Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Damn Book Meme

The original tag-yourself meme came from Bardiac. But this is--

My Damn Book Meme

My Rules:

1. I [g]rab the nearest chosen book.
2. I [o]pen the book to page 123.
3. I [f]ind the fifth sentence.
4. I [p]ost the text of the next 4 sentences on your my blog along with these instructions. Do not post the instructions again.
5. Don't you dare I dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book on the shelf in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.


This circumstance could only be exacerbated by black corporatism, in which some organization would claim the right to speak for all, regardless of gender.

Third, given the persistence of prejudice toward homosexuality within the black population, corporatism would likely further marginalize the legitimate political interests of black nonheterosexuals, a subpopulation seeking equal civil status under already difficult circumstances. When framed within the prevailing "official" conception of a domestic family unit (that is, a group of 2 or more persons residing together who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption), the interests of this doubly stigmatized group are often neglected, because few nonheterosexual partnerships are recognized civil unions with the same rights as traditional marriage contracts. The marginalization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons is exacerbated by religious proscriptions against "homosexual acts," and worsened yet still by the HIV/AIDS crisis within the population that disproportionately affects and further stigmatizes gay men and, increasingly, heterosexual and bisexual women.

Shelby, Tommie. We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2005.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ellen Willis from 2005 Chronicle

I don't know much about Ellen Willis except what I've read about her via Susie Bright and i am curious blue but I came across her contribution to a 2005 forum in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The Chronicle of Higher Education
From the issue dated September 9, 2005
(scroll down to find Willis' complete contribution)
FORUM: A Chilly Climate on the Campuses

from "
The Pernicious Concept of 'Balance' "

To a radical right that feels entitled to dominate not only government but all social institutions, the academy is a particular irritant: It not only allows liberals and leftists to express their views, but provides them with the opportunity to make a living, get tenure, publish books, and influence students. Indeed, the academy is inherently a liberal institution, in the sense that it is grounded in the credo of the Enlightenment: the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge for its own sake.

But the right's charge that the professoriate is dominated by liberals requires some, pardon the expression, deconstruction. For the right, "liberal" has become an epithet -- roughly equivalent to the "Godless Communist" of an earlier era -- that applies to anyone who is not a conservative Republican or a Christian fundamentalist. Most people who are attracted to academic life fit that definition for fairly obvious reasons: We prefer reading, writing, and research to business; care more about job security than the chance to get rich; and are comfortable with (secular) Enlightenment values. The balance-mongers make much of polls purporting to reveal that most professors vote Democratic, but that says less about the liberalism of professors than about the fact that what used to be the right-wing lunatic fringe is now the Republican mainstream.


That said, it is equally important to acknowledge serious internal obstacles to intellectual freedom and diversity on the contemporary campus. The real political debates in academe have mainly to do not with voting behavior but with the social implications of scholarly and pedagogical methods and disciplinary paradigms. And those debates are too often settled, or stifled, by the ubiquitous tendency of academic departments to exclude or marginalize scholars whose approach diverges from prevailing orthodoxy. While conservatives talk as if that practice is confined to the academic left, in fact the disciplinary police are often profoundly conservative. Economists' exclusion of dissenters from free-market libertarian orthodoxy; psychologists' ostracism of psychoanalysts; philosophers' marginalizing of those who emphasize social and political rather than linguistic problems -- all contribute to a pervasive positivism that silences critical thinking about the present socioeconomic system. Nor is the phenomenon absent from the hard sciences: It may be harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a biologist working on something other than the genome to get a job or a grant these days.

All these pressures for conformity come at a time when the mainstream public conversation has diminishing space for serious social criticism. Trade publishers by and large refuse to publish it; leading review media tend to ignore it; fewer and fewer periodicals feature it. There is increasing disdain for the essay, the traditional vehicle for much social critique. The need to make a living has pushed more writers into the academy (whether they are really suited for it or not). Now good academic jobs are drying up as universities hire fewer tenure-track faculty members. That, too, is chilling.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Karen Carter v. William Jefferson

I'm not comfortable with local ministers supporting Rep. Jefferson in the run-off. Aside from the church-state-tax-exempt issues, how is a vote for Jefferson a benefit for their "flocks" (I'm guessing "parishioners" isn't the right word) rather than a personal power play? And after the conflicts some have had in the past with Nagin, why support Nagin's candidate? If the vote is really about their flocks, the decision should be based on something other than using conspiracy theories of whites taking over to dupe the uninformed. Just because black men are often wrongly accused or suspected and judged more harshly does not mean that every accusation of a black man is false. For some fights, it's worth losing a few or losing some face to win the long-term or larger goal but is that what Jefferson is? With post-breach New Orleans getting (somehow, somewhere, at some point in time) millions in rebuilding dollars, is it wise to have (more) tainted leaders? Isn't that part of the reason it took so long for help to come? (Not that Carter is pure; I'm no fucking idiot. Look below.) Yesterday I used the expression "pearls before swine" (no insult to swine intended) and that’s what some folks outside the Gulf South think of sending money to NO. And as time goes on, more people and businesses leave or decide not to come back.

Should the wronged be supported? Yes. Is racism gone? No. Does corruption further the interests of the black, or white or Spanish-speaking or Vietnamese or East Indian or West Indian, folks in this congressional district? Or black folks in general? How can it? The idea once in power should not be to imitate the corrupt and exploitive colonizer--They got theirs and now it's our turn!--but to change the exploitive nature of power and governance, to move forward rather than look for revenge or your own piece of the pie (or ass, whichever the case may be).

A student told me that based on anecdotal "evidence" from friends, she suspects many HBCUs are subject to inefficiency, budgetary wastefulness and poor student services and treatment. That bugs the shit out of me, almost as much as SMother's clan's tenet that you treat strangers like sugar and family like punching bags full of bat shit.

I can't stand exploited people exploiting other exploited people for fun and profit. My over-developed (or developmentally-stuck) sense of fairness leads to much fury-fueled irrational ranting and bitchiness. I want Nagin and his cronies, the "St. Charles and Rex krewe elite," our state and federal representatives and agencies to stop using the used and blaming the victims and side-stepping their own complicity and ulterior motives that have our asses stuck where they are right now.

Karen Carter's legal contracts draw fire--Nola.com

Carter's advantages over Jefferson--Louisiana Weekly
William "Bill" Jefferson gets powerful endorsement from Shepard--BayouBuzz
Shepard backs Jefferson in 2nd District runoff--Nola.com
In a career knotted with family ties, Rep. William Jefferson has long been hounded by ethics questions--Nola.com
FBI looks at agency that oversaw charities linked to lawmakers--Nola.com
Blanco releases copies of federal subpoena--Nola.com [hardly seems a coincidence]

Tim Tagaris
Let’s Talk Political Turkey--Oyster's link round-up
All LA politics is localer
Don’t forget

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Truly Coordinated Recovery Effort

"Grants may have IRS calling"--If you claimed losses on your 2005 federal income tax form, your Road Home grant may be subject to federal income tax:
But the Internal Revenue Service says Road Home recipients who claimed a storm loss on their taxes last year should count the grants as income on their federal tax returns this year. That means some people will be thrown into lofty tax brackets they never dreamed of -- and pay more taxes too.

Not everyone will be hit with a higher tax bill. But the extra "income" could erode tax exemptions long enjoyed by some filers, such as some of those on Social Security, and force them to pay a fee for the government's largesse. [Is "largesse" the right word for what's going on here on the ground? Maybe the contractors who got big, no-bid contracts felt the "government's largesse"...]

"This is salt on the wound," said Gerard Schreiber Jr., a certified public accountant who estimated that thousands of people will be affected. "I think a lot of people out there thought the Road Home money was outright tax-free, but there are tax consequences. There are a lot of CPAs out there having problems explaining this to people."

Schreiber said he was recently giving a talk in St. Bernard Parish and members of the audience were irate when he told them about the tax implications of the Road Home grants. "One screamed, 'First we were screwed by FEMA. Now we are being screwed by the IRS,' and ran out the door," he said. [emphasis added]

An estimated 169,000 homes in Louisiana suffered major flooding in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year. Many homeowners -- the IRS says it doesn't yet know how many -- sought to recoup some of their losses when they filed their 2005 federal income taxes by claiming a casualty loss, which reduced their tax burden or augmented their refund.

In some cases, filers were able to recoup income taxes paid over the previous three years and put money in their pockets at a time when they had lost their homes and possessions.

The lack of coordination seems/feels willful. (You can't expect traumatized people, or a traumatized region, to be coldly logical and even-tempered.) Another blow--like finally getting to the permits office and finding out you have to pay a fee for every square foot of damage and that when the 6-month permit expires, you have to get another permit and pay the fees again. From what I have heard. No one has fears of correcting me so I expect clarification/correction in less than 10 hours. Maybe 10 minutes.

UNOP Community Congress and CSO Meeting

The second Community Congress is Saturday, Dec. 2. This time, the New Orleans diaspora can attempt to participate from Atlanta, Houston, Baton Rouge and Dallas. When you register for the congress, you'll be asked for some demographic information and if you need child care or transportation or are willing to help recruit people to attend. The form also asks how many people you will bring with you.

The Community Support Organization's next Advisory Committee meetings:

Community Support Organization's Advisory Committee Meeting--Thursday, November 30, 2006. City Council Chambers at City Hall, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Community Support Organization's Advisory Committee Meeting--Thursday, December 7, 2006. City Council Chambers at City Hall, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The 11/9 report is available here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

10K Visits! Kind of....

Yep, Site Meter says I have passed the 10,000 visits mark.

Sure. 75% of the visits last a whole 0 seconds:

Those shouldn't count. But if they didn't, I'd have about 3000 visits.

11/24--see Tim's correction in the comments

University Hospital?

I have my grapevine sources. And some questions. University had structural problems when LSU Health Care Services Division bought it. The area around it frequently flooded with hard (or sustained) rain. There used to be boats at the hospital to use during flooding. The basement and first floor of University flooded after the levees failed while the basement of Charity flooded. University is allegedly opening though my grapevine's sources say the men in charge seem to have little idea how to reconstruct a hospital. (For example, labor and delivery without any pediatric services--at least that's what people working there have told my source.) The system is flailing because of its leadership. Like the city.

Scaled back hospital opens
LSU reopens ER, ICU and a few other beds at University Hospital

Monday, November 20, 2006


1. I think it is some of the particular students rather than teaching in general that raises my blood pressure.

I issued an assignment 5 days ago, one that was rather simple and echoed a past assignment. 3 of the responses I got are not assignments but single-sentence emails. One section of students submitted NO assignments at all.

I guess I better get Dear University Student #19 printed on a t-shirt for daily wear.

2. Second peeve: people who attend planning or community meetings and snippily, or politely, say that the people who aren't there (displaced folks, black folks, low-income folks, you name it--whoever isn't there) "must not care" and "must not want to be here/there."

If every group, nation or individual who needed social justice had to show up individually to a meeting, there would be no social justice.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bill Quigley: Robin Hood in Reverse

Yet another thing people nationally don't get--"all that money" sent to the Gulf Coast has filled the pockets of connected corporations, like fucking Entergy and KBR and Ceres "Environmental." This is exactly what happens when The Market is allowed to "decide" where money will go, who will profit, and who gets left out. The same people get richer and the rest of us keep getting fucked up the ass in a not-nice way.

You can find Bill Quigley's essay here, here (scroll down past the fundraising drive) and here. A little taste:
Meanwhile, disaster profiteering continues. The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 was established by Congress to rebuild the communities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So far, this has been used to subsidize all kinds of private projects including the building of a mall for Target and JC Penny in Lafayette, expanding an auto dealership in Baton Rouge, converting a plantation in Livingston into a hotel. This corporate plundering follows the path taken in the immediate days after Katrina when politically connected corporations were given hundreds of millions of no-bid contracts.

Ashbritt of Florida was awarded a contract over $500 million to clean up debris in Mississippi despite not owning a single dump truck. Ashbritt had paid a GOP lobbyist firm $40,000 right before the storm and another $50,000 directly to the GOP the year before. Ceres Environmental of Brooklyn Park, MN was given a $500 million contract for debris removal in LA by the Corps of Engineers. In the previous 4 years, the company had received a total of $29 million in government contracts. The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance listed the company as a provider of "yard waste compost and horticultural potting soil." [emphasis added]

Saturday, November 18, 2006

More Links & Such

Busy externally and internally. Trying to save some energy for other projects and needs. But...

1. You know it's almost Christmas when the toy recalls start. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has an RSS feed for recent recalls so you'll know not to buy your favorite niece that Dream House Play Set from Target or to intentionally buy a Helix Remote Control Micro Helicopter for the neighborhood kid you don't like so much.

2. The scariest, but not so surprising, thing I've read all week: "Arrows for the War" at The Nation.

Lives such as these: Janet Wolfson is a 44-year-old mother of eight in Canton, Georgia. Tracie Moore, a 39-year-old midwife who lives in southern Kentucky, is mother to fourteen. Wendy Dufkin in Coxsackie has her thirteen. And while Jamie Stoltzfus, a 27-year-old Illinois mom, has only four children so far, she plans on bearing enough to populate "two teams." All four mothers are devoted to a way of life New York Times columnist David Brooks has praised as a new spiritual movement taking hold among exurban and Sunbelt families. Brooks called these parents "natalists" and described their progeny as a new wave of "Red-Diaper Babies"--as in "red state."

But Wolfson, Moore and thousands of mothers like them call themselves and their belief system "Quiverfull." They borrow their name from Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Quiverfull mothers think of their children as no mere movement but as an army they're building for God.

I do not need to comment. Just go read.

3. It just fucking figures: "City's trash hauling bill to soar." The cost will "quadruple" and there's still no recycling.

4. Though this is not a new article, "Natural Disasters in Black and White" is worth a re-read:
When the hurricane victim in the news was a dark-complexion white, the amount of assistance for hurricane victims actually increased. Perhaps well tanned whites are perceived as vigorous, fit and attractive, thus putting our respondents in a more favorable state of mind concerning hurricane victims in general. But for every other ethnic group -- blacks, Hispanics and Asians -- the effect of skin color ran in the opposite direction. When people saw a dark-skinned black, Hispanic, or Asian, they recommended lower levels of financial assistance. This divergence in the effects of skin color for whites and non-whites was statistically significant. A similar, but weaker pattern emerged for duration of assistance. Here the effects of darkened skin color were to increase the duration of assistance in the white and Asian conditions, but to decrease it in the case of the African-American and Hispanic conditions.

These results suggest that news media coverage of natural disasters can shape the audience's response. Framing the disaster in ways that evoke racial stereotypes can make people less supportive of large-scale relief efforts. News reports about flooding evoke one set of apparently positive images in the reader's mind; reports about lawlessness evoke quite another.

5. When I tell people I'm a professor, or assistant professor more specifically, their eyebrows go up and they get a knowing attitude, like they can see my 401Ks and late-model Volvo or Audi and my house on Audubon Place. I'm not a hard sciences researcher with Department of Defense money pouring in every semester or a business professor whose salary has to at least make a show of competing with private industry salaries. And I do not work at Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Sarah Lawrence. I make LESS than the average for an assistant professor at a private or church-related baccalaureate institution found in this 2003-2004 report (PDF) by AAUP:

$20 means something to my ass.

6. Milton Friedman is dead. Will the interpretation of his ideas of the market as all-knowing and -solving adjust and change or solidify like religious dogma? It's pretty dogmatic already. I hold out little hope.

7. University Hospital opens! Sort of. From what I have heard through the grapevine, "scaled back" is a generous description. The press were brought to the few rooms that are ready and there are plans being made that cannot work. Don't get shot.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dist. B Coordinating Council Meeting w/ NO Councilmembers

Arnie Fielkow, Stacy Head and Oliver Thomas are supposed to be there.

Tuesday (TONIGHT), 6:30 pm
Ashe Cultural Center
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70113
phone: (504) 569-9070

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dear University Student #20

Do not turn in 3 or 4 weeks of missed homework, essays and assignments on the day midterm grades are due. Not only are you not my sole student but I see no reason to bust my ass because you didn't bother to apply yourself for the last EIGHT weeks.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

UNOP District Meetings Part 2

November 11th, 2006: District Meetings #2
Described on the UNOP site as "A workshop meeting where your district will be exploring options and possible solutions to issues of concern."

District 1: Central Business District, Vieux Carre ("Vieux Carr" on the UNOP site) and the Warehouse District
Time: 9a-11a
Location: Chateau Sonesta, 800 Iberville St.

District 2: Milan, Touro, Garden District, Central City/Magnolia, Irish Channel, St. Thomas Area/Lower Garden District, East Riverside, and St. Thomas Project
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center, 2020 Jackson Avenue (enter on Philip Street)

District 3: Leonidas/West Carrollton, Black Pearl, East Carrollton, Hollygrove, Dixon, Audubon/University, Marlyville/Fountainbleau, Broadmoor, Freret, Uptown, and West Riverside
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: Holy Name of Jesus, 6325 Cromwell Place (enter parking lot from Calhoun St.)

District 4: Mid-City, Tulane/Gravier, St. Bernard Area/Project, Fairgrounds/Broad, Bayou St. John, Sixth Ward/Treme ("Trem" on the website)/Lafitte Housing Development, Seventh Ward, and Iberville Housing Development, Gert Town/Zion City, and B.W. Cooper Housing Development.
9:30 - 11:30 am
Location: John McDonough High School, 2426 Esplanade

District 5: Lakewood/West End, Lakeview, Navarre, Lakewood, Lakeshore/Lake Vista and City Park
9:00 - 11:00 am
Location: St. Dominic Gym, 6326 Memphis Street

District 6: Lake Terrace/Lake Oaks, Filmore, St. Anthony, Milneburg, Pontchartrain Park, Dillard, Gentilly Terrace, and Gentilly Woods
Location: University of New Orleans Research and Technology Park Foundation-- Lindy C. Boggs International Conference Center

District 7: Marigny, Bywater, St. Roch, St. Claude, Desire Area, Florida Area, Florida Housing Development, and Desire Housing Development
Location: Desire Street Ministries, 3600 Desire Parkway at the corner of Higgins Blvd.

District 8: Lower Ninth Ward and Holy Cross
2pm - 4pm
Location: New Israel Baptist Church, 6322 St. Claude Avenue

District 9: Pines Village, Plum Orchard, Read Boulevard West, Read Boulevard East, Edgelake/Little Woods, and West Lake Forestwhich contain several individual subdivisions such as Castle Manor, Castle Manor East, Sherwood Forest, Lake Willow, Lake Barrington, Lake Bullard, Kenilworth, Eastover, and Lake Forest
4:00 until 6:00 p.m.
Location: Einstein Charter School, 5100 Cannes St.

District 10: Village De L'Est ("Lest" according to UNOP)
4:00 until 6:00 p.m.
Location: Einstein Charter School, 5100 Cannes St.

District 11: Lake Catherine and Viavant/Venetian Isles
4:00 until 6:00 p.m.
Location: Einstein Charter School, 5100 Cannes St.

