Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friends of the Ferry

Went to Algiers Point for Friends of the Ferry this weekend.

On the way back across the river I saw this ironic sight:

A bridge cop taking the ferry.

Dorothy Mae Taylor

I was cleaning out the family home and found something interesting from the early 90's:

This was distributed Uptown during the whole Dorothy Mae Taylor episode. Here's a little background on the whole affair.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Articles to check out

Church's list keeps names of murder victims alive. Great work.

Condotels coming to New Orleans. This is about the last thing we need. I've got some family members who live in Ocean Springs and everyone on the coast HATES condotels. They are basically sanctioned absentee landlords. People buy a room in the hotel, get the revenues, the management takes a small cut, and all sorts of people come through. The owners are under pressure to keep the rooms full, so they'll let anyone in and if they make themselves a nuisance, there's nobody you can really talk to. There's not one landlord. Also, you can't really pressure the company, because it's not their units. Besides, New Orleans already has a glut of both condos and hotels.

Are we reliving 1929? Interesting article. Tough to follow, though. That's why NOBODY in the mainstream media covers complex financial issues.

Re-Engineer the Corps. And it's not a Louisianian calling for the reform...

Homeless camp near city hall. I suggest it be named either "Bushville" or "Nagin Town."

It's Not Our Fault. Excellent (albeit long) blog post.

Recall Jordan website up and running. Oh yeah, and he continues his run of perfection.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Brief comment on Jarvis DeBerry

I've thought DeBerry was a douche ever since he was a chief shit-stirrer back in the whole Magnet school mess a few years ago. I was about to enter Ben Franklin as a freshmen during one of the nastiest incarnations of the Magnet School mess. Remember Carl Galmon? I do... That mess left a profound impact on the way I look at the world.

But that discussion is for another day...

I plan on talking about what a big douche DeBerry is later, but for now, I noticed that there are some out there that actually think he's a good writer. I know why they think it, but that's just plain wrong. Lolis Eric Elie is the writer people think DeBerry is. In fact, when the blind squirrel (DeBerry) occasionally finds a nut (writes something worthwhile), I think it's really Elie covering for his sorry ass. Please, read Elie and cut DeBerry's articles out of the Times-Pic and put them at the bottom of birdcages.

If I ever take over the Times-Pic, I'm firing DeBerry and giving his salary to Elie with instructions to double his article output.

Also, on a related note, what's the matter with James Gill? Ever since Katrina, he's been extremely disappointing. He's lost the fire in his belly that made him so good. And he's had so many targets! Did somebody snatch him up, send him to Gitmo, and replace him with a Manchurian Candidate?

Depressing thought of the day

Ministers defend Jordan.

I've met some great people doing good work for New Orleans. Brian Denzer, Ashe Dambala, and others. They work hard to make this a great city. But, there are lots more bastards doing their damnedest to destroy the city, and it's much easier for a pack of morons to destroy a city than a small cadre of geniuses to build up a city.

There's no question that people have had an effect but is it enough? I sometimes feel like the 600:


Half a league half a league
  Half a league onward
All in the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade
Charge for the guns' he said
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldiers knew
  Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die,
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
  Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
  Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turned in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
  All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
  Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them
  Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
  All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
  Noble six hundred!


Back to work...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

National Geographic Article

National Geographic has a new article out about New Orleans. H/T to Humid Haney

Well, I've gone through the article and there are some really good things in the article, and there are some really atrocious things in the article.

I sent the following email to the editors:

I'm an 11th generation New Orleanian who is also a young engineer working in the city. I'm glad National Geographic continues to show an interest in New Orleans. I read your piece on New Orleans (http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0708/feature1/) and have some comments on it. I bolded the sections I think hit the nail on the head and I added comments in red for the sections that I either disagree with or are blatantly incorrect from a factual basis. If I were you, I would double check some of the things in red and consider issuing a retraction or clarification on a few statements.

I intend to do a more thorough vetting of the article when I get time, but right now I'm swamped.


Sincerely,
Clay ********

Tulane University '06
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

-----------------------------

Here's the parts I have to comment on:

"
...

Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in United States history (WRONG- COSTLIEST ENGINEERING DISASTER IN US HISTORY. HAD THE LEVEES BEEN BUILT LIKE THEY SHOULD HAVE, NAT’L GEO WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT HOW ‘NEW ORLEANS DODGED THE BIG ONE IN 2005…’), was also a warning shot. Right after the tragedy, many people expressed a defiant resolve to rebuild the city. But among engineers and experts, that resolve is giving way to a growing awareness that another such disaster is inevitable, and nothing short of a massive and endless national commitment can prevent
...
Located in one of the lowest spots in the United States, the Big Easy is already as much as 17 feet (five meters) below sea level in places, and it continues to sink, by up to an inch (2.5 centimeters) a year (WHAT IS YOUR SOURCE ON THE 17 FEET? THE ONLY AREA THAT IS 17 FEET BELOW SEA LEVEL IN ORLEANS PARISH ARE UNDEVELOPED PARTS OF NEW ORLEANS EAST. 50% OF THE CITY IS AT OR ABOVE SEA LEVEL. EXCEPT FOR RECENTLY SETTLED KENNER, NEW ORLEANS HAS BASICALLY STOPPED SINKING. EVERYTHING THAT CAN SUBSIDE HAS ALREADY SUBSIDED.). Upstream dams and levees built to tame Mississippi River floods and ease shipping have starved the delta downstream of sediments and nutrients, causing wetlands that once buffered the city against storm-driven seas to sink beneath the waves. Louisiana has lost 1,900 square miles (4,900 square kilometers) of coastal lands since the 1930s; Katrina and Hurricane Rita together took out 217 square miles (562 square kilometers), putting the city that much closer to the open Gulf. Most ominous of all, global warming is raising the Gulf faster than at any time since the last ice age thawed. Sea level could rise several feet over the next century. Even before then, hurricanes may draw ever more energy from warming seas and grow stronger and more frequent. (This is by no means the universal opinion. Dr. Gray has openly questioned the role of Global Warming. A nice, graphical representation of the views of some prominent hurricane researchers can be found in slide 12 of this presentation: http://www.sse.tulane.edu/FORUM_2005/presentations2006_files/pdfs/willoughby.pdf)

And the city's defenses are down. Despite having spent a billion dollars already, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now estimates it will take until after 2010 to strengthen the levee system enough to withstand a 1-in-100-year storm, roughly the size of Category 3 Katrina. It would take decades more to protect the Big Easy from the truly Big One, a Category 4 or 5—if engineers can agree on how to do that and if Congress agrees to foot the almost unimaginable bill. (WHILE THESE ESTIMATES MIGHT HOLD FOR THE CORPS, THEY ARE TOTALLY DISFUNCTIONAL. IF PRIVATE ENGINEERING FIRMS RAN THINGS, IT COULD BE DONE FOR A VERY AFFORDABLE BILL WITH THE MAJOR PROJECTS COMPLETED WITHIN A YEAR). For now, even a modest, Category 2 storm could reflood the city.

The long odds led Robert Giegengack, a geologist at the University of Pennsylvania, to tell policymakers a few months after the storm that the wealthiest, most technologically advanced nation on the globe was helpless to prevent another Katrina: "We simply lack the capacity to protect New Orleans." He recommended selling the French Quarter to Disney, moving the port 150 miles (240 kilometers) upstream, and abandoning one of the most historic and culturally significant cities in the nation. (TELL THAT TO THE DUTCH! ALSO, THAT FRENCH QUARTER/DISNEY CRACK EXPOSED THIS “SCIENTIST” AS HACK. WHY WOULD ANY CREDIBLE SCIENTIST MAKE SUCH AN IMMATURE AND INSULTING COMMENT? READ THE COMMENTS OF ANOTHER GEOLOGIST HERE- http://vatul.net/blog/index.php/1370/ ) Others have suggested rebuilding it as a smaller, safer enclave on higher ground.

...

IF PARIS, AS HEMINGWAY SAID, is a movable feast, then New Orleans has always been a floating one. Born amid willow and cypress swamps atop squishy delta soils, the city originally perched on the high ground formed by over-wash deposits from annual river floods. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, actually had to wait for the water to recede before he could plant the French flag in 1718 (SOURCE? I’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE, BUT IT’S A JOKE WE TELL TO OUT OF TOWNERS!). A flood destroyed the village the year after he founded it, and hurricanes wiped it off the map in 1722 and again a year later. In its 289-year history, major hurricanes or river floods have put the city under 27 times, about once every 11 years. Each time, the fractious French, Spanish, blacks, Creoles, and Cajuns raised the levees and rebuilt.

...


Early on, experts warned about serious flaws in the system. In 1984 Wilson Shaffer, a storm-surge modeler at the National Weather Service, told the corps that the Standard Project Hurricane, the hypothetical storm against which engineers tested their levee designs, was too small to represent the true threat. Stronger storms—such as the Category 5 Hurricane Camille, which slammed into Mississippi four years after Betsy—could easily overtop the system and flood the city, Shaffer said. "There are no high areas near the city that wouldn't flood in extreme cases," he wrote. "High ground is several tens of miles away. Evacuation routes are limited. … Imagine, if you can, the massive destruction and loss of life." (If you talk with Corps employees, they can’t explain the difference between a 100 year event, Standard Project Hurricane, Cat 3 Protection, and Cat 5 Protection. Go ahead and ask them and see the answers you get.)

...


"Locals wanted the cheapest possible protection system," says Oliver Houck. "But it wasn't cheap, it was just badly built."

The floodwalls along the city's major drainage canals were a classic example of the shortcomings. The corps didn't want to build most of them. Initially it planned to block storm surge with giant barriers across the eastern inlets of Lake Pontchartrain, beef up the levees along the southern lakeshore, and erect massive floodgates to keep high water out of the canals. Environmental groups, concerned about impacts on the lake and its wetlands, blocked the plan in court (That’s not entirely accurate. You’re referring to a lawsuit by the America’s Wetland’s group. I don’t want to put words in their mouth, but I’d bet they would beg to differ with that assessment, if you bothered to contact them. You just parroted a line from Fox News. http://www.newshounds.us/2005/09/14/fox_news_tries_to_blame_environmentalists_for_new_orleans_floods.php I don’t know enough to say what exactly happened, but I know that your one liner isn’t accurate.). The corps dropped the barriers and switched to a system that would rely on higher lake levees and floodgates (at the mouths of the outfall canals – you should clarify not at the mouth of the river). State and local officials—who were required to pick up nearly a third of the ballooning tab—balked at the cost of the gates. They also feared that closing the gates could actually cause flooding, as rainwater piled up in the canals. City leaders pushed instead for floodwalls along the canals. The groups remained at loggerheads until 1992, when Congress passed a water resources act that forced the corps to do it the city's way.

Foundation problems plagued the levees and floodwalls from day one. A contractor building the 17th Street Canal floodwalls in the mid-1990s actually tried to sue the corps for more money as the mucky soils drove up costs. The underlying sheet piles—steel panels driven into the ground to form a barrier—were shifting and pushing the concrete walls on top out of line.

...


Katrina, alas, exposed these weak underpinnings. When the storm drove floodwaters to within four feet (1.2 meters) of the top (That was not the water level at all parts. There were some areas that failed at much lower levels. There are some that didn’t fail at much higher levels. This is an inaccurate statement that needs to be revised.), the walls deflected backward, opening a crack at their base. Water poured in, found a thin layer of clay as slick as jelly, and forced nearly 450 feet (137 meters) of levee into Orleans Parish. On the London Avenue Canal, sandy soils led to similar blowouts. Floodwall failure let in nearly 80 percent of the water that flooded the central part of the city. "Just ten million dollars more spent on sampling and foundation investigation, and the system wouldn't have failed," (This statement refers to drilling sample bores at closer intervals that the Corps did [once every 10 feet vs. once every 300 feet, as the Corps did]. It’s my understanding that the soil samples the Corps possessed SHOWED the weak layers of soil. The Times-Pic won a Pulitzer for discovering this: http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2006/public-service/works/neworleansps09.html) says engineer J. David Rogers, who investigated the breaches with a team from the University of California, Berkeley. "It didn't come within a country mile of the design load."

And that was just a start. In the year after Katrina, two independent investigations and the corps's own 25-million-dollar study painted a detailed picture of flaws in the planning, design, and construction of the levee system. The corps, in its defense, says it was hamstrung by a political process that tied the project to what the local sponsor wanted and, more important, could afford (And pure porkbarrel spending… Orleans Parish Levee Board was one of the most corrupt governmental entities in Louisiana.). "Basically, you had political influence on significant engineering decisions," says the corps's project manager for the hurricane protection system, Al Naomi. "We went from fighting surge at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes, to fighting surge at the lakefront, to fighting surge in the heart of a major American city. Failure at the Rigolets would have had far less consequences than failure on 17th Street." (That’s a total cop out and an insult to engineers everywhere. It is the engineer’s ethical responsibility NOT to be influenced by political factors. They MUST own up to a design. They are the final line of defense. “The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope that the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny that he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned.” -Herbert Hoover

...


Kemp points to a new section of bare levee right next to the channel and shakes his head. "This is a recipe for disaster," he mutters. "The waves are going to break right on that thing. If a big storm comes in here this year, it's gone." Even sections of the levees newly capped with clay are already eroding from rainfall, Kemp says. In fact, during a recent inspection, engineering professor Bob Bea, who helped lead the UC Berkeley team that investigated the levee failures, found multiple chinks in the city's hurricane armor, from newly eroded levees along MRGO to Katrina-battered floodwalls that had not been repaired.

"When you start thinking about long-term protection, it doesn't give me any confidence," says Bea, a former resident of New Orleans who actually lost his home during Hurricane Betsy. "The system is ratty, shot full of defects. My advice for the people in low-lying areas: I wouldn't start rebuilding my life there."

...

Even after the massive engineering breakdown during Katrina, Matt McBride believes people can live safely at the bottom of the New Orleans bowl in a neighborhood called Broadmoor, which dips as much as ten feet (three meters) below sea level. Streets of colorful "shotguns" and raised basement houses, many built in the 1920s and 1930s, have put Broadmoor on the National Register of Historic Places. Its less glorious claim to fame is that for much of its history the place was prone to flooding in any heavy downpour, resulting in one of the highest rates of repetitive flood losses in the nation. In one section of Broadmoor, homeowners with multiple losses have filed an average of six flood claims each.

A 1995 flood following a rainstorm that dumped 14 inches (35 centimeters) on the neighborhood led to a multimillion-dollar drainage improvement project, completed in 2002, that drastically decreased flooding. Even during Katrina, with its 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rainfall, Broadmoor only flooded to the lawns and was pumped dry before the levees breached and the real flooding began. It was proof of what good engineering can do, says McBride, himself an engineer. "You can't design a perfectly flood-proof home," he says. "But if you get adequate levee protection and adequate drainage, I think people will return."

...


For the moment, the city's prospects have brightened a little. Some of the 110 billion dollars in federal reconstruction funds (That 110 billion is spread over an area the size of England and includes 2 other states. A good chunk [roughly 30 billion] was payouts through the NFIP, not disaster aid. Another large chunk was spent on disaster response and short-term stabilization programs. Very little was allocated for long-term recovery.) is starting to trickle into homeowners' hands, and with the rebuilding plan issued in March the city finally has a blueprint for repairing its infrastructure and sparking a revival. The state has passed its first building code ever to help storm-proof future homes, while the fractious levee boards have merged into two state entities. The Corps of Engineers has 5.7 billion dollars to beef up the city's hurricane defenses and is releasing a long-awaited, supercomputer-generated, flood risk analysis that will help it craft a new hurricane-protection and coastal-restoration plan. Congress even gave the state a slice of oil and gas royalties from a new swath of the deep Gulf recently opened to drilling—to be used to restore the rapidly eroding wetlands, coastline, and barrier islands, which might one day provide some protection from future storms.

...


"The situation here is a huge opportunity for the city and the nation," says Törnqvist, who says he can't imagine Holland turning its back on Amsterdam, or Italy giving up on Venice. "If we walk away, we'll miss a fantastic opportunity to learn things that will be useful in Miami, or Boston, or New York in 50 years." That kind of revival, however, would require a massive infusion of federal help, better engineering than ever before, and more social and urban planning than regulation-loathing Louisianans have ever stomached.

