Sunday, January 28, 2007

Support (sort of) from Houston

I have heard nothing of this yet. I am sure that I will. And I hope there are some solutions to the violent crime in this hiring (though I am sure that easing poverty, concentrating the poor in dilapidated buildings, improving educational infrastructure, real jobs, a reliable transportation network, etc. would be better long term).

From the

If you've ever asked yourself, as you've watched the post-Katrina morass of incompetence and violence that has engulfed New Orleans, whether that city has suffered enough, you have your answer. And that answer is "no."

N'awlins, get ready for...the magical world of Lee P. Brown!

Brown, who was Atlanta's public-safety commissioner during a famously inept serial-murder investigation, who was New York's police commissioner during the ineptly handled Crown Heights riots, who was Houston mayor while the HPD crime lab was run...eptly? Guess again!...has been hired to solve New Orleans' massive violent-crime problem.

If his time here is any indication, Brown will implement a two-pronged attack. He will a) bore everyone to death, using content-less, cliché-filled, charisma-free speeches to put criminals into a stupor; and b) take a lot of taxpayer-funded out-of-town trips. We're sure Rome and London need to be studied closely for tips on how to stop Ninth Ward gangbangers.

Brown told the Louisiana Weekly that "there is no silver bullet that is going to say that this is going to be done tomorrow...Working together, you can get the job done."

We're kind of surprised Brown didn't mention making New Orleans "a world-class city," but it's still early.

New Orleans seems to be slightly underwhelmed by the announcement.

"I haven't a clue if this guy is going to do any good. I hope he does," said Spud McConnell, popular talk-show host at the city's WWL-AM. "Lord knows we've had enough people come over here, get a big paycheck for giving their opinion and then walking away."

CB Forgotston, a blogger who closely follows the crime wave at, also is skeptical. "In Louisiana, [it's not] that we lack plans...We don't need any more plans, frankly. I think what we lack in New Orleans is implementation and common sense," he says.

Forgotston, a lawyer and community activist, doesn't seem blown away by the dynamism that is Lee P. Brown: "He's going to take six months to study it, 'maximum.' And, you know, maximum always becomes a minimum. So my point is: How many people are going to die between now and the next six months, while we're waiting on a plan?"

We don't know, CB. But we do know that now when it happens, Lee Brown will be there with a platitude to make everything seem better.

Maybe he will be VISIBLE. That's something, yes?

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