Wednesday, September 27, 2006

September 27

DEA: Maryland is the third-most violent state in the union, and Baltimore just might be the most smacked-out city in the world. So why did the DEA seize only 43 pounds of heroin last year (as opposed to 500 pounds of cocaine and mary j.?) is it just me or is 19.5 kg. not very much?

One hundred words about #200.

Cliques and amnesia in the Smoot case.

More on Saturday's triple shooting on Kennedy Avenue (between Loch Raven, Harford, the Alameda and 25th Street).

State report: 8 percent increase in assaults against police officers in '04- '05.

A man was carjacked in AAC Saturday and forced to drive to Cherry Hill, where he was robbed.

Pervert roundup: Donald Fox, 60, of Frederick; Phillip R. Wilson, 20, of Finksburg; Kenny Ray Morrison, of College Park and Kingwood, TX; Ronald Allen Meroney of Baltimore County and Memphis, TN; the boy in the elevator, the guy on the lawn in Silver Spring; a teenager on the football field and a Latino at the fairgrounds, MoCo.

Del. Jill Carter has new ambitions, and you'll never hear me again mention the weave. Which looks great.


Anonymous said...

the heroin seizures do sound low. but my guess is the DEA only counts the drugs they seize as part of the cases they (and the locals) decide to try at the federal level. what local police are actually pulling off the streets is likely alot more, (think of all the drug possession cases in the city...thousands and thousands). but, that's just my guess. i could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

maybe heroin comes in smaller serving sizes?

Anonymous said...

A little perspective on the state violent crime rankings:

Baltimore City is home to .8% of the nation's violent crime, but only .0175% of the nation's GDP.

MD is home to about 2.7% of violent crime, but 2.4% of GDP.

Suburbuan Suffolk County, NY, is home to .0022% of violent crime, yet is the source of .055% of GDP.

The take home message: your city is nasty because it's nonproductive. Your people are globally noncompetitive. For that reason, they aren't in the private sector game. They either sponge off the government & nonprofit sectors, or they prey on the innocent.

The answer: force them to work for a market wage. Whatever the market will bear for the product of their labor. You'll see crime drop way off when you insist that young boys hanging around the streets get employed.

We need an anti-vagrancy statute. Aggressively arrest them for breaking into buildings. No more camping out. You want to live, you pay rent. You don't pay rent, you go to jail. To pay the rent, you need a (private-sector) job. To keep the job, you behave yourself and stay out of jail. The public sector is a source of services, not of employment. That's how it works in Suffolk.

Get In On It. Really.

John Galt said...

My opinion:

When a youth is confined to a correctional facility such as the Hickey School, any assault (other than incidental contact) upon a Correctional Officer (residential advisor, whatever) ought to be treated as an adult assault in the first degree. Swinging chair and breaking teeth? Oh, yeah.

You'll never turn kids around when they get the clear message that they can do whatever they want. The really bad ones need to be sent up as adults. They're going to end up there anyhow. May as well get it started.

jaimetab said...

Another mugging in broad daylight, right on 32 and ST Paul! Someone tried to help and was himself threatened. I'm sick of these disgusting criminals! The hell with root causes, we need our own Bernie Goetz!!!

jaimetab said...

I'm also sick of reading about the police showing up after the fact, with "negative results". It's about time to freakin' give up on this hellhole. Where the hell are the cops? Only someone as cracked out or smacked out as half of our esteemed neighbors would buy or let their kids buy into these new overpriced condos on St. Paul and 31 St. For that money, you can live in NYC where at least you have cops around all the time. I did the math, NYC would have almost 5,000 thats FIVE THOUSAND murders a year at our per capita rate. State police or army takeover, I don't care what, but this situation is a COMPLETE FAILURE.

jaimetab said...

How about this ad campaign: O'Malley smiling over an open coffin and gesturing: " Baltimore. Get in it."

jaimetab said...

Also, all murder victims should have a free "BELIEVE" engraved in that slick white on black upper case added to their tombstones.

John Galt said...

FYI: since 2002, heroin production from Afghanistan has mquintupled to about 6,100 metric tons. Heroin use is responsive to price drops, at least up to a saturation point. We should expect greater consumption in the intermediate term, which will mean more drug-induced criminality.

As the real estate-driven economy slides, the crime will worsen. Baltimore will probably be hit worse than any other american city.

That means you need to sharply increase policing.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Galt, that is just ridiculous:
"You want to live, you pay rent. You don't pay rent, you go to jail. To pay the rent, you need a (private-sector) job. To keep the job, you behave yourself and stay out of jail."

First of all there are a lot of people who have small children or ARE small children. I'm sure you'll say the kids don't have a right to exist in the first place, but they're there, they have parents with no skills-- what are they supposed to do?

A you suggesting a giant state-sponsored factory farms for orphans and crackheads where we have them make Melo's Nikes on Chinese daily wages. We already house students in "technical" schools... why not have them make something productive?

Second, heroin use is responsive to market price? I don't think so. Are you going to go out and start investing in heroin futures when it hits $5 a pound? (How would non-junkies even know the "price point"?)

And third what's the point of increasing the police force if 30 percent of the arrests are no good and the rest usually have someone out on the streets the next day?

It seems like in the old days it used to be that drunkards and junkies would go to some sort of "work house." Now they're just back out on the streets the next day.

I'm going to be on Ed Norris tomorrow at 11:30. I hope I get the chance to ask Ed what NY did that Baltimore seemed to be doing under his watch, then stopped doing.

Anonymous said...

Delegate Carter Running for Mayor. Great. Another useless politician entering the race. Could we see Dr. Bundley run again? Perhaps Lawrence Bell wants to give it another go?

Anonymous said...

Cynic, you r also clueless.

Anonymous said...

Assaults on police, increase? Could it be in direct response to the increase in police aggression, brutality, unwarranted arrests, quotas?
For this too, I blame no'Malley.

Jill Carter for mayor? Great choice. She's got my vote!

John Galt said...

There's always manual labor. Many immigrants to this country had no skills to speak of, so they scrubbed floors. In fact, they scrubbed so many floors that they could afford to send their kids to some kind of training so they wouldn't have to scrub floors. But keep in mind that one of the things that made those jobs available to anyone who stepped off a boat was the fact that there were no wage restrictions. Wages were lousy, but jobs were right there if you wanted to work.

As for parents who expect to sit like bumps on a log, no, there's no entitlement to that. If you cannot provide for dependents, they should be removed. And that includes supervision and the inculcation of civics. Then, if you cannot provide for yourself (other than very temporarily). yeah, you die. But you cannot consume goods & services without paying for them in the long run.

State-run orphanages should absolutely require that children work, although it's not clear that you'd want them to work a full workday. There are basic educational obligations.

As for Chinese wages, many Baltimoreans are not worth that much per hour. If they cannot improve their usefulness, they need to starve. Get used to it. The world is becoming a very crowded, competitive place.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation actually commissioned a study which shows that heroin use is responsive to price changes and that methadone use does as well, primarily as a stabilizer.

The police need a clear mandate. Arbitrarily arresting people so as to place a gold star on the chalkboard is not a real goal. They should rigorously enforce trespassing and loitering laws, which need to be strengthened. Bottom line: you don't belong in 95% of the space in this city, unless with the consent of the owner, so go where you belong.

If you have $$$, you can go most anywhere and pay the price. If you don't, get back to your cramped little apartment and stay there. Or your friend's cramped little apartment. But you cannot 'hang' on the corner, or in a vacant building, or overlong at a public facility. Why? Because you don't belong there.

And all that hanging is hazardous. When I go shopping, I don't want to have to navigate my way past a buncha hoodies who have been standing there for hours. Young males should not be congregating in front of some vulnerable old woman's porch, other than momentarily. They don't belong. Give 'em fair warning. Post it clearly, for those (many) who do not understand that concept of property. Then lock 'em up.

Not for nothing. Make sure the charges have a basis in law. No loitering on public property, no trespassing on private property.

All property - public property - private property = nothin'.

You really don't find much hangin' in public anymore in New York. We used to have lots of it. At the Port Authority, the parks, the public buildings.

Then the police were told 'get those people out of there.' They did so in concert with service providers, such as shelters & programs.

Now, when people answered that they didn't want to go to the shelter, or get a place to live, or get a job, but rather wanted to 'camp out' in public, then they were locked up.

Not in one place, so that they were relocated to another park or corner. They were pretty uniformly booted from ALL public places, simultaneously. They were also aggressively prosecuted for trespassing on private space.

That meant, they had to lawfully occupy private space, which requires.... money. At least, some money. So, they had to get a job. Maybe not a great one. Maybe not intellectually rewarding. But it's a job. Some others fled the city to New Jersey, as in Newark, Jersey City, Camden. Others who didn't want to deal with it got themselves (or their families did) certified as mentally/emotionally deficient so the state would take care of them.

Maurice Bradbury said...

I don't know who you are but I do know that you're got to be single with no kids. Taking care of children is work, not sitting around, and someone has to do it.

John Galt said...

Of the unengaged young urban males, some sponge off of girlfriends, sometimes several at once. Fine. At least they have somewhere to be kicked to.

Many others hole up in some vacant building, steal water, steal power, and perform miscellaneous crimes & services to generate the $10 a day or so it takes to eat, plus whatever their drug habit calls for.

There is no socially acceptable way to subsist for $3,750 a year. You can only do it by infringing on everyone around you.

Now, that being the case, what do you think happens when you force these people to either get with the program (a real lifestyle, with an income of at least, say, $18,000, and which doesn't really involve imposing on everyone unfortunate enough to be near.) or get out of Dodge? The ones who can work, do work. The ones who cannot, fly. And your city becomes a much more pleasant place because the population takes a step up in quality.

But as long as you are a city which encourages sub-subsistence-level people to live in that way, yeah, your public environment will suck. No one wants to be around quasi-homeless people. They have poor behavior. They're hazards.

John Galt said...

Taking care of kids IS absolutely work, but many here don't do it. Their children grow up as if raised by a pack of wolves.

AND, the parent needs to earn the cost of subsistence, because the children should be provided for.

Many parents in my neighborhood send their ill-behaved, ill-raised children out the door so as to annoy the neighbors, rather than the parent. We shouldn't be stuck with that burden. Those kids should be kicked back into the house. Drive your momma crazy, thank you.

John Galt said...

BTW, when you speak with Norris, please ask him, all political considerations aside, how many full-time sworn officers he thinks would be appropriate to do New York-quality policing across Baltimore City. That is, not just in the premier neighborhoods.

FYI: we have 3,100+ FTSO's at this time to cover a crimanl population of around 50,000 and maybe twice that in addicts.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say this...

Except for that bad judgement with that fund, Norris was a damn good comissioner.

And I'll get flak for this here but I don't care: Norris and O'Malley were a great combination for Baltimore. Crime stepped down hard when Norris was working as commish with O'Malley in office.

Maurice Bradbury said...

i agree, non. I love Ed. I still have the bustier he bought me, and memories of our magic weekends in the Catskills. I have a lot I want to ask him but I wonder if I'll get the chance ...

Anyway I don't listen to the show but I hear it's about guys who like to hear themselves talk and that he's owned by Erlich.

He and Marty were great for ten minutes. What happened to the fairytale?

John Galt said...

It's only make-BELIEVE.

John Galt said...

Jayne Miller and the I-Team put the lie to NO'Malley's inflated claims.

John Galt said...

Around 6:45 am Tuesday morning, an elderly woman was found on the 4000 block, Biddison Ln. in Northeast Baltimore, having died, apparently, of a gunshot to the head. Investigation is ongoing.

Anonymous said...

Surely you jest! Norris and O'Malley a great team? puhleeeease.
I agree that Norris got screwed, as does everyone that deals with O'Malley, by taking the rap for that fund that they both used to wine and dine their mult-hoes. But, Norris' competence did not make O'Malley good, not for 10 minutes, not for 10 seconds.

John Galt said...

For those counting, experts on the Bag Man of Detroit indicate that homicide in the Murder City clocked in at 220 as of the mid-year.

Guess we're still gonna be #2, 'cuz we haven't gotten there yet. We'll probably beat them again for murder rate, though.

Anonymous said...

"...Jayne Miller and the I-Team put the lie to NO'Malley's inflated claims..."

What a pathetic, anemic article. No analysis, no argument, just a listing of some numbers pulled out of thin air, and at least 2 non-sequitor paragraphs. What's up with that?

And again, I hear the claim that the murder number is the prime indicator of violent crime. The only reason people use that number is because it is easy to count. There are numerous reckless assumptions hidden there. Not the least of which is assuming that an x precent decrease in murder rate should mean x percent decrease in violent crime.

John Galt said...

Following up on our discussion of heroin economics, a study of drug price-response in 2000 found several things.

1) price response to heroin was largely connected with the inclination to experiment. That is, if it's cheap enough, people will start an addiction, as opposed to increasing existing daily demand. Evaluated at the 1998 price, the price elasticity of hard-core demand was -.19 to -.17, which is to say, a 1% decrease in price leads to an increase in the proportion of hardcore users of about .19%.

2) Cocaine price-response among households was low, but price-response among arrestees was quite large. Pros will switch.

3) Both households and arrestees demonstrate good price-responsiveness for pot, with experimentation among young people showing significant responsiveness. That is, if pot ain't cheap, kids won't start on it. (Mind you, they probably use alchohol, instead.)

My conclusion: the disruption in Afghanistan which has expanded poppy production will likely result in the creation of a new population of single-mindedly criminal young, male smack-heads comparable to the crackheads we got in the late 80's-early 90's. Baltimore is at particular risk.

How best to avoid it? Make the stuff costly. That means you have to move up the dealer network beyond retail distribution.

My suggestion: It would probably be worth the while of cities like Baltimore to fund massive defoliation of the Helmand. A good candidate would be the development of host-specific pathogens with particular resistance to the alkaloid defense mechanism with gives the poppy its narcotic qualities.

John Galt said...

It's not at all clear that the functional form for violent crime is linear in murder only. Murder is, however, understood to be the most significant leading indicator, from a time-series perspective.

Behaviorally, even vicarious experience of actual murder is thought to desensitize potential criminals to the inhibitors of violent crime.

Anonymous said...

A good place for police to hit is the stores that are fronts for illegal drug activity. Shuting down the business that turns a blind eye to illegal activity is a good start. It seems the places are obvious. The Rendezvous Lounge in Charles Village is practically an open air drug market.

John Galt said...

The police are fully aware of those places. We have many in the major shopping thoroughfares, such as Monument, Greenmount, and Lexington.

They are allowed. Why? Good question. Inadequate manpower? Maybe. Under the table cash. Maybe. But either way, it's a sure sign that we're not doing enough policing at this time.

Now, what happens when you bust the stores? Well, you get more intense dealing off some corner or in some boarded city house in the residential neighborhood. Expect that. Residents will tend to complain that they want it bounced back out to.... the commercial district, as it were. So understand that you're proposing to bounce it back into the residential area.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, any bar that gets busted requires the involvement of the liquor board. The liquor board has been historically notorious for inadequate prosecution-- you practically have to have 16 year old strippers and sex shows with dogs to get shut down(*).

A couple of years ago, the police tried stepping up enforcement without cooperation of the liquor board and it caused a huge ruckus when some "upscale" bars got busted for minor infractions (Hey, I thought it was fair). Some city council people then complained and the police had to back off.

(*) True stories.

Anonymous said...

For John Galt's commentary of people needing to get jobs and out of the public safety net... People convicted of felonies should not recieve publice assistance. If there is one thing many people learn in Baltimore City at a young age, it is how to use(abuse) the system.

Why not even the score between society and criminals by saying, If you are against our civil society, if you continue to work against the majority of hard working people in this city, then you deserve no help from society.

Apparently the fear of jail time and arrest doesn't frighten people in Baltimore, perhaps criminals will perk up when the bitten hand that feeds them, stops filling up the bowl.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Jill Carter would make a good mayor b/c she is anti police for the sake of being anti police. She stands for nothing except letting criminals out of jail, letting them vote and hammering the police every chance she gets. She has no idea about how to run a city; I doubt she has ever run anything in her life. And if she were elected, however many good cops Bmore has left would quit and every officer left would be a Jemini Jones.

John Galt said...

The greatest virtue of Jill Carter is that she is NOT the candidate annointed by the Democratic Party. One-party rule in Baltimore (regardless of whom the next runner up party would be) has doomed it. Baltimore will suck as long as one party can elect its worst hacks at will.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous and others,

Delegate Carter is not anti-police. She has said repeatedly that she empathizes with the Baltimore police for having to work under O'Malley who is driving the force into the ground and pressuring officers to make bad arrests. I know she practices law and I think she may run her own law practice. I suggest you pay more attention to her positions before rushing to judgment.

To D'C: I don't care if she wore a Mohawk, she's the best looking politician this state has ever seen. More important, she' smart and courageous.

John Galt said...

Y'know, when I saw the story on the missing swine, I instantly imagined an evacuation of City Hall.

Nah, I'm not bitter.