Friday, November 25, 2011

Eric Sharp blasts Pilgrims on Thanksgiving

Eric Sharp, staff writer for the Detroit Free Press, is the latest writer proving how arrogant we are when we pass judgement on previous generations. For maximum affect, Mr. Sharp's article appeared in the Thanskgiving Day paper where he proceeded to disparaging the Pilgrims from the safe, and arrogant distance of 390 years.

Mr. Sharp, wrote, "We should not teach our children that the Puritans were any more tolerant than most of their European counterparts." My memory may not be as fresh as it once was, but I don't remember "tolerance" and "diversity" being major lessons. Instead we learned they endured a miserable journey across the Atlantic in search of religious freedom.

Later in school we learned about the Salem witch trials coincident with studying the McCarthy era. In English we were supposed to read The Crucible. All were lessons about intolerance, gave meaning to the term witch hunts. Many years after graduating I realized those lessons also warned against political correctness.

Worse, perhaps, than teaching the wrong things (in Mr. Sharp's opinion) years ago is pretending we did for the purpose of building a strawman against which Mr. Sharp can work out his anti-Christian anxieties and moral-relativism.

Before setting out to re-write history, or even reinterpret it from a safe distance, we should remember the lessons of Professor Thomas Sowell and not judge people from years ago using today's "morality."
As soon as I can find the link to his article I'll include it above.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

DDOT is Detroit's poster child

DDOT has a lot in common with the city it serves, and the messages it sends are consistent with the city's, and the message DDOT drivers are sent Friday is, "We aren't safe down here, so we're refusing to show up."

That's not too much different from what many suburbanites feel, and if even the bus drivers feel unsafe, how are folks living outside Detroit supposed to feel safe, or endorse regional mass transit?

Channel 2 (Fox) is reporting today that DDOT bus drivers are refusing to work today because of safety concerns.
Earlier Friday, hundreds of bus drivers haulted their routes after several DDOT employees were attacked by passengers at the Rose Parks terminal on Thursday. "It was a melee," said union spokesperson William Williams. "It was bad."
The Detroit Free Press reported:
A walk-out by at least 100 Detroit Department of Transportation bus drivers today has crippled service for bus riders across the city of Detroit.  About 100 drivers came to work early this morning but refused to get on the buses, (Henry) Gaffney said [president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26 in Detroit, the union representing the bus drivers]. He said they're scared to drive without law enforcement presence.
And The Detroit News added
Dan Lijana, a spokesman for Bing, ... says the safety of passengers and drivers is a top priority.
The problem with cheering on Detroit is that despite the cheers, the story remains the same.  Or at least the story hasn't changed much since May 23 2007 when I wrote,
While Detroit's city council took the time to pass a resolution in favor of impeaching Bush and Cheney they couldn't find the time to debate and resolve DDOT's request for officers on buses to stem assaults and robberies on city buses.
Of course, needing police or sheriff deputies on buses increases the cost of public transportation, just as needing metal detectors and police inside schools increases the cost of public education.  If every public service requires police escort the services will always cost more than they should, or at least more than they do in cities where the customers of public services don't need the police to maintain civility.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The redistribution of...

It's worth researching the definition of what an oligarchy is to better understand the article, "Has America Become an Oligarchy?"

If American has, or is becoming, an oligarchy (as OWS protesters believe), the solution is not the redistribution of wealth, it's the redistribution of rule. Or put another way, within the structure of our existing constitution, a return to federalism would simultaneously dilute the power and corrupting excesses (and disappointments) of our federal government and dilute the influence of corporate and private oligarchs.

As a consequence, fewer taxes would accrue to the federal government and more taxes would remain in the states, as the proportion of taxes paid to the federal government over the state government would invert--increasing the 50 states' treasuries.

As an added benefit, federalism increases the representation of "the 99%" by increasing the power of their state-wide and locally elected officials.

All of this is possible within the framework of our existing constitution, but would require a supportive legislature and executive--both of which could be elected by both Tea Party and OWS with a common goal--improving our democracy through a redistribution of rule.

Radio worth watching: WNYC's Occupy Democracy