Thursday, August 30, 2007

Post-Apocalyptic New Orleans

As I drove out of New Orleans on the eve of Katrina, I surveyed the scene. Even though I’d grown up in New Orleans, everything looked a little different. Things just sort of glowed under the early morning sun.

I made it out. I was one of the lucky ones. Picture the tens of thousands at the Superdome or in their homes riding out the storm. They experienced the full fury of God. One friend of mine watched her ceiling fan spin on its anchor as though it were possessed. The walls of even the sturdiest buildings shook under the assault of a powerful hurricane. Just imagine what raced through the minds of those in the Superdome as power went out and part of the roof was ripped off. And then the levees broke…

To say Katrina was a traumatic experience is an understatement. Katrina, from the perspective of New Orleanians, might as well be the apocalypse. Present day New Orleans resembles a post-apocalyptic society.

A post-apocalyptic society is a civilization that experiences goes through a cataclysmic event that pushes its society to the brink of death, but the civilization survives and is changed by the experience. Japan, Dresden, and the Netherlands have all been at some point post-apocalyptic cultures. The key markers of a post-apocalyptic civilization are how the pre-disaster state of the civilization is forgotten or mythologized, the infrastructure bears physical scars of the disaster and the people suffer from mental scaring. However, there are some positive aspects of a post apocalyptic society that revolve around a unified society that is willing to confront problems it otherwise didn’t have the courage to.

New Orleans has always been a city steeped in tradition and that aspect has taken an unusual turn after Katrina. The city has blossomed fleur-de-lis (the symbol of the city) flags overnight just like the flag after 9/11. At Jazz Fest, musicians played new, New Orleans-inspired music. Bookstores have been filled with New Orleans books, most notably “Why New Orleans Matters” by Tom Piazza. Each one seeks to eulogize New Orleans. Many of the less savory aspects, such as crime, poverty, drugs, and racism are glossed over or completely left out, but the popularity of these books cannot be understated. New Orleans has been made out to be the very soul of America and it’s getting a lot more traction post-Katrina that it would have before the storm.

The public infrastructure has been devastated and there is absolutely no way not to notice. The St. Charles streetcar line, one of the most visible symbols of the city, has been knocked out of commission. Every day, New Orleanians drive by huge piles of debris. In the words of Chris Rose, “It looks like a war was fought here and we lost that war.” Many homes still bear water lines and spray paint marks. Many streetlights are out of commission. And yet, people carry on despite the conditions. Life goes on. People have continued their routines. People still go to their favorite bars to hang out. People commute to work and drive their kids to school while almost ignoring the debris piles.

New Orleanians have been through a lot lately. Unlike most American cities, most people in New Orleans grew up in New Orleans. Being forcibly divorced from New Orleans against their will has traumatized the populace. Abandonment is an issue everyone has had to deal with it in one way or another. Extreme anger towards FEMA, Michael Brown, W, Tom Benson, Scott Cowen, etc. has been evident in even the most reserved New Orleanian. The mental strain has manifested itself in several forms. Many New Orleanians have sought counseling and gone on anti-depressants. I personally have felt sluggish and had trouble sleeping for months. The most disturbing manifestation is the dramatic increase in suicides in New Orleans. The stress of dealing with post-Katrina life has just been too much for some New Orleanians. What is disturbing is not necessarily that the suicide rate is as high as Sweden, which has the highest suicide rate in the world, but that New Orleans has changed from a place that embraces life to one where suicide is even a topic of conversation.

“We need a common enemy to unite us,” Condoleeza Rice once remarked and she had a point. New Orleans has always been a fractious community. New Orleans once such a divided city, it filed for divorce and separated itself into 3 municipalities.

From the poorest resident of the Lower 9th Ward, to the richest resident of the Garden District to even the most insulated Tulane student, every New Orleanian has had to deal with Katrina-related issues. In that common suffering, every New Orleanian has a common touchstone. One of the best conversation starters in the city has been “So, where did you evacuate to?” The best symbol of the newfound unity is the slogans of the two mayoral candidates. Nagin’s signs say, “OUR Mayor” and “Reunite New Orleans.” Mitch Landrieau’s slogan is “One New Orleans.” Politicians always seek to capitalize on public sentiments during election campaigns and that is why these slogans are a useful tool in getting the pulse of the city.

Due in no small part to the newfound unity, the city is finally confronting old problems that have plagued the city. The patently unfair and corrupt system of assessors is being dealt with. Regional, professional levee boards have replaced the crooked, parish levee boards. The trashy look of the city is for the first time being effectively addressed. None of the changes have been top-down. Grassroots movements with broad public support affected each change. Citizens for One Greater New Orleans, the Katrina Krewe, and the IQ movement are leading the way.

So the question is now, where do we go from here? New Orleans has taken an awful blow and is in many ways a post-apocalyptic society, but what does that mean for the future of New Orleans? Dresden, Germany and Hiroshima, Japan have recovered from their trauma to become productive, vibrant cities. New Orleans may yet recover and prosper. In fact, because of the very factors that make New Orleans unique from the rest of America, namely the “live life to the fulest” attitude,” New Orleans has escaped most of the effects of the destructive nihilism that takes hold in most post-apocalyptic cultures. And that is something to be very hopeful for.

- Clay ______
May 2006

Why I started blogging...

I didn't post anything about the 2nd anniversary of Katrina, and to be honest with you, I wouldn't have had much to post... Nothing really hit me that day.

I've been blogging for about a little under a year now. Partly, it's an outlet and a place to vent. Partly, it's a way to post interesting stuff so I can come back to it later. All of that is just sort of secondary, though.

Here's the main reason I blog:

I took a class at Tulane with Dr. Powell at Tulane about the history of New Orleans. For the final paper, I was really busy and didn't have time to write my final essay until pretty late, so I just sat down and stream-of-conciousnessed an essay off the top of my head. I turned it in and he was so impressed with it, he said, 'You can't be an engineer! you've got to write. Surely, someone with a technical background who can write will be in great demand.' I don't remember the exact words, but that was the effect. He definitely said I shouldn't be an engineer, which I find pretty funny.

We talked and eventually, I resolved to keep up my writing. I do a fair amount of technical writing at work, but it's not conducive to keeping up creative writing skills. It took a while, but I did start a blog and I've kept writing. I feel like I'm really starting to "find my voice." Someday, I'd like to do something where I can combine my technical knowledge with my writing skills... In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my blog.

Anyway, in my next post, I'm printing the essay.

Zirin continues his crusade

Sorry about no posts yesterday. Cox is currently sucking a cock, so no internet. I've got to head out to a coffeeshop to write.

Zirin's article in the Houston Chronicle about Rising Tide... Did you get the memo?

Here's the Deadspin interview I said was in the pipeline... Really interesting. The first comment is "You had me at Troglodytic Deadspin commenter."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mow-rons


Mow-rons in City Park, idiots in City Hall.

Weeding by example...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Debris

I've got a bunch of random stuff that I wanted to post, but didn't want to dedicate a post:

Added a few bloggers to the list. Sophmom has been commenting here for a while, but I hadn't added her to the blogroll. Sorry about that. Mosquito Coast is a recent discovery. No, it's just me spoke at Rising Tide. I also found m.d. filter because of Rising Tide.

Speaking of blogs, someone likes my site's name.

Dirty Coast store now open at 5704 Magazine!

Broken: the Army Corps of Engineers. In Mother Jones...

Recovery by the Numbers (Times-Pic). Not that bad, actually. It is starting to look like the sun is finally starting to shine through the clouds.

Chertoff might take Gonzales' place I hope this report turns out to be wrong, because Chertoff was worse than the Horse's Ass ("Heck of a job" Brownie).

Communism in the NFL... Deadspin's season preview of the Patriots. Worth a read purely for the writing.

Wired article about how inter-operable communications saved lives in Minnesota... and cost lives in New York and New Orleans. Greg Meffert has blood on his hands.

Extremely insightful article about the economy by Brian at Got Law? Been meaning to link to this for a while. What he writes about will become more and more important over the next 10 years, IMHO.

Crime, Poverty

"Did New Orleans Kill Helen?" All about Helen Hill. Depressing as hell. If you want some self-flagellation, read this article. Makes some very good points, though. It ends with a call to make Helen Hill's life a reason for staying in New Orleans instead of leaving. Oh yeah, still no leads on her killer.

Salon.com article about the criminal justice system. It mainly focuses on Central Lockup, which has been a shithole for as decades. I'm reliably informed by friends who were unfortunate enough to spend time there that it's the same shithole as before, but now you can add a moldy smell in with everything else. When I was a freshman at Tulane, I warned all my friends about how bad OPP was. I told them it was what jail is like in a third world country. I told them about how, in the early/mid 90's, they used to hand condoms to new inmates. The new inmates were supposed to beg their rapists to use the condom so they wouldn't get AIDS. After all these warnings, a few of them still ended up there. One said it was even worse than my worst description. He described how an inmate came up to him and said, "Give me a cigarette or I'm going to kill you." Fortunately, my friend was a smoker and he gave him his whole pack. He's sure that if he wasn't a smoker, he would have died right then and there.

The business of poverty. Sickening. It should be a crime. Makes you look at those Blue Hippo, et. al. commercials very differently.

I've saved the most egregious outrage for last:
[RAPE]Victim Says Police Never Came.

WHAT THE FUCK!!!



Here are some of the choice quotes:

"The would-be rapist left the neighborhood, without haste or fear of arrest.

...

"He was walking," said local artist Terrence Sanders, who followed the stranger for six blocks while waiting for a 911 operator to dispatch officers. "That's what got me so crazy. It was fast walking, but walking. He kept saying to me, 'Ain't nothing going to happen. They ain't coming.' "

...

"I just thank God I was there. I had a bottle and thought about hitting him with it, but then I realized I might catch a charge. The cops told me, 'Yeah, you could have been charged with assault.' The cops told me to go to the press. The cops were like, 'We need this out there.' They don't have the capacity."

...

When the stranger overheard Sanders describe the victim as a white woman, he [THE RAPIST] turned around and jeered, "Oh, now they'll come."

...

"He looked like he just got out of jail."

So many outrages in one article...

Rape is on the rise in New Orleans. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but it's rising as quickly as murder. Also, rapists have about the same chance of being brought to justice as murders under Eddie Jordan.

The rapist was running around with NO fear of being brought to justice. He didn't fear NOPD or Eddie Jordan. He didn't even fear the citizens. New Orleans can ill afford to lose its Dinerral Shavers and Helen Hills! If it takes a little vigilantism, then the citizens of New Orleans need to make criminals like this afraid. I know of a lot of women getting Concealed Carry Permits. GOOD! Shoot the rapist in the balls! Take his weapons away from him! I normally don't like blogging about guns, but If any woman is interested in learning more about concealed carry, I'd be happy to do what I can to help out.

A rapist runs free, while a cop tells a citizen that if he'd taken action, he'd have been charged with assault! Who is the system protecting!?!? If I were Terrence Sanders, I'd have been seriously tempted to slug the officer that said that...

Lastly, kudos to Terrence Sanders. He's a real hero. He saved a New Orleanian in need. He did the right thing, regardless of the outcome.

UPDATE- Has the French Quarter rapist been caught? The description is very similar. Could be the same guy. We'll see. I checked his record over at Docket Master and it's his first arrest (at least in Orleans Parish's system). Could this be a case of a guy flipping out over Katrina stress? Who knows...

Things I am not allowed to do

Things I am not allowed to do aboard Galactica. Hilarious. 10+ pages long and growing. H/T to First Draft.

That list was based off this one. Based off some of the people I know, nothing on the list is surprising. If you know anyone in the military, there's nothing more dangerous than a bored soldier. They're like bored 4 year olds with high explosives...

Zirin

Dave Zirin was the keynote speaker at Rising Tide. His talk was a smash hit, as I'm sure you've heard.

I had heard of him before this on Deadspin and places like that. He's one of those guys that's been really interesting and I've always been meaning to read his stuff, but never gotten around to it.

The writing seminar was a bit boring (although I'm told the second half was much better), so I went out and chatted with him. I ended up buying his book and he signed it (with, "PS- You're with me, leather"). Oh yeah, I'm surprised no body linked to this, but here is the Jocks for Justice page

Check his book out. Also, keep a lookout over at Deadspin. Rumor has it, they'll be interviewing him very soon. Deadspin interviews are always EXTREMELY interesting. Check out this one with Harold Reynolds.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Stylin'

Die, Commie! Die!

One funny incident yesterday was when Dangerblond went on an anti-communist crusade.

What happened was this one dude in a red shirt came to Rising Tide and got up to ask a question.

He ranted about how all us bloggers just spend all our time attacking Eddie Jordan for "not putting enough young, black men in jail" and ignore the reopening of the projects, etc. Damn, we've been made! All us bloggers just want more black men for our plantations that will be built on the land seized by City Hall next to our housing project golf course! He pitched a public housing rally later in the day. I don't even remember what his question was about anymore. He then went around passing out flyers. DB stormed out of the room, pissed off. She then found out that Chairman Mao didn't pay! SHE BECAME A BITCH ON A MISSION!

Here are some photos:


"I'm here to collect you're registration fee..."

Dude, you're never going to be taken seriously wearing a fanny pack

DB kicked his sorry ass to the curb. He completely pissed off a pretty sympathetic crowd. I heard a few people suggesting to throw him in the lake... If he's an advocate for the poor, then they need fewer advocates.

Oh yeah, there were some socialists that showed up at the end, but they were pretty much ignored...

UPDATE- Chairman Mao's name is Jay Arena. More commentary from Varg.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rising Tide 2: Politics

More liveblogging...

If I were mean, I'd write a joke about blonds and technology right now...

From left to right, Mark, Adrastos, Michael Duplantier, and Chad Rodgers...

Governor's race:
* Time-Pic "kissing up" to Bobby Jindal
* Adrastos- Times-Pic will be utterly shameless this year (a la Buddy Roemer)... Roemer and the rubber band episode (canceling bad thoughts)...
* Mark- Times-Pic's position just a reflection of the polling... Times-Pic is mainly commenting on disastrous campaign by Louisiana Democratic Party
* Chad- Other candidates, for better or worse, nonentities... Times-Pic is in business of selling newspapers... Don't want to offend anyone, so will fall in line... '(DB:) Will there be a runnoff?' At this point, no.
* Michael- There's an election coming up? Hopes Nagin will run to make it interesting... (DB: 'He doesn't have much else to do.') Nagin says stage is set for a complete recovery. His work here is done. (DA MAYOR IN YOUR POCKET makes a comment)

City Hall:
DB- Burn it down, execute them all, and start over?
* Mark- I'd carry a torch
* Adrastos- Let them implode, the smart ones are going to find the exits
DB- Who's next? Derrek Shepard?
* Mark- Impressed with his political machine (don't like, but will give props)... Lost a dirt file the size of a phone book on Shepard in the flood... 'I chose the children instead, I sometime regret that one...'
* Adrastos- Makes sense for Sheppard to go out next... Nagin came up with the idea of knocking down City Hall... Look out for Derrek Shepard and Cedric Richmond, 2 very ambitious black politicians... 'DB:Rumors?' Bloggers have raised rumor-mongering to an artform...
*DB- Bloggers don't hesitate to step on toes, therefore, we go after people where others don't...
* Chad- The view from outside... Riley/Nagin is an outrage... Revolution is advisable... There needs to be a housecleaning (not that much different from the rest of the state)... State Legislators as bad as NOLA pols... Jindal's running on corruption, I hope he means it, I hope whoever wins is serious about dealing with systemic problems... Outmigration problem in city and state...
* Michael- Arnie Fielkow, Jim Letten, Jim Bernazzini, Paul Valas, Cerassoli (OIG) are the most important politicians in the city, now. Arnie is now in charge of the city (with AWOL Nagin and O.T.). Those are the 5 most important people in the city... That they're all white males is interesting. I don't know what to make of that, but it's interesting. Cerassoli is still under serious culture shock, but he's important.
* Adrastos- Cerassoli is from Boston, see The Departed... Will he have the money?
DB- What can we do? We can vote, but that doesn't seem to help... What can we do?
* Michael- Cerassoli has $250,000, needs 2-3 mil... He's going to HAVE to do it for that... For 10 years, OIG was a required appointment, but nobody bothered... Mayor's budget is out in 2 months... See what happens...
* Mark- Whoever takes O.T.'s place on City Council will have to have some cachet. James Carter could be very interesting... He's focusing on crime, we'll see how effective he'll be. Good issue to position yourself, but let's see what he can actually accomplish (referring to C.B. Forgotston's criticism). Mark is "bullish" on Carter's.
* Michael- Carter is supported by O.T. Will he succeed without her? What about N.O. East's Cynthia? He's term limited, ambitious, and will get redistricted soon (2010)...


Now, Q&A session... Liveblogging will now end. That's all for today. I want to enjoy the rest of the day.


Take care,
Clay

Rising Tide 2

A little live blogging here:

I'm here at Rising Tide 2... Mark is giving the opening remarks... The main theme this year is accountability... The goal of Rising Tide is to turn blogs into an engine for real change.

First up: the politics panel.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Operation Macho Kickass

Recommendations

I just wanted to recommend a few things I've come across recently:

Finished The Blind Side a little while ago. It's a great book that's been horribly pitched. They promoted it as "Moneyball for football," when that' absolutely not right. It more an incredibly uplifting human interest story. I liked it. I also love Michael Lewis. He gave the best commencement speech at Tulane in recent memory (better than Clinton/Bush IMHO). UPDATE 2- Lee Iacocca was thinking about running for Congress and he hired James Carville as his political consultant. Carville tried to tell him his position on everything. Lee told Carville to him where to shove it! My hero!

Street Fight is a documentary about Corey Booker's campaign to unseat Sharpe James (think William Jefferson meets Ray Nagin in an uber-evil hybrid). A true portrayal of inner city politics, but has a very positive ending. It would end even better now, because James just got indicted...

I picked up Where Have All the Leaders Gone on Audiobook just on a whim and it's great. It's narrated by Iacocca and he's got a great narration voice. He really reminds me of FDR in his politics and no-bullshit style. As a mechanical engineer, I'm especially interested in his thoughts on the auto industry.

One of the most entertaining books I've read in a long time is Robert Young Pelton's Dangerous Places. It's all about visiting third world countries. His take on things is fascinating. If you're interested in reading something off the beaten path, I recommend it. Don't try to read it in order, though. Skip around and read whichever chapters you're interested in. Makes a great bathroom read.

UPDATE- Oh yeah, I got a subscription to Time magazine. They're leading the charge this month on New Orleans, along with Forbes, Essence, etc. I was also interested because they're retooling to be less like the Equirer and more like The Economist (a magazine I love, but can't spare the change for right now). Give 'em a try.

K-Ville Premier

K-Ville Premier hosted on Nola.com.

All and all, I liked it. They've got a genuinely interesting premise. There are some real sources for drama (like the interaction between the main cop and his 2 partners).

There were some things that were butchered horribly. The Yat accents were like nails on a chalkboard, but I would have been surprised if they did that right. Advice to the filmmakers: start with a Boston accent. That's close enough for now. You'll get it right later.

Despite it's limitations, I like it.

Corps Schenanigans

Corps employee pleads guilty to bribery in New Orleans-area levee contract. Times-Pic missed this one.

Matt McBride hasn't completely given up on blogging. He's made some posts on a diary over at Kos. 17th Street Canal Silting Up?!?! This is a HUGE deal because it limits the capacity of the canal. Peak capacity (which, luckily, is rarely needed) is 10,500 cfs. This is already reduced because of horizontal and vertical restrictions near the mouth of the canal. Basically, you can't put as much water through a 6" pipe as you can through an 8" pipe. If it's silting up, that makes the situation even worse. Also, dredging the canal is a scary proposition, given the shaky nature of the foundations of the floodwalls.

A very disturbing inspection report on the 17th Street Canal. It's amazing how obvious the flaws in the canal are.

Oh yeah, and what's our intrepid paper up to? This insulting article. Excuse me while I make my own water show by pissing all over this article. This guy was taken on a dog and pony show and fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Unfortunately, there are very few writers out there with a technical background, so they have to trust what they are told. I had a friend at my refugee school (Ole Miss) who covered Three Mile Island for the Boston Globe and he confessed he was clueless about the inner working of the reactor and had no idea how to judge the danger. I hate to be mean about a guy I've never read, but the Times-Pic guy sounds like he wouldn't know an irrigation pump (MWI's) from a penis pump.

I've been slowly digging into some of this stuff for a while. I got the capacity curves from MWI (they were very nice, as long as you treated them with respect and knew what to ask for). I asked around for past project where they've been used. They actually have a good rep, but they are irrigation pumps, not flood control pumps (less robust). Also, they're designed for static head situations and have serious cavitation problems in drawdown scenarios due to lack of NPSHr (translation- they'll shake themselves to pieces).

I don't know anything about the propriety with which the pump contract was issued. I don't want to comment, but I will at least throw out the suggestion that it might have been a case of looking worse than it really was. But, I don't want to touch that issue right now.

What I want to do is call in into question the engineering judgment of the Corps. I know for a fact that there were several other options that were presented to them that they rejected. I can't go into too much detail without getting myself into hot water, but they had other options on the table. Each one had pluses and minuses. With 20/20 hindsight, I think they made the wrong call.

I'm trying to be very careful with my criticisms because I don't have a lot of experience. I don't have a PE. I don't know a lot about a lot of things in the engineering field, but I know a few things very well and I'm nervous...

I'm going to stop now before I get beyond my expertise/get myself in trouble.

Debris Po-Boy

Some random notes:

Derek Jeter gave Jessica Alba herpes. DEREK JETER IS A FUCKING BASTARD! SOME DAY, HE'LL BE GETTING A PINEAPPLE UP THE BUTT EVERY DAY! On the bright side, A-Rod now has an STD (sorry Boston fans, it's not AIDS)...

Impressed with formaldehyde laced children's clothing and lead paint toys? Well, Fly China Air!

Malcom Gladwell says that violent dogs come from violent owners. This guy proves the point.

Politics roundup

Vitter is going to Iraq. He heard about the cheap hookers.

So, how's Jordan's "elite" prosecutor unit doing? Not so well...

Here's one link you won't see on Dead Pelican... Honestly, I think this whole mess is getting blown out of proportion. Not that much to see.

So, let's get this straight, DHS, which is in charge of securing our borders, is one of the nation's largest employers of illegal immigrants...

Holy Fucking Shit! I can't believe this was a serious article! Bush: Global Dictator.

Some photos of O.T. Gettin Jiggy Wit It...

Clancy DuBose going to WWL. This could turn out to be a huge coup for WWL and help them keep WDSU from overtaking them. WDSU has been nipping at their heels as of late...

Mark Fiore cartoon about the "New Orleans Brand." A must see.

Snitchin' is Bitchin!: Who will O.T. rat out?

Poll Results:

Ray Nagin

35 (37%)

Nagin-crony

7 (7%)

Marc Morial

10 (10%)

Morial-crony

22 (23%)

A Progressive Democrat

1 (1%)

A BOLD member

8 (8%)

Eddie Jordan

4 (4%)

Other

6 (6%)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Politics with a Punch - 22 Aug 2007

Just got back from Politics with a Punch and I nearly fell out of my seat several times!

The Canal Street Madam dropped some bombshells! Eric Paulsen spent the whole time trying to coax her into giving up information. She slipped out a few things... Also, anyone who doubts her veracity or says she's a liar is completely wrong. She's got her details straight and when she explains the inner workings of her (VERY EXTENSIVE) operation, she's very nuanced. Canal Street was just one of the houses she ran, another was on Garfield... Many of the hookers were from Europe... I think that some people have only heard her explanations secondhand (with a lot being lost) and that's why some people thing she's unreliable.

Vitter has fucked so many hookers, you need more than your fingers and your toes to count them all... When asked whether or not he lied, Jeanette started her response by saying, "He chose his words very carefully..."

Tidmore went through a brief summary of the whores he's confirmed. There were actually TWO Wendy Cortezes... Who were also friends... Tidmore's Wendy Cortez lives in Texas. The Times-Pic found the other Wendy Cortez.

What shocked me is how much Jeanette Maier cares about the city. She's seen up close how much the local citizenry have been fucked by their politicians. She was the mistress of a former mayor (who will be named soon) and she asked him at the end of a night where all the roads are all screwed up and never got fixed. He replied, "I got your roads right here," and he shot himself up with heroin...

I'm exhausted and I've got work tomorrow, but I have one thing to say in closing:

JEANETTE MAIER FOR CITY COUNCIL!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hey, CBS, still like Couric?



If I watch the evening news, it's Brian Williams (who is a real friend of New Orleans) or nothing. I liked Scheifer when he temporarily had the role after Rather departed. Big mistake, and they're paying for it with the ratings...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hurricane Dean / Hurricane "Da Hat"

The Corps is now hard at work trying to drown Canada and St. Louis...

Also, Eddie Jordanlost his appeal. The taxpayers of New Orleans will have to pay for his mistakes. Remember, he used William Jefferson's Chief of Staff to turn the DA's office into a political patronage position for $Bill... My favorite hire was replacing their a key ballistics expert with someone who's only experience was "some office work at a law firm and as a lifeguard." (Hit the Eddie Jordan tag to pull up the archives on him...)

PDF copy of the Court's findings. Is it just me or does this document make him look like an even bigger moron? Any lawyers want to chime in?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Recap of recent events

Excellent recap of Oliver Thomas' woes. By the NY Times.

A brief history of the Alphabet Soup organizations in NOLA. COUP, BOLD, GOLD, etc. I find if funny how nobody even knows what GOLD stands for... Required reading to follow New Orleans politics. H/T to Oyster.

Decriminalizing Mental Disorders. Excellent article. Totally ignored issue. From 600,000 beds to 40,000... Amazing.

Chris Rose on corruption. First article of his I've read in a while. Good.

View of Subsidence in New Orleans. Take a look:


Ellois rears his ugly head. Unfortunately, it's not cut off and used as a soccer ball.

2 killed in Treme. This one is close to where I live. Too close for comfort...

Minnesotans: please meet your Michael Brown. He's even got experience with the Corps! No word in the article as to whether or not he's got any experience with the Arabian Horse League or whatever the hell it was.

Speaking of the Corps... Here's their response to Time.

Discovered a new NOLA blogger today. Cliff's Crib.


Vick might be pleading guilty soon. He's fucked no matter what. Hope he gets a cellmate named Spike.

UPDATE- UNLEASH THE EVIL:

(Not photoshopped)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Poll: O.T. the snitch

I have a gut feeling O.T. is going to rat out someone big very soon. Anyone got any guesses who? Look at the poll at the top... Vote for who you think will be next (not who you hope).

Remember kids, Snitchin' is Bitchin!

Oliver Thomas

I feel genuinely sorry for Ole' Thomas. He was holding back tears during that press conference. He showed genuine contrition and resigned (ARE YOU TAKING NOTES, VITTER !!! JEFFERSON!!!).

btw, here's a link to $Bill's personal finances...

The Special Election is October 20th. Let's get some good candidates in the race.

Drawing from the blogroll, here's my short list:
* Bart (Seconding Ray)
* Brian Denzer (just imagine him ripping on Riley)
* Matt McBride (just imagine him holding hearings with the Corps where they're confronted with a politician who knows more math than addition and subtraction!!!)

Here are the qualifications for the job:

(1) A councilmember shall be a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of and domiciled in the City and shall not hold any other public office or position, except that the councilmember may hold the office of Notary Public, office in the military or naval forces or a position as a public school, public college, or public university administrator, teacher, instructor, or professor. Candidates for councilmember-at-large shall have been domiciled in the City for two years immediately preceding their election. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this Section, candidates for district councilmember shall have been domiciled in the districts from which elected for at least two years immediately preceding their election. Any councilmember who ceases to be domiciled in the district from which elected shall thereby vacate the office.

Dick on Iraq


True Dat!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Nigerian News

Some news of note from Nigeria. I know some people who used to work in West Africa's oil industry. None of them would dare work in Nigeria nowadays. Way too many abductions and rampant lawlessness. Rampant corruption prevents any of the oil wealth from reaching the commoners, leading to widespread discontent and crime.

The rebels abduct oil workers and hold them for ransom. Westerners go for $100,000+ and Americans are worth up to $400,000. The companies look out for their own and pay. The people get released, but it leads to more and more kidnappings. Ransom money is the second highest money maker for Nigeria after oil. More than any real business and more than those Nigerian identity thieves make.

How bad is it over there? A friend of mine just got a job offer to work on a facility in mainland Nigeria. They would have offered him a 60% raise, a 6 month initial stint, and then month-on-month-off after that, with a $250,000 bonus upon the projects completion. He told the headhunter to go to hell. From what I understand, the project was scrapped because they couldn't find anyone qualified willing to go over there. Some experts have said they could double Nigeria's oil output if it weren't for the violence.

The good news is the oil companies are changing strategies. They're instituting a convoy system (the same tactic that helped defeat the U-Boats in WWI and WWII) and that seems to be putting a dent in the problem. What are the rebels doing? They're now abducting the family members of crooked (millionaire) politicians and holding them for ransom.

Ballsy! Just imagine if New Orleanians abducted Jalila and Jamila and threatened to kill them unless $Bill handed over all his bribe money... Then we might be able to get something done in this town!

CNN / 2 Years Video

New Orleans: 2 Years Later.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Disturbing YouTube video


I know a few things about guns and here's what disturbs me:

That big black box on the micro-Uzi is a homemade "brass catcher." These were first used by target shooters who loaded their own ammo (recycling). Now, criminals like to use them to conceal evidence. Firing pins leave a unique impression on each primer they strike and a good forensic team can match casings with guns even easier than a bullet to a gun. Bullets get deformed. Casings generally don't. This (smart) New Orleans thug added a homemade brass catcher to make it much harder for cops to catch him. The dumb ones wreak enough havoc. God only knows if they get smart.

Oh yeah, and 5 murders in 5 days. Anybody seen Nagin or Riley or Jordan?!?!

UPDATE- Well, make that 6 murders in 5 days.

A couple of comments:
* First off, there are actually some interesting comments in the Nola.com article. 95% of them are the typical racist bullshit, but there are a few that seem to be from cops. If true, they are quite interesting.
* Apparently these two had quite a history. Michael's rap sheet (partial). Demond's rap sheet (partial). If those Docket Master links don't work, let me know.
* A small part of this recent crime spike is attributable to the heat wave. There hasn't been much rain recently, which means people don't stay home as much. The heat gets on people's nerves after a while and gets people to do stupid shit. New Orleanians would be well served to follow the lead of Giants fans when Barry Zito is pitching (pray for rain).

2 Articles about politics

Time: America's 5 best mayors... And 3 worst. It was Pre-K. Wonder where Nagin would be.

Background on the water bill mess.

Weird News

Kangaroos on Hwy 90. Poor Eddie Farve will now have to combat kangaroos in his shorts.

Mike Vick Chew Toy. Payback is a bitch! Oh yeah, and the SCLC is honoring Vick.

Buffalo man lives in underground bunker. Sort of cool, actually.

Young Republican Official charged with gay rape. And he seems to have a history of these things... So that's how it gets started...

Chad Rodgers/Dead Pelican Interview

Part I:


Part II: