Seems I have a troll. I'm going to lock down the comments for a while until he gets bored and decides to pester someone else. Most of you know how to get me on FB or through Email. I'll still keep posting, but for now I will disable the comment feature.
From Laura Berman at the Detroit News. I happened to be channel surfing the AM radio in rural Ohio while on the way to Buffalo and got to hear the great Rush Limbaugh make fun of my town and the people who live there. He makes millions off of the pain and misfortune of others. Is this really the Republican way? If so, I want no part of it.
Rush-ing to judgment: National commentators don't understand Detroit's plight
They came in droves.
By 10 a.m. Wednesday, Cobo Center was drawing a bigger crowd than you could squeeze into Comerica Park for a free Eminem concert.
All that was in the air was a whiff of hope -- the promise of help -- and that hope drew tens of thousands, so many people that 150 police officers arrived on the scene to contain people. There was jostling, minor injuries and the frenzy of a crowd excited about rumored promises that weren't going to be delivered.
What was just as predictable as Detroit's chaotic botched application process for Detroiters seeking access to federal stimulus dollars was the national and international response: Laughter.
Advertisement Nobody laughs at Indonesians buried under rubble. They don't sneer at hurricane victims whose houses float away. But to the media conservatives who feed on the despair of the poor, Detroit's economic Katrina is an opportunity to stir up the rabble. In this week's case, it created a rush to Google and YouTube and provided fodder for fringe hate groups.
"Detroit's Model Citizens Line Up for Money from Obama's 'Stash' " is the way Rush Limbaugh's Web site headlined a story about the stampede for grant applications at Cobo. Two breathless days of commentary were devoted to the appalling greed of broke Detroiters. He also nationally aired WJR-AM's (950) onsite interview with a Detroit woman who explained she'd come to Cobo for "Obama money."
"Where did he get it?" asks WJR reporter Ken Rogulski.
"I don't know, his stash," the woman responds. "I don't know where he got it from, but he's giving it to us, to help us."
She added: "We love him. That's why we voted for him."
How did this woman's anticipation and excitement become a trigger for ridicule? For contempt and loathing?
From that brief exchange, Limbaugh extracted a wealth of knowledge about this anonymous woman. He went on to describe her as "dumb, uninformed, shockingly, saddeningly stupid, the model citizen for Barack Obama."
The truth is that her answer wasn't stupid: She believed she had a chance to qualify for assistance from the federal government. She received an application.
But she said, "Obama money," a phrase that he uses to then disparage the entire mass of people in attendance, people he assumes lack all good qualities, from work ethic to intelligence to education. Those are qualities he and his audience apparently share automatically, by virtue of their enjoying of his program and their shared ability to sneer at desperation.
This spirit -- of denunciation and contempt for poor, black people -- has been picked up by white supremacist sites that are unapologetically and openly racist.
If Limbaugh came to Metro Detroit, he could visit virtually any street in any suburb and find unemployed engineers and teachers and executives who would happily walk to city hall for legally available grant money.
He could find hard-working, well-educated white people who have lost their jobs and whose seemingly guaranteed futures -- the reward for all those years of enterprise -- just ran out of warranty.
Why not sneer at them? Because most of them might become "us" at any moment? Because "we" need a "them" to keep the yawning abyss at bay?
I don't know WJR's hopeful woman whose sin is admitting on-air that she "loves" Obama. He's a United States president who signed a bill, passed by Congress, that may help her pay rent and utilities for a few months, assuming she qualifies for Detroit's $15.2 million share of $1.2 billion in grant money being doled out to 535 communities.
"The large number of people seeking to apply for this program demonstrates the breadth of the recession here in Detroit, and in the region," said a statement released by the mayor's office Friday.
Beyond her big moment, this woman is unlikely to receive a piece of the grant money: Only about 3,400 Detroit residents will get assistance. Already, the city has received 25,000 applications.
Everyone's had their fun at the expense of an impoverished city and a woman whose enthusiasm eclipsed her common sense.
Still, would a white woman's need seem quite so funny? Would Rush and Glenn Beck and the far-right-race-supremacists lagging just behind still leap to insult?
Poverty and despair aren't funny, of course. But hope? In Detroit?
Now, that's a hoot.
Laura Berman's column runs Tuesday and Thursday in Metro and Sunday online. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (313) 222-2032
This is from today's Detroit Free Press. My sentiments exactly. Bravo! Rochelle Riley!!!!!!!
The announcement shook up the world. But the Nobel Peace Prize committee’s decision to honor President Barack Obama should have come as no surprise. Five years ago this month, the (London) Guardian’s home affairs editor wrote about a poll showing that voters in eight of 10 leading countries, including some of America’s closest allies, wanted President George W. Bush to lose in the 2004 presidential election. Yes, people outside of America believed that the Iraq invasion and subsequent war were wrong, and that America was becoming increasingly isolated. As a country, we didn’t seem to care what they thought. Our mantra during Bush’s two terms was “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead.” But the world has spoken again. And the Nobel committee was its conduit, awarding the prize to Obama not so much for what he has done but for what he has made possible. Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the five-member committee, said Obama has “created a new climate in international politics.” It was a reminder that the Peace Prize, in the past, has been given not to those who forge forward with guns blazing and arrogance reeking, but to those who encourage restraint, unity, democracy: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former President Jimmy Carter. Obama’s critics, including an increasingly cartoonish Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, just don’t get it. Steele and other Republican and conservative critics are playing the dozens while Obama is leading America to live up to its Declaration and its constitution. His missteps are to be expected. Every president has had them. But can his critics really compare a rough ride to universal health care with ensuring world peace? They don’t get it. But Obama does. He accepted the prize, in a modest Rose Garden speech, in which he made clear that he knows he was recognized not with a reward for what he has accomplished, but with an incentive to continue what he has begun. The Nobel announcement was stunning and unexpected. But it should not have been a surprise. Our last president took us to the precipice of World War III. Obama has joined a pantheon of thoughtful intellectuals who believe in putting peace first. And whether we pay enough attention or not, that is what most people around the world want, as well.
I'm 49 and married with children (look out Al Bundy)went to college and got a degree, have been fixing electromechanical computer controlled machines for over 25 years (currently in healthcare).To do my job I travel the midwest (OH, MI,NY,PA,MN,WI,) south (NC,SC,TN,LA), and west (AZ,CO,WY,ND). In the 80's lived in NYC while in the US Coast Guard, traveled thru Europe, got married. I had kids in the 90's and went back to school until I got my degree in 2000. Last 9 years things have really come together for me professionally. I have lots of good things in my life, but lingering regrets over paths not taken.Seem to be kind of like a shark, if I quit swimming, I stop breathing. There's always something out there... and I can't stop looking until I find IT (whatever IT is).