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May 10, 2016

Picasso Saved Detroit Lost

Stephen Henderson, with the Detroit Free Press, and Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s Emergency Manager and now a Partner with the law firm Jones Day,, were guest on a segment of OnPoint Radio and you can listen to the podcast above. Both Henderson and Orr stated the city's bankruptcy was a success and Detroit is much better off as a result. I agree the bankruptcy was needed but the way in which it was implemented was not the best alternative and therefore its success is questionable. Success should be measured by more than how quick the municipality was removed from bankruptcy.

Henderson stated, " the bankruptcy saved us from a financial disaster and left more money for us to provide services". Henderson went on to say that “Orr knows how to maximize the potential for his clients”.

Kevyn Orr stated the purpose of bankruptcy was to “preserve value, stabilize the patient and rationalize the balance sheet.”

Both Henderson and Orr are correct that putting Detroit into bankruptcy was the right thing to do. However, the route that was chosen was not the best alternative to “preserve value and rationalize the balance sheet.” Needlessly giving away billions of dollars of assets owned by the city for pennies on the dollar is tantamount to saving the present by surrendering the future.

May 9, 2016

Trump's Troops

Trump’s followers, perhaps unconsciously, borrowed from Hitler’s playbook by capitalizing on our frustration that we are no longer the only “shining city on a hill” with much of the world slowly catching up.

“At the time that it was written, the tide was starting to turn against Germany,” Anthony said. “In response Hitler began to turn his attentions to the German home front.”
“...  MacCurdy recognised that, faced with external failure, the Nazi leader was focusing on a perceived ‘enemy within’ instead – namely the Jews. Given that we now know that the Final Solution was commencing, this makes for poignant reading.” …
“For Hitler, Jews came to represent everything he despised and feared. He believed they were responsible for Capitalism and Socialism, .. "Thus I finally discovered who were the evil spirits leading our people astray...," Hitler claimed. "My love for my own people increased correspondingly. Considering the satanic skill which these evil counselors displayed how could their unfortunate victims be blamed?.... The more I came to know the Jew, the easier it was to excuse the workers." …

Prior to Hitler Germany lost World War I and was punished with sanctions making it difficult for their economy to recover. Ten years later the Depression devastated the world. The psyche of the German people was damaged and Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat.

March 14, 2016

Lincoln and Detroit

Here is one of the great quotes from one of our most famous Presidents.

The above is a quote by President Abraham Lincoln that we all learned in grade school. It is one of the basic principles under which we are governed. Below are the people involved in creating and implementing the Grand Bargain in Detroit, including the city in which they resided at the time of the bankruptcy.

None of them resided in Detroit and yet they made the decision to give away billions of dollars of art owned by the city for pennies on the dollar. They made this decision knowing full well that after the bankruptcy was completed the city and it's school system would still be under severe financial stress.

No one has yet provided a good explanation of why this was done. An explanation that I heard making the most sense is many of the patrons of the Detroit Institute of Art were also large donors to the Republican Party including the Governor!

Does anyone have a better eplaination? Isn’t it time to investigate this decision and put it to rest once and or all? The state legislature is complaining about the amount of money being allocated to Detroit to fix the problems, but I hear no one in Lansing complaining about the Great Art Heist.

March 8, 2016

That's the way it is

We are no longer “One nation, with liberty and justice for all.” We are less focused on competing with the rest of the world than we are focused on competing with our fellow countrymen. We are losing our stature on the world stage. This has provided an opening for the remainder of the world to catch up and take more of a leadership role. This in turn has led to our present frustration.

The past helps foretell the future. This country is changing. The people of the country are changing philosophically. The country is more politically divided than it has been for generations. The wrestling match within the country revolves around how do we keep our world dominance. The GOP, believes we can bully our way back to dominance and implement an austerity program geared towards the working class and poor.  The Democrats are not addressing the problem at all but rather want to buy their popularity with programs and no means of paying for them.

No one is thinking long term. The rest of the world is catching up.

The United States was not considered a world power at the beginning of the 1900’s. It was a nation mostly made up of people with roots in Europe. It was still a struggling nation. The 1918 flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide. It killed more people than all the wars of the twentieth century combined, It ravaged families. In my Dad’s family alone more than half of his brothers and sisters were killed by this influenza before he was a teen.