Detroit

Detroit: The Final Solution?

Detroit: The Final Solution?

What remained of democracy in Detroit has now been usurped under corporatist rule by Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder.

Atty. Kevyn Duane Orr (55)...

Atty. Kevyn Duane Orr (55)…

Snyder, a venture-capitalist CPA who made his $millions as a Gateway board-director and other enterprises that exported jobs overseas, has appointed Attorney Kevyn Orr to lead point in the latest phase of the corporatist plan: America, Inc. More →

Detroit’s Dictatorship…

Detroit’s Dictatorship…

By Dr. Publico – Repost from American tribune

The corporate criminals now ruling Detroit hardly bother disguising their intent any longer. For them it’s open class war and most of the victims are clueless as to the source of their social and political impoverishment.

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From time to time, as capital-corporatism is confronted with its own Ponzi-like profiteering, these privateers either accept a compromise from their unbridled predatory practice or seek to place the full burden of their theft on the “lower” classes. Today, they’re going for the Full Monte…again.

Without information (public education and an independent media) class consciousness of corporatist predation is mixed.

Six corporations own and control over 90% of the media. Their overall strategy is eminently successful at convincing and confusing the role between gov’t and business, two entirely different enterprises with vastly different goals. There’s always been systemic tension between democratic and corporate rule.

The fact of such tyranny is nothing new to human relations; alpha-male/sociopathic rule has plagued humankind from the beginning of civilization; it comes with the territory.

What worked for our hominid forebears in primeval conditions is applied today to the privileged role of a ruling elite over the rest of humankind. As Pogo discovered: “We’ve met the enemy and he is us” (assuming of course that by “us” one includes an infected or cancerous appendage).

Republican-Tea-Party-300x206An anthropologist would observe that while class rule has served a survival and socio-technological role in human socio-political development, such relations are increasingly becoming the problem, not the solution.

Heretofore, such systems met their destiny thru either self-destruction in competition with other systems (usually the more predatory one winning), or thru resistance and revolution by those being exploited. Competition having been all but foreclosed by corporate-state power, I’d guess only revolution or our mutual self-destruction remains.

In any event, if fascist-corporatism “wins,” it will destroy the planet thru its own systemic dynamics, there being little left to stop it. As the super-technology of science is being increasingly exploited around the world to privatize war for corporate profit and rule, all that tech comes home to control its own populations.

What’s left of the nation’s neo-liberal leadership still believes that appeasing these sociopaths is a viable strategy (assuming that they’re not simply junior partners). The corporatist strategy remains demand, demand, demand. They know that appeasers will ALWAYS capitulate “a little bit.”

Obama’s history shows that his end-strategy to power-conflict resolution has been to always side with corporate conservatives, assuming the continued support of his own liberal base (figuring: Where else can they go?).19GpOb.SlMa_.911-2-300x238

As a thought experiment, one might wonder what he would do should his opposition demand that he be castrated (which, metaphorically, is the case).

After his initial shock, what would be his position? Negotiate for an inch? Hey, ‘Bam, here’s a pregnant idea: How ’bout just a quarter inch…off the back endThe Boehner might go for that

I recall when Reagan & Company were making demands of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua back in ’89, the revolutionaries agreed. Caught off guard, Reagan then added more demands. The Sandinistas agreed again.

This went on for some time with the Sandinistas always agreeing (in order to end the murderous US Contra-War against their people). Finally, in frustration, when the media asked Reagan’s representative what would they accept, he replied, “They could all go shoot themselves!”

There is no way to appease sociopaths, nor their psychopathic goals. To them, every compromise is simply another step in their strategy. How many more millions must be sacrificed?

Welcome to Detroit, the current front-line in the Class War:

In March of 2013, Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) appointed corporate lawyer Kevyn Orr as “Emergency Financial Manager” (EFM) to act as overseer for Detroit. Orr was given full dictatorial powers over the entire city, including the elected Mayor and City Council.

Proof (should one need it) that no longer do corporateers intend to allow their “disaster capitalism” to be ameliorated a la FDR or even satiated with neo-liberal “bailouts.” They want it all. Massa has come home to roost

Their counter-revolutionary strategy includes shifting the weight of their Ponzi-like economic schemes to the masses by breaking labor contracts, slashing services, selling off public assets and, should they choose, disincorporatizing the city itself (as prelude to all gov’t).

In other words, they intend to impoverish the mass of population to the level of third-world wage-slavery and privatize every aspect of commerce. Gov’t–after it’s been drowned in their proverbial bathtub–will then only serve corporate edicts.

This is the world they envision, and this is the world they’re well on the way to creating. Detroit is only the latest stage in that quest.

Not to be outdone by the governor, Detroit’s Mayor Bing also appointed Kevyn Orr’s “former” mega-law firm, Jones Day, to represent Detroit in this charade. EFM Orr, needless to point out, controls Bing’s continued salary.

Even Hollywood would find the hypocrisy of this scenario simply too fantastic to use in a script. A corporate governor appoints a corporate lawyer to rule Detroit, while his corporate law firm (which also represents Detroit’s corporate creditors) to be Detroit’s “restructuring counsel.”

Justice...-300x152Of course, all of these profiteers and quislings believe that in the New Detroit the “trains will run on time” and the citizens will behave more profitably under corporatism for its creditors. The demise of its mass of population is simply “the cost of doing business.”

Is money the “measure of all things”? Corporateers and their conservative schutzstaffel (shock-forces; Klan, Tea Party and other Joe Malarkey followers) believe so, albeit, many for racist and other motivations (thus further serving corporatism).

For the moment, Orr & Company are biding their time. Soon enough the Great Property Grab and looting of what remains of the public treasury will commence.

Us natives, relegated to oblivion by a parasitic economic system, will pass quietly into the night…or perhaps not…

(Special thanks to Detroit’s senior activist-attorney Tom Stephens for some of this material. My use of it is of course my own responsibility.)

Dr. Publico

Snyder Says Detroit Emergency Manager’s Personal Tax Liens are A-Okay

Snyder Says Detroit Emergency Manager’s Personal Tax Liens are A-Okay

This morning was my annual appointment with the CPA to figure my taxes. I use a CPA, not because my taxes are terribly complex, but because I want to be sure they are spot-on accurate. I like sleeping at night, and in the spirit of that bumper sticker: “I’m a grown-up, I pay my taxes”. Taxes aren’t fun, but I like to believe most Michiganders feel the same way.

Governor Snyder told reporters this morning that his new pick for Detroit Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr, is still a-okay with him in-spite of the recently uncovered tax liens on his Maryland home. The Associated Press reports that Snyder claimed his administration did a “very thorough job” in vetting the Emergency Manager candidate. He went on to say that now that this minor brouhaha is over, Orr can concentrate on the business of getting “Detroit going again“.

Of course, to millionaires like Snyder and Orr, thousands of dollars of unpaid taxes is mere sofa change. When the governor was running for office it was revealed that two of his venture capital firms incurred tax liens for not paying employee withholding and business taxes. At the time, Snyder’s campaign spun it as an “oversight”.

Admittedly, personal and corporate finances can be tricky, but they are nothing compared to the complexities found in the municipal world, especially a major city like Detroit. MSU Economics Professor Eric Scorsone, a top expert in the field of municipal finance, spearheaded the 12 hour training course for potential Emergency Managers. The Professor wiesly questions the wisdom of using corporate leaders for public sector debt restructuring projects. Scorsone admits that he finds the corporate executives he trained to have problems with transparency and the concept of open meetings, and that the private sector turn-around model does not translate to public sector needs. In his words, “It’s not a corporate world.”

Yet Snyder continues to pick tycoons and raiders that specialize in cut-back management, who operate without input or oversight, and think paying taxes is optional.

Amy Kerr Hardin from Democracy Tree

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Funding Cuts Threaten Michigan’s Water Supply

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMichigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is running out of money to clean-up underground industrial pollution sites that threaten the state’s drinking water. The Detroit News reports that the DEQ Part 201 program funds have dwindled to $11 million, down from the former $1.3 billion. The Great Lakes State currently has about 6,000 sites requiring cleanup, and it is doubtful that any more than a handful of them will be contained, let alone remediated.

Many of these sources of pollution originate from so-called “orphan” sites — the industries responsible for the leaking toxins are long gone, frequently out of business for decades. The materials were either not properly contained in the first place, or the containment has degraded or failed allowing plumes of pollution to migrate through ground water.

The EPA lists 58 sites in Michigan it is monitoring that are of grave concern, and the state has yet to realize the impact of the sequester on federal funding. Don’t expect help there.

All this, while the DEQ scrambles to inspect and assess the environmental threat of mountains of petroelum coke (pet coke) which suddenly appeared along the banks of the Detroit River next to the Ambassador Bridge. Pet coke is a coal-like by-product of refining tar sands oil. Marathon Petroleum generated the pet coke, but the mountains are currently owned by Detroit Bulk Storage. Residents and officials are concerned that rain could leach the toxin into the river, and that wind could pick up the dust and contaminate the surrounding area. The owner of the pet coke insists that as soon as the river thaws, they will relocate the product.

What if the worst does occur in Detroit?

Getting corporations to step-up and take responsibility for assessment and remediation is like pulling teeth. Earlier this month, Enbridge, Inc., the Canadian company responsible for the 2010 oil spill that released 800,000 gallons into the Kalamazoo River, refused to help pay for two assessment studies, claiming that enough studying had already been done.

It’s not just about money — it’s attitude. Myopic corporations, who rarely see past the next quarter and have demonstratively failed at long-term planning, would naturally not understand the need to engage in a longitudinal assessment. However, not all corporations dodge clean-up and mitigation responsibilities. Dow Chemical leaked dioxin, a poisonous chlorine by-product, into the Tittabawassee River from 1890 to 1970. Dow continues to work on the long process of cleaning the river, segment by segment, reassessing and monitoring as they go.

But, with Michigan’s corporate friendly congress continuing to legislate-away environmental protections and oversight, while these polluters contribute heavily to lawmakers’ campaign funds, things are destined to get much worse in the Great Lakes State before they get any better.

Amy Kerr Hardin from Democracy Tree

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Roy Roberts – You’re Fired! – No More Emergency Financial Managers in Michigan

On January 9, 2013, Roy Roberts sent a letter to the members of the Detroit School Board informing them that they were in violation of Public Act 72 (a law that no longer exists). I am tired of Governor Snyder, AG Bill Schuette, and the supposedly “appointed” Emergency Financial Managers continuing to ignore Michigan Laws and using a non-existent law to justify the gutting of our cities and school systems. I answered Mr. Roberts and faxed my response to his office this morning. I will be addressing (and summarily firing) all other EFMs in the near future. We need to start standing up and taking back the control of our communities and schools. Enough is enough.

This is the letter Mr. Roberts sent to the school board: More →