Detroit Seen

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Fifth Estate # 281, March, 1977

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Our finances present a decidedly brighter picture this month, although a few creditors like IBM are demanding large sums from us for back debts. The sole reason we are able to peek a little above the waterline is due to the generosity and support from our readers—from one-time donors, and especially from our growing list of sustainers. We will probably still need to hold a benefit in April, but we can get completely out of the entertainment business and concentrate on the newspaper if a score more people would become sustainers. If you are so motivated, please use the coupon farther back in the paper…

Please note: If you recently received a letter stating your subscription to the FE is about to expire, it will be the only notice we can afford to send you, so please take this opportunity to re-subscribe…

After years of prattling about “commie dupes,” the right-wing must be more than a little embarrassed about recent exposure of secret FBI memoranda showing how government agents used the proto-fascist Breakthrough group in Detroit to harass local persons disfavored by J. Edgar Hoover. According to the Detroit Free Press article, the FBI felt indecisive about using Breakthrough members, thinking them “too stupid” for the job, and attempted to educate them first about “communism”.

Also, Breakthrough’s fuehrer, Donald Lobsinger, has been having problems again with his supervisors at the city Department of Parks and Recreation. This time Don got a couple of weeks suspension for calling his boss a “black racist” and “boy.” Don contended that the latter remark was not racially motivated, but simply expressed how he felt about his supervisor’s capabilities. No sympathies extended to either party in this case…

Spanish director Luis Bunuel’s film, “The Milky Way,” was disrupted during a Feb. 12th showing at the Detroit Film Theatre when David Thomson, a right-wing Christian fanatic, attacked the film projector, stating afterwards that he was motivated by the film’s “anti-Catholic bias.” Incredibly (or really not so) the Detroit News (which apparently has reversed its position and is now pro-terrorism) gave Thomson an entire column in their paper to allow him to explain his action in a positive light and portray Catholics as-an oppressed minority comparable to Jews and blacks. DFT officials have not decided as of this writing whether or not to prosecute Thomson, and told the FE that they have no current plans to show the film again. Sounds as if it might make a good screening for a Fifth Estate benefit!…

If you missed the Somebody Else production of “Double Coupon Day Afternoon” in January, you’ll be getting a second chance to see this creative and radical theatre group do its latest offering on Saturday, March 12, at 1:00 p.m. and on Sunday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Easy Space, 2535 Bagley (kitty-corner from Mexican Village). The plays this time are entitled, “Babel, or Productivity Kills,” “Dr. Psycko,” and “Going to Work”, plus several short skits. Admission is free, but donations are accepted…

People are working less and enjoying it more—according to an article in the February 21 edition of the Detroit Legal News which said: “In 1974—147,166 people in Michigan voluntarily quit their jobs and drew unemployment benefits. In 1975 that figure skyrocketed to 182,423 voluntary quits drawing benefits. In 1974—27,866 people were fired for misconduct and drew unemployment benefits. In 1975 that figure almost tripled to 70,804.” In this article, entitled: “Senator Wellborn (get it?) Pushes Bill to Trim No-Work Quitters from Unemployment Comp,” State Senator Jack Wellborn says “As a free country, we do not owe anyone a living.” Apparently some 250,000 people (in 1975) disagreed with Jack, as the Revolt Against Work grows and grows…

We’re first again! “The Elements,” a Washington, DC-based journal about world resources, has selected the Big Rock nuclear facility in Northern Michigan as the nation’s most dangerous. It is one of the country’s oldest and one of the first to use highly toxic plutonium fuel. Maybe the Upper Peninsula will get its wish to separate from the Lower after all…

Almost every other day the newspapers advertise the inability of the Social Service Department to stop welfare fraud. In Lansing, however, there is a computer which matches up welfare clients with income tax records pinpointing anyone working and collecting at the same time. But, according to the Detroit Free Press, even discovered cheating is not necessarily pursued due to manpower shortages and investigation costs. If possible you should work a job in which tax is not deducted if you are also a welfare recipient, and then it is virtually impossible—barring informants—to get caught…

Calling all clowns; Calling all clowns! An increased number of duped individuals have been pushing New Solidarity newspapers on traffic intersections, freeway entrances, unemployment offices, etc. As more and more people know, New Solidarity is the foaming journal of the U.S. Labor Party, and they are perfect targets for pies, squirt gun attacks and other pranks…

Since Detroit is making a grand bid for government funds to research the feasibility of solar power, we had better look out. Detroit is cited as being perfect for the large-scale development of solar energy because, among other things, the automobile industry provides the engineers and machinery to manufacture and research this project. Given the track record of these potential developers, we can look forward to the day when we have to trade the solar system in every two years for a new one.

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