Guns not the only problem
Re: Keith A. Owens’ article “America: Still eating its young” (Metro Times, Feb. 9), I found the article quite interesting. While I feel that it was informative and perceptive, I felt it overlooked valid points contributing to Detroit’s predicament.
I must admit that different cultures vary in what kind of entertainment they enjoy, but too many times I have attended mind-opening, innovative or downright educational events where there were few to no blacks present. In my opinion, it’s a serious problem. One of the biggest factors contributing to the problems of African-Americans in Detroit is the lack of being involved in educational activity.
Furthermore, where are the books? And with after-school activities, why is it that the children of Detroit still get caught up in gun violence? One of the influential African-Americans that has emphasized this subject is Bill Cosby. Why shouldn’t he be blunt?
Why do the suburban areas attract people? You might figure that out while driving down Eight Mile Road when you see all the strip clubs, adult bookstores and liquor stores. Face it, the suburban population refuses to accept these kinds of businesses in their neighborhoods. So why is it that Detroiters accept this kind of rubbish?
The problems we have in Detroit are “community problems.” If we enforce “no nonsense” laws it would indeed revive the city. Vote the strip clubs out and make the fathers pay child support! Guns aren’t the only enemy contributing to the downfall of this city; we have to learn to take care of our communities. —Aneesa Francis, Detroit, firstname.lastname@example.org
Those Dyer predictions
I may not have been in the Royal Navy or the Canadian Navy, but I do have knowledge of what is going on in the world, and it is a lot more complicated than my Canadian friend proposes. (“Why we must lose this war,” Metro Times, Feb. 9)
Lose the war in Iraq? He has the leftist attitude that all cultures and ideas are equally powerful. They are not.
As far as the economy goes, I personally don’t care if the American dollar drops. I purchase very few foreign items. Not only that, I wonder how much of a trade deficit there would be with Canada if their dollar skyrocketed 50 percent. —Sherwood P. W. Baker II, Warren, email@example.com
Jack offers hope
I have certainly read Dyer’s book; indeed I read everything that Dyer publishes, especially in the midst of this disastrous war in Iraq. Allow me to say that a strengthening chorus of rational and humane voices like yours gives the world hope — specifically hope that this mendacious regime can be democratically removed from within its own borders and not as a result of a global bloodbath. —Daniel McBride, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where’s the liberal media?
Re: Jack Lessenberry’s “The New McCarthyism” (Metro Times, Feb. 16), true far-left and far-right parties and supporters do no one any real good, but claiming that only Republicans, or Republican-sponsored talk shows, “bash” anyone publicly is nothing short of asinine. How about all the liberal, left-wing “goons” (to use your term) who host all the liberal-slanted “news” shows? They only act as political propaganda mouthpieces for the liberals, but I don’t see you paying any attention to their equally out-of-control antics and claims.
I respect your opinion, and I too have concerns as to the direction our country is moving in, on all levels. I also believe articles written in obvious hatred for other parties, be they political or otherwise, subjects our youth to heavily spun accounts of what is going on, and/or how they should think about what actually happened. My biggest disappointment comes from the media pre-forming people’s ideas for them, and promoting the spoon-feeding of this information to people as their own ideas. —Bill Price, Auburn Hills
Preaching from the converted
You know, Jack, I used to think you were a whiny, liberal bitch. Then, over the years (especially these last four), I’ve done a complete 180. You are the lighthouse in a sea of madness. I can’t believe there are not more journalists writing pieces like “The New McCarthyism.” What is going on with the media in this country has gone from ridiculous to sickening to downright scary.
Thanks for keeping it real. —Dave Watts, Hamtramck, email@example.com
Marxism not Stalinism
Jack Lessenberry: I am the woman who attended your talk on the Myth of Liberal Media you mentioned in “Now let us praise free minds” (Metro Times, Feb. 2). The point I was trying to express to the audience that day is that many self-proclaimed liberals think they are on the political left when voting for Democrats instead of Republicans, when, in fact, liberals are closer to the center in regards to the spectrum of political discourse. For example, Republicans are on the ultra-right; the Democrats range from the political right to center; social democrats on the center left; and anarchists, socialists and communists are on the left of the political spectrum.
I think that you should encourage the public to think on their own by reading, not just hand-me-down political information, but original sources, such as Karl Marx, who supports unselfish individuality, in contrast with Ayn Rand’s selfish individualism. Often, hand-me-down information by others is misinformation. For example, although original in style, but not in political content, Orwell for his book Animal Farm was lampooned by the left for misleading the public about communism. The kind of communism Orwell talks about in Animal Farm is a Soviet kind of communism — state capitalism — or a bureaucratic workers state, which is not a reflection of the writings of Karl Marx. It is ridiculous that the atmosphere of McCarthyism still reigns today as the mainstream media and liberal media continue to misinform the general public about the difference between Stalinist totalitarianism and communism. True communism is all about non-patriarchal, non-classist, non-sexist, non-racist, communalistic, egalitarian principles and harmonious practices where our human essence is self-actualized with more leisure time. Capitalism’s treadmill-style exploitation of labor causes alienation, robbing us of our human essence. —Andrea Lavigne, Grosse Pointe Park
A ballpark figure
I’d like to thank Metro Times for the ongoing coverage of Tiger Stadium and the Corktown community as a whole. However, I would like to clarify a statement attributed to me in the “Free Swings” section of “Everything Must Go!” (Metro Times, Feb. 23). In saying that the Tiger Stadium site was “worth” $40 million, I was not speaking to the property’s monetary cash value, but to its potential market value as a nine-acre mixed-use development. From where I sit, the true worth of Tiger Stadium lies not in its present or past, but in its potential. —Kelli B. Kavanaugh, Greater Corktown Development Corporation, firstname.lastname@example.org
A bone to pick
Re: Brian Smith’s review of the Worlds Apart (Spun, Metro Times, Feb. 23), how could any band be “this year’s Wishbone Ash,” when Wishbone Ash is still quite alive and kicking? In case you weren’t aware that Wishbone Ash is still around, they are — and still very much appreciated in the United States and abroad. Your article came across as a backhanded slap at Wishbone Ash — did you intend that? —Larry Wechsler, Seattle, Wash.
Don’t go away mad
Regarding the last line of Brian Smith’s review of Mötley Crüe (Spun, Metro Times, Feb. 9), come on, guys. Grow up. —John Seelbach, Troy
Transit for the masses
Re: Allen Salyer in response to his letter (Letters to the editor, Metro Times, Feb. 9). I think in general he has a great point about the need for mass transit in metro Detroit — in part to connect exciting and interesting neighborhoods in town.
However, I think an equally important motivation for improved mass transit is to meet the needs of those who are exclusively dependent on it.
While it would be convenient for many of us suburbanites to be able to ride light rail to, as you described, enjoy many of the city’s great “activity clusters” and give us a reason to “stay and walk the strip,” it’s important to remember that mass transit serves a much more significant audience, namely, those without access to automobiles. Access to efficient and reliable transportation impacts everything from education to where you recreate. Most importantly, access to reliable transportation directly affects one’s ability to gain and retain worthwhile employment. —Chris Garland, Harper Woods, email@example.comSend comments to firstname.lastname@example.org