Half Under Water, Half Under Indictment
Compared to the Big Easy, our difficulties with immigration and corruption are insignificant.
Before the hurricane, there were fewer than 2,000 (estimated) illegal immigrants in New Orleans. Now there are almost 20,000, attracted by the huge contracts to repair the levees and storm damage. The resident African Americans, who thought they would get the lion’s share of these jobs, are up in arms over their inability to find employment.
Part of the problem is that there is nowhere to live near the job sites, and since they are used to living in what we would call “civilized” conditions, the Blacks have a hard time competing with rural Mexicans, who are willing to sleep on the ground near the job sites, without sanitation facilities.
I’m certainly no fan of President Jorge Bush, but I find it amusing to see the amount of blame heaped on the current administration, in view of the fact that the New Orleans mayor, city council, and chief of police are all Democrats. So are the Louisiana governor, Lt. Gov, attorney general and two-thirds of the state senators and house of representatives.
The state has a long-time reputation for corruption. As former congressman Billy Tauzin put it, “Half of Louisiana is under water, and the other half is under indictment.” Recent scandals include the conviction of 14 state judges and an FBI raid on its congressman.
When former Governor Edwin Edwards ran against Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, Edward’s popular bumper sticker read “Elect the Crook.” Edwards is currently serving 10 years for taking bribes. Duke recently completed his own prison term for tax fraud.
The Louisiana school system is rated dead last in the nation in number of computers per student (one per 88 kids). By the state’s own admission, 47-percent of the public schools in New Orleans are considered “academically unacceptable.” Louisiana has the second highest per capita number of adults who never finished high school.
As for rebuilding parts of the city which will remain under sea level, and vulnerable to the next big storm, I find that as insane as building a nuclear plant near an earthquake fault. (Wait a minute – we’ve already done that.)