Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quigley Article and My Thoughts

I posted the article -- and made some basic observations, now my thoughts (note: it probably helps to read the article or have it open in another window):

Step 6: definitely key, create an unsafe environment where even sensible people have no legal means to live or just survive. Then portray good folks who are just trying to survive as uncivilized. Then allow criminals to take over the city and get outraged when criminals do things criminals do.

Step 8: ain’t that a b….

Step 10: make it appear that government dependents are the only ones getting FEMA money. There were a lot of white and black folks with big houses and hefty savings accounts who got money. Hell, there were even out-of-state trust fund Tulane and Loyola kids who go hooked up from FEMA (fyi…not saying all Tulane and Loyola undergrad are out-of-state trust fund kids, just some, well maybe most)

Step 13: of course this was due to the locality of flooding and levee breaches, but when you see folks back home with electric and water while there are roadblocks in front your hood, that does something to you.

Step 14: I actually think Blanco did a decent job in the immediately hours, days, and weeks after the storm. However Road Home and LRA is all her fault. That’s the reason why Jindal would have destroyed her had she tried to see re-election (fyi…not saying Jindal is a lock to become governor, but Blanco couldn’t beat him)

Step 15 & 17: I don’t know, as of today New Orleans has something like 35 different school systems presiding over 50 schools (just my estimates). Public education in the city was generally horrible before Katrina, only way to go is up. A la Richard Pryor I gotta ask, “which way is up?”, charter schools? The state (of Louisiana) taking over the schools?

Step 19: need to add change zoning ordinances to prohibit multi-family housing

Step 20: the lack of adequate public transport amazes me. No, dawdling, slow, streetcars don’t count as adequate.

Step 22: still wondering (along with a number of people and the courts) is this is even legal?

Step 25: never though of this before but definitely right on

Step 28: boy this one hurts bad because I’ve had some involvement with a few of these processes and plans. You hope planners are making things better. You hope?

Step 32: New Orleans is a city defined by its legacy of race.

Just my thoughts.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Article: How to Destroy an African-American City in Thirty-Three Steps - Lessons From Katrina

I know this article is two weeks old; however I believe it provides depth and perspective respecting this post-Katrina city where I reside.

Just a few initial thoughts; First, I had to think for a second whether New Orleans is truly an African-American city. Demographically, New Orleans was close to 65% black before the storm; best recent estimates I’ve heard currently place the figure around 50% (although it seemed about 90% last week during the wonderful homecoming of the Essence Festival). But is that enough to categorically identify New Orleans as an African-American city? Does having a black mayor give you bonus points? By the same definition is Los Angeles a Hispanic-American city since Hispanics make up the largest segment of the population and the mayor is also Hispanic? I don’t know, but its splitting hairs so let me get on.

I just don’t understand why there seems to be no true sense of urgency in dealing with the aftermath of Katrina and the widespread levee failures which lead to most of the devastation in the city. Blame it on the president, governor, mayor, our increasing shady congressional delegation, whomever; it’s amazingly frustrating to see the lack of governmental progress. I say this all the freakin time - In my opinion almost every bit of progress that has been made in New Orleans since Katrina is due to the efforts of grassroots organizations, local neighborhood groups, non-profits, philanthropic foundations, non-local volunteers (especially students), and hardworking resident of New Orleans who returned no matter what challenges awaited them.

I always have more to say, but definitely read the article first.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On Homers, Ken Griffey and Talking Heads

Admitidly I'm not a huge baseball guy. I watch it every now and again. I've become more of a fan since I've moved to baseball towns (Kansas City and now Atlanta). So I watched a bit of the Home Run Derby Monday night and some of the All Star Game last night. Here are my thoughts:

Home Run Derby: Gets pretty monotonous after the first 30 minutes of a 3 hour competition that should really only last about an hour or so. Vlad Guerrero was awesome, but by the end of the Finals it's always a let down. The other guy Reyes jusrt ran out of gas. Plus ESPN showing Vlad's boys as much as they show Eva Longorio at a Spurs game wasn't cool at least Eva's cuter. They need to do something about that.

Griffey: Really glad to see Griffey playing well again. I don't care what anyone says. He's my all-time favorite baseball player and probably would have been the best to play this game if not for bad luck and awful Reds teams.

Talking Heads: I don't like Joe Buck in the first place. I think he's full of himself and seems to bring his personal feelings into his commentary too much. But he was ok last night. I just wish that for one night they would have remained silent on steroids. We get it. Steroids were a big part of the late 90's and early 00's. We understand Bonds might have used along with tons of other guys. There was no need to rehash an already overplayed story. Let the All-Star game be about the players and leave the Roids out of it.

Just my Thoughts.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Supreme Court Blues ... i.e. "diversity ain't cool"

Obviously I don't agree with the decision but I won't comment further on the case because I need to find out more information. But I don't have the blues b/c of the case, this quote from the brother you love to hate is what gave me the blues today:

And [Justice Clarence] Thomas said, "Simply putting students together under the same roof does not necessarily mean that the students will learn together or even interact. Furthermore, it is unclear whether increased interracial contact improves racial attitudes and relations."

What does improve racial attitudes and relations, maybe watching enough "reality tv"? This just makes me feel sad.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Scared in the NBA

I'm about a week late writing on this but I can't just let it go. This is getting ridiculous. If you listen to these NBA cats you might think post-Katrina New Orleans is being run by Tony Montoya, Nino Brown, Marcellous Wallace, and that Brad Pitt character from Fight Club. Now there are some legitimate concerns about New Orleans hosting NBA all-star weekend next year. But those concerns are economically, politically, and socially linked to the (in)effectiveness of the ongoing recovery effort, not the safety of NBA ballers. New Orleans has never had trouble policing people coming into the city for major events and policing the major tourist areas (CBD, French Quarter, St. Charles Ave, etc). Mardi Gras, Jazzfest, NFL playoff games, Sugar Bowl, these are huge, nationally attended events. Furthermore the Essence Festival (coming back the summer) and the Bayou Classic (back last fall) are black urban showcase events with somewhat similar clientele to that of all star weekend. And I’ve not heard one complaint from visitors feeling unsafe. Now some visitors are shocked when they see certain areas of the city that lie untouched since Katrina, but that’s another issue.

Any safety issues in the city are related to the premise that New Orleans can't seem to figure out how to deal with people already living in certain areas of the city and undertaking certain criminal behaviors. But it was like that pre-Katrina also. And every city has its marginalized areas where most crime occurs. But again I doubt you'll see too many all-star parties in Central City so visitors coming to the city should have few worries.

There are other issues in play, the demonification (I made that word up) of hip-hop culture, race issues, even NBA league issues. But to suggest that New Orleans can’t handle this event because the city is inherently unsafe is ignorant. I mean I could understand if all-star weekend was in hurricane season…….

Yes New Orleans has crime. So does LA, Vegas, NYC, Boston, Miami, etc. Grow up, come visit first before making off- the-cuff judgments and most of all leave Pacman Jones at home next year.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Misdemeanor Murder

That’s pretty much what it seems like right now, Misdemeanor Murder. Yep, fits right in with crimes like public intoxication, disturbing the peace, and interfering with a police investigation. But at least they can issue bench warrants for those crimes if you don’t pay the fine, with murder the odds are in your favorite for receiving a free pass.

This is crazy. According to this graphic from the Times-Picayune (not always the most accurate newspaper to be fair, but I assume this has to be at least somewhat legit), 162 people were killed in my current city of residence last year. I’m not worried about the 2 trials and 1 conviction right now, I’m sure some murder cases take a while to make trial. But only 47 arrests, that’s just stupid. Is it the police force, the DA’s office, the mayor, FEMA, I need someone to blame. So if my logic is right....if you want to kill someone in New Orleans you better watch your back, not for the police, but for somebody to roll up on you and “clear you by exception”.

I live in a pretty safe area and also understand that murders are highly correlated to certain illicit activities and behavioral patterns, so it’s not on my mind every second of the day. But I’m not gonna lie, I check to make sure my car doors are locked and always glace over my shoulder when getting out. Just to be safe, you know.

Along the same lines I don’t even know what to say about this.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Yeah its been a long time, but I just gotta say it:

WHO DAT say they gonna beat them Saints!!!!

Been following the Black and Gold a long time, don’t let me down now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Commentary on Pac and Biggie

I've been reading after this guy for awhile, here is a good reason why:

How Long Will They Mourn Me?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What's New

I need to get back on this blogger thing, got so much to do and talk about, just not enough time to get it all in. So:

Work is good, grad school is busy, but fun.
Watching LSU screw up all over the field and give a game away on Saturday was not fun.
What’s happening to my Jags, I leave BR and they lose to Prairie View and others. At least from what I hear the Human Jukebox has more members now and is better than ever.
Family gatherings are a lot of fun, even with a crazy family. Too bad as you get older they seem to occur less and less.
New Orleans is still a tale of two cities, where I live really cool, other places not so cool. Speaking of the city, I’ve attended a decent number of planning meetings since I’ve been here. My conclusion, a lot of people are investing a lot of time and effort into rebuilding, but it has to start at the top. And that is where the problem is, a lot of the neighborhoods have their stuff together. Speaking of those at the top………
Nagin (don’t get mad, I would still vote for the man today and I’m willing to give him a chance) I know you gotta play the political game, “you help me, I help you”, that sorta thing, but endorsing Dollar Bill, I just don’t know.
In Jefferson’s defense, he has done a lot of great things for New Orleans, he hasn’t been charged yet, and there was a lot of craziness surrounding the search of his office. But the fridge, the fridge, I just can’t get over all that cash in the fridge. But what do I know, not as much as I think, and I find this out daily.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Let's Go Saints

I've been a Saints fan forever but I said I wouldn't let the game get to me, I mean its just football, and I'm not really even from New Orleans, and I got class so I'm not even going to the dome tonight, I mean I got thru August 29th ok. But if people feel like I do right now the tears will be flowing tonight.

This is a great read:
Michael Smith ESPN Article

I couldn't find any pictures from the last Saints game in the dome (sometime in 2004) I went to, but this is still one of my favorite all time pics, only in the dome do brass bands roam the halls.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Know Some Incredible People

While running this afternoon I saw a three-legged dog. No lie, but that is all I got for today. A few of you (that’s all who reads this) have let me know I should update my blog more often. But this brother’s been hella busy the past few weeks. I’m gonna get back on it soon, I promise.

Until then if you want something awesome to read check out the blog of my friends, Tamara and Laura; we were in the same LSU Ambassador class and did all kinds of stuff in the good ole days (campus leadership and service, Slinky's, The Chimes way too much, etc, etc). Now they are both medical doctors who just left for Africa to work with AIDS patients. You gotta read their story, I’m not sure if I’ve ever been more proud of any of my friends. I also added the blog to links sections.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina, I tried to forget about you.......

So it’s been a year, huh. At least for me I don’t quite know how to feel, I could barely get anything done at work today and I’m not sure how I’ll pay attention in class. Just to compare and contrast, on August 29, 2005 I was living in Baton Rouge, working for a large telecommunications company, undecided about going back to school, getting ready for football season, and sleeping most of that day because you really can’t do much without electricity. Oh, also believing the news reports I saw early that morning that New Orleans would be ok.

On August 29th of this year I’m now an Uptown New Orleans resident, working for one of the coolest non-profits in the city, matriculating in a remarkable graduate program that will give me the chance to work hands-on in the rebuilding effort, waiting to see Reggie Bush play in the Superdome, and generally thankful for the opportunities I’m blessed to have.

I would like to think I’m in a better position now than one year ago. I understand most residents of New Orleans cannot say that today. Hopefully I can help to change things so that next year more people can look back and say things are better than they were a year ago.

Katrina, I tried to forget you, but it hasn’t quite worked out yet.

Things I wrote about Katrina last year

If only I knew what was coming. Or maybe better said if only I knew how crappy those FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LEEVES were.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I Get Around

It’s been awhile but I’m back at it. In the past three weeks I’ve left one job after 4 and half years, started a new job, moved to a new city, an in about one hour I’m starting grad school. Now I’ve done all of the above at one time or another in my life, but never in a time frame of three weeks. Needless to say life is busy.

I still consider myself very blessed. For one thing my new job is awesome. It is almost the total opposite of my previous hustle, before I was working for a big company with hundreds of other employees. Now I’m working for a small non-profit with only 6 other employees. I used to have a 50 mile roundtrip to work, now it's about 7 miles. At my old job the emphasis though not directly stated was “don’t do anything to lose us money or customers, or get use sued.” Now it’s more like let's try and do things to help people and do good things. I don’t have any truly bad memories from my old job, I just like this better.

As for moving there is a lot to say and at the same time not a lot to say. I just moved to a city that was nearly completely mowed down by Hurricane Katrina almost one year ago. I got a decent spot to live at a great price in a good area, but even where I live the evidence of the storm (now that I’ve moved people here don’t say the name much anymore, just the storm or other more derogatory terms) is everywhere and still overwhelming.

And school, and school, and school. Mainly I’m excited to be in a cool grad program. It’s really crazy to think 10 or so years ago I was just starting college out of high school, trying to walk around campus all cool and chill, you know impress some ladies. Man now I get out of my car and I all I care about is getting out of the freaking sun and South Louisiana heat. My how things change.