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36 posts from March 2011

In his blog, my son-in-law shares about what makes him tick

What does life today look like for a 30-year-old father of one who's going to be looking at the world soon from Eastern Europe?  This is my son-in-law Adam Jones who has restarted his blog and who's now touching on some pretty relevant stuff for any age-group.  As he and my daughter Krista get ready to move overseas to Bosnia, he opens his heart to the world around him as viewed through his eyes.

I'm excited to listen to his voice through his blog as he scopes out everything from being a husband, a dad, a son and a guy who wants to help make this world a better place to live.  He loves my daughter and my grandson with all his heart and more important he talks about his love from and for Jesus Christ and how he wants to reflect that on a practical, everyday level.

He and I have drained a few coffee urns getting to know each other.  He's a person of substance and he's worth a read.



Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) responds to Japanese earthquake and tsunami

How has the Christian church around the world responded to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami?  I started checking for web-based responses on Friday morning and among the quickest seemed to be the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  Here in Michigan, the president of the Michigan District of the Missouri Synod, Rev. David Maier, started tweeting and asking for prayers for the Japanese people about it on early Friday morning.  He's a church leader who's a veteran on Twitter and uses it to keep his members informed.  And then there was a video from the Rev. Matt Harrison, LCMS president who told about his church body's response to the needs in Japan.


President Harrison encourages prayer and support for Japan from VimeoLCMS on Vimeo.

Michigan's Gov. Rick Snyder is no Bill Milliken


Also, newly elected Gov. Rick Snyder made clear during his campaign he believes Detroit and other large cities in the state must succeed if Michigan is to prosper.


How many of you remember former Michigan Gov. Bill Milliken? He had an impeccable reputation as a leader of a very diverse state who could take warring sides and bring them together to work for a commonly-held vision. He was a leader who had people behind him.

What about the present governor? Rick Snyder was elected after extreme fatigue and dissatisfaction with former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Voters was somebody different.

Snyder ran a campaign where he touted cliches and vague notions of what he would do. He had a collection of townhall meetings. But he was never visible out in the neighborhoods, at their meetings, festivals, going door-to-door. He was never perceived as trying to get to know the common person in our state.

Now in the above quote he's quoted as saying large cities in the state must succeed if Michigan is to prosper. His words ring hollow. There's no consensus among residents because they're not clear about his vision if he has one.

I remember Bill Milliken talking at length with real people. He did this all the time. He listened and he shared and he led.

Rick Snyder seems to continue being a CEO and not a political leader. Will we meet the same fate as his old company Gateway?

Are Michigan's potholes worse than other years?

"You get what you pay for," says Nystrom, who cites a report from the Michigan Township Association ranking Michigan 48th in the nation in per-capita road spending.


It would be easy to think that Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley's whine about potholes on Michigan highways is the result of a lunch with a road builder lobbyist looking for more work for his employers.

Click on the link on the above quote for a story about how little Michigan spends on its highways compared to other states.

Why doesn't the Detroit News do an actual news story where it lays this out?

Are the potholes on state roads worse than past years?

Weather-related whining in Michigan has been popular during my lifetime. It might be related to the extended greyness that goes on and on. Perhaps Finley has been spending too much time inside a grey city or maybe he is right.

Following the earthquake, tsunami aftermath in Sendai, Japan

Then came the water — massive waves that swept some 6 miles (10 kilometers) inland.


Early on a Sunday morning here in mid-Michigan, it's hard to grasp the scope of a natural disaster like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

For a look, read the above story from Jay Alabaster of Associated Press. It shows life after all this in Sendai, a city of one million.

Check the above quote from the story about how far inland the waves came in.

This reminds me of everything experienced in Haiti with their earthquake a little more than a year ago.

What about failure of cooling system at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan?

Like people around the world, we are glued to watching CNN and The Weather Channel for news about the Japanese earthquake and the tsunami hitting Hawaii right now.  But what about this Twitter BBC item about a malfunction in the cooling system of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima Japan?  There's nothing on our television.  This is pretty serious.  Right?


Today: MI Tea Party, Tiger's Cabrera, LCMS, Healthcare, Colson on DOMA, etc.

During the day I read a lot of stuff on the web that gets my attention and that I feel is worth sharing.  It's presumptious to think that readers would take the time to plow through a post to get to the link.  I will add short items with links throughout the day. 

(Thanks to Glenn Reynolds of for modelling this post format)

WHERE'S MICHIGAN'S TEA PARTIERS? --They must be doing winter in Florida or Arizona where there's sun and warm weather.  You'd think they'd be screaming and demonstrating as Republican legislators pass a bill to give emergency financial managers historic power to take over school districts and cities.  Check this Detroit News story.

SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR MIGUEL CABRERA? --Think about all the poor schlubs in Michigan and elsewhere who've drove drunk and got caught.  Most spend some time in jail, pay huge fines and costs and many get their driver's license taken away.  What about Miguel Cabrera, 26-year-old star player for the Detroit Tigers?  Read this story from today's Detroit Free Press about his activities the night he was arrested.  Does he deserve special treatment?

WHAT ABOUT MISSOURI SYNOD LUTHERANS AND THE WORLD AROUND THEM?--The new president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Matt Harrison, seems to have an upbeat view about the role of his members in the world today given all the cultural changes.  He points to the ELCA and their loosening views on sexuality.

IS THIS THE ANSWER TO HEALTHCARE REFORM CHANGES?  The Healthcare Compact as described in this National Review Online column pushes some new thinking into changes to the new federal healthcare law, also known as Obamacare.

CHUCK COLSON ON OBAMA AND DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE:  This is controversial and is deserving of more discussion in the church than it's getting, according to Colson.  Click here for more information.



Should "King's Cross" by Tim Keller be added to my should read list?

Jesus Just saw interview on Morning Joe with author Tim Keller about his new book "King's Cross."  It's about the life of Jesus.  Keller says that even though religion and church might be falling in public esteem, Jesus is more popular than ever.  Has anybody read this?  Worth a read?

Jesus, he says, still rocks the world and is more popular than ever.  There's lots of interest in who he was, is and what he did.

Keller says he tries to let the story of Jesus Christ speak for itself without commentary.


Here's the MSNBC Morning Joe interview with Pastor Tim Keller about the book:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Why is the Chevy Volt failing with the car buying public?

I've been watching and learning about the Chevy Volt and waiting for someone I know here in mid-Michigan to get one so I could see it up close.  I will be waiting a while to see one on our local roads.

The AutoBlogGreen reports that General Motors sold only 281 of the cars in February for the whole country.  Not too impressive. What do these stats mean?  It has to be more than cost that's keeping consumers from buying them.



Would a Newt Gingrich candidacy for president be good for Michigan?

Newt Okay, why should anybody in Michigan be interested in Newt Gingrich's exploratory committee for a possible run for president?  The committee was announced today with a special website asking for reaction.

Separate out all the side issues that come with Gingrich like his role in the last federal government shutdown and his problems with women. 

Concentrate on a speech he gave last year to a Republican conference on Mackinac Island.  He outlined a path for Michigan and for Detroit to restart the state's economy.  It involved getting all interests coming to the table to re-vision plans for the future.

At the conference he said: 

Make Detroit a total tax-free zone, eliminating all federal, state and local taxes. "Detroit went from being No. 1 in per-capita income among big cities to 62nd today. No other city has gone from such a high peak to such a steep decline. You have to have a very bold plan to turn that around. ... You'd be better off incentivizing private business to create jobs and investment than shoveling more money down through the bureaucracy."

What do you think?  Is he worth a look for president by voters?

Michigan voters say no to Gov. Snyder proposal to cut state school aid

Voters narrowly support — 51% to 43% — Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to cut state aid to universities by 15%, but they sharply disagree — 62% to 32% — with his plan to reduce state aid to public K-12 school districts by 4.1 percent.


A new poll shows that Michigan voters overwhelmingly disagree with Gov. Snyder's proposal to cut state aid to public schools by 4.1 percent.

They say-62% to 32%-that they disagree with the state's new governor.

Snyder is not shaken by polls and says local school districts can make up the loss by reducing fringe benefits for employees.

Will the Michigan Legislature roll over and play dead for Gov. Rick Snyder?

Gov. Rick Snyder is confident his budget proposal — including a tax on pensions — will be enacted, despite growing opposition from his own party, he said in an interview Wednesday with the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declared what he wants the State Legislature to do and he expects them to get it done in the next two weeks.

Is it healthy for our state and its future for the State House and Senate to roll over and play dead and blindly give the governor whatever he wants?

Click on the above link and read what he expects.

Keep in mind that the legislature was designed to be a speed bump for politicians who fail to touch base with the people they represent. State lawmakers are supposed to keep their ears directed towards their constituents and what they want.

As a former CEO for Gateway Computer, the governor seems to still be in the habit of dictating what he wants and expecting that it will be carried out.

I wonder how that's going to work out for him and for us.