Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best of The Western Right: 2009

This blog has been very active this year, covering many topics. We had 300 posts this year. Here are some of the best posts of 2009.

The Right Agenda: Don't Support Obama
The Right Agenda: Fix the Primary System

Conservative of the Year: Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck's Common Sense
Kitchens' Tossed Salad
The Awful Wilson Administration
Discrimination News
Best Comment Ever
Mackinac Conference 2009
Yes, Obama Lied
Ted Kennedy's Terrible Legacy
Dome of Deceit
Who Are They Talking To?
Two Facts on Health Care
Welfare Test
Speed Traps Exposed
Kalamazoo to become Sanctuary City
Meltdown by Thomas Woods
What's in a Slogan?
Arena of Conflict
A Conservative History of the American Left
Forum of Discontent
Guilty by Ann Coulter
Obama's Awful Auto Plan
Robert Jones Attacks Free Speech
Robert Jones Supports Crossdressers Over Christians
Robert Jones Wants to Raise Your Taxes
Remembering Doctor Haenicke
The Privileged Planet
The Drums of Intolerance

The Best of The Western Right: 2008
The Best of The Western Right: 2007
The Best of The Western Right: 2006

Best Articles of 2009

It is time for the best articles of 2009. These articles were selected from roughly 10,000 articles this year. More than 400 articles appeared in this year's 52 POLITICAL UPDATES.

The economy was the most frequent topic, inspiring eight updates. Second was health care with seven. Tied for third were the culture war, government, news from abroad, and liberalism with five each. What follows are my choices, in chronological order, for the twenty most important news or opinion pieces of 2009.

Gary North: Social Security Is Going, Going, Gone
James Dellingpole: The Great British Climate Fraud
Lew Rockwell: Economics and Moral Courage
Michael Cannon and Ramensh Ponnuru: You Mislead!
Gary North: Medicare Went Broke in 2008
William Jasper: Decades of Suicidal Policies Vis-à-vis Russia and China
James Perloff: Council On Foreign Relations
Steve Sailer: The Gods Of The Copybook Headings With Terror And Slaughter [a.k.a. The Minority Mortgage Meltdown] Return
James Perloff: Iran and the Shah: What Really Happened
Ann Coulter: 49 Million to Five
Steve Sailer: Playing With Fire: The Obama Administration Backs Anti-White Discrimination in Ricci
William Jasper: Homeland Security: Everyone's a Threat
Steve Sailer: The “Obama Bear Market” And Why He Triggered It
Steve Sailer: Demography Is Destiny. And Our Destiny (Courtesy Of Immigration Policy) Is Disastrous
Steve Sailer: Minority Mortgage Meltdown (contd.) Pay No Attention To That Diversity Mandate Behind The Curtain
John McManus: EU Déjà Vu in the Caribbean
Chuck Baldwin: A Very Real New World Order
Chuck Baldwin: More On The New World Order
Phyllis Schlafly: Community Organizing Explained
Steve Sailer: The Minority Mortgage Meltdown (contd.): How The Community Reinvestment Act Fits In

Best Articles of 2008
Best Articles of 2007
Best Articles of 2006
Best Articles of 2005

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: The Year at Western

What happened at Western Michigan University in 2009?

In January, the Gazette profiled a perpetual student at Western. In February, a lawyer gave students at the WSA advice on dealing with the police. The WSA presidential election heated up, while President Dunn discussed creating a medical school and Ken Miller was appointed to another term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Former Western President Diether Haenicke wrote a column discussing Bill Ayers' influence in higher education. Attorney General Mike Cox spoke at Kalamazoo College. This blog posted an article on the value of college. A leftist named Willie wrote a smug letter to the Herald.

On February 15, 2009 former President of Western Michigan University Diether Haenicke died. WMU News posted a good summary of his career. This blog posted two roundups of articles on Haenicke. This blog posted a tribute to Doctor Haeknicke, a friend of the WMU College Republicans , discussing some of the wise decisions he made over the years. The video of the Haenicke memorial service is available.

In March, two self-described former terrorists spoke at Western. The media reported on the event. Some students campaigned to ban the 'R' word (retarded). Ed Rivet spoke to Students for Life on America First Day.

In April, a free-market economist spoke at Western. SSE hosted a libertarian-leaning speaker at Western. Feminists spread more lies at their Take back the Night event. A Western professor was Rethinking Marxism.

The WSA had a contested Presidential election, which made it look even more ridiculous than usual. The election was stolen, whether by malice or incompetence. The results were later overturned. The result hinged on a misunderstanding of the definition of the word 'majority'.

Over the summer, this blog posted a number of articles questioning the structure of college. Room and board rates increased. Western spent money building columns. The Herald announced that it was cutting its publishing to twice a week. The police caught a stupid criminal at Western. Michigan State University allowed concealed weapons on campus. Western's part-time instructors voted to unionize. The Board of Trustees hiked tuition by 5.7% and voted to expand the business park into the Colony Farm Orchard. The Gazette profiled a WMU student who escaped Muslims in Sudan. The electronic door locks malfunctioned. Western's sculptures were 'recognized'. The Colony Farm plan advanced in the legislature. The EcoMug program was revived.

Local elites, including Ken Miller, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, began discussing plans to build a new arena in downtown Kalamazoo , and possibly move WMU Basketball and Hockey games there. The Gazette published several articles casting further doubt on the viability of the arena proposal. Still more information on the arena plan surfaced.

As the new academic year began, Western thought about security. Western remembered 9/11. Enrollment declined. President Dunn discussed creating a medical school at Western. Western ramped up measures to deal with swine flu. Peter Wielhouwer spoke on Christianity and politics. Rebecca Kiesling spoke to Students for Life about being conceived by rape.

In November, Governor Granholm visited Western to promote raising taxes. Western opened a center funded by communist China. The Arcus Foundation funded a center at Kalamazoo College. KVCC moved to create a police force. A Herald editorial raised questions about the Confucius Center. Former WSA President Chris Praedel announced he was running for state house.

2008: The Year at Western
2007: The Year at Western
2006: The Year at Western

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dave Barry's Year in Review


It was worse than you thought.

I Like Guns

Time for a Grocery Bailout?

The issue of opening a grocery store on Kalamazoo's Northside has surface once again.

Kalamazoo's north side will get a new grocery store in 2010, official says

Kalamazoo’s north side will have a new grocery store in 2010, the director of the Northside Association for Community Development said.

Director Mattie Jordan-Woods said local officials have received at least six responses to a recent request-for-proposals for a new store to replace a Felpausch grocery that closed in May.
What sparked this interest?

The project received a $200,000 boost from the city of Kalamazoo in June. City commissioners approved offering “operational support” to a new business, including a $100,000 grant and a $100,000 loan.

Jordan-Woods said the fact the building is owned by a NACD-subsidiary boosts prospects for having another grocery store there.

“If it had been owed by a private company, it would most likely have been sold off,” she said. “Ownership gives us control over what happens there.”
Massive taxpayer subsidies, of course!

She called the grocery store an economic stimulus to the area, where she said $10 million of development occurred from 2003 to 2008, including a new $4.2 million Kalamazoo Public Safety station.
Ah, stimulus.

Jordan-Woods said the association has received a mix of suggestions for the type of grocery operation that should be located there. Those range from an upscale, specialty store to a discount, self-serve grocery.
Neither of those sounds like a good idea in that location.

Maybe lower taxes would encourage business in Kalamazoo.

Attack on Homeschooling?

Designated Conservative reports a threat to homeschooling in the Michigan legislature.

Killing Homeschooling in Michigan – The Other Shoe to Drop in 2010?

This Designated Conservative received word last week from a legislative staffer in Lansing that the recently fast-tracked public school reform legislation will very likely be followed up in 2010 with bills aimed at significantly tightening homeschooling regulations in Michigan. No details are available, but…

…it appears that our Democrat-led state leadership are being pushed and prodded by the Michigan Education Association teachers’ union to make the changes.

As with past efforts to curtail homeschooling, this latest attack was preceded by a hit-piece article in The Detroit News and a follow up ‘analysis.’ An accompanying reader poll provides a good indicator for just how small of a minority of Michiganders want to kill homeschooling:
Read it all.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Praedel for State Rep?

Former WSA President Chris Praedel is running for the 60th district state house seat.

Recent graduate seeks state House seat: Education, jobs are priorities for Democrat Chris Praedel

His opponent will be former city commissioner Sean McCann, who appears to have locked up support from local democratic leaders.

Since graduation, Praedel has been teaching in Chicago.

Preadel's tenure in the WSA was controversial. His closest political ally, the WSA speaker, was unanimously convicted by the WSA Judicial Council of violating the WSA Constitution, which ironically was written by Sean McCann. He was responsible for pushing through a 75% tax increase in the Student Assessment Fee. He entered WSA running the 'Spirit Committee', whose purpose seemed primarily to be giving away lots of stuff people didn't much want. He also associated the WSA with a radical leftist organization.

Here are some articles concerning Praedel's time in office.
Corrupt Politicians Against Transparency
WSA Update
On Campus
WSA Wants a Tax Increase
WSA Update
WSA affiliates with SAM & USSA, a "left-wing radical outlet"

Still, Preadel is probably better than McCann.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Attack Foiled?

Reports: Passenger tried to blow up plane at Metro on behalf of al Qaeda

Washington -- Federal officials and police are interviewing a 23-year-old Nigerian man who apparently tried to ignite a powdery substance on a Northwest plane that landed Friday at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, injuring himself and two passengers, law enforcement officials told ABC News

The man told authorities he was directed by al Qaeda to explode a small device in flight over U.S. soil, according to the news report.


Passenger Syed Jafri, a U.S. citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane's descent. Jafri said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and said he saw a glow, and noticed a smoke smell. Then, he said, "a young man behind me jumped on him."


Government security failed, but a passenger stopped the attack. Not surprisingly, the attacker was a Muslim.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Conservative of the Year: Glenn Beck

Human Events announced that their choice for conservative of the year is former Vice-President Dick Cheney.
Dick Cheney: HUMAN EVENTS' Conservative of the Year

This is a bizarre pick. All Cheney did was give a couple high-profile speeches. The obviously correct choice for conservative of the year is Glenn Beck.

Talk radio and Fox News host Glenn Beck has emerged from relative anonymity over the past year. Beck is a talk radio veteran who quietly worked his way to the third most popular radio talk show outside the major media spotlight. He hosted a television show on CNN Headline News for several years, but his move to Fox News has brought him to the forefront.

He has repeatedly grabbed attention with his exposes of Barack Obama and his cadre of radical 'Czars' including Van Jones, John Holdren, Cass Sunstien, and more. His efforts led to the resignation of Jones, exposure of leftist criminal organization ACORN, and the rollback of several Obama administration initiatives.

In addition to his shows, he has published several nuber-one bestselling books, including the novel The Christmas Sweater, the brief tract Common Sense: the Case Against an out-of-Control Government and the more recent Arguing With Idiots. His email newsletter has more than a million subscribers, more than the New York Times. He launched the activist 9/12 Project, which now has several thousand members. He has gone on book and comedy tours, helped lead a massive march on Washington, planned an art show (!), and more.

Beck is notable in several ways. He is a constitutionalist conservative (he describes himself, questionably, as a libertarian). He is a prominent critic of the Federal Reserve. As a political independent, he is pointedly critical of the failings of the Republican Party and George W. Bush. He is willing to think outside of conventional wisdom, explore the roots of the progressive movement, and consider explanations such as Carroll Quigley's book Tragedy and Hope. He is willing to give airtime to a number of constitutionalists blacklisted by the establishment media.

Few people have been more deserving of being named conservative of the year than Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck's Common Sense

Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, inspired by Thomas Paine
by Glenn Beck

Talk radio and Fox News host Glenn Beck has emerged from relative anonymity over the past year. Beck is a talk radio veteran who quietly worked his way to the third most popular radio talk show outside the major media spotlight.

In addition to his shows, he has published a flurry of books, including the novel The Christmas Sweater and the more recent Arguing With Idiots. See more about Beck in this post:
Conservative of the Year: Glenn Beck

Common Sense is, as the name says, a case against our out-of-control government. It covers efforts of the left to remake America, the massive and expanding government spending and national debt, the income tax, the "perks and privileges of the political class", and some history and initiatives of the progressive movement, both historical and modern. It also reproduces the original Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

I really wanted to like this book. Sure, most of Beck's positions are pretty much right. But the book was clearly a rush job. In several places, the book is sloppy with facts in ways that don't undermine his overall case. This is odd, as this author hasn't noticed similar problems with Beck's other efforts.

For example, on page 67 the book states "The presidential election of 2008 was truly a repeat of the presidential election of 1912, in which America was really only offered a Progressive Republican and a Progressive democrat as candidates." But 1912 was famously a three-candidate race, with progressive democrat Woodrow Wilson and former Republican President and Progressive Party nominee Teddy Roosevelt challenging somewhat progressive Republican President William Howard Taft. One understands Beck's point, but analogies can only be pushed so far.

More serious is his criticism of gerrymandering, saying on pages 50-51 that "Americans want elections that are open and fair, but the gerrymander is designed to make sure that doesn't happen. How? It's simple: by artificially carving out election districts that favor a particular incumbent or political party." That's true as far as it goes, but the examples he uses don't support the point.

The first example he cites is one of the worst gerrymanders, Illinois' 4th congressional district represented by democrat Luis Gutierrez. The district is anchored by two Chicago neighborhoods, one Mexican and the other Puerto Rican. They are joined by a long circuitous strip that winds around the majority black 7th district. But the 4th district was not created to protect an incumbent. Quite the opposite. When it was created in 1992, it was created as a new Hispanic-majority district designed to have no incumbent, so that a Hispanic would be elected. The district is solidly democratic, but that's true of all the Chicago districts, so partisanship isn't really an issue here.

The third example is Arizona's 2nd congressional district, represented by Republican Trent Franks. Its story is even stranger. It runs from the suburbs of Phoenix along the west of Arizona to the Utah border, and then has a narrow strip along the Grand Canyon to a roughly rectangular patch of land in northeastern Arizona. The bizarre shape of the district is explained in its Wikipedia article.

The odd shape of the district is indicative of the use of gerrymandering in its construction. The unusual division was not, however, drawn to favor politicians. Owing to historic tensions between the Hopi and the Navajo Native American tribes and since tribal boundary disputes are a federal matter, it was thought inappropriate that both tribes should be represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by the same member. Since the Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation, and in order to comply with current Arizona redistricting laws, some means of connection was required that avoided including large portions of Navajo land, hence the narrow riverine connection.
Yes, incredibly the district was drawn explicitly for the purposes of segregating races. Unfortunately, Beck makes only passing reference to racial gerrymandering that is the real explanation of the examples he cites.

While most of Beck's efforts have been worthwhile, this one would have benefited from better editing.

See also: Books in Brief (An Inconvenient Book)

Questioning Confucius

The finals edition of the Western Herald has an editorial on the opening of Western's new Confucius Institute, which is funded by the communist Chinese government. The editorial is apparently not online.

The editorial falls into the not-too-bad category. On the downside, it makes reference to the supposed "Red Scare" of the 1950s. This term implies that the threat of communism was illusory or exaggerated. But as it was, communists murdered about 150 million people, and they would have killed many more without vigorous efforts to thwart them. In comparison, that's approximately 150 million more people than have been killed by global warming.

On the upside, the article expressed concern about the possibility of China using the institute to influence curricula. It noted that Penn University rejected the possibility of hosting a Confucius Institute.

This issue bears further scrutiny.

Previous: Chinese Propaganda Ministry Opens Branch Office at WMU

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kitchens' Tossed Salad

The arguments for the downtown arena are getting worse and worse.

Ron Kitchens: Downtown Kalamazoo arena would be 'melting pot'

An arena should be built in downtown Kalamazoo not because it will create jobs and investment, but because it will create vital social interaction.

So says Ron Kitchens, the region’s economic-development chief, whose job it is to generate jobs here.
Well, it's good to know our 'vital social interaction chief' has his priorities straight. Wait...

Does this mean the elites pushing this plan have given up the argument that it will create jobs? And what is an 'economic-development chief' anyways?

“One of the things we don’t have in this community is a melting pot,” Kitchens said during an interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette.

“If you live in Portage, you never meet or see someone who lives on (Kalamazoo’s) north side. … There’s no reason for people to mix,” he said. “We need some place that the community comes together and they mix and get to know each other.”

The proposal to build a 6,800-seat arena in Kalamazoo depends on voters approving a tax on restaurant and bar sales to finance $81 million in construction costs. A task force appointed by the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners is studying the issue, and commissioners have yet to decide whether to put the tax request before county voters in 2010.

Kitchens said an arena is essential for making the region’s college students feel more included in the community. Keeping more students in the area after they graduate is key to the community’s growth, he said.
No, creating jobs is the key to economic growth. Students aren't leaving because they hate Kalamazoo, they're leaving because THERE AREN'T ANY JOBS. Bringing a few cool concerts isn't going to change that.

“If we can get them here and intertwined with the community, we’re going to see our companies and our institutions grow exponentially just by capturing that talent,” said Kitchens, chief executive officer of private economic-development organization Southwest Michigan First.

Kitchens also challenges criticism that an arena shouldn’t be paid for with public money. Arenas are public infrastructure, he said, just as roads and sewers, which are funded through public taxes.
The argument for government ownership of roads is that there is little possibility of competition in roads due to few plausible routes, and at least until recently, difficulty coming up with a plausible method of payment. Neither is at all applicable to arenas. You could just as easily say, 'grocery stores are private, so the military should be private'. Everything is the same except for the differences.

“The private sector hasn’t paid for the airport,” he said, giving an example of public infrastructure paid for with public money. “And I’ll tell you right now, an arena downtown is more important to the community than that airport is.

“Absolutely more important,” he said. “It will have quadruple the number of users the airport has in a given year.”
Based on made-up numbers. And air travel and concert going are equally important, right? That's why people pay equally much for both of them, right?

There's one thing the public definitely shouldn't pay for: Ron Kitchens.

Mackinac on Homeschooling

High-Flying Home-Schoolers

A recent Detroit News article, inappropriately titled "Lax home-school laws put kids at risk," states that current Michigan law prevents us from finding out how well home-schooled students are doing academically. Home-schoolers in Michigan aren't required to take standardized tests, as they do in other states, but Michigan home-schoolers sometimes take them voluntarily. The results from these tests are very impressive.

A report by the National Home Education Research Institute released this year found that home-schooled students score 34 to 39 percentage points above the average standardized test score. This puts the home-school national average score at about the 80th percentile in language arts, math, social studies and almost 90th percentile in reading.

More impressive than these test scores is the study's analysis of the variables that impact standardized test scores, such as parents' level of education and family income. Like students in conventional schools, home-schoolers with parents who have college degrees and higher income perform better than homeschoolers whose parents have no college degrees and lower family income. But the difference between the two is much smaller than in conventional schools, and based on these two variables, the home-schooled students that would be predicted to perform the most poorly still outrank the national average. For example, home-schoolers whose parents do not have college degrees still tested in the 83rd percentile.

Compare these results with math scores released recently showing that Detroit students performed slightly better than if they had simply guessed, or with the fact that Michigan's cut scores for standardized tests are among the weakest in the nation, and it becomes a safe bet that the vast majority of home-schoolers in Michigan are outperforming their peers in conventional schools.


This update focuses on liberalism.

William Andersen: The Progressive Era
Phyllis Schlafly: Feminist Vendetta Against Men's Sports
David Goodman: The 60th Anniversary of Orwell’s 1984
Phyllis Schlafly: Obama's Radical Rogues Gallery?
Rich Noyes: Better Off Red?
Bruce Walker: Nazis and Communists: Ideological Bedfellows
Phyllis Schlafly: Feminists Psychoanalyze Themselves Again
Cort Kirkwood: ACORN’s Nutty Antics
Steve Sailer: Norman Podhoretz’s Why Are Jews Liberal? Not Good Enough

Much information on liberal individuals and organizations can be found at David Horowitz's Discover the Network site.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Does KVCC Want Police?

Kalamazoo Valley Community College has moved to create a new police force.

KVCC moves ahead to form new police agency

TEXAS TOWNSHIP — Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s governing board voted Tuesday to establish a law-enforcement agency at the college.

The approval came moments after the close of the second of two public hearings this month on the proposed police force.

“Now with the resolution, we have the board authorization to go to (the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards) and ask them if they would give us permission to develop” plans for a new law-enforcement agency, KVCC President Marilyn Schlack told the Gazette following the public hearing.

Schlack said the college will contact the commission next month but administrators need no further approval from the KVCC Board of Trustees to create the new agency.
Why does KVCC want a police force anyways?

Violence on other school campuses is among reasons KVCC officials are making this move, Schlack said, pointing to the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado and the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007.

In the wake of the Virginia Tech killings, KVCC moved to tighten security, such as improving the security-camera system. Officials say a campus police department is part of a heightened focus on safety.

“It’s our goal not to be reactive. It’s our goal to be proactive,” Schlack said.

College officials can now call on county police in case of emergency, but Schlack contends that having officers in-house is necessary.

“The issue is the response time,” she said.
First of all, school shootings aren't all that common, particularly in college. Second, did KVCC take a look at the actual performance of the police during those shootings? At Columbine, police hid outside the building until the shooters had committed suicide. At Virginia Tech, police hid behind trees until the shooter had committed suicide. In both cases, 'officer safety' came before actually saving lives.

Of course, by far the best way to prevent mass shootings is to stop disarmament policies and allow law-abiding citizens to carry guns. Economist John Lott conducted a study on mass shootings several years ago.

We found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent.

To the extent that attacks still occurred, they overwhelmingly happened in the special places within right-to-carry states where concealed handguns were banned.
Not that any university would consider allowing self-defence.

So why does KVCC want police?

Officials expect the new agency to consist of security guards — what the college now employs — and also sworn officers. The size of the force and details of how it will operate are to be determined.
So KVCC already has security guards. The article doesn't say whether they are armed, but there shouldn't be any problem with arming them if they are not. Guards can respond as quickly as police.

So why does KVCC want police?

Previous: End the Campus Gun Ban

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Candidate Rick Snyder brings 'reinvent' Michigan message to Kalamazoo
Gov. Jennifer Granholm stresses need for workers to retrain in visit to Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Township fire official resigns, claims age discrimination
Churches to leave homeless ministry over sexuality conflict
Texas Township considers tax to pay for fire services
Portage appoints new school board member

Oshtemo seeks details on sheriff costs
KVCC moves ahead to form new police agency
First police force planned for KVCC
Police Kalamazoo investigate armed home invasion
Environmentalists happy with lack of action on Colony Farm Orchard, vow to keep fighting

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gun Sales in Michigan

From the Free Press:

MI: In record numbers, guns and ammo fly off shelves

Michigan expects record $17M in taxes from sales


One reason for the rush is that many gun owners thought the election of President Barack Obama would usher in a new call for gun restrictions. Another is the popularity of concealed-weapon permits, like those in Michigan, that allow owners to keep firearms in purses or glove boxes if they have a permit. And there's also the broadening of the state law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force, even outside their own homes.

Guns are no longer taboo. Single moms, college students and even older women are buying them and learning how to use them, McMahon said.

Monday, December 14, 2009


This update focuses on education. Government and liberalism continue to corrupt education. Obama's "Safe Schools Czar" Kevin Jennings is pursuing a radical agenda.

Carrie Lukas: Keep Uncle Sam Away from Toddlers!
Selwyn Duke: Boys’ Educational Failure Is No Mystery
Phyllis Schlafly: Where Are the Men?
William Jasper: Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar” Kevin Jennings
Samuel Blumenfeld: Why the Federal Government Should Get Out of Education
Samuel Blumenfeld: Is Public Education Necessary?
William Jasper: Jennings Coverup Exposes More Media Malfeasance
William Jasper: Are Schools Teaching Children to Serve Obama?
David d'Escoto: The Insanity of the Right

Learn more about education issues in Education Reporter.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jack on Smoking

From an email from Jack Hoogendyk:

I personally find smoking to be a disgusting habit. I cannot abide cigarette smoke when I am out to enjoy a nice meal. Incidentally, my father died of lung cancer after 60 years of smoking. However, as a lawmaker, I would find it necessary to lay aside my personal feelings when considering legislation that would be an affront to the Constitution.

Banning smoking on public property is one thing; people need to go to the Secretary of State, or the Post Office. They should not be subjected to annoying and potentially hazardous second-hand smoke in a public building. But, to tell a proprietor of a restaurant, on his own property, which he paid for and pays taxes on, that he cannot allow his patrons to engage in a LEGAL activity is, in my opinion, a violation of the fifth amendment. The remedy for this would be to either remove all restrictions to smoking, a legal activity, on private property, or to declare cigarette smoking an illegal activity, and banning it altogether.
RightMichigan has the votes on the bill in both houses of the legislature.
Why is it always the WRONG 5%?

Local Republicans George, Nofs, Deshazor, and Schuitmaker all voted for the bill. Of the area Republicans, only Jase Bolger stood up for property rights.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nanny Statists Win

The state legislature has voted to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker sent out bragging about voting for the bill.

"This legislation will allow Michigan businesses to join with many other states across the nation who have made the sensible steps necessary to preserve a healthy work environment for Michigan employees," said Schuitmaker, R-Antwerp Township.
Here's a thought: why not let people make their own decisions?

When the Apes Run the Asylum

What's the Arcus foundation been up to?

K-College grant to build social-justice leaders

Kalamazoo College has received a $2.1 million grant that will launch and fund the first two years of the new Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, the college was to announce today.

The center, first announced in April and expected to open next fall, is intended to develop leadership skills in students who will work in fields that promote human rights and social justice.

The grant is from the Arcus Foundation, whose founder and president is Kalamazoo billionaire Jon Stryker. The foundation’s main focuses are gay rights and preservation of great apes.

Stryker graduated from K-College in 1982 and sits on its board of trustees.

The grant will pay for programming at the new Arcus Center as well as the hiring of an executive director, academic director and support staff for the initial years.

But ultimately, college officials say, the college will ask the foundation to provide endowment funding that would generate a $1 million annual budget for the center.

The size of that endowment is yet to be seen, but officials said earlier this year that funding for the center would likely exceed the largest grant K-College had ever received. That grant, for $5.6 million, was also from the Arcus Foundation. It pays for a program meant to boost diversity on campus.

“We are honored by the Arcus Foundation’s trust in our vision and thrilled to be able to make this vision a reality,” K-College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran said in a statement.

Officials say that their current vision is for the center to provide an array of programs, from conferences and lectures by social justice experts to short-term residencies for scholars, artists and activists.

Arcus Foundation Urvashi Vaid said the “unique and innovative collaboration” with the college will help develop “the next generation of social-justice leaders.”

The center will be located on campus in the former L. Lee Stryker Center.
A commenter asks an impontant question.

Why doesn't the Arcus Foundation also create a Great Apes Center for Social Leadership at Kalamazoo College? I think the Arcus leaders should be true to their mission.
This raises a number of other questions.

Why doesn't Kalamazoo have a great ape anti-discrimination ordinance?

Why not admit great apes to Kalamazoo College? That would really increase 'diversity'.

What about gay great apes? Who's looking out for them?

Someone needs to fight evil discrimination like this:

Financial Reports Filed

Candidates and committees filed campaign finance reports on the 2009 election.

Victorious newcomer Patricia Randall top spender in Portage
Mayor Hopewell leads Kalamazoo spending
Anti-discrimination ordinance battle cost $458,000: Opposing sides broke spending record

The top spender in Portage was Patricia Randall, which helps to explain her surprise victory.

In Kalamazoo, the top seven spenders were the seven victorious candidates. Hopewell spent over $28,000, by far the most. Why? The mayor has no more power than any other commissioner. He could have spent nothing and wouldn't have finished lower than second. This blog had earlier speculated that he would run for state representative, but he isn't. Perhaps he just really likes calling himself Mayor.

The second biggest spender was 'gay rights' advocate Terry Kuseske, who won the open seat on the commission.

Meanwhile, supporters of the discrimination ordinance spent a miserly $402,000 advocating for it. Opponents spent only $55,000. Billionaire Jon Stryker personally spent $113,000 on the initiative. Many of the supporting contributions were from out of the area, unlike the supporters. Apparently the supporters were so discriminated against that they could only afford to outspend opponents seven to one! Back in 2001, 'gay rights' supporters outspent opponents by a mere three to one.

One particular donation stands out.

Lorence Wenke, local businessman and state senate candidate, $100;

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Kalamazoo Government Needs More Criminals!

That's what community organizers say.

City job applications shouldn't contain criminal-history questions, advocates say

KALAMAZOO — The city of Kalamazoo should remove from its job applications questions about a person’s criminal history, several people told the Kalamazoo City Commission on Monday.

Advocates said such a move would give ex-offenders a better chance to transition into the community and cut the recidivism rate.

Currently, city job applications ask people if they ever have been convicted of a felony, a criminal misdemeanor or a drinking-and-driving offense.

“There are some very good candidates that may be overlooked because of a mistake they made,” said Mattie Jordan-Woods, executive director of the Northside Association for Community Development.

Several commissioners said this was an important issue and that they wanted to move forward to support ex-offenders.

“People can change,” Commissioner Don Cooney said. “They deserve another chance.”

Kalamazoo City Manager Kenneth Collard said he is talking with the city’s human resource director about when a person’s criminal background should be brought up in the hiring process.

In the past two years, the commission has taken steps to help ex-offenders get an opportunity to land work. Last summer, the commission decided that businesses seeking city contracts must certify they do not automatically exclude felons when they hire new employees.

“It’s been real frustrating,” said Jonathan Braun, a Kalamazoo community organizer with Michigan People’s Action, who was released from prison six years ago. “Because of my criminal background, people are like, ‘You’re a felon.’ They don’t want to hire me.”
Libertarians like to say that government is a 'gang of thieves writ large'. Some folks on the left seem intent on making this literally true. Of course, there is already one criminal, ACORN community organizer Stephanie Moore, on the commission. By the way, Jonathan Braun was one of the homeless write-in candidates for city commission in 2007. Is it any wonder that Kalamazoo does worse economically than the surrounding areas?

Monday, December 07, 2009


This update focuses on global warming. Many of the primary scientific advocates of global warming hysteria have been exposed committing fraud, destroying data, illegally hiding data from FOIA requests, manipulating data to support their conclusions, and scheming to silence scientific critics. Meanwhile, the Copenhagen conference is about to get underway, where a treaty to put in place world government and massive redistribution of American wealth will be considered.

Christopher Booker: Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation
William Jasper: Climategate: E-mail Scandal Could Melt Copenhagen Plans
Ann Coulter: Do Smoking Guns Cause Global Warming, Too?
James Dellingpole: The Great British Climate Fraud
William Jasper: Carbon Scam? Al Gore, Profits, and Copenhagen

Chuck Baldwin: Climate Change Treaty A Precursor To Global Government?
Larry Greenley: Lord Monckton Says UN Copenhagen Treaty Will Create Communist World Government
William Jasper: From Rio to Copenhagen

Ed Hiserodt: Having Never Heard of Global Warming
George Giles: The Global-Warming Crusaders
Ed Hiserodt: "Not Evil Just Wrong": Dissecting Environmental Extremism

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Debating Guns on Campus

Eastern Michigan University hosted a debate on guns on campus.

EMU debates concealed guns on campus

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

61st District Election Updates

Rep. Larry Deshazor's decision to vacate the 61st state house district to run for the state senate kicks off an interesting race to replace him.

Several consider running for Rep. DeShazor's seat if he tries for Senate slot
Political newcomer Thomas Batten announces bid for 61st District state House seat

On the Republican side, Margaret O'Brien is likely to run, as long as Larry doesn't change his mind and seek reelection. The only other potential candidate mentioned is David Yardley, who is considering it.

Margaret O'Brien ran for this seat in 2008, coming up just short to Deshazor in the primary. She is likely to receive even more support this time around. The 2008 primary was to some extent a conservative/moderate battle, but it is unclear whether a strong moderate candidate will appear this time.

Yardley also ran in 2008, employing an unconventional campaign strategy. He trailed far behind in votes on election day.

On the democrat side, Julie Rogers is noncommittal on the race. She lost two close elections for this seat in 2006 and 2008. A 30-year-old unknown who just moved to the district named Thomas Batten is running as a democrat.

20th Senate District Update

The 20th district state senate race in Kalamazoo County and a small part of Van Buren promises one of the most interesting primary races in Michigan. The district is being vacated by Senator Tom George due to term limits.

Rep. Larry DeShazor fifth to seek George's Michigan Senate seat

About a week ago, state Rep. Larry Deshazor announced that he will seek the seat. He joins Rep. Tonya Scuitmaker and former Rep. Lorence Wenke, who have been running for several months. Deshazor was first elected to his current seat in 2008. His announcement surprised many local political observers.

The three candidates represent three distinct geographic areas. Ideologically, they are all somewhere between moderate and conservative, so it will be interesting to see how they position themselves.

Deshazor has allied himself with the Yob faction of the party. John Yob recently sent out a poll that his firm conducted on the race.

20th State Senate District:
Sample size 334
Larry DeShazor 180 53.89%
Tonya Schuitmaker 81 24.25%
Lorence Wenke 73 21.86%

Candidate polls should always be taken with a grain of salt. This poll is suspicious for several other reasons. The sample size is very small; 500 is considered the minimum for a respectable poll. The poll claims to survey "likely Republican Primary voters", but doesn't say how this is determined. It doesn't break down the results by state house district, which is particularly important in this race. It also did not allow for voters to say that they are undecided.

Still, it isn't surprising that Deshazor would have a lead based on name recognition. It remains to be seen how a campaign will play out.

This blog will have more in-depth coverage of this race at a later date.

Cox Leads Again

Mike Cox still looks good in the most recent poll of the Michigan gubernatorial race.


Poll: Cox leading race for governor

Lansing -- Attorney General Mike Cox is the front-runner in next year's governor's race, according to a poll released Sunday by Mitchell Research & Communications.

The poll of 600 likely voters taken before Thanksgiving shows Cox holding a 27 to 24 percent lead over Pete Hoekstra in the Republican primary.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is in third with 12 percent, while state Sen. Tom George and Ann Arbor businessman Rick Snyder are polling with 3 percent each in the survey conducted Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 22-24. One-third of voters are still undecided. It has a 4 percentage point margin of error.


Mitchell's poll also shows Cox leading the Democratic primary leader, Lt. Gov. John Cherry, by 16 percent. Cherry leads House Speaker Andy Dillon by 41 percent, a much wider margin than the last poll.

"Mike Cox has a strong lead everywhere but in the city of Detroit, where the Democrat always gets about 90 percent of the vote," Mitchell said.

"Cherry is clearly burdened by being lieutenant governor under a currently unpopular governor. At this point, Cox is in a very strong position, especially given his strong support by independent voters."