Tuesday, December 30, 2008

He Promised You Paris, But It's Starting to Look A Lot More Like Detroit

Detroit is a shrinking city that suffers from its affluent past. In its heyday, Detroit was flush with cash, enjoying union-boosted payrolls and trickle-down feather bedding. But the unions and the fat cats let the gold-laying goose starve in its roost. Now, anyone who can get out is already long gone. This is not just Detroit. This is California, Ohio, Pennsylvania. This is everywhere the entitlement mentality has taken hold, where the spirit of making it on your own merits has died. This is America, when run by the Chicago outfit.

So what do we have to look forward to?
In a city often known as the nation's murder capital, with over 10,000 unsolved murders dating back to 1960, the police are in shambles through cutbacks and corruption trials. (They have a profitable sideline, though, as one of the nation's largest gun dealers, having sold 14 tons of used weapons out-of-state.) Their response times are legendarily slow. Their crime lab is so inept that it has been closed. One Detroit man found police so unresponsive when trying to turn himself in for murder that he hopped a bus to Toledo and confessed there instead.

Detroit schools haven't ordered new textbooks in 19 years. Students have reported having to bring their own toilet paper. Teachers have reported bringing hammers to class for protection. Declining enrollment has forced 67 school closures since 2005 (more than a quarter of the city's schools). The graduation rate is 24.9 percent, the lowest of any large school district in the country.

....Precisely what caused all this mess is perhaps best left to historians. Locals' ideas for how it happened could keep one pinned to a barstool for weeks: auto companies failing or pushing out to the suburbs and beyond, white flight caused by the '67 riots and busing orders, the 20-year reign of Mayor Coleman Young who scared additional middle-class whites off with statements such as "The only way to handle discrimination is to reverse it," freeways destroying mass transit infrastructure, ineptitude, corruption, Japanese cars--take your pick.

What's clear, though, is that Detroit has failed, that it's broken and cracked. It is dying. But it's not yet dead. Although it has lost over half its population since 1950, 900,000 people still live there. I went to Detroit to experience a cross-section of those who live between its cracks, who either choose or are stuck with living among the ruins.

... _WeeklyStandard _ via_ PowerandControl
There are some people in Detroit who will not let the city die. Firefighters, a few honest police officers, one or two honest politicians, and even an honest reporter for the Detroit News. From some sense of loyalty or inertia, these Detroiters keep cleaning up the messes made by the masses of human castoffs. Detroit should by all rights be dead, for all the mismanagement, graft, and incompetence in City Hall.

Slow motion destruction, with no end in sight. Detroit today, America tomorrow? A careful look at Obama and his cronies gives little room for optimism. The same type of "make the taxpayers bleed" mentality that destroyed Detroit is rampant inside the Obamabot community. Given the narcissist-elects basic incompetence and unsuitability for true leadership through difficult times, it is likely that others will be running things behind the scenes. They will be acting behind the scenes because most of the things they will be doing will not stand the light of day.

Detroit is crumbling because most of its human capital has run away. The human capital that remains is occupied full time with damage control.

Can you look at your own city and see a reflection of Detroit, perhaps in the earlier stages? Bad management is endemic, and loss of human capital via mis-education is an ongoing catastrophe. What will you do?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Climate Luddite Fascism Reigns in Obama Reich

Obama has appointed another total moron -- this time as science advisor. John P. Holdren -- climate alarmist, carbon hysteric, and global warming orthodoxer -- is to be appointed science advisor for the incoming administration of the narcissist-elect. When taken together with other Obama appointments, Holdren's selection spells total disaster for US industrial competitiveness. How stupid is Holdren?
In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990. _NYT
Yep, that's right. Holdren was part of the "everyone is doomed to die of starvation, peak oil, and resource depletion before the year 2000" crowd, along with the Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, and the other predecessors of carbon hysteric Al Gore. Selecting this merry band of Luddites, dieoff.orgiasts, and all around faux environmentalists casts a dim light on Obama's judgment and capacity to reason. But then, we all knew that Obama didn't write his books. And we all knew he wasn't really the messiah, right? And none of us actually was influenced by Oprah's endorsement of the narcissist-elect, nicht wahr? Of course not.

Prepare for the reign of boobs, fools, crooks, and pompous nitwits. Beneath all the media fawning and foaming at the mouth, underneath the death-dealing regulations and choking taxation, and despite the pro-union and pro-trial lawyer stabbing in the back of business enterprise, pockets of competence will survive. Look for those pockets and find ways to expand them. We will need foci of recovery, when US voters eventually come to their senses and force the spiked boots off of the neck of the private sector.

Update: Here's another look at the Holdren appointment. H/T Tom Nelson

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just a Warning -- This Time

On a Friday night when small children were inside the building, Sarah Palin's Wasilla, Alaska church was vandalized by fire. The fire bombing of churches may be common practise in the vicinity of Selma, Alabama, but it is relatively uncommon in the state of Alaska. Just a warning to the governor, perhaps, to keep her opinions to herself? Similar to the warning to stay out of New York City, or she would be gang-raped? Sounds about right, when you go up against politicians from the Chicago gangster school of political corruption.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's home church was badly damaged by arson, leading the governor to apologize Saturday if the fire was connected to "undeserved negative attention" from her campaign as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Damage to the Wasilla Bible Church was estimated at $1 million, authorities said. No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside, according to James Steele, the Central Mat-Su fire chief.

He said the blaze was being investigated as an arson. Steele said he didn't know of any recent threats to the church, and authorities did not know whether Palin's connection to the church was relevant to the fire. _WaPo
I guess it doesn't pay to speak out against the great uniter? Who knows? Wait and see what the police and fire arson investigators can dig up.

Corrupt Chicago thugs have hit the big time, so as in Putin's Russia, it might be best to keep one's thoughts to one's self, eh tovarisch?

H/T Small Dead Animals