Friday, July 29, 2005

#41-70 of the people screwing up America

So, with this group we get a software developer, a world renown feminist, several corporate looters, two rappers, a washed up Playboy Playmate, a televangelist, several reporters and a couple of TV and film producers.

  1. Susan Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation
  2. Gloria Steinem, co-founder of New York magazine, founder of Ms. magazine, National Women's Political Caucus, and the Women's Action Alliance, author
  3. Paul Eibeler, CEO/President/Director at Take-Two Interactive Software, publishers of the infamous Grand Theft Auto line of video games
  4. Dennis Kozlowski, former chairman and CEO of Tyco International, found guilty of looting company of more than $600 million (Ok, this is a good one too)
  5. Ken Lay, former Chair & CEO of Enron Corp, responsible for the fall of the company, good friend of George W. Bush (Ok, I can agree with this one!)
  6. Barbara Walters, television reporter, former co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News' 20/20, co-host of ABC's The View, member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame
  7. Maxine Waters, Democratic Congresswoman from California
  8. Robert Byrd, Democratic Senator from West Virginia
  9. Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
  10. John Vasconellos, veteran, former Democratic state Senator in California.
  11. Ann Pelo, author, educator
  12. Markos Moulitsas, veteran, blogger - author of The Daily Kos and
  13. Anna Nicole Smith, former Playmate, model, reality show "star"
  14. Neal Shapiro, former executive producer of NBC's Dateline, president of NBC News
  15. David Westin, president of ABC News (I guess he figured he get some shots in at a network other than CBS)
  16. Diane Sawyer, co-anchor of ABC News Good Morning America
  17. Ted Field, movie producer (I have no idea why he would be on this list, unless it's because he produced Kazaam, staring Shaquille O'Neal)
  18. Eminem, rapper
  19. Shirley Franklin, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
  20. Ludacris, rapper
  21. Michael Savage, ultra-conservative radio talk show host, author (Ok, I agree with this one!)
  22. Howard Stern, ultra-liberal radio "shock" jock
  23. Amy Richards, author, advice columnist at, she came into the conservative ire when she decided to abort two of the three triplets she was carrying
  24. James Wolcott, contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, blogger, author
  25. Oliver Stone, film director and producer
  26. David Duke, Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, public persona of the white-nationalist movement (Who can argue with this one? Although I would think that Matthew Hale and the "Creativity Movement" is a bigger threat)
  27. Randall Robinson, founder of TransAfrica, author, leading figure in the reparations for slavery movement
  28. Katherine Hanson, former director of the Women's Educational Equity Act Publishing Center, widely criticized for using bad statistics
  29. Matt Kunitz, executive produce of Fear Factor
  30. Jimmy Swaggart, televangelist and cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Kevin Bacon is screwing up America!

Check out "The Johnsville News" blog. The author has uncovered that the real cause of the problems in America is Kevin Bacon. In his post, The Great Bacon Conspiracy, the blogger chronicles how all "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America" can be linked to Kevin Bacon in less than 6 steps.

Here's an example:

#21 Judge Roy Moore - former Chief Justice of Alabama.

  1. Judge Roy Moore is known as the "Ten Commandments" judge
  2. Charlton Heston was in The Ten Commandments (1956)
  3. Charlton Heston was in Almost an Angel (1990) with David Alan Grier
  4. David Alan Grier was in Woodsman, The (2004) with Kevin Bacon

Sweet dreams are made of these

I finally finished painting the ceiling in our baby's room this past weekend. We painted the whole room, including the ceiling, a soft blue. I painted white clouds across the ceiling and part of the wall. It's really hard to see in these pictures, but if I do say so myself, it looks pretty good. Now to get some furniture for this kid...................

Check out the rest of the pictures on our picture site.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bachelor party for Sweaty B

Here's the details and directions for Ryan Williams' bachelor party next week, Saturday, August 6th.

The night will start off with dinner at the downtown Indianapolis Buffalo Wild Wings (BW-3 or B-dubs if you're old school) around 6:30. BW-3 is located on the first floor of the Hampton Inn hotel, 15 E. Maryland Ave, at the southeast corner of Meridian and Maryland. It's across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe and the Circle Centre Mall. Lots of parking is available in the area including on the street and at Circle Centre Mall. There is a 7:00 Indiana Fever game that night, so parking at Conseco Fieldhouse may be difficult.

Map of restaurant location

We have reservations to bowl at Action Bowling at 9:00. Action Bowling is located on the 4th floor of the Fountain Square Theater Building, in the Fountain Square neighborhood. The building is located at 1111 E. Prospect St., at the southeast corner of Prospect and Shelby. We have reservations for 2 lanes for 2 hours, so if more than about 10 people come and we can't get another lane, we'll have to take turns. Parking is available on-street or at nearby public and "semi-public" parking lots.

Map of Action Bowling Location

Directions from BW-3 to Action Bowling: Go South on Meridian Street to South Street. Turn left and proceed East until you reach the 3-Way intersection of East Street, South Street and Virginia Avenue. Angle right onto Virginia Avenue and go 4 stop lights straight ahead, about a mile. You'll go under I-70/I-65. Virginia dead ends in Fountain Square, at the three way intersection of Virginia, Prospect and Shelby. The building will be directly ahead of you.

Map from BW-3 to Action Bowling

After bowling, we'll see where the night takes us. Drive safely. Don't drive drunk. We can car-pool from BW-3 to the bowling alley. This is the same weekend as the Brickyard 400, so there be lots of people and police on the street.

Friday, July 22, 2005

#11-40 of the people screwing up America

I thought I would take a stab at learning about the next 30 people who Bernard Goldberg believes is "Screwing Up America." And a fine group it is, with lots of CBS News employees, several professors and Democratic Congressmen, two editorial cartoonist, two talk show hosts, an NBA player and a former Saturday Night Live comedian! Hide the women and children! There are some choices of people I agree with on this section of the list, including #21 Roy Moore, #25 James Kopp, and to a lesser extent #31 Maury Povich and #32 Jerry Springer. This list has also given me insight into some great organizations and initiatives I've never heard of, including People for the American Way, Campaign for America's Future, Democracy for America, The Open Society Institute, Common Cause and Democracy 21.

  1. Noam Chomsky, MIT professor, linguist, author
  2. Dan Rather, former CBS News anchor, correspondent for 60 Minutes, Emmy and Peabody Award winner, author
  3. Andrew Heyward, President, CBS News
  4. Mary Mapes , former CBS News producer of "Rather-Gate" piece (man, this guy has got it bad against his former employer!)
  5. Ted Rall, syndicated editorial cartoonist and columnist (and one of my favorites!)
  6. John Edwards, former Democratic Senator from North Carolina, Vice Presidential Candidate 2004, director of the University of North Carolina Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity
  7. Al Sharpton, minister, race activist, unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate
  8. Al Gore, former Democratic Senator from Tennessee, former Vice President, Presidential Candidate 2000
  9. George Soros, founder of Open Society Institute, author
  10. Howard Dean, Chairman of Democratic Party, Chairman of Democracy for America, former Governor of Vermont
  11. "Judge" Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office after refusing to abide by US Supreme Court order to remove a 10 Commandments Display from the grounds of the Alabama Judicial Building, founder of Foundation for Moral Law, and apparently a poet! (ok, this one I agree with)
  12. Michael Newdow, in contrast to Mr. Moore above, Mr. Newdow is an atheist and leading advocate to restore the Pledge of Allegiance to its original 1892 wording which did not include "Under God"
  13. The Unknown American Terrorist, the book focuses on the Earth Liberation Front
  14. Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, author of books on freedom of speech
  15. James Kopp, convicted murderer of abortion doctors (Ok, I agree with this one too)
  16. Dr. Martin Haskell, abortion doctor, key figure in the so-called "partial birth abortion" debate
  17. Paul Begala, political commentator on CNN, co-host of Inside Politics, author, Begala and his partner James Carville (who I'm surprise didn't make this list) helped get Bill Clinton elected, the Democtraic Karl Rove without the treason
  18. Julian Bond, Executive Chairman of the NAACP, founding member of SNCC (you've got to be kidding me!)
  19. John Green, political science professor at the University of Akron and Director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, has done extensive polling of voters and studies of religious voting behaviors
  20. Latrell Sprewell, NBA player
  21. Maury Povich, trash TV talk show host
  22. Jerry Springer, trash TV talk show host, former Mayor of Cincinnati! (OK, I can't necessarily disagree with the last two)
  23. Bob Shrum, Democratic speech writer and election consultant
  24. Bill Moyers, journalist, former Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, founder of Public Affairs Television
  25. Jeff Danziger, editorial cartoonist
  26. Nancy Hopkins, geneticist, MIT biology professor, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she's apparently on this list merely for a comment she made disagreeing with Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers when he said that there were inherent differences between men and women when it came to their aptitude to the hard sciences
  27. Al Franken, comedian, author, former Saturday Night Live cast member, Air America Radio talk show host
  28. Jim McDermott, Democratic Congressman from Washington state, psychiatrist, naval veteran, Foreign Service psychiatrist
  29. Peter Singer, Princeton University ethics professor, leading figure in the animal rights and right-to-die movements, author
  30. Scott Harshbarger, former president of Common Cause and Democracy 21, voter advocate and government reform organizations

Found on the web

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wedding Crashers

Cathy and I saw The Wedding Crashers over the weekend. It has two of our favorite comedic actors in it, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. These two guys, along with Ben Stiller, Will Farrell and Luke Wilson seem to be in everything together. And all of their movies, with the possible exception of Zoolander, have been hilarious. Movie critics have even given these guys a group nickname. They call them The Frat Pack. Lots of great one liners in Wedding Crashers, unfortunately, none can be repeated on this family friendly Blog.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Global information conglomerate

This just recently came to my attention. "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America" is published by Harper Collins, which is a subsidiary of News Corporation. News Corporation also owns Fox Entertainment Group and Fox News and the New York Post, direct competitor with the New York Times. Now, I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but it sure makes you think.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Really? These 100 People?

Did anyone catch the Daily Show with John Stewart Wednesday night? He had as a guest Bernard Goldberg, author of the new book "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America : (and Al Franken Is #37)". This is the third book by Goldberg, a former CBS News correspondent. His first was 2001's "Bias," about liberal leanings of the media, especially his former employer CBS and the "Rather-Gate" scandal. It was followed by "Arrogance," also about the "liberal" media. Mr. Goldberg obviously has a "bias" of his own.

Here's the top ten

  1. Michael Moore, love him or loath him, he's produced some of the finest documentary films ever.
  2. Arthur Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times
  3. Ted Kennedy, 9 term Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, army veteran
  4. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, ordained Baptist minister
  5. Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
  6. Jimmy Carter, WHAT?!?! America's 39th President, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, vocal supporter and spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity, architect of the 1978 Camp David Accord, naval veteran. You've got to be kidding me.
  7. Margaret Marshall, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court
  8. Paul Krugman, author, economist, past faculty member at Yale, MIT and Stanford, current faculty member at Princeton, New York Times editorial writer
  9. Jonathan Kozol, teacher, author, founder of The Campaign for America's Future
  10. Ralph Neas, President and CEO, People For the American Way
Wow, these are the top ten people screwing up America? The "liberal" media, a documentary film maker and a peanut farmer? Not corporations polluting our waters and skies? Not CEOs picking the pensions of their employees? Not elected officials leading us into unsound, foolhardy wars for made up reasons? Where's Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Bob Novak, Karl Rove, Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, Ann Coulter, Bill Frist, Tom Delay, Bill O'Reilly, NRA president Charlton Heston? Surprisingly, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton don't make the list at all. More on this book as my thoughts progress.

Karl Rove must go

Go to and sign an open petition to President Bush. Karl Rove must go!

Dear President Bush,

Karl Rove, your most senior advisor, is embroiled in another controversy – this time for leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent. Despite carefully worded denials, it is now apparent that Karl Rove discussed the identity of an undercover CIA agent with a reporter. His clear aim was to discredit that agent’s husband who had dared to challenge the administration in the buildup to the war.
You have a choice to make: Spend the months ahead focused on protecting Karl Rove’s job security or spend them focused on protecting America’s national security. You cannot remain silent.

All I’m asking is that you remain true to your word. When the scandal first broke, your spokesman, Scott McClellan, said “If anyone in this Administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this Administration.” (9/29/03, White House press briefing). What you do now, in light of Karl Rove’s involvement will speak volumes.

Decency—and the interests of the American people--demand an end to Karl Rove’s days in the White House. You have the choice to either make good on your promise to hold accountable those who shared the identity of a secret soldier in the war on terror – or prove that promise hollow. I call on you to keep your promise to the American people and fire Karl Rove.


