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17 posts from September 2006

Michigan Department of Human Services didn't follow rules in Rick Holland case

Detroit Free Press reporter Jack Kresnak writes this morning about how the Michigan Department of Human Services repeatedly failed to follow state licensing rules in the Ricky Holland case, a seven-year-old allegedy murdered by his parents.

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Detroit Free Press lifts Dick Devos' skirt a little higher

I've listened carefully to Dick Devos' arguments about why he should be Michigan's next governor.  His tv spots emphasize his big business background and they tout his China business building as a plus and not a negative for Michigan.

His campaign website is really pretty thin in giving facts and so are his speeches.  Many have argued that he's just another rich guy who has had things handed to him.

Detroit Free Press story today says that's not the case.  He's had to work for his experience.  How that dovetails into being successful as governor, I'm not sure.  But, I'm staying tuned.

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What would Jesus say to Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyeh

When will the killing stop in the Middle East?  Will the Jews and the Palestinians ever be able to live and work next to each other in peace?

Read this quote from the Palestinian Prime Minister.  Doesn't somebody have to be the first to forgive the others?  Isn't that the difference between the major religions.  Jesus Christ is all about grace and forgiveness, especially when you are the one who was hurt.

What would Jesus say to both sides?  What if one side did ask for forgiveness?  Would it do any good.

This quote from the Palestinian Prime Minister is from Time magazine:

I personally will not head any government that recognizes Israel.

— Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas

at a mosque sermon in Gaza City laying out his group's position in coalition talks with Abbas

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Next road trip for Justin and I scheduled for Washington D.C.

My 22-year-old son, Justin, and I have taken a lot of road trips together. We've been to 11 Promise Keepers events together, including Stand in the Gap in Washington D.C. and a rally in Las Vegas.

We've been to all kinds of political events around our state, checked out downtown Chicago while visiting relatives and many more if you count trips with my wife and daughter.

Our next one will be in a few days. He's a recent IT graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and he's been checking out jobs around the country.

He has chosen a job in Washington D.C. and we will go to check out apartments and get ready for the move. I'm really proud of him. I'm one blessed person with two great kids.

My daughter, Krista, and I are talking about writing a book about father-daughter relationships. We would start by opening it to the blogosphere for their comments.

I love being a dad.

Show me where Cal Thomas is wrong about the object of modern politics

Do political parties stand for anything today? 

Do they have a philosophy, a set of ideas to work for that distinguishes itself from the other?

Columnist Cal Thomas answers:

That is because the object of modern politics is not to say and do things that benefit the country and promote the general welfare but to gain or maintain political power. Gaining power, including the means to getting it, is all that matters.

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Rosie O'Donnell trash talks Jesus Christ and radical Christians

I liked Rosie O'Donnell better before she came out of the closet to announce that she is gay.

After school, my kids and my wife would eat a snack while watching Rosie's talk show.  It was fun, entertaining and it was a television that seemed to espouse some values.  She cared for people and it really showed.  Then she made her announcement that she was a homosexual and everything had an edge dipped in a big dose of anger.

Now she's taking after the followers of Jesus Christ when she said:

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."

  • I wonder how much she knows about Jesus. 
  • Has she read the gospels? 
  • How much does she know about his birth, life, ministry, death and ressurection? 

I went to church yesterday and I looked for radical Christians or followers of Jesus Christ.  Maybe, it's my denomination, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, but I didn't see any.  I wish I had.

How do we react to Rosie and her statements?  What would Billy Graham say to Rosie O'Donnel?  My guess is that he would show her a lot of love and respect.  He would try to pattern his response after the answer to "what would Jesus do?"

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Time magazine this week: Does God want you to be rich?

As I get ready for church this morning, this is the cover story for Time magazine this week:  Does God want you to be rich?  Health and wealth teaching in the Christian church seems to be making a comeback.

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Would Michigan's economy be stronger without compelled union representation?

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has a compelling article about state laws which force employees to join a union.  Would Michigan's economy be stronger without this compelled union representation?  Is it time to change the law?

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For Michigan kids, the odds against attending college are getting higher

The report from the Center for Public Policy and Higher Education says that for young people Michigan is not the place to be if you want to attend college.

In a story by Sarah Kellogg of the Booth Newspapers Washington Bureau, the gloomy news for Michigan youngsters was that the chances of a state ninth-grader enrolling in college by age 19 were just 28 percent in 2006, down from 41 percent in 1992.

Our state was also given a "F" grade for its effort to make two-year and four-year colleges more affordable.

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Does General Motors need the federal government to bail it out?

Our governor, Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat running for reelection, is all lathered up about getting  President George Bush to sit down with the heads of our domestic car makers to talk about their problems.  She says it's a must-do item and right away for President Bush.

Her demands for the meeting raise the question of whether the feds should bail out our ailing car companies.  They did it for Chrysler when that company bottomed out.

Is it time for the feds to move in and make everything better for our ailing auto industry?  Or should they let market forces regulate what happens.  Here's what Rick Wagoner, the CEO of GM, says about the meeting and the feds role in their recovery:


Ultimately, Wagoner said, it's up to businesses to take care
of their own problems. And GM has been busy trying to straighten those out this year.

