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  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

    The post Dinner Club Does Brunch appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks

    San Francisco’s Josh Cheon runs the darkwave revival label Dark Entries and is a member of the Honey Soundsystem DJ collective. This Saturday, July 26, Macho City switch out of disco mode and get a little gothic, bringing the Dark Entries 5th Anniversary Tour to town. Synth bands Bézier, Max + Mara, and Redredred will play, and Cheon will spin select cuts in between sets. We asked Cheon to share a playlist of some of his favorite tracks: Martin L. Gore — “Compulsion”: “I first heard this song at The Bank, a goth club I used to go to every weekend in New York as a teenager. I love the synths that sound like brass instruments and of course Martin’s distinct vocals.When I bought the EP, I discovered it was actually a cover of a song by Joe Crow, who used to play with UK post punk group The Nightingales. The rest of the covers on this EP turned me onto so many other great bands like Tuxedomoon, Sparks, The Durutti Column and Comsat Angels.” Clan of Xymox — “Call it Weird”: “This song was also part of my teenage soundtrack after it was reissued in 1994 on CD. I never imagined I would reissue it then, but when I started my label it was one […]

    The post DJ Josh Cheon shares his favorite darkwave tracks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at college@metrotimes.com.

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

Long live socialism

The great right-wing swindle has hoodwinked too many

Here's the truth: I love socialism, and so do you, even though you may well neither know it, nor admit it. Matter of fact, so do most of the poseurs trying for the Republican presidential nomination.

They, however, want socialism only for the rich, and never call it that. Instead, they pretend what they call "socialism" is the problem. Well, if you want to see someone who lived a life free of socialism, go to Italy.

There, you can visit the body of the so-called "Ice Man," who was found after being frozen for 5,000 years. He was in his 40s; his teeth were decayed, his body was pretty much worn out, and, oh, yes, he had been murdered. But at least he didn't have to pay taxes.

Nor did he have police protection, schools, health care, roads or any agency in charge of seeing he wasn't sold tainted reindeer meat.

Well, he may have led a life Ron Paul would love, but the rest of us would probably prefer the sort of government intrusion that prevents someone from pissing in our drinking water.

Some of us are even so addicted to the road to serfdom that we think we should all have to pay taxes to make sure our kids are educated, our roads safe and people get at least minimal health care.

Well, enough of my subtle sarcasm. Libertarianism, the idea that you need virtually no government except perhaps for national defense, is a great philosophy for teenage boys from Bloomfield Hills. However, it doesn't work for grown-ups.

Right now, our economy is not in good shape. The national debt is not as large an immediate threat as the right-wing howlers in Congress would have you believe, but there is cause for concern. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, it was less than $1 trillion.

That is to say, the nation had run up a trillion dollars in unpaid borrowing since Thomas Jefferson scratched out the Declaration of Independence in 1776. However, since then, that deficit has ballooned to $14 trillion, and is now increasing by more than a trillion dollars a year.

Nobody disputes that. Nor does anyone dispute that a couple trillion have been added by the Obama administration, in a narrowly successful effort to prevent the Great Recession from turning into a second Great Depression, in which you might well starve to death.

Where you are being told the big lie, mainly by the Republicans, is in what the real cause of these huge deficits are, and what ought to be done about them. From Michele Bachmann to Mitt Romney, they will tell you that "entitlements" are too high. That we can't afford health care, and may not be able to afford Social Security.

They are all itching to cut wages and benefits for public servants, and the one thing they'd all agree we must never, ever, think about is raising taxes, especially on the rich.

What is most remarkable about that is not that it is bullshit and blatant hypocrisy. It is that they have persuaded an astonishing number of us to believe this. Some years ago, I had a not-very-bright student who was also poor. She never finished her degree, largely because she couldn't afford to. The only job she could get was cleaning the bathrooms at a McDonald's. But she was a right-wing Republican who once told me she was dead set against raising taxes, even to help students like herself. Why?

"Because I intend to be rich someday," she said.

The myth that we can all be rich is another howler we've been sold. We are in our current mess, in large part, because, starting with Reagan, there has been a tremendous redistribution of wealth in the country. We've been transferring wealth from the poor to the rich — especially, the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of the population.

Essentially, what Mitt Romney and his fellow defenders of greed are doing is sitting down with a hungry worker and an unemployed person over a plate of nine hamburgers.

Romney grabs eight of the burgers, looks at the worker, and points at the jobless person. "He wants to steal your hamburger," he says. The incredible thing is that many workers buy it.

Barely a decade ago, our economy was in fine shape. When the much-reviled President Clinton left office, we were running consistent surpluses for the first time since World War II!

We were actually starting to reduce the national debt. And then along came George W. Bush, who ended the surplus and once again plunged us into the red by having a Republican Congress enact huge tax cuts, the vast majority of which went to the rich.

Again, nobody can dispute this; the numbers and analyses of what they mean are available in many places. William Gale, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, recently published an easily understandable explanation of all this in the Washington Post.

When this is pointed out to the more intelligent supporters of the great right-wing swindle, they will say, "Yes, but they use their tax cuts to create jobs," and "they spend that money and further stimulate the economy." They sometimes even use those arguments to argue in favor of even more tax cuts for the rich.

This is all nonsense. As Gale notes, "most Bush tax cut dollars go to higher-income households, and these top earners don't spend as much of their income as lower earners."

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