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Author Topic: Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog  (Read 2267 times)

unstructuredreality

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« on: May 09, 2004, 01:54:04 pm »

Claire,

You know I was born in the Motor City, the same place where police chief William Hart died in prison after being sentenced in a major cocaine/money  and South African gold laundering scheme with city money.  He also helped ship the cocaine onto the streets himself.  Many police there are sworn members to various street gangs similar to the notorious Ramparts scandal a few years back in Los Angeles, which by the way is still going on.  Common were the shakedowns for millions, yes, millions of dollars in cold hard cash if payoffs weren't made.  One nice thing depending on perspective is that Detroit is possibly the most heavily armed city in America too, legal and illegal.  If you were drugged up and dropped off in the center of the city, you'd think you'd been taken to Grozny to fight the Russians.  
http://www.law.emory.edu/6circuit/nov95/95...5a0331p.06.html

As for our proud Mayor and for perspective I'll list a brief, certainly not complete, biography compiled by the Detroit Free Press covering only the years 1986-1993

1986
October: Held "No Crime Day" with Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas, but the city recorded three fatal shootings and a fatal stabbing. Told Canadian TV interviewer that Detroit is surrounded by "hostile suburbs."

1987
July: Assailed news media for engaging in an "orgy" and "feeding frenzy" for presenting 20-year retrospectives on the Detroit riot.

1988
September: Defied a court order to release records showing how the city lost $40 million in a land purchase for the new Chrysler Jefferson plant, prompting a judge to temporarily jail city attorney Don Pailen for contempt. Set a national record for awarding contracts to minority firms -- $132 million in one year.

1989
November: Defeated Tom Barrow, 56-44 percent, to win a fifth term.
December: Blasted reporters for participating in the "crucifixion" of Police Chief Hart, who was under investigation with former civilian deputy chief Kenneth Weiner for looting an undercover operations fund.

1990

January: Stonewalled questions about the private consulting firm he ran with Weiner.

March: Denied he had trafficked in Krugerrands in an investment scheme with Weiner and accused the FBI of giving Weiner, as an informant, "a license to steal" from the city.

October: Launched an effort that found 121,350 residents missed by the U.S. Census, boosting Detroit's population above one million and safeguarding millions of dollars in government aid.

November: Lost temper on national television, snapping obscenely at "Prime Time Live" reporter Judd Rose.

1991

February: Appointed Stanley Knox police chief after a federal grand jury charged Chief Hart with stealing about $2.3 million.

June: Called U.S. Attorney Stephen Markman "out of control" after an FBI sting netted Detroit police officers for protecting shipments by agents posing as drug dealers.

September: Intervened in a controversial case of suburbanites beaten after the Freedom Festival fireworks by interviewing witnesses at the Omni Hotel.

1992

August: Received a scolding from a federal judge for all but obstructing a probe of corruption in the Police Department.

November: Called the beating death of Malice Green "murder" on national television, but later apologized for a poor choice of words. Proclaimed victory in city's effort to prevent Devil's Night arson.

I'll stop rambling about local politics but if anything Detroit should be the poster city for ending the War on Drugs and Government Addiction.  It has systematically destroyed the heart of a once proud and important city.

Good Day
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Bluematt

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2004, 07:45:04 pm »

Hello,
This is my first post and figured that it would be a good jumping off point. I know Detroit as well as anyone. I was born and raised there. Detroit is an amazingly corrupt town with an amazing crime rate. "Devils Night", for those of you who have not heard this term was quite the national news story for years. I clearly remember families clutched together on the night before halloween because of the massive looting. Many deaths and arsons would take place on this night.
Suburban sprawl is also a major problem in Detroit. Detroit was one of the first cities to experience this as a major problem. One can see as to why I left at 21 for MAINE!
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Claire

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2004, 09:28:19 am »

Welcome, bluematt. And good job getting out of that place.

Never been to Detroit myself, but I do recall the absolutely insane stories about hell night. And recall a friend describing downtown Detroit as looking like what he imagined downtown Beiruit to be -- not only ruinous, but virtually depopulated, the fear was so great. As a person who doesn't like even the "nice" cities like Minneapolis, San Francisco, and San Antonio, that made me feel like staying on the other side of the continent from Detroit.

Claire
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

suijurisfreeman

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2004, 10:15:08 am »

Yep, good ole Detroit, Michigan.  Between 1974 and 2001 I probably traveled to the Motor City over 2,000 times on business delivering my cat furniture to various pet stores.  Well actually not Detroit itself, I made it a point to stay out of the city, the stores that I sold to were in the suburbs of Detroit.  Places like Grosse Pointe Woods, Birmingham, Sterling Heights, Harper Woods, Garden City, etc., etc.  I think I had something like 40 plus pet stores that I sold to during that time.
Quite often I had to use I-94 and I-75 to go from the north side of Detroit to the south side, unbelieveable shit went on there.  Now that's one place I don't miss, well I do miss going to the used book stores and hobby shops!  John King Books off I-75 downtown had something like 500,000 used books on their shelves - I used to spend hours there and more FRN's than I care to remember!
"Devil's Night", now that was a good time to avoid Detroit!  Trouble was it usually didn't just last one night!
Last trip that I made to the Detroit area was on September 11, 2001, I made a delivery to Specialty Pet in Plymouth, Michigan that morning.  That's when I first learned about the World Trade Center situation, I had planned on going on into Detroit to hit some hobby shops and used book stores but decided no way, went on to Lansing to finish my deliveries and headed back to Elkhart, Indiana and finally back to Kentucky.  A couple of weeks later I made my last delivery to Nashville, after 27 years of manufacturing cat furniture the catman called it quits - 27 years was far too long to run a cathouse!
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unstructuredreality

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2004, 01:23:13 pm »

Back in about 1984, after the riots that followed the Tiger's World Series Championship, a new and ominous trend began to emerge on the Nations media.  The night before halloween- most everyone calls it "mischief night" or something to that effect. Well in Detroit it was called "Devil's Night".  About 800 arson fires occurred over the 2 day period ending halloweeen.  The enormous supply of abandoned houses- some neghborhoods look like overgrown weed fields scattered with debris with one or two nearly collapsed houses taking up the other lots.  Of course this made for great fires.  The biggest problem though would be the slumlords and absent property owners from the suburbs or other areas of the city who would use the night as an excuse to burn their property and collect insurance so they could get the "hell" out of town and build across 8 mile road or other border road where tax rates are in most cases 7 to 10 times lower than in the city.  Think about this, from 1950 until 2000 with most of the flight taking place between 1967 and 1990, the city shrunk from over 2 million people to just shy of a million today.  Poverty, salons, high interest loan shops, liquor stores, shoe shops, an occasional Kmart, and store front churches are about all that is left.  Oh yeah there are 3 major casinos in the city, one of which you could throw a rock and hit the housing projects across the way.  
On the first and fifteenth, it's a spectacle.   Detroit was never like Chicago, New York or San Fran but it was a beautiful residential city with large lots and good community spirit sitting on an international border with nice parks.  It's a shame, but when the mafia and the feds take over your city, watch out.  Detroit could serve as a warning.  I was born there but soon moved to the northwestern suburbs where if you don't have a car you might as well starve.  

Peace, 7 mile style-( inside comment for anyone from Motown)
Good Day
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Plinker-MS

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2004, 01:58:31 pm »

Quote
On the first and fifteenth, it's a spectacle.
Because Claire's Hardyville column appears on the Backwoods Home website??? :blink:

Damn. Detroit's a tougher town than I thought!  :ph34r:  
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Mos2

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2004, 07:09:27 pm »

I was also born in Detroit, but my folks moved to the 'burbs when I was two. I still remember the '68 riots. We were camping up North and my dad seriously considered staying up there another week till things quieted down. My grandparents lived in Highland Park ( a city completely enclosed by Detroit). When I was a kid, we thought nothing of walking from their house down to Woodward to the stores... It wouldn't be safe to even drive into that area now. Sad really, it was a nice neighborhood once.

On the otherhand, I live in Flint now, which is hardly any inprovement. It's just smaller allowing for easier escapes. :-)
.  
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unstructuredreality

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Detroit Was My Kind of Town: From Blog
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2004, 07:59:45 pm »

Mos2,

I think I'm a bit younger than you because I was born after the riots, but in studying extensively and talking with my family and the elders who sweat those hot days out it could be a good case study if troops ever hit the streets in America.  My father tells me about the tanks rolling down Grand River Avenue, and the snipers perched on every department store and corner building.  The thing about that riot was that it took place within a realtively small central section of the city, yet the national gaurd forced people to stay indoors miles away.  Yes folks, tanks and snipers.  This scared the hell out of many residents, but from I understand they wanted it.  The whole thing started when a few corrupt cops raided a "blind pig" around 12th street and laid some beatings down and crowds gathered to their defense on a Hot summer day.  The western center of the city went into flames and in came the tanks.  It was the worst riot until Los Angeles took the crown in 92.  About every white resident with the money fled into the suburbs and today it is about 85 percent black, 5 percent hispanic and the rest a spattering of Arab and other groups.  The poverty rate is at least 40 percent and unemployment often reaches 15 percent due to the dominance of the auto industry.  Now the suburbs are a different story and are quite nice- if you have a car.  The other leading factor that plays to our libertarian anti government theme was the forced bussing of students in the early 70's.  
A city already reeling from white flight and riots, forced bussing from neighborhood schools clear across the city sent those that remained packing, where they could choose where to go to school.  A supreme court case eventually settled the issue for good or bad but by that time the point of no return had been reached.  A Great example of governments, local and federal meddling in the affairs of free people creates disaster.

Peace and Good Day
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