Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tolerance, and Katrina …

Wikipedia defines tolerance as “a social, cultural and religious term applied to the collective and individual practice of not persecuting those who may believe, behave or act in ways of which one may not approve.” Its opposite is chillingly represented in the case of Afghan citizen Abdul Rahman, sentenced to death for a conversion from Islam to Christianity.

Louisiana has a deserved reputation for its tolerance of political corruption. Hype heralding the approaching state legislative session shows that there is little chance for good government to make even the tiniest headway.

Wikipedia defines patronage as “a system where someone in a powerful position (the Patron) offers handouts in return for support.” Our previous mayor, Marc Morial, now head of the national Urban League, practiced patronage to a fault. That fault is demonstrated by how close the federal indictments, currently touching his inner circle, are to reaching Morial.

We thought Morial set the “gold standard” for patronage, but his successor, Ray Nagin, has come up with at least one deal that makes Morial look like an under-achiever. Nagin’s explanations for his actions on the City’s latest mis-direction demonstrate a lack of touch with the electorate that is remindful of his “chocolate city” remarks.

The current chicanery relates to a contract for removal of junk cars from the streets of the City. Which offer should we take? Let’s see. A Texas company has offered to pay hundreds of dollars per car that they remove; they were left out of the formal bidding. The consensus of the bidders seemed to be that the City should pay about $350 per car removed. Well, $600 worse than the Texas company’s bid, but at least not the $1,000 per car that would have to be paid to CH2M.

Wait. What’s that? CH2M is the chosen bidder? CH2M showed the sense to remove themselves from consideration while Nagin offered several lame reasons why they were the right choice. For more on this topic, see yesterday's TP editorial.

You lost me on this one, Ray.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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