CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Thursday, September 19, 2013

America at War Against its Citizens: COMMUNITIES IN DECLINE

 

 

The decline of Detroit: How the architectural jewels in motor city's crown have fallen into disrepair and are now being demolished

What does a bankrupt city look like? Haunting, tragic and strangely beautiful, according to Philip Jarmain's incredible images of Detroit - the once burgeoning, now desolate Michigan capital.

The Canadian photographer's brilliant series 'American beauty' captures the rapid destruction of Detroit's early twentieth-century architecture.

He depicts abandoned and forgotten spaces of a bygone era defined by ingenuity and innovation. But, inside and out, these monumental public buildings now stand tired and worn, some barely recognizable as their former selves.

Many of the structures, whether theaters, hotels or even police stations and public schools, are being torn down as the city continues its demise. But Jarmain managed to capture the impressive works in their final state before their architects' masterpieces are lost forever.

'These are the last large format architectural photographs for many of these structures,'Jarmain explains.

They are part of American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit at San Francisco's Meridian Gallery.

WHO TO BLAME:

America at War Against its Citizens

America Government needs not sends its army, it sends brigades of Wall Streeter’s, lobbyists, AIPAC, Harvard and Stanford MBA’s, the Feds and, members of Congress, as its army and in its wars against the American people.

Yes indeed, the American government, from presidents, to Congress even the Supreme Court have been waging relentless and frequent wars against the American people and been doing it for decades. Not so sure why Chief Justice Roberts deems corporations as citizens for elections purposes but not jailing its executives and boards when corporations commit crimes.

Let us go over some of these wars. I am sure we all know the War on Poverty that Lyndon Johnson announced in his State of the Union Address on January 8, 1964. Close to $800 billions have been spent on this war, a war with the intention to alleviate the poverty in America. Well, guess what?  America is losing the War, the American people as taxpayers are losing the war and poverty is winning. After some 50 years the poverty line is around 19% and it is unlikely that we will see any improvement in our lifetime.

With an average of $35 billions a year being spent as part of the War on Poverty including some innovative names such as Great Society, VISTA, Job Corps, Head Start, there are now according to 2012 figures some 43 millions American living below poverty lines, including some 2.9 million children, with 1.5 million Americans living on less than $2 a day. What a shame, what failings.

Ah, we must now come to the War on Drugs, which seems our government is winning keeping this war on Americans, especially poor Americans going. Richard Nixon declared his War on Drug back in 1971 and while the different drug fighting agencies and the military spends tens of billions, drugs continue to flow into the US and our prisons are filled almost to capacity. We are the number 1 in the world with the highest percentage of incarcerated population with over 2.3 millions in jail, with young Blacks forming the highest percentage.

While our nation schools are run down and in desperate needs of repairs and renewals, our national budget for prisons exceeds $60 billions annually, with some $5 billions allocated to building new prisons as part of the “privatization” programs giving private corporation the funds and the profits to the tune of $24,000 per prisoner. Just imagine if you and I as citizens have that kind of money to spend on our kids going to college rather than take a second mortgage. Drugs are winning, we citizens are losing and our governments and its partners are winning. That is why our government keep the Taliban’s, Mexican and Columbian Drug cartel going.

America’s wars against its citizens does not stop at poverty and drugs, it goes beyond that to affect some 45 millions of uninsured Americans, with millions mainly in the poorest state such as West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, North and South Carolina with hundreds of thousands of citizens unable to afford visiting a health or dental clinic in years. Yet their representatives in the House and Senate votes tens of billions in aids to Israel, a country that enjoys much better health care that most Americans. Yet citizens of these states keep returning them back to Congress, rather than demanding diverting funds from Israel to clinics and schools at home.

Though we do not expect our government to unleash its arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles or send in its F-15s and F-16 to attack us, that job is left to Congress, both Republicans and Democratic administrations, to the Federal Reserve, to Wall Streets to the banks and insurance companies and the tens of thousands of greedy crooks within governments and in the private sector, an arsenal more powerful than any thing the Pentagon have.

When the late President Ronald Reagan began his ambitious plans to “Privatize America” little he knew that his “privatization” is a declaration of war on the American people, as taxpayers and as shareholders. Imagine if our social security funds was handed over to these crooks on Wall Streets. The Great Depression will look like a financial recovery.

While the size of Federal Government may have been reduced, the private sector took over many of the functions (you remember Edward Snowden the 30 years old guy an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton making $200,000 as government subcontractor) and while federal employees are subject to pay scales, the private sector was awarding managing directors of private companies doing the business of the Federal Government, tens of millions in salaries and bonuses and allowing the looting and fleecing of both the national treasury and citizens.

No need to go back to the Great Depression, but we only need to go back to the last 30 years or so and go over some of these campaigns against the American people. Government campaigns that robbed us of our savings, our pensions, our 401K, our shareholdings and investments in publicly traded companies, robbed us of the equity in our homes which for most Americans are the only true savings.

Now just imagine, a country like ours with the best and well known business schools such as Stanford, Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Harvard, Northwestern graduating some of the best and brightest, why is it that our economy and financings are poorly managed, always take a big hits and we suffers from so many periodic looting of our assets, the little we have. Perhaps those entrusted with managing our economy as bright as we think, perhaps more stupid indeed greedy. This could not happen without the Feds, Wall Streets, Congress and the administrations all-conspiring to wage War on Citizens, over and over and over.

We start with the Saving & Loan Association Crisis of 1980-1990 were 747 saving & loans went bust costing us poor taxpayers over $341 Billions as if the loss of our savings in these banks was not enough. Bankers and real estate developers fleeced so many of us, fleeced so many banks certainly international investors like the Japanese who invested billions in golf courses and buildings only to get back a nickel on the dollar.  This could not happen or take place without bankers being on the take with developers inflating the investments and the bankers inflating the loans for a kick back It is that simple. This is the price of deregulation.

Then came the Junk Bond Crisis, were certain greedy bankers such as Drexel Burnham Lambert organized what is called “leveraged buyout” of well-known companies, simply looting them out of the cash they have and then make the stock worthless and then offer these stocks as “junk bond” to another groups of financial crooks.

Just think of the tens of millions of Americans, small time shareholders who lost the value of their shares, making the likes of Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, and Michael Milken multi billionaires. In 1983 over 1/3 of all corporate bonds issued were non-investment grade.  Board of directors of many companies instituted the “poison pill” or “self destruct” trying to prevent these greedy crooks from take over of their companies. This crisis cost American taxpayers over $500 billions not to mention the trillions of shareholders assets that went up in smoke.

And now welcome to the age of the Internet and new technology. Promoters with registered “corporate names” only and simple idea were able to raise tens of millions of dollars and where billions simply disappeared in what is known now as the “Internet Bubble” of 2003-2006. This reminds of me of a similar and much earlier “bubble” in Kuwait in what is known, as “souk almanakh” were registered companies with only a P.O Box, no business, no staff, only a name and address were traded for millions. The Kuwaiti government rich in funds was able to bail out thousands of investors who lost every thing in this spectacular behavior of stupidity and greed.

When the crooks of Enron waged war on California, rigging electricity and energy prices causing California to almost go bust, Bill Clinton then treasury secretary Larry Summers simply refused to even consider the legitimate claims of Californians that Enron was rigging the prices. Secretary Summers did not believe the millions of consumers but he believed Enron.

Fortune Magazine named Enron “America’s Most Innovative Company” for 6 years in a row. Now I am sure you agree with me, these “financial analysts” of Wall Street and financial media do not know damn thing. Same with accounting firms that simply signed on the dotted lines without even doing what they suppose to do, diligent audit, as was the case with Arthur Anderson. Enron claimed revenues of over $ 100 billions in 2000 when in fact the books were cooked.

Enron employees who trusted the management and in the audit company and in the Federal Government to protect their interests lost hundreds of millions of their 401K and of course their life time savings in company stocks that became worthless. Many simply loosing every thing, including their entire pension funds. Now I call that another war against the citizens and people of America. Do not know what is the role of government if not to govern? Imagine if the Tea Party has its way, America will become the Wild Wild West at the mercy of gun slinging Wall Street.

It seems that our “best and brightest” those guys who run our economy and finances are part of a private criminal enterprise called “Federal Reserve” which is part of a bigger criminal financial mafia called the “Rothschild” are not so smart, in fact stupid and criminals.

The Auto Industry did not go down simply because Detroit produced bad cars, it went down because Wall Street was remotely managing Detroit just like it manage all of the major public corporations.  Of course Detroit executives arrogant, reckless and full of themselves (I hired one such executive and I lost over $2.5 millions), who rather than manage the floors were spending most of their days managing Wall Street “financial analyst” who with few sound bites on the evening and business news cause company stocks to lose hundreds of millions if not billions.

Wall Street, the same people who caused many companies to go bankrupt through looting, got over $80 billions in bailout money.  Over 20,000 autoworkers lost their pensions as part of the bailout and this is only in one company Delphi.

Timothy Geithner part of the network of Feds who took the country and the nation to bankruptcy sold GM stocks at a loss  ($ 25) knowing that tax payers will not get a cent unless the stocks are traded above $52 per share.  The Auto Industry lost 40,000 jobs out of 60,000 union jobs, and shareholders like you and me got ZILCH. Only bondholders and big financial institutions and lenders like JP Morgan and Citibank got 100% of their investment.  Steve Rattner the man appointed to manage the auto bailout grabbed pension funds to pay off Wall Street. These are the guys who are running our nation economy.

Of course the story is not finished till we reach the biggest of all wars, a nuclear war against the American people where tens of millions lost their homes, lost billions in home equity. All this happened not while the government and Congress slept, all this happened in day light time with the former chairman of the Feds Alan Greenspan calling Wall Streets schemes of fraud, lies and sub-primes “creative instruments”.  And this man is considered a brilliant banker. Questionable brilliance at best.

Policy makers in the White House and in Congress where “wining an dinning” raising hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign financing from Wall Street while Wall Street was doing what it does best, rob the American people.  Imagine banks with their own hedge funds were betting against their own clients. Hedge funds owners made billions while shareholders lost trillions. This is OK with our Congress.

Most if not all of these financial institutions were simply marketing worthless “financial instruments” to domestic and international buyers knowing well they were worthless. Over $1.3 trillions in mortgage, with 7.5 millions in first lien in default and over 4 millions in foreclosures.

Freddie Mac and Fannie May while paying their executive officers tens of millions in annual salaries and stocks were buying “financial instruments” that were worthless. It is party of “you scratch my back I scratch yours ”. Freddie Mac stocks that were traded above $60 became worth few pennies. Yes, I am sure many of us lost tens of thousands of dollars in Freddie Mac stocks just like we lost in GM and many other companies.

Not so sure what you want to call all of these events, deliberate, no accident specially since they were of the making of Congress, administration in collusions with Wall Street. Few minutes ago, the news was out that Wells Fargo made over $5.2 billions in the last quarter, with Citibank making $4.2 billions. All the while we the people paid out for bailing these banks, banks run and manage by stupid crooks and we as citizens continue to suffer from high unemployment, minimum wage, lost pensions, lost of our lifetime savings.

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Woodward Presbyterian church. Architect Sidney Rose Badgley, 1908. Photograph Philip Jarmain, 2013

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Mackenzie High School. Architect Wirt C Roland, Smith Group 1927. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011. This building was demolished in 2012

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Highland Park Police Station. Architect Van Leyen, Schilling & Keough, 1917. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011. This building was demolished in 2012

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Michigan Theatre. Architects Rapp and Rapp 1926. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2013

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Fisher Body Plant No. 21. Architect Albert Kahn 1919. Photograph Philip Jarmain, 2013

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East Town Theatre. Architect V.J. Waiver, 1930. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011

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Vanity Ballroom, left, was created by Charles N. Agree 1929. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011. Michigan Central, right, was built by architects Reed and Stem, Warren and Wetmore 1913. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2010

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The Lee Plaza. Architect Charles Noble 1929. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011

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The Lee Plaza. Architect Charles Noble 1929. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011

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Belle Isle Aquarium. Architect Albert Kahn, 1904. Photograph Philip Jarmain, 2011

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The German House. Architects Louis and Paul Kamper 1928. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2012

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Basement of the Book Cadillac Hotel No.2. Architect Louis Kamper, 1924. Photograph Philip Jarmain, 2012

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Basement of the Book Cadillac Hotel. Architect Louis Kamper, 1924. Photograph Philip Jarmain, 2012

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Ford Motor Company Model T Headquarters. Architects Albert Kahn and Edward Gray 1910. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2013

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The David Whitney Building. Architect Graham, Burnham & Co., 1915. Photograph Philip Jarmain, 2013

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East Town Theatre Exterior. Architect V.J. Waiver, 1930. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011

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The Farwell Building. Architects Bonnah & Chaffee, the Russel Wheel and Foundry Company, and Tiffany Studios of New York, 1915. Photograph Philip Jarmain 2011

 

The town of Camden, New Jersey, which was once a large industrial town but watched it’s population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective – The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. Photographer Andrew Burton spent time there recently documenting some of the challenges and bright spots for the community.

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Officer Adam Fulmore, of the Camden County Police Department, goes on a foot patrol on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: A man walks his dog on August 20, 2013 in the Whitman Park neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecendented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: A man speaks to officers with the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), on August 20, 2013 in the East Camden neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: Wilfredo Ortiz speaks to foot patrol officers of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD) on August 20, 2013 in the Fairview neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: Children play basketball in the street on August 20, 2013 in the Whitman Park neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: A boy rides a scooter past abandoned homes on August 20, 2013 in the Whitman Park neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Reggy Colby, age 30 and a recovering heroin addict, walks under an overpass, on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Colby says he got out of jail two days ago, where he was forced to get clean while serving a 30 day sentence. According to Colby, he was in jail for for stealing food after getting hungry. Colby says he grew up in a "Leave it to Beaver" home in Cherry Hill, an affluent city nearby, and originally went to college for architecture before dropping out. After leaving school he moved to Florida, where he got married and had a daughter, Colby says. He joined the army in 2007, trained as a field artillery specialist and served in Afghanistan in 2009 through 2010, until he was injured in an improvised explosive device, which peppered his body with shrapnel, Colby says. It was while recovering from his injuries that he became addicted to heroin, a drug he had also tried as a teen. Since becoming addicted, he has been dishonorably discharged from the Army, divorced and estranged from his daughter, and has become homeless in Camden. "As a kid I was terrified to come to Camden. I was so scared - I never thought I would be out here, never....it's just like, what the fuck happened," Colby says. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Reggy Colby, age 30 and a recovering heroin addict, sits under an overpass on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Colby says he got out of jail two days ago, where he was forced to get clean while serving a 30 day sentence. According to Colby, he was in jail for for stealing food after getting hungry. Colby says he grew up in a "Leave it to Beaver" home in Cherry Hill, an affluent city nearby, and originally went to college for architecture before dropping out. After leaving school he moved to Florida, where he got married and had a daughter, Colby says. He joined the army in 2007, trained as a field artillery specialist and served in Afghanistan in 2009 through 2010, until he was injured in an improvised explosive device, which peppered his body with shrapnel, Colby says. It was while recovering from his injuries that he became addicted to heroin, a drug he had also tried as a teen. Since becoming addicted, he has been dishonorably discharged from the Army, divorced and estranged from his daughter, and has become homeless in Camden. "As a kid I was terrified to come to Camden. I was so scared - I never thought I would be out here, never....it's just like, what the fuck happened," Colby says. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Reggy Colby, age 30 and a recovering heroin addict, displays his tattoos and scars, on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Colby says he got out of jail two days ago, where he was forced to get clean while serving a 30 day sentence. According to Colby, he was in jail for for stealing food after getting hungry. Colby says he grew up in a "Leave it to Beaver" home in Cherry Hill, an affluent city nearby, and originally went to college for architecture before dropping out. After leaving school he moved to Florida, where he got married and had a daughter, Colby says. He joined the army in 2007, trained as a field artillery specialist and served in Afghanistan in 2009 through 2010, until he was injured in an improvised explosive device, which peppered his body with shrapnel, Colby says. It was while recovering from his injuries that he became addicted to heroin, a drug he had also tried as a teen. Since becoming addicted, he has been dishonorably discharged from the Army, divorced and estranged from his daughter, and has become homeless in Camden. "As a kid I was terrified to come to Camden. I was so scared - I never thought I would be out here, never....it's just like, what the fuck happened," Colby says. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Reggy Colby, age 30 and a recovering heroin addict, digs through the trash looking for food, on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Colby says he got out of jail two days ago, where he was forced to get clean while serving a 30 day sentence. According to Colby, he was in jail for for stealing food after getting hungry. Colby says he grew up in a "Leave it to Beaver" home in Cherry Hill, an affluent city nearby, and originally went to college for architecture before dropping out. After leaving school he moved to Florida, where he got married and had a daughter, Colby says. He joined the army in 2007, trained as a field artillery specialist and served in Afghanistan in 2009 through 2010, until he was injured in an improvised explosive device, which peppered his body with shrapnel, Colby says. It was while recovering from his injuries that he became addicted to heroin, a drug he had also tried as a teen. Since becoming addicted, he has been dishonorably discharged from the Army, divorced and estranged from his daughter, and has become homeless in Camden. "As a kid I was terrified to come to Camden. I was so scared - I never thought I would be out here, never....it's just like, what the fuck happened," Colby says. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: A man rides his bike on August 20, 2013 in the Whitman Park neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Volunteers pray prior to dinner being served at Cathedral Kitchen on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Cathedral Kitchen is a multi-service soup kitchen that has been serving the Camden homeless community since 1976. They serve between 300 and 600 dinners each night, as well as offering bi-weekly dental services, and periodic medical and legal services as well. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: LeManuel Farrish helps his cousin, Makayla Farrish, age three, finish her dinner at Cathedral Kitchen on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Cathedral Kitchen is a multi-service soup kitchen that has been serving the Camden homeless community since 1976. They serve between 300 and 600 dinners each night, as well as offering bi-weekly dental services, and periodic medical and legal services as well. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Volunteers deliver meals at Cathedral Kitchen on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Cathedral Kitchen is a multi-service soup kitchen that has been serving the Camden homeless community since 1976. They serve between 300 and 600 dinners each night, as well as offering bi-weekly dental services, and periodic medical and legal services as well. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Joe Ripa, a volunteer, serves meals at Cathedral Kitchen on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Cathedral Kitchen is a multi-service soup kitchen that has been serving the Camden homeless community since 1976. They serve between 300 and 600 dinners each night, as well as offering bi-weekly dental services, and periodic medical and legal services as well. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)#

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: A "tent city" is seen on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Camden has at least three "tent cities," where many of the homeless in the Southern New Jersey region live. Community leaders say Camden draws in a disproportionately large homeless population due to the numerous services, soup kitchens and shelters in city, which other cities in the area do not offer. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: A chair sits in a "tent city" on August 21, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. Camden has at least three "tent cities," where many of the homeless in the Southern New Jersey region live. Community leaders say Camden draws in a disproportionately large homeless population due to the numerous services, soup kitchens and shelters in city, which other cities in the area do not offer. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Memorial messages are written on a post on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: Anthony Boone (C) plays drums with a local drum line that goes by the name "Vicious Victory" on August 20, 2013 in the East Camden neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. Vicious Victory was created by Travis Scott, a 25-year-old who wanted to give local children an alternative to turning to drugs and violence. "I wanted to give them something to do," Scott said, "there's no after school programs...we practice outside, we even practice in the rain." The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Officer Adam Fulmore, of the Camden County Police Department, goes on a foot patrol on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: A building is demolished on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: Officer Troy Redd, of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), talks with a woman while on a foot patrol on August 20, 2013 in the East Camden neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: Officer Troy Redd, of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), plays with children on August 20, 2013 in the Fairview neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: An officer of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD) speaks to two men during a foot patrol on August 20, 2013 in the Fairview neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Officer Jim Lopez (L), of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), wrangles with Omar Headen, age 13, during a day of action, organized by the CCPD, which included neighborhood interaction and the cleaning of Farnham Park, on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Sgt. Zsakhiem James, of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), performs with his K9 partner, named "Zero," during a day of action, organized by the CCPD, which included cleaning up Farnham Park, on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Miguel Torres, age 11, a volunteer, paints over a graffitied structure in Farnham Park, during a day of action, organized by Camden County Police Department (CCPD), on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Concepcion Gutierrez, a volunteer, paints over a graffitied structure in Farnham Park, during a day of action, organized by Camden County Police Department (CCPD), on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Yazmena Blake, age 11, swings on a swing, during a day of action organized by the Camden County Police Department (CCPD), on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The day of action, which was organized by the CCPD, included the cleaning of Farnham Park and general neighborhood interaction between the CCPD, faith leaders and locals. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 22: Members of the Camden County Police Department (CCPD) play basketball with locals during a day of action organized by the CCPD, on August 22, 2013 in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, New Jersey. The day of action included the cleaning of Farnham Park and general neighborhood interaction between the CCPD, faith leaders and locals. The town of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, murder and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The Camden County Police Department was officially created in May, 2013, after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded. The overhaul, which was supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been considered unprecedented and has been closely watched around the country. The new force currently has approximately 280 members, and will reach full size by December, with 400 members. Early signs suggest the overhaul has been effective - The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Camden murder rates fell 29% from May, 2013 to July 2013, compared to the same period last year. Absentee rates of the CCPD is also lower: approximately 5% of officers have been reported absent so far, compared to approximately 30% of the Camden Police Department prior to the change in command. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) #

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CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 20: People sit along the shore of the Delaware river after a trip to Adventure Aquarium on August 20, 2013 in Camden, New Jersey. The city of Camden, which was once a large industrial town but watched it's population dwindle as manufacturing left, has been marred with societal problems including high unemployment, crime, and heavy drug trafficking for decades. The aquarium, on the shores of the Delaware River and across from Philadelphia, PA, is a bright spot for the community and draws tourists from around the region. Animals on display include sharks, hippos, penguins, sea turtles, a giant Pacific octopus and an alligator. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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