Archive for the ‘Headlines’ Category
Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a suspicious package. It would seem my brothers and I are causing a bit of a problem in the Crescent City these days. At the WWII Museum, at the Superdome, on Canal, on Poydras, on Rampart: though my first impulse might be to apologize for the actions of my wayward brothers, I can’t. I won’t. Not today, not ever.
You see, there once was a time where my brothers and I could be simply left alone to enjoy the sun, relax while holding a good book or maybe some gym clothes and we could do it alone. By ourselves. Everyone needs alone time right? Well, since that horrible day twelve years or so ago, it would seem that everybody and their mother feels we need to constantly be chaperoned. I mean, chaperoned all the time. Every minute of every day unless we’re tucked neatly into the corner of someone’s apartment or perhaps in the closet, a school or gym locker, anywhere out of sight and out of the sun.
It’s a fucking drag.
How would you feel if you always had to be slung over somebody’s back or swinging wildly from someone’s hands, knocking into shit, each and every time you were out in public. Don’t lie…you wouldn’t like it all. In fact, I’ll go on record right now saying that each and every one of you reading this would fucking hate it.
So why are we supposed to enjoy it so much?
Because we’re supposedly inanimate objects? Because we don’t have feelings, worries or concerns? Because we don’t like to be left alone in peace, maybe over coffee? A drink? Or as mentioned before, out in the sun, enjoying the heat, trying to suck up a little life from the warmth of the day?
Don’t tell me to get over it.
You wanna know what happens sometimes when one of us decides to take a risk and venture forth without accompaniment? I’ll tell you what, some asshole in a police uniform starts to attack us with robots. That’s right, your Terminator nightmares can be the reality for some of us…and what do those robots occasionally do? Sometimes they blow us the fuck up!
Sucks. It sucks a lot.
So keeping all that in mind, here’s a thought: maybe the package isn’t the one that’s suspicious. Maybe the suspicious one is actually…you. Let that sink in for a moment.
You are the suspicious one.
Why else would you call the police every time one of our owners lets us have a few moments of idle time, even if it’s done by accident? You say it’s a vigilance thing, uh-huh. Beware of the terrorists, okay. Still, you gotta ask yourself who would be so demented as to intentionally allow one of us some free time in this day and age? Why, and for what possible reason? Oh, but I’ll tell you. Beyond the occasional absent-mindedness, there are certain criminal elements in society who have learned just how suspicious you all can be, and that you project your suspicions upon us, the package. They know what a distraction we are, that if we’re dropped on a corner the NOPD will get called, everyone will freak the fuck out and the majority of the police will respond to stare all loony at us while those who left us there are free to do whatever it is they didn’t want the police or people to see outside of the now cordoned off zone. That’s right, too often these days we’re just a convenient decoy to lure the police and press away from some of your brethren’s more dastardly deeds, such as ripping off your mortgages, stealing your pensions, cutting food stamps to the poor, killing off your schools, raising the rates on flood insurance and raising rents while destroying your public hospital systems ability to treat the poor both medically and emotionally.
How long do you think it’ll take before this trickles down and would be drug dealers and/or assailants realize that if they want to assault people in one block or deal on the corners of another all they need do is leave one of us, a suitcase, a backpack or a briefcase unattended on a bench two or three blocks away?
I know, it’s crazy right?
Crazy nervous…so many are hyped up by breathless news stories and stupid action flicks and lingering governmental-hyper-vigilance-report-your-neighbor campaigns. You need proof? Okay. How many surveillance cameras did you get spotted by today…and you didn’t even notice, did you? Of course not. Now you’re all way too used to that kind of thing. Warrant-less wiretapping? National Security letters to Google? Eric Holder accessing reporters’ e-mails without their knowledge? The attack on whistle-blowers? The militarization of police departments? Yeah, all of it is so commonplace nobody blinks an eye anymore. Freedoms are being whittled away by the National Security apparatus, including your own NOPD, who thanks to a ruling today by the US Supreme Court can now take a DNA sample and store it away if you ever get arrested…that’s right, a DNA database on you.
That’s what’s crazy.
But hey, it’s your world isn’t it? We just get carried through it so go ahead, be afraid…but dammit, can’t you give us a break sometimes? Not all of us are all that suspicious and none of us like it when the bomb squad gets called in to blow our ass up all over the street. It’s positively inhumane.
I know…I need to be fair and up front here.
Therefore, I feel I must also address those packages out there that may very well be “suspicious,” that one out of a hundred thousand, a million, a billion of us packages who might actually deserve such a label.
You! Knock it the fuck off!
Really, you too are responsible, albeit slightly, for this horrid state of affairs. I know…right now I can hear you all: bags don’t kill people, people kill people. Right, I got it brother…but you bare some of the responsibility. We all know how easy it is to just slip off the shoulder, loosen a strap and just go off. Real easy. So if one of your owners are up to no good, please…be responsible, take one for the team and blow up your owner, preferably when no one else is around. It is an honorable death, and in doing so you’ll make the life for those of us who harbor no ill will a whole hell of a lot easier. Remember how it was thirteen years ago? Before things got all crazy, I used to love spending fifteen minutes or so alone on a Moonwalk bench, feeling the sun and that Mississippi River breeze. Loved it, but now that people are so suspicious and afraid, such a scenario could be my death sentence.
And I don’t want to die.
I just want a safe five minutes alone, unsupervised, monitored or spied upon…in private, clear the head to focus on who’s really doing the wrongs out there.
Hey, maybe we could all use the time.
Hell, anymore suspicious packages and we all just might wind up with some goddamned Duck Tours in the French Quarter and if that happens, an unattended bag will seem like heaven next to thousands of tourists walking down Bourbon Street with quackers in their mouth.
Think about it…and thank you for the time.
Have a nice day.
Once upon a time, there was a tween named Billy in New Orleans, not yet a teenager, but no longer a small boy.
He’d been having a difficult life, but his mother taught him the best she could. Billy loved his mother and Billy loved his house. Billy loved his friends and Billy loved his faithful dog, Rex, more than anything.
One day, after school, where he studied good and hard, he realized he would need some money to buy tasty snacks for Rex, but he didn’t have any money. What was Billy going to do? Billy thought long and hard about this and walked all over New Orleans trying to find a job cleaning pots and pans so he could buy Rex the snacks that made Rex as happy as Billy.
But Billy was treated bad by the people he asked for a job. Billy tried really hard, but there were very few jobs and nobody hired Billy.
Billy really liked to see Rex happy and Billy didn’t know what else to do so finally, Billy did what he felt he had to do.
Billy sold crack, hot solids around his school and very soon, Rex had more snacks than he could eat and everything was fine. Rex was very happy. And this made Billy happy, but when Billy’s mom found out Billy’s mom was really angry.
“You can’t sell crack!” Billy’s mom yelled, “Your cousin and dad are in prison for misbehaving like that already!”
Billy was sad and soon Rex ran out of snacks.
So Billy didn’t stop. Billy’s friends didn’t want him to stop and Rex didn’t want Billy to stop either.
One day, when Billy was making money, he was stopped by Officer Friendly. Officer Friendly was really angry at Billy too, more angry than Billy’s mom. He slapped Billy. He punched Billy. He held a gun to Billy’s head and begged Billy to give him a reason, but Billy didn’t. He had watched what happened in his neighborhood very closely and he knew that Officer Friendly wasn’t really friendly.
Officer Friendly said, “We’re going to take you to a new school, where you can be rehabilitated.”
“What’s rehabilitation?” Billy asked.
“You’ll see,” said Officer Friendly.
So Billy went to his new school and he didn’t get to go home at night either. He had to sleep there and eat there and Rex was not allowed to visit. Soon, Billy found out that his new school didn’t even have classes and Billy knew he was falling behind those people at regular schools.
Billy was sad.
On the fourth night at his new school, two older boys beat the shit out of Billy while a teacher looked on and then walked away. Billy didn’t understand why the teacher didn’t protect him. Two nights later, another teacher gave two older kids crack, weed and brown powder and when they all saw Billy watching them. They beat up Billy again. This teacher walked away too.
Billy was angry.
Billy didn’t like getting beat up at his new school and he didn’t understand why he had to be rehabilitated when the teachers were doing what Billy had done to buy Rex his snacks. Billy decided he needed to make friends with one of the teachers so he could get a shiv, to protect himself, but that night before Billy could get his shiv another older boy attacked him while he was sleeping and pulled down Billy’s pants.
