Most Read
  • 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

Lansing’s closet Reds

Republicans must actually want to start a revolution among have-nots

When I was very young, I thought for a while I might become an entomologist, that is, someone who studies insects for a living.

Unfortunately, I did not have the math skills for the hard sciences, and so I ended up getting paid to watch politicians instead. There are certain drawbacks to this. Few of them are anywhere near as lovely, say, as a luna moth. Politicians often engage in odder and more unsavory sexual behavior than most insects.

True, the female praying mantis does eat her partner while they are having sex. Most male politicians destroy themselves instead.

But the main difference between bugs and politicians is that most insects engage in more or less rational behavior.

Yes, they may fly into a streetlight by mistake, but generally they look for food and shelter, and try to lay their eggs where the young will have the best chance at survival their parents can give them.

That's something our kind doesn't always do these days, especially the subspecies known as the Republican Party. I've been studying a colony of these creatures found in the Michigan Legislature, and have made some fascinating discoveries:

First of all, they aren't very concerned about our survival as a species. Every study shows that this state's citizens are woefully undereducated. Young adults in Michigan have, on average, less education than those in nearby states.

That's largely the legacy of the days when you didn't need a lot of learning to bend metal on the assembly line. You could be ignorant as a box of rocks and still make good money. But those days are gone, and are never coming back.

The jobs of the future will require more education and higher skill sets. If we are ever to attract them, we need a better-educated work force. If our young people are to have any hope of making it, we have to give them the tools to succeed. So what are our leaders doing?

Cutting what we spend on education! Elementary, high school and university education. They can make do with less, the lawmakers say. Anyway, they can make up the money if they adopt "best practices," which seems to be Governor Snyder-speak for "screwing the teachers and the staff out of their benefits."

That would be bad and irrational enough, but the bizarre behavior of the Republicanus parasiticus lawmakers doesn't stop there. They are determined to make sure that those struggling not only don't learn well enough, they don't get fed well enough.

Last week, they voted a lifetime ban on welfare for anyone who had gotten benefits for a total of four years, a ban that will take effect Oct. 1. The lawmakers' reasoning was that this should be enough time for anyone to find a job.

Conservatives, most of them writing on their blogs, gleefully did handsprings at the thought of the boom being lowered on all these welfare cheats, some of whom were even suspected of being black.

Unfortunately, they are about two decades too late. Yes, there used to be a program called General Assistance, under which able-bodied adults could get welfare money. But that ended long ago.

The people on welfare now are poor families with minor children. Perhaps anyone could find a job in a world where a strong mixed economy included a vibrant public sector complementing and helping the private sector lead us to full employment.

That was the America that existed back in the 1960s. However, there have been precious few jobs available for anyone, even college graduates, over the last four years in Michigan.

So according to the state, 11,162 people will be cut loose without any assistance on Oct. 1. One Sheryl Thompson, the acting deputy director of the Department of Human Services, said she thought virtually all these households could produce "some earned income."

That's probably true; they could sell drugs, their bodies or their children. Maybe the odd pint of blood here and there.

Actually, what the politicians hope is that these people will just go away and leave the state. They won't, of course, not most of them.

Together with the unskilled and unemployable coming out of our underfunded schools, they'll join a large and growing group of desperate citizens with no stake in the present system.

Suddenly, it struck me with the force of revelation.

Our leaders are secret Marxist-Leninists. They have to be! This is just what Marx predicted in Das Kapital! The capitalists will throw more and more workers out of work. More and more wealth will be concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

Finally, with no stake in the system whatsoever, there will be mass and bloody revolt. The capitalists will fight back, but will be overwhelmed, till the day when, and as the bearded one predicted, "the expropriators are expropriated."

How silly of me not to see this. For years and years, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, rational private businessmen who wanted to stay rich and prosperous realized the way to do so was to see that the workers had a stake in the system.

That's why socialism and communism failed in this country. But now a secret band of terrorists masked as right-wing Republicans are driving our system to destruction and us to revolution.

Either that, or they are a bunch of cold, stupid, callous and unfeeling bastards who couldn't care less about us or our children.

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