Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Liberals start to Chip Away at Talk Radio

I've always said that the Conservatives own Talk Radio and the Liberals own the Internet. This week's article in the City Pulse, Jack Ebling: Sportswriter turned lonely liberal radio host just might start to change that opinion.
Trying to find a liberal viewpoint on AM radio in Lansing is like trying to nail gelatin to a wall. It’s pretty much impossible.

Thankfully, it's starting to get a little easier, thanks to 1320 AM host Jack Ebling. It's quite the story about Ebling and his road to radio, spurred by his own dedication to the community.
Growing up in Redford Township, he saw the racism and riots in Detroit in the late ‘60s, recalling how his father would sit on the porch with a shotgun at night.

He wound up rooming with a black militant at MSU and began taking part in Vietnam War protests. An injury at one of those halted Ebling’s ability to play football, which led him to pursue coaching and teaching.

But from the protests and civil rights struggles Ebling witnessed grew a social agenda that he still adheres to, one that revolves around equal opportunities, social programs that provide to the needy, the importance of political involvement and a desire to give back to the community. The latter reason was a driving factor in creating the show.

“I care more about the common good than individual greed,” he says. “I can make a difference here.”

While I'm not sure I agree with reporter Benjamin Ray's description of "lonely liberal", it's a great article about a good man. Be sure to check it out for the full scoop.

Of course, Ebling's not the only guy from the left on local talk radio. First Gentleman Dan Mulhern now has his own show on 1240AM WJIM Monday - Friday from 6pm to 7pm. The show is a great addition to his new book - Everyday Leadership. Be sure to listen in, and call in with your thoughts.

I'm a big fan of Ebling and Mulhern, and I can only hope that we continue to see more of them and others here in Lansing and around the state.

The Homophobes within Michigan's Government

To say that I'm a fan of Jack Lessenberry is an understatement. If the world operated according to Liberal Lucy, Jack would be running for high office in 2008. I often read his columns and find myself saying "Why isn't he in the government? The folks in Lansing could take a page or two from his book." He's just that good.

This week's Metro Times column just goes to further solidify my faith in the Gospel of Jack Lessenberry. Bully for Nobody is a brilliantly sharpened jab at the thinly-veiled homophobes in the State's Legislature.

If you haven't heard of the anti-bullying bill that's in the House right now, you probably haven't seen much of the news the last month or so. Bullying = a bad thing, right? Generally if you have your wits about you, you'd agree. So what's the hold up on the bill? Well for starters, two very conservative state representatives - Jack Hoogendyke and John Moolenaar.
Hoogendyk and Moolenaar, you see, are bigots who are supporting the agenda of hate fostered by homophobes everywhere. They would deny this, but they would be lying. Currently, there is a badly needed anti-bullying bill before the Michigan Legislature (House Bill 4162) which would, among other things, protect students from bullying "based on a pupil's actual or perceived religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, height, weight, gender identity, socioeconomic status or any other distinguishing characteristic."

Anybody who has ever been bullied unmercifully knows what a terrible experience it can be. I got my share of it; I was younger, smaller and fatter than most of the other kids in my working-class elementary school. Even worse, I was a "brain," and had the athletic ability of a salamander.

Lessenberry's rapier wit only gets sharper as the post goes on. I promise not to give away all the goodies of the post, because you'd only be shorting yourself if you don't read the whole thing. I will share this final bit from his piece, because Lessenberry hits it right on the head.
I am baffled that anyone should care very much about what other people do sexually. And I have to wonder whether some people who feel so threatened are really showing us something about their own psychology.

In any event — any legislator who doesn't support protecting anybody and everybody from being bullied is promoting fascism, pure and simple.

Not only does Jack tell it like it is, he reminds us all of the incredible need for us to continue to engage our government in our needs and wishes. In honor of Safe School Lobbying Day, contact your state representative, and tell them to support Bill 4162.

Then when you're done, make a regular habit of reading Jack's blog, catching his regular column in the Metro Times, and listening to his podcasts from Michigan Public Radio. Michigan needs more Jack Lessenberrys.

The Sound You Hear is the Drowning of the GOP

While it's not the most surprising of news, it's certainly worth mentioning because it only confirms what most of us believe - the Republican Party is losing members, and fast. Gee, how could it ever happen!?

The Pew Research Center
has the latest numbers. Janet Hook from the LA Times has the story. While you should definitely check out both the study findings and the article, here's a couple choice favorites from the newspaper -
The survey, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for People and the Press, found a "dramatic shift" in political party identification since 2002, when Republicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, half of those surveyed identified with or leaned toward Democrats, while only 35% aligned with Republicans.

What's more, the survey found the public attitudes are drifting toward Democrats' values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grown since the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force has increased and support for traditional family values has edged down.

Those findings suggest that Republicans' political challenges reach beyond the unpopularity of the war in Iraq and Bush.

"Iraq has played a large part; the pushback on the Republican Party has to do with Bush, but there are other things going on here that Republicans will have to contend with," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. "There is a difference in the landscape."


"This is the beginning of a Democratic opportunity," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. "The question is whether we blow it or not."

It turns out that Michigan isn't the only place where you can find a bunch of Naysayers...
Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster, said he believed the Pew poll exaggerates his party's problems and that the situation will improve as attention shifts to choosing Bush's successor.

"Once we have new nominees to redefine the Republican and Democratic party in 2008, then we will have a far more level playing field than we have today," Ayres said.

Oh that's right. That definitely explains why Bush is facing numbers (between 34 and 39%, depending on who you ask) not seen since Hoover's term. Remember hearing about the mass shanty-towns going up all over the country affectionately called Hoovervilles? Shrub and his cult of not-so-merry men are definitely working their way there.

Here's one more tidbit to satisfy your appetite till you link over to the article, and trust me, you'll want too!
Republicans seem to be paying a price for a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the state of the country during the Bush years. Three out of 10 people said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the country--a 25-point drop in the last seven years.

While Republicans rode to political power calling for smaller government, support for government action to help the disadvantaged has risen since the GOP took control of Congress in 1994. Back then, 57% believed the government had a responsibility to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves; now 69% believe that.

This is good news. Now, we need to mobilize ourselves, go back to school, and figure out how to continue to give everyday Americans a reason to say "Look what the Democrats have done for me."

What have you done for your community/state/country today?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Turning Words into Action

The Senate Republicans pushed through a pretty terrible budget plan. Are you happy with it? Would you like to see something done about it? Have you made your voice heard?

One of the most frequent criticisms I've heard about bloggers is that we're all talk and no action. While it might hurt, to a certain extent, it's true. As a blogger I would say that my talk is action, but I know there's still plenty more that I can do.

So bloggers/commenters/lurkers - what are you going to do?

When was the last time you contacted your local elected officials? When was the last time you sent an email to your representative and senator? When was the last time you sent an email to friends and family encouraging them to speak out? I'm not sure how much more rotten things can get, but now is the time to walk that talk we're all so fond of preaching.

Find your representative (Democratic or Republican) and tell them what you want to see changed. Call, email, send a letter, I don't care, but make your voice heard.

You can look up your representative here and your state senator here.

You don't have to be eloquent, or well-versed in the state budget, just say what's really on your mind and send it off. Whether it's two lines or two pages, it's the action that counts.

Then, when you're done with that, get out the address book, and email your friends and family. Ask them to do the same thing. When people get involved in their government, miracles can happen, and the government can start to do what they were designed to do in the first place - work for us.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Promise to Michigan

Dear Michigan -

Born in one of your hospitals, educated in your schools, I've swam in your lakes, played on your grassy lands and sand dunes, vacationed at your most majestic spots, and eaten your tasty morsels. When others fled for the lights and glamor of Chicago, California, and New York, and D.C., I plunked down my feet here, because you have always been there to support me, my family, and my friends.

Now you're facing one of your greatest threats, the very men and women who have been elected and sworn to protect and uphold you through your own government. They want to cut you into shreds, by destroying your schools, your parks, your children, your health care system, and most of all, the poor, the ones who have no one to fight for them other than you.

These Republicans say they do it help you, but we all feel your pain as you silently weep. Your tears are for the little ones who's schools will suffer, the children of your blue collar workers who no longer will be able to afford a college education, for the crime victims who lay in anguish when there are no available emergency personnel, and for the indigent who will suffer when their healthcare is gone. You weep, and I weep with you.

I will wipe away my tears and I will rise up to fight for you. Fight for all that makes you so great, and for everything about you that I hold so dear. Michigan, my Michigan, that is my promise to you.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Coffee Talk

Happy Thursday! Many thanks again to the Troy Democratic Club for having me out last night for a talk about Online Activism. It was great to see so many fellow bloggers, and so many new folks who are could be potential bloggers.
It looks like it could be an ugly day out, so do your best to stay dry!
  • From the Freep: Lesson to the Republicans, invest in our state and businesses will invest in us! The City of Warren is a great example of this.
  • From the Detroit News: Forget Phizer, Comerica, focus on Compuware. Chairman Peter Karmanos is here to stay, and has some good advice for the state's leaders.
  • Also from the Freep: Got to love this aptly-titled op-ed, GOP should spell out cuts.
  • The LSJ: When the state has no idea how the budget will go, you find people and groups are really starting to get scared over what they could get and what they couldn't get. The state's 15 public universities are no different.
  • The AP: Governor Granholm said she would issue an executive order over the budget, but will she still? Kathy Barks Hoffman has the scoop. Shame on GOP Saul Anuzis for being as slimy as ever. The latest major faux pas? Criticizing the Governor for taking her daughter to lunch on her 16th birthday. What an $%*!@# (fill in your choice words here)

What's happening in your part of the state? Gab below!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Reader Wonders...and I can't help but agree

Every once in a while, I get email from those of you who read my stuff on here, MichganLiberal, or Daily Kos. Whether it's fan mail or hate mail (just as long as it's rational) I always read it and usually enjoy it, because it makes me think about things in a different perspective. This morning I got this bit and I thought I'd share it.
Dear Liberal Lucy,

I just opened up my Detroit Free Press this morning and saw the awful numbers about our Michigan Budget Deficit. My husband and I were in Chicago over the weekend and saw a wonderful TV campaign from their Governor (I think his name is Gov.Voinovich) -- not sure. Anyways he is "taking the bull by the horns" and saying that the medium, big, and even some small companies have to have their TAXES INCREASED. These companies can jump thru many loopholes and get away with not paying "their fair share of the taxes" and of course it is us the hard working middle class that end up paying these taxes. He really had a very good presentation.
Perhaps Gov. Granholm could take a page out of his playbook and do the same thing. Certainly we have to do something to make Michigan whole again. In a cilvilized society everyone has to pay their fair share of the taxes and this includes those "uppity corporations" as well. Thanks for listening.

Here's my response -

Dear M -

I couldn't agree with you more. I know Governor Granholm has been fighting an up-hill battle with the Senate Republicans to get a budget plan passed.

Since you seem like a very well informed person, I'm sure that you already know that the Governor's proposed budget included a number of cuts and a very small, but fair, tax increase for services (for everything from lawyers to hair cuts, to funerals) which amounted to a 2 cent increase. Of course, all the Republicans have done is wail and moan about tax increases. All they want to do is continuing slashing taxes and funding for much-needed government services left and right. Rational people like you and I know that a government needs revenue to operate on, and if we keep cutting taxes, we'll never get anywhere.

We can support the Governor and the Democrats by having conversations just like this one with our friends and family, sending in letters to the editors, anything to educate people. Of course no one wants to pay more taxes, but if people understood that it's taxes that keep our state and our schools running, they might think twice before screaming for more cuts.

Keep up the good work M, we need more people like you out there.

All the best,


Everyone is welcome to email me anytime, and I always do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for your thoughts and your efforts on behalf of everyone in Michigan!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

From Typing to Talking, the Bloggers Speak - Tonight!

Tonight, 7pm in Troy, I'll be joined by some of Michigan's most recognizable bloggers for a discussion about the future of Michigan's democratic system. I hope you'll join us too.

7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Troy Community Center
3179 Livernois
Troy, MI 48083

Several months ago, I was honored to be asked by the Troy Democratic Club to speak to their group about blogging. After a little discussion, the subject quickly evolved into a look into the entire realm of online activism. When all was said and done, the title became Online Activism: The Future of Michigan's Democratic Process.

Without a doubt, politics has drastically changed over the last 20-30 years. By nature, humans are opposed to change, thus creating a very disharmonious equation for a fluid transition. A prime example of this was '94 Elections, when Democrats faced one of the most disastrous losses in our Party's history. Thankfully, the pendulum seems to have finally swung back.

The '06 Elections were an incredible victory, but we're foolish if we stop now. There's a long laundry list of issues for the American people that need to be addressed. We must keep developing ourselves, our platforms, our candidates, and the means by which we reach out to our country. One of the prime methods for that outreach will be the online medium, whether it be through blogs, websites, social networking groups, primary voting, or even just email.

Join me tonight for a discussion that will change the way you look at the internet and the future of local, state and national politics. Discover how you can be a part of the change that revolutionizes Democratic politics even if you've never looked at a political blog or website. Ensure that the Democratic Party continues to be the true Party of the People for generations to come.

(Generously supported by the Oakland County Democratic Party, the Berkley Democratic Club, Birmingham Bloomfield Democratic Club, and the Orion Area Democratic Club)

Tuesday Morning Coffee Talk

(You can find this regular installment of mine on Michigan Liberal and Pohlitics.)

Happy Tuesday! Grab your choice beverage this morning and here we go!
  • The Freep: Maybe Today's the Day, indeed. Will Bishop show up, will he have a plan, will he stop playing politics with Michigan's economy? Fingers crossed!
  • Detroit News: Bishop's not the only Repub with a history of lots of talking without the accompanying walk here in Michigan. President Bush *plans* on meeting with the Big Three Automakers CEO's next Monday. Mmmhmm, I'll believe it when I see it.
  • The AP (c/o LSJ): Fired Michigan U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara asks Gonzales to quit playing politics and give her the job back. Speaking of which, did you hear about the roadkill found in the Rose Garden at the White House? Nevermind, it turns out it's just Libby Gonzales being hung out to dry by Cheney Bush & Co.
  • The LSJ: Ross B. Emmett: Michigan must nurture innovators and ideas. Emmett's the co-director of the Michigan Center for Innovation & Economic Prosperity at Michigan State University. Can someone make sure that Bishop gets a copy so he has something to read when he's skipping the meeting with the Governor today?
  • Saginaw News: It's taking an entire state to keep 500 new jobs and 600 temporary construction jobs at the Hemlock Saginaw Semiconductor facility. The enemy? Kentucky and a much cheaper electricity bill. Read how the state's definitely putting its best foot forward in The stakes are high: Michigan needs the jobs.
  • Democratic Edge: Lansing's not the only city where Democrats are pleading with Republicans to get their rears in gear. Watch as Kent Co. Democratic Party member Kathy Roaleen asks her Republican counterparts to work together and see their response that amounts to *surprise* a long-winded talk full of hot air and lacking much substance.
  • Capital Viewpoint: Nirmal's got the latest EPIC-MRA Presidential Primary Poll Results. Jeez, if we have numbers like this now, I can only imagine what it's going to look like exactly a year from now! Oy vey!
  • Draft Glenn Anderson for Congress: Heard of the Citizens for Representatives Who Show Up For Office Hours? Probably not, but that could be about to change. There's a group of Michigan residents who are doing their best to convince State Senator Glenn Anderson to run against Michigan Congresscritter Thad McCotter in the 11th Congressional District. There's more info on the MichLib diary. My only question, what does Sen. Anderson have to say about this?
What's happenin' in your neck of the Great Lakes State this morn'? Converse below!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The new Political Cartoonist on the Block

He's already made a splash over at Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Michigan Liberal, and Daily Kos. But did you know that Mike Ramsey's been cartooning for years and years? No kidding. You can also check out his blog.

But for now, this is straight from today's State News. Following my piece on Friday, I just couldn't resist. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lansing-Area Iraq War Anniversary Vigil

Iraq War Anniversary Vigil

Here's an event in our area:

Mason Peace Vigil
Courthouse sidewalk/Jefferson St.
341 S. Jefferson St

Mason, MI 48854

Monday, March 19th, 5:30 PM

We are gathering in front of the courthouse on the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War. This will be a solemn peace vigil, in remembrance of all who have died in the Iraq War. We will stand in quiet unity for peace.

341 S. Jefferson St (Map)
Location: Mason, MI 48854
Host: Karen Oswald
Status: Public, open for RSVP, 14 Guests (Max 30)

RSVP here

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Necessary Dialog on Hate

I make a point of not giving hate-mongers any more free press then they deserve. However, I also believe in a fine line between ignoring a situation that needs to be discussed and acted upon by society and discussing something simply for discussion's sake. With this most recent news, I feel that this new black eye upon our state calls for a serious discussion. ~LiberalLucy

While I spent time serving in leadership at MSU's Student Government, ASMSU, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a certain chairman of the school's Young Americans for Freedom chapter. Kyle Bristow served on the Student Assembly for several months as a representative of the James Madison College until he was recalled by his college in a special election because of his words and actions (see below).

During this time, I had a chance to speak with Bristow several times about various miscellaneous student government issues. I was unnerved by this young man, who outwardly looked pleasant and quite innocent despite appearing painfully uncomfortable in public situations, mainly because he spoke with such hate and anger in his voice. I've met hundreds, even thousands of politically-charged people in my short life. Never before had I encountered someone who seemed so closed-minded and full of hatred.

What scares me is that Bristow, who spews from a pulpit built of intolerance and injustice, is attracting others to his cause. He's a self-proclaimed devout Roman Catholic, (he calls himself a Freedom Fighter), who is proud of his community service, and his bragwall on his website of photo-ops with famous ultra-conservatives is enough to make any good American's stomach turn.

Bristow worked quite diligently on the creation of Catch An Illegal Immigrant Day which was later condemned by the student government, the student body, the university administration and the Lansing community as a whole. From MSU President LouAnna K. Simon

In my view, the tactics being suggested are demeaning to individuals and to the values of Michigan State University.

Immigration policy is, without question, an important issue for national debate, one that has serious implications as the U.S. strives to remain competitive in the new global economy. Part of our responsibility as a university is to address this issue in a balanced and scholarly way-without resort to offensive gimmicks as a means of drawing attention to the topic.

I consider the tactics of "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day," as reported in Thursday's State News, a way to mock and demean, not to educate; a way to exclude, not include, voices. And inclusion is one of MSU's core values.

This week, MSU's YAF had the distinction of becoming the very first university-affiliated group to be classified as a hate group by the Southern Law Poverty Center, the full report will be out next month. This is a big deal, namely because the SLPC has been long-regarded as the definitive social watchgroup of America for hate groups. Unfortunately, the YAF chapter becomes the 26th group in Michigan that the SLPC classifies as a hate group.

The national Young Americans for Freedom is not on that watch list. YAF is a conservative group who does not propagate the same discriminating statements on a regular basis as the MSU group. In fact, when you read their founding statement, their tenets are much like any other well-established and respectable conservative group. (I tried contacting the national YAF group, but their phone has been disconnected and my email requests were not returned.) In fact, while other university groups are listed and linked to on their website, there was only one link for Michigan YAF (CMU and U of M-Ann Arbor also has chapters, and they appear to follow the dog and pony show at MSU) and it was down. Makes you wonder.

Just in case you aren't fully disturbed yet, get a load of this "Media Strategy" as emailed by Bristow to his followers.

1. All media questions regarding the hate group status go directly to Professor Allen at first until we establish that the media won't spin it.

2. Prevent all dissent in YAF from appearing in the media. If we are seen as being divided, then the media will argue that I am a whack job, even by YAF standards. This will hurt us more than anything.

3. I will mention how mainstream YAF is - Ronald Reagan was the honorary chairman, Sen. John Tower was a member, Barry Goldwater's supporters started it and Dan Quayle was a member.

4. I will mention that we support the ideas of the great majority of America. Most of America believes in the sanctity of marriage, want to secure our borders, oppose affirmative action and believe that abortion is wrong. If these views make me a hateful person, then I am proud of it. People at LI (Leadership Institute) suggest that we make a mockery of the whole thing by pointing this out.

5. If The State News mentions that you saw the "evil of YAF's ways" or something, all I can do is have you talk to them (only with my permission.) ? You cannot apologize for anything YAF has done, cannot say bad things about me, cannot say that YAF is divided on any issues and cannot say that we need to do things in a better way. Any of these items can be twisted around to make us look bad. Regardless of whether or not The State News takes interest in the Between the Lines or City Pulse article, you must not speak to the media unless you have my permission (not even on your own behalf because it still represents the group). Don't even tell them the time or day of the week without my permission.

Of course, if that's not quite enough, check out these choice statements from Bristow.

"I believe abortion is absolutely despicable. It hurts women ... It raises the chance of breast cancer. It allows men to abuse women."

"It's sad all these groups exist to advocate for all these different groups based on their ethnicity or skin color. Personally I would like to see these groups go away."

"Homosexuality kills people almost to a degree worse than cigarettes. It's sad these groups are complicit in murder."

"Planned Parenthood ... They're pretty much an advocacy group for infanticide. It's a blight on the MSU community. It's a slap in the face."

- From video interview,, this format taken from Between the Lines

Between the Lines, Michigan's weekly for the LGBT community, had another great profile into Bristow, as did Lansing's City Pulse.

As much as this sickens me, it also leaves me fearful. I see Bristow with his American-as-apple-pie face, a member of our society, our state, our community, trample and spit upon the very liberties and freedoms we uphold. Here we see the double-edged sword of the First Amendment really begin to gleam.

How does this make you feel? What, if anything, do you feel should be done about Bristow, the MSU YAF, their hate-mongering and other groups who preach a similar message of hate and discrimination?

(Cross-posted on Michigan Liberal and Daily Kos)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cruise Director Report: This Week in Lansing

Happy Thursday to you!

If you're in town tonight looking for good cheer and good conversation, consider stopping by the Nuthouse for Drinking Liberally Lansing's second meeting starting at 7pm. Last meeting we had about 30 folks show up, and we now have almost over 100 on our list-serv.

Tomorrow night, join the Lansing community for Silent No More, a community-wide worship service commemorating the start of the war in Iraq tomorrow (Friday, March 16th) at 7pm at Central United Methodist Church, 215 North Capitol Avenue, Lansing.
In honor of those who have died - from the United States, Iraq, and other nations - we call upon all people whose convictions cry for peace to join us in rededicating ourselves to that effort.
Silent No More is sponsored by the Shalom Center for Justice and Peace and is held in conjunction with the Sojourners' Christian Peace Witness for Iraq at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. For more info, visit the website or call 517-487-3013.

If you find yourself awake and near a radio, tune into 1320 AM WILS between 8:30 and 9 Saturday morning. I've been asked back by host Jack Ebling to provide a little commentary and debate from the left side of the field. If you're so inspired, call in and add your two cents!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Real Must-See: The iRack

I realize I'm not the first blogger to put this up, and I'm sure I won't be the last, but I highly suggest you take 4 minutes out of your day and take a look see at this YouTube video.

While you're laughing, remember one thing, this is probably exactly how the rest of the world is reacting to our country's leaders. Sad, isn't it?

Senate Dem Leadership Hits the (YouTube) Airwaves

As a result of recent Meet Ups between the State Senate Democratic Leadership and Michigan's Net-Roots community, two of Michigan's senators have taken to the new-fangled concept of broadcasting video pod-casts. (Think video that you can watch on your iPod, if you have one.) Many thanks to both Senate Democratic Leader Mark Schauer and Democratic Floor Leader Buzz Thomas.

Monday, March 12, 2007

News from the Creole Gallery & an Opportunity to Give in Memoriam of Robert Busby

From Meegan Holland, Robert Busby's life partner and Creole Gallery Concert Presenter -
Due to the tragic death of Creole owner Robert Busby in February, we regret to announce that all events at the gallery have been suspended while his loved ones sort out details for the many projects in which he was involved.

If you had a rental scheduled at the Creole, please email us for the quickest reply. Calling the Creole phone could result in a delayed response.

Many of you have offered to volunteer, and we so appreciate it. If volunteers are needed, rest assured we'll put out the call.

We thank everyone for the notes, poetry, music, prayers, food, flowers and countless other kindnesses sent our way in the wake of Robert's death.

Please keep the Creole's vibe in your thoughts.


Meegan Holland
Concert Presenter

If you're so inclined, you can honor Robert by making a donation in his memory to the following:

The Robert P. Busby Jazz Scholarship Fund
University Development
Michigan State University
300 Spartan Way
East Lansing, MI 48824-9911


The Old Town Commercial Association
Robert P. Busby Fund
1232 Turner St.
Lansing, MI 48906

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Welcome Kossacks!

For those of you stopping on by courtesy of Daily Kos, welcome! I was really honored to find LLP had been placed on today's 10 Random User Blogroll Links.

Since you're here, I thought I'd pull up a couple of my favorite posts for a smattering of what Liberal, Loud and Proud is all about.

1) Why Republican Gay Discrimination Costs Us* - Everyone talks about the social/moral issues of discriminating against the LGBT community, but take a look at why it's not smart from an economical standpoint.

2) A Green Lesson from Northern Michigan - a trip up north got me thinking about Michigan's economy, and the lesson we can all heed from Mother Nature.

3) Introduction and Analysis of the House Standing Committee Leadership - A brief glimpse into the men and women who head Michigan's House Committees.

4) This Blogger's Passion - Anyone can rant and rave on a blog. I do it because I believe in the power of educating and advocating.

5) Something's Brewing in the Neighborhood - I'm part of a group that created a Congressional District Watch Blog for one of D.C.'s most dangerous Congresscritters - Mike Rogers.

6) The Real Skinny on the Michigan '06 Elections* - Everything you wanted to know, and more. I promise that it makes for an interesting read. :-)

7) For Our Veterans* - One of the most talked about posts I've ever written. Inspired by my father, a Vietnam Vet, Veterans Day, and the apathy towards those who risk it all for us.

8) Bloggers - A Campaign's Best Friend* - Bloggers are a huge asset to any campaign, for a variety of reasons.

9) Musings of an Exhausted Blogger - Even with the limitations of living with a chronic illness, I was able to do my part during the '06 elections thanks to blogging.

10) Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen: Reason #1 - Without a doubt, this list of 25 Reasons Why not to vote for Amway Guy (Dick DeVos) and vote for Governor Jennifer Granholm put me on the map. I'm not sure I can ever express how much a true labor of love, blood, sweat and tears it was (25 Reasons for 25 days!), but without a doubt, it was worth it.

*Rescued on Kos

Again, welcome to Liberal, Loud and Proud, and here's hoping we see you around more often!

~Liberal Lucy

Saturday, March 10, 2007

It's Not Easy...Writing on Three Blogs

Just so you know, I'm running at maximum blogging capabilities. I blog here, at Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and I'm a front-page contributor at Michigan Liberal. I love every minute of it, but sometimes it means I'm spread a little thin.

While I'll try to strike a balance between the three, bare with me, and be sure to check out the other two blogs. For instance, join me for Saturday Coffee Talk on MichLib, and check out some of my favorites around the state.

Don't forget, I always welcome your suggestions for post ideas and leads to sniff out, so be sure to email me with anything you think might be up my alley.

Here's to a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lansing Town Hall with the Governor Tonight

Governor Granholm will join area residents tonight at Pattengill Middle School for an old fashioned Town Hall meeting to discuss the state's economic future and more importantly, how we get Michigan back on track.

The meeting will be televised live on WILX TV-10, and similarly there will be a live-stream for those who want to watch online.

This from the LSJ:
At a televised town hall-style event, the Democratic governor said her administration has grappled to put together an economic package in the wake of the manufacturing sector losing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"We need to decide what kind of Michigan we need to create together because we know our economy has been challenged," Granholm said.

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, this is going to be a frank discussion that we all need to participate in, whether its on TV, in the newspaper, on the blogs or in the grocery store. It's going to take all of us working together to pull this off.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cruise Director Report - NYC Version

If you're making sure you're reading the right blog and not just gossip blog, let me explain.

I'm in NYC for a day on business and despite the wind rolling along Park Avenue (yes, it's a rough life, but someone has to do it!) life is good and I officially (heart) NYC. I'm a long way from the Mitten, but there are certain things I could get used too.

Anyhoo, despite a long day of work and other heavy things that involve lots of brain power, I stumbled onto New York's hidden cache of rockstar bloggers and net-roots activists last night. Incredible!

I got to meet Justin Krebs, founder of Drinking Liberally, Chris Bowers of MyDD, NYBri of DailyKos and The Albany Project, Lipris of The Albany Project, and a bunch of the crackerjack team formerly of the Dean Campaign, Advomatic. If that wasn't cool enough, this wee upstairs bar just happened to be hosting one of the Net-roots favorite legislators, Montana Senator Jon Tester.

He came up to shake hands with me and in all of my Liberal Lucy-ness I said "Senator, I flew all the way from Michigan just to meet you!" Without skipping a beat he said "Well, I flew all the way from Montana just to meet YOU!" :-) That's right, true to my inner blogger-geekiness, I nearly swooned. I had a moment with John Tester. :-)

The Senator was great. He took lots of questions from the crowd, about health care, Iraq and Iran, ethanol (did you know he's an organic farmer?), energy and climate policy, and yes, there was the person who tried to pin him on who his favorite presidential contender is. Being the smart guy he is, he didn't bite.

It was a whirlwind night, and I had a great time. I'm almost a little sad to be heading back to The Mitten. Probably the coolest part of the night was hearing that a lot of people knew about a) what a cool governor and how net-roots friendly she is b) they've heard of and respect Mich Lib and all that we're trying to do out there and c) they want to help us be more effective and will be working with us.

This is Liberal Lucy, reporting live from New York City. Stay safe Michiganians, and until I'm back later today, be sure to enjoy your Vernors Ginger Ale and Better Made Potato Chips!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bishop's Budget Babble

Every once in a while, Mike Bishop says a thing or two that gives me hope that he might actually understand what it's like to be one of the constituents he represents while he leads the Senate Republicans...

Given our economic crisis, a leader is defined by his or her ability to see the difference between what is essential and what is merely desirable.

...of course then I realize that his diatribe in Sunday's Lansing State Journal was just that, all talk and still no plan. It must be hard to sit a top a plushy throne in the Senate and not really know what it's like to be one of us.

The irony in Sunday's piece is rich. I'm not sure how well Bishop or his Communications team really read over their piece before sending it off to the editorial board at the LSJ but let me highlight a couple of my favorites.

Just in case any of us are confused as to how we got in this mess in the first place, Mike takes us for a small walk down Memory Lane with someone that he sure seems to love, former governor John Engler.

If history teaches us anything, it is that government rarely exercises caution when using its power of taxation.

Agreed, Mike. Engler did a heckuva job of throwing one giant tax-slashing party for the state which surmounted to a violent assault on the state's revenue leaving us in the giant hole we're trying to climb out of. I don't like paying taxes as much as the next guy, but if means making sure our kids get a good education, we have police keeping us safe, and health care is more than just a good idea, then I'm willing to pay my share.

From there on out, it only gets better.
The experts who have examined Michigan (sic) economic crisis agree that we are not going to have real prosperity or recovery until we stop fighting the symptoms and start fighting the disease. Figuring out the most efficient way to bring state spending under control is a course of action embraced by an overwhelming majority of Michigan citizens, irrespective of their party affiliation.

I agree again, and we have Governor Granholm to thank for that. Just last week, the Executive Office released National Ranking Provides Evidence Michigan Economic Plan is on the Right Track based upon the latest findings by the Kauffman Foundation. You can also listen as Jack Lessenberry gets the full scoop of the report.

Here's where I get confused -
Senate Republicans have presented a plan that balances our budget through a mix of government reforms and spending cuts.

Now that is news to me. Last time I checked, all Bishop and his band of not-so-merry men had done was shoot down a plan that made sense without offering any kind of replacement. Since then, Granholm, Dillon, Schauer and the rest of Michigan have been asking to see his plan so many times that we might be mistake with Missouri.

Leave it to Bishop to save the best for last.
In the coming weeks, I will join the governor and my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Legislature to correct the 2007 budget shortfall.

Finally! For weeks now, Bishop has refused to meet or form bipartisan panels with Speaker Dillon, Democratic Senate Leader Schauer or reveal his secret plan to the public. Does that mean that this is all going to change?

I might not be Bishop's biggest fan, but even I'll stand up and cheer if he's got a plan that works. Until then, Mike Bishop, first term senator extraordinaire, will continue to remain Michigan's poster boy for legislative term limit reform.

(cross-posted on Michigan Liberal)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Waving the White Flag

Sad Bears Life
Originally uploaded by sgsteffens_83.
I would love to write something witty and eloquent today, but my body just won't let me. I spent several hours at the ironically named FastTrack part of Sparrow Hospital's ER last night after a mishap in the kitchen during dinner prep.

I walked out with an aluminum splint on my index finger, a tetanus shot which has left my arm feeling bruised and battered, and super glue on the injured digit, as opposed to stitches. That's in addition to the minor surgery I had on my foot last week, and my sore abs from my return to training for my bike ride. Frankly, I'm feeling a little worse for wear, and I just think I'm really not meant to be witty, eloquent, or a writer today.

So this post isn't completely useless, here is the info about the visitation and memoral for Robert Busby.

Here's to tomorrow....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Honoring Old Town's Magical Mayor


Thank you to everyone who came out to last night's candlelight vigil for Robert Busby in Old Town. There were anywhere between 250-300 people. People gave tributes, laid flowers and candles, and we wrapped up the vigil by singing John Lennon's Imagine, a song truly fitting of Robert and his dream.

Lansing Community College has generously donated Dart Auditorium for Robert's memorial service next Tuesday at 3pm. Everyone is welcome.

Yesterday was a day of deep sorrow for everyone. Even if you never met Robert, it's still clear that Lansing lost one of it's biggest supporters and best friends. For many of us, the tears still come and the ache is sure to linger for quite a while.

Having been through more personal tragedy than I care to remember in my 26 years, I have learned one very valuable lesson about coping and recovering from a traumatic event, such as the manner in which Robert died. It's not about what happened, or how he died, but it's about what we do with this tragedy. If we let this tear apart Old Town and destroy all that Robert gave so much of his life for, then his death was in vain.


Last night standing there with tears rolling down my cheeks, candle in hand and very heavy heart, I looked up into the windows of Robert's loft above Creole Gallery. The loft was brightly lit, and you could see his beautiful art shining through the cold night air. It struck me that in even in our deepest grief, this is what Robert worked so hard for. All of these people coming together - black, white, young, old, gay, straight, the haves and the have-nots, this is what Robert was about. Uniting a city and a community together, unaware of our differences but celebrating our diversity.

I believe that we can only succeed if we continue to pick up where Robert left off. His mission, his life, and even his art was about unity and life. Robert gave us all so much. We owe it to him to set aside our differences, come to together and carry on his legacy.