Thursday, February 24, 2005

Granholm Breaks Scholarship Promise

Granholm in her latest bit of assault upon the concept of merit scholarships in a quest to find something to cut in the state budget that doesnt harm a Democrat constituency is, in the words of the Detroit News
trying to quietly welsh on a pledge to give an estimated 48,600 middle school students scholarships of up to $500 for college if they passed state achievement tests.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has cut the Michigan Merit Award funding promised to middle schoolers five years ago to save $9 million in her proposed state budget.

Granholm is going back on promises made to students that if they passed the MEAP exams they would receive scholarship money for college. While the $500 scholarship may not pay for all of college, every bit helps, and it would be going to students who put in the effort to pass the MEAp tests in High School, thus helping to reinforce the value of studying hard and learning.

The effect of the breach of the promise, is, in the words of Ellison Franklin, principal at Plymouth's West Middle School
going to be such a negative lesson about government -- that you can't trust government

That lesson may very well be the most valuable lesson the kids will learn in school.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Slaves being imported into Michigan

Apparently this practice didn't end with the Emancipation Proclamation. But, unlike other places where slavery is still practiced, for example in Sudan, Michigan actively prosecutes such activities.

According to the Detroit Free Press article Couple indicted on slavery charges
Two naturalized U.S. citizens from Cameroon who were convicted in 2001 of abusing an African girl they brought to the United States as a domestic helper have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on slavery charges, officials said Tuesday.

Joseph Djoumessi, 47, is serving a 9-15 year sentence in Macomb Correctional Facility for sexually assaulting the girl, and his wife, Evelyn Djoumessi, 40, received a 90-day jail sentence for misdemeanor child abuse. Both face up to 20 years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the three-count indictment handed up by a grand jury this week, officials said.

The couple were charged with conspiracy "to hold a juvenile alien to involuntary servitude," and "did so for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain...."

Some traditions are best left behind in the old country, or as in the case of slavery, abolished worldwide.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Even as it declines, Detroit legislator tries to prevent Detroit being placed into receivership

Even as Detroit slips further in population and into greater budgetary decline, Legislatior from Detroit is trying to prevent any move by the State to put Detroit into receivership.

According to the Detroit Free Press article: Lawmaker plans bill to block a Detroit takeover, Michigan State Senator Clark from Detroit is trying to pass a law to exempt Detroit from the Local Government Responsibility Act and thus making it impossible to subject it to State financial control.

Don't worry Senator -- the Mayor and City Council have ignored any sense of local Government responsibility for a long time now.

Detroit's Declining Denizens

Detroit has now dropped below the 900,000 population mark, for the first time since 1920, according to the Detroit Free Press
According to estimates released Monday by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, the number of Detroit residents dropped below 900,000 for the first time since 1920. The agency's estimate, as of Feb. 1, is 899,387.

That's a drop of 5.5 percent -- or 51,883 people -- since the 2000 U.S. census, which showed the city had dropped below the magic 1 million mark.
A lot of this decline is economic flight and we're aggressively addressing the root of that flight," said Hughey (spokesman for Mayor Kilpatrick). "We will continue to add strategies to grow Detroit neighborhood by neighborhood."

Hmm, people are fleeing due to high taxes, substandard services, corruption and a lousy education system.

Perhaps instead of trying to go for "strategies to grow Detroit neighborhood by neighborhood" its time to decide on strategies to shrink Detroit.

After all a city that used to hold 2 million people at its peak doesn't need all the space it now has. Prrhaps a Detroit Township should be created and some of the abandoned property turned over to it so the area can start anew without the baggage, ruin and inertia associated with the City of Detroit.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Democrats Propose Michigan Law to Outlaw Swiss Army Knives and Multitools

As if Michigan did not already have enough useless and burdensome weapons laws, Representative Reps. Virgil Smith (D) and Murphy (D)have introduced HB 4092, which will ban the sale, manufacture or possession of:
(f) Any sharp-edged, multibladed device, capable of being
carried on the person, with blades that are, or can be, locked into
place for use as a weapon.
Possession or sale of such a knife would be a felony.

Guess what? Under this proposed law, a Swiss army knife or any multitool having more than one sharp blade would be illegal. After all, these have mutltiple blades, and the blades could be "locked into place for use as a weapon".

It is wonderful to see the Michigan Democrats -- State that has tied for the most unemployment and slowest job growth -- playing to their constituency and fiddling with inane laws like these rather than working to help the state grow economically. Indeed, this law would contribute to even more job losses and slowing of economic growth as a whole new class of prohibited items would be created that could not be sold within the state.

Prediction: This proposed bill is DOI (Dead on Introduction) and likely to go nowhere and do nothing but waste the Legislature's time.