31 August 2008

Gustav, The Political Angle.

A pretty good take from The Weekly Standard. And yes, Bobby Jindal gets a mention.

Gustav Watch 31AUG08 II.

Wind is starting to pick up a bit, temperature is dropping, and the first rain band just passed through. All in all, pretty quiet right now in Baton Rouge.

The 11PM EDT stats are out. Baton Rouge is back in the Cat 1 swath, while New Orleans has dropped out. I suspect that may change again before this is over.

Ah, A Future GOP Voter.

A little distraction while we await the arrival of Hurricane Gustav:

FWIW, my daughter can do it in 45 seconds. But then again, she's been trained on some bloody proper rifles.

Gustav Watch 31AUG08.

Well, Gustav has weakened a bit, but the wind "swath" projections now show both Baton Rouge and New Orleans in the Category 1 zone. We're gonna finish getting the outside of the house prepped this afternoon, make one more "supplies" run, and then hunker down for The Wait.

New Orleans issued a mandatory evacuation (with all of the drama and exaggeration we've come to expect from Ray Nagin), as did Jefferson Parish for both the West Bank and East Bank. The area of real concern this time though, is the West Bank.

out of the city began this morning. Louisiana DOTD live traffic cameras for I-10 in New Orleans are here.

Glenn Reynolds notes one Mark O'Malley is planning to ride out the storm at his house in New Orleans' Mid-City, and will be live-blogging. Might want to check him out. If the levees hold, he should be all right. IF the levees hold......

UPDATE: Mark O'Malley finds an interesting silver lining. I've never seen it that way, either.

30 August 2008

Compare and Contrast.

Red State has this excellent comparison between the GOP VP hopeful Sarah Palin, and The Messiah.

Hattip: Instapundit.

Gustav Watch 30AUG08.

Not looking good down here, folks. Wind "swath" projections, which this morning showed Category 3 winds just hitting the coast and Baton Rouge getting only tropical storm winds, now shows Category 4 winds almost to the coast, Category 3 winds inland past Morgan City, and Category 1 winds in Baton Rouge. US Navy track seems to concur.

The good news is there seem to be more preparations. There are buses staged here in Baton Rouge (we saw several dozen in a parking lot on Florida Boulevard), and my parents - who are coming up here from New Orleans via Airline Highway - said they just saw "dozens and dozens" of school buses staged at Zephyr Field in Jefferson Parish (just outside of New Orleans).

UPDATE: My folks left New Orleans about 4:30, and got here (Baton Rouge) about 6:45. They went up Airline Highway, not the Interstate. According to my father, after the airport the traffic flowed pretty much normal.

29 August 2008

Gustav Watch 29AUG08

Latest track projection:

It's held pretty constant throughout the day - showing landfall somewhat more to the west than it showed Wednesday. On this track New Orleans may dodge a bullet, but it puts us catching some of the more powerful NE quadrant. Since it hasn't hit the Gulf yet, all scenarios are on the table, IMHO.

We also have one advantage we didn't have in 2005 - a competent Governor.

UPDATE 30 AUG08: Along with Golden Triangle, another excellent weather website we're watching is Crown Weather Services, which has good storm compilations including wind speed ("swath") predictions and forecasts on rain amounts.

The More People Talk About Change, The More Things Stay The Same.

Once John McCain selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, The Messiah's folks were quick to jump on the choice. They pointed out that their VP nominee, some Senator named Biden, has far more political and foreign-policy experience than does Palin. But the GOP has been pointing out for months that McCain has far more political and foreign-policy experience than The Messiah.

Funny, isn't it, that an election which was supposed be about change and transcending all that race and gender stuff, is going to turn on whose ticket has the more experienced grumpy old white guy.

Just saying.

Three Years Ago Today.

Thank you, US Army Corps of Engineers, Orleans Levee Board, Kathleen Blanco, Ray Nagin, George Bush, Michael Brown, GOHSEP, Witt Associates, FEMA, NOPD, ICF, and all of the other looters, leeches, clueless media, photo-op politicians, and opportunistic carpet-baggers who helped make that day, and the last three years, possible.

These are the ones who truly deserve thanks - at least mine, anyway: Countless church volunteers, Fr. Jerry Kramer, the Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana National Guard and Guard units from around the country, my brother, the 82nd Airborne, General Honore, The Red Cross, the Mexican Navy, the folks at Russel's Lake Marina Grill, the Republic of Singapore Air Force CH-47's, the Corps workers who picked up the debris at the street every week, The US Coast Guard, Bobby Jindal, and the many millions of individuals and organizations who gave their time, and their treasure, to help.

28 August 2008

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Nomination.

Video of Obama's "Roman Coliseum" acceptance speech:

OK, maybe that was the dress rehearsal, but still....

Killer Joke.


Ha-ha-ha! Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! THUD!

Getting Ready.

Besides batteries, tape, water and other supplies, Kim du Toit reminds folks down here to not neglect that other post-Katrina hurricane necessity - weapons and ammunition. Like candles and toilet paper, make sure you have enough.

Hatip: Matthew.

UPDATE 29AUG08: I checked. I do.

27 August 2008

Bowl Of Petunias Time.

Oh no, not again:

This ain't looking good, folks. As usual, much more here.

UPDATE: For those who didn't get the "Bowl of Petunias" reference, watch this. From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Wednesday Morning Distraction.

As a dad, been there; done that:

26 August 2008

The Ad Obama's Campaign Doesn't Want You To See.

Really. Mostly, I suppose, because it appears to be true. So have a look:

And this is important because it appears that Ayers' group, the Weather Underground, met with, and was influenced by, the same people who were at that time torturing John McCain.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign's pretty lame response. We're talking about the 60's because that's where most of the core values come from that Obama and the Democrats hold dear. The interventionist Nanny State is not a new idea; nor are 19th century notions of redistributionist tax policy.

UPDATE 27AUG08: Via Instapundit, the Chicago Boyz point out the real problem with Bill Ayers:

"As I have noted before, the real troubling aspect of the Obama-Ayers relationship is that Obama comes from a political subculture in which Ayers is an accepted and unremarkable individual. Looking at Ayers, one is forced to ask exactly what kind of leftist extremism would be considered unacceptable by Obama and his cohorts."

UPDATE 27AUG08: The Obama Campaign's response to the Ayers commercial (see link above) says none of it should matter because it was 40 years ago, and besides, Barack was only 8 then. Well, here is a piece - from April of this year so it is not a new story - by someone who had momentary relationship with Ayers and his comrades in 1970:

During the April 16 debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, moderator George Stephanopoulos brought up “a gentleman named William Ayers,” who “was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that.” Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

Read it all.

FEMA Supports The Troops.

Not. The Federal Eternal Misery Agency sets a new low, even for them:

A wind-shredded American flag still hangs on the front of a home on 4th Street in Chalmette -- one Arnold Crabtree has struggled to rebuild.

Crabtree was deployed for a year of duty in Afghanistan a couple months ago, but in the time since he's been gone, the soldier says FEMA came by and took the trailer he had been living in.

And this:

(Kathy) Hernandez, who has been looking after Crabtree's property since his deployment, says FEMA left his possessions outside the home, before taking the trailer.

From my perspective, FEMA is the most useless, incompetent and ineffective organization ever dreamed up by the US government, period. And the US Government has dreamed up a lot of 'em. Down here they seem to be staffed by carpet-bagging contract workers, questionably competent "experts," disaster junkies, and turf-obsessed bureaucrats, who all appear more interested in keeping themselves in a paycheck than actually getting anything done (solutions mean their jobs end). And those of us affected by the "event" don't seem to matter a rat's ass to them - their rules, their regulations, their turf and our "compliance" do. If Barack Obama guaranteed he would eliminate FEMA if elected and put some of these people under some public scrutiny, I'd seriously consider giving him my vote.

Hattip: Chad Rogers.

Some Audacity Of Hope Fun Facts.

The Messiah seems to think that "The Audacity of Hope" will cure all that ails us. Really:

"...we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal… This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation…"

So... when you have The Audacity of Hope you can make people well, give everyone a fat paycheck, make the oceans recede, and fix anything else that needs fixing on the Earth. Interesting. Here are some other things you might not have known about.....

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
you don't have to pay closing costs when you buy a house.

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
your dog will never have fleas.

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
you can wait an extra thousand miles between oil changes.

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
an erection lasting more than four hours is not a problem.

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
you can buy interior latex wall paint at cost; and pay only a minor markup for the exterior stuff.

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
you never have to update your iPhone; it updates itself.

When you have The Audacity of Hope,
your three minute egg cooks in two minutes and 23 seconds.

There seems to be no end to what The Audacity of Hope can do, so I think I'll make this a daily feature until the election. Check back tomorrow.

Smoke, Mirrors, And Main Battle Tanks.

Michael Totten reports from inside Gerogia. The recent crisis wasn't as simple as Moscow wants us to believe, which isn't surprising.

Hattip: Instapundit.

Getting Deflocked.

I've put a link on the sidebar for Jeff Corriveau's cartoon strip, Deflocked. It's a great read - witty and well written - and I recommend you take a look and get introduced. Jeff's planning to post daily strips soon (he needs to work out some details with the gods of cartooning), and when he does RSR will post them.

Before anyone writes to tell me his politics are not quite mine, I know. (And he knows mine aren't quite his.) But his is not a political strip. Look, I didn't necessarily agree with the politics of Berkeley Breathed and Bill Watterson, but I'm still a fan of both Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes.

So give Jeff a chance. I don't think you'll be dissapointed.

OK, If You Count France And Germany, That's Only 52....

Another blast from the past. The Messiah is so powerful, He can add to our Union with just a few words:

And combine Alaska and Hawaii into one state!

Is there nothing Audacity of Hope cannot overcome??


My Anglican/Episcopal readers will find this pretty cool: A Book of Common Prayer for iPhone. It's called iBCP, by Alexander Orozco, it can be found under the Books heading at the iTunes' Applications Store. (Can't provide a link. alas, so you'll have to navigate there yourself through iTunes.)

After a quick fiddle, it looks pretty good.

Uh oh.

Hurricane Gustav is headed for the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A great roundup of info can be found here.

Keep an eye on this one.....

UPDATE 26AUG08: Track is not looking good for us in Louisiana:

Pray we don't get FEMA'd again.

25 August 2008

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Cartoon.

Chris Muir, creator of the online cartoon strip Day by Day, is having a fund-raiser. (Hey, cartoonists need to eat, too...) So head on over, hit one of his four Donation Levels, and tell him RSR sent you!

Saint Augustine Says Something About "Doing A New Thing."

From here:

"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself."

I'm sure I'm not the first person to point this out, but I find it interesting since our Lefty Episcopal friends are so fond of quoting the Hippo-man.

Why I Am Voting For John McCain.

A succinct analysis.

The Audacity of Hypocrisy, Or, Yes, I Am Questioning Your Patriotism.

With the Democratic Convention beginning today, I think it's fitting to review a few choice images of The Messiah from earlier this year, and ask a simple question:

If you won't even salute the flag....

...do you deserve to wear the logo of those willing to die for it?

While I served, I was not as a Marine. I have no right to even imply I am in their company.

But I know Marines.
Marines are friends, colleagues, and family.
And Barack Obama, is no US Marine.

Hattip: My friend Karl.

21 August 2008

How To Never, Ever Get Mentioned On This Blog.

And I mean, never, never, never, ever.

Just send me an email or comment - out of the blue and I have no idea who you are - asking me to hawk, or push, or link to something for you on this humble blog. I don't care how hot you think it is, or how famous you think you are, or how many famous actors, politicians, or bloggers you say just adore you, or HOW MANY WORDS YOU PUT IN CAPS, or how patronizing you are. It. Ain't. Happening. Suck wind, bucko.


Because that's called advertising. That's why. You want me to help sell your product, fine - but we want compensation. That's not a new concept. Heck, even PBS is doing it nowadays. So if you're smart enough to figure out how to contact me, I'm sure you can figure out where to send a business proposal for some of my sidebar space. Or, just send the check. I take advances. (I've got a new baby coming in a few months that needs feeding.)

Now I'm not talking about folks I know, or folks who at least take the time to personally introduce themselves. I try my best to respond to those, one way or another, and I have made some good Net friendships that way. But c'mon - if your email begins "Dear Mr. RED STICK RANT...." it's a dead giveaway you have no bloody clue who I am.

And I shall give you the same level of respect you showed me. DELETE. It's a beautiful thing.

Interview With A Makarov.

The Red Armed Mob Army in Georgia deals with the press:

If American troops had acted similarly, it would have been at the top of every news report and newspaper in the world. But then again, the US is a world power.

The Next Hot Thing In "Full Inclusion?"

Don't look now, but it seems that polygamy is good - science says so. And if science says it is good, you know The Episcopal Church (tm) will be on board real soon. I mean, Jesus never said anything specifically about polygamy.....

UPDATE: A commenter asks why The Episcopal Church (tm) should stop at polygamy? Why, indeed. Just think - someday, folks like this guy could be Presiding Bishop. I mean he's all about "bringing people to the table." Or, vice versa......

Embarrassing Lesson Of The Day.

Here is one of those "D'Oh!!" lessons, proving yet again that there is a fine line between multi-tasking and over-tasking:

Don't dash off an email while talking on the phone and doing three or four other things at the same time. You may forget to double-check the email's 'To:' list before you hit 'Send'. Which may result in an unexpected call from a lawyer.

In my case it turned out to be a friendly lawyer alerting me to the address mistake (yes, they still have a few friendly lawyers about), but still. It could have been worse.

So remember, dear readers:

"To err is human; to really screw up takes technology."

20 August 2008

The Free World's Right Arm, Will Soon Be Mine, Too.

I've been looking recently for some way to commerate the landmark, pro-Second Amendment Heller decision, and also what to tell the wife I wanted for our 20th wedding anniversery. I'm easy, so I decided to combine the two - and ordered one of these. (Yes, she approved it first.) That's the good news. Bad news is it may be 2-3 months before it arrives.

A Simple Country Question.

For my Episcopal/Anglican readers:

Would any of y'all be the least bit surprised if a Simple Country Bishop just happened to be in Denver while this little shindig is happening?

No, I have no evidence either direct or indirect to support my asking the question, other than the obvious notion that predictable characters do predictable things. And Simple Country Bishops are nothing if not predictable - especially when public attention and TV cameras are involved. Besides, he thinks the world of the New Messiah.

Thoughts? Bets?

19 August 2008

Quick - Name Three Words You Would Never Use To Describe Ray Nagin.

Did you pick "recovery" "courage" and "leadership?" Yeah, me too. But a group calling itself the "Excellence In Recovery Host Committee" wants to give Crazy 'Ol Ray an award for having just those qualities with respect to Katrina. Really.

And who is is this, er, Host Committee? The list is indeed a who's who of New Orleans, but more than a few of them didn't seem aware that this was a Ray-Ray hug fest. Apparently those not in the love-loop include the guest speaker, General Russell Honore (ret.), and the Host Committee co-chair, Jackie Clarkson.

I hear the week after next the same Host Committee will be putting on an "Excellence in Human Rights" night, honoring Radovan Karadžić.

More Russian Looting.

Only this time, it appears to be United States government property. The Red Armed Mob Army raided the Georgian port city of Poti, and looted US Army equipment waiting shipment to the US.

Here's proof. (Scroll down the post a bit once you get there.)

So much for Putin's cease-fire and pullback agreement. This was NOT Georgian military equipment, so I hope Bush demands Moscow hand it back.

Today's Required Reading.

Michael Yon has a new post up: Af-Pak Reporting.

Read it all. (There will be a test in November....)

If you like what Michael is doing, please remember to drop him a few bucks. He is an independent journalist, and he needs our support to keep it up.

17 August 2008

Play Misty For Me. And Kerri, Too.

Someone emailed me this weekend asking why I had nothing on the Olympics. Not my thing, actually. Besides, I only follow one sport anymore at the summer games, for um, obvious reasons.

Hey, Vlad - It Ain't 1979 Anymore.

Putin's little shooting and looting exercise in Georgia is not tuning out like he figured. Glenn Reynolds has a roundup.

Folks aren't scared of the Russian Soviet bear like they once were - even the Germans are standing up to Moscow.

UPDATE: So much for Putin's reason for widening this conflict: A report from Tskhinvali.

16 August 2008

Shakespeare Was Right.

According to this article, the cover-up of John Edwards' affair was orchestrated by..... lawyers.

I'm Shocked! Shocked!

OK, not really. I guess there are "two Americas" after all - one with a conscience, and one with juris doctor degrees.

(Here is why The Bard was correct: Line 59 - ed.).

Red Stick Modern.

You find gems in the strangest places sometimes - like a website address on, of all things, the license plate frame of a CRV. Red Stick Modern is a wonderful website devoted to mid-century modern houses here in Baton Rouge. So if 1950/60's design or unique Baton Rouge houses interests you, definitely head on over.

And kudos to the website's author(s) from a your humble Baton Rouge blogger architect who can't seem to write about architecture.

15 August 2008

Finally. A Movie You'll Want To See.

An American Carol:

Hattip: Last of the Few.

Simple Country Bishop Time, Or, Is This The Way To Franconia?

For my 'Piskie readers, here is some big Episcopal Church (tm) news:

Next week the Bishop of New Hampshire will be in..... New Hampshire. Really.

Who says miracles don't happen anymore?

14 August 2008

Queen Threatens Pawn; Rook To Queen Rook 8.

Oops. Putin's little attempt to gain a few square kilometers for his New Soviet Union, at the expense of an American ally, has had another unintended consequence: Poland now agrees to be part of the American missile defense plan.

Hey, Vladimir - we know how to play chess, too.

Now That's Audacity I Can Hope, Sorry, Vote For!

John McCain weighs in on the recent Russian Soviet land grab aggression: We are all Georgians.

Hattip: Instapundit.

UPDATE: Blessed are the "peacekeepers", for they can take whatever terratory thay want.

11 August 2008

Getting In Touch With His Inner Stalin.

Remember this flag:

It is the flag of a sovereign nation. If Vladimir Putin has anything to do with it, you won't be seeing too much of it anymore.

The Soviets Russians Soviets are not our friends. Never were. So let's find the Georgian Massoud, and fund the crap out of him.

UPDATE 12AUG08: The Russian Red Army has reportedly suspended it's invasion. But they have demands - most notably that Georgia become a neutered state. Oh, and this should come as no surprise: Western Europe, showing that they still beleive in peace at all costs (especially if the cost is the terratory of a small, weak country) - are siding with the Russians Soviets. Effin' cowards.

Simple Country Blogger Watch, UPDATE

The Simple Country Bishop is back in the Granite State, and has some final reflections on his recent attention-getter in Merry Olde England. First up, coming home to a reception befitting a celebrity bishop:

"I arrived at the Manchester, NH, airport (two hours late), greeted and surprised by 30 or so clergy and laity from New Hampshire, waving signs, holding balloons and flowers, and singing "I sing a song of the saints of God." Some came from over two hours away, and would get home long after midnight. One of my favorite signs read: "Medium rare after your grilling at Lambeth? No, WELL DONE!!" Can anyone doubt why I love my diocese so much?!"

"You Like Me! You Really Like me!" Geez. How many other bishops arrived home to a publicity event?

But the important stuff is a bit further down in his post. It's the lesson the Simple Country Bishop took away from his time at Lambeth, which can be summed up thusly: Lots of bishops agree - "living-in-tension" is just dandy! The Anglican Communion needs is more of it, and The Episcopal Church (tm) should lead the way!

How? First of all by telling our brother and sister Anglicans to... get freakin' stuffed. Who cares what a bunch of uppity wogs and neo-con bigots think, anyway:

"Through the actions of our General Convention, I hope we will say to the Communion, "You know, we have listened carefully to what you have had to say to us. We deeply regret that our actions cause you distress, even a diminishment of your ability to evangelize in your context. But we must minister in and to our OWN context, as best we can discern God's will for us. We will no longer observe (or pretend to observe) the moratoria on consecrations and blessings. We will abide by our own canons which (in two different places) bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and if and when a partnered gay or lesbian person is elected by the clergy and laity of a diocese, we will consider them for consent as we would any other. And we will proceed to ask the Standing Liturgical Commission, over the next triennium, to develop authorized rites for the blessing of same sex unions, to be brought back to the 2012 General Convention. This will necessarily involve our articulation of the theology of blessing which underlies this action, which you have asked for. We will no longer sacrifice the faithful gay and lesbian members of this Church for the sake of a unity we seem unable to define." That is my hope, and that is the work we have to do in preparation for the 2009 General Convention."

I can't wait.

09 August 2008

Here's A "Way Forward" For The Anglican Communion.

From the BBC's Yes, Prime Minister:

Hattip: email from The Naked Emperor. (Who needs to get back to posting!)

08 August 2008

The National Enquirer: America's New Paper Of Record.

The John Edwards affair story which the National Enquirer has been a following for some time - and John Edwards has been denying for some time - turns out to be.... true. (Regular RSR readers knew this might be coming. -ed.)

That John Edwards would parade his ill-with-cancer wife around in front of the cameras for political advantage, all the while while he'd been nailing some blond LA filmmaker, should come as no surprise. We've known for a while that he is a self-centered, vain, hypocritical egotist - in other words a trial lawyer - so I'm not sure adding "unfaithful" and "liar" to that list is really news. (Add "drunk", though, and he'd qualify for Senator from Massachusetts...[rimshot!])

For the interested, Pajamas Media has a roundup on l'Affair Edwards.

But to me the BIG STORY here is how much this points out the hypocrisy and partisanship of the Legacy Media. The story has been bubbling out there for months, and the Enquirer had some pretty good evidence, but "respectable" media outlets (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) have felt it beneath them to cover the story, apparently because of who broke it. The Los Angeles Times actually refused to allow it's bloggers to mention the story. Had far less credible allegations made in the Enquirer about a Republican, we would have heard all sorts of spin about why it was the "duty" of the press to investigate them. And put it on page one, of course, weather true or not.

And then there is the timing and location of Edwards' admission. Isn't it curious that it was made on the same day as the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, and on Nightline - which is up against the Games coverage - so only about 7 people (worldwide) will actually see the Edwards interview tonight.

So, is l'Affair Edwards really important? Not really. It just proves what most everyone already knew (even most Democrats) - John Edwards is a vain, elitist political lightweight who radiates all the trustworthiness and honesty of a used car salesman. It wasn't like he was going anywhere politically. And, it also proves one other thing - the Peter Principle still works.

UPDATE 09AUG08: Edwards now says he's really sorry. "I have been stripped bare..." That's not an excuse Senator; though, it would explain how you got into this mess in the first place.......

Grace Makes The List.

According to this week's Diocese of Louisiana newsletter, Grace Church, Saint Francisville, has been named an “Outstanding Church” by the editor of The Living Church magazine:

"The Living Church selected ten Episcopal churches from around the country, highlighting those with exceptional architectural characteristics either inside or outside the building or both."

Grace is indeed a beautiful, sacred place. My family has had a long relationship with Grace (since it's beginning), and it holds a very, very special place in my heart.

07 August 2008

Going FEMA.

FEMA. They make the Post Office look good:

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A FEMA inspector, angered at a pedestrian who got in his way, allegedly took out a golf club, chased the pedestrian down and bashed him across the arm, breaking the club in the process.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the incident Friday grew out of an argument, which started after the inspector nearly drove over the pedestrian, and ended with witnesses surrounding the car to prevent the inspector from escaping before authorities arrived.

And I loved this:

According to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Koley stopped the car, got out and insisted that "he didn't have to slow down, he was with FEMA."

UPDATE 08AUG08: Checking my stats this AM, it looks like I might have made somebody at FEMA vewwwy, vewwwy mad. Awwww. I hope they don't play golf....

And Even More People To Read.....

I've added two more Louisiana bloggers to the 'Gumbo' blogroll on the right:

Jeff Sadow's Between The Lines, which has been around a while but I need to read more often.

And a new blog called The Bald Cypress, which seems to have some promise. (I liked the Cazayoux/Oto from DS9 comparison particularly)

Check 'em out!

06 August 2008

Speaking Truth To Idiots.

As most of my long-time readers know, I have no use for FEMA. None. Zero. (I've been dealing with them ever since Katrina; my patience ran out many, many months ago.) So let me say this to the snippy, know-it-all, conceited, condescending, arrogant, unskilled, ill-mannered, evasive, my-poop-don't-stink FEMA "expert" I had to suffer through this week (and to any other FEMA folks who fit that description):

Pack your damn carpetbag and get your overpaid arse outta here. Now. You are not part of the solution; you, are part of the problem. Go annoy someone else. And take your formaldehyde-rich trailers with you.

There. I hope that was very transparent and cut out all the fat.

UPDATE: Why they don't recommend escalators in FEMA offices:

Let's Do A New Thing.

Are you, dear readers, pretty much worn out on Lambeth, Bishops, Indabas, and useless Reflections?

Yeah, me too. So let's get away from all that for a bit. I know - let's go to..... heaven:

OK, it's just a little piece of it here on our mortal existence; but still....

Best Headline Of The Day.

Paris Hilton issues tart rebuttal to McCain ad.

See her video here.

My Bishop Went To Lambeth And All I Got Were These Lousy 'Reflections'.

Here is what $4.5 million and two weeks time got us Anglicans: The Lambeth Indaba Reflections. For those who do not want to fall asleep face-first into their keyboards, here it is distilled into song:

05 August 2008

After Lambeth, What's Next?

I think most everyone agrees that the recent Lambeth Conference was, to put it mildly, a waste of time. When what is most needed to hold the Anglican Communion together is some decisive leadership and clear direction, what we got were.... Reflections.

Yep. That's helpful.

So, what now? The Episcopal Left and their fellow travelers are going to press on with their "doing a new thing" agenda, which it describes, at the same time, as an utterly minor point not essential to the Faith, and as the moral equivalent of the abolition movement. (Which is it, guys?) I see the US church now, at their 2009 General Convention, going ahead and removing the bar against practicing homosexuals becoming bishops and on gay marriage. It's easy to "live in tension" when you're the ones causing it.

But Chris Johnson says, not so fast. It may not get that far. He points out that there is a meeting coming up of the Primates, the heads of the various Anglican churches, before the General Convention. And quite a number of those Primates are not at all pleased with the US and (many) Canadian churches pressing on with the gay agenda. I agree with Chris that the Primates may well have had enough, and may draw a line in the sand on this and several other issues that were purposely not dealt with at Lambeth.

Will that happen? Maybe. If it does, it will guarantee a vote to mandate gay marriage and gay bishops at General Convention. Just like teenagers when you tell them no, the 60's crowd running The Episcopal Church (tm) will do it anyway, just to spite you.

Even if it gets to that, I don't really think it matters. Weather we like it or not, the Anglican Communion, and the Episcopal Church (tm) will split. As my friend Ontario Emperor correctly surmises, the split is already taking place; person by person, parish by parish. And there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. Sure, there will be the big, news-making events, such as when a number of Primates in the third-world form a parallel Anglican structure - and take between one-third to one-half of the Anglicans in the world with them. But Anglicans here are growing tired of "living in tension," and this will only end when each person, or parish, or clergy, makes the choice: either "OK, let's go with this "new thing" agenda" and stay, or "No, we must stay true to Scripture," and move on. Many have already done so.

In Dioceses like mine (Louisiana), where conservatives and orthodox are still a (slim) majority and pretty much left alone, that choice has not been forced on us. The pressure locally is not there to take action, so we stay. ("It's not my/our problem," is what I most often hear.) But if the General Convention votes as it likely will, or if we get a left-of-center Bishop anytime soon who pushes the "doing a new thing" agenda locally, I could see a large part of my diocese moving on - especially if there is a traditional Anglican structure in place where they could quickly find a home.

And the fear of such a separate Anglican structure, offering a choice, may well be why the Lefty leadership of The Episcopal Church (tm) today have their sporks all in a knot about "foreign incursions" and "poaching," and why The Episcopal Church (tm) will spare no legal action or expense (theirs or others) in fighting to retain property when disaffected parishes try to leave. If the disaffected in The Episcopal Church (tm) are the infinitesimally small minority the Presiding Bishop keeps saying, why not just let 'em go and be done with it? Think of all those legal fees you could now spend instead on the Millennium Development Goals. But they can't do that, because I think they know the reality - a lot more people have left than they admit, and if given the choice more parishioners, parishes, and even dioceses would jump ship.

So the saga continues pretty much as it did before, except that some bishops got a highly publicized trip to Jolly Olde England. Lambeth 2008 is not the beginning of the end. But it is, alas, pretty darn close to it.

Bishop Charles Jenkins writes from Lambeth.

It's a few days old, but here is a post from Bishop Jenkins' blog about his Lambeth imbada experience.

04 August 2008

The New Episcopal Church Fight Song.

Well, dear readers, The Episcopal Church (tm) has survived the Lambeth Conference without any real discipline for causing the Current Unpleasantness (which is, as our Gracious Lord of Canterbury had intended) and they are taking this as a green light do press on with "doing a new thing." So here, dear readers, is our recommendation for the new The Episcopal Church (tm) fight song:

No, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore. And getting further and further away from it all the time.

The Episcopal Church (tm): Doesn't Play Well With Others.

In his closing remarks at the Lambeth Conference the Archbishop of Canterbury touched on the Current Unpleasantness, and urged restraint among his fellow Anglicans:

In his final speech at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, Williams said Anglicans need "space for study and free discussion without pressure" about whether to accept changes in traditional biblical understanding of same-sex relationships. He also asked churches to refrain from adopting official prayers for blessing same-gender unions.

"If the North American churches don't accept the need for moratoria, then to say the least, we are no further forward," Williams said at a news conference ending the 20-day assembly in Canterbury. "That means as a communion we continue to be in grave peril."

And the level of restraint from the "mainstream" of The Episcopal Church (tm)? Well, here's an example:

Rebecca Anne Binder, the daughter of Dr. Martha Connell and Dr. Jack Binder of Scarsdale, N.Y., was married on Saturday to Amanda Elizabeth Laws, the daughter of Oneida Méndez-Laws and the Rev. Thomas Laws of Montclair, N.J. Ms. Binder’s father, who was authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, officiated at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charlestown, Mass., where Ms. Laws’s father, an Episcopal priest, participated in a blessing ceremony.

And a comment posted in another "reaction":

"Last night, my wife and I were part of an historic event as we served as acolytes at a truly extraordinary event at St. Pauls Pomona. Our rector, Fr. Mark Halahan, married Jimmy, his long-time partner, in a Nuptial Mass that included two other same-sex couples who also received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. (Which is an official rite in the BCP, not just a "blessing". - ed.) The presider was Mo. Karen Macqueen. Sharon (aka: Beeper) and I profusely thank our Lord for the privilege of assisting in this uniquely holy celebration. I am on the vestry, and it is my intention to introduce a resolution at the next meeting that our parish will NOT be part of any moratorium!"

(Note: For those who remember Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop John Bruno's apology to Hindus, "Mother" Karen MacQueen was right there in it:"The apology was made in a ceremony to mark three years of dialogue between Hindus and Christians, initiated among others by the Reverend Karen MacQueen, better known as Mother Karen. She is deeply influenced by Vedanta philosophy, and fiercely opposes the conversions-for-kindness methodology.")

And another "reaction" from the very same Bishop of Los Angeles:

“I can only say that inclusion is a reality in our diocese and will continue to be. For people who think that this is going to lead us to disenfranchise any gay or lesbian person, they are sadly mistaken.”

So much for the "hold our positions a little more lightly" mantra....

Hattip: StandFirm.

UPDATE: Imagine the response if Archbishop Peter Akinola had said,

"I can only say that incursion is a reality in our church and will continue to be. For people who think that this is going to lead us to abandon any conservative or orthodox person, they are sadly mistaken.”

You'd hear the howls of victimhood all the way to New Hampshire....

02 August 2008

Simple Country Blogger Watch, 02AUG08

Well, with the Lambeth Conference winding up, the Simple Country Bishop has declared victory and is off for some haggis:

"Now, we're off to Scotland. I will be preaching and celebrating at the Cathedral in Glasgow on Sunday morning. Scotland, the Dean/Provost is eager to tell me, is NOT England! "

Most Bishops are heading home after Lambeth. But not the Simple Country Bishop. He goes where the Holy Agenda leads:

"If I didn't believe that already, it was confirmed when he said he would not be able to meet us at the train station, because he was doing a same-sex blessing in the Cathedral at the time of our arrival. Dorothy, I guess we're not in Kansas anymore!"

Or, New Hampshire. Remember that place?

And was it all worth it? For the Simple Country Bishop, it was (to continue the Wizard of Oz references) somewhere over the Rainbow:

"I was also asked by several people whether or not my own witness, and that of other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, had been "worth it," and "effective." If I've learned anything over the last five years, it is that I am not responsible for how my words and actions are received and whether or not they make a difference. I can only be responsible for (and judge myself by) the faithfulness with which I make my witness to the love of God working in my own life. I am proud to have stood with the people of Integrity, Claiming the Blessing, the Chicago Consultation, Inclusive Church and Changing Attitudes, as we all have made that witness, loud and clear. It was VERY interesting to me to look at the faces of those at the conference -- many, many of which were somber, sad and tense. In contrast, the faces of lgbt people and our allies, looked joyful, happy, even radiant."

Awww. Can't you can just hear the ruby slippers tapping together and everyone saying "There's no place like full inclusion. There's no place like full inclusion..."

Others, however, were of a different opinion. First up, Cherie Wetzel of Anglicans United:

"One of the most intrusive aspects of this Lambeth Conference has been the presence of gay activists. Integrity, USA is the umbrella organization, but six gay/lesbian organizations have come here, run a daily newspaper called the Lambeth Witness of Gay and Lesbian Christians, rented about 1/3 of the spaces in the Marketplace and provided speakers for many self-select groups for bishops and their wives. Additionally, these folks have sponsored about half of the evening fringe events.

They use all the advertising and promotional techniques that money can buy. They are better funded than any other organization here. Gene Robinson is also here, has been for almost a month now. He is seen daily walking on the campus and interacting with bishops that will talk with him. Of course, the TEC bishops are only too happy to do so and there are a few from a couple of other places that are also always happy to see him, like Michael Ingham from Vancouver, Canada. Remarkably, as the conference continued, there is less and less press about Gene. The gay newspaper keeps him on their front page; none other."

And how are those "joyful, happy, even radiant" friends of the Simple Country Bishop treating everyone else? Let's let the good Ms. Wetzel continue:

"My second trip to the Marketplace was disrupted. The first booth on the corner by the door is the Integrity booth. They are handing out rainbow ribbons and increasingly these are showing up on TEC bishops, some wives and the gay press. When you walk into the marketplace, a watcher at that booth, akin to a Carnival barker, starts shouting about your rainbow ribbon. If you don’t have one, you are admonished to come and get one. If you are leaving the marketplace and still don’t have a rainbow ribbon, you are again told to get one. Dangerous? No. It is simply annoying."

"At lunch break for the bishops on Thursday, there was a gay demonstration on the lawns outside the big blue tent and their closest lunch cafeteria. Gene was there at the beginning, but when they started kissing and acting out, he left. So did the bishops, hurrying their wives away."

If I had to be subjected to that, I'd be "somber, sad and tense" as well. (Funny, the Simple Country Bishop didn't mention that kissing and acting out in public in his post. I wonder why?)

And here's what the Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East had to say:

"I find that many of our North American friends blame us and criticise us for bringing in the issues of sexuality and homosexuality but in fact they are the ones who are bringing these issues in. Here at Lambeth, you come across many advertisements for events organised by gay and Lesbian activists which are sponsored by the North American Church. If you visit the marketplace at the conference, you will notice that almost half the events promoted on the noticeboard promote homosexuality and are sponsored by the North Americans. And in the end, we, the people who remain loyal to the original teaching of the Anglican Communion, which we received from the Apostles, are blamed. They say that we talk a lot about sexuality and that we need to talk more about poverty, about AIDs, and injustice. They are the ones who are bringing sexuality into this conference. It’s not us. We want to talk about the heart of the issues which divide us, not only sexuality. That is just a symptom of a deeper problem."

And that deeper problem, has not gone away. No matter how much spin and money the Diocese of New Hampshire, The Episcopal Church (tm), or their mouthpieces like Integrity may have expended on this Conference.

For those who still have a liver left, here are the stats for the FINAL Simple Country Bishop drinking game:

I: 31
We: 25
Me: 10
Mine: 0

Total count: 66

God: 4
Lord: 0
Jesus: 0
Christ: 4

Total count: 8

01 August 2008

Do Not Question THE ONE.

I've so far not been too impressed with John McCain's near clueless campaign against The Messiah, but someone at the McCain camp finally grew a brain:

And as you can well imagine, The Messiah's disciples are screaming "heresy!".

Is This Legal??

Separation of Church and State? What separation of Church and State?

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church VOTE FOR OBAMA DRIVE:

"Benefit Yard Sale and Raffle for St Augustine's Episcopal Church and voter registration. Hours are from 6am to 1pm. Come out and support the church and Obama!

UPDATE: The church in question appears to be St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Kinston, North Carolina. It is listed in the roster of churches for the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina.

UPDATE 03AUG2008: Because The Messiah's websites have a long history "disappearing" people, events, quotes, and anything else that may cast doubt that he is The One (Jeremiah Wright? Who is Jeremiah Wright??), here is a screenshot advertising the event at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church:

Haven't some churches lost their IRS exempt status for less?