Monday, May 31, 2010

It’s been a good weekend so far. I'm feeling pretty well coming out of last week. The school year ended without an absence or a tardy and when parent recognition was giving out at the end of the year program there was one grandfather and one father on stage and that dude was me. Since I was the only one up there I am not going to feel bad about bragging about it. I’m getting ready to light a fire on the grill and hopefully I don’t have to fight a raccoon for a piece of food while I am out there. It's very hard to find someone to trap this animal in the city. It rained all afternoon but I had to chance to take a ride through the city. I was surprised at how relaxing a Sunday drive through the rain with a cigar and some hip hop on the mp3 player could be. I was listening to the mp3 because all this weekend I have been trying to escape the news. There’s just no way to stay in a relaxed state of mind while watching or listening to it. I’m going to avoid all of that and focus on these ribs and chicken tomorrow. Memorial Day is a good holiday. Honoring soldiers is a good thing.

I bought too many ribs so if anybody needs a plate just let me know and you can come over. Just remember to bring your own beer. Enjoy your long weekend even if you don’t do anything but lay around and sleep. I’ll talk to you guys in a few days.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Last Oil Spill Post

The best thing about being a blogger with your own site is that you can always ignore a topic if you want to. For the next six months I could talk about anything and everything I feel like and it’s all good. That’s what I am about to do with this oil spill. This is my last post about the oil spill. It’s been 38 days since the spill started and it doesn’t appear like it’s going to stop anytime soon. BP says it needs 48 hours to see if the ‘Top Kill’ plan worked in stopping the oil. That gives everyone 48 hours to sit around and wait for them to say it didn’t stop it. Since we have been getting so much mixed information I am not sure I will believe them if they say it is stopped. Regardless of that outcome I am going to go ahead and get it all off my chest right now and worry about other stuff.

Why does it always seem like every negative result from government incompetence ends up affecting where I live? I have been the victim of government failures on every level. From Katrina, to the oil spill, to my city’s school system, there’s always a price to be paid for incompetence. I think some of the Tea Party folks are crazy but I do understand how some of them got that way.

I still don't understand how Louisiana is taking this much risk to their entire way of live for companies to drill oil and yet we have all these cuts to education and other services. I think we are getting played.

People need to stop watching the spill cam. It’s only going to drive people crazy if the leak keeps going.

Billy Nungesser deserves a nice vacation to somewhere quiet and relaxing after this thing is under control.

If you are trying to pick a political party that is more or less responsible for the breakdowns that lead to this explosion you are wasting your time. They all serve the same master and he’s made of green paper. We need to just let that go because selling out to Corporate America is the only bi-partisan thing in government at the moment.

I know it’s not President Obama’s fault the rig exploded but he is the leader of the country and he’s supposed to be the guy that is different than the last guy. He should have been more on top of this spill from the beginning. He should have never let it get to the point where people were calling him out on not being in control. Even if you think that maybe he didn’t come too soon because since he’s been in office leadership in our state has been turning their noses up to any assistance he’s offered or that all of these red states in the south have been complaining about the federal government being involved in their business so he was giving them what they asked for, or that he and his advisors probably thought to themselves that it didn’t really matter if he came to the Gulf of Mexico and plugged the leak with his finger because these people weren’t going to vote for him anyway it still doesn’t excuse how he handled the situation.

Now that all hands are on deck we shall see what happens. Even if the top kill works and there are no more gallons of oil added to the mess I don’t know how the coast recovers anytime soon if it recovers at all. Maybe they will bring in the tankers that can suck up the oil. Everyone keeps talking about them so maybe they are on the way. In the meantime I am going to hunt for some new crabbing spots a little further north while the water is still clear.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When Oversight Is Necessary

I have been reading and listening to opinions about the oil spill and I see what’s wrong with the country right now in my opinion. No one can have a reasonable conversation about anything. When something like this happens people want to make political statements for their side. There shouldn’t really be a side when something like this happens because everyone failed. I know we need to drill for oil since there’s no alternative at the moment. I accept that fact but the part that concerns me is that no one made sure there was any system in place in case an accident happened. After all, anything man made can go wrong so there was always a chance an oil rig could blow up. Some people think regulation on companies goes against our system of free enterprise. You can be for free enterprise and look out for the general public at the same time. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two. A business should make all the money they can make as long as they don’t destroy the lives of other people to do it.

If I and a friend decided to quit our jobs and open a strawberry farm in my back yard we should have the right to do that. If our crops became successful and we were making money to become the kings of produce, I don’t believe we should have to pay extra taxes or fees as a punishment for our success. I don’t believe the government should do that to people or companies who are trying to be successful. What the government should be doing is making sure that we are not spraying our crops with some pesticide that causes cancer or spraying them with a chemical that makes our product look better only to find out after years pass that it’s bad for people. That’s what you need government for because the average person can’t monitor these types of things for themselves. We can debate about the need for government in other things but this kind of oversight should be something we all agree on. Disasters don’t give a damn about political views.

With the way the system works now the government could ask us about the pesticides we’ve been spraying on our strawberries but if we had the right lobbyist and made the proper campaign contributions no one would make us change it until everyone was sick. It would be too late then because the damage is already done and that’s the same situation in the Gulf of Mexico right now. I don’t think anyone was trying to stop BP from making money. I would bet that most people didn’t know what companies were involved in what rigs out there. They could have pumped oil out of that site for the next ten years and I wouldn’t have thought about it one time. Now I have no choice but to worry about it because it’s clear they don’t really know how to stop this thing from leaking. In this instance business and government both failed. The business didn’t have a real plan and the government didn’t make sure they had one.

Friday, May 21, 2010

When Leadership Speaks For Everyone Things Change

My best is and maybe it's a little corny, but I like it. It's a great country here. We have disastrous issues, where people pull together and help themselves, and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike, and I'm not going to name names. When a natural disaster hits people, we're not standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.

Middle Tennessee, where a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives, and they are helping out, and I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville, [is] helping, without making a big deal out of it, and I think that's a good thing.

I was not surprised that Chris Myers of Fox Sports made those comments directed at New Orleans when trying to compliment Nashville for their actions after the recent flooding in that city. We live in a environment where that's what the media has to do that kind of thing to make their audience feel better about themselves. There's big business in knocking other Americans down so even though I remember Chris Myers covering the Saints games when I was a little boy and I know he has ties to the city, it doesn't surprise me that he said it. The biggest thing to come out of this story for me was the extra faith and confidence I now have in my mayor Mitch Landrieu to do a good job. He demanded an apology from Myers and Fox Sports even though it's obvious that the comments made were directed at poor black people.

No one is going to admit this but comments like this have been said repeatedly the last few years and no one in a position like the mayor has said anything. That's because the people with the status and clout to put a different spin on the storyline haven't said anything because they never took those comments personally. They are so caught up in trying to feel superior over the less fortunate around here that they thought Americans in other parts of the country were going to be able to see and hear those kinds of comments over and over and keep their negative opinions narrowed down to a neighborhood or two like someone who's never been here can look at a person from New Orleans and know who tried to get over on the government and who didn't. People that live here everyday can't look at anyone and know their situation for sure so how can we expect other people to. Sure, the people that slept in the Astrodome may have looked black and poor but that doesn't make the rest of us look any better because we weren't there too. I remember the first few weeks after the storm when everyone in the region was evacuated and hanging out in hotels together. There wasn't any animosity. As soon as they started opening up less damaged areas, where the homes weren't flooded it was almost like their attitudes about the same people they were sleeping in the hotel with for weeks changed overnight.

So now it's 2010 and there is an oil spill out there that has nothing to do with poor people that live in New Orleans. The rest of the area is about to find out that the image of being a bunch of losers sitting around waiting for a handout has not been contained to the hood. That 75 million dollar cap on BP's responsibility is going to run out way before we build anything to fix the damage from the spill. That means we have to go to the federal government for the money. We are going to stick our hand out and ask them for the help we rightfully deserve and the rest of the country is going to say "Look at those sorry people from Louisiana asking for more money to fix their own problems." I know that's what they are going to think because that's what the talk show host, and media has been telling them about us by using the pictures of those young brothers asking for help on the rooftop during Katrina. That was cool down here because everyone hates those brothers anyway.

"There's no way the rest of the world thinks we are all like that right? I mean, they know I have a college degree and a job and have never ask the government for anything don't they? It's not like New Orleans had the worst school system in the world and jobs were few and far in between even for qualified people. Everyone around the country knows the difference between me and some slacker living off the government don't they?" With all the ties that Chris Myers has to New Orleans, do you really think he would have said those things if he thought was offending that part of New Orleans where the real Americans live? How could he expect a backlash when the same type of comments have been said over and over and no one ever stepped up on behalf of our citizens no matter what their circumstances are. Well, someone did this week and it wasn't just WBOK or some angry blogger. This time it came from the mayor who is exactly the person it should come from because those 'illegal citizens that don't pay taxes' are his responsibility too and he should go to battle for them. You can't make their situation better if you don't want to claim them as your own even if you are a white dude from uptown.

Thank you Mayor Landrieu.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sitting On My Porch Part Forty Five

Tomorrow is a historic day. I will be taking my first day off from work in 2010. I have over 800 hours of leave time. I’m not sure how much the agency is going to let me collect before they force me to stay home. I guess I need to start finding something to do for when that time comes. I don’t know how people just call in sick just for the hell of it. What do you do all day? Watch Judge Mathis? I have a good reason to be off tomorrow. I will tell you more about that later.

Today I went to Bywater for a nice lunch and order a plate of crab claws and crawfish cakes. It feels like since the oil spill I have been eating more seafood. I don’t know if I need to be doing that. It just feels like any second they are going ban all fishing in this area and I am going to be going through serious withdrawal. No one is really sure because BP and most of the politicians involved are trying to downplay the amount of oil coming out of that pipe. Thanks to Clay I am pretty up to date on the technical aspects of it but as far as how much oil is actually leaking it’s just a guessing game.

One of my main issues with my mayor and other elected officials after Katrina was that they never seemed to have the same anger and passion about what happened the way everyday people did. I kept wondering how the rest of the country could feel what we were feeling if the people elected to speak for us seem to be taking it all in stride. I’m starting to feel the same way about this oil spill.

On my way to lunch I took Claiborne Avenue downtown. Claiborne has never been so smooth to drive on. It’s wonderful. Then I had to turn down Music Street because they were fixing Franklin Avenue. When I made the right turn it felt like I was on a rollercoaster. We should have asked for money in the stimulus to fix the side streets. That would have been enough money and jobs to change our entire economy. That’s at least twenty years of work.

Raggedy streets are as much of a local tradition as po-boys and these termites that are swarming right now and flying in front of my television while I am trying to watch the game. I think the Devil sends all the crazy people from the city back as termites just to get on our nerves one more time. I know everyone knows a future termite walking around here.

I am taking off tomorrow because my brother Jerald is graduating from high school in Memphis. I’m proud of him and he’s on his way to being a southern gentleman. He’s going to be a hell of a man in a few years. Hopefully he won’t make the same mistakes his big brothers made. I think he will be just fine. I wish someone would let me speak at a graduation. I would be a hit until I gave the young brothers in the audience five rules to live by on their journey to manhood. Some of my advice might get the microphone turned off. My five simple rules would be this….

1. Always try to handle your business in a way that makes people talk about you positively even when you are not around unless you are going to move to another city every time you burn a bridge. You don’t want your resume coming across someone’s desk and the first thing that comes to their mind is “ Not that asshole!”
2. Never take a picture of yourself in a compromising position like sitting in a tub full of bubble bath and send it anyone or put it on the internet. You don’t want to be part of a chain email. If you just have to go there at least cover your face.
3. At some point in your life the amount of women you sleep with, the time you spend partying in the streets and the amount of liquor you drink or drugs you experiment with will all seem like a waste of time and resources. I can’t tell you not to have any fun. Just use your time and energy wisely and don’t waste it all trying to live fast.
4. Every situation in life can not be handled with the same action. There are a lot of young cats in prison and the cemeteries that look just like us when all they needed to do was talk to someone. Think about everything before you react.
5. If you are one of the lucky people who know what they want to do or have a passion for something at such a young age, try that experience first. The older you get, the more things you have to do. The more you have to do, the harder it is to drop everything and do what you want. When I was grinding in my first serious job and complained to my dad about the stress of it he told me “Son, leave that job before they start paying you too much to quit.” I didn’t fully understand back then but I do now. Don’t get yourself caught up in being miserable every day.

If I get pass the bubble bath advice I think it would go over pretty well. Congratulations Slick. I love you and I’m proud of you.

I’m about to update my MP3 player for a six hour drive. I’ve been slipping on my music game lately and I need to get back in stride. Before I go I want to send a shout out Citizen K. to tell him I will be posting song blogs soon and I want to send a get well to my blog sister Afromamba.

Also, you can follow me on Twitter at Since I sold out I might as well make it good.

I am still not over Maze being left of the Essence roster. If the folks who film the Treme series want to show a good authentic New Orleans scene they will have a concert with a few hundred people doing the Bus Stop to something like this. Has anyone else noticed in that show that no one has listen to any music outside of the local scene?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creighton Bernette And Questioning Open Doors

There was as scene last night on Treme where Creighton Bernette played by John Goodman receives a visit from his New York publicist. If I understand the storyline correctly he started writing a novel about the 1927 flood that hasn’t been published yet. He thought she was coming to get Random House’s money from his advance but due to his rants on YouTube about Katrina they want him to change his book. It’s a great opportunity and a second chance to get his writing career going but he’s got this apprehensive look on his face because deep down he doesn’t want to feel good about anything connected to the storm and the suffering. He’s been doing those videos out of anger and passion for what’s going on in the city and now he’s about to reap the rewards from the same situation.

I can relate to that. Since Katrina I have had a lot of positive things that have happened to me personally. I know I had to do something to earn everything. The way I look at is that there are so many folks who don’t mind using their experience for profit. They don’t mind telling everyone about what they went through if they can benefit. That’s never been me so I hope no one’s ever given me anything because of that. People are wired differently and when something has affected you with the magnitude that Katrina did, you might force yourself to make anything positive that develops from it tainted or questionable. That means even if you get emails every day saying how good you are you will talk yourself out of believing it. This is especially true if before the storm you didn’t feel like anyone was that into you.

Now, it’s entirely possible that you were always as worthy of the things bestowed upon you and the storm was a life changing event that served as a catalyst for exposing some of your talent to others. That sounds like a perfect explanation for everything but depression and post traumatic stress is a hell of a tag team and no one has time to think that rationally when they are attacking your brain. I felt bad for Creighton last night because even if he finishes the book and it’s a bestseller or he ends up with his own television spot because of his YouTube videos he’s not going to really get the full pleasure of his success. That’s something a lot of us lost in the storm that we can’t report to FEMA.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sitting On My Porch Part Forty Four

It’s a nice rainy Saturday. I love days like this because after you do all the things you really needed to do you just sit around doing nothing without feeling too bad. This post is being written under the influence of a nice adult beverage and a classic episode of Soul Train featuring James Brown. The classic episodes from the 70’s are the best. When I see those I think about culture, soul, and beautiful black people. When they show those episodes from the mid 80’s I think jheri curls, bad fashion and the start of the crack era. It doesn’t matter. I record every episode on Centric.

I’m also looking outside for the raccoon that I just saw walking through my backyard. I’m trying to determine if he has selected my yard as his new home or if he was just visiting on his way to somewhere else. That’s one of the products of all the home demolishing going on. There’s starting to be more and more critters walking around in plain sight. It’s either the demolition of old buildings or the shadow government is rounding up all the wild animals from neighborhoods they like and dropping them in out this way.

I finally sold out and got a Twitter account. I feel so bad about giving in to what everyone else is doing that I am not telling anyone to follow me because I want to delete it. It’s bad enough that I have 200 friends on Facebook and a lot of my good blog topics end up as a status message. I feel such a let down having a Twitter account. I might as well go out and buy an I-Pad.

I think living in Arizona and not liking Hispanics is like living in New Orleans and not liking black people. Your day has to be pretty shitty because everywhere you look there goes another one.

I got the call to meet my first kid from the mentoring program. He’s ten years old. This is not a movie and social issues in New Orleans are real so I don’t have a romantic outlook of what might happen. I made sure to convince myself this was the best way because my dad told me that I would get too frustrated by doing something like this. I’m just going to try and give him a different perspective from a man and try to share the little wisdom I have. Anyone who really knows me is aware of the fact that all my wisdom is matched by an equal amount of foolishness and a twisted sense of humor. I promise all of you that there will be no laughing at people or references to Crown Royal or Buffie the Body. It’s all about helping the kids. I’m focused.

Lebron James can’t leave Cleveland. I don’t care how big of a market New York is and who Chicago has on its roster. If he leaves Cleveland when they can pay him more and the fans worship him like a god there is no reason for any small city in the NBA to expect their team to ever win a title. That’s why it’s easier being a Saints fan than it is buying in totally to the Hornets. Every year I know the Saints have a chance if they do the right things. I knew the Lakers were going to the finals before the NBA season started. There’s no need in getting your hopes up.

During the NBA playoffs they have been playing the new Gatorade commercial with this song that I became obsessed with. I found the full version on YouTube and now I can’t stop singing it. It’s now my personal theme song but don’t read too much into that because I change up every few weeks. Evolve was written and composed by David Banner whose first big song was titled “Like a Pimp”. We can do better if we want to.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hearings Are Useless When Things Are Already Messed Up

I don’t mind a good meeting as long as it’s proactive. Sometimes it’s better to sit across the table from another person, look them in the eye and get your plans together. I have no problem with those. I used to have a job where every week we had a meeting full of the same routine. The supervisors would get up and rant and rave about something that had been going on for months only they were too clueless to do anything about it until hell broke loose. I hated going to those meetings. That’s how I feel about congressional hearings after something goes wrong.

Every time something bad happens to people in this country there’s the standard hearing in Congress for them to ask questions about problems they should have been aware of in the first place. Economy collapses, we have a hearing. Bridge falls in Minnesota, we have a hearing. Levees fail, Toyota cars speed up on their own, oil spill, we have hearings. They always bring in some CEO’s or whoever was in charge of the department responsible for the failure and act all concerned and shocked at what’s going on. I always get amused at this because I can’t believe they are that shocked with something happens. They know we haven’t spent money on infrastructure in this country and people are driving on bridges that are over 50 years old. Why act so shocked when one falls down. They knew the safety measures and plans to prevent an oil spill from getting out of control the way this one might be weren’t in place so why bring BP up to Capitol Hill today? It’s not like anyone was going to really take the blame.

This is just my opinion but since we are always in a constant state of campaigning to the point where the president can take the oath of office on a Tuesday and by Wednesday morning there is already a poll about who his top challenger is in four years. With that going on and the constant need for campaign funds, both parties can’t put politics aside even in a tragedy and admit that something was messed up and needs to be fixed. We always get the dog and pony show. Instead of all the grandstanding and giving the BP executives a platform to shift blame to someone else, why don’t you find some extra oil boom and send it down to the Gulf Coast. We can get it from all the countries that made the safety measures mandatory because they probably won’t have a spill.

I'm Missing Tracy Porter

I remember when the Saints won the Super Bowl and everyone was in a great mood. After the celebration and Mardi Gras ended I thought to myself that it was time to let it all go. We needed to put it aside no matter how good it felt because we had other things to do and victories to accomplish. We even had a new mayor elected the day before the Super Bowl with a majority vote from everyone. With all that positive energy in the air, 2010 was surely going to be different. It’s only May and there is still a slight chance of that happening but right now it doesn’t look that good.

First the news broke that some officers in the police department shot up a bunch of innocent people after Katrina. They did such a good job at covering it up and our DA’s office did such a poor job at trying to prosecute them that if it were not for the federal government they would probably be on the force right now and not facing any jail time at all. Then, it seemed like right after all of the news stories broke about police wrongdoing the streets erupted and we went back to our multiple murders every night. I even passed one myself bringing a friend home one night. We can’t seem to do anything to get this under control. CNN compared us to the most dangerous cities in the world like Baghdad and no one seemed really offended by this except for me. Then, Treme came on HBO and managed to be realistic enough to show the whole world how stressful of a situation it is to live here. We have budget cuts at my place of employment due to the fact that our state decided to not collect taxes the way we had been and went from a surplus to a deficit almost overnight. If we didn’t have enough trouble, there’s an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that hasn’t been stopped and no one has any idea how much oil is coming ashore and how many places. That means we are just sitting here watching BP experiment while the air outside is starting to smell like a mechanic shop. Just to add insult to injury, our team is being sued with claims that our coach has been stealing Valium and I just found out that The Essence Festival didn’t invite Frankie Beverly and Maze to close out this year’s show.

We should have celebrated for another month.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There are all kinds of mamas out there. Today is Mother’s Day and most people will be celebrating the woman that gave birth to them. That’s the standard definition for motherhood. Some people have women who raised them like a mom would. It might be your stepmother, your aunt, your sister, or the lady on your block that made sure you had food to eat and stayed out of trouble. Whatever the circumstances of the woman in your life that deserves recognition, lets a break from all the drama going on to give them a little love.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Week Of Adjustment

This week has been all about adjustment. It always takes me awhile to get adjusted to new things. When there is personal stuff you want to accomplish and things going on at work combined with stuff in the world that are changing it drives me a little crazy. I can't tell you guys about the work related stuff because I don't want to get fired and end up on the coast helping clean up the oil spill and cussing out BP employees. The oil spill situation seems to be moving so slowly without a resolution that you don't want to put too much energy into it until you are sure what's going on. I'm pissed but I don't know if I should be 'can't go fishing pissed', or 'damaged water supply pissed', or 'fishing industry destroyed pissed', or all of the above. Regardless of how it turns out I know that someone needs to make sure these companies spend the money on safety measures. I'm going to stay in wait and see mode and hoping the containment dome works.

I'm trying to get adjusted to my new mayor too. It's not a bad thing. It's just a different vibe in the air when we have new leadership. It's only been a week so no one knows what will happen. It seems like most of my friends are a little skeptical of selecting Ronald Serpas as the police chief. It's just bad timing because Danziger 7 is fresh on people's minds. It's just a little strange because when Warren Riley was the Chief everyone said change the culture and get bring in someone from the outside. I agreed with that but then we went hired a chief even more hardcore NOPD than Chief Riley. At least the Feds are coming in to get things in order. We stand to lose more if Chief Serpas doesn't get the job done so the best case scenario for me would be a year or so from now people would be saying how wrong they were about the decision and things are going well. For that reason I will support the chief but I am going to be watching how he handles some of these old problems on the force.

I probably would have handled the news about the police chief better if the day before I hadn't found out one of new deputy mayors was Governor Blanco's chief of staff. It's going to take me some time to get adjusted to that. That might be the longest adjustment because I never liked Governor Blanco. I even voted for Bobby Jindal before I would vote for her. I also never felt she liked New Orleans and she sucked during the Katrina. Now her chief of staff and the former head of the LRA that created the Road Home program is a deputy mayor and the CAO of my city. I'm just saying that our mayor's right hand man was part of an administration that did such a bad job that Governor Blanco didn't try to win re-election. That doesn't really boost my confidence. I don't care if I voted for Landrieu or not, he's going to have to give me at least a year to get over hiring Andy Kopplin. I still want him to be successful too because it's the best thing for the city but It's going to be bittersweet when he is. I guess that's the price you pay for electing a mayor that's been in the state capital forever. It could have been worse. He could have brought Governor Blanco herself in for something and I would have passed out while driving if that story came across the radio. I support the mayor and will be okay. I just need some time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Mitch Era Begins

Today we have a new mayor in the city of New Orleans. I’m looking forward to see what happens. Since nothing has happened yet I think I will just wait and see how it all goes. It would be kind of crazy to say anything negative because I voted for Mitch Landrieu. I had to because he was the best choice. I would like to think that everyone would have done the same thing no matter who the best choice was. That’s probably not true but there is no need to worry about that now. New Orleans is a complicated place to live. It’s the kind of place where the evidence of racial and class divisions are visible and profound. They have been that way a really long time. They date back way before Ray Nagin was born which is why I never joined the bandwagon that treated him like the mastermind of the city’s downfall. It was falling long ago. Mayor Nagin just had the bad luck of being around when disaster struck and exposed everything in greater detail.

I didn’t bring that up to defend Ray Nagin. I brought that up to help everyone put in perspective what Mitch Landrieu can do. My expectations are realistic. The city is broke. No matter what kind of ideas we have nothing is going to happen if we can’t pay for them. I think a realistic expectation for the next few years would be for the mayor and city council to lay the groundwork for things to take off over time. We are going to need some patience because the young people who are out here spilling each other’s blood on the street are not going to change because you hire another police chief. If we don’t find any extra revenue we are headed for another four years of beautiful scale models of plans that will never get done. If the business community doesn’t get involved and invest in our worst neighborhoods then we will have the same opportunity gap we have now. If schools don’t improve more and parents don’t get involved we will be headed for a new round of kids that will start the process all over again. I’m not looking for Mitch Landrieu to turn the city into paradise. We’ll all have to do that together. I’m just looking for some stability, a morale boost and a turn in the right direction. A few smiles and good customer service from the people that work in City Hall when you go there would be nice too. Mayor Landrieu doesn’t have to be a hero. He just needs to act like a leader and we will be alright.