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  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the traget of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will keep […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit

    The Social Club Grooming Company, a metro Detroit-based environmentally conscious company that focuses on health and beauty as well as education, will host Shop Talk this Thursday, a special in their on-going event series that will bring students from both Harvard and Duke for a panel discussion about the social-entreprenurial climate and business innovation happening in Detroit. Detroiters like Burn Rubber’s Rick Williams, fashion photographer Piper Carter, Crain’s Detroit’s Eric Cedo, Mission Throttle’s Jamie Shea, and campaign manager Bryan Barnhill will come together to discuss how to create change in the city’s economic landscape through innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course what makes this panel discussion unique is the way in which it will take place. As The Social Club is a barber shop, each panelist will be receiving a haircut while speaking, the trimmings from which will be used for their nitrogen content to help grow plants in the city. Part of a series that will help Detroiters meet city leaders, voices, artists, activists, and business owners, Shop Talk’s objective is to help young people understand their role in the city’s ever-changing economic system. “There’s so much positive energy in Detroit right now,” says Sebastian Jackson, The Social Club’s founder. “It’s […]

    The post Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Just to clarify, Olympia hasn’t ‘finalized’ financing details on promised Detroit ancillary development — yet

    Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press and Crain’s Detroit Business reported on the remarkable concept Olympia Development of Michigan, the real estate arm of Detroit Red Wings owner Ilitch Holdings Inc., has developed for the proposed “catalyst development project.” (The basics of the project can be found here.) Baked into the details offered by the Freep was this: Arena plans announced earlier called for development to grow up around the arena over ensuing years. But the Ilitches decided to do it all at once: A large part of the infrastructure and construction associated with the retail and residential projects will rise out of the ground along with the arena — and be ready by 2017. Christopher Ilitch said construction of the residential units, restaurants and other new development around the arena was moved up because of its importance to Detroit. He estimated the development would create at least $1.8 billion in total economic impact over several years, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs, and 1,100 permanent jobs. As Crain’s reported, Olympia would develop 300 apartments in “two buildings on what currently are the surface parking lots between Comerica Park — home of the Ilitch-owned Detroit Tigers — and Woodward Avenue.” Crain’s writer Bill Shea also notes a new building across Adams Street […]

    The post Just to clarify, Olympia hasn’t ‘finalized’ financing details on promised Detroit ancillary development — yet appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts comes to Artist Village Detroit

    On August 2, the annual Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts makes its way to Detroit’s Redford and Brightmoor Neighborhoods. The event,, which runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., features an array of performers, from music (Passalacqua, Tunde Olaniran, Duane the Brand New Dog) to dance (Wild Spirit, Studio Detroit, Dawn Xiana Moon and Kamrah), theater (Shakespeare in Detroit, Nerve, Rumpusroom), and art (installation by 555 Gallery, Armaggedon Beach Party, Colleen Parsons). Check out the website for the full schedule of events.

    The post Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts comes to Artist Village Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch Now: Al Jazeera’s ‘Informants’

    Live on Al Jazeera English’s YouTube Channel, Informants explores the shifty world of undercover agents, FBI-concocted terror plots, and more–in, among other places, Toledo. Read our review here, or watch now:

    The post Watch Now: Al Jazeera’s ‘Informants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

Labor strikes back?

Trying an end-run on emergency managers and right-to-work laws

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

I know the one thing we did right

Was the day we started to fight

Keep your eyes on the prize

Hold on.

—Civil rights movement song


For more than a year, unions and working people have taken a pounding, ever since Rick Snyder became governor and Republican right-wing ideologues captured the Legislature.

A tough new emergency manager law sailed with ease though the Legislature; among other things, it gives such managers the power to tear up contracts negotiated in good faith, if they feel like it.

The lawmakers put strict limits on how much local governments could offer their workers in terms of health benefits, proving once again the ancient proverb that Republicans are in favor of local control ... except when they aren't. 

They went after teachers' unions, with the clear intent of making it harder for them to represent their members by forbidding payroll deduction of dues. They also seemed bizarrely obsessed with preventing a handful of graduate research assistants at the University of Michigan from forming a union.

Even that wasn't enough, however. Increasingly, legislative Republicans have been talking about passing what they call right-to-work legislation, which really has nothing to do with workers' rights and everything to do with destroying private sector unions.

They want to outlaw the "union shop," the mechanism that for decades has given labor the power to stand up to the powerful corporations by ensuring that workers can vote to make sure the entire bargaining unit is represented by the union of their choice.

Snyder, who is more intelligent and less blindly ideological than most legislative Republicans, opposed this. He told his fellow partisans that this wasn't necessary, and urged them to notice how going too far had actually backfired in Wisconsin and Ohio.

But they didn't care. The goal of these Tea Party lunatics is smashing the unions, and punishing anyone who works for the public sector by cutting their pay and benefits. They don't have much use for workers in the private sector either, though they don't say that.

Throughout all this, the Democratic Party remained mostly disgracefully silent. True, they have little or no power these days, especially in the state Senate. True, they whined and sniveled about how awful Snyder's programs were. 

But they did nothing, other than cast meaningless votes against whatever programs the right wing was shoving through. Did Democrats offer any kind of counterproposals instead?

Did they leap to defend the workers? Did the Democratic minority leaders stand up and say "we propose that instead of taxing pensions, cutting aid to education, and throwing poor kids off cash assistance we do something else?"

Such as, raise income taxes on those who can afford them?

Did they have the guts to do that? Not on your life. But now, somebody finally has: the unions. To my stunned surprise, the unions got together and came up with a proposal that could be a game-changer and merits everyone's support.

Last week, a union-friendly group called We Are the People held a press conference to announce a drive for a state constitutional amendment that would protect collective bargaining.

People had expected some effort made to ward off "right-to-work." But this goes far beyond that. Collective bargaining rights are what created the middle class in this country and made America great. This amendment would enshrine them in the state Constitution for both private sector and public sector workers alike.

The proposed amendment says: "The Legislature's exercise of its power to enact laws relative to the hours and conditions of employment shall not abridge, impair, or limit the right to collectively bargain for wages, hours and other terms of employment."

If this passes, nobody could outlaw collective bargaining or throw out contracts collectively arrived at. No matter what. 

Unlike the silly "recall Snyder" proposal, which was doomed to failure from the start, this is likely to get the 322,609 valid signatures needed to get on the ballot, since most Michigan labor unions have vowed to help collect them.

Now this is something worth fighting for. Should this get on the ballot and be approved by a majority of the citizens voting in November, it would apparently nullify several major pieces of Snyder-era legislation. The sweeping powers emergency managers now have to ignore union contracts would end. The law outlawing unions for university graduate students would be null and void. Laws aimed at weakening teacher unions would likely be invalid as well. 

Zack Pohl, the spokesman for We the People, the umbrella labor group leading the charge, said the unions were willing to spend what it needed to get the amendment on the ballot and then passed, though he wouldn't say how much. 

He did say, "We fully expect we'll have lots of enemies," who will spend heavily to try to get the public to defeat the amendment.

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