DeVos Family Contributes Lavishly to Legislators Who Defeated Detroit Charter School Oversight

thanks for the data. will share now.

janresseger

I grew up in Montana, where in Montana history class we learned that at one time Anaconda Copper owned the state legislature. While the patrons have changed over the decades, the political process hasn’t been cleaned up. Amazingly the extraction industry has been replaced by the education sector these days in a number of states. On Tuesday this blog covered the investments being made in Ohio to block the regulation of the notorious online charter schools. Today the subject is Michigan and the massive payoffs this summer by Dick and Betsy DeVos, the Grand Rapids couple who made their fortune in Amway. Dick and Betsy DeVos have been investing heavily this summer to ensure that Detroit’s for-profit charter operators won’t be regulated.

Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, explains: “There’s nothing more difficult than proving quid pro quos in politics, the instances in which…

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Define ‘Standard Retard’

The Undaunted Democrat

Coulter

I’m a pretty easy going person. Usually things people do and say rolls off me like water off a ducks back, but sometimes people say or do something that just makes me wish I could be put in a locked room with them for ten minutes.

Such is the case with Ann Coulter and her attempt to excuse Trump when he mimicked a handicapped reporter. That miserable, poor excuse of a human being said, “Trump was just imitating a ‘standard retard,’ not mocking the reporter’s handicap.”

What the hell is a ‘standard retard,’ Ann Coulter? One of my sisters was mentally retarded. At age 12 she was made a ward of the state of Oregon because Dad caught some boys trying to take advantage of her and  didn’t think he could give her proper care. If he only knew.

When she went into the home my sister’s mind was the…

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Pondering The Newsroom

hopefully someone will see this and see the light.

notestoponder

The Newsroom was an HBO political drama series that aired from June 2012 – December 2014. Starring Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, news anchor at fictional Atlantis Cable News. Twenty five episodes over three brief “seasons” cemented The Newsroom atop my list of remarkable TV productions. Posted below are a handful of clips chosen to illustrate America’s indifference towards common sense truth – scripted Will McAvoy snippets ringing truer than anything blithered on non-fictional U.S. media today. The content may be dated, the message is anything but.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Newsroom_(U.S._TV_series)

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Black Lives Matter? All Lives Matter? No Lives Matter?

 

So I pull into the gas station.

On the other side of the pump island is a car driven by a black lady with a black male sitting in the passenger seat. Got out of my car and asked the lady if she had purchased her gas yet. She said no, appeared to be digging a card out of her wallet. I then asked her if it would be ok if I bought her gas today, did not want to offend her. She looked at me and replied with a quizzical grin, yes.

Not sure what thought went through her mind at the time, could have been anything from this crazy old white guy wants to pay for my gas to this has to be some kind of scam or sales pitch.

Regardless, I proceeded to the pump inserted my card and began pumping gas.

 

When completed the lady stepped out of car and reached out her hand to thank me. I shook her hand and said to her. “Miss, I want you to know why I did this… I did this because black lives matter.”

The smile spread across her face like a bright sun rise breaking through an early morning fog. She held out her hand again and repeated the thank you with an added God bless you.

I said you’re welcome and bless you also. Then went back to my car to get my own gas.

To me the warm smile and handshake was more than worth every dollar’s worth of gas I had pumped into her car.

Have no idea what went through her mind as she drove off, but I choose to think she drove off happy and looking forward to sharing an act of kindness with some other happily surprised citizen of the universe.  Not necessarily buying someone a tank of gas or even spending any money at all, just doing some unexpected kindness to a fellow inhabitant of this world we all try to live in.

Sharing this in full support of “Love trumps Hate” and in hoping you too will share some kindness today.

 

Carry on my friends, carry on.

Imaginary Fears!

re posting this as it seems to fit in well with the fear and hate being demonstrated by the Republicans at this time.

randomthoughts

This thought comes from an incident I experienced last week at the lake.
Asking the group if they wanted to take a cruise around the lake on the pontoon boat brought this response. “How much gas do you have?” I replied “1/2 a tank.”
One member said “What if the gage does not work?”
I said: “What if someone pulls the plug on the lake and it dries up? What if we get a torrential downpour and we have to all get on Noah’s ark?”
I mean come on people, there are enough real problems/fearsome things in this world we live in without making things up.
A pro-gun person of my acquaintance said to me. “What are you going to do if someone breaks into your house, throw a book at him?”
Another imaginary fear. This one most likely created by the NRA in their quest for more profit for…

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In Response to Officer Jay Stalien’s Essay regarding #BLM

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*Note in a search for BLM pictures i came upon this picture of the Bureau of Land Management. They were out gunned during the Cliven Bundy stand off. But that has nothing to do with this story…. I think.

This essay was pointed out to me on social media as a means of understanding #BLM.

My first reaction was “too wordy”. The poster suggested I sleep on it and read it in the morning it is truly worth the lengthy read.

So after sleeping on it I printed out all eight pages of the piece this morning.

Still working on digesting the whole thing but, initial thought leads me to conclude this man is not writing as an African American, he is writing as a policeman.

The opinions expressed are from his early life experiences growing up in a poor section of Baltimore and his work as a policeman in the hood.

Two opinions he shared bother me a bit. I quote…

“Black lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter.”

As a white man, like Newt Gingrich said, I cannot know what it is like to be a black man in America today, but I can know what it is like to attend a memorial for a murdered black man and witness the wailing and crying for the deceased. The mothers crying for the loss of sons at the hands of anyone, black, white or whatever. These lives do indeed matter to these mothers.

 

Second quote…

Not sure if he is speaking about all blacks or just the #BLM people here but this is what he wrote…

“That most cops dread the thought of having to shoot someone, and never see the turmoil and mental anguish that a cop goes through after having to kill someone to save his own life. Instead they all believe that we are all blood thirsty killers, because the media says so, even though the numbers prove otherwise.”

And again speaking as a white man I don’t think all cops are blood thirsty killers, I do think they have some bad apples who should be cleaned out.

Officer Stalien appears to me to have been prejudiced by his career where he has spent his life working with the worst of society. Much like the majority of cops are good cops, the majority of black people are good people.

Link to original post here….

https://www.facebook.com/jay.stalien/posts/911372818974402

Like I said the post prints out as eight pages and has some redundancy in it. May offer further review if I find something that rings my bell.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

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Sunday July 10, 2016

Only thing I had on my bucket list, a hot air balloon ride, was completed. Thanks to my son’s generosity.

Let me tell you it was exhilarating, the closest thing to an outer body experience I will probably ever have. Everyone should go on at least one hot air balloon ride before they die.

We gently lifted off and were floating through the sky in moments.

Four hundred feet in the air then 2500 feet in the air. Drifting slowly with the wind.

 

Looking down at the world…. above it all. Above all the suffering and grief that exists down there.

 

For about an hour we were free of everything, every grief and every stress that occupies our minds.

We saw the cars on the roads, the trains on the tracks, the deer in the fields and the miniature farms down below.

They all appeared to be toys, something we played with as children.

We passed over the national cemetery in Holly, Michigan. The cemetery our family recently interred Dad and Mom’s ashes.

Standing in the cemetery was an older gray haired man. He was pointing a camera up and snapping pictures of us as we floated by. We all waved joyfully and shouted hellos to him.

I said a silent hello to dad and mom as we floated by.

We floated on, touching the clouds in the sky and then dipping down to skim the water in ponds on the ground. We crossed tree tops close enough to pick leaves from the upper most branches.

A solitary bird flew up to check us out, quickly flying off after seeing we were no threat to his existence.

I did live stream most of the flight and if the link works you can join me in the flight here…

https://www.facebook.com/larry.benjamin.54

Enjoy the flight.