Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

fucking traffic cameras

i got a ticket for running through a yellow light on st. charles and washington. i was caught on film. i'm curious why it is that none of the crime cameras in the city seem to be working but all the traffic ones are a go??? i can apparently shoot someone but not run a damn light.my god, the irony!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

viagra

i read in the paper today that our cia operatives are passing out viagra to tribal leaders in afghanistan in return for information on taliban activities. i just don't think i have anything to write. damn, just damn.

Friday, December 26, 2008

violence

i grew up in a sleepy southern town where violence lurked beneath the surface in the form of domestic abuse but rarely leaked out into the streets. here in new orleans, we have both. we have children being shot on christmas night. when i first moved here, i was shocked by the randomness of the city's crime. i was horrified to see people killed in front of my home and now...well, now i am just jaded to it all. yet, as i write this i know that i am in danger of falling prey to the idealization of my childhood in that i never once witnessed a murder or even heard gun shots. still, the violence was there in the dirt caked fists of someone's drunken husband or the ten plus lashes from and angry father's belt. in my home town a drive by shooting would appall the citizens and yet, they tip toed around the presence of the klan, showing up on the weekends at piggly wiggly to give horseback rides to white children. i have seen them burning their cross in the field and so i guess my childhood was no less violent. we were just better at keeping it under wraps. i am 37 now and all my years on this planet have brought me no closer to understanding mankind's propensity for hatred and violence and i guess that is a good thing. it wearies me though and it is easy to slip into a depression post-news but despite the horror stories, it is worth mentioning that most of the world is at peace. most people are not trying to slaughter each other on the streets or in countless battlefields. hope, it is ever eternal.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the myrtles


i went to the myrtles plantation this weekend for a bit of ghostly sleuthing and confess to being somewhat disappointed. the house itself is over two hundred years old and is on the national registry of historic places. it was beautiful. the grounds were lovely but the actual history was quite lacking. our guide made mention of many things that are historically suspect and that was on the straight up history tour. they kind of lost me there. the ghost story is...well it's a ghost story and you can choose to believe or not. i personally was hoping for some intense paranormal activity. we were staying out in the area of the former stables and my friend said that she kept hearing the sound of horses through out the night. i did not hear the horses but i did dream that they were outside the room and maybe that was because i heard them in my sleep and then incorporated them into my dreams. i have no explanation and alas, that was the extent of ghostly goings on. still, the plantation was a lovely experience. the staff was very friendly and there was a peaceful sense of well being there. but what really made the trip was the other guests. there are no televisions and so everyone congregates outside, wandering the darkened grounds in search of activity. we all made friends and went looking in each others' rooms as well as stumbling about in the night, wildly photographing in the hopes of catching something on film. the kinds of people that go there are the ones that watch ghost hunters and seek out haunted places to stay. they were all super friendly and it was nice to set reality aside and really get into the spirit of the place. you may not have a paranormal experience there, but it is worth the drive to st. francisville.

Friday, December 19, 2008

a shining light of freedom

the united nations has proposed a measure that would decriminalize homosexuality. This push comes at a time when more than 70 united nation members outlaw homosexuality, with some even imposing the death penalty. guess who refused to sign?? the united states. that's right, the good old united states of america, that beacon of hope for the oppressed everywhere has refused to support a measure that advocates equality for all. we really are the bastion of freedom. my god, even the vatican supports the measure and we all know how the catholic church feels about homosexuality. i expect the united states is afraid to back this resolution for fear of having their own anti-gay policies held up to the light. our government insist on passing the buck down to the individual states to decide. this allows many states to look the other way when landlords and employers discriminate based on sexual orientation. and yes, it does still happen. then there is the pesky matter of not being able to be open about your sexuality and serve in the military. it should be a matter of national outcry that a person could serve on the front lines in iraq or afghanistan and later be drummed out of the military, loosing all benefits in the process, simply because they are gay. we, as a nation need to revisit what freedom means. you cannot pick and choose those you deem worthy of freedom without eroding the very basic definition of the word. so the united states sits back, spewing our rhetoric and dropping liberty bombs on muslims, all the while men and women are imprisoned or executed for their sexual orientation. let me run right out and buy a flag to wave because i am oh so fucking proud!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

snow in new orleans!!



What a fucking beautiful thing to wake up to in new orleans...Snow!! and lots of it, swirling around and collecting on my banana trees. it was quiet and awe inspiring. i'm in a wonderful mood now, after scampering through the french quarter like i little kid. what we had today was something really special and i for one am off to have a celebratory hot toddy. see ya in the bar!

and i thought it was bad when pat boone sang

i now know that it is far worse when pat boone attempts to write political commentary, in which he compares homosexuals to the mumbai terrorists than it is to listen to him sing. i'm not even sure what to say to that, except, how very sad and pathetic. it must be hard to have passed your heyday of the whitest of white bread crooners, screeching out your swan song as rock and roll slowly and surly eclipsed you. thank god for rock and roll! hey, pat, this asinine rambling mess of political bullshit you spewed out will not resurrect your long dead musical career. christ himself would probably reject raising that corpse from the dead. so pat...dear not so sweet pat...santa isn't going to bring you a number one song this year. he won't be coming to your house at all unless it's to bring you a stocking full of coal. so have a fucking merry christmas you right wing stupid son of a bitch.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

time stands still in new orleans

"in the latter half of the 1850's, the attorney general complained about the crime in new orleans, stating that the police force was ineffective, witnesses to crimes were frequently afraid to testify, too many people were exempted from jury service, jurors received no per diem compensation and were called for too many days of service, the recorders' courts failed to keep written records of testimony in preliminary hearings, and the district attorney's office was grossly undermanned and overworked. as a consequence, the criminal justice system was not very effective at catching or prosecuting murder suspects." does that sound familiar?? it was stated that new orleans was possibly the most violent city in the country during the 1850's and so it is again. hmm. you think, that after all this time we might be able to pull this shit together but you would be wrong. damn!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

driving home in the rain

once upon a time, my windshield wipers worked. time passed and they quit working. more time passed and they worked again. they stayed working until i drove home from georgia, got onto a long bridge, and the bottom fell out of the sky. no visibility. i almost drove the vehicle off the bridge trying to pull over. it is a dangerous proposition to pull over on a bridge in good weather but really freaking scary to do it in a rainstorm. needless to say, it was a long drive home with hazards a glowing. well, one hazard light that is, since the other light is out. that light went out about the time my air condition quit working and the rear view mirror fell off. the front bumper fell off too. the back bumper is smashed in and there is a leak somewhere so that when it rains, water gets in and the whole interior mildews. hmm. hmm. hmmm again. dramatic pause followed by agitated shaking of my head.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the joys of prednisone

i am currently finishing up a 10 day round of prednisone after being diagnosed with the walking pneumonia and who the hell gets walking pneumonia anyway?? prednisone is a powerful thing when you can't breath but the side effects are hell. i have become a seething, weeping mess and the kind of person that threatens people with their morning muffin. the other day i attacked an unsuspecting parking meter and beat hell out of it just because it wasn't functioning. i cry through comedies. i cry through tragedies. i cry through lunch. i cry myself to sleep. i cry because i cry and then i put my fist through a wall. yea for stability!! i'm looking forward to getting back to normal and also the continued function of my lungs. quiet down rebellious alveoli and riotous bronchiole tubes!! enough, order will be restored. anyway, here's to all those who have ever held aloft the prednisone cocktail or been forced to deal with someone who has.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

why won't nagin shut up?

we finally get bush out of the white house, why then can we not get nagin out of city hall? why won't he just resign and move to texas or jamaica where he spends most of his time anyway? it is appalling that as crime continues to spike, nagin insist on creating controversy elsewhere rather than address the real issues. it seems to me that he has taken a page right out of bush's book. anytime something goes wrong in the bush administration, they just up the terror alert and panic everyone into forgetting what a shitty job he is doing. now, as the recovery is all but at a stand still and crime is soaring, nagin is disseminating lies about councilwoman head, accusing her of race baiting. he continues to do this despite the fact that those who have actually heard the tape of the altercation say that there is nothing with which to back up such allegations. how is this useful? how does this help the recovery? how does this manage our crime? how does this lure business and tourists to the city? hell, nagin has not even listened to the tape. my god! i really do believe the bastard has lost his mind. if i were head, i would sue nagin for slander and defamation of character. this whole exchange saddens me, coming as it does on the heels of the historic election of a black man to president of the united states. obama becoming president gives me hope than america can move past the color of someone's skin and band together as a country but i guess there will always be small minded people. nagin has no place here. he has over stayed his welcome. i don't care if his term is far from being over, it is time for him to do the right thing and move on. not only does new orleans have to clean up after katrina but we now need to tidy up his mess as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

keeping it in perspective

with the passage of proposition 8, the lesbian and gay community suffered a blow to be sure but i feel it helps to stop and take stock of just how far things have progressed. it is especially telling that here we are no longer closeted but out and fighting for our right to marry but this is not the case in many countries. nations that embrace islam typically tend to put homosexuals to death. in india(a democracy), homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to ten years in prison. indian males are often subject to blackmail in order to keep their secret safe while their lesbian counterparts fall victim to rape. yes, we still have a long way to go in this country but we also have much to be grateful for as well. we also owe a debt of gratitude to those that went before us, demanding equality. i believe with perseverance that we shall erode the final obstacles but i sincerely hope that when that day comes, we then turn our attention to our fellow activists in other countries that do not look so tolerably on our kind. here is to equality the world over.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

proposition 8 passed



the homosexual community had some set backs this election. california passed the much publicized proposition 8 and states such as florida, arizona, and arkansas followed suit with anti-homosexual legislation. i find it appalling that there can be laws on the books that basically disenfranchise united states' citizens. i have said this before, the state should recognized civil unions only. marriage is a religious affirmation. the state has no business favoring a union between a man and a woman but not two men. once upon a time, interracial marriage was forbidden. it is easy to feel slighted by these circumstances and yet after the election of obama, a prevailing sense of hope is in the air. if this country can shift its outlook by electing a black president, then i have hope that one day it will not matter what your sexual orientation is. if you make an advance towards a straight person, you will get a polite "no thanks," instead of being beaten and left for dead in the cold wyoming night. i believe that one day it will not matter if the soldier fighting next to you is gay and when that soldier goes home from war, he or she will go home to the same freedoms as the straight person he or she fought beside. perhaps it does not seem like such a big deal, this right to wed. there are many heterosexuals that would rather be dead than married. yet, it makes all the difference in the world, if you or your partner is ill. imagine being barred from visiting your dying lover in the hospital and all the years you spent together becoming meaningless before the hardened faces of that person's family. you can believe homosexuality is a sin but in this country, we have been taught that there is a separation of church and state. this means that your religious beliefs should not rob me of my rights. isn't it time we started adhering to that constitutional protection? these are your fellow citizens. you have an obligation to stand up for them. if you don't do it for them, do it for yourselves. the erosion of one man's rights, is the erosion of all our rights. we either breath free together or we are enslaved as one.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

we did it!!!

i am incredibly proud of my country right now. i am awed that we broke from old racial biases to elect the first african american. i am happy that united states citizens, who suffered through the pre-civil rights years and the hard fought days of change in places like selma, were able to cast their votes for obama. i am astounded that voter turn out was so high especially among what has historically been the apathetic youth. i am elated that we finally had enough of the republicans and sent a clear message to the world via a landslide. it has been a long eight years but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. i am optimistic of america's future. i know times are difficult and there is much work to do but i believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds on. barack obama is not perfect and there will be things that we will disagree with him on but now is the time for unity. now is the time to give him a chance to move us forward. i am grateful to see bush go but i am even more thankful that a vapid former beauty queen is not a heart beat away from the presideny. hell yes, we motherfucking did it!! amen.

Monday, November 3, 2008

VOTE!!!



spoke the cat says,get out and vote. it is one of the most important things you will do this year.

Friday, October 31, 2008




spoke the cat says, happy halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

as long as we are on the topic

approximately 10,000 years ago ancestors of arabs built the city of jericho, located on the fabled west bank. during world war two, the holocaust occurred. in 1947, the united nations recommended that palestine be "provisionally partitioned" into an arab and jewish state. at the time, arabs out numbered jews in palestine and even though jews owned only 7%, they were granted 55%. now, imagine if you will that the u.s government suddenly came into louisiana and partitioned it up into a louisiana and texas state. do you think there would be some out cry? would you be a little upset if the land you lived on suddenly belonged to texas and you had to get off of it? if you are the new state of israel and you want to get rid of the palestinians, what do you do? how about good old fashioned ethnic cleansing? after all, they were taught by the masters, a la the nazis. in april of 1948, "zionist terror squads massacred 254 palestinians in the village of deir yassin." this included women and children, as well as the old and sick. this prompted nearly half a million palestinians to flee. shortly there after, israel declared itself a country. i could go on. the list of atrocities is very long. if these actions had been perpetrated by anyone other than israel, they would be considered a rogue terrorist state. instead, we annually funnel massive amounts of money into their coffers and they never pay it back. we obsequiously back their every endeavor at the expense of our own reputation among arabs everywhere. terrorists are NOT born, they ARE made. muslims do not spring forth from the womb with explosives strapped to their chest, chanting anti-american slogans. our refusal to hold israel accountable for their atrocities has stoked the fires of terrorism. i am in no way, shape or form advocating terrorism, but we have helped to make terrorists. we continue to make them by invading a sovereign country and bogging ourselves down in an the mire of iraq. terrorism is a horrible thing to engage in but if we want to break the cycle, perhaps we should stop perpetuating terrorism ourselves and stop rewarding others for their use of it.

much ado about nothing

mccain is now trying to link obama to rashid khalidi in yet another lame attempt to taint obama as a terrorist by association. enough already! mccain, you are pathetically desperate and you need to shut the fuck up. this article of obama speaking at a banquette with khalidi was reported by the los angeles times way back in april, so why now mccain? is it because the presidency is slipping away from you? who is khalidi anyway that he should stir such controversy? well, for starters, he is a respected middle east expert and professor at columbia university. he is so well respected that his books on u.s policy in the middle east are actually required reading for senior officials in the u.s government, the bush administration included. hmm, that really doesn't sound like a big bad terrorist to me. also, i would like to point out mccain's ties to khalidi, whom he likened to a neo-nazi(cuz we all know how neo-nazis love black men). while mccain was serving as chairman of the international republican institute in the 90's, khalidi's palestinian research center was well funded by the institute. hmm, did mccain think him a neo-nazi then? maybe, he has had ties with neo-nazis before. the other controversy surrounding this banquette was that a young palestinian recited a poem in which he criticized israeli terrorism and called westbank zionists no better than osama bin laden. here in this country, anything but blind devotion to israel is heresy but you might think differently if you were a palestinian. again, this constant attempt by mccain to link obama to terrorists has consequences. it instills fear in people and could incite someone to action in the form of an assassination attempt. so spoke the cat says that mccain really should just shut the fucking fuck up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

what i learned in jury duty

i was chosen to serve on a 2nd degree murder trial and prior to this, i had no idea that a conviction of second degree murder holds a mandatory life sentence. that's it, no parole or time off for good behavior. this disturbs me some what. i can totally see it from the victim's perspective, that once the life is taken, there are no more second chances. yet i wonder if it is in society's best interest to show no leniency. if the perpetrator is 18 when the murder is committed, should that person warrant a life sentence? the trial disturbed me greatly and on many levels but what i had the most trouble with was the responsibility of it all. if i was wrong and voted not guilty, then a potential violent offender was once again loosed on the streets to do it again. but what if i voted guilty and the young man really was innocent and convicted, locked away for the rest of his life. i understand that this process is the fairest and that if i support the notion of a trial by ones peers, then it is my civic duty. having said that, i hope to never serve again. i am glad the process exist but i lost nights of sleep over it and still wonder if justice was served. in the end, i voted not guilty because i think that careless police work left more than reasonable doubt in my mind but the majority voted for a guilty verdict. the verdict was guilty and so a young man is going to jail for the rest of his life and now the potential of two people has vanished. it is one thing to vote your conscience but quite another to cave under pressure of wanting to go home. when we began our deliberation, we were 6 guilty and 6 not guilty. as the clock ticked by, the desire to go home increased and one by one they slipped over into guilty. i hope i am wrong and that in the end, the guilty verdict was what they truly believed. still...i can't stop thinking about the parties involved. the man shot to death. the victim's girlfriend. the young man who will never again see anything but the gray of prison walls. damn, just damn.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

something inspirational for a change

you can't keep up on current events without being depressed. there is always some new story about man's inhumanity to man that will have you questioning whether there is anything redeeming about us as a race. so, it is always refreshing when you come across a story that helps renew hope in mankind. there is just such a story coming out of mexico. central americans have long been making the arduous trip to the united states in search of work, taking them through the dangerous territory of mexico, where they faced robberies, rapes, torture, and kidnappings. mexico has long been silent on the plight of these migrants...until now. in rafael lara grajales, mexico, dozens of kidnapped central americans escaped from a home where they had been stripped, robbed, and beaten. they poured out into the streets, begging the locals for help, saying the police had been involved. it would have been safer for the townspeople to turn their backs. if the police were involved, they risked certain reprisals. they risked possible incarceration, torture, and even death. yet despite the dangers, they did the right thing. the townspeople turned out to clothe and hide the victims. they got on bullhorns to call for further action in protecting these migrants from being rounded up by the police, who they feared were involved in the mass kidnappings. they stood up for these strangers in the face of tear gas and riot police because it was the right thing to do. let me say that again, IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. what a fucking inspirational story that is. here in america, we have the luxury of not having to be confronted by this type of scenario and yet, we refuse to get involved in even the smallest of things. voting is not enough. we must engage in social activism. here in new orleans, we do not even come forward to say what we saw when we witness a crime and so the criminals go free and the murder rate climbs. i understand fear but damn; if these people can rise up, despite the odds, then how much easier should it be for us? this is our city. this is our country. stop whining about it and fucking do something. you can make a difference. you may not be aiding migrants but there are things you can do to positively impact the world around you. my roommate is a perfect example. in the face of corporate greed, he has chosen to no longer get his insurance through aig, because of their financial mess. in the face of what those people did in mexico, that may not seem like a lot but it creates change. instead of leaving things up to the politicians, we must act on our own to send clear messages. we have that power. it is not up to someone else to make the world a better place, it is up to us. i, for one plan to remember what they did in mexico, the next time i'm whining about something i think i have no control over. the universe is mine to create what i will out of it and it is yours and yours and yours.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

it's not that i don't like roosters

it's that four o'clock in the morning is just too early to be up. the rooster starts at four o'clock and begins to crow almost constantly until the sun rises. it will then crow throughout the day just in case you had the mind to nap. it is not the cute cock a doodle doo that we all grew up on. no, it is this annoying screech that never changes its inflection. i am going hunting soon and there will be rooster stew, you are all invited.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

palin's church and witch hunting

I was hanged for living alone
for having blue eyes and a sunburned skin,
tattered skirts, few buttons,
a weedy farm in my own name,
and a surefire cure for warts;

Oh yes, and breasts,
Whenever there’s talk of demons
these come in handy.
--Margaret Atwood

before becoming governor of alaska, palin was annointed by thomas muthee, a visiting pastor from kenya. muthee has made a name for himself in kenya by targeting a woman and accusing her of witch craft. the woman was forced to flee her home under threat of being stoned to death. do you know what they do to witches in kenya? they burn them. think about the horror of that for just a second. contemplate the slow agony of being tied to a stake while brittle branches are stacked about you and then lit. no escape. the unbearable pain of the flames and the stench of your own flesh burning. does it turn your stomach? it should, unless of course you belong to palin's wasilla assembly of god and then it is the lord's will. how many people were accused of witch craft through out the years, simply because they were different? is it too far into the past to recall the frenzy of salem? is this the kind of association we want our vice president to have? much has been made of obama's ex-pastor but the media seems struck with muteness when it comes to palin. to accuse someone of witch craft in kenya is to stoke up the flames of extremism, fear, hatred, and eventually murder. they BURN witches in kenya. this man, muthee made a name for himself by accusing a woman of witch craft and he then laid hands on palin in prayer for her ascension to the governor's office. palin called the experience "awsome"and said muthee was "bold." this is a man that creates a frenzy of fear in a country where the consequences of that kind of behavior can lead to the deaths of the accused and palin's church sanctions this as god's will. kalnins, the pastor at the church has condemned all critics of bush to hell fire. he says we are in a "spiritual war" and that christ has called us to "die for him." does that sound familiar? because that is what muslim extremists believe that allah has called them to do. kalnins says, " we should be in war mode." the wasilla church is a part of the third wave which trains young people in so called "jesus camps" to become part of "joel's army" in order to wreak "dominion" over the u.s and the world. they are taught to be soldiers. where is christ's message of peace? where was christ's message of peace when muthee was exciting the masses to threaten that woman with stoning? palin is a scary bitch that needs to be kept as far away from political office as is possible and certainly barred from the white house and the nuclear codes. GO VOTE!! it is fucking critical that we vote this year. this type of religiously motivated world view has no place in american politics. period.

Friday, October 17, 2008

did someone say palling around with terrorists?

if you live in a glass house and start hurling rocks, you best grab your ass and kiss it good bye because some of those rocks are bound to come flying back. mccain and palin have been trying hard to paint obama as a terrorist by association in regards to his relationship with ayers, a member of a radical fringe group in the 1960's. when you start making accusations like that, it just makes people wonder what kind of skeletons are two-stepping in your own closet. well, mccain certainly has some. from 1981 to possibly 1986, mccain was involved with a group known as the u.s council for world freedom and its affiliate organization, the anti-communists league. he went so far as to serve on the board of the world freedom group. these are far-right organizations that have been "implicated in the iran-contra affair, linked to neo-nazi death squads in latin america, and was bankrolled by the leader of the unification church who served time for tax evasion." in 1981, the anti-defamation league said these organizations were gathering places for extremists, racists, and anti-semites. do you know what another word for extremist is? it is terrorist. so john mccain, it seems to me that you have been palling around with terrorists and that, by you own rules, makes you GUILTY by association. so spoke the cat says, go fuck yourself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

mccain, you have a responsibility

i am a staunch advocate of freedom of speech. yes, you have the right to spew hate and subtly juxtapose elements to guilt people by association. mccain and palin have the freedom to link obama to terrorists by associating him with ayers. they have that right but they also have a responsibility as to the consequences of their words. it is telling when mccain/palin supporters are screaming out "terrorist", "traitor", "kill him", and racial slurs in reference to obama at their rallies. mccain and palin are stoking the fires and it is a very dangerous game to play. yes, obama knows ayers. they have worked together on projects BUT so have numerous other democrats and republicans alike. ayers was a member of the weather underground, and anti-vietnam group that engaged in a series of bombings. does that make ayers a domestic terrorist? yes, at least at one time. but keep in mind these actions were carried out when obama was eight years old. when palin repeatedly links obama to ayers by saying that he "pals around with terrorists", she uses the plural and makes a subtle connection to obama and all terrorists, such as muslim extremists. obama becomes guilty by association to the very ones that committed the 9/11 acts. she follows it up by saying that obama does not see america as we see america. again, the juxtaposition would indicate that he seeks to undermine the country the way a terrorist might. and at rallies for her, the people respond with hate. this is a woman, who interestingly enough chose to quote westbrook pegler during her convention speech. pegler was a racist, anti-semite who openly advocated the assassinations of fdr and bobby kennedy. it seems an odd person to quote especially when there is fear for obama's safety. and what is palin doing at these rallies when people are screaming out kill obama or other slurs? NOTHING. she is doing nothing. tell me palin, is that the kind of rhetoric that your god appreciates. you have a responsibility to address that. you have a responsibility not to stoke the fires of hatred. mccain and palin can go on playing this game but as i have said earlier, there are always consequences. i just hope for obama's sake, he doesn't have to pay for them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

palin and office abuses

palin is now coming under some scrutiny for charging the alaskan tax payers for religious trips, blurring the line between the separation of church and state. i have long lamented that many of our politicians forget this key component of our constitution by allowing their religious beliefs to influence their legislative record. i really do not care what your beliefs are as long as you keep them out of your public service record, which means that you cannot vote to disenfranchise american citizens simply because you think god hates fags. you also cannot expect the tax payers to foot the bill so you can enjoy religiously motivated outings. palin's brand of religion is frightening because she believes that we are living in the end times and that has a way of becoming a terrible self-fulfilling prophecy. it is also one of the reasons that she is so reticent to question the motives of israel, the so called chosen people of god. this also motivates her in regards to russia. many subscribers to the end time prophecies have labeled russia as magog in the bible and they help usher in the battle of armageddon. these zealots will do anything to accelerate the end of the world and that kind of blind devotion has no place in the white house. our forefathers were very clear on the separation of church and state. vote for obama and vote for the constitution.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

on the dissolution of my relationship

it is hard to walk away from someone that i have loved so intensely for so long. it is the addiction of love and like a wise friend once said, we have all been the junkie and we have all been the junk. leaving is the hardest thing even when it is the right course of action. i have been so accustomed to calling her and telling her about my day that i am at a loss for where to go with stories. and every great thing, i want to share with her. and every beautiful thing, i want to give to her. at first there was anger but after that cools, the sadness sets in and that is a harder thing to shake. one foot in front of the other. don't over think. don't over complicate but it is complicated. relationships always are and i cannot believe that she will vanish from my life. simply vanish as though there were never intimate moments and words whispered between lovers. i think it is the ghost of her that will keep me awake for so long to come.

art show

spoke the cat is giddy with glee after my first art show ever and plans are already underway for a new show in a month. i will be a painting fiend. i like this new direction my life is taking. good things are coming and i fully intend to take control and make it all happen. thanks to everybody that turned out and thanks to j for making it all happen. i have some fucking wonderful people in my life.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

civic duty

first of all, the building is morgue cold. i'm practically wearing a parka. and today, they engaged in what amounts to visual chinese water torture in that the fire warning lights were malfunctioning. for three hours it was like being in a rave. the lights were constantly pulsing. i was vomiting in the corner. i'm sure it was a social experiment to see who would crack and how. we did not get out early today. i have to be back there tomorrow. i'm going to relax now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

yet another reason to dislike the nagin administration

sometimes, you stumble across a news story that is so upsetting, you want to hit something. i have found just such a news story in the form of struggling hiv/aids clinics in new orleans. these agencies have been paying out of pocket to keep providing services to those afflicted with the disease, even though the federal government is allotting 7 million in support of the 4,144 people living with hiv/aids. this money should be going directly to clinics and out reach programs but they have yet to be reimbursed by the nagin administration. it is not news that nagin is an ass but this really is a new low. these agencies are essential to not only helping people live normal lives but also enable them to continue to survive the ravages of this disease. in addition, they help fund preventative programs. my god! how hard is it for nagin and his cronies to get up off their lazy asses and do one fucking thing right? people's lives are at stake. to put it in language nagin will understand, this behavior is the mother of all fuck ups. the city council is stepping in to try and pressure the administration to expedite the process but there is only so much they can do when the power of the purse resides with the executive branch. wow, and nagin continues to say come home, come home. come home to what? i guess the invitation only applies to hiv negative people because if you are positive, it is getting harder to live here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

why can't sarah palin tell me what she is reading and other questions i shouldn't have to ask.

in the katie couric interview, when asked what reading material palin perused in order to keep on current affairs, palin seemed stumped for an answer. rest assured, she wanted couric to know that she is reading many things and is abreast of world events. couric again asked her to name something specific and again, palin seemed to be at a loss. three times, couric asked her and three times, palin was unable to provide one single specific example. really? because if you ask me what i read to be on top of current events, i can list specific items. i read the local paper. i go the bbc online and read. i read factcheck.org. the drudge report and moody's economy. why is it that palin cannot tell me what she is reading? is it because she doesn't read? is it because she can't read? you will forgive me for being a bit flippant but honestly, at this point you have to ask. why is it that the american people seem to want to embrace this fake populist, rube persona in our politicians? don't we want our political leaders to be bright little light bulbs? if i interview someone for a job, i want that person to be intellectually capable of handling the tasks set before him. most employers would agree, so why then, do we not hold our political leaders to the same standards? bush is a perfect example. he slouches across the lectern like some tobacco road back woods farmer, claiming to hail from crawford, texas; a town he helped create in order to win the governor's race, in a grand spectacle to present himself as a "simple" man of the people. and all others, by default are elitist snobs, a la obama. this is not new. andrew jackson pulled this same stunt when running against adams. jackson was just one of the people who never learned to spell, whereas adams, a highly educated man was branded an elitist. damn but i want my president to be the sharpest knife in the drawer or pretty close to it. i don't want homilies. i want knowledge. knowledge of current events and diplomacy. and yes mccain, i want my president to be versed on economics, especially when our economy is sliding into a depression. don't say catchy little phrases like "joe sixpack" to me, rather prove to me that your foreign policy experience goes beyond being able to see russia from your backyard. and for all things holy, be able to name at least one damn thing you are reading, even if it's mad magazine.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

free!!

let the angels sing in gratitude, i have been set free from jury duty early today! and what a beautiful day it is. the light has changed and slants in a golden hue. the morning had just the hint of a chill to it and i confess to dreaming of adventures. autumn always makes me restless. i get the fever when the wind stirs and long to go off on some treasure hunt, a la the "goonies". at the very least, this day was made for wine, cheese, tart green apples and kisses sweet upon the levee. hmm...i think i'll go loll in the hammock and soak up the long stretch of afternoon sun.

jury duty

i am up at this wicked hour when even the birds have yet to rouse from slumbers sweet so that i may do my so called civic duty by endlessly waiting in the jury pool. i hope i have enough reading material. i feel as though i should have stocked up on a backpack full of magazines and i know, i really should have purchased an i-pod before now. i have never served on a jury before now and i am a bit curious if somewhat melancholy about my month long incarceration to be served every tuesday and thursday. i could be painting instead. i need to be painting. oh well, i'm off.

Monday, September 29, 2008

it's banned books week


throughout history and in every totalitarian state, the dissemination of ideas was one of the first things to come under attack. why? because a nation of the ignorant is easier to control. a country that desires freedom for all, is a country that defends freedom of speech above all else. the right to be heard and the right to hear are integral if we are to avoid oppression. knowledge is the most powerful tool. if you want to start a revolution, pick up the pen not the sword. if you want to suppress a movement, you must silence its voice. we, here in america often fall into complacency, erroneously thinking that the war has been won and that our freedom of speech is secure. now, more than ever, our civil liberties are increasingly under attack and we, as the american people must defend those rights. in the face of the decidedly unpatriotic patriot act and government pressure on libraries to turn over their reading lists, freedom of speech is in grave danger and may soon be nothing more than a memory. but freedom of speech is a tricky thing because if we are to truly have it, we must advocate for it even when the ideas being espoused are contrary to our own beliefs. it may gall me that o. j. simpson published a book in which he recounted the murder of his ex-wife, the way it would have been committed had he done the odious deed but i must defend his right to write such a book. my power of censure lies in not purchasing the offending book not in banning it. i may not believe in the klan but they have a right to distribute their brand of hate. i think that with freedom of speech comes a great responsibility to contemplate the consequences of one's words but even the fool has a right to speak his mind. i would like to encourage everyone to read at least one banned book this week and tell everyone about it. tell them why it was banned. tell them what you got out of that book. tell them knowledge is power and freedom of speech is a fragile thing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

falling for flowers

i have been trying to patch together my memory from last weekend's drunken madness and have learned that i fell down in an attempt to touch the pretty flowers. well, i guess it's nice to know that poetry bubbles to the surface of tequila and that intoxicated, though i was, i was still able to appreciate beauty. so i raise my innocuous cup of tea in salute to beauty, may we always be able to recognize and adore it, despite what conditions we find ourselves in.

Friday, September 26, 2008

artist statement

i have to write an artist statement and quite frankly have no idea how to go about doing that. i mean, i am a writer and so you would think it would be a simple task for me to do but honestly, i am at a loss. everything that i come up with sounds so damn trite. damn! why can't i just throw my shit on a wall and let people judge for themselves? isn't art personal? ugh. spoke is going to stew.

trying to understand the mess we are in part two

in my on going research into this country's financial mess, i am discovering some alternatives to the bail out. i am not yet sure if these are viable but i like alternatives especially when it could potentially save me a whole lot of money. one proposal is the government act as lender. instead of taking on the bad debt, the government loans money to banks in trouble. the banks put up their mortgage backed portfolios as collateral. this gives the banks an infusion of cash at a set interest rate but affords more protection to the tax payer, since these would be loans that the banks eventually must pay back. the loan could come due when the markets have regulated themselves and the over all economy takes a turn for the better. there is the possibility that the banks could default and fail but the safe guard would be more government over sight into the banks, should they need to be saved. now, i am not sure what would happen if multiple banks began to fail and needed shoring up by the government in order to avert disaster. who then eats that costs? what would that costs be? i am leaning towards this plan, simply because it does not out right rescue anyone from their own damn greed. the other plan would have the government acting as a hedge fund. this would prevent the government from being stuck with the worst mortgage securities. it is still an investment, giving the anemic economy a much needed shot of iron. another proposal is a more grass roots approach and i tend to like the sound of it because the average joe gets help. this involves mortgage breaks to help ailing homeowners. the government takes over some mortgage backed securities and then restructures the loans, making them more affordable to the home owner, thus preventing mass foreclosures. this, in turn, would increase the value of those securities, so that the government is not left holding a bag of something worthless. again, i am no economist but i tend to like the sound of the last proposal. it makes sense to me that you would go straight to the source of the problem by aiding the struggling home owner. yes, they got in over their heads but this mass defaulting on loans and consequent foreclosures is continuing to drive the cost of housing down and muddy up the markets even more. however, i must say that this might correct itself if prospective sellers lowered their financial expectations to meet the more practical ramifications of prospective buyers and there are buyers to be had, just not at some of these prices. i am hoping that the powers that be will come up with an alternative to the buy out as i have my doubts. should we go through with the buy out and the money is mismanaged or it fails, then our next option would almost have to be to federalize the whole damn thing and that is one scary option. i believe in free enterprise with over sight and implemented regulations but i do not want to see the government socialize the entirety of the system. wow, this stuff gives me a head ache.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

boom to bust

factoring in the proposed new bail out, the government will be spending around 1.3 trillion dollars to try to patch up the gaping economic wound. this money would be handed over to the bush administration with almost no regulatory oversight and that may be the most frightening specter on the horizon. what got us into this mess in the first place was the republican deregulation frenzy which allowed for one big speculative bacchanalia. if we hand over this money to bush with no oversight, we are giving him a blank check to do with it as he sees fit. we, as americans, want to believe in the inherent good of our political leaders but we can no longer afford that kind of blind belief. we are facing a financial melt down. i am not an economist and so i am attempting to negotiate my way through the financial landscape and it really is an alice in wonderland sort of place. most economists agree that the bail out is integral in order to stave off a great depression. there are a few dissenting voices, who say that this crash needs to happen in order to clear the markets. i'm not going to sit here and pretend to have all the answers but, having said that, i have some suggestions. if we are to go ahead with the bail out, there needs to be some oversight into how that money is spent. i do not trust this administration to act in the good of the country. if we are to bail out these financial institutions, then we need to strip their top executives of the so called golden parachutes, where they dance away into a very comfortable retirement, unscathed by the damage they have caused. a part of the bail out package must include a good by to the days of deregulation. it does not work. greed overtakes and wild speculation ensues. all goes well for a while and then all hell breaks loose. enough. put back in the regulations that were so prudently instituted after the great depression. the other problem that we face is the deficit and that is where the tax payers come in. we cannot continue to borrow money, never saving for a rainy day or old age. we are running a deficit of around 482 billion and that is on top of a 9.5 trillion national debt. the american people are going to have to suck it up and start paying off this debt or learn to speak chinese. it is either guns or butter but you can't have both. you cannot give tax cuts in times of war. that is how you run a deficit. the economy cannot grow when more and more of our budget is goes to pay the interest on the debt. either way, there are some hard times ahead. i believe we can turn this crisis around but not without sacrifices and that means no tax cuts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

