Friday, April 18, 2008

Idiots rule! 

Here is one hand... and here is another. -- G.E. Moore

Here is Vice President Dick Cheney looking at a hand, allowing legions of undersexed bloggers to pretend that a hand is a naked woman (and probably not for the first time).

And here is Senator Obama using his hand to scratch his face, infecting scores of Obama-haters and Hillaryites with a case of "Barack Scratch Fever".

My Conclusion: Idiots Rule!

Update: More debunking at Media Matters.

Idiots Rule by Jane's Addiction

There's a time
Where idiots are bound
If there's a pole
Planted in your back
Then you're a fixture
Not a man

Forget the rule!
Oh - idiots rule!

You know that man
You hate?
You look more like him
Every day everyday

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From the Dept of Complete Unsurprise: 

Life is imitating television in New Orleans, and not in a good way.

The Book hates it.

Me too.

More here.

And speaking more loosely about the "life imitating tv" thing: Had you seen this?

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Rembrandt of Cash Use 

Earlier this month, the T-P had a nice review and video of Dan Tague's "Cash Rules Everything Around Me" exhibit at Jonathan Ferrara's gallery on Julia St. (a rather nice place to "office"). The T-P's Doug MacCash describes it thusly.

To Tague, 33, folding money is a form of highly distilled poetry. He's discovered that by creasing bills just so he can produce pithy political comments, made all the more penetrating by their all-American source. "The Osama Wars," "The Hunt For Oil," "The American Idol," "We Trust Liars," "Shed A Tear," "God Is American," "I Hate War," and "Home Is a Tent" are all messages Tague has found waiting in his wallet.

There's perhaps a gimmick factor here, but I like it. As I said in January, don't you enjoy when nostalgic, commonplace items are reworked in sinister ways?

You can view more work by this "Rembrandt of Cash Use" here. Here's the vid:



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Three Pipe Problem led me to this outstanding interview about how we've "medicalized a lot of life issues that aren't mental illnesses". I intend to purchase this book.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Does the Mile High Club have a lemony-scent? 


Maybe if the "aces" at American Airlines had invested more in their (outsourced) repair services, and less in these cutesy magazine puff pieces... well, no, actually their business would still be in a world of hurt. Nonetheless, even by the standards of airline magazine journalism, this "Rembrandt" article about Sidney Torres van Rijn IV is something else.

Rembrandt's chiaroscuro talents were formidable, but could they really ever do justice to our Trashanova?

As someone who was tracking twentysomething Sidney as he accumulated French Quarter hotels and "boutiqued" them during the real estate boom at the turn of the millenium, I've always wondered what his secret was. Impeccable timing? An innate business sense? Or did he simply leverage his connections and family money?

After the Federal Flood, Torres started a Waste Management firm. With the infinite need, it seemed like another potentially shrewd maneuver. But what captured the public's attention was Sidney's other qualities. Here's a young guy who is good-looking, stylish, local, and has a "can do" entrepreneurial spirit. He's a great post-Katrina story-- what's not to like?

Well, I dunno. Most people don't hear about SDT's large campaign contributions to Nagin (in 2007), SDT's highly advantageous service contracts, and SDT's curious choice of subcontractors.

Everyone talks about Sidney's (well crafted) personal story, and his style. Last year, Nolafugees served a comeuppance when it excoriated the T-P for focusing on pure ephemera in its profile of "Trashanova" Torres.

This self-proclaimed boy from ‘Da Parish’ has thrust himself into the spotlight as the poster boy for New Orleans’ trash. Like most people from Chalmette, Torres attended boarding school in Connecticut and is friends with rocker Lenny Kravitz. Once a personal assistant for Kravitz, Torres lived life in the fast lane and credits the rocker with teaching him to be humble (which was apparently not a joke). The featured article of the Sunday Living section, however, is.

Between the blatant name dropping and struggle to paint Torres as reformed bad-boy trying to remain humble while simultaneously inundating the metro area with his image, there was nothing of any substance.

