It’s hard to pin down exactly why I haven’t been posting much recently. I think I’ve become a little overwhelmed with our nation’s politics. It seems to have reached a level of absurdity that I can’t bring myself to write about. I can’t tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats, I don’t see much hope in any real change happening soon,and so I think for a while I’m giving up on writing about the American political landscape.
I am however still motivated by the current challenges that my community faces. One of those challenges I was interviewed about by the local newspaper AnnArbror.com. I talked to a reporter about the growing need for emergency food assistance, the budget cuts, and the lack or resources. I was happy with the way he wrote about the subject, and if you’re interested you can read the entire thing here.
And while I’m on the subject of food banks, Matt Ygelsias wrote and excellent article in Slate about how to best help your local food bank (hint: it’s not dropping an old can in a box once a year.)
I suppose this can be called a shift in focus. I hope to start writing again more frequently, and I’m sure I’ll touch on the broader themes and causes of the difficulties that people in South East Michigan face, but I don’t anticipate caring about the GOP debates anytime soon.
Hold on everybody, it’s getting colder and weirder every day.
I have to take a break from politics for tonight and point out something really fantastic coming out of Detroit.
Zoos of Berlin have released their most creative and inspiring recording to date. And if you have followed the Detroit quartet at all you know that is really saying something. It’s reminiscent of Byrne/Eno collaborations, and the only problem with this EP is that it’s not longer. All the tracks are fantastic, but the opener “Haven’t Eyes” is a frontrunner for my favorite track of the year. But I’m holding out for the new Prussia album before making any definitive statements.
Oh yeah, and if you live in Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, they will be playing with two other great bands at the Blind Pig on September 3rd. Hope to see you there.
A while back I mentioned that my friend Reagan got to aks Noam Chomsky a question about the concept of Corporate Personhood. After lots of discussion we have decided to start the first Michigan chapter of Move to Amend, which according to their website is…
A coalition supported by hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of individuals dedicated to ending the illegitimate legal doctrines that prevent the American people from governing ourselves.
We will be organizing and pushing our representatives to amend the constitution to eliminate the laws that allow Corporations to have an unprecedented and undemocratic amount of power over our government.
For more information about why we are starting a Michigan chapter check out our interview with Ypsilantian Mark Maynard.
Hope to see you there.
So, if you don’t know, I work at an agency that helps people in a housing crisis, and often times people who are homeless. Today at a meeting we discussed a probable increase in the number of people coming through our doors due to a law that the state passed almost four years ago. Here’s the pertinent part.
The measure to limit Michigan welfare recipients to four years of cash assistance, with several exceptions, starting in October 2007. The measure also sets up penalties for recipients who dont comply with work or educational requirements. Recipients could apply for a fifth year of cash assistance if they havent been sanctioned and the job market is down.
So this October, month by month, people all across Michigan will be losing cash assistance that they have depended on for years. And unless all these people find jobs, which if you live in Michigan you know is not an easy thing to do no matter what your skill level, will probably end up in a housing crisis and many of them will probably end up homeless.
You put that together with a report that the Detroit Free Press just did on how you can’t live on minimum wage, and it looks more and more like Michigan is heading for a post-apocalyptic-Beyond Thunderdome kind of scenario.
I just hope that if we end up with a hero, we can find someone other than Mel Gibson.