But even if wind and water give the Big Easy a respite until the corps can guarantee legitimate 1-in-100-year hurricane protection, powerful social and demographic forces unleashed by Katrina may already be undermining the city's revival. Researchers have found that major disasters tend to accelerate existing social and economic trends. A booming San Francisco rebuilt bigger and better after its 1906 earthquake and fire; while the decaying industrial city of Tangshan, China, needed a huge infusion of aid from the government to recover after a giant earthquake in 1976—and was ultimately saved by the country's burgeoning economy. It's a sobering precedent for New Orleans, which has been plagued for decades by economic decline—just a single Fortune 500 company is still headquartered there—shrinking population, failing schools, and high crime.

"So why protect it? Why protect a piece of history that's a cross between Williamsburg and Sodom and Gomorrah?" Oliver Houck sat in his office, hands locked behind his head, pondering the question on everyone's mind. "There are people who will fight to the death to stay here because it's such a damned joy to live here."

But at what price? Houck paused for a moment to gaze out his window at the oak-strewn Tulane campus. The university lost two departments and a quarter of its students to Katrina (I was a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Tulane when Katrina hit. Tulane cut 3 departments [Civil and Environmental, Mechanical, and EE/CS], a number of graduate programs, a small part of the business school, and a large part of the medical school. 85% of students returned after Katrina, but enrollment is down, in part due to the “Renewal Plan.”), while he and his family spent months in exile after the storm. "If two words characterize all of southern Louisiana now, they would be 'total uncertainty,' " Houck says. "It's the total talk around the table. It's the conversation you're having with friends and spouses, even strangers. What do we do now?"


---------------------------------------------------

I need to spend more time on this, but I'm swamped right now. There are some good things in the article, and there's some crap. If anyone can help me out with a more thorough debunking of some of the crap in the article, I'd appreciate it. Just send me some old news clippings if you've got them. Also, could any of my engineering readers back up some of what I said? I'm just a 23 year old engineer. I'd really like to have some P.E.'s behind what I'm saying. But, it's revealing that a 23 year old engineer can blow massive holes in major portions of their argument.

UPDATE- DUDE! I made Kos!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The French



This is what class looks like, folks. "Freedom Fries" leave a bad taste in my mouth...

Poll Results - Midura's Letter

Taking the poll down, now that it's done. Wanted to preserve the results, though.

-------------------------------

Is the "Special Prosecutor" an acceptable alternative to Councilwoman Midura's letter?

Yes

15 (21%)

No

54 (78%)



Votes so far: 69
Poll closed

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fuel Adjustment Charge

PSA here:

I just got my Entergy bill and this month's Fuel Adjustment Charge is particularly onerous. When you open it, make sure you have a beer handy...

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Louisiana's Second Most Retarded Politician

WDSU Video of Midura and Jordan sparing. Who are these idiots cheering Jordan? What crackhead would EVER clap for Jordan? Oh yeah, Dirnell Shavers' murderer...

Guess what, Midura ain't alone in calling for your resignation. My memory might be a little fuzzy on this one, but aren't these state legislators Progressive Democrats? Can someone help me out with this fact?

Jordan dodged and weaved at today's City Council meeting. Looks like Jordan is practicing the 5 D's (dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge). If only we could throw hammers and wrenches at his worthless ass! He actually had the gall to try to change the subject from him releasing murderers to him bragging about his success forcing deadbeat dads to pay up. My councilman, Mr. Carter, called him on his total bullshit. Good job! Now, you just need represent your district and call for his resignation.

Even Anderson Cooper is getting in on the Jordan-bashing.

And the hits just keep on coming...

RESIGN! YOU SUCK SO MUCH, YOU MAKE THE 1980 SAINTS LOOK LIKE THE 2006 SAINTS!



UPDATE- "I do not intend to resign, so you can put that out of your mind," Jordan said. Fucker.

Politics with a Punch

So, I get all dressed up with the girlfriend to go to Politics With a Punch. I went a long time ago to one featuring Sandra "18 Wheeler" Hester, Treasurer Kennedy, and others. I had a great time. I really wanted to go to this one, even when the original panel members were Ivor van Herden, et. al. and the discussion topics were probably going to be relatively boring. I was looking forward to downing sazeracs and poking fun of Vitty-Cent. But, alas, it was not meant to be.

Well, Vitter gets caught with his hands in the nookie-jar and they get sold out before I could get a reservation. Not even showing up shortly after the doors open and begging the door lady can help.

I really wanted to go. PLEASE, if you went, could you send me a synopsis of what went on? PLEASE! I really wanted to go, but they were overbooked.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vitter, Louisiana's Dumbest Politician

It's a huge contest in an incredibly packed field, but I think he takes it after DENYING a New Orleans hooker connection when there are at LEAST 2 well documented cases out there. He didn't have to say a word. He made things worse for himself and his family.



Vitter's extracurricular activities long known to insiders. It's also well known about the New Orleans hookers, too. These rumors go back the better part of a decade and continue at least through 2006, according to an anonymous staffer. What I'm pissed off about is nobody at the time over at the Times-Pic decided to investigate, despite ample evidence and leads.

Ignatius J. Reilly's Letter to David Vitter. Hilarious.

What's going to bring Vitter down is his public shitting all over fellow Republicans. They all hate his guts. If Foster were still governor, they'd all be prancing around his front lawn in diapers demanding his resignation. Blanco is giving them some pause, but if she gives them reasonable assurances that she'll appoint David Treen, Vitter will be flushed down the toilet.

Oh yeah, and what a conference yesterday! Wendy Vitter practically dared the media to come up with photos and more whores. Be careful what you wish for, Miss Goody-Two-Shoes, you might just have a strange little boy wind up at your front door saying, "Do you know my daddy?"

My prediction:

Vitter will continue to stonewall. The controversy will grow. Eventually, he'll have a one on one sit down interview with the most ball-licking, groveling, worthless sack of shit excuse for a reporter (smart money is on Geraldo!). All the questions will be vetted in advance. It will be complete crap. Then there will be some huge revelation, like photos, DNA-encrusted diapers, or a love-child. Vitter still won't resign, though. He's a stubborn bastard. Eddie Jordan and Vitter could but heads like rams during mating season and not get so much as a headache. What I think will do him in is Wendy. Oh sure, she looks like steel right now (and she is a very strong woman), but will ultimately be no match for the rumors that are being spread by the ladies of New Orleans high society. The stuff they are saying puts the rumors on the deepest, darkest corners of the internet to shame. Eventually, Wendy will snap and either divorce him/off him/ or Lorena him.

UPDATE- More shitting on fellow Republicans.

Also, he was in Houston, not on suicide watch at Ochsner.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More Garland Robinette

Midura explains her letter.

Foti talks with Garland... Garland rips him a new one. Garland quotes Foti's best friend of 30 years describing Foti as, "completely unreliable." Foti hangs up...

Two Explicit Crime Videos

Video of St. Bernard Sheriff Officers gunning down dogs after Katrina. SICK! If you're a big pet lover, you should think carefully before you click that link. It will get you upset for the rest of the day.

My comments are below: (Highlight to view - disturbing descriptions)
There are a few, specific instances where putting pets down is more humane, but NOT LIKE THIS! There is one part where the fucking rednecks are driving around, one is in the back of the pickup with a rifle and is shooting dogs and not even killing them. The poor, defenseless dogs are left there to slowly bleed out. The whimpering as they die will send shivers down your spine.

Memorial Video for Josh Norris. Gunned down JPSO Officer. Only 22 years old. Not explicit, just sad.

UPDATE-
Another sick fucker who abuses animals for entertainment. Michael Vick. The sickest thing he did is below (highlight to read):

• "In March 2003, PEACE, after consulting with Vick about the female pit bull's condition, executed the losing dog by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal."

Jordan Appeasers/Vote in Poll at top

I continue to be pissed off as hell, and I'm only getting madder.

This morning, Cynthia Hedge Morrell disavowed Ms. Midura's statement and said it was "not the best option..." You can read her statement here. View the video here.

Ms. Midura's letter is the ONLY VIABLE OPTION at this point. The City Council has TRIED working with Jordan. They've shown him infinite patience. They've given him extra funding. They have given him everything he's asked for and he STILL fails miserably.

Anyone who disavows Ms. Midura's letter is a Jordan Appeaser. Period.

I called Fielkow's office and his office confirms that Ms. Midura's letter is "not the best option at this time."

For their actions disavowing Ms. Midura's letter, I hearby label Councilman Fielkow and Councilwoman Morrel Jordan Appeasers...

I just recieved this email from Councilwoman Head's Office:

Calling for Mr. Jordan's resignation, while potentially making me feel
good, will have absolutely no positive impact on the operations of his
office. A recall and an impeachment are likewise futile efforts.
Instead, along with several of my colleagues, I am asking the Supreme
Court to exercise its legal power and appoint a special prosecutor to
immediately step into the D.A.s office and make needed changes therein.
Such changes will have immediate impact such as assuring that
experienced prosecutors are assigned to murder cases instead of
inexperienced attorneys like Ms. Webb, who handled the Anderson case.

Stacy Head
Councilmember, District B


While not publicly calling for Jordan's resignation, her position appears to differ from the position Councilwoman Morrell described this morning. She appears to not only call for the Special Prosecutor to take over the quintuple murder case, but also the entire DA's office! Hire the state to do Jordan's job for him! I've got a letter in to her office for clarification.

UPDATE- Here's the latest response:

I did not hear C. Morrell, so I am not sure what her position is.
However, the letter that I co-authored to Justice Calogero requests a
special prosecutor to step into the D.A.'s office to investigate/improve
-- this is a wide scope without limitation to one type case or aspect to
the D.A.'s duties.

Stacy Head
Councilmember, District B


So, it appears the letter that was sent (still yet to be released as of my knowledge at the time of my writing) is significantly broader in scope from what Councilwoman Morrell described in the video this morning. This COULD (I stress, COULD) be an acceptable alternative to Ms. Midura's letter.

UPDATE 2- Check the poll at the top.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The United Blogger Front

If you haven't already listened to Garland yet, please do.

I'm PISSED!

I've got a proposal:

I propose a united blogger front. Regardless of our politics, conservative, liberal, moderate, Republican, Democrat, Independent, black, white, brown, etc. we pressure Nagin and the City Council to publicly call for Jordan's resignation. We especially focus on the City Council. They are still eligible for reelection.

I know Ash might not like getting behind Midura, but that's beside the point. We need to all, with one common voice, carpet bomb our local elected leaders until they take action on this one, very specific point.

As a united front, I propose every single one of us focus on this news story to ensure we DON'T calm down.

Also, I propose we make damned sure the city councilmen and councilwomen are reminded of their action during the next election... If they publicly call for Jordan's resignation, that we all point it out shortly before the election that, yes, they did call for his resignation. Even if we hate everything else they've done, we give them props for doing this one thing...

And if they don't...

BLOGGER SHOCK AND AWE!



We all commit to dig up every dirty little secret on every one of them. Fuck a hooker? Guess what, we'll be all over it and we'll spread it to news agencies all across the country. No matter what, you can't hide it from all of us. We squeal bloody murder at everyone of your missteps. I personally promise no only to vote against your opponent, but I will donate money to whoever runs against you and urge everyone I know to do the same.

We will ruin you, whatever it takes.

THIS IS TOO IMPORTANT TO "CALM DOWN" ABOUT! LIVES ARE AT STAKE!



