Friday, February 29, 2008

Kwam-foolery: The Delusions of the Emperor of Detroit

Detroit News Thursday, January 20, 2005: Two cops sue mayor, police chief

Accusing Detroit Emperor Kwame Kilpatrick of arrogance only goes so far toward illuminating the roots of the Kwam-foolery that has engulfed Detroit since 2002. Kwame is arrogant, yes, but after losing his fight against the release of a secret deal he withheld from city council, it's now clear that Emperor Kilpatrick is delusional.
"I think on a certain level, the mayor just doesn't get it, or he's in denial," [Council President Ken Cockrel Jr.] said.

The documents show that once Mike Stefani, the attorney for the three cops who filed suits against Kilpatrick and former chief of staff Christine Beatty, confronted Kilpatrick's attorneys with text messages that showed the pair lied under oath last summer, the mayor moved to settle the suits in exchange for the text messages. The amount grew to more than $9 million with attorneys' fees.

The documents further show that Kilpatrick scrapped the original settlement in an apparent attempt to circumvent a Free Press Freedom of Information Act request for the settlement documents. The city then concocted a second agreement that had two parts -- one for public consumption and the second that contained the agreement to conceal the text messages.

The City Council never saw an agreement about the text messages when it approved the settlement.
Not only will Kwame not resign from his job, he believes "[t]his is what I was born to do." And the city of Detroit and the rule of law are mere obstacles in the way of his destiny.

Kwame also states "[t]here was no cover-up." Which is an incredible claim. The documentation he fought to suppress, Detroit city council and multitudinous lawyers and journalists beg to differ. No cover-up? Just because a cover-up is poorly perpetrated, doesn't mean it didn't happen. For Kwame to claim otherwise demonstrates a clear disconnect with reality. There's no question he has spent too long among his inner circle of yes-men.

Regarding the money spent to settle the whistle-blower court case (almost $9 million) that opened this entire can of worms, Emperor Kilpatrick says, "I pay it back every day. . . . When I go out and do an economic stimulus package for hundreds of millions of dollars. When I go find a way to do a deal on the (Detroit-Windsor) tunnel for $75 million dollars. . . . I work every day to make sure the city gets what it's owed."

Emperor Kilpatrick believes he's above the law. He doesn't realize that it's his job to do these for Detroit, and he's still obligated to follow the law.

"My wife trusts me, my kids trust me and I think a great deal of citizens here (trust me, too) . . . What you can trust is that I'll be out there shoveling your snow, that I'll be fixing the streets up after the (snow) is all melted away."

"I'll be out there shoveling your snow". Unbelievable. Kwame Kilpatrick literally believes he is the city of Detroit. There is no separation, when the reality is ordinary Detroiters showing up to their jobs day-in and day-out -- while Kwame lazes about amid one tryst in the Carolinas, in Colorado, at the city's expense -- are getting the job done, keeping the streets cleared, continuing to collect the garbage. The comic effect the mental image Kwame Kilpatrick conjures of himself decked out in his pimp winter-gear, shoveling snow, clearing the city sidewalks and streets himself proves that mental illness does have its entertaining moments.

And finally, the last refuge of every scumbag politician: their families. Obviously desperate for some handhold on credibility, Kwame shields himself with his family, telling us his wife and children trust him. Some man he is hiding behind these poor, wronged people. The taint and tarnish with which Kwame has painted his own reputation and that of the city of Detroit is quite bad. Pouring that bucket over the heads of his family is sickening and really demonstrates the man's moral squalor.

If there is any justice in this world -- and there is little evidence it exists at all -- Kwame will remain in office long enough to burn every bridge he had once planned to cross into post-mayoral prosperity. That even his whores turn their backs on him -- but not in the fashion he's accustomed to -- and that in five or ten years time we do find him outside in the winter, a hulk in rags, shorn of his pomposity, shoveling snow from a smashed Detroit sidewalk.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snow is the New Asbestos

The local news has lost its mind. Channel 4 in Detroit actually now calls itself "Rescue 4", as though they'll get your cat out of a tree, resuscitate someone's dying grandmother, or do Blackwater duty guarding dignitaries. At least once per broadcast an urgent-eyed anchor leads into a commercial break promising to later divulge information "that will help keep your family safe!" Which usually amounts to advice on par with, "Don't drink toilet cleaner, it's not healthy!" or "Double A batteries -- they're not a snack!"

Since when is it the duty of local news to look after the safety of a community? Don't police, fire and ambulance services take care of that?

This false netting of "safety" is nowhere as intrusive, overblown, ridiculous or boobery-born than the local weather report. Not only does the weather report take up entirely too much of any broadcast, but it has the most atrocious, misplaced tone of drama and even suspense injected into it. Particularly during winter. The approach of snow storms in Michigan are treated like plagues, like great mishaps, as though volcanic ash was going to fall upon naked citizen who have no skin.

Snow is the new asbestos. Snowfall is reported like meteor showers about to thit the earth; like nuclear fall-out approaching.

For most of my life, it's just been snow. Children play in it. Snow is like dust, except it melts.

In the hands of "Rescue 4," snow is airborn maggots carrying bird flu; each flake is a tiny albino terrorist powered in anthrax. But not to fear! "Rescue 4" will throw its cloak around every viewer and escort us through the nightmare. "Just close your eyes and think of Christmas," says the paternalistic stentorian voice.

Maybe some of these weather guys were pummelled with snowballs or subjected to snowbaths as youths -- the schoolyard version of waterboarding -- and for this reason report snowfall like the coming of an area-wide yeast infection. Possibly, I'm being too Jungian in my analysis. Whatever the reason, our perpetually amped-up media cannot be trusted anymore to even provide a basic weather report. There are numerous cases where a crippling storm was predicted and unremarkable amount of snow actually fell. I can just see the advertisers leaning on station managers to "sex" things up. "Whaddya mean it's going to rain?" an advertiser rails over the phone to a station minion. "I'm paying you people enough money to throw in an 'alert' or 'warning' or 'watch'. Get your heads out of your asses and scare people! I'm not selling enough vinyl-sided windows!"

Hence, "Rescue 4", the winged firetruck with its air-raid siren blaring, red-blue-yellow lights flashing like a nervous breakdown, driving in circles with its ladders and hoses and mounted guns casting lunatic shadows across the storybook covering of winter snow in Detroit.

Enjoy New Grenada's "Emergency Brigade

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Will Ferrell: A Career of Wigs

The man's entire approach to comedy is to wear funny wigs.

What if you're a comedy fan who doesn't find tacky wigs, alone, to be funny and satisfying? Then maybe Will Ferrell isn't for you.

He sure ain't for me.

He has a new wig movie coming out that is being hocked on TV as though Milo Minderbinder is Ferrell's agent. Who knows, maybe Milo is.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Careless Stupidity Has No Expiration Date

Report: Security relaxed at Obama speech

Feb 21 05:27 PM US/Eastern

DALLAS, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The Secret Service told Dallas police to stop screening for weapons while people were still arriving at a campaign rally for Barack Obama, a report said.

Police stopped checking people for weapons at the front gates of Reunion Arena more than an hour before the Democratic presidential hopeful appeared on stage Wednesday, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported.

Police said the order to stop using metal detectors and checking purses and laptop bags constituted a security lapse, the newspaper reported.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence -- who heads the department's homeland security and special operations divisions -- told the Star-Telegram the order had been intended to speed up seating of the more than 17,000 people who came to hear the candidate speak.

Lawrence said he was concerned about the large number of people being let in without being screened, but that the crowd seemed "friendly," the newspaper said.

Several Dallas police officers -- speaking on condition of anonymity because the order came from federal officers -- told the newspaper it was worrying to see so many people get it without even a cursory inspection.

The Star-Telegram said the Secret Service did not return a call seeking comment.
April and June of this year, respectively, will mark the 40th anniversaries of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. No Thanksgiving since 1962 has passed without the morbid remembrance of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Although the "official" descriptions and details of how these three killings occurred have never matched up to physical evidence and eye-witness testimony, no matter which side of the story you're on -- believing these men were killed as the result of conspiracies or by an epidemic of "lone nuts" -- no one can dispute that there is a commonality joining all three tragedies: a woeful, intentional lapse in security.

Dallas police in November of 1963 were ordered to stand down -- the late officer Roger Craig verified this in interviews -- and even some of John F. Kennedy's Secret Service detail were ordered away by Lyndon Johnson's Secret Service detail (there's footage readily available on YouTube of a Secret Service agent at Love Field in Dallas, running along side the president's limousine and being waved away by agents in the car behind). The Memphis police kept conspicuous distance from Dr. King in Memphis at the time of his assassination. And the ever-infamous Los Angeles Police Department were told to stay away from the Ambassador Hotel where Robert Kennedy made the final speech of his life, with the explanation that his private security would handle the occasion.

Since the times of these assassinations, new and updated rules for protection have been instituted, but in every case, had normal protocols of the time simply been followed, there's a good chance these killings might not have happened.

And so we have, here, again, Dallas, Texas taking lightly the security of an important figure in American life. The Secret Service ordered the Dallas Police to stop screening attendees of Barak Obama's rally for weapons. The crowed of 17,000 "seemed friendly." Since when does anything in our post-9/11 world "seem friendly" to paranoiac authorities? And since when is the Secret Service engaged in customer service? They claim their order to stop screening people going into the rally was done in an effort to speed up everyone's entry. Well holy shit, I enter the United States to work and the officials at the border have a distinct interest in moving at their own pace, the line of vehicles before them be damned.

Four decades hasn't been near long enough to heal the damage done to America by the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. I wasn't alive at that time, and I can't imagine the sense of chaos and hopelessness that must have taken hold of the nation after these tragedies occurred. This intentional relaxation of security at Barak Obama's Dallas rally was inexcusable and the people who made the ridiculous decision to stop screening for weapons should be fired and possibly charged with negligence.

Next time you're held up at airport security while some half-wit minimum-wage security guard examines your ballpoint pen to determine that it's not a neutron bomb, say: "Don't I look friendly?" This may lead to a rubber glove inspection of your person. And it should snap home the reality that we don't need FISA renewed, we don't need domestic spying, we don't need neighbors sniffing each others' underwear. We simply need our security officials to do their jobs. Because, when they don't, the course of the nation's future is at stake. And that's no exaggeration.

Friday, February 15, 2008

And the Cocksucker Shrieked "Me First!"

I read this by John Steinbeck years ago in an old anthology, and I'll be damned if I could ever find it again. Finally did today, on the Web. It's the best thing of Steinbeck's I've ever read:
The Danger of Small Things by John Steinback

I guess it is true that big and strong things are much less dangerous than small soft weak things. Nature (whatever that is) makes the small and weak reproduce faster. And that is not true of course. The ones that did not reproduce faster than they died, disappeared. But how about little faults, little pains, little worries. The cosmic ulcer comes not from great concerns, but from little irritations. And great things can kill a man, but if they do not he is stronger and better for them. A man is destroyed by the nagging, small bills, telephones (wrong number), athlete's foot, ragweed, the common cold, boredom. All of these are the negatives, the tiny frustrations, and no one is stronger for them.
There are few times in life when we get to see what other people are genuinely made of. In my experience, these moments come in traffic or when I have occasion to wait in line for something. And nothing brings out the stark differences between personalities than waiting in line while in a vehicle.

I recently had occasion to leave my compound in the Turks & Caicos Islands to do some work in Detroit, Michigan. As my consortium owns property in Windsor, Ontario, I stayed in Windsor and crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit for my week of meetings. Most days on the bridge were fine. Traffic was slow, it was congested, but it moved. Today, however, it was completely log-jammed.

Now, I am a man of the world. I'm a humanist. I'm willing to wait my turn and suffer right along with everyone around me. For a few moments there was a sense of unity among us, the Community of the Wronged, or at least The Slowed; The Stopped. Until the first miscreant shot past in the commercials vehicle lane and attempted to cut into the car lane up ahead. Lines, queues, moments when a chunk of humanity is stopped somewhere, bring out the worst in people. There's this "Me First!" nodule in the genome of our less evolved brethren that starts throbbing and suddenly the elbows come out, and the nasally voice of the bastard's soul all but shrieks to all around, "Me first! Not you! Me!" Which lights up the jungle "Fuck You!" aggressor in me. Every time I'm stuck in line somewhere, I immediately think of disaster films in which the Honor System and the Social Compact break down and frazzled yuppies and disreputable businessmen blunder around with the sole purpose of saving themselves.

People who are willing to wait their turn in line -- and we all know who we are -- should be armed with game warden tranquilizer guns and tags. The next time we're in line and some line-crashing asshole makes his presence known, we should fire a dart into his neck and then affix a tag to his ear. Better yet, we should combine the tranquilizing and tagging, shooting a miniature bar-coded dart in their person that can be later read by a monitoring device so we can then round up these people, corral them somewhere they can cut each other in line until their wretched, rotted hearts are content.

The motto on the American greenback should be changed from "In God We Trust" to "Me first!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Terrorist Ice! D.C. Crackdown on frozen menace!

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates suffered a fractured shoulder after slipping on ice Tuesday night at his Washington home, the Pentagon said.

Gates, 64, didn't seek treatment until Wednesday morning when he checked into Walter Reed Army Medical Center, said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

"I think he's in a lot of pain," Morrell said.
A dragnet has been thrown across Washington, D.C., to capture the frozen-hearted terrorist menace that felled Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Ice of all shapes, hues, textures, density and location are being rounded up in an unprecedented coordinated effort between the D.C. Parks Department and Department of Homeland Security.

"We will not rest until every inch of this terrorist has been scraped from every surface in the city," a visibly shaken Michael Chertoff said. "A full, behind-closed-doors investigation will be conducted by a newly created arm of the FBI. The new agency will be known as the 'FBI' -- Frozen Bureau of Investigation."

George W. Bush commented, "We wouldn't have this, uh, problem, if the, uh, cap-- cap-- if Warshington D.D. was in Texas."

As of this post, four tons of area ice is already on its way to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for what officials describe as "hostile interrogation."

Attorney General Michael Mukasey wouldn't comment on the legality of waterboarding the ice, but would only say, "Like all Americans, I find the idea of slipping on ice abhorrent and repugnant." Then he signed an order that all telephones in hockey rinks and appliance stores across the nation be tapped in order to cordone off this heatless menace.