31 December 2005
and so we enter the final day of 2005. chad over at DP gives us a nice year end reminder of the morons we have elected to our state government. thanks chad.
meet la state senator don "doc" hines (d) bunkie, our asshole of the year...
dr. don its time to go home you are done.
anyway c b forgotston wrote a nice commentary on his blog that we are reproducing below - everyone who is concerned and loves louisiana should read mr forgotston's blog. its located here: www.forgotston.com
Apparently, Senate President Don “Doc” Hines doesn’t get the concept of a representative democracy. That is a form of government where the citizens elect others to represent and vote on their behalf. In LA, that would be the legislature.
According to the story in today’s Baton Rouge paper, when Hines received a petition from Rep. Steve Scalise to call a special session, he “threw it in the trash can.”
The petition was a direct result of an outcry from the citizens of the state for action on the levee boards. Gov. Blanco had previously not committed to calling such a session, so Scalise, on our behalf, was pursuing the only other legal means of calling a session to redress our concerns. Hines’s arrogant and disrespectful response was a slap in the face to every citizen of LA. It was a failure to recognize the role of a legislature.
Hines owes every citizen of LA an apology and especially to those of us who are victims of the ravages of Hurricane Katrina which were due, in part, to the negligence of the levee boards.
Kudos to Scalise for his efforts which apparently cause our governor to finally take action.
-------------------from www.2theadvocate.com ---------
Session to focus on levee boards
By MICHELLE MILLHOLLON and MARK BALLARD
Capitol news bureau
Consolidating the levee boards is emerging as the central issue for the upcoming special session. The question on some lawmakers' minds is whether Gov. Kathleen Blanco can build a consensus for it.
"The worst thing we can do is to call a special session, spend a lot of taxpayer money … and come out of there with no success," Rep. Tom Schedler, R-Mandeville, said Friday from Atlanta, where he was attending the Peach Bowl.
Blanco told legislators late Thursday that she plans to call them into session in late January "to consider a variety of legislative proposals."
Her announcement came on the heels of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, circulating a petition for lawmakers to call themselves into session.
Senate President Don Hines, D-Bunkie, admitted Friday that he crumpled up Scalise's petition.
"I threw it in the trash can," Hines said. "I just thought it was unnecessary for the Legislature to do this."
Politics doomed an attempt to consolidate regional levee boards during the November special session. The legislation by Sen. Walter Boasso, R-Arabi, cleared the Senate but died in the House.
Earlier this month, a U.S. Senate committee investigating hurricane response heard testimony about turf wars that broke out during the levee breaches that flooded the New Orleans area after the hurricane.
Army officials complained they were blocked by one levee district from fixing a breach. Another levee board official said annual inspections amounted to officials having "beignets and coffee."
Blanco already has testified before Congress about her response to Katrina. She is expected to testify again in February.
The feeling among State Capitol figures is that consolidating the levee districts would win points for Louisiana in Washington.
Sen. Jay Dardenne, R-Baton Rouge, said consolidation of the levee board could have been accomplished during the special session in November had Blanco been willing to push. But she did not.
Dardenne said Blanco appeared to be pulling away from having a second special session until the last couple of weeks, when lawmakers, citizen groups and business interests began pressuring the administration to address the levee board issue.
Two weeks ago, Blanco announced that she always had embraced consolidation of the levee boards but felt it couldn't be accomplished in the November meeting.
"The groundswell to do something about the levees has forced her into some action," Dardenne said Friday. With Blanco's backing, changes to statutes to change out the dozen and half levee boards for one entity could easily be accomplished in a week or so, he said.
"The consolidated levee board will be a slam dunk. It should have been a slam dunk last special session," Dardenne said from Disney World, where he is vacationing with his family.
Blanco supporters responded to criticism about not backing the Boasso bill by saying his measure was introduced too late in the last special session to receive adequate attention. Instead, Blanco pushed a bill that would create another panel above that of the existing levee boards. That bill passed.
High-ranking politicians, including Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, as well as the business community criticized the Legislature for failing to pass measures that would consolidate the levee boards.
However, Hines, who was hand-picked by Blanco to lead the Senate, said he does not understand the rush for consolidating the levee districts considering that the Army Corp. of Engineers has control of rebuilding the levees.
"Everybody is screaming and yelling for the consolidating of the levee boards," he said. "I don't see where it is going to accomplish much right off."
Schedler supported levee board consolidation in the recent special session. But he said Friday that a lot of questions arose after the session, including whether small, privately funded levee districts would be affected.
He said he plans to meet with Boasso in the next few weeks to work out the kinks on the legislation.
Schedler said it's crucial to Louisiana's future for Blanco to iron out the issues and build a consensus.
"I think she's got to attempt to pull this thing together," he said. "I still think we're very disjointed. We have some talented people. I don't see a consensus developing (or) one clear focused message coming out of Louisiana."
Posted by wst... at 19:05
30 December 2005
we just came across this story linked from one of our new favorite websites Drudge Retort this young englishman had what turned out to be a great idea. its odd who fortune chooses to smile upon. anyway we will be patiently waiting for the next off the wall internet success story.
LONDON (Reuters) - If you have an envious streak, you probably shouldn't read this.
Because chances are, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet.
Selling porn? Dealing prescription drugs? Nope. All he sells are pixels, the tiny dots on the screen that appear when you call up his home page.
He had the brainstorm for his million dollar home page, called, logically enough, www.milliondollarhomepage.com, while lying in bed thinking out how he would pay for university.
