Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of The Western Right: 2011

This blog was somewhat less busy this year but still covered many topics. We had 180 posts this year. Here are some of the best posts of 2011.

A series of articles on redistricting in Michigan.
Michigan Redistricting

Conservative of the Year: Scott Walker
Who are the "Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility" and why do they support Fred Upton?
GOP Leaders: Merry Christmas Happy Holidays!
Evangelical Environmental Network Runs Misleading Ads
Van Jones' Speech
Another Kalamazoo College Employee Lies About Van Jones
Kalamazoo College Professor Lies About Van Jones
Howard Wolpe, RIP
City of Kalamazoo Declares War on Kalamazoo County!
Up From the Projects
The Case for a Creator
Weapons of Mass Instruction
The ACLU vs America
Michigan 5th Congressional District Election Preview
Does Detroit Need Immigration?
How Busing Wrecked Kalamazoo
Reagan Forever
Democrat Supervisor Doesn't Pay Taxes
Snyder Appoints Democrat WMU Trustee

2011 Election Preview

The Best of The Western Right: 2010
The Best of The Western Right: 2009
The Best of The Western Right: 2008
The Best of The Western Right: 2007
The Best of The Western Right: 2006

Best Articles of 2011

It is time for the best articles of 2011. 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 and the government were the most frequent topics, inspiring seven updates each. Immigration and the culture war were tied with six each.

Here are the ten best articles of 2011.

Victor Davis Hanson: Two Californias
Gary North: Facebook, Twitter, and the Arab Revolutions
Steve Sailer: Census 2010: Hispanic Hype, Black Backwash, White Flight
Thomas Sowell: Voting with Their Feet
Steve Sailer: Obama and Osama: Can We Go Home Now?
Gary North: College: Why It Is Not a Bubble
Gary North: London Riots: What Nobody Dares to Say
Federale: Obama Regime's Administrative Amnesty: Impeachment Is The Only Answer
Gary North: Too Many Eurozone Summits
Victor Davis Hanson: Vandalized Valley

Best Articles of 2010
Best Articles of 2009
Best Articles of 2008
Best Articles of 2007
Best Articles of 2006
Best Articles of 2005

2011 Year in Review

Local news from the Gazette:
Here are the top stories in the Kalamazoo area for 2011

National news from Dave Barry:
Dave Barry’s Year in Review: The 2011 Festival of Sleaze

Friday, December 30, 2011

Conservative of the Year: Scott Walker

2011 was a year of political stalemate, following Republicans' victories in the 2010 election. Consequently there isn't as clear a choice for conservative of the year as in some past years. In Congress, conservatives including Paul Ryan in the House (Human Events' choice for Conservative of the Year) and Rand Paul in the senate fought good, but mostly losing fights. 2009 winner Glenn Beck continued his efforts with a rally in Israel and launching an internet television network.

2011 was also the year of the mob. There were protests and riots in the Middle East and Egypt. There were leftist rallies in Wisconsin and the Occupy Wall Street movement in Manhattan and across the country. No one called this better than Ann Coulter, whose new book Demonic explains the liberal mob.

In the states, many conservatives fought the good fight. Arizona Senate Majority Leader Russel Pearce fought the good fight on immigration, gun rights, and more, and was recalled for his efforts. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continued his efforts to reform that state. All of the preceding deserve honorable mentions.

But the best embodiment of these trends is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Walker proposed reasonable reforms to the budget process and monopoly (collective) bargaining of some government employees. In response, Wisconsin leftists generated a firestorm of outrage. The democrat state senators fled the state, attempting to stop the bill from passing. Mobs invaded the state capital for weeks. But Walker and legislative Republicans refused to give in. They stood their ground and passed the bill anyways.

The issue didn't end there. Democrats tried to snag a state supreme court seat that would have given them the majority, but Republican David Prosser held them off. Leftists tried to recall enough state senators to take a majority of the state senate, but that effort was beaten back, with democrats winning only two seats under exceptional circumstances.

The issue still isn't over, as leftists are organizing to recall Walker in 2012. But Walker has continued to calmly stand his ground and argue for the merits of his reforms. His approval ratings have improved, and he stands a good chance of beating the recall.

Budget reform is all the Wisconsin Republicans accomplished. They also made Wisconsin the 41st state with the right to carry a concealed weapon. They strengthened self-defense laws. They passed a voter ID law to protect elections.

For standing up for conservative principles against the worst the left had to offer, Scott Walker is the 2011 conservative of the year.

Previous winners (including retroactive):
2010: Jim DeMint
2009: Glenn Beck
2008: Sarah Palin
2007: Ron Paul
2006: Jerome Corsi
2005: Tom Tancredo
2004: John O'Neill
2003: Roy Moore
2002: John Ashcroft
2001: George W. Bush
2000: William Rehnquist

2011: The Year at Western

2011 was a fairly quiet year at Western, at least politically. The big news on campus continues to be the effort to establish a medical school. The school continues to raise money and hire administrators. It was also given a building downtown to serve as the location of the new school. (Presumably, the business that donated it will get a big tax writeoff.)

Construction continued on the new Sangren Hall, with the exterior now mostly complete and interior work continuing. Work is also progressing on an expansion to the Lee Honors College.

There has been little political activism on campus from either the College Republicans or the various leftist groups on campus. The Students for Life were revived from near death. The Western Herald has cut publication down to twice a week and seem to have lost significant readership. The WSA hasn't been involved in any recent controversies.

In February, Governor Snyder reappointed businessman Ken Miller to the WMU Board of Trustees and also appointed former Granholm staffer Dana Debel. Retired professor Joseph Ellin passed away. Veterans of the WMU College Republicans celebrated the five-year anniversary of Ann Coulter's speech on campus.

In March, the speed limit on Stadium was increased to 45 mph. In April, Jesse Jackson spoke on campus. The great Paul Maier finally retired as a history professor at Western. In May, university continued living well. In July, a federal appeals court panel overturned the MCRI; the ruling is being appealed to the full 6th circuit court of appeals . Western bought the University Bookstore , establishing a monopoly on physical bookstores on campus.

In August, Western's 'weak' education college was debated in the Gazette. A Western alumnus was involved in one of the big political stories of the year in Michigan. Western was rated as a 'gay-friendly' campus. In September, the costs of college continued to be debated. Western remembered 9/11.

In October, Human Events editor Jason Mattera spoke at Kalamazoo College, causing controversy. Later in October, it was announced that communist Van Jones would speak at Kalamazoo College. After the Gazette told a little too much truth about Jones' past, Kalamazoo College professor Any Elman and employee Hussain Turk lied about his record. His speech promoted big government under the guise of 'green energy'.

Former Congressman and WMU professor Howard Wolpe passed away. Khan Academy is changing math and science education. Western cut down trees to install solar panels.

What's next in 2012?

2010: The year at Western
2009: The Year at Western
2008: The Year at Western
2007: The Year at Western
2006: The Year at Western

Monday, December 26, 2011

Who are the "Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility" and why do they support Fred Upton?

Radio ads in Southwest Michigan are touting the supposed fiscal conservatism of Congressman Fred Upton. The ads praise his work on the "Supercommittee" and claim that Upton was picked because "he's a tough conservative", instead of his insider connections. Of course, the supercommittee didn't accomplish anything, though the fact that they didn't raise taxes can be seen as a victory.

The ads are run by an outfit called "Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility". Who are they? Their FEC filing lists the people sharing control and Stephen Linder and Jeffrey Timmer. They are both also listed as owners of the Sterlling Corporation, a major Republican political consulting firm in Michigan. The group had previously run ads in 2010 (presumably) attacking Gary Peters, Mark Schauer, and Gary McDowell.

MCFFR seems to be a "SuperPAC" that is not required to disclose its donations. The organization does not appear to have a website.

It would seem that some wealthy person or persons, who may not actually be citizens of Michigan, paid the Sterling Corporation to run ads praising Upton through a front group that doesn't actually exist except on paper. Listeners are advised to be skeptical.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Deb Buchholtz Resigns

Deb Buchholtz, the county commissioner representing district 13 (Alamo, Cooper, Parchment) will resign to devote more time to her new job.

Deb Buchholtz resigning from Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners

District 13 is staunchly Republican. The county commission will appoint a replacement to finish Deb's term. It will be interesting to see whether they appoint a moderate like Deb or a more conservative Republican.

District 13 was chopped into three pieces in redistricting. The largest part, Cooper, which is where Deb lives, was put in a district with longtime commissioner Jeff Hepler. Parchment was added to a democrat district, and Alamo is in a new, open Republican district. If the county commission wants to appoint someone who will be around for more than a year, that person will likely have to be from Alamo.

2000 Posts

This is the 2000th post on The Western Right. This blog began February 12, 2006 as a group blog for the WMU College Republicans and eventually transitioned into a personal blog when the other contributors moved on to other things. Some of the posts have since been off-lined, but I have kept count.

Here is the first month of posts. Many of the highlights of this blog are linked at right.

Friday, December 23, 2011

GOP Leaders: Merry Christmas Happy Holidays!

Christmastime for conservative activists brings lots of spam emails from GOP leaders in Michigan. These provide a curious sidebar in the "War on Christmas", the leftist effort to eliminate traditional symbols of Christmas as part of the broader culture war.

The chief symbol of the War on Christmas is the battle between the greetings "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays", with "Season's Greetings" making an occasional appearance. Of course, there wouldn't be "Holidays" without Christmas. The bizarre argument for using "Happy Holidays" is that some tiny fraction of the population would be offended by "Merry Christmas", so we must use a phrase that annoys far more people. (But they're the wrong people, so who cares are them?)

Two recent polls have shown that 69% and 77% of Americans prefer "Merry Christmas". The percentages of Republicans was 88% yet another poll.

Yet some Republican leaders have taken a cowardly stand with the forces of political correctness rather than the vast majority of the Republican base. Here is a list of the greetings used by prominent Republicans who have mailed or emailed me.

Rick Snyder: "Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays"
Brian Calley: "Seasons Greetings"
Bobby Schotak: "holiday season"
Saul Anuzis: "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays"
Bill Scheutte: "Happy Holidays"
Randy Richardville: "holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"
Pete Hoekstra: "Merry Christmas"
Dan Horning (candidate for UM regent): "Warmest Holiday Wishes"
Jack Hoogendyk: "Merry Christmas"
Senator Tonya Schuitmaker: "Happy Holidays"
Rep. Margaret O'Brien: "Merry Christmas"
Speaker Jase Bolger: "A Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!"
Kalamazoo GOP: "Merry Christmas"

Please post any additional data you have in the comments.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

WMU CR alum's latest column

Hey everyone, I've been writing a few articles for a number of places across the nation. My latest has been published on Here's a short preview:

It seems that a number of conservatives won’t be getting what they want in 2012. Far too many conservatives are defining the current presidential pack as less than inspiring. What followed was a number commentators and pundits hoping that someone with experience and a solid conservative record would jump in and save us all from the mediocrity they saw in the current field.

For the past few months, I’ve heard nothing but comments like “Sarah Palin needs to run,” and “Marco Rubio would be prefect!” Ann Coulter even joked about taking away Chris Christie’s inhaler until he ran. But the window has come and gone for people to join in the race, and there’s a lot of disappointment with many now talking about 2016.

It’s as if all the hoopla surrounding the race for the White House has caused us to completely forget the fact that there are other elections taking place in November.  One third of the Senate seats and the entire House of Representatives will be determined by voters in November.  There are also numerous state and local elections taking place across the nation. That’s a sizeable chunk of our government that cannot be ignored.

Read more

Monday, December 05, 2011

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Evangelical Environmental Network Runs Misleading Ads

An environmentalist group that claims to be Christian is running ads in Michigan.
Christian environmental group says the EPA's new rules on mercury pollution is a pro-life issue

The Evangelical Environmental Network is running radio ads in six states. The ads are virtually identical, merely substituting the name of the state and the senators who are targeted in the ad. The ads, narrated by "Pastor Tracy" (no last name given) all say that "children here in [state] are vulnerable". But unless she recorded identical ads in each state, she is LYING about where she is in most or all of the ads.

The ads also reference "members of Congress who say they are pro-life", which is bizarre since since some of those mentioned, including Levin and Stabenow, say no such thing.

I can't claim to be an expert on mercury emissions, but I am extremely skeptical of the scientific claims of environmental organizations, which have a long history of distorting science for their own ends. But whatever the dangers to the unborn of a few parts per billion of mercury, it pales in comparison to the dangers of BEING STABBED IN THE NECK AND HAVING YOUR BRAINS SUCKED OUT.

Abortion has killed 50 million or so unborn, and Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are ardent defenders of it. For "Pastor Tracy" and the EEN to imply that Levin and Stabenow are pro-life is outrageous, and to attempt to use the pro-life cause to promote their environmental agenda is despicable.

The EEN also uses bad theology. In the Bible, God requires that we "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." Earth's resources are there for our use, and while we should use them responsibly, producing energy is essential to our standard of living. Coal plants are an essential part of our energy production, and taking them away would hurt our economy and even our lifespans.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bus Tax Zone

The Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority, which has never met a tax it didn't like, is proposing a map of areas of the county with access to bus routes. The goal would then be to raise taxes in those areas. This follows the failure of its attempts to raise taxes on the entire county.

Transportation authority recommends new map to include residents with access to bus routes

The problem with the map is that it is based on election precincts. Thus there are people in Comstock, Oshtemo, and Portage who live miles away from the nearest bus stop who would be paying extra for buses. In Comstock 5, some residents appear to be six miles or more from the nearest bus line.

The map should be fixed to only take in those who actually use the bus lines. Better yet, only the people who use the buses should pay for them.

Khan Academy

A very interesting article about learning math and science online. I don't think this will replace teachers, but it can be a nice supplement.

How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education

Friday, November 18, 2011

Parking Lot Carry

This bill would prevent people from being fired or prosecuted for having a gun in a car at a business. While this is a very small restriction on the property rights of businesses, it will reduce crime and make the public safer.

Michigan: Bill would allow residents to lock guns in cars at work

Van Jones' Speech

After all the buildup, what did Van Jones say at Kalamazoo College?

Van Jones, former White House advisor and author, attracts hundreds to Kalamazoo College event (video)
KALAMAZOO – More than 400 people filled Dalton Theatre to hear author, activist and former White House advisor Van Jones speak for Kalamazoo College’s William Weber Lecture on Government and Society on Wednesday night.

Jones began his lecture by praising the students in the room for the Occupy Wall Street movement started by young people, which he made appearances at in California.
“You are bigger than the Baby Boomers,” he said. “You are more ecologically aware, more humanitarian than any generation of Americans ever. You stood up in 2008 and in your enthusiasm you made history. In 2010, you sat down and made history and now in 2011 you stood up – or are laying down in sleeping bags – whatever you do you make history.”
What a suck-up. Pathetic.
Many of the college students and adults in the audience said they regard Jones, 43, as a man who has answers to our grim economy with green jobs, which he outlines in his book “The Green Collar Economy.”

“When the wind turbine falls over, you don't get a massive wind slick that wipes over,” Jones told the audience.
You know what you also don't get from wind turbines? Affordable energy.
“I've worked in solar energy for 10 years and I've never seen a sun spill.
Have you heard of skin cancer? By the way, when has Jones ever "worked in solar energy", as opposed to being a political activist?
There is a smarter way to power America and the good thing about it is everything that is good for the environment is a job.”

Jones joked about hot-topic issues such as gay marriage and immigration reform and said the millennial generation is the most diverse one yet.

“Y'all make up genders and still get along, it's a miracle in human history,” he said. “This diversity you are managing and celebrating and multiplying will be a source of your solution to find a way to restore the prosperity.”

Mayor Bobby Hopewell – who sat in the second row among the lecture's namesake Bill Weber, who founded of the William Weber Chair in Political Science – said Jones is already making a difference by finding a new approach to improve urban communities. Kalamazoo billionaire philanthropist Jon Stryker was also present at the event.

Kalamazoo's Fran Kremlick, 78, said Jones's visit reminds her of when Martin Luther King Jr. visited her church 60 years ago.
Yet more liberals who don't have a problem with a communist past.
Jones is currently president of the liberal nonprofit organization called Rebuild the Dream as well as co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and on the board of several organizations including Demos, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and the Campaign for America's Future.

TIME magazine recognized Jones as one of the 100 most influential people in 2009. That same year, Jones was asked to resign from his position as green-jobs advisor in the Obama administration.

Rumors about his involvement in a Sept. 11 conspiracy group, a radical group with Marxist roots and past statements against Republicans are what led to his resignation, according to The Washington Post.

The Gazette’s advance article on Jones’s lecture, which mentioned the above controversy, was met with sharp criticism in a letter to the editor from Kalamazoo College Professor R. Amy Elman, who pointed to Jones’s New York Times editorial piece explaining how the rumors were false.

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership of Kalamazoo College program coordinator Hussain Turk also wrote a letter accusing the Gazette of being “racist and heterosexist” for publishing the public controversy surrounding Jones.
They were lying, as was Jones.
Kalamazoo College Professor Lies About Van Jones
Another Kalamazoo College Employee Lies About Van Jones
“This is the most controversial thing I am going to say and I know you were waiting for it,” Jones said, poking fun at his controversial reputation. “America is not broke. We are the richest country in the world. We can't drill and burn our way out of our energy problems but we can invent and invest our way.”'
Evidence? Wind and solar don't produce anywhere near enough energy.
While his humor brought much laughter to the room, some audience members wanted a more solution-oriented conversation.

"Van Jones shows himself as a true showman," said Bejamin Leventer, 22. "Ultimately he left us with a challenge of how to bring jobs back and bring about climate change by changing our reliance on 'dead' energy sources."

There was an hour-long question and answer period and a book signing after the lecture. It was not disclosed if Jones received payment to speak at Kalamazoo College, but tickets to the event were free.

Jones is participating in a panel discussion called “The Political Moment: Social Justice Tensions, Possibilities, and Aspirations,” at Kalamazoo College’s W.K. Hicks Student Center banquet room on Thursday morning.
Van Jones continues to sell his gospel of more spending, more corporate welfare, higher taxes, and more debt. He is exploiting and promoting the fad of "green energy" to do so, but the real goal continues to be big government.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kalamazoo County Tax Rates

Julie Mack of the Gazette compiled the following useful chart of local tax rates.

Which Kalamazoo County community has the highest millage rate? (Julie Mack blog)


2011 homestead millage rates for Kalamazoo County
This chart is organized by school districts, which are listed in bold, and show the millage rates for owner-occupied homes. The tax bills shown are for a home with a market value of $130,000 and a taxable value of $60,000, which is the county average.

____________Mills Tax bill
City of Kalamazoo 51.2 $3,072.00
Kalamazoo Twp. 38.7 $2,322.00
Oshtemo 30.7 $1,842.00
Texas 28.3 $1,698.00

Portage 37.7 $2,262.00
Texas 28.4 $1,704.00
Pavilion 27.8 $1,668.00

Climax Village 38.9 $2,334.00
Climax Twp. 30.9 $1,854.00
Charleston 28.6 $1,716.00
Wakeshma 28.6 $1,716.00
Pavilion 28.5 $1,710.00

City of Kalamazoo 52.9 $3,174.00
Kalamazoo Twp. 40.5 $2,430.00
City of Portage 40 $2,400.00
Portage 37.9 $2,274.00
Comstock 30.6 $1,836.00
Pavilion 28.5 $1,710.00

Augusta/Ross Twp. 42.4 $2,544.00
Augusta/Charleston 41.8 $2,508.00
Galesburg 37.2 $2,232.00
Climax 30.7 $1,842.00
Comstock 30.4 $1,824.00
Ross 29 $1,740.00
Charleston 28.4 $1,704.00

Gull Lake
Village of Richland 36 $2,160.00
Charleston 28.4 $1,704.00
Comstock 27.6 $1,656.00
Richland Twp. 26.5 $1,590.00
Cooper 26.4 $1,584.00
Ross Twp. 26.2 $1,572.00

Oshtemo 31.1 $1,866.00
Prairie Ronde 27.5 $1,650.00
Texas 27.5 $1,650.00

Oshtemo 28.8 $1,728.00
Alamo 26.4 $1,584.00
Cooper 25.6 $1,536.00

City of Kalamazoo 50.8 $3,048.00
City of Parchment 46.1 $2,766.00
Kalamazoo Twp. 38.4 $2,304.00
Cooper 30.3 $1,818.00

Cooper 25.6 $1,536.00
Alamo 26.4 $1,584.00

City of Kalamazoo 50.9 $3,054.00
City of Portage 37.9 $2,274.00
Texas 28.3 $1,698.00
Pavilion 27.8 $1,668.00

Schoolcraft Village 44.7 $2,682.00
City of Portage 40.3 $2,418.00
Schoolcraft Twp. 29.6 $1,776.00
Prairie Ronde 29.3 $1,758.00
Texas 29.3 $1,758.00

Vicksburg Village 42.6 $2,556.00
City of Portage 37.4 $2,244.00
Pavilion 28.6 $1,716.00
Schoolcraft Twp. 26.7 $1,602.00
Brady 26.6 $1,596.00
Wakeshma 26 $1,560.00

Sackley/Randall Spat

There is a spat between Portage council members Ed Sackley and Patricia Randall. Sackley criticized her attendance, and she responded that she had been seeking treatment for breast cancer.

Portage council member reveals 'detour in my life' in response to statement read at council meeting (viewpoint)
Portage City Councilwoman Patricia Randall speaks out to 'set the record straight'

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Election Day

Today is the day for local elections in Michigan.


Mattawan voters, please oppose the millage.

Results later.

Mattawan millage trails 760-925 in Kalamazoo County.
Mattawan millage trails 805-1156 in Van Buren County.

Die, millage!

Kalamazoo marijuana ordinance is passing 3866-2084.
City commission: Hopewell/McKinney/Cooney/Miller/Anderson/Cinabro/Bell
Boyd trails...

Mattawan millage loses 1379-1471 in Kalamazoo County!
Mattawan millage loses 805-1156 in Van Buren County!

Kalamazoo final results:
Marijuana proposition wins every precinct, including absentees: 4649/2416.
City commission: Hopewell/McKinney/Cooney/Miller/Anderson/Cinabro/Bell
Miller and Anderson switch places, Bell drops to seventh.

Bailes trails...

Paul Scott recall (13/35 precincts)
51.24 Yes
48.76 No

Genesee County Election Results
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,210 50.15
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,167 49.85
Total . . . . . . . . . 14,377
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 9
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 55
Down to the wire...

No trails...
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 8,892 49.49
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,075 50.51
Total . . . . . . . . . 17,967
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 9
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 71

Portage all but over (one precinct left)
Bailes defeated.

No inching ahead...
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,361 49.21
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,693 50.79
Total . . . . . . . . . 21,054
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 10
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 88

The final percentage in Mattawan was 55% no.

Paul Scott recalled. Lost by 232 votes.
State lawmaker says he accepts his recall in Genesee County

Monday, November 07, 2011

Electric Cars Versus Trees

Western cut down trees to install electric car chargers near Miller Auditorium. I'll take the trees over the bogus green energy boondoggle.

Green energy project leaves WMU student group seeing red
In Western Michigan University's trees vs. charging stalls 'green' debate, trees have the edge (letter)

Global Warming Propaganda in Michigan Schools

This excellent article exposes a bogus left-wing propaganda book on global warming. The book calls Al Gore an eco-hero and urges students to "vote green" while containing plenty of factual errors.

Farm Bureau upset that science kit for students contains left-wing book with misinformation about modern farming

The book was eventually pulled from the BCAMSC science kits.

Climate change book recalled by Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Club for Growth Encourages Upton Challenge

The Club for Growth is considering supporting Jack Hoogendyk in another bid against Fred Upton. I suspect this a warning to Upton not to support any bad deals on the Supercommittee. It would have been nice if the Club had supported Jack last time when he got 43% against Upton.


Club for Growth Encouraging Upton Primary Challenger

The Club for Growth is considering supporting a primary challenge to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) next year.

Club spokesman Barney Keller said the conservative organization is “impressed” with former state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who is considering challenging Upton for a second time in 2012.

“The club met with Hoogendyk today and came away impressed,” Keller said. “We’re taking a look at the race.”

Upton has faced renewed scrutiny from conservatives since he became chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this year. After House Republicans appointed Upton to the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, conservatives groused.

But back home in Michigan, Upton has consistently won re-election by double-digit margins. Last year, Upton defeated Hoogendyk in the primary, 57 percent to 43 percent, although the Congressman heavily outspent his GOP challenger.

Hoogendyk has not announced a campaign yet. But the club’s statement is likely meant as encouragement for him to challenge Upton in the August primary.

“Hoogendyk has a good record in the Michigan Legislature, he voted against spending and tax increases,” Keller said. “And Fred Upton has a long record of voting for bigger government that’s inconsistent with our policy objectives.”

Keller pointed to Upton’s meager lifetime score of 54 on its Congressional Scorecard.

Local Campaign Finance Reports

Local campaign finance reports are out.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell leads candidates in Kalamazoo campaign fundraising, reports say

Local elections have been very quiet so far. Bobby Hopewell is the biggest fundraiser so far, with $24,000. He always raises and spends a lot even though he could be reelected without spending anything. Robert Cinabro is second with $12,000. He was appointed to fill a partial term on the commission. The other incumbents trail. Nicholas Boyd and Nicholas Wikar are the only challengers who have raised more than $1000.

The Portage race is pretty quiet, with Cory Bailes leading and Patricia Randall trailing.

The pro-tax-hike group in the Mattawan School district raised $2477.
The filing didn’t list itemized spending but top contributions included $500 each from Kingscott Associates Inc.,an architectural and engineering firm,and the Miller-Davis Co., a construction management firm.
I'm sure those construction firms donated because they are concerned about quality schools, and not at all because they hope to get million-dollar building contracts.

Another Kalamazoo College Employee Lies About Van Jones

Hussain Turk, the "program coordinator for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership of Kalamazoo College" took time off from defending the rights of great apes to pen a letter to the Gazette protesting its accurate characterization of Van Jones as a Marxist. Turk, who has virulently anti-American views, writes

What Van Jones really offers is rebuilding the American dream, not a course in Marxism
In a recent piece on Van Jones' upcoming presentation at Kalamazoo College, the Kalamazoo Gazette echoed the archaic and unprofessional (and not to mention historically racist and heterosexist) red-baiting cry of "Marxist!" in its description of the progressive intellectual.
What is 'red-baiting'? Why would criticism of Marxists, who murdered 150 million people, be considered a bad thing by Mr. Turk? How is it 'racist and heterosexist'? Communists certainly weren't very kind to racial minorities and homosexuals when they were in power. Incidentally, the original progressive intellectuals were incredibly racist, supporting eugenics. Woodrow Wilson segregated the White House, for example.
This is an outdated tactic that will not save any of us from the immoral and disgustingly expansive web of corporate greed that in 2010 afforded John Paulson a $4.9 billion annual paycheck while unemployment rates soared to unprecedented heights.
Turk then blathers about corporate greed for a few paragraphs.
Van Jones' movement to Rebuild the American Dream might offer us a solution. On Wednesday, Nov. 2 he will speak at Kalamazoo College's annual Weber Lecture about this movement, which he sums up in a Contract for the American Dream:
[Comments in brackets]

1. Invest in America's infrastructure [government spending]
2. Create 21st century energy jobs [corporate welfare]
3. Invest in public education [spending, socialism]
4. Offer Medicare for all [spending, socialism]
5. Make work pay [You can get PAID for work? All this time I've been working for free!]
6. Secure Social Security [spending]
7. Return to fairer tax rates [raise taxes]
8. End the wars and invest at home [spending]
9. Tax Wall Street speculation [raise taxes]
10. Strengthen democracy [socialism is central planning by elites, which is undemocratic]
Jones offers a traditional American solution to the problems that have plagued this country since its beginning. Rebuild the American Dream repositions the American Dream as an ideal worth striving for: "this basic idea that ordinary people should be able to find a job, keep a job, keep a home and give their kid a better life."
Which Founding Father would endorse this platform?
My political theoretical barometer picks up little to no Marxism here — but for things to be as unfortunate as they are at present, a healthy dose of Marxism might be "productive."
Little? So there is some? So Turk does want Marxism?
In spite of the Gazette's false accusations and vapid commentary, I encourage your attendance at this tonight's presentation by Jones — a presentation that is sure to raise both viable solutions to and critical inquiries around the national crisis.

On Thursday at 10 a.m. in Hicks Banquet Hall, Jones will also speak on a panel discussion, "The Political Moment," alongside two local community activists and two Kalamazoo College students. Admission is free and no RSVP is necessary.

Hussain Turk is program coordinator for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership of Kalamazoo College.
Communists don't gain power saying that they're going to kill people. They always promise good things like jobs and health care. At the same time, they exploit existing divisions in society through class warfare (and phony accusations of 'racism'). Van Jones made a strategic decision to abandon overt radicalism in favor a phony 'green jobs' agenda, but with the same goal of imposing big government socialism.

Turk is either clueless or lying, most likely the latter given his oblique endorsement of Marxism. I'll quote again Politifact on Van Jones.
There's little question that Jones was an avowed communist.

In a Nov. 2, 2005, profile of Jones in the East Bay Express , an alternative weekly in Berkeley, Calif., Jones said his life hit a turning point in the spring of 1992 when he was swept up in mass arrests while protesting the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King.

Although the charges against Jones were dropped, Jones said that while in jail, "I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."

"In the months that followed," the Express article said, "he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. 'I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,' he said. 'By August, I was a communist.'"

In 1994, the story states, Jones formed a socialist collective called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM.

According to a history of STORM written in the spring of 2004, the group held "structured political education" training at every meeting "to help members develop an understanding of the basics of Marxist politics." They "trained members on capitalism and wage exploitation, the state and revolution, imperialism and the revolutionary party."
Would Turk make the same excuses for a speaker with Nazi ties? Would he invite David Duke (who has also endorsed Occupy Wall Street) to speak about social justice? If not, why not? Communists killed far more people than Nazis. Once again I'll ask--is communism the sort of 'social justice' Turk and the Arcus Center are promoting?

Kalamazoo College Professor Lies About Van Jones
Van Jones at Kalamazoo College

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kalamazoo College Professor Lies About Van Jones

Amy Elman, the "chair" of the Political Science department at Kalamazoo College is upset at the Kalamazoo Gazette's description of Van Jones.

Story repeats inaccuracies about Van Jones in advance of his visit to Kalamazoo College (letter)

Here is what the Gazette said.

Van Jones, activist who resigned from Obama White House, to speak at Kalamazoo College
That same year he was asked to resign from his White House post after his past involvement with a Sept. 11 conspiracy group, a radical group with Marxist roots and past statements against Republicans came to light, according to The Washington Post.
Let's analyze Dr. Amy's complaint.
I'd like to take a moment to comment on what I find to be a troubling presentation of Van Jones in the Kalamazoo Gazette.

In my role as chairperson of the political science department at Kalamazoo College and thus a primary co-sponsor of the prestigious Weber Lecture to be given by Mr. Jones on Nov. 2, I feel a responsibility to address the misleading information now circulating about our guest.
What's the misinformation?
Let me take particular exception to the claim that Mr. Jones is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who was somehow exposed for his "involvement" with Marxists.
The Professor mentions two issues: 9/11 and Marxism. Careful readers will note that the allegation of Marxism IS NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN IN THE ARTICLE. Elman 'takes exception', but never offers any defense.
Curiously absent from this contrived history is the fact that he served under the Bush administration long before he worked within and then resigned from the Obama administration.
I have no idea what Dr. Amy is talking about here. Van Jones' Wikipedia page makes no mention of this. Googling, the only article that makes this claim is...Amy's own letter.
As Mr. Jones makes clear in his own New York Times op-ed pertaining to this 9/11 libel, he went from relative obscurity to national infamy within hours after pundits insisted he signed a 9/11 conspiracy petition.
Jones' 'relative obscurity' was due to the fact that the media refused to report all the damaging information on Jones that Glenn Beck dug up.

Why would those nefarious pundits insist that Jones signed the 9/11 truther petition? Perhaps because HIS NAME APPEARED ON THE PETITION. When the controversy erupted, Jones denied having signed it. It is not possible to know the truth for sure. But what is more likely--that someone added the name of a then-obscure leftist activist to a petition without his consent, or that Jones, who has a long history of documented radical views, did sign the petition and then lied about it when it was politically convenient to do so? Judge for yourselves.
Then, as now, the media rushed to judgment [HA!] concerning a document he never signed. But then it was too late. Let's hope it is not too late for the truth this time around.

If, in the past, there were few who believed that organized lying could be an effective weapon against the truth, the Internet has altered the political landscape and in so doing it demands that we respond quickly. I'm not sure what to make of the resulting emphasis on rapid response without reflection. I hope cooler heads will prevail.

Now to the lesson Mr. Jones derived from his (9/11) experience. Rather than raise the level of animus, rather than direct a diatribe against the assassins of his character, he expressed his deep concern for "people at all levels of government" who "are becoming overly cautious, unwilling to venture new opinions or even live regular lives for fear of seeing even the most innocuous comment or photograph used against them, all while trying to protect and improve the country."

The conditions that Van Jones describes are sad indeed, not least because we so need the energy and ideas of those determined to do better. I imagine that when Mr. Jones takes up our distinguished Weber lecture, we will all be called on to reflect on the ways that America is imperiled by a rapid fire race to judgment without facts. Thank you for allowing me to share just a few of these facts with you now.

Professor R. Amy Elman is chair of the political science department at Kalamazoo College.
The rest of the letter basically summarizes Jones' New York Times article. Does Dr. Amy think that no one will notice that her article contains no facts? All it has is a link to a piece by Jones himself. I'm not sure whether this letter appears in the print edition of the Gazette, but if it does, there wouldn't even be a link.

Going back to the issue that Elman failed to address, why would anyone think that Jones was involved with Marxists?

Particularly starting at 2:18.

This article from "Politifact" documents Jones' communist past before implausibly claiming that he has changed.
There's little question that Jones was an avowed communist.

In a Nov. 2, 2005, profile of Jones in the East Bay Express , an alternative weekly in Berkeley, Calif., Jones said his life hit a turning point in the spring of 1992 when he was swept up in mass arrests while protesting the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King.

Although the charges against Jones were dropped, Jones said that while in jail, "I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."

"In the months that followed," the Express article said, "he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. 'I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,' he said. 'By August, I was a communist.'"

In 1994, the story states, Jones formed a socialist collective called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM.

According to a history of STORM written in the spring of 2004, the group held "structured political education" training at every meeting "to help members develop an understanding of the basics of Marxist politics." They "trained members on capitalism and wage exploitation, the state and revolution, imperialism and the revolutionary party."
The question I asked at the end of the previous article on Jones stands. Why would Kalamazoo College and the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership bring someone to campus who has been an advocate of an ideology that murdered 150 million people?

Previous: Van Jones at Kalamazoo College

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Howard Wolpe, RIP

Former Congressman Howard Wolpe died on Tuesday.

Former U.S. Congressman Howard Wolpe dies

Wolpe was an arch-liberal who represented the then-3rd district, which consisted of Kalamazoo, Calhoun, and Eaton Counties and part of Lansing. He was elected in 1978, defeating Republican Garry Brown. In 1992, his district was dismantled after Michigan lost two seats in the House. He was the democrat nominee for governor in 1994, when he was crushed by John Engler.

Wolpe was previously on the Kalamazoo city commission and in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Wolpe's ACU ratings:
1992: 0
1991: 0
1990: 13
1989: 4
1988: 0
1987: 0
1986: 5
1985: 10
1984: 0
1983: 0
1982: 0
1981: 0
1980: 17
1979: 5
Life: 4%

Wolpe was last in the news accusing Congressman Fred Upton of becoming a "right-wing extremist". See Upton's ACU rating's here.

Wolpe's letter contained the following revelation.
Fred, we’ve known each other for many years. Despite my being a Democrat and you being a Republican you will recall that I helped in getting you elected in the first place by making members of my own campaign organization available to you in your fight against Mark Siljander. I have always known you to be honest, moderate, reasonable, and conscientious, and I have always valued our friendship.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jason Mattera at Kalamazoo College

Jason Mattera, the editor of Human Events, spoke at Kalamazoo College on October 5. The event wasn't very very publicized, or I would have heard about it.

Liberals responded with their usual snivelling about tone, being offended, racism, etc. All the usual ways that they avoid real debate.

Conservative Author and Speaker Jason Mattera Ingnites Heated Debate
Jason Mattera: A Scathing Review
Kalamazoo College Republicans need to engage the campus differently

This apparently led to another of Mattera's speeched being canceled.
Christian College Gives Pro-Riots Leftist Piven a Forum, Then Cancels Conservative Speaker

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Power Line Eminent Domain

A private energy company wants to build a power line across private property in Oshtemo.

Residents dig in against power-line plan: Oshtemo Township group mobilizes, but face uphill battle

The township attorney says
Oshtemo Township Attorney James Porter said the 138,000-volt lines fall below the threshold where the company would be under the jurisdiction of state law.

"The law is weighed heavily in favor of ITC," Porter said. "I just don't see a legal basis for the township to effectuate a change."
Here is what the Michigan Constitution has to say.

Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation therefore being first made or secured in a manner prescribed by law. If private property consisting of an individual’s principal residence is taken for public use, the amount of compensation made and determined for that taking shall be not less than 125% of that property’s fair market value, in addition to any other reimbursement allowed by law. Compensation shall be determined in proceedings in a court of record.

“Public use” does not include the taking of private property for transfer to a private entity for the purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenues. Private property otherwise may be taken for reasons of public use as that term is understood on the effective date of the amendment to this constitution that added this paragraph.

More Bus Taxes

They never give up. The Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority is plotting yet another tax increase.

Kalamazoo County voters to decide next year on new transit system

Van Jones at Kalamazoo College

Admitted communist and former Obama administration Green Jobs Czar Van Jones will speak at Kalamazoo College on Wednesday, November 2.

Van Jones, activist who resigned from Obama White House, to speak at Kalamazoo College

The Gazette gives a halfway decent description of Jones.
That same year he was asked to resign from his White House post after his past involvement with a Sept. 11 conspiracy group, a radical group with Marxist roots and past statements against Republicans came to light, according to The Washington Post.
He was so embarrassing that even the Obama administration had to force him out.
Tickets for the general public are available from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 25 to 28 at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
So the Arcus "social justice" center has no problem with an advocate of an ideology that murdered 150 million people? Very revealing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Official English is Back

Good for Ken Kurtz.

Michigan lawmaker wants English to be state's official language

This bill was previously championed by Jack Hoogendyk in 2006, when it passed the house 73-32 but was not taken up by the Senate. A 2006 poll showed that 82% of Michigan voters support it.

Previous: English Attacked Again

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gazette Election Guide

The Gazette has posted its 2011 election guide.

Kalamazoo-area Election Guide 2011

My own 2011 Election Preview is regularly updated.

Mattawan Lies about Kindergarten Mandate

Mattawan schools are campaigning for another massive school bond measure after the first one was shot down by voters in May. However, the Gazette's Julie Mack has caught them in a lie. The literature created by the district, including Superintendent Patrick Bird, claims that state law mandates all-day kindergarten for the upcoming year. It does not. It says a lot that the district has to resort to falsehoods to defend its massive tax increase.

Mattawan school bond information inaccurate on kindergarten 'mandate' (Julie Mack blog)

Previous: Vote NO on the Mattawan Tax Hike

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

City of Kalamazoo Declares War on Kalamazoo County!

OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but consider the following menacing statements from the recent Kalamazoo City Commission forum.

Kalamazoo City Commission candidates discuss taxes, budget priorities at neighborhood forum

First, Robert Cinabro floats a fiendish plan to rob the hardworking taxpayers of Kalamazoo County.
Three-year Kalamazoo resident Matt Milcarek told candidates that Kalamazoo is faced with a “tale of two cities” dilemma in which many people choose to live just outside the city. So Kalamazoo is not collecting taxes from people who still come to the city and use its services.

“What would you do specifically to bridge that gap, to make it worth paying higher taxes to live within the core of this city?” he asked.

Incumbent Commissioner Bob Cinabro said he supports a “countywide solution either on the revenue side or the consolidation of services side.”
Hannah McKinney agreed.
Incumbent Hannah Mc­Kinney said the city needs to “figure out how to have a countywide tax base, so that we can begin to equalize taxes.”
The reason that a lot of people moved out of Kalamazoo was to avoid the mess that liberals made of it.

If Cinabro's statement wasn't disturbing enough, consider this from Barb Miller.
Barbara Hamilton Miller, another incumbent, noted the city is landlocked.

“We can’t expand unless we do take over a couple of townships — which if I had my way I’d do tomorrow,” she said.
Forget Iran. It's time for a preemptive strike against the Kalamazoo City Commission!

Intruders shoot man; girlfriend fires back

Self-defense stories are usually fun, but this one is particularly delightful.

Intruders shoot man; girlfriend fires back

A Eugene woman said she fired several shotgun blasts at two intruders who had sneaked into her home early Friday morning and shot her boyfriend in the leg.


Eugene police said the woman and her boyfriend awoke to sounds of a break-in and encountered the intruders. The boyfriend struggled with the two men in the backyard and was shot, police said.

The woman said she then grabbed a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and hit at least one of the intruders with the stock before they fled.

“I was not going to let them just walk away from my home after shooting my significant other,” she said. She was so angry, she said, “I released the safety and started uncasing shells on them. I shot them all the way down the street.”


During her interview with The Register-Guard, the woman challenged the robbers to return to her house.

“I dare you to come back,” she said. “If you want more, this girl is happy to give it to you.”

Fat City

This is a great article from the Weekly Standard.

Fat City
Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life.

After 34 years of teaching sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I recently retired at age 64 at 80 percent of my pay for life. This calculation was based on a salary spiked by summer teaching, and since I no longer pay into the retirement fund, I now receive significantly more than when I “worked.” But that’s not all: There’s a generous health insurance plan, a guaranteed 3 percent annual cost of living increase, and a few other perquisites. Having overinvested in my retirement annuity, I received a fat refund and—when it rains, it pours—another for unused sick leave. I was also offered the opportunity to teach as an emeritus for three years, receiving $8,000 per course, double the pay for adjuncts, which works out to over $200 an hour. Another going-away present was summer pay, one ninth of my salary, with no teaching obligation.

Legalize Tasers Without Permit

A state senate committee has voted to legalize the carry of Tasers, but only with a concealed carry permit.

Concealed weapons law may be applied to Tasers

According to the article, Michigan would be the only state to require a permit.

Michigan law bans stun guns, but a Bay City judge recently declared the law to be unconstitutional. This bill would not help the security guard who filed the suit, since he has a criminal record.

The same rules for using force would apply to Tasers as apply to guns. This is appropriate as Tasers are a less-lethal weapon, not non-lethal. They don't usually kill, but they can when the person shocked has a heart condition or some other health problem.

Tasers and other stun guns should be legalized without government requiring a permit.

Stun Gun Ban is Unconstitutional
Legalize Stun Guns

Saturday, October 01, 2011

What Did Stephanie Moore/Bell Know?

Kalamazoo City Commissioner Stephanie Bell (formerly Moore) may be implicated in the crimes that her husband is charged with. Bell, pride of the Northside, has a long history of run-ins with the law and unethical behavior.

Kalamazoo City Commissioner Stephanie Bell saw sexually explicit text message to her husband, girl's mother testifies

A couple years ago, Commissioner Moore married Terrence Bell, an employee of Hillside Middle School, and changed her last name to Bell. But then...
Terrence Bell, 32, a coach and paraprofessional at Hillside Middle School who is currently on paid [!] administrative leave, is charged with four felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, three felony counts of producing child sexually abusive material, one felony count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and one misdemeanor count of furnishing obscenity to a minor in connection with his relationship with the girl. When the relationship is alleged to have begun in 2010, the girl was 16 and receiving special-education services at Kalamazoo Central High School.
What did Moore/Bell know?
Kalamazoo City Commissioner Stephanie Bell had an "inclination" something was going on between her husband and a teenage girl before the relationship came to light in April because the girl erroneously sent Bell an inappropriate text message, the girl's mother testified Wednesday.
Commissioner Bell has denied this.

Will Kalamazoo voters kick this disgrace out of office this November?

UPDATE: Guilty!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Full Sixth Circuit Will Hear MCRI Case

The full sixth circuit court will conduct an 'en banc' hearing to review the decision of a three-judge panel to overturn the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. En banc hearings are rare, so this indicates that there is a good chance that the decision will be overturned. Ed Whelan offers some reasons for caution, though.

Court to revisit affirmative action ruling
En Banc Rehearing of Ruling Against Michigan’s Colorblind Amendment, But …

Monday, September 12, 2011

Up From the Projects

Up From the Projects
Walter E. Williams

This delightful little memoir was written by Walter Williams, libertarian economist, syndicated columnist, and occasional substitute host for Rush Limbaugh. Williams recounts his life beginning in the Philadelphia housing projects (not as bad then as they would later become).

Williams outgoing, mischievous nature was evident early on. The chapter on his time in the army, and the trouble he got into is particularly amusing.

After leaving the army, Williams attended college, eventually studying economics and earning a PhD in the subject at UCLA. During this time, he learned to think systematically about the effects of government policies, and adopted the libertarian beliefs that he holds to this day.

Up From the Projects is a quick and enjoyable read.

Is College Worth It?

The Gazette has a long article asking whether college is worth the money.

College degree still considered good return on investment despite climbing costs

The short answer is maybe. If you get a degree in a real subject that is required to get a job in the field, like engineering, statistics, or economics, college is likely worth it. If you get a degree in political claptrap (sociology), a junk major (communications) or a legitimate subject with no job prospects (history), probably not.

The smart way to go to college is to go to community college in high school and get a two-year degree at 18. You'll take the same classes that are gen-ed classes at a four-year school. Then if you are still apt and interested, go to a four-year college for two years and get a degree at 20 with far less debt.

Colleges love to trumpet that college graduates make more, but they don't mention that CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. People who graduate from college are smarter, more motivated, and come from better families on average, and so would make more even without degrees.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

I still remember that Tuesday morning when, hovering between sleep and wake, I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I had a 9:30 class, but was planning to drop it, and so I was sleeping in in my dorm room. My Dad soon called asking if I had heard, and I turned on the television.

I watched television most of the day, and I saw both the towers collapse live on TV. I remember having a sick feeling in my stomach.

Classes were cancelled at noon. There was a prayer service later in the day. My roommate went, but I didn't. Someone repeated a rumor that gas would be going up to three dollars. Since my tank was near full, I didn't see a need to get any.

I was finally peeled away from the television to get dinner in the dining hall. People talked quietly.

The rocks in Goldsworth Valley were painted in red, white and blue. While they are typically painted every couple days, they stayed that way for months.


Remembering September 11

9/11 and Immigration
College Republicans of WMU honor the victims of 9/11 in a tribute of 2,997 flags
Notes from the Chairman


This update focuses on spending.

Gary North: Sovereign Debt, Sovereign Bank Runs
Gary North: Your Portfolio of Lies
Thomas Sowell: A Pyrrhic 'Victory'
Gary North: Debt Impasse: Fake and Real
Pat Buchanan: Fiscal Hawks vs. Security Hawks
Gary North: Obama v. Obama

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Mysterious Drake/Railroad Stoplight

This complaint is highly specific to Kalamazoo.

A year or so ago, a stoplight was installed on Drake Road where it intersect the Amtrak railroad line. Having a stoplight at a railroad is unusual unless the railroad is right next to a road intersection with traffic light, which this one is not. Usually, there is at most gates and flashing lights.

But what is really unusual is the operation of this light. Most of the time it is green, but sometimes, for no apparent reason, it turns red. There is never a train in the vicinity when this occurs. Not even one of those carts with two guys pushing up and down on a lever from the old-timey movies. After a while, it turns green again. Even stranger, sometimes only one side turns red, while the other direction continues to allow traffic to go through.

Does anyone know why this light exists and operates in this manner?


This update focuses on immigration.

Federale: Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: Impeachment Is The Only Answer
Steve Sailer: Jorge Castañeda On Mexico's Eternal Mañana
Washington Watcher: Rick Perry—Another Texas Governor for Amnesty
Rachel Marsden: Global Poll Uncovers Psychic Shift on Immigration
Steve Sailer: "Latino Leaders" Lacking Followers, Name Recognition, And Voters—But Not MSM Influence
Allan Wall: Operation Wetback II: A Few Practical Proposals

For more on immigration, see

Friday, September 02, 2011

Schuette For Silencers

Good for Schuette.

Schuette clears way for Michigan gun owners to use silencers


Lansing— Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says gun silencers can be used in the state by gun owners who have federal authorization.

Schuette issued an opinion Friday that says Michigan citizens who comply with federal firearm regulations can use the devices on their guns to "protect their hearing and minimize noise disruptions" in the surrounding area.

Marquette County Sheriff Michael Lovelace says the "rigorous" federal licensing process will make sure only law-abiding citizens win permission to possess a silencer.

A National Rifle Association official says in the Republican attorney general's release that 38 other states allow the use of silencers.

Possessing a silencer without federal authorization remains a five-year felony under Michigan law.

Graceful Exit

Republican Jim Grace, the best member of the Oshtemo Township Board, has resigned.

Oshtemo Township Trustee James Grace resigns from board

It isn't entirely clear why.
“Due to my lack of alignment with the Oshtemo Township Board on issues, such as benefits and citizen involvement, I am resigning from the Board and all committees, effective immediately, August 29, 2011,” Grace wrote in a statement.
Leftist democrat Scott McCormick had previously resigned after moving out of the area.

Republicans need solid candidates for the Oshtemo board in 2012.