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Showing posts from September, 2014

Who is better Ronald or Barrack

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For sixty plus years we were king of the world and when the king spoke the world listened. Today the world is evolving where a plurality of nations share the throne. These include, China, the Eurozone, Russia and ourselves. Unless we are willing to risk the war of all wars that is the future. Reagan's world was much simpler, however this does not lead to a conclusion Obama is a better President. It is fair to conclude we are still learning how to lead in such a world and we are not their yet There are more "equals" to deal with today. The arms race is not the only race. There is a race for wealth and a race for scarce resources. As we consume energy it means there is less energy for other nations. Nuclear weapons spread and continue to spread. China has stepped back on the world stage and they are striving to regain their prominence. We are presently negotiating an Asia-Pacific trade agreement that includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malays

Detroit Public Schools need a plan

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I am not in favor of the Grand Bargain where Detroit surrenders ownership of its art stored at the DIA, that appears to have a value in excess of $10 billion, while receiving approximately only $500 million in present value dollars. This converts into getting 5 cents for every $1 dollar of art given away. This makes no sense for a city in deep financial trouble. I have expressed my desire the art be used to transform Detroit Public Schools (DPS) into the best public school system in the state. It would not only improve the performance of the children attending DPS presently, but also attract suburban middle class families to the city because one of the highest objectives of all parents is to give their children a better and more fulfilling life then they experienced. It is commonly recognized that education is a major ingredient to make this happen. As Darnell Macon posted the other day in the Detroit Free Press, "The streets can be glittered in gold but no families will mo

Motown owns all art at DIA?

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It is concerning that little is mentioned in the local media regarding the discussion last Thursday, September 18, 2014, about the city's ability to sell all the art stored at the DIA . Here is what a Detroit Free Press reporter, Brent Snavely, said Thursday in the daily blog relating to the Detroit bankruptcy court proceedings. "It's possible here that McCarthy (FGIC attorney Ed McCarthy, of Weil, Gotshal & Manges) has established, definitively, that city owns the DIA right now. But the real question is if creditors can force the city to sell the art as part of Chapter 9 bankruptcy when city does not want to do that and most other creditors are now on board with that plan." by bsnavely 11:52 AM, yesterday. This changes everything. If correct, it means the "Grand Bargain" truly begins to look like a Grand Scam. It means the city would be giving away assets probably totaling over $10 billion for $800 million paid over 20 years, which converts to a p

ISIS and the real enemy

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The problem is we have a common enemy and he is us. We are the Disunited States of America. How can we defeat an outside enemy when we are our biggest enemy? The world is a much smaller place because of the internet . We have always been a nation that would argue amongst ourselves and in the end come out united and defeat the enemy abroad. This is no longer the case. Today we have politicians who see their positions as one providing an opportunity to become a millionaire or a larger one. This is their focus today. They think John F. Kennedy was naive when he said "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." This attitude has been further fueled by big money from big donors creeping into politics. We no longer have a country ruled by one man, one vote. We have a country ruled by one dollar; one vote. He who has the most dollars gets to select our leaders. Our enemies, and our allies, see this and we have lost their respect. We are no

Detroit Orr DIA?

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Whose interest does Governor Snyder and Kevyn Orr have a responsibility to protect; the city of Detroit, the DIA or the wealthy contributors to the DIA? Looking at the proposed results from the Grand Bargain one could easily get the impression their allegiance leans towards the DIA and its large contributors. Under the Grand Bargain the city is stripped of its ownership of art valued between $4.1 and $8 billion and in return they receive $800 million over a twenty year time period. Some may argue that the benefit the city receives by the prestige it gains from continuing to house the masterpieces at the DIA and the visitors that spend their dollars in the city is worth the $4 to $8 billion that it is giving up. To them I say I would like to sell them the Zillwaukee Bridge. I recognize there may be other caveats to the deal that I am not aware of either because I missed something that was disclosed or not everything was purposely disclosed. Being on the outside and looking in it loo

Detroit bankruptcy and life after

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What kind of life will Detroiters have in the afterlife of bankruptcy? The citizens of Detroit, and those working on behalf of them, must focus not only on the short term objective of getting the city out of chapter 9, everyone must stay razor focused on using this legal action of restructuring debt in a manner that gives the city the best chance to prosper and flourish. During the trial it has been mentioned that in order for the city to have a solid future it must grow its middle class and thus its tax base. This is not going to happen without a good public school system. Detroit is in a better position to do this than other cities facing similar problems because of the billions of dollars of assets stored at the DIA. If the Grand Bargain is finalized this opportunity will be gone forever. Instead, the art should be sold as needed and invested in creating the best public school system in the state. This, along with improved public safety will grow Detroit's middle class. Fo

Lost century for China

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Free Free Markets concluded in an article titled  China And The Five Baits  it was too early for the west to let its guard down about the threat that China posed. If all goes well China will evolve as stated in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine  How China Is Ruled , January/February 2014 "But there is also a fourth scenario, in which China’s leaders propel the country forward, establishing the rule of law and regulatory structures that better reflect the country’s diverse interests. Beijing would also have to expand its sources of legitimacy beyond growth, materialism, and global status, by building institutions anchored in genuine popular support. This would not necessarily mean transitioning to a full democracy, but it would mean adopting its features: local political participation, official transparency, more independent judicial and anti-corruption bodies, an engaged civil society, institutional checks on executive power, and legislative and civil institutions to ch

What is Grand about the Grand Bargain

Below is a seven minute video explaining what is wrong with the "Grand Bargain" being proposed in the Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy hearing. Following the video are the notes used to give the presentation.