Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New York, New York, It's A Hell of a Town..

As that famous Sinatra song goes - New York, New York it's a hell of a town..crime is up and the subway service is down...oh, wait that's not right, but true. It's amazing how well our Mayor Bill De Blasio has managed to set a course for a steady decline right back to the good ol' days when I moved the "The City" in 1989, the year that crime was at its highest. And he has done it with impressive lightening speed - murder is up 20%. Oh, he's had help. Our Mayor along with our even more impressive City Council are on the fast-track to undo pretty much everything that Mayors Guiliani and Bloomberg spent 20 years working to improve.

Our police department is so confused as what they can and cannot do, that they don't even bother with the small stuff anymore. Of course, the "small stuff" was what Guiliani and Bloomberg focused on in their "Broken Windows" philosophy of lowering crime neighborhood by neighborhood. Focusing on stopping the small, "quality of life" non-violent crimes (breaking windows, graffiti and other vandalism, purse snatching, small time drug offenders, public urination, etc) kept small-time criminals from becoming more emboldened to escalate their criminal behavior. And it worked well. Crime levels went down dramatically, especially the murder rate which went from 2245 murders in 1990 to just 328 by 2014. But now the City Council wants to decriminize all of those "quality of life" crimes that were all but snuffed out. They blame disparate impact is filling our jails with too many offenders because too many of the offenders are African-American and Hispanic. So, their plan to clear out the jails is to do away with the laws that made them crimes.

The way it worked during the golden years of the Guiliani/Bloomberg era, was strategically going neighborhood to neighborhood narrowed the area that criminals were active and pushed the big time criminals to more easily controllable areas. Then the personnel could be concentrated into these more narrow areas. And "Stop, Question, and Frisk" got more guns off the street and saved more lives than any other aspect. But rightfully so, the police focused too much on that aspect and it did target more low-income minorities because these ares were also where the highest crime occurred. So, the issue made it to the federal courts. Decision were made, appeals were dropped and the bottom line is that our wise courts and De Blasio/City Council decided to all but scrap the entire operation...and imagine...crime has risen dramatically.

And in this decision, it was ruled that the police could be held personally responsible for any stops that could be perceived as harassment. So as you can imagine, the police are being sued right and left. And these lawsuits in the most aggregious cases are proving to be quite lucrative for victims of this harassment. Our latest settlement this week for the death of Eric Garner who died of a heart attack when the police, acting on repeated complaints from the community, tried to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes. Using an illegal choke-hold to bring down Mr. Garner who was vigorously resisting arrest, he died. When the Grand Jury declined to indict the police officers for his death, riots ensued and the family filed a wrongful death suit against the city. And this week before the case could even make it to a trial on the facts, the the Mayor and the city settled for $5.6 million. It is a tragedy and a travesty all around.

Right or wrong, the fact is that NYC is in steady decline again. Crime is up, the aggresive homeless of our past are once again taking over the parks and doorways, and the Mayor doesn't care. He seems downright pleased with all of his handywork. But the blame is increasingly falling on the ever increasingly tone-deaf Mayor De Blasio. Even his most ardent supporters are beginning to wise up about what is at risk. And don't get me started about the subway system...

Comments or diversions are welcomed...

33 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I hate to say this, because I'm sorry you're stuck in this, but I find it fitting when liberals get the full blast of what they voted for.

AndrewPrice said...

As for a diversion... I saw Minions. It was cute. I would give it a solid B. There were only a couple laugh out loud moments and the film drug when it dealt with the humans, but otherwise it was clever and enjoyable.

Anthony said...

Bev said:

Our latest settlement this week for the death of Eric Garner who died of a heart attack when the police, acting on repeated complaints from the community, tried to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes. Using an illegal choke-hold to bring down Mr. Garner who was vigorously resisting arrest, he died.

----------------

The cigarettes Gardner was selling weren't illegal, they were being sold without taxation, which is illegal, but the product itself wasn't. Also, Gardner wasn't being arrested after repeatedly complaints from the community, but because a police informant claimed he saw him selling a loosie.

Here is an article about the brisk sales of loosies written years before Garner's death.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/nyregion/05loosie.html?_r=0

A few blocks north, another man sells cigarettes near a check-cashing storefront. Add to these a few roving vendors who poach territory when they can.

Itinerant cigarette vendors have long been a fixture in some parts of the city, like bodegas that sell individual cigarettes in violation of state law. But with cigarette prices up and the number of smoke-friendly places down, the black market for loosies is now thriving on the streets.

The administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has outlawed smoking in restaurants, bars and playgrounds, and outside hospital entrances. Even city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas will soon be off limits to smokers. Then there have been successive rounds of taxes — the most recent one, a $1.60 rise in the state tax in July — that raised the price of a pack of cigarettes to $12.50 at many Midtown newsstands.

“The tax went up, and we started selling 10 times as much,” Mr. Warner said. “Bloomberg thinks he’s stopping people from smoking. He’s just turning them onto loosies.”

-----------
Also, while the definition of vigorously resisting arrests can vary, I doubt most people would call raising one's hands, backing away and trying to talk one's way out (without using threats) vigorously resisting arrest. Gardner did not touch a cop nor did he try to touch a cop.

The fact the cop went to the illegal chokehold (lethal force) against a guy who wasn't violently resisting is bad enough, the fact they ignored him when he told them repeatedly he couldn't breathe was just the icing on the cake.

From where I stand the fact that the police union still resolutely maintains everything that went down with Gardner was awesome means their judgement is in question. Of course, back in the halcyon days of stop and frisk under Bloomberg, one in every thousand stops resulted in a weapons find (the theoretical purpose of such stops) so a lack of judgement perhaps shouldn't surprise me.

Anthony said...

I agree that decriminalizing public urination, drinking and what have you swings the pendulum too far in the other direction.

To paraphrase an interesting quote I read in an editorial I've had problems finding again, there has to be a happy medium between Singapore (where you can be caned for minor offenses) and Dinkin's New York.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/city-council-decriminalize-host-offenses-article-1.2190943

The seven offenses under consideration are public consumption of alcohol, public urination, bicycling on the sidewalk, being in a park after dark, failure to obey a park sign, littering and unreasonable noise. The offenses under consideration for decriminalization are under the city’s administrative code — not the state penal code — making it possible to amend them without state approval, officials said.

“All the consequences of the criminal justice system would be removed and people would just be civilly responsible for their conduct,” said City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), chairman of the Courts and Legal Services Committee, who is working on the proposal with Mark-Viverito. “And it would be akin to a parking ticket, which I think would be more than enough to deter people from committing that kind of conduct without bringing the heavy hammer of the criminal justice system down on their head.”

Critch said...

I visited NYC for a couple of weeks in 1979, we were in training at Battery Park with Shearson Hayden Stone. I have mixed memories of it. Lots of bums, lots of crime and it was rundown. On the other side, the people were a lot friendlier than I thought they would be and there were so many choices for things to do and food, so many choices. Large cities are large cities, they all have the same problems and I don't know of any that have solved them. I really don't think people are meant to live on top of each other. In the South where I'm from NYC is generally seen as not a good place to go:

And now they're alone in New York City (New York City),
Living like ... Lord, I wonder how.
Two angels in hell in New York City (New York City),
But I can't think about that now.
I can't think about that now.
--Statler Brothers

But to be fair, I wouldn't want to live in Atlanta, Memphis, or New Orleans either.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Let me point out the illogic at the heart of Lancman's argument. If civil sanctions were enough, then no one would be violating the criminal laws and this would be a nonissue. The fact that these people are being arrested for it means that the civil sanctions are not "more than enough to deter people."

And what's even more interesting if you think about it, his concern isn't for the good people out there because as he assumes, they are the ones who are deterred by the civil sanctions alone. The people he is supporting here are people who neither care about the civil or the criminal sanctions.

I suspect this argument is simply something he thinks people will buy because they are stupid, but his real point is most likely "I don't want the police getting to arrest people for small crimes." (An argument that would not sell if he offered it openly.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I was there in 1989. I remember being knee deep in garbage, the subway smelled like urine, and the traffic was impossible. Good times.

LL said...

New York is descending back into the pit that it used to be. Remember the old Time Square? Porn shops, hookers, street sale of heroin, loan sharks, etc. It changed with Guiliani/Bloomberg and now it will go back to being a cess-pit and liberal paradise.

Kit said...

So, is he moving New York back to the days of Lindsay/Beame or Dinkins?

AndrewPrice said...

You know guys, this is the problem with conservatives... you guys keep wanting to look backwards. "Is he going back to ___?" I personally like to look to the future. I'm thinking de Blasio is moving the city forward to the world of Soylent Green. :D

Kit said...

"I'm thinking de Blasio is moving the city forward to the world of Soylent Green. :D"

That depends. What are his views on Planned Parenthood?

AndrewPrice said...

Like all liberals, I suspect he favors mandatory abortion unless you want the abortion because the baby is a girl or it's gay.

AndrewPrice said...

OT: More support for the idea that Hillary is finished. LINK

Her polls numbers are falling. She's down 11% with Democrats -- only 70% have a favorable view of her.

With the public, her favorable to unfavorable numbers have fallen to 39% pro verus almost 50% con.

What's more...
... those who find her compassionate: 4 in 10
... those who find her honest: 3 in 10
... those who find her decisive: 47% (down from 56%)
... those who find her inspiring: 37% (down from 47%)

Those are bad trends for somehow how just (re)launched a campaign. Also, the mere fact they are asking these specific questions highlights her weaknesses.

At the same time, O'Malley is took a hard left position on immigration this weekend and drew lots of kudos from the left.

Koshcat said...

Quick, give Trump a call and tell him he has a better chance getting the Dem nominee than a GOP

AndrewPrice said...

I wish he would have picked their side. He's apparently already donated six figures to Hillary, so why not be a Democrat?

BevfromNYC said...

SORRY GUYS! I HAVE BEEN IN COMPUTER VIRUS HELL...BUT I AM BACK NOW Sorry for shouting.

Andrew - "New York is descending back into the pit that it used to be. Remember the old Time Square? Porn shops, hookers, street sale of heroin, loan sharks, etc"
Here's the really scary thing. Time Square is quickly descending into some sort of Stephen King version of Sesame Street/Disneyland horror show with costumed characters roaming around demanding money for photos from poor unsuspecting tourists and it has become worse that then there were hookers et al. I could get through all of that back in the day, but it's hard to get around a 15 foot unsavory and angry Big Bird who is beating up one of the creepy Snuffiluffigusses...

Kit said...

So, they are like the squeegee men?

BevfromNYC said...

Kit - Oh, yeah, their baaaaaack. And it is their 1st Amd Right to be out on the street harassing people for money.

BevfromNYC said...

OT: Attack in Tennessee Naval recruiting station 4 Marines and the perp dead. Perp identified...Muhammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24 yr old native of Hixon, Tennessee...HuffPo-ites were raging before he was identified that he was most likely another racist KKK member...

Rustbelt said...

So, what was said is true.

"Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right."
-Mayor Lenny, "Ghostbusters II"

'Visit New York' now off the bucket list.

BevfromNYC said...

Rustbelt - don't take NYC of your bucket list. It has a lot to offer, just not in Tome Square. I live here, so I am tainted by the everyday workings of our disjunction. I am sure if I didn't regale you with my misery, you wouldn't even notice...:-)

Kit said...

Friday's Thoughts coming tonight.

Sorry, hectic week.

Robert L. Hedd said...

Bev.....You want liberalism, well here you go. You're gonna get it good and hard. NYC...and California on a larger scale.....are where this country is going to under leftists rule. Create anarchy, lawlessness, cronyism, graft, different rules and tax rates for minorities, all part and parcel of where we're heading.

What this President has done to transform this country is amazing. When a black thug is killed by the police for breaking the law, he rushes in and condemns and takes sides. When a white girl is killed by an illegal, when muslims kill (and try to kill) Marines, etc., he is silent as he won't comment on an ongoing investigation.

Embodied by his slimy, weaselly spokesidiots, he/they lie without repurcussions, sell us down the river to the global left, and basically "transform" this country into their version of totalitarian rule. There is no loyal opposition in Congress or in the major cities. They vote for their policies and bailouts and the rest of us grumble, complain and continue to take it and try to go about our lives and avoid places like NYC and SF.

So, the leftists destroy, the rest of us, come in and clean it up, then lather, rinse and repeat. Thus does history carry on inexorably.

We should treat these bastards like they did Coesceseau(sp?).

Bob

Critch said...

Big "thumbs up" Mr. Hedd...the Left can lie, cheat, steal, kill and do it with impunity. if you que4stion them you are automatically a right goon racist....I'm tired of it. All those "brilliant" political analysts are out there right now trying to figure out Don Trump, it's simple, he's saying what needs to be said; and the Left and Establishment Right don't like it. Neither party has done anything for this country in years....

Anthony said...

Trump is certainly the most popular of the dozens of Republican presidential contenders.

Anonymous said...

Trump is the continuation of the Great Tantrum of 2012-2015. What's interesting is that Trump represents the death of Ted Cruz f/k/a Rick Santorum f/k/a Sarah Palin.

In terms of figuring Trump out, he's a crony socialist reality TV clown who uses bankruptcy as a common business practice, who gives more money to Democrats than Republicans, and whose views are generally those of Big Business. His latest game is that he's discovered that the fringe right is super easy to exploit.

David

AndrewPrice said...

Good morning folks. Personally, I think Trump is working for Hillary... could even be lovers. ;-P

Robert L. Hedd said...

David.....Trump says there are many illegal immigrants committing crimes and getting away with it in the US and we don't hold them to the same standards we do citizens, much less illegal actors who prey on citizens and each other.

If that's fringe right thinking then we're done for, as that should be generally acknowledged and dealt with. Is it fringe right thinking to be shocked when we find out that the person responsible for killing that pretty young woman in SF was previously deported 5 times and then scurried back to SF to continue his predatory acts? That the SF sheriff and council have no problem providing 'sanctuary' for lawbreakers in direct contravention of federal law?

So, I think what Trump has done was turn on the light in the kitchen and all the cockroaches are scurrying. The same we're hearing now about the Planned Parenthood policy of selling aborted fetus's body parts. Will it be fringe if he mentions this and the press treats it the same way they're doing his illegal immigrant comments?

I'm all for a loud and open "conversation" about these and other 'fringe' issues, except we know that even with+70% of the US against abortion at any time for any reason, the left has won that argument via the courts and now we on the 'fringe' have to sit back and take one for leftist cause.

Where does it end? Those of us who read history know how this will end.

Bob

P.S. ...and yes, I would vote for Trump over Hillary any day!

Kit said...

Trump vs. Hillary? I would probably get completely sloshed on the hardest alcoholic beverages known to man before voting.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's when you clear your mind and you hope that no one thinks of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man!

BevfromNYC said...

Personally, I am thrilled that Trump is taking all the focus right now, so that when the real campaigning and debates start he will be completely out. He is going to do something that will make him go away. But he is a great diversion right now...just like Bernie Sanders.

BevfromNYC said...

And Trump is actually saying stuff that the other candidates probably WANT to say and don't have the nerve...so it gets the issue on the table, so that maybe clearer heads can work on their message...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm sort of happy that he's saving Hillary's butt right now because the focus had been on how badly she is doing until Trump came along. Right now, she's hiding behind attacks on Trump... talk about low hanging fruit... and that is helping her limp along to the primary. Otherwise, I fear that she would be doing a faceplant before the primaries even begin and I worry that O'Malley would be a tougher competitor.

Of course, on the other hand, Trump is keeping the "conservatives hate minorities" thing running strong.

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