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Showing posts from July, 2005

The Self-Abduction of Tim Carpenter

It was right before Christmas back in 1998. If I remember correctly, the word character was being tossed around a lot by folks here in God's country. President Clinton was being skewered by a GOP-led special prosecutor about cum stains on a woman's dress, and Osama Bin Laden was establishing a nice foothold in Afghanistan. Locally, the George Revelle murder trial was going on, and police were working to find out who shot a local man five times and dumped his body in the downtown quarry.

That was the backdrop for a strange case of abduction on Springfield's south side. Tim Carpenter, associate pastor at James River Assembly, loving husband and father of two teenage girls, had come up missing. The founder of Christian Publishers Outlet and owner of Heir Press had failed to return home after a late night visit his Heir Press offices on south Campbell.

Police were sent to Heir Press the next morning only to find mysterious blood smatterings, a tan left shoe that belonged to Car…

The Return of The Springfieldian

Back in 1992, a little underground newspaper called The Springfieldian started circulating around town. It had a small but loyal following that included some elected officials, city employees, media folks and interested ne'r-do-wells about town.

The Springfieldian was published somewhat irregularly for a few years before stopping with the infamous "Hammons Attacks" issue #9. A tenth issue was almost finished but never came to fruition.

Ozarks Angel has managed to come up with the entire collection of old Springfieldians and will publish some of our favorite pieces in upcoming weeks. The cartoons were some of the best ever published in this town. These cartoons are from issue #4.

Just Pretend It's All Okay

Just pretend the world is safer since this grand incursion. Just pretend this will all end soon. Just pretend 23,000 Iraqi civilians aren't dead. Just pretend this war hasn't aided the cause of Islamic fanaticism worldwide. Go buy a fucking ribbon. Maybe that'll help.

The Frakes, Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks & Gin

It's Saturday morning - 10:49 - and I'm already feeling ready for a big gin and tonic, extra lime, please. It's going to be another hot one today. Yesterday was 102 they say. Dog days. Days that are so hot, a person could come down with a bad case of the frakes.

It was in Donald Harington's wonderful novel "Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks" where I first heard about the frakes. It's been years since I read the book, but I do recall that frakes almost always strike during the hottest days of summer. And they can strike a grown man down where he sits, rendering him nearly motionless for hours at a time. Some kind of nervous system shut down, I'm guessing. I've found gin and tonics helpful.

Back to the book. Architecture covers the growth of human habitation of the Ozarks region from the very first Indian dwellings to, well, rusted out mobile homes. The setting is near the town of Stay More, Arkansas.

Here's a snippet from the book. In this excha…

Truth & the American Way

There was an excellent column in Wednesday's News-Leader written by a local minister, Roger Ray of National Avenue Christian Church. Usually, when ministers start waxing on about "truth" and politics around here, it's another diatribe about the Clintons or how God got kicked out of the schools, blah blah. This article was refreshing - and, of course, in today's paper there was the obligatory rebuttal by a local yayhoo . . . something about Ray's liberal leanings. Yawn.

Here's a snippet of truth from Ray's column:

How can a free people be numbed into accepting a government propaganda campaign that will silence dissent even if it means giving up the names of undercover CIA agents to silence their families and cutting National Public Radio to keep the public uninformed? Are we so easily frightened that we will give up the freedoms our founders gave us, dismembering our democracy under the rubric of a "Patriot Act?"
What happens to a nation that lo…

The Search for Humanity in God's Country

For reasons known only to God, the Ozarks Angel has for several years been the recipient of multiple mailings from the Assemblies of God movement. I call it a movement because, in the beginning years at least, it was more of a movement than a church - driven by a charismatic adherence to the Pentecostal system of belief and worship. The congregations were poor to middle-class in those days. One need only check out the parking lot at James River Assembly some Sunday morning to see how that's changed.

The Assemblies of God in 2005 is a large international church and publishing company that hauls in a tidy sum in tax free revenue. It's big business - and let's not even talk about tithes. One can only imagine the holdings in their Ministers Benefit Association fund, which claims that it specifically screens out those companies that are predominately known for and/or derive significant revenues from abortion, alcohol, gambling, pornography, or tobacco. Praise the Lord!

But hold o…

A Hundred Points of Terror

Back in 2003 when Bush & Co. had already decided to invade Iraq and were busy constructing provocations the American public would buy, many world leaders, allies and enemies alike, spoke out in opposition.

Among them was Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, one of the more moderate leaders in the region. Mubarak, the first Middle East leader to sign a peace agreement with Israel, has had his own problems cracking down on Islamic fundamentalists in his home country. You might recall that he succeeded Anwar Sadat, who was gunned down by Islamic militants in 1981. Yet under Mubarak's leadership, Egypt joined the anti-Iraq coalition during the 1991 Gulf War and has been a strong U.S. ally for years.

Like the warnings of many world leaders, his pleadings for caution and reason about the impending U.S. invasion fell on deaf ears in the White House - but Mubarak's words come back to haunt two years later.

"When it is over, if it is over, this war will have horrible consequences,&q…

Counters - Ads - Costa Rica

Anybody who knows much about blogging can easily recognize that Ozarks Angel isn't being put together by a website expert. Trial and Error is the tested and true approach to this crazy blog thing that sucks me in almost daily.

I don't really like reading blogs that talk about themselves . . . boring. That being said, this blog added a hit counter a week ago and also began running ads from Google a couple of days ago. So far, Ozarks Angel has amassed $0.03 in revenue. I won't be checking the exchange rate in Costa Rica anytime soon.

Some of the ads are interesting - and I thought they might be checking content when they ran a bunch of anti-Bush spots . . . but then I see today it looks like another tired swipe at Bill Clinton ("Shocking stories that Clinton left out of My Life"), a George Bush Store, for god's sake. Ugh! Has the Ozarks Angel given in to the online capitalist system? Let's pray about it together.

The hit counter was a big surprise. Maybe it wa…

Freedom to Play it Safe

Am I the only one out here in the hinterland who is sick to death of how our so-called free press has rolled over and played dead during the Bush administration? It seems that our much-heralded watchdogs for truth have lost their appetite for the good fight.

It doesn't make sense. After enduring years of GOP-led scrutiny that exposed Bill Clinton for lying about weighty issues like blowjobs in the Oval Office, the mainstream media takes a nap when Bush & Co. come to Washington and start leading us down the path to massive deficits, growing poverty and protracted war overseas. There seems to be some kind of inverse law of media attention here.

The recent flap over White House leaks that "outed" a covert CIA agent may have finally awakened a few people, especially since the president's own man-behind-the-scenes, Karl Rove, is involved.

It all began when conservative Chicago Sun Times columnist Robert Novak, citing two adminstration sources, named covert CIA operative…

The Sand Bar

I know it sounds corny, but here are a few images of our recent vacation down to Bull Shoals Lake. My favorite area of the lake has a sand bar that, the locals say, usually emerges later in the summer when the lake is down a bit. Since it's underwater most of the year, the vegetation isn't too thick. While we were there, the sand bar was about half a mile long, and you could walk barefoot on the sand out into the lake for another 300 feet or so. From a distance, it looks like you're walking on water. Damn, I should have gotten a picture of that. Many a boater has been fooled by this sandy phenomenon, running their boats full bore onto the sand.

On weekends, kids and adults drive four-wheelers and gators and whatnot from one end to the other - but during the week, we had it almost exclusively to ourselves. We found several broken arrowheads in the sand.

The Washingtonienne

I can't even remember how I ran across this little piece of Americana. Jessica Cutler's funny, short-lived blog (created right here on Blogspot) wasn't exactly politically correct - and it revealed more than some people were able to handle about the underbelly of sex and power in our nation's capital - or as she called it, Hollywood for the Ugly. I particularly liked the part where she described her work task of lumping up incoming mail from constituents and discarding them in the trash bin. "And people actually think they read these," she quips. Monica Lewinsky she ain't

I don't know the whole story, but it really wasn't that difficult for somebody in D.C. to figure out who she was, where she worked - and she was, of course, summarily fired. The last entry says something about how her boss was wanting to see her.

The notoriety hasn't hurt Ms. Cutler much. She's already posed for Playboy and published a novel. At one point she says, "I …