I’m often baffled by anyone who want to be friends with me–particularly about lefty agenda items that can’t be shaken out of my brain through a meme or “But Hillary did worse!” argument.
Maybe they are on an evangelical Karl Rove mission to let me see my folly–or perhaps they’re just fans of NASCAR crashes and fifth grade choir concerts. It’s like me saying, “You say you sell Amway? Let’s hear all about it!”
I think the Zuckerbergians in the bowels of Facebook should develop a litmus-test for friends, replacing the holistic score we give folks as we look over our friends “in common” before we let them in our virtual lives of cats, knee injuries and occasional political viewpoints.
No one likes unpleasant surprises, such as finding out your house-closing that your new neighbor can’t … Read More… →
When a tragic event happens, we’ve changed from a nation of mourners to a nation of soldiers in foxholes. We’re stunned by the first noise then dive for cover and peek above the rim and fire away, perhaps taking aim. Hurry! Which hole will be yours–the gorilla’s, the parent’s or the zookeeper’s?
Gorillas don’t kill people, the zoo does! Do the same people in favor of shooting the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla support banning AR-15s? After all, neither is by default a man-killer, but, in the wrong circumstances they can be as deadly as a seven year-old driving your minivan. If you’re in favor of keeping zoo patrons … Read More… →
One of the longer hours you can put a teacher through isn’t monitoring lunch or that final 60 minutes before spring conferences are over–it’s at an in-service, the mandatory training that the state, city, superintendent or your principal inflicts upon educators. Topics can range from the terrors of airborne pathogens to the correct way to open your laptop. Michigan teachers are required to attend 30 such hours by law and most fall under the same sad irony found in the half-day seminar on the twenty-minute attention span.
But somehow, in 1991, I found myself at a training that stays with me to this day. Its metaphor was the playpen. Al Dicken, who would later become my administrator when I changed school districts, was the trainer at … Read More… →
Following the intense rain within a single four-hour period in August, 2014, thousands of metro Detroiters found their basements flooded with sewage and little to no assistance from their insurers “flood” coverage.
Attorney, Judy Herman, discusses her 27 year career dealing with insurance companies and offers some advice for consumers and ethical guidelines both companies and customers would be wise to follow.
This weekend, we’re celebrating the end of summer–the bookend to Memorial Day and a great Monday to have off. Labor Day was created to supposedly honor the American worker but was passed in record time in 1887 by a Congress and president with a guilty-conscience.
It began with a broken promise–probably one that shouldn’t have been made. But it was made–and believed to be made for all the right reasons on one side and the more logical reason on the other side–the reason of profit.
George Pullman, like any great American businessman, found his niche. He grew up near the Erie Canal and witnessed the importance of creating luxury transportation and adapted it to the newborn railroad system.
After transporting Lincoln’s body through 180 cities and seven states demand for Pullman’s cars grew, … Read More… →
“My planes, My guns. My money, My soldiers, My blood is on my hands…It’s all my fault.”
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts, X.
“It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man.” William Munny (Unforgiven)
As a frequent critic of the death penalty, I get one question regularly when I’m asked to explain my position, and it’s a question I wrestle with myself: what about the victim? I read it again yesterday when I posted on Facebook my outrage at the “botched execution” (already a cliché) of Joseph Wood two days ago. I pointed out that Wood took two hours to die, and that he was reportedly “gasping … Read More… →
At first, term limits made sense. At first, letting the giant wooden horse into the gates of Troy made sense, too. For many, the possibility of voting for a Democrat who was a Republican nine months ago makes less sense.
“We’ve always had term limits; they’re called elections,” joked retiring US Republican Congressman, William S. Broomfield in 1996 to me when he was being inducted into the Royal Oak Dondero High School Hall of Fame. Michigan had just voted to only allow its state elected officials a few terms under the design that it would eliminate “career politicians.”
Instead we have legislative musical chairs with no one staying in one job long enough to make any decisions that have any impact beyond six years. Like … Read More… →
What does it take to drive someone away from his own party? Ronald Reagan, after all, left the Democrats in 1962 after being a successful union leader for years.
Ryan Fishman decided last September to run for his term-limited Michigan state senate district after a series of his op-ed articles convinced others to convince Ryan that he should leave the GOP and take a shot at a traditionally right-leaning district.
Ryan and Kevin discuss:
– Difficulties (or not, really) in switching parties
– Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats
– The bad business logic of Right to Work, removing unions and poor short-sighted infrastructures
Ladies and gentlemen, have I got a story for you. Please, take your seats and listen closely. It’s a story about the fall of the mighty and about personal tragedy. It’s a story that involves one of the most powerful men in the world. It features princes and sexual dalliances. It’s a story that speaks to our paranoia and justifies it, like the Snowden revelations and the US government’s wire-tapping program. And most important, ladies and gentlemen, it has murder. It has desperate parents and missing children. A mighty corporation, 168 years in existence, crumbles at our feet. This story has been out there … Read More… →
In the days after yet another school shooting, this time in Portland, let’s take a moment and reflect on how our attitude towards gun control and ownership has evolved in the past few years.
The Sandy Hook tragedy took place on December 14, 2012, about a year and a half ago. Columbine was on April 20, 1999: 15 years ago. The Aurora movie theatre shootings, in which killed 12 people were shot and killed at the opening of the movie Dark Knight Rises, happened on July 20, 2012, almost two years ago. A friend of mine recently told me she was nervous … Read More… →
The plan was simple. Just convince under a hundred people that Detroit was once again the bogeyman, just like in Robocop.
Yesterday in Tennessee, in a narrow vote swung by just 6%, the United Auto Workers’ efforts to unionize the Chattanooga Volkswagen workers fell short, 712-626. The “yes” votes began to fade away in the final two weeks due to a barrage of billboards like the following…
Ironically, as seen in the above typoed billboard, there was not only the threat of liberals and Obama, it also mentions the dirty “politicans” who abandon their oaths of office to all their citizens and instead conduct business for the sake of their campaign benefactors.
But it’s okay if those non-liberal representatives choose to have “Big Government” step … Read More… →
Today is my wife’s birthday and, like a true Facebook lurker, I can’t help but drift into her page and see the many greetings coming from all walks of her life. Patrice is one of those rare people whose default setting is funny, matter-of-fact, wise, generous, caring and, somehow, so modest she thinks she isn’t really any of these. Small wonder that she’s had the same girls in her scout troop for over ten years. Reading the posts of all the lives she’s touched, I’ve am impressed by how many agree with her wise husband.
Facebook has made it incredibly easy for me to be considerate. It sends me nudges about my friends’ birthdays and has moved their big days to the top-right of my … Read More… →
An American buying a Lotto ticket seems a bit redundant. After all, in the millions of years of evolution (or few thousand years–depending on which Texas schoolbook you’ve got approved) what are the odds that you’ll be born in a century with indoor plumbing, electricity and fabric softener?
Then factor in that you’ll most likely not be born somewhere between the Atlantic and Pacific, north of the Rio Grande. Instead you’ll land where 50% of the world is born–a place where you survive on $2.50 per day or less–or nearly three scratch-and-wins. (source)
So as you tsk-tsk high gas prices and the lawn-service guy who’s ripping you off (causing you to get so upset you nearly spill that $4 mocha) remember the cost of … Read More… →
Last night’s vain countdown to midnight with no expectations for our leaders to avoid a government shutdown seems to be creating a sense of normalcy with these panics–making the bank-scare of George Bailey’s savings and loan look like over-reaction. We’re pretty used to these games of chicken, unfortunately.
There’s the old joke asking where a gorilla sleeps. The punchline of “Anywhere it wants” always made me chuckle. It creates a visual of a Warner Brothers gorilla bending his cage … Read More… →
The first time I saw the Abilify ad, I thought Saturday Night Live’s monologue had just finished. There was no way it was serious…
I am fortunate not to suffer from the crippling effects of depression, but when I saw this cartoon, I felt insulted for the millions who do. It’s tough enough to have to admit that you’re at the mercy of this syndrome but to have a pharmaceutical company display its complexities with an animated bathrobe, like a possessed Linus’s blanket, is wrong.
Not only does it perpetuate the “loafer/just get out of the house” stereotype of depressed people remaining in … Read More… →
If you follow my blog you know that I rarely comment on current events and mostly am guilty of reminiscent wool gathering. I have also stated that I am not content just writing about the timeline of our marriage.
But, what is going on in Russia needs to be addressed now and regularly until the Winter Games and beyond. The persecution of LGBT people in Russia is horrifyingly similar to the gradual evolution of the Jewish holocaust led by Vladimir Putin an ex-KGB thug. He knows what he is doing. Find a … Read More… →
Let me show you what is probably the only defining baseball moment for Detroiters—surely my generation of Detroiters—to come out of the mid to late 90’s:
If you can look past the fact that Frank Beckmann was a part of this, it’s a pretty incredible moment. The scene is the last game ever to be played at historically legendary Tiger Stadium. One of the only bright spots in a dismal baseball future, Robert Fick, steps up to the plate with the bases loaded. With one swing of the bat, Fick immortalizes himself in baseball history, hitting a grand slam off of the roof—the ultimate send off to every Michigander’s favorite sports venue. He’s wearing Norm Cash’s number, and Frank reminds us that … Read More… →