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Open letter to Detroit (upgraded to active project).

Announcement: this has been upraded to an active project. See details in comments. The original rant/lament follows below but WE MIGHT DO A PATRIOT COMMUNITY IN DETROIT!


Dear Detroit,

I'm a desert patriot. A bit older, a bit harder, a bit more experienced in dealing with tough. But in this internet connected age I have seen pictures of your frightening collapse and the plight of your people. And so lonely and dejected have you become, so hopeless that the sound of your weeping has made it all the way out to the deserts of Arizona. In fact, all across the land.

Detroit you might feel forgotten by some but you are not alone. All across this land are young people who need a chance but lack opportunity. To desert eyes, to unemployed eyes, to eyes who look at the prices of housing and simply despair. Eyes that don't see dreams as coming true but as things that never will. To those eyes Detroit you don't seem like a wasteland but a land of potential shining opportunity to us.

It's said among some people that you shouldn't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins and most people figure this process will help you to understand others. There's another advantage. Walk that mile and you can turn around and see yourself from afar and from a fresh perspective. Walk a mile in desert moccasins and turn around and you will see how much water you have. How dense and lush your vegetation. How adundantly things grow from your dark, rich soils.

And we're not seeing abandoned houses and structures that should be demolished and hauled away, we're seeing piles of raw materials and recyclables, things we can repurpose and fashion new things. A massive salvage yard for block after block.

And we have discussed this. The response is tremendous. I, myself can lead 100 patriots there to begin a process of transforming the mess you are in into healthy and sustainable living for many families. We can provide our own infrastructure, security, we will see to the education of our own children, we will provide our own health care. We will interface with these communities and educate them to our methods and they will be happier, safer and part of this transformation. We will rehabilitate the houses we can, we will pull down those we cannot and build new houses. We will plant gardens, acres of gardens to grow food and medicines and just for sheer beauty. We will encourage birds and benign wildlife while raising our own stock of animals. We will establish order in this chaos and we will return safety to your streets.

We don't need job opportunities, WE CREATE THEM. We bring our businesses with us and we will open new ones. We will offer employment. We will attract attention from far and wide and provide an example for communities everywhere. We follow money and it follows us right back. It's what we do.

And to do this, we want nothing from you but to sell us the land.

And then to leave us alone. We require first and foremost the ability to defend ourselves. We require that you keep your building inspectors, your health and safety stooges, your cops, your dog catchers, your truant officers, your officers and agents officials and shiny tinfoil badges away from us. Just let us be. Let us do things our way. Your way is broken. Let us try ours.

And unfortunately that is something we know you will not do. Leave us alone. We know perfectly well that when we create success, you will come to regulate it. And give yourselves more jobs to regulate us. And you will attempt to manage us and charge us and tax us and force us to rebuild things your way. Your broken way. Your sad, old, broken way. Because that's just who you are.

Fact is, we don't think you can change. Why aren't we scooping up these $500 houses and doing this right now?

BECAUSE WE DON'T TRUST YOU, THAT'S WHY. You won't let us defend ourselves, you won't let us do things different, you won't let anybody in that isn't subject to your rules. So there you are, twisting in the wind. The would-be land of our opportunity grows over with weeds and all those lovely salvage materials rot away a bit more each year. Each door that will never again open into a warm and happy house. Each window that could have been part of our massive greenhouses. Each wrought iron bannister we could have melted down and recast into rocket stoves.

But I wrote this not simply to rebuke you but to say the offer still stands. We're not going to come there and put on suits and shake hands and make presentations and try to beg your city counsel for this, that's not how we roll. If you want our help, you got it, simple as that. The rules are we make a major lifetime investment in your city and for our children and you leave us alone. You get the benefits for free, don't ask us for anything more.

To take up on this offer just get in touch with Smudge Pot. Or just send out a press release, we'll pick up on it. Or just leave your people to rot as you are doing now. What's wrong with living in a dump as long as you are the ones in charge of it right? But all the same, deal stands. Surprise us by doing the right thing. Get in touch. We are prepared to be amazed. You will be too.

We'll begin by making an offer on 10 square blocks. We can start moving people there in 60 days. Like 60 days from NOW. We can have our advance teams on location in one week. FROM TODAY.

-Smudge Pot of Daily Paul

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not the case

Many people leave the state to gain job experience and then return home after a few years when they can get the job. Getting work in detroit is competitive and people do what they have to do. There is an urban renaissance that is not fictional or fantasy. Detroit rose and fell and will rise again just like all the major cities with ruins across the world. My buddy right now.lives on the 21st floot of an skyscraper looking down woodward and directly into the ball park. He pays only 700 a month in rent. What would that cost in Chicago or New York?

I do like Austin texas a lot.

being from the area

I don't recommend it.

Detroit, Flint etc had it's place before air conditioning was invented. Now people stay because of their roots.

If u want to start a new community find land near Austin, TX. Affordable and with opportunities galore. And because of TX pride, it's the one place where Ron Paul is not a bad word.

I've seen Ron Paul signs in Detroit.

Can't disagree with you more. Detroit is a fantastic town that is going to go forward. Not backwards, but forwards. The city is going to lose more numbers from it's population, not because it will be getting worse, but because it will be getting better. Quality, not quantity. The city is broke, therefore no more handouts. Those looking for handouts will be leaving the city and heading south, perhaps Austin.


LOL. Hope you enjoyed your fantasy rant. Now let's get back to reality. Anyone who had the means to leave Detroit already did. Who's left are the desperate. Cut and dry. That is it.

I hope you left

I hope you're not around anymore. I hope you left for Austin already.

Let's reach a bit more

Howdy folks,

Great response so far to a project that evolved out of a rant. Let's push it one step further. If you are reading this I ask you to contact at least one other person you think this might interest.

Squeeze us a bit of juice. Let's see where it leads to. People are contacting me, it's happening. We have a little nuclear working group going.

How about it? Pull a string or two? Tell a friend?

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.


Not like I haven't been pondering this or similar projects for years but this lament/rant has become, due to popular interest, an active project. There's a chance this can be a reality so let's see if this chance is a good one.

INTERESTED PARTIES please come together as a working group. PM me and I'll assemble us.

What we need to do is research, Google Earth, find out the gun laws in microscopic detail (and knives, truncheons, bludgeons, nunchucks, spears, swords...catapults...), we want to know where downtown is (I have no clue), we want to know where flood areas are, we want to know where the major highways and means of escape are, we want to know what is "safe" and what is not, we want to know more about other communities/projects are in these areas, we want to know to what extent fire, EMS and PD are operational in what areas, we want to know about the politicians in these areas, we want to know about the zoning laws in these areas (can we do commerce?) we want to know EVERYTHING.

And I am kinda neck deep in this tech deployment. I can't dive into it with my usual single minded gusto. In a few weeks I might have more time but now I don't. And I see no sense holding any of you back.

So please, get to work. Be our eyes and our ears. Send me info and I'll try and keep whatever group of us comes together on this informed and up to date. That at least I can do.

If we do this ground work the next logical step will be to start zeroing in on some actual properties. Let's don't worry about the money for now. I am personally not interested in a single family dwelling just for me. My ambitions would be rather larger. And my vision shows me businesses and industry. We are mechanics, we are welders, we are planters, we are aquaponic..ists, we are (or should be) shop keepers.

I will not move to Detroit to have a life, I have a pretty decent one right now. I will move to Detroit if I believe we can build a future and to achieve a personal life goal. And sometimes it's time to stop waiting for the right thing. Sometimes it's time to make it happen.

Let's begin this process. Let's begin this now and let's begin it together.


Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Some answers but not much

Imagine a city run by Obama only worse.... for 30 years. That's Detroit. The suberbs is where everyone escaped to if they could. Not much 'life' is left.

One thing I'll warn you about is Detroit Pride. If you think you're going to come save the day, the people, or the city, as if you're the only one who can, you'll get shot. Honestly, Detroit doesn't need you. It's getting fixed as we speak. If you think it does need you, you'll get shot. :)

Downtown is on the Detroit river across from Canada. The area is OK near Comerica Park and Ford Field. The further you get from there, the worse the city gets.
MI has concealed weapons permits. I dont know the city's laws on it.
Flood areas? Not sure I ever heard of a flood in the city.
The major highways are 96, 696, 75, 275 and 94. You'll be trapped by traffic on all of them.
Safe? Don't come to Detroit for that, though it's not terrible. People in Compton thought I was 'hard' for being from around here. lol They were wrong!
Fire, EMS and cops are being scaled back but thats because the city is broke and down to under 1 million population. The pensions are about to be defaulted on in some way or another.
The politicians are f'n insane. The last mayor is in prison. However, the city is not controlled by Detroit pols anymore. It's controlled by the financial manager appointed by the governor. He decides all. Actually, he seems pretty good at the job so far.

So you aren't here anymore?

I almost need to sit down with somebody and a map and draw circles and make notes.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Making a map and drawing

Making a map and drawing circles is exactly what I did when I started looking for properties. Having grown up in the area I know the good and bad parts of town. That is why I suggest the 48214 area. It has well a well established upper class neighborhood that is always a plus when looking for employment. The Conner Avenue Chrysler Assembly also is close by. North of the area is not unthinkable, but it is a rougher area, which goes all the way to 8 mile. If you want to discuss it let me know and we can talk over the phone.

I'm about 30 minutes away. If

I'm about 30 minutes away. If I were you, I'd reach out to the mi c4l. mic4l.org (com?) It's pretty active around here and they can introduce you to an actual resident of the city... or a near by suberb. We probably don't have anyone in the actual city. As a last resort, I'll help as much as I can.

Well put

I would not trust the water there for the long haul for starters, an alternative source would be needed. Apart from that it sounds like a plan.

Definitely 100 people would be good for protection/safety. Take turns keeping watch.

Have to sort of run it like a military op in the short run imo lol

They probably do not even have street lights in 50 per cent of the place


Solutions for everything.

Solutions for everything.

Oh it's not that bad

Oh it's not that bad everywhere in Detroit. There are neighborhoods that are risky, but a person who treats people with respect, gets it in return. I don't believe putting up walls with barbed wire is the answer, since that sounds like living in a prison. Instead get to know the local people in the area on an individual basis, not as a collective group and it is easy to recognize those that should not be trusted.

Open letter to Detroit?

Meet "Open Letter (To a Landlord)"


Walled Communities

I comment on a Detroit site that Detroit should be open to selling off chunks of land large enough to allow 4,000 - 50,000 population gated walled communities with their own stores, offices, private schools, etc.. In Zeferelli's Romeo and Juliet, families had their own walled compounds although the streets were no man's land. My response is always that gated communities are elitist. I argue back that every apartment building or condo with a lobby key are gated communities. Such communities would be a win-win for the City creating tax revenue, jobs, and services for existing residents.

That said, Mexicans are moving into SW Detroit, opening shops, and otherwise fixing up the neighborhood. The Arabs around Dearborn are keeping up their expanding neighborhoods too. Hipsters and some tech people are also drifting into Detroit sensing the opportunities and taking advantage of the cheap real estate. Do your research first though before you get killed.


Enjoyed reading your letter immensely, you are correct. The opportunity in Detroit is incredible, that city could flourish under the right circumstances.

You're asking the wrong people

Detroit got taken over the by State of Michigan and is currently under the control of an Emergency Financial Manager who works with the governor. The city has no say in the matter and a bankruptcy is in the works.

You should come here anyway. If you're worried about getting bothered by cops and regulators, don't. The city can't afford them. :)

is there a plan to go with your letter?

I live 4 miles north of Detroit, I know lots of people who live, work, and farm in Detroit, people with solar and wind energy in Detroit. I go to church and play rugby in Detroit and I wear the D proudly. Most Detroiters I know don't write passionate manifestos, they just do it.

I am going to respectfully challenge you and your letter. What is your plan?

I hope you do come and be part of Detroit, it is a lot of fun. Make sure to bring an ice scraper.

You have no contact form

on your profile. Now there's a plan. Will you be part? PM me.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

A plan?

Truth is I didn't have it that well thought out. It was a lament not a plan.

Now I don't mind researching and seeing, with some of you if there might just be a viable idea here after all. I am more likely to talk against the idea than for it. I've thought it through many times and if I hadn't I'd be there now.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Michael Nystrom's picture


Excellent writing.

Thank you Smudge Pot.

He's the man.

I've already made the first steps.

In April of this year I bought five properties in Detroit. All of them are in the 48214 zip code area. I paid $300 for a house that needs repairs, roof and interior work, plus I bought two condemned houses one for a $1 and one for a hundred dollars. So I have plenty of materials for making anything with wood such as furniture. But if someone is interested in vacant land this also exists and can be purchased through the Mi land bank. http://www.michigan.gov/landbank Just do a property search and good lotes in excellent area of Detroit, blocks away from the river and Belle Isle can be had for $250 to $500 dollars each. I suggest the 48214 area which is in the Detroit villages area. https://www.facebook.com/thevillagesofdetroit Hantz Farms is purchasing a lot of properties in this area from the Detroit land bank, which has even more properties http://www.hantzfarmsdetroit.com. 1798 Baldwin, 1799 Townsend ,2426 Parker and 2432 Seyburn are properties I would suggest getting since they are in prime areas for opportunity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Village_Historic_District_(Detroit,_Michigan).
Good shopping.

No offense...been there....

not for ANY price....!

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
"I know major allies who fund them" Gen. Dempsey referring to ISIS

Would like to hear more.

What's the property tax burden like? What are the obligations are far as water and sewer? Are people required to rebuild in a certain manner in a certain time frame? I'd like to hear what the environment is like for small business. I'm not afraid of a little Google-fu but hearing it right from you could be really key.

Thing is some people will hear $200 and think gee, I'll load up the car, sell it when I get there and have a house. Somebody real experience like yourself could help us actually set our sights on something practical.

Tell us more?

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Opportunity only knocks once.

Vacant lotes are not large, usually they are 30 feet by 120 feet with a street and lane at front and back. Property taxes are some of the lowest in the country at this time. Of course if the individuals coming into the area not seeking government assistance than they will obviously not wish to vote to have their property taxes increased. Water, sewage and gas connections are available for all lots. Of course you can purchase a house already on the property, but the prices will be going up as demand increases. You won't find a house for $200 that is ready to live in, but you can find houses that with the right skills a person can repair and live in very comfortably. Like I said in other comments Detroit is a very big city, you can find very cheap and fixable properties but not always in good neighborhoods. If you coordinate to have like minded individuals move into the same area than you will have good neighbors. I like the 48214 area because it is close to the downtown area without being in the center, within walking distance from Belle Isle and the new River walk. http://www.detroitriverfront.org Also there are a few private schools such as Waldorf school which is on Burns Street. I think it is something for you to investigate quickly because these prices are not going to last forever, Hantz Farms will be purchasing over 1500 lotes alone in this area from the city to plant trees and maintain. Also many immigrants such as the chinese with money are moving to the area.

Nudging towards a goal or shoving us?

I think I like your style. I hope you'll continue to help us out.

Seems we have a developing consensus. I'll go with this. I can't devote as much time as required for some weeks but let's see if this candle lights for us.

We need to come together as a team. Put on our research hats. Combine our forces. I guess I'll do a top reply as a kind of announcement.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

Nothing to lose.

That's the spirit, any advice I can give I will.

good move

I remember going to Belle Isle as a kid. :-)
I have a lot of relatives buried in the Mt. Elliot Cemetery