Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

By John Ruberry Democrats, particularly Chicago Democrats, love political dynasties. Before Mayor Carter Harrison Jr. there was Carter Harrison. Before Richard M. Daley there was Mayor Richard J. Daley. In Mike Royko's indispensable study of urban machine politics, the Pulitzer Prize columnist wrote, "The Dan Ryan is the expressway that [Richard J.] Daley takes to … Continue reading Forward to Detroit: Prominent Chicago mayoral candidate suggests a commuter tax

Review of Season One of Flint Town

By John Ruberry Early in Episode One of Flint Town, an eight-entry Netflix series that debuted this month, we discover a murder victim lying in the snow. And we see snowflakes resting unmelted on his hand--the only warmth he will offer can only come from memories from his loved ones. Such is life and death … Continue reading Review of Season One of Flint Town

Review: Kathryrn Bigelow’s “Detroit”

By John Ruberry I was out of town in July when Detroit, the movie about the destructive 1967 riot and a police attack on a small group of guests at the Algiers Motel, hit the theaters. Directed by Kathryrn Bigelow, who is best known for Zero Dark Thirty and the Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker, … Continue reading Review: Kathryrn Bigelow’s “Detroit”

My return to Detroit

By John Ruberry Last week I had some time off from work and I did what few people do. Before sunrise I left home and drove to Detroit for a pleasure visit. It was my second trip to the Motor City. My first Da Tech Guy account, from 2015, is here. What follows is a … Continue reading My return to Detroit

Detroit 1967: Riot or rebellion?

By John Ruberry Last week the 50th anniversary of the five-day long Detroit Riot passed. Or uprising or rebellion, depending on who you speak with. I'm going with the first one, riot. It started after midnight on July 23, 1967 in the city's Virginia Park neighborhood when an illegal bar, known locally as a "blind … Continue reading Detroit 1967: Riot or rebellion?

Unfunded pensions are why Chicago will be the next Detroit

By John Ruberry I've been saying that Chicago will be the next Detroit for years, and on Thursday, syndicated talk radio show host--and former Tea Party congressman--Joe Walsh, was making the same prediction on his program. Walsh was discussing a just-released pension study which the Chicago Sun-Times reported on. Standard & Poor's surveyed pension obligations … Continue reading Unfunded pensions are why Chicago will be the next Detroit

Trump continues urban outreach

By John Ruberry Yesterday Donald Trump continued his outreach to black and inner city voters by speaking at Great Faith Ministries in Detroit's Barton-McFarland neighborhood. Even on the Motor City's low standards this is an especially depressed part of the city, three years ago the area just east of Barton-McFarland was named the most dangerous neighborhood … Continue reading Trump continues urban outreach

Trump does right thing by addressing urban issues in acceptance speech

By John Ruberry The mainstream media, which of course is no fan of the Republican Party and its nominee Donald Trump, in what must have been an act of collusion, almost immediately dismissed what I thought was an A- acceptance address as a "dark speech." Oh, why just an A- from me? I thought Trump's … Continue reading Trump does right thing by addressing urban issues in acceptance speech

About that Detroit comeback

By John Ruberry Type "Detroit revival" or "Detroit comeback" into your Google search box and you'll collect a lot of hits and discover glowing yarns about the turnaround of what was once one of America's greatest cities. Here's one from Forbes just last week. There is even a Pure Michigan TV commercial about Detroit. But as John … Continue reading About that Detroit comeback

BLM activists silent as 2 babies shot, one fatally, in 2 days

By John Ruberry You very likely have heard about the Black Lives Matter movement, the hard-left screamers who regularly disrupt political gatherings and even attack people who proclaim "All Lives Matter." One BLM leader called All Lives Matter a "new racial slur." A wrong turn into a dead end has been made from the sentiment … Continue reading BLM activists silent as 2 babies shot, one fatally, in 2 days

The decline and fall of Chicago

By John Ruberry Two unwelcome pieces of bad news punched Chicago in the face last week. A state pension reform law for two municipal pension plans was unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. Also last week came news that the Chicago metropolitan area saw the biggest population drop of the nation's metro regions. Chicago … Continue reading The decline and fall of Chicago

Review: Once in a Great City–A Detroit Story

By John Ruberry Two months after I returned from my urban exploration trip to Detroit David Maraniss' Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story was published. For me the timing couldn't have been better, As I drove west to my home in the Chicago area I mused, "What in the hell went wrong with Detroit?" … Continue reading Review: Once in a Great City–A Detroit Story

Flint water crisis shows how the left operates

By John Ruberry The Flint crisis--dangerous levels of lead have been found in its drinking water--is a travesty, but one that the left is using to advance its agenda. Background: Two years ago after telling the the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in a cost-cutting move that it would stop buying its Lake Huron water … Continue reading Flint water crisis shows how the left operates

Detroit teachers illegally strike with sick-outs and no one cares

By John Ruberry Last week five public schools in Detroit were closed due to sick-outs, that is, these for-the-kids educators called in sick when they weren't, likely by the direction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. This is a strike in everything but name, and teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan. And no one it seems, … Continue reading Detroit teachers illegally strike with sick-outs and no one cares

Dearborn anti-terror march at best only a good first step

By John Ruberry When Muslims say they condemn the radicals within their faith, a common retort is, "If that is so, then why don't you hold anti-terrorism marches?" Well, one was held yesterday in Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the largest Arab-American population in the Untied States. The peace rally was organized by Imam Husham Al-Husainy … Continue reading Dearborn anti-terror march at best only a good first step

The public education racket

By John Ruberry Despite massive influxes of cash into public education from President Bush's No Child Left Behind and his President Obama's stimulus, test scores of public high school students--the final reckoning of our government education system, have been flat for two decades. Where has that money gone? Some of it has been stolen. Last week Barbara … Continue reading The public education racket

Obama declares war on the suburbs

By John Ruberry Obscured by liberal attacks on the Confederate battle flag is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule announced earlier this month by US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. HUD will review racial demographics in suburbs such as mine, Morton Grove, Illinois, and look for what it may view as patterns of segregation. HUD … Continue reading Obama declares war on the suburbs

I walked its streets: The tragedy of Detroit

By John Ruberry I spent most of last week slowly driving--to avoid potholes--and walking the streets of Detroit. Yes, I took in some time downtown, but most of my travels were in the forsaken neighborhoods far from the casinos and the sports stadiums. When Detroit celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1951--it enjoyed the highest standard of … Continue reading I walked its streets: The tragedy of Detroit

Blackhawks Cup win gives Chicagoans a respite from troubles

By John Ruberry Chicago has suffered a tough run since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Its high murder rate has garnered America's third-largest city the unfortunate nickname of Chiraq--a morphing of Chicago and Iraq. Depopulation--a big problem for most rust belt cities--continues to plague Chicago. Its population hasn't been as low as it is now since … Continue reading Blackhawks Cup win gives Chicagoans a respite from troubles

Chicago: America’s Junk City

By John Ruberry On Monday Rahm Emanuel will be sworn in for his second term as mayor of Chicago. He faces enormous challenges including a high murder rate--with it comes the new nickname for the city, "Chiraq," a crumbling infrastructure that includes pothole-strewn streets, and multiple financial crises. Just last week Moody's Investors Services double-downgraded … Continue reading Chicago: America’s Junk City