Thursday, December 18, 2014

We're Back

On December 1 our belongings were packed into a moving van in Cincinnati on their way to New Orleans. We are now on the ground floor of a Lakeview apartment where noise from the second floor seems to be amplified.

We loved living in the Hyde Park section of Cincinnati, largely for its walkability and convenience. Lakeview is its nearest equivalent in New Orleans, better in walkability, but not near its convenience to services.

We are often asked why we moved, and our answer is fuzzy. New Orleans feels more like home, though we had a great life in Cincinnati. We have more friends here, but fewer of them are retired and available. We have flirted with moving back for years, and it was finally time to find out why.

We are only starting to "re-experience" NO. Moving trauma is entering its final phase and now we have a little time available to enjoy those things that NO does best.

Over the next few months we will have visitors from Denver, Ft. Wayne, and Cinci (two different couples). We will then get to see NO as tourists.

We wish you the best of the holidays.


jbv's Competitive Edge 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jindal gets some tough questions on 'Meet the Press'

Bobby Jindal was elected Louisiana Governor in 2007, and re-elected in 2011. In 2012 he gave speeches around the country on his version of Republicanism in attempting to build a national profile. He got some mention as a potential Vice-Presidential pick for Mitt Romney, but was not on any short list of which I am aware.

He now seems to be signaling his "availability" as a presidential contender, speaking to Republican groups in Iowa and New Hampshire among other stops. He is considered a longshot at best.

It is my opinion that Jindal has neglected his duties in Louisiana for his barnstorming. In trying to bolster his reputation as a staunch conservative he has sacrificed the state's best interests in favor of his national image. His policies have harmed the educational system of the state and its social programs.

The Daily Beast points out that, among governors: "Jindal has a 35/53 approval/disapproval number, putting him 18 points under water, a figure only better than Illinois’ Pat Quinn and Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee, who are not seeking re-election."

Jindal is the son of Indian immigrants, but has asked Congress to resist President Barack Obama's promised executive action to help parents of children legally in the United States to remain and get work permits.

The following was excerpted from an article by
Bruce Alpert, | Times-Picayune, in The Times-Picayune on November 16, 2014

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gets some tough questions on 'Meet the Press'

On NBC's "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd asked Jindal why he's considering a run for president when "a majority in Louisiana disapprove of your job as governor. Why is that a launching pad to Iowa and New Hampshire?"

"Chuck, I don't care at all about poll numbers," Jindal responded. "I never have. The reality is I was elected in Louisiana to make generational changes. Look at what we've done in Louisiana. So now, we've cut our state budget 26 percent, cut the number of state employees 34 percent."

He also said that the state has "the best private-sector economy in a generation," transformed the state's Charity Hospitals and implemented statewide school-choice programs so parents can choose the best school for their children, including private and religious institutions.

Todd also asked Jindal about the state's fiscal problems, including "a nearly $1 billion hole your budget. Every midyear review, your deficit has grown. You did a big tax cut at the beginning of your term as governor. Revenues haven't followed."

"That's not actually true, Chuck," Jindal responded. "The $1 billion is if you assume we grow government next year. Our budgets have been balanced every year."

On "Meet the Press," Jindal again said he hasn't decided whether to run for president.

"First half of next year," he said of his time table for a decision. "We are praying about this. But bottom line is let's restore the American dream for our children and grandchildren."


jbv's Competitive Edge 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Harry Reid shakes down Democrats to help Mary Landrieu

Excerpted from Politico:
By Burgess Everett, 11/12/14 7:16 PM EST

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is leaning on Democrats to give cash to help Sen. Mary Landrieu win a runoff race that will be critical if the party wants to reclaim the Senate in 2016 …

Landrieu is being badly outspent in her runoff election against GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy after Democrats lost the Senate, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slashed her broadcast and cable advertising budget last week. The advantage for Cassidy is stunning: By one estimate, Cassidy and his allies are airing 96 percent of the ads in the race right now, according to Bloomberg.

… some Democrats are questioning the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s retreat from the airwaves after regularly spending as much as $68,000 per week on individual television stations in Louisiana markets to benefit Landrieu, according to ad trackers.

But Landrieu defiantly said she’s not concerned with national Democrats’ or pollsters’ dim assessment of her prospects in a runoff against Cassidy in deep-red Louisiana, where she received 42 percent of the vote in the state’s jungle primary. “Having won two elections in runoffs like this, I wouldn’t count on me being a lost cause,” she said.

Still, Democrats are questioning the DSCC’s decision to cut nearly $2 million in advertising there last week. Several senators said they planned to make the case for investment in Landrieu at Thursday’s caucus lunch, which is the first since the election.

Some of her staunchest allies may be the dwindling number of centrist Democrats in the Senate who, like Landrieu, will be a key voting bloc in next year’s GOP Congress.

Manu Raju and John Bresnahan contributed to this report.


jbv's Competitive Edge 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NOBull is Back!

The New Orleans Bulletin has been dormant for some time. Susan (Howell) and I have been living in Cincinnati for the last 7-1/2 years.

We are moving back next month because New Orleans is home. Susan was born and raised in Cincinnati, but after 31 years at the University of New Orleans she became very attached to the area. We also have long-time friends in NO and a network of friends and colleagues that we have kept in touch with during our many trips to NO over the past few years.

Cincinnati is a great place to live, and we have developed some very good friends. Government seems to work here because city services are excellent. The cultural opportunities are many and varied. The weather year-round is better than that in NO, but winters can be long and uncomfortable.

It is often said that Cinci is friendly but not welcoming. We find that our best friends here are from outside the area. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here, but it’s time to move back.

One thing that has been very different here is that we have been retirees during our stay, which we were not in NO. It will be a challenge to fill our days meaningfully in NO, and your suggestions for activities and volunteer opportunities are welcome.


jbv's Competitive Edge 

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Protecting a Business During a Flood

A press release from Timothy M. Young,

A proposal entitled “Protecting a Business during a Flood”, has been developed that may be of interest to the businesses that are located within areas that are susceptible to flooding; such an area would include New Orleans. Including the title page, the table of contents and the cover letter, this proposal is approximately 18 pages.

The purpose of this proposal is to describe a structure that is to be placed at a business, which has a history of flooding; such flooding could be the result of a riverine flood, an estuarine flood or a coastal flood. This structure is to be used by the business prior to an event that might cause flooding (e.g. the failure of flood protection device, snowmelt or a storm surge).

The proposed structure is to serve as a source of protection for businesses, which are not limited to, building supply facilities that have outside material storage, automotive dealers and oil/fuel storage facilities that are in flood prone areas.

Please review the following webpage to learn more about obtaining this proposal:

I would like to thank the New Orleans Bulletin for its willingness to share this message with you, and also your willingness to review this message.


jbv's Competitive Edge 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hiatus in Publication ...

Our Egyptian trip (Luxor is pictured) was canceled due to the long aftermath from Susan's asthma attack.

We are also taking a brief hiatus from weekly publication, and entries now will be occasional. If you would prefer to receive these occasional entries by email, please let us know.



jbv's Competitive Edge 

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Egyptian Etiquette ...

Were it not for illness in the family, we would be returning from Egypt tomorrow. (Pictured is King Tut) Here is some of what we learned in our research for the trip.

The following is adapted from Frommer’s Egypt Travel Guide:

Appropriate Attire -- To avoid harassment, women should wear skirts or trousers that reach below the knee, and sleeves that cover the shoulders. At beach resorts, clubs and very upscale restaurants, the dress code is much looser, and young, rich women can be seen in skimpy skirts and tube tops. In mosques, women are expected to cover their hair, and not expose any skin other than their hands, face and feet.

Men should always wear shirts that cover their shoulders and refrain from wearing shorts unless they're in a beach area. Both men and women should take their shoes off before entering a mosque. In general, it's a good idea to wear closed shoes if you expect to do a lot of walking, since Egyptian streets are often muddy, or strewn with garbage and broken glass.

Gestures -- The most useful gesture is placing your right hand over your heart, which expresses gratitude and humility, and is often used as a polite way of saying no. For example, it can be used if someone is insisting that you enter their shop for a cup of coffee, or trying to hand you a gift that you don't want to accept.

Holding your hand in mid air, palm down and tipping it back and forth means "so-so" or a "little bit."

Stretching your hand out with your palm facing out is a way to ward off evil, and is offensive if you do it in someone's face. If you want to indicate the number five, make sure your palm faces you.

It's impolite to show others the soles of your feet or shoes. If you're sitting with your legs crossed, always make sure your soles are facing down.

Avoiding Offense -- Egypt's complex behavioral code is all about maintaining honor, saving face and skirting touchy subjects.

The formality of relationships between the sexes is one of the most important differences you should be aware of. When greeting a member of the opposite sex, a handshake is sufficient, as only members of the same sex hug and kiss. Aggressive flirtation, whether it's eye contact or touching, should be kept to a minimum. Especially if you're a woman and engage in this kind of behavior, you'll be considered "loose," and your advances will be interpreted as an invitation for sex.


jbv's Competitive Edge