Friday, January 11, 2013

Fort McComb, Lake Catherine, Louisiana

Friday, April 09, 2010

Ho Ho

Bobby Jindal MOCKS RNC Staffers: 'Stay Away From Bourbon Street' (VIDEO)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave some choice advice to Republican National Committee staffers during his appearance at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Friday, recommending that they "may want to stay away from Bourbon Street."

But then we knew it was a Federal disaster to begin with.

Amnesty International report: US is guilty of Katrina-related human rights abuses |
Amnesty International says the U.S. government and Gulf Coast states have consistently violated the human rights of hurricane victims since Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,800 people and caused widespread devastation after striking in August 2005.

I'm really looking forward to "Treme" this weekend.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Horrible -- who can trust the police after this?

Raw, chilling details in Danziger Bridge shooting described in court document | -
Raw, chilling details in Danziger Bridge shooting described in court document | News | National group to probe LSU’s firing of professor — Baton Rouge, LA
A national college faculty organization is starting an investigation into LSU’s termination last year of Ivor van Heerden, one of the leading critics of federal engineers before and after Hurricane Katrina.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Apparently talk of LSU layoffs is getting some people's attention.

What's the reason for the cuts? It's simple -- and simple-minded: tax cuts have gutted the budget in a time of recession.

Education, health care get soaked in Jindal's cuts

Here's more opinion. An open letter to Governor Jindal in the Shreveport Times.
Clearly, there also are some opportunities that need your focused attention. You said we would have 21st-century schools and colleges. What we see are colleges dying due to neglect and sending the best and brightest out of state for educational opportunities. During the interview process (campaign), you mentioned consolidation and specialization strategies to let our universities be centers of excellence in meeting their stated master plan objectives. This will not be achieved without bold leadership. The politics of the past without listening to the educators will kill the patient before treatment begins. Where is your focus?

Cuts will reduce LSU to mediocrity

Jindal cuts threaten education

Education cuts are the result of bad choices

This editorial from the Monroe News Star suggests a solution, one which we have long known about, but which few have the couragepush very far.

Why shouldn't higher education, an economic engine for Louisiana, enjoy at least an equal footing with other areas of state government during lean budget years?

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who ordered the midyear cuts to bring the state budget into balance, said he would support bills in the 2010 legislative session to direct dedicated revenues to higher education during lean times. That would mean other areas of state spending would pay, not a happy solution but a necessary one.

If it takes a constitutional amendment to protect higher education, well, the governor, a one-time ULS president, ought to demand that. The Legislature should provide the needed bills. That should be a top priority for the administration and lawmakers.Constitutional amendments involve a long process, but, goodness knows, our amendment-packed Louisiana Constitution has been altered aplenty over the last three decades. Jindal, who still packs substantial clout by virtue of his powerful office and statewide popularity, should be able to make that happen.

Otherwise, we might hear more unhappy words like these uttered by Moffett, who talked about "a cumulative down slide" for the campuses:

"We're going to the edge of the cliff, and we're getting ready to go over the cliff."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Boy Blunder should stick to politics.

Miami Dolphins chop block Bobby Jindal - -
The Miami Dolphins had to correct Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday for wrongly claiming his 12-0 New Orleans Saints could be the first team in league history to go undefeated and win the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Maginnis is wrong on this score

I'm usually in Maginnis' corner, but this time he's siding with the jihad against regional universities on the mistaken presumption that it's too easy to get into college these days. But read the article and my comment.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

First, create the crisis. Then solve it with your pre-ordained agenda. | News | State colleges may lose some degree programs — Baton Rouge, LA
Commission member and former LSU Chancellor James Wharton pushed three other recommendations approved Tuesday.

“There may be graduate programs that don’t have anything to do with that region of the state,” Wharton said. “Should the state support graduate programs that don’t have anything to do with the region?”

Commission member Belle Wheelan, who is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools president, said some of the bachelor’s degree-focused universities “grew too far.”

Commission member Mark Musick, the Southern Regional Education Board president emeritus, said regional universities should focus more on teaching undergraduates, while LSU must do a better job of attracting and educating graduate students.

Wharton has complained, for example, that too many public schools have specialized engineering programs. LSU, Southern University, the University of Louisiana at University, Louisiana Tech University and the University of New Orleans all have multiple engineering degree programs. McNeese State University has a general engineering technology program.

Wharton on Monday and Tuesday has mentioned the University of Louisiana at Lafayette when discussing the outgrowth of regional universities and degree programs.

A case right out of Shock Doctrine (a political must-read by Naomi Klein.) We created the state shortfall last year when Jindal pushed through tax cuts. The shortfal is exactly the amount of the cuts. Now we can use that crisis as an excuse to get rid of iritating programs, James Wharton has the ax out for graduate education in Louisiana.

One of my contributors pointed out that while Wharton NOW wants to close "programs that have nothing to do with that region of the state," a while back he was a big promoter of LSU's LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) in Livingston Parish. What, Dr. Wharton, does LSU, Louisiana and Livingston Parish have to do with gravity waves? Does Louisiana have a space program I don't know about? Of course, the LIGO project is one worthy of state support, and Wharton's past support for it shows the hypocrisy of his very parochial and provincial stance now.

This is big. Real big.

BBC News - US Army Corps blamed for Katrina floods
A US judge has ruled that negligence by the US Army Corps of Engineers led to massive floods in parts of New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The court upheld complaints by six residents and a business against the Corps over its maintenance of a navigational channel.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Consequences: Intended or Unintended? | News | Lawyer: Jindal ‘crippled’ La. ethics — Baton Rouge, LA
ouisiana’s ethics system has been “crippled” as a result of legal changes made during Gov. Bobby Jindal’s 2008 special session on ethics, the chairman of the Louisiana Board of Ethics said Monday.

“This is a convoluted and crippled ethics system we have today,” Ethics Board chairman Frank Simoneaux said. “It does not make sense. It does not work well.”

Simoneaux said the main culprit is a law that moved judicial power from the Ethics Board to administrative law judges, called ALJs. The ALJs are hired by an appointee of the governor.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Some sense enters the dialog, but it will not last in the Legislature.

Expert: Focus on La. universities | | The Advertiser
Instead of worrying about whether it has too many state universities, Louisiana needs to concentrate on making the ones it has the best they can be, says an out-of-state expert who is serving on a state review panel.

Critics of the higher education system have said having too many campuses — especially those close together — splits limited resources and leads to mediocrity.

David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education and a member of the Louisiana Postsecondary Education Review Commission, says every state has

similar situations, but the key is to define what each institution should do and then fund it appropriately.

"The real question isn't whether there are too many, but whether you have the critical mass to be viable," he said in an interview.

By "critical mass," Longa-necker said he means enough enrollment to economically warrant running a four-year university and "faculty adequate to do the task."

Vitter waffles.

Vitter Confronted By Rape Victim Over Franken Amendment Vote
At a town hall meeting this past weekend, meanwhile, the Senator was confronted by a constituent who, after recounting her tale of being raped, demanded to know why he opposed Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn) amendment.

The exchange was contentious, heart wrenching, and potentially damaging.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Maginnis understands -- we're going to cut expenses by denying more students the opportunity to go to college.

Louisiana Politics by John Maginnis
Path Set to Change Colleges

On its surface, a policy recommendation from the higher education advisory commission to increase graduation rates seems like a nice idea with little real future impact. But if implemented the way the Jindal administration seems to want, it could dramatically decrease enrollments of four-year schools over the next few years by increasing admission standards.

The real action, however, must be taken by the Board of Regents, which can direct the college governing boards to set higher admission standards and to reduce exemptions. The Regents can do that on their own, without legislative approval. Higher education sources believe that is no accident but a strategy to down-size some schools without legislators having to take hard votes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kathleen Blanco defends higher education in Louisiana.

Don't give up on Louisiana | | The Courier | Houma, LA
Because of financial problems caused primarily by short-sighted fiscal decisions last year, state government is faced with budget shortfalls. This answer leads to penalizing our people when capable students are denied access to four year degrees. Draconian cuts to higher education simply result in a meltdown into mediocrity, something that will take generations to overcome.

Do not accept this flawed logic that says dumbing down Louisiana is the answer. Education is a cause worth fighting for. Let your voices be heard on this issue or Louisiana’s gains will perish, I guarantee. It behooves all faculty members, students, families and the business community to seize this moment and insist the madness be stopped.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ethics. Jindal style.

Jindal Fires State Employee Day After She Criticized Him
Gov. Bobby Jindal fired a state worker, Melody Teague, one day after she publicly condemned his plans to privatize state services. The worker's attorney claimed Teague was told that she was terminated for poor performance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, years ago.