As New Orleans braces for its magnificent holiday season followed by the mega-extravangzas of Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras and this year, the super of the super, the NFL Super Bowl, there is one question on the mind of many tourists: How is the New Orleans city and region economy doing since it is now seven Christmases ago from the season following Hurricane Katrina?
You know you have a die-hard interest in politics when you want to see the national presidential debate, and it becomes a major commitment just to find a place to watch. That was my case last week while I was in southern Turkey as the Turkish conflict with Syria was heating up. I had limited television options and just could not tune into one of the U.S. national networks, or even CNN International. And even if I could find a station, the time difference meant I would be watching at 3:00 am. No such stations beaming into Turkey could be found. Apparently, we are not as important in this part of the world as many in Washington think.
Thankfully the Democratic National Convention is over and there will be no more television images of women wailing at the sound of Barack Obama’s voice. Many convention delegates seemed to be in a trance while listening to the President's speech.
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, most viewers observed a rather uninspiring speech. In his address, Obama gave no specifics, only more platitudes about “citizenship” and “green energy” and other nonsense.