1) Detroit filed bankruptcy yesterday. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve visited that city, if you can call it that. No, this isn’t going to be a diatribe about the people who live there or who left there…well, maybe a little of the latter. It’s going to be a diatribe about a city that forced itself to be the car capital of the world.
It’s less of a city than a series of island-towns connected by enormous highways and broad boulevards. There’s downtown, right on the waterfront, with its monorail and arenas and hotels made famous in the movie Robocop.
If you want to get anywhere, say the industrial section of town (which is why I was visiting, doing an investigation), you have to get on a freeway and drive. And as you drive, you get a sense of place: inner cities, burned out and abandoned, littered along the highway like so many dumps, and then these grand and glorious suburbs, like Grosse Pointe. Beautiful little towns that suck the life out of the city proper.
So long as GM and Ford and Chrysler stayed local, in Dearborn and especially River Rouge, there was work to be had (yes, I know, Rouge is still there which may be the only thing that kept this from happening earlier.) And those plants didn’t just employ their own, they were responsible for lots of businesses around the city, which benefitted from the good union wages paid to workers, and in turn employed huge numbers of people.
The shame of Detroit is not mayors like Kwame Kilpatrick. The shame of Detroit is that folks like Roger Smith couldn’t give a damn about Detroit. Or America.
2) Stay classy, Batboy. Perhaps some “philanthropist” would be kind enough to start buying guns for the minorities in Florida. That’s what got gun control passed in the first place. Watch the NRA suddenly demand it.
3) Speaking of Florida, the DoJ has asked that the evidence in the Trayvon Martin case, including Zimmerman’s gun, be held while they investigate a civil rights case.
4) It was 84 degrees when I woke up at 4AM this morning. I think I moved to Nicaragua.
5) Speaking of New York, these may be the coolest photo-art I’ve ever seen.
6) As goes China, so goes the US economy. This may be a smart move for us.
8) Do you smell a sex scandal? I smell a sex scandal.