Cynical Synapse

Mon, 25 Oct 2010

WOA Says Woah! to Charitable Gesture

Filed under: Behavior, Civil liberties, Helping others, Paradoxes, Politics, Society, Sports — cynicalsynapse @ 6:54 am

Football refs with pink whistles

Pacific Northwest Football Officials Association (PNFOA) referees used pink whistles and donated their checks for last Thursday’s game to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The 140 referees all agreed to raise breast cancer awareness and donate their pay for the game to breast cancer research. In an era of few suitable role models, the officials’ public statement and act of charity seems noble.

Not so fast. It seems the pink whistles violate Washington Officials Association (WOA) rules. The WOA provides oversight and direction for officiating in all interscholastic sports. According to WOA’s chairman, Todd Stordahl:

Todd Stordahl

They chose not to ask for permission, not to go the right route. It sends the wrong message to kids that are playing the game. ‘If they broke the rules why can’t I do the same.’

Instead of accolades for their civic mindedness, WOA is considering punishing the referees for being out of uniform. They could be suspended for two playoff games, depriving them of officiating at the premier events of their sport. The officials would also not be paid for those games. In that case, their donation of Thursday’s game check became three times as costly. High school referees don’t do it for the money, but that’s a pretty high price for demonstrating to kids they should be part of something bigger than themselves.

early poll results

According to a poll by TV station KING, 94% support the referees and only 4% think the WOA is in the right. The remaining 1% couldn’t make up their minds. It’s such a complicated issue, afterall.

Public opinion can influence decisions. It seems Stordahl is sorry he came out so strongly against the referees. Apparently, a decision on disciplinary action now won’t be made until after the season. Stordahl said it’s all about following the chain-of-command.

WOA deeply regrets that there’s any perception that we don’t support any breast cancer programs. As someone who follows sports, that’s all that we have are rules, regulations and interpretations.


Fri, 15 Oct 2010

Probate Candidate Ryan’s Questionable Standards

Filed under: Deceit, Justice, Legal, Paradoxes, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 3:41 pm

Elect Kathleen Ryan and highway sign

Republican Kathleen Ryan is a candidate for Probate Judge in Oakland County, Michigan. The seat she’s running for handles probate, guardianships, mental illness, and family law cases. This responsibility requries someone with experience and the highest moral and ethical standards.

At left is one of Ryan’s campaign signs alongside I-96 eastbound near mile 160. Since it’s in front of the Wixom city limit sign, Ryan’s campaign sign is clearly on public property and the highway’s right-of-way. Giving the candidate the benefit of the doubt, I emailed her campaign to advise them of my concern and request removal of the sign. I became real annoyed by political signs littering the sides of highways last gubernatorial campaign when Republican candidate Dick DeVos’s signs popped up all over state highways like an epidemic of weeds. Here’s the response judicial candidate Ryan sent me:

Thank you for your email voicing your concern. Please be advised that the sign that you refer to is on priovate property where my campaign received specific permission from the property owner.

Despite that reply, does anyone see any irony in the fact the sign disappeared not long after? In any case, Kathleen Ryan survived the primary election. She faces Dana Margaret Hathaway in the general election on 02 November.

Elect Kathleen Ryan near I-96 roadway

Imagine my surprise earlier this week on my homeward commute. A few weeks before the general election, here’s one of Ryan’s campaign signs between the roadway and the fence separating public and private property along I-96. In fact, it’s got to be within about 100 feet of where the one before the primary was. You can clearly see the Detroit Public Television building in both pictures. Naturally, I emailed Ryan’s campaign. No response yet, but it’s only been a day.

Ryan attended Catholic elementary and high schools, obtained her bachelor’s at Notre Dame, and her Juris Doctorate from University of Detroit-Mercy. She lives in Bloomfield Township where the median family income was $144,043 in 2007. Compared to Oakland County’s 2009 median household income of $62,308, Ryan concerns me as being woefully out-of-touch with average citizens who will come before her bench.

Kathleen Ryan

While Ryan has more legal experience and has focused on probate and family law, she leaves a nagging doubt. Ryan claims Dana Margaret Hathaway is inexperienced, but Hathaway’s endorsed by four probate judges compared to Ryan’s two, one of whom is retired. To me, that’s telling and speaks volumes.

