Archive for the ‘Louisiana’ Category

Slavery in America

February 19, 2016

The Whitney Plantation near Wallace, Louisiana, was founded by German émigré Ambroise Heidel and his family in 1722, and his son Jean Jacques Haydel Sr. converted it to sugar cultivation in the early 1800s. The property passed through several hands before it was purchased by New Orleans attorney John Cummings, who spent 16 years and $8 million of his own money transforming it into a museum dedicated to telling the story of slavery in America.

“The Whitney Plantation is not a place designed to make people feel guilt, or to make people feel shame. It is a site of memory, a place that exists to further the necessary dialogue about race in America.”

— “Telling the Story of Slavery,” Kalim Armstrong, The New Yorker

More:

“Harsh world of slavery focus of Louisiana plantation museum,” Jonathan Kaminsky, Reuters

Video produced by Kalim Armstrong

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Mardi Gras 2.0

February 9, 2016

New Orleans has all the urban problems of any American city — crime, poor education, no parking spaces, economic inequality —  and it’s still suffering the aftereffects of devastating Hurricane Katrina. But as the Crescent City celebrates Fat Tuesday, technology has solved one age-old problem:

You’re sipping Dixie Beer and watching the Mardi Gras parades but there’s nowhere to pee? Now there’s an app for that.

The Airpnp smartphone app directs you to nearby locations where, for a small fee, the business or homeowner will let you use the toilet facilities. Ninety percent of arrests along the French Quarter’s parade routes are for public urination, so it’s not a piddling matter.

More:

“AirPnP, an app helps find Mardi Gras rental restrooms: BBC report,” By Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune

“Inventive startups are changing the way New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras,” Shannon Sims, Quartz

Top video: “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day” by Benny Antin, from the 1997 album Wild LinoleumLyrics here.

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GOP Circus Loses Another Clown

November 18, 2015

GOP Circus Loses Another Clown

Did you know that lame-duck Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was running for president? Probably not; few people did. But don’t worry – he just dropped out of the race. Man, those Duck Dynasty folks are mighty disappointed.

Gov. Jindal’s campaign spent more money than it raised last quarter, but that’s kind of a habit for him. He’s leaving office with the state budget $500 million in the hole. Maybe the budget just needs an exorcism. Anyway, that’s the next governor’s problem.

When his term is over, Mr. Jindal will hang out at America Next, the nonprofit advocacy group (not a “think tank”) he set up to launder money for his campaign, not that there was much of it.

More:

“Bobby Jindal drops out of White House race,” Alex Isenstadt, Politico

“Why Bobby Jindal’s Candidacy Failed,” Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bobby Jindal: ‘Not the Time’ to Consider Gun Law Reform

July 27, 2015

Bobby Jindal: 'Not the Time' to Consider Gun Law Reform
On Friday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) said that it is too soon after the mass shooting in a Lafayette movie theater to discuss gun control reform. By that logic it will never be a good time to talk about gun safety laws in Louisiana, since the rate of gun deaths in the Pelican State is the highest in the country. Discussion of rational policies to reduce firearms violence will always be preempted as citizens mourn Louisiana’s newest gunshot victims.

Come to think of it, that kind of neglect is perfectly consistent with the rest of Governor Jindal’s public health policy.

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Louisiana Christmas Day

December 29, 2014

“Louisiana Christmas Day,” written by Jim Cox, performed by Aaron Neville.

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Jimmy C. Newman, 1927 — 2014

July 3, 2014

Jimmy C. Newman,  1927 -- 2014

Country singer Jimmy C. Newman died last week. After some Honky Tonk hits in the 1950s he became a regular on Shreveport’s Louisiana Hayride and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. In later years he added a Cajun flavor to his repertoire, introducing that regional style to the mainstream C&W audience.

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Mardi Gras Saved by High Tech

March 4, 2014

New Orleans has all the urban problems of any American city — crime, poor education, no parking spaces, economic inequality —  and it’s still suffering the aftereffects of devastating Hurricane Katrina. But as the Crescent City celebrates Fat Tuesday, technology has solved one age-old problem:

You’re sipping Dixie Beer and watching the Mardi Gras parades but there’s nowhere to pee? Now there’s an app for that.

(more…)

Meat is Dangerous!

February 8, 2011

Meat is Dangerous!

You’ve heard that meat is dangerous. Here’s proof.

A Louisiana woman threw a frozen beefsteak at her boyfriend and hit him in the face.  Police say the 51-year-old man was bleeding when they arrived. The woman was arrested for aggravated assault.

Other frozen foodstuffs and alcohol may have been contributing factors. The alleged perpetrator was said to be upset at the lack of freezer space for cooling her “Tequila Rose” pre-mixed strawberry cream liqueur and tequila blend. Confirmed carnivores will probably blame the strawberries.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Judge Sold Exxon Stock 5 Hours Before Lifting Drilling Ban

June 27, 2010

Judge Sold Exxon Stock 5 Hours Before Lifting Drilling Ban

Federal Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman engaged in an oil spill cleanup of his own last week. Five hours before he rendered his decision blocking the six-month moratorium on deep-water Gulf oil drilling, Judge Feldman sold his personal holdings of Exxon Mobil stock. Exxon was not a party to the case under consideration but will directly benefit from the Judge’s action.

Judge Feldman may have lost a few dollars on the sale; he definitely lost much more in credibility. “The judicial canons require that judges be aware of their investments,” wrote Steven Mufson and Joe Stephens in the Washington Post:

“Judicial ethicists said that, had he been aware of his holdings, Feldman should have disclosed the ownership or recused himself at the case’s outset if he thought it posed a conflict or raised questions about his impartiality. The court docket indicates that Feldman signed several orders before the sale.

“‘I’ve never heard of a situation like this,’ said Jeffrey M. Shaman, a judicial ethics specialist and law professor at DePaul University.

“The judge may have thought the stock did not create a substantial conflict, legal analysts said, but the fact that he apparently felt compelled to sell the stock and disclose it could be seen as indicating otherwise.

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Louisiana Judge Deep Into Offshore Oil

June 23, 2010

Louisiana Judge Deep Into Offshore Oil

Federal Judge Martin L.C. Feldman blocked President Obama’s six month moratorium on deep-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Judge Feldman knows lots about offshore drilling: he invests in it.

According to his last financial disclosure form, Reagan appointee Martin Feldman owns shares in Deepwater owner/operator Transocean and drilling service providers Parker Drilling and Rowan Companies, Inc. as well as offshore developer ATP Oil & Gas Corporation. During the report period, Judge Feldman cashed in his shares in Deepwater Horizon contractor Halliburton and Hercules Offshore.

“If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are?” wrote Judge Feldman. Obviously, the judge has not invested in Cameron International Corp., the company that manufactured the Blowout Prevention Valves on the Deepwater Horizon.

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