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Out of the Woodwork

Politics, economics, topical issues, I mostly have my own specific opinions on any issue, though I tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal... Enjoy.

Updated: 2016-10-10T09:28:46.737-04:00


All the Way to the Bank.


All the Way to the Bank.Did you hear them laughing?At the RNC, did you hear them scoffing at community organization? Did you hear them interrupt Rudi Giuliani with loud scoffing and booing when Rudi mentioned Obama's community organization record.I did.I heard Giuliani say "perhaps that was his first mistake" and the Republican convention cheered and jeered in unison.The audacity!They are

Here we go again !!!


UPDATE: I have been informed by a council member that enforcement of this ordinance would be the responsibility of the School Liaison Officer, who apparently spends her time in school, where she would not find any truant children. So what is the point of the legislation? Does the city want to leave the door open for draconian, community-wide law enforcement because the school district can't take

Paul Allen Curry, 1949-2008


Paul Allen Curry was a friend of mine.In the strange new world that I had imported myself into, Al represented that very authentic Irish-working-class ethic that had permeated my previous existence. It was for this reason, more than any other, that Al and I shared a lasting friendship.I came to the United States to marry my wife. It sounds a little gooey when I write it like that, but that was

Its not just republicans!!


Open letter to the Michigan LegislatureThe Michigan Legislature has before it House Bill Number 5912, a bill that would require home-schooled children to be registered with their school district.My first question is why?The United States of America is built on the principle of freedom, and Michigan has fought, from its very inception, to maintain as much independence as is feasible from federal

The Hard Work Begins


Congratulations to the SCIT campaign, now the hard work begins.While Ypsilanti has shouted down the tax proposal in a 2-to-1 NO vote, as well it should, its citizens now have a lot of work to do.Ypsilanti’s citizens have voted to do the hard work now, as opposed to having a greater burden imposed on future generations.So they need to get busy. With the income tax firmly out of the question, it is

Ypsilanti's What??


Income tax to be defeatedCross-posted on AstrosageI have a strong astro-hunch that the city income tax will be soundly defeated tomorrow. Mundane (political outcomes prediction) is not my specialty, though I am researching that field.My educated hunch, then, is that the tax will be defeated. I think many members of the Mayor’s support base will come out to vote, but will vote no. I’m not

The First Round of the income tax battle


Round 1Ypsilanti hosts dozens of special interest festivals in the course of the year, however the Heritage festival is the ”big one” for the locals… hell even I go to that one and I’m nobody’s socialite.Well, it seems that the movers and shakers who are peddling the income tax have leaned on the Heritage Festival organizers, and the Stop City Income Tax crew have been stopped from joining the

Income Tax- the final showdown


The Battle RoyalYawn...stretch...blink…blink… somebody say fight?So it’s official, we now have two organized camps to re-hash and re-debate the city income tax.If you have made up your mind about the tax, you will obviously be persuaded by the eloquence of your favoured camp. If not, then you might want to read this.The question comes down to a matter of trust. Who do you believe? More

"Interesting Times"


Interesting…I have had plenty else to focus on of late, so Ypsi politics has taken a back seat for a while.As some of you maybe aware, I have just started an astrology blog where I will be making general predictions for the district based on the full and new moons. These are not the sort of thing to bet the house on, but rather a general comment on community attitudes and the issues that are

The Grumpy Old Men


Well that was fun…..As I have said, I frequent the conservative debates because I find them interesting, entertaining, and often informative.In a momentary lapse of reason, “yours truly” became the consensus nominee to fill Peter Fletcher’s position as moderator. Yep, you heard right, Rodney “Left of Lenin” Smith moderating the conservative debate.I find it amusing to be referred to as a

"The Secret" -in the balance


I finally had a look at “the Secret” the other day, and was somewhat underwhelmed. Billed as a thread of knowledge that has permeated the great minds of philosophy and science, you can imagine my let-down to be greeted by “Norman Vincent Peale meets the Celestine Prophecy”. I think the thing that undoes it for me is that they give one-line quotes from some of the greatest minds in Western and

Stockings Stuffed!!


I’ve got to say that the “Stuff your Stocking” night in Depot town is a stroke of genius.Our son, Jack, is now 3 years old. The “Stuff your Stocking” night represents a perfect way for us to celebrate the things we find most important in this season. I like supporting local business. I like doing stuff for kids, particularly when they’re having a rough run. I like to teach my children about the



I realize I’ll probably get shot down in flames for this, but I’ll do it anyway.So, the Democrats have taken the house and the senate at a national level, and the house at the state level, and City Hall at the local level. I should be heartened by this, right?I went over to to have a look at how our new mayor, Democrat Paul Schreiber, is doing.While the ypsinews crew managed to lose

Body? ... What Body?


Our own Michigan Democratic Senator, Debbie Stabenow, has voted for the single most irresponsible bill passed in the entire abysmal era of the Bush administration. S.3930: Military Commissions Act of 2006.This bill effectively gives the president of the United States power to detain any prisoner at will without trial, provided he can identify the prisoner as an enemy combatant.At the heart of

Neither Civil Nor Right


I am talking, of course, about the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.Full text Here. Official version HereCameron Getto has, as usual, produced a great article on this issue.In a previous incarnation, (reporter for the Courier) I took the mayor to task over the ignorance of white citizens to their own sense of privilege.Quoting from the op-ed section of the Ypsilanti Courier, October 13,

Pluto: Dirty Snowball or Planet?


The quick answer is “both”.Kate asked for a comment to Pluto’s status a week ago, and I figure it deserves a post of its own.When Pluto was discovered, (February 18, 1930) the astronomers were looking for a much larger body to explain the (still mysterious) perturbations to the orbits of the outer planets, and specifically of Neptune. Something out there is big enough to pull the king of the sea

The Impetus for Change


I was catching up on Cameron Getto’s excellent blog today, and came across this article.Being that Cameron’s post is over a week old, I figured I should re-post my comment here.The context (for those of you who haven’t read Cameron’s post) is the disenfranchising of the worker’s bargaining position through legislation that makes strikes illegal, staged in the broader context of the corruption

In Print again...


This time, in a letter to the editor on a subject I care about a lot. The article that raised my ire was this one.My response was published here.However, I was in a pretty acrid mood that night, so they edited my work fairly heavily.This is my original response, with a "1.00 am grammar" mistake fixed, but otherwise verbatim.Your September 26, opinion column “Life is really not in the stars” by

Designs on Intelligence


Well, here we go againThis time its not local, its state politics, and the illogical notion of teaching creationism (yes folks, that’s what “Intelligent Design” (ID) means) in a modern science curriculum.We have a couple of ID proponents trying to weaken the Michigan Board of Education science curriculum guidelines to the point of absurdity, and they have won a couple of extra weeks to browbeat

A Final Word on the Primary


A Final Word on the ElectionThe errors and nuisance value of the last Schreiber offering on the campaign trail make me certain that I have done the right thing in getting behind it here plans that depend on a tax that is not going to fly is daft. Holding the Police and Fire department for ransom over the tax is almost criminal.

Just a thought....


My wife put an interesting question to me the other day, and I thought I would share it.“Bill Gates draws your name out of a hat, and gives you 1 million dollars with which to help the City of Ypsilanti out in any way you saw fit. How would you spend the money for long-term gain?”I thought about this for a while, and after the visions of the wildest street party you ever saw and other frivolous

Income Tax: The Real Mayoral Issue


To tax or not to tax, that is indeed the question.I attended the CBC Candidates Forum the other night and had the pleasure of submitting a question to the candidates. I asked, quite plainly, (and somewhat aggressively, sorry folks, it slipped out that way!!) are you going to implement the tax, and secondly, how are you going to secure funding from Lansing in the future?.Schreiber opened the

Pierce Scuttlebutt


So to the Pierce scuttlebutt.Nobody who is criticizing Pierce wants to be quoted. I have always honoured that request when it is made of me (that’s how I get to know things, and eventually turn up something that can be quoted as authoritative).So far, the most damning thing I have heard about Steve is that working with him leaves ”a bad taste in the mouth”. It is true that several of the people

Back to Business


I made the comment below in response to John Gawlas, and I figured I should elevate the question to a post of its own.This city, ... should be tired by now of pitched battles between factional groups. I have yet to see a definitive written action plan from any candidate on 1. Water Street2. the city income tax3. the future for economic development.4. securing adequate funding from LansingSo, a

3 Hyenas...


Well, that tears it…Here I was figuring I could be sanctimonious and impartial about the Mayoral election, but there’s something about smear campaigns that sticks in my craw.Our mayoral candidate Schreiber has a smear campaign on his hands. Front and centre on his website is the “endorsement” from a group which was dissolved a good while back and no longer exists in any shape or form beyond the