Friday, September 29, 2006

Fun feedback update

(Still in Chicago... at the library no less)

1) I have achieved official "malcontent" status

2) A reading comprehension challenged commentor to my Saints-Falcons post is disgusted by the obvious Right Wing bent of this site.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Skipping Town

I'll be leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning and will be back late Saturday night. As usual, Raul is in charge. Upon my return I intend to tie the following loose ends.
  • In the comment thread below.. Ashley has demanded that I make good on a recent sports wager... also there I have made plain my reasons why this will be a difficult task... nevertheless I intend to make good.

  • Berto has made it clear that my criticism of Cowboy Mouth crosses certain bounds of decency. While it is often my intent to offend, it is not.. usually.. to hurt. So a more measured critique will be forthcoming.

  • I also owe Dr. A a cookie.

It's kind of a tricky election this weekend. There are no acceptable candidates for either Sec of State or Comissioner of Insurance. While I generally shy away from endorsements of candidates I will be so bold as to predict that Dardene and Donelon are likely winners.

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Amendment 1 might be meaningless at this point.. but should pass.

Amendment 2 should pass

Amendment 3 will pass... and will make absolutely no difference of any importance.

Amendment 4 is a slimy move to confiscate private property.

Amendment 5 is an attempt to protect such property from government expropriation for "economic development" purposes.

Amendment 6 requires the government to offer "surplus expropriated property" back to the original owner.

Just so we're clear.. 4 sucks 5 and 6 should pass.

Folks are also interested in Amendments 8 and 11 becasuse they concern the Homestead exemption. They will pass. Amendment 13 looks like it's aimed at promoting a more professional judiciary... sounds like a bad idea to me.

Football Related
LSU had better not lose to the team that lost to Tulane.

The Saints look primed for a let down this week... and the Panthers defense will likely pressure Brees better than the Saints' previous three opponents... on the other hand, this team has been full of pleasant surprises thus far.... nah... it's gotta end sometime.

Panthers 28 Saints 14

Avoid the Tulane Campus Today

Apparently the obnoxious Frat-Rock band Cowboy Mouth will be there at 4:30 tying up traffic and annoying people generally.

Where was Kermit?

Kermit Ruffins was billed along with Alan Toussaint and Irma Thomas for Monday night's national anthem performance.. but didn't show up. Does anyone know what happened?

Answer: According to Ashley, he was just running late. On NOLA time, ya know?

Update: T-P's Dave Walker
Kermit Ruffins, announced pregame as an anthem participant, wasn't present. According to a spokesman for his local record label, Ruffins' participation had never been finalized, and he had a Sunday night gig on the East Coast that wouldn't let him return in time to rehearse
So, there.

Note: This convincingly debunks Dad's theory that "the NFL or some other reactioanry bunch of fools had Kermit bumped for his blatantly public stance on marijuana."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why it was the best football game ever

... besides the obvious.

  • The weather was perfect. This was important because it allowed us to arrive via bicycle without a bead of sweat. It was also helpful in alleviating the discomfort of pushing through the crush of humans pouring in and out of the Dome before and after the game. First lesson: If at all possible, bike to the game. There is something smugly satisfying about tying your bike up to a tree on Poydras street while all around you motorists struggle to maneuver through the maze for the privilege of paying $25.00 to park.

  • I've mentioned this before. Our seats are at the top of the Dome. I called Mom and told her that I was going to try and poke my head up through the patched hole in the roof and wave for the blimp. Don't laugh. These are great seats. We can see everything and there is no one sitting behind us.. which is particularly good for whoever would have had to do that otherwise.

  • The view from above. Cell phone photo.

  • Between about 6:00 PM when we got to our seats and 7:40 PM when the Saints were introduced, I waited in the longest concession line ever. This is a very good thing because it allowed me to not be in the stands during the totally gay U2 debacle.

  • Yes yes we're all very impressed.. now get off the field you douche!

  • Many a Saints team in the past would have been primed to make asses of themselves in a situation like this. Instead, we saw a well prepared football team play a near perfect game. The Saints committed zero turnovers, and only two significant penalties that I can remember.. one which elicited another fun episode in which Sean Payton beat up a player.. Physically. The Saints blocked two kicks and allowed the Falcons to do next to nothing offensively. Also.. did I mention that the coach beats on the players? And that it is fun?

  • The blocked punt by reserve safety (and damned dirty hippie) Steve Gleason will be one of the most talked about plays in Saints history.. and I was there... way up in the top of the building.. to see it.

  • Where were you when...

  • Mike Vick, Warrick Dunn and the NFL's leading ground attack was completely shut down. I'm a bit nervous about this because it means that our admittedly undermanned defense defies the laws of nature. How are they doing this? Will someone figure them out?

  • Who are these guys all of a sudden?

  • Fred Thomas continues to be twice the man Mike McKenzie is

  • Fashion news: My Sammy Knight jersey rocks. The man was one of the greatest Saints ever.. and the fans recognize that. I know because they all tell me so as I parade around the Superdome in that number. I am proud to accept these accolades on Sammy's behalf. Plus the current owner of jersey number 29, Josh "Never Mind The" Bullocks is starting to live up to the playmaking reputation it carries. Bullocks saved the Cleveland game with a late interception and came through again last night with a blocked field goal.

  • Son of Sammy wraps up Vick. Make us proud, 29.

  • The Falcons cannot catch.

  • I accomplished quite an athletic feat my ownself at halftime. While returning from a second concession run, I managed to scale the Superdome terrace while precariously balancing six light beers on a tray. Under normal circumstances, I've been known to drop one beer... from my hand... while seated. But here.. inspired by the Saints's performance, I managed to pull out a near miracle. I think it was the jersey.

Okay.. so we're going to Disneyworld.. right? Not quite. However it sure feels good to beat the crap out of Atlanta no matter what the circumstances. Enjoy this while you can though, folks. You deserve it.

Game photos from T-P gallery

That was

the best football game I have ever seen.... ever.. like ever in my life... in the building where I saw my first football game... where I saw saw my first Sugar Bowl... where I played in a few high school games... where I went to a few high school dances... where I saw the saints lose their first playoff game... where they eventually won a playoff game... where LSU won a national championship... where so many thought they would be safe last year when the roof came off when the levees broke... do I need to go on?

That was the best football game I have ever seen. Maybe I'll have more to add tomorrow... I might be too hungover... but there might also be nothing more to say.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pray to St. Buddy

We're gonna need all the help we can get. Also check out Angus Lind's column on Buddy D today. And that's it from here. See y'all at the Superdome.... where the Saints of football play.

All Football All The Time Continues

So my fantasy team, The Fat Guys, is in pretty good shape. They're heading into tonight leading r's Fleur Dee Lites by a small margin. My team has Deuce. She has Bush. Yes, it's just that exciting.

Also.. football related game. It's kicking.. on the beach.. or something.

They Tampered in God's Domain

Biotech firm produces hypoallergenic cats.

* Guess the title reference. Win a cookie... or something.

All Football All The Time

Thanks, Philly. Stallworth's hammy hurts again. Can Colston go ahead in the TD tally tonight?

Who Dat out dere late at night.

Back when we were in the flower of our youth (I don't know.. five.. six years ago) and not foundering about in the advanced stages of arrested development as we are today, I and most of my group had suck-up service jobs in the French Quarter. At the time we were more often than not found on or about Bourbon street at night gawking at the tourists and conventioneers as they stumbled about, sang bad karaoke, wore beeds in July, and peed on people's houses. It fascinated as much as it repulsed us.... and it was a good excuse to get drunk... a lot.

While I still get down there most weekends.. I'm sorry to say that I'm not as likely to pull off the late nights I was once capable of. That's a shame because it's usually sometime after 2AM that you meet the interesting people... the posing "drug dealers" in garish zoot suits... the guy who tries to sell you a saws-all he has just stolen from a nearby construction site.... the shirtless drunken teenager getting shoved into a police car... you know, the fun people. Well, as I was saying, I just don't make it that late very much anymore.

Which is a shame because had I been able to stay up late with r on Saturday night I would have met these people at Johnny White's. Apparently they've made a habit of flying to New Orleans from the UK for Saints home games. They are here for tonight's game. Brings a tear to the eye.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rewarding Criminal Behavior

Report disputes utility increase request
Advisers take issue with Entergy charges
Saturday, September 23, 2006
By Pam Radtke Russell

Entergy New Orleans incorrectly charged customers for items including income taxes it didn't pay and expenses tied to stock options in seeking an increase in electric rates, according to City Council advisers. As a result, advisers recommend allowing the utility a smaller increase than it has requested, an increase that should be paid for in part by parent company Entergy Corp., according to the advisers.

The recommendations were made late Thursday after advisers spent more than three months analyzing the request by Entergy New Orleans.

After scrutinizing the company's proposal to raise electric rates, Legend Consulting Group found $88 million in charges that Entergy shouldn't be allowed to pass on to customers. If those charges were eliminated, rates would go down by 44 percent.

The advisers, acknowledging the utility can't operate with such a decrease, used a different method to come up with a recommended increase of 18 percent, as opposed to the 22.2 percent increase Entergy requested. The advisers also recommended the company be allowed to raise gas rates 11 percent, compared to the 18 percent increase requested by Entergy.
Wow! Way to go, advisors. Stick it to 'em.

Update: Oy! David has a few pertinent related observations

Friday, September 22, 2006

Why Louisiana is ahead of the curve

Naginesque strategy is now being implemented in Maryland. Anyone else get the impression that what is meant by "Steele Democrat" is black Democrats being encouraged to vote for a Bush backed Republican purely because of his race?


When: Sunday, September 24 2006 @ 07:00 PM CDT - 10:00PM
Event Type:
Where: the House Of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
Description: The Kickoff will present an exciting evening of entertainment and education featuring banned book readings from such notable authors as Poppy Z. Brite, Tom Piazza, Colleen Salley, and Ronnie Virgets. The reading selections will be complemented by speakers from local organizations such as the ACLU and the New Orleans Public Library. Emceeing the event will be part-time New Orleanian and full-time media personality Harry Shearer. Concluding the Kickoff will be a poignant and impassioned performance by special musical guest the Theresa Andersson Group.

Can't believe I missed this

Scalzi tapes bacon to his cat.

Spawns internet phenomenon.

The next phase in the killing of New Orleans

The next statewide election cycle is almost upon us and as Stephanie Grace points out this morning, political hacks of all stripes are watching for indicators of just how weakened the New Orleans voting base has become. As we pointed out before the mayor's race, Louisiana politics is defined by a delicate balance of power among distinct voting groups. The unusual statewide Republican interest in the mayoral election was largely aimed at damaging the clout of the New Orleans faction in state politics. At this point we can only speculate as to how damaging a weakened electoral clout will be to the city's expectations of sympathy or aid from state government during the next 10-15 years of recovery....I'm guessing pretty bad, though. The upcoming primary in the race for Sec of State will give us our first look at how successful this strategy has been. The results of this election will also.. as Grace observes.. grant the victor certain advantages in the next round.
Despite the clear delineations, there's little in the way of ideology in this race, at least not on the surface. All three major candidates talk of the importance of ballot access and propose plans to solve the polling commissioner shortage. None of them say they favor a timeline for forcing hurricane evacuees who remain in other states off the voter rolls -- although the idea may well surface before the gubernatorial or Senate races.

Yet whoever's elected might have the chance to make all sorts of smaller policy decisions that could affect future voting. The language of those choices tends to break down as voter access versus opportunity for corruption, but the underlying reality is that they also have potential to help one party or the other.

And that means there's more at stake than just electoral math.

Superior Election Technology

Finally, an alternative to Diebold vote stealing machines.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Running with a theme

We continue our all-football-all-the-time-format with a story that hasn't gotten much attention this week. It's about a football stadium that once was a major cultural touchstone for generations of New Orleans sports fans. It was damaged and shuttered by the floodwall failures last August. Now, thanks to the hard work of many dedicated individuals, the good will of the city's sports enthusiasts, and, of course, the considerable contribution made by one Reggie Bush it is set to reopen... tonight. Of course, we're talking here of Tad Gormley stadium in City Park which hosts its first football game in over a year tonight as Higgins High School takes on.... some Catholic school nobody likes. Kickoff is at 7:30.

One Year Ago Today

That's right. Most of us still were not home yet.

Rita approaches.

Whitlock is back

With the following question:
Besides the New Orleans Saints, which 2-0 squad is the league's biggest fraud?

I'm surprised the Saints are 2-0, but beating up the Browns (Romeo Crennel) and the Packers (Mike McCarthy) just doesn't carry the weight of snookering a Hall of Famer and a coach with a Super Bowl appearance on his résumé.

In a prior column, Whitlock stated that the Saints were not of any interest to anyone concerned with the rebuilding of New Orleans. I felt like this was a failure on his part to recognize the importance of the return of the team to the city's psyche and said so. This time, he's merely saying that the Saints are not as good as their record. I really can't argue with that.

Dome myths

Oyster has posted an examination of the false rumors of rampant killings in the Superdome after Katrina. In fact there were exactly zero homicides at the Superdome. My (of course) favorite bit references the macbre scorecard:
Out of the 50,000 people in desperate circumstances at the Superdome and the Convention Center, there was ONE homicide during the Katrina aftermath. (Six, total, throughout the city.) There were ten deaths, and most of them were natural. For perspective, consider that about SIXTY people died in Houston's poorly coordinated evacuation from Hurricane Rita.
It's a must-read post and I would have linked to it sooner but, at the risk of once again drawing the ire of the NOLA bloggers, I have... um... misgivings about the term "Sacredome". It just sounds.. well.. sanctimonious.. and silly and I cringe a bit when I read it.

Joe Horn

USA Today

Seventh-year Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, who was one of the more active players in seeking out displaced fans after Katrina, agrees. But not completely.

