Dissecting the dealmakers
Even a yobo from the "West Country" must sit up and take notice of Ryan Felton's study of Tolstoyian dimension ("Detroit's dealers," Sept. 10). Moreover, I once formally studied the arts of government, albeit with considerable progressive regret. The scope of research and subsequent analysis the author and his associates had to perform beggars the imagination. I have been in his position: starting from scratch with little idea of where to seize an immense greased pig — while having to weight data and sources.
"Detroit's dealers" should be on a reading list for those in urban studies and political science in all of Michigan. I had incomplete and probably dated knowledge of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation through the infamous Poletown case, which received nationwide attention in law reviews. Felton might consider reading Justice Ryan's bitter dissent in the ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court. —G.M. Ross, Lowell
Jack Lessenberry is truly a delusional man. I am surprised that you allow him to write for you.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America says, "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." In other words, the Founding Fathers of our nation intended us to be armed as well as our government. Which is indeed necessary, because they need to be kept in check, for they are far more irresponsible with firearms than U.S. citizens. They provided Afghan rebels with weapons in the 1980s to fight the Russians, which backfired on all of us when those rebels decided to form terrorist organizations such as the Taliban. The ATF ran guns into Mexico to see how guns trafficked across the border, and that has caused deaths on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. It also seems that Lessenberry does not realize guns are inanimate objects. By definition, they are not dangerous until manipulated in a dangerous manner. You know what else is only dangerous when used improperly? Cars. CDC estimates state 35,200 people died in car crashes in 2013. By the logic of gun control advocates and Lessenberry, we should regulate these "death mobiles" as harshly as guns.
The average police response time is 11 minutes (2013). A lot can happen in 11 minutes. If you live in the countryside or in a rough area, letting the police handle the situation is not an option. The chief of the Detroit Police has said this numerous times, and has openly supported civilian gun ownership. Gun control laws do not do anything to stop gun crime because criminals do not follow the law. We need to stop believing this notion that some inanimate object is evil. The problem is not guns, it is a lack of education about firearms and the value of life. —Brad Alholinna
Why we can't have nice things
In response to Michael Jackman's Sept. 10 Face Time interview with Albert "Big Pete" Barrow, the owner of John's Carpet House, reader Bernard Ford wrote:
I actually worked out there for almost 10 years and we built that place almost from nothing and a crowd of five people to a decent setup with between 300 and 1,500 people per week with great local talent and great known national names! It's a free blues concert every Sunday and a melting pot of audience! We never had problems with the city before this year, and if it goes like I think it is, this is about money, greed, and land speculators. Detroit is a fire sale, and everybody knows it! It's not about noise or permits or anything except some people want this crowd to pay for parking and eating and sitting and watching while others want that land for condos and mini-mansions and apartments! The city is broke and is shaking down every last citizen for cash, since it can't get it the old-fashioned way ... bribery and kickbacks.
What about us?
In response to Michael Jackman's Sept. 13 blog post "Detroit's newest unwanted savior: Dome Homes," Facebook user John Mozena wrote:
When I see a "reinvention" plan that doesn't treat the 700,000 or so people who live in the city as inconvenient details who can be relocated as needed, I'll treat it seriously.