Most Read
  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

GOP: Party of hate

Why conservatives should object to Ted Nugent's anti-Obama rant

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Want to know how unhappy I am with the constant stream of lies and smears told by the Republicans? How angry at their open threats to take away reproduction rights and the health-care safety net Americans finally won? Not to mention their gleeful, open intention to continue stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

Well, let's put it this way: If Mitt Romney becomes the president in November, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. And if you can't go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating party ...

I don't know what you are made out of.


Outrageous words? Damn right. Had I written them a few weeks ago, my guess is that my editors never would have printed them. Besides being badly written and grammatically incorrect, they are pretty close to a threat to incite violence, possibly against the president of the United States, which is against federal law.

But these aren't my words at all. They are a near-exact quote from Ted Nugent, an aging minor rocker who is better known these days as a gun nut. Nugent, who especially loves to kill defenseless animals, said the outrageous words above in a video posted on YouTube. All I did was substitute "Mitt Romney" for "Barack Obama," and "party" for "administration." His outburst earned him a visit from the Secret Service, at which Nugent rolled on his back like a frightened puppy, whimpering, "I have never made any threats of violence against anyone. God bless the good federal agents."

By the end of the week, the fading Motor City Madman had other things to think about; he was off pleading guilty to transporting an illegally killed bear in Alaska, and cutting a deal to stay out of jail.

The problem, however, is far deeper than Nugent. There are an alarming number of nasty and crazy right-wing nuts out there, many of whom clearly cannot tolerate that an African-American is the president of the United States.

They spew a torrent of lies and hate onto the Internet and the airwaves, when broadcasters let them on. They are spurred on by unscrupulous showmen like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their imitators, and have been given aid and comfort by many Republican candidates, some at the highest level. Far from denouncing and disavowing them, which is what any decent Republican would have been expected to do a half-century ago, they slyly encourage them.

Take Newt Gingrich, a brawling, grossly pathetic has-been who is still running for the GOP presidential nomination, even though any chance of his winning evaporated weeks ago.

Newt recently told ABC News that he finds it "very bizarre" that the president is "desperately concerned to apologize to Muslim religious fanatics." He added that the Obama administration was "going to war against the Catholic Church and against every right-to-life Protestant organization in the country."

Both those statements are not even subjective; they are demonstrably untrue. Yet that is just the kind of rhetoric that could easily get some troubled young fanatic fired up.

Yet nothing will happen to Gingrich. Before Rick Santorum pulled out of the race, he took target practice at a shooting range where a woman hollered, "Pretend it's Obama."

He later said he didn't hear her. However, when another woman in a town hall meeting told Santorum that the president was "an avowed Muslim," he did not correct her. Instead, he just said, "Believe me, I'm doing anything I can to get him out of the government."

These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Besides writing this column, I am the ombudsman for an Ohio newspaper, the Toledo Blade. In that capacity, I receive torrents of right-wing attacks on the president, many filled with hatred, thinly veiled racism and rage.

Recently I got bombarded from an "open letter" from one Lou Pritchett, a former soap salesman who rose to become a Procter & Gamble vice president. It begins:

"Dear President Obama; You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and, unlike any of the others, you truly scare me."

Really? The soap salesman wasn't bothered by John F. Kennedy taking us to the brink of nuclear war? Not worried by the possibility that the felonious Richard Nixon might try some kind of a coup when he was about to be removed from office? Not worried about Lyndon Johnson bombing Vietnam back to the Stone Age?

Having demonstrated that he is clueless, Pritchett goes on to list a whole lot of reasons why he is scared of Obama, including that "culturally you are not an American." That settles that.

Incidentally, it turns out that soap man wrote this letter back in May of 2009, when President Obama had barely been in office four months. There are many similar rants. One Joe Quinn, apparently of Toledo, tells me in the course of a long letter that "the list of [Obama's] atrocities against the American people is too long to list here." However, he does disclose that if he is re-elected, "he will be much freer to completely transform America into a socialist state."

Well, we can only hope, but my guess is the Republicans in Congress might raise some mild objections.

There are, in fact. legitimate conservative arguments that can be made against the president's policies. The huge deficits are frightening, and it is fair to challenge the assumptions of his health care plan or his foreign policy in an intellectually legitimate way

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