Onward and upward

Two articles and a conversation have me going tonight, at a rainy, chilly 11 PM. So late because events of the day interceded with my plans, and threw them asunder. That’s what life does. It takes the best laid plans of mice and men and shoots them out of the cannon of reality like buckshot at the approaching hordes.

Which hordes? Well, the NFL has backed off on Who Dat Nation, as is well pushed here. The Saints in the Superbowl are on the front page, and in the news, editorials, sports, business, people, faith, comics, opinions, letters to the editor, politics, and in every conversation and night time dream with a sense of hope unparalleled in my time in Louisiana. They are getting a parade no matter what. Right during Mardi Gras season. And no city does parades better or more efficiently than New Orleans. So Senator David Vitter gets a LaGuardia Award. That’s the Award that should be given out to anyone who stands up to those fatted hogs and self-righteous pugnacious folks who think they can live off the public, and demand more, and still yet ask for the power and privilege to stick it to the little guy for the last few bucks. Sort of like the Pelosi family. They of scotch filled flights between the provinces and their home in the Versailles of our times, aka Washington DC.

Then there is Mary Landrieu, who is still palling around with cretins who are seemingly intent on driving the country into bankruptcy. She is one of the last few statewide Democrats still standing. I did not hear her peep or chirp for the little guy trying to reap a little from his billion or so investment in our Saints. No, she seemed to be in some confab with the president. He who is intent on still trying to force his abominable plan for taxing everything that moves and doesn’t move, which he refers to as a “budget.” He says, as captain of the ship of state, forewarned about the iceberg, with the lookouts screaming, with the engineer pushing the engines to stop, and into reverse if he can, with the crew abandoning his leadership in droves, and his passengers in shock yelling “watch out!” he says: “Full Speed Ahead!”

He puts forth as rational policy his cap and trade, his cash for cronies, his ‘stimuless,’ his tax the “rich,” his spend till there’s no more, his borrow until no one will lend, his refusal to reconcile with reality, and his pugnacious lies, prevarications, falsehoods, howlers, incorrects, mistakes, and wrong headed ideas and ideals, plans and proposals, all wrapped up in one big whiny “I” And there’s Mary, awaiting her orders on which was to position the deck chairs. Abandon ship, ma’am, and swim to the shores of right, reason and the American way.

Meanwhile, at our local legislive assembly our college leaders said it was “impractical to increase tuition enough to completely offset recent budget cuts.” Nice to know that in the face of demand, as they themselves claim, they refuse to consider the prospect of charging a price that will cover their costs and a bit extra for a rainy day, or even a bonus to one and all involved. I’ve said it before – if a professor costs $60,000 a year and it costs the university, say, $5,000 a year to keep him in a lighted, air conditioned room, then he and his leaders need to find out how many students are willing to pay some amount that equals or exceeds the $65,000 cost. Or pay him less, which is what the market will bear. If no one wants to pay a professor a $1000 for his services, but only $500, well, well, welcome to the free market world of supply, demand and value.

The System President, one John Lombardi, said “No one wants to imagine that any of this is fixable by some sleight of hand.” Well, sir, charging what the going professor rate is to people willing to pay the price is the least sleighted you could ever get. Why, it would be so open, so clear, so obvious, that the word “sleight” would never enter the conversation except, perhaps, to say, “ah, Professor Morgan is of a slight build.” Or some such nicety. But really, keeping it in legislative committee and in political lobbying is exactly the way to keep sleighting the slight professor and his slight students. And slighting is different, indeed, than sleighting. Pronounced the same, yet, oh, what a difference. To Slight – to knock down a castle, to wreck a tower, to fell a wall, to destroy a fortification, to impair the intergrity of the mortered stones of power and privilege. Mr. Lombardi, as the slighters of medieval times knew, as well as Mr. Lombardi of New Jersey knew, the best defense if a good offense. So get out there and charge a real fee for a real service. Once you have that number you might be able to find the gifts, stipends, financing, grants, scholarships, loans and whatever to help whichever student might be content in paying a real price, of say, $1,000 a semester to hear all about any professor’s exciting adventures.

Meanhwhile, the Obama crowd seems to be putting their feet, and their hammer, and perhaps even their scycle into their mouths. Duncan of Education said that New Orleans is better off after Katrina. Oh, not quite like that, but in our sound bite times, that’s the way it came off. Actually, he’s right. The hurricane did sweep away the dust and dwaddleof the system. If only the Administration would let the storm hitting the economy wipe out all the crud and creeps, instead of them trying to shore up the falling edifices of old business models and / or poor management and / or nefarious players. No, he’s off to the future with his “the past is too big to fail” mentality. Oh well, he’ll learn, even if he refuses to accept it.

And Top Lawyer Holden is now in deeper doo doo with each passing moment as the terrorist trial idea for NYC is shot out like buckshot. As goes the EPA’s rules for CO2, being loaded up and readied for the flame of reality on the breech of the cannon. Timmy Geithner is on a slow boil of emerging chicanery. Meanwhile, the Lead Man himself has angered his staunch but soon to be out of office senate leader, one Harry Reid, by, for the second time, comparing the economic engine of Reid’s fief as a den of wanton spending that all should avoid. Yes, well, but at least the people there have a credit card limit, Mr. President. For you it is the sky, regardless of the storm clouds a-building. Though of course, perhaps Obama didn’t realize that he also told the people of Nevada to keep on having their 13% unemployment rate and their falling house values and their increasing foreclosures because the lack of new business will well water that fertile field of doom strewn with the seeds of Tea Party fervor. Perhaps it’s the president’s green plan to get all those people to abandon the impobable city of Las Vegas. Nearly 1.5 million people without a drop of water nearby is not a good idea. Though neigther is telling them that they are seductresses of ill gotten gains and funny money.

Meanwhile, in a conversation I had with a young man of my acquaintance, who was very properly dressed in a suit and tie, though way over dressed for where he was, did sheepishly allow that he “sold out” to someone or another. “NO!,” I fairly shouted, “you are doing the right thing in getting responsibilities, getting a better job, in bettering your own condition.” He face looked like a cold wet hard slush ball just hit it. “What, you want to live in poverty as a waiter or something?”

He was obviously surprised to hear someone defend real jobs, suit and tie jobs. To him, it seemed to me, that there was something wrong with making more money. It was, if not evil, or even wrong, at least distasteful. Here’s a guy who works two jobs and goes to college, and he’s worried, or shameful of, or dischordant with, or afraid of, or something, of making more money and taking care of himself. He even joked about having the family take care of things. I was like “NO! You need to take care of your own self. You need to make all the money you can, and rise to where you can, and take the opportunities.”

He then seemed to realize the validty of the point, which he knows intuitively – or otherwise he would not be doing two jobs while in college too – even if he was clearly told, by none other than our First Lady — “get away from corporate life, go do social service.” That is, roughly — “don’t make things better, but help everyone suffer through the unchanging problems.”

I can see that perhaps more direction is needed for this youth of America today. He reads this blog, from time to time, so he’ll recognize himself, one imagines. But what a number our leaders are doing to our people. When college leaders try to hide the true costs, say they are even sort of irrelevant, and demonstrate that begging the legislative powers, for the money to pay the costs that are the same no matter who pays them, is the better course of action, well, then, there is much to do to make things right and save the country from the foolery.


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