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    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

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    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

GOP's appalling silence

A new report detailed the rise of childhood poverty. Guess what Mitt, Newt, Rick and Ron has to say about it.

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Well, the presidential primary is over, and the various roving bands of locusts have left our state for the next tent show.

The packs of journalists have gone too, trailing after the throngs of campaign functionaries and toadies. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, Former Mitten State Mitt and Ron "Atlas Shrugged" Paul took off too.

I'm sure we'll miss them, especially for the light they shed on key issues, such as affordable health care being a terrible thing, and that the bailout that saved the auto industry was worse.

Far as I can tell, all the candidates agreed that saving our economy was bad, even if they disagreed on important stuff, like whether contraception of any kind was evil, or whether government should only prevent women from controlling their own bodies.

There was, however, one issue they ignored entirely. Well, to be fair, they actually ignored a lot of issues, mostly those relevant to real people who live somewhere in America.

But perhaps the most appalling was that they failed to address this: During the last week of the campaign, a new report showed that the number of poor kids in our state has skyrocketed. Detroit has more children forced to live in concentrated poverty than any other major city in the United States of America.

Two-thirds of all Detroit kids live in such neighborhoods. We're talking about families of four scratching by on less than $22,314 a year. We're talking about kids who live in, or among, houses that lack heat and electricity, houses that people fire AK-47s into late at night, killing babies. Homes without roofs.

Houses next to crack houses and houses that have burned down. Of course, some live in shelters, or mainly on the street. 

The report, called Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities, was released Thursday by the Kids Count project. Based on the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, the record tallied 341,000 children living in high-poverty communities in our state in 2010. That's more votes, by the way, than Mitt Romney got in the 2008 primary here.

Except, of course, that these kids can't vote, and the politicians don't give a damn about them. Leastways, they never mentioned them, or this report, during the waning days of the primary campaign.

Not as far as I could tell, anyway. Oh, I suppose I could have tried to get a response from some of them, but it was clear that it would be something like: "This is just another proof of President Obama's failed policies. Repeal minimum wage and child labor laws and weaken unions, and these kids will all be doing fine."

By the way, not only are these kids not all inner-city blacks in Detroit, as many seem to think, lots of them aren't in cities at all.

According to the report, the places with the highest share of kids in poverty include deeply rural, up-north areas like Chippewa, Roscommon and Isabella counties. Those are places with high rates of alcoholism and abuse, perhaps especially in winter.

Yes, a few of these kids will somehow get out, usually thanks to a devoted teacher, parent or other caregiver. Some will get a halfway decent education, a job and some kind of better life. But the vast majority won't, just as the vast majority of kids shooting hoops somewhere this afternoon will never make it to the NBA.

Their lives are likely to be mainly nasty, brutish, occasionally incarcerated, and, for the most part, shorter than average.

Which should concern us all. Things are getting worse. Compared to 2000, there were 125,000 more poor kids in our state in 2010. Since then, we've cut at least 30,000 children off cash assistance, with more to follow. 

Nationally, the number of kids living in such conditions increased by more than 1.5 million in the decade. Michigan, once one of the nation's richer states, is now one of the seven worst when it comes to child poverty. This is scary, and a disgrace. But almost nobody said anything about this last week. Nobody, except the small community of those who advocate for the less fortunate. Somebody needs to do something for these kids now, by any means necessary. This is a problem, that, left untreated, will have the effect of a cancer on the rest of us.

For we are creating a huge new underclass with the potential to destroy us. Once upon a time, even the capitalists had figured out you needed to pay a decent wage, and have a safety net in place, so people could afford to buy their products and buy in to this society.

Today, we have one major party taking a woman-hating, medieval jackass like Rick Santorum seriously. This is a man who said last week that the president was a "snob" for thinking everyone should be able to go to college. "There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them." Naturally, that patronizing idiot has three degrees. Well, we have thousands in Michigan today that are testing their nonexistent skills by rooting through garbage bins.

Unless we do something soon, they may outnumber us someday. I saw a movie once about what happens then. It was set in Russia, in 1917. See you at the next exciting Republican presidential debate.


Mitt Romney & the bridge: The editor-in-chief of the Toledo Blade was all set to endorse Romney last weekend. The newspaper circulates in both Ohio, which has its primary next week, and in Michigan. But he wanted to know how Mitt stood on building a new bridge over the Detroit River. The newspaper's editors strongly support a New International Trade Crossing, as does just about every intelligent life form not in the pay of Matty Moroun.

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