People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Archive for September, 2006

Bones

Posted by schroeder915 on 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

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

“The decider” adds “the thinker” to his chore list

Posted by schroeder915 on September 27, 2006

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

“The decider” adds “the thinker” to his chore list

Posted by schroeder915 on September 27, 2006

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Demand more from WWL radio

Posted by schroeder915 on September 22, 2006

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

Here on Gilligan’s Island

Posted by schroeder915 on September 20, 2006

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Here on Gilligan’s Island

Posted by schroeder915 on September 20, 2006

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments »

Maybe the Army should allow once AWOL presidents to serve

Posted by schroeder915 on September 19, 2006

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Sunken treasure — gutting another house

Posted by schroeder915 on September 19, 2006

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.

Related:

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Sunken treasure — gutting another house

Posted by schroeder915 on September 19, 2006

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.

Related:

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

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Photos: Big Easy Roller Girls first bout

Posted by schroeder915 on September 18, 2006

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.

Related:

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

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