Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thanks, Do-gooders!

Michigan smoking ban snuffs out Kalamazoo-area profits

Profits at area eateries and bars have taken a hit since a state ban on smoking took effect May 1.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

New leadership announced for Arcus Foundation
Congressman Fred Upton votes against repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' ban on gays in military
Conservatives flock to see Bush campaign architect Karl Rove at book signing in Portage
Kalamazoo may end perk for golf-board members: Commissioner objects to free rounds for trustees
Candidates for Michigan's 20th District Senate seat focus on economy at forum
Western Michigan University names Alexander Enyedi dean of College of Arts and Sciences
U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra calls Michigan 'fundamentally strong': But GOP candidate says taxes are too high
Kalamazoo City Commissioner Don Cooney now opposes dog park (switcheroo!)
Veteran Western Michigan University administrator Jack Luderer tapped as interim dean of medical school
Earth moving under way for new student apartments on Western Michigan University's campus
George, Snyder, Hoekstra debate includes taxes, Michigan Promise scholarships
From the comments: Should developers continue with downtown Kalamazoo arena plans?

Snyder Wants 'Cool Cities'

Perhaps Governor Granholm's most absurd idea, though not the most costly, was the "Cool Cities Initiative". This was the idea that the way to turn around the economy is to spend a bunch of taxpayers' money on liberal 'artists' to make cities 'cool'. This idea is extensively debunked in the following article.

The Curse of the Creative Class
A New Age theory of urban development amounts to economic snake oil.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder has offered perfunctory criticism of Granholm's Cool Cities plan, but he seems to be proposing something very similar.

3 GOP gov candidates debate at GVSU

Snyder said the state needs to emphasize arts and culture to create cities attractive to young college graduates, noting the thousands of people attracted to downtown Grand Rapids last fall by the first annual ArtPrize competition.

But Hoekstra said putting money into "cool cities" initiatives won't help if young adults have to leave the state to find work.

"A 'cool city' to our young people is a city with a job," he said.

The Upton Connection

This interesting post comes from Paul Petersen, a Tea Party leader and candidate for state house in Berrien County's 79th district. It examines the relationships between Fred Upton, John Proos, and Al Pscholka.

The Upton Connection

They Knew Where We Live

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Obama Demands, "Your Papers, Please!"

This priceless item comes via Doug Powers.

If You Take Your Graduate to See Obama and You Don’t Have Your Papers, You’re Going to Get Harassed

Post Office Hates Competition

The Post Office is very upset that people are using mailboxes to deliver messages.

Savvy Citizen: U.S. Postal Service controls the outside of your mailbox, too

If you have a mailbox on your property, you’ve seen them — either inside the mailbox or attached to the side or in your newspaper box next to the mailbox.

They are fliers advertising something or promoting a particular candidate.

It’s a convenient way for those advertisers and politicians to get you their materials.

It’s also illegal.

The truth is that the U.S. Postal Service discourages people from using their mailboxes as a drop-off point, said spokesman Victor Dubina. “Technically, we own the inside of a mailbox,” he said.
Really? Who paid for the mailbox? A citizen who paid for his own mailbox owns it, no matter what the 'law' says.

Why so picky?

There are two things to consider: First, the postal service is mainly concerned about things that could be mailed. “If it’s something that’s mailable, postage should be paid for it” in order for it to be placed in the mailbox, Dubina said.


The postal service has two concerns about your mailbox becoming a train station: Officials don’t want solicitors putting fliers in every mailbox instead of mailing them. And they don’t want people sticking their hands in your mailbox without your permission. “By having control of the inside of the mailbox, we can better protect the sanctity of the mail,” Dubina said.
This is the real issue. The Post Office is a monopoly that hates competition. While 'postage should be paid' for anything that the Post Office delivers, by what right do they demand that postage be paid for mail that they did not collect, transport, sort, or deliver?

It is high time that the postal monopoly be abolished and free competition in mail delivery be established.

Senate Candidates on Taxes

Democrats, Republicans in 20th District Michigan Senate race lay out positions at forum


A question that sparked some of the strongest responses, mostly negative, was whether to increase the beer tax by 4 cents per can, generating almost $90 million a year for the state.

“That’s just a drop in the bucket; that is not enough to cure all ills,” Schuitmaker said.

Plus, she said, she has visited with proprietors of “corner stores,” which she called important job providers, and “their concern was that it would significantly hurt their business.”

DeShazor echoed her comments, saying “they have a very thin profit margin.”

“The problem of picking on taxes like the beer tax,” Jones said, “is you're not including everyone in the process.”

“Right now, given the state of our economy, the answer is not to raise taxes,” Totten added.

Only Wenke said he would consider raising the beer tax, which he said hasn’t been increased in many years. He said lobbyists for beer companies court legislators with food and cash gifts. “It’ll probably cost me some money talking to you about it,” he said.

Asked whether they favored a graduated income tax — which KCASI members support — over the state’s current flat-tax system, the candidates split along party lines.

“It allows for a fairer way of collecting taxes,” said Jones, who said he favored putting it to a public vote. The vote would be necessary because it would require a constitutional amendment.
Totten said it was not a radical idea, particularly since it is used in the federal government.

But DeShazor said “a graduated income tax would be a disaster right now,” and Schuitmaker and Wenke both said they would be opposed to it if it came to a vote of the people, with Schuitmaker saying more people might leave Michigan if the change were approved.

Fred Upton's Conservative Ratings

The most popular and respected ratings of how conservative members of Congress are are the ratings produced by the American Conservative Union. They cover a broad range of issues and are not selected to promote or impugn particular members. The votes selected are (almost) never announced ahead of time, avoiding a source of bias that affects the ratings of many other organizations.

How conservative is the voting record of Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan's 6th district?

2012 76
2011 64
2010 92
2009 72
2008 44
2007 56
2006 80
2005 80
2004 76
2003 76
2002 92
2001 76
2000 60
1999 68
1998 56
1997 80
1996 85
1995 72
1994 67
1993 67
1992 72
1991 80
1990 71
1989 75
1988 64
1987 70
LIFE 72.99

Upton's highest percentages occurred in 1992 and 2010 when he was being challenged for renomination by conservative State Senator Dale Shugars and conservative former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk, respectively.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Club for Growth Congressional Scorecard

The Club for Growth has released its annual Congressional Scorecard

Club for Growth Congressional Scorecard

Congressman Fred Upton scored 64% pro-growth in 2009.

All Upton's scores:
2012 66%
2011 52%
2010 85%
2009 64%
2008 39%
2007 41%
2006 48%
2005 48%

Life: 55%

Michigan Senate Races

All 38 seats in the Michigan Senate are up for election in 2010. The majority of current senators are term-limited. Republicans currently have a 22-16 majority, and have controlled the senate for the past 25 years.

2010 Unofficial Primary Candidate Listing
Republican Michigander district profiles (see sidebar)

1. [eastern Detroit] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Hansen Clarke (term-limited, running for Congress against incumbent Carolyn Kilpatrick)
Democrats: Dobey Gavin, LaMar Lemmons, Lisa Nuszkowski, Mary Waters, Coleman Young
Republican: Dakeisha Harwick
Analysis: Lemmons, Waters, and Young are current or former state reps. Lemmons is a campaign finance scofflaw, Waters is under indictment, and Young is the young son of the late race-baiting mayor of Detroit.

2. [northern Detroit, Grosse Pointes] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Martha Scott (term-limited)
Democrats: Hans Barbe, Tracey Blair, Olivia Boykins, Ken Daniels, Bert Johnson, Bettie Scott, Kush Shaqiri, Rita Smith, Steve Smith
Republican: John Chouinard
Analysis: Johnson and Scott are current or former state reps. Johnson is a convicted criminal.

3. [central Detroit, Dearborn] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Irma Clark-Coleman (term-limited)
Democrats: Morris Hood, Mohamed Okdie, William Robinson
Republican: Doug Mitchell
Analysis: Hood is a state rep.

4. [central Detroit] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Buzz Thomas(term-limited)
Democrats: George Cushingberry, Michael Garrett, Carron Pinkins, Virgil Smith
Republican: Frederick Robinson
Analysis: Cushingberry and Smith are current or former state reps. Cushingberry is a campaign finance scofflaw.

5. [western Detroit] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Tupak Hunter (running for reelection)
Democrat: Tupak Hunter
Republican: Bonnie Patrick
Analysis: None

6. [Livonia, Westland, Redford] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Glenn Andersen (running for reelection)
Democrat: Glenn Andersen
Republican: John Pastor
Analysis: This district was drawn to lean Republican. Andersen defeated Republican senator Laura Toy in 2006. Toy dropped out of the race to defeat him this year. Pastor is a former state rep. from Livonia.

7. [western, southern Wayne County] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Bruce Patterson (term-limited)
Democrats: Kathleen Law
Republicans: Patrick Colbeck, Abe Munfakh, Dan Osterman, Deborah Wyman
Analysis: This Republican district is highly vulnerable. Law is a former state rep. Munfakh is a conservative businessman and township official, while Osterman is a libertarian.

8. [downriver Detroit suburbs] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Ray Basham (term-limited)
Democrats: Sherry Dragone, Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Mike Kell, Charles Paddock
Republicans: Ken Larkin, Douglas Reimel
Analysis: Hopgood is a former state rep.

9. [southern Macomb County] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Dennis Olshove (term-limited)
Democrats: Steven Bieda, Frank Accavitti
Republicans: Michael Ennis, John Vostoris
Analysis: Bieda and Accavitti are current or former state reps.

10. [central Macomb County] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Mickey Switalski (term-limited, running for Congress against incumbent Sander Levin)
Democrats: Paul Gieleghem, Carl Marlinga
Republican: Tory Rocca
Analysis: Rocca is a state rep. from Sterling Heights, Gielegham is a Macomb County commissioner, and Marlinga is a former Macomb County prosecutor who left under an ethical cloud. This race should be highly competitive.

11. [northern Macomb County] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Alan Sanborn (term-limited)
Democrats: Jim Ayers, Jonathan Garstka
Republicans: Jack Brandenburg, Leon Drolet, Kim Meltzer, Colleen Saputo
Analysis: Brandenburg, Drolet, and Meltzer are current or former state reps. Drolet is a libertarian and leader of Michigan taxpayers alliance. Brandenberg is a conservative who does not represent much of the district. Meltzer is a conservative who has proposed restrictions on illegal immigration similar to those passed in Arizona.

12. [northeastern Oakland County] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Mike Bishop (term-limited, running for Attorney General)
Democrats: Ted Golden, Cassandra Ulbrich
Republicans: John Garfield, Lois Golden, Jim Marleau, Copper Rizzo, Kim Russell, Gene Taliercio
Analysis: Garfield and Marleau are former state reps and are likely the favorites.

13. [Troy, Royal Oak, Bloomfield] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: John Pappageorge (running for reelection)
Democrats: Aaron Bailey
Republican: John Pappageorge, Roi Chinn, David Kniffen
Analysis: This district was hotly contested in 2006, with Pappageorge narrowly defeating Andy Levin. This year, democrats failed to find a strong candidate.

14. [southeastern Oakland County] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Gilda Jacobs (term-limited)
Democrats: David Coulter, Vincent Gregory, Anthony McDonald, Derhun Sanders, Howard Worthy
Republicans: James Hardin, Michael Peters, Robert Vaughan
Analysis: Coulter and Gregory are current or former state reps.

15. [southwestern Oakland County] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Nancy Cassis (term-limited)
Democrats: Tom Crawford, Pam Jackson, Christopher Maloney
Republicans: Kerry Bentivolio, Paul Graves, Mike Kowall, John Mohyi, Alan Stephens, Steven Valentini
Analysis: Kowall is a state rep.

16. [Lenewaee, Hillsdale, Branch, St. Joseph Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Cameron Brown (term-limited, running for Secretary of State)
Democrat: Doug Spade
Republican: Bruce Caswell
Analysis: Both are current or former state reps.

17. [Monroe, parts of Washtenaw and Jackson Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Randy Richardville (running for reelection)
Democrats: Paul Hengy, John Spencer
Republicans: Randy Richardville, Al Bain
Analysis: This district is competitive in principle, but democrats failed to recruit a strong candidate.

18. [Washtenaw County] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Liz Brater (term-limited)
Democrats: Pam Byrnes, Thomas Partridge, Rebekah Warren
Republican: Gary Wellings, John Hochstetler
Analysis: Byrnes and Warren are state reps.

19. [Calhoun, Jackson Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Mike Nofs (running for reelection)
Democrat: Brenda Abbey
Republican: Mike Nofs
Analysis: This seat was held by democrat Mark Schauer until he left for Congress. Nofs won a special election overwhelmingly of Martin Griffin in 2009. Democrats did not recruit a credible candidate this time.

20. [Kalamazoo County] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Tom George (term-limited, running for Governor)
Democrats: Robert Jones, Mark Totten
Republican: Larry Deshazor, Tonya Schuitmaker, Lorence Wenke
Analysis: George won a close reelection in 2006 over Alexander Lipsey. Jones is a popular state rep and former mayor of Kalamazoo. Totten is a law professor who has received much financial support from outside the district. Both are liberals.
DeShazor is a state rep. from western Kalamazoo County. Schuitmaker is a state rep. who represents a small part of VanBuren County. Wenke is a former state rep. from eastern Kalamazoo County. All three are moderate to conservative.

21. [Berrien, Cass, VanBuren Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Ron Jelenek (term-limited)
Democrat: Scott Elliott
Republicans: Todd Griffee, John Proos
Analysis: Proos is a state rep. and former staffer for Congressman Fred Upton. Griffee is a Tea Party candidate.

22. [Livingston, Shiawassee Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Valde Garcia (term-limited)
Democrat: Chuck Fellows
Republicans: Joe Hune, Paul Rogers
Analysis: Hune is a state rep.

23. [northeastern Oakland County] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: Gretchen Whitmer (running for reelection)
Democrat: Gretchen Whitmer
Republican: Kyle Haubrich
Analysis: Whitmer dropped out of the race for Attorney General.

24. [Allegan, Barry, Eaton Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Patty Birkholz (term-limited)
Democrat: Michelle DiSano
Republicans: Rick Jones, Randy Brink
Analysis: Jones is a state rep. from Eaton County and is the heavy favorite.

25. [St. Clair, Lapeer Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Jud Gilbert (term-limited)
Democrats: Jason Blauet, John Nugent
Republicans: Todd Courser, Lauren Hager, Phil Pavlov
Analysis: Hager and Pavlov are current or former state reps.

26. [eastern Genessee, northwest Oakland Counties] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Deb Cherry (term-limited)
Democrats: Katherine Houston, Jim Slezak, Paula Zelenko
Republicans: Fran Amos, Michael Matheny, David Robertson, Tim Terpening
Analysis: Slezak, Amos, and Robertson are state reps. Robertson is a strong conservative.

27. [Flint, western Genessee County] Safe democrat.
Incumbent: John Gleason (running for reelection)
Democrat: John Gleason
Republican: Vernon Molnar
Analysis: Gleason is safe.

28. [Kent County outside Grand Rapids] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Mark Jansen (running for reelection)
Democrat: Robin Golden
Republican: Mark Jansen
Analysis: None.

29. [Grand Rapids, Kentwood] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Bill Hardiman (term-limited, running for Congress)
Democrats: Robert Dean, Dave LaGrand
Republicans: Dave Hildenbrand, Judith Kapteyn, Lori Wiersma
Analysis: Hildenbrand and Dean are state reps, while LaGrand was a Grand Rapids city commissioner.

30. [Ottowa County] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Wayne Kuipers (term-limited, running for Congress)
Democrat: John Chester
Republicans: Arlan Meekhof, Timothy O'Donnell, Brett VanderKamp
Analysis: Meekhof is a state rep and is the favorite.

31. [the Thumb] Leans democrat.
Incumbent: Jim Barcia (term-limited)
Democrat: Jeff Mayes
Republicans: Mike Green, Gary Hadden, Paul Mezo, Robert Palmer
Analysis: Mayes is a state rep. from Bay County. Green lost to Barcia, a former congressman, in 2002.

32. [Saginaw, Gratiot Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Roger Khan (running for reelection)
Democrat: Debasish Mridha
Republicans: Roger Khan, Gary Dunn
Analysis: Democrats failed to recruit a strong candidate against Khan, who won a nail-biter in 2006.

33. [Clinton, Ionia, Montcalm, Isabella Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Alan Cropsey (term-limited)
Democrat: James Hoisington
Republicans: Brian Calley, Michael Trebesh

34. [Muskegon County] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Gerald VanWoerkem (term-limited)
Democrats: Mary Valentine
Republican: Geoff Hansen
Analysis: Both are state reps. This seat has been quite competitive in past elections.

35. [north-central lower peninsula] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Michelle McManus (term-limited, running for Secretary of State)
Democrats: Roger Dunigan, George Huffman
Republicans: Darwin Booher, Kevin Davis, Gary Finstrom
Analysis: Booher is a state rep.

36. [northeastern lower peninsula, Midland] Toss-up.
Incumbent: Tony Stamas (term-limited)
Democrat: Andy Neumann
Republican: John Moolenaar
Analysis: Neumann narrowly lost a race to the incumbent in 2002. Both candidates are state reps.

37. [northern lower peninsula, eastern upper peninsula] Safe Republican.
Incumbent: Jason Allen (term-limited, running for Congress)
Democrat: Bob Carr
Republicans: Randy Bishop, Howard Walker
Analysis: Walker is a state rep.

38. [Upper Peninsula] Leans democrat.
Incumbent: Mike Prusi (term-limited)
Democrat: Michael Lahti
Republicans: Tom Casperson, Jeff Paulin
Analysis: Lahti is a state rep. Casperson is a former state rep. who lost to Congressman Bart Stupak in 2008.

Summary of Ratings:
Safe democrat: 11
Leans democrat: 2
Toss-up: 8
Safe Republican: 17

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 Election Preview Updated

This blog's annual election preview has been completely updated following the filing deadline for the November election.

2010 Election Preview

Check it out!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Area State House Races

All 110 Michigan State House seats are up for election. Thanks to term limits, there are many open seats. Democrats currently control the state house.

2010 Unofficial Primary Candidate Listing
Unofficial Candidates List for August 3, 2010 Primary

Here are profiles of state house races in Southwest Michigan.

59. [St. Joseph, Cass Counties] Safe Republican.
Moderate Republican Matt Lori, elected in 2008, is safe in this heavily Republican district against democrat Carol Higgins, who he defeated in 2008.

60. [Kalamazoo City] Safe Democrat.
Democrat Robert Jones is leaving after two terms to run for state senate. Former Kalamazoo City Commissioner Sean McCann, former WMU student Chris Praedel, and Dustin Harback will compete for the democrat nomination. McCann is heavily favored to win. The Republican nominee will be pastor Jeff Fernandez.

61. [western Kalamazoo County] Safe Republican.
Republican Larry DeShazor is leaving this district to run for the state senate. This district saw close elections in 2006 and 2008, with democrat Julie Rogers narrowly losing to Republicans Jack Hoogendyk and DeShazor. In 2008, democrats made a major push to take this district, spending half a million dollars on the race. Also in 2008, there was a hotly contested Republican primary, with DeShazor narrowly defeating Portage City Council member Margaret O'Brien. This year, O'Brien, a conservative, is unopposed for the Republican nomination, having put together a strong campaign early on that dissuaded any potential Republican rivals from running.

The democrats totally failed to recruit a strong candidate, ending up with unknown Thomas Batten. He is the weakest democrat nominee for this seat in a decade, certainly compared to Julie Rogers, James Housten, or Curtis Bell. There is no sign that democrats will expend effort on this race, and 2010 is likely to be a much more Republican year than 2008. Batten will be opposed by write-in candidate Grant Taylor, brother of John Taylor, who failed to get on the ballot due to not living in the district long enough.

62. [Calhoun County] Likely democrat.
Democrat Kate Segal easily won this swing district over flawed Republican nominee Greg Moore, taking over for retiring Republican Mike Nofs. The Republican nominee this year will be Steven Mobley.

63. [eastern Kalamazoo County, northwestern Calhoun County] Safe Republican.
Republican Jase Bolger, conservative, won this district in 2008, succeeding the retiring Lorence Wenke, who is running for state senate. Bolger won pretty easily in 2008 and should have no trouble against democrat Dave Morgan.

78. [southern Berrien County] Safe Republican.
Republican Sharon Tyler won a close election in 2008, succeeding term-limited Republican Neal Nitz. She faces democrat Cindy Ellis. At this time it does not appear that the race will be highly contested.

79. [northern Berrien County] Safe Republican.
Incumbent Republican John Proos is term-limited and running for state senate. The republicans running to succeed him are Paul Peterson, a local Tea Party leader and staunch conservative, Al Pscholka, the district director for Congressman Fred Upton, and Bruce Gorenflo. The democrat candidates are Mary Brown and Julee Laurent.

80. [VanBuren County] Leans Republican.
Incumbent Republican Tonya Schuitmaker is term-limited and running for state senate. Six Republicans are competing for nomination. They are Douglas Harrington, Shelly Hartmann, Bob Linderman, Aric Nesbitt, William Queen, and Frank Thompson. Harrington is Lawrence Township Supervisor. Nesbitt is a former staffer for Tom George and Tim Walberg. Thompson is a businessman. The democrat nominee will be Thomas Erdmann, a county commissioner.

87. [Barry, Ionia Counties] Safe Republican.
Incumbent Brian Calley is running for state senate. The three Republican candidates are Michael Bremer, Mike Callton, a businessman, and Steve Fabiano, a businessman.

88. [Allegan County] Safe Republican.
Republican Bob Genetski, a staunch conservative, will have no trouble in Heavily Republican Allegan County. The democrat nominee will be Randy Thompson.

Hoekstra: Who, Me?

Congressman Pete Hoekstra was recently on Jay Morris to discuss Mike Cox's campaign ad alleging that Hoekstra is a big spender.

05/12/10 - Hour 2: US Rep and gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra - Do negative campaign ads work? - The 30th anniversary of the Kalamazoo Tornado - MS Office - FREE?

Hoekstra's defense was basically this.

1. Big spender? Who, me?

2. Ok, technically I did vote for the Bridge to Nowhere.

3. But that was merely one small provision in a much, much bigger highway spending bill.

4. Which I voted for.

5. But I sleep on my couch.

Hoekstra never got around to vote for the TARP bailout, which he voted for.

Hoekstra on the Bailout

He also didn't mention voting for the Medicare Part D prescription drug bill, which added a present value cost of 17 trillion dollars to the off-books national debt.


Will Hoekstra Raise Taxes?
Hoekstra on the Bailout
Cox Slams Hoekstra on Spending


Troves of newly released Soviet documents contain mindblowing revelations. The documents were smuggled out of Russia by freedom-loving dissidents.

A Hidden History of Evil

Among the revelations:
  • Yes, Gorbachev really was evil. He laughed at the deaths of hundreds of innocent people.
  • The European Union was more-or-less a project of the Soviet Union and its sympathizers in western Europe.
  • The late Socialist leader of France, Francois Mitterand, tried to unite Germany under the control of France and the Soviet Union.
  • Neal Kinnock, former leader of the British Labour Party, committed treason trying to undermine British national defence.
  • Joe Biden and Richard Lugar admitted that they don't care about political dissidents.
  • Numerous reporters have been indifferent to these revelations.
Once again, this shows that leftists are not merely misguided idealists. They really do have it in for western civilization.

Muslim Students Association

The Muslim Students Association is an organization of campus groups of Muslim students. What do they want?

At UC San Diego, one female MSA student wants the Holocaust.

“For It”: MSA Student Confesses She Wants a Second Holocaust

Where are all the liberals who claim to be so concerned about violence from Tea Parties and militias? Conservatives often point out the contrast between treatment of sympathy for communism and sympathy for Naziism. But here we have students with a 'God Bless Hitler' sign.

Never again? Anyone?

Of course, there is a MSA chapter at Western, as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fireworks Freedom

The state legislature is looking to each restrictions on fireworks, but only as a source for government revenue.

Boom goes the Michigan? State may legalize bigger fireworks, but at a cost to businesses

Local News: Taylor Turns Tail

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo County jail expansion would cost $15 million, new estimate shows
Western Michigan University to start building new Sangren Hall, campus apartments in June
Western Michigan University student Justin Kurtz sued by T & J Towing fires back as company owner is using courts for cover, counterclaim asserts
Designers start drafting plans to renovate the Kalamazoo County Jail

Candidates file for federal, state and county races in Aug. 3 primary
June hearing set on assessments: Texas Township looks to bolder funding for roads
Richard Godfrey appointed to the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners

Democrat Grant Taylor drops out of race for state House's 61st District after learning of residency rule
Democrat Grant Taylor to run for Michigan House's 61st District after dropping bid for Kalamazoo County Board
Democrat John Taylor drops out of race to replace Tom George in Michigan Senate's 20th District

Who's surprised by Taylor dropping out? Not this blog.

He will be running against State Rep. Robert Jones in the democrat primary. Jones is clearly the candidate of the democrat establishment, which means that they will probably arm-twist Taylor until he drops out of the race.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kalamazoo County Commission Races

The filing deadline for the November election passed on Tuesday. Here we examine the races for Kalamazoo County Commission.

Unofficial Candidates List for August 3, 2010 Primary

Many races are uncontested. No Republicans filed for districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. No democrats filed for districts 8 or 14. A couple of these races have contested primaries, however. We profile the contested races below.

3. [Edison neighborhood] Safe democrat.
Incumbent Robert Barnard is being challenged by Eric Sweet in the democrat primary. This blog is unfamiliar with Mr. Sweet. Barnard is likely safe.

6. [eastern and northern Kalamazoo Township] Safe democrat.
Incumbent Franklin Thompson is being challenged by Michael Seals in the democrat primary. Thompson, who is in his mid-80s, is disliked by local democrat leaders. However, he has easily rebuffed primary challenges the past couple elections.

7. [Milwood area] Safe democrat.
Incumbent David Buskirk is being challenged by Republican Kai Phillips. Buskirk is a long-time popular incumbent, and is safe here. Phillips ran unsuccessfully for Kalamazoo City Commission last year.

9. [northern Portage] Leans Republican.
Incumbent Republican Nasim Ansari is being challenged by democrat Chuck Vliek. Ansari, a veteran of the County Commission and Portage City Council, was first elected with 67% of the vote in 2002. However, he has faced closer elections since then, dropping to 52% in 2008. Vliek is the son of longtime Portage City Council member Ted Vliek.

10. [central Portage] Toss-up.
Incumbent democrat Michael Quinn is being challenged by Republican Phil Stinchcomb. Quinn was elected in 2008 by defeating former Portage Mayor James Graham, who did almost no campaigning. Republican Tom Drabik was retiring. Quinn opposed the arena proposal and cosponsored a measure that would have prevented abortion funding, which may alienate some democrats. Stinchcomb is a conservative Republican who ran unsuccessfully for Portage City Council last year.

11. [Texas Township] Safe Republican.
Republican Tim Rogowski will seek a full term after recently being appointed to fill the seat of the late Grady Biby. He will face John Cross in the Republican primary. Rogowski is a moderate, while Cross' politics are unknown. Democrat Barbara Hammon is also seeking this seat, which is the most Republican in the county.

12. [Oshtemo Township] Toss-up.
Democrat John Nieuwenhuis faces competition in both the primary and general election. Both Oshtemo Township Trustee Scott McCormick and Scott Spicer are running for the democrat nomination. Nieuwenhuis defeated incumbent Republican Bob Brink, who did little campaigning, in 2006 and held off Republican Chris Haenicke in 2008. McCormick did no visible campaigning in 2008 and was elected purely based on straight-ticket voting. It isn't clear why both he and Spicer are running. The Republican nominee will be Brandt Iden.

13. [Cooper and Alamo Township, Parchment] Safe Republican.
Incumbent Republican Deb Buchholtz faces democrat Harvey Hanna.

15. [Comstock Township] Leans Republican.
Incumbent Republican Ann Nieuwenshuis faces democrat Leroy Crabtree, who she unseated in 2008. Nieuwenhuis, a moderate Republican, opposed the arena while supporting abortion funding. She was one of very few Republicans in the state to unseat an incumbent democrat in 2008. Crabtree, a moderate union democrat, unseated Republican Joe VanBruggen in 2006.

16. [Pavillion, Climax, Fulton Townships] Leans Republican.
Incumbent Jeff Balkema is retiring. Republicans will choose between John Gisler, a leader of a local taxpayers group, and John O'Keefe, whose politics are unknown. Thomas Post, who ran several close-but-losing races against Balkema, will be the democrat nominee.

17. [Brady, Schoolcraft, Priare Ronde Townships] Safe Republican.
Incumbent moderate Republican David Maturen faces democrat Jerry Rudolph.

Democrats currently control the board 9-8. To win back control, Republicans will have to hold all the seats that lean Republican while picking up at least one of the two seats that are toss-ups.

Upton on Immigration

Congressman Fred Upton was interviewed by Jay Morris on WKZO.

05/07/10 - Hour 2: Congressman Fred Upton spends most of the hour discussing the Gulf Oil Spill, energy policy, immigration and more - A new poll on what people think of Obama on Free Beer Friday

Around 25 minutes in, talk turned to immigration. Upton was asked what he thought about the Arizona immigration law. He never answered the question. He talks about securing the border for a couple minutes. Then he admitted (27:12) that

"I am for comprehensive immigration reform. We were moving a bill, when Republicans controlled the Congress, that was stopped. We have not seen such action take place by Speaker Pelosi"
'Comprehensive immigration reform' is the term that amnesty supporters use for allowing illegal aliens to stay in this country. The 2006 bill was stopped by Republicans in the House thanks to massive public outrage against amnesty.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bennett Bounced

Senator Bob Bennett of Utah was denied renomination at the state Republican convention on Saturday. Bennett is an establishment Republican who supported the bailout, a mandate to buy health insurance, amnesty for illegal aliens, and big spending. Utah Republicans had enough and voted to send two more conservative candidates, Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater, to the Republican primary.

Media reports stated that delegates were full of 'anti-incumbent rage'. They renominated plenty of other incumbents with no contest, but if you decide to vote for someone different, it must be RAAAAAGGGGGEEEEEEE!!!!! rather than just preferring a different candidate.

Good for Bouchard

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is promoting copying the Arizona immigration law in Michigan. State Rep. Kim Meltzer is promoting a similar bill in the state legislature.

Arizona immigration law inspires Michigan initiative

Other candidates should support these measures as well.

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Two Republicans vie to represent Texas Township on Kalamazoo County Board
Two file to replace retiring Allegan County judge
Speed limit increases on Westnedge, Park come after investigation
Kalamazoo planning commission approves changes for Wesley Foundation at Western Michigan University
State Rep. Robert Jones endorses Sean McCann in 60th District Michigan House race
Western Michigan University approves contract with new union for part-time instructors
Kalamazoo County Board rejects move by downtown arena opponents to force vote on the issue
High ticket demand for Kalamazoo Central commencement could change venue
Kalamazoo County May 4 school board election results
Joanne Willson, Geoffrey Howe win seats on Portage school board in tight, 3-way race
Candidates lining up in state House 80th District race: Tonya Schuitmaker term-limited from running again

Friday, May 07, 2010

Rejecting the Arena

The supporters of the downtown arena on the Kalamazoo County Commission refused to hold a vote on the issue because they know how massively unpopular it is.

Kalamazoo County Board rejects move by downtown arena opponents to force vote on the issue

Meanwhile, an educated view on the issue:

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the head of Western Michigan University’s economics department told commissioners that building an arena in downtown Kalamazoo wouldn’t spur economic development in the region.

He noted that the Kalamazoo Wings and Western Michigan University’s hockey and basketball teams already have venues in which to play and so a new event center would not bring new wealth into the community.
Another view:

Vice Chairwoman Buchholtz said she respected Kern’s opinion but argued the Kalamazoo event center is unique because it also involves housing and an educational partnership for a culinary school and urban gardens, she said.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ernie Harwell, RIP

Legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell passed away yesterday. I can't improve upon this piece by Jack Hoogendyk from last September when Ernie announced that he has incurable cancer. Ernie is in a better place now.

Jack on Ernie Harwell


Ernie Harwell Sets the Standard for Faith and Class

Ernie Harwell, Hall of Fame broadcaster who for 42 years, brought the Detroit Tigers into our homes, and under my pillow as a young lad, announced today he has incurable cancer. He handled the public announcement just the way you would have expected him to; with humility and a positive outlook. You can read a full account of his announcement here.

I have admired Harwell since my earliest memories of Tiger baseball. I used to stick my little transistor radio under my pillow at night, when they were playing the Angels or the Athletics out west. Invariably, I would fall asleep before the game was over only to be awakened by the National Anthem playing as the radio station signed off the air. Of course, back then, there was no way of finding out who won until the next day when the newspaper arrived.

One of the greatest thrills of my life was the day I had fly out to California from Detroit and found myself on the same flight with about half the Tigers team and Ernie Harwell! They were heading out to Anaheim to play after the all-star break. There was a mix-up in the seating assignments and I found myself sitting in business class. About halfway through the flight I looked over and saw Ernie sitting across from me, glancing at the in-flight magazine. I knew he had to bored. The seat next to him was empty, so I took a chance and sauntered over.

He was happy to chat with me about any subject I desired. I had a chance to find out a little about Ernie Harwell, the man. We talked about what kind of car he drove, the love of his life, Lulu and other subjects. I didn't engage him for too long. I gave him my card and walked back to my seat.

When I returned home, several people told me Ernie had mentioned my name on the radio. I had told him I would be attending the game in Anaheim; he told the radio audience that a fan from Detroit was at the ball park.

A Man of Great and Abiding Faith

There were many things about Ernie Harwell to admire as a professional and as a person. But to me, what was most to be admired was his abiding faith in Jesus Christ. He was an example to all those around him and was never afraid to share his faith, yet he did not wear it on his sleeve. For him it was a way of life.

Even now, as he tells the world of this devastating disease, he does it the same class he has always exhibited . "I really feel good. I've got a great attitude. I just look forward to a new adventure," Harwell told the Free Press. "God gives us so many adventures, and I've had some great ones. It's been a terrific life. Of course, the best thing that ever happened to me was my wife, Lulu. I'm just happy that we were able to reach our 68th wedding anniversary."

That pretty much says it all. We love you, Ernie. May God continue to bless you in this, the sunset of your life on earth.

Jack Hoogendyk

Obama Picks Kalamazoo

President Obama picked Kalamazoo Central for his high school commencement speech. Gazette reporter Julie Mack speculated that "Picking a winner, which the president is expected to do by Tuesday, is likely to boil down to what kind of message Obama wants to send about education reform." Thus it is no surprise that he picked a traditional public school over a charter school and a Montessori school.

The late Western Michigan University President Diether Haenicke has stated privately that many graduates of Kalamazoo Central are functionally illiterate.

State senate candidates Lorence Wenke and Larry DeShazor both sent emails congratulating Kalamazoo Central, while Tonya Schuitmaker did not.

Central's graduation was originally going to be held in Wings Stadium, but officials are now looking for a bigger venue.

Why didn't we build a downtown arena???

My advice: make sure to find a venue big enough to accommodate everyone who wants to come. Somewhere like VanAndel Arena, Ford Field, or Cominski Field.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Stand With Arizona

Recently the Arizona legislature courageously passed a law imposing common-sense measures to combat illegal immigration in Arizona. The bill was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer.

