From American Thinker on November 14th
By Avrohom Gordimer
New York City is experiencing an accelerated, steep decline in quality of life. NYC now has the highest homeless population in the country. It has spiked by about 50% under the leadership of ultraprogressive Mayor Bill de Blasio. Homeless people are all over the place, living in squalor, very commonly panhandling passersby, making them feel quite uncomfortable, and committing lots of crime. Many of these people are mentally and physically ill and need serious assistance.
Recently, NYC decided to no longer arrest or prosecute for public marijuana use, as well as for public urination. Even public drunkenness has been decriminalized under de Blasio’s lead. NYC police are now under order not to break up excessively loud parties, and stop and frisk police arrest policies have been put out of business.
In short, NYC is becoming a quality-of-life nightmare. Gone are the days of neighborhood improvement under mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, as the city is once again becoming a cesspool of all that drives decent people away. (Mayor Bloomberg promoted stop and frisk policing and surveillance of mosques, and hired Ray Kelly as Police Commissioner — all of which liberals harshly criticized, and all of which de Blasio scrapped — yet it did the job.)
Those who do not live in New York are probably unaware of the recent dramatic uptick in street crime. This past Friday, two people slashed a 54-year-old man in the face in midtown Manhattan. That same day and 10 blocks away from this incident, a homeless man seriously assaulted two people while another homeless man chocked and violently robbed someone in an upscale Manhattan restaurant, and in lower Manhattan someone was thrown into the subway tracks and almost killed. Violent subway attacks have occurred as of late in Brooklyn as well. Residents are on edge, as horrific assaults have become more of a present reality than a thing of the past. Those of us who take the subways and trek through the city each day on our way to and from work are not at all surprised, as the safety landscape has seismically changed for the worse over the past several years, and nice neighborhoods are again becoming rough and ugly. We are now used to being accosted by (often aggressive) beggars, and we rarely see transit police on subway platforms and in the trains. This was not at all the case prior to de Blasio.
The New York Daily News reported on the impact of the proliferation of homeless people in NYC on local residents:
Verbal harassment and physical assaults; stoops used as bathrooms; outdoor flowerpots used to hide knives; prostitution and drug dealing; newly arrived gentrifiers unable to tell the difference between some longtime homeowners and shelter residents; real estate brokers warning that property values fall when new shelters are announced nearby; and a pastor who lost half his congregation after a parishioner was raped by homeless youths from a nearby shelter.
We recently read of a sorry situation following a string of brutal attacks at NYC bodegas:
Lara and the United Bodegas of America, which says it has roughly 100 members, are now calling on cops to install panic buttons inside city delis, train workers on how to use stun guns and allow qualified workers to obtain pistol permits for use on premises.
“People from the community run to us for help,” said the group’s president, Radhames Rodriguez, 55, during a rally held outside Lara’s bodega Sunday. “They run into our stores begging for help. We are putting our lives in danger, too. We need the tools to defend them and ourselves.”
Lara says he tried in 1992 to obtain a pistol permit but was told he could only use the gun for two hours a day — going to and from the bank. “Make it easier for the people who qualify to get a gun,” Lara urged the NYPD.
The NYPD did not return a request for comment.
De Blasio has emasculated the police department. This mayor’s “progressive” policies have caused an explosion of homelessness, reduced quality of life, and enabled savage street crime. In fact, residents in the area where the most vicious street crimes occurred directly blame the crime on homeless people and drug dealers — two groups that were basically set loose on the local population, courtesy of de Blasio.
In his own curious and naive way, I think that de Blasio means well — but meaning well and acting well are often at odds. Leniency and love are not what’s needed; tough love (such as Workfare), and downright toughness against evil, are missing and are sorely necessary. Reducing the NYC jail population and criminal sentences, for example, is the wrong way to go.
The Talmud teaches that one who acts with mercy toward the cruel is in truth causing cruelty to those who are merciful. Bill De Blasio would do well to heed this sage advice.