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Wonkette, "The Monuments", Confederates, and Mayor Landrieu [24 May 2017|12:53pm]
[ mood | patriotic ]

Wonkette has an article with some good snark about the neo-Confederates and their idols removed in New Orleans, and praise for Mayor Mitch Landrieu's speech.


I posted the below comment at Wonkette. It has not appeared, tagged "Detected as spam".  I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's a bit long.


Yeah, good speech by Mayor Mitch, though some of the locals who have been working for years, for decades, to make this happen are a bit annoyed with how it looks like Landrieu is trying to take all the credit.

Just a bit annoyed. As opposed to the neo-Confederates, who are jumping up and down like Yosemite Sam about to burst a blood vessel, swearing at that Satanic Commie Mitch, without whose treacherous troublemaking, everyone would have continued kowtowing to the Confederate slaver traitors idols forever.

Most of the shouty Confederate Treason Flag waivers were from out-ot-town, but there are a fair number of locals (especially of certain ages and complexions) who express shock (SHOCKED, I TELL YOU!) at hearing the notion, which apparently never crossed their minds to consider, that other folks in town have long considered "the monuments" objectionable. (MY STARS! I must fan myself!) It's pretty remarkable what some people can resist noticing -- even when it's been in front of their faces.

The so-called "Battle of Liberty Place Monument" put up in 1891 by the city's White League (yeah, they didn't try to disguise what they were about back then) said 'WHITE SUPREMACY" right on it in stone letters, so it was kinda hard to pretend it was about anything else. It was long recognized as the low-hanging turd of "the monuments". When Mitch's dad Moon Landrieu was mayor in the 1970s, it was moved during construction and Moon warehoused it hoping people would forget about it, but a group of families from the old White League made him put it back, because history, though he got them to add a rather timid plaque adding the footnote that not everyone in New Orleans agrees with that stuff any more. The next Mayor, Dutch Morial, unsuccessfully tried to get it taken down in 1981, but did get the to add a somewhat less timid footnote inscription. In 1989 under Mayor Sidney Barthelemy some more construction was another good excuse to move the thing to a warehouse again (hopefully to be lost forever due to some paperwork error) but a fight led by DAVID F'ing DUKE made them put it back up, though in a less conspicuous location and with some of the worst of the original inscriptions replaced with blander stuff. The 1993 re-dedication ceremony led by David Duke with lots of treason flags was on all the local tv news, and a big color photo of African-American state Representative Avery Alexander being pulled away in a choke hold by NOPD while Confederate flags waived in the background was on the front page above the fold of the Times-Picayune. Just some of what some people claim to have never noticed.

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The House that Jeff (Davis) Built [12 May 2017|06:12pm]
Whatever we might say about Jefferson Davis now, I think it would be hard to say any more eloquently than William Claypoole Johnson did in 1863, with his cartoon/poem "The House That Jeff Built".  Check it out.

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That's more than enough from YOU, Jeff Davis! [27 Apr 2017|04:00pm]
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Harry Truman writes: “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence” [22 Dec 2013|03:02pm]
On 22 December 1963, on the one month anniversary of JFK's assassination, former President Harry Truman published and op-ed in the Washington Post about how he was “disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment” to keep the President promptly and fully informed and had become “an operational and at times policy-making arm of the government.” Truman's editorial only ran in the first printing of the Post before it was pulled. Good summary article on "Fifty Years of Struggle" blog, with copy of Truman's original article (click to enlarge).

Former President Harry Truman: “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence”
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50 Years Ago Today in Dealey Plaza - One Young Couple's Story [22 Nov 2013|11:29am]
On 22 November 1963, Gayle and Bill Newman with their sons Clayton and Bill Jr. went to see President Kennedy as the motorcade drove through Dallas. They became some of the closest witnesses to the assassination.


"We were just in front of the Triple Underpass on Elm Street and we were at the edge of the curb getting ready to wave at the President. [...] The President's car was some fifty feet still up infront of us coming towards me. There was a shot and the President, I don't know who was hit first, but the President jumped up in his seat and I thought it scared him, there was a firecracker, cause he looked, you know fear, and then, as the car got directly in front of us, well, a gunshot apparently from behind us hit the President side, side of the temple." -- Bill Newman

"We were standing next to the curb so the children could see the President. And the car was just up a piece from us. This shot fired out, and I thought it was a firecracker. And the President kind of raised up in his seat, and, uh, I though he was going along with a gag or something, and all of a sudden this next one popped, and Governor Connally grabbed his stomach and kind of layed over his side. And then another one, it was all so fast, and President Kennedy reached up, grabbed, looked like he grabbed his ear, and blood just started gushing out, and my husband said 'Quick, get down!' and I grabbed the baby and we ran and layed down on the grass and I got on top of him. It was just right by us when it all happened. -- Gayle Newman.

