With the highest homicide rate and one of the highest rates of handgun accessibility, Louisiana ranks dead last on the Institute for Economics and Peace’s latest U.S. Peace Index. The non-profit think tank headquartered in New York and Sydney, Australia, ranks states on five primary indicators: homicides per 100,000 people, violent crimes per 100,000 people, incarceration rate, per capita number of police officers and availability of small arms.
The Bayou State (as in, “I’m gonna pass by you house and shoot y’ass!”) is preceded in ascending order by fellow bottom dwellers Tennessee, Florida, Nevada and Alabama. Southern states were generally among the most violent while the northeast, New England and upper Midwest fared well. The report ranks states based on a composite score, with a low score being better. For comparison, the United States’ overall peace index is 2.056 while Canada’s is 1.392.
Read the full report here. In the meantime, here’s what the IEP had to say about the Pelican State (as in, “I’m gonna kill that pelican and throttle you with it!”):
With a score of 3.97, Louisiana is the lowest ranking state on the USPI. It is however interesting to note that since 1997 Louisiana has increased its peacefulness by 17%. This was due to improvements in all of its indicators other than the incarceration rate.
Although Louisiana has a high crime rate, the number of police officers is near the national average. Louisiana however has the highest incarceration rate of any state at 886 prisoners per 100,000 people, as well as the highest number of homicides. This closely corresponds to very high availability of small arms at 67% or 3rd highest gun availability in the country.
Louisiana’s low state of peace corresponds to a bottom ten ranking in all 15 significant correlations. Louisiana is ranked 48th on the infant mortality rate (9.17), has 10.7% of the population with diabetes, while 16% of the population is not covered by health insurance. The state is characterized by a high poverty rate of 17.6%, low perceptions of access to services, lower than average labor force participation rates and the fourth worst income inequality in the country.
Louisiana does however have lower-than-national average unemployment.
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.