My blog is now this blog:
Not a very long pregnancy but a very fancy boat
For a while I described the experience of taking Humid Beings from an idea I had in the Fall of 2003 to its launch as a prolonged pregnancy. I wanted to give birth to this idea I had. It was just an idea, not very well formed. Build a site where people could discuss New Orleans and publish media about and inspired by the area. I let it germinate for some time and it began to grow but the birth date just kept getting pushed off and pushed off. People always asking, "Damn, when are you gonna launch that thing? Been a while huh?"
However recently it dawned on me that the comparison to the building and sailing of a yacht actually works best. We spent some time trying to raise money to build the boat. A boat that needed a big crew to take on the open water. When we could not find the capital we changed game plans and built the boat to sail with a smaller crew. A smarter boat. A more automated boat. We spent a great deal of time carefully changing elements, cutting the fat, lightening the load but keeping as many features as we needed. The yacht was sea worthy for a few months but we needed to get our crew in place before we set sail. And now all of that prep work has been done and we are ready to leave dry dock.
So what can you expect?
The site we have built is equal parts Facebook, Youtube, Yelp, Huffington Post, City Search and NYTimes.
Profiles: The site gives you the ability to publish a blog, post status messages, upload photos and add commentary throughout the site. All profiles can sync up to already existent accounts with Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Blogs. Each profile help the community to grow and can take part as citizen journalists.
Places & Groups: These entities can publish the same types of content as individuals. We want to not only have a growing archive of all of the local businesses and organizations mapped but also give them the tools to publish content.
Videos: We will have a growing database of local videos from various sources as well as pieces that we are producing on our end. We will work with local partners to give them a space to publish as well.
News: We publish news summaries daily to spotlight some of the stories that we find interesting. We also pull in from various feeds the headlines and links to news stories from New Orleans area.
Events: By working with local partners and handing the reins over to businesses and organizations, we hope to create the most comprehensive and interactive local calendar of events.
Features: There are many featured, interactive sections we will launch with local partners. Already we have in the works the If I Were Mayor feature we are developing with Engage Nola and Policy Pitch. Following that we will launch the New Orleans Mayors animated time-lines we are developing with the Louisiana Humanities Center. In the winter we will introduce you to Transport Nola, an area we are developing with Transport 4 Nola where we can all rethink transportation options in our city.
What follows the Launch?
HumidBeings.com was designed to serve as a publishing platform and local portal that constantly expands but never becomes difficult to navigate. New publishing tools, sections and elements to interact with are in the works. Soon we will add to all profiles these new publishing tools giving you the ability to create your own maps and lists, pod-casting and time-lines. We will launch content channels with local partners who are in-the-know when it comes to the topics of music, the arts, green living and our beloved pets. We will be adding a juried local on-line marketplace for artists and creatives to run their own stores.
We hope within the year we have a few thousand active Humid Beings and millions of pages in content published by you, our local partners and our team. In time we hope to collectively create a living archive of the life we live in New Orleans. We hope you take part.
Bootsy vs The Step
I would not mind a cage match with me, a banker and a congressman after reading this simple summary of the 17.5 trillion bailout.
Capitalism' as Comedy and Tragedy Now Playing in NY and L.A.
'Capitalism' as Comedy and Tragedy Now Playing in NY and L.A.
Friday, September 25th, 2009
The time has arrived for, as Time magazine called it, my "magnum opus." I only had a year of Latin when I was in high school, so I'm not quite sure what that means, but I think it's good.
I've spent nearly two years on this new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story," and have poured my heart and soul into this project. Many early critics and viewers have called it my "best film yet." That's a hard call for me to make as I'm proud of all of my films -- but I will tell you this: What you are about to see in "Capitalism" is going to stun you. It's going to make some of you angry and I believe it's going to give most of you a new sense of hope that we are going to turn the sick and twisted mess made by the last president around. Oh, and you're going to have a good laugh at the expense of all the banking and corporate criminals who've made out like bandits in the past year.
