Quote of the week from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

Posted by: ST on August 11, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Via Nola.com (emphasis added):

Responding to a TV reporter’s question about whether New Orleans’ murder rate hurts the city’s tourism economy, Mayor Ray Nagin on Thursday called the phenomenon a “two-edged sword.”

“Do I worry about it? Somewhat. It’s not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. So it is kind of a two-edged sword. Sure it hurts, but we have to keep working everyday to make the city better,” Nagin said, according to a transcript of provided by FOX8.

Jeff Crouere, a politcal commentator, slams Nagin here:

These comments are incredibly foolish. So, Nagin is only “somewhat” worried about the city being the Murder Capital of the nation? This statement explains his lack of action and his abdication of leadership on the most critical problem facing New Orleans. Back in January, after the historic anti-violence march on City Hall, Nagin was singing a different tune and pledging that fighting murder would be his number one priority. As the carnage on the streets can attest, he has spectacularly failed in dealing with his supposed main concern. So far in 2007, according to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office, 121 people have been killed, which puts the city on track to easily surpass last year’s total of 162 murders. It is unfathomable that Nagin is less concerned about a problem that has become worse throughout the year and one that he has unfortunately not addressed effectively.

With such comments, it seems that Nagin subscribes to the policy that any publicity is good publicity, even if it is news about the horrific murder rate. Does Nagin really believe that the bad news about the murder rate will lure businesses or conventions here or even tourists? Let’s see, Baghdad is in news constantly, do people want to travel there for their next vacation? Of course not, and many people feel the same way about New Orleans.

When asked about the killing this week of the notorious Phillips brothers, Demond and Michael, who were linked to 18 murders in New Orleans, Nagin said “It is unfortunate that they had to die, but it did kind of end the cycle that we were struggling with.”

Mr. Mayor, the cycle of violence will continue until the city implements law enforcement strategies that work and has a criminal justice system that is not a revolving door. The killers will not just kill each other into oblivion, thus erasing murders altogether, since new murderers are being recruited on the streets of New Orleans everyday.

New Orleans needs more community activists, religious leaders, business owners and politicians speaking out against this crime wave. There should be marches on City Hall continually until Mayor Nagin and the other political leaders of New Orleans truly make the crime problem the number one priority of city government. To effectively deal with this urgent situation, New Orleans needs more than just rhetoric, but politicians who are committed to dealing with an out of control murder rate. The high murder rate is not “somewhat” of an issue or a “blip,” as Nagin stated in his “State of the City” address, but, in fact, an ever growing crisis that threatens the very survival of New Orleans .

‘Nuff said.

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15 Responses to “Quote of the week from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin”


  1. NC Cop says:

    Those geniuses down there voted him back in. They get exactly what they deserve.

  2. doctorj says:

    NCCop, Actually it was not only the people in the city that voted Nagin in, but an awful lot of people that will never be able to live in the city again. It is now too expensive for the lower middle class to own houses and the poor cannot afford the rents. Yes, Nagin has chronic foot and mouth disease, but does it take so little for Americans to abandon their own fellow citizens. If so, this country has become rotten at its core and this is the beginning of the end of the “American Century”. Before Katrina I NEVER would believe American citizens would abandon their own citizens. Now I know they will do it in a heartbeat if sacrifice is called of them to help. This use to make me sad beyond words. Now I just accept it as the way it is, and continue to fight for the survival of my hometown and the Gulf Coast.

  3. Baklava says:

    doctorj negligently wrote, “but does it take so little for Americans to abandon their own fellow citizens. If so, this country has become rotten at its core

    Research what is going on before you make silly accusations about abandonment…

    With just a little due diligence you can see your statement was negligent and irresponsible.

    doctorj wrote, “Before Katrina I NEVER would believe American citizens would abandon their own citizens.

    You might want to analyze who has you “believing” that and not “believe” them ever again. Seriously…. THe drive-by legacy media does not do it’s job as it has countless Americans ill informed.

    You’ve abandoned the truth…. Let’s put it that way….

    9/11 and Katrina brought donations at it’s highest levels from Americans. Do you know which one brought more?

    Additionally, 100’s of billions of dollars of federal help was authorized and the issues do not relate to money. The issues relate to property rights and going to court for each property to be condemned and the amount of paperwork before bulldozers can do their jobs.

    There is no magic wand. Short of bulldozing and not working with the people who own each house and then building another house without care as to whether the people who lived in that site are involved and even going to pay for the house (with or without assistance) to be built and/or move in – it’s just a mess and it doesn’t do ANY good to be so negative and on the WRONG people.

  4. doctorj says:

    I started this post as a rant but thought better of it. I am going to tell you the story of the Gulf South and the story of my family. It will take time and may make no difference to you but here it goes. I am a native New Orleanian and lived in the city for over 30 years until I moved to the northshore of Lake Ponchatrain to set up a dental practice over 20 years. When my mother retired, like many of her friends, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to a cute little house a block from the beach in Pass Christian, MS. I was a conservative voter and I believed in this country with my whole heart. Heck, I would tear up when the Star Spangled Banner was played. (I look at your blogroll and I use to like them all.) The Saturday before the hurricane hit we knew it was coming for us. We prepared for it getting gas, suplies, etc. In my extended family, I was the farthest north and west, so everyone came to my house. 8 adults and 5 animals. My last thought Sunday night was to pray for the city because we knew if the big one hit the levees would not hold. They were only good up to a cat 3. When I woke Monday morning the radio said the storm had turned east towards Ms and the city had “dodged the bullit.” I was on the sofa in the living room and I remember telling the first person to walk in the room that morning this good news. We lost electricity at 6:15 AM as the eye it the coast. As hurricanes go, Katrina didn’t seem that bad. We actually could go outside and watch the wind. It wasn’t horizontal like in most hurricanes, it swilled and swirled, trees wiping in all kind of strange possitions. In the last quarter of the stoem, after the eye was north of us, the trees started snapping. Huge southern pines down in 5 seconds. And then it was over. We walked out into my neighborhood and were astounded at the destruction. Hundeds of trees were down, about 1/5 of the houses had severe damage from the trees. The men immediately got out and started clearing the road so we could get out or emergency vehicles could get it. The women started clearing lims and packing up the belonging of neighbors whose houses were open to the elements. Yes, Katrina was bad, but little did I know at the time how bad. As we started to try and get to businesses and family homes we saw the destruction was really bad. The radio (I believe it was Tuesday, but time begins to fog here) flooding was beginning to be reported in the city. eople were calling in asking the radio announcer “What should we do?” Women and babies with no water. “Get to the interstate, Get on the roof.” “I can’t swim and I am scared.” “I am blind.” “My oxygen will only last a couple of more hours.” Later the reports of police and city council members started coming in. The despair was incomprehensible. You would have to be from the city to understand. The city is a family member, a living being that is part of your heart. And people were beginning to understand that the city was dying. You deal with what you can. The heat was so miserable you could hardly move from 3 till 6 when it started to cool again. We couldn’t get any news of Pass Christian. It wasn’t until 4 days later that my cell phone worked enough to reach my sister in CA. SHe sobbed when I reached her becuase she thought we might all be dead. She told me to prepare my 80 year old mother that her house is surely destroyed. We are strong people. You deal with what you have. Perhaps something good can come out of this. With the help of the US government maybe the the city will be rebuilt stronger and better and the school system will finally be fixed. Something good has to come from all this misery.

  5. Baklava says:

    One of the good things that can come from the misery is realizing you can only control your own words and actions and negative one such as accusing others of abandoning doesn’t help – especially if not true.

    It is obvious that things are miserable. My friend Joyce just went there at the end of July to visit family and talked to me. Additionally, Laura Ingraham just interviewed one of the folks in charge down there about 2 weeks ago for an hour. He relayed to the listeners the issues, what the media isn’t reporting accurately and my sense is that the issue is government and all of it’s beaurocratic ways. Laura asked him point blank if that is the issue and he said yes.

    At the current rate – it’ll be more than 20 years before all of the damage is cleared. Whether rebuilding at each location will happen is another question and up to each owner.

    While it may seem like I’m not empathetic, I am. Americans donated at it’s highest levels and I donated also, and I simply was refuting the characterization of abandonment. Thanks for relaying your story.

  6. doctorj says:

    Part 2. The first outside people I came in about a week after the storm. It was a tree cutting crew. I cried when I saw them. Soon there were electrical crews. Little by little we started patching our world back together. My house and office came through fine, but who is going to want to get their teeth clean when the world has ended? How will I pay my bills? I opened my business one week after the storm hit. I am located across the street from an old folks home and they must have priority on getting electrity back. It ends up people in times of extreme stress start breaking their teeth from grinding and clenching their teeth. So my new world had started, a world of scavaging for gas and looking for stores that were open. Now we started seeing troops and rescue personel come in. I was SO thankful. My town was one of the closest to the city that had a working airport. I would clap as the convoys passed, tears streaming down my eyes like a crazy women as these young men passed. I didn’t care if they thought I was crazy. I was just so thankful they had come to help. You have not lived until you have seen soldiers with their armed rifles walking around in your local Walmart. They would backup their troop carriers to the front door and let them out to get what they needed. I stopped one young man to thank him and asked if there was anything they needed, tears welling up in my eyes. He didn’t know how to react. Soon there were tent cities of reccuers scattered throughout the town. At work I started seeing evacuees that also were breaking teeth. These were mostly people from St. Bernard Parish, a middle class community across the railroad tracks from the Ninth Ward. They were devastated. Out of over 10,000 homes , five were left livable. These are strong, salt of the earth people. They have never asked for any help from anyone anytime in their lives. They faced their new world with such bravery I couldn’t believe it. (Here is a video of what happened to their homes. http://youtube.com/watch?v=PYR8Lg9IMOE&mode=related&search= ) After two weeks I got electricity back. Halleleuiah! One sister needed a roof repair but was otherwise OK. Another had extensive damage but could live in her home though she didn’t have electricity or sewerage service or water for months. Her employer was in downtown New Orleans and for 6 months she had to commute to Jackson MS (hundreds of miles away) while they fixed their offices. My mother and her 85 year old husband evacuated to her step son’s house in Atlanta waiting for electricity to get back to the coast of Mississippi. The heat was too intense at my house for them to stay with me. They needed to be in a place that was normal. Not the topsy turvy post apocalyptic world we lived in. They returned to their home, which by a miracle received very little damage, about 6 weeks after the storm. I got internet and TV service back about 3 weeks after the storm. It was then that my opinion of this nation started to change. It was then I learned of something called “Katrina fatique”. What the heck is that? I heard discussion of whether by hometown had the right to exist. WHAT?! Even the Speaker of the House was saying this?!!!!!! I heard of whiny peopleof LA wanting the government to take care of them. For the first time in many in the next months I would say “What planet are these people living on! My world compared to many was OK. They were busy with redtape, insurance claims, taking care of family members displaced, I could defend my city to these people and the politicians. Surely they just don’t know the real story. If I let them know they would support us. WRONG!!! It took me a month or too to realize but instead of Americans in need, we became a political debate with racial hatred mixed in for good measure. I contacted Glen Reynolds, Drudge, Wizbang and was attacked terribly for telling the truth of the circumstances on the ground. For you see by now things were changing here. The president and the republican party had to defend themselves from the damage of their poor response time to the city. (which I NOW know about.) They began the spin.

  7. doctorj says:

    Part 3 The political structure of LA and the city is useless. I have been fighting to have it changed for years but it is immoveable. Nagin was actually the first mayor in my memory that actually did something to fight the Old World system of payola that has hurt the city for 100 years. I knew we were in trouble as soon as the president announced 1.)We will let the local folkes handlle the recovery 2.) We will rebuild the levees to their pre-Katrina strenght. In that one statement I KNEW they were deserting us. He would “help” the city by putting in tax incentives? A city where they already said they would leave vulnerable to future flooding. In the months after the storm our radio stations combined into one radio station broadcast on WWL’s channel. It was disaster broadcasing 24 hours a day for months. The national news decided “race relations” was the story of Katrina so only poor black stories were shown. The local news was totally different. Katrina was not racist. It hit the rich and the poor, the black and the white. Most of the victims were the elderly that could not be persuaded to evacuate. I know two people myself that died on the Gulf Coast. The last their daughter heard from them the water was up to the doorknobs and they were headed towards the attic. You didn’t see the stories of WW II vets living in cars months upon months crying like babies when they found out that people actually CARED and got them help. You didn’t see the minutia of the torture the government put the people through in their effort to “help”. The bungled endless paper work lost time after time, asking for records that were destroyed in the storm, the endless hours on “hold”, being told a different answer to your question every time you got a different person on the phone. People working all day to pay for houses that no longer exist, taking care of multi-generations that have also lost everything, dealing with insurance companies that from the outset decided they were NOT going to honor their contracts. These are the LAZY people I hear about on the internet. There were two earth changing moments that changed my political outlook on this country. The first was when for the first time since the storm, normal broadcasting resumed and I left work at lunch to get gas. Rush Limbaugh was on. I always listened to him and always enjoyed him. Good, a little bit of normal! Well he is talking of NOLA and about how it is booming because of tax incentives the president gave. And the only reason businesses were going bankrupt was that they could not compete with the new companies? WHAT PLANET DO YOU LIVE ON? It was all made up. I returned to the city when it opened to check on the graves of my family and it was a ghost town. People returning to heroically rebuild the city were suffering terribly and in horrible financial states. LIES! LIES! LIES! If he is lying about this, all of his other stuff must be equally so much BS. A caller from NOLA called in to tell the truth, but Rush would not listen to him. It was party loyalty over truth. The other moment was the president at a press conference saying “We would like to help those folkes in that part of the world (talking of LA) if only they had a plan.” This was exactly the day after the White House pulled their support from the LA plan it had taken months to put together that had the blessing of the president’s hurricane czar. Again LIES. And the press makes no memtion of the deceit. I left the conservative party forever at that very moment. These are the other things that happened that made me hate this government. 1.)The Ms vs LA spin. My world includes both of these world. Even MS bought this spin at first but then the realization couldn’t be denied even by them. Ask ANYBODY on the Gulf Coast what they think of FEMA. It is laughable how bad this agency is. (at least if people were not suffering from their bungling.) The waste of money is unbelievable. $100,000 for tiny poorly built travel trailers that can be bought (and were bought privately) for $29,000. Needing 7 people to do the job one can do. It goes on and on. Back to LA vs MS. LA had 4 to 5 times the per capita damage a MS yet the first “allocation” was equal amounts of aid to each state and this was in December of 2005, four months after the storm. It took 5 more months of begging by LA to get Congress to give an equal amount of aid to LA citizens as they did to MS citizens. That was July of 2006 that LA got aid from the feds. Another fact about the billions “allocated”. Because of the Stafford Act (an act it has waived for the last 31 fed declared desasters including Andrew and 9-11), localities have to put 10% to 20% upfront to receive any of this aid. Also it is a re-embursment aid. You have to pay for the work first, them the government pays you back Places like Pass Christian and NOLA that were basically wiped off the map don’t have the money to do this and can’t borrow the money because banks won’t lend it to them. SO guess what – nothing happens. That is why nothing is happening. Not lazy people or whatever other stereotype people want to spew. Luckily last month, the federal government has finally waived the Stafford Act. Maybe now, 2 years after the fact these communities can start to heal. Progress has been made, by the hard work of people on the ground using their savings and with the help of wonderful volunteers. They are angels. I started seeing them in December of 2005. They brought hope to us because it was a sign that there were still Americans out there that cared about us. But as someone in MS said, he liked the idea of faith based help but he didn’t realize that would be the only help.2.)The levees wer not designed properly by the Corps of Engineers. They didn’t take into account the soft soils of the delta. The piling should have been 32 feet down, not the 17 feet they put them. New Orleans was not safe the whole time from a level 2 storm. For that is what the forces were when Katrina hit the Lake. And the levess failed and flooded 80% of the city, destroying a million America lives in the process. Just like the MN brige, it was an governmental infrastructure failure that caused misery. It is one thing for nature to cause death and destruction, another when it is man made. The COE has admitted their negligence and the president’s hurricane czar has admitted the government’s negligence in congressional hearings. That is my story leaving out trillions of details. I am changed forever. Maybe that is what wisdom is. The difference betweens ideals and reality. I worry terribly about the future of this country. When sacrifice for the greater good is no longer something this country is capable of, we are all in trouble.

  8. Baklava says:

    doctorj wrote, “and was attacked terribly for telling the truth of the circumstances on the ground.

    I doubt it. People tranfer or transpose being “attacked” to other reasons. You might’ve been “attacked” in your eyes but it might’ve been a fisking for negligently and without due diligence attacking people for things that weren’t true. So the pattern of seen is a) somebody attacks without a basis in facts but emotion b) the response is interpreted as an attack and then is said to be an attack for merely “telling the truth of the circumstances on the ground”.

    It becomes even clearer what happened with this statement of yours in Part 2, “The president and the republican party had to defend themselves from the damage of their poor response time to the city.

    uhuh. Very clear. Thanks for showing your cards. You’ve damaged any bit of credibility with that. And now you can probably say to others that this Baklava guy attacked you for “simply telling the truth of the circumstances on the ground”. ok then. Tell it. I can’t control you. But know this. You won’t be telling the truth….

    There has been PLENTY of discussion about Katrina on this blog. You can go back to past discussions easily with the search feature. You can find out how your partisan butt has been negligently mischaracterizing things. Due diligence is the opposite of laziness. Nobody doctorj is suggesting that things aren’t bad in NO. What we are saying is that your attacks are off balance and not based on truth. You transfer the misery to others “abandoning” or not doing anything when that is far from the truth.

    doctorj won’t be able to find in context where the president has stated, “1.)We will let the local folkes handlle the recovery 2.) We will rebuild the levees to their pre-Katrina strenght.

    I’ll keep checking back for your reference on this…

    doctorj wrote, “I left the conservative party forever at that very moment.

    Well we don’t need liars in the “conservative party”. Just pushing your buttons….gotta love that l word. Where did you go? Did you change your philosophy to believe in the economic principles of taxing more creates more prosperity? It doesn’t. It’s a philosophy that doesn’t work.

    doctorj tells his hate of a lot of people by saying, “It is laughable how bad this agency is.

    What I found is that people do not know what FEMA does and attribute failures to FEMA where FEMA doesn’t even have that as a goal or plan. It’s like saying it’s laughable how bad my doctor is because he didn’t fix my car. This disaster was very bad and yes FEMA isn’t perfect but a lot of people in FEMA worked their tails off for a LONG time going above and beyond BECAUSE they CARE. I’m sorry you are bitter. I will stand up for the thousands of FEMA people who didn’t do anything wrong only to be attributed by you and the media as doing something wrong only because they don’t know what FEMA is or does.

    Your “facts” on allocations are unsupported by reference and my memory of the debates and timeline of events.. There was an immediate release of funds that did NOT take 5 months… and many other details that I just can’t believe you typed…. because you won’t be able to supply the references for the claims..

    You closed with, “I worry terribly about the future of this country. When sacrifice for the greater good is no longer something this country is capable of, we are all in trouble.

    Again – we sacrifice…. and for the greater good… For 60 years, each year spending goes up with EVERY category of spending. Despite claims of “cuts” there has been none in any category of spending for over 60 years.

    I’m sorry you’ve had to suffer. I’ve had my share of character building experiences including losing the love of my life last year. It won’t make things better to slam others for things that aren’t true.

    Humanity’s struggle is against confusion somebody great once said… I hope you can grow some peace and love in your heart. That is my clear message. I’m sorry if I’ve been too hard on you…

  9. doctorj says:

    Sad response. I am sorry I wasted my time. We will see in the next election what the country thinks. I will tell you now, the republican party will be out of power for years if not decades. They squandered their responsibility to lead this country and will pay the price. I just hope my city can survive that long. So much for compassionate conservatism. I can’t believe I swollowed that BS. Their true colors come out for all the world to see.

  10. Dr. D says:

    No place in the country has any disaster taken as long to rebuild as New Orleans. The reason for this seems to be clean. Everywhere else, the American are inclined to try to help themselves much more so than the people of New Orleans who from the first moment began to look for someone else to solve their problems. The people of New Orleans, and Louisiana in general, never once in this whole debacle said anything along the lines of “This is how we are going to deal with our problem …” It was always, “How is someone else going to fix things for us?” The nation as a whole has come to the aid of New Orleans in grand style, but New Orleans has managed to squander that aid in typical New Orleans fashion. It may be forever before New Orleans is rebuilt, and that will be OK. We really don’t need that sort of dependent parasites dragging down the rest of the nation.

  11. Baklava says:

    doctorj the partisan wrote, “he republican party will be out of power for years if not decades.

    Do some due diligence instead of attacking…..

    doctorj wrote, “So much for compassionate conservatism.

    You never were a conservative…

    Liberalism is a way towards dependency and how compassionate is that?????

    What we are talking about is a disaster here that was on the massive scale and you want to lambaste one party…. and then start swinging your sword at conservatism.

    So much hate in such little time – but you’ve always had it haven’t you. Now you feel you have the trump card issue to swing your sword with…

    Good persuasion technique? No.

  12. Severian says:

    Well doc, if you were a conservative Republican, you’d have to be about the only one in the Big Easy. Not that your whine has any conservative/Republican flavor at all. True conservatives would complain about the government getting in the way of their accomplishing something, not give us a huge long whine about how you weren’t getting enough help and no one was doing anything for you. That’s one of the major differences between Dem/Lib and Rep/Conservative.

    What happened in New Orleans is a stinging indictment of liberalism and the Democrats. For too many decades they’ve run the Big Easy, and run it into the ground promoting a victimhood, entitlement society, and that came back to haunt you with a vengeance. And you have the gall to whine about people wondering if it should be rebuilt? It’s below sea level, it’s been a disaster waiting to happen for a hundred years, but it was there so there was nothing to do about it. Now that a lot (most?) of it has been destroyed, and the population has largely relocated, why in the hell would it make sense to rebuild it exactly the way it was? So the next time there is a large hurricane we can dump more trillions of dollars into rebuilding it and watch the same people whine and moan and do nothing to help themselves? It’s like the idiots who build on the coast, and when a hurricane demolishes their house expect, and unfortunately usually get, government, read taxpayer, bailouts to rebuild it in exactly the same spot, when they usually don’t have enough insurance. But hey, it’s someone else’s responsibility.

    Tell it to the Dem politicians, you know, the ones who played politics and deliberately held off requesting help from the National Guard because they felt it would make them look weak. Tell it to Nagin, who let scores of buses sit and get destroyed while failing to implement his own disaster plan. Tell it to the Dem politicians that rerouted money from the levies to build a yacht club.

    If you want to find sympathy, you can find it between sh!t and syphilis in the dictionary.

  13. Baklava says:

    Demolitions and the process
    of condemning homes continue

    Should contracts be honored as written or merely changed because of tragedy? Insurance companies are protected by this decision – and honoring contracts as written is the principle upheld.

    Excerpt for the due diligence challenged:

    Insurance companies typically restrict property coverage to damage caused by wind, fire and other hazards. Congress launched the National Flood Insurance Program in 1968 to help homeowners living in flood-prone areas get flood insurance to complement private policies. Private agents sell the federal policies, which are often subsidized by taxpayers because premiums don’t factor in the real risks of damage.

    Another article clearing up flood damage and insurance policies. It also talks about Earthquake coverage for those of you who are in CA like me.

    The good people of FEMA and their stories.

  14. Drewsmom says:

    My best friend in the world as a son who lived in Ocean Springs Miss., and lost everything and works as a manager for THE EVIL WAL-MART there. He left his flooded home and went to work and they GAVE THE WHOLD DAMN STORE AWAY to those in need. I never saw this covered by chrissie matthews or keith olbernut, just the NO folks demanding the feds do for them.
    dr., yall’s mayor and govenor are the real screw ups here and in your long blog you never mention Miss. has pulled themselves outta this.
    You can’t fool us here dr., you are just a partisan hack who blames Bush for the storm and all the problems and frankly, WE ARE SICK OF HEARING THIS.