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Newsweek in America!
September 27th, 2006 under Politics. [ Comments: 3 ]

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Which cover from Newsweek is the American version? Why? Who is to blame?

Are we really this shallow? Unfortunately yes.

Why is the international cover story on Afganistan (see, I can’t even spell it!)? Is it because the world hates us and is glad to see us lose? Is it that the world is more concerned over matters of international import?

Why is the US cover story on a celebrity photographer? Is it because we don’t care about Afghanistan? Is it because we are just so friggin’ shallow?

The covers are different because Newsweek is about selling magazines…not reporting the news. I can’t really blame them can I?

Why do these stories sell abroad and not here? That’s the real question. Either way, the answer is scary!

HT: Becky

No Congressional Oversight on the War
September 27th, 2006 under Politics. [ Comments: none ]

No congressional oversight on the war in Iraq. Who is failing us?

It Really Was a Beautiful Day
September 26th, 2006 under Katrina, New Orleans, New Orleans Music, Xavier. [ Comments: 2 ]

IMG_3600My friend Michael invited me to the Saints-Falcons game months ago. I was really excited about going, but I really had no clue how special it was going to be. The day didn’t start off too well. Due to misinformation I wasn’t able to get my motorcycle license yesterday. I so looked forward to riding Michael around on it.

While I was at the DMV, my friend Jerry called and said that I would be teaching two classes at XU next semester and would be brought back full-time in the Fall of 07! Good deal! This great news was followed up by a great set by Cowboy Mouth. My voice was gone before I got into the Superdome! Mike and I listened to the Goo Goo Dolls as we waited to enter the dome. Of course, the U2/Greenday/Brass Band opening was really cool.

Then…the game. It was unbelievable! Thanks Michael! Thanks Jerry!

Katrina Rollercoaster
September 22nd, 2006 under Friends, Katrina, New Orleans, Rant. [ Comments: 4 ]

Plumbing RepairsLiving in a post-Katrina New Orleans is both challenging and exciting. It’s a real rollercoaster ride. Monday I spoke to about 300 people about Katrina and it was a great thrill. Tuesday, back home and the water leak hasn’t been fixed. The water leak was a result of the Sewerage (Yes sewerage!) and Water Board blowing out the lines in my neighborhood. They fixed the fire hydrant on the corner, but caused a leak in my line. I spent one full day trying to locate a plumber to fix it. Some said no, some said two to three weeks, and others said they’d put me on their list.

Before Katrina, I didn’t really struggle with issues related to my value as a human being. Since Katrina…it’s an every week occurrence. Before Katrina I wouldn’t have thought to “color” my white beard, but lately I’ve felt a bit old and useless. I wrote a huge grant, but it hasn’t been approved. I’ve been turned down for many jobs. I see the performance (in some cases) of those who got jobs I applied for and KNOW I would have been better. I wasn’t asked to apply for a job that I would have been great in. I didn’t want the job, but it would have been nice to have been asked. I even had someone call me last week and ask for a resume. “We’re hiring right now. Send it ASAP.” Haven’t heard a thing from them! I also struggle with my feelings about teaching part-time at my former job. Jerry has assured me he is trying to get me back into the fold. That means a lot.

But, there are good days too. My friend Michael and I are going to the Saints game Monday. Cowboy Mouth and U2! Back in the dome for the first time! Michael even asked if I could give him a ride on my scooter!

I recently heard that someone who didn’t hire me expressed regret about that decision. I also heard that the big grant is almost a “given.” You’ll hear when I hear and there will be a huge party. I have been affirmed at Katrina Aid Today and am searching for grant money for another non-profit that I really believe in. Someone even used the term “savior” when referring to my skills the other day. My buddy Bart asked for my help and was sensitive enough to acknowledge that I am very busy right now and that he’d “love to include me but doesn’t want to overburden” me. What a guy!

So…the good side of my front yard is now destroyed but the water leak is fixed. I got canned from my pre-Katrina job, but looks like it might be available soon, thanks Jerry!
I feel rejected by a lot of folks, but somebody thinks I am a blessing and a savior. Life is crazy and complicated and stressful, but someone understands that. I thought I’d lost my best friend because of Katrina, but we’re going to see the greatest rock band and the greatest live band and Reggie Bush together on Monday. I’m feeling better now.

Reflections on the Dark Waters: A New Orleans Theologian Speaks about Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath
September 16th, 2006 under Friends, Katrina, New Orleans. [ Comments: none ]

MarkMy friend Mark Gstohl is speaking at Concordia College on September 18 as part of a Lecture Series sponsored by their Faith and Learning Program. He will also meet on the 17th with a group of Concordia students from Sri Lanka, some of whom experienced the Tsunami firsthand.

After that, he will present the homily at the Campus Worship Service. The following morning, he’ll be speaking to a class at Concordia as well. It will be a very busy trip!

Read More about it here.

If you have any suggestions about books or informative links please send them to me and I’ll pass them along!

Landrieu: America Is Tired of Bone-Headed Republicans
September 15th, 2006 under Politics, Rant. [ Comments: 4 ]

Mary-LandrieuI’m hoping that Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana runs for president in 2008. She seems to be the only Democrat with the b@lls to speak out against Republican bullsh!t.

Here’s an example (of bullsh!t):

House Republican leader John Boehner, just a day after the Sept. 11 anniversary, thrust his party’s election-year emphasis on national security back into the spotlight Tuesday when he said he “wondered” if Democrats were more interested in safeguarding the rights of accused terrorists than protecting Americans.
Speaking of Democrats, Boehner told reporters, “I wonder if they’re more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people.”
They certainly don’t want to take the terrorists on to defeat them,” he added in the context of answering questions about proposed legislation to legalize Bush administration plans for military tribunals to try some terrorism suspects under special rules.

There are only three possibilities here—

1. Republicans think that asinine statements like this will sway conservative voters to their side because they know how stupid they are.
2. Republican politicians are morons themselves.
3. Conservative voters are morons that can be easily manipulated.
If any of these aren’t true, then why do Republicans continue to use these tactics?

Landrieu’s response to these sorts of insane accusations:

“In light of the rantings that went on for 30 minutes by two colleagues from the other side, I’d like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican party that has sent six and a half billion a month to Iraq while the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. That led this country to attack Saddam Hussein, when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden. Who captured a man who did not attack the country and let loose a man that did. Americans are tired of boneheaded Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them the most. Americans are most certainly tired of leadership that despite documenting mistake after mistake after mistake, even of their own party admitting mistakes, never admit they do anything wrong. That’s the kind of leadership Americans are tired of.”
She concluded,
“I’m not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about Democrats not making us safe. They’re the ones in charge and Osama bin Laden is still at loose.”

Please watch the video here!

You go girl! You’re right. Bone-headed Republicans are in charge and Bin Laden is still loose! Who’s weak on defense?

Update: I guess some Bush supporters are morons (go figure). I saw the Bush interview by Matt Lauer at Little Green Footballs. There was no explanation as to how Bush’s responses to Lauer’s questions could be described as a “serious verbal beat-down” or a “bitch-slap.”

Probably because it wasn’t. Lauer asked Bush about Secret Prisons and torture. Bush quickly resorted to the tired old rhetoric that we are in danger and he’s there to help us. He doesn’t answer the questions! He never explains why it’s not illegal and he can’t justify torture so he quickly changes the subject. Lauer can be applauded for raising questions, but as usual–he doesn’t force the issue enough.

How to Dissuade Yourself from Becoming a Blogger
September 13th, 2006 under Humor. [ Comments: 2 ]

Found these suggestions over at WikiHow:


1. Find five completely random blogs, and read them daily for a month. After thirty days, you will absolutely dread your self-imposed requirement to read all that dreck. Any blog you create will most likely be on par with what you’ve been reading. Don’t put anyone through that.

2. Consider that your voice, even if it is truly a good one, is a tiny peep against the massive wave of tripe out there. The odds of anyone you don’t already know finding your blog are low.

3. Write on a regular basis in Wordpad instead. If that doesn’t satisfy your urge, and you feel that you must post your blog online, then you might just be craving attention and validation–which you’ll never truly find in a blog. If you give up on your Wordpad journal after about three days, you’ll do the same with a blog that just takes up server space.

4. Ask yourself if you really have the time to commit to a blog. What about that treehouse you wanted to build? Or the book you wanted to write? Or the car you wanted to fix up? Or the restaurant you wanted to take your wife to? Or the new career you wanted to pursue? Instead of writing about pretty much nothing, or whining about all the things you wish you were doing instead, start doing something that’d actually be worth writing about. And if it’s really worth writing about, you’ll be having too much fun doing it to tear yourself away from it.

Fat Baptists
September 11th, 2006 under Baptists, Christianity, Food, Humor, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: 3 ]

IMG_3235A Beliefnet article pointed out that a recent study shows U.S. Christians Guilty of “Overgrazing.”According to a recent study by Purdue University sociology professor Kenneth E. Ferraro, there is a significant relationship between being religious and being obese. Ferraro’s research:

differentiates between religious denominations and reaffirms that Baptists are more likely to be obese. Fundamentalist Protestants had the second highest rate of obesity in this sample.

“This cause could be from less healthy eating patterns in the South, home to many Baptists,” Ferraro says. “But we controlled for residency and still Baptist women were more likely to be obese. This trend could be related to the strong emphasis for Baptists to avoid alcohol and tobacco, and, as a result, many of them indulge in overeating instead. More research is needed to learn how denominations view overeating and obesity.”

It seems like the proposed Southern Baptist resolution on gluttony put forth by Joe Thorn would have been a good idea.

I seem to be bucking the trend. The less Baptist I get, the more I weigh. Wonder why.

HT: Solidly Average

Why I Love New Orleans
September 11th, 2006 under Food, Friends, New Orleans, New Orleans Music. [ Comments: none ]

Great Meal!My friend Michael invited me on a fishing trip yesterday. We caught our limit! It was great.

Then I grilled the redfish. This is one of the reasons I love living in New Orleans. Great food, great friends, great music, great culture!

BTW my Voice of the Wetlands CD and Tad Benoit’s Fever for the Bayou arrived yesterday. Man! They are both fantastic. Please by VOW and help save our wetlands. If you’ve got a serious case of the blues, by Benoit’s CD!

Nagin In New York Telling the Truth About New Orleans
September 11th, 2006 under New Orleans, Politics, Rant. [ Comments: 1 ]

c-rayChris Rose nails C Ray Nagin for his comments on a trip to New York during the Labor Day Weekend. C Ray said, “It’s Labor Day weekend. There’s not a lot going on in New Orleans.”

Rose disagreed with Nagin’s comment offering this perspective:

“not a lot going on” seems to imply that there were no good national R&B acts playing in town and no large gathering of the national press corps and, hell, even Al Sharpton was going to be somewhere else that weekend, so what’s the point?

And that’s true for anyone who wasn’t gutting their house or re-seeding their lawn or looking for a job or moving into their FEMA trailer or trying to get a FEMA trailer or filling out SBA loan forms that are more daunting than Fortune 500 corporate tax returns.

There was nothing going on if you weren’t tallying gunshot victims or praying for customers to come shop at your small business or if you were struggling with child-care issues because it turns out the school where your child was supposed to start classes on Tuesday wasn’t going to open because it wasn’t ready.

And, supposing that none of your friends or relatives needed help with any of these problems, then, in fact, there wasn’t a damn thing going on around here.

Here’s my response (You’ll see why the Poet Society of America hasn’t given me an award):

Labor Day came and Nagin gave more of the same by going to NYC.
Nothing going on down at home so here I roam to apologize for just being me.

Chocolate City is hurtin’ that’s for certain and you’re no where to be found.
Schools still ain’t open we’re losing hope and violence in the streets abound.

Grass ass high, we’re still surrounded by debris and traffic lights that don’t work.
“Not a lot going on” if I call you on the phone I’ll at least be callin’ you a jerk!

You’re right C Ray, nothing going on down here!

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