C’EST BON Depending on which side of the front line you stand in America’s ongoing Culture War, the Boy Scouts of America’s recent announcement that it is considering ending its policy barring gays from membership was greeted with either cheers or jeers. We like the gays. We’re cheering. That this most traditional of American institutions would turn over to its local and regional councils the decision on whether to admit gays is another clear sign that progress on LGBT equality is indeed inexorable. And conservatives, in theory, should love it: make it a local decision, opine the Boy Scouts, rather than a unilateral decision decreed by a central authority. But the Boy Scouts, bless their industrious little souls, remain in a pickle: about 70 percent of troops are sponsored by faith-based organizations, some of whom have already signaled they may cut ties with BSA if it softens its policy on the gays. Said the president of Southern Baptist Convention to a sectarian publication, “To now see this organization that I thought stood on biblical principles about to give in to the politically correct thing is very disappointing.” Biblical principles? Jesus said nothing about the gays, although there are plenty of explicit and tacit endorsements of slavery, incest and genocide in the Good Book. So there’s that.
PAS BON We’ve been fairly unabashed in our support of Lafayette schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper. He’s shaking up a dysfunctional, mediocre school district and has a proven record of success as super in other districts. But we couldn’t help chime a collective “c’est what?!!!” after reading what he said to IND Monthly staff writer Patrick Flanagan in a Jan. 11 report about two N.P. Moss students being arrested on rape charges: “It’s unfortunate, but it’s not like these are our star students. [N.P. Moss] is where all the kids who didn’t make it anywhere else are sent.” We were long under the impression that Dr. Cooper was from the “any child can learn — even poor kids” school, but we are pained to imagine that this was merely a poor choice of words.
COUILLON District Attorney Mike Harson evidently knew for weeks that one of his lieutenants, Assistant D.A. Greg Williams, along with Williams’ secretary, Denease Curry, planned to plead guilty to accepting bribes as part of that embarrassing “pay and it will go away” OWI prosecution scheme, but he let them stay on the job. When asked via email why, Harson was blunt like only a self-unaware couillon can be: “Because they were training their replacements.” Let’s imagine how this “training” period might have gone: Williams/Curry to new hires: “OK, when the bagman brings in the money, count it, making sure it’s in small denominations, then stick it in the file drawer here on the left marked ‘payola.’ Make sure you peek into Harson’s office to see if he’s still watching Judge Judy or sleeping on his sofa. Then call (DO NOT email or text) Judge Rubin to let him know you need to meet in chambers asap to quickly dispose of the OWI case. You got that?” New hires: “Yes.” Williams/Curry: “You’re good to go.”
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DEC 13 Here's an interesting post on RawStory.com about an episode of "The Kelly File," which (inexplicably) is a program on Fox "News." In it, the host assures all "children watching" that Santa is, indeed, a white guy, as was Jesus Christ. These are both facts, being as both these people are "historical figures." What's scarier? That a grown woman wears cocktail dresses and chandelier earrings to work? That she thinks Santa is a "factual historical figure"? That she thinks a guy born in the Middle East 2000 years ago was European? Or that there are children watching Fox News?
DEC 13 Here's a post in the New York Times about earthquakes in Oklahoma. Usually, the state has about 50 a year. Last week, they had a total of 87. In one week. Scientists suspect it is because of the oil and gas industry's practice of storing wastewater in injection wells, better known as "fracking," the story tells us.
DEC 13 It's not just our lawmakers who have sold their souls to Big Oil for the least lucrative piece of that pie, Mark Moseley writes in this Lens editorial. We, the constituents of those lawmakers, also have participated in maintaining the "company town" mentality, he says. We fall for the fear-mongering, and we shouldn't, he says, especially when it means we're selling our health and our coast at a discount.
DEC 13 The FBI raided a charter school in Baton Rouge, WBRZ reports here, carting away a truckload of files. The FBI isn't talking about the nature of the investigation at Kenilworth, a charter run by the Pelican Educational Foundation that is part of the Recovery School District. The foundation, which is based in Turkey, lost its charter for a NOLA school a couple of years ago amid allegations of rape and sexual incidents among students. What the story doesn't say is exactly how much of our tax money this charter has pocketed.
DEC 13 Columnist Jim Beam writes about higher education in this post, saying it has been "victimized" by Governor Jindal with the aid of a "willing accomplice" (our legislature). Now we've lost Joe May and Jim Purcell, Beam writes. Jindal's lackeys always have a response, even when the subject is a national study that highlights the problem. The question is, Beam asks, whom do you believe? Um, well, let's see...
DEC 13 Here's a post on NOLA Defender about a performance of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610. It's part sacred music, part secular music and was pretty revolutionary when it was written. This latest production, which continues at the Marigny Opera House through Sunday, goes even more out of the box with the addition of dance, the story says.
DEC 13 In this interview with KEEL, political pundit Elliott Stonecipher takes a look at who might be running for President in a couple years. Don't think Christie is a lock, he says. He's big on Kelly Ayotte, and has a lot to say about the Tea Party, too. You know who he doesn't even mention? Bobby Jindal.
DEC 13 This Picayune editorial addresses the decision this week by a jury to acquit a former police officer of wrongfully shooting a man after Hurricane Katrina. The jury didn't hear allegations that cops drove his body to a levee and set it on fire. The storm brought out the worst in some, including the police department, and the city is steal healing from that pain, the editorial says.
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