Voter Registration LouisianaTOMORROW, Tuesday, 9-October, is the last day you can register to vote in the November 6th election in Louisiana. So, it’s important!
Check Your Registration“But I’m already registered”, “I’ve lived in my house for twenty years”, “It’s not a problem.” Or is it? While you think you’re registered, the Republicans purge! Go to ResistBot and find out. ResistBot verifies your registration. So, it’s not a scam! Text CHECK to 50409 and follow the instructions.
Vote Save AmericaThe ObamaBros at Crooked Media run VoteSaveAmerica.com. The site helps folks check their registration. If they’re not registered, they receive instructions.
Registering in LouisianaRegister online in Louisiana. Go to the Louisiana Secretary of State website and follow the instructions. It’s simple and important. Therefore, there’s no excuse. You can always register in person. Do it, today or tomorrow! Here’s the procedure from the LA SOS: Apply in person to register to vote at any Registrar of Voters Office. You may also register in person at any of the following locations:
- Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles;
- Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services;
- WIC offices;
- food stamp offices;
- Medicaid offices;
- offices serving persons with disabilities such as the Deaf Action Centers and Independent Living Offices; or
- Armed Forces recruitment offices.
- Check your registration
- GO REGISTER, in person or online, if you’ve been purged
You’re not done!The November 6th elections are extremely important. Verify your registration (and fix things if necessary). So, then, TELL YOUR FRIENDS. It’s not enough that you go vote. You need to check with TEN friends. Make sure they get out to the polls.
Go tell the Texans!Here in Louisiana, we all have friends in Texas. All your exes, too. So, make sure they’re ready to vote for Beto O’Rourke.
Go tell the Georgians!So, we know that NOLA means “Nobody Likes Atlanta”. While you hate the Falcons, make sure your friends vote! Tell them to verify their registration. Keep on them about getting out on November 6th. Make Stacey Abrams Governor!
Why is this a big deal?Neither of our Senators from Louisiana stand for re-election in 2018. All of the CongressCritters do, and Democrats challenge each of them. So, we flip the House, if everyone votes. Additionally, we must pass Constitutional Amendment #2, the Unanimous Juries Amendment. Louisiana is the only state where someone can be convicted of a serious felony by a non-unanimous (10-2) vote. The Louisiana Legislature voted to put the change on the ballot. Now we have to make it law.
Bullet Journal – year one
Bullet Journal – year one
The concept of keeping a “Bullet Journal” was all the rage this time last year. As my friends began to take up the style, I thought I’d give it a try. I’d been back-and-forth with paper versus electronic task lists for a couple of years. New apps, new systems come and go. I needed something I could stick with.
The key aspect of the Bullet Journal – often shortened to BuJo – is that it’s forgiving. The BuJo starts blank. You can set it up this week in one style, shifting to another next week.
This was an opportunity. I like the Franklin-Covey system for task management. A-B-C, 1-2-3 worked for me. The world changed since I started that system around 1989. BuJo brought me back to it.
Weekly layout, daily details
I now set up a two-page weekly layout, with a monthly calendar, sections for Monday though Sunday, next to the calendar. Then I have general task topics, such as Writing, Blogging, Podcasts, Personal, etc. Each day, I take tasks from the weekly layout, move them into a daily list, then prioritize that. Notes about the day go below that, onto multiple pages, if necessary.
Managing the writing
Bullet Journal year one started with me adding writing notes as part of the daily BuJo pages. I’ve decided to change that up. I’ll finish Trusted Talents (the second novel in the Bayou Talents series) in the day-to-day BuJo. The third Dragons novel, Dragon’s Defiance, now has its own notebook. Well, it’s the start of a “dragons” Moleskine. Third Talents will go that way as well. Other writing projects will start in the regular BuJo.
Will three notebooks be a problem? probably not. If something comes to me for one of the two main universes, I can note it in the daily notebook and transcribe to the project notebook.
Starting a new daily notebook
I decided to buy new Moo cards for NOLA History Guy just after New Year’s. When I placed the order, the company offered me their “Moo Notebook” for a discount. I grabbed it this morning and declared it to be the continuation of the BuJo for 2018!
The Moo notebook has an interesting binding, making it easier to lay flat.
And, we’re off!
Military Parade in DC?
Military Parade in DC?
Yeah, I wasn’t impressed when Donnie declared he wants a Red Square-style parade. We’re not a culture of tanks and missiles. I want a military parade, though.
We fetishize military deaths in the United States. I attribute this to two main factors. First, the Puritan roots of the United States. We demand focus on the afterlife. We honor the dead more than the living. Are Forces are not better fighters for that. Let’s cheer them while they’re still with us!
Factor number two focuses around Arlington National Cemetery. The center of military ceremony in many Western countries is the royal palace. There’s Buckingham Palace in London, palaces in Oslo, and Stockholm, and the Vatican, to name a few. We don’t have a royal family in the United States. Our focus is on the dead. Turning the Custis-Lee Plantation into hallowed ground made for an interesting compromise. It gave the Union a way to ceremonially seal the victory over the Southern rebellion. It also raised the leader of the rebels up to a lofty position in our country’s military tradition and heritage. It’s an honorable and distinguished thing to do. Still, it focuses on death and the dead more than we should. ‘
Honoring the living
To facilitate the honoring of military dead, each branch of the service maintains an honor guard in the DC area. The US Army has the Third Regiment, The Old Guard. The Old Guard includes the Caisson Platoon and Escort Platoons, that bear the bodies of our deceased military men and women to their resting places at Arlington. The regiment also includes other units that honor the living, such as the Commander In Chief’s Guard, and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
And that’s not all! There’s the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, posted at Fort Hood, in Texas. The Navy has the Naval Ceremonial Guard, Marines are first to fight, but they also have the United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, which includes the USMC Silent Drill Team. There’s the USAF and the US Coast Guard Honor Guards as well. Therefore, we have the personnel for a grand parade!
Don’t forget the USS Constitution, up in Charles Town, Boston! Bring the crew, dressed in their War of 1812-era uniforms down for a parade!
Here’s a list of military ceremonial units.
So, there are the bands! In addition to the Old Guard Fife and Drums, each service has a band in the DC area. Many bases and posts also have excellent bands. Put the DC bands on the street! Bring the service academy bands to DC. Have a contest among the other bands. Let them audition for spots in a grand parade.
Fly the planes! Bring on the US Navy Blue Angels and the USAF Thunderbirds! While the jets fly, don’t forget the Army’s Golden Knights!
Focus on our Forces
So, celebrate the men and women of our Forces, before we put them in the ground! Honor their families! Maybe let some of the spouses and children march/ride in a parade!
Display diversity! Parade people of color, parade gay couples and our TG military personnel! They deserve it more than missiles.
The #metoo movement shined a huge spotlight on the treatment of women in the US. #Timesup transition begins with a change in political action. Personal stories morph into that action.
The Golden Globes are a forum for political activism. This year, that took the form of #timesup. This is a huge step in our national discourse. Hollywood takes on patriarchy and racism. The #metoo groundswell went well beyond the cathartic stories told by individuals. While this was good, it didn’t really break out past individuals.
White people need to insert/assert themselves
When people of color are brought to the forefront of any issue, white people tend to bristle a bit. The #metoo stories were overwhelmingly from white women. Weinstein didn’t even dignify allegations from women of color. The #timesup efforts deliberately carry #metoo that step further, turning the follow-spot away from the white people. As expected, white people pushed back.
Rinku Sen (@rinkuwrites) is the publisher of Colorlines.com. She wrote a piece for The Nation on #timesup. It dropped last Tuesday. So, Sen makes a number of important points on what she calls the “lefty critique” of #timesup. The list of “critiques” she offers is things is interesting. They’re things one hears from folks critical of “Hollywood.” This writer offers more.
Breaking the binary
Sen argues we’re “trapped in binaries.” It’s a good point. Therefore, transitioning to #timesup happens with broader perspective. So few things are either-or. Binary thinking avoids nuance. She returns the nuance:
No one knows exactly what formula will ward off the authoritarianism looming over our country and the world, but that formula probably doesn’t include the word “only.” There should and will be many tactical experiments in this period of political, cultural, and spiritual churn. Critique is easy. Actually running such an experiment is hard.
Absolutely. Either this or this doesn’t work. Many issues need nuance. Let’s try new approaches.
So, how does this apply to transitioning to #timesup?
Sen explains #timesup thusly:
#TimesUp is grounded in a progressive movement where racial justice, feminism, and workers’ rights meet. For years, organizations have worked to change the national narrative around work, violence, immigration, policing, and many other issues. Understanding that policy and politics were inadequate to the transformational task at hand, they added cultural change to their toolkit.
The #timesup movement expands progressive activism. Sen nails it upfront. She adds racial justice to white activism.
I regularly use the hashtag #checkyourprivilege in conversations. #Timesup integrates this. We must change the culture of white privilege. We must change white people on the Left. Therefore, we’ll have a lot of tough conversations. It means hurt feelings. People will (gasp!) unfriend on social media. Cultural change means white folks need to catch up.
Slate’s Hit Parade podcast
“Here Comes the Sun” – the most-sold Beatles song on iTunes
Slate’s Hit Parade – How the labels destroyed the single
Slate’s Hit Parade podcast is now separate from their “Culture Gabfest” pod, and that’s a good thing. In the series’ fifth drop, the subject is the single. The recording industry hated singles, not because they didn’t make money. They hated them because they didn’t make enough money. Listeners wanted the music they heard on the radio. The labels wanted more retail sales. The way to get more money out of consumers was to sell them albums rather than singles. Problem was, a lot of albums only had the one or two good tracks that ended up as singles. The other eight-ish tracks on the album just weren’t interesting. The industry’s solution: don’t sell singles, force the public to buy the album.
The strategy worked. You wanted that Joni Mitchell tune you heard on the radio? Go buy her “Court and Spark” album. Same for artists from The Beatles to Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The industry refused to sell the tunes on the radio as singles for decades. Listen to the pod, it’s fascinating.
Singles vs Albums
I never bought singles, mainly because I appropriated the family stereo at an early age. I bought albums by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Yes, and The Beatles when I was in seventh grade. My sisters had a record player and were content with 45 RPM singles. Not me. I’m not sure if my personal rejection of the single was because of any marketing strategy on part of the industry. I’m just one of those mutants that liked the “album tracks” better than the “single track” on an LP. Take Boston’s debut album, for example. “More Than A Feeling” was the big-radio tune when the album dropped in the fall of 1976. I always liked “Peace of Mind” better. No way I would’ve purchased a Boston 45 RPM, as a result. Of course, I listened to so much “head rock,” ELP, Yes, King Crimson, etc., that didn’t lend itself to the single format.
“Cassingles” and “Single CDs”
The pod’s discussion of these formats fascinated me. All these years, I never thought releasing a single-on-cassette or a single-tune CD was a thing. The connection of format to Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart made them important. I never cared. For me, it was about buying the album, then recording it to a tape for the car, then later, the Walkman. The CD, while pricey, appealed to audiophile-me.
The pod ends with the karma that was Napster and iTunes, and how the greed of the recording industry pretty much destroyed it. In that section, one tidbit caught my ear, that “Here Comes the Sun” became the best-selling tune from The Beatles’ catalog when it was placed on Apple’s music sales site. It was never released as a single, but became their best-selling single. I wonder if it was the label that kept the tune off the Hot 100 (by not releasing it as a single), or if it was Lennon and McCartney.
I’m very pleased that Hit Parade is now a stand-alone podcast, and look forward to future eps.
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Mychal Judge – Gay Saint?
Is Mychal Judge a “Gay Saint”?
It’s called a “cause” when Catholics put a person forward for canonization. The “cause” of Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, moves forward to Pope Francis. While the Church maintains that it’s difficult to become a saint, Pope Francis expanded the paths to sainthood. This profile of Judge, by Ruth Graham in Slate.com, explains how the Franciscan friar and 9/11 hero is now eligible for this designation.
Prior to Pope Francis, there were two paths to sainthood. One was Martyrdom. A martyr is one who gives their life for their faith. The second was “Confessor,” the more complicated path. These are the causes with all the rules and regulations. A “confessor” becomes a saint when “miracles” happen based on this person’s intercession with God. So, the “confessor” path is a difficult one.
This July, Pope Francis created a new path to sainthood. As Graham explains it:
But in July, the Vatican announced that it had expanded its criteria for sainthood, creating a new category for people who willingly sacrifice their lives for others: oblatio vitae, the “offering of life.” This new category of saints does not need to have been killed directly because of their faith, and they need display only “ordinary” virtue. As Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, put it, “Now saints can be persons who lead a fairly ordinary life until an extraordinary moment of supreme self-sacrifice.” It’s a category that seemed custom-built for Judge.
While the Vatican will no doubt admit that this category exists for Judge, it really does seem this way. Of course, there are a number of other folks who fit these criteria. It’s important to remember, to canonize someone means the Church declares, this person is in heaven with God. That’s a bold claim, coming from mortals. Naturally, they want to be as certain as they possibly can. Catholics and other students of the process of canonization will find this all interesting.
Judge offered his life
The article is a splendid profile of a complex man. Judge did indeed offer his life, particularly in service to AIDS victims in New York. Like those who worked with lepers in earlier times, Judge embraces those dying of AIDS-related conditions, offering comfort and spiritual support. Judge was a gay man, and had a long-term relationship with a nurse who also lived in Manhattan, Al Alvarado. Judge, his friends, and those championing his cause, maintain that he remained true to his priestly vow of celibacy. Like many straight priests who have intimate relationships with women, they see no problem with Judge’s relationship with Alvarado.
Fr. Judge is a man Catholics can easily look up to. And pray to.
Brown Butter Mid-City
Brown Butter Mid-City for Lunch
231 N. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
Reservations via OpenTable (click to the restaurant’s website above)
From the restaurant’s website:
Located at the corner of N Carrollton and Bienville in Mid City New Orleans, we are the city’s destination for Contemporary Southern American cuisine in a comfortable cozy setting. Our goal is to challenge your palate with new and exciting flavors while anchoring our ingredients in the comforting and familiar. We are the place for a quick lunch, fine dinner, business/special event or just a beer and small plates for the game.
Went out to lunch yesterday with the “Todd Price Taste Club,” for the group’s first lunch outing. Had a great time at Brown Butter on Carrollton and Bieville in Mid-City.
HUGE CORRECTION TO THE POD: I refer to the group as “Todd Price Eats and Drinks. That is actually the name of Todd’s old Facebook page. Now, Todd, Ann, and Brett from NOLA dot com aggregate all their stuff on a single Facebook group, Where NOLA Eats. Sorry, Todd, I’ll get it right next time. 🙂
The two starters were a Gem Lettuce salad with radish, fennel, onion, and Pecorino, with an herb vinaigrette. Our second starter was Flash-fried Brussel Sprouts. While just about everyone else got the sprouts, I got the salad and snitched some of the Brussels Sprouts from others. Both were good, but the Brussels Sprouts were the winner.
The Brown Butter Burger, with pimento cheese, pickled red onion, roasted garlic aioli, on a brioche bun with house cut fries.
Our second option was Smoked Brisket with skillet corn bread, vinegar slaw, along with a white sauce and a smoked onion and apple BBQ sauce. I had the brisket. It was great.
Folks who got the burger also enjoyed their choice!
In addition to the beef and burgers, we enjoyed a chocolate torte. The dessert had whipped cream and an Amarena Cherry sauce. Tasty!
Be sure to check out Ali’s blog at NowNewOrleans dot com!
Bayou Brief at Yatpundit’s Pub
Two segments today at the pub. We’ll talk about the new progressive news site for Louisiana, The Bayou Brief, then we’ll talk food, grits and the Holy Trinity.
The Bayou Brief
The Bayou Brief – Nevertheless, we will Progress!
The Bayou Brief is Louisiana’s news site for long-form stories with a Progressive focus. There are three basic types of stories produced by The Bayou Brief (my categorization, not theirs): Cultural/Louisiana, Goverment, and “Red Meat” for Democrats/Liberals. FULL DISCLOSURE: Lamar’s publishing the first chapter of my forthcoming book, Krauss: The New Orleans Value Store, on Wednesday. The concept for The Bayou Brief dates back to December, 2015. Lamar organized a group of progressives involved in media/communications to kick around ideas, in the wake of the election of John Bel Edwards as Governor of Louisiana. Yes, we’d chosen a Democrat, but the media in Louisiana was still overwhelmingly conservative The Bayou Brief offers progressives in the sate a place to read solid news and features, coming at issues from a progressive perspective. This is a Big Deal, and that’s why we discuss it today.
You know you need a Bayou Brief coffee mug in your life. While you may read other sites, your support progressive journalism in Louisiana is essential.
Grits Bowls at Wakin’ Bakin’
Wakin’ Bakin’ on Banks Street in Mid-City New Orleans. Wakin’ Bakin’ is by far my favorite breakfast place in New Orleans.
“Holy Cluck!” – a Breakfast bowl with grits, swiss cheese, the Holy Trinity (sauteed onions, green pepper, and celery), topped with two eggs.
The Breakfast Bowl is the most popular item on the WB menu. So, they start with a base: grits, hash browns, or black beans. Add a meat (bacon, breakfast sausage, hot sausage, chorizo, chicken. Add cheese if you like, cheddar, swiss, pepper jack (occasionally they’ll use brie on a daily special bowl). Top with two eggs, any style. This bowl has grits, chicken, swiss cheese, the Holy Trinity, and two eggs. Delicious!
Republicans truly don’t care if people die unnecessarily.
Republicans care more about the wealthy
I heard a story from a Facebook friend this morning, about how a family member needed medical assistance while traveling in Europe. It’s one of dozens of stories I’ve heard from friends over the years. Teens who don’t hydrate properly to professional colleagues who have serious medical problems while away from home. Stuff happens. All the stories have the same ending. Whether or not the patient pulls through, there’s no charge for the medical services provided.
Healthcare on vacation
Americans regularly do not understand how this works, because the overwhelming majority of them do not travel outside the United States. When they go to the mountains, the beach, or the city for vacation, they take huge financial risks. If something happens and a family member needs assistance while away from home, it’s likely they’ll get emergency treatment. But what about the dehydrated teen, or the smaller child who has a fever? How about the mom who develops a UTI, or other infection on the road? At home, you go to the doctor, and you pay the co-pay set up in your insurance policy. So, you’re at the beach? Suddenly you’re “out of network,” and you are on the hook for the full cost of that IV for your teen, or the antibiotics that will treat that fever or infection.
Now, the family’s got a decision to make. While the ill person ride it out, should the family have to decide if that’s necessary?
In Europe, this is a no-brainer. You got to a doctor. You get help. You get on with your life.
This is the part about ACA that Americans who have no serious travel experience don’t get. They don’t realize the smoke screen insurance companies put up to avoid paying up. Europe removed that smoke screen. They set up “public option” system. You’re from Amsterdam and you get sick in Eindhoven? No problem. You’re from Glasgow and your kid needs that IV in London? They get it.
Who pays the bills? They do! They pay taxes to cover the system. Americans’ refusal to pay taxes of any kind is why we fail.
Revisionist History is a problem for everyone.
As a former History teacher, I take a conservative approach to revisionist history. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in calling out the Holocaust Deniers, the Sandy Hook Truthers, and other such idiots. It’s the statements of lower impact that are thorny. Came across one of those yesterday, when a commenter said, “Democrats could have passed single-payer [health insurance] in 2008.”
A number of issues here. I’ll come back to the “2008” reference last.
Revisionist History – the ignorance of the Bern-it-downers
We hear this foolishness from #nonpartisanprogressives. They declare a pox on both parties. It’s possible the OP is just an uneducated/unaware individual, who heard someone else make this statement, and now they’re parroting it. This is more than possible, given the extent to which Berners of all striped parroted the lies of the Republicans about Clinton last year. It would not surprise me to learn that someone like Sarandon or Stein said this, and now the parrots go off. Angry people get angry, and there’s often no dealing with them. We see this regularly with Catholics, on the abortion issue. Close-mindedness is certainly not limited to any particular ideology.
ACA before Stimulus
Could the Democrats have passed single-payer in 2009? Doubtful, for a number of reasons:
- The economy was a hot mess. President Obama and his team decided that passing his very-successful economic stimulus package was a greater need, out of the gate. Keeping Congress focused to accomplish something is tough on a good day. Throwing two huge agenda items at them at the same time risks the failure of both. Obama went for the economy first. Given that one of the biggest raps against the Clinton campaign last year was a lack of a clear.focused, economic message, this decision made a lot of sense.
- Healthcare took time. One of the biggest arguments against TrumpCare was how quickly “repeal and replace” happened. Paul Ryan handled it badly for Team Trump. President Obama took the time to put ACA together. Teams were working on healthcare in the White House while the public face of the administration worked on the stimulus. It takes time to put a big package like healthcare reform together. They listened, kicked around ideas, and considered what would and would not pass muster, even in a Democratic-controlled Congress. This sort of thing doesn’t get done overnight. Adults know this, but #nonpartisanprogressives think there’s a magic wand that makes things happen.
- The ACA required compromise. Ironically, the Affordable Care Act was initially a compromise proposal. It was created by the Heritage Foundation. Newt the Gingrich offered it in 1993. It was a counter to President Clinton’s single-payer proposal that year. The dynamics had changed significantly by 2009. The ability of Gingrich to defeat “Hillarycare” outright in 1993 emboldened the Republicans. They believed they could beat back any future attempts to take down the industry. President Obama recognized that. His team put forward a variant of the Heritage Foundation’s plan. ACA kept the insurance industry intact, giving it a better chance to pass. That’s how compromise works. It’s what adults do. Still, #nonpartisanprogressives wrap themselves in purity.
The Public Option
- Obama’s proposal had a “public option” component. Many believe (as do I) that the public option was a bargaining chip. When the Dem leadership in both houses began to whip votes, it was clear that both caucuses didn’t have the fortitude to vote for the public option. You take what you can get. Adults don’t run home crying; they make the best out of the situation. They don’t try to Bern down the house.
- Final passage of ACA was a still a near-run thing. The Dem caucuses had the votes to pass in both the House and Senate. The Senate filibuster was the main problem. Obama’s team knew 60 Senators was a problem. No way the public option was going to survive that process. Dems liked the private insurance framework. Those holding out for local pork got things thrown at them. Had Obama taken the all-or-nothing stance of #nonpartisanprogressives, the whip count was more like 56-58 votes.
So, I’m simplifying a lot here, and I welcome comments elaborating on specific points. I stand by the notion that the public option was dead on arrival when ACA was pitched.
Yet, we’re almost eight years on and the left’s purity police are making claims that are patently wrong. They don’t rise to the level of Sandy Hook Truthers, and that’s the problem. A crazy spouting such incredibly stupid things is easily dismissed. Revisionist history with respect to policy wonkery just doesn’t stand out in the same way. The #nonpartisanprogessves in the lead or in the punditocracy know this. Their followers most likely don’t.
This is is why there’s no compelling reason to try to bring #nonpartisanprogressives into a coalition. We’d love it if they stopped throwing rocks and grew up, but it’s not necessary to push the Republicans out. Their penchant for revisionist history makes things worse.
Anyway, I said I’d come back to the “2008” thing. This is a common mistake. Of course, the president starts his term on January 20th of the year after the November election. In a serious discussion, however, most folks care when it comes to dates. Of course, #nonpartisanprogressives aren’t serious. That’s why many of them voted for Stein. She said the many things she said that were factually inaccurate. The “2008” sort of error indicates someone who doesn’t take any of this seriously. So-called leaders engage in revisionist history because their people won’t call them on it.