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Showing posts from August, 2010
THE HATE THAT HATE PRODUCED

“Whatever happened to the Gods and the Earths/ They thirst for a pot of gold God worth his birth/ Knowledge is worth more than diamonds/ When the mind is shining, surprise us”
Poor Righteous Teachers, “Gods, Earths and 85-ers”, 1996

So, a group of developers plan to build a house of worship in an urban area. As it so happens, this house of worship—combined with a cultural center and recreation gym (open to anyone)—would be built mere blocks from where a terrible crime was committed. Not necessarily a big deal. Considering that houses of worship are generally considered to positively add to the color and appeal of a community, the furthest thing that building such a center should inspire would be accusations and counter-accusations of hate and intolerance? Right?

Wrong.

In New York City, plans are currently in limbo for an Islamic community center (including dedicated rooms for prayer and religious activities) to be potentially built just a few city blocks from t…
IGNORANCE 2010

“I’ma put it in hard, help these kids…”
Shyne, XXL interview. Professional wrestling has more in common with hip-hop than most folks are willing to admit. Most popular rappers tend to have some kind of don’t-test-me attitude. They give proud speeches about how they're going to roll over the competition. Ask them whether all of this is 'fake', you might get a verbal beat-down, or worse. If the mainstream press buzzes about a real-life violent incident with a connection to rap (say, a shooting before, during or after a concert), the favorite retort is, "Hey, it's entertainment, don't blame us." Vince McMahon would be proud. Atlanta native Young Jeezy, interviewed in XXL, maintains that he should be given the crown of authenticity compared to other rappers whose past lifestyles allegedly don’t match up to the themes in their songs.

Native Belizean Shyne was recently released from a 10-year prison bid following a trial involving himself and for…
'DETROIT 187'
IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Detroit City Council recently has had a public hearing about the upcoming television drama Detroit 187 (http://tinyurl.com/25okbjp). The series, due to air on the ABC network this fall, is filmed in and set in Detroit, focusing on a group of police detectives and officials and the crimes they solve. Michigan's nascent tax-incentives for the film industry played a role in the TV show coming to Detroit; the pilot for the show was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.

Considering how the Law & Order and CSI franchises have long been TV staples, I'm somewhat surprised that it took this long for someone to come out with a Detroit answer to the typically New York-and-Los Angeles-centric police shows. Likely hundreds of people will end up getting direct or indirect jobs as a result of the show's presence. Not only the featured actors and the film production crew benefit, but also local caterers, clothiers, paid extras and various small businesses w…
SYSTEM OF SURVIVAL

The City of Detroit is still embroiled in a public debate on whether to dissolve the currently existing Detroit Public Schools system and reform it under mayoral control-- in this case, current mayor Dave Bing. Most members of Detroit City Council have publicly opposed mayoral control. A ballot initiative was presented to council last month, but council routinely waffled on voting on whether to allow for a ballot initiative to be given to Detroiters this fall that would give citizens the chance to vote on the proposal. http://www.freep.com/article/20100730/OPINION01/7300343/Mayor-must-step-up-on-schools-where-council-failed City Council meetings have turned into depressing gripe-fests, with those opposed to mayoral control being the loudest commenters. One commenter compared the idea of mayoral control reverting Detroit Public Schools to almost a slavery-era state of being. Most polarizing is the suggestion that mayoral control would, by default, rob Detroit citizens o…
DETROIT ON TRACK FOR RAIL SYSTEM

In a press conference hosted by Detroit mayor Dave Bing and US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the federal government has just this past week authorized a year-long study into the implementation of a light-rail line in the core of urban Detroit. This would be the first major transit development in the city since the mid-1980's unveiling of Detroit's People Mover downtown elevated rail service. http://tinyurl.com/2bzocv8

I think that it's about darned time that this project got going. No, it's not what it really needs to be, which is a fully comprehensive transit system for the entire metro area.

I feel that since the US taxpayers are majority owners in General Motors and minority stakeholders in Chrysler, both these companies should be forced to get on board with manufacturing for the transit industry- rail cars, hybrid/electric buses, train tracks, etc. Re-open those factories that were shut down. Open new factories, especially in pr…