Thursday, November 13, 2014


People are still.. rightfully.. appalled at yesterday's Inspector General's report on NOPD's cavalier indifference to victims of sexual assault.   But it's also important to look beyond just the five officers named in the report. Back out a little further and you'll find a systemic problem with NOPD  downgrading statistics to benefit the career interests of top brass.

Back out even further and you find a health care system just blithely making victims responsible for the consequences of their own suffering.
2014 has revealed a staggering amount of “revictimization” among Louisiana survivors of sexual assault. In addition to the above reports, the Times-Picayune reporter Rebecca Catalanello outlined in a series of articles the massive medical bills many sexual assault victims receive after emergency room visits for rape kit collections. While Gov. Bobby Jindal passed a bill this year to speed up the state’s rape kit backlog collection, Catalanello unveiled an institutionalized signal to victims to literally pay for their own assault.
Further out from that you see an entire political economy based on feeding people to stupid and corrupt bureaucratic machines both public and private. In other words,  read Matt Taibbi's latest book.
A condensed form of Taibbi’s conceit: The wealth gap turns out to be about far, far more than allocations of wealth. It results inevitably from two separate bureaucratic systems—Taibbi characterizes them as two different actions of one system, but they may be easier seen as two. The two systems, Taibbi writes, run “...on bureaucratic autopilot—and autopilot turns out to be a steel trap for the losers and a greased pipeline to money, power, and impunity for winners.”

That most gentle characterization of the Divide comes well over halfway into the book, in a section that draws together all Taibbi has discussed before. He begins with tales from the Wall Street crash and white collar crime, and moves on to stop-and-frisk (so called “broken windows”) statistical policing, then into the cruel banality and Sisyphean toil of urban courtrooms and finally to the nearly unfathomable riches of financial pillagers and the definitely unfathomable complexity of their crimes. The author synthesizes all of this into one tentacled, beaked monstrosity. He drags his beast up from the depths like Tennyson’s kraken.
I prefer Taibbi's concept of one big stupid system.  It chews up most of us but it helps your chances if you have a lot of money to throw at it.  Otherwise, good luck, but you're bound to find yourself victimized and revictimized many times over. 

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