Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pray the boot doesn't lose its soul 

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Gusting Gustav 

I've been enjoying the professionalism of Gov. Bobby Jindal's hurricane preparation updates during the past few days. He's not afraid to lay a lot of detailed information on his audience. Yesterday he went on for about 10 minutes straight, in granular detail, citing all the numbers of buses, people, and provisions that are coming into New Orleans to help with evacuation and post-storm relief. Afterwards, he described the laundry list of statistical information as a brief "survey" of what is being done. His directness and command of the details was the key thing, throuout. He didn't seem overwhelmed. He stayed on target. He instilled confidence.

*Applause.*

Characteristically, Jindal was speaking very fast throughout the news conference. About halfway through, I switched my attention to the sign language interpreter who somehow heroically managed to keep up with our fast-talking Governor.

On the other hand, New Orleans Homeland Security Director Colonel Jerry Sneed, who expressed total confidence in the levees, pumps and floodgates, and said at a press conference that New Orleans citizens "shouldn't worry about the flooding again... we're not saying we have to evacuate the city because of the flood". (See -10:10 mark of this video.) These remarks were broadcast nationally in this CNN piece, Thursday.



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Anyway, as the storm strengthens, most South Louisianans are in the process of evacuating. It's been a while since a force of nature named Gustav had this many Catholics on the run.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Blinded by anti-science 

From a 2006 article in the Anchorage Daily News:

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms.
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The Republican Party of Alaska platform says, in its section on education: "We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory."

The issue of teaching an alternative to evolution has turned into an issue in the current race for governor in Michigan, where Republican Dick DeVos said he wanted to see students exposed to the idea of intelligent design.

Yay! And she homeschools!

Dick DeVos heavily contributed to Bobby Jindal, and also contibuted to the insane, un-American Christian Reconstructionist movement. DeVos founded the pro-voucher group All Children Matter, and was a President of the CNP.

Apparently, if you want to be a heavily funded "rising star" in today's GOP, you better believe in the value of creationist anti-science in the classroom.
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Evolution is just a "theory"... sort of like hurricanes. For example, I don't believe hurricanes are purely meteorological phenomena, whose paths and intensities are determined by weather conditions and ocean temperature. For me, hurricanes are the wet throwing stars of a displeased deity. They're purposely aimed at centers of decadent behavior, to warn and punish the unsaved and once-born.

That's my "theory". So-called scientists have a different "theory". Let's have a debate, so that both sides of the issue can be presented, and young minds can decide for themselves.
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Here's a laugh. John at the conservative blog Powerline remarked:

I'm worried about Palin. I'm afraid she may be the Geraldine Ferraro of 2008. If she really is the nominee, will it come across as a desperation move, a Hail Mary, as Mondale's choice of Ferraro did in 1984? I'm afraid so. Her experience just doesn't justify a place on the ticket. If McCain really wanted to go radical, Bobby Jindal was the far sounder choice--but maybe Jindal turned him down, on the theory that he needs to do his job as Governor of Louisiana before trying to go national.

He don't know our PBJ very well, do he?

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H/T Tim

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Palin: rhymes with Van Halen and dragonslayin' 

1. Greg's initial reactions were similar to my own. (Sarah Palin is a young hard right conservative who rode to the Governor's mansion on ethics reform. She's been in office 20 months and already "abuse of power" concerns have arisen. Poor Bobby Jindal. He didn't get the GOP keynote address, and someone with a thinner resume and less foreign experience got the Veep pick.)

2. Van Haggar Halen was oddly prescient. (Update: Now they're pissed. Also: Wander this World blog, formerly "Carpe Noctem", has an important "Male Stars Update" you should see.)

3. This is off topic but.... FOUR!? What the hell? Seems like every time a camel passes gas in W. Africa, another weather disturbance spins off.

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"A little Sadism" 

Avman at the Louisiana Conservative describes his "sadist" streak:

I have a bit of a sadism streak in me. Part of me wants to see Barack Obama win the Presidency. The way I figure it, Barack Obama would be so bad and Jindal would then be in a position to run for President, and that I’d like to see.
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I guess you’d have to be from Louisiana to understand this, but that sadism is brewing again. I don’t want to experience Hurricane Katrina again. Once in a lifetime was enough for me. I hated that a fifteen minute drive suddenly became a two hour experience.
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But as I said, I am still into a little sadism. Part of me wants Gustav to come right up the Mississippi River and into Baton Rouge. As I said a couple of minutes ago, you have to be from Louisiana to understand this, but I want to know. Can Bobby Jindal handle a hurricane?

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"America, we are a better country than this" 

Three years after the storm, President Bush came to New Orleans and told us the repaired WEAK CATEGORY 3 floodwalls are an "upgrade" over the previous ones which catastrophically failed during Katrina and drowned hundreds of souls and caused untold billions in damage.

Years ago, Bush directed the Army Corps of Engineers to "study" Cat 4 or 5 flood protection.

To my knowledge, they are still studying these higher protection levels, as a hurricane-to-be enters the Gulf and the city awaits evacuation orders.

Currently, Iraq's marsh arabs are enjoying their restored wetlands, paid for with American blood and treasure.



"We are more compassionate than a government that... sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes. Tonight, tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land: Enough."

-- Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, 8/29/08

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Maybe if New Orleans changed its name to Mary Jo Kopechne, more conservatives outside Louisiana would give a damn about the city's drowning.

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Mr. November 

Rob at Americablog excerpted the same speech highlights that I would've selected. So click the link if you want to review them. Still, I gotta re-emphasize my favorite line from last night:

For over two decades, [McCain has] subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

Many have raved about Obama's speech, but for my money Big Man at RBL did it the best. Big Man says Obama is the "Reggie Jackson of politics". And while tonight's speech didn't quite soar into immortality, like Jackson in the '77 WS, it still "covered the bases" in an inspiring way and made me feel very proud.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

A murder of crows, a blogosphere of Ruprects 

Suspect Device finds the "stupidest thing you will read this week", which is quite a service, because the competition was so damn fierce.

Consider:

1. "Oil in danger"

2. "The Republicans can’t seem to get a break when it comes to August and when it comes to the weather."

3. [This Pee Wee Hermeneutical exercise in bullshit pretzel logic by a Kossack who doesn't have the stones to say outright that we need to kill New Orleans in order to save it from Republicans. The Kossack concludes: "I’m sorry [Gustav] means more grief for New Orleans, but the Democratic Party has to stop being so non-political."]

4. And 2 Millionth Michael links to some other highlights (including some oldies but goodies) over at First Draft.

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So at the end of his "stupidest thing you'll read all week post" Greg asks:

Honest to Christ, how do you people feed yourselves without jamming the fork into your brain?

It's tricky, but I believe corks help.

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Hole 

The Book takes a number of pictures of the uncapped sewer hole his niece fell in, while she was walking home from the school bus stop.

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Favorite part of Big Dog's speech last night 

Excerpt from Bill Clinton's 2008 Democratic Convention speech:
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Barack Obama also will not allow the world's problems to obscure its opportunities. Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hardworking people need good jobs; secure, affordable healthcare, food, and energy; quality education for their children; and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming. These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation. When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets, and create new jobs for our people.

Most important, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are strong at home. People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

Look at the example the Republicans have set: American workers have given us consistently rising productivity. They've worked harder and produced more. What did they get in return? Declining wages, less than ¼ as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s. American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage. I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other severe conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn't afford health care and couldn't qualify their kids for Medicaid unless they quit work or got a divorce. Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of? What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by unprecedented multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well connected? What about Katrina and cronyism?

America can do better than that. And Barack Obama will.

But first we have to elect him.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Simple answers to simple questions 

Speaking about the threat of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Gustav, Ray Suarez of Online Newshour wonders:

"It is quite something -- the timing -- just on the eve of the third anniversary [of Hurricane Katrina], right in the middle of a major political convention that once again New Orleans looks like it has a bull's-eye on its chest. Is this -- in an odd way -- a good thing that people don't forget about the city?"


