America in all its Glory

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

What a gorgeous shot of Mabry Mill in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia). Such a peaceful, serene setting.

Sitting on the edge of the water. Taking a worm and baiting it on the hook of a line that is attached to a long, thin tree branch. Gently "cast" the line into the water. Now to sit quietly, watching the dragonflies skip across the surface of the calm water. Listening to the frogs calling to one another. All the thoughts of your daily life are no longer with you - all you are thinking about at this moment is the beauty of the trees, where they simply meld into the banks of the water.

Who cares if you ever get a nibble on your line. Just to enjoy this moment that you will never live again. That is life!

Every crime committed by an illegal immigrant should never have happened!!!

Read my posting under Illegal Immigrants.

A quote from President Theodore Roosevelt addressed on immigration in 1907:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fires in California - and Idiot Smokers!!!

Here is a fine article by Patt Morrison on the Huffington Post today.
Cigarette Butts and Buttheads in a Time of Fire

Posted October 25, 2007 | 09:52 AM (EST)
Truly, I did not think we made 'em that dim any more.

Driving out of a Los Angeles hillside neighborhood this week, I stopped for a red light. In the car in front of me, the driver was smoking, languidly hanging his cigarette hand out of the window between puffs.

The wind was up and dry leaves were stirring. I watched his cigarette hand the way the fellow in the crow's nest on the Titanic must have watched the looming iceberg.

And then he dropped the burning cigarette butt in the street.

I was, as the English say, gobsmacked. The radio was reporting more acreage, more homes chewed up by fire. The sun was being caramelized by the haze of smoke. The ash was blowing in wisps off my windshield wipers. And this man flicked a lighted cigarette out of his car.

I leaped out of my car and hurried to stomp on the smoldering butt, grinding it out in the street. ''Are you nuts?'' I told him loudly -- my voice was shaking from the astonishment at what I'd just seen. ''The state is burning up around here, and you toss out a lighted cigarette? That's how these fires start! Be careful!''

He responded with some obscene insults. Then the light changed.

It's a misdemeanor in California to toss a lighted cigarette or cigar or match like that, but the cops I called told me they couldn't do anything -- they had to see it happening.

Something of the same happened to me in February, in stopped traffic on a major freeway. A man dropped his burning cigarette out of his truck. When I told him that he'd get a ticket if the CHP saw him, he answered that they'd let him off -- he was a sheriff's deputy.

I wonder about that deputy now. Has he been out directing traffic as people evacuate their smoky neighborhoods? Does he live in Canyon Country or Santa Clarita, and is his own home threatened by fire?

And what do you suppose he'd say to some man who tossed away the glowing cigarette butt that started the fire that burned down his house?
And here are some of the responses to her post.
I volunteer twice per month for the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway program, picking up trash next to a local freeway in the LA area. We don't even bother picking up cigarette butts, as they are too small and way too numerous.

It is not at all uncommon to encounter a circular burned patch in the freeway landscaping, 1 to 2 feet in diameter, with a burned-out butt in the center. So if you try and tell me that lit butts don't cause fires, I'll call you a liar to your face.

Anyone who throws any kind of trash, burning or otherwise, out of their vehicle is an irresposible jerk, and a criminal.

CA Vehicle Code Section 23111 - No person in any vehicle and no pedestrian shall throw or discharge from or upon any road or highway or adjoining area, public or private, any lighted or nonlighted cigarette, cigar, match, or any flaming or glowing substance.

Too bad it isn't enforced. :-(

Maybe now is the time, with the fires fresh on our minds, to lobby the CHP and other agencies to allow reporting of license plate numbers of violators. They allow this for suspected drunk drivers, surely the potential devastation and economic damage from fires would justify this as well?

If that doesn't happen, I'd like to see someone put up a website where citizens could post plate numbers and pictures of violators and their vehicles.

Please note that the first draft of this post contained much more colorful language than what you see above, but that would never have seen the light of day.
posted 12:37 pm on 10/25/2007
It's actually a very neat trick: you toss out the butt yet inside the car the asshole remains.

posted 12:20 pm on 10/25/2007
Not to mention it takes approx 50 to 60 years for the butt to biodegrade.
posted 11:54 am on 10/25/2007
Bronceye sounds like the guy at our local gas station who was told to put out his cigarette while filling his kerosene can. He demostarated to the attendant how harmless the butt was by dropping it into the can. Both spent a month in the burn center.
posted 11:50 am on 10/25/2007
A cigarette butt won't start a fire, eh? That sure isn't what the insurance investigators told my parents when some idiot who had been renting their vacation home burned the house down after flipping his butts into the bushes around the house (which had a non-smoking rule for renters in the first place). My family learned the hard way that burning cigarette butts can most definitely cause a fire, and if that University of Minnesota study is so well regarded, you might want to share it with some of the people whose job it is to investigate the causes of house fires for a living.
posted 11:44 am on 10/25/2007
"Try to start a fire with a cigarrette butt. It won't happen."


"Granolas seem to over-react."

Huh? Cigarettes set fire to other material. Hundreds of people die each year in fires that are accidentally started by cigarettes.

I can only speculate on why you personally are unable to start a fire with another fire.
posted 11:35 am on 10/25/2007
I have seen more than one fire started with a dropped cigarette. Helps if you're in the desert and there's a serious wind. Like in Cali, say.

Glad you stomped it out. Glad you didn't get shot. And even though he cussed you out, you'll be in that driver's head next time he hangs his butt out a car window. (sorry, couldn't resist)
Patt, Patt, Patt..You poor misguided fool. You are thinking about others again. What did I tell you? America is the land of "It's all about me, me, me." If you tell someone that they are doing something wrong or harmful to others...that makes YOU the bad guy, not them. This guy was right to yell obscenities, you actually told him he is ignorant...and he wishes to remain ignorant of his own ignorance. I mean, come on, why should he care? He can barel put two and two together much less worry about starting another fire, besides, someone else would put it out. Right?

For homework, I want you to watch 24 hours of any reality TV show to quickly learn this ignorant selfishness that you obviously lack. You are thinking about consequences of people's actions, and this country has neither the time nor patience for that. Remember, we have a president and administration where there are no consequences. Now, please, go to the mall, remember, drive, preferably a large SUV, and buy something completely frivolous. And please, start thinking about yourself...everyone else is doing it.
posted 11:23 am on 10/25/2007

I have seen people smoking and using cell phones while pumping gas! Each one alone can ignite the whole gas station..

Disclaimer: I am not self-righteously against smoking.. Far from it..I think smoking is a disproportionately singled out addiction.
posted 11:23 am on 10/25/2007

Katrina was a crisis for the poor. Now we have a crisis for the wealthy. Hmmm let's see how the differences pan out.

posted 11:22 am on 10/25/2007
Try to start a fire with a cigarrette butt. It won't happen. The University of Minnesota, about 20m yrs. or so ago tried it under controlled conditions. I camp a lot and I can't get a campfire going with a butt. You try it and tell us of any conflagration that ensues. Granolas seem to over-react. You would have a better chance of starting a fire by running in a pair of courderoy pants.
posted 10:53 am on 10/25/2007
Strange, we here in Washington have had several fires that were traced to lighted cigarette butts thrown from cars. And we are not usually known for our dry arid conditions and Santa Ana winds. If you can't start a campfire with a cigarette butt, you need drier tinder. And quit making excuses for your nasty habits, both smoking and leaving your butts all over the place.
posted 11:31 am on 10/25/2007
at the very least, its disgusting litter.
posted 11:39 am on 10/25/2007
this time of year, grassfires are started here in Texas on a regular basis by cigarette butts tossed out a window. Its fairly commonplace to drive down the highway and see patches of burnt earth ...

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