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Betsy DeVos is the new Cathie Black

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Now that Betsy DeVos has successfully bought herself a seat in the Trump cabinet – and protesters are already making her job impossible – it’s time to start drawing some parallels between the fiasco-about-to-ensue of Betsy DeVos and the fiasco-already-averted of Cathie Black. (For those who don’t recall, Black was the short-lived, cocktail-party-appointed NYC Schools Chancellor under Mayor Bloomberg who inspired a movement against her and the austerity/privatization agenda she came in with. I wrote about that here.) The similarities …

This Week, Millions of People Made America Great Again

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What a week it has been! It began last Saturday, January 21st, 2017 with the Women’s March in over 500 cities. With estimates of 3.3 million proud and peaceful participants, it may have been the single largest demonstration in U.S. history. The images on social media of vast oceans of brave, joyfully-defiant women (and men) in pink hats with a plethora of signs hearkened back to the days of the Women’s Suffrage Movement of the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, the labor …

prayer // fasting \\ vision

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Today I fast. A simple, ancient act. As it is written in Joel 1:14, “Solemnize a fast, Proclaim an assembly; Gather the elders—all the inhabitants of the land— In the House of the Divine, Cry out to the Creator.”  In those times, the land was rapidly being consumed by locusts. Drought and hunger had descended on all the people. The wheat and the crops of the field withered, and there were no grapes for wine or animals for sacrifice: “Offering …

Chill Out, America. This Too Shall Pass.

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Photo: A somewhat thoughtful take on the 2016 United States Presidential Election Friends, The third and final presidential debate came to an end like a screeching kamikaze plane exploding on the heads of the American electorate. The only thing missing was the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a food fight. And in the sad silence after I turned off the twitter – what’s a TV again? – the words of Stephen Colbert after the “Commander-In-Chief” Town Hall on the Intrepid warship came …

Chad Rochkind: A Jail at Michigan Central Station is Detroit’s Dumbest Idea

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This article by Chad Rochkind originally appeared on the Detroit News blog, before it was removed without explanation on Wednesday, August 17, 2016. It appears re-printed here with permission from the author. (UPDATE Below) It’s hard to know where to begin when critiquing proposals that are bad on pretty much every level. Unfortunately, that’s the task at hand after the Detroit News published Nolan Finley’s absurd column suggesting that the solution for the Wayne County jail debacle is to move it to …

BP’s hostile takeover of Michigan’s environmental agency

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  hos·tile take·o·ver / häˌstīlˈtākˌōvər/, noun The acquisition of a company whose management does not want the deal to go through. Last week’s news headlines in Michigan read like a Yes Men-style hoax: Gov. Snyder Appoints BP Lobbyist To Head Michigan Department Of Environmental Quality. Hizzoner King Snyder, freshly-bolstered by months of expensive PR to re-polish his name after that unfortunate incident in which thousands of Flint kids were fed lead-tainted water by his emergency manager – who then lied and covered it up for a year …

Flint and the Myth of American Exceptionalism

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“I remember when they built cars in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico” – Flint resident   The reality is setting in that Flint’s lead water poisoning scandal runs deeper than a few bureaucratic “mistakes” by local and state politicians. We watch with horror at every new revelation of official negligence, cover-up and willful blindness. We feel a tinge of guilt, perhaps, when we hear the United Nations chastise the City of Detroit for violating the human …

Michigan Governor Snyder and Nestle Announce Partnership to Keep Flint Pipes in the Ground

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Part 2 in a Series. Read Part 1 Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, struggling to regain public trust after admitting ultimate responsibility for the Flint water poisoning crisis, announced today an innovative new partnership with Nestle® to keep Flint’s corroded lead pipes in the ground indefinitely and provide clean bottled water to all residents for a low monthly fee. The campaign, titled Everyone Drinks!, will be free for the first year to all residents thanks to generous but unspecified corporate donations …

First Lesson from Flint: Repeal Emergency Management

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As the calls grow for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation – last night he was heckled out of a bar in his hometown of Ann Arbor – we should also keep our eyes and protests laser-focused on the racist and anti-democratic emergency management (EM) law he imposed that made Flint’s water crisis even possible. This week, the NAACP listed repealing EM as top priority on its list of 15 things to be done to help Flint. Michigan democrats introduced legislation to repeal the law, which was …

The Flint Crisis is Not Just About the Water. It’s About Poverty.

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The Detroit News ran an editorial this week titled ‘Cooperate for Flint’s Future’, in which the board makes the case that Michigan and the country need to “stop shouting and pull together to help the people of Flint.” According to the article, “the problem in Flint has been recognized, and is being addressed.” But has the problem really been recognized, and is it being address? What those who bring cases of bottled water to Flint might be missing – however well-intentioned they …