OLD PHOTO: Posing with Gov. Engler at bill signing to raise speed limit to 70 mph


Raising the speed limit to 70 mph more than two decades ago started as a whim with Sen. Doug Carl who I worked for at the time.  He drove back and forth to his legislative district everyday in Macomb County on the northeast side of Detroit.

During Senate sessions when I sat with him on the floor, he would grumble about the speed limit and how hypocritical it was, especially around Detroit because nobody observed it.  That resulted in him introducing a bill to raise it.

One memory of this time stands out.  His supporters to raise the speed limit organized an event where they would drive the speed limit on one of the Detroit areas busiest expressways.  With a long string of cars observing the letter of the law and with Detroit television crews following traffic on the freeway was slowed to a crawl.  The point was made.  The bill passed and was signed by Gov. Engler.

LINK: Chew on this story about whether business people can be successful at running government

LINK:  Click here for a New York Times story about what President-elect Trumps Cabinet appointees can use their business skills to make our federal government run more efficiently.  This is worth a read and worth discussion.



Trump maintained that good government is about being able to make deals with involved parties in issues.  It's that simple, he says.  And he picked people for his Cabinet who are big business leaders.  Do their skills transfer to the governmental process?  

This article shows the stark differences between running a business and leading a government.  

Do you agree with the observations in this story?

LINKS: The "who, what, when, where, why, how and so what" of a fake news site about Hillary Clinton

President-elect Trump
President-elect Trump reacting to his election.

LINK: Click here for New York Times story that provides a case study about one millennial who developed a website where he wrote a story about how pre-marked ballots for Hillary Clinton were found before the election.  The name of the online publication was the Christian Times.

This story provides the "who, what, when, where, how and why" of this fake news site.  It also is a vivid example of how journalism has changed with the sharp decline in newspapers and the ascendancy of the web as a source of news.

It presents the challenge for the average news consumer of how to judge what is truth and what is a lie.  This story shows how easy it is to fabricate a news story that affects major decisions and attitudes in our democracy.

What are your thoughts?  Have you been caught by a fake news site?  Are these stories really fake?  How can you tell what is fake and what is truth?

Hillary Clinton will win the election and Christians need to start praying for her


Me and my virtual reality viewer
Hillary Clinton will win and that's reality and it's not virtual

 My 32-year-old son--Justin Thorp--and I talk at least three or four times a week, either using text messaging or on the phone.  It might be just a couple of minutes, but we cover a standard set of topics, like family, his kids, developments in the tech world, autonomous vehicles and politics.

Yes, we have talked about the upcoming presidential election.  I rely on him to question my thinking and I think he does the same with me.  

And we both agree that the polls are conclusive.  Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.  It's not something that would get either of us to run out our front doors and dance through the streets.  But there's the reality that she will be elected.

There's another reality about the country being fractured into warring groups of voters.  Christians are fighting among themselves about who would make the best president.  Many are cheesed off at each other to the point where they are not talking.  It's brother versus brother in many instances.

In our various conversations over the past two weeks, Justin and I have talked about the need for reconciliation between warring factions.  That includes those who want to projectile vomit when they hear Clinton's name.

While others are talking about why Michigan State University has had such a hideous start with their football team, we both believe that the Holy Spirit needs to grab hold of everybody, including Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, James Dobson and everybody else.  We both believe that God through the Holy Spirit needs to make us listen to Him.

Is God bigger than Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Supreme Court?  Is there any answer other than yes?

Does God love Trump more than Clinton?

I think not.  Anybody disagree?

Like Casey Neistat, it's not a matter of being for Hillary Clinton, it's being against Donald J. Trump


This YouTuber, Casey Neistat, has a clear view about our two presidential candidates.  The choice is clear to him.  

Listen to what he has to say about Donald Trump and how his election would affect our country.  He says one candidate is prepared for the job and the other isn't.  He says it's a matter of character.  One candidate would take our country to new lows on the measure of personal integrity.

The video is less than three minutes.  But reduces his view to a point that's easy to grasp.

Who is he?  Casey is one of the top 10 YouTubers in the country.  He's popular with Millennials and Gen Xers.  Millions watch his vlog everyday.

LINK: Get a copy of the 2016 Republican and Democratic National platforms


Republican and Democratic national platforms
Get your own copies of the platforms for the Republican and Democratic National Committees

 There's plenty of chatter about the platforms for the national Republican and Democratic parties.  

Many point to these platforms as evidence for their arguments for or against a candidate or political party.  This is particularly the case for those who are for and against Donald Trump who point to the conservative platform as evidence of his credentials.

Democrats use the platform that they are still in the vanguard of progressive thought and leadership.

Both documents are available from Amazon.  Click here for the Republican platform and here for the Democratic platform.

Are Christians selling out their faith in Jesus Christ with their support for Donald Trump?

Read today's ODB devotion.
Is God still in control if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency ?

It's hard to have a conversation in Michigan without some kind of chatter about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  People are taking up sides and it's getting nasty.

My home town, Bay City which is the gateway to the north seems to have become a hotbed of vocal Trump supporters as are many other places in the state.  Many of these are people brought up in church and who profess a strong belief in God.  They see Hillary as either a female version of the anti-Christ or the anti-Christ herself.  

These Republican friends point to the U.S. Supreme Court and how if she won, she'd appoint justices who are antithetical to everything we as Americans value.  Then they point to Trump who they say would appoint justices who have the good values.  

From what I've seen there are big negatives to both candidates.  But does Trump really share the values of evangelical Christians?  Look at how he has comported himself during the campaign.  He has ridiculed and mocked people, the disabled, women and those who disagree with him.

He has built his personal life and his professional life on taking advantage of people and thinking of only himself.  There's a body of evidence showing his deceptions.

In conversations, many of my Republican friends will retort that they could never stomach Hillary Clinton.  They point to the question marks in her character.  Okay.

What if you vote for neither and write in somebody's name, like Jack Bauer?

Are Christians making an idol out of holding power in the national government and selling out their faith in Jesus and his power and his desires for us?  Are they trying to short circuit the process like Abram in the Bible where God promised in Genesis 15 that he'd be the father of many nations.  When the promise was made, he was elderly.  So his wife told him to have a kid with her servant.  How did God react to that?

Are we doing the same thing?

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson can't name one foreign leader


Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor, is the Libertarian candidate for president this year.  Many who say they can't vote for Clinton or Trump are looking to Johnson as a viable alternative.  They look to another former governor of that state Bill Richardson who became the U.S. Ambassador at the United Nations.

Is Johnson cut from the same cloth? Listen to this exchange on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.  Johnson couldn't name one world leader.  I'm not making this up.  

Libertarians have cheapened their brand with Johnson as a candidate.

How many world leaders can you name?  I bet most can name one or two.

Hillary Clinton kicked Donald Trumps butt during the first debate last night


Donald and Hillary
This was what we saw on our tv screen

 I was impressed by Hillary Clinton during last night's debate.  There I said it.  By any measure, she seemed to be more impressive.  Look at her knowledge of the issues.  Her experience.  Her ability to communicate.  Her ability to not let Trump bait her on sensitive questions.  Compared to Donald Trump, she seemed presidential and he seemed more like an alderman in a tumultuous city.

He added to my understanding of the verb "bloviate."  Arrogance is seldom fun to watch.  It might work with Babe Ruth pointing to the field where he was going to hit a homer, but not in politics.  

His lack of knowledge about policy is disappointing.  His lack of compassion on the race issue is hard to comprehend.  He showed no understanding of why there's turmoil on this issue.

Demeanor is another measure.  He came across as the king of prison yard bullies.  Cross him and he will make you hurt.

What about her?  Given the choice between the two, she was much more impressive.  Would I vote for her?  It's something I have to consider, I think.

Did I stay awake during the whole debate?  I did.  But the person sitting on the opposite end of the couch from me didn't.  Perhaps, she was checking her eyelids for holes.

Franklin Graham comes short of filling his dad's--Billy Graham--very big shoes

I grew up watching Billy Graham.  When I was a kid and one of his Crusades came on in the evening everything would stop.  My mom and I would both watch it.

He had her respect and he had mine along with most of the world and its leaders.

What about his son Franklin Graham who has apparently said that Donald Trump is a better choice than Mrs. Clinton?  Hmm . . .

He needs to get away and take sometime alone with God and reexamine his think.

Any reaction?


My voting for Trump would be an insult to my mother, my wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters

Unless there's a political tsunami, Donald Trump will be the nominee for president for the Republican Party.  Lots of Republicans are jumping on board the Trump train for the sake of party unity.  They point to his perceived business acumen and verbal boldness.  This includes many who describe themselves as Bible-believing Christians.  They say that Jesus Christ is the center of their life and their purpose for living.

Now overlay Trump on top of the Bible and what it says about how God wants you to treat women. Read today's story in the New York Times about how the presumptive nominee treats women in his daily life.  His regard for women seems to be straight out of the Satan's playbook.

The in-depth story shows a man who looks to women as playthings to be graded by how well they look.  Would I want that to be the criteria by which the women in my life are judged.  Answer:  No. 


The source of our problems in the United States is the devil, according to old newscaster Paul Harvey in 1965

If you're an older baby-boomer, more than likely you remember Paul Harvey who brought the news on radio everyday.  Growing up in Bay City, I grew up listening to his reporting.  As the years passed, he added his observations.

Check this newscast from 1965 where he talks about if he was the devil and how that would affect the choices he would make for turning this country upside down.

What about it? Is the problem the politicians or is it the devil?  How do you deal with getting rid of the devil?  That's not a mystery, is it?

LINK: Gov. Rick Snyder says his staff lied to him about the Flint water crisis


Keep in mind that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was the top executive of the old Gateway Computer company.  When he first ran, he billed himself as knowing how to run a big organization like the state of Michigan.

Then along came the Flint water crisis where he's accused of killing children and poisoning the city of Flint.

Today, he said his staff lied to him about what was happening in Flint.  In the Detroit Free Press, he talks about how he was misled by his executive staff.  This is worth a read.  Without getting all partisan, what should we learn from this?

LINK: Detroit Free Press story about Snyder saying his staff lied to him about Flint.  


Could U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin end up being the compromise candidate for president on the Republican ticket?


U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Looking for an alternative to the politics of insult? Read this piece about Paul Ryan.

I first started getting excited about presidential elections when I was in my early teens.  Before I could vote, I was not afraid to look at the candidates and get involved.  My involvement has trickled down to nothing this year.  And it's because of how the politics of insult has replaced the politics of ideas.  

In today's discussions, the key word seems to be the street version of anal spinchter.  That might cut it in the locker room, but not in real life.  So, I got more excited about the new iPhone than the candidates running for president.  

This morning I read this New York Times piece about U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and how he's working to bring real ideas back into today's political discussions.  He's working quietly to develop real answers to today's issues, rather than promises to just get rid of something like Obamacare.  He also talks about the politics of ideas versus that of insult.

Is this guy the real deal?  Might he break out as a compromise candidate at the Republican Convention in Cleveland this summer?  I don't know.  But, I will be watching.

I'd vote for Clare Danes of Homeland for president before I'd vote for Trump, Rubio or Cruz


Clare Danes
She's a better actor than Trump, Rubio or Cruz


I watched a good chunk of last night's Republican debate in Houston and left with a queasy stomach, kind of like you do after eating four pieces of deep dish pizza with bacon and lots of cheese. I felt sick.  CNN even catalogued the insults.  It was too pathetic to make even Saturday Night Live.

It was like watching a township board or city council meeting run amok.  It was insult after insult between Rubio, Cruz and Trump.  In heaven, Ronald Reagan must be gagging with disdain for their performance.

Right now, I'm not sure who I would vote for on either side.  I'd vote for Clare Danes, the main character of the Showtime series about a CIA operative who struggles and is transparent.  She's bi-polar and is transparent about it.  She's smart, but she makes mistakes.  But she learns from them.  

These candidates, I know, are a reflection of the voters.  We need to be more demanding of right behavior and right thinking.  

I think we are in trouble.  Anybody disagree?

What would Barry Goldwater say about how politics is practiced in the United States in 2015?

Barry Goldwater in Bay City, Michigan.
This picture in Life magazine shows Goldwater in Bay City at a campaign stop. I'm in the back row.

I can't believe that we watched the whole Republican presidential debate this past Tuesday.  But we did.  It reminded me of the glory days of professional wrestling that would come to our town where you would see guys like Leaping Larry Chene and others make lots of noise and shake their fingers at each other.

The debate was disappointing.  These guys and one woman want to govern our country.  And all they can do is trash talk each other.  I found it impossible to pick through the bile filled words to discern the real values of any of them.  It seemed like they changed whenever convenient depending on the audience.

That wasn't the case with another presidential candidate who came to my hometown  when I was a freshman in college.  Barry Goldwater made a whistle stop to make a case for his candidacy in 1964.  I still remember it.  You could disagree with him, but he was clear and he was consistent.

He wouldn't twist his words just to get your vote.  I really respected that.  I still do, but I don't see it much anymore.

Do you like politicians who tell you what they think you want to hear or do you prefer those who are honest about what they feel based on their values?

Last night's GOP debate made me think of the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960


Jeb Bush during last night's debate.
We watched the GOP debates last night.


We watched the whole GOP presidential debate last night on CNN.  We weren't glued to our television, but we got the gist of all the comments from the candidates.  Nothing was said that got us excited nor did we produce any extra bile from any of the feigned anger and sharp exchanges.  Best part was probably the thimble full of Baileys that we had during the whole thing.

But, it did remind me of the first presidential debate that I watched between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960 when I was a freshman in high school.  

With two buddies, John Hebert and Bill Young, we watched from the small apartment that my mother and I lived in on Marquette Street in Bay City.  The television set was black and white and it was portable.  

It was a historic moment.  That was the first time such a debate was done on live television.  Bay City was a blue collar town that had a strong identification with labor unions.  

But, there were lots of doubts about Kennedy.  It had a high proportion of Lutherans and Catholics with the Lutherans kind of wondering if the Pope might move into the White House.  Really, that was the talk among many.  During that time there was a social gap between the two groups.  The town stopped the night of the debate.  People watched and they talked about it.

That debate cinched it for Kennedy.  The contrast between he and Nixon was stark.  It was an easy choice for my neighbors.  

We didn't have the same reaction last night.  None of them on either side are moving me.  

I was at the University of Michigan stadium when President Lyndon Johnson announced the Great Society in 1964


Ticket stub from President Lyndon Johnson event in Ann Arbor.
We took a school bus from Bay City, Michigan to Ann Arbor to hear President Lyndon Johnson announce the Great Society.


How many of you remember President Lyndon Johnson who took over the top office when President Kennedy was assassinated?

He was a bigger than life figure in national politics who gained notoriety when he was a United States Senator from Texas because he was able to amass power and use it to accomplish his goals.  He was also the father of the Great Society which was supposed to end poverty and inequality in this country.

A month before I graduated from high school in 1964, he came to the University of Michigan stadium to announce his vision for a better life for those who were poor and without power.

My high school--T.L. Handy in Bay City about a hundred miles north of Ann Arbor--got tickets for the event and took students to it in buses.  I went and I saved the ticket stub.  

In the same year, I met U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater who was campaigning in our area from the back of a train caboose.  I was in the background of a picture published in Life magazine.