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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Dear Readers: I am looking forward to sharing news about the Great Lake State this week, which seems to have avoided being sucked up in a “death spiral” like the Golden State! This will be the topic of my Canto Talk chat this week (which is moved to Wednesday, because Thursday the SLOBs are having a Beer Summit). So, listen in Wednesday, Jan. 16th (7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST, – click HERE)

I will be joined by my long time friend, who is like a second brother to me. His name is Lloyd Conway, who happens to be one of the kindness, hardest-working, and scholarly people I have met!

A funny story to share, before I go on to the meat of this post: We met in junior high school. Our conversation was a debate about which civilization was superior, the ancient Egyptian or Hittite.

If you can’t guess which side of the debate I was on, then you don’t read me often enough. But, I digress.

Lloyd is a great example of something I think more citizens should consider doing — actually get involved in local government. He will be telling us a little bit about how he finally landed a spot on the Charlotte City Council. It is at the local government where smart, sensible Americans can implement the most effective plans that will protect us from big government intrusions. (Speaking of which, do check out the scary Obama press rant conference today).

Lloyd is also an instructor at several institutions of higher learning, and he has a related website: Teaching History and Social Studies.

This blog is my attempt to share what I do (or have done) as a civil servant, U.S. Army and National Guard veteran, city council member and social studies teacher. Mixing experience and education, being open to inter-disciplinary insights into how the world works, and seeking unconventional explanations for how and why things are as they are are my goals. I won’t necessarily endorse every idea, theory or book that is discussed here, but the creative endeavors of independent thinkers deserve a hearing, and even when disagreeing with a writer’s premises or his conclusions, one may still find a kernel of truth or a fresh insight to share.

We will be chatting about the “Right to Work” law passage:

 As my work brings me to downtown Lansing, Michigan almost daily, I was an eyewitness to the protests taking place at the Capitol steps in response to the Legislature’s lame-duck session debate and subsequent passage of  ’right-to-work’ bills, signed into law hours later by the Governor.  What follows are my observations, made while coming into Lansing just after 7;00 a.m., and during the day, on break, at lunch, and upon leaving mid-afternoon.

Scene at Capitol and Ottawa Streets, lansing, Michigan, just after 7:00 a.m.

Scene at Capitol and Ottawa Streets, Lansing, Michigan, just after 7:00 a.m.

……  Putting aside for now rival explanations for the union/high wage vs. right-to-work/more jobs history of other states (such as the education of each state’s workforce, they value added by local manufactures, tax and regulatory climate, et cetera), one could imagine that, as wages trend lower, Michigan will become more attractive to new or expanding businesses, and that they will create jobs – at wages more in line with national or world-wide levels of compensation than is the case when a union can advocate effectively for a better deal for its’ members, even as that deal may raise the cost of labor to a point where fewer jobs are created.

And expectation of privacy:

Governing Magazine reports that some cities are considering monitoring of conversations on public transit, including Traverse City, Michigan, where this author recently stayed overnight while on a work assignment.  That hits home; it is one thing to read of news happening in far-off places; it is quite another to pass it on the street.

The question before us is whether we have a right to privacy, and if so, whether it extends beyond the curtilage of our dwelling-places into the public arena.  Our federal Bill of Rights enumerates certain of our liberties; the Ninth Amendment specifically states that the enumeration of certain rights does not disparage others held by we, the people.  Those rights are generally understood to be the ancient ‘Rights of Englishmen,’ ours by inheritance as inhabitants of former English colonies, as ‘Common Law,’ the most famous exposition of which is Blackstone’s.  Thus, some rights are ours, as a matter of common custom and usage.  Ivan Illich may have had something like this in mind when he penned ‘Silence Is A Commons’ in criticism of the invasion of public spaces by commercial and political speech, amplified technologically, that forces itself upon our consciousness through the sheer ubiquity and volume of the noise-making devices at their owners’ command.

It should be a very interesting show!

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SHRINE URGENT UPDATE: Monkees Singer Davy Jones Dead at 66 From Heart AttackDavy was my first big crush, so this is a very sad day. Prayers for his spirit and the comfort of his family. My favorite Monkees tune:

Dear Readers: Horemheb emailed me from the Shrine's outpost in Santa Barbara last night, very pleased that Mitt Romney won the primaries in Michigan and Arizona. It seems it was a solid win in my home state of Michigan, too — as he garnered more votes this year than in 2008. My husband was thrilled, and I must admit I was delighted.

How did our attitudes evolve into this position?

I think the Beer Summit discussions last week highlights that Romney has been very lucky in his circumstances regarding other challengers. At this point, no other Republican presidential candidate seems to have the gravitas, endurance, or the golden karma Romney has. So, with Rand Paul being mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential choice, it is hoped by many of our citizen pundits that Team Romney recognizes they have to pay attention to grassroots concerns. In a nutshell, many of our band of agitators hope for Romney with a side of Paul.

W.C. Varones expressed the idea that he would be happy if Romney tapped Ron Paul as Treasury Secretary. As a fan of John Bolton, I was heartened when the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and ultra-sensible foreign policy guru endorsed Romney. Here are Bolton’s words: I believe it’s absolutely critical to defeat Barack Obama in November. I think our country would be in dire straits domestically and internationally if he gets another four years. And I think Gov. Romney is the person who can best lead the party, best articulate our conservative principles and is most likely to beat Barack Obama…. Romney is conservative enough for me and I think he’s the one most likely to get elected, and I think that’s critical.”

In my view, it would help if Romney indicated he would tap Bolton as Secretary of State.

The grassroots enthusiasm for Ron Paul and his domestic positions cannot be understated. As a Palin supporter, I know how invigorating a VP-nod can be to otherwise staid supporters, who will then actually want to go out and do the leg-work so critical in a successful general election run. While the Beer Summit support for Romney was not 100% and can best be described as tepid, a nod to Tea Party sensibilities by Team Romney would do a lot to get the ball rolling for November.

So, as of right now, I start to underscore the positives that Romney will bring to the General Election and highlight his need for a Tea Party vice-president.

For example, Word Warrior published a piece today that I want to share: SOMETIMES IT TAKES A HERO. In 1996, 14-year-old Melissa Gay from Connecticut disappeared in NYC. After about a week of fruitless searching, the father turned to his boss for help:

Robert Gay’s boss didn’t hesitate. He said, ‘I don’t care how long it takes, we’re going to find her.’ A few hours later, he and other executives of the Boston-based firm were on the shuttle to New York; preparing to organize a huge volunteer effort. “My business partner stepped forward to take charge”, Robert Gay recalls. “He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York.” For Melissa Gay, a hero had appeared.

That hero was Mitt Romney.

The search that Romney spear-headed eventually helped reunite Melissa with her father. The story is compelling, and I urge you to read the piece by following the link. Compare it to what Barak Obama would likely do in a similar situation. I think the story demonstrates how Mitt would actually be a leader in a time of crisis, and I think that is extremely important to know. I like what I read.

We cannot have Obama unchecked, being unconcerned with reelection for the next 4 years. For those of you venting against the probable Romney nomination, I would urge you to start digging around for reasons to pull the lever for him in November. There are many: Better First Lady, more sane Supreme Court pics, more lucid foreign policy, apt to be much more respect to following Constitutionally-based procedures….

Otherwise, if you are going to sit out or vote third party, at least have the cojones to actually pull the lever for Obama – it is the most honest outcome to your internal drama.

(MUT Note: The Beer Summit vote include one purely abstaining member, one clear vote for Paul, one clear vote for Santorum, and absolutely none for Gingrich: Check out the SLOBs and see if you can figure which was who).

(MUT Note 2: Santorum completely wiped out any inkling support that he had from me with his ill-considered remarks about JFK’s speech regarding religion and the state. Listen to it, in full, and see if it makes you want to “vomit”. It is Santorum’s take that makes me queasy. Happily, it seems Romney will now have the opportunity to use JFK’s words during the general election):

(MUT Note 3: Snowe’s retirement is the first Tea Party win of 2012, achieved without casting a vote).

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