Your name here

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Baby Boot Camp

It's been a regular baby boot camp in the Roach house. Last week we had our first childbirth class at the Bloomington Hospital. It was a great class, with a good group of about 12 couples. It's funny to think that these people's kids may be our kid's friends through pre-school, kindergarten, elementary school and beyond! We're still good friends with Gretchen Giddings who I went to pre-school with way back in the day! We got to see the Center for Women and Children including their ultra cool star-field vaulted ceiling in the special care nursery. The only bad part of the class was the fact we had to sit on the floor for 3 hours. Yesterday, I went with Cathy to a breastfeeding class. Then later in the week we have a Dr's appointment, a "Baby basics" class and our second childbirth class. We've signed up for nearly every class Bloomington Hospital has to offer!

The Griggs Family Photo Album

Ben Griggs has finally updated his web site! Check out the latest pictures of his kids, Conner (4), Drew (2) and Kendall (5 months).

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dance the Freecycle!

Regular reader may recall that back in mid May I removed a huge mirror from our master bathroom. Well, it's been sitting in our garage ever since. Saturday, however, we finally got rid of it. I used a web based listserve called Freecycle. They hook people up with free stuff and help people get rid of their junk. You post an offer and if someone is interested, they respond. Only catch is that it has to be completely free; no sales or bartering. Well, I got 10 people interested in our mirror and within a couple of days gave it away to a lady that runs the local Arthur Murray Dance Studio. As I type, people are probably learning how to do the Cha-Cha Slide, the Macarena, the Electric Slide, the Twist or the Switch in front of our mirror. It's a small, dance crazy, world.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

War of the Worlds

Cathy and I saw the new Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg movie adaptation of War of the Worlds. Despite how much Tom annoys me with his psychobabble pseudo-science rambling about Scientology, I do think he's a good actor.

We saw the movie at the Starlight Drive-In theater just outside of Bloomington. It was a perfect night for a drive-in movie; warm and not a cloud in the sky. The fireworks from the surrounding properties just added to the sense of war from the movie. The constant stench of what smelled like a failing septic system did distract from the experience, however.

It's a shame that drive-ins are a dying breed. I remember going to the Sky-View drive-in in Lebanon as a kid. I'd wear my pajamas and would almost certainly fall asleep before the second movie was over. I remember seeing "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" and "E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial" there.

While watching the movie, I wondered how many people there knew that it was based on a nearly 100 year old book? H.G Wells (1866-1946) first published "War of the Worlds" in 1898 in London. Wells, along with Frenchman Jules Verne (1826-1905), is known as one of the godfathers of science fiction. Wells wrote numerous well known stories including "The Time Machine" (1895), "The Island Of Dr. Moreau" (1896) and "The Invisible Man" (1897). Wells' books have been made into movies since the invention of film.

And of course, there is the famous 1938 Orson Wells radio broadcast. Wells adapted the book for radio so that it would sound like a news broadcast about an invasion from Mars. People actually thought the Earth was being attacked and fled for the countryside! Check out this great website.

Here's some interesting fan sites:
The Complete War of The Worlds Website
The War of The Worlds: The Historical Perspective
The War of the Worlds - Book Cover Collection

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Spirit of Liberty

In honor of Independence Day.

What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago taught humanity that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.

Learned Hand (1872-1961) from the speech “The Spirit of Liberty”

Friday, July 01, 2005

ABC Health and Nutrition commercials

So, the other day I was watching my new favorite show, "Family Guy" on FOX. Hey, it's the only thing new on, it's summer! They did a spoof of of an old Saturday morning public service announcement I remember watching as a kid. Hanker for a hunk of cheese.......

"When my get-up-and-go has gone up and went,
I hanker for a hunka cheese.

"When I'm dancing a hoe-down and my boots kind of slow down,
Or any time I'm week in the knees.

"I hanker for a hunk of, a slab or slice or chunk of,
A snack that is a winner, yet won't spoil my dinner,
I hanker for a hunk of cheese."

I found a little information on these PSAs on the web. They were 30 and 60 second long "Health and Nutrition commercials" that aired on ABC around the same time as the longer, more popular and more musical "Schoolhouse Rock!" They premiered in 1977 and were aired until the early 1980s. Right around the same time as the Q-Bert, Pac-Man, Smurfs, Snorks and WWF Wrestling cartoons. The golden age of Saturday morning cartoons.

Some of the other PSAs included:

  • "Yuck Mouth"
  • "Don't Drown Your Food"
  • "Exercise Your Choppers"
  • "Watch Out for the Munchies"
  • "Have a Quickfast"
  • "You Are What You Eat"
  • "Have a Saturdae" (which includes a recipe with a banana, a pineapple ring, a grape and yogurt.)
  • "Sunshine on a stick" (frozen juice on a toothpick!)