Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Long Awaited Return to Normalcy in Two Aspects of New Orleans Life

The first one isn't such good news:

We logged five gunshot murders in the past 15 hours. I can only imagine just how bad it would be without the added protection of the National Guard troops. Something's got to be done, but no one has any ideas that are legal or ethical or certainly not constitutional. So what do we do?

I remember that Atlanta in the early 1990s was not a very safe place. Crime was rampant. Even in 1996, when I worked for the Atlanta Housing Authority, we had to have an armed escort to go into the Kimberly Homes Project to work on their computers in the management office. The Clinton Administration oversaw amazing prosperity during the 1990s and Atlanta blossomed. Still today, if you cannot find work in Atlanta, you're either lazy or a moron. Good paying jobs bring prosperity. Prosperity for all ends crime. I truly believe that if we legalized drugs, or at least put them under state control, then the incentives and ease with which criminals operate could be ended. Drugs are easy money. If there was no profit in drugs any more, these young men might be forced to actually put their shoulders to the wheel and get educations and jobs to afford the luxuries to which they aspire (and are taught to aspire by the popular culture they consume). I am absolutely sure that most of the murders in this city are drug related. We are a major port/crossroads after all. I know my opinion about drugs will be viewed unfavorably by most conservatives. But, if we examine the pragmatics of the War on Drugs in an extra-moral sense, then I carry the point. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves if a greater good could be accomplished by legalizing and/or controlling certain facets of the drug trade by the government, and end the problem once and for all, as happened with the repeal of Prohibition. I'm probably dreaming, at least while politicians continue to cowtow to diehard conservatives.

The other thing that's returning to normal is a good thing, nay a great thing:

We are getting twice weekly trash pickup again!! Eventually we will be getting the large trash cans that most of the US that I've lived in has. Trash is a huge problem in New Orleans. Not only is once a week not really that practical for tiny trash cans but we have these other problems:

1. Packs of dogs that roam the streets. Dogs are hungry, they get into your trash and scatter it from hell to breakfast.

2. In the Summer, trash left outside for more than a day roasts in the sun and gets very very pungent.

3. Many houses are duplexes or more, and the entire curb apron will often be covered with trash and people are desperate to get the stench away from the house, making an evening stroll on the sidewalk a fetid nightmare of smellls.

4. Sometimes the trashmen will not pickup trash that they deem to be FEMA trash. Arbitrarily of course. It's taken me about 4 months to get them to pick up the trash from when our landlord remodeled our bathroom. There are still some concrete pieces out there that refuse to take, and that are too heavy to put into a trashcan.

I am very grateful that trash service is again bi-weekly. Oh yeah, we have been paying for twice weekly service since the storm, and not receiving it. There's that too.

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