These substance-free articles about Torres seem to be a recurring problem.

For those who embrace Sidney's style, they can purchase black SDT shirts which say "Official Waste Provider/New Orleans Saints".
H/T Lovely

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Well done, Walt Leger! 

In yesterday's T-P Op-Ed masterpiece Gwen Filosa wrote:

I don't know who shot Dinerral Shavers on Dec. 28, 2006. Having sat through days of testimony last week, when the jury acquitted 19-year-old David Bonds of all charges connected to the gunfire assault on Shavers' family, I left the courthouse as confused as I was the night I viewed the musician's dead body.
I don't know why the first girl, the "key witness," stood up and said she couldn't identify the gunman she'd already told police about.

"I don't see anybody," said the teenage girl in a new dress, looking around the room without ever seeming to lock eyes on the barely 5-foot Bonds in the suit and tie. "I must need to go to the eye doctor."

I also don't know whether a juror saw Bonds make a threat while she testified. I only heard the man tell the judge that Bonds was "fidgeting" during the girl's time on the stand, and that at one point he rested his clean-shaven face in his hand by pantomiming a handgun with his index finger and thumb.

Today, the T-P reports:

The House of Representatives approved a pair of bills Tuesday that are cast as ways to help law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute crime.

House Bill 45 by Rep. Walter Leger, D-New Orleans, would significantly stiffen the penalties for witness intimidation. House Bill 331 by Rep. Jonathan Perry, R-Abbeville, would make it a crime to lie to a police officer.
In the House, Leger pitched his bill as a key to stopping crime in New Orleans, where prosecutors have complained of having to abandon cases because witnesses are afraid to testify in open court.

Current law punishes witness intimidation -- including threats or actual physical harm -- with a fine up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison, or both. Leger's bill would leave those penalties intact for civil cases, but set three levels of penalties for criminal cases, depending on the charges at issue.

For cases involving an offense punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment, intimidation could draw a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 40 years, or both. If the defendant faces possible hard labor imprisonment of anything less than a life sentence, intimidation could draw a fine up to $50,000 and as much as 20 years in prison. In any other criminal case, the intimidation penalty would command up to a $10,000 fine and up to five years' imprisonment.

Penalties under Leger's bill, which passed 99-0, would extend to intimidating immediate family members of potential witnesses, defined as parents, spouses and children by blood or adoption.

Ashley Morris reminded everyone why we need to fix this.


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Nolablogosphere disabuses Chris Rose of Drudge and Perez Hilton 

Chris Rose's remembrance of Ashley is pretty cool. But, then, YRHT was among the blogs that got a shout out.

One day last year, while wandering around a blog called the Library Chronicles, I came across this phrase:

"Chris Rose is a douchebag."

I was intrigued. I mean, how could I not be?

Ashley Morris was a loud and large web voice to hundreds of New Orleanians via his blog.

So I began cruising the suggested Internet links at the Library Chronicles, which led to other blogs and they led to other blogs, and pretty soon I had left the Drudge Report and Perez Hilton behind forever, now drawn into the worlds of Humid City, Right Hand Thief, Prytania Waterline, Gentilly Girl, Ray in New Orleans, Adrastos, Cajun Boy in the City and many, many more, a massive community of underground writers, cranks and misanthropes who are keeping it real around here.

What does [name redacted] have to say about all this sudden... Bwah ha ha ha!

Update: WST quotes the piece, and kindly plugs in the links to the blogs to which Chris referred. Adrastos and Schroeder have more.
Update #2: I agree 100% with Ray's take on Rose's column.
Breaking News! After "going dark"-- and not in a "tripping the lights fantastic" sorta way-- Jeffrey triumphantly returns! (With a fun donation button, to boot.)

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Short dialogue between Socrates and Alcibiades 

A: Who is your favorite musical artist or group, wise Socrates?

S: Dead or alive?

A: What an astonishing choice!

S: No, I mean...

A: Why must you mock my earnest inquiries? I am your most ardent admirer, but I cannot suffer your hurtful sarcasm. Now I leave at once for Sparta, where they always speak with sincerity.

S: Nooooooo!

Is it any wonder that The Dialogues often end in Aporia?


Pistolette asks if anyone knows the classical Greek pronunciation of the Nine Muses of New Orleans. Yes, I'm sure a fair number do. Actually, it's much easier to find out the classical Greek pronunciations than the New Orleans ones. I can't tell you how excruciating it was when I came to New Orleans over a decade ago, after struggling through two semesters of Ancient Greek and studying Plato under Prof. Russell Dancy, to learn that the the correct mispronunciation of Socrates Street in New Orleans was straight out of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"-- Soh-KRAITZ! I'm not kidding when I say I immediately considered leaving town that day, sort of like the spurned Alcibiades.

As I said, the standard pronunciations of the Muses and other famous Greek names can easily be found (via Wikipedia). However there's still one obscure New Orleans street whose name I haven't yet heard from a New Orleanian. I'm still dreadfully afraid to ask, but the curiosity is killing me.

Does anyone know the New Orleans pronunciation of Euphrosine Street? The misspelled name is probably a clue, but I'd like to know for sure.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quotes of the weak (Dr. Jack Wheeler edition) 

"It's not widely recognized that the Wall Street Journal is a left-wing rag, a propaganda organ for the Democrat Party no less than the New York Times."

-- from a letter written by Dr. Jack Wheeler, which can be found at the Woody Jenkins for Congress "Newsroom" (4/12). In it, Dr. Wheeler defends "his good friend" Woody Jenkins from (quite factual) charges about Jenkins' links to David Duke, as summarized by the WSJ. You see, according to Wheeler, the WSJ is a publication which smears "marvelous Americans" like Jenkins with its "radical left-wing Democrat propaganda".

So, Jenkins' Campaign Newsroom links to Jack Wheeler's To the Point web site, which is... shall we say, a many-splendored thing. In the "About" page, Wheeler's site is described as "The Oasis for Rational Conservatives" and as an "'Intellectual Ammunition Service' for Defenders of Liberty". Here's how Wheeler touts himself on his own site:

The Wall Street Journal called [Jack Wheeler] "the originator of the Reagan Doctrine". The Washington Post called him "The Indiana Jones of the Right". Izvestiya, the organ of the Soviet Communist Party, called him an "ideological gangster".

What if you had a "Personal Source" for understanding what's really going on in the world? Now you do. He's Dr. Jack Wheeler, and for only about 29 cents a day, he'll give you mind-stretching pro-America insights on our lives, our politics, and our world that you just aren't going to get anywhere else.

OK. Wheeler helpfully offers some examples of his "mind-stretching pro-American insights". For only 29 cents a day, he promises to explain why:

* It is envy that makes a Communist, Nazi, or Moslem Terrorist. It is the fear of being envied that makes a liberal.

* Liberalism is not a political philosophy or coherent set of beliefs. It is a psychological strategy to avoid being envied.

* All forms of leftism and liberalism are based on an atavistic belief in Black Magic. All are based on the primitive fear of the envious Evil Eye.

* China is busy surrounding itself with countries capable of aiming nuclear missiles at it.

* China is in very serious economic jeopardy, summarized by the Three No's: No water, no wives, no banks....

* Russia is doomed as a culture due to its inheritance of Mongol concepts of justice and equality.

* The only Americans who owe reparations to the descendants of slaves are the descendants of slave owners. These people are one and the same, i.e., American blacks are a racial mix of white slave owner and black slave. Blacks owe reparations to themselves.

* The next insanity to come in the homosexual assault on the American Family will be PHM: Polygamous Homosexual Marriage. Pathologically promiscuous homosexuals will consider their "marriage" a legalism that will in no way prevent them from adultery en masse. To maintain the pretense of "marriage" however, they will have to quickly begin agitating for the legalization of group sodomization as "just another form of the married life-style".

Dr. Wheeler says Woody Jenkins has been his "good friend" for 25 years. Does Jenkins subscribe to any of Wheeler's ideas, or his "mind stretching" internet service?

Like Woody, Wheeler is a longtime member of the Council for National Policy, and it's a safe bet that he assisted Woody doing "yeoman service in support of the illegal funding and arming of the so-called Contras in the also illegal U.S.-funded war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua." In 1984, the Conservative Caucus helped Wheeler found the Freedom Research Foundation. Richard Shoff, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Kilgrapp, was a Conservative Caucus Board member, and served on the Council for National Policy Board of Governors in 1982.

It's very interesting to see Wheeler (who touts a WSJ quote at his site and has his own connections to a former KKK member) react to a WSJ story that tied his "good friend" Woody Jenkins to former KKK member David Duke.

In an opinion piece at the LSU Daily Reveille, Donald Hodge jr is horrified at the prospect of sending Jenkins to Congress, writing:

What is terrifying about Jenkins' views is that not only are they radical and antithetical to Louisiana's well-being, but according to the CNP, there are 450 members of this organization who appear to share them.

Should I inform Hodge that one of those (former?) CNP members is Governor Jindal's Chief of Staff, Timmy Teepell?

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Media begins to connect diapers and David 

In a column titled "Vitter's problems aren't going away", T-P columnnist Stephanie Grace recalls Senator Vitter's '04 diaper commercial:

The senator is known for running clever, imaginative campaigns, but his family has always been an integral part of the package.

In 2004, when he won an outright primary victory over three Democratic opponents, his breakthrough ads included a tongue-in-cheek commercial-within-a-commercial featuring his young daughter as director; an ad in which Vitter promised change, ending with his wife Wendy handing him their baby son and saying he can start by changing the child's diaper; and a heartrending health care spot focusing on his prematurely born twins' difficult early days.

Back then, the family focus softened his image. It made him seem funnier, less robotic and less mean.

But if he tried all that now, he'd just come across as calculating and coarse. Nobody wants to see this onetime family values crusader use his kids or his famously wronged wife as shields.

The Gambit Weekly's Clancy Dubos also wrote a satirical column* about Vitter this week, and includes this cute little dig:

Sen. David Vitter's panties are all in a twist these days because he was subpoenaed by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka the D.C. Madam, in connection with her racketeering trial.
As Palfrey's trial unfolds, the media no doubt will be stalking poor Vitter in ever-increasing numbers and to ever-more-intrusive extents, endangering God knows how many pedestrians each time Sen. Poopy-Pants tries to run and hide.

Now whatever might that "Sen. Poopy-Pants" moniker be referring to?

I think this is the first time the local print media has even obliquely referred to the diaper story.

Breaking News: DC Madam found guilty of racketeering and money-laundering, while "unindicted co-conspirator" Vitty-cent is still free to wreak havoc on the streets of Louisiana.

* Dubos' hyperlink to the Vitter video currently doesn't work right, and should point to here.


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McCain's stolen "family recipes"? 

Seriously, what household is so bereft of culinary tradition that it needs to crib from Gatemouth?

Perhaps that's going too far. Maybe Cindy lifted the "Farfalle with Turkey, Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms" from Giada, but my gut tells me that her "Percocet Surprise" recipe is all her own.

And if Cindy baked McCain's Katrina Birthday Cake, she deserves full credit, too.

One last query for Str8 Tawlk: You eat your wife's faux-homestyle grub with that mouth, Senator?

Update: Four years ago, after reviewing some White House recipes, I told y'all that Bush should be unelected "purely on culinary grounds". Good advice then, good advice now.

Update #2: Kevin Allman has much more.

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Please discuss 

Drive By Blogger uses a YRHT post to launch into his "in the land of the blind nolabloggers, I'm King Cyclops" schtick. (At least D-BB is funnier than his spiritual predecessor, Dangle. I'll give him that.) But D-BB does touch on an interesting issue that has been a burr in my saddle ever since Steve Bates made a similar point at YRHT several years ago. Here's the crux of it:

Is pre-judging someone based on where they live just as bad as racism or sexism?-- Or is provincialism and regionalism somehow not as immoral as other prejudices? For example, is it ever acceptable to rail on, say, Houstonians as a group? Why is it any better than railing on other groups -- religious, ethnic or otherwise?


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Monday, April 14, 2008

Simple answers to simple questions 

Charlotte asks:

Can women over 50 still be sexy and desirable?

Oh Hell Yes to the Tenth!

This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

End Note: Charlotte links to this highly dubious ranking of sexy fifty-plussers. With all due respect to Grier, Sarandon, and Iman (who unleashed Bowie's "closet heterosexual"), when Gina Gershon becomes eligible for this list at the end of President Obama's first term... [insert your own Curb Your Enthusiasm reference about sheets needing cleaning or cutting] .


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McCain is confused (again) 

Army Times, "McCain reveals confusion over Petraeus role":

Speaking Monday... McCain was asked whether he, if elected, would shift combat troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to intensify the search for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

“I would not do that unless Gen. [David] Petraeus said that he felt that the situation called for that,” McCain said, referring to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Petraeus, however, made clear last week that he has nothing to do with the decision. Testifying last week before four congressional committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee on which McCain is the ranking Republican, Petraeus said the decision about whether troops could be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan was not his responsibility because his portfolio is limited to the multi-national force in Iraq.

VetVoice, "McCain Reveals Further Confusion on Military Issues":'d think that he'd know that Petraeus is concerned with Iraq--not Afghanistan, and certainly not both. The guy McCain is thinking of is Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey--the CENTCOM commander.

Americablog, "Army Times: McCain confused over Petraeus' role":

After 30 years working on this stuff, you'd think McCain would know better. Or maybe he's forgetting.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The insidious gay lifestyle agenda threatens to make your children happier 

Via the Oregonian:

Same-sex couples are more honest about monogamy and sex, researchers say. They're also more mature, considerate and fairer to each other than heterosexual couples. They're funnier and more affectionate when they argue. Less controlling. They don't take everything so personally.
In January, two large studies found much the same -- including that same-sex partners are generally happier than their straight siblings who are married.

Too bad these "generally happier" gay couples will be surfing the lake of hellfire for the rest of eternity. That's what they get for choosing a lifestyle in clear defiance of the omnibenevolent, ever-loving Godhead.

Enjoy your "mature, considerate, affectionate" relationships while you can, gaydevils!-- Being part of a fairer and more honest coupling might seem fun right now, but how will you feel on judgment day, when the God who created you throws your gay ass into the fiery pit?

Stop stimulating your tickly parts in ways that hetero-breeders like myself can barely comprehend. Even though you're behind closed doors, it still bothers us, because we can't stop fantasizing thinking about it. And stop forcing your forbidden knowledge and dark gay arts on our precious children. And stop sending those natural disasters and terrorist attacks. You'll be the death of us all, unless you stop being who you are, and start acting less "happy", "honest" and "mature"-- in other words, more like us.

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Lovely and I walked around the marigny and the quarter last night. It was crowded, with lots of music going on. We became hungry a little after 10pm, just as a lot of restaurants were closing. And the good restaurants that stay open after 10pm were all too crowded. We got tired and ended up at a place on decatur that served very spicy meatballs that were somehow oddly tasteless.

G Bitch discusses "The Goodbye". Mr. Clio wonders WWAB? Moldy City's local political ruminations are well worth your time (as always). Pawpaw has some words for Obama. Cousin Pat tussles with school vouchers.

Maitri's "Sleep Tight, Ashley" and Celcus' "Word of Mouth" posts should be read in full.

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