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I must admit that I’m not a watcher of “Duck Dynasty,” but I’m very much aware of it. I, too, am from Louisiana, and the family on the show lives outside the town of Monroe, which is a little over 50 miles from my hometown. We’re all from the sticks.

So, when I became aware of the homophobic and racially insensitive comments that the patriarch on the show, Phil Robertson, made this week in an interview in GQ magazine, I thought: I know that mind-set.

Robertson’s interview reads as a commentary almost without malice, imbued with a matter-of-fact, this-is-just-the-way-I-see-it kind of Southern folksiness. To me, that is part of the problem. You don’t have to operate with a malicious spirit to do tremendous harm. Insensitivity and ignorance are sufficient. In fact, intolerance that is disarming is the most dangerous kind.

The Louisiana parish of Plaquemines is taking on a group of oil and gas giants including BP and Chevron for allegedly dumping toxic waste — some of it radioactive — from their drilling operations into its coastal waters, according to a lawsuit removed to federal court on Thursday.

Plaquemines Parish is claiming the companies violated the Louisiana State and Local Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978 by discharging oil field waste directly into the water “without limitation.” Worse, the companies allegedly failed to clear, revegetate, detoxify or restore any of the areas they polluted, as required by state law. The oil and gas companies’ pollution, along with their alleged failure to adequately maintain their oilfields, has caused significant coastal erosion and contaminated groundwater, the lawsuit said.

A study reveals South Carolinians are among the most courteous people in the nation, and Ohioans among the least

The study did not check to see if the phrase “Bless your heart,” understood in its true meaning when used by SC residents, might negate the Palmetto State’s ranking.

Marchex Inc. published the results awhile ago, in May during National Etiquette Week, but the study began attracting notice this week. Marchex specializes in mobile ad technology and conducted the study by examining 600,000 phone calls made to businesses and recorded over a 12-month period. They looked for curse words and polite phrases such as “please” and “thank you”. …

States most likely to use polite words were South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana and Georgia. Callers more likely to leave out polite terms came from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee and, claiming the dubious distinction of having both rude and profane callers, Ohio.

NEW ORLEANS — By one count there were already 65 restaurants on the three miles of Magazine Street, a major artery through this city’s upscale districts. But on a recent Monday, diners were eager for No. 66. The minute the lights went on at Ivy, an autumnal little lounge with an as-seen-on-TV chef, the curious were at the door.

This city, of course, has always been food-obsessed. But these days it has reached new levels of insatiability. Though the city has fewer people than it did before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it has 70 percent more restaurants, according to a count by Tom Fitzmorris, a local expert who does not include fast-food or chain restaurants in his tally.

“It’s really something,” said Mr. Fitzmorris, between callers to his three-hour daily radio show about eating out. “It has never stopped going up, even in the summer, which is not a good time for us in the restaurant business.”

Economically speaking, the restaurant boom is a barometer of a city that is more affluent and more educated than it used to be.

“Richer cities have more restaurants per capita,” said Jed Kolko, the chief economist of Trulia, the real estate website, who said New Orleans already ranked 14th in the nation on restaurants per person in 2010, just a few years into the recent boom (San Francisco was No. 1).

Founded in 2007, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, originally called the Po-Boy Preservation Festival, was organized in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was started out of a national trust for historic preservation program as an initiative to help rejuvenate the city’s culture. In most food-obsessed cities, a sandwich with a working class name might get overlooked. But not in New Orleans. In this city, a common sandwich gets an entire festival in its honor.

Texas is one of six states refusing to comply with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s order that gay spouses of National Guard members be given the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual spouses. Mr. Hagel’s decree, which applies to all branches of the military, followed the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that had prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

While a majority of states ban same-sex marriages, most are not fighting the new policy. But Pentagon officials say that in addition to Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia have balked. Each has cited a conflict with state laws that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

poynterinstitute:

National Newspaper Week begins Oct. 6, and its organizers have released 37 state-specific ads celebrating the Daily Miracles. Most take a fact about the state they serve and compare it to statistics about newspaper readers, such as Louisiana’s “Who dat? Dat’s Louisiana’s newspaper readers filling the Superdome 36 times!


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In case you missed it yesterday, Andrew Beaujon tells us Florida has more newspaper readers than alligators. Good news in “God’s waiting room”? Or are the pythons eating up all the alligators? 

historyintheworks:

A telling excerpt:

“Unforunately, though, I’ve learned to redefine what constitutes an American tragedy. American tragedies occur where middle America frequents every day: airplanes, business offices, marathons. Where there persists a tangible fear that this could happen to any of us. And rightfully so. Deaths and mayhem anywhere are tragic. That should always be the case. The story here is where American tragedies don’t occur.

American tragedies don’t occur on the southside of Chicago or the New Orleans 9th Ward. They don’t occur where inner city high school kids shoot into school buses or someone shoots at a 10-year old’s birthday party in New Orleans. Or Gary, Indiana. Or Compton. Or Newport News. These are where the forgotten tragedies happen and the cities are left to persevere on their own.

So, once again, New Orleans will survive. And move on. Because, really, we’ve been here before.”

-David Dennis

abaldwin360:

GOP Governor Bobby Jindal defends anti-evolution education policy, but it costs his state millions in science-based business

(The Guardian) - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal endorsed teaching creationism in public schools, by way of the state’s creationism law, a…

Is it OK to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent? That question isn’t just rhetorical in Louisiana, which has large populations of both Catholics and gators.

"Alligator’s such a natural for New Orleans," says Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery, which serves a mean alligator sausage po boy sandwich. "Alligator gumbo, jambalaya. I mean, it’s a wonder that alligator isn’t our mascot, you know?"

Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but seafood is allowed. Three years ago, when Jim Piculas was trying to settle a debate among his friends about whether gator qualified as seafood, he wrote a letter to the archbishop of New Orleans to ask.

His letter must have been pretty zealous, because not long after he wrote it, he got a response from Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond saying: “Yes, the alligator’s considered in the fish family, and I agree with you — God has created a magnificent creature that is important to the state of Louisiana, and it is considered seafood.”