"Here's the deal," he says. "It's not just another game for the fans or the citizens of Louisiana. See, we can lose to the Atlanta Falcons, and the fans will be upset for a little while, but they'll be more happy inside because they still have their team. The New Orleans Saints are back; the dome is opening."

He also has no doubt his eyes will be more than moist when he runs onto the field for player introductions. "Oh, I'm going to cry," he says with a sheepish chuckle. "I know I'm going to shed some tears. Damn right.

"I know what people went through, and I understand the emotional level. So there will definitely be tears — on one level, tears of joy, and on another level, tears flowing for the families that lost members in there, and the kids, and knowing that people still coming in the dome are able to swallow that pill and keep on pushing."

Bud Rip


'Bud Rip' Ripoll Jr., 9th Ward institution
Thursday, September 21, 2006
By John Pope
Staff writer

Edward "Bud Rip" Ripoll Jr., an ebullient son of the 9th Ward whose bar bearing his name became a cornerstone of life in downtown New Orleans, died Sunday at NorthShore Regional Medical Center. He was 82.

Mr. Ripoll, who frequently sang behind the bar he tended 12 hours a day, was everybody's pal, friends and relatives said. He played host to politicians seeking office -- their framed pictures lined the walls -- and he even served a term in the state House of Representatives. He welcomed people who wanted to hoist a few as they bewailed the Saints' misfortunes, and he even bought a round for the women who had been picketing the bar at Burgundy and Piety streets.

The protest occurred more than 30 years ago because Mr. Ripoll didn't admit women, saying he wanted to spare them from offensive language. But he was, above all, a good host, so he invited them inside.

When one asked to use the restroom, he said, "If you can do it in a urinal, be my guest," said Leslie Falgout, Mr. Ripoll's son-in-law.

Mr. Ripoll acquired his nickname in childhood from a relative everyone called Uncle Pauper, said Bonnie Ripoll-Falgout, Mr. Ripoll's daughter.

"He told my daddy years ago, 'Bud Rip, will you ever amount to anything?' " Ripoll-Falgout said. "Obviously, he did."

A graduate of Francis T. Nicholls High School who was a Marine during World War II, Mr. Ripoll was a longshoreman and steel worker before signing on at Huerstel's, another 9th Ward institution.

He stayed there until 1960, when his mother-in-law lent him the money to buy the bar "because she'd know which barroom he was in," Ripoll-Falgout said.

But friends and family members said there was more to Mr. Ripoll than pouring drinks and hobnobbing with politicians.

He was a charter member of the Downtown Irish Club, which stages an annual St. Patrick's parade that winds through the 9th Ward, and he sponsored an American Legion baseball team.

To pay for repairs to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Mr. Ripoll organized a golf tournament that became a yearly ritual. Once the church work was done, money from the tournament went to families of police officers killed in the line of duty during the preceding year, Ripoll-Falgout said.

And every December, he collected money from local bars to pay for Christmas baskets of food for needy 9th Ward residents.

"There were cans of food and a turkey in each one," Ripoll-Falgout said. "But he sent around friends first to make sure the people were really needy."

He also had a series of unsuccessful political races, one for the 1st City Court clerkship and three times for the state Legislature.

On his fourth attempt, in 1983, Mr. Ripoll, a conservative Republican, won.

His explanation was simple: In previous races, he was listed on the ballot as Edward Conrad Ripoll Jr., but before his 1983 campaign, he had his name legally changed to Edward "Bud Rip" Ripoll Jr.

Even though Mr. Ripoll was the only member of his political party to accompany Gov. Edwin Edwards on his gala 1984 trip to France to retire his gubernatorial campaign debts, one of Mr. Ripoll's first votes was against a tax bill Edwards favored.

When the governor asked why he voted that way, he replied: "It took me 16 years to become a representative. I'm not going to vote for the first tax bill that comes up."

Some of his more creative legislation fared poorly. One bill would have imposed a tax on the paper used to roll marijuana cigarettes. Even though marijuana was illegal and, therefore, untaxable, "my daddy decided we can at least get money off the paper," Ripoll-Falgout said. "It didn't pass."

Another bill was the flip side of laws banning bars within 300 feet of a house of worship. Mr. Ripoll's bill would have prohibited the leasing or contribution of a church or synagogue within 300 feet of a tavern.

Even though Mr. Ripoll said the measure was designed to eliminate "a fly-by-night church" in his district, opposition was swift and fierce, and Mr. Ripoll asked that it be deferred.

"I don't want people to think I'm in favor of gambling and beer and against God," he said.

That was in 1987. Later that year, he lost his bid for re-election, and he went back to tending bar.

He and his family moved to Arabi in 1994, and he sold Bud Rip's in 1996 to Linda and Kenneth "Turtle" Kennair. The bar's name stayed.

Mr. Ripoll and his family fled St. Bernard Parish before Hurricane Katrina hit, and they wound up in St. Tammany Parish.

By this time, he was in declining health from a variety of illnesses, but he marched in this year's Downtown Irish Club parade, "much to my chagrin," his daughter said.

"He had a walker," she said, "and there were police all around him to make sure he didn't fall. He walked four blocks to Markey's Bar, and he walked back too. Now I'm thrilled that he did it. At the time, I was a nervous wreck."

Shortly after her father died, Ripoll-Falgout returned to Bud Rip's. At the corner spot where Mr. Ripoll always liked to sit, she found an open bottle of beer on a napkin.

"The little barmaid would not let anybody sit there," Ripoll-Falgout said. "I said, 'Who's sitting there?' and she said, 'You know who's sitting there.' I knew before she said it. I was so touched."

The beer, incidentally, was a Budweiser.

"What else is Bud Rip going to drink?" she said.

In addition to Ripoll-Falgout, survivors include a brother, Rodney Ripoll of Mandeville; three sisters, Lu Prevost of Houston, Audrey Springer of Covington and Sally Wineski of Baton Rouge; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Monday at noon at Lamana-Panno-Fallo Funeral Home, 1717 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Burial will be in St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery No. 3.

Mr. Ripoll was cremated. His daughter said his ashes will go into a brass urn inscribed with his nickname, the years of his birth and death, and the words: "This Bud's for You."

Edward "Bud Rip" Ripoll Jr.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Dambala suggests the story's next heading.


Required reading as always.
What a joke American journalism is. Our entire army is on its knees before a few thousand gun-toting religious fanatics in the Arabian desert, and here's our government, taking food out of the mouths of foster kids and single moms to go binge-shopping with our tax money in the Sharper Image catalog of the industrial world. And what's on TV? Fucking Suri Cruise? Are you kidding me?

Man Bites Panda


Go see this now

G Bitch posts a Survivors Village document titled Nine Myths and Realities about Public Housing in NO Housing is the most important issue facing New Orleans as it rebuilds and it continues to be ignored.

Ok people look

U2 sucks, okay? Since about 1990.. they have done nothing but pump out an endless stream of musical douchebaggery.... oh and occassionally pretend that they can convince George Bush to care about AIDS in Africa. They are the worst kind of suck.. the kind that that comes with an ego equal to or greater than its suckishness. In case you're having trouble with this, here's a good rule of thumb. ANY BAND THAT WILLING TO PERFORM IN A STADIUM PRIOR TO A SPORTING EVENT PROBABLY SUCKS. Oh.. here's another one. ANY BAND WHO APPEARS IN AN IPOD COMMERCIAL PROBABLY SUCKS. Between their appearance and the planned insulting, brutish Superdome security pat-downs, I'm seriously considering selling my Monday night tickets.

Related: Maddox's Eleven Worst Songs of 2004

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The boat story keeps getting better.

Storage Pods

It wasn’t enough for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to leave thousands of trailers rotting for months unused in acres of swampy fields while Louisiana residents remained homeless.

FEMA now has come up with pod houses—big white boxes resembling cargo containers on stilts—except not as large. And get this: The houses are an incentive to lure public school teachers back to New Orleans.
Welcome to post-Katrina New Orleans. A veritable worker's paradise!

Foreign workers report deception, abuse in N.O. rebuilding

Jesus Camp

Really, though. Would you send your children to anything that was called "Kids on Fire"?

Condo Condo Condo

Condominiums planned for abandoned hospital
Home values are increasing in Irish Channel

Prediction: One year from now I will no longer afford to live here.

This week's Gambit preview

One day late... sorry... it's becoming all-football-all-the-time around here... as well it should.

Okay short and sweet:

Monday, September 18, 2006

Jefferson Parish is too violent

Really.. those people over there act like animals. I know I always lock my doors when.. God forbid.. I have to drive into Jefferson Parish. Thank goodness it's not very often.

Monday Sports Page

First the good news. In a shocking display of good sense, the new AP top 25 rankings do not list Notre Dame ahead of LSU as some predicted. I won't go too far into it this morning but everything I said immediately after the game stands. Yes, the officiating was bad but the fact remains, the Tigers mostly beat themselves on Saturday through untimely mistakes, horrible clock management at the end, and an ineffective running game. Peter Finney, who has always written much better stuff about college than he has about pro-football is on target today in assessing LSU's strengths and weaknesses. He also makes the following fun observation regarding Auburn.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville knows better than anyone he's blessed with the kind of schedule he rode to 13-0 two years ago, only to get shut out by a USC-Oklahoma championship game. This time it could be Ohio State-USC.
Thankfully, the Tigers will get a week off to try and right the ship before being tested again by an actual football team.

Have you seen this man?
His name is Joe.. something and it says here that he's three touchdown receptions away from becoming the Saints' all time leader. Maybe somebody should throw him the ball a few times. Yesterday it took Drew Brees seemingly all day to find the man who has been this offense's go-to guy for nearly six years. And, yes, he still makes things happen. Keep it in mind.

Otherwise, the Saints offense continues to impress. Drew Brees overcame three first quarter turnovers to bring the Saints back from a 13 point deficit and put them in position to almost blow a late game lead for the second consecutive week. In fact, this is the first time in franchise history that a Saints team has managed to almost (but not quite) stupidly squander a late fourth quarter lead for two consecutive road games at the start of a season. So that's something to be proud of. Also Brees's arm has not yet fallen off.. while former Saints literacy advocate and quarterback Aaron Brooks's apparently has... so that's something as well.

Season TD Tally: Donte Stallworth 2 Marques Colston 2. Our money is still on Colston. Note: Stallworth's team actually did stupidly squander a late lead yesterday. We hope he enjoyed that.

Unlike last season, this Saints team has an all-pro caliber running back who must be accounted for on every play. His name is Deuce McAllister and he scored two touchdowns against the Packers including what we could have called the game clincher.. were it not for the subsequent attempt by the team to stupidly squander the lead. What about that Reggie guy? Yeah he's pretty good but he mostly plays wideout.

Promising Saints rookie receiver Reggie Bush evades a tackler. Bush caught 8 passes for 68 yards.

It looks like the three-game 2006 season is an unqualified success. Most Saints fans were hoping for at least one win before the home opener. Now the Saints will return undefeated to the Superdome to face the hated Atlanta Falcons in a battle for first place. They won't win... but.. for the millionth time, who cares?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

LSU vs Auburn Instant recap

  • 1st half was riddled with awful officiating. A crucial pass to Jacob Hester which would have resulted in a first down was ruled incomplete although the replay clearly showed that Hester had posession before fumbling the ball out of bounds. Hester is later nailed five yards out of bounds resulting in no penalty.

  • Alley Broussard is not back yet. He looks a step and a half slow every time he touches the ball. LSU, in fact, has no running game to speak of. This will continue to kill them in SEC play if it is not corrected.

  • Auburn kicker John Vaughn, who missed five field goals last year in Baton Rouge missed a chip shot today. This officially makes him my favorite football player in the world.

    Keep your head up, John. Somebody out there loves you.

  • Everyone will remember this game for the late pass interference against Auburn that was questionably overruled late in the game. I think the wrong call was made.. but I understand why it happened.

  • Ja Marcuss Russell made two unforgivable plays on the last drive which cost LSU the game. With time running out, Russell scrambled right, found no one open, and instead of throwing the ball away unbelievably allowed himself to be sacked and a good twenty extra seconds to run off the clock. Two plays later, Russell in a similar situation threw a pointless completion to Justin Vincent over the middle... a play which would have stupidly ended the game had the Tigers managed to line up correctly before the snap. The illegal procedure penalty allowed one additional play. By this point, however, I can't imagine LSU deserving to win at all.. so in a way, I found the failure to score on the last play fitting.

So.. LSU is officially out of the running for a national championship. And.. unless Auburn blows it.. twice against SEC opponents.. the Tigers have no shot at a conference title. Remember.. at LSU.. any season during which you do not play for the SEC title or appear in a BCS bowl is basically a major failure. It may be time to consider firing Les Miles.

At least Notre Dame lost.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Footballish Weekend

Yes, you have my permission to go right ahead and apply anything you learn here for gambling purposes.

First of all, someone go get Maitri and tell her to bring her seismograph as tomorrow is LSU vs Auburn day. Not only do these two teams hate each other.. but this matchup annually carries big time national championship implications.

All week the T-P has been running a series on the recent history of what has become perhaps the most heated rivalry in the SEC. (see here here and here)

I was in the Tiger Stadium student section for one such meeting in 1995(?) when we still had high hopes for Gerry Retardo's campaign to "bring back the magic". A young and coming Tiger squad was ready to prove something against 5th ranked Auburn. Somewhere in some box I still have packed away a plastic cup with teeth marks imprinted while Troy Twillie made a game saving end zone interception in the closing seconds.

[Aside: I also recall the following Monday morning when a certain economics professor of mine treated us to some bullshit about the parallels between college football and the defense of some hypothetical medieval village. Later during the course I handed in a paper in which I cited this incident along with other evidence I had assembled of what I termed "egotistical pedantic schmuckery" on the part of this particular professor. I may have mentioned in this space before that I have twice decided that graduate school is beyond my tolerance. The fact that such "schmuckery" is in fact rampant in academia may have something to do with this.]

