Saturday, September 29, 2007

Odds & Ends

If you saw the article about one of my favorite place for walking and bicycling, I'll repeat that the concrete paths can be very bumpy and the bumps and curves make it difficult to ride very fast, i.e. it's not the place for an aerobic workout on your bike. The article didn't mention that the nicest scenery is above Harrison Ave, I'd say between the arboretum and Filmore, or between the arboretum and Wisner, but above Filmore is also nice.*

I noticed this week that Bayou Bicycles has re-opened in the building behind the post office.

I saw Desert Bayou at Loyola last night. It's definitely worth seeing, but some people might be disappointed because it's not a finger-pointing political documentary. I'll try to write more about the film in another post this weekend.

A funny thing happened at an institution of higher learning yesterday. At some point in the early afternoon, my immediate boss told me that the big boss was telling people that he had heard that Nagin was ready to announce his resignation. I had strong doubts, but thought that there was the slight chance that he heard something through the pro bono work that he done for the city and decided to post it on my break. After my break, somebody else told me that the big boss' wife had called him and told him that Nagin was going to resign. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a big project and my break was over. As a general rule, I only remove posts if they would being embarrassing to somebody else, so I probably wouldn't have removed it anyway. I hadn't yet seen the "New Orleans Levee," but once I saw the comments, I knew what had happened.

A recent This Modern World made me think of another Nagin/Bush parallel.
It's not exactly as if they've been hiding any of this...But everyone's always too distracted by an endless succession of short-term controversies and manufactured outrages to pay much attention...

The difference is, Nagin manufactures his own outrages by sticking his foot in his mouth. I don't believe it's a conscious tactic, but it's worked well for him so far. Nagin isn't the first politician whose supporters have used his stupid statements as proof that he's "not a politician," it just seems to happen with incredible frequency with Nagin. In Nagin's case, there's the added benefit that even his critics tend to think that he isn't slick enough to be a crook. First off, Nagin's no fool -- you don't make nearly $500,000 in private industry if you're an idiot. You don't need to be a genius to make money, but total idiots don't rise to the top. Anyway, "he's too dumb to be a crook" seems to be the mantra of suckers and chumps everywhere. You only need a very minimal level of intelligence to take advantage of people; some, not much, acting ability, a lack of scruples and an instinct for finding willing victims are far more important. New Orleans seems to be a city of willing victims, where conmen don't even need the basic intelligence to make their stories consistent. Or, maybe Nagin really is stupid enough to think that more than doubling the cost of garbage collection would somehow be the "cornerstone of the city's recovery." I'm sure he's just too stupid to come up with better uses for the money, and the garbage contracts had nothing to do with campaign contributions.. That said, I'm still appalled and would like to see a little outrage.

I hate to end with five links to myself in a row, but it's too nice a day outside to take the time to find other links. I apologize for the Jeffrey Sadow imitation.

*Rereading the post two weeks later, it occurs to me that there is a nice area between the interstate and Harrison. Now, I've included just about everything except the marsh between Christian Brothers and the interstate,


As you know, I think Nagin is an idiot. He rose to the top of Cox via political connection and his ability to schmooze. It had nothing to do with talent.
Actually, I don't know what to think in that department, but I don't think it's really relevant. I've known some pretty stupid lowlifes who were crafty to be criminals. I really hate the tendency that people who have to take him lightly because, rightly or wrongly, they think he's stupid
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