30 March 2008

Once A Marine; ALWAYS A Marine.

Let's start off the week on a truly happy note! A meeting between a former Marine and a young robber:

"The boy said, "Old man, give me your wallet or I'll cut you," Bair said. The man told the boy he was a former Marine who fought in three wars and had been threatened with knives and bayonets, Bair said.

The man then put his bags on the ground and told the boy that if he stepped closer he would be sorry. When the boy stepped closer, the man kicked him in the groin, knocking him to the sidewalk, Bair said. The ex-Marine picked up his grocery bags and walked home, leaving the boy doubled over, Bair said.

The man reported the attempted robbery to police 45 minutes later."

The alleged robber is 15-16 years old. The former Marine is 84.

Hattip: Instapundit

29 March 2008

Is That A Bolt In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Technosexual?? Don't tell Integrity, or they'll be adding another "T" onto "GLBT," the alphabet soup of the only people who seem matter to The Episcopal Church (tm) anymore.

I mean, he is in a monogamous, loving relationship. Unless the USB cable goes bad....

28 March 2008

If You Show A Film Saying We're A Bunch Of Violent Religious Fanatics, We Promise Violence Upon Everyone Who Insults Our God By Showing It.

Talk about proving the point! Links to the Gert Wilders film about Islamic extremeism, Fitna, and to some of of the controversy, are here at Instapundit.

It has been pulled from YouTube, though it seems it be back up for the moment. And LiveLeak has pulled it specifically because of violent threats.

What happened to this concept, people?

"...that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
-John F. Kennedy

Or this one?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
-Declaration of Independence

Or even this one?

"Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
-United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Anyone? Anyone at all?

C-H-A... V-E-Z... M-O-U-S-E.

Pictures can reveal a lot about a person. Like Hugo Chavez, for instance.

And ANOTHER endorsement for Laurinda Calongne.

Paul Sawyer, the third place finisher in the GOP primary earlier this month to fill the 6th District congressional seat, has endorsed Laurinda Calongne for the runoff against Woody Jenkins:

Paul Sawyer Endorses Laurinda Calongne for Congress

(Baton Rouge) Paul Sawyer announced today his endorsement of Laurinda Calongne for Congress in the 6th Congressional District.

Sawyer, who was a candidate in the Republican primary, received 23% of the vote. "While working for the Sixth District in Washington, I had the honor to work with Laurinda Calongne on a number of initiatives. She is a results-oriented, focused professional who has the most congressional experience of any candidate," Sawyer said.

"I support Laurinda Calongne because she is the best candidate in the runoff election. Laurinda is a strong pro-family, pro-life conservative who will bring our values to Capitol Hill," said Sawyer.

"Laurinda will be a champion for reform and tax relief for small businesses and working families. She will work to build coalitions which will certainly help our district. We need Laurinda Calongne in Washington to work for us. I give her my full endorsement and ask my supporters to join me in voting for Laurinda Calongne in the runoff election on April 5th," said Sawyer.

Calongne is honored by the endorsement. "Paul was a wonderful asset to our state as a staffer for Congressman Richard Baker. He was a great candidate and is a devoted family man," she said, "and I am proud to have him on my team."

Sawyer's endorsement adds to the list of business leaders and elected officials that have endorsed Laurinda Calongne's campaign. Paul Sawyer joins Baton Rouge Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister, Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor, State Representatives John LaBruzzo (R-Metairie) and Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge), Livingston Parish Council member Thomas Watson, Denham Springs City Council members Lori Lamm-Williams and Jerry Denton, and Walker Aldermen Gary Griffin and Rick Ramsey.

I just got back from watching Woody Jenkins and Laurinda speak at our local AIA chapter luncheon. Laurinda talked specifics, down to bill numbers. She demonstrated an intimate knowledge about how Congress works, and who to talk to to get things done in 2008. Woody talked about a "flatter" tax, privatizing government, and how excited he was about New Urbanism. All great ideas; all right out of the 1980's.

27 March 2008

2.0 Firmware Review.

Endgadget has done a review of the iPhone 2.0 beta firmware released earlier this month at the SDK rollout. Some pretty interesting features. They have a video showing 2.0 in action.

More Endorsements For Laurinda Calongne.

I got this yesterday. We're on a roll!

Livingston Parish Officials Endorse Laurinda Calongne

(Baton Rouge) Livingston Parish Council member Thomas Watson, Denham Springs City Council members Lori Lamm-Williams and Jerry Denton, and Walker Alderman Gary Griffin today announced their endorsement of candidate Laurinda Calongne.