Anywhooo... back to Auburn. You know what? Fuck Auburn! If there were any justice in the world, we'd knock the snot out of them.

Um... remember, there is in fact no justice in the world.

Auburn 17 LSU 6

Reggie Bush's family took about $100,000 in gifts from agents while he was at USC. It's a scandal. The school may have to forfeit games.. and its (one) National Title. Meanwhile, Bush may have to... continue his life as a gazillionaire football player. All I can say is Ha!

This week, Bush and his little team are in Green Bay to take on a Packers team which currently features one two-thousand year old quarterback, one crippled running back, and one... um... Mike McCarthy. The Saints are coming off a surprising performance (particularly by the defense) against Cleveland while the Packers are still trying to figure out if they are eligible for a refund on all that furniture they bought on Labor Day. Are the Packers that bad? Are the Saints that good? This has all the characteristics of a game where things even out a bit.

Packers 24 Saints 10

Oh yeah. Is Tulane even playing? Whatever. Take the other team. Minus the points.

Whew! Glad that's overwith

Back on the air with more very important stuff.

A somewhat long time ago.. a regular publication known as Timshel would post a Friday Time Killing Game of the Week.

Because we're feeling very much in that spirit on this particular Friday we present to you a link to the classic flash game.. Fishy! Eat, grow, fight your way to the top of the food chain.

Hello.. is this thing on?

looks like blogger issues.. I can log in but I can't access my published blog. I'm just posting to see if it does any good.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Remind me to show up late to the Monday Night game

So I don't have to sit through the gay ass pre-game show.

Dear Mr. Whitlock

Here are my tickets

This will be my view of the most culturally significant event in New Orleans since Carnival. Consider this an invitation. Are you coming?

The good Texan

Former Texas governor Ann Richards has passed. It's early in the morning and I'm not sure I have the words yet but I'd like to say some things about Texas, the source of so many questionable things of late. My mother grew up in rural East Texas before running away to the big city and getting involved with the.. um.. wrong sort.. we tend to produce in this town resulting eventually in the legacy of wrongness I strive each day to live up to. Maybe, then, it's because my blood is so tainted that I feel obligated to say a few words about Governor Richards and Texas politics in general. Ann Richards reminded me a lot of the kind of Texans in Mom's side of the family. Big hearted, loud, extremely sharp witted, but ultimately modest self-effacing and generous.
Richards was the inheritor of a fading strand of folksy progressivism peculiar to Texas politics that I've always admired. For much of the Twentieth Century (at least during the two generations preceding my own) progressives ran strong in Texas and did so with a kind of common sense populist swagger and humor which the left seems almost incapable of harnessing these days. Some Texas progressives of note include former Senator Ralph Yarborough, longtime Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, former Texas state pol, columnist, talk show host, and general wit Jim Hightower, and perhaps my favorite columnist working today Molly Ivins.

The left in American politics today has been silenced and marginalized partially through corporate media hostility and the steady collapse of the Democratic party as an effective (or even willing) advocate for the poor and working classes. But mostly the left has lost its mojo because it has lost its backbone.. something Texas progressives like Ann Richards had in spades. Lets hope she didn't take it with her.

Update: More from Ray

Update 2: Still more from Ian

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The 100 Days

Where are we now?

Here's the official version.

For a more honest an eloquent assesment see G Bitch.

David puts it more directly.

Oh Good Christ!!

This evening someone wrote a really good Kos diary with accurate information (for a welcome change) on how to help local libraries affected by last year's hurricanes.

Of course.. this site's getting a mention from one of the commenters prompts us to once again run the official disclaimer.
This is a personal website. What appears here are the inane, hastily tossed off, frequently misspelled ramblings of an exceedingly silly person. The opinions expressed here are those of that person alone and have no affiliation with any public or private institution such as the New Orleans Public Library or Major League Baseball.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Loose ends dept

In case anyone was wondering what happened to the old Chocolate Alert System which first appeared here June 1, be aware that it is still set firmly at Toblerone Bar and will remain so at least until the end of September. It looks calm right now but we must be ever vigilant as the enemy continues to plot and our security systems remain questionable.

Primary Day in Maryland

While it's looking like Cardin has the edge on Mfume, Political Wire quotes a SurveyUSA poll which does allow for the following.
Caveat: "If voter turnout is very high, Mfume has a chance to catch Cardin."

Whoopsie... guess that's a bit much to hope for now.

Remember back when actual library type things got mentioned here from time to time?

Good. Neither do I. Seriously this has to be the most unhelpfully named website on the internets.... well apart from Your Right Hand Thief, I suppose, which, let's admit, is just too clever for polite society.

Misleading nomenclature notwithstanding, it turns out that yesterday, we had a real live brush with an honest-to-God librarianship issue. Better yet, it was an honest-to-God privacy rights vs law enforcement issue..... on 9/11 no less. Which I thought was a little too far fetched as well but I don't know who to complain to about predictable plot contrivances in real life so we'll all just have to accept it for what it is.

Here's what happened. Sometime around mid-morning we were visited by a dynamic duo of NOPD's surliest detectives. Badges dangling from their necks and walkie talkies turned all the way up in order to blare the incoherent staticky chatter which I am convinced many officers of the law believe imbues them with an air of authority they sauntered? moseyed? no no.. they actually kind of wobbled up to us in a manner which evoked Star Jones attempting to impersonate John Wayne. The lead detective dropped a stack of library books on the circ desk which she then steadied herself against whilst recovering from the overexertion of ascending the six stairs to the library entrance.

Upon catching her breath she explained that she and her partner had found these books on a burglary suspect they had apprehended and needed to know who they were checked out to in order to continue their investigation. This is, of course, pretty good detective work. Knowing who these books were checked out to can really help the detectives build a case. If they're checked out to a burglary victim then they become fairly solid evidence. If they aren't checked out at all, the suspect could have stolen them from the library.

Unfortunately it's not so simple. A libray patron's borrowing record is confidential information which we simply aren't at liberty to share.. particularly with a law enforcement agency... without at least a subpoena. And one would think that professional detectives would know this. But upon having this explained, the detectives launched into a full ten minutes of staring, eye rolling, sighing and bullying before finally huffing off (our books in tow) vowing to return with their subpoena.

I really don't understand this. Not only should they, as law enforcement professionals, have respect for the need to follow proper legal procedure (and in the process understand ours as well) but also, as adults, they should have no business tweaking out on us like that. I guess I shouldn't expect more. It is NOPD after all. But keeping in mind the fact that is is NOPD I'm not only offended I'm a little afraid as well.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Your Weekly Gambit Preview

(This week's Gambit is not yet online)

Don't miss the interview with Jason Berry whose Last of the Red Hot Poppas is cleverly scheduled to dovetail with the release of All The King's Men.

Also featured this week, Chad E Rogers of The Dead Pelican

Five Years Ago Today

Well.. I think we all know. In lieu of a personal "where were you?" 9/11 tale (I was released from jury duty due to the events of that day if you must know) I've elected to turn the floor over to Gore Vidal about whose status as our "greatest living writer" Adrastos and I are in agreement.
America's warrior nation - The legacy of 9/11

The shortcomings of the American leader were alarmingly exposed on the day the terrorists struck. He and his acolytes are now leading their empire towards permanent conflict with lslam

By Gore Vidal

09/10/06 "The Independent" -- -- What a difference five years have made! The greatest nation in the country, as an American statesman once termed us, was attacked by a dozen or so Saudi Arabians who had, with astonishing ease, hijacked several airliners and flew two of them into a pair of New York skyscrapers as well as another into one of the five sides of the Pentagon at Washington, the heart of the greatest, most expensive military machine the world has ever known. I watched all this on CNN; in Italy where I then lived. The visual shock was great, of course. Particularly when our little president was discovered by the ubiquitous TV camera in a Florida school where he was reading to his peers from "The Pet Goat", an inspirational tale calculated to encourage small Americans to stand tall: "like", as he would put it, "they should." An aide interrupts the reading; murmurs something in the presidential ear: the presidential eyes widen. A moment akin to the Confederacy firing on Fort Sumter, or the Japanese sinking the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. Two tall presidents were, happily for us, in office at those times. Lincoln acted with characteristic guile while Roosevelt, thundering anathema as Pontifex Maximus, flung open the doors of the temple of Janus and so the war that would bring us a global empire began while that of the Japanese sun goddess ended. What then did our very own Romulus Augustulus do during the rest of September 11th? He read some more of "The Pet Goat", knowing that his puppet-meister, vice president Cheney, was safely embedded in some secret spot. Then the little emperor was hustled away in Air Force One for a tour of our most luxurious bunkers where he might avoid the attentions of new attackers, should they come.

What, someone asked, was my first response. Amazement at how little protected we were despite all the megalomaniacal posturings during that cold war deliberately set in motion by Harry S (for nothing, as he liked to say) Truman a half century ago with a son et lumière celebration at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is still not known to the American public that every single important commander of World War Two from General Eisenhower in Europe to Admiral Nimitz in the Pacific pleaded with our first really small president not to atomise two cities of a defeated nation desperately trying to surrender. But Truman, and his Metternich, Dean Acheson, wanted to replace Hitler and Fascism with Stalin and Communism. It was under Truman that the ever greater lie came into its glittering own. Despite the unanimous objections of the American military, Truman insisted on dropping two nuclear bombs. I was serving in the Pacific theatre of operations at the time and we were assured, along with the rest of the world, that one million of us would die in the coming invasion of Japan. Did we love the Bomb? Yes, we did. But little did we know that, had we invaded as originally planned, there was no way that we would have encountered the survivors of the Japanese army on the mainland of Asia as they did not have sufficient transport to return to their home islands.

I think it was Vico who noted that busy republics tend to turn themselves into empires. Certainly, the French intellectual godfather to the American republic, Montesquieu, warned that republics which took the empire route would cease to be republics altogether while Vico, in his cyclic view of human societies, saw imperial republics evolving into dictatorships, chaos, barbarism. In the last five years American behaviour in the Middle East has been barbarous and will not soon be forgiven. Meanwhile, the gas-oil junta has hijacked the old American republic through the artful use of great quantities of corporate and church cash in order to falsify the electoral tallies of easily hacked electronic voting machinery; means now exist to nullify or alter any election returns as happened in Florida 2000; in Ohio 2004.

There is a good deal of grim comedy in the words if not the current deeds of the little president. Although he and his co-conspirators relish the use of the big lie (eg turning the dull but genuine war hero John Kerry into a cowardly fraud while ignoring the slackerdom of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld who proudly fought in none of our many wars). Now in an attempt to avoid blame for the Iraq war and further confuse the world about why Iran and Syria must be destroyed Old Rumsfeld and Old Cheney are trotting out dim garbled images of Hitler and appeasement as they pretend that the anti-war American majority favours Islamic fascism. They pretend terrorism is a demonic person. And if we don't stop him in Tehran we'll have to stop him here. This is ludicrous; unfortunately the junta is as ignorant of history and geography as they believe the public to be. Meanwhile, the little president worries about his "legacy" in the history books. But should he get World War Three going there might not be any more history books, a relief to a non-reader like himself, though, lately, he tells us that he is reading Camus and "three Shakespeares". No doubt tragedies. As we know, he lies with zest yet he was actually revealed reading "The Pet Goat" on television and the Greek word for goat is the same as the word for tragedy. If this is code, I am beginning to suspect him of irony, a fatal flaw in Freedom's home. After all, on his first trip to New Orleans, he promised to restore the drowned city. But, as usual, nothing was done. Then this August 29 he was back in town to reassure high school students: "I've come back to New Orleans to tell you the words that I spoke on Jackson Square are just as true today as they were then." And so, of course, they were! Meanwhile, one hopes that some noble humanitarian will finally shut the doors of the temple of Janus which have not been shut since December of 1941 when we went from one war to another and another without a pause - or thought.

Aw.. nuts!

It's raining like hell out there. So glad I took the bike to work today!

Saints 19 Browns 14

  • It would have been a real shame to let the Browns get away with stealing this one. They almost did. I've been to too many of these rodeos to feel good about a team completely dominating a first half and having only three field goals to show for it. The Saints almost let Cleveland win a game they didn't deserve. The Browns played like utter garbage for most of the game committing penalties and turnovers when they could least afford to. The Saints might have let them get away with it.. had it not been for one more stupid trunover at the end.

  • Josh "Never Mind The" Bullocks saves the day. Must be the jersey number.

  • It turns out that not only can you fit two star players in the same backfield.. but you probably should. I have to hand it to Payton here. He took maximum advantage of Bush and Deuce's talents to keep the Browns guessing throughout the game.

  • Having said that, I find it hard to watch Bush. He looks... really really little and fragile out there. It makes me wince every time he takes a hit. It's so bad sometimes that I really wonder if he'll last three years.

  • He's pretty good.. but he's itty bitty (T-P photo)

  • The re-vamped defense held together well and played over its head to help those field goals stand up as long as they did. Remember, though, the defense also held together and played over its head in last year's opener... the only occasion on which it did so all season.

  • I don't care what Donte Stallworth did for the Eagles this week, the Saints are better off with Marques Colston.

  • TD tally after Week 1: Colston 1 Stallworth 1 My money's on Colston

  • Brees's arm did not fall off. But I still question the wisdom of keeping only two quarterbacks on the roster.

  • Umm.. sure you don't want to rest that shoulder, Drew?

  • Like I said yesterday, it's a three game season. If they play like this again they can beat Green Bay setting up a Monday night home opener with a 2-0 record. If they do that they can take the rest of the year off.

Note: All game photos shamelessly stolen from NOLA.com where there is much more.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Marching In

  • It sounds like Saints fans are in the spirit. This morning people are calling Bobby Hebert and predicting the Saints will win between 5 and 8 games and they couldn't be happier about it.

  • Menckles is sporting an old Ricky Williams jeresy. I don't know if that's good or bad.

  • This is basically a three game season. If this team can make it to the Superdome reopening with at least one win... well we really can't ask much more than that.

Your season opening You Tube extravaganza:

1) From the Concert for Hurricane Relief (better remembered as the "George Bush doesn't care about black people" show)

2) The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

3) The Louis Armstrong All Stars

Thought of the day: Jason Whitlock is a pinhead!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hold That Tiger Rag

As I sit down to post this, LSU just went up 17-0 on Arizona. But something is not quite right in Tigerland this year. Earlier this week Ian alerted us to a shocking decision by LSU administrators to discontinue the band's performance of "Tiger Rag" during the pregame ceremony. Apparently, LSU administrators were unsettled by the fact that some drunken Tiger fans had found something in the beat of the song that allowed them to taunt the visiting team by chanting "asshole". Leaving aside the prudery of anyone affecting to be shocked that there is swearing at football games, it seems strange that LSU officials would allow some drunken fans to deter them from allowing a song with Louisiana roots to be played at Louisiana sporting events. Tiger Rag performed here by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in its traditional form is a well known Jazz classic. During his landmark 1938 Library of Congress recording sessions with Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton uses the piece to illustrate the component influences in early Jazz music.
Personally, I learned the song by watching LSU football and basketball while growing up. It's a shame to think that this tradition will have to be pushed aside on account of a few "assholes".

Bonus: Ukelele master Roy Smeck performs Tiger Rag


Oyster has yet another bone (or several) to pick with The Dead Pelican. It's a very long post.. and I'd like to pull out an excerpt for you here but the whole thing is too good.

Friday, September 08, 2006

One Year Ago Today

Bush suspends the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage act in the hurricane recovery zone.

Boyd Blundell explains why this is very very bad.

One Katrina Don't Stop No Show

Editor B. has found Sandra Hester. I cannot express my utter joy that Ms. Hester is alive and kicking... but unfortunately living in something called Glasgow, MO.

For the unitiated, Sandra Wheeler Hester was the longtime host of a weekly cable access show in New Orleans called "The Hester Report" on which Ms. Hester held forth on her numerous complaints and confrontations with the Orleans Parish School Board... um.. among other things.

Two of my favorite episodes:
  • One show aired following some sort of domestic disagreement in the Hester household prompting Hester to taunt her husband by conducting the show in front of a piece of poster board on which she had placed the message "One monkey don't stop no show."

  • During the 2002 Mayoral primary, Hester staged an event in which she affixed photos of the candidates to the backs of live crabs and attempted to have them race. When the crabs shifted and loafed uncooperatively, Hester tried to motivate them by waving a dollar bill in front of them. Great stuff.

Please come home, Ms. Hester. We miss you.

Letter to the Editor

I just submitted the following to ESPN's Page2 reader comment section.

Down here in New Orleans we're a little dismayed that Jason Whitlock purports to be simultaneously interested in the rebuilding of New Orleans and disinterested in the Saints this year. Were Mr. Whitlock to spend a little more time in these parts he would see that Saints football is such a crucial part of the cultural tapestry here as to be placed only slightly behind Carnival as a touchstone of our shared identity as New Orleanians. Sure the team will likely be lousy but this is hardly the point. It never has been. Over 40 years the team has won only one playoff game and yet managed to maintain its special place in the city's heart. In 2005, the Times-Picayune published the results of a "fan loyalty index" which measured total attendance per victory since 1967. The Saints led the league in this category. Furthermore the people of New Orleans have stated resolutely their belief that the return of the Saints is critical to the rebuilding process by purchasing over 65,000 season tickets for 2006. Win or lose, this football team still means something important to this city and its identity. Perhaps Mr. Whitlock should visit on September 25 when the Saints and all of New Orleans reclaim the Superdome, the site of so much tragedy, as a symbol of hope. He may understand then.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Like I said earlier... They're doing it on purpose

Schools not ready.

Nagin's response on the evening news: Try private schools.

Update: T-P has way way more on this this morning. Lest we face charges of mopiness once more, let us say that this news is encouraging.

The good news is there are now plans in the works to repair and reopen MLK school in the Lower Nine.. and it's happening because of some very motivated people.
By 9 a.m. Wednesday, 200 African-American schoolchildren sat on the steps of the former site of Charles J. Colton Middle School, waving signs that read "Open our school NOW!" and "Education is a right!"

On the first scheduled day of school, parents and students at the newly chartered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School for Science and Technology arrived at their temporary home in the Faubourg Marigny only to find contractors still working to rid the crippled old building of mold and exposed lead paint. State authorities had asserted control of the building: They could not use it.

With King's original building in the Lower 9th Ward destroyed along with the neighborhood, they had watched many other schools open, some of them for a more affluent, more white student body. And so the problem festered with each passing day, outraging an African-American community that toiled for years to make King a comparatively high performer in the city's largely broken public school system.
Yesterday's rally was led by the MLK school community. Here's what you need to know about these folks from Da Nint Ward

The state had delayed four other charter school opening -- some for a week longer than Sept. 11 -- and none of their staffs held protests. Jarvis had arranged for students at three additional school to attend other campuses until repairs could be completed. But for King, it was personal. None of the other Recovery District charters facing delays had 90 percent of their faculty and more than 200 of their students returning after the flood. With new staff and students thrown together, they existed as schools on paper only. And none of them faced the devastation of the Lower 9th Ward -- and still managed to maintain their cohesive community.
This is what happens when people organize and refuse to be ignored. Hope floats.... but it takes a lot of constant dog paddling.

One year ago today

No pickle meat in Nashville!

A place they may have taken you when you ain't dere no more, ain't dere no more itself

T-P: Alderwoods selling 4 local funeral homes
Katrina-damaged Bultman parlor among casualties

The Bultman home, acquired by Alderwoods in the 1990s, has operated under some version of the Bultman family name for 123 years. It has hosted services for numerous historical figures ranging from Confederate President Jefferson Davis to 1950s actress Jayne Mansfield. In recent years, funerals for oil tycoon Patrick Taylor and poet and painter Stan Rice, the husband of author Anne Rice, have been held at Bultman, a sprawling complex filled with art collected by the Bultman family.

Billy Henry, who has managed Bultman for 16 years, said the funeral home sustained damage during Hurricane Katrina that would be expensive to repair.

Blink and you'll miss your chance to say something stupid to no one

So this big post I've been promising for the last few days now has pretty much been happening in the discussion over at Adrastos's place where the talk is all C Ray this week. See here, here, and here and you'll see what I'm talking about. Read the exciting comments and you may even manage to piece together what I might have written here. So I really don't need to say anything at all... eh but here goes anyway.

