Thursday, June 30, 2005

I'm thinking some changes are in order

OK, I need advice. I am seriously considering changing the name of my blog to actually reflect me instead of where I live. Originally, this blog was going to be about politics here on the Northshore of Lake Pontchatrain in Louisiana. Obviously, that has changed. For one, there just isn't as much going on here politically as there was before I started to blog (I started to blog because I was frustrated with an issue that soon got resolved). I have also started blogging about St. Tammany Parish for, which publishes the Times-Picayune online, so that has become my local politics blog.

So, this is the advice I need. Should I change the URL address as well as the title or leave the URL alone and only change the title? If I can change the name only, I think that that would be the easiest. What do you think? Thanks.

Our next vacation destination: The Lost Liberty Hotel

Please, oh please, I hope this comes to fruition. We're willing to make reservation now.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Obviously, I'm not the only one who likes this idea.

His statement comes as the town of Weare, N.H., has reportedly been inundated with calls in support of the proposal since WND first publicized the story.
"There are so many people who have come out of the woodwork to support me," Clements said.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Can you say IRONY!

All I can do is sit and shake my head as I read this. Is it impolite to laugh? Ok, I'll just smirk a little.

Five people were shot, one fatally, after the conclusion of "Super Safe Sunday" -- an event at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds in Shreveport billed as a place for people to gather and promote nonviolence. (emphasis added)

It doesn't snow in Alaska!

Before I explain the above statement, I have to preface the story with this: With my hand on the Good Book (no, Chris, not the Karma Sutra, the other Good Book) and with God as my witness, this is an absolutely true story. There have been no exaggerations or embellishments. And for those of us that know my cousin M, there is no doubt of the validity of this story.

It was dinner time at my aunt and uncle's house. My cousin A and her boyfriend Hunter (I tell you his real name only because it was funny that my grandmother could never remember it and kept calling him Fisher) were discussing where A should go to graduate school. They were batting around many different locations and were discussing the pros and cons of each.

Finally, A tells her family about a school that is in Alaska. Hunter says, "Well, if we move to Alaska, I definitely want to run the Iditarod." A's 15-year-old sister M cocks her head to the side perplexed and asks, "What's the iditarod?"

Hunter explains that it is a race run through the snow of Alaska using only a sled pulled by dogs. M gets this skeptical look on her face, as if to say you can't fool me, and states emphatically, "It doesn't snow in Alaska."

All conversation stops as everyone turns to look at M for the obviously needed explanation. In all earnestness, M says, as if everyone at the table is an idiot, "Well, duh, look at a map. Alaska is right next to Hawaii!"

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Money, money, money, monnnnney

Now we know what drives the liberals on the Supreme Court: more tax revenue. Screw you if you don't generate enough tax dollars. You mean nothing. Less than nothing. You are no better than the piece of debris standing in the way of their pristine, tax-generating paradise. Well, at least we have been shown their true colors. I laugh now when being told that liberals are for the "little guys." Hah!

Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including – but by no means limited to – new jobs and increased tax revenue." (emphasis added)

Consider this exchange between Antonin Scalia, Sandra Day O'Connor and Wesley W. Horton, Scalia and O'Connor are trying to understand New London's position regarding the justification of taking the land from the homeowners.

Scalia asked the lead attorney for New London, Wesley W. Horton, whether it would be "OK to take property from people who are paying less taxes and give it to people who are paying more taxes."
"That would be a public use, wouldn't it?" he said.
Before Horton could answer, O'Conner broke in.
O'CONNOR: For example, Motel 6 and the city thinks, well, if we had a Ritz-Carlton, we would have higher taxes. Now, is that okay?
HORTON: Yes, Your Honor. That would be okay. ...

SCALIA: Let me qualify it. You can take from A to give to B if B pays more taxes?
HORTON: If it's a significant amount. Obviously, there is a cost –
SCALIA: I'll accept that. You can take from A and give to B if B pays significantly more taxes.
HORTON: With that –
JUSTICE SCALIA: You accept that as a proposition?
HORTON: I do, Your Honor.

