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6.10.11

Leftist crackup preparing to plague NO misses diagnosis

The nervous breakdown of the political left has come to Louisiana, courtesy of a planned copycat march/sit-in/camp out/exercise in futility in New Orleans along the lines of the “Occupy Wall Street” mob.

Like its point of origin, whose members have set up shop around the environs of the financial center of the world in New York, this “Occupy New Orleans” bunch appears to be just as disoriented, clueless, and anti-intellectual as the original and its other knockoffs. Let’s hope that this screed of self-indulgence doesn’t turn as racist and destructive of other peoples’ livelihood as some of the others.

One question is how long the voluntarily unemployed, the lazy, and the aging hippies that typically comprise these groups can last if they get this thing in the Central Business District started and keep it going. If they can stand ditching the products of the capitalist system, such as their laptops, digital recorders, cell phones, and the like and actually live in hovels, where will these spoiled children of affluence, if not from their parents, get money to keep it up? In New York, professional trendy progressive groups are donating and collecting money on behalf of the juvenilia, as are labor unions through in-kind infrastructural aid such as organizers and supplying their members as reinforcements. Will similar kind of aid come to the New Orleans rabble?

Another is whether it will have any policy impact, even the most miniscule. In this version, it plans to camp basically across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank branch in New Orleans, one of the branches of the Atlanta District in order to protest ever-chimerical “corporate greed.” Just how situating this in a relative financial backwater compared to the entire world of finance will achieve their ill-defined, nebulous goals no doubt escapes not just anybody who can rub two brain cells together, but also the protesters themselves.

Workers in downtown New Orleans – actual contributors to and producers of benefits society enjoys, unlike the extended summer breakers scheduled to encamp in Lafayette Square – probably for the most part will ignore the spectacle, although some might get a kick out of the roadshow, like when the circus comes through town. In fact, they should see them as an objects pity, due to the self-deceived failing to have the knowledge, intelligence, or wisdom to understand the biggest impediment to however they define “economic justice” is not a system that maximizes the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of all who put forth effort, but is elites in Washington who use government to intervene inappropriately in that system while spouting the same platitudes issued forth by these skulls full of mush ready to descend on New Orleans like locusts.

5.10.11

No joke, naming deal gets Jindal, taxpayers off hook

I guess the joke finally has run its course upon the Louisiana Superdome finally getting naming rights sold, sparing the state and the Gov. Bobby Jindal Administration some small embarrassment and enriching taxpayers.

Some years ago I wrote a satirical piece on the issue. For many years, the state had been trying to sell the naming rights to the facility for some extra revenue. Throughout this period, the state also was paying a subsidy to the New Orleans Saints essentially to keep them in town by defraying operating losses. In that post, I imagined that the state was going to rename the Superdome the Super Bowl, which would bring in extra tax revenues because the National Football League would have to hold the genuine Super Bowl game there every year and invite the Saints. As I observed then, “it’s probably the only way [the Saints] ever will play in the Super Bowl.”

But about the time the real-life Saints cancelled that statement by their win in Super Bowl XLIV, the Jindal Administration was renegotiating the long-standing subsidy deal that had been costing at its conclusion $23 million a year.

4.10.11

Political intrusions on land-use choices unwelcome

Prior to state elections taking the forefront, in Shreveport a series of questions have arisen concerning the political ramifications of normally dull concepts such as corridors, access roads, and state-local relations. Their answers may indicate more attention being paid to political rather than economic and quality-of-life concerns.

Louisiana State Highway 3132, colloquially known as the Inner Loop, presently runs south through Shreveport and Caddo Parish from Interstate 20 ending at Flournoy-Lucas Road, or State Highway 523. (See here for a map.) The general idea held by policy-makers of all governments both state and local was that this road would continue curving to the southeast until it intersected State Highway 1 north of the Port of Caddo-Bossier, or would follow an alternative conception routing it farther south in the hopes of intersecting whatever manifestation of Interstate 69 appears in the next decade and thence to the Port, but either option would continue it from the present intersection.

It also illustrates a complex mix of governmental authority because of the nature of American intrastate governmental relationships.

3.10.11

Hannan's choices showed proper nexus of faith, politics

Particularly wonderfully about the life of Roman Catholic the Most Rev. Archbishop Philip Hannan, he lived long enough to see his beloved Church return to an increased emphasis on the eternal and transcendent and provided a beacon to do so when dealing with the political world.

Hannan, who served as the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ leader for nearly a quarter century, was installed just as the American Church began sliding towards infatuation, still not entirely ended, with the trendy and secular. Yet Hannan, in his pastoral mission, never let what by the 1970s and 1980s had become overemphasis on pursuing a social gospel among many in the Church interfere with living the actual Gospels.

As such in the world of politics, he bore invaluable witness to verities when other Catholics became distracted.

2.10.11

Amusing, but minor candidate wackiness degrades debate

With the likelihood that any of the challengers to Gov. Bobby Jindal could defeat his reelection less than that of the Earth reversing its rotation and its axis of rotation shifting to east-west, since these marginal candidates that in any other contest with more substantial candidates would be ignored almost totally can find much more spotlight, expect their oddities to emerge into full view. Take, for instance, the ranting of one Adroniki “Niki Bird” Papazoglakis.

The social worker running as a Democrat sees a politicized vendetta against her because her nonprofit group, after being considered last month to land a $5,000 stipend to produce a speaker for a seminar sponsored by the state’s Department of Children and Family Services in January, recently was told none would be forthcoming, after she had qualified to run. The unmarried and childless pending graduate degree holder worked as the policy director of the group and was informed budget constraints nixed the offer.

That may be true, but the department additionally stated that the group lacked the proper qualifications to get the award in any event. And, legally, Papazoglakis’ filing for office may have alerted department officials that she disqualified her agency from any kind of participation, as the state ethics code bars that kind of relationship of state government with an elected official who is a principal with an organization receiving such a payment – which, yes, if the Earth’s tilt and spin changed, she could be by early next year.

Just to make sure it’s all on the level, Jindal asked his inspector general to look into the matter. Papazoglakis since has resigned her position, staying in which probably would hamper her campaigning in any event.

For the group, perhaps that’s just as well, because Papazoglakis shows signs of delusion that may not make for the ideal policy director. That she would think Jindal considers her candidacy a threat to his reelection bid, much less that he even knows her name, demonstrates she has little real understanding of political reality.

Worse, she showed signs of megalomania when she proclaimed that the failure to deliver a contract, which then prompted her resignation, indicated this meant the group’s “work and these issues are just too important to be maligned by my opponent, so until this election is over with, if Bobby Jindal needs a target, he won't be able to aim at children or the sexually abused anymore.” This belief that without her employment by the group and its funding by the state represents irreparable harm caused by Jindal, a father and backer of recent legislation against sex crimes some of which has been challenged unconstitutional because of its rigor, and that she and the group are so crucial to the welfare of these individuals, reveals, if not an exceptionally and dangerously inflated sense of importance, at the very least poor analytical skills and judgment.

That kind of temperament doesn’t exactly endear her to serious voters searching for the state’s chief executive, although the publicity from its display relayed to the knee-jerk anti-Jindal crowd might double at some other candidates’ expenses her vote to two percent from what she might otherwise have gotten. But that’s the way it will be in an election where the best that can be offered to contrast with the incumbent range from those with well-intentioned but sometimes eccentric and unworkable ideas, to the cursorily-informed tax-and-spenders, and to perennial office-seekers, among others.

The good news is that the peculiarities of these minor candidates will make for entertaining, if not amusing, coverage that in other years would go largely, perhaps totally, unreported. The bad news is that it degrades political discourse into daytime TV talk show territory that encourages the replacement of substantive debate with vapid non sequiturs that distract more than inform, as in this instance.