Thursday, April 30, 2009

Robert Jones Attacks Free Speech

State Rep. Robert Jones has introduced a 'hate crimes' bill in the State House. Since real crimes, 'hate' or otherwise are already illegal, 'hate crimes' bills serve to punish 'hate', i.e. thoughts and opinions that liberals don't like, whether or not there is anything hateful about them.

'Hate crimes' laws in Canada and Europe have been used to silence and imprison critics of 'gay rights'. Conservative author Mark Steyn nearly had his book banned in Canada after merely quoting a Muslim laying out his agenda. Even in America, Christians in Philadelphia were arrested and charged (later dropped) for peacefully protesting during a 'gay rights' parade.

Now Robert Jones wants to bring these laws to Michigan. Have no doubt that the left does not support free speech.


Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,

State-level "hate crime" legislation, like its federal counterpart, would provide special legal status and protection based on homosexual behavior and cross-dressing that does not apply to citizens who don't fall into a special "protected class."

This legislation, if enacted, will be the mechanism by which homosexual activists pursue their expressly-stated intent to see individuals who dare publicly oppose their political agenda be criminally tried as accessories to any violent crime committed against individuals who engage in such behavior.

We'll keep you advised as these threats to free speech and equal protection under law proceed.

Gary Glenn


Lansing, Michigan
April 24, 2009

State lawmakers introduce bias
crimes legislation in the House
by Todd A. Heywood

Dan Levy, chief legal officer of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, announced today that two bills have been introduced in the state House to combat hate crimes. The bills, HB 4835 and HB 4836, were introduced by Rep. Robert Jones (D-Kalamazoo) and Rep. Woodrow Stanley (D-Flint), respectively.

HB 4835 will add additional sentencing for convictions on bias motivated crimes, while HB 4836 will expand the current Ethnic Intimidation Act to include such categories as handicap, gender identity and or expression, sexual orientation and political beliefs. Similar measures were introduced last session, and passed the Democratically controlled House 81-18. They were never taken up in the state Senate, and died at the end of the legislative session.“We are behind this 110 percent,” Levy said. “We have every intention of moving it along. We are hoping for June hearings to coincide with the Vincent Chin death.”

Chin, Levy said, was beaten to death on the eve of his wedding more than a decade ago because his assailants thought the Chinese man was Japanese and they were upset that Japanese cars were outselling American made vehicles.

The move also coincides with a move in Congress to pass the Matthew Shepard Act.

Commentaries on College

This blog loves articles questioning the structure of college, and so couldn't pass up these items.

End the University as We Know It

The Problem with Graduate Education

WMU Professor Rethinking Marxism

Vincent Lyon-Callo is a Western Michigan University professor in the Department of Anthropology. He organizing a conference on Marxism for a journal called Rethinking Marxism.

Rethinking Marxism: Organizing Team

It doesn't appear they're rethinking Marxism in a good way.

ACU Conservative Ratings Released

The American Conservative Union has released its ratings of Congress for 2008.

ACU Ratings: 2008

Here are the ratings for Michigan.
ACU Ratings: Michigan 2008

Local Congressman Fred Upton received a 44% conservative rating.

Here is a description of the votes on which he took the opposite position of ACU.

1. Housing Bill HR 3524 (Roll Call 18). The House passed a bill that authorized a 700% increase in spending on the HOPE VI Public Housing Program that has $2 billion in unspent funds and was recommended for elimination by the Bush Administration. ACU opposes this reckless spending but it passed January 17, 2008 by a vote of 271-130.TOP

2. Children’s Health Insurance Veto HR 3963 (Roll Call 22). The House sustained the president’s veto of a bill to more than double spending on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for poor children but prohibited HHS from requiring poor children to be covered first. The bill included a 156% increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco. ACU opposed this effort to expand government-run health care. The veto was sustained January 23, 2008, by a vote of 260-152 (under the Constitution, two-thirds of those voting are needed to override a veto, in this case 275).TOP

6. Mortgage Bailout Program HR 3221 (Roll Call 301). The House adopted a bill expanding the government-sponsored housing authorities, guaranteeing loans made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while reducing their capital by creating a $4 billion trust fund available to ACORN and other groups. ACU opposed the federal takeover of these entities but the bill was passed May 8, 2008 by a vote of 266-154.TOP

8. Supplemental Appropriations HR 2642 (Roll Call 330). The House passed additional appropriations for various agencies in three sections. This portion included an income tax surcharge as an offset for veterans’ benefits and prevented HHS from implementing Medicaid reforms already approved by Congress. ACU opposes this kind of “emergency” spending as well as tax increases, but the bill was adopted May 15, 2008 by a vote of 256-166.TOP

9. Tax Provision Extensions HR 6049 (Roll Call 344). The House passed a bill extending expiring and expired tax provisions. The bill extended tax credits for so-called “renewable” and alternative energy sources for one year while permanently increasing some business taxes. ACU objects to this legislative sleight-of-hand, but the bill passed May 21, 2008 by a vote of 263-160.TOP

10. Missile Defense HR 5658 (Roll Call 356). The House defeated an amendment to strengthen the nation’s immediate antiballistic missile program. ACU regards national defense as the first priority of the federal government and supported this amendment, which was rejected May 22, 2008 by a vote of 186-229.TOP

11. Farm Bill Veto Override HR 6124 (Roll Call 417). The House passed, over the president’s veto, a bill that continues subsidies for farmers making up to $2 million annually and for crops that have increased in price. ACU opposes federal interference in the nation’s agriculture, but the bill was passed June 18, 2008 by a more than two-thirds Constitutional majority vote of 317-109.TOP

12. Paid Parental Leave HR 5781 (Roll Call 428). The House passed a bill providing that four of the 12 weeks of parental leave provided by the federal government to its employees would be paid leave, and removing the requirement that employees demonstrate a medical need for sick leave used. ACU opposes liberalizing these federal leave provisions, but the bill passed June 19, 2008 by a vote of 278-146.TOP

17. Davis-Bacon Act The House rejected an amendment eliminating the “prevailing wage,” or union wage requirements on military construction projects which adds billions to the project costs. ACU opposes this Davis-Bacon Act requirement, but the amendment was defeated August 1, 2008 by a vote of 143-275.TOP

21. Tax Extensions HR 7060 (Roll Call 649). The House passed a bill extending a number of expired and expiring energy-related and other business-targeted tax breaks for one year while permanently increasing taxes on domestic energy producers and others. ACU opposed this effort, which passed September 26, 2008 by a vote of 257-166.TOP

22. “Stimulus” Spending Bill HR 7110 (Roll Call 660). The House gave final passage to a bill providing additional spending for roads and bridges, energy development, housing and nutrition assistance, and water and sewer projects. The bill also added aid to states that were in financial difficulty due to overspending. ACU objects to this kind of “emergency” appropriating, since it gives too much leeway for “earmarked” pork barrel projects. The bill passed September 26, 2008 by a vote of 264-158.TOP

23. Financial Services Industry Bailout HR 3997 (Roll Call 674). The House refused to agree to Senate amendments bailing out the financial services industry by giving sole authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to disburse $700 billion “without restriction.” ACU opposes nationalization of an industry and the bill was temporarily defeated September 29, 2008 by a vote of 205-228.TOP

24. Financial Services Industry Bailout HR 1424 (Roll Call 681). Following its first defeat of this bailout package, House leadership brought the bill back from the Senate that combined the original bill with the business tax extension bill (see #21) and a one-year modification to the Alternative Minimum Tax. ACU is opposed but in this form it passed the House October 3, 2008 by a vote of 263-171.TOP

25. Automobile Industry Bailout HR 7321 (Roll Call 690). The House voted to pass a bill bailing out the three Detroit-based auto manufacturers to the tune of more than $14 billion. ACU opposed this effort, but the House passed it December 10, 2008 by a vote of 237-170.TOP

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who is James Tyler?

A candidate has declared for the 20th district state senate seat currently held by Tom George, who is term-limited.

What an amazing candidate.

Election Vindicated

Special election appealed, Knappen is WSA president

Nate Knappen and Janine Putnam are now the president and vice-president elect of the Western Student Association, ending a six-week controversy.

On Thursday, April 23, the Judicial Committee of the WSA held a public hearing to hear the Knappen / Putnam campaign’s appeal of the Election Control Board’s decision that the results of the special election did not yield a winner.
What caused the problem?

The JC found that there was a misunderstanding of the percentage of the popular vote that made up a victory. In the special election, it was assumed that it was 51 percent of the popular vote. The JC ruled that it was really 50 percent plus one vote.

(Actually, that still isn't quite right. A majority is greater than 50%. If there are three voters, then 50% + 1 is 2.5 votes, but > 50% is > 1.5 votes = 2 votes assuming votes are whole numbers.)

The peculiar 2009 election began after the ECB contested the original election results on March 20 after allegations surfaced that the Knappen / Putnam campaign violated terms of the Student Election Code. The JC found Knappen / Putnam campaign guilty.

In the first election, Knappen / Putnam received 1,200 votes, or 60 percent, Nordstrand / Dunsmore got 38 percent with 800 votes, and 40 votes were write in candidates making two percent.

Those results were nullified and the JC scheduled a special election to take place from April 13-15. The election was open to new candidates and Sasha Acker and Chris Caloia joined the race. 1,225 students voted, of which Knappen / Putnam received 614 votes, Nordstrand / Dunsmore 388 votes, and Acker / Caloia 209 votes.

According the JC report, four write-in candidates were eliminated, giving Knappen a 50.29 percent margin. But a victory, at the time, was considered to be 51 percent.

The duty to elect the president was then sent to the senate, as stated in the constitution, and following hours of debate, Nordstrand / Dunsmore was elected with 21 of the 36 votes, the other 15 going to Knappen/Putnam. Nordstrand and Dunsmore were immediately sworn in as president and vice president.

“The concept that minimum threshold for majority vote was 51 percent, arose extraneously per miscommunication of the procedures of the Special Election,” reads the same JC report.

“It was unnecessary and an error because of the time crunch,” former justice Alexander Smith said. “We felt we had to have a president elected.”Smith added that the 51 percent victory margin came about through miscommunication with the ECB.

“The Election Control Board acted in good faith, but alas in error, in ruling the Special Election failed to produce majority-threshold result, based on a misunderstanding that the minimum threshold for majority vote was 51percent,” reads the JC report.

“No one wants to admit where the number came from,” Freye said, adding that he never believed the majority was 51 percent, but went along with what the JC dictated.

“There was serious miscommunication,” Freye said, “but I wouldn’t go so far as say it was a misunderstanding.”

Freye went on to say that he probably should have submitted his disagreement to the JC in writing.

“Mistakes were made, there were oversights, but why did it take him [Knappen] losing to take issue with the 51 percent?” he asked. “This whole situation is very detrimental to WSA.”

Nate Knappen said he and Putnam submitted their contention the day after the election, on April 17.

For now, at least, it looks like things are going to settle down for the WSA.

Smith said that the J.C. did everything they could to make sure there was nothing to be appealed in their ruling. “Technically, Stacy and Courtney have a window to appeal,” Smith said. “Those appeals would be circular and lack merit.”

While Knappen may be president-elect, there is no census on who is actually the president of WSA now.

“I assume I am kind of the acting president,” Andrew Ladd said, speaker of the senate.

There is really little happening as to official WSA business over the summer. “There really is no function for the president [until the fall],” Smith said.

For the candidates, the first election, then re-election, one president and then another has been a roller coaster.

“For us, it is unfortunate,” Nordstrand said. “We followed the process and didn’t do anything wrong along the way. Whoever leads WSA has a lot to do. Good luck.”

Knappen said the first thing he will do as president is to revise the bylaws of the WSA to weed out any ambiguities.

“[The election] shows that WSA is willing to admit mistakes and go about things in the right way,” Knappen said. “We hope students feel welcome to voicing their concerns with us.”

The question that remains is how WSA will be viewed by students who left in the spring thinking Nordstrand was their president, and coming back in the fall to see Knappen.

“It looks bad on our part to do it retroactively,” Ladd said. He wants everyone to know that everything happened the way it was laid out. “Everything happened the way it should have and as transparent as possible.”

“We’re not professional politicians,” he added. “We are rolling with it and doing the best we can.”
Knappen will be sworn in as president at a special assembly of WSA in Lansing, as part of WMU Day at the Capitol on May 27.
The WSA is still a joke, but at least the election winners actually won.

Bill Steffen Versus Global Warming Nuts

WOOD tv 8 weatherman Bill Steffen criticizes global warming fearmongering.

MSNBC vs. local weatherman

MSNBC is running a four-part series entitled Future Earth. On their website they say you can “find out why Earth’s climate machine — the North Pole — is melting alarmingly fast. Learn about our planet’s future, and how you can stop its decline.”

First, the North Pole is not “Earth’s Climate Machine”. There is far more heat and area in the Tropics than at the North Pole. Second, YOU can’t stop it’s decline (assuming it’s declining)! Nature is big - you personally are insignificant compared to nature. Don’t you wish you had the power to control icecaps!


The Antarctic icecap (which is much bigger than the Arctic icecap) has been growing. In Sept. 1979 (first year of satellite data) the Antarctic icecap was 18.4 million sq. km. In Sept. 2008, the Antarctic icecap was at 19.2 million sq. km. That’s a 30-year trend. By comparison, Michigan is 151,586 sq. km, so that’s an increase in icecover of over five times the area of Michigan.

MSNBC could instead be doing a story on the trend of cooling in Antarctica and possible falling sea levels due to ice accumulation in Antarctica. Keep in mind that if the Polar icecap (without Greenland) melted…it would hardly cause sea level to rise, because the icecap is currently displacing water in the Arctic Ocean.
He must not have heard about the SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS.

Club for Growth Ratings

The Club for Growth has released its 2008 ratings of Congress.

The 2008 Congressional Scorecard - House
The 2008 Congressional Scorecard - Senate

Democrat Senators Carl Levin scored 3% and Debbie Stabenow scored 13%.

Republican Congressman Fred Upton scored 39%.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This update focues on the culture war. Liberals, elitists, and judicial activists continue to undermine traditional American culture. Abortion, marriage, and immigration are just some of the salient issues.

Selwyn Duke: According to Kinsey, Deviancy Is the New Normal
Phyllis Schlafly: Ginsburg's Judicial Activism Goes International
Don Devine: Capitalist Moral Hazard
Selwyn Duke: Obama: Rescuing Dogs and Rending Babies
Phyllis Schlafly: Yes, Marriage Can Be Saved From the Gay Lobby
Steve Sailer: Demography Is Destiny. And Our Destiny (Courtesy Of Immigration Policy) Is Disastrous
Terry Jeffrey: Obama's Carefully Crafted Cloning Contradiction
Phyllis Schlafly: The Court's One-Two Punch
John McManus: Why America's Culture Is Being Undermined
Patrick Krey: Is Conservatism Dead?

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

POLITICAL UPDATE--News from Abroad

This update focuses on news from abroad. Increasing violence in Mexico threatens American interests. Trouble continues in Somalia, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere.

Robert Spencer: The Somali Pirates Are Jihadists
Warren Mass: From Riches to Rags: Inflation & Poverty in Zimbabwe
Bay Buchanan: Mexico Meltdown II -- Are We Serious Yet?
Alex Newman: Violence in Mexico
Warren Mass: Clinton Meets with Abbas
Warren Mass: Russia's Puzzling Role in Afghan Theater
Allan Wall: Memo From Middle America: Wargaming Mexico—Will The U.S. Have To Invade?
Jed Babbin: State of the War
Brenda Walker: More On Mexico’s Meltdown: Bush Team's Parting Assessments Should Alarm Obama

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Stolen Election?

Something looks bad at the WSA.

Nordstrand named WSA president

The Western Student Association inaugurated a new president and vice president in their last meeting of the year.

WSA senators elected Stacy Nordstrand and Courtney Dunsmore president and vice president April 15 during a special election by senators. The election was held because no party held the majority after the special election April 13.
Let's review. Knappen Putnam won the first election by a vote of 1200 to 800 (60% to 40%). The results of the election were thrown out on the highly dubious grounds that it was a major election crime to encourage people to vote and make it easy for them to do so. (Specifically, by providing a laptop to vote online.)

So there was a special election.

In the special election held April 13, Knappen-Putnam received 50 percent of the vote, 614 votes out of 1,225 votes total. Nordstrand-Dunsmore received 32 percent and Acker-Caloia received 17 percent.
For some reason, despite the results of the special election, in which Knappen/Putnam won a bare majority of 50.1%, the WSA Senate then voted on the issue.

WSA senators elected Stacy Nordstrand and Courtney Dunsmore president and vice president April 15 during a special election by senators. The election was held because no party held the majority after the special election April 13.

Nordstrand and Dunsmore defeated Nate Knappen and Janine Putnam by 21 votes to 15 out of the 36 votes from non-abstaining senators. Knappen-Putnam received more votes in the two previous WSA elections.
What was the point of having elections?

Based on the comments, it appears that the Judicial Council simply made up a wrong definition of 'majority', requiring 51% rather than >50%.

Even by the low standards of the WSA, this is bad.

Previous: WSA Follies

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Will Feminists Ever Stop Lying?

WMU takes back the night

“One in four women have been sexually assaulted, which means we all know someone who has been affected,” Jones said. “Sexual assault won’t end unless we do something about it. It’s our responsibility.”
Not True: Take Back the Nonsense

“We are doing this to stand with others and to raise awareness. We don’t approve of violence against women, and we’re going to do something about it,” said Dave Jones, an advisor to FIRE! The program will feature live jazz music performed by WMU’s sophomore jazz guitarist, Brad Hatfield.
All the feminists' jazz concerts, as well as poetry, drawings, paintings, and more never seem to solve the problem of 'violence against women' because that's not the goal. The goal is to smear men as rapists and abusers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


This update focuses on health care. The left is eager to impose government control on health care. That would mean less freedom, higher taxes, and worse health care.

William Hoar: Taxing Our Health
Mac Johnson: Reimporting Socialism, Not Drugs
Walter Williams: Sweden's Government Health Care
Kurt Williamsen: SCHIP of State
Terry Jeffrey: What Obama Is Doing With Your Medical Records
Phyllis Schlafly: Obama Gives What the Doctor Did Not Order
Jane Orient: Stay Healthy: Government Healthcare May Be Coming

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Libertarian Speaker at WMU

WMU’s Earth Week begins Monday with guest speaker

Monday marks the beginning of Earth Week 2009. This is a week put on by Students for a Sustainable Earth, as well as other organizations around campus.


On Monday night, Students for a Sustainable Earth and Western Michigan’s RSO College Republicans welcome Joel Salatin, a holistic farmer and author of “You Can Farm” and “Salad Bar Beef.”

The topic of Salatin’s discussion is “Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal,” and is about current laws and legal regulations that are harmful to small farmers and beneficial to farming corporations.

This presentation is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Shaw Theater.

Crime Alert

Sheriff's office seeks gunmen after pair of Oshtemo incidents

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP -- The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office is seeking information in a pair of armed confrontations that occurred early Sunday morning in Oshtemo Township.

Residents of a home in the 5500 block of Croyden Avenue told police they were sleeping at 2 a.m. when the front door of their apartment was kicked in and they confronted a man with a black handgun. He was described as a black male, 6 feet tall in his 20s with an Afro and a goatee. He was dressed in dark clothing.

Police said he ran from the apartment without taking anything.

At about 4:15 a.m. Sunday, deputies were called to KL Avenue near Mount Royal Drive, a few miles from Croyden, where two people said they were walking home when confronted by a male with a handgun who demanded cash.

The victims could only describe the assailant as a black male wearing a hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Police ask anyone with information to call the sheriff's department.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


This update focuses on civil liberties. Missouri recently withdrew a report branding conservatives as potential terrorists. President Obama supports a 'national service' plan that could reinstate the draft.

William Jasper: Profiling and Criminalizing Political Dissent
James Perloff: Tenth Amendment Movement: Taking On the Feds
Jacob Hornberger: Two Checks on Tyranny
John Eidsmoe: The Militia: In History and Today
Jerome Corsi: Bill creates detention camps in U.S. for 'emergencies'
Ron Paul: On Reinstating the Draft
Patrick Krey: Any Volunteers for National Service?
Patrick Krey: At Uncle Sam's Service

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Free-Market Economist at WMU

Private solutions to public disasters
April 2, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Peter Boettke, professor of economics at George Mason University, will discuss "Private Solutions to Public Disasters: Self Reliance and Social Resilience," from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Western Michigan University.

The talk in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall is the final of a series of lectures addressing the economics of disasters, both natural and man-made. The 2008-09 Werner Sichel Lecture Series event is free and open to the public.

In addition to being a professor at George Mason, Boettke is also deputy director of the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy and a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center. His fields of interest include transition economies, the history of economic thought, public choice and law and economics.

Boettke earned a doctoral degree in economics from George Mason University. Before joining the George Mason faculty in 1998, he held faculty positions at Oakland University, Manhattan College and New York University. He was a national fellow at the Hoover Institution in 1992-93 and has been a visiting professor or scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Institute, the Stockholm School of Economics and Central European University.

Boettke is the author of several books on the history, collapse and transition from socialism in the former Soviet Union, including "Why Perestroika Failed: The Economics and Politics of Socialist Transformation" and "Calculation and Coordination: Essays on Socialism and Transitional Political Economy." He also is editor of "Socialism and the Market: The Socialist Calculation Debate Revisited" and "The Legacy of F.A. Hayek: Politics, Philosophy, Economics."

Now in its 45th year, the annual Sichel Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of longtime WMU economics professor, Dr. Werner Sichel, who retired in 2004. The series is cosponsored by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

For more information, contact the Department of Economics at (269) 387-5535.