Thursday, August 30, 2012

Begging your neighbor for a handout

Dear Editor:

Based on the results from the Orange Township community recreation center survey (itself a $55,000 cost to the taxpayers), 1/6 of the 1,500 households surveyed favored having health club memberships subsidized by their neighbors (the study reports only 46% of the 559 survey respondents favored a rec center).

One of those seeking a handout, former township trustee Mark Robertson, said $96 a year for the bond issue is not too costly to homeowners. Maybe not to him, since he will be getting the benefit. But for those not planning to use the facility (the majority of the township), a $96 transfer from their wallets to Robertson's personal recreation fund is costly indeed.

Of course, Robertson could seek his handout directly by knocking on doors near his home, but such an approach would expose his aim. It is always much cleaner -- more sophisticated -- to have an issue placed on the ballot. That way he, and those also seeking a benefit at the expense of others, can position their gain as some sort of public good.

Sincerely,

Jim Fedako

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A public rescue

Last week we camped at Van Buren State Park in Michigan. The park has sand dunes that reach some 100 - 120 feet above lake level. There are a few rope swings on top of the dunes -- all illegally placed, for certain.

One day, as we sat at the bottom of the dune (I found a Youtube video that shows the dune in question), there was some commotion. Two very large MI DNR employees came racing down the beach in quad runners and proceeded to attempt to ride up the dune, quickly bottoming out as the tires on the overloaded vehicles sank deep into the sand.

I asked what was going on.

One DNR officer replied that a young child had injured her neck after falling from one of the rope swings. Not knowing if the child was one of mine, I raced to the top of the dune. A young girl lay motionless in the shade of a log while other adults kindly tended to her, waiting for professional assistance.

Our two public heroes trudged up the sand, both surrendering less than halfway to the top. They stood bent over, desperately inhaling air, unable to speak coherent directions to the forthcoming EMS guys -- who, by the way, easily raced up the dune, carrying back brace and sled.

Later, I jokingly told my brother-in-law I was going to review the official report. I wanted to make certain the DNR guys did not state they arrived on the scene. In the vicinity, maybe. But certainly not on the scene.

I vaguely remember officers having to pass annual physicals. But that was before public employee unions overthrew the taxpayers.

And they call themselves public safety officers.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can my neocon Christian brother justify their political beliefs?

I would like my neocon Christian bothers to realize the US has suffered (to date) almost as many military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan as were suffered in the Revolutionary War. In promoting the supposed wars, neocon Christians have cheered the spilling of blood, as well as the commissioning of all the other atrocities associated with war.

But for what? For the god of democracy -- the Baal of the Neocon Christians. And for these words (from the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan):


Iraq Constitution:
Article 2
First: Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation:
A. No law may be enacted that contradicts the established provisions of Islam

Article 92
Second: The Federal Supreme Court shall be made up of a number of judges, experts in Islamic jurisprudence, and legal scholars, ...

Afghanistan Constitution:

Article One Afghanistan shall be an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

Article Two The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.

Article Three No law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam in Afghanistan.

When confronted with these words, can neocon Christian still cheer? Is the god of democracy really the savior of souls?