Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Lesson From a Holocaust Survivor

The Holocaust can teach people to respond to enemies in one of two ways: either with a vow for vengeance or with an act of forgiveness. Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, née Mozes, chose to forgive the Nazis for placing her in the infamous concentration camp Auschwitz and performing experiments on her. Mrs. Kor explained to Times-Picayune reporter John Pope that she reclaimed the power that was taken from her as a victim by forgiving the Nazi’s. She further explained, “You don’t forgive because the perpetrator deserves it. You do it because you, the victim, deserve to be free again.”

Monday, August 27, 2012

Keeping up with power outages with Entergy alerts

Obviously, hurricanes are never easy to go through, but we're lucky to live in a time where information and technology is abundantly available, and many of us don't even realize it's out there.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Civil rights complaint issued against Jefferson Parish school system

Many believe that poor academic performance among children is predominantly correlated with the level of involvement from parents. Sometimes, however, parents who exercise a low level of involvement do so through no fault of their own; there are instances when parents want to participate, but cannot, as is the case in some Jefferson Parish public schools, as reported by The Times-Picayune.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Honoring Those Who Serve and Protect Us

Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our parish. We will protect life and property through partnership with our communities. We respect the rights of all citizens by upholding the U.S. Constitution and the Law of Louisiana. We will perform our duties by adhering to our core beliefs: Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion and Fairness.
-Mission Statement, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office

As family and friends celebrate the lives of Deputies Brandon Neilsen and Jeremy Triche—the two officers of the St. John Sheriff's Office who were slain in last Thursday's tragedy—we should all be reminded that many of our public servants go to work every day to protect and serve.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The fight over voter identification laws

The two dueling parties in the American political system will do anything to gain an advantage over the other. The most recent example of this is an initiative to require the presentation of voter identification at the ballot, which has been inspired overwhelmingly by Republican lawmakers. Numerous states—primarily located in the South—have enacted such measures, using as justification the need to preserve integrity in our elections. Interestingly enough, however, the referred-to measures may have the opposite effect—that is, it may undermine voter's rights.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Healthy Cookie

Trimming Down the Trans Fat

I recently read an article by Lauran Neergard called "Trans fat ban made fast food a bit healthier in NY." This article caught my eye because I'm often hearing a lot of negativity regarding trans fat, but was not really sure all the details about it. Trans fat is an unsaturated fat with the fatty acid transisomer. When it occurs naturally, in foods such as meat and dairy products, trans fat is not nearly as bad for you, and can even be beneficial. However, it starts to become dangerous when artificially produced via heat and/or pressure, turning liquid oils into solid fat, so it can be used for baking or for having a longer shelf life. The American Heart Association recommends less than two grams of trans fat per day, and urges consumers to eat as little as possible. Why? Because trans fat clogs your arteries and causes high cholesterol.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Salute to Our Olympians

Gabby Douglas

The London Olympics are about half-way completed, and they've already packed about as much action and entertainment as this Olympics fan can recall from summers past.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Latino vote in this year's election will be huge

The 2012 US Presidential election is quickly approaching. As the campaign intensifies, the two nominees will be forced to address the needs of the diverse constituencies within the United States. Among the most critical demographic groups lies the Hispanic population. The influx of Hispanic people into the US has increased tremendously in the past decade; according to the US Census, there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the country, accounting for 16% of the total population. States that are considered most important in the electoral voting system—California, Texas, New York, and Florida, the largest states by population—all contain a heavy percentage of Hispanics. The Hispanic vote in each of these states will be paramount in the upcoming election.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baton Rouge paper is moving into New Orleans to fill the Times-Picayune's hole

With The Times-Picayune refusing to heed the widespread outrage from New Orleanians who aren't ready to lose their beloved daily paper, it seems another newspaper will swoop in to fill the void. The Advocate, which has been Baton Rouge's daily newspaper since 1842, recently announced its plans to expand its coverage into New Orleans.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Be advised of the dangers of swimming

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths among children, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, a Times-Picayune article documented one such case, in which Zaven Spears of Kenner perished as a result of his unfamiliarity with swimming. Every day, children are placed in a similarly dangerous situation due to the lack of supervision from parents and to the inaccessibility of swimming pools. This is especially true among underprivileged children. According to USA Swimming, 70% of African-American children and 60% of Latino children do not know how to swim.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

A Calorie Is a Calorie?

In a recent article from the Los Angeles Times called "Types of calories count," writer Eryn Brown explains how specific studies have been conducted to test the idea of whether a calorie is a calorie. It seems that, when trying to keep the weight off, a traditional low-fat diet makes the metabolism more stagnant than a high-protein one. Scientists conducted a study in which 13 men and 8 women took part in a five-year controlled feeding study. Participants followed a 12-week weight-loss regimen, then a four-week weight-stabilization plan, followed by three different diets for four weeks at a time. These diets include a low-fat diet (60% carbs, 20% fat, and 30% protein), a low glycemic index diet (40% carbs, 10% fat, and 20% protein), and a very low carbohydrate diet (10% carbs, 60% fat, and 30% protein). The subjects burned more than 300 additional calories on average when on the low-carb diet, compared to the low-fat diet.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reaction to SCOTUS Decision

Whether or not you like President Obama's health care initiative, you have to recognize the significance of today's Supreme Court decision. This is a huge day for our country, and if you are among those who think or hope that the Affordable Care Act will eventually be overturned, then let us please hope for something better and fairer that will help out those most in need.

Let's also keep in mind that there's no need for bombastic rhetoric. When unfiltered opinions are let loose on Twitter and on countless other outlets, nonsense like people comparing President Obama to Hitler and the ACA to Nazism gets thrown out there. This is irresponsible, immature, and simply inaccurate. It points out how ignorant many people are about how health care really works. For example, many people on Twitter claimed they would "move to Canada" because of the Supreme Court's decision... completely unaware that Canada already has government-run health care.

Name-calling and noisy rhetoric doesn't help advance the conversation. We should be having a conversation, instead, about working toward making this the best country we possibly can. If you support Obamacare, then it's a great day for you; and if you don't, you should by all means voice your dissent, but, please, do it responsibly and reasonably.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kudos to President Obama for his decision to decrease deportations

You've probably heard by now the news that President Obama made the decision to stop deporting large numbers of undocumented workers in the United States for the next two years.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Disney On a Diet?

No, don't worry, Mickey Mouse isn't going to be slimmer the next time you see him on TV or at one of his parks. But the Walt Disney Company is taking steps toward fighting obesity, recently announcing new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and family. First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the "Let's Move" campaign, which is "dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams" (find out more here).While her campaign has reached children and parents all across the country, Disney's partnership will only expand her success.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Go Greek!

Sometime in the past year or so, Greek yogurt has become all the rage. It went from just a few brands on shelves to now every big dairy company selling it—Chobani, Fage, Yoplait... the list goes on and on.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

Relieve Short-Term Stress With Digital Rage!

Ever wanted to RAGE against the world, against those unknowable forces that cause traffic jams, against that crying baby interrupting your romantic dinner, against the neighbor's dogs that never bark until it's 3AM and you have work in the morning...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Times-Picayune: End of an Era

The Times-Picayune announced today that it will undergo a massive overhaul in its operations. The organization, which has printed a daily newspaper since 1837, will begin circulating print editions on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays only. The bulk of the Picayune's talents will focus on NOLA.com and online operations, making New Orleans the largest city in the United States without a daily newspaper.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

The Cost of Healthy

I was recently checking out at Wal-Mart and couldn't help but notice the overflowing basket of the woman checking out in front of me. The basket was filled to the brim with unhealthy foods including donuts, Pop Tarts, fried chicken, cookies, and Kool-Aid. There were two young children hanging from the cart, begging to break into the cookies because they were 'starving.' It bothered me to see such terrible food options in the car for these children. According to the government, more than a third of American adults are obese, and it is projected that the number will reach 42% by 2030. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

It's not as clean as you thought...

