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!