30 September 2007

Seeing 60's Has-Beens Going Topless Is Not Healthy For Children Or Other Living Things.

Oh, this is just..... GROSS. Age of Hooper has images from the very inappropriately named 'Breasts not Bombs' anti-war protest. (It should have been called 'Kneecaps Not Bombs'.)

Will seeing those things will stop war? I highly doubt it. They will stop any thoughts you're currently having about sex, though.

NOTE: Do not open the above link at work. Or right after eating a meal.

Hattip: LGF.

Governor's Race Daily Fun Facts.

I'm posting daily "fun facts" about the current Governor's race over at Louisiana Conservative Dot Com. Stop over for a read, and look at some of the other stuff, too.

(Yes, yes, I know; not exactly original. But imitation IS the sincereist form of flattery......).

28 September 2007

Spellcheck: Oracle of Truth?

Another something off-track for a Friday evening. Try this:

1. Open Microsoft Word.
2. Type the following letters: lsu
3. Hit 'return', and wait for it to underline "lsu" as a mis-spelled word.
4. Go to 'Tools / Spelling and Grammar" and start spellcheck.
5. For "lsu", the first two suggestions are "lust" and "lush".

Which pretty much describes my first semester in Baton Rouge. Hell, that pretty much describes anybody's first semester in Baton Rouge.

Word also suggested “lose”, "slug" and "slum", too. It's like it knows the place!

For "usc", Word suggested "suck", "musk", and "tusk". Trojans? Say no more.

For "ut", "put" and "out" were among the suggestions. Oh, my. Using the thesaurus function for "ut", Word suggested "hillbillies who actually think orange is fashionable". No, no, no. Not really. That was just a shameless ploy to get Glenn Reynolds to give me a link. Shameless.

Trying To Keep Awake.....

I'm in an all-day seminar right now to knock out some of my continuing-ed hours, so no posts till the evening. Sitting through this is equivilent to chewing off your own leg.

Check back later. If I survive.

27 September 2007

You Brutes! You Brutes! You Brutes!

While I am far from satisfied with the results of The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops meeting (scroll down to post below), the uber-lefties, ex-hippies, and single-issue Episcopalians, are far from satisfied, either. So maybe it wasn't such a bad meeting after all. Reading posts on the House of Bishops / Deputies Listserve, it is clear that the flower children are fuming. Posters are claiming that the Bishops sacrificed "justice" for "unity" (that is, keeping The Episcopal Church (tm) in the Communion by saying they will not ordain non-celibate gay and lesbians to the episcopate, and would not bless same-sex marriages), and that they made gays and lesbians "second-class citizens" in the Church because of it.

What a load of press release.

First of all, would you please calm down and smell the patchouli? Remember, your side runs the place. At least in the US, anyway. Traditionalists like me (also known on the Listserve as "bullydox", "thieves", "bigots", "zealots" "homophobes" and other terms of progressive Christian compassion), had little say.

And stop using the crucifixion imagery over and over to describe what you see as this martyred condition of gays and lesbians in the Church - it is insulting as heck to those of us who still believe Christ's crucifixion actually happened. No one is nailing you to a cross. No one WANTS to nail you to a cross. No one wants to throw you out of the Church. I sure don't, and I am firmly in the orthodox camp on things Spiritual. You are, like me, a child of God. And like me, a sinner. So listen to me closely:

Sexual orientation is NOT THE ISSUE HERE.

I don't disagree with Louie Crew because he is gay. I disagree with Louie Crew because I think his theology is wrong. Gays and lesbians are NOT barred from higher office in the Church. NOTHING in Lambeth 1.10 or B033 forbids it. A gay or lesbian who wants to be a priest or bishop can be if they feel called - just adhere to the teachings of the Church that everybody else has to follow. And the Church teaches that sex outside of marriage is adultery. A sin. If it is a sin for a non-married heterosexual man or woman, and should bar them from the episcopate, why should a gay man or woman be different?

When my wife and I returned to the Church, it was through the efforts of a wonderful priest who helped us discern our path back. He was (and is still) a cherished friend. He is also gay. But he puts his love of God and the Church before himself, and he remains celibate. He would make a superb Bishop.

Second, before you castigate the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Presiding Bishop, or the House of Bishops, for their stance holding off on non-celibate gay Bishops and gay marriage, ask yourself this question: "What did Abraham Lincoln do?" Lincoln came to power strongly for emancipation. But once in office, he realized his priorities had changed - he was now the President of ALL the Union, and the Union needed to be preserved if emancipation was ever to take place. He once said "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." See it from their side, and from their perspective. Realize we all have to make sacrifices for the greater good of all in the Church. Me. You. Even Bishops. (Wait a minute. Did I just defend the Presiding Bishop?? I guess I did. Well whadda you know...)

Third, quit using the language of the persecuted, marginalized outsider when referring to gay and lesbians. This is not the 1950's or even the 1970's. Yes, you can still find examples of true persecution, but gays and lesbians are accepted today in ways that would have been unthinkable even 30 years ago. 'Queer Eye' was not pulled from the airwaves - it was a smash success. Gays and lesbians are not run out of town, living in dark corners begging for food. They are productive members of society, and productive members of our Church. I do not think you would find any on the orthodox side who would refuse the Sacraments to a gay or lesbian who comes to the rail just because they are gay or lesbian.

We should not (I think) have any disagreement about what constitutes sin. Adultery is a sin. And a member of the clergy, especially a Bishop, should be an example of a Godly life. If +V. Gene Robinson had been celibate, this whole thing might have been avoided. But he isn't - he put his own desires before those of the Church. That not a "prophetic vision" - that is bad policy, and very bad theology. What kind of example does that set? If we can ignore Scripture we don't like, or Church teachings we don't like, can we ignore Church Canons and Constitutions we don't like, too? If not, why not?

Remember that there are those in our Church, like me, that feel spiritually injured by what has happened since 2003, and feel marginalized by The Episcopal Church's (tm) "prophetic vision". Where do we fit in? What kind words do you have for us?

Or, do you care?

26 September 2007

The Ambiguity is Dead! Long Live The Ambiguity!

The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church ™ has finished meeting in New Orleans. They stared the Current Unpleasantness in the face, and boldly said pretty much what they've said before. Here is my synopsis of their response, without all the fluff and rhetoric of the original:

Dear Anglican Communion:

We’re really sorry the rest of you can’t see what a great gift we’ve given the Communion with our “prophetic vision”.

But it if makes you ignorant slugs out there happy, we promise not to give a pointy hat to another non-celibate gay person – for now (so pay no attention to the candidate up for Bishop of Chicago with her live-in partner.).

And we won’t “publicly” authorize gay marriages for a few more years. But what happens in “private”, well…. Wink. Wink. (This will hereafter be known as the “Bishop Bruno Rule”.)

We want to remain part of the Communion because, well, the Communion needs us and our "prophetic vision" so much. And we need the Communion to tell us how wonderful we are. Besides, you can't throw us out.

We’ll take care of those within our own Church who disagree with us in our own way, thank you very much. We have our subpoenas, sorry, “episcopal visitors” all ready and waiting.

We don’t take orders, especially from uppity Africans - and we sure as hell don’t want them in our neighborhood. We demand all of the old rules we like be enforced.

We promise to give you a heads-up the next time we ignore all the old rules we don’t like and go our own way with this “prophetic vision” thing.

We want the Communion to keep listening to us and our “prophetic vision”; at least until everyone agrees with our point of view.

Did we tell you how much we hate Africans in our neighborhood?

That bishop’s party the Communion throws at Lambeth is meaningless, and has no power over us. But we damn well better be invited, and you damn well better invite Vicki, too.

In closing, we want you to know we really, really like gay people. And you ignorant slugs out there should, too.



This meeting said little that hasn’t already been said before. At least they didn’t hide behind “polity” and Vatican-bashing like they did in March, and they did (finally) say that they will not consent to any more non-celibate gay bishops – until General Convention in 2009, anyway. Will this fly with the rest of the Anglican Communion? I doubt it. The growing provinces of the Anglican Communion, who are now the vast majority of the Communion, see the don’t-give-a-damn unilateralism of The Episcopal Church ™ as a liability in Mission, especially those in parts of the world where Anglicanism and Christianity are under assault by Radical Islam. The majority of the Communion may see the need to limit it’s liability by insulating themselves from The Episcopal Church ™ and other declining, like-minded provinces. It is going to be a tough call.

Will I, and my family, be Episcopalian in a year? Before this meeting I answered yes – I would stay and fight. My focus is on Christ and on trying to live my Faith as God revealed in Scripture - not how we adhere to the legalisms of earthly Canons and Constitutions. But now, I’m not so sure about it all. Our bishops seem to have gone from defenders of our Faith to defenders of our “Polity”. I’m not sure the focus of The Episcopal Church ™ is the same as mine anymore. If the focus of our Church is now our “polity”, where Scripture is meaningless and our Faith is whatever 51 percent of our General Convention wants it to be, what’s the bloody point?

UPDATE: StandFirm, Brad Drell and Kendall Harmon have much, much more.

25 September 2007

Unfair. Unbalanced. Unmedicated.

If you ever wondered what a blog would look like if it was written by the "French Taunter" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, well wonder no more - go read Frank J at IMAO.

Check out his Fred Thompson Facts, and his John Edwards Fabulous Facts. Priceless.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Go Away. Execute and Exterminate? We'll Listen.

The Naked Emperor brings up two excellent points in this post about the Iranian President speaking at Columbia University. First point, concerning Iran's support of terrorism and getting a nuke:

'Did [Columbia President] Bollinger think all that would change just because of a couple of questions from some sophomores?"

Indeed. Are these elite schools that arrogant, or that naive? Or, that stupid?? Second point, he sees a bit of hypocrisy:

"One stated reason was for "free speech". So you let a tyrant prattle on, who slaughters homosexuals, but won't let ROTC speak on campus because they follow the federally mandated "Don't ask, don't tell" policy?"

Let me get this straight (no pun intended...): If you are the leader of a government that executes homosexuals and calls them a "problem", you might be able to speak at Columbia. Even if your regime rounded up homosexuals and made them wear pink triangles before gassing them, you might be able to speak at Columbia. But, put your very life on the line to defend the US Constitution, and carry out the policies put in place by the President, Columbia doesn't want to hear from you. At all.

NOTE: If you want to accuse me hypocrisy for defending homosexuals here but opposing non-celibate homosexuals in positions of power in The Episcopal Church (tm), don't. My issue with the latter is not homosexuality; it is the issue of celibacy (or, lack thereof). As leaders, our priests, bishops and others are to be examples of a Godly life to their congregations. We demand a higher standard for them, that we look up to for guidance. It is the accepted teaching of the Anglican Communion that sexual expression outside of wedlock is adultery. A sin. So if you are called to be a priest or bishop, set an example. If not, what you do is between you and God, and is not a matter for the State. END OF NOTE

2 Plus 2 Equals......... We Need More Money.

It seems Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's Road Home recovery program is even more broke than first thought, and - of course - she wants more money from the Feds to cover the difference. Remember, this was a 7.5 billion dollar program when it began, and there have been warning signs for months about a crisis. Now they're saying that need another 6.6 billion dollars to "fix" the problem. That's 14.1 billion dollars total. Is that enough? How really broke is Road Home?

Now I'm not a math wizz (I've got a degree from LSU, for goodness sake), but I do have a calculator and fingers.

According to Road Home's website, there are currently 184,678 applicants. OK. Now let's just say, for sake of argument, that they all get an "average" payout of, say, $80,000, a bit more than half the maximum amount. And let's add 10% onto to the top of that for ICF mismanagement of the program. So what is Road Home going to truly cost farmers in Iowa and moms in New Jersey? (blogger whips out his Windows calculator) 184,678 times $80,000 times 1.10. Which would equal.......

$14,774,240,000.00. That's 14.7 Billion Dollars.

(blogger rubs eyes) Um..... let's try that again.

184,678 times $80,000 times 1.10, equals..... Yep. $14,774,240,000.00.

Why is this a surprise now? Are you telling me no one had the foresight to run these kind of numbers at the beginning of this mess, to see what the "high end" might be? Does anybody in the Governor's Office Of Community Development, or at Blanco's highly-paid management experts, know basic multiplication??

All I can say folks is, January 1st won't come soon enough.

23 September 2007

Standing Firm, In Person.

With The Episcopal Church (tm) House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans right now, our church had Bishop Gary Lillibridge, from the Diocese of West Texas, as guest preacher this morning. He gave a very enjoyable homily, and it was quite an honor to serve the altar with the Bishop. But an equal honor was in meeting the incomparable Sarah Hey, one of the prinicpal writers of Stand Firm. Sarah worshipped with us this morning as she was scheduled to interview Fr. Ernie Saik about our church's efforts right after Katrina. Fr. Saik was not able to be there because of a medical emergency (please pray for him), but Sarah did interview one of the evacuees who stayed with us (he and his family are members of the church now). Look for her interview to be posted on Stand Firm soon. A very gracious lady, Sarah is.

For those who do not know, Stand Firm is one of the premier orthodox Episcopalian/Anglican websites on the 'Net, and is doing an excellent job covering the Bishops meeting in the Crescent City. Stand Firm is much hated and despised by the "progressive" wing of The Episcopal Church (tm), which is strange since they (the progressives) are always lecturing everyone else about not hating and despising.

If you still believe God is the one who defines His relationship with us, and that His Word means what it says, you should be reading Stand Firm. However, if you believe We are the ones who define our relationship with God, and that His Word means whatever 51 percent of General Convention says it means, go here. Or here.

Please pray for the House of Bishops as they continue to meet this week.

22 September 2007

Jena Analysis.

The clothing-optional monarch takes a look at the whole affair in Jena, Louisiana, and thinks there is more Sharpton than fire here. He wonders if the truth may have one of the early victims. I wonder, too - others are still asking for facts, not background.

That usually happens when a story goes from being news to being a cause; from a set of facts facts to a set of emotions.

UPDATE: The Naked Emperor gets a link from Classical Values about the Emperor's look at the l'affair Jena. Pretty impressive. And I can say "I knew you when..."

Going Somewhere?

The Picayune is confirming that Mayor C. Ray bought a house outside of Dallas last May.

There are lots of folks in the Crescent City who wouldn't mind it a bit if you left early, Ray. Most would even help you pack.

21 September 2007

My $.02: Managing Is Not The Same As Resolving.

Well, well, well. Somebody finally cleaned behind the couches at the Mansion, and lookee what they found.

A billion dollars. Pretty hard to claim the State's broke now. Everyone is going to have a suggestion on how to spend it, so let me get on the bandwagon early:

Dedicate it to pay for the necessary improvements that FEMA won't pay for at the hundreds of public buildings and sites that are slated to be rebuilt, and still haven't (two years later....).

Apparently FEMA, in their infinite, um, "wisdom", will pay without limit to return a storm damaged public building that didn't work back to that very condition. But if you want to make it better when you rebuild, even very slightly, they'll only pay a portion of the assessed value, or not at all - even if the improved rebuilding costs less than the asessed value FEMA set to rebuild what was there before. Imagine if your insurance company, instead of writing you a check for the value of your storm damages and letting you best figure out how to spend it on rebuilding, would only pay you for building back exactly what was there before - and they had to approve even the smallest component that you put back. Had a rotten window frame before? Under FEMA's logic, you get a blank check to put back a rotten window frame, but they will not pay if you get a new frame. Or even to repair the rotten one. That's an "improvement" to FEMA, and they change the funding rules for the whole project if you put back more than that rotten window frame. Only a government could come up with logic like this.

And along with FEMA, there is an entire bureaucracy in the Governor's Office, complete with out-of-state consultants, which is also spending months (and money) wrangling about what constitutes "improved" or "not improved" under the FEMA regulations. As a result, many rebuilding projects sit - and those responsible for getting these places back up and running are tearing their hair out.

But with a billion Washingtons, or even half that much in "one-time" spending put to rebuilding, we could tell the FEMA folks to give us a check for what they will pay for, tell them and all these consultants to go away, and we will pay to "improve" things where necessary, thank you very much.

It makes no sense to put back what wasn't working before the storms.

My $0.02.

Gulf Storm Watch - 070921a

TD-10 is on land and downgraded.
False alarm. Thankfully.

The Strategic Parking Lot Initiative.

Frank J uses the Iranian President's request to visit Ground Zero in New York to illustrate American foreign policy under President Thompson:

"In the Fred Thompson administration, there will be no need for the leaders of terrorist states to visit Ground Zero; Ground Zero will be wherever they live."

Sounds good to me.

Hattip: Instapundit.

Muscle Only A Decal Deep.

A little something off-track for a Friday evening.

Like many people who lived through it, I've tried hard to mostly forget the 1970's. Watergate, pet rocks, disco, leisure suits, Farrah, my high school years. But today Glenn Reynolds dragged it all back with a post about this car. Thanks, Glenn. I'm sending you my therapy bill. At least he didn't mention another 70's beauty by the same manufacturer.

This is what we were reduced to in Jimmy Carter's America - a sedan with nice wheels and some "sport" decals. I don't know what's worse - that America would actually produce a car like that, or that there are currently enthusiasts for the car. Your call.

I dated a girl in high school who had a yellow 1973 Pontiac Firebird with one of those pre-energy crisis engines that could do 120mph and got 2 miles-per-gallon. I don't know which I missed most when we quit dating - her, or that car. Sounds like a darn Springsteen song, huh?

Gulf Storm Watch - 070921

Looks like we actually have a Gulf Storrm - Tropical Depression 10. Not a bad one, but it is coming right at us. And here are the obligatory "sapghetti models".

According to folks at the State, Louisiana is taking no chances and is getting their emergency operations spooled up. Not a bad precaution.

"I Am Indebted To You For Your Existence."


I attended the ecumenical service last night in New Orleans with the Archbishop of the Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. His sermon, on the healing of New Orleans (and by extension, the Anglican Communion and each other), was quite moving, and I did think the service was a success. I was surprised, though, that there was not a bigger turnout. Two amusing things of note:

First, There has not been that much purple in a concert hall in Louisiana since Prince played in here the 1980's. Purple Reign, indeed.

And second, while ++Rowan and +Katherine may be powers in the Church, God bless 'em they have NO rhythm at all. None. There was a traditional New Orleans "Second-line" jazz number in the service, complete with folks "second-lining" in the aisles, and the two Bishops on stage tried their best to clap or tap their feet to the beat. I did appreciate the effort, though.

UPDATE: Here is the TEC Pravda Episcopal Life Online article on the event. And surprisingly free of political spin (until you get to the end).

19 September 2007

Gulf Storm Watch - 070919

Something of interest has appeared in the eastern Gulf:

"Spaghetti Models" of it's possible track:

Let's hope this does not develop into something worse. For New Orleans' sake, at the very least.

Source: Golden Triangle Weather Page, of course.

UPDATE: Maybe God wants these folks and their pointy hats to remember He is still out there. Many of them see Him as not really relevant anymore.

Yeah, When We Get Our Embassy Back, Bucko.

The Iranian President has asked to visit Ground Zero when he is in New York at the UN next week.

The City, thankfully, said no. Personally, I say let the loony visit. Just make sure he is on the viewing platform with this guy.

Or, with a few of these folks, who he appears to have met before. It'd be a reunion!!

18 September 2007

Knives And Swords May Cut Off Heads, But Cartoons...........

Of late, the 12th-Century boys have been getting their keffiyhas (sorry, "peace scarves") in a bunch over a series of Swedish cartoons showing Mohammad's head on a dog. They've even put a price on the cartoonist's head, offering a couple hundred G's for his untimely demise.

Can't you just feel the tolerance? Yeah, me either.

So you can make up your own mind, and because that old First Amendment still exists, here is one of the cartoon in question:

Oh, my. Seems Chris Muir is raising the free-speech ante with this cartoon.

And Don Surber weighs in:

"Hey, change it to a cross, put it in a urinal and you can get a grant from the U.S. government.

He also asks a real good question:

"Where is the outrage from Amnesty International over the throat-cutting? The ACLU? The Democratic Party?"

I always find it interesting that the waton torture and murder of anyone who disagrees with the 12th-century boys struggle to pull the world back into the Middle Ages doesn't seem to concern the above folks too much. But take a picture of a naked inmate at Abu Ghraib..........

UPDATE: So would it be OK with the ACLU or Amnesty International if we put a price on the head of the Palestinian who drew this cartoon?

It appeared on 9.12.2007. In a Palestinian newspaper.

Even so, it is still free speech.

Hattip: LGF

17 September 2007

Hunting Al Qaeda

Michael Yon's latest: Hunting Al Qaeda, parts I of III, and II of III. And for those who notice, some Holy Grail references...

Read it all. (Like I need to tell you that.)

Very busy these past few days. Apologies on the light (OK, non-existent) posting. More later, when I can catch my breath. (Glenn, HOW do you do keep this up??......)

14 September 2007

The Future Of The Episcopal Church (tm).

General Convention, 2009:

"Is nothing sacred?"

From here.

When our relationship with God becomes whatever 51 percent of us wants it to be, who needs Salvation?

Or God?

13 September 2007

Gimme Less. A Lot Less.

I don't (and won't) normally post on pop culture, but this Louisiana native is giving my home state a, um, black eye. First, her "performance" at the VMA Awards (original video is here; but parodies here and here are way better than the original.) And then, she was again caught flashing her publics to the world (with her, you can't honestly call them "privates" anymore). Yes, the pride of Kentwood, Louisiana, is proving conclusively that the Peter Principle can be exceeded. (The Peter Principle: "everyone tends to rise to his/her level of incompetence.")

My $0.02, Brit: You're a wreck. Grow up, and some get help. And some panties. You're a mother, fer crissakes, you are not the most important person in your world anymore.

UPDATE: Spears does have her defenders. This is one of the more popular videos on YouTube right now. It doesn't take long to see why - just remember that you are watching a grown man.

UPDATE: Perez Hilton has a parody of the defender.

12 September 2007

Fences and Mitres.

I posted this earlier about discerning the leanings of our good Bishop here in the Diocese of Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins, and where he will stand with respect to the Current Unpleasantness in The Episcopal Church (tm). He's been a hard read, but after learning about Bishop Smith on the Diocese website I was heartened. Now, there is a letter from Bishop Jenkins that makes me wonder.

Charles+, I care for you, and your family, deeply. But isn't that fence an uncomfortable place to sit for so long??

Gulf Storm Watch - 070912

A trpoical storm develops off the Texas coast.

And another is brewing up in the western Atlantic.

Remember, keep checking here.

11 September 2007

Another Announcement From The Management.

A few of your humble blogger's posts got him noticed, and he has been asked to be a regular contributor over at Louisiana Conservative Dot Com.

While I tend to live my own life by conservative values, when it comes to politics I tend to be more of a curmudgeonly libertarian in how I relate to my fellow man. (And woman.) So this should be an interesting experience for me, and starting today we'll see how it goes.

You will notice, at least initially, that many of my posts there will be nearly the same as the ones posted here first. That's because things are very hectic work-wise, time is short and (let's be honest here...) blogging is a past-time for me, not work. Y'all (all 15 of you) have been loyal readers these past few months, so I won't desert you now.

We're all New Yorkers today.

UPDATE: Except, of course, if you're in San Francisco.

Ask the Battalion Commanders.

Michael Yon weighs in on the Petraeus Report.

10 September 2007

Gulf Storm Watch - 070910

Gabrielle is heading out to sea. But there is another disturbance out in the Atlantic, east of Grenada.

Keep checking in here for the latest updates.

Digging For The Truth. Without A Shovel.

Robert Cerasoli must love challenges. He is is the new Inspector General in the City of New Orleans, and his job is to find corruption and malfeasance in government. He seems well qualified to do just that. And given the current state of government in New Orleans, this should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Except, Mr. Cerasoli doesn’t have (to continue the metaphor) a barrel. Or any ammunition. Or even a gun. In fact, the City has given him nothing at all: no office, no desks, no staff, no operating budget.

What a great way for the City to claim it is doing something about corruption without really, well, doing anything about it. Kudos to Ray Nagin and the City Council for a stunning political slight-of-hand. What chutzpa.

Normally, I would let this pass with another shake of the head and a mutter of “It’s New Orleans….”, were it not for one thing: Me and Mr. Cerasioli have something in common – Boston. He’s from my second hometown, and he’s trying to clean up my first. I owe the man.

A commenter in this post below said he would buy Mr. Cerasioli a lamp if it would help, which got me thinking - if the City of New Orleans will not get Mr. Cerasioli going, maybe we (you know, “the people”) should. I don’t think we can raise a $3.5 million operating budget, but we can put in for some office furnishings and the like and maybe embarrass the City into taking some positive action.

So let’s let Mr. Cerasioli know that we appreciate his being down here, even if the City government in New Orleans does not. If any of you are interested in helping out a “Let’s Get the Inspector General Going Fund”, post a pledge in the comments section or send me an e-mail to redstickrant@gmail.com.

The Naked Emperor is in for a lamp.

Red Stick Rant is in $100 in office supplies. And a dart board with Paul Cellucci's picture on it.


No Play for Mr. Grey!

It seems Osama Bin Laden got hold of some Just For Men, and over the weekend auditioned for a guest spot at DailyKos. Video and transcript are here.

A naturist monarch responds point-by-point. It's lengthy, but well worth the read.

08 September 2007

Inactions Speak Louder Than Words

Words fail me:

"New Orleans' first inspector general hit the ground walking Wednesday.

Literally walking.

In his first week at work, Robert Cerasoli has no car, no staff, no city office, no city phone and no clear idea of what budget his newly created office will have next year."

The inspector general is supposed to investigate corruption in City government. Sadly, this level of incompetence what we've come to expect from a Nagin administration.

Couple this news with C. B. Forgotston's posts here and here , and it's no wonder a Colorado Congressman said what he did.

Laissez Les Bloggers Rouler!

Last Thursday I attended the First Annual Louisiana Bloggers Bash here in Baton Rouge. Smaller than I expected - and a bit foreign for a newcomer like me - but all-in-all it was a good time. I got to meet a few candidates, and a few bloggers who reach a rather wider audience then yours truly. Plus, I finally got to meet the Avman.

07 September 2007

Reading Between The Mitre.

Many in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana have been wondering - on which side of the Current Unpleasantness in The Episcopal Church (tm) will our good Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins, finally stand? Maybe this is some indication:

"The Rt. Rev’d Michael G. Smith, Bishop of North Dakota, has accepted the invitation of Bishop Jenkins to assist the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Louisiana in their ministry by serving for a time as assisting bishop."

Bishop Smith seems to be a "Windsor Bishop" who signed onto at least one "Camp Allen" declaration. And unlike our Presiding Bishop, he's not apparently a fan of this guy and his theology (if you can call it that).

Months ago, this would have been real news. But with the (Maybe, Maybe Not) Final Showdown about to take place just downriver from me in New Orleans, in a few days we will know in which direction all of the pointy hats are truly pointing.

Until then, my fellow Anglicans / Episcopalians: PRAY.

06 September 2007

A Marine. A Mentor. A Model Approach.

Michael Yon's latest post on Iraq is up: A Marine. A Mentor. A Model Approach.

Though it goes without saying, read it all.

UPDATE: Michael's last part of his Ghosts of Anbar dispatch has been posted: Ghosts of Anbar Part IV of IV.

Read all of that one, too.

Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs......

Enough about politics, theology, morons, and Ray Nagin (Sorry. I repeat myself.) Here is something REALLY important: 'International Talk Like A Pirate Day' is 19 September - less than two weeks away. Get those eye patches ready!

Very busy day today, even though my New Orleans site visit got scrubbed. More later.

05 September 2007

Second Place Debate.

Another debate with the GOP Vice-Presidnetial Candidates is on in a few minutes, on FoxNews. The Vice-Presidential Candidates?? Yep. But worry not - the nominee will put in a 30-second appearance, too.

Go watch it. I hear Iron Chef is a repeat. Survivorman, too.

Creative JDAM

This is amazing. We spend billions on precision guided munitions, but you can get the same result using a 500-lb. dumb bomb, a store-bought GPS, and a hovering helicopter.

It's About Damn Time.

Fred Thompson is officially getting into the race:

"The veteran actor and former senator and lobbyist is declaring his presidential ambitions in a 15-minute Web cast early Thursday."

With more than a bit of chutzpah, too:

"Just to make sure no one misses it, he is airing a 30-second ad on Fox News Channel during Wednesday night's broadcast of a Republican presidential debate from New Hampshire - which Thompson is skipping."

Self-confidence, and a willingness to ignore conventional wisdom. Now THAT'S Reagan-esque.

UPDATE: Fred was on The Tonoght Show last night and said he was in. Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit has a roundup of videos and commentary. Thompson's official webcast announcement is here. Money quote: "A govenment that is big enough to do everything for us, is powerful enough to do anything to us."

04 September 2007

My $.02: Look In The Mirror Time......

It seems the Times-Picayune is taking great issue with Rep. Tancredo's recent comments about Federal relief spending in New Orleans (my earlier post is here ). More to the point, they call his comments "the ramblings of an uninformed, mean-spirited demagogue." I think they are missing the point.

I understand this hurts, but "compassion fatigue" is starting to set in when it comes to New Orleans. After two long years I think it is reasonable for the rest of the country to ask, "OK, how much is enough? And, when can we see results?" Look at it from their point of view: the Road Home Program is a financial disaster which the State cannot seem to control; fraud is looking like it's upwards of a billion dollars; murder seems to be the only "brand" that New Orleans has anymore; large swaths of the City still lie nearly empty; and the Mayor of New Orleans appears out-of-touch, unappreciative, and blames everyone else for his troubles. No one seems in control in the Crescent City. Did you hear this kind of stuff two years after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992? Two years after 9/11? Me either. Leadership, or the lack thereof, matters. That is what the Representative from Colorado seems to be commenting upon.

So the issue to me is not weather Rep. Tancredo has, or has not, seen a levee failure. The issue is not with the thousands of private individuals who have struggled, and who continue to struggle, to rebuild their lives and their city. The issue is weather we - and our fellow Americans - can trust those currently in positions of responsibility in the City and in the State to be, well, responsible. On balance, the evidence so far does not look good.

How things turn out on 20 October will, I think, say a lot. About us, about our future, and about how much we are willing take responsibility for that future.

My .$02

UPDATE: Via C. B. Forgotston - this is the kind of thing that makes out-of-state Congressman say harsh things about our recovery. It's beyond embarrassing.

03 September 2007

The Iranian Speer

I saw a link at Instapundit to this PM article about Iranian Brigadier General Mohhamad Ali Jafari being appointed commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. (The Ayatollah's SS, if you will.) The General, it turns out, was one of the "students" who took over the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held Americans hostage for 444 days. That was interesting enough, but what really threw me was this bit in the second paragraph:

"After the war (Iran-Iraq War -ed.) he went to complete his Masters Degree in Architecture."

Oh, really. As a fellow professional therefore, I hereby nominate General Jafari for the First Annual Albert Speer Award for Best Supporting Role of an Architect in Promoting a Totalitarian, Fascist, and/or Theocratic State.

Yesiree, nothing says enhancing the human environment through design better than overseeing the violent enforcement of 12th century religious laws and supporting terrorists here and here.

UPDATE: Oh, yes - I also take full credit for inventing the First Annual Albert Speer Award for Best Supporting Role of an Architect in Promoting a Totalitarian, Fascist, and/or Theocratic State. Anyone want to be a judge?

Week Two: 'Opus' Held Hostage.

If you were reading last week you may remember this post about the Washington Post, self-appointed defender of the First Amendment, getting uber-sensitive about fundamentalist religious values and pulling several Sunday 'Opus' cartoons in response. I'll let you guess which religion's fundamentalist strain was at issue here. (Hint: they gladly ran the 'Opus' strip two weeks ago which took a shot at fundamentalist Christian values....)

Because we here at RED STICK RANT believe in the First Amendment, and because we have a soft spot for pudgy, flightless waterfowl, here is the second of the pulled 'Opus' cartoons. We'll let you be the judge.

UPDATE: My local paper, the Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate, ran the strip.

UPDATE: To the nice person at the US Department of State in Washington who found this site this morning (9.4.07) while looking for Opus-related posts during work hours: Would you ask Condi if she could come down and speak with my daughter's 8th-grade history class sometime. Condi is a real hero to her. It would be a real treat. Thanks.

Gulf Storn Watch - 070903

New projections have 'Felix' taking a more southerly route, skimming the northern Nicaragua / Honduras coasts and hitting Belize. For spaghetti maps and other current info go here. Oh, and take a look at the NOAA Atlantic activity map while you're there - it shows two more areas of tropical activity that may trun into something. (Or, not)

Felix is a Category 4 storm now, and the areas it is forecast to hit are remote and poor. Our church has ongoing mission work near San Pedro Sula in the northern area of Honduras, so I ask your prayers for Fr. Juan Hose and everyone in the Copan Deanery.

Please Don't Choke Now. Please Don't Choke Now. Please Don't Choke Now. Please Don't Choke Now. Please Don't Choke Now. Please Don't Choke Now.....

It's September, Satan's overpaid minions are still SIX GAMES BEHIND these guys, and pitcher Clay Buchholz bagged the 17th no-hitter in Red Sox history the other night.

What a great Labor Day weekend. Don't blow it, guys.

02 September 2007

Gulf Storm Watch - 070902

12 hours is a lifetime in the blogosphere. Same is true with the atmosphere. The 8:00am EDT forecast track for 'Felix' has him starting to take more of the the traditional "northwest hook" when he gets into the southwest Gulf of Mexico.

The "Spaghetti Models" are looking this way, too:

That's clearer indication than they had at 8:00 pm EDT last night, and 'Felix' just might be a threat to the Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts after all. We'll see. Plus, there is a follow-on area of disturbance out in the Atlantic.

It may be a busy week, storm-wise. Remember, keep checking the Golden Triangle Weather Page for more storm-related information.

01 September 2007

I Think Someone's A Few Lessons Short Of A Plan.....

Hey, what do I have to do to get really interesting comments like this one?

All I can say is it defies description - just go read it. Allegations of mind-control, body-snatching, conspiring Clintons, energy weapon attacks, genital torture, Presidential cross-dressing fantasies, Satanism, and worshiping George Bush, Sr., as a god are all involved. In a single comment. Note also that the commentor is a teacher. In L.A.


No Justice. No Peace. No Show.

"Incidents" like this are never a surprise: protesters took over the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) headquarters on Friday. All I can say is..... where have you been, guys? Last Tuesday even I knew there might be a "take over" of the facility - we understood it would be on Wednesday - with a couple busloads of people. But the "incident" never materialized on Wednesday. Or on Thursday.

Showing up two days late with only 20 people (mostly from out-of-town) doesn't quite sound like a mass outpouring of anger, now does it?

Look, HANO does have it's share of problems. But knowing what I know first-hand about this one, I think they're getting a bum rap. HANO is in a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" situation right now. - take action, get sued; take no action, get blamed.

Gulf Storm Watch - 070901

Felix is now a hurricane.

While it looks certain to miss the US (see the "spaghetti models" here), northern Central America looks like it will take some or all of it. Areas in Honduras where we have mission work lie in the projected path. Again, prayers.

"And Now Departing On Platform One..."

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) says it's “time the taxpayer gravy train left the New Orleans station” with respect to Katrina aid. He is tired of the fraud and official incompetence. In the last two years, 114 billion dollars (yes, that's billion with a "b") in Federal hurricane relief has been spent in the Gulf Region, and more than 1.1 million volunteers have come to the New Orleans area alone to help with cleanup and repair.

If you look at it from outside the area, it's hard to argue with the Congressman - especially when there may well be upwards of a one billion dollars in relief fraud (yes, that's billion with a "b"), and when New Orleans' mayor shows his appreciation by saying: "It still important to point out that America still hasn't done right by us..."