There is a lot to be said for a clean house. Who could possibly say that they would prefer more bugs and germs in their personal space? By cleaning - and, for some of us, over-cleaning - we are creating toxins that we breathe in every day, creating our own personal bubble of chemical warfare that poisons our bodies.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kudos to Times-Picayune's Loving Cup Award Winner

The Times-Picayune recently presented its annual Loving Cup Award to local philanthropist William "Bill" Goldring. I want to quickly extend congratulations, both to Mr. Goldring, who is a shining pillar of our community and an example for us all; and to the Times-Picayune for continuing to honor those who are helping to move this city into its bright future.

You can find out the full details by reading the original Times-Picayune article HERE.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My interview with Cristina Radio, Sirius/XM channel 146

We're happy to share this recent interview I did on a national radio program concerning a recently filed case of ours that made a splash in the local and national news. In summary, the case involved a six-year old child who was mistreated and actually put in handcuffs by the police while he was in school.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Honoring Louisiana's 200th Birthday

Today being the 200th anniversary of the day Louisiana officially became an American state, we should probably all take a few seconds to reflect on what a long, amazing, strange journey our state has been on since that day.

In 1850, New Orleans was the third-largest city in the country, and Louisiana was the heart and center of the South. Before and since, it's seen a history rich with colorful characters like Huey Long and a splendid mixture of people and cultures unrivaled anywhere else in the world. We've faced tragedy and triumph, and we continue on strong, grateful to live in a place unlike any other.

So from Shreveport to Monroe to Lake Charles to New Orleans, and all points in between, if you're a Louisianian, take some time to be proud of your 200-year old home.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Conversation with Raul de Molina, El Gordo

I was recently fortunate enough to sit down for a few minutes of conversation with Raúl de Molina, a.k.a. El Gordo. Raúl is known internationally as the star of El Gordo y La Flaca, Univision's number one-rated entertainment news show. Raúl is a multiple Emmy winner, a frequent contributor at The Huffington Post, a bestsellling author, and a judge in the 2012 Miss America pageant.

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

Spring Clean Your Cluttered Mind

Just like last spring, you've probably started packing away your winter clothes, cleaning closets, organizing your clutter, and making those last minute tax deductible donations to your local charity.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Cuckoo for coconut... oil!

Have you heard the latest craze about "healthy oils"? Well in case you haven't, doctors and health professionals have recommended a daily intake of two servings of "healthy" oils every day. These oils include common ones such as olive oil and canola oil, but there are also less popular ones like grape seed and coconut oil. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Health Care Debate Leaves Bad Taste

The Supreme Court is currently hearing debate among lawyers who have descended upon the Court to argue the Constitutionality of President Obama's 2010 Health Care Law.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

'Hot Coffee' comes to New Orleans

John Redmann and Susan Saladoff

Susan Saladoff, director of last year's excellent HBO documentary Hot Coffee, came to New Orleans on Monday for a screening of her film, a Q&A session, and a talk with law students at Tulane and Loyola University about the film and its message. She traveled to Baton Rouge the next day for similar talks with law students at LSU and Southern University. The event was underwritten by the Louisiana Association for Justice and by preeminent local attorney Russ Herman and his firm Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar, LLP.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Orleans expands its traffic camera operations

The Times-Picayune reported last week that the city of New Orleans is making several important changes to its traffic camera program. Several months ago on this blog we ran a discussion forum on this topic to see how people felt about traffic cameras, and responders were overwhelmingly against them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

For those of you still stressing out over the stress of your life... here are a few ways to help prepare for those times that you just know are going to be STRESSFUL.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

If you are treating yourself with holistic medicine and are thinking about treating your pets at home, GOOD FOR YOU. Nothing wrong with a little natural healing. But be careful... what may be good for you could possibly be harmful to your furred and feathered friends.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

There's a healthy way to eat, no matter your food preference. Here in New Orleans we live to eat, be it meals, snacks, or desserts. Our food, like our city, is diverse and can seem a little strange to an outsider.

Mardi Gras, always marching forward

An excellent column appeared in The Times-Picayune today that chronicled the fight against discrimination within Mardi Gras organizations. James Gill writes of New Orleans City Councilwoman Dorothy Mae Taylor and the cause she championed:

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Mardi Gras Law Primer

Most of us in New Orleans are familiar with the Zulu Parade's policy of handing coconuts to parade attendees rather than throwing them. When coconuts were thrown in the past, there were a number of lawsuits alleging injury from errant coconut throws. A 2006 lawsuit gained national attention when a woman claimed injury and described recurring nightmares about coconuts flying at her face.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Widespread layoffs of public defenders are bad news for the less fortunate

This week, Orleans Parish was forced to downsize its staff of public defenders at Criminal District Court, according to John Simerman of The Times-Picayune:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Interview With James Bopp of Citizens United

Last week I attended a conference in New Orleans called "FEC v. Citizens United: The End of Democracy As We Know It?" The conference discussed and debated the significance of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. The decision ended limits on corporate spending for political campaigns, citing First Amendment rights to free speech.

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

So I'm guessing just like me, you guys have read my blogs and said, "That sounds great, but..." and did nothing. That is exactly how I felt the first time someone introduced meditation to me. I didn't think I could actually meditate. The response I got when stating my "can't do" attitude was that I should meditate about it. Great advice, right? But how? So many months went by and I was still feeling stressed at every moment: Headaches, stiff neck, sore muscles, agitation, irritability, etc. Then I met someone that didn't tell me to "meditate" on my reaction to meditation; she offered to actually help me learn how to meditate. She asked for 10 minutes a day for two weeks and an open mind. I started simple with some of the techniques I've already shared with you; by increasing the time spent meditating, I increased my results.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interview With Robert Weissman of Public Citizen

Last week I attended a conference in New Orleans called "FEC v. Citizens United: The End of Democracy As We Know It?" The conference discussed and debated the significance of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. The decision ended limits on corporate spending for political campaigns, citing First Amendment rights to free speech.

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

A Celebration Of My Life With All Of You

I turned 38 today. I looked in the mirror and laughed to myself remembering when the thought of 38 was just plain "old" to me. But I don't feel old (At least not most days.). I feel experienced, learned, lived... but not old. I realized that it isn't all the things that I've been through in my life that have made me who I am but the people that I've experienced those events with. So today, rather than celebrate my birthday, I am celebrating the relationships of my past and present with the people who have made such a big difference in my life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

Here I am again, STRESSED OUT, hoping that someone somewhere will give me the secret to living a stress-free life. (By all means, please continue to search and if you find the secret, share it with the rest of us.) Most of us encounter stress every day in some form or fashion. Those of us that are lucky have learned techniques to help deal with them. I am happy to share yet another way to help, and hopefully make your day a little brighter.

Why the Check Engine Light must go

If you're anything like me, you find the "Check Engine" light that shows up on your car's dashboard very easy to ignore. I know I'm not alone in this because a movement has sprung up on the internet to do away with the Check Engine light, and it's gaining steam.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Hi, my name is Cookie and I'd like to blog about healthy living.

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

A Five-Minute Break From Everyday Life

Be still, mentally and physically
Everyone has experienced a stressful day at some point or another. For some of us, stress is a part of our everyday lives. But in today's world of "Hurry up!" and "I'm running a few minutes late!" there never seems to be enough time to de-stress ourselves. For years, health professionals have studied the effects of stress on our overall health and well-being; in recent years, those studies have been focused on the effects of our mental state as compared to our physical health. What good is being healthy if you still feel bad?

Monday, January 2, 2012

New New Years Resolutions

If you are going through hell, keep going.
-Winston Churchill

Happy New Year everybody! If you're anything like me, it's going to take you a while to get used to saying "2012," which is the first year that really makes it sound like we're in The Future.