21 08 2016

My home state was hit once again recently with major flooding. I say once again because we haven’t yet recovered from a recent flooding event that hit the northeastern part of the state a couple months ago and did a large amount of damage. The sad fact is flooding isn’t anything new here in my state.

Sad, too, is the fact that our recent flood event in the southern part of Louisiana, in and around the Baton Rouge area, has been overshadowed in the national news with the Rio Olympics and other major news stories, one of which is the Presidential race that’s now in full swing.

Lots of our local people are concerned with the lack of national attention from not only our National Media, but from our President, Barack Obama, who is enjoying himself while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. In fact only one of the Presidential Candidates in this years election has visited the state, Donald Trump.

Back when Hurricane Katrina hit the state President Bush overflew Louisiana and the Gulf Coast but did not go directly there. He said doing so immediately would be a distraction and he had little interest in just having a photo-op. The democrats and the national media LOUDLY criticized him for not coming, saying it showed a lack of concern by him.

What Bush DID do, however, was everything he was legally allowed to do, even to the point of begging the then Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco to allow both more federal aid and control. She refused, at least to the point of it no longer being refusable, so the story goes.

During the aftermath of Katrina optics were a major point of fault placed against Bush, even though his focus was on New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast, almost all of which suffered widespread destruction. The press however focused overwhelmingly negatively toward Bush.

Now the people are asking where President Obama is, and the answer we hear is “Oh, he would only be a distraction. He shouldn’t go.” The national media is mostly silent. Still, optics….

George Bush looking out Air Force One’s window at the flooded city below? “Look at that uncaring Bush!”

A smiling Obama playin golf? “Oh, don’t worry. He’s greatly concerned.”

But people want to know their lives are important to their elected officials, especially the one at the top. His seeing for himself would help the people understand he actually knows their plight.


Years ago there was flooding in Monroe, La.  and Ronald Reagan flew in and toured the area. It did the people there a world of good, just lifting the spirits of the areas residents as they saw he knew and really understood the depth of their misfortune and suffering. He cared enough to come. They saw it for themselves.

Donald Trump came and brought with him both money and relief supplies. He toured the area, talked with the people, and saw it for himself. The people saw him and knew that, despite much of the national media pretty much ignoring all the suffering the flood had caused, he had heard and come to see and understand for himself what they had suffered.

Now I hear Obama has plans to come. That’s good, for he should. But is he coming just because he’s gotten some negative press from Trumps visit while he played golf?  Or, does he really care now? Will we ever know? Optics? Or concern?

By the way, anybody seen that other lady running for President? Hillary Clinton, where’s she at? I haven’t seen her around here, have you?


Big Al



“…they’ll know who I am.”

21 05 2015

Several Days ago several friends and I were sitting around discussing a variety of subjects, the meaning of life and what we had for lunch, you know, just run of the mill stuff, when the conversation got around to Pamela Geller and what had happened out in Texas with the attack on the cartoon contest.
Everyone was pretty much in agreement that Geller shouldn’t be taking any heat for sponsoring the contest, that our right to free speech was important, and if it took measures like that to reaffirm the importance of those rights, so be it.
As the discussion on that subject was ongoing a news report was on the television playing in the background. The picture on screen was of a man that had been arrested who was walking out of a jail building. He was shielding his face from the camera.
As he walked away one of the guys in my group stated towards the man on the television, “Look dude, you can’t hide. We know your name.” Another of the group asked why he would shield himself like that anyway, saying it was in the papers after all.
Someone mentioned that it was probably because if we didn’t know his face he could go about his business in the community and not have to put up with the questions and stares that would surely follow him. He could remain somewhat anonamous.
Something about that brief segment reminded me of the conversation we had just been discussing about the prohibition of images of Muhammad. It stuck me that you can talk about the things Muhammad had done, the marrying of a 9 year old, etc. etc., but those are just so many words. Pictures they say are worth 1000 words. Showing him in the act speaks volumes.
Just as a criminal can keep an amount of anonymity by hiding his face, allowing himself the ability to pass among the masses unrecognized– disassociated his misdoing from his public persona, so too can Muhammad when it comes to his actual life and the faithful’s view of him, so I mentioned to the group that not allowing the imaging of Muhammad was a bit like that criminal. It kept him somewhat anonamous as to his past actions. Everyone understood the concept.
This disallowance of the imaging of Muhammad wasn’t an absolute until relatively recently, Prohibited or not there are many depictions of him throughout history within the Islamic tradition. Painting, murals, tapestries, even illustrations in old Qurans. In 1998 or 99 an Imam drew a picture of Muhammad by a well at an Oasis on a card he gave me for helping organize an end of Ramadan feast. Perhaps he hadn’t got the memo.
I had suspected it had little to do with idolatry, as there are plenty of things Muslins could make Idols out of within their religious sphere but don’t. Prayer rugs, facing east to pray, that building at Mecca they like to march around could all be viewed that way I’d think. However when the fundamentalist within the Islamic movement began to surge to the fore, actions were taken against many things they considered “Idols”. Statuary, Churches, symbols of other religions were deemed worthy of destruction and the ban on images of Muhammad was reinforced.
Anyway, I never claimed to be any authority on the subject, other than the one thing reminded me of another. That just as the criminal wants to be shielded, Muhammad the man is shielded by prohibiting depictions of him as anything other than the persona of Holy Prophet.
I made the mistake of making a tweet to that effect on twitter in response to one by Ms. Geller and I’ve been trolled by someone that can’t seem to fathom the point at all. Oh well.
All this reminds me of something else. I was asked by a young lady the other day if there was anything she could do to keep a photo of her from appearing on a website showing recent arrests. “Why?” I asked, explaining that her name was already in the paper. Her reply: “Cause if people see me they will know who I am.”


Read the rest of this entry »

Eating Crawfish

8 03 2015

I was just reading that eating crawfish was rather complicated and one would need to be shown to understand. No they don’t. Eating cawfish isn’t that complicated.
Take the crawfish holding the head in one hand and the tail in the other. ‘Break’ the tail loose by moving it side to side and pull it free. Set the head aside. Separately the first band (you’ll know it when you see it) and discard. Pinch the tail by pressing with your thumb on the underside at the end of the tail. This will force the flesh loose from the exoskeleton (that be the hard shell). The yellow gooie looking stuff in the front that comes out of the ‘body’ is fat. Don’t worry, its really good and you eat it too. Pop it into your mouth either directly or by pulling it free. Chew. Swallow.
Now pick up the head. Place the ‘hollow’ left from where you removed the tail to your lips and suck in the spicy juice and fat as you squeeze the sides together. If there is one or more extra large claws present they my be separated and eaten also… there IS somewhat of an art to that. It will typically have some sweet flesh that can be worth the effort when your skilled at getting it.
Sounds complicated. It isn’t.
Eat up!


What was that John?

25 10 2013

Back in the early 60’s John F. Kennedy asked us to ask not what our country could do for us, but what we could do for our country. Apparently nobody was listening.

Since that time it would seem that people, most of who would claim to be his ardent supporters and admirers, have done the exact opposite of what he asked. They’ve demanded and taken a huge amount of this countries largess and still demand even more.

Once we touted that anything could be achieved by anyone willing to work to achieve it. Yes our government had a roll in that; to keep the playing field level and make sure that doors that were closed to some were opened. The belief that all men were created equally was an ideal and rightfully the fruits of that should be strived for.

Once charity here was a common virtue and great things were accomplished or built out of the willingness of people to do good works for the benefit of others. Almost all libraries, schools, and hospitals started out as church or charitable institutions. Funded by people and organizations they served their communities and did untold good for the masses.

At some point however someone decided that reliance on charity alone wasn’t the proper way of taking care of one’s neighbor, that it was an obligation. That would seem a fair enough pretext one would think. This was a great and powerful country, prosperous, and founded on the highest of ideals. Certainly one would think that the public good worthy of the public resource, wouldn’t they?

What nobody was perhaps counting on was the notion of entitlements and rights. What was once something worth striving for became something expected.  One shouldn’t be demanded of to earn certain things, they should have them provided as some birthright. Some things one should have just because. Those things that charity took care of became an obligation, and that obligation a fulfillment of a demand.

Today we have so many “rights” (read that as entitlements) that we can barely afford the things a government actually exists for much less those things that caused us to be such a great and powerful nation to begin with. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Money once spent on developing our future now goes for things such as cell phones for the poor. Things done for the “common good” of the people, roads, bridges, ports, airports, etc. etc., we can’t find the money for. Our military even struggles now to make ends meet.

We’ve minimum waged our senior citizens into the poorhouse. We’ve virtually destroyed our educational system. We’ve created a monster called political correctness which inhibits thoughts and actions, and stifles innovation least it offends some obscure niche somewhere. And we’ve silence reasonableness in favor of radicalization.

We’ve raised up a generation of people that no longer understand what communism and socialism is and the pitfalls of each. They don’t understand that those systems collapsed under their own weight and now we race headlong toward that very same end, as if it’s all shiny and new.

Even now people in our government seek out new entitlements to add as we go deeper and deeper into debt as a nation. Close to 17 trillion dollars in debt, yet they seek out even more largess for the people. Yet nobody asks what the people will do when it comes to an end.

And it will come to an end, someday. Perhaps soon.


All isn’t lost. We can fix this….

22 04 2013

The republicans have a relatively few problems but those problems create havoc within the party. The democrats have many many problems and those problems are virtually ignored by their membership. Republicans try to fit everyone into a box and when someone doesn’t quite fit they holler “You ain’t really one of us!” and they turn their back on them at the polls and stay home. The democrats wander around all over the place bumping and banging into each other and they trip and hit “D” on the voting machine on the way down. Until we quit virtually destroying each other we have no hope of winning. We HAVE to start putting forth the best of the candidates we have to offer THAT CAN WIN, not the last one standing after a long bitter fight, because he’s usually the one nobody thought had a chance in the first place… and he usually doesn’t. We need to accept the fact that nobody is perfect, then model ourselves after the Three Musketeers, “All for one, and one for all!” After all, it’s a whole lot easier to get your ideas heard when you are on the winning side and a part of the winning “team”..

Libertarians. Look, you need to come to realize that if you guy doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning in the general election you need to accept that your message is getting out and spreading, so all is not lost. THEN you need to decide which one of the two candidate running will do the least damage to your dreams and ideals, and might just by chance do a couple of things positive to your positions. Quit running home and sulking and sticking your head in the sand about it and help elect someone that at least isn’t going to do major damage to your Libertarian hopes for the future. Go to the polls and vote for that person.

In a world full of evil, choosing the lesser of two of them is at least might buy you some time. The war may not be won in one fell swoop, but if you win a battle here and there all is not lost.


Spare the rod?

22 04 2013

Lately I’ve seen several stories online about the need or appropriateness of spanking a child (especially in public). I thought I’d give you my two cents.

Now first I must say that while we did on occasion have to use corporal punishment (that would be spanking) with my daughter it was seldom. Perhaps we were blessed, or perhaps we lucky. Maybe we had it right with the way we raised her. Any which way you want to look at it we (mucho credit to her mother) raised a beautiful, talented, loving daughter that almost never gave us cause for concern. She wasn’t perfect, however. Close… and she’ll make an excellent mother herself some day

If there is some constant need to spank a child there is something else wrong beside the need to discipline going on. However, on the rare to occasional need to spank (at home or in public, need is need and time and place don’t come into that) it can be an effective agent in the proper upbringing of a child.

To an extent “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is true. Most of the time a child acts up in order to create attention and/or to bring change to the situation they find themselves in. A “time out” can be effective, but just as often it can be the change the child is seeking which will only lead to the child’s further acting out in order to get their way. Swift, but not too harsh, corporal punishment can grab a child’s attention like nothing else and make them understand that they can’t drive all situations, especially in public.

Rarely done it’s a teaching tool, and a valuable show of cause and effect. Done too much and it will cause resentment and loss of respect. Many children have been brought up thinking there is little consequence to bad actions and bring childish behavior into adulthood. In life consequences can be harsh to extreme, and one is well served in being taught that life lesson from childhood. Life doesn’t give many 2nd chances, and “time outs” are almost non-existent… unless you’re talking about jail.


Funny story…

25 12 2012

Murry’s Christmas Eve

He sprang from his bed

Headed down the hall

Tripped over a heater cord

But he didn’t fall

He rounded the doorway

As quick as could be

He’d drank too much earlier

And he had to pee

As he finished his business

And started to flush

He felt the air change

It almost gave him a rush

He crept to the top of the staircase

To see what he could see

And there stood Santa

standing by his tree

Now the sight that he saw

Looking over the rail

Gave him such a fright

Down the stairway he fell

Down the long staircase

Bumpidee bump bump

He landed at the bottom

Just one great big lump

Santa rushed over

an took a quick look

At his bruises and bumps

And his broken left foot

Old St. Nick shook his head

Let out a deep sigh

All he could say was

“My my my”

Quick as that Santa touched his finger

To the side of his nose

Murry felt  funny feelings

That began at his toes

A feeling of warmth

Begin to rise

All through his body

Up to his eyes

Soon enough

And much to his surprise

Santa had healed him

And told him to rise

Murry said to Santa

“You fixed me right up

I thought I was a gone’er,

Here, let me stand up!”

Santa looked at Murry,

With a twinkle in his eye

Said, “Your really lucky,

I tell you no lie”

It wasn’t the first time

Santa would say

“That people have hurt themselves

when I’ve surprised them that way”

As a disciple of Jesus

Santa had the touch

That whenever he needed

He could heal someone up

“Santa I wasn’t sure

If I still really believed

I thought my eyes were playing tricks

That I had been deceived”

Santa just winked

“Now Murry” he said

as he moved cross the room,

“get your self back to bed.”

“Now tell everyone this story

if you think that you must

But they won’t believe you

in that you can trust!”

Murry was confused

at what Santa had said

He was dumbfounded

Left scratching his head

“Look now Murry,”

Santa would say,

“It’s Christmas morning

Near break of day”

“Last night you got into the eggnog

In fact you hit it real good!

You had promised you wouldn’t

But you knew that you would.”

“And every knows

what drinking will do.

Do you think they’ll believe

this story to be true?”

Murry quickly realized

Santa was right

No one would believe him

that he’d seen such a sight

He pondered for a moment

stared at the ground

And when he looked back

Santa was nowhere around

He decided right then

As he climbed up the stairs

What all that had happened

No one would care.

Who would believe

a tale such as this?

A far fetched story

A fable at best!

But he knew the truth

of what he had seen

And what he had done

And all in between

And how he had fallen

And landed in a lump

And Jesus through Santa

Had healed him right up

And now there he stood

at the foot of his bed

He knew that this story

was better left unsaid.

And he also made

as he climbed back in bed

A promise to himself

To himself he said

“Next year no eggnog

I’ll be as straight as can be

And if I see Santa again

Standing under my tree” 

“I’ll say look here Santa

I’m a changed man.

Do you think they’ll believe me now?

Now will they understand?”

But he knew in his heart

That it couldn’t be

He wouldn’t see Santa

Standing under his tree

Just how often does

One get to see

Santa Claus standing there

Admiring their tree?

He knew in his heart

what all this had meant

And that it would be

just a onetime event.

And so he lay there

and he closed his eyes

It was really late

and all he could do was sigh

Then it hit him again

That feeling you see

He had drank too much

And needed to pee…

Well, that was Murry’s Christmas

at least his Christmas Eve.

A story that I ponder

Just what do YOU believe?

Did he really see the fat man

from the tip top of his stairs?

Or is the little story

about nothing which you care?

Was it the truth?

Perhaps just a dream…

Maybe just a tall tale

But what did it mean?

I think it has a moral

plain or not to which to see

I know it has some bit of meaning

At least it does for me

There’s something to remember

I hope your memory it will jog

And next year at Christmas time.

You won’t go drinking too much