Usually in Presidential motorcades, a car or truck with press photographers rode right in front of the President’s limousine to take photos along the route. Somehow on this day in Dallas the press car wound up 8 cars behind the President’s. No doubt there’s some perfectly innocent reasonable explanation for that. Anyways. Some of the reporters jumped out when they got to where the assassination just took place, and seeing the Newmans on the ground covering their children, told them to stay put for a moment while they took their photos.


Jay Watson of WFAA radio & tv, per his own description, "commandeered a car" to bring the Newmans directly to the Channel 8 television studios. (Understand this was before the era of portable hand held television cameras.) A colleague was assigned to tell the studio to be ready to go live and to be sure to record it (not yet the usual practice). Within 20 minutes of the shooting, the Newmans were recounting what they saw on live television.

Oh, for anyone not familiar with Dealey Plaza, "behind" them where they thought the shots came from was the north knoll and pergola. The 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository was to the left and in front of them. The Newmans were not interviewed by the Warren Commission.
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Grassy Knoll + 50 [10 Nov 2013|10:50am]
Some JFK conspiracy/coup d'etat links

JFK Assassination: CIA and New York Times are Still Lying to Us, by David Talbot, Salon

21 Cops Who Heard a Grassy Knoll Shot, by Jeff Morley, JFK Facts

Surgeon in ER insists 2 gunmen shot JFK - Doctor first to see Kennedy's wound. By Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Correction - Doctor doesn't "insist 2 gunmen shot JFK", but rather points to medical evidence that it was a minimum of 2 gunmen.

Bush and the JFK Hit, Part 8: Prepping a Patsy? By Russ Baker

Inconsistencies Haunt Official Record Of Kennedy's Death - NPR story on the AARB
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Surveillance State [23 Aug 2013|10:09pm]
"No laws define the limits of the N.S.A.'s power. No Congressional committee subjects the agency's budget to a systematic, informed and skeptical review. With unknown billions of Federal dollars, the agency purchases the most sophisticated communications and computer equipment in the world. But truly to comprehend the growing reach of this formidable organization, it is necessary to recall once again how the computers that power the N.S.A. are also gradually changing lives of Americans - the way they bank, obtain benefits from the Government and communicate with family and friends. Every day, in almost every area of culture and commerce, systems and procedures are being adopted by private companies and organizations as well as by the nation's security leaders that make it easier for the N.S.A. to dominate American society should it ever decide such action is necessary." -- David Burnham, New York Times, March 27, 1983

THE SILENT POWER OF THE N.S.A. New York Times, 1983
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Flickr Redesign [13 Jun 2013|01:30pm]
Photo sharing site Flickr did a massive redesign last month. Photos are now displayed larger - and unless viewed individually, lacking titles and captions. Various other changes as well, most of which result in the site being slower loading and harder navigate. Flickr is owned by Yahoo. I remember when Yahoo killed GeoCities; I wonder if Yahoo is in the process of doing the same to Flickr.

Since the redesign I've been laying back, accessing Flickr lots less than I had been, hoping that they'd realize their "New Coke" mistake and at least offer the option of users being able to view images according to the old functionality. Some other long term Flickr user friends and online acquaintances have been posting images and comments critical of the redesign, one with decades of photos is in the process of transferring them elsewhere, and several others are looking for other options.

Michael Stutz on HufPo: How Flickr Redesign Leaves Out the Photographers

The Online Photographer: A Better, Brighter Flickr(?) Some interesting comments.

Infinite Hollywood: The New Flickr Sucks and Here’s Why

Among the many negative Flickr forum threads: Redesign literally making some users sick
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More on BP oil disaster links 3 years on [21 Apr 2013|03:27pm]
What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill - The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was even worse than BP wanted us to know. Daily Beast article

US witness claims BP gas explosion cover-up Al Jazeera video with photos & interview
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Emile Christian [20 Apr 2013|12:07pm]
I'm enjoying the music of early New Orleans jazz trombonist Emile Christian on his birthday.

