Another soldier’s story was corroborated by his mother, who helped defray the $6000 cost of buying the Dragon Skin, she said.

The mother of the soldier, who hails from the Providence, Rhode Island area, said she helped pay for the Dragon Skin as a Christmas present because her son told her it was “so much better” than the Interceptor OTV they expected to be issued when arriving in country for a combat tour.

“He didn’t want to use that other stuff,” she said. “He told me that if anything happened to him I am supposed to raise hell.”

If anyone knows this devoted mother, we would be happy to hear from her. In the meantime, thanks a million, Rummy. Way for you and Dubya — without blinking an eye — to send our insufficiently protected kids into harm’s way. Out sight, out of mind.

Sleep tight, America.

Crescent City update
Being longtime fans of anything and everything to do with New Orleans, P&J recently spoke with a member of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission during a local seminar. The news was not good, and it corroborates much of what our close friends, the Zekes, who live in the devastated Big Easy, have been telling us. Two items of major concern were the public education system and the growing tenor of racism.

For decades, many residents of New Orleans have tried to avoid the public schools, sending their children to either parochial schools or non-denominational private schools. We asked how many public schools are open, post-Katrina. Five? Ten? “Try three” was the answer. Part of this is because of how the generally poor families whose children made up the bulk of the student population cannot afford to move back and/or rebuild after their forced exodus. There is essentially no public education system in the city, we were told. Chilling.

On the race issue, our guest candidly admitted that longstanding tension is now being visited in two directions — black against white and white against black — and coming to a breaking point: “Most people in New Orleans have guns anyway. They just weren’t out on the hall table, loaded.”

One upbeat note: students at Tulane, where our friend teaches, are back, and the hustle and bustle on campus is cause for happiness. There is also recognition and gratitude to Brown, URI, and the other local institutions that took in a number of the Tulane kids. The upcoming Mardi Gras parade and festivities, which will be celebrated this February, may also provide a shot in the arm and a ray of hope for future recovery. P&J can only hope so, and we send our eternal best wishes to all the residents of one of America’s most magical places.

Enright at Chan's
This Friday, take a load off and check out something very special at Chan’s in Woonsocket, starting at 8 pm. The performance and CD release for Thom Enright’s new offering, Intoxicated, should be an event not to be missed. We say this not just because Mr. Enright is a Casa Diablo regular and an exciting and soulful live performer, but because the new CD is flat-out great.

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Related: Alito: hypocrisy in high places, Alito and Co. deal a bitter blow to American women, Ditched, More more >
  Topics: Phillipe And Jorge , U.S. Government, U.S. Congressional News, Dave Mattacks,  More more >
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