District 12: Algiers Point, McDonogh, Algiers/Whitney, Fischer Housing Development, Behrman, Algiers Naval Station, Aurora/Huntlee Village/Walnut Bend, Tall Timbers/Brechtel, and River Park/Cutoff
Location: Delgado Community College, 2600 General Meyer Ave., New Orleans, LA 70114

District 13: Algiers Point, McDonogh, Algiers/Whitney, Fischer Housing Development, Behrman, Algiers Naval Station, Aurora/Huntlee Village/Walnut Bend, Tall Timbers/Brechtel, and River Park/Cutoff.
1:00 to 3:00 pm
Location: Woodland Presbyterian Church, 5824 Berkley Avenue

More Bullshit and Drivel Than You Can Shake Your Radio at

Why do you persist in reading this %#$(@^*! when you should be reading People Get Ready and Schroeder's latest reason to hate WWL. (hint: with Democrats set to control--so to speak--Congress in January, New Orleanians will no longer have to hear any of that "liberal talk radio" that's such a scourge to the nation.)


tags: , ,

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Now It'll All Be Better

The biggest problem the city faces today? Not Road Home sluggishness, not murder or domestic violence or public transportation or affordable housing but parking fines!

N.O. parking violators face crackdown

In New Orleans, motorists who have failed to pay their parking tickets will have their cars booted in greater numbers, predicts a city administrator, who also foresees a doubling of the number of vehicles hauled away for blocking driveways and violating other parking rules.

And in the spring, Public Works Director Robert Mendoza said, the city may start installing traffic cameras, which will enable automated ticketing of speeders and other law-breaking motorists.

"It's on my wish list," he said.

I wish our city officials would spend some time creating or promoting ways to help its citizens rebuild and move home rather than finding new ways to squeeze money out of us.

Allies and More Bad Writing Than You Can Shake Your Laptop At

Someone I heard speak recently reminded me why I didn't vote for Nagin either time he ran for mayor and why I was baffled at the amount of black support he gained--his principal allies were white conservatives/Republicans, a significant number of whom are anti-Landrieu "on principle" (i.e. because he integrated City Hall), not a group usually invested in the wants, needs or pains of black communities (or the middle class of whatever race/group). Strange fucking allies. Explains his second term. They're all still rich and set to get richer.

Midterm pains are here. Being in a building has decreased some of the chaos. I probably need to distribute Dear University Student and Dear University Student #19. I'm too burned out to think of numbers 20-25 today. I have them in me but there's no time and my ability to create coherent sentences has been compromised by way too much grading.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whoops! There It Is. Again.

Hold-your-breath close to the elections, another Republican/conservative scandal-in-the-making: Key evangelical quits amid gay sex claim (ABCNews: watch out for pop-up ads). The Rev. Ted Haggard, leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals and head of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, didn't exactly quit or resign as the stories are written--he has stepped aside while investigations occur.
"I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity," Haggard said in a written statement.
Raw Story presented it a little more truthfully:
The leader of one of Colorado's most popular mega-churches, Ted Haggard, is temporarily stepping down from his leadership role, after allegations from a male prostitute that Haggard solicited gay sex.
This staunch opponent of gay marriage (it is always "gay" rather than "same-sex," all about men potentially or thinking about fucking each other) more than "solicited," allegedly, but paid for and got "gay sex" from a male "escort" about every month, allegedly, over the past 3 years, the last meeting recently:

[Mike] Jones said that he had advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and that a man who called himself Art contacted him. Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard.

He said that he last had sex with Haggard in August and that he did not warn him before making his allegations this week.

The evangelicals, the true believers, have been duped. They have been in bed with what they abhor and fear.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Instant Blog Post: Template

I [] just read [] just saw [] am pissed about __(add link here)__

Go read __(add more links here)__. I [] totally agree with [] can't stand what __(insert link or name here)__ [] said [] did [] thought about it.

I can't believe __(add name or link here)__ [] will [] wants to [] has voted to [] has already [] will not [] refuses to yield on [] probably buried __(fill in phrase, clause, link, bill number, etc. here)__.

Responses or comments are [] encouraged [] waited for breathlessly [] irrelevant [] raising my blood pressure so just STOP.

tags: (insert tags here)

Zimbabwean women want Dignity.Period!

Listed on