And round and round we go…NOPD windfalls…

"Oh I'm sorry, you thought I was listening?"

Ahem…for reasons of disclosure, let me start out by saying I am a social worker…I am a social worker but I am also not stupid. I’ve worked in some social programs in my day that were, shall we just say, not cost-effective. However, let me also say that those days were a long time ago. Things have changed in my field and now pretty much everything is cost-effective.

That’s what happens when there is no money.

Many Americans, over the past year or so, have been introduced to the term austerity, but in social services austerity has been the order of the day for close to two decades so this is why, when I read in the Lens about Mitch Landrieu’s budget for the city of New Orleans, it makes me want to steal a NOPD squad car and drive it straight through the front doors of City Hall to, you know, creatively air my grievances in a way the mayor might finally pay attention to, because apparently all them listening sessions he did? They didn’t amount to dick as he just wrote a budget doing the opposite of what the people, the citizens of New Orleans, suggested.

We heard folks at the budget meetings say spend less on public safety, but at the moment, we think it (spending more) is the right thing to do,” Landrieu said Monday in an overview presentation of his $495 million proposed 2012 budget to reporters.

Well, listening ain’t hearing, is it Mitch?

So though it will probably fall on deaf ears, let me try to explain a little something anyway, a little something about crime:

If you have a crime problem, and your solution to this crime problem is to cut the funding from every part of the budget that addresses social inequity, be it social services, education or whatever else…you will still have a crime problem. In fact, it will be worse, and if you then take all that money you cut and give it to the most bloated budget of every city in this country, to the police…well, then you will not only still have a crime problem, then you get a lost generation and a prison problem.

Why then a crime, lost generation and a prison problem?

Simple, if your only solution is to lock people up, you’re going to lock a lot of people up which then in effect, is throwing a lot of people away. In addition, social work ain’t the only place to become far too familiar with austerity, these same measures have long since ensured that in prison, there is no such thing as rehabilitation anymore. Instead of a trade or even a college education, all you get now is a criminal education and then people get out of the prison. They come back to your city where, because your mayor keeps giving all the money to the cops, there continues to be little or no support.

And then you still have a crime problem.

But hey, new cops in new uniforms sure do look good on the evening news and it’s something tangible a mayor can point to, puff out his chest and say, “Look at me, I’m doing something about the problem!”

Yeah, okay…but what the hell are you doing but perpetuating it? If I were to buy a shotgun and start driving around New Orleans and shooting homeless people, one might be able to argue that I am doing something about the homeless problem, but that don’t necessarily make it the right thing to do, and besides, then I might wind up in your cyclical non-solution to all things criminal in New Orleans.

Frankly, the simplest solution one can find to a complex problem ain’t necessarily the best way to go about it.

Call me crazy, but I’m thinking it’d be best to measure a city’s success in dealing with a crime issue, not by the number of arrests and convictions, nor by the length of prison sentences. I think a far better measure would be how many you were able to keep from committing the crime in the first place, by presenting them with opportunity to do something else, you know, give as many people as possible a realistic opportunity to display “personal responsibility.”

But yeah, I know…it’s a fuck of a lot harder to take a picture of that, to put crime prevention on the front page of the Times Picayune or to somehow fashion that into a bumper sticker to slap on the back of your car…

You know, before it gets stolen.

So congratulations Mitch, you’re now just like every other damned politician, offering a simple and ineffective solution to a difficult and complex problem…but hey…gotta fill Gusman’s bullshit jails somehow, eh buddy?

Read the article:

Despite community input, Landrieu increases NOPD spending, cuts most other areas

Have a nice day.

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And now, a word from General Electric…

Kneel before Zod!

My fellow Americans…

We here at General Electric feel it important to take a moment, pause from your Gulf Coast coverage to remind everyone out there just how much and why, we love America.

Our love, it’s a lot.

Simply, because all you people out there, our trusty employees, our consumers and our NBC viewers, you people will read what follows in the coming paragraphs, maybe get upset about it for a minute or two, but then go about your business soon enough.

We here at GE are counting on you…by now, you may have heard the story about how General Electric, the largest corporation in America made profits of over $13 billion dollars without paying a dime in taxes; we actually received a rebate of $3.2 billion dollars from your very own government.

It’s true…amazing, but true.

Our tax guys are really good…how much in taxes did you pay last year?

I know, I know…frustrating isn’t it, especially considering how the Dems and GOP are getting together these days to talk about how broke the country is, demanding all those cuts in services to you people, cutting away all those programs that help the least fortunate in this, our great country…stuff like Energy Assistance, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, (Social Security…shhhh) and don’t forget the unions. Remember everybody, it’s the unions that are bankrupting this great land, with their demands for livable wages or health insurance that actually covers health care, maybe even something to retire on.

Yeah, we know…those greedheads.

You people don’t have livable wages, why should unions? Let them get a second job too, and retirement? Let people in the unions play the lottery like everybody else.

We here at General Electric follow the trends and we agree with the GOP, the unions want too much, which is why we, as a corporation have decided that despite making a profit of over $13 billion dollars, despite paying no taxes on any of those profits and actually getting $3.2 billion dollars back, we have decided this is not enough.

We want more.

This is why we are preparing demands from our own unions, all 15,000 members, and they’d better accept these concessions:

“The elimination of a defined contribution benefit pension for new employees, a move the company has already implemented for its non-union salaried employees. Likewise, GE is signaling to the union that it will ask for the elimination of current health insurance plans in favor of lower quality health saving accounts, a move the company has already implemented for non-union salaried employees as well.”

Oh, and we might want a wage freeze as well. And if we don’t get it we might just close our plants in Schenectady, NY and Louisville, KY.

At GE, we do understand some are getting upset about the growing wage disparities and austerity cuts in America. We get it, but we do our part by giving jobs to this country, and we feel this is more than enough.

Period.

To ask any more would simply be un-American, not that you can’t go ahead and try…feel free. We all have our first amendment rights. We all have a democracy. Admittedly, it works much better for people who can afford it but we didn’t make the system, we just exploit it. Patriotism means never having to say your sorry, or undergoing sacrifice once you hit a certain income level.

Now, we here at General Electric understand that this news, or maybe even our attitude might be upsetting to some of you, and we have taken this into consideration. We’ve debated this amongst the highest levels of management. We’ve even spoken to a few of our larger shareholders and of course, the entire news department at NBC News and after much careful consideration, we’ve prepared the following rebuttal to any possible criticisms of GE policy:

Fuck you.

Yeah, that’s right…fuck you.

We love you America, frankly we can’t conceive of any other country where we could pull this off, not even China so again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We here at GE need these, uh concessions, um…we need this to remain, uh, competitive in the global marketplace…and uh, Free Trade! Open Markets! Down with Socialism!

Everybody aboard the Tea Party Express, Bitches!

Oh, and if you’d like to know who you might complain to…why not try our CEO, Jeff Immelt. He’s easy to find. Your President, Barack Obama, just named him as head of the Presidential Jobs Commission.

Yes, we’re serious and no, we didn’t believe it at first either. We thought it was a prank but go ahead, ask him yourself: you can try to reach Jeff Immelt at:

705 West Rd
New Canaan, CT 06840-2518
(203) 972-2680

If angry, don’t worry, it’ll be over soon enough so just get back to work, you don’t really have the time or energy to worry about it. Relax, turn on the television instead and don’t forget to watch the NBC Nightly News featuring Brian Williams, where none of the latter will be discussed, ever.

Have a nice day.

And thanks for being so hospitable…we now return you to the Gulf Coast where British Petroleum apparently lost a certain laptop computer…oops:

Read the article:

Laptop containing Gulf of Mexico oil spill damage claims with BP is lost

And remember loyal viewers:

Jay Leno and the Tonight Show at 10:30 central!

He’s a hoot!