Detroit

What’s worse: the destruction of a nuclear bomb, or the destruction of society through socialism?

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We all know that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed in August 1945 after the explosion of atomic bombs. However, we know little about the progress made by the people at that exact location during the past 65 years.

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Maybe we could get something like this going to get the berms mowed

Len Brown ratcheted up rates while he was dropping his tweeds in the Town Hall.

In some areas there has been a 42% increase in rates and a drop in services provided…like the mowing of berms.

In Detroit the city is broke, it is where Auckland is heading with a mayor who can’t control his libido let alone the spending his council is making. The city in Detroit stopped maintaining parks and ignoring the citizens who pay the taxes for the maintenance of things like parks.

Fortunately some volunteers stepped in.

Tom Nardone, founder of the Detroit Mower Gang, doesn’t really see himself as an innovator. He’s just a guy who saw a need and a way to address it. While his “gang” has attracted the attention of visiting celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, what gives him the most satisfaction is seeing kids playing on a swingset he just mowed around.  Read more »

Former mayor of Detroit convicted, ratbag sent to jail for at least 28 years

In just a few hours we will know which of our own local body ratbags have ben re-elected or rinsed…in the meantime consider this fool, the former mayor of Detroit who has just been convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes.

He was the city mayor who lined his pockets as the one-time industrial powerhouse he presided over lay in ruins. And now, as he faces 28-years behind bars, the former mayor of Detroit has said the city can finally “move on” following a series of corruption scandals.

The conviction of Kwame Kilpatrick, who served as mayor for six years until 2008, brings to a sorry end the ruin of the man who represented the downfall of the now-bankrupt city that was once the beating heart of US car production.  Read more »

Rapist gets taught a lesson

This story is disgusting, another candidate for a long drop off a short rope.

What do you do when even the police won’t respond fast enough to a rape case? For members of a Detroit community, the answer was simple: vigilante justice.

Residents of Hubbard Farms, Detroit, beat up a man accused of raping a 15-year-old girl with Down syndrome Thursday, WXYZ reports. The police have not made an arrest for 23 days since the victim said a man grabbed her on the way to work, took her to his apartment, and raped her.

Community members say the police took five days to interview the victim after she reported the rape, and 21 days to send a rape kit to the Michigan State Crime Lab.

The alleged rapist lives in the same neighborhood as the victim, and the community resorted to posting his face on flyers to warn others.

When frustrations finally boiled over, residents beat the man with a baseball bat so badly he had to be taken to the hospital.

Megan Herres, a family friend of the victim, told WXYZ she didn’t support vigilantism but that the situation was untenable.

“There was a lot of community response in asking the police for their assistance in apprehending the perpetrator and it wasn’t happening in a timely manner,” she said. “It’s not good to live in a community where people don’t feel safe.”

Police say they are “looking into” the delay in the case.

Detroit Police are infamous for their failure to deal with even serious crime efficiently. In Detroit, it takes almost an hour for police to respond to a 911 call. The national average is 11 minutes.

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Didn’t Obama already save Detroit?

Over the weekend Detroit finally declared bankruptcy, pushed under by a debt burden of locked in spending promises and shrinking tax revenues. But during the 2012 presidential campaign we were repeatedly told that Obama had saved Detroit…but did he?

The news that the city of Detroit is declaring bankruptcy may not surprise many observers who were aware of how economic decline, shrinking population, the burden of huge public employee contracts and political corruption was leading inevitably to this outcome. But it might come as something of a shock to the vast majority of Americans whose only thoughts about the subject prior to today were framed by the demagoguery on the issue that came from President Obama’s reelection campaign. As we all recall, Democrats spent a good deal of 2012 telling us that “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead” and hounding Mitt Romney for saying that Detroit would be better off going bankrupt rather than being bailed out by the federal government. But yesterday we learned that all the sunny talk about what Obama had accomplished did nothing to save the city.

Now will come the weasel words…politicians have plenty of those.

Of course, Democrats will say that when they were talking about “Detroit” last year, they were just using the word as shorthand for the automobile industry and not referring to the Motor City itself. But the memory of the way the president pounded Romney on the issue should do more than point out Obama’s hypocrisy. The collapse of what was once one of America’s great cities should also inform us about the way the liberal project is dooming municipal and state governments around the country as well as Washington to a sea of debt that cannot be sustained. Detroit isn’t just the most spectacular example of urban blight. It’s the poster child for the consequences of liberal governance.   Read more »

Want to know what a Greens led coalition will look like?

We don’t have to look far to know what will happen if a Green led Labour coalition wins government. One word…Detroit.

How the unions screwed Detroit

Forbes has an article called “Detroit gave Unions the Keys to the City, And now nothing is left“. I don;t need to add any more commentary, other than when a union boss starts talking about economic solutions you should just yell one word at them…”Detroit”.

We keep hearing that the car industry in Detroit is “on the rebound” or that “Detroit is back.” In fact, the city itself is on its back, and it’s bounding toward bankruptcy or a state takeover. How did one of America’s most storied cities land in this predicament? While the city population has shrunk (from a peak population of 1.8 million in 1950 to 714,000 in the last census), it has hardly reduced the government that serves it. All you really need to know about Detroit, which is facing a $327 million budget gap, is that last year it was discovered to still be paying for  a “horseshoer” (or farrier) on the Detroit Water & Sewer Department (DWSD) payroll. This individual costs some $56,000 in pay and benefits, despite the city not having any horses to shoe in his department.

Union bosses insisted the DWSD (average compensation: $86,000) needs more, not fewer, such unionized employees, a view associated with a broad spectrum of thinkers from Jimmy Hoffa to the Keynesians running the United States. The DWSD has more than twice as many employees per gallon of water pumped as that other paragon of Midwestern governance, Chicago. An independent report said four out of five employees in the bloated department were redundant and discovered a thicket of union regulations driving up costs.Plumbers complained that, due to union work rules, they had to wait to fix pipes until duly authorized “operators” came along first to shut them off.  Read more »

Light Rail – A warning

With the election of a complete green nutter in Wellington as mayor, and with Len Brown appointing Penny Hulse as deputy we are going to see increasing calls for councils to pick the pockets of ratepayers to pay for light rail projects so “other people” can catch the train.

New Zealand doesn’t have a monopoly on silly ideas and as is usual it isn’t hard to find examples of such stupidity elsewhere in the world. Take Detroit, for example, of silly politicians spending money on white elephant projects like light rail.

Detroit has become a place Hollywood directors come for great wreckage shots. One quarter of the city’s 140 square miles are deserted. Detroit public school students boast the nation’s worst reading scores, the products of a corruption-ridden school system that recently flirted with bankruptcy. Detroit bested Baltimore in 2009 to take the dreaded “murder capital” title. It may also be the worst place in the country to have a heart attack: prepare to wait half an hourfor an ambulance.

In a town lacking essential services, what do local leaders and federal politicians have in mind for helping the city? What’s needed to hoist Detroit back to its 1950 heyday, when it was America’s fourth largest city, with more than double its current population?

Why, light rail, of course!

The words used by Detroits city officials are alarmingly similar to Len Brown’s and Celia Wade-Brown’s.

I love the quote in the middle of the video – “You simply cannot have a Manhattan without a subway, but its not the subway that built Manhattan, Manhattan built the subway. Light Rail is not going to build Detroit”. Basically businesses built those things to meet a profitable demand. There is another quote 4:02, “People like to get from point a to point b as quickly as possible, so the bus system, particularly in citied like Detroit, is going to be far more effective in serving the needs of the low income than developing a transit system.” That is particularly relevant to the people most poorly served by public transport right now, the citizens  of the South and West of Auckland.

But it isn’t like Detroit hasn’t had already had an experiment in light rail before, they have the under-utilised “People-Mover”. It operates at just 2.5% capacity.

If the insane inner city rail loop and Len Brown’s other $5 billion of rail promises are built, especially the link to the airport, then someday, this absurdity in Auckland might be a tourist attraction, but that is all it will be.

At least already Len seems to be getting the message that despite his promises there isn’t bottomless pits of money and that if he doesn’t work with government then his pet projects aren’t going to get built. He has had to cave in on the Puhoi-Wellsford highway. That’s his first, of what is likely to be a Len-slide of failed promises.

“Clearly the Government have got the bit between their teeth in terms of Puhoi to Wellsford,” Mr Brown said. “It’s a road of national significance. I’m not going to get myself overly involved in that debate.”

Hmmm…Len’s public transport supporters won’t be happy with his capitulation over a roading project they wanted canceled.