Wednesday, August 7, 2013

21st Century Battlefields: Detroit (and other stuff)

Its 12:10 pm

    It's a cool day here in Michigan. The only sound in the house is a ceiling fan and a meow or two from Derek when he hears me typing in the den.
I like to thank and give respect to Susan Smiley for sharing her eulogy for Hercules,by the traffic,her words really touched a lot of hearts. I like to thank my readers for supporting this entry in a big way. As you know,pets are a huge part of my life and Hercules was one of the best. Glad you all had a chance to get a idea of how much he was loved and Susan was a great mom to him.
   Been a so-so week here,haven't really done much worth writing home about. I did finally buy some Roundup and sprayed my driveway which was slowly turning into a jungle. I started to cut my backyard and as I was do,I was pretty surprised to the amount of weeds that have invaded both my flower beds and lawn itself...considering I had pulled a full lawn bag of them a mere 3 weeks ago. So I decided to leave the front alone and hit the back again....I cut back the huge sage bush we have and pulled every weed from stem to stern,once again thankful for the heavy gloves I bought at an estate sale. Truly have been a saving grace....
   Going to have to buy some mulch for the central flower bed,the bare dirt is showing and it looks ugly.
My wonderful neighbor Kathy has been watering the plants for me....she is such a kind hearted soul,Larry and her have been such good neighbors and she is always checking in on Derek and myself. She pointed out that I have a tree growing in the back,courtesy of a bird no doubt. She suggested I lose it before it gains traction and starts growing,so that is my next project after mulching.
   Talked to my other neighbor,Charlie,who was cutting his lawn as well. We talked about the fence Al put up to protect his garden,it really needs a paint job. I suggested to Charlie we paint it blue with a "Go Blue!" in yellow written on it along with some rabbit paw prints and a flag.
 Being Al is a Ohio State fan,I think this might get him out there to paint the fence a nice shade of white.
When I told Al this,he laughed and then said he was thinking of taking it down. I don't think he needs to do that,but perhaps cutting it down would be nice. I said the fact that our yards (Al,Charlie and ours) are open is a real asset and it would be sad to see fences go up.
 But I know I have to be more of a good neighbor by controlling those weeds,its not fair to my neighbors who work hard at their lawns to be subjected to my lack of effort and desire to work outside.
 Also cleaned out my lint trap for the dryer,it was getting pretty nasty but 10 minutes later and it looks good.

Pretty exciting life,isn't it?

Yesterday was Detroit's primary for Mayor and City Council. 13 folks were running for Mayor and a slew of other folks,including Aaron Brown (who I wrote about 2 entries ago) were battling for city council spots.

Now take a GOOD look at these numbers. This is a primary election to help cull the crowd for the General election. Now remember,Detroit is under a Emergency Financial manager who basically is running the city and will guide the city through bankruptcy before turning it over to the duly elected officials.
Now some folks like Steve Hood and Sam Riddle would have you believe that this takeover is the teapublican way of suppressing the democratic process. I like both men and respect them tremendously but their vision is clouded. As much as I don't like Rick Snyder and his underhanded tactics,in this case,he did the right thing in pointing a beyond broken city towards bankruptcy. These folks who claim race is behind this are themselves showing their own racist tendencies. They remind me of those religious parents who refuse to let medical doctors treat their families even if it means their child will die without help.
  They mean well but they are also very misguided and the above graphic proves this. Detroit has about 710,000 citizens now,you would guess that with this primary and the eyes of the nation on them,the voter turnout would be huge. And you would be wrong. Originally the estimated voter turnout was going to be 17% of all registered voters but in reality,only about half of that turned out.
   This is the NORMAL type of turnout for the city....there was a spike during the Presidential elections but as far as state and local races go,this was even a little lower then normal.
  The Motor City Muckraker published a article trying to say that Snyder,Bing (voted into power by the citizens of Detroit) and other state/city leaders were already looking to take Detroit into bankruptcy as early as 2011 when they created the EM law. what? You have a city billions in debt,a shrinking population and 47% of the people don't pay taxes because of severe poverty or other reasons. You have the city throwing out tax abatements around like Christmas candy for wealthy businesses who want to come to Detroit but unwilling to pay their weight. City services are third world level,IF,they work at all. The mayor and city council can't work together on even the most basic common problems and this has been happening for over 50 years!
  Detroit has fucked itself over and over electing poor leadership choices based on color then ability. This was never more evident by this mayor's race when a a four time loser for mayor,Tom Barrow,made it his mission to get perhaps the most qualified (on paper maybe,I think Lisa Howse might have been the best choice,ethics wise) candidate off the ballot through technicalities and skin color.
  Mike Duggan,who is white,was forced off the ballot and had to declare himself a write-in candidate...of which Barrows challenged and lost that round. Instead of debating records and skill sets that are so needed in the city,Barrows,who is black,decided to use a tactic that only showcased his own political weakness.
  And the voters for a refreshing change,saw right through this and helped write in Duggan with over 50 percent of the vote......while Barrows had his ass handed to him with a mere 4 % percent,finishing dead last.
  These tactics are a prime example of self suppression by the voters....that a man like Barrows would do his best to keep perhaps a man with the ability to change the culture of Detroit off the ballot because of his skin color is deeply disturbing.
  Anyone who has gone through bankruptcy knows its a hellish way to escape one's debts. You get in too deep,lose a job,get a serious illness (hello cancer!),the housing bubble collapses and you need help. You do the right thing by exploring all avenues but sometimes,only a bankruptcy is the answer.
 Snyder knows this,Dillon knows this,Mayor Dave Bing and the city council knows this. A bail-out from Washington was never in the cards because why? The same culture and brokenness that is Detroit will not be fixed,just like the car industry and the housing market,unless massive changes are effected,this cycle will happen again and again. So why waste tax payer dollars on a huge band aid?
  Bankruptcy is the best answer for the city,it really is....but Snyder and company better be ready to use the fresh start and help the citizens with better training could in effect create a little New Deal action within the city itself by hiring and training the unemployed into tearing down the 78,000 abandoned buildings being used as crack dens,squats and arson targets. This is what is needed far more then walking in and selling assets like the Zoo and the fine art at the DIA.
  Snyder has a chance to show that all the behind the door bargaining has a real pay-out,he needs to show why this bankruptcy was the right call....and men like Hood and Riddle need to realize that as well. Because for their posturing,just like the teapublicans opposing healthcare reform,I have yet to see anyone come with a way to get Detroit whole again.....

I am getting pretty excited about the upcoming college football season. The San Jose Spartans open up against Sacramento State and then battle 4th ranked Stanford.
As I have blogged before,Lori and I tried to attend at least one Eastern Michigan game a year. It was a lot of fun and we always had a good time. The two favorite games we attended were against Howard (they have a awesome band) and Maryland. This year,Western Michigan is playing at EMU and I am looking to get some people willing to go to the game and watch it with me. Lori graduated from Western and I thought it would be fun to get some folks together,make some banners and watch the game.

 I have written many times about how damn lucky we are to have the finest journalists here working in Detroit. One of everyone favorite's is Fox 2's Hall of Shame reporter Rob Wolchek. He works tirelessly to expose some pretty unsavory characters,be a rancher who lets his animals rot where they drop,sleazy "music promoters",unsafe,unlicensed contractors and stoned and drunk autoworkers. If you are doing bad and you see Rob coming at you...there is nothing you can do but report to the Halllllll of Shaaaaame!
  So this week Rob breaks a story of this internet bully called Ebay Is A Joke who goes around and smears other people's good names and online businesses. He wears a mask that "V" wore from the film "V for Vendetta" and goes on these senseless rants about other people. Basically,he is a asshole who likes to hide and harass people. Well some of these folks struck back when they contacted Rob and told him about this guy. I am guessing that they found him by his Ip address and the trail led to the metro Detroit area....right in Rob's stomping grounds.
   After some more work....Rob went after this guy and it turns out he lives in my town. When you watch the video,that is the local theater about 7 miles from my house! It means,that Charles Fitch can no longer hide out,that he is now exposed as the small minded little roach that he is. Personally,I can see why he wore the mask but it won't do him any good now.
  This was a great story and one I hope you'll pass on to your friends as well.

You can read and see the story here.

Well,that is all I have for "8 Questions with......" coming soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @Jinzo_2400

Aaron Brown: Not a bad showing at all. You'll be one to keep a eye on in the future.
Gina : Good luck with your show!
Michelle (N.D.): Thank you for the song,you indeed made me cry.
Sam and Steve: Have nothing but respect for you both.
Rob: You're just awesome.
Amy: Just realized you are still on vacation,you picked a good week for it!
Elissa: Thank you for sharing your Loo with us,I never would have guessed how sweet a pigeon could be!
Susan: Thank you again.


  1. Looking forward to some Wayne State University football! EMU vs WMU should be a good time!

  2. I hope you will be able to see the game with us.

  3. Your post reminds me how happy I am that I no longer have to maintain a yard, since I am in an apartment. Often I miss having a yard and flower beds and a garden, but then a post like this comes along and reminds me to be grateful.

    It definitely sounds like you have nice neighbors though. Some of my best friends have always been neighbors!