Kris Kobach: Why Arizona Drew a Line
Allan Wall: Memo From Middle America (Formerly Known As Memo From Mexico): Mexican Mewling, Hispanic Hysteria—American Patriots Must Support Arizona’s SB 1070!

The bill is so common-sense that it is hard to see how anyone can oppose it. It allows police to ask for identification when there is cause to believe that someone who has already been stopped is here illegally. It also stops the 'Sanctuary cities' which forbid police from cooperating with federal immigration officials. The law largely mirrors longstanding federal law, with the difference that it is more likely to be enforced.

The law was immediately dubbed 'controversial' by the liberal media. A better descriptor would be 'overwhelmingly popular'. A recent poll found that the bill is supported by an astounding 70% of Arizona voters, including 84% of Republicans, 69% of independents, and even 51% of democrats (versus just 43% opposed). The law is so popular that even amnesty-lover John McCain endorsed it.

How often did the media dub Obamacare 'controversial'? Would they have done so if it had 70% support instead of 40%?

Naturally, liberals did what they always do when their position is totally indefensible to normal Americans. They launched a massive smear campaign. They accused the bill of instituting 'racial profiling' and anyone supporting the bill of being RACIST RACIST RACIST!!! But the bill has absolutely nothing to do with race. Illegal aliens come in all races. Furthermore, the bill specifically bans 'racial profiling', as do existing state and federal laws.

The other big lie promoted by the left is that the bill will create a Nazi-like police state where cops will demand 'Your Papers, Please!' to any and everyone. This is so slanderous as to defy belief. The bill does not give police any power to stop people that they don't already have. As with any crime, police need a reasonable suspicion before they can stop someone. Moreover, have the people so worked up about Your Papers never heard of drivers licences? Police demand those papers of everyone they pull over.

The real haters in this debate are on the left. Calling someone a Nazi is the worst thing that you can say about him (even worse than RACIST!). Calling Arizona, and by extension America Nazis for enforcing existing immigration laws is an expression of hatred for America. Leftists want to destroy America by overwhelming us with a flood of illegals and are enraged that anyone would stand in their way.

The real racists in this debate are the Hispanic groups that are attacking Arizona and America. The biggest is La Raza, aka The Race, which incredibly was founded by a Nazi sympathizer. They held protests/riots on Mayday and before, committing acts of violence and vandalism that would have been national news if done by Tea Party members.

Yes, La Raza Really Does Mean "The Race"—And The Idea Was Invented By a Nazi Sympathizer

Despite the campaign of lies, Americans who have heard of the law still support it 51% to 39%.

Americans must stand with Arizona and work to pass similar laws in other states and nationwide.

Cutting through the lies should make them aware that yes, liberals do hate America.

Previous: Illegal Immigrants are Criminals

No Arena, for Now

The plan to soak the taxpayers to build an arena that a few politically connected businessmen would benefit from has been mothballed, at least for now.

Kalamazoo County puts event center idea on hold

It would seem that the plan didn't have the support of a majority of county commissioners needed to put it on the ballot in August. November appears to be out as well. Why? Because the voters aren't buying it.

“There’s not enough votes to be able to vote on it right now to put it on the ballot,” said Buskirk, D-Kalamazoo. “Right now, the board feels there’s no way that the public would approve it, so why even vote right now?
Even Ken Miller admits that there would have to be a months-long propaganda campaign to convince the voters to approve this turkey.

“In fairness to the general public, there needs to be a significant amount of educational campaigning done,” Miller said. “That takes time.”

He estimated such an effort would need at least six to nine months.
Eat your heart out, Miller.

Don't Come, Obama!

Many folks around town seem thrilled at the possibility that President Obama might give the commencement address that Kalamazoo Central High School.

Obama commencement competition provides "great moments" for Kalamazoo Central and community
Obama contest keys on school reform: Kalamazoo Central, other finalists represent different models for American education

K Central is a finalist in the Race to the Top High School Commencement Speech contest. Previous rounds were decided by online voting, but the final pick is Obama's. It isn't clear what the point of the competition is. It seems as if which community is the best at Obama-worship may be the real criterion.

While such a speech may be special to the students, it will be a headache for everyone else. The freeway will be shut down for several hours, snarling local traffic. Cities that more regularly receive Presidential visits aren't nearly as thrilled.

Stay home, Obama.

Local News

News around Kalamazoo.

'Very quiet' Southwest Michigan election still has plenty on the ballot
Kalamazoo County puts event center idea on hold
Commissioner's younger brother, who moved to Kalamazoo in January, looks to replace him
Low-income townhouses get tax-break extension: Kalamazoo commissioner voices concerns but supports plan
Democrat Don Cooney kicks off campaign for Congress making second bid for Fred Upton's seat
Mitt Romney endorses Pete Hoekstra in governor's race
Obama commencement competition provides "great moments" for Kalamazoo Central and community
Obama contest keys on school reform: Kalamazoo Central, other finalists represent different models for American education
At long last, State Sen. Tom George, an anesthesiolgist, earns his bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan
Western Michigan University part-time instructors approve new contract