Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Little Fascists

Yesterday our Chancellor Charles Bantz had a Chat with the Chancellor session over in the Campus Center. It was fairly well attended and a number of health and fitness issues were brought up by those in the audience. At the end mention was made of the Tobacco-Free IUPUI initiative. Now as a disclaimer I should say that I quit smoking in 2003 when our then Dean, Hermann J. Saatkamp, sent a notice around informing the School that Tony Sherrill, Chair of Religious Studies (one of my smoking buddies and a true gentleman and scholar) had been diagnosed with lung cancer. I spent the next year watching Tony slowly die. So anyway, I don't smoke. My wife does. My brother does. A number of people I know do. But I don't feel compelled to force them to stop or even nag them about how it's bad for them, it's expensive, it's a dirty habit, yadda yadda yadda. It's their own damn business. However the University feels that it's important to use all means possible to prevent smoking on campus. And when the issue came up in the Chat with the Chancellor session I was disheartened by how the administrators present, including Chancellor Bantz, expressed disappointment in their inability to prevent people from smoking on the city sidewalks (public property!) running through campus. I was also dismayed with the zeal with which a number of faculty and students in the audience rushed to voice their support for the removal of the rights of smokers "for their own good." The new Assist Dean of Students Jason Spratt went so far as to invite those interested in helping with the Tobacco-Free effort to see him after the chat to assist in forming squads to patrol the campus and confront those who are breaking the rules by smoking on university property. And it looked like he was getting a number of recruits. So I guess when President Obama starts up his National Service Plan he can come to IUPUI and get a number of recruits. I suspect IUPUI can't afford it but I bet Obama's National Service Corp will supply uniforms. Brown shirts, maybe?

Dow takes a dump

in the front yard of our retirement. After yesterday's performance of the Dow Jones industrial, things are getting desperate around here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Boffo BlogMeet

Roberta X has the details. I had a wonderful time!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Racial Reflections

Friday night Mrs. Shomes and I joined friends for some dinner at the Rathskeller and then went to the second show of Bob & Tom's Comedy All-Stars. We had a pleasant time and there were a few jokes that I laughed out load at (it takes a really really good joke to make me do that). What I found interesting was that after getting seated I looked around at the crowd, leaned over to one of our friends who also teaches at IUPUI and said, "Damn, this crowd is white!" And indeed it was. It was the most white people I've seen in one place (with the exception of the State Fair, AKA the White Expo) than any other time I've been here. It seemed. . .abnormal. I think this perception comes from the circumstances in which I commute and my work environment. The Indygo bus line seems to be used by mostly African-Americans: I usually find myself one of five Caucasians amongst twenty African Americans on the ride to and from work. At IUPUI we have a large number of African American, South Asian and East Asian students with a growing number of Latino-s. It's nice.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mutiny on The High Road

Xavier has the details. I'm both sad and angry. The High Road was an invaluable resource.

Update: See Oleg Volk's appeal for help here.

Xmas Dreams

I have one of these.

It would look good with one of these or these.

Yes! Mammoth ivory! Now if I can find them in the 'thin' type needed for the Commander/Defender/New Agent style Colts. And a wealthy Santa to buy them for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm not dead (yet)!

Work week from hell. Surrounded by stupidity. Muse has been beaten down. Looking forward to the blog meet this Sunday (see side bar) to reinvigorate me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's About Human Rights (Not 'Gun Rights')

Alphecca tells it straight:
It all comes back to basic human rights. The problem for the coastal elitists of the Democratic Party is that they refuse to acknowledge that personal defense is a basic right. Obama and Biden have near perfect records of voting against gun rights. One would think they would learn the lessons of Al Gore and John Kerry but they never do. Gun rights and the Second Amendment have NOTHING to do with duck hunting.
Though I would not limit this attitude to the coastal elitists of the Democractic Party.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

Regarding Democrat or Republican:

"Will you be concerned about the brand of the jackboot as it smashes your face?"
- Shermlock Shomes

Socialist Democracy

Michelle Malkin notes the death of fiscal conservatism today, saying in part:
This is your Bush legacy — not Pelosi’s, not Reid’s, not Obama’s: A ginormous bailout of every last, failing, panicked financial institution’s illiquid assets that may reach into the trillions — TRILLIONS – when all is said and done.
I see today as the birthday of the United States as a socialist democracy.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I don't tolerate willful stupidity

The news of Whoopi Goldberg's asinine question to John McCain, “Should I worry about being a slave?” is old. But I still have to reply, "Do I have to worry about fighting another Civil War?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Plebes Must Pay More!

I knew this was coming. It appears that the Lucre Oil Stadium is gonna cost the city twice as much as much as was projected, according to the local Colts' Ra-ra Rag. I see more local taxes to keep Jim Irsay and the Colts rich. Thanks, boys!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike Droppings

We had some Hurricane Ike leavings come through Indy today, mostly in the form of high winds and some rain. The Official Newspaper of the Indianapolis Colts reports a gust of 63 mph at the airport. Well, it must of come through here, too, as one of the blasted ash trees next to the street shucked another limb. What it mostly means for me is cutting the dang thing into small enough pieces so that the trash guys will pick it up. And they're picky.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why pay 'em as much as men. . .

