Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Worst Job in the World

On an episode American Gangster, they interviewed a gang member (Crips I think). He told the story of how the leader of the gang once raped him, just to prove who was top dog.

On Bastards of the Party, Cle Sloan was under no illusions on what went on in a gang. He went into detail about how gang members call everyone "Nigga" instead of "Brotha," because killing a "Nigga" is a whole lot easier than killing a "Brotha." You know it's wrong to kill your brother, but nobody cares about the other one.

Two Questions:

If BET were to start running regular commercials on how shitty the lives of most drug dealers are, what effect do YOU think it would have?

There are some sick fucks in gangs, but there are also some who are just doing what they need to to survive and reach a high level because they're pretty sharp. The kingpins of drug schemes are some of the most talented people in the urban core. If one could harness the creative talents on the most gifted black urban youths towards something positive (say, the reconstruction of New Orleans), what do you think could be achieved?

BTW, I recommend Freakonomics to anyone who's interested in looking at things from a fresh perspective.

Beer Robot

Someday, machines will rule the earth.

The Hole - video powered by Metacafe

This is their initial assault.

Ah, engineers. Ain't we a wacky bunch.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Google News finds

I've got a "New Orleans" feed on my Google News setup. A few times a week, it spits out some really interesting articles.

Here are a few recent ones:

Baton Rouge's advice on the fight against crime

Andres Duany's take on New Orleans. Absolutely incredible. We aren't a broke, third wold country in America. We're the most affluent, efficient city in the Caribbean. He also debunks the "New Orleanians are fat, drunk, and lazy" myth by reframing the debate. A must read.

Teaching the Unteachable. Great post by one of the few other moderate bloggers out there.

A non-fuckmook outside opinion of New Orleans

WWL's owner buys defunct-WUPL Channel 3 buys Channel 2. It's going to be very interesting to see how this works out. Also, NOBODY has really mentioned it. Here's the ideal way this works out: WWL spins WUPL off as a niche station and WWL focuses on doing the excellent investigative reporting it does (but only does outside of Saints/Jazz Fest/Mardi Gras season). Worst case: more media conglomeration.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mardi Gras Crime Wave

Here's a map of the "Mardi Gras Crime Wave of 2007." This is only a partial list. There are 2 shootings Ash Wednesday that aren't included. Also, there was a shooting outside Ampersand Monday that isn't in there because I couldn't find a news article. Ampersand is a sort of yuppie bar near One Shell Square in the CBD. Despite the beliefs of some, crime doesn't go down during Mardi Gras. If anything, it goes up. The REPORTING of crime goes WAY down. 'Dear God, we can't let these tourists see how bad the problem is, otherwise they'd never return.' Shoot the messenger. That's the traditional Louisiana solution to any problem.

Pass near the area under I-10 on Claiborne near Canal after dark and tell me you aren't scared for your life. It's Woodstock for thugs and rival gangs. There were shooting victims in the double digits in that area.

Here's the KMZ file that goes along with just the Mardi Gras Crime Wave. Note- The yellow pins are shootings. The red pins are murders. The numbers are the number of victims.

Help on Quotes

Now that Mardi Gras is past us, everyone needs to get back to hammering Jordan and Riley to get their act together or resign.

To that end, I need some help. A few weeks ago, there was a meeting with Jordan, Riley, and the City Council. I listened to part of it on the radio. I was hoping someone can recall the exact phrasing of two things Jordan said.
* He said, "It's not my job to keep people in jail" when grilled about 701's.
* In a 'dog ate my homework' moment, he said that the rats in the evidence room are eating all his drug evidence.

I'm looking for the exact phrasing of those two quotes. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Times-Pic's coverage of the meeting

Friday, February 23, 2007

3 Articles Worth Reading

Report on an FBI Study. This is a must read for residents. Think of it as survival training. Know your enemy! The FBI interviewed 50 police officers and 43 felons. Their goal was to learn more about violent encounters between police and criminals. Their conclusions are shocking.

Here are some points that I thought were particularly interesting:
* All but one gun was obtained illegally. Handguns were the weapon of choice, but beyond that, criminals used whatever gun they could lay their hands on. Availability was key. Oh yeah, when asked if there were any laws that hindered them in arming themselves, they laughed in the face of the researcher.
* A lot of the criminals have EXTENSIVE experience with firearms. More than most of the police officers. Also, they don't necessarily aim, they just throw up a bunch of rounds and go for the hit. Their less sophisticated technique is actually more effective, in terms of hitting the target, than that of the police.
* Criminals have weapons concealed on them (or their girlfriends) at all times. They never use holsters. They tend to keep it in the waistband. Since they don't use holsters, they must constantly check to make sure the gun hasn't shifted. This is a way to spot if someone is packing and can give a keen observer valuable warning of impending danger.
* Police officers are generally extremely reluctant to shoot. Even when they are put into a situation where deadly force is authorized, most hesitate.
* Here's a quote to end with: "Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms," the report states. "In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality."

That article got me thinking. Just think about the comparison between a cop and thug. The cops are outmatched every time they face a thug. Most of the thugs have extensive battle experience, where most cops are rookies. A thug who's survived numerous gun battles is treated like a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. A cop who has comparable experience is treated like a thug. He's a PR nightmare. Anytime he shoots again, even if it's someone like Ivory Harris, he will immediately come under suspicion. I know of one NOPD officer who has shot several suspects over the course of his 20-odd year career. Killed them each time. With the exception those dozen or so instances over a 20 year career, he never drew his gun once. Every single person he shot was in the commission of a major crime. NOPD took him off the streets and behind a desk because it was bad PR. He was able to extract one concession from the brass, though. His new job was training new NOPD officers how to shoot.1

I'll bet you $20 he was a Marine. Wish we had more people like that in New Orleans. Take the Thug quotient down a notch.

All about the sectarian strife in Iraq. A real eye opener. The first 2 paragraphs just grab you. From Time.

1It's really unfortunate, but I'm really hesitant to ever print the name of any good NOPD officer. It's almost guaranteed to get him/her into trouble. That's the way NOPD works. The tallest tree gets chopped down. Thank you, Warren Riley.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy thought of the Day

Happiness is Aaron Brooks' face on a milk carton.

The unemployment line is close enough.


"And my word, were we in for a shock."

"We sort of assumed that after 12 months the wealthiest nation had earth had fixed it... But we were wrong. How can the rest of America sleep at night knowing that this is here?!?!""

Depressing thought of the day

Mitch Landrieu's campaign slogan. "We have one chance to fix this city and our margin for error is zero." One chance. And we blew it.

Oh yeah, one of his campaign promises was to replace Warren Riley and have a national search for his replacement.

He was our Tommy Carcetti, but we reelected Royce instead (ask Ashley).

NBA All Star Game

The Good News: Mardi Gras 2008 is on my birthday.

The Bad News: The NBA All Star Game is in New Orleans on Feb. 15th of next year. Read Jason Whitlock's great article to see what a total disaster it was. He even takes a shot at ESPN.

"NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas was an unmitigated failure, and any thoughts of taking the extravaganza to New Orleans in 2008 are total lunacy.
Without a full-scale military occupation, New Orleans will not survive All-Star Weekend 2008."

Deadspin has a nice wrapup, too. Read the comments, too.

Here's one of the comments:

Next year should be a total disaster in NOLA. Like this year, but ramped up 10X. Just like Whitlock says. The NOLA police can't keep things together now, and the city has 1/2 the population as before.

So I guess, when it comes down to it, NBA All-Star Weekend will finish what Katrina and the Chicago Bears started.

The police said it was a success because they "prevented total chaos." Jesus, just imagine how NOPD is going to cope. There were multiple shootings right on the Strip. A search of Google News and "NBA Violence" gives an inkling of how bad it was.

This article reminds me of descriptions of what it's like to wait on crowds during Essence or the Bayou Classic. Too bad I can't find that Nolafugees article about waiting on crowds during Essence.

Here's a more tame version of Whitlock's article. Had Bill Simmons, who is white, written the same article as Whitlock, who is black, Simmons would be unemployed.

Why is it that many black cultural events get hijacked by the thug 'culcha?' NBA All Star Weekend, Freaknik, the Bayou Classic, Essence Fest, etc. all are, in Jason Whitlock's words, "Woodstock for parolees, wannabe rap artists and baby's mamas on tax-refund vacations." How to separate the Thug culture from the real culture. Zulu has done it. How else can it be done? Wost comes to worse, you're just have to shut the events down, like Atlanta did with Freaknik.

I'm going to be on vacation next February 15th. Out of state.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Note to the out of towners

In case you haven't noticed, all local bloggers have ceased posting. We're all getting liquored up, so please check back on us in a week or so when we finish recovering from our hangovers.

In the meantime, Happy Mardi Gras!

Friday, February 16, 2007


Yet another article about leaving the Big Nasty

And one about picking up property in NOLA. Balances out the pessimism in the first article.

There are several scenarios where I would leave town (like the offices of the remaining oil companies packing up shop), but for now I'm preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best

By the way, did anyone else notice the Cobra gunship flying at extremely low altitude over the French Quarter and Treme? My first thought was they're planning on tactical airstrikes to help out NOPD. My bet is it's just visiting from the USS Mitscher

Crime Mapping Update

I've been pretty busy. I had to get a lot of work done before the holiday rolled around. By the way, does anyone find it extraordinarily easy to get outside help (like vendors) in town around Mardi Gras?

Anyway, I've added a few more placemarks.

Here is a list of links that are helpful to crime mapping:

Map based off Mike Glaser's postings on the PANO forum

Beta site for New Orleans citizen mapping

NOPD's rarely updated (and not user friendly) crime maps

Docket Master Tracking software on all dockets in criminal court. Excellent resource. You can also search for people who piss you off. Can lead to HOURS of entertainment. Also, you can look up the million-time losers like Lostin Lee, Ivory Harris, and Eugene Treg

Chicago Crime What the New Orleans map should look at for inspiration

Greater N.O. Community Data Center

Most of these I've already posted, I just wanted to consolidate them into one place.

Latest KMZ file

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Two Shows to Watch

American Experience. One of my favorite Tulane professors, Larry Powell, helped put this documentary together. On PBS

Code Blue: Sweet Charity. Documentary about Charity Hospital. WARNING- NOT FOR THE SQUEMISH! I've had several friends go through residency at Charity. It was a trial by fire for them, but it was the greatest learning experience any doctor could ever have. If you were an anesthesiologist, you learned how to deliver babies. If you were a pediatrician, you learned to patch up gunshot wounds. You got challenged there like no other place on earth.

Why I stay

Sometimes, living in this city is like dealing with an abusive spouse. You stay, even though it's destructive. The reasons to leave just go on and on. It's like living inside an episode of The Wire.

I mean, come on! I named my blog Nola-dishu for christ-sakes.

Here's what's keeping me going in this city:
* My job (which I love)
* The food
* Occasional quirky incidents

Here's what I mean by that last one. I was watching Krewe Du Vieux the other day and something that could only happen in New Orleans occurred.

The parade was stopped and I was walking through the krewe members with my friends and then this lady stops me and says, "suck on my tits."

"Excuse me?!?!"

"Suck on my tits," she said. Upon closer inspection, I realized she was wearing a bra made of water bottles. After 'further' inspection, I discovered they were filled with White Russian.

That lady was a complete stranger and I have no idea who she was. That incident would NEVER happen in ANY other city in America.

And yet, she wasn't a stranger. She was a fellow inmate at the asylum.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gun and Drug Crime

CNN goes for a ride with NOPD

This drug dealer/gun runner actually made a you tube video. He's got a pretty ridiculous disguise, but it works.

More Crime Mapping

There's going to be a meeting at the Sound Cafe (2700 Charters) this Monday concerning crime mapping.

This is the prototype of the website they want to set up.

The meeting is at 7 PM

Friday, February 9, 2007


Think about this: start a school in the middle of the shittiest shithole on earth, but have the students teach the classes. The students have to do pretty much everything.

The students come from the worst ghettos in the world in Soweto, South Africa. Many are rape victims. Some are HIV positive.

Instead of being a disaster, the thing turns out to be one of the most inspiring stories to come out of South Africa.

Some of the techniques I find very interesting: school uniforms, physical education, personal responsibility, wilderness retreats, scared straight trips to jails, and reenactments of rapes. That's right: they reenact rapes. The victims direct the actors to recreate the whole scene and everything leading up to it. It's a way to prove to the victim that they aren't responsible for the rape.

They also take the kids away from the most the abusive parents and keep them at school in a boarding school-like environment.

Damn! We need an Ithuteng in Orleans parish!

Here's HBO's page.

Here's the film's homepage.

The filmmakers also have an incredible story to tell.

The Plan for the Future of New Orleans

This *IS* the plan.

What's going on in the city is exactly what those in power desire. They don't want to spend any money rebuilding the wetlands. They want people to move to higher ground and leave behind a small city just based off the port.

New Orleans East, the Lower 9th, St. Bernard, etc. are toast.

And that's exactly what they want, but just don't want to say on the record.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mom of the Year

Mom of the Year. In hell, at least...

My mom is a public school teacher with over 30 years under her belt. I talked to her about this story. She said that that mom's behavior is common amongst 70-80% parents at the worst schools. She's had students whose moms sent them to school with knives. There's nothing emptier than a bad public school on Parent-Teacher Conference day.

Some of the poor kids' upbringing is worse than if they were raised by wolves. The parents pollute their minds. They convince the kids they don't need to work. They just need have a baby out of wedlock and get on welfare. She said that those kids are unteachable and almost hopeless by age 7.

Fucked up...

I hope Vanessa Johnson gets the needle.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

New Economic Base for New Orleans

The tourist industry is a horrible base for this city and is partly responsible for much of what's wrong with the city.

Here's an idea: create a city based on the study of theoretical physics.

Nonleaniar attractors= Check

Crazy Blackhole Physics Experts= Check

Lab facilities to study Brownian motion= Not needed.

I'm sure Dr. Morris would approve.

Google Earth Question

I've looked all over the internet and have tried to figure out how to embed a Google Earth map from a .kmz file into a webpage and haven't quite been able to do it.

I've tried and tried and can't quite figure it out.

In the meantime, here's the city's murders to date.

UPDATE- Fixed the link.

Hold Jordan's Feet to the Fire

This is the letter the City Council sent to Riley and Jordan. They want answers, especially about the infamous "701" releases.

The meeting is open to the public, so let's show up and give Jordan a piece of our minds.

I'm going to try to show up. I'm working up sign ideas, so if you have any, let me know.

Tell everyone you know. Let's have a strong showing.

Also, he might not show up. He did chicken out of showing up at the march, after all. If he doesn't show up, I will make a complaint with the Louisiana Bar Association. I think their office at 601 St. Charles Ave. would be an EXCELLENT location for a second march. It's right next to a park with plenty of lawyers within earshot to help put pressure on the bar association.

Monday, February 12, 2007
City Council Chamber
1300 Perdido Street
Time= ???

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Red Alert!

A collection of lock bumping news stories from a vendor of bump proof locks.

A bunch of guys at work were passing this around. It scares the living shit out of me. There are SO many locks of this type we all depend on. To suddenly find out that that people can crack them in seconds? It's shocking.

It works by causing the pins to jump up and if you rotate the bump key just right, you'll get an instant skeleton key to 95% of locks out there on the market.

According to one source, lock bumping has been around since at least the 50's. I'm shocked the lock companies haven't done anything about this before now.

I'm really wondering how many of the HUGE number of break ins and home invasions in the Marigny and Quarter might be the result of a single criminal who knows lock bumping.

More info about Bump Keys

One good piece of news is they are a lot harder to manufacture than you think. The bad news is you can buy them online.

Here's what you can do:
* First off, a short-term fix is to inject WD-40 into the keyslot of your lock. That will cause the pins to reset faster and make it harder to bump.
* Cheap locks are actually less likely to be bumped than some of the more expensive locks. Instead of being bumped, they'll just break.
* There are some really elaborate "bump-proof" locks out there, but they're extremely expensive. There are electromagnetic locks, high tech mechanical locks, and others.
* Get a cheap lock to keep locked when you're at home. Something that can only be operated from the inside. Like this one

I plan on changing a bunch of locks soon, and I promise I'll share my solution.

The Onion

This would be a lot funnier if it didn't seem so true.