We join Faith & Drake at a café, somewhere in Seattle, a few days after the islamic terrorist attacks in Paris…
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network
“It might be tough, but my dad used to say, tough times don't last — tough people do." – James Robertson
I know we could all use a feel-good story, and I have a doozy for you today.
It comes to us from - of all places – Detroit. As you read James’ story you may begin to understand what once made Detroit a great city; a monument to American enterprise and the “Arsenal of Democracy” before the liberals took it over and tried to “fix” it with government dollars. It’s because people like James used to be the norm here, not an oddity of such note that it’s news worthy.
Leaving home in Detroit at 8 a.m., James Robertson doesn't look like an endurance athlete.
Pudgy of form, shod in heavy work boots, Robertson trudges almost haltingly as he starts another workday.
But as he steps out into the cold, Robertson, 56, is steeled for an Olympic-sized commute. Getting to and from his factory job 23 miles away in Rochester Hills, he'll take a bus partway there and partway home. And he'll also walk an astounding 21 miles.
Five days a week. Monday through Friday. Read the whole, amazing story here.
Yes, you read that right, 21 miles a day. And he’s been performing this Sisyphean effort for 10 years, ever since his car died in 2005. In order to get to work on time for his 2:00-10:00 pm shift he has to leave home at 8:00 am. He doesn’t return until early morning the next day – sometimes as late as 4:00 am. He gets by on an average of 2 hours during the work week and “catches up” on the weekend.
More astounding still: James has a perfect attendance record for the entire dozen years he’s been working at Schain Mold & Engineering in Rochester Hills.
Why does he do it?
Robertson has simple words for why he is what he is, and does what he does. He speaks with pride of his parents, including his father's military service. "I just get it from my family.
"I can't imagine not working," he says
How does he do it”
"One word — faith," Robertson says. "I'm not saying I'm a member of some church. But just before I get home, every night, I say, 'Lord, keep me safe.' " Robertson adds, "I should've told you there's another thing: determination."
While the reporter who filed James story originally also had an undercurrent storyline running about the lack of mass transit in the “motor city” the only real story here is of one man’s extraordinary work ethic, commitment and perseverance. It is the story of James Robertson, doing what he has to do to keep his job and keep food on the table.
The author makes no note of the fact, and probably is to young to know, that this city was once predominantly populated by people just like James, both black and white citizens who were fiercely committed to doing whatever it took. It was that type of mindset that created the modern automotive industry and all of its spin off businesses. It’s the kind of mindset that vanishes when government steps in to do for you what you once were able, and willing, to do for yourself, no matter how hard.
But that’s not the feel-good part of the story. That would be here. On reading James’ story a young Wayne State computer science student decided to set up a crowd funding site to raise enough money for James to get a car and pay the high cost of insurance on it in Detroit, Several others had the same idea; they co-ordinated their efforts. Meanwhile a downriver auto dealer offered to give James his choice of a 2014 Chevrolet Cruz or Sonic. Many others offered used cars, money or rides. As of Monday night, $130,000 had been raised. A vice-president at a local bank, who befriended James after seeing him on his daily trek so often that he finally stopped to see if he could give him a lift, has offered to set up an oversight board to help James manage the donations that are rolling in.
Most amazing of all: this happy outcome happened without the intervention of one single government agency or service: the Justice Department was not consulted to make sure James’ civil rights were not being violated. The Labor Department was not called upon to demand that James hourly wage be increased. The EPA did not have to order an environmental impact study on James’ new car, nor was Commerce consulted regarding the economic analysis of James’ additional free time. OSHA did not have to issue new regulations for walking to work, and HHS did not show up to perform a mental health assessment on James. Although I am fairly certain that the IRS will be on site shortly to extract their “fair share” of James endowment.
Instead, James story just struck a note in the hearts of middle class Americans in middle America: empathy for a fellow human being who has been doing for a decade what most people could not imagine doing for a day. And they did what good, decent people people have always done; they rallied their resources to assist James. Because often people of good heart are more than willing to help out a fellow human being without the manipulation of social programs or the coercion of monetary reward/punishment. More amazing still to the bureaucrats in Washington, all this good will appears to be without bias; colorblind acts of random kindness taking place in Detroit, one of the most racially segregated cities in the country. That definitely doesn’t fit the current racial profiling template of the Obama administration.
So that’s all, just one little story of an amazing man and an amazing community-of-man that has responded to him. Allow it to lessen the grip that cynicism has had on your heart. America is still the greatest country on earth. Do whatever you can to keep it that way.
And now a message from Political Islam:
Here’s a history lesson that will never be incorporated into the Common Core Curriculum of Western Civilization, where context is not just optional, it’s actively discouraged.
Fact based history? How is that going to help your children get a good score on their Advanced Placement History exam? Answer: it won’t.
Don’t just sit there, do something.
Originally posted April 6, 2010
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens poses the question: What's the Next 'Global Warming'? That alone was enough to get my attention, but then he throws down the ultimate challenge:
Herewith, then, I propose a readers' contest to invent the next panic. It must involve something ubiquitous, invisible to the naked eye, and preferably mass-produced. And the solution must require taxes, regulation, and other changes to civilization as we know it. The winner gets a beer and a burger, on me, at the 47th street Pig N' Whistle in New York City. (Nachos for vegetarians.) Happy panicking!
It just so happens that I have developed a theory about a coming disaster of such biblical proportions that it keeps me up at night. I have, until now, shared my observations and theory with only a few, trusted colleagues. But Mr. Stephens has prompted me to come forward, announce my theory and provide a layman's abstract. Also, I like beer and burgers. I think you’ll agree I’m a shoo-in for the Pig N’ Whistle prize.
Earth’s Imminent Destruction Due to the
Effects of Anthropogenic Global Densification
Anthropogenic Global Densification (GD) will cause the earth to implode unless mankind takes immediate and aggressive actions to relieve the pressure exerted on the earth’s crust and reverse the progression of GD.
GD is caused by a number of factors, all of human origin:
The center of the earth is a hot, dense, molten core. The core is so dense that its gravitational pull keeps you and me and everything else on the earth’s surface from floating off into space. The force of the core’s attraction is inversely proportional to the square of the distance to the earth’s surface. That means that as the radius of the earth shrinks, gravitational pull increases exponentially. For example, if the earth’s radius shrinks by 1/2, the force of gravity at the surface is 4 times greater. This is the force exerted on the earth’s surface by every object residing on it: the object’s “GD Footprint” or GDF.
Because of the actions of mankind listed above, the radius of the earth has been shrinking since the “Industrial Revolution.” Human population exploded in the 18th century, increasing the stress on the earth’s crust in direct proportion to the increase in population. From 1800 to 2010 human population grew by a factor of 7. That means that the stress on the earth’s fragile crust is 7 times greater now thn in 1800.
In the industrialized, developed nations with primarily capitalist based consumer economies, the populations began to eat higher caloric diets rich in animal fats. This caused these populations to rapidly and dramatically increase their mass and therefore their GDF.
The populations in these nations built larger houses in vastly larger cities with huge hotels, office towers, factories and massive shopping centers. These populations accumulated larger gasoline powered vehicles, and covered the earth’s already overstressed surface with massive concrete pavements for roads and parking areas.
These same populations began to fill their houses with possessions; furniture, appliances, electronics, RVs and every imaginable consumer product. It is estimated the mass of these possessions increased the damaging GDF of every person by a factor of 107 , or 10,000,000 times.
To fabricate all these possessions, greedy corporations developed elaborate mining techniques which extracted minerals from deep beneath the earth’s crust. To power all the factories making these products and the homes and vehicles and products themselves, fossil fuels, oil, natural gas and coal were also extracted from deep within the planet.
These massive extractions left voids in the interior of the earth; voids which, with increasing frequency, collapse, causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Worst of all, these collapsing voids reduce the radius of the earth, bringing the surface closer to the core.
Human populations continue to grow, develop, build, extract and accumulate. This increases the earth’s surface stress in direct proportion to its growing mass. The human induced stress causes the radius of the earth to shrink further, increasing the stress exponentially, which in turn causes the radius to shrink even further.
The apocalyptic cycle has begun. Most people I have interviewed report that they can already see the effects of GD on themselves, their children and friends. In one recent poll, 95% of the respondents reported their weight as measured by a bathroom scale (the force exerted by gravity) has increased each year for the past 10 years.
Global Densification is well under way and is rapidly approaching the point of no return. A self-perpetuating feed-back cycle is already in play: the expanding mass on the earth’s surface combined with the extraction of the protective layer between the surface and the core results in a reduction of the radius causing an immediate increase in gravitational force which further reduces the earth’s radius. This negative feedback loop will lead to entropy if not broken immediately
Without robust and immediate action, our beautiful blue spaceship will compact and shrink at an exponentially growing rate until it becomes the planetary equivalent of a black hole, extinguishing all life forms on earth and several neighboring planets as the infinitely growing gravitational pull of the earth distorts the orbit of all planets in the solar system and beyond. Apocalypse, Armageddon, call it what you will, but tomorrow is too late to start. We must begin today.
The United Nations Security Council must immediately form an Intergovernmental Panel on Global Densification (IPGD). The nations of the world must agree in a Gravity Change Treaty that will:
Several “research studies”, funded by corporate interests, claim that they can not reproduce the results I obtained in my study. They conclude that even if my theory is correct and GD is caused by mankind's activities, that the apocalyptic results I predict are wildly exaggerated and much further off in the future. They argue that the “…drastic and economically devastating actions…” I call for can not be justified by the data.
Global Densification deniers claim that the theory is flawed, the data is incomplete and/or manipulated and that the recorded effects (such as people reporting recent, dramatic weight gain) can be explained by other factors.
To these so called researchers and their small community of deniers I say this: you have not seen my data, my model or my movie, so how can you dispute that which you have not seen? Then I ask you to step on the scale and tell me if you think my theory is flawed.
I will be the first to admit that there is a very small, almost infinitesimal, chance that I am wrong. But the risk of doing nothing, in the face of such utterly cataclysmic destruction is too great. We must take action.
We’ve got to do something! Because doing nothing is stupid. Just in case I’m not wrong.
Linked by Small Dead Animals. Thanks!
Detroit held an election yesterday and as I advised MOTUS at the time, what difference, at this point, does it make?
Zombieland Detroit: have at it
Both candidates appeared to be qualified and either one of them would have been more qualified to run for president than Barack Obama was in 2008 - aside from the perfectly creased pant legs that is.
Since the Detroit Mayoral election is non-partisan, candidates are not listed by political party; there’s no need - there simply aren’t any Republicans here. This year the election came down to a choice between Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon (D) and former Wayne County Deputy Executive, Mike Duggan (D).
Like the 2008 presidential election, this race was historic. Mike Duggan, the white guy, won by a 10 point margin in a city that is currently 82% black. The last time a white man was elected Mayor of Detroit was 1969. Indeed, I think the last time a white man even ran for mayor was sometime in the 70’s. So why, after electing black liberal Democrats to run their city for the last 40 years, did the citizens of Detroit elect a white man this time? Maybe they had grown weary over the course of 4 decades of seeing no results other than a perpetual death spiral of rot, decay and unemployment, combined with continually escalating taxes (property, sales/utility, income). Or maybe people have finally grown tired of the Boss Hog mentality of City Hall. And perhaps even the black citizens are getting sick of hearing that every problem in Detroit is the fault of the racist suburbs.
I’d like to believe that’s at least partially it. The reality is more likely that Mike Duggan, despite being accused of being a carpetbagger, and a sloppy one at that, was simply better than his opponent at co-opting the problems of Detroit’s citizens as his own and demonstrating the appropriate empathy. He parlayed his public/semi-private experience into a resume of a “turnaround specialist” and promised to fix all of Detroit’s problems (with somebody else’s money, which is always compelling).
He’s an experienced, some would say quintessential, politician who knows every liberal Democratic trick in the playbook and brings the added benefit of knowing how to run the table on crony capitalism. And thanks to a series of plum political appointments to quasi-private positions following his tenure as Ed McNamara’s henchman, he can play that table from both sides. Unlike Obama he’s not the smartest guy in every room, but he’s smart enough. And ambitious. And tenacious; he earned his designation as McNamara’s bulldog.
While Duggan is a charter member of the “say anything” school of Democratic prevaricators, I suppose Detroit could do worse. In fact, we have:
So I’m suggesting that, just like white guilt was partially credited for Barack Obama winning his historic 2008 election, black guilt (see Kwame, above) could be partially credited with Mike Duggan winning his historic election. The city’s citizens finally realized that the giant sucking sound they’ve been hearing all these years was the whoosh of the tide that was supposed to be rising and lifting all boats; only it was ebbing and swirling around the drain. How could you not feel guilty when you find out you’ve been enabling that sort of thing?
I’ve chronicled the magnitude of the city’s problems many times in the past, but here is the Cliffs’ note version:
Both private and public infrastructure has been left to languish well beyond disrepair; much of it is now irreparable.
The city owned electric system has been falling apart for years, the streets are crumbling, along with the steam pipes under the streets. Libraries, factories, theatres, schools – all have been abandoned to the rot and crumble of entropy on display. Vacant buildings that can’t even be given away multiply by a power of 10 faster than the city’s ability to demolish them.
And then there is the Detroit Public School system: all but consumed by its bureaucracy, debt and corruption; it’s a microcosm of Detroit itself. The DPS is so buried in its own detritus that it has lost sight of its prime objective; to provide children with the tools and education required to become independent citizens able to survive, thrive and pass their knowledge on to the next generation.
So, is Duggan the savior that Detroit desperately needs? Hardly, he’s just filling time while waiting to leapfrog into the Governor’s office. He might have stayed on at his $2 million job as CEO of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) had he not gotten eased out after his chum, Governor Jennifer Granholm, former colleague and fellow McNamara protégé, was term limited out of office. And when she left so, too, did the state subsidies to the DMC. Subsidies gone, CEO gone as well. Coincidence? Probably not, that’s how crony capitalism works. Last I looked, Granholm was still looking for a new gig too, as Al Jazeera America wasn’t working out so well.
Will Duggan be able to improve things in City Hall? Hell, a cockroach should be able to make things work better after the bankruptcy court clears the docket. The city is currently under the control of Emergency Financial Manager (EMF) Kevyn Orr, and will continue to be so until such time as Detroit emerges from it’s bankruptcy in a year or so. When the bankruptcy is settled Detroit will be unshackled from a ton of bloated administrative overhead, bloated union contracts, unfunded union pension plans and billions of dollars of accumulated debt. Until then, the new mayor will be little more than a figurehead. That gives Mike 2 years to get plans laid out and ground work laid for addressing the ongoing managerial problems in city management.
But if history is any gauge, and it usually is, Duggan will spend the time lining up allies, getting rid of enemies, signing corporations up for their annual donations to the “community chest” and aligning a whole raft of cronies who will prove valuable in the care and tending of the war chest for his next election – be it Mayor 2.0 or Governor 1.0.
Despite his lack of the perfect crease in his pant legs, the media by and large has given Duggan a pass on the baggage he brings to the Manoogian Mansion. His linchpin position in the McNamara machine is simply one of those inconvenient truths that must be ignored for the greater good: the advance of liberalism.
So, while I’m not a personal or political fan of “the Duggan’s,” I do wish him well, for the sake of the city. But I feel it only wise to keep my expectations low with respect to the turnaround of Detroit until I see a good reason not to.
Politics are an ugly thing, Democrat politics are uglier and Democratic policies in Detroit are uglier still. Would Benny Napoleon, the other liberal Democrat, have been a better choice? Like I said before, what difference, at this point, does it make.
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network
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