Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rigoberta Menchu

Rigoberta Menchu spoke at Western Friday as part of the "Great Lakes PeaceJam Youth Conference". Menchu's name may not be recognizable to many students today. But she was the center of a major controversy in the 1980's and '90s on college campuses and elsewhere.

Menchu grew up in Guatemala in the 1970's. She fled the country's ongoing civil war and in 1982 she published the book that catapulted her to fame, I, Rigoberta Menchu.

The book describes how Menchu's family experienced the oppression of the poor by the rich landowners, the brutal atrocities of the government, the nobility of the rebels fighting it, and the progressive attitudes and Marxist class consciousness of the poor.

There was only one problem. It was a complete fraud.

There was no Marxist war between rich and poor. The Guatemalan peasants were more concerned with family disputes. Menchu used socialist jargon and described progressive attitudes that simply didn't exist in that society. She also invented a number of atrocities. One brother who was supposedly brutally tortured and burned alive actually died much less dramatically. Another brother whose death Menchu describes is actually alive and well. The communist rebels are described as gently reeducating enemies rather than killing them.

It is undoubtedly true that Guatemala's government was corrupt and autocratic, like most governments, particularly those in the third world. About 180,000 people died in Guatemala's 36-year civil war. But the war wouldn't have happened at all if the communist rebels hadn't been trying to overthrow the government. The rebels were hardly interested in freedom. They were supported by Fidel Castro and extorted the poor of Guatemala. Had they succeeded, they would have imposed tyranny on Guatemala like that of every other communist country.

It should be unnecessary to point out that communism is bad. Really bad. Over the past century, communists murdered 150 million people.

Menchu's book was propaganda for communism. So how did liberals react? They made it a bestseller. It became a staple on college campuses. Reportedly, more than 15,000 theses have been written on it. What's more, they kept right on teaching it after it was exposed as a fraud. It was supposedly representative of the "larger truth", as opposed to the actual truth. They attacked the people who exposed Menchu and made excuses for her work.

In 1992, Menchu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This made as much sense as giving it to terrorist mastermind Yassar Arafat, who won it two years later.

Menchu was not for peace. She was for war. She supported the communist war to destroy freedom and impose tyranny on the world.

These facts raise many questions.

What does all of this say about "PeaceJam", the organization that brought her to speak at Western? What sort of "peace" are they promoting?

Menchu recently announced that she will be a candidate for President of Guatemala. Will she receive support from Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, who has supported many communist candidates across Latin America?

How did all of this happen? If liberals are patriotic Americans who love America too, how did Menchu become an icon? Why wasn't she destroyed when her fraud was exposed?

How will liberals who hear this information for the first time react? Will they condemn Menchu--or those who expose her?


News coverage in the Gazette.

David Horowitz: I, Rigoberta Menchu, Liar
Dinesh D'Souza: Fraudulent Storyteller Still Praised


This update focuses on conservatism. The 2008 Presidential race is well underway. Conservatives debate what candidate to support. Conservatives need to promote conservative culture and policies, not just focus on elections.

Dan Flynn says conservatives should ask who should win.
Ken Connor says that conservatives should produce candidates.
Tom VanDyke lists what conservatives got right over fifty years.
Phyllis Schlafly lists what questions to ask 2008 candidates.
Paul Weyrich says conservatives must unite around a candidate.
Donald Devine examines the state of the conservative movement.

"You see, winning in November with a big-government, pro-choice, open-borders Republican isn't really winning. It's losing. Sure, the Democrats will have lost. But the raison d'etre of the conservative movement isn't to defeat Democrats and elect Republicans. It's to make conservative ideas governing ideas."
-Dan Flynn

America First Day

It seems like so long ago.

What does 'X' stand for?

Previous: Happy America First Day!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Presidential Candidates to Visit Western

...candidates for President of Western, that is.

The Presidential Search Committee has announced four finalists. They are all scheduled to visit Western in April.


WMU names four finalists for presidency

One sitting university leader, one interim university leader, a business college dean and the head of a university research institute are finalists for Western Michigan University's presidency.

The four candidates, all men from Midwestern universities, will be on campus over the next two weeks.

First up is John William Folkins, chief executive officer of the Bowling Green State University Research Institute in Ohio.

Folkins holds degrees, including a doctorate, from speech departments at more than one university.

There will be a public forum with Folkins from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Bernhard Center ballroom on main campus.

He's expected to be in Kalamazoo Sunday through Tuesday, meeting with various groups on campus.

The other finalists are:

John Dunn, interim chancellor at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Bruce Shepard, chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Avijit Ghosh, dean, College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Among the qualities WMU is looking for in a leader is one who can refocus the university's sense of mission, build undergraduate, graduate and international student enrollment, and increase state financial support of the institution.


Four WMU president finalists

John Dunn

Job and institution: Interim chancellor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Age: 62.

Education: Bachelor's degree and master's degree in physical education, Northern Illinois University, 1967 and 1969, respectively; doctorate in physical education, Brigham Young University, 1972; post-doctoral work at Temple University, summer 1973.

Career: Physical-education professor at Oregon State University; assistant dean of research and graduate studies for Oregon State's College of Health and Human Performance; assistant provost at Oregon State; dean of University of Utah's College of Health; provost and vice chancellor at Southern Illinois since 2002.

Visit to WMU: April 8-10.

John Folkins

Job and institution: Chief executive officer, Bowling Green State University Research Institute.

Age: 59.

Education: Bachelor's degree and master's degree in speech, University of Redlands, 1970 and 1971, respectively; doctorate in speech and hearing sciences, University of Washington, 1976; post-doctoral research, Department of Orthodontics and Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington.

Career: Chairman of speech pathology department at University of Iowa; Iowa's associate provost for academic review and academic support services; Iowa's associate provost for undergraduate education; provost at Bowling Green from 2000-07; started as Bowling Green CEO in January.

Visit to WMU: Sunday-Tuesday; public forum is 5:15-6:30 p.m. Monday in the Western's Bernhard Center ballroom.

Avijit Ghosh

Job and institution: Dean, College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Age: 56.

Education: Bachelor's degree in chemistry, University of Calcutta, 1970; graduate program in management and marketing, Xavier University in India, 1972-75; master's degree and doctorate in geography, University of Iowa, 1977 and 1979, respectively.

Career: Market research analyst for Clarion McCain Advertising Services; project director for Food Market Institute at Xavier Institute; assistant professor of marketing at University of Iowa; marketing professor at New York University; Illinois business dean since 2001.

Visit to WMU: April 12-14.

Bruce Shepard

Job and institution:

Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Age: N/A.

Education: Bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate in political science from University of California Riverside, 1969, 1970 and 1972, respectively.

Career: Assistant and then associate professor of political science, Oregon State University; special assistant to the provost, Oregon State; provost, Eastern Oregon University; chancellor at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay since 2001.

Visit to WMU: April 10-12.


Kalamazoo County Treasurer Sharon Cubitt has retired abruptly due to the pending changes in retirement formulas.

Spot the error in this article.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Casualty of Government

Diane Rehm, the NPR host originally scheduled to speak the same day as John Ashcroft, has postponed her speech for the second time.

Her absence is due to an unusual injury.

In traveling to Oklahoma City for a speech, Rehm put saline solution for eye contacts into a 3-ounce bottle, and put her perfume into another identical 3-ounce bottle. Rehm confused the two bottles, and soaked her contacts in her perfume. Once she put her perfume-coated contacts on, it is estimated that 90 percent of her eyes were burned, according Sommerfeldt. In the eye-healing process, she came down with pneumonia.

So basically what happened here is that a government regulation meant to protect us ended up hurting someone. Such unintended consequences should be considered when government programs are proposed.

Duncan Hunter Event

Presidential Candidate
is coming to Troy!

WHEN: Friday, March 30th, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Rd.
(North of Big Beaver, Room #402 – enter through North doors)

Rep. Hunter is a Vietnam Veteran and bronze star recipient, serving in the U.S. House since 1980. He’s currently the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and served as Chairman for the past four years.

Rep. Hunter’s support of pro-life and traditional marriage, fair trade, strict border enforcement and a strong national defense, will be real factors in our presidential primary.

Bring your questions and arrive early as seating is limited for this fun and informative evening with a great American and presidential candidate! Find out more at:

“Meet a candidate you can say you agree with”




Monday, March 26, 2007

WSA Passes Alternatives Resolution

Last Wednesday, by a vote of 37-9-1, the Western Student Association passed the following resolution.


WHEREAS, the WSA is the voice of the student body, and

WHEREAS, the WSA and the entire university community is committed to ideals such as free speech, including fostering a open campus debate on public issues including health and wellness concerns, and

WHEREAS, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health there were 42,804 live births to mothers aged 15-24 in Michigan in 2005 which accounted for 33.5% of all live births, and

WHEREAS, according to the American Social Health Association, about half of all new STIs in 2000 occurred among youth ages 15 to 24. The total estimated costs of these nine million new cases of these STIs was $6.5 billion, with HIV and HPV accounting for 90% of the total costs, and

WHEREAS, Alternatives Women’s Care Center provides free pregnancy testing and free HIV screenings, and other reproductive health services including maternity and baby clothing, Lamaze training, parenting classes, and counseling, and

WHEREAS, Alternatives Women’s Care Center’s request to be discussed as a health care option to Sindecuse patients has been denied including advertising, and

WHEREAS, One of Sindecuse Health Center’s patient rights is “to be given a comprehensive explanation of the need for, and alternatives to, being referred or transferred to another health care facility if it is medically appropriate,” and

WHEREAS, One of Western Michigan University’s institutional goals is “to foster a safe, civil, and healthy University community,”

RESOLVED, that the WSA Senate requests Sindecuse Health Center allow the same basic advertising rights to any organization that provides legitimate and safe health services, and

RESOLVED, that the WSA Executive Branch further research means for the Alternatives Women’s Care Center to be advertised in Sindecuse Health Center in the manner of other health services, and to encourage all involved university officials to take the necessary actions to allow the advertising.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


This update focuses on government. Government takes our freedom. Spending and debt are out of control, and cannot be sustained. The government devalues our money by printing more of it.

Ron Paul explains that the national debt is fifty trillion dollars.
Walter Williams explains what's wrong with democracy.
Jeremy Lott writes that government takes our freedom.
Mike Franc writes that spending is out of control.
Carrie Lukas shows that Social Security spends too much.
Ron Paul explains the problem with political power.
J. H. Huebert explains what's wrong with NASA.
Ron Paul explains what's wrong with the dollar.
Donald Devine explains the need for limited government.
Chris Martenson shows that the government is bankrupt.
Jerome Corsi documents the decline of the dollar.
Ron Paul writes that Congress makes foreign policy.
Richard Allen explains Reagan's foreign policy.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

In the Herald

Assorted leftists protest Ashcroft.

An unintentionally hilarious column. Some people just don't get a joke. Interestingly, it contradicts the claims of other liberals:

For instance, when the group of people protesting had stood up and turned their backs to him after he began speaking and began filing out of the auditorium, Mr. Ashcroft kept speaking as if nothing was happening. Even when one of the people wearing the orange jumpsuits stood at attention and gave the fascist salute Mr. Ashcroft kept his cool and compared the person in orange and the rest of the protesters to people with mental handicaps and as children who didn't have proper bladder control.
An editorial on the Patriot Act.

A liberal column on global warming. What was most despicable about the column was the smearing of global warming skeptics as akin to Holocaust deniers. The claim is absurd on its face, as the Holocaust is historical fact, while the supposed disastrous effects of global warming would occur in the future. Beyond this, this claim trivializes the Holocaust. It is another example of how liberals try to silence debate. It should be denounced by all people of good will.

Two bus routes will be cut. Where is all the money from the bus tax increase that was passed last November? The mention of apartment complexes paying for bus service is intriguing. Given the poor quality of bus service, why not just privatize the entire system? Let the free market decide where bus service is really necessary.

Making mathematics history. Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday.


Kalamazoo County lost six million dollars in an accounting bungle.

Remember this the next time they try to raise taxes.

A Congressman for DC?

Mac Johnson in Human Events pulls no punches on the idea of giving the District of Columbia a vote in Congress:


The District of Columbia was created specifically so that the federal government could sit on a tiny patch of neutral territory -- a territory without a delegation in Congress that might attempt to use its special position as the seat of the government to win an unfair advantage in Congress. During the drafting of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers had to face the issue of where to locate the capital of the newly formed United States. It was obvious to all that whatever city became the capital would enjoy a huge new influence over the politics of the nation and could use that influence to enrich itself with the dutiful help of its home state’s representatives in Congress. Because of this danger, and after a few nasty incidents of locals trying to bully the Congress in its temporary home in Philadelphia, it was decided that no state should hold the capital of all the United States.

The solution was the District of Columbia, a tiny parcel of land given to the new nation by Maryland and Virginia (Virginia’s portion was not used and was later reclaimed) that would serve as neutral ground, and would be run directly by Congress so as to avoid undue influence of the Congress by local government officials. It was the Founders’ intention to create a district without its own selfish voice in Congress -- a non-state, without a state’s rights to elect congressmen and senators. H.R. 328 seeks to undo this clever compromise and turn the nation’s common capital into a partisan mini-state less than 1/20th the size of Rhode Island.

The second problem with the D.C. power grab is that, since it was the intention of the Founders to create a voteless non-state to host the capital, the Constitution clearly prohibits giving D.C. any vote in Congress. The district is defined as a possession of Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which says the Congress shall have power:

“To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States,”

The district is thus entitled to none of the rights of a state -- for example, the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution does not apply to the district. (Of course, the individuals living in the district are entitled to all the individual rights of any American, just as an American living in other non-state territories such as Samoa or Guam would be, but the district cannot claim the rights of a state any more than Guam can.)

This means the federal district must not have a representative in either house of Congress, since the Constitution says that “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state,” (Article 1, section 3) and that “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature” (Article 1, section 2).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Evaluating the Candidates

The 2008 Presidential race is already well underway. With all the claims and counterclaims, endorsements and shifting positions, how can you know who to support?

Here are a few principles to help aid your decision.

Don't base your vote on a few well-turned phrases. Most candidates can give speeches that appeal to their audiences. Research their statements to see if they have been consistent over time.

More important than what they say is what they do. Research their voting records. Legislators have long records, most of which they won't publicize. Beyond just how they vote, look at what legislation they have advocated, and what they have actively opposed. The links below should be very helpful in analyzing candidates' records.

Don't pay too much attention to endorsements from politicians and party officials. Their endorsements tend to reflect their own situations, rather than who is really the best candidate. Candidates raise money and campaign for other politicians so that they can get their endorsements. Politicians can suffer repercussions in their own elections, fundraising, and political efforts if they endorse the "wrong" person.

Instead, examine the endorsements made by issue groups. Groups that advocate a particular agenda can best determine who would best aid that agenda.

Look at the down sides of potential candidates as well. Some negatives are widely known, but many others are not. Before the end of the campaign, the opposition is likely to publicize such things.

"Electability" is an important concern, but it is difficult to evaluate. Polls conducted before a race has been run are certainly not a reliable measure of it.

Taking this advice to heart will lead to a more informed decision.

Voting Records:
American Conservative Union
American Conservative Union-Presidential
On The Issues
National Right to Life Committee
Gun Owners of America-Senate
Gun Owners of America-House
Gun Owners of America-Presidential
Americans for Better Immigration
Americans for Better Immigration-Presidential
Eagle Forum
Club for Growth
Club for Growth-Presidential (At Right)
National Taxpayers Union
Americans for Tax Reform
Americans for Tax Reform-Presidential
Cato Institute-Governors

Politically Incorrect Quotes

Vin Suprynowicz:
"Liberals" don’t realize they’re dangerous statist zombies whose minds have been imprinted with socialist sound bites, of course, any more than fish realize they’re wet. They just think they’re normal, average, middle-of-the-road folks, and that anyone who disagrees with "what all reasonable people know" is some escaped lunatic who was probably raised in a cellar by those troglodytes in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Ann Coulter:
And yet despite the vast privilege, untold wealth and bright shiny whiteness of the defendants, they are still under criminal indictment in this case. Three of the players face up to 30 years in prison for a crime every sane person knows they did not commit. Ah, the life of the privileged!

Pat Buchanan:
Meyerson is particularly upset that Pope John Paul’s “Orthodox International” – Israeli rabbis, Christian and Islamic clergy – came forward to “bury ancient enmities and to jointly condemn a gay pride festival” in Jerusalem. Yet one need not be a raging homophobe to think it probably not a good idea – in the middle of a Muslim intifada that may lead to a war of civilizations between Islam and the West – not to have 100,000 Sodomites cavorting in the Holy City.

Thomas Sowell:
Activists are creating displays in which a small American flag is planted for every death in Iraq. For some of these activists, it may be the first time they have ever touched an American flag, unless they were burning it.

Which one is most "offensive"?

Sunday, March 18, 2007


This update focuses on education. Government wastes money and fails to educate students. Liberals promotes bad ideas and indoctrination. More freedom would mean better education.

Pat Buchanan argues that government education is a failure.
Bob Unruh shows Germany enforces a Nazi ban on homeschooling.
Phyllis Schlafly explains the danger of "mental health screening".
Dan Lips explains what's wrong with federal education spending.
Phyllis Schlafly reports a new plan to centralize education.
Ann Coulter explains the truth about the Duke non-rape case.
Vin Suprynowicz explains the real history of government schools.
Elizabeth Kantor explains how English professors distort literature.

Learn more about education issues in Education Reporter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Media on Ashcroft

The media has coverage of John Ashcroft's speech. Here are articles from the Western Herald and the Kalamazoo Gazette.

WKZO radio reported that the crowd in attendance was 900 people, which seems like a relatively accurate estimate. The number reported in the Herald was a misprint.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

John Ashcroft

John Ashcroft


7 PM

Miller Auditorium

Be There!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Understanding Economics: Competition

One of the essential features of a free-market economy is the existence of competition. The concept of competition necessarily goes together with the concept of choice.

The freedom to choose amongst whatever options exist for a given good or service is part of economic freedom. Competition means that everyone is equally free to produce some good or service.

When there is more than one producer, consumers can choose between more than one option. Sometimes different choices are preferred by different people, so people's desires are better satisfied by having more options. Other times, one product is clearly preferable to another for most consumers. In any case, more options mean equal or better satisfaction of customers' needs.

What incentives does competition create? Producers cannot depend on the business of those who seek the product they produce. If they wish to survive, they must continually strive to produce a product or service that many or all consumers find to be the best value. Thus the products available must continually improve. The improvement can be higher quality, more or better features, lower price, or some combination of the three.

This is exactly what has happened in real life. An amazing array of products have been created by businesses and entrepreneurs seeking profits. While they benefit by making profits, these profits are temporary, since someone else can always make a better product. But the consumers always win, since they keep getting better and better choices.

The opposite of competition is monopoly. This term is used to mean two very different things. One is simply that in a free market there happens to be only one provider of a given product or service. Others are equally free to enter the market if they so choose.

There is nothing terrible about this kind of monopoly. Any time some new product is invented, its inventor has a monopoly. Such monopolies do not usually last very long, as others will typically enter the market to seek the profits that are temporarily going to only one producer.

In rare cases, one company will be the only producer for some time. Even then, competition still exists because there is the potential for others to enter the market. This producer cannot afford to fail to serve the consumer, for then others will intervene and provide a better product.

Companies are often said to "control" a certain share of the market, when in reality whatever percentage of business comes their way is the result of free choices of consumers.

The other type of monopoly is a legal prohibition on competition. This type of monopoly can only be enforced by government through the threat of violence. Some businesses are all too happy to lobby government for restriction of their competition. Without the possibility of competition, they can charge higher prices and make larger profits over long periods. They don't need to innovate and serve their consumers to survive.

The US Postal Service is a legal monopoly, though it manages to be unprofitable due to unions and government subsidies.

Restrictions on competition are not usually quite so obvious. Government-enforced cartels restrict entry into a field with more than one producer. Private efforts to limit competition by having all producers charge the same price are certainly possible. But they usually fail since someone cheats. It takes government enforcement of such deals to make them effective.

Sometimes such schemes are sold as "stabilizing" prices, as if that's a good thing. Other times, they occur in the form of government "licencing". This is presented as protecting consumers, when often it simply restricts their choices. Government controls the licencing, so it can disallow certain competitors and allow other politically favored ones.

Producer competition and consumer choice are an essential part of the free market that greatly benefits society. They must be protected from government restrictions.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


This update focuses on the culture war. Culture is the unconscious habits of society. One aspect of culture is how much people reproduce. Reproduction rates determine whether societies will survive.

The culture war is a liberal attempt to subvert traditional Western culture. Judges impose liberalism by fiat.

Joseph D'Agostino explains that abortion means fewer girls.
Mac Johnson says that Christians need to reproduce.
Joseph D'Agostino shows Europe is not reproducing.
Janice Crouse explains why abortion has declined.
John West explains the cultural impact of Darwinism.
Janice Crouse explains the need to win the culture war.
Mac Johnson asks whether the West has lost its will to survive.

Phyllis Schlafly shows that judges impose liberalism.
Thomas Sowell writes that judges engage in social engineering.
Jan LaRue criticizes Sandra O'Connor's thinking.
Phyllis Schlafly says judges affect education, sports, and property.

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Another Tax Increase?

Unbelievable. Government never consumes enough. From the Gazette:

KRESA asks voters to pass $30M bond

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gazette Staff Reports

Kalamazoo County voters will be asked in May to approve a $30 million bond for a new school for the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency.

The proposal calls for construction of a replacement for Croyden Avenue School on property already owned by KRESA, the renovation of the current Croyden building to house early-childhood programs and the Young Adult program, and renovation of the main Service Center.

Voters will be asked to approve an increase of 0.39 mills for 12 years. A homeowner in Kalamazoo owning a home valued at $134,000 with a taxable value of $67,500 would see an increase of $27 annually on its property taxes, according to KRESA.

Increases in student enrollment at Croyden Avenue School and the Young Adult Program have created space issues at both sites, the agency said in a news release.

The Service Center is to be renovated to increase and improve facilities for countywide teacher training and technology services.

KRESA last proposed a 1.5-mill property-tax increase over three years in May 2005, which voters approved. The revenues of that millage were distributed among the agency's nine school districts based on enrollment.

Friday, March 09, 2007

WSJ on Granholm's tax hikes

From the Wall St Journal:
High taxes lead businesses to flee the Wolverine State.

Comerica Inc. was founded in 1849 in Detroit and the Detroit Tigers play in Comerica Park, but this week the bank holding company announced it is moving its headquarters to Dallas--where, it said, the bigger growth opportunities are. Consider it one more vote of confidence in the state the national expansion forgot, and especially in Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's economic agenda.

Re-elected last year, Ms. Granholm recently rewarded the voters by announcing some $1 billion in new fees and tax increases. The plan would charge Michigan residents higher levies for almost every activity inside the state with a moving part. She would tax trucking, shopping, smoking, hunting, fishing, drinking beer and liquor, using a cell phone and, yes, even dying.

Her plan does complete the phase-out of the state's hated "single business tax," which the Tax Foundation has called one of the most anti-growth business taxes in the nation. She should have stopped right there. Instead the Governor wants to create a new corporate income tax as well as a new 2% excise tax on upwards of 100 business services. The net effect would be to raise Michigan's overall business tax burden. She'd also impose a 5% death tax on estates valued at more than $2 million--which is a sure way to encourage even more Michigan retirees to relocate to Florida.

The Governor says all of this is essential to close an $860 million budget deficit, but the levies are part of what has become a vicious cycle for Michigan: Poor growth causes lower revenues, so raise taxes, which leads to even poorer growth, so raise taxes again. The state has lost some 362,000 jobs since 2000 and the jobless rate in December was 7.1%, second highest in the country after Katrina-ravaged Mississippi's 7.5%. The national rate is 4.6%.

A new analysis by economist David Littman of the Mackinac Center reveals that the per capita income in the state fell to its lowest level in 75 years in 2005, relative to the national average. (See the recent trend in the nearby chart.) All of this is in contrast to the growth Michigan experienced in the 1990s, under former Governor John Engler, who succeeded in cutting income-tax rates and the welfare rolls.

It's true that some of Michigan's current woes are due to the secular decline of the U.S. auto makers and their unionized lack of competitiveness. In essence, the U.S. auto industry has been gradually relocating to more hospitable, right-to-work states. But that's all the more reason for Michigan to improve the business climate for other industries, though this is exactly the opposite of what Ms. Granholm plans.

Meanwhile, her budget would increase spending by 2.2% and pay off the teachers unions that support her with a new $178 per pupil spending increase, most of which would be absorbed by the bureaucracy and never see a classroom. This continues the state's lack of spending restraint; between 1995 and 2007 Michigan spent an aggregate $14 billion above the rate of inflation and state population growth, according to a Mackinac study.

Public-employee unions are especially powerful in the state, and Ms. Granholm bows to their every wish. One result is that, according to the Governor's own Financial Advisory Panel, the state has amassed a $35 billion unfunded liability in its public-school health and retirement benefits. The state spends a whopping $1,200 per student per year on teacher and administrator benefits.

Republicans lost the state House last fall, but they still control the Senate and are vowing to fight the Governor's tax increases. We hope they succeed lest the state continue to lose taxpayers and business to more favorable climes.

State of Emergency

Few political activists have been following the issue of immigration longer than Pat Buchanan. None are more qualified to survey the scope of the problem. That's just what Buchanan does in State of Emergency.

Buchanan's latest book is packed with well-documented information. It alternately enrages, shocks, infuriates, surprises, depresses, enlightens, and inspires. No review can adequately inform the reader of all its contents. It should suffice to say that a reader who wishes to understand the immigration issue would do well to start by reading this book.

As much for motivation as information, here are some summarized selections from the book.

America faces an unprecedented illegal immigrant invasion. One twelfth of illegal immigrants are criminals (not including the obvious). The border is not secure. Illegals who are caught in America are usually released. Businesses that hire illegals are not prosecuted.

The brutal MS-13 gang has 100,000 members in America. Many cities are "sanctuary cities" that prevent enforcement of immigration laws. Many diseases are spreading in America due to illegal immigration. Americans will work any jobs for the right wages. Illegal immigration discourages modernization. Immigrants consume perhaps $400 billion in government benefits.

Immigration is leading to an increasingly divided society. There is a significant racial gap in educational performance. The success or failure of immigrants varies greatly by national origin. Los Angeles is increasingly divided between blacks and Hispanics. California epitomizes the future of America.

New immigrants consistently vote Democratic, with the rare exception being refugees from communist countries. Immigration reform proposals continue to succeed at the polls. More Hispanics voted for Arizona's Prop 200 (47%) than voted for President Bush in 2004.

Most elites oppose securing the border. Many are transnationalists who no longer want America to be independent. Radicals are seeking to overwhelm the America populace with immigrants.

The Southwest was briefly under the political control of Mexico. It was overwhelmed by American immigrants. Mexican schools teach that this land is rightfully theirs. Mexico has historical grudges against the United States.

The Mexican government and radical groups in America are promoting reconquista (reconquest) of the Southwest.

Liberals and neoconservatives have promoted a vision of America as based only on an idea. This vision of a "creedal nation" is not historically valid, as the nation preceded the creed.

People all over the world continue to identify based on nationality, not abstract ideas. Liberals proclaim that "diversity is our strength" and promote multiculturalism. Literally dozens of nations have experienced secession, civil war, ethnic strife, and political fighting based on nationality. Identity politics is on the rise in America.

Europe has similar immigration problems. Enoch Powell and Jean Raspail predicted these problems. France has faced rioting by immigrants. Spain and the Netherlands have experienced terrorism by immigrants. Reproduction rates all across Europe are well below replacement levels.

We are not a "nation of immigrants" except in the same sense as every other nation. Immigration to America has been intermittent and restricted based on national origin. In the past, Americans of all political stripes demanded that immigrants assimilate to America.

We need to secure the border, pause legal immigration, end government benefits for immigrants, end "birthright citizenship", end "chain migration", reject amnesty and guest worker programs, and use attrition to reduce the number of existing illegals.

Court Affirms Second Amendment

A panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the Washington DC gun ban. From SAF:



For Immediate Release: 3/9/2007

BELLEVUE, WA – A ruling Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that strikes down the District’s 1976 handgun ban and holds that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms is “a landmark for liberty, and an affirmation that everything the gun rights community has been saying for years is correct,” the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

The 2-1 ruling came in the case of Parker v. District of Columbia. Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote the opinion, with Judge Thomas B. Griffith concurring. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson dissented. The ruling holds that the District’s long-standing ban on carrying a pistol in the home for personal protection is unconstitutional. SAF filed an amicus brief in the case.

In his ruling, Judge Silberman wrote, “In sum, the phrase ‘the right of the people,’ when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.”

“This is a huge victory for firearm civil rights,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “It shreds the so-called ‘collective right theory’ of gun control proponents, and squarely puts the Second Amendment where it has always belonged, as a protection of the individual citizen’s right to have a firearm for personal defense.”

Judge Silberman’s ruling notes that the Second Amendment “acknowledges…a right that pre-existed the Constitution like ‘the freedom of speech’.”

“Because the right to arms existed prior to the formation of the new government,” Judge Silberman wrote, “the Second Amendment only guarantees that the right ‘shall not be infringed’.”

Silberman’s ruling also observed, “The right of self-preservation…was understood as the right to defend oneself against attacks by lawless individuals, or, if absolutely necessary, to resist and throw off a tyrannical government.”

“Judge Silberman’s ruling,” Gottlieb said, “reverses 31 years of unconstitutional infringement on the rights of District of Columbia residents, not only to keep and bear arms, but to be safe and secure in their own homes. This is a ruling that should make all citizens proud that we live in a nation where the rights of individual citizens trump political correctness.”

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What Environmentalists Want

When evaluating the demands of the environmentalist movement, it is essential to consider its ultimate goals. In this case, no inference is necessary. The leaders of the environmentalist movement have stated directly what they want.


Jacques-Yves Cousteau, environmentalist and documentary maker: "It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized, and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable."

John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal: "I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems."

Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University population biologist: "We’re at 6 billion people on the Earth, and that’s roughly three times what the planet should have. About 2 billion is optimal."

David Foreman, founder of Earth First!: "Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."

David M. Graber, research biologist for the National Park Service: "It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil-energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."

Alexander King, founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome: "My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem."

Merton Lambert, former spokesman for the Rockefeller Foundation: "The world has a cancer, and that cancer is man."

John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club: "Honorable representatives of the great saurians of older creation, may you long enjoy your lilies and rushes, and be blessed now and then with a mouthful of terror-stricken man by way of a dainty!"

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, leader of the World Wildlife Fund: "If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels."

Maurice Strong, U.N. environmental leader: "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"

Ted Turner, CNN founder, UN supporter, and environmentalist: "A total population of 250–300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal."

Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace: "I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds."


"Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?" Maurice Strong, Chairman of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

"We reject the idea of private property." Peter Berle, President, National Audubon Society.

Free enterprise really means rich people getting richer.they have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process…Capitalism is destroying the earth." Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists.

"Pet ownership is slavery. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or be entertained by." Ingrid Newkirk, Founder of People for the ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA).

"The only really good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation levied by an elitist species upon the rest of the natural world." Friends of the Earth.

"The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing…This is not to say that the rise in human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that is will be much of a help to the world in the long run." Editorial in the ‘Economist.’

"If you give the idea a chance, you might agree that the extinction of homo sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions of other earth-dwelling species." Wild Earth Magazine

"Among environmentalists sharing two or three beers, the notion is quite common that if only some calamity could wipe out the entire human race, other species might once again have a chance." Richard Conniff, Audubon Magazine


Sources here and here.

Will any liberals either defend or repudiate these statements?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Inconvenient Truths About Global Warming

It turns out that Mars is also experiencing "global warming". The martian polar ice caps are melting. How will liberals blame this on humans?

Liberals have been claiming scientific "consensus" based on the number of scientists listed on the IPCC report. But not all of the scientists listed agree with the report's conclusions. French scientist Paul Reiter was listed even though he rejects its conclusions. This is not the first time that this has happened. How many other scientists haven't spoken out because they don't want to be smeared as "holocaust deniers"?

Ashcroft in the Herald

The Herald reports on our John Ashcroft event:

John Ashcroft, former United States attorney general and a proponent of the controversial U.S. Patriot Act, will give a speech on leadership and politics Tuesday, March 13.

The WMU College Republicans are hosting the event. The College Republicans hope to attract 2,000 people - the number of people who attended last year's Ann Coulter speech, according to Tom Barrett, chairman of the College Republicans.

"A lot of people demonize him, and it will be good to hear his point of view," Barrett, senior majoring in political science said.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

POLITICAL UPDATE--North American Union

This update focuses on North American Union (NAU). More information continues to emerge about the NAU. A number of resolutions have been introduced in state legislatures opposing the NAU, and the Utah House passed one.

Phyllis Schlafly explains what's wrong with globalization.
Joseph Farah provides details about the Banff forum.
WorldNetDaily shows that regulations are being harmonized.
Jerome Corsi provides more evidence about the NAU.
Bob Unruh explains who supports the NAU.
Joseph Farah responds to Michael Medved's attacks.
Jerome Corsi provides evidence in response to Michael Medved.
Jerome Corsi interviews Robert Pastor on the NAU.
Jerome Corsi writes that the dollar is in trouble.

Eagle Forum provides more information on the NAU.