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25 February 2005

Diebold goes to court 

They really, really want to sell us their voting machines. The office of the Secretary of State believes their process will hold up to scrutiny. I guess I monitored this process through the papers and nothing ever looked particulary suspicious or anything but above board, so let's hope the Diebold folks are just barking up an empty tree here.

TKGOTW 

Already linked to these edition. The first is the highly addictive Blix. I may or may not have linked to it before, but the fact of the matter is that I simply haven't found anything particularly fun to play lately, so if you've already played this as a result of my blog, well, I'm sorry. If you don't like it I'll just stop linking to games altogether and outsource the project to Timbuktu.

At any rate, one I know no one ever gets tired of is Curveball. I've definitely linked to this one more than a few times, but it's always worth it because no one every makes it past level seven or eight. There's always room for improvement. Go ahead and give it a shot again. Sometimes you just need a reminder that something is still out there beckoning.

Bob Odom 

He's in for something of an image makeover after his last few beleaguered weeks, what with the public dressing down by the Governor over his sugar mills and prosecutorial missteps which probably kept him from experiencing any consequences for alleged corruption.

What better way to manage that than to make a big public show of protecting Louisiana crawfish consumers from being cheated by packaging which reads significantly heavier than it actually is? And it hit the papers on a day of fasting, no less. Talk about your timing. More of that please, but a little less of this if you don't mind.

The Deuce 

Civic Leader

Deuce's lawsuit against Razzoo's is a result of more recent developments involving the club's bouncers and random black men.
"After much consideration, I have decided to file suit against Razzoo's. As a member of the New Orleans community, I have become increasingly concerned about how Razzoo's handles its security. In this spirit, I have decided to pursue this matter in the hopes that a positive verdict will enact change in their way of protecting patrons," the statement said.
If you'll remember, Lafayette has had its own problems of a similar--but not quite so severe--nature in the last year at Jefferson Street's Club 410.

At one time non-impact Saint player Devrey Henderson may have been barred for dress code violations along with some other would-be black patrons. In another case a black man was beaten unconscious by white bouncers, but nothing ever came of it. Maybe Deuce could take his act on the road.

Here's the only post I can find on the blog about whatever happened with Deuce during Mardi Gras in 2004. I remember reading this and then never hearing about it again, but I probably just missed it. Obviously, the link to the article I posted is long-since dead. At any rate, I'll put my trust in Deuce long before any bouncer at that hole Razzoo's. I suspect most of the city will, too.

...the ridiculously-slow-to-load video of the Razzoo owner getting jeered at her hearing is almost worth the wait. Can that woman actually be the owner? I always envisioned some jerk physically incapable of wearing a shirt with sleeves.

Pricks 

Now the bosses at BellSouth are holding 1,300 jobs at a local call center ransom. They say they'll pull out of the city if LUS goes ahead with the fiber to the home project. The statements of Bill Oliver could be in the dictionary next to the word "chutzpah:":
Oliver said a successful LUS venture could create a monopoly in the parish.

Why would BellSouth want to keep all its operations in a parish where it had no other significant business interest, Oliver asked rhetorically.

The call center, which handles customer service tasks for Cingular, could be located in "Timbuktu" and still perform the same services, Oliver said.

"Would you still keep people there?" Oliver said.
To hear the President of BellSouth Louisiana complaining about some other entity monopolizing an industry is more than hilarious. Was he joking when he said this? Did the Advocate editorial board laugh him out of the room? LUS is threatening to bust a monopoly by entering the market, not the other way around. Now they have the nerve to hold more than a thousand jobs hostage while the city attempts to stand up for consumers and the future of Lafayette's economic development? His casual confidence that they could relocate those jobs anytime they feel like it ought not give their employees much security either, because if we've learned anything, when companies like BellSouth can do things at less cost to themselves they usually do, regardless of what it means for their workers or any particular city.

Here's a hint to the folks at the Cingular call center on Pont Des Mouton road. Go look for another job, because it doesn't matter one damn bit whether or not LUS succeeds with this project, your jobs are on the way to India anyway.

24 February 2005

Bye Bye, Baron 

And Jamal Mashburn, too, though I had forgotten he was still under contract. It's possible Baron Davis was the best person to ever wear a Hornets uniform (apologies to Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, you definitely have arguments, but I don't care enough about the NBA to make a definitive statement one way or t'other), but a mutual dislike between management and baller had this marriage doomed from the day BD suffered his first injury to those lower extremities. Good luck to number 1 in Oakland.

I hope this doesn't mean he'll pull his production company's plan to shoot "Untitled Andre Benjamin Project" (better known to fans of the rap scene as "Untitled Andre 3000 Project") in the Crescent City.

Meanwhile another malcontent is on his way down to New Orleans. Glenn Robinson was one of my favorite players back in his days as an All American forward at Purdue. He was very good in his first few years in the league, but lately he couldn't crack the starting lineup for the Sixers. Maybe Byron Scott can make better use of him.

Sigh, my heart just can't get into Hornets blather...

Chasing Windmills 

Just a couple of days after the NY Times flattered US Congressman Jim McCrery (R-somewhere north of I-10, LA) with the honor of a profile calling him a "quiet...power broker," a random liberal group concerned about the Republican plan to phase out Social Security calls him hopelessly conflicted thanks to his ties to Wall Street.

You can read more about what the folks at OurFuture.org have to say about the Shreveport Congressman right here. They also have a petition if you're interested. Perhaps the funniest thing about their campaign is the plan to run ads against him in his own district, as if anyone up in northwest Louisiana cares what the hell he does in office so long as he keeps that "R" behind his name. I still think it would be great to make Republican's pay for this boondoggle, but I don't think McCrery is the one to target in this regard.

Ugh, I'll just note here that Blogger is a complete p.o.s. this afternoon.

Good for them 

Just a couple of days after the NY Times flattered US Congressman Jim McCrery (R-somewhere north of I-10, LA) with the honor of a profile calling him a "quiet...power broker," a random liberal group concerned about the Republican plan to phase out Social Security calls him hopelessly conflicted thanks to his ties to Wall Street.

You can read more about what the folks at OurFuture.org have to say about the Shreveport Congressman right here. They also have a petition if you're interested. Perhaps the funniest thing about their campaign is the plan to run ads against him in his own district, as if anyone up in northwest Louisiana cares what the hell he does in office so long as he keeps that "R" behind his name. I still think it would be great to make Republican's pay for this boondoggle, but I don't think McCrery is the one to target in this regard.

Ugh, I'll just note here that Blogger is a completel p.o.s. this afternoon.

More history in Baton Rouge 

The 'Stick gets it's first black police chief in the city's "distinguished" history:
Mayor Kip Holden has just appointed Sergeant Jeff LeDuff to head the Baton Rouge Police Department. He is the first black Police Chief in Baton Rouge history and has been on the force for 22 years. LeDuff is 48-years-old and was the head instructor for the BRPD Police Academy. He led the self defense courses for women during the height of the search for the serial killer.

LeDuff graduated from the FBI National Academy back in 1994 and was the first Louisiana officer to graduate as Class President. He grew up in the Baton Rouge area and is a graduate of Port Allen High School.
Congrats. To say the least, in the short weeks since Kip Holden took over office things are looking mighty different than they ever have before. It doesn't seem like it matters much these days, but the idea of so many black officials in such important positions in the city of Baton Rouge was almost completely unthinkable just a few years ago.

Cruisin' down the street, real slow 

I thought this was illegal...
The rapper [C-Murder], whose real name is Corey Miller, has been inside the Jefferson Parish jail for over three years, facing a second-degree murder charge in the killing of a 16-year-old inside a nightclub. He was found guilty in September 2003, but his conviction was thrown out last April.

While awaiting his second trial, Miller has created a 17-song album called "The Truest S--- I Ever Said," set to be released on March 22. An early version of a music video of the album's single "Y'all Heard of Me" shows Miller in jail, in an orange prison outfit, complaining that he and other poor blacks must endure racial profiling.

The release of the video and CD angered Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, who learned of the video Wednesday after The Associated Press asked to interview Miller in the jail, in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna.

Lee said he had been unaware that the rapper had made music and video recordings from behind bars. Lee said he was tricked and the filming was done without his permission.
I mean, seriously, you guys probably know me as one of the most liberal people around when it comes to the rights of the incarcerated, but this is ridiculous. Isn't Martha Stewart being forced to speak in code right now while she runs her business from jail because of regulations against working during her sentence? All she did was lie to some federal officers and attempt to cover up a supposed non-crime. Corey Miller is in jail for murder and he's making rap videos about how everyone is out to get him straight out of his prison cell? If I were Harry Lee, I'd be pissed off too. Who in the hell did he put in charge of running the jail out there anyway, Master P, Juvenile?

...per JBoo, here's a link to WDSU's coverage of the incident. It really is a wonder just what in the hell is Harry Lee's job if not to prevent business like this in the Parish prison he's elected to run? Shouldn't someone get a serious reprimand for allowing this? He'll have to do better than, "I was tricked."

23 February 2005

Interesting 

In retrospect, I guess I'm a little surprised SEC member schools didn't already have some kind of academic partnership like the one described in this article. It's a good idea even if there's not really all that much to it at the moment:
The consortium will initially focus on four joint initiatives: library and periodical sharing, study abroad programs, academic leadership and minority recruitment, said University of Georgia Provost Arnett Mace, who will chair the consortium's board made up of SEC provosts who will report to the SEC presidents and chancellors.
Finally Vanderbilt will be able to offer something more to the conference than raising the average graduation rate for the athletic programs.

Required Reading 

Can you really do a report on Raising Cane's and not mention the addicting-like-crack sauce?

Sigh. I guess there's really not much in there that you can't find on a plaque in one of their locations, but kudos to the folks from Cane's. They're the best thing to come out of Baton Rouge since, oh, I don't know, maybe that bus boycott in the fifties.

I missed it... 

Vitter was in Lafayette opening up a new office and I wasn't personally invited. Respect the blog!

O'Keefe makes friends 

No links, but just heard on the radio that Boys and Girls State is on after all thanks to the tireless efforts of the new Chancellor. Despite JBoo's assumption in comments to the earlier post, it seems that someone at LSU has control over the academic calendar after all.

Crime day? 

Sorry about this, but the couple accused of wide-ranging sexual exploitation of south Louisiana children has been in the Advocate quite a bit lately. Every new story brings some more gruesome tale of the predatory nature of their crimes. The news in this one is a note about their apparent canvassing of neighborhoods for children to rape. It's difficult to find anything worthwhile to say about the whole situation, so I'll let the report speak for itself.

Ugh 

Just when I'd been thinking that 2005 had been relatively quiet on the multiple shootings front for the city of New Orleans, we get this story about a couple of peopole shot at in their car uptown on the corner of St. Charles and Toledano. Even worse was to find this story about a deadly experience for four New Orleanians:
According to police spokesman Garry Flot, Fifth District officers found four victims lying on the sidewalk suffering apparent multiple gunshot wounds to their bodies. One victim was pronounced dead while another victim was transported to the hospital where he died a short while later.

A 41-year-old woman and her 17-year-old son were also transported to the hospital. She suffered a gunshot wound to her chest and is listed in stable condition. He suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was listed in good condition.

Investigators learned several suspects inside of a green mini van approached the victims. One or more suspects exited the van and opened fire. After shooting the four victims they assailants fled in the van, Flot said.
These things always seem to come in bunches.

Meanwhile, Baton Rouge has their own violence to contend with. What an odd story?

22 February 2005

What, no pictures? 