"I believe Laurinda represents the change and the vision that I have for this state and my area," said Thomas Watson, a Republican who represents District 7 of the Livingston Parish Council. "I would be very proud to be represented by Laurinda in Congress."

"Laurinda is a positive voice for reform," said Lori Lamm-Williams, a Republican on the Denham Springs City Council. "Sending Laurinda Calongne to Washington DC will continue the direction of change our state is going with the election of a new governor and new legislators."

Jerry Denton, also a Republican on the Denham Springs City Council, said that Calongne is the kind of candidate that he is proud to support. "I'm going to tell everyone I know that Laurinda is my candidate and that she has my full support."

He added, "It's nice to finally have a candidate that I can be proud of."

Gary Griffin, a Republican Alderman of Walker, echoed this sentiment. "I know Laurinda, and I am confident that she has the federal experience and the reputation among the Louisiana delegation to get the job done," he said.

Calongne stated, "I am so grateful for the support that I have received out of Livingston Parish," she said. "I can't wait to start working hard for the people of Livingston Parish and the entire 6th Congressional District."

Watson, Lamm-Williams, Denton and Griffin join Rolfe McCollister of the Baton Rouge Business Report, Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor, State Representative John LaBruzzo (R-Metairie) and State Representative Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge) in endorsing Laurinda Calongne for the Louisiana 6th Congressional District.


Several times in the past week I tried to embed YouTube videos, only to have them not show up on the site. Until days later. So if you saw a whole bunch of YouTube videos posted this morning, some of them two and three times, my apologies.

No more YouTube embeds until I can get this sorted out.

Now continue on about your daily lives, dear readers.

-The Management (what there is of it)

26 March 2008

Is That A Class-A Rated Throw Pillow, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Welcome to all of the folks from asid.org in Washington, DC, who have stopped by. Hope I haven't hacked you off. Well, not too much, anyway. As an architect, I would like to hear your comments as well. My email is redstickrant@gamil.com. If you do not want it published, please say so at the beginning. Or else it may end up here in pixels for the world to read.

I do not often comment on things architectural on this blog, but I saw this post by Radley Balko, Via Instapundit, who takes to task the licensing of interior designers and other, less visible, professions. I can not say if it is necessary to license florists (which does, on the face of it, seem silly), but when it comes to interior designers, I have a dog in this hunt in two ways. First, I am a licensed architect, and the issue of licensing interior designers has been debated since at least the mid 80’s when I got out of school. Second, my wife is an intern-interior designer who is sitting for her licensing exam in two weeks.

For me, the issue of licensing comes down to this: is it necessary to protect the life and safety of the public? I am not licensed by the state to carry the title “architect” because I can draw well-proportioned building or make a snappy floor plan (both of which I can do). I am licensed because I am qualified to apply the standards necessary to protect the life and safety of the public, and I assume a legal responsibility to uphold and execute those standards. Every time a design professional stamps a set of drawings, that is what we are doing – taking public responsibility that the design complies with those standards.

And those standards are voluminous. In Louisiana, a commercial building design must comply with: The International Building Code 2006, NFPA 101 (The Life Safety Code), the National Electric Code, The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), The State Plumbing Code, The State Sanitary Code (if food preparation facilities are involved), and the State Energy Code. If a health care facility is involved, a whole new set of Codes and Guidelines are involved, both Federal and State. And there are separate Codes dealing with elevators, sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, military facilities, and jails just to name a few.

Some of the Codes we work with.

And interior designers? Initially, I agreed with Radley. They don’t deal with all that Code stuff, so what’s the point except to make yourself feel important? But that has changed over the years. Our practice is almost exclusively in commercial design (we do very little residential design), and we rely more and more on interior designers to help us select finish materials for projects such as schools, hospitals and dormitories. Those materials have restrictions in the Codes (flame spreads, smoke developed ratings, texture requirements, space planning and layout standards, etc.). Therefore, the persons making these design decisions needs more than a casual acquaintance with their properties, with the Codes, and with commercial construction practices.

So I am now, grudgingly, in favor of licensing interior designers.

