Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tennessee Ranked 'Most Corrupt State'

The Daily Beast has just released their rankings for Most Corrupt States here in the good ol' US of A.

The bad news -- Tennessee ranks Number One.

The criteria they cite include:

Public corruption, 1998—2008: Convictions of elected and other public officials investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Department of Justice.

Racketeering and Extortion, 1998—2008: Code for organized crime convictions, also investigated by federal agents over an 11-year period, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Forgery and Counterfeiting, 1999—2008: Arrest numbers for producing or distributing fake money and goods over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

Fraud, 1999—2008: Arrests for false statements or documents produced for personal gain over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

Embezzlement, 1999—2008: Arrests for surreptitious theft of money over a 10-year period, from the FBI.

By using a decade’s worth of federal data, we were able to minimize changes in local law enforcement efficacy, though some flaws remain: local cases go undocumented, and the FBI data is self-reported by local law enforcement. When combined, however, the data provides a fairly deep look into which jurisdictions are uncovering the most corruption. We leveled the playing field by calculating the numbers on a per-100,000 people basis.

Tennessee's score:

Public Corruption: 18
Racketeering & Extortion: 11
Fraud Rank: 7
Forgery & Counterfeiting: 5
Embezzlement: 9

The community they selected to highlight the dire conditions - Newport, TN:

Recent Scandal: Here's a foolproof recipe for corruption: a former policeman commingling with gang members. Milburn Williams, a retired police captain from Newport, ringleaders Raymond Hawk and Grant Williams, and 20 others were indicted on racketeering, drug trafficking and a slew of other charges last year in Greeneville. The sting operation was headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and centered around a chop shop called "H-1 Auto", later renamed "A Automotive." For six years the chop shop was the command post for an operation that allegedly moved stolen property and goods across state lines and sold cocaine and marijuana. The most serious of the charges carry up to $2 million in fines and 40 years in prison.

The others in the Top Ten:

2 - Virginia
3 - Mississippi
4 - Delaware
5 - North Carolina
6 - Florida
7 - Nevada
8 - Pennsylvania
9 - South Carolina
10 - Oklahoma

Monday, May 10, 2010

I've Been Named A Beautiful Blogger

A recent reader for Cup Of JP, Kit at Keep It Trill, has done me a great honor and included me in her awards list for blogs she enjoys and respects and hence I have earned one of her awards.

I truly appreciate the consideration -- and she notes beside the nomination for my blog "One of my latest discoveries. I really like his perspective."

What a fine thing to hear and how generous of her to bestow me with the honor.

I've been enjoying reading her work too at Keep It Trill and urge you to visit. She's not shy, takes some most vocal and smartly written stands on all manner of topics. I'm delighted she likes my blog and I'll bet you'll enjoy her work too - plus she lists in her current awards many others for you to explore as well and I hope you do. She obviously has excellent taste.

Thanks Kit!! (PS - I'll be creating my own list of writers who deserve an award too and will post that ASAP)

is customary, recipients can post the award pic on their blog, write a little about themselves, and pass this one along to others if they so desire. So ... a few things about me ...

- I'm working hard to do more than just write, write, write though sometimes I seem to take too long to create essays/posts here because it takes me time to ponder on how to say or if it even needs to be said.

-- I stink at doing math.

-- Blogging has allowed me to make friends all over the world.

-- I love watching movies and I want to start making more of my own again.

-- If friends are true wealth, I am fabulously well-to-do.

-- I wonder why we all still depend on a combustion engine, when just about every other technology of the last 100 years has made so many enormous advances. Maybe Apple needs to build an iCar.