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."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mackinac Center on the Arena

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy analyzes the proposed Kalamazoo Arena.


K-zoo Taxpayers May Ante Up for New Sports Arena

On Nov. 11, 2009, the Lansing State Journal reported that the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners was exploring the possibility of creating a hotel and restaurant tax to finance construction of a 6,800-seat sports arena to be built in the city of Kalamazoo for an estimated cost of $81.2 million. Five days later, the Pontiac Silverdome — also constructed with taxpayer subsidies — was auctioned off to a Canadian firm for just $583,000. Despite having almost 12 times the seating capacity and still being in good condition, the Silverdome was sold for less than 1 percent of the proposed cost for building the Kalamazoo arena.

The taxes proposed to finance the Kalamazoo facility were made possible by a new state law approved at the end of last year and signed by the governor. The assumption behind this expanded taxing power, and the impetus that also led to the Silverdome being built with public dollars, is that publicly subsidized sports facilities create economic growth. However, both economic research and the real-world experiences of the Silverdome and other similar venues cast this assumption into considerable doubt.

The consensus of economists regarding taxpayer-subsidized sports stadium construction was summed up in 2006 by College of the Holy Cross economist Victor A. Matheson, who noted that, "...academic economists are nearly universal in their criticism that specialized sports infrastructure does little to promote economic growth..."

Similarly, in a July 2007 article, Reason Public Policy Institute researchers Samuel Staley and Leonard Gilroy wrote that, "More than 20 years of academic research has failed to find a significant relationship between an investment in a sports stadium and significant job or income growth." The authors also mentioned researchers from Smith College and Vanderbilt University who produced a 2000 report which noted that, "independent work on the economic impact of stadiums and arenas has uniformly found that there is no correlation between sports facility construction and economic development."

Even if there were significant economic benefits from taxpayer-subsidized stadiums, the impact would often wear out fast as teams have a habit of quickly discarding the buildings and moving on. In 1975, the Silverdome was completed for $55.7 million, or more than $220 million at 2009 prices. So the "investment" in the Silverdome — when benchmarked against inflation — depreciated by 99.7 percent in less than 35 years. This happened despite the building still being in good enough condition that the new owner plans to use it for a soccer stadium.

Compared to similar venues paid for and owned by taxpayers, it is perhaps remarkable that the Silverdome is still standing at all. The Kingdome in Seattle was finished one year after the Silverdome, yet never even made it to its 24th anniversary and was demolished in 2000.

The Metrodome in Minneapolis, home of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins, is already the NFL's ninth oldest home field, despite being just 27 years of age. This year, the University of Minnesota's Big Ten football team moved out, and the Vikings and Twins are making plans to pack their bags very soon.

The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team is on its third home since 1981. The school abandoned an on-campus stadium and moved to the brand new Metrodome for the 1982 football season, partially due to an assumption that the indoor facility would boost attendance because it offered protection from the weather. However, removed from the on-campus atmosphere, the much larger crowds barely materialized. Gopher football's latest home, TCF Bank Stadium, is again on campus — and open-air. It cost $288 million to build, nearly half of which is being subsidized by Minnesota taxpayers due to a vote of the Minnesota Legislature to approve construction of the building.

Like the Metrodome, the proposed arena for Kalamazoo is intended to initially house a mixture of professional and college teams. It was announced that the Western Michigan University basketball and hockey teams will share the space with the Kalamazoo Wings, a minor league professional hockey team. The Wings currently play in Wings Stadium, constructed in 1974, one year before the Silverdome. The WMU Broncos hockey team now plays home games at the on-campus Lawson Ice Arena, also completed in 1974; and the WMU basketball team plays at University Arena, which was built in 1957 and renovated in 1994.

As with the new stadium for the University of Minnesota, a taxpayer subsidy for the new Kalamazoo arena was facilitated by a vote of the Michigan Legislature. According to, 2008 House Bill 6515 expanded "the scope of the law that authorizes local hotel, restaurant and rental car excise taxes to pay for municipal stadiums." Furthermore, it also lowers "a certain population standard, allowing Kalamazoo County and Kalamazoo to levy these taxes."

Thirty-six of 38 members of the Michigan Senate voted to approve this enhanced taxing power on Dec. 18, 2008. That same day, 54 Democrats were joined by 14 Republicans in the House of Representatives to approve the bill. It became Public Act 532 of 2008 when Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed it on Jan. 12, 2009.


Kenneth M. Braun is a policy analyst and managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author and the Center are properly cited.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chinese Propaganda Ministry Opens Branch Office at WMU

Just to be clear, this is communist China, which murdered 70 million of its own people and fought against America in the Korean War. Would WMU open a center for the study of German culture funded by Nazis?


Institute on Chinese culture, language to debut at Western Michigan University Monday

With music and dance, Western Michigan University will celebrate Monday the creation of its new WMU Confucius Institute, a program backed by the Chinese ministry of education to promote understanding of Chinese language and culture in the world.

The grand opening, free and open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. in WMU’s Dalton Center Recital Hall, featuring a photo exhibit, a choral performance, an ensemble of Chinese instruments and a Lion dance performance.

WMU’s Confucius Institute is intended to ramp up Chinese studies at WMU as well as bring language instruction and cultural knowledge to area K-12 schools through mostly extracurricular education.

Institute’s goals
The goals of Western Michigan University’s new Confucius Institute include:
Teaching Chinese language and culture to WMU students and members of the greater community.
Promoting international cooperation and exchange of students.

Collaborating with local schools and community businesses to train teachers and offer language and culture workshops, summer camps, fine arts events and travel opportunities. As part of helping WMU develop the institute, six language instructors from the Beijing Language and Culture University are here for a two-year immersion experience.

WMU’s institute is one of four in the state. The others are at Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University. But there are several hundred Confucius Institutes worldwide.

“The idea through all of them, through different means, is basically to further understanding of Chinese history, Chinese language and Chinese culture,” said Donald McCloud, dean of WMU’s Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

In July, McCloud, WMU President John M. Dunn, WMU Confucius Institute Director Xioaojun Wang were in China finalizing agreements to establish the institute and a related partnership between WMU and the Beijing Language and Culture University. WMU officials say the effort is sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International of China’s Ministry of Education.

“This is a Chinese initiative,” McCloud said, likening it to the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright program, which offers international exchange opportunities for U.S. educators and students to study, research and teach elsewhere in the world.

“It’s (China’s) effort to spread knowledge of their culture and language,” he said.

McCloud, who recently met with Kalamazoo County school superintendents to discuss the institute, said the Chinese instructors will help develop educational programs with local schools that want to take part.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This update focuses on the economy. Unemployment remains over 10% nationally and over 15% in Michigan. Government debt continues to expand, imperiling the dollar. The economy is not recovering, despite government claims to the contrary.

Gary North: Decide How (Not If) the Government Will Default
Charles Scaliger: The Diminishing Dollar
William Campenni: Financial Bust Connected to Illegal Alien Mortgages
Don Devine: Phony Economic Recovery
Charles Scaliger: A Review of "End the Fed" by Ron Paul
Lila Ravija: Green Shoots and White Lies

See also:
Gary North series: What is Money?
The Recession Reader
The Bailout Reader

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Granholm at WMU

Governor Granholm spoke at Western on Thursday, arguing that the state legislature should raise taxes to fund the Michigan Promise scholarship program.

Governor rallies students: Hold lawmakers to Promise, Granholm tells Western Michigan University crowd
Student Reactions to Granholm’s Visit
Gov. Granholm speaks about Michigan Promise at WMU
Gov. Granholm to speak about Michigan Promise scholarship Thursday at Western Michigan University
A broken Promise: local perspectives

Actually, the articles above don't make it clear whether she mentioned raising taxes. But that's what it would take to bring back the scholarship. After many months of putting off passing a budget, and a month-long extension when they couldn't pass one on time, Granholm finally signed a budget that doesn't raise taxes.

Now, she wants to bring the scholarship back, so that all her liberal supporters in academia will be fully employed, er, for the children.

The scholarship was inspired by the Kalamazoo Promise, which whether or not it is effective, is privately funded. This program was not only funded by taxpayers, but discriminates against Christians school students and homeschoolers, who are not eligible.

One of the arguments that Granholm made was that 'this scholarship was a promise' and 'the legislature needs to keep that promise' (paraphrase). Gullible college students should learn the sooner the better that politicians break promises. Worse, they make promises that they know they can't keep. In particular, they promise benefits they can't pay for, and let later politicians worry about how to pay for them.

Everyone likes getting free money, but if the state raises taxes again, where are college graduates going to get jobs? Not in Michigan, that's for sure. We'll just be educating the future workers of Florida and Texas.

Democrats versus Christians
Free College for All?

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Rep. Larry DeShazor fifth to seek George's Michigan Senate seat
Speed-limit technicality doesn't overturn Stadium Drive ticket
Some debate safety of Tasers in wake of East Grand Rapids death; police say stun guns are valuable tool
County Treasurer Mary Balkema's claims off-base, Portage City Council says
Broader vision of Downtown Kalamazoo arena urged by leading proponent Ken Miller
Portage school board President Jennifer Whistler resigns
Video: Michigan Militia featured on CNN as example of growing distrust of Obama, federal government
Meet the next Portage City Council
Western Michigan University gently enforces class attendance

Friday, November 20, 2009

DeShazor for Senate?

From Gongwer:

An all-star Republican primary is shaping up in the 20th Senate District in 2010 with Rep. Larry DeShazor of Portage announcing Thursday he will run, joining Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton and former Rep. Lorence Wenke of Richland in the field.

Coulter on Diversity

Of Course, Ann Coulter is right once again.



November 18, 2009

It cannot be said often enough that the chief of staff of the United States Army, Gen. George Casey, responded to a massacre of 13 Americans in which the suspect is a Muslim by saying: "Our diversity ... is a strength."

As long as the general has brought it up: Never in recorded history has diversity been anything but a problem. Look at Ireland with its Protestant and Catholic populations, Canada with its French and English populations, Israel with its Jewish and Palestinian populations.

Or consider the warring factions in India, Sri Lanka, China, Iraq, Czechoslovakia (until it happily split up), the Balkans and Chechnya. Also look at the festering hotbeds of tribal warfare -- I mean the beautiful mosaics -- in Third World hellholes like Afghanistan, Rwanda and South Central, L.A.

"Diversity" is a difficulty to be overcome, not an advantage to be sought. True, America does a better job than most at accommodating a diverse population. We also do a better job at curing cancer and containing pollution. But no one goes around mindlessly exclaiming: "Cancer is a strength!" "Pollution is our greatest asset!"

By contrast, the canard "diversity is a strength" has now replaced "at the end of the day," "skin in the game," "blood and treasure," "jumped the shark," "boots on the ground," "horrific" (whatever happened to the perfectly good word "horrible"?), "not so much," "I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here," and "that went well," as America's most irritating cliche.

We should start making up other nonsense mantras along the lines of "diversity is a strength" and mindlessly repeating them until they catch on, too.


See also:
What Diversity Really Means
The Diversity Shibboleth
Diversity in Education
Why the culture war matters

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Downtown arena proposal gets mixed reaction from Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners

WSA throws their support behind aviation busing route

Kalamazoo downtown arena plan the subject of special meeting tonight

Looking to the East: East Hall faces uncertain future

Haenicke honored with memorial garden

Kalamazoo works on process for filing grievances as new anti-discrimination law takes effect

NRA Alert

Parking Lot Bills Marching Forward in Michigan! 11/13/2009

On Thursday, November 12, the Michigan Senate Committee on Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Recreation passed Senate Bill 792 and Senate Bill 793. These bills will be heard on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.

SB792, introduced by State Senator Roger Kahn (R-32), and SB793, authored by State Senator Jim Barcia (D-31), would prohibit employers from firing employees who safely and lawfully store their firearms in locked vehicles.

Also, the House versions of these bills, House Bill 5302 by State Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), and House Bill 5303 by State Representative Joel Sheltrown (D-103), could be heard on the House floor any day.

Please contact your State Senator TODAY and respectfully encourage them to support SB792 and SB793. To find your Senator and their contact information, please click here. Also don’t forget to contact your State Representative and politely urge them to vote in favor of HB5302 and HB5303 when it comes before them on the House floor. To find your Representative and their contact information, please click here.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Discrimination Ordinance Passes

The Kalamazoo discrimination ordinance was passed 62%-38%.

This is less than the 74% won in Kalamazoo by Barack Obama in 2008, the 72% won by Governor Granholm in 2006, or the 70% won by State Rep. Robert Jones in 2006. This shows that such ordinances remain a minority position nationwide. Nonetheless, it is disappointing that a majority of Kalamazoo voters voted to discriminate against those who disagree with them on 'gay rights'.

Just getting the ordinance on the ballot was a victory. The opponents were outspent more than 10-1. The supporters likely spent more than half a million dollars on their campaign.

Support for the ordinance was unsurprisingly heaviest around Western Michigan University, topping 80% in several precincts. The ordinance lost in three precincts. These are 10 (Spring Valley area), a largely white middle class area, 17 (Milwood), a largely white working class area, and 11 (Eastside), a largely minority precinct. Aside from being on the east side of Kalamazoo, they don't have much in common.
Map of Discrimination Ordinance Vote

The ordinance got 60-70% in the Northside precincts. Were voters confused by the ballot language?
Discrimination News
The ballot language of the ordinance itself is misleading. It makes it sound like the ordinance would ban 'discrimination' based on all manner of factors, including race, gender, and religion. But this is in the existing law. What is new is 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity'. Will voters be confused by this?

2009 Election Results

The 2009 elections were generally good for conservatives.

In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell won by 18 point over Creigh Deeds, who Barack Obama campaigned for. Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli won by similar margins. Cuccinelli in particular is a very staunch conservative. Republicans picked up several seats in the Virginia House of Delegates.

In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie won 49-44 over incumbent democrat Jon Corzine, who Obama campaigned heavily for. Christie is the most conservative candidate elected governor of New Jersey in many decades.

In Maine, voters rejected 'gay marriage' 53-47 after the legislature passed a bill purporting to create such a thing. In Texas, voters overwhelmingly passed a measure protecting property rights from eminent domain abuse. In Pennsylvania, a Republican was elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving the GOP the majority.

There was a tough loss in the special election in New York's 23rd district, where democrat Bill Owens won 49-46 over Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman. Yet the fact that a conservative third party challenger got 46% of the vote after driving a liberal Republican out of the race is still unprecedented.

Elsewhere in New York, liberal independent mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg was reelected by a surprisingly narrow margin after spending at least $112 million of his own money. Republicans picked up a couple seats on the city council in northern Queens. A Republican defeated the democrat incumbent Westchester County executive.

In California, a democrat won the special election for a democrat-held seat by a closer-than-usual margin.

In Michigan, Dave Bing was reelected Mayor of Detroit. A majority of the dysfunctional city council will be new, though there are reasons to be pessimistic about the new council.
New Detroit City Council Members Have Financial Problems, Debt, Tax Evasion Record

In the special election for the 19th state senate district covering Calhoun and most of Jackson counties, former state rep. Mike Nofs overwhelmingly defeated state rep. Marty Griffin 61-34. It's surprising that the democrats didn't try harder for this seat.

In Kalamazoo, the results were about as good for the left as they could have hoped.

The discrimination ordinance was passed 62-38. See this post for details and analysis:
Discrimination Ordinance Passes

The Metro Transit ordinance passed overwhelmingly, to nobody's surprise.

The incumbent city commissioners were all reelected in the same order as they achieved in 2007. This includes criminal Stephanie Moore. The seventh spot was won by 'gay rights' advocate Terry Kuseske. The runner-up was Don Cooney ally Mike Kilbourne.

In Portage, the incumbents were reelected, and Patricia Randall was elected to the partial term.

In Battle Creek, Republican Elizabeth Fulton was elected to the city council.