Archive for September 2010

I Hate People

September 30, 2010

This happened in my neighborhood, I saw the emergency vehicles while I was at the park with my kids:

A teenage girl was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night after her bicycle collided with a car.

It happened at Preston and Grover in Shreveport’s Broadmoor neighborhood.

Witnesses say that a 15-year-old girl was traveling at a high rate of speed when she ran into the car, which had just stopped at a stop sign.

The teen was rushed to the hospital with non life-threatening head injuries.

Her fault? Probably, though the article also says “The crash is still under investigation.” And, of course, a “high rate of speed” for a fifteen year old cruising the neighborhood is probably about ten miles an hour.

Still, whoever might have been at fault, some of the comments to the story are pretty sick:

hope they give her tickets for speeding,
failure to maintain control,
careless operation of a bike,
maybe that will be a lesson for these bicyle riders that have no respect for motor vehicles,

And another:

She should have been watching what she was doing. People on bikes, especially the ones who wear those nasty tights and such, get on my damn nerves. They take up half the road and won’t move over. Thats why I keep full bottles of water, cokes, etc in my car so I can throw it at them when I pass by one. I nailed one right in the back of the head the other day!! Cracked me up! LMAO.

Anyone who could write something like that about an injured fifteen year old is nothing but a useless piece of shit.

Note, please, I am not complaining about “drivers,” but certain kinds of people. I have no problem with cars, or drivers. I own a car; I drive it every day. I have a problem with  trash like these two. People who would still be assholes no matter if they walked, rode a horse, took a bus, or drove a car. Unfortunately, they do drive cars, and people like me have to deal with them.


“Daddy’s Old Car” Replaced By “Daddy’s Sports Car”

September 29, 2010

Alternative titles to this post:

“I’m too cheap to buy a new bike, but  . . .”

“Steph, this is your fault.”

“Before Lighting McQueen, there was Steve McQueen.”

“I bought the bullitt.”

All the same way of introducing my new car:

It’s a 2008 Mustang GT Bullitt, purchased with 17,000 miles on it. Basically, the Bullitt is a GT with more horsepower and fewer  decorations (it also has its own club). Here’s a review if you want more pics and information.

I am absolutely, completely, totally and with no doubts whatsoever in love with this car. Until now, I spent my entire driving career behind the wheel of a 1994 Nissan regular cab pickup, and then the 2000 Taurus, the latter of which my three year olds referred to as “Daddy’s old car.” In short, I’ve never had a car that was anything close to high performance or attractive. Now, oooooh baby, I got both in spades.

The reviews all say 0-60 in five seconds. All I know is that it melts the tires even shifting into third gear. The handling is sweet, enough that I’ve detoured onto extra curvy roads just to enjoy shifting gears as I fly around corners. Add the leather seats, outstanding sound, and gorgeous interior, and this car makes me want to drive at all hours. But the best part is the sound of the motor. Not too loud, but the perfect low rumble that a muscle car ought to make. Love it, love it, love it.

As for appearances, the Bullitt is a low profile Mustang. No stickers, no hood scoop, no spoiler, the car doesn’t even have the pony on the grill. It’s subtle and stunning at once. Thus far, every adult I know, from car buffs to soccer moms, has heartily approved. My own kids now refer to my ride as “Daddy’s sports car.” Most significantly, the hardest to please of all demographics – teenagers – also universally approve. Every one of my students who has seen it has called it “clean,” “sweet,” “fine” or some other admiring adjective.

There’s really no extra cost to all this, either. So far it gets better gas mileage than the Taurus did. The insurance is nothing outrageous. The kids won’t fit in the back seat for much longer, but we make all our family trips in the mini-van, anyway. Now, one of my students did raise a significant objection, when he said “Man, just promise me you ain’t gonna put no bike rack on top of that car.” I promised that would never happen. That means I either have to use the van to carry my bikes, or, I could attack a hitch and use a hitch rack. Then nothing is visible except when the bike is on.

Speaking of costs, here’s the craziest part of all. My first car, the 1994 Nissan, was probably no more than twelve grand. But, being a nineteen year old male with no down payment and no credit, the note and insurance combined ate about half my wages at the time. Now? I’m a middle aged male with a clean driving record and perfect credit. Add a decent down payment, and my note and insurance for this Mustang are seventy bucks a month less than what I paid for that Nissan every month.  There are some benefits to being old.

In the interest of fairness, I suppose I ought to list some drawbacks to this car. Right now, all I can say is that this thing is going to be very difficult to replace.

Finally, if you didn’t get the McQueen reference, here’s where the car got its name:

And People Used To Kill Each Other Over This Crap

September 28, 2010

This will be surprising only if you’ve never been a regular church-goer:

More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ. About half of Protestants (53%) cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which made their religion a separate branch of Christianity. Roughly four-in-ten Jews (43%) do not recognize that Maimonides, one of the most venerated rabbis in history, was Jewish.

Even less shocking, atheists and agnostics know more about religions that the adherents do. Why? I completely agree with this theory:

American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

“These are people who thought a lot about religion,” he said. “They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

But hey, I bet the faithful all know that the homersexshuls are evil!

“One Tubby, Tubby”

September 28, 2010

Actually, lots of tubbies:

Bad news for the state of Louisiana. For the third straight year, Louisiana schools have earned an overall grade of “D” in the area of children’s physical activity and health. That means our kids are leading the nation in obesity.

