Trending
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 BuildingDetroit.com, 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.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Politics & Prejudices

What might have been

A glimpse into an alternate past, and the way forward

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


You may be reluctant to be dragged back into thinking about Sept. 11, now that we've just completed a weekend of wallowing in remembrance of the tragedy that killed nearly 3,000 people.

No, nobody breathed a word, so far as I can tell, about the more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians who died as a consequence of our actions following the terrorist attacks.

Nor did anyone say much about the nearly 7,000 U.S. soldiers and "contractors" who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since, in wars still going on for no apparent rational reason.

That doesn't mean Sept. 11's victims of irrational Islamic terror shouldn't be remembered. Just that we should not forget that their families aren't alone in suffering, or that countless other nameless families weep in nameless villages as a result.

And we should remember too, that it could have been very different. What follows is what I wish I could have written this week:

 

When we look back on Sept. 11 today, it is hard to imagine that it could have been worse.

Much worse. Just consider — what if Al Gore had not been elected president 10 months before? What if we'd had as president a man who was cheerfully ignorant of foreign policy? A man who had said he was hot to invade Iraq and avenge his father, or complete his father's mission, and who said from his Texas ranch the day after the terrorist attacks that he "thought Saddam had done it." 

We almost did. I mean, of course, George W. Bush, the former governor of Texas, the guy who now does TV commercials for Halliburton. You may have forgotten this, but he almost became president. He would have, too despite losing the popular vote, if Al Gore hadn't won Florida by a mere 9,547 votes on Nov. 7, 2000.

In fact, there's a political scientist at Harvard who claims that if Florida hadn't been forced to clean up its election procedures in 1999, Gore might well have lost. One of the counties used something called a "butterfly ballot" in which it was very easy to cast a vote for the wrong candidate, and much of the state used out-of-date punch cards, like the ones that sabotaged Detroit's returns in the 1970 election.

Today, Middle East experts are pretty unanimous in saying that the best thing Gore did was to insist that al-Qaeda was, essentially a well-endowed, nihilist band of half-cult, half-killer thugs, and needed to be treated like an outlaw gang, not a nation-state.

When President Gore said that in 2001, he drew howls of protest from the Republicans, and some of their wackier members in Congress even threatened impeachment.

They said our limited invasion of Afghanistan was too weak a response. Probably the low point came when Vice President Joe Lieberman resigned.

But the strategy worked. Republicans weren't happy that it took nine months to isolate and kill Osama bin Laden in his cave. But they can't deny that the starch seemed to have gone out of al-Qaeda after that. Nobody ever wins praises or prizes for a negative. Yet it has to be observed that there was no real infringement on civil liberties in the months and years that followed.

No curtailment of freedom — no prison camps here, just holding pens in Afghanistan. The Afghan war and the mild recession that followed did produce three years of budget deficits that were mild by Reagan standards. But the stock market barely retreated, and by 2006 the budget once again struggled into balance.

Al Gore did make mistakes — or at least found out he couldn't please everybody. The economic rebound was strong enough by 2004 that he became the first Democrat since LBJ to win more than 400 electoral votes, burying challenger Newt Gingrich.

But in 2008, Mitt Romney managed to win the presidency in a close election by charging that the Democrats under Gore had neglected domestic concerns. He couldn't touch him on foreign policy. 

Gore's Nobel Peace Prize that year was the least surprising award in the history of the award once the United States' new respect among the Arab nations helped him broker the deal with Israeli Prime Minister Tzipi Livni that resulted, finally in a Palestinian state. Yet Americans still wanted a change after two Democratic presidents, and Romney cleverly figured out how to appeal to them.

He managed to narrowly defeat Vice President Evan Bayh by arguing that the top priority should be a national health care system like the one he had inaugurated as governor of Massachusetts.

Bayh agreed, but wanted a largely single-payer health care plan. Republicans, of course, said that was socialism.

Romney is a minority president, of course; the "True America" ticket of Ron Paul and Richard Shelby got 8 million votes, largely from libertarians and those who don't think Mormons are Christians.

But the Republicans captured Congress, and so now we have Romneycare. Interestingly, the only Democratic vote in favor of it in the U.S. Senate was cast by a charismatic second-term senator from Illinois with the unlikely name of Barack Obama. 

There are those who say we should keep our eye on him.

 

Well, that's not the world we have today. But we can dream. 

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