Is it so hard to produce a link to these images? Even blurry ones safe for television? The whole thing is just so curious.
U.S. postal inspectors are sending out flyers warning those who mailed the letters that they are now targets of a federal investigation.

The letters depict the faces of Lee and others pasted onto nude bodies engaged in sexual acts. The letters were first sent to judges, councilmen and Lee's district commanders one month ago.
Let's just be thankful there aren't any actual pictures of the Sheriff engaged in various acts of depravity, or at least any that we know of...

via Atrios 

I seem to remember a story about David Duke claiming that he was going to bring a few hundred "citizen agents" to do some border patrol in the mid-seventies, but in typical Duke fashion, he only had his personal entourage of bigots and yes-men; they took a few pictures with their guns in the dark of night; and they left without incident.

Umm, yep:
Once again Duke was trying to fool the media, and once again he succeeded. Southern California radio stations broadcast news of the impending Klan Border Watch around the clock in the days leading up to the event, and television stations covered it extensively. The impending patrol provoked so much indignation in Mexico that reporters asked about little else when California governor (Jerry) Brown, Jr., made a brief visit to Baja California. . .When the night of the much-anticipated Klan Border Watch finally arrived on October 25 (1977), the media were in a feeding frenzy. About forty newsmen converged on the appointed site near the town of Dulzurra in rural San Diego County. They far outnumber the force Duke could muster: seven Klansmen in three old sedans the featured hand-painted "Klan Border Watch" signs taped on the doors.*
At any rate, remember this passage when you read about the five hundred volunteers of new Minutemen.

*Bridges, Tyler. The Rise of David Duke

O'Keefe explains himself? 

The new Chancellor makes a feeble attempt at a defense by trotting out the former chief lawyer at the space agency, and coincidentally enough his college roommate, to say that "all of the travel was reviewed by the legal office and approved." The audit is routine. Well, duh, audits are routine. What's not routine is four unnamed sources saying the former director wasted perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars expensing personal travel, going so far as to weigh down agency planes to justify them.

LSU blew through the application process because of supposed connections to high government officials like the President. They gave him the highest starting salary of any chancellor in the school's history, and a salary more than a hundred thousand bucks over the southern average for officials in similar positions. They tenured him without meaningful review.

Meanwhile, LSU cancelled the 65 year old Louisiana Boys and Girls State for the first time since a polio scare in Baton Rouge in the 1950s. Is this the flagship agenda?

Jerk 

"This flag belongs to us and we need to take ownership."

I guess the protestors weren't American enough. He's had a month to burn his little badges, what's he waiting on?

Thanks to cc for passing this along to me...

21 February 2005

McKeithen recovering 

Doctors think he'll eventually be able to get back to work. Thank goodness.

"It's a very sweet note from Batman and Robin" 

This is the funniest cartoon I've seen in the New Yorker since I started reading the magazine five or six years ago. No one will ever mistake me for a sophisticate, I suppose.

Anyhoo, since it's not in the link, this post's header is the cartoon's caption.

Whoa 

RIP Hunter Thompson

I was never much of a fan of his books until I finally read Fear and Loathing: on the campaign trail, '72 this fall. I was looking forward to picking up a few others for a second go 'round after that, but now I guess I'll have to move those plans even farther to the backburner with the inevitable run on his writing that will occur at my local library.

Quote of the day 

"There is nothing new or sinister about government competing in the private sector when it fills a public need that private companies are unwilling or unable to address."

The Advertiser continues its--better late than never--series of editorials supporting the LUS bid to provide fiber optics to the home. I guess they finally saw the writing on the wall.

...as usual, more here and here

O'Keefe, day one 

Today is the new LSU Chancellor's first day on the job. Even broadcast outlet WWL offers more perspective on the drama surrounding Sean O'Keefe than does the Advocate editorial discussing the job he has ahead of him. The best they could do was throw away a line about it being "a distraction." I'm sure it doesn't have anything at all to do with this.

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