They’re not leading by a little, either:

Statistics show more than 47% of Louisiana children between ages 2 and 10 are overweight or obese. Nationally nearly 17% of American children and adolescents are obese.

Interesting, but I still think its none of my business how fat someone else’s kid is. Yes, the resulting poor health has a societal cost. And yes, the poor parenting that results in all that lard is making the kid’s life harder. I just don’t think either problem is bad enough to justify the insane amount of nanny-statism that would be necessary to fix the problem.

So I Spoke Too Soon On Wooley

September 27, 2010

I gave him props for opposing red light cameras.

But then Ron Webb endorsed him. To me, that has the same effect as Oprah endorsing a book. It’s not that I won’t read it, but I’ll have a strong presumption against it.

Now this posted around one of Shreveport’s black neighborhoods:

No comment necessary.

Why This Independent Won’t Vote “D” Any Time Soon

September 27, 2010

Radley Balko on Obama’s latest invocation of the state’s secret privilege:

Obama is arguing the executive has the power to execute American citizens without a trial, without even so much as an airing of the charges against them, and that it can do so in complete secrecy, with no oversight from any court, and that the families of the executed have no legal recourse.

There are no exaggerations in that paragraph. Click through and read the whole thing. This from the leader of the party that’s supposed to value civil liberties.

I lack the knowledge to evaluate whether the health care bill was a good idea or bad idea. Ditto the stimulus spending and most other economic issues. On civil liberties, issues like this one, though, no special knowledge is required: Obama has been not just a disappointment, but in some ways worse than Bush. Meanwhile, his party stands silent. Well, if they’re not going to stand for the things they’re supposed to stand for, good riddance.

Red River Parish Has State’s Highest Teacher Salaries?

September 26, 2010

Sure enough, they’re number one, with DeSoto second. Bossier and Caddo are in the middle of the pack. For years, Red River paid the lowest in the state, the last three, though, have seen huge increases in local tax revenues, thanks to the Haynesville Shale. The increased economic activity has led to the higher salaries in rural DeSoto and extremely rural Red River.

All in all, that’s a good thing. These are rural parishes; Red River has less than ten thousand people in it. There is no local professional labor pool. That means nearly all of the teachers are people who commute from nearby cities like Shreveport or Natchitoches. Given an option, no on is going to choose to drive an hour one way to  make the same amount of money they could make in their own town. So if DeSoto and Red River want anything other than leftovers who will leave at the first chance, the rural parishes have to pay more than the urban centers. Now that they are, as the article indicates, they receive many, many more applicants for open positions, and the new teachers will remain longer. That means better and more consistent teachers for the students.

The best part of the windfall is that no one has had to pay any extra taxes. This is all due to increased spending. All those lunches purchased by all those oil and gas workers have really added up. DeSoto’s sales tax receipts have quadrupled over the last few years, while in the last three, Red River’s have gone from about two million dollars to over fifteen.

The shale has benefited more than just salaries. One of the major companies has set up a scholarship program in Red River. They’ve also helped with athletics, allowing the school to replace an embarrassing football field with new turf. I think they also have plans to install a new track. They sponsor summer science and career programs, too.

All in all, the benefits of the shale have been amazing for education in these rural parishes. It won’t last forever, but it’s great now.

Know What Else Has A Pro-Islamic Bias?

September 23, 2010

Math. That’s right, had the jihadists not conquered parts of Europe, bringing with them their satanic Arabic numerals, we’d all still be using Roman numerals, as God intended. For hundreds of years, we’ve been subject to this humiliating mark of conquest.

Well, thankfully, the end is near, now that the Texas State Board of Education has begun the process of eliminating Islam from school textbooks. Sure, they’re only talking about social studies, but math can’t be far behind.

Mayoral Race: Wooley 1, Glover 0

September 22, 2010

Glover’s answer when asked about red light cameras:

I think that red light cameras are certainly worthy of discussion and debate. Whether or not we should use them should be determined by a vote of the City Council, but not without a comprehensive public hearing allowing for public input.

Wooley’s much better answer:

At this time, I have reservations concerning the use of the red light cameras. I know that all over the country that there are cities that have now begun to question their efficiency. I believe with proactive policing and patroling that we can address these issues. We have more officers now that we have ever had in Shreveport, but we need to have them on the streets and not behind a desk.

I’d prefer an unequivocal no, but Wooley’s presumption against is probably as good as I’ll get, and much better than Glover’s open minded approach.

Gun Control Means Locking The Damn Thing Up After You Use Both Hands

September 18, 2010


A man was shot and killed late Thursday night as he forced his way into a house on Old Mooringsport Road in northern Caddo Parish, sheriff’s deputies said.

The next day, I saw one of my former students limping through school with a brace covering his knee and most of his leg. His nonchalant response when I asked what happened? “Oh, I got shot.” How? According to him, he was a spectator at a card game when an exuberant shark somehow knocked a .38 off the table, causing it to hit the floor, discharge, and ruin all the ligament’s in my thirteen year old student’s knee. Now I’m wondering why anyone would attend the type of card game that they felt required a .38, and why, even if they did, they would let a middle school kid hang around that game. In light of the lack of intelligence shown on those two issues, it’s no wonder the idiot owner had no control over his gun.