Hathaway lives in Birmingham, does pro bono work with indigent clients, worked at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office while in law school, and has cared for two grandfathers with Alzheimer’s. Hathaway’s campaign has is on Facebook and her web site is more personable than Ryan’s. Oh, and, I’ve not seen any Hathaway signs where they shouldn’t be.


17 Oct 2010

Interestingly, there are a few Kathleen Ryan signs on the westbound I-96 right-of-way between Wixom and Pleasant Valley Roads. I also saw a Thaddeus McCotter sign in this area. My whole pet peeve with this issue of campaign signs along public highway rights-of-way comes from the 2006 gubernatorial campaign when my commute to work was peppered with DeVos for Governor signs. The issue? Why should taxpayers underwrite the cost to remove these signs?

Here’s another interesting observation. Why are the illegal signs all for Republican candidates? I’ve not seen one sign for a Democratic candidate illegally posted along an Interstate highway in Michigan.


21 Oct 2010

Double the Ryan signs

Ryan’s campaign responded to my email and told me to feel free to contact the “property owner”, giving me a name, but no contact information. I replied asking for contact information. I haven’t received it yet, but it’s only been a couple days.

Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) press release provides guidelines on campaign (and other unofficial) sign placement along state highways and Interstates. The guidelines prohibit signs along limited access (Interstate) rights-of-way. Looks to me, from today’s picture at right, these signs are clearly in the I-96 right-of-way. Perhaps it’s unreasonable, but I’d expect a candidate for the judiciary to be concerned about following the law.

I’m not paranoid, but doesn’t it seem interesting there are now two signs here since I requested contact information?


22 Oct 2010

In an email response, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) agrees Ryan’s signs are, in fact, on public property:

If the signs are between the freeway and the fence, which they appear to be from the photographs, they are within MDOT right of way, and should be removed.

How can a candidate for the judiciary outright lie to a constituent? Does she think because I don’t have a doctorate or live in an affluent community that I’m stupid? Is she not aware of voter discontent with elected officials who don’t listen to their constituents? And who, in their right minds, wants to elect a judge without the backbone and moral fortitude to do what’s right? What kind of ethics you want exhibited by a probate judge who also hears family law cases.

Experienced she may be, but Kathleen Ryan does not have the strength of character to be responsible for determining outcomes in complex matters for people at their most vulnerable times.

Tue, 12 Oct 2010

Highland Park Using Police as Human Shields

Filed under: Budget, Crime, Detroit, Government, Paradoxes, Politics, Safety — cynicalsynapse @ 5:21 am

Model T assembly line in Highland Park

Highland Park, Michigan, used to be a grand suburb of Detroit. Henry Ford created Highland Park to avoid Detroit taxes, which he thought were too high, when he chose the location for his first assembly line. Now Highland Park is wholy surrounded by Detroit and in even worse financial shape than the Motor City.

Escaping from state emergency financial management just a year ago, Highland Park’s mayor is determined to not let it happen again. With a $600,000 deficit looming, Mayor Hubert Yopp announced plans to cut 5 auxilliary and 3 sworn police officers. Here’s the rub. In 2007-08, the city spent $610,746 on recreation and cultural services. Don’t get me wrong; I think recreation is important. In the same period, they spent $905,596 on community and economic development. When looking at essential services, seems to me police is a higher priority. Considering Highland Park’s crime rate is four times the national average, cutting police should probably be the last option.

Highland Park Police headquarters

I don’t think Highland Park is much different from any other political entity. The news is rife with politicians threatening to cut public safety in an effort to blackmail voters into accepting higher taxes. It’s not rocket science. Which are you more likley to vote for? A millage increase for the community pool or a one to keep firefighters on duty? The real problem is government officials not making the right—but tough—choices in belt-tightening. And this is exacerbated by elected officials who probably don’t understand what really needs to be done for fiscal responsibility coupled with taking the easy way out.

Here’s a novel concept. When a governmental entity needs to make cuts, make the line-by-line revenues and expenditures available to the public. I realize most won’t look at it or understand it, but the information would be readily available. Then, rather than asking for a millage increase for a specific item or service, let voters what they want to fund or cut.

Mon, 11 Oct 2010

Real Significance of Columbus Day

Statue of Christopher Columbus

Columbus Day has become controversial in recent years. Careful analysis shows much of that controversy is really attributable to those that followed Christopher Columbus, not the explorer himself. Equally as important, however the world today would not be the same without Columbus’ expedition. Would there be a Latin America without Spain having underwritten Columbus’ expedition and then following in droves to colonize South America? What form would the United States take today without Columbus?

Although there is much anti-American sentiment in the world, the most vociferous is Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Chavez blames US imperialism for holding South America down. Chavez has ruled Venezuela for a decade now. During this time, he’s been solidifying his hold on power and establishing a clearly socialist dictatorship. But average Venezuelans still lack services such as electricity. Civil rights have been abridged and the economy ravaged by alienating foreign capital and too much reliance on oil prices.

Hugo Chavez the pirate

Not satisfied there, Chavez continues his saber rattling, even with neighboring Columbia. Perhaps its the name. Why else would Venezuela feel the need to buy state-of-the-art fighter jets and tanks from Russia. Besides stirring the pot in South America, Chavez is blatantly anti-US and blames Columbus for all the ills and injustices of the western hemisphere. Chavez has set himself on an anti-Columbus crusade.

Columbus Day is more than a holiday. It represents the development of the modern world. And, to me, it means the same as Anti Hugo Chavez Day. Here’s a holiday tradition for you: don’t buy Venezuelan-owned Citgo products on Columbus Day.

Tue, 01 Jun 2010

Ambassador Bridge Owner Gets Double-Tapped

Filed under: Budget, Business, Greed, Justice, Legal, Paradoxes, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 1:32 pm

Detours remain at Ambassador Bridge

Grosse Pointe billionaire and Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun did not have a good week leading up to the holiday.

First, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear Moroun’s case against the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) lawsuit over the Gateway Project. MDOT says Moroun, or more precisely his Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC), failed to provide freeway connections according to the agreed upon designs and signed contract. Unless Moroun takes the case to Federal court, he’ll have to reconstruct connections to I-75 and I-96 at, perhaps, a cost of millions of dollars. If Michigan invested $230 million in taxpayer dollars on the Gateway project, why couldn’t Matty Moroun meet his part of the bargain? Maybe because Moroun built a duty-free store and gasoline pumps in anticipation of his second span, at least partially on land owned by the City of Detroit. Kind of arrogant and presumptuous, don’t you think, Mr. Moroun?

Second, the Michigan House passed a bill to allow Michigan to finance a second, publicly-owned Detroit River crossing (aka bridge). Ambassador Bridge owner Moroun has been seeking Coast Guard approval for a second span. Nonetheless, he claims a second—Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC)—span is not economically viable. What he means is “I want my own second span, but yours is no good.”

No to Moroun's second bridge span

Considering that Detroit-Windsor is the highest volume border crossing between the US and Canada, it’s not prudent to leave a private entity with total control over cross-border traffic. Granted, there is the tunnel, but it’s not really a commercial crossing; trucks use the bridge. And, since Moroun doesn’t want to live up to the terms of the Gateway Project, a public span seems more in the interests of citizens in the region than a second Ambassador Bridge span.

Granted, the Michigan House bill still needs to make it past the Michigan Senate and Gov. Granholm who supports DRIC. Canada has already offered to fund Michigan’s part of the span, to be reimbursed by tolls until paid off. Environmental impact studies are, essentialy, done. This all seems like a no brainer to me.

Previously on the Ambassador Bridge:

Sat, 14 Nov 2009

Obama to Congress: Butt Out on Fort Hood

Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits police Sgt. Munley in the hospital

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) want to launch Congressional investigations into Army and FBI failures regarding MAJ Nidal Malik Hasan’s views and contacts. MAJ Hasan has 13 charges of premeditated murder preferred against him, but Pres. Barack Obama asked Congress to hold off on investigations until the Army and FBI investigations are complete.

President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to hold off on any investigation of the Fort Hood rampage until federal law enforcement and military authorities have completed their probes into the shootings at the Texas Army post, which left 13 people dead.

On an eight-day Asia trip, Obama turned his attention home and pleaded for lawmakers to “resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater.” He said those who died on the nation’s largest Army post deserve justice, not political stagecraft.

“The stakes are far too high,” Obama said in a video and Internet address released by the White House while the president he was flying from Tokyo to Singapore, where Pacific Rim countries were meeting.

zippered lips

What’s Obama’s point? As I see it, there are two investigations needed. First, the forensic investigation by US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the FBI to see to it MAJ Hasan is charged with every crime he’s due. The other is the investigation into why “political correctness” allowed this tragedy to happen. Congress is the right body to investigate the PC issues, I think.

Hoekstra is the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. He says the government knew about at least 10 to 20 email contacts between Hasan and a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen. Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA), leading Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, also wants to open an investigation.

Don’t get me wrong. Although I’ve pretty much convicted MAJ Hasan in my mind, I want him to be served with justice in the American tradition. I also know the US military has thousands of Muslims serving with honor. What’s at stake, however, is how many other Hasans are out there? Those situations need immediate action that can’t wait until MAJ Hasan’s case is settled.

Sat, 07 Nov 2009

Why Do They Call Them “Service” Departments?

Filed under: Behavior, Business, Cars, Customer service, Life, Paradoxes, Rants — cynicalsynapse @ 10:02 pm

An automotive service department

My 2005 sport utility turned over 170,000 miles today. Yesterday, it was at the dealer for the third time in a year. Last December, the driver side airbag sensor module needed replacement. In January, the passenger side airbag module went bad. The current problem is no heater fan.

This is my second vehicle from the same manufacturer, both bought new. I truly had no issues with the first vehicle, but have been less satisfied with the second. I attribute that largely to the dealership. For the current vehicle, I received a letter from the sales manager thanking me for choosing them, with a rubber stamp signature! What? When I called him on it, his response was “Do you know how many of these I have to sign every day?” Excuse me? If you can’t sign them personally, don’t send them. After that, I received a personally signed letter. Now you’re just patronizing me.

When the airbag light went on, I took the vehicle to the dealer. The “service advisor” bludgeoned me about preventive maintenance and whether or not I’d done what was in the book. She recommended services on a basis not consistent with the owner’s manual. Then, come to find out, they didn’t have the replacement part for the driver side airbag. So, they ordered the part, which I had to pay for then and there, and then they installed it when I came back the following week. They washed the vehicle after the first service, but not after the second. Do you only get one wash per problem?

No service

A month or so later, the airbag light was on again. As you might suspect, I was not a happy camper. When I scheduled the appointment, I told them to make sure they had the necessary parts on hand. Would you be surprised to learn they didn’t have the part? Well, they didn’t, but they were able to get it in and install it that day. Of course, it was almost closing time when I got my vehicle back.

Yesterday, I went to the dealer because I’ve got no heater fan blowing. That’s a problem in Michigan with winter approaching. Surprise! No heater control head on the shelf, but we can get one by Tuesday. Don’t they have anything on the shelf? Oh, and there’s a recall for driver side airbag module covers, which they’ll fix for free. Do you think maybe that might have been the issue with my first trip to the dealership? The heater control head will be in on Tuesday, so I’ve got to go back to the dealership to get the problem fixed. In fairness, the technician installed a jumper to bypass the short-circuit in the control head, but there’s no guarantee how long that will work.

Once the work was done today, the dealership sent the shuttle to pick me up from my house. That took a good 45 minutes even though it’s only about a 20 minute trip. Once at the dealership, I paid for the service performed and the part that’s on order, and was told the vehicle would be brought up shortly. Ten or 15 minutes later, I went in to ask the service advisor about my vehicle. She was on the phone and ignored me until my car was brought up and I started toward it. Then her response was there must have been a back up at the car wash. When I questioned this, she said policy is to not wash vehicles until the customer is present. Hello! Your shuttle is picking me up. Why not wash the car while I’m on the way so it’s ready when I get there? How come I have to wait an extra 15 minutes? “It’s policy to not wash the car until the customer is here.”

While they apparently had the driver side airbag cover recall part on hand, they’ve not had the part on hand for any of my last 3 visits to the dealership. So I have to buy the part for them to install it later and make another trip to the dealership to get the work finished. And they wonder why I’m not pleased with their “service”?


15 Nov 2009

I had intended to be at the dealership about 10 minutes before the service department opened on Friday. Unfortunately I didn’t set my alarm correctly, so I was about 20 minutes later than expected. They hadn’t been that busy the previous week, so I figured I’d be ok. On arrival, I was 4 cars back from the service advisers. Not a good sign. I steeled myself for a long wait.

Shortly, I got up to the service advisers. My adviser from last week bee-lined to my car, told me she’d take care of things, and offered coffee in the waiting room. She popped into the waiting room at least 3 times to give me an update. And I was out of there, including car wash, in under 45 minutes. Thanks for taking care of me this time!

Fri, 06 Nov 2009

Massacre at Fort Hood—The Enemy Within

Rescue workers evacuate a casualty

We mourn the killing of 12 Warriors and a civilian at Fort Hood, along with wounding 30 others. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, especially, and the entire Fort Hood community. On November 5th, Major Malik Nadal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, went on a shooting spree which ended with his being wounded and captured.

Major Malik Nidal Hasan

As for motive, we don’t know yet. What has come out is Hasan has made pro-Islamist comments, including praising suicide bombers and being being happy about PFC William Long’s assassination at the North Little Rock, AR, recruiting station. He reportedly made condemned US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, argued with other Soldiers who supported them, and was trying to get out of deploying to Iraq later this month. Contrary to some reports, Hasan has always been a Muslim; he’s not a convert. He is reported to have Allahu Akbar—God is great—before opening fire. There are even reports law enforcement became aware of Hasan 6 months ago as a result of inflammatory Internet posts. With all that stacked up, the Fort Hood massacre is a case of domestic Jihad, pure and simple.

Permit me to digress and point out some of the other aspects that anger me about this. First, Hasan joined the Army for a free medical education. When you do that, you make a commitment to serve X years after becoming a doctor. If you are in the Army, you are going to deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, or Kosovo, if not all three. Someone who doesn’t want to deploy should never have joined the Army. Since the Global War on Terror overseas contingency operations surpassed 8 years, Hasan knew what he was getting himself into. Second, military officers take a solemn oath of office. The oath is not a collection of mere words; I provide it here for your consideration:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

As for Hasan’s statements, both to individuals and on the Web, he was failing to support the Constitution and by trying to get out of his deployment, he was failing to defend the Constitution. He clearly did not bear truth faith and allegience. In fact, he demonstrates clear purpose of evasion to me by fraudulently stealing a medical education from the US Army while holding and expressing views clearly contrary to the policy of his government. Don’t get me wrong. He’s entitled to his opinion and he’s entitled to discuss politics and policy, but as an Army officer, his job is to carry out the policy his government tells him to. The Army has 7 values; Hasan failed to live up to any them:

  • Loyalty—nope, clearly not this one
  • Duty—gee, not this one either
  • Respect—afraid not
  • Selfless Service—obviously not
  • Honor—certainly not yesterday
  • Integrity—again, not at all
  • Personal Courage—questionable, but I think not

Fort Hood location

Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama was silent for 2 days after PFC Long’s murder in North Little Rock. The President didn’t wait to make a statement about the attack on America’s military at Fort Hood. Well, not too long, anyway. First, Obama gave a shout out and schmoozed his cronies. He doesn’t get to Fort Hood until 2:28. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It’s good to see you.

By the way, about that Commander-in-Chief thing: how’s that strategy for Afghanistan coming? Two service members were killed in Afghanistan yesterday. Two who failed to return from a resupply mission the previous day were confirmed drowned yesterday. So, November 5th saw the loss of 17 US citizens in “overseas contingency operations”, including the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Center, which isn’t really overseas last time I checked. How about do your damn job, Mr. President? You took an Oath, too.


08 Nov 2009

Pres. Bush visits a wounded Warrior in 2007

Former President George W. Bush visited Fort Hood’s wounded Soldiers with his wife, Laura, on Friday evening. During the November 6th visit, the Bushes also thanked the Darnell Army Medical Center staff for their excellent care for the wounded Soldiers.

The Bushes weren’t the first VIPs to show their concern and compasion for the wounded Soldiers and their families, however. The previous evening—the day of the shooting—Texas Gov. Rick Perry saw the hospitalized Soldiers and their families. Perry said he was humbled by the positive attitudes exhibited by those he talked with.

As for the sitting president? Obama went just up the street to Walter Reed to visit wounded Warriors on Friday. While he spent more time there than originally planned, the visit was previously scheduled and not in response to the Fort Hood massacre.

Hmmm. Two Republicans visit the victims of domestic Jihad. A Democrat keeps his regular schedule. Just sayin…

Sun, 01 Nov 2009

Kwamegate: Loans, Unknowns, and More Bribes

Filed under: Detroit, Justice, Kwamegate, Legal, Paradoxes, Politics — cynicalsynapse @ 7:02 pm

Kwame Kilpatrick on the stand

Appearing in Wayne County Circuit Court, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was ordered to take the stand during a hearing on October 29th. The hearing, set when prosecutors filed a petition alleging Kilpatrick violated terms of his probation, followed his unilateral reduction of restitution payments to $3,000 monthly from the agreed-upon $6,000.

First, Judge David Groner told Kilpatrick’s lawyer, Michael Alan Schwartz, the 5th Ammendment—the right to not self-incriminate—couldn’t be invoked in a civil case. Then the judge asked a number of questions about Kilpatrick’s finances and ability to pay his restitution. Prosecuters, who claim they have documentation showing Kilpatrick and his wife shuffled money between accounts, also got their chance to question the former mayor.

Peter Karmanos Roger S. Penske
James Nicholson Dan Gilbert

Questioning brought out two significant revelations. First, four prominent Detroit businessmen gave Kilpatrick $240,000, allegedly a personal loan. Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos is the front man for the group, and also employs Kilpatrick at subsidiary Covisint. The others are racing and truck rental magnate Roger Penske, chemical tycoon James Nicholson, and Dan Gilbert, founder of Rock Financial. On top of this, Ambassador Bridge owner Marty Maroun gave $50,0000 to Carlita Kilpatrick and the kids, apparently whyile Kwame was in jail.

When I first heard Karmanos was giving Kilpatrick a job in Texas, I wondered why. The answer is simple: the Detroit businessmen bribed Kwame to step down because they knew he wouldn’t do it on his own. Rightly or wrongly, the businessmen did what they thought best for the city and region. They provided a means for supporting Kilpatrick’s family.

The other revelation was Kilpatrick doesn’t know much about his finances. He knows his base salary at Covisint is $10,000 per month, but not how much he makes with commissions. He doesn’t know the lease cost of his million-dollar mansion; he assumes Carlita pays the rent. How would that be, since he says Carlita doesn’t have a job now? But, he doesn’t know if she had a job while he was in jail.

Detroit skyline along the riverfront

News also broke Chicago businessman John Orecchio bribed Kilpatrick with a $10,000 donation to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. In return, Kilpatrick intervened with the Detroit Pension Board, obtaining board approval for a $20 million deal with AA Capital Partners, Orecchio’s company. Fortunately, the board didn’t make the investment. Of course, Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas said Wednesday his client “flatly and unequivocally” denies any wrongdoing. On a side note, Orecchio also gave money to then councilwoman Sharon McPhail to keep her from opposing a strip club deal he was working. McPhail was also a trustee of the police and fire pension funds. Here’s a surprise: Kilpatrick and McPhail both deny Orecchio’s allegations.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Kwamegate on November 17th, if not before. Kilpatrick is due back in court then, perhaps with more answers.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009

Columbus Day is Anti-Chavez Day

Filed under: Behavior, Economy, Government, holidays, Hugo Chavez, Oil, Paradoxes, Politics, Rogue states, Uncategorized — cynicalsynapse @ 7:26 am

Although I tend to support the Leif Erikson discovery of America theory, Columbus’ “rediscovery” certainly brought about the modern era for the two continents. There is a wide varIety of experiences as a result of this. It includes the English east coast of North America, the Spanish influence in southern North America and South America, some French influence, and the Portuguese.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez says “Columbus was the spearhead of the biggest invasion and genocide ever seen in the history of humanity.” Never mind that South American culture and economics has its basis in Spanish and Portuguese development of the region. Never mind that much of the so-called genocide has been perpetrated by dictatorial regimes in Central and South America. Columbus isn’t responsible for that. That part is probably not in Chavez’ book.

Chavez doesn’t represent everyone’s view. Still, Chavez, Venezuela’s “duly elected dictator”, seeks to shape South American politics in his own immage. He is trying to reshape Columbus Day as the “Day of Indigenous Resistance“.

Well, screw Chavez! Without Columbus, the Americas would have been backwaters for centuries. Chavez’ issue isn’t with Columbus, it’s with the United states because the US made something of itself. Shame on Chavez for being an apologist.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

%d bloggers like this: