Sunday, August 13, 2006

August 13

When mace didn't work, a policeman shot 14-year-old Kevin Cooper.

A city officer driving the wrong way down a one-way-street and hit another car on Chilton Street near the Alameda. The officer and his victim were both taken to shock trauma.

"The United States is losing the war in Iraq; more specifically, Philadelphia is." = Worst. Lead. Ever. From a WashPost ediboreial, which argues that glossy magazines, 50 Cent, profligate arrests = causes of destroyed villages.


Saturday night's alright for fighting: In Randallstown, Karim Cross, 27, died after being stabbed during a bar fight at the Rush Hour Bar.
A 47-year-old man was shot in outside My Place Bar and Lounge in Odenton.

Blast from the past: Michael Olesker on Ehrlich's takeover of the schools two years ago. Meanwhile, there's school-lunch food fights.

26 comments:

John Galt said...

Triple-shooting on the 400 block, Ilchester Ave. last night.

For good insight into the local context in the Harwood community, see the article on failures in applying juvenile justice

John Galt said...

Also, see the Detroit Free Press's article on Gansta Funerals

taotechuck said...

Cybes,

Ediboreal? Yeah, the lead in the Post article was in desperate need of some editing, but I thought the overall story was pretty damned relevant.

Maybe it's just because it's in agreement with my beliefs: there are a whole lot of people responsible for the crime in our city, ranging from entertainers who glamorize the thug lifestyle and the need for "respect" to mayors who squander and mismanage resources.

There's a lot of finger-pointing everywhere. It's O'Malley's fault, it's Hamm's fault, it's the school board's fault, it's the individual's fault, it's the Democrats' fault, it's the Republicans' fault, it's 50 Cent's fault, it's society's fault.

The thing is, it's all of that and more. Yeah we need more police, but that's not going to accomplish anything until the schools are improved, which will probably take at least 10-20 years of focused and effective effort. Fixing the schools won't make a damned bit of difference, though, unless parents take responsibility for their kids. And parents won't take responsibility unless they're sober and able to provide some sort of stability for their families.

So we can sit around and wring our hands and point fingers and talk shit. But one thing this article suggested makes a lot of sense: challenge the perps to take responsibility for their actions. Challenge them to find other ways to resolve their differences. Challenge the old gangstas to teach the kids.

The Cybrarian said...

I challenge the post to come up with something that people haven't said thousands of times since the 70's. I've got too much to do this morning to blog btw, so if you have time, please, by all means...

Anonymous said...

We keep seeing everything as some kind of warfare-- as a series of problems that must be solved first, before other progress can be made.

Perhaps its better to focus more on the good things. There is crime in your 'hood and there always will be. There will always be plenty of things to complain about and there will always be a shocking number of people who will never do the innumerable "should's" that we assign to them.

But do you love where you live and at least some of your neighbors? Do you have something nice to say everyday? If not, then you aren't going to be happy in the long term. You can't fight "a war" (as some call it) from your house for very long. Its not fun and it will wear you down, I guarantee it.

John Galt said...

When OG's teach kids, they cease to be regarded as OG's, because they lose their badass identity.

When you challenge the kids to learn other ways to resolve differences, you run into the same problems you see in international politics: to wit, how to back down without losing face. When you figure that one out, please clue Dubya (and me) in to it.

I'm very interested in the idea of challeging them to be self-answerable. Their entire culture is based upon being out of control until you're put in a cage, at which time you're also not self-answerable.

A recent survey of school kids asked how many expected to live to see age 30: half replied Yes. If you have such shortened horizons, why would you really self-limit? I only do so because the benefits down the road exceed my momentary satisfaction. One of thoise satisfactions is the belief that I'm 'in the right'. Moi ?

These guys aren't motivated by self-worth. The street meaning of the word thug relates to coming from nothing and taking yours, BAMN.

John Galt said...

Ordinarily, waging a war is a real drag. That's why it's really not supposed to be conducted by volunteers. There is a job, called government, and that's the first thing it does: maintain law & order. Then legislators want to do more fun things, because they garner votes.

When the government does fun things to the exclusion of necessary things, then you have to question whether it has lost its legitimacy. I kinda wish we had a government in Baltimore. We have taxes and handouts, just no legitimate government.

John Galt said...

Speaking of the war, it's nonstop. In addition to the triple shooting this morning, my neighborhood's largest public school campus was broken into, extensively vandalized, and ransacked.

The kids' computer equipment was stolen and the place is a disaster now. The perps are juveniles, so approximately nothing will happen to them.

We've been asking for more cops, but then again, we've been asking for a decade. This city government just ignores its responsibilities and then hangs up a big BELIEVE sign over all the broken windows. Mayor McCheese, for his part, is busy raising out-of-state campaign money for his gubernatorial bid. Hey, Marty, ya got a lotta unfinished work right here, thanks.

"It's not fun and it will wear you down." You said it, brother.

Time to declare a crime emergency, like other cities (with less crime than we have).

Anonymous said...

"not fun" is certainly right, Galt.

If the condition of your neighborhood is really as unsatisfactory and helpless as you say it is, you should consider leaving. Then all that energy and bile that you expend on "war" could be used for more positive, constructive and enjoyable pursuits.

Seriously, there are affordable places even in the city, where your troubles would be a mere fraction of what they are now.


Why did I say fighting a war from one's house is futile?

Some of you may remember this guy (Bryan): http://www.rebuildingmadison.info/

Its a very very long read. A blog that runs for ~3 years upto this past spring. Basically, about a guy who moved into a crime infested neighborhood, sets up a police substation and blogs about it.

He fought a war and seemed to be making progress, but then decided it wasn't worth it, gave up and moved to the 'burbs. I was annoyed that he did that. I think he would have seen his efforts pay back over time, but the more I think about the more I realize that he simply overdrew on the "waging war" aspect of living here and did not nuture enough positivity about his home.

He reminds me of Galt, except that it seems Galt is much further into negativity than Bryan ever was.

My prediction? Galt will be pushed too far and eventually move to someplace more suitable for him.

John Galt said...

But doesn't it seem wrong to you that your government, realizing full well what needs to be done here, chooses to assent to highly predictable crime, essentially giving it 'the nod' so long as it doesn't get too close to the white people?

Now, mind you, whenever the crime in my area reaches over and intrudes into Charles Village, all of a sudden there are cops everywhere for several weeks. Wall to wall.

Doesn't that strike you as .... fundamentally wrong and complicit?

John Galt said...

One of the basic problems in Baltimore, and this cuts across racial and class and educational lines, is the inability to discern between right and wrong.

If you're not sticking to the former, you're contributing to the latter. If this sounds like an indictment of your policymakers and their constituencies, that's because it is.

The Cybrarian said...

'Non-- nurture positivity?! I mean, I'm with you, the only solution is people caring about their neighborhoods, taking ownership of them, Getting in on Believing etc. ... but this guy was surrounded by crack houses! is he supposed to invite crackheads over for tea and scones? I mean, you can radiate peace and groovy love all day but that's not going to get all your neighbors to go to detox!

John Galt said...

Kum-ba-ya is a great idea for small-scale deviance.

Let's revisit what we're talking about:

in Baltimore City as of 2000, of black males in their 20's, at any moment 1 in 8 is in prison, 1 in 20 is in jail, and 1 in 3 is on parole/probation within the community. That is, in total fully one half are certifiably bad news. Add to that the many who got off on technicalities in court or weren't caught because there aren't enough cops to do the job.

Whether you like it or not, the correct place for these people is under close supervision. If that's not going to be behind bars, then you're gonna need a lotta cops: twice what we have. If you're not gonna provide those babysitters, then these boys gotta go straight to the pen.

Stop telling me you don't want to, it's not a choice. I don't care what incarceration costs; you don't have an alternative, other than extensive oversight.

Now, before you tell me how many are in on drug charges and you don't really believe in arresting for drugs, please be prepared to tell me of the drug-charged how many haven't done anything wrong other than to consume drugs?

Anonymous said...

What bullshit in the post article...

"My research in Baltimore, ..... shows that in hard-hit neighborhoods, the violence is much less about drugs and money than about girls, vendettas and trivial social frictions."

First of all..."trivial?" Excuse me, but murder and beating deaths can hardly be classified as trivial. Secondly, last time I checked, the "vendettas" can almost always be related to the drugs. Another article for the crime journal "DUH."

The Cybrarian said...

What annoys me about both that op-ed and the "festive funerals" piece is they don't go anywhere beyond, "gee, Those People have a really screwed-up culture." Pointing out what doesn't work about somebody else's culture is not a major op-ed worthy revelation. Those People in newspapers seem to get more simple-minded by the day.

I have heard plenty of people opine in all sincerity that if were no drugs we would have no crime. or if there was no mention of crime in music there would be no crime. It's blaming cultural artifacts, like blaming Underwear Night at the Eagle for making somebody go gay.

John Galt said...

And here I thought Abercrombie & Fitch was responsible for that.

John Galt said...

Guaranteed, Cybes,

If there were no criminals, there would be no crime.

Anonymous said...

cybrarian,

Bryan did do exactly what you mention. He did have some "tea parties" of a sort. He invited local kids and set-up "moon-bounce" stations and had a block party or two.

To be clear, it should be said that Bryan was _NOT_ surrounded by crackhouses. There was a bad one next door (which he got shut down) and there were drug dealers and some bad neighbors in the section 8 apartments-- but let's be accurate, please. He was not "surrounded" by crackhouses. He had some very strong allies in the neighborhood. Its all in the rebuildingmadison.info blog.

As for where things went wrong causing Bryan to give up and leave, I DON'T think it was because he did too many nice things for the neighborhood. My analysis is that he simply got sick of fighting a war from his house.

Anonymous said...

Galt...

It is in fact "my government". It is also "YOUR GOVERNMENT", "YOUR POLICY-MAKERS", whether you voted for them or not.

As for "wall to wall" police after a "crime" in charles village, what do you mean? Are you talking about when the hopkins student (who had no involvement in the criminal life) was murdered by a robber?

John Galt said...

Yeah.

I suppose I'm still very bitter about the fact that a good kid I know a block up the street was stabbed outside his own house by daylight. He left a blood trail up the sidewalk to his door. It was the same day as Lisa Trinh. He got no mention. She got coverage on every station for over a week.

Cops appeared everywhere in Charles Village for several weeks. None were seen here. At all. Two lady cops took an incident report and drove off. No followup. BTW, the kid was black.

I suppose I wouldn't lay the responsibility for 'your' politicians as I do if, in fact, we all faced equally the impact of their misconduct.

In fact, when they inadequately provide the City with cops, the premier neighborhoods are first on line to receive services. People like me get to hold the door. I'm sick and tired of being a second-class citizen because I live in a lower-income black neighborhood.

If the City has in mind to refuse policing in certain neighborhoods (either for fiscal or for any other reasons), then it should have to declare them uninhabitable. Just own up to their decisions. I'm sick and tired of the administration claiming it's trying. It's not. Fess up to the truth, that's all. And I also want the people who vote these politicians in to own up to their responsibility, too.

Why should anyone be allowed to sleep well in a well-policed area while I'm getting broken into in my 'hood, thinking they are living in a wonderful, desegregated up-and-coming city?

Get in on it? Get off of it!

Baltimore is two cities: one gets all the public benefits, the other gets all the public ills.

Okay, okay, I'll go take my pills now.

John Galt said...

I'll bet that if we closed up my neighborhood (as not policed and therefore uninhabitable) and moved all its people onto your blocks, all of a sudden, you'd be demanding that the City hire a buncha more cops too.

It's amazing how mutual exposure can create a commonality of interests.

When people argue "But it costs too much to incarcerate all those animals.", I'm sympathetic so long as we're talking about locating them on release as much on your block as on mine. In fact, I'm talking about equally locating their probability of misconduct. The way you do that is with police coverage.

Deploy police manpower according to where criminals are found and you will find far fewer people opposing incapacitation through incarceration.

The Cybrarian said...

Well galt, who are we supposed to vote for?

John Galt said...

I think the answer is to vote for Ehrlich with the request that the State assume control of the policing in Baltimore City, because Mayor McCheese has absolutely no incentive to tackle that problem from Annapolis if he doesn't give a damn now.

rodya said...

"I mean, you can radiate peace and groovy love all day but that's not going to get all your neighbors to go to detox!"

If you don't mind my jumping in late on this, no, peace and groovy love is not going to get all of your neighbors to go to detox.

And if anyone, Galt included, thinks anything they do is going to get all of anything done they are either manic, narcissistic, or both. I mean gimme a break, it's a great ideal, but 'I'm gonnna buy a house in the hood, stake my ground, and change the entire block/city'? I'm sorry but there is only so much one person can do.

You're gonna snap spreading yourself so thin and holding yourself solely responsible for changing policy, neighborhoods, police activity, judicial responsibility, etc. This is what activist groups are for, as corny as they can often come across. They support from within, they utilize numbers to attempt to bring about change, etc.

If you are fighting the "war" alone, or at least think you are, you're going to burn out. And regardless of whether you are doing it as part of an activist group, homeowners ass., etc., you ain't gonna win it ALL. If you are issuing a rallying cry than so be it. But if you are just standing around bitching there are probably better things you could be doing with your time, like looking for positive ways to motivate others to join you in your crusade for change, knowing full well that you're not going to save the world but that you will at least have lured more flies with honey than vinegar to a worthy cause of making a difference, even if it is only one block of a beaten down neglected city.

Wow, how's that for a kumbahyah? Ha ha!

"If there were no criminals, there would be no crime." If you're saying you can lock em all up, Galt, I seriously don't know of a criminal free town.

A Ringgold said...

I am highly offended at the fact that the article regarding Karim Cross being Murdered at Rush Hour bar, also gives access to the Rush HOur bar website. This is as if you are advertising for them. This was another senseless crime. I understand they may still have the right to be in business and advertise, but this is not in good taste.

The Cybrarian said...

"Where should we have a drink tonight, honey?"
"Oh look, someone was shot to death in the parking lot the Rush Hour Bar... and here's a link!"
"Let's go! Maybe there's still fresh blood on the asphalt!"

Thanks for taking the time to comment, but it's a basic tenet here that people should know where violence is happening.

And in case you were wondering this blog doesn't acccept advertising or compensation to post links.