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The Squeegee men and broken windows are back in NYC

The Squeegee men and broken windows are back in NYC

And what we can learn when it comes to illegal immigration.

I remember the dread of exiting the Queens-Midtown tunnel into Manhattan from Long Island before I left for Rhode Island in the early 1990s.

Would we make the first traffic light, or get stuck at a red light and be subjected to the squeegee men?

The squeegee men would either spray something on your windshield then demand payment to clean it off, or just start cleaning the windshield figuring you’d pay them rather than risk a confrontation.

It set the tone for the city, along with graffiti and other petty hooliganism.

It was one of the realities of life in NYC until Rudy Giuliani was elected Mayor and cleaned it all up.

It was the broken window theory:

Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in rundown ones. Window-breaking does not necessarily occur on a large scale because some areas are inhabited by determined window-breakers whereas others are populated by window-lovers; rather, one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing.

The squeegee men and similar public displays of lawlessness were held in check even after Rudy left office — until now.

The election of uber-liberal Bill DeBlasio ushered in a new era of the bad old days, as The NY Post reports:

NY Post Squeegee Men

They were the ultimate symbol of the lawlessness and blight of the 1980s and early 1990s — and now they’re making a comeback.
Squeegee men are menacing motorists across New York City, including spots near the Holland, Lincoln and Queens-Midtown tunnels, as well as the Queensboro Bridge, The Post has learned.

Residents and drivers who pass through the areas said the panhandlers are spraying and wiping windshields without permission to shake down drivers for cash.
Their sudden return is an ominous sign according to the proven “broken windows” theory that has kept the city safe by having cops crack down on minor offenses to prevent bigger, violent crimes.

The Post spotted one of the vagrants working the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 37th Street, where a woman turned on the wipers of her Mercedes-Benz to keep him away.

All of this was predictable:

It’s the same thing with immigration — don’t enforce the laws and treat illegal entrants as victims, and you set the mood for the country as one of lawlessness.

childhood immigration flood


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Elections have consequences, don’t they?

All the smug libs snickered among themselves when they were ‘enlightened’ enough to elect the Marxist Mayor, showing us in-breds in the hinterlands how much better they are than we.

Sow & Reap….embrace the suck, you’ve earned it.

OK, NYPost, a pet peeve…

Squeegee men are NOT “terrorizing” NYC.

Let’s save our high-caliber words for the awful things they convey.

Squeegee men may inconvenience, annoy, threaten, harass, etc.

They do not “terrorize” anybody who doesn’t need some major meds.

    PersonFromPorlock in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Well, they’re probably terrorizing the Pants-Piddling Progressives.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Rags, I beg to differ. My parents once had to flip a u-turn off the Triboro, where they were accosted by squeegee men (plural) who could smell an out-of-towner a mile away. When my Dad refused to pay for the privilege of having his windshield smeared, they slashed his tires…which all went flat in Queens as he was trying to get to the LIE. That was the last time they ever flew into LaGuardia. My (expletive) brother should have picked them up. I guarantee that was terror—and my parents did not need major meds. This was not an isolated incident, either. Just wait until DiBlasio is in his second term….

      OK, sure. But that was not what was described in the piece.

      THAT was a fundamentally different set of conduct than someone basically making an aggressive request for a handout.

      We sometimes see “squeegee people” in Houston, too. I can usually just politely but firmly wave them away. I’ve never had anybody approach me I considered threatening.

      But that could be because people are known to carry guns in Texas…

        Milwaukee in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

        Ragspierre: I disagree with your position. I believe there is an implied threat for nonpayment. If nothing else the inconvenience of a messed up windshield. What 9thDistrictNeighbor is describing is the consequence of trying to disagree with a lawless gang. Without ever having been in bad parts of New York or in Houston I sympathize with the dad and mom were terrorized by hooligans.

        We can be quite sure that thugs in Queens are different than thugs in Houston. The Sullivan laws were first enacted by a corrupt Tammany Hall to disarm lawful citizens because the organized gangs complained about the lawful citizens shooting back.

        Shane in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 11:05 am

        C’mon Rags Houston late July, Montrose and Westhiemer. The homeless can approach Phoenix level aggressive 😛 (Phoenix homeless for me are the most aggressive I have ever seen).

          Ragspierre in reply to Shane. | August 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

          One of my favorite places for sushi was on Westheimer, just a block or two west of Montrose, across from Half Price Books.

          Last time I was down there, the place was just gone.

          I’ve never felt threatened down there, although I do keep an eye on the vampires.

          pst314 in reply to Shane. | August 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

          The level of aggressiveness varies from one city to another. San Francisco has extremely aggressive panhandlers–menacing even and sometimes violent. This is because although they are protected by “civil rights” lawyers who think it is a human right to be a thug.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to 9thDistrictNeighbor. | August 10, 2014 at 2:45 am

      Some years ago I pepper sprayed a very nasty, aggressive squeegee man at an intersection in the L.A. area.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Squeegee men are NOT “terrorizing” NYC.

    Check your privilege, o lofty intellectual. You’ve obviously never met one of these guys, and think it’s just ducky that others who do so must just suck it up and pretend that peace and brotherhood and some pocket cash will avert something worse than harsh words.

      Boy, are YOU confused…!!!

      First, Houston has DEMENTED panhandlers…not just aggressive.

      I practice law in Houston, among other places. Ergo, I walk around in a suit…with a flucking briefcase. “Target” is emblazoned on my chest.

      Second, the ONLY times I’ve been in Nuevo Ork City were when I was hauling too long, too wide, too tall, and too heavy stuff into the bowels of that hive. I entered the place during the hours of the darkest of darkness, when ONLY crazy people, criminals, and working men were on the streets. I left in daylight, with my trailer all folded and stacked on itself, but STILL 9′ wide. Once or twice, I got lost trying to get out, and found myself in some very interesting neighborhoods. “Intellectual” is on the other end of the spectrum from my life’s experience.

      Third, you are full of crap. I never intimated anything you ascribe to me. I’ll chalk that up to reading incomprehension…once. I NEVER intimated that anybody “suck it up”. If you read my comments, you SHOULD know that I am not a “suck it up” kind of guy. I’m a “SCREW THAT!!!” kind of guy.

      Fourth, I lived in…and walked around…some of the rougher areas of Houston while going to law school. I never had people accost me. I was never armed with anything but a pocket knife and a sincere aspect.

      So, CHECK YOUR bullshit, pard.

        gregjgrose in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        …your smileage may vary…

        § 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an
        offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to
        any person or property with intent to:
        (1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an
        official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
        (2) place any person in fear of imminent serious
        bodily injury;
        (3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a
        building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has
        access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or
        other form of conveyance, or other public place;


          Do we know of a squeegee man charged with making terroristic threats?
          They do not intend to prevent occupation, have nothing to do with emergencies, and serious bodily harm — I don’t know. More like destruction of property.

    My pet peeve too. It’s defining terrorism down.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    OK. Any of y’all that want to be “terrorized” by the squeegee man can go on ahead.

    Me? I’ll use the word a LOT more sparingly. And appropriately.

    Thank you.

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Ragspierre. | August 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Rags, perhaps, as Moynahan said, we’re “defining deviancy down” because no one seems to have the cojones to deal correctly with real terrorists….

One of the interesting things here…

If I understand correctly, you have the same guy heading the police as when da Rudy was da mayor.

So what spells the difference? Could it be the First Family of New York? Is DeBlasio that potent a figure? Does leadership make that much difference?

And what does that portend for the U.S. with Pres. ScamWOW in office?

When I was first confronted by a squeege guy in NYC traffic many years ago was when I first questioned the sanity of anyone who would live in an environment where that was acceptable behavior. I just don’t get the allure of living so packed together with all facets of society. I just left MT, where the entire county probably has less population than many single buildings in that city, where the only living things that you are likely to see walking into town are deer and other wild life, and the people are nice. Why would anyone want to live among so many mad, mean, and nasty people?

    Radegunda in reply to Bruce Hayden. | August 8, 2014 at 11:25 am

    “I just don’t get the allure of living so packed together with all facets of society.”

    Recently, when John Batchelor was trying to make a case for “immigration reform” (i.e. amnesty and higher levels of immigration) and railing against “exclusionists,” he asked in exasperation why some people don’t appreciate how wonderful it is to live in a multinational, polyglot place like NYC, where you never know what country you’ll get when you hail a cab.

    In other words, because HE enjoys living in NYC, he seems to believe that a similarly multinational environment should be imposed on people who do not choose it.

      pst314 in reply to Radegunda. | August 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      I’m sure that John Batchelor lives in a safe neighborhood, and that his building has a doorman and plenty of security. Nor is he likely to have neighbors in his building who might slit his throat if they suspect him of being Jewish.

I quit using Midway airport in Chicago because of those guys; always camped out on the median beneath I-55 on S. Cicero Ave.

At least IF you looked at them sternly as they approached the car, visibly shook your head NO and wagged a finger NO, they’d bypass you for the next car.

It helps to have carefully crafted a menacing look during my daughter’s dating years …

    pst314 in reply to MrE. | August 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    “It helps to have carefully crafted a menacing look…”

    I quickly learned the need for a “don’t f*ck with me” look when I moved to Chicago long ago. If you looked like a nice person from a small town you were a target for all sorts of aggressive behavior.

    A few years later a young woman, who was cursed with a particularly cute face, asked me for advice on cultivating an appearance that told the world that she was not someone to mess with. How terrible that beauty and a sweet disposition should become a handicap.

    And so, when a “menacing look” becomes a necessary survival strategy, the quality of the Public Square is degraded and destroyed.

When I lived in NYC while stationed at USCG Governor’s Island back in the early 80’s, all I did was turn on the windshield wipers and start squirting the windshield spray as soon as I saw one of those squeegee-bandits even appearing to be approaching my vehicle. They’d keep right on walking every time. With one exception, by some black guy, who was angered by my attempt to thwart his scheme and he grabbed my passenger side windshield wiper and tried to pull/break it off. The light turned green and I gunned it. The windshield wiper was completely unscathed… but I think his hand was ripped open by the looks of it from the rear-view mirror. Bummer. Never saw him there again, either.

The city’s Windshield Clarification Specialists would be much more professional and courteous if NYC allowed open carry. Everyone should encourage professionalism and courteousness.

A little urban chaos is what’s necessary to keep commie big gov people in power. One dept creates the mess behind the scenes and the people in the public eye get to say that they are doing all they can but need more money and time to handle the problem while hiding the fact that the gov is the problem all along.

One argument on the pro-amnesty side is “We can’t round up and deport everyone who came here illegally!” But virtually no one is proposing that. There are lots of options that fall somewhere between rounding up everyone and policies that positively encourage people to sneak across the border and stay “in the shadows” (e.g. declaring sanctuary cities). Changing the balance of incentives and disincentives can have a big effect.

    pst314 in reply to Radegunda. | August 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    “We can’t round up and deport everyone who came here illegally!”

    We never had this sort of problem with illegal immigration before, and if I recall correctly this was not because we used to keep the border sealed–it was always porous. Illegal immigrants were caught and deported during occasional inspections of businesses in industries known to be attractive job opportunities for immigrants. Businesses that persisted in hiring illegals were fined. If a cop stopped someone for a traffic violation or anything else, and the cop thought he might be an immigrant, he would ask for his green card. Immigrants who did not register every year at the local post office would be tracked down and deported. No mass deportations were ever needed; it was all done incrementally and with the near universal agreement of the populace.

      Karen Sacandy in reply to pst314. | August 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Eisenhower rounded alot of them up in the ’50s and took them home en masse.

      Deporting all of them can be done, but the will is not there.

      I have it, though.

      I’m sick of these bloodsuckers.

      Ragspierre in reply to pst314. | August 9, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Back in the 70s I was working as a heavy equipment operator, burying power lines in a new subdivision outside San Antonio.

      I remember one day, looking around me, at the bee-hive of trades activity. Masons, carpenters, roofers, plumbers, electricians, my own crew-mates, painters and landscapers, etc.

      “The Green Car” of La Migra rolled up, and the next time I looked around, their was just me. Not another soul in sight.

Joseph Farnsworth | August 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm

What is most saddening is the rapid resurgence of black criminality as soon as hyper-vigilant law enforcement is relaxed. Whites are blamed for all black dysfunction but when they try to curb their criminality they are accused of Stop and Frisk stereotyping etc. Broken windows on steroids!

When I drove in NYC, I never had a problem with the squeegie men. I would give them the stare, wag my right finger at them, and point my revolver in their general direction with my left hand. They got the message.

I’ve never been convinced that the “broken windows” theory proves that squeegee men lead to rapes and murders. I do, however, believe that squeegee men lead to more squeegee men. (Any similar thing would, like the massive surge in costumed characters in Central Park.) Blight is its own ill and a self-respecting city should fight it on that basis and require no apologies for it. I do think that some of the things done to fight blight tend to also be useful in diminishing the perceived opportunities for violent crime, but it’s not necessarily the media version.

Blazio is a master of pure propaganda as government. The squeegee people are back AND Bratton is our police commissioners AND he (Bratton) is silent.

Brilliant move by the Mayor. Talk about pulling the rug out from underneath you.

Henry Hawkins | August 9, 2014 at 11:30 am

Not a lot of squeegee men here in Possum Holler, but I’ve gone ahead and installed a gun port in my windshield anyway.