Saturday, September 30, 2006


Tags: | | | | | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Bush | Worst President Ever | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"The decider" adds "the thinker" to his chore list

Is George W. Bush's very sanity even intact anymore:

In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years - the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark.

“It's unacceptable to think," he said.

It is never unacceptable to think.

And when a President says thinking is unacceptable, even on one topic, even in the heat of the moment, even in the turning of a phrase extracted from its context, he takes us toward a new and fearful path -- one heretofore the realm of science fiction authors and apocalyptic visionaries.

That flash of lightning freezes at the distant horizon, and we can just make out a world in which authority can actually suggest it has become unacceptable to think.

When rationale minds inspired the founding of, thus far, the most resilient and enduring democratic republic in history, an entirely different vision was conjured of the necessity for dissent to preserve that democracy:
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”

Keith Olbermann's response to Bush's Rose Garden tirade is everything we've been hoping for more than 5 years that someone in the mainstream press would finally say.

Tags: | | | | | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Bush | Worst President Ever | Iraq | Al Qaeda | Osama bin Laden | Terrorism | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Friday, September 22, 2006

Demand more from WWL radio

The first topic of the day on WWL radio today?

"Rabbit Ears, HD or Satellite-How are you gonna watch the game?"

It's only when I'm driving to work in the morning, or taking a lunch break, that I can listen to WWL radio news. Unfortunately, most of the time, it seems that the only news WWL thinks we residents of this destroyed city need to hear is Saints news.

With some 200,000 flooded homes in New Orleans (120,000 severely flooded) -- and most of them still not repaired, with over 300,000 residents still not back in their homes, with a foundering neighborhood planning process, with an invisible mayor, with insurance companies ripping off their policyholders, with Entergy claiming it will have to raise rates 120 percent while its parent company is making billions in profit for its shareholders ... with so many more issues on the table in post-Katrina New Orleans, its seems logical that citizens need more information from newsmakers explaining what the hell is going on.

But WWL is more optimistic. It's Saints season! And the Saints are going to be on Monday night football. Who cares about all that other depressing, tedious crap. News? Phewy! You wanna rebuild New Orleans? It's all about the Saints!

While driving to the doctor's office from work yesterday, I tuned in for a few minutes of a now rare newsmaker interview with Steven Bingler -- you know, that's Steven "Bungler," the guy whose inept Concordia planning firm got the no-bid contract to oversee the most important planning process in history.

The fact that nobody understands what his firm is doing, that there's no transparency to the process, that this was a rare opportunity for citizens to actually hear what Bungler has to say in the hope that he might clarify what's happening ... well, you might believe that WWL agrees, and that it would post the audio from that interview on the internet for residents to hear on demand -- but you'd be mistaken.

WWL could argue that it doesn't have an obligation to archive its audio on the internet, sure. But it's the prominence and frequency with which WWL advertises itself as the "official" news station in an emergency that ought to produce a more enlightened appreciation of its mission to the community.

In fact, WWL advertises on its Web site that it's looking for reporters who want to cover "The Story of the Century." Applicants might want to consider how much they like covering the Saints before sending in a resume, because it seems WWL thinks "the story of the century" is not the rebuilding of New Orleans, but the Saints.

I think there ought to be a larger discussion about what the responsibility is of both broadcast and cable outlets to the community. I won't go into it here, but just for the sake of stimulating thought, I'd direct readers to consider the number of radio stations out there that have returned right back into what they were doing pre-Katrina, playing the niche format-ratings game, spitting out mediocre music as a vehicle for advertising, rather than addressing the needs of the local community.

Does anyone remember how broadcasters are supposed to prove to the FCC that they're fulfilling a mission to serve the community when they reapply for a broadcasting license?

I think it could pretty easily be demonstrated that with a few questionable exceptions, none are. Which could make the next round of FCC application reviews interesting if anyone wanted to challenge a broadcaster's license.

Back to WWL, I never used to listen to WWL before Katrina, because it was full of obnoxious talk show hosts. The only reason I started to listen to WWL after Katrina, was because I could hear it all the way over there in Pensacola, and with virtually no information at all coming out of the mayor's office, other than The Times-Picayune online, WWL was the best place to go for information.

Now, a year later, I find fewer and fewer reasons to tune in.

I'm still waiting to get a response from the General Manager about requests I've made to have recovery-related interviews posted on the internet archive.

Consider the following tabulation of programs archived on the WWL site for the month of September through 9/21. Hurricane recovery ranks as only the third most important issue:

  • 41 programs about Saints football (56 percent)
  • 14 programs about Vince Marinello (19 percent)
  • 11 programs about hurricane recovery issues (15 percent)
  • 4 programs about LSU football (5 percent)
  • 3 programs about crime (4 percent)
I know that WWL covers hurricane recovery issues more in its live broadcasts, but you'd have a hard time finding those programs in the list of archived programs:
  • Saints WR Joe Horn press conference 9/21
  • Saints Head Coach Sean Payton press conference 9/21
  • Saints RB Deuce McAllister press conference 9/21
  • Saints QB, Drew Brees explains the keys to the Flacons defense 9/21
  • Tommy Tucker and Monica Pierre talk about ethics City Councilmain at Large Arnie Fielkow 9/21
  • Harrahs GM Jim Hoskins talks to WWL's Dave Cohen about opening the new Harrahs Hotel this week 9/21
  • Saints LB Scott Fujita press conference 9/20
  • Saints Head Coach Sean Payton press conference 9/20
  • Falcons RB Warrick Dunn press conference 9/20
  • Saints QB Drew Brees press conference 9/20
  • Saints RB Reggie Bush press conference 9/20
  • Falcons Coach Jim Mora press conference 9/19
  • Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson visit with Falcons kicker, Morten Andersen 9/20
  • Garland Robinette visits with Saints Owner, Tom Benson 9/20
  • Tommy Tucker and Monica Pierre interview Superdome spokesperson Bill Curle 9/20
  • Kenny Wilkerson visits with Saints Wide Receiver Joe Horn 9/19
  • Saints Fans Buying Season Tickets tell WWL's Dave Cohen they are excited 9/19
  • Saints Head Coach Sean Payton on Green Bay game and preparing for Atlanta 9/18
  • Tommy Tucker and Monica Pierre go one on one with Saints QB, Drew Brees 9/18
  • Former President Bill Clinton speaks to WWLs Garland Robinette 9/16
  • LSU versus Auburn Audio Preview for Site 9/15
  • U2 and Green Day among the musical acts booked for Saints' Monday Night Football, WWL's Kenny Wilkerson tells Chris Miller 9/14
  • Saints RB, Deuce McAllister Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
  • Saints RB, Aaron Stecker Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
  • Saints Head Coach Sean Payton on preperation for Greenbay 9/13
  • Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy 9/13
  • Saints QB, Drew Brees Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
  • Saints RB, Reggie Bush Post Practice Press Conference 9/13
  • Garland Robinette interviews Walter Leger of the LRA 9/13
  • WWL's Dave Cohen talks to Superdome Commission Chairman Tim Coulon about phase 1 construction completion at the Dome 9/13
  • Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson visit with LSU Head Coach, Les Miles 9/12
  • Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson visit with Saints DT, Brian Young 9/12
  • Spud McConnell Talks Superdome restoration with Bill Curl of SMG and Tim Coulon chairman of the Superdome Commission 9/12
  • Garland Robinette visits with Mayor Nagin 9/12
  • Mayor Ray Nagin and his One New Orleans Committee on 100 days progress report 9/12
  • Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre go one on one Viginia Boulet - Mayor Nagin's Advisor on Entergy 9/12
  • Garland Robinette visits with Virgina Boulet 9/11
  • LSU Football Coach Les Miles talks about getting ready for the Auburn Game 9/11
  • Saints Coach Sean Payton Monday news conference after Saints beat Browns 9/11
  • Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre go one on one with Saints QB, Drew Brees 9/11
  • Don Dubuc and Monica Pierre interview Mary Elizabeth Marinello's mother Bertha Norman 9/8
  • WWL's Bob Mitchel expresses his feelings about the arrest of Vince Marinello 9/7
  • WWL's Hokie Gajan comments on a dear friend and Colleagues (Vince Marinello) arrest 9/7
  • WWL's Bobby Hebert comments on a Colleagues (Vince Marinello ) arrest 9/7
  • Attorney Jack Martzell provides analysis on the Vince Marinello case 9/7
  • Sheriff Harry Lee Explains what took place on the day of the murder of Mary Elizabeth Marinello 9/7
  • Sheriff Harry Lee explains why Vince Marinello has been placed on sucide watch 9/7
  • WWL's Kenny Wilkerson goes one on one with Harry Lee on the decision to charge Vince Marinello with Second Degree Murder 9/7
  • WWL's Kenny Wilkerson comments on a Colleague (Vince Marinello) thats in trouble 9/7
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee announces the arrest of Vince Marinello part 2 9/7
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee announces the arrest of Vince Marinello part 1 9/7
  • UNO Criminologist Dr Peter Scharf speaks to WWLs Mike Conti about a spike in violent crime 9/7
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee says Marinello murder was a hit 9/7
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee on search of Marinello trailer and home 9/7
  • Garland Robinette interviews Dan Packard of Entergy 9/6
  • Garland Robinette interviews Walter Leger of the LRA 9/6
  • Garland Robinette interviews Mayor Ray Nagin 9/6
  • Garland Robinette grills the mayor about complaints he's been invisible and negative press 9/6
  • Garland Robinette asks the mayor about racism in New Orleans 9/6
  • Saints WR, Reggie Bush Press Conference 9/6
  • Saints QB, Drew Brees Press Conference 9/6
  • Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton Press Conference 9/6
  • New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson says community has stepped up 9/5
  • Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre interview Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee 9/5
  • Spud McConnell chats with NOPD Chief Warren Riley 9/5
  • Bobby Hebert discusses the Saints acquisitions this week 9/4
  • Saints Head Coach Sean Payton press conference 9/4
  • Saints S Roman Harper press conference 9/4
  • Saints WR Marques Colston press conference 9/4
  • Saints WR Joe Horn press conference 9/4
  • Saints Jamaal Branch press conference 9/4
  • Saints G Jahri Evans press conference 9/4
  • Bob DelGiorno and Monica Pierre go one on one with Jim Hawthorne the Voice of the LSU Tigers Radio Network 9/4
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee comments on the Mary Elizabeth Marinello murder 9/1
  • Hurricane Expert Dr. William Gray speaks to WWL's Mike Conti about his revised forecast for 2006 9/1

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Ray Nagin | Recall Ray Nagin | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary | UNOP | Unified New Orleans Plan | Steven Bingler | Concordia | Journalism | Media

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here on Gilligan's Island

It'd be nice if The Times-Picayune acknowledged that they were about two months behind Dambala in floating the Meffert yacht story. Even so, they're still skirting around the more important question. Sure, Meffert has an expensive yacht, but the harm done by using it to entertain is probably minimal compared to the greater harm that may have been done by doling out all of the city's technology projects to his friends.

Don't get me wrong -- I salute The Times-Picayune for (finally) picking a fight with the Nagin administration. I just hope it's a serious fight, not a face-saving stunt. A new Gordon Russell article quoting former Imagine employee, Paul Bible, suggests that maybe the TP is turning the corner:

“All the campaigning begs the question of how much time was spent working on these campaigns,” Bible said. “How much money is the city spending for them to work on these kinds of projects?”

Meffert's a good Samaritan? Possibly. So it shouldn't be difficult for him to justify his actions then, should it?

Why is Meffert so coy about revealing why he passed so much business onto his friends? How much money did his friends actually make? Was it reasonable compensation? Could other competing firms have done as much or more for the money, or produced better ideas and solutions?

I'm okay with maverick behavior -- like stealing the assessors' records to post them for the public to see -- as long as it can be demonstrated that the public good was served.

Let me just go ahead and reveal that I once worked as a subcontractor to a prime contractor for an office in City Hall. After months of being told that I would be able to continue in the project for months more to come, I was shocked when I was told just before Christmas that the job was finished -- which it wasn't (and since then, never has been finished). I may have cut my own throat by going around the prime contractor, directly to the city official overseeing the work, to provide what I thought was a more productive approach to managing the project. Just a few weeks ago, I noticed that the same project manager for the prime contractor who "fired" me -- who's been doing a pretty lousy job for years -- donated $5000 to Nagin's re-election campaign.

Now, I don't know about the rest of yous, but I definitely don't have $5000 burning a hole in my pocket that has Ray Nagin's name on it.

Is it any wonder why good ideas never seem to come out of City Hall when only people who pay kickbacks get recognized? Meffert may be an exception to the rule, but it might only appear so because he wasn't doing anything truly innovative, other than bringing City Hall into the 1990's from 1970's technology. Meffert did nothing more than reach for the low-hanging fruit.

How much more might have been accomplished if Meffert had revamped the civil service rules which continue to force talented people, who have expensive educations and families to raise, to work in job descriptions and pay scales that are over thirty years old? Or if he had actually altered the contracting rules to make them more competitive and rational, instead of rewarding himself and his friends?

I guess it's just bidness as usual, whether it's Sydney Bartholomew, Marc Morial, or C. Ray Nagin!

I've been holding back to see if anyone else would relate a story which reveals not just Nagin's contempt for people who are busting their asses to rebuild this city, but how contemptuous he is of his own office. I wasn't there, so I'll tell the story as best I can and modify later as required for accuracy:
A couple of weeks ago, Nagin made his first appearance, in longer than anyone could remember, at a community meeting. Councilwoman Stacy Head was introducing him, and joked that everyone should be nice to him so he'd come back. K shouted out from the audience, "He's the mayor. We pay him to come back!" Nagin replied, "Yeah, my big government salary." To which K held up a hand forming a big zero and said, "You know how much I get paid to clean up debris in my neighborhood?"

If it isn't apparent, let me spell it out. Here we are, citizens living in a city more than 80 percent destroyed. We are fighting, all of us, doing our civic duty along with volunteers from around the country, to rebuild this city block by block, house by house, for no other reward than to help restore our neighborhoods and help our fellow citizens return to their homes. And Nagin acknowledges that effort by whining about a $150,000 salary he's never once earned!

Oh yeah ... don't forget to recall Ray Nagin!

In other media matters, 14 out of the last 20 interviews archived by WWL 870 AM are about the Saints or LSU. Going back further than a week, and it's all Saints, all Vince Marinello, all the time. It's becoming far more difficult these days to hear anything of substance about the recovery of New Orleans. Then, whenever WWL hosts interview prominent guests -- like Ray Nagin last week -- they ask trifling questions. And when a caller happens to introduce controversy into a conversation, WWL hosts quickly get the caller off the air so not to offend their esteemed guests.

I make this observation because I was hoping to hear again, and post some comments about, the extremely insightful remarks on Garland Robinette's show Tuesday afternoon by the former Director of City Planning, Kristina Ford (no thanks due Robinette who likes to do most of the talking for his guests).

She stated her preference not to criticize, but instead to offer constructive advice for citizens engaged in the planning process flavor of the day. In its most distilled essence, Ford's message was to ask planning teams questions. Ask, ask, ask. Without naming names, it was clear she was referring to Steven "Bungler" Bingler's bungling of the Unified New Orleans Plan process when she said that even she didn't know what was being said sometimes, despite her having earned a Ph.D. in planning. When planners say they're going to simply "weave" or "knit" 72 neighborhood plans into one cohesive unified plan, ask what those words mean -- what do they mean, precisely, by "weave" and "knit"?

Ford also recommended having a city planner present at any meetings with private planning teams like Concordia. She expressed her utmost confidence in the people who work in the City Planning department -- who have been notably absent from many of the planning discussions to date.

9/21/06 update:
I forgot to comment on the caption to the yacht picture printed in the TP. I wonder if the words "to celebrate ... his decision to give up the drudgery of his job as the city's chief technology officer" were Meffert's, or the TP's. Drudgery? If that was Meffert's choice of words, well ... we don't need people like him in public office, so good riddance (and I'm being polite).

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Ray Nagin | Recall Ray Nagin | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary | UNOP | Unified New Orleans Plan | Steven Bingler | Concordia

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Maybe the Army should allow once AWOL presidents to serve

One of these days, I'm going to write a post including all of the interesting searches that led people to PGR.

Here's a troubling recent search: How do they determine who gets called up with inactive ready reserve.

And coincidentally, this Reuters story on the Yahoo home page: U.S. general sees no Iraq troop cut before mid-2007.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, who as head of U.S. Central Command oversees the war, said the United States might even increase the size of its force from the current 147,000, the highest since January. He also did not rule out holding in place U.S. units scheduled to leave Iraq in coming months.

His comments, the most pessimistic to date on a U.S. drawdown, come amid unabated sectarian violence in Baghdad between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims that has elevated concerns over civil war 3-1/2 years after a U.S.-led invasion.

Since the military services are so short on recruits that they're now sending soldiers back into Iraq for their third tours of duty, and they're allowing people over 40 to sign up, maybe it's time to allow Bush to make up that time he lost while he was supposed to be guarding the Texas border from the Mexicans and the Vietcong.

Tags: | | | | | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Bush | Worst President Ever | Iraq | Al Qaeda | Osama bin Laden | Terrorism | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Sunken treasure -- gutting another house

After the exciting first Big Easy Roller Girls bout, a bunch of us bloggers headed over to the Kingpin to celebrate Loki's big 4-0. Lisa and Renard showed up -- Lisa toting some unusual treats -- including a tin of amazing butter cookies for Loki and me (I having celebrated a nice birthday earlier this month). The cookies instantly dissolved on the tongue in an essence of butter and powdered sugar. Lisa also brought along some other fond treats from her childhood she's been finding are still available, like Adam's Sour Apple gum, and (help me here, Lisa) that striped fruit gum.

So it was late to bed, and early to rise for both New Orleans blogger and Arabi Wrecking Krewe volunteers who set out Sunday morning to help gut another house. I'm learning that every house is different -- some go quickly; others take more time. Some people lived more obviously organized lives before their possessions were claimed by floodwaters. Others lived more cluttered lives where possessions left out in the open drifted around in that murky soup for weeks, turning into a soggy, decaying detritus expressing former lives in detailed minutia.

Wanna know what it feels like? You can't really, until you see all of your possessions covered in mud and mold. But let's just say you're sitting at a desk in your home reading this post. Think of filthy water rising to a level just above your head. Now, everything from from your head on down is ruined and lost forever. What do you have hanging on your walls? What's in your drawers? What's on your bookshelves? What of irreplaceable sentimental value will you have to throw on a debris pile in the street -- lost forever?

Some houses were flooded all the way into the attics.

I had to leave at noon, but I suspect that there will be another weekend of work before Morwen's house is completely gutted.

The Times-Picayune reported yesterday that with 200,000 flooded houses in New Orleans, and a downtrend in the numbers of volunteers, non-profit groups are really struggling to meet the need.

Please find a weekend or two that you can volunteer ... and please spread the word that the work here is far from complete.


VatulBlog -- Day 385: Dog Day Afternoon

Maitri's photos

Ray in New Orleans -- Blogger wrecking

Community Gumbo -- The Arabi Wrecking Krewe (audio)

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Ray Nagin | Recall Ray Nagin | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary

Monday, September 18, 2006

Photos: Big Easy Roller Girls first bout

They sold out. Good job girls!

Being one familiar with how failure can plague volunteer organizations, I was crossing my fingers that they'd get through whatever difficulty might come up -- while they were trying to compete and provide entertainment. On top of that, I have no desire to fall on a cement floor -- even with protective gear. That's just too hard a fall.

I admire that fighting attitude (wrapped around big hearts), but I worry about them getting hurt. Despite my worries, the first Big Easy Roller Girl bout was pulled off without a single glitch ... oh ... okay, I suppose they could have had another bar setup, but that's a good sign.

The excitement opened up with the girls doing warm-up laps around the rink to "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. It seemed an odd choice at first, but sounded fresh on the powerful sound system, and induced flashbacks to another era -- exactly what was called for. The crowd roared for either The 'Aints, or the Hor-Nots, depending upon who they knew. I was truly excited to see those jammers speed, nudge, and shove their way through the pack. Yeah, Cherry Pi was put in the penalty box, but when she did, it was for delivering a really gratifying good hit. And I did have the privilege of seeing a couple of the girls change their panties.

IMHO, it was one of the best things to happen in New Orleans to raise people's spirits since Mardi Gras for locals happened earlier this year. I fell in love with a couple dozen roller derby queens on Saturday night.

Roller derby is even more exciting than Reggie Bush defending the fleur de lis from The Pack.

Photo: Susan Poag/Times-Picayune.


Sherri - How 'BOUT that! (first-hand BERG account)

the_velvet_rut -- Sophie Nuke 'Em (video)

Ghost photos

Maitri photos

Michael Homan photos

Michael Homan -- The Decline of Fema Trailer Sewage Pipes

b.rox -- Roller Girls

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another housegutting operation

Ray is leading a housegutting for Gentilly blogger, Morwen.

We will start on Morwen's house this Sunday, 9/17, at 9:00am. The address is 2918 Annette St:

This is the crew for this week:

Morwen Madrigal Ray Shea Oyster Maitri Maitri's friend, Julie Karen Coffeebeans Cade Roux Rick Schroeder maybe a few AWK folks

I went over there this afternoon to look around inside. It's a 1 story house, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, wall to wall carpet, with a separate 2-story apartment which is very small. The house is on piers, about 3 steps up from the ground.

The good news:

* It is sparsely furnished compared to the last few houses we've done.

* The floor seems structurally sound.

* There is very little furniture at all in the back apartment.

* It's an open layout with French doors in the front, so it will be very easy to nagivate around and bring stuff out.

The more challenging news:

* The folks that Morwen bought the house from were very paranoid and so all the windows are sealed with bulletproof plexiglass under bars, so it will require power tools with special square bits to be able to remove the bars and plexiglass to get some air in there. I might try to go over there tomorrow some time to try to get a jump on that if anybody wants to join me.

* The kitchen ceiling has collapsed due to water so we will need to clear out the soggy ceiling boards and insulation to be able to get to the appliances.

* There is a FEMA trailer between the front door and the place where we most likely want to build our debris pile, so we will have to go the long way around with the wheelbarrows.

Arabi Wrecking Krewe has agreed to loan us their equipment and even possibly a few volunteers, but if you signed up to bring anything, please bring it anyway just in case.

Curious George's Jackson Square speech redux

One year ago today, the boneless chickenhawk monkey boy preznit had his handlers clean up Jackson Square, and light St. Louis Cathedral using generators, for a face-saving photo op (my remarks highlighted).

We will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. ...

How much longer is it going to take to provide hope to the more than 250,000 New Orleanians who need to get back into their homes. If your excuse is that local authorities need to come up with a plan, then why aren't you proactively engaged in shepherding that process to get it moving along? And by the way, who was that guy you appointed to be the Gulf Coast recovery czar?

In the task of recovery and rebuilding, some of the hardest work is still ahead, and it will require the creative skill and generosity of a united country. ...

So why aren't you more actively defending the character of New Orleanians who continue to be hounded by your right-wing moralist gestapo.

As all of us saw on television, there's also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. ...

Uh ... and where's your plan? Could it be that there wasn't any money left over after you finished doling out debris contracts to gigantic private corporations like your Halliburton and Shaw patrons who take all the money and pay unscrupulous wages to immigrants? Is it even conceivable in your monkey brain that you could have run a lower-cost, WPA-style administration to oversee contracts bid out to capable local firms, thus providing jobs to desperate locals? Have you come up with a plan to make sure the same mistakes aren't made in the future? Of course, I know you haven't, because frankly, you like the fact that your friends profit from your incompetent leadership.

And to help lower-income citizens in the hurricane region build new and better lives, I also propose that Congress pass an Urban Homesteading Act. Under this approach, we will identify property in the region owned by the federal government, and provide building sites to low-income citizens free of charge, through a lottery. In return, they would pledge to build on the lot, with either a mortgage or help from a charitable organization like Habitat for Humanity. Home ownership is one of the great strengths of any community, and it must be a central part of our vision for the revival of this region.

All I have to say is, you damn sure ain't no Roosevelt, monkey man!

In the life of this nation, we have often been reminded that nature is an awesome force, and that all life is fragile. We're the heirs of men and women who lived through those first terrible winters at Jamestown and Plymouth, who rebuilt Chicago after a great fire, and San Francisco after a great earthquake, who reclaimed the prairie from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Every time, the people of this land have come back from fire, flood, and storm to build anew -- and to build better than what we had before. Americans have never left our destiny to the whims of nature -- and we will not start now.

So, where's your commitment to Category 5 storm protection and coastal restoration -- NOW! Or how about getting a little more assertively behind the offshore royalties bill, now in danger of failure as it goes through a contentious House-Senate reconciliation battle, to make sure Louisiana gets the best deal possible so it can defend herself.

These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know -- with the help of grace and one another.

Translation: Go eff yourselves! The Gulf Coast recovery is strictly going to be left to the vagaries of speculators and profiteers of the glorious laissez faire (taxpayer-subsidized) marketplace. A year after the storm, are you waiting for your insurance company to settle while they've doubled your premiums? Tough shit! A year after the storm, you still don't have a place to live but you still have to pay your mortgage? Tough shit! A year after the storm, businesses and non-profits aren't investing in your neighborhood because they're waiting to see what's going to happen with the levees and pumping stations? Tough shit! If you can't pull yourself up by your own damn bootstraps (by getting a plum government contract), we don't need you in our country club America!

There's absolutely nothing on the White House home page about New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, or hurricane recovery. I guess the preznit must think his job is done.

For the rest of you outside of New Orleans wondering what the legacy of the Bush administration is, take a look at what's happening here. As New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation. There will be more disasters like this in the future. If you don't like what you see, then it's time to join the Katrina dissident movement, where we don't accept excuses, we see through the lies, we demand responsive, effective services for our tax dollars, and our rallying cry is, failure is not an option!

A good place to get your feet wet muddy is by signing up with a non-profit organization (like The Arabi Wrecking Krewe) to help gut and rebuild houses.

ThinkNOLA has a sign-up to help a fellow blogger, Morwen, get her Gentilly house gutted.

Incompetence and negligence aren't exclusively White House phenomena. We don't have to look far to find politicians ripping off taxpayers, as Dambala recently discovered. Thanks to his diligent research through public records, he uncovered a deal Ray Nagin is trying to make to cut himself in on the profit from the hurricane recovery:
"See-Ray-Rape-Nawlins" launches a real estate company with developer David White (owner of McDonalds' franchise, Table One on Magazine, and appointed to the BNOB committee by Nagin) 2005 pre-K. Here, we have a Mayor who is in the real estate business in the city he's governing...conflict of interest? One would think.

It's clear evidence of the duplicitous rationale for Ray Nagin's market-based approach to "governing" the city's recovery, and offers just one more justification for why Ray Nagin needs to be recalled.

Nagin must see another guy when he looks in the mirror. Take a look at some of the things he says about himself on the city Web site:
... progressive policies ... unleashed unprecedented economic development ... 37,000 people were removed from the poverty rolls during the first three years ... led and managed the largest mass evacuation and largest natural disaster in the nation's history

In other matters, the September 18th edition of The Nation hit the newsstands this week. Inside is a story by Michael Tisserand about the New Orleans blog movement, and the online edition of The Nation features links to a (very small) handful of celebrated blogs.

Speaking of the media and democracy, Stop Big Media is reporting that the former shill for corporate media giants, FCC Chairman Michael Powell, buried a report he commissioned in 2004 because it showed that locally-owned broadcasters produce more local news than stations owned by big corporations. The result of the study was the opposite of what Powell hoped to find. Since the report was commissioned by a government entity, and was paid for by taxpayers, it should have been made publicly available.

In other media news, ThinkProgress is reporting that Air America Radio (heard on 1350 AM in New Orleans) is restructuring, and may be headed for bankruptcy. I'm an avid listener, although I admit I can't stand the dull logic and pedantic rhythm of Jerry Springer's voice, and Ed Schultz's screaming rants drive me as crazy as do Rush Limbaugh's (technically, Schultz isn't an Air America personality). There are, however, some extraordinary talents on that Air America network. I'm especially fond of Al Franken, who's low-key humor and intelligent conversation with engaging guests is refreshing and stimulating. I also like (and hope AAR will retain) Rachel Maddow, Laura Flanders of The Nation, State of Belief, and Ring of Fire. There are other programs in the AAR lineup that aren't heard in the New Orleans market. Frankly, I think WWL (which owns 1350 AM) ought to run some of those other programs rather than the other banter they offer at odd hours.

One way Air America fans can support the network is by joining as a member.

Hey, the Saints might have Reggie Bush, but the Big Easy Roller Girls have Sophie Nuke 'Em!

I wouldn't miss the first roller derby bout in New Orleans tomorrow for anything -- not even to see the Saints crushed by the Green Bay Packers! Actually, I'd be tickled to see the Saints win, but my favorite team has always been the Pack.

Tune in to WTUL's Community Gumbo, 91.5 FM (or online at WTUL.FM), Saturday morning at 9 a.m., to hear interviews with the Big Easy Roller Girls.

Finally, (fellow GB fan) Maitri and I are at last disposing of our recycle collections. You can too, at the Green Project.

And it was thanks to Maitri that an impromptu 3rd Geek Dinner was organized around a visit by Earthlink blogger Dave Coustan. I may have more to say about this in the future, but let me just point out for the record -- as one who hates BellSouth and Cox -- that the prospect of Earthlink's high-speed wireless network throughout New Orleans is not just a source of personal joy, it represents a desperately-needed positive sign for New Orleans. I hope Earthlink recognizes that this isn't just a good business opportunity, but is in fact a highly-marketable and prestigious gesture of good will. We are fortunate that EarthLink has given us this gift, to help us raise our outlooks a little, and I'm sure it will be rewarded for its investment when people in New Orleans and around the country come to understand and appreciate EarthLink's good gesture.

New Orleans, 1 A.K.

C. Ray Nagin: Katrina Boneless Chicken

Louisiana blog revolt spotlighted in The Nation

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Ray Nagin | Recall Ray Nagin | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary

5.625% mortgage interest in New Orleans

Stacy Head sent out an email reporting that The Finance Authority of New Orleans is offering:

... mortgage interest rates as low as 5.625%. Our home mortgage loan program is designed to help you renovate your home, purchase a new home, or purchase and renovate an existing home in Orleans Parish. This mortgage loan program is not limited to the first-time homebuyer and is available for all income groups. All of our loans are 30 year fixed rate mortgages.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

C. Ray Nagin: Katrina Boneless Chicken

100 day report? What? Too little, too late, Mr. Mayor!

I thought the BNOB process was dead. So what's this? You're celebrating something that failed? And now you're claiming that you "stated [a] commitment to protect ... citizen's rights to return and rebuild"? How? How exactly are you going to do this when you keep saying that the market should decide which neighborhoods will rebuild? That's the equivalent of Roosevelt saying after Pearl Harbor that "the market" should decide what to do about Hirohito.

Are you now taking credit for the whole ball of wax -- from one failure to the next, leading from the BNOB process, to independent neighborhood plans, to the UNOP process? Wow! You are such a visionary to have guided us through your blundering failures to finally accomplish what you wanted to achieve from the very beginning! Oh mysterious planning guru, how else might we be enlightened to your wisdom? What miracles might now unfold to save our dear city?

What's this? Now that we've waited 100 days to find out what your plans were, we have to wait for another 100 days for implementation? Shit man -- it'll be another year before you actually accomplish anything that might make a difference to hundreds of thousands of citizens still looking for hope that the city is turning the corner!

Your comment that things are better now than they were 100 days ago is about as inspiring a pronouncement as a flounder hitting a flat-bottom boat.

No, Mr. Mayor, what citizens of New Orleans should really be asking is, "Is what the mayor is doing good enough?"

This has been a long time coming! Ray Nagin -- you are now awarded the People Get Ready Katrina Boneless Chicken award for astoundingly low levels of leadership and achievement as the Mayor of New Orleans. As a leader before Hurricane Katrina, I wouldn't have given you more than a C- grade. As a leader since Hurricane Katrina, I'd give a clear F for failing to do your homework, failing to turn in your reports to citizens in a timely manner, and for taking credit for other people's work.

Good riddance! I'll be actively collecting signatures for your recall on election day later this month.


PGR -- Do you believe in the tooth fairy?

G Bitch -- One Year and 15 Days Later

VatulBlog -- A Few Words With Ray Nagin (should be titled "A Few Words From Ray Nagin")

Wet Bank Guide -- Perdido Street and Agincourt

Adrastos -- Spin City Version 2.1

Moldy City -- Kudos to the Mayor

TP Editorial -- Nagin's 100 days

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Ray Nagin | Recall Ray Nagin | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary | UNOP | Unified New Orleans Plan | Steven Bingler | Concordia

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Who's winning the "wah on terrah"?

Preznit Boneless Chickenhawk on the fifth September 11th observance since 2001:

The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.


It's an impossible task. The American people were told that the United States was going to war against Iraq to seize Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons, which never existed in the first place, and to be greeted as liberators, which lasted for about five minutes as a staged act for the cameras, in which American troops pulled down a statue of Saddam for cheering Iraqis waving suspiciously outdated Iraqi flags.

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden is howling with laughter in a cave somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan, because Boneless Chickenhawk got our soldiers bogged down in a religious civil war instead of paying attention to the real threats to our transportation network and our people.

Bush forgot. Recall what he had to say about the deaths of over 3000 Americans, and his progress in pursuing their murderer, Osama bin Laden, just six months after September 11th, at a White House Press Conference in 2002:
I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him.

New York Times conservative columnist John Tierney:
As an act of war, the attack on Sept. 11 was a blunder by Al Qaeda, and not merely because of the counterattack that destroyed Al Qaeda’s training camps and ousted the Taliban. It also alienated former jihadist allies in the Arab world, and caused a rift within Al Qaeda. ...

Instead of declaring victory against terrorists after routing the Taliban and sending bin Laden into hiding, [the Bush administration] invaded Iraq, reinvigorating Al Qaeda with a new tool for recruiting. Instead of putting the terrorist risk in perspective, Bush (with the full cooperation of Democrats and the press) set an impossible standard for making America safe. ...

When you treat one attack from a disorganized band of fanatics as a menace to civilization, you’ve doomed yourself to defeat and caused more damage than they could. You can’t completely stop terrorism, but you can scare people into giving up liberties, wasting huge sums of money and sacrificing more lives than would be lost in a terrorist attack.

Take it from bin Laden, who bragged in 2004 that it was “easy to provoke and bait this administration.”

“All that we have to do,” he said, “is to send two mujahedeen to the farthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written Al Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses.”

I thought the slightly out-of-context Gandhi quote I posted yesterday might elicit more comment. I was reminded, however, of another Gandhi quote:
Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.

I don't believe that a commitment to non-violence, and non-cooperation with evil, are irreconciliable. Murderers must be removed from the world, and murdering organizations must be dismantled. Killing more innocent people only makes more murderers, especially when done not in the name of fighting terrorists, but for empire. Bush has only created more terrorists -- which, of course, serves the interests of his patrons who seek perpetual war for perpetual profit.

Everyone should recall the outpouring of international support the United States received after September 11th, and how it was squandered by Bush when he stridently told the world he didn't need anyone's help in Afghanistan, and when he later rushed to war in Iraq on false pretenses to gain access to the oil fields for his friends in the business. Instead of turning the September 11th attacks into an opening for the United States to destroy terrorism by seeking international cooperation, Bush alienated the world by pre-emptively striking another nation to seize her resources, terrorizing and slaying tens of thousands of her citizens in the process, as well as thousands of Americans.

Who now has more blood on his hands? Bin Laden, or Bush? Hiding (as he always has) behind the American military bureaucracy doesn't exonerate Bush from his culpability for murder.

Besides squandering lives and treasure in Iraq, Bush still isn't addressing more pressing needs here in the United States. Sounds pretty much like a repeat of Vietnam.
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
To go and kill the yellow man
Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go
Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.

Right back atchya Dubya!

Tags: | | | | | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Bush | Worst President Ever | Iraq | Al Qaeda | Osama bin Laden | Terrorism | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Monday, September 11, 2006

Photos: Ms. Regina yard clearing

You know the "old" expression about finding new muscles? I'm afraid it applies to me, after spending the day clearing Ms. Regina's yard with Big Easy Roller Girls, Arabi Wrecking Krewe volunteer Jon Kardon, and New Orleans bloggers G Bitch, Alan, Karen and Ashley. But they're good muscles, and I hope to keep them in shape, because helping others is good for the heart muscle, and good for that smaller muscle I have inside my head.

The Big Easy Roller Girls get a big hug. They simply showed up and quietly went to work without asking for instruction, thanks, or recognition. They didn't ask, but I'll plug them anyway -- they're having their first roller derby bout this coming Saturday at Mardi Gras World. I'll definitely be there to support them.

I'm humbled by the dedication of everyone who showed up to work, sweat, and (sorry Karen and Smasher) fend off stinging wasps! So is Ms. Regina, who called me yesterday to express her profound appreciation for having her prayers answered.

I want to single out Jason Goodman for the hero-of-the-day award. Had Jason not shown up with his landscaping business power tools, I doubt we could have made much progress hacking our way through that jungle of Katrina overgrowth with our dull machetes. And then, after everyone else was ready to call it quits, Jason went off and finished 5 -- yes, 5 -- other jobs he had scheduled for the day. Jason -- I still owe you pizza and beer. Jason has been playing guitar around town for years, and more recently, can be found onstage with The Bruisers, and A Clockwork Elvis.





After -- Jason (a true professional) puts the creative touch on the job by cleaning up the ornamental bush next to the house:

More photos.


New Orleans, 1 A.K.

9/09/2006 Community Gumbo -- The Arabi Wrecking Krewe

7/29/2006 Community Gumbo -- The Big Easy Roller Girls: Through Hell and High Water

9-11-1906: Remember

"Violence will prevail over violence, only when someone can prove to me that darkness can be dispelled by darkness." - Mahatma Gandhi

9-11 is the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Gandhi's Satyagraha movement for truth, justice, and peaceful change.

So much different could have been the response of our government after 9-11-2001, and after 8-29-2005, if we had elected different people to lead our nation.

Arun Gandhi, interviewed on Democracy Now:

And people were wondering, how can we resist with the state so powerful, and we don't have any weapons, you know, because every time, even today, when somebody talks about resistance, everybody thinks in terms of weapons and war and fighting. And that's when grandfather explained to them that we don't need any weapons of mass destruction. We have the ability to respond to this nonviolently and with self-suffering. And that's what he encouraged the people to do. And they came out into the streets with love for the enemy. You know, grandfather didn't tolerate any hate for the enemy or any anger for the enemy. He said nonviolence has to be complete nonviolence. We have to have love and respect for the enemy, and that is the only way we can overcome them. And that's what he showed in his work.

Tags: | | | | | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Bush | Worst President Ever | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Help clear displaced musicians' yard Saturday

Contact: schroeder915 at yahoo dot com, or comment below, if you can attend so we can get a head count, and please mention tools, if any, you can bring.

When: Saturday, 9/09/06, Noon - 4 p.m.

Where: 3219 Livingston (turns into Monticello at JP line above Earhart Blvd., map)

What to bring: Tools -- heavy-duty lawn bags, hard and soft rakes, *machetes*, *weedwackers*, *chainsaws*,lawn mowers, hedgers, pruners, work gloves, eye protection, bug spray, a hat, sunscreen. I'm looking for people or organizations that will loan tools for the day. I'll probably purchase some machetes and donate them to a tool library when we're finished. I may also rent a chainsaw and weedwacker if these can't be borrowed.

Who this is for:

Cora Foster is a pianist, organist and choir teacher. She was raised in a family, and in a neighborhood, that fostered musical training. Some of her uncles were Sam Dutrey (Preservation Hall clarinet player),Honore Dutrey (played with Louis Armstrong in the seminal King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band), Buddy Bolden(who's playing inspired King Oliver and Louis Armstrong), and Jelly Roll Morton (who contributed significantly to the dissemination of jazz to other cities). Preserving the heritage and cohesion of this neighborhood is essential.

She and her daughters were evacuated to Michigan. Her daughters Regina and Sandra only recently returned after renting a car and driving 1300 miles, despite Regina's back problems. They came back specifically to address the city order to gut and clean lots by the Aug. 29 deadline. The Arabi Wrecking Krewe, which has been helping musicians' families with their homes, organized a salvage operation, but the yard still needs to be cleared.

Note that the time, Sat., Noon - 4, was set to accomodate the schedules of people who were only available later on Saturday. There's no reason not togo earlier. Nobody's at the house now -- in fact, nobody's in living in that block at all. But bring someone with you, because there may not be anybody there until Noon.

More background here.

Craig's List post here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Are NOPD commanders talking to homicide detectives?

Did anyone hear the Warren Riley interview with John "Sputter" McConnell on WWL this morning (mp3)? The interview took place following another bloody weekend in New Orleans.

I called in a question to ask Riley how he's maintaining open lines of communication between district commanders and homicide detectives. Riley took homicide detectives out of district bureaus, and instead placed them into a centralized unit in headquarters.

Removing detectives from the districts, arguably, takes away an important resource that district commanders need in order to make them accountable for every type of crime in their assigned areas. You can't ask someone to do a job if you don't give them control over the resources they need to do the job -- it's a maxim of management of every kind, and one that's been in place at the NOPD since the COMSTAT process was implemented in New Orleans.

I wasn't able to remain tuned in to the WWL interview, so I'm wondering if Riley responded. I doubt he would have answered satisfactorily, however, since he, like many of his predecessors and affiliates in law enforcement, tend to get defensive rather than explain the logic and performance of their policies.

The problem of a centralized homicide unit was made apparent a few months ago when I asked a district commander to provide an update on an unsolved homicide investigation. The commander explained that he couldn't provide any information because homicide detectives weren't talking to him.

I did tune in again at the end of the hour to hear Riley arguing with a listener who wanted Riley to answer if he had enough manpower relative to the current post-Katrina population. Rather than use a best estimate of manpower to population, Riley got into it saying that nobody knows how many people are living in New Orleans right now.

I'm starting to question Riley's forthrightness -- if not his competence.

Related (via Adrastos):


Overview of issues in the Criminal Justice System:
  • Mr. Robert Stellingworth, President and CEO of the New Orleans Police
  • and Justice Foundation (NOPJF), and
  • Dr. Heidi Unter, VP of Research & Development for NOPJF
Update on Juvenile Court Reforms and Recovery:
  • Chief Judge David J. Bell, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court (OPJC),
  • Ms. Ilona Picou, Recovery Coordinator, OPJC and
  • Mr. Derwin Bunton, Associate Director, Juvenile Justice Program of Louisiana (JJPL)
A question and answer opportunity will follow each presentation.

The goal for this event is to give attendees some ideas on how to help support the upcoming City Sponsored Crime Summit on September 16th, and its recommendations.

WHEN: Thursday, September 7, 2006 6:30 PM

WHERE: Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle-Haley Blvd.
Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Hurricane Katrina One Year Anniversary | Crime | Warren Riley | NOPD | New Orleans Police Department

Monday, September 04, 2006

The truth in blogging

Valerie Savoie, interviewed in a Community Gumbo broadcast, which featured a reading of Maitri's "Day 337: Inspiration":

What I would like the people around the country to know is that you can't judge a book by its cover. And while I applaud the media in many ways, I believe that there is a tendency at times, perhaps unintended, to sensationalize that which sells news.

So what you're seeing is the tip of the iceberg, and below the waterline there lies a vast, vast picture that you can't have opportunity to see, because people are going about their everyday business, and that isn't the stuff of novels and news. That's just the stuff of everday reality, and the everyday reality of New Orleans is that this is the biggest of all pictures. That people are helping themselves. That they aren't sitting back and waiting for anyone to rescue them. That we are, in fact, in a well-thought and well-thought-out effort to rescue ourselves.

So when the media, or anyone else portrays New Orleans, or similar events that may happen, and will happen, across the country, I hope that we all will remember that we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg, and that the everyday citizen is probably the most powerful voice, because they are the voice of experience. They are not the voice of interpretation, or soundbite. They are the voice of "this is what happened -- I was there."

I really like Spike Lee's portrayal of what happened here, because he didn't have a narrator, if you'll notice. He allowed people to speak from the first person. And in doing so, I think he did a great justice to the city. I think he did a great justice to the individuals who went through the experience. And what better place from whence the truth comes.

Louisiana blog revolt spotlighted in The Nation

The revolution will not be televised

People are doin' it for themselves

Broadmoor Lives!

On the front lines of WWIII in New Orleans

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Photos: Kidd Jordan housegutting

The Arabi Wrecking Krewe helped gut the flood-damaged house yesterday of jazz legend and music educator Kidd Jordan.

More photos.

It was an exhausting day. My hands are feeling pretty beat up today from swinging a wrecking crowbar against sheetrock mounted on top of faux wood paneling. This was just one more of over a hundred thousand houses that still need gutting.

The one-year deadline ordered by the New Orleans City Council for homes to be gutted and yards to be cleaned has now passed. I wish those who create policy would spend a day in the shoes of residents still struggling with the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita before they make such ridiculous orders.

I may have more to say about the day's experience another time. For now, I'll just say how pleased I was to meet Kidd, his wife, and son Paul. I was dumbstruck by Kidd's knowledge of complicated classical music structures -- like twelve-tone rows. He talked about paying his dues learning Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Hindemith. One reason he's often overlooked as an essential jazz figure in history, he admitted, is that he likes to challenge himself more than he likes to give the masses stuff to shake their butts to (note, for example, that son Marlon is listed on the jazz history tree poster, but not Kidd). Of course, Kidd also talked a lot about Coltrane, Bird, Davis, and other jazz legends who had not just talent, but who applied themselves in earnest to the task of stretching themselves to the limits of their abilities. He's modest about his contribution to music education in New Orleans, but Brian West said any musician in New Orleans would bring up Kidd's name as an influence on many of the great legends of New Orleans jazz musicians. As just one example, Kidd found among the debris a poster from a trip he sponsored of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to do their first perfomance overseas at a jazz festival in Germany. It was one of their first big breaks.

Thanks for sharing so many great stories Kidd, and thank you for your contribution to music.

The Arabi Wrecking Krewe could use more volunteers and resources to help other New Orleans musicians. They're a highly dedicated, well-organized, great group of people.


Northwest Carrollton -- Rescuing Ourselves

Ray in New Orleans -- Wrecking opportunity this weekend

PGR -- New Orleans 1 A.K.

PGR -- Help clear Ms. Regina's yard

Tags: | | | | | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary

Friday, September 01, 2006

Arabi Wrecking Krewe housegutting

Help the Arabi Wrecking Krewe gut another musician's house in New Orleans East on Saturday: Hurry and get the details at Ray in New Orleans.

Next Saturday, September 9th, will be the yard clearing at Mrs. Regina's mother's house in Hollygrove.

Louisiana blog revolt spotlighted in The Nation

I'm so disappointed in myself for not catching this before Fix the Gulf, but I'm proud, nonetheless, to see that The Nation featured local bloggers in the September 18th issue, recognizing our work to celebrate and save New Orleans (suggested links).

Thanks to Michael Tisserand for discovering the emerging Louisiana citizen journalism and online activism that's been flying well below the radar of the mainstream press.

As I've said before, Louisiana bloggers have created a remarkable community of storytelling, mutual support, news and information, humor and opinion about Katrina and Rita recovery in Louisiana.

It's a revolution in media. I think I heard Loki compare it to the greatest thing to happen to publishing since the Gutenburg Press.

From the cultural heart of America, from the city of carnival, we are fomenting a revolutionary transformation of thought and spirit which I hope will help inspire the rest of the nation to rebel against a corporate ruling class which has taken over our democracy, turned our benevolent principles upside down in the quest for profit, killed our sons and daughters in wars for oil, cheated us out of vital infrastructure projects needed to protect lives, abandoned our people in need, and hawked our childrens' futures to China.

As we move forward, all Americans would be wise to remember that as New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation, and failure is not an option!


8/26/2006 Community Gumbo -- The Hurricane Katrina One-Year Anniversary Episode

PGR -- Disaster, carnival, and revolution

Tags: | | | | | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush | George W Bush | Bush | Worst President Ever | | | Katrina Dissidents | Failure Is Not An Option | Katrina One Year Anniversary | | | | | | | | | | |