Tell Michigan Congress to Keep Landline Phones

Here's another fine mess, Stanley. Michigan lawmakers may cut landline phone service in Michigan within the next three years. AT&T says with cellphone increased usage, landlines aren't cost effective. Thank you, &patticake for first reporting this. Ending landline service is foolish for many reasons.

Many seniors don't or can't use cellphones. They rely on landline service for emergencies, home security, medical monitoring equipment: pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators and other lifesaving devices (says AARP).  Tell Congress We Need Landline Phones in Michigan

Boston Marathon Halloween Costume Death Threats Are Terrorism

Alicia Ann Lynch of Saginaw, Michigan certainly takes the prize for Miss Tacky with her Boston Marathon bombing survivor Halloween costume. She left empathy and common sense behind that day. She probably didn't meant to hurt anyone, but families of victims might not see it that way. She's getting seven levels of censure. But death threats? That's just terrorism in itself.  Death Threats Over Boston Marathon Halloween Costume Are Terrorism

Parenting Trick-or-Treat Trends, How Much Do US Moms and Dads Spend on Halloween?

Halloween is a controversial holiday. While parents are buying record numbers of children's costumes, other parents object to Halloween. Despite concerns of stranger danger and the fear factor, more parents are celebrating Halloween with their kids. Here are facts about how parents and children participate in Halloween for 2011.  Parenting Halloween, Trick-or-Treat Trends

Thank you Obamacare, Finally Healthcare That Benefits Us

I want to make a campaign poster for President Obama, showing him and a caption reading "Oh, Bama" I've supported President Obama since day one. It was a toss up with Hilary Clinton but I love them both. Just needed to clarify where I stand so any haters can jump ship now.

And about Obamacare, I love that too. It's about time we had some socialized healthcare. Here's why. My husband and I have been married since 1987 and always had healthcare. It was good--HMO. But a series of unfortunate events--lockout, illness, stillborn babies--meant job changes. And each year benefits were gouged and costs rose.  Read on Thank you Obamacare, Finally a Return on Our Investment 

Miss America 2014 Is Not Muslim, But I Like Her Anyway

We have a new Miss American Nina Davuluri and she's (gasp) Muslim. Wait, no she's not . Some screw-kooks just thought she was because her skin was dark. They railed that it was un-American especially so close to September 11. I don't get the connection but then I usually don't with bigots. The LA Times quotes some calling her "Miss Al-Qaeda" (just when I thought lunatic fringers couldn't get loonier).  Miss America 2014 Is Not Muslim, But I Like Her Anyway

Our Slantwise, Under the Radar, Off the Grid, Out of the Box Thinking

This article is somewhat divergent from my usual posts here. They have to do more with politics. But this is relevant as our way of interacting with people explains our political ideology, too. I just read that a Muslim group is marching on 9/11 to protest religious profiling of Islam
in connection with the twin towers disaster. A group of bikers (among others, I suspect) is launching a counter-protest under the thinking that Muslims caused 9/11 and how dare they "desecrate" the September 11 deaths with their march. See, that's exactly the time to march. And they have to call attention to this bigotry. I would stand with them. Because I try not to judge people by their identifiers--race, color, religion, culture. How can you, really? And this article gives background on where that thinking comes from.

My husband and I have always had...quirky...entertainment tastes. Like the weird cabaret circus musical we enjoyed at an arts festival in Grand Rapids, Mich. Or the radical punk venue we hit, with zombie black velvet wall art. Or that activist post-industrial "freak show" (their words) we explored in Detroit. We don't go purposely seeking oddities. They just recognize kindred spirits when they see us.   Our Slantwise, Under the Radar, Off the Grid, Out of the Box Way of Looking at People

Detroit Mayoral Race Called Two-Man Contest: Is Race an Issue?

 Detroit has an 82-percent black population and hasn't had a white mayor in 44 years. Bloomberg says Detroit's mayoral race has been plagued with "rivalries and racial rifts." Two contenders are tied for first place: one black and one white. Is race the biggest issue in Motown's upcoming election? Or is this just a tactic to divert our attention to the multitude of larger issues? I think minorities have been forced into a race contest in cities where they are not the minority. Decades of being kept out, hemmed in and downtrodden, have made Detroit African Americans tenacious of power where they could wrest it. And who can fault them for that? Self-preservation is human nature. Political control is the American ideal. The fact that Detroit is so impoverished has less than zero to do with corruption, race or any others scapegoats you care to name. It has all to do with barons (mostly auto) exploiting Detroit then abandoning it when they'd used up all the resources. So is the Detroit race racial? Detroit Mayoral Race Called Two-Man Contest: Is Race an Issue?

Billionaire Dan Gilbert Steadily Buying Up Detroit Buildings

Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans is fast becoming downtown Detroit's prime mover and shaker. In March, Forbes ranked Gilbert No. 384 on its "World's Billionaires" list -- a 470-slot jump from last year. And Gilbert is spending his money in the Motor City. Gilbert is buying up, remodeling, and repurposing downtown properties. He's definitely giving Detroit's Little Caesars Ilitch family a run for their money in the property line. And Gilbert's improvements may have major impacts for city dwellers. 
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Priorities for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

Kevyn Orr, Detroit's new state-appointed emergency manager, began his 18-month tenure late in March, says Click on Detroit. What are the priorities of a state controller in such a large city? Priorities for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr The Detroit Free Press reports that some have only one task for the emergency manager: Leave leadership to elected officials. Rev. Charles Williams II of Michigan's National Action Network led a sit-in at City Hall last Thursday. The group filed a lawsuit against Michigan's new emergency manager law, Public Act 436, saying it violates voter rights. With Detroit's mayoral slot opening up, candidates must consider how they'd operate under a state-appointed controller, too. ABC Action News 7 WXYZ says Mike Duggan, a contender for mayor, wants the emergency manager gone ASAP and says he's ready to take over turnaround.

Detroit-Area School Suicide Highlights Gun Control Debate

Tragedy struck at a metro Detroit school in late March. ABC Action News 7 WXYZ reports that a eighth-grade boy brought a handgun to Davidson Middle School in Southgate, Michigan, and shot himself in the school bathroom. In light of incidents like this and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, The New York Times reports that gun control advocates led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) are pushing for stricter federal gun regulations, especially on assault weapons.Detroit-Area School Suicide Highlights Gun Control Debate

Operation Desert Shield RAF Soldier John Peters' Viral Photo

This image of John Peters (RAF) came out in 1988. He was beaten after his plane was shot down in Desert Storm (or was it called Desert Shield then?). I had this photo on my fridge for several years and prayed for him and his comrades. I hadn't thought of him in years, then remembered it must be near the 25th anniv. I researched and found that he is well. Glad to hear it, John. 

Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Found Guilty of Corruption, Racketeering

Decisions were handed down in former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's racketeering and extortion trial today. Then-city contractor Bobby Ferguson and Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, were tried, too, says ABC Action News 7 WXYZ. A federal jury decided today that Kwame Kilpatrick ran a criminal enterprise as mayor of Michigan's largest city. The jury determined that extortion, bribes and kickbacks, bid-rigging, and shakedowns took place, says the Detroit Free Press.  Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Found Guilty of Corruption, Racketeering

Michigan Gov. Snyder to Appoint Detroit Emergency Manager

A committee led by Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon released a report on Detroit's finances earlier in February. It showed that Michigan's largest city has been in fiscal hot water for several years. On looking at the review, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said that he concurs that Detroit is in trouble and will appoint an emergency manager to balance the city's budget, says the Detroit Free Press.  Michigan Gov. Snyder to Appoint Detroit Emergency Manager 

Nazi Sign Prompts Look at Run-Down Detroit Packard Plant

 "Arbeit macht frei" means "labor makes one free" in German. These words became a symbol of Jewish oppression under the Third Reich, as the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz bore this legend. In February, this slogan appeared in graffiti across the walkway of Detroit's derelict Packard plant on East Grand. It ignited a firestorm of debate. Jewish groups and Holocaust survivor collectives pushed for its removal, saying it was an offensive, ugly reminder of past suffering, reports the Detroit Free Press. Packard has a long history of notoriety in Detroit. Note: the plant is not "run-down." My title was changed. This gives the impression it's just unkempt. Packard is abandoned, dangerous and derelict and has been for 60 years.  Nazi Sign Prompts Look at Run-Down Detroit Packard Plant

Organizing Ford Motor Company: Black Detroit Autoworkers, Communism, Cadillac Square

For the last 100ish years, the word "communism" has held negative connotations. Even now, saying you're a Communist will quiet the room fast. In 1930s Detroit, being a Communist wasn't necessarily considered a bad thing, though -- at least not for 60,000 black American autoworkers.  Sadly, Michigan government has turned back the hands of time and progress by passing an anti-union"right-to-work" bill. Organizing Ford: Black Detroit Autoworkers, Communism

Gun Rights, Prolife Don't Go Hand in Hand

The issue of gun rights divides people like no other. Even Christians are polarized on gun control--which is an oxymoron given that the gospel preaches peace. As a Catholic convert and prolifer, let me state categorically that any Christian who calls himself prolife should advocate gun control.  Gun Rights, Prolife Don't Mix

Detroit Muslim Group Opens Food Pantry

With the onset of winter, resources at missions and homeless shelters are always stretched thin. This is particularly true in Detroit, where residents suffer from high rates of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. To meet these rising demands, many organizations in Detroit provide food via pantries and soup kitchens to residents in need. Recently, a new cooperative was formed to assist with the burgeoning needs. The Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (ISCOM) is providing a food pantry to locals that kicked off on December 6, 2012.  Detroit Islamic Group Offers Food Bank

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