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DougMacG
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« on: September 29, 2009, 10:06:10 AM »

Brutal video showing a glimpse of a day going home from a high school in Chicago last Thursday:  http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/video_derrion_albert

More info after arrests:  http://cbs2chicago.com/local/derrion.albert.investigation.2.1212436.html
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 12:59:41 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2009, 02:19:47 PM »

Meanwhile back in Chicago... "freshman's skull fractured in Edgewater attack
October 1, 2009   A 14-year-old boy severely beaten in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood was able to talk to detectives today after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull, police said. The boy, a freshman at Mather High School, was chased down the xxx block of on Wednesday evening by three males who beat him, police said. One hit him with a pipe, they said.  http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/10/teen-attacked-in-edgewater.html
------

In Detroit: "Too broke to bury their dead.  Money to bury Detroit's poor has dried up, forcing struggling families to abandon their loved ones in the morgue freezer.
Unclaimed bodies piling up in the Detroit morgue.   ...you can smell the plight of Detroit.  Inside the Wayne County morgue in midtown Detroit, 67 bodies are piled up, unclaimed, in the freezing temperatures. Neither the families nor the county can afford to bury the corpses. http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/01/news/economy/_morgue/index.htm
-----

And my latest landlord story this week in Minneapolis.  I looked up the backgrounds on my tough looking applicants for a house rental after being assured they have no problems with credit, criminal record or evictions and found among other things that they get their welfare money through other people and that one had a recent conviction for felony strangulation.  Wish a had a couple of you with me when I needed to gently give them the bad news.
---

There is a large part of America that does not participate in the productive economy and people that are not saddled with responsibilities find other ways to keep themselves occupied. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 02:13:33 PM »

 Oct 7, 2009 http://cbs2chicago.com/local/fenger.school.fight.2.1234130.html
Fight At Fenger While Officials Discuss Violence   CHICAGO (CBS)

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan arrives at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Pl., for a discussion on combatting violence among Chicago youth.  President Barack Obama was so shocked by the deadly beating of a Fenger High School student that he dispatched two members of his cabinet to address the problem.  But on the day Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan met with local officials to discuss youth violence, there was another fight at Fenger.

As CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports, students said what happened Wednesday is typical of what happens every day. Students from Altgeld Gardens got into a fight with students who live in the area surrounding the high school, an area known as "The Ville."

Altgeld Gardens resident Tommie McCoy said Holder and Duncan should have visited Fenger and Altgeld Gardens, not just met with Mayor Richard M. Daley and other local officials in downtown Chicago.  If Holder, Duncan and Daley had been outside Fenger on Wednesday when school let out, students said they would have gotten an eyeful.

"They was fighting," one girl said.

Another student said, "Some boys they got off the bus fighting and that. Then the police came over there breaking up the fight."  As soon as the punching stopped at Fenger, the students and the simmering tension moved south to Altgeld Gardens a few miles south.

Luevinne Leggett, a senior at Fenger, said she doesn't feel welcome there.  "I don't feel welcome because I get chased home from school every day," Leggett said. "I try and avoid the problem by walking and they chase me. The police not doing nothing. They sit out there and they watch people get chased."

Vashion Bullock said he feels similarly. He was involved in the fight that claimed the life of 16-year-old Derrion Albert last month. Bullock's brother is one of four teens charged with murder.  Bullock said Duncan is wrong if he believes that the problems don't stem from making Carver a selective enrollment school. He said he gets attacked by students who live close to Fenger because he is from Altgeld Gardens.  "Before I went to this community school (Fenger), I didn't have no fights, no nothing; until I went outside the (Altgeld Gardens) community," Bullock said.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 02:18:23 PM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 10:23:08 AM »

8 minutes of a camcorder going through a third world country called Detroit.  Many factors caused this, but suffice it to say that free markets were not allowed to flourish, the war on poverty became a war against families and individual responsibility, private employment was supposed to be an entitlement no matter how uncompetitive your work and your product have become.  Visualize from these pictures how the middle class can succeed while we punish investors, employers and wealth creation.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 02:26:14 PM »

I took this line from a great ya post on Pakistan:

"The government [of Pakistan] uses the World Bank’s definition of poverty, which is any person earning less than $1.25 per day."

I wonder if the US Census Bureau is aware of this definition.  Our definition includes people enjoying cable tv, unlimited free healthcare, free food, shelter and clothing, 2 cars, a full surround sound theatre, a CD/DVD collection, a high end stereo and free air conditioning.  All that and you can still be called homeless and living below the poverty line. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2007/08/How-Poor-Are-Americas-Poor-Examining-the-Plague-of-Poverty-in-America

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

    * Fortysix percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a threebedroom house with oneandahalf baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
    * Seventysix percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
    * Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than twothirds have more than two rooms per person.
    * The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
    * Nearly threequarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
    * Ninetyseven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
    * Seventyeight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
    * Seventythree percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 08:48:46 AM »

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/07/06/obama_acknowledges_welfare_programs_encourage_dependency.html

"Well, you know, here's what I would say. I think we should acknowledge that some welfare programs in the past were not well designed and in some cases did encourage dependency. As somebody who worked in low income neighborhoods, I've seen it, where people weren't encouraged to work, weren't encouraged to upgrade their skills, were just getting a check, and, over time, their motivation started to diminish. And I think even if you're progressive you've got to acknowledge that some of these things have not been well designed."  - Pres. Barack Obama  July 6, 2011  (video at link)
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JDN
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 11:12:23 AM »

I am a big fan of bicycles; I put a number of miles on mine each week.  Although it's easier to ride my motorcycle.  smiley

LA just passed a new law.  While I'm all in favor of protecting bicyclists, I think it goes too far.  Even cross words can be construed
as a violation.  Yet often I see bicyclists disobeying traffic laws.  Like gun laws and other laws; we don't need additional laws; simply
obey and enforce the current ones

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bicycle-law-20110721,0,3219222.story

http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-2895_RPT_ATTY_06-10-11.pdf
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DougMacG
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 03:47:13 PM »

JDN, Bicycles are great.  You are governed by liberals, lol.  It reminds me of hate crime laws banning violence against gays.  Strangely I would want equal protection if I were a hetero-unicylist, but that's just me.  Regarding the motorcycle, on the roads I prefer my Honda 200 to a bicycle because I think it is safer to keep up with the flow.  My latest bicycle is electric assist for improved range and velocity ( should be an aging 'warrier' post).  Fed laws say the locals have to accept these on the bike trails up to 20 mph.  We'll see how that goes.

For both pedestrians and bicyclists, we have these aggressive crosswalk laws here, maybe everywhere.  It gives the vulnerable a false sense of security that they can step out and a car has to stop.  A car though does not have to stop, the driver could be texting or the brakes could fail.  Reminds me of sailboats having the right of way over power boats.  Funny for one thing because we often go faster than powerboats.  Over time you learn that you only have right of way if someone who sees you yields it to you.
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JDN
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 04:13:10 PM »

Frankly, the whole concept of hate crimes bewilders me.  Do away with all of them!  Simply arrest the guy for assault or whatever; the reasons why he's committing the crime isn't relevant to me.  If I and my five friends are beating you up because you are black, gay, or whatever versus beating you up for dating my sister, I don't understand the difference.  But the "crime" and punishment is quite different.   huh

Now in LA if I swear at a bicyclist I'm presumed guilty of an offense and am financially and perhaps criminally liable.  But it's ok to swear at another car driver or a pedestrian.   huh  Someday explain that one to me.

Yes, I too prefer my modified (Ducati GT 1000) motorcycle; it really does keep up with the flow a lot better than my bicycle.  smiley  Sometimes too well.  smiley

As for crosswalks, that is my favorite complaint.  In CA bicycles have no more rights in a crosswalk (assuming they are riding their bike) than does a car or a truck.  Crosswalks are ONLY for pedestrians.  As well as sidewalks.  And a red light means, stop.  It's really quite easy, but somehow bicyclists don't seem to understand they must follow car laws.  In all fairness however, cars should respect bicyclists and everyone should respect safety.

But I agree with you, safety first; don't "assume" the right of way.  Even on a sailboat.  Years ago a sailboat always had the right of way in LA Harbor; one challenged a supertanker.  Guess what happened to the sailboat?  Actually no one knows, they only found bits and pieces.  So they changed the law; large commercial vehicles now have the right of way.  But common sense tells you....
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Cranewings
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 02:45:18 AM »

I can't agree with this. Hate crimes are a special case of nastiness and deserve extra attention. I don't live my life in a way that causes anyone to hate me. No one is going to attack me for anything I did. There is a chance I could be robbed or have my home invaded, but it is slim. Even if something did happen, the fact that as a white man in a white town, there isn't much to single me out.

When someone attacks you for being black or arab or gay, they are visiting on you a level of violence normally reserved for someone that has actually done something wrong. People of that caliber should be punished severely. Really severely.

Emotionally, I'd like to see hate crime laws so strict that we never hear from the people that commit them ever again. They need to be removed from society.

I don't really think it should be taken to that level simply because there are too many corrupt and lazy people in the justice system for me to fully trust they got the right person for the right thing. I don't have much compassion for violent bigots.
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G M
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 02:53:34 AM »

If someone crushes your skull with a pipe, does it matter if race/ethnicity/religion/sexual orientation was a motivator?
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G M
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 03:08:50 AM »

Stuart Taylor writes on Hate Crimes and double standards:
 


Consider three criminal cases.
 
No. 1: Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend, Channon Christian, both students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, were carjacked while on a dinner date in January, repeatedly raped (both of them), tortured, and killed. His burned body was found near a railroad track. Hers was stuffed into a trash can. Five suspects have been charged. The crimes were interracial.

No. 2: Three white Duke lacrosse players were accused in March 2006 of beating, kicking, choking, and gang-raping an African-American stripper, while pelting her with racial epithets, during a team party.
 
No. 3: Sam Hays bumped against Mike Martin in a crowded bar, spilling beer on Martin’s “gay pride” sweatshirt. Martin yelled, “You stupid bastard, I should kick your ass.” Hays muttered, “You damned queer” and threw a punch, bloodying Martin’s lip.
 
Now the quiz.
 
Which of these would qualify as a federal case under a House-passed bill — widely acclaimed by editorial writers, liberal interest groups, law enforcement officials, and many others — expanding federal jurisdiction to prosecute “hate crimes”?
 
Bonus question: Why have the interracial rape-torture-murders in Knoxville been completely ignored by the same national media that clamor for more laws to stop hate crimes — the same media that erupted in a guilt-presuming feeding frenzy for months over the far less serious Duke lacrosse charges, which were full of glaring holes from the start and turned out to be fraudulent?
 
The answers.
 
The interracial Knoxville rape-murders would probably not qualify as hate crimes. The reason is that although the murderers were obviously full of hate, it cannot be proven that they hated their victims because of race. (Or so say police.)
 
Both the Duke lacrosse case and the (fictional) barroom scuffle, on the other hand, would probably be federally prosecutable under the bill that the House passed on May 3 by 237-180. This is because the angry words attributed to the accused could prove racist and homophobic motivations, respectively.
 
Do such distinctions make any sense? Not much, in my view.
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G M
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 03:27:11 AM »

Hate Crimes Are Multicultural, Too
By: David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 26, 1998



TWO WEEKS AGO, A YOUNG MAN named Matthew Shepard, was tortured and left to die on the high plains of Wyoming simply because he was gay. On June 7th, a similar attack was made against the person of James Byrd, Jr., a black man in Texas. Both were followed by outpourings of grief and public rage, expressed in editorial comments and from political pulpits across the nation. These were appropriate if extraordinary responses to crimes against ordinary citizens, whose untimely deaths would otherwise have been unremarkable because all too common. It was the fact that the perpetrators and victims were set apart by communal bigotries, for which the crimes served as particularly violent expressions, that made the acts seem so important. The enhanced sense of human depravity that colored the public reactions to these incidents lies in our shared conviction that their nature as hate crimes made them an outrage to the nations sense of self, as well as a threat to its communal future. Well and good enough. These responses are signs of health in the body politic, the presence of a will to summon the better angels of our nature, and to keep the savagery that lurks beneath the surface of any civilized society firmly at bay.
 
But these expressions did not exhaust the public response to the two crimes. While libertarians and conservatives looked on in dismay, a coalition of radical and liberal activists, led by Congressman Barney Frank and other gay spokesmen, mounted the Capitol steps in Washington to pressure Congress into passing a bill that would extend existing federal hate-crimes legislation to also cover the categories of gender, sexual orientation, and handicapped status, and to make all such crimes easier to prosecute. They were joined in the call by the President himself.

Legal concerns were immediately voiced by those not participating about the civil-liberties dimensions of the proposed legislation. Probing the intentions of any perpetrator, and especially those involved in crimes against victims who were already the targets of community prejudice, posed troubling issues. For example: the temptation offered to aggressive prosecutors to postulate such intentions where none might exist. In a sobering column, George Will recalled a recent example of perverse legal reasoning when applying the hate-crime standard. In 1989, a white female jogger was raped and beaten into a coma by a gang of black and Hispanic youths on a "wilding" rampage. The act was not deemed a "hate crime" by prosecutors, and the perpetrators did not suffer enhanced penalties under the law, "because they also assaulted Hispanics that evening. They got more lenient treatment because of the catholicity of their barbarism." Of course, the act they committedrapecould be characterized as a hate crime itself.

In the emotional melodrama made possible by the murder of Matthew Shepard, the left has once again found its political oxygen. Temporarily thrown by feminist hypocrisies around the Clinton scandal, the left has recovered its balance with the prospect of once again rallying behind societys victims and against their victimizers. The absence of conservatives and libertarians among the capitol protesters only serves to confirm the enduring sense of righteousness that fuels the progressive agenda.

This politics of the left is what George Will calls "a sentiment competition," which is "less about changing society than striking poses." The proposed multiplication of hate-crime categories which stipulate that some crime victims are more important than others would be what Will calls "an imprudent extension of identity politics." It would work against, not for, the principle of social tolerance.

A little more than a year before the attack on James Byrd in Texas, three white Michigan youngsters hitched a train-ride as a teenage lark. When they got off the train, they found themselves in the wrong urban neighborhood, surrounded by a gang of armed black youths. One of the white teenagers, Michael Carter, aged 14, was killed. Dustin Kaiser, aged 15, was brutally beaten and shot in the head, but eventually survived. The fourteen-year-old girl (whose name has been withheld) was pistol-whipped and shot in the face after being forced to perform oral sex on her attackers.
 
Though the six African Americans responsible for the deed were arrested and convicted, their attack was not prosecuted as a hate-crime. More to the point, most of the nation never knew that the crime had taken place. It was not reported on page one of the national press, and there was no public outrage expressed in national editorials or in the halls of Congress. Indeed, the few papers that reported the incident nationally did so on their inside pages. Beyond the Michigan region, the stories often failed to mention the races of the participants at all. The crime took place on July 21, 1997, but among the readers of this column, there will not be one in a hundred who has even heard of it before. That is because as a hate crime, it was in a sense politically incorrect. To notice that black people, as well as whites, can be responsible for vicious crimes of hate, is simply improper. Hate crimes can only be committed by an oppressor caste; therefore what happened in Michigan was not a hate crime at all.

Two years ago, the most celebrated trial of the century was about a black man accused of murdering two whites in what was apparently an act of blind rage. The idea that O.J. Simpson might have murdered his wife and a stranger because they were white was never even hinted at by the prosecution, although this was a case which was turned into a circus of racial accusations against whites by the defense.

The fact is that it is not okay in America to hate blacks, but it is okay in our politically correct culture to hate white people. Entire academic departments and college curricula are based on this idea. White people are the oppressors of minority communities and cultures. That is Americas true legacy. There is even an academic field of "whiteness studies" to parallel black studies and womens studies. But the parallel is an inverted one. Blacks are celebrated in black studies and women are championed in womens studies. But whiteness studies (notice how the adjective has been modified) are devoted to the subject of how whites construct the idea of race to enable them to oppress others. Whiteness-studies academics have their own magazine published out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, site of Harvard and MIT and one of the most liberal communities in America. The name of the magazine is Race Traitor, and its motto proclaims "Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity." Under the influence of the left, our universities have become purveyors of racial poisons, but the rest of the country cannot notice this, because the targets of the hatredwhitesare not politically correct victims.

Hollywood understands this rule of progressive etiquette. A new film, American History X, will for the umpteenth time feature white neo-Nazis as the villains of a homily about racial bigotry. The idea is that race hatred is synonymous with "skin-heads" who are white. But a few years ago a sensational mass-murder trial in Miami spotlighted a black cult leader named Yahweh Ben Yahweh, who required his cult members to kill whites and bring back their ears as proof of the deed. There was no Hollywood scramble for the rights to the Yahweh cult story, andpartly as a resultfew Americans are even aware that it ever took place. Last week a German tourist was shot to death in Santa Monica, California, in front of his wife and children. The trigger for the killing seems to have been his failure to understand the English commands of his attackers. The crime was committed by two African-American men and one African-American woman, though one would never know this from reading the Los Angeles Times or AP accounts. (I had to verify their racial identities by calling the Santa Monica police department directly.) The word "hate crime" never surfaced in connection with the deed, either in the press accounts or in editorial commentaries that followed. Now suppose that three whites had gone to a Hispanic neighborhood to rob inhabitants and had murdered an Hispanic immigrant because he could not speak English. Does anyone imagine that the press accounts would hide the identity of the attackers or that the question of whether it might be a hate crime would never come up?

According to US Department of Justice figures, in 1993 there were 1.4 million violent crimes of inter-racial violence nationwide. Eighty-five percent of them were committed by blacks against whites. A white is fifty times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime committed by a black person than the other way around. Not surprisingly, the first hate-crime conviction to be appealed to the Supreme Court involved a black perpetrator and a white victim. The politically righteous, who are pushing the current legislation, will be in for some surprises should the law they are proposing go into effect.

How many of the inter-racial crimes of violence committed by blacks and other minorities are actually hate crimes? In fact, there is no real way to tell. Of course, the leftist university, which gave us the concept of political correctness, has a ready answer for the question: Only whites can be racist. The alleged reasoning behind the assertion is that in our society only whites have power. This is an obvious absurdity that only an intellectual could think up. Forget the thousands of public officials great and small, police chiefs, judges, administrators, and members of Congress, petty bureaucrats, corporate executives, and military officers, who are now drawn from the ranks of minorities. At the most elemental level, a black outlaw with a gunand there are manyhas the power of life and death over an unarmed law-abiding citizen of any race or color.
 
The doctrine that only whites can be racist is itself an instigation to hate crimes. Nonetheless, it has now apparently spread to the secondary-school system. Last week, a Seattle father called in to a national radio talk show that I happened to be on, and told the audience that his sons class in junior-high school had been discussing the hate-crime concept because of the Shepard killing. During the discussion, the teacher informed the class that only heterosexual whites could be racists. Responding to this idea, the callers son brought up the savage beating of Reginald Denny during the Los Angeles riots by a group of black gang members. Surely, he suggested, this was a hate-crime. But his teacher corrected him. Even though Denny was pulled from his truck solely because he was white, and then beaten within an inch of his life, he could not be the victim of racial poisons. The attempted murder of Reginald Denny was actually an act of rebellion by people who were themselves the victims of a white racist system, and therefore the act they committed could not be considered a hate crime.
 
That is why I will not join Barney Frank and the left in promoting politically correct hate-crime legislation that will create a few more specially protected categories among us asa kind of human "endangered species" act. Sorting Americans into distinctive racial, ethnic, and gender groups, while designating whites and heterosexuals to be their "oppressors," makes the latter into legitimate targets of hate themselves. It thus becomes a way of exacerbating rather than correcting the problem.

It is time to go back to the wisdom of the founders who wrote a constitution without reference to ethnic or gender groups. They did so in order to render us equal before the nations system of law. It was an imperfectly realized ideal then, but that should be no excuse for abandoning the ideal now. We need to end the vicious libels of political correctness that have percolated into our mainstream culture with their message of anti-white racism. The vast majority of white people do not hate or oppress black people, just as the vast majority of heterosexuals do not hate or oppress gays. We need to single out those individuals who dowhatever their race or genderfor condemnation and social ostracism. And we need to go back to back to the task of treating all Americans as individuals first, and as members of groups only secondarily, if at all.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 03:58:31 AM »

Sure, the laws are imperfect.

It doesn't change my opinion that attacking someone for being x is worse than attacking them because it is advantageous. Sure, whites can be the victims of hate.
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JDN
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 09:50:50 AM »

If someone crushes your skull with a pipe, does it matter if race/ethnicity/religion/sexual orientation was a motivator?

I woke up this morning and read this; wow, it's not often we agree GM.   smiley

In your other example I also agree, but don't forget States have hate crime laws as well.

Cranewings.  While I don't agree with you, it's good to see another name on the board.  Let's use my previous example,
why is it worse (they are all bad in my opinion) if I attack you because you are black, homosexual, male or female, christian,
muslim, or jew, or maybe just Italian than if I simply attack you and almost kill you because you slept with my sister?  As GM pointed
out, the results are the same for you.  And frankly, IMHO my punishment should be the same.

What is a "hate crime" in CA?

"Hate crimes are criminal acts or attempted criminal acts against an individual or group of individuals because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability."   

Pretty Broad Huh? 

Of course they should be punished; but why are there punishment Enhancements

P.C. 190.2(a)(16) – Special circumstances imposing the Death Penalty or Life Without possibility of Parole if the victim was intentionally killed because of race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin.
P.C. 190.3 – Special circumstances imposing Life Without possibility of Parole if the victim was intentionally killed because of sexual orientation, gender or disability.
P.C. 422.75 – Penalty for felony committed because of victim’s race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability or sexual orientation shall be enhanced one, two or three years in prison, if the person acts alone; and 2, 3 or 4 years if the person commits the act with another.

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G M
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2011, 09:55:27 AM »

Sure, the laws are imperfect.

It doesn't change my opinion that attacking someone for being x is worse than attacking them because it is advantageous. Sure, whites can be the victims of hate.

So, if Ted Bundy is killing co-eds because he finds it enjoyable, it's not as bad as if he does it out of misogyny? Do you see a problem with the political aspects of the unequal application of hate crime prosecutions?
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G M
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2011, 09:57:55 AM »

I woke up this morning and read this; wow, it's not often we agree GM.   

You can't be wrong all of the time.   grin

In your other example I also agree, but don't forget States have hate crime laws as well.

Sure, and the same objections apply there as well.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2011, 11:44:00 AM »


Cranewings.  While I don't agree with you, it's good to see another name on the board.  Let's use my previous example,
why is it worse (they are all bad in my opinion) if I attack you because you are black, homosexual, male or female, christian,
muslim, or jew, or maybe just Italian than if I simply attack you and almost kill you because you slept with my sister?  As GM pointed
out, the results are the same for you.  And frankly, IMHO my punishment should be the same.


If someone commits a felony motivated by money, they can find religion, get a hobby, get a job, change their life. If someone is a racists, maybe they can eventually see the light and start thinking correctly. Someone that commits crimes and is a racists is twice the piece of crap. Someone that commits crimes BECAUSE they are a racists, well wow, guess they are just four times the piece of crap. They are extremely dangerous to other members of that race and need to be put away for an extended time to give the rest of society a break from them being around.

There is something special about the guy that gets beat up for dating your sister. Lets assume that this is the one and only case of this that isn't motivated by race: well then he was brave to go after your sister, stupid to fight you, or said something wrong to incur it. It was probably not all together random. The guy that gets beat up for being black did nothing but be black. It is a direct assault on his place in society and is one of the fastest way to create bigger gaps between people or start a cycle of further violence.

All that aside, I don't have much sympathy for violent offenders, and even less for racists. I'm not going to lose any sleep over someone like that spending an extra couple years in jail for beating up a gay kid.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2011, 11:46:36 AM »

Sure, the laws are imperfect.

It doesn't change my opinion that attacking someone for being x is worse than attacking them because it is advantageous. Sure, whites can be the victims of hate.

So, if Ted Bundy is killing co-eds because he finds it enjoyable, it's not as bad as if he does it out of misogyny? Do you see a problem with the political aspects of the unequal application of hate crime prosecutions?

Nope, because they didn't lower the punishment for the regular crime. They just upped it for people that have a bad attitude. Sense I don't commit hate crimes, I'm not afraid of this law. I see nothing wrong with it.
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JDN
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 12:43:25 PM »


Nope, because they didn't lower the punishment for the regular crime. They just upped it for people that have a bad attitude. Sense I don't commit hate crimes, I'm not afraid of this law. I see nothing wrong with it.

So murderers, robbers, and rapists should be punished to a greater degree if they have a "bad attitude"?   huh

To be honest, I AM afraid of laws that punish me for a "bad attitude".  And I do see something wrong with that being the case.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2011, 12:53:31 PM »


Nope, because they didn't lower the punishment for the regular crime. They just upped it for people that have a bad attitude. Sense I don't commit hate crimes, I'm not afraid of this law. I see nothing wrong with it.

So murderers, robbers, and rapists should be punished to a greater degree if they have a "bad attitude"?   huh

To be honest, I AM afraid of laws that punish me for a "bad attitude".  And I do see something wrong with that being the case.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on that point.
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G M
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2011, 03:42:06 PM »

Cranewings,

Do you see a disparity in how "hate crimes" are enforced? Does that bother you?
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Cranewings
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2011, 04:56:17 PM »

Cranewings,

Do you see a disparity in how "hate crimes" are enforced? Does that bother you?

I don't agree with how a lot of things are enforced. You gave plenty of great examples of way in which the state missed the point when it comes to enforcing hate crime laws.
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G M
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2011, 05:15:57 PM »

CW,

It's often hard enough to make a conventional criminal case without trying to mix in racial/ethnic/religious/sexual orientation themes.

Let's say a thug who happens to be black jumps on JDN and eggshells his skull with a piece of rebar and takes his wallet. What if this thug is arrested with sermons from Rev. Jerimiah Wright on his Ipod. Was this a hate crime? Exactly what evidence should we seek beyond this subject did assault one JDN, causing serious bodily injury and did take a wallet from said party?
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Cranewings
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2011, 06:32:54 PM »

Well, it has to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sometimes there isn't a doubt. For example, 5 skinhead kill a black guy. No doubt there.

I'm sure there would be a whole thing in front of a jury where they bring in character witnesses and interviews and all that and a jury of his peers will decide if its true. Doesn't it have to be taken on a case by case basis?
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G M
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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2011, 06:44:34 PM »

Well, it has to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sometimes there isn't a doubt. For example, 5 skinhead kill a black guy. No doubt there.

I'm sure there would be a whole thing in front of a jury where they bring in character witnesses and interviews and all that and a jury of his peers will decide if its true. Doesn't it have to be taken on a case by case basis?

It's not a "shadow of a doubt", it's beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT

 The level of certainty a juror must have to find a defendant guilty of a crime. A real doubt, based upon reason and common sense after careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, or lack of evidence, in a case.
 
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore, is proof of such a convincing character that you would be willing to rely and act upon it without hesitation in the most important of your own affairs. However, it does not mean an absolute certainty.

http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/q016.htm

Again, it's hard enough to meet the elements of the crime, do you really want to try to parse out the degree of racial/ethnic/religious/sexual orientation bias a suspect might harbor? Yeah, a group of skinheads with swastika tats attacking a black couple might be a slam dunk, but what of black thugs with a pattern of attacking white and hispanic victims?
 
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G M
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« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2011, 06:49:29 PM »

The failures of hate-crime laws

By Vincent Carroll
Posted: 12/09/2009 01:00:00 AM MSTUpdated: 12/09/2009 10:33:23 AM MST


Ian Curwen, charged with two counts of robbery and bias-motivated conduct, is perplexed by "how this thing" — he means a LoDo crime spree by bands of black teens and young adults — "became a racial thing." After all, Curwen told Denver Post reporter Kirk Mitchell, "kids being kids" will sometimes use racial slurs without really meaning them.

It's tempting to mock Curwen's claim, delivered from the Denver jail, as transparently self-serving. Which it most certainly is. Yet it may also contain a kernel of truth for some who participated over the summer and fall in a series of assaults on white and Latino men that were accompanied by racial taunts.

Maybe the name-calling for some of the thugs was, just as Curwen suggests, a meaningless expression of bravado. Maybe the "white boy" and other epithets weren't signs of bias in some cases so much as convenient insults to hurl at an outnumbered and terrified prey.

The distinction wouldn't matter if those charged with the assaults and robberies weren't also being charged under Colorado's bias-motivated statute — aka, hate-crime law — which is supposed to punish and deter dangerous bigots. What if some of those who committed the LoDo crimes are nothing more than violent predators? Does that make them a better brand of criminal than their associates who do hate whites?

I don't think so — and it speaks to the reason I've always been suspicious of hate-crime laws, which punish some illegal acts more severely than other, identical acts purely because of motive.

The victims of the LoDo assaults, Mitchell reported in The Sunday Post, "suffered permanent facial damage, broken bones and cracked skulls." Those injuries would be just as crippling and painful no matter what the motive: bias, greed, group entertainment or a knuckle-dragging form of sadism.

And remember: A criminal's bias can be just as virulent in the absence of racial taunting. If the same 35 people now charged in the attacks had simply kept their mouths shut, they could have beaten solitary white guys to their hearts' content, and for the very same motives, without facing a bias charge. In a very real sense, they're being prosecuted under that statute for their speech and beliefs.



Read more: The failures of hate-crime laws - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_13954688?source=commented-opinion
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Cranewings
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« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2011, 07:21:32 PM »

Eh, you could be right. I'd rather see better or more specific hate crime laws than their total removal though.
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G M
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2011, 12:09:41 AM »

I think we can agree that hate is a bad thing, but is every moral failing best dealt with through the legal system?
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Cranewings
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2011, 12:20:47 AM »

I think we can agree that hate is a bad thing, but is every moral failing best dealt with through the legal system?

Isn't the legal system there to pay out punishment so that people don't have to take it for themselves? If someone rapes your sister, you aren't suppose to take revenge. You are suppose to let the state handle it. That's for good reason. No one wants to be in a Hatfield / McCoy situation.

I'd bet hate crime laws help buffer the feeling that you need your tribe to take revenge. Just a thought.

Smiley They could make it really simple and flat out say it is an extra crime to harm a person of a different ethnic group.
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G M
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2011, 12:51:43 AM »

"Isn't the legal system there to pay out punishment so that people don't have to take it for themselves? If someone rapes your sister, you aren't suppose to take revenge. You are suppose to let the state handle it. That's for good reason. No one wants to be in a Hatfield / McCoy situation."

Which is why we have laws that cover sexual assault.

"I'd bet hate crime laws help buffer the feeling that you need your tribe to take revenge. Just a thought."

This is part of the problem, this is a nation of individuals, not tribes. The laws that reaffirm a racial/ethnic identity that trumps a shared citizenship leads us in the direction we don't want to go. If colorblindness is the ideal, shouldn't our laws be colorblind?
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Cranewings
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2011, 04:54:48 PM »

I think tribalism is more a part of our society now than when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I thought racism was a dead idea. Now that I'm adult, people everywhere I go are extremely racist or intolerant. I don't know if the PC policies you guys complain about are the chicken or the egg, but its getting worse.
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G M
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« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2011, 05:03:18 PM »

I think tribalism is more a part of our society now than when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I thought racism was a dead idea. Now that I'm adult, people everywhere I go are extremely racist or intolerant. I don't know if the PC policies you guys complain about are the chicken or the egg, but its getting worse.
I think it's getting worse and I'd link it directly to the left's attempts to undermine American society through the MSM, academia and Hollywood.
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G M
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« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2011, 05:11:24 PM »

Just an additional point to consider, CW,

Look at the OJ Simpson trial. It was the classic domestic violence/stalking case that escalated to murder. Nothing unusual there, sadly it's one of the most common homicides you'll see in the US. The only thing atypical about this case was the star element and then the racial factor. Despite the flaws in the investigation and the prosecution, there was plenty of evidence for conviction. Lacking anything else, the defense played the race card, which resulted in his aquittal.

Do we want criminal justice to focus on evidence and the law, or do we want it to be a forum to address historic racial injustice no matter how irrelevant to the case at hand?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2011, 12:00:36 AM »

There IS a thread dedicated to matters of race, and if this conversation goes any further, lets take it there; so I will limit myself to stating that I think it self-apparent that racism is FAR less a problem than it used to be.   Look at the positions of power held by Colin Powell, Condaleza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Barack Obama, Holder, and many, many others.  Look at the lack of issue when interracial couples are protrayed on TV and in the movies.   

Certainly race-baiting remains-- look at the tactics of the progressives, the Pravda media, the Dem Party, but arguably that is a sign of desperation.

If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you weren't a racist, vote against him in 2012 to prove you aren't an idiot.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2011, 12:51:21 PM »

Just an additional point to consider, CW,

Look at the OJ Simpson trial. It was the classic domestic violence/stalking case that escalated to murder. Nothing unusual there, sadly it's one of the most common homicides you'll see in the US. The only thing atypical about this case was the star element and then the racial factor. Despite the flaws in the investigation and the prosecution, there was plenty of evidence for conviction. Lacking anything else, the defense played the race card, which resulted in his aquittal.

Do we want criminal justice to focus on evidence and the law, or do we want it to be a forum to address historic racial injustice no matter how irrelevant to the case at hand?

Well, I don't remember the OJ trial. Only that his jury thought there was reasonable doubt (;
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bigdog
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« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2012, 11:57:37 AM »

http://www.buzzfeed.com/shifty10322311/zombie-theme-park-planning-to-open-in-detroit-6dq6
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« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2012, 12:24:19 PM »

New Detroit Farm Plan Taking Root

Entrepreneur Envisions Growing Trees on City's Blighted East Side, Returning Thousand of Vacant Lots to Tax Rolls.
By MATTHEW DOLAN
 
DETROIT—Three years ago, financial-services entrepreneur John Hantz proposed converting as much as 10,000 acres of vacant private and city-owned property here into the world's largest for-profit urban farm, restoring swaths of land to the tax rolls and changing the face of Detroit's blighted East Side.

 John Hantz has a dream: To turn thousands of acres of abandoned land in inner-city Detroit into the world's largest for-profit urban farm. Video and reporting by WSJ's Matthew Dolan.
.A video on his company's website called the project "Detroit's saving grace." Critics called it a land grab.

Now, the Hantz plan is more modest—200 acres to start—and gaining support. Detroit's planning director and economic-development agency have endorsed the sale of city land for the venture, and other skeptics, including Mayor Dave Bing, increasingly accept farming as their best hope for turning Detroit's acres of nothing into something.

Separately, the city approved last week a Michigan State University initiative to explore the viability of a $100 million urban-agriculture research center in Detroit that could span as many as 100 acres. "We want to demonstrate that innovation based on metropolitan food production can create new businesses and jobs," Mr. Bing said.

Large-scale farming in Detroit still faces a number of legal, political and logistical challenges, including concerns about soil quality, the price of the land and the impact on neighbors. The land sale also needs formal approval from the mayor and the city council. This summer, a city commission plans public hearings on a zoning ordinance that would permit for-profit farming. That process will force Detroiters to confront awkward questions about their city's development prospects. Among them: Is the abundance of vacant land an asset or a liability?

Detroit has more than 200,000 vacant parcels—almost half of them residential plots—that generate no significant tax revenue and would cost more to maintain than the city can afford. Finding new uses for this land has become one of the most pressing challenges for a city that lost a quarter of its population in the past decade.

Mr. Hantz proposes to ease that burden by buying about 2,300 parcels and planting oak trees, then maybe fruit orchards and hydroponic vegetables. The hardwoods could be harvested and sold within a decade to customers looking for young trees, according to Hantz Farms.

Detroit "cannot create value until we create scarcity," Mr. Hantz says. "Large-scale farming could begin to take land out of circulation in a positive way."

Other Rust Belt cities, such as Cleveland, Milwaukee and Buffalo, N.Y., have reclaimed some vacant land through small-scale farming projects. But no other major city is dealing with as much empty space as Detroit.

Mr. Bing has long campaigned for a new master land-use plan that would rezone depopulated residential areas for other purposes, including farming. But after being sidetracked amid a fiscal crisis, city officials are now working on crafting a comprehensive farm policy that can satisfy investors like Mr. Hantz, residents, local activists and the state's Right to Farm law, which limits municipalities' power to regulate agriculture.

Hantz Farms officials acknowledge their self-funded venture would create few new jobs in the short term, and only modest revenue for Detroit. Hantz is offering only $300 a parcel, one-tenth of what city officials wanted. It has agreed to clear the land and demolish as many as 200 structures—at an estimated cost of more than $2 million, offset in part by tax credits and state assistance—before beginning to pay roughly $60,000 a year in taxes on the land.

Beyond that, the scale of what Mr. Hantz has in mind unnerves even some advocates of urban farming. Kwamena Mensah, who manages the nonprofit D-Town organic farm on seven acres within a West Side park, says the value of Detroit's land lies not in its profit potential, but in "community-building, green spaces and places like this."

To that, Mr. Hantz says Detroit "could do every idea I've ever heard of tomorrow" and still have plenty of empty land left. A former stockbroker who left American Express to found his own financial-services firm, Mr. Hantz, 50 years old, lives in Indian Village, an East Side enclave of turn-of-the-century manors built for the city's elite.

On his commute to Hantz Group's suburban headquarters, he was struck by the emptiness just blocks from his home. To the son of an International Harvester employee from rural Romeo, Mich., a sprawling farm seemed like a solution.

He started researching and reached out to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, where he sought out food-policy expert Rick Foster, now with Michigan State, to be his mentor.

Mr. Hantz first said he wanted to acquire 300 contiguous acres on the East Side, fence it off and begin farming crops. But Mr. Foster suggested something more community-compatible—"maybe forestry"—and urged him to cultivate support in the city.

"We thought he was a little naive about what farming really was and what it could be," Mr. Foster said of those meetings.

Mr. Hantz's early appearances as a farming advocate were rocky. Some critics scorned him as a wealthy investor seeking to buy up Detroit's land on the cheap, a claim he rejected.

In April 2010, he told a gathering at a local university that after talking to urban-agriculture experts on a car tour through Detroit, he felt he could deliver progress much faster working as an individual than waiting for a broader community-backed effort.

"Get out of your car, John," an audience member shot back.

Mr. Foster led him to Mike Score, a Detroit native with a degree in crop and soil sciences who had worked on agriculture development in Zaire. Mr. Score soon became the public face of Hantz Farms and its president, lobbying neighbors and city leaders for the venture. Under Mr. Score's leadership, the proposed footprint shrank to 200 acres, with a focus on timber rather than food crops.

The changes helped bring some critics around. "What's changed is Hantz Farms began to bring on people with more expertise who were able to create a more realistic plan," says Maggie DeSantis, who pushed to get her East Side community-development group to embrace the farm.

Hantz Farms recently bought about three acres on a mostly deserted block and cleared away a mountain of debris, including 430 tires. In their place, Hantz crews planted hundreds of bur oak saplings as a demonstration project. "It's a pleasure to look at," says Ruth Moucha, 80, one of the few residents left on the block. "It feels like it's a circle, coming back to what it once was."

Mr. Score says Hantz's efforts have already shifted the conversation about farming in Detroit. There were fears among city leaders that outsiders "would criticize Detroit and say that they failed as a city," he says. "We've had to help the city reframe those thoughts."

Mr. Hantz hasn't given up on his bolder vision. Ideally, he says, "this farm should be 10,000 acres," and several more are needed to restore value to Detroit's land. "The size is by no means where it needs to be."

Write to Matthew Dolan at matthew.dolan@wsj.com

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DougMacG
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« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2013, 01:50:48 PM »

(from gun related)
Well, at least the victims of the government policies that destroyed the black family reject the political party responsible for this nightmare,  right?

Failure creates more dependency and more votes ironically for big government with better turnout because not in spite of the downward spiral.  The inner city got tragically worse under the first black President and all he could think of was reelection turnout operations.  He said to these people, "I need your help".  "I can't do it without you!"   Do WHAT??!! 

If he had turned around America's inner city alone, he would have a falling unemployment rate (for real), a falling deficit, a rejuvenated economy and reelection without needing all the data mining tricks.

What a wasted opportunity to motivate and inspire.  Now what? We expect him to change course after winning?  This all goes on for another generation if not forever.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2013, 08:53:31 PM »

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1672
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2013, 01:00:22 PM »



The Real Super Bowl Winner
Why New Orleans has come back better after Katrina..
 
The Super Bowl makes its tenth stop in New Orleans on Sunday, but only the first since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For once the Big Easy has earned this excuse to party, coming back to life better than ever.

New Orleans has patented no magic sauce. Katrina created the opening for different policies to turn around what was one of the worst-run and most politically calcified places in America. Other troubled cities and Washington, take note.

When the levees broke and flood waters sent half the town fleeing, the Crescent City was a study in urban dysfunction. Obvious to everyone was the incompetence and rot at City Hall, in the police department, on the levee board and in the schools. There were doubts about the wisdom, much less the cost, of rebuilding.

Entergy, ETR +0.37%the city's lone Fortune 500 firm, considered moving its headquarters to Little Rock. Many Katrina evacuees stayed away, and the city's population—somewhere above the 360,740 counted as of 2011—isn't back to its pre-storm level of 455,000.

Yet Katrina offered the people who wanted to save New Orleans something rare—a do-over. Consensus over the necessary fixes quickly gelled in a city long polarized by race and class.

The schools, a national embarrassment, were closed for six months and restarted from scratch. The system was turned over to charter operators, who got the leeway to hire new teachers and have been held accountable by strong schools commissioners. Before the storm, three in five students attended a failing school; now fewer than a fifth do.

This education experiment gave people the confidence to push an overhaul of policing, city procurement and other public services. The business community, which had holed up in the city's higher-ground residential areas or across Lake Pontchartrain, re-engaged in civic life.

Political change has followed. Mayor Ray Nagin—who blamed the feds for the city's catastrophic response to Katrina—was replaced three years ago by another Democrat, Mitch Landrieu. Mr. Nagin was indicted last month on 21 corruption counts. Mr. Landrieu enjoys approval ratings in the seventies. The budget was balanced. He upgraded the airport and opened a new street car line along Loyola Avenue in time for the Super Bowl.

Relatively low state and local taxes and cost of living are helping to make New Orleans a magnet for business start-ups and young college graduates—what Seattle or Austin were in other recent decades. Energy and hospitality are doing well. The jobless rate of 4.7% is lower even than in that other American boomtown, Washington, D.C., but for reasons other than a growing government.

Such progress is not guaranteed and problems remain. School test scores and graduation rates are improving but still aren't great. New Orleans remains the nation's murder capital, with three times Chicago's homicide rate, and the police have to earn public trust. The relative racial comity of the city's politics is recent and perhaps not enduring.

Yet—whether during Super Bowl week, Mardi Gras or any other party time—the city's energy and optimism are unmistakable. Americans are in a self-doubting mood these days, and not without cause. But the revival of New Orleans shows what self-government can accomplish when enough citizens choose to break up the corrupt status quo.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2013, 01:51:00 PM »

An estimated 47 percent of Detroit’s property owners pay no taxes, according to recent report from The Detroit News.
(Abortion rights taking a toll?)

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130221/METRO01/302210375/
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/22/report-47-percent-of-detroit-property-owners-pay-no-taxes/

“Nearly half of the owners of Detroit’s 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax bills last year, exacerbating a punishing cycle of declining revenues and diminished services for a city in a financial crisis,” the report notes, citing more than 200,000 pages of tax documents.

“Some $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected, about half of which was due Detroit and the rest to other entities, including Wayne County, Detroit Public Schools and the library,” the report adds.

In fact, according to The News, delinquency in the shattered city is so bad that that 77 blocks had only one owner who paid taxes in 2012.

Yes, one person paid taxes in an area covering 77 blocks.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2013, 05:46:17 PM »

I've seen many pictures of Detroit that look like Dresden after being bombed in WW2.
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G M
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« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2013, 05:51:50 PM »

I've seen many pictures of Detroit that look like Dresden after being bombed in WW2.


Wasn't someone looking at buying up large chunks of the city for a Zombie type attaction?
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G M
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« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2013, 05:57:47 PM »

Although they way things are going, most all American cities will look like this.....
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DDF
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« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2013, 06:05:28 PM »

Detroit is an excellent place to buy property.
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We all die. The second one accepts that, only then are they capable of living.
DougMacG
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« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2013, 09:51:04 AM »

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/03/15/detroit-dems-enrich-wall-street-as-city-goes-bust/

March 15, 2013
Detroit Dems Enrich Wall Street As City Goes Bust
Walter Russell Mead

Michigan made it official this week: Detroit can no longer survive without adult supervision. Michigan’s governor named Kevyn Orr, a DC bankruptcy lawyer, to handle the city’s affairs on an emergency basis as the deep blue city makes a last ditch effort to avoid the biggest municipal bankruptcy in American history.

During the long grim slide, much of Detroit’s population fled the implosion; those who remained suffered through declining city services. Schools, police, fire, infrastructure: all the vital services cities are supposed to provide have gone into steep decline.

But while the city’s mostly low-income and mostly African-American residents struggled to survive civic decline, the ill wind from Detroit blew somebody good: well connected Wall Street firms have feasted on the Motor City’s carcass.

Ever since the long death spiral began, Detroit has relied on periodic bond sales to keep its bills paid. The thinking was clear: borrow now, pay it back later when the city’s finances recover. Of course, Detroit’s finances never recovered, and now it’s on the hook for much of this borrowing, in addition to the fees that these banks charged.

And these are serious fees. Bloomberg reports that since 2005, Wall Street banks have charged the city a whopping $474 million. As a comparison, that’s about as much as the city’s current entire police and fire budget for this year:

    “The banks promise to get you the money and say you can pay later,” said Greg Bowens, spokesman for Stand Up For Democracy, a Lansing group that campaigned last year to repeal the law allowing appointment of a financial manager. “They get their fees off the top, and you trust that they’re doing what’s in your taxpayers’ best interest.”

As Detroit is learning now, in many cases they weren’t. And Detroit is not alone: In city after city, struggling pension funds have turned to exotic Wall Street investments claiming high returns and minimal risks. In some cases this is working out, in many more it isn’t, but either way, Wall Street is collecting its fees and leaving taxpayers and pensioners to pick up the pieces when it falls apart.

Democrats are shocked, shocked by the news that there is gambling going on in America’s blue cities. They do their best to avert their eyes from the close political ties between corrupt urban political machines and exploitative Wall Street banks. In the lame progressive mindset that characterizes these decadent times, Wall Street is bad, and urban politicians are good. There can’t possibly be some sort of symbiotic relationship between them. How could something so good, so honest, so dedicated to serving the poor as the Detroit Democratic machine be engaged in a vicious conspiracy with Wall Street to bleed the poor and suck the city dry?

Some Democrats don’t like this kind of talk because they are cynical and others don’t like it because they are naive. The cynics are either in the game themselves or knowingly agree to look the other way because they value the support of political allies and don’t care how much those allies bleed the poor. The naive ones, and there are lots of starry eyed intellectuals in this country who don’t know a hawk from a handsaw, think that because many of these urban thugs are African-American, and because they advocate for more government programs to help the poor, they must obviously be sincere and be part of a general wave of good progressive people fighting to make this world a better place. Surely nobody is so cynical as to lobby for government programs because they plan to cream off the money?

Others have an uneasy sense that something is amiss, but a combination of historical ignorance and race sensitivity strikes them dumb. They look around America and see a number of urban areas with predominantly African-American populations. They see that many (not all) of these cities are run by incompetent, race-baiting hacks and criminals who use identity politics to bond themselves to the voters they exploit.

Because they don’t understand that corruption and identity politics have been the hallmark of American municipal government since the 1830s and 184os, they think the ghastly spectacle of demagogic corruption ruining our cities today is somehow a racial phenomenon. The racists among us see that picture and want to draw racist conclusions about African-American capacity for self governance; most of the rest of us are made so uncomfortable by the whole topic that we let the subject slide.

But thieves like the despicable Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit are anything but a racial phenomenon. There were Irish, Jewish, Italian, Polish and Greek Kilpatricks in their day. We can confidently expect a wave of Latino Kilpatricks as Latino voting power pushes African-American machines aside in more urban areas.

And there’s another thing American history teaches: unscrupulous politicians will find unscrupulous bankers who will float them abusive loans in exchange for fat fees.

If our so-called ‘progressives’ today weren’t so intellectually decadent and, well, historically challenged, they would be leading the charge to clean up American cities. Instead they are mostly silent — and sometimes even defend the machines.

It’s a terrible shame because reformers and progressives really can fight the rot and help the poor — if they can get past their messed up ‘political correctness’ illusions long enough to recognize the basic facts of the case. Some people are trying. Politicians like (one hopes) Cory Booker are part of the wave of renewal and change that slowly and bit by bit can make a change. Courageous prosecutors, crusading attorneys-general, fiercely determined governors are part of the solution. And so are presidents who believe that their oath of office obliges them to attack with special force and determination the organized political machines that use a whole series of corrupt and collusive procedures to deprive American citizens of their right to a republican form of government.

Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Governor Snyder’s choice of Kevyn Orr to take the reins in Detroit is looking good. For one thing, Orr has a history of turning around failing organizations in Michigan. He was partially responsible for guiding Chrysler through bankruptcy in 2009. Given that many expect Detroit to enter bankruptcy as well, Orr’s skill set in this area is likely to come in handy. But perhaps most importantly, Orr, along with 82 percent of Detroit’s population, is black.

The mix of political machines, unscrupulous bosses and low income voters is not inherently a racial issue, but Detroit’s problems can’t be separated from racial concerns. Ever since the state of emergency was announced, many in Detroit have been concerned that the emergency manager law is effectively taking control away from the city’s black population and putting it in the hands of a manager appointed by a white Republican governor.

Michigan has a real mess on its hands. As Bloomberg notes, Detroit now joins Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac and a few other, smaller cities under emergency management. These cities account for nearly 50 percent of the state’s black population, so that almost half the black people in Michigan now live in places where local government has effectively lost power. In Benton Harbor in particular, the current situation has sparked racial concern:

    “If I’m a young, African-American person growing up in Detroit or Benton Harbor or one of these mostly black areas, what is the message that sends?” Pilgrim said. “It certainly looks like the message is that people that look like you can’t govern.” [...]

    “I don’t see how it couldn’t be racially motivated,” Williams, 30, said of the law. “We will stop this because of folks who stood before us, like Medgar Evers, who fought for voting rights.”

It’s true that the emergency manager law is taking power away from Detroiters and other Michigan urbanites, and we certainly hope that the state can return control to the people as soon as possible. But despite the fears of a hostile outside takeover, most of Detroit’s problems come from the corrupt political machine that has been looting the city for decades — and from the indifferent state and national prosecutors and politicians who failed to address the lawless state of city government and left the city’s poor to the mercies of heartless thugs.

Following in the footsteps of cheap foreign demagogues like Robert Mugabe, Kwame Kilpatrick and others of his ilk have played relentlessly on identity politics to earn support from poor, minority communities while using the power of their office to funnel money out of these same communities and into their own pockets. And while Kilpatrick—who was just indicted on 24 charges of corruption—may be the worst of the lot, he was far from alone.

What they have left behind is a city where taxes are among the highest in the nation, yet which can’t afford to pay its pensions, provide adequate police service, or keep the lights on.

The best way to stop future tragedies like this is to enforce the law. From voting fraud to corrupt relations with contractors and financiers to fraudulent accounting on pensions, many American cities are being run more like criminal conspiracies than anything else. And the cost isn’t just the money the politicians steal, or the inflated profits that those doing business with a crooked city can earn or even the sweetheart deals with public sector unions who function as part of the machine. It is the shambolic education offered to generations of poor kids, the lack of protection for person and property, the burden of a government that is both costly and ineffective and the enterprises and jobs such a government kills or drives away: corrupt big city machines may be the most important single civil rights issue in America today.

This is not, repeat not, a black thing. Historically, most of America’s worst urban machines have been white criminal enterprises. Often in American history, a combination of identity politics, fear and hopes of getting scraps from the machine have prevented poor people in the cities from organizing against their criminal masters. In the past it was often progressives and middle class reformers, some of the same ethnicity as most of the victims, others from different groups, who banded together to drive out the crooks. The criminals did their best to smear the reformers and identity politics was part of their shtick. Tammany Hall accused its critics of being anti-Catholic or anti-Irish bigots. Prosecutors who attacked the mafia were called anti-Italian. And so it goes.

Urban machines have a legitimate place in American politics. New waves of immigrants into urban America — whether from Europe, Asia, Latin America or the rural South — benefit from organizing to protect their economic and political issues. The machines allow them to assert themselves, claim a share of city patronage and business, and direct city resources to communities that might otherwise be overlooked.

But unchecked and uncontrolled, these machines have a tendency to go over the line. Graft proliferates; crony appointments degrade the quality of governance to the point that city administration is no longer able to function. This is where the reformers come in, pushing back against the tendency of political machines to jump the shark, imposing some limits and discipline on what goes on. Partly because today’s progressives are moral cowards who have allowed themselves to be shamed by the race card, this process of balance and reform didn’t really get underway in Detroit (and perhaps elsewhere) until enormous damage had already been done.

By overlooking the corruption and a mafia thinly disguised as a political party for so long, the authorities of the United States deprived the citizens of Detroit of the equal protection of the law. That must not happen in our other cities; municipal government in this country needs to be much more transparent, and law enforcement really needs to crack down.

Without this, all the federal block grants or social programs in the world will help those trapped in the inner cities escape poverty and get the education and skills they need to build the kind of future all Americans want.

This is the pre-eminent civil rights problem of our day and is devastating minority communities throughout the country. Our political establishment, our university faculties and fashionable intellectuals, our newspaper editorialists, our legal profession and our clergy stand essentially silent; it is the silence of shame.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2013, 11:02:35 AM »

This is cultural, not racial.  The trend extends across all races.

"60 percent of all families in the city of Richmond are single-parent households. Within the African-American demographic, that number spikes up to 86 percent"

http://wtvr.com/2013/06/10/60-percent-of-richmond-families-single-parent/
www.firstthingsrichmond.org
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bigdog
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« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2013, 02:22:52 PM »

http://www.curiosityaroused.com/world/the-10-most-dangerous-cities-in-america-in-2013/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2013, 08:50:16 PM »

If Obama Had A City, It Would Look like Detroit

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/07/if_obama_had_a_city_it_would_look_like_detroit.html#ixzz2ZjcVBWX1

    40% of its street lamps don't work.

    210 of its 317 public parks have been closed.

    It takes an hour for police to respond to a 911 call.

    Only a third of its ambulances are drivable.

    One-third of the city has been abandoned.

    Forty-seven percent of adults are functionally illiterate

Evidently 50 years of governance by compassionate Obama community organizer types have driven out the business class and now there is no one left to rail against.

To top it off, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina declared Detroit's bankruptcy "unconstitutional." Evidently, as Mark Stein puts it, in Michigan," reality is unconstitutional."
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