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Beam us in

John Bennett gets in a zinger or two on the charter commission. (Remember them?)


Published 6/30/2010

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News Hits has long admired Detroit Police Officer John Bennett, a guy who stood up to King Kwame back in the day when he was still the power to be reckoned with in Detroit politics.

Bennett, you might recall, maintained a blog that had as its goal the ouster of then-chief Jerry Oliver. Jerry O was later sent packing after a loaded pistol was found illegally packed in his checked baggage as he prepared to board a flight at Detroit Metro Airport.

But the blog kept going, even though the O had suspended Bennett without pay after he started taking regular aim at the Kwamster. A court eventually ruled that Bennett be reinstated, then he mounted an unsuccessful bid for a City Council seat.

Through it all, he has continued to produce a blog that gives some keen insight on both the PD and Detroit politics. We bring this up now because we got a good chuckle from his recent coverage of the Detroit Charter Commission, a body that seems to otherwise be laboring away in obscurity.

"The Detroit Charter Commission is using each regular meeting through August to feature a panel discussion on a particular set of rules in the City's Charter. Aside from being interesting at times, the real value of these presentations is that the topics give some clue as to what provisions of the current Charter may be altered," he observes."

What got our attention, though, was the fact he was able to work in references to both Gil Scott-Heron's piece "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (just like the commission meetings) and the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Star Trek pops up when he begins riffing on the Ferengi (humanoid creatures that, like a certain breed of Republicans, have "unregulated capitalism as their religion"). Bennett then explains that the Ferengi abide by what are known as the 285 Rules of Acquisition, which govern every decision they make.

Which is a segue to this observation:

"Rule 208. Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. Commissioner Rose Mary Robinson, Commission Chair Freman Hendrix and Executive Director Gregory Hicks, in that order, probably understand this rule better than most."

The point Bennett makes, if our Vulcan mind meld is working, is this: The Charter Commission is working on a document that will affect how this city is run for a long time, so we'd all be well-advised to keep a sharp eye on the proceedings.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

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