Most Read
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    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

Mitt Romney's world

'My job is not to worry about those people'

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Romney told a private gathering about his team of "Karl Rove equivalents."

Sometimes in the course of a campaign, politicians beat up on each other for weeks without having much of an effect on the voters.

But once in a while, something happens that suddenly crystallizes opinion and forever fixes an impression in the public mind. The clearest example of that I ever saw was on Oct. 5, 1988.

Democrat Lloyd Bentsen and Republican Dan Quayle were going at it in their vice presidential debate. The selection of Quayle, a lightweight 41-year-old senator from Indiana, had stunned members of both parties who felt that he was in no way up to the job.

Unwisely, Quayle attempted to compare his experience to that of John F. Kennedy. Bentsen, who was old enough to be Quayle's daddy, intoned in his deep baritone, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine," and he paused, before adding, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

The cameras cut to Quayle's shocked, deer-in-the-headlights face. In an instant, Quayle's political future was over.

Ironically, he did end up becoming vice president; fortunately for him, we don't elect vice presidents separately, and nobody could have saved the hapless Michael Dukakis from defeat. 

But Dan Quayle spent his four years in office mainly as fodder for gag writers. When he eventually ran for president on his own, few noticed. Though today he is the same age as Mitt Romney, Quayle has been pretty much completely forgotten.

Which brings us to Mitt, who last week suffered what may turn out to be his own Dan Quayle moment — except Romney's was far deeper, more self-revealing and completely self-inflicted.

For months, Democrats have argued that Romney was an out-of-touch rich guy who doesn't give a damn about ordinary people. This wasn't especially imaginative on their part. Democrats try to pin that label on almost every Republican, often with no success.

But then Romney proved they were righter than they probably knew. The evidence is a fascinating surreptitious videotape of the candidate speaking at a fat-cat Florida fundraiser in May.

You can easily find the videotape, or read a transcript of it, on the Internet. But reading it isn't enough; you need to see it; need to see his facial expressions, his tone. Romney officially may be a Mormon, maybe even wears their funny underwear. But this video makes it clear he is really a sneering Social Darwinist.

If you aren't rich, if you haven't made millions, if you need some sort of help from the government of any kind, well, then, you are an inferior specimen and lower life form. To quote the video:

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it." 

"That's an entitlement," Romney explained helpfully, and the lower orders evidently feel that "the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what." 

Throw in a few deluded liberal dupes with jobs, and "I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48 — he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that's what they sell every four years."

What would he do for the lower orders? Evidently, kick them to the side of the road. "My job is not to worry about those people — I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Mark Dobias, an irreverent lawyer in Sault Ste. Marie, sent me a one-word e-mail: Untermenschen.

Yes, mein führer, that's about the size of it. No, I'm not implying Romney is a Nazi. He doesn't want to exterminate these people; just cut off their freebies, and then I suppose have them work in our kitchens and sewers for a pittance and be neither seen nor heard.

There are other fascinating revelations on this tape. The only time I ever interviewed Romney, five years ago, it was clear he thought he was the most intelligent person on the planet.

It must be wonderful indeed for Mitt to greet his mirror every morning. His belief in his own cleverness is fascinating. 

At one point, he mentions that he wrote a book that "lays out my view for what has to happen in the country," before modestly adding "people who are fascinated by policy will read the book," the title of which (No Apology: The Case for American Greatness) he never even bothers to mention. No wonder; as he candidly adds:

"I don't think it will have a significant impact ... a setting like this, a highly intellectual subject, a discussion of a whole series of important topics typically doesn't win elections." He said he'd leave that to the ads, and bragged, "I have a whole team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants ... Karl Rove equivalents," whom Mitt evidently relies on to sell him like any other product. 

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