Detroit Seen


Fifth Estate # 346, Summer, 1995

Welcome to the long time coming Summer edition of the Fifth Estate. It is our first since the Winter 1995 issue which was published Dec. 31, 1994. Subscribers (and particularly libraries) frequently think they have missed issues when six months go by between our papers. For instance, they’ll understandably inquire, “Where’s the Spring 1995 edition?” although there wasn’t one.

We are formally a quarterly which means each volume should have four issues in a year. Volumes count from the first year of publication and the number following it indicates how many editions have been published in a year. Last year, we printed only two issues and this is the first of this year.

The best way to keep track of issues is by the figure in parentheses following the number of issues for the year which shows how many we have printed since our origins in 1965. This edition is #346 and is in sequence from the last one.

Normally, we have a supplementary mailing midway between issues to service new subscribers, resupply our sellers and bookstores, and re-send papers to subscribers who have moved and failed to notify us. The post office notifies us of address changes, but will not forward Second Class mail. However, due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, this mailing did not take place, meaning none of the above occurred.

So, if you moved before the end of the last year, you missed an excellent issue which included a Fifth Estate basic statement, reflections on the Republican triumph in the November 1994 elections, an anti-nuclear power supplement, and a provocative article denouncing e-mail, prompting the spirited letters exchange in this issue. If you missed the last edition and would like it sent, please write or call.

This also means we have more papers left over than usual. We are willing to ship any number of this issue for free distribution at events, coffeehouses or demos for the cost of only postage. Send us a particular sum and we’ll stuff a bag or box filled with how many it’ll pay for.

Fifth Estate Anti-Nuke Special

We also have a large number of the 8-page anti-nuke supplement still available, which is a perfect piece for distribution at the many Hiroshima 50th anniversary commemoration actions which will be occurring around the country this August 6. If you want bulk copies, send a few bucks and we’ll ship out a supply.

This October marks the 30th anniversary of this paper, but preparation for a proper celebration has yet to begin. One staff member has suggested a weekend camp-out with wild rural revelry, while others want to maximize attendance by holding a soiree at a local saloon with bands providing the music for a night of dancing and festivity. Actually, unless someone volunteers to coordinate the event, the date commemorating three decades of publishing may go by with only a note in the paper to mark it.

Ah, hunting; the Call of the Wild; autumn adventure; deer camp; Men!, Men!, Men!; bringing home the buck from up North. What a load of crap! As it turns out, almost two-thirds of Michigan firearm hunters and three-quarters of the bow hunters are showing what sportsmen they are by using bait to lure game within bow or bullet range. In fact, hunt bait is a $30 million a year industry in Michigan with many farmers growing sugar beets, carrots and corn specifically for the bait market, and some hunters drop tons in the woods each season to assure a kill.

A current debate in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources over banning the practice is based less on tender concern for the deer, and more about a recent spate of conflicts between hunters that have arisen over baiting. In one case, an Upper Peninsula whacked-out gun nut killed a Detroit cop who was hunting in “his” territory which he had baited.

One forlorn hunter ascribed the rise in baiting to the demands of the modern world: “A lot of us work really long hours and we don’t have the time to spend a week or two in deer camp like our grandfathers.”