Archive for September 2008

I Never Did Like Jim McCrery

September 30, 2008

He’s my representative in congress. When I was in college and working as a waiter, he ate at the restaurant where I worked, and I waited on him. I knew who he was, and made an extra-effort to be a perfect waiter. He was a good customer, nice and polite, no picky orders. When he paid the bill, though, the jerk stiffed me.

Now it looks like he wants to rip us all off. Thankfully, though, he was in the minority for even his own state’s delegation.

I wanted to post this last night, but could not access Thomas, too much traffic I guess. Anyway, here’s how Louisiana’s Representatives voted on the bailout:

Rodney Alexander (R) – No

Charles Boustany (D) – No

Don Cazayoux (R) – No

William Jefferson (D) – No

Jim McCrery (R) – Yes

Charlie Melancon (D) – Yes

Steve Scalise (R) – No

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House Renews My Faith In Government

September 29, 2008

It said no to the bailout. I’m glad, not so much because of the substantive result, but because of the ridiculous process that led to the vote.

As I understand it, there are two main groups responsible for the big crisis. One is the idiots who bought houses via adjustable rate mortgages that, even before the rates increased, probably cost them half their income every month. The second is the crooks who sold those craptastic mortgages and then re-sold them as securities.

As far as I am concerned, both groups are getting what they deserve and can go piss up a rope. The people in the homes knew the rates could go up. These people gambled and now they are losing. They can pay the price; I’m not. They want sympathy, they can look in the dictionary between spit and syphilis. As for the financiers, they knew those mortgages were highly likely to fail, so if they relied on them as assets, that’s their problem. Now that those assets are worthless, I hope all of the financial people end up living under park benches begging bread.

That’s my understanding. I may be wrong. These two groups may be less blameworthy, or the blame may reach more people. Or the impact may reach more people. The damage might even hit people like me. Folks who bought houses for way less than the amount of the mortgage for which they were approved. Folks with no credit card debt. Folks who drive used cars so they can avoid credit cards. Folks with savings. You know, half way responsible people.

The problem is, all I’ve heard for the last few weeks is generalized fear mongering about “the economy” and the need to trust Our Fearless Leaders with unfettered control of almost one trillion dollars. Sorry, I do not care about “the economy;” I care about me and mine. And no one has clearly explained to me how the crisis will hurt us. Even if it will, I am still not going to trust any one person to handle all that money. There should have been way more accountability in that bill.

In other words, if someone could have calmly and clearly explained how the problems could hurt more than just the people who deserve it, and then proposed a solution that addressed the problems in a manner that ensured as little of my money would be wasted as possible, I’d have been much more willing to listen. As it was, I’m glad the bailout died.

It Didn’t Take Long

September 29, 2008

As in the guilt phase, the jury took less than two hours to sentence Terrance Carter to death.

Local School Gets National Props

September 29, 2008

I really, really want to introduce this with some kind of comment about recruiting for more than just football, or the theater program existing to teach the football players how to convincingly say they were not recruited. But instead, I’ll simply say congrats:

Evangel Christian Academy took home the Honorable Mention award for the second year in a row in the second HSM USA Weekend Showstopper awards.

The award honors the best high school musical production in the country. Evangel beat out hundreds of entries for their production of “Grease,” which was performed in February.

Of course, my jokes would not have been that funny, because Evangel really isn’t the best recruiting school anymore. They ought not feel too bad, though. As long as musicals like Grease involve dancing, Evangel will still be better than Calvary Baptist Academy in at least one area.

S’port Neighborhood Gets National Props

September 28, 2008

I saw this on Red River Blog Jam: Business Week has named Highland one of the fifteen neighborhoods in the nation likely to see big increases in home values, mostly due to artsy types beginning gentrification. Here’s the part about Highland:

The Highland community’s wide streets, bicycle lanes, and affordable historic homes make it popular with the jewelry makers, painters, and sculptors who have lived here for years. Many of the houses have detached garages so there’s plenty of space for creativity. Shreveport became Louisiana’s movie capital after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and actors, directors, and other industry types have found temporary lodging in Highland, which has also served as a backdrop for some feature films. Nice three-bedroom homes are available for $100,000 or less.

As someone who has lived in that neighborhood on three different occasions, and probably still would, if not for having two kids, let me say three things.

One, everything in that paragraph is true, except the part about the bike lanes. There aren’t any. Nor, thanks to the wide streets and low speed limits, are they necessary. It’s a great area to ride a bike.

Two, the article calls it an up and coming neighborhood. It’s been called that for the last twenty years, usually in local versions of articles like this one. Nothing has changed. So don’t go speculating.

Three, because “up and coming,” like “urban renewal,” really means “negro removal” I hope the neighborhood does not change. It’s fine as is.

My Dog Is A Shameless Hussy

September 27, 2008

Which is fairly common:

Country songs are filled with anguished lyrics about cheating wives and husbands. But sometimes it’s not always people who are doing the leaving and breaking hearts. Dogs and cats can also cheat on their owners, leaving their own homes in pursuit of something better, or different. And perhaps more painfully, some pets carry on affairs right under their owner’s nose.

The latter would be my dog and my neighbor. Or anyone who will pet her, really. She’s an extremely needy dog. It’s not like she gets no affection here. I take care of my dog, and the kids love her. She just can’t get enough attention. If you ever come to my house and make the mistake of petting her, she’ll be glued to your side for the rest of the time you’re here. She won’t bark at you, she won’t lick you or jump on you, but you will have to look at her pathetic brown eyes staring at you. She’s very passive aggressive.

The neighbor is the worst, because she gives the dog milk bones. So every time the neighbor’s car pulls into her driveway, Allie’s tail starts wagging, and if we’re outside, she takes off for the fence between our yards to obediently wait for my neighbor. And if my neighbor comes into our yard, I might as well not exist.

I know all this, so it doesn’t bother my that my dog is less than fiercely loyal to me. Besides, I have a cat who is. Whenever we’ve been tempted to get rid of Merton, the big reason we don’t is because he would never be able to live with anyone else. I’m the only person he tolerates. He’s not a nice cat. He is pretty, though.

Just When You Thought Louisiana Couldn’t Look Any Worse . . .

September 26, 2008

You are proven wrong:

State Representative John LaBruzzo of Metairie said many of his constituents are tired of paying for children from poor families and that is why he is considering proposing legislation that would pay women on government assistance $1,000 if they choose to be sterilized.