Detroit Bankruptcy & the Absence of Urban Policy

Detroit, Michigan, once the thriving city is said to have entered bankruptcy. Why is this happening, and what are the implications of this event for the future of other American cities, the United States of America, and human relations?

The failure of Detroit is the failure of a seriously studied and implemented urban policy. When America’s rural/agricultural community was on the brink of failure, the Congress intervened with subsidies and economic programs that kept this community from failure and rampant policy.The absence of urban policy is directly correlated with the black crime, profiling and the like that is fallout of the Travon Martin case. And I do not mean “welfare.”

Senator Levin boasts about the new, wonderful things happening in Detroit. “Young people are moving back into Downtown Detroit (gentrification) Condos are at a premium, and economic development is returning.” Yet there remains thousands of “blighted” homes that the Governor says will be torn down.” Of course, these are the black areas of Detroit poverty.

As we have seen in the past, the urban poor, black, white, or otherwise, are displaced to a suburban ring around the new gentrified center of Detroit. Examples abound, my hometown of San Bernardino, California clearly exemplifies the incipient direction leading to the ultimate decline and fall of America from world leadership and the realization of assertions from those on the right declaring the U.S. a “banana republic.” I am afraid that their assertions need be heeded. And, while a do nothing Congress sits on its collective ass, preoccupied with petty partisan squabbles and politically motivated investigations, the country’s cities and their infrastructures are falling apart. Just this week found citizens of suburban Georgetown filling bathtubs, children’s wading pools and, anything that will hold water–an aged water main burst.

It is not to far off in the distant future that those effected by growing poverty, homelessness, absences of health policy will discover that their conditions are not exclusive to people of color and that poverty is an equal opportunity condition. At that point the likelihood of unity will be realized and widespread unrest becomes a possibility. “A little revolution is good for the preservation of democracy,” Thomas Jefferson.

Categories: Blogroll, Government, Politics

Wayne LaPiere and MisInformation

One day last while watching the NRA convention I watched Wayne LaPiere preaching a sermon to his audience. During his oration he advised his listeners that the Pentagon was preventing its military men and women from sharing their (Christian) religion with other members. LaPiere concluded this segment with emphasis, “ladies and gentlemen, you can’t make stuff like this up.” Well as might be expected, LaPiere is guilty of disseminating false information. After reading the USA TODAY article my memory was jolted. As far back as the 1960- 1970s, we experienced the rise of what seemed like a Christian Evangelical movement that saw soldiers carrying Bibles and responding with biblical scripture to lawful orders from superior officers and noncoms. These soldiers gathered as many of their contemporaries as would listen for short “sermons.” These sermons were conducted during the active periods where military operations were conducted. It was disruptive and seriously hampered the days work goals. It was particularly disconcerting during my Viet Nam experience as many of these individuals would not carry their assigned weapons. LaPiere’s charge is first, phony and clearly intended to indict the President and his Military establishment. Second, LaPiere’s indictment clearly indicates that this clown has yet to serve in the military; had he served in any branch of the military, especially in a superior supervisory position, he would realize that the behavior I describe above is detrimental to the lives of those around them and runs contrary to military order and discipline. I had one young soldier (with eyes widely stretched and Bible waving) advise me that ‘God had called him to Texas’ (I was assigned to Ft. Riley, Kansas at the time) upon being returned by military police after being Absent Without Leave (AWOL) for two weeks. Anyway, I thought the article below @ the link below will provide information contrary to the unsubstantiated gibberish of Wayne LaPiere.
Please visit the link immediately below:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/02/…of…/2130583/

A More Equitable Distribution of the Wealth?

Last week, I noticed a Gallup Poll that stated that “More Americans Want a More Equal Distribution of the Wealth” I have been ruminating over this poll and finally I felt that something must be said in reference to what American’s want. First, wishes for a more equitable distribution of the wealth will continue to be just that until America’s shrinking middle class wake the hell up and stop buying that bullshit cool aid that says, “work hard, play the game right, stay out of trouble, and you can make it” Yeah right, just what the hell is “it”? Moreover; America’s middle classes and below are currently in self-destruct mode, that is; notice the growth of so-called “right-to-work” law states. This is the destruction of American unions which, as history informs, is mainly responsible for the rise of America’s middle class, from the early days of violent demonstrations and protests for wages, benefits and the like into the 1970s when the wages of middle class America begin the long decline. America’s middle and lower classes have begun to realize that they are, and have been, getting royally screwed, BUT folks, guess what, there is little they can do about it. They are at the mercy at the owners of the means of production, which, in the name of lowering costs, and increasing profits, they have sent most of the former middle and lower class jobs–off shore. America should have seen this coming when former Rust Belt employers decided to move their plants into the “right-to-work states of America’s south. And no, stop crying about the various trade agreements. Employers, for you capitalists, made the decisions to off shore your jobs because in the “cost-effective” calculus, LABOR is the greatest costs of doing business, even with the invasion of low waged immigrants doing America’s labor. Moreover; here’s a news flash for America’s currently unemployed middle class

Homeschooling or Your Basic Version of American Indoctrination

http://www.dailypaul.com/280896/announcing-the-ron-paul-homeschool-curriculum-email-from-tom-woods

Oh my, the article at the above URS caught my attention and, as a professor emeritus of American government and public policy, the fur on the back of my neck instantly stood up. Reading through the cited curriculum is like reading some of the indoctrinations of some country’s recent past. What is most disturbing is that it gets youngsters at their most critical stages in their young lives. Notice that the 9th & 12th graders can spread their learning to whomever will listen. Somehow, I was under the impression that “Homeschool” was about parents who would undertake the education of their offspring. Under the Ron Paul thing, some “bestselling author” will be “teaching”?? or indoctrinating student participants. I would really like to see the course content materials. I thought this country had long since gotten beyond the old “Americanism vs. Communism”But apparently we haven’t in some corners. Some of you might wonder at what “Austrian economics” is. It is a school of theoretical thought that is used to support arguments in opposition to the existence of the Federal Reserve, and government spending, (etc); consistent with Ron Paul’s public political rantings. It rejects Keynesian economic theory. I won’t get into the weeds on specifics of the Austrian school of economics. All I ask is that you read the article and give it some thought. It is one thing to emphasize a particular school of thought in a course that includes economics, it is another when a single school of thought is provided without reference to other schools. That is the difference between inoctrination and education. Good luck.

 

Categories: Blogroll

Karl Marx and, I, the Enemy

http://business.time.com/2013/03/25/marxs-revenge-how-class-struggle-is-shaping-the-world/print/

After reading the article at the URL cited above and posting it and comment to my facebook, I received responses that prompted me to further comment and raise the question, “Why do most Americans see Communists as “the enemy?”

This has long been a problem with American world view. That which may be in opposition to the U.S.its ethos, and its capitalist democracy is “the enemy” That said, it seems that an objective assessment of the man’s (Marx) work is beyond us. And those, among us, who acknowledge the work of Marx, Engel, and/or Lenin for its academic excellence are tagged with the labels “red, commie, pinko, lefty” and other derogatory terms that speak more to the ignorance of the name caller than to the person being labeled. No, I am not a communist, socialist nor do I belong to either of their organizations. I do, however, appreciate having learned of Marx’s writings and find them useful for comparative purposes. It is also unfortunate that comparison is a little valued subject in the America’s educational process which finds us victim to such U.S. propaganda as “exceptionalism.” and its positive aspects without consideration of the negative that accompanies the existence of the theory. Sad, indeed. So, I guess that in the minds of those who might read this commentary, I am and will forever remain, “the enemy” but, believe me, I will lose little sleep over the addition of another label to my person.

Categories: Blogroll, Politics

N Korea ‘readies’ rockets to strike US bases – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

My thanks to Al Jazeera for it excellent reporting on the North Korean Mouse (Mouth?) that roared. I find this story and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong un bordering on near comedy. This in view of the fact that during my military career, I served a tour in South Korea (1963-64) when North Korea was ruled by the grandfather, Kim il Sung. And believe me, the grandson cannot hold a candle to the grandfather. Check out the article and video at the link cited below:

N Korea ‘readies’ rockets to strike US bases – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

In an effort to demonstrate his leadership this young man just might launch one of his missiles on some U.S. facility in the Pacific. In  such a consideration the question becomes whether or not Kim and his military command are “rational” actors. And here the term “rational” does not have anything to do with mental state. The term refers to the extent to which an actor considers and measures costs versus benefits of a given action, that is; would a missile strike against some U.S. facility result in some greater benefit over the cost of such a venture. And how great is the margin of one over the other, the spread between the two notwithstanding. The greater the spread, the greater likelihood that the actor will act. After reading the story at the above cited link, consider whether or not North Korea is rational.

Categories: Blogroll

Teacher Evaluation & Student Responsibility

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

State Senator Gaetz (R Florida) is correct in his assertion that “teacher” evaluation makes little or no sense. When will America stop scapegoating the classroom professionals. When will she end the use of the term “teacher” to identify those professionals who struggle with getting students to “LEARN”? Some 10-12 years into my classroom experience I had an epiphany. I could not “teach” my students. I realized that my responsibility was to be thoroughly knowledgeable in my subject area and to present course content in a manner that addressed the diverse “learning” styles of my students in as clear a manner as was possible. After that, what happened with students was out of my control. That is, a student will choose to either receive the information provided, process it, and do what is necessary for him/her to “LEARN” on the other hand, he/she, for whatever reason, may choose not to assimilate/process information. In the former instance, he/she will “pass” the course; in the later, he/she will fail. If this is true, is the “teacher” responsible for the “choices” students make? Does America not saddle the “teacher” with the responsibility for student behavior over which he/she has no control? It is pass time that American parents stop behaving as though they have no skin in the game. It is also time that children, beginning with pre-K, be informed that they are responsible for their education/learning; that will go a long way toward improving “education” in America. Wake up America, get on board.

Categories: Blogroll
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 227 other followers

%d bloggers like this: