Obama State of the Union

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"The auto industry is back," says Obama. Is that so?

Fear & Suffering:

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If you fear that you will suffer, you already suffer what you fear.

Into the Cosmos

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Today I made peace with fall. Cold fingers, chilly air, numb skin, warm chest under a feather stuffed vest, standing in the wake of a fruitful garden. The explosion of color and nutrients is over though. I remember a day back in August when rain came down and steamed into the hot soil and I was standing in it plucking bind-weeds and dandelions from the earth reeling in a feeling of ultimate freedom. The rain on my back and melting into my hair reached my scalp warm and dripped down my neck, warmer. It straightened my posture and the succulent green all about me looked delicious and comforting all at once and I decided that if I could not consume this rich living beauty of the garden then it must consume me.

It stated with my feet. I took off my shoes and felt the warm grit of wet soil scratch and caress my toes and then, my knees gave way to it's pull and I found myself on all fours, crawling into the cool space between the roots of a mammoth sunflower and a patch of tall cosmos in full bloom.

Then, when my limbs no linger carried me, I slipped into the earth on my belly. It was cool against the warm of my skin. The kind of cool that is mercy on a hot day. The kind of cool that floods the insides of watermelons and ahhhhhh.... there. the green from the leaves was like light, glowing. A new sky. The earth around my body and soul, a new me. Through my skin I drank the raindrops. The raindrops were slowing now, the sunlight a celestial delight in the distant space cracked a clouds and warm. Green, and then a glimpse of pink. And I, a celestial sphere in my own orbit. bowing in the breeze, shaking off the rain. Leaves, I see your underside! I am in the soil and you are looking at the sun. Bring the sun to me! You did. The sun powers my thoughts, my movement. I am spinning with the universe now. On m stomach, now on my back, I want to be swallowed!

The white feathery roots of the cosmos tickle my arms. I am no larger than a caterpillar and the stalks of these flowers are pillars of my world. Green pillar feeding on the sun and they are alive! Breathing air into my lungs they feed my oxygen! Breathing out I see a whimsical leaf flutter under my nostrils. Let me feed you this:

I have nothing but my breath to give. But the spirit does but mean the breath. How long can I here in this green haven of a summer shower? I want to grow roots and sprout up: change my skin from brown to green and my toes turn white and fine like tender roots. A green pillar eating rain and soil and sunshine. I don't need a formula for respiration to know how to breathe! If I bury myself like a seed, will I sprout? what will my cotyledon look like? Thin and feathery or fat and stout? These questions, this desire to be consume by the garden is boiling up, fierce. I ball up and shift back and forth, deeper into the puddle created by an impromptu monsoon.

Then, I saw them. The cosmos in their element. The stars of creation that I will only bear witness to.

Then, there is no ME. No me, not anymore. Just a vast consciousness. A vastness so great and full of wondrous and terrible things all at once! The eyes, the ears ... all of the senses of the living creatures that is this vast consciousness experiencing itself. Physical living things manifest the creation itself! Because of this consumption it is so. But without the "Me" how does this vast operation acknowledge it's own work? Calm and still, tightly bound slowly expanding, then, pop! I am suspended again. I have a purpose. I am opened and alive. breathing but not with my lungs. Eating but not with my mouth. White roots where my toes once were...

And then I feel again. The cool, the warm, the urgency of a short life. Bloom! Every fiber of my sprouting being wants to blossom and create seeds and do it all over again so my type survives. How warm, how delicious. Consume yourself and find out if you're good to eat. Or bad? Or edible at all?

I have leaves now. My cotyledons shed. A pink bud at my tip is about to pop open and expose a pollen-coated yellow center.

Up, up I ascend when rain straightens my posture, I reach and soar into the cosmos.

The Storm

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Last night I dreamt of a deadly storm: a storm that would end my life and the lives of my parents. At first there was a small rain shower and it blew over. But then there were murmurs of a great storm roaring our way over vast, distant plains and gaining power. The murmurs grew and spilled out and became great worries and the worries turned to terror: this storm was undoubtedly going to be the end of our lives. There was nothing we could do.

A horse-drawn hearse rolled up for my father. He was still alive but very sick and surely would not survive the storm.

We didn’t even board up the windows of our house because it was futile: this was the storm to end all storms.

We sat down in unusual places about the shack—on jutting rocks and firewood stumps—and our stomachs grew tight and sour with worry. We wondered what death was going to feel like and how, exactly, each of us would die.

We decided that my father would die first. Probably as soon as the first winds hit. We commented on how well crafted his coffin was and how he would have loved the little horse that drew the hearse carriage. He was alive, but we spoke about him as if he were dead. We all would be soon, anyway. The frilly grey hearse-pulling pony fluffed at our compliments. I quietly wondered if she knew she was going to die in the storm.

As the day drew onward, we became more certain of our enclosing doom. The deep, primal fear of death was crippling. All we could do was sit facing the grayest horizon intensely watching for signs of the approaching storm. We didn’t eat, but we drank lots of water and felt the weight of eternal sadness. We talked about the things we never did but had always wanted to do and talked about how silly all of our philosophies were because, after all, no one really knew what would happen after the storm came. After we died. Who knew?

Then we fell silent and I tried with all of my might not to think about how it would happen to me. Would it be the beam supporting the gutter? Would it be that heavy stone bookend on the shelf or maybe a tree branch outside or the board on the swing rope? Maybe it would be one of the thin, sharp sheets of zinc that made up the roof? Would it be my head that was smashed first? Would I feel pain? If so, how much and for how long?

Suddenly there was a loud, piercing clap of thunder and we all shivered from our cores and looked again at the sky for signs of the storm. Clouds were moving in fast. At first they were just puffy gray rainclouds sprinting across the sky.
But I was the first to see it. The real beginning of the end. The clouds the color of coal that no one had ever seen before. The first ones were moving so fast they looked like foreboding inky tumbleweeds. I cried out when I saw them and we all huddled together in dread and awe. So this was the end of days. The storm about which no one would ever live to tell.

The black clouds kept flying in, some round; some thin and wispy like celestial spiders warning of the nearness of doom.
Then the rain began to fall. It rained very hard and all of us were so worried that we were getting sicker and weaker and we sat and watched the rain as we suffered our fear of death. The suffering grew to a point where we agreed that the faster the storm came, the better.

Still, the frightening ink clouds kept coming, some bigger than others. The feeling I got from the sight of these clouds pricked at my skin. It dried up my mouth no matter how much water I drank and it shook every single joint in my body. Just looking at the sky and seeing the cloud-spiders jabbed at my bladder and slackened my sphincters so that I was terrorized, a horrifying type of pain beforehand unknown to me.

My head felt light and hollow. Thoughts started to echo. Death was breathing down my neck and would enter my body at any moment. Soon our house would be splintered into toothpicks. Our bodies, shredded organic waste melted into a floodplain.
I could endure the pain, I told myself. I had not choice, really. None of us did. None of us wanted to suffer, but it was too late. I secretly hoped it would be the beam supporting the gutter: one crack and it all would be over. How could I welcome the very thing we all dread the most? Death, the very event we reject with an instinctual fierceness coded into our sinew of being? This fierce will to live once radiated from an ancient place between our ears: survival at all costs. Survive and procreate so that the race will survive. That was the survivor’s creed.

But this storm. This storm to end all storms. It was different than a catastrophic hurricane. Rumor of its ultimate destruction came from the inside out and not the other way around. The storm itself was communicating with our bones. It walk waking some primeval senses stored away for long ages of creation; a primal code lodged in our existence long before we flopped out of the ocean we knew about this storm.

The black clouds started rolling out faster, a grim light blurred the lines of night and day. It washed over everything with a thick, sickening gloss. But the hearse looked peaceful. I sat on a rock on the floor of the kitchen. I could no longer stand. It had been so long since we first heard of the storm: One day running the expanse of my entire life and pinching me from all I held dear in it.
It got to the point where my spine could barely support my body. More clouds. This was the end. None of us has any doubts. We stopped talking. We didn’t even say goodbye. We just knew it was time.

The sadness I felt was too profound to express, it ripped at my guts and my throat and far beyond my physical body it endured into my soul, into the far reaches of my psyche, it stuck like tar into unidentified places and planes of existence. We could not even moan, or shout in agony because by now we were completely paralyzed in fear. Even the hearse-drawing pony drooped her head and fell to her forelegs and all of a sudden, a great wind whipped the jungle.

Outside, branches thrashed violently. Birds cried and rain rang and the sounds swirled together and comforting, and comforting, almost like a blanket, that which I had feared was draped over me. So I relaxed and let go and found relief even in the pain because it would end: just an infinitesimal flash like the rest of my life.

I lay, a heap on the kitchen floor, soaking in the energy of the storm and welcoming everything it brought.
Then after some time, I noticed that the wind was dying down. Now, just the sound of the rain pittter-patter on the zinc lulled me to a calmer place. The black clouds were not getting any bigger; in fact most of the sky was gray again. Twitching and delirious, I turned my head slightly to the side, feeling my cheek grind into the sandy earthen floor.

Suddenly, I remembered something. It was such a vivid recollection that I started at its appearance in my head. I could almost hear my father’s voice as he told me, detail by detail, how he had once survived a vicious storm as a child. How could I have forgotten this story! I remembered now!

“I was a child,” he had said as I sat on his knee listening, “So I didn’t notice anything unusual except the rain. There was so much rain! It rained for days and weeks. It never stopped once. That is the worst part about these storms: The never-ending rain. We had to cook eggs on a metal plate held with a dishcloth over the candle. But it was not so bad. It was so long ago that I cannot remember each detail, but I remember that it was not so bad.”

Immediately, I regained strength to raise to my feet and walked over and looked outside and the black clouds and the terror had vanished. I looked at the rain and it was steadily falling. But the wind was not much harder than a seasonal storm. It was then that it occurred to me to look around and I realized I was not alone. We all were still there. We got off of the floor and looked outside and felt a bit ashamed. We felt tricked and informed all at once.

It was a wonderfully frightening moment of shock, and, while I cringe at this confession, disappointment. So there was no storm to end all storms? Who was the joke on? Us? All the pain was in my head? The worst thing would be the rain? And we were so embarrassed.

The first thing I had to do was change out of my soiled clothes. I had so much to do! I had wasted so long being an invalid to feelings about a storm that would never come!? And now it was me who had to gather firewood in the rain even though we knew it was never going to burn and we’d be splashing endless kerosene into a smoky fire into the deep recesses of the evening. My father would complain of hunger and we all were so hungry and our clothing reeked and I shouted at the sky in a heated blast of anger. I hotly hoped the black clouds would reappear, big ones this time. I wanted the storm my primitive coding had promised.

Then, after wrestling with firewood and as the rain kept pouring forth the hours, I went to see if my father was awake. I wanted to tell him that I remembered. I remembered everything he told me, about the rain and the not-so-bad.

But when I looked for him he was gone and so were the enchanting pony and the beautiful, well-crafted coffin. I asked where he went and found out he had gone away on a long journey. They had left just at the beginning of the rainstorm. When we were too struck with horror, the pony galloped away.

But I had found something I had lost somewhere along my evolutionary path; a grand key to existence.
For the first time in a very long time, I smiled. I smiled and I meant it. The kind of smile only true sadness can pull out. The smile after the storm. The reason.

~MF

Bitches Be Crazy, Study Finds

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Bitches Be Crazy, Study Finds

WASHINGTON—

Bitches—despite having fat asses and seemingly cool tendencies—be crazy, a Brookings Institute report confirmed Monday. "The words 'down ass chick' evoke this arcane image of a beautiful woman who ain’t trippin’ over bullshit. But think about it, how many of those have you really met? Yes, many women are capable of creating the mirage of a chick thousands of times cooler and more chill than your average hoe, but there's no way you’re going to find that shorty who’s down for whateva," the report read in part, adding that one has to admit that even with all the liberating advancements for women over the years, the fact that men are still being roped into getting married in churches and banquet halls all around the world is "pretty goddamn amazing."

"Brothas still get tricked into thinking they got the one chick that’s cool, but when they wife ‘em up, shit gets flipped,” said Randall Jenkins, Ph.D, leading gender researcher at Oxford University and top proprietor of this revealing study. “The data indicates that men rely on hoes for booty calls and sandwich making. Then hit the club without them every Friday night. The statistics of this study provide concrete evidence that bitches is down until you put a ring in it,” Jenkins added.

The extensive, ground breaking research found that bitches have a fascinatingly large capacity for bullshit until a certain tipping point, where things get serious in their relationship. Once that happens, “it’s a wrap” the study reads.

"Bitches tend to think they can change men," says Vera Bossman, Ph.D, chair of the of women's association and leading female researcher at Mt. Holyoke University. "They set their eyes on a man and go along with his bullshit until he gets hooked and then they start operation build-a-man, much like the bear building phenomena at the mall," Bossman said. Bossman also noted that it's not just in relationships that bitches be crazy. "Women will go to alarmingly great lengths to get what they want, calculating for months in advance at times."


One prominent example comes from page 1227 of the report, which outlines a real-life case of a man and women who decided to move in together. 'Can I borrow your car?' the man asks, and he’s expecting her to say yes because she has let him use her car every day for the past year with no problems. Woman responds, “Nigga, what?! Get ya own car!!!! Triflin ass muthafucka …" She then proceeds to tell him every little thing she hates about his lazy ass, using minute details from something that pissed her off six months ago. I mean, some little shit that apparently her score-keeping ass seems to remember the hell out of but that he forgot about as soon as it happened, the report states.


The report concluded that the mere fact that alcohol, sports bars, and man caves are so popular should be evidence enough of how crazy bitches still be.

-MF

Music, Universal

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"Don't wake me 'til I land where they barely understand what I speak but they nod to my beats ... they clap, they applaud. They love me, my God."

~Lupe the Fiasco

Love, Eternal

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Anything that comes and goes, rises and sets ... that is not love.

A little thing called con-fi-dence

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"How do you know that you can't ride a rainbow in the sky?"
~Andy Kaufman



Sometimes...

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... I feel like my senses are not enough. I hold at bay a sudden urge to climb into a flower and absorb this. What a wonderful world we live in!

Going green

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"Pacquiao, Pacquiao! Philippines, Philippines!"

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So many wonderful things about this fight. Namely the fact that Mosley actually claims he will have Pacquiao KO'd in the 1st round (how embarrassing). Also that fact that Pacquiao has plans to sing at a concert post fight (seriously). He's really gonna be up for that after (possibly) 12 rounds? Is this guy human?



For more on this...

Black Republican Recruit

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This is a throwback but always funny. Esp. now that Roy Roberts heads DPS takeover

Suspended

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Sleep becomes Misfortune.

Now I lay here smiling about imagined future events. Long awaited happy days. I mean real, dream-fulfilling situations.

"This is exactly where I am supposed to be," I wake up thinking aloud in this bursting spring orchard. It's better than fireworks. Beauty that massages the scum of winter out of my brain.

Wind, sprinting over the quivering grass, pick up a petal then pick me up along with these infinitesimal specks!

Spring, precisely flowering in mysterious spirals, I want you!

$1,000 on the bridge card. Yes. I can the buy grapefruits and lemons I hope to grow one day.



It feels so good to emerge, momentarily if at all, from learning's smokey stew.

Lasers

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Home girl not tryna be a ho even tho she on the pole. Can she get a second chance? _____NOOOOOO!!!______

....Be a jerk to them jerks, yeah, that'll make'em hurt!

Huh?

Money and Art

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Let's face it: even Edgar Allen was Po'. Andy Warhol was rich though, y'all. I suggest you sell out if you tryna get that cash.


WRITERS, READ THIS

Misfortune is wearing pajamas

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Misfortune is wearing pajamas
a two-piece set, flannel.

Remedy this long grind


So tired.

Misfortune is shuffling around in slippers
fuzzy, indulgent.

Dim lights. Teeth-brushing lull; removing slime of laborious events, residue of the grease-for-lunch routine.

Sick feeling. Penetrating exhaustion.

But what a feat has been accomplished! Rest is required.


Long, satisfied sigh. Bed.

But before sinking in, one more effort: click off the last light.

Disable the alarm.

Sleep on, Dreamless.

This is the stuff comedies are made of. Christ 2.0

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So much for the Rastafarian prophecy, right? Hear me out.

Long story short, this Jamaican dude, Marcus Garvey, says "Okay all black people need to go back to Africa, you're free now, this isn't home, go back home where you can be free for real."

Then Garvey dude says "look to the East for Christ 2.0." Then this Selassie dude comes to power in the East, Ethiopia that is, and Garvey's followers (and Garvey at first) pluck him up as the second coming. A cult is developed.


Seven years later as WWII creeps up, Garvey dude thinks he's made a mistake and writes the scathing essay posted below. But toooo late!!! The cult has also blossomed out in popularity.

Meanwhile, Garvey's hard fought "Back to Africa movement" is growing. (Google it to find out more)


Damn near thirty years after that, Bob Marley gets on the Rasta bandwagon and next thing you know the cult keeps on a'growin' and to Garvey's horror, his whole life of hard work to create a great black exodus back to Africa is smashed to pieces (in a sense) as this new "God" visits Jamaica to a bunch of bowing people and Selassie aka Ras Tafarai says, "Yo, don't listen to that Garvey guy. Don't go back to Africa, it's no piece of cake there. Find your freedom here in the west first."

Meanwhile Selassie, who claims he's a direct descendant of King Solomon, does not confirm or deny that he is the Lord Jesus kind of Kings 2.0. He does give Rasta cult "Dignitaries a gold medal (see video from earlier post)


Then Garvey moves to England amid controversy (Not Africa BTW), Selassie's the only one who really goes "Back to Africa."



Now, years later, a bunch of long haired confused people roam the earth deeming themselves "Rastafarian."

I swear I did not make this up. Real talk.


Oh the irony. Life is ridiculous. Gotta laugh sometimes.


Editorial by Marcus Garvey in the Black Man - London, March/April 1937

THE FAILURE OF HAILE SELASSIE AS EMPEROR

When the facts of history are written Haile Selassie of Abyssinia will go down as a great coward who ran away from his country to save his skin and left the millions of his countrymen to struggle through a terrible war that he brought upon them because of his political ignorance and his racial disloyalty.

It is a pity that a man of the limited intellectual calibre and weak political character like Haile Selassie became Emperor of Abyssinia at so crucial a time in the political history of the world.....

...Every Negro who is proud of his race must be ashamed of the way in which Haile Selassie surrendered himself to the white wolves of Europe. These statements may be considered very severe, and in fact, they are. We could have been otherwise apologetic and sympathetic, but that would have been only if we were dealing with a Coptic Priest or a Religious Monk and not a[n] Emperor who held and presided over the political trust of twelve million people of his own country, and the political destiny of the entire Negro race.



Damn son!!!! Get 'im!!!! The essay goes on and on but you get the point. Oh this kiills me!! My side is hurting. LOL

Student's occupy Deroit school for sit in

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Student protest Detroit public school closing: CLICK HERE

Haile Selassie visits Jamaica 1966

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I'll refrain from spewing my opinion and just let you watch this interesting video on Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica in 1966.

Now or never?

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"Grasp your chance with resolute trust.
Take occasion by the hair
For, once involved in the affair,
You carry on because you must."

Self absorbed with my own self. Damn shame.

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I feel ____ because I am ______. I want you to ______ so that I can ____ and then I will_____ . That's why I am _____. They ______ _______ to me and I __________________ because ______ _______. I I didn't _______ then maybe I'd _______.


I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, ME, ME, MEMEMEMEMEMEEMEME Me me meme

Dream Girls -- True Hollywood Story

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Few people realize that the DREAMGIRLS movie many know and love today is NOT the first time the hit Broadway play was adapted for the silver screen.

In 1994, a smaller, and ultimately ill-fated version was produced by actor/director Mario Van Peebles. This is the story of that movie...and why you've never seen it.

Detroit Police Chief Godbee is level-headed, versatile

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I honestly didn't think I'd say this, but Detroit's newest police chief Ralph Godbee isn't the empty suit/place holder I thought he would be. In fact, from my brief experience with him at a town hall style meeting, he's quite the opposite.

At a downtown business community event Thursday evening put on by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Godbee showed genuine concern. The event was a meet and greet with the chief of police held in response to a growing concern among business owners and residents operating and living on Broadway Street in Downtown Detroit.

The key concerns among loft residents and business owners in the Broadway Business District were break ins and gunshots fired after clubs let out at 2:00 am. Business owners and new residents coming to the city have been discouraged by late night gunfire and robberies.

"The good news is the economy in downtown Detroit is growing. The bad news is the economy in downtown Detroit is growing," Godbee told business owners and residents at the meeting, held in an industrial themed loft on Broadway owned by developer Mike Mercier.

Godbee was realistic, yet hopeful. "There are not enough police officers to make the city of Detroit safe," he said. "The real goal is to look at systemic issues. We're very good at what we do, but we don't know it all."

He suggested piloting a new crime-stopping technology starting downtown that can triagulate a gunshot's location in ten seconds within two square miles of an incident.

While Godbee was reluctant to say that downtown communities received more police attention than the often more violent neighborhoods, he was frank about downtown's importance to the economic health of Detroit. "You gotta be careful how you say this. We could have five shootings on the east side ... but one (shooting) downtown and it would wipe us off the map." He added, "the downtown area is the safest place in the city."

In a mixed crowd of white and black business owners, the issue of race and culture was a tense undercurrent. Clubs letting out proceeded by gunfire is happening primarily at clubs where the clientele is predominantly young black people and the few who bring a gun ruin it for the rest.

The chief of police was instated to the post last summer after a controversial firing of former police chief Warren Evans.


In person, Godbee seemed relatable, making a special effort to stay true to himself while retaining professional composure.

"I like Lil' Wayne. I do. I like Weezy. I just don't like the decibels my daughter plays him at," he said with a smile, also noting that the key to solving this problem is to be proactive, not reactionary. "We can't wait 'til the next WJLB Wax Tax n' Dre party to figure this out."

Among attendees was nightclub owner and former Detroit city council candidate Jai-Lee Dearing whose clientele briefly became a hot point in the conversation on late night gunplay. Godbee held played it cool, staying neutral and welcomed more community meetings on the topic.

"This is the first of many," he said.

Good quote:

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Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when we suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it; knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth, we have spoken it.

Showing Love

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Before I write all these words down
There are two things that I must claim:
First, through all the joy and pain
I follow love that knows no bounds.

Second, I have reclusive moods
Where I seek solace in my world:
The placid portrait of a girl
Engulfed in passing solitude.

Among the many things I wish
Is one thing I have yet to learn
Though all my love, respect you've earned
I fail to show beyond a smile

Through little jolts and ins and outs
I do admit my silence shows:
The tension on the phone line grows
Collecting clouds and dust of doubt.

Yet that will never signify
That I lost sight of what is dear
In fact, I hold you all too near
But lack the voice to show this by.


If only I could shout and sing
To all those which our love is one:
“You are the sunshine in my sun
And nights, in fact, eternal shades,
That block me from these blinding days,
Until this strange, long, race is run!”

And all the space that spans between
The point of sun and point of shade
A complex gradient is made:
Where vision hears what sound has seen.


I know now that my heart beats clear
To those whose love I know so well
Sometimes I doubt if words could tell;
And if not words then, somehow, tears.

And that is why I wrote this poem:
To write the words I do not speak
And while I know my love you keep
Just know you make my earth a home.


So, these thoughts passed from mind to pen,
And pen to paper, sheet by sheet
The mind and the conjunctions meet
Then rupture pods of thought within.

I feel I could go on and on,
A long, prolific thinking spree
This pen ignites a flame in me
Enforcing these existent bonds.

For now, it seems it's time for bed
The lights out on the street are dimmed
Even all the lights within
Are sleepy, like the light they shed.

And me, I am not one to speak
The lights are vibrant next to I,
With fuzzy hair and hollow eyes
Writing these words my pen-tip seeks
And sealing them onto the page
Not an angry rant, or rage
But something rather powerful
I use words, tiny power-tools
To craft the feelings of a fool
And fool the feelings I engage.

On Red Bull:

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Shit's a helluva drug.

It's official. Freman Hendrix has resigned.

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It's official. Freman Hendrix has resigned from his post as Detroit City Charter Revision Commission Chair, a position he was elected to in November 2009.

During he tenure as a Charter Revision Commissioner he oversaw public meetings and managed the commission's logistics and inner workings. It wasn't without some squabbles and controversy at meetings between him and other commissioners, but ... hey, that's healthy, no?

Besides, anyone can get a lil testy if they have to suffer through 3-4 hour meetings bored to tears and not get paid for it?

Hendrix got a better job on the board of Greektown Casino which conveniently was a conflict of interest to his position on the commission. Now the commission will decide the consequences of losing a member: Who will be the 9th member? Who will take the empty seat?

Janice Mitchell Ford, former vice chair, will be bumped up to chair to replace Hendrix. But the new member will not have been elected. Some commissioners considered selecting the 10th runner up in the election but ultimately that idea was voted down.

Now any registered Detroit voter can apply to be a commissioner, just need a resume, three references "bam!" I'm sure it's waaaaay more political than that though now that it's left up to the board's discretion.

But hey ... I know I don't wanna be forced to endure 3 hour boring a$$ lectures out of the kindness of my heart. I hope that doesn't make me a bad egg.

Now we know Hendrix's priorities. They're a lot like ours: get money first.

Hendrix’s letter of resignation indicates:
“I strongly believe that the work being done by the Commission is critical to the future of the city of Detroit. However, the Michigan Gaming Control Board has deemed my status as an elected official to be a conflict of interest with my appointment to the Greektown Casino Board of Directors.”


In other words, he's like, "It's been swell, y'all, but ... yyyyyeahhh ... I'm gonna gave to go ahead and sort of leeeeave. This boring ass sh*t ain't worth it!. [Conflict of interest, you know.]"



City of Detroit, Charter Revision Commission (2009)
32nd Floor, Cadillac Tower Building
Detroit, Michigan 48226


If you have any questions in connection with this public announcement, please contact Mr. Gregory Hicks at 313.628.2516.

-end-

Here's a great site to bust through writers' block

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This is a great place to play with if you're looking for a creative writing drill! Click here!

City contract grows legs and sneaks out of City Hall!!

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A demolition company owner linked to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's circle of friends is undergoing a federal corruption investigation. Bobby Ferguson hasn't been charged with anything yet, but the fact that he's under investigation enough to cancel all contracts with companies connected to him? Excel is a company Ferguson is apparently heavily involved in.

Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said the Xcel contract snuck by him and he plans to move to reconsider the vote this week so he can vote no.

Kenyatta suggested the city improve office lighting in order to ensure that no more major contracts sneak by in the future.

"Because of all we have gone through -- the investigation of City Hall -- we at least need to walk forward under a better light," Kenyatta said.

Detroit Art, not Detroit Incinerator! rally USSF

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On Saturday, June 26, at 9:00 a.m. protest the world's largest trash incineraotr EVER! Yeah, EVER! And YOU can protest it! Click HERE to learn a smidgen more.

Protest at the main Detroit Public Library on Woodward across from the DIA. Be there or come back next year for our perennial Detroit Trash incinerator protest!

This is the GOOD kinda propaganda, y'all. How does apathy feel? Is it soft?

Yes, Virginia Woolfe, "Banksy" is a woman.

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Earlier this week, I believe TheOnion.com published a piece that unearthed an allusive face.

The face of "89-year-old Rose Biggin, a grandmother from the Camden Town neighborhood of North London" was outed as being a famous, some may even venture to say "brainwashing", graffitti artist.

I beg to differ.

"Banksy" is, in fact, Oneita Jackson, known Detroit blogger and vandalism-person. Commonly believed to be a Brittish male with a very deep, perhaps camouflaged "for-my-documentary" voice, my sources have confirmed that she's a woman.

Shocking, I know, that I would so boldly disagree with a scource as reliable as The Onion?!

Well, she said it.

The following is her written public apology to the Detroit Free Press (and the world):

"Imagine you’re Banksey, I mean, Oneita Big Mouth and you get caught on tape doing something you shouldn’t have been doing, something you’re always checking other people for: making the City of Detroit look bad.

That’s what happened Wednesday after the grand opening ceremony of the Bagley Pedestrian Bridge. I wrote my name on a brand new bench on the bridge.

A reporter for another publication gave me a call to tell me he was writing about vandalism and that he had me on tape, he said, vandalizing the bridge.

Oh, my.

I admitted it was me.

The image of me pulling out a green Pilot fine-point pen, writing on the bench, then cursing the fact that I had done it came back vividly. I had written my name then realized the camera was there.

I was troubled by it all day, but never exercised my inner big mouth about it and that’s the problem, said my editor, Stephen Henderson. I was only trying to fess up after I was caught.

He was right.

Was I ashamed? Yes. Did I think it would go away? Yes. I hoped it would and I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

But I have to deal with it now; I wouldn’t be writing about it right now if that reporter hadn’t called me, seeking comment.

I make a living running my big mouth telling people how they should behave. I cannot be Oneita Big Silent now. I have to answer to Detroit -- and to my son.

Vandalism is the willful and malicious destruction of property. What I did was willful. I was excited when I saw the bench and that people had written on it and wanted to add my tag to it. That’s what we did in New York City when I was young: We put our tags on the park benches. I also wrote my name in wet concrete when I was in D.C.

But I’m not just another girl on the avenue. I’m a Detroiter, a blogger-columnist-newspaper chick and, as Free Press Editor Paul Anger pointed out, a role model. I interact with people on the O Street blog and talk to students and people in the community. I speak my truth and I seek the truth.

And now I hope to be a better role model for the truth.

I returned to the pedestrian bridge Friday to look for my name on the bench and was surprised to see that it was gone. [I thought, "Those muthafuckas stolen my art and sold that shit on the black market!] So were other names. I went to the welcome center and told the women there what I had done. They asked what kind of pen I had used and told me Wednesday’s rain probably washed it away.

It might have washed my name away, but it cannot wash away how stupid I feel.

I apologize."

~Banksy



Before anyone apologizes any further, let's remind ourselves that the concept of vandalism is not as simplistic as one may initially think. A recent event took a certain spoke of the art community on a jostling discussion of a similar topic. Can "vandalism" become valuable art, meaning , major museum, big $ status, even pervade the law--if it's crafted by the correct hand?" YES. There are tons of places vandalism can take you, kids, and The Detroit Free Press! Be creative! I once penned an image of my tupperware on a dumpster. OoOooooo wee!!!

Note from the editor: In the true "Onion" spirit, this is all in good fun.

Good morning Afternoon!

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So I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to write a story after a fitful night of sleep. At 8:30a.m. I went back to sleep and woke up at 1:30 p.m.! What a waste of a good day! I'll be playing catchup on my to-do list. I want to start another Detroit Verbatim series on this blog and I also want to start something Time magazine lagged on: The pop culture chart that ranked pop news from shocking to Predictable to shockingly predictable.

Enough brainstorming. The bottom line is that i just need to do it. For my own sake. Because seriously, who reads this anyway? If you are reading this you probably stumbled onto here looking for something completely different. Sorry to take up your time. Happy web surfing!

Mindless

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Roving nonstop between Gmail, Yahoo mail and facebook.

It's been too long...

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To rev up my motivation/productivity I really should write on here more. I have been diligently writing in my personal journal but that hardly counts in terms be being seen by the world (however virtual).

Part of me has been bit by the lazy bug. The urge to lounge away by late spring days in the warm sun and soft breeze, reading a book or biking to Belle Isle to run and even swim if the weather and current permits.

No doubt I love Detroit, but staying financially buoyant in these economic waters is a constant hustle. That's what many are coming to find and there's a whole lot of shady business going down. The dilemma is whether to join 'em or slowly sink into poverty.

What could I do to get attention? A friend of mine has a hobby--he started taking pics of local Detroiters on the street and people, editors, are starting to notice his work just from online. It's one of those things one would have to be willing to invest time in, enjoy, and eventually create a portfolio or resume that speak for itself. These days one has to be creative in assuring gainful employment whether that's through contract work of a regular 9-5 or, let's face it, the black market.


There are so many things I want to accomplish before I get too old! While the term old is relative (30 is the new 20?) and I am still indisputably young by any modern measure, I feel like I'm behind on so many accomplishments. Every time I "set" my mind on something, another thing comes up, like going outside, talking to neighbors, spending time with Tim, etc. so I don't do all I could do. I could report of so many things in Detroit just from this blog and generate my own readership, my own news service. Why don't I? It is the summer warmth lazing my bones? The Winder cold? There's always something. So Why Don't I pack my open ended days with my own agenda? Website creation, blog, book, video, photos... Really tho.

There are so many avenues I wish I had the means to support myself while I excel at a hobby. But since I don't, why don't I make that happen? If I can't find the answer to these questions soon then something is wrong with me.

I used to be so up on city politics and now whenever I check in with city business it seems so cyclical, the same annual hotbutton issues, the same unresolved problems, empty promises, unimaginative leadership. One gets bored. I'd rather stick my nose in a National Geographic and let the words and images within cary me to a far away land where Detroit is not even on the map.

I always thought myself to be a decent writer. I have so much improvement to do but I can't let that stop me. Practice is improvmeent, however slow and I have no doubt in my mind that I could write as well if not better than Kiran Desai or Tea Obreht.

But I slack and a daydream and I relax my way into oblivion. At this rate, when I die, I will have nothing to leave behind. But why should I think like that? So to spur my thirst for the writers pen/keyboard I might take up a community college creative writing class and work that out. Or a writers retreat somewhere that forces my competitive spirit to flame up and the words to fall from mind to hand to paper in just the right order to prove my brilliance.

If you start dancing and moving for your own dream creation ensues. Wake up. That's the message that comes to all of us eventaully.

Mary Waters apologizes to Sam Riddle on Facebook Calls him Best Friend

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DETROIT-- Former State Rep. Mary Waters, who was swirled into a corruption scandal with her relationship to consultant Sam Riddle and involved in a domestic dispute with him, claims the powers that b, namely Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor, want Riddle in jail.

Here's what she had to say on Facebook:

"The police officer lied in his report. He testified to things I never said. He tried to get me to choose the wrong gun, and then said I should file charges against Sam. Once I do, he would like to have Sam's nice guns. I did ask the prosecutor to investigate those reports and her own staff. It never happened. She was too focused on getting Sam put in prison.

Mildred Gaddis was at the scene the night of the incident. When she first walked in, her first words were "Girl Kym said you better file charges". This was before I gave the police a report. Sam never stood a chance because Kym's mind was already made up.



Kym Worthy spoke to me like yesterday's trash when I met with her the day Sam was released from jail. Sam has his faults, but is the best friend one could ask for. Thanks Sam for taking care of me during my cancer and other illinesses, for helping with my sick mother and for reading to and teaching my nephew. Sam would never hurt me physically. I am sorry my friend because I know why you were in so much pain."



Sunny with a chance of privatization

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Today Detroit Mayor Dave Bing gave his budget proposal to City Council. Apparently he plans to cut another 300 city jobs, combine departments, and trim the deficit by $101 million.


According to Mlive.com, this budget anticipates union concessions. Good luck with that Mr. Bing! We'll see what the council does with this budget. They have until June to finalize the dealio.

In other news, it's sunny outside!

A peculiar feeling

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The future of Detroit. Four words. So much uncertainty. SO much. Not even the pundits of pundits with the most esteemed reputations for predicting and analyzing economic and political outcomes can conceptualize the future of this city.

Yet, across the nation there is an uncanny curiosity about Detroit. It's sometimes comparable to the rubbernecking seen on the highway after an accident mangles a car or a body or two. But there's an undercurrent that also separates it from rounchy vuerism: In cities all over the country people feel tied to Detroit' fate. The industrial pillar has fallen, now a city crusted over in rust and vines. We all know this by now. And yet the nations eye gleans Detroit, wary, nervously and frequently. Are other U.S. cities sealed into Detroit's fate? After all, it's the epicenter of this economic earthquake, they felt it first and felt it the hardest.

Here's what often gets overlooked now that internationally, economic foundations are shaking: What's happening NOW has been a LONG time coming. A storm in the gulf that turned to a hurricane and has been headed this way for the past 50 years. It's hitting everywhere now. But Detroit got the brunt of it. But the question remains: during, and in the aftermath, how will each citizen respond? How should they respond and to whom goes the power?

Detroit's already lost a big chunk of it's population and a healthy serving of hope along with it leaving only apathetic citizens, glued to a daily grind with gray, foggy eyes and thick skin and little to no imagination. No optimism or trust either, especially of elected officials. Only about a quarter of residents actually vote, the rest, the ones who feel as if they no longer hold stock in the city, on other words no longer have a slice in the pie of Detroit, don't vote and yet those are the ones whose voices need to be heard. Defeatism at its best. Lost. Gave up. Zoned out and stumbling along basking in the mindless glory of routine. This is how they can be herded like cattle, miseducated and taken advantage of. It's an age old story. This urban blight that's now getting so much attention didn't happen overnight or even over decade. It happened over a series of decades more than a half century to be sure.

so here I sit: looking out of the window of my little house in the the hood on the East side of the city. It's so quiet because there's no one around. It's on of those houses in an area where no one lived, all burnt out exoskeletons of houses and debris. A wasteland by definiion. Except for one thing: A farm. Yes, I know, I'm sick of hearing about urban farming and how it could "save Detroit" or be the "future of post industrial junkyard" yeah yeah yeah. For some reason I don't think so. Pundits acn guess and many are pointing out the 3,000 some urban farms that have spouted up from people turning back to the land and cultivating some of the large swaths of city-turned-prairie. I get a little sad when I hear that. Why? Because here's a great IDEA that will not be executed in a way that will benefit the people or the city in the long run. It will turn into a get rich quick scheme by deep pocketed investors and they will swarm in like flies and eat way at the carcass of the city leaving the white bones on top of the soil and onto the next. What I'm trying to articulate throught my rage, is this: that the urban farm push from the city will come and it will be industrial and not from the roots and ideas of the founders of these urban farms but from people with dollar signs in their eyes. And Detroit, buckled down to its knees has will have a fight left in it but there are so many fights to be fought this battle will get lost and the weakened city will get cheated, bound and left helpless as it was before, a puppet democracy run by the state.

Bing Backing down or "sticking to his guns?"

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DETROIT—It’s Friday, the last day of the work week for many and if Dave Bing is “sticking to his guns” like the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday, then it will be the last day of work for 3,500 city union employees.
But union leaders aren’t giving in under pressure and Bing, who promised the layoff would come today, has not made any moves or announcements. Mlive’s Jonathan Oosting has deduced, based on media reports, that Bing “Won’t be tearing up those union contracts after all”
Bing set the deadline last month to push negotiations with city unions, namely AFSCME, to agree to 26 furlough days or the equivalent of a 10 percent pay cut as well as cuts to benefits, bonuses and health care.
The move is something top AFCSME negotiator Cathy Phillips calls a “bully tactic” to get unions to fold in negotiations.
But so far there are no immediate plans for layoffs, according to Bing’s Press Secretary Ed Cardenas in an interview with the Detroit News.

Detroit election night parties

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It's election day in Detroit and that means tonight the city will be speckled with campaign parties as the election returns come in. What to know where your favorite candidate is partying? Here's a list of some of them. If you know of any more let me know!

Saunteel Jenkins:
Opus One 565 Larned Detroit, MI

TOM BARROW: 1915 W. Fort Street Cork industrial?

Jai-Lee Dearing/Rose Mary Robinson:
It's located at 2727 Russell 8:30 p "Bar-B-Q!"

James Tate
Doubletree Hotel terrace ballroom 9:00p

Kwame Kenyatta
“They say” restaurant 267 Jos Campau @ Franklin. 8:30

Andre Spivey: Hotel St. Regis @ Grand Blvd and Woodward. 9: 00p

Brenda Jones: The St. Regis Hotel in Main ballroom. 9:30 -10 pm

Shelly I. Foy:
Firewater grill 6521 John R St. 6 p.m. –midnight. She'll be there by 9.

Charles Pugh: Seldom Blues 8 p. He'll get there at 9 "Seldom blues play here"

David Cross: Kappa Alpha Psi House @ 269 Erskine St, Detroit, MI 48201 between John R and Brush “It’s gonna be a City of Detroit Party"

Raphael B. Johnson: Floods 10:p.m. 733 St Antoine St Detroit "Dress to impress"

DAVE BING: 8:00 p.m.
Doubletree Guest Suites
Fort Shelby/Downtown 
525 W. Lafayette 
Detroit, MI 48226

Gary Brown: Bookies Bar @ 2208 Cass at 8:00p.m.

More of the SAME hair advice:

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To all my ladies with seriously curly hair!


Shampoos:
#1. Kerastase "Oleo Curl Bain" in orange bottle $35 at salons OR $23 at www.beautybythecase.com

#2. CHI "INRFA SHAMPOO" Grey bottle w. red cap. " Moisture Therapy Shampoo"(I found it for $13 at CVS) It works almost as good as Kerastase!

#3. Marc Anthony "Strictly Curls" shampoo $7 at any place that sells shampoo it's REALLY good the first week or some then it drops off. I'd suggest alternating it w. CHI or Kerastase twice a month or so. It'sa good backup.

#4. Pantene "ICE SHINE" Shampoo. $5 at most places. Again, like Marc Anthony only good if used once in a while or it dries out your hair. NEVER use Pantene "Hydrating Curl" it is a lie! They should call it Pantene "Crispy Frizz"

SO I think that's a good start on the shampoo. Let's talk conditioner!

#1. Kerastase "Oleo Curl" conidtioner. Again, orange bottle about $25/bottle. I couldn't find it on beauty by the case website but it's at most salons. I don't sweat it too much tho bc there are cheaper ones that work.

#2. (Actually for the price this should be #1. ) PANTENE PRO V RESTORATIVES "FRIZZ CONTROL"conditioner. $6.50 at most places where Pantene is sold. It has a purple band around it and it comes in a tube shaped bottle like a large tube of toothpaste. AWESOME stuff! Never gets old! I suggest using it immediately after shampooing AND on days when you don't wash your hair. Put a good dollop of the stuff though hair and leave it in for about 5 mins while you shower before rinsing it all out.

#3. So I don't usually do the leave-in thing with conditioners but if you do, find a good black beauty supply shop and look for "Africa's Best" products. OMG they never let you down. This is a rule.

So IF in NYC you CAN find "Africans Best" there is a deep conditioning treatment they have for $3 and it gets you a tub of this stuff that even Kerastase can't touch. It's called "ORGANICS SHEA BUTTER PLUS" by "AFRICA'S BEST". It comes in a tub with a green top and a purple and green label.

If you can find that one let me know. This e-mail is getting long and I have a process I like to use with it.

There are lots of good conditioners out there. Don't use any with "Petrolatum" in the ingredients.

#4. Any of the Pantene PRO-V Restorative conditioners seem to do a good job.


OK. Now here's a step I skip unless I'm stepping OUT!!! IT's styling products.

This is quick bc. I only use three. And none of these are much better than the other

a. Redken "Ringlet 07" formula. $12 at most salons and dept. stores. Run that through combed, towel dried hair and watch the magic as it dries!

b. Garnier Fructis "Curl Scrunch" gel. $8 at pharmacy. Same application. Redken might be a tiiiny bit better but this one's cheaper!

c. This one works WITH Curls AND when/if you ever want to straighten our hair. It's called "OLEO RELAX" leave-in serum by Kerastase. $25/bottle @ salons AND beautybythecase.com. Smooth a very small dab it over hair after you apply the curl gel or if it's straight hair smooth down frizzes with it or use it to aid you flat iron.


OK that's all for now! Let me know how it goes!

I AM curious, what products do you use now?

Bing V. Barrow

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Bing or Barrow? Here's an outline of who's who and such.


On unions:


Using phrases like “Barrow is our only hope”, calling Mayor Dave Bing “a liar” and wearing a Tom Barrow pin on her chest, one could easily mistake Cathy Philips, the Chief negotiator of Michigan AFSCME Council 25, for the Barrow’s campaign manager.

The reason: Phillips is not happy with Bing’s proposed cuts to the union city worker’s pay and benefits and it’s one week before the municipal election. It’s not necessarily Barrows running platform that is the draw: Barrow has said he would make the same cuts if he got into office and saw that that there were no other options. But still, they’re going to take the chance that he’ll be easier on unions than Bing, who Barrow is calling “The republican mayor”.

But Bing’s actions have made it clear that he is not concerned about losing to his opponent, the third time mayoral candidate who challenged Coleman Young twice in the 80s. Not only has Bing refused to debate Barrow but he is not walking softly around re-negotiating union contracts. Specifically AFSME contracts, the biggest public labor in the city. It’s true, Barrow is a tan underdog who has some history of legal trouble in the past, and that Bing got about nearly 80 percent of the vote in the August primary. It’s also true that Barrow still thinks he has a chance. And if he does have a foot in the door, his only hope right now is in unions votes because he's not exactly financially level with the Bing campaign nor does he have a household name.

On Regionalism:

One of the major dividing lines in Detroit politics comes with how to handle regionalism at a time when the city is out of cash. On one side, some feel that the region—meaning leadership in the tri-county (Macomb, Oakland, Wayne) area—is taking advantage of the city while it is in a vulnerable financial state by buying out assets. The creation of regional authorities is a scorching issue in Detroit with one camp saying "Take back out city" and the other saying "we need to cooperate and save, take whatever you want1".

Two prime examples that have gathered around this regional issue are the Cobo Hall deal and the Macomb County Water interceptor.And a fierce battle that is looming on the region v. Detroit horizon is the issue of regional transit. DDOT (Detroit Department of Transportation) has a bus service and the suburban bus service SMART. Now it seems that SMART has more funding than DDOT. Just months ago SMART got 50 new buses while Detroit is cutting bus service. So it looks like DDOT would have to give up some power if the transit is lumped into regional authority. I can hear radio personality Mildred Gaddis throwing a fit about it already: "The hijacking of DDOT".

Here are some quotes from Barrow's hour long MiVote interview with Stephen Henderson of the Freep and Nolan Finley of the Detroit News.

BARROW: "Mr. Bing is clearly carrying the water of those who would privatize and regionalize take away diminish and dismantle the city of Detroit. There’s no doubt about it. He’s running plays that are being called form the sidelines."

NOLAN FINLEY: "What interest would those folks you’re talking about stand to have Detroit dismanlted and dismembered?

BARROW: "They stand to benefit financially: You privatize power and light, DTE gets a big book of business. If you privatizative tax collections some private corporation gets a big book of business. When you start taking away middle class jobs under the guise of “we’re gonna make things run more efficiently “ The very ones who are advocating it are the ones who stand to benefit. It’s disturbing to me and disturbing is a big word."

Nolan Finley: How does Tom Barrow pay for ... [City services]?

BARROW: I read financial statements. I understand them. That’s my background, that’s my training. Our records are screwed up. We’re managing it backwards. We’re managing it on projected cash flow up and down. One moment they tell us we had to cut the busses. Then they say 'we found $400,000.' they say we're gonna run out of Cash by Oct. 1 if we don't make these draconian cuts. When the unions bucked they say “we have til March. When you see that waning and waning, when you see that inconsistency, wall street loses confidence. I would have a forensic investigation into payroll, parking, pension, real estate transactions. Hundreds of positions aren’t budgeted for."

BARROW: The Mayor is way over his head. The plays are being called by Beckham and White. Why don’t you produce to me the interim financial statement? Show it to the public so we can talk to facts empirically. Stakeholders want to see something. They don’t trust this republican mayor. They have not being showing the unions. They never get back. We’re sitting here reacting to some numbers that none of us have ever seen. Why wouldn’t we have it on the website? Why wouldn’t we have it on TV? I want to put it online! Then, when I say I wanna cut this, I wanna cut that. They’ll say 'I see why'. The very first day in office ... We’re gonna get rid of this federal monitor. I’m a different guy. I’m in charge. Mr. Bing is not accountable he only wants one term. How are we gonna finance the deficit? There’s something else going on that they’re not showing us.

NOLAN: "What is different about Tom Barrow Plan than Mayor Bing?"
I’m gonna hire 300 new police officers. It’s not just labor.

Stephenson: "Police Chief: Warren Evans Is that your guy?"

BARROW: “Not at all. I don’t want political people. The only politician [in my cabinet is going to be me.”

BARROW on Bing: "He’s an outsider carrying the water of others> meaning L. Brooks Patterson… didn’t have to say a thing Bing did the work for him. I’m for regionalism, regional transit. Let’s just make sure that we have a fair way. I want fairness for Detroiters. That’s what we haven’t had.


SHOULD MAYOR TAKE CONTROL OF SCHOOLS?

BARROW: I don’t believe in the state saying ;Mayor, here, you take the schools.' If the people vote for me to lead then yes. I don’t like disenfranchising the board. The elected officials are accountable.



BARROW ON BING: "Here’s a man who’s never lived in his Detroit his entire life. He can’t relate to what we deal with everyday. I’ve lived in Detroit my entire life. I’ve never left and come back. There’s no such thing as a virtual Detroiter. He’s not one of us."

Detroit Mayoral challenger Barrow: "Bing is a republican"

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Watch the hour long interview with challenging mayoral candidate Tom Barrow. He blasts Bing in the interview calling him a puppet who is making decision based on plays called "from the sidelines."

CHECK IT OUT:

Beautiful, I just want you to know...

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It’s a fall day in Detroit. Standing at the corner of an empty lot on the city’s east side one can see a streak of iridescent color flitting between the browning knee-high stalks of wild grass— a pheasant, made uneasy by approaching footsteps, dodges into a nearby shrub and disappears. In the distance the Detroit skyline peeks over the horizon marked by the unmistakable Renaissance Center.

There is a certain quiet, a stillness that blankets the city’s east side communities. The rhythmic creak of crickets, sparatic bird calls and the occasional car with a loud muffler and bass system are the only sounds that can be heard at the moment. To the left is a patch of collard greens, overripe tomatoes and a few zucchini squash that have gone to seed. To the right there is a stack of hay, waiting to be moved to the pigpen for the winter.

This is one little portion Detroit, and it’s a beautiful place to be.