Tag: New Orleans

Snowing in New Orleans December 2008

I received this email of a slideshow of pictures from New Orleans on December 11, during the big snow. It is from David Zoller, a photographer in NO, and he has permitted me to post this.

louisiana-snow-December 11, 2008
Merry Christmas everyone.

Ahn “Joseph” Cao beat William Jefferson in District 2

Whether you are democrat or republican, this is good news for the state of Louisiana.  Willliam Jefferson’s patronage was powerful, and carried him through a difficult and challenging primary.  The Democratic party tried hard to unseat him in the primary with 6 challengers, but brand identification is a powerful tool, and one that those challengers could not shake.  Jefferson’s plight and his loss is similar to that of Ted Stevens, an embarrassment for the GOP ever since he threw a tantrum on the Senate floor demanding 200 million dollars in pork barrel spending.  Like Mark Begich in Alaska, Ahn Cao is a fish swimming upstream.  Nassim Taleb may call him a “Yellow Swan”, a GOP representative from the 2nd district is certainly a rare occurence, and it was a perfect storm that sent him to the House of Representatives.

An interesting blurb:

Jefferson’s defeat also marks the latest and most severe blow to the Progressive Democrats, the Central City-based political organization that he founded.

Among Jefferson allies who have been forced from public office since news of the FBI probe into Jefferson’s dealings broke are: Renee Gill Pratt, the congressman’s former legislative aide who lost her seat on the City Council; close ally Eddie Jordan, who was forced to resign as Orleans Parish district attorney; and Jefferson’s daughter, then-state Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, who lost a bid last year for the state Senate.

Good riddance. Cao was supported by the democrats that ran against Jefferson, and he will likely be challenged hard in 2010. If he loses in 2010, it will not be to William Jefferson, and Jefferson’s politics of patronage seem to have finally ceased their stranglehold on New Orleans.

The GOP will be taking notice to the Louisiana trend of putting yellow and brown faces in high places. The parallels of Ahn “Joseph” Cao and Piyush “Bobby” Jindal are pretty amazing. If Cao were white he would not have won the second district, I fear. While I do not like multiculturalism for multiculturalisms sake or massive immigration, the Vietnamese community in New Orleans and Louisiana has been a boon to the community and have done the work “Americans aren’t willing to do” for a generation, including working in a pogy plant in my old stomping grounds. Some of my family, encouraged by the government after the Vietnam war, sponsored the immigration of Vietnamese refugees into Louisiana. I heard several stories about how several families lived in a trailer and would buy 30 lbs of rice and a small hen to eat for an entire week. In one generation they have gone from living 20 to a house to graduating with MDs or running successful businesses. And by business I don’t just mean restaurants, we’re talking real estate and finance. So, good for them for having elected their first representative for the US government,and may Joseph Cao be a voice in Louisiana politics in one form or another. Provided, of course, he doesn’t get corrupted.

An inconvenient letter.

Well, I finally had to make the call to the school today. My daughter came home and said that she watched the first 10 minutes of An Inconvenient Truth today in honors science class, and that she would be watching the rest of the movie tomorrow, and writing a paper on the movie. I called the school and spoke to her science teacher, who had a “f*** you” attitude and said that the movie was educational and taught kids how to save the wetlands…and then she admitted that she had never actually seen the movie.

I then told her that I didn’t want my daughter watching the movie and that she was not going to write the required (indoctrination) paper about the movie. Nella and I will be enrolling her in a good private school at the end of this year. Below is the letter that she is carrying to school tomorrow to give to her teacher (not into having her name all over the Internet, so the name has been changed in the letter):

February 20, 2008

Dear Ms. Nick

Please excuse “A” from watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, and from writing a paper about this movie. This movie is overtly political, and it has been proven inaccurate and purposefully misleading by many climatologists and weather experts. In fact, this movie amounts to little more than liberal propaganda designed to scare people, and I expected more from a Meisler education. Outside of a political science class, this movie is entirely inappropriate for a twelve year old student. In the future, please contact me if you plan on requiring “A” to watch any film that is remotely political. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (504) 555-5555.

Sincerely,

Michael W. Gahagan, Esq.

Possible overhaul of Louisiana public defender policy

I don’t know if this will solve problems, but something needs to be done to address the sixty-day murders that plague the city.

Rep. Danny Martiny, chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee, is sponsor of a book-length bill that would create a new state board to take responsibility from the state’s local indigent defender offices, which are now overseen by 41 independent boards around the state.

Critics say the system is possibly unconstitutional, among the country’s worst, and suffers from a lack of oversight over public defenders and poor tracking of their caseloads. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges and public defenders themselves have long agreed that the system is broken, but they disagreed over how to fix it.

If you want a glimpse of crime in the Big Easy, check out NOLA-dishu, run by an engineer who plugs in crime stats for the city into Google maps. An indisposable resource.

Section 8 "controversy" in New Orleans

Kudos to Ann Duplessis:

“We can’t keep hiding behind what we think is politically right to say,” said State Senator Ann Duplessis, who said that was why she took up what she referred to as a highly important, but highly controversial issue: to limit the development of new Section-8 housing units in Eastern New Orleans, something critics think is a way to keep poor, evacuated New Orleanians away from the city

Section 8 is a well known disaster, a vestige of LBJ’s war on poverty, which has done nothing but create a market for poverty. There should be a moratorium on public housing in NOLA until murders go down to, say, less than one every two days.