Colorado on fire, Florida (like half of all US home owners) under water.
Detroit threatening to go under for months, but here comes Stockton to
do it first.
Texas without enough electricity.
US troops preparing and training for martial law in the US, Fema has
their concentration camps and stacks of portable coffins, the TSA has
their fusion centers all prepared.
Remember this thread?
Senate Moves To Allow Military To Intern Americans Without Trial
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:53:43
The Senate is set to vote on a bill today that would define the whole of
the United States as a battlefield and allow the U.S. Military to
arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial.
Your ride down the toilet is coming sooner and faster than you think.
We'll be holding our hats here in Canada as we watch you go down. This
is not hate, this is just a friend saying "we told you so - too bad you
were too stupid to realize it".
Stockton to file for bankruptcy, will be largest U.S. city to fail
The Stockton City Council halts bond payments, slashes employee benefits
and adopts an emergency budget as mediation ends. The Central Valley
city becomes the largest in the U.S. to seek bankruptcy protection.
STOCKTON This Gold Rush-era port city, an epicenter of California's
agricultural exports, will become the nation's largest city to seek
protection under the U.S. bankruptcy code after its City Council on
Tuesday stopped bond payments, slashed employee health and retirement
benefits and adopted a day-to-day survival budget.
City Manager Bob Deis likened the process to cutting off an arm to save
the body. He is expected to file bankruptcy papers immediately.
A Delta wind had scrubbed the Central Valley sky blue as residents
gathered hours early for the 5:30 p.m. meeting.
Most knew what the night held; bankruptcy has been a long time coming.
Stockton has been in negotiations with its creditors since late March
under AB 506, a new California law requiring mediation before a
municipality can file for reorganization of debt. It was the first use
of the law, and policy analysts who watched its torturous and tedious
progress have titled their report on it "Death by a Thousand Meetings."
Mediations ended Monday at midnight.
Recent council meetings have been boisterous and contentious. Tuesday
night's meeting was quieter, with an evident sadness on faces in the
packed audience. Many residents said they were there mostly to hear for
themselves that the day so long expected had finally come.
"It's a seminal moment in this city's history and I needed to be here,"
said Dwight Williams, who runs a nonprofit housing organization. "I
can't just read about this in tomorrow's paper. I need to hear for
myself if there is some inkling as to where we go from here."
La Vonne Belli, 84, said she was there to hear what people had to say.
"I don't mean those people up there on the dais in their comfortable
chairs. I mean the little people, the real people," she said. "The ones
who have to keep muddling through somehow."
Almost all who spoke to the council began with some version of: "I was
born and raised here."
Although a city of almost 300,000, Stockton is a place where many
families have known one another for generations. The most impassioned
speakers argued on behalf of others, with the main rallying cry a plea
to keep health insurance for retirees with illnesses. A high school
student spoke of his aunt, a retired city worker with cancer, and a
retired fire chief spoke of his former secretary who cares for her ill
"People look at me and say, 'Well he can afford his own insurance,' and
I can," said Gary Gillis, the retired chief. "But how about the ones who
mowed the lawns, went in the sewers, typed my letters? We have to
protect the most vulnerable among us."
Experts say there are no clear answers to what comes next for Stockton
or how its fall will affect the rest of the state. Other cities hit hard
by the housing bust and state budget crisis are negotiating with
employee unions for concessions and are watching to see if municipal
bankruptcy proves medicine or poison.
The stated purpose of AB 506 to forestall a municipal bankruptcy
failed, but several bankruptcy attorneys said the mediation may help
Stockton avoid the string of lawsuits that faced the smaller city of
Vallejo, which recently emerged from a bankruptcy case filed in 2008.
How Stockton found itself so mired in debt can be seen everywhere in the
city's core. There is a sparkling marina, high-rise hotel and promenade
financed by credit in the mid-2000s, mere blocks from where mothers
won't let their children play in the yard because of violence.
During the economic boom, this working-class city with pockets of
entrenched poverty tried to reinvent itself as a draw to Bay Area
refugees and a popular site for conventions. It offered generous city
employee pension plans and benefits.
Vast housing tracts of two-story homes were built at the city's edges.
Private citizens, like the city, bought on credit. Those neighborhoods
would soon have among the highest rates of foreclosures in the nation.
Indeed, when the bust came, few places fell as hard as Stockton. The
city has the second-highest rate of foreclosures in the country and the
second-highest rate of violent crime in the state.
The city made $90 million in drastic cuts from the general fund in the
last three years, including reducing the police department by 25%, the
fire department by 30%, and cutting pay and benefits to all employees.
There is a state investigation into whether Stockton's financial
devastation was entirely due to shortsighted optimism or if there was
corruption. The state mediation law requires assigning blame.
But on Tuesday some of the blame and anger seemed to be set aside for a
"All that's left is sadness," said Gillis, who said he lived his boyhood
dream by becoming fire chief in his hometown. "Stockton has the most
good, solid, down-to-earth people you'll ever meet. And now things are
going to get even harder for many of them."