WTF?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Suppressing free speech on the bayou

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 6:26 PM

ExposeDAT, a website that drew the wrath of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter.
  • ExposeDAT, a website that drew the wrath of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter.



Former LSU Law Dean Jack Weiss, a highly respected First Amendment lawyer, taught me a valuable lesson about some of our most cherished freedoms.



“First Amendment freedoms, including free speech, freedom of the press, open meetings and public records, don’t get eroded in large cities where big news organizations can fight back,” he said. “They die in small towns, where entrenched politicians control virtually everything and most people are too afraid or too poor to fight back.”



I thought about Jack’s lesson when I read about Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter’s deputies executing a search warrant on the home of Houma police officer Wayne Anderson in hopes of learning the identity of an anonymous blogger who had the audacity to criticize Larpenter and other Terrebonne bigwigs.


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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Androids and anime: a day at MechaCon (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Costumed con-goers strike a pose.
  • Costumed con-goers strike a pose.

The scene at MechaCon check-in is bedlam. A man in a glittery green bowler hat, possibly left over from St. Patrick’s Day, jostles a woman with blue and purple hair, who consoles her crying sister. A girl in a metallic red and blue jacket, matching bikini bottoms and black high-heeled boots shivers nearby. Other people in varying degrees of costume stand around the registration desk in vague gestures toward lines; the confusion seems to stem from the fact that there are multiple registration levels. Red-shirted volunteers keep trying to line people up based on the first letter of their last names (“N through Z!”) 

Behind me, a young man in an electric blue wig, a red fedora with playing cards tucked into the band and goggles seems indifferent to the chaos. He’s carrying two boxes at about chest-level. 

“What’s in the box?” I ask. 

The first box has a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards, he says. 

“And the other one?”

“It’s a box of string.”

"And what is the string for?

“No one is supposed to know what the string does.”

Shyly, he opens the box’s lid to reveal a tangled nest of extension and power cords.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Yes, David Duke is running for Senate

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 12:54 PM

David Duke in 2008. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/EMMANUEL D'AUBIGNOSC
  • WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/EMMANUEL D'AUBIGNOSC
  • David Duke in 2008.
White supremacist, anti-Semite, felon and perennial candidate David Duke qualified this morning to run in the fall U.S. Senate race to replace David Vitter.

Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, won a special election in 1989 to represent District 81 in the state House of Representatives, a seat which he held for three years. Since then, he has mounted several unsuccessful but attention-garnering campaigns for U.S. Senate, along with a bid for president in 1992. His closest brush with attaining higher office came in his run against disgraced Gov. Edwin Edwards in 1991, a race which spawned the slogan "Vote for the Crook: It's Important."

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book release parties next weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott (right) talks about books with a customer. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott (right) talks about books with a customer.

Muggles, rejoice: a new chapter in the Harry Potter saga arrives in bookstores at midnight July 30. While not technically a novel, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book (from a production opening on London's West End) revives the popular tale about the young wizard and his wand-brandishing buddies. 

Climb on those broomsticks or apparate to the following parties and events celebrating the book release.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bastille Day Bartender and Waiters Race returns to the French Market Sunday

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM

IMAGE COURTESY THE FRENCH MARKET CORPORATION
  • Image courtesy The French Market Corporation

During the nightly theater of dinner service, waiters become minor acrobats, lifting, bending and balancing trays of cocktails, beer bottles and wobbly champagne flutes or martini glasses. The annual Bastille Day Bartender and Waiters Race brings this skill to its absurdist apogee, when service industry professionals face off in an outdoor tray-carrying competition. 

Under a usually-blistering July sun, bartenders and waiters speed-shuffle toward a finish line with a fully loaded tray of glassware and props. Points are docked for spills, and past races have disqualified contestants for dropping items from their trays.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Voting for new Zephyrs name begins Thursday

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 5:21 PM

Zephyr Field — soon to be Baby Cakes Field or Po'boys Field? - CREATIVE COMMONS/DEREK BRIDGES
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/DEREK BRIDGES
  • Zephyr Field — soon to be Baby Cakes Field or Po'boys Field?

The New Orleans Zephyrs has released the finalists in its competition to rename the minor-league baseball team. The organization asked the public for suggestions, then whittled that list down to seven options — perhaps a wise tactic, considering recent crowdsourced renaming fiascos such as the Boaty McBoatface incident.

But did the organization itself choose wisely? Well...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Elbert Guillory's got a lovely bunch of coconuts

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Former state Sen. Elbert Guillory: "These — are coconuts."
  • Former state Sen. Elbert Guillory: "These — are coconuts."
In a state full of colorful politicians, if you want attention, you've got to stand out from the pack — and former state Sen. Elbert Guillory, who's now running for the 4th Congressional District seat in the U.S. Congress, is one of Louisiana's most reliably colorful candidates.

Last year, he recorded a video in which he used the n-word multiple times in order to "start a dialogue on race" in America (Guillory himself is black). The year before, he appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to defend the sport of "chicken boxing," which he said definitely was not cockfighting: "I'm not a fan of cockfighting, but I love to go and watch some chicken boxing." In 2013, while defending the Louisiana Science Education Act (which opens the door for teaching creationism in public schools), Guillory captured wide attention for mentioning his positive experience with what sounded like a witch doctor:
If I closed my mind when I saw this man in the dust throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed, if I had closed him off and just said, ‘That’s not science, I am not going to see this doctor,’ I would have shut off a very good experience for myself. 
Now Guillory is back with a new video, titled "Coconuts" — and if that allusion escapes you, Elbert Guillory will spell it out, complete with a pair of low-hanging, uh, coconuts as illustration:
These — are coconuts. In Louisiana, when someone has courage, and fortitude, and the ability to stand up when others stand back, we say that she, or he, has coconuts.
It's a metaphor, you see, for a perceived lack of testicular fortitude in our nation's capitol, and ... oh, hell, It's probably best if you just watch the whole thing.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

'Showing their butts': State Rep. Kenny Havard would make a great running mate for Donald Trump

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, and Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson. - TRUMP: CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • TRUMP: CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, and Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson.
Forget about the potential Supreme Court nominees that Donald Trump served up last week to deflect The New York Times' exposé of his history of objectifying women. It’s time for The Donald to play the ultimate, well, trump card and name his running mate. That would surely cement his victory, the polls notwithstanding.

I’d like to suggest Louisiana state Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson, for that role.

Havard clearly possesses the most important quality that Trump could want in a running mate: He doesn’t give a damn whom he offends.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bayou St. John fenced off in advance of annual Bayou Boogaloo festival

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 5:32 PM

A chainlink fence has been erected on the Moss Street side of Bayou St. John, three days before the annual Bayou Boogaloo neighborhood festival. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • A chainlink fence has been erected on the Moss Street side of Bayou St. John, three days before the annual Bayou Boogaloo neighborhood festival.

The Moss Street side of Bayou St. John in Mid-City was fenced off in advance of this weekend's 11th annual Bayou Boogaloo festival, sparking outrage on the event's Facebook page.  

In response to one person's question, "What is this all about? Looks absolutely terrible," a representative for Bayou Boogaloo replied, "Safety first."

Other signs declare the popular walking/biking path on the Jefferson Davis St. side of the bayou to be closed for seven days — through the Tuesday following the festival.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jindal evolves on Trump: From "narcissist and egomaniac" to "I would vote for him"

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 4:27 PM

jindal_trump.png

Former Gov. (and former presidential candidate) Bobby Jindal once was one of Donald Trump's fiercest foes in the presidential race — but that was then and this is now, when it appears Trump is likely to become the GOP nominee.

Gone from his website is Jindal's much-touted September 2015 speech slamming Trump:

screen_shot_2016-05-03_at_4.06.56_pm.png

... and in is a more pragmatic Jindal.

"If it comes down to a binary choice between Donald Trump, I'm supporting the party's nominee," he told CNN today (as reported by Politico). "I'm not happy about it. I don't think he's the best qualified, I don't think he's the one most likely to be successful, but I would vote for him over Hillary Clinton."

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