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Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities: Detroit and Los Angeles

7640 Lasalle, Detroit

My alma mater, Detroit, has filed for bankruptcy.
It is where I was born in Henry Ford Hospital, and Henry Ford was once such a powerful name that Aldous Huxley used it as an equivalent for "God" in his novel Brave New World...

... and therein lies our problem: the equivalence of Money and God.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, we look closely at Los Angeles, a city which is not filing for bankruptcy.

Read more here:

It's a crime to house the mentally ill this way
By STEVE LOPEZ | Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — If you routinely hear voices, hallucinate, sink into suicidal depression or suffer inescapable torment, Los Angeles has a place for you.

The county jail.

On Monday, the jail held 3,200 inmates diagnosed with a mental illness and accused of a crime. Most have not been to trial, many have waited months for their day in court, and the majority have cycled through at least once before. There's no longer enough room to house them all in segregated areas, so 1,000 mentally ill men and 300 women are housed with the general population.

Sheriff Lee Baca has said for decades that he runs the nation's largest mental hospital, but we've heard it so often that the shock has worn off. We know there's something inexcusably wrong with the system - something backward and inhumane. But we shrug and move on, and the failure of public policy persists, at great public expense, while Los Angeles County officials order up another round of studies..
Detroit cannot pay its bills, and suffers the condemnation of the world for improvidence, but Los Angeles maintains a system of caring for the mentally ill, the nature of which pre-dates the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and is truly Hogarthian in depiction, and the only people to suffer are the Sheriff and his deputies... and the inmates of the bedlam.

One is News, one is apparently just business as usual in this, our Brave New World.

The difference is attitudes founded on the Unity of the Two: God and Money.


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