Wikipedia: Emile Christian

Music samples (via YouTube except where otherwise noted):

Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 1919: Satanic Blues (Christian is listed as co-composer)
Ditto Lassus Candy
Ditto, 1920 Soudan One of the pseudo-Near Eastern numbers popular at the time. Pardon the presenter's spoken introduction.

Christian spent most of the 1920s with various bands in Europe.

Eric Borchard's Jazzband 1924: Aggravatin' Papa

Lud Gluskin band 1929: Milenburg Joys
Ditto Doin' The New Low Down Christian vocalizes and has a little nice solo

Back home in New Orleans in his later years:

Johnny Wiggs band 1954: If Ever I Cease to Love (on Picosong) Playing an old New Orleans Mardi Gras standard, the band falls into an old mostly ensemble New Orleans style.

Johnny Wiggs band 1956: Gallatin Street Grind
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French intelligence attempt to censor Wikipedia backfires. [07 Apr 2013|06:15pm]
Ars Technica: Wikipedia editor allegedly forced by French intelligence to delete “classified” entry

"This volunteer, which was one of those having access to the tools that allow the deletion of pages, was forced to delete the article while in the DCRI offices, on the understanding that he would have been held in custody and prosecuted if he did not comply. Under pressure, he had no other choice than to delete the article, despite explaining to the DCRI this is not how Wikipedia works. He warned the other sysops that trying to undelete the article would engage their responsibility before the law.
"This volunteer had no link with that article, having never edited it and not even knowing of its existence before entering the DCRI offices. He was chosen and summoned because he was easily identifiable.
"The "Station hertzienne militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute" entry is currently the most-viewed page in french-language Wikipedia."

French Wikipedia: Station hertzienne militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute

English Wikipedia: Pierre-sur-Haute military radio station

See also: Streisand effect
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BP Gulf Oil Disaster 2010-2013... [06 Apr 2013|05:11pm]
Three years on, the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil disaster continues to poison the environment and cases continue in courts.

The Advocate: Report: Dolphins still dying as result of oil spill

Gambit New Orleans: Judge rules against BP in settlement dispute

Basically BP tried to get legal permission to wiggle out of paying damages by criteria they had already agreed to.

Financial Post: BP loses motion to dismiss gross negligence that could trigger US$17.6B in fines in spill trial
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Mardi Gras Day 2013 [16 Feb 2013|06:32pm]
Yeah, Tuesday was Mardi Gras! After spending the last two Fat Tuesdays Uptown, I again had did Mardi Gras Downtown.

I started off the day with Mimosas and King Cake at a friend's house in lower Marigny. Then walked up (through various groups of costumers and revelry) to meet with some musician friends in the Marigny Triangle neighborhood; we were playing for a friend's wedding. The couple were wheeled in home made floats for a short parade to the R Bar, and they were married on the porch across the street. Next on over to Frenchmen Street, for the presentation of the new court of the Krewe of Kosmic Debris, then the parade into the French Quarter. Then back down to Frenchmen Street, and walk back to my starting point, passing thru continued fun. Another fine Mardi Gras Day.

Photo! Video! Links!Collapse )
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DragonCon and Ed Kramer [16 Feb 2013|11:33am]
Atlanta's DragonCon faces boycott in wake of co-founder being accused of child molestation

Some background articles.

Crime Victims Media Report: Gaming The System: DragonCon Founder Edward Kramer Caught With Another Boy

Atlanta Magazine - In the Shadows "One spectacle you won’t see this Labor Day weekend is DragonCon’s cofounder, who for the past twelve years has managed to elude facing trial on child molestation charges. But has time finally run out for Ed Kramer?"

Nancy A. Collins calls for DragonCon boycott

Some evidence contrary to DragonCon's claims to have been distanced themselves from Kramer since 2000:

Web Archive: Aug 2008 DragonCon website listing Ed Kramer as a guest

Flickr photo - Ed Kramer at DragonCon 2008

Trying to the kill the messenger department:

Dragon Con’s ED KRAMER arrested in motel with fourteen-year-old boy

: "When horror author Nancy Collins spoke out against Kramer, she was subjected to vicious attacks from fan and pro alike. Once again, fandom’s capacity to cover up disappoints and horrifies." ... "I’m sure there will be plenty of people out there who will continue to defend Kramer. But I think a lot of people owe Nancy Collins an apology."

http://www.themarysue.com/dragoncon-boycott/ The Mary Sue - DragonCon Boycott
http://con-news.com/?p=9423 Con-News: DragonCon Boycott
http://con-news.com/?p=9443 Con-News: Kramer at Dragon Con 2008
http://file770.com/?p=11662 Dragon*Con Addresses Kramer Connection

Fox Atlanta: DragonCon co-founder files hundreds of complaints from jail "A Georgia man who successfully delayed his child molestation trial for more than a decade is now running up big medical bills in jail and filing hundreds of sometimes bizarre complaints." With video of Mr. Kramer.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: DragonCon founder denied bond "Porter argued that Kramer manipulated his own lawyers, the court and the prosecution and engaged in a “calculated pattern of evasion of the court’s orders” to avoid going to trial and remain out of jail. “The only time when Mr. Kramer is physically in distress is when he’s facing the consequences of this case,” Porter said."

Comics Beat: Dragon*Con Founder Ed Kramer files dozens of complaints from jail while looking extremely creepy "Obviously, Kramer is a master at squirming away from any consequences for his actions. It’s equally obvious that he’s a pretty loathsome human being—ending his profiting from a weekend where people just want to have a good time might not be the easy thing, but it’s almost certainly the right thing to do."

Remember, Convention loving fandom there ARE alternatives.

For example, Melissa S. Kaercher, "multimedia artist and Queen of the Lizard People" writes about Swapping Dragon*Con for Fringe Festival

In the South East, there are Con Nooga, MACE, Play on Con, Alabama Phoenix Festival.

And if you like a big Convention, hey, why settle for a regional Con when the WORLD CON is going to be in the US the same weekend as DragonCon! WorldCon 2013 in San Antonio Texas
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Chewbacchus & early Carnival 2013 [04 Feb 2013|11:03am]
[ mood | Carnivalistic ]

It's Carnival Time in New Orleans. I've participated in a few events, mostly non-"mainstream" ones thus far.

Saturday 26 Jan I caught a little bit of the 'Tit Rəx mini-parade on St. Roch Avenue and later on Franklin Avenue on my way towards the lineup for the Chewbacchus Parade later that evening. Chewbacchus is a science-fiction related Carnival parade; the King was actor Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca in the Star Wars films.

Chewbacchus DAMN Band by Kimberly Edwards

Pair-A-Dice Tumbers, as the Dead Alien Musical Nerds (the D.A.M.N. Band) playing the Chewbacchus Parade. Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans. Photo by Kimberly Edwards.

Read more...Collapse )

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Krewe du Vieux 2013 [24 Jan 2013|12:34pm]
The Krewe du Vieux parade kicked off the New Orleans Carnival parade season last Saturday evening.

My pix on Flickr; some NSFW
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Old business - Exploding glass cookware [24 Jan 2013|12:28pm]
Eight years ago in this journal, I recounted how I had been cooking with glass pots dating back to about the first Reagan administration, until they all gradually broke. Further discussion revealed stories of glass cookware spontanious exploding!

And now, an update via techfragments.com: Exploding Pyrex Cookware Mystery Solved. It seems the problem was with a change in the formula in the 1990s.
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And now a word from our sponsor... [16 Jan 2013|01:09pm]
Groves Tasteless Chill Tonic

Grove Tastless Chill Tonic. Makes Children as Fat as Pigs.

Advertisement from "The Banner-Democrat", Lake Providence, Louisiana, 3 December, 1898
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Journal of the Institute of Scientific Santa-Clausism [24 Dec 2012|09:16am]
A bunch of back issues of the Journal of the Institute of Scientific Santa Claus-ism are on line... in scanned copies at least.


Astonishing scientific proof of Santa ClausCollapse )
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The End of the Baktun as We Know It [20 Dec 2012|03:04pm]
Advances in hieroglyphic decipherment have confirmed that the Ancient Maya had a rather crude and cruel sense of humor.

Catherwood Stela Troll

More seriously, USA Today article: Mayans unfazed about the end of the world

Good article, despite the usage of the shibboleth "Mayans". Since the author seems reasonably well informed, I'm guessing it was miscorrected by his editor to confirm to usage in teh innernet memez.

As Louis Maistros summarizes it, the modern Maya think we're idiots about that "end of the world" thing, but are happy to take our tourism money.
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