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Update 11:30 EST. Two things.
1st: So I wrote this during a bout of insomnia and went to bed, and when I woke up three hours later jeezopete I'm on the Rec list. I've never made the Rec list before, and I am honored. Thank you so much, DKos, for reading and listening and all your support of us here in Michigan. We won't let you down!
2nd: When I mention a Bob Seger concert, I mean a short duration of time, not bad quality. Because Seger is awesome.

--------------------------------------------------

Hi,

I haven't posted a diary in about four years; I do better here when I read and educate myself.

But I'm making an exception now because I see a lot of comments in the Michigan threads going down that echo my personal feelings right now.  People want to leave. People are leaving, or have already left, or are getting ready to leave. After all, this state has been a tough place to live for a long time, and now it's just gone right down the toilet in less time than the duration of a Bob Seger concert. Sometimes, it seems, a lost cause is lost for good.

Sweeping restrictions on abortions and contraception?

A shiny brand-new Emergency Dictator law to replace the one we repealed through months and months of sweat and stress and hard work?

An erosion of public education in the state that gave the country community-based education?

Anti-Sharia legislation in a state that is home to one of America's largest Muslim-American communities?

Right-to-Work-for-Less in the state that birthed the UAW?!?

And half of these despicable laws have been twisted into a shape that cannot be repealed by referendum -- a lame duck legislature terrified of an educated electorate -- and anyway, we're captive to a gerrymandered legislature that only sends a 33% Democratic congressional delegation to Washington, even as we sport two blue senators and a very healthy showing for Barack Obama.

It's time to get out of here!  It's time to leave this place! It's moribund!  It's dead!  There's a shiny city across the lake, where progressives are happy and heard. Let's go there! All of our friends have! So long, Michigan!  Goodbye Coneys and Pasties, Sleeping Bear and Whitefish Bay! As they've been saying for thirty years now, "last one out turn off the lights!"

Fuck that.

Now I can't get too preachy, because for many years I was part of that exodus.  Michigan gave me the opportunity to leave it behind. I grew up in Flint -- a tough town, but one with a rich and resilient culture. My family was UAW on both sides, and my dad built Buicks, and all those years of union wages gave me plenty of opportunities, and especially the chance to go to whatever college I wanted.  I chose a school in Chicago, and then a grad school in New York, thanks to what Michigan and Flint labor gave for me.  And about a year ago, with a wife and a daughter, I decided it was time to give something back. My taxes. My time. My passion. My love. To this beautiful, challenging, contradictory place.

So, we bought a house in Flint.

My wife left her job as an RN at a first-rate hospital in Chicago.

I started looking for schools and opportunities for my daughter in Flint.  It's still a tough town... but it's still rich and resilient in the most important ways. We weren't expecting it to be easy.

Neither were you.

Michigan is many wonderful things, but these days, "easy" isn't one of them, and hasn't been in a long time.

But this week is a whole new game.  Now guilt is in the picture.  For progressive  Michiganders with the means to leave, it can't just be about us... it's about our friends and families. Right?
How can we ask the people we love to stay here and work for less dignity, less income, fewer benefits?
How can we ask our daughters to live in a place where their doctor and their insurance company will deny them the freedom to make their own medical choices, and so doing, relegates them to second-class citizenship?
How can we stay here, how, when we in Flint (and you in Benton Harbor, Pontiac, and Ecorse) have been told we don't even have the right to elected representatives, and when we had the audacity to reject that argument, were simply slapped down again?

It is temping.  It is so tempting, and I've thought about it a couple times over the last few days. I've seriously considered the possibility of moving.

Well, we're not going to move.

This is our home.  That capitol building?  That's our house.  The cowards who have entered our property and are vandalizing it after we have told them to leave -- who can only do this by locking us outside -- ignoring their own constitution ("immediate effect," anyone?) -- their time is up.  They know that.  Because when I think about the violence my friends have suffered through here, the hard times, the lack of work, the gunshots at three in the morning, the hunger, the lack of police, the unending fires, the $200 water bills, the cuts in garbage pickup, the plundering of our strapped city budget by state appointees... that's something we've endured.

Having endured that, we're tougher than Rick Snyder and Dave Agema and the Mackinac Center and the Koch Brothers.  If they had to spend one day in our shoes, they'd be soaking through the soles in a puddle of their own tears.

The hole they've dug us is deep, but we're going to take back this state. We're going to gain back everything we've lost, and then we're going to gain more, and we're going to remind the country why we became the crucible of the labor union in the first place. Just as with the presidential election, the handwriting is on the wall of Michigan. We may have our backs against the wall today, but that's always when Michigan has shown its best. Techno, motown, Rivera's Detroit Industry, the UAW; have you ever noticed that Michigan gave these beautiful gifts to the world right when things were getting really, really shitty outside?

Let's turn that on again.

Let's get that engine going.

...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take my little girl to Lansing and we stood and chanted with 18,000 other people who know that this is true.  They came from all over the state to raise their voices against a handful of legislators who decided to ignore the vote of this state. 18,000 against literally a scarce hundred legislators.

It's going to be hard, and it's going to take a long time -- a lot of arguing and voting and canvassing and fundraising and ORGANIZING -- but they are going down.

And when they do, I'm going to be right here.

In Flint, Michigan.

This is our state.

We aren't leaving.

Originally posted to blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:04 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Michigan, My Michigan.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (176+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DirkFunk, WheninRome, khloemi, megisi, DRo, FiredUpInCA, Sylv, JoeEngineer, Deejay Lyn, pelagicray, Blue Bell Bookworm, Matilda, Haningchadus14, fabucat, geordie, Naniboujou, Oh Mary Oh, eeff, dmsmith, MuskokaGord, jparnell, cskendrick, Habitat Vic, JayRaye, Over the Edge, Eclectablog, Empower Ink, Brian B, global citizen, Wilmguy, Onomastic, dear occupant, newpioneer, Captain Sham, Azazello, AnnieR, gchaucer2, peregrine kate, envwq, zerone, Eddie L, MBNYC, concernedamerican, artisan, loretta, Mannie, citizen dan, grrr, Noddy, tytalus, Yoshimi, a2nite, 2thanks, ChemBob, barnowl, livjack, OutCarolineStreet, Late Again, gloriana, cordgrass, blueoregon, Words In Action, surelyujest, poliwrangler, hooktool, CwV, blue aardvark, SC Lib, kurious, poleshifter, verdeo, Steveningen, LillithMc, pamelabrown, NYmom, KVoimakas, Mentatmark, countwebb, ms badger, happy camper, LilithGardener, GeorgeXVIII, Shippo1776, tgypsy, Youffraita, zerelda, kefauver, karmsy, AnnieJo, second gen, Al Fondy, exiledfromTN, leonard145b, ratzo, dotsright, Lorikeet, blue armadillo, sodalis, surfbird007, ArchTeryx, fallina7, CorinaR, Proud Mom and Grandma, rejoice, blw, Alma, bronte17, addisnana, allensl, mofembot, OldGrammy, Aquarius40, yoduuuh do or do not, rivamer, Siri, petulans, wader, Dem Beans, hulibow, Pandora, jadt65, BerkshireDem, DianeNYS, knitwithpurpose, Luma, Aaa T Tudeattack, BCO gal, cvannatta, PeterHug, MKinTN, Xtatic, Chitown Kev, Prospect Park, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, boadicea, Jim R, 3goldens, Marihilda, Geenius at Wrok, StrayCat, enufisenuf, Liberal Mole, roses, fisheye, revsue, pat of butter in a sea of grits, maybeeso in michigan, Swill to Power, Caddis Fly, sea note, Laughing Vergil, Fonsia, Arahahex, Renee, Steven D, jhb90277, Pat K California, pvasileff, FindingMyVoice, Katydid, asterkitty, Matt Z, raina, filkertom, Catte Nappe, kl5, pragmaticidealist, Chaddiwicker, TruthFreedomKindness, cany, sfarkash, tofumagoo, cfk, radical simplicity, Waterbug, Larsstephens

    "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

    by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:04:21 AM PST

  •  I'm in (48+ / 0-)

    Bay City and I've been so tired from the fight. Sometimes it seems never ending. Thanks for taking the time to fire me up. I'm in and I'm ready!!

    Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Happy Hannukah, Merry Kwanza, Cheerful Boxing Day, Joyous Festivus, an Enlightened Bodhi Day, and Cheery Winter Solstice and Yule celebration.

    by khloemi on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 03:04:41 AM PST

  •  We bailed on Flint many years ago, but ... (42+ / 0-)

    ... we didn't go far. Flint's my hometown, too (Haloburgers and Boston Coolers on me!), but it just proved too challenging for raising a family.

    I believe that Michigan will be fine, but towns such as Flint and Pontiac will probably have to be re-imagined. Of course, that won't happen until we scrub Lansing clean of its current vermin infestation. It's going to take some clever thinking and hard work and those are in short supply under Governor Helium and his teabagger minions.

    Terrific diary ... I admire your resolve.

    •  Actually, there are a number of things (17+ / 0-)

      going on in downtown Pontiac. Two new loft apartment buildings are in the final phases of construction, one of them has a fresh food market, a cafe, and a fitness center in the bottom. The Rethuglicans running the state had no role in its development. It was built by renovating the historic downtown Sears Building using federal historic grant money. There are new street lights down the main drag (Saginaw Street), lots of empty storefronts are being occupied, Bo's Barbecue has gotten a fresh paint facelift, McLaren Hospitals has really improved the old Doctor's Osteopathic Hospital downtown, etc.

      There are still problems, but people are working together to try to make things better. I'm trying to be optimistic, even though I tend towards the fatalistic.

    •  Mmm. Haloburgers... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      megisi, blueskiesfalling, Katydid, Matt Z

      Second only to the Flint Original coney dog. I used to live four blocks away from Angelo's.

      And let's not forget Luigi's Pizza, the finest thin crust pie ever.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:17:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Angelo's and Luigi's. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        megisi, happy camper, Matt Z

        I hear that! I used to work at Angelo's. Weekend night-shift dishwashing. Every hour was its own saga. I grew up on the other side of Longway, but the State Streets have a special place in my heart.  A lot of friends, diversity, and imagination on the Eastside and, believe it or not, now more than ever.

        "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

        by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:37:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My grandparents (4+ / 0-)

          lived on Kansas St, and used to eat at Angelo's when they were dating.

          Last summer I drove through the old neighborhood, and I was appalled. It literally looks like a war zone. I lived on Belle Ave for a while in the early 80's, and more than half the houses up that way are simply gone, burned down or demolished. The neighborhood is in ruins, there are store fronts that are nothing but busted out windows and heaps of trash. Empty buildings not even boarded up. Hookers on the corner at 3 in the afternoon. Gang graffiti literally everywhere. I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself.

          I barely recognized the place.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:17:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  State Streets. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            megisi, Matt Z, Catte Nappe

            It really does look horrid, especially North Franklin.  Where there was the month of fire a couple years back, it hit the State Streets doubly hard with about 40 houses going up just that month.  I spent one summer living on Nebraska and another on Maryland.  I drove by on Maryland not long ago and that house is gone -- just totally vanished -- as are half of the others.  And Maryland isn't even the worst street over there.

            But for all of that, I still find myself going back to the Eastside over and over.  The place has a life that just won't be stamped out. The Kearsley Park pavilion has been refurbished and its own theater company now -- the Kearsley Park Players -- and they do a lot of Shakespeare and the like. It was devastating when Homedale Elementary burned down a couple years back, but Peace Mob is turning the whole site into a farm. Davison Road is still delicious and international: Thai food, Chinese, Italian, Mexican.  My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

            "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

            by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:24:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Mmmmmmmm. Angelo's. (4+ / 0-)

        We always got Angelo's coneys whenever we visited my grandparents in Flint (from Detroit suburbs). Highlight of the trip.

        Slap them silly until they quit being turkeys voting for Thanksgiving and dragging the rest of the country down with them. Twigg

        by Katydid on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:20:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lansing's Vermin infestation ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      megisi, jhb90277, Matt Z

      the perfect metaphor

      Tea Party bedbugs!

  •  We bailed on Flint many years ago, but ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    verdeo, yoduuuh do or do not

    ... we didn't go far. Flint's my hometown, too (Haloburgers and Boston Coolers on me!), but it just proved too challenging a plce to try and raise a family in.

