Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What does it take?

Nominations are now open for this year's Ashley Morris Award to be presented at the Rising Tide V conference.

What does it take to get an Ashley?

► The unflinching courage to tell it like it is.

► A biting sense of humor.

► The ability to put political fakers in their place.

► Powerful skill at making a point.

► An indomitable love of family and hope for the future of New Orleans.

Nominations open now. Find out who is selected on August 28.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Getting ready for Rising Tide V

Over the to left there I've put a big 'ole button for Rising Tide V. That's the annual new media conference on the future of New Orleans I've been happy to be associated with for the last few years.

Registration is just $20 and it includes a full day of great speakers and presentations, a light breakfast, a hearty lunch, and the unique chance to meet some of the people behind the voices in the NOLA Bloggers community.

The official line-up of speakers will be announced shortly, but as an "insider" I happen to know that someone who regularly writes at this blog will probably be part of the program. The keynote speaker is typically the best of all, of course, but I'm afraid I can't divulge any information on who that might be this year. Just remember that we had actor and activist Harry Shearer and author and levee board member John Barry in the past, so the bar is set high--and we intend to move it higher.

To keep up with this developing story, plug into Rising Tide via your favorite social media platform:

And go ahead and register now before the cost goes up next month.

See you at Rising Tide V!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just sayin'

Jeffrey over at the Yellow Blog compares and contrasts a major difference between living in New Orleans and living somewhere else.

Exhibit A: Lakers fans celebrate victory.

Exhibit B: Saints fans celebrate victory.

The evidence is all there.

Nuff said.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Calling out the haters

I expect trash talk on talk radio. The radio station operators deliver it in super-sized portions because their target audience responds to it and keeps coming back for more. But I have higher expectations from the print medium.

Editors at The Washington Post this week demonstrated they do not have similarly high expectations of us.

In a story about the "suspicious" outcome of an election in South Carolina, it is suggested that the election was tainted by Louisiana. We may well marvel at the imaginative excuses South Carolina Democrats are concocting to explain the unexpected outcome of their recent primary; after all, desperate people will do desperate things.

But what shocked me is the absolute cavalier and reckless manner in which The Washington Post offers credence to the wild and unfounded accusation.

"Louisiana, after all, does political shenanigans more colorfully and brazenly than most," writes staff writer Mr. Manuel Roig-Franzia.

A reputable journalist would have written, “There is absolutely no evidence or fact to support the accusation.”

Ignoring the fact that political shenanigans are epidemic throughout America at all levels of politics, The Washington Post smugly invites readers to roll their eyes in group derision and disgust at the mere mention of the Bayou State. I wonder to what other dehumanizing stereotypes does Mr. Roig-Franzia subscribe?

You can easily imagine the thought process that drove the publication of this story. In lieu of fact-checking and respect for fellow Americans, the Post dumps mightily on an entire state with a chortle and a wink.

“Heck, fellas, it's LOUISIANA--what evidence is needed?”

I wrote to the Post to complain but received no response. Fortunately my sister-in-law in Virginia, who first alerted me to this insult of the entire population of Louisiana, also wrote. Her letter was published today.

It was suggested to me that defending the honor of Louisiana politicians is a fool’s campaign. But I don’t see this as defending our soiled past; this is defending our future. It is just as much about calling out the hypocrisy of the Post to call attention to the splinter in our eye while overlooking the timber in their own.

As my sister-in-law pointed out, “Convicted former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards is doing time in the penitentiary while convicted former D.C. mayor Marion Barry is doing time on the city council. Did somebody say ‘brazen’?”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prove me wrong

So the president goes on national television for a prime time speech on the ongoing crisis. In a stern tone that assures us he's serious, the president pledges:

"We will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives."

Remember those words?

That was in 2005.

And in 2010, the president goes on national television for a prime time speech on the ongoing crisis. In a stern tone that assures us he's serious, the president pledges:

"We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes...And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy."

So forgive me if I'm cynical, because I am.

I've often said that the only real difference between the two major political parties is the color of their neckties. And so far, when I compare the response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the response to the current oil-pocalypse in the Gulf of Mexico, I don't see much improvement in 5 years.

President Obama, prove me wrong. Show us that your words are not simply more campaign rhetoric. Make me take my words back and write a blog about how you turned out to be a man of your word. Because I'll do it--I'll gladly eat crow online for all the world to see.

The next move is yours, Mr. President.