City Journal Spring 2014

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Myron Magnet
What Is a Mayor’s Job? « Back to Story

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NYC and its resident are about to learn what it was like under Dinkins.

Just as the previous unions sucked the city dry, so shall SEIU now.

It will be great to see the liberals of NYC enjoy the rise of parasitic predators who prey on the simpletons.

Congratulations NYC the paid for committing suicide by stupidity is well deserved.
Can't hardly wait for the DeBlasio policies to kick in. Left New York 40 years ago and never looked back--kind of like Sodom and Gomorrah. What a hell hole. Giuliani was the only saving grace the once great city of New York had.
i love sidne
i dont like this page
Excellent article. I am a life long New Yorker of 60 years and I can tell you that I do shudder at the thought of New York City turning into a vision of Death Wish or The Warriors. So many hipsters have moved here into different neighborhoods such as Williamsburg that they have no idea what is awaiting them if de Blasio becomes Mayor. When either Christine Quinn or Anthony Weiner are the two most moderate choices in the Democratic Party primary, you know that de Blasio is a loon.
Fantastic article. Thank you. I worked in NYC in the mid-late '80's. I remember the fear. I don't live in NY any more, but I will always love The City. I hope New Yorkers remember.
When my father's job transferred him from Madison Avenue in 1964 to a small redneck southern town my mother did not stop mourning the loss. NYC had the nations best public schools with accelerated classes for bright children which prepared them to skip grades. After high school, bright children could get a top-quality college education for free while living at home and taking the safe subways.

We returned to NYC in 1977 and was shocked! How could there be so much destruction in just 13 years? It is remarkable that no public servants were lined up against a wall and shot for what they had done. (It couldn't all have been the fault of the city fathers, though, as just about every city in the country began soon after to experience increasing disorder.)

Four years later we again left NYC. I've been a devoted adopted son of the South ever since. During the past two decades, whenever I needed to look for a new job and had to contemplate a relocation, my first question about a new region was, "Would I be allowed to carry a gun there?"

So, after a quarter century of take-over by savages the city finally began reclaiming the streets (though even that achievement is now threatened). Will they ever reclaim the public school system and City College?
I'm a monthly contributor to Center for Constitutional Rights, lead consul on STOP & FRISK litigation. I also remember the fear living in Brooklyn Heights & NYC during the 70's. In fact I moved to Telluride Colorado to end my fear caused by being out and about in NYC plus the human misery of homelessness that was everywhere. I'm African American & Chinese female now 70. Your stats that > 90% of crime in NYC is committed by blacks and Hispanics is sobering. Sad to say, having been a public school substitute teacher in central Virginia, the most disruptive behavior was consistently from black students. That was my experience. Gun shot deaths in Chicago is a testament to the ravages of black on black crime. What would have been a better ruling ? There were excesses in using STOP & FRISK.
The Mayor’s job is to don red boots along with a cape and fly around the City looking for criminal activity and then intervene on your behalf? Articles like this one remind us how far from reality New Yorkers have wandered – your mayor isn’t the red boots and cape type, he’s more like the low-fat cream cheese on bagel type.

Today, New York’s mayor excoriated the Washington Post for its recent criticism of New York’s stop and frisk policy. One of his more childish quotes was: “At the same time, every American has the right to walk down the street without getting mugged or killed” and that quote followed Bloomberg’s obligatory nonsense about every American’s right to not be targeted by police due to racial or ethnic bigotry.

Admirable words to be sure but look up in the sky – is that your mayor flying to your rescue? Or is that an EMS tech checking your pupil response to determine if you’re severely wounded or simply dead? Americans have no idealistic right to walk down any street in safety – an entirely infantile demand and only a twit of a mayor would utter such nonsense. It doesn’t take intelligence or strict moral values to kill or mug someone, just viciousness. And as the dominant predator species on this planet we can muster up the necessary violence to murder men, women and even children when the occasion demands.

Just ask the mayor’s police bodyguards how dangerous criminals can be – or reflect on why the mayor requires bodyguards in the first place. Reflect also on why he gets bodyguards and you don’t. High toned words may reassure New York’s voters of the mayor’s benevolence but who is constantly accompanied by armed protectors and who isn’t?

Raw, violent force is all that stops America’s predators and Americans should have the unquestioned right to protect themselves with armed force when necessary. But New Yorkers gave up the notion of individual armed force for hired proxies who will theoretically protect you and apply the force needed. The illusions of a civilized society are easy to sustain when meeting someone for lunch at The Plaza but now the city’s predators will have their turn at bat. You can pretend Stop and Frisk is all about saving the lives of black or Hispanic men living in dangerous areas of New York, a laudable notion to be sure – but when you hear rapid footsteps behind you on the street you’ll be wishing for armed protectors of your own rather than politically correct, sweet nothings concerning imperiled minorities.
Maurice duQuesnay August 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM
A brilliant and dazzlingly honest article which states a case which many do not wish to hear.
Sadly the mayors of Chicago, Philly, DC, SF , LA and Oakland just don't get it.
I lived in NYC in the bad crime days. Now I live in Denver which is NYC of the bad crime days all over again. Denver has: crooked cops, nonprofit agency war lords, thousands of homeless addicted drunken skime. one pathetic newspaper, boatloads of useless politicians and more. Too bad because aside from all that Denver is a nice city. But will it ever change?
In 1975, political scientist Andrew Hacker commented approvingly that New York City had "the most flamboyant street gangs, the most brazen grafitti and the most sophisticated pimps of any large city. If a citizen's priority goes to clean sidewalks, safe streets, and polite sales clerks, he should move to a place that is content to be safe, clean, polite--and not much more."

They did. From 1970 to 1980, New York City's population fell by 800,000, or 10.4% (U.S. Census).
So I guess "Lake Worth" is satisfied to turn the constitution into a suicide pact? Thanks LWNJ.
What's left out here is the media, which has never given Giuliani the credit for bringing NYC back from the brink, and who have either excused everything done by his predecessor, or simply not mentioned his predecessor at all (just what DID happen to David Dinkins?). Indeed, had Rudy a "D" after his name, he would have not only been lauded to the skies he would most likely have been successful at using his experience in the second most difficult job in the world to land the job of the most difficult job in the world i.e. the Presidency.

But, New York City is the belly of the Democratic media beast, and that beast is only able to see Rudy as the dictator he was claimed to be before his election. In fact, despite Dinkins utterly dismal performance, Rudy barely squeaked by his first election. And the City Council made sure that two terms was the most he would get, a rule they relaxed for Bloomberg, once he dropped the "R."

To anyone who remembers the bad old days, it is incredible that New Yorkers would even consider putting a Democrat back in the Mayor's office. But, New York media has done whatever it could to make New Yorkers both forget the bad times, and to give as little credit as possible to Giuliani for bringing the City back from the brink. The fact that this article had to be written at all is proof of that - those who living in pre-1992 New York all have similar stories of mugging, one of mine was in Union Square, where a knife was held up to my throat.

The hoary adage, that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, is particularly applicable. Absent a miracle of memory, New Yorkers are about to forget the past, and once again put a Democrat back in the Mayor's office. As I've mentioned before, we are all about to get a lesson in just how important good governance is, and how much competent leadership MATTERS.

One can already hear the excuses from Democratic media as the City sinks back to where is was pre-Giuliani.

There's a part of me that thinks that New Yorkers deserve the disaster that's coming our way, that it is just punishment for those so easily manipulated.
Great article
Amazing the expressions of hatred in these comments for Madison's Eighteenth Century contribution to rule of law. It's more of the RWNJ hostility to democracy, trying to disguise itself as hostility to an allegedly disfunctional government.

In fact, the Scheindlin order sets about managing the city's stop-and-frisk policy. There is no ban on these police actions. There is no change to NYPD policy other than to protect the citizenry from police actions where there is no probable cause.

-- "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." -- Fourth Amendment text

A prime tool for avoiding tyranny. Not to be abrogated because a crack epidemic produced an explosion of violent crime. Same as the UPSTREAM and PRISM programs open doors for organized political misuse of personal data. Those programs' databases really could change everything -- make the 9/11/2001 terror attack look like a bloody but ultimately ineffectual piece of madness.
I left Manhattan forever in 1957, already sensing the vibes unpleasant, and am amazed to read what happened in the decades following. I can say one thing, even from my own experience: In Los Angeles, which has a much much smaller police force: the one thing one NEVER wants to do is look cross-eyed for an instant at almost any cop, even if one is an 80+ year-old ,balding, white-haired professorial type, like me. The holster, male or female police, is unbuttoned and the response can be lethal. Otherwise they are patient and polite. If stopped for whatever reason, be quiet, and stand or sit still.
A girlfriend of mine was at a Lower Manhattan precinct just last week, reporting an attempted break-in (3rd floor, fire escape; window guard saved her). The despicable "Judge" Shira Scheindlin, who brags about imposing her ideas from the bench rather than following the Law, had just handed down her edict castrating our police.

Nina said the cops were intensely angry and bitter, and saying, "If they don't want us to police this city, we WON'T police this city -- THEN see how they like it."

I can only hope that Scheindlin is the first one to get mugged. Not that she'd Learn anything from it: she would glory in the opportunity to be the most forgiving and understanding Leftwing nutjob on earth.

I remember the pre-Guiliani days, too: the Dems were always whining that the City was ungovernable. But as a friend of mine from Queens (Jewish, lifelong Dem. & New Yorker) said, "It takes a tough SOB to run this town. And Giuliani is a tough SOB."

I just hope there are enough tough-minded realists left in New York to save us from this insanity.
A heartfelt and accurate history. Thank you Myron!
Excellent article, Mr. Magnet!
Thx for this recollection. One addition that you may want to consider is police bureaucratic indifference.

In the early 70s, I was taking the subway home to the Village one evening and spotted a young man on the train whose eyes and face rang all kinds of bells. I realized who I thought it was as exited at 14th street. There, I stopped in a liquor store and startled a clerk--I was business-dressed just like a robber who had hit him a month before. I apologized for my Brooks Bros appearance and walked on home to Horatio St.

There, I picked up the phone, after a lot of contemplation and called the FBI: "I have just seen one of your most-wanted on a downtown train in NYC."

I was shrugged off by anl agent; maybe they knew he was elsewhere, maybe the agent was simply bored with the umpteenth Most Wanted IS call and didn't believe me. All I knew was that I had seen those eyes and face in a Wanted poster on my fraternity house wall, because a Brother had attended prep school with this guy, and I had grown very accustomed to his then 3-4 year old eyes and face.

Correlation: Maybe?

Significant of lazy bureaucratic insouciance? Certainly.

cc: Shira Scheinlin and the doomed Left
Ah yes NYC ! I lived in NYC from 1972 to 1989 from Beame to Dinkins ,including , of course " Ford to NY : Drop dead " . And now NY in its infinite wisdom is about to repeat the past , no more 'Stop , Question and Frisk " , open season on the citizenry . But what does the man say about history , first as tragedy , then as farce . Should be fun to watch . From a distance , a safe distance.