Archive for April 2010

Cyber Censorship Law Passes House

April 30, 2010

Troubling:

Legislation seeking to outlaw “cyberbullying” was quickly approved Wednesday evening by the Louisiana House.
House Bill 1259 would criminalize the transmission of electronic textual, visual, written or oral communication that is intended to “coerce, abuse, torment, intimidate, harass, embarrass or cause emotional distress” to anyone under the age of 17.

It’s local rep Roy Burrell’s bill and it passed 77-16. I’ve already said I oppose it, mostly because of overbreadth. But also because the criminal act is just words.

I wish legislators could truly understand the implications of making something a crime. It’s one thing to shout “there oughta be a law” when you see a terrible story in the news. It’s another to say you want to ruin the otherwise promising lives of countless young people to avoid another terrible story. In this situation, yes, it’s horrible that one young lady killed herself in response to bullying. But that was one student. This isn’t an epidemic. Whereas if this law passes, many, many, many students could find themselves with a criminal record for nothing more than name calling.

This morning, I’m going to have a conversation with two girls about the way they’ve been treating a third girl. They’ve been bullying her, the way girls do, by mocking her appearance, clothes, etc. It’s cruel. The thing is, though, both of these two are really great students. What they’re doing is out of character. My goal – one I think I will achieve – is to get them to see that and to at least agree to quit, if not to apologize. In Burrell’s world, though, I guess I’d just call the cops.

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My Letter To Councilman Long About the Parade Routes

April 29, 2010

UPDATE: His response follows my letter.

I sent this to my city councilman today. I’ll let you know if he responds.

Councilman Long,

My name is XXXX. I live at XXXX, in the heart of Broadmoor, a block and a half away from the parade route. I am writing to let you know that I – and may others – would be extremely disappointed if the council or anyone else decided to change the Mardi Gras Parade routes.

Each year my family and many others greatly anticipate these parades. We decorate our houses, invite friends over, and spend the afternoon grilling food and having fun. As evening arrives, all we have to do is walk a few paces to the route – usually with a train of kids on bikes or in wagons behind us. At the route, we find all the neighborhood together, enjoying life and each other’s company. No other event provides this kind of community activity and excitement. Moving it out of the neighborhood would end this experience forever.

According to KTBS, at yesterday’s meeting, another resident – Lou Gehrig Burnett – argued that Broadmoor residents dislike the current route. Let me assure you, he does not speak for me. And based on what I know of my own street, and the crowds I see at the parades, he does not speak for a majority of the neighborhood, either.

Mr. Burnett also stated that the current route is a major public safety issue. He is overstating his case by several orders of magnitude. Yes, East Kings becomes impassable by car as the day lengthens. Yes, there are more cars parked on the neighborhood streets. However, you can still drive from any point in Broadmoor to any point in Shreveport, even at the height of the parades. Sure, it might be a bit slower, or by a different direction than normal, but any inconvenience is minimal. Besides, even if the inconvenience was serious, this is only a few hours for two weekends a year, a “sacrifice” well worth all the fantastic benefits of the parade.

In sum, these parades are a unique way for us to enjoy our neighborhood and spend time with our neighbors. Please protect this amazing community event.

Thank You,

XXXXX

Got a response shortly after sending the e-mail. Long says not to worry, he opposes changing the route. That and Mayor Glover’s support for the current route make me confident the routes will remain the same. Good.

Shreveport Debates Destroying Parades

April 28, 2010

The city council is considering moving the route to Clyde Fant.

Look, if you don’t live here, imagine having a parade on an interstate highway; that’s what it would be like on Clyde Fant. Currently, the first third is on Clyde Fant, then it moves to a four lane highway through retail areas before finishing on East Kings through the Broadmoor area. Generally, the first part is sober and family friendly, the second is drunk and rowdy, and the third is drunk and family friendly.

It’s a perfect set up. Really, the best part is the three or four hours before the parade on East Kings, when what’s normally a thoroughfare becomes a mile long block party for Broadmoor. Sure, that disturbs traffic. But that’s for a few hours on two Saturdays. Moving it would kill this community vibe as well as kill plenty of business for all the retail places between Clyde Fant and East Kings.

So, I say to all the shortsighted and selfish curmudgeons who want to isolate the parade from the life of the area, if you can’t force yourself to have fun, then get the heck out of town for those few hours. No one needs you, anyway.

Why Does Bobby Jindal Hate Families?

April 27, 2010

Yet another issue separating pretextual supporters of limited government from true lovers of liberty:

Lengthy and passionate testimony in the Senate Judiciary A Committee today ended with a 3-1 party line rejection of a measure that would have expanded gay adoption in Louisiana.

Jindal and a host or religious conservatives helped ensure more kids grow up in either foster care or with one parent. There just is no factual support for opposing adoption by homosexuals. This is state enforced religious dogma. Period. The only thing these limits do is harm children. I think that’s a bad idea. Obviously, many people disagree. But if you do, at least be honest about your support for big government.

Red Light Update

April 26, 2010

Another attempt to limit the 1984 inspired red light cameras has failed.

While a law requiring blinking ones on the back of bikes has moved to the full house. Like I first said here, I still think it’s the worst kind of nanny-statism, but at least the bill no longer requires the lights during the day.

Mark Your Calendars! Fight Terrorism!

April 26, 2010

April 20th is Draw Muhammad Day.

Even better, and to fight similar outbursts of ignorance, April 26th is Boobquake Day:

It started as a college student’s snide response to an Iranian cleric’s assertion that scantily clad women cause earthquakes.

But as of Thursday, it had become much, much bigger.

Jen McCreight, a self-described atheist, feminist and geek “trapped in Indiana,” took issue with Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi’s message during Friday prayers in Tehran, the Iranian capital.

The hard-line cleric, who was standing in for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, said women who dress provocatively – thereby tempting men – are to blame for the world’s temblors…

McCreight, who is pursuing a double major in genetics and evolution, took to her blog, Blag Hag, on Monday, demanding that the world’s women band together in a scientific experiment to test the merits of Sadeghi’s hypothesis.

“Time for a Boobquake,” she wrote. “On Monday, April 26, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. … I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty.”

I Wish This Could Be An Issue Here

April 25, 2010

California Cyclists Split On Two-Wheel Texting Ban.”

Man, how nice it must be to live somewhere with enough cyclists to require a ban on texting while riding. For that to happen, you don’t just have a lot of bikes, you have a lot of people using bikes for everyday activities. You’re normal, not the tight shorts wearing freak you are around here.

BTW, I’d never text while riding, but I think I would oppose the ban. Contra texting while driving a car, it’s hard to imagine how texting while riding a bike could injure anyone but the cyclist.