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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/23/13

In bankrupt Detroit, a phony Emergency Manager creates his own 9-11 emergency!

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When I served as hazard mitigation consultant to the New Hampshire Office of Emergency Management, we had a little riddle:
Question: What is the worst thing any emergency manager could possibly do?                      Answer: Create his or her own intentional emergency!

Yet, that is exactly what Kevin Orr, the phony head emergency manager in the bankrupt City of Detroit, did on September 11, 2013 -- by ordering power to the downtown district turned off with no notice to people working or living there.  And his avowed reason for taking such a despicable action was that these same people had not responded fast enough to his call for reduced power usage -- so his action was to deny them any power at all. There, that will teach them a lesson!
Lest anyone think I am making this story up -- and that it is really a bizarre plot from a very bad movie, titled perhaps OUT OF POWER -- here in italics is what has been noted definitively about this matter on 
    If you ever had any doubt that Michigan has been taken over by a group of dangerous, radical extremists, what happened in Detroit on September 11 th , 2013 should be enough to wake you up. There were several things significant about September 11 th , 2013. Not only was it the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but the state of Michigan was also experiencing an unseasonal heat wave. In the city of Detroit,  power outages left people stranded in elevators , trapped four hours in the blistering heat. Hundreds were evacuated from buildings in the downtown area, traffic lights did not function, public transportation was disabled and 1,400 sites across the city were without power. Wayne State University and other key buildings still remained closed, the following day. All of this after the city's power supply supposedly failed.

Downtown Detroit
Downtown Detroit
(Image by spierzchala)
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Downtown Detroit by spierzchala

As if the event itself was not bad enough, several spokespersons for what is left of the City of Detroit, Gary Brown and Bill Nowling, actually smirked boastfully that the forced power outages were intended to teach Detroiters a lesson -- Brown and Nowling said that since folks had not responded rapidly enough to demands that they curtail power usage during a record heat wave, they had to be taught a lesson by the intentional cutoff of essential electric power to their buildings.  Yes, that is essentially what they said, as hard to believe as it may be.  
Let me see if I understand the logic of these actions:  when workers and residents are stuck in a bad situation not of their making, emergency managers should make it worse by creating an artificial crisis to teach them a lesson -- is that the logic?  What next?  When people do not evacuate their homes rapidly enough in the face of threats of forest fires, will we order the fire fighters to burn down those same houses?  When the next Hurricane arrives and folks delay leaving their homes and possessions behind as fast as some armchair emergency manager thinks that they should,  will we remove the sandbags and cement walls and flood them on purpose?
The ultimate responsibility for this particularly-harmful brand of idiocy rests with the present Tea Party Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, who deserves at least early impeachment for this latest outrage, and so many others.   Yes, the noble city of Detroit, once the home of  the world-renowned American auto industry and the inspiration for that unique Motown music, has fallen upon evil times, some of which are of its own making.  But to kick a person -- or a city -- when they are down is despicable!  For officials to do that kicking is truly shameful!
Perhaps if it were Rick Snyder and his cronies who were intentionally stuck in a powerless frozen elevator during a heat wave, they might begin to understand their criminal misconduct. Have we learned nothing from the Enron disaster, with its artificial power cutbacks to force Californians to pay much higher rates for electricity?  Some Enron officials were in fact sentenced to prison terms for that atrocious misconduct.  Public officials who engineer emergencies deserve more than mere impeachment -- serving a long term in a prison with no power might well be appropriate!
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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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