Archive for detroit

Flashback Friday: NN14 and Steely Dan Y2K


Nicole Sandler

What a week this has been! I can't say I'm sorry to see it end.

This morning on the show, we flashed back to last week and to February 2000.

Last week was easy. I flew to Detroit for Netroots Nations following a few days in Los Angeles for the American Federation of Teachers convention. Although I did live shows from Netroots on Thursday and Friday, I recorded a bunch of interviews on Saturday, some of which we heard earlier in the week.

Today, we began with Mike Rogers of Raw Story and Netroots Connect, and a conversation about almost everything!

Next up was John Bradshaw, executive director of the National Security Network, a progressive DC-based think tank dealing with foreign affairs. Given the events of the week leading up to Saturday, it's needless to say it was a fascinating conversation.

We end each week with a visit to my radio past. Today, it was February of 2000. I was working at Channel 103.1 in Los Angeles, and was invited to fly to NYC to interview Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, better known as Steely Dan, to interview them and host the nationally syndicated World Premiere Broadcast of Two Against Nature, their first studio album in 20 years. That album went on to win the Album of the Year Grammy award. It was also one of the high points of my career.

And with that, it's another week in the books... er, archives.

I'll be back Monday, rested and raring to go... radio or not!


How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Part 2)



I'm home after 10 days on the road to cover the American Federation of Teachers convention in Los Angeles and Netroots Nation '14 in Detroit. It was actually anything but a vacation, but I do thrive on the action, and there was plenty of that.

To recap the trip, all you need do is listen to the shows from the past week or so. (Find them here, here, here, here and my interview with the amazing Rev. Dr. William Barber is posted as a standalone interview here) Now that I'm back home, I have the luxury of sitting back and playing some of the interviews I taped but didn't yet have the chance to air.

Today, we heard from Dennis Black of the Detroit Peoples Water Board. On Friday afternoon, hundreds of Netroots Nation attendees, Detroit-based activists and others marched and rallied to protest the mass water shut-offs of over 15,000 households. The UN declared it's a human rights violation, which it is!

And this morning, an indication that our loud voices had an impact:

Detroit suspending water shut-offs for 15 days

Members of The People's Water Board Coalition protest Detroit's water shut-offs in Detroit on Friday. The shut-offs have sparked massive outrage in the community.

Members of The People's Water Board Coalition protest Detroit's water shut-offs in Detroit on Friday. The shut-offs have sparked massive outrage in the community. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Detroit: The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is suspending water shut-offs for 15 days starting Monday.

The department is facing criticism worldwide for mass shutoffs that have turned off water to 15,200 customers since March, but department spokesman Bill Johnson said the move is not a concession in the high-profile political fight.

Read more here.

Tomorrow, I'll talk a bit about the controversy over the location for NN15- Phoenix, AZ, and the announced boycott by Daily Kos. Stay tuned.

I had a lot of interviews scheduled for the live broadcasts. (When I get the time, I'll try to post some of them as standalones.) But sometimes the best opportunities come up by surprise, as when I looked up from my editing to see Sandra Fluke walking by. I asked her to sit down to chat for a few minutes, and she did. And I took a selfie!

Sandra Fluke

As we discussed, Sandra Fluke is running for the California State Senate seat vacated by Ted Lieu, who's running to fill Henry Waxman's congressional seat. Visit to find out more!

The final interview I shared today was an in-depth conversation with John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation. The interview was better than my lousy selfie result!

Nichols 1

Tomorrow, more highlights from my summer vacation, plus @GottaLaff too! See you then, radio or not!


Head of Detroit Civil Rights and Ethics Division possible victim of racial profiling (VIDEO)


welcome to detroit

detroit portia roberson shopping while black

Detroit has its issues. In fact, Detroit has major issues. Take their mass water shut-off, for example:

A right-wing state and corporate push to cut off water is economic shock therapy at its most ruthless and racist, but resistance is growing.

Anyone notice the word "racist" in that quote? Hey, me too! Guess what? Here it comes again...

Portia Roberson is African American. Apparently, shopping while black is a no-no in Detroit.

Via Think Progress:

Portia Roberson is an attorney, a former prosecutor, and a former Obama Administration official who worked in the Justice Department and the White House. She currently heads the Civil Rights and Ethics Division for the city of Detroit. Yet, when she walked into a Talbots clothing store last Sunday to return some clothes and try on new ones, a member of the store’s staff looked at her and somehow saw a shoplifter.

Pretty ironic, considering she heads a civil rights agency.


Here's what Ms. Roberson wrote on her Facebook page:

When I exit the fitting room, I'm confronted by two GP police officers who ask to search my bag and ask me if I have any merchandise in the bag. I tell them to go ahead and search and point out the items and the receipt. He (the officer) tells me it is clear that someone made a mistake and then takes my bag to the store manager to point out that everything that I have in my possession, I have purchased...

The manager’s explanation was that she had asked the police to do a walk around the store because it was so busy (four customers, including me) however I pointed out to her that after searching me, they left without searching anyone else.

She added that she felt "embarrassed" and "shaken." Or to put it another way, racially profiled and targeted.

Maybe she can take her case all the way to the Supreme Court, where they'll rule that Talbot's corporate religious beliefs justified their racist actions.

Video courtesy of WXYZ.


V2V: Conversational Vehicles and a New Rumble Seat



Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

Rumble seats were a glorious part of automobile history, what freeness of spirit they must have offered - part danger, part exhilaration - and now the high techie American automobile industry has been given the Fed green light to give our buggies voices that other cars will hear, understand and then tell the drivers whussup' after vibrating their seat.

It is called V2V technology.

Earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Administration announced the wrap of a study promoting the mandate of this technology in American vehicles going forward. Also according to CNET:

V2V communications use a variation of the 802.11 wireless network standard used by laptops and mobile phones, but instead link cars, which can share position and speed information with each other 10 times per second. That can let one car reliably detect when another in front is braking hard, for example.

I thought the reverse gear ass-cam with a live feed of your bumper was fantastic on new dashboards. Being such a huge improvement over your semi-Pinoted-Up best friend out in the icy parking lot in a blizzard going "NO! I said back YOUR way!!" "TO MY LEFT!!!" -- right before the crash, and all. I light up like the five year-old daughter of a handy father with no sons would when I am co-pilot with that technology on board, and suspect my dear friend Jessica [frequent pilot] has a fond laugh about my wide eyes at age 52.

Image courtesy Motortrend dot com

Image courtesy Motortrend dot com

This, however, is like when Pizza Hut figured out how to put more cheese in a pie some years back, it parallels Steve Jobs giving us the iLife ... vehicles that talk to each other are a raging safety uptick for a nation with life-threatening traffic (and drivers).[/caption]

And it's just plain cool. If cars had been able to chat, kvetch and theorize during Chris Christie's GWB Waterloo re-creation slash main scandal, we could have SO much more juicy juice detail for the post-mortem, liberals!

Another large GOP Loser might feel the need to get involved and make sure there's no funny business going on though, gawd forbid the female cars collective libido becomes a lethal distraction.



Aren't fanatical anti-modern conservatives going to just HATE this?? It hits the non-sciencey aorta, deepest spying paranoia and that disturbing general dislike of change in any form.

From NBC.

Not only will cars be able to connect with cloud-based services, they will also be able to talk to other cars; with the smartphone in the driver's pocket; with the toll booth or traffic light up ahead; or with the electric charging station to determine when and how long it needs to be fully juiced up.