Friday, May 13, 2005

New Orleanians, Louisianans, Sports fans 

Do me the honor of sharing your opinions on a Saints issue over at this other site I contribute to. Many thanks!
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Military noose news 

From the Times-Picayune:
The news state and city leaders had feared came down Friday morning: The U.S. Defense Department announced that the Naval Support Activity installation straddling the Mississippi River from Algiers to Bywater be closed.
This was seemingly inevitable, though I liked Mayor Ray's optimism that we might get the military to "donate" the base (should it close) to the city for private redevelopment. Wildly optimistic, of course, but I still like his attitude. Feel free to submit any angles on this story that might resonate politically, as this includes the District that I'm currently focusing my efforts.

"It's just political rhetoric to say we are not in a civil war. We've been in a civil war for a long time," said Pat Lang, the former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon.

Sweet! Vietnam without the humidity.

Now here's a prediction to note:

Ladies and gentleman, this current Administration... is maneuvering to attack Syria sometime this year. For my fellow veterans, military historians, analysts, operations officers, etc. this is not news. (Marine Liberal)

And remember to factor this next bit into your war cost tabulation, along with Afghanistan's emergence as a veritable narco-state:

The U.S. military's commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan mean it can no longer provide enough support to drug interdiction efforts in the Caribbean and Latin America, lawmakers say. (Mooney Times)

Finally, via Intel Dump:
Freelance journalist Michael Yon transmits us a photo that epitomizes so much about the U.S. military and the Iraq war. The picture below shows U.S. Army Maj. Mark Bieger, one of the senior officers in 1-24 Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, carrying a wounded girl away from the scene of a suicide bombing in Mosul. The girl later died. According to Mr. Yon, a group of children ran out to [greet] the men of 1-24 Infantry as they drove by in their Stryker vehicles, and a suicide bomber drove into the group of children to deliver his lethal payload.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

"I thought it was Mardis Gras" 

In November of 1960, a six year old girl was escorted by four federal marshals to William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans. The little girl's name was Ruby Bridges, and she braved threatening, hateful throngs of parents and children who did not want her to become the first black student to attend an all white grade school in the Deep South. The angry white mob shouted racial obscenities, threw stones and rotten fruit and eggs at the girl and her escorts.

One mother vowed to poison her (and would continue to do so nearly every morning thereafter: "I'll find a way" she yelled.) So-called "Chearleaders" chanted "2-4-6-8 we will never integrate", and so on. Fortunately, this loathsome display was captured on film, and broadcast to other parts of the country which put further pressure on defiant Louisiana segregationists.

Little Ruby did not yet understand why the crowds were yelling and throwing things. "Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.", she later said. Norman Rockwell commemorated her bravery in a classic depiction he painted four years later:

The Problem We All Live With

As Ruby later described, her family paid a steep price for their decision to have her attend William Frantz that year:

Militant segregationists, as the news called them, took to the streets in protest, and riots erupted all over the city [over 200 were arrested]. My parents shielded me as best they could, but I knew problems had come to our family because I was going to the white school. My father was fired from his job. The white owners of a grocery store told us not to shop there anymore. Even my grandparents in Mississippi suffered. The owner of the land they'd sharecropped for 25 years said everyone knew it was their granddaughter causing trouble in New Orleans, and asked them to move.
Since then, whites have completely fled the neighborhood. Now William Frantz Elementary is 99.7% black, reflecting its surrounding demographics. Today, the New Orleans School Board took another step toward fulfilling the (interim) Superintendant's plan to consolidate the historic school; removing its current students and its name.

I'm opposed to this measure and support the Ruby Bridges Foundation's goal to make William Frantz Elementary a national historical landmark. Whatever dubious monetary savings may be gained from sacrificing our history is simply not worth it. What would New Orleanian Homer Plessy say, who unsuccessfully fought segregation 68 years prior? And what should we say now, as our school system is a dramatic illustration of how "separate and (un)equal" can permutate and survive over the years?

How do we build excellent schools that will attract a diverse student body? In short, how will we integrate schools like William Frantz once again?
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Posting may be rather light in coming days because I've been hired as a political consultant for a State Senate candidate. Working in a campaign (in addition to my other business) sort of burns me out on politics. I'll write what I can, but I've been having that unfresh feeling recently and am not sure whether I can provide the dazzling political commentary to which my readers are accustomed.

I should have one of my "historical posts" up tomorrow, though.


Ratboy says I need to get back to my pr0n "roots", and he may have a point. I haven't done anything in that field since I was gaffer in "Something Liquid This Way Comes." Well, there was the famous YRHT tits post from last year, but I doubt that will suffice.

So, I'll offer this coastal video montage to Ratboy and his minions. While it should be viewed on the job, it's not safe to do so.

(Thanks to Big Mattress for finding the goods.)
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Is this (link) dump outta my head? I think so. 

I hate to be so lazy, but I couldn't find a common thread. So here:

I know these should go together:
"When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule."

"George, honey, is it supposed to be this soft?"

And these two (nonhumorous):

"If executives in the mortgage industry are worried about the loan climate, maybe the rest of us should be alittle concerned as well."

"The housing boom has apparently ended, and the retailers are already feeling the impact."

Plus this:
"Am I committed to the wifely submission taught in God's Word? Can I be submissive even when I think I am right, or when I do not understand the reason for my husband's demands? Am I willing to practice a cheerful attitude of submission as well as a daily performance of my husband's wished and desires?"

and, if you'll indulge me (some more):

"Truer words were never spoken."

really reaching here
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Has it been a year already? 

Apparently so.

That's a lot of half-smirks delivered to people I've never met.
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Sunday, May 08, 2005

She smells like victory. 

Today, Kim Phuc embraces and forgives those who napalmed her.

While some Christians are demanding that everyone in their church vote Republican or leave, this women is truly living out the Beatitudes. God bless her.

Big thanks, again, to A Tiny Revolution.
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