Friday, July 20, 2012


Jeffrey has an interesting post on New Orleans place on the American corruption scale.  The post is titled, "Not unique but well-branded"...I can never get his permanent links to work.

It's something I've been thinking a lot about lately.  In fact I want to either make a documentary about it or write a book but I can't decide which one would be better.  I don't know if I'm talented enough to write a book but I understand all of the inner trappings of a documentary so I'm leaning that way.

I have to disagree with Jeffrey on the whole.  I really do think that this city, and state for that matter, ranks head and shoulders above most areas on the kleptocracy scale.  There are so many people stealing money in this city from public funds, I can't even begin to tell you the shit I've seen.  Nothing surprises me anymore...nothing.  It's entrenched in our much so that most of the people doing it don't even think they're committing a crime, i.e. Bajoie.

On that note....I think there is a lot more coming down the pipe from Mr. Letten and crew.  Stay tuned.  


Anonymous said...

You mean Strike he?5 for Mitch? He does get two at bats? Doesn't

Sop81_1 said...

Only New Jersey and Illinois can rival Louisiana for entrenched systemic corruption. I saw Jefferey's post, appreciate his systemic cynicism greatly but like you disagree.


Sam said...

Okay, now I'm getting scared. I rarely agree with Jeffrey but have had this same argument with folks. Having lived in NY, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Mexico (where the State Legislature along with city governments funnel money left right and sideways in dubious ways to friends and family), I have come to the same conclusion that the Yellow Blogger has. That New Orleans is no more or less corrupt than any other major city. Any larger burgh in New Jersey is rife, Baltimore, Miami, or gee even the tiny podunks north of here who all got together and created the prison as economic uptick models--it's all the same. Greed is greed, connections are connections, access is access, and a barbecue with envelopes exchanged seems to be the way business and legislation and development and and and. . .get done in America.

Please don't think that I approve of all of this. I spend nights pondering how to put a stop to it, but I think it's so deeply embedded in the Capitalistic Business psyche that it can only be fixed one person at a time, and for every one that we lock up, another takes his/her place.

And should we talk about LIBOR or the other nonsense on Wall Street for which no one has gone to jail? It's the same thing on a bigger scale.

Maybe I'm getting too old. I still have the outrage but no longer the hope that it can all be dealt with. It's the hopelessness that gnaws at me.

Having said that, if you want to do a documentary, I'll toss you whatever bucks I can spare to help.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why we don't scrap the current city departments' budgets and do a line item investigation, evaluation, and decision to keep or defund. I mean everything. There is a lot of hidden stuff in city departments. The only way to know what those hidden items are is to take it apart.

If need be, we might have to file bankruptcy to get out of the onerous contracts. We need to clear the slate not matter what!

Anonymous said...

Everyone remembers where they were when they learned that planes were crashing into buildings on 9/11. Even people with no personal ties to New York City, no one they needed to call and check in with, experienced the collective trauma of that day.

When Bin Laden was finally killed, people filled the streets cheering.

Over a decade of war, the loss of many civil liberties, and hastily made choices about secret trials and secret prisons that changed the nature of what American society is... Bin Laden's death may not be the best way to mark a resolution or an end point to the chapter of the American story that was opened on 9/11, but it was important. All my deeper concerns aside, you bet I fucking cheered.

Katrina and the sick and corrupt system of civic administration that has been evident in the aftermath of the Flood has been a collective trauma on the order of 9/11.

Unlike 9/11, where there is an outside source to blame, the corruption that led to the Flooding and the corrupt governance that let so many people die, and that has destroyed so many homes and lives in the endless aftermath and "recovery" (elevation contractor scandals continue), really was an inside job.

Other places may be corrupt as well, but successfully outing, arresting, prosecuting, and jailing all the public officials who sold out their city, and the contractors who tried to squeeze out and destroy the livelihoods of their neighbors, would have a cathartic effect similar to the death of Bin Laden.

Not letting anyone off the hook for their role, and making the legal system function as it should to try them, protecting against all forms of vigilantism, would be restorative and healing on many levels.

Reflecting on the extent to which these people are allowed to live normal lives in the communities hurt worst by them, when no doubt no self-respecting person outside New Orleans would socialize with those scumbags, is also important.

New Orleans is not the only corrupt place in the world. But in this generation especially, after what has happened to the city and region recently, it is the most important place to get the cleaning out of corrupt people all the way up and all the way down the food chain done right.