[Sarcasm on] We all know women will just get pregnant and quit the job anyway. [Sarcasm off] Maybe this sort of thinking is there in Obama's Senate office. I read Deroy Murdock's latest column in the Colt's Official Publicity Brochure today and came away with the following:

- In his Senate office, Obama pays women 83 cents for every dollar his men make.
- Among Obama's top 20 advisors, only seven are women.

while on the other side:

- John McCain pays women $1.04 for every dollar his men make.
- Of McCain's top 20 highest paid employees, 13 are women.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin for President!

I might as well jump into the fray and let y'all know who I'm voting for!


Quote of the Day

". . .I gather that liberals don't like Hitler because they're constantly comparing him to Bush."
- Ann Coulter

h/t Shooting the Messenger

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reach out. . .

and touch someone.

Verizon Tech Accused Of Making $220K In Sex Calls
Verizon estimated that out of a 40-week period, Vaccarelli spent 15 weeks talking on 900 chat lines, authorities alleged.
I think it'd be hard to keep your calls straight. Instead of asking, "Thank you for calling Verizon. My name is Joe. How may I help you?" Dialin' Joe could get confused and ask, "Are ya nekkid?"

Election Choices

Over at The Smallest Minority Kevin (who got it from rationalpassion) gets it:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Let's laff at the yokels!

A number of bloggers have pointed to Ben Smith's Blog in which he quotes a little speech Obama gave in my home state of Michigan:
Obama told the crowd that McCain and Palin spent most of the convention talking about their biographies.

Palin's bio is "compelling," Obama said.

The crowd booed. "No, it's an interesting story." More boos. "No, no, it is. I mean that sincerely. Mother, governor, moose shooter."

The crowd broke out in laughter. "That's cool. That's cool. That's cool stuff," Obama said.
I get this same sort of stuff at work when I speak of taking a few days off in November for deer season. "Oh, you're going to shoot Bambi!" they say, thinking themselves quite funny. But in my mind what Obama said, as well as what my hilarious colleagues say is on par with someone joking with Obama, "Hey Barry! Heading out to have some watermelon?" and having all the 'good ol' boys' yuck it up at his expense.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Now if only the trains ran on time. . .

Troubling report from over at Pro-Gun Progressive:

The Police State Pays A Visit

At least they didn't shoot his dog. But seriously, I think a lot of people don't recognize the principle of the Slippery Slope. The police visit mentioned above was done because the ". . .victim purchased and voluntarily registered handgun ammunition in a caliber that the Maryland State Police records did not show the citizen owned." So the government drew the assumption that this was a straw purchase and sent in the cops. What if the government started to do some data mining of all credit card purchases of ski masks done outside the months of December, January, and February and sending the police to visit the billing addresses of those credit cards? Obviously anyone buying a ski mask when it isn't cold outside is going to use it for robbing stores, banks, or doing hold-ups.

What's a little freedom when you can have all that safety and protection?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Return to Darujhistan

It was a bit like Christmas yesterday when I got home from work and opened the mailbox to discover that a book I had ordered, Steven Erikson's Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen had arrived. I was working my way through this series a second time before this arrived. Gritty, with flawed but compelling and sometimes endearing characters written in a style to challenge the thoughtful reader, I highly recommend Steven Erikson's series to anyone who enjoys fantasy. For more on this series and the world that Erikson's created you can go to the Wikipedia entry, Malazan Book of the Fallen. We now return to our regular programming.

P.S. Written with Tam's ". . .nor any drop to drink." post in mind.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Son of Quote of the Day

Funny that the media never thinks any Democrats' children are fair game.
- Ace

Quote of the Day

If a Democrat mom chooses public office, she’s a patriot Wonder Woman imbued with Absolute Moral Authority on children’s, health, and social welfare issues.

If a Republican mom chooses public office, she’s the child-neglecting spawn of Satan who has no business debating any domestic public policy because of alleged hypocrisy.

Ain’t feminism grand?
- Michelle Malkin

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sharks and Politicians

I want to start this post by observing that when I write I envision an audience of co-workers who I consider friends and bloggers who I consider acquaintances and potential friends. I'm worried that with this post I may irritate if not alienate some. It is not, however, my intention to demean or denigrate. I do, though, feel compelled to say my piece regarding the reaction to John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate.

I don't look at the presidential election as a sports competition or an ongoing reality show (though I grant that the Press has a tendency to portray it along those lines.*) Thus I'm uncomfortable with the giddiness and glee that I see greeting the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate. She seems to have a number of attractive points. But I remind myself that she was selected by a political machine that does not have our best interests at heart but ultimately has the goal of perpetuating its own power. Look at it another way: A shark swims, eats, and seeks to perpetuate its kind. Politicians are much the same. The Republicans are the current big shark in the lagoon. The Democrats would like replace them. I myself would much rather not have a big shark that controls our swimming in the lagoon. I would rather replace it with something closer to a dolphin that would protect our use of the lagoon from the marauding Democrat and Republican sharks.

*Or sometimes, in the case of Obama, leftist journalists use the tone of a Gospel writer.