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The Tally Ho

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Favorite Places

This is a picture of one of my favorite places to visit - County Dorset in England. I visited Dorset for the first time this past summer. This past weekend I was in New Orleans for the first time since Katrina - and it was more depressing than I imagined. There has always been a lot to enjoy about New Orleans, and I am happy to report that many people I met are dedicated to staying in New Orleans and wanting to see the rebuilding to be fair and equitable - but regardless it is heart breaking. The politics is something to keep an eye on, and this only a taste of BushCo speak.
Two weeks before, the administration had rejected Louisiana's housing recovery plan. Mr. Powell's own idea of housing aid excluded thousands of homeowners, many of them poor, who lived in the flood plain but did not have flood insurance when Hurricane Katrina hit.

Asked about those who had counted on federally built levees to protect them, Mr. Powell, a wealthy man from the dry Texas Panhandle, noted that he had been responsible enough to buy flood insurance for his home in Amarillo.

The members of the Louisiana Bankers Association were not won over. Nor was The Advocate, Baton Rouge's newspaper, which demanded Mr. Powell's dismissal, calling him a "flint-souled" bean counter whose only concern was "guarding the money."

Those with a more charitable view, Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, among them, complained that he lacked the authority to be effective, and some critics wondered if he was simply another presidential crony.

See, blame poor people for not being responsible. Let's ignore poverty, roots of poverty, and the harsh realities of the society we will in and divorce yourself from reality. In any case, I can't really explain it - but these two places felt worlds apart.

Also watch Lou Dobbs on Bill Maher and Lou Dobbs with Kevin Phillips. Speaking of Kevin Phillips, read Alan Brinkley's review of 'American Theocracy.' Lastly, go read the Financial Times piece by Hywel Williams titled How the City of London came to power. Here is a bit
The ability of the British political elites to cut a good financial deal as a result of their power arrangements has been a constant theme. There is a direct line of crooked dealing that connects the church lands grabbed by early 16th-century politicians because of the Protestant reformation with the share options and directorships ­garnered by their late 20th-century successors because of the Thatcherite ­privatisations.

The hegemony of today's City elites is, however, very different from the eminence of their predecessors, who had to compete and coexist with other forms of elite power. Britain's once self-regulating professional elites have had the heart ripped out of them by the benchmarking, target-focused state and by a bogus consumerism, with its empty jargoneering about "customer-shaped service delivery".

This is as true of doctors and of dons as it is of teachers, soldiers and policemen. In the process, Britain has lost its independent-minded public service elite. City lawyers and accountants now derive their status from the firms they work for rather than from their membership of a professional body.


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