Margaritas aren’t quite enough anymore. Plus, I fear creeping alcoholism. Cigarettes, as I used to say when I was still a smoker (sigh), kept me away from hard drugs.
The Times-Pic headline this morning “Killings bring the city to its bloodied knees” was enough to make even me shiver a bit. Four of the recent murders were near my neighborhood (I live near Central City so that is not surprising and Central Ciity has been in this kind of decline for years) but the others were scattered and not all of them are drug crimes, the usual whipping boy. (Nola.com has “Killings bring the city to its bloodied knees” and “Five murders in 14 hours include filmmaker; physician husband shot.”) Causes need to be analyzed but more immediate is the witness problem. Can suspected murderers get the names and addresses of potential witnesses? Is that just rumor? (One that will stop you in your tracks, though.) Is it surprising that people are seemingly too afraid of the killers to help the police with only 12% of those arrested for murder or attempted murder actually convicted? And that “figure … doesn’t include the cases in which police never make an arrest.” I think there’s a sociocultural problem, one of violence, snap decisions made with paper-thin egos, and an economic problem (“mixed-income housing” for whom? where are the jobs to support such?) but the police department and district attorney’s office have individual and collective problems to address.
If you can avoid slipping in the blood-soaked streets of New Orleans, watch out for the cream pouring from Democrats in the House. Ethics reform was an easy one (what’s with Burton?). Let’s see if anything else comes out of them.
Alan’s take on local incompetence “offered as a legitimate reason for failure” is a good read. It may help explain why Nagin waited 15+ months to hire someone competent who knows how to make decisions.
My first WTF?!? moment reading the paper this morning: “Bush claims right to open mail without judge’s OK” (Nola.com’s AP article: Statement may allow gov’t to open mail). Bush’s signing statement fetish is out of control and jeopardizes every bill passed by Congress, whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats. Comments and analysis from Schroeder, Oyster and others leads me to think that Ford’s pardoning of Nixon set the stage for a decades-long moral decline in government and the dissatisfaction, apathy and disconnection even registered voters now feel.
The second WTF?!?–“Parents stunt daughter’s growth” (Washingtonpost.com: Treatments to Keep Disabled Girl Small Stir Debate“).
Update: There is panic, dismay, deep grief and even talk among some of leaving. Also on tap: a march on City Hall, Thursday, Jan. 11, 1 p.m. with a planning meeting the 7th (details at Humid City and NOLA-dishu). See posts by Editor B (who knew Helen Hill), Adrastos, dangerblond, Loki, Michael Homan.
P.S. I am sick and will not go to the planning meeting. I hope others go and give detailed accounts.