This won't fix the city, but it's one small, achievable goal that will make this city noticeably better. Please, join in my call.


NOTE- Minor edits for clarity and punctuation.

UPDATE- Council Members weigh in. Well, at least Midura and Fielkow. Fielkow implied he would move to withhold funds...

UPDATE 2- Harry Connick Sr. Weighs In. He basically says Jordan set himself up for failure when he fired so many of his staffers at all levels. Remember, a jury found him liable for race and age based discrimination and he has a multi-million dollar verdict sitting against him he still hasn't paid.
One white man fired by Jordan testified that he was one of the few fingerprint and ballistics experts in the district attorney's office. The résumé of the man who replaced him showed he had little experience other than being a lifeguard and doing some office work at a law firm.

Eddie Jordan/Crime

The S has finally HTF for good ole Jordan. No amount of perfume can cover up this. I'm reminded of that quote from Jurassic Park: "Now that is one big pile of shit."

Lots of news over at NolaAgainstCrime. The one about the anti-gay beating was disturbing. The NOLA-wide boycott idea has merit.

NOPD Officer speaks out at Jordan's office (video). The DA's office pressured him to decline to press charges.

It seems that Maitri's campaign is finally starting to see results.

Midura has come out calling on Jordan's resignation. Hopefully, she's the first of a mass of calls for his resignation. If any local pol is reading this blog, I have this advice: you don't want to be Johnnie-Come-Lately on this one.

Nagin pokes his head out of his spider hole. Is Vitter in there with you?

Did anyone else listen to Garland Robinette today?!?!? That was the greatest show he's done since the "get off your ass" show! He kicked ass and took names. 'It's not about race anymore. It might have been in the past, but that's not the case right now. People are dying on the streets. Everyone is in fear of your lives. No more studies, no more promises, Jordan has got to go right now. Call up every politician in the city (and then he proceeds to give out names, numbers, and emails) and demand they publicly add their names to the call for his ouster. Nothing less than that is acceptable.' The mood was angry as hell and even if I didn't come close on that quote, I hope I conveyed the mood.

If you haven't already, please write your council member and ask them to add their voice to the calls for Jordan's resignation.

UPDATE- Here are recordings of the Garland Robinette Show today:

Hour1
Hour2
Hour3

Do yourself a favor and listen to them.

UPDATE 2-

PLEASE, I'M BEGGING YOU, LISTEN TO THE GARLAND SHOW



UPDATE 3-

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! JORDAN MUST GO NOW! WE SHALL STORM THE BASTILLE IF NEED BE, BUT HE MUST GO NOW!



UPDATE 4-
Jordan's Response to Midura. Utter bullshit, as if I even need to say it.

UPDATE 5- Jordan, Pack Your Shit and Get the Hell Out of Here!

Jordan, Resign!

UPDATE 6- Big roundup on calls for his resignation at The Chicory. Thanks, Varg.

The fading fire that is David Vitter's career

SIN-ator Vitter - He CAME here, too.

A series of cartoons about Vitty-Cent.

Told you he had a chance to become president. But that's all over now.

"Endless Cummer" That's the new nickname for all the GOP whoremongering and public restroom schenanigans. Did the Family Research Council pack their halls with hookers to attract members?

Vitter could be the first of "20-some" politicians nailed by Flynt.

A few more scandals:
Dillard's President gets a DWI. Oopsi.

Ex-Mayor of Newark Indicted. This guy was as bad as the worst of William Jefferson/Nagin/Morial/Duke/etc. He was a vile human being. I hope they throw the book at him. Street Fight is a great documentary about his last race. I have been meaning to see it, but haven't gotten around to it. I will make it a point to, now.

Even the PTO's at a good school are crooked in this town.

So many scandals, so little time

There are so many scandals underway in this city, you need a spreadsheet to keep track! Oh well, I'll dive in.

DON'T MESS WITH OUR PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS! WE MUST PRESERVE OUR PURITY OF ESSENCE!

Biological Warfare Island

If the events of 28 Days later ever become reality, this will be where it starts. Wow. Scary. Rats with extra-resistant bubonic plague running around...

Oh yeah, and there's even a link to those Anthrax attacks in 2001. Anyone still remember those? People were more terrified by their mail and white powdery substances than Saddam. What ever happened there?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Corruption Rankings

Forbes ranks states by "business climate." Want to take a guess where Louisiana is? I'll give you a hint: Thank God for West Virginia.

World's most corrupt countries. If New York, Chicago, and New Orleans were to separate and form their own country, where would they rank on this list? Who knows...

The Disaster that is the DA's Office

Oh, if I could only go on and on about Vitter... But, there are more serious problems to solve.

Maitri kicks Jordan in the balls.

Here's my letter to everyone on Maitri's list:
Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Things have descended into chaos in this city. Criminals suffer no repercussions for crimes they commit and citizens live in fear for their lives. Will I be next?

I have followed the City Council's efforts to fix the criminal justice system. Your efforts have been admirable. You haven't done a perfect job, but you've held inquiries that got close enough to the heart of the matter. You have tried to work with all parties involved. You have shown Mr. Jordan incredible patience. You have given him extra funding and time to accomplish his mission, and he still fails miserably.

Now is the time to cut Mr. Jordan off. I demand, as a voting citizen in Orleans Parish, you put maximum pressure for Jordan to quit so that a more effective DA can be put in his place as soon as possible. Cut him completely off from funding. Let Entergy disconnect the electricity to the building. Do whatever it takes to get him out and a more effective DA in.

I'm begging you to take action. Every day, another citizen loses his life on the streets of New Orleans. Failure to act or failure to act quickly enough will cost someone's life.

Every single murder victim is someone's son/daughter/mother/father/sister/brother. Don't wait a single minute.


Clay


PS- This won't solve the problem, but it will be a good first step. The next step, in case you are interested, will be correcting the plummeting morale amongst the NOPD rank and file.

Yet More on Vitter

Who'd think that someday people would be debating whether or not my congressman still had a penis? He doesn't even live in the Quarter!

Earlier, I advocated sending in dull steak knives to Wendy Vitter. On second though, I've flip-flopped. I think it's too cruel for any male to endure. SAVE MY CONGRESSMAN'S PENIS!!!

In light of this news, I suggest we rename the 1st Louisiana Congressional District the "Hustler Endowed Chair for Lechery and Whoremongering" and move their offices here:


Vitter argues for his own resignation

The Rise and Fall of David Vitter. Excellent piece. Think about it: Gulliani was looking for a clean, southern, consistantly conservative, "family values" running mate to balance out his flaws on the ticket. He had a VERY good chance of being the next Vice President. He could have done good things for Louisiana as Veep. Now, BECAUSE HE CAN'T KEEP HIS PECKER OUT OF WHORES, he's in hiding. Here's Rudy's reaction:


Damn! Even Wonkette is reporting on some of the seedier things related to Vitter. According to CSI, Wendy Vitter will kill David by jamming an enema full of LSD up his butt and getting him to jump off a building. That's much less cruel than chopping of his Johnson.

It gets worse, now people are getting into his love-child who lives in North Louisiana Four kiddies with Wendy and 1 with a mistress. I'd heard about this one before, but there was no way I was going to be the first to write about it. One thing I've also heard is this is yet another mistress (in addition to Wendy Cortez, Canal Street, and DC; whore #4 if you're keeping score at home).

Oh yeah, speaking of Wendy Cortez, here's the infamous intersection and their point of rendezvous (or at least my best guess based off the descriptions I've read):



UPDATE- So, I was out and about tonight and I just realized that the infamous intersection of Wendy Cortez's abode is catercorner from a Catholic School!



Here's the American Flag he patriotically strode past. Don't forget about the statue of the Virgin Mary he devoutly observed on his way to his mistress! Patriotic and Devout! What a guy!

Also, let's suppose that either the Orleans DA or the DC DA decided to press charges on the John (Vitter). Hypothetically, if he were convicted, would he have to register as a sex offender? Anyone got an answer on that one?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Non-prostitution-related crime

As much as I'd love to keep hitting Vitty-Cent over the head with a baseball bat, there is also some serious news to report.

Eddie Jordan has done is again. Jordan dropped the murder charges on the quintuple murderer. Fucker. Can he do NOTHING right?

Sorry I haven't done a crime mapping update in a while. I've just been overwhelmed. I've just let it slide. Look at what Chicago Crime has put together in the meantime, though

100 MPH in a PRIUS!!! Once again, the mainstream media buried the lede in this article. I don't give a damn about Al Gore III. A Prius goes 100 mph? Now THAT is a newsworthy event.

State Lawmaker Shoots Copper Thief.

Non-crime related:
CS Monitor article about Katrina recovery on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Help out Wendy Vitter

If you think Vitter should resign, I've got a better idea than an online petition. Take a page from Nuts for Jericho.

Go to your kitchen drawer. Pull out the dullest steak knife and send it here:

Wendy Vitter
c/o David Vitter
2800 Veterans Blvd.,
Suite 201
Metairie, LA 70002

Enclose a letter with the following quote:

Asked by an interviewer in 2000 whether she could forgive her husband if she learned he'd had an extramarital affair, as Hillary Clinton and Bob Livingston's wife had done, Wendy Vitter told the Times-Picayune: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."

Let's finish this scumbag off.

UPDATE- Vitty-Cent fucked every hooker between New Orleans and DC. That's a lot of hookers!

UPDATE 2- She also has at least 20 politicians on her list.

This story is getting legs. Oh, if they only get into the sick, sick fetish stuff he's rumored to have gotten into! William Jefferson could end up as only our second worst sitting congressman!

The Night of the Long Knives


Vitty-Cent living tha THUG life
Ah, a little fun with the Magic Lasso!

Best coverage of the scandal over at Oyster's spot.

That's 2 in a row for Larry Flynt. Note to Republicans- let someone else take this seat!

Flashback to the Canal Street Brothel Case Also, Canal Street Brothel Case: More to it than anyone will ever know. I'd like to state that I know of at least 3 politicians who are WELL known to have frequented the Canal Street Brothel. "The List" was rumored to include politicians, journalists, doctors, lawyers (LOTS of lawyers), businessmen, NOPD officials, restaurateurs, and even a few ministers. NOBODY wants that list to come out.

THE LIST! The D.C. Madam's phone records. If you know anyone with a DC area phone number, A searchable database is available here.

Wonkette's two stories are great. The comments are witty as hell. Here's their intro to Vitty-Cent-Hookergate:
Everybody knows Louisiana politicians are really corrupt versions of the already incredibly corrupt DC politicians...

This is nothing new for Vitter. And no, he doesn't get brownie points for coming clean, because if you tell the truth once, but lie at least 4 previous times, you're still a liar.

In 2006, one of Vitter's staffer was "terrified" he'd be caught "red handed" with a hooker. Really, you don't say?

"...I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."

Tonight could be the The Night of the Long Knife for 'lil Vitty.'

Evidence from the world's most infamous Bris

If I were Vitter, I wouldn't go to sleep tonight!!! Also, as a note to his campaign donors, don't eat the Boudin at the next fundraiser.


UPDATE- Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Vitter was caught because he was stupid enough to call for a hooker from an office in Metairie where the phone line was under his own name. MORON! If you're going to call DC to make "reservations," go buy a prepaid cellphone and throw it away when you're done. DUMBASS! And you're a Rhodes scholar? The smart clients will take much longer to unearth.

Vitter's Woes

A while ago, I sort of liked Vitter, but things are going downhill fast. First, he endorsed the cross dresser. Next, Fred Thompson announces and he gets buyer's remorse.

Now, busted with a hooker. Ugh. He says he's sorry and accepts responsibility. I feel sorry for the hooker.

UPDATE- Apparently, this has been going on since at least 2004! Wow! Hat tip to Adrastos.

My first question for David Vitter: Did you use a condom? If you did, he can keep his job. If he didn't, he's an idiot who should be drummed out of the Senate as soon as possible.

UPDATE2- Here's a juicy quote from his wife from back in 2004:

"I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Copper Thefts

Synagogue floods again... because of copper thieves. Disgusting. Thousands of dollars of damage for MAYBE $100 worth of copper. Most copper thefts are on the order of $10 or so. Each theft generally takes at least hundreds of dollars to fix.

It's not just a New Orleans phenomenon, either. It's happening all over the world.

The local copper thieves don't target "the man." No, they go for easy targets. Like churches, unguarded homes, and the few business brave enough to open up down here. In a way, I'd understand it if these crooks were starving and targeted Audubon Place or C Ray's home on Park Island. I wouldn't condone it, but it would at least be logical. Instead, it's sad that human beings are shitting where they eat.

Other News:

It's the people vs. the government.

Like it or not, Ron Paul is now a major candidate for the Republican Nomination. I like him. Many don't. A lot of dickhead reporters are trying to pigeonhole him as a "second tier" or "third tier" candidate. This should serve notice that they are dead wrong. Anyone who doesn't understand Ron Paul doesn't understand what conservatives used to stand for. His strain of conservatism will show up more and more in the Republican Party, I hope.

Chinese Executes Crooked Government Official. Oh, imagine if Michael Chertoff was "hung from the neck until dead." THAT would be justice. I can think of a stable of local politicians I can add to that gallows. If there were a ballot initiative to add the death penalty for corruption by corrupt officials, my only response would be, "Fry 'em." The only question would be, "Tender or extra crispy?"

Are humans smarter than yeast? Overpopulation is the single greatest threat to humanity. It exacerbates all other problems (especially pollution). And accompanying video:

House Gutting

So this weekend, in addition to a nice little jaunt out of the city, I helped a fellow blogger gut their house. Thanks for putting out the call, Ray.

Swung a crowbar for a while. Chucked some plaster out the window. I'm still sore. No worries, though.

One nice little bit: some computer science people rigged up a chute to catch debris from the second story. Ray got the idea to use contractor bags to dispose of debris to keep the dust down. Unfortunately, the ramp was not up to snuff and cracked in half. Structural design apparently isn't part of the coursework. I re-engineered the ramp and here I am testing the strength of my creation:

I could jump up and down on the middle of the new ramp without any problems.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Dark Days


Tulane Engineering is officially Kaput and Matt McBride is shutting down. These are dark days for Engineering in New Orleans.

This does not bode well for the future of New Orleans...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Blog Alert

Sicko Spoiler Thread

DO NOT CLICK ON THE COMMENTS UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILM

Oil Industry In NOLA

Gambit's profile of Frank Glaviano, the head of Shell's office in New Orleans. He was their man of the year. I think Frank, a fellow Tulane Engineer, was the best possible choice. I'm disappointed the Times-Pic didn't hand him a Loving Cup.

An article about the healthy of the oil industry in New Orleans. This is very important for a number of reasons. The oil industry is one of the large white collar employers in the city. Also, a number of New Orleans bloggers are employed by the oil industry to some degree or another {one I whom I ran into today at work :-)}.

All in all, the oil industry is doing well in the city. I wish the article talked about the smaller, independent firms (Taylor, Helis, etc.) more.

One little known fact about the oil industry is most of the oil isn't found by the major companies. It's discovered by wildcatters and independents. Louisiana's offshore oil wealth wasn't discovered by Exxon or Shell or BP. It was discovered by Kerr-McGee. The little guys take risks that the big guys don't bother to.

I've done some work for the little guys. A lot of these companies operate on shoestring budgets and making projects economical is challenging. It requires some real creativity. $70/barrel oil really helps them out. I know of several fields that will have to be shut down if oil dips below $50/barrel. Going from the massive scale projects to the tiny ones is interesting, to say the least. Compared to the offshore projects, these little fields are sort of cute. 'Aw, look at their itty-bitty separator. Isn't it so cute? I separates a whole 100 barrels per day!' Offshore, the vessels are at least 100 times larger!

The contributions of the independents to the city is extremely underrated. Pat Taylor was the most important philanthropist in the city's history since John McDonough (sp?). He was one of the most important people behind the institution of the TOPS program, one of the few things things that isn't ass-backwards in Louisiana. In fact, Louisiana is, GASP!, one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to programs like TOPS. Don't forget the technological push that's come from deepwater drilling.

B.Rox/Ugly

Read the comments on this post by Editor B. A lively debate going on. Related discussion on The Chicory.

Pistolette. Another New Orleans blogger I just discovered.

Houstorleanians. Add that one to the good ole lexicon.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sicko



I just saw Sicko and it was a hell of a movie. I highly recommend it. I'll blog about it more later, but I want to post this video. Moore was originally scheduled to appear on Larry King (for the first time in his career). Instead, he was bumped for Paris Hilton at the last minute. Typical.