heil labruzzo

representative john labruzzo, a republican(imagine that)is formulating a plan that would pay poor women a thousand dollars if they get their fallopian tubes tied. what a crock of shit. that is basically telling every little girl that was born into unfortunate circumstances, that we don't think much of your abilities to go anywhere in the world and we just don't want you to breed any more losers. and while we are at it, perhaps we will restructure the educational system to look just like china's and if you can't pass a certain test then you get to work in the mines for the rest of your life. yea. it cost anywhere from 1,500 to 6,000(vasectomies are cheaper) to have one's tubes tied and if we want to play labruzzo's money game, this is a cost that the average tax payer will bear. in addition, this does not factor in the fact that sterilization does not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and the cost to pay for potentially long term health care, food stamps(when they can no longer work), and public housing really does not save the tax payer any burdens in the future. at the very least, it adds the cost of the sterilizations. labruzzo is also considering tax breaks for wealthy, educated families as an incentive for them to have more children. and does he want them all to be blond hair, blue eyed children? i'm beginning to wonder. this sends the message to every child who happens to be born into favorable circumstances that you are somehow better than those around you, entitled as it were. and we wonder why only one percent has all the money. labruzzo, by the way, pushed for the legislative pay increase. perhaps he is thinking of reproducing again. also, sometimes the tubes reconnect causing ectopic pregnancy, which puts the mother's life at risk, thus opening the door to the dreaded potential abortion. we know how republicans love abortions. why must we do everything backwards? perhaps if the republicans would allow us to start having age appropriate sex education in our schools, which includes distributing condoms, we might reverse the unfortunate rate of children having children. clearly the abstinence policy is working. hey labruzzo...spoke says shut the fuck up, go have a vasectomy before you breed again!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

because i can laugh at myself

we have all been dumped and some of us handle it with grace and some of us fuck it all up. i bet you can guess which category i fall into. i went to the bar. you should never go to a bar when in the middle of a break up. here is why: 1)you will be drinking on an empty stomach because no one ever eats during a break up. 2) your friends will try and console you by buying you lots of shots. i went to the bar. i had nothing to eat. i cannot count the number of shots that began to magically appear before me and that was on top of the steady stream of beer. i could have gone to a coffee shop. i could written it all out or painted, instead i went to the bar. i don't remember getting home. i don't remember many things. the next thing i do remember is standing in my bathroom as my friend was dressing the wounds. how i fell is a great mystery but no doubt, one witnessed by many people. i took my pants off so she could tend to the knee, the knee that now has a very unsightly hole in it. now i do not know what i said to my friend or even if i pissed her off but the next thing i knew, she wanted to leave. she was probably not very sober herself and thought it a good idea to walk home from my house. i live on the shooting side of st. claude. it is never a good idea to walk at night from my house. keep in mind that i was barefoot and in my underwear, bleeding. she went to leave. i followed her outside and i think an argument ensued that culminated with me chasing her down the street in my bare feet and underwear, screaming it's not safe, it's not safe. this of course was witnessed by most of my neighbors. i went to the bar. you never go to the bar during a break up. i'm probably on you tube, flailing about in my boxer briefs, bleeding from alcohol induced wounds. great, just great.

the epa said what?

the rocket fuel component known as perchlorate has been found in the drinking water at 395 sites across 35 states and the epa does not consider this to be a health risk. what? really? maybe i'm daft but i really don't want a cup of perchlorate with my morning coffee. it is a rocket fuel component. yum. in 2004, perchlorate also showed up in cow's milk, most likely from eating crops irrigated by contaminated water supplies. perchlorate prevents iodide uptake into the thyroid gland. the thyroid gland is important in that it helps regulate metabolism and hormones in adults. in children, it enables them to develop normally. the thyroid is one of the master glands. wreck it and you pretty much wreck everything. well, that doesn't sound at all important to me. good call by the epa. please! there have been allegations that the epa is bowing to pentagon and white house pressure. most of the perchlorate is thought to stem from the department of defense's missile/rocket tests. white house officials and pentagon brass fear that if the epa called for a clean up, the pentagon could potentially foot the bill for decontamination. oh if only the pentagon had to hold bake sales and our ground water was fit to drink. so in our present financial crisis, where the pentagon is feeling the pinch of two losing war fronts, we(the american people) will keep sucking down the perchlorate so the pentagon is not found liable for poisoning the damn drinking water. and once again, i stress that it really matters who you vote for this year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

pity party number two

i will never understand why they call it a pity party, there is absolutely nothing festive about it. well i've had two days of hard core drinking and wallowing in pity. last night i could have been an ad for an anti-drinking campaign. i got stupid, fell down, and really fucked my knee up. yeh, real smart. i guess it's finished. i guess it's over and now i just have to pick myself back up off the floor and try to go on. still not sure how to go about doing that. i'm getting too old for this shit.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

human

to be human is a fragile thing and it is strange to negotiate the land mines of life. one step and it all blows up in your face. i have made mistakes and just like the old time religions, i long to lay down in the river and let it wash me clean. i long to drown the proverbial old man and come up new. we all judge but we all sin too. what odd creatures we are, stuttering and sputtering our way through life. most of us are trying to do the right thing and it is a difficult dance with no knowledge of the future. you walk down one path to find it goes no where. you open a door to someone dangerous. you stay and the levees fail. you meet someone and down the road, another relationship unravels in pretty lines upon the floor. secrets. there are things you tell so tell them and the world will know. there are things you whisper but be careful who you whisper them to or the world will know. there are things that you keep locked away inside you behind well guarded walls but these too are dangers, cancers eating you from within. on a clear blue day, it seemed such an innocent thing to introduce them and who knew i opened the door to disaster. to go back further to meeting the one in the first place and all the actions that would have consequences over the other. and to wish you had never met the one that would destroy the other. she has a smile that brings me to my knees. humans, we are all haunted.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

palin and hunting


i grew up in the backwoods of georgia where the culture of hunting is rabidly embraced. i, myself have engaged in the activity from time to time. so let me make myself clear, there is nothing wrong with hunting as long as it is gone about in the right way. hunting should not be for sport. it should be for food. the goal is to kill the animal quickly so that is suffers as little as possible. and when hunting, appropriate fire arms should be used. you should not drink or use other drugs while hunting. safety should be of the utmost concern. i am a meat eater and as such i have often found it ridiculous when other meat eaters have decried hunting. just because you don't kill it by your own hands does not mean you are some how absolved of its killing when you chow down on your double decker cheeseburger. having said all that, there are those individuals that take hunting to a whole new level.they are the ones that get decked out in cammo and face paint as though going off to war, despite the fact that most animals are color blind, and the often over looked prudence of having other hunters be able to easily spot you so you don't get a bullet in your head. to me, this is nothing more than little boys and girls playing dress up and war games. you are not rambo so get over it. the other thing i find disturbing is sitting in a deer stand in front of a baited field. picking off animals as they come out from hiding to eat really doesn't make you a good hunter. i don't understand hunting for sport. you should never kill an animal just because it was a saturday afternoon and you had nothing better to do. there should be an inherent respect for all life. period. and please spare the disgusting practice of mounting trophy heads on your wall. i cannot fathom why some hunters froth at the mouth over 12 point versus a 10 point buck. who cares? it does not matter how big the animal is because even the 12 point buck is going down when you shoot it. i might understand this a bit more if the hunter actually went into the ring with the animal in a man versus nature death match. then the size of the creature might be a bit more awe inspiring. the point of this lengthy diatribe is that there is a right way and a wrong to go about hunting. sarah palin is an advocate of aerial hunting of wolves. i find this practice sick and sadistic. it is damn near impossible to get off a good shot from the air and often times these poor creatures are left to die an agonizingly slow death somewhere. the hunter may never even retrieve the carcass. they are not hunting these animals for food. they are doing it for sport. there is no respect for life or for the role in nature that wolves play. they are an integral part of the food chain. remove them and you are often left with over population of moose, caribou, deer and other animals. over population leads to starvation and sickness, where in turn these animals die agonizingly slow deaths. i don't know...perhaps you are either born with compassion or you are not. it seems to be missing in palin. not only is she for the aerial hunting of wolves but she is against protecting the polar bear, which is now in danger because of global warming. she went so far as to lie about what an alaskan scientific study showed in regards to polar bears. she claimed it conflicted with a national study that polar bears were in trouble, when in fact, it did not. this is not the kind of person we want in office. a lack of respect for life, any life, scares the hell out of me especially when it is coming from someone who could potentially get the nuclear codes!!! i also find it troubling that palin is so easily prone to deceit in order to get what she wants. haven't we had enough of that from bush. can anyone say falsifying evidence for going to war with iraq? what makes you think mccain and palin won't do the same thing in regards to iran or georgia? they are so clearly not the right choice for this country. i say ENOUGH.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

sexism

since hillary began her historic run for president, there has been much use of the word sexism. and just like everyone else in america, spoke has an opinion. i think hillary was capable, competent, intelligent if somewhat confrontational. i think america is not yet ready for a female that possesses those attributes to break through the ultimate glass ceiling. for those of you that think me cynical, well, i give you sarah palin. she is everything hillary is not. she is not capable, competent, or intelligent and yet suddenly, she is the darling of the country. she is a stepford wife. the perfect female as created by a sexist male. she is a former beauty queen runner-up, clad in cute little suits that women all over the country are now pining after, and she gets her foreign policy expertise from the fact that she can see russia from alaska. in other words, she is the stereotypical blond masquerading as a brunette. she is cute, perky, dumb as a box of hammers and perfectly obsequious to the big strong war hero, john mccain. my god, she has all the makings of a very dirty porn movie. consequently she has not suffered the ire that hillary did. there were even hillary nut crackers and if that's not sexist, then i don't know what is. it galls me that there are people even considering electing a fucking vapid cheerleader to office of vice president especially when she is paired with a man old enough to potentially die in office. i would love to see a female in the oval office but only a qualified one. not all women are created equal. palin does not even represent the interests of most women in this country. she is pro-life, even in cases of rape and incest. she has no experience to lead this nation. she hasn't the intellectual capabilities. it sickens me that palin is the woman that this country chooses to embrace. yeh, that is sexist.

compromising palin's privacy

it is disgusting and i hope they track down the geeky little bastards that hacked into palin's e-mails. i am no fan of palin but every law abiding citizen of this country deserves to have their privacy respected especially in the day and age of government sanctioned wire tappings. one of our basic rights should be the right to privacy. period. end of discussion. i don't care what your political beliefs are or who you would like to see elected, this is absolutely the wrong way to go about it. either our rights apply to everyone or they apply to none.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

foreign oil

there has been a lot of talk this election year about america's dependence on foreign oil as funded by anti-american regimes. so i thought it best to investigate just where america gets its oil. do we really rely heavily on the middle east? the answer is no. the country that supplies the united states with the most oil is the united states. oh, i know what you are thinking...it is true that a country that just invades another sovereign country could be classified as a rogue state and consequently a terrorist nation. since the u.s falls into this category, we are therefore funding terrorist activities by supplying ourselves with the majority of our own oil. now, that's a head spinner. the second largest importer of oil to our country is canada. well, we know what a bunch of terrorists canadians are. coming in third on the list is a tie between mexico and saudi arabia. then venezuela, nigeria, angola, iraq(which you think we would not have to pay for at this point), algeria, the u.k and brazil. there are not a lot of persian gulf states on this list. now i am all for being independent of foreign oil and by that i mean independent of OIL but damn, let's set the fucking record straight. i am sick of the "funding terrorism" bullshit line that gets dragged out every time someone wants to defend off shore drilling, shale extraction, or the rape of anwar. it is blatant propaganda. they are snowing the american people for profit. whose profit? the oil industry and you can be sure that the average citizen will not see any of that money. hell, louisiana can't even seem to get their so called fair share of off shore money that might be used to help restore the wetlands that the oil industry helped destroy in the first place. please, please don't buy the hype. don't vote mccain and palin into office. resist the dark side people! resist!

Monday, September 15, 2008

creative crisis

i had this canvass that i am convinced was cursed. cursed, i say. no matter how many times i tried to paint on it, i screwed it up and had to re-gesso the damn thing. today i had enough. i picked up the canvass and beat it to death on my chair. i immediately felt better.

palin on foreign policy


both mccain and palin are of the opinion that georgia be allowed into nato and that should russia invade georgia again, the united states should be prepared to go to war. what? this shows a complete lack of understanding when it comes to that part of the world as well as foreign policy in general. let's have a history lesson shall we? this is what the mainstream media won't tell you and what the republican ticket apparantly does not know. here are the players: 1) south ossetia which broke away from georgia. 2) georgia, which broke away from russia. 3) russia. here we go. after the collapse of the ussr, georgia broke with russia, under the leadership of zviad gamsakhurdia. i wonder if palin living so close to russia can pronounce these names? anyway, good old zviad pronounced all ethnic georgians to be true patriots. south ossetians are not ethnic georgians. they are iranians that migrated to the caucuses in the 13th century as a result of the mongolian invasions. if all ethnic georgians are true patriots, what does that leave south ossetians? you can see how this was going to lead to trouble. on december 10th, 1990, the georgia supreme council ruled that the south ossetian autonomous region of oblast be disbanded. they then established georgian as the official language. south ossetians first two languages are russian and ossetian, not georgian. now at this point, if you are a south ossetian, you might have been feeling a little edgy about how things were progressing. ethnic tensions began to escalate. in january of 1991, georgian forces entered tskhinvali and it is estimated that 2,ooo people were killed, although some groups put that number at around 44.who knows, it depends on who you ask. this war resulted with south ossetia(out of which one fifth of the population is georgian)breaking away from georgia and gaining de facto independence. de facto independence is independence in practice but not recognized by other nations. there were accounts and rumors of atrocities against south ossetians. georgia then accused russia of annexing their internationally recognised territory because of russia's involvement in the war. now that we have the past out of the way, we can talk about the more recent events. georgia does not recognise the independence of south ossetia. south ossetia has allied itself with russia. russia wants to bring south ossetia back into the fold. russia would rather not recognise the independence of georgia, who may very well be on the verge on becoming a member of nato. so how did this whole thing go to shit? and is russia to bear the sole burden? on august 8th of this year, georgia launched an artillery barrage on tskhinvali, followed by an incursion(you can't say invasion because south ossetian independence is de facto but really, it was an invasion and russia saw it as an invasion). play tchaikovsky's 1812 overture because all hell just broke loose. here's the thing: georgia consideres south ossetia to be their territory. south ossetia consideres itself to be independent with strong ties to russia. russia wants to annex south ossetia, georgia, and any other break away states. why does russia want to do that? because they consider those states to be a buffer between them and the west. now hopefully everyone can see what a complicated mess this region of the world is and how putting the blame on russia and russia alone is dangerously simple and bound to lead to war. i am all for recognising a country's right to independence but we should stop and take a minute to reflect on the long and complicated history of the region before we go rushing into nato acceptance and talk of war with a former nuclear power. we need a little diplomacy and not the tired cowboy kind. it is no longer in our best interest to simply stop communicating with our enemies, a la cuba. look where communication and diplomacy has gotten us with Libya. this is why voting for hotheaded mccain and his in the dark vp choice is more than dumb, it is frightening.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

off shore drilling

in the wake of ike, there are two oil rigs adrift in the gulf of mexico and who says off shore drilling isn't safe? can we have a little forethought from our politicians please! now is the time to be funneling our energy and resources into the developement of alternative fuel sources instead of relying on the same tired practices. i swear it is difficult to see how we are actually evolving. and you can't even blame this on the republicans alone, when so many democrats are now on board with more off shore drilling, such as our own mary landreau. the more time we spend extracting oil, the less time we have to develope more environmentally friendly fuels. this of course means that the planet continues to be polluted at an alarming rate, heating up the atmosphere, thus creating more frequent and stronger storms that enter the gulf, causing more oil rigs to cut loose and drift. do you see my point here? we are like a dog chasing its tail, we never get anywhere. i have an idea...spoke for president anyone?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

palin and banning books

as of late i have been very focused on local politics but that is starting to shift the more i learn about palin. when she took office as mayor of wassilla, she approached the public librarian and asked her how she felt about the removal of some unspecified books due to content. the librarian replied that she was vigorously opposed. a very short time later, palin fired the librarian. hmm. i ask you is this the kind of person we want as the potential leader of the united states? as president, it is your job to uphold the constitution and freedom of speech is one of our more beloved rights. it galls me that palin dared to broach that topic, having been influenced by her religious beliefs and let me again stress that her beliefs are not my beliefs. has anyone heard of separation of church and state? i don't care what you think god is telling you because you do not have the constitutional right to enact legislation according to what you deem as god's will. it just gets better from there. she belonged to a church that claimed to be able to pray gays straight. wonderful. i belong to the church of tequila, where straight people are just shots away from being gay. can i get an amen?! and the hits just keep coming. when asked about her foreign policy experience, she said she picked that up because alaska is right next door to russia. what? remember my fellow voting citizens that this is a woman that will have access to the nuclear codes. those of you belonging to the clinton constituency, don't be fooled by the skirt. just like lady mcbeth, palin has long ago asked the powers that be to unsex her. trust me, i'll have more to say on this in the future.

ruthie, the duck lady

ruthie the duck lady has died. in a city that breeds characters, ruthie was a show all her own. she was a french quarter icon, gliding about on roller skates in a bridal gown, ducks trailing along behind her. my first encounter with her occurred shortly after i moved to new orleans. i frequented the much talked about port of call and sat down at the bar for a drink. i was maybe two sips into my beer when this tiny little thing of a woman came blowing in with a menagerie of ducks, all feathers and waddles. she took one look at me and began to hurl obscenities at me because i was sitting on her stool. i stood up ready to make some protest when the bartender explained to me that this was ruthie and THAT was most definitely her spot. i moved down one stool and she began screaming at me again and continued screaming until i had provided sufficient room for her and all her ducks and made it right by buying her a drink. now that is quite a coup. that may very well have been the day that i was lost to new orleans. david richmond said of ruthie, "she's not out of touch with reality; she's just not interested." there really isn't anything better to say of ruthie than that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

king nagin

perhaps nagin has gone mad post-katrina and suffering from delusions of grandeur, thinking himself king of new orleans and answering to no one. he has been accused of nepotism, running up restaurant tabs at the expense of his subjects, and accepting bogus awards in his honor as though he had any honor. and like a petulant king he refused to lift the ban order on returning citizens as though he somehow has the authority to keep citizens from their property, but when you are king, it is your property to do with as you see fit. the latest power grab by nagin is to suspend the review board that handles demolition permits in historic areas. new orleans is unique for many reasons and not the least being its rich architectural displays. prior to katrina, new orleans had the highest concentration of historic districts in the country. i am uncertain as to where the city ranks following the devastation. i do know that status, if it still holds true, will no longer be the case if nagin has anything to say about it. when he first ran for office, he said that he wanted to turn new orleans into an atlanta or a houston and right there he lost my vote. no offense to those cities but they are just like every other american city, with their high rises jutting above massive traffic jams full of overly-caffeinated people racing, always racing somewhere. new orleans may not be the most efficient place in the world but this is where you go if you want to get out of the rat race. here the pace is languid enough to savor a meal, revel in the riotous smell of jasmine, and dream stories about those that lived in these old houses. we can indiscriminately knock these structures down, pave them over or erect ugly ranch style buildings in their stead, but new orleans will lose so much more than the craft of those architectural gems. it will slowly begin to lose its connection to the past and that is what makes the people here cling to our traditions. i think the mayor is over-stepping the boundaries of his authority. there was already in place a system to raze structures in danger of "imminent collapse." why then by-pass a committee designed to protect our architectural integrity? shouldn't there be some over-sight into what we can and can't demolish? with no one watching over his shoulder, buildings that suffer from cosmetic deficits but are structurally in tact will be in danger of demolition and that is a travesty. it goes against the very essence of new orleans and when they make this place just like every other american city, of strip malls and sprawling suburbia, it will be time for the people(who add the flavor to this place) to up and leave and the death of new orleans will be complete. while we still have a city, let's fight for it! let the mayor know that this is not what we THE tax payers want. enough already! he is not above the will of the people. we are new orleans and we need to send that message to city hall.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

the guilt of storm season

when a storm gets into the gulf, we who live along the coast begin the great sweat out, because we know it has to go somewhere. each and every one of us, from florida to mexico, cringes and prays it will go somewhere else. the problem with somewhere else is that people live there too. i swear that i do not want ike to come here but i feel guilty for wishing it somewhere else. i was watching the images of texans boarding up sitting in evacuation traffic and my stomach knotted up with that familiar dread and i feel so sorry for those people. damn, i hope galveston is spared. we all know that they suffered the worst hurricane in the history of our keeping records. it struck in 1900 and by our best estimates, some eight thousand died. that storm is the reason they erected the sea wall and yet in the face of a cat 4 or 5 that seems a paltry barrier at best. i'm wishing texas all the best. i'm wishing ike would just go away and despite my guilt, i'm still praying that it doesn't come here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

post evacuation blues

at least ike is going to miss us so that will be one less thing i have to worry about. my truck is broken down in the lower garden district and i am praying that when the mechanic comes on saturday that it does not cost a fortune. i don't know about you guys but i am busted broke. i hate evacuations. sure we all need to get away in the summer but it is nice when we can choose the time and place to relax not watch water over-topping the levees while clutching a beer for emotional support. damn! bills are piling up and i swear, prostitution is starting to look good. i guess i could take a third job which will leave me with NO time to paint or write. i suppose that doesn't really matter, since no one is reading what i write or seeing what i paint. i am lucky in that my house has only minor damage from the storm but it is enough to warrant a visit from my insurance company. i tried calling and calling and calling and as of this writing, i am still trying to get through. i am imagining a large empty building with one lonely telephone endlessly ringing. i used to think i had my life together. i have two jobs that i enjoy going to and before katrina, i was making way more than a comfortable living. the storm shot that to hell but we are starting to recover and i am trying to see the glass as half full. spoke needs a walk about.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

anxiety

i think there must be a shortage of anti-anxiety medication in the rest of the country because we are eating them like candy. the anniversary of katrina is always difficult to deal with but damn near impossible with another storm threatening. evacuations pose their own kind of hell. they are emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially taxing. new orleans collectively is spent and this with ike looming. i hope to god that ike goes away, because i just don't think we have it in us to leave again. we still have to get through the rest of storm season. i'm no shrink but we all need to pull together right now. i know it is hard to get outside of your own head and check on those around you be we have to be mindful of that. some of us are doing better than others and some of us are not so good. get out and socialize even when you feel like hiding your head in the sand. we all need to be around people who can sympathize and damn if this city can't do that! i think it's going to be okay. we just have to hang on a little bit longer and then we can settle back and relax as the first cold fronts start heading our way and there is nothing like a pint of guinness on a cold night.

Friday, September 5, 2008

curfew

they shut the french quarter down last night at midnight. omg. really? what, i ask you, helps the city recover? could it be businesses up and running and making money? yep, i think that just might be the case. why in hell then would you shut those businesses down? never mind that it is illegal to invoke a curfew, it is just plain stupid. nagin, are you drinking? it is not the government's job to treat us as children. we know how to survive. thank god that we dodged a bullet so let us as citizens do our job to get the city back up and running. lift the damn curfew!! do not make us threaten civil disobedience by sitting down and locking hands. are you going to arrest the entire city you fucking dumb ass? WE are new orleans!! you are not. we are. we are the ones that stuck it out when the world as this city knew it ended. we are the ones that cleaned our neighborhoods up, surviving the solitude, blackness, and silence. we are the ones that gutted each other's houses. we opened the businesses. we welcomed back the tourists. we played shrink for each other. we are the back bone of new orleans. take us away and all you have is an ego-maniacal mayor of NOTHING. lift the fucking curfew so we can all get back to fucking normal you stupid fucking fuck.

god must grow so weary

i think god must get so tired of everyone speaking for him. in the black days following katrina, there were many who said god was punishing new orleans for southern decadence, our gay mardi gras. funny, growing up in a religious household, i have heard many preachers and people of faith say, "who can know the mind of god?" yet so many people claim to know just that. i will say this, i find it fascinating that after katrina none of the southern decadence signs lining rampart street were damaged. hmm. when gustav was menacing the gulf coast, many republicans were commenting that this was a gift from god with which to redeem themselves in the wake of the pr nightmare post-katrina because how quickly people forget thos terrible images. i would love to say that it is only right wing, religious fanatics that invoke god's name but alas, i would be wrong. michael moore stated that gustav was proof that there is a god, because gustav menacing new orleans just as the republican national convention was getting underway would flatten their sails a bit. hmm. what kind of a god does michael moore worship? is he so cruel as to allow people to suffer yet again just so the republicans can have their thunder stolen? really? michael moore, i have enjoyed your movies in the past and so it is with regret that i say YOU are a fucking idiot!!! fuck you for sinking to that level as though you have any idea as to the mind of god. as though god champions the cause of democrats everywhere. and lets just say for sake of argument that god favors democrats, why then sink the liberal city of new orleans for a second time? we lived katrina. you did not. you and all those like you that judge from afar in your cushy little air conditioned dens of prosperity can go to hell. we are sick and tired of hearing how god hates new orleans. we are fed up to here with how god hates fags. let me tell the world something about that...god is love. there is an extreme shortage of love in the world and when two people find it, whether they be straight or gay, it is nothing less than a miracle. we are tired of being some pawn in everyone's political game. shut the fuck up!! you know what? storms happen. it is a FACT OF NATURE. if god were handing out disasters for our sins, he would have completely destroyed the planet centuries ago. and let me quote scripture, " let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." "judge not lest ye be judged." so stop dragging god out to further your political gains and just leave us alone for god's sake.

last night

i spent my first night back in my house alone and even though i have electricity it was reminiscent of katrina, in that it was too damn quiet. it strikes me as odd that there have been many nights when i longed for the people across the street to turn down their music and let us all sleep in peace and quiet...yet there is something unsettling when a city holds its collective tongue. a few people are back in my area but only a handful and so the silence comes pressing up against your ears. until katrina came i never knew how maddening silence can be, when even the birds go mute. it was so still that the sound of my own heart was like something out of an edgar allen poe story. there are lights this time around and they help to chase away the loneliness. after katrina, the darkness ran out like blood, thick and sticky. it leaked into every corner and if you opened your mouth, it threatened to drown you. i have been in rural places but there you expect the darkness and its presence does not cause you to recoil. you do not expect a city to go dark as the grave and it is an unsettling thing, especially in combination with the silence. i remember standing in the middle of my street, surrounded by black silence and wondering in fits of paranoia what was stalking me. it was easy to conjure up every end of the world or zombie movie and i would hurry back inside as though the doors and walls, that could not keep the darkness out might somehow bar what was in the night. enough of this. the lights are on and it is daytime anyway. i think i will walk down to the french quarter and shake this feeling off. this is not katrina. i'm grateful. i'm happy to be home.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

fema assistance

hey everybody...check out fema's website for information on financial assistance in the wake of gustav.

getting back to normal

i am back in my house. i now have electricity and internet. things are getting back to normal fairly quickly. grocery stores and gas stations are opening up, more every hour. i even had coffee at mojo's uptown. damn it is good to be home. the saints will be playing in the superdome this sunday and i hope that helps to usher in the return of tourists. hopefully the rest of the country has been watching and see that we learned some valuable lessons post-katrina and are once again open for business. hell, i think i saw tourists in the quarter already. i feel confident that this will not set back our "season" and that we will start to see more and more people visiting so we can all make some cash. i don't know about yall but i'm a bit strapped. it is a shame that storms come during the financial doldrums of summer. here is to better days.

attention republicans

i was watching the news and listening to several republicans say that gustav was a golden opportunity for the republicans, and i quote "if we want to be politically crass about it". hmm. apparently you do want to be politically crass. you fucked up with katrina and now you are hoping to redeem yourselves with gustav because it is good politics. how about doing it because it was and is the right thing to do? the republicans are vampires sucking this nation dry and i hope to god, they are not re-elected.

what went wrong

it is absolutely imperative that we empty canals of ships prior to a storm or make damn certain that the ships are properly secured. there is NO excuse for barges or retired navy ships to be playing bumper cars with each other and the levees during storms. they could easily have breached the levees and then we would all be watching in horror as part of new orleans yet again succumbed to horrific flooding. there needs to be a criminal investigation. now!!
the other problem that must be addressed in the future is being flexible enough to alter re-entry plans. i understand trying to keep citizens at bay if conditions are dangerous but when those conditions are only inconveniences, such as the loss of power, then let us come home. it is not the role of the government to treat us as though we are children. we all endured the harsh conditions of post-katrina living and are up to the task of the post-gustav landscape. besides, the sooner we come home, the sooner things get back to normal. many people were financially taxed to the limit by this evacuation and desperately needed to get home. barring them from re-entry does nothing but ensure that they will not leave the next time a storm approaches. when a mandatory evacuation is ordered, the government does not have the authority to force its citizens to leave, how then does it have the authority to bar us from re-entering our homes? nagin, this is not your private kingdom. my property is not your property. step down here and mingle with the rest of us. nagin continued to push for lock down even though members of the city council were in favor of lifting it and allowing people to return. if we desire people to leave in the future then we must allow them to return at the earliest possible time.
chief of police riley needs to step down. he is increasingly isolating himself from criticism, going so far as to call into a radio show and complain that the host of that show was using the storm's aftermath to be political. please! get over yourself. we have problems with crime. we have problems with nopd. these are legitimate concerns as were the checkpoints into the city and if riley cannot handle that level of criticism, then he needs to step down. instead of whining like a child, he should step up and do his job. the woe is me attitude is getting tiring.
over all i am proud of how things were handled but these issues must be addressed before another storm threatens our region. period.

what went right

i am a liberal, mostly democrat-voting sort of person and so it pains me a bit to give jindal credit for executing an orderly emergency plan in the face of gustav. i must say that i am pleased with the evacuation and plans set in motion to get those without resources to safety. the national guard was in place long before gustav arived to keep order and be on the ground running after the storm had passed. the levees, for the most part, held up and i am grateful for that. so kudos to all that made this happen, from jindal on down and from the average citizen on up. new orleans is safe and it is good to be home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

home

it was a lot faster coming home from tuscaloosa, alabama than it was getting there. thanks to chris and mark who put up the new orleans' refugees.. i'm glad to be back. i'm glad i can be back and that the levees held. thank god!! i'm still exhausted and a little loopy but i hope to be better soon. i don't have power at my house over in the new marigny, so i am staying up town where power seems sporadic but more wide spread. we came in on i-10 west bound over the twinspans and met no resistance. there were no checkpoints visible. there is a dusk until dawn curfew but i am perplexed at the probability of enforcing that when the official opening of the city is at midnight tonight. hmm. does anyone else thing nagin is drinking?? plenty of places are up and running in the quarter. matassa's is open. flannigan's is open. jager haus on conti is open. mojo coffee shop is open on race and magazine. jaun's flying burrito is serving. etc.. there are some gas stations open, just be mindful that they are few and far between and it is best to top off before entering the city. welcome home everybody. there are some lessons to be learned here and we will be disussing them in the future but for now, i'm pretty pleased with how things were handled. i will give credit where credit is due.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

waiting to get in

people are camped out on the highway waiting to get into new orleans. the red cross is being urged to take water and food to those waiting to re-enter. wow, does anyone else have a problem with this? what the fuck? all this is doing is assuring that many lower income people that evacuated this time will not leave in the future. i honestly believe that nagin has no idea what he is doing or the consequences of his actions. i can't believe there were people who voted the bastard back in office and look where we are now. stupid. stupid. stupid. i'm so angry. fucking bullshit.

we want in

people trying to return to new orleans are being turned away, only to then park their cars on the highway and wait to be let in because they have no money to turn around. i read this on nola.com and if this is true, it really is asinine. i'm not hearing any word from nagin as to this developing crisis. is this even legal, keeping people from returning to their homes if the situation is safe?? i understand this delay if things are unsafe but they are allowing business owners to return. the business owners, however are complaining that the fastest way to get up and running would be to get their workers back into the city. how do you do that mr. mayor?? you let us come home. just let us come home. we know the drill. we have been through this before. we are pretty sure we can handle it. i am heading back tomorrow in the hopes of sneaking in via fake press passes but i am hoping by tomorrow that nagin will come to his senses and open the city.

let us in

i want to go home! i want to check on my property and start cleaning up whatever needs to be cleaned. i want to help jump start the economy by purchasing a beer at a local bar or buying coffee at whatever place is open now and there are places open NOW. bullshit. just because i have no stock to check on does not mean that i should not be allowed back into the city if it is safe. try and keep me out. fuck you because you don't have the authority to keep me from going home. so i am heading back on wednesday. period. and i expect that i am not alone. i can't even tell you how angry this makes me feel. how dare you place business owners and stock holders before the majority of new orleans' citizens. who the fuck are you to determine that?? no no no. why don't you come down and personally bar my re-entry?

Monday, September 1, 2008

sigh of relief

we have heavy rain falling in the new orleans' area but i think the worst of it has passed. i think(knock on wood) that we have made it through the crisis. we should(hopefully) be able to head back into new orleans on thursday. i do want to say that i think officials really handled the situation well. much, much better than how things were handled for katrina. thanks to all those that helped protect the area. there is still some anxiety over the heavy rain fall and potential wind damage. i am foaming at the bit to re-enter the city and check on my home. damn, i could cry out of sheer joy. thank you to the powers that be for sparing new orleans. i do hope that in our relief and happiness over being able to return to the most amazing city in the country that we keep in mind those that may once again be forced to deal with the destruction of their property. also, we do know of some fatalities and we do want to keep them and their families in mind. i'm exhausted. the weight of the last few days is finally catching up to me now that the adrenaline is starting to wane. i feel as though i have been on high alert for weeks now even though it has only been a few days. i am looking forward to finally sleeping without the specter of storm related nightmares. sweet dreams yall.

stupidity

i am sitting in a coffee shop in tuscaloosa, surrounded by college kids(ugh), trying not to lose my mind. i just heard on the news that we have several ships loose in the industrial canal that could damage the levees. oh my god! did we learn nothing from last time when that barge went crashing into the lower ninth ward?? i thought that after that incident they enacted legislation to clear the canals of ships. what the fuck?? it ceases to amaze me how little foresight the so called people in charge seem to be blessed with. wow, as though we don't have enough to worry about. i want the person or people responsibl hanged, drawn, and quartered. damn, just damn!! keep your fingers crossed everybody and keep praying. we are not out of the woods yet.

the news

i am trying not to watch the news but find myself increasingly fixated. i have had to relegate my viewing to the weather channel only. my nerves cannot handle the sensationalism of cnn. their bobble-headed newscasters seem to salivate over the potential for disaster and if things are not news-worthy bad, then the up the drama factor where they can. still, the images of water over topping at the industrial canal is enough to send me into fits of anxiety. alright everyone, yall keep praying.

over topping

ok. inhale. deep, deep breaths. pass me a beer. first of all, this thing is down to a cat 2 and that is fucking good news. but, we are now seeing some over topping at the industrial canal, including over topping towards the upper ninth ward. this will put pressure on the flood walls. they are reassuring us that these walls have been reinforced and i am clinging to that the way turner used to cling to the masts of ships during storms, when he was seeking inspiration in mother nature's violence. it looks like it is going to come ashore down near houma, which of course puts new orleans on the wet, rough side of things. damn. there is nothing to do at this point but wait. we are just waiting this damn thing out. dear god! where is the beer?

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