Remember that, by ruling in favor of New London, they (Souter, Gingsberg, Breyer, Kennedy and Stevens) are agreeing with Horton's reverse Robin Hood position: steal from the poor to give to the rich, that is if it means more money for the government.

Very interesting and telling. The most frustrating thing about this is that we, as a public, have no way of "punishing" these justices. Before you start screaming that I am advocating any type of violence, what I mean is that unlike our Representatives, Senators, Governors, President, etc., we cannot vote them out. They are there for life. Now do you understand why there has been such an outcry for Justices who want to preserve our Constitution? I guess all we can do now is hope and pray that our property is never enticing to some slick mini-mall developer.

The above exerpts are from this article posted at WorldNetDaily

Friday, June 24, 2005

Sorry for the light blogging

I've been under the weather lately. Not easy to blog when you can hardly keep your eyes open. Gotta hate summer colds. Also in the process of answering an email from my brother which is requiring me to do so research regarding the decline of military recruitment and the WaPo poll showing lack of support for the war in Iraq. It's taking me much longer than normal due to my cold. Anyway, enough rambling for now. Will be back to "normal" (stop laughing Amy) soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Do you hear that?!?!?

That knocking, scratching, bumping sound. And it seems to be getting louder and louder! It is such an ominous sound. How can you not hear it?!? So, what is it?

Oh, yes. After reading about the Supreme Court decision today that basically says the government has the right to seize private property, I can now recognize the sound. It is our brave, wise forefathers SPINNING IN THEIR GRAVES!

Want to know more about this abomination, head over to Captain's Quarters or Wizbang

A must-read for all liberals

Thanks to John Hawkins over at Right Wing News for trying to comfort our liberal loved-ones.

Here goes, here's the truth about conservatives:
-- We don't want to put you in camps.

-- We're also overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of a police state.
-- We detest Fascism & Nazism, just as we detest Communism.
-- We also don't believe there's any danger of America becoming a Fascist country.
-- We don't believe Bush is "another Hitler" or that there is any chance America will become "another Nazi Germany".
-- We're overwhelmingly against a draft.
-- We don't believe it's unpatriotic to disagree with the President.
-- As a matter of fact, many of us disagree with the President, particularly when it comes to illegal immigration and deficit spending.
-- Not only do we believe in following the Constitution, we believe we're much more serious about doing so than our political opponents.
-- We believe conservative economic policies are more beneficial to poor and middle-class Americans than liberal policies.
-- We're overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of creating an American empire.
-- We don't believe the Bush administration let 9/11 happen on purpose or made it happen on purpose.
-- We don't believe Iraq was a war for oil.
-- We don't think the war in Afghanistan was about oil or a pipeline.
-- We don't believe Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction.
-- We don't dislike people because of their skin color.
-- We don't believe the vote was rigged in 2000 or 2004.
-- We would rather lose an election than cheat to win.
-- We're totally opposed to theocracy and dominionism.

I sure hope that this clears things up. There are too many legitimate things that we disagree about. We shouldn't be quibbling about things that just aren't true.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What a great lesson

I was directed to this article by Josh over at Freedom Of.... It's titled "I Still Love Homosexuals."

Unsure how I, a former homosexual, received an invitation to speak two consecutive weeks to a gay/lesbian organization at a major university, I readily accepted. I arrived well ahead of time to mingle with the students, shake hands, and get to know them.

Though I felt like a ham at a bar mitzvah, I shared with the twenty-five to thirty homosexuals how, from an early age, I felt "different"; how, upon reaching puberty, I was attracted to other men; and how, after eleven years of homosexual activity, I told God, "It's over! Homosexuality is an illusion, a dead end! Homosexuality promises a lot, but delivers little!" I told them homosexuality was a sin, immoral, and that God punishes sin.

It is a definite must read.

It proves the wisdom of my step-father's advice:

Don't distance yourself from those that don't know Christ. Don't judge them either. Both will never lead them to know Christ. Be an example of Christ's love to everyone.

Monday, June 20, 2005

My thoughts about polls

I loathe polls. Even those that seem to support my thoughts and opinions. Why? Because anyone can construct poll questions to get just about any result they want.

But what really burns me up is seeing internet poll results as support for an argument. C'mon. AN INTERNET POLL!!!!! It has made me realize how little so many people know about polling and statistics. Do you realize that I could probably concoct a polling questionnaire so as to get a large majority to agree that the sky is green. BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE THE SKY GREEN.

Polls mean nothing. Actually, less than nothing. Even under the best of circumstances, they can only provide a quick, somewhat blurry, picture of the current opinions of people. Ask the same questions tomorrow (heck, why wait - ask again as soon as you're are done the first time) and the answers will most likely be different. And polls never, never prove fact.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

If you need further proof

Tonight, I was surfing Blog Explosion again and ran across this post about on Matching Tracksuits regarding a recent trip to Auschewitz-Birkenau.

Kinga and I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau yesterday. It’s only now that I can appreciate the scale of the Holocaust. Reading Hitler’s Willing Executioners, seeing Schindler’s List, thumbing through albums — it’s not the same. Walking under the sign, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” standing in a gas chamber, walking along the barbed wire, standing by the railroad tracks where selection was made — only then did the number of Holocaust victims (up to ten million) begin to take on any personal, tangible significance for me.

While reading it, a single thought kept coming to my mind: "Dick Durbin thinks our soldiers are equivalent to these monsters?" He should be beyond ashamed of himself. There are NO excuse for his comments.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Gotta love Blogexplosion

Blogexplosion has given me the ability to see such lunacy. At what other time would I ever have reason or desire to read something so incredibly stupid and ignorant as this:

In a live, unscientific Internet poll, MSNBC readers are overwhelmingly saying yes.With more than 6,000 votes recorded, the survey shows a lopsided 94 percent believe Bush misled the American people, with only 6 percent saying no.Pathetic! Give it up, George. Bring the troops home. Vietnam? NEVER AGAIN!!This whole war was a fraud from the beginning and I personally believe that the government destroyed the World Trade Center and blamed the act on Islamic terrorist. There hasn’t been one terror alert since the election. Hitler burned the Reichstag to create an enemy the people could hate—the communist—to justify seizing power in Germany and the United States government has done the same thing—The Patriot Act. We learned a great deal from the Nazis. It's come in handy, hasn’t it George?

In the words of the great Bugs Bunny, what a maroon! I would have left a comment, but I didn't want to lend any credibility to his position. I just thought that I would post it here so that you could all have a good Saturday laugh.


I am constantly amazed by the absolute evil that exists in this world. And this is only more evidence of it.

Marcus Wesson, the domineering patriarch of a large clan he bred through incest, was convicted Friday of murdering nine of his children, whose bodies were found in a bloody pile last year at the end of a police standoff.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Why? Why? Why?

Ever since hearing about Traitor Dick's comments comparing Gitmo to the Gulag, Nazi concentration camps and Pol Pot's labor camps, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out his ultimate goal. Is his hatred of George Bush such that he would make such outrageously false statments? Statements that only serve to incite further ammunition to our enemies? Does he not realize that our enemies need no further provocation to try to bring us to our knees and destroy, not just our brave soldiers, but everything that Mr. Durbin claims to hold dear?

Durbin wants to embarrass the President. To what end? To de-legitimize his presidency. Ok, then what? Is this the way to regain power? And if this strategy is successful, what would they be gaining power of? A weak-willed, undermined, shell of a super-power country that the rest of the world would never take seriously again. We will be the whipping boy of every terrorist cell group. Our defeat will be a source of tremendous pride for them. What a feather in the cap of Mr. Durbin that will be.

Mr. Durbin is not alone in his hatred for our President. But this hate is very much misplaced. If only they would display one-tenth of that hatred towards the true villians in this world, imagine how much safer our world would be.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Curl up and dye

When I was in college, my roomates and I didn't live in the best part of town (of course, this is relative. The town we lived in was actually very safe). One night while two of my roomates (there were 4 of us) were studying at home, they had a terrifying "visitor." Both were studying in their shared bedroom and heard a noise coming from the kitchen. Cinderella (don't want to embarrass anyone) goes to investigate and instantly comes running back into the bedroom to tell Blondie that there is a man in the kitchen. After hearing the back door slam closed, they decide to "arm" themselves and see if he had indeed left. As they are heading out of the bedroom, a group of us (other roomate and friends) were coming in the front door. They scream. We scream. And then they start to tell us what has happened. It is then that we notice their weapons of choice: a hair dryer and a curling iron. At which point, roommate Mia says, "What were you going to do, style him to death?"

Anyway, I am telling this tale because I was reminded of it by this story out of Shreveport, La.: Armed robber gets extreme makeover

Mitchell tripped the robber as he tried to leave and cried aloud "get that sucker" as the group of about 20, nearly all women, some wielding curling irons, bludgeoned him until police arrived. (obviously emphasis added)

Read the article, it is very funny. Watch out for Louisiana girls with curling irons.

More money for teachers

Frustrated about Governor Blanco's insitence that she needed to raise taxes to fund teacher pay raises, I decided to look into how the 65% plan as put forth by First Class Education requiring that 65% of a state's educational monies be spent in the classroom. I wanted to know how this would benefit Louisiana. I posted about the plan here on April 10.

I also decided to contact my local State Representative, A.G. Crowe, with this information. I wrote:

I am a constituent living in the Slidell area. Like you, I am concerned about Gov. Blanco's proposal to fund teacher pay raises by increasing the "sin tax" on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. I feel that not enough has been done to streamline our budget before raising taxes.

I wanted to pass along an
article by George Will explaining the "65 Percent Solution." It "is to require that 65 percent of every school district's education operational budget be spent on classroom instruction. On, that is, teachers and pupils, not bureaucracy." I believe that in New Orleans, there are 12,000 "bureaucrats" in a system of 65,000 students.

According to, Louisiana currently spends 61.9% of its education budget on the classroom. By increasing that only 3.9%, we would have an additional 187 million dollars for teachers. I realize that this would be difficult and would not fund the pay raises entirely, but it is a good start.

It seems kind of foolhardy to fund a teacher's pay raise by increasing taxes on cigarettes while at the same time, the state funds programs to help people stop smoking.

He responded:

Dear Dana,
Thank you for sharing your concerns about taxes and education. I agree with you 100%. We have a spending problem, not a taxing problem. If we had a slight increase of funding in to the classroom, we could fund the raises. I will pass your thoughts along to my collegues.

That was the last I heard about it. And as Blanco's cigarette tax plan continued to be bandied about, I thought for sure that I had been treated with a pat on the head and promptly forgotten.

Imagine my surprise this morning, while reading about Blanco's decision to not pursue her ill-thought out tax, to find out about HCR 77. What is HCR 77?

Summary: BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education): Requests BESE to adopt a MFP formula for the 2006-2007 school year requiring that at least 70% of local school system general fund monies be spent at the school building level for instructional services and at least 65% of the general fund monies to be spent at the classroom level for the instruction of students by teachers and instructional staff members and requires certain reports.

It was passed in the Senate by a vote of 36-0 on June 7. And according to an article posted on the First Class Education website,
The Louisiana House also recently passed the provision without objection, and the measure does not require action by the Governor for final enactment

HCR 77 was first read by title only on May 3, so I have no delusions that my email had anything to do with the legislation, but it is satisfying none the less.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

On a personal note

Congratulations, Amanda!

Vomiting in now a misdemeanor?

Teen Charged With Vomiting On Teacher

Boy, I had no idea that being vomited on was considered assault. I have been assaulted many times then, both by my kids and by strangers. And the strangers were at work, too (no, I'm not a nurse). Once was as a tour guide at Oak Alley Plantation and once was as VIP hostess for Walt Disney World.

I guess that I am also lucky that I am not in jail now for all the times that I got sick on someone. (Within my family, my brother and I were known as the throw-up kids - a moniker that has now been gratefully been passed on my two nephews).

I always felt sorry for those that were sick. I know for a fact that no one wants to vomit in public, let alone ON someone.

But this is just further proof that we, as a society, are getting way too sensitive in regards to ourselves and too insensitive to the needs of others. This child needed sympathy, not scorn. How dare this teacher, whose care we place our children, not understand that. Anyone who has spent any amount of time knows that vomit and children go hand and hand. If he can't understand that, then he needs to find another profession.

NOPD hires Nation of Islam emissary to teach sensitivity course

5:05pm Update: NOPD Chief Eddie Compass has decided that hiring Dennis Muhammed is too controversial. He is going to look elsewhere for the very much needed police officer sensitivity training .

The New Orleans Police Department has discovered that it has a problem - its public image. And Chief Eddie Compass has the solution (so he thinks). He has hired Dennis Muhammed, the security chief to the Nation of Islam, to teach sensitivity to his officers.

Compass says, "The people in the community who are anti-police, who really need to hear our message, who really need to build the bridges with, members of the Nation of Islam have some type of relationship with these people."

I wonder if Compass has done any investigation into the Nation of Islam. I assume that he has not given the very contraversial goals and beliefs of this group. Here is a sampling from their official website:

1. We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons. We want freedom for all black men and women now under death sentence in innumerable prisons in the North as well as the South

2. We want the government of the United States to exempt our people from ALL taxation as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land.

3. We want our people in America whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slaves, to be allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own--either on this continent or elsewhere. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to provide such land and that the area must be fertile and minerally rich. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to maintain and supply our needs in this separate territory for the next 20 to 25 years--until we are able to produce and supply our own needs.

4. We want equal education--but separate schools up to 16 for boys and 18 for girls on the condition that the girls be sent to women's colleges and universities. We want all black children educated, taught and trained by their own teachers

5. WE BELIEVE this is the time in history for the separation of the so-called Negroes and the so-called white Americans. We believe the black man should be freed in name as well as in fact. By this we mean that he should be freed from the names imposed upon him by his former slave masters. Names which identified him as being the slave master's slave. We believe that if we are free indeed, we should go in our own people's names--the black people of the Earth

6. WE BELIEVE that the offer of integration is hypocritical and is made by those who are trying to deceive the black peoples into believing that their 400-year-old open enemies of freedom, justice and equality are, all of a sudden, their "friends." Furthermore, we believe that such deception is intended to prevent black people from realizing that the time in history has arrived for the separation from the whites of this nation.

Evidence of the fact that the Nation of Islam is a black supremacy group is not hard to find.

(1) Just by reading the principles of NOI, you can see that they blame every negative event in black history on the white race.
(2) According to Nation of Islam founder, W.D. Fard, the white race was created by "Yakub," an evil scientist.
(3) Also, one need look no further than the statements of Louis Farrakhan, its leader. When responding to being called a "Black Hitler," Farrakhan stated, "Hitler was a very great man." In a speech to gang leaders, he said, " ...America will be the Promised Land for the Black, the Brown and the Red. And the Whites that survive will survive under new terms created by the strength of the peacemakers."

Is this the type of values that we want to instill in our police officers? Promote sensitivity to one race. This is no more correct than it would be for a town with a 68% white population to hire someone from the Ku Klux Klan to teach the course. Just like the Nation of Islam, some of the Ku Klux Klan's self-purported goals seem noble and agreeable on the surface. However, there is no doubt that the underlying objective is one of hate. Hate for other races. Hate for other beliefs. Hate for other religions.

Therefore, hiring someone from the Nation of Islam to teach a sensitivity class is the height of irony. In this case, though, it is one of dangerous irony. Anyone living in New Orleans can testify to the increasing racial tension between black and white. The last thing that the NOPD needs is anything that will fan those flames. Hiring the Nation of Islam will do just that.

Some more attention for the La. ACLU

It seems that the outrageous quote from the local ACLU is finally getting some national attention. The CWA (Concerned Women for America) website has an article written by Mario Diaz about it.

Related post: ACLU wants to remove people who pray from society

Monday, June 13, 2005

But what about the hair?

Oh, all of those sleepless nights when only I could feed our babies. And to think, I could have rolled over and said, "Your turn tonight, hon."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Calling all liberal Democrats

Bulldogpundit over at Ankle Biting Pundits has issued a challenge to all of our liberal friends (or foes, depending on how you see yourself). So what is the challenge?

We'd like any liberal to explain to us what is exactly is the Democrats "message" right now. Here's the only caveat - you can't say anything about President Bush or the Congressional Republicans, because saying "No" is not a "message". For example, in 1994 the GOP had the "Contract With America" which stated actual things they were going to do when they got into office, and offered alternative policies and ideas to what the Democrats were doing. So go ahead guys, have at it. What is the Democrats "message"?

I, for one, would honestly like to know what the Democrats' message is. I respect the two party system. If each side offers valid arguments, it can only make our country stronger. So, I encourage anyone who aligns themselves with the Democrats or considers themselves a liberal to please take this challenge.

But remember the rule, no bad-mouthing the President or the Congressional Republicans. If you have to use personal attacks, you need to re-evaluate your arguments. Those that use insults, come across as not having any valid arguments and rebuttals.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Late night thoughts

Have you seen the new GM commercials? You know the ones saying that they are giving everyone the employee discount? Well, it got me thinking. Do you think that when they told the 25,000 employees that they were being laid off they said,

“Don’t worry, you’ll still get your employee discount?”

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What will happen to Dean?

As more and more top Democrats begin to distance themselves from and publicly disagree with Howard Dean, I began to wonder what will happen to him? As I see it, there are two possible scenarios:

(1) We will start to see less and less of Dean. He will give in to the pressure to curtail his rhetoric by limiting his public appearances .

(2) He will continue down his current path, actually becoming more and more wild in his statements about the Republican Party. He will become fueled by his opposition within the Democratic Party. Soon, the party will remove him from his chairman’s seat and use that action as a jumping off point for the campaign to embrace the centrists and independents. They (Democrats ) will demonize Dean as a left extremist who tried to “hijack” the party. Democrats will hold their centrists up as heroes who saved the party, as well as America, from extremists everywhere. Thus, Howard Dean's next role will be as Democratic scapegoat.

Wizbang is posting about Dean, too.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I wonder how you would fix 'em?

I was watching the new show "Beauty and the Geek" (an interesting show, by the way) during which the contestants were asked a question about lug nuts (the bolts that hold on the wheel of a car). That reminded me of a funny story about my cousin "M."

During college, I lived with my aunt and uncle and 3 cousins. One weekend, my uncle hooked up his boat to the car and we all took off for a camping trip.

So, there we were, riding down the interstate, laughing, cutting up and just having a good time, when we start to notice that our fellow drivers are looking at us as they pass. My aunt is convinced that everyone is looking at this car full of kids acting crazy, but we soon realized that that is far from the truth. Finally, a concerned driver is able to get across the message that a tire on the boat trailer is about to fall off!

After immediately pulling over to check, my uncle finds out that he forgot to tighten the lug nuts after changing the tire on the boat trailer. He fixes the problem and we continue on our way.

Once we arrive at the campgrounds, our tire adventure is just about forgotten. That is until, we run into some friends of my aunt and uncle's and 8-year-old "M" shouts:

We would have been here sooner, but my dad needed to fix his love nuts!

Gives a whole new meaning to

"I'll take a breast and a leg"

Americans with nail clippers - no way!

But Canadians with bloody chainsaw - Welcome to America.

On April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres. Then they let him into the United States.

I don't know who is more stupid - the guy still carrying the bloody murder weapon across the country border or the customs agents who let him into the country.

Custom officials claim that they did everything they could to check for warrants and didnt' find any reason to detain Despres. However, Despres was due in court on April 25, the very day he was allowed to enter Maine.

On the same day Despres crossed the border, he was due in a Canadian court to be sentenced on charges he assaulted and threatened to kill Fulton's son-in-law, Frederick Mowat, last August.

Maybe I'm showing my ignorance of the Canadian judicial system, but wouldn't Despres have to have been arrested on charges of threatening to kill someone before he could be scheduled to appear in court to be sentenced on those charges?

Luckily for us, he was captured in Massachusetts before he could repeat his crimes here.

Amazon Smoke Forest?

Oh, the irony.

Far from cleaning up the atmosphere, the Amazon is now a major source for pollution. Rampant burning and deforestation, mostly at the hands of illegal loggers and of ranchers, release hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the skies each year.
Brazil now ranks as one of the world's leading producers of greenhouse gases, thanks in large part to the Amazon, the source for up to two-thirds of the country's emissions.

Well, you may ask, what is being done to stop this destruction and burning? What is being done to stop these illegal loggers and ranchers?

Not much.

Such encroachment on virgin land is theoretically illegal or subject to tough regulation, but the government here lacks the resources — some say the will — to enforce environmental protection laws.

Thank goodness for the Kyoto Agreement and the forward thinking countries that signed it. That will surely save us, right? Uh, uh, uh. Not so fast.

However, under the international environmental treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol, Brazil and other poor countries are not required to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Nor does the accord contain financial incentives to encourage nations such as Brazil and Indonesia to rein in the destruction of their tropical forests.

Ok, so if we stop this destruction, then everything will be perfect. Well, not quite.

Even without the massive burning, the popular conception of the Amazon as a giant oxygen factory for the rest of the planet is misguided, scientists say. Left unmolested, the forest does generate enormous amounts of oxygen through photosynthesis, but it consumes most of it itself in the decomposition of organic matter.

Ironic, ain't it.

Louisiana Legislature steps into fight

A House committee decided Tuesday that the Legislature should inject itself into the fight between the ACLU and the Tangipahoa Parish School Board over prayer at school board meetings. The House Education Committee unanimously backed House Concurrent Resolution 39 by Rep. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, to "express the support of the Legislature of Louisiana for the practice of prayer at the beginning of school board meetings." The resolution says prayer is protected and follows the principles on which the United States was founded. It says the Legislature disapproves of a federal judge's decision that prayers are unconstitutional at school board meetings. The measure moves next to the full House for debate.

I'm glad.

Changing the image of Louisiana politics

We are always hearing from local politicians that they want to change the image of Louisiana politics from one where corruption abounds to one of ethical government. Psst, here's a secret for you - this is not the way to do it.

With some members making early exits, a House committee Tuesday killed a proposal that would have prohibited lawmakers from accepting free tickets to Saints games, golf outings, and other sporting and cultural events. And they did it without members having to go on record as voting against a bill supported by good-government factions.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I have the url for my new blog

My new blog through is up and running. As promised, here is the new url for North Shore Voice.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I feel so out of it

Our vacation was very relaxing, especially since I didn't bring my computer with me. However, I feel so out of the loop. I have a feeling that it is going to take me a few days to get back into the blogging groove.

I do have some news, though. I have been asked to write a blog at NOLA. com. It is called North Shore Voice and will be exclusively about St. Tammany Parish. It should be up and running some time today. I'll provide the link when I have it.

Warning: What follows is a brief telling about my vacation.

North Carolina was wonderful. Most of our days were spent hiking. My kids impressed me with their abilities and eagerness to hike long distances and to go bouldering. They loved every minute of it and so did I. My 2 year old would announce that she is a "mountain girl" as she jumped from rock to rock. We had to constantly remind my 5 year old to not run ahead. He was very eager to see what we over the rise or around the bend.

We were lucky to be able to bring my dad and stepmom with us. Even though, my husband and I have spent a lot of time in N.C. (Jim went to Western Carolina University), no one from my family had been. My parents had a great time, too. Although I have to say, I think that we all ate waaaaaay too much. It always seems that way on vacation. At least we did things (like hike 5 miles on mountain paths) to build up appetites.

We also got to see a lot of the wildlife. Most of it was up close, too. We saw a deer drinking from a stream not 50 feet from us, a black bear about 150 feet from us, an elk, a goundhog, a snake and a salamander eating a grub. It was really see the kids reaction to these animals.

My husband and I are now looking to buy some vacation property there. Of course, we would love to actually move there, but considering we don't know what Jim would do there, I guess that we will have to be happy just vacationing there for now.

Once I come down from my vacation high (which won't be long considering all of the unpacking and laundry that I have to do), I will get back to normal blogging.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I'm baaaaack!

I just finished checking my emails and now I have to go unpack. Literally just walked in the door. Will write more later. Just wanted to you to know that I have reluctently returned from the cool, breezy mountains to hot, humid Louisiana.