Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Did Anyone Ask Your Opinion?

"All right, folks, I have thought about it, I've given this considerable thought. I've given this more thought in the last ten minutes than most people think about anything in their life. And I am ready to change my mind on bulldozing Flint. I say go for it. Let's just bulldoze it."
— Rush Limbaugh


  1. Why bother bulldozing when we can just dump Canada's garbage on it and build another Mt. Holly "mountain"...

    Build a ski resort... they will come???

    Seriously though, all I really got from this piece was "10 Minutes?!!"

  2. I think the man is out of touch and opinionated but no more so than M. Moore. This idea isn't crazy babble, though that's the way he makes it sound somehow. Personally, I don't know enough about how razing unused portions of Flint will save the city's taxpayers money. If leveling abandoned areas in an environmentally friendly way will benefit the citizens and centralize the focus of funding (downtown), then I suppose it sounds logical.

  3. He's no Bill Buckley. He is merely a porcine perfomer.

  4. Footfeathers, I think you're giving Rush a little too much credit here. I don't think Land Bank chief Dan Kildee's proposal is crazy. He wants to engage the community to develop a systematic plan to eliminate all the vacant, unused houses and structures in the city which are the result of the population being cut in half. This plan would not eliminate entire sections of the city. It would deal with very small areas and might involve a plan to concentrate housing if homeowners agree to it. I doubt Rush has any idea this is the proposal, which is completely unofficial and would require the approval of Flint residents and officials.

    Rush is saying just bulldoze the entire city because people needed public assistance after the auto industry died. That is, indeed, a crazy statement. There's no knowledge or thought behind his statement. He's just preaching to the same group of extremist wackos that supported Bush till the end. And you know they're crazy.

  5. Fintoid,
    That's sort of what I was saying.
    1. it sounds like a reasonable plan
    2. Rush makes it sound nutty
    3. I don't know enough about it to put a reasonable opinion on the table.

    We're definitely agreed on the Bush supporters and Bush being crazy. Rich and crazy and out of touch with reality.

  6. Would you follow advice from some guy whose addicted to oxycontin and smuggles other drugs (viagra) over international borders?

    I wouldn't let boss limbaugh feed the goldfish.

  7. Flintoid Forever, YESSSS, I know they're crazy!!! I saw your tongue in your cheek but elected to endorse that anyhow.

  8. I think Dan Kildee's proposal has merit. Rather than random buldozing (which is not really what he proposed) I suggest a reinvention of the uban forest. I envision density, surrounded and interleaved with country and rural pathways. Produce and flower gardens, parks, and wild spaces, all connected by pathways, would feed into a modern, urbanized core with UofM-Flint as the energetic center.

    Regarding Rush, he's a corpulent, drug-addicted, hypocritical wind bag who is dimming the Republican's image with his every utterance.

  9. It's a crazy and punitive idea designed to take away property rights. The people who own these properties deserve to have a chance to do something with them on their own. Work out something with the taxes, just like the proposals with the mortgages. If the government chooses to bulldoze them, they should pay FAIR MARKET VALUE TO THE OWNERS. Then let this be the impetus for the owners to pay any taxes. But the taxes should also be based on FAIR MARKET VALUE of the property. For years, cities and towns have looked for ways to circumvent this reality.

    Remember when you point fingers at Rush Limbaugh, three fingers point back at Michael Moore.

    There are plenty of other cities with much larger areas of deterioration. Start with them.

    This bulldozing thing is called HOPE???

  10. I love how the same people who look past BHO's admitted past cocaine use and give him a pass, try to knock down one of their opponents by tying him to oxycotin use. It really is a bad argument.

    Rush Limbaugh did not say anything different in substance that Democrat Dan Kildee has been saying everyday for the last year.

    Dan may not use the word "bulldoze" but if his plan gets legs, there will be bulldozers.

  11. I dig Rush, and I went to Longfellow middle school. I think the city could use a bit of a makeover, and some help from themselves.

  12. Blog owner approval?!! Censorship being done by a journalist? Oh, the irony.

  13. DJ, I'm not sure blogs are "journalism." I think they're sort of more like the op/ed page at a paper mixed with someone's journal. But that's a question for j-school students to discuss. Regardless, did I delete one of your comments? I don't remember doing it, which makes me think I might have done it accidentally.

  14. perhaps dj took offense to the a-hole comment.

  15. Whether it's "journalism" or not, it's *your* blog. *Our* reputations aren't on the line.

    This is equivalent to you having your own radio opinion-and-call-in show. We're your call-in participants. It makes sense for you to have a review function, analogous to a radio show's five-second on-air delay with a produceer talking to the call-in guests first.

    That way you can have some confidence that the comment-participation will be germane to the current topic and within whatever decency-bounds are appropriate for a good Catholic boy whose blog is read by his mom and the St. Marys nuns.

  16. Censorship? No.
    Recognition of differing views? Yes
    Judgement about what's potentially offensive? Yes

    I think Gordie is striking the right balance. My contra-views are welcome, as are others, sans gratuitous swearing and offensive imagery.

    It is HIS site, after all.

    Way to go Gordo.

  17. To respond to the anonymous post, it's not really a blatant infringement on property rights. First of all, they've had years to maintain the property and since they have continued to let the homes slide into degradation, the surrounding homes have slumped in property values. You don't have an absolute right to property that holds impunity from harming others. If you harm others with your property and what you do on your property, then the state has a right to intervene in a none eminent domain manner. For instance, you can't pour toxic chemicals out in your lawn because it would sink into a common water table or potentially damage neighboring land. The same could be argued for abandoned properties around Flint, they have continued to function as "whirlpools" for property value. What about the property rights for the homeowners who care about the community and maintain their homes around these neglectful property owners? Do the neglectful ones take precedence?

    There is a lot of legal ambiguity involved and obvious ethical questions, but if you do a simple utility calculation, (something most conservatives base their ideology upon, I don't since I'm not a conservative and because I think aspects of the deontological and consequentialist arguments both have merit, philosophy majors ftw) it benefits the community far greater to "violate the property rights" of the neglectful owner in the name of protecting the rights of other homeowners in the area.

    Also, fair market pricing is a fair argument, but let's face it... these properties hold little to no value, especially if you read the recent article that Gordon wrote in Slate...

  18. I was very happy when I found this site about Flint. The City I grew up in and miss. Was forced to leave to find a job in Florida in 1981. I just wish the polictics would be left to a political blog sites. I was hoping this site could be a place to remember the good times and hope for better times.

  19. I feel bad over the political bending our fellow poster has received during his education. I see how old he is, and I fear for the future of America as we have known it.

    Most families have a large portion of their net worth tied up in their homes. When the surrounding homes become so bad that it is no longer possible to live in them, it is not a priority to continue paying rent on property they are supposed to own. Even before that point, government at all levels has failed and stolen their property by devaluing it by their policies, and with it, a large portion of their personal net worth. This is clearly immoral.

    I think what our fellow poster is saying is that people have no right to property except as the government sees fit. This is essentially a Communist belief. I suspect that by the time he is 40, our poster will change his tune. Realities of job and family will permanently change him. He will see what we have lost and regret that he supported such policies when he was young.

    It is sad that both the far Left and the far Right see no future in Flint but to bulldoze large portions of it. We have to have REAL HOPE, not that hope talked about during election years.

    And the people of Flint have to realize that although it may have happened in Flint earlier than in other places, the entire country and our way of life is at risk. It's not just Flint.

  20. "If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative at 40, you have no head."

    Winston Churchill

  21. Nice posts, Anonymous... if you did all of them, am not sure. Next time, make up a name so we know it's the same person, although I'm betting it is.

    I am glad to hear your point of view. I especially like your Churchill quote. I think this bulldozing issue is huge and needs to be discussed and not have an answer formulated in 10 minutes time.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at