Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cordoba Victory Mosque: One Big Ass Mistake America

The Mad Iranian came to town and announced that the 9/11 attack was an inside job, perpetrated by the US government in order to support Israel and declare war on Arab countries. (Oh, yes, and the holocaust never happened. That certainly lent a note of credibility to his claim.)

On Friday, President Obama  called him out as the idiot he is on  BBC Persian TV:


In an exclusive interview with the BBC's Persian TV:

Q: If I could just begin with getting your reaction to the remarks Mr Ahmadinejad made yesterday, faulting America for 9/11.

A: Well, it was offensive. It was hateful. And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero. Where families lost their loved ones. People of all faiths, all ethnicities who, you know, see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation.

For him to make a statement like that was inexcusable…

Yes, offensive. The remarks would have been offensive regardless of where they were made. But, as President Obama points out, because he came to Manhattan, “just a little north of Ground Zero. Where families lost their loved ones.”  moves them beyond offensive. It makes them aggressively  insulting.

It’s reassuring to hear that our President recognizes that this is indeed sacred ground. So what part of that great intellect of his cannot see that a mosque, a shrine to Islam – the religion of peace that brought us this wanton and heinous act of violence and destruction, is likewise inappropriate? What logic flaw is embedded in his ideology that leads him, and others like him, to disrespect the “seminal tragedy of this generation” by supporting the construction of a mosque here? A mosque originally named “Cordoba” – as symbol of Western defeat and submission.

Passive acceptance of an act which is - on its face -  so clearly intended as an effrontery is a mistake. One. Big. Ass. Mistake. America. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reality Bites: White House Edition

This is brilliant! I finally get it!

First, we elected some bad actors from various film genres to Congress:

Nancy Pelosi,nancy

Henry Waxman,


Harry Reid,


and Barney Frank.


Then we elected a poseur as President,

one step over the line with a fashion-icon trophy wife.


Next, we found a comedian for the Senate…

Former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE cast member AL FRANKEN is running for the US
Senate from Minnesota in 2008.
  A senior Democratic official from Minnesota confirmed that the
comedian has decided to run for office, but he has not made an official
announcement yet.
  The 55-year-old has been calling members of the Minnesota
congressional delegation to get their advice on his candidacy.
  He announced this week (BEG29JAN07) that he would be leaving his show
on Air America Radio on 14 February (07) and told listeners he would be
making a decision soon.
  Franken would take on Republican NORM COLEMAN, a first-term senator
who is among the Democrats' top targets.
  In addition to his work on Saturday Night Live, he has also written
several best-selling books combining humour and politics. (SS/WNWCYA

Al Franken 
Conservative Political Action Conference 2005
Washington DC, USA - 2005
Credit: Carrie Devorah / WENN

lined up  a few run-of-the-mill sidekicks,

and hired a life-long character actor as sidekick.


And now, today, we bring in a fake republican who plays a fake newsman on the Comedy Central Channel…

colbert2 Stephen Colbert

to testify before the Congressional Judiciary Committee about illegal immigration and farm workers.

I finally get it!


  • The only question remaining is, which one?

America's Toughest Jobs, American Idol, Hell's Kitchen, What Not to Wear, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Faking It, The Biggest Loser, Last Comic Standing?

Good guesses, all, but no. It’s a remake of an old favorite: Extreme Makeover: America

I believe we’re still working on the pilot, and reviews so far are mixed. So no word yet as to whether it will be picked up for next season. Decision to be announced this November.

As a footnote to this shameful show, brought to you by the Democrats, I must commend the behavior of Detroit’s own Democratic Congressman, John Conyers – something I thought I’d never have the occasion to do.

To his credit, in an attempt to maintain at least a semblance of respectability in his committee, he requested that Mr. Colbert  excuse himself from the hearing, which of course Mr. Colbert declined to do. After all, he’s auditioning for a sweet role.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Incredible Lightness of Being Liberal

Mrs. P has done a fine job of covering the waterfront on the state of the arts in Detroit: From world-class city to single-class city, courtesy of Liberalism.

She maneuvers us through the city’s decline via Terry Teachout’s WSJ column on the impending strike by the Detroit Symphony and the perennial editorial feuding between the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. The News is still nominally the conservative paper in town, and the Freep the liberal mouthpiece of the liberal media.

The News’ editor, Nolan Finley, as is the habit of conservatives, analyzes the situation based on the cold mean facts and concludes Detroit is “no longer a top 10 city by any measure.” To which anyone who’s been here within the past 15 years can only respond, “duh.”

Meanwhile, over at the reliably liberal Freep::

Brian Dickerson, the deputy editorial-page editor of the Detroit Free Press, reacted angrily in a column published last month to what he called the "elegiac resignation" of this editorial: "Some sneer that Detroit's unwashed masses can no longer discern the difference between a great orchestra and a mediocre one. . . ."

Elegiac resignation” – what a snort! Is there anything more fun than reading these elitist snobs – who are the first to look down their noses at the unwashed masses -  pimp up the language? While still missing the point?

He can’t help himself, I suppose. Like the President, he’s a member of the self-congratulatory ‘can-do’ class: most of whom have never had to can anyone, nor do they seem to be able to do much of anything. But they think if you just BELIEVE, close your eyes and HOPE real hard, you can make CHANGE reality.

Good luck with that, my jocund little Pollyanna.


H/T Patum and Peperium

WELCOME RETRIEVER READERS. If you’re interested in reviewing further impacts of liberalism on Detroit, here’s a recent post: So Mr. President, who do you think destroyed Detroit? Plus there are more Detroit related posts in the sidebar under Dewey’s Motown Hits.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The recession is over! Long live the recession!

I think everybody is missing the point on the feel good story of the week: The longest recession since the end of WWII officially ended in June - of 2009!

Good news! That means that George W. Bush’s TARP bailout worked!

Yeah, I know. Too many exclamation points. Especially since everyone still feels like we’re in the middle of a very deep hole, the jobless rate hovers at 9.6%  headed for at least 10%, you can’t give a house away in most markets, and still foreclosures continue to pile up. You know what they say: if it looks like a duck… etc.

But here’s what everyone’s missing. If we’re still mired in deep economic woe, that can only mean one thing - the Obama fabu-losity, which gave us the trillion dollar stimu-losity,  well, didn’t. Stimulate us, that is.

So I’d like to personally welcome you all to the shiny new thing: the official Obama recession. The torch has been passed, and man, it sucks when even the Canucks are kicking your butt.


recession-recovery-graphs-us-vs-canada From Hot Air via Hillbuzz: click to embiggen


The “we’re headed in the right direction”  summer of recovery is now officially over. Handing it back to you now, Barry,  for the fall mid-term results.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Come Visit Detroit. We’re Way Ahead of You.

As President Obama’s Director of the Office of Science and Technology, John P. Holdren is the nation’s top science and technology adviser. His purview covers a wide range of topics from global warming to health care.

Should we be concerned, then, that he once wrote a book, along with Population Bomb author Paul Ehrich, titled Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions in which he advocated the de-development of the United States?

He apparently hasn’t given up on the concept either:


Hey Professor Holdren, come visit Detroit. We’re way ahead of you.

… a tour of just one street in Detroit:


From  a previous post, Live and Die in Detroit. Don’t go there unless you are of sound constitution.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Myths and Fingerprints.

If you’ve been trying to figure out who’s behind all the ObamaCare ads that are popping up everywhere on the web, Doug Ross has done all the leg work.

You’ll be shocked to hear that it’s the usual suspects: former Administration cronies, SEIU and AFL-CIO cronies, unemployed former ACORN cronies, and miscellaneous other commie cronies (including the lovely and accomplished Maoist, Anita Dunn).

He gives us a few samples of the myths that the innocuously named (sure tipoff) Health Information Center is debunking with their own new myths, e.g.:


As Doug points out:

Some of the lies marketed on the site have already been debunked by such right-wing outlets as the Associated Press and The New York Times. No, you won't be able to keep your old health plan. No, it's not going to be reduce the budget deficit. And so on.

Just when you think nothing can disgust you more than you already are, along comes this massively financed Soviet-style propaganda  campaign to prove you wrong, again.

Friday, September 17, 2010

And in Honor of Constitution Day… a new Czarina

Today is Constitution Day, and in honor of the occasion President Obama announced the appointment of Elizabeth Warren as head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She’s the latest of the “special appointments” to high level positions that embody frightening powers to impose regulations and controls on individuals and business.  In short, she’s the latest member of the Czar and Czarina Club.

What does that make now? 36? 40? Who’s counting? What’s one more appointee with awesome powers who won’t receive Senate approval and isn’t accountable to elected representatives? What’s one more member of a shadow government that falls outside of any of the three branches of government established by the U.S. Constitution? (Duly noted that Obama didn’t create the concept of Czars: he’s just taken it to a whole new level.)

Nice symbolic move for Constitution Day, Mr. President.

Even the Obama-friendly Atlantic finds this “strange.”

She won't be formally nominated as head of the CFPB, because the White House wants to avoid a confirmation fight in the Senate. Instead, she will just be appointed as a special advisor to the Treasury, which means she'll effectively lead the creation of the new consumer watchdog. This is a strange strategy.

As  “Consumer Financial Protection” Czarina, Obama’s “dear friend” Elizabeth Warren  will be responsible for setting up another government behemoth: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will soon be involved in every financial transaction made by individuals or businesses, no matter how mundane or complex. And if history is any gauge – which it is – it will get into a whole lot of other aspects of our lives beyond financial transactions. Bureaucracy’s first rule of survival is to grow its powers.

According to an announcement to be released by the President this morning:

“never again will folks be confused or misled by the pages of barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans…”**

Good. From now on that honor will be reserved for folks trying to figure out the 2000 page legislation passed by Congress.

Legislation like Obamacare, which is poised to destroy the best health care in the world because, as Nancy Pelosi famously told us “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” And now, the Financial Services Bill, which spawned this latest bureaucracy and the Czarina who will build it.

The Czarina position, by the way, is being filled by the person who proposed it, sponsored it and no doubt lobbied to get it. Which probably wasn’t necessary, since she’s an “old friend” of the President.

Oh, and by the way, Warren is also a Harvard University professor and hero to liberal activists. Who would’ve guessed that?

Happy Constitution Day. I hope the NEA has developed lesson plans for teaching this apparently arcane concept, just as it has for Mexican Independence Day.


** Let it be noted that the vast majority of the “barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards, mortgages, and student loans…” is due to previously legislated requirements placed on financial institutions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Debates Don’t Matter

For Republicans that is.

Wood-TV poses the question “Do Debates Matter?” Specifically, the question is whether it matters if Michigan Gubernatorial candidates Rick Synder (R) and Virg Bernero (D) conduct formal debates ahead of November’s election.

The two have been haggling over terms and conditions of the debates since the primary. In a nutshell, Bernero, a career politician, wants “25” debates, since this is what he’s trained his entire career for.  Synder, an entrepreneur/businessman,  suggested a more reasonable 3. But as of last Friday Bernero objected to his terms so Synder  said forget it,  I’ll do 25  townhalls and talk directly to the citizens.  And then things got real interesting, with Bernero crashing one of Synder’s townhall meetings.

Bernero complained to local talk show host Paul W. Smith that Snyder “was trying to dictate the rules of the debates for his own benefit.” To which I say “hear, hear!” It’s about time Republicans caught on to the dynamics of liberal weighted debates. Or more to the point, it’s time they did something about it instead of carping behind the scenes.

Synder told Smith, correctly, that debates are primarily “sound bites and bickering.” Something that someone from the private sector apparently finds far more useless and distasteful than do career politicians.

These staged photo ops haven’t been real debates for years, not since the MSM choose sides and figured out that they could fraudulently assume the mantle of neutrality, unquestioned by anyone. Everything from the location of the debates (liberal universities are a favorite), to the audience to the moderator – never mind the questions – is intended to help advance the liberal cause and hurt the conservative case.

The cute contra-dance done by Democrats in the last Presidential election where their candidates all refused to participate in a Fox sponsored debate indicates all too clearly that they understand this dynamic – and are unwilling to participate when its not in play.

So I would like to suggest a new Republican campaign strategy for all future elections: Just say no.

“No” to participating in the blatantly biased MSM “debate” game. No to debates sponsored by “nonpartisan” entities with clear left-leaning agendas, such as the League of Women Voters. No to “debates”  sponsored or moderated by anyone from “nonpartisan” leftist media outlets like NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Ms.NBC or, especially, PBS.

Such arenas have been for a very long time speed traps set up for anyone other than the chosen liberal Democrat. If you think otherwise, just ask Hillary Clinton.

While the very best can manage to beat them at this game, e.g. Reagan and Cheney, the majority of non-liberals succumb to  the perils of the Journolist echo chamber treatment. When 90% of the debate staff are actively working to get “their guy” elected, how do you imagine everyone is going to get a fair hearing? When questions are designed to highlight the merits of liberal positions that “tested favorably” and focus attention on whatever conservative position is showing up as unpopular, it is not – to borrow a liberalism – an even playing field.  You hardly need to be paranoid to realize this, you just have to be paying attention. And know their cute little games.

Honestly, it’s amazing Republicans ever win any elections under  current rules. But with the arrival of the new media in full force via Fox News,  right-friendly Internet news sources, blogs and social media sites, there’s less and less reason to play by the stacked deck rules of the old media.

So again, my advice to the party of No: keep it up. Someone has to just say no to the MSM.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So, Mr. President, Who Do You Think Destroyed Detroit?

 DetroitSkylineatDusk Dusk descends on Detroit: skyline from the Ontario side

President Obama officially fired the starting gun at his Labor Day rally: “We didn’t become the most powerful nation in the world by just rewarding greed and recklessness,”  he told an assembly of AFL-CIO affiliates in Milwaukee.  Thus began the great American class war.

Next, in Cleveland on Wednesday, he drew clear battle lines, accusing the “haves” of  “cutting working class folks like you loose to fend for yourselves…”  as if that’s a bad thing. The speech was an eloquent turn of rhetoric: the sort of thing Obama is known for. The sort of thing that got him elected.

The villains in Obama’s narrative are the usual suspects: bankers, insurance companies, wealthy individuals and those he refers to as  “special interests.” These, we are to assume, are industry backed lobbyists. As distinguished from the truly special interests who weigh in on the right side of the issues: unions, trial lawyers, and well-meaning social services groups like ACORN  and Planned Parenthood - all of whom have their own well funded, powerful lobbies. Again, the President has pitched this as a conflict between the maligned “special interests” and  the middle-class – who are represented by the “good” special interests.

The overall tone of both speeches was that Republicans – in their greed and “recklessness” have destroyed the economy. I’d like to test the President’s  hypothesis that it is wealthy individuals, corporations and corporate interests who have destroyed the middle class, a group theoretically created by the labor movement.

Let’s use Detroit as our test case, since it has had its share of wealthy individuals, corporations and special interest groups over time. And it once had a prosperous middle-class, although that socio-economic demographic has all but disappeared from inside the city borders. So it presents the perfect Petri dish of cultures for this experiment.

Let’s see if we can ascertain who ruined Detroit, and is therefore responsible for the demise of the middle-class.


Let’s start with the schools, since this is something valued most highly by the middle-class. Who ruined the Detroit public school system? Was it GM, Chrysler, and Ford? I don’t see how we can hold the automakers responsible for the fact that barely 3% of Detroit’s 4th graders meet national math standards. Especially since they have all paid billions of dollars into the state and city treasuries by way of income taxes and fees that fund the schools. Nor are they the ones who determined how the money is allocated, the curriculum developed or the teachers hired.

That would be the purview of the Detroit Board of Education:  elected, tax-paid positions. The DBE is the incompetent and corrupt body that created and nurtured a school system with massive administrative overheads that was and still is ill-managed to the point of institutionalized fraud and corruption. The net result of this morass is a $332 million deficit –  up more than $100 million from the previous year and projected to continue through 2014 - and an embarrassing high school graduation rate of barely 25%.

Complicit with the Detroit Public School Board: the Detroit Teachers’ Union. Their demands for constantly escalating salaries and benefits despite continually decreasing enrollment and funding has fueled the deficit and apparently done nothing to educate the children of the city.


And who, exactly, ruined the infrastructure in Detroit? Was it Detroit Edison, MichCon and Ameritech Michigan? No, they are the ones who have collectively invested billions of dollars repairing and replacing lines, pipes and cables in the city, while simultaneously incurring massive write-offs each year for all the people in Detroit who take their services and don’t pay for them. Probably because they don’t have jobs.

It sure wasn’t rich businessman Mike Illitch, who negotiated to build the Joe Lewis Arena for the Detroit Red Wings and Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers. Nor was it Bill Ford, heir to the Ford fortune, who worked to build Ford Field and bring the Detroit Lions back to the city of Detroit from the suburbs.

Is it possible that the crumbling houses, neighborhoods and streets in the city are more the result of years of local liberal governmental policies? Detroit has not had a Republican mayor since 1961 so liberals have pretty much ruled the roost here for 50 years. They are the ones who have managed the city’s resources for half a century now. Their ideas and programs have been developed by people who think it better to give people a fish than a fishing pole. Now they want a frying pan, and the city can’t even afford the fish anymore.


What about the City’s image? Who ruined that? Was it the philanthropic gifts of the Fords, Kresges, Dodges? The Manoogians, Fishers, Glancys? The Taubman’s and Skillmans? Possibly the Karmanos’, Illitches, and VanElslanders? Unlikely. Equally unlikely: any of the other wealthy philanthropists who have been pouring money into the city’s beleaguered cultural institutions and social programs for decades. Those sorts of gifts tend to build a city’s image up, not tear it down.

More likely the blame should be placed on those who have been tearing the city apart by waging an endless and bitter race and class war. Elected officials in this city have been running the table with that game since the inception of the Coleman Young administration in 1973. (Current Mayor Dave Bing is exempted. He’s not cut from that cloth, but since it  hangs over the city like a pall, its menace is ever present. God help him.)

Decades of the worst sort of cronyism has not only crippled the administrative functions of the city, it has crippled the city itself. The letting of contracts to inept companies who provide inferior work and inferior products while the taxpayers are charged top dollar has helped turn the city into a junkyard. City officials keep getting convicted of fraud, graft, corruption and sent to jail. But up until now, the people of Detroit never demanded more, assuming that the decrepit city was just the result of white apathy and neglect.

Within the past 2 years both then mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and City Councilman Monica Conners (Rep. John Conyers wife) have been convicted of felonies and sentenced to jail. Mayor Bing, previously a successful businessman and former Detroit Piston, was put in office by a special election, and won the general election last November with 58% of the vote, despite the fact his opponent had the backing of most of the unions. So maybe the electorate has finally caught on.

The fact that elected officials have for decades been mismanaging federal, state and local funds by channeling lucrative contracts for inferior or non-existent services to cronies, relatives and crooks, might explain partially why Detroit lies in shambles. Which in turn might have something to do with Detroit’s “image” problem.

So might the parade of public “servants” who have been living large on the public dime for decades now. Talk about Nero fiddling. While these people traipsed all over the world on “official” business they did nothing to improve schools, adequately maintain infrastructure, control crime, gangs and drugs, or fix the crumbling neighborhoods and dysfunctional environments that spawn thugs, thieves, druggies and hooligans.

So unless you include elected and appointed city officials in the “special interests” group that the President disdains, I don’t think you can pin the image thing on the special interest groups either.

 Antagonistic Racial Atmosphere

Who created the antagonistic racial atmosphere in Detroit that disenfranchised white business owners and sent them fleeing in droves from the city? Was that GM? Chrysler? Ford? National Bank of Detroit? Doubtful; corporations have walked on eggshells around the race issue since the 70’s, for fear of being sued by employees, suppliers and/or the government (or worse, accused of being racist). No, the distinction of having made Detroit a glowing hotbed of racial animus and strife can best be laid at the feet of the late, honorable Coleman A. Young, Mayor of Detroit from 1973-93. He was race-baiting while Jesse Jackson was still coloring the bands of his Rainbow Coalition.

In addition to drawing the racial line in the sand at 8 Mile Road, the border between Detroit and the suburbs, Young created and left behind a legion of race-obsessed elected officials, administrators and minor functionaries with no aptitude, skill, or inclination for fiscal management. The Coleman Young machine was a deep pocketed political machine whose funding came from the same sources as all such machines:  grateful contractors (graft), local businesses (extortion) and unions (blind allegiance). It’s tentacles spread to incorporate the workings of  Wayne County government, whose geographic footprint includes the city of Detroit, but extends greatly beyond its borders. Through adoption, the Democratic machine was able to extend its reach to other locales that had more plums to pluck and apples to shake down. Although modified over time, the machine and legacy of corruption survives to this day. 

Not surprisingly, the downward spiral of  population loss continued:  first it was white flight, and later, black middle-class flight  for the same reasons: crappy schools, crime and high taxes.  There is now a negligible middle-class left to pin Detroit’s future on. Those left are there because they can’t afford to leave.

So now talk turns to “urban farming” as if taking a giant step backwards is somehow progress –as if it will somehow make the city viable again.

Still, the game never changes: there is a perpetual undercurrent of race-based antagonism between city and suburbs. The outward signs are mostly lobbed from the Detroit side. Everyone outside the city is afraid of being called a racist or an Uncle Tom. So when the ‘City’ sits at the table, it is poised to throw down the race card – which is trump - whenever it doesn’t like the hand it gets. The suburbs occupy all other seats at the table, but remain poised and ready to fold at the least provocation. As long as these are the rules, nobody ever really gets a winning hand.

So again, I don’t think it’s the big corporations, the wealthy individuals or the special interest groups who created this toxic atmosphere of racial animosity in Detroit. Unless you consider the Race Industry to be a special interest.


What about the decline of investment in Detroit - who “ruined” that vital aspect of life in Detroit over the years? Was it Michigan National Bank?  National Bank of Detroit? Manufacturers Bank? Comerica Bank? Did people, businesses and investment dollars flee Detroit because banks wouldn’t invest in the city? Or was it the businesses and individuals who were reluctant to invest in a declining urban area that showed no plan or commitment to do what was necessary to reverse the malignant decline? Hint: businesses go where there are prospects for making a return on their investments. It seems likely businesses shunned Detroit because the market was perpetually shrinking as more and more people of all races left town; again, due to grossly inferior schools, high income taxes and antagonistic business atmosphere (taxes, fees, permitting requirements and red tape). A chicken and egg situation perhaps, but someone killed the chicken.

I can tell you whose fault it definitely was not: wealthy, greedy Henry Ford II. Following Detroit’s devastating race riots in 1967 he founded Detroit Renaissance, a private non-profit development corporation, in order to build the Renaissance Center. It was his attempt to help rebuild and heal the city.

Although he did “recklessly” commit his own family’s money via the Ford Motor Company to fund its building, because neither it’s risk profile nor ROI met the requirements for traditional financing. So I suppose it could have been the Duce’s fault.


Prohibitively High Costs of Doing Business

Who made the cost of doing business in Detroit so disproportionately high? It is more expensive to insure autos, homes and businesses in Detroit. That’s because the rate of theft, fire and vandalism is higher. Insurance companies, not wishing to become non-competitive in other markets, charge clients accordingly. It’s the price you pay for living in a crime infested city. But again, the crime is due, in no small part, to the corruption and waste of a city administration that is more interested in influence peddling and pandering than in controlling crime and making the streets safe.

I don’t believe that it was the maligned Autos, Utilities or Banks that made business and personal income taxes so high in Detroit. Again, they’re the ones who pay the freight, not the ones who set the rates.

So in summary Mr. President, your economic theory doesn’t hold up here in Detroit, I’m not sure I can sign onto your crusade against wealthy individuals, corporations or even special interests – unless, like I said before, you want to include elected officials and big Unions in that last category.

Detroit’s demise is not due to GM, Ford, Chrysler, Michigan National Bank, Manufacturers Bank, National Bank of Detroit, Comerica Bank, Detroit Edison, MichCon, Ameritech Michigan, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, Campbell-Ewald, et al. In fact, I heard that your Car Czar forbade GM’s relocation from the downtown Renaissance Center to their Warren headquarters, because the loss of that tax base would have devastated Detroit (although it would have saved GM hundreds of millions of dollars annually). I would respectfully request that you go think about this concept for awhile, before launching your next anti-big business, anti-rich guy invective.

I believe I’ve acquitted the usual suspects of first degree murder in Detroit. Detroit’s demise was not due to rich people, big corporations or any of your alluded to “special interests.” What killed Detroit was lousy social policies, local government malfeasance and unions –all special interests, but not the ones you had in mind no doubt.

It would be helpful if you and the rest of the Democrats would stop thinking about the economy as a finite pie. It’s not; just because someone gets a big slice doesn’t mean that someone else must go hungry. Wealth is not a zero sum game. It’s created by something not generally associated with government:  adding value. Something not covered much in law school, community organizing, or, obviously, Washington.


nb: Of all the community based banks mentioned above, only Comerica survives. The rest are either defunct or have been swallowed by larger financial entities.

You may be interested in  some of Dewey’s earlier Detroit Chronicles:

A Short History of Detroit

Michigan Math

Live and Die in Detroit

Feral in Detroit

Detroit, Back to its Roots

You Can’t Handle the Solution!

Detroit Schools: Where We Eat Our Young

Detroit: A Ghost Story

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why Not a Victory Mosque at GZ?

I just listened to the President’s 9/11 speech at the Pentagon. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed more an oblique lecture on why we should not object to the GZM than a tribute to the victims and fallen heroes.

It began well enough, nicely crafted. But it veered into a sermon on – what else – tolerance. From one of the least tolerant presidents we’ve ever elected.

“we will not let the perpetrators … define who we are”

“they may wish to drive us apart…”

“They may seek to spark conflict between different faiths but as Americans we are not and never will be at war with Islam…”

Well, yes we are. Islam the theocratic political system, which unfortunately for the “moderates” amongst them,  can not be separated from the religious system.

The moderate Islamists sit by and do nothing. If they wish to worship Allah, fine. But it’s time to clean up your barnyard. Catholicism underwent a Reformation. Protestantism underwent a Reformation. Judaism has been reformed. It’s high time Islam reformed themselves into at least the 19th century.

So enough already. We don’t want a damn victory mosque at ground zero. Do you want to know why? Here’s why:


What would it be like?

these people all died

At that point when you realize that reality prohibits a rescue? When you actually comprehend, inextricably, that you are going to die? Does panic grip you, or are you now beyond that? Does a preternatural calm come over you as you contemplate your last decision here on earth? Burn, or Jump. When you can focus so intently, so completely, on what your only two options are, decisions seem so much clearer.


Not easy. Just Clearer. 


No, Mr. President. Some of us actually feel we are at war with Islam, and they with us. The peaceful majority doesn’t matter. How many times do I have to tell you?

We Will Never Forget. We Will Never Submit.


This is why those of us who don’t hate George W. Bush, don’t.

And please remember: We are not dealing with a religion. We are dealing with a political theocracy comprised of religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is the mask behind which all the other components hide.


God bless America.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From the Classroom to the Oval Office: Educated, Arrogant and Ignorant

Hmmmm. Is it possible that the world is catching on to the scam of higher education? There are  some people who think so. Notably, Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, who’s been banging the drum about an “education bubble” for awhile now.  Roger Kimball recently picked up the ball and advanced it 10 yards in Back to School?  There’s much data to support the forecast - first put forth by Reynolds - that we are fast approaching the bursting point of this bubble.

But the TaxProf Blog has summarized  arguments favoring a bust rather succinctly in this graph:

edu v.cpiand homes

He notes that home prices increased by 4 times between 1978-2006, which looks like child’s play compared to the increase in college tuition – which went up by a factor of 10. The housing bubble caused a lot of people to be upside down on their mortgages: owing more than their house is worth.  The education bubble puts a lot of graduates in essentially the same position. The debt they incurred to get a college degree is now more than the incremental increase in earnings potential they might reasonably expect. In other words, many of them could have gotten a job paying just as much without ever having entered a 4 year institution of higher learning. The fact is, depending on the degree they “bought,”  their return on investment for a college education has dropped to something like zero. Big debt,  little equity. Not good. Even today’s math-challenged graduates should be able to understand that.

Glenn Reynolds has chronicled the roots of this bubble, including “cheap” credit made readily available to students and unchecked increases in administrative and faculty salaries. Combined with an education curriculum that does not, as Mr. Reynolds might say, foster economic value, this results in a very overvalued product. Busts invariably follow this set of circumstances.  His infamous example of the lack of economic “value” is a Bachelor's degree in Gender Studies.  I confess, I can think of no real use for such a degree other than  “victim-class shakedown artist, female/gay/lesbian/transgendered division.”  I’m betting, though, that due to the  entrenched recession, even previously sympathetic audiences for this sort of thing have lost much of their appetite for this non-productive subset of race-hustling.  (Although there is one caveat: corporations, having already been shook down by every conceivable victim group, may still be hiring such people in their Diversity office, or whatever they’re calling it now.)

So, why, I wondered, are there so many students/parents paying for degrees in  “disciplines” that have no plausible reason for existence, let alone  job-market demand? How is it that liberal arts transmogrified from English, History and Political Science to Communications, American Studies and Women’s/Gender/ Black Studies? Who could have imagined that navel gazing – already a refined collegial art form 40 years ago  - could have become even more self-involved through specialization?

As with all worthy questions, all you need to do is wonder, and someone will have already answered your question. Case in point: it turns out that Victor Davis Hanson has just recently addressed this very issue. 

Mr.  Hanson, a tenured professor in the California State University system for many years, now a  full time farmer, writer and member of the Hoover Institute, explains one of the reasons degrees may not be as relevant as they once were. In a word, professors.

In his article,  We Are Ruled by Professors,  Mr. Davis answers my question by describing  just who it is we are paying to educate young  minds today. In doing so, he inadvertently explains how it is we’ve arrived at the upside down value-added equation that is the cost of  a college education, i.e., the gurus of academia are not really adding much value because they don’t have much value to add.

Here are some of Victor Davis Hanson’s observations on his former brethren (is that an acceptable term in Genders Study?).

He begins by laying out a few of the basic precepts of academia:

Lies, lies, and more lies

First was the false knowledge — odd for an institution devoted to free inquiry. The university runs like a 13th-century church in which the heliocentric maverick is a mortal sinner. So too on campus the Rosenbergs never spied. Alger Hiss was a martyr. Mao killed only a few who needed killing (see Anita Dunn on that one)…

Che was not a murderous thug, but a hair-in-the-wind carefree motorcyclist...  Anyone with an accented name obviously had picked grapes or was denied voting rights. Adlai Stevenson was an American saint... [and]… Only the unhinged even discussed doubts about global warming. Don’t question any of the above; it was all gospel — as we see now in D.C., from Keynes to Gorism to Cordoba as the beacon of Islamic tolerance during the Inquisition.

Then he explains a bit about their cross-discipline skills, and keen ability to maintain a realistic perspective on their contributions to the planet:

Wounded Fawns All

...We heard for two years the Homeric battle of how the sociology prof, Odysseus like (or perhaps more in the Achilles strain), once somehow jump-started his car in the parking lot…

We heard a lot that everyone was “tired” and “exhausted,” as if we had been painting all day or digging trenches for an irrigation company.

From there he moves seamlessly into professors’ child-like awe of the real world:

The World of Arugula

So there was the cluelessness about the material world, and both a repulsion and fascination for it.

He also reveals that academics possess a bit of a green streak, and I’m not talking “sustainable housing” here:


Looking back at it all, envy seemed the university lifeblood. Most other professionals, you see, were, in comparison to us, overpaid —especially those whom we had the misfortune of sometimes coming in contact with, or, worse, even socializing among. Go to campus and the present demonization of Vegas, Wall Street, surgeons, and insurers makes perfect sense...

Money both repelled and yet attracted academics, those strange summer moths that hated the cash bulb and yet could not resist its radiance. MDs, MBAs, JDs — all these folks had studied far less than we had! And yet, most unfairly, they now made far more money! We, of course, to paraphrase Barack Obama, out of altruism had passed on all those easy avenues of getting rich (identifying a Latin gerundive or an underappreciated 19th suffragette being far more difficult than cracking open someone’s brain or building a shopping center). (By the way, did you ever really believe Barack or Michelle that they could have waltzed over to Wall Street and struck it rich — as if such merchandising and monetizing were no more demanding than community organizing?)…

And he offers insight into the undeniable value of, and mechanisms involved in tenure:

Upside-down economics

I can only remember two tenured professors who were fired, one a child molester who was “retired,” and the other a decapitator who was imprisoned (see below). I remember in a tenure appeal, the aggrieved professor of theater arts wrote a furious (and successful) letter to our committee that began, “Witch charges about me…”

I could go on, but you get the picture about the strange habits that arise when you ensure someone lifelong employment, institutionalize unaccountability and groupspeak, and create artificial hierarchies of respect that are not necessarily earned by either teaching excellence, scholarship, or value to the community. After the pension meltdown, a great reckoning is coming to academia and it won’t be pretty.

Oh, oh! That sounds like another pin prick in the bubble.

He even riffs on the profs’ sartorial tastes:

... Most of the professors’ clothes — huge treaded hiking boots, sub-arctic parkas, multi-pocketed Safari dungarees — were designed for the earth’s uninhabitable regions. You see, it was the idea of struggle (cf. Michelle’s garden) that mattered — the philosophy professor at any minute forced to wade across the Amazon on his way to the lounge, sort of like the huge Land Rovers in the faculty lot that could in theory go anywhere, and in fact went nowhere but 2 miles home. (Gas-guzzling Yukons were bad; gas-guzzling Land Cruisers weirdly OK.)

They’re poseurs, get it? That’s what he’s trying to tell us. Pretentious  elite snobs who look down their noses at those who don’t share there educational credentials, world view and  rarefied sensibilities. And the reason Victor Davis Hanson brings this up at all – well, I’ll let him explain:

So why again the above rant about academics?

We are presently governed by academics. In an era in which university people proliferate in this administration and seem to make things far worse for the rest of us, we need to be reminded why we should not look to the university for answers. What I hear coming out of Washington reminds me a lot of what I once heard coming out of the philosophy or English department. And that is a scary thing indeed.

I’ll say.


PS. Perhaps this course offering can  further explain the state of liberal arts education: Zombies 101. In the infamous words of the I-Man, you can’t make this stuff up.


Friday, September 3, 2010

It’s What’s For Dinner

Want to avoid Obamacare for as long as possible? Well then, here’s the product you’ve been waiting for:


Eat chicken, fish or tofu if you want to. I’m having what they’re having.

H/T Bookworm Room, where there’s always something good to read

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You aren’t going to want to watch this…

But do it anyway. Your progeny’s future depends on our willingness to peel the scales of political correctness from our eyes, and see who these people are. They don’t even feel the need to be particularly covert about it – they don’t need to be, we’ve embraced them with open arms. We are as oblivious as the Jews who supported the Third Reich. How stupid can we be? This is not about the Jews and the Palestinians. This is about the Muslim Brotherhood: they want to eliminate anyone who is not a Muslim. Not just the Jews.


It’s 14 minutes. Educate yourself. They are here. Be afraid. Pass it on, then demand that our government do something, other than bow and scrape to this abomination on mankind.

And for God’s sake, stop being intimidated by people who call you a hater, an Islamaphobe.


There is plenty to be fearful of. Plenty to actually – yes - hate. It’s fine to hate evil. And make no mistake, they are evil. And I’m not talking about the peaceful minority. They’re irrelevant, remember?