No, it's not a "good thing". Even in an "odd way".


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

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Update: Governor Jindal, who has been impressively sharp, crisp and direct during his hurricane news conferences, declares a state of emergency.

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Profiles in Dubyage 

President Bush's Gulf Coast Recovery Speech, 8/20/08:

I'm also proud to be here with the Mayor of this great city. [Mayor Nagin] and I have had some quality time. We have come to know each other. I remember when I first flew down here, there was the Mayor at the end of the steps of Air Force One. I said, "How you doing, Mayor?" He said, "I'm hungry and I haven't had a bath." I said to the steward on Air Force One, "Fix the man up with a meal, and turn on the hot water in the shower."

What a display of leadership! What alacrity! What decisiveness! What sublime humanity!

That's an awesome memory. Bush should be proud to share it.

...

But... begging your pardon Mr. POTUS, may I ask: what were your orders to the governmental "stewards" when you saw the images of 20,000 people without food, water or medical care in front of the New Orleans Convention Center during the Katrina aftermath?


"Fix Meemaw up to take the fall for this one, and shower the networks with hot talking points."

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Shorter Beck: I'm a loser baby, so why don't you... 



Glenn Beck: "May I ask a question? Do you know that they are now saying a hurricane Category 5 could hit New Orleans Day 1 of the Republican Convention?"

Heaven forfend that a possible disaster news story could affect the ratings of the GOP convention! After all, their nominee decided to announce his Vice Presidential selection on the 3rd anniversary of Katrina and the Federal Flood. (It will also be McCain's 72nd birthday).

Then Beck goes on to mock Mary Matalin's factual defense of New Orleans with a "blah blah blah" hand gesture.

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H/T 2 Millionth Web Log
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Forces of evil on a bozo nightmare... ’cuz one’s got a weasel and the other’s got a flag

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"March of hope" stalled? 

Here are more select quotes from recent stories that will be used in future posts, and which can be juxtaposed with quotes from Bush's recent speech.

From Sunday's T-P story titled: "Bush aide O'Dell says New Orleans City Hall 'failing' at recovery".

On one of his frequent visits to New Orleans, federal recovery coordinator Douglas O'Dell delivered a bruising critique of the Nagin administration on Thursday, saying "there is growing frustration" in Washington with the speed, efficiency and competence of City Hall's efforts to manage the local recovery after Hurricane Katrina.
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[I]n several interviews, O'Dell expressed continuing frustration with [Recovery Director Ed] Blakely, an urban planning professor from Australia who once served as deputy mayor of Oakland, Calif.

He said Blakely is often absent and unavailable and leads an office that produces "ethereal visions" of recovery that cannot be financed with federal recovery dollars.

"I'm basically asking Blakely, who's probably getting paid a whole hell of a lot more money than I am, to do his damn job," O'Dell said.

Today, T-P columnist James Gill wrote:

When Doug O'Dell accuses New Orleans' recovery director Ed Blakely of "ethereal visions," nobody around here is likely to argue.

Visions don't get more ethereal than the "cranes in the sky" Blakely predicted would be in place by last September.

But nobody around here has badmouthed Blakely quite so vigorously as O'Dell, the retired Marine general who bird-dogs Katrina country for President Bush.
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But it may be too late to establish friendly relations, at least for the duration of the Bush administration, to judge from the venom of the tirade O'Dell directed at Blakely last week.
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[NOPD Police Chief Warren] Riley and Blakely may be toast when the Nagin era comes to its merciful close. But we are evidently stuck with them for now. Both were present at last Friday's shindig to honor Nagin for his supposedly bold leadership of the recovery effort.
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Feds who doubt the competence of local officials are generally rather more discreet than O'Dell, who would presumably not have sounded off without White House approval. Indeed, O'Dell said it was "the universal federal view" that $126 billion in federal aid had been lavished on a local government that was slow, inefficient and less than transparent.

Since the federal government has been justly blamed for building the shoddy flood defenses that made Katrina such a killer, and failing to make adequate preparations to handle a disaster of this scale, it will hardly neglect any opportunity to divert blame to another quarter. Blakely may represent the feds' best chance for a little vindication.

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Bush's "Hope is on the march" speech 

Future posts will cite these excerpts from President Bush's August 20th speech discussing the Gulf Coast Recovery at Jackson Barracks, New Orleans. As always, let the highlighted statements be your guide.
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Who would have thought that three years after the storm, the President can come and say, New Orleans, Louisiana is on its way back as a stronger and better city?
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Laura Bush sends her best. She's spent a lot of time down here, and so have I. (Applause.) The librarians in this part of the world are especially grateful... And even though I'm headed for retirement in about six months, that's not to say I'm going to forget who my friends are in this part of the world.
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And I appreciate you, Mayor [Ray Nagin]. I appreciate the fact that you decided to run for office again. You said to the people of this part of the world, there is unfinished business and I intend to be a part of the finished business. And the people listened, they put you back in office, and I'm proud to be with you, Ray. Thanks for coming.
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The one thing you learn when you're in this part of the world is you better pay attention to the parish presidents. Right, Ray? You are one. But so is Aaron Broussard, of Jefferson Parish. I'm proud to see you, Aaron.
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Don Powell was the first man down here to work with the local officials to try to make sure this recovery was coordinated, that the money was well spent, that the money was focused in the proper direction. He did a fine job. He decided he wanted to go back to the promised land. That would be the state of Texas. (Laughter.) And so I asked General Doug O'Dell to take his place. He's a tough-nosed, no-nonsense guy who cares deeply about the people down here. General, thanks for coming. I'm proud you're here. (Applause.)
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By the way, as you may know, Laura and I were at the Olympics. No finer citizen of the United States and of this part of the world than Chris Paul of the Hornets. (Applause.)
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It's hard to believe that it was three years ago that Katrina, in essence, wiped out a lot of this city. I mean just flooded it, just destroyed a lot of hopes and a lot of dreams... Never before has our nation seen such destruction by nature.

In the midst of all the flood water, people were saying, oh, man, can we possibly have a good future here? And yet the good future is here. I'm -- not to be a "told you so," but I was in Jackson Square and I predicted that New Orleans would come back as a stronger and better city. That's the prediction I made. I also pledged that we'd help. And $126 billion later, three years after the storm -- we've helped deliver $126 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money. (Applause.) And I thank you for applauding on that statement, but I know you're applauding the American taxpayer. A lot of people around the country care deeply about the people down here. And so it was -- you know, it was money that we were happy to spend.
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And I want to talk about some of the hopeful progress that's being made. I think it's important for our citizens around the country to understand there is hopeful progress here. We see hopeful signs in the work to protect New Orleans from future storms. The Army Corps of Engineer [sic] has repaired 220 miles of levees. That's important. You cannot rebuild these communities unless you're confident that the levee system will work in the future. The Corps is upgrading the flood walls so they're stronger than before Katrina.
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There is hopeful signs of progress as housing is restored.
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We see hopeful signs of progress in the growth of the economy.
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The present city's tourism industry is on the rebound.
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The health care system is improving.
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There's hopeful progress when it comes to reducing crime. No question about it, there needs to be a lot of effort, Chief, and I know you're working hard to reduce crime. ... Violent crime is a problem. But I was told, over the last six months there is notable improvements.
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We're seeing hopeful signs of progress when it comes to education in New Orleans.
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Open letter to USACE from Matt McBride 

2007 Blogger of the Year Matt McBride sends us this letter which YRHT is proud to syndicate:
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Dear Corps officials, (as well as government representatives, New Orleanians, and media representatives),

I am writing you to make a request. In light of the possible effects of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Gustav upon the Greater New Orleans area, I would ask that the Corps and its partners at LSU and the Universtity of North Carolina make public the results of storm surge model runs which are (or soon will be) created as part of the Lake Pontchartrain Forecast System (LPFS).

As I understand it, the Corps has contracted with UNC's Institute of Marine Sciences (contracts W912P8-06-P-0334 (from 2006, for $279,117) and W912P8-08-P-0082 (from earlier in 2008, for $101,512)) and their partners at LSU to provide forecasts of surge levels within Lake Pontchartrain when tropical systems are approaching New Orleans. This enables the Corps to determine when to lower the gates at the three interim closure structures along the Lake Pontchartrain south shore. The system is explained on a few webpages at LSU:

http://www.cct.lsu.edu/site38.php
http://www.cct.lsu.edu/~estrabd/LPFS/
http://www.cct.lsu.edu/~estrabd/LPFS/distributed-lpfs.pdf
http://www.cct.lsu.edu/~gallen/Preprints/CS_Allen07a.pre.pdf


In light of the Corps' "12 Actions for Change" specifically Action Number 9, "Effectively Communicate Risk," it would be tremendous goodwill gesture to the public across the country to know what the Corps knows about the surge risk before the storm makes landfall.

Doing so would be in the same spirit that allows the National Hurricane Center and other organizations to make the results of hurricane track and intensity model runs available to public. Doing so allows government agencies and members of the public to plan more effectively, and allows the media to get more accurate information out to the public as they plan.

As part of your public outreach during the coming days, I urge you to upload the model results to your website so that everyone can be apprised of this vital information which will inform your decisions.

Best regards,

Matt McBride

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Tuesday in New Orleans 

The Book's niece falls down an open sewer.

Party girl gets grazed by a bullet.

"Staff of the gods" may attend decadent party.

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The results are in! 

And here are the Best blog reviews of the "Best of New Orleans" list

1. Pistolette

2. People Get Ready

3. [This spot is reserved for Jeffrey's annual "I love to hate the yuppies who show us the 'best' ways to NOT enjoy New Orleans" post.]

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News and notes 

I'm blogging at First Draft today.

Also, don't forget that August 30th is the New Orleans Speaks Symposium at UNO. [Update: conference postponed until October.] YRHT favorite Latoya Cantrell will be hosting a "Resilience Roundtable" in the morning, and Blogger of the Year Karen Gadbois will be speaking in the afternoon. Plus much, much more.

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Krewe d'Etat changes parade route 

This Carnival, Krewe d'Etat plans to start on Jefferson, go down Magazine, up Napoleon and down St. Chuck. This presents us with an opportunity to watch our favorite parade on a new streetscape, and "dance like we've never danced before".

When a ten year old ascends to the top of a ladder and commands a carnival crowd to "dance"... I feel God's pleasure.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Recapping RT3 (pt 3) 

Thanks to everyone who helped make Rising Tide 3 such a resounding success. That means everyone: attendees, panelists, vendors, donors, bloggers, hosts and organizers.

I want to give some random shots of specific thanks to several bloggers for certain specific tasks they handled... just because I wanted to do so. Thanks to RT organizer mominem for handling many of the printing duties. Thanks to Sharon for doing the registration (and the timely "umpiring"). Thanks to Leigh C. for hosting every single RT planning meeting at her house. Thanks to Mark D. for handling the sound and A/V duties. Thanks to Slate for making the arrangements for Friday Night at Buffa's.

Also, I wanted to thank Cliff for his contributions to the Education panel, and thank Clancy Dubos for coming to both the Friday and Saturday RT3 events. I really appreciated that.

Again, that's obviously not a comprehensive list of gratitude-- I thanked everyone in the first sentence, and I meant it. The rest of the post is just a scattershot of specific thanks... just because.

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You can find some collected links to RT3 reactions and commentary at Patrick's place.

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Recapping RT3 (pt 2) 

In the middle of the conference, there was an altercation between two bloggers near the registration table. Loki will be doing a future post on the scuffle, and I didn't witness it, so I won't get into the details of what happened. Suffice it to say, Alan couldn't control himself during a disagreement with Loki, and resorted to throwing punches. This burst of violence was totally and completely unacceptable, and could've marred the entire event. Like many, I was shocked and bewildered by the ordeal. I couldn't believe it. I kept thinking "Is this really happening? Will I have to make an announcement reminding everyone that the fists on the '06 and '07 RT posters should be interpreted metaphorically?"

Anyhow, to his great credit, Loki saw the larger picture out of his swollen eye, and thought of a way to defuse the situation. A solution was reached and agreed to, and the situation between Loki and Alan never escalated further. Many of the attendees at RT3 never knew anything had happened, and that was certainly for the best.

However, after Alan completed his end of the agreement, the organizers of the event should've escorted him to the exit door, and bid adieu. We absolutely should've asked Alan to leave the conference, and we didn't do that, and I apologize to Loki for not doing so. Loki literally "took one for the team", and didn't call the police, or press charges, or make a huge scene. I just wanted to say in this post how very much I appreciate that.

It's funny because not long ago Alan had sought a share of the credit for getting John Barry to be keynote speaker at RT3; yet, during the conference, Alan lashed out in a way that could've totally ruined the "story" and "substance" of the conference. The media was well-represented at the event, and if Alan's violent theatrics had escalated, and the police were called... that would've marred the entire event, which in turn would've been a "black eye" on the entire nolablogosphere. Not only does Alan owe Loki a huge apology, I believe he owes the entire Rising Tide community an apology. Alan's selfishness and thoughtlessness was an indirect insult to the participants and organizers of Rising Tide 3. It was wild, inappropriate behavior. It was anti-conference behavior, (or perhaps "un-conference" behavior). And that's unacceptable. Either way, my personal contact with Alan ends here.

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Also, thanks very much to sophmom and the two others who promptly restrained Loki after Alan had struck him.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recapping RT3 (pt 1) 

Ten minutes into John Barry's presentation, I started getting worried. Barry had begun an in-depth explanation of the impact of sediment in the Mississippi river, and I became concerned his presentation might get too dry or too technical for a big crowd 0f people. These were certainly important scientific and geographic issues that merited discussion, but I knew Barry also needed to "bring it all together" in a way everyone could find interesting and applicable.

As a blogger, I instinctively began thinking of good, punny post titles for the inevitable post-conference blog post. "Our sediments exactly", was one of the top contenders. However, Barry, the professional that he is, successfully brought all the data together in a very convincing, profound way. He connected the history of dams in the Dakotas to the lost wetlands in S. Louisiana. He connected Louisiana's oil/gas pipe infrastructure to the posionous saltwater intrusion into our marshes and estuaries. He connected New Orleans' canals -- many originally dredged for national defense-- to the port system, which is the keystone to all the other tangential ports around the U.S.. In short, he directly linked S. Louisiana's current challenges to the benefits the rest of the nation currently enjoys on our behalf.

Like everything he writes, Barry successfully presented the facts, and "brought them all home" in an interesting, profound way. The nation has relied on S. Louisiana for a long time, and now, during our moment of need, we must remind the nation how it relies on us, so we can successfully rebuild and survive.

For me (a philosophy grad school drop-out) this was a thrilling presentation. John Barry used strong words to tell important truths-- truths about the risks and sacrifices S. Louisiana has undertaken on behalf of the rest of the country. And these truths can now be appropriated to serve the people who live in this flood-stricken region. When the basic "facts of the matter" are overwhelmingly on your side, it's an empowering feeling-- even when all the other odds (not the least of which is political) seem stacked against you.

Best of all, Barry concluded his presentation by indicating ways in which bloggers could help disperse "the truth" of flood protection and coastal restoration for S. Louisiana. See, John Barry suffers from a cleverness deficit. He appealed to local bloggers to find clever ways to disperse the facts so that we could better make our case for rebuilding S. Louisiana. I believe the vibrant Nolablogosphere is certainly clever enough and creative enough to take up Barry's challenge.

Seriously, why can't we make it our collective mission to cleverly encapsulate the truths of coastal restoration in persuasive ways that can "go viral"? ... throughout the blogosphere, the gmail-sphere, the youtubesphere, the twittersphere... Why can't we fashion politically-charged facts in ways that will command national attention, and become a sustained, urgent issue in D.C. until it is resolved?

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