Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to Destroy the GOP in One Easy Step

Since the results of the 2012 election came in, calls for amnesty for illegal aliens have increased dramatically. Many commentators have noted Mitt Romney's poor showing (28%) among Hispanics, and claimed that passing amnesty is the key to improving those numbers.

Senator Marco Rubio and the "gang of eight" in the Senate have been working on a "comprehensive immigration reform" (amnesty) bill, and President Obama has been making a major push for it.  We don't know the exact details of the bill yet.  But based on similar proposals by the same folks, we can reasonably surmise the general outline of its contents.

These bills all contain an immediate legalization (amnesty) of illegal aliens in exchange for a promise of improved immigration enforcement (border security, internal enforcement) in the future.  The trouble with such a "compromise" is that the enforcement is likely to be sabotaged by the same global elites and businesses that are preventing our current immigration laws from being effectively.

Incidentally, 'amnesty' is the correct term for legalization of illegal aliens.  Entering the US without authorization or overstaying a visa is not permitted under America's law, nor should it be.  The penalty for this infraction is deportation at a minimum (and could include jail time as well).  Allowing illegal aliens to stay waives this penalty and thus constitutes amnesty.  While many versions of amnesty contain some fine, this is a farce considering the much greater value of legal status and eligibility for many government benefits.

Note also that amnesty is not a "path to citizenship".  Citizenship would actually be worse than amnesty, since it would not only waive the penalty, but actually provide a benefit in addition.  Most illegal aliens likely care more about legal status than citizenship, but many powerful supporters of amnesty would like them to become voters as well.  Some versions of amnesty bill would delay citizenship for awhile, but it is all too likely that illegals would get it eventually, whether from a future democrat administration, or activist judges.  Even if they don't, their children will, due to birthright citizenship.

Many conservatives, including Michelle MalkinErick EricksonAnn Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly, Pat BuchananJohn O'Sullivan, and Victor Davis Hanson have come out against the plan, but the outcome remains in doubt.

This article will focus on the political implications of amnesty, though I certainly think that it is bad policy as well.  Is amnesty really essential to the Republican party's survival, or would it ensure its doom?  Consider several arguments.


Do you really think that President Obama, most democrats in Congress, liberal activist groups, and the liberal media would be pushing amnesty if they thought it would help the Republican party?  Do the avowed opponents of the GOP have a history of giving the GOP good advice or bad advice?  (See the quadrennial campaign for a "pro-choice" vice-presidential nominee, for example.)  These same folks oppose popular and reasonable voter ID bills for political reasons, so they are hardly advocating the best interests of the country at their own political expense.

Of course, it is true that some Republicans also support the plan.  The question is who has the better political instincts, pro-amnesty Republicans, or democrats?  Hint: do we have President Obama and Senator McCain or Senator Obama and President McCain?


A. 1986

Amnesty has already been tried in the past.  The last major amnesty was in 1986.  Amnesty supporters love to point out that it was signed by President Reagan, but in fact, he signed it after he was convinced that it would only apply to a small number of illegals.  He later considered it the biggest mistake of his presidency, according to his good friend Attorney General Ed Meese.

The bill ended up amnestying about 3 million illegals.  It also led to a surge of illegal immigration, and led to a Hispanic baby boom which added millions of future democrats.

What were the political consequences?  Did Republicans improve their standing with Hispanics after the bill was passed? No.
  • In 1984, Reagan was reelected with 60% of the vote overall, and 37% of the Hispanic vote.
  • In 1988, Bush was elected with 53% of the vote overall, and 30% of the Hispanic vote.
Republican performance among Hispanics went down after amnesty passed.  Their percentage of the Hispanic vote actually went down by a greater proportion than overall.

B. 2004

One common claim from amnesty supporters is that George W. Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004.  While there was an exit poll claiming this, it was debunked by Steve Sailer at the time, and eventually retracted by the company.  Sailer noted that the poll showed absurd results such as Bush winning 64% of Hispanics in the South despite getting smaller percentages in Texas and Florida.

The actual percentage that Bush got has been estimated at 39-40%.  Now, it is true that this is still better than most Republican nominees.  Then again, someone who gets 40% overall is a landslide loser.

It is claimed that Bush's relatively good showing among Hispanics was due to his support for amnesty.  But four years later, John McCain was just as supportive of amnesty, if not more so, but received a paltry 31% of the Hispanic vote.  So what changed?  I don't have a complete answer, but I suspect that it had more to do with
  • The housing bubble in the "sand states" (California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida), partly engineered by Bush, that temporarily improved the economic fortunes of Hispanics before collapsing in 2007.
  • The fact that democrats nominated a stiff white guy, John Kerry, with no particular appeal to Hispanics (but who nonetheless won their votes in a 60% landslide).

If Republicans are going to appeal to Hispanics, they ought to know what their political beliefs actually are.  It is often claimed that Hispanics are "natural conservatives", pro-family, and sympathetic to the free market, whom Republicans could win if only they changed their position on immigration, the issue Hispanics care most about.  Is this true?


Actually, Hispanics support big government.


Notably, second-generation Hispanics are more democratic than first-generation Hispanics.

They also support Obamacare by significant margins.

This shouldn't be surprising.  Latin American countries, from whence Hispanics or their ancestors came, prefer big government, and there isn't much in the way of a small government movement there.


Hispanics may like big government, but at least they are pro-family social conservatives, right? Not so much.

Hispanics are not particularly socially conservative in their personal lives.  They are significantly more likely to have abortions, engage in teenage pregnancy, be dependent on government, and contract AIDS. They are significantly less likely to own businesses. They are significantly more likely to use welfare and not pay federal income taxes

The illegitimacy rate among Hispanics is very high.
Some 53 percent of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock, and 52 percent of Hispanic families are headed by single women.
While most Latin Americans are nominally Catholic, this is often very superficial.  They are less likely to attend church on a regular basis than whites.

Hispanics may have once opposed "gay marriage", but the latest polling indicates that they now support it.

Hispanics also support gun control by large margins, not surprising since many come from Mexico, which has very strict gun laws.

Another study found
Not likely, the same study found that 68% of second generation Hispanics say society should accept homosexuality (78% of Asians) and 55% of second generation Hispanics say abortion should be legal (66% of Asians). Among second generation Hispanic women who recently gave birth, 52% were not married.
Furthermore, if Hispanics are socially conservative, why don't they vote for social conservative candidates?  There are some socially conservative white democrats in Congress, but the Hispanic members of Congress are all social liberals.

So all Republicans have to do to win Hispanics' votes is change their position on immigration...and the size of government, the welfare state, Obamacare, gun control, gay marriage,...


What issues do Hispanics care most about?  Immigration might be the top concern for illegal aliens, but Hispanic VOTERS have other priorities.  One poll found
The poll found 48 percent of likely Latino voters think that the economy is the most important issue in deciding their vote, while only 6 percent said their vote would be decided based on the immigration issue.
Other polls have found that immigration is the top priority of only 11-15% of voters.

Notably, Obama advisor David Plouffe broke from the party line to deliver some facts about Hispanics' priorities.
But, I asked Plouffe, wasn’t the G.O.P. just one postmodern presidential candidate — say, a Senator Marco Rubio — away from getting back into the game?  
Pouncing, he replied: “Let me tell you something. The Hispanic voters in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico don’t give a damn about Marco Rubio, the Tea Party Cuban-American from Florida. You know what? We won the Cuban vote! And it’s because younger Cubans are behaving differently than their parents. It’s probably my favorite stat of the whole campaign. So this notion that Marco Rubio is going to heal their problems — it’s not even sophomoric; it’s juvenile! And by the way: the bigger problem they’ve got with Latinos isn’t immigration. It’s their economic policies and health care. The group that supported the president’s health care bill the most? Latinos.”

You might think that Hispanics favor amnesty and open borders with near unanimity, but this isn't true either.  Their views on the subject are actually quite mixed.

Another poll found that.
Hispanics are split when asked to assess the effect of illegal immigration on Hispanics living in the United States: 29% say it has had a positive impact, 31% negative and 30% believe it made no difference, according to the study by the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center.
In 2004, 47% of Arizona Hispanic voters supported Proposition 204 to deny some government services to illegals.  While not quite a majority, that's a better percentage of the Hispanic vote than George W. Bush got the same year.


Some supporters of amnesty admit that Hispanics are liberal now, but that their views will become conservative over time if only the GOP changes its position on immigration.  As evidence, they point to the case of "great wave" immigrants, particularly Irish and Italian, many of whose descendants eventually became Republicans.

While this is true, there are a number of reasons to think that this analogy won't hold for Hispanics.
  • Immigration was cut off in 1924 and stayed low until 1965, giving the immigrant groups time to assimilate without continual reinforcement.
  • There was no welfare state at the time, and those who couldn't make it in America went home; now they can stay and become dependent on government.
  • The culture at large and established immigrant leaders supported assimilation, whereas now the culture and immigrant groups advocate multiculturalism and "diversity".
  • Great wave immigrants identified as white, whereas Hispanics are officially classified by the government as a distinct group which receives benefits such as affirmative action for maintaining a separate identity.
  • Even after several generations, Hispanics tend to lag behind the American average.  (See New Mexico, for example).
We obviously can't know the future for certain.  But even if you believe that Hispanics will eventually assimilate well, the best way to help that happen would be to cut off mass immigration, as occurred in 1924.


When discussing Hispanics, we should keep in mind that this is a fairly artificial category.  Just because the Census Bureau groups some people together, does not necessarily mean that they identify with each other.

Anybody from a predominantly Spanish-speaking country can be considered Hispanic.  This includes whites of Spanish origin, Indians the Spanish conquered, blacks whose ancestors were brought to Latin America as slaves, and many people descended from all of the above.  The largest groups of American Hispanics are Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans.

The Hispanics most likely to vote Republican are
  • Cubans, mainly the white middle and upper class who fled from Castro's regime. (e.g. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz)
  • Mexicans (mainly in Texas and New Mexico) whose ancestors fled the leftist Mexican revolution in the 1910s.
Unfortunately for Republicans, most illegal aliens do not fall into either group, nor is there likely to be much more immigration from either group.  It remains to be seen whether Republicans can maintain their support from Cubans as the Castros fade from the scene.

Puerto Ricans are the most democratic Hispanic group, voting around 80% democrat.  Notably, this is true even though immigration is not an issue for them, since they are all US citizens who can move to the US at will.

Mexicans are somewhat less democrat than Puerto Ricans, but the illegal Mexicans come mainly from the poorer mestizo class of the country, which is unlikely to support Republicans.  It is dubious how much attraction a white Cuban like Rubio would have for them. One poll found Rubio with 24% favorability among Hispanics.


While we're at it, why not consider the views of Americans at large on immigration?  Numerous polls show a significant majority of Americans support restricting immigration (legal and illegal) and enforcing the law.

A poll by the Center for Immigration Studies found
Of likely voters, 52 percent responded that they preferred to see illegal immigrants in the United States go back to their home countries, compared to just 33 percent who would like them to be given legal status.

There is an enormous gap in intensity between the two views on immigration. Of those who want illegal immigrants to head home, 73 percent indicated that they felt “very strongly” about that view, while just 35 percent of those who want illegal immigrants to get legal status said they felt very strongly about this view.
A Reuters poll found
Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

Only 5 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally, and 31 percent want most illegal immigrants to stay.
Note that some polls claim to show support for amnesty by using deceptive wording ("earned legalization", "path to citizenship") and restricting the choice to only amnesty or "mass deportation".  This is a red herring, since most immigration restrictionists advocate "enforcement through attrition" (what Mitt Romney called "self-deportation"), that is enforcing the laws against working in America illegally, getting government documents and aid so that illegals decide to leave on their own.  This option consistently polls better than either of the other two.

The "controversial" Arizona immigration law is supported by around 60% of Americans in three polls.


Obviously the majority supporting restricting immigration goes well beyond hard-core Republicans or conservatives.  It must include many independents and democrats.

Shouldn't there be at least one party that represents their views?  Opposing amnesty and advocating restriction of immigration could appeal to many voters concerned about job losses and shatter the view that the GOP does nothing but advocate for big business.  Of course, we can and should take this position without demonizing Hispanics.

Supporting amnesty isn't going to win more Hispanic votes, as shown in this Center for Immigration Studies study of the 2006 election.  It would only lead to more third-world immigration in the future (138 million people worldwide say they want to move to the United States).  What can work, at least to a limited extent, is aggressive outreach, as shown by Rep. Steve Pearce, who represents a majority-Hispanic district in New Mexico and opposes amnesty.

Immigration is not some unstoppable force of nature.  Israel has successfully dealt with illegal immigration with tough border security, interior enforcement, and deportation of illegals.  America can follow her example.

Or we can take the left's advice about how to fix the GOP, and see the Stupid Party live up to its name one last time.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Right to Work Day

Right to Work takes effect in Michigan today.  Workers will still have to wait until their union contracts expire to finally be free of exploitation by the union bosses.  A number of jurisdictions extended contracts before today to keep taking workers' money for years longer.

Western Michigan University passed a "normal" extension of the part-timers contract, but avoided a special "Union Security Agreement" with AAUP.

Unions haven't offered much of a response so far.  They filed several lawsuits, none of which seem likely to be successful.  They haven't launched any recalls, and don't appear likely to do so.  They presumably will launch a ballot drive at some point, but haven't made a move to do so yet.

The battle isn't over yet, but freedom won a big victory today.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Miracle of Economic Growth

More Student Tax Hikes

Western students will vote March 25-29 on a pair of student fee (tax) hikes.

Western Michigan University students vote next week on fees to 'Save Student Media,' pay for aviation shuttle

The first, "save student media", would convert the Western Herald and WIDR from private entities to entities supported by student fees.  It wants $5 per student.

The second would subsidize transportation for aviation students who travel to Battle Creek.  This would benefit a small number of students at everyone else's expense.  It wants $8 per student.

Students already pay fees for the Student Assessment Fund and the Sustainability Fund.  Student fee increases usually pass due to very low turnout elections in which supporters are more motivated to turn out than opponents.

Previous: Western Herald Seeks Student Subsidies

Thursday, March 21, 2013

WMU Part-timers Avoid Right to Work

The WMU Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract with the part-timers union that will avoid Right to Work for three years.  This was a normal contract extension, but was approved just before the law goes into effect.

Western Michigan University approves new contract for its part-time teachers union

The effort to pass a special "Union Security Clause" for the WMU-AAUP appears to be dead, as no further action has been taken.

Democrat Challenges Upton

There's a new democrat challenging Fred Upton.

Western Michigan University professor Paul Clements to seek Democratic nomination for Congress in 2014
Among the issues Clements said he thinks legislators need to tackle to strengthen the country: Reversing three decades of income inequality, especially with regards to child poverty; increasing manufacturing capacity; and improving education and health care, while at the same time making both higher education and health care affordable.

In his research, Clements specializes in issues related to world poverty and foreign aid. Among other projects, he designed an evaluation quality assurance system for the United Nations Development Programme, evaluated Heifer International's Ghana and Tanzania programs and developed a monitoring and evaluation system for a project to bring water and sewage services to 1 million people in Brazil.

He said he was inspired to run by what he characterized as U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's reversal on climate change.
Somehow, I doubt that Upton is worried.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ann Coulter at CPAC

Ann Coulter destroys the insane GOP plan to pass amnesty for millions of democrats in her 2013 CPAC speech.

Mike O'Brien Won't Run in 2014

Mike O'Brien will not run for Congress in 2014, former campaign manager says
"Mike O'Brien will not be running for Congress this cycle," said Keith Rosendahl in an email. "He has his eye on 2016."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Michigan Republicans did not lose 62% of Partisan Races

The claim that Michigan Republicans lost 62% of all partisan races appeared here and here on RightMichigan.
As Todd Courser has pointed out, in spite of having a candidate in every single partisan race on the November ballot, at every level (federal, state, county, and local) -- something that the MDP was unable to accomplish -- in spite of that, and the oodles of money spent, the MIGOP still lost 62% of all partisan races in the November 2012 election.
This didn't sound right to me, so I started adding up the numbers.

Office: R/D
Statewide: 0/10
Congress: 9/5
State House: 59/51
Countywide offices: 342/145/1 (70% Republicans)
County Commissioners: 379/201/4 (65% Republicans)

There are a few counties where I couldn't find data.  They are Lake, Osceola, Montmorency, Presque Isle, Menominee, Baraga, Iron for countywide officers and Lake, Osceola, Montmorency, Menominee, Iron, Ontonagon for county commissioners.  If anyone has data on the partisan composition of the elected officials in the missing counties, please let me know.

Now, there's no way that I'm going to look up data for all of Michigan's 1240 townships, but they should be even more Republican than the county commissioners.  That's because democrats tend to concentrate in the cities, which have non-partisan elections, while Republicans are more likely to live in rural and suburban areas.  For example, in Kalamazoo County, which is swingy overall, there are 77 Republican and 18 democrat township officials.

My guesstimate would be that Republicans won about 70% of partisan elections in Michigan in 2012.

Now, whether this is a meaningful statistic is another question.  The jurisdictions that Republicans won would tend to be smaller than those won by democrats since townships are more rural.  The fact that cities have nonpartisan elections also skews the numbers.

Still, the "62% democrats" statistic is clearly false.

Fred Upton's Ratings in 2012

Most major conservative groups have come out with their 2012 ratings of Congress.

American Conservative Union 76% in 2012 (73% life), third from the bottom of Michigan Republicans.
Heritage Action 49% in 2011-12 (last among Michigan Republicans)
Club for Growth 52% in 2012 (54% life) next to last among Michigan Republicans.

The votes scored by ACU where Upton voted the wrong way were

4. Wasteful Spending. H.R. 5326 (Roll Call 207) The House defeated the Pompeo amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill that would eliminate the Economic Development Administration. ACU has long opposed this agency that uses taxpayer money to pick winners and losers among local projects across the country and sup-ported this amendment. The House defeated this amendment on May 8, 2012, by a vote of 129-279.

6. Wasteful Spending. H.R. 5326 (Roll Call 219) The House defeated the Austin Scott amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Bill that would have killed all funding for the Legal Services Corporation. ACU has long opposed this wasteful program used primarily to expand the welfare state and that a GAO study found to be rife with waste, fraud and abuse. ACU supported this amendment which was defeated on May 9, 2012, by a vote of 122-289.

12. Missile Defense. H.R. 4310 (Roll Call 269) The House defeated the Polis amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would have cut $400 million from the missile defense program. ACU supports a strong missile defense system for the United States and opposed this amendment. The House defeated the amendment on May 17, 2012, by a vote of 165-252.

16. Science Funding. H.R. 5325 (Roll Call 309) The House defeated the Hultgren amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would have reduced increases in funding for renewable energy projects and applied the funds to basic scientific research and deficit reduction. ACU opposes increased funding for industrial policy programs that short-change basic science and supported this amendment. The House defeated the amendment on June 1, 2012 by a vote of 130-256.

17. Davis-Bacon Wage Rate Requirements. H.R. 5325(Roll Call 338) The House defeated the King amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would have barred the use of funds to enforce the Davis-Bacon Act. Tat act requires federal projects to pay workers the “prevailing” wage, usually union wage rates well above the local market rate. This requirement adds billions of dollars to the cost of federal projects. ACU opposes this federal mandate and supported this amendment. The House defeated the amendment on June 6, 2012, by a vote of 184-235.

20. Community Development Block Grants. H.R. 5972(Roll Call 434) The House defeated the McClintock amendment to the transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that would have eliminated funding for the $3.4 billion Community Development Block Grant program. This program, unauthorized since 1994, has been used primarily as a federal slush fund or pet projects of local politicians. HUD’s own Inspector General has found this program rife with waste, fraud and abuse. ACU has long opposed this type of wasteful spending and supported this amendment. The House defeated the amendment on June 27, 2013 by a vote of 80-342.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Carl Levin Out, Many Interested

After 36 years in the Senate, 87-year-old democrat senator Carl Levin is finally retiring.  Levin has amassed a long and terrible record that this blog only partially chronicled back in 2008.

The Carl Levin Record

Michigan is pretty democrat in Presidential years, but leans Republican in midterms.  Still, the last time Michigan Republicans defeated an incumbent democrat senator was 1952.  While we had essentially no chance of beating Levin, this open seat is a prime opportunity.

On the democrat side, Congressman Gary Peters seems to have the first right of refusal.  Peters was a state senator in a safe district (Southfield, Pontiac).  He lost the race for AG in 2002 to Mike Cox.  Most pundits had expected Peters to beat Cox, who had never run for office before.  In 2008, Peters defeated Republican Congressman Joe Knollenberg.  Knollenberg was a longtime incumbent, but his district was swingy and 2008 was a very democrat year.  Peters survived against a flawed Republican candidate in 2010 and beat democrat Congressman Hansen Clarke in the primary for a redrawn black-majority seat in 2012.

Peters is smart and a hard worker, but not at all inspiring.  He is pretty much a generic democrat.  He has said that he is "seriously considering" the race.

If Peters passed, democrats would be back to their usual bench (Dan Kildee, Mark Schauer, Mark Hackell, Gretchen Whitmer, Joscelyn Benson).  Debbie Dingell, wife of 86-year-old congressman John Dingell, has also expressed interest.

On the Republican side, many Republicans quickly took themselves out of consideration.  These include Bill Schuette, Brian Calley, Candice Miller, Mike Cox, and Clark Durant.  On the Republican bench, the only people I see who would have an even chance or better against Peters are Schuette, Miller, Cox, SOS Ruth Johnson, former SOS Terri Land, and Congressman Mike Rogers.  Land and Rogers have both expressed interest.

Land was the Kent County Clerk before being elected Secretary of State in 2002 (a good Republican year) and 2006 (a bad year).  Land performed well in these elections, but faced fairly weak opponents.  She also was Mike Bouchard's choice for LG when he finished fourth in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.  It's hard to predict how she would fare running for a legislative seat.  Also, her positions on many issues aren't known beyond generalities.

Rogers was a state senator from Livingston County when he won a very tight race for Congress in 2000.  He has not had any tough races since.  He wins big margins, sometimes even winning Ingham County.  His ratings are ACU 90%, Heritage Action 54%, Club for Growth 74%.

Also interested is Congressman Justin Amash from the Grand Rapids area.  Amash is the most libertarian member of the house now that Ron Paul has retired, and is also a favorite of the Tea Party.  His ratings are ACU 88%, Heritage Action 91%, Club for Growth 100%.  Amash is likely too far to the right to win stateside, unless democrats nominate a terrible candidate like Geoffrey Feiger.  He won a split primary a split primary in 2010 and beat two credible democrat candidates, Pat Miles and Steve Pestka by 22% and 12% in the last two cycles.  In his first term, he got into preventable scrapes with Right to Life and the NRA, folks he would need to win statewide.

Also interested in the seat are
  • State senator Roger Khan of Saginaw
  • Scott Romney (Mitt's brother), former MSU trustee
  • Former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzius
  • State representative Peter Lund of Shelby Township in Macomb
All of them have some pretty serious drawbacks as candidates.  For example, Khan (ACU 78%) is a fiscal liberal who is advocating raising gas taxes and who helped to protect SEIU's ripoff of home health care workers.  It seems unlikely that most of them would run, or have much impact if they did, unless Rogers and Land both passed on the race.

This open seat is a big opportunity for Michigan Republicans.  We need to make the most of it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Portage Needs to Regulate!

From the Gazette:

Portage looking to enact ordinance controls on growing number of donation boxes

PORTAGE, MI – Regulations controlling the proliferation of donation boxes in Portage are up for a public hearing at Tuesday’s Portage City Council meeting.
The donation box ordinance amendment has been discussed since last fall and went through Planning Commission hearings and approval. It involves the 25 for-profit and non-profit collection boxes around town that take donations of everything from clothing to books.
So what's the problem?
“While the city has not experienced notable problems or citizen complaints associated with the various donation boxes , discussion has ensued regarding potential public health, safety and community quality concerns associated with the donation boxes,” said City Manager Maurice Evans in a recent report.


“I thank the staff for their diligent work,” said Councilman Jim Pearson at a recent meeting. “If more boxes do pop up at least we have regulations in place.”
So there is no problem, but Portage is going to put extra burdens on charities just in case.

Why do Planes Board from the Front?

One thing I noticed while traveling recently is that my planes appeared to board starting with the front, and ending with the back.  This inevitably creates a long line as people in the front stow their baggage in the overhead compartments and take their seats.  Meanwhile, everyone else has to wait to even get to their section of the plane.

Why not board starting with the people in the back?  That way you could have a lot more people stowing luggage and taking their seats at the same time.  The whole process would take less time this way.

One might argue that people in the front should board first because of special status, including flying first class.  But that assumes that this is a benefit.  You have more room to stretch in the airport waiting area than on the plane (even first class) and if you are sitting on the aisle, many people who have to pass you will bump you with their luggage.

Here's an analysis of the problem by a physicist: