Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Egg Pride Sunday April 24, 2011

Heartside Pride Cleansweep Rock at Aquinas College

Those wacky Catholics, with their springtime tradition of roaming the woods and painting big rocks to look like Easter eggs... and this morning, I'm trying to remember the part in the Bible where Jesus dropped marshmallows from a helicopter. Maybe they have revised it again...

Ah, but I'm such a heathen, and cannot comprehend the deep meaning of such things. Most of the time I'm very grateful for that. On with the news, three bullet points that tie-in to the EFM law and the controversy surrounding it...

  • Speaking of really big intrusive government, Peter Luke looks at budget issues and local control today, comes to the same conclusion that I did, and also hits on the same thing that Rachel Maddow has been trumpeting: These Republicans loves them some big government when it comes to implementing their fiscal and social agenda. And it's not sitting well with the true believers on the small government side of the aisle.

    All of this may not match the pledge of limited government a lot Republicans ran on, but if you’re now running the government, why limit yourself?

    They certainly didn’t with emergency financial manager legislation that a new non-partisan study makes clear does allow for the ripping up of collective bargaining contracts, the neutering of local elected officials and, with approval of the governor, the wholesale dismantling or merger of communities.

    The point is to make the prospect of an emergency financial manager so frightening elected officials and labor unions will be forced to agree to a balanced budget solution. And if they refuse or can’t, then the state has an obligation to step in. It’s not a new concept, as the takeover law has been in place for decades. This one is just more tough. And more likely to face legal challenge.

    More rural Republican lawmakers who don’t represent cities or schools under takeover threat -- yet -- are starting to raise questions as to how far Lansing should go.

    In other words, karma's a bitch - and the Pastor Martin Niemöller quote is appropriate as a warning for the expanded powers of this new law. Here is a link to the study from the Citizens Research Council that Luke mentions above, give it a read.

  • Julie Mack at the K-zoo Gazette brings some more perspective to the Benton Harbor story in this thoughtful column, and as some people have been trying to point out, it's a lot more complicated than a cable news show can take the time to tell you. I'd love to see Maddow do a whole hour on the story and include more of the timeline and details surrounding how this came to be in the first place. There are some very good questions being raised about cities in financial crisis - regardless of what caused it. Bottom line: Someone needs to take a stand on the EFM law. Maddow is on the right track, but she's highlighting the wrong things about Benton Harbor. We need an example where Snyder's budget actions are the direct and sole cause of a takeover or negated union contract or loss of property - and then send in the lawyers.

    This next point may be a better place to take a stand, for Snyder's budget cuts to the schools can certainly be used for this case, even if the problem started well before...

  • The real difficult fight is going to be in Detroit over the schools, and tomorrow the teachers, parents and and kids facing closure will make their case to DPS Emergency Manager Robert Bobb to save their local buildings. The DNews has a slew of stories on that issue today, follow the link if you are inclined.

    Closing the Catherine Ferguson Academy for pregnant girls is THE heart-wrenching story in Detroit, and the portrait of how such drastic measures are going to hurt the people who have found great solutions to the issues facing kids - and this one I will tip my hat to Rachel Maddow for highlighting. Watch this must see video:

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

    CFA is a monster success story - and now it's going away. And that's wrong. Just wrong. Look, losing part of a park is one thing, losing the positive pathway for a human life? That is something else entirely. While both are important issues that tie into the really big issue, I sure wish this had been the story that received the attention first.

    Stay tuned folks, this is far from over.

    Happy Easter to you all. May you find peace in the power of love, forgiveness and rebirth that surrounds this day.