Archive for June 2010

Local Residents: You Can Thank Me For The Rain

June 30, 2010

We’ve had more rain in the previous two days than we had in the preceding two months, with more on the way over the next few days. Why? Not a gulf hurricane, but because three days ago, I spent almost four hours washing and waxing my car, and then spent an hour or more watering all the plants around my house. So, you’re all welcome.

Kagan Will Make A Great Conservative Justice

June 29, 2010

Prior to this week’s hearings, I already opposed her, knowing she’s weak on free speech, blurs the line between church and state, and loves her some executive power. Worse, I knew no one would question her about any of those things. The Democrats can’t, because she’s their President’s nominee. The Republicans can’t, because they share those views; she’s much more similar to Alito or Roberts than any of the “liberal” justices.

So far, it looks like my fears were correct. For two days we’ve had nothing but empty rhetoric about humility, or impartiality, or deference to congress. The closest to any substantive questions have been a few accusations that she hates the military.

The worst part? If – given her extremely troubling record – this is all the opposition party will throw at her, I fear it’s because they know she’s an authoritarian just like they are. The GOP has to act like they oppose her, but in truth, they know she’s fairly conservative. That means she’ll easily be confirmed, and we can look forward to who knows how many more years of a court that, in the vast majority of non-second amendment constitutional cases, will always side with the government and against the individual.

Bobby Jindal And BP

June 29, 2010

I haven’t followed our governor’s actions very closely. Still, from the news I have read, he’s appeared impressive. Especially given the responses of state leaders to the immediate east and west of us, which toe the GOP line by mostly licking the boots of BP. Jindal, it seems, actually knows what’s going on and has actually tried to help the situation. So, for a while, I’ve meant to do a post giving him a thumbs up.

But now maybe I won’t:

new revelations and a close inspection of the facts suggest that Jindal’s sound and fury is little more than political grandstanding for the Fox News set, and it serves to obscure Jindal’s own serious failings in the spill response effort. While Jindal has been relentless in attacking the federal government for dragging its feet, he has delayed the deployment of National Guard troops, led a crusade to build artificial sand berms that most experts say won’t work, and confused the planning of the spill response. Moreover, experts said his “antagonism could actually slow down that response.”

The accusations are well supported in the full article. Worse, Jindal – Mr. Open Government – recently vetoed a bill that would have made all his office’s BP communications public. That, obviously, makes it look like he’s hiding things.

Oh well, at least he isn’t blaming God and apologizing to BP.

Shreveport Television Shows

June 27, 2010

Tonight’s episode two of The Gates. We only watched the first because it was filmed in town. Not that it mattered. The location is Southern Trace, a gated development of cookie cutter Mcmansions that could be in any city in any state in the country. In other, words, you ain’t gonna recognize anything as Shreveport. Still, knowing it was filmed here grabbed our attention. Unfortunately, nothing kept it. It was forty minutes of stereotyped characters, predictable plots, and needless melodrama. Ugh. I may watch again for episodes seven and eight, filmed at the home of a guy I ride with, and – according to him – featuring plenty of attractive women in small bathing suits, but otherwise, The Gates was one and done.

True Blood is also new tonight. This is much better. The show is set near Shreveport, and parts were filmed here. So you’ll not only hear familiar names, but see familiar locations. In the opening credits, for instance, there’s a victorian house that once housed an after hours bar at which I had many a good time. The show itself is good, too. The wife got me hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and though the show departs from the books, it’s still good. They’re like Twilight if Twilight was readable or watchable. In fact, if you read the Sookie Stackhouse books – which precede Twilight – you’ll have a hard time not accusing Twilight of being really bad plagiarism. In any event, the amount of boobies would make up for a much worse show.

Not that it’s perfect. The breasts are great, but I don’t know how many more shots of Jason Stackhouse’s bare ass I can take. Also, though set in North Louisiana, much of the scenery seems more South Louisiana. Lots of cypress trees and swamps, which we have, but we’re known as the “piney woods” region for a reason. I guess the producers either had, or knew most viewers have, an idea of what Louisiana is like, and decided to cater to that, authenticity be damned. But the worst part of the show isn’t the misleading scenery, it’s the horrific accents. Imagine someone imitating someone with an Australian accent trying to do a rural southern accent. It’s painful. They’d have done much better to let the actors just use their regular voices. Still, the show is worth watching.

Finally, if you want excitement, if you want authenticity, if you want to see Shreveport, there’s only one show on television to combine it all: Billy the Exterminator. To start, if you wanted to make a show about a guy who fights bugs, I’m seriously doubt you could find a better location than Louisiana. Not that it’s only bugs: Snakes, gators, beavers, squirrels, raccoons, anything you can imagine. In addition to the authentic critters, Billy’s business is a family one, and his family is oh-so-southern. Everyone from down here will recognize at least one of their relatives in these “characters.” You’ll also see plenty of recognizable locations in town. Last night, we watched an old one that featured a bee infestation at First Baptist Bossier. Billy is also an inspiration. Imagining what Billy would do, I recently found and annihilated a couple of red wasp nests in my attic. In short, I can’t recommend this show enough.

So there you go. We ain’t much of a town, but we got a bunch of t.v. shows.

This Is The Gayest Thing I’ve Ever Seen

June 26, 2010

The second annual ranking of “America’s Manliest Cities.”

I Bet This Guy Could Kick The Karate Kid’s Ass

June 24, 2010

More of the all time worst album covers, here.

Teabagger Or Soccer Fan?

June 24, 2010

You decide.

With the exception of the black guy, it’s tough to tell.

Everything’s Bigger In Texas, Especially The Idiots

June 21, 2010

They long ago banned same sex marriage, but just to be sure, the Texas GOP, in their official platform, wants to make it a felony for any Texas official to issue a marriage license or perform a marriage ceremony for a gay couple. They also want to re-criminalize sodomy. So you can be gay in Texas, but no marriage or sex.

Even worse than the policies is the “rationale” behind this flaming foolishness:

“We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases,”

No doubt, there are specific gay individuals whose behavior could do all those things; hell, I’m related to one of them. You know what else? For each gay person who behaves in those ways, there’s probably thousands of straight people who do the same. Either way, the problems are the same, but there’s many, many more heterosexual people in Texas, meaning they’re causing more problems. So, Texans, if you really are stupid enough to think banning marriage and sex will solve these problems, you ought to be banning marriage and sex for everyone.

But of course, this platform is not an intelligent policy statement. It’s red meat dragged across the cages of the most ignorant among us.

Colorado Town Bans Bikes

June 21, 2010

I don’t get the irrational hatred some people have for cyclists.

Every rider I know can tell you all kinds of stories about driver’s doing everything from honking and yelling to throwing things to even shooting at cyclists. Just yesterday, on the way back into town, several of us had stopped at a red light. The light turned green, so we all began clipping into our pedals and rolling through the intersection. Apparently, we didn’t rocket off the line fast enough for the guy behind us, who immediately laid on his horn, before using the turning lane to loudly accelerate around us. Then what does he do? Go another fifty feet up the road before parking at Holy Trinity to attend Mass.

I don’t tell that story to make churchgoers look bad. I tell it because I was amazed that we could be so offensive, that even someone on the way to celebrate his love of God and people could lose all sense at the sight of us. Churchgoers have no monopoly on anger, either. We get every morning from people on the way to work in downtown office buildings. On Ellerbe Road and 175, Truckers will try to get as close as possible. Avoiding high schools in the afternoons is a good idea. Any kind of person can lose their mind at any time.

Why? This is a completely irrational hatred. At most, a cyclist might make a driver spend an extra thirty seconds waiting to safely pass. In the case of the guy on the way to Mass, it was probably five seconds. The emotions are way, way disproportionate to the alleged offense.

I say alleged, because in every state I know, cyclists have the same right to the road as do cars. At least, we used to:

A town in the US has banned cyclists on most of its streets, punishing anyone who gets caught with a $68 (£46) fine. Black Hawk in Colorado, which has a population of just above 100, is thought to be the first town in the US to make cycling illegal after a change in civic law.

The town claims the law is to protect cyclists, but that’s crap. If that was the goal, they could have added bike lanes, or lowered speed limits, or passed a three-foot ordinance. This is the result of the same mindset that causes drivers to scream “Get the f**k of the road” as they zoom by at fifty miles an hour. It’s nothing more than an irrational hatred for two wheeled travel.

Several organizations plan to challenge the law in court. Good luck to them.

Happy Father’s Day

June 19, 2010

I don’t know why we get a day; it ain’t like we have to do much: