Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gov. Snyder pushes for drug courts in public safety address

Gov. Snyder pushes for drug courts in public safety address | MLive.com:
Drug courts was a topic that brought applause from many officers in the audience.
Snyder said intensive drug courts programs to address addiction problems are important because drugs are often a root of criminal behavior.

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA?

Instapundit » Blog Archive » 
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Jobless claims rise for 4th straight week.

Related: Economy in U.S. Expanded Less Than Previously Estimated.“Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.9 percent annual rate from January through March, down from a 2.2 percent prior estimate, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The report also showed corporate profits rose at the slowest pace in more than three years and smaller wage gains at the end of 2011.”
UPDATE: A longtime reader emails:
Please do not use my name, but…
I work at a large semiconductor company who does a LOT of business with Chinese firms (odds are many is not most of the electronic devices you have that say “made in China” on it buys it’s most expensive parts from us). recently orders have dropped precipitously. We are expecting to reduce the workforce before the end of the quarter by dropping contractor (temp) labor. We are entering what for the semiconductor industry is the Christmas sales season and the orders are going DOWN! Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Oh, I am.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Fuels Irrationality in Our Public Life?

What Fuels Irrationality in Our Public Life? - By Jim Geraghty - The Campaign Spot - National Review Online
I think our culture’s ratio of crazy-people-to-non-crazy-people is getting out of whack.
There have always been crazy people in every society.
And mind you, I’m not talking about psychosis or hallucinations.
I’m just referring to people who develop an obsession and whose focus upon that obsession makes . . . public life more challenging for the rest of us.
In the past, if you had a worldview that was far from the mainstream, you had to seek out people who agreed with you, and sometimes that was hard.
There was a good chance that you would encounter lots of people who would say,
“What on earth are you talking about?
That’s crazy!
How could you possibly believe that?”

Muskegon A City On The Move-on Vimeo

Muskegon A City On The Move on Vimeo

Kind of....well......creepy......

CNN Contributor Victim of ‘SWATting’ Incident

Ed Driscoll » CNN Contributor Victim of ‘SWATting’ Incident
Luckily, after I had starting writing about Kimberlin, I advised the Sheriff’s Department to be aware this could happen.
It was a prank, but not just any prank.
This is a prank left-wing activists are increasingly deploying against those who dissent from their political views.
When Barack Obama told his supporters in 2008 to bring guns to knife fights, some of his supporters took him more literally than I assume he intended.

Barrett Can't Name Any Schools Hurt by Walker's Collective Bargaining Reforms

Barrett Can't Name Any Schools Hurt by Walker's Collective Bargaining Reforms | The Weekly Standard
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is facing a recall election on June 5 because of the law he signed last spring to limit the collective bargaining power of public employee unions--a reform his opponents said would be a "disaster" and destroy public education in the state.
Walker's Democratic challenger, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, acknowledged this morning that the collective bargaining issue was the "flame that started this" recall election, but Barrett couldn't point to a single public school that has been harmed by Walker's reforms.

Here's a transcript from a press conference at Barrett's campaign headquarters in Milwaukee Wednesday morning:
TWS: On collective bargaining, mayor, the governor and his campaign have pointed to a number of... schools across the state that heave benefited from the reforms in Act 10. Which school districts have been hurt in particular, in your view, by Walker's policies and his reforms? Are there any that stand out in your mind?
BARRETT: Well, I support the restoration of collective bargaining rights. And that's what this is all about--whether you support workers' rights. And I support workers' rights.
TWS: But are there any school districts in particular, though, that have been hurt by Act 10?
BARRETT: I have talked to prison guards, I can tell you that, who are concerned about their own public safety because of the changes in the law, and I'm very concerned about that as well
TWS: But no school districts—
BARRETT: We can do an analysis and get back to you on that.

This Is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's John Hancock Moment

This Is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's John Hancock Moment - Forbes
Doing what is right regardless of the consequences: a John Hancock moment.
These kinds of moments are rare nowadays, especially in politics.
Every once in a while, though, someone comes along and surprises us all.

Fox News Fox & Friends Obama Hope and Change First Term Review

Fox News Fox & Friends Obama Hope and Change First Term Review | Video | TheBlaze.com

Early Voting Students Use Class Schedules to Prove Residency, Not Identity, at Milwaukee Polls

Early Voting Students Use Class Schedules to Prove Residency, Not Identity, at Milwaukee Polls | MacIver Institute
Last Friday a busload of students from Pulaski High School pulled up to the Zeidler Municipal Building here and more than two dozen students, accompanied by their teachers, voted during the early in-person absentee balloting period, many only using a printout of their class schedule to prove their identity.
The MacIver News Service has confirmed that there was no date of birth listed on the class schedules.

Muskegon County administrator: Community on edge of turnaround

Muskegon County administrator: Community on edge of turnaround | MLive.com
Q: How will you judge your own performance over the next three years?
A: It will be how the employees of Muskegon County feel about Muskegon County.

Scramble for safety as Spain fears grow

Scramble for safety as Spain fears grow - FT.com

SEIU Protesters | Supreme Court | $20 Brown Envelopes

SEIU Protesters | Supreme Court | $20 Brown Envelopes | The Daily Caller
Video footage obtained by The Daily Caller appears to show a group of women dressed in purple Service Employees International Union-branded clothing, discussing how much they were paid to attend a March 27 protest outside the Supreme Court.
The video first appeared online Wednesday.

Michigan State is lone school to send teams to bowl, three 'major' NCAA tournaments

Michigan State is lone school to send teams to bowl, three 'major' NCAA tournaments | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
The Spartans are the only major-college school to score bids to the four big sports’ postseason play this year — baseball, football, basketball and hockey.

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Democratic Socialists of America Chair

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Democratic Socialists of America Chair
Huerta has claimed, “Republicans hate Latinos,” and has spoken fondly of Hugo Chavez’s despotic regime in Venezuela.
Some of her more radical comments were captured in this audio clip:

Chicagoland Shakedown: Why It's Impossible to Run A Business Without Breaking the Law

PJTV - Chicagoland Shakedown: Why It's Impossible to Run A Business Without Breaking the Law - PJTV Specials

Muskegon Mall Site Redevelopment - YouTube

Muskegon Mall Site Redevelopment - YouTube

Cause of Howard City business fire unclear, investigators say

Cause of Howard City business fire unclear, investigators say | MLive.com
The large structure at 6244 Henkel Road, the site of New Age BioScience

State reviews U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's petitions for criminal fraud

State reviews U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's petitions for criminal fraud | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
Photocopies of petitions, dates that were cut and pasted onto the petition forms and different-colored ink on identical petitions were just a few of the tactics used to try to fool state election officials into believing that U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter had enough signatures to get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.
"This wasn't anything that was an innocent mistake,"
Lansing political consultant Tom Shields said Tuesday. "It was purely an attempt to make up for a lack of signatures, which is politically criminal."

Cal pols hide public workers' names

WATCHDOGS: Cal pols hide public workers' names | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner
Legislators in the California Assembly have approved on a 68-0 vote a bill that would exempt multiple categories of state and local government employees from having their names disclosed in public property records, according to Steven Greenhut.

Anger over Lagarde’s tax-free salary : Truth is Contagious

Anger over Lagarde’s tax-free salary : Truth is Contagious
The IMF chief Christine Lagarde was accused of hypocrisy yesterday after it emerged that she pays no income tax – just days after blaming the Greeks for causing their financial peril by dodging their own bills.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ruling on wind farm says the countryside is as important as climate change targets

Ruling on wind farm says the countryside is as important as climate change targets - Telegraph
The Coalition's renewable energy targets do not outweigh value of the beauty of the English countryside, a High Court judge said yesterday as she rejected planning permission for a wind farm.

Reynolds’ Law

Reynolds’ Law « The View from Alexandria

Reynolds’ Law

I haven’t been blogging much lately, because I haven’t had many thoughts that haven’t been better expressed elsewhere.
But I have to draw attention to a remark of Glenn Reynolds, which seems to me to express an important and little-noticed point:
The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.
I dub this Reynolds’ Law: “Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”
It’s easy to see why.
If people don’t need to defer gratification, work hard, etc., in order to achieve the status they desire, they’ll be less inclined to do those things.
The greater the government subsidy, the greater the effect, and the more net harm produced.

This law is thus a relative to Murray’s third law in Losing Ground, the Law of Net Harm: “The less likely it is that the unwanted behavior will change voluntarily, the more likely it is that a program to induce change will cause net harm.” But Reynolds’ Law rests on a different and more secure foundation. It focuses on character as fundamental.

Warren, Obama, and Harvard's Culture of Corruption

Articles: Warren, Obama, and Harvard's Culture of Corruption
What neither Warren nor Obama could have anticipated in the early 1990s is that a vigilant alternative media would emerge to monitor their ascent.
Although Harvard may tolerate politically simpatico frauds, the real world has proven less forgiving.

10 killed, dozens more shot in weekend violence

10 killed, dozens more shot in weekend violence - chicagotribune.com
A man was shot dead near a raucous outdoor holiday party in the South Shore neighborhood late Monday night, bringing the number of homicides to 10 during a warm and violent Memorial Day weekend.
More than 40 shootings were reported during the four-day weekend.

Just 244 of 2,000 McCotter signatures valid, petition review finds

Just 244 of 2,000 McCotter signatures valid, petition review finds | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
In addition to the copies, the petitions appear to be cut and pasted in some cases, as if 2010 petition signatures were transposed onto the 2012 form.
Thomas acknowledges that's speculation because the secretary of state's office returned the 2010 signatures and can't make a comparison.
On some pages, the lines and letters on the petition forms don't align as they should on the original, suggesting an alteration of the form.

'Eco-Anarchists' Targeting Nuclear and Nanotech Workers

'Eco-Anarchists' Targeting Nuclear and Nanotech Workers - Slashdot
scibri writes, quoting Nature:
"A loose coalition of eco-anarchist groups is increasingly launching violent attacks on scientists.
A group calling itself the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation International Revolutionary Front has claimed responsibility for the non-fatal shooting of a nuclear-engineering executive on 7 May in Genoa.
The same group sent a letter bomb to a Swiss pro-nuclear lobby group in 2011; attempted to bomb IBM's nanotechnology laboratory in Switzerland in 2010; and has ties with a group responsible for at least four bomb attacks on nanotechnology facilities in Mexico.
Another branch of the group attacked railway signals in Bristol, UK, last week in an attempt to disrupt employees of nearby defense technology firms (no word on whether anyone noticed the difference between an anarchist attack and a normal Wednesday on the UK's railways).
A report by Swiss intelligence says such loosely affiliated groups are increasingly working together."

Two books, two standards, for Obama, Bush

Two books, two standards, for Obama, Bush | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner
But nobody could withdraw the story.
For a while, the tale that Bush had been arrested for cocaine possession, even though it was told by an unknown author who was also a felon who apparently made the whole thing up -- that tale was the talk of the 2000 presidential race. (Hatfield committed suicide in 2001.)
Fast-forward to today. Klein's book reports that in the spring of 2008, in the middle of the presidential campaign and in the heat of the controversy over Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermons, a very close friend of Barack Obama's offered Wright a payoff if Wright would remain silent until after the November election.

Student Editor Details the Corruption at Brown

Student Editor Details the Corruption at Brown
And remember: the Dresdale case preceded the OCR mandate that universities lower their threshold for finding students responsible for sexual assault.

Today's Grade-Inflated, Lake Wobegon World; Letter Grade of A Now Most Common College Grade

CARPE DIEM: Today's Grade-Inflated, Lake Wobegon World; Letter Grade of A Now Most Common College Grade
National studies and surveys suggest that college students now get more A's than any other grade even though they spend less time studying. Cramer's solution -- to tack onto every transcript the percentage of students that also got that grade -- has split the faculty and highlighted how tricky it can be to define, much less combat, grade inflation."

VFW slams MSNBC host who said he was ‘uncomfortable’ calling dead soldiers ‘heroes’

VFW slams MSNBC host who said he was ‘uncomfortable’ calling dead soldiers ‘heroes’ | The Daily Caller
Hayes, a liberal writer who hosts the weekend show “Up with Chris Hayes,” said he is “uncomfortable about the word [hero] because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”
“I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, he said, “and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism — hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”

Brett Kimberlin’s Heiress Aunt Helping Fund His Tax-Exempt Harassment

Brett Kimberlin’s Heiress Aunt Helping Fund His Tax-Exempt Harassment : The Other McCain
Velvet Revolution gained notoriety by making unsubstantiated claims that Republicans stole the 2004 presidential election through vote fraud.
A 2007 Time magazine profile of Kimberlin described how he ”found a home in the blogosphere” by “repeatedly asserting as fact things that are not true.”
At one point, Kimberlin offered a $100,000 reward for proof of his assertion that President George W. Bush’s re-election was obtained through vote fraud, a reward that was never paid.

Court Rules for Ski Resort in Michigan Lawsuit Over Halfpipe

Court Rules for Ski Resort in Michigan Lawsuit Over Halfpipe
A judge in Charlevoix County had declined to dismiss the case filed by skier Marvin Marshall. But the appeals court last week pointed to a Michigan law that says skiers assume the risks unless the dangers are not obvious.

Name that judge and vote his idiotic butt out of office!

“Slaves to the Government Class”

“Slaves to the Government Class” - EAGnews.org :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary
The government class plays by a different set of rules, dictated by unions and implemented by the politicians they help elect.
For government union members, income is not determined by job performance, but by how many years they’ve managed to stick around.
They’ll work fewer hours, get more vacation time, and make more money than their producer class colleagues.
They’ll get better health coverage, and it’ll cost them less.
The government class will retire at an earlier age and with a pension providing a guaranteed income, something fewer than 1 in 10 producer-class workers enjoy.
In Wisconsin, the government class makes up 14% of the population, exploiting the other 86%, the producer class.

A Second Great Recession Is Possible In 2012

A Second Great Recession Is Possible In 2012 - Seeking Alpha
Just as the US economy appears to be improving, four sets of forces could thrust America into an abyss rivaling the Great Depression.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Revealed: How Buffalo pays for teachers to have plastic surgery with tax payer's money

Revealed: How Buffalo pays for teachers to have plastic surgery with tax payer's money | Mail Online
Teachers in Buffalo are getting plastic surgery on the tax payer’s buck, it has been revealed.Tummy tucks, liposuction and Botox are all part of the controversial one of a kind health plan.

As Memorial Day Nears, a Single Image That Continues to Haunt

As Memorial Day Nears, a Single Image That Continues to Haunt - NYTimes.com
It is the one and only photo that makes me cry each time I see it.
What brings the tears to my eyes is not just the bereaved young woman, but the Marine who stands behind her.
In an earlier photo in the series, we see him building her a little nest of blankets on the air mattress. Sweet Lord, I cry just typing the words, the matter-of-fact tenderness is so overwhelming.

Wine, Beer Trail now offered in West Michigan

Wine, Beer Trail now offered in West Michigan | wzzm13.com
If you are looking for a new way to quench your thirst, you may want to check out the newly launched, West Michigan Wine And Beer Trail.

Roosevelt Park to organize neighborhood watch, picnic set for June 1

Roosevelt Park to organize neighborhood watch, picnic set for June 1 | MLive.com
When organizers see how many people are interested in getting involved, they’ll divide the city into “blocks,” each with a block captain, Cahill said.
Obviously, if residents see a crime in progress they should alert police, she said, but a neighborhood watch will give people a forum to talk about concerns in their communities.
“We’re trying to be proactive instead of reactive,” she said.

Veterans: Lost Boat Ceremony in Muskegon a special, somber event

Veterans: Lost Boat Ceremony in Muskegon a special, somber event | MLive.com
“Have you ever lost a buddy?” King asked, with tears in his eyes. “When you do, then you’ll know.”

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lost Boat Ceremony Sunday near USS Silversides-Sunday May 27, 2012

Lost Boat Ceremony Sunday near USS Silversides MLive.com
The West Michigan New Horizons Music Ensemble will be performing at the annual Lost Boat Ceremony at Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum 11 a.m. Sunday.

A truly moving ceremony honoring all the lost American submarines. Bring a hankie.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says state can't collect union dues for independent health workers

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says state can't collect union dues for independent health workers | MLive.com#comments#comments
“Outside meddlers can’t use a magic wand to re-categorize the sons and daughters of Alzheimer’s patients into public employees, and these taxpayer dollars need to go towards keeping loved ones out of nursing homes, not lining the pockets of shameful opportunists,” he said in a release.
Opsommer sponsored the House version of the bill, which follows a 2005 vote from the Michigan Quality Community Care Council to recognize as a labor organization as the bargaining representative of Home Help Services workers, who are funded with Medicaid dollars but employed by the private individuals they serve.

Why does Donald Trump keep saying Obama was born in Kenya, when even Obama has stopped claiming that?

Why does Donald Trump keep saying Obama was born in Kenya, when even Obama has stopped claiming that? | The Daily Caller
It’s just silly. Obama was born in Hawaii. It’s over, Birthers. But Donald didn’t get the memo. In an interview with the Daily Beast published today, he said:
“Look, it’s very simple,” said Trump, who has spent the past 13 months questioning Obama’s constitutional eligibility to occupy the White House (and only doubled down with his stubborn skepticism after Obama produced a long-form birth certificate, certifying he was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii, and then hilariously roasted him at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner).

“A book publisher came out three days ago and said that in his written synopsis of his book,” Trump went on, “he said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. His mother never spent a day in the hospital.”

340lb shoplifter 'attacked Piggly Wiggly workers with pepper spray'

340lb shoplifter 'attacked Piggly Wiggly workers with pepper spray' | Mail Online
At the police station, the feisty woman told officers to add whatever charges they wanted 'because she was going to plea bargain and half of the charges would be dropped anyway.'

Yes, there are two Americas.....

Friday, May 25, 2012

Concealed Carry Under Attack In The United States Senate

Concealed Carry Under Attack In The United States Senate | Conservative Daily
Sen. Barbara Boxer Looking To Gut Concealed Carry Across America
S. 176 strips away shall-issue provisions in every state

California tops states in teen unemployment

California tops states in teen unemployment | TheUnion.com
Nationally, the teen unemployment rate stands at 24.9 percent, and has averaged above 20 percent for over 40 months.
The number of employed teens fell by 14,000 from March to April 2012.

Asian carp surveillance ramping up in Illinois

Asian carp surveillance ramping up in Illinois | MLive.com
Illinois fisheries biologists netted two Asian carp in a Chicago lagoon Thursday as part of a stepped-up effort to track and remove the invasive species from Illinois waterways.

Hitler Rants about Michigan Football and MSU Spartans

Thursday, May 24, 2012

“More People Die from Guns Than Car Accidents in Michigan”

The Volokh Conspiracy » “More People Die from Guns Than Car Accidents in Michigan”
So states a Detroit Free Press op-ed headline.
Here’s an excerpt from the op-ed itself:
Michigan is one of 10 states in which gun deaths now outpace motor vehicle deaths, according to a study released Thursday by the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center.
But don’t expect the from-my-cold-dead-hands crowd to embrace the center’s conclusion that the disparity has everything to do with federal regulation — extensive and wildly successful in the case of motor vehicles, and virtually non-existent in the case of firearms.
“The idea that gun deaths exceed motor vehicle deaths in 10 states is stunning when one considers that 90% of American households own a car, while fewer than a third own firearms,” VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand said. “It is time to end firearms’ status as the last unregulated consumer product.” …
“Motor vehicle deaths are on the decline as the result of a successful decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy that includes safety-related changes to vehicles and highway design informed by comprehensive data collection and analysis,” a release accompanying the VPC study said. “Meanwhile, firearms are the only consumer product not regulated by the federal government for health and safety.”
But wait: The number of accidental gun deaths in Michigan in 2009 (the most recent year reported in WISQARS) was … 12, compared to 962 accidental motor-vehicle-related deaths. 99% of the gun deaths in Michigan that year consisted of suicides (575) and homicides (495).

House GOP on Verge of Surrendering to MEA

House GOP on Verge of Surrendering to MEA [Michigan Capitol Confidential]
As reported by CapCon, Senators defied government employee unions by voting to close the chronically underfunded “defined benefit” school pension system to new employees, starting in 2013.
If the House follows through, this would be arguably the most transformational state budget reform since Gov. John Engler signed a similar measure for state workers back in 1996.
That measure has helped taxpayers avoid some $4.3 billion in unfunded liability since then.

If the House fails, every new school employee hired going forward represents a new taxpayer liability that won't be extinguished during the lifetime of most who read this. T
he history of this and and other government pension systems suggests that much of this liability won't be properly pre-funded, with the cost falling on our children and grandchildren.

Muskegon County considering tax 'increase' to keep millage rate the same

Muskegon County considering tax 'increase' to keep millage rate the same | MLive.com
The proposal would essentially keep the county’s current operating millage rate of 5.6984 at the same level, bypassing a 0.04-mill reduction that would be triggered by liquor- and cigarette-tax revenues.
The county is set to receive more revenues from the liquor and cigarette taxes than last year.

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm calls election reform bills 'treasonous'

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm calls election reform bills 'treasonous' | MLive.com
Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm has tough words for election reform bills headed to the floor of the state House, calling them “treasonous.”
Writing in the Huffington Post on the day protestors attempted to disrupt a vote in a state House committee, Granholm said such bills are aimed at suppressing voters, or at least those who usually vote for Democrats.
“Efforts to suppress voting are not just selfish.
They are not just short-sighted. Voter restriction laws that lead to an outcome based upon process instead of merit might be labeled -- I imagine even by our Founding Fathers -- as treasonous,” she wrote.
Amid chanting, shouting and protestors being restrained as they charged the dais, the House Redistricting and Elections Committee approved a series of reforms that Republicans said are intended to preserve election integrity and make proactive moves to prevent election fraud.
The package would increase penalties for campaign finance statement violations, enhance the accuracy of the qualified voter files and require registration and training for third-party voter registration organizations.

It also requires people to register to vote in person and show identification if they want to cast an absentee ballot.
“Who do these laws most directly affect?
The poor, the elderly, minorities and the young. And how do those groups typically vote? Democratic,” Granholm wrote.
“Why do they do this?
It seems obvious: when you don't have winning ideas, you change the rules of the game.
When you can't convince voters that you are the best choice, you restrict their ability to choose.”

SOS petitions delivered to Muskegon City Commission; group hopes for positive approach to Sappi redevelopment

SOS petitions delivered to Muskegon City Commission; group hopes for positive approach to Sappi redevelopment | MLive.com
The environmental action group concerned about Muskegon Lake approached commissioners Tuesday with 899 signatures on a petition that were collected in the last month.

School districts say pension reform plan penalizes them for outsourcing employees

School districts say pension reform plan penalizes them for outsourcing employees | MLive.com
School district leaders say a new plan to pay for teacher pensions will penalize them for privatizing some employees – a move they say is one of Gov. Snyder’s recommended best practices.

Technology in schools underscored with Muskegon intermediate district's new administrator

Technology in schools underscored with Muskegon intermediate district's new administrator | MLive.com
Lindquist said he will help schools adopt new technology and help them understand its full potential for instruction.
He praised the county schools’ “amazing collaborative efforts,” including the united discussion of seeking a countywide technology millage to provide schools a stable source of funding.

Muskegon vehicle and home struck by bullets, police investigating

Muskegon vehicle and home struck by bullets, police investigating | MLive.com
A Muskegon home was struck multiple times by bullets about six minutes after a vehicle driven by a Muskegon woman was shot twice, police said.

Muskegon County sheriff's candidates begin outlining campaign messages for hot race

Muskegon County sheriff's candidates begin outlining campaign messages for hot race | MLive.com
One of the hottest races in Muskegon County, a three-man contest for sheriff, is kicking off the area’s campaign season for the upcoming elections.

From Greenville to Muskegon, companies announce plans to create 700 jobs in next 3 years

From Greenville to Muskegon, companies announce plans to create 700 jobs in next 3 years | MLive.com: Five companies announced plans today to hire nearly 700 workers across West Michigan thanks to incentives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Their investments, which totaled about $97 million, will be rewarded with state incentives totaling about $3.5 million, according to the MEDC.

Norton Shores considers requiring charities to prove they're legitimate before special events

Norton Shores considers requiring charities to prove they're legitimate before special events | MLive.com
Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund said the change wasn’t prompted by any specific problems with a previous event.
“It’s just a matter of making sure that everyone’s who they say they are,” he said.
The changes also will require events expected to attract 750 people or more to get approval from the city council.
Previously, the council had to approve any events expected to draw 500 or more people.

The new income tax break? The rich will benefit more

Tim Skubick: The new income tax break? The rich will benefit more | MLive.com
“If you are making about a million dollars…you would get $444 back.”
Hum. $25 vs. $444.

Michigan film incentives: Movie executives praise potential boost included in state budget deal

Michigan film incentives: Movie executives praise potential boost included in state budget deal | MLive.com
Snyder has expressed more confidence in the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, which is funded at $25 million.
The state’s $14.2 million summer 2011 advertising campaign attracted 3.2 million out-of-state visitors that paid $70 million in Michigan taxes, according to a study from Longwoods International.
It’s easier to measure the benefits of that program than the film incentives, said Sue Marx, a filmmaker from Birmingham.
But she said the film incentives’ real impact comes from the national exposure the state receives from major movies that are filmed there.
It makes people take a more serious look a t doing business in Michigan, Marx said.

Did you see that crash? Fruitport Township police want to speak with witnesses

Did you see that crash? Fruitport Township police want to speak with witnesses | MLive.com
Police would like to talk to anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
Witnesses are urged to call the Fruitport Township Police Department at (231) 865-8477 and Silent Observer at 72-CRIME.

Muskegon County unemployment rate falls to 8.3 percent, labor force shrinks

Muskegon County unemployment rate falls to 8.3 percent, labor force shrinks | MLive.com
The unemployment rate in Muskegon County fell to 8.3 percent in April, but the number of people with jobs also fell.
The number of people listed as unemployed fell by about 800, but about 900 fewer people were employed in April than in March, when the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.
Altogether, about 1,700 people left the labor force, meaning they were no longer looking for work.
Statewide, the unemployment rate fell to 8 percent, driven mostly by people leaving the labor force.

Muskegon Correctional Facility reopening means hundreds of jobs returning to area

Muskegon Correctional Facility reopening means hundreds of jobs returning to area | MLive.com: Muskegon Correctional Facility's reopening Oct. 1, just announced, should mean the return of at least 200 jobs to the Muskegon area.

For Ludington, the Badger issue is personal and financial as community rallies around its ferry

For Ludington, the Badger issue is personal and financial as community rallies around its ferry | MLive.com
The 2013 sailing season is in jeopardy if the Badger does not receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permit to continue its coal ash disposal into Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan Carferry officials are asking for a five-year permit that would allow the company time to convert the Badger to another, cleaner fuel such as liquefied natural gas.

Elimination of senior transit service expected to be the hot issue in city of Muskegon budget discussions

Elimination of senior transit service expected to be the hot issue in city of Muskegon budget discussions | MLive.com
Rev. Kallen comment:
"I like the city providing transportation for seniors.
But if this service is providing 3,200 rides a year at a cost to taxpayers of $77,000., that is $24 per one-way ride.
I bet the city could contract with a local taxi company for $10 or less per one-way ride, provide a higher level of service, and save city taxpayers $50,000 per year."

The Dependency Agenda

Amazon.com: The Dependency Agenda (9781594036637): Kevin D. Williamson: Books
Each year, the United States spends $65,000 per poor family to “fight poverty” – in a country in which the average family income is just under $50,000.
Meanwhile, most of that money goes to middle-class and upper-middle-class families, and the current U.S. poverty rate is higher than it was before the government began spending trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs.

The Fat Garden Project, Muskegon

The Fat Garden Project, Muskegon | Let's Save Michigan
Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack is located in a neighborhood setting and with the incredible success of this deli the need for additional parking is imminent.
Rather than simply paving the vacant property – Fatty’s and the Watermark Development are teaming up on a plan that will not only serve as parking for Fatty’s customers, but a portion of the lot will be turned in to a beautiful, functional picnic and garden area complete with works of art by local Muskegon artists. By serving as a creative example to the entire community of a large corporation partnering with a local entrepreneur to celebrate art and beautify our neighborhood the Fat Garden Project we hope will encourage more forward thinking in the community and promote projects which draw on sustainability and accountability to community and environment as well as foster big picture ideas and examples of cooperation.

Muskegon Heights High School celebrates 68 graduates in the Class of 2012

Muskegon Heights High School celebrates 68 graduates in the Class of 2012 | MLive.com
It was a momentous occasion for the 68 high school students

68?!!!
That's all?!!!!

Republican freshmen thrive in primaries

Republican freshmen thrive in primaries - Alex Isenstadt - POLITICO.com
All 29 of the Republican rookies — one-third of the freshman class — whose states have held primaries have won.
In many cases, they steamrolled little-known foes; in other cases, they drew no opponent at all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MIT and Harvard in battle to create life-changing product: Non-stick ketchup bottles

MIT and Harvard in battle to create life-changing product: Non-stick ketchup bottles | Technology News Blog - Yahoo! News
It's the world's biggest non-problemic problem: getting the last bit of ketchup out of the jar.

Feds fine Utah school over soda sales during lunch

Feds fine Utah school over soda sales during lunch - EAGnews.org :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary
Now comes word that the federal government in fining a high school in Salt Lake City, Utah $15,000 for selling soda during lunch.
That’s a hefty penalty – almost half of a beginning teacher’s salary.

Davis High School ran afoul of federal law that demands schools only sell nutritious food during the students’ lunch period.
By law, school officials are required to turn off soda vending machines during the 47-minute lunch hour

The Most Comma Mistakes

The Most Comma Mistakes - NYTimes.com
As I noted in my earlier article, rules and conventions about when to use and not to use commas are legion.
But certain errors keep popping up. Here are a few of them.

Full Disclosure for Student Borrowers

Full Disclosure for Student Borrowers - NYTimes.com
Schools must be required to do more to educate students about the real cost of their education and about a complex borrowing process that even the most sophisticated people have trouble understanding.

Local business or lowest bidder? Norton Shores mulls local preference in city purchases

Local business or lowest bidder? Norton Shores mulls local preference in city purchases | MLive.com
Council member Lowell Kinney said making that change could turn bids into political issues.
“It wouldn’t be local preference, it would be council preference,” he said.

MSU graduation rates increase, race gap persists

Graduation rates

Six-year graduation rates in percents at Michigan’s public universities, students who entered in 2004:
CollegeWhiteBlackGap*Overall
Central Michigan University56371954
Eastern Michigan University43222138
Ferris State University49202948
Grand Valley State University62481461
Lake Superior State University39201939
Michigan State University80582277
Michigan Technological University66372966
Northern Michigan University47331445
Oakland University45123340
Saginaw Valley State University45222343
University of Michigan91781390
University of Michigan - Dearborn55322352
University of Michigan - Flint40192139
Wayne State University44103431
Western Michigan University5346752

Germany Sells 2-Year, 0% Bonds Amid Greek Anxiety

Germany Sells 2-Year, 0% Bonds Amid Greek Anxiety - EU Business News - CNBC
Germany sold 4.56 billion euros ($5.8 billion) of the new two-year bonds, which carry a zero percent coupon

Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill

Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill | Fox News
Why the massive price increases? Andy Ott from PJM stated the obvious: “Capacity prices were higher than last year's because of retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting largely from environmental regulations which go into effect in 2015.”

Pay Up, Suckers

Vodkapundit » Pay Up, Suckers

Last week PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the electric grid for 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) held its 2015 capacity auction.
These are the first real, market prices that take Obama’s most recent anti-coal regulations into account, and they prove that he is keeping his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”
The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt.
In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt.
For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.

The Illusion of Obama's Bin Laden Raid Situation Room Leadership

Articles: The Illusion of Obama's Bin Laden Raid Situation Room Leadership
Apparently, my previous article on the famous "Situation Room" photo tapped a nationwide nerve. The response ranged from some eye-opening tips on other photos to a few perplexed criticisms as to the motivation for Photoshopping a Situation Room photo.
The answer to that latter question can be summed up in one simple thought:
To hide the truth.
Obama was out golfing while the OBL mission was unfolding, and the administration needed the Situation Room photo op for public perception -- to give the illusion that he's presidential.



Obama's entire "Composite Presidency" and administration are orchestrated in this fashion. Not only is the photo's legitimacy in question, but so is the narrative illusion behind it. Obama knew of OBL's location for a year and refused to act. The CIA admits that there was "no live video feed," as implied by the iconic White House photo. It is anyone's guess what the captive audience was looking at, but it wasn't the OBL raid. It was recently reported that a highly lawyered CYA memo was drafted that made it clear that the military would take all blame for any errors, while Obama would claim all glory for successes.

EPA-NASCAR green deal covers everything--but racing!

EPA-NASCAR green deal covers everything--but racing! | Washington Examiner
 According to the Environmental Protection Agency, NASCAR will encourage fans to buy “sustainable concessions” at races, expand the use of “safer chemical products,” conserve water, reduce waste, promote recycling, push products approved by the EPA that have a small enviro footprint and encourage suppliers to get an “E3 tuneup” aimed at promoting sustainable manufacturing.

Missing: any talk of greening races or race cars that consume about two million gallons of gas a year and average five miles per gallon.

SC union leader attacks pinata with Gov. Nikki Haley’s likeness

SC union leader attacks pinata with Gov. Nikki Haley’s likeness | The Lookout - Yahoo! News
In the video, posted to YouTube, Dewitt is encouraged by others at the gathering, with calls of "Hit her again" and "Give her another whack."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Muskegon Mayor Steve Warmington announces he will resign his office June 30

Muskegon Mayor Steve Warmington announces he will resign his office June 30 | MLive.com
"I want to go on to the next chapter of my life," said Warmington, who has been Muskegon mayor since taking office in 2000.
Warmington is owner of the Marine Tap Room, a popular bar in the city's Lakeside Business District.
"I have made the decision and I have fought with it long and hard," Warmington said.
"It is the right decision for me."

Feds to offer amnesty to hundreds of LIRR pension-disability scammers

Feds to offer amnesty to hundreds of LIRR pension-disability scammers - NY Daily News
Under the program, those who cut a deal by July 6 won't have to return any past disability benefits while those who wait until Aug. 10 will have to return 50%.

Good Cholesterol May Not Be What Keeps The Heart Healthy

Good Cholesterol May Not Be What Keeps The Heart Healthy - Science News
Some shine may have worn off “good” cholesterol’s halo.
A new genetics study shows that merely raising levels of high-density lipoprotein — also known as HDL or good cholesterol — does not help protect against heart attacks.

GOP complains about Rep. Mark Meadows running for judge while helping Democrats

GOP complains about Rep. Mark Meadows running for judge while helping Democrats | MLive.com

NY Times: Businessmen Are Psycho! No, Wait…

NY Times: Businessmen Are Psycho! No, Wait… | Power Line
The truth is actually worse than the Times acknowledged.
You can read all about it at Psych Central.
What happened was that a legitimate, if essentially meaningless, study–with a sample size of 203, isn’t 4% within the margin of error?–was characterized and mischaracterized by liberal journalists in a game of “telephone” until it emerged unrecognizable in the pages of the New York Times.
The fable started at the Huffington Post and was picked up from there.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kennedy family is riddled with entitled, underachieving drunks, drug addicts and cheaters, who have treated women terribly

Kennedy family is riddled with entitled, underachieving drunks, drug addicts and cheaters, who have treated women terribly - NYPOST.com
If you were related to these people — really, would you tell anyone?
Yet somehow, Americans have continued to imbue the Kennedy name with qualities long ago revealed to be mere chimeras, as ghostly as the hoary, faux-patrician rituals to which they cling: Capture the Flag, touch football, speaking with Brahmin accents.
The day after Mary Kennedy was found hanging in her barn, her estranged husband did what his family does best: sincerely insincere damage control.
“A lot of times, I don’t know how she made it through the day,” Robert Kennedy Jr. said this week. “She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life.”
The self-serving implication: not that he would ever know how she came to be that way.
“I remember being seated at a dinner next to Bobby around 10 years ago that she was also at,” a close friend of Mary’s told The Post last week. “It was the first time I had met either of them, and he put his hand on my thigh under the table. He was such a dog that way.”
Yesterday, the Kennedys buried Mary in Hyannisport, near the famous family compound. In life, Mary had been banned from there for years. In death, she is now the good Kennedy wife, keeping up appearances.

EyeOnMuskegon 5-20-2012

Half of Florida high school students fail reading test

Half of Florida high school students fail reading test - Yahoo! News Canada
Nearly half of Florida high school students failed the reading portion of the state's new toughened standardized test, education officials said on Friday.

When government is the looter

When government is the looter - The Washington Post
They are being persecuted by two governments eager to profit from what is antiseptically called the “equitable sharing” of the fruits of civil forfeiture, a process of government enrichment that often is indistinguishable from robbery.

Allen Park considers subcontracting public safety to shore up $1.6M deficit

Allen Park considers subcontracting public safety to shore up $1.6M deficit
Allen Park — The city might consider subcontracting police and fire services with a neighboring community as it prepares its 2012-13 budget that is expected to garner the attention of state officials who have been keeping an eye on the city's financial troubles.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120520/METRO01/205200310#ixzz1vOq7JQMz

In Detroit's distressed areas, the neighbors left, and now services disappear

In the Davison Freeway and East McNichols area on Detroit's east side, Rosetta Newby knows the cost of living in a neighborhood marked by abandonment.
Her homeowners insurance is escalating, and no other company will insure her at an affordable rate, she said.
Her bank turned her down for a loan for new windows and other improvements to her home of 44 years on Charest.
There's no grocery store near her, and few streetlights work.
All that's left is a sprinkle of residents, shells of houses and vacant lots framed by crumbling sidewalks.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Study ranks Michigan as one of most corrupt states for state-level politicians

The State News :: Study ranks Michigan as one of most corrupt states for state-level politicians
Michigan state-level politicians can get away with some of the most corruption in the nation, according to a study released this week.
A state integrity survey argues Michigan financial disclosure regulations are too lax, allowing state lawmakers to keep hidden potential financial conflicts of interest and keep perks from lobbyists off the books.

Why was Obama a Birther until he decided to run for president?

Why was Obama a Birther until he decided to run for president? | The Daily Caller
Yesterday, Big Government reported that back in 1991, Obama’s literary agency, Acton & Dystel, put out a bio claiming he was born in Kenya:Yesterday, Big Government reported that back in 1991, 

Politico Covers Up Obama Campaigns Alleged Attempt to Bribe Rev. Wright

Politico Covers Up Obama Campaigns Alleged Attempt to Bribe Rev. Wright
What Politico glaringly chose to leave out of its in-depth and oh-so detailed reporting, though, is the primary reason Reverend Wright is back in the news, but one inconvenient to President Obama's re-election chances:
According to Edward Klein in today’s New York Post, then-Senator Barack Obama’s political campaign tried, through back channels, to bribe Rev. Jeremiah Wright not to speak during the 2008 election cycle. The price: $150,000.
The bribery story broke just this week but, per the usual, not in the mainstream media -- even though John Edwards is currently on trial for a similar allegation that was uncovered by outlets other than a corrupt MSM that refused to report on a story that might have hurt the election chances of another presidential candidate with a "D" after his name. 
You sensing a pattern here?

Snyder considering 'interlocal' Canadian bridge agreement

Snyder considering 'interlocal' Canadian bridge agreement | Lansing State Journal | lansingstatejournal.com
Snyder opposes efforts by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge to build a second span. They’re fighting Snyder’s efforts to build a separate bridge.
The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports the Detroit International Bridge Co. has spent $1.6 million this year on TV ads opposing the new bridge Snyder and Canadian officials support.
It’s also pushing a ballot proposal requiring voters’ approval to build the alternative bridge.

Why Germany’s solar subsidies were bound to fail

News/Talk 760 WJR
One of the world’s biggest green-energy public-policy experiments is coming to a bitter end in Germany, with important lessons for policymakers elsewhere.
Germany once prided itself on being the “photovoltaic world champion”, doling out generous subsidies – totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany’s Ruhr University – to citizens to invest in solar energy.
But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned, and to phase out support over the next five years.
What went wrong?
There is a fundamental problem with subsidizing inefficient green technology: it is affordable only if it is done in tiny, tokenistic amounts.
Using the government’s generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic (PV) capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed “acceptable.”
It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer’s annual power bill.
According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a “threat to the economy.”

Support petition to place plan to increase renewable energy on the ballot

Viewpoint: Support petition to place plan to increase renewable energy on the ballot | MLive.com
“Michigan 25 by 2025” is a bipartisan proposal to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by the year 2025.
Today our state gets just 3.6 percent of our energy from renewable sources.
The proposal also includes provisions to prevent utilities from hiking rates on consumers, and creates incentives for hiring Michigan workers and using Michigan products when companies build wind farms or solar arrays.

In the U.K., the Nanny-State Apocalypse Is Now

In the U.K., the Nanny-State Apocalypse Is Now | Power Line
How helpless can people become, in the grip of a relentless, cradle to grave nanny state?
Here in the U.S., we still have time to turn back; most Americans are still horrified by the Life of Julia as a dependent of the state
.
But in the United Kingdom, the Rubicon seems to have been crossed.

That is my conclusion, anyway, after seeing this piece in the Telegraph: the British government will be advising its citizens on how to change diapers, breast feed babies, and engage in “baby talk.”
New parents will be given government advice on changing nappies, breastfeeding and “baby talk” under a multi-million pound initiative to support family life.

Because family life is impossible without government programs.
David Cameron said it was “ludicrous” that parents received more training in how to drive a car than in how to raise children.
Not at all. Raising children is natural, driving a car is not.
Moreover, people do get advice: mothers get it from their mothers and grandmothers, and from sisters, cousins and friends who have had children before them.
One would think this is a whole lot better than emails from a government bureaucrat.

A £3.4million digital information service, which begins today, will provide free email alerts and text messages with NHS advice “on everything from teething to tantrums”, Mr Cameron said.

This is the same National Health Service that is storing patients on gurneys rather than in rooms because it is out of money.

Two Cheers for Teacher Pension Reform Bill

Two Cheers for Teacher Pension Reform Bill [Michigan Capitol Confidential]

Two Cheers for Teacher Pension Reform Bill

Mackinac Center analysts have been pretty tough on Senate Republicans who in recent days progressively watered down proposed school employee pension reform.
However, when the time came to stop talking and start voting, the Senate made a respectable down payment on desperately needed reforms. Referring to one major reform provision added late in the process, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said to reporters, “Tell the Mackinac Center that, OK?”
Message received.
Here are the major provisions of the bill that passed the Senate, 20 to 18 (Republican Senators Tom Casperson, Mike Green, Geoff Hansen, Rick Jones, Mike Nofs and Tori Rocca joined all 12 Democrats in voting “no”):
  • Starting in 2013, new school employees will no longer be enrolled in the current “defined- benefit” pension system, and will no longer be eligible for the (optional) post-retirement health benefits currently provided to retirees. This is a hugely important reform, putting Michigan on a clear path away from “digging a deeper hole.”
  • Current and future school retirees who are still eligible for those post-employment health insurance benefits will have to contribute 20 percent toward their cost, vs. 10 percent under current law. That’s good, but celebrations may be muted given the fact that taxpayers have no obligation to provide any post-employment health benefits to school employees (who like the rest of us are all eligible for federal Medicare at age 65).
  • Current school employees will have to contribute more toward their pensions, or else receive benefits calculated under a less generous formula.
Thankfully, a late proposal from Gov. Rick Snyder to “prefund” those optional retiree health benefits was not adopted. This would have dinged taxpayers $500 million annually for an optional benefit that could be trimmed or eliminated at any time — and should be.
Last year, providing this benefit to current retirees cost taxpayers $795 million.
There’s a lot of blather being reported about the “transition costs” of closing the system to new employees. It’s all bunk. For one thing, the supposed “costs” have already been incurred — they’re the amount of past pension underfunding the state must “catch up” on. Closing the system changes the rules for reporting these costs, but as the author of a recent Arnold Foundation study explained, the rules “pertain only to financial reporting and not to legislative policy.”
In other words, the state is not required to accelerate the rate at which it amortizes these liabilities. Even if legislators want to turn this financial reporting into policy, the state has options to address this underfunding.
Despite these reforms, however, Michigan’s long school pension nightmare is not yet over. Some 150,000 current school employees are already enrolled in the defined-benefit system. The bill did nothing to address the causes of persistent underfunding of contributions intended to cover their future benefits, which means unfunded liabilities may still continue to grow for some time.
But this bill passing the Senate is still a big deal. If the House doesn’t sell out to the politically potent and distinctly unreformed state teacher unions, this will represent a significant contribution to a Michigan economic and fiscal turn-around that’s showing signs of being the real deal.

Michigan Tea Party Scorecard - Michigan Votes

Michigan Tea Party Scorecard - Release 3 - Jan 2011 thru Mar 2012 - Michigan Votes

The Tea Party Scorecard only includes votes on core tea party issues, primarily fiscal responsibility, limited government, and private sector job creation.
Unanimous and party-line votes are largely excluded to highlight the differences between members of the same party rather than differences between the parties.
 "Messy" bills with complex, competing content were also excluded as no clear "correct" vote could be assigned.

Michigan - Sunshine Review

Michigan - Sunshine Review
Michigan set to release public records and social media policy
Lansing, MI Michigan state government is getting ready to launch a new comprehensive social media policy this coming August. The Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which is developing the policy, has announced that it will be completed in August and plans to include posts on all social media website, including Twitter and Facebook, as public records.
  Public records lawyers and activists are praising the upcoming policy.
Herschel Fink, a media law lawyer told the press,
"If government and officials are communicating on issues of government policy, using these new means of communication -- social media -- then the public has to have access to that as well." [1]

The Obama Presidency. Minute by Minute

The Obama Presidency. Minute by Minute | POLITICO 44 - POLITICO.com:
President Barack Obama, in a statement at the conclusion of the G8 Summit at Camp David, said significant progress was made, although he cautioned there is much work to be done to stabilize the global economy.
"All the leaders here today agreed growth and jobs must be our top priority," he said. "The direction the debate has taken lately should give us confidence."

International Conference on Climate Change | Watch Live

International Conference on Climate Change | Watch Live

What Should You Believe? Government Stats or Your Own Eyes?

What Should You Believe? Government Stats or Your Own Eyes? | Heartland Institute
Price inflation is running at an annualized rate of 4.8 percent, according to official data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That is more than double the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2 percent annual inflation.
And as millions of Americans have come to learn since the government 40 years ago began playing games with this and other economic statistics to make things look better than they really are, there is good reason to take this latest report with a shaker or two of salt. Even if we accept the figure at face value, there are good reasons to scoff.
For instance, at the American Institute for Economic Research, the economists strip out seldom-purchased big-ticket items that the Bureau of Labor Statistics leaves in its calculations.
The AIER’s Everyday Price Index studies the prices of things people buy daily, weekly, or monthly, such as groceries, prescription medicine, telephone and cable services, etc.
That’s the inflation rate that most directly affects people.
The Everyday Price Index shows inflation climbing 8.1 percent over the last year.
At an 8.1 percent rate of inflation, the purchasing power of the dollar falls by half in nine years.
On March 15 the Associated General Contractors of America reported, “The cost of construction materials accelerated dramatically in February.”

State expects nearly $300 million more in revenue this year

State expects nearly $300 million more in revenue this year | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
The state's outlook is brightening with predictions of a $300 million surplus this year, lower unemployment and more jobs that pay better through 2014.
The extra state revenue this year sets up a fight over what to do with the money as lawmakers push to finish the budget in the next two weeks.
Democrats want to restore cuts to education and social programs, while the Snyder administration wants to earmark the money for one-time needs.

Michigan Senate may vote today to dump pensions for new teachers

Michigan Senate may vote today to dump pensions for new teachers | MLive.com
Other provisions of the legislation would:
Make retirees pay at least 20 percent of their health care premiums. They currently pay no more than 10 percent.

Eliminate health care coverage for employees hired after July 1 of this year.
Instead, school districts would have to make a 2 percent matching contribution into an employee's 401(k) account in lieu of health coverage.

Exclude merit pay, tax-sheltered annuities and longevity pay from the definition of "compensation" for the purposes of calculating pensions.

Cap the final average compensation for new employees at $100,000, adjusted annually for inflation.

Municipal, state pension reform message gaining momentum

COMMENTARY: Municipal, state pension reform message gaining momentum > Blog > State Budget Solutions
Current defined benefit plans, which guarantee pensions whether the money is there or not, put all risk for any shortfalls on taxpayers.
Right now, the deficit ranges from about $800 billion to more than $4 trillion depending on accounting assumptions.

Biden: West Virginia voters who chose felon over Obama are frustrated, angry

Biden: West Virginia voters who chose felon over Obama are frustrated, angry - The Hill's Video
Asked what he made of a felon sitting in a Texas prison who won four out of 10 Democratic primary voters in West Virginia, Biden told Ohio television station WTOV that he doesn't blame people who are frustrated and angry over the economy.

Michigan state police investigate election fraud claim

Michigan state police investigate election fraud claim | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
Incumbent Roy Schmidt announced his switch to the Republican party just before Tuesday's filing deadline.
The move angered Democrats who were unable to recruit a replacement.

Michigan debates 'Stand Your Ground' law

Michigan debates 'Stand Your Ground' law | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
Since Michigan's law was enacted, justifiable homicides have gradually increased, according to Michigan State Police statistics.

There were no more than four justifiable homicides reported annually between 1997 and 2006.
In 2007, there were eight justifiable homicides, followed by six in 2008, 17 in 2009 and 16 in 2010.

Senate OKs school pension tweak

Senate OKs school pension tweak | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
Lansing— The Michigan Senate voted Thursday to alter the fringe benefits of public school employment and eliminate pensions for new workers.
On a narrow 20-18 vote, the Senate approved legislation establishing a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement plan for all employees hired after Jan. 1, 2013.
Senate Bill 1040 also would eliminate guaranteed lifetime health insurance coverage for newly hired public school employees.
Instead, new workers would get an additional 2 percent of salary dedicated toward their 401(k) retirement fund.
The controversial legislation now heads to the House. Speaker Jase Bolger said Thursday he hopes to deliver the legislation to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk with a new state operating budget by June 1.
The bill passed Thursday over the objection of some lawmakers, who said the Legislature should not be changing the pension and retirement benefits for thousands of employees who have worked under assumptions their costs were fixed.

In 2010, the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System had a $45 billion unfunded liability.
State budget officials estimate the liability may now be more than $50 billion, said state Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw.

Richardville supports closing school pension plan to new hires

Richardville supports closing school pension plan to new hires - The Backroom - The Detroit News
Richardville’s endorsement of 401(k) plans for public school workers was the biggest development Wednesday in the Michigan Senate after several hours of closed-door negotiating over a bill to overhaul MPSERS, which faces a projected $50 billion unfunded liability for pension and health care benefits.
State Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Grand Rapids, said Tuesday he will offer an amendment on the Senate floor that would institute 401(k) employees hired after Jan. 1, 2013. MPSERS has more than 444,000 retired and active workers in public schools, community colleges, seven universities and some charter schools and public libraries.
Senators delayed voting on Senate Bill 1040 until Thursday to refine the language and get a fiscal impact of the proposed reforms, Richardville said.
Senate Republicans met in closed-door caucus meetings three times Wednesday — discussing the MPSERS bill at least twice.
“One of the members got up and said ‘You know 24 hours more to be prepared and make sure we don’t make a mistake is wisdom versus anything else,’” Richardville said.
The state of Michigan closed its employee pension plan in 1997 and instituted 401(k) retirement plans. The legislation pending before the Senate would increase pension contributions for current employees, require all retirees pay 20 percent of their health insurance premiums and eliminate retiree health care for new workers.
Pension experts have warned there may be millions in upfront costs to close the pension system because new hires would no longer being paying in to support the current retirees.
“Well, there are going to be some upfront costs, but you know like anything, it’s like closing cost on a lower-rate mortgage,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “Yeah you’ve got to suck it up a little bit now, but over the long run … everybody talks about kids and grandkids. This actually does something for the classrooms of kids and grandkids.”

Let voters decide fate of EM law, appeals court told

Let voters decide fate of EM law, appeals court told | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
The effort to repeal the state's emergency manager law is now in the hands of the state Court of Appeals after opponents on Thursday urged the panel to let voters decide its fate.
The group Stand Up for Democracy asked the three-judge court to heed the more than 203,200 signatures gathered to get Public Act 4 on the November ballot — roughly 40,000 more than needed.
A group called Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility successfully challenged the petitions last month, saying the type size in the petition headline was too small.

Republicans deny Anuzis, Hughes reelection to party leadership posts

Land, Agema and Michigan GOP chairman Bobby Schostak will hold the three leadership posts for Michigan Republicans to the national party.
Schostak batted down a notion Agema and Land won because they successfully positioned themselves as more conservative.
"I'm not sure that they were any more to the right," Schostak said. "I think they were all pretty much within the same bandwidth of conservative values and issues. I just think that they're incumbents, they've been in office awhile and fresh people came kind of out of nowhere."
But John Yob, a GOP strategist and Agema backer, saw the election outcome a different way.
"If Bobby doesn't understand that Dave Agema is more conservative and thinks they came out of nowhere to win then he is in far over his head in leading our party," Yob said.
Michigan will send 59 delegates to the GOP national convention in Tampa, but just 30 will vote because of penalties from the national party for moving up the primary before state rules allowed. The three party leaders will be excluded from voting.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120519/POLITICS01/205190373#ixzz1vMBEOLAf

Weather service to issue new hazards forecast along Lake Michigan shoreline

Weather service to issue new hazards forecast along Lake Michigan shoreline | MLive.com
“We have a drowning one day and the next, we have four, five foot waves and I see parents on the beach not paying attention to their kids,” said Todd Dunham, a deputy with the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department and head of the Marine Division.

Paul backers pick up delegate slots to GOP convention; negate Romney sweep

Paul backers pick up delegate slots to GOP convention; negate Romney sweep | The Detroit News Among the 14 sometimes-contentious congressional district elections, Paul supporters picked up at least eight delegate slots to the Tampa convention in August out of 42 at stake, according to one Republican Party source counting the delegates, with sweeps in the Northern Michigan's 1st District and West Michigan's 2nd District.
"We came down with a plan and we got it done," said Joseph Jurecki, a Paul backer who won an election in the 2nd Congressional District at the Michigan Republican Party State Convention.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Regardless Of What The Propaganda Says, This Is Not How A Free Society Treats People

Guest Post: Regardless Of What The Propaganda Says, This Is Not How A Free Society Treats People | ZeroHedge
It seems so bizarre that a country once regarded as the freest, most economically enviable in the world would treat its productive citizens with such hostility.

The Crucial Trayvon Martin Evidence the Media Won’t Repeat

PJ Media » The Crucial Trayvon Martin Evidence the Media Won’t Repeat
The eyewitness did not see the beginning of the fight, but had a clear view of it when he heard George Zimmerman crying for help and went to his door.
He saw George Zimmerman on his back on the ground. Trayvon Martin, according to the eyewitness, was sitting on Zimmerman’s chest, raining down blows from a mount position, “MMA style.”
 From the investigator’s description of a witness statement on page 38 of the discovery documentation, we learn:
When he investigated, he witnessed a black male, wearing a dark-colored “hoodie” on top of a white or Hispanic male and throwing punches “MMA (mixed martial arts) style.
” He stated that he yelled out to the two individuals that he was going to call the police.
He then heard a “pop.”
 He stated that after hearing the “pop,” he observed the person he had previously observed on top of the other person (the black male wearing the “hoodie”) laid out on the grass.
The witness’s statement is transcribed in the next paragraph:
I heard yelling out back in grass area of home but not sure at first but after second “help” yell I opened blinds, and saw clothing but everything dark outside. I opened door and saw a guy on the ground getting hit by another man on top of him in the strattle [sic] position hitting a guy in red sweatshirt or on the bottom getting hit was yelling help (guy getting hit on ground was wearing red calling out help). I said I was calling the cops and ran upstairs then heard a gunshot. When I got upstairs I saw the guy on top who was hitting the guy in the red lain out on the grass as if he had been shot.
The witness was 30 feet away, with a direct and apparently unobstructed line of sight to the fight.

THE FACE OF GENOCIDAL ECO-FASCISM

THE FACE OF GENOCIDAL ECO-FASCISM:“am not exaggerating.
This is Finnish writer Pentti Linkola — a man who demands that the human population reduce its size to around 500 million and abandon modern technology and the pursuit of economic growth — in his own words.”
As Bob Zubrin has pointed out, such sentiments, if usually a bit less bluntly stated, are driving environmental policy nowadays.
It’s Himmler in a green shirt.
These are not nice people who want good things for everyone.
These are evil people who hanker after mass death.

Still, it’s educational to hear things like this: “The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom.”
If you like growth and freedom, these people are your enemies. Remember that and treat them accordingly.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Collapse In Trust Is A Good Predictor Of Collapse In Governments

Collapse In Trust Is A Good Predictor Of Collapse In Governments - Forbes

U.N. Human Rights Advocates Urge G8 to Take Up ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on Wealthy Nations

U.N. Human Rights Advocates Urge G8 to Take Up ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on Wealthy Nations | CNSNews.com

Climate change denial worse than Holocaust denial?

Climate change denial worse than Holocaust denial? | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner

Obamacare’s Patient-Dumping, Privacy-Meddling Scheme

Obamacare’s Patient-Dumping, Privacy-Meddling Scheme - Michelle Malkin - National Review Online
The stench of Chicago cronyism over the White House just got fouler.
Inhale this:
A shadowy $10 billion Obamacare agency with zero oversight just awarded first lady Michelle Obama’s pet patient-dumping scheme at the University of Chicago Medical Center a $5.9 million taxpayer-funded grant.
It will enable Mrs. Obama’s cronies to build a government-sponsored electronic medical record-sharing system.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Van Jones: I was silent during BP spill because of Obama

Van Jones: I was silent during BP spill because of Obama | The Daily Caller
“We didn’t do it. You’ve never seen the environmental movement more quiet during an oil spill,” Jones admitted. ”I guarantee you, if John McCain had been president, with that oil spill, or George Bush had been president with that oil spill, I’d have been out there with a sign protesting. I didn’t, because of who the president was.”

Taliban Terrorism Poetry Gets June Release in United States

Taliban Terrorism Poetry Gets June Release in United States | NewsBusters.org
"Poetry of the Taliban" – edited by a group of London researchers – has already been released in the U.K. and the liberal media are praising the collection as “important” and “original,” remarking how the Taliban’s verse “humanizes” murderers.

O'Keefe Video Turns up Pressure on Governor Perdue in North Carolina

O'Keefe Video Turns up Pressure on Governor Perdue in North Carolina
The new video James O'Keefe's Project Veritas released yesterday, which showed how easy it was for non-citizens to vote in North Carolina

Ally Financial's mortgage arm files for bankruptcy

Ally Financial's mortgage arm files for bankruptcy | MLive.com
Ally, which is 74 percent owned by the U.S. government, was the financial arm of General Motors Co. until the banking industry meltdown in 2008.
It needed a $17.2 billion bailout to survive the downturn. Ally has repaid about $5.5 billion and it still owes the government just under $12 billion.

U.S. Army soldier brutally beaten in South Tampa

VIDEO: U.S. Army soldier brutally beaten in South Tampa | wtsp.com
It was an awful welcome to Tampa Bay for a young soldier. Police say the victim of a violent beating caught on camera is 24 years old and has lived in Tampa for less than a month.

Sugar can make you dumb, US scientists warn

Sugar can make you dumb, US scientists warn - Yahoo! News Canada
"Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Gomez-Pinilla.
"Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information.
But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage."

Detroit groundskeeper fired after finding loaded gun, handing it to cops

Detroit groundskeeper fired after finding loaded gun, handing it to cops | Fox News
However, Chevilott's superiors at the Wayne County Department of Public Services had a much different opinion.
His foreman, who had knowledge of the situation, was suspended for 30 days, and after 23 years on the job, Chevilott was fired for violating department policies.
According to a Wayne County spokeswoman and the rules, employees aren't allowed to possess a weapon on work property

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Federal Workers' 2011 Salary Data Exposed Online

Federal Workers' 2011 Salary Data Exposed Online | wusa9.com
DataUniverse.com estimates the databank covers about 70% of federal workers, but Department of Defense, White House, Congress, CIA, FBI, and some other agencies are excluded.

Red Cross responds on union contract issues

Letter: Red Cross responds on union contract issues | MLive.com
Health benefits remain the biggest obstacle to reaching a contract agreement with workers in the Great Lakes Region.
The Red Cross offered its union members a health benefits package that is the same as those provided to nonunion employees in the Region, but union leaders continue to demand health benefits that are greater than those of any Red Cross employee in Michigan -- or across the country.
It’s important to know that since these unions went on strike March 30, the Red Cross has reached settlements with two unions in other parts of the country.
Notably, one of these two agreements was with the OPEIU in Oakland, Calif. - the same union that is striking here.
Overall, the Red Cross has reached agreements on 20 other union contracts since July 2011 -- and three with other Teamsters unions.

Audit: Dead people and prisoners recorded as voting in Michigan

Audit: Dead people and prisoners recorded as voting in Michigan | MLive.com
Elections officials say in the report that they’re working on fixing the issues raised in the audit.
And they say clerical error is the culprit behind the voting concerns, not voter fraud.

Invasive grubs destroy lawns in Northern Michigan

Invasive grubs destroy lawns in Northern Michigan - petoskeynews.com
The grubs he's talking about specifically are European chafer grubs, an invasive insect, and they've arrived in Michigan

Chris Matthews Bombs on 'Jeopardy!' After Repeatedly Mocking Palin for How She'd Do | NewsBusters.org

Chris Matthews Bombs on 'Jeopardy!' After Repeatedly Mocking Palin for How She'd Do | NewsBusters.org
On at least four occasions, MSNBC's Chris Matthews mocked Sarah Palin for how he felt she'd do if she were ever on the hit television game show Jeopardy!
In a delicious example of instant karma, the self-proclaimed brainiac got his chance to show America how smart he was in a special "Power Players" version of the show Monday, but came up quite short finishing dead last with the paltry sum of only $2,300 (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

Monday, May 14, 2012

CJ's on the Beach financial struggles might keep it from opening this summer at Pere Marquette Park

CJ's on the Beach financial struggles might keep it from opening this summer at Pere Marquette Park | MLive.com
Because the beach bar business is not current on its property taxes and owes the city of Muskegon for its land lease payments, the Muskegon City Commission recommended the state deny the eatery's annual liquor license renewal until past debts are paid.

Can the American Currency Union Survive?

Can the American Currency Union Survive? - Ricochet.com
Frank’s argument, which makes perfect sense to me, set me to thinking about the United States.
After all, we have the same problem as the European Union.
Some of the states constituting our Union have spent money on public-sector salaries and benefits and on welfare programs as if there was no tomorrow.
California has a budget deficit of $16 billion for this year, and that is just the beginning.
As time passes and pensions promised in the past come due, public expenses will skyrocket.
Something similar is true in Illinois and New York.
In effect, these are clientalistic states on the Greek model, and they are approaching the end of their tether.

The Spirit of Geert Wilders - Mark Steyn

The Spirit of Geert Wilders - Mark Steyn - National Review Online
The British Home Office banned Mr. Wilders as a threat to “public security” — not because he was threatening any member of the public, but because prominent Muslims were threatening him:
The Labour-party peer Lord Ahmed pledged to bring a 10,000-strong mob to lay siege to the House of Lords if Wilders went ahead with his speaking engagement there.