Archive for November, 2007

Was Obama’s answer about drug use too honest?

Because for heaven’s sake we don’t want honesty in government officials. We want to keep that eggshell-thin facade of righteousness intact and not let any of the soft gooey truth to shoot out. Even though it often does with volcanic results.

I don’t care if Obama smoked weed. I actually prefer that he did. It gives him a bit more insight into what weed is and how dangerous it is or isn’t. It doesn’t matter what side a person falls on in regards to the smoking of weed, the person who has actually smoked it and experience its effects will always approach the subject with more knowledge than one who has not.

The best part of the story however, is when Mitt Romney enters the discussion and says:

“I think in order to leave the best possible example for our kids, we’re probably wisest not to talk about our own indiscretions in great detail,” Romney said.

This is what tends to upset me. When truth is shrouded and then regurgitated like a mother bird offering food to scaly chicks. Once people in power start coming up with reasons to disguise the truth for better of other unwilling groups, the system is set in motion and who knows when it will stop. We can’t tell you that for your own good. I’ll make vague references to my drug use for your own good. I’ll allude to coups I have arranged but won’t make it public for the sake of national security.

Steve Pasierb, president of Partnership for a Drug-Free America gets it right later in the article:

“The key is to be honest and to put it the context of saying I did this and it was a dumb choice,” Pasierb said. “Obama talked about how it wasn’t the right thing to do. When he got serious about his life, he left it behind. If he were to lie, I think most kids would know.”

Dear government,

Kids know when you lie. Citizens know when you lie.

Varg

Ministers, garbage collectors call scrutiny of trash contracts ‘racist’

Not sure if it is just the Times-Picayune not reporting it or the garbage collectors and ministers not saying it but, nowhere in the story is any evidence of racism by the City Council shown by the protesters. There are accusations aplenty. Allegations. Suggestions. But nothing by way of evidence.

Any attempts by the council to change the terms of the agreements with Richard’s Disposal and Metro Disposal, which both are run by African-Americans, would amount to racism, several speakers said.

How do they figure? For an accusation like that, shouldn’t there at least be some sort of evidence? Is a testimony racist?

They don’t say how it amounts to racism. When Dog the Bounty Hunter was called a racist, there was some damn good evidence. Jefferson Parish supervisors with nooses in their offices? Pretty tough to say they aren’t racist. City Council doing what they were elected to do? For the benefit of a citizenship that is majority black? Where’s the racism?

Oh, it’s because the owners of the disposal companies are minorities. So the investigation must be racially motivated. Something about judging a person on the content of their character leaps to mind here. He had a dream ya know.

If the owners of the companies did nothing wrong the truth will be revealed only through the investigation. they should welcome it.

I hope Oliver Thomas has a good reason for refusing to cooperate with the Feds regarding his alleged knowledge of corrupt dealing in City Hall. Is his life being threatened? Is his family’s life being threatened? Does he know something we don’t about how his sentencing will go? Something is up.

Or is he simply that much of a scoundrel?

Because if the Times-Picayune is to be believed, the Feds are claiming Oliver knows of corruption within City Hall and isn’t divulging the sources simply for the reason of being thought of as a “rat.” This is a very telling statement. It speaks to Oliver’s view of himself and his city-wide reputation.

Oliver’s unwillingness to cooperate with authorities shows that perhaps he is indeed a man who carries a sense of self, but it is his allegiances that are astounding. When facing a choice to have his reputation ruined in the eyes of the people of New Orleans or ruined in the eyes of his criminal cronies, he chose the crooks. That is, he doesn’t want to be seen as a tattle-tale but doesn’t mind being thought of as a man who posses inherent knowledge of criminal activity by civic servants and has a golden opportunity to redeem himself and help the city, yet refuses.

So first he was a thief. The he was repentant. Now he isn’t.

Something isn’t right. He knows something we don’t. He was facing three years in prison. Unless he has worked out something else, he will face much more than that amount of time now. It seems like a huge sacrifice for someone to whom reputation doesn’t seem to bare much importance in the first place. If it did, he wouldn’t be in this mess would he?

If justice prevails, Oliver will get the maximum sentence. If he is to be made an example, a few years won’t be sufficient. And he needs to be made an example of. Because two-year prison sentences aren’t enough to deter a crooked politician from making $3 – $5 million off the city or state through bogus business deals.

As for Oliver, he is a disgrace, now more than ever. He had the appearance of an honorable man at times. But he has been exposed as a crook and a coward. Extenuating circumstances or none, I would like nothing more than to never see his face again.

More from: Ashmo, PGR, Celcus and of course the paranoid yellow blogger.

I was listening to a podcast of Meet The Press’ 60th anniversary celebration and they were playing clips of noteworthy moments during the show’s six-decade run. In the midst of clips by Yasser Arafat, Golda Meir and John F. Kennedy, I heard some of the most painfully forced wailing, a high-pitched 8th-grade drama class-type crying about how “nobody’s coming to get us!”

I thought, “Now what third-world wacko was that?”

Then I watched the video and saw that it was none other than Jefferson parish president Aaron Broussard. I had heard about his tearful cries for help but never heard it before today. Pretty rough. I’m sure he meant well.

I still prefer the Orleans Parish Nagin/Robinette WWL cry-a-thon though.

A look back at 60 years of Meet the Press
A look back at 60 years of Meet the Press

…for Jackie Clarkson and Laurie White. Neither of whom I think will win.

I came home today to see a picture of Sugar Ray Nagin’s bald head sticking out of my letterbox. He was in a suit and had a pair of aviator shades on. Written next to him in an appropriate font were the words “Mission Impossible.” It was addressed to me and was from a group called the City Council Integrity Committee.

On the back side of the pamphlet was written:

Only your vote against Cynthia Willard-Lewis will make Nagin’s mission impossible.

When you investigate Cynthia Willard-Lewis’ record:

- OPPOSED Inspector General for Council

- OPPOSED dropping the residency requirement for NOPD

- OPPOSED funding economic development inititiatives until developers would “come and see her”

- PROPOSED Nagin’s $30 million trash debacle

- RECEEIVED over $30,000 in Campaign contributions from waste management companies after she pretended to be opposed to the N.O. East landfill.

The group cites as a source the Web site,
www.louisianatruth.com

Then I popped the seal on the paper and opened it up to see a photo of Cynthia with the words:

Nagin’s Political Mission: To use Cynthia Willard-Lewis for control of the City Council.
Say ‘No to Nagin.’
If they succeed in electing her At-Large, they will elect her replacement next!

Then there is a line and the words “Stop Cynthia Willard-Lewis and her not-so-secret agents.” Beneath that are pictures of Oliver Thomas, Sherman Coplin, Greg Meffert, Nagin and William Jefferson.

I wonder how I got on such a mailing list?

- I sincerely hope Poppy Z. Brite gets well soon. Reading her blog it seems like it’s been a downward slide since the flood. Get help Poppy.

- Jeffrey has lived here his whole life and the tourists still piss him off. I hope gets the help he needs too.

- Clay’s down with John Edwards and so am I. Ashmo too.

- Schroeder demands more of Ed Blakely and shows off some durn good Photoshop skills in the process.

- Go read my friend Spoke. Leave cryptic comments about the New World Order. Tell her to change her background.

- Also read SqH. Always read SqH. Also, this carriage house is, as Romy would say, “cute.”

- And while I’m shouting out, I’d like to praise my favorite Slidell blogger (okay, the ONLY Slidell blogger) Judy B. at Thanks, Katrina. Who always has good posts with a GNO perspective.

… this one from the Army Corps. Check the facilities!

My fiancee is a big fan of “Whose Line Is It Anyway.” I can sometimes find her cackling in front of the TV laughing at the improve comedy taking place on the screen.

I’ve actually never been much of a fan. I honestly hated it. There was something terribly annoying about it. I couldn’t figure out what it was. Maybe it was the smarmy facials expressions on the actors. Maybe it was because everyone on stage and in the theater were laughing their asses off and I was left cold.

Whatever the case, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing some genuine improve comedy right here in New Orleans a few weeks ago when the fiancee got me to go see our friend Jenny Finkel (of the Indiana Finkels) perform in Comedy Sports at La Nuit Theater Uptown.

A peculiar thing happened. I really enjoyed the hell out of it. I thought it was awesome. I figured out what bothered me about “Whose Line” too. It wasn’t live. It was filmed live but any sense of danger was removed. Not so with the stuff at La Nuit. Anything could happen. It was hysterical.

That said, I encourage everyone to head over to the theater this week because they have something special going on. I could tell you all about it but instead I’ll just copy and paste the e-mail I received from the theater:

The New Orleans Improv Festival begins next Thursday, Nov 8th! We have an
incredible batch of performers coming to New Orleans from cities all over the
country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and many others.

Just a sampling of our esteemed guests:

Bill Chott – Saturday Night Live, The Ringer, The Dana Carvey Show

James Adomian – Phenom YouTube George Bush Impersonator, Mind of Mencia

Jill Bernard – MTV’s Made, Funny Women Fest

If you haven’t been to La Nuit in a while, this is a perfect chance for you and
your friends to see some world-class improv right at home on Freret St! Come
celebrate one-year anniversary with us and bear witness to the new improvements
to the theater and the whole neighborhood!

Tickets can be purchased at NewOrleansImprovFestival.com – we have tickets
for individual performances as well as All-Night Passes for those looking for a
bargain.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

Staff of La Nuit Comedy Theater

They also have a few Web sites y’all can visit:

NewOrleansImprovFestival.com
La Nuit Theater
ComedySportzNOLA

sharks teeth

It’s been a week since Eddie Jordan resigned and I still think to myself that perhaps we made a slight difference. There is a saying that speaks of accepting things we cannot change and changing the things we can. You can spend a few hours on any New Orleans street corner and see some things you cannot change and some other things you can. I know that those who openly protested Jordan had a minuscule role in his resignation. Probably even tinier then one teen-age armed robbery suspect. But it still felt like something that we could change. And we did.

Now if only Jordan’s frequent political crony William Jefferson would assist the region in its consistent battle against corruption by doing the same. One may think that a Congressman fighting an indictment may do right by his or her constituents and step down to address the charges without distraction. That way, the still-recovering area could have its needs addressed full time. Jefferson’s decision to stay on speaks volumes to his character, even if the charges are false.

And if Jefferson eventually goes down, perhaps the rumored Federal investigation of Mayor Nagin might kick in to high gear. It was these three men who I have always thought were the largest threats to the recovery of the city. Their arrogance and willingness to deceive entire groups of people in the name of leadership is offensive. With their removals from office, perhaps forward motion might finally be achieved and the city could rid itself of the corruption that has plagued it for decades and forward motion might finally be achieved.

Or actually, perhaps not.

What might occur instead is that they would be replaced with equally corrupt and conniving men or women who, seizing on the attrition of the Jefferson group’s wanning influence, will put on their Beowulf costumes and lead us to a new era of crookedness. Then a few years will go by and they will be the ones terrorizing the mead halls.

Like sharks’ teeth, crooked politicians are easily replaced.

So long as the voters of New Orleans play the role of the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs, the politicians will continue to manipulate them into doing their bidding. It’s not the the politicians fault really, it’s their enabling electorate.

Pampy Barre and Oliver Thomas can give up as many Una Andersons and Cynthia Willard-Lewises as they please. The future of the city comes in electing able-minded, straight-and-narrow leaders to replace them. With the recent At-Large election as an example, I’m not sure there are any out there who have the competence and willingness to do it. There were those who had the will but not the skill. there were some who had the skill but not the will.

What did Yeats write?

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand.