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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 by Blogger

CenLamar Has Moved!!!! And Changed!!! Check out the new CenLamar at: www.cenlamar.wordpress.com Don't worry the domain's coming soon. Enjoy exploring. By the way, this site will remain as CenLamar's archives.

by Blogger

Big Changes in Store for CenLamar As promised several months ago, CenLamar will be moving away from the blogspot address and onto its own domain, www.cenlamar.com. But there are many other changes in store, and I just wanted to give you guys fair warning:

  • The new CenLamar will not allow anonymous commenting. But don't freak out, anonymice. You'll simply need to register a user name (or several user names), and you'll still be able to write under a pseudonym.
  • The new CenLamar will feature an interactive, team-blogged nightlife and music section.
  • The new CenLamar will also feature free classified advertising. Kinda like our own miniature Craig's List.
  • And most importantly, the new CenLamar will be written by a group of writers. If you are interested in writing for CenLamar (sorry, we can't pay you yet), send a writing sample and a letter to lamarw@gmail.com.
  • One more thing: the new CenLamar will graduate from the blogger software onto WordPress, which is way cooler and much more intuitive.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 by Blogger

Foster Campbell Says He's "99.9%" Certain That He's Running for Governor The current Louisiana Public Service Commissioner, Foster Campbell (seen on the right, sullenly walking a horse), is expected to announce his candidacy for governor of Louisiana in the near-future. Campbell, a self-described populist, claims to have learned a lot about Louisiana's unique energy policies and would seek reformations if elected. From the News Star:

He is pushing a plan to end severance taxes, corporate income taxes and personal income taxes, a cut of about $3 billion, while levying a 5 percent tax on all oil refined in the state, foreign or domestic, which would generate about $5 billion per year in revenue, he said.

He said coastal erosion caused by the network of canals and pipelines that act as a central hub for the country's oil supply is a huge problem that is being ignored.

"It's a shame what's happened because more people care about special interests than people's interests," Campbell said. "We should be the most progressive state in the South, but we haven't put our money where we should.

"We ought to make our state clean and literate, instead of illiterate," Campbell said. "In some parishes, 50 percent of kids live in poverty."

The solution could come in the form of the oil and gas tax, which Campbell said he is pushing for in 2007.

"It takes sound financial planning with a good purpose and making sure the money is spent well.

by Blogger

John Schneider, New Owner of the Hotel Bentley, Answers Six Questions for CenLamar, Says Bentley Will Regain Original Grandeur.

1. What attracted you to the Bentley? Brace and I trace our family roots to Bayou Chicot and Turkey Creek respectively, therefore, the status of the Bentley as the area’s most prominent historic landmark has been long known to both of us. In our prior dealings with Bob Dean involving Baton Rouge downtown properties, he had suggested that we take a look at the Bentley. We politely set aside that notion until Harry Silver and Martin Johnson made an impromptu visit to our offices in late July and passionately requested our assistance in returning the Bentley to economic commerce. Although we tried to emphasize to them that all of our focus, energies and resources needed to be on our Baton Rouge properties, we ultimately could not ignore their arguments of timing, civic pride, legacy and economics. Therefore, we elected to use our cache with Bob Dean for the mutual benefit of all parties by signing the purchase agreement. 2. Where would you like to see the Bentley in five years? Ten? We have developed a goal for the Bentley that encompasses both a five and ten-year perspective. Our goal is for the Bentley to be the anchor of a thriving, vibrant, revitalized downtown Alexandria that is a destination location for CENLA residents, Louisiana citizens and national and international visitors. The achievement of this goal will produce civic pride, legacy and economic benefits.

3. What's going to happen to the Bentley Room and the Mirror Room? Our intent is to bring back both rooms to their original grandeur. 4. Will you be reducing the number of hotel rooms?

Preliminary planning calls for us to make renovations to the public areas and approximately half of the 178 rooms prior to the spring opening. Once the renovation is complete on these rooms, the renovation will commence on the other rooms. The entire renovation cycle is targeted for completion in time for a formal grand opening of the Bentley coinciding with the 100th anniversary of its initial opening on August 10, 2007.

5. What types of cosmetic and decorative changes will you be making?

We are currently meeting with our design consultants to establish the specific cosmetic and decorative changes that will be incorporated into the renovation plans. Our design goal is to return the Bentley to its original grandeur reminiscence of the vision achieved by Buddy Tudor in his 1984 renovation program. 6. How has the community responded to your plans?

The community support has been the principal reason why we elected to ignore those initial thoughts that we should continue to solely focus our time, resources and energies on our Baton Rouge projects. We held our initial press conference last August on the steps of the Bentley for the dual purpose of announcing the signing of a purchase agreement as well as to gauge community support. If community support was not evident, we had a 30-day window out of the purchase agreement. The crowd in front of the Bentley and on the steps and rooftop of City Hall convinced us that there was a need and desire to return the Bentley to economic commerce. We were sold on our mission and we have not looked back.

Monday, December 18, 2006 by Blogger

Town Talk Publishes Letter Claiming Islam is a Threat to America Yesterday, the Town Talk published an opinion piece written by Donald Fuhrmann, Sr opining on the "threat" of Islam to the freedoms we all share as Americans. The senior Fuhrmann's letter was written in response to an opinion piece published and authored by Cynthia Jardon, editor of the editorials for the Town Talk, concerning America's multiculturalism. Ms. Jardon's column was actually written in response to another story: that Representative Keith Ellison would be using the Koran in his swearing-in ceremony. Although I accept Ms. Jardon's thesis that America should embrace her future as a multicultural and inclusive society, unfortunately, the story about Representative Ellison is a hoax that was created and perpetuated by conservative talk show radio host Dennis Prager. As previously reported, the Bible is not used during the House of Representatives swearing-in ceremony, and therefore, this story, however captivating, is not accurate. (By the way, the Town Talk published yet another article about this fake story today, an op-ed piece written by Jack Daniels, not the one of whiskey fame). Perhaps most interesting is the way mainstream media has run with this story in its op-ed sections, without any editorial oversight or fact-checking. See, the truth is that Ellison will be carrying the Koran; he won't be including it in the official swearing-in ceremony. The Christian Science Monitor may clear it up a little bit. Jane Lampman writes:

In Congress, newly elected representatives do not put their left hands on any book. They raise their right hands, and are sworn in together as the speaker of the House administers the oath of office. Some do carry a book, according to House historians, and some choose to photograph a private swearing-in afterward with their hand on the Bible. One senator is known to have carried an expanded Bible that included the Book of Mormon.

The Constitution says: "The senators and representatives ... shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Some confusion may come from the long-standing tradition of presidents taking the oath with a hand on the Bible. But this is a choice and matter of custom, as is the phrase, "so help me God." President John Quincy Adams took the oath on a law book including the Constitution. President Theodore Roosevelt didn't use a book.

"The United States is not a Christian state or even a generically religious state," says Derek Davis, a church-state expert at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. "We've worked hard for 200 years plus to uphold a principle of religious freedom for all citizens."

Somehow, though, despite the facts, radio talk shows, conservative bloggers, and the editorial sections of newspapers throughout the country have been using this fake story as a means for engaging in a discussion about Islam's role in American society. Perhaps this fake story speaks to a collective fear about the extent of "multiculturalism," and perhaps the senior Fuhrmann believed that this fake story represented a fake threat of Islam impeding on a fake tradition. Either way, Fuhrmann Senior is wrong and so is the Town Talk, though Fuhrmann's opinions are much more reactionary and misguided. Mr. Fuhrmann writes, in entirety:

I feel compelled to respond to Cynthia Jardon's Dec. 10 column in The Town Talk regarding her definition of "Our greatness lies here: with liberty, justice for all." Her apparent understanding of Islam is no better than her understanding of the Judeo-Christian history of the United States of America.

Americans have fought and died for our liberty and justice for all which Islam opposes with their teaching and practices. Islam opposes religious freedom and only recognizes the teachings and writings of Allah. If you want proof of this truth, you only have to look at the nations where Muslims control the government. Where is the religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and other nations under Shiriah Law? Would Ms. Jardon be allowed to walk around in Saudi Arabia in Western garb and writing editorials criticizing Islam? I think not! The Nazis also, like the Muslims, wanted world domination and the citizens of the United States would never have stood for an elected American official taking his oath to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States while placing his hand on "Mein Kampf."

World Islam does not plan to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States. They want Shiriah Law to rule America. Islam must be understood that it is not just one of the many religions of the people of America. A Muslim can be assured of paradise after death only if he dies in a war, Jihad, with infidels. Infidels are all non-Muslims, such as Christians and Jews. Ms. Jardon seems to believe by her words that, "The Koran and the Muslim religion are not things to fear." If she would just spend a little more time studying the history, beliefs and goals of Islam, she would then understand that we are not facing just a mere religious affiliation but a religion, a way of life and a way of governing.

It is not just a matter of respecting the rights of Muslims with whom we disagree but recognizing the threat of a religion bent on world domination, including the United States of America. Our test is one of protecting our way of life from an evil empire determined to eradicate Judaism and Christianity.
Mr. Fuhrmann's opinion represents the extreme radical right, and I find it to be xenophobic, ignorant, and intolerant. As a side note to this, I have a degree in Religious Studies and an extensive academic knowledge of the Islamic faith, and therefore, I feel confident, speaking on behalf of a body of knowledge, that Mr. Fuhrman's understanding of the "history, beliefs, and goals of Islam" is completely misinformed. Mr. Fuhrmann expresses his ignorance in each and every sentence. I can only imagine what a Muslim family must have thought when, yesterday, they read in bold in their local paper (or on the Town Talk's internet site, of which his letter was a featured editorial) that their faith represents the extension of an evil empire. Unfortunately, Mr. Fuhrmann confuses religious belief with political freedom, while, at the same time, he asserts that the world is locked into some type of religious war. I understand that there are many people who prefer to conflate religion with politics; it's a convenient habit. I suppose, however, we should hold the Town Talk most accountable. Earlier this week, it was noted that the Town Talk has allowed a handful of habitual, reactionary writers to become "de-facto" columnists. They frequently fail to check their facts. They frequently express racist and bigoted opinions. One has to wonder about the prerogatives of the Town Talk's editorial staff. Why do they continue to publish the opinions of a small handful of misinformed and bigoted individuals? Does this sell newspapers? Should the Town Talk press for more letters from a more representative cross-section of our community? Is there an agenda at work here? What's going on?

Saturday, December 16, 2006 by Blogger

CNN: John Edwards to Announce Bid for Presidency Here in Louisiana According to "official" sources, former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) will be announcing his candidacy for President later this month from the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood in New Orleans, a neighborhood that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. CNN reports:

Edwards also plans to travel from New Orleans through the four early presidential nominating states -- Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Among Democrats, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are drawing the most attention almost two years before the actual vote.

Edwards, however, is in a strong position as the leading candidate in Iowa. He was a top fundraiser in the race for the nomination in 2004 before he became Democratic Sen. John Kerry's running mate.

by Blogger

Jacques Roy's Commencement Speech Delivered to the Students of LSUA's Class of 2006

December 14, 2006

Good morning graduates, Dr. Cavanaugh, esteemed faculty, other public officials, and guests and families of our graduates. I am honored to be included in your commencement exercises—an event in my own life which seems not so long ago.

Being a commencement speaker is a lot like being from the IRS. When they stick you in the middle of the room, people have to look and listen, but they do not want to hear much from you.

Being a commencement speaker is a hard task. You are supposed to be slightly irreverent. I know I am supposed to identify with young folks, at least that is what I am told everyday. I need your help to make sure I deliver the right speech, A or B, so how many of you are SOTAS? Oh, maybe that is a faculty term—(SOTAS)(students older than average)(Improvise)

On a more serious note, in this public setting, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the loss of two public servants—indeed two mayors in the last month. How tragic these events are, and how they remind us we truly do not know our last hour, and therefore must commit to engage ourselves in our lives fully—the subject of which much of what I will share is focused.

Your life is yours to make of what you will. This may seem like a platitude, a boring one, even. To some, it may even seem cruel, since you do not yet believe in yourself enough to know your power. I have recently learned what daring to go back to that dreamer time in life means—that childhood state of believing you can make a difference.

I think about a study recently put out about the most efficacious age for someone to enter public life; what do you think that age is, by the way I am 36, was 35 when I ran for office?

Right, but I started thinking about why that was as opposed to the proof of how efficacious leaders who entered political life at that age were.

I believe it is because one is old enough to have lived through some hard knocks, maybe had a family, been married, maybe lost a family member or two, a child, a wife. On the other hand, that person probably still has a belly full of fire to make a difference, like you do now as much as you ever will.

Jon Stewart, whom many of you probably know well, said of your time in life:

...the unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective. The paths are infinite and the results uncertain. And it can be maddening to those that go here, especially here, because your strength has always been achievement. So if there's any real advice I can give you it's this.

College is something you complete. Life is something you experience. So don't worry about your grade, or the results or success. Success is defined in myriad ways, and you will find it, and people will no longer be grading you, but it will come from your own internal sense of decency ….

Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.

I beg you to be engaged, seize life. No, I will not be cliché and say “carpe diem.” Well, I guess I got it in . . .but I will not talk about The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles although I know you have seen them too.

But, I will tell you my own philosophy:

We are measured not merely by how we deal with adversity—or life’s tough hands. Most assuredly, we will get dealt bad cards.

However, what I believe measures you is more based on how you deal with fickle Fortune when she chooses to shine on you.

So, remember, what measures you is your engagement of fortune. Like the opportunity to commence something.

Commencement. Have any of you ever thought about why this is called commencement?

You know of course it means beginning or start. For some it will be the beginning of a long series of partying until you have to get a job . . . or until mom and dad kick you out of the house. You know a bunch of you live at home, still.

But, commencement is a time when a new part of your life begins: your adult life, your life after being exposed to opportunity to craft a worldview for yourself. Do not let people take that from you easily. Guard it; it is yours.

I thank academia for its contribution to our lives—the enrichment, the sacrifice, and even the humor. Dialectic exchange, the arrival at truths by question and answer, the exchange of information—the so-called “Socratic” method—is critical to our lives.

I would like to share a line that exists at the top of one of the greatest memorials in our nation:

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny imposed upon the mind of man.

Jefferson was talking about freedom; the freedom for all of us to think, but not necessarily act, as we wish.

Remember, your actions must be tempered by respect for others’ rights, but we should express within bounds what we wish.

I encourage you to be critical thinkers, and never forget this time of your life. For, in a very real sense, this will be the freest your mind will ever be. As you get older, you will settle in your ways; you will find yourself more judgmental, and even saying things “your daddy would say.”

Oscar Wilde said, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

Didacticism, a fancy expression for very formal exchanges of moral, logical teaching, has a place in undergraduate life, but so does community engagement, friendship, partying, the opposite sex, and a host of other instructional items. One must be careful not to let those latter ones fall out of balance.

On the banks of the River, a few weeks ago, I also noted Jefferson for his cautioning of us about acting in an ignorance-is-bliss fashion.

He said, we should guard against those people who shun thinking and the free marketplace of ideas (which is the quintessence of academia, by the way), who never want any change and who dread reformation, and who exert all their faculties to maintain the ascendancy of habit over the duty of improving our reason and obeying its mandates.

Your life is changing. Change is not a bad word; it need not even be scary. Embrace it. Fear of change, in a very real sense, is simply the fear of the unknown. It is our mind perhaps protecting us from the unknown. Throughout history, change at times altered man’s course in negative ways.

But, change can be quite positive. Indeed, it is natural and necessary.

When I campaigned, I made it clear we were not campaigning on a message that Alexandria needed to change by turning away from its past. Instead, we maintained the changes had happened as they inevitably do, and we need to seize on those changes, those positive forces of Fortune, to move forward powerfully; to measure ourselves later by how well we did.

I believe our community reacted strongly to that message.

In a movie with Denzel Washington a few years back, the writers authored a line which struck me as something I had uttered or thought before a hundred times in life. I do not remember the line, but I will give you my rendition of it applied to my life.

There are certain moments in life that eclipse most other moments, and you sort of see them coming. You have a sense that they are on the way even before the moments arrive, and you know that your life will be changed after the moment passes or the thing arises, forever.

I think this may be almost an intuitive vestige of our most primitive self—a warning system within the deepest recesses of the brain. I saw an example of that intuition, that feeling something was coming, come to fruition. I hope you will be careful thinkers, and watch for those moments and seize them.

But, remember, you cannot always overthink matters. There is an old adage that even the wrong decision is better than no decision. Another corollary is that no decision is a decision. While the truth of these statements can be debated, what is certain is that you must be active, make decisions and move.

In this region, we celebrate a renewed spirit; we look to the promise of the blossom of this campus as it inches toward Alexandria with housing opportunities and extensions to its infrastructure and as it finds its full potency as a four-year institution; we look for the promise of young minds committed to staying home, or coming back, to give their best to Alexandria and this region; we look to the first “mass returners” as I have come to call you. I hope you will make the decision to stay here or return after short sojourns in the world to help craft a sustainable community.

While some of you may go to New York City, California, and abroad, remember where your home is, where your degree was conferred, and return, come back to make our community better—to place your mark on our common heritage.

I want to close with reminding you about two critical virtues: integrity and kindness.

I learned much about those two from my predecessor. You should be kind to people because it costs you too much energy not to be.

I should know a little about this, having just been de-anthropomorph-ized into a pig and compared to worse.

Well, my family is from Avoyelles, and I do plan to trade in the black tie inaugural affair for a cochon de lait, so maybe .. . well, that is for another day.

Seriously, integrity is not something you lose and get back from others—dignity, perhaps, but not integrity.

You possess it, or not. It is really cultivating the incorruptibility of your core values and spirit. My predecessor, Mayor Ned Randolph, was a kind person with immense integrity. He will be missed.

Be persons with integrity; think for yourselves. Practice life with heaping amounts of intellectual skepticism.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. I hope you do not let anyone around you define you, limit you, belittle you, or hold you back.

Like I have said of this region, I believe you are at a crossroads point in your life. You, like this region, stand at the proverbial crossroads with the awesome responsibility to capitalize on your situation, on your education, on your ability to reach behind you, give back, and pull someone else forward.

There is a new consensus building: one born of changes in law that forced us all to work and study and matriculate together which now makes it so our hearts and minds are being changed.

I am proud to be part of the generation which will reap the harvest of desegregation and its promise of a shared vision for America. It will save our nation and the South, and locally, we can be a powerful example for progressive change.

It is time to get on board, or you may be left behind. Be inclusive; have no intolerance for others except for those who are intolerant, and even then, listen. You might learn something, even if it is simply what not to do—something your teachers will tell you can be the most powerful of lessons.

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

I wish I was sitting where you are in many ways. Have fun tonight and this weekend and congratulations. Be careful, guys. If you have something to offer to me, to this community, my door is open to you. Good morning, God bless you, and God bless LSUA and our region with the promise we so much deserve. The promise of your return to us to be a part of our bright future.

by Blogger

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Department Fires "Blogger" In the Midst Anyone know the whole story here? From the News Star:

Fewell terminated Greer for violating the following departmental policies:

  • Obedience to laws and regulations;
  • Conduct unbecoming of an officer; and
  • Security of office business.

    This wave of discipline follows the recent Internet postings of anonymous sources that revealed the identity of Metro Narcotics Agent Mike Rowlan several weeks ago. The postings also included a reported stolen document that is allegedly a handwritten confession by Rowlan that he snorted cocaine more than 20 years ago during an undercover investigation

  • That's Jacob Greer on the right. Read more on www.copwatch.net

    Thursday, December 14, 2006 by Blogger

    Is the Media Treating Governor Blanco Unfairly? Earlier this week, in what is being described as "a bad joke gone awry," the Monroe Chamber of Commerce auctioned a dinner with Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco for one dollar. "The meal sold to the first bidder," reports the Baton Rouge Advocate, which fails to mention that others had attempted to bid on the dinner. I suppose the auctioneer thought it was plain hilarious that someone had the gall to bid a dollar, even though the opening bid was set at $1000 (then quickly dropped to $500), and so she decided to end bidding immediately. It's worth noting that the Monroe Chamber of Commerce has since apologized for the incident and the man who won the dinner decided to donate $1000 for the meal after all (the most ever donated for a dinner with the governor). No matter, though, because the botched joke made for a funny headline, and it's been reported everywhere. The AP wires picked up the story. The Washington Post covered it. And even our very own KALB thought it newsworthy enough to write about. Perhaps they all believed it to be a sign of the times here in Louisiana. Perhaps they believed it was an indication that Louisianans have little respect for our governor. The truth, however, is that it was a poor attempt at humor and that ultimately, the dinner did, in fact, fetch the asking price of $1000. Of course, Governor Blanco isn't exactly having a fun time right now. Our State Legislature is split among party lines. Don Hines, a Democrat from Bunkie and President of the State Senate, was so incensed at Blanco axing funding for a syrup plant (which would have directly financially benefited his family) that he, along with members of the Republican Party, effectively blocked Blanco's special session agenda, in which nearly a billion dollars worth of funding was to be allocated for infrastructural repairs (at a time in which Louisiana needs them desperately) and teacher pay raises, among other things. We can dance around these issues all we want to. The Republicans would like to claim that they were exercising fiscal responsibility; however, the surplus represents monies that need to be directly invested back into the state, and the attempts to thwart this dispersement should be seen for what it is: party politics. I don't necessarily support everything Governor Blanco has done; there are many relevant questions we must ask about her handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (though it didn't help that our Commander in Chief was somewhere in California, unreachable to our Governor, playing the guitar while New Orleans went underwater). But I believe Governor Blanco has attempted to steer the state in the right direction. By the way, she had a big role in helping Alexandria land Union Tank Car, the largest new employer in the state of Louisiana in twenty years, and she is actively petitioning other large employers, including Toyota, to open shop in our state. Perhaps we should ask this question: Is the media treating Governor Blanco unfairly? No state has ever suffered something like the twin tragedies of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The two storms killed thousands of people (directly and indirectly), left hundreds of thousands without homes, and devastated one of America's finest cities. These disasters were not the fault of any one politician or public servant, though the destruction brought upon New Orleans was exacerbated by substandard levees and a poor evacuation plan. We want our politicians to be human, yet when they demonstrate human emotion, like weeping at the site of said devastation, they are lampooned by the media. Chad Rogers over at The Dead Pelican seems to think it's absolutely hilarious that Governor Blanco became emotional after Hurricane Katrina. It seems that every chance he gets he likes to publish this picture of a distraught Blanco after Katrina next to an unrelated story about policy. It's supposed to humiliate her: Look at this woman, crying, when she's supposed to be leading. The Washington Post even carried the same picture next to the article about the Monroe Chamber of Commerce auction. It's not relevant; it's intended to be embarrassing and-- get this-- funny. But when I see that picture of Governor Blanco, I am struck with a different emotion. I am reminded of the lives lost, of people punching through the roofs of their homes in order to seek refuge from the rising waters, of vast and total destruction, and I find it humbling and human that our governor was so affected by this tragedy. To me, the photo of Governor Blanco doesn't capture helplessness; it captures empathy, and those who use this image for their own political gain (like the website www.dontblamemeivotedforjindal.com) and those who use it in an ill-conceived attempt at humor (from a bully pulpit) are undermining this tragedy; they're exploiting the image of a woman who is grieving for her state and for the City of New Orleans. Louisiana wasn't attacked by a sovereign nation or a group of terrorists; we were attacked by a natural disaster. Again, I don't agree with everything Governor Blanco has done during her tenure, but I have to wonder what our reaction would be if President Bush or Representative Jindal was photographed weeping for Louisiana. Would the media say the same to those two men? Would they say, "It's hilarious that you're distraught. It must be a sign of poor leadership"? Or, instead, would they say, "Here is a man publicly distraught over the lost lives, a man who understands that the foundation of true leadership is empathy, a man who cares and is in touch with the effects of this disaster?" Perhaps we'll never know. Though I hope that somewhere, such a photo exists.

    by Blogger

    Where in the World is Louisiana's Own David Duke? He's in Iran at the annual Holocaust-deniers convention! (He says it's really about freedom of speech). Yesterday, he and Wolf Blitzer got into it on CNN's "The Situation Room." (Yes, I know the picture is from the Country of Scarborough). Watch the entire clip here. Wonkette provides this excerpt:

    BLITZER: … if we invited you on, why is there a Zionist conspiracy if we’re letting you on television right now? How do you explain that? DUKE: How do I explain that? I think that you can’t affect the news. You’ve got — I think you have to put some spin on what’s happening in Iran. BLITZER: But we didn’t have to invite you on CNN. DUKE: And you want to — it’s an attack mode, always an attack mode when people like myself come on there. But you thought you could handle me with your 11 connotations of the Ku Klux Klan. BLITZER: All right, let me… DUKE: But you know something? You can’t handle me, and you can’t handle the truth, and the fact is, you are an agent of Zionism. You work for AIPAC…
    To CNN and MSNBC, instead of crediting Duke as "Former Louisiana State Representative," why not credit him as "Current Ranting Lunatic and Phony Intellectual." (Apparently, they're giving out phDs in prison now).

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by Blogger

    Michele Godard Interviews Alexandria's New COO, Kay Michiels.

    by Blogger

    Babs Zimmerman Leaves KALB for KLAX According to my sources, long-time KALB assignment editor Babs Zimmerman has left KALB to become KLAX's news director.

    by Blogger

    Upcoming Holiday Events: Tipitina's Grand Opening. December 23, 2006. 5:30- 7:30: Live Music at the Kress Theater featuring performances by: Wien Denley, singer-songwriter and rubberband killer. Aaron Sibley Rodessa Meteoyer, community activist and former school board member. And Mark White, singer-songwriter and my brother. Followed by a reception at Tiptina's on DeSoto Street, with a performance by the Mike Foster Project (who will be playing afterwards at Alex 1805). And speaking of Alex 1805, count down to 2007 in style at Alex 1805's first ever Casino Royale Night. December 31, 2006. 7PM until close. Featuring: Live entertainment by New Orleans's own Government Majic (Horatio says "If you like Papa Grows Funk, you'll love Government Majic"). Poker and Blackjack tables (all proceeds to benefit CLASS). Gourmet cuisine. Complimentary champagne and party favors. A balloon drop at midnight. And a heated outdoor tent. $20 a ticket. Buy yours today from Ann at CLASS, Horatio at House of Java and Alex 1805, or Ingrid at the Rapides Foundation. Gentlemen, wear a tuxedo and get your first drink for free.

    by Blogger

    Presidential Hopeful Senator Brownback Spends the Night at Angola! The sleepover had something to do about promoting faith-based programs in prison, which, I understand, Angola is already doing. The Associated Press (thanks for the picture too) article had this to say:

    The Kansas Republican had no expectation that the drug cartel hit man, serial rapist or other convicts in his cell block would vote for him.
    And I'd sure hope not, considering that convicted felons can't vote anyway. Senator, welcome to Louisiana. We hope you were treated with gracious Southern hospitality. Read more about Senator Brownback's night in the slammer here.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006 by Blogger

    Welcome to the Internets, Tom DeLay. Quick question: What happens when disgraced former Congressman Tom DeLay (see mugshot on right) allows anonymous posting on his new Internet blog site? Answer: A not-so-friendly reception that had to be permanently deleted within 75 minutes. Thankfully, someone saved those precious comments for posterity and reposted them on another blog, tomdelaydotcom.blogspot.com. Check it out.

    by Blogger

    Open Thread: What the Heck is Happening in Jena? It seems like our neighbors up in Jena are having a difficult time with their teenagers (and with racism). Back in September, a group of white students were suspended (not expelled, as many parents had hoped) for putting a pair of hangman's nooses in a tree on the campus of Jena High School. Then, someone burns the school down. And now, four kids are being charged with attempted second degree murder in a bizarre story involving a stolen gun.

    by Blogger

    CenLamar At 100,000 This week, CenLamar reached a big milestone, recording its 100,000th hit since its creation in March of this year. A special thank you to everyone in the Cenla "blogosphere" community for continuing to read and contribute.

    by Blogger

    Again, the Bible Is Not Used In House of Representatives Swearing In Ceremony For the second time in as many days, the Town Talk published a letter from a concerned citizen upset at the allegations fabricated and perpetuated by conservative talk radio host Dennis Prager that a new member of the House of Representatives will be placing his hand on the Koran in his swearing-in ceremony instead of the Bible. Readers should be aware that this story is a complete and total lie. The swearing-in ceremony, according to the Office of the House Clerk, consists of members "raising their right hands and swearing to uphold the Constitution." The Bible is not a feature of the ceremony. I find the story interesting for a number of reasons. First, the fact that someone can just INVENT a story, pitting a Muslim against alleged Christian "tradition," is alarming, but what's more appalling is the way the mainstream media, including our very own Gannett paper, has perpetuated this story without a single retraction or correction of the record or the basic facts. Here's an excerpt of today's letter, written by Peter Gunn of Bentley:

    It is a sad state of affairs when this great nation of ours, which is only 230 years old is trying to remove the Bible from all swearing in of elected officials. May God show mercy on our souls.
    I'm not sure where on earth Mr. Gunn read that America was trying to remove the Bible from "all swearing in" ceremonies. Perhaps this is just more hyperbole perpetuated by those radio talk show hosts. And from yesterday's letter, by Ruth Barden of Boyce:
    Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Reporter, has written: "The first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran."
    To Mrs. Barden (and the Town Talk), Keith Ellison is the Muslim representative, not the reporter.