Tag Archives: Louisiana

A&E Crucifies ‘Duck Dynasty’ Patriarch Phil Robertson

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The reality series ‘Duck Dynasty’ about the Robertson family of Louisiana is easily the most-watched program on the A&E cable network.

The family became wealthy operating a duck-hunting product company, ‘Duck Commander’, and the show features the colorful bunch of long-bearded, no-filters Robertson men and the women who love them.

The patriarch of the clan is Phil Robertson, who began the business by making duck calls from area cedar trees in a family backyard shed for a quarter century. Two days ago, the show, network, and Phil Robertson began making headlines in the mainstream news.

Robertson was placed “on hiatus” indefinitely by A&E, which said in a statement that the network was “extremely disappointed” in remarks that he had made in an interview for ‘GQ’ magazine which were deemed offensive by the gay community. A&E further stated they “have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT (gay) community.

In the interview, Robertson is quoted as saying “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong…Sin becomes fine art. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.” He later says “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me.

In a follow-up to his remarks, Robertson was quoted as speaking to his own sinful past, his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Savior, and his role in evangelizing that faith to others.

I myself am a product of the 60’s; I centered my life around sex, drugs, and rock and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people…what the Bible teaches. Part of that teaching is that men and women are meant to be together.

But that isn’t where Robertson left it, not that there should be any problem with anything to this point. He goes on to elaborate on how his own personal feelings would relate to his treatment of others who might feel or believe differently.

I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

The picture that emerges from this entire sorry affair is of a cable TV network running for cover when it didn’t need to, simply because the executives who run the place didn’t have the courage of their convictions. A&E put the show on the air faithfully (pun intended) every week, knowing the family was going to “keep it real”, and sucking up the ratings and subsequent advertising dough.

The network has now placed Robertson in a hiatus that basically means nothing, since the show is not currently filming anyway, with the most recent season having recently completed production. They are simply trying to look good to that LGBT community they want to embrace. Meanwhile, they slap all Christians who support the show in the face.

Robertson made no statement regarding homosexuality that is not supported by the very teachings of the Holy Bible.

In the Old Testament’s book of Leviticus, for a perfect example, in chapter 20, verse 13 it explicitly states: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.

Now of course, no one, including Phil Robertson, is calling for anyone to be killed, or to suffer any type of physical judgment against them. Final judgment on all of our unforgiven moral shortcomings, will be dealt with in the next life.

The New Testament taught us all forgiveness, and the importance of loving even our enemies and those who would persecute us. But it did not challenge basic Biblical teachings on sexuality or morality.

In his own ministry, in both public exhortations and in private thought to his Apostles, who related these ideas in their own later teachings, Jesus Christ himself preached of marriage and relationships as between men and women, husband and wife, and spoke of the sinfulness of sexual immorality.

The A&E network has every right to make any statement they wish, and to discipline or fire any employee or entertainer based on what it feels are violations of it’s most basic principles and rules.

We as consumers of their product have the same right, to not watch their network when they violate what we know to be the most basic truths of life.

Far too often in today’s world, people of faith are cowed into silence, driven to trembling in a proverbial corner when the immoral shout for “rights” that have never existed.

It is far past time that we began to band together, standing up for those principles, for our own “rights”, for people like Phil Robertson, and for Christ Himself.

As with Phil, we believers won’t hate anyone. We won’t act with prejudice against anyone. We won’t treat people as lesser human beings than ourselves, who we all know are also sinners.

We will pray for them as we pray for ourselves and our loved ones, to both overcome their sinful weakness, and to turn from acting on those same proclivities.

In publicly admonishing Phil Robertson for taking an outspoken position regarding basic teaching of the planet’s more than 2 billion Christians, they have effectively crucified him.

Anyone calling themselves a fellow Christian needs to immediately let A&E know just how you feel about that. The 21st century is not the 1st. We will not stand by and allow it to ever happen again. Not quietly. Not on our watch.

Obama’s Deepwater Response Another Disaster

The year and a half disaster known as the Obama administration has completely crystallized in their response, or should I say in the President’s non-response, to the outrageous oil spill containment measures, and lack thereof, in the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20th, an eon ago as far as appropriate disaster response by the government should be concerned, there was a fire and explosion on a British Petroleum (BP) licensed oil drilling rig known as the ‘Deepwater Horizon’ which was operating approximately 42 miles off the Louisiana coast at the time. Two days later the rig sank, and a 5-mile long oil slick became visible.

By April 25th, the US Coast Guard estimated that the rig was leaking approximately 1,000 barrels of crude oil per day into the waters of the Gulf. Within 3 more days that estimate had risen dramatically to 5,000 gallons per day. Still no effective response by President Obama or his administration. It would be another day, nearly a week after the initial incident, before he would announce “every single available resource” would help resolve the situation.

It would take until May 2nd before the President deemed the oil spill important enough to clear space from his busy schedule of private-industry takeovers, debt-and-tax raising program creation, and irresponsible financial entity bailouts to squeeze in a visit to the disaster area.

Over the next two weeks, the Obama administration would watch stoically and dispassionately as the oil spread towards Louisiana, reaching the Breton National Wildlife Refuge among other places.

Despite leaving the incident in the hands of those who created it, Obama himself had the nerve to finally issue a statement on May 14th in which he chided the companies involved for creating a “ridiculous spectacle” of trading blame. Meanwhile, as Obama played Nero and fiddled, his Rome continued to burn as the oil slick continued to spread.

By May 19th the oil slick began to wash ashore at the Louisiana mainland and dangerously spread into heavy currents that could easily carry it on to Florida and beyond. Nine days after that, over a month after the initial incident, Obama finally made a 2nd visit to the area stating “I am the President, and the buck stops with me”.

But not apparently the oil slick, which continues on now with no end in sight as the month of May draws to a close. Some estimates are that at the current rates of oil spreading and poor effectiveness of response, it will not be contained until August.

During the administration of President George W. Bush, the liberal-controlled and Democratic Party-biased mainstream media and the Dems themselves all displayed self-righteous anger and indignation at the President and his team for what they deemed a particularly slow response in the exact same region of the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Waiting for a similar reaction to Obama’s non-action in the Gulf, one can hear the crickets chirping.

There will be the usual hand-wringing from the lib circles here. Calls to halt offshore oil drilling have already begun. The President recently commented that the procedures and equipment in today’s modern world were safe and secure. He was, in that instance, absolutely correct.

Just because one accident occurs, no matter how large, we should absolutely not stop searching for American resources and doing what it takes to extract and utilize those resources. Just because one plane or bus crashes, people don’t stop flying or riding the roads.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had it right when she led the call to “Drill baby, drill!” during her Veep run two summers ago. New geological surveys have revealed massive natural oil reserves are likely right here in the continental United States. Those are in addition to what we already know exists in her home state in the ANWR reserves.

Despite her critics cat-calls, Palin loves here home state, and would never endanger it, and has led the fight to get those reserves opened and get the drilling going. She is absolutely correct, and needs to be supported publicly by all those who recognize the truth of energy resource management.

The United States needs to lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil, be those sources from the Middle East or Russia, or from closer to home in Mexico or Canada. We have an abundance of those resources right here, and we need to go after them.

Alternative energy needs to continue to be explored and developed, but those sources are not currently available or viable, and likely will not be for decades to come.

President Obama’s excrutiatingly slow and ineffective response to this oil spill disaster is itself yet another disastrous example of the incompetence of his administration. We shouldn’t extrapolate that by worsening our national economic situation.

It’s a hard rain’s gonna fall

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Hurricane Gustav begins to strike at New Orleans

For the 2nd time in three years, the City of New Orleans prepares this morning to be blasted by a powerful hurricane.

The devastation wrought back in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina is now legendary, but a great deal of that horror was not a creation of God, or Mother Nature, or any kind of natural or supernatural being or event. The devastation was brought on man by man.

For at least decades, the governments, both local and regional, and the people of the Gulf region were warned that this was going to happen, it was just a matter of time.

It is not the responsibility of the federal government to build giant walls and roofs so that men can be protected from every possible disaster. Men need at some point to take responsibility for their own actions and lives.

