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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

Character assassins and corruption

Lansing's McCarthy-style follies, from calling Obama Muslim to playing at election fraud

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Sounding like Joe McCarthy on steroids, Bachman called on the administration to identify and expel "Muslim extremists" she believes have infiltrated our government.


Last week, the worst member of the state Legislature — and that's saying something — dived deeper than ever into the toilet.

David Agema, a washed-up airline pilot from Grandville, proclaimed that the president of the United States is a Muslim.

"That explains it all. He is a Muslim," Agema proclaimed on Facebook. What's more, he posted what passes for proof in his pinched, narrow, little, Republican forebrain.

Agema, who normally reserves his slurs for gay people and immigrants, linked his comments to a series of patched-together, clumsily edited videos that appear to show Barack Obama saying nice things about Islam. Never mind that George W. Bush repeatedly did the same thing, while emphasizing that the war on terror was by no means a war against Muslims.

One wonders if Agema thinks Bush is a Muslim too, though it is hard to couple the word "think" with anything having to do with the state representative from Intolerance.

Actually, Agema did achieve something important: He proved, for the first time as far as I know, that the Fox News channel has standards. He admitted to the Gongwer News Service that he posted the video after Fox refused to air it.

What made Agema angriest, apparently, was that the video showed President Obama saying that Islam is a religion of peace. "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but just about every terrorist is a Muslim," flyboy Dave said, brilliantly exhibiting the depths of both his philosophical and religious expertise.

My guess is that the Irish Republican Army and the Oklahoma City bombers never knew how Muslim they were.

We've known about Agema for years, however. He's been voted the Legislature's least effective member. He introduced anti-immigrant bills worse than Arizona's, tried to make schools teach "creation science" and has never missed the opportunity to try to deny gay people their rights.

He has, however, missed many votes on bills. In his first year, he missed more votes than anyone else in Lansing, but continued to draw his full salary. That fall, when the state faced the real possibility of a prolonged government shutdown if a budget wasn't passed, Agema should have been close to the action; he had a seat on the Appropriations Committee.

Should have been, but wasn't. He was off in Siberia on a hunting trip, shooting at wild sheep. He collected his pay, however, just the same. 

From time to time, both parties have had some totally contemptible elected officials. Take Sen. Joe McCarthy, back in the 1950s.  He destroyed lives and careers by recklessly accusing people of being Communists without the slightest bit of evidence.

Eventually, he was stripped of his powers and soon drank himself to death. After that, there was sort of mutual agreement that in politics, there was such a thing as going too far.

For a long time, reckless, vicious and false character assassination was seen as unacceptable. But not any more.

Not, anyway, among Republicans. Even as Agema was trying to spread his moronic dirt, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann accused a greatly respected State Department official, Huma Abedin, of "trying to destroy Western civilization from within," apparently through her ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Abedin, who was actually born in Detroit, is of Pakistani descent, though her husband is Jewish.

Sounding like Joe McCarthy on steroids, Bachman called on the administration to identify and expel "Muslim extremists," who she believes have infiltrated our government.

Unfortunately for Minnesota's bargain-basement demagogue, she picked the wrong target. Not only has Abedin been thoroughly vetted by the U.S. intelligence services, even most Republicans respect her; she is a close adviser and confidante to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ed Rollins, who once worked as a campaign manager for Bachmann, said her "vicious" smears "reach the late Sen. Joe McCarthy level." Sen. John McCain denounced Bachmann. Speaker of the House John Boehner joined in.

The nasty little woman from Minnesota scuttled back to her lair. But back in Michigan, it was a different story.

Decent people from both parties should be calling for Agema to slither out of the Legislature. But not only did that not happen, Republicans a few weeks ago elected him the state's Republican National Committeeman.

Every state has a male and female representative on the GOP's national committee, and this creature is ours.

Nobody's moving to replace him for lying about the president, and the state party apparently doesn't have any problem with that. They did have bigger problems last week:

In one of the most astounding examples of political corruption Michigan has seen, the Kent County Prosecutor's office revealed that GOP Speaker of the House Jase Bolger secretly conspired with Roy Schmidt, a representative from Grand Rapids, to deceive the people by trying to rig an election.

Election fraud, in other words. The two of them conspired to have Schmidt switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party, and to do so at the last minute so Democrats couldn't find a legitimate replacement candidate. It gets worse:

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