Sunday, September 11, 2005

MAC JOHNSON on Katrina:
First out of the gate were the Holy Men of the Cult of Global Warming, who couldn’t wait for the first dead to wash up before they declared the Hurricane irrefutable proof of Global Warming and a direct responsibility of George W. Bush.

Next up were the racial ambulance chasers, always looking for another grievous injury to add to their political caseload. Looking at the Sea of Black faces abandoned without transportation, food, water or protection, they somehow managed to look past the City’s Black Mayor, Black Police Chief, Black City Council members and all the other Black office holders that run the 67% Black city, and found that the whole thing was: white folks’ fault. Yet another example of racism at its worst.

This opened up a torrent of Bush-bashing, since he was the closest Republican that had any responsibility for the City. The Democratic Governor of Louisiana -- though white -- was merely a victim of the whole thing it seems, just like the Mayor of New Orleans. Nobody has any power in this world other than George Bush. Nobody has any responsibility. George Bush is now the navel of the world for his enemies. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Central Park, it’s George Bush’s fault. And the butterfly is racist. And it was blown there by Global Warming.

[...] The storm may have triggered the violence, but it did not cause it. What we saw in New Orleans was what happens in America’s most murderous city when the criminals realize that all the cops have left.

It wasn’t desperation, or insanity, or protest. It was New Orleans, without police.

Many people believe that Washington, D.C., is the “murder capital of America.” And indeed it often is, but that is only because such rankings are limited to “major cities” –those with a population of 500,000 or more, and New Orleans has (or had) a population of 485,000. Were it not for this actuarial accident, Washington, D.C.. wouldn’t even have a shot at the murder title. The per capita murder rate in New Orleans is 16% higher than in “Murder Capital” Washington, D.C.; and nearly 10 times the national average. To have a murder rate equal to that of New York City, New Orleans would need to reduce its murders by 86%. No, that’s not a typo.

At a time when crime is plummeting in most of America, it has been steadily increasing in New Orleans. And one cause is simple: The New Orleans City Government has run its law enforcement apparatus into the ground. On a per capita basis, New Orleans has less than half as many cops as Washington, D.C.: just 3.1 police officers per 1,000 citizens. Turnover has become a huge issue, as young cops leave at the first opportunity. A report conducted for the city two years ago said that New Orleans was “bleeding police officers.”
Read the rest.

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