Saturday, November 21, 2009

 
WWL reports:

LSU fans heading to Oxford Mississippi may encounter the Ku Klux Klan as they go to the LSU-Ole Miss game on Saturday.

It stems from the university ending a tradition at football games. The band has been instructed to stop playing a medley in which many fans in the stands chant "The South shall rise again."
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[The Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan "Exalted Cyclopse" Bill Reid] says the protest will be peaceful and has nothing to do with "black and white." He says it is about the constitution.

Riiiight. It's never about black and white to these guys. It's always purely about states' rights, or southern heritage, or some other obfuscating malarkey. As soon as the KKK can convince blacks that the Zionists who control everything are the real enemy, then true healing can begin. Only then can the "good ole days" resume, with a separate, peaceful co-existence between black and white.

Huey Long knew how to handle an exalted cyclops from a border state who was stirring up trouble.
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Update: More honest political dissent that has nothing to do with race here.

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Banality of "prudent" mission creep 

Jeffrey has a great post on Vietnam, Afghanistan, LBJ, Obama. Go read it. I want to preserve this quote, I think so much of it:

Listening to these conversations [between LBJ and McNamara], one sees how a slow-building disastrous tragedy like the U.S. war in Vietnam is allowed to happen through a process of dithering and political calculating and muddling through even as the horrifying ramifications are openly visible to everyone and repeatedly referred back to. None of the people making these decisions, despite their obvious grasp of the situation, had the moral courage necessary to push back and say no, we're not doing this horrible thing.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Mayor, criminals must work harder to keep N.O. brand out there 

Jeffrey finds an article showing significant "trendbucking" in the greater New Orleans area. Trendbucking is a rather dubious economic phenomenon that the local business media seems to treat as an article of faith. Jeffrey has diligently documented the ballyhoo around trendbucking for quite some time, but this recent article seems to give him pause, wondering: is New Orleans really "bucking" the national malaise, or is it merely at the tail end of the trend?

Perhaps this story on the huge drop in local hotel revenue will give Jeffrey some comfort that it's the latter. (We wouldn't want him to have a grand malcontent seizure or anything.):

New Orleans, Louisiana, reported the largest average-daily-rate and revenue-per-available-room decreases for the week ending 14 November, according to STR weekly numbers.

The market’s ADR dropped 32.7 percent to US$109.43, and RevPAR fell 46.0 percent to US $61.30.

Ouch. Hope it's just a seasonal blip, and we can rebound to "buck" again soon.

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Thx to Calculated Risk.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

"A man with priorities so far out of whack does not deserve such a fine automobile" 

From an AP story titled "Texas man drives Bugatti into pond; blames bird"

Police say a low-flying pelican distracted a driver in Texas, causing him to veer off a road and drive his million-dollar sports car into a salt marsh.

La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist says the man claimed he lost concentration while driving his French-built Bugatti Veyron on Wednesday because the bird swooped into sight. Gilchrist says the driver dropped his phone, reached down to pick it up and strayed into the brackish water in La Marque, about 35 miles southeast of Houston.

It's unclear whether the easily-startled Texan was able to save his precious phone. The video of the wreck contains salty language:




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"insouciance, myopia and shortsightedness" 

Commenter joejoejoe checks in and alerts us to some specific excerpts from the recent ruling of interest. Joejoejoe writes:
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If you get a chance, read through pages 147-150 in the judge's ruling against ACoE. (189 page PDF here)

A few choice excerpts...

pg. 148

It is the Court’s opinion that the negligence of the Corps, in this instance by failing to maintain the MRGO properly, was not policy, but insouciance, myopia and shortsightedness. For over forty years, the Corps was aware that the Reach II levee protecting Chalmette and the Lower Ninth Ward was going to be compromised by the continued deterioration of the MRGO, as has been exhaustively discussed in this opinion. The Corps had an opportunity to take a myriad of actions to alleviate this deterioration or rehabilitate this deterioration and failed to do so. Clearly the expression “talk is cheap” applies here. In the event the gross negligence of the Corps in maintaining the MRGO would be regarded as policy, then the discretionary function exception would swallow the Federal Torts Claim Act leaving it an emasculated statute applying to automobile accidents where government employees are involved or medical malpractice where a government physician is involved. This was clearly not the intent of Congress. Safety concerns are not a talisman in deciding whether to apply the discretionary function exception, but certainly are a very significant consideration. Here, there was no balancing or weighing of countervailing considerations. The failure to maintain the MRGO properly compromised the Reach 2 Levee and created a substantial risk of catastrophic loss of human life and private property due to this malfeasance. Nothing the Corps has introduced into evidence tips the balance in its favor.

pg 149-50

As to the second inquiry, here it is manifestly evident that the Corps had a duty not to negligently expose the levee system along Reach II to harm, and it is likewise quite evident that if that levee system were harmed that there was great risk or harm to both people and property. In answer to the third question, such duty was obviously breached as extensively set forth in the findings of fact and conclusions of law set forth herein. Clearly, as to the fourth question, the risk of harm was within the scope of protection afforded by the duty breached as levees are designed to protect persons and property. The fifth question is like-wise manifestly evident in that there were catastrophic damages that resulted from the breach. Therefore, this Court finds that the Corps of Engineers was negligent under the La. Civ. Code arts. 2315 and 2316 and is thus liable for damages arising from the destruction of the Reach 2 Levee.


The word "failure" is repeated again and again in the ruling describing ACoE's relation to it's responsibilities.

Hopefully this ruling will help get the word out [about the] Federal Flood in New Orleans.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

James "wtf" Perry crushes mayoral frontrunners in debate 

Mayoral candidate James Perry should scrap the planned "What the F---" ad, and just fashion a campaign commercial using clips from his recent debate performance.

It's rare in politics for things to line up so well, to be in the fortunate position of having the most well-known and most serious candidates (businessmen! businesswomen! career legislators!) blunder so colossally-- on stage right next to you! Not only did they appear totally clueless about the controversial proposal to move the substandard juvenile detention facility (which goes by the Orwellian name "Youth Study Center"), but they didn't even (appear to) know it was a prison. The other candidates acted like it was a library or a place for extracurricular activities. Instead of admitting ignorance, they tried to cover over it with bullsh-t platitudes, and James Perry absolutely nailed them on it.

Again, it's not very often that political opportunities like this come along. This was a public "coming out" for Perry, and he made the most of it, in the heat of the moment. He capitalized on all the other major candidates looking goofy and uninformed. If it really went down like his transcript states, Perry should leverage this public "win" by featuring it heavily in his next commercial ad buy. The issue can be connected to crime, education, neighborhoods and troubled youth-- how often in a campaign do you get to fully set yourself apart on such topics? Perry doesn't need to engineer a "wtf" moment with an "edgy" campaign ad, because a (rare) "wtf" moment just occurred-- use it for all it's worth!

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The Filter at Humid Beings 

I'm introducing a new weekly blog at Humid Beings called "The Filter". It's going to be more or less like my longer YRHT posts-- witty, link happy, semi-cogent-- but I'll be publishing them each Wednesday (more or less) under "oyster".

The initial effort is about military veterans. Inadvertently, I published an early draft of the post, so it's not quite perfect. One main point that I didn't clearly spell out was that any discussion of proposed military conflicts should already include the "costs" (both financial and human) of caring for Veterans after the conflict ends. It seems simple enough to plan ahead, but we forget it every time. We ignore it, or perhaps the war fever blinds us. But this hideous routine of lowballing veterans' post-war needs or disputing the existence of their post-war health issues (Gulf War Syndrome, PTSD...) until an embarrassing crisis occurs is contemptible.

Anyway, I vented about that a bit, and I'd be honored if you went over to HB and shared any thoughts or insights you might have about the issue. I'll have a follow up Filter post in a few weeks on it. Or you can simply go to HB and flame me and the new blog. That's fine as well. Here's a spark to getcha started: I'm getting remunerated by HB for these weekly posts (no strings or restrictions attached) which is a first for me, so I thought I'd let y'all know that at the outset.

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I've reconsidered my opposition to the death penalty 

And I'm reviewing my stand on lynching, for good measure.

In an article with the inadequate title of "Ex-wife of jailed official injured in fight", the T-P reports:

The father of Candy Edwards' child has been arrested after an altercation that left the former wife of ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards with a bleeding forehead and broken tooth.


Candy says this low life baby daddy grabbed her by the neck, threw her against the wall, and "punched her in the mouth with a closed fist". And Candy is too simple beautiful to lie about something like that.

And for the T-P to refer to her merely as the "ex-wife of jailed official" is insulting. The title should've read "Beautiful former First Lady of State (and occasional airplane seatmate to local blogger) allegedly attacked by heartless scoundrel".

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Does have a little wang in it. Good, though." 

Grandmaster Wang titled his latest Saints post with a Morrissey lyric. This was a risky move, to be sure. Morrissey and football have been combined before, with substandard results.

But the Grandmaster is not finished. With hand in glove, reaching deep, Wang pulls out an even gayer reference than Moz.

The Saints’ mojo has gone the way of the "i" in Jm J Bullock.
Oh my. I thought, "Where do you go after invoking Jim J. Bullock?... Rip Taylor?" I became concerned. Wang went on to discuss his unsuitability to be an anal something-or-other, and he was about to lose control. Certainly, Wang is a fine blog craftsman, but I thought he was dancing too close to the gay pop cultural fire. All his essential football analysis would be overwhelmed by his barrage of gay references. He might lose his audience, I feared. (Not me, of course. My personae is: enlightened closet heterosexual. So no problems there. I was worried about all the unenlightened others.)

So, at the last minute, after dancing on the gay cliff, Wang returned and found his balance with some surprisingly randy laundry room imagery:

Sure, maybe Sara’s bra could put a bigger hurtin’ on a washing machine than Jackie’s jeans, and that’s a pretty strong selling point right there.
Whew... that was a close one. I felt internal relief, and assumed many other readers of Moose Denied were put at ease, too. Surely the subsequent discussions on genital abuse and Judas Priest references were now in a hetero-context that wasn't "too gay for football".

See, for hours on end each weekend, men intently watch other big men in tights jumping on one another. No one really talks about this brute fact. So there's only so many homosexual references you can make in this context without everyone getting real uncomfortable. Or so I assumed.

Wang concludes:

If you’re letting your own baggage get in the way of enjoying [the Saints], you’re missing out something fierce.

Hmm. That's worth thinking about-- and not just in terms of enjoying a sports team. Maybe my various worries and concerns over other people's baggage is a "baggage" of its own. Hmm again.

Sturtle finds an elegant quote from Meghan McCain:


The problem I have with my fellow Republicans is why gay marriage is the trump card in any situation. It seems that as long as you are against gay marriage, any scandal in your life can be overlooked or overcome. When you are in favor of it, however—and I have been very vocal about my support—that position defines you.

That's solid. And I absolutely LOVE how Colbert rams the point home in this classic segment. Gay Zombies want to "change our minds"-- the horror!


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Skeletons in the Closet
http://www.colbertnation.com/
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating


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Update: Leigh informs us that a new mayoral candidate recently punted on the gay marriage/civil unions issue.

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* title ref (2:15 mark)

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Hard to Resist 



I won't tune in specifically for this, but I can definitely see myself coming across it and getting totally sucked in.

Didn't Seagal make a film titled "Blood Impulse"?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Odd 

Why is Mary Landrieu sending campaign funds to the U.S. Treasury?

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I love rock'n roll 

Early in my youth, when I was young, just a little kid, wanting to have fun...

Believe it or not, Joan Jett was something of a musical awakening for me. She absolutely knocked me over when I first heard her on the radio. Through her, I learned that I preferred hard rock to the Oak Ridge Boys, Juice Newton, and whatever else my parents were listening to at the time. When I was a kid I was always hoping a Joan Jett song would come on the radio-- her sound was so other-worldly to me. Now I'm hearing Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on some "oldies" stations, which is a pretty sobering experience. Everything comes full circle. In the future my daughters will reflect about how revelatory the Black Eyed Peas were to them, and roll their eyes about my affections for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Wasn't daddy so "2000 and late", they'll think.

G-Bitch recently presented reasons to explore vegetarianism and veganism. My argument would simply be: Joan Jett.


Joan Jett - Do you want to touch me (Live Germany)
by ReportSam


Seriously I can't believe no one but GO gave me any love for my "Drone Jett and the Black Ops" cleverness. Man... Ashley would have offered brief praise and then one-upped me with a reference to the best punk rock name of all time-- whatever that might be.
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Update: I'd love to see Sarah Palin explain the wonders of carnivorism to Joan Jett.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Irrefragable evidence" 

I'd like it if the amateur metallurgists who claim that 9/11 was an [implausibly] grand conspiracy by a hyper-competent government would instead focus their energies on the smaller, truer (and therefore more pernicious) conspiracies inside the aftermath of the attack. With all due respect to Youtube videos that explain why steel must melt before structural integrity is lost (therefore: controlled demolition!) and why a plane can't make a small hole in the Pentagon (therefore: missile!*)... allow me to submit that when you have FAA and NORAD transcripts on your side, you're cooking with high heat.


As senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, [John] Farmer, who was the attorney general of New Jersey and is the dean of the Rutgers School of Law, investigated the derelict conduct of the national security apparatus.
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[B]oth Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions [about 9/11] that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it. By the time the Northeast Air Defense Sector had been informed of the hijacking, United 93 had already crashed. Farmer scrutinizes F.A.A. and Norad rec­ords to provide irrefragable evidence that a day after a Sept. 17 White House briefing, both agencies suddenly altered their chronologies to produce a coherent timeline and story that “fit together nicely with the account provided publicly by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney.”


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* ask the troofers what then happened to the plane in question and the people on it, and you get the most cockamamie explanation you'll ever hear.

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