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 in Flint.

Few cities of its size in the United State–probably none–have endured as much devastation as Flint has in the last thirty years. The population of  Flint, which was once Michigan’s second largest city, peaked in 1960 at just under 200,000. But the wide scale exodus began in the 1980s when General Motors–it was founded in Flint–began its rapid downsizing of operations in what is still called “the Vehicle City.”

Now fewer than 100,000 reside in Flint–with 40 percent of them living below the poverty line.

Flint is Detroit’s smaller cousin–sharing most of the same problems. But Flint’s water crisis–lead poisoning spawned by switching the city’s water supply from Detroit’s Lake Huron facilities to that of the Flint River–added a tragic dimension to its suffering.

“It used to be cars were made in Flint, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico,” Donald Trump remarks at a campaign appearance shown here. “Now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”

Flint Town is a project of directors Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, and Jessica Dimmock. It takes a surprising choice of its focus, the under-resourced Flint Police.

“The police officers on the Flint Police Department and underpaid and understaffed, wearing five or six hats, [and] using primitive equipment,” Police Chief Timothy Johnson tells the city council in the final episode. Earlier in the series the dashboard on a Flint police car shows the odometer at 105,000 miles. The man who sits in the cubicle next to mine in my real job, a retired cop from a Chicago suburb about the same size as Flint, says that the cruisers on his force were surplussed at about 50,000 miles.

We see Devon Bernritter, a captain, lament that he was compelled to send three officers on foot patrols because no police cars were available for them. Cops are sent on calls by themselves in Flint in many situations that in other jurisdictions, because of perceived danger, two officers are sent.

Johnson utilizes the same type of resourcefulness that Soviet citizens used when facing problems with inadequate or missing equipment. Volunteers are hired to assist his officers, although unlike everywhere else these aides are armed, including a warm-hearted 65-year-old retiree whose trainer bends over backwards so he pass his marksmanship test. Guns seized in crimes are typically destroyed by most police departments. In Flint they are auctioned off.

Election Day comes to Flint Town. While not ignored, the presidential race–where the white cops favor Trump and the African American ones back Hillary Clinton–takes a back seat to a vote to extend a millage, a property tax, to provide what is of course badly needed funding for law enforcement. In the past those monies were spent, despite promises to voters, elsewhere.

Flint has a well-deserved reputation for corruption and incompetence. The latter point was something not even Michael Moore in his Roger and Me documentary could ignore. While its elections are non-partisan, Democrats dominate Flint politics.

“I always wondered why this city was in the position it was and now I see why, it’s at the top,” Chief Johnson boldly tells the city council in a budget hearing.

Blogger last autumn in Michigan

Yet the rank-and-file Flint cops deeply care about the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect, despite toiling in the atmosphere of the cold-blooding killings in 2016, assassinations really, of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Is the love returned? For the most part, no.

Flint Town is rated TV-MA for graphic violence and foul language. While Netflix is promoting this batch of shows as Season One, there has been no announcement that a second season is coming. I’d like to see another helping.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

trump-for-america-bw-and-colorBy John Ruberry

I haven’t read all of the thousands of John Podesta emails hacked by Wikileaks–has anyone yet?–but what I have read they betray a Democratic Party obsessed with two things: Money and power.

Liberal writer Thomas Frank, in his second great (gasp!) Guardian column in less than a week, accurately portrays the modern Democratic Party:

Let us start with the Democrats. Were you to draw a Venn diagram of the three groups whose interaction defines the modern-day Democratic party – liberals, meritocrats and plutocrats – the space where they intersect would be an island seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m going to drive the point home by reminding you that John F. Kennedy Jr, who was a liberal, meritocrat, and a plutocrat, was flying to Martha’s Vineyard to attend a cousin’s wedding when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic. The Vineyard is Barack Obama’s favorite vacation spot–he’s been there seven times while president. Martha’s Vineyard the playground of the Democrat elitists. Bill and Hillary Clinton have vacationed there several times. In August her campaign held a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser on the island, just days after a devastating flood struck Louisiana.

In those Podesta emails, I haven’t so far found any mention of blacks, unless it’s about the black vote, the group that Democrats claim to champion more than anyone. But other than voting en masse for the Democrats and celebrity campaign appearances by people like Jay-Z, African-Americans otherwise aren’t much use for the Democrats.

Blue collar workers, a section of the electoral pie that has been shrinking for decades, appear to be missing from the Podesta emails too. They are also absent from Martha’s Vineyard, from what I hear, unless they are modern George Wilsons from The Great Gatsby, dutifully repairing plutocrats’ Teslas. The working class, once the biggest chunk of the FDR coalition, is heading towards the Republican Party. Perhaps a majority of them are inside the GOP tent already. And you won’t find what Michael Moore calls “the forgotten working stiff” on any vacation, because the leftist flamethrower pointed out last month his stiff hasn’t “had a real vacation in years.”

Some blacks besides the First Family “holiday” on the Vineyard, but in a 2009 article in New York magazine, Touré dismissed them as African-Americans who are “the only ones,” such as the only black in the room, neighborhood, or workplace.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” John Donne wrote nearly 400 years ago, “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Unless of course you are a member of the Democrat elite. An island accessible only by boats and airplanes is a fitting hangout for them.

Which leaves “the leftover people” for the Republicans. Sure, the elitists will blame the decline in unionization of the blue collar work force as why the leftovers have fallen behind.

Maybe.

Also discovered in Podesta’s WikiLeaks cache was an email from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who advised the Clinton campaign to choose a city outside of Washington for its headquarters because they would be better positioned to hire “low paid permanent employees.” And just what wage does Schmidt view as low paid? Is it less than the $15 minimum wage that Democrats call for?

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Oh, if Schmidt really believes every verse in the Democratic mantra, then why isn’t Google unionized?

So, no, the Democratic Party isn’t the champion of “the little guy” anymore, just as Martha’s Vineyard isn’t a vacation destination for blacks living in Boston’s impoverished Dorchester neighborhood. Ironically it’s a billionaire from Manhattan who, at least this autumn, has made “the little guy” feel at home within the Republican Party.

John Ruberry, whose closest brush with Martha’s Vineyard has been South Boston, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Lake Huron
Lake Huron

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 by 2017 when a new Huron pipeline project would be completed, Detroit ended its agreement with Flint, which compelled the impoverished city to turn to the Flint River for its water. But somehow Flint authorities made a colossal and possibly deadly mistake by not adding an anti-corrosive that costs $150-a-day into the water supply. That toxic error allowed lead from old pipes to get into the drinking water and yes, into the bodies of Flint residents. Had that additive been used, the expert who uncovered the Flint debacle says the lead crisis never would have occurred.

Rather than uncovering what went wrong and finding out who was responsible, the left is looking beyond the Flint water crisis to intensify a long-running political battle. Businesses and governments from all over the nation are shipping bottled water to Flint. Liberal bomb-thrower Michael Moore isn’t interested. The self-described Flint native–he actually grew up in a wealthy neighboring suburb–lists his demands for Flint which include the arrest and removal from office of Rick Snyder, Michigan’s Republican governor.

Flint and Detroit Public Schools are under control of an emergency manager because of longtime corruption and malfeasance perpetuated by its so-called public servants. Until recently so was the city of Detroit. Not coincidentally these government entities are cash honey holes for Democratic bureaucrats, which is why the left hates the emergency manager law. Snyder appoints Michigan’s emergency managers. Get it?

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

If you don’t, then read last week’s Washington Post column by leftist Dana Milbank. He blames the entire Flint travesty on Snyder and he of course sub-divides his finger-pointing on the emergency manager law.

Was Snyder–who should not be entirely blameless–the one who made the decision not to spend $150 on anti-corrosives? He almost certainly was not. Do Moore and Milbank care who it was? No, they would rather attack a Republican and push their idealogy.

A Students for a Democratic Society radical once mused, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”

Some things never change.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There were a lot of speeches yesterday. Mike Eurzonie gave a great one, Marco Rubio made a better one, Clint Eastwood made an odd one and Mitt Romney is giving his as I type this.

In the morning when this post will go up, there will be an awful lot of pixels spent to say what they think about Mitt’s speech but it was not the most important words said on the air yesterday. The most important words came from of all People Michael Moore:


Listen to these quotes:

The big problem is Obama’s base is ‘Yeah I think I’m going to vote for him’ but this time four years ago everybody including myself were working on phone banks.

and this

Young people who were voting for him four years ago are not that enthused and are not working like they were four years ago.

Moore did something you don’t often see him do, give an honest assessment of a situation, acting not as a propagandist but as a realist. He said out loud what a lot of people on the left know and what the media know but are doing their best to hide.

This post has over 10,000 comments I read through a bit over 50% during & after the Romney speech (a good speech but not a killer one) and from what I can see in comments it affirms what I’ve been saying for over a year…

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!

And if you don’t believe me read those comments and believe them and when you do remember, the Huff Post folks are the left’s footsoldiers.

Update: American Glob, The Daily Caller and the Evil Blogger Lady (who was there first) get it.

In terms of advancing conservatism the single best tool we have is the willingness of the left to self identify. We saw three examples of this lately:

Item SEIU and Communist Party USA.

Zombie blog and Ringo photos have an extensive collection of photos of the SEIU and American Communists proudly marching together for open borders etc. Of course this was not done without opposition…to the taking of the photos that is:

The young Communist in this picture did not like me photographing him and his group so he came over and draped his red flag over my camera lens. He told me that he would confiscate my camera if I took another picture

I walked away, switched my camera to ‘movie’ mode and went back and filmed him. He came straight back at me and said, “I told you not to take photos”, as he waved his flag in front of my face. I told him, “I can take photos of whoever I want”. Just then his Communist overlord came over and told him to “stop wasting energy”.

Zombie opines further:

Until recently, the average American has regarded fascists and communists as equally noxious and equally malignant. As well they should have. But the drive these days by the left side of the spectrum is to make communism and socialism somewhat less remarkable and more palatable. For two years they angrily denied the Tea Party accusation that Obama’s policies and supporters had a socialist bent. But in recent months, as the accusation had started to gain traction, the new leftist tactic has become: “What’s so bad about socialism after all? You’re demonizing a very popular and respectable ideology!”

I think that when you are losing the ideological battle you have to find allies where you can and that 11% of Americans who think Communism is superior to Capitalism is a lot of people. So if teachers unions want to march with Avowed communists and groups that call for revolt and/or the annexation of the American Southwest to Mexico, hey that’s the way it is.

Will the MSM cover this? Of course not, it violates the narrative. But in an internet age it can’t be hidden.

Item. Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky on the Bin Laden “Assassination”

Slightly different flavors of the same kool aid. Lets start with Noam Chomsky who has always attacked America from his comfortable perch in American Academia:

There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress ‘suspects.

Alan Colmes wisely notes it without comment, they don’t get so lucky with Ann Althouse

This is the kind of thing that Barack Obama might have said before he became President. (Or do we only imagine that he used to say things like that?) A great benefit to having Obama as President is that he is not available to say things like that and very few mainstream Democrats or liberals feel tempted to say things like that.

The amusingly named “reality based community” unwilling to defend Chomsky (although his commentators take up the slack) chooses to attack the messenger.

So before resorting to haldoperidol – which has some nasty side-effects – perhaps Prof. Althouse should just stop getting her news and views from wingnut blogs and the Murdoch/Breitbart media.

Note the tactic, lets not refute the statement, lets delegitimize the messenger and possible sources. Much easier than trying to refute the president’s past associations with ideological soul mates to Chomsky like Bill Ayers and Wright.

However Chomsky is still niche enough that it doesn’t cause a lot of grief for the left, but Michael Moore that’s a different story.

Moore (who lets not forget boasted a bunch of high ranking democratic pols for his Fahrenheit 911 movie and was up in front in Wisconsin can’t be so easily denied

Michael Moore thinks Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals is a conspiracy. In more than 40 Tweets over the past several days, the controversial filmmaker made his case in 140 characters or less. A few are excerpted below

And apparently all he knows about the laws of war and Nuremberg is what he saw in the movie

And you know after World War II, we just didn’t go in and put a bullet to the head of all the top Nazis. We put them on trial. We took them to Nuremberg and we put them on trial, and we said, no, this is important for the world to see these criminals and it’s important for history to have a record of what they did. And so we’re going to do this in a courtroom and we’re going to show these Germans how we do it – with fairness, with justice. You’re going to get to have your own attorney. You get to have your day in court. That’s how we do it. That’s what separates us from you, Nazi scum.

Now this one the left can’t count on the media ignoring so at Daily Kos they are running away

Back away now from your nutty OBL statements while there is still time because you’re making us look bad..

Alas the left they never look worse than when they are unedited.

Update: More Chomsky:

I note here at the end that Chomsky concluded the question and answer session by arguing that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated, “murdered,” so that the U.S. could avoid putting Bin Laden on trial, because “they have no evidence against him.”

That final jab at the U.S. went over extremely well with the crowd of anti-Americans and Arafat-styled student-cum-terrorists.

Yup and we should make sure that everybody knows that crowd agreed.

One thing I’ve noticed in covering protests is that you get a lot of hangers-on.

For example at almost every Boston protest you will get one guy who carries his US flag with corporate symbols replacing stripes, you will get a guy with a Palestinian flag. And if the tea party is anywhere nearby I guarantee you that the LaRouche democrats will be around, usually with their Obama Hitler posters, and of course there are the truthers.

Generally these guys are the crazy uncles of any movement they find themselves a parade and try to get noticed within it.

Which brings us to Michael Moore getting in FRONT of the crowd:

Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore urged Wisconsin residents Saturday to fight against Republican efforts to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights, telling thousands of protesters that “Madison is only the beginning.”

There has been story after story about Moore’s appearance, I submit it shows that the left is losing this fight.

Moore’s biggest fans are on the far left, not in the mainstream. If Moore is the story, if he is the man in front. That tells you the message isn’t working or playing, polls or no.

As I was writing this I noticed this at Althouse who apparently agrees:

I wonder if the teachers and other Wisconsin union members who got the protest started 3 weeks ago appreciate having Michael Moore absorb their issue — maintaining the quality of professional public employment in Wisconsin — into his larger anti-capitalist agenda for America.

This is a problem with extending the protests. The crowd changes, new infusions of energy come from outsiders who see a ready-made platform to climb up on. These old-school, left-wing attacks on corporations have little to do with the distinct problems of jobs in the public sector — where, management is the government of the state and its citzens.

If their big draw is Michael Moore that tells you something about what is going on.

Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell.

That’s not where it’s designed to sell. It will do a fair amount of business overseas.

Its primary job is to generate buzz to keep him on the personal gravy train, to keep him invited here there and everywhere.

Moore is set and he knows he is set, so he makes the movies he wants to make. There’s nothing wrong with that, after all that is Capitalism for you.