Posts Tagged ‘Professor’

Central Michigan University’s 9/11 Memorial: Patriots, Professors, Protestors, and All

September 11, 2008

Alright, so today the College Republicans at Central Michigan University held our annual September 11th memorial, where we put out 2,998 flags on the lawn next to our library.  I’ll go ahead and put those pictures below, and talk about what all happened today after the pictures:

 

So, anyway, I had stayed up all through the night (English paper), headed over to set up at 5:45 A.M. EDT.  We started setting up at 6:00, and finished by 7:15, then had some Timbits and coffee.  I went back to my dorm, grabbed my backpack and headed to Calculus II.  My professor kinda made me angry in not observing the campus-wide moment of silence at 8:46 A.M.

After Calc II, I headed back over to watch the flags (it’s sad, but we actually need people to watch them to make sure they don’t get kicked over – it happened last year).  It was pretty uneventful until about noon, then 2 preachers who’ve been on campus all week showed up, and they were preaching stuff like, “Catholics are going to hell.  Homosexuals are going to hell.  Smokers are going to hell.  Obama is a Muslim.  Masturbators are going to hell.  I sinned in college, but I changed my ways.  Change your ways or you’re going to hell.”  We knew they were gonna be there, so me and one of the other College Republicans (CRs) went over and asked him if he could move, since we were trying to have a 9/11 memorial.

Just like I figured, he said, “9/11 was a sign and a punishment from God.”  So we just left and headed back to the flags (the preacher is that big clump of people in picture 4).

We then had a few people come by and pray by the memorial.  The first guy I saw was a Catholic priest who I could tell had a few tears fall from his eyes, and that was pretty powerful.  We had some professors come and tell us thank you for doing what we were doing.  We had a decent amount of people taking pictures.

It wasn’t too bad, but then some real Christians came along to try to drown him out, and that attracted a crowd.  I went on the Internet and tried to find any law he was breaking, but he was doing everything legally.  So, we just dealt with it.  So around 1:00 P.M., the crowd around the preacher(s) is so huge that it’s overflowing onto the grass where our flags are.  People are going around the group, since the sidewalk is blocked, and are stepping through the flags, trampling some of them.  So we move a corner of the flags to give people more space, and we had some CRs stand as a buffer between the flags and the crowd.  We asked whoever came through the flags not to step through the flags, and everybody said, “Oh, I’m sorry,” and didn’t do it again.

Then comes this guy – he walks through a LARGE part of the flags, way more than anybody else had, so one of the CRs says, “Can you please not walk through the flags.”  He replied, “I don’t support the troops.”  Well, I nearly lost it there.  First of all, how can you not realize what memorial this is?  This has nothing to do with the troops, this has to do with INNOCENT PEOPLE JUST LIKE HIM!  And even if you oppose the war, you don’t oppose the troops.  I wanted to just go after him and yell at him, but restrained myself and my mouth (had I have written this post right after that, it would’ve been in all caps and I’d be struggling not to drop swear words every 2 words).  That really angered me – how can somebody be so heartless as to step on American flags and then shrug it off because they don’t support the troops or remember the tragedy that happened today.

So, at about 1:50 P.M., I headed off to English.  I went back to my dorm to drop off my stuff and came back around 3:45 P.M.  At this point, I still haven’t eaten, so I’m beginning to ge a little bit hungry, but I just stayed and watched the flags.  At 4:50 I went to a meeting and got back around 6:30.  We started taking down the flags and rolled them all back up (we didn’t have too many broken ones this time - last year it was really cold and the ground was hard, so a lot of them snapped).  We handed a few flags out to people passing by, and had one guy stop and just start helping us, so that was pretty cool.

Then, we packed everything up, and I headed back to my dorm to write this.

Overall, it was a good day.  I couldn’t help but get teary eyed looking at all those flags, knowing that each one represented a life, a family who was now missing a loved one.  And I can’t help it now.

September 11, 2001 was a terrible day, but we need memorials like the one we did today to remind people of that date.  It was sad to see people not realize why there were flags there (yes, we had people actually ask what it was for), or see the hate of that one man who stepped on the flags.

America needs to remember today – we can never afford to forget.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Central Michigan University Impliments a Ban on Professors Running for Public Office, Including Congressional Candidate Gary Peters

May 19, 2008

This is part 2 in a weekly series on the race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.  This was supposed to be a post about fundraising, but we’ve had some interesting developments come up in the past week.  Central Michigan University proposed a policy that would go in effect on July 1st, that would require “full-time employees of the university … to either resign or take an unpaid leave of absence when they comply with candidacy filing requirements, 60 days prior to the date set forth for the election relating to the sought-after public office, whichever date is closer to the elections” (source: CM-Life).

The CM-Life reported that this policy was implemented as a result of the Gary Peters issue: “It’s a political year and questions were raised about political candidates (on campus). … That’s when the questions began, in relation to the Gary Peters reaction, but it goes deeper than that.  The university realized the need for a policy.” ~~Steve Smith, Director of Media Relations

There are some exceptions to the new policy:

  • Candidates for unpaid or temporary offices
    • Municipal charter revision commissions
    • Delegate to constitutional conventions
    • Positions on a city or county board where the position is unpaid
  • Candidates for any part-time local offices where the position would not demand work during university-working hours

Smith said that the policy is not final, saying, “We are still waiting on input from the on-campus community.”

Contrary to what I had heard earlier (as I will explain later), the faculty union will be subject to this policy.

Now, I had heard about this policy being in the making back in late April.  I had been told by somebody inside of CMUthat this policy would not apply to faculty who are union members because their contract would have to be reworked through the union, and the union would never let this happen, so instead of fighting with those faculty members, they were just going to leave them exempt.

Dennis Lennox, former Student’s Against Gary Peters spokesman told the  CM-Life, “I think it’s a great proposal that should have been implemented months ago.  This is a victory for students and tax payers who wanted to hold Gary Peters accountable.  It’s a huge vindication.  It’s just unfortunate it took 10 months and a whole host of horrible events for this resolution to occur.”

Now, how does this affect the race for the 9th District?  Well, as I’m sure you all know, Gary Peters obviously falls under this policy.  He will either have to resign or take a leave of absence.

What do I think?  I think the policy is completely stupid, but I think it will stand in court.  From what I’ve seen, since CMU gets federal money, the policy can legally fall as an extension under the Hatch Act of 1939, which has been held up in 2 Supreme Court cases.

Personally, I think this is a violation of free speech.

Ideally, CMU would have a policy that would allow professors to run for office but make sure that no time or resources that belong to CMU are used.

I don’t know if Peters will resign or take a leave of absence, or if he’ll challenge it.  The source that talked to me in late April told me that he/she thought that the ACLU might get involved.  Now that it applies to union faculty members, I think the union will fight back as well, which is a great help for their cause.  They could turn this into quite a battle.  Of course, if they went on strike, I would consider that way over the line and probably add them to my long list of hated unions.

I’ll keep you updated if any more news comes out about the policy.  Next week (maybe), I’ll be talking about fundraising.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Michigan’s Top House Race: Gary Peters vs. Joe Knollenberg (vs. Quacky Dr. Jack Kevorkian)

May 13, 2008

The following post is also being syndicated on Right Michigan, where I was offered a position to cover Michigan’s 9th District:

I would first like to thank Nick for allowing me the opportunity to cover stories on the race for Michigan’s 9th District for his site.

First, what exactly is Michigan’s 9th District?

It’s Oakland, Bloomfield, Southfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills (bold indicates where Representative Knollenberg won; italics indicate a close margin; villages were not categorized since they do not vote on their own).  Or, for you visual people, it’s this:

What are the demographics?

  1. 83.1% White
  2. 8.1% Black
  3. 5.6% Asian
  4. 3.0% Hispanic
  5. 0.5% Native American
  6. 0.5% Other

So, how does the district vote?

  • The district has been given Cook Partisan Index of R+0, meaning that the district is more Republican than other average districts, but by less than 1%.
  • The district voted for George Bush in 2004.
  • The district voted for Al Gore in 2000 (although the make-up of the district was different from now).
  • The district has voted for Joe Knollenberg since 2002.

Why is this race so important?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) placed this district in the top 13 districts that they are targetting in their Red to Blue campaign.

What exactly is the Red to Blue campaign?

The DCCC put out this press release explaining the campaign:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today announced the first round of Red to Blue candidates challenging Republican incumbents. This is the second slate of Democratic congressional candidates that have qualified for the competitive DCCC Red to Blue program, the first slate was for candidates in open seats. These candidates earned a spot in the program by surpassing demanding fundraising goals and skillfully demonstrating to voters that they stand for change and will represent new priorities when elected to Congress.

These candidates have come out of the gate strong and the Red to Blue Program will give them the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November,” said Chairman Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The candidates for change in our first round of challenger Red to Blue are strong examples of Democrats who represent a commitment to new priorities for the families in their districts.

The Red to Blue program highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, and strategic support. The program will introduce Democratic supporters to new, competitive candidates in order to help expand the fundraising base for these campaigns.

Chairman Van Hollen joined Red to Blue co-chairs Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Artur Davis (D-AL), and Bruce Braley (D-IA) to announce the first 13 challenger candidates for change who qualified for the Red to Blue:

Kay Barnes (MO-06)
Anne Barth (WV-02)
Darcy Burner (WA-08)
Robert Daskas (NV-03)
Steve Driehaus (OH-01)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Christine Jennings (FL-13)
Larry Kissell (NC-08)
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24)
Eric Massa (NY-29)
Gary Peters (MI-09)
Mark Schauer (MI-07)
Dan Seals (IL-10)
Red to Blue was a proven success in the 2004 and 2006 cycles. In 2004, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $7.5 million for twenty seven campaigns across the country with an average of more than $250,000 per campaign. In 2006, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns with an average of $404,000 per campaign. Red to Blue was also responsible for solidifying the structure of dozens of campaigns and making a real difference for Democrats across America.

Soon after the DCCC put this up on their website, they got some comments about these candidates not being what’s best for the party in terms of stances, but the fact that they’ll be able to raise large amounts of money:

Your only criteria for inclusion seem to be fund-raising ability, not issues.
Isn’t this what scuttled the progress of the party over the years since
you deep-sixed progressive programs and started going to corporations hat in hand?

Soon after other negative comments, the DCCC disabled comments on that press release.

What were the results of the 2006 Election?

  1. Joe Knollenberg (R) 142,290 51.56%
  2. Nancy Skinner (D) 127,620 46.21%
  3. Adam Goodman (L) 3,702 1.34%
  4. Matthew R. Abel (G) 2,468 0.89%

Is this actually close?

For Knollenberg, it is somewhat close, since he was a 14-year incumbent, but he still won by over 5%.

So, who exactly is Gary Peters?

Gary Peters is running against Representative Knollenberg.  He was a state Senator from 1994-2002, when he was term-limited out.  He then ran against Mike Cox for Attorney General in 2002, where he lost the general election.

He was the Michigan Lottery Commissioner from 2003-2007.

He was hired to teach at Central Michigan University, where he was the center of controversy (that’s a way too long story to tell, so just read The Peters Report or my category of posts on him here, or just search “Gary Peters” here on the Right Michigan website).

Who is Jack Kevorkian?

Jack Kevorkian is a doctor who was sent to jail a few years ago for assisting a patient in committing suicide.  Dr. Kevorkian hired attorney Geoffrey Fieger to represent him in that case, but obviously, he lost.  He was sentenced for 10-25 years, but only served 8, after the parole board let him out early due to his kidney illness.  He was expected to die within a year of leaving prison in May of 2006, but instead, he decided to run for Congress, against Joe Knollenberg and Gary Peters.

How will having Dr. Kevorkian running affect the race?

That is somewhat hard to tell.  I have done some calculations.  In 1998, Proposal B was brought before voters to allow for assisted suicide.  Although it failed statewide as well as in Oakland County, it did better than average in the 9th District (33.05%-66.95%).  I did some calculations, and if we assume that only 75% of voters who voted against the proposal vote for Knollenberg in 2008, Knollenberg would still come out with a win just above 50%.  Peters would received around 45%, and Kevorkian would receive 5%.

This assumes that Kevorkian only gets 5%, and I think he will get a little more from the Democrats who are unsatissfied with the direction of the party.  So, if we assume that Kevorkian gets 8%, 2% more from Peters and 1% from swing-Knollenberg-voters (libertarians), we would have Knollenberg with 49%, Peters with 43% and Kevorkian with 8%.  This leaves plenty of room for Knollenberg to lose a few voters who are mad at the Republican party an the Iraq War, but I think Knollenberg is pretty safe this election.

Again, I’d like to thank Nick for allowing me to report on this race.

Next week, I’ll be looking into some of the fundraising of this race.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Bipartisan Lawyers Agree: McCain is a Natural Born Citizen

March 28, 2008

The debate began when a complaint was filed on March 6th to the U.S. District Court in Riverside, CA, by Riverside lawyer Andrew Aames, a registered Republican who was formerly a Democrat.  He claimed that a judge needed to step in and decide whether or not John McCain is a “natural born” citizen, because if he is not, he cannot serve as President under the Constitution.  The problem is that the Constitution never defined a natural born citizen.

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone (a U.S. territory when McCain was born [August 29th, 1936]) while his father was stationed there in the Navy.  His mother was also an American citizen.

The 2 lawyers, former Solicitor General Ted Olson (R-McCain) and Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Trive (D-Obama), issued a statement saying, “Based on the original meaning of the Constitution, the Framers’ intentions, and subsequent legal and historical precedent, Senator McCain’s birth to parents who were U.S. citizens, serving on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, makes him a ‘natural born citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution.”

Presumably, the judge will still have to reach a decision, but I think McCain is just fine in running.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO-Obama) has introduced a bill that would define a “natural born citizen” as “anyone born to any U.S. citizen while serving in the active or reserve components of the U.S. armed forces” (Newsmax).  Obama has joined in sponsoring the bill.

Again, I think that McCain is perfectly fine and has nothing to worry about.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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“Doctor Death” is Running for Congress in Michigan

March 12, 2008

What do a felonious & murderous doctor, a former Lottery Commissioner turned (controversial) professor, a dude with a really big head, a Congressman, and a kid with a video camera accused of being “Virginia Tech dangerous” have in common?  They’re all involved in the election for the 9th Congressional District of Michigan.  This race just keeps getting wackier, so I’ll list the basics:

  • Joe Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) is the current Representative for Michigan’s 9th Congressional district (“Oakland, Bloomfield, and West Bloomfield townships; parts of Orion and Waterford townships; the cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Lake Angelus; and the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills” – yeah, Okland county’s kinda weird like that).  (Source: The Oakland Press).
  • There’s a dude with a big paper maché head who has a blog about “Joe Nollenberg” - opposing him mainly on the Iraq War.
  • Gary Peters is the Democratic candidate running for Congress.  He was the former Michigan Lottery Commissioner, and now he is a professor at Central Michigan University who has come under heavy fire by…
  • Dennis Lennox, head of Students Against Gary Peters.  Lennox is opposing Peters because he believes that there’s a conflict of interest if Peter’s is trying to be a professor and run for office in a county that’s at least 2 hours away (and that’s if you’re speeding).  Lennox has come under heavy fire from CMU and has been compared to the VA Tech shooter. (Click on the categories for Peters or Lennox to see more of my posts about their adventures – there’s a lot of them).

And now today, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, “Dr. Death,” announced that he will run as an independent.  Kevorkian, now 80, was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison on second degree murder charges after he assisted in the suicide of Thomas Youk on September 17th, 1998.  He aired a recording of the suicide on 60 Minutes on November 23rd and was charged on March 26th, 1999.  He was let out on parole after 8 years on June 1st, 2007.

In a statement to The Oakland Press after getting petitions from the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, Kevorkian said, “I plan to [run as an Independent].  I wouldn’t do this otherwise.  We need some honesty and sincerity instead of corrupt government in Washington.”  He said that he would have more details next week and that “everything’s in a formative stage.”

Kevorkian has until June 17th to gather 3,000 signatures in order to get him on the November ballot as an independent.

Here are some responses to the news:

  • Oakland County Prosecutor Dave Gorcyca, who sent Kevorkian to prison: “I would place Jack Kevorkian’s candidacy in the same ranