Paradigm shift – a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events.
A. Sign of the times
July 18, 2012, Metrotimes, By Detroitblogger John
A Detroiter signals distress from a neighborhood under siege
After a drive-by shooting at a playground, Andre Ventura erected his sign.
Rudell Solomon: “I teach kids how to plant.”
By Detroitblogger John
It wasn’t the daily raids on his yard by the neighborhood’s thieves that did it. Nor was it the pyro who firebombed his equipment trailer. No, what drove Andre Ventura over the edge was the drive-by shooting that had kids on the playground diving for cover as bullets pinged off the swing-set posts.
When that happened, Ventura grabbed some paint and a brush, scrawled an angry declaration on a plank of wood and hoisted his homemade sign at the edge of his east side yard, leaving it to face Eight Mile Road and the thousands of commuters that pass by daily.
“Warning! This city is infested by crackheads. Secure your belongings and pray for your life. Your legislators won’t protect you,” the sign read. Then he raised several American flags up tall poles, but flew them upside down in the signal of distress.
Ventura had spent a decade living in Detroit’s inner-city, fixing up old houses and helping open adult foster care homes, supplying truckloads of clothes for the poor, planting urban gardens and creating a playground for kids. He’s a disaster relief worker by trade, and when he came to Detroit, he felt compelled to help because he’d stumbled onto a disaster.
As the years in the inner city wore on him, he’d channel his angst into little signs he left on abandoned homes and rickety fences, expressing concern about the condition of the neighborhoods, the threats residents there endure, the harrowing upbringing children face. The signs got little attention. But this time, people reacted.
Cops stopped by and voiced their support. Firefighters pulled up in rigs and got out to take pictures. Neighbors offered congratulations.
“I had signs up about children for years,” the 41-year-old Ventura says. “I put up 200-and-something signs, and nobody reacted. I put up a crackhead sign up here on Eight Mile, I had cars stopping the next day, and within two weeks I’m on international news.”
All because he said what he felt should be heard — that some parts of this city are blown-out combat zones where innocent people are under siege.
“I had a positive outlook on the city,” he says. “I used to say nice things about Detroit. I said Detroit would survive as long as there was one person to love it. But I’ve had a complete change in attitude.”
If there’s one person in Detroit who would be least expected to lose his optimism for the city, it is the energetic man who came here to help rebuild it.
After a childhood on military bases in Europe, a stint of his own in the Army and a career in disaster relief, Ventura came to Detroit after a woman he met at a Home Depot invited him to help fix up some old homes on the east side. “Within the first three days, I seen a house blown up, two cars blown up in the streets, and you were hearing gunshots every night. It’s nuts over there. I could’ve been in Iraq or Afghanistan. That’s what sparked enough curiosity for me to try to figure out what was really going on, because before that I really didn’t have any experience in Detroit.”
He’d drive around the city, introducing himself to residents, touring the good blocks and the bad ones, finding out who were the killers and who were the thieves. Along the way he stumbled into the shadow economy that fuels the city’s neighborhoods.
“I can get you anything you want, legal or illegal,” he says. ” Drugs, black market goods, anything. I can get you a helicopter. Guns. Grenades $5 apiece, real grenades. Anything that you want there’s somebody willing to steal it. I don’t care what you want. You want a tank? You can get it and probably for less than $5,000.”
Alarmed by what he’d seen, he wrote impassioned letters pleading for help from the city’s mayors and council members, who dismissed him for living in a suburb at the time. “When I started tackling problems the first thing that came out of their mouths was, ‘Well, you don’t even live in Detroit,'” he says, “So, OK, fine, I’ll move to Detroit.”
He moved into a rickety old house at French and Gratiot, an intersection crisscrossing a wasteland. As a disaster relief worker he’d been to towns decimated by hurricanes or tornadoes. But he was stunned.
“I’ve been all over the world, all over the country,” he says. “There ain’t nothing like Detroit. There’s really no way to describe it.”
In his decade of inner-city life, he’s amassed countless stories of social mayhem, snapshots of social collapse. Of hookers having sex on the children’s playground he built next to his yard. Of looking out his window to see neighbors walking off with tools and extension cords in bright daylight. Of the neighborhood kid who’s so well-connected he can get back just about any of your stolen things — for a price. Of tending to children shot by stray bullets while waiting for police and ambulances that sometimes don’t arrive. Of the elderly woman across the street who won $6,000 in the lottery but was shot and killed the next night by a thief who wanted that ticket. Of that drive-by shooting that sent little kids running for their lives on a playground.
“There ain’t no way you can fathom it,” he says of his corner of the city. “There’s no morals, ethics, standards. There’s no connection between, basically, life that you see everywhere else.”
B. Mob Hijackings Continue, Police Powerless: “We Own This Now”
3 Oct 2012, SHTFplan.com, Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/mob-hijackings-continue-police-powerless-we-own-this-now_10032012
As more and more Americans across the country become impoverished by rising costs for essential goods, falling wages, job losses, and an unraveling social safety net, those with nothing left to lose are becoming more daring, more aggressive and more ruthless.
Nowhere is this as apparent than in the cities of Chicago, where police have compared the explosion in violence to a tribal warefare akin to what we’ve seen in Iraq or Afghanistan, and Detroit, Michigan, where acres upon acres of dilapidated homes have been razed and police have simply stopped responding to emergency calls in certain areas.
The rule of law is steadily collapsing, and in due time you may see it in your city:
Even the old-timers in Detroit never have seen anything like this… A mob of 40 black people moved into a convenience store and will not leave.
They say they now own it. They eat. Smoke. Cuss.Threaten. Spit. Rob. Sell drugs. All on video.
Police, ministers, neighbors, the store owner and just about everyone else seems powerless to stop them.
“It’s a Bad Crew gas station,” said one of the mob to the local Fox affiliate. “If you don’t know what that is, I can’t even tell you.”
The owner calls police, but nothing happens. The police “come here and then they leave. Two minutes later they (the mob) are back.”
Also see: Mob Beats Detroit shopkeeper:
“I am shocked he is still alive,” said the store owner. “They came into the gas station and said ‘we own this. This is our hood. This is our gas station. We are going to take whatever we want.’ It’s a war zone.”
Select link for YouTube video:
We are living in a society where legislation and law enforcement have been aimed squarely at law abiding Americans while criminals are allowed to do as they please. As criminals realize they can indiscriminately pillage and attack innocents without being held to account under existing laws, we can fully expect this trend to spread to currently peaceful neighborhoods. At some point the violence will simply overwhelm local police departments.
At that point, it’ll be up to each individual American to look out for themselves and their families. Or, things will get so bad that the government will announce ‘temporary’ local, state or national emergencies, declare martial law and deploy military personnel on the streets of America in response to the disturbances and rampant crime waves.
Whatever the outcome, those who play by the rules, follow the laws, and respect the individual rights of others will be the losers.
Mr Larry’s homespun ideas and solutions:
More welfare, free medical care, more Obama phones, more housing and energy subsidies, more food stamps and living off the largess of others has not solved the problem. More police, more governmental “Wars on Drugs” and city-wide wars on crime – none have solved the problem nor stemmed its growth. “Warehousing” large numbers of our population for crime hasn’t solved the problem.
Nothing works because it does not teach responsibility.
We’ve tried holding hands, social welfare and imprisonment.
We’ve avoided the solution that earns respect and gets the job done, the solution that certainly is better for the law-abiding citizen, cheaper for the economy and in the long run forces personal responsibility…
Above: Options that should become increasingly open to the US judicial system and used to replace the less effective, more expensive systems currently in effect. Criminals who graduate through the process and have proven themselves to be incorrigible, are removed to Potter’s Field, not housed for five, ten, twenty or thirty years for multiple crimes, single heinous crimes, or expensive white-collar crimes.
In essence, it’s about time to weed the garden. Mr Larry.