Saturday, March 28, 2009

Population Update 

Remember this dumb population forecast by an LSU researcher which projected Orleans parish to gain only 15,000 people over the next 20 years, and forecasted New Orleans' 2030 population to be only 275,000? Really hard to believe. Bayoustjohndavid spelled out some of the potential implications of that questionable and suspicious study.

Last week the U.S. Census estimate for New Orleans was released:

Orleans continued a strong growth rate with an 8.2 percent increase compared with the 2007 estimate, for a 2008 total of 311,000 residents.

I guess the demographers up in Baton Rouge will have to adjust their numbers a bit. N.O. gained more in one year than it was supposed to gain in the next 20.

And, yes, I'll give credit to Mayor Nagin and Police Chief Riley, who have been using rosy population numbers for a while now that, in retrospect, weren't as wildly optimistic as many people assumed.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Breaking News! 

Link to big news story here.

By the way, whoever came up with Britney's sexy-degenerate circus motif for this tour stole it from the Genitorturers last tour (Kind of like how Ministry stole the "band behind the cage" idea from Megadeth.)

In this case, the giveaway is the spark-showering power disc sanders and the S and M chic.

Is nothing sacred? What's next? Is Spears going to lift Sick of it All's patented "4 Way Wall of Death" while Dick Cheney looks on in approval?

[I can hardly explain how cool a Genitorturers show was back in the early 90's. We're talking S and M metal performance art of the highest order. While singing songs about masturbation and sex and violence, fans from the audience would be invited up on stage to get their breasts or tongues pierced by lead singer Gen, who worked as a registered nurse during the day. I saw the Genitorturers at Visage in Orlando with my friend George on May 30th, 1993. Marylin Manson opened, and nearly got booed off the stage. Then the Genitorturers came on and blew the lid off the joint. A metalhead next to me made the mistake of calling Gen a "bitch". She instructed him to use the term "lady" and then stepped on his face with her boot. Then she learned that it was another (male) fan's birthday. She brought him up on stage and had him strip to his underpants and sit in a chair. She told him to masturbate while she sang "Jackin' Man". The performance culminated in a lap dance for the birthday boy. In short, Gen and her band were railing against the sterility of Florida's "Disney-like" faux culture when Britney was literally performing for the Mickey Mouse club. And now to see Britney lift some of Gen's act for her own ends is too much to swallow. Sadly, the Genitorturers ended up trying to copy NIN and Ministry, musically. The results were quite poor. So I can't say they are innocent or that you should buy their albums. But, at one time, their stage shows were second to none.]

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"From the director of Die Hard 2 and the producer of Speed" 

Need I say more?

Yes? Really?

Ok. Get ready for "12 Rounds"! It's an action movie shot in New Orleans, starring professional wrestler John Cena who plays a cop trying to match wits with a brilliant criminal. Apparently, "automobiles, streetcars and ferryboats are transformed into potential weapons of mass destruction" in the film. The preview features working crime cameras, a mispronunciation of "New Orleans", and... oh it doesn't really matter at this point, does it?

Speaking of "action men", Cajun Boy finds a news clip featuring some real-life heroes. One of them calmly observes a young woman planting her face in the beach, and bravely keeps his hands in his pockets so that a chilly breeze won't harm them.

And speaking of movies "shot" in New Orleans, the hand-drawn animated feature "The Princess and the Frog" will be coming out in the winter. It's by Disney, so, presumably, it will be "Disney-like". I gotta give it some advance props, though, because the story summary at the movie web site begins

Walt Disney Animated Studios presents a musical set in the greatest city of them all, New Orleans.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can't get off this confounded volcano 

An apparent communist writes a letter to the T-P:

Monday a volcano 100 miles from Anchorage, Alaska, the state's largest city, erupted, disrupting air traffic and dumping harmful ash even further away.

Volcano monitors had predicted trouble for the past week, enabling various agencies and corporations to prepare for the event, e.g., the USAF at Elmendorf Air Base moved to protect its aircraft before the event.

How does Gov. Bobby Jindal feel now about stimulus package provisions for "something called 'volcano monitoring' " that he decried during his response to President Obama's address to Congress?

Philip L.

Sitka, Alaska

Hate to trouble our Whiz Kid Governor with such a subversive question, but I must admit that I too am curious about the $140 million we intend to waste on "something called 'volcano monitoring'". (I don't care that less than 10% of the $140 million Jindal cited actually goes to volcano monitoring. During his national tv appearance, Jindal mocked volcano monitoring as an egregious example of waste, so there must be something to it. Perhaps we should consider the possibility that our Governor is right and the facts are wrong. Just... pssst... whatever you do, don't tell anyone that the "next Ronald Reagan" voted FOR the $300 Billion Farm Bill in 2007, which he described as the most important piece of legislation that year. Now, this year, we'll be paying over $140 million in farm welfare to dead people during a time of high commodity prices. It's difficult to understand why we should pay dead farmers rather than protect our military from spewing volcanoes... but I'm confident Jindal will have a good explanation.)

So let's concentrate on the intolerable $7 million that is going to employ people to upgrade geological equipment to monitor the 33 active volcanoes in Alaska. Isn't it outrageous? Let's have Jindal tell us why.

You got the floor, Governor. Make like Paul McCartney, and take it away... you Taurus driver, you soul survivor, you...

Jindal was not available for comment [about his views on volcano monitoring] Tuesday, having traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend a string of fundraisers.

Oh. Well, that's understandable. Fourteen months after inauguration, it's important for Louisiana's Governor to build a national network of donors so that he can raise $12 million for his 2011 re-election bid, despite the absence of any serious challengers. [For the record Jindal said he was right to question volcano monitoring, but wouldn't it be nice if he fleshed out his views a bit more? If he's going to mock "wasteful" volcano monitoring in front of a national tv audience, I'd like for him to explain himself.]

The only time Jindal's popularity sunk last year was during the legislative pay-raise snafu. Louisianans got mad, and forced Jindal to flip-flop and veto the payraise. A "Recall Jindal" effort was even launched. Sadly, it petered out. Perhaps another one could be formed, with the express purpose of "recalling" Jindal back to the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Another recall drive could be used to help the Governor "recall" his campaign promises. I'd support that.

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Great Muppet Caper 

Clancy Dubos:

My sources say the feds have already paid Meffert a very threatening visit … to his home, no less. It was ugly, and he’s scared.

American Zombie has much more, of course.

Thank goodness former N.O. Technology Chief Greg Meffert is a white Republican*. If this scandal metastasizes like it could, Meffert's doughy skin pigment and conservative affiliations will prevent certain stupid political narratives from forming (i.e., the feds are just targeting another black New Orleans Democrat...).

T-P:

When he became Mayor Ray Nagin's first technology chief, Greg Meffert -- who was hailed as an entrepreneurial wizard -- said he had forsaken lucrative options in the private sector for a selfless mission to modernize the city's broken bureaucracy.
What a guy.

Meffert's exact role in [companies headed by former Meffert associates] remains unclear, but the e-mails show that he often participated in and directed decisions that had nothing to do with the firms' work in New Orleans.

Such as?

In one case, Meffert pitched crime cameras to Houston's technology chief, claiming they produced "immediate and huge" reductions in New Orleans crime. Meffert then coordinated travel plans to Houston with Mark St. Pierre, who once worked for him in the private sector and went on to head three related firms -- Imagine, NetMethods and Veracent -- that earned money from no-bid city technology work.
...
Meffert's e-mails shed further light on his involvement in crime cameras, including his efforts to market St. Pierre's wares in other cities. A few months after Katrina, for instance, Meffert wrote to Matt Hyde of Houston's technology office to sympathize about crimes committed in Houston by Katrina-exiled New Orleanians. He then pitched cameras as the solution.

On March 15, 2007 Greg Meffert was interviewed on Garland Robinette's "Think Tank" radio show about a T-P story on Meffert and the crime camera contracts.

You know, I was on this show two years ago. It was my idea to bring the cameras forth in the first place. I can't agree more that we need it. I can't agree more that the crime's out of control, and I can't agree more that it ain't working... You know, I see these kinds of deals, and, in the end, when we talk about these contracts and these companies, in the end, we can talk about the fact that you know these are just a handful of guys that did a lot to bring this city from where it was and where it is, worst in the nation in technology to literally number one in the nation. They're not a bunch of hacks, but I let that role, because that [fact] gets surgically extracted from these [T-P] stories.
...
When we put [the cameras] in the 6th District, we saw the murder rates drop 67%. No one was happier than me.

Here's American Zombie's commentary about Garland's interview. YRHT snark here. I don't present this old interview as damning information (though there might be some), just as an additional reminder about what a lying buffoon Meffert is.


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* I'm assuming he's Republican [Commenter Celcus says he's registered as a Dem.]

More soon.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Good times, sad times... 

Hearty congratulations to Jeffrey and Menckles. Lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed the wedding*, reception, and second-line down to Jackson Square. Indulge in Paris.

Apologies for this seemingly random youtube. It's an inside joke that Jeffrey probably won't ever see, and it is respectfully dedicated to the artists formerly known as Testaverde. (Notable lyric: "Who knows these days where the money goes".)



Large, wet tears of goodbye to Loki and A, and Maitri and D.

Magazine St. loses J'anita's and "gains" a Copycat shop. That double blow is such a travesty. It's like... it'ss like... urggh, my trusty source for inspired similes has run dry. It's like... Aw, well. I guess perhaps my regular commenters can give me an assist with my blogger's block.

I was going to say it's like hearing Led Zeppelin's "Nobody's Fault but Mine" come on the jukebox and then some dipstick yells "turn up the Billy Squier!" But that doesn't quite work (on several levels). So I need your help.
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Let's end on a positive note. Happy Birthday to Michael of 2 Millionth Web Log!

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* Unique features: it was standing room only in the upper room of Napoleon House, despite plenty of empty seats. Also, the libations that went unpoured were among the most delicious, and the newlyweds' kiss was longer than the ceremony.

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Lucky dead duckies 

This tsunami warning system doesn't seem like the biggest black swan we need to monitor, but can we get a "thanks but no thanks" from our Christian/"Scientist" Governor, just for the record?

The tsunami warning announcement to be broadcast at 8 a.m. on April 2 is no April Fools Day joke.

It's a first-ever test of a new Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico tsunami warning system designed to cue coastal communities of the potential danger of huge waves caused by earthquakes.


Patriots should organize a tea party to protest this floatable porkfest!

The United States warning system was updated in 2005 after an Indian Ocean tsunami struck coastlines in the Indian Ocean with little or no warning, killing about 230,000 people in a number of countries.

Yeah, but what the liberal drive-by MSM doesn't tell you is that, before they drowned like animals, those 230,000 people enjoyed dynamic tax savings compounded over many years, because they didn't have to underwrite all this porktastic "monitoring" technology, like we do.

Lucky duckies.
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H/T to Noladder.

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But aren't molten ash explosions more fun when they're unexpected? 

If you liked the "no one could've predicted" approach of the Bush years, you'll love President Jindal.

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