I don’t think Alan’s been to Lansing since we’ve lived in Michigan, and now that I’m here a day or two every week, it’s not like I’m an expert or anything, but I know my way around more than he does.
The other day I commented that Lansing reminded me of another place we’ve lived before — Fort Wayne.
“Really?” he said.
Sure. Sorta-high-rise buildings, a certain Stalinesque look to a few of them, a domed structure at the middle of it all, and of course, that low, evergray sky.
He was surprised. He thought Lansing was like Ann Arbor, with a major university weaving its way through the town, his wife wandering out at lunch to eat at some cool vegan restaurant where the wait staff all have dreadlocks. That kind of thing.
Alas, no. East Lansing is nowhere near the capitol building. Here’s the sign on the lawn of one of our neighbors:
Ah, the rich economic loam of a white-collar government-dependent city — consultants. My favorite is CPAN. And, of course, the Rockstar Factory.
If there’s a cool vegan place within walking distance, I haven’t found it. The other day we ambled over to the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
Speaking of government, perhaps you’ve heard what’s happening in Detroit these days. The city is teetering on the brink of Chapter 9, with fighting over what role the state will take in whatever comes next — emergency financial manager or consent agreement. There are public meetings and lots of yelling.
So, you might ask: What’s the city council president up to? This.
You know what I love best about this? It’s a two-camera production.
I know the set of “fans of smart medical ethicists” isn’t very large, but I’m in it, and my favorite is Art Caplan. He used to write a syndicated column that was distributed on the Knight Ridder wire, and I admired how he could take cases from Baby M to something you never heard of, and always manage to say something interesting about them. Later on, I’d love him for a more personal reason — you could call him, and even though he’s a big fromage and you’re just some yutz from Fort Wayne, he would take your call, or call you back, or give you his personal cell number, or whatever.
Anyway, he’s leaving the University of Pennsylvania, where he’s been forever, and going to New York University. The Philadelphia City Paper marked his exit in their Bell Curve column:
Famed medical ethicist Arthur Caplan is leaving UPenn to work for NYU. “They promised me an unlimited supply of drifters to just fuck around with in my lab,” he shrugs. “I’m making a monster that I plan to marry and then hunt for sport. Is that wrong?”
Both Ron and Derek had good blogs at 42 North yesterday. Ron’s here — on lying liars and their lying lyingness, and Derek’s here, about the various outrageous abuses of sunshine laws in this state, and probably yours, too.
These issues wouldn’t be so critical if we didn’t have so many people like this holding public office:
Five (International Baccalaureate) students who traveled to the Dominican Republic over spring break – Abhijay Kumar, Rahul Gannapureddy, Kyla Roland, Jessica Khoury and Kate Kreiss – described a program that makes them want to come to school every day.
“You learn how to talk to people who have different views than you, in a constructive way,” Kreiss said. “I personally believe the IB program is preparing me more for the real world.”
…Board member Murray Kahn said students who spoke glowingly of the program used some of the same language he had read on the IB program website.
“I’m hearing indoctrination,” he said, “and it concerns me a lot, because of where this program originates.”
Your school board. Hard at work.
Hello, weekend! Think I’ll do our taxes.