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18 February 2005

TKGOTW 

Blogger is sooo damn slow lately. Sorry about that.

Here's your game this week. It's another of those flash games that requires you to click on certain objects in the right sequence in order to advance. I found it particularly challenging. To begin, get the stick figures to move around to a places you'll have to discover for yourselves.

Streching Thin 

John Breaux gets yet another job. We should all have so many options...

Maybe after the GAO completes their investigation of Sean O'Keefe he can apply for the Chancellor job. Where was he during that process anyway?

Stretching thin 

John Breaux gets yet another job. We should all have so many options...

Maybe he can be chancellor after the GAO completes their investigation of Sean O'Keefe.

Following up 

A while back I alerted you to the problems in the Cow Island water supply. Since then the federal government and the state have agreed to put as much $6 million into the necessary infrastructure to provide the community with clean(er) water. At any rate, while there's still no doubt that the residents have a contaminated water supply, a new study by the state DHH casts doubt on the indications of any cancer rate out of proportion to the rest of the state. To be sure, the study's organizers call their own findings incomplete, but since I published the news from the original article here on the website, you should know that since then there are some new developments.

The residents of Cow Island obviously don't believe it.

O'Keefe 

A day later, Adam Nossiter's story about a GAO investigation of O'Keefe's caviar dreams at NASA holds up pretty well. The Advocate's Jessica Fender didn't add much to the story more than a denial from O'Keefe that he wasted any money and a non-denial about the question of an investigation in general.

In the grand scheme of directors raiding their agency budgets for personal enrichment, this doesn't look so bad, but neither does it say much for O'Keefe's supposedly good standing with the government and NASA that was claimed during the sham of an interview process LSU conducted before they hired him. In fact, this clears up something that I wondered way back when we first began to hear O'Keefe's name batted around the state press.

Then I wondered why unnamed White House officials were talking about O'Keefe in the past tense before he had even retired. It seemed like he was being pushed out of NASA and wasn't welcome in government service. Perhaps this news sheds some light on that.

Of course, misusing government jets and taking lavish retreats in exotic locations won't be a problem for him anymore. All he has to do is call up someone from the TAF or one of a dozen other booster clubs that are contributing to his salary and I'm sure they'll be happy to cart him off anywhere he wants to go. He won't even be required to ballast the jet to justify the cost. In fact, he should fit right in the university setting.

17 February 2005

Giving bigshot the last word 

Well, kind of, please use the comments here to respond in any way you see fit. I'm glad the posts on Fr. Wildes's letter have provoked such a lively discussion, but bigshot's latest comment really does say a lot that needs to be addressed by the folks that believe a Catholic university is no place for the Vagina Monologues.
Catholic Universities do not exist to teach its students how to be good Catholics. That is a job for the diocese through its parishes and parochial schools. Rather, a university is catholic in how it shapes its curriculum, and even then that does not mean you take all catholic courses all the time. That was what Wildes was really stressing in his e-mail. This is a university that for years has demanded its students take multiple courses in theology, philosophy, literature and the arts. Liberal arts... yes, but the moment you take Judaism and Hinduism and all the other diverse courses out of the curriculum for their supposed threats to catholic teaching then it is no longer a university.
In comments to the same post Ken brings up the Loyola mission statement, which he calls pretty thin on the Catholic stuff and heavy on the educating the whole person stuff (though I might quibble with that characterization). Should a Catholic university change their mission to "producing good Catholics"--which would be a major change in the mission of Catholic universities across the country--or should this suffice?
prepar[ing] them to lead meaningful lives with and for others; to pursue truth, wisdom, and virtue; and to work for a more just world. Inspired by Ignatius of Loyola’s vision of finding God in all things, the university is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, while also offering opportunities for professional studies in undergraduate and selected graduate programs. Through teaching, research, creative activities, and service, the faculty, in cooperation with the staff, strives to educate the whole student and to benefit the larger community.
I'd argue --considering the strength of the Church and the education offered at the university--that through commitment to the principles laid out in that statement that becoming "good Catholics" would be a result of the four years (or however many it takes) spent at Loyola. People with strong faith in their beliefs don't have to be scared of competing views, but willing to engage those views with the force of their arguments and the strength of their beliefs. Excluding competition (bloggers and politicians should take note here) doesn't make anyone stronger. It destroys the ability to grow and adapt. The strangest thing about this is that all those conservatives who sing the praises of the free market in economic matters absolutely hate the idea that ideas ought to be subject to the same competition. Avoiding things doesn't make anyone's life easier, more full, or more virtuous.

Here's a story to read to illustrate that point.

WTF? 

"Secretary of State W. Fox McKeithen fell at his home around Noon today. He was brought here to the hospital by ambulance. The bones in Secretary McKeithen's neck have shifted and he is currently paralyzed. The doctors have told the family that, at this time, they do not know if the paralysis is temporary or permanent. We ask you for your prayers for Secretary McKeithen and that you respect the family's privacy during this very difficult time. Secretary McKeithen is currently going through a battery of tets and we hope the doctors will be able to give the family and the public more information tomorrow morning."
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Secretary of State and his family. This really is a terrible tragedy.

...Tin-foil hat conspiracies, anyone? ugh, that's inappropriate.

(boring local stuff, you've been warned) 

After what feels like a hundred years, they finally have an opening date for that UL-run hotel across from the Cajundome. It's about time.

Special Request 

For Shabadoo and PR in comments to that post about Lopez's column. Should all productions that are pro-lesbian and extremely vulgar be banned from Loyola's campus? What about the play truly threatens the Catholic identity of the University? Would it be acceptable if the school sponsored a post-play lecture that provided an opposing viewpoint from, say, a theologian to talk about the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage, cursing, and homosexuality? Do college students at a Catholic University in the shadow of Holy Name of Jesus really need a reminder that the Church doesn't endorse the message of the Vagina Monologues?

Is it appropriate for a liberal arts university to censor student productions simply because they're not adequately Catholic? You guys obviously think it is. I wonder, where do you draw the line? Whenever ten alumni call in with concerns? twenty? two hundred? How can you really educate "the whole person" if you don't allow students access to all the available material on a given subject?

The very foundation of a liberal arts education relies on the exchange of ideas. Education is not transmitted from the institution to the student. Instead ideas and truth itself can only be illuminated from the interplay that occurs on all levels of the educational process. The Vagina Monologues may have some extremely disturbing material to many Catholics, but that doesn't mean it's threatening to the institution or to the Catholicism of the men and women who would choose to watch it. How weak do you think Loyola or the Church itself really is that a single play produced by ten students could damage it?

Uh oh 

Looks like LSU's fast-track employment of Sean O'Keefe as chancellor may have been a mistake. Lucky for him, he's already tenured.

Running items 

In equally distressing news, another round of Saints-state negotiations passed with little apparent movement. This is all eary stuff, so we shouldn't expect much, but I'm really tired of waiting for developments. I think it's giving me an ulcer.

More from deep inside the Advocate.

Damn 

You see, this is what happens, Lopez writes some idiotic, reactionary column railing about the evils of diversity (all the while never really saying what's wrong with the production besides some vague sense that it's anti-men), on the side the Picayune covers the story, and next thing you know there will be a few hundred (thousand?) less donors to the university. In this way the thought police will eventually get their way. If they had any at all, they would be ashamed of themselves. At any rate, our sexual abuse enabling Archbishop said this about the play:
[It is] contrary to sound Catholic teaching and does not advance the important questions about women, human sexuality, violence against women and the common good, which it proposes to address.
Of course the fact that it raised a couple of thousand dollars for a battered women's shelter doesn't advance the common good or attempt to advance the well-being of victims of violence against women.

K-LO, keep your stupidity to yourself 

"Let in fewer outside influences now and again when there's good reason, perhaps"

That's Kathryn Lopez's brilliant prescription for Loyola University and a whole slew of other Catholic liberal arts institutions who had the gall to allow student productions of "The Vagina Monologues" on their campus this Valentine's Day. She writes in response to a letter from Loyola President, the Rev. Kevin Wildes, who sent an email out to alumni contributors asking them to consider the mission of a university when they inevitably heard criticism of a university actually allowing students to make decisions for themselves about art and the like. (Incidentally, I received the email with Fr. Wildes's letter twice yesterday from my brother in Houston and the indispensable JBoo).

She goes on to betray an understanding of any notion of the free-exchange of ideas when she writes:
I've never actually understood what about the Vagina Monologues is "empowering." So I've always interpreted the contention to mean that feminists think male-bashing is empowering; aside from being angry and sad (in the pathetic sense), the play is anti-male.
As she is so supremely helpful in translating Fr. Wildes's words, let me translate this for you. "I don't get it, and I don't agree with what I think about it, so it has no place at all on a campus." She misrepresents the President of Loyola's argument as well when she writes that just because the Vagina Monologues were written by women, "that does not mean they represent all women." Thank you for that barely standing strawman, K-Lo. Knock that one down with a gusto. This is what Wildes wrote,"To exclude the play from a Catholic campus is to say, either that these women are wrong, or that their experience has nothing important to say to us." He mentioned that the play was written with the purpose of empowering all women, but hardly argues that it manages to do that or that he believes that all women have something to take from it.

The best part, of course, is the conflation of the non-endorsement of the Vagina Monologues and some construed similar belief that Fr. Wildes would support statutory rape in the same way.

Unfortunately, I can't find the letter from Wildes online, so I'll just repring the whole thing for your perusal right here.
I have had quetions from a number of people about the production of The Vagina Monologues on the Loyola University campus so I thought that I should write to you about it. While there are some legitimate questions, there are also a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding of the Monologues, so I thought it is important for me to speak to the production at Loyola University.

Any university ought to be a place of learning and discussion. I have said before that universities provide protected space in our society for the exploration of diverse ideas. It follows that universities will often be places where very different and sometimes contentious ideas are exchanged passionately yet peacefully. While academic debate may be intense, it ought to be done in a way that women and men can express different views. Loyola University, like any university, is committed to the free expressio! n of ideas and the rigors of debate.

Loyola University, as a Jesuit university, is rooted in a tradition of Christian humanism that seeks to understand the human experience. To understand that experience - and to improve it in the long term - we must first listen to it. For too many centuries "human experience" has been seen through the eyes of a few individuals and small groups of people. Today, we are more conscious of the diverse views of human experience that are present in different races, cultures, ethnic groups, and religions. We are conscious of the voices that have not been heard in the past. Among these voices are the important, and for too long overlooked, voices of women.

When it was developed a number of years ago, the Vagina Monologues was done as a vehicle to empower women to speak of their experiences as women. The play raises very important issues particularly about sexual violence toward women. The play often makes people unc! omfortable. Some of the discomfort may come from the language of the p lay. And some of the discomfort comes, undoubtedly, from the exploration of violence against women and the exploitation of women in society. There are people who say that the play has no place on a Catholic campus. But this position misses the reality that the play has provoked a good deal of conversation among women and has helped them to name the dehumanizing attitudes and behaviors which reduce them to sexual objects. To exclude the play from a Catholic campus is to say, either that these women are wrong, or that their experience has nothing important to say to us. I would argue that these are voices that a Catholic university must listen to if we are to understand human experience and if we are to be faithful to the One who welcomed all men and women. The play affords an opportunity for everyone to think critically about the social issues involved in the treatment of women.

I do not think the play alone is the complete answer to these questions. A single play can! not do or say everything. That is why Loyola has been involved in programs to educate people, on our campus and beyond, about the issues of sexual violence. In the Loyola community we have professional services to help women address these issues when they have been victimized. We have an excellent resource in the Women's Center. And, of course, we have a long history of participating in programs like "Take Back the Night." Our Women's Center and the Office of Counseling and Career Services, along with Xavier University and Dillard University, received a grant from the Violence Against Women Program of the United States Department of Justice.

The production of the play at Loyola does not mean that we endorse all of the contents of the play. It does mean that as a university we are grappling with very difficult issues. And it means that we are living in our Jesuit heritage by discussing and arguing about aspects of the human experience. These are difficult and tragic! aspects of human experience. But, they are dimensions that ought not to be ignored if we are to build a better, safer world. The most recent Congregation of the Society of Jesus points out the need to be attentive to the experience of women, to achieve solidarity with them, and to work to correct injustices toward women. As a Catholic university we follow a Lord who welcomed all men and women, and it is important for us, in honoring our calling as a university within his Church, to listen to them.
Perhaps the most distressing aspect of Lopez's insane rambling is her continued contention that somehow Loyola is no different from any other University solely because they feel that student productions of controversial natures ought to be allowed. As if this makes Loyola just any other liberal arts college anywhere else in the country, beholden to political correctness and evil diversity. Presumably, Lopez would only be happy if the University censored students and put together a top-down curriculum not unlike the one that is threatening fundementalist Louisiana College with the revocation of their accreditation right now. Instead she probably didn't even bother to take a look at the school's website, where she'd find a rich commitment to all voices that any university needs to succeed while maintaining the Catholic and Jesuit identity that makes the school so unique. A five minute search of Loyno.edu would have provided her with links to dozens of activities, programs, lectures and so on that are only available at a few other schools.

Lopez is the go-to-gal at the National Review for all issues Catholic. She regularly calls Democrats who attend church and take the eucharist every week fake Catholics for voting against Republicans. She thought John Kerry should have been excommunicated. That's the way she believes that political opinion should be opposed. The Church is a soldier and the university shall be his weapon. She should keep her idiocy to herself.

16 February 2005

Wow 

Where's my cut?
New Orleans - Louisiana's worldwide merchandise exports hit a record $19.9 billion in 2004, an 8.3 % increase over 2003, according to a report released by the World Trade Center of New Orleans. The state's exports have increased in value each successive year since 2002. Agricultural products, chemicals, and petroleum and coal products were the top three export categories for Louisiana, while Japan, China, and Mexico were again the three leading markets for the state’s exports.
On to Cuba!

A query to people who know more about this stuff than I do...
Chemicals were the state's second-largest export category with $4.5 billion, a 20.8 percent increase over 2003. Petroleum and coal exports ranked third at $1.9 billion, an increase of 59.4 percent.
Why are we increasing our exports of petroleum when we just had an election where both candidates sang the praises of reducing our dependence on the foreign stuff? This is an honest question, and probably naive and a little stupid, but I just don't get this?

Hey, 

Where's Timshel, the first blog to give fiber proponent John of Lafayette Pro Fiber a place to spread his gospel?

...no big deal, but congrats to John, Mike, and Doug for the free press on their crusade to help usher fiber to the home to the Lafayette market. They deserve it for all their hard work.

A little more... 

I'm all for the state's efforts to "stamp out fraud," but couldn't they have done a better job with the graphics on this website? The Louisiana/stomping boot logo looks like it was drawn by one of the Queen Bee's grandchildren.


You're in, now your urine please 

Apologies if this posts multiple times, blogger is a mess this morning.

Tucked away into the back of the Advocate's B section this morning was a story about the recently sworn in mayor of Clinton, Louisiana's negative results on his compulsory drug test. Town policy, you may ask? Executive order of the previous mayor? Popular will of the people of Clinton?

Nope, nope, and nope. It's the feds, and they've reserved the right to randomly screen him at any time in the future for as long as he's mayor. This guy must be on federal probation or something, right?
Jefferson said he was told to meet a Drug Testing Consortium representative at the Town Hall at 3 p.m., where the employee told him the test is required by federal pipeline safety law because, as mayor, he is directly in charge of the town's natural gas distribution system.
The reporter doesn't explore what would happen if the sample tested positive for illegal substances, but one presumes the wheels would begin to turn in which the federal government would define the duties and and responsibilities of a popularly elected officials in a tiny town in Louisiana. Surely they couldn't have him ousted as mayor, but they certainly would tell the people of Clinton that one of the jobs they've chartered for their mayor isn't available to him. This sound like a heavy hand to anyone?

Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a Governor Mike Foster flashback. In 1997 he wanted to drug test all state employees, welfare recipients, and even elected officials. This was all struck down by the federal courts eventually because it was considered an unreasonable search, but one wonders why the federal government should have the same power over some tiny town's mayor that they claim even a state government can't manage?

15 February 2005

Hah! 

JBoo sends in the news of an open casting call this weekend in NOLA for The Apprentice. Murph will have to check his local listings. I'll have to make the next one...

This is your opportunity to meet face to face with the Apprentice Casting Teams at one of our nationwide open casting calls. Bring your completed application and arrive early because only those with wristbands will be seen. The open calls are for BOTH upcoming versions of The Apprentice. Be advised that security may check your bag before entering an open casting call.


NEW ORLEANS
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH
CLEARVIEW MALL
4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70006
9AM to 12PM - Wristbands distributed
10AM - Interviews begin

get you application here.

Credit where it's due 

Could it be!? I [mostly] agree with a Sadow post about the Confederate battle flag? There's no way. My only quibble would be that I don't think it's "a common canard" that the Civil War was primarily concerned with slavery. There may have been plenty of Confederate fighting men that didn't give a damn one way or the other about slavery, but just like many of those in the North who didn't care about abolishing the "peculiar institution" or preserving the Union, a whole boat load of them had to be drafted to fight by a government whose secession occurred because they were terrified that the evil tyrant Lincoln would free the ruling class's slaves. This war was waged and prosecuted by competing governments on behalf of their interests. With a few notable exceptions the salient sectional conflicts leading up to the 1861 secession were proxy battles aimed at either curbing or expanding the reach of slavery and the slave trade in general. They were formalized with the drafting of our Constitution and the differences accelerated throughout the nineteenth century. I don't know why people feel the need to deny this.

...I should note that just because Lincoln's primary aim at the start of the Civil War wasn't to free the slaves (although there are some who find this debatable as well) doesn't mean the war wasn't primarily concerned with the issue of slavery. It wouldn't have occurred if Southern elites weren't concerned about the preservation of the institution. Arguments otherwise are either wrong and generally agenda-driven or are semantic dribble that can't illuminate the subject.

Per Oyster 

Okay, sorry about the lack of Rose linkage today, so here it is. And as Oyster said in comments to the last post, it is a little thin given Rose's history of full delivery on the local gossip scene. I mean this isn't even close to everything I wanted to know about Lindsay Lohan, but what are you gonna do?

Defamer has some related items.

Cruelty? 

The Advertiser follows up on the charges made by a UL whistleblower that a research center may have failed to appropriately protect the animals in their charge, learning that the USDA is investigating the New Iberia Research Center for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The Advocate also had a story in its morning edition.

The UL President says:
"We've had some things in terms of sizes of cages to respond to, but I know of no serious violation that was reported or not taken care of," he said. "This is a model center for the United States, and we're very proud of the way it was run."
I have a feeling Authement will be eating those words.

If only these monkeys had escaped when they had the chance.

Surprise 

While Bob Odom was throwing state money around building sugar syrup mills, he also managed to "inadvertently" skirt state environmental regulations.

More Path to a Debt Society 

Landrieu was speaking at the Press Club in Baton Rouge yesterday. The Pic (don't ask why the Pic's headline writers choose "Increase the size of the Army," and not "Bush is trying to screw us") and the Advocate have more from her speech.

14 February 2005

UL fires whistleblower? 

This is quite a lawsuit, and it doesn't look good for my favorite state university. More on this to come, I'm sure...

Here's the last time this research center made the blog...

that post was in reference to this one.

More budget 

Landrieu's not happy, but we'll have to wait and see if David Vitter's new found love for farm subsidies is more or less important than increasing active duty military to reduce our National Guard's burden or actually funding our public schools at a level that allows them to meet their "accountability" goals. It's probably worth noting that three corporations got more than half of the not quite $600 million in subsidies (yes, you read that right, scroll to the end of the story) allocated to Louisiana in 2000. With subsidy cuts it's likely to be the smaller farmers who end up screwed, but if Vitter wants to be such a friend to Louisiana's farmer, he can call for a fairer allocation of subsidies, not simply retaining the status quo (same goes to you, Landrieu). Of course the point of this is only to question where the priorities our Senator are at the moment, not rant about farm subsidies, but it ought to tell you something about Vitter that he finds it more important to protect a $300 million bailout to factory farms than to call for the funds promised to the state to implement NCLB or protect our National Guard from crippling overseas deployments.

...more from Landrieu's "On the Path to Debt"

Coastal erosion 

WWL-TV is reprinting a two-parter from the Houma Courier on coastal wetlands and the daunting task of reclaiming land that we lose at a clip of a football field every fifteen minutes. There's nothing particularly striking so far, but it's a good backgrounder for people concerned about the issue. Use bugmenot.com to get in to their site to view the second day's report.

Quote of the Day 

Ethics rules are so boring, but the Advocate editors polished off one of their bi-weekly or so editorials concerning the subject. They did manage to really sum up the problem in Louisiana in a couple of sentences though:
Often, the exception is posed as a way for the Legislature to address a hardship case: A son-in-law can't work for the local levee board unless the board member's agency is exempted for this or that rule. Typically, the discussion never involves the obvious solution, which is for the father-in-law to give up his precious little political appointment.

Landrieu, not good enough 

Mary Landrieu's statement concerning her assist in confirming Gonzales makes her vote look even worse.
"Judge Gonzales' involvement in crafting some policies that people find objectionable, including myself, weighed on my mind as I considered his nomination to the office of Attorney General. But I voted today to support him with the hope and trust that as he moves from serving as the president's lawyer, he will draw on his years of experience as a lawyer and judge to execute his new duties with the commitment to even-handed justice and American values the people expect of their representative."
The only way anyone could justify voting for the incubator of American torture policy would be to deny that what he did constituted anything objectionable. Admitting that "crafting [objectionable] policies" weighed on her mind and voting for their author anyway pretty much tells me that she thinks it's okay that the man who enabled torture of prisoners in American custody should be the chief law enforcement officer of the country. That's really a shame.

It's that time of year 

Papers are finding out where Bush is making his budget cuts and telling their readers what to look out for. In the case of the Advocate, they let us know that a little over 5,000 college students across the state of Louisiana can give thanks to Bush for the probable phase out of the Perkins Loan program. This includes more than 1,300 flagship students who probably would have liked to know a source of their tuition payments was on the chopping block when el Presidente himself arrived on campus last May to address the graduates.

Meanwhile, David Vitter doesn't like the red ink marking off set asides for farm subsidies. Considering his Oxford education and his once high praise for the free market, his actions of late have been quite surprising. First he called for the reimportation of price-controlled Canadian drugs, now he's singing the praises of federal welfare for farmers. Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of this, although I'm not exactly a huge fan of farm subsidies myself, but it's all a little surprising.

Concerning the same subject, Adam Nossiter this week asks, "What's the matter with Louisiana cotton farmers?" The love their leader, but question whether he really understands what they're going through. It only took them five years to wonder? Meanwhile, at least one person in Baton Rouge doesn't have to give a damn about Bush's budget or anyone else's for the rest of his/her life.

13 February 2005

Sunday Papers 

Not much to discuss this morning, but it's probably important to link you to this article from the Pic about a recent Brookings Institute study suggesting that the continued expansion of convention buildings in metro areas across the country isn't really paying off to the cities who spend millions constructing and maintaining them. The obvious response is that "each city is unique," and in the case of New Orleans that argument may have some merit, but the 42% drop in attendance since 2001 shouldn't reassure taxpayers and citizens who often foot the bill on these projects. In fact, though the article doesn't mention it, this might make the case for a multi-use convention center expansion--read, NFL riverfront stadium--more reasonable, but what the hell do I know?

Meanwhile, environmental activists are attempting to make the case to the "gret stet" Senators that continued opposition to the Climate Stewardship Act would strip whatever credibility they might have on coastal erosion efforts since passage of the act would send a clear message that they are actually concerned about the rising sea levels which contribute to our wetlands loss. While Louisiana voters continue to show enormous concern about wetlands protection in public opinion polls, and talking about coastal erosion in campaigns is nearly as ubiquitous for Louisiana pols as job creation and sugar-protection, I have a distinct feeling that the billions of dollars and comprehensive legislation needed to address all the causes of the loss of "America's Wetlands" are mostly foreign to voters and probably won't cost anyone their jobs when our legislators inevitably subvert the process by voting with the oil and chemical industries against most environmental legislation. This looks like a job for the Queen Bee to use her bully pulpit to enlist the people of Louisiana to demand action from the Louisiana caucus in Washington.

The local rag's editors must have made some New Year's Resolution to turn in better reporting, because it seems like once a week or so now I'm finding good things to say about it. Today they run a series of articles in the A section about Acadiana teens who make the difficult decision of signing the formative years of their lives away to the military during war time. I'll just link you to the local news page which has them listed so you can read them at your own leisure. To be sure, they could have done more with this series, but it's one of those rare worthwhile reads from the local press, so give it a look.

Good news from Louisiana is Fox McKeithen's, "F___ you," to the Diebold folks and others who didn't qualify for the bidding process for Louisiana's voting machines. Okay, he didn't say that, but his response to their appeals is reassuring that he won't be browbeaten by their clout in the vote-counting industry. Also from the Advocate, John LaPlante takes a look at the legacy of Robert Penn Warren's classic and puts the recent round of filming at the Louisiana State Capitol into perspective.

Finally, UL athletics had a fantastic weekend, but the most notable writing in the Sports Pages this morning is Bruce Brown's recollection of soon-to-be-retired special teams giant and former Cajun Brian Mitchell. The writing isn't inspiring or particularly memorable, but fans of the former quarterback will enjoy recalling some of his more triumphant moments wearing vermilion and white.

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