Let’s be honest…

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I really don’t care where someone is “from”, what their faith base might be, or what their beliefs might be, unless they mean to do me and mine harm.

And I honestly believe most Americans are like that. We know we are a Nation of “mutts”. All have an immigrant background, except Native Americans, and some would say even Natives came from other lands at some ancient point…

We really don’t care…despite what some  political-types try to say about us. That some of us are racist..that because we worry about the borders we hate people. That because we pray or fly the flag or put up decorations for Christmas we are mean and hateful. The very notion of any of that is insane.

I’ve never met anyone on “The Right” who thinks all who follow Islam are terrorists…never. They just don’t think that way. I’m sure there are some people who do, somewhere..but I’ve not met them.

I’ve never met anyone on “The Left” who thinks all who pray, or who have a gun, fly the flag or celebrate Christian holidays are evil. They might feel they are wrong…or misguided…but people on “The Left” don’t hate conservatives. Not in my experience.

We Americans want to get along with EVERYone. No matter what they think believe or how they vote. That is our nature. That is our culture. Despite what elected officials or TV hosts might say about us.

And this is my important point: Americans are always slow to provoke…give many chances…but if you claim you want to kill us and prove that every chance you get: you are our enemy. No matter who you are or where you come from…the other side of the world, or the other side of the street. We DON’T paint everyone with a broad brush and we have never had a desire to punish the innocent.

But all this debate over “workplace violence”, and “Gee…what made them decide all of a sudden to shoot up a Christmas party?’ or the latest” “Well the woman must have radicalized the husband…he seemed like a sweet guy.”, is not the way most American process things.

All we’ve ever wanted to know as a nation when we are attacked is:

Who’s doing it?

How are we going to stop them?

What can I do to keep my family and my way of life protected?

That’s all.

We never waste time worrying about being “phobic” about an entire race or religion…only an entire group of people who identify themselves as our enemy. If there are bad guys hiding among us in plain sight, most of us believe we should do anything necessary to find and stop them.

If a stray dog bites a child, we don’t broadcast that there is a dangerous mammal, with fur on four legs that may or may not be dangerous.

Because we don’t think for a minute we might end up hating all the dogs and offending them.

Can’t we treat each other with as much common sense as we would with a dog?

Find and Fight the bad guys…stop the terror…

That’s really all most Americans want. We really don’t give a damn about hurting feelings and we certainly don’t have to think about becoming racists…

It’s not our nature.

As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts.

Battle of the Sexes 2015

battle-of-the-sexes

Someone once said of our Radio show “You don’t just play the game: Battle of the Sexes” your WHOLE SHOW is The Battle of the Sexes.”

I thought that was a very wise observation. For me, in addition to providing all of the other fun, entertaining elements, our show gave insight to both sides on how the opposite sex thinks.

Nowhere is this more evident in the difference between how women and men feel about Christmas decorations. Over the years I have quietly taken a step back from actually placing decorations around our house. I let Lynn do it. Not to avoid disagreements, but because she has great taste…she takes her time…she thinks about how everything “goes together”…basically because our house looks better when I stay out of it. Last night she explained to me the fine art of letting a Christmas bulb hang off of a branch…not just hook-on to any spot that will hold it.

The end result is obvious…Womantree=elegance and warm beauty. Man-tree= a triangle shaped, shiny mountain.

LynnTree

tinsel-christmas-tree

This is a big change from the way we guys decorate a tree. We look at tree decorating the same way we’d make a pizza: The More The Better.

So I’ll remain happy being the person who brings the tree up from the basement…puts it up and makes sure it’s straight…make sure all the lights work…bring up the ornaments…find the step-ladder…then step back…leave the room…go make a pizza.

Chick Pie:

chickPie

Dude Pie:

dudePie

As always…I appreciate your feedback.

Happy December, Everybody!

-Jim

 

 

And on that farm he had some

DUCKS?

Here’s an interesting story I found in today’s Detroit News online about city residents in Detroit rating farm animals on residential property.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2015/11/30/detroit-urban-farms-livestock-concerns/76548352/

I’m curious what you think about this idea?

As a suburb-dweller my first thought was “GREAT! Why not? They’ve talked about urban farming in Detroit for almost 30 years now…why not also include some livestock on those farms?”

But then it occurred to me, my perspective is clouded by distance. We live almost 20 miles from Detroit so all of the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of a working animal farm are far enough away to not concern me in any negative way.

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Many of us have memories of a family farm…my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dan had a working farm with acres of crops as well as ducks, chickens, pigs,roosters cows and sheep. I spent a “year” there one week as a kid. It was like being in a nightmare-prison. Farms are fun to visit, but to be around one for even 24 hours is something most of us would find unsettling. As a 12 year old I found “the farm” to be a loud and scary place that wasn’t anything like a trip to the zoo. It’s more like a construction-site with living creatures. There is work to be done and some of “the workers” are the end-result of that production. I’m sure my childhood imagination got the better of me, but I seem to recall an almost unspoken relationship with the animals… “what are ya in for?”…both of us knowing how things would end up.

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Hell…I’ll just come out and say it: For a city-boy, The Farm was a violent place. Even the simple act of retrieving eggs from the chicken coup was terrifying…reaching in the cage under the chicken…trying not to get scratched or pecked…and then the thought of taking their “babies” in egg form to be used or sold…I’ll be honest: it put me off eggs for a while. And that was just the eggs…I conveniently got lost in the cornfields when it was time to bring home the bacon.

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Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE meat! I was born a carnivore and I don’t get hung-up on how meat is harvested: because I don’t have to!  If however I spent a day on a working farm today, I’m sure I would turn veg…just long enough of course until the memories left my mind again. That’s the kind of almost “Royal” life we’ve become used to…not being forced to be concerned with the origin of our pleasures.

MEAT

 

My point is: Would the average City of Detroit resident, who didn’t grow up on a farm actually be able to raise farm animals on a lot or two that used to have a house on it, if it included ALL aspects of the “farm to fork” model? I don’t think so. Even if you raised livestock and someone else came by with a truck and took them somewhere else for preparation…I think our basic 21st nature to make any animal a pet would cause anxiety. Especially if there were kids around. And the sounds and smells would make you the most hated neighbor on the block.

But I do think you chould be able to have an area for farms that included livestock, if it were set up in “sections” of the city that have been designed for urban farming. That would keep it from being something your neighbor is doing as a hobby or even a source of income,and it could be engineered away from family homes. I just don’t think we’re ready to be awakened by our neighbor’s rooster at dawn…not yet anyway. Maybe when the grid goes down?

Detroit-Urban-Farm

But this discussion always makes me ask “Why can’t we get this urban farming idea off the ground?  I’ve been hearing these ideas since the late 70s about lots being sold on the cheap to people who would tear down a house or two and start farming, but you really don’t hear a lot about it on a regular basis. I know some are doing it successfully, it’s a noble idea..but it doesn’t have the same energy that most of the “rebuilding Detroit” projects do. Maybe it’s not sexy enough for The Hipsters ? (hard to look cool in overalls) Maybe the big-money-people in Midtown don’t see enough profit in it? Maybe there’s a “Supermarket Cartel” that blocks this kind of project behind the scenes? Or maybe it just wouldn’t be fair for more people from the suburbs to come in and take the last part of The City (the homes and lots) and leave actual city residents out of the equation, like so many of the big projects have? I honestly don’t know the answer.

All I know is that I personally could not butcher a living animal unless my family depended on it to live. (This is why I admire Michigan hunters who help thin the heard from a painful starvation and actually use the venison for their own tables and those of the friends and neighbors). In fact…since science has proved that plants are a living thing and can actually react to our presence (people who talk to their plants swear it helps them grow) I would even have trouble tearing a carrot out of the ground by his “green hair” and wash him off as he slowly dies in preparation for slicing and dicing because after all “fresh is best”. Funny how most vegetarians don’t acknowledge that harvesting vegetables is still killing a living organism. Just because we can’t “hear them” doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling anything. If the “eyes” on a potato were real…could you look into them without sympathy as the deep fryer starts to boil? Consider this report from The Smithsonian if you doubt the possibility that plants don’t feel anything.

http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/videos/do-plants-respond-to-pain/12151

You can argue that plants are better food for your body than meat and dairy, but you really can’t feel superior about your choice being more “humane”. Not really, unless you only eat fruit that has fallen from trees and plants naturally without picking them. There are such people. They are called fruitarians.

I couldn’t raise farm animals in our yard for consumption but I still want to eat them. I’m just more at peace with the idea that I’ll pay for someone else to do the nasty work and put it in a cool package with a little cartoon of the animal in question on the wrapper. The same with veggies, dairy and fish. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite…it makes me a consumer.

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As always, I welcome your feedback. Forget about farms in Detroit…how would you feel about raising livestock in your own yard, or living next to someone who does?  Please keep in mind the sounds and smells. Not to mention your dogs and cats wanting to explore their more basic meat eating personalities. And where do you draw the line? “Yes” to chickens…but “no” to cows? ( I still want a pet goat, but Lynn is being unreasonable about it) Consider for a moment the dangers of your young children wandering into a pigpen or chicken coup to “play” with the animals. I saw that happen to a toddler cousin and it was awful.

I wouldn’t be in favor…You?

-Jim

Thank You!

SheriffAmy

(Daughter Eileen, Wife Amy and Oakland Co. Sherriff Michael Bouchard)

Last night we got together to raise money to help The O’Rourke Family, who lost their Dad/Husband, Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke who was killed on a domestic police call in W. Bloomfield a while back. At least that’s what what I thought we were doing...raising funds for a family in need. But it is clear to me now that it was so much more than a fundraiser. It was an example of how people in our hometown connect on the most basic, sincere, and personal level when some of us are hurting.

“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”
― Mother Teresa

When I think about the event last night at THE STAND Bistro in Birmingham last night, and review the pictures for this blog, It’s clear to me that this wasn’t just about money…it was about Love.

BhamCops                    (Some of Birmingham’s Finest…Happy to support a Fallen Brother’s Family.)

Lots of folks came out despite the chilly night, to have a drink served up by our celebrity bartenders. Our sincere thanks to our Media friends and family. All of them had worked a long, hard week and most had been up since before dawn. But with big smiles and warm hearts, they gave a lot of love.

JayAnu

(WNIC/Fox2’s Jay Towers and Ch7’s Any Prakash making cocktails)

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WNIC’s Kam Carman, Mr & Mrs. Chris Edwards and Anu Prakash from Ch7

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Rae and Kathy, our FAVorite members of The Magic Family, with Kam and Lynn Harper from The Wow Factory.

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Ch7’s Chris Edwards and me. Chris is one of the most gracious, humble and generous guys on TV.

jasonMike

Two VERY manly-men…never far from the bar. Fox2’s Jason Carr and Mike Bradley.

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Our great friend, WCSX Morning Man, Jim O’Brien who has already done a lot of work to raise money for The O’Rourkes, right after Patrick’s “watch ended”. Jim got the party started when he took the mic and stayed until the evening was over.

EricAmy

 

 

Our Good Friend Eric Gorges, Host of PBS-Detroit’s “A Craftsmen’s Legacy” with Amy and Eileen O’Rourke.

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Fox2 Giants, Jay Towers, Deena Centofanti and Jason Carr.

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Our Good Friends Dr. John and Allison Pappas who kicked off the donations with a very generous amount. That got the money flowing!

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Talk about a “small world”, Amy O’Rourke took care of Kam’s babies in the NICU at Beaumont when they were born. The is the first time they’ve seen each other since.

JayDeena

Fox 2’s Deena and Jay are always willing to help out a worthy cause and are  so warm and friendly to everyone.

XGirls

Yes…there were babes there. Our friend Nicole and her “posse” lit up the room when they arrived. Pictured here with Lynn.

XJasonAnu

There is no sense of “TV competition” when it comes to helping folks out. Fox 2’s Jason Carr and Ch7’s Anu Prakash.

XJimAmy

The fact that the night made Amy O’Rourke smile was all I needed to see.

JimJohnMike

(John Kelly your Host and Owner “The Stand” Bistro, Sherriff Bouchard, Jim Harper)

Thank You, Everyone who came out last night. Now tonight, we’ve got a four-course dinner at The Stand and tickets are still available! Snow or not, call 248-220-4237 for reservations. I can think of no better place to be snowed-in than The Stand Bistro, Maple & Woodward in Birmingham. Tickets are $80, $100 with a wine paring. There will be some cool auctions and all the proceeds go to The O’Rourke Family.

Hope to see you there tonight!

Hang Out tonight with the STARS!

the-standTonight’s the night! People from all over will be coming to The Stand Restaurant at Woodward and Maple for “Back The Blue-Night”. A fundraiser to help out the family of West Bloomfield Police Officer Patrick O’Rourke who was killed tragically a few years ago while on a domestic dispute call. Patrick left behind a wonderful, beautiful wife and four kids. Many of us understand how overwhelming this kind of loss is, and we support our local Police and Fire for running this risk every day the go on the job. There is no admission charge for tonight! But proceeds from your drinks and food and the tips you donate at the bar will all go The O’Rourkes in time for Christmas. When my wife Lynn and I reached out to Detroit’s Radio & TV celebrities to help by tending bar and hanging out, the response was great. So much so, that I don’t think there’s ever been a collection of stars this big in one place in Metro Detroit in a long time. Everyone I asked said “yes”, unless they were working tonight or helping out another good cause…because they all do that more often than you’d know. So here’s the list so far…

anuEdChannel 7’s Anu Prakash has been VERY helpful plugging this event since the beginning.

ChrisEdwardsEdCh 7’s Chris Edwards, who despite recovering from leg surgery was quick to hop on board.

deenaEdFox 2’s Deena Centofanti, a long time morning show favorite who always finds the time to help out another Mom like Amy O’Rourke.

EricGorgesOur Buddy Eric Gorges, who is the host of the PBS-Detroit hit TV show, “A Craftsman’s Legacy”. Eric’s a big guy with a bigger heart.

GregRussellEdMovie Show Plus/WDIV Hollywood Reporter, Greg Russell who just last week spent the day with Julia Roberts. If you want to know about The Stars, ask Greg!

jasonTaryn copyDetroit’s OWN version of Brad and Angelina, Taryn Asher and Jason Carr from Fox2. (these two need their own TV or Radio show)

jimJohnsonLongtime Detroit Radio Legend and the best voice on any airwaves, Jim Johnson from WOMC.

JimOed.jpgWCSX’s Morning Host and the guy who can always make me laugh when I’m not suppose to, Jim O’Brien. God is he funny.

KeenanEd.jpgKeenan Smith, Ch7 Meteorologist was one of the first to sign up. Please limit your questions about this weekend’s snow to under 1 minute.

Mikie.jpg

And of course, our Producer and co-star for over 30 years on our morning show, Mr. Mike Bradley and Lee Ann will be there both tonight and tomorrow night.

KamEd

We’ve been good friends with Kam Carman since she moved here from Arizona to be on Fox2. She was a regular part of our morning show for years and is now on with Jay Tower on WNIC in the morning. Kam and Jay both were quick to offer their time to meet you tonight, despite being up at 4am this morning, and already working a full day.

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Many others said they would try and stop by, even though they have other gigs tonight and I hope I haven’t left anyone out! The only thing missing is YOU! Hope to see you tonight at The Stand. Maple & Woodward in Birmingham starting around 6. -Jim

 

I LOVE strong women…

Karen1 Congratulations to WDIV Local 4’s Karen Drew on being named the new 4pm TV anchor. In the world of TV news, it’s been my experience that getting promoted to “the chair” is what almost everyone strives to do. Certainly there are some newspeople who were born to be reporters…different stories every day…making contacts in the neighborhood…affecting change through brave, responsible journalism. Fox 2’s Charlie LeDuff comes to mind as a born street reporter. I don’t think he’d be happy sitting at the anchor desk unless both legs were in plaster casts.

Karen Drew has earned that spot at the desk after years of hard hitting reporting as one of Local 4’s Defenders, often while hosting a studio show like Live in the D at the same time. And that’s the part of being a TV newsperson many of us don’t realize. Even the people we know and love watching at “the desk” like Ch 7’s Anu Prakash, often have to put in many hours working stories on the road…writing, editing, producing and then promoting feature stories that are often only 2-3 minutes long. It’s not as glamorous as it may seem.

karen2  But Karen managed to do it all with style and with a very, very warm personality and lots of style. I often asked her “How do you get up at 1:30 am to be on the set at 4 or 5, and then host an hour long studio show all before lunchtime, and be a hands-on Mother?” Her answer is always the same “I Love my job.”

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I truly think we’re very lucky in Metro Detroit. We have a lot of very talented Radio & TV people who often become stars we love as much as our professional athletes. And they’re all very nice people. They have a strong sense of family which I believe is why we love watching them…that core value can’t be faked and it comes through our screens. They become a part of our family…this loose but somehow connected family of people who call Detroit home. Personally my most cherished compliment was always “You guys are like my family.”

So we can ALL be glad Karen got this promotion. It’ll be good to have another warm, friendly face helping us get through the almost daily challenge of digesting the daily news. And Local 4 deserves credit for promoting someone already on staff. It’s a smart move.

And we all love it when someone’s years of hard work pays off. It’s what Detroit is all about.

Good luck to Ruth Spencer who is retiring after a long career at Local 4. Like almost everyone on Detroit local TV, Ruth put in many hours doing different projects like Ruth to the Rescue and reporting from the street as well as the desk. She’s earned a graceful retirement and is also a very nice, caring person.

-Jim

 

 

 

STAND with The Badge-dinner

amy5

YOU’RE INVITED!

The Stand Restaurant at Maple & Woodward in Birmingham has decided it’s time for them to give back to the community and help the family of West Bloomfield Officer Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke who was fatally shot on a call about a domestic dispute a while back. Tonight, we’ve got a casual and warm little gathering happening at The Stand starting at 6pm. There is NO admission charge! and YOU are invited! All proceeds and tips to our many celebrity bartenders will go to The O’Rourke Family. We’ve got a lot of people coming…in fact, this is going to be the largest collection of local TV & Radio personalities I’ve seen in the last 30 years.  Every celebrity we asked around town was honored to be invited, and everyone who’s not doing another charity event, or working on the air said they’d be there. Tonight is going to be pretty huge.

BUT, We Need Your Help on Saturday. Tomorrow night, we’re having another event at The Stand to help The O’Rourkes. It’s called the Stand with The Badge-Dinner and this is where we really need your assistance.  This will be a gourmet sit-down, 4-course dinner featuring great food and a wine-paring if you like. Tickets are $80 or $100 with the wine. There will be many auctions and ways for you to help raise money for a family that deserves our help in return for the sacrifice they’ve made…a sacrifice every police officer and their family commits to, to keep us safe. I’m sure you can relate. Almost all of us have had either Police or Fire as relatives or friends, and we’ve all at least smiled at a cop at some time in our life. We’ve taught our kids that these are “The Good Guys and Gals”.

amyPATBut for many of us $80 or $100 a ticket is a lot for dinner. Times are tough and unless you’re lucky and blessed, that might be hard to swing. But I’d like to ask you to consider a few points: Maybe you could consider making this your “company Holiday party” and instead of spending a few hundred dollars having finger food and buying gag-gifts at work, you could get a few people together and buy tickets for Saturday and not only enjoy the best meal you’ve had in a long time, but you’d  know that you are directly helping a family that should never have to think about making ends meet. Imagine losing your soul-mate and not having the luxury of a normal period of grief…you still have to be Mom...That’s the challenge Amy O’Rourke has to face every day.

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Maybe you could have a Family Meeting and suggest to your kids that everyone give up the idea of just one Christmas gift so they can help some other kids. I’ve found that when this idea is presented to our little ones, they don’t give it a second thought. Maybe you can ask another couple to join you to buy tickets and this will be your “Good Deed for The Holidays”? This isn’t that wild an idea when you consider the amount of money you’ll probably end up giving to charity between now and The New Year. Perhaps you and a friend can agree that you’ll give up your Starbucks for the month of December, and buy tickets for our Saturday dinner? That’s a thoughtful re-distribution of your cash and if you buy premium coffee drinks every day, it’s a lot more than $80 a month. I understand this is a stretch for many of us…but isn’t that the core-meaning of helping out people in need? Especially during the Holidays? I think about the sacrifice Police and Fire make every day of the year in order to serve and protect us. They never ask us for anything in return…they wouldn’t think of it. But if they ever did ask us for something, I’d bet it would be “If I happen to not come home some night after my shift, Please take care of my family…my kids…that’s how you can thank me. When you think about it that way, $80 doesn’t seem like much for a ticket. amyFAMILY

But if it’s still not in your budget…no worries! C’mon down to The Stand tomorrow night, Friday…have a drink…put a buck or two in the tip jar and shake hands with a cop, or one of your favorite TV or Radio Stars. You may never have a chance to meet Amy and the O’Rourke kids, but you’ll be helping them heal and get a little bit closer to the Joy and Peace this time of the year the rest of us are pretty much guaranteed…because our Police Officers put it on the line every day.

amy2   Tonight, it’s free to get in and you don’t need a reservation. For tickets for Saturday, call 248-789-1056. Hope to see you tonight and/or tomorrow, and Thank You, Jim.