Saturday, April 05, 2008


Do you remember the first time you read (and re-read) Ashley Morris' classic "Fuck you, you fucking fucks" post? I sure do. As Mark said, Ashley "made something holy of the word fuck" to stricken, frustrated New Orleanians in the late fall of 2005-- wherever they were.

Ashley's FYYFF podcast can be heard here.


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Friday, April 04, 2008

Blight Field talk with Ashley 

Thanks to Humid Haney who posted a rough edit video of a conversation Ashley and I had recently about blogging and New Orleans. Haney writes:

Hana thought sharing this with all of you would be great. It certainly has made me smile since hearing the tragic news about Ashley leaving us too soon.

We wanted to share this incomplete edit to the first Blight Field Talk we shot. It was with Ashley Morris and Mark Moseley aka. oyster. With Ashley's recent passing we thought you in the local community would like to see his face and hear his voice as talks about the city he loved and his hobby of sticking it to those who deserved to be stuck.

[Sinn Fein.]

Forget my ramblings in this video, and instead focus on Ashley's deep commitment to the musicians in New Orleans, which really shines through here.

There will be an opportunity very soon to donate to Ashley Morris' family via Paypal. Please check back with the nolablogosphere over the weekend and donate generously.


Update: The Gambit Weekly writers pay tribute to Ashley here, here and here.

Ray's touching "goodbye" is a must-read, as is Mark's tribute at Toulouse St.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

sometimes language is but a paltry thing 

But Nancy, Scout and Dangerblond make a damn heroic effort to use words to go beyond words, and tap into the swirl of feelings we don't totally understand after Ashley's passing. Thank you, very much, ladies.

Poetry, song and image seem less incomplete than the words I can think of right now.

Greg at Suspect Device compiled this fine video tribute:


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Ashley Morris, RIP 

Ashley Morris, RIP.


New Orleans Patriot, professor, musician, cigar aficionado, blogger, husband, father, Saints fan, techie, polymath... truly a generous, original, vital soul...

and jesus napoleon bonaparte christ he could make you laugh.

Fuck words right now.


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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mose Jeff indicted 

... for bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Interestingly, WWL-870am reported that U.S. Attorney Jim Letten "told reporters to expect two more major developments in corruption cases soon".

hat tip to the Flaming Liberal

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Selected national news items in lieu of state political blogging 

From a WSJ editorial by Bret Stephens:

In a recent interview, Randy Scheunemann, who runs the McCain campaign's foreign policy shop, noted that "Vietnam had a huge impact on John." Obviously. Less obvious: "It's not about his personal experiences in the war as a POW," he said. "It's about leading a group of naval aviators [after the Vietnam war] when they had to cannibalize parts."

Mr. Scheunemann is referring to a chapter in Mr. McCain's life when in 1974 he took command of the Navy's largest naval air squadron in Jacksonville, Fla. Nearly 20 of the squadron's 50 jets had been grounded for lack of maintenance, and some hadn't flown in years. Mr. McCain eventually managed to get all his planes flying again, a professional triumph. But the condition of the post-Vietnam Navy turned out to be an abiding lesson to Mr. McCain about what happens to a defeated military.


The Bush administration was caught off-guard by the first Iraqi-led military offensive since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a week long thrust in southern Iraq whose paltry results have silenced talk at the Pentagon of further U.S. troop withdrawals any time soon.

President Bush last week declared the offensive, which ended Sunday, "a defining moment" in Iraq's history.

That may prove to be true, but in recent days senior U.S. officials have backed away from the operation, which ended with Shiite militias still in place in Basra, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki possibly weakened and a de facto cease-fire brokered by an Iranian general.


Senior Army and Marine Corps leaders said yesterday that the increase of more than 30,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has put unsustainable levels of stress on U.S. ground forces and has put their readiness to fight other conflicts at the lowest level in years.

In a stark assessment a week before Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is to testify on the war's progress, Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, said that the heavy deployments are inflicting "incredible stress" on soldiers and families and that they pose "a significant risk" to the nation's all-volunteer military.

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Thanks to Chris Cillizza 

... for putting YRHT on the Washington Post's "Best of the State Politics Blogs" list. The Dead Pelican, Cenlamar and The Daily Kingfish also made the cut, so you know the list is truly definitive of Louisiana's reigning blognoscenti.

Several unmentionable peasant bloggers on my sidebar have asked me how it feels to be nationally recognized as "the best". Well, I got to tell y'all-- it feels good. Real good. Actually, it feels even better than real good, it feels tremendous . Why? Because being one of Louisiana's premier bloggers of "influence" opens all kinds of doors. For starters, I'm expecting an invitation to a private dinner with the Governor any day now.

hat tips to chris cooper, dsb, and whoever nominated YRHT to the Fix

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"You have put me on the spot" 

This NY Times article about John Negroponte's visit to Pakistan totally made my weekend:

The visit by Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte turned out to be a series of indignities and chilly, almost hostile, receptions as he bore the brunt of the full range of complaints that Pakistanis now feel freer to air with the end of military rule by Washington’s favored ally, President Pervez Musharraf.
He was upbraided at an American Embassy residence during a reception in his honor by lawyers furious that the Bush administration had refused to support the restoration of the dismissed judiciary by Mr. Musharraf last year.
Mr. Negroponte had no reply [when asked]... "What do you know about our chief justice that we don’t know?"

