Wednesday, January 31, 2007

As Always, This One's for the Tourists, for the Cameras.

It then will move on to other unflooded areas until city officials finalize the terms for FEMA to reimburse the cost of the service in neighborhoods that were swamped, he said.

Which will happen any never now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

War, Huh -

Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching," the president said. "If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides."

Hmm. Kind of like...our government.

"In such a case, he forecast 'an epic battle'..."

and smacked his lips 'n
twirled his spurs.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I appreciate and encourage diversity in my readers, which I suppose is a plus? because according to StatCounter, someone's been landing here from afore-linked "mature" starting point.

Or not.

Note to NOPD

At this point, Schnapp witnessed Coleman "turn quickly" and push away an officer's hand. One of the officers then "attempted to physically detain him while simultaneously identifying himself as a police officer."

"The force in which Ronald Coleman turned, coupled with the fact that the ground was wet and it was raining, caused both the investigator and Ronald Coleman to fall to the ground," the report noted.

Become better liars or stop lying.

[Brevity mix]

Friday, January 12, 2007


Photos from yesterday's anti-crime march and rally, which converged - literally - on C. Ray Nagin and Warren Riley at New Orleans City Hall.

Please consult/credit before re-posting.

Enough. Part II.

Please consult/credit before reposting.

Monday, January 08, 2007

"Killer Bees Tracked Near New Orleans"

Look, dump me in the river and be done with it already, alright?


Your Megaphone Has Lost its Sound.

From today's Times Picayune, which featured coverage of yesterday's citizen forum on crime: Carter, who spearheaded a New Orleans crime summit with the council and Nagin's office in September, said he welcomed both the meeting and the march.

"This -- citizen activism -- is the most important part of the city's fight against crime," he said.

Spoken like a true New Orleans politician.

It's this new strategy they've adopted, illustrated by Warren Riley and Ray Nagin this past weekend. Subtle 07 refrains from directly blaming the victim and instead claims it is the citizens that were somehow inadequate all this time, per comments that not enough people come forward as witnesses.

That's true.

But the real problem, of course, is the criminal justice system or lack thereof, with NOPD as disaster and the courts doing everything but installing the revolving doors.

I've been fortunate enough personally to have been helped by individual officers, as have others I know; they're not all Danziger executioners or bullies, though those boys have more pull than I'm comfortable with. But when shadow-dwellers, those in the gray area, those who would not dare in cities with effective or even functional police and courts, feel emboldened to kill men and women during the day in public, as was sadly the case for Dinerral Shavers, or right down the block from police stations, there is something very wrong within those police stations.

I've had this discussion a lot in the last year: Are humans naturally prone to violence and murder?

After everything I've seen and experienced as an adult in America, I'd say that some are. Most, though, are opportunists and opportunity is abundant here - not for professional jobs, education or, for young black men in particular, a literal future, but for pasttimes of a treacherous order.

Some of this has been endemic for a while. All of it has been magnified and multiplied by the storm. I kept trying to tell myself it would be hypocritical to blame everything on said levee failure, but the bottom line is I was happy here before and, aside from time with my friends and fellow artists/fighters/educators/survivors, who are leaving in greater and greater numbers, am not happy here now.

At one point, even admitting that aloud was considered taboo; you'd have someone like Poppy Z. Brite calling you a "weak sister" who couldn't hack it here and thus didn't belong, anyway, as she did last year via the national press, albeit in answer to loud criticisms of the departed and departing, some of whom may have gone overboard, but some of whom raised valid problems, if sloppily. Labeling people who came back and attempted to live through this flouncers because they couldn't or didn't want to bear it, especially residents whose families go back for decades or centuries, even, seems unfair at best. And there were enough of these remarks from such alleged city representatives early in da post-apocalypse game that they seemed to constitute talking points, orders of speech, for us "lesser knowns" and while such remarks were more common when people were suggesting the city not be rebuilt, still, we can see where this brand of denial, this hush, don't snitch, no bitch, mentality has stranded us.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


"These were people who came here and worked for the poor and helped out those in difficult situations," said Robert Thompson, a friend and owner of Fair Grinds, a Mid-City coffee shop where Hill held free filmmaking seminars.

The couple had moved into their North Rampart Street apartment in August after returning from South Carolina, other friends said. They fled their Mid-City home during Hurricane Katrina and were trying to rebuild it.

"They were proactive people that were trying to help solve the city's problems," Thompson said. "They cared."

"This is a huge loss for the city," he said.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Self-Proclaimed Danziger Seven & Co.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Love Ain't Blind.

Am I being unfair to this Darklaw guy?

Certainly, his statement that the accused deserve a fair trial is valid. I'm not sure, though, why he feels the need to point out something that is, by and large, obvious and undisputed. If all officers truly adhere to his hypothesis that "We are one NOPD," are we, the citizens of New Orleans, to believe that these seven officers have every officer's support regardless of their innocence or guilt? To go a step further, are we to subscribe to the notion that they are above the law they've sworn to protect and uphold? If Darklaw is serious about his post, rather than ranting in a heated moment, what are we as citizens to do? What would be the advantage of blindly following these men - for us? Why does Darklaw feel entitled to dictate what we should and should not believe, what we should and should not advocate? Does he speak for the entire department; does the department know it is being represented in this manner? In his subsequent comments, he amends his stance, writing that "I want everyone to adhere to the constitutional fact that they are innocent until PROVEN guilty, which I somehow doubt will happen." Meanwhile, Darklaw refers to the victims as "armed renegades" minus any official proof that they were, in fact, armed. But I guess it's okay to assume their guilt.

I have tried and been subsequently discouraged from working with NOPD, a tactic that enables this organization to claim they're misunderstood, misrepresented, etc., which for them is preferable to the truth leaking out. Last spring, and summer, and fall, I contacted NOPD representative Bambi Hall - albeit only after being given a series of wrong numbers both over the phone and at NOPD's MLK division - to set up a ridealong and interview some officers regarding the realities of law enforcement post-apocalypse, as well the lack of support they receive from the brass, as alleged at the also-anonymous cop site, [This site says the cops MUST be acquitted - again, their guilt or innocence seems a moot point.] After being told that ridealongs were suspended indefinitely "due to Katrina," I was given the small-time runaround - told, for instance, that I had to call at certain times, calling at those times, and receiving Ms. Hall's voicemail. I cracked the wall of silence erected by New York Governor Pataki when I was 20, so I can assure you of my persistence and patience - but, after months, it became pointless to channel any more energy into this endeavor. If I worked for the good ol' Times Picayune or the prestigious New York Times, I would have had the privilege of running the brass' stock quotes.

I also received no response from Darklaw when I attempted to draw him out via email and after some initially encouraging dialogue, Signal 26 dropped off my radar. Self-fulfilling prophecies re: "the liberal media" can be fun; now that I've spoken out against the above hyperbole, I can be dismissed as having had "an agenda" when my only agenda has been to uncover and tell the truth in order to maybe, just maybe, make life a little better here in the oligarchy, a job I am certainly not paid for as an independent writer - I mean, talk about low salaries.

Now, Darklaw's girlfriend has posted her own call for citizens to show up and support the Seven when they turn themselves in tomorrow, a luxury most defendants, incidentally, are not afforded - at least not poor, non-politically connected defendants. Twilight Mermaid also urges the readers of this community not to make the murders a racial issue despite her boyfriend's comments regarding how the D.A., Eddie Jordan, discriminates against whites - i.e., despite her boyfriend playing the race card. This latter phrase can be tricky because people throw it around so often, sometimes to discredit people who, like me, feel the need to point out that blacks, particularly in the South, are discrimated against on a massive institutional level. I also believe prejudice is something everyone is capable of and that there are instances, certainly, of blacks in power overruling whites by virtue of their race or blaming everything on race in an absurd and malicious manner, a la the New Orleans School Board back in the day. I most certainly do not believe that, historically or percentage-wise, whites are the major victims of institutional racism, especially compared with blacks.

It seems to me that if these posters were truly offended by racism and corruption, as they claim they are, they would raise their voices on behalf of victims or potential victims outside their own clique. Neither have yet to write a word about Ronald Madison, the mentally handicapped man shot in the back and killed, or the other victims, or the frightening and dangerous precedent set by allowing unchecked aggression and zero accountability to flourish. It's an m.o. that creates criminals and encourages crime. The reason I left New Orleans for Katrina is because I did not want to be trapped - literally - between men with guns, both those labeled criminals and those branded righteous. The cops stuck between these two groups, Serpico-style, have my deepest sympathy - I know several who left both the force and this city after witnessing both in-house corruption and what went on during the aftermath of the storm, as do a lot of residents.

According to twilight mermaid, however, love for one's city and the men facing trial are one and the same, a la her ultimatum that, IF YOU LOVE THIS CITY, BE AT SOUTH BROAD AND TULANE AVENUE TOMORROW BETWEEN 9-9:30 AM AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THESE MEN.

I love this city, but I can assure you that if I attend this event, it will not be to show my support for these men because I do not believe these men represent the best that NOPD has to offer, the best this city can offer us, or the interests of citizens trying to survive post-apocalypse.