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49 posts from January 2006

Analysis of candidates for Republican U.S. Senate primary in Michigan

Michigan Republicans have a three-way primary for the U.S. Senate this year.  Mark Byron has a thoughtful analysis of the three candidates. 

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and her vote for the "bridge-to-nowhere" and her penchants for pork for other states, has to be vulnerable with our state's voters.

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Michigan beer drinkers: Take notice of state microbrew tour

Beer is a bright spot on Michigan's economic horizon.  At, you will find links to 70 in-state micro brewers.  Read about one couple and their effort to visit them all.  They describe in great details, the locations, the beers and the experience. 

How does Michigan's micro-brew efforts compare with other state?  Is there enough of a customer base to support more?

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Quantum chip from University of Michigan, how can we benefit?

In Wired online, there's news about the University of Michigan developing a quantum microchip.  Processing speeds and sizes would be taken to new levels.  To a non-geek this appears to be the cutting-edge.

My question:  With Michigan struggling with the atrophy of its economy because of the struggling auto industry, how can policy makers make use of this new chip as an economic development tool in the state?

Could this be a catalyst for our economic transformation, to give us the same hope that we had when the auto industry was at its zenith?

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Michigan housing market: Getting scary?

As a baby-boomer thinking fantasizing about moving to a warmer climate, my attention is focused on Michigan's housing market.  News is not good.

Ben Jones in his blog, The Housing Bubble 2, comments in a post about a Detroit News story about how housing prices are flaming out, particularly in southeast Michigan.  Read his post and then check the 38 comments from others who are concerned.

On my street in southwest Lansing, For Sale signs stay up for months before there is a sale or the sellers just give up.

When will the correction happen or does it depend on the state's wobbly economy finding level ground?

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In Michigan, how does state rate in providing higher education?

How does Michigan rate in providing its kids with higher education?

Jack Lessenberry in his blog of Essays and Interviews looks at a state effort to examine that question.  The Cherry Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. John Cherry, supposedly looked at the issue from all angles and made many recommendations for change.

In a radio interview, Lessenberry interviews Cherry about progress that has been made to give the state's children the education they need to succeed in a changing economy.  Cherry is optimistic.  Lessenberry says the optimism is fed election year political optimism of his boss, Gov. Jennifer Granholm.  He has a link to the audio interview, but Lessenberry doesn't provide a link to the Cherry Commission Report.

I would be anxious to see if parents, students and policy-makers agree that Michigan is making progress in getting our kids to college and then graduating them.

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From North American Auto Show: Crossovers (CUV) are the hot vehicle for families

In this morning's coverage of the North American Auto Show in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press gives a pretty good description of the new crossover utility vehicles (CUV) which could become the new family car. 
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American Family Association (AFA) trying to hurt Ford because of ads

Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh brings some perspective and some consequences to the American Family Association's fit of picque over Ford Motor Company advertising in gay magazines. 

The question: 

  1. Should we boycott every product advertised in a gay magazine like the Advocate?
  2. What would that accomplish?
  3. Does the Christian Right have the power to make that happen?

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Detroit Bishop said he was sexually abused by priest

The Roman Catholic Church really needs to deal with the whole issue of priests who engage in child sexual abuse.  Case in point is today's Detroit Free Press story where Bishop Thomas Gumbleton discloses that he was abused as a high school student.

This again raises the question of whether the statute of limitations on such cases should be eliminated in state law.

A friend of mine who was traumatized by such abuse tried to get that done in the Michigan Legislature.  His effort got gummed up by media attention and other issues and never got beyond first base.

There's a moral obligation of the church to protect kids, pure and simple. 

The question remains about what happened way in the past.  Can it be made right for the victims?

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Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero doesn't impress with office cuts

Our new mayor in Lansing, MI, Virg Bernero, says he's trying to be an example for other city employees by cutting his office budget by $66,000. 

The mayor and the city council will be facing a massive budget shortfall in the next fiscal year and employees will be asked to make sacrifices, I'm sure.  So, the mayor will go without one extra employee in his office. 

Should we be impressed?

How about the city-owned Cadilac CTS that the mayor drives.  What if they sell that?  To be an example, he should be driving his own car which I'm sure is much more modest.  He needs to show that he's not afraid to make a personal sacrifice if he wants his employees to do the same.

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John Piper says cancer has wonderfully blasting effect

John Piper, a well-known pastor and author, has prostate cancer.  In a letter on his website, he talks about:

  • This news has, of course, been good for me. The most dangerous thing in
    the world is the sin of self-reliance and the stupor of worldliness.
    The news of cancer has a wonderfully blasting effect on both. I thank
    God for that. The times with Christ in these days have been unusually

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No opening prayer in Indiana House session

Remember, a federal court judge ruled that Indiana House members could not open their sessions with a prayer that was made in the name of Jesus Christ. 

With the opening of the new session, Speaker Brian Bosma decided to do away with all opening prayers.  Members get together on the floor and pray among themselves. 

The Indy Star, in an editorial, says it's time for both sides in the prayer fight to take a break.  My question:

  • Would it have been biblical for Speaker Bosma to disregard the court order and have a Christ-centered opening prayer anyway?

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From Lansing, MI, this story will brighten your day

During my online read this morning of the daily newspapers, from the Detroit Free Press to the Indy Star, I was struck by the nothingness of what's being reported. 

Okay, it's neat to hear the words new muscle cars coming from the auto show and the execs from the auto companies saying they will get their act together and start listening to their customers.

But, I found a ray of sunshine in the Lansing State Journal in John Schneider's column.  He's almost worth the price of the subscription.

He writes about a cab driver who plays the role of a real life good samaritan to a couple and their child from Biloxi, MS.  The cabbie had never seen them before, but goes out of his way to help them with his time and with his own money.

The cabbie's name is Wing Dot Lum.  I'm not doing justice to the story about what he did.  It's worth a read.  He's a real example for me and everybody else.  He does what a lot of us only talk about.

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Be sure to check out Pandora for music you like

While my son, Justin, was waiting to catch his plane at Detroit Metro yesterday, he listened to a podcast about Pandora Media.  He learned about the Music Genone Project and the radio station creator Pandora.  You can listen to and learn about music from just about any era.  This is really great.  I caught myself sitting on the couch last night with Snoopy listening to music from about 20 different artists from a variety of eras and genre's.

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Dodge Challenger makes you smile

I just read about the new concept car from Dodge, the revamped Challenger.  It brings back memories of growing up in Bay City, MI where new muscle cars were the talk of the town during the sixties and seventies. 

  • With increased gas costs and high price tags for new vehicles, is there a market for this car? 
  • Will people buy it?
The North American Auto Show going on in Detroit right now gives a glimmer of hope that our domestic automakers haven't lost the ability to be bold.

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Preparing for Alito hearing: Read Q &A on judicial activism

As the political combat starts over the confirmation of Judge Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court, I found this great Q &A on what judicial activism means.  It's from Focus on the Family.  Strident Democrats and left-wingers would just dismiss this because it's from James Dobson's organization.

But, this provides philosopical balance without getting into a full-scale rant like both sides are prone to do.

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Judge Alito hearings today start war over two world views

Chuck Colson in his BreakPoint commentary really sets the table for the Judge Alito hearings in the U.S. Senate today.  He makes the point that all the brouhaha from the liberal side is not just over the future of abortion, but over the future of attempts to reshape our culture to allow anybody to do anything at anytime.

Roe provided the legal foundation for decisions where worldviews about morals and principles come into conflict.

Colson also provides at the end of his commentary a list of links to resource material.  This should be a good debate to watch and should be power politics at its best.

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