Pic of the day

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A City Divided

Monuments ruled a Nuisance

The New Orleans City council voted 6 to 1 declaring the four confederate monuments a nuisance . The goal of this move by the mayor and others who want the monuments removed is to bring down symbols of white supremacy. Over the years I never really looked at the monuments in that context but I certainly get the point of those who want the monuments removed. Unfortunately I believe that the move has actually divided the city and driven a wedge between black and white culture instead of being a move that heals the wounds of a time long past. The real social issues that the community suffers from are lack of education and opportunity for a large part of our community. As noble as the motives of the anti statue crowd are the symbolic removal of the statues will do very little to change the institutions in this city and the country as a whole to improve the issues that divide along racial lines.

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Pic of the day

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Monumental Stance

Monumental Stance

Monument removal is still an issue in New Orleans. Yesterday Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell came out against the removal of the monuments. She thinks the monument removal effort is a shell game to divert New Orleanian’s attention away from the real issues facing the city. I must say that all the years I have lived here the monuments never came up as an issue. I have never looked at them as something that glorified the south’s cause in the civil war even though they were and are meant to be that. I have always looked at them as landmarks and a couple of them as very good pieces of sculpture. I guess my real stance is that if you take them down and replace them will they be replaced by monuments that all New Orleanians can get behind and support. I will say that if not for the Battle of Liberty Place monument I would never have known that the incident took place. A high School history teacher took us to the monument on a field trip and lectured us at the monument site about the battle of Liberty Place and what the city was like during reconstruction. It wasn’t a case of honoring those whose names where on the monument it was an opportunity to teach us a history lesson. I certainly understand the feelings of those who are offended by the statues and look at them as glorifying our shameful past but I also see them as a reminder of where we came from. In the big scheme of things Cantrell is correct. We should be focusing our energy on our immediate needs and issues that are negatively affecting the quality of life in our city.

Fear

I attended a town hall meeting last night concerning crime in the downtown Medical Corridor. The usual topics came up lighting, visible police presence the normal things that are brought up at these types of meetings. Officials stated what they are doing to improve the situation. It wasn’t a critical shouting match as to who is dropping the ball on the issue but rather a group of people presenting ideas to help improve the situation. Some of the ideas were quite good. There was however one vibe I picked up on during the discussions and conversations and that is that people are afraid. At some point the city of New Orleans is going to have to address the issue with real solutions instead of the same old ‘We are not going to take any more’ rhetoric. If the crimes are unacceptable to the mayor then he needs to find a way to prove it. Without safe streets all of the progress the city has made since Katrina won’t mean a thing.

X-Mas

I used the term X-Mas just to get under the Christmas purists skin. Haven’t really found that Holiday spirit yet even though I have put up a tree and finished my shopping. I’m not a very religious person but do find the season to be a great opportunity to bond with family and friends and even an excuse to perform acts of kindness. Just hope everyone can lighten up and enjoy the season whether your coffee cup has decorations on it or not, or you say Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah. Don’t let picayune stuff ruin the season for you.

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Pic of the day

I really am going to get out and take some new photos soon. In the meantime heres and oldie but goodie.

tugs

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Stress

Stress

Here I am again posting to my long neglected blog. Once again I am announcing that I am going to start posting on a regular basis we shall see if that pledge stays true. One of the reasons I am posting is that during the aftermath of Katrina and the Federal flood this blog was a reliever of stress. Daily rants and tirades concerning the state of the city and the lack of progress released a lot of anger and stress. Today the Stress has a different source. As my career has grown along with it salary and responsibility I suffer from a different type of stress. It is the stress of having to meet high expectations on the job even when the task given to me is not of my own making. Adding to the stress is working with a group of people who no matter how much better their lives would be if they would get on board instead of complaining and through willful inefficiency sabotaging efforts to improve things. I guess it comes with the territory and is a working condition that I have to live with therefore I shouldn’t let it add to my stress levels. I am coming to the conclusion that the American worker isn’t happy unless they are unhappy.

New Web Host

My site has been hosted by Yahoo Small business since it’s inception. For my purposes it has worked out fine. Not too pricey and enough features to keep me happy. In an effort to stop Yahoo’s tailspin into the sea Marissa Meyer sold off the small business web hosting to Aabaco. No difference other than I had to create an account with my new hosting service. Not a bad thing in all since I always got funny looks when I told people I used Yahoo as my web hosting service.

Politics

When did presidential elections start resembling High School class presidential elections. All I can say is that the candidates are all too sophomoric for me to take seriously. If this is the best our country has to offer in the way of leadership I to will have to get on the bandwagon of ‘America is doomed’. However I was pleasantly surprised by the election of John Bel Edwards to the office of the Governor of the State of Louisiana. He’s kind of a throwback to the southern Blue Dog Democrats. At the same time his tone is that of someone who wants to solve the state’s problems without a lot of partisan rhetoric. That in itself is refreshing. I guess the people didn’t want a family values guy who frequents prostitutes as their Governor. So long Diaper Dave.

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My yearly commemoration

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Katrina Fatigue

I haven’t suffered from Katrina fatigue in quite some time. The ten year anniversary overkill has brought it back. I guess some people need that time marker in their life to rehash the stories of the experience and to look at the city and proclaim how much better it is. Not me. As a matter of fact I don’t need to go over the experience again and I am not one who thinks that there have been any great improvements that have made New Orleans a better place to live. If you are measuring the improvements since August 29, 2005 then I would say yes things have improved. If you are looking at improvements measured before the storm they are minimal. For every thing that has improved the city we have also lost cultural institutions and characters that gave this place a lot of charm. Most of the so called post K improvements are things that make NOLA a lot like any other place in america. I accept the changes but hardly call them improvements. Lets move on and stop using Katrina as an excuse for our current state. One thing I can say is that New Orleans isn’t and never will be the same place that it was before the flood. Unfortunately the poverty and violence seem to have survived.

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Pic of the day

Sunrise NOLA

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Confederate Statues and Katrina

Confederate Statues

The fight goes on to remove statues in New Orleans that honor Confederate War heroes. I have lived in the south all my life and have realized from an early age how wrong and misguided the cause of the South was. The Civil War was about slavery in spite of the crowd that claims it was about state’s rights. Well it was about state’s rights. The rights of the southern states to embrace slavery. While in the north I am not so sure that their cause was initially to end slavery rather the preservation of the union. In the end thanks to President Lincoln it did become a war to end slavery. Most of these monuments were put up by proud southerners who really had a hard time getting over the war of northern aggression ( An oxymoron since the south fired the first shots.). As a matter of fact the commander who fired the first shot was P.G.T. Beauregard from Louisiana. In my eyes the monuments, at least two of them have an aesthetic appeal. General Lee at Lee circle and Beauregard at the entrance to City Park.

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I have never looked upon them as symbols of white supremacy or a symbol that the south will rise again. To me they are a reminder of a long ago time and an ignoble cause. But I didn’t have to endure the reconstruction, Jim Crow, KKK days that my fellow African American citizens have. Would I miss the statues? Yes they are a part of the city’s landscape that I have seen all my life. Would it have a great impact on me? No it would not.

As for the politics of removing the statues the process seems to have caused more division than it has unity. The reality is that the removal of these landmarks will not help us solve the issues of poverty and crime that plagues our city. I would hope that whatever happens with this situation that is doesn’t linger a lot longer. In reality it is a distraction that is preventing discussions on the real problem of racism and poverty in our city and finding solutions to solve them.

Ten Years After

I guess some folks have to rehash this over and over to get some kind of closure. Personally I am over it. Certainly I will remember the day quietly for a few moments but will get on with my life quickly on the anniversary of the event that was life changing for myself and just about anyone else living in NOLA at the time. I rode out the storm and left a few days later returning about a month later to a city that resembled a ghost town. There was talk of the new New Orleans and how much better it would be that the old New Orleans. From my chair we have preserved so many of the worst qualities that the city had and have lost so many of the things that made the city charming and unique. Change is inevitable and doesn’t always result in the outcomes that I want to see. That’s life and I live with it. However I am getting tired of everyone rehashing the stories that I have heard over and over since the storm. Yes, we all lost our refrigerators. Many lost their homes, their jobs and some their lives. I just wish the tenth anniversary was an event for looking forward instead of backwards.

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