Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Super Bowl Fever, New Orleans Style....

It takes a reporter from San Jose, California, to make the best suggestion I have heard in a while to invigorate our local economy, albeit on a short-term basis. I couldn’t agree any more. If the NFL wants to make a contribution to the rebuilding of New Orleans, they need to move the Super Bowl to New Orleans permanently.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ray Nagin--Resign AND STFU

There are at least three good blogs going on right now with great assessments of the situation in New Orleans and the complete ineptness of Nagin, Riley, and Thomas (yeah, Oliver, I’m adding you now) in how they “plan” to handle crime in the Crescent City. Ashley Morris, as usual, hits my reaction square on the head. Adastros does as well. Harry Shearer’s assessment mimicks how I felt when I got back to the City on December 20.

On New Year’s Eve, the Clan White-Thomas spent a wonderful night watching one of the best, if not THE best, fireworks shows ever produced on the River. Incredible fireworks. My little son Devin was laughing the whole time, saying to me “broken” to mean that the fireworks were doing all sorts of wonderful things (I guess I’m the only one who understands what he means at 3 years old). As we walked away from the Moonwalk, we wandered over to our favorite watering hole Molly’s and cheered with others the New Year. The favorite saying we all had for each other was “Happy New Year—2007 has got to be better than last year—it can’t get any worse….”

By January 4, it had gotten worse…

It wasn’t until Saturday, January 6 that Nagin and Riley had some sort of “reaction” to the crime spree gripping the City—it must have taken them two days to get back into the city from their safe-houses located probably in snowed-in Colorado…. And what a “lukewarm” reaction it was, with Willy-Wonka asserting that if you didn’t believe he was busy doing his job, you could follow him around for one day to see exactly what he does (another idle-promise).

As Ashley states, Tuesday’s press conference is nothing more of the same old shit. I want Riley OUT. I want Nagin OUT. I want Pendleton back as Police Chief. I want order and safety made THE priority in New Orleans. I want the brave residents rebuilding the City to be RESPECTED AND PROTECTED.

For those who forgot, let me refresh your memory about C-Ray?—Not Lately Nagin. He didn’t do a damn thing in his first four years in office—not one damn thing. Oh, yeah, he did bust a bunch of taxi-drivers and brake shops for malfeasance…. Wow!!! But here was a mayor so “wishy-washy” that he didn’t even call for a Mandatory Evacuation of the City during Katrina until he had “consulted” with his legal experts so that his ass was covered—and by the time he DID call for a Mandatory Evacuation (I heard him finally do it around 9am Sunday, August 28 while we were midway through our evacuation journey), it was TOO LATE.

Yeah, Nagin made me proud when he finally went mental with Garland Robinette on WWL. But that got NAGIN more than anyone else. Hell, he even got to “relax” with a shower and shave on Air-Force One. Once coddled with Bushy-Boy, he came back to his patronizing, whimpering, indifferent self.

Please, March on City Hall on Thursday if you are in the City of New Orleans. Please let there be a HUGE show of people disgusted with what’s going on in New Orleans that day. Please, just go up to the podium and call for Nagin’s and Riley’s heads on a pike and post them at the entry-ways to the City. Barbaric? Yes. But what has the city come to right now? Frontier Days and the Wild West!!! (hell, if YOU aren’t packing heat these days to protect yourself, you aren’t totally safe) .

I am still pissed off. I am still angry. I am still sad to the point I was after the storm when I saw NOONE in any position of authority doing a damn thing to save our residents and our city. This is a chance for all of us to actually plan something and work to see it through.


Oh, and by the way, here’s a message from my son Devin to all you thugs and politicians who want to take my city away from me:

Friday, January 05, 2007


Just got back from two incredible weeks in New Orleans. I was going to post some of my observations from the trip back home here, but as I settled into Central Texas and then went back to work on Thursday, I was greeted with this news from the Times-Picayune:

At the time I heard about this senseless killing and assault, no names or information had yet been revealed. I was still angry over the senseless killing of Dinerral Shavers,drummer with the Hot 8 Brass Band.

But as I read the article, I got a sick feeling envisioning what sort of chaotic scene took place where a woman is killed in front of her two-year-old baby, and her husband barely escapes death. I have a three year old son and I could only imagine what he would go through if he lost Susan and/or I to murder that he witnessed.

When I found out who had been killed, I got even more angry….

First, my thoughts go out to the little two-year old son of Helen Hill and Dr. Paul Gailiunas. I hope your family and your parents’ friends are taking as best of care of you as they can in this terrible time. If anyone knows what I can do to help in this situation, please contact me at

Second, my thoughts go out to all of Helen and Paul’s friends and family, all of whom should have never experienced this senseless tragedy.

A number of numbing emotions are going through my mind right now. Nobody should experience this tragedy anywhere, but NOBODY SHOULD EXPERIENCE THIS AT ALL IN NEW ORLEANS—ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE MAKING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE REBUILDING OF THE CITY WE ALL LOVE AND CARE FOR.

I am pissed off—those who HAVE returned and ARE WORKING to make New Orleans a BETTER PLACE are the true Saints of the City. They sacrifice every single day in ways many of us who live in exile just don’t know about until we return home. They have made a commitment, though, to make significant contributions to creating a great place for community, neighborhood, the arts, children, education, small business, music, and culture—the things we all find important to the City of New Orleans. THESE PEOPLE MUST BE PROTECTED. THEY NEED THE RESPECT DUE TO THE BRAVERY OF NOT ONLY THEIR BEING IN NEW ORLEANS BUT THEIR COMMITMENT TO REBUILD.



This murder and this assault did not have to take place. I remember being back home in New Orleans in October 2005, cleaning out the house every day with others who had made the commitment to come back home. The National Guard, the NOLA-PD, hell, even the Orleans Sheriff’s Department—all drove down my street every single day more than once. At night, I never felt safer in New Orleans in my whole life. Those of us here then, and those of us here NOW, all shared a great sense of hope that our rebuilding efforts will create a better New Orleans. Helen and Paul exemplified that hope. Now, she is gone, her son is motherless, and I hope that Paul is able to cope with all the added efforts he faces in rebuilding his life with his son.

Letters? Yeah, letters are needed. But I’m calling for something deeper and more organized than that. We must begin working hard to hold these public officials accountable for their collective INACTION. I’m not sure what to do right now, but I am very open to ideas and getting in contact with people who want to help.

Again, my thoughts are with the friends and family of Helen Hill and Paul Gailiunas and their little two-year old son. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP.