Archive for October 2009

The Rains Are Gone, The Floods Are Coming

October 31, 2009

Here in town, all is well. Outside town, where all the water drains, not so much. In particular, some of us younguns are going to have to rescue my grandmother later today.

According to the National Weather Service, Wallace Lake is supposed to crest at record heights tomorrow evening. My grandmother’s house is in the floodplain of the lake. Right now – at 10:00 AM on Saturday, a day and a half before its supposed to stop rising – the water is less than twenty feet from her house and is high enough over the roads that she can no longer escape.

Now, we’ve know about the possible flooding since yesterday morning. We’ve all been telling her that the water is going to keep rising until Sunday night and will most likely get in the house. She had plenty of time and notice. She has any number of family members in town who would have been glad to let her stay with them. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to leave while the roads were still passable. But all we got was “well, it’s stopped raining, and we’re just praying the water will recede.”

Maybe it will. Most likely, though, we’ll be using my cousin’s ginormous four wheel drive dualie (I’m 6’2″ and almost need a step ladder to get in it) to go pull them out the front door while the water is flowing through the back door.

KSLA has some video of the area near where she lives.


Just returned from a tour of flooded areas. After seeing the house and hearing the new, lower forecast for the crest, I think it will be fine.

Here’s some pics.

In a ditch just up Barron Road from the house.


The back of the house.


The barn. The thing you barely see inside is the top of an s-10 pickup. The owner is currently doing ten years in the state pen, so he won’t miss it too much.


Finally, the cause of the lake and it’s floods: Wallace Lake Dam. If you’ve ever been out there on a normal day, you understand how much water this is; it’s normally ten or fifteen feet below the spillway and only goes through a drain, that is now submerged, in the middle of the dam. So on a normal day, everything you see on the left, save a ten foot wide channel in the middle, is bone dry. Typically, you can climb up the spillway and walk from one end to the other.


Is “Miracle” Really The Best Word?

October 30, 2009

Imagine you’re a local graphic artist. A fairly successful one. You’re driving along in your new Lexus. As you roll through downtown Shreveport, you drive by the First Methodist Church. On top of that Church is a huge steeple, one they only put up about a decade ago and that cost who knows how much money. Next thing you know, you are trapped in your car, which was crushed when the steeple fell off the church.

You are now out a car, several days of your life while you are in the hospital, and a few fingers, too. Which is a really bad thing if you’re an artist. The church, of course, is now out a steeple.

I can think of a lot of words I would use in that situation. Most of the local coverage has repeatedly used the word “miracle.” What they mean is that it’s a miracle the guy lived. But if you’re going to invoke the divine for the result, don’t you have to invoke it for the causes, too? Sure, the odds of surviving being struck by a falling steeple are so small that it seems like a miracle. But by that logic, being struck by a steeple itself is even more “miraculous.” The odds of the accident even happening are at least as long as those of surviving it. So if your only criteria for labelling something a miracle is that the thing occurred against long odds, then the accident was just as much a miracle as escaping it alive. And if both of these events were miraculous, then the author is a little sadistic.


Football, Congress And Head Injuries

October 28, 2009

I had a great post about the hearings Congress had today about the NFL and long term head injuries. I accidentally erased it prior to publishing. I don’t feel like trying to recreate it. So here’s a summary.

One, why is Congress bothering with this issue? These are knowing and consenting adults harming no one but themselves.

Two, rather than solving the problem with education, more subjective penalties during games, or better equipment, how about removing all helmets and pads? The protective equipment incentivizes dangerous behavior.

Three, I hope my son never plays football. Baseball, basketball, track, cycling: Yes. Football, no.

Florida Has A Three Feet Law, Too

October 27, 2009

Got this via e-mail from a buddy in Tallahassee:

yea, so, I officially have been the victim of aggravated assault. Went for a ride yesterday afternoon. Guy in a truck cuts me off (intentionally), so I squirted my water at him (his truck which was moving away from me by then, so there was no way any of it even wet his tailgate). About 5 minutes later, he pulls up beside me on a back road with his window down. We exchange many “words” for, literally, a couple of minutes. During the entire conversation, I keep riding and he keeps veering me off the road. I keep riding. He tells me he would run me over if he didn’t care about his truck, and that it’s illegal to ride a bike in the road. After all, he doesn’t “play football in the road”, and he has a right to “take a right”, and I’m endangering him by being on the road. He throws a handful of trash at me, which hits me. Then he swerves enough to smack my handlebars hard enough that I scraped my knee on the left drop and almost went down. I continue to ride. He tells me his “name” and that he wants to meet tomorrow. Many other words were exchanged, and he turns around and goes back the way he came from.

During the entire encounter, we did not pass another car, pedestrian, or cyclist. I went to the closest gas station and called the law. After a brief description of the occurence, I asked if I could ride home (as I was not badly hurt) and meet a deputy there instead of on the road. Got home, called again, they responded. Gave info to deputy. He took zero notes, told me I had no case. Tried to question me for not calling at the time of the occurence. I informed him that I had. I gave him the name that was given to me, and he said “I’ll write that down when I get back to my car.” THE END.

Grown man (mid to late 40’s), FSU football shirt, buzz cut, fat (go figure), white (go figure), green tundra pick-up (go figure).

Been there, though I’ve never bothered calling the cops. That’s the most aggravating part of the whole story. Ignorant rednecks will do as ignorant rednecks will do. An overweight middle-aged POS has to do something to make himself feel worthwhile. That’s expected. The indifference of law enforcement, though, is inexcusable. Based on my own experience and that of other cyclists, it’s also typical. They see the world as cars and when cars and bikes mix, the fault is always the bike’s.

Bikes And Trees

October 26, 2009

This sounds cool:

The Velo Dendro S is a tour of significant trees in Shreveport. This ride . . . will take riders around Shreveport to look at and learn about this beautiful city’s significant trees. We will begin at the Columbia Café at Creswell and Kings Highway and head north to downtown. Along the way we will visit examples of good and poor pruning practices and take part in a tree planting at a local church. Once downtown, we will visit the historic court house on Texas Street, and discuss modern trends in urban forest planting. After a short break for refreshments we will head over to the Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport’s premier and oldest cycling facility. Cutting back away from the River after a few miles, we will mosey over to see a demonstration of tree/utility conflicts with SWEPCO and then on to take a look at the Louisiana State Champion Sycamore tree on the A.C. Steere playground. Other stops as we make our way back to Columbia Café will include Betty Virginia Park and the Slattery Oak. Following the ride we will be treated to the sweet sounds of A Fine Romance Trio at the Columbia Café and enjoy post-ride refreshments. The entire route is approximately 17 easy miles. No single section of the ride with be longer than two miles and we will supply refreshments, bathroom breaks and mechanical support (if needed) all along the route.

It’s only ten bucks and kid trailers are welcome. The date is November 7. The time 9:30 – 1:00. I may go, if for no other reason than to hear about the “Louisiana State Champion Sycamore tree” at AC Steere. We see that ginormous tree almost daily and I’ve always wondered what its story is.

Burning Crosses, Too?

October 23, 2009

Woo hoo! This is NOT in Louisiana:

Halloween Book Burning

Burning Perversions of God’s Word

Oct. 31, 2009
7pm – Until

Great Preaching and Singing

Come to our Halloween book burning. We are burning Satan’s bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect.

These are perversions of God’s Word, the King James Bible.We will also be burning Satan’s music such as country , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.

We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham Rick Warren Bill Hybels , John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, etc.

We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.

We will be serving Bar-b-Que Chicken, fried chicken, and all the sides.

If you have any books or music to donate, please call us for pick-up. If you like you can drop them off at our church door anytime. Thanks. 828-648-0213

And that number is for the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in North Carolina.

Raise Your Hand If You Live In Haughton And . . .

October 22, 2009

Have never been arrested for: drunkenly driving your four wheeler while shooting guns over your neighbor’s house; fighting with your adult child in the front yard; any other offense involving alcohol, meth, pot, guns, fourwheelers, fistfights, or – in today’s latest from Redneckistan; passing out in your living room while your toddlers play naked in your front yard.

Anyone? Anyone?

Obama Rejects Free Speech

October 21, 2009

The Obama administration recently joined Egypt and other pre-enlightenment countries in creating a UN statement that free speech does NOT include words of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” That is, you are “free” to say anything so long as your words don’t insult someone’s feelings about their imaginary friend. Mess with anyone’s God and you should go to jail.

Regardless of the pretentious words used by the statement’s supporters – that they believe strongly in free speech and this is only about “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” – if you think the government can punish people for insulting religions then you do not believe in free speech. Here’s a few examples of what the world is beginning to look like in countries that follow the UN’s doublespeak version of free speech:

In Britain, it is a crime to “abuse” or “threaten” a religion under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. A 15-year-old boy was charged last year for holding up a sign outside a Scientology building declaring, “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult. “In France, famed actress Brigitte Bardot was convicted for saying in 2006 that Muslims were ruining France in a letter to then-Interior Minister (and now President) Nicolas Sarkozy.
In Holland, Dutch prosecutors arrested cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot for insulting Christians and Muslims with cartoons, including one that caricatured a Christian fundamentalist and a Muslim fundamentalist as zombies who want to marry and attend gay rallies.

• In Canada, the Alberta human rights commission punished the Rev. Stephen Boission and the Concerned Christian Coalition for anti-gay speech, not only awarding damages but also censuring future speech that the commission deems inappropriate.

• In Italy, comedian Sabina Guzzanti was put under criminal investigation for joking at a rally that “in 20 years, the pope will be where he ought to be — in hell, tormented by great big poofter (gay) devils, and very active ones.”

• In London, an aide to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was arrested for “inciting religious hatred” at his gym by shouting obscenities about Jews while watching news reports of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.Also, Dutch politician Geert Wilders was barred from entering Britain as a “threat to public policy, public security or public health” because he made a movie describing the Quran as a “fascist” book and Islam as a violent religion.

• In Poland, Catholic magazine Gosc Niedzielny was fined $11,000 for inciting “contempt, hostility and malice“by comparing the abortion of a woman to the medical experiments at Auschwitz.

The “blasphemy” cases include the prosecution of writers for calling Mohammed a “pedophile” because of his marriage to 6-year-old Aisha (which was consummated when she was 9). A far-right legislator in Austria, a publisher in India and a city councilman in Finland have been prosecuted for repeating this view of the historical record.

In the flipside of the cartoon controversy, Dutch prosecutors this year have brought charges against the Arab European League for a cartoon questioning the Holocaust.

In this short list of newly criminalized words did anyone NOT find some with which they agree? Sure, some of it is ignorant, evil and worthy of scorn. Some of it is  also accurate and worthy of wide publication. In this country, at least, the determination of what is and is not acceptable speech is given by the Constitution to all of us to decide on our own. Under the UN statement endorsed by the Obama administration it should belong to legal authorities.

Granted this statement has no legal impact here or anywhere else. Maybe this is also more a symbolic gesture towards Muslims than any kind of real belief. But it’s still total bullshit and ought to have been denounced as such, not endorsed by the administration. Yes, I agree with Obama’s generally respectful tone towards other countries and cultures. There has to be a line, though. The most fundamental and important right in this country would have been a great place to draw it. That doesn’t mean we all should start Muslim bashing. It just means we ought to respect them while remaining ourselves.

P.S. I wanted to say that this whole post applies with equal force to Pope Benedict, who likewise believes free speech does not include the right to insult religions. But the pope – unlike Obama – is head of an institution with no traditional or legal rights of free speech to respect. They’ve both accepted ridiculous and dangerous positions, but only Obama can be faulted for rejecting his oath of office. Affirming the end of free speech in the world is perfectly consistent with church history and tradition but hardly preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.

Keeping It In The Family In Haughton

October 21, 2009

What is with that town? Every time I open the paper, there’s something similar to this:

Bossier sheriff’s deputies have arrested a Haughton mother and son on charges of disturbing the peace fighting, resisting an officer and more, a release from Sheriff Larry Deen says.

Belinda Jo Smith, 45, of the 1900 block of Bellevue Road, and John Christopher Lewis, 23, of Lexington, Ky., were arrested after a deputy on normal patrol noticed the two fighting and shoving one another around 4:30 p.m. Monday outsider her residence.

No mention of four wheelers or alcohol, but the other Haughton favorite is present:

Deputies interviewed neighbors who had witnessed the incident, and the neighbors told deputies that John Lewis had been outside shooting high-powered rifles in the back yard.

East Redneckistan strikes again.

If Laughing At This Makes Me An Elitist, So Be It

October 19, 2009

People of Wal Mart