...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

June 15, 2006

Hudson v. Michigan

Reading some of what passes for journalistic analysis regarding today's Supreme Court decision in Hudson v. Michigan, only reinforces my opinion that 90% of all reporters are idiots.

Check the AP reportage for example:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices.

The 5-4 ruling signals the court's conservative shift following the departure of moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

Dissenting justices predicted that police will now feel free to ignore previous court rulings that officers with search warrants must knock and announce themselves or run afoul of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said Detroit police acknowledge violating that rule when they called out their presence at a man's door, failed to knock, then went inside* three seconds to five seconds later. The court has endorsed longer waits, of 15 seconds to 20 seconds.**

The errors in that article are too numerous to list. For one thing, the cops in the Hudson case didn't "barge in," they announced themselves first then waited before trying the door, which was unlocked. But more importantly, the Supreme Court never said that police "can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock."

On the contrary, the Court upheld the knock rule. The Fourth Amendment still requires police executing a search warrant to knock first, announce their presence and provide the occupants a reasonable opportunity to open the door voluntarily. Today's ruling did not change that rule.

What the Court did do is apply the brakes to an out of control "exclusionary rule." Hudson v. Michigan is a quite sensible decision, and not even particularly conservative, in my opinion. I wonder if the AP reporter even read it.

Proponents of an expansive exclusionary rule want it to apply to any evidence obtained in the prosecution of a suspect, whenever the police fail to follow a procedural rule. In other words, some people believe that a judge should throw out all evidence against a defendant whenever the police fuck up, no matter what kind of fuck up it was. As Scalia noted, that would mean a "get-out-of-jail-free card" in many cases. This is what is known in the popular culture as "getting off on a technicality."

So, wouldn't it have been more accurate for the AP to describe today's decision as the Court limiting the ability of criminals to "go free" on "technicalities?"

The Hudson case does not overturn the exclusionary rule. It simply says that if police screw up on their constitutional requirement to knock before serving a search warrant, and the search later turns up a bunch of evidence that proves the dude was guilty as sin, the judge does not have to throw out all the evidence and let the guy go. I think that's totally reasonable. The exclusionary rule still applies when the cops commit more serious constitutional violations, like searching a house without a warrant.

Critics of the Hudson decision will say that without the exclusionary rule police might simply ignore the knock and enter requirement. Maybe so, maybe not. The Court pointed to other means available to punish cops for failing to knock, civil lawsuits and disciplinary measures for instance. Also, the Court pointed out that the knock requirement isn't even a hard and fast rule. Police can legally enter without knocking if they have reason to believe that evidence might be destroyed were they to knock first.

But the main point is that the cure would be much worse than the disease. If we were to let criminals go free just because the police failed to knock even though they had a valid search warrant, there would undoubtedly be crooks walking around who should be behind bars. The Hudson decision prevents this potential miscarriage of justice and restores balance to a small part of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Or to put it in Johnny Cochran-ese:

Just 'cuz the cop didn't knock,
don't mean we let the perp walk.
I'm glad the new Court is refusing to expand the exclusionary rule beyond its already unreasonable scope. I just wish that the media would explain the reasoning behind today's decision instead of trying to scare people unnecessarily.

I give the New York Times opinion writer more slack for his wrongheaded piece, because at least that's an editorial. I would be disappointed if I didn't find wrongheadedness in a NYT editorial.

To be fair, some reporters seem to understand the Hudson case better. Two examples of more balanced articles can be found at CNN's site and at The Christian Science Monitor. Although I do have a semantic nit to pick about the Monitor's assertion that the decision is a setback to "privacy rights." While the right to privacy is related to Fourth Amendment freedoms, the two are not identical. As everyone should know by now, the right to privacy is not enumerated in the Constitution, whereas protection from unreasonable searches and seizures is.

* Again, the AP reporter "forgot" to mention that the criminal's door was unlocked.

** Here the AP reporter "forgot" to mention that the standard for deciding how long to wait is based on how long it would take a suspect to flush the evidence. Therefore, a reasonable wait time might be only a couple of seconds, depending on the particular evidence in the case.

Posted by annika, Jun. 15, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Legal Mumbo Jumbo & annikapunditry


Only 90%???

Posted by: shelly on Jun. 16, 2006

Dog bites man is not a story. Man bites dog is. The MSM is a 24 hour streaming geek show. If they don't have someone biting the head off a chicken, then they must make it look like someone is.

Posted by: Casca on Jun. 16, 2006

Excellent. Annika.

I never understood the justice behind the exclusionary rule. The criminals and the cops go free, and the people have to pay for the mistake with their lives and property.

Posted by: Jake on Jun. 16, 2006

"The Court pointed to other means available to punish cops for failing to knock, civil lawsuits and disciplinary measures."

How likely do you think a jury is to award a convicted criminal damages because the evidence that led to his conviction was obtained unlawfully -- *regardless* of the merits of the claim? (Assume that we're not talking here about manufactured or planted evidence, violently coerced confessions, etc.) And will those damages be sufficient to deter the undesirable conduct? My sense is that in the very rare instances where juries might actually award damages in those sorts of cases, the damages would be de minimis -- i.e., have no significant deterrent value. As for disciplinary measures, talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!

The nature of cops is to push the limits. The nature of the politicians who control the cops is to let them push the limits. The nature of the citizenry is also, sadly, for the most part, also to let the cops push the limits -- as long as they're doing it to someone else. I attribute this to a lack of imagination and excessive trust in goverment on the part of the people. Most of them can't imagine ever being the subject of a no-knock search, so they don't worry about it.

That's foolish. We shouldn't forget that letting the guilty go free isn't the only social cost in the balance here. As long as the right to keep and bear arms and the right of self-defense are intact, I'm reasonably confident of my ability to deal with criminals. Dealing with out-of-control cops is a whole lot harder. I can't shoot 'em without incurring significant risk of being strapped to a table and poked with a needle (see Cory Maye), and suing 'em is extremely hard. Giving the police too free a hand -- as happens when we don't adequately deter unlawful police behavior -- has social costs, too.

Go read Radley Balko's stuff on no-knock warrants, and ask yourself if we might not want to make a serious effort to ensure that these sorts of tactics are used very, very sparingly. In my view, that's part of the function of the 4th Amendment -- and making it meaningful requires a rule that actually encourages the police to adhere to its strictures. I think the exclusionary rule does a reasonably good job of that. I am not the least bit confident that civil suits or internal disciplinary procedures can do so.

Posted by: Matt on Jun. 16, 2006


There is no system setup to punish cops as you say. City councils should institute a system of fines that the cop has to pay personally when he clearly violates a persons' rights.

Posted by: Jake on Jun. 16, 2006

More evidence that after a hideously long time we are finally destroying the awful legacy of the Warren Court.

BTW sorry about not blogging more often but I am working and taking a very concentrated Spanish course this summer.

Posted by: kyle8 on Jun. 16, 2006


Could you be a bit more specific about what aspect of the exclusionary rule you attribute to the Warren Court? The Supreme Court first excluded illegally seized evidence in an 1886 case, Boyd v. United States, and in only a few decades later did so in the specific context of a Fourth Amendment violation:

The case in the aspect in which we are dealing with it involves the right of the court in a criminal prosecution to retain for the purposes of evidence the letters and correspondence of the accused, seized in his house in his absence and without his authority, by a United States marshal holding no warrant for his arrest and none for the search of his premises. The accused, without awaiting his trial, made timely application to the court for an order for the return of these letters, as well or other property. This application was denied, the letters retained and put in evidence, after a further application at the beginning of the trial, both applications asserting the rights of the accused under the 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution. If letters and private documents can thus be seized and held and used in evidence against a citizen accused of an offense, the protection of the 4th Amendment, declaring his right to be secure against such searches and seizures, is of no value, and, so far as those thus placed are concerned, might as well be stricken from the Constitution.

Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). That wasn't the Warren Court; it was that notorious bunch of bleeding hearts on the White Court (as in Edward Douglass White, former Confederate soldier and Louisiana sugarcane plantation owner). It's certainly true that Mapp v. Ohio (exclusionary rule applies to state court proceedings) was decided by the Warren Court. Is that what you were referring to?

Posted by: Matt on Jun. 16, 2006

Knock, knock...

Posted by: shelly on Jun. 17, 2006


I must agree, for the most part, with MAtt. The police cannot police themselves and the using the courts to pursue damages, As Scalia suggests, tells you what a disengenious fuck he is. It won't happen. Can't.

The police have been given a new license. Just as they were on the ruling (I'm sure you know the citation) about evidence found in the wrong house or apartment through an honest mistake. ANother blow to liberty as is this decision. You are young and believe the police are basically honest and look to he law to govern their actions. They do not. They look at the law as an impediment to their work and evade it whenever they think they can. The court did as you say not abandon in principal the "knock", it is still required but they said to the police, do what you gotta do, we will not interfere with the case you are trying to make. A warrant to search is NOT an arrest warrant. Criminals may or may not be involved.

The greater loss to our society is the erosion of constitutional protections than SUSPECTS going free. Criminals are people convicted of a crime, they must have tought you that, right? People suspected of illegal activity cannot go free from illegal searches if they are already free. A warrant is an authority to search for evidence and may have nothing to do with the persons answering the door. A warrant to search a teenagers room for drugs should not be reason to abridge the righs of his or her parents.

All you "hard on crime" types always make this mistake. "Warren Court this, miranda that" criminals going free, society is not protected, well this is bullshit. Once more the RW politics of fear trumping the sanity and value of protecting and cherishing all of our rights.

Posted by: strawman on Jun. 17, 2006

All you "hard on crime" types always make this mistake. "Warren Court this, miranda that" criminals going free, society is not protected, well this is bullshit. Once more the RW politics of fear trumping the sanity and value of protecting and cherishing all of our rights

Ideology trumps all for you doesn't it? Well i am old enough to see what all that so called bullshit did to this society. I remember the days when criminals were routinely let free and it was not uncommon for people to be assaulted by multiple repeat offenders. Where do you think mandatory minimums came from?

Well, Matt might be right, I am no legal scholar, so maybe abuse of the exclusionary rule predated the warren court. Well so be it. It was still abuse.

But gee wizz don't EVER EVER accuse a lefty of being "soft on crime" nosireee!

Posted by: kyle8 on Jun. 17, 2006

Don't assume that the only remedies for a violation of "knock and announce" are exclusion of all evidence or a civil lawsuit by the victim against the cops.

If the various state legislatures are worried that civil lawsuits are not adequate, they can always impose an administrative penalty, or authorize lawsuits for greater than nominal damages, such as in federal civil rights legislation.

It's not true that the exclusionary rule is the only way to ensure compliance with the "knock and announce" rule. It is a draconian penalty that can potentially work an injustice, and the Court simply recognized it as such.

We all agree that the death penalty would be an effective deterrent to shoplifting too, but the punishment should fit the offense.

Posted by: annika on Jun. 17, 2006


I submit that ALL restrictions placed on law enforcement can "potentially work an injustice" That is the great responsibility of the law maker, to ensure that the rights of citizens, as described in the Constitution, are not eroded by the certain truth that these protections can, at times, cause an injustice. To call the supression of evidence resulting from an illegal entry into someones abode is hardly draconian. To suggest that the states, each in their own way set about rectifying this injustice is, I think, going the long way around the block when the house is next door. It is complicating, uneven, confusing and pointless.

Why did you overlook my example of the room in the basement and the innocent parents? And won't it be their word against the police as to whether a knock and announce took place when the next phase of the adjudication takes place in two years? And is that really a remedy for the abuse of their right not ot live in a police state?


The R is hard on crime and soft on the constitution because they practice the personal politic of fear which allows them to compromise everyone's rights for their sense of moral indignation and fear. I think your statements about the release of repeat offenders and their subsequent crimes is apocryphal and your assertion that this was a frequent, statistically signifigant, occurance is not supportable by the facts.

I can't cite the statisitics but I if we use child abduction as a guide I know the rate in 1960 is no different than in 2000 yet parents act as if it is epidemic now and that it was safe when they were kids. It is no different. Blame the media for the distortion.

DId you see the statistic a few months ago about the public perception of emergency room care? People believe that 75% of those requiring resuscitation survive when the reality is 15%. On medical TV shows the rate is 72%. Crime perception tends to folow this model with the news shows added to the mix as the main influencing factor. Willy Horton.

Posted by: Strawman on Jun. 17, 2006

Well the majority thought it draconian. but not only that, the evidence was not obtained as a result of the violation. Remember, the cops did have a warrant. Thus the search was legal. The entry was not, but only because the cops failed to do one out of three required things.

And there's nothing that can be done about "the states, each in their own way set about rectifying this injustice." That's called Federalism.

And in all honesty, i didn't overlook your example. I just stopped reading your comment before I got that far.

a joke! a joke! sheesh.

Okay, the Court's opinion addresses the point about excessive litigation over the requirements of the knock rule. If the exclusionary rule applied, a defendant would always argue that the amount of time between knock and open was too small. What would he have to lose. And the police would always wait an extra couple of seconds just to make sure, thus increasing the risk to themselves when they do eventually enter. So by removing the sanction of exclusion, there should be less procedural litigation of knock violations, restoring some reasonableness to the process.

But you're right. It's always word vs. word in these types of things. The saction of Exclusion makes the outcome too important on the knock issue for both sides not to be tempted to lie about what happened. A more reasonable penalty for knock violations mitigates the incentive to lie.

Posted by: annika on Jun. 17, 2006

well, according to the;


Sentencing reforms--mandatory minimum penalties along with determinate sentencing requirements--have lead to dramatic reductions in violent crime in the last 30 years. There is growing research to show that laws such as--truth-in-sentencing, determinate sentencing practices, `three-strikes and you're out,' and mandatory sentencing requirements resulted in dramatic reductions in crime since the 1970's. Violent crime victimization rates have dropped from 47.7 per 1,000 population in 1973 to 22.8 in 2002--that drop in crime has coincided with an increase in the number of prisoners, including substantial increases in the number of Federal prisoners. 19

Seems that violent crime per capita was reduced by MORE THAN HALF since the 1970's. But yeah its all in my head right strawman?
Hey kid, get a clue. If the EVIL RETHUGLICANS gave a shit about violating your civil rights your
silly ass would be in Gitmo right now.

BTW wanna know which administrations really violated civil rights and ran roughshod over the citizens? Washington, Lincoln, Wilson, And FDR. look it up.

Posted by: kyle8 on Jun. 17, 2006

"You are young and believe the police are basically honest and look to he law to govern their actions. They do not. They look at the law as an impediment to their work and evade it whenever they think they can."

Could you have been - even if you tried - more ridiculously biased and prejudicial? Hey, Straw: Are ALL blacks on parole. Are all Mexicans illegal aliens? Why should anybody consider the words of a person who labels with such a ridiculously broad brush. As usual, it is the Left that likes to put individuals in groups and then define them. How many cops do you know, Straw? One of my best friends has severed the City of Sacramento for 15 years. He has saved lives, been shot at, and killed men. His fiance was killed on duty by a drunk driver. He takes the law very fucking seriously. I guarantee he knows the Constitution infinitely better than your sorry mis-educated ass. He also has a degree from UC Berekely, so he is not the Neanderthal you would like us to believe that ALL cops are. But, you know what? I'm intelligent enough and realistic enough to realize not ALL cops are like my friend. But, having the chance to meet many of them on a personal basis has allowed me to make a pretty good judgement that a large percentage of them are.

Posted by: blu on Jun. 17, 2006


Your suggestion that, "If the various state legislatures are worried that civil lawsuits are not adequate, they can always [create their own remedies for constitutional violations]" proves too much. The various state legislatures are always free to enact statutes to enforce the Constitution, or even to provide greater rights than those contained in the Constitution. Does that mean you'd be comfortable with the federal ignoring violations the First Amendment guarantees of free speech, press and religion, on grounds that the state legislatures could always create their own remedies for those violations? If not, please draw a defensible distinction between those freedoms and the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure protected by the Fourth Amendment.

If state and local governments were as principled and trustworthy as you suggest, we might expect them not to adopt unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful statutes, ordinances, policies, etc., in the first place. The fact that they continue to do so seriously undercuts your argument. Care to talk about that near-total firearm ban your friends in San Francisco enacted recently, in clear violation of state law? Would you have preferred that Judge Warren say "eh, the Legislature can always pass a statute to compensate people who're unlawfully injured by Proposition H, so I'm not going to worry about it"?

Similarly, if states cared about the rights of individuals we might expect them to meaningfully compensate people who spend decades in prison as a result of wrongful convictions. Sadly, only a few bother to even try, and they're for the most part extremely niggardly and reluctant about it.

The simple reality is that legislatures comprise politicians, and the vast majority of politicians are concerned with expedience, not principles. Since most people want to see legislators getting "tough on crime," and since most people don't appreciate that, in government, they have a tiger by the tail, the expedient route is clear. The Framers were wiser than that; that's why they were great men. The Bill of Rights is all about sacrificing expedience for the sake of crucial principles. Expecting elected legislatures to enforce it is just naive.

I often disagree with Radley Balko on specifics, but he's on the money on this subject: "Scalia's pronouncement that we've entered a new era of police respect for civil rights is so far off-base it's laughable."

As for your "federalism" response to Mike (Strawman), it's a bit cavalier. (I must admit that it's weird and more than a little disturbing to find myself agreeing with Mike on anything. But that's one of the hazards of having principles: When the blind hog finds an acorn, you have to admit that he's found an acorn.) The word "federalism" can serve as a quick and easy argument winner, because so few people today have even the vaguest concept of what it means. It either scares your opponent off, or draws him opponent into an exhausting and highly technical debate for which most non-lawyers and many lawyers aren't prepared. But that's a cheap tactic (albeit one that I've used). One can easily recite federalism as grounds for refusing to enforce any part of the Bill of Rights against the states. But that's only true as long as one is willing to ignore the elephant in the room: the Fourteenth Amendment.

I'm a big believer in federalism; that's why I favor the repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment. But it hasn't been repealed, and this is supposed to be a nation of laws. Judges aren't free to simply ignore laws -- whether statutory or constitutional -- whose consequences the judges don't like. And while we can debate the proper interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment till the cows come home, the undisputable facts are that: (1) it was intended to protect at least some individual rights against violations by the States; and, (2) our Supreme Court says that the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is one of those rights. Thus, if you want to argue that the federal courts shouldn't apply the exclusionary rule to state violations of the Fourth Amendment, simply chanting "federalism" isn't really enough.

Finally, let's return for a moment to the supposed social costs of letting the (probably) guilty go free. This country has the highest incarcertation rate in the world. In 1974, there were 216,000 people actually imprisoned in state and federal prisons in this country. In 2001 there were 1,319,000. I don't need to do much math to know that the proportional increase in imprisonment was far greater than the proportional increase in the national population during the same period. Thus I'm forced to conclude that for the past three decades we've been having a whole of success at throwing people in prison despite the supposedly disastrous effects of the exclusionary rule and other procedural protections for accused persons. So it's going to take more than a bare assertion to convince me that these sorts of protections are seriously impeding punishment of the genuinely guilty. (Anecdotes don't concern me. They're even less reliable than statistics -- and you know what they say about statistics.)

Posted by: Matt on Jun. 18, 2006


Well, if you are calling me kid, that explains your dementia.

I think the rise in the number of fast food establishments in the US actually tracks your crime reduction numbers better than the incarceration figures and probably has as much meaning.

Posted by: Strawman on Jun. 19, 2006

Kyle provided accurate data that seemingly proves you wrong and rather than articulate a response, you retort with that weak crap?

How do you explain the data? Are you arguing that tougher sentencing guidelines have not lead to a reduction in violent crime?

I think the data show that it has helped. Still, another key factor, perhaps even more important, is the number of young males in the population between ages (app.) 15 to (app.)30. Young men commit crime. When the population of young men rises so does crime. The crime rate for this group of people has remained constant since Western countries have collected crime statistics. Most violent criminals are recidivists. When they are in jail, they cannot continue to commit crime.

Posted by: blu on Jun. 19, 2006

Regarding the AP, you're talking about a group of self-righteous bitches who write the news however they wish, not as it is.

Posted by: Mark on Jun. 19, 2006

Blu, Kyle,

Please read the piece I linked,

Violent Crime Rises In U.S.
District Reports 5 Percent Jump as Robberies Spike

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 13, 2006; Page A01

Violent crime in 2005 increased at the highest rate in 15 years, driven in large part by a surge of killings and other attacks in many Midwestern cities, the FBI reported yesterday.

The FBI's preliminary annual crime report showed an overall jump of 2.5 percent for violent offenses, including increases in homicide, robbery and assault. It was the first rise of any note since 2001, and rape was the only category in which the number of crimes declined.


Posted by: strawman on Jun. 20, 2006

Expect a further rise over the next 10 years or so as the population of young men in the age brackets I described earlier are on the rise.

Along with new sentencing guidelines, the crime rate has fallen consistently because the number of young men in my generation (Gen X)was small compared to the generations preceeding and proceeding.

So, expect tougher sentencing to continue. The simple fact, Straw, is that a certain percentage of the population commits crime - and they do it over and over again. This data repeats itself in every generation. If you keep recidivists in jail, it helps bring the crime rate down. The article you pointed to doesn't really prove much. Crime has fallen for 15 straight years. In fact, the article points to an anamoly in the data - mid-western violent crime. I don't have the data to prove it, but I'd be willing to bet that there has been an increase of a certain demographic in that area.

My only problem with law-makers in the 90's and early 2000's was that they never came clean with the demographic reasons for reduction in crime.

Posted by: blu on Jun. 20, 2006

Strawman, do you have a link to the WaPo article?

The other link is interesting but i suspect an example of outcome based research. It is notable that the author spends a lot of time explaining the broken windows approach, but omits any description of the San Francisco approach except to say that it's "less strident," and "stresses alternative sentences and community involvement" whatever the fuck that means. One would think that an author seeking to promote the supriority of San Francisco's approach would make a little more effort describing what that is.

Assuming the accuracy of his facts, I wonder how much of the decline in crime during the nineties was due to the fact that criminals simply couldn't afford to live in the City And County anymore (it's only 47 sq miles after all). I also wonder if there was a corresponding increase in crime statistics in the more affordable surrounding counties.

Posted by: annika on Jun. 20, 2006

What I really want to stress is that it is never easy to point to a simple change in a complex system and say with assured that this change is responsible for the observed result. Sentencing guidelines were, correct me if I'm wrong, federal. City's and states were/are all over the place with their guidelines.

I think the idea that casting a net with smaller holes is responsible for the dramatic drop in crime is too simplistic. Politicians enjoy simplifying when the benefit is on their watch, (Giuliani did but Bloomberg has been far less aggressive and cut back policing and crime has continued to drop) but many mayors took credit for the drop in crime, which was in fact taking place, but no sustentative change in policing or court procedures were occurring in their area. Or Baltimore where the crime drop never took place.

An interesting statistic I heard the other day was that the cost of heroin has dropped steadily through the 70-00's ( so much for the war on drugs) such that it is now 1000% cheaper than it was in 1966. This easily could account for fewer assaults and burglaries since the cost of staying high became so low. Another factor is that in the world of electronics, the favorite commodity of the petty thief, nothing that can be easily carried away has a street value anymore. VCR's, DVD players, televisions (which as we all know are too fucking big to be carried anywhere) car radios, etc. Everybody's got them and won't pay 5 bucks for a hot one. I bought a perfectly good Panasonic CD player last week at a stoop sale in Park Slope for 5 dollars; manual and remote included. Thieves have for a long time now, discovered there is nothing worth stealing so why risk being popped. And with drugs so cheap there is no need. Cars have too many effective anti theft systems, nobody keeps cash around and every house or apartment in an affluent neighborhood has a security system. These are all powerful influences on the crime rate having nothing to do with political or social strategies; just economics, or as you might say free markets. Crime became labor that yielded diminishing returns.

Posted by: strawman on Jun. 21, 2006


Give you credit for an interesting post. Yup, you are right, there are always variables that must accounted for when discussing crime and crime reduction. I think it's a fascinating topic. You are certainly correct that is not as simplistic as "implement this law" and crime suddenly drops. James Q. Wilson writes a lot on this topic and is considered an authority. He co-edited a book called "Crime" that includes essays from a number of perspectives on many different topics. It's worth having a look.

Don't discount Gulliani's impact on crime in NYC. He implemented many simple yet effective initiatives that have proven their worth in other cities (e.g. broken windows theory).

Posted by: blu on Jun. 21, 2006


Do you live in this fair city? I wonder if you had any direct experience with the Guliani years?

Posted by: strawman on Jun. 21, 2006

No, Straw. I've had a couple of friends that lived in different parts during his time and since his time. I take it you are not fan? The fact that he was re-elected time and again tells me the people of NYC liked him or at least respected him as Mayor.

Anyway, I'm not at all intimate with NYC. Just what friends tell me and what I've read. As you've probably guessed by now, I've read a lot about crime and about Guliani's approaches to it. Obviously, this provides only an academic view to his time as Mayor. I can tell you from an outsiders perspective, Guliani's period as Mayor rejuvinated the outside world's view of NYC.

As a resident, you obviously have your own personal perspective....which reminds me, you should post your opinion on whether you feel Hillary could beat Rudy in NY should they both get nominated. My guess was that Hillary would defeat him.

Posted by: blu on Jun. 21, 2006


Yes, I am no fan of Rudy or his methods. He is absolutely not qualified to be president. His stature around the country seems to me to be far higher than it is around here. He is a hot headed rather petty guy, not too well educated, not world traveled, ex-prosecutor who retaliates against those who cross him and promotes for loyalty rather than merit. Oh wait, that's a plus for you guys isn't it?

I know people who are quite close to him. He turned this city into a police state under his reichsmarshall, William Brattan and has seriously presidential liability around his divorce and leaving his kids for a younger woman. He was nasty and not generous to Donna and let’s not forget his speech impediment.

Other than a few genuine emotional moments during the WTC crash and not sitting gazing off into space like a twitchy cow on ludes, he was not a national figure and not someone with a record (other than falling crime stats which I don't feel were so causal anyway) that shone as the mayor.

His mention by the Republicans is simple cynicism. Like the talking chimp W, they concern themselves with finding a winner;a man without too many ideas and a great deal of ambition who will feed at the party trough and will submit to the group-think that controls the presidency.

Posted by: strawman on Jun. 21, 2006

What do you account for the drop in crime in NYC? I have to tell you, Straw, that the literature doesn't support you. Guliani and his methods have garnered national support. What specifically didn't you like? I am curious.

As for his personal side: I don't know much. If he is the prick you say, then it doesn't say much for his character.

"He is a hot headed rather petty guy, not too well educated, not world traveled, ex-prosecutor who retaliates against those who cross him and promotes for loyalty rather than merit. Oh wait, that's a plus for you guys isn't it?"

C'mon, Straw, the Democratic party was born of graft and is the party of unions - you really want to talk about merit? (It is also the party of slavery, segregation, and affirmative action - all not kind to merit. And to top it off, it nominated Bill Clinton, the most immoral, disgusting poltical whore to ever live in the White House. If there is a Hell, Bill Clinton will get his own special place in it.) So, let's not turn a discussion about crime and presidential aspirations into a cheap mudslinging contest.

So, you think it was a police state, but people finally felt safe living there and business certainly enjoyed the drop in crime and cleaner atmosphere. Interesting, isn't it? There is always a tension between freedom and order.

If work ever gives me a chance at NYC, I'm going to give it a shot. I know it isnt' an easy place to live (at least from what I heard), but it really appears that there is no other place in America quite like it.

Posted by: blu on Jun. 21, 2006

da da da-da-da
da da da-da-da
da da da-da-da da

Start spreadin' the news...

Posted by: annika on Jun. 21, 2006

I like how sort of keep an eye on our on-going debates. Just when I think you've forgotten about us..........boom, you're there!

Posted by: blu on Jun. 21, 2006