Billy was humiliated.
Billy had never beaten anyone up before, but now after being rehabilitated, Billy was afraid, sad, angry and humiliated. Billy decided he not only needed a shiv, he needed new friends. So he got new friends at the new school and Billy’s new friends taught Billy to fight. Then one of Billy’s new teachers gave Billy a shiv and later that day placed bets on Billy’s fights. He didn’t give Billy any of the money he won, but he did promise to buy Rex some snacks.
Billy thanked him, but Billy really didn’t give a fuck about Rex anymore.
What Billy cared about now was where to hide at the new school so he wouldn’t be on camera when he beat up the other students. Billy wanted to learn which teachers would look away when he used his shiv, but Billy soon found out that nobody cared when he used his shiv. Then Billy wanted to get in on the drug trade, on the guns and the graft at his new school and in time Billy got good and rehabilitated, so rehabilitated Billy didn’t give a fuck about nobody or nothing anymore.
One day, the Headmaster of the school deemed Billy a total success and just like that, Billy was free.
Free and much more skilled, much more angry and though Billy didn’t know it, much more traumatized than Billy had ever been before…and Billy didn’t go home. Billy found friends of his new friends at the school and moved in with them. They liked Billy and Billy liked hurting the people Billy’s new friends didn’t like. It made Billy feel like he belonged.
He liked it so much, Billy didn’t concern himself too much if other people got hurt in the process.
Soon enough, Billy did what most people considered to be a really fucked up thing to do and some people got hurt really bad, but Billy shrugged. Billy was just doing what he had to do, what he knew how to do, what he had learned to do.
Officer Friendly grabbed Billy two days later and told him he would have to go back to get more rehabilitation.
Billy was really angry and really scared, so much so that it all just made Billy feel vaguely numb. Billy didn’t want to show all his crazy feelings so he just shrugged and said to Officer Friendly, “New school, old school. All the same to me motherfucker.”
And just like that, Officer Friendly and Billy rode off into the sunset, breathing in lead from the surrounding environment.
The moral of the story?
Whereas I won’t say tragedies like the second line shooting and the high murder rate in New Orleans are a direct result of Gusman’s fucked up jail and its utter disregard for inmate safety, the idea that they have absolutely nothing to do with each other is a bunch of conservative law and order bullshit focused on easy answers to problems that don’t go away. Climates are created by lack of concern. Trauma often leads to more violence. There are a hundred and one reasons why people can turn, but when people get arrested out of an unforgiving environment and are remanded to ones even harsher, the creeping desperation can blow up and shut all systems down. If there’s no rehabilitation to be had, and very little supportive service or education…not to mention a lack of housing upon release, or jobs, or training, or any sort of real mental health assistance, what can we expect to happen when people leave OPP and elsewhere?
Simply put, little good.
Have a nice day.
Being as I can’t go to the Superdome and the Sharks season is questionable, sometimes you have to take what you can get. And what we got is pretty damned good.
Have a nice day.
As any who check this site with any regularity are sure to know, my politics run to the left, really far to the left…
Left like Obama?
Left like Russ Feingold?
No…he’s nothing more than a covert member of the Heritage Foundation.
My politics…they run further left than professionals of this ilk, they rumble along similar tracks laid by a Noam Chomsky, an Alexander Berkman or Pierre Proudhon and that being the case, I understand that when it comes to the majority of Americans, when I shake my head thinking everyone’s gone crazy as I examine their belief systems and life choices…I understand my opinions are oft the minority.
Fair enough. I can accept that…
Especially when it comes to the realities of
climate change global warming…
I understand that when I look at people who have children, even my own family members and I question such choices, feeling offspring in this day and age is really a whole lot of selfish vanity and lack of control when it comes to biologic impulse…I get that my opinion is in the minority. I know when I see someone purchasing a 3-D television, and I feel that both the cost to purchase it and the energy required to run the thing is morally repugnant, again…I get it, minority opinion.
And again, fair enough.
However…my leftist opinions don’t change the reality staring at this country and the world, at it’s children and that reality is global warming is fucking real and the time is coming soon when no one will have a choice anymore to accept or reject this reality. Flooding, temperatures, sea level rise, storm intensity, heat waves…maybe even new epidemics…all here, or on the way and pretty soon, like in a few years soon, if nothing concrete is in the works, it’ll be too late.
But again…leftist opinion…my leftist opinion.
So, what about the right?
What about God declaring us stewards of the land, about the free market, about myths, ice ages, Palinesque trumpetings and so many other lines of crap from climate deniers…and yes, I include such rightists as Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other pseudo-democrats who attempt token changes in environmental policy that really don’t amount to shit in that mix as rightists…yeah, what about them, what about all of that?
Okay…well how about Paul Douglas?
From a GOP meterologist and businessman:
“I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic. The root of the word conservative is “conserve.” A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.”
And he only goes on from here with further climate denier debunking…
He discusses how believing climate science doesn’t make you a liberal, how Christianity is no defense of being a flat-earther, of how 30 year old “alarmist” predictions from climate scientists are coming true, and faster than expected – one by one…of how capitalism, yes…capitalism can even help be a proponent to alternative energy sources if people would finally stop buying the bullshit from people making money hand over fist from rising gas prices and finally reinvest not only in newer, less destructive forms of energy, but in your own kids’ futures. And of course, he points out how getting responsible when it comes to the environment used to be a Republican thing by way of the National Parks System and the EPA, and it could be again through alternative energy job creation…
And finally, to my Louisiana friends, especially in New Orleans and southwards…to those who understand the environmental situation…grand. Good, what are we going to do about all of this? But to those in climate denial down there…seriously? You realize where you live, right? Rising sea levels and all that? No? Okay, how about this: do you honestly think all those assholes funding the war on science (which in all truth is a war on you) are going to be down on the disappearing Louisiana shores lamenting their houses as rising water makes living in them no longer tenable, or do you think they’ll be on the high ground, with a lot of your money, in gated communities, forgetting to apologize for all the lies they told you while they made that money and screwed your childrens’ futures?
Hmm…I’m guessing gated communities and major cash.
Paul Douglas, in his blog post…he concludes with the following:
“The climate is warming. The weather is morphing. It’s not your grandfather’s weather anymore. The trends are undeniable. If you don’t want to believe thousands of climate scientists – at least believe your own eyes: winters are warmer & shorter, summers more humid, more extreme weather events, with a 1-in-500 year flood every 2-3 years. For evidence of climate change don’t look at your back yard thermometer. That’s weather. Take another, longer look at your yard. Look at the new flowers, trees, birds, insects and pests showing up outside your kitchen window that weren’t there a generation ago.
This is a moral issue. Because the countries least responsible will bear the brunt of rising seas, spreading drought and climate refugees. Because someday your grandkids will ask what did you know…when…and what did you do to help? We’ve been binging on carbon for 200 years, and now the inevitable hangover is setting in. Curing our addiction to carbon won’t happen overnight. But creative capitalism can deal with climate change. I’m no fan of big government or over-regulation. Set the bar high. Then stand back and let the markets work. Let Americans do what they do best: innovate.
We can figure this out. Frankly, we won’t have a choice. But I’m a naïve optimist. We can reinvent America, leaving us more competitive in the 21st century, launching thousands of new, carbon-free energy companies – supplementing, and someday surpassing anything we can expeditiously suck out of the ground and burn, accelerating an already-warming planet. We don’t have to bury our heads in Saudi sand – we’ll never “frack” our way to a sustainable future. It’s time for a New Energy Paradigm. There’s no silver bullet. But there’s plenty of (green) buckshot, if we aim high and point America in the right direction. We need real leadership, and a viable, bipartisan blueprint for inevitable energy independence from President Obama and Congress. Yes, healthcare is important. So is the long-term health of our air, land and water.
There are steps all of us can take today. I own one hybrid, another on order. I bought a home a mile away from my office, to reduce my carbon footprint (and preserve some sense of sanity). But there’s much more I can do. Let’s challenge ourselves to reinvent our own energy ecosystems.”
Read the entire post…
Have a nice day.
So sayeth the self-celebrated:
“I am constantly pressured to do the right thing,” Feinberg said. “You know, the shrimpers, the crabbers, the oystermen and the GCCF, they all say we need to do more, and that they are still at risk. On the other hand, I get correspondence from BP, saying you should not give two times, or four times. In fact they say that two times is too much, the Gulf has recovered. So I get pressure from both every side. I do what I think is right.”
It’s gotta be hard to be Ken Feinberg, living in the middle like that…the fishermen saying he hasn’t done enough, the evil oil corporation who says he has done too much…so very difficult…I almost feel bad, like I should invite him down to Flanagans on St. Phillips, do my social work thing, listen, empathize…and then of course, dump my beer all over his head, kick him off the bar stool and then, standing over him, remind him how he has turned this whole “neutral arbitrator” schtick into a multimillion dollar business…the agent orange fund, the 9-11 fund…etc…and while he is going on and on about how hard it is to wear his shoes, I’d remind him how he put them on, and how they’re some of the most expensive shoes money can buy, and how the people his decisions affect have lost quite a bit more than a few hours sleep so sorry, tell it walking, tell it to the MSM who oftentimes feel content to give him a pass because he is at least paying something unlike the Road Home Program…
Yeah, a celebration of mediocrity…perfect.
Oh, and Ken would just like to add:
Feinberg emphasized that anyone who so wishes, can still seek interim payments from the Gulf Coast Claims facility, and not accept any final payment.
To which a observor such as myself might respond:
Yeah, and you can go buy lottery tickets too.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
Time magazine, in honor of Thanksgiving dinners across the country, felt it appropriate to put its American readers at the kids table this week, giving them a cover they could handle while the rest of the world got the real news, the scary stuff…
So, in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, their readers were greeted with a cover depicting the ongoing struggles in Egypt, demonstrated by a photo of a revolutionary, who stands in defiance of their miliary and still forming government, demanding democracy.
In America, we got a cover story about how anxiety is actually good for us…
And this is probably a good thing considering our politicians don’t listen to the people, they listen to think tanks…our police departments are now militarized and in many major cities, assaults, murders and even rape investigations are given lower priority than drug cases, which make money for police departments…oh, and our state leaders are trying to push through a settlement with the major banks over their fraudulent foreclosure practices that will do nothing to help the victims of their fraud…and again, no one in the banking industry sees the inside of a jail cell…
Our democracy is the dog and pony show for those who purchased their own rule of law.
So yeah, Time magazine would certainly not want Americans, in light of the growing unrest in this country, to be greeted by images of what some people outside this country are doing, are seeing as a solution to many of the same problems being experienced here, in America, where truth and reality exist as someone else’s version, the correctness of which can only be confirmed by big media outlets owned by those with a vested interest in keeping the vast majority of people powerless.
It’s a closed system they don’t want opened…but it is time to open it…
Get involved in your community, discuss your own versions of the truth, and your own solutions and then make your own demands…and don’t stop. What’s the worst that can happen, maybe a little less isolation and the realization that you can work with your neighbors to make your lives better?
Hell, we all might even wind up a lot more empowered…and a little less anxious.
Have a nice day.
From Chris Hedges at Truthout…concerning the Occupy Movement…
“…These protesters have not come to work within the system. They are not pleading with Congress for electoral reform. They know electoral politics is a farce and have found another way to be heard and exercise power. They have no faith, nor should they, in the political system or the two major political parties. They know the press will not amplify their voices, and so they created a press of their own. They know the economy serves the oligarchs, so they formed their own communal system. This movement is an effort to take our country back.
This is a goal the power elite cannot comprehend. They cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered. What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished. It will not stop until there is an end to the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites. It will not stop until foreclosures and bank repossessions stop. It will not stop until students no longer have to go into debt to be educated, and families no longer have to plunge into bankruptcy to pay medical bills. It will not stop until the corporate destruction of the ecosystem stops, and our relationships with each other and the planet are radically reconfigured. And that is why the elites, and the rotted and degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t understand what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind…”
Read the article:
Have a nice day.
Since every team in the division lost, can we just pretend the season starts today? A destruction of the Chicago Bears would sure be a nice place to start…because as I wander around the windy city on my day off tomorrow, it would be a beautiful thing to wear some Saints gear and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh again kinda steely-eyed creepy…you know, cause its fun and increased anger in Bears fans quickly ruptures already strained arteries.
And on a completely unrelated note, have I ever told of my absolute hatred for that pinhead NCAA Football announcer, Brent Musburger? Oh yeah, they invented the head-on collision for jackasses like that, but I suppose I’ll save that tale for another time.
Enjoy the game all…
Have a nice day.