Most Read
  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Politics & Prejudices

The choice for governor

Breaking down the race for governor: Bernero vs. Snyder

No doubt about it. The Democratic candidate was an accident of history, somebody who got the job by chance; got the nomination because none of the more experienced candidates wanted it.

They all knew he couldn't win.

So did all the smart guys in the media and the chattering classes: pollsters, pundits, talking heads. The Democrats had been in power a long time, and times weren't great.

Time for a change. The Democrats were divided. Their nominee was an emotional, passionate guy who could make a speech, charge up some of the fools, but didn't have a clue.

The Republican candidate was better connected, more accomplished, had far more education. He had it won. The only way things could change was if the Republican made a mistake. So his speeches were full of air. He was against waste, fraud and abuse.

He wanted to give citizens more value for their tax dollars. He pledged to clean up the mess in government. He smiled and waved, said we had been great and would be great again.

But the Democrat said all sorts of risky, sometimes contradictory things. He wanted universal health care and he wanted better conditions for the workers and he wanted to do more for them.

Even if it cost the rich people more than they are paying now.

You may think that passage above describes this year's race for governor of Michigan, between Rick Snyder, the venture capitalist Republican, and Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing. And, as a matter of fact, it does.

But I wasn't thinking of them when I wrote it. I was thinking of a long-ago presidential election between Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Thomas Dewey, candidates who share an uncanny resemblance to Snyder and Bernero stylistically and politically.

Truman was sneered at as a little man out of his depths, an emotional hot dog. Thomas Dewey was the reasonable, sober, adult candidate. Every political writer in the country said he would win. The Chicago Tribune set their headline in type and went to press early: DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN. The Wall Street Journal devoted the lead story to explaining how Dewey would govern. The Detroit Free Press wrote an editorial calling on Truman to resign immediately so that Dewey could become president early.

But guess what happened? Harry Truman won the election, easily.

Journalists, professors, pollsters and politicians intently studied how they could have been so wrong. There were three main answers:

People tended to like the scrappy little Democratic underdog. Nobody much liked Dewey, who was a strutting, pompous gasbag. But since all the cool people thought Truman was a loser, people didn't tell pollsters the truth. And reporters ignored signals that the conventional wisdom just might be wrong; Truman had larger and more enthusiastic crowds, for example.

But everybody refused to see all that.

That was way back in 1948. Today everybody "knows" that Rick Snyder is going to win the election. Reporters have been sneering at Bernero forever. But the mayor of Lansing won the nomination (which they also said he wouldn't do) and it ain't over till it is over. And we ought to remember that.

Before you jump to conclusions, I am not predicting that Bernero will win. As a matter of fact, I think he'll lose, probably decisively, though he did easily win the one debate Snyder reluctantly agreed to, last Sunday night.

Winning it wasn't all that easy; both Steve Henderson of the Free Press and especially Nolan Finley of The Detroit News were far harder on Bernero than Snyder. Finley asked Snyder, for example, if he could be "tough" in Lansing, instead of asking how he expected to govern when he had never spent a day in any office.

Snyder, who mainly appeared to be a robot, mostly said things like "we need an attitude of action." And "I have a 10-point plan on my website." Nolan Finley did ask him one very good question: "How do you create a job?"

Snyder's answer was something like "government can't do it," which isn't strictly true, and "I've created many jobs," which may or may not be true, but didn't answer the question.

Bernero countered this from the start by saying, "State government isn't working for regular people," though "the wealthy get taken care of." In perhaps the most profound statement either of them made, he said, "We can't afford to be ideologically biased. If [a program] is working, we keep it. If not, we throw it out."

And before you jump to any further conclusions — I am not a dyed-in-the wool Bernero supporter. He annoyed me throughout the debate, as he has throughout his campaign, by his endless repetition of the exaggerated claims that Snyder has "outsourced jobs to China."

Nor am I impressed by his constant banging the drum on the abortion theme. There is no evidence that Snyder has the slightest desire to change abortion policy at all. Many people don't even think he is really "pro-life," and believe he says he is to avoid the active hostility of all the Right to Life of Michigan nut jobs.

Snyder's best moment came when he said, in essence, that the next governor needs to forget about social issues and concentrate on jobs and economic improvement in Michigan.

But, on balance, I came away from the debate thinking that it is clear Virg Bernero, son of an Italian immigrant, genuinely cares about people and wants to help them. I also think that after his years in the Legislature and as mayor, he may have some idea how to govern. That's crucially important; Jennifer Granholm never had a clue.

Rick Snyder didn't give any sense that he had known any "regular people," not for a long time. Nor did he show evidence of the slightest clue he knew what governing in any kind of democracy is all about. Had I been a panelist, I would have been strongly tempted to ask if he would consider firing our lawmakers if they didn't get the job done on his schedule.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus