Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Hello, Texas Friends! Have You Read Your State’s Republican Party Platform?

…because it’s pretty depressing. I can’t imagine that Louisiana’s is much better, but at least our creepy, backwards-looking, misogynist, white supremacists have been quieter about it. (And lazier: they haven’t posted an update to their obnoxious 2008 platform.)

Anyway, here are some of the high low points. There’s a lot more here. Not recommended on an empty stomach. Or any stomach.

Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples”.

Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

Protection from Extreme Environmentalists – We strongly oppose all efforts of the extreme environmental groups that stymie legitimate business interests. We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry. We strongly support the immediate repeal of the Endangered Species Act. We strongly oppose the listing of the dune sage brush lizard either as a threatened or an endangered species. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished.

Rights Versus Products ― We oppose calling welfare and other income and product redistribution schemes “rights” or “entitlements”. We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor.Unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, religious freedom, self-defense, etc. do not impose on others rights whereas income and product redistribution invariably do so.

Supporting Motherhood ― We strongly support women who choose to devote their lives to their families and raising their children. We recognize their sacrifice and deplore the liberal assault on the family.

American Identity Patriotism and Loyalty – We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.

Party like it’s 1899, y’all.

Why Isn’t New Orleans’ Mayor Supporting Marriage Equality?

At last week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors, nearly 80 of those in attendance voiced their support for marriage equality. In that number: mayors of places like Lima, Ohio and Hallandale Beach, Florida. New Orleans didn’t make the cut.

Now, I like Mitch Landrieu. I like him a lot. He’s one of the smartest men I’ve ever met, and in less than two years, New Orleans has seen more improvement than it did in its eight-year-long love/hate (but mostly hate) relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named. But given the size of New Orleans’ LGBT population, you’d think Landrieu might be able to come out in support of marriage equality.

New Orleans has a huge gay base, and we’re surrounded by a warm and welcoming straight community (so long as you don’t count parts of Kenner). As a matter of fact, in a recent poll of travelers taken by American Airlines, New Orleans was named one of the world’s top 10 gay destinations, alongside London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Toronto.

Of course, I know Landrieu didn’t ride into office on a platform of LGBT rights. New Orleans’ queer community is so old and entrenched that gay rights might seem like a non-issue. But we’re here, we’re queer, and we would like some support, please. And let’s not make excuses about Louisiana’s state law forbidding gay marriage: mayors from Texas and Alaska and Michigan and Minnesota were on that list, and they’re in the same boat.

So I ask: Mayor Landrieu, where is the gay love?

Now is not the time to stop buying BP gas

Yes, I hate them just like everyone else in Louisiana. Yes if I could get my hands around their CEO’s neck it would not be a pretty picture. Yes, I am devastated to see Louisiana wildlife and everything that goes with it destroyed beyond what any of us can really believe. But frankly, now is not the time for Americans to stop purchasing BP gasoline and products.

The radio station was asked last week to allow C-SPAN to simulcast one of our 3 hour local shows that has been on top of the disaster since the rig first blew. They stated they really wanted a independent view from a media outlet. Most of the major radio stations in New Orleans are owned by corporate giants that frankly will not allow their on-air host to take on other large corporations. Watching each other’s back kind of thing I think. I understand, I’ve worked for a couple of those media corporations, it’s always about the bottom line. We allow C-SPAN to simulcast us and the response from the American people was really outstanding. The viewers/listeners that called the program, from Alaska to Maine, all seemed to understand the critical development that the Louisiana marshes provide to the entire Gulf of Mexico.

That being said, I was also confused by some and here’s my point. Many many callers stated they have stopped buying BP gasoline and would continue to avoid the company and it’s goods. Yet at the same time they all stated they wanted to help anyway that they could. The main way to help is to continue to buy BP gas. And if you haven’t in the past, start now.

I understand peoples anger and desire to make BP pay. We down here in this part of the world agree with you One Hundred-Fifty percent. But that is our point. We MUST make them pay. As in pay for everything needed right now and to continue to pay for whatever it takes to get this area stable again in the next twenty years. Frankly Louisiana and the United States of America need this company around for the long haul. Not to mention Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas. They will need BP’s financial assistance for years to come to stop/clean/replenish the Gulf Coast region. We all need them to stay afloat, to have revenues coming in so we can take them right back to fix this disaster. Not too mention that gas stations themselves are generally independently owned and operated by other hard working  Americans just like me and you. Don’t make them lose their livelihood because they have the above logo on their sign. They need your business, they have families and bills to pay. Those owners didn’t ask BP to royally f**k up as they have.

We appreciate the American people and the way they are feeling our pain down this way. We accept that you and yours hate BP just as much as we do. We also accept that this is going to take years if not decades to recover from and that the United States of America needs them around to be responsible, emotionally and fiscally.

Cao Steps Up

Screen shot 2009-11-08 at 7.37.48 AMIt’s about freakin’ time the health care bill passed on to the next stage in the process.  I like health care, I bet you like health care too.  Everyone needs it and we all need it to be inexpensive and accessible, to me making that happen as fast as possible is a no brainer but evidently to a lot of congressmen and women it just isn’t.  I didn’t vote for Anh “Joseph” Cao, why?  Because he is a Republican (I’m a Dem) and I was a bad voter who didn’t do any research before hitting the polls. As of last night I have had a change of opinion, I like this guy.

Cao was the one and only Republican Congressman who crossed over and voted to pass the health care bill last night.  Knowing he represents me puts a smile on my face. Here are a few things he said about his vote:

“Tonight, I voted to keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortion and to deliver access to affordable health care to the people of Louisiana.”

“I read the versions of the House [health reform] bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans needs real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children. [...]

“Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals. And, I call on my constituents to support me as I work with him on these issues.

“I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents.”

I could do without the anti-abortion part but otherwise I couldn’t agree more. He negotiated to get us the best deal, rather than voting down party lines and not really listening to his people.  House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called him “The Future” of the GOP, I hope he is right.

(Quotes taken from huffingtonpost.com)

Open mouth, insert foot

America's most ignorant man

I haven’t been paying attention to the wonderful Mayor of New Orleans lately mainly because he has become irrelevant. No one pays attention to him locally because he is a buffoon. Actually he is the leader of the buffoon’s. Now that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been screwing things up, saying dumb things or attempting to hide his corrupted ways but I just haven’t had the energy to care for the last year.

My ears did perk up last week though when it was announced, 1 hour before he boarded a plane to Cuba, that he was going to Cuba, along with other politicians (all of them of the worthless variety of course) and other in the loop business people, to learn about Hurricane Evacuation techniques from the Communist regime in Cuba. You are reading that right. The Mayor of a major American city flew to Cuba to learn what a police state government does when a Hurricane approaches.

Well it seems that the Mayor of New Orleans learned more than any of us thought was possible. Or maybe he didn’t. In a statement to the Associated Press correspondent in Havana, the Mayor of New Orleans praised Cuban leaders for “knowing their citizens at a very very detailed level,block by block.” Really Mayor of New Orleans? Please tell me why you think that is the case. Is it because that government is so concerned about their safety? Or did you think it’s possible that the Cuban leadership knows so much about it’s citizens on a very detailed level because they keep those citizens on a tight leash and possibly watch every move they make or do not make?

This isn’t the first time that the Mayor of New Orleans has gone to a country with a history of repression. Last year the Mayor of New Orleans traveled to China and stated that he “didn’t see a communist country. There are Chinese people there making serious money.”

I am all for safety. I am all for people evacuating in the face of a hurricane approaching New Orleans. Evacuations in Cuba basically go this way. Get on the bus or you will be shot.  Seeing how this still is America Mr Mayor of New Orleans, I will pass on the “Cuban Evacuation Plan”, thank you very much.

The Criminals and the Crime Cameras

If only the crime cameras had been focused on THIS guy

Jury selection started this past Monday in the civil trial that alleges the City of New Orleans Technology Office basically stole other companies ideas and then tried to sell them to other cities as their own technology. The guy to your left is former technology chief Greg Meffert. During the 2006 mayoral campaign, the radio station met a man named Grant Holcumb. This was maybe 5 months after Hurricane Katrina and the issue of interoperability in communications was a major issue and topic of discussion. Mr. Holcumb had developed a system that basically would have allowed all types of different communication systems to operate openly during times of emergency. I’m not attempting to re-hash old news, just point out that Mr. Holcumb basically accused Greg Meffert of squashing the program because the city had existing deals with Microsoft, which would not have benefited from the open system Mr Holcumb had developed.

Mayor Nagin has touted the current “crime camera” program over and over again as a way to assist the NOPD with not only getting a handle on crime in so-called hot spots throughout the city but also help the police and DA’s office solve crimes. The initial plan was for 1000 cameras throughout the city. Then it became 240 cameras at a proposed cost of 2.6 million. Which wasn’t the case. The IG’s office released a report that stated the city at that point had paid 6.6 million out for far less than 240 cameras. As we have found out recently as well, the cameras that have been installed rarely work because of networking and other issues. It is also my understanding that not one city owned crime camera has lead to a arrest of a suspected criminal of any kind. Privately owned surveillance cameras have given the police more leads than the city owned and installed for 6.6 million dollar cameras have.

The Mayor’s Technology office has been under fire frankly since the interoperability issue came to light. Focus on that office seemed to grow after then local Homeland Security director Col. Terry Ebert stated that he thought the system Mr Holcumb had developed would have worked during Hurricane Katrina and “helped save lives.” The Mayors office didn’t allow any more interviews from Col Ebert after that one. Shocking huh?

The civil suit is just the beginning with the Mayor’s Office of Technology. The Feds are all over that joint like white on rice. Trips paid for by companies receiving city contracts through that office, companies owned by the “Director’s” of the office doing business with basically the office and budgets they controlled. This is the tip of the iceberg with these folks and I would be willing to bet everything I own that some folks who worked or ran that particular city agency will end up in jail for a long time. If only the crime cameras had been working and recording the criminals who were charged with installing the crime camera network.

The Valley of Silent Men Walk For Peace TONIGHT

This one is pretty much copied from an email I received today but I want to get the word out so here is the info:

This evening at 6pm, the Valley of Silent Men Social Aid and Pleasure Club will lead SilenceIsViolence and the Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force in a Walk For Peace through the Central City neighborhood. The peace walk begins and ends at 2220 Jackson Avenue, near Van McMurray Park. Earlier this year, the Task Force memorialized two-year-old homicide victim Ja’Shawn Powell in this location as part of the January 9 Strike Against Crime. We all pledged on that day to keep the park as a special site of remembrance and anti-violence activism. Please join the Valley of Silent Men, the Task Force, and SilenceIsViolence as we stand up for peace in our communities this evening.

WHAT: A Walk For Peace

WHEN: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 6pm-7pm

WHERE: 2220 Jackson Avenue

WHO: Valley of Silent Men SAPC; SAPC Task Force; SilenceIsViolence

WHY: WE WALK FOR PEACE through our neighborhoods each month!

For more information about this evening s walk or the SilenceIsViolence/Social Aid and Pleasure Club Task Force partnership, call Tamara Jackson at (504) 453-1155.

www.silenceisviolence.org

Good news for New Orleanians (maybe)

Apparently, New Orleans City Business covered this Cold Storage story last week, although they’ve just posted an update on their WordPress (freebie WordPress!?!) blog. Keeping up with the Joneses, the Picayune has now pubbed an article of its own:

Facing mounting opposition to the construction of a poultry exporting operation at the foot of the French Market, the Port of New Orleans is looking for a new home for New Orleans Cold Storage.Port administrators are asking tenants along the Mississippi River if they could make room on their property for the company, which the port fears will leave New Orleans without a new headquarters. New Orleans Cold Storage is the port’s second-largest customer.

“They’ve made it very clear that they’re going to continue to oppose this, and we’re going to see what the other alternatives are,” port spokesman Chris Bonura said of residents in the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater. Signs emblazoned with the message ‘Poison Port’ can be seen posted throughout the neighborhoods.

There are no guarantees that the port will find another home for New Orleans Cold Storage, Bonura said, and the company may very well end up on the Gov. Nicholls Street and Esplanade Avenue wharves as planned.

But the fact that the port is even considering a new home for the company represents an aboutface for the agency, which just a few months ago said that the wharves near the French Quarter were the only option for New Orleans Cold Storage.

NOLA.com

But really, who cares who ran the story first? We’re close, y’all! Not out of the woods, but, you know, cross those fingers.

All the Mayor’s Men

Who can be this guy in New Orleans?

What is really going on at City Hall in New Orleans? The latest in e-mail-gate is that the City has fired the company it hired to find Mayor Ray Nagin’s missing e-mails. The LTC announced last week that the mayor’s email box had been “intentionally been deleted” by someone with “high-level access”.

Of course the Mayor ‘s office disputes this and instead of handling the situation in a manner that would address citizen’s concerns, in typical Nagin fashion it’s ready, fire, aim. Sadly typical of the way this administration has operated in the last three and a half years.

The administration stated that the LTC breached a confidentially agreement when they announced to the public their findings before the city had the ability to read and address the LTC findings. That may well be the case. The problem comes though from the history of the Mayor himself. About 25% of the city’s population, and frankly that is being generous, believe anything that comes out of Ray Nagin’s mouth. Mayor Nagin dug that hole himself. The mixed messages just on this one issue are enough to make someone’s head spin. The first excuse was that the server crashed, that’s why the e-mails were gone. Then Nagin says all his e-mails are on his desktop from the June 2008 to May 2009. A total of 122 emails I believe was what the Mayor stated. I guess the Mayor wanted people to think that he only received 122 emails in 12 months time. The administration stated yesterday that “there was no server crash”. Huh? Say what? If there was no server crash, then where the hell is the Mayor’s e-mail box?

The interim city technology director says the e-mails can in fact still be retrieved. My question would be to Mr. Harrison Boyd is if that is the case then why is the city hiring companies to find the box. If you know for a fact that they are “on a physical server or a virtual server” Mr. Boyd, go find them. You are the technology director. Shouldn’t you be the one to know how the city’s system works?

This whole situation stinks. This city has reporters who are bulldogs like Woodward & Bernstein from Watergate fame. Good reporters who can don’t give up in pursuit of a story. What this city really needs right now though is a Deep Throat to really let the citizens what the hell is going on at 1300 Perdido Street.

The Mayor’s Email Box Was Deliberately Deleted

oreally

The Ray Nagin Missing E-mail Caper just continues to get better and better. The City of New Orleans went ahead and hired the LTC (Louisiana Technology Council) , well not really hired since they offered to do the work for free, to “find” Ray Nagin’s missing e-mails. You know the e-mails requested by WWL-TV, in a public records request, that the mayor’s office stated “disappeared”.  Well the LTC did their work, dug through everything they could dig through and came up with their conclusion.

The Mayor’s Email Box Was Deliberately Deleted. That was the conclusion. No other e-mail boxes were missing. There was no “server crash” as City Hall claimed back in December. Someone went into the Technology Office and on purpose, deleted the entire folder of emails that were Mayor Nagin’s.

Richard posted Mayor Nagin’s response below. That in itself is a joke. His response of course is to blame the messenger. That wasn’t their duty, to find out why it was the way it was, we just wanted them to not find the emails and move on. That’s basically what Your Mayor, C Ray Nagin is saying.

I can promise you this. Mayor Ray Nagin is in some deep deep doo doo.  The Feds have basically set up shop in City Hall at this point. The Mayor can spin things anyway he wants to try to spin them. At the end of the day though, the Mayor is responsible for what is going on in this city and for the behind the scene dealings going on on Perdido Street. I never thought Mayor Nagin was a criminal until now. Clearly, someone told someone else to intentionally delete every email sent and received from Mayor Nagin’s city e-mail account. Why would someone do that unless they had something to hide?

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