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maddogesq Donating Member (915 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-04-08 10:19 PM
Original message
The mayor and other stuff! (Rant alert!)
OK, I am overdue for a long-winded rant on this board. I get up every morning, plotting my escape from this place where I grew up, even though I lived in other places as a younger person. I came back finally to stay put in 1985, and I am still here. Why? My parents need me, and there are other issues. Yet, I always did better in terms of individual achievement elsewhere.

That being said, I have to tell you that what I observed today was something I hoped would come, but still makes me sad. This state gets so sideways on things that stuff gets carried out long after it is old as dirt.

I spoke with a personal friend and fellow musician tonight. He told me things I will not talk about here, but it sure hit home on the mayors situation. I believed my friend without any reservations.

Kwame had to face his demons, but I again must preach that we must face our worst enemy: the media. I am so fucking sick of the main stream media in this town, and on a national level. I believe this area will never be better until media ownership rules are tightened up. Yes, I also believe stuff like mass transit (something the auto companies fought for years), and a shift away from thinking that we are just about cars will help. But the main thing is still perceptions created by a media controlled by mega corporate interests..

I will be interested to see how the media treats the governor. Kwame made some pointed remarks at her tonight, but she held out as long as she could; in fact, too long for some. That hearing probably brought all of this to an end today, but somehow the media will twist the crap again because Jenny played her usual rope-a-dope. The bad guys want to make this state like Alabama (a place I lived in for 2 years in the late 70s).

OK, enough. I was surprise at how sad I felt listening to the mayor speak tonight. I wanted him to just give in a few months back, but it hit me really weird. I do not live in Detroit proper, but love to play music in the city. I, as an individual musician, have always been welcomed with love and interest every time I go to town to play. I cry when I see the demolition of Tiger Stadium. I remember CKLW like it was yesterday. And tomorrow, I will wake up wanting to get the fuck out of here and move to Canada, especially if McShame is elected. Never mind, that wont happen.

Sorry for the personal rant, but I have had enough, even amongst our own MDP group. We still do things ass backward, and Soapy keeps rolling over in his grave.

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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hear ya, but there are other things at play.
Kwame still has to worry about the police investigation of the Green murder, which includes her beating, which includes his wife. He needed to stay in power as long as he could.

And, he did.

Yes, the media is democracy's and America's number one enemy. It's understandable how we the people then manage to get things so backward.

That media is gunning for the governorship. They'll attack Granholm every chance they get, in order to put a Republican back into that office. The media got burned when Granholm became ill and had to cancel trips to get us jobs that the media not only did not cover, but the media ran a campaign to say she was doing nothing.

I wish I was more knowledgeable about my city, county, and state government.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. With Ella Bully-Cummings gone, maybe more witnesses will come forward
No more intimidation of the cops involved by management. We'll see who Ken Cockrel appoints as police chief.

I hate the local media for so many things, but I think they hate all politicians, regardless of party affiliation. They never liked Engler, either.

Most of all, I hate them for their damn helicopters, and the way they use them to cover accidents and other things. When the Rouge plant exploded, the medivac and fire department helicopters couldn't get past the news copters.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Will they pull the drop it for the sake of the city card.
The upcoming indictments should be interesting. And, I hope they investigate and adjudicate. I think people are tired of going part of the way then sweeping the rest under the carpet.

Nationally as well.

Good to hear from you again. It's been years since I saw you last.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 10:22 AM
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4. "Soapy keeps rolling over in his grave." Amen.
Speaking as one who KNEW Soapy (my uncle was on his staff and in his cabinet since 1946), I can only shake my head at the clusterfuck that's Michigan politics. We had Soapy. We even had Bill Milliken. We had DECENT public servants that made Michigan a state to be envied. Yes, the auto 'moguls' have done a LOT to fuck over the people in this area at the same time the people were making that industry the most successful in the world. The newspapers AND the banks were controlled, top to bottom, by the auto industry insiders. The Free Press started out as a quasi-independent alternative to the Detroit News which might as well have been published by a PR consortium from Ford/GM. No longer. It's only superficially to the 'left' of the News.

I went to college (WSU) and worked (GM and NBD) in the city between 1964 and 1974 when I finally got off the the economic roller coaster (when the auto industry caught cold the working class of the area got pneumonia) and moved away ... for THIRTY YEARS. I came back in early 2003 and when I drive down to the city it's like visiting a movie set for 'Mad Max' or some other post-apocalyptic, dystopian thriller. But it's sure not 'thrilling.' Oh, yes, I've been to the Joe for hockey and I've wandered around Ford Field and Comerica ... and I've seen Hockeytown and the Fox and the casino that destroyed Greektown. (Yes, DESTROYED. It's a joke compared to what it was in the 60s.)

What a shame. The neighborhoods where former wives/girlfriends lived in the city have become slums. Appalling. What were once beautiful arborial streets of well-kept brick homes with well-tended yards and children everywhere have become collections of catastrophes ... meth houses and abandoned homes and utterly demolished streets.

But the wealthy in their suburban enclaves sure have nice roads and streets. Bloomfield Hills and Farmington Hills and other GOP gated communities sure take care that THEY get the lion's (and tiger's) share of tax monies. Oh, yeah. Feudal lords seem to always isolate themselves and live high.

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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. It's all so ugly. Especially the cleanest spots.
Want kids to play on a too-perfect lawn? Too many chemicals on it to make it look that good.

Those sterile gated communities are just as bad for the soul, and mind, and body.

It is like a concerted effort to extend the top higher and the bottom lower to see if those who connect to both can be pulled asunder, as though it is all for a macabre show for hard calloused few.

Trappers alley used to have good soft dirt under foot.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The sterility of the gated communities is certainly accentuated with NO CHILDREN playing.
Edited on Fri Sep-05-08 12:18 PM by TahitiNut
Hell, when I was a kid in Berkley you couldn't drive down our dirt-gravel-oiled street without braking for one of us kids riding our bikes or running from one field to another or having snowball fights. (We used to do bumper-skiing in the winter.) It was a RITUAL for every parent on the street to get the kids OUT OF THE HOUSE! (We cheerfully complied.) The notion of kids staying indoors (when not ill) was hard to assimilate ... and came with TV and board games. (The latter included very few "kids only" games. We had Monopoly and Parchesi. Scrabble was NEW. Chutes and Ladders was yet to come.)

Hell... I still think 'younger' (and feel old) when I'm outdoors. I still look at trees to see which ones would be "good climbing" and look at fields to see which ones would make good games of 'tag' or 'war.' Some of the best 'music' is the sound of kids playing outdoors ... the sound of wagons, tricycles, bikes, and laughter. I just couldn't stand to live without it. I miss the smell of burning leaves in the fall. I miss snowmen everywhere in the winter. I LOVE the fact that the nearby park is loaded with small kids (and mother hens, male and female) on sleds and discs sliding down the small hill in the winter.

I NEVER see anything like it in the affluent neighborhoods of Bloomfield Hills or parts of Troy or much of Farmington Hills. Sterile.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-05-08 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Here on the edge of the city.
Edited on Fri Sep-05-08 12:54 PM by Festivito
I remember the burning leaves. Miss that. Feel sad for the kids who don't know it.

Don't miss the burning garbage in the alleys, or the smoke from incinerators.

That was lousy. I try not to paint pictures of the past that are too glowing.

Had four empty houses on my block. Now just two. Two kids in a new one about 2-3 yo. They wave at me now. Can't expect much more when its the same families for sixty years.

Had one family down the block with five kids. Turned out to be a drug house. She was caught. Operation kept going. Police used it. Then came a west side drug busting operation.

Kids play on the playscape across the street every day. The grade school kids yell and chase now that school is in session.

Yet, five years ago or so, a man dressed as a woman scooped a young kid into his car as his dad saw it, jumped on the car and went down the street on roof punching the driver until it stopped him.

We have fire pits in our backyards instead of leaf fires in the driveway aprons.

The biggest house in the neighborhood had kids decades ago. One of the kids my age told me I wouldn't want to visit there. He was proud of that house though. We were too young to speak of things too unspeakable for us to comprehend. It was our first case of neighborhood arson.

I don't know.

Life just goes on.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. Several Random Opinions About Recent Detroit, Etc.
Just a few random opinions on all this:

I actually feel good about what has happened lately; I think, and hope, that the citizens of Detroit have finally started to get over their bizarre support for Kilpatrick, and demanded honesty and accountability--and the system worked, unlike with Bush and Cheney, who are still there! I have been very impressed with Prosecutor Kym Worthy, she has to be one of the best ever, and much of City Council, Kwame Kenyatta, a model of honesty as far as I can tell, Sheila Cockrel, and Ken Cockrel , Jr. I remember Ken Cockrel, Sr., a very intense and fiery Socialist who I used to love to listen to, although much of the jargon is of that era, not this. I hope this will really be a new era. It certainly showed a real rising-up of people, to solve a problem and get rid of this crook.

I happened to be listening to a few people in a new writing class I just started, a writing group, and they were talking about this perennial topic, how horrible Detroit has become and how great Chicago still is. There is no denying it, and it is still as if Detroit has no historical memory at all. Things should have been preserved, and a real spirit kept alive, for the past 30 years or so, as things really went downhill, and it may be too late now. Younger people don't even remember--because nobody told them--many of these great Detroit things, any sense of a "culture," great events, etc.

There happens to be a thread currently on DU General forum, on a fake, supposed "1970s Feminist" who is going to vote for McCain, a total fraud, but it started me thinking about the real 1970s feminism in Michigan, when things were really exciting, and it seemed it was going to get really great. I started remembering things from that time--it can make you cry, by comparison. Milliken was Governor then, and both William and Helen Milliken were leaders of the fight for the ERA, legalized abortion, and other women's rights here. Milliken's Lieutenant Governor was a great feminist, and a Democrat, Martha Griffiths, who took no crap from anybody as I remember. There was a decent working relationship between the State and Detroit, (Coleman Young), and Milliken refused to play Detroit against the rest of the State, or cut funds needed by it. I remember the head of the Michigan Dept. of Health then, Sister (Mary Agnes or Agnes Mary) Mansour, who gave State funds alloted to pay for abortions for poor women and would not cut them. After the Catholic Church ordered her to either stop being a nun or give up the Dept. of Health job, (since she would not deny people abortion rights), she thought about it for some days, and gave up the "sister" title, keeping the Health Dept. position. I remember absolutely no anti-abortion protests, threats, arch-con propagandists, or any other crap; it was all done very quietly, and like adults. She was always just fine at that position, as I recall.

I hope that I am actually perceiving what it feels like to me, anyway: that Detroiters have more of a real sense that Detroit needs Good Government, and cleaning up the corruption, with people actually caring and being outraged that this is going on, and destroying the whole city, which still does not even have basic City services. After being duped by Kilpatrick's silly "hip-hop Mayor" schtick, maybe some of the smart and good people on City Council and in other Departments, can lead to a new way. I hope this opportunity is not lost. Well, this whole post kind of jumped around; but it seems like an era of both possible good, and already known bad.
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