Indianapolis is the first season of "Men Behaving Badly".

I hit a light pole tonight with my car causing pretty substantial damage. Alcohol is never the solution to life's problems but after that mess, the only thing in this world that was going to make me feel better was a cold beer.

Have a good night. I spoke to Torpor a couple of nights ago and he says hello.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Mark Foley, a Congressman from Florida, resigned his House of Representatives' seat this past week. He had held the elected position for six terms. You are probably aware that he resigned within hours after his explicit e-mails or instant messages to male Capital Hill pages came to light by ABC. Foley is alleged to have sent the inappropriate messages to 16 and 17 year old boys.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the story is the hypocrisy of Foley. Foley was Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and some of its responsibility included protecting children from predators.

The other disturbing aspect of the story is Congress' blind eye to Foley's exploits. A story I read recently indicated that other pages had warned incoming page classes to watch out for Foley. This information appeared to be passed along as casually as how a certain Congressman likes his coffee or what time a certain Congressman wants a copy of the Washington Post. If pages knew of Foley's inappropriate behavior, you can bet that members of Congress did as well. The messages in question were alleged to have taken place in 2005 and yet now the public finally hears about them? And the public first heard about Foley's inappropriate interactions with the pages through the media and not through a whistle-blower in Congress.

There are now calls for House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign over the scandal. The supervisor of the page program reports directly to the Speaker of the House. Hastert has reported that he will not resign and published reports indicate that Hastert claims he did not know of the more scandalous messages until the story broke last week.

Members of Congress may not have known about the specific content of the messages but I find it hard to believe that they would not have found the supposed rumors about Foley so concerning to not at least conduct an independent investigation before it became a media issue.

At times the law places an affirmative duty on an individual to act. Only as Foley's past actions come to light and the extent to other Congressman's knowledge of such will it become clearer whether that is the case here. Notwithstanding that, any member of Congress that heard whispers of Foley's behavior and did nothing clearly failed his or her constituents from a moral standpoint.


I want to make sure that the Kid and I channel Torpor's opinions while he is gone. In honor of Torpor Indy's opinion of "W", here is a link to a quiz in George Bush speak, along with other Bush humor. Torpor Indy has linked to this website in the past, but I believe some new stuff has been added. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Indianapolis--Pro Sports Most Cursed City?

Admit it. Today after you saw Peyton bring the Colts back in the fourth quarter you almost forgot about last season. You almost forgot about the fourteen wins, about the thoughts that Peyton finally was going to get that monkey off his back about never winning the big one, and about the utter disappointment you felt when the Steelers came to town in the post season and ruined it all.

I did for a brief second. You see I took last season’s ending really hard. You couple that with being a life long Pacer fan and I finally find myself in a very Zen like manner repressing that feeling that comes creeping back every time the Colts look sharp or if and when, during the NBA season, the Pacers look like a team of destiny. That feeling is simply hope. After the Steelers came to town and crushed any hope I had of finally celebrating a championship I began to think long and hard about whether or not there was a greater power out there dictating why there will never be a championship parade down Meridian Street.

Think about it. Indianapolis has enjoyed major professional sports in its town for forty years. For over twenty years Indianapolis has had the privilege of having two professional sports teams. And during that twenty years when we have had two professional sports teams, how many championships have we enjoyed? Zero, zilch, nada.

It isn’t like Indianapolis hasn’t had good teams. We came within a touchdown of going to the Super Bowl in 1995. The Pacers teams throughout the nineties were one of the best in the Eastern Conference but had the poor timing of playing during the reign of the greatest player to ever put on sneakers. The Pacers won 61 games during the regular season in 2004, which was best in the league, and the Pistons beat us in the playoffs. The Pacers came back the next year with an even better team, smoked the Pistons in Detroit and then what happens: a damn riot at the end of the game with the blame all on the small market Pacers. I can never forgive Ron Artest for ruining the final season of the greatest Pacer of them all-- Reggie Miller. And of course I have already mentioned the Colts falling apart last year when it most mattered.

In the last thirty years our fellow Midwestern cities have enjoyed championship after championship. Chicagoans got to watch Michael Jordan win six championships during the nineties with the Bulls. The Bears won the Super Bowl in the eighties and the White Sox finally won it all last year. The sting of watching the Cubs stink it up year after year certainly has to be curbed by the elation of watching other Chicago teams win their respective championships.

Cincinnati has celebrated two Reds’ World Series victories: 1976 and 1990. St. Louis saw the Cards win it all in 1982 and the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV. Minnesota watched the Twins pull it off in 1987 and 1991. Detroit saw the Tigers to victory in 1984 and both the Pistons and the Red Wings put together three championship teams respectively in the last few years.

Throughout the country, this same trend continues. Of course New York has watched its teams win it time and time again. In the nineties Houston watched the Rockets take a cue from Jordan in pulling off two NBA championships in a row. As much as Philadelphia fans like to complain about their luck, this city would love to be so unlucky considering the Phillies won it in 1980, the 76ers in the ’82-83 season and the Flyers won it twice in the 70’s. Even the city from where the Colts moved, Baltimore, saw the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV.

The city of Miami has watched two of its teams, the Marlins and the Heat, each win a championship in just the last five years and they don’t even give a damn about their teams.

So I have to take a cue from a city that used to claim that it had the most suffering fans. They claimed to have suffered so much that it went beyond the normal course of events on the field. Oh no. It was greater than that. So sorry Boston if my heart didn’t bleed for you when two years ago the Red Sox finally won it again. During that time of your so called suffering you had our Larry Legend winning championships for you and the Patriots dominating the NFL in the 2000's. So now because Boston can’t claim it anymore I am going to take a page from their book and although it goes against my Mid-Western sensibilities proclaim what we all already know.

Indianapolis’ teams are simply cursed.

The only city that can even give us a run for the money when it comes to being as cursed is Cleveland. God love them for it.

It could be much worse considering our teams could blow during the regular season. But they are always just good enough that year and year out you have to think we have a chance. That is why it always hurts so much. So fellow sports fans enjoy Peyton destroying team after team every week. Enjoy the Pacers being consistently one of the most competitive teams in the NBA. But don’t get too excited. That will make the pain much more manageable at the end of each season.

May the great curse of Indianapolis end finally in Miami on February 4, 2007.

I'll be gone for a couple of weeks

I am leaving for 10 days and will return for a long weekend before I leave for Mexico. The Kid and maybe Brick will be keeping this place afloat. I've had this blog for over a year and it's never really had a dominant theme. This is predominantly a political blog, but it is also aboutlife in Indiana, the US or if I am really busy, I'll just post what I think are cool links. The Kid has been a contributor for a while in the area of music, but now he is branching out. If Brick writes, I don't know what he'll contribute, I just hope he keeps his Republican wife away from the keyboard.

Oh, and I finally got a new dog. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a photo when I am back in ten days.

Banner eXTReMe Tracker