But do not make the mistake Radley, and most everybody else, makes - interior designers and interior decorators are not the same thing. Interior decorators decorate what others have designed. They mostly deal with furnishings and finishes in existing spaces, usually without respect to the Codes, and are not extensively trained in materials, methods, and construction practices. Interior designers also deal with furnishings and finishes, but they are (or should be) extensively trained in materials, techniques and Codes, and able to design spaces to meet Code (space planning is often a part of an interior designer’s scope of work)

Anyone can call themselves an “interior decorator”. And since they do not usually deal with issues of Life Safety, that is as it should be; and no license required. Interior designers, however, often do work with design problems that require an understanding Life Safety when making design decisions, and as such should be held to a standard, as I am, with respect to maintaining the life and safety of the public.

Today's Required Reading.

When you're not reading RSR, of course: On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.

Hattip: Murdoc Online.

Yes, We Do.

The Los Angles Times reports iPhone users may know too much:

Apple Inc.'s iPhone, which went on sale nine months ago, isn't the only so-called smart phone that provides itinerant access to the Web. But its wide screen and top-quality browser make it easy to use and read, which means it can in seconds change a lighthearted conversation into the Pursuit of Truth.

"It's turned me from a really annoying know-it-all into an incredibly annoying know-it-all, with the Internet to back me up," said Sadum, a technology writer in Denver. "It's not a social advantage."

We knew that.

Hattip: Stuff White People Like.

25 March 2008


Hillary: "I remember landing under sniper fire....."

CBS News: Oh, really? Let's check the video.

Hmm. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I guess it depends on what the definition of "landing under sniper fire" is, and "running to our cars" is, and "that is what happened" is.

Laurinda Calongne Lands A Big Endorsement.

The editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report, Rolfe McCollister, is endorsing Laurinda Calongne for the GOP primary:

"Laurinda Calongne is a woman of integrity and Christian values. She is a conservative who believes in lower taxes and less government. Her personality, intelligence, energy and business experience would serve her well in getting things done for the people of the 6th District. In the Republican primary runoff for Congress, I am endorsing Laurinda Calongne."

Read it all here.

UPDATE 26MAR08: Post title changed.

24 March 2008

Why Children Of Architects Have Such Problems Fitting Into Society.

This is what they get when they ask for a playhouse.

(FWIW - I made a cardboard chair in second-year architecture school, and it lasted for many years.)

Monday Required Reading.

Michal Yon's latest post is about the battle to route Al Qaeda in Nineveh province: Steak Through Their Hearts.

And he discovers a dirty little secret the mainstream media seems to have missed: we are winning. Not just the battle, but the war. So don't tell Osama. Or Obama.

(For folks who remember your Bible - yes, it's the same Nineveh.)

You're Not "Failing;" You're..... "Priority One!"

Want to know why we left Massachusetts and moved back to Louisiana to raise our children? Uber-PC bull***t such as this.

Gee, will we now hear Nancy Pelosi accuse George Bush of having a "priority one" Iraq strategy?

Hattip: Reason Magazine.

23 March 2008

"As Drag Races Go, You Will Agree This Is Quite A Good One.".

Take one Bugatti Veyron, one Eurofighter Typhoon, and an idea only an Englishman would think up. Read the first comment posted by "daisy". I think she's right.

It's from a blog called Last of the Few - An Englishman's View. It's not exactly PC, and may not be quite work safe (so you have been warned...), but it's well worth the visit. You can learn how to put on a bra, for starters.

Hattip: Instapundit.

UPDATE 24MAR08: Matthew found the source for this video - a show on the BBC called 'Top Gear'. It seems they do this kind of thing on a regular basis. And waddaya know, it's on BBC America, too. Tonight 8pm Eastern (7pm Central). Three guesses where I'll be....

The 2008 Democratic Party Platform, Put To Music.

Right here.

With profuse apologies to Harry McClintock.

Happy, Um.... "It's All About Us!" Sunday.

Today Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (at least, we Christians who still believe in such things). But here is a look at where The Episcopal Church (tm) will be in a few years, if much of our current church leadership has anything to say about it:

That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, 'Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah', this morning will rock the walls of Toronto's West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith's holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Read it all. Chris Johnson, as usual, is all over it.

21 March 2008

Today Is Good Friday.

So put down the mouse, switch off the monitor for a while, and remember why we celebrate this day.

20 March 2008

Do I Want To Be A Blogging Star?

Not really. (OK, maybe. Just a little. -ed.) But I probably should follow these rules of blogging more closely.

Today's Required Reading: Michael Yon's New Website.

Michael Yon has a new website up. He says he launched earlier than planned after hackers attacked his old site.

Make sure to read Michael's latest post, Guitar Heroes.

19 March 2008

I'm Back.

Ugh. Meetings, meetings, meetings. I'm back from New Orleans, I've plowed through my emails, and now..... I'm going home. To a fine gin & tonic.

But since you took the time to stop by, I don't want you to think your time was not well spent. So I leave you with..... a catapult that fires chicken poo.

Not to be confused with something else known to, on occasion, hurl loads of chicken poo.

On The Road Again...

I'm on my way to New Orleans for several project meetings. More later, when I get back this afternoon.

18 March 2008

There's A Second Amendment?

The case of DC v. Heller, which centers around the Second Amendment, was argued before the Supreme Court today. Heller may well be one the most (if not the most) far-reaching and controversial decisions the Supreme Court has undertaken since Roe v. Wade.

SCOUTSblog has a roundup. As do the folks at The Volokh Conspiracy (just scroll around).

Tuesday Afternoon Distraction.

Let's take a break from the struggles of churches and of politics, and enjoy some way-cool robo tech: The Boston Dynamics Big Dog.

I assume it's a prototype, but they really do need to get rid of that "it's-mowing-your-yard" engine sound.

Well, Duh.

From Matthew, a link to this excellent short essay on defining poverty. A thing to remember when someone starts berating you about the evils of capitalism, or whining on (and on!) about the Millennium Development Goals (peace be upon them).

Oh, and all you Stand Firm readers - if you are not reading Matthew's Billy Ockham every day, you should be.

Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare.

Brilliant! Laurinda Calongne is running to claim the GOP nomination for Louisiana's 6th District against GOP political contender for the last several decades, Woody Jenkins.

The New York Times has noticed this ad. So did ABC News.

Like I've said before, why settle for Woody when you can have Buzz?

17 March 2008

The Episcopal Church Claims The Rainbow.

02 September 2010: I have no reason why this two year-old post is getting such attention (pray, someone tell me...), but a hearty "Hello, Eh" to all you Canadians who have been stopping by here today.

Welcome StandFirm readers! Gald you could make it. I tidied up a bit, (I even dusted behind the archives) so make yourselves at home and have a look round.

This was Sunday. (WARNING: Do not have coffee in your mouth when you open this link, or your monitor will need a cleaning.)

This was Monday....

"NEW YORK - A Federal judge today issued a temporary restraining order against The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, saying she can not wear or display her "rainbow" mitre in public.

Bishop Jefferts Schori wore the multi-colored mitre during this last weekend's Palm Sunday celebration.

The order came after lawyers for NBC, the National Broadcasting Company, filed suit in Federal court saying the mitre is strikingly similar to their "peacock" logo and infringes on their copyright. NBC has used the peacock logo for more than 60 years.

A spokesperson for The Episcopal Church said they were surprised at the action, and would quickly ask the judge for a voice vote of "all the attorneys present" to reverse his ruling. Dennis Cannon, the attorney for the Church, had initially argued that NBC's claim was actually "theft." Since the rainbow of visible light is "God-given," he reasoned, it is therefore held in trust by the Church as God's agent on earth. "Individual colors may leave the spectrum," the Church's lawyer said, "but not whole rainbows."

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said that in the meantime she may return to her initial "color of sunrise" mitre, or try out a new "color of depositions" mitre that has been in the works for some time.

A final ruling by the judge on this case is expected sometime this summer. Weather permitting."

OK, the Monday bit isn't real. The Sunday bit is, alas, all too real.

UPDATE: The post has been modified to provide a link to the image in question, not the actual image. If there is anything The Episcopal Church has an overabundance of, it's lawyers; and if there is anything they lack in abundance, it's a sense of humor.

So, ++Rowan, Is This Our "Unavoidable" Future?

A priest is is attacked in London. And his church vandalized at Easter. By...... "Asians."

Haven't heard about it? Not surprising. Had he been an imam, and his mosque vandalized at Ramadan, you can bet you would have heard about it by now. Repeatedly.

A Telegraph correspondent gets it:

"No respectable Muslim encourages youths to punch 57-year-old vicars. On the other hand, I suspect that many radical Muslims believe that St George’s should be a mosque, and will be one day. (God knows there are plenty of precedents.) Violence is not necessary: the wimpishness of C of E leaders such as the Bishop of Oxford, who actually wants the muezzin to sound through the city streets, will do the job instead.

That and cash from the Gulf. For many years, Saudi Arabia has been tipping money into Muslim community projects in Tower Hamlets, with the aim of winning over young people to the pure Wahhabi Islam that holds sway in the kingdom. And how many churches are there in Saudi Arabia?"

Read it all. It's fair question - just don't expect an answer.

How St. Patrick's Day Should Be Celebrated.

No commentary necessary.

(Yes, it's a repeat. But what better day to repeat it?

UPDATE: More on St. Patrick's Day here.

It's A Trend!

Another frustrated orthodox Episcopalian in Louisiana lends his voice to the cyber-public square: Cotton Country Anglican.

15 March 2008

The Princess Of Positive Shall Speak!

So listen up! My northshore blogger-buddy, Greta Perry of Kiss My Gumbo fame, will be getting her own radio show in New Orleans on WIST, AM 690. She goes on the air on Saturdays from 3:00pm-4:00pm, starting April 19th.

(WIST?? Geez, I remember when it was "The Mighty Six-Ninety, WTIX!!" And 99.5 FM was WRNO - "The Rock of New Orleans" - broadcasting out of the old Imperial House Hotel on North Causeway. Yes, I'm that old.)

Saturday Night Conversation Starter.

When some feminists met in New Orleans a few days ago, Mayor Nagin claimed he was "a vagina-friendly mayor." Okey-dokey.

So what kind of a "friendly" mayor will he claim to be when the Decadence Festival comes to town?

Talk among yourselves.

13 March 2008


You can now buy this poster, by artist Shepard Fairey, at the Obama website:

It's in the ever-hip Heroic Socialist Leader! style, though at $70.00 a pop they're not exactly priced for the working-class.

Now, where have I seen something simialr? Oh yeah. In an Obama campaign office:

Friday Morning Distraction.

I am out today (Friday) to meetings in New Orleans, so here is something to make sure your employer gets absolutely no productive work out of you today: Will It Blend?

Watch 'em all.

Our family favorite: Why you should never mess with Chuck Norris.

Pimp My Model

If you were ever an architecture student, stuck in studio after four days without sleep and a deadline in 3 hours, this is hysterical.

And yes, that the GSD at Harvard.

Today's REQUIRED Reading.

On The Road To Greenwich Village....David Mamet had an ephiphany. And not one, alas, that most New York 60's liberals have. Mamet, a well known playwright and author, who penned plays such as Glengarry Glen Ross, and screenplays for The Verdict and Wag the Dog, found out he couldn't be a 60's liberal anymore:

"And, I wondered, how could I have spent decades thinking that I thought everything was always wrong at the same time that I thought I thought that people were basically good at heart? Which was it? I began to question what I actually thought and found that I do not think that people are basically good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompted and informed my writing for the last 40 years. I think that people, in circumstances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit subject, but the only subject, of drama.

I'd observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth, and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money, but that nonetheless, people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day under rather wonderful and privileged circumstances—that we are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but that we are a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired—in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the Constitution, and lucky to get it.

Read. The. Whole. Thing.

And welcome to the club, sir.

12 March 2008

Is The Grass Greener On Our Side Of The Tiber?

Is retired Episcopal Bishop Clarence Pope, the Mark Spitz of Episcopal Bishops, swimming back across the Tiber for the fourth time after only seven months in the Roman Church? I've heard rumblings from a pretty good source. VirtueOnline is reporting the same thing.


Easter Greetings from Greenpeace The Episcopal Church ™

The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church ™, gets in touch with her inner Gore and writes us, her flock, about an upcoming holiday:
Your Easter celebration undoubtedly has included lots of physical signs of new life -- eggs, flowers, new green growth.
And bunnies? You forgot the bunnies, Kate. What says new life more than cute fuzzy creatures who have sex a lot? And we all know that sex is so important to The Episcopal Church ™ that they will stop at nothing to be "inclusive” of all kinds of sex.
As the Easter season continues, consider how your daily living can be an act of greater life for other creatures.
Like bunnies?
How can you enact the new life we know in Jesus the Christ? In other words, how can you be the sacrament, the outward and visible sign, of the grace that you know in the resurrected Christ? How can your living let others live more abundantly?
Warning! Warning, Will Robinson! Obligatory “it’s-our-fault-there-are-any-problems-in-the-world” statement follows. (It’s our “tradition” that's at fault, you know….)
The Judaeo-Christian tradition has been famously blamed for much of the current environmental crisis….
So? The auto industry has been famously blamed for keeping a 200mpg car off the market. The government has been been famously blamed for 9/11. Since when does the notoriety of something make it true? And what about the Moslem tradition, or the Hindu tradition, the Shinto tradition? Have they done no harm the environment?
…particularly for our misreading of Genesis 1:28 as a charge to "fill the earth and subdue it."
No, No, Kate, we didn’t misread it. That’s what it says.
Our forebears were so eager to distinguish their faith from the surrounding Canaanite religion and its concern for fertility...
I thought you said all that fertility was a bad thing, Kate?
...that some of them worked overtime to separate us from an awareness of "the hand of God in the world about us," especially in a reverence for creation. How can we love God if we do not love what God has made?
Good question. And that fits in with your pro-abortion stand how? Are babies not made by God, Kate?
We base much of our approach to loving God and our neighbors in this world on our baptismal covenant.
Really? So I guess this bit is obsolete in our hip, with-it, new church:

VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Yet our latest prayer book was written just a bit too early to include caring for creation among those explicit baptismal promises.
"Bonnie Anderson? Get me re-write!!"
I would invite you to explore those promises a bit more deeply -- where and how do they imply caring for the rest of creation?
Is your entire theology based on the "promises" of only one of the eight questions in the baptismal covenant? What about believing in the apostle's teaching, resisting evil, repenting, proclaming the Good News of God In Christ? Isn't all that in your beloved covenant?
We are beginning to be aware of the ways in which our lack of concern for the rest of creation results in death and destruction for our neighbors.
So every time we eat a Big Mac from a drive-thru, someone in Bangladesh dies? I had no idea. I guess it really is all our fault.
We cannot love our neighbors unless we care for the creation that supports all our earthly lives.
I couldn't agree with you more, Kate, but I don't know what you mean in the spiritual sense. I smell more than a wiff of activism in your words. So recycling and driving less isn't enough? Unless we pop off a check to PETA, or calculate our carbon footprint, or write our Congressman, or worship the Millennium Development Goals (peace be upon them), we're not following Christ's Great Commandment?
We are not respecting the dignity of our fellow creatures if our sewage or garbage fouls their living space.
And what if the intellectual sewage and relativist garbage embraced as theology by so much of the leadership of The Episcopal Church ™ fouls the dignity of my living space? Or more importantly, the dignity of my worship space? You worried about that, Kate?
When atmospheric warming, due in part to the methane output of the millions of cows we raise each year to produce hamburger, begins to slowly drown the island homes of our neighbors in the South Pacific, are we truly sharing good news?
The thought of Pacific islanders drowning in a tsunami of cow farts is too much for me to bear, Kate, especially at Easter (that is why you wanted to talk to us, isn't it?). So I'm trying to eat those farting cows as fast as I can. Rare. With sautéed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, and a good Bordeaux. For the environment, of course.
The food we eat, the energy we use, the goods and foods we buy, the ways in which we travel, are all opportunities -- choices and decisions -- to be for others, both human and other.
Huh? Am I to be for human others; or other others? Or both? Or neither?
Our Christian commitment is for this -- that we might live that more abundant life and that we might do it in a way that is for the whole world. Abundant blessings this Easter, and may those blessings abound through the coming days and years.
And a Happy Earth Day to you, too.

UPDATE: As usual, Chris Johnson at theMCJ does a much better job of taking Schori's "message" apart, and brings up a brilliant point - for Christians, Easter celebrates the most important event in our Faith - the reserrection of Jesus Christ. But the leader of our Church uses it as an opportunity to "invite" us to reflect on........ reducing cow farts. This says volumes about the Christian theology (or lack thereof) being pushed by the current leadership of The Episcopal Church ™.

Tuesday Wednesday Night Distraction.

(I tried to post this yesterday (Tuesday), but for some reason it didn't show up from YouTube 'till this evening. Apologies. - ed.)

Pretty funny. From the same people who brought youthis cool video.

Hattip: Matthew.

11 March 2008

Chewing My Own Leg Off.....

.....Is how I spent my day. Well not actually, but it sure felt like it at times - we attended a 6 hour continuing ed seminar on pre-cast concrete. Though, as seminars went this one was pretty interesting, and I did actually learn some things. But there are only so many hours a human being can be forced to watch PowerPoint presentations without going off his/her nut.

Plus, I've got a few crises lurking on my desk here at the office that require my attention. More later.

09 March 2008

Troll Feeding.

Someone from Baton Rouge, not surprisingly named "Anonymous", left a comment in this post calling me an idiot for not understanding how the UN is supposed to work. Like I care how the UN is supposed to work. (Though it would be nice, once a decade or so, if it did actually work.)

I know I shouldn't, but it's Sunday night and I'm bored - so I responded.

We're In A Runoff!!

Laurinda Calongne is in a runoff to be the GOP candidate for Congress in Louisiana's 6th District. It was very close, but she made it to the next round aginst an opponent who "everyone" (whoever that is anymore) thought was a shoo in to clinch it on the first ballot.

Your humble blogger will now commence to do the happy dance.

If You Can Prounounce These Names Correctly....

....You've lived in Massachusetts. And you'll know why this hysterical:

"The Comcast SportsNet advertisement that ran Feb. 28 in the Boston newspaper shows two town signs, one reading, “We can pronounce Worcester,” and the other reading, “Without Sounding Like an Athol."

UPDATE: An image of the offending portion of the ad, via masslive.com:

Associated Press photo

Of course, imagine if you live in Belchertown. FWIW, I think my kids come from there.

UPDATE: I know, I know. Louisiana shouldn't be pointing fingers when it comes to town names. I mean, if you want Boutte, you'll never get there via Dry Prong.

07 March 2008


Look, I'll be the first to say that there is a lot to criticize about the recovery in New Orleans. Heck, I’ve criticized it. But some U.N. commission, which never set foot in Louisiana, is now criticizing our recovery and saying it's a possible violation of human rights.

This, from the same organization that can't decide if the organized killing, raping and starving of tens of thousands of Africans in Darfur is "genocide"; that will not condemn the firing of dozens of rockets a month, sometimes dozens a week, into civilian areas in Israel (in fact, it gives those firing the rockets money); that was willing to look the other way, for a few dollars, of course, when Saddam Hussein spent billions on palaces and tanks while his people suffered; and that puts the likes of Libya and Cuba – not exactly stellar champions of human rights - on their commission promoting human rights.

I don't think the U.N. would know a real human rights violation if it came up and bit them on their expense account. So let me respond as gently and as diplomatically as I can:


F**k off.


The Vast Majority of Louisiana

UPDATE: Here's a thought - maybe the reason the UN is opposed to tearing down delapidated, barracks-type housing in New Orleans is because in places like Cuba and North Korea, housing in this condition is the norm. We can't have the Great Satan making all those Worker's Paradises look bad, now can we??

Oh No, He Didn't Say That.

Yep. He did. The Mouth Mayor of New Orleans strikes again:

"How am I gonna stand up and say, I'm a 'vagina-friendly' Mayor to these cameras after 'Chocolate City' and some of the other stuff that I've done. But you know what? I'm in."

If you're a guy, isn't that the point??

Friday Lunchtime Distraction.

Here's a few things to peruse while you take your noonday meal, courtesy of Dark Roasted Blend.

And for those of you top dog types with longer lunch hours, there's more here.

Laurinda Calongne Interview.

My interview with Laurinda Calongne is up at Louisiana Conservative Dot Com. Laurinda is running for the Sixth District Congressional seat recently vacated by Richard Baker.

It also got a link at Dead Pelican.

06 March 2008

Be Quiet; I'm Speaking For You.

Remember back before Christmas all those "housing advocates" in New Orleans who tried to stop the demolition of four run-down housing projects? They got a lot of moral support, and a lot of air time, claiming they were "speaking for" the displaced residents. One small problem: When someone finally asked those displaced residents what they wanted, more than 80% of those responding didn't want to go back into those projects the advocates wanted to save.

Read the whole thing, and you'll see two other interesting facts: First, more than half of the HANO families are living back in the New Orleans - so much for that "keeping the poor away" meme. And second, this was the "housing advocates" own survey! (Done in collusion with their chief ally in Congress, Rep Maxine Waters, D-CA.) Oops!

I have said this before, I'll say it again: I think the only interests all those "advocates" were advocating was their own, and the residents were just a vehicle to that end. It was all about the exposure, and proving a pre-determined point.

Full disclosure: My firm is the architect for the demolition of the four housing projects. I am from New Orleans. I knew early on taking those projects down - and replacing them with more livable, humanly-scaled housing in a neighborhood setting - was the right thing to do. Anyone with an ounce of compassion for the residents, and who knew the facts, would reach the same conclusion.

Thank You, God.

The Baton Rouge Apple Store opened it's doors today.

We went earlier this evening. Geek heaven.

In the Eye Of The Beholder.

Katrina as seen through a different lens - that of photographer Chris Jordan. (At his website, scroll down to In Katrina's Wake, click on the image, and go through his photos.) Because our families lived through this, I just can't bring myself to call them beautiful. Though they are haunting, and I highly recommend you buy his book. I am.

