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  • 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

The problem with a Santorum spoiler

Instead of cheering on a weak candidate, it’s better to vote responsibly

"It all comes down to sex. ... Woodstock is the great American orgy. ... One thing I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is the dangers of contraception in this country. It's not OK." 

—Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum

 

Believe it or not, those are recent, real remarks from one of the two top candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, a former senator unhealthily obsessed with sex, a man who was, six years ago, thrown out of office by the voters in his own state.

Rick Santorum seems to be some sort of deeply messed-up, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic. Forget abortion as a litmus test. He is not only against that; he's against contraception. He thinks a long-ago U.S. Supreme Court decision saying birth control was a right was decided wrongly, and would apparently ignore it.

He says he believes the states should have the right to outlaw birth control, and would encourage them to do so. 

Essentially, he is as far removed from mainstream America as the handful of Maoist nuts in the Revolutionary Communist Party. Naturally, there is a great temptation by liberals and Democrats to hope (please, God, please!) that he becomes the GOP nominee.

I know some of them, from university deans to lawyers in the Upper Peninsula, who gleefully voted for Mullah Rick in the Republican presidential primary last week. They assume that with Santorum as the nominee, the party would lose in a landslide. Joe Nocera, a fairly conservative columnist for The New York Times, wrote that he is openly rooting for the little man from Pennsylvania.

His reason is different, however. Nocera thinks the landslide defeat Santorum would suffer is just what the Republican Party needs to sober up — and to throw off the tyranny of the religious fanatics and right-wing nuts who now dominate the party at every level.

Nocera believes that if Santorum were to lose badly, "The party will no longer be able to delude itself about where its ideological rigidity has taken it," and will become more moderate.

Whereas, if Mitt Romney were to become the nominee and lose, "the extremists who have taken over the party will surely say the problem was Romney's lack of ideological purity."

All that may make sense on paper. But I don't buy it, for a number of reasons. First of all, the power of the presidency is so vast that you never want to risk having someone unacceptable as one of the two major party nominees. 

I remember being at the 1980 Republican Convention. Ronald Reagan had just been nominated, and the majority of the national press saw him as a certain loser. They knew America was not going to vote for an old, right-wing B-movie actor. Except then the nation suddenly got sick of Jimmy Carter, and decided Reagan's simplistic rhetoric was charming. Santorum is much scarier than Reagan, who didn't really care about social issues. 

What if he is nominated ... and the country goes into another downturn, or two weeks before the election, the president has a heart attack or a stroke? Even if that doesn't happen, and Santorum were to be smeared, there's no reason to believe this would start the Republicans back toward moderation.

Barry Goldwater lost badly too, in 1964. But that campaign converted the Deep South to a Republican region, and made the GOP safe for racists, where many have remained since.

No. Trying to help Rick Santorum win anything is the height of irresponsibility for anyone who believes in personal freedom and rational thought. Once, when Adlai Stevenson was running for president, an admiring lady supposedly gushed something like, "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person."

Adlai told her, "That's not enough; we need a majority." He knew what he was talking about; he never came close to winning.

 

The unmaking of a pig: Way back in the '60s, when people were in power who weren't afraid to call themselves liberals, there was one right-wing media star: William F. Buckley Jr. 

He was witty, fascinating, well-educated and highly effective in print, on his TV show Firing Line, or making a speech. True, he was a total snob and somewhere to the right of Louis XVI.

But he was often worth paying attention to. Contrast that to the dominant right-wing media voice for the last two decades: The brawling, nastily ignorant, and usually grossly fat Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh, who flunked out of a ninth-rate college, has made millions by spewing racist and sexist rhetoric to millions of listeners. He has cruelly mocked everyone from the homeless to those dying of AIDS, and for some baffling reason, has gotten away with it.

Now, however, he may finally have gone too far. Last Wednesday, he identified Sandra Fluke, a courageous young law student, as a "slut" and a "prostitute" who "essentially says she must be paid [by the government] to have sex."

The truth was this. Fluke testified before Congress, encouraging representatives to require health care plans to cover contraception. For months, conservatives have been selling the big lie that President Obama's health care plan is "limiting religious freedom" by requiring employers to provide access to health care plans that include coverage for contraception.

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