By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT –  If Hurricane Katrina united New Orleans in the common cause of “love thy neighbor,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu has successfully decimated all remnants of civility and has created a cultural divide that has ripped the city apart and has cast New Orleans in a negative light in the eyes of the national lens.

As Landrieu continues to staunchly defend his decision to remove the city’s Confederate monuments, supporters (both black and white) have taken positions days and night at the monuments to protect them. Two weeks ago Landrieu removed one of the four, the Liberty Place monument, in the dead of night using a team of city firefighters wearing masks and protective armor.

Even as monument supporters had a large measure of victory this week with the passage of HB71 from committee, tension about the monuments rose. This bill would presumably protect the monuments:

House Bill 71 would forbid the removal, renaming or alteration of any military monument of any war, including the “War Between the States,” that is situated on public property. The measure was amended to require the support of a majority of voters in a public election before any monuments could be removed.

Mayor Landrieu is not working fast enough for Take ‘Em Down NOLA and the Antifa crowd, and they announced a rally in New Orleans to take place Sunday, May 7:

TAKE EM DOWN NOLA CALLS FOR PEOPLES CELEBRATION & SECOND LINE TO BURY WHITE SUPREMACY

While white supremacists gather from many states around confederate monuments in OUR CITY, the mayor nor council has still not publicly called for its own ceremony to honor the historic occasion of 4 monuments to slavery coming down. Even the conservative governor of S.C. had a public ceremony to remove the confederate flag.

Cowering in darkness offers no safety or protection, it is shameful and being questioned by world wide media.

What does this say to Black youth? What does this teach white youth?

All eyes are on New Orleans. It is fitting that during Jazz Fest the people have our voices heard. Not just on the monuments, but for racial equality and economic justice for those who built New Orleans, whose heritage is leveraged for profit and who are being displaced.

In the name of the good people of New Orleans, in honor of our civil rights veterans who fought for decades for their removal, in appreciation of the Black community, elders and youth Take Em Down NOLA is issuing this call for everyone to come out!

Meet at Congo Square at 1:30pm.

March to Lee Circle.

Make History! Take down Robert E. Lee and ALL symbols of White Supremacy!

By noon Sunday protesters were gathering on both sides. Monument supporters were getting information and security, how to handle pepper spray attacks, and cautionary information about Antifa. New Orleans police began installing barricades around Lee Circle; the Jefferson Davis monument has been blocked off all week after violent clashes last weekend between both sides.

Large black busses with blacked out windows were moving into the city in the morning filled with Antifa protestors.

But, through the day, for the most part things remained non-violent. Tense, but non-violent. There were a couple of fights and skirmishes that were quickly put down, but by early evening crowds had dispersed and traffic lanes were reopened.

The focus then moved to the Jefferson Davis monument where reports were that a large Antifa group was congregating to harass supporters there. But other than the exchange of hot words, everything was calm.

Overall, thankfully the protests did not end in the free-for-all that was anticipated but what did come out of it all was a clarification that contrary to Governor John Bel Edwards’s stance that the monuments “are a local issue,” clearly it has surpassed that. Mitch Landrieu made it NOT a local issue when he called in State and Federal Law Enforcement from all over the state to New Orleans using Department of Homeland Security emergency measures. This makes is a national issue, being paid for with state and federal tax dollars.

And this means John Bel Edwards now has to get off the fence.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

This week I had the chance to visit the USS YORKTOWN museum, docked at Patriot’s Point in sunny Charleston, SC.  The crew at Patriot’s Point have done a fantastic job fixing the YORKTOWN, and one of the new exhibits I hadn’t seen before was called the Combat Information Center (CIC) experience.  So, I walked in to check it out.

The revamped CIC at Patriots Point. The “people” are actually projections. Image courtesy of Patriots Point.

The “officer” in CIC talked about tracking a Russian Tu-95 bomber that was preparing to overfly the Navy vessels in formation.  Then he had to deal with a quiet Russian submarine.  The CIC experience walked through the how the Navy tracked and dealt with each of these circumstances in the Mediterranean.


Russian TU-95 bomber , with US escort in the background. DoD Image.

I was struck at how much things haven’t changed.  We’re still dealing with Tu-95 overflights and Russian submarines, and we’re still in the Mediterranean.  Students of history will likely chime in “History repeats itself.”  But I don’t think that’s the full story.  What amazed me as I walked around this World War II era ship is how similar things are to current ships.  While we have nicer equipment, the equipment is essentially covering the same functions as it did 60 years ago.  Even weirder, I read a few of the old ship “Plan of the Day” and some diary entries, and the issues they dealt with were very similar to what we still have now.

I don’t think history repeats itself.  Rather, I think people haven’t changed much, and they tend to attack problems in the same manner they have been for generations.  The only time history changes is when someone steps outside of that box.  Look at World War II Germany.  Previous European wars had not changed the map very much.  Germany shifted to massively different tactics (Blitzkrieg) and won surprising victories.  Eventually we copied that idea, and we haven’t changed much since.

Russia realized this after losing the Cold War and has completely shifted tactics.  That’s why we’re seeing Russian disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, and a much more subtle Russia, followed by low level conflict to gain territory.  But even this isn’t new…it sounds strangely similar to Germany in the 1930s.  Our sanctions response is doing nothing because it hurts regular Russians, who blame the US for their problems instead of President Putin.

If we want to stop watching history follow predictable human behavior, we have to do something new, and stop attacking today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.


This post represents the views of the author and not the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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Matt Drudge is the master of the headline, and his site is a snapshot of the country, in a way. Let’s take a look at today’s Drudgereport.

There’s a top ad for UNTUCKit, which shows you that Drudge’s advertising algorithms are working, since I recently bought my son one of their shirts as a birthday gift.

Top left headline:

Banner headline:

I used to follow French politics in the 1990s, when one of the PBS affiliates in Central N.J. used to broadcast the France2 evening news, straight-up with no subtitles. Even back then there were reports of no-go zones in the banlieues, and on the marauding gangs of “youths” who burned hundreds of cars on New Year’s Eve (the number keeps increasing every year).

Somewhere along the way Jacques Chirac decided this was not good PR for the country (and probably for himself re: the kickbacks story ), and established France 24 for overseas consumption. Voilà, English-language news with features on the countryside, fashion and wine replaced dreary France2 reports.

Now there’s alternate media.

The center column has more on the French,

MACRON SUES LE PEN OVER ‘KREMLIN SMEARS’…

4CHAN Posts Images from Off-Shore Bank Account?

France set to ‘explode with anger’…

Macron is the country’s political establishment’s designated heir. We’ll see how it all turns out.

The website refreshed and a story about the declining ratings of the Kardashians’ TV show disappeared, which as Martha Stewart says, “it’s a good thing.”  If the Kardashians/Jenners depended on my support, they’d still be working at the IHOP.

This took its place, ‘Destroyed’ Sneakers Selling for $1,425… A fool and his money are soon parted, and those sneakers will go well with the $425 fake mud jeans. Don’t tell me if the Kardashians are wearing them, thanks.

On the left column there’s a pseudoscience story, Swearing increases physical strength…  If that was true, two women I know would be able to clean-lift 400 lbs with each arm while outlasting a marathoning Kenyan. Maybe men contain themselves when I’m around, but the two worst ever potty mouths I’ve heard are women.

Below that, UAE to bring ICEBERG from Antarctica to solve water shortage?

Above it, ISIS using ads on CRAIGSLIST to lure hostage and murder victims…

On the right column, North Korea, Venezuela, and Trump savors win as House passes Obamacare repeal…

MCAULIFFE: ‘Puts lives in jeopardy’…

Dirty Colbert: ‘Just Kicked America In The Balls’…

NEXT: TAX REFORM…

Colbert’s confessor has his work cut out for him.

Last but not least, REFUGEE ADMISSIONS TO USA PLUMMET…

Spooked by Trump, Central American immigrants turn to Mexico…

Mexico’s immigration laws have been revised recently but historically the country does not tolerate foreign nationals who are not legally in the country to hold jobs or seek public assistance in any form. If memory serves, you also must also be in good health, own a certain amount of assets and not upset the “equilibrium of the national demographics” in order to be accepted as a resident.

Additionally, it is against the law for foreigners to opine on the country’s politics (and it is also the case in most Latin American countries).

Browsing through Drudge reminds me of a friend who lived to a very advanced age (she never admitted it, but she was 99 when she died). When asked what she attributed her longevity to, she replied,  “I never pay attention to the news.”

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll work on my strength and endurance over the weekend . . . without swearing.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

UPDATE
Linked to by The Other McCain. Thank you!

A friend’s Facebook feed turned up this book:
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, and the blurb tells you who the target audience is,

If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it’s OK. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Let me stand by my front door and get this off my chest: “Take one step and GET OFF MY LAWN.”

This is the sort of thing that gives millennials a bad name. No. It is not “OK” to inflict your pajamas on the unsuspecting public at the grocery store or anywhere other than a. your home or b. the hospital.

Instead of 468 steps (five more steps than it takes to clamber up to the top of Florence’s Duomo, and that’s a climb), I propose twelve steps (I’m assuming you are gainfully employed in some form):

1. Live within your means.
2. Clean after yourself.
3. Make your bed.
4. Wash, fold/iron, sort, and put away your laundry at least once a week.
5. Pay your bills on time.
6. Keep yourself clean and well-groomed.
7. Stop complaining.
8. Practice daily saying “hello, please, thank you, may I.”
9. Listen before you answer.
10. Be punctual.
11. Learn to fix yourself three simple meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner keeping this in mind: one starch, one protein, one or two veggies.
12. Learn from your mistakes.

Give yourself extra credit if you learn how to parallel park.

It’s twelve steps, not 468. They are in random order, since these are steps you take every day.

No, I have never taken part in the AA twelve step programs, but a dozen steps certainly are catchier than 468, especially on a post-it note.

As you can see, there are three categories: Personal cleanliness and maintenance, financial, and interpersonal skills. Learning from your mistakes applies to all three.

Some steps are easier than others: Making your bed every day, for instance. That doesn’t mean they are not important. Indeed, Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) has a best-selling book based on his speech, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World that begins by explaining why it is important to start your day with a task – i.e., making your bed – completed. Admiral McRaven learned that as part of his Navy Seals training. Socio-economist Randall Bell found that multi-millionaires make their beds, too.

That is what “adulting” is really about: Getting up every day and completing the tasks that bring meaning to our lives without neglecting the necessary daily chores that maintain us healthy (physically, mentally and financially) and grounded.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Arlene Barnum is a 63-year old Army veteran, a black woman, and is on the front lines in New Orleans standing guard at the Jefferson Davis monument.

Arlene lives in Sulpher, Oklahoma but had been in north Louisiana in the small community of Keachi in DeSoto parish to attend an annual Confederate memorial service where her ancestors who fought for the Confederacy are buried. Arlene attends the ceremony every year and maintains her family’s graves there. She was raised in north Louisiana and takes great pride in her Confederate ancestry.

The day after the memorial service Mitch Landrieu removed one of the four targeted Confederate monuments in New Orleans in the dead of night, using firefighters working undercover, behind masks and flak jackets.  Arlene decided to drive to NOLA rather than return to Oklahoma and there she has been, standing guard every night at the feet of Jefferson Davis.  There has been a growing crowd around her each night of fellow supporters, most of them with the various flags of the Confederacy, including the much maligned battle flag.

No stranger to racial violence, Arlene live streams her vigil every night. She has now posted hours of video on Facebook. She doesn’t engage those that attempt to challenge her or debate her right to defend the monument.  “They don’t care about education,” she says. “They come up to me and ask me to tell them about the Confederacy, I tell them to look it up. They don’t care what I have to say.” She just wants to stand guard peacefully.

Yet Saturday night things got heated. Saturday night a millennial liberal assaulted Arlene, hurling racial insults at her and then swatting Arlene’s phone to the ground. It was all captured on video. Arlene has filed a police report and obviously there are excellent pictures of the woman, but will she be found? Will the police even look for her?

Also on video from Saturday night are New Orleans police officers called to the scene who said they have been told to “stand down” by the mayor’s office. They are not to enforce peace at these demonstrations that are now ripping New Orleans apart. They are not to act. While Arlene Barnum did insist they make a report on her assault, it is doubtful much will come of it.

Mayor Landrieu has come under fire in the past few days by the firefighter’s union who object to his using firefighters to do his dirty work.

“The bottom line is with these Confederate monuments, it’s not really something we deal with as firefighters,” New Orleans Fire Fighters Associations President Nick Felton said, addressing reporters after almost an hour inside City Hall speaking with Landrieu’s team. “We should not be in riot gear. We should not be doing police-type work and we are absolutely concerned, you know, that that type of thing is going on.”

Members of the New Orleans Fire Department gathered for a rally Saturday and announced a vote of no confidence in their fire chief.

During the lengthy litigation as the monument issue made its way through the court system, all the way to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Landrieu assured the courts that monument removal would be done safely by contractors trained in monument removal. Obviously this was not the case.

Landrieu had only one contractor submit a bid to remove the monuments and it was far and above the money he had collected “from private donations” to fund removal, so apparently he decided to use city resources.  He is now using a private non-profit group (exempt from public scrutiny) to fund removal.

Landrieu’s decision to have police officers stand down is a clear attempt to further his cause to remove these monuments to history. He has stated that the monuments are “nuisances” and contribute to the racial divide in the city. If there are now protests, violence, and assaults of 63-year old women, this serves to support his position. Arlene Barnum is smart enough to know that engaging the opposing side only supports Landrieu and provokes more heated confrontations and she has tried to protest quietly and without conflict.

Monument supporters standing guard at the P.G.T. Beauregard monument have been assaulted with paintball guns, had bottles and rocks thrown at them, and endure a barrage of verbal insults. Still the police stand down.  Like Arlene Barnum, Andrew Duncomb, (aka The Black Rebel), streams live on Facebook from his position at Beauregard. Duncomb is less reticent than Arlene Barnum in verbal engagement and things at Beauregard have been heated as well.

It seems at this point Mayor Landrieu has been successful in removing one of his four targeted monuments, created a terrible racial divide in an already troubled city, compromised the position of the New Orleans Fire Department, and probably broken a few laws in having them remove Liberty Place monument, and he has created an ocean of ill will.

The intensity escalates and we can only wait to see what the coming days will bring. We can only hope that there are no more physical attacks on people like Arlene Barnum who are peacefully executing their rights to free speech.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport

Previous Posts at DaTechGuy blog:
Mitch Landrieu Begins his Plan to Erase History in NOLA (4/24/17)
Mayor Landrieu’s Plans to Remove Monuments in the Dead of Night Exposed (4/17/2017)
The Slippery Slope is Now Open (3/27/17)
A Disappointing Ruling from the 5th Circuit (3/13/17)
Still Fighting the Civil War (2/5/17)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Solution to 172 Murders: Equity Circles (12/26/16)
Removal of Historic Confederate Monuments in New Orleans Thwarted — For Now (12/21/2015)
Report from Louisiana: Update on the Confederate Monument Removal Controversy (1/18/2016)
The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered Too (2/1/2016)
The Ongoing Battle of the Confederate Monuments: An Update (4/18/2016)
Confederate Monuments and Unintended Consequences (6/27/16)
Report from Louisiana: Revisionist History and Confederate Monuments (9/19/2016)
Report from Louisiana: Mass Shooting in New Orleans While Landrieu Fiddles (11/28/2016)


Previous Posts on And So it Goes in Shreveport:

List of Offensive Monuments, Streets, Names in NOLA …is Puzzling (4/23/17)
Confederate Monument Removal Scheduled for 1:00 a.m. Monday (4/22/17)
The Confederate Battle Flag Rises Again in South Carolina (2/6/17)
Can the Violence in NOLA be Alleviated with Equity Circles? (12/26/16)
Shreveport Work of Art Still Needs Funding for Restoration (10/22/16)
Can You Help Clio? Restoration Fundraiser is Now Underway (9/5/16)
Epperson Demands UDC Remove Confederate Monument Within the Year (7/6/16)
Epperson’s Continued Attack on the Confederate Monument (6/22/16)
Report from the Caddo Commission Meeting in Which Ken Epperson Blasts “Jake-Leg Bloggers” (6/9/16)
Caddo Parish Confederate Monument Under Attack (5/19/16)
Joseph Welsh Texada’s Life Mattered Too (1/31/16)
The Heartbreaking Removal of the New Orleans Confederate Monuments (1/17/16)

“How do you even function?”

I get asked that question a lot these days.  After I got back from a week long work trip (my first time out since Rebecca died), some people were shocked that I’d even consider leaving home.  To go to work, travel and in general try to function at a previously normal level is apparently so…not normal?

Viewed one way, Rebecca’s death was the latest in a string of crappy events in my life.  Before that, my wife had a crappy pregnancy, including finding out about a heart defect and having a doctor essentially recommend we abort her based on a crummy medical test.  Even before that, I had a crappy job in Hawaii, my dog died while I was on island, and my master’s degree almost didn’t happen due to the government’s continuing resolution.  Hawaii was not paradise for me.  I had plenty to be depressed about.

But I don’t view my life as a string of unfortunate events.  While I don’t ignore the hard stuff, I certainly don’t let it control me.  I think about what I learned from it and move forward.  More importantly, I look for the good things that happened, and if you look, there is plenty to be happy about.

It worries me that I’m apparently the exception to the rule.  I worry that we’ve become a clinically depressed society, where we simply medicate our problems away or worse, insist that we live our day to day life unable to maintain a consistently positive view on our future.  I worry that our young people get told to seek happiness in free sex, material goods, a college education, or a variety of other fleeting escapes, and then are shocked when they are truly not happy.  I worry that the depression causes people to damage themselves in long term ways.

We had two things that worked quite well to break depression: a strong faith and strong personal connections.  But it isn’t cool to have faith anymore (unless it’s the kind that doesn’t have all those pesky rules), and our Facebook and smart phone culture is breaking down our personal connections.  Those solid connections kept us steady during the storms in our lives.  Now, instead, we drift through life, blown around by whatever the latest whim or fancy is.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  We can turn back to the foundation that made us strong before.  Over this past weekend, I stopped checking my Facebook status and started calling people I hadn’t talked to in months.  You know those conversations you have where both parties don’t want to stop?  I had a bunch of those.  It made me look forward to the future.

Happiness isn’t going to find you.  It’s going to require you to find it.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Please check out my blog and donate to Da Tech Guy!

The excellent Roger Kimball emailed this morning a link to his post, Annals of Academic Fatuousness, Yale Edition, Part 9876. Roger, who completed two Masters’ degrees there, knows Yale University well.

As it turns out, eight departments of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences belong to Local 33, a subgroup of the international labor union UNITE HERE.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

I remember my days as a graduate student, when I completed my assignments while commuting from Convent Station, N.J. to New York City where I worked full-time. I remember the dreary lives of innumerable friends working towards Masters or Doctorates, or working as post-docs in the natural sciences under conditions best described as indentured servitude. Just the idea of any of us lowly beings unionizing would likely have resulted in expulsion.

That was the 20th Century for you.

Graduate students then, almost.

The unionized Yale students are going on a hunger strike because

Local 33 and Yale are currently engaged in multiple legal disputes and have not begun any official negotiations. The University’s request for review of an NLRB decision that allowed Local 33 to hold elections in nine separate departments remains pending in court.

Yale’s legal team is also attempting to file a request for review, which would challenge an August NLRB ruling that graduate students at private universities qualify as workers.

Rather than wait, the students are engaging on a virtual or symbolic hunger strike.

What the hey is that?

They. Eat. When. Hungry. While on “hunger strike.”

I could rant about how disrespectful this use of the term “hunger strike” is to human rights’ activists who endanger their lives in oppressive Communist regimes, but instead was struck by this from Roger’s article,

these aging snowflakes already get free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend.

Graduate students now.

Free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend? For that much money I’ll sacrifice myself and study “Political Science and East Asian Languages and Literatures.” Heck, I always wanted to learn Japanese.

Am I too old to apply?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Remember the  HuffPo article asking that men be denied the right to vote? Not all men, only white men, and not forever, just for twenty years?

Yeah, the article supposedly written by the female philosophy student?

That article.

Well, the writer was not a female named Shelly Garland but a guy named Marius Roodt, who succeeded in outing the HuffPo’s political bias. I certainly was outraged at the proposal, but thought that sort of asininity is almost in keeping with the HuffPo daily fare.

As it turns out,

The CEO of Media24, which operates HuffPost in South Africa, issued a statement calling the article’s publication “hugely damaging” to their reputation.

Back at the farm they call that “closing the barn door after the horse ran away,” especially since it took some doing from an outside ombudsman:

South African press ombudsman Johan Retief found that the controversial blog post was both discriminatory and constituted hate speech.

Verashni Pillay, the editor who first approved the article,  resigned but (oh yes, but) in a post where she bemoaned “our lack of racial healing,” she declared,

Despite the pressure for me to recant my thoughts in my initial response I cannot, authentically, do that.

I still believe that despite the gains for equality and universal human rights in the last century, the fact is that white men still enjoy disproportionate power. And yes, I believe that a loss of oppressive power is necessary to create a truly level playing field.

This will come about through

more honest, inclusive conversations, fewer accusations and growing suspicion of each other and eventual, authentic healing.

Because nothing leads to “honest, inclusive conversations” that reduce suspicion which bring about “authentic healing” like denying men of any race their unalienable rights to vote, to own property, to legal representation and to anything that Marxists don’t agree with.

In other words, standard feminist theory’s idea of “authentic healing.”

$5 says Ms Pillay lands a better-paying job at a liberal entity before the month is over.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT (327 miles from NOLA) –  We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know which one. As promised, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu began the process of removing historic monuments in the city  last night.

They came in the dead of night wearing body protection gear and masks; the license plates were removed from their trucks. The company name was covered with tape and cardboard. Snipers loomed nearby in a parking garage. Men in a cherry picker were lifted to the top of the monument and began the process of drilling into and dismantling in sections the Liberty Place monument.

Police kept the protestors behind barricades. “Where’s your work permit? As a citizen I want to see your work permit!” one man yelled.

Liberty Monument

The 35-foot granite obelisk was taken down in four sections, placed on the back of a flatbed truck, and taken away to some storage facility. All that remains now is a scarred block of concrete.

Landrieu promises that the other three targeted monuments, P.G.T. Beauregard monument, Jefferson Davis monument, and the towering Robert E. Lee monument in Lee Circle will come down “sooner rather than later,” in the next few days.

The Liberty Place monument was erected in 1891 to commemorate those killed during the Battle of Liberty Place which took place in 1874 between the hated Reconstructionists, or carpet-baggers,  and the old order of New Orleans who wanted their city back.  You can read about the battle and the history here, at least as long as Landrieu leaves the site there.

Landrieu says of the four targeted monuments, this one more than any other needed to come down because it honors white supremacy.  His opponents contend that this may have been a tragic time in our country’s history but people lost their lives there and this event was an important part of the city’s history. To erase it is criminal.

Monday morning, Landrieu said, “The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates diversity, inclusion and tolerance.”

One could argue that point, too.  He clearly is not showing tolerance for those who wish the monuments to remain. No vote was ever taken; the New Orleans citizenry never got to vote on this issue and polls indicate that 73% of the city want the monuments to remain.

With murders and shootings at an all time high in New Orleans, with streets almost impossible to navigate because of potholes, with a large homeless population whose needs are unmet, many question Landrieu’s priorities. Rather than building Equity Circles and taking down historic monuments, perhaps the city would be better served if he took care of those needs first.  Removing these monuments is creating a racial divide of epic proportions and will affect tourism as conventions are relocated and a rising call for a boycott grows.

This is not the end. Once Landrieu and his cronies who are instigating him, the hate group Take ‘Em Down NOLA, more sanitizing of history will come. TEDNola has an entire agenda laid out on their website of names in NOLA that they feel must be changed including Tulane University.

If you think this is just a problem for New Orleans, I would suggest you rethink that. Already many are comparing Landrieu’s actions to those of Isis in taking down cultural markers. The Facebook memes have already started and are scathing, including one of the Superdome flying a Nazi flag. This can happen to any monument, in any city, in any state if we don’t study history and learn from it.  To attempt to erase that history or to negate the lives of those who have gone before us is a grave error.

It is a sad day for those of us who believe in preservation.

There is a great timeline of last night events with excellent photos here.

 

Previous Posts at DaTechGuy blog:
Mayor Landrieu’s Plans to Remove Monuments in the Dead of Night Exposed (4/17/2017)
The Slippery Slope is Now Open (3/27/17)
A Disappointing Ruling from the 5th Circuit (3/13/17)
Still Fighting the Civil War (2/5/17)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Solution to 172 Murders: Equity Circles (12/26/16)
Removal of Historic Confederate Monuments in New Orleans Thwarted — For Now (12/21/2015)
Report from Louisiana: Update on the Confederate Monument Removal Controversy (1/18/2016)
The Lives of My Ancestors Mattered Too (2/1/2016)
The Ongoing Battle of the Confederate Monuments: An Update (4/18/2016)
Confederate Monuments and Unintended Consequences (6/27/16)
Report from Louisiana: Revisionist History and Confederate Monuments (9/19/2016)
Report from Louisiana: Mass Shooting in New Orleans While Landrieu Fiddles (11/28/2016)


Previous Posts on And So it Goes in Shreveport:
The Confederate Battle Flag Rises Again in South Carolina (2/6/17)
Can the Violence in NOLA be Alleviated with Equity Circles? (12/26/16)
Shreveport Work of Art Still Needs Funding for Restoration (10/22/16)
Can You Help Clio? Restoration Fundraiser is Now Underway (9/5/16)
Epperson Demands UDC Remove Confederate Monument Within the Year (7/6/16)
Epperson’s Continued Attack on the Confederate Monument (6/22/16)
Report from the Caddo Commission Meeting in Which Ken Epperson Blasts “Jake-Leg Bloggers” (6/9/16)
Caddo Parish Confederate Monument Under Attack (5/19/16)
Joseph Welsh Texada’s Life Mattered Too (1/31/16)
The Heartbreaking Removal of the New Orleans Confederate Monuments (1/17/16)

United employees forcibly drag a doctor off a plane.  American employees hit a mother of two across the face.  What in the heck is going on here?

Fluffy guidance, that’s what.

Airlines are in a heavily regulated industry, with rules upon rules.  Every time you fly, government regulations demand you hear the same ditty about lighted egress routes and oxygen bags, the excuse being that they save lives (although rear facing seats would be more effective).  In most cases, the rules tend to cover the circumstances.  But not always.

When rules hit a snag, employees do one of two things:

  1. Strictly enforce the rules.
  2. Use guidance to modify the rules and accomplish your end state.

But have you looked at corporate guidance lately?  It would be hard to do so for the airlines.  I tried and struggled to find anything publicly posted.  When I look at other companies, I find guidance, but it tends to be fluffy, using big words like “empowered” that don’t mean much when you’re dealing with irate customers.

The civilian side could take a lesson from the military.  Commanders are taught to issue guidance so that their subordinates will have principles to guide their actions when they face situations not covered by the rules.  A good example is Pacific Fleet, where the guidance fits on a sheet of paper but covers their mission, principles and what the end state should be.

Guidance gives employees flexibility.  United could have offered to boot four passengers and give them first class tickets on a follow-on flight.  It could have offered more than 800 dollars.  If employees knew that their CEO wanted passengers to be happy flying United, then an employee bending policy to accomplish that would be celebrated.  Guidance also gives employees a voice, because when established rules conflict with guidance, employees can and should point it out.  Overbooking makes it hard to keep people happy if you get bumped.  I’m willing to bet more than a few United employees have good ideas on how to prevent overbooking issues, although it’s doubtful they will be heard.

We have too many people claiming airlines haul people off because of profits.  Yes, that’s a motivation, but not the entire story.  I think it’s laziness on part of management.  Issuing iron-clad rules is easy, especially from a cushy office building.  Writing guidance so that your employees can navigate the difficult situations they face each day is much harder.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, United Airlines, American Airlines, or Disney.  I don’t have the training in force choking and hand to hand combat to properly represent any of those organizations.

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