When you purposefully and intentionally make the decision that you and your family are going to live in an area that is historically prone to certain natural events, then you have chosen to take on certain risks and have the responsibility to ensure that you and yours can survive and recover when those events occur.

And the key word in that entire statement is ‘when’, because this is not an ‘if’ scenario. Hurricanes barrel through the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico every single year. They have done so for all of recorded history, and they will continue to do so into the future.

In the U.S., this means that coastal states such as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and the Carolinas are always going to be vulnerable to these types of events. Anyone who moves into or remains living in those states near the coastlines makes the choice that the beauty of everyday life there is worth the trade-off in having to evacuate or baton down when these strong storms hit.

When they do hit, those who have made those decisions, along with their local and state governments, should be responsible for any recovery and rebuilding.

It is not as if these events are a surprise, a sudden calamity that could not have been forecast. While any particular storm cannot be foreseen, the fact that there will be storms year after year, and that some of these will be of the devastating variety, means that people who live in these areas are rolling the dice.

When we gamble and win, it is considered being ‘lucky’, it is not usually considered smart. When you gamble and lose, it should not be my responsibility to bail you out and put you back on your feet.

Do people need help out of the goodness of others hearts? Sure, that is the point of charity and volunteerism. But for the federal government to continue to take hundreds of millions of dollars in hits because of the continued and repetitive gambling of some of our citizens is ridiculous.

Every time that a natural disaster hits, the first question is “What is the federal government going to do about this?” The fact is that members of local governments have made the choice to be citizens of those communities, and they need to be responsible. They need to educate their fellow community members, prepare for responding to these incidents, and prepare for recovery from these incidents.

The local governments and businesses and citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes were told that a Katrina-like event was going to happen. They chose to make other decisions over the years and decades in their spending that did not address the issues of basic protections against such a storm. Instead, the federal government was expected to protect them from their choice to live in that area, and bail them out in recovery when the event actually happened.

And this is not the only example of this type of thinking and lack of preparation. For decades, the people in the San Francisco and Oakland areas, and many other communities in southern California, have been warned that a major earthquake of a devastating magnitude is going to strike at some point. Not some point hundreds of years in the future, but likely at some point in the next few years or decades.

It is going to happen: buildings, bridges, roads, homes will topple and hundreds if not thousands or more of people are going to die. It is a fact of the future that every one of those people has been warned about. But they have chosen to live in those areas anyway because there are many benefits on a day-to-day basis.

I respect and acknowledge the right of those folks to live in those areas. But they have chosen to live there in a known disaster-waiting-to-happen neighborhood, and when it happens, likely in my lifetime, it should not be my responsibility to bail them out and help them rebuild right there so that it can all happen again someday.

Sudden, unexpected events are one thing. Predicted and expected events are another. One results in a tragedy, the other results in a bad choice coming home to roost.

It appears that Hurricane Gustav, which will slam into Louisiana today, will not be nearly as bad as Katrina was, but it will be a strong storm that will beat down an area already beaten badly. The fact is that a hard rain is going to fall, and the further fact is that it won’t be the last time.

The train derailed: Nightmare in New Orleans

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The Superdome in New Orleans is a refuge for some, part of the Katrina nightmare for others

 

I keep hearing Arlo Guthrie singing in my head: “I’m the train they call the City of New Orleans…

For the second straight day this single line from this old song just keeps on running through my mind.

The train is derailed, nearly obliterated, certainly damaged beyond recognition by what in many ways will go down as the worst natural disaster in American history, a behemoth of a hurricane named Katrina.

The last time that a Katrina hit New Orleans, everyone was “Walking on Sunshine” as the one-hit wonder band, Katrina & the Waves, brought their bouncy, upbeat, sunny song to the Bayou in June 1985.

Today, even when the sun is shining, few people are singing, and even fewer can even utter the name of Katrina without prefacing it with the worst of profanities.

There are many innocent victims. Many folks who, for a variety of reasons, simply could not get out of the way of this monster. For a couple of days preceding the landfall of this massive killer, the danger that she was bringing with her was both predicted and more than adequately warned.

But some had family members that were immobile. Some had no way to get out. They had no car, or inadequate finances for what rapidly became few ways out via public transportation. They had little choice but to hunker down in their homes, or in the New Orleans Superdome, and hope for the best, pray for a reprieve.

Unfortunately there were many, many more who stayed because they just simply didn’t believe. They knew the possibility for decades. Folks have been warned about the situation that the City of New Orleans was in, surrounded by water and laying below sea level. The type of hurricane that was finally realized on Monday, August 29th, 2005 was discussed as an inevitability for the past half century.

But many stayed anyway. They had lived through numerous false alarms in the past. Storms that looked deadly for awhile usually turned away in the last days or hours, or weakened to the point of some wind and rain, but certainly nothing of a biblical level.

They felt that they could ride it out, go out in the morning, and begin the cleanup process. Maybe stock up a little food, and be without things like regular phone service, cable TV, even electricity for a few days.

There were many, many of these types, and how wrong they were. This one was different, and they were told early on and all along that it would be different.

I watched the buildup of this storm on Friday and Saturday, and saw every major news outlet reporting that this was going to be a storm of unprecedented damage in the New Orleans area. It was, in fact, widely predicted to do tremendous damage throughout the entire Gulf area.

I saw the warnings, and saw the folks fleeing by the hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, thousands more did not heed these dire warnings.

Now, the City of New Orleans is virtually destroyed. Sure, most of the buildings are still standing. That world famous Superdome sports facility still stands.

But the levees which were designed to help protect the city from the surrounding water, particularly the waters of the large Lake Pontchartrain, finally broke, weakened by the power of the storm and the force of the waters. Those waters came flowing into the bowl that makes up the basic shape of the “Big Easy.”

The images that are coming more fast and furious from the news media as the days go by paint a picture of an America that we have rarely seen in the past, never on such a massive scale.

American citizens are now refugees, fleeing a major American city that has been devastated and is no longer viable. They have no food, no water, no money, no job to go to, no place to live, no medicine, no sure means of communication.

And the looting is ridiculous. No, not the taking of abandoned bottles of water, abandoned containers of food, abandoned dry clothing, abandoned medications. Not a single police officer or law enforcement official at any rank from any organization, under those conditions, would be stopping anyone from taking these things.

In fact, help in getting these items into the hands of those who need them, which is basically everyone at this point, is justified and called for. But I have seen folks carrying out televisions, music CD’s, DVD’s, etc. Ridiculous, callous, even stupid. There is, after all, no electricity, and there may not be for months.

It is hard to believe that I am going to say this in my lifetime, but in many ways this is worse than the results of the attacks of 9/11.

That was a traumatic shock that shook many of us to our individual cores. America was attacked on our own soil by a foreign enemy, symbols of our previous invincibility were destroyed, thousands of our citizens were killed and wounded.

The massive cleanup efforts in Manhattan took months, and even today, four years later, things are not yet rebuilt and back to some semblance of normalcy.

But the fact is, that was one corner of one section of a city, albeit the largest and most visible city in the world. This is an entire city, and in not just that city, but many of the surrounding communities as well.

Nearly every usable inch of New Orleans is under water. Buildings, homes, businesses are now literally inside a lake. The entire city is being evacuated, martial law has been declared, and there is even talk that they may simply choose not to rebuild the city at all.

No crawfish and seafood gumbo? No Mardi Gras or Saints football? No Bourbon Street or French Quarter? No Crescent City? No Big Easy?

No New Orleans, Louisiana? Is that really even a possible outcome here?

How not only this region, but this entire country, reacts to and attacks this disaster will tell us much about who we are going to be as a people into the future.

This is not just a local and regional problem, this is a national problem. We all need to decide that we are going to help these people to recover and rebuild their lives in some way.

Donate money, donate time. Listen to television and radio for opportunities to help, they will be there.

One could write all day about his disaster, and many of us probably will over the coming months. For now, I’ll simply end this with the final two verses of Guthrie’s classic ditty:

But all the towns and people seem to fade into a bad dream
And the steel rail still ain’t heard the news
The conductor sings his songs again
“The passengers will please refrain:
This train got the disappearin’ railroad blues
Good night America, how are you?
Say don’t you know me? I’m your native son!
I’m the train they call the City of New Orleans.
I’ll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.