Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let's hear it for whatever-the-heck-this-H1N1-strain-of-flu is called:

Instead of all the little old ladies talking about how "Dottie had a heart condition and she died, but not before giving it to ______", put on the Tom Lehrer. Then we can all celebrate National Brotherhood Week once they have all decided on a name for the damn virus that won't offend anybody here on Earth.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit down with some jello flu shots 'cause the damn flu was just mentioned on the national news about a bazillion times and drown away the pain I feel from the buckmoth caterpillar sting I got on my heel at the park. Somebody find a cure for the %!*&/?! caterpillar barbs while they're at it.

Update, 11:36 PM - Via email:

Late this evening, the school was notified by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health, that one of the eight suspected cases of Swine Flu in Louisiana is a student at (my son's) School. This is NOT a confirmed case of Swine Flu, and thus there are no recommendations to close the school, but out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying parents of this development.

Pass me a pigfoot and a bottle of beer, y'all. And I don't care about its political or dietary correctness.

Anudder update, 5-3: Well, seems the suspected case of Hone None Flua is an actual case. School’s doors are closing for three days. I now have some Abita Strawberry Ale to go with my jello flu shots as I await the fuss that will be made as to why school hasn’t been closed for two weeks so’s the classrooms can be fully disinfected.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

from Jerry W. Ward's The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery:

One of the odd legacies of Katrina is excessive interest in everything and in thinking that all events in the world (including the antics of the rich and vulgar) are interrelated.

E's words from yesterday. An excerpt:
...let's take the stimulus bill.

When you really distill down what has happened, you basically had a bunch of ultra-conservative Southern governors and senators screaming bloody murder because the Obama Administration was giving them money that they could use to improve institutions, infrastructure, and services. While conservatives of course would argue that improved institutions, infrastructure, and services represent larger more intrusive government, the reality is that these are the poorest and least developed states in the country with huge populations of impoverished residents and minorities saddled with the most institutionally dysfunctional justice systems in the industrialized world.

When viewed using this lens, the resurgence of the extremist rump of the GOP has absolutely nothing to do with an ideological opposition to government spending, pork, or the national debt. Instead, it is more indicative of a long-standing ideological refusal by wealthy Southern elites to do anything at all that might address the really messed up dynamics of race and class that are still disproportionately omnipresent throughout the old Confederacy compared to other regions of the country.

The attitude exemplified by Yglesias and Silver reaction to Perry's ridiculous secessionist rhetoric wasn't about bolstering an ongoing meme about how Southern politicians were working against the interests of their own constituents and how to help the residents on the ground that are fighting for reform from within.

Instead, it was about how obstructionist these politicians are and how best to usher their states clean out of the union.

That anything resembling secession would spell doom for the huge population already bearing the disproportionate negative impact of being born in the wrong region of the country didn't seem to cross their minds.

Rather than discussing how the mechanics of secession might work to the Democrats' advantage, I think it would be much more helpful to the majority of people from Texas, the rest of the old Confederacy, and to the nation at-large if progressives instead concentrated on how best to enact policies that will improve conditions in the nation's most at-risk communities and how best to organize for grassroots progressive reform from within.

The whole pervasive good riddance attitude is something that people in the South have become really sensitive to, consciously or not, and it alienates many that otherwise would really benefit from and support progressive public policy.
Back to Professor Ward's "all events in the world are interconnected":

It is a curse. In contrast, memory is the blessing. Memory pertains to the already accomplished, to the future that has a past tense. One does not have to search for yet another folder in the mind in which to store new information and trivia.

So when Dambala asks about the "eerie calmness" that has settled over the NOLA blogpocheh, I must reply to recent events with some more of Ward's words:

I have not exploited this "interest" as fully as I might have under different conditions, because problems with disappearing identity, feelings of isolation, anger, depression and unpredictable moments of deep anxiety, panic and weird physical sensations have priority. One feels condemned to motion on a Moebius strip where progress is ultimately a return to a starting point. Contradiction assumes more significance in one's daily life, and curiosity - well, curiosity kills cats and prompts writers to pay attention. Give attention to details that people less hooked on languages are free to ignore.

We're into our fourth year of post-8-29-05 insanity. Cracks in our everyday armor are still going to appear when we least expect it.

Hell, if we didn't have all the myriad festivals in our calendars down here, we would probably implode. Amazing to think that all that keeps many of us from going postal is some live music and beer, but there you go.

We'll be back on our horses soon enough.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Got this in the email this morning:
Hi, liprap (liprap).

Swine Flu (SwineFlu4u) is now following your updates
on Twitter.

Check out Swine Flu's profile here:

You may follow Swine Flu as well by clicking on
the "follow" button.

Forget the fact that I'm afraid to follow it....My favorite tweet from it:

Hornets lose by 58. Did I do that?

Sad, sad day indeed. I mean...WOW.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I passed by the students in the next oldest class, saying "Excuse me, folks," as I nudged by.

A few minutes later, their teacher told me one of her students objected to what I said.

"Huh?" I wondered. "All I said was, 'Excuse me, folks'."

"Well, this kid said, 'I'm not a folk! Why'd she call me a folk?' " the teacher replied with a grin.

That short conversation came to mind when I took a look at the Louisiana Folklife exhibits, artists, and demonstrations this past Sunday.

Why is the word "folk" so loaded, so full of connotations hinting at the "Other" that is not white, male, and Christian, that is something less than cosmopolitan, something, well, "folksy"? And why is a kid who hasn't even reached double-digits in years raising a mild fuss over it?

I'm not sure about the answer to the latter question, but as for the former, unless somebody has found a way to market "folk" ways ( i.e., "folk art", "folk tales", that sort of thing), "folk" has come to mean something more than just "family" or "people". In the places that consider themselves more civilized, the meaning of "folk" has been dragged down a little in somewhat undeserved ways: "folk" hints at a subset of society that is backward and ignorant, or is holding back progress and innovation in some way. It's pretty unfair when one considers the following craftspeople and their crafts:

And if anybody questions shoes as art, I give you Ferragamos, Manolo Blahniks, I. Magnins, and many, many other brands for others to put an individual stamp on or to drool over.

So if something is "folksy", don't knock it. Look at it, at the least, as an outlet for those making it. Check out its beauty. Marvel at the steady hands of the people crafting it. Recognize that you could use some of it in your life, whether you are making it, viewing it, or collecting it.

Hell, something in it in these parts most likely keeps us from following through with secession from the rest of the Forty-Nine.

"Secede? In these shoes? No way, Jose!"

Update, 9:42 PM: Then again, pull on the right boots and who knows? One of these days the boots might well walk all over you. Watch out, America.
More thoughts coming from me on this year's JazzFest experience.

'Til then, via Twitter, I give you this link and this list:

Top 10 Reasons to Criminalize Homeschooling

In an effort to increase the public drumbeat for criminalizing
homeschooling, a memo has been distributed containing the top 10
reasons why public schooling is better than homeschooling. Here is an
excerpt from that memo:

1. Most parents were educated in the under funded-public school system,
and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.

2. Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than
others, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is

3. How can children learn to defend themselves unless they have to fight
off bullies on a daily basis?

4. Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process.

5. Children in public schools can get more practice “Just Saying No” to
drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

6. Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits.

7. Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people
their place in society.

8. The fashion industry depends upon the peer pressure that only public
schools can generate.

9. Public schools foster cultural literacy, passing on important
traditions like the singing of “Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin
laid an egg…”

10. Homeschooled children may not learn important office career skills,
like how to sit still for six hours straight

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I can't help but think that the only reason math is looked at in the above mentioned studies is because it is easily quantifiable. I mean, it's math. There are answers. The only way that teachers can deviate from right and wrong in math is if they are teaching theorems in geometry or if they are looking at the work a student has done and are gauging from the work how many of the math concepts are being absorbed and applied.

The intangibles in the for-profit school models, however, are anything but quantifiable at times:

A New Orleans charter school board's recent move to end its partnership with the company that managed a pair of schools marks the latest soured marriage between a charter board and a for-profit operator.

Although for-profit school management companies are proliferating in some parts of the country, in the past few years New Orleans charter boards have ultimately parted ways with three of five for-profit companies brought in to run the daily operations of their schools. In a fourth case, the school appears to be struggling to attract enough students.

Budget constraints and competition among charters for students and staff pose huge challenges to for-profit operators in New Orleans' education landscape, reshaped dramatically after Hurricane Katrina.

In the most recent episode, the New Orleans Charter Schools Foundation decided this spring not to renew its contract with The Leona Group, which since 2006 has run the New Orleans Free Academy and McDonogh City Park Academy. The foundation's board also voted to close the Free Academy at the end of the year, citing low enrollment, weak finances and poor academic performance. McDonogh City Park will remain open, probably operated directly by the foundation.

I am still of the apparently old-fashioned mind that "sink or swim" in public education on this scale is only educating us all in a massive social Darwinist experiment with parents, children, and teachers as the guinea pigs. And the fingers will keep getting pointed at anybody other than the folks who came up with this whole thing in the first place.

To wit:
State officials will blame budget constraints, teachers' unions that want too much, federal No Child Left Behind requirements, and a school board pre-8-29 that stole from the schools it was meant to serve. The failing charter itself will have its failure blamed on an inability to rustle up large enrollment numbers, a bad relationship with a parent company, and poor academic performance. The charter's administrators will pass that blame on to teachers, who weren't teaching well enough to attract students that would stay, who couldn't establish a superhuman mentor/therapist/counseling/advocating role with each student along with their daily duties of imparting reading, writing, and arithmetic skills needed to pass every standardized test on the planet and show what a great school it desperately needed to be to survive. Teachers, beset by the fact that, despite all assurances that they are a part of a noble profession, they are nearly always squeaky wheels getting the grease no matter what the public education model in effect is, will move on - if they are in the Teach for America program, it will be sooner rather than later and it most likely won't be in education. Parents will end up feeling bewildered by the fact that they are now in a world of even fewer "choices" for their children's education, and they are still in a sphere of blame in which they are now very much roped into as part of the whole process, because every home with children needs responsible parents, and if the parents shirk in that responsibility in any way, they are in need of being dragged off to CPS if they don't get their kids into an educational environment that is right for their little darlings and brings them up as upstanding college-educated citizens that will bring more prestige to the schools they leave behind with their academic successes (well, it's worst-case scenario. Pardon me, please, it's a rant). The threat of being thought of as anything less than a dutiful, sacrificing parent by all outside parties, and the sad fact that the public schools in their charter guises are still not up to what they should be, can lead to loads of money being shelled out for pre-Kindergarten programs and further grade levels in private schools that eclipse the then-immense sums that had to be paid up to the art school I attended fifteen-plus years ago as a college undergrad. Conscientious parents who haven't opted out of this go-round yet bang the war drums against those responsible for public education at the highest levels. Officials scramble and cobble together half-assed plans based, once again, on budget constraints, the teachers' unions, federal No Child Left Behind requirements, and a school board pre-8-29 that stole from the schools it was meant to serve - was that mentioned already about that school board? It was a bad, bad thing that won't ever happen again. The state has control of that funding now, in concert with these for-profit companies, and if it doesn't work out, the company melts away, as does the bad school. Run along now and explore your choices!

Let me rephrase that: all of us in some way are contributing to this state of affairs. But, to twist Animal Farm around a bit, some of us are contributing more than others. And I think it is the folks at the top who are doing that and trying to slough off their responsibilities onto those who are not given the resources to take on the extra stuff thrown onto them. Pay teachers more, put more of our taxes into public education, and take good care of those monies. It's a start.

Pardon me while I go lie down. I'm feeling dizzy.
I asked a few days ago why I live here...

Well, here's one damn good reason...

"I'd say we played in nicer places before," she said tonight...

"but we haven't."

God bless Ms Long Tall Marcia Ball and her band.

(and I woulda given her anything to hear her play "Louella", but I got enough giggles out of hearing her play "Crawfishin' " in the synagogue.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

from Blues City:A Walk In Oakland by Ishmael Reed:
Lothario Lotho, a blues impresario, said that Oakland was a Blues City, because in Oakland there is no hope. But despite the crime rate, the failing schools, the ambitious politicians who use the city like a woman for a one-night stand only to forget about her the next day, I have tried to show in this book that a certain class and dignity - even majesty- emerges from Oakland's history. For every crack thug and every selfish regentrifier there are people like Esther's Orbit Room founder, the late Bill Mabry. He died shortly after posing for our blues photo; he'd bought a new suit especially for the photo session. While Oakland has been beset by taxpayer-subsidized developers who are so ruthless that they make the landlords in the old New Masses cartoons seem like Salvation Army volunteers, Mabry offered rooms to people who had no place to live and gave a break to people who couldn't come up with the rent. Yes, there is the violent side of Oakland, the uncivil types who have little regard for the feelings of their fellow citizens and neighbors, but Bill Mabry represents the true spirit of Oakland. So did my late neighbor David McClure, the man they called "the Gum Man." David used to buy chewing gum wholesale and give it away to the crowds of children who would amass at his front door every morning. A year after his death, children would still come around, looking for the Gum Man. As I said in the eulogy I delivered at his funeral, he didn't wear his Christianity like a fur coat, he practiced it. The same could be said of Mother Wright, Mary Wright, Sisters Maureen and Caroline, and the many volunteers who spend every day repairing wrecked lives. Who refute the upscale social Darwinists by showing that there is as much cooperation in life as there is competition. Indeed, there is evidence that in nature animals look out for other animals who aren't even members of their species. What does that say about us? What does that say about Berkeley and San Francisco, where you can witness people dying in the street?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Virgotex informs us all over at First Draft of the plans for the former site of Astroland (built on a parcel of land that once belonged to Steeplechase Park) on Coney Island.

Out of curiosity, I head for the Coney Island, USA website, find that a fellow I once knew briefly from my glassworking days is currently hosting an audience-participatory burlesque show over there (and still does a certain trick he performed once at a summer program I attended - I was talking on a phone near the hot shop with a friend of mine while a celebration of sorts was going on in there. The now-burlesque-host spoke into the microphone in his slightly drowsy voice: "Now I'm going to show you why they call me the Human Blockhead," and, presumably, he did just that, because I then heard a loud, "OH MY GAAAAD!!!!" coming from an audience member who didn't expect him to be driving a nail up his nose.), tried to download the plug-in to enable me to see the video concerning the Thunderbolt coaster's last days and somehow failed, and, in looking for said video on YouTube, I found this gem instead:

From the blurb accompanying the YouTube vid of Miss Knapp accompanying a group of boarding school girls on a Coney Island outing and barely keeping up with 'em, circa 1905:

Some girls go for an exotic ride on a genuine Arabian camel. There goes Miss Knapp, performing her dour duty. It's another bad edit and suddenly we're in William Reynolds's Dreamland. There's Henry Roltair's magnificent thirty foot tall bare breasted statue ''Creation'' which fronts the entrance to the show of the same name. The show consisted of moving multimedia dioramas presenting an edifying elocution of pertinent truth, ''morally instructive'' unlike the tawdry thrill ride ''Trip to the Moon'' that Luna Park offers. After the show it's a mad dash, some of the girls brave the ''roll the barrel'' ride, one of Steeplechase Park's many lunch eliminators. Miss Knapp just can't keep up. A quick ham fisted splice of the Helter-Skelter (yes, an American version of that Helter-Skelter on which the song was based) and we're back in Steeplechase watching the race track. Here come the girls, two on a horse. There's Miss Knapp way behind. She certainly is consistent! Ghasp! Apparently ''side saddle'' was not permitted.

Wonder if the proposed 21st century incarnation of Dreamland will have that bare-breasted statue?

And here's Coney Island not long after the time when my grandpa got stuck on the parachute jump, the tower of which still exists on the boardwalk today. The fire engine kiddie ride still existed a few years back, when my son got on it and didn't want to get off it. Luna Park is featured at the end.

Circa 1952, just passing its glory years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm tired. My house wasn't sufficiently cleaned up enough for me to be able to even let my mom in to use the bathroom - a casualty of all the traveling I did last week. I schlepped my parents to Whole Foods instead, which my dad wanted to see for himself anyway so that he could gauge what Oklahoma City was missing in not allowing the grocery store to open there yet. Dad seemed amazed that we had so much grocery shopping not far from our house, and a good grocery store besides, he said, instantly envious of the Arabella Station makeover.

When I drove my parents back into the Warehouse District from finding cell phone chargers at the AT&T shop on Tchoupitoulas, I was peppered with questions about New Orleans' recovery. I'd kind of asked for it, really. I kept pointing out places of interest, water lines that were still in existence, and places that had rebuilt and reopened to my mother, who hadn't been down here since my wedding nearly eight years ago. She took it all in and rarely replied when I pointed out details such as the plaque marking the water line from 8-29's floods on the door of the remade Angelo Brocato's, which made me wonder if I was sounding like some sort of Cassandra-like figure, seeing hints of tragedy in nearly every inch of my surroundings. Did little or no response add up to sympathy, pity, or simple interest? Perhaps she was just as tired as I. I had to give us both a break...a break that my father wasn't willing to yield.

Once again, I'd asked for it. I pointed out the NORD facility on Tchoupitoulas that was going to ruin and said it hadn't reopened after the storm.

"So what industry has returned since the storm?"
"Not much."
"Huh. What's your city's population back to now?"
"Close to 350,000."
"What was it before?"
"Around 450,000."
"So the population numbers are almost bringing the city back to what it was, the schools are bad, there's little to no good recreational facilities for all the families and their kids, the hospitals aren't returning in full, little to no new business is coming in, and your mayor's an idiot."
"This city is going to explode," Dad concluded, meaning "explode" in a bad way. "Why the hell don't you get rid of your mayor already? He lives in Dallas anyway, right?"

The absurdity of it all hit me right between the eyes at that moment. I couldn't give him an answer.

And I have little hope that the lawyer conducting the crime camera deposition is going to get satisfactory answers from Hizzoner the Walking Id today, either.

Why do I live here again?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Passover has passed over (though we hastened its passing with a great Tunisian meal once I got off the plane at the airport in Kenner), and I'm left saying that our first time back in New York after a year away was just a ride.

For example, there's nothing more emblematic of what a different world I was in once I was in my grandparents' house than when one of my family members brought up last week's tea parties and the first thing that came to my grandma's mind was the time we went to the tea room at the Helmsley Palace and stuffed ourselves full of loads of watercress sandwiches in their elegant vaulted baroque-ified dining area. I darn near sloshed out of there from all the huge cups of Fortnum & Mason loose leaf peppermint tea they served and I happily drank as the chamber trio played their strings on a balcony above us heathens. I don't think anybody could possibly sponsor anything as fun as that, and it sounds like my assessment won out. Tough watercress, tea partygoers.

No, on one level, my grandparents were tsk-ing over the orthodox Jews in their area turning up their noses at a particular brand of matzah (and the whole story reeks of using the laws of kashruth to have one authority assert its power over another) and then jumping from there to how orthodox younger generations are becoming - to the point where parents who don't want to jeopardize their relationships with their more observant children will adhere to the observance as well, no matter how absurd it might be. And then, in a case of coincidental convergence, my mother gets an email from my granddaddy in Tennessee reminiscing about a capitalist from the distant past and the early AM program he'd sponsor in the '60's that may well have been the first infomercial. Compare this public service message with Frankie & Johnny's or with Mac from Gallery Furniture or even Crazy Eddie and enjoy:

I think things started to get that "you can't go to a former hangout again" tinge when we found that one of our favorite coffee places in Brooklyn had shut its doors (and sold out to a business called Atomic Wings) after we indulged our son's obsession with all things on wheels with a visit to the New York City Transit Museum. Thoughts began to turn towards home when I flipped on the radio to my favorite NYC station and found that they were going to broadcast an interview and performance of Theresa Andersson's later that night. And not even the (correct) assessment of our governor by our friends up north could dissuade us from our return (hell, we already know Bobby J ain't the sharpest tool in the shed - his speech after Obama's simply confirmed it for all the world to see) .

Heck, tonight, my parents will be in town for the weekend.

So here's to our visit to the northeast. I hope the cruddy weather we took in up there abates and my grandparents enjoy something approximating spring.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Something I never knew until I was returning home from my latest jaunt up north...

I never thought I'd see the day when the quintessential souvenir couldn't make it through airport security.

And I bet most of the snow globes out there fit in a quart-sized Ziploc, too.

More news from me coming soon. I promise.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane...

And I'm leaving you with some tunes, one of which ought to be the theme music for the interwebs (hint: track 2):


I shall return. Don't nobody accept any free vacations from Greg Meffert while I'm gone. You know who I'm speaking to.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Passover is slamming me upside the head this year with a complete and total vengeance. I confess that I'm unprepared for the mass cleaning the rabbis have dictated must accompany the holiday: no bread, no yeast products, nothing in the house food-wise that doesn't say "kosher for Passover" on it unless it's a fruit or vegetable, not even the usage of regular cups, plates, utensils and cooking tools - separate ones must be brought out just for the seven-to-eight days of Passover. Since I will be in the northeast for most of the holiday, I can present the argument to my parents, who are visiting here the weekend of the French Quarter Festival once I am back in town, that if they are wondering why my home looks as though a bomb exploded within, it's because I could not tarry - I had to embark on my journey to my Promised Seat at my grandparents' seder table.

Yeah, yeah, they ought to buy that, right?

The area in which I am infinitely more prepared is in the mindset that the holiday always encourages, which is that we Jews remember a time when we were slaves, when we were made to work until we dropped and then work some more, and things were happening to us such as all the Israelite male infants being thrown into the Nile to drown and to supposedly help reduce the population. In the present day, a supposedly more enlightened time than in Biblical days, we are all still not quite out of the woods with regards to oppression of others, or the oppression many people out there still suffer daily in some way, shape, or form....which forms yet another thing to consider as we recall the ancient past while reclining in our chairs, drinking four cups of wine, and celebrating the Israelites' deliverance from bondage.

The following is a little food for thought from David K. Shipler's A Country of Strangers:

(Peggy) McIntosh is a rare sort of white person, for she actually thinks about the prerogatives of whiteness. In 1988, comparing her circumstances with those of African-American women whom she knew, she devised a list of forty-six conditions that she, but not her black acquaintances, could count on enjoying. "I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege," she wrote. "So I have begun an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege." Her resulting observations, while largely autobiographical, have struck a universal chord and are now routinely cited by scholars, diversity trainers, and others who write and teach on racial matters.

...(McIntosh's) list of unseen privileges (unseen by most whites, vividly visible to most blacks) illuminate, layer by layer, the acid coexistence of white benefit and black disadvantage. It includes the following:
  • I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
  • I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
  • I can swear, or dress in secondhand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
  • When I am told about our national heritage or about 'civilization', I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
  • I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
  • If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
  • I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to 'the person in charge', I will be facing a person of my race.
  • I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
  • I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.
  • I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
  • I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
Thus do white Americans, as a group, enjoy the comfort of basic assuredness. As black Americans look at themselves, however, no such confidence accrues to them.

So, much as I would love for there to be a paradigm shift, it won't truly happen unless the unknowing, unseeing privileged all consider how they have been taught to be blind all these centuries...and how best they can unlearn it.

I could certainly use that kind of un-instruction.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two different conversations between two different pairs of guys, as overheard at tonight's bear of a Hornets' game:

"2002, they went 38 and one. That UConn women's basketball team, man...players like Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, who both got drafted for the WNBA...Bird got drafted by the Seattle Storm, and Taurasi by the Phoenix Mercury. Both of 'em first picks. The women can play, man!"

"Damn, you right! And you know it!"


"Dude, where'd you go?"
"I was following Hot Chick."
"You know, Hot Chick. The girl with the pink tank top. She beckoned to me, dude. I had to follow. But I was stopped by the f*$&ing traffic."
"That sucks."
"I know, I know. You heard me talking about her all night, right?"
"Hell, yeah."
"Man, the shit just gets in the way."
*shakes head* "You know it."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

God bless Scout at First Draft...

Somebody went there...there being a comparison of the North Dakota flooding to what happened here on 8-29-05...and Scout gave em what for:

Is 80% of Fargo under water at present? Is it flooded to the rooftops? That was the case for much of NOLA and well you can't do much BUT go to the rooftop and hope help comes.

Did 90% of Fargo evacuate? Because 90% of So LA did so. It was the largest and most successful evacuation in US history. Over 1 million people evacuated...most in just 24-48 hours. My God the whole population of the state of North Dakota (640,000) would have to evacuate TWICE to make that argument meaningful.

Very few people believed the levees were purposely blown up...and once the Army Corps of Engineers admitted it was their design failure that caused the levees to break it was even less. That admission occurred 6 months after Katrina struck....not one media outlet or newspaper reported it at that time other than those in New Orleans. NOT. ONE. But for understanding those very few who still thought they were blown...there is a history of the levees having been blown in the 1927 flooding. Did the business folks of Fargo ever blow the levees in poor areas in order to save downtown businesses and wealthy neighborhoods anytime in the past century? I assume no but if they had I suspect Fargo too would have a few folks questioning if it hadn't happened again.

As for politicians crying.....Are their hundreds of dead bodies floating in the flood waters of Fargo? Have over 1500 residents died? The majority of whom were elderly or disabled? Because shit like that makes people cry and that is what was seen in NOLA. I remember a CNN reporter on Day 1 of Katrina describing the horrors in the streets and she cried ...that was Jeane Meserve, a seasoned veteran. She spoke of much including the screams of dogs caught in the power lines being fried to death. People don't realize how horrible it was. I interviewed a couple who had stayed and they talked of hearing God awful screams...they didn't know if it was human or animal or both. I spoke with another man who had been in NO who was haunted by those same kind of screams. And well that is sad and horrible and evokes people who have empathy at least

It is an ABSOLUTE falsehood that anyone ever shot at rescue workers or helicopters...It did not happen. Repeat---that is false. Media reported it and it was wrong and the National Guard has said so.

As for the federal governments involvement ....Are these folks familiar with the Stafford Act that calls for fed intervention when states are overwhelmed by a disaster. Orleans, Plaquemines and St Bernard Parish as well as a few others on the South LA coast were devastated or under water. I think this would be the equivalent of about 4 or 5 counties in North Dakota. Do you have that many counties under water? In St Bernard parish there were only 6 houses inhabitable after Katrina...just 6. The fishing communities of that parish had been literally wiped off the map. All of which is to say that disaster was massive in its scope and devastation...and no state could have handled it on their own...federal help was needed and accorded by law.

The local Fish and Wildlife folks were out rescuing people immediately. The Coast Guard as well and they were local folks who were flying over their own flooded homes. In St. Bernard Parish anyone with a boat got out there and plucked people off rooftops.There is a quote from Gov Blanco ...."When all the stories are told, the story is going to be that Louisianans were saved by Louisianans."

A final point...and believe me on this...the people of NOLA are right now incredibly sympathetic to your plight...they Know and they'd never judge given what they know

Worthy of FYYFF Day.
In honor of the departed Ashley Morris' most famous post...

...and in commemoration of all the times my son has been saying it to my husband when Dan says words like "idiot", "moron", and "dumb"...

I give you Joe Tex:

You Said A Bad Word - Joe Tex