Bachmannia!

The greatest of all time calls it quits!

Obama Crosses the line twice!

Game Over!

We're finally out of Iraq.

99 Problems

He got 99 problems but Mitt ain't done.

Revelations

20+ weird things you may or may not have wanted to know about Sarah Palin.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Midnight Movie Magic!

I should honestly blog more, but I haven't had the chance to with the upcoming school year and also just being hired in to a new job. The new job is important to this post. Not because I'm finally getting a steady paycheck, but because the hotel where I work has a pretty clear view of where they're filming a pretty vital scene for the new Batman vs Superman movie. In fact, they're filming the movie down the street from where I work.

Before I could get a decent picture, I was able to find out that the area on Fort between Griswold and Washington is standing in for Metropolis and the entire area is going to be destroyed in a chase/fight. Below are a couple of pics that I took of the trailers being set up at 3 in the morning, and below that is a video that someone was able to take during the day of the scene being filmed. Click here to see more, and much better pictures from Deadline Detroit.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Bragging about myself

I have a weirdly hard time selling myself and I don't think that highly of myself. It has always been one of my weird flaws. It's a weird mixture of a lack of confidence and tons of life experience telling me that I'm not that important. And when I really think about my life during the last few years, I should honestly be amazing at bragging about myself, all the time.

A few years ago I was guy bouncing between awful jobs that paid little, offered even fewer benefits and were run by total idiots who had never heard of streamlining and safety rules. I was a guy being bit by boredom and the occasional felony while working in a liquor store for almost 2 years under an owner who had 0 idea as to how he's supposed to run a store and even less of an idea of how to talk to women. I was a guy who was proving his dirt bag, deadbeat uncle right by not being in school, or even taking the time to finish high school and having no idea of what direction I wanted to take my life. I wasn't unhappy with my life, but it wasn't the life that I wanted to live and when work started drying up, I realized how much I did not like being the last one hired and first one fired.

Bouncing between awful jobs in the middle of a recession and getting stuck with weird, unworkable hours at minimum wage with no benefits kinda forced me to reassess my life. Did I really want to hit 30, 40 or 50 breaking my back for someone else while watching some jackass who had no idea how to do what I do orders me around? When I realized that the answer was no and that I would probably end up having to smack the dog shit out of the supervisor at one of my old jobs if he ever stepped to me the wrong way again, I decided to focus on finding out what I wanted to do in life, and what better place to do that than college? With that thought in my head I decided to enroll and at least take a shot at getting a life that allows me to save up for retirement one day.

My experience in college so far has been a weird one. I have never been more frustrated by not knowing things in my life, while at the same time I have never been happier at how much I already knew and how much I'm actually learning. I'm not just learning that I still hate math and can basically mop the floor with most people when it comes to knowing history, I'm also learning what actually gets my mind turned up. I've learned that, when I want to be, I'm not terrible at writing. I've learned that I'm not bad when it comes to the subject of politics. I've learned that I'm not only good at sociology, I'm great at it and can explain why Denmark, as it is today, may actually cease to exist one day. Of course the biggest thing I've learned is that I can kinda mash all of those things together and make my own direction in life, and if I'm passionate enough, this letter notifying me that I've made the dean's list will only be the beginning of great things for me.


Not bad at all for a guy who dropped out in the 10th grade all those years ago.




Friday, August 1, 2014

The end of an Eric



Earlier this year, now former house majority leaderEric Cantor was soundly defeated in a primary election. Thursday marked his last day and he used this last day to reflect on his family, life, time in congress and how he sees America's role in the world. Oh, and he took some time to say that America is going backwards because of things like progressive politics and whatnot. Click and listen to a member of the government admit to sucking at being a member of the government and then blaming the government for his suckitude. First, we have Stephen Colbert going to CBS and now his lookalike is leaving congress. Truly a sad time for this country.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Midnight Distraction

Not too long ago I posted a piece of one of my final papers from my first year in college. That paper was about why our current minimum wage is an unfunny joke to millions of hard working Americans. You may or may not know this, but the current wage of $7.25 has been around for 5 years even though the cost of living has gone up and $7.25 really only buys about a gallon and a half of gas. It's so bad that Mary Poppins should legitimately consider a career change. Watch below as she explains why her life and job sucks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who would I pick?

If you've been following this site, you may have known about my trip to Netroots Nation a while ago. In the post I mentioned that I had been interviewed by a weirdly high amount of people wanting to know my opinion on things. One of those people/groups/media outlets was the Washington Post. Watch below as a bunch of randoms, and the most random guy in a white shirt at 50 seconds of all, give short answers on who they think the democrats should choose in 2016.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Broken System

Something that I haven't talked about a lot on here is the broken prison system here in America. This is pretty awful considering my personal stance against the entire idea of privatizing prisons and the weirdly, purposefully racist ways we enforce and prosecute criminal activity in this country. Case in point: somebody like me will definitely go to prison if I get caught with more than a gram of kush, while the average Livonia resident probably wont go to jail even if he had a brick of coke. At least California is acting like they notice the disparity. Add up the myriad of racial disparities, even when it comes to committing the same offenses, the complete waste of money private prisons are, the high recidivism rates and the rampant abuse and you have a recipe for disaster. Click on the video below to be not surprised by the level of care that we don't put towards our prison system.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Netroots experience




The other day, I wrote some on my first day at Netroots Nation 2014, and apparently, it was a decent read. With that said, I'm going to use this spout off some more of what I observed during the biggest progressive political convention of the year. Get ready for random pics, observations, analysis and stories in the form of unconnected paragraphs.

Despite being there for 3 days, in my hometown, a few blocks from my current school and in a building that I had actually spent some of my better childhood moments in, I still felt out of my element. It took me a minute to put my finger on why I was so out of my element, and surprisingly, to many people on twitter who don't know me, it's because I was surrounded by nerds. Large herds of nerds and politically wonky people talking about wonky political stuff and splitting hairs on things like proper terminology. Another part of what made it so not my element is that 95% of the people there clearly had the type of money that allows them to take an entire week off, on purpose, and pay for a hotel room and passes to Netroots Nation and spend most of that time hitting local bars, enjoying the food here and occasionally protest the weirdly inconsistent water shutoffs with the guy that plays the Hulk in the Avengers movies. This is a heavy contrast from me actually going to Netroots thanks to a ton of help from some very special people, and in a literal, physical sense, right after applying and interviewing for a second job that'll hopefully become a main job on top of being a full time student.

Being at Netroots, I could tell, that the people there could tell, that I was basically an outsider. I also, think that I looked like an outsider to the members of the media there, either that or I looked like I might make for a good interview because I was interviewed no less than 5 times during my time there. The interviews ranged from the Free Press here in Detroit, who honestly may have reporters who know my face from memory due to their headquarters being across from my school, to the Washington post. When the articles start popping up online, they will be posted on here in an effort to brag about myself.

One thing that I learned about Netroots is that it is fantastic for networking if you're the outgoing type that doesn't mind being annoying enough to just walk up to a random and start handing out business cards and trying to sell yourself as if you're a hot minor league baseball prospect. This isn't a trait that I possess, and I even called it annoying in the last sentence. I don't possess this trait because of the fact that in a general sense, my sheer presence either intimidates, creeps out or makes people uncomfortable. A decade and a half of hard stares, street crossing, weird aggressiveness and purse clutching has basically taught me to not walk up to random white people for any reason whatsoever, and in a room full of mostly random, mostly white people, it becomes pretty tough to just walk up to them and try to sell some of my better qualities.

Speaking of white people; a lot of white people saw a tweet that I sent out during my second day at Netroots. I made a joke about being the only young black guy in the room, and I've been getting weirdly racist and politically partisan responses to it and the responses to it ever since. Seriously, check it out and be amazed. I guess I should also point out, that like America, the convention was pretty white, but not Romney speech white. I actually saw a lot of color once I left the herds of white nerds.

Knowing some people via twitter is a big help as it made the whole networking thing kinda easy and a little fun. As an example, thanks to one person I know via the online microblogging service, I was somehow in a game of political/music/sports trivia with internet radio host and attractive high school science teacher Nicole Sandler, and even weirder I was the guy that knew all of the sports related stuff at the table. One of the questions was such a softball that I had to somewhat explain why I was right about it, and it all came down to my knowledge of the great Alaskan shootout. At least we beat Dave Weigel.

Day 3 of Netroots was filled with meetings, more meetings, discussions, speeches and more discussions. Topics ranged from online harassment to street harassment to building a diverse coalition to an entire hour and a half of speeches and buzzwords and talking points on how to not sound like a total douchenozzle when talking about heavy issues on your website. I may have failed the whole not sounding like a jerk thing, but then again I'm a man with bitchy resting face and this adds to my whole intimidating white women with 0 effort, but this isn't about that. It's about the wealth of info I learned during my 3 day experience.

I guess I'll wrap up this oddly long read for my blog by pointing out the obvious, and the obvious is that the whole thing was one gigantic psychological and sociological experiment. I saw a crowd of insanely smart people with good hearts who are still slightly out of touch with the people that they want to help. I saw groups of young innovators trying to change the way we look at, absorb and even think about politics. I saw obvious political hacks who were clearly just there because other, much more important people were there. I saw adynamic state rep candidate who I should have been working for, while also seeing a gubernatorial candidate who still hasn't honed his public speaking skills. I saw a lot of people who needed a hero, a reason to believe, and someone to believe in but no idea who that person is and what the reason is. But, mainly, I saw that despite the ridiculous infighting within the democratic party, there are some people who still have their eyes on the larger picture of trying to win as many elections as possible, and when it comes down to it, that's the only thing that any political group should be focused on.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Netroots Nation Day 1



Stepping in to something like Netroots is like stepping in to a different world for me. This is despite the event taking place in my hometown, in a building that I'm familiar with, which is only a few blocks away from where I go to school, and only about a mile or so from where I work. It's such a weird experience going from my neighborhood, which is marginally famous for having a well known clergyman getting carjacked and beaten in it, to stepping in a building filled with political activists, campaign people, bloggers, podcast hosts, academics and people who I've only ever seen on twitter. To say that this is different from my daily life is an understatement. I guess I'm saying that I was out of my element.



I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get my pass and proceed to the nerd-heavy festivities. I spent maybe the first hour or so just observing people, and one thing became apparent to me: No matter how fancy and connected someone is, they will always grab as many free snacks as possible. I got to sit down and hang out with people representing the Michigan Democratic party and they were surprisingly down to earth for people who have an insiders view on people who could do huge things in not only this state, but the country and world at large. This was followed by me meeting a person that I had followed on twitter for a couple of years. To say that I was nervous is stating the obvious, but not stating it loud enough. Luckily we're both kinda awkward in real life so it worked out and there's a picture of us floating around online somewhere. We would have hung out more if it weren't for the fact that she had to get back to work waiting on the Vice President of this great country to show up for a pep-rally type of speech. Did I mention that I got to see that?


Around 2:00pm, the entire mood changed. You could see police officers, bomb sniffing dogs, uniformed secret service officers and even a few secret service guys in their classic black suits. On top of the crush of law enforcement was a swarm of local, national and international media. You couldn't take a step without seeing someone from channel 4 or NPR trying to interview people waiting in the very long line to get in to the ballroom to see the vice president. Surprisingly, to me at least, the police were courteous and friendly while searching through my bag for dangerous objects like frisbees and apples. I guess not being in the poor areas of Detroit will get you some service with a smile instead of a sarcastic non-response and possible beating for calling them out on it. Where was I? Something about Joe Biden?


After the room was packed to the gills with people, we waited for an hour longer than expected, but with good reason as the Vice President was on the phone with top officials from Ukraine figuring out how they were going to investigate the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukrainian airspace. During this wait, I spent some time going around the room and see if any local officials were there. Surprisingly, I found my old English professor, who would probably give this blog a C, at best, sitting next to a local political consultant. I should point out that she is a former member of city council. I was also interviewed by a reporter from the Detroit Free Press during the wait. After alerting the crowd as to why he was late, what he was doing, what he thinks may happen next and his feelings on the matter at hand, he got down to the meat of a speech which was more pep rally than serious policy debate. He touched on issues ranging from increasing manufacturing in this country to gay rights to the immigration issues in America. And what prompted him to jump in and talk about trying to get something done about the immigration crisis was a group of people demanding that the Obama administration "Stop deporting our families!". I found it reassuring that Joe agreed with them, even when some in the crowd got annoyed at them for having the nerve to heckle the Vice President. After that it was more hyping the crowd up and trying to get everyone in a better mood despite the awful news of the day, and with the closing of that speech, came the closing of my day at Netroots.



To sum up my day, I had fun, I learned a lot and I got to network with some people while getting closer to an elected official than I had been in years and I even got harassed by a white guy who said that I don't care about black people. I'll try to do another one of these tomorrow, and hopefully it wont suck.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Midnight Distraction

Netroots Nation 2014 is taking place in Detroit this week and that means that this city is going to be flooded with outsiders. As with any big event, or even just a normal day in the city, there are tons of people eating at tons of places and with the invention of apps that let you review everything, you can let everyone know of your experience. With that said, it looks like Mark had a great time at A&W.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Motown Maritime Madness

If you've been following the news out of Detroit lately, you know that the city is getting very aggressive about shutting off delinquent water accounts. This means that anyone that's more than one month overdue faces the threat of randomly having their water shut off regardless of how much they owe. I personally wouldn't have a giant problem with it if the billing system weren't notoriously broken and if it weren't for the fact that the shutoffs seem to be inconsistent. We're spending a lot of time, effort and money going after people for a couple hundred dollars while spending 0 time going after the owners of Shelbourne Square Apartments for their almost $254k in past due water payments. If you think that's bad, just realize that the state of Michigan owes the city much more than that and we're probably never going to see that money. Click the photo below to see how much the state actually owes the city.