June 3, 2008

It’s official, I don’t like Detroit anymore. My window was broken. Again. I take back everything I said in my last post about not getting angry, I am angry, very angry, one might even say quite peeved. I am looking for someone to blame and unfortunately the people who broke my window are not around to throw rocks at (this one was caught on tape but the quality is so low there is no way to ID him). Instead I will throw rocks at our beloved mayor. He seems like a fair enough target, he is in charge, he has wasted millions of dollars of the city’s money which could have been used to pay some of the 1000 cops he laid off, and he is almost undeniably corrupt. Well it is undeniable if you are on this side of the rabbit hole. In fantasy land, where Kwame apparently lives, a “lynch mob” is out to get him. I’m not sure who is supposed to be in this mob, perhaps the single white member of a city council that has repeatedly called for his resignation, or maybe just maybe he is pulling the race card yet again to get a knee jerk reaction of solidarity. There are plenty of reasons to dislike him as mayor, and none of them are racial.

The Detroit Free Press has a number of really good articles detailing his many indiscretions, they have a whole “Mayor in Crisis” section. Or just head to Wikipedia for a good summary (about 10 pages worth of controversy).

Motor City

May 31, 2008

I just knew I could pull it off one more time. One final hurrah before I leave the city, yes my car was broken into for the fifth time. I hadn’t even managed to get all the damage fixed from the last time. Surprisingly I don’t really care that much. Yes, it is money wasted and ya it is a pain but I guess I just expect it now. It is like paying taxes, not a favorite activity but you know there is no way to escape it. I guess I should be happy they haven’t tried to steal the car or steal parts of the car.

The latest craze in Detroit is stealing catalytic converters. Amazingly they do this in the middle of the day on fairly busy streets. This has lead to a number of pairs being arrested but there are always more waiting to take their place. In case there are any enterprising criminals out there this is how it is done. One person walks the street looking for cars with a mirror on the end of golf club, if he spots a catalytic converter they can steal a van pulls up and double parks, someone hops out with an electric saw and cuts off the converter. In the neighborhood where I work two of my co-workers had their converters stolen in the middle of the day, and one of those they tried to steal it, failed, then came back two weeks later and stole it. Also about two blocks away I know two more people whose converters were stolen. Apparently they are being sold for scrap metal, sky rocketing metal prices have made it very lucrative.

Over all car crime has spiked around the university. Between January and April this year 101 cars have been stolen on or immediately around campus, this compares to only 17 over the same period last year.

It isn’t a big mystery why all the businesses, upper, and middle classes have fled the city, if they want to turn Detroit around they need to do something about the crime. And the mayor.