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    I Called Elmore Leonard “Dutch” Once

    I woke up to the sad news that Elmore Leonard, our most famous Detroit-based writer, has died.  He was 87 years old but I thought that guy would go on forever.  There was never anything old about him and I doubt I’m the only one who felt that way, but I admit I haven’t seen him in person for almost 20 years.

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    George Will ruminating on Detroit: About like Howdy Doody ruminating on the Moon

     

    So George Will, highly renowned municipal analyst and wicked good judge of character, has once again set his sights on Detroit. Somehow--don't ask me how--I knew this would happen.  I knew it would happen because the decline of Detroit, our allegedly foremost black and poor city, is in the spotlight, and it's beyond George Will's ability to say no to such delicious news.

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    Huma Abedin is not Anthony Weiner

     

    There is a part of the American feminist movement that drives me nuts.  It's the part where all women who call themselves feminists have to be smart and sassy and so damned tough any public sign of vulnerability or weakness, particularly where men are involved, is reason enough to drum them out of the corps.

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    Hey, Detroit. It's Only Art



    Safe to say that ever since the news broke that the entire city of Detroit was filing for bankruptcy hundreds of thousands of us Detroiters and ex-Detroiters and Michiganders everywhere have been biting our nails, gnashing our teeth, pounding the walls, spending partially-sleepless nights worrying about the fate of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).
     

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    If Texas cared about Babies, they would take care of the Babies they have

    The Good Ol' Boys in Texas have decreed that they're in charge of women's reproductive decisions, and the little ladies just gotta take it.  If it was just making abortions more difficult for women that would be one thing. (We expect that sort of thing when privileged men get together to use their power.) But they want to make sure women are ground down even more by setting impossible standards for reproductive clinics, by forcing ultrasounds, and by banning the Morning After pill--a most merciful choice for avoiding unwanted pregnancies.  Why do all that?  Because you just can't punish women enough for having sex with men.

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    Independence Day: We do Have Something to Celebrate

     
    "The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
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    I probably should have tried Marijuana

     
    In a daring raid in 1948, Robert Mitchum got caught smoking marijuana in Hollywood:
    Sept. 1, 1948: Actor Robert Mitchum and starlet Lila Leeds were reportedly caught smoking marijuana during a police raid at the actress' Hollywood Hills home. Two others were also arrested.

    Mitchum told police that he and another friend were in the neighborhood looking to buy a house when they stopped to visit Leeds and her roommate, dancer Vickie Evans.
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    The First Day of Summer. It’s all down hill from here. Let’s Celebrate

    Where I live, at the 46th Parallel in Michigan, the sun rose this morning at 5:44.  It will set at 9:29 tonight.  We will have close to 16 hours of daylight today. It’s the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and up here, where we endure long dark winters, this is a day to celebrate.

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    If Ed Snowden is a Hero, we're a Nation Bereft

    There is nothing wrong with being young. Nothing wrong with not having a high school diploma. Nothing wrong with being idealistic.  Nothing wrong with distrusting the government if something they're doing doesn't strike you right.

    There is something wrong with taking a job so sensitive to national security it requires a solemn oath to keep what you've seen secret, and within three months of your starting date you've already disregarded the oath and have stolen the very secrets you promised to protect.

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    Guest Post: A New High School Graduate Takes on the Gun Issue

    In the 4 1/2 years I've been writing this blog I've never felt inclined to bring in a guest poster.  Today I do, and I couldn't be happier that Briana Morganroth has agreed to let me reprint the essay she wrote about her thoughts on gun control.  

    She is the granddaughter of my friend, Ramona Moormann, the publisher of The Marcellus (MI) News (where my own pieces sometimes appear), and I first read this essay in her newspaper a couple of weeks ago.

    But here--I'll let Ramona tell you about her granddaughter:

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    FRIDAY FOLLIES: Bachmann's Adios, Hitler Tea Kettle, Michigan Dreaming, and Scandalous Cheerios

     

    Michele Bachmann to leave Washington to spend more time with her "family".  Prompts the resurrection of FRIDAY FOLLIES.  (What?  Every Friday?  Uh. . .we'll see how it goes.)

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    Six Things Media Personalities Could and Should Avoid when Covering a Disaster

     

    On Monday, May 20, a devastating monster of a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma; the second category 5 tornado to hit this little town. (It happened before on May 3, 1999, with 44 deaths.) Reports coming in today, the day after, state it was two miles wide, of colossal, possibly even record-breaking, proportions.

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    A Psychic Got it Wrong. Who Knew?

     

    As if it wasn't enough this week that three young women held captive and terrorized by a madman were found alive after 10 long years, we now learn that in 2004, celebrated psychic Sylvia Browne made an appearance on celebrated sinceremeister Montel Williams' television

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    Forcing Religion in Public Schools is not Frowned on in Mississippi. I'm Shocked.

     

    So one day somebody at Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Mississippi came up with the idea to hold a series of mandatory Christian assemblies, where students would be required to watch a Christian video and listen to ministers (and fellow students) from the Pinelake Baptist Church preach to them about the importance of being a Christian. 

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    Politicians out of control on Guns: Never Forgive, Never Forget

     

    Yesterday 46 members of the Senate voted down a proposal that would have been a logical first step to gun control--universal background checks.  They were able to vote it down, even though 54 members voted for it because they rigged the way the votes count now.  Voting it down for no good reason is bad enough but they did it through cowardice, lies and cheats. The whole process was despicable, made even more so by the fact that it happened in the chambers where expectations of fairness and fidelity used to run quite high.

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    Hulabaloo at the Soo

     

    Let me just say right off that when it comes to Homeland and border security, I'm all for it.

    When it comes to appreciating how essential shipping is to the Great Lakes, I'm right at the head of the line.

    When it comes to being in awe of the engineering feat that is the Soo Locks I am so in awe I can't stand it.
     

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    Back in Michigan but not quite home

     

    Just to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We've been living out of suitcases for almost two weeks now as we worked our way north from our winter digs.  We're in the U.P finally, on the last leg home.  Should get there today and I'm hearing bad news about a snow mound that still needs digging out before we can get to our door.  Should be interesting.

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    The Walmart Saga: Empty Shelves, Full Exec Pockets

     

    I've been debating about writing about Wal-Mart for a while now for one very good reason:  If I write as a knowledgeable shopper, people will know I shop at Wal-Mart.  Chicken of me, I know, but some of my best friends, relatives and acquaintances refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, and they don't like to be reminded that I'm not one of them.

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    News from Michigan, the Nation's First Dictator State

     

    It could be that with all that's going on in the world you might have missed what's happening closer to home, in the sovereign state of Michigan.  In just over two years, since businessman and venture capitalist Rick Snyder became governor, bringing along with him a Republican majority in the legislature and in most courts (including the Supreme one), with a push from the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers and the

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    CPAC 2013: Wingers Just Want to Have Fun

    Every year around this time Republicans get to let their hair down and show the world that no matter what we've heard otherwise, they do have a silly side.

    Doom and gloom and global warming is our problem, not theirs.  Enough about the poor, the pregnant, and the pressures put on them by the peons.  Get those party hats on!

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