Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, July 29, 2016

July 28, 2016 Southeast Michigan RTA Board of Directors Meeting (Master Plan and Millage Votes)

On July 28, 2016, the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast voted on whether or not to approve its master plan and fund said masterplan by putting a millage before voters in the November 2016 election.

The millage ballot that would fund the master plan was not approved in a 5-4 decision with representatives from Oakland and Macomb County voting against it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meaningless Lines on A Map

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's stance on mass transit is bugging the hell out of me.

This has been a weird political season and I've had to look at a bunch of guys coming out of the woodwork with weird conspiracy theories that make no sense and force me to glower.

And with L. Brooks Patterson I've come up with my own and I don't want to be that guy. Maybe he believes everything he's saying but that's not what my gut is telling me.

So indulge me.

L. Brooks Patterson does not like Detroit. Based on what he's said and done in the past I believe that he views part of his job as insulating the suburbs from Detroit. 

My view, on the other hand, is that to outsiders Metro Detroit is Detroit. That the fates of everybody hinge on the state of the city.  And furthermore, on an individual level nobody in this part of the state stays in one city to do their daily business. People in the suburbs work, study, shop and play in Detroit and vice versa.

My experience has been that all of that stuff ain't but meaningless lines on a map.

So resistance to stuff that could benefit the burbs because it might also benefit the city makes me a special sort of pissed off.

Especially considering how segregated region is and it's racial history. All of this talk about not diverting resources from the suburbs to serve the core plays a lot like, "Hey we don't our tax money going to stuff that makes the lives of poor black people better."

After the shenanigans with DPS that sticks in my craw somethin' fierce. (I will NEVER forgive Kevin Cotter. )

I don't want to admit it. It pisses me off but I could kind of see a point there.

(After some thought no I don't. Education isn't just for the people in school. We all benefit from having an educated populus, especially in a democracy where everybody gets a say within the political system. And an economy woefully short of people with the technical skills to fill the jobs we have.)

But here, dear lord, mass transit is for everybody and the way we do it now is stupid.

I'm sorry if you work SMART or DDOT. It's not your fault. It's stupid because laws, not organizational policies. But actual laws on the books that were written in a time and place were keeping the darkies out of the neighborhood was a priority.

Why the hell can't SMART pick up in the city? Why are communities allowed to leave gigantic holes in the system that require workarounds?

And it stayed that way because an easy way to gain political points was to appeal I don't even know if I can call it xenophobic when we're talking groups of people living in the same state, but yeah latent xenophobic tendencies of constituencies.

________good ... Detroit Bad 

Look I'm not going to pretend like Detroit is the greatest place on earth. It's not. But let's get real we are long past the days where that bullshit was cool.

Both because of racism and more practical stuff.

Where do people come in if they are flying here from out of town? Oh, we're just going to give you a loan/grant, or open up that new franchise after spending 45 minutes traveling through a desolate hellscape created by ghettoization policy and a lack of public investment in social institutions.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 11, 2016 Black Lives Matter Protest

On July 11, 2016, there were Black Lives Matter protests at Southfield High School and  Beechwoods Park in Southfield, Michigan. This is footage of the protest that took place at Southfield High School.

Note: This video was edited for purposes of time.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Southfield Black Lives Matter Protest Photos

1000 Cops With Itchy Trigger Fingers In Harlem

Tonight there is going to be a Black Lives Matter Protest in Southfield High's parking lot. It's happening at the same time as a Southfield City Council meeting and so for a good chunk of the weekend, I've been debating where I should go.

On the one hand, one of the best opportunities to change systemic racism and classism is using the political system, attending and commenting on all of the micro decisions that affect people's lives. Specifically, in the Detroit area, there have been generations of racial and class division that has driven political decisions. And if things are going to get better people have to speak and be heard in the places where those decisions are being made.

On the other, this is not just a Southfield issue. This is a Detroit issue. This is a Dearborn issue, this is an Inkster issue, this is a Michigan issue. This is an American issue.

As I write this I'm watching Frontline's Policing the Police. With that, all of the videos, all of the stories, and all of the statistics it's hard for me to entertain the idea that the United States does not have a problem with profiling and brutality.

Yet all weekend I've had to hear about how Black Lives Matter is somehow responsible for the attack in Dallas. Breitbart and The Wall Street Journal are engendering a special kind of anger in me when The Washington Post is reporting the opposite.

And then I read Oakland County Sherriff Michael Bouchard's  editorial in the Oakland Press which I feel diminishes feelings of inherent inequality within not just the justice system but society as a whole. I want to be respectful of the fact that being a police officer is an inherently dangerous job. There is a reality that it is a job many people choose to go into to serve the community despite the fact that the job can cause death, injury, and stigmatization. And I want to be respectful that that editorial was written right after someone decided that police officers should die just because they are police officers.

That should make the cops mad. That should make me mad. That should make everybody mad. People shouldn't just get to kill. Black, white, blue, gay, trans. People shouldn't just be able to take life. People shouldn't violate our homes; our safe places to make us fear. The city is ideally supposed to be a safe place where there is enough order to conduct the daily business of life.

I don't like the fact that I'm afraid to run around town at night. That almost every week I have to hear about a 2am shooting or stabbing in the papers.

Short aside: I forgot how much I like Elisa Maza as a character. I wonder what Salli Richardson thinks about things. If you're worried about kids respecting cops Gargoyles is not a bad place to start.
"What does a detective do?"
"Well, when somebody does something wrong I find out who and arrest them."
"Who says what's wrong?"
"Well, we have a justice system; laws, penalties and assessments that the people decide."
Gargoyles, Awakening Episode 3 

We need good cops.

Cops who don't replace my fear of the random unpredictability of my fellow man with a fear of someone who sees the young, the poor or the black as an inherent threat and danger to them. And that is a real thing and shouldn't be ignored. And the fact that despite the fact that law enforcement exists to make people safer. a lot of people are distrustful, hostile and even violent to police just trying to do their job is also a real thing that is happening and shouldn't be ignored. Both sad  truths exist in the same world.

But it goes beyond that.

For a long time, a lot of people held most of the power. When they spoke they were listened to and things would happen. When others spoke they were ignored. They now have hope, slim hope, but hope all the same that they have the country's ear when they talk about their lives.  All the whispers and murmurs of decades are no longer whispers and murmurs.  And once again being dismissed hits a nerve.

Thier lives matter. When they have been wronged it matters. When they are killed it matters. Black Lives Matter.

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