Dog Brothers Public Forum

Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Science, Culture, & Humanities => Topic started by: DougMacG on September 29, 2009, 08:06:10 AM

Title: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: DougMacG on September 29, 2009, 08:06:10 AM
Brutal video showing a glimpse of a day going home from a high school in Chicago last Thursday:

More info after arrests:
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: DougMacG on October 03, 2009, 12:19:47 PM
Meanwhile back in Chicago... "freshman's skull fractured in Edgewater attack
October 1, 2009   A 14-year-old boy severely beaten in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood was able to talk to detectives today after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull, police said. The boy, a freshman at Mather High School, was chased down the xxx block of on Wednesday evening by three males who beat him, police said. One hit him with a pipe, they said.

In Detroit: "Too broke to bury their dead.  Money to bury Detroit's poor has dried up, forcing struggling families to abandon their loved ones in the morgue freezer.
Unclaimed bodies piling up in the Detroit morgue. can smell the plight of Detroit.  Inside the Wayne County morgue in midtown Detroit, 67 bodies are piled up, unclaimed, in the freezing temperatures. Neither the families nor the county can afford to bury the corpses.

And my latest landlord story this week in Minneapolis.  I looked up the backgrounds on my tough looking applicants for a house rental after being assured they have no problems with credit, criminal record or evictions and found among other things that they get their welfare money through other people and that one had a recent conviction for felony strangulation.  Wish a had a couple of you with me when I needed to gently give them the bad news.

There is a large part of America that does not participate in the productive economy and people that are not saddled with responsibilities find other ways to keep themselves occupied. 
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: DougMacG on October 10, 2009, 12:13:33 PM
 Oct 7, 2009
Fight At Fenger While Officials Discuss Violence   CHICAGO (CBS)

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan arrives at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Pl., for a discussion on combatting violence among Chicago youth.  President Barack Obama was so shocked by the deadly beating of a Fenger High School student that he dispatched two members of his cabinet to address the problem.  But on the day Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan met with local officials to discuss youth violence, there was another fight at Fenger.

As CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports, students said what happened Wednesday is typical of what happens every day. Students from Altgeld Gardens got into a fight with students who live in the area surrounding the high school, an area known as "The Ville."

Altgeld Gardens resident Tommie McCoy said Holder and Duncan should have visited Fenger and Altgeld Gardens, not just met with Mayor Richard M. Daley and other local officials in downtown Chicago.  If Holder, Duncan and Daley had been outside Fenger on Wednesday when school let out, students said they would have gotten an eyeful.

"They was fighting," one girl said.

Another student said, "Some boys they got off the bus fighting and that. Then the police came over there breaking up the fight."  As soon as the punching stopped at Fenger, the students and the simmering tension moved south to Altgeld Gardens a few miles south.

Luevinne Leggett, a senior at Fenger, said she doesn't feel welcome there.  "I don't feel welcome because I get chased home from school every day," Leggett said. "I try and avoid the problem by walking and they chase me. The police not doing nothing. They sit out there and they watch people get chased."

Vashion Bullock said he feels similarly. He was involved in the fight that claimed the life of 16-year-old Derrion Albert last month. Bullock's brother is one of four teens charged with murder.  Bullock said Duncan is wrong if he believes that the problems don't stem from making Carver a selective enrollment school. He said he gets attacked by students who live close to Fenger because he is from Altgeld Gardens.  "Before I went to this community school (Fenger), I didn't have no fights, no nothing; until I went outside the (Altgeld Gardens) community," Bullock said.
Title: America's Inner City - Detroit
Post by: DougMacG on May 21, 2010, 08:23:08 AM
8 minutes of a camcorder going through a third world country called Detroit.  Many factors caused this, but suffice it to say that free markets were not allowed to flourish, the war on poverty became a war against families and individual responsibility, private employment was supposed to be an entitlement no matter how uncompetitive your work and your product have become.  Visualize from these pictures how the middle class can succeed while we punish investors, employers and wealth creation.
Title: America's Inner City: Living in 'poverty'
Post by: DougMacG on June 12, 2011, 12:26:14 PM
I took this line from a great ya post on Pakistan:

"The government [of Pakistan] uses the World Bank’s definition of poverty, which is any person earning less than $1.25 per day."

I wonder if the US Census Bureau is aware of this definition.  Our definition includes people enjoying cable tv, unlimited free healthcare, free food, shelter and clothing, 2 cars, a full surround sound theatre, a CD/DVD collection, a high end stereo and free air conditioning.  All that and you can still be called homeless and living below the poverty line.

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

    * Fortysix percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a threebedroom house with oneandahalf baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
    * Seventysix percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
    * Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than twothirds have more than two rooms per person.
    * The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
    * Nearly threequarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
    * Ninetyseven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
    * Seventyeight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
    * Seventythree percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.
Title: America's Inner City: Programs encourage dependency, diminish motivation
Post by: DougMacG on July 07, 2011, 06:48:46 AM

"Well, you know, here's what I would say. I think we should acknowledge that some welfare programs in the past were not well designed and in some cases did encourage dependency. As somebody who worked in low income neighborhoods, I've seen it, where people weren't encouraged to work, weren't encouraged to upgrade their skills, were just getting a check, and, over time, their motivation started to diminish. And I think even if you're progressive you've got to acknowledge that some of these things have not been well designed."  - Pres. Barack Obama  July 6, 2011  (video at link)
Title: Bicycles
Post by: JDN on July 21, 2011, 09:12:23 AM
I am a big fan of bicycles; I put a number of miles on mine each week.  Although it's easier to ride my motorcycle.  :-)

LA just passed a new law.  While I'm all in favor of protecting bicyclists, I think it goes too far.  Even cross words can be construed
as a violation.  Yet often I see bicyclists disobeying traffic laws.  Like gun laws and other laws; we don't need additional laws; simply
obey and enforce the current ones,0,3219222.story
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: DougMacG on July 21, 2011, 01:47:13 PM
JDN, Bicycles are great.  You are governed by liberals, lol.  It reminds me of hate crime laws banning violence against gays.  Strangely I would want equal protection if I were a hetero-unicylist, but that's just me.  Regarding the motorcycle, on the roads I prefer my Honda 200 to a bicycle because I think it is safer to keep up with the flow.  My latest bicycle is electric assist for improved range and velocity ( should be an aging 'warrier' post).  Fed laws say the locals have to accept these on the bike trails up to 20 mph.  We'll see how that goes.

For both pedestrians and bicyclists, we have these aggressive crosswalk laws here, maybe everywhere.  It gives the vulnerable a false sense of security that they can step out and a car has to stop.  A car though does not have to stop, the driver could be texting or the brakes could fail.  Reminds me of sailboats having the right of way over power boats.  Funny for one thing because we often go faster than powerboats.  Over time you learn that you only have right of way if someone who sees you yields it to you.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: JDN on July 21, 2011, 02:13:10 PM
Frankly, the whole concept of hate crimes bewilders me.  Do away with all of them!  Simply arrest the guy for assault or whatever; the reasons why he's committing the crime isn't relevant to me.  If I and my five friends are beating you up because you are black, gay, or whatever versus beating you up for dating my sister, I don't understand the difference.  But the "crime" and punishment is quite different.   :?

Now in LA if I swear at a bicyclist I'm presumed guilty of an offense and am financially and perhaps criminally liable.  But it's ok to swear at another car driver or a pedestrian.   :?  Someday explain that one to me.

Yes, I too prefer my modified (Ducati GT 1000) motorcycle; it really does keep up with the flow a lot better than my bicycle.  :-)  Sometimes too well.  :-)

As for crosswalks, that is my favorite complaint.  In CA bicycles have no more rights in a crosswalk (assuming they are riding their bike) than does a car or a truck.  Crosswalks are ONLY for pedestrians.  As well as sidewalks.  And a red light means, stop.  It's really quite easy, but somehow bicyclists don't seem to understand they must follow car laws.  In all fairness however, cars should respect bicyclists and everyone should respect safety.

But I agree with you, safety first; don't "assume" the right of way.  Even on a sailboat.  Years ago a sailboat always had the right of way in LA Harbor; one challenged a supertanker.  Guess what happened to the sailboat?  Actually no one knows, they only found bits and pieces.  So they changed the law; large commercial vehicles now have the right of way.  But common sense tells you....
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 12:45:18 AM
I can't agree with this. Hate crimes are a special case of nastiness and deserve extra attention. I don't live my life in a way that causes anyone to hate me. No one is going to attack me for anything I did. There is a chance I could be robbed or have my home invaded, but it is slim. Even if something did happen, the fact that as a white man in a white town, there isn't much to single me out.

When someone attacks you for being black or arab or gay, they are visiting on you a level of violence normally reserved for someone that has actually done something wrong. People of that caliber should be punished severely. Really severely.

Emotionally, I'd like to see hate crime laws so strict that we never hear from the people that commit them ever again. They need to be removed from society.

I don't really think it should be taken to that level simply because there are too many corrupt and lazy people in the justice system for me to fully trust they got the right person for the right thing. I don't have much compassion for violent bigots.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 12:53:34 AM
If someone crushes your skull with a pipe, does it matter if race/ethnicity/religion/sexual orientation was a motivator?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 01:08:50 AM
Stuart Taylor writes on Hate Crimes and double standards:

Consider three criminal cases.
No. 1: Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend, Channon Christian, both students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, were carjacked while on a dinner date in January, repeatedly raped (both of them), tortured, and killed. His burned body was found near a railroad track. Hers was stuffed into a trash can. Five suspects have been charged. The crimes were interracial.

No. 2: Three white Duke lacrosse players were accused in March 2006 of beating, kicking, choking, and gang-raping an African-American stripper, while pelting her with racial epithets, during a team party.
No. 3: Sam Hays bumped against Mike Martin in a crowded bar, spilling beer on Martin’s “gay pride” sweatshirt. Martin yelled, “You stupid bastard, I should kick your ass.” Hays muttered, “You damned queer” and threw a punch, bloodying Martin’s lip.
Now the quiz.
Which of these would qualify as a federal case under a House-passed bill — widely acclaimed by editorial writers, liberal interest groups, law enforcement officials, and many others — expanding federal jurisdiction to prosecute “hate crimes”?
Bonus question: Why have the interracial rape-torture-murders in Knoxville been completely ignored by the same national media that clamor for more laws to stop hate crimes — the same media that erupted in a guilt-presuming feeding frenzy for months over the far less serious Duke lacrosse charges, which were full of glaring holes from the start and turned out to be fraudulent?
The answers.
The interracial Knoxville rape-murders would probably not qualify as hate crimes. The reason is that although the murderers were obviously full of hate, it cannot be proven that they hated their victims because of race. (Or so say police.)
Both the Duke lacrosse case and the (fictional) barroom scuffle, on the other hand, would probably be federally prosecutable under the bill that the House passed on May 3 by 237-180. This is because the angry words attributed to the accused could prove racist and homophobic motivations, respectively.
Do such distinctions make any sense? Not much, in my view.
Title: Hate Crimes Are Multicultural, Too
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 01:27:11 AM
Hate Crimes Are Multicultural, Too
By: David Horowitz | Monday, October 26, 1998

TWO WEEKS AGO, A YOUNG MAN named Matthew Shepard, was tortured and left to die on the high plains of Wyoming simply because he was gay. On June 7th, a similar attack was made against the person of James Byrd, Jr., a black man in Texas. Both were followed by outpourings of grief and public rage, expressed in editorial comments and from political pulpits across the nation. These were appropriate if extraordinary responses to crimes against ordinary citizens, whose untimely deaths would otherwise have been unremarkable because all too common. It was the fact that the perpetrators and victims were set apart by communal bigotries, for which the crimes served as particularly violent expressions, that made the acts seem so important. The enhanced sense of human depravity that colored the public reactions to these incidents lies in our shared conviction that their nature as hate crimes made them an outrage to the nations sense of self, as well as a threat to its communal future. Well and good enough. These responses are signs of health in the body politic, the presence of a will to summon the better angels of our nature, and to keep the savagery that lurks beneath the surface of any civilized society firmly at bay.
But these expressions did not exhaust the public response to the two crimes. While libertarians and conservatives looked on in dismay, a coalition of radical and liberal activists, led by Congressman Barney Frank and other gay spokesmen, mounted the Capitol steps in Washington to pressure Congress into passing a bill that would extend existing federal hate-crimes legislation to also cover the categories of gender, sexual orientation, and handicapped status, and to make all such crimes easier to prosecute. They were joined in the call by the President himself.

Legal concerns were immediately voiced by those not participating about the civil-liberties dimensions of the proposed legislation. Probing the intentions of any perpetrator, and especially those involved in crimes against victims who were already the targets of community prejudice, posed troubling issues. For example: the temptation offered to aggressive prosecutors to postulate such intentions where none might exist. In a sobering column, George Will recalled a recent example of perverse legal reasoning when applying the hate-crime standard. In 1989, a white female jogger was raped and beaten into a coma by a gang of black and Hispanic youths on a "wilding" rampage. The act was not deemed a "hate crime" by prosecutors, and the perpetrators did not suffer enhanced penalties under the law, "because they also assaulted Hispanics that evening. They got more lenient treatment because of the catholicity of their barbarism." Of course, the act they committedrapecould be characterized as a hate crime itself.

In the emotional melodrama made possible by the murder of Matthew Shepard, the left has once again found its political oxygen. Temporarily thrown by feminist hypocrisies around the Clinton scandal, the left has recovered its balance with the prospect of once again rallying behind societys victims and against their victimizers. The absence of conservatives and libertarians among the capitol protesters only serves to confirm the enduring sense of righteousness that fuels the progressive agenda.

This politics of the left is what George Will calls "a sentiment competition," which is "less about changing society than striking poses." The proposed multiplication of hate-crime categories which stipulate that some crime victims are more important than others would be what Will calls "an imprudent extension of identity politics." It would work against, not for, the principle of social tolerance.

A little more than a year before the attack on James Byrd in Texas, three white Michigan youngsters hitched a train-ride as a teenage lark. When they got off the train, they found themselves in the wrong urban neighborhood, surrounded by a gang of armed black youths. One of the white teenagers, Michael Carter, aged 14, was killed. Dustin Kaiser, aged 15, was brutally beaten and shot in the head, but eventually survived. The fourteen-year-old girl (whose name has been withheld) was pistol-whipped and shot in the face after being forced to perform oral sex on her attackers.
Though the six African Americans responsible for the deed were arrested and convicted, their attack was not prosecuted as a hate-crime. More to the point, most of the nation never knew that the crime had taken place. It was not reported on page one of the national press, and there was no public outrage expressed in national editorials or in the halls of Congress. Indeed, the few papers that reported the incident nationally did so on their inside pages. Beyond the Michigan region, the stories often failed to mention the races of the participants at all. The crime took place on July 21, 1997, but among the readers of this column, there will not be one in a hundred who has even heard of it before. That is because as a hate crime, it was in a sense politically incorrect. To notice that black people, as well as whites, can be responsible for vicious crimes of hate, is simply improper. Hate crimes can only be committed by an oppressor caste; therefore what happened in Michigan was not a hate crime at all.

Two years ago, the most celebrated trial of the century was about a black man accused of murdering two whites in what was apparently an act of blind rage. The idea that O.J. Simpson might have murdered his wife and a stranger because they were white was never even hinted at by the prosecution, although this was a case which was turned into a circus of racial accusations against whites by the defense.

The fact is that it is not okay in America to hate blacks, but it is okay in our politically correct culture to hate white people. Entire academic departments and college curricula are based on this idea. White people are the oppressors of minority communities and cultures. That is Americas true legacy. There is even an academic field of "whiteness studies" to parallel black studies and womens studies. But the parallel is an inverted one. Blacks are celebrated in black studies and women are championed in womens studies. But whiteness studies (notice how the adjective has been modified) are devoted to the subject of how whites construct the idea of race to enable them to oppress others. Whiteness-studies academics have their own magazine published out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, site of Harvard and MIT and one of the most liberal communities in America. The name of the magazine is Race Traitor, and its motto proclaims "Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity." Under the influence of the left, our universities have become purveyors of racial poisons, but the rest of the country cannot notice this, because the targets of the hatredwhitesare not politically correct victims.

Hollywood understands this rule of progressive etiquette. A new film, American History X, will for the umpteenth time feature white neo-Nazis as the villains of a homily about racial bigotry. The idea is that race hatred is synonymous with "skin-heads" who are white. But a few years ago a sensational mass-murder trial in Miami spotlighted a black cult leader named Yahweh Ben Yahweh, who required his cult members to kill whites and bring back their ears as proof of the deed. There was no Hollywood scramble for the rights to the Yahweh cult story, andpartly as a resultfew Americans are even aware that it ever took place. Last week a German tourist was shot to death in Santa Monica, California, in front of his wife and children. The trigger for the killing seems to have been his failure to understand the English commands of his attackers. The crime was committed by two African-American men and one African-American woman, though one would never know this from reading the Los Angeles Times or AP accounts. (I had to verify their racial identities by calling the Santa Monica police department directly.) The word "hate crime" never surfaced in connection with the deed, either in the press accounts or in editorial commentaries that followed. Now suppose that three whites had gone to a Hispanic neighborhood to rob inhabitants and had murdered an Hispanic immigrant because he could not speak English. Does anyone imagine that the press accounts would hide the identity of the attackers or that the question of whether it might be a hate crime would never come up?

According to US Department of Justice figures, in 1993 there were 1.4 million violent crimes of inter-racial violence nationwide. Eighty-five percent of them were committed by blacks against whites. A white is fifty times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime committed by a black person than the other way around. Not surprisingly, the first hate-crime conviction to be appealed to the Supreme Court involved a black perpetrator and a white victim. The politically righteous, who are pushing the current legislation, will be in for some surprises should the law they are proposing go into effect.

How many of the inter-racial crimes of violence committed by blacks and other minorities are actually hate crimes? In fact, there is no real way to tell. Of course, the leftist university, which gave us the concept of political correctness, has a ready answer for the question: Only whites can be racist. The alleged reasoning behind the assertion is that in our society only whites have power. This is an obvious absurdity that only an intellectual could think up. Forget the thousands of public officials great and small, police chiefs, judges, administrators, and members of Congress, petty bureaucrats, corporate executives, and military officers, who are now drawn from the ranks of minorities. At the most elemental level, a black outlaw with a gunand there are manyhas the power of life and death over an unarmed law-abiding citizen of any race or color.
The doctrine that only whites can be racist is itself an instigation to hate crimes. Nonetheless, it has now apparently spread to the secondary-school system. Last week, a Seattle father called in to a national radio talk show that I happened to be on, and told the audience that his sons class in junior-high school had been discussing the hate-crime concept because of the Shepard killing. During the discussion, the teacher informed the class that only heterosexual whites could be racists. Responding to this idea, the callers son brought up the savage beating of Reginald Denny during the Los Angeles riots by a group of black gang members. Surely, he suggested, this was a hate-crime. But his teacher corrected him. Even though Denny was pulled from his truck solely because he was white, and then beaten within an inch of his life, he could not be the victim of racial poisons. The attempted murder of Reginald Denny was actually an act of rebellion by people who were themselves the victims of a white racist system, and therefore the act they committed could not be considered a hate crime.
That is why I will not join Barney Frank and the left in promoting politically correct hate-crime legislation that will create a few more specially protected categories among us asa kind of human "endangered species" act. Sorting Americans into distinctive racial, ethnic, and gender groups, while designating whites and heterosexuals to be their "oppressors," makes the latter into legitimate targets of hate themselves. It thus becomes a way of exacerbating rather than correcting the problem.

It is time to go back to the wisdom of the founders who wrote a constitution without reference to ethnic or gender groups. They did so in order to render us equal before the nations system of law. It was an imperfectly realized ideal then, but that should be no excuse for abandoning the ideal now. We need to end the vicious libels of political correctness that have percolated into our mainstream culture with their message of anti-white racism. The vast majority of white people do not hate or oppress black people, just as the vast majority of heterosexuals do not hate or oppress gays. We need to single out those individuals who dowhatever their race or genderfor condemnation and social ostracism. And we need to go back to back to the task of treating all Americans as individuals first, and as members of groups only secondarily, if at all.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 01:58:31 AM
Sure, the laws are imperfect.

It doesn't change my opinion that attacking someone for being x is worse than attacking them because it is advantageous. Sure, whites can be the victims of hate.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: JDN on July 22, 2011, 07:50:50 AM
If someone crushes your skull with a pipe, does it matter if race/ethnicity/religion/sexual orientation was a motivator?

I woke up this morning and read this; wow, it's not often we agree GM.   :-)

In your other example I also agree, but don't forget States have hate crime laws as well.

Cranewings.  While I don't agree with you, it's good to see another name on the board.  Let's use my previous example,
why is it worse (they are all bad in my opinion) if I attack you because you are black, homosexual, male or female, christian,
muslim, or jew, or maybe just Italian than if I simply attack you and almost kill you because you slept with my sister?  As GM pointed
out, the results are the same for you.  And frankly, IMHO my punishment should be the same.

What is a "hate crime" in CA?

"Hate crimes are criminal acts or attempted criminal acts against an individual or group of individuals because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability."   

Pretty Broad Huh? 

Of course they should be punished; but why are there punishment Enhancements

P.C. 190.2(a)(16) – Special circumstances imposing the Death Penalty or Life Without possibility of Parole if the victim was intentionally killed because of race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin.
P.C. 190.3 – Special circumstances imposing Life Without possibility of Parole if the victim was intentionally killed because of sexual orientation, gender or disability.
P.C. 422.75 – Penalty for felony committed because of victim’s race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability or sexual orientation shall be enhanced one, two or three years in prison, if the person acts alone; and 2, 3 or 4 years if the person commits the act with another.

Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 07:55:27 AM
Sure, the laws are imperfect.

It doesn't change my opinion that attacking someone for being x is worse than attacking them because it is advantageous. Sure, whites can be the victims of hate.

So, if Ted Bundy is killing co-eds because he finds it enjoyable, it's not as bad as if he does it out of misogyny? Do you see a problem with the political aspects of the unequal application of hate crime prosecutions?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 07:57:55 AM
I woke up this morning and read this; wow, it's not often we agree GM.   

You can't be wrong all of the time.   :-D

In your other example I also agree, but don't forget States have hate crime laws as well.

Sure, and the same objections apply there as well.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 09:44:00 AM

Cranewings.  While I don't agree with you, it's good to see another name on the board.  Let's use my previous example,
why is it worse (they are all bad in my opinion) if I attack you because you are black, homosexual, male or female, christian,
muslim, or jew, or maybe just Italian than if I simply attack you and almost kill you because you slept with my sister?  As GM pointed
out, the results are the same for you.  And frankly, IMHO my punishment should be the same.

If someone commits a felony motivated by money, they can find religion, get a hobby, get a job, change their life. If someone is a racists, maybe they can eventually see the light and start thinking correctly. Someone that commits crimes and is a racists is twice the piece of crap. Someone that commits crimes BECAUSE they are a racists, well wow, guess they are just four times the piece of crap. They are extremely dangerous to other members of that race and need to be put away for an extended time to give the rest of society a break from them being around.

There is something special about the guy that gets beat up for dating your sister. Lets assume that this is the one and only case of this that isn't motivated by race: well then he was brave to go after your sister, stupid to fight you, or said something wrong to incur it. It was probably not all together random. The guy that gets beat up for being black did nothing but be black. It is a direct assault on his place in society and is one of the fastest way to create bigger gaps between people or start a cycle of further violence.

All that aside, I don't have much sympathy for violent offenders, and even less for racists. I'm not going to lose any sleep over someone like that spending an extra couple years in jail for beating up a gay kid.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 09:46:36 AM
Sure, the laws are imperfect.

It doesn't change my opinion that attacking someone for being x is worse than attacking them because it is advantageous. Sure, whites can be the victims of hate.

So, if Ted Bundy is killing co-eds because he finds it enjoyable, it's not as bad as if he does it out of misogyny? Do you see a problem with the political aspects of the unequal application of hate crime prosecutions?

Nope, because they didn't lower the punishment for the regular crime. They just upped it for people that have a bad attitude. Sense I don't commit hate crimes, I'm not afraid of this law. I see nothing wrong with it.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: JDN on July 22, 2011, 10:43:25 AM

Nope, because they didn't lower the punishment for the regular crime. They just upped it for people that have a bad attitude. Sense I don't commit hate crimes, I'm not afraid of this law. I see nothing wrong with it.

So murderers, robbers, and rapists should be punished to a greater degree if they have a "bad attitude"?   :?

To be honest, I AM afraid of laws that punish me for a "bad attitude".  And I do see something wrong with that being the case.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 10:53:31 AM

Nope, because they didn't lower the punishment for the regular crime. They just upped it for people that have a bad attitude. Sense I don't commit hate crimes, I'm not afraid of this law. I see nothing wrong with it.

So murderers, robbers, and rapists should be punished to a greater degree if they have a "bad attitude"?   :?

To be honest, I AM afraid of laws that punish me for a "bad attitude".  And I do see something wrong with that being the case.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on that point.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 01:42:06 PM

Do you see a disparity in how "hate crimes" are enforced? Does that bother you?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 02:56:17 PM

Do you see a disparity in how "hate crimes" are enforced? Does that bother you?

I don't agree with how a lot of things are enforced. You gave plenty of great examples of way in which the state missed the point when it comes to enforcing hate crime laws.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 03:15:57 PM

It's often hard enough to make a conventional criminal case without trying to mix in racial/ethnic/religious/sexual orientation themes.

Let's say a thug who happens to be black jumps on JDN and eggshells his skull with a piece of rebar and takes his wallet. What if this thug is arrested with sermons from Rev. Jerimiah Wright on his Ipod. Was this a hate crime? Exactly what evidence should we seek beyond this subject did assault one JDN, causing serious bodily injury and did take a wallet from said party?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 04:32:54 PM
Well, it has to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sometimes there isn't a doubt. For example, 5 skinhead kill a black guy. No doubt there.

I'm sure there would be a whole thing in front of a jury where they bring in character witnesses and interviews and all that and a jury of his peers will decide if its true. Doesn't it have to be taken on a case by case basis?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 04:44:34 PM
Well, it has to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sometimes there isn't a doubt. For example, 5 skinhead kill a black guy. No doubt there.

I'm sure there would be a whole thing in front of a jury where they bring in character witnesses and interviews and all that and a jury of his peers will decide if its true. Doesn't it have to be taken on a case by case basis?

It's not a "shadow of a doubt", it's beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT

 The level of certainty a juror must have to find a defendant guilty of a crime. A real doubt, based upon reason and common sense after careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, or lack of evidence, in a case.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore, is proof of such a convincing character that you would be willing to rely and act upon it without hesitation in the most important of your own affairs. However, it does not mean an absolute certainty.

Again, it's hard enough to meet the elements of the crime, do you really want to try to parse out the degree of racial/ethnic/religious/sexual orientation bias a suspect might harbor? Yeah, a group of skinheads with swastika tats attacking a black couple might be a slam dunk, but what of black thugs with a pattern of attacking white and hispanic victims?
Title: The failures of hate-crime laws
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 04:49:29 PM
The failures of hate-crime laws

By Vincent Carroll
Posted: 12/09/2009 01:00:00 AM MSTUpdated: 12/09/2009 10:33:23 AM MST

Ian Curwen, charged with two counts of robbery and bias-motivated conduct, is perplexed by "how this thing" — he means a LoDo crime spree by bands of black teens and young adults — "became a racial thing." After all, Curwen told Denver Post reporter Kirk Mitchell, "kids being kids" will sometimes use racial slurs without really meaning them.

It's tempting to mock Curwen's claim, delivered from the Denver jail, as transparently self-serving. Which it most certainly is. Yet it may also contain a kernel of truth for some who participated over the summer and fall in a series of assaults on white and Latino men that were accompanied by racial taunts.

Maybe the name-calling for some of the thugs was, just as Curwen suggests, a meaningless expression of bravado. Maybe the "white boy" and other epithets weren't signs of bias in some cases so much as convenient insults to hurl at an outnumbered and terrified prey.

The distinction wouldn't matter if those charged with the assaults and robberies weren't also being charged under Colorado's bias-motivated statute — aka, hate-crime law — which is supposed to punish and deter dangerous bigots. What if some of those who committed the LoDo crimes are nothing more than violent predators? Does that make them a better brand of criminal than their associates who do hate whites?

I don't think so — and it speaks to the reason I've always been suspicious of hate-crime laws, which punish some illegal acts more severely than other, identical acts purely because of motive.

The victims of the LoDo assaults, Mitchell reported in The Sunday Post, "suffered permanent facial damage, broken bones and cracked skulls." Those injuries would be just as crippling and painful no matter what the motive: bias, greed, group entertainment or a knuckle-dragging form of sadism.

And remember: A criminal's bias can be just as virulent in the absence of racial taunting. If the same 35 people now charged in the attacks had simply kept their mouths shut, they could have beaten solitary white guys to their hearts' content, and for the very same motives, without facing a bias charge. In a very real sense, they're being prosecuted under that statute for their speech and beliefs.

Read more: The failures of hate-crime laws - The Denver Post
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 05:21:32 PM
Eh, you could be right. I'd rather see better or more specific hate crime laws than their total removal though.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 10:09:41 PM
I think we can agree that hate is a bad thing, but is every moral failing best dealt with through the legal system?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 22, 2011, 10:20:47 PM
I think we can agree that hate is a bad thing, but is every moral failing best dealt with through the legal system?

Isn't the legal system there to pay out punishment so that people don't have to take it for themselves? If someone rapes your sister, you aren't suppose to take revenge. You are suppose to let the state handle it. That's for good reason. No one wants to be in a Hatfield / McCoy situation.

I'd bet hate crime laws help buffer the feeling that you need your tribe to take revenge. Just a thought.

:) They could make it really simple and flat out say it is an extra crime to harm a person of a different ethnic group.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 22, 2011, 10:51:43 PM
"Isn't the legal system there to pay out punishment so that people don't have to take it for themselves? If someone rapes your sister, you aren't suppose to take revenge. You are suppose to let the state handle it. That's for good reason. No one wants to be in a Hatfield / McCoy situation."

Which is why we have laws that cover sexual assault.

"I'd bet hate crime laws help buffer the feeling that you need your tribe to take revenge. Just a thought."

This is part of the problem, this is a nation of individuals, not tribes. The laws that reaffirm a racial/ethnic identity that trumps a shared citizenship leads us in the direction we don't want to go. If colorblindness is the ideal, shouldn't our laws be colorblind?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 23, 2011, 02:54:48 PM
I think tribalism is more a part of our society now than when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I thought racism was a dead idea. Now that I'm adult, people everywhere I go are extremely racist or intolerant. I don't know if the PC policies you guys complain about are the chicken or the egg, but its getting worse.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 23, 2011, 03:03:18 PM
I think tribalism is more a part of our society now than when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I thought racism was a dead idea. Now that I'm adult, people everywhere I go are extremely racist or intolerant. I don't know if the PC policies you guys complain about are the chicken or the egg, but its getting worse.
I think it's getting worse and I'd link it directly to the left's attempts to undermine American society through the MSM, academia and Hollywood.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: G M on July 23, 2011, 03:11:24 PM
Just an additional point to consider, CW,

Look at the OJ Simpson trial. It was the classic domestic violence/stalking case that escalated to murder. Nothing unusual there, sadly it's one of the most common homicides you'll see in the US. The only thing atypical about this case was the star element and then the racial factor. Despite the flaws in the investigation and the prosecution, there was plenty of evidence for conviction. Lacking anything else, the defense played the race card, which resulted in his aquittal.

Do we want criminal justice to focus on evidence and the law, or do we want it to be a forum to address historic racial injustice no matter how irrelevant to the case at hand?
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 23, 2011, 10:00:36 PM
There IS a thread dedicated to matters of race, and if this conversation goes any further, lets take it there; so I will limit myself to stating that I think it self-apparent that racism is FAR less a problem than it used to be.   Look at the positions of power held by Colin Powell, Condaleza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Barack Obama, Holder, and many, many others.  Look at the lack of issue when interracial couples are protrayed on TV and in the movies.   

Certainly race-baiting remains-- look at the tactics of the progressives, the Pravda media, the Dem Party, but arguably that is a sign of desperation.

If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you weren't a racist, vote against him in 2012 to prove you aren't an idiot.
Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: Cranewings on July 24, 2011, 10:51:21 AM
Just an additional point to consider, CW,

Look at the OJ Simpson trial. It was the classic domestic violence/stalking case that escalated to murder. Nothing unusual there, sadly it's one of the most common homicides you'll see in the US. The only thing atypical about this case was the star element and then the racial factor. Despite the flaws in the investigation and the prosecution, there was plenty of evidence for conviction. Lacking anything else, the defense played the race card, which resulted in his aquittal.

Do we want criminal justice to focus on evidence and the law, or do we want it to be a forum to address historic racial injustice no matter how irrelevant to the case at hand?

Well, I don't remember the OJ trial. Only that his jury thought there was reasonable doubt (;
Title: Zombie Theme Park in Detroit
Post by: bigdog on July 05, 2012, 09:57:37 AM
Title: WSJ: The regreening of Detroit
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 06, 2012, 10:24:19 AM
New Detroit Farm Plan Taking Root

Entrepreneur Envisions Growing Trees on City's Blighted East Side, Returning Thousand of Vacant Lots to Tax Rolls.
DETROIT—Three years ago, financial-services entrepreneur John Hantz proposed converting as much as 10,000 acres of vacant private and city-owned property here into the world's largest for-profit urban farm, restoring swaths of land to the tax rolls and changing the face of Detroit's blighted East Side.

 John Hantz has a dream: To turn thousands of acres of abandoned land in inner-city Detroit into the world's largest for-profit urban farm. Video and reporting by WSJ's Matthew Dolan.
.A video on his company's website called the project "Detroit's saving grace." Critics called it a land grab.

Now, the Hantz plan is more modest—200 acres to start—and gaining support. Detroit's planning director and economic-development agency have endorsed the sale of city land for the venture, and other skeptics, including Mayor Dave Bing, increasingly accept farming as their best hope for turning Detroit's acres of nothing into something.

Separately, the city approved last week a Michigan State University initiative to explore the viability of a $100 million urban-agriculture research center in Detroit that could span as many as 100 acres. "We want to demonstrate that innovation based on metropolitan food production can create new businesses and jobs," Mr. Bing said.

Large-scale farming in Detroit still faces a number of legal, political and logistical challenges, including concerns about soil quality, the price of the land and the impact on neighbors. The land sale also needs formal approval from the mayor and the city council. This summer, a city commission plans public hearings on a zoning ordinance that would permit for-profit farming. That process will force Detroiters to confront awkward questions about their city's development prospects. Among them: Is the abundance of vacant land an asset or a liability?

Detroit has more than 200,000 vacant parcels—almost half of them residential plots—that generate no significant tax revenue and would cost more to maintain than the city can afford. Finding new uses for this land has become one of the most pressing challenges for a city that lost a quarter of its population in the past decade.

Mr. Hantz proposes to ease that burden by buying about 2,300 parcels and planting oak trees, then maybe fruit orchards and hydroponic vegetables. The hardwoods could be harvested and sold within a decade to customers looking for young trees, according to Hantz Farms.

Detroit "cannot create value until we create scarcity," Mr. Hantz says. "Large-scale farming could begin to take land out of circulation in a positive way."

Other Rust Belt cities, such as Cleveland, Milwaukee and Buffalo, N.Y., have reclaimed some vacant land through small-scale farming projects. But no other major city is dealing with as much empty space as Detroit.

Mr. Bing has long campaigned for a new master land-use plan that would rezone depopulated residential areas for other purposes, including farming. But after being sidetracked amid a fiscal crisis, city officials are now working on crafting a comprehensive farm policy that can satisfy investors like Mr. Hantz, residents, local activists and the state's Right to Farm law, which limits municipalities' power to regulate agriculture.

Hantz Farms officials acknowledge their self-funded venture would create few new jobs in the short term, and only modest revenue for Detroit. Hantz is offering only $300 a parcel, one-tenth of what city officials wanted. It has agreed to clear the land and demolish as many as 200 structures—at an estimated cost of more than $2 million, offset in part by tax credits and state assistance—before beginning to pay roughly $60,000 a year in taxes on the land.

Beyond that, the scale of what Mr. Hantz has in mind unnerves even some advocates of urban farming. Kwamena Mensah, who manages the nonprofit D-Town organic farm on seven acres within a West Side park, says the value of Detroit's land lies not in its profit potential, but in "community-building, green spaces and places like this."

To that, Mr. Hantz says Detroit "could do every idea I've ever heard of tomorrow" and still have plenty of empty land left. A former stockbroker who left American Express to found his own financial-services firm, Mr. Hantz, 50 years old, lives in Indian Village, an East Side enclave of turn-of-the-century manors built for the city's elite.

On his commute to Hantz Group's suburban headquarters, he was struck by the emptiness just blocks from his home. To the son of an International Harvester employee from rural Romeo, Mich., a sprawling farm seemed like a solution.

He started researching and reached out to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, where he sought out food-policy expert Rick Foster, now with Michigan State, to be his mentor.

Mr. Hantz first said he wanted to acquire 300 contiguous acres on the East Side, fence it off and begin farming crops. But Mr. Foster suggested something more community-compatible—"maybe forestry"—and urged him to cultivate support in the city.

"We thought he was a little naive about what farming really was and what it could be," Mr. Foster said of those meetings.

Mr. Hantz's early appearances as a farming advocate were rocky. Some critics scorned him as a wealthy investor seeking to buy up Detroit's land on the cheap, a claim he rejected.

In April 2010, he told a gathering at a local university that after talking to urban-agriculture experts on a car tour through Detroit, he felt he could deliver progress much faster working as an individual than waiting for a broader community-backed effort.

"Get out of your car, John," an audience member shot back.

Mr. Foster led him to Mike Score, a Detroit native with a degree in crop and soil sciences who had worked on agriculture development in Zaire. Mr. Score soon became the public face of Hantz Farms and its president, lobbying neighbors and city leaders for the venture. Under Mr. Score's leadership, the proposed footprint shrank to 200 acres, with a focus on timber rather than food crops.

The changes helped bring some critics around. "What's changed is Hantz Farms began to bring on people with more expertise who were able to create a more realistic plan," says Maggie DeSantis, who pushed to get her East Side community-development group to embrace the farm.

Hantz Farms recently bought about three acres on a mostly deserted block and cleared away a mountain of debris, including 430 tires. In their place, Hantz crews planted hundreds of bur oak saplings as a demonstration project. "It's a pleasure to look at," says Ruth Moucha, 80, one of the few residents left on the block. "It feels like it's a circle, coming back to what it once was."

Mr. Score says Hantz's efforts have already shifted the conversation about farming in Detroit. There were fears among city leaders that outsiders "would criticize Detroit and say that they failed as a city," he says. "We've had to help the city reframe those thoughts."

Mr. Hantz hasn't given up on his bolder vision. Ideally, he says, "this farm should be 10,000 acres," and several more are needed to restore value to Detroit's land. "The size is by no means where it needs to be."

Write to Matthew Dolan at

Title: Re: America's Inner City
Post by: DougMacG on January 30, 2013, 11:50:48 AM
(from gun related)
Well, at least the victims of the government policies that destroyed the black family reject the political party responsible for this nightmare,  right?

Failure creates more dependency and more votes ironically for big government with better turnout because not in spite of the downward spiral.  The inner city got tragically worse under the first black President and all he could think of was reelection turnout operations.  He said to these people, "I need your help".  "I can't do it without you!"   Do WHAT??!! 

If he had turned around America's inner city alone, he would have a falling unemployment rate (for real), a falling deficit, a rejuvenated economy and reelection without needing all the data mining tricks.

What a wasted opportunity to motivate and inspire.  Now what? We expect him to change course after winning?  This all goes on for another generation if not forever.
Title: How the welfare state has destroyed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 31, 2013, 06:53:31 PM
Title: WSJ: New Orleans
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 03, 2013, 11:00:22 AM

The Real Super Bowl Winner
Why New Orleans has come back better after Katrina..
The Super Bowl makes its tenth stop in New Orleans on Sunday, but only the first since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For once the Big Easy has earned this excuse to party, coming back to life better than ever.

New Orleans has patented no magic sauce. Katrina created the opening for different policies to turn around what was one of the worst-run and most politically calcified places in America. Other troubled cities and Washington, take note.

When the levees broke and flood waters sent half the town fleeing, the Crescent City was a study in urban dysfunction. Obvious to everyone was the incompetence and rot at City Hall, in the police department, on the levee board and in the schools. There were doubts about the wisdom, much less the cost, of rebuilding.

Entergy, ETR +0.37%the city's lone Fortune 500 firm, considered moving its headquarters to Little Rock. Many Katrina evacuees stayed away, and the city's population—somewhere above the 360,740 counted as of 2011—isn't back to its pre-storm level of 455,000.

Yet Katrina offered the people who wanted to save New Orleans something rare—a do-over. Consensus over the necessary fixes quickly gelled in a city long polarized by race and class.

The schools, a national embarrassment, were closed for six months and restarted from scratch. The system was turned over to charter operators, who got the leeway to hire new teachers and have been held accountable by strong schools commissioners. Before the storm, three in five students attended a failing school; now fewer than a fifth do.

This education experiment gave people the confidence to push an overhaul of policing, city procurement and other public services. The business community, which had holed up in the city's higher-ground residential areas or across Lake Pontchartrain, re-engaged in civic life.

Political change has followed. Mayor Ray Nagin—who blamed the feds for the city's catastrophic response to Katrina—was replaced three years ago by another Democrat, Mitch Landrieu. Mr. Nagin was indicted last month on 21 corruption counts. Mr. Landrieu enjoys approval ratings in the seventies. The budget was balanced. He upgraded the airport and opened a new street car line along Loyola Avenue in time for the Super Bowl.

Relatively low state and local taxes and cost of living are helping to make New Orleans a magnet for business start-ups and young college graduates—what Seattle or Austin were in other recent decades. Energy and hospitality are doing well. The jobless rate of 4.7% is lower even than in that other American boomtown, Washington, D.C., but for reasons other than a growing government.

Such progress is not guaranteed and problems remain. School test scores and graduation rates are improving but still aren't great. New Orleans remains the nation's murder capital, with three times Chicago's homicide rate, and the police have to earn public trust. The relative racial comity of the city's politics is recent and perhaps not enduring.

Yet—whether during Super Bowl week, Mardi Gras or any other party time—the city's energy and optimism are unmistakable. Americans are in a self-doubting mood these days, and not without cause. But the revival of New Orleans shows what self-government can accomplish when enough citizens choose to break up the corrupt status quo.
Title: America's Inner City; Half of Detroit property owners don't pay taxes
Post by: DougMacG on February 22, 2013, 11:51:00 AM
An estimated 47 percent of Detroit’s property owners pay no taxes, according to recent report from The Detroit News.
(Abortion rights taking a toll?)

“Nearly half of the owners of Detroit’s 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax bills last year, exacerbating a punishing cycle of declining revenues and diminished services for a city in a financial crisis,” the report notes, citing more than 200,000 pages of tax documents.

“Some $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected, about half of which was due Detroit and the rest to other entities, including Wayne County, Detroit Public Schools and the library,” the report adds.

In fact, according to The News, delinquency in the shattered city is so bad that that 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes in 2012.

Yes, one person paid taxes in an area covering 77 blocks.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 23, 2013, 03:46:17 PM
I've seen many pictures of Detroit that look like Dresden after being bombed in WW2.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: G M on February 23, 2013, 03:51:50 PM
I've seen many pictures of Detroit that look like Dresden after being bombed in WW2.

Wasn't someone looking at buying up large chunks of the city for a Zombie type attaction?
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: G M on February 23, 2013, 03:57:47 PM
Although they way things are going, most all American cities will look like this.....
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: DDF on February 23, 2013, 04:05:28 PM
Detroit is an excellent place to buy property.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; WRM - Detroit's governing decadence
Post by: DougMacG on March 16, 2013, 07:51:04 AM

March 15, 2013
Detroit Dems Enrich Wall Street As City Goes Bust
Walter Russell Mead

Michigan made it official this week: Detroit can no longer survive without adult supervision. Michigan’s governor named Kevyn Orr, a DC bankruptcy lawyer, to handle the city’s affairs on an emergency basis as the deep blue city makes a last ditch effort to avoid the biggest municipal bankruptcy in American history.

During the long grim slide, much of Detroit’s population fled the implosion; those who remained suffered through declining city services. Schools, police, fire, infrastructure: all the vital services cities are supposed to provide have gone into steep decline.

But while the city’s mostly low-income and mostly African-American residents struggled to survive civic decline, the ill wind from Detroit blew somebody good: well connected Wall Street firms have feasted on the Motor City’s carcass.

Ever since the long death spiral began, Detroit has relied on periodic bond sales to keep its bills paid. The thinking was clear: borrow now, pay it back later when the city’s finances recover. Of course, Detroit’s finances never recovered, and now it’s on the hook for much of this borrowing, in addition to the fees that these banks charged.

And these are serious fees. Bloomberg reports that since 2005, Wall Street banks have charged the city a whopping $474 million. As a comparison, that’s about as much as the city’s current entire police and fire budget for this year:

    “The banks promise to get you the money and say you can pay later,” said Greg Bowens, spokesman for Stand Up For Democracy, a Lansing group that campaigned last year to repeal the law allowing appointment of a financial manager. “They get their fees off the top, and you trust that they’re doing what’s in your taxpayers’ best interest.”

As Detroit is learning now, in many cases they weren’t. And Detroit is not alone: In city after city, struggling pension funds have turned to exotic Wall Street investments claiming high returns and minimal risks. In some cases this is working out, in many more it isn’t, but either way, Wall Street is collecting its fees and leaving taxpayers and pensioners to pick up the pieces when it falls apart.

Democrats are shocked, shocked by the news that there is gambling going on in America’s blue cities. They do their best to avert their eyes from the close political ties between corrupt urban political machines and exploitative Wall Street banks. In the lame progressive mindset that characterizes these decadent times, Wall Street is bad, and urban politicians are good. There can’t possibly be some sort of symbiotic relationship between them. How could something so good, so honest, so dedicated to serving the poor as the Detroit Democratic machine be engaged in a vicious conspiracy with Wall Street to bleed the poor and suck the city dry?

Some Democrats don’t like this kind of talk because they are cynical and others don’t like it because they are naive. The cynics are either in the game themselves or knowingly agree to look the other way because they value the support of political allies and don’t care how much those allies bleed the poor. The naive ones, and there are lots of starry eyed intellectuals in this country who don’t know a hawk from a handsaw, think that because many of these urban thugs are African-American, and because they advocate for more government programs to help the poor, they must obviously be sincere and be part of a general wave of good progressive people fighting to make this world a better place. Surely nobody is so cynical as to lobby for government programs because they plan to cream off the money?

Others have an uneasy sense that something is amiss, but a combination of historical ignorance and race sensitivity strikes them dumb. They look around America and see a number of urban areas with predominantly African-American populations. They see that many (not all) of these cities are run by incompetent, race-baiting hacks and criminals who use identity politics to bond themselves to the voters they exploit.

Because they don’t understand that corruption and identity politics have been the hallmark of American municipal government since the 1830s and 184os, they think the ghastly spectacle of demagogic corruption ruining our cities today is somehow a racial phenomenon. The racists among us see that picture and want to draw racist conclusions about African-American capacity for self governance; most of the rest of us are made so uncomfortable by the whole topic that we let the subject slide.

But thieves like the despicable Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit are anything but a racial phenomenon. There were Irish, Jewish, Italian, Polish and Greek Kilpatricks in their day. We can confidently expect a wave of Latino Kilpatricks as Latino voting power pushes African-American machines aside in more urban areas.

And there’s another thing American history teaches: unscrupulous politicians will find unscrupulous bankers who will float them abusive loans in exchange for fat fees.

If our so-called ‘progressives’ today weren’t so intellectually decadent and, well, historically challenged, they would be leading the charge to clean up American cities. Instead they are mostly silent — and sometimes even defend the machines.

It’s a terrible shame because reformers and progressives really can fight the rot and help the poor — if they can get past their messed up ‘political correctness’ illusions long enough to recognize the basic facts of the case. Some people are trying. Politicians like (one hopes) Cory Booker are part of the wave of renewal and change that slowly and bit by bit can make a change. Courageous prosecutors, crusading attorneys-general, fiercely determined governors are part of the solution. And so are presidents who believe that their oath of office obliges them to attack with special force and determination the organized political machines that use a whole series of corrupt and collusive procedures to deprive American citizens of their right to a republican form of government.

Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Governor Snyder’s choice of Kevyn Orr to take the reins in Detroit is looking good. For one thing, Orr has a history of turning around failing organizations in Michigan. He was partially responsible for guiding Chrysler through bankruptcy in 2009. Given that many expect Detroit to enter bankruptcy as well, Orr’s skill set in this area is likely to come in handy. But perhaps most importantly, Orr, along with 82 percent of Detroit’s population, is black.

The mix of political machines, unscrupulous bosses and low income voters is not inherently a racial issue, but Detroit’s problems can’t be separated from racial concerns. Ever since the state of emergency was announced, many in Detroit have been concerned that the emergency manager law is effectively taking control away from the city’s black population and putting it in the hands of a manager appointed by a white Republican governor.

Michigan has a real mess on its hands. As Bloomberg notes, Detroit now joins Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac and a few other, smaller cities under emergency management. These cities account for nearly 50 percent of the state’s black population, so that almost half the black people in Michigan now live in places where local government has effectively lost power. In Benton Harbor in particular, the current situation has sparked racial concern:

    “If I’m a young, African-American person growing up in Detroit or Benton Harbor or one of these mostly black areas, what is the message that sends?” Pilgrim said. “It certainly looks like the message is that people that look like you can’t govern.” [...]

    “I don’t see how it couldn’t be racially motivated,” Williams, 30, said of the law. “We will stop this because of folks who stood before us, like Medgar Evers, who fought for voting rights.”

It’s true that the emergency manager law is taking power away from Detroiters and other Michigan urbanites, and we certainly hope that the state can return control to the people as soon as possible. But despite the fears of a hostile outside takeover, most of Detroit’s problems come from the corrupt political machine that has been looting the city for decades — and from the indifferent state and national prosecutors and politicians who failed to address the lawless state of city government and left the city’s poor to the mercies of heartless thugs.

Following in the footsteps of cheap foreign demagogues like Robert Mugabe, Kwame Kilpatrick and others of his ilk have played relentlessly on identity politics to earn support from poor, minority communities while using the power of their office to funnel money out of these same communities and into their own pockets. And while Kilpatrick—who was just indicted on 24 charges of corruption—may be the worst of the lot, he was far from alone.

What they have left behind is a city where taxes are among the highest in the nation, yet which can’t afford to pay its pensions, provide adequate police service, or keep the lights on.

The best way to stop future tragedies like this is to enforce the law. From voting fraud to corrupt relations with contractors and financiers to fraudulent accounting on pensions, many American cities are being run more like criminal conspiracies than anything else. And the cost isn’t just the money the politicians steal, or the inflated profits that those doing business with a crooked city can earn or even the sweetheart deals with public sector unions who function as part of the machine. It is the shambolic education offered to generations of poor kids, the lack of protection for person and property, the burden of a government that is both costly and ineffective and the enterprises and jobs such a government kills or drives away: corrupt big city machines may be the most important single civil rights issue in America today.

This is not, repeat not, a black thing. Historically, most of America’s worst urban machines have been white criminal enterprises. Often in American history, a combination of identity politics, fear and hopes of getting scraps from the machine have prevented poor people in the cities from organizing against their criminal masters. In the past it was often progressives and middle class reformers, some of the same ethnicity as most of the victims, others from different groups, who banded together to drive out the crooks. The criminals did their best to smear the reformers and identity politics was part of their shtick. Tammany Hall accused its critics of being anti-Catholic or anti-Irish bigots. Prosecutors who attacked the mafia were called anti-Italian. And so it goes.

Urban machines have a legitimate place in American politics. New waves of immigrants into urban America — whether from Europe, Asia, Latin America or the rural South — benefit from organizing to protect their economic and political issues. The machines allow them to assert themselves, claim a share of city patronage and business, and direct city resources to communities that might otherwise be overlooked.

But unchecked and uncontrolled, these machines have a tendency to go over the line. Graft proliferates; crony appointments degrade the quality of governance to the point that city administration is no longer able to function. This is where the reformers come in, pushing back against the tendency of political machines to jump the shark, imposing some limits and discipline on what goes on. Partly because today’s progressives are moral cowards who have allowed themselves to be shamed by the race card, this process of balance and reform didn’t really get underway in Detroit (and perhaps elsewhere) until enormous damage had already been done.

By overlooking the corruption and a mafia thinly disguised as a political party for so long, the authorities of the United States deprived the citizens of Detroit of the equal protection of the law. That must not happen in our other cities; municipal government in this country needs to be much more transparent, and law enforcement really needs to crack down.

Without this, all the federal block grants or social programs in the world will help those trapped in the inner cities escape poverty and get the education and skills they need to build the kind of future all Americans want.

This is the pre-eminent civil rights problem of our day and is devastating minority communities throughout the country. Our political establishment, our university faculties and fashionable intellectuals, our newspaper editorialists, our legal profession and our clergy stand essentially silent; it is the silence of shame.
Title: America's Inner City: Richmond VA, 86% of black households are single-parent
Post by: DougMacG on June 10, 2013, 09:02:35 AM
This is cultural, not racial.  The trend extends across all races.

"60 percent of all families in the city of Richmond are single-parent households. Within the African-American demographic, that number spikes up to 86 percent"
Title: 10 most dangerous cities in US
Post by: bigdog on July 12, 2013, 12:22:52 PM
Title: America's Inner City: If President Obama Had A City, It Would Look like Detroit
Post by: DougMacG on July 21, 2013, 06:50:16 PM
If Obama Had A City, It Would Look like Detroit

    40% of its street lamps don't work.

    210 of its 317 public parks have been closed.

    It takes an hour for police to respond to a 911 call.

    Only a third of its ambulances are drivable.

    One-third of the city has been abandoned.

    Forty-seven percent of adults are functionally illiterate

Evidently 50 years of governance by compassionate Obama community organizer types have driven out the business class and now there is no one left to rail against.

To top it off, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina declared Detroit's bankruptcy "unconstitutional." Evidently, as Mark Stein puts it, in Michigan," reality is unconstitutional."
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues, Detroit
Post by: DougMacG on August 02, 2013, 09:38:57 PM
What caused Detroit's demise?  How is it that everybody here seems to understand exactly  what policies caused the demise of Detroit and no one in a position of policy making power anywhere in the economy seems to understand it at all?

Photo currently showing with the headlines on the Drudge Report:

Perfectly good or repairable buildings serving absolutely no economic purpose.
Title: Metro 'Smart Planning', 'Regionalism', "Cities without Suburbs"
Post by: DougMacG on August 07, 2013, 10:53:44 AM
This article is written with the Twin Cities MN metro of Minneapolis, St. Paul and suburbs in mind.  The same issues are likely in play in your metro as well.  Met Council of which she refers is the unelected governing body of the seven county metro area.  Minnesota currently has a Dem Governor, House and Senate, so these liberal causes are currently able to move quite rapidly.

Twin Cities suburbs should beware of the Met Council

    August 3, 2013

Crusaders for ‘regionalism’ want a more concentrated, centrally planned Twin Cities. Those who don’t may never know what hit them.

The Twin Cities of 2040 will likely be starkly different from the place you live now. People will increasingly live in dense, urban concentrations, even if they’d prefer a house with a yard outside the 494 beltway.

Government planners will have power to steer new jobs into central cities and first-ring suburbs, and to set what amounts to quotas for people of different incomes and races in neighborhoods and schools throughout the metro area. Outside the urban core, highway conditions will deteriorate and congestion — encouraged by government — will get worse.

As these changes unfold, you’ll never be sure how the freedom and quality of life you once took for granted slipped away. Plenty of elected officials will be as frustrated as you are. But mysteriously, they too will stand powerless as choices constrict.

What will be the engine of this transformation? An out-of-the-limelight agency we generally think of as running the buses and occasionally approving a new runway at the airport: the Metropolitan Council.

In coming months, the council will release a draft of “Thrive MSP 2040” — its comprehensive plan to shape development in the seven-county region over the next 30 years. Powerful forces are coalescing to use the document as a tool for social planners to use to design their vision of the perfect society — and to impose it on the rest of us.

A huge, unchecked power grab is about to take place beneath our noses. But mayors and city councils will find it hard to push back. That’s because the Met Council will increasingly wield the power to decide which municipalities thrive and which decline. It will both write the rules for development and hold the purse strings.

The Met Council was established in the mid-1960s at the behest of Republican-leaning policymakers, who believed regional planning of infrastructure could enhance efficiency. Its reach has grown dramatically, and today it allocates funds (state, federal and regional) among the region’s 187 municipalities for projects ranging from highway improvement to bridges to sewer lines. In the process, the council’s role has expanded well beyond its original mandate, as government so often does.

We can expect MSP 2040 to put this process on steroids, giving the agency a license, over time, to dramatically remake the entire region.

The forces shaping MSP 2040 — whose final vision the council will approve in 2014 — are part of a growing nationwide movement called “regionalism.”

Regional planning of service delivery and infrastructure is important, of course. But “regionalism,” as an ideology, is not, as its name suggests, about promoting the good of a region as a whole. It’s about metro centers — the urban core and inner-ring suburbs — usurping control over outer-ring communities to advance their own interests and, in the process, effectively replacing local elected officials with a handful of regional governments.

In the case of the Twin Cities, the ramifications for democratic self-rule are profound. The Met Council’s 17 members are not elected. Though they come from different parts of the seven-county area, they don’t represent the needs and interests of voters there. They are all appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, and they owe their allegiance to him.

The press for regionalism is coming from the highest power in the land: the Obama White House. The Obama administration’s campaign to build the regulatory framework to implement the movement’s agenda is documented in political analyst Stanley Kurtz’s 2012 book, “Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.”

The Twin Cities may be a showcase for how far the regionalist crusade can go. Our Met Council is unique, and we already have regional tax-base sharing — one of the movement’s most sought-after tools.

An army of academics, environmental organizations, foundations, and transit advocacy and left-wing religious groups is working to ensure that MSP 2040 greatly expands the Met Council’s regulatory control. And there’s a movement underway to organize politicians from inner-ring suburbs and Minneapolis and St. Paul, with the goal of taking on the outer-ring suburbs and forging a permanent legislative majority for the regionalist agenda.

Regionalism is driven by a core ideological conviction: The cause of the poverty and social dysfunction that bedevil America’s cities is the greed and racial bigotry of suburbanites — especially those in prosperous, outer-ring suburbs, which are viewed as unjustly excluding the poor. Regionalists believe that financial aid for the inner ring won’t remedy this injustice. A profound change in governance is required.

What sort of change? The title of a book by regionalist guru David Rusk puts it bluntly: “Cities without Suburbs.” In regionalists’ view, suburbs with their own tax bases are, by definition, a menace to cities, and the distinctions between the two must be wiped out as completely as possible.

Regionalists’ strategy to effectively merge cities and suburbs turns on two ideologically freighted buzzwords: “equity” and “sustainability.” “Equity” is code for using public policy to redistribute wealth and to engineer economic equality among demographic groups.

Regionalists view metrowide “economic integration” as one of government’s primary responsibilities. Their plan to accomplish it is twofold: Disperse urban poverty throughout a metro area via low-income housing and make suburban life so inconvenient and expensive that suburbanites are pushed back into the city.

“Sustainability” means policies that would override market forces to ensure that in the future, the great majority of new jobs, economic development and public works projects are funneled into the metro area’s urban core and inner ring — where, not coincidentally, regionalists’ own political base is concentrated. “Sustainable” policies promote high-density, Manhattan-style living, and attempt to wean us away from our cars and push us to walk, bike or use public transit to get to work.

As one critic — speculating on MSP 2040’s likely outcome — lamented: “Do we all have to live in a 1,500-square-foot condo above a coffee shop on a transit line?”

Suburbanites will disproportionately shoulder the costs of this socially engineered transformation, paying more in taxes and getting less back in infrastructure and public services.

Purse strings

Regionalists’ strategy for imposing their agenda hinges on giving regional bodies like the Met Council the ultimate trump: the power of the checkbook. The Obama administration’s “Sustainable Communities Initiative” (SCI) provides a model. SCI channels federal funds for land use, transportation and housing projects through regional bodies. The catch is that, to participate, municipalities must embrace redistributive “equity” goals.

The Met Council already has announced that “equity” and “mitigating economic and social disparities through regional investments” will be top priorities of MSP 2040. This explicit embrace of social engineering goals appears to signal an intent to initiate what could be a virtually limitless remake of our metro area.

Special-interest groups are lining up to lobby for proposals to embed “equity” and “sustainability” criteria in Met Council plans and/or funding criteria. These proposals include creating one giant seven-county metro school district to facilitate apportionment of students by race and income, and ensuring that “at least 70 percent of projected growth in population and households” in the next 30 years takes place through “infill and redevelopment of already urbanized land.”

In the future, if Prior Lake or Anoka want to get a grant to expand a major regional highway, officials there may need to demonstrate that their city meets the council’s “equity” criteria on low-income housing and doesn’t allow “exclusionary” zoning, instead of just showing that the project would improve safety or reduce congestion.

Over time, demands could escalate. Eventually, for example, a municipality may have to meet onerous “carbon footprint” or “clean energy” requirements to get approval for a new sewer line. Pressure will mount to make state and federal aid of all kinds contingent on meeting Met Council social planning dictates.

Most likely, the council will continue to operate under the fiction that cities have a choice. Yet a city council or a county board that declines to comply with “regionalist” criteria — citing its citizens’ needs and preferences — would ensure that funds and approval for improvement would stop, and so would remain frozen in time.

Advocates insist that the Twin Cities must embrace regionalist policies to remain “economically competitive.” In fact, top-down planning by unaccountable bureaucrats that distorts market forces is likely to constrict overall prosperity and stymie development. Ironically, it’s also likely to increase “sprawl,” as people flee to cities like Delano or Elk River to get beyond the Met Council’s iron grip.

Most importantly, the direction the Met Council is heading is inconsistent with our deepest beliefs as a people. The American dream is about striving for a better life through economic growth, not redistribution of wealth. Regionalists’ Orwellian appeals to “equity” and “sustainability” are hostile to our cherished traditions of individual liberty, personal responsibility and local self-government.
Katherine Kersten is a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment.
Title: Segregation, diversity, and clustering
Post by: bigdog on August 16, 2013, 09:44:15 AM

From the piece:

How diverse is your neighborhood really? This map by Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service displays the population distribution of every person in America (as of the 2010 census) along racial and ethnic lines. The map features 308,745,538 dots, each smaller than a single pixel and each representing one person: Caucasians are blue, blacks are green, Hispanics are orange, Asians are red, and other races are brown.

The vast swaths of purple appear to show the racial diversity of some of America’s biggest cities. But if you zoom into the map and break these cities down at the neighborhood level, patterns of segregation become much clearer.

Cable uses the example of Minneapolis–St. Paul to illustrate a city where racial integration in the city as a whole appears far greater than it does in individual blocks of streets.
Title: Re: Segregation, diversity, and clustering
Post by: DougMacG on August 23, 2013, 07:15:47 AM
How diverse is your neighborhood really? This map by Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service displays the population distribution of every person in America (as of the 2010 census) along racial and ethnic lines. The map features 308,745,538 dots, each smaller than a single pixel and each representing one person: Caucasians are blue, blacks are green, Hispanics are orange, Asians are red, and other races are brown.

The vast swaths of purple appear to show the racial diversity of some of America’s biggest cities. But if you zoom into the map and break these cities down at the neighborhood level, patterns of segregation become much clearer.

Cable uses the example of Minneapolis–St. Paul to illustrate a city where racial integration in the city as a whole appears far greater than it does in individual blocks of streets.

VERY interesting post and map.  Interesting that people choose segregation to such a large extent, nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and segregation laws were ruled illegal. 

If you look at the inner cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul (the example chosen) from a distance you see apparent diversity.  Then they show a map down to the neighborhoods and you see apparent segregation.  What they don't show is that if you zoom in even closer to the household or even the bedroom you again see diversity.  Millions and millions of Americans are either mixed race individuals or live in mixed-race households.

One in seven new marriages in the U.S. involve spouses from different racial groups. Pew 2011.  That proportion, I will guess, is even higher for unmarried couples.
Title: Re: America's Inner City: Paul Ryan reaches in
Post by: DougMacG on April 28, 2014, 07:57:47 AM
Where poitics meets culture, and vice versa.  A long story with good coverage of Paul Ryan going into the inner city, which he has learned to not call the inner city because that has racial overtones.

Ryan is doing something rather unprecedented for a Republican: He is spending unchoreographed time with actual poor people. He is exposing himself to the complexities of low-income life that don’t fit in the 30-second spot, the outlay spreadsheet, or the stump speech applause line. He is traveling well outside his comfort zone — and it has been uncomfortable.
At one point, as he tells me about his efforts during the presidential race to get the Romney campaign to spend more time in urban areas, he says, “I wanted to do these inner-city tours—” then he stops abruptly and corrects himself. “I guess we’re not supposed to use that.”
His eyes dart back and forth for a moment as he searches for words that won’t rain down more charges of racism. “These…these…”
I suggest that the term is appropriate in this context, since it is obviously intended as an innocuous description of place. He’s unconvinced, and eventually settles on a retreat to imprecision: “I mean, I wanted to take our ideas and principles everywhere, and try for everybody’s vote. I just thought, morally speaking, it was important to ask everyone for their support.”
There is a familiar, approved narrative of the Woodson–Ryan union: The two men met in the early ’90s through their mutual friend Jack Kemp, the Republican Party’s big-tent visionary, and reconnected near the end of the 2012 campaign, when Ryan asked him to assemble a panel of grassroots-level advocates for the poor to participate in an off-the-record roundtable.
Ryan’s broad vision for curing American poverty is one that conservatives have been championing for the last half-century, more or less. He imagines a diverse network of local churches, charities, and service organizations doing much of the work the federal government took on in the 20th century. Rather than supplying jobless Americans with a never-ending stream of unemployment checks, for example, Ryan thinks the federal government should funnell resources toward community-based work programs like Pastor Webster’s.
If his rhetoric lacks poetry, his arguments against the current state-centric approach to aiding the poor is compelling. Since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” the U.S. government has spent an estimated $13 trillion on federal programs that have resulted, 50 years later, in the highest deep poverty rate on record. The failure, Ryan contends, is in the notion that anti-poverty programs are best managed from the top, with Washington bureaucrats crunching numbers and then issuing lowest-common-denominator directives. “It’s this premise that you’ve got to sit in D.C. and you can just have a really enlightened, benevolent bureaucracy that can figure all this stuff out,” he says, adding, “It’s well-intended. But it’s so, to me, paternalistic and arrogant and really kind of condescending. It doesn’t work, and it’s sort of debilitating. It takes the creativity out of communities, out of people.”
After more than a year of trying to lead a national conversation about the causes and consequences of poverty, what he’s gotten is a dogfight.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Getting Past Name-Calling to Talk About Poverty
Post by: DougMacG on April 30, 2014, 08:25:36 AM
I am no fan and disagree on a couple of details, but kudos to Juan Williams for taking this on.  This is not about race; it is about a culture of not trying to join the productive economy.  Our public policies including the safety hammock and marginal effective tax rates sometimes greater than 100% on people trying to get out of poverty are perpetuating the problem.

Getting Past Name-Calling to Talk About Poverty
Rep. Paul Ryan is meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Let's hope they give his ideas a fair hearing.

April 29, 2014 7:26 p.m. ET

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is scheduled to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday to discuss his plans to address poverty and his March 12 comments in a radio interview about a "tailspin of culture" in our inner cities where "generations of men [are] not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work." Mr. Ryan's statement sparked liberal accusations of racism. Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) called it "a thinly veiled racial attack" that "cannot be tolerated" for ignoring that the majority of the poor are white and often live in the suburbs and rural areas.

All this provides what President Obama might call "a teaching moment." For more than a year, Mr. Ryan has been working closely with Robert Woodson, the head of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, to find solutions to generational poverty among inner-city families—many of them black and Hispanic. But because Mr. Ryan is white—and worse, a Republican, he is a "racist" for pointing out how many approaches to poverty alleviation aren't working.

"No wonder people who want to be thoughtful . . . and deal with the issue" are often afraid to speak up, said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at a panel I hosted earlier this month at the Aspen Institute's Fourth Annual Symposium on the State of Race in America. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said that even though he is black, he is criticized by many black leaders for talking about an obvious problem in his city and others: black-on-black crime. Murders among black men ages 18-34, he noted, make up the majority of homicides in New Orleans and Philadelphia.

Mayor Landrieu pointed to Mr. Ryan's discussion of inner-city poverty as a vivid illustration of the need for white political leaders of goodwill to be given more leeway in discussing problems in black America—without risking knee-jerk charges of racism—if the nation is serious about solving those problems. Improving the schools that regularly fail black and Hispanic children is another example of a situation where anyone committed to reform faces racial name-calling.

Mr. Ryan and two Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, have recently been traveling the country to look for ways to reduce poverty, including the disproportionate poverty among minorities.

Mr. Paul has focused on lowering taxes in black neighborhoods to promote investments that lead to jobs. Mr. Rubio has discussed replacing traditional poverty programs such as the earned-income tax credit with direct grants to low-income, low-skill workers that allow them to decide how to best help themselves, with job training or education programs. Mr. Ryan's focus so far has been on ending high rates of unemployment among poor black men by providing incentives to pursue work.

All of the Republican strategies are in early stages of formation. But the immediate response by liberals has been to charge them with simply wanting to cut today's antipoverty programs. Rep. Gwen Moore (D., Wis.) a member of the Black Caucus who is also on the budget committee chaired by Rep. Ryan, recently told reporters that "his take on talking about poverty is to say we spend billions or trillions of dollars on poverty programs . . . and poverty won." She accused him of "playing with statistics or numbers, because in fact these poverty programs have helped raise people into the middle class . . . it has literally been a lifeline to millions of people and not just people of color."

The fact is that federal and local government programs have helped to lift people out of poverty. But it is also a fact that despite those efforts there is a persistent high level of poverty among black and Hispanic Americans, before, during and after the Great Recession. Obviously new strategies, not just spending more money on existing antipoverty programs, is needed to help people in poverty and especially minorities.

In his closed-door meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, Mr. Ryan is expected to explain his support for new public-policy options for lowering the poverty rate among blacks, a rate only slightly higher than poverty among Hispanics but three times as high as poverty among non-Hispanic whites. Any new ideas have to chase away old perceptions that contribute to people living in poverty. Racism is a reality and so is a tough economy doing a slow climb out of recession.

But that is not the whole story. As we've long known, education is key. Studies confirm that black people who graduate from high school, who never leave the workforce but take any job they can find as young people, no matter how meager, are rewarded with better jobs. It is also true that people who marry before having children have a much lower likelihood of living in poverty.

Mayor Landrieu, among others, sees an opening for honest debate about the true issues behind race and poverty—as well as high rates of black-on-black crime—with the 50th anniversary of the 1965 report titled: "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." The report, written by a white Labor Department sociologist who later became a U.S. senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, made the case that it was more than a shortage of jobs that led to high black unemployment. Moynihan, a Democrat, also pointed to the breakdown of the black family, specifically the lack of positive male role models, which led to increased dependence on welfare.

That report was sharply criticized as "blaming the victim" by liberals and black leaders at the time but was later embraced by many rigorous thinkers in both parties. Sadly, the ills that Moynihan pointed to have grown along with minority poverty. It is way past time for new ideas from all quarters about solving a serious problem.
Title: Re: America's Inner City, Chicago: 82 shootings in 84 hours
Post by: DougMacG on July 08, 2014, 06:13:26 AM
My point looking into America's inner cities is not gun violence but the culture in the neighborhoods where that is happening.  This is IMO largely the result of our failed policies in the war on poverty.  George Gilder wrote about this in 1981 in "Wealth and Poverty" and the consequences he described then couldn't be more true today.  Government provides the necessities, lives without purpose, men without responsibilities, neighborhoods without home ownership, children without two loving parents in the home, businesses leave the area, schools fail, the cycle gets worse.

Instead of fighting poverty and a poverty mentality, pursue wealth and a wealth mentality.,0,2426321.story
Title: Re: America's Inner City, Chicago: 82 shootings in 84 hours
Post by: G M on July 08, 2014, 10:02:14 AM
My point looking into America's inner cities is not gun violence but the culture in the neighborhoods where that is happening.  This is IMO largely the result of our failed policies in the war on poverty.  George Gilder wrote about this in 1981 in "Wealth and Poverty" and the consequences he described then couldn't be more true today.  Government provides the necessities, lives without purpose, men without responsibilities, neighborhoods without home ownership, children without two loving parents in the home, businesses leave the area, schools fail, the cycle gets worse.

Instead of fighting poverty and a poverty mentality, pursue wealth and a wealth mentality.,0,2426321.story

Personal responsibility and economic growth would run contrary to the needs of the dems/racial industrial complex.
Title: Re: America's Inner City, Chicago: 82 shootings in 84 hours
Post by: DougMacG on July 08, 2014, 08:35:28 PM
"Personal responsibility and economic growth would run contrary to the needs of the dems/racial industrial complex."

That's right.  But it shouild be clear by now to some very key constituencies that these policies are failing those people.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: G M on July 08, 2014, 09:05:10 PM
That's why school choice is opposed with such fervor. Can't have any kids escaping the public school indoctrination machines.
Title: America's Inner City, Baltimore grew "progressively poorer"
Post by: DougMacG on May 01, 2015, 08:54:08 AM
I took a stab at this, responding to a call for personal responsibility in 'the way forward thread:  It its good to others chiming in.  This article with the same themes has credibility coming from a Professor of Economics at Loyola University in Maryland, author of Restoring the Urban American Dream.  Understanding these facts and concepts is crucial to ever changing the direction of our economic malaise and urban decline.  Why can't we make these points persuasively to ALL demographic groups in all neighborhoods?  How can anyone think stomping on and chasing out wealth helps the poor?  Why are we taking away personal responsibility from those with the most need?  What a great country we would have if the we had everyone in, pulling in the same direction.  And what an ugly and dysfunctional society we become when we let ourselves fracture like this.
Baltimore: A Lesson in Why Robin Hood–ism Hurts the Poor
 by STEPHEN J. K. WALTERS   May 1, 2015 4:00 AM
The morning after the Baltimore protests first turned violent and destructive, USA Today carried a front-page photo well worth a thousand words. With a burning car and police van in the background, a looter carried away his prizes: two cans of Pringles, a gallon of iced tea, and a bundle of diapers. So much destruction, such puny rewards.

This plundering was widely — though not universally — condemned. A few radical-splained that a riot is the language of the unheard, the voice of the voiceless, yadda, yadda, yadda. The more mainstream talking point was that the rioting was a “distraction” from the narrative that the Left is trying to build out of the death of Freddie Gray: We are a nation ruled by racist, oppressive institutions abetted by brutal cops, where social and economic injustice is pervasive, and deep “societal change” is necessary.

In Baltimore, of course, the rhetoric of powerlessness just won’t play. Even the incendiary Rev. Jamal Bryant, an Al Sharpton wannabe who has likened the city’s police force to ISIS, has noticed that he lives in a city with a black mayor (the fourth in its history), black police chief, black chief prosecutor, and majority-black city council.

But pay no attention to that black power elite behind the curtain. Let’s talk about “the burn behind the burn,” in the words of Malik Shabazz, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center — not known to be part of the vast right-wing conspiracy — as a “racist black nationalist” with a history of “violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people.” Shabazz, according to SPLC, is “particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests.”

The source of “the burn” is urban poverty and inequality, and the treatment is money. President Obama announced with his usual confidence that “there’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now in that,” while also asserting that the evil Republicans running Congress would, of course, refuse to make the “massive investments in urban communities” required. So, hey, don’t blame us progressives.  Baltimoreans are justifiably angry — just at the wrong people.

As a matter of historical fact, however, it is with progressive ideology that responsibility lies for Baltimore’s stagnant economy, its lack of job opportunities, and its meager stocks of physical, human, and social capital. Baltimoreans are justifiably angry — just at the wrong people.

The responsible parties have always meant well, of course. Before World War I, it seemed clear to those of good will that the federal and state governments weren’t doing enough to improve the lot of the poor. Because big cities often contained more than their share of both the destitute (usually recent immigrants) and the compassionate, what we call “Robin Hood Government” first took root there. The well-off would be made to pay for policies and programs that would lift up the poor. Public-works projects and swelling public payrolls would enhance poor people’s employment prospects; their slums would be cleared and replaced with better, cheaper public housing.

Of course, this could get expensive. Boston’s “Mayor of the Poor,” James Michael Curley, quintupled that city’s property-tax rate in his four terms and bragged, not inaccurately, that he had inspired imitators in places such as Baltimore and in the New Deal itself. But it would all be transformational.

And it was — just not in a good way. Playing Robin Hood at the local level, it became clear, had a huge downside. Take from the rich (and working classes) at the national level, and the unenlightened among them may grumble. Do the same thing at the local level, however, and they simply move.

With them will go vast quantities of capital in all its forms: not just knowledge, financial wealth, and social networks, but over time the factories, offices, homes, and stores that are the machinery of a successful city. The old capital wears out, and the new investment needed to replace it goes elsewhere.

So it was that Baltimore, which in 1950 enjoyed a median family income 7 percent above the national level, grew progressively poorer (double entendre, um, intended) as it cleared “blight,” sprinkled housing projects around town, expanded social-welfare programs, and paid for it all with 19 property-tax increases in the next 25 years, doubling its former rate. Each hike, via what economists call tax capitalization, reduced property values. It was legal looting, but property owners — capitalists — didn’t like it any better than the illegal kind of plundering, and they fled. Baltimore’s land area is 81 square miles, but within its borders, you are never more than a few miles from a more favorable investment climate. Chase the capital — and capitalists — away, and laborers suffer diminished opportunity, productivity, and income.

Naturally, then, many of those left behind are angry. Call it “rage against the absent machine.” Contrary to the teachings of Comrade Marx, capital and labor are not adversaries, but partners in production. Chase the capital — and capitalists — away, and laborers suffer diminished opportunity, productivity, and income. Poverty, crime, and social disorder flourish. The key force here is not racism — which explains little of the wide variation in cities’ fortunes over time — but a misguided devotion to Robin Hood–ism at the local level.

What is worse is that several generations of Baltimore’s leaders, though well aware that prior policies caused catastrophic capital flight, have embraced a palliative that is neither effective nor equitable. Indeed, they have chosen a course that reinforces complaints of the city’s poorer residents that “the system” works mainly for the rich.

It is now routine for officials to dole out special tax breaks and subsidies to well-heeled and well-connected developers to offset the city’s punishing tax rate and to attract private investment. It is also woefully inadequate to the city’s needs. This is not only because these projects often affect just a few acres along the waterfront and largely ignore the areas where we now see “unrest,” but because an investment environment that depends on the favor of whoever sits in City Hall can never lead to an organic and sustained urban renewal.

To thrive, Baltimore needs to put aside the Robin Hood model of urban governance and embrace a new one: conscientious protection of its residents property rights. It must radically reform its tax policy; it must end its reliance on grandiose redevelopment projects that seize land through eminent domain; it must reclaim its public spaces for the use and enjoyment of the law-abiding. The good news is that the city’s recent turmoil and tension provide ample reason for its leaders to question their devotion to old formulas — or for new political blood to challenge them. Nobody in Baltimore is happy right now. Perhaps that discontent will lead us toward the right path.

 — Stephen J. K. Walters is the author of Boom Towns: Restoring the Urban American Dream and a professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: G M on May 01, 2015, 10:48:28 AM
Funny how blue cities and states are such utter failures.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: DougMacG on May 01, 2015, 09:28:05 PM
Funny how blue cities and states are such utter failures.

Right and the causation goes both directions.  Areas of failure from leftist federal policies turn left locally, causing even more failure.  It spirals downward, progressively poorer as the author put it, until there is one party rule and entire families and neighborhoods where hardly anyone knows anyone who works or has started a business.

Have you ever bought a product manufactured in the Northside of Minneapolis, Southside of Chicago or a neighborhood of west Baltimore?  Can anyone name a great company founded in one of these areas since the war on poverty began?  Probably not.  Drive 10-20 miles outward and the graduation rate jumps from 37% to 98%, to take just one indicator of poverty vs. wealth, failure vs. success.

There is no easy fix, but there will be no solution at all when people won't admit this is all wrong and try to change course.
Title: Whoops! The President forgot to mention this , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 04, 2015, 08:22:22 AM

The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Obama's stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.

Obama claimed last Tuesday that if the Republican-controlled Congress would implement his policies to make "massive investments in urban communities," they could "make a difference right now" in the city, currently in upheaval following the death of Freddie Gray.

However, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a "massive" investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.

According to, one of Baltimore's central ZIP codes, 21201, received the most stimulus funding in the city, a total of $837,955,866. The amount included funding for 276 awards, and the website reports that the spending had created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter in 2013.

Of this amount, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to "family"; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and $3.1 million to job training.
IF my math is correct those 290 jobs created cost over $6,310,000 each  :cry: :cry:  :x
Title: Re: Whoops! The President forgot to mention this , , ,
Post by: DougMacG on May 04, 2015, 09:13:53 AM

The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Obama's stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.

Obama claimed last Tuesday that if the Republican-controlled Congress would implement his policies to make "massive investments in urban communities," they could "make a difference right now" in the city, currently in upheaval following the death of Freddie Gray.

However, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a "massive" investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.

According to, one of Baltimore's central ZIP codes, 21201, received the most stimulus funding in the city, a total of $837,955,866. The amount included funding for 276 awards, and the website reports that the spending had created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter in 2013.

Of this amount, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to "family"; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and $3.1 million to job training.
IF my math is correct those 290 jobs created cost over $6,310,000 each  :cry: :cry:  :x

Just sickening.  It's not just that the money doesn't help; the money pouring in is doing immeasurable damage.  How is some young person starting out or single parent trying to off of welfare supposed to get focused and motivated on getting out of bed in the morning and showing up on time everyday for a lousy, entry level job and work hard all day for a relatively small amount of money to pay the bills and establish a good work record when people are throwing millions and literally billions around right in front of you?  It used to be only the drug dealers who had the fancy, shiny cars that the kids would envy.  Now its the government cronyists.

Here is the Baltimore Congresswoman on Fox News Sunday.  Chris Wallace asked he one good follow up question,  but no one ever really pins them down on just how dead-wrong they are:

WALLACE: ... whenever have you riots, people talk about the underlying conditions. And there's no question that Baltimore, the city of Baltimore, has serious problems. Let put them on the screen.

The violent crime rate is four times the national average. Unemployment in Freddie Gray's neighborhood in Baltimore was 21 percent. Seventy-two percent of eighth graders score below proficient in math.

Now, a lot of people, frankly, conservatives, have pointed out that Baltimore has not had a Republican mayor in 50 years. Is it unfair to say that the liberal policies have failed the city of Baltimore?

EDWARDS: No. I think it's unevenly spread. I mean, I would say, for example, with our schools, just prior to the Freddie Gray incident, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was actually prevailing upon our Republican governor to release money for school funding.

When you have schools that are operating in the 20th century, and we're trying to prepare our children for the 21st century, even those children know they are not educated in the right way. I think that that is a baseline for how we can revitalize communities so that it's not -- we're not investing in economic development only in the areas where we get tax abasements but we're investing in other areas in the community, our small businesses and our education system and job retraining.

WALLACE: But, Congresswoman, if I may, it's not a matter of money. One of the things that we learned this week is Baltimore spends the third highest although per capita on its public school.
Baltimore was already spending plenty on public school and the schools were still lousy.

EDWARDS: Well, I mean, there's uneven spending in the public schools. And I would say to you -- I mean, even the school that let out where the riots first began, there was a student who was interviewed who said, I'm looking at a book that's 20 years old. How does that prepare her for the 21st century?

So, I think we have a lot of questions to ask. They're not just -- they're not questions that are only for Republicans. They're questions for Democrats and Republicans about where we're going to make investments in our communities so the only investment we make isn't on the back end on law enforcement.

Throw more money in is the only proposal coming from the elected, governing establishment, and then blame whoever puts limits on that for all the problems.  Yes we spent more than two trillion dollars but it was "spread unevenly".  They already have second in the nation spending and 72% can't do math.

It shouldn't take a person labeled 'conservative' to tell them what they are doing isn't working!
Title: WSJ: Doing business in Baltimore
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 04, 2015, 10:15:59 AM
The supply-chain management company I started in the late 1990s and lead today is in downtown Baltimore. On the night of the worst violence last month, there were more tempting targets than our cement, nondescript building, like the liquor store 150 yards away that was looted. Yet on any given day what takes place in this neighborhood is a slow-motion version of recent events. Graffiti, which anyone with experience in urban policing will affirm is the first sign of trouble, regularly appears on the exterior of our building. From there the range of crimes escalates to burglarizing cars in the parking lot, and breaking and entering our building.

City policies and procedures fail to help employers address these problems—and make them worse. When the building alarm goes off, the police charge us a fee. If the graffiti isn’t removed in a certain amount of time, we are fined. This penalize-first approach is of a piece with Baltimore’s legendary tax and regulatory burden. The real cost of these ill-conceived policies is to the community where we—and other local businesses in similar positions—might be able to hire more of those Baltimoreans who have lost hope of escaping poverty and government dependency.

Maryland still lags most states in its appeal to companies, according to well-documented business-climate comparisons put out by think tanks, financial-services firms, site-selection consultants and financial media. Baltimore fares even worse than other Maryland jurisdictions, having the highest individual income and property taxes at 3.2% and $2.25 for every $100 of assessed property value, respectively. New businesses organized as partnerships or limited-liability corporations are subject, unusually, to the local individual income tax, reducing startup activity.

The bottom line is that our modest 14,000-square-foot building is hit with $50,000 in annual property taxes. And when we refinanced our building loan in 2006, Maryland and Baltimore real-estate taxes drove up the cost of this routine financial transaction by $36,000.

State and city regulations overlap in a number of areas, most notably employment and hiring practices, where litigious employees can game the system and easily find an attorney to represent them in court. Building-permit requirements, sales-tax collection procedures for our multistate clients, workers’ compensation and unemployment trust-fund hearings add to the expensive distractions that impede hiring.

Harder to quantify is the difficulty people face who want to live here. Our employees reduce their tax burden and receive better public services in the suburbs. I live in the city, however, and it is a challenge to stay here. My two children attend a public elementary school where classrooms are filled beyond capacity with 30 or more students. Bathroom stall doors and toilet-seat lids are missing. The heat goes out in the winter and the air-conditioning goes out in hot weather. It’s hard to explain the importance of developing science and math skills to students wearing winter coats in the classroom.

Contrary to President Obama’s suggestion in a news conference following saturated television coverage of the riots, lack of urban “investment” is not the problem. The Maryland state and Baltimore city governments are leveraging funds to float a $1 billion bond issue to rebuild crumbling public schools. This is on top of the $1.2 billion in annual state aid Baltimore received in 2015, more than any other jurisdiction and eclipsing more populous suburban counties. The financial problem Baltimore does face is a declining tax base, the most pronounced in the state. According to the Internal Revenue Service, $125 million in taxable annual income in Baltimore vanished between 2009 and 2010.

Leadership can change this. Maryland last fall elected a new governor, Republican Larry Hogan, who campaigned on improving the state’s business climate and bipartisanship. Baltimore’s mayor since 2010, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, says she is committed to rebuilding the city. Despite some minor jabs at each other in the past few months, both showed an effective working relationship during the crisis of the past few weeks. Their political futures will now be linked as the real work begins to repair Maryland’s largest city.

They will be building on perceptions of the Baltimore area that go far beyond the 24-hour, instant-news cycle. We have corporate success stories to tell the world about, including Under Armour, a global leader in sports apparel, and McCormick, the classic American spice company founded here in 1889. But these companies succeed despite the business climate, not because of it.

The simplest, most direct way to offer hope to discouraged people is to hire them. The Baltimore business community has a simple message to law enforcement and elected officials: “Help us help you.” People making good wages, working at jobs they are proud of don’t destroy themselves or the place where they live. We have the political and business talent to rebuild one of America’s great cities, once we focus on creating the conditions for job growth.

Mr. Steinmetz, a former member of the Maryland Small Business Commission, is the CEO of Baltimore-based Barcoding Inc.
Title: Re: America's Inner City, Ghetto Communities social breakdown, Thomas Sowell
Post by: DougMacG on May 05, 2015, 07:03:26 AM
A very wise man whose writings helped to form some of my views.

"The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period.  You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility, and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large."

"One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994."

Title: WSJ: Baltimore is not about race
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 05, 2015, 11:02:25 AM
Sowell invariably raises the level of whatever conversation he joins!

Baltimore Is Not About Race
Government-induced dependency is the problem—and it’s one with a long history.
By William McGurn
May 4, 2015 7:18 p.m. ET

For those who see the rioting in Baltimore as primarily about race, two broad reactions dominate.

One group sees rampaging young men fouling their own neighborhoods and concludes nothing can be done because the social pathologies are so overwhelming. In some cities, this view manifests itself in the unspoken but cynical policing that effectively cedes whole neighborhoods to the thugs.

The other group tut-tuts about root causes. Take your pick: inequality, poverty, injustice. Or, as President Obama intimated in an ugly aside on the rioting, a Republican Congress that will never agree to the “massive investments” (in other words, billions more in federal spending) required “if we are serious about solving this problem.”

There is another view. In this view, the disaster of inner cities isn’t primarily about race at all. It’s about the consequences of 50 years of progressive misrule—which on race has proved an equal-opportunity failure.

Baltimore is but the latest liberal-blue city where government has failed to do the one thing it ought—i.e., put the cops on the side of the vulnerable and law-abiding—while pursuing “solutions” that in practice enfeeble families and social institutions and local economies.

These supposed solutions do this by substituting federal transfers for fathers and families. They do it by favoring community organizing and government projects over private investment. And they do it by propping up failing public-school systems that operate as jobs programs for the teachers unions instead of centers of learning.

If our inner-city African-American communities suffer disproportionately from crippling social pathologies that make upward mobility difficult—and they do—it is in large part because they have disproportionately been on the receiving end of this five-decade-long progressive experiment in government beneficence.

How do we know? Because when we look at a slice of white America that was showered with the same Great Society good intentions—Appalachia—we find the same dysfunctions: greater dependency, more single-parent families and the absence of the good, private-sector jobs that only a growing economy can create.

Remember, in the mid-1960s when President Johnson put a face on America’s “war on poverty,” he didn’t do it from an urban ghetto. He did it from the front porch of a shack in eastern Kentucky’s Martin County, where a white family of 10 eked out a subsistence living on an income of $400 a year.

In many ways, rural Martin County and urban Baltimore could not be more different. Martin County is 92% white while Baltimore is two-thirds black. Each has seen important sources of good-paying jobs dry up—Martin County in coal mining, Baltimore in manufacturing. In the last presidential election, Martin Country voted 6 to 1 for Mitt Romney while Baltimore went 9 to 1 for Barack Obama.

Yet the Great Society’s legacy has been depressingly similar. In a remarkable dispatch two years ago, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Cheves noted that the war on poverty sent $2.1 billion to Martin County alone (pop. 12,537) through programs including “welfare, food stamps, jobless benefits, disability compensation, school subsidies, affordable housing, worker training, economic development incentives, Head Start for poor children and expanded Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

The result? “The problem facing Appalachia today isn’t Third World poverty,” writes Mr. Cheves. “It’s dependence on government assistance.” Just one example: When Congress imposed work requirements and lifetime caps for welfare during the Clinton administration, claims of disability jumped.

Mr. Cheves quotes a former grade-school principal who says this of Martin County’s children: “Instead of talking about a future of work, or a profession, they talk about getting a check.”

Yes, Washington’s largess has done some good. Even the federal government can’t spend billions of dollars without building a decent road or bridge here or there. But it all came at a high human cost.

To put the war on poverty’s “gains” in perspective, moreover, it is worth comparing the progress in both inner-city Baltimore and rural Martin County over the past half-century with, say, South Korea over the same time. While the Great Society’s billions were creating a culture of dependency, South Korea—with its emphasis on trade and global competition—rose from the ashes of a terrible war to become the world’s 12th-largest economy.

Meanwhile, President Obama says the rioting in Baltimore means “we as a country have to do some soul-searching.” He’s right about that, even though what he means by this is that others need to come around to his view. If the president really wanted to launch some national soul-searching, he would invite, say, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) for a chat about how to get cities such as Baltimore to start generating jobs again.

Because to look at urban black Baltimore and rural white Martin County and conclude that the answer is more cradle-to-grave, “Life of Julia” federal love isn’t soul searching. It’s denial.
Title: Baltimore and what we know about bad neighborhoods
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 09, 2015, 10:07:04 AM

Baltimore and What We Know About Bad Neighborhoods
Even the poverty experts thought the solution for Freddie Gray’s neighborhood was for the people to leave.

A man leads a horse-drawn cart, from which he sells produce, along Mosher Street in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore, Md., in April. ENLARGE
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
May 8, 2015 6:41 p.m. ET

The brain works furiously to convince itself that ideas that bring personal comfort are great truths. Thus a noted advocate of reparations visits Baltimore after the riots to renew his call that black Americans be compensated for slavery and Jim Crow. A Baltimore professor writes in the New York Times that poverty persists in certain black neighborhoods because of the “continued profitability of racism . . . to landlords, corner store merchants and other vendors selling second-rate goods.”

A Seattle professor recites her research on discriminatory housing practices from six decades ago to explain riots that happened six days ago.

Yesterdays beget todays, beget tomorrows, so every condition in life can be traced through an ever-receding series of historical causes. The artificiality of such meditations, though, is obvious when you consider that the average male resident of Sandtown-Winchester—home of Freddie Gray whose death in police custody set off the riots—is 28 and wasn’t alive when most of this history was made.

Even in the stagnant neighborhood that Sandtown-Winchester is universally agreed to be, residential housing turnover is 16% a year; the median resident has been in place fewer than four years. Nearly 15% are arrivals from out of state or out of country, and many more (though uncounted) are undoubtedly arrivals from elsewhere in Baltimore and Maryland.

Neighborhoods like Sandtown-Winchester aren’t just places people find it hard to get out of. They are places where people from elsewhere end up when they can’t make a go of their lives.

They are places that people fall into when they don’t have incomes, credit and prospects and suffer from personal or behavioral problems.

There are white versions of Sandtown-Winchester. The literature on “rural ghettos” has grown impressively since the term was coined in the early 1990s.

As many riot-aftermath reports in the past week have noted, Sandtown-Winchester was the subject of enlightened urban renewal in the 1990s when Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Jimmy Carter’s Habitat for Humanity, and developer James Rouse poured $130 million into a community of 11,000 residents to fix homes and schools.

The neighborhood was also designated a “homeownership zone” by the feds, who spent $30 million to saddle people with arguably the last thing they needed, a mortgage that tied them down to a community without jobs and decent schools.

A study by the Abell Foundation about these disappointing results has been widely cited in the past few days, but unmentioned is the apologetic note on which it ends: “While mobility programs and community development are sometimes seen as at odds with each other . . . [m]obility programs allow poor families to leave violent neighborhoods in the short run, instead of being trapped in the low-performing schools and poor quality housing that exist while their communities await larger redevelopment investments.”

That’s right, an alternative to shoveling money in has been getting people out. Gautreaux was a public housing lawsuit in Chicago in the 1970s that randomly transplanted single mothers to suburban apartments: Half who had never worked before soon had jobs, and 52% of their kids went to college.

It’s sometimes unpopular to point out that people who behave responsibly and are willing to work generally do not end up chronically poor in America. People who live in neighborhoods where these norms are not respected or even realistically practicable, however, do experience chronic poverty. Using census data to identify those with a high proportion of teenage mothers, high-school dropouts, welfare dependents and jobless men, the Urban Institute discovered a disturbing change: Between 1970 and 1980, the number of such neighborhoods tripled to 880. Their combined population rose from 750,000 to 2.5 million.

Culprits were fingered: the loss of low-skilled manufacturing jobs, the availability of welfare. But neighborhoods themselves are clearly transmitters of poverty. The problem for residents isn’t racism: it’s where they live.

Government programs can’t save everybody in such sad places where people without money, prospects or good life habits tend to congregate. But it can help the willing to get out, by using housing vouchers, say, to transplant individuals to neighborhoods with intact families, intact schools and intact employment opportunities.

Placed-based urban renewal blames outside forces for denying resources to poor communities. It tends to ratify the persistence of concentrated victim communities whose troubles can be gratifyingly attributed to racism. This approach undoubtedly serves a lot of needs. It just doesn’t serve the needs of residents.
Title: Pravda on the Hudson makes case for running from police
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 11, 2015, 07:29:30 AM
Running From Police Is the Norm, Some in Baltimore Say

Desmond Davis of Baltimore says he has stopped running from the police, though he has sometimes regretted that decision. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

BALTIMORE — Some do it because there are warrants for their arrest. Others because they possess drugs, are seeking a thrill, or are just plain scared. Sometimes people do it even when they have done nothing wrong.

Young men in the heavily policed neighborhood where 25-year-old Freddie Gray was chased by the police — and suffered fatal injuries in custody — say running from officers is a way of life with its own playbook, passed down on the streets in much the way a young girl learns double dutch by watching others on the block.

Turn at the nearest corner to escape the officers’ view. Cut through alleys or narrow paths with hiding spots. Once the pursuers have been eluded, stay put for a while to make sure they are really gone. And if getting caught seems inevitable, surrender where there are plenty of witnesses to reduce the odds of being beaten.

“People been running from the police,” said Desmond Davis, 24, a Baltimore resident. “People going to always run from the police.”

The Race Gap in America’s Police Departments:  Hundreds of police departments across the nation have forces with a white percentage that is more than 30 percentage points higher than the communities they serve.
OPEN Interactive Graphic

Mr. Gray’s death was among a number of recent cases in which unarmed men, who were either black or Hispanic, were killed after fleeing from the police. Other cases include ones in North Charleston, S.C.; Tulsa , Okla.; and Pasco, Wash.

For the nation, those deaths have spurred debate on the use of force by the police, particularly against people suspected of low-level or nonviolent crimes. But for young men in Baltimore, Mr. Gray’s death highlights a sharper dilemma they have long struggled with: Is running worth it?

Many say that it is, and that Mr. Gray’s death has not changed their calculation in deciding whether to run.

“That makes you run faster,” said one young man standing on a street near the neighborhood where Mr. Gray encountered the police.

Running from the police is common enough nationally that the Supreme Court has considered the question of whether the police are justified in stopping and searching people solely because they have fled approaching officers.

In a 2000 case from Chicago, Illinois v. Wardlow, the court ruled that police officers can establish reasonable suspicion to stop and search if the person is in a high-crime area and sees the officers before fleeing. Many legal experts believe those criteria apply in the arrest of Mr. Gray in West Baltimore, a neighborhood known for its drug trafficking, where one of the arresting officers said Mr. Gray made eye contact with him before running.

Naturally, many people run if there are warrants for their arrest, fearing that if the police check their names they will be hauled to jail. People might flee because they have drugs and do not want to be in possession of contraband if officers catch them.

Yet some say they also are driven by fear of the unknown. In St. Louis, for instance, young men talk of being caught up in what they call a “free case” — in which, they believe, an officer trumps up charges or plants contraband to meet arrest quotas. Here in Baltimore, residents complain that the police might rough them up during random stops, even if they do not try to escape.

Jeff Roorda, the business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, challenged the contention that people run from the police because of harassment or brutality.

“I’m not going to refrain from swimming in Loch Ness because I think there’s a monster in there any more than a kid on the street should refrain from complying with the police because of the urban myth that the cop has some motivation to make up the charges,” he said. “People don’t get ‘free cased.’ They run from the police because they’ve got some reason to run from the police.”

And when that happens, Mr. Roorda added, the results can be bad. “Not because of something the police do,” he said. “Because of something the guy running did, and that is fail to comply.”

As children, several Baltimore residents said, they turned running from the police into a high-stakes game of tag. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity or gave only their street names because they did not want to be identified by the police.

A 21-year-old man who goes by Reek said his youthful encounters with the police usually went something like this: Officers would pull up while he stood with friends on a corner and tell them to move. They would make a smart remark to the officers, the officers would respond, and so they would jaw back and forth until the officers seemed to have enough and got out of the car.

“And they’ll chase us,” Reek said.

“Around here, you grow up into that stuff,” he added. “Now, as I’m older, it’s no point. Because now, if you look at it, if you run, it’s going to make matters even worse.”

Yet for some, there are very basic reasons to run, even as an adult.

Nelly, a 27-year-old from Baltimore, said that as a pair of officers were preparing to arrest him for having a marijuana joint last summer, he had a quick calculation to make. He had just gotten a new job as a maintenance technician at an apartment complex, so going to jail that night could have meant missing work the next day and possibly losing his job. The officers had a loose grip on him, and he knew he could break free if he wanted. But was it worth the risk?

Yes, he decided.

He bolted and quickly caught a break when one of the officers fell off the curb. Nelly said he cut down an alley, jetted into an abandoned house and lay face down.

“It was bugs and everything,” he said.

He waited for about an hour, he said, and then used his cellphone to call a friend to pick him up.

The police did eventually catch up with him, about a week later, he said, when the officers who had given chase recognized him and took him into custody. When the arresting officers asked why he had run, he said, he told them: “Man, I had to work. I got three kids, you know. I couldn’t miss no work.”

He did not run the day they took him into custody, he said, because he was outside playing with his little cousins at the time.

“I didn’t want to set a bad example,” he said.

But his friend Devin, 26, said he did not have as much luck several years back when he ditched the all-terrain vehicle he was riding illegally and led the police on a foot chase. With a police helicopter overhead, Devin said, he made it to a truck storage yard and hid inside a discarded tire. But when he heard the crackle of a police radio, he hopped a fence and landed back on the street. Right in front of him was a burgundy Crown Victoria with police officers inside.

He walked nonchalantly as if he were just another person on the sidewalk until he heard the screech of tires from a police car, he said.

“I took off,” he said.

But it was blazing hot that day. He already had shed his hoodie and removed his gloves, yet after just a few blocks he was breathing heavily as the police car cruised alongside him.

“If I keep running,” he thought, “I’m liable to pass out.”

He saw four elderly women standing on the sidewalk, he said, and stopped in front of them and raised his hands in surrender. An officer then slammed him to the ground, he said.

“Sir, what you do that for,” he recalled one of the women asking the officer. “He gave up.”

Their presence saved him from further force, he said he believed.

Mr. Davis, who believes that people will continue to flee from the police, said he stopped running in recent years because he felt he was not doing things that warranted legal trouble. Still, he sometimes regrets that decision. He has been locked up numerous times, he said, for what he sees as petty offenses like possessing small amounts of marijuana. One time, it happened when he was smoking a joint in his backyard, he said.

“Those times,” Mr. Davis said, “I should have run.”
Title: Newt on The Collapse of Baltimore
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 15, 2015, 06:44:15 PM
The Collapse of Baltimore City

Fact: the last Republican city council member in Baltimore City left office in 1942.
That is 73 years of solid Democrat city councils.

Fact: the last Republican mayor of Baltimore City left office in 1967.
That is 48 years of unbroken control of the mayor's office.

Fact: the Maryland Senate is currently 33 Democrats to 14 Republicans.

Fact: the Maryland House is currently 90 Democrats to 50 Republicans.

Fact: the last time Republicans held both the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates was 1897.

Fact: the last time Republicans held even one chamber of the Maryland General Assembly--the House--was 1917.
That is unbroken Democrat control of the Maryland legislature since 1918--or nearly a century of Democrat control.

Fact: 7 out of 8 members of the Maryland delegation in the U.S. House are Democrats.

Fact: Last Republican U.S. Senator from Maryland was elected in 1980.

Fact: it was Baltimore’s Democrat mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who said:
“I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It's a very delicate balancing act. Because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate."

This ”space to destroy” policy led to riots which resulted in:
•   130 police officers injured
•   More than 350 businesses damaged (increasing inner-city unemployment)
•   15 pharmacies damaged (limiting inner-city residents’ access to medicine)
•   Korean American businesses targeted while gangs protected businesses owned by African Americans
•   144 vehicle fires
•   Firehoses cut as firemen fought fires

The collapse of order has a continuing effect. There has been a drastic increase in shootings and homicides in Baltimore since April 27. More than 50 people have been shot. At least 10 have been shot and four killed since Saturday May 9. Nonfatal shootings are up nearly 50 percent.
All of this happened under the leadership of a Democrat mayor who was worried more about the rioters’ free speech than about the safety, protection, and livelihoods of innocent Baltimoreans.

The first duty of government is to protect the innocent and the weak from predators and violence. Once again a Democrat favored the violent over the victims.
The protesters charge that the police are racist.

Fact: More than half of the Baltimore City police force is minority.

Fact: four of the six top commanders are African American or Hispanic.

Fact: half of the police officers being prosecuted are African American.

The protesters point to poverty--and they’re right. Poverty has devastated minority communities. But it is left-wing policies implemented by Democrats that have created destructive incentives and denied opportunity to generations of young people.

Fact: Baltimore City spends $17,329 per student, and its unionized, bureaucratic schools fail.
As Terence Jeffrey of CNS News quotes a lawyer for Freddie Gray’s family as saying, "The education system has failed them." The lawyer is right. "These kids have had bad experiences in school," he said.

Jeffrey outlines the absolute failure of the unionized bureaucratic Baltimore City school system: 84% of eighth graders score below grade level in reading. 87% scored below grade level in math.

For $17,000 a year, Baltimore City students could get much better educations at Catholic schools, private schools or even with an organized home schooling program (8 students could pool $120,000 a year to hire a personal tutor as was done when Thomas Jefferson was young).

Amazingly, as Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori points out, the Catholic schools cost $6,000 a year and have a 99 percent graduation rate. Yet the Democrats are committed to locking poor children out of those schools if it takes a dime away from funds for failing, unionized public schools.

With school choice policies, we could save children's lives while saving money. Instead the left wing unions and bureaucracies ruthlessly exploit children, ruining their lives while the Democratic leadership in the Maryland House blocks school choice bills that would give children a chance to attend better schools and would force schools to compete for students by actually being good schools.

There is no greater example of the relentless dishonesty of modern Democrats than their willingness to destroy children's lives while blaming others. President Obama could quit blaming Fox News and simply demand school choice (which of course he opposes) and he would radically improve the lives of millions of trapped poor children.
Of course, it is Democrats who control the teachers union that traps Baltimore City's children in schools that fail and ruin their lives. They do so on behalf of the unionized bureaucratic political machine that controls the city.

Poverty in general has been institutionalized by the destructive ideological biases of Democrat President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. On May 22,1964 President Johnson said, "Our society will never be great until our cities are great. Today the frontier of imagination and innovation is inside those cities and not beyond their borders."
Tragically, his policies trapped people in dependency, killed small businesses in favor of bureaucracy, and favored unionized workers over children. The result has been a 50-year disaster which no liberal Democrat is prepared to analyze honestly.

Charles Murray's classic study of destructive welfare policies, Losing Ground, and Marvin Olasky's decisive repudiation of the idealistic premises of big government liberalism’s approach to poverty, The Tragedy of American Compassion, explain decisively the failure of the Baltimore City Democrats. Their values, principles and organizations doom their efforts to failure.

A sound program has to start with safety and work.

That policy has to begin with favoring public safety and small business.

All Americans should care enough about their fellow citizens trapped with bad leadership, bad government, selfish bureaucrats, and misleading news media. All of us should care about creating a much better future for poor Americans.

That future has to start with a fact-based analysis of how we got here and who has been responsible.

In Baltimore City, the answer is Democrat officials who for a half-century have crippled and weakened what was once a great and vibrant city.
In future weeks, I will outline a strategy for a renaissance in Baltimore City.

Your Friend,
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: G M on May 15, 2015, 07:03:53 PM
Facts are raaaaaaaAaAAAAAaaaaaacst,
Title: re: Maryland politicians
Post by: DougMacG on May 15, 2015, 09:48:20 PM
Speaking of Baltimore politicians, there was a famous Governor of Maryland, undergrad Johns Hopkins, Univ of Baltimore JD.  Baltimore County Executive.  White Republican Governor of Maryland back in the 60s.  Linked up with a politician from Calif.  Called his critics the "nattering nabobs of negativism".  But the critics looked back and said he had pulled a 'Hillary' earlier.  Then, because he was a Republican, it was all over.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: G M on May 15, 2015, 10:59:07 PM
Baltimorons will bitch and burn things down, the go back to the polls and vote dem for decades more and never question why things continue to worsen.
Title: Baltimore surges in murders and shootings
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 19, 2015, 06:35:25 PM
Title: Re: Baltimore surges in murders and shootings
Post by: G M on May 19, 2015, 07:22:18 PM

If you are a BPD officer, and can't afford to retire or leave, then your best option is to retire on duty.
Title: Sheriff David Clarke lets rip
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 27, 2015, 04:04:03 PM
5 minutes
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: DougMacG on July 01, 2015, 10:17:31 AM
Chicago Tribune today:  Community braces itself for violent holiday weekend

Doug:  Why?

My city is bracing itself for a holiday weekend of picnics, family get-togethers, boating and fireworks.  Has had no murders - ever.


Our national strategy is to make all cities more like Chicago.  And eliminate all communities like mine.

Title: America's Inner City, Chicago Homicides 2016: 812
Post by: DougMacG on January 12, 2017, 09:51:28 AM
The city posted a decades-high homicide count of 812 in 2016, per the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Where is this happening?
Who is doing this?
What should be done about it?
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: ccp on January 12, 2017, 04:36:25 PM
Who is doing this?
What should be done about it?


The LEFT just will not own up to this.  It is forever somebody's else's fault.  Yours and mine.  We did this.
Title: Re: America's Inner City, Chicago Homicides 2016: 812
Post by: G M on January 12, 2017, 06:49:48 PM
The city posted a decades-high homicide count of 812 in 2016, per the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Where is this happening?
Who is doing this?
What should be done about it?

I blame Doug. I bet if I showed Doug's picture to a BLM activist, they'd blame Doug too!

Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues, Chicago continued
Post by: DougMacG on August 09, 2017, 06:57:31 AM
I visited my daughter in Chicago over the weekend and witnessed the amazingly diverse parts of the urban experience.  I visited the downtown financial district.  Saw the outdoor concert crowds.  We played tennis in Lincoln Park while people walked their dogs and new parents attended to their young children on swings.  Biked the Lake Michigan coastline.  Flew in through O'hare.  Left via the bus station. Within this 9 million person metro one can find the best and the worst in our 2017 civilization.

While we enjoyed a beautiful, peaceful day in Lincoln Park on a Sunday afternoon...

other people in other parks had a different experience:

4:20 p.m. Friday — Man shot in Humboldt Park
4:39 p.m. Friday — Man shot following argument at Chicago Lawn business
7:55 p.m. Friday — Man, 29, wounded in Austin shooting
8:24 p.m. Friday — 2 shot in Brighton Park
10:15 p.m. Friday — Man shot, seriously wounded in parked vehicle in Gresham
11:20 p.m. Friday — Man shot on sidewalk in Lawndale
1 a.m. Saturday — Man hurt in Portage Park shooting
1:22 a.m. Saturday — Man shot in chest in Albany Park
5:44 a.m. Saturday — Man in critical condition after Back of the Yards shooting
11:04 a.m. Saturday — Man critically hurt in East Garfield Park shooting
10:15 p.m. Saturday — 2 teenage boys among 3 wounded in Little Village shooting
10:40 p.n. Saturday — Police: Man shot to death while driving in Englewood
11:50 p.m. Saturday — Man shot, critically wounded in South Chicago
12:20 a.m. Sunday — 2 men wounded, 1 critically, in Hanson Park shooting
2:35 a.m. Sunday — Police: 14-year-old boy killed in Pilsen drive-by shooting
3:20 a.m. Sunday — Man shot in Humboldt Park
4:10 a.m. Sunday — 2 wounded in East Garfield Park shooting
4:41 a.m. Sunday — Man shot in Sheridan Park
5 a.m. Sunday — Man wounded in Pilsen drive-by shooting
5:18 a.m. Sunday — Police: Man killed in domestic-related shooting in Clearing
7:56 p.m. Sunday — 2 men wounded in Near North Side shooting
10:50 p.m. Sunday — 19-year-old man shot in South Shore
11:50 p.m. Sunday — Man wounded in West Pullman shooting
3:58 a.m. Monday — Man, 23, shot in Washington Park
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: ccp on August 09, 2017, 05:41:56 PM
Amazing how many people shot is a single weekend

looks like a nice tennis court

my favorite job was working at tennis courts for my home city during summer break in the 70s.

When I first started I still had a wooden racquet. I didn't put it is a press and it got warped.   
Then someone sold me a T 2000 .  surprisingly I could not control it like Jimmie Conners! 

 Do they even make either of them anymore?
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues, Chicago
Post by: DougMacG on August 10, 2017, 08:08:46 AM
ccp,  The quality of the public courts in Lincoln Park was impressive.  I could feel the cushion as I walked on, similar to playing on a tour level facility. Very expensive to build, up to date and heavily used.  And the elegant brick houses where liberal elites live are so tall and close together that you can't even hear the gunfire from the south side.

My first job also was in tennis.  At 16 I would go in (on my bicycle in January) and clean carpeted indoor tennis courts for $1.65/hr.  (Jobs they mostly don't have in the inner city).  At 17 I was teaching assistant to an NCAA champion and at 18 I strung racquets that won two  events at Wimbledon (1974).  But in liberal nonsense America, we degrade entry level jobs, remove the economic ladder and want to see how many people can make it by starting at the top!

No they don't make wooden racquets anymore, the Jimmy Connors (steel) T2000, nor are space shuttle aircrafts made out of Kitty Hawk materials... )  Occasionally groups will host a wooden racquet tournament so people can see how hard it used to be.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: ccp on August 10, 2017, 08:27:20 AM
 "At 17 I was teaching assistant to an NCAA champion and at 18 I strung racquets that won two  events at Wimbledon (1974)"


I remember we had a young man come and play tennis with an orthopedic surgeon who was sponsoring him.  He was 4th at the NCAA.s  He had an incredible serve.  I doubt if I was on the court I would have been able to see it let alone return it.  

I don't recall his name but I don't think he got far in the pros .

The court surface was called Hartru which was a "softer" hard court.  I doubt they use that  now a days :))

I got paid handsomely compared to you .  It was $ 3 an hour.  What would that be today ?  10 or close to it? not bad for a simple job.

Title: Henninger: Liberalism's Summer of '17
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 10, 2017, 09:22:33 AM
Liberalism’s Summer of ’17
Liberals whine about being governed by Trump. Pity those governed by them.
New York City commuters, July 10.
New York City commuters, July 10. Photo: Bloomberg News
By Daniel Henninger
Aug. 9, 2017 7:10 p.m. ET

Liberals whine and wail about being governed by Donald Trump. But what about the millions who wake up every day to be governed by liberals?

This is the summer of ’17 for people who live in politically blue northern cities, but few would call it the best days of their lives.

New Yorkers are living through the “Summer of Hell,” the phrase that defines a city whose ancient transportation infrastructure has finally hit the wall. It’s hard to say who got the worst of it—the commuters trapped for 45 minutes without air or lights on a southbound F train or the riders in Harlem who were evacuated after the tracks caught fire.

Naturally, Mayor Bill de Blasio says the solution is a $700 million tax increase on “the wealthiest in our city.”

In Chicago, more than 100 people were shot over July Fourth weekend, with 14 ending up dead. So naturally Mayor Rahm Emanuel has filed a sanctuary-cities lawsuit against the federal government to protect the city’s immigrants.

Hartford, Conn., at the brink of insolvency, last month hired a law firm specializing in bankruptcy. The owners of dozens of destroyed businesses sued the city of Baltimore in June for mishandling the mayhem, two years after the riots ended.

For decades, urban liberalism has sold itself as a compact between government and taxpayers. The people paid, and with that revenue liberal politicians would deliver infrastructure, services, economic opportunity and civil order. But liberal governance, instead of keeping its side of the bargain, is at a dead end.

Writing in City Journal last year on the widespread fiscal distress of northern cities, Stephen Eide noted a study which found that “among the 1,100 census tracts in major metropolitan areas with poverty rates of 30 percent or more in 1970, only about 100 had seen their poverty rates drop below the national average by 2010.”

Defenders of the liberal model argue that cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are changing into sophisticated, cosmopolitan hubs that attract a new class of young professionals who will restore urban America. Instead, many of these urban revivals are producing a phenomenon economists now call “racially concentrated areas of affluence,” or RCAAs.

An area gets RCAAed when the residents who pack themselves into it are mostly white people whose median incomes are unprecedentedly greater than the city’s poverty level. Some of the most RCAAed cities are liberal duchies like Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Economists for Citigroup have called cities like New York and San Francisco “plutonomies”—urban economies propped up by a plutocratic minority, which is to say, young professionals inured to both taxes and nearby poverty. But they vote their “consciences.”

Progressives are acutely aware of this embarrassing reality in cities under their control. A writer for In These Times identified the problem as “a lack of revenue caused by the refusal of Wall Street banks, big corporations and millionaires to pay their fair share in taxes.” Put forth solutions, he said, “to make them pay.”

“Make them pay” might work if the U.S. were East Germany, so that the wealthy could be captured and jailed as they tried to escape across the border.

We’re not living yet under a President Sanders or Warren, so the steady, documented outflow of residents will continue from New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, California and New Jersey.

Many of those now climbing over the Democrats’ blue walls were willing to live under the original liberal governance model that existed before 1960 because it recognized the legitimacy of private economic life. The wealthy agreed then to pay their “fair share.”

Today, private economic life, especially that of the urban middle class, is no longer a partner in the liberal model. It’s merely a “revenue source” for a system whose patronage is open-ended welfare and largely uncapped public-employee pensions. I’d describe the liberal-progressive governing strategy as ruin and rule.

Not widely noticed is that liberalism’s claimed beneficiaries—black Americans—are also fleeing its failures. Demographers have documented significant black out-migration from New York, Michigan, California and Illinois into Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. North to south.

Now comes the summer-of-hell infrastructure crisis. Residents of the northeastern slab from New Jersey to Boston have been living off infrastructure created by their grandparents and great-grandparents during the golden age of American capitalism.

They are now asking the federal government, meaning taxpayers who live in parts of the U.S. not hostile to capitalism, to give them nearly $15 billion to replace the 100-year-old train tunnel beneath the Hudson River. Why should they? Why send money to a moribund, dysfunctional urban liberal politics that will never—as in, not ever—clean up its act or reform?

Maybe we need a new default solution to the urban crisis: Let internal migration redistribute the U.S. population away from liberalism’s smug but falling-apart plutonomies.

Title: An inside look at gang activity and thinking in Chicago
Post by: DougMacG on February 10, 2018, 07:32:53 AM
The Strange Realities of Chicago’s Gang Wars
Terrible decisions follow cold calculation

One writer talks to one gang member and gets a lot of sad and stupid insight into what is happening in Chicago's most murderous neighborhood.  
Title: Well worth watching
Post by: G M on April 24, 2018, 06:24:31 PM

Flint Town: Netflix Chronicles Liberalism’s Tragic Disaster

Flint resident Merin Johnson watches on while other residents get eight cases of free bottled water, worried he may not receive any before the site runs out, while waiting along Dort Highway in a line of dozens of cars that continued to grow on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Flint, Mich. (Jake May/The Flint via AP)

In the 2016 campaign, Democrats decided Flint, Michigan was going to be the centerpiece evidence of uncaring Republicanism. To Michigan residents, it seemed an odd choice. Even in Flint’s surrounding suburbs, blaming anyone but Flint for Flint’s problems fell on deaf ears.

But this crisis seemed too good to go to waste. So Bernie and Hillary trooped over and joined the chorus that Republicans had poisoned Flint. It was a little like blaming the chaos in Somalia on the U.S. troops who came to feed people.

Flint’s decent into anarchy was decades in the making.  Leadership in the city and county was made up of a toxic combination of union and ethnic politics that drove away business and hindered law enforcement. Local Democrats were in charge every step of the way -- except when governors, both Republican and Democrat, sent financial managers to restore some fiscal guidelines to prevent total collapse.

The Netflix documentary Flint Town chronicles the results. It is not primarily a political history, but an incredibly candid look at trying to bring law and order to a city where the last shred of trust in institutions has broken down, and the police force is woefully undermanned.

The focus is on an old-school cop, Tim “Two Guns” Johnson, brought out of retirement to try to stem the tide in a city where the bad guys knew they had little to fear from a police force overwhelmed by numbers.

In the late 1980s, when Flint had nearly three times the sworn officers they have now, I used to do third-shift ride-alongs with a patrol officer buddy of mine. One night, several people called in sick and the shift was extremely short-handed -- only two officers showed up.

One was Tim Johnson.

The plan was to show a lot of presence, so the bad guys wouldn’t know. At the time, I didn’t know Tim Johnson, but I remember his name, because I heard it on the radio. All night long.

My buddy would occasionally chuckle and say: “There goes Supercop.”

Flint Town viewers meet Johnson as he becomes Flint’s new chief of police. By the time of his appointment, his department is as short-handed as that one-third shift patrol was 30 years ago.

But now, the bad guys know it. Everyone knows it.

As Flint Town opens, we meet Officer Bridgette Belasko, as she responds to days-old 911 calls. Victims complain as much about the FPD as they do the person who broke into their house. Belasko tells us she came to Flint for the action, figuring it’s a fast track to a federal job because of all the experience she will get.

She’s working third-shift patrol. Responding to calls for help. Alone.

Johnson decides he has to put criminals on notice. He forms a special unit called the CATT Squad (Crime Area Target Team), a hand-picked group of aggressive officers designed to make the criminals uncomfortable for a change.

It’s a fairly desperate strategy, but it works -- for a while. Yet Johnson knows he needs more than a show of force; he needs a bigger force. He gets approval for a few more recruits from the police academy, and even tries training and deputizing armed civilian volunteers. But hanging over all of them is the specter of a police millage that needs to be passed to prevent total collapse, police officers getting even more burned out by the pace, and the bad guys starting to realize that they still have the numbers advantage.

Desperate for revenue, Johnson even decides to sell confiscated guns at auction, rather than make the politically correct gesture of destroying them that most cities make.

Recruiting isn’t easy, even in a city where jobs are scarce. One of the promising young academy members, Dion Reed (who is astoundingly in the class with his 40-something mother), is candid about his black friends who despise his choice.

Here is where Flint Town is amazingly frank.

Police officers, black and white, recruits, and civilians talk to the camera without reservation about racial tensions. Black cops talk about their community being suspicious -- or worse -- of them. They shake their heads that their white colleagues are receptive to Donald Trump.  White cops talk about the tension of working a majority black city at the time of riots and Black Lives Matter.

Cameras are there in the briefing room as national news breaks about police shootings, and ambushes of police officers. We see both the unity of everyone being part of the (very) thin blue line, but also the differences in the reaction to various national events.

Part-time Flint pastor and full-time cop Brian Willingham puts it best: “The people who secure the city are less secure than they’ve ever been.”

Flint Town gives two quick peeks at the sheer lunacy that is the Flint City Council: The idiocy of the debate when new Mayor Karen Weaver replaces the nice, politically connected police chief with the hard-charging Johnson; and Weaver and Johnson confronting the Council over making no budget upgrades for the department after the millage actually passes.

Johnson blows up when a councilman protests that at least they haven’t made cuts: “I always wondered why this city was in the position it was and now I see why, it’s at the top!”

It’s impossible to watch these clowns and think Flint’s problems are mostly from the outside.

Flint Town is a real-life companion piece to The Wire. It’s unflinching and apolitical, and required viewing for anyone who wants to talk about the problems of inner-city America.
Title: America's Inner City; weekend in Chicago, 72 shootings, 13 killings, no arrests
Post by: DougMacG on August 08, 2018, 05:27:43 AM

America is partly a third world country. Everybody knows it. Nobody does anything about it.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: ccp on August 08, 2018, 06:10:09 AM
"America's Inner City; weekend in Chicago, 72 shootings, 13 killings, no arrests"

We hear leftist complaints about the "white girl " in Iowa disappeared and how that makes headlines but we don't hear the same about Blacks but at the same time we rarely hear from MSM about the problems with gangs unless of course , as this USA article suggests it is about "guns"
and not cultural problems in inner cities.

I don't know why Emanual is still mayor.  Obviously he is part of the local swamp .

Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 08, 2018, 06:31:44 AM
Rahm Emanuel alone as mayor is not the cause, but his politics is.

The culture in these neighborhoods is the result of our welfare state. They don't live in a free country or a positive incentive based economy. The women and children find their Financial Security through the government  and the men are left  with lives without meaning or responsibility . Currently, there is no mood on either side to fix it and it's a human tragedy millions of times over.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: ccp on August 08, 2018, 08:26:18 AM
How Emanuel is still mayor can only be explained by the word "swamp"

Some blacks may complain about the fanfare the missing white girl from Iowa is getting but we don't usually see the same for blacks
but whenever any one points out the carnage and the obvious causes all we get is retorts about the messenger is racist.

or the problem is "guns" not the culture.

Dems twist everything around .

Title: PJ Media writes it all down
Post by: ccp on August 08, 2018, 05:27:56 PM
pretty obvious
that is why CNN ignores:
Title: Re: PJ Media writes it all down
Post by: G M on August 08, 2018, 07:46:08 PM
pretty obvious
that is why CNN ignores:

The people of Chicongo have voted for this. They deserve it.
Title: Seattle is dying
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2019, 08:57:59 PM
Title: Re: America's Inner City; The tragedy of Baltimore
Post by: DougMacG on April 09, 2019, 08:16:29 AM
Any idea what's causing this:

The Tragedy of Baltimore
Since Freddie Gray’s death in 2015, violent crime has spiked to levels unseen for a quarter century. Inside the crackup of an American city.

By Alec MacGillis
March 12, 2019

On April 27, 2015, Shantay Guy was driving her 13-year-old son home across Baltimore from a doctor’s appointment when something — a rock, a brick, she wasn’t sure what — hit her car. Her phone was turned off, so she had not realized that protests and violence had broken out in the city that afternoon, following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who drew national attention eight days earlier when he died after suffering injuries in police custody.

As she saw what was happening — fires being set, young people and police officers converging on the nearby vortex of the disorder — she pushed her son, Brandon, down in his seat and sped home. “Mom, are we home yet?” Brandon asked when they pulled up at their house just inside the city line, where they lived with Guy’s husband, her grown daughter and her husband’s late-teenage son, brother and sister-in-law.

“Yeah,” she told him.

“You’re still holding my head down,” he said.

Guy grew up in an impoverished, highly segregated part of West Baltimore near what was now the focal point of the street clashes, but she had long since climbed into a different stratum of the city’s society; she was working as an information-technology project manager for T. Rowe Price, the Baltimore-based mutual-fund giant. Seeing her old neighborhood erupt changed her life. After long discussions with her husband, who manages the office of a local trucking company, she quit her job and went to work for a community mediation organization. “It just felt like it was the work I was supposed to be doing,” she said.

In Baltimore, you can tell a lot about the politics of the person you’re talking with by the word he or she uses to describe the events of April 27, 2015. Some people, and most media outlets, call them the “riots”; some the “unrest.” Guy was among those who always referred to them as the “uprising,” a word that connoted something justifiable and positive: the first step, however tumultuous, toward a freer and fairer city. Policing in Baltimore, Guy and many other residents believed, was broken, with officers serving as an occupying army in enemy territory — harassing African-American residents without cause, breeding distrust and hostility.

In 2016, the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division concurred, releasing a report accusing the city’s Police Department of racial discrimination and excessive force. The city agreed to a “consent decree” with the federal government, a set of policing reforms that would be enforced by a federal judge. When an independent monitoring team was selected to oversee the decree, Guy was hired as its community liaison. This was where she wanted to be: at the forefront of the effort to make her city a better place.

But in the years that followed, Baltimore, by most standards, became a worse place. In 2017, it recorded 342 murders — its highest per-capita rate ever, more than double Chicago’s, far higher than any other city of 500,000 or more residents and, astonishingly, a larger absolute number of killings than in New York, a city 14 times as populous. Other elected officials, from the governor to the mayor to the state’s attorney, struggled to respond to the rise in disorder, leaving residents with the unsettling feeling that there was no one in charge. With every passing year, it was getting harder to see what gains, exactly, were delivered by the uprising.

One night last October, after Guy and her husband, Da’mon, had gone to bed, Da’mon’s brother banged on the bedroom door. “Yo, yo, get up!” he shouted.

It was around 11:30 p.m. Da’mon’s 21-year-old son, Da’mon Jr., whom Shantay had helped raise, would ordinarily have been home by then, after his bus ride across town from his evening shift working as a supply coordinator at Johns Hopkins Hospital. But he was nowhere to be seen. Da’mon Sr. rushed to the door and asked what was going on.

“Dame’s been shot,” his brother said.

Four months later, I met Guy and Da’mon Jr. at a cafe near my office in the center of the city. Da’mon had recently been released after spending 47 days in the hospital, with 20 surgical procedures. His inferior vena cava, which carries blood from the lower body to the heart, no longer functioned; he had to rely on collateral veins instead. He was trying to go back to work, but swelling in his legs and shortness of breath were making it hard.

Da’mon told me he had no idea who was behind the shooting, which he surmised was either an attempted robbery or a gang initiation. It was unnerving, he said, knowing the shooter was still out there somewhere. “I don’t like it when cars slow down to me or people are staring at me too long at stop signs,” he said. “Any one of y’all could be that person. You never know.”

But Guy, somehow, had come through the experience even more committed to the cause she had signed on for. “Our city needs restoration,” she told me.

It takes remarkable fortitude to remain an optimist about Baltimore today. I have lived in the city for 11 of the past 18 years, and for the last few I have struggled to describe its unraveling to friends and colleagues elsewhere. If you live in, say, New York or Boston, you are familiar with a certain story of urban America. Several decades ago, disorder and dysfunction were common across American cities. Then came the great urban rebirth: a wave of reinvestment coupled with a plunge in crime rates that has left many major cities to enjoy a sort of post-fear existence.

Until 2015, Baltimore seemed to be enjoying its own, more modest version of this upswing. Though it is often lumped in with Rust Belt economic casualties like Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit, Baltimore in fact fared better than these postindustrial peers. Because of the Johns Hopkins biomedical empire, the city’s busy port and its proximity to Washington, metro Baltimore enjoyed higher levels of wealth and income — including among its black population — than many former manufacturing hubs.

The city still had its ills — its blight, suburban flight, segregation, drugs, racial inequality, concentrated poverty. But as recently as 2014, Baltimore’s population, which is 63 percent African-American, was increasing, up slightly to 623,000 after decades of decline. Office buildings downtown were being converted to apartments, and a new business-and-residential district was rising east of the Inner Harbor. The city was even attracting those ultimate imprimaturs of urban revival, a couple of food halls.

The subsequent regression has been swift and demoralizing. Redevelopment continues in some parts of town, but nearly four years after Freddie Gray’s death, the surge in crime has once again become the context of daily life in the city, as it was in the early 1990s. I have grown accustomed to scanning the briefs column in The Baltimore Sun in the morning for news of the latest homicides; to taking note of the location of the latest killings as I drive around town for my baseball coaching and volunteering obligations. In 2017, the church I attend started naming the victims of the violence at Sunday services and hanging a purple ribbon for each on a long cord outside. By year’s end, the ribbons crowded for space, like shirts on a tenement clothesline.

The violence and disorder have fed broader setbacks. Gov. Larry Hogan canceled a $2.9 billion rail transit line for West Baltimore, defending the disinvestment in the troubled neighborhood partly by noting that the state had spent $14 million responding to the riots. Target closed its store in West Baltimore, a blow to a part of town short of retail options. The civic compact has so frayed that one acquaintance admitted to me recently that he had stopped waiting at red lights when driving late at night. Why should he, he argued, when he saw young men on dirt bikes flying through intersections while police officers sat in cruisers doing nothing?

Explaining all this to people outside Baltimore is difficult, not only because the experience is alien to those even in cities just up or down the Interstate from us (though a handful of cities elsewhere, like Chicago and St. Louis, have experienced their own waves of recent violence, albeit less dramatically than Baltimore). It’s also because the national political discourse lacks a vocabulary for the city’s ills. On right-wing talk radio, one of the few sectors of the media to take much interest in Baltimore’s crime surge, there are old tropes of urban mayhem — Trump’s “American carnage.” Typically lacking from these schadenfreude-laced discussions is any sense of the historical forces and societal abandonment that the city has for decades struggled to overcome.

On the left, in contrast, Baltimore’s recent woes have been largely overlooked, partly because they present a challenge to those who start from the assumption that policing is inherently suspect. The national progressive story of Baltimore during this era of criminal-justice reform has been the story of the police excesses that led to Gray’s death and the uprising, not the surge of violence that has overtaken the city ever since. As a result, Baltimore has been left mostly on its own to contend with what has been happening, which has amounted to nothing less than a failure of order and governance the likes of which few American cities have seen in years.

To understand how things in Baltimore have gotten so bad, you need to first understand how, not so long ago, they got better. Violence was epidemic in Baltimore in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as it was in many other cities, as crack intruded into a drug market long dominated by heroin. In 1993, the city crossed the 350-homicide mark. These were the years that inspired “The Wire.” They also gave rise to Martin O’Malley, a city councilman who was elected mayor on an anti-crime platform in 1999.

O’Malley set about implementing what was then known as the New York model: zero tolerance for open-air drug markets, data-centric “CompStat” meetings to track crime and hold police commanders accountable and more resources for law enforcement paired with tougher discipline for officers who abused their power. By the time O’Malley, a Democrat, was elected governor of Maryland in 2006, crime rates, including murders, had fallen across the board, but at a cost. Arrests had jumped to 101,000 in 2005 from 81,000 in 1999 — leaving a city full of young men with criminal records and months and years away from jobs and families.

This perturbed a police detective named Tony Barksdale. At the time a colonel in his mid-30s, Barksdale, a bald, bearish man with a lugubrious manner, grew up in a rough section of West Baltimore. “I saw my first guy get shot at a football tryout at Franklin Square,” near his home, he told me when I met him for lunch last spring in the city’s Canton neighborhood. His own block was relatively safe, however, because a police officer lived on it. Barksdale was drifting through Coppin State College, “blowing Pell grants,” when he saw a bunch of young black cops on the street one day. The sight inspired him to sign up himself.

Early in 2007, he proposed a more targeted approach to policing to Sheila Dixon, the City Council president who finished O’Malley’s term as mayor after he was elected governor. Dixon, like Barksdale a product of the city’s black working class, agreed with Barksdale’s vision for reducing the murders without mass arrests. “She said, ‘How long will it take you?’ ” Barksdale recalls. “I said, ‘One day.’ ”

Fred Bealefeld, Dixon’s new police commissioner, promoted Barksdale to deputy of operations — he was the youngest deputy commissioner in the city’s history — and Barksdale got to work. He developed plainclothes units with a more surgical approach to policing, which targeted the most violent corners and worked with homicide detectives to arrest the people whose names surfaced in connection with killings. He and Bealefeld met weekly with top-ranking staff members in the mayor’s office and sat down with top city officials every couple of weeks in CitiStat meetings — the municipal equivalent of CompStat — where Bealefeld was quizzed on overtime costs, recruiting and other markers of departmental health. Every couple of weeks, representatives of the police, the state’s attorney’s office and others met to review data on firearms prosecutions.

Arrests fell by a third from 2006 to 2011 — and homicides plummeted as well, to 197 in 2011, the city’s first time under 200 in almost four decades. A 2018 study by Johns Hopkins found that the new approach to policing was the city’s most effective in recent years. “Baltimore had it going on,” Barksdale told me.

But while Dixon had carried on O’Malley’s government-accountability practices, she proved less than ethical in her own affairs. A few years into Barksdale’s efforts, she was charged by the state prosecutor with theft and fraud. The prosecutor had scrutinized contracts and jobs her friends and relatives had received from the city — investigations that led to the discovery that she had personally used hundreds of dollars in gift cards solicited from developers and meant for poor children.

Dixon was convicted and resigned, and was replaced by the City Council’s president, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, an Oberlin- and University of Maryland School of Law-educated daughter of a powerful state legislator. Rawlings-Blake, a more reserved leader than Dixon, wanted Bealefeld to communicate with the public more often than he was inclined to but also less candidly; a white cop from a family full of them, Bealefeld was known for his blunt talk about “punks” and “knuckleheads.” In 2012, he retired, as did two of his closest City Hall allies, and Barksdale became interim commissioner.

Barksdale interviewed for the permanent job, but Rawlings-Blake instead hired Anthony Batts, the former police chief in Oakland, Calif. Batts had resigned in Oakland amid tensions with the mayor and federal court monitors, but he had a doctorate and spoke fluently about the need for community relations. Batts’s profile suited a city that wanted to believe that its most violent days were behind it. Barksdale didn’t find out he had been passed over until he got a call from Justin Fenton, The Sun’s lead police reporter.

When the Black Lives Matter movement transformed the debate about policing in 2014, Batts embraced an image as a reformer. He attended street festivals in full uniform. He reined in Barksdale’s plainclothes teams after a series in The Sun reported how much the city was spending to resolve lawsuits over rough arrests — more than $5 million since 2011. On Bealefeld and Barksdale’s watch, there had also been a rise in shootings by police officers, which roughly doubled between 2006 and 2007 before dropping to earlier levels — a fact Barksdale remains unapologetic about. “To hit the brakes on crime, there will be police-involved shootings,” he recalls telling Dixon and Bealefeld. “I know their mind-set. They’ll respect you if you’re willing to die just like them. And there are people who just don’t get that.”

It was a controversial approach and one that Batts did not subscribe to. He replaced much of the command staff, and other people left on their own. Among them was Barksdale, who retired at age 42. “I like a commissioner who says, ‘Look, we have people in the community we have to arrest,’ ” Barksdale told me. “Not cops out here dancing in full uniform.”

Political developments, meanwhile, had eroded foundations of the department’s recent successes, which depended heavily on coordination with City Hall and state and federal prosecutors, as well as with Maryland’s parole-and-probation office and other state agencies that might not have been as attentive to the city if the governor had not been a former Baltimore mayor. But in 2014, Maryland elected Larry Hogan, a Republican suburban real estate developer, as O’Malley’s successor for governor. Hogan put less pressure on state offices to work closely with the city’s police. And the new state’s attorney, after an upset victory in a low-turnout Democratic primary, was Marilyn Mosby, a 34-year-old former assistant prosecutor who had run with the apparent goal of shaking up the city’s law-enforcement bureaucracy. She jettisoned not only top deputies but also many prosecutors; more left of their own accord. Over time, senior members of her office became a less-frequent presence at CompStat and other meetings with law-enforcement partners. (Mosby’s office did not respond to requests for official comment.)

A woman collapsed after finding out that her son was murdered in Baltimore in October.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times
In her campaign, Mosby called for diverting more nonviolent drug offenders into treatment. One halfway house used for this purpose was in West Baltimore, and drug dealers had zeroed in on its residents as a clientele, according to a member of Mosby’s staff. On March 17, 2015, Mosby’s office asked a police commander to target a nearby intersection for “enhanced” drug enforcement. A few weeks later, two officers on bike patrol a couple of blocks south of that intersection encountered a man named Freddie Gray.

Among the deaths at police officers’ hands that animated the Black Lives Matter movement in its early stages, Gray’s was uniquely ambiguous. He was not shot, as were Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C. All that is known for certain is this: When he encountered the police officers, Gray — who had engaged in low-level dealing over the years — ran. When the police gave chase and tackled him, they found a small knife in his pocket and placed him under arrest. Gray was put in the back of a police van shackled and unbuckled, in violation of a new department policy. When the van arrived at the Western District’s headquarters, Gray was unconscious with a nearly severed spinal cord. He died seven days later.

Protesters took to the streets after Gray’s death. Batts, who had canceled a European vacation he was scheduled to take the previous week, appealed to Hogan’s new state police chief for reinforcements, but he received an offer of only about 120 officers, far fewer than he hoped for. The demonstrations proceeded mostly peacefully for a week until Saturday, April 25, when rowdy baseball fans headed to Camden Yards — including out-of-town Red Sox fans — taunted a group of protesters who had marched into downtown. In the mayhem that ensued, some teenagers and young men smashed in police cruisers’ windshields and bar windows and looted a 7-Eleven.

The police held back, making only about a dozen arrests. It appeared as if Batts wanted to set himself apart from the heavy-handed tactics in Ferguson, where anti-riot police officers bristled with military hardware. That night, Batts, who declined to be interviewed on the record for this article, hailed his officers’ limited response to the disorderly crowd amassed downtown. “We’re taking our time to give them the opportunity to leave,” he told reporters.

Bealefeld, Batts’s predecessor, told me: “There were people inside police leadership circles that were being celebrated for their restraint. People were thinking, ‘Aha, we want to be seen in that light.’ ” But this hands-off response drew resentment within the department, where many were already disgruntled with the commissioner from California. “It would have been over that night if we’d been able to do our jobs,” one veteran officer who attended a command briefing that weekend told me, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. “They let it fester.”

The approach was notably different two days later, the day of Gray’s funeral. The police were on edge over two separate rumors — a social-media call for a youth “purge,” or rampage, into downtown after school let out, and talk of gangs uniting to attack police officers. The F.B.I. quickly determined that the second threat was baseless, but Batts responded heavily to the first rumor, sending 300 officers to confront students at a big west-side transit hub after school and stand guard outside the adjacent shopping mall. Someone in authority — to this day, officials won’t say who — ordered a shutdown of transit service. Some of the stranded teenagers started throwing rocks and bricks at the police, who lacked proper protective gear and had received little riot-response training. Before long, a CVS pharmacy a mile away was on fire.

In hindsight, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the riot was probably avoidable — if Batts had had more officers at his disposal, if his officers had been better trained, if there hadn’t been the seeming overreaction to Monday’s swirling rumors. But within three hours it was out of his control. Governor Hogan dispatched National Guard troops and established a command center in West Baltimore. That Friday, Mosby — whose policing request may very well have led to Gray’s arrest — held a televised news conference announcing a long list of serious charges against six officers, including “depraved heart murder,” or causing death through indifference. “I have heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace,’ ” she declared.

Her announcement of charges — based on an investigation her own office conducted, not trusting the department’s — helped stanch further unrest, but it delivered a profound blow to morale among rank-and-file officers, who were already aggrieved over their leadership’s handling of the riot, in which 130 officers were injured. Officers bridled at the ringing, declamatory tone of her announcement. “It was the way she did it — the grandstanding,” the veteran officer told me.

A gun that was discovered in Moore’s Run Park after a police chase of suspects in a stolen car in February.

A gun that was discovered in Moore’s Run Park after a police chase of suspects in a stolen car in February.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times
“Cops don’t necessarily stop in their tracks because another cop is charged in a crime,” Kevin Davis, one of Batts’s deputies at the time, told me. “Typically it’s a bad cop, a crook, a drug dealer or a drunk or someone who abuses his wife. But when these cops got charged criminally and the probable cause was not easily understood by the rank and file — that gave them a sense of dread.”

The department’s officers responded swiftly, by doing nothing. In Baltimore it came to be known as “the pullback”: a monthslong retreat from policing, a protest that was at once undeclared and unmistakably deliberate — encouraged, some top officials in the department at the time believe, by the local police union. Many officers responded to calls for service but refused to undertake any “officer-initiated” action. Cruisers rolled by trouble spots without stopping or didn’t roll by at all. Compounding the situation, some of the officers hospitalized in the riot remained out on medical leave. Arrests plunged by more than half from the same month a year before. The head of the police union, Lt. Gene Ryan, called the pullback justifiable: “Officers may be second-guessing themselves,” he told The Sun. “Questioning, if I make this stop or this arrest, will I be prosecuted?”

Ray Kelly, a West Baltimore community activist, had achieved measured success in building relationships with officers along the drug-riddled Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, where his organization had an office. Suddenly, those officers were gone. “We saw a pullback in this community for over a month where it was up to the community to police the community,” Kelly told me. “And quite frankly, we were outgunned.” In the vacuum, crews took new corners and people settled old scores. Not a single person was killed on the day of the rioting. But the following month, May, would conclude with 41 homicides — the most the city had experienced in a month since the 1970s, and more than the city of Boston would have for the entire year.

Late that month, Batts admitted he was having trouble getting officers to do their job. “I talked to them again about character and what character means,” he told me and other reporters following a City Council hearing. He grew so mortified over the pullback that he started wearing suits instead of his uniform. By July’s end, 45 people had been killed during the month, and Rawlings-Blake had replaced Batts with Davis. The department was hemorrhaging officers now, at all ranks.

Amid the upheavals of 2015, Shantay Guy found herself recalling, as a girl on North Avenue in the 1980s, diving under a car during a shooting, getting oil on her favorite shirt. Her work at T. Rowe Price suddenly seemed unacceptably rarefied. “I’m not doing enough,” she thought. “I’m doing a lot to make rich people richer.”

She approached a friend, Erricka Bridgeford, who is director of training at the Baltimore Community Mediation Center, a nonprofit group that helps settle personal and neighborhood conflicts. Bridgeford encouraged Guy to take her training course. Guy started volunteering as a mediator and was soon offered the job of leading the center. She took it, along with a two-thirds salary cut.

Across Baltimore, there was by then a mounting sense that whatever path there was to be found out of the city’s chaos, its residents were going to have to find it themselves — that the authorities were no longer up to the task. The lawlessness that followed the police pullback had persisted, and the city ended 2015 with 342 homicides, a 62 percent increase over the year before, within a dozen deaths of the worst year of the 1990s. Ninety-three percent of the victims were black. The rate at which detectives were able to close homicide cases fell from 50 percent in 2013 to 30 percent, as residents grew even warier of calling in tips or testifying.

In July 2016, Mosby’s office dropped all remaining charges against officers in the Gray case, after trials resulted in three acquittals and one hung jury. It was that August that the Department of Justice released its 163-page report on the Police Department, a result of a yearlong investigation it opened at the request of Rawlings-Blake after Gray’s death. The report concluded that the police had engaged in “a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law.” The police’s pedestrian stops were disproportionately focused on African-Americans. They frequently patted down or frisked people “without identifying necessary grounds to believe that the person is armed and dangerous.” Baltimore officers used “overly aggressive tactics that unnecessarily escalate encounters, increase tensions and lead to unnecessary force,” the report stated.

Officer Gregory Parker searching for two men who were suspected of mugging a family in October.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times
The report affirmed years’ worth of civilian complaints about the department. But it also essentially ignored Barksdale and Bealefeld’s largely successful efforts to move toward a more targeted policing approach. It suggested that mass arrests led inexorably to Gray’s death and the protests, when in fact by 2014, arrests had been halved from a decade earlier. Barksdale was especially livid about the report’s suggestion that the department, which is roughly 40 percent black, was prejudiced because it arrested mostly African-Americans in many parts of town. “Now a cop in a black community is wrong because he confronts black people?” he told me.

He was also confounded by the report’s mockery of the department’s crackdowns on dice games, a frequent target of robberies and shootings. “Dude, you can’t have [expletive] open-air dice games,” he said. Armed robbers “want to stick that up, and if they have a shotgun and buckshot, you’ll have six or seven victims.” The failure of the report’s authors to grasp this, he said, betrayed a fundamental ignorance of local realities. “They have no understanding of what these things mean in Baltimore,” he said.

By that point, Baltimore had elected yet another new mayor: Catherine Pugh, who won the Democratic primary that April — in Baltimore, the only election that matters — after Rawlings-Blake opted not to run for re-election. That December, Pugh came to her first meeting of CitiStat, the municipal accountability body started by O’Malley. The meetings were held on the sixth floor of City Hall, where top city officials sat around a curved table and put questions to whichever agency head had been called to the lectern that day to defend his or her agency’s performance.

Very few people knew what to expect from Pugh. A longtime state legislator, she had won mostly by virtue of not being Sheila Dixon, who, having served her community-service sentence, ran again for her old job and narrowly lost. Pugh’s inscrutability extended to her bearing — she spoke in muffled tones, and her bangs often hung so low as to almost cover her eyes.

At the CitiStat meeting, a major topic of discussion was a rise in carjackings. Earlier that month, an 80-year-old member of the City Council was attacked by two teenage boys while getting into her car in a parking garage, leaving her with a black eye. Davis, the commissioner, and his deputy said that the carjackings appeared to be the work of violent drug crews, who were deploying teenagers to steal cars as an initiation of sorts, and then often using the cars while committing homicides.

Pugh grew agitated. The carjackings weren’t a law-enforcement problem, she said; they were a problem of footloose youth. Why wasn’t the meeting instead focusing on how to get teenagers into jobs or after-school programs? She declared the meeting a waste of her time and left. It was the last CitiStat meeting she would attend for at least six months.

Pugh seemed overwhelmed by the continuing violence. It was not until August 2017 that she announced her plan to counter it. It would be built around daily meetings to focus city services in high-crime areas — which she dubbed the Violence Reduction Initiative — as well as the addition of a Boston-based program for at-risk young people called Roca, and the expansion of Safe Streets, which deploys ex-offenders as “violence interrupters.”

At the core of Pugh’s plan was the notion that crime was driven by root causes. This was true, but it risked overlooking the most immediate dilemma: People inclined toward lawbreaking increasingly thought they could do so with impunity. Delivery of basic services to address root-cause problems was also undermined by the departure of key city officials, as word spread that Pugh was not easy to work for.

Mayor Catherine Pugh tours a neighborhood with city and law-enforcement officials in February.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times
By this point, it was plain that the surge in violence was not simply going to abate. Robberies and burglaries had also risen sharply. The city’s population was falling again, nearing a 100-year low with less than 615,000 in a census estimate released in March 2017. There were other, more ambient signs of disorder: the dirt bikes, squeegee boys at intersections. The city’s bike-sharing program was so plagued with vandalism that it was eventually shut down.

That summer, Erricka Bridgeford, Shantay Guy’s friend at the mediation center, started Baltimore Ceasefire, an effort to get the city’s criminal element to put down their weapons for one weekend every three months. The group’s main slogan was straightforward: “Nobody Kill Anybody.” A second slogan was aimed at those inclined not toward violence but toward apathy: “Don’t Be Numb.” During the first cease-fire, that August, two men were killed. Bridgeford went to the scenes to mourn the victims.

The Justice Department’s report, meanwhile, had led to the federal “consent decree” that the city negotiated with the department — a sweeping set of reforms of the Police Department that set out new rules governing stops and searches, internal discipline and much more. Gene Ryan, the leader of the police union, complained that his organization had been shut out of the process of drafting it. Tony Barksdale, who had been retired for three years and now spent his days trading stocks online, attacked it incessantly on Twitter, accusing city leaders of “handcuffing your own cops while turning the city over to criminals.”

One afternoon not long after Guy began her job as the consent-decree monitoring team’s community liaison, she strapped on a bulletproof vest and rode along with a city police officer to see the realities he and his colleagues faced. The officer started his shift at 9 a.m. and, because of the department’s shortage of officers, would work until 2:30 the next morning.

They cruised block after block of rowhouses in an especially drug-plagued area. The officer received a text message to disperse a cluster of young men — a frequent point of confrontation in the city. Young men often congregate in front of corner stores or liquor stores, sometimes just hanging out, other times selling drugs; the city would have a record 692 fatal opioid overdoses in 2017.

“I’m supposed to clear this corner,” the officer told Guy, showing her the address on the screen.

“Can you do that?” she asked.

“No,” he said. As he understood it, the consent decree barred him from dispersing the young men. So he didn’t. But then his phone rang. “I guess when I ignore a call, then I get a phone call telling me I need to do my [expletive] job,” he said. Which was indeed what the call was.

He and Guy drove to the address, where half a dozen young men in their late teens or early 20s were standing outside. The officer got out of the car and told them to move along. “The kids are angry,” Guy recalled; they had already been booted from a nearby corner that afternoon. “Like, ‘What the [expletive], we’re just standing here. We’re not doing anything, what’s going on?’ ”

For Guy, the moment affirmed her belief in the consent decree. This sort of rote policing seemed pointless; nothing was accomplished by confronting the young men beyond fomenting ill will. “The question for me becomes: What’s the intention for clearing the corners?” she told me. “Are you clearing the corners in white neighborhoods? The corners would not be so crowded if we actually became responsive to community needs.” This was, in essence, Pugh’s strategy — if only it could be made to work.

On Nov. 15, 2017, a veteran detective, Sean Suiter, drove with a partner to a blighted corner of West Baltimore to investigate a recent homicide. Suiter told his partner he had seen someone suspicious in a vacant lot and went to investigate. Shots rang out. His partner found Suiter bleeding from the head, his gun lying under his body. The 43-year-old father of five died the next day. His death was ruled a homicide, the 309th of the year.

The police locked down six square blocks around the scene for six days. Davis, the commissioner, pleaded with the community to offer tips to identify the “heartless, ruthless, soulless killer.” The death felt like the city’s reaching its nadir, in more ways than one. As the public learned in the week that followed, Suiter was scheduled to testify the next day before a grand jury in a vast corruption case that federal prosecutors filed earlier in the year: a conspiracy that painted a picture of a Police Department that, amid the lawlessness of the city, had descended into widespread lawlessness itself.

The accused were eight current and former members of an elite plainclothes unit called the Gun Trace Task Force, which, prosecutors said, had developed a penchant for robbing people, mostly but not exclusively drug dealers. Six of the officers pleaded guilty to racketeering and robbery.

The trial of the remaining two, when it started in January 2018, offered daily revelations of brazen amorality. There was the video shot by the unit to document “discovering” $100,000 in a drug dealer’s safe from which they had removed nearly twice that amount to divvy up. There was the bail bondsman describing how, over the course of many months, he sold $1 million in drugs funneled to him by Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, the group’s ringleader, including bags of pills looted from pharmacies during the April 2015 riots.

There was the wiretap of officers’ conspiring to lie to avoid detection for causing an accident during an improper high-speed chase, while doing nothing to help the victim lying in pain across the street. And there was the extremity of their fraudulent overtime, many tens of thousands of dollars for each — they were being paid while at the beach, while spending weeks doing exurban home renovations — all of it draining the treasury of a city where, as the trial was taking place, thousands of children were shivering in unheated classrooms.

The trial was an indictment of the string of police chiefs who had, despite some headline-making arrests of corrupt officers, presided over the decay of measures O’Malley pushed for as mayor, like reducing internal-affairs trial backlogs and expanding integrity stings. The court proceedings also illuminated how the surge in violence after Gray’s death abetted the corruption. Some officers had been lining their pockets for years, but their activities became a true conspiracy amid the chaos of 2015-16, as commanders were so desperate to stem the violence that they gave them free rein.

After the trial concluded, a dozen officers gathered at headquarters for a focus group, convened by the department to solicit their input on new policies stemming from the consent decree, on which they were to start receiving training in 2019. But the officers had no interest in talking about the decree, according to one participant. Instead, they vented about the impossibility of doing their job in a department in meltdown. They were bitter about being constantly “drafted” into mandatory overtime — departures and anemic recruiting had left the department with only 2,500 sworn officers, down 500 from five years earlier.

A block party on the weekend of a cease-fire, organized by Baltimore Ceasefire, in August.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times
A change in how the department scheduled shifts — made during Batts’s tenure at the urging of the police union despite the warnings of Barksdale and Bealefeld — had helped cause the city to pay $47 million in overtime in 2017, three times overbudget; some days, 40 percent of patrol shifts were being staffed with mandatory overtime, wearing down officers. The officers were also angry about the lack of resources and equipment. They fumed over the conflicting orders they received. “It’s: ‘Go out and stop crime, but don’t hurt anyone’s feelings,’ ” the veteran officer told me. “ ‘Be aggressive — but not too aggressive.’ ”

In January 2018, Pugh replaced Kevin Davis with a new commissioner, Darryl De Sousa, but De Sousa resigned five months later after federal prosecutors charged him with failing to file tax returns for three recent years. The interim commissioner, Gary Tuggle, had barely stepped into the revolving door of leadership when he found himself facing fresh crises: an officer who quit after being caught on video pummeling a man on the sidewalk, another found passed out drunk in his patrol car, a top commander who quit after throwing a chair against a wall during an argument at Police Headquarters.

And then there was the stunning conclusion of the independent review panel investigating the death of Detective Suiter: He had most likely committed suicide in the vacant lot and made it look like a cop-killing, the panel ruled in August. The investigators believed his suicide was possibly due to his ties to the corruption case.

On a hot day in mid-August, several dozen city officials, police officers and commanders gathered at a bedraggled shopping plaza in the Highlandtown section of southeast Baltimore for one of the regular neighborhood walks that Mayor Pugh was conducting in her effort to exude a sense of authority. The mass of suits and uniforms did a slow circuit of a few blocks of rowhouses, trailing behind Pugh. “Watch your step,” someone called out as the group neared a dead rat.

A neighborhood leader pointed out problem spots: a dark block where prostitutes congregated, a bus stop in front of a liquor store that allowed loiterers to claim they were waiting for the bus, piles of trash. It was far from the city’s roughest neighborhood, but Pugh was visibly taken aback by the disorder on display. She expressed particular displeasure over the trash bags that had been piled into containers in advance of pickup day. “You don’t see trash out front in Ashburton,” the middle-class black enclave where she lived, she said under her breath.

Two weeks later, I met Pugh in her office in City Hall. The month was on its way to ending with 30 homicides, almost one per day. But when I started to ask her about the surge in violence since 2015, she cut me off. “If you follow the trends lately, since November of last year we’re trending downward,” she said.

“They’ve trended down only so much,” I protested.

Pugh looked down at an iPad, swiping through crime-data summaries. “May, we had almost a 30 percent reduction in violence. In October of last year, when I created the Violence Reduction Initiative, the following month, November, we dropped by almost 18 percent. We dropped again in December, in January, in February.”

“Year to date right now,” I replied, “we’re barely below where we were last year, and last year was our worst year ever.”

“No,” she said.

“We just had more than one a day this past month,” I said.

“This has been one of the worst months, but we’re about 20 percent down in homicides this year thus far,” she said. “That’s tremendous in comparison with last year.”

“We’re very likely to end up at 300 again this year,” I said.

“We’re very unlikely to get to 300 this year,” she said.

There were 17 homicides in a single week in late September. The year would end with 309 homicides — the fourth straight year above 300. It was the early 1990s all over again — or even worse, considering that the city was now registering comparable numbers despite having 100,000 fewer people living in it.

In mid-November, Pugh announced her choice for the next commissioner: Joel Fitzgerald, the police chief in Fort Worth, Tex. But reporters at The Sun discovered overstatements in his résumé; the City Council expressed doubts about confirming him; and he himself seemed ambivalent. Finally, after Christmas, with the city in its eighth month without a permanent commissioner, Pugh told reporters that she was considering bringing back Tony Barksdale, as head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

It was an intriguing development, given how outspoken Barksdale had been in his criticisms of current department leadership and of the consent decree to which the city had committed itself. When I met with him a second time a couple of months earlier, in October, he told me he did not doubt the need for reform; he was mortified that some of the corrupt officers had come from the plainclothes teams he created. But he was worried that things had gone too far. “The criminals are so emboldened now,” he said.

The decree’s demands had made it too difficult for officers to clear drug corners, he said. He was hearing from his former colleagues that loiterers were already reciting the limits it imposed on the officers to them on patrol, mockingly. (I had heard similar reports from a community activist who favored the decree.) Its broadened definition of “use of force” — physical actions that officers had to document in reports, which went on their records and would be scrutinized — made officers less likely to bother engaging physically.

“What do you think happens when these guys see the cops not getting out of their car?” Barksdale said. “Years ago, if I pulled up and said ‘Let’s move,’ they moved. Now who has the control? They have control.” Citizens lose trust in the police not only if they abuse their authority but also if they do nothing about people wreaking havoc on their community. “Look at the number of bodies,” he said. “We’re losing horribly in Baltimore City.”

It was two days later that Da’mon Guy Jr., Shantay Guy’s stepson, got off the bus in the northwestern part of the city. As he began his walk toward home, a purple Volvo S.U.V. pulled up with four or five people inside. He heard the locks click open. As he ran, he heard a shout, then a gunshot. It didn’t register that he was hit in the lower back, he said later, until he realized that he couldn’t get up. He called his own ambulance.

West Baltimore in February.CreditPeter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times
Mayor Pugh visited him in the hospital several times. She was in the room when Da’mon, unable to speak because he was intubated, texted his stepmother: “Am I going to die tomorrow? Do my legs work?”

A couple of days later, he went into cardiac arrest. Doctors and nurses rushed in. Da’mon Sr. was in the hallway, out of his mind with panic, shaking and screaming. “He was just O.K.! I was just with him! He was just O.K.!” People were trying to restrain him. “Just let me see him!” he screamed.

As the blip of Da’mon’s heartbeat returned on the monitor, Guy tried to calm her husband: “Can you hear it?” she said. “Just focus on the sound.”

As Guy recounted the story in the cafe, I asked what she thought had driven the surge in violence. It was the perception, she said, that “police officers are not doing their jobs, and folks out there doing dirt see that they’re not doing their jobs and whatever they’re doing they can get away with.”

This was not so different from what I heard from Barksdale (who would learn in early March that he wasn’t getting the City Hall job), but she insisted the answer was not a return to tougher tactics. “Tony and I aren’t going to agree,” she told me. “I’m always going to be looking at what’s throwing the children in the street: What’s happening upstream to get them there?” That applied even to the person who shot her stepson, she said. “What happened to him or her that made this O.K. for them?” she said. “I believe they’re victims, too. I really do.”

Guy had recently left her role with the consent-decree team to take a job at a civic-leadership organization, but she was still involved in police reform. She would be leading meetings around town in which yet another new commissioner would be introduced to residents: Michael Harrison, late of New Orleans. Pugh had settled on him after the Fort Worth chief pulled out in January. Harrison seemed a good fit, someone who knew what it was like to police a violent city. And he came from a department that had been in deep turmoil, after Hurricane Katrina, and was now operating under its own consent decree.

On nine occasions, Guy stood alongside Harrison as he listened to the crowd turning out to see him. A vast majority of questions were from residents, most of them African-American, asking for the department to provide their neighborhoods with more officers and a more energetic response to crowded corners and other signs of disorder.

One of the meetings was in a school auditorium in Edmondson Village, a section of southwest Baltimore that has been especially hard hit by the surge in violence. Last summer, just a few blocks from the school, a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot in a car off Edmondson Avenue, the thoroughfare that the transit rail line that Hogan canceled would have run along. A police officer had been sitting in his cruiser a block away with the windows up; residents rushed to alert him.

The meeting was standing room only. “We just want to feel safe, period,” Monique Washington, president of the Edmondson Village Community Association, told Harrison. “Our people are in fear, and we’re tired.”

An hour into the forum, a neighborhood resident named Renee McCray stepped up to the microphone. She described how bewildering it had been to accompany a friend downtown, near the tourist-friendly Inner Harbor, one night a few months earlier. “The lighting was so bright. People had scooters. They had bikes. They had babies in strollers. And I said: ‘What city is this? This is not Baltimore City.’ Because if you go up to Martin Luther King Boulevard” — the demarcation between downtown and the west side — “we’re all bolted in our homes, we’re locked down.” She paused for a moment to deliver her point. “All any of us want is equal protection,” she said.

It was a striking echo of the language in the Department of Justice report and the activists’ condemnations of the police following Gray’s death. Back then, the claims were of overly aggressive policing; now residents were pleading for police officers to get out of their cars, to earn their pay — to protect them.

You could look at this evolution as demonstrating an irreconcilable conflict, a tension between Shantay Guy and Tony Barksdale never to be resolved. But the residents streaming into these sessions with Harrison weren’t suggesting that. They were not describing a trade-off between justice and order. They saw them as two parts of a whole and were daring to ask for both.
Title: Poverty was plummeting until War on Poverty
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 19, 2019, 07:46:10 AM
Title: Re: Poverty was plummeting until War on Poverty
Post by: G M on April 19, 2019, 01:03:46 PM

The goal of the war on poverty wasn’t to end poverty, it was to create a permanent underclass voting bloc.
Title: Walter Williams on slavery and welfare
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 29, 2019, 07:02:26 PM
Title: America's Inner City; Urban Issues, Race, War on Poverty, LBJ's Civil Rats Bill
Post by: DougMacG on July 30, 2019, 08:33:42 AM
Reagan Biographer Steve Hayward posting at


The controversy about rat-infested cities provokes a strong sense of deja vu, as a proposed federal rat eradication program was perhaps the turning point against LBJ’s “Great Society” back in 1967. A little background and the climax to this story from the first volume of my Age of Reagan:

Many poor urban neighborhoods have yet to recover [from the rise in crime], for it was precisely the poor, and largely black, populations of central cities who suffered most from this negligent criminology—the very constituency liberals thought they were advancing.  Blacks were two and a half times more likely than whites to be victims of crime in 1966, and this gap would widen over the next decade as black victimization in the inner city soared.  Charles Murray noted that “it was much more dangerous to be black in 1972 than it was in 1965, whereas it was not much more dangerous to be white.”  By 1970, social scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded, a person living in a central city faced a higher risk of being murdered than a World War II soldier did of dying in combat. But when Richard Nixon and conservatives called for a return to “law and order,” the phrase was attacked as “a code phrase for racism.”

Even among many Democrats, the Great Society was losing its allure.  Wilbur Mills, as we have seen, led the unsuccessful charge to restrain welfare.  But the surest signal that the political tide was turning against the War on Poverty came in the summer of 1967, when, just days after the Newark riot, Congress voted down Johnson’s proposal for a $40 million federal rat extermination program for the cities.  It was a typical expression of the view that social problems required a centralized federal solution.  Moynihan noted that there was no serious data on the extent of the rat problem in American cities.  “That wild rats should be controlled, no one would question,” Moynihan [Democrat-NY] wrote, “but it was not unreasonable to ask whether yet another Federal categorical aid program—a few million dollars to be spread over a continent—was the most sensible approach.”

Fifty-nine House Democrats joined with 148 Republicans to vote down the rat bill. It was the rhetoric, and not the comparatively modest sum involved, that made this a notable episode.  Congressmen joked about LBJ’s “civil rats” bill, with a “rat corps” to be presided over by “a high commissioner of rats.”  “Mr. Speaker,” the typical speech went, “ I think the ‘rat smart thing’ for us to do is to vote down this rat bill ‘rat now.’” Florida Democrat James Haley suggested releasing “federally funded cats” in the cities instead.  The rat bill was successfully revived at the end of the year as a part of a bigger spending bill, but its ignominious treatment in mid-summer foreshadowed the growing revolt against the relentless centralization of modern liberalism.

P.S. When Trump acquired the dilapidated building that became his first major real estate deal—the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 42nd Street—he solved the building’s rat infestation during renovations by rounding up stray cats in New York City and moving them into the building. The rat infestation was eradicated quickly—without a government program!
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 30, 2019, 07:36:48 PM
Nice find.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues
Post by: DougMacG on July 31, 2019, 10:39:22 AM
Nice find.

Thank you, there were quite a few notable points in that, including the humor:

"It was the rhetoric, and not the comparatively modest sum involved, that made this [LBJ story] a notable episode.  Congressmen joked about LBJ’s “civil rats” bill, with a “rat corps” to be presided over by “a high commissioner of rats.”  “Mr. Speaker,” the typical speech went, “ I think the ‘rat smart thing’ for us to do is to vote down this rat bill ‘rat now.’” Florida Democrat James Haley suggested releasing “federally funded cats” in the cities instead.  The rat bill was successfully revived at the end of the year as a part of a bigger spending bill, but its ignominious treatment in mid-summer foreshadowed the growing revolt against the relentless centralization of modern liberalism."

Also the point that Trump dealt with this at his properties without a federal program is telling.

Most importantly, Trump, who has been there, has hit on rats as a more visual depiction of the worst of our inner cities than race, crime or poverty.  Rich suburbs and skyscrapers don't put up with rats or garbage piled up.  Most of the people in affluent suburbs are white but I can assure you that 'black people' and 'voters of color' don't want to live in bad areas any more than anyone else does.  They aren't there for the crime, corruption, garbage and rats.  They feel trapped and wish for things to be better.

These 'bad neighborhoods' are better symbolized by rats than race.  Rich blacks don't live there.  All of these cities are run locally by Democrats and the Left.  The cities have been run by the Left for as long as they have been bad neighborhoods.  The Left's proposal is the same everyday as it was during the "war on poverty", more of the same.  People there don't want more of the same.  They want something different, solutions to problems.  They just don't know at this point that they want is what Republicans offer, prosperity that only comes from freedom and personal responsibility.  Welfare, welfare and more welfare doesn't get you there.  Trump may be the one who breaks through all the false racism and socialist noise and ties policies to results - on both sides.
Title: 14 Baltimore neighborhoods have lower life expectancies than North Korea
Post by: DougMacG on August 06, 2019, 06:15:57 AM
14 Baltimore neighborhoods have lower life expectancies than North Korea

Washington Post April 30, 2015  (Trump's fault?)

All are Democrat neighborhoods.  Democrats answer:  More of the same.  Republicans are racist for opposing the policies that cause unnecessary suffering.
Title: Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues, (race)
Post by: DougMacG on August 19, 2019, 04:33:42 AM

Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District Listed As Worst District For Black Americans To Live

Reflects badly on Rep. Omar who has no clue what is wrong or how to correct it, and reflects badly on decades of non-stop Leftist governance.  This situation is worthy of discussion whenever the nation is ready to do that.

They are using misleading data IMHO but I like that they are at least trying to expose the problem.
Title: Poverty was plummeting until War on Poverty 2.0
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 20, 2019, 07:38:37 PM
Title: Re: Poverty was plummeting until War on Poverty 2.0
Post by: DougMacG on August 21, 2019, 06:45:40 AM

How come this isn't more widely known?  To me it is the great denial of math and science.  The purpose of the trillions and trillions and trillions we send into the inner city is not to make them better off, it is to keep them poor and make them vote Democrat. Cynical, but what else explains it?  To the extent that black people and black families are hurt disproportionately by the flood of free money destroying families and screwing up work incentives, any knowledge of these horribly damaging effects indicates that the supporters and the policies are racist.

Anyone with eyes or data can see that the government has replaced the role of the father and husband.

Who in 2019, some 50 years into this failed experiment, doesn't know that our atrocious welfare system is killing the recipients?

Only the Sargent Schultz defense shields them from the racism of their policies, "I see nothing!  I know nothing!"
Title: Re: Poverty was plummeting until War on Poverty 2.0
Post by: G M on August 21, 2019, 09:19:29 AM
Government dependence isn't a bug, it's a feature.

How come this isn't more widely known?  To me it is the great denial of math and science.  The purpose of the trillions and trillions and trillions we send into the inner city is not to make them better off, it is to keep them poor and make them vote Democrat. Cynical, but what else explains it?  To the extent that black people and black families are hurt disproportionately by the flood of free money destroying families and screwing up work incentives, any knowledge of these horribly damaging effects indicates that the supporters and the policies are racist.

Anyone with eyes or data can see that the government has replaced the role of the father and husband.

Who in 2019, some 50 years into this failed experiment, doesn't know that our atrocious welfare system is killing the recipients?

Only the Sargent Schultz defense shields them from the racism of their policies, "I see nothing!  I know nothing!"
Title: LA County asks SCOTUS to uphold bans against sleeping on sidewalks
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 21, 2019, 07:44:53 AM
Title: Re: LA County asks SCOTUS to uphold bans against sleeping on sidewalks
Post by: G M on September 21, 2019, 05:07:27 PM

No! California must continue to be a magnet for the "homeless"!
Title: Not all children killed were innocent victims
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 19, 2019, 01:02:50 PM
Title: Re: Not all children killed were innocent victims
Post by: G M on October 21, 2019, 08:22:34 AM

The truth is not allowed to be spoken.
Title: Re: Not all children killed were innocent victims
Post by: DougMacG on October 21, 2019, 09:24:58 AM

The reference to children includes criminals and gang members that haven't been under the influence of a parent for years, and are participants themselves in crime.

People visualize a toddler getting into Dad's gun cabinet at home when they hear statistics like this:
Title: Re: Not all children killed were innocent victims
Post by: G M on October 21, 2019, 09:34:34 AM

The reference to children includes criminals and gang members that haven't been under the influence of a parent for years, and are participants themselves in crime.

People visualize a toddler getting into Dad's gun cabinet at home when they hear statistics like this:

Yes, that's the narrative the MSM-DNC wants to push.
Title: WSJ: America's Inner City Cartels
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 19, 2019, 11:38:24 AM
America’s Inner-City Cartels
As activists smear and hinder police, will the nation surrender to the forces of lawlessness?
By Robert L. Woodson
Nov. 18, 2019 7:06 pm ET

Headlines were seized this month by the ambush and murder of three American women and six children by drug traffickers in Mexico. Americans were naturally shocked by the brutality of the cartels. But it would be a mistake to think it doesn’t happen here. Similarly brutal crimes frequently occur among black Americans in our own cities, generating much less coverage. There are signs that gang violence is rising—and spilling over its boundaries in a way that puts more innocent people at risk.

Street gangs and other criminal rings have even abandoned an implicit moral code that prohibits targeting “civilians”—women, children and others not directly involved in their “beefs.” In more than 40 years of working with local anticrime groups and documenting their solutions to youth violence, I have never witnessed the depravity that is occurring today on the streets of black neighborhoods around America.

Nationwide, the tragic number of unsolved murders was documented in a 2018 study by the Washington Post that mapped nearly 55,000 homicides in 55 cities. The study identified inner-city areas “where murder is common but arrests are rare,” dubbing these crime-plagued communities “pockets of impunity.”

Take St. Louis, where 14 children and teens were shot dead in a three-month period from May through July. By August, only one arrest had been made in any of those cases—a bleak trend police attribute to locals’ unwillingness to report suspects. Even the brother of a victim declared that “around St. Louis we don’t snitch on people. We keep it in the streets.”

In Chicago, gang members recently kidnapped and shot a 9-year-old brother of a rival in an execution-style retaliatory strike. These thugs consider the deaths of innocent toddlers and children to be collateral damage of street warfare. Victims include a 2-year-old shot to death in her mother’s arms and a 7-year-old dressed as a bumblebee shot while trick-or-treating.

Children are perpetrators as well as victims of this violence. In Minneapolis, mobs of robbers have beaten victims unconscious and kicked them in the face even while they lay helpless. According to police reports, the attackers include girls as young as 13. In Washington, about a dozen attackers, who police believe to be boys and girls ages 14 and 15, attacked two men mercilessly outside a Hilton hotel, kicking and stomping them while they were injured and on the ground. All these young perpetrators were black.

Low-income black neighborhoods throughout the U.S. are becoming more isolated and more dangerous in part because of the efforts of self-proclaimed social-justice warriors, including members of Black Lives Matter. These activists demonize law enforcement, making it harder for police to gain residents’ trust. They sometimes openly celebrate violence against police.

As hostility to law enforcement has increased, antipolice demonstrations and protests have resulted in “police nullification.” These are instances when officers stand down, opting not to enforce certain laws, to avoid accusations of racism. Their withdrawal makes dangerous neighborhoods even more vulnerable.

These attacks on law enforcement have caused a sharp drop in police recruitment. According to one survey, 62% of police departments nationally have reported decreases in recruiting in recent years. Minneapolis police reported that, in a one-year period, they were unable to respond immediately to more than 6,000 “priority one” 911 calls, which include reports of sexual assault, shootings and robberies.

Adding to this devastation, many black social critics, pundits and professors articulate a message of despair, victimhood and conflict. They tell people trapped in these inner-city killing fields that regardless of what blacks are doing to one another, it isn’t their fault. For them, blames lies only with the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

To avoid having to explain why these problems persist after 40 years of black political rule in many of these cities, the apologists point to their all-purpose villain: systemic and institutional racism. Police and prosecutors, they say, are merely enforcers of white-supremacist culture that pervades society. The most dangerous thing about this message is that it exempts inner-city blacks from personal responsibility and suggests they are helpless in the face of their circumstances.

The elite promoters of this blanket forgiveness don’t suffer the consequences of their advocacy because they don’t live in the ZIP Codes where rates of crime and violence are high. Most live in safe, well-to-do communities where the police are encouraged to enforce the laws, supplemented by private security.

As the social-justice warriors and race-grievance experts continue to wage war against the police, trust of law enforcement deteriorates further, and predators face no consequences. Law-abiding citizens in the afflicted communities are sometimes forced to seek protection from the people preying on them. America is on the verge of surrendering authority to the lawless forces in our inner cities. In short, we could have Mexico in America.

Mr. Woodson is president and founder of the Woodson Center.