I'm gonna show you the stuff the nightly news will rarely show you. Ever meet a pilot for American Airlines on food stamps because his pay's been cut so low? Ever meet a judge who gets kickbacks for sending innocent kids to a private prison? Ever meet someone from the Wall Street Journal who bluntly states on camera that he doesn't much care for democracy and that capitalism should be our only ruling concern?
You'll meet all these guys in "Capitalism." You'll also meet a whistleblower who, with documents in hand, tells us about the million-dollar-plus sweetheart loans he approved for the head of Senate Banking Committee -- the very committee that was supposed to be regulating his lending institution! You'll hear from a bank regulator why Timothy Geithner has no business being our Treasury Secretary. And you'll learn, from the woman who heads up the congressional commission charged with keeping an eye on the bailout money, how Alan Greenspan & Co. schemed and connived the public into putting up their inflated valued homes as collateral -- thus causing the biggest foreclosure epidemic in our history.
There is now a foreclosure filed in the U.S. once every seven-and-half SECONDS.
None of this is an accident, and I name the names others seem to be afraid to name, the men who have ransacked the pensions of working people and plundered the future of our kids and grandkids. Somehow they thought they were going to get away with this, that we'd believe their Big Lie that this crash was caused by a bunch of low-income people who took out loans they couldn't afford. Much of the mainstream media bought this storyline. No wonder Wall Street thought they could pull this off.
Jeez, I guess they forgot about me and my crew. You'd think we would've made a better impression on these wealthy thieves by now. Guess not.
So here we come! It's all there, up on the silver screen, two hours of a tragicomedy crime story starring a bunch of vampires who just weren't satisfied with simply destroying Flint, Michigan -- they had to try and see if they could take down the whole damn country. So come see this cops and robbers movie! The robbers this time wear suits and ties, and the cops -- well, if you're willing to accept a guy in a ballcap with a high school education as a stand-in until the real deal shows up to haul 'em away, then I humbly request your presence at your local cinema this weekend in New York and Los Angeles (and next Friday, October 2nd, all across America).
In the meantime, you can catch us on some of the TV shows that have been brave enough to let me on in the past week or so:
- Nightline (as we take a stroll down Wall Street to Goldman Sachs)
- Good Morning America (where they let me talk about Disney employees who don't get medical benefits)
- The View (where the Republican co-host told everyone to go see it! Whoa!)
- The Colbert Report (this guy is a genius, seriously)
- Larry King (where a spokesperson for the Senator who got the sweetheart loans responds for the first time)
- Keith Olberman (where we both wonder just how long these media corps are going to let us get away with what we do)
- Wolf Blitzer (yes, he's back for more abuse - and lovin' it)
... And the amazing Jay Leno. This man called me after seeing the movie and asked me to be his only in-studio guest on the second night of his new prime-time show. I said, "Jay, shouldn't you be thinking of your ratings in the first week of the show? Are you sure you didn't misdial Tom Hanks' number (the area code where I live is 231; 213 is LA)?" He told me he was profoundly moved by this film. So I was the guest on his second show, and he told all of America it was my "best film" and to please go see "Capitalism: A Love Story." That was Jay Leno saying that, not Noam Chomsky or Jane Fonda (both of whom I love dearly). The audience responded enthusiastically and, after 20 years of filmmaking, it was a moment where I crossed over deep into the mainstream of middle America. Jay's bosses at General Electric musta been... well, let's just say I hope they didn't place a reprimand in his permanent record. He's one helluva guy (and following the example he set with his free concerts for the unemployed in Michigan and Ohio last spring, I've gotten permission from the studio to do the same with my film in ten of the hardest-hit cities in the U.S. next week).
Oh, and he made me sing! Prepare yourself!
Thanks everyone -- and see you at the movies!
Yours, Michael Moore MMFlint@aol.com
Has Dirty Coast gone "Above & Beyond"?
We want to thank all of you for your dedication to Dirty Coast over the last 4 years!
We have built some very strong relationships in the community, printed and distributed over 1 million free stickers and buttons and donated merchandise to over 20 charities. We still love the reactions we get from our customers and friends with each new design. And we especially love seeing our designs all over the world and to hear the stories you tell of explaining our designs to folks outside the city. We love that you keep supporting our brand. We promise to keep at it for as long as you will have us.
If you have a few minutes, please take the time to nominate us for going "Above & Beyond"
Call for Nominations: Who Goes “Above & Beyond”?
Stay Local! seeks to honor eight businesses who go above and beyond with community involvement, charitable giving, or just being the best at what they do. Send an email of 100 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply call him at 504-561-7474 between now and October 1, 2009. Winning businesses will be honored at The Urban Conservancy’s You Are Here fall event on October 21, 2009 in addition to being featured in the 2010 Guide to Commerce and Culture
Nominations may come from outside of New Orleans, but only businesses that are eligible for listing on staylocal.org are eligible for nomination (locally owned, not a franchise, with ownership and business residing within Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard or Plaquemines Parish). Nominations must include:
1. Nominator’s full name and contact information
2. Name and address of nominated business
3. Name and phone number or email address of business owner or other contact
Yup. Arrogance over Content.
The Accidental Good Samaritan
A guy opened my gallery door a few moments ago, the door alarm made its usual chirp to alert the door had been opened, I glanced up to see from the corner of my eye the umbrella next to the front door being taken outside. When I realized it was not a co-worker but rather some guy with a towel on his head he was already at the end of the block in today's down pour. The last thing I saw, while I stared and contemplated running in the rain after him to wrestle back the umbrella, was him taking the towel from his head as it had served its purpose. No use for it now. He has an umbrella.
To the 6 foot tall, middle aged, slightly heavy set black man in the verticle red and navy collared rugby shirt I bid you a good day and I hope you stay dry. But Zack probably wants his umbrella. You can drop it off on your way back.
Sure would be nice to have a Senator like Franken
My show this weekend.
Saturday, September 5th • Blake Haney / Wonder Around
Works on film shot with Mamiya 645 and Holga cameras in New Orleans, New York and Brazil. Framed using Plexi mounting and aluminum backing. Prints also available.
Work will run through September.
CANARY Gallery • 329 Julia St
Gallery Hours - Wed-Fri 2-5 or by Appt:
According to a church in Gretna . . .
I will be attending this.
My favorite tid-bit from the local blogs on this day of reflection:
when you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the
saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces.
But don’t pity us. We’re going to make it. We’re resilient. After all,
we’ve been rooting for… the Saints for 35 years. That’s got to count
Spring 2005 to Today
It was during Jazz Fest in 2005 that Dirty Coast was born. The intention for the brand then is the same as it is practiced today. We create designs that speak to the New Orleans & Gulf Coast experience, state-of-mind, memory and sense of humor.
When the city's federal levee protection failed us 4 years ago we realized that we had an obligation to keep spirits up and pride high. We are the first to admit that the flooding of New Olreans gave our designs more meaning.
Since returning to town a few weeks after Katrina, we have printing and distributed over 1 million free stickers and buttons and donated merchandise to over 20 charities. We still love the reactions we get from our customers and friends with each new design. And we especially love seeing our designs all over the world and to hear the stories you tell of explaining our designs to folks outside the city. We love that you keep supporting our brand. We promise to keep at it for as long as you will have us.
And on this day of all days, remember to be a New Orleanian, wherever you are.
We are looking for your photos to add to our new site.
Upload and attach your photos of your Dirty Coast shirts or stickers to our Flickr Group:
What shade is your Persona?
Twitter, Obama and Humid Beings broke my blogging habit.
For the past 5 years I have been an avid blogger. Sometimes 6 posts a day. Always random. Always interesting to me. Sometimes I actually wrote something I wanted to share as an observation on my own life experiences or because something really, really pissed me off. But my blogging has dropped off for the past year gradually and here is why.
I got lazy and started to use Twitter to share images, links and pithy observations. 140 characters of lazy. Then why blog it when I tweeted it and it went to my Facebook? Really. Why even bother.
2) Obama won
If McCain and Palin had won this blog would be on fire. But now that we have a competent leader I really don't have much to bitch about on the HumidHaney Rant. And the things I am pissed about Obama I would rather not share as it would bring in the crazies and I don't need to give them any amunition.
3) Building HumidBeings.com
I have actually been testing HB over the past 2 months and blogging there at times. Once it is up (next week? Cue chorus "We have heard that before") I will begin blogging and tweeting and publishing photos and making maps and timelines and podcasting and photo essays, etc. etc.
So there you have it. The reasons I have not been blogging.
Soon HB will be up and I plan to go buck wild and this Typepad blog will re-route you to my HB profile.
You ready for some more ranting? I hope so.
For shits and giggles, watch this:
Best of New Orleans?
Anyone else have issues with some of the results in this year's Gambit Best of New Orleans?
Let's hear them.
What time is it? It's Saints' Season!
What would the Pontchartrain Beach Diet entail?
The Red Dress Run 2009
James Perry's thoughts on Nagin's recent moves.
James Perry, New Orleans Mayoral Candidate: “Today’s decision by the Mayor is yet another example of politics impeding New Orleans’ progress. What should have been a mechanism to attract desperately needed economic development and private investment has been politicized in response to the Council’s vote against the Mayor on the purchase of the Chevron building.”
“With our City in the midst of toughening economic times, it is unacceptable for our elected so-called ‘leaders’ to discourage investment simply to settle personal and political scores. This action is not only irresponsible but shameful.”
“A shared prosperity of true economic development devoid of politics should be something that unites us. We must move past this pettiness and put progress above politics.”
Looks like New Breed New Orleans is back. And at Twiropa!
Funny seeing my old cell phone number on there. I had forgot what it was.
I love this. Chasing Congress.
Twilight meets Blade
James Perry is a refreshing alternative so far to what we have come to expect from New Orleans politicians.
There's one thing we already know about the first fundraising results of the New Orleans Mayor’s race: Our opponents will have raised thousands upon thousands of dollars for their war chests from the status quo.
We've never done that, and we never will.
Instead, we will continue to count on you and hundreds of individual donors who support this campaign by giving only what they can afford.
Why? Because the fundamental change of how we do things in New Orleans does not come from the top down -- it comes from the bottom up.
So rather than having expensive fundraisers and taking contributions from those who would work to hold our city back, I'm hosting a different kind of fundraiser that gives regular people like us the chance to plug into our campaign and have our voices heard.
In fact, the media is already talking about it (http://www.nola.com/elections/index.ssf/2009/07/new_orleans_mayoral_candidate.html).
Donate before 11:59 p.m. tonight and help us finally have the New Orleans we deserve, not the New Orleans we want.
Paid for by James Perry for Mayor
1507 N. Miro St.
New Orleans, LA 70119
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Monte Lasarda - Get it at Bacchanal - amazing.
Health Care Realities
At a recent town hall meeting, a man stood up and told Representative Bob Inglis to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” The congressman, a Republican from South Carolina, tried to explain that Medicare is already a government program — but the voter, Mr. Inglis said, “wasn’t having any of it.”
It’s a funny story — but it illustrates the extent to which health reform must climb a wall of misinformation. It’s not just that many Americans don’t understand what President Obama is proposing; many people don’t understand the way American health care works right now. They don’t understand, in particular, that getting the government involved in health care wouldn’t be a radical step: the government is already deeply involved, even in private insurance.
And that government involvement is the only reason our system works at all.
The key thing you need to know about health care is that it depends crucially on insurance. You don’t know when or whether you’ll need treatment — but if you do, treatment can be extremely expensive, well beyond what most people can pay out of pocket. Triple coronary bypasses, not routine doctor’s visits, are where the real money is, so insurance is essential.
Yet private markets for health insurance, left to their own devices, work very badly: insurers deny as many claims as possible, and they also try to avoid covering people who are likely to need care. Horror stories are legion: the insurance company that refused to pay for urgently needed cancer surgery because of questions about the patient’s acne treatment; the healthy young woman denied coverage because she briefly saw a psychologist after breaking up with her boyfriend.
And in their efforts to avoid “medical losses,” the industry term for paying medical bills, insurers spend much of the money taken in through premiums not on medical treatment, but on “underwriting” — screening out people likely to make insurance claims. In the individual insurance market, where people buy insurance directly rather than getting it through their employers, so much money goes into underwriting and other expenses that only around 70 cents of each premium dollar actually goes to care.
Still, most Americans do have health insurance, and are reasonably satisfied with it. How is that possible, when insurance markets work so badly? The answer is government intervention.
Most obviously, the government directly provides insurance via Medicare and other programs. Before Medicare was established, more than 40 percent of elderly Americans lacked any kind of health insurance. Today, Medicare — which is, by the way, one of those “single payer” systems conservatives love to demonize — covers everyone 65 and older. And surveys show that Medicare recipients are much more satisfied with their coverage than Americans with private insurance.
Still, most Americans under 65 do have some form of private insurance. The vast majority, however, don’t buy it directly: they get it through their employers. There’s a big tax advantage to doing it that way, since employer contributions to health care aren’t considered taxable income. But to get that tax advantage employers have to follow a number of rules; roughly speaking, they can’t discriminate based on pre-existing medical conditions or restrict benefits to highly paid employees.
And it’s thanks to these rules that employment-based insurance more or less works, at least in the sense that horror stories are a lot less common than they are in the individual insurance market.
So here’s the bottom line: if you currently have decent health insurance, thank the government. It’s true that if you’re young and healthy, with nothing in your medical history that could possibly have raised red flags with corporate accountants, you might have been able to get insurance without government intervention. But time and chance happen to us all, and the only reason you have a reasonable prospect of still having insurance coverage when you need it is the large role the government already plays.
Which brings us to the current debate over reform.
Right-wing opponents of reform would have you believe that President Obama is a wild-eyed socialist, attacking the free market. But unregulated markets don’t work for health care — never have, never will. To the extent we have a working health care system at all right now it’s only because the government covers the elderly, while a combination of regulation and tax subsidies makes it possible for many, but not all, nonelderly Americans to get decent private coverage.
Now Mr. Obama basically proposes using additional regulation and subsidies to make decent insurance available to all of us. That’s not radical; it’s as American as, well, Medicare.
To Protect and to Serve. To Canvas and Observe.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. was taken away in handcuffs from his front porch in Cambridge. The reason according to the arresting officer was he was making a disturbance and being uncooperative. But according to Gates he showed identification proving he lived in the residence and the police officer was both guilty of racial profiling and abuse of power.
I was not there, none of us were so it is all speculation. But the account of the incident has sparked the national discussion on racial profiling and the proper way to relate to police officers. Is not being cooperative your right as an American citizen protected by the 1st and 4th amendments? Is it your job as a police officer to demand cool heads in most situations because those with guilt are rarely calm and collected?
Here is my take on Racial Profiling.
To protect and serve the community you work within as a police officer I imagine you need to canvas and observe the area you patrol. Over time there might be patterns that emerge that you notice lead to criminal behavior. There is a reason there are laws against loitering. If a group of men sit on a corner all day as cars drive by, slow down and then drive off you would assume they were dealing drugs. If a man sits in a car for a long period of time you can assume he is not waiting to pick someone up but waiting for something else. And its that vague "else" that is the justification to ask him what he is doing.
But what if these patterns involve not just actions but certain types of people. Hair style, clothing, nationality, skin color? Can you continue to act upon your assumptions or are you then racial profiling?
I don't have the answers but I do know that how people react and how people are approached in situations with this many unknowns (criminal or father waiting on daughter?) might be what really matters. If I assume you are a criminal and approach you in this way you will react one way, especially if this is not the 1st time this has happened.
I am white but I have been questioned about "what I am doing" before by police. I have been loitering. I have been up to no good. Not selling drugs mind you but having too much time on my hands and making a ruckus. I did not assume the police where doing anything other than their job. But how would they have approached me if I had been young and black?