    I suspect that Flint and Pontiac will need to be re-imagined, but that won't happen until we scrub the vermin infestation out of Lansing. It will take creativity and hard work and both are in short supply under Governor Helium.

    Terrific diary ... I admire your resolve.

  •  A Demographic is Playing Out (39+ / 0-)

    My husband and I had the same conversation and came to the same conclusion about our Northern Michigan home. We are admittedly Florida snowbirds, but Michigan is OUR home, born and bred, and it's been heartbreaking this week.

    Rachel Maddow had info on the gerrymandering last night.  That and 2010 apathy got us into this. (Of course a lot of Koch Kash fueled it as well.) It's going to be very difficult to get it undone, but hopefully by the time the snow melts in our unplowed drive we'll have petitions to circulate and calls to make.

    There's another demographic to consider. I can personally attest that tens of thousands of snowbirds will be changing residency to Florida end of year, due to Snyder's tax on their retirement. That won't show up until next year. They are largely conservative voters. (Won't matter down here, since Skeletor Scott has gotten the minorities so angry about his schemes at voter suppression that they will literally ski across the Everglades to get to the polls if needed.)

    So while Michigan is struggling to regain its soul, it will be losing a lot of its voter dead weight at the same time. And then, of course, imagine the reaction in Dearborn to the Anti-shariah law last week!

    •  Virginia, to a so far lesser degree, also suffers (9+ / 0-)

      from "2010 apathy" with a TP/GOP sweep of state officials. Of course Virginia is long a "right to work" and "at will" state so they did not have to go there. Outside NOVA, the Hampton Roads area, a few majority African American counties and college centers this is still just one of the more "advanced" Southern states dreaming of the "Ole South" and all that brings.

      I am hoping this time around the contingent that turned Virginia blue and then abandoned us in 2009*, just in time for drawing district lines to maintain what the TP/GOP could against the demographic/urban tide, will be irritated enough to turn out in force in 2013 to undo some of that damage.

      A possible route is through amendments to our constitution as those, once through the difficult legislative process, are subject to popular vote statewide and the more progressive areas have the population advantage. That is one possible way to pull the fangs of the rearguard, retrogressive, reactionary forces resident in the more rural and less populous areas. That may be something to consider in other states where legislators are trying to ram through minority interests based on gerrymandered minority majorities. The problem is getting control of legislatures long enough to get these to popular vote in states without constitutional initiatives without legislative intervention.

      In any case, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance and a voting cycle apathy does have consequences.

      * Virginia long ago made sure its state elections were completely removed from the national cycle. This helped keep the "real Virginia" from being diluted by those transients upstate that might not be so supportive of segregation and such.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:25:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not exactly what happened in VA in 2009 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maybeeso in michigan, MrJersey

        What happened was, the Virginia Democratic Party couldn't get its act together and fractured into three factions: one backing local NoVa guy Brian Moran, one backing DLC carpetbagger Terry McAuliffe, and the smallest and quietest backing Creigh Deeds.

        McAuliffe and Moran destroyed each other in a vicious, no-holds-barred primary fight, leaving Deeds as the last man standing. Then Deeds tried to backpedal his way into the Governor's mansion and got justifiably walloped.

        I was there. I remember. We fucked up, but not quite the way you tell it.

        We have another Gubernatorial election coming up, and we HAVE to make sure we don't blow it again. If that means holding our collective noses and voting for McAuliffe (obvious disclosure: I neither like nor trust him), then so be it.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:09:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is the excuse and what happened is in those (0+ / 0-)

          numbers. Obama voters, specifically young and African American did not show to hold ground in the state.

          As a result, and plenty of people on this site got all pissy about not being satisfied with Democrats, "unenthused" with Deeds and generally not hard headed enough to realize "sitting out" (I call it running in the face of the enemy) would bring about the likes of Cuccinelli, the requirements abortion clinics become mini-hospitals, persecution of climate change scientist and all the rest; most of all a radical TP/GOP state house at the time of reapportionment.

          In the face of the TP/GOP slate Virginia was presented with anyone, anyone at all, that sat it out on our side fucked up to all our detriment. Voting is as much about keeping the rot to a minimum, not just putting good people in and certainly not football like pep rally fandom.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:16:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The burnout came in and just after the primaries (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray

            and had less to do with dissatisfaction with the President (who had been in office for only a few months then) and much, MUCH more to do with the unhappiness of those whose candidates tore each other to shreds so that neither one won, plus the miserably incompetent campaign, including a HARD tack to the right, run by the primary "winner". Or didn't you know/had you forgotten that Deeds tried to run AWAY from the President's policies and TOWARD the conservanuts?

            You KNOW what happens when the voters get a choice between a fake Republican and a real one. (I held my nose and voted for Deeds, but with absolutely zero enthusiasm. But at least I DID vote. But then I always do.)

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:45:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is what we HAVE to do. (0+ / 0-)

              Years ago I was in Louisiana when the good government people put out a bumper sticker to the effect:

              Vote for the crook. It is necessary.
              That crook was Edwin Edwards, indeed later in prison for actions in politics. The choice was a Grand something-or-other KKK type.

              I remember the campaign well. I remember very well the whining here on this site about all three primary candidates. Deeds was incompetent as a candidate, but sometimes it is necessary to vote for even Republican Lite without a lot of campaign skill to keep the likes of what we've got out.

              Politics is not a game. We can't just dislike all the teams because one or the other will make laws that can tell us how much we pay, what public services we get, what we can do with our bodies . . .

              Sitting out elections is not really an option despite what so many seem to think. By the time damage is evident, as with unions in Michigan, it is too damn late to smell the coffee.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:16:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  In Honor of my Grandmother... (38+ / 0-)

    ...who cooked for the guys fighting the Battle of the Overpass and did a man's job at the Rouge for 40 years, I'll never abandon Michigan.

  •  "Cannot be repealed by referendum"? (21+ / 0-)

    I do not know Michigan law as applies to the referendum situation and know lots of states, historically fearful of actual democracy, put obstacles in the way of such things, but assuming you get a reversal of political course amendment of the state constitution is something to consider as I hope we might do in Virginia.

    Here such amendments are difficult, but not impossible to get before the public in a popular vote. I think one step we should all be considering to undo the last ditch efforts of TP/GOP efforts to give their largely rural base undue advantage is to get issues such as redistricting and any law giving itself immunity from future public will before a popular vote mandated in the state constitutions.

    By the way, Georgia had an infamous one called the County Unit System designed to isolate the cities into irrelevance. Sound familiar?

    Census data from 1960 illustrates the inequities of the county unit system. Although the rural counties accounted for only 32 percent of the state population by that year, they controlled 59 percent of the total unit vote. For example, the state's three least populous counties, Echols, Glascock, and Quitman, had a combined population of 6,980, while Fulton County, the most populous, had a population of 556,326. Collectively, the three smallest counties had a unit vote that equaled the unit vote of Fulton. The significance of this system was that the rural counties enjoyed a control of statewide elections that was out of proportion to their size. As a result, rural votes served to protect such policies as legal segregation and other aspects of white supremacy by diluting the influence of more liberal urban voters and of blacks, who were concentrated in Georgia cities.
    We may have to see a re-fight of civil rights era, this seems almost to be a second pushing back against a reactionary post "Southern strategy" TP/GOP superfunded by many of the anti-New Deal interests similar to those of the 1930s, some of these issues in court. Note in that link:
    Constitutional challenges to this system and others like it elsewhere in the nation were made several times in the 1940s and 1950s. The U.S. Supreme Court refused, however, to take on such cases because the court considered the dispute to be an apportionment issue that should be resolved within individual states. Finally, in March 1962 the Supreme Court did consider a Tennessee-based case, Baker v. Carr, in which it ruled that all citizens' votes should have equal weight and that the county unit system violated the principle of "one man, one vote."

    Extreme gerrymandering that requires over three people in those "urban areas" to vote blue to counter one in rural red as Rachael Maddow illustrated last night may have to be our next civil rights issue.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:44:41 AM PST

    •  We have an alternative in Michigan ... (23+ / 0-)

      ... it's called a "statutory initiative" and it's provided for in Article 2, Section 9 of our 1963 constitution. It's how we passed our bottle deposit bill and a strong clean water initiative. DeVos tried to use it in 2000 to pass a charter school fluffy and was soundly defeated. It has a few hoops to jump through, but none are insurmountable.

    •  Amendment isn't likely. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      second gen, wader, Matt Z, pelagicray

      A big part of the reason most of the progressive initiatives failed this year is because there was a campaign waged against the idea of changing the state constitution.  I can guarantee the same would happen if we tried this.

      •  I think it would be very close, actually. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray

        I supported Prop. 2, but I was leery of its chance of success.  But voters do, I think, realize that they they defeated it in a public debate and their own voices counted; not only are a majority of Michiganders opposed to RTW (a number that will only grow as ill-informed proponents see it doing nothing for their quality-of-life) but they recognize that it was shoved down our throats by a right-wing legislature and a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing governor.

        Not to excuse the past mistakes of Michiganders -- and there have been many -- but I do think people would be more amenable to amendment after the events of the last week.

        It is too bad that it has come to this.

        Also: I'm counting down days to 2014.

        "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

        by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:43:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Could be, but another campaign might work now, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueskiesfalling

        some for the reasons blueskiesfalling gives in answer.

        What may be needed, and this probably ought to be coordinated with the 2014 campaign, is a counter campaign to the effect the state constitution needs changing to prevent midnight legislation, as this RTW apparently was, and to put redistricting and election management into non-partisan, professional hands.

        Don't know Michigan at all, but this has to wake some people up to be much more concerned about just good government, much less this kind of shenanigans.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:23:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm fighting the urge to leave.... (21+ / 0-)

    my husband will be retiring this year, between a modest 401k, social security and a modest union pension, we think it's time.  Looking at places down by the Detroit River that aren't quite downtown where we could afford an apartment.

    The union pension is the rub.  Do we want to spend a union pension in a right to work state?  We're not alone in this thought.

    I'm not a newcomer to Michigan or Detroit, part of our family history goes back generations.  My great grandmother was a Wyandot.  

    I've loved and been devoted to Detroit and Michigan all my adult life ... now I'm ambivalent.   Maybe it's just the shock.

    http://cultureid.com

    by debk on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:00:23 AM PST

  •  What you see in Michigan is what GOP will do (34+ / 0-)

    to the country at large the first chance they get.

    Would advise Michiganders to make it expensive for Republicans to profit from their evil laws, or for like-minded people to enforce them.

    One suspects (as many Republican voters in Michigan are now realizing) that conservatism has less to do with the GOP agenda than pillage.

  •  NC ain't going to be different when ... (14+ / 0-)

    Republican Governor McCrory takes over in January. The 2010 elections were a real catastrophe for Democrats in many states. And all of this because people didn't get the Public Option they wanted.
    Shame on us... really.

    Let's just hope we can win the Governorship in some of these states very soon. That would at least stop some of this nonsense.

    •  Denials are popular here, attributing 2010 to (15+ / 0-)

      "the normal drop off" in mid-terms. Denial about Virginia's 2009 disaster got me crunching numbers to prove deniers are about like climate change deniers in that case.

      Anyone here reading all those diaries about Virginia's election then and the rest of the elections in 2010 should remember all the people here that did precisely what you note—and it was not just the Public Option. Every special interest group here that had not gotten their issues addressed adequately in the midst of an economic melt down and an effort to finally get health addressed tended to have a soapbox speaker here urging a "sit out" or "sending a message" to Obama and Democrats.

      They sent a message all right! We are living it in quite a few states.

      If any of those show up with that message again we should roast them damn well here. Winning ground is useless if you abandon it next cycle, even if some of your choices then aren't turning out to be the fighters you'd hoped.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:21:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really don't think that applies in MI. (8+ / 0-)

        Lower Dem turnout in 2010 is more effectively explained by other factors; greater number of Rep votes--especially for Snyder--had to do with poor messaging by statewide Dem candidates & effective packaging (and lots of money spent) on behalf of Repubs.  Snyder ran as an independent-minded Republican, and foolishly too many people ate that up.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:09:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  kate--what's the status on those two education (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate

          bills (or should I say anti-public education bills)? Do you know?

          I heard they were up for a vote on 12-12, but haven't seen any further news here.

          If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

          by livjack on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:06:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  For a DKos source, I look to Brainwrap (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            filkertom, pelagicray

            to keep us up to date. His latest diary has important links to a couple of FB pages where people are organizing and sharing updates.

            Here is an important recent post from early this morning on one of those FB pages, Save Michigan's Public Schools, written by Steven Norton (ID below)

            Dear Friends,

            Today was a bad news/good news kind of day. The bad news you probably already know: divisive bills fundamentally changing the workplace were rushed through the legislature with no discussion and little debate.

            There was a bit of good news, though - the bills expanding the
            Education Achievement Authority (EAA) still do not have enough votes to pass, despite what we hear are major changes limiting the impact of the bills. Apparently, the proposed changes to the EAA bills dramatically reduce the reach and power of the EAA. But, thanks to your efforts, state lawmakers still are not sold on the measure.

            The changes, which are still unofficial, reportedly include limiting
            the EAA to managing 50 schools at one time, sharply limiting the EAA's power to charter new schools, and setting clear standards for when schools would enter and exit the EAA, among other things.

            In our view, these changes move the bill from "inherently dangerous" to simply "a really bad idea." MIPFS still cannot support the legislation, and we urge you to continue to oppose it. Why?

            1) The bill enshrines in law the idea that the best way to help struggling schools is to take them over, isolate them from the community and other schools in the district, and impose "turnaround models" without partnering with the staff or the local community. We think this simply will not create the lasting improvements these schools and communities need.

            2) What the EAA does with its schools is still an experiment - one
            with little evidence of success elsewhere. If the EAA does not at first "fix" the school, they get to "try, try again" imposing one new model after another. No child deserves to be experimented upon in this way.

            Many legislators are trying to find a way to salvage something on which they can vote "yes." We have to let them know that it's more important to get it right than to do it in a hurry.

            We still need your help! If you haven't had a chance to contact your lawmakers, send them an email TODAY!

            If you have sent emails, now is the time to call their offices and make sure they're listening.

            Finally, if you've done all that, you can help by getting the word out:
            let your friends and neighbors know, post it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter, do whatever you can to get other supporters of public education to take action as well.

            We've made a huge difference, and now we have to see out the last few days of this legislative session. Together, our voices are heard!

            Steven Norton
            Executive Director
            Michigan Parents for Schools

            Here's the other FB page of interest, Michigan Parents for Schools.

            Regardless of the outcome at the end of this session, we can be sure the MI GOP will be as ferociously anti-democratic when they return in January.

            Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

            by peregrine kate on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:09:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's mutually exclusive. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate, Matt Z, pelagicray

          I like both of your points here.

          But something else that isn't mutually exclusive is vigorously defending the merits of an issue (like a public option) and supporting the better side in a close race. In addition to educating people on the issues, we've got to take up our perennial problem of what kinds of leverage the Left has on our representatives, and how we can choose leverage other than our votes when our votes are so desperately needed.

          "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

          by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:48:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Poor messaging is a factor but voters have a (0+ / 0-)

          responsibility and as a nation we are failing miserably to generally educate voters, even to basic civics of how things work.

          As long as the other party is as rabid as it has become no other message should be necessary. Unfortunately it often is.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:06:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Virginia's 2009 disaster" wasn't what you think (0+ / 0-)

        It was letting the Democratic Party start a three-way dogfight that ended with no winners and a weak, lackluster, incompetent candidate running a horribly bad campaign.

        We can't allow anything like that to happen this time. We can't afford it.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:16:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like I said denials are rampant. "Letting"? Bull! (0+ / 0-)

          Your lack of civics is showing. Just what higher being, what lofty authority "lets" or "prohibits" candidates in a party primary. Maybe you don't know, many don't, that the party committees are absolutely required to be neutral in primaries. Many Obama supporters, new to politics, got all hot and bothered he wasn't being "supported" by county and state party committees. That is left purely to those brave enough to toss their names in the ring and the voters—and in Virginia's open primary without party registration that can be anybody.

          So, pray tell me what august authority should have told any one of those three not to run, usurped the authority of the voter and "selected" a candidate? Like smoky back rooms do you?

          Politics can be, usually is, messy. It is a voter's civic duty to show up at the time and place to make it as clean as possible. Instead lots of people sulked at home.

          Enough with the excuses. Work to make sure there is turnout for what ever the primary electorate throws to our side to support. Else? Welcome Governor Cuccinelli, a man that thinks your body as pertains to anything sexual is most definitely his business.

          So you, I and everyone else needs to turn up even if the most uninspiring Democrat is selected by the primary electorate.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:52:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  FYI see Virginia State Board of Elections on (0+ / 0-)

          Becoming a Candidate.

          You meet these basics:

              Be qualified to vote for and hold the office sought and

              Be a resident of the Commonwealth Of Virginia for one year immediately preceding the election.

          Fill out a bunch of forms and gather signatures. Declare your candidacy. File a primary fee:

          As the name suggests, this fee is required to be filed ONLY by primary election candidates. The amount required to be paid is 2% of the annual salary for the office sought in effect in the year in which the candidate files and as shown in the Appropriations Act adopted by the General Assembly.

          Governor $3,500.00 [2% of $175,000]
          Lieutenant Governor $ 726.42 [2% of $ 36,321]
          Attorney General $3,000.00 [2% of $150,000]

          And then the voters decide—if you are a Democrat.

          Now if you are a Republican, as Cuccinelli taught the presumptive candidate, you may be stuck in a convention or caucus system without a primary. That is the party that wants only the deep red loyalist to choose, an option for a party. That is how someone "Lets" or does not "Let" a primary fight start. It is the next best thing to a smoky back room!

          (Quite a few years ago the Fairfax County Republican Committee engaged in the caucus system and the proto TP faction hijacked the venue, moving it in secret so that just regular Republicans would get lost. Some found out and there was a bit of a circus and near scuffle as they tried to take part.)

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:26:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No kidding. Here's the thread from yesterday (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, pelagicray

        with deniers who took me to task in no uncertain terms. (The first four comments were fine. After those I was "making sh** up.")

        I didn't see much point in replying to them. The memory hole operates on our side too.

        Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! Now with new baby panda! And support Bat World Sanctuary

        by Fonsia on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:40:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ignorance and total lack of strategic thinking is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fonsia

          rampant on our side when it comes to electoral politics.

          Just look upstream for my answer about "letting" a primary fight weaken our side. A lot of people on this supposedly political site are unaware that party committees are prohibited from taking sides in a primary. If a person is brave, or just stupid enough, to toss their hat into the primary ring and subject themselves to expense, loss of privacy and private life, the decision is up to the primary electorate; registered party members in many states, in Virginia without party registration that means anyone.

          Progressives fought to get candidate selection out of back rooms with good ole boys selecting the flag bearer over drinks and cigars. The primary system was a progressive move and part of that was to take the party organization out of the picture so it wouldn't be a new style "smoky room."

          Too many, even here, treat elections and politics as a game requiring a pep rally when it really is like toilet sanitation to keep our "necessary" of state hygienic and functioning. Lots of people in Michigan are getting a lesson right now on the importance of paying attention every election. So are many Virginians.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:02:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am tired of that fucking zombie lie (4+ / 0-)

      Progressives fucking showed up...m'kay.

      Go learn something before talking shit because this meme really pisses me the fuck off.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:55:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a North Carolinian by Choice (5+ / 0-)

      and a Michigander by BIRTH (YOOPER BORN).. my heart is breaking reading what is going on 'at home'.  McCory is just salivating at what is going on in MI, WI, IN and FL because those are 'his people'. He was the State Director of the AFP before going to work as a 'lobbyist' for one of the largest law firms in the state.

      I thought Engler was horrid for Michigan, but Snyder and his cronies.. OMG.

      Hang in there.  I would move back to MI if I had a job that would support it.  

      Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

      by Caniac41 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:21:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hope, anger and petitions won't do it (4+ / 0-)

    That's fighting the war after it's been lost. If you want to win Michigan you have to go out and change lots of people's minds who just automatically vote Republican, who are easily duped, who think voting can bring back  a vanished, longed-for past. Change them or counter them with a nullifying vote.  You can write op-eds and march all you want, but hoping the people who voted for the disaster movie Michigan has become will somehow be "disillusioned" and vote against the Repubs .... well, you might as well throw coins in a wishing well.
    One thing positive in this mess is Michigan has made Wisconsin not look as the most fucked-up state anymore.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

    by fourthcornerman on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:29:18 AM PST

  •  A long time coming (15+ / 0-)

      Some people in Michigan saw this coming even 34 years ago:
    " I believe leaders of the business community, with few exceptions, have chosen to wage a one-sided class war today in this country—a war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society. The leaders of industry, commerce and finance in the United States have broken and discarded the fragile, unwritten compact previously existing during a past period of growth and progress."
    Douglas Fraser 1978 - President  United Auto Workers
        It's time to fight back.

  •  I'm staying too. (19+ / 0-)

    Grew up in Pontiac, lived in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Arizona, and Wisconsin.  Came back in 1995 and I won't leave.

    Have you considered running for local office? We need people talking about this at all levels of government.  We need to get the pipeline filled with progressive voices, and it starts at the library board, the city council, etc.

    Please consider it.  The community could use your voice.

  •  Awesome diary! (13+ / 0-)

    We can't allow the Republicans to drive us out of the places they've hijacked! Everyone's home is worth sticking to and fighting for! Including - attention, please - the deep-red South! We're all with you. I raise a glass to you, and to Flint!

    To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming - Maguire, Robison, and Maines

    by Captain Sham on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:03:28 AM PST

  •  As I Said In A Previous Thread - There Is A (7+ / 0-)

    concerted effort by the Koch bought and paid for GOP governors in the Rust Belt states to get rid of unions (and thus weaken the Democratic party). It is time for Democrats in the Rust Belt states - Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin- to have a unified strategy to go on the offensive against the right wing. It starts with getting rid of GOP governors and legislators who pose as moderates to fool the electorate - and I know getting rid  of them is not going to be easy, due to gerrymandering. But, it is the first place to start, along with referendums where possible to get rid of union busting, race to the bottom, billionaire funded legislation. Democrats can't afford to be complacent and play defense anymore - look where it has gotten us in the states that have some of the highest union representation in the country. It is time for Democrats to play hardball with the billionaire funded right wingers in the Rust Belt!!

    •  running as moderates--outright lying about it-- is (5+ / 0-)

      now their modus operandi.  They take off their masks once they're in power.

      Until people really do their research--who's funding them, their affiliations, etc., they really can't know what kind of creature they've elected.  

      Unfortunately, the majority of voters don't have this kind of time--or interest.  

      Eventually, a backlash against a corrupt government and their overlords always occurs.  So the fight must continue.

      I agree with a comment upthread that a good way to start is to run honest and good people at the local level.

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:57:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. I'm with eeff, hoping you write (10+ / 0-)

    more often now.
    This is OUR state and they're not going to push us out.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:10:39 AM PST

  •  Keep talking to your daughter and taking her (9+ / 0-)

    with you as you fight the good fight.  You will be teaching her lessons that will make her stronger than steel when it comes to knowing right from wrong and lies from truth.

    Great diary.  Thank you, and God bless you and your family.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:14:32 AM PST

  •  Send this to your favorite unions (9+ / 0-)

    the last several days have been hard on them.
    They need to know there is a grateful populace out here who admires their spirit and values.
    They've been as solid as rocks in standing against the oligarchs who want to destroy.

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire

    by barnowl on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:37:22 AM PST

  •  I'll admit it. I was a wuss. I left. (9+ / 0-)

    I left almost 20 years ago.  Graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1993, went to grad school in Texas, and have never been back.

    And while I don't regret my decision one bit, I admire people like you staying and fighting.  People like my good friend, Dayne Walling, who is Mayor of Flint and loves his town and wants to make it better.

    Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

    by wmtriallawyer on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:41:53 AM PST

    •  There's work for all of us to do! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer, Matt Z

      We need good expatriate ambassadors, @wmtriallawyer!

      When I was living out-of-state (and that was for twelve whole years!) I can't tell you how many conversations, heated arguments sometimes, I got in over what Flint was, what it wasn't, what had happened here, and who to hold accountable.  If you share the truth with Texans, and put Michigan's lesson's to work in that state, you're a big part of the solution!

      "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

      by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:52:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I'm in Maryland now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueskiesfalling

        and it was a little bit of a misstatement to say I've never been back...I never moved back to Michigan, which is a different kettle of fish altogether, although I've visited many, many time and still love my home state.

        I was so impressed a few years ago when I got a tour of the expansions at UM-Flint, and looking at the new growth occurring downtown.  Then sat down with Dayne and had coffee and talked about his plans for Flint...it is so great to see...so much better even than when I went to school there 20 years ago.

        Now, if my hometown of Saginaw could get up off the mat...

        Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

        by wmtriallawyer on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:16:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Solidarity. Hopefully even more will join you, (3+ / 0-)

    not only from MI, but from surrounding states. The outcome in MI affects us all.

    Also, those 18,000 could split up into 18 groups of 1,000, march around the city, and really create a stir. Once it proved effective, that could encourage even more people to come.

    Last, the 18,000 could encourage support from the rest of the country who can't be there by putting up donation and in-kind service websites a la Occupy. As with Occupy, no doubt there are local businesses who would contribute food, coffee, water, PA Systems, etc.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:54:45 AM PST

  •  If I were Richard Devos and I read this (4+ / 0-)

    I'd be a little frightened.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:55:28 AM PST

  •  Last night Rachel Maddow (9+ / 0-)

    Interesting show on Maddow last night about how the GOP will control the country using gerrymandering and changing the way they use the electoral college in the current red states.  Michigan and the Rust Belt are a focus of the Koch Brothers and ALEC because of obvious value in those states for them.  What is happening is not a result of crazy Republicans or some organic business adjustment.  It is a carefully planned take-over of the US. There is no place to go in the US to get away from it.  We need the DOJ to make federal rules for elections that will prevent what is happening.  The Kochbots are pimping for the power they respect.  There is no value to Republicans in popular democracy.  We are in this together if we call ourselves Americans.

  •  Inspiring diary, thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proud Mom and Grandma

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:01:54 AM PST

  •  This is all shocking beyond belief... (8+ / 0-)

    I never thought that MI would become a red state, infiltrated by tea party kooks who have the power to destroy democracy from within--but it seems that it has.

    A state that's so divided and contorted that it votes for Democratic Senators and a Democratic POTUS, yet has a two-faced, lying, conservative-in-moderate's-clothing GOPer Gov. and a tea party loon legislature...?  

    The consequences of sitting out non presidential election years--for whatever reasons--become more apparent with each passing day--and they are whoppers.

    •  I really hope. (5+ / 0-)

      I made phone calls before the 2010 election. I had people tell me, "I'm going to sit this one out. I was pretty enthusiastic about Barack Obama in 2008, but I don't think he's done the greatest job." And I wanted to cuss the person out. I wanted to get all sarcastic: "Yeah! Just stay home in 2010! That'll show 'em, all right! Boy, your 'despair' is so hip! I am in awe." I said none of these things, of course. All I can do I hope and pray this thinking goes by the wayside in many more voters.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:01:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you for writing this, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, Proud Mom and Grandma

    ...  I hope it won't take years for more. Well done, and very encouraging!

    wherin we share a community blog for common goals for humanity. http://www.worldforallpeople.org

    by worldforallpeopleorg on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:05:50 AM PST

  •  There is a Progressive Caucus that meets regularly (6+ / 0-)

    ...in Flint.  Contact Information Here

    This small group of people do a good job, and could probably use more input, support and be more powerful with more members.

  •  Some of us may not have a choice. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm a Ph.D. in molecular virology...supposedly one of the "brains" that a state like Michigan values most highly.  But the only work I can find here is a temporary technician-level position at University of Michigan, and I've a chronic illness that requires medical care as a matter of life and death.

    And I'm going to shortly lose my job.

    My mother and family are here in Michigan.  And even she's telling me to head for greener pastures; getting Medicaid in this state is all but impossible unless you have children or are a pregnant woman, and sure as hell Snyder and the Regressive Chrous in the legislature ain't gonna do squat to change that - quite the opposite, they're making us one of the states refusing the Medicaid expansion.

    That's their plan for us poor people.  Die or leave.  They don't care that some of those "poor people" happen to also be the people they claim to most highly value.  It's die or leave, and so the latter is what I must do.

    •  There are many paths. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArchTeryx, Catte Nappe

      @ArchTeryx, I really really didn't want this diary to come across as self-righteous or judgmental; it's a call to arms for those of us who have the option of leaving, but who can stay and fight the good fight here.  Of course your health and that of your family is essential!

      As I said in a comment above, among other things, Michigan needs its expatriates to spread the word of the life-or-death fight we're facing here.

      Take the recent lessons of Michigan to the state where you move.  Be, to paraphrase Jennifer Granholm, "the canary in the coal mine."

      And if you can do so sincerely, write your Michigan legislators after your move and say: "Hey! Here I am, brain drained, with my advanced degree and invaluable skill set, and if you ever want me back, you're going to have to bring Michigan back into the 21st century."

      "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

      by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:00:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an excellent idea. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueskiesfalling

        I'm also looking for ways to stay.  I'm not completely out of the fight yet, I just have to make sure that I'm alive to fight first, and then everything else will follow.

        Although I truly loathe Snyder and what the Republicans have done to this state, i.e. make it the Alabama of the North, it really isn't them that's the root of my own problem, but the institutional values of U of M.  It's one of those places where, unless you're administration, they expect you to be able to pay your landlord and buy groceries with prestige.  I was labeled as cheap, disposable labor right at the beginning, and I'm likely never going to rise above it.

        UM already figures they have the best brains.  They could give a rat's patootie about the "lesser" ones draining off.

  •  This may sound crazy to some, (8+ / 0-)

    but this stuff actually makes me want to move to Michigan. I love a good fight (a fight for the good, that is), and I've lived almost my whole adult life in severely right wing areas anyway.

    We need to reclaim Michigan. I'm not willing to see such a great place taken down by monsters.

    Some might think I'm naive, but I don't think these major losses have to be permanent or even long-lasting. I believe they can be undone with organizing and community engagement. I also see the chance this will serve as a wake-up call to progressives the way Wisconsin's labor fight did, and can reinvigorate the grassroots left, as is much needed.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." -Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:41:15 AM PST

  •  What's wrong with Bob Seger concerts? (0+ / 0-)

    Never heard his music, nor been to his concerts, it just bugs me that I don't get the cultural reference even after googling Bob Seger and checking him on wiki.

  •  Great diary, thanks. (2+ / 0-)

    We have a well-known diarist who has advocated leaving the U.S., due to unfavorable governments and legislation here. I could not be angrier at this person, actually. I could not find their advocacy of repatriation sillier or more pompous, or more of a betrayal.

    Your diary, by contrast, shows a nice fighting spirit, courage, and a bedrock dedication to the notion of a common or collective good. Thanks.

    How nice that Obama has spoken out against Michigan's odious right-to-work legislation, lending his considerable name recognition to the cause of worker rights.

    That said, I have been watching political happenings in the upper mid-west with great interest (and sadness) from California. In coming years and decades, I believe things will move in one of two general ways. After the initial public backlash to the new legislation dies down, unfortunately, the status quo may shift permanently, and NOT for the good. People may lower their expectations. The second, hoped-for outcome, is that the authors of this terrible legislation are put to shame by future generations (as the Vietnam war, which some defended at the time, is universally recognized as a terrible mistake today).

    Good luck, and all the best.

     

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:54:09 AM PST

  •  Yes. It's been too hard for too long. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pat K California, govib, cfk

    My wife owns a store here, so we're bound to the area for now. And moving would cost more than we have. And I have my family and memories here.

    But I think if my wife's store sinks (I don't think it will), we'll probably bid a sad farewell.

  •  I'm not getting out of MI (0+ / 0-)

    at least not because of Snyder and his posse.  But fighting on behalf of Michiganders, who refuse to vote in their own interests?  Fuck that.  They'll get what they deserve, and then some.  It sucks for those who didn't vote in all these republicans (and didn't sit at home on election days), but the majority needs to reap what they sowed.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:20:28 AM PST

  •  This is the future (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    I suspect that the future is not really going to be about setting down roots, it's going to be about moving to wherever jobs and opportunity are.

    In the end, I don't think people are going to move or not move based on political opinions about Michigan's laws, but about more practical matters of "what opportunities are available here versus elsewhere?"

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:54:11 AM PST

  •  Tipped and recced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    I left Michigan a looooooong time ago and I hate to go back, quite frankly.

    Reading stuff about Detroit is very very painful, seeing Detroit up close (as I have a few times since I left Michigan) is even more painful.

    Thing is, there are even a lot of people still resideing in Michigan that have given up.

    I admire you Kossacks currently blogging my home state a lot.

  •  Worth a read (0+ / 0-)

    How the Republicans did it
    http://www.reuters.com/...

  •  grew up outside of Flint.... i live in lansing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueskiesfalling, govib

    I have lived in Lansing for 25 years.   We are here to stay.   I will keep fighting to get these repubs out of office.    We have to keep fighting.   I don't want to see more attempted recalls.   I think we should concentrate on 2014.   I think we need education campaigns to educate voters on issues.   I would like to see improved leadership at the Michigan Democratic Party.   Thanks for the great diary.   One thing that no one has mentioned is the natural beauty of my home state .. Thinking mainly about "up north" and the Upper Peninsula.   Great beauty...   many state and federal parks....   our beautiful Mackinac Bridge...  etc..  etc..  etc...

    •  Up North (0+ / 0-)

      I have a lot of Yooper friends and tried to channel them with pasties and Whitefish Bay.  Really the part of the state I know the least is the northern LP... I've got to spend some more time up there.  It's beautiful for camping.

      "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

      by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:54:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's time... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer

    To stand and fight!  We need to take our state back from Dick DeVos, ALEC and all of the other batshit crazy "conservatives" that are trying to make us into North Mississippi.

  •  I've never liked my home state. (0+ / 0-)

    I've lived here all my life, and I never liked it. Never liked the people. Never liked the area. I HATE Detroit and the metropolitan area in general. I'll be going to grad school out of state soon and will never return.

    Even so, what's happening right now hurts my heart. It feels like we lost the election. Michigan will never be the same after the wanton destruction Snyder and his cronies have wrought. The people here do not deserve the pain and suffering this is going to bring down on them for decades.

  •  What on earth is going on there? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    I'm not familiar with Michigan but I'm kind of at a loss to understand why this happened?  And how did that labor rights constitutional amendment fail in a state built by labor?

    I don't feel like I have a clear understanding of this, it's very strange and more than a little disheartening.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:42:08 AM PST

    •  Michigan is Florida levels of complex (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, auron renouille

      but it doesn't get Florida levels of attention because we've been a blue clinch in presidential elections for some time.

      The conservative parts of the state are very conservative.  The northern lower peninsula has much more in common with rural Appalachia than it does with the industrial Midwest.
      The upper peninsula is also rural, but has a strong union presence due to the mining industry.
      The west side of the state is extremely conservative and extremely wealthy.
      The Detroit spread and its satellites are bright blue, but even they are compromised by the inherent conservatism of the auto industry (as opposed to the unions).

      And the state legislature has been gerrymandered toward the Right for a long long time.

      You take all of this and mix it into a nasty stew like the 2010 midterms, where Independents skewed rights and a lot of Progressives stayed home, and BOOM: Republican supermajority and a sheep-in-wolf's-clothing Republican governor who couldn't pass up one last chance to dismantle unions in the state that birthed them.

      "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

      by blueskiesfalling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:53:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actions on Saturday... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueskiesfalling

    Action planned by AFL-CIO against the RTW legislation. http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/.... MEA also has an action planned. Please visit the FB page: Expose Governor Snyder's Gift to Graduating Students: A Weaker Michigan Economy and a Divided Michigan State University, 2012 Fall Commencement, Saturday December 15 Please pass these along/many thx.

    Up and running and moving ahead/sh

  •  I'm in MIdland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueskiesfalling

    home of the Mackinac Center.  Major ICK.  But we are fighting the good fight here in central Michigan!!!

  •  well I'm old (0+ / 0-)

    and felt the same way back in he 90s when we elected Republican John Engler (Newt wannabee) as Governor.
     I was so disgusted I left to work in New Jersey. But back in Michigan with my family and gonna stick here and fight the good fight!

    "I am no longer a candidate. I'm The President" - Barack Obama 2012 DNC Convention

    by AAMOM on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:50:30 PM PST

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