Sorry man

It’s beautiful weather in New Orleans right now.  I was eating my lunch in Jackson Square today, and trying to finish the last Harry Potter book before the movie comes out.   As usual, there are a ton of people in the Square enjoying the day. I noticed a gutterpunk couple sleeping in the sun.  They looked comfortable.  Dirty, but comfortable.

After a chapter or two, I look up and notice that the woman, who looked to be around 20, is trying to wake her boyfriend(?) up.  She’s patting him on the head, poking him, kissing him, pushing him over.  There is no response.  He feebly rolled over at one point, and I figured he just wanted some more sleep.  She kept at him, and he remained motionless.  She stood up and tried to drag him, and he didn’t move.  I started to get concerned, but I know better than to get involved with gutterpunks, so I just kept watching, waiting for her to look like she wanted help.  She never did.

Eventually, she gave up trying to wake him, and walked off towards the front of the Cabildo, where I watched her talk to some of the street people there.  She didn’t seem too worried, although I did see her point in the direction of the Square once.

I was torn about what to do.  I surely didn’t want to go over to the passed out man in the Square, but I was also worried for him.  I didn’t want to read about how a young man overdosed in the middle of Jackson Square and no one noticed.  I contemplated calling 911, but didn’t.  Eventually, I saw an NOPD officer that I recognized pass by on a Segway on Chartres in front of the Cathedral.  I walked over to him and told him that there was a gutterpunk passed out in the Square, and that he didn’t look too good.  He said he would check it out.  I headed back towards work.

I was intending to go back to work, but my curiosity got the better of me, and I went back into the Square.  On my way, I passed the young woman.  She was talking to a tourist couple seated on bench and smoking a cigarette.  She still didn’t seem too concerned about her companion.

I got back to the center of the Square, and watched the cop approach the man.  He tapped him with his foot to wake him, but got no response.  He nudged him harder and spoke louder, and eventually the gutterpunk started coming too.  Then he lunged for the cops knees and tackled him.  They rolled on the grass for a bit, but the officer quickly subdued the man and called his partner over.  As he handcuffed him, the gutterpunk was wailing “No!” and “Please, baby!”  The cops were rough with him, I think deservedly so.  They never swung at him, but they did forcefully keep his head to the ground with their knees until he was handcuffed.  It was not pleasant to watch, knowing that I started it.  Eventually more cops showed up and he was taken in.  His girlfriend talked to the cops for a bit, but was told to go away.  She collected their things and walked off.

I really felt bad about the whole thing.  I knew he was going to get arrested if I told the cops about him.  I also knew that if I went over there myself, nothing was going to come of it.  I didn’t want him to get hurt, but I also didn’t want him to OD in the Square.  I’ve also been harassed enough by gutterpunks (you’re an easy target when you are young and wear a coat and tie in the French Quarter) to not really want to see them around.  I’m sure some are great people.  But my experience tells me that many are hostile, intimidating, and rude to everyone who doesn’t live by their philosophy of life.  I don’t wish them ill, I just wish they were nicer to strangers.

So, to the gutterpunk that I helped get arrested today in Jackson Square, I’m sorry.

Failed again

So the Corps of Engineers has fucked us again, this time denying the permit to build protective barrier islands off the Louisiana coast:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not allow land barriers to be built to protect the state’s coastline, Plaquemines Parish Billy Nungesser told The Lens today.

“They turned it down,” Nungesser said. “They denied the plan to do the barrier islands, so I don’t know, so we’ll have to come up with something else. We’re going to plan B, but I don’t know what plan B is.”

This is the same type of project that folks have said would help rebuild the wetlands and protect the people living in southern Louisiana from flood surges and hurricanes.

I suspect the real reason it was denied was money.  BP won’t pay for it.  The federal government doesn’t want to pay for it.  So it doesn’t happen.

I got in a nice drunken argument with Dave over the weekend about this.  I don’t know how anyone who has paid a speck of attention to the Gulf Coast in the past five years can say that the federal government has any attention of helping.  They have repeatedly hung us out to dry (or drown).   Dave insisted that surely they are doing the best they that they can, that they have the best minds around working on the problem.

I agree that they have the best minds working on the problem.  Unfortunately for us, the problem as the government sees it is saving money and maintaining their cozy relationship with the oil companies.  They will do everything they can to make sure that they fix the problem.

Awesome has great photos of the oil disaster.

Heather Neville of Tristate Bird Rescue and Research rinses off an oiled brown pelican which was captured on a barrier island off the fragile Louisiana coast on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at a triage center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. (MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Heather Neville of Tristate Bird Rescue and Research rinses off an oiled brown pelican which was captured on a barrier island off the fragile Louisiana coast on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at a triage center in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. (MIRA OBERMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

This is a bad situation.

Goodbye Mr. Nagin

You are a turd.  You couldn’t just go quietly, you had to sully one more thing before you leave office:

C. Ray is a turd

Yes, that is the Lombardi Trophy in C. Ray’s official portrait.  Because of, you know, all the stuff C. Ray did in bringing that thing to New Orleans.

From the City of New Orleans website:

Inside the portrait, painted by Mr. Newt Reynolds, two symbols emerge from a shadowy background. A hurricane graphic, representing Hurricane Katrina, and an image of the Lombardi trophy, symbolizing the Saints first-ever Super Bowl victory, signify the challenges and difficult times as well as the unity and resiliency of New Orleanians. Mayor Nagin’s one-of-a-kind portrait reflects the distinct legacy he will leave in history.

I think that blue thing above his shoulder is the hurricane graphic.

Yay cops

Two years ago at Mardi Gras, Leslie tackled my Mom on the neutral ground of St. Charles as shots were fired into the crowd.  Seven people got shot.

Today, charges were dropped against the shooters, because the cop that confiscated the gun found on the suspects is one of the cops that recently pled guilty to planting a gun in the Danzinger bridge case.

Cursing under his breath as he left a courtroom Thursday, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro had his office dismiss all charges against three young men accused in connection with the 2009 Mardi Gras parade shooting that sent seven parade-goers, including a toddler, to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

“I want them back in f—ing court,” Cannizzaro muttered repeatedly to an assistant as he walked away from Judge Frank Marullo at Criminal District Court.

The state’s case became troubled recently, when New Orleans police Lt. Michael Lohman admitted in federal court that he planted a gun in an effort to cover up a deadly police shooting days after Hurricane Katrina.

Lohman is the cop who also confiscated the guns allegedly used in the Mardi Gras shooting.

According to prior courtroom testimony by Detective Jeff Walls, Brooks was a gunman that day and was tackled by a citizen and Lohman as he tried to run away.

When Brooks hit the ground, a fully loaded 9-mm gun fell from his waistband, police said.

What a proud moment for the NOPD.  A shooting on St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras, and your corruption lets the gunmen go free.  Thanks.


The DA has re-opened the cast.  Apparently, charges were dropped mistakenly by an Assistant DA:

Cannizzaro said the dismissal took place only because of a “breakdown in communication” between him and Pipes, and that his office will bring  Brooks,  21, Lewis, 19, and Gray, 19, to trial for discharging a firearm along the parade route.

What kind of idiot is that Assistant DA?  “Yeah, sure let them go, we don’t care.”

Claude Mauberret is a total ass

I hate to move Baylen Brees down, but this really pisses me off.

Claude Mauberret, who made it to the runoff for the city assessor’s office, dropped out:

Claude Mauberret, a district assessor since 1994, will abandon his bid to become New Orleans’ first citywide assessor today, according to a source close to Mauberret.Mauberret’s exit, expected to be announced before noon, will mean that Erroll Williams — like Mauberret a longtime district assessor — will claim the new post, expected to be one of the city’s most powerful political jobs.

Mauberret spent his entire campaign attacking the reform candidate, Janis Lemle, with flyers  unfairly associating her (via a campaign aide) to Dollar Bill Jefferson.   He also used the “scary for white people” picture of her with dreadlocks as opposed to her official portrait.   At first he denied association with these shitty flyers, but the second round that came had his name on them.  He just barely edged her out of the race to get into the primary.

And then he dropped out, handing the race to his buddy Errol Williams.  Thanks a lot, dickhead.  Thanks for ensuring more of the same in New Orleans.

I suppose that we were given our chance to make a change in the assessor’s office during the race and we squandered it.  But Mauberret’s dropping out just makes it feel like the fix was in.

You knew it was coming

Raheem Brock of the Colts posted this on this twitter feed, then quickly took it down, saying he was hacked:

Bring it on.  We’ve seen worse.  We heard it all after Katrina.

Remember Chicago, 2006?

I was pissed off about that then.  Now, I’ve just grown used to it.  I heard all the “Why rebuild in a flood zone?” idiots in Atlanta.  I let it eat me up inside.

Not anymore.  You want to taunt us with the Federal Flood?  Go right ahead.  We took it for the past five years, and we will keep on taking it.  In that typical New Orleans way, we will wear it with pride:

In other news, I am so fucking excited about the Super Bowl that I am totally mentally crippled.  Can’t focus, can’t concentrate, can’t sleep.  I just sit and think of new things about Saints football.

PS: Raheem Brock, go fuck yourself.  Thanks for the motivation.