Thursday, January 29, 2009

Farewell Bob.

New Orleans first Inspector General resigned today and we are the worse for it.

Robert Cerasoli, Former Inspector General

I wish him well, and hope he overcomes his health problems.

Mr. Cerasoli was dedicated to establishing the Inspector General's office on an solid footing, independant of the incestuous relationships that infest New Orleans.

Like many people in New Orleans I had high hopes for the IG's office. I had a few personal contacts with Bob Cerasoli, socially, randomly and electronically, they gave me even more hope. He always seemed completely focused on his mission, perhaps a litle too focused.

I have always thought the most critical test of the Inspector General's office would be when Cerasoli moved on. If the ancien régime can control the sucession, they can effectively neutralize the Inspector General, much like the history of the State Inspector General or the now defunct Office of Municipal Inspection. I had hoped that Cerasoli would be around to hand pick his sucessor, sometime after the next mayoral election. That just didn't work out.

Our next challenge is to replace the irreplaceable. Perhaps it's a blessing that the people who hired Cerasoli are still in place and those he hired and trained are the nucleus of a professional staff. It will be hard to hire a political flunky to replace him, it will be harder to to find someone with his qualities.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Honor among theives?

Not long ago Oliver Thomas upped on the "Don't Snitch" pledge and refused to even talk to DoJ officials after making very pubic admissions of guilt and pledging to make it right. He isn't even a good "Stand Up Guy". A "Stand Up Guy" would have "taken the fifth " from the beginning and "taken the fall" for his crew.

I am in many ways antique, I believe in nineteenth century ideas of honor, like the VMI honor code which says simply,
A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.
Similarly the United States Military and Air Force Academy codes are virtually identical.

The college of William and Mary established a similar code in 1779 and during orientation every student pledges;
As a Member of the William & Mary community I pledge, on my Honor, not to lie, cheat, or steal in either my academic or personal life. I understand that such acts violate the Honor Code and undermine the community of trust of which we are all stewards.
At the beginning of every elected official's term they are "sworn in". The President takes an oath which says,
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
I wonder why we, in Louisiana and New Orleans don't enact a similar tradition, making it an offense, punishable by summary dismissal, for any elected official not to "rat" on anyone who either makes an illegal offer or takes one.
As an Servant of the People of the State of Louisiana I pledge, on my Honor, not to lie, cheat, or steal in either my public or personal life, nor tolerate those who do. .
I am not naive enough to believe that the crooks won't take the oath and snicker up their sleeves at the fools who elected them, but at least we could employ "secret shoppers" to ferret out the potential crooks.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Boyz and their Toyz

Recently there has been a sort of mini brouhaha over Inspector General Robert Cerasoli's requisition of some fire arms.

Robert Cerasoli, Inspector General

The initial report did raise my eyebrows, but the TP story quoting Odom and reminding people that the Police Monitor was under the IG's office put it in perspective for me.

How many NOPD officers have been convicted of murder?

Two I can remember,
Len Davis and

Antoinette Franks.

Were there others? There were other officers who have been implicated in a number of serious and violent crimes including beatings and rape.

C. Ray Nagin and Chief Riley

Considering how much fun Ray and his BFF AKA 'da Chief had playing with their machine guns I think he's just jealous Bob is going to get his picture in the paper with a machine gun.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Feel Much Safer Now

Departing FLL for home yesterday I had the following exchange with a TSA Employee;

TSA DUDE: I bet I can tell where you're from.
ME: Where?
TSA DUDE: Scotland.
ME: ???
TSA DUDE: Yeah we had a guy in a kilt come through here.
ME: ??????

She walks up and hands him her boarding pass and ID.

TSA DUDE: You'd better take care of him.
I feel much safer knowing TSA Dude is out there protecting me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Orange You Glad I brought a Piña Colada?

It's Orange Bowl Time in Miami again so off we go to Hollywood Florida. We decided to start our vacation off right, with piña coladas for breakfast. They have several servings of fruit, so they're even healthy.

We packed up 6 - 3 oz. plastic bottles with piña colada mix.

6 Maraschino Cherries (with stems)

and fresh pineapple sticks.

Placed in one quart plastic bags to pass the TSA sooper snoopers.

You should have seen the face of the Flight Attendant when we asked for Rum on the rocks. She was surprised. She was even more surprised when we pulled out our stuff and start pouring it in the plastic cups.

Unfortunately ours didn't look this good, although the Southwest Swizzle sticks with the heart on them made them look pretty good (sorry I couldn't find a picture).

I love Southwest. Once the crew figured out what we were doing they all stopped by to chat. They slipped us some cool luggage tags and oh, didn't charge us for the drinks.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

"Did you say Utes?"

Ever since Utah was picked to come to the Sugar Bowl and I found out they were know as the Utes, I haven't been able to get the exchange between Fred Gwynne (as the Judge) and Joe Pesci (as a new small time lawyer) out of my mind.

Marisa Tomei was great as an out of work hairdresser and automotive expert (she's cute too).

I've always liked this movie. It's one of my favorite comedies and one of the few recent comedies that is funny with out being mean or stupid.

But these Utes, as the University of Utah athletics teams are known named in honor of the American Indian tribe for which the state of Utah is named. The Utes have inhabited this area of the country for at least 1,000 years. Today, tribal headquarters are in Fort Duchesne, Utah, and the Ute Tribe, with a membership of 3,300 and its own tribal government. The University of Utah, in cooperation with the Ute Tribal Business Committee, is proud to share in the tradition of the Ute tribe.

Back to the Sugar Bowl, we all know who the Ute's are now. their coach out coached Nick Satan and won a hard fought game. When Alabama looked like they were coming back Utah held them off and won. I'm almost sorry I wasn't there to see it.

I'm sure a lot of LSU fans were temporary Utes, last night. The only disappointment was that apparently not that many Utah fans traveled with the team. The University even turned several thousand tickets back to the Sugar Bowl.

Congratulations Utes
2009 Sugar Bowl Champions.