There are many horrific stories to be told about the implosion of Detroit, once the nation’s most prosperous city, today its poorest. There is the story of its corrupt public institutions, its feckless leaders, its poisonous racial politics, its practically nonexistent economy, the riots that have led to its thrice being occupied by federal troops. -Kevin D. Williamson
In a city plagued by chronic unemployment and crime and guarded by a dwindling police force, residents of Detroit are increasingly taking protection of themselves, their families and property into their own hands. Those who do so responsibly have the blessing and backing of Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
“When you look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns,” Craig said recently.
“We want to make it very much known that the young people who are causing the violence in our community are not terrorists.” ... “They are not urban terrorists, they are the products of bad urban policy.” -Detroit National Action Network Rev. Charles Williams
Half of the eight mayoral hopefuls on Detroit’s primary ballot next week have been convicted of felony crimes involving drugs, assault or weapons, a Detroit News analysis shows. Three were charged with gun crimes and two for assault with intent to commit murder. Some of the offenses date back decades, the earliest to 1977. The most recent was in 2008.
Hypocrisy, Liberal, Crime, Government, Degeneracy, Education, Greed, Corruption
In its latest crackdown on school corruption here, the federal government Tuesday dropped a legal bomb on 12 current and former principals, one administrator and a vendor — all charged with running a nearly $1 million bribery and kickback scheme involving school supplies that rarely were delivered.
Liberal, Degeneracy, Drugs
One of the fastest growing businesses in the Motor City has many residents raising concerns: Medical marijuana dispensaries. “This is the next big thing in the city of Detroit,” said Councilman James Tate. “It’s quiet for folks who are not really paying attention, but everyday it seems like another business is opening up.” Tate told WWJ’s Charlie Langton the number of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits is “staggering.”
Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy
It’s a situation that is really bugging bus riders — and creating a potentially itchy, scratchy ride in Detroit. Just when riders thought the problem-riddled transit system couldn’t get any worse, there’s reportedly a bed bug situation. Detroit Councilwoman Brenda Jones brought up the issue of bedbugs on city buses during a recent meeting.
Detroit is now a largely abandoned city. There are approximately 78,000 vacant structures. Approximately 38,000 are considered dangerous. The population will likely drop below 700,000 in the next census. Large swathes of the city are completely empty. -Pradheep J. Shanker
Democrat, Liberal, Crime, Degeneracy
When they pull up to a gas station these days, Detroit drivers are looking beyond the price per gallon at a far more threatening concern: carjackers. The armed auto thieves have become so common here that parts of the bankrupt metropolis are referred to as "Carjack City," and many motorists fear getting out of their vehicles even for a few moments to fill a tank.
Democrat, Hypocrisy, Tax, Crime, Character, Fraud, Greed, Convict
Once a popular young politician, disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was ordered to spend 28 years behind bars on his convictions for racketeering, bribery, extortion and tax crimes. “I think everyone here understands Mr. Kilpatrick was convicted of running a criminal enterprise,” Judge Nancy Edmunds said, adding the enterprise started while he was still in the state House of Representatives and continued through all six years he was in the mayor’s office.
Bill Whittle's Firewall:
The Most Shameful Injustice
Bill Whittle shows what four, five, six, seven or more decades of Death by Democrats has done to our nation's cities.
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Financial, Oops, Theft
Detroit on Tuesday defaulted on more than $600 million of general obligation bonds deemed unsecured by the city's emergency manager, a city spokesman said.
Democrat, Liberal, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Oops
As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit, replacing residents, menacing humans who remain and overwhelming the city’s ability to find them homes or peaceful deaths... The number of strays signals a humanitarian crisis, said Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington... Arrington said when she visited Detroit in October, “It was almost post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around.”
From 1961 onward, Detroit became the crucible into which progressives poured every utopian idea imaginable. The city spent more per capita on education, welfare and infrastructure than almost any other urban center in the country during the sixties and seventies.
The city passed tough regulations, allowing city leaders to manage which businesses could open in the city, and which could not. Large bureaucratic city service industries bloomed, usually controlled by local labor unions. It was essentially a state-controlled capitalist economy. -Pradheep J. Shanker
Democrat, Editorial, Liberal, Crime, Union, Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Financial, Brilliance, Narrative, Oops, Socialism, Metaphor, Tolerance, Corruption, Regulation, Theft
The city undertook a controlled experiment in what happens if you are governed by a toxic combination of Great Society big spenders, race hustlers, crooks, public-sector unions and ineffectual reformers.... Detroit’s bout of self-destruction lasted for a few decades, and now may finally stop only when there is little left to destroy. The city was at the pioneering edge of urban liberalism and discovered that all the social spending in the world doesn’t deliver order, family stability, education, economic dynamism or effective governance.
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Character, Degeneracy, Financial, Oops, Debt, Theft
ROMULUS, Mich. - Detroit's emergency manager says the city is defaulting on about $2.5 billion of debt. Kevyn Orr said Friday that Detroit is asking creditors to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what they're owed. Underfunded pension claims will get less. Orr spent about two hours Friday morning with dozens of people representing banks, insurers and companies holding Detroit debt.
Democrat, Hypocrisy, Liberal, Crime, Character, Financial, Greed, Corruption, Convict
The jury has spoken in the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and they said he’s guilty of the most important charge: racketeering. Sentencing will happen at a later date, but the conviction carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson were hit with more than 30 charges of federal mail and tax fraud, extortion, bribery and racketeering — with Kilpatrick convicted of 24 charges. Ferguson was the only one without tax fraud charges, and Bernard Kilpatrick was the only one not convicted of racketeering.
Liberal, Tax, Character, Degeneracy, Financial
Nearly half of the owners of Detroit's 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax bills last year, exacerbating a punishing cycle of declining revenues and diminished services for a city in a financial crisis, according to a Detroit News analysis of government records. Delinquency is so pervasive that 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes last year, The News found. Many of those who don't pay question why they should in a city that struggles to light its streets or keep police on them.
Democrat, Liberal, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Debt
DETROIT (AP) — The fiscal crisis plaguing Detroit is now in the hands of Michigan's governor after a state-appointed review team determined the city was in a financial emergency with "no satisfactory plan" to resolve it. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has 30 days to decide if Detroit needs an emergency manager to take charge of its finances and spending, and come up with a new plan to get the city out of its financial mess.
Democrat, Hypocrisy, Liberal, Crime, Character, Fraud, Oops, Greed, Corruption
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was locked up for the weekend Friday for violating parole in a 2008 criminal case that bounced him from office. Kilpatrick was not arrested but arrived on his own after another day at the federal courthouse, where he’s on trial for alleged corruption in a completely separate matter.
Crime, Government, Character, Financial, Fraud, Education, Convict
DETROIT — A River Rouge school official was convicted Thursday of two felonies in U.S. District Court. Dolores Reid, the school district’s executive director of state and federal funds, was found guilty of accepting a bribe and mail fraud. She will be sentenced March 19 and faces 51 to 63 months in prison, according to sentencing guidelines.
Union, Government, Incompetence, Education
In the public schools in Detroit, Mich., according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 7 percent of the eighth graders are grade-level proficient or better in reading. Some public school teachers in the City of Detroit and around the state of Michigan are reportedly taking a vacation or a sick day today to protest right-to-work legislation likely to be approved by the state legislature... Detroit public-school eighth graders do even worse in math than they do in reading, according to the Department of Education. While only 7 percent scored highly enough on the department’s National Assessment of Educational Progress test in 2011 to be rated “proficient” or better in reading, only 4 percent scored highly enough to be rated “proficient” or better in math.
A bankruptcy expert who represented automaker Chrysler LLC during its successful restructuring has been chosen to steer Detroit out of its financial abyss. The distressed city, which was once one of the nation's most prosperous manufacturing centers, is now the largest U.S. city to have its finances placed under state control.
Detroit Public Library officials say the FBI is investigating possible fraud in the awarding of technology contracts. Agents raided the library's main office Tuesday and removed files and computer equipment before the doors opened to the public.
Democrat, Crime, Election, Character, Convict
DETROIT (WWJ) Among the new group of state lawmakers to emerge from Election Day on Tuesday is Brian Banks, who has been convicted eight times for felonies involving bad checks and credit card fraud. Banks, a Democrat and lifelong Detroiter, won a seat in Lansing as a state representative for the 1st District, representing the east side of Detroit, Harper Woods, and the tony Grosse Pointes. He won 68 percent of the vote to Republican Dan Schulte’s 32 percent. Banks, 35, was convicted eight times between 1998 and 2004 of writing bad checks and credit card fraud. His slogan was “You can Bank on Banks.”
Democrat, Liberal, Crime, Degeneracy
The men and women of the Detroit Police Department believe the city is too dangerous to enter, and they want citizens to know it. “Detroit is America’s most violent city, its homicide rate is the highest in the country and yet the Detroit Police Department is grossly understaffed,” Iorio told WWJ’s Kathryn Larson.
Democrat, Hypocrisy, Crime, Character, Greed, Corruption
Kilpatrick's previous 14-month prison term followed a probation violation after his 2008 conviction for lying from the witness stand about an extramarital affair later revealed in sexually explicit text messages. If the jury finds him guilty in the corruption case, he could go back behind bars for more than a decade. The 100-page indictment describes him muscling contractors, rewarding pals and repeatedly reaping illegal benefits — cash, travel, golf, even yoga — while running a city that struggled more than most during the economic downturn.
Michigan's governor said Friday that unless Detroit's fortunes suddenly and miraculously improve, he will appoint an emergency manager to take control of the city that was once one of the nation's most prosperous manufacturing centers. If the governor follows through with his plan, Detroit would become the largest city in the United States to have its finances placed under state control.
Liberal, Hate, Funny, Racism, Oops, Protest, Tolerance
A white suburban participant who lists her occupation as a grocery deli clerk posted a comment expressing frustration at what she said was reverse racism. The resulting outcry from other activists included more than 600 Facebook comments, including claims that white people, by virtue of their birth, are guilty of historic race crimes. White Progressives are recoiling in horror. Committee meetings on racial sensitivity and concerns about “white privilege” were also on the movement’s docket this week.
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Character, Education
The 17-year-old Hill told The Detroit News that so many teachers have been simultaneously absent from school that dozens of students had been forced to gather in the gym or other common school areas. Students also went for long periods without homework, and Hill said he struggled on a recent placement exam at Bowling Green State University, where he's been accepted to attend next year. "I literally couldn't answer a question on there," Hill said. "Right now, I'm not going to be as successful as I should be because I haven't been properly taught."
While Detroit faces rising unemployment rates, crime, violence and awful football, it has now come to light that the man who leads their school system can't write a functional sentence.
DETROIT -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick can't say he has nothing to do in prison.
Detroit’s problems continue to multiply, sadly. It is still dealing with high levels of violent crime and unemployment. Home prices, already at historic lows, plummeted a further 35% during the past three years to a median of $40,000 as net migration out of the city continued. The latest blow was Tuesday’s announcement that the city is on the verge of being taken over by the state. Detroit is in a financial emergency and cannot pay its bills. The city has been issuing debt to fund day-to-day operations. The continuing problems propelled Detroit to the top spot in our 2013 ranking of America’s Most Miserable Cities. -Forbes
Democrat, Liberal, Incompetence, Education
According to a new report, 47 percent of Detroiters are ”functionally illiterate.” The alarming new statistics were released by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund on Wednesday.
Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Character, Education
The president of the Detroit school board, Otis Mathis, is waging a legal battle to steer the academic future of 90,000 children, in the nation's lowest-achieving big city district. He also acknowledges he has difficulty composing a coherent English sentence. Here's a sample from an e-mail he sent to friends and supporters on Sunday night, uncorrected for errors of spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage. It begins: If you saw Sunday's Free Press that shown Robert Bobb the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, move Mark Twain to Boynton which have three times the number seats then students and was one of the reason's he gave for closing school to many empty seats.
Government, Incompetence, Education
Otis Mathis, who oversees the academic future of 90,000 public school students, told the Detroit News that he's a "horrible writer" after reports surfaced that he sent a Feb. 29 e-mail to the financial manager of Detroit Public Schools that was rife with spelling, punctuation and usage errors.
Democrat, Crime, Fraud, Corruption
A former city treasurer. An ex-aide to Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. And a school official.
All three were arraigned in federal court Monday in separate public corruption cases, each accused of misusing their jobs to line their own pockets -- at the public's expense.
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who apparently broke more laws during his time in office than most people ever knew existed, will be spending the weekend in prison after violating his parole. The AP reports that this distinguished example of a modern American urban politician was trying to hide assets from the poor people he systematically defrauded in office: “The ex-mayor still owed Detroit $855,000 in restitution and is required to report gifts and other income as a condition of his parole, something officials say he has failed to do on a number of occasions.”
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Character, Degeneracy, Metaphor
(WJBK) - If Detroit has an image of a crumbling city, it doesn't help to have one of its representatives in the U.S. Congress let his home look unkempt. Charlie LeDuff pays a visit to John Conyers house.
Detroit is in "extremely serious financial condition" as it is projected to run out of cash next year and must take action to avoid a state takeover, Mayor Dave Bing said on Thursday.
Democrat, Liberal, Crime, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Fear
“Our drivers are scared, they’re scared for their lives. This has been an ongoing situation about security. I think yesterday kind of just topped it off, when one of my drivers was beat up by some teenagers down in the middle of Rosa Parks and it took the police almost 30 minutes to get there, in downtown Detroit,” said Gaffney.
Liberal, Incompetence, Degeneracy
DETROIT - The Detroit Fire Department could adjust to a looming 15 percent budget cut by allowing some abandoned buildings burn to the ground, according to the city's top fire official. Executive Fire Commissioner Donald Austin said his is creating three proposals for Mayor Dave Bing to consider when making deep reductions to the 2012-13 budget, likely to be below this fiscal year's $183 million. Detroit is going through a state-monitored budget overhaul under a deal reached between Gov. Rick Snyder and city officials, an alternative to a state-appointed emergency manager.
Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights. As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can’t afford to fix them.
Government, Incompetence, Sex, Degeneracy, Education, Adult
DETROIT (AP) -- School board members refused Friday to reinstate the group's former president, who resigned a day earlier following allegations he fondled himself repeatedly in front of the district's superintendent. Otis Mathis was given a letter stating his request for reinstatement had been denied. Mathis, 56, resigned Thursday, the same day Teresa Gueyser filed a complaint with the school district's Public Safety department... She said she tried to ignore him and on several occasions "asked him not to touch himself." "During the discussion, President Mathis began to stroke his genital area with his right hand," Gueyser wrote, adding that Mathis made similar gestures during past meetings.
But now Detroit is poised for a comeback. Every signal—economic, political, social—is positive. Detroit's resurgence, tentative but promising, feeds off a strong Michigan economy.