• A Tale of Four Cities

    A Tale of Four Cities

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

    This famous line appears at the beginning of Charles Dickens’ epic novel, “A Tale of Two Cities.” Well my grandpa used to say, “If one is good two’s twice as good.” I’ve taken that concept a step farther – if two is good four’s twice as good. Thus if Dickens (that overrated slacker) can write about two cities I can handle four!

    Below is some information I’ve compiled on four U.S. cities.

    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Detroit, Michigan
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    San Francisco, California

    These cities have several things in common, lots of things in contrast. In terms of population all are medium-sized ‘large’ cities. Each has a population greater than 400,000 but less than 850,000. Also, each represents a U.S. congressional district that is thoroughly safe for its controlling national party. In each case the representative to the U.S. House of Representativesfrom the district in which each city resides enjoys a comfortable margin of victory of 15-points or greater over their opposite party rivals (if there is one) in general elections. In other words these cities are either safe conservative strongholds; or safe liberal ones.
    Take a look:

    Population : 400,000
    Representative : Jim Bridenstine (R)
    (Defeated John Olson(D) in 2012 election and garnered over 60% of the vote.
    This is a safe conservative district.)
    Crime statistics :
    46 homicides in 2012
    Robberies = 275.2 per 1,000
    Known for :
    In addition to being home to one of the nation’s most prominent Christian colleges, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa has
    1059 churches and places of worship listings on yellowpages.com.
    The city’s unemployment rate is 2% less than the national average. It has very low business income taxation plus the state income tax rate, which was already low, was just lowered. The highest marginal income tax rate on a couple filing jointly in Oklahoma is 5.25%

    Population : 700,000
    (Detroit qualifies for this list only because its population has shrunk enough to get it beneath the 850,000 ceiling. Detroit’s population is down 63% from a peak of 1.86 million in 1950.)
    Representative : John Conyers (D)
    (The 83 year-old has won 25 consecutive elections and is the second longest-serving member of the House.
    This is a safe liberal district.)
    Crime statistics :
    (For 2012 Detroit [again] topped the list of most dangerous cities in the U.S.A.)
    386 murders = 54.6 per 100,000.
    (More than 10x the national average & the highest in the nation.)
    Robberies = 695.7 per 100,000
    Known for :
    Declared bankruptcy earlier this year to become the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy ever. The city is currently $18.5 billion in debt.
    There are approximately 78,000 vacant structures in Detroit. Approximately 38,000 structures are considered dangerous. The average cost to demolish a residential structure is approximately $8,500. If you tore down only the 38,000 structures in Detroit considered “dangerous”, it would cost about $350 million.

    Exiting population has meant declining tax revenue. Detroit has jacked up every available tax to the state statutory limit. Property tax on a $50,000-assessed residence in Detroit is $3,354. In Washington D.C. (not the cheapest of markets) it’s $425.
    In 2009 Detroit shut down 210 of its 317 public parks. Last year it shut down 50 more. This year its moved 38 to part-time maintenance. If you want to take the kids to park & toss some frisbee…you’re out of luck.

    Detroit has just 370 functioning street lights per square mile. Cleveland (not the most solvent city in the world) has 812.

    Colorado Springs
    Population : 450,000
    Representative : Doug Lamborn (R)
    (Won the 2012 election with 65% of the vote, nearest competitor garnered 17%. This is a safe conservative district.)
    Crime statistics :
    26 murders = 6.1 per 100,000
    Robberies = 106 per 100,000
    (Far less than half that of San Francisco or Detroit.)
    Known For :
    Home to The Navigators, Focus on the Family, Every Home for Christ, Cook Communications,Compassion International, Bibles for the World and multiple other international Christian ministries. Also being home to hundreds of Christian churches – Colorado Springs is a hotbed of evangelical activity and world gospel outreach.
    A very family-centered community Colorado Springs boasts public schools that consistently rate in the top 10th percentile nationally and the city is peppered with parks and outdoor recreation areas. The plethora of ministries plus 5 military bases provides the city a strong middle income class and new-home construction to accommodate that class.
    Colorado Spring’s residents own their power-production company and enjoy some of the lowest power (electricity and natural gas) rates in the nation. Businesses likewise enjoy low tax rates. The city is clean, safe, growing.

    San Francisco
    Population: 825,000
    Representative : Nancy Pelosi (D)
    (The very notion of a conservative challenger garnering more than a miniscule portion of the vote in California’s 12th district is laughable. In 2012 she won with 85% of the vote.
    This is a safe liberal district.)
    Crime statistics :
    Robberies 379 per 1,000
    The national “violent crime per thousand/population” rate is 3.9. The average for the entire state of California is 4.23. San Francisco’s number is 7.16. For all its beauty the City by the Bay is a great place to be if you want to get mugged or otherwise assaulted.
    Known for :
    Of course the leading cause of death in San Francisco for two decades has been AIDS. There has been over 20,000 reported deaths from AIDS in the city, of those 92% were males.
    Also known for it’s public nudity, San Francisco city council narrow avoided (1 vote) passing a law legalizing complete public nudity within city limits. Still, the city is known for its “Buff Stops” where residents routinely hang around, sip coffee,…whatever… outdoors in the buff.
    San Francisco’s annual Gay Pride Parade is among the best known on North America with its display of flamboyance by groups of gay men, none more outlandish than those known as the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” who dress up in Habits, display crucifixes and other Christian garb then walk or ride the parade route displaying their penis’ and engaging in sex acts.
    The city’s elected leadership consists or has consisted of Police Chief Heather Fong – the first female, lesbian chief of police; Theresa Sparks – a former male & president of the San Francisco Police Commission also CEO of a multimillion-dollar sex toy retailer, & a transgender woman; Stephan Thorne – a former female, the first transgender male SFPD police officer to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.


    So what do we have in final analysis of a Tale of 4 Cities?

    Two cities where crime is low, taxation is low, schools are good, quality of living is well above national averages, housing is affordable. Cities where per-capita church attendance is far above national averages and cities that are hotbeds of Christian ministry activities. Places where fulfillment of “the great commission” to take the gospel to all corners of the earth is actively being pursued. Both are cities where one’s children are going to get a good education in the public school system and places where an individual is reasonably unlikely to be murdered, raped or assaulted and pay lower-than-federal-averages in the form in income and property taxation. (Ever tried registering a car in California? …chaching!!)

    Then we have two cities where taxes are out-of-control high and constantly going higher. One of which has a mayor currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for all of the corruption and illegal activity taking place in his office. A city that, despite sky-high taxation, is flat broke and boasts a school system with a nearly 50% drop out rate; is the most dangerous city in America and is home to as many vacant & abandoned building as occupied ones – yet is still trying to tax itself into prosperity.

    On the other end of the spectrum is a city where no morality exists whatsoever. Where the name of God is openly mocked in the streets and where, if you do take your children to a park to toss some frisbee, they are likely to be exposed to things no child should have to think about -let alone see- at 5 years old. Taxes are high, drug use rampant and people walk around naked in the streets while using those drugs. (I went to school just a few blocks from San Francisco’s infamous “Castro district”, I’ve been there/seen that. I’m NOT making any of this up.)

    The question facing you, me, all Americans – of these 4 cities, which would YOU rather live and raise a family in?

    Love & regards,


    Crime statistics were culled from:

    Add’l Detroit stats from: Forbes
    San Francisco nudity freak show from: SF Public Press


    Posted by Dana West @ 4:45 pm for Education, Energy, Issues, National politics |

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