Monday, February 28, 2005

Hans-Hermann Hoppe Victory Blog

If anyone besides me actually reads any of this I humbly and respectfully ask you to visit the Hans-Hermann Hoppe Victory Blog,

and sign the petition for academic freedom.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Ragin Cajuns

I'm pretty excited about the University of Louisiana Ragin Cajuns spring sports. The men's basketball team is tied for first place in the western division of the Sunbelt Conference and the women's basketball team can win first place outright tonight for the first time in the history of the program. The baseball team is undefeated at 8-0 and the softball team is ranked #6 in the country.

In addition, the LSU men's basketball team has gotten hot and are contending for the SEC title and are probably assured now of an NCAA tournament bid. The LSU women's basketball team is ranked #1 in the country and is favored to win their first ever national championship. The baseball team is ranked #1 and the softball team is highly ranked as well.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Anyone out there?

Someone please post a comment so I'll know someone's out there.

Guy Clark, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, & Lyle Lovett

I've been preoccupied the last few days, blogging over at I can get pretty passionate about ideas that I believe in.

Anyway, I almost forgot all about the big show tomorrow night. I have albums or CD's by three of these guys and have seen two of them perform live before, though not in a long time.

I think that Guy Clark may have written some of my favorite songs, I just don't know which ones they might be. I think he may have written some of the songs that Jerry Jeff Walker made popular in the late 70's. I don't own any of his music and I don't recall ever seeing him perform live. His name is not obscure to me, I just don't know or recall much about him.

John Hiatt is a little more well known. I've seen him on Austin City limits and have one of his CD's. His band has featured local slide-guitar legend, Sonny Landreth. My favorite song by Hiatt is, "Slow Turn." It prominently features Sonny's slide guitar.

Joe Ely may not be very well known but he's been around a long time. I used to attend his live performances at Soap Creek Saloon and Antone's and other venues in Austin, Texas during the year I attended college there. I last saw him perform live in 1978. I have two of his vinyl albums from that era. My favorite songs by Ely are, "Fingernails" ("I keep my fingernails long so they click when I play the piano") and "She Never Spoke Spanish to Me" ("Spanish is the loving tongue").

Lyle Lovett is by far the best known among this list. He and I were at Texas A&M at the same time in 1980 & 1981. The last time I saw him perform live was in 1981. The crowd could have fit in my bathroom, and by that I don't mean to imply that I have a large bathroom. He used to play at parties and coffee-houses in College Station. He and I had mutual friends and I have spoken to him on more than one occasion, though not since 1981. He already had the big hair that he became known for early in his Nashville career. I have one of his CD's. My favorite songs by Lyle are, "What'd I Say" (the same song that Ray Charles made famous) and "If I Had a Boat."

Among these acts you'll find multiple genres but what they all have in common is country. I expect that this show will be mostly, what you might call, "roots country". I'm really getting excited about it. I love this kind of music and I love it live.

The last concert we went to was Simon & Garfunkel with the Everly Brothers, but that's another story. My favorite songs by S&G are almost all of them. I will try not to make comparisons between these two shows.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Grand Coteau, Louisiana, pop 1,058

I love the town I live in. I grew up a few miles south of here in Lafayette Parish and I've always loved St Landry Parish but I never thought I'd live here.

The anchor of the town is the Academy of the Sacred Heart. The religious order of the Society of the Sacred Heart was founded in France in 1800. The Academy here was established in 1821. It is the oldest of a network of over 200 Sacred Heart schools throughout the world. My cousin, Mary Burns, is currently headmistress. Mary and I are both descendents of Pierre Simeon Patout and Napolionne Pauline Fournier Patout. In 1825 Pierre Simeon Patout emigrated from Ussy, France and established Enterprise Plantation in Iberia Parish, Louisiana. The family continues to run Enterprise Plantation. It is a National Landmark and the oldest continually operating family owned sugar plantation in the United States.

I live accross the street from St Charles College in an updated 150 year old Cajun cottage. St Charles is a Jesuit Novitiate and retreat center. It was founded as a boarding school in 1837. The Jesuits have also operated Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House since 1938.

I love Grand Coteau and it's people but I hate the politics. This has been a bad year for Grand Coteau. Last summer we lost our fire rating. More recently we've been threatened with fines by the Louisiana department of environmental quality. It seems our sewage treatment is not in compliance. We stand to be fined as much as $27,500 for each day we are out of compliance. Our annual budget is only about $500,000. This could wipe that out in a matter of days.

Last summer I joined the Grand Coteau Volunteer Fire Department. I could not justly complain as I was not involved. I had no idea how bad it really is. Now I know. Thankfully we also have the Sunset Fire Department within two miles and the Prairie Fire Department within five. Tomorrow night I will begin attending the meetings of the Sunset Department. I'm hoping they'll allow me to join their department as well. I think cross-breeding would be good for both departments.

Monday, February 21, 2005

I need to post something

It's been over a week since my last post and over a month since my first. I thought it would be appropriate to post something but didn't have much to say. I've been reading Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt and posting a lot at I didn't want to post more about that here because I don't want that to become what this is about. If you're interested in the debate I suggest you visit Hopefully I'll be more inspired next time.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

more on local controversy

In an interview in the February 9 issue of The Independent, the city-parish president compared operation of city-parish government with his pet-shop business.

Civil government is not a business. A business uses funds voluntarily invested and offers goods and/or services that the public can choose to buy, or refuse to buy.

No business can force anyone to unwillingly invest in that business. No business can force anyone to unwillingly assume the risks of that business. No business can force anyone to unwillingly buy goods or services. No business can force anyone to bail it out if it lose money.

A civil government can't lose money because a civil government always has the taxpayers to bail it out. For this reason a civil government will take risks with the taxpayers' money that a business would never take with its own, or with its stockholders' money.

The city-parish wants to take a risk that Cox and BellSouth are unwilling to take because the city-parish has the taxpayers to bail them out and Cox and BellSouth don't.

The thing that the city-parish president said that bothered me the most is (in reference to the plan for the city owned utility to spend in excess of $100 million to run optic fiber to every address in the city) "I can't imagine how anybody that truly understands this could be against it." He doesn't understand why any taxpayer would be opposed to being forced to take on this risk, or why anyone other than Cox or BellSouth would be opposed to the city-parish, with it's power of coercive force, entering into competition against entities with no such power.

I find it very difficult to believe that the city-parish president was ever in private business for himself. I find it very difficult to believe that he was ever anything but a politician.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ron Davis

I know it's late but we have a holiday down here called Mardi Gras and I'm not going to the office tomorrow.

Today is the Lord's Day and my family and I are members of Acadiana Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, where we normally worship every Lord's Day. Occasionally Providence decrees that we worship at Hope Presbyterian in Opelousas, where I was this morning.

I was pleased to be led in worship by their new pastor, John Uhl. I met him and spoke with him briefly after worship. He is from South Carolina but his wife is from Alexandria. Pastor Bob Vincent of Grace Church is his father-in-law.

When he found out I had moved from Lake Charles he mentioned Ron Davis, who was my pastor there for several years. Ron died several years ago and is still deeply missed by many. I still think of him very often. He gave me the idea for the name, "Gumbo Filé".

Ron discipled me in the doctrines of grace but more than that he was a friend to me and many others and he was a husband and father with a wonderful family. His departure left a large hole. I thank God often when I think of Ron Davis.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

local controversy

The city-owned utility in Lafayette wants to build a fiber-optic network to every utility customer in Lafayette. This would place them in direct competition with the cable company and the phone company. The price-tag is $100 million plus.

Some concerned citizens have organized an attempt to put it to a parish-wide vote. I commend the effort to force the fiber issue to a vote and I hope it succeeds; however, this question is best settled in the marketplace, not by a democratic vote, which can be used as a tool of coercion, especially in cases such as this.

It doesn't matter if it's approved by the voters of the parish, or by the parish council, the coercive power of civil government should not be used by some to force others to guarantee that, if this project is not 100% successful, they can be taxed to bail it out. Neither should the civil government with it's coercive power enter into competition against those who have no such power.

Those who think this is such a good idea should invest their own money and personally sign the loan guarantees, unless they don't really believe their own rhetoric. Bottom line, like so many other government programs, this is about people wanting something, but wanting others to pay for it.

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