Shame on Detroit
For the past five years Detroiters have been angrily accusing the Detroit Public Schools reform board of disenfranchising African-Americans and destroying the quality of our public schools. So, when given the chance to reclaim our right to vote and determine the destiny of our Detroit Public Schools what did most Detroiters do? Absolutely nothing! Far too many Detroiters chose to skip the school board section of their ballot in yesterdays primary election.
Some people have tried to justify their not voting for school board under the guise that they didnt have enough information about the candidates to make an informed decision but thats no excuse. A voter education Web site was mentioned on nearly every local newscast for the past several weeks, and had information on the majority of school board candidates and could easily be accessed with the click of a computer mouse. For those who dont own a computer, this election provided you with an excellent excuse to visit the computer labs in one of Detroits vastly underutilized public libraries.
As for the candidates, good for you, you stepped up and accepted a very difficult job that will place you under tremendous pressure and scrutiny for little to no pay.
Detroiters have talked ad nauseam about the important role the schools play in repopulating the city, yet because school board members arent paid, dont have chauffeured city cars and dont have operating budgets to hire friends and family, few people seemed interested in leading the charge to provide Detroits children with a top-notch education.
And lastly, those of you who danced in the streets when Proposal E was defeated, and argued the only real problem facing DPS was the reform board, should be ashamed of yourself. This election provided an excellent opportunity for you to walk the walk after talking the talk, but it seems you realized that solving the districts problems would require some long hours filled with hard work and tough decisions and eventually you decided that its a lot easier to sit on the outside and yell about the problems than rolling up your sleeves and actually trying to fix them. Dalton Roberson Jr., Detroit
Two birds, one stone
Am I allowed to shoot quibbles at two people with one letter? First, to editor Ric Bohy, my neither boastful nor shameful defense for not voting, ever. (Questions & Answers, Metro Times, July 27). To vote is to tacitly endorse the process, a message I choose not to send. Ours is a world ruled by elites, dominion being finessed somewhat in this country because of our uppity origins. The notion that Joe Lunchbucket has a relevant say in the important decisions is hopeful but naïve. As voting, to me, is like handing the ax to the executioner. Thanks, but no thanks.
As for Jack Lessenberry, the man is truly sickening (Profile without courage, Metro Times, July 27). If youre going to be a professional pisser, at least have enough sense to make your own way in life. Arguing for tax hikes on behalf of higher education when your primary income derives from a Wayne State gig is beyond tacky. Besides, all the education in the world wont change a corporate mind-set hell-bent on chasing rock-bottom labor costs, nor a government mind-set purposefully selling this country out by allowing it to happen.
I havent quite fathomed why yet, but its probably new world order-related. And I doubt if voting would have helped much. Todd Steven Kindred, Garden City
Teaching and taxes
I strongly disagree with Mr. Lessenberrys proposal to increase taxes to fund universities. Higher taxation will drive out businesses that create the much needed jobs in Michigan. Michigan residents would find themselves subsidizing the cost of college degrees for workers who have to leave the state to find a job.
The high cost of higher education can be addressed in a libertarian manner that does not drive away more jobs from Michigan; public universities can start cutting costs and trimming fat in their budgets. The primary focus on campus needs to be on education, frills can come later when money is not as tight. Jim Allison, Warren, firstname.lastname@example.org
Really hates paying taxes
Dear Editor: How unfortunate for readers that a basic economics class is not a requirement for the communist-in-residence position held by Jack Lessenberry. (Profile without courage, Metro Times, July 27).
I just made the last $700 monthly payment on a $30,000 income tax bill, admittedly a good problem to have, incurred from my old business in Ohio. This is the way liberals like Lessenberry reward job-creating entrepreneurs like me. Lessenberry thinks I should make more $700 monthly payments so poor little Wayne State University students wont have to pay higher tuition.
No thanks, Jack. Let them quit college, start a business and pay taxes like I did or pay the higher tuition and shut up.
Speaking of shutting up, I prayed that the 2004 elections would finally put a merciful end to the liberal whining over the 2000 elections, but Lessenberry just cant stop. Blaming Nader? Unbelievable. Get over it, Jack, you lost.
Lessenberry accurately describes himself as a progressive. That is, progressively transferring more and more hard-earned wealth from the productive risk-takers to the nonproducers. No matter how much altruistic spin you put on it, it is morally wrong and counterproductive. You cannot tax your way to prosperity.
Im awaiting the results of the Michigan Residential Builders licensing exam I took last Friday. I hope Ill be starting another business, which will put Michiganders to work. That is, if the state of Michigan believes my efforts should be rewarded by letting me keep most of the fruits of my risk and labor, unlike Lessenberry. Joseph Corlett, Lake Orion, email@example.com
The Nader factor
It is incredible that you keep repeating the falsehood about the Nader vote in Florida in 2000. You are ignorant, plain and simple. 97,000 voted for Nader? What about the 250,000 registered Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida?
I suggest you do your research before repeating ad nauseam Democratic Party propaganda to justify their massive, chronic failures to represent the majority of the American people.
Start by reading Jeffrey Toobins book Too Close to Call.
And remember that if Gore had only managed to win his home state any loss in any other state would not have mattered a whit. Ivana Edwards, New York, N.Y.
Speeding toward terror
Hello Detroit: Ive been gone for the last few months attending law school in Tucson, Ariz. I drove on a recent Saturday morning from Rochester Hills to Ann Arbor to have breakfast with a politician. In my two hours of driving at 75 mph (on cruise control) I was passed by no less than 100 cars, tailgated well over 10 times, and given the finger for driving too slow.
As is well-known, fuel efficiency decreases as speed increases over 50 mph, even in todays modern fuel-efficient (yeah, right) vehicles. Your excessive speed and reckless driving increases fuel consumption and only ensures that our soldiers will be over defending wellheads in Iraq for a longer amount of time.
And on this sad note, I noticed when Governor Granholm reduced the number of state troopers available to enforce our speed limits. I did not see a single state trooper on my drive (8 a.m., Saturday, July 30th). The result: people more willing to risk their lives and the lives of others in a race to Home Depot Saturday morning.
Thanks, Governor Granholm, and thank you, suburban drivers. Youre helping the terrorists win. Jared Hautamaki, University of Arizona Law Student, Tucson, Ariz.
More metal mail
I was really moved by your article, No more puppetry (Metro Times, July 6). I am a huge metalhead myself, I was really excited to hear what you had to say, and I really admire your courage. I, for one am utterly confused about the entire rap-hip hop scene taking over everything and everyone. I think it is amazing that you can see through the generic music that is force-fed to us every day and recognize real music.
I often get upset that more people are not like us and can see through the corporate music feeding machine (aka MTV and radio). It takes a lot of guts to do what you did. Being an African-American I cant even fathom how much crap you probably had to go through when you told your friends, I want to listen to Slayer not 50 Cent.
Just remember this: Metal is one of the most talented genres out there. It takes 10 to 15 years to be a master of an instrument; it takes about five minutes to rhyme words on a napkin.
Just remember be yourself and listen to what makes you feel good, but dont listen to metal for the wrong reasons. A lot of people listen to it cause they hate life or they hate their parents and want to rebel against the system. Metal should be used as a release. It gets you pumped, makes you feel like you can conquer anything that comes your way. Use it as a tool, dont think of it as I hate everything music.
Peace out and stay metal forever. Bill Seymour, Livonia
Last but not least
I am a longtime reader of Metro Times going back to the first few issues. Also, I was privileged to see a Detroit band, the MC5, perform many times. Over the years I have been asked to explain the impact of this band and find little to say except that their music changed my life.
After reading your story about your connection to Metallicas Master of Puppets (I like this band too), I now know how to answer this question: The first time I saw the MC5 ... will always be the day I learned the true power of music. I learned how music can speak to me.
You write well and I appreciate your insight. Jerry Lubin, Oak Park, firstname.lastname@example.org
Does he read our letters?
Dear Metro Times: I find it laughable that a so-called newspaper like yours can be virulently anti-business when your paper is 98 percent ads. Not only is your paper mostly ads, it is ads for the most hedonistic and wasteful things around. Ever hear the one about glass houses?
What really annoys me though, is your smug air of moral superiority. For a paper that promotes prostitution and the countless ads for rip-offs, I find that a bit much to swallow. John Bill, Shelby Township, jmaximus.blogspot.com
PS Unlike your paper, bloggers normally allow everybody to comment, not just people who say stuff like: I read what the Metro Times journalists write and not only totally agree but it seems it should be obvious to any rational person.
Errata: Contrary to what we reported in an article on the MC5 Kick Out The Jams DVD (Metro Times, Kick out the home movies, July 6), there is no court or legal action currently pending with regard to the 2004 MC5 documentary A True Testimonial. That film was withdrawn last year by its distributor, RCA Victor Group/BMG and there are no plans at this time for its release.
Also, in Chris Parkers Thumbs column (Flicks got game? Metro Times, Aug. 3) the title of the Batman video game was incorrect. It is actually Batman Begins.Send comments to email@example.com