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Saturday, August 16, 2003

Why Didn't New York Riot?
I've been reading many accounts of the big blackout this week. I noticed a lot of unusual points from the press. First, the blackout ranged from Detroit to Toronto to New York City, but all anyone saw was Times Square. That one block in one borough of one city is all we saw. The people in any other city were apparently unimportant to the media. We thus have little knowlege of how other cities reacted.

Secondly, we saw no riots. The press was hankering for some mayhem, but it never occurred. According to a source I know in Brooklyn associated with law enforcement, only 11 burglaries were reported in the entire city. He said that without traffic lights, driving was insane because no one yielded at any time, but there was no rioting anywhere.

So what is the reason for this? I've heard a few lame attempts to explain it. One writer posed that perhaps we've "grown up"without bothering to explain what that could mean. But to me, the reason is so obvious that it would hardly be worth hashing out except for the apparent inability of others to see it.
There wasn't rioting for two simple reasons: First, the city has cracked down on crime the past ten years or so, most noted during the Giuliani administration. I know nothing of New York politics except this one point. I don't know if Rudy was a good guy or a bad guy, only that he cracked down hard on crime and the culture of crime, and this has seemingly been acknowleged by all parties.

Second, when the power went out, every able bodied person with a semblance of a badge went out and made their presence known and blatant. Every police car had lights flashing, flares were being laid out everywhere, and everywhere someone looked was a policeman.

After a decade of cracking down on crime, finally New York has become a pleasant place for peaceful people to live in. The people now live in civilization again, and behave in a civilized manner. It's so refreshing to see the clear success of the policy of locking up criminals and getting them off of the street. Back in 1977 when the last major blackout occurred, New York City was notorious the world over for lawlessness and danger. No one was in the least bit surprised when the inmates took over the asylum.
But let's not hold our breaths waiting for the media to report this clear success of the policy of promoting law and order. Punishing criminals is anathema to progressive minds, and they'd rather do anything than admit this truth.

Congratulations to New York City, it looks like we can confirm that you've rejoined civilization. Welcome back.