To put it succinctly, the city is sinking and C Ray is letting it happen... and he's doing it on purpose. The administation's cavalier neglect of essential recovery issues such as affordable housing, public transit, criminal justice (particularly the neglect of indigent defense), public education and health services, neighborhood planning, streets, utilities... is simply too consistent to be accidental. It is a policy intended to please uptown plutocrats: Shrink the city, strangle economic development outside of tourism, build condos.

Since I've been recently accused of being too "mopy" I'll point out one positive development in all of this. The sleepy local media seem to be catching on. Particularly astute as of late have been the T-P's Stephanie Grace and Gambit's Clancy Du Bos. Long the official spokesperson of the yuppie mushy middle in New Orleans politics, Clancy seems to have gotten religion as of late. If you read only one smackdown of C Ray this week, make it Clancy's. He gets it exactly right.
That Nagin should secretly champion the very conspiracy he so publicly attacks only adds to the deftness with which he advances the cause. Indeed, he makes the perfect double-agent: He holds the most powerful position in town, yet he stands in front of an impoverished crowd in the Lower Ninth Ward railing against unnamed "powers that be" who allegedly want to grab their land, even though no one else has wanted that land since Bienville first planted a flag hereabouts in 1718; and all the while his "free market" policy of doing nothing that resembles leadership or boldness discourages investment of both public and private capital in the hardest-hit areas, thereby increasing the chances that poor neighborhoods will lie fallow for years to come. If the "powers that be" have any designs on the Lower Nine, it's to keep it fallow, not buy it up.

Mission accomplished.
Grace gets kudos this week for adding that Nagin's approach is born not out of incompetence but out of an idealogical bent he shares with President Bush.
But there's more to the comparison than that: Despite different political parties and vastly different backgrounds, the patrician president and the self-made mayor actually hold similar world views. To boil it down to basics, both trust the private sector more than they trust government.

The result, at the federal level, was a downsized and devalued FEMA -- underfunded and understaffed -- that clearly was not up to the task of dealing with a major emergency.

At the city level, Nagin's approach to rebuilding shows a similar reluctance to exert a heavy hand. The results so far, while not deadly, are frustrating to many looking for signs of progress and guidance on how they can come home.
I could swear we've seen this comparisson represented graphically somewhere before but.. oh yeah. Of course, Grace is also treading too lightly in her description of this policy. It is not only frustrating progress with too light a hand but rather strangling it through intentional neglect. The Bush and Nagin approaches to recovery are exactly the same. Both see their role in governing less as a mandate to employ the tools of government for civic improvement but more like a feudal privilidge from which to dispense favor to friends. Meanwhile those in the greatest need continue to bear the brunt of the punishment. And a city is allowed to die a slow certain death.

Update: David is also unsurprisingly on point here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One year ago today

Among the Hillbillies

Also.. we think the a/c is finally back in order so we've moved back in to familiar environs today. This means that I've been catching up on a few weeks of library housekeeping today. I'll have more after work.. but until then... Raul is in charge.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

One year ago today

I'm all about the meta posting these days. Here I was last year comparing my Katrina experience to a more pleasant one with Ivan in 2004.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'd like to throw this out to the floor for discussion

Karen the zealous nut has asked a pretty good question in a Moldy City comment thread.
Do you have any idea how the GO Zone Money is being channelled into projects, such as High Rise Buildings to increase density in a City that has been losing population BEFORE Katrina?
If anyone has any thoughts please post them either there or here.

Lee's Levees Now Online


One year ago today

They found Fats Domino

Selling Out

C Ray is on the road again. This time he's visiting his favorite hole in the ground while seeking once again to open Carnival to commercial sponsorship. The promoters of this enteprise are employing the familiar "it's just a little bit of blasphemy" argument.
Rose took pains to say he's deeply aware that many New Orleanians fear commercializing Mardi Gras will ruin it. He vowed the advertising will be "extremely subtle," he said, while still offering a good value for those who buy it. The firm is working closely with krewes to ensure Carnival's 150-year-old traditions are respected, Rose added.
(aside: It is not lost on me that a person involved in exploiting the rich cultural heritage of New Orleans for cheap financial gain is named Rose)

The line sounds a lot like "to stop terrorism you need to give up some freedom" and it is just as bogus. Once we decide to accept this sponsorship, we relinquish control over our own celebration. All sorts of things, parade routes, themes, dates, times, not to mention whatever new "tradition" the television producers might decide to invent are now subject to "input" from your sponsors. Why are we doing this?

The nation largely views and treats Louisiana as a colony. We are exploited for our natural resources. Our oil and gas, our fishery, and recently via the tourism-plantation economy our "exotic" culture is mined and expropriated for the benefit and entertainment of the Americans. In return we are left with a polluted, used, and eroding landscape and an impoverished abandoned and insulted population. It is shameful that we continue to elect leaders who are so willingly complicit in furthering this sellout.

Update: Adrastos has more

Friday, September 01, 2006

Unfortunately omitted accolades

The recent Lib Chron third anniversary deluxe meta-post included a selection of feedback this site has attracted over the years. We neglected to include the following.

You may now draw your own conclusions as to what this says about the quality of these publications.


The city recently opened a "Welcome Home" center on the third floor of the main library. This is in addition to the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center which continues to operate on the first floor. Predictably much of the conversation one is privy to around the library is of the most depressing sort. By now, you know the themes. Lost everything... Couldn't get back... Lost my job... Rent is ridiculous... Don't know how or when I'll get any help.. etc. But it's a bit more raw because a lot of the people visiting the Welcome Home center and the DRC are only now making their way back to town. I remember what it was like having to come to terms with life back in Debrisville last year. Imagine making that adjustment now.. after a whole year has passed.. a year in which it is reasonable to have expected a great deal more progress to have been made. Needless to say, the atmosphere around the building is a tad sobering.

I was thinking about this yesterday when, walking in the French Quarter, I passed some men unloading a truck. One was saying to the other... and I'm sure you're heard this one before too, "I don't know why my taxes keep going here to rebuild these people's shit. These people need to get the fuck away from this water." I suppose I could have stopped and said something but since I lack Dambala's gift for conversational tact, the confrontation would only have been an unsatisfying confusion of swearing and violence... and I hadn't eaten yet so I wasn't in the mood for that.

Now consider these denizens of everyone's favorite city in Texas. I could stop and say something but I can't improve on what what da po'boy says here.
You know, I have seen a lot of Texas license plates driving around New Orleans, many of them on pick up trucks involved, in some way, in the rebuilding of our city. We appreciate it, but I don’t think they are here for a noble cause. The ones I talk to are here to make money.

I can’t get that out of my head. New Orleanians are in Texas being asked to go home when they have no home. Many who are receiving assitance didn’t have jobs or money before the storm, so they have no jobs or money now. Texans, who had a home in Texas, are in New Orleans, with a place to stay here, with a job, and making money. I don’t get that.

Can we come up with some kind of trade?
I will add this, however. It looks like we're starting to feel just how badly we've lost the battle of information here. Already having abandoned us, America is now well on the way toward fully accepting whatever myth helps it rationalize doing so. This has been a long year. I think there may be longer years ahead.

One Year Ago Today

Flood Street then and now