He Doesn't Do "Invitations Into Deeper Conversations About Holding Positions More Lightly While He Seeks Visions Of Shalom In Relationship With..."

If you're wondering how The Episcopal Church (tm) and their "New Thing" are being accepted by other Sacramental churches, Chris Johnson postulates an example that will leave you in stitches.

Speaking Fiction To Power.

Here is a new non-fiction book which, according to this article, is about the author's "life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods."

The book has received critrical acclaim. The article says The Times called it a “humane and deeply affecting memoir,” and Entertainment Weekly said it was a "powerful story of resilience and unconditional love.”

So far, so good. Except for a tiny detail the author forgot to mention. The author is actually:

"...all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in the North Hollywood neighborhood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for any gang members. Nor did she graduate from the University of Oregon, as she had claimed."

Oops. But she did graduate from an Episcopal high school. Which doesn't surprise me in the least, given her excuse after the truth came to light:

"“For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms. Seltzer said. “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.”
(emphasis mine)

Now where have we heard that kind of vacuous, self-important, post-modernist twaddle before? Oh, yes. Places like this bastion of Episcopal Newsspeak. (See the third paragraph down.) I will agree with them about one thing - as the arts go, so goes the community. So what does this fakery say about the state of the arts today? And about that "community?" And what does it say about the credibility of all those art "critics" who gave it fawning, un-critical praise?

UPDATE: Good question: Are there now so many half-white, half-Native America, drug-running young girls in gangs who grew up in foster homes that they need someone to speak for them? Please.

05 March 2008

Is That A 'Meis' In Your Living Room, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Oh my God. I really am a white person.

From here.

UPDATE: I can't help it - I want one of these for the house (with the footstool, of course), and a couple of these for my office.

Works For Me.

And I'm not Irish. Elixir of the Gods, it is.

04 March 2008

Once More Into The Breach, Dear Friends...

Charlie Foxtrot received orders to deploy to the "Sandbox". For the third time. Please stop by and let him know how much you appreciate his service, and the scarifices he - and his family - bear for our freedom.

She's No Ronald Reagan.

Hillary Clinton puts out her own "Bear In The Woods" commercial. Watch the reaction. Ouch.

She really is the Queen of Negative.

Eventually, Everyone's Hit Points Drop To Zero.

And you can't roll 2d20s forever. The creator of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax, has died. Like Matthew, I spent more time in college playing his creation than I care to admit. Our little band of intrepid architecture students, and our wives and girlfriends, after a project was turned in would spend entire weekends drinking beer and killing hordes of orcs. And when topping imaginary orcs got boring, we would spend entire weekends drinking beer and killing off hordes of Warner Brothers cartoon characters, German philosophers, and Seseme Street puppets. Once we even tackled a dungeon populated by an army of ravaging game show hosts.

OK, so we weren't purists. Sue me.

UPDATE: This seems especially timely: What Kind of D&D Character Would You Be?

As for me...

I Am A: Lawful Good Human Cleric (7th Level)

Ability Scores:


Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment because it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

03 March 2008

Well, Duh......

If you live in flyover country, the results of this poll have been pretty obvious for a while:

"Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet to get their news, according to a new survey.

While most people think journalism is important to the quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby Interactive online poll showed."

And the remaining 36 percent? They are gonna vote for Hillary or Obama no matter what.

02 March 2008

Conventional Wisdom.

As I said in an earlier post, the Diocese of Louisiana held their annual convention at my church in Baton Rouge. I was there as part of the host church's volunteer group, not as a delegate or observer, so I didn't get to see much of the sessions. But what I can tell you, ye Episcopal news junkies, is this:

1. In their native country, Bishops from South Africa must be paid by the word for homlies. His was darn near 40 minutes. At Evensong. As you can imagine, he lost me when he started going on about "speaking truth to power..."

2. Jackie Bruchi is a very nice person in person.

3. The Doicese did affirm the uniqueness of Christ, without dissent, though I understand it was not in as strong a terms as originally submitted. That this even has to be a topic of debate nowadays says volumes about where The Episcopal Church is, and where it isn't.

4. We are a small group, us 'Piskies. Case in point: I ran into a fellow from my high school youth group at St. Augustine's, Metairie (and later at St. John's, Kenner). We had not seen each other in 30 years.

More tomorrow.

UPDATE: Convention results are here. Nothing much to shout about. Things are pretty much the same. Sorry Jackie lost, though.