Monday, October 29, 2007

Tuning It All Out Today

I truly love my job. I am one of those cats that get ready for the next work day as soon as he gets home from the previous one to make sure the morning goes smoothly. There are some Mondays however where the only word to describe how you feel about getting the work week started is………………SHIT!!

I guess today is one of those days. During days like this I am usually not up for any real stimulating conversation. I’m blocking things out. I guess that applies to this blog as well. I could write a letter to George Bush thanking him for making me realize how he screwed our recovery to make Blanco look bad from his comments last week. I could use the fact that there was a sellout crowd at a football game in San Diego to make the distinction between the fires and Katrina. I could make fun of all the email invitations from all these Myspace clones like Facebook, Multiply, Tagged and all that stuff. Why does it seem like the same person is joining these new networking sites and sending you an invite? Are they just sitting at home searching for them? I should be thanking that person for making my personal life feel a little less pitiful. Anyway, I won’t talk about any of that today. What I will do is share my Blue Monday mixtape. This is how I made it through the work day today (written as I played them). Feel free to put on your headphones really loud to mute the voices of your co-workers. Just make sure that if you are listening to something with explicit lyrics you hit the volume button when the cussing comes on and don’t sing along out loud. Yes, I have a catalog of music saved on my work computer. That’s a benefit of paying dues. At least I deleted all the Buffie The Body pictures.

  1. Back on my Grizzy – Lil Wayne (I’m guilty of liking this fool’s music too much)
  2. Groove Swing – Roi Anthony (Look it up!)
  3. Spirit in the Dark – Aretha Franklin live w/ Ray Charles
  4. Ms. Fat Booty – Mos Def (played 5 times in a row)
  5. Big Things Poppin – T.I.
  6. Soul Soul Soul – Wild Magnolias
  7. Mothership Connection – Parliament
  8. Sweet Sixteen – B.B. King
  9. My Soul Ain’t for Sale – Jazzy Jeff featuring Raheem Devaughn (Theme song)
  10. Be Alright – Zapp & Roger
  11. Adrenaline – The Roots & Beanie Sigel (played 10 times in a row)
  12. International Players Anthem – UGK ft. Outkast

Friday, October 26, 2007


What the hell are you doing brother?

What happened to the dude in the cool hats prosecuting Edwin Edwards?

What is going on with you?

You wouldn't have gotten this far in your career if you displayed the bad judgment you are displaying now. You know once you fired those people without a legitimate reason everything had to go right to keep things together. Until this drama blows over, don't let anyone visit your house that you don't know personally. I read the story and I realize you didn't have anything to do with the robbery, but damn Eddie. You need to be working an evening job to come up with this extra cash to pay this settlement. If you don't one of your ex employees will be renting out the second floor of the traffic court building once the court seizes it.

Looking into my crystal ball I can already see what's about to happen. Eddie Jordan is going to run for re-election. Some group is going to run an ad that goes over the line and gets too racial. Community leaders are going to jump all over that and rally around Eddie. The city is going to be right in the middle of a color war. Black people will get up and vote for Eddie out of spite. He will win. The next day the Times Picayune will be flooded with letters from people saying they "have had enough and are leaving this awful place forever!" Then, I will repost this the day after the election and look like a genius. I'm no genius by a long stretch. I just know the local formula.

If you think he's going to step down you can forget it. Everyone in local politics is tied to these organizations with the catchy names like SOUL, GUMBO, PUSH, etc... They control so much money and influence that it would take years to recover from someone stepping down in shame. That's why William Jefferson ran again and why no one will ever ever ever turn against Marc Morial. They have to protect the machine. The same people who foolishly advised him to layoff all those people will also tell him to take the heat and not resign.

Maybe I am wrong and he will step down. We will elect a new district attorney and everyone will feel safer when he convicts a few of the hardcore criminals. Then, a few months later the crime stats will go back up and we will realize that the district attorney, sheriff, police chief, or the mayor have nothing to do with the large amount of young men who feel the need to engage in criminal behavior. Maybe the new DA will prosecute every member of the school board for the last 40 years. They are responsible for at least 40 percent of this crime problem.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Suffer in Silence

The black community of New Orleans has a serious crime problem. Almost everyday some young kid is laying in the street full of bullets. We need new schools and health care facilities. I truly believe that some things are being stalled in the recovery process purposely to keep some people from coming home and others to get frustrated and leave again. So why in the hell was the voter turnout so low? I am amazed at how all these people put themselves on an anger time limit or let the government buy their pain away for a few thousand dollars. We should be angrier. We should be angry at the crime, and the murder. We should be angry at how people chose to experiment with our kids’ education at their most vulnerable point. We should be angry that 30,000 migrant workers were here working before I could even get to my house to open up the windows for the mold. We should be calling Spike Lee to come and film another four chapters of When The Levees Broke. We should have lines at the polls. New Orleans is one place in America where black people have to vote and do it responsibly. There is an element here with a lot of influence that doesn’t hide their intentions. Do you think 20 police cars showing up at a second line in Treme was some kind of once in a lifetime thing? This culture we are supposed to love so much can be taken so cheap. We were too busy to get off our ass and vote Saturday. If the people on the register no longer live here then we need to register some new people. Now Jackie Clarkson will sit on that council again and if you think low income housing is going to come rushing back to the city with her having any influence you are foolish and stupid. She’s one of the main reasons now that it took so long for people to come home and all of the parks are full of trailers. You always get what you deserve when you vote the wrong way. It happened with Blanco, it happened with Nagin the second time and it's about to happen again. I don't want to hear anything when everyone has a midnight curfew and the N.O.P.D. is shaking brothers down everyday.

Alright Bobby

Bobby Jindal is the governor-elect of Louisiana after getting a majority vote in the first primary. That is truly remarkable in this state. It’s easy to explain. First, Kathleen Blanco and the Democrats let their main voting block sit around waiting for help after the levees broke and watched them drive out of the state. For that alone they deserved to lose. Second, all the closet prejudice people that didn’t vote for him the last time did so this time as a way of apologizing for making such a big mistake. This race was over in August 2005. I’m going to be optimistic about Bobby. I did vote for him the first time since he was clearly the better candidate. This time around I had to go with Walter Boasso because we shared the same flood water and there is no way his policies wouldn’t have helped me. A few years from now everyone is going to be really glad that they corrected the mistake from 2003 or feel really stupid about being misled by another politician using big words but having little action.

Hey Bobby, with such an impressive victory for the Republican Party, wouldn’t now be a good time to go to the White House and get George to send us a few billion dollars to make up that Road Home short fall? The plan was flawed, full of red tape and Blanco designed it in a way that showed a lack of trust in her own citizens but the positive effects of it are visible.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sitting on my Porch

It’s been a long time since I freestyled one of these blogs………………..

Alright Tyler Perry, I didn’t bootleg the movie. I actually spent the 40 bucks at the movies to see Why Did I Get Married. You did a great job. I don’t usually like going see stuff like this at the movies but this one was worth it.

I just want to throw this out there right now. I saw Senator Craig’s interview with Matt Lauer. If America lets this guy get away with that crazy story he’s telling, every black person who has family in jail for something stupid gets to set one person free.

It seems another rapper is trying to find ways to give back all the money and fame by doing something crazy. T.I did a commercial with the most popular dude in NASCAR. All he had to do was join the NRA and they would have sent him brand new guns. I said it before and I will say it again. You can do really ghetto stuff only if you never plan on leaving it.

I know the Saints won Sunday night and a few people had a good game. However, upon further review I think I am going to leave Saintsation DiAnne as the MVP.

I just watched a great documentary series on VH1 Classic called Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music. It was a great show full of rare clips and performances. The hour devoted to Otis Redding and Stax was particularly well done. It will probably never air again until February when everyone pulls out the black shows. If by some chance it shows up before then I recommend it. I hope I didn't miss the Eric B. and Rakim reunion or something history on the BET Hip Hop Awards. I probably didn't.

If every campaign ad from the challenger is about how the incumbent didn't do anything and every ad from the incumbent is about how the challenger is unqualified or corrupt, why in the hell are we voting for either one of them? Would there ever be a campaign slogan that says "He did a good job but I can do better"

I will give five dollars to anyone who has sat through one of those recorded messages from an elected official endorsing a candidate in the upcoming election. How do they get that recording to start talking after the beep on your voicemail? This has got to be a waste of money.
Speaking of voting….

Voting is the essence of democracy. People gave their lives for me to be able to do it and I truly believe in going to the polls to exercise this right. Everyone should but I have a request. If you are one of those people who doesn't watch the news, read the paper or have a clue about what’s going on; go to the polling place, sign the book and then walk out. Don’t bring your ass in there and vote for someone because you like his hair or he is light skinned. How do you think we got George W. Bush for eight years? A bunch of hillbillies somewhere voting for him because he had a ranch and like to BBQ. Now it’s mainly their kids who are stuck overseas. Be responsible about what you are doing in that booth.

I came across this video yesterday and the words of the song fit’s the life of damn near everyone I know. If black radio stations weren’t obligated to play the same song 30 times a day I would call and request this when I had one of those moments at work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Song From My Soundtrack

This is dedicated to all the brothers that were sweaty like me after waiting for hours on those "Meet me at the bus stop" dates back in the day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cliff's Voting Agenda

Election day in this state is October 20th. We will be electing a new governor. There will also be races for State Representatives, judges, an at large city council seat in New Orleans and all kinds of other things to confuse you in the voting booth. This blog will not be officially endorsing anyone in any race except for Joseph S. Clark’s own Tommie Vassel as councilman at large for New Orleans. We also will refrain from telling anyone who not to vote for except for Jackie Clarkson. I would sign the register and walk out before I vote for her. Honestly this race is so confusing from the standpoint of knowing the candidates that I am not sure who I am voting for in most cases. I don’t want to sit here and give someone props then find out they were running a prostitution ring a few years ago and all the girls called Senator Vitter “Bishop David Magic Juan”. I would feel pretty bad endorsing that person. With that in mind, let’s focus on the things I can and cannot support in this year’s election. I have to admit that before Katrina I pretty much voted along regular African American lines. I usually voted for the person who was closest to my skin tone or as far to the left as possible. Something about making grits on a BBQ grill in Mississippi with no electricity will make you look at things differently. Yeah, I know George Bush appointed Michael Brown but Kathleen Blanco is as Democrat as it gets and she spent a few days worrying about what shirt she had on before she did anything. These days I need to make sure that whoever is in office is going to support what my community needs regardless of where they are politically. Now, here is my agenda.

  • I will not support any candidate who’s name can be tied to a specific indictment or scandal.

  • I will support any candidate who advocates for renters assistance as well as the rebuilding of affordable housing in the city of New Orleans. Please note, opening up a few housing project buildings does not count. We need real affordable housing for working class families.

  • I will not support any candidate who’s plan for reducing crime is built on more jails and more police on the street. Prison does nothing to solve the root problems of crime. Plus, when more prisons are built, more brothers have to be arrested to keep that industry moving. The key is education, parental involvement , community development, and job opportunities.

  • I want to know which candidate has the guts to stand up to Entergy New Orleans and fight these monthly increases in our energy bills.

  • I will support any candidate that understands the need for more medical facilities in New Orleans. We don’t have enough clinics and medical facilities in residential areas.
  • I will not support any candidate who thought it was a good idea to put trailers in the parks where kids are supposed to play. This was only done under the idea that those neighborhoods were not repopulating and to keep the trailers off of the golf courses……..Jackie Clarkson!

  • I will support any candidate who’s in favor or tax breaks for local businesses in order to help them get back on their feet since Katrina. Stop traveling to Asia and South America to beg for business that ain‘t coming. Economic development here is going to start at a grass roots level.

  • I refuse to vote for anybody who hasn’t mentioned funding for new school facilities in New Orleans.

  • I won’t support anyone endorsed by Ray Nagin. I am sorry Mayor Nagin but you seem to be so out of touch sometimes it’s hard to believe you know what’s best these days.

  • I will vote for anybody in favor of closing the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  • I will campaign against anybody who doesn’t believe in the cultural diversity of New Orleans and the importance of it’s local traditions.

  • I will support any candidate committed to rebuilding all neighborhoods of the city because it wasn’t any of those neighborhoods’ fault they were flooded in the first place.
    I will not support anyone who could have done anything about the situation in Jena and did nothing until after the march.

  • Finally, if someone can just guarantee me that the lights on the lakefront will be turned back on at night they can run for mayor and get my support. This may not seem big to anyone else but would do wonders for me. Quality of life without leaving the city limits is important.

That's my agenda. Make your own decisions.......except for Tommie Vassel.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Game Day Tally

Price of Saints game ticket = Free…Thanks Shawn

Amount of money spent on drinks and food = 27.00

Number of blocks I had to walk in the rain to and from my parking space = 20

Days of work I am going to miss when the flu kicks in = 3

Number of people I heard seriously discussing harming the kicker = 273,000

Watching the Saints bring all of New Orleans together in disappointment = PRICELESS!

Fatherhood and Katrina have changed my perspective because this was one of those games five years ago I probably would have scared little children in the Superdome with my rage. Teena Marie has to be a Saints fan because she wrote the perfect lyric to describe how we usually feel. She wrote “I can feel this for sure. I’ve been here before”. This is truly strange times for me in the 504. Nothing is really the same. I don’t have anyone in the Lower Ninth Ward to visit. I can’t go to the lake after dark. There is not one good po boy place, snowball stand, or hole in the wall in walking distance of my residence. Last week in the cradle of the city’s culture Treme, a musician went to jail for honoring the deceased with a second line. In a strange way the Saints being pitiful so far this year feels very normal and relaxing. Now all we need is for one of our backups to get traded to another team and become a hall of fame player while Reggie Bush runs that wide sweep for no gain for the next seven years. Then it will all make sense. Until somebody on this team does something to win a game Saintsation DiAnne is the MVP of the season.

You know what? I have a good score for you.


J.S. Clark 18
De La Salle 6

Our first win Post Katrina at Joseph S. Clark Senior High School!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The City's Number One Revenue Generator

Ladies and gentlemen of New Orleans, District Attorney Eddie Jordan has ran out of appeals and extensions and has to pay all the white people he fired for no reason their money. This is truly sad for local citizens. It’s not sad because he has to pay. What he did was wrong and if the situation was reversed black people would have exhumed the bodies of deceased community leaders to march against that kind of thing. It’s sad because anyone that has lived here more than five minutes knows how New Orleans city government covers unexpected expenses. That’s right, traffic and parking tickets. I’m pretty sure they are ordering more tow trucks and radar guns as we speak. Every driver in the city is going to have to give their fair share to cover up Eddie’s mistake by getting a citation.

I have extensive experience with receiving traffic and parking tickets in New Orleans. I have been innocent every time but I paid most of them because I believe in the city being fiscally stable. Some of you may not share my dedication and will get pissed when you turn that corner right into a middle of a speed trap. Since I believe in helping the community and have no fear of offending the police department(thank goodness you don’t need a picture on the Blogger profile page. ) I am going to share with those of you who may not be familiar with the unwritten driving rules of New Orleans. Here are five helpful hints to avoid missing a day of work sitting in traffic court.

1. A No Parking sign on a post has a radius of two blocks in either direction in the local meter maid rulebook. If you park anywhere without a meter, you must drive two blocks in both directions to make sure that there isn’t any sign she can write a ticket for. How come the electronic meters have a debit card slot but not one for dollar bills? Everytime I put my debit card into the machine it automatically bills me for the maximum time. I'm spending three dollars for a 5 minutes stop. Which one of Pampy's cousins owned the company that won that contract?

2. If you have an older vehicle and the seatbelt doesn't work any longer, this is what you do. You pull the strap over your shoulder, tuck the buckle part under your thigh and sit on it. This won't make you any safer but it will fool the police. Be sure that if you get uncomfortable not to adjust yourself too suddenly and have that buckle jump up and hit you in the temple causing you to black out and run into a poll. You don't want that to happen because I am sure that old hooptie doesn't have an airbag.

3. In the morning, you may pass a school zone sign but also notice that the school itself is boarded up, abandoned and probably has never been touched since Katrina. Slow down to 20 miles per hour anyway. Doing 45mph through one of these zones may be the reason to stop you under the hope you have something else wrong and help fill the quota.

4. Many New Orleans streets are curved so much to the point where you can’t see two blocks ahead. When you get to a blind spot of this nature, please lower your speed by ten. New Orleans traffic cops love these spots. Pay particular attention to the intersection at St. Claude and St. Bernard, N. Broad St. near the I-610 onramp, Almonaster Blvd once you cross the overpass on Florida Ave and several spots on Claiborne. Trust me they will be waiting.

5. You may get stopped for something that you don’t think you are guilty of. You may want to use your freedom of speech and complain to the officer writing the ticket. It’s your right to do so but please be aware that there are members of the NOPD that have no people skills at all and somehow they all ended up in traffic enforcement. These elite group has the gift of taking one violation and writing it three different ways on the same ticket. It might be a good idea to just say you did it, compliment his keen awareness and move on. You can fuss if you want to, but when you get stopped for doing 40 in a 30 mile zone and that turns into speeding, wreckless driving, illegal lane change when you get over to stop for him and a mandatory court date don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Take these tips, buckle up, drive safe and enjoy the city.

Someone may want to translate this into Spanish for our thousands of migrant workers who are living here. If you do, please add that they may want to watch all those illegal turns and stop going the wrong way down one way streets scaring the hell out of people. I’m not being mean. I’m just trying to help.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If He Could Just Learn To Control His Zipper More

I want to make something clear before I get into this post and somebody sends me an email about how I am selling out the brother. Most little boys have idles in sports growing up. I can name all of my favorites; Magic Johnson, Rickey Jackson, Junkyard Dog, James Worthy, Dan Marino, Charles Barkley, Kirby Puckett, Walter Payton and last but certainly not least Isiah Thomas. When all the kids were buying Michael Jordan posters and wearing Bulls colors I was a Pistons fan. Isiah was my boy. With the exception of basketball, nothing ever came easy for this cat. No one ever gave him anything and no one outside of his family really wanted him to be successful. He was just too strong to let them keep him down. He used that strength to carry the Pistons to back to back titles as a player. Even after he retired and had a few failures he always came out on top. After a few disappointments my boy ended up in charge of one of the NBA’s most important franchises the New York Knicks. It takes fortitude to overcome those kind of things.

So what the hell was he doing treating the sister and costing his employer 11.6 million dollars. As big of a Zeke fan as I am, I am going to say the same thing about this situation as I said about Mike Vick. Sometimes when you get to a certain level of achievement and responsibility, we have to hold you at a higher standard. You have fought your way out one of the roughest ghettos in America. You got over being left off of the original Dream Team. The Pistons played you after you retired. You bought the CBA and it damn near went out of existence. You built the Pacers and then got fired. You went through all of that to end up in charge of the Knicks and tried to throw it all away with your pimpin. It's a good thing for you that the NBA's current focus on their image doesn't include the respect of women that work for their organizations because they would have fired your ass.

I was having a conversation with my dad one day. I don’t remember exactly what story came up to trigger this quote but it has applied to so many instances public and private since he said it. My daddy told me “Son, a black man could run this entire world if he wanted to…….if he could just learn to control his zipper more.” Yes, I know men of other races do this kind of thing too but we are talking about Isiah Thomas right now. Yes, I know there is a slight chance that the sister isn’t being totally honest (I don't think she was lying) and set Zeke up but if you have went through as many obstacles as he has to get to this point, why would you even take that chance. A brother with his status should have no problems finding women who don't work for him to play around with.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bye Harry

I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to Sheriff Harry Lee. I know it sounds crazy coming from a black man who fit Harry’s criminal profile but that guy made the New Orleans area feel special. I don’t there was anywhere else in the country that a Chinese American could grow up in the Ninth Ward, move to the suburbs, run for successfully for sheriff for thirty years, be beloved by white people and feared by most blacks. You couldn’t write a life story like Harry’s. I may have had a few uncomfortable moments on Airline Highway with some of his muscle bound deputies but once they ran your license and realized you were legal they got kind of nice. Rest in peace Harry. Get with Buddy D. when you get up there and send some positive vibes down for the Saints.

For some reason, not all my friends had the same reaction to Harry's passing.