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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Stir It Up

The usual suspects

Running down the GOP's rogues' gallery of potential presidential candidates

The rapture was supposed to happen over the weekend, followed by a series of apocalyptic events. The rapture didn't happen, none of the believers were whisked away, however, the apocalypse for Republican presidential contenders, which started a few weeks ago, is still claiming wannabes.

Real estate developer and reality show star Donald Trump, who trundles around like a petulant Baby Huey, admitted the lie of his media-fronting faux campaign by dropping out when NBC called the question on whether Trump would continue to host the next season of Celebrity Apprentice. Trump opted for forcing B-list celebrities to kiss his backside on a weekly basis rather than trying to become the leader of the free world. Of course, that happened after President Obama took the wind out of Trump's Birther sails by releasing his long form birth certificate (in between meetings setting up the raid the killed Osama bin Laden). Trump puffed himself up about the release, saying, "Now we can talk about oil. We can talk about gasoline prices. We can talk about China ripping off this country." However, rather than continuing the discussion about any of that, he slinked back to his NBC studio to practice glaring out from under his impressive comb-over and saying, "You're fired."

Mike Huckabee, the bass-playing, evangelical former governor of Arkansas, opted to stay in front of the cameras at the FOX network rather than enter the internecine rumble for the honor of running against Obama in 2012. Huckabee was much less flamboyant and entertaining than Trump, but a much more viable candidate. Huckabee's declination leaves the evangelical aura to Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who has found it "interesting" that swine flu only breaks out under Democratic presidents (obviously the wrath of God), that the movie The Lion King teaches gay superiority, and that not even one study "shows carbon dioxide is a harmful gas." Well, Bachman is going to be a lot of fun if she actually throws her hat into the ring. It might even be "interesting."

And then there's Newton "Newt" Gingrich, the former congressman and current college professor who says his patriotism made him cheat on his wives (no he's not a fundamentalist Mormon, just the usual serial philanderer). Gingrich seemed like the kind of guy who could bring a breath of sanity to the Republican race — after all, he actually says something based on fact from time to time. And having engineered the Contract with America and the Republican domination of Congress in 1994, it seemed he may know something about political strategy. Of course, it didn't help that he was censured by the House in 1997 for ethics violations and in 1998 resigned from the seat he had just been re-elected to in the midterm elections.

Gingrich's current candidacy is under fire from the Republican side because he had the audacity to speak an unflattering truth about Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial budget proposal that would end Medicare as we know it. Gingrich called it "radical social engineering." Since then he has been kicked by practically every major conservative pundit on the planet (OK, just in the United States, it just seems universal). Newt has backed off, apologized to Ryan, claimed that if he could he would vote for the legislation and said, "Any ad which quotes what I said ... is a falsehood." Nothing I say can enhance that line.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, the guy who took collective bargaining rights away from Indiana state workers by fiat several years ago, chose not to jump into the fray. As has Paul Ryan, although he played coy and left the door open just in case. Sarah Palin has stayed mum, but the pundits seem to think she, too, will stay put in front of the FOX cameras. (BTW, a recent study from Hamilton College on the accuracy of pundits' predictions found that they were accurate only about 50 percent of the time. However liberal pundits were right a bit more often than conservatives and the New York Times' Paul Krugman scored the highest, George Will the lowest. )

Getting back the Republican ire Gingrich faces, there's plenty more to go around.

Rep. John Boehner caught crap from the Tea Party when he admitted that Congress will raise the national debt ceiling. John McCain has caught it again for saying that torture is wrong and useless, as conservatives praised the "enhanced interrogation" they claim led to finding bin Laden's courier.

Whoever emerges from next year's primary season will probably feel like he or she has gone through the end of days, but (sigh) it's just politics.

President Obama caught his own criticism-from-your-base action last week. I'm talking about Princeton Professor Cornell West calling Obama a "puppet of Wall Street" and several other unflattering things.

I've always thought West a fun guy. His flamboyance and audacity have always added colorful entertainment to any panel he sits on, and his unkempt Afro and ever-present scarf add a devil-may-care fashion vibe to the conservative dress of most pundits. Seemingly never afraid to wade into roiling waters, West touched off a war of words among black intellectuals attacking or defending West's views. Unfortunately, the tone of much of this commentary, from West's screed to the back and forth punditry, has been deeply personal. Among West's complaints is the fact that a bellhop at his Washington hotel got a ticket to Obama's inauguration while West didn't.

The fact that there was open argument among African-Americans about Obama was actually a good thing, and got me to thinking about Disintegration, journalist Eugene Robinson's book about the fragmenting of black society published last year. In the book, Robinson argues that black America, formerly a more or less monolithic socio-economic order, has fragmented into four groups. They are: the Mainstream, a working class and middleclass group that by and large works in white America by day and goes home to black America by night; the Abandoned, poor and poorly educated people on the margins of society with few options for changing their lot; the Transcendent, people like Oprah Winfrey, the recently deceased Don Barden, even a Dave Bing who have enjoyed unparalleled success in business, entertainment and politics; and the Emergent, a growing group of African and Caribbean immigrants, and racially mixed people such as Obama, who don't experience black cultural traditions and history in the same way as the rest of us.

Not only does Robinson define these categories, he discusses the dynamics that created them and the fluctuating distances and interactions between them. Whether you think these developments are positive or bemoan them as a black apocalypse, they are part of the landscape of modern American life. West's taking on Obama is a part of that dynamic, as is West's seeming elitism at noting that somehow a bellhop got a ticket to Obama's inauguration while West, a mainstreamer who often walks among the transcendent, was left holding the bag.

There is plenty of apocalyptic fervor to go around these days. I think it has a lot less to do with otherworldly forces and more to do with greed, vanity and the pursuit of power.

Then again, maybe we're just warming up for the next apocalypse — predicted for Dec. 12, 2012. Mark your Mayan calendar.

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