Monday, August 31, 2009

Congrats to Dambala

I was privileged to meet him last week at Rising Tide IV.

Now it looks as though he's in for an adventure dealing with City Hall people.

Dambala is a world class part of the new New Orleans.

The City Hall people described in the T-P article sound like old New Orleans.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Big Week for World Class New Orleans


1. I'm a practicing Catholic, which means I'm not very good at it. But our city took a step forward out of its leadership crisis when Archbishop Alfred Hughes stepped down. (Can you imagine? The city has gone through the failure of federal levees, Katrina, utter chaos, and the leaders we get include Archbishop Hughes and Mayor Curly. Awful.)

I'm glad a local guy, Archbishop Greg Aymond, is taking over. However, he apparently started his tenure by calling himself a shepherd, which is unfortunate because it implies I'm a sheep. Jesus could get away with that. It doesn't sound good in 21st century New Orleans, though.

2. Rising Tide IV is happening tonight and tomorrow, and for the first time, I'm going. And I'm even on the Sports panel. Scary. NOTE: You can still register for the conference, attend, but then skip out before my panel starts so that you don't have to listen to Jeffrey and me arguing about the merits of Reggie Bush.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Speaking Through (the flashing of) the Barrel of a Gun

On WWL 870 radio today, I caught the tail end of a talk that Tommy Tucker was doing with the director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The director was talking (via phone) about how it goes against common sense to have people showing up to townhall meetings about healthcare flashing guns.

Tommy Tucker was acting like it is an open question, that this is something that we should actually spend time discussing, and he was soliciting calls for either side of the question.


So this is what things have come to.

What other things will WWL radio hosts and listeners want to debate? If we actually think this issue is an open question, I suggest we debate the following:

A. Whether or not it's right to herd all illegal immigrants into concentration camps and then gas them.

B. Whether or not it's right for Fox News host Sean Hannity to hold a knife to President Obama's throat while interviewing him.

C. Whether or not it's right to incarcerate anyone who criticizes insurance companies.

Because, you know, rational citizens with a right to free speech need to discuss things like this.

On radio.

During drive time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Modest Proposal for the Nicholls State Colonels

(Thanks to the T-P for highlighting this amusing story.)

Look, we shouldn't be mad at the graphic design people who came up with this:
Because when your mascot is a Colonel, there really aren't too many good places to go. After all, you started with this:

A mascot that takes you from the Confederacy to Nazi Germany just isn't hanging out in good neighborhoods. Forget the debates about recalling our racist past vs. preserving history. A Colonel just doesn't do much for the average sports fan.

Thus, I propose that Nicholls State (if you're going to stick with a mascot with so few inspiring images) use the only Colonel I can think of who actually makes almost everybody smile:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Football GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!

The Wangmaster is producing spectacular stuff at moosedenied, but few are commenting on it.

This bothers me.

Mayor's Race

I'm not blindly jumping on to the James Perry bandwagon(as some might want to accuse me of doing). However, I've done some research on him, and I like what I see so far. At least he's using the language of progressive politics. And he seems intelligent, interested in real coalition-building and collaboration, and uninterested in personal material gain.

And I'm not really inspired by the other two declared candidates.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Wisdom of Saints DE Bobby McCray

From Mister McCray's training camp memoirs, which one day will be reviewed in the New York Times Book Review and the Times Literary Supplement, but for now is being excerpted in the Times-Picayune:
This is training camp. No leaving the hotel. I call it jail. If you need something, have somebody drop it off to the hotel for you. But you don't need anything. This is training camp. As long as you don't forget your helmet, your mouthpiece and your shoulder pads, that's all you need.
This could all be a quiet and clever effort by Mister McCray to update the Tao Te Ching for a modern Western audience. To wit, please consider this excerpt from the great Chinese work:
When the ancient Masters said,
"If you want to be given everything,
give everything up,"
they weren't using empty phrases.
In fact, let's rearrange some of Mister McCray's words into a more poetic style:
This is training camp.
No leaving
the hotel.
I call it jail.

If you need something,
have somebody drop it off
to the hotel
for you.

But you don't need


training camp.

As long as you don't forget
your helmet,
and your shoulder pads,
that's all

you need.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cash for Clunker Levees

This brief post grows out of a comment my brother (let's call him Mr. Thalia) made to me on Facebook.

Where's the urgency to provide cash for clunker levees and cash for oil-industry-clunkered wetlands?

Now that the T-P has taken the Saints off of the front page and put Army Corps of Engineers news there (thank goodness), we see that it can take 40 years for the ACOE to design and then build something.

So let's think about this. The ACOE is very excited to give us levees that have a 1 percent chance of failing in a given year (e.g. the "100 year protection" we hear about--a misnomer that Tim has warned us about).

Are you willing to go 40 years knowing that in each of those years, there is a 1 percent chance of failure?

I grew up in a country filled with smart, can-do people, people who say "Why not?" We can do this. Let's do 10,000 year (.01 percent failure rate) flood protection.

And let's not take 40 years to do it.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Times-Picayune and Have Lost a Sense of Proportion

Look, I'm as big of a Saints fan as there is, and perhaps my brother Saints fan Berto will disagree with me, but here goes:

I'm uncomfortable with the over-prominence of Saints coverage in the paper and on

The Sports section (as far as I'm concerned) can be All Saints, All the Time.

But there is way too much prime news real estate being occupied by Saints news in NOLA's primary for-profit news source.

Instead, given how dependent our mere survival is on this, there should be a levees and wetlands story EVERY day. There should be some kind of countdown meter measuring how long until the Army Corps of Engineers gets us 100-year protection (which the Dutch roll their eyes at and is sufficient, I believe, for farmland and cattle). There should be a running blog on how little the Obama administration has done to lead a real recovery in New Orleans. And so on.

The Saints stuff is just a bit much.

On the front page and home page, that is.

On the Sports page, I'm all about the Black and Gold, BAYBEE!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Mayor's Race

Just sitting around on a Sunday morning at the beach, trying to get this here blog restarted.

For me, the big issues that our next mayor will need to deal with (since the current guy hasn't), need to be:

1. Crime
2. Housing
3. The drainage situation directly in front of my house
4. Infrastructure (fix the streets, cut the grass)
5. Economic Development
6. Education (I only rank this at this low level because I don't think the mayor can do much about this in Orleans Parish. It has to come from other sources.)