Chris Roberts Suicide and the benefit of the doubt

Chris Roberts Suicide and the benefit of the doubt

Chris Roberts suicide deserves the benefit of the doubt from us.

chris roberts suicide

Chris Roberts, dead at 42

chris roberts suicide

Chris Roberts died yesterday, most likely at his own hand.

Chris Roberts died yesterday, down off Engineer’s Road in Plaquemine Parish. From Da Paper:

The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into Roberts’ death, which an agency spokesman described as an apparent suicide. The spokesman declined to elaborate.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the situation said Roberts’ parents had reported him missing to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office earlier Wednesday. The Sheriff’s Office tracked his cellphone to a wooded area off Engineers Road in Belle Chasse, near the Jefferson Parish line, and found his body there.

Roberts resigned his seat on the Jefferson Parish Council last year, under the shadow of an extensive federal indictment. He served on the Council for fifteen years. Before his Council service, Roberts sat on the Jefferson Parish School Board. For those unfamiliar with the workings of the Jefferson Parish Council, the body consists of five district and two at-large members. Since so much of Jefferson Parish is unincorporated, the district members function as the “mayors” of their respective neighborhoods. When a district member decides an issue, the others usually respect their decision and vote as they do. Therefore, politicians like Roberts carry a lot of influence.

chris roberts suicide

Until they’re indicted by feds, that is.

Fall from grace

chris roberts suicide

In 2018, the Department of Justice dropped a pallet of bricks on Roberts, with an extensive indictment filing. Again, from Vargas at Da Paper:

Most of the counts related to his work managing a Terrytown-based landscaping company from which he allegedly used money for personal purchases. Roberts was also accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in income over a seven-year period, and only filing amended tax returns accounting for the income after he learned of the federal inquiry.

The indictment painted a picture of Roberts as a profligate spender who used business and campaign funds to purchase a $16,000 engagement ring and spent thousands more at area casinos.

Then, to make matters worse:

In October, federal prosecutors added 10 new wire fraud counts to the indictment, ramping up the pressure on him. The new indictment also accused Roberts of improperly spending business funds.

So, the whole notion of deputies finding this guy dead in the woods, likely by his own hand, doesn’t sound far-fetched. When I read the initial tweets, it sounded like a classic case of, get your affairs in order and take care of your problems.

Benefit of the doubt

chris roberts suicide

Chris Roberts presented himself as an arrogant asshole on social media. His attacks on Mike Yennni were bush league. His supporters say he worked hard for his district. The feds say he’s a thief. Suffering from depression was never part of Roberts’ public persona. That doesn’t mean it didn’t exist! So many people struggle with depression, and it does indeed claim them. I can see the weight of his world crashing in on him taking that toll.

“Doing the right thing for the family” isn’t the same these days. People do time for white-collar crime regularly. They come back from prison and often do right by the community. It’s not like a guy like Roberts faced hard time for his crimes.

Influence of family and friends

People coping with depression need a support network. If someone doesn’t feel that support, their depression can deepen. That can lead to suicide attempts as a cry for help. Or worse, you go out to the woods and end it. It’s certainly unclear how much support for his condition Roberts got from friends and family. It’s too late for Roberts, but it’s not too late for those you care for. Check your people.

Coming home to the #YatCats after a week and a half!

Coming home to the #YatCats after a week and a half!

Coming home to the #YatCats is heartwarming.

coming home

the #YatCats miss me when I travel, because they don’t get the milk from my Frosted Flakes.

Coming home

The #YatCats developed routines over the last few months. I attribute their consistency to the wife’s insistence we stick to a tight feeding schedule. They start to move around when her alarm goes off at 6am. They eat within the next half hour or so, then go off to do kitten things. Like cell phones, they need to recharge. So, when i come home from the coffee shop, I usually find them crashed out.

coming home

Nala’s dining room spot.

This is Nala’s typical coming home position. Helen’s tried a number of techniques to keep her off the dining room chairs. You can see the success of these attempts. Nala content to sit and watch Arwen be more active.

coming home

Arwen’s distracted by something outside.

If Arwen had a smartphone, she would be one of the most active people on NextDoor. She loves to sit in the front window and look out. There are times when she’s playing, sometimes she’ll get all oooh-shiny and check what’s going on outside. We’re still not sure what she thinks about Rusty, the ginger tomcat who is the neighborhood mayor.

After lunch

coming home

Cuddle kitteh!

After writing in the morning, I need to rest my eyes. I come home around lunchtime, make a sandwich or a hot dog, then read a bit. When I sit on the couch, Arwen often jumps on the top of the back cushion and sprawls out. Yesterday was different. She walked up behind me, then slid down to sit next to me! Cuddle time in the afternoon. Hard to tell if I was missed or if she needed warmth.

Nala, of course, slept. Such a ginger kitty.

coming home

Office assistants

After a couple of eps of Star Trek: Discovery, Arwen got up to stretch. She joined Nala on the bed in LT Firstborn’s old room. Wife converted the room into an office for her and a guest room.

If you live in the New Orleans area, be sure to check out Animal Rescue New Orleans!

 

Cantrell silence is deafening #kailascollapse @mayorcantrell

Cantrell silence is deafening #kailascollapse @mayorcantrell

Cantrell silence is unacceptable

Cantrell silence

Statement by the City of New Orleans with respect to the dead body they’ve left in the 1031 Canal building.

Cantrell silence on #kailascollapse

There’s an odd silence surrounding City Hall, from the mayor’s office to the City Council chamber. Politicians are not usually quiet creatures. They’re ambitious people. For the most part, they’re always running for something. While not every politician grandstands like Rudy! and Bush43 in the wake of 9/11, they are aware of the need to get out front and lead.

There’s no from City Hall or the Council Chamber on the collapse of the development at 1031 Canal Street that took place on 12-October-2019.

Uncharacteristic Council Silence

Why, then, are Mayor Cantrell and the seven members of the New Orleans City Council silent? The last two mayors, Mitch Landrieu and C. Ray Nagin, could barely drive home in the evening without coming under scrutiny from members of the council. Council members jump in front of microphones. More recently, they take to social media. They speak to the issues. They look forward. While some don’t aspire to remain in public service after their term, many look towards the next office. Silence creates a vacuum. Others fill vacuums. Voters listen to political aspirants as much as they do office-holders. The council behave like people who have something to hide, not leaders.

What do they have to hide?

“Laying low” makes sense, when you’re on the wrong side of an issue. Advisers and consultants tell politicians, let it pass. Laying low saved many a politician. David Vitter comes to mind. After becoming entangled in a prostitution scandal, Vitter stood up with his wife, confessed to a sin, and proceeded to keep his mouth shut. Silence enabled him to win re-election. Council members know this strategy can be successful. No accusations of wrongdoing have surfaced with respect to the current council. Nobody’s looked at, for example, campaign finance records, to see who took money from Kailas and his partners. Perhaps oppo researchers have this info in their back pockets.

Lawyer up, sluggo

Every time Donald Trump, Jr., says something incredibly stupid on Da Twittah, Charlie Pierce replies back with those three words. “Lawyer up” is a common action when one is even tangentially involved in a criminal investigation. The Kailas collapse is a homicide. People died, and not by accident. There are (hopefully) local and federal investigations moving forward, behind the scenes.

Silence enables politicians to ride out bad times. It also enables potential criminal defendants to avoid jail. Is this why our city government is so quiet?

Supper Time – #YatCats watching and waiting

Supper Time – #YatCats watching and waiting

Supper time for the #yatcats is pretty regular

supper time

Nala heard the car about the same time I did.

Supper time

supper time

Arwen on duty

One thing Mrs. YatPundit’s done with the #yatcats is to keep them on a tight schedule for feeding. Since they’re inside cats, they don’t forage on insects, birds and lizards like Amber did. The #YatCats lunge at the kitchen and bedroom windows when lizards climb the screens. Not sure if Hill’s Science Diet’s “Indoor Kitten” food is better than lizard or bird, but that’s what they eat.

Kitty Diet

Nala certainly has bulked up since gotcha day. She was a tiny thing, and now she’s over nine pounds. Arwen eats less than Nala. At first, we worried that Arwen muscled Nala out. No problem! Arwen isn’t gaining weight like her buddy, though. While her weight isn’t a problem, we’ve noticed that’s she’s just not keeping up. It’s hard to tell if Arwen dislikes the food, or just isn’t as hungry. No crisis, mind you, just something to monitor.

Single-source feeding

The kittehs know when it’s supper time. They know who feeds them, too. When Mrs. YatPundit left town for a work trip for a few days, the kittens didn’t stalk me as supper time approached. I sat on the couch or worked at my desk undisturbed. They heard the food bag, but didn’t see the regular feeder! On the next day, still no reaction. I wasn’t in charge of the food, and that was that.

They know the drill. I heard the door to wife’s car close and the beep indicating she locked it. Nala zoomed to the front door. She joined Arwen in the front. Tux kitty continued what I call her “NextDoor” shift. Arwen is a ginny-woman. Not sure if she’d use the app, but she sees a lot.

Table food

Other than a love for the milk left in my cereal bowl, these two eat just the Science Diet food. They sniff table food and move on. We’ll see if that changes!

String, Bags, kittehs! #YatCats #themetrys 09-Jan-2020

String, Bags, kittehs! #YatCats #themetrys 09-Jan-2020

String, bags, kittehs!

string, bags

If Nala fitz…

String, bags, kittehs

The #YatCats don’t miss me being up in Columbus, Ohio, teaching for Hitachi Vantara this week. Arwen (tux) took down the Christmas tree over last weekend, so it didn’t survive until Twelfth Night. Both of them were upset when it went out to the side of the house, to await pick-up for wetlands restoration.

Amber’s String

string, bags

The string on top of Arwen is over ten years old. I can’t remember where it came from, but Amber took to it at the time and played with it. LT Firstborn discovered she liked it and would play string with her. They were such a great pair.

When we brought home the kittens, the string remained hidden. It returned when LT Firstborn came home. He played with both kittens and the string so much over the holidays. While Nala (ginger) took to LT Firstborn, Arwen was a bit skeptical of him. Then the string came out and the three of them became fast friends. The boy would dangle both ends at the same time, and the kittens would go for it.

Permanent addition

Amber’s string is a now part of the regular cat toy inventory. Kiddo’s girlfriend, who loves to entertain them so much, took up where LT Firstborn left off. Now, Arwen ends up with the string in various positions, just like her predecessor. Circle of Life. Or String, as it were.

Bag Wrecker

string, bags

Nala, Destroyer of Bags

Nala likes the string, but nowhere near as much as Arwen does. The ginger kitty is a Destroyer of Cardboard. She also destroys bags. We firmly believe this is some sort of Jungian-collective-conscious thing among ginger kittehs, since Amber did the same thing. Arwen likes to crawl in boxes and bags that are on their sides, but Nala rips them apart. Whenever there’s a box nearby, there is likely a corner with small pieces of cardboard around it. Total mess! This bag is easily the third or fourth she’s wrecked since coming to her forever home in August.