Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

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Posts Tagged ‘new orleans’

“We want to go back to work”

Posted by Richard on July 23, 2010

The Obama administration doesn't want a government of laws, it wants a government of men. And there's no better illustration of that than the ongoing struggle over off-shore drilling in the Gulf. Despite the fact that the administration's own hand-picked experts opposed a moratorium on deep-water drilling and in essence said the administration lied about their recommendations, despite the fact that two separate federal courts have slapped down the administration's moratorium, the administration merely rearranged a few commas in their edict, and the moratorium continues.

And it's not just the deep-water moratorium. By refusing to approve or renew permits and throwing up other regulatory and bureaucratic roadblocks, the Obama administration has also effectively imposed a moratorium on shallow-water operations — a moratorium that no reasonable person thinks makes sense. Because it fits their ideological agenda, and because they never want to let a crisis go to waste, the Obama administration has used the Deepwater Horizon spill to effectively end all energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, this is the same administration that dithered and delayed for weeks, refusing foreign assistance that could have ameliorated the situation. Ameliorating the situation wasn't their goal. Remaking the American energy economy was their goal. 

On Wednesday, over 11,000 people attended the Rally for Economic Survival in Lafayette, LA. Gov. Bobby Jindal was one of the speakers. Here is a portion of his remarks: 


[YouTube link]

More of Jindal's speech here. As he said, the oil rigs are already starting to leave the Gulf for places like Nigeria and Brazil. In the words of Bruce Springsteen, "these jobs are going, boys, and they ain’t coming back." President Obama isn't stupid or ignorant. These aren't unintended consequences, this is what he wants. 

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City of New Orleans

Posted by Richard on April 23, 2010

A friend called me last night from New Orleans. She and her niece took the train down there from Memphis for the jazz festival. It sounded like a great time and a great trip — something I'd like to do one of these days.

During the phone conversation, Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans" began running through my head, and it's been running through my head ever since. Kris Kristofferson called it "the best damn railroad song ever written," and I won't dispute that. Gordon Lightfoot's "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" ranks right up there, IMHO, but it's about the building of a railroad, not about a train. So I guess I'd say "City of New Orleans" is the best damn train song ever written.

In the course of consuming a few adult beverages last night, I checked out several YouTube postings of both songs. Sang along with them, too. Several times. My favorite "City of New Orleans" renditions are two by Steve Goodman himself. 

The best, IMHO, is this version from Goodman's Easter Tapes album:

A couple of the comments say it all: 

  • pablocruiser songs like this seem like they fall out of the sky, written by gods. almost too good to be human. and what sweet guitar picking. this guy was one of a kind.
  • AZHappy This song is so lovely it makes me weep. This is such a unique country. It's defined by the landscape and by it's people. Get out of your houses and go see it! Take the train. Drive your car. Ride your bike. Breathe it. Smell it. Just get out there and find out what Steve Goodman wrote about.
    Lord, I hope somebody, right now, is writing a song this sweet. 

This live performance with the legendary Jethro Burns is pretty awesome, too:


[YouTube link]

It just wouldn't be right not to include a version by Arlo Guthrie, who made it a hit record. Here's a pretty good one from 1978:


[YouTube link]

What a great song! What a shame that leukemia claimed Steve Goodman at such a young age. He was a national treasure, and it saddens me immensely to think of all the songs he never had a chance to write and sing. If you're not familiar with Steve Goodman, I strongly encourage you to learn about and listen to more of him. Check him out at YouTube for starters. "You've Never Even Called Me by My Name," "The Dutchman," "Penny Evans," and "Chicken Cordon Blues" will give you a sense of what a terrific talent he was.

And then there's "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" — which could serve as his epitaph.

If you're wondering about "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," I recommend the original 1967 recording, available on this album. But here's Gordon Lightfoot performing it live just a couple of years ago:


[YouTube link]

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Troops leave New Orleans

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2009

After three and a half years, National Guard troops are ending their post-Katrina occupation of New Orleans today and completing the withdrawal of all remaining forces.

I think they should have acknowledged that their mission was a mistake and a failure two years ago, and withdrawn the troops then. We have to stop trying to remake the world in our own image. Stop trying to impose our values by military force and laissez les bon temps rouler.  

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Fats Domino rescued

Posted by Richard on September 2, 2005

Here’s a piece of good news out of New Orleans:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino, who went missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was rescued by boat from floodwaters near his New Orleans home and is “stressed out” but safe, his agent said on Friday.

Domino, 77, beloved for his boogie-woogie piano style and such hits as “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blueberry Hill,” ended up as one of thousands of New Orleans residents stranded by flooding after he rebuffed pleas from friends to evacuate as the storm bore down on the city, agent Al Embry told Reuters.

The rotund musician, his wife, Rosemary, and at least one daughter were picked up by rescue boat on Tuesday following frantic efforts by Embry to alert authorities that Domino and his family were believed trapped in their home, Embry said.

“We heard he was on the balcony with his family and waving to people,” Embry said.

Fats Domino was one of the early rock and R&B greats. If you’re not familiar with such wonderful songs as “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blue Monday,” and “Walking to New Orleans,” pick up a Fats Domino album or two (there’s a long, long list to choose from). You’ll enjoy the heck out of them, and I’m guessing Fats and his wife could use a little boost in the royalty checks about now.

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