Monday, May 10, 2010

What few hairs I had on my head....

...I just pulled out.

BREAKING: Steve Theriot and Jefferson Parish sue bloggers. Subpoenas information on Times Picayune commenters. Slabbed mentioned in suit not subpoeaned.

I have a friend who grew up somewhere in the middle of the gret stet. He once told me a story about an enterprising sheriff from his home parish who decided he was going to convert the local public pool into a catfish farm. He had all the free labor he needed from parish inmates...figured all he had to do was fill that cement pond up with catfish and he'd be pulling in the dough. So he rounded up a bunch of young whiskerlips and dumped 'em in the pool. You know what I'm going to say next don't you? Yeah...he didn't de-chlorinate it so he ended up with a nice stinky mess on his hands.

I used to think that was the dumbest thing a Louisiana public official ever did.

Well, I guess I underestimated Steve Theriot.

Aside from the fact that this is an enormous waste of taxpayer's dollars, his sense of timing is impeccable.

Steve...I want you to get up out of your air conditioned office in the Jenni building and step outside. Oh, and on your way down the elevator, take your head out of your ass. Now, inhale a flared-nostril breath into your lungs....do you smell that? Do you smell that nauseating, burning, diesel aroma? Do you know what that is? No, it's not the sewage plant on Earhardt. That smell, sir, is the largest ecological disaster in the history of this country and it's currently making its way into your parish and up into the waterways of Barataria and Lafitte. That smell is the distinct bouquet of economic expiry for thousands of people in your governmental province.

Seriously.

In case you didn't get the fucking memo....you have a catastrophic situation on your hands. I'm just wondering how you guys currently have the time to draft a lawsuit against bloggers and website commenters. Was that something you knocked off between disaster preparedness and rebidding insurance contracts?

I'm also wondering who the fucking idiots were who thought that was a good idea. Do you even realize what you're attempting to do? Any chance of success you have in this lawsuit would have to be heard by the Supreme Court....and I got news for you, brah...you ain't gonna make it half that far. I suppose you could try and spring Bodenheimer and buy a judgment in your favor, I'm sure J.P. still has some judges on the royal payroll...but whoever the parish attorney was who told you to move forward with this probably should have checked with a real attorney or even a law student before he/she convinced you to try and hold back the sea, King Canute.

You may want to start with NYT v. Sullivan...and work your way forward. You...sire...are a public figure...every member of the Jefferson Parish Royal Court is a public figure. The moment you "thrust yourself into the vortex of public opinion" you sacrificed a level of privacy retained by private individuals.

On top of that....you're suing....everybody? Everybody who comments on internet forums and blogs? The "John Doe" of the internet? At least the folks I pissed off were smart enough to threaten a lawsuit against me...an individual. You're suing the internet body whole? To accomplish what? To get the name of every blogger and commenter on Nola.com that you don't like? And what are you going to do if you get those names? Start a blog and write nasty comments about them?

Let me help you with this....you are going to have to subpoena IP addresses from thousands of people through hundreds of companies....I'm sure the fine folks of Jefferson Parish are ecstatic knowing that their tax dollars are being funneled down an endless well in a futile attempt to stifle the 1st amendment and assuage citizen's attempts to provide transparency in their parish government. You know...those same folks whose livelihoods are currently being wiped out because of a foreign corporate entity which was allowed to run unchecked for decades by government officials...people like you, Mr. former state auditor.

I think it's time for you and the Royal Court to execute an ego audit.

Why don't you take a break...go down to Ruth's....gnaw on a big fat porterhouse...drink a martini...and think about how fucking stupid this is. If that doesn't work, I will come pick you up at 8 am tomorrow to go talk to the shrimpers, oyster farmers, and commerical fisherman in Barataria and ask them what they would like you to focus your attention and parish resources on at the moment.

Or....Canute...you can play the fool.

UPDATE: Cenlamar corrects me on the catfish story

cenlamar.com said... "I have a friend who grew up somewhere in the middle of the gret stet. He once told me a story about an enterprising sheriff from his home parish who decided he was going to convert the local public pool into a catfish farm. He had all the free labor he needed from parish inmates...figured all he had to do was fill that cement pond up with catfish and he'd be pulling in the dough. So he rounded up a bunch of young whiskerlips and dumped 'em in the pool. You know what I'm going to say next don't you? Yeah...he didn't de-chlorinate it so he ended up with a nice stinky mess on his hands."

Actually, Dambala, the story is about the former Mayor of Alexandria, John K. "Tillie" Snyder. The story is briefly mentioned in his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_K._Snyder

27 comments:

swampwoman said...

a-fucking-men

Anonymous said...

Holy crap.

Great post, Dambala.

Some public officials in Louisiana are making it known that they do not like a Free Press they haven't bought.

Does this guy plan to sue everyone who has written a letter to the Editor, or expressed an opinion at a public meeting?

Ms. Sandy Rosenthal comments over at Slabbed.

Lord only knows who has posted on your blog, or over at the T-P.

This could end up being a fun fight.

I wonder how the T-P is feeling about its readership drying up.

We read that paper to read the comments as much as the story, the saltier and more opinionated the better.

They are going to be a boring read without the comments, and a lame place to advertize if their readership collapses any further.

Someone in the kitchen just pointed out that several people regularly blog or comment using this computer.

Once you have the IP address, what then?

What have you got?

An IP address. Great. Good for you, Steve!

Is the plan to spend per IP address what John Georges spent per vote?

At least he was spending his money.

Anonymous said...

Well I have been wondering how you have been giving the Landrieu administration a complete pass. Is it cause they paid you off by hiring you to do some video work?

Dambala said...

dude...I do a lot of video work. and i didn't realize I had given anyone a pass. Mitch just took office, I have no idea how he is going to do.

My muse is Clio....I'm trying to track history. I have no idea what legacy Mitch will leave in this city.

Right now my attention is focused on this oil spill, I hope yours is too.

Dambala said...

By the way, if you'd like to hire me to shoot, my day rate is $900 for 1080HD/any frame rate.

ashedambala@gmail.com

Mojofearless said...

This is the funniest thing I've heard all day. I guess it hits close to home for this douchebag to be getting all riled up. And he wants to drag random strangers into court for defamation? Hey dickweed Theriot: that's going to backfire. But I guess you've had enough of politics, so you don't care, right?

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Ballad of John D'OH!

Anonymous said...

I think you need to be taking this a tad bit more seriously.

look at the petition on the slabbed website. JP, Theriot & Broussard name about 7-9 poster handles, not hundreds or thousands.

And the TP has handed over IP info before - as in Jon Donley and the ACOE.

Now, Landrieu has hired Jennifer Sneed's sister - Emily Arata Sneed Arata, who was his campaign manager - as his no. 2 CAO, or something similar.

And the Sneeds of Heebe/BK Sneed/Ward fame are knee deep in the JP River Birch Landfill scandal. Again, see Slabbed for that because Slabbed has done in JP with Broussard and Lagniappe and River Birch etc. what AZ did for meffert, Nagin & krewe.

Now as we *all learned during the Georges rundown here on this very blog this trash crosses Parish lines.

Please notice that the TP HAS NOT REPORTED ON THIS YET.

Please note that the TP's owner and hands on editor is business partners with Broussard on 1-2 bank boards.

So if you think a city's major newspaper turning over IP's is a funny matter and if you think corruption going out the front door at New Orleans Cuty Hall on Perdido (a/k/a Lost) Street and just truning around and coming back around the back door is a funny matter, well, you're wrong, it's not. It's dead serious.

Good post AZ (as always) but keep your eyes on the Sneed connection. Not a good sign for the Landrieu regime.

Nor is his hiring a guy who faked invoices and gave a secret kickback to a vendor as his police chief (hey hasn't your whole blog been about corrutpion using just those methods???), but maybe I missed your post on that.

Dambala said...

The sneed connection is not relevant. Emily sneed Arata is not responsible for her sister or brother in laws actions.

As for the TP turning over IP addresses, so what? What are they going to do when they get them? They can try and sue those people for libel and they will undoubtedly lose. Int he meantime I will leave no rock unturned for every day they continue this. For every subpoena they file there are a thousand other web portals yo start the conversation over again...and that will happen rest assured. They are opening pandora's box and throwing taxpayer's dollars down it.

The only thing I take seriously is the Constitution. If they want to take on the 1st amendment, bring it on. It's a new world and they're good ole boy tactics will not turn back the hands of time.

Anonymous said...

{same anon}

AZ, I love this blog, seriously. Do you mind if I just ask a couple more questions?:

>The Sneed connection is not relevant. Emily sneed Arata is not responsible for her sister or brother in laws actions.<

The Sneeds are connected. They do not travel separately, they travel together. You could draw the same lines from each and every Sneed and Ward to nefariousness in Jefferson Parish and corruption that you could with Georges, which we know you did very well. If you don't believe me, ask the guys at Slabbed, or just read up on their posts there.

As for Serpas: really, nothing? the guy submitted faked invoices and gave the vendor a hidden kickback in a secret (oral? written?) contract? Not a problem for you, at all, that kind of behavior? I just respect your blog and opinion, which is why I ask. Just wondering what you think on that as specific behavior for the police chief that Landrieu just brought on.

Thanks as always for all the great work.

Dambala said...

"they travel together"

Are they Gypsies? Come on man, I'm not going to hold someone accountable for the actions of a relative....not gonna do it. Sorry.

Serpas...here's the thing. I don't know a lot about Serpas, so I probably shouldn't be rattling off commentary about him. I have some friends in the NOPD and I can tell you the opinion of one my friends who I trust implicitly.

He said Serpas was definitely part of the "old way" when he was here. He related that to me with a measured degree of dissent. He then went on to say...but...Serpas was on the street, he was in your face and busting ass day in and day out...he wasn't afraid to do his job. He then went on to tell me he thought the real challenge the NOPD is facing is just that...his words...over half of the force would prefer to sit in their cars and talk on their cell phones through their shifts. He said they've pretty much given up and are just going through the motions in order to pull a paycheck. He said that is the cancer that's destroying the force...there is no morale to actually get out there and make a difference. He then went on to say Serpas will not tolerate that, and for that reason alone he thinks he will be good for the system.

Look...I want to pause for a second and explain myself. I am not omniscient, I don't know everything that is happening in this city....not even close. I get a lot of shit wrong...but I try to correct myself the minute I find out I'm wrong (I suspect I will have one of those retractions coming Friday). I didn't start this blog because I thought I had answers...I started this blog because I had too many questions and there was no avenue to ask them and find answers.

In respect to the NOPD, I have purposely shied away from the issue because I recognize how massive the problem is and I don't have the time and resources to address it on this forum.

I have tremendous respect for the NOPD officers I know and tremendous sympathy for them. I don't think I would have the tenacity to pick my head up every day and put that uniform on and face a city that doesn't support you and a justice system which is so broken it puts murderers right back out on the street in 90 days. I don't face those decisions nor do I face the possibility I may get my ass shot off doing my job every day...I am reluctant to pass judgment on most anyone serving in our police force.

I realize our police force is in crisis like everyone else, but I'm not going to grab a pitchfork and storm the castle. I recognize how complicated the issue is and I know there are some incredible men and women in NOPD who are continuing to fight the good fight day in and day out while getting lambasted by the public they serve. I just don't want to be one of those people who make the good guys' lives more difficult than it already is.

So....Serpas....I defer to the guys in the force I know and the majority have told me they see the wisdom in this choice. For now that's good enough for me.

(cont.)

Dambala said...

(cont.)

As for our new mayor, Mitch is just coming out of the gate and I can tell you that he is facing probably a 50 million dollar deficit in the operating budget this year. They've said it's 20 million but I truly believe it's more like 50. He is in a world of shit right now and I am more than willing to afford him the benefit of the doubt on his decisions. Not to mention he's facing the largest ecological disaster in the history of this county.

As for his recent decisions, I have a bigger problem with Anthony Faciane than I do Serpas, but once again I'm willing to suspend my logic in hopes that there is a method to that madness and maybe I don't know as much as I think I do.

I'm not necessarily a fan of Duplessis, but I'm not a hater either. So I say now's your time to shine Ann...show us what you got.

One of the reasons why I'm losing steam on this blog is because I think I've kind of painted myself into a corner. I can't possibly live up to the expectations I feel are being placed on me. I don't have answers, I just have questions and I don't even have all the questions. And every time I open my big mouth I jeopardize my ability to make a living and then I get chastised on the blog for making a living...what the fuck.

Enough of my demons...I digress. Back to the subject at hand.

My hope for Mayor Landrieu's administration is that they don't make the same mistake Nagin did, and for that matter the mistake that Theriot is making now. If you're going to get this city to "take one step forward" and move as "one", you must communicate...you can't stonewall the public from the process and the discussion. Much less sue the public like the dipshits in Jefferson Parish.

One thing I can tell you I've learned from the discipline of anthropology....the fundamental requirement of a community is communication. Without communication there is no community.

When the government of a community shuts themselves off from the populous like Nagin did....the community fails.

When the government of a community sues their populous to stop them from communicating (right or wrong) like Theriot and JP just did....the community fails.

Mitch's success is contingent upon his ability to communicate with the people he leads, as is any leader's success. I think he understands that....maybe I'm wrong...but I am optimistic.

I welcome your take on it.

Dambala said...

- lives more difficult than it already is.

life more difficult than it already is.

damn i need an editor.

Anonymous said...

Hey, critic of Dambala,some of those are good questions, but the man already said he is consumed by the oil spill right now.

Like most of us, Dambala can really only do one thing at a time.

I bet that being out there with the people who are losing their livelihoods, their whole traditional culture, their home landscape, and the animals and birds they love, is emotionally and spiritually, draining even after the day's work is done.

Dambala is a husband and a parent as well. Those roles can be enough on their own.

Please, cut him some slack, and let him cover the oil spill, which is what he has decided is the most important priority for him right now.

It is his blog and his choice. I agree with his priority, but even if I didn't, I'd respect it and just go read a different blog for a while.

Dambala, thanks for your observations about Serpas nd Mitch. Your perspectives are always interesting. Not everyone expects you to be an oracle or an arbiter.

Just please keep writing. You have given many of us a place to ask questions we didn't know the answers to.

That "painted into a corner" feeling is one that anyone who has ever blown a whistle on something crooked knows well.

Most whistle blowing I've seen starts as a question or a series of questions asked by someone who is "inside the tent".

They think that their collegues are playing a straight game, and they ask about something that confuses them.

The silence or anger they are met with is disproportionate to the question they asked, new questions arise as a result of that, and there there are. A whistle blower. Fuck.

Being ostracized, losing opportunities for paid work, being protrayed as someone with a much more fixed and radical set of positions or beleifs than is in fact the case-- all those things are just part of what happens.

But I think (and hope) those are fringe responses to you. Most of your readers understand your blog the way you yourself percieve it.

I am sorry for your loss, the loss you are letting yourself feel, loss you are experiencing without the skim coat of denial most of us have put on like a haz-mat suit.

Kevin Allman said...

Well, I don't read nola.com for the comments unless I'm in the mood to be amused or demoralized. But of course I'm not in favor of turning over IP addresses because some politician got his feelings hurt -- and, of course, it's merely an attempt to intimidate his critics, some of whom he must think are pretty damn close to him.

Nola.com reported on it last night, by the way, and those sly boots not only listed the names of the subpoenaed, but made the names hyperlinks to all the writers' comments just to make it easier to see what they were writing about Theriot et al.

Anonymous said...

"I get chastised on the blog for making a living...what the fuck."

ok i dont fault you for wanting to make a living, but if you're referring to the working-for-Landrieu thing, let me explain.

you made a name for yourself as being The Blogger That Took On The Mayor. so for you to then take a job _for_ the mayor is a bit odd -- it makes one reasonably wonder if you will be impartial enough to ask the hard questions about this one if he's a direct source of income. not an issue out of anger, just a reasonable eyebrow raise.

Dambala said...

Ok so let me explain. I made a name for myself by spending three years if my life making a documentary about the New Orleans public schools. I am first and foremost a documentary filmmaker and videographer.

I shoot for whoever pays me. I shot a documentary on Southern Decadence back in the 90's, does that make me gay?

So also let me explain this...this is my fucking blog...mine and mine alone. If I want to get on here and stump for Adolf Hitler, it's my fucking perogative. If you think I'm biased, your right, I am highly biased on many things. If you don't like that....here's a simple solution...don't fucking read it. If you have damning information on Mitch or any other politician then start your own fucking blog and go to town.

As far as I know Mitch Landrieu is clean as a whislte and he's been a politician a very long time. I don't know anything he's done that would suggest corruption. As far as judging his mayoral efforts, I've got no complaints in week one...or are you asking me to write a book report on War and Peace having only read the first three pages?

If you have read this blog from the beginning you will fond that I have never held a pretense that I'm a reporter or professional news source...see those guys make money, I don't. If I don't fit into your little compartment of what I should or shouldn't be, I don't care. You are not a customer at my restaurant, you are a guest at my table, if you don't like my cooking, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dambala!

Why aren't my shirts pressed?

Don't you know some single chicks? Hook me up, Dude!

Also, I found a piece of pizza under my couch the other night... when are you going to clean my apartment!?!?!

Quit dick'n around to the Interbuttts all day and get to work.

Anonymous said...

according to Councilman Roberts' assistant this lawsuit is targeting a single parish employee:

Councilman Roberts does not have all the specifics on the suit.  Mr. Theriot did make comments at the opening of the council meeting this morning.  The suit is specifically targeted at about 12 user names believed to be one person who is a current parish employee under investigation by his administration. 
 
The Council was assured this is not an attempt to silence critics.
 
Councilman Roberts said he hopes this clarifies the issue for you.  He wouldn’t expect the TP to report accurately on this as they don’t want people to fear posting in forums which he understands and so does everyone else that “this is our right”.

Anonymous said...

And here we have the problem with bloggers -- they claim they're entitled to press protection (say in the courtroom), but then when they're held to standard media ethics they claim it's just a hobby, no holds barred.

So you don't see the problem with working for the admin when you cover the admin. Interesting. as a reader trying to guage your trustworthiness, I do. I wonder, would you feel that way about TP writers covering Meffert? Is David Hammer unbiased if he worked for Nagin or Landrieu?

Bloggers want it both ways.

I know, I know, you don't care about what I think. Rar, roar. But then why bother holding yourself to any accountibility standards, why not just say this is a personal blog, post what your favorite ice cream flavors are and be done with it? Sorry bud, you're part of the "new media", and like it or not readers will hold you accountable to certain media ethics.

Dambala said...

So let me get this right. JP has a mole in their golf course and they're pulling a Carl Speckler? They're gonna go to the extreme measure of blowing up the whole golf course to kill the mole?

If their objective is to root out one guy...there are better ways to do it than file a SLAPP suit on multiple outlets.

I'm not sure silencing the critics isn't a better motive than this....neither justifies this extreme measure.

BTW, I like Roberts...in case anyone is out there filling out my character profile.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pouring your time and resources into your blog. Many, many readers appreciate all that you do.

You could not have stated it better than: "You are not a customer at my restaurant, you are a guest at my table, if you don't like my cooking, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out."

Dambala said...

You're cracking me up....I picture you as some white haired dude sitting in his office..."Here we have the problem with bloggers!" Are you making that case to yourself in the mirror?

- they claim they're entitled to press protection (say in the courtroom)

dude...uh yeah...I do have the same rights the press does. It's called the 1st amendment, the press doesn't have a monopoly on free speech. David Hammer doesn't have any special rights that I don't have under the Constitution of the United States because he has access to ink and the title reporter behind his name.

Do you think there is some official body who bestows "True and ethical journalist" titles to people? Do you think the Ministry of Propaganda controls who can question the government?

So as far as my ethos is concerned, show me one thing I've printed on this blog which was false that I didn't retract....one thing. There actually is one thing which I will most likely retract on Friday, but I doubt you know what it is....and if you do know what is...I know who you are.

And for the record, I am not working for any administration. I am a contract worker, just like a caterer or a musician who may have been hired to work at a politician's party. That doesn't make me an employee of the administration, dipshit.

However I would work for this administration if I had the opportunity...here's hoping.

I'm perfectly fine with however my readers interpret me. It's not like I'm gonna lose sponsorships or subscriptions now is it?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dambala:

I had the post that went 'I think you need to be taking this a tad bit more seriously.' and then I had a follow-up.

I didn't do any of the other responses.

Soooo.. this is just as always in the way of thanks. As always you're great with the responses. You sold me on the Serpas thing (though personally, the faked invoices bothers me, but I think you, me and everybody and their dog will just say thank god we are past Nagin and we will be living in rosier mayoral times for quite a while). I voted for Mitch and continue to hope for improvement and of course already see it.

Now back to the issue at hand, your post:

I know you've skimmed some of the JP story but it is truly incredible what is going on there. Check out Slabbed on River Birch and everything Ward, Broussard and Theriot related, you will be amazed that someone is giving Nagin a run for his money in sheer balzziness.


@ This anon: "according to Councilman Roberts' assistant this lawsuit is targeting a single parish employee: Councilman Roberts does not have all the specifics on the suit. ..."

Yeah, what is disgusting about that is that it is directed towards Anne Marie Vandenweigh, a woman who did her job as a public servant, cooperated with the feds, responded to public recoprds requests honestly and ethically and was summarily punished by her bosses for it. They are acting like they are sticking their fingers in the dykes over there (folks, JP begins at the end of Oak Street, this isn't Morehouse Parish or anything...) and it's looking pathetic.

That quote from Roberts is unbelievable and is just as disgusting as it gets; he's in on the vendetta? Well, let's remember that.

Let's also remember they are sending a message to critics in general and seeking to silence them regardless of what Roberts says.

Dambala said...

Well said. As I said before, I actually like Roberts but this explanation is just as bad as the act itself. Roberts needs to come out and call for Theriot to retract this lawsuit, it's only going to get uglier the further it goes.

cenlamar.com said...

"I have a friend who grew up somewhere in the middle of the gret stet. He once told me a story about an enterprising sheriff from his home parish who decided he was going to convert the local public pool into a catfish farm. He had all the free labor he needed from parish inmates...figured all he had to do was fill that cement pond up with catfish and he'd be pulling in the dough. So he rounded up a bunch of young whiskerlips and dumped 'em in the pool. You know what I'm going to say next don't you? Yeah...he didn't de-chlorinate it so he ended up with a nice stinky mess on his hands."

Actually, Dambala, the story is about the former Mayor of Alexandria, John K. "Tillie" Snyder. The story is briefly mentioned in his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_K._Snyder

Mojofearless said...

You do what you want, Dambala. Write what you want, pursue what interests you, and know that you will always have my support and gratitude.
You are a fine and noble creative soul, and I very much appreciate the hospitality you have afforded here at your table.