Is West Michigan looking forward to the coming real soon of Asian carp?

Somewhere in my last 300 posts on this blog, I mentioned that I used to work as a legislative staffer.  My last boss, a former state lawmaker from Port Huron, held an international telephone conference call on the Asian carp problem heading towards Lake Michigan.

Before you click away, stay with me because this affects just about everybody in Michigan and around the Greak Lakes.

These monster carp who fly out of the water have been making their way up the Mississippi, round the bend near Illinois and are close to Lake Michigan.  According to the Detroit Free Press this morning, most experts warn that the Great Lakes will become giant carp ponds and other species like salmon will be starved out of existence.

This would be another major blow to our already stressed economy. 

Politicians in Washington have dropped the ball on what to do next.  This certainly ranks with the Canadian trash being hauled into Michigan and might even be more serious.

Just think, going fishing in Lake Michigan would be an outdoor version of Snakes on a Plane.

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Growing up, Labor Day meant seeing Walter Reuther in Detroit Free Press

Labor Day is just around the corner when I instinctively think about Detroit's Labor Day parade of days gone by when Walter Reuther, the founder of the UAW, would be at the head of the march.  There would always be these grand photos from Tony Spina in the Free Press.

I wonder how many remember Reuther and the positive role that he played in making this a better world.  When I was pressroom manager at the Michigan State Capitol, John Penszak,  a former state representative who was an assistant House of Representatives Sergeant-at-Arms, would tell about the ugly, ugly conditions workers had in the plants in the 1930's.  He was one of Reuther's first organizers in the plants. 

Twelve marriage killers from Dr. James Dobson

Marriage in our culture is struggling as an institution.  This fact-of-life is costing taxpayers a bundle.  Government programs seem to be ineffective and churches don't seem to be inspiring folks to stay married.

Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family shares a dozen marriage killers on his website.  These are free.  They are worth looking at and considering.  They might save your marriage and save you from a lot of pain and suffering.

In his introduction to the 12 marriage killers, he says:

My advice to young couples is simply this:  Don't permit the possibility of divorce to enter your thinking.  Even in moments of great conflict and discouragement, divorce is no solution.

It merely substitutes a new set of miseries for the ones left behind.

The twelve marriage killers:

  1. Overcommitment and physical exhaustion
  2. Excessive credit and conflict over how money will be spent
  3. Selfishness
  4. Interference from in-laws
  5. Unrealistic expectations
  6. Space invaders
  7. Alcohol or substance abuse
  8. Pornography, gambling and other addictions
  9. Sexual frustration, loneliness, low self-esteem and the greeners grass of infidelity
  10. Business failure
  11. Business success
  12. Getting married too young

He explains each one.  There's plenty of grist for dicussion for couples either getting or already married.

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MI Office of Community and Faith-based Initiatives needs to held accountable

You don't need a PhD. in political science to figure out that Michigan's Office of Community and Faith-based Initiatives needs some oversight and accountability.

Read this morning's story in the Lansing State Journal about how this office, according to its director has served two groups during its existence.  The story says the office costs taxpayers $150,000 per year with the director getting the major chunk in salary.

On the surface and based on its performance, it would seem that there's no justification for keeping this office.  Why is the administration  of Gov. Jennifer Granholm allowing such meager peformance?

Some Michigan lawmaker of either party needs to ask the Michigan Office of Auditor General to do a performance audit of this office and then the Michigan Legislature needs to be bold about making a decision on whether it should be continued.

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Senior Ark: This site is empowering for anybody getting old(er)

Bob Fassbach, the editor of the Senior Ark, dropped me an e-mail, a day or two ago after visiting this blog.  We share some mutual interests and attitudes and he invited me to visit his resource site for senior citizens.

After spending a day and a half without DSL and after getting my feet back on the ground after a huge surprise 60th birthday party, I took some time to look at his site.

It's a compendium of useful information for anybody on the "older" side of the age continuum.  But, what I like most is Bob's apparent attitude.  This thing called aging is an adventure and he doesn't back away from the role that God plays in our lives.

I will be going back to the site and I would commend it to others with interests in this area.

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My report on turning 60 years old

Img_0018_1 Yesterday, I crossed the dreaded rubicon that many baby boomers are facing this year.  I had my 60th birthday.

For the past year, I would allow myself moments where I felt beguiled by the fact that in 10 years I will be 70, an age when the serious  senior citizen discounts kick-in.

I've tried to give serious thought to how I want to spend the next chapter of my life.  And, part of that effort forced me to take a close look at where I want to concentrate my energies.  I'll talk more about that part later.

But, here's the skinny about turning 60.  It's good.  It's really no different than before.  I don't pee more during the middle of the night.  My right ankle and left knee can hurt, but it has done that for several years.  Nobody has offered to take my arm while going down steps because I look so old.

The rubicon that I crossed was mental and I know it involves how I see myself.

Helping to soften that landing to the next decade were some very special people:


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