Archive for the 'christians' Category

Iglesia de Dios, Inc

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House of God

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More Detroit vs. The Media drama, and What Detroit has, what Detroit’s losing, and what Detroit needs

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This was supposed to have been posted a week, or so, ago. But thanks to my old job, four days out of town, jury duty, and a new job to start, none of what’s here is new. But, since I went to the trouble to write it, I’m posting it anyway.

Detroit vs The Media

The drama never ends for Detroit. NBC hates Detroit, and now ABC as well. ABC’s new crime drama set in Detroit has got some all bent out of shape once again. As always there were some interesting comments including:
“Why must the media prortray Detroit is such a bad light.” - Do we always have to ask this question? Seriously, is there any question as to why the media portrays the city the way that it does? Besides, did anyone complain about Law and Order making New York look bad, or CSI making Vegas look bad? Detroit deserves a break because it really is that bad? If only the media would give Detroit a break, surely things would improve. There were, as always, so interesting comments.

“Perhaps a chat with the directors of ABC would change their mind.” - Doubt it. Why do Detroiters always want to have a chat with the media about the way the city is portrayed? And, anyway how would that conversation go? Detroiter - “Will you to stop portraying Detroit in a negative light?” ABC exec - “No.”

“And I think the promo is wrong in saying that Detroit is the murder capital. I think we are up there, but more like number 3. New Orleans is #1″ - Yeah, take that ABC. They really ought to get their facts straight. Oh wait, according to ABC Detroit was the murder capital in 2008…hmm coincidence or conspiracy to paint Detroit badly?

“Was anything truthful said? Or is it Americas’ loss of integrity personified.” - Huh?

“I’m as sensitive to Detroit’s image as anyone, but I think that viewers will be able to decipher this as fiction.” - One might think so, but judging by reactions, that sentiment is not shared by many others.”

“So i can understand why ABC is doing a crime series set in Detroit.It’s about time. What took so long? I think I’ll send them some story ideas. I have many, too many, & these are all true, nothing make-believe.” - This one makes sense..

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What Detroit Has

What does Detroit have, beyond high unemployment, high crime rates, and bitter defenders? Well according to POP City, Detroit has a few things Pittsburgh ( and presumably, other Rust Belt cities ) could use. Of course POP City is owned by Issue Media Group, which also just happens to publish Model D and Metromode as well, booth of which ardent Detroit boosters. Nonetheless, perhaps there are some good things that Detroit has, that other places could use. According to POP City, Detroit has:

The Greening of Detroit:

I can imagine that almost no other city in the United States has an organization quite like the Greening of Detroit, of course no other city has the amount of abandoned land that Detroit has. I like the Greening of Detroit and what they do.

Tech Town:

Tech Town is a great idea, and I hope some great things come of it. Bringing smart, creative, and innovative people together is exactly what Detroit needs. Technology may make it possible to work in isolation in Bad Axe, but in reality innovation comes from people pushing the envelope, and building on one another’s successes. This doesn’t often happen in isolation. It’s the reason Silicon Valley, Boston, and NYC keep creating new companies, and why they get so much of the investment dollars.

The M-1 Rail Project:

Detroit doesn’t have this yet. It is hoped that construction will begin before the end of 2010. Unfortunately, it takes several years to complete a section of rail through an urban area, and in an area that continues to lose population, it’ll will be difficult to make it happen.

Art:

Detroit does have this, and some good stuff at that. But projects such as the Heidelberg Project are products of an extreme situation that nobody wants. I really like the Heidelberg Project, but I’d rather not have the massive amounts of blight and abandonment that has to go along with it.

A Food Scene:

I can’t comment on Pittsburgh’s food scene, but Detroit’s food scene is decent, but not incredible. I love Slow’s but, even cities with lower populations, such as Denver and Portland, have better food scenes than Detroit. Five or six places…even a dozen good places aren’t enough for an area the size of Detroit.

Regardless of whether or not I feel this list is a good example of what other areas need or not (I don’t), the metropolitan Detroit area does have somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.5 million residents. That’s a significant amount of people, who could be customers, and employees or employers. Whether or not the area can capitalize on that depends on the decisions the residents, businesses, and politicians make over the next decade or so. If we were to look to the decisions of the past 40 years the outlook would be rather grim. Perhaps though, the next generation of policy makers can make better decisions than the last.

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What Detroit’s Losing

Unfortunately this is an easy one. Detroit’s losing everything from people to money. What is really bad, is that metro Detroit is losing young college grads. I recently read this article about college education rates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Scroll down to the section titled, “By the Numbers”. My guess is Detroit doesn’t compare very well, even considering Milwaukee’s meager numbers.

What Detroit Needs

What Detroit needs is pretty much the inverse of what it’s losing, including a young, educated workforce, immigrants, Innovation, and, well…pretty much everything. Recovery seems to be a tricky, chicken/egg situation. Hi tech businesses locate where the talent is. Talent locates where the jobs are. Jobs are found where the hi tech businesses are. With each being a prerequisite for the other, how do you attract either one to Detroit? This is one of the arguments many make against authors such as Richard Florida. Reading what urban theorists such as Florida have to say make many feel that the”in” places, such as Chicago, D.C., and Silicon Valley, have already won. There’s no possible way to beat them if you take Florida’s theories without actually reading far enough. And that’s true to a certain extent. Nobody was able to beat Detroit as the automotive capital for 75 years or so, even with such bad management decisions. However, that didn’t stop Chicago, D.C., or Silicon Valley, and many, many other places, from thriving. Detroit doesn’t have to be Chicago, but it does have to be something other than the same old Detroit we’ve all known for far too long.

Prayer Mission Baptist Church

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When the wall to your church collapses onto the sidewalk and street, there’s no need to stop holding services. With a pile of bricks and an i-beam laying across the sidewalk and into the street, the name of the church, the pastor, and the service schedule was simply painted on a once interior wall. As singing and sounds of “praise God…” blared from speakers of a church across the street, pedestrians walking along the sidewalk either climbed over the pile or walked into the street without so much as a pause to consider the somewhat strange  situation. It is a testament to what can be considered “normal” in the city of Detroit.

A new kind of crazy?

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I recently received a comment that stated, “What Detroit needs is a Free Zone with absolutely no taxation for at least a decsde in the worst part of the city. No city, no state or federal taxes of any kind.The hardest hit area of Detroit would become the most vibrant area of the country in no time.”

I sometimes wonder if people really think things through before making comments like this. I do agree that absolutely no taxes would be quite a draw to the area. But who would it attract and what would the area be like? Does this commenter believe that it will be all God fearing Christian Republicans? It’s not just conservatives that don’t like to pay taxes. Just like it’s not only liberals who like to break the law.

A completely tax free haven in the center of Detroit. Just think about it for a second… Detroit is one of poorest cities in the country with sky high crime rates, 22% unemployment, and rampant vandalism and arson. Let’s just plop a bunch of enthusiastic hippies, libertarians, and a smattering of curious liberals and conservatives in the middle of said city. And since there would be no taxes, there would be no services. No water, no sewer system, no garbage pickup. Where are you going to get a clean source of water from? Where is your human waste going to go? Are we going to have a third world city with human waste flowing through the streets? No taxes, no police. Who do you call when the roving bands of criminals come to your house. The libertarians will claim they’ll defend themselves. I’m sure the wild west would be a big draw for visitors and potential businesses. People come to this country to escape that, not to be part of it.

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What happens when the arsonists set your house on fire? Who will you call? The fire department. There won’t be one. No taxes, no fire department. Maybe you can get a bucket brigade going with the non-existent water from the non-existent water supply. I suppose you could start your own police and fire departments, build your own water and sewer infrastructure, but then you’d have to collect taxes to pay for them. If you’re going to collect taxes, you’ll have to form a government.

The fact of the matter is, the wild west makes for good stories and movies, but probably wouldn’t be enjoyable for more than a very small and very anti-social segment of the population. Think of the uni-bomber, Timothy McVeigh, and Terry Nichols. Sounds like good company. I bet the block parties would be fun. Which one of the neighbors would you let your kids play with?

Maybe I’m making assumptions though. Maybe the commenter meant that there should be no taxes but that services should still be provided. I certainly hope not though, since the commenter is dead set against wealth redistribution, which is, of course socialism, and making the surrounding population pay for his social experiment would certainly violate his own principals. It’s okay though. I know people make these types of comments because they know they’ll never happen.

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I only got on this topic because of my recent use of Twitter in which I can view a bizarre stream of consciousness in which I see things like:

“Liberals believe anyone with a gun might go crazy at any minute..”

” The law is never settled when liberals are involved”

“vermont legalizes the redefine marriage. liberals need there own country. lets start today to divide the nation into 2 or 3 nations.”

“Hey liberals, You didn’t win the 2008 elections, the GOP lost them; there’s a VERY BIG DIFFERENCE in the two!!!”

“Will the conservatives of this country ever band together? Obama is setting up this country to be destroyed by our enemies!”

“Conservatives have VALUES, MORALS, PRINCIPLES Lefties don’t. “EVERYTHING GOES” SOCIETY! Losers, complainers”

I tried to find tweets where liberals were bashing conservatives, but couldn’t find any. Oops…correction. One just popped up:

“Conservatives had 8 years to destroy civil liberties & legislate morality. Now it’s our turn”

Maybe the overwhelming number of bitter political tweets comes from conservatives (at least from my very short experience), because they’ve lost what they perceived  as control of the political direction of the country. I suppose if I’d used Twitter while George W. Bush was president, the bitter comments may have been overwhelmingly liberal. Who knows. It’s easier to relax, when your party is in power.

My point was going to be the absolute political division that our country faces today. Maybe it’s always been this bad  but has become more obvious due to modern day communication. Now you can berate your neighbor on Twitter and never have to say it to their face. You can hate “them” virtually, and act civil while you are around them physically. Pretty sad when so many think that all of the problems they, or their country face has been caused wholly by someone else. One tweeter actually supposed that the stock market went down because
Barack Obama came back to the country. Uh…that’s just dumb.

Update - I had to add links to two videos that relate to this post. Both are very good.

Baracknophobia - Very funny. Did Michelle Bachman wear her aluminum foil cap on the campaign trail, or did she only become paranoid/delusional after winning election?

Jonathan Haidt: The real difference between liberals and conservatives -  Very interesting, and to be serious, I could probably take a lesson away from this talk.

25th Street Church of God in Christ, and Kwame gets a job

Just in case you ever wondered, or speculated about the relationship between big business and politics, here’s an article that will only confirm what you thought.  Not that I believe we should deny people of second chances, but really, who would hire a convicted mayor?

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New Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church

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Christ Divine Love Baptist Church

Part of a series on Detroit’s small churches.

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Thinking of spring…

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Christian Center Church

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