Friday, March 30, 2007

Bully for Nobody by Jack Lessenberry

MetroTimes, 3/28/2007

LiberalLucy posted about this article on the MichiganLiberal blog. I'm posting the entire article here because this is a subject that brings up strong feelings in me. Unfortunately, bullying behavior is so common that parents, teachers and kids often see it as "normal" children's behavior. I hope you agree with me that such behavior should never be tolerated in our society.

Now if the Senate will pass this bill...


Normally I am not in favor of violent behavior, there being far too much of it in today's world. But I think it might be a useful educational experience if some very large human being were to grab a couple Michigan state representatives, namely, John Moolenaar and Jack Hoogendyk, twist their arms painfully behind their back and smash their faces into the harsh stone of the Capitol building.
Then they should be asked, "What kind of fag-ass name is Hog-and-dick, or Mole-on-my-ass?" They should be forced to call themselves by those names for an entire day in the Legislature, and be made to wear wooden Dutch shoes.
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And every legislator who gets up to speak should be encouraged to walk by their desks and twist their ears. That might, just might, produce what we in the education game call a teachable moment, for them and the rest of us.
Hoogendyk and Moolenaar, you see, are bigots who are supporting the agenda of hate fostered by homophobes everywhere. They would deny this, but they would be lying. Currently, there is a badly needed anti-bullying bill before the Michigan Legislature (House Bill 4162) which would, among other things, protect students from bullying "based on a pupil's actual or perceived religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, height, weight, gender identity, socioeconomic status or any other distinguishing characteristic."
Anybody who has ever been bullied unmercifully knows what a terrible experience it can be. I got my share of it; I was younger, smaller and fatter than most of the other kids in my working-class elementary school. Even worse, I was a "brain," and had the athletic ability of a salamander.
Indeed, a new study conducted by Purdue University shows that two-thirds of academically talented eighth-graders say they have been bullied.
Dawn Wolfe, a delightful woman who was also overweight as a child, wrote recently, "I could have been an Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold. Like them, I was bullied — verbally and physically — so much during my school career that, by the middle of seventh grade, I would have happily have taken guns to school if my mother had kept any in the house."
She dropped out in her junior year. Other kids have fared even worse, notably Matt Epling, a 14-year-old from East Lansing who killed himself in 2003 after being bullied. The present bill is, in fact, informally called Matt's Law.
If there is anything more sure to draw the attention of a sadistic bully than good grades or body fat, it is the suspicion that the victim might be gay. "Faggot" is, in fact, the favorite word of bullies everywhere, from low-life Ann Coulter to the second-grader who has no idea what the word means.
Anyone with the IQ of even an average legislator should be able to understand that bullying is not only barbaric and unfair, but also highly destructive to society's interests; it affects productivity and costs the taxpayers money.
But for some so-called "conservatives," the need to hate gays and discriminate against them is greater than anything else, even their sacred tax cuts. That includes Moolenaar and Hoogendyk, who are fighting to remove any language protecting gay students from bullying. One of their butt buddies is a Royal Oak realtor named David Conselyea, whom you should remember to boycott. Recently he wrote a clever but hate-filled e-mail to state Rep. Marie Donigan (D- Royal Oak), pleading with her to support the Dutch Bigot Twins and "remove the language segregating students into special 'protected classes.'"
Conselyea is especially upset at the thought of protecting "homosexual behavior that itself threatens teenagers' health and safety."
No, he would apparently rather have people beaten to death than do anything that might appear to protect in any way, he says again, "homosexual behavior that threatens student health."
Donigan, one of the Legislature's more inspiring inmates, is not, of course, going along with that repulsive agenda. Unlike Conselyea, she is not obsessed unhealthily with other people's sex lives. Nor is she in charge of the vast homosexual secretariat that people like our dimwitted realtor fear is working day and night to recruit today's youth to their sick, twisted and repulsive practices.
Donigan is actually a middle-aged woman, happily married to a man who is head of the Royal Oak school board. She is not only straight, she is not threatened by gay people, a characteristic I share. Speaking for myself, I have honestly never had a gay impulse. Nor have I felt any desire to play cricket, but I am not in the least bit bothered by those who are drawn to funny English baseball or to same-sex relationships.
I am baffled that anyone should care very much about what other people do sexually. And I have to wonder whether some people who feel so threatened are really showing us something about their own psychology.
In any event — any legislator who doesn't support protecting anybody and everybody from being bullied is promoting fascism, pure and simple.
We should be in favor of creating "protected classes" for everybody who needs to be protected, even if that means twerps with funny Dutch names. If you are reading this on Wednesday, it is Safe Schools Lobby Day.
You should call or write your local state rep and state senator and encourage them to support House Bill 4162 — and not allow it to be weakened.
Or someday, that could be your kid being tortured.

"A $1-Billion Fix...Maybe"

Has Andy Dillion joined the republican party or just gone temporarily nuts? I sent the following to Dillon and the Free Press.

"Dear Editor:

Granting Utilities a monopoly in exchange for the authority to be the State’s tax collector, for a fee, is a really bad idea because:

Eliminating competition in the energy supply business is wrong.

Promoting the continued use of a declining supply of fossil fuels is wrong.

Rewarding utilities for failure to upgrade their infrastructure is wrong.

Masking a tax increase with a pass through private hands is deceitful.

Its time the legislature reconsidered the honesty and transparency of the Governor’s original proposal and acted accordingly. More than anything else the people of Michigan need honesty and transparency.

Sincerely,
Chuck Fellows"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When Will They Ever Learn?

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/richard_horton/2007/03/counting_the_cost.html

The above link will take you to a blog on the UK Guardian, one of Britain's most respected newspapers. British scientists confirm , as a Johns Hopkins study stated last year, that over 650,000 Iraqis have died in this barbaric war.

Both the British and U.S. governments have denied the accuracy of the studies, saying that Iraqi deaths are only 65,000, not 650,000. 65,000 seems to be no big deal for warmongers who do not see life as precious, unless, of course, it's their own.

Cheap Tricks by Nolan Finley

http://info.detnews.com/blogs/bloggers.cfm?id=finley

Dear Granholm Friends:

A post in response to the March 27 blog:

Dear Mr. Finley:

The only cheap trick being played on Michigan's citizens are the semantics being used to subvert the truth.

The nasty game of 'win-lose' continues, and our children are starved for knowledge and all the rest starved for hope.

I agree that education is a work in process and continual improvement is necessary, but harping endlessly about 'teacher's' health care costs is part of the problem, not part of a solution.

It used to be "Its the economy, stupid." but now "Its the cost of health care, stupid!"

Teachers don't 'own' the cost; 'health care' does.

Health care is destroying our economy, not teachers or auto workers or civil servants, or other convenient targets of narrow minded media. Get it, health care, something the health care industry must be compelled to address.

Yet you can only see fit to mount personal attacks on the chief executive of the state, the one person that has been doing something about the costs she can affect. While those that designed (not created - purposefully designed) whine about cuts to support their bad decisions made in '94, '99 and '05.


Sincerely,
Chuck Fellows

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dig, Dig, Dig

Sent to local papers:

"Dear Editor:

Senator Bishop and his fellow republicans keep digging and wonder why the hole gets deeper. They don’t understand why Michigan needs more revenue.

In 1994 property taxes were capped. A little later the state restricted local government’s ability to increase taxes. Today a formula exists to reduce voter approved millage rates.

Revenue sharing with local governments started to shrink.

In 1999 Engler and company put in place a plan to reduce income taxes year over year, and they are still going down.

The same crowd vowed to reduce the SBT and eventually abolish it. They succeeded ahead of schedule.

Then the auto industry flushed itself; and the toilet is still running.

Actually republican, and some democratic, legislators are pretty smart. They keep digging because, like their counterparts in DC, they know it takes a deep hole to bury the truth.


Sincerely,
Chuck Fellows"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

8th Congressional District Meeting

The 8th Congressional District will be holding a meeting March 17, 2007 at 10AM at the Livingston County Democratic Party Office.

All MDP members are welcome to attend.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth Live

On Saturday March 10 from 2 – 4 pm there will be a live presentation of An Inconvenient Truth. This program will be given by Kathryn Savoie, Ph.D., one of a few Michigan volunteers who have been specially trained by Al Gore to give this presentation.
The event will take place at the Brighton Education & Community Center, 125 S. Church St., Brighton (the old Scranton Middle School on the corner of Main and Church).
For more information on the program, go to www.theclimateproject.org or call (586) 924-3303 .
Please spread the word!


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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Windsor Casino Trip Cancelled

Sorry you slot machine aficionados. JoAnn Murphy cancelled the trip to the Windsor Casino because of concern that there were not enough participants.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Our New Website: LivCoDemocrats.org!

Our new website is online! Make sure you bookmark http://www.livcodemocrats.org to hear the latest on events, check out our photo gallery, get information on the county party, and follow our links to what's happening in the party, in the county, and beyond!

And don't forget our MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/livcodemocrats