Baltimore’s Lose-Lose choice

Now that charges have been brought against the 6 officers involved Baltimore’s streets will return to their state of a month ago. But there will be a trial and that trial will have a significant impact on the direction of Baltimore’s future. The trial has three possible outcomes:

First, the trial can be seen by most to have been fair and just.

Second, the trial results in acquittals seen to be unjust by the city black community.

Third, the trial can result in convictions seen outside Baltimore as unjust.

The first seems least likely based on Ms Mosby’s performance announcing the charges on May Day. But in the event the prosecution and trial are depoliticized Baltimore could resume its leisurely contraction into a bedroom community for Washington D. C.

But if either the second or third options eventuate they could turn Baltimore into a much different place. Acquittals would reignite rioting on the scale of 1968. A kangaroo court would indicate that the rule of law had degenerated into tribal justice. In either event, the abandonment of Baltimore by private employers and what’s left of its middle class would accelerate.

Headquarters are important to a community. They provide the leaders who are committed to the health of the community. When the head of every organization has eyes on promotion to a bigger job closer to headquarters there is not the continuity or commitment necessary to make the long term investments to support the young and less fortunate in the community. Today of the 25 largest employers headquartered in Baltimore only three are not education, government or healthcare related; T. Rowe Price, the mutual fund company, and Broadway Services and Abacus, security guard and janitorial contracting firms. Johns Hopkins won’t be able to do it alone.

This lack of headquarters also indicates that there is little economic reason for Baltimore to exist. The primary force in Baltimore is inertia leading to ever greater entropy. All solutions are temporary and Baltimore no longer solves a problem.

So, if Baltimore’s judicial environment begins to look more and more like Dodge City circa 1880 and it has little economic opportunity, who will stay? Disinvestment and declining tax base will result in inadequate funds to provide even minimal services to an increasingly needy and unassimilated population. Financial support will increasingly come from sources other than the city itself, primarily the Federal government. Sounds like an Indian reservation to me. And Baltimore will not be alone in this transition, only first.

When I lived there the local brew, Natty Boh, advertised to its market as the Land of Pleasant Living. Now it ain’t even got charm, hon.

18 thoughts on “Baltimore’s Lose-Lose choice”

  1. In 1965, I went to interview for internship at Johns Hopkins. I really wanted to go there but the interns’ residence had heavy bars on the windows and my wife decided she would not leave Los Angeles. The big riots occurred two years later. I have always felt I lost out on a lot because Johns Hopkins did accept me and could not (I was told), understand why I chose to stay in Los Angeles. I wonder how many young physicians will be willing to train there now?

  2. I had a professional meeting in the Inner harbor and my wife joined me for a few days. She hadn’t been in Baltimore for 20 years and remarked how the downtown was attractive. I said walk a few blocks outside and see a whole different world. Chicago can get away with having the lakeshore surrounded by a wall of cops since they are bigger, but Baltimore is too small. The old industry on the harbor is shrinking and if they lose the remaining corporate anchors its disaster.

  3. Detroit has a nice waterfront, too. Detroit Yacht Club runs a nice sailing program. The members are all in the suburbs and have to run the gauntlet to get to the club and the events.

  4. The politicians have perfected the passive structures Orwell warned of: The rioters need jobs and economic development. Whose responsibility is that? Whose economic development?

    Would you hire the Freddie Grays of the world – from a family of dealers for generations, whose brother was killed in gang violence less than a year before, a tradition of litigation and lack of education? Yes, such a man might be a great employee, but an employer understandably wants reassurance the risks (and there are risks) are worth taking.

    And who starts a business when a mayor says protection of such businesses is a low priority; with a d.a. who is answering to the rioters’ and looters’ demands? Without the rule of law, no sane person starts a business (and no sane insurer insures a business). And the presence of Al Sharpton as the mayor’s “protector” does not make the future look rosy. (Elia Kazan’s America, America) contrasts the lawless world of his ancestors with the ordered world of America – an open and free-wheeling turn of the century, entrepreneurial world that protected property.)

    Who starts businesses? Who hires those young men? Well, there is economic development – Gray sold drugs because, well, that was what he saw as an economic opportunity. This isn’t “the man’s” fault – it is a lack of imagination, work ethic, self-respect, integrity, and sense of responsibility for family and community. And arguing that drugs should be legalized ignores the fact that it is also a lack of respect for the law – laws that may be burdensome but remain our agreed upon boundaries.

    Small businesses begin because of imagination, a desire to retain integrity, a desire to improve the financial lot of the entrepreneur’s family, neighborhood, and broader society. They are started for profit, yes, but other motives include independence and service of a need. That connection is drowned out in the rhetoric of inner city politicians, one who want to keep their constituents’ heads in vices, seeing only the world as they describe it – after a while such limitations become natural and no vice is needed. Independence is sure as hell not something the power centers of such a society encourage.

  5. First let me make perfectly clear that as a retired Peace Officer, if any of the 6 officers committed a crime, including murder; I want them charged, convicted, and punished according to the laws of Maryland. Their position does not give them any extra slack, it is one of higher responsibility.

    Second, unless shown indubitably otherwise, I discount race as a basis for whatever happened. 3 White Male officers, 2 Black Male officers, and 1 Black Female officer in a force that is from what I have been given to understand is 40% Black, with a command staff that is, and has been Liberal [or Leftist] Blacks for decades and run by Black Leftist politicians would contraindicate for that motive.

    That said, I have had something forwarded by a friend whose judgment I trust, and the gist of it seems at first reading to cast doubt upon the Narrative being established and the intent and trustworthiness of the prosecution.

    The source is the Blog CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE, and it presents the investigations and statements of reporters and several of the principals in the case. There is more than a passing bit of cognitive dissonance in the claims of witnesses and supposed other parties under arrest, who may not have been under arrest according to the records. I have reduced the URL, because the orginal was 186 characters long, using Tinyurl.

    Not saying that this is necessarily right in all aspects. We are in early days. I am saying that questions, critical questions, are raised. And the answers may push matters to Mrs. Davis’ options 2 or 3.

    This case has to be viewed in the context of a host of deadly tragedies whose emphasis was based on the political effects and advantages that could be created; where the initial narrative was far from the final truth. And where witnesses were eager and adamant in testifying to witnessing “facts” that did not happen. With no consequences for those so testifying.

  6. But of course, the state will continue to use tax money from the rest of Maryland to keep the bread flowing and the circuses continuing long after the city had become an economic cadaver. Truly, one of Pournelle’s Welfare Islands.

  7. The one thing we know is that the trial will not occur for a couple of years, by which time we will have seen Hussein’s hind end.

    I would not expect a conviction. Murder requires proof of malice, and it is hard to see failure to seatbelt as malicious. It may not even have been negligent.

  8. I bought season one of “The Wire,” after reading that it is accurate in describing Baltimore. We watched the first episode tonight. I had heard it was grim but had no idea.

    I have also heard that seat belts were sometimes omitted for uncooperative prisoners because some police officers had been bitten.

    The FOP would be smart of push for the trial just before the election next year. The prosecutors will want to hurry.

  9. I’ve sailed in one of their events and have sailed at Annapolis.

    It’s like those cities, 50 miles apart, are on different planets. Annapolis is serene, beautiful, thriving and safe. Baltimore, outside of the Inner Harbor, is like a third world country.

  10. Most discussions of the problem of the black underclass in the US are based on infantile fantasy. Many years ago I read of a study of the average IQ of children in the Baltimore Ghetto. The average IQ was 75.

  11. “It’s like those cities, 50 miles apart, are on different planets.”

    Nobody will talk publicly about why that difference exists. It’s a bit like the difference between Earth Day rallies and Tea Party rallies. The trash.

    It’s why rioters are described as “youths” just as, in Britain, rapists and rioters are “south Asians.” Everybody does the translation instantly.

  12. “in Britain, rapists and rioters are “south Asians””: rape yes, but it’s news to me that they are particularly prone to riot. That, judging by the TV pics, involves something of an over-representation of the “Afro-Caribbean”, though I suppose there may be a fair few Africans involved too. And, of course, a riot will attract white scum too.

    If the BBC is prepared to broadcast such pics, Lord alone knows what the stuff they don’t broadcast shows.

  13. We need to hang this one around the necks of the Democrats:

    “Riot-Plagued Baltimore Is a Catastrophe Entirely of the Democratic Party’s Own Making” by Kevin D. Williamson • April 28, 2015

    “The evidence suggests very strongly that the left-wing, Democratic claques that run a great many American cities — particularly the poor and black cities — are not capable of running a school system or a police department. They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore — this is what Democrats do.”

    “But let us be clear about whose fecklessness and dishonesty we are talking about here: No Republican, and certainly no conservative, has left so much as a thumbprint on the public institutions of Baltimore in a generation. Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project.”

    “When will the Left be held to account for the brutality in Baltimore — brutality for which it bears a measure of responsibility on both sides? There aren’t any Republicans out there cheering on the looters, and there aren’t any Republicans exercising real political power over the police or other municipal institutions in Baltimore. Community-organizer — a wretched term — Adam Jackson declared that in Baltimore “the Democrats and the Republicans have both failed.” Really? Which Republicans? Ulysses S. Grant? Unless I’m reading the charts wrong, the Baltimore city council is 100 percent Democratic.”

  14. it’s news to me that they are particularly prone to riot.

    I think the threat has been enough so far on such issues as female modesty and liquor adverts.

  15. “Riot-Plagued Baltimore Is a Catastrophe Entirely of the Democratic Party’s Own Making” by Kevin D. Williamson

    Among the Mayors of Baltimore of the Democrat persuasion,we find Nancy Pelosi’s father [1947-59] and brother [1967-1971]. What was that about the apple not falling far from the tree- after compensating for a 3000 mile move, however.

  16. Robert Schwartz
    Community-organizer — a wretched term — Adam Jackson declared that in Baltimore “the Democrats and the Republicans have both failed.” Really? Which Republicans? Ulysses S. Grant? Unless I’m reading the charts wrong, the Baltimore city council is 100 percent Democratic.”

    From 1931 to present, a span of 84 years, Baltimore has had a Republican mayor for 8 years. Eight years out of the last 84. Baltimore is the Democrats’ baby.

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