The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up their logo. A 10 by 10 dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100.
He sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release.
That was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels, with links to their own sites.
So far they have bought up 911,800 pixels. Tew's home page now looks like an online Times Square, festooned with a multi-colored confetti of ads.
"All the money's kind of sitting in a bank account," Tew told Reuters from his home in Wiltshire, southwest England. "I've treated myself to a car. I've only just passed my driving test so I've bought myself a little black mini."
The site features testimonials from advertisers, some of whom bought spots as a lark, only to discover that they were receiving actual valuable Web hits for a fraction of the cost of traditional Internet advertising.
Meanwhile Tew has had to juggle running the site with his first term at university, where he is studying business.
"It's been quite a difficulty trying to balance going to lectures and doing the site," he said.
But he may not have to study for long. Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.
"I didn't expect it to happen like that," Tew said. "To have the job offers and approaches from investors -- the whole thing is kind of surreal. I'm still in a state of disbelief."
Posted by wst... at 17:23
this morning we received not one but two ebay phishing emails. it seems to go in circles first "they" will phish ebay and paypal then the bank phishing ones arrive those are the easiest to spot because we dont have an account at any of the banks lol anyway you name it and someone will try and phish it. if you ever want to get a good education about phishing the Anti-Phishing Working Group keeps a great website with everything you will need to know its here. they even have an email address where you can forward any phishing emails that you receive to them its: firstname.lastname@example.org and dont forget to CC your email to email@example.com you should also send any and all spam emails you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org. - anyway these are two good email addys to add to your address book - just in case.
heres the first tip off (besides the fact that we dont have an ebay account) our email address isnt email@example.com;
the second tip-off is if you mouse-over the blue link in the email while at the same time looking down into your status bar you will see that it actually goes to another non-ebay website -they dont match - so its always a good idea to look down in the status bar and compare what you see there with the url you see within an email.
Posted by wst... at 14:41
26 December 2005
happy new year...<:o)
Predictions for 2006
2006 is the date indicated by an angel to the prophet Daniel for the "time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations" (Daniel 12:1) the same words used by Jesus in Mathew 24:21.
Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri
In a lecture given yesterday (Tuesday 9/13/05) the elder Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, called on world Jewry to come to Israel because of natural disasters that will take place in the near future. In the announcement Rav Kaduri says:
"I hereby find that it is necessary to pass this call to the ears of world Jewry, that they should come to the Land of Israel for the reason of the great dangers awaiting the world from the side of nature.
"In the future the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring great disasters in the countries of the world in order to sweeten the judgements of the Land of Israel.
"I instruct that this warning announcement be distributed in order that the Jews in the countries around the world be will know the real danger and will come to the Land of Israel, to the building of the Bais Hamikdash and to the revelation of Moshiach."
The Rav also revealed that the initials (rashei teivot) of the coming Hebrew year 5766 are "it will be a year of secret and revelation" ("tehiyeh shnat sod v'gilui").
Codes by Al Sutton
Codes by Lyuben Piperov
Come near Elijah! - 2006 - the world is the place of burning and God created the mourning.
8 of Tevet 5766 (8th Jan 2006) - He departed for the terror, day of night for the UN
The 23rd of May 2006, He judged! - It shall be an evil time in that day.
23rd May 2006
8th Ab 5766 (2nd Aug 2006), a fire like a terror.
3rd August 2006
Violent 3rd August 2006
4th August 2006 - Day of the sign.
You are worn out; bear up, you shall smite! World War - in 2006 - and they smite you!
And, poor me, shall you give a promise China? In 2006 shall you be still? Hey! They shot shots!
2006 - The War
2006 - The writing on the wall
The jewel and the stone; thus. In 2006 the proof.
The End, Ethiopia, in 2006, to her.
Master will come - 2006?
Rev 6:12 - 2006 comet - 6th seal
In 2006, as his bitterness - big stones - they will fall on open fields.
A bitter rough-edged rock in 2006
2006 and 2010 asteroids - India burnt
Jerusalem - and the year 5766 (2006)
9 Av 766 (3rd August 2006)
Military draft USA 2006
A. Schwarzenegger - 2006
Exodus 2006 code
Posted by wst... at 13:37
23 December 2005
More rings and moons found around planet Uranus
Astronomers have discovered new rings and small moons around Uranus and found surprising changes in satellite orbits around the giant planet.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope photographed a pair of previously unknown rings. The largest is twice the diameter of the planet's previously known rings. The new rings are so far from the planet that they are being called Uranus's "second ring system."
Hubble also spotted two small satellites. One shares its orbit with one of the newly discovered rings. Most surprisingly, the orbits of Uranus's family of inner moons have changed significantly in the last decade, the new data reveal.
Collectively, the discoveries mean Uranus has a densely packed, rapidly changing, and possibly unstable dynamical system of orbiting bodies.
"The new discoveries dramatically demonstrate that Uranus has a youthful and dynamic system of rings and moons," says Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute. "Until now nobody had a clue the rings were there, we had no right to expect them."
Since dust in such an orbit is expected to be depleted by spiraling away, the rings must be continually replenished with fresh material. Showalter and collaborator Jack Lissauer of the NASA Ames Research Center propose that the outermost ring is replenished by a 12-mile-wide companion satellite, named Mab, which they first saw in 2003 using Hubble. Meteoroid impacts continually blast dust off the surface of Mab, and the dust then spreads out into a ring around Uranus.
Other small moons are linked to rings, including Amalthea at Jupiter, Pan at Saturn, and Galatea at Neptune.
Mab's ring receives a fresh infusion of dust from each impact. In this way, nature "balances the books" by keeping the ring supplied with new dust while older dust spirals away or bangs back into the moon, the thinking goes.
Showalter and Lissauer have measured numerous changes to the orbits of Uranus's inner moons since 1994.
"This appears to be a random or chaotic process, where there is a continual exchange of energy and angular momentum between the moons," Lissauer said. "The changes in the last ten years are small, but the thing about chaos is that small changes build up exponentially with time. As a result, this suggests that the entire system is orbitally unstable."
The moons may begin to collide in a few million years, Lissauer figures.
Perhaps the most unstable moon of all is tiny Cupid, whose orbit brings it within 500 miles of the moon Belinda.
Showalter and Lissauer propose that their discovery of a second ring, which orbits closer to the planet than the new outermost ring, provides further evidence for collisional evolution of the system. This ring orbits in the midst of the moons but has no visible body to re-supply it with dust.
"This ring may be the telltale sign of an unseen belt of bodies a few feet to a few miles in size," Showalter said. He proposes that the collisional disruption of a moon in Uranus's past could have produced the debris ring they now observe.
Cool facts about Uranus
Uranus lies nearly 2 billion miles (3.2 billion kilometers) from the Sun and is the seventh planet out (only Neptune and Pluto are farther). It has a diameter of about 32,000 miles (51,500 kilometers) and, according to flyby magnetic data from Voyager 2 in 1986, has a rotation period of 17.4 hours.
At last count, the planet has more than 20 moons. Along the plane of the planets equator is also a complex of nine narrow, nearly opaque rings, which were discovered in 1978.
Uranus likely has a rocky core, surrounded by a liquid mantle of water, methane, and ammonia, all encased in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.
A bizarre feature is how far over Uranus is tipped. Its north pole — representing the planet's axis of rotation — lies 98 degrees from being directly up and down to its orbit plane, which means the planet is essentially on its side in relation to the Sun. Thus, its seasons are extreme: when the Sun rises at its north pole, it stays up for 42 Earth years; then it sets and the north pole is in darkness for 42 Earth years.
Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus on March 13, 1781, noting that it was moving slowly through the constellation Gemini. Initially, however, Herschel thought he had discovered a new comet.
Posted by wst... at 23:40
we never had too much faith in fox mckeithen being a very good sec'y of state.
our experience with him was disappointing. it was limited to filing several complaints with him about fraudulent papers filed to his office regarding a louisiana corporation we own shares in.
he didnt do anything. so, while we hate it that he died we cant say that we are sorry to see him go. ater is no walk in the park and we cant wait to vote (providing we get to vote) his successor in either.
which brings us up to some rumors in the press that marjorie mckeithen daughter of ol fox is thinking of running for her late dads old position.
oh yeah marjorie would make a great secretary of state - for the old boy network.
what this state doesnt need is another old boy network insider. one who hides what everyone knows is a public record, we are talking about the 17 february 2005, 911 tapes, of course. what really happened to fox mckeithen that cold february day? its no secret that the press portrayed him as a falling down drunk so what are you helping to hide ms mkeithen? was he drunk and fell down or did someone beat the hell out of him? and why. mr mckeithen was a high state official elected by the citizens and we have the right and the need to know the complete details of his demise. the fact that you're suppressing the 911 tapes is proof that something isnt right.
so no we dont think we will be supporting marjorie mckeithen or whatever name she goes by for secretary of state. can you imagine what a great job she would do for the old boy network hiding and stifling public records and dont forget the secretary of state is in charge of elections.
whats interesting is how the la state ethics board fined judge janice clark $5,000usd [4,200eur] on st valentines day 2002 no less, judge clark: "... violated the restrictions on the use of campaign funds in the CFDA when she used campaign funds for personal use." judge clark, used proceeds of a $32,000 loan "to enhance her personal appearance and wardrobe." old la ethics board url: ethics.state.la.us/campopn.nsf/0/122522d79f4726ed86256b880070abfd?OpenDocument judge janice clark
so anyway the point of this entry is to remind ourselves that during our louisiana reconstruction that we especially dont forget to reform our crooked louisiana judicial system....
Court rejects release of McKeithen 9-1-1 tapes
By Mike Hasten
BATON ROUGE — An appellate court has refused to allow Louisiana's Gannett newspapers to review recordings of repeated calls for ambulance crews to assist the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen after he fell outside his home Feb 17.
In a 2-1 ruling issued Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal rejected a request by Gannett and the Louisiana Press Association to review the recordings. The panel agreed with an April 22 ruling by District Judge Janice Clark that the tapes are not public records.
"We are disappointed in the ruling of the three-judge panel," said Kathy Spurlock, executive editor of The News-Star in Monroe. "Our arguments in this case align closely with the dissenting opinion of Judge John Guidry.
"We will consider our options," which include appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court or asking for a rehearing, Spurlock said. "Public access to information about the operations of emergency responders is even more critical in post-Katrina Louisiana."
"I think there was a way for the court to be sensitive to Fox McKeithen's family's feelings and yet follow the law," said attorney Brady King, who represents Gannett Capital Bureau Chief John Hill, the lead plaintiff in the suit.
Joining Hill are Louisiana's Gannett newspapers: The News-Star, The Times of Shreveport, The Town Talk of Alexandria, The Advertiser of Lafayette and The Daily World of Opelousas, and the Louisiana Press Association.
"This is such an important issue, I think we should take it to the Supreme Court," King said.
The appellate court said McKeithen had the right to refuse review of the tapes because they fall under state law forbidding disclosure of "confidential communication made for the purpose of advice, diagnosis or treatment of his health condition between or among himself or his representative, his health-care provider or their representatives."
The request to review the tapes went to the East Baton Rouge Communications District, not to McKeithen.
The ruling also said communications with health-care providers are confidential and that those who made the calls have the right to expect confidentiality.
King said he is encouraged by the dissenting opinion registered by Judge Guidry, who agreed with Gannett.
Guidry said the law applied by Judges John T. Pettigrew and James E. Kuhn did not fit the case because McKeithen did not make the calls and the persons who did were not his representatives.
The calls were for "arranging transportation" and did not involve medical advice, Guidry said. And since "written transcripts of 9-1-1 calls are widely published in the print media and audio copies of the actual calls are often replayed verbatim for the benefit of television and radio audiences," the callers should have no expectation of privacy.
Guidry also agreed with the plaintiffs that the Communications District, which operates EMS, should not withhold the tapes because it is not a health-care provider, even though it employs emergency medical technicians.
"When you analyze like he did," King said of Guidry's dissenting opinion, "it results in the records being released."
Posted by wst... at 12:17
21 December 2005
Santa IM Worm Making a List
By Jim Wagner
A worm targeting the three major instant messaging (IM) networks is spreading its payload to buddy lists.
The IM.GifCom.All worm shows up as an innocuous-seeming URL in a chat message screen, featuring a link to what appears to be a Santa Claus site, said IM security vendor IMlogic, which first discovered the worm Monday.
In reality, clicking on the link starts a download that embeds a rootkit (define) on the user's PC. The payload within the rootkit often goes by the name of gift.com, security experts at IMlogic said, and it immediately begins scanning the user's registry, file system and Internet cache.
The rootkit also contains a keylogger (define) that records the keystrokes the user performs, generally used by malicious software writers to collect sensitive information such as credit card numbers, login information and passwords.
The malicious software also attempts to shut down the user's antivirus software and make several networking calls, possibly a repository maintained by the malware (define) writer to collect keystroke information.
The worm may also try to propagate itself to the user's buddy list.
While IMlogic rated the IM.GiftCom.All worm as a medium risk, the worm is unusual in that it targets the three major public IM networks -- AIM, Yahoo IM and MSN Messenger -- as well as AOL's ICQ (define) service. Most IM worms target one or two platforms at a time.
According to statistics maintained by IMlogic, MSN Messenger is the most popular platform for IM-based attacks, accounting for nearly 44 percent so far in 2005. AIM is second on the list at 26.5 percent.
click here to view all google news stories about the santa claus im worm
Posted by wst... at 20:32
20 December 2005
last night around 10 till 7 pm we had a small earthquake down between new orleans and baton rouge. you can see where exactly from this google earth screen shot. we didnt feel anything here in rapides parish -at least we didnt.
Magnitude 3.0 - LOUISIANA
2005 December 20 00:52:20 UTC
Date-Time Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 00:52:20 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, December 19, 2005 at 6:52:20 PM
= local time at epicenter
Distances 10 km (6 miles) ESE (110°) from French Settlement, LA
15 km (9 miles) ESE (118°) from Port Vincent, LA
17 km (10 miles) SW (232°) from Killian, LA
47 km (29 miles) ESE (116°) from Baton Rouge, LA
70 km (44 miles) WNW (299°) from New Orleans, LA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 29.8 km (18.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst= 10, Nph= 10, Dmin=412.1 km, Rmss=0.96 sec, Gp=234°,
M-type="Nuttli" surface wave magnitude (MLg), Version=6
Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usgvbk
Posted by wst... at 19:24
19 December 2005
we really have to get a chuckle at this one. ldwf must be afraid that michael jackson is coming to live in louisiana. who are these wildlife and fisheries guys that all they have to do is sit around and think up how to criminalize pet monkeys.
they must have already forgotten how stupid they looked a few years ago when a story appeared in the local gannett rag the town talk about some local people that had raised a squirral they had found. well the very next day wild life and fisheries showed up at these peoples door to take away the squirral. imagine how they must have felt they had hand raised it with a bottle etc... it seems its illegal to possess squirrals and not only squirrals but raccoons as well.
we know a lass in toronto, canada who has a pet raccoon, now who would have thought its legal to have a raccoon as a pet in what most consider to be socialist canada?
here in louisiana we cant build a levee or elect an honest person to office but we can outlaw the possession of raccoons, squirrals and monkeys. geeze get a life people.
the full text is below:
2005-368 L.W.F.C. PASSES NOTICE OF INTENT TO ADD NON-HUMAN PRIMATES TO THE LIST OF POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS WILD QUADRUPEDS AND NON-HUMAN PRIMATES
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a notice of intent to add non-human primates to the list of potentially dangerous wild quadrupeds and non-human primates at their Dec. 8 meeting.
Possession of certain potentially dangerous primates poses hazards to public safety and health and maybe detrimental to the welfare of the animals.
The size and strength of non-human primates coupled with their unpredictable, predatory nature could result in severe injury or death when an attack on humans occurs. There is also no approved rabies vaccine for non-human primates.
The proposed rules would make it illegal to possess, purchase, sell or import non-human primates within Louisiana.
Some exemptions to these rules include zoos accredited by the American Zoological Association (AZA), research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act including but not limited to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Primate Center, Tulane National Primate Research Center and Chimp Haven Inc. located in Shreveport, and any person transporting a non-human primate through Louisiana if the transit time is less than 24 hours and the animal is kept in confinement at all times.
Animal sanctuaries accredited by AZA can apply for an exemption from LDWF. Permitted sanctuaries are prohibited from breeding or selling non-human primates. The permit period will be one year and must be renewed annually.
By applying for and receiving a permit from LDWF, disabled people who use trained non-human primates can have one monkey and people that legally possessed non-human primates prior to rule ratification may continue to keep those animals.
Permit holders are required to keep their non-human primates in such a manner as to prevent public contact and must report any escapes within 24 hours to LDWF. They are also prohibited from transporting their animals to any public places that includes among other places schools, malls and hospitals.
Any public comment on this issue can be submitted to Philip Bowman, Fur and Refuge Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, prior to Feb. 2, 2006.
For more information, contact Philip Bowman at 225-765-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by wst... at 19:41
18 December 2005
you know its becoming clearer to us the truthfulness in some talk radio hosts observations that john hill is the gannett mouth piece of the blanco administration. especially when he writes and louisiana's gannett rags publish this pabum. for instance, how does mr hill know that the governor and sec'y of state "began talking about April elections last week." that information hasnt been reported anywhere else n the louisiana press. at least anywhere that we have looked. mr hill writes that governor blanco said at the hearings in washington d.c., last week that she hopes the new orleans elections "can be held sometimes in April." she must have said that to mr hill in the corridor of the capitol because we didnt hear her say anything like that - but if we are wrong please correct us.
oh and we dont have much faith in judge morvant. hes shown how he is no friend to louisiana's citizen-electors. judge morvant you might remember is the judge who threw out the constitutional amendment "Defense of Marriage” only three weeks after some 78% of the voters approved it. his ruling was later reversed by the louisiana supreme court. today the amendment is in force.
we get a real big guffaw over this quote me hill attributes to sec'y of state al ater: "The eyes of America and the world are going to be on this election. It's important to get it right. I want to show America that we run things clean and straight." where do we find these people? this is about the dumbest statement we have heard in awhile. anyone can so easily see that the postponement of the new orleans elections by executive decree and without date is dirty politics. so the governor and al ater are so bold to lie to us and expect us to believe it; all with a straight face.
Three lawsuits seek earlier date for voting postponed by governor.
December 18, 2005
By John Hill
BATON ROUGE -- Ever since New Orleans lawyer Tony Gelderman watched Hurricane Katrina's aftermath from his temporary home in New York, he's had one thing on his mind: "I want to vote."
So the Democrat and several Republican friends have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's order last week indefinitely postponing New Orleans' elections that had been set for Feb. 4. The mayor's and City Council's new terms are due to begin May 1, but the Louisiana Constitution provides that officeholders remain on the job until their successors are chosen.
Blanco and Secretary of State Al Ater hope to reset the election for April 1 and the runoff, if necessary, for May 1. Plaintiffs hope for an earlier election, probably March 4, since the qualifying period for the Feb. 4 election date should have ended Friday.
Gelderman's lawsuit is one of three seeking earlier elections but the first to go to court. A hearing will be held Friday before state District Judge William Morvan in Baton Rouge.
"I think the dialogue, the debate that comes along in an election cycle is just the medicine New Orleans needs right now," Gelderman said. "I do want to cast a ballot for political leaders who enunciate a future for New Orleans that makes sense."
Blanco and Ater, both Democrats, began talking about April elections last week.
"I understand people's frustration that six months after the hurricane they want to vent those frustrations in the election," Ater said.
Gelderman, who was first assistant to Democrat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu when she was state treasurer, is convinced Democrats want to postpone the election because the New Orleans' Democratic base is scattered throughout the country. "The intention was to delay that election as long as possible to get Democratic voters back."
Republicans are eager to hold an election immediately "because the demographics of the city have changed and now, perhaps, have favored them," said University of Louisiana-Lafayette political scientist Pearson Cross. "The Democrats, conversely, would like to postpone the election until the demographic balance has been restored to something near its pre-Katrina levels."
Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villiere has called on Blanco to hold elections soon or resign. "The anger in this state is at a boiling point. If the governor wants to avoid impeachment or recall, she must immediately change her ways,"
But Gelderman opines the sooner the election, the higher the participation by displaced New Orleans voters who can have their say through absentee balloting. "People might not consider themselves residents of New Orleans anymore in April."
Blanco -- who was in Washington, D.C., last week testifying before a congressional committee investigating preparations for and response to Katrina and lobbying for hurricane relief for Katrina and Rita -- said while she defers to Ater on election issues, she hopes the New Orleans elections "can be held sometimes in April."
She has called a special election for April 1 in St. Bernard Parish; it is for a constable in a small district. In the 2004 presidential election, the last major ballot in New Orleans, some 196,000 city voters cast ballots, with 153,000 voting for Democrat John Kerry and 43,000 for Republican President George Bush.
The current estimate is some 75,000 to 80,000 of the 437,000 pre-Katrina residents have returned to the city.
The decision about when to hold an election is a complicated matter.
During its special session last month, the Louisiana Legislature added to election law a procedure that gives the secretary of state's office the power to declare an emergency and set up a plan for another election, requiring the approval of two legislative committees, the state attorney general, the governor and the Legislature, Ater said.
Before any of that can happen, federal law requires the approval of the U. S. Justice Department. Under the federal Voting Rights Act, Louisiana and other states with a history of racial discrimination must win the approval of Justice's Civil Rights Division before any change in voting law can be implemented.
Ater said he has been talking to Civil Rights Division attorneys about approving the procedure just enacted by the Legislature. He has a plan ready to submit.
Ater estimates the legal process of gaining the approvals of Louisiana legislators and officials would take two or three weeks. The plan, once approved by state officials, would would need approval by Justice, which could take another two or three weeks.
"Only then would I feel comfortable setting a date."
There's another good reason to have postponed the Feb. 4 election, Ater said.
"The eyes of America and the world are going to be on this election. It's important to get it right. I want to show America that we run things clean and straight."
Former state Elections Commissioner Suzanne Haik Terrell is expected to testify during Friday's hearing that an election could be held in February, Gelderman said.
Former Secretary of State Jim Brown also will testify for the plaintiffs, Gelderman said. Brown believes an election could have been held in February but should be held March 4 and April 1.
"The Election Code gives the secretary of state and local clerks of court some leeway," Brown said. "You could consolidate precinct locations. You could get a warehouse and put 15 polling precincts under one roof."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency could send notices to displaced voters about how to get absentee ballots, he said. "That's what they do with servicemen in Iraq."
Brown "is just grandstanding" and the law rewritten by the Legislature is very specific as to what needs to happen, Ater said. "How in the world can I do anything different than the law? We're going to win the lawsuits."
Posted by wst... at 11:36
16 December 2005
if the louisiana legislature was worth a plug nickel they would call themselves into session and impeach blanco. the governor has sworn to uphold and to preserve the constitution. all citizens in louisiana and in the usa as a whole are guaranteed the right to vote. the only exception we can think of is someone who has been convicted of a felony forfeits his right to vote. sec'y of state al ater has alluded to a late september 2006 date for the nola elections - but thats not what the governors executive order says now is it. we did some googling and found executive order no kbb 2005 - 77 in this executive order issued by governor blanco she postponed by only 28 days the primary elections in allen,beauregard, calcasieu, jefferson davis and vermillion parishes from their original date of october 15th 2005 until november 12th 2005. she moved the general election again by 28 days from november 12 2005 until december 10th 2005.
you see our point? she set a new date. the governor cannot postopone an election indefinetly and in doing so she has committed an impeachable offense and should be indeed impeached. al ater should be removed from his office as well.
see also EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 02-39 and EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 98-44
now read this article by christopher tidmore:
By Christopher Tidmore
Governor Kathleen Blanco issued Executive Order KBB-2005-96 one week ago, delaying the elections in New Orleans indefinitely.
In a move curious to students of political history, the Governor’s choice of words so closely resemble the myriad of reasons that Latin American Dictators have rendered over the decades for canceling elections in their countries, that the parallels seem uncanny.
The Governor noted that she was driven to the decision “in order to minimize to whatever degree possible a person’s exposure to danger during declared states of emergency.” That sentence sounds strangely close to Getulio Vargas’ defense for postponing the 1937 Brazilian Presidential elections. His crisis, and his subsequent term in office, lasted until 1954, ending only the ultimate change in political environment--a bullet entering his brain.
Augusto Pinochet likewise said that recent, unsettling events created too many administrative barriers to execute a successful, free election. The Chilean General’s state of emergency also postponed a vote indefinitely--preventing a free presidential vote for over a decade.
In August 1980, Daniel Ortega, like Blanco, pledged “to protect the integrity of the electoral process,” canceling Nicaragua ’s scheduled vote. His democratic probity was demonstrated so well that Central American nation was treated to a decade of the Sandinistas’ Dictatorial rule.
While no critic of the Governor believes her a tyrant in the making, a former Democratic Secretary of State, the current Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, and state’s leading Independent Good Government advocate all contend that Blanco, in her words and orders, blatantly ignored state election law in a fashion that far exceeds her authority as the elected head of state government. Either deliberately or accidentally, and there is debate over Blanco’s motives, all agree that her actions display a “frightening disregard for constitutional protections,” as attorney Justin Zitler put it--and have no place in American Democracy.
The Governor justified her decision to postpone the vote, worrying that the logistics were not in place to hold an election in Orleans Parish for months to come. Roger Villere, Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party countered though, “If we can hold an election in Afghanistan or Iraq , with people risking their lives to vote, why can’t we have a Mayor’s race in New Orleans ?”
The GOP Chairman, who in a spirit of bipartisanship had little critiqued the Governor in recent weeks, radically changed course on Tuesday. He called for Blanco’s immediate resignation. “Governor Blanco’s order to indefinitely suspend elections in Orleans Parish appears to be an abuse of power that makes her unfit to continue to serve as Governor of Louisiana …The anger in this state is at a boiling point. If the Governor wants to avoid impeachment or recall, she must immediately change her ways and begin performing the most basic functions for which she was elected.”
“Because of the tragedy of Katrina and my hesitancy to distract Governor Blanco from her duties,” Villere continued, “I was silent for a long time after the hurricane hit the state. But I am putting the Governor on notice that she has now crossed the line. We have tolerated her gross malfeasance in office, but her Executive Order to take away the right to vote from American citizens is another whole matter. On behalf of the citizens whose rights are being violated, I demand that the Governor hold these elections in a timely manner or face the most severe political consequences from the voters of this state and their elected representatives.”
The Republican Chairman pointed out to The Louisiana Weekly in an interview Tuesday that the Governor did not hesitate to call an election in St. Bernard Parish for April, but refused to do so in Orleans, despite the counsel of those that said that a two month delay is the maximum extra time the City needs, or legally has, to prepare for a Mayor’s race.
In theory, an April 1st primary and April 29th runoff is the last chance that one could hold an election under the City’s Home Rule Charter. The document requires that the new Mayor and Council take office on May 1st.
Blanco explained that the postponement came after acting Secretary of State Al Ater advised that logistically an election could not occur in Orleans . However, good government advocate C.B. Forgotston pointed out to The Louisiana Weekly, “This is the Al Ater that wants to become the next Chairman of the [State] Democratic Party…There could be a political motive here.”
Ater has recommended a September vote for Parishwide officials in New Orleans . His official reasoning cites the flooded voting machines, lack of citywide power grid, and disappearance of poll commissioners. Only by waiting until the statewide elections in September, reasoned Ater, could these problems be avoided.
Forgotston gave a more basic reason. “They’re worried their voters might be gone for good.”
With African-Americans slow to return to the Crescent City , a general perception exists that a February primary and runoff would favor wealthier white residents, whose homes in Uptown, the French Quarter, and Fabourg Marigny generally avoided the floodwaters. Some claim that the fear is so acute that a Republican like Peggy Wilson could sweep into the Mayor’s office, that any delay to encourage black voters would improve the situation.
Critics of the Governor, like Forgotston, point out that St. Bernard was one of the few parishes to take greater damage than Orleans , yet elections proceed there in April. Allies of the Governor respond that the special election vote will only take place in a few precincts, not throughout the parish, as in Orleans . They also add that the Governor has not indicated a specific date for a New Orleans vote. Blanco has, however, said she agrees with Ater’s general interpretations, leading most to agree that the Governor is holding out for a September poll.
While some ascribe political motives, others give a simpler reason as to why Blanco and Ater delayed the vote, perhaps for many months—laziness. Jim Brown, Louisiana ’s former Democratic Secretary of State, told the Weekly, “There is a fear on the part of some bureaucrats that it would be too much work…to put on a race in February…They think its just too hard.”
“When you look at the pros and cons of delaying this election,” the former Sec. State continued, “Well obviously the pros are that it is going to be a lot easier for elections officials. In a couple of months because you will have some more polling locations and maybe they can get the machines ready. They won’t have to work so much overtime, and there won’t be the logistics of getting people to the polls. So, we could do an election, but its going to be a lot more difficult. But…symbolically, it would be a huge mistake not to do it. What are the pluses of her delaying the election?…Unless it goes to the motives of political opportunism to allow more Democrats to get back into the city, and I would hate to think that would be a motive.”
Brown ultimately concludes that Blanco’s motives are not political—just logistical. “The Governor has just been badly advised…The public officials just made a bureaucratic decision. They don’t realize the backlash that is going to happen...Some public officials just want to take the easy way out…If you aggressively attack this problem, these elections could go on…The election code says that if there is damage or some problems in certain precincts, you can consolidate precincts. What that means is that we can go out in an area of the Ninth Ward, find a big warehouse or great big gymnasium, and perhaps put fifteen or twenty precincts in that one location, so people know that they can come to one location if their precinct has been destroyed.”
“We can get in touch with voters, and I know that that is going to be difficult, but if we can absentee vote with our soldiers in Iraq , we can certainly absentee vote with voters in Houston and Dallas.”
Lastly, the man who oversaw Louisiana Elections for eight years reasons that Blanco could have asked other parishes to lend Orleans their voting machines and resources. “There aren’t any other statewide elections dates on February 4th. Therefore, trucks can haul voting machines…Other parishes would be happy to help.”
Volunteer poll commissioners could be recruited from across the state, he reasons, and if necessary, generators could provide the electronic voting machines with power.
The observation ranks far from conjecture. The Louisiana Weekly has learned that Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court John Gegenheimer has volunteered to donate his undamaged voting machines and use his parish resources to aid New Orleans , as have several members of the Louisiana Clerk of Court association. Jefferson , whose post-Katrina population equals Orleans ’ pre-Katrina levels, could easily ship parish resources over the invisible line that separates it from Orleans , so Gegenheimer reportedly offers.
While Brown thinks Blanco’s motives might be honestly misguided, the former Secretary of State has no doubt that the Governor lacked the legal justification for indefinitely delaying the Orleans elections. “The law is very clear. There’s not a lot of leeway here in the law, and I know something about the election code, because I just happened to have written it. In 1984, when I was Secretary of State, my office sat down with people like former Secretary of State Wade Martin and key legislators like Peppi Bruneau. We put together this whole new election code, and I went over it line by line. I remember some lengthy discussions about what would be the circumstances where you would ever call off an election.”
“There are two reasons and two reasons only. The first reason is that there is threat of harm or danger to those voting. That someone voting would be in harm or danger, just like those poor folks in Iraq who get shot at and they still vote. Obviously if Katrina was imminently about to hit or just a few days after, that would certainly be a reason maybe to call off the election then. But, only then.”
“Number two, if the whole integrity of the elections process is in jeopardy or in some way just could not function properly, that’s the second reason. Those are the only two reasons that the election code allows. Not because it would be inconvenient. There is nothing in the election code about voters who are out of state who can’t make it back, and maybe disenfranchised. None of us want that, but the election code does not call for postponement in those instances.”
Brown plans to make these statements in court, testifying in the case filed by New Orleans attorney Rob Couhig, calling for the New Orleans elections to be held in April.
The press has labeled Couhig’s case as a GOP effort. While Couhig did run for Congress in the First District as a Republican and is well known in local and national GOP circles, what the media has ignored is how bipartisan the affiliations of his codefendants are. Several Democrats have joined in a suit against Louisiana ’s Democratic governor.
Deborah Langhoff is a long-time Democratic Party activist. Pres Kabacoff, the Chairman of Historic Restoration Inc. describes himself as a yellow dog Democrat who supported Gore, Blanco, and both the Landrieus. And, Tony Gelderman is well-known as one of the major fundraisers in the local Democratic Party. He was a key backer of Senator Mary Landrieu’s first race for office, and co-headed her opposition team when Woody Jenkins challenged the results of the contested election.
Couhig’s case is filed in State District Court, contending the Governor’s Executive Order violated the City’s Home Rule Charter and the State Elections Code. Less reported by the media is that an equal effort has been made in Federal Court—on constitutional grounds.
Attorney Justin Zitler believes that the cancellation of the elections is not a White or Black issue. It is not Republican or Democratic in nature, he maintains. It is born of the essential 15th Amendment protection of the right to vote.
“ It is an issue of extreme importance for New Orleanians, wherever they live...What we want to do is comply with the city Charter...There is a four year
term in the city charter...There is plenty of time to qualify by January 13...in time for a general election March 4.”
Zitler’s Brief before the court calls for a primary on March 4th, with a runoff on March 25th. Still, he maintains that the one month election difference in his case and Couhig’s ultimately is minor. The real difference in the arguments of the two cases is federally constitutional in nature. “The dispute seems to be how to hit that May 1st deadline...The Fifteenth Amendment that lets us vote in a timely manner...That is what the Governor’s Executive Order is denying us…We are asking the court to overrule the Governor and have the election.”
In what some of her critics have called “a tactical mistake”, Governor Blanco ended her hearings in Washington on Wednesday with the words, “If we can rebuild Baghdad , we can rebuild New Orleans .” All of her opponents have responded to The Louisiana Weekly with the same sentence, “If we can, then can’t we vote too?…Our boys are dying for Democracy in Iraq ; what about New Orleans ?”
Chairman Villere added, “If elections can be canceled arbitrarily in Orleans , they can be canceled anywhere in Louisiana .”
Christopher Tidmore’s radio show is broadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 pm on KKAY 1590 AM in Baton Rouge and WVOG 600 AM in New Orleans . He invites your replies by email at email@example.com
Posted by wst... at 13:09
15 December 2005
this afternoon on ringside radio, mark clark from blackandgold.net told host jeff crouere that yesterday was the most eventful day in saints history.
first off saints owner tom benson told the team and staff that new orleans is unliveable. that the facilities on airline drive are occupied by fema and the federal government and that they arent useable. this is despite the fact that nfl commissioner paul tagliabue toured the facility just over a week ago and pronounced it in "first-class" condition.
clark told about saints quarterback aaron brooks how he had complained in a media interview monday about how awful the saints facilities are in san antonio, texas. jim haslett yesterday offered his resignation.
other tidbits include mr clark stating that he believes that "this is an organization thats in complete chaos thats being run by a man who might have dementia or may have alzheimers or something"
"the nfl is intently watching...this is really a tough time right now"
clark prediction: jim haslett will be coaching in buffalo next year.
to listen to the complete interview go here: http://www.freewebs.com/wesawthat2/
Posted by wst... at 13:17
14 December 2005
**updated** 03 february 2006
MySpace.com Subject of Sex Assault Probe
Feb 03 2:23 AM US/Eastern
Police are investigating whether as many as seven teenage girls have been sexually assaulted by men they met through the popular Web site MySpace.com.
The girls, ages 12 to 16, are from Middletown and say they were fondled or had consensual sex with men who turned out to be older than they claimed. None of the incidents appeared to be violent, said Middletown Police Sgt. Bill McKenna.
He said it was difficult to determine the exact number of victims because some girls have been reluctant to disclose that they met their assailants online.
The social networking Web site allows users to create profiles that can include photos, personal information and even cell phone numbers.
In a statement Thursday, MySpace.com said it was committed to providing a safe environment for its users. The site, which includes safety tips, also prohibits use by anyone younger than 14, though a disclaimer says the people who run the site can't always tell if users are lying about their ages.
On the Net:
Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office computer crime squad issued a warning Friday about a popular teen Web site, Local 6 News reported.
MySpace.com is a free Web site available to anyone 14 years and older, offering Web logs, e-mail, Web forums and groups. On the site, a person posts a profile with photos and personal information, which then becomes public.
Authorities said many teens are posting racy photos and exchanging information with other Web users.
The danger is that predators can find the teen in their ZIP code and begin communication, according to Local 6 News reporter Vanessa Medina.
"A lot of information they post on MySpace will give these people clues if not outright directions to where they are, Orange County computer crimes Sgt. Kevin Stenger said. "Some of the photographs they post on there, if not outright lewd, are very suggestive. It is a danger."
MySpace.com is not monitored or filtered, according to the report.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office computer crimes unit has received many complaints about the Web site.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
Posted by wst... at 20:53