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The New Orleans Levee: My new favorite site!
September 27th, 2007 under Humor, Louisiana, NewOrleans. [ Comments: none ]

leadershipfordummies.gifThis is from my new favorite site. The New Orleans Levee: We Don’t Hold Anything Back!

It’s got great cartoons and very funny articles like:
Community shocked Vick picked to lead N.O. animal group

Mayor C. Ray Nagin’s blue-ribbon committee to choose a successor to outgoing LA-SPCA Director Laura Maloney, who is relocating to Australia with her husband, has picked Michael Vick.

Nagin’s appointees to the committee were Congressman William Jefferson, District Attorney Eddie Jordan, and former Councilman Oliver Thomas. Thomas replaced former school board President Ellenese Brooks-Simms, who was unable to attend due to legal obligations. They made their announcement at a recent fund-raiser for Nagin’s gubernatorial and/or congressional and/or Urban League campaign fund.

“We are excited about our choice for the new Director of the LA-SPCA,” Nagin said. “We are pleased  to appoint Michael Vick, former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.”

Nagin cited Vick’s experience with dog kennels in Virginia, as well as his proven record of interstate networking of animal events.

“Mr. Vick is experienced in animal euthanasia as well as all the legal ramifications of animal care.” Congressman Jefferson added. “And he’s already been sentenced to prison, so that eliminates the need to spend taxpayer dollars on investigations and court costs.”

Oliver Thomas initially had reservations about appointing Vick to the sensitive position, but later sided with his colleagues.

“At first I was reluctant to place a controversial figure in an animal rights position, but then he gave me free game tickets and I reconsidered.”

Great Stuff! Keep up the good work!

Sick Child Left Behind
September 21st, 2007 under Bush, ChristianWalk, poor. [ Comments: none ]

Don’t tell me about compassionate conservatism! President Bush hates poor children! His threat yesterday to veto a bill that would renew and expand the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program even ticked off Republicans!

“I’m disappointed by the president’s comments,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who urged Bush, in an early-morning telephone conversation yesterday, to support the emerging bipartisan compromise. “Drawing lines in the sand at this stage isn’t constructive. . . . I wish he would engage Congress in a bill that he could sign instead of threatening a veto.”

“I’m very, very disappointed,” said Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). “I’m going to be voting for it.”

Jena 6: Proud of My Texas Baptist Brother!
September 19th, 2007 under Baptists, crime, Louisiana, poor, Racism, Social Issues, violence. [ Comments: none ]


I’ll have to admit, after the exchange between some racist knuckleheads from Texas on the second anniversary of Katrina, I was ashamed to be a Texan. But Bruce Prescott reminded me today about a fellow Baptist Texan that is concerned with racial issues (in a good way). His organization, Friends of Justice, is a criminal justice reform organization formed in response to the infamous Tulia drug sting of 1999, in which over half of Tulia’s black males were arrested, about 15% of the town’s black population.

Recently his organization that began as an alliance of Baptist ministers, farmers, school teachers, meat packing workers, fork lift drivers, defendants and their family members also turned their attention to the Jena 6. They’ve done a heck of a job organizing and getting the word out about the Jena 6.

Keep up the good work my brothers and sisters from Texas!

From Ethics Daily:

An American Baptist pastor in Arlington, Texas, is credited with bringing international attention to a civil-rights case in a small Louisiana town known worldwide as the Jena 6.

Thousands of activists were expected to descend on the rural community of 3,000 people–about 350 of whom are black–this Thursday to protest the racially charged sentencing of a black teenager convicted of a felony in the beating of a white student.



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The Costs of Living in New Orleans
September 17th, 2007 under Katrina, NewOrleans, Politics, Racism, Social Issues. [ Comments: 1 ]

The costs associated with living in a post-K New Orleans are hard to calculate. Sure there are the increases in property taxes, insurance, and utilities. Although they are terribly unfair, they are to be expected. The unexpected costs can also get to you. See my friend Michael’s latest shock.

But probably the biggest costs are ones that are not easily measured in dollars and cents. For instance, prior to Katrina, I only had one job interview that didn’t work out. Having lost my job, spent countless hours in Craigslist, and been to many unsuccessful interviews has done a lot to damage my ego. Being separated from my family for four months so I could bring home some bacon was also terribly damaging in a variety of ways I’m still trying to understand.

Along the way, I’ve picked up way too many pounds, type-two diabetes, a more “colorful” language, and thousands of dollars on my VISA account. I’ve lost some friends, a bit of my faith, and according to one of my colleagues—the hope I used to have.

As soon as my son graduates from High School I might bolt for greener pastures. The latest cost is also not really related to money. Well, it’s sort of related….

My daughter attends Lusher Middle School. To say we’ve had problems with buses this year is an understatement. We arranged for a paid bus to take my daughter to school and drop her off in the afternoons. It was only about $400, but it bothered me because there are many parents on the Westbank that can’t afford to pay for a bus. The alternative? Send their kids to crappy schools. You see, there’s a stereotype out there that all Westbankers are white and rich. It’s far from true, but it makes some people happy to write of whole groups of people that way. Easier to hate.

Now I’ve got a justice issue. I feel guilty because some of my neighbors won’t be able to afford to send their kids to a “good” school. Then great news! We get free buses! Of course the Principal of Lusher did not notify the parents of this great gift because “buses have not been a part of the culture here.” Hmmm. Sorry we’ve imposed upon your “culture” by importing kids from other areas of the city. Isn’t that one of the purposes of charter schools to allow students better access to better schools? Guess not if they’re from the wrong neighborhood. Further, Riedlinger defended not telling parents about the buses by stating, “As parents express interest, we give them information.” I wonder what other helpful information we should ask about? Are there other services?

Why the heck wouldn’t they want to tell parents about services? Why should we have to ask? Hmmm….Looks like they might be hiding something? Great way to run a school! The don’t ask, don’t get information rule is a heck of a management style. Especially if you want to show how much you care for your students!

Then we hear that the free buses have been cancelled again! Only, Lusher administration knew about this for quite some time. If we had known about this, we wouldn’t have cancelled our contract with the paid bus service and lost over a $100!

Fortunately, we have a new contract with a bus service. It’ll cost us another several hundred dollars or so, but we can afford it. Now I’m feeling guilty again. Wish the Lusher folks would feel guilty too.

The Great Iraq Swindle
September 4th, 2007 under NewOrleans, Politics, Recovery, War. [ Comments: 3 ]

For those who whine about giving money to those who live in a bowl (again, I’m not including the link), here’s a bit of reporting in Rolling Stone about how taxpayers are getting screwed while some politically connected businesses are making billions off Iraq:

In March 2004, Parsons Corp. magically wins a contract from the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to design and build the Baghdad Police College, a facility that’s supposed to house and train at least 4,000 police recruits. But two years and $72 million later, it delivers not a functioning police academy but one of the great engineering clusterf*cks of all time, a practically useless pile of rubble so badly constructed that its walls and ceilings are literally caked in shit and piss, a result of subpar plumbing in the upper floors.

Interesting how those who want New Orleans to go away seem to look the other way in regard to corruption in the Federal government. Wish we had $72 million to set up a crime lab or something for our police. Just don’t ask Parsons Corp. to build it.


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