That question was meant to reflect... that the Bush administration had refused to recognize the illegality of the firing of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and that many Pakistanis were angered that the United States had signaled it did not favor the reinstatement of Mr. Chaudhry who, it appeared, was too opposed to Mr. Musharraf for Washington’s taste.
[The chairman of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Aitzaz Ahsan,] a graduate of Cambridge and one of Pakistan’s most talented orators, gave Mr. Negroponte a 10- to 15-minute discourse on why an independent judiciary was important to fight terrorism.

I'm sure that lecture fell on deaf ears. Speaking of which, I never was quite clear on why Negroponte used an earpiece during Colin Powell's infamous U.N. speech about Iraq.

He's speaking English, John. What are you doing, making sure the lies are translating properly?

Anyway, here's my favorite excerpt from the article:

Perhaps the most startling encounter for the 68-year-old career diplomat was the deliberately pointed question by Farrukh Saleem, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies...

“How is Pakistan different to Honduras?” Mr. Saleem asked, a query clearly intended to tweak Mr. Negroponte about his time as ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, when he was in charge of the American effort to train and arm a guerrilla force aimed at overthrowing the leftist government in Nicaragua. He was later criticized for meddling in the region and overlooking human rights abuses in pursuit of United States foreign policy goals.

The diplomat demurred, according to Mr. Saleem, saying, “You have put me on the spot.”

Poor Johnny got "put on the spot" in Pakistan about his ambassadorial tenure a quarter century ago in Honduras. Ain't that something? What happened, did the cat o'nine tails get his tongue? Some diplomat.

The answer to Mr. Saleem's query is simple. In Pakistan, there are far fewer tortured Catholic nuns being tossed out of flying helicopters by government death squads. Far fewer.

But sadly, no matter where Negroponte globetrots, he's always peculiarly unaware of the thousands of people being tortured and killed around him. (At least, when it's "our bastards" who are doing the dirty deeds.)

Whether it's Vietnam and Cambodia ("I knew what I had to know, but I didn't get involved in the gory details"), Honduras, Chiapas, or Iraq, a good rule of thumb is this: when Negroponte starts meddling with your country, you can bet that a human rights skullf-ck of epic proportions will soon follow.

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So not April Foolin' 

A Louisiana parish has proclaimed April to be "CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH".

If you don't mind, I'll just link to this post and take the rest of the month off.


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Monday, March 31, 2008

St. Bernard parish slogan contest deadline extended (at YRHT) 

The official contest deadline just elapsed, but please feel free to submit creative slogans in the YRHT comments, and I'll try to forward them to the St. Bernard Parish President's office for additional consideration.

They're looking for a slogan that will "describe St. Bernard's heritage and uniqueness to visitors".


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You got an Earbud! 

(Previous draft to another post was mistakenly published and removed.)

From Cryptogon, we heard about this cheery article in the UK Independent:

Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take “immediate steps” to reduce exposure to their radiation.

Maybe State Rep. Walker Hines can introduce some grandstanding age-limit legislation on the matter. You're Eighteen? Well, you may fight overseas but not smoke or drink or use a cellular device... too risky, ya see.

Made me think of lyrics from the Dead Milkmen song, "Earwig"

Well I'm not sayin' that you're gonna die
I just might be hintin' that you may puke a lot
And could ya' pay me that money ya' owe me
Ya' know I really hate to put you on the spot
You got an earwig
It's crawling towards your brain
And you got an earwig
The fashionable pain

RIP, Dave Blood

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"Cops not cameras" 

In mid-February, I said that a 2010 mayoral candidate would do well to link New Orleans' dissatisfaction with the violent crime rate to its inevitable frustrations with the traffic cameras (which will go into action tomorrow):

I suspect [Councilmember Fielkow] is gearing up to run a smiling campaign for mayor in 2010. A rival candidate could criticize and exploit Arnie's squishiness on holding city leaders accountable for the violent crime rate, while simultaneously denouncing the intrusive and annoying security/traffic cameras that Fielkow supports.

"We need to fight crime through community policing, not big brother surveillance"... could be the line, or something like that.

Better yet-- "Cops Not Cameras", as these protesters in Lafayette are saying.

Don't underestimate the political potency of the cops/camera linkage in the important months and years ahead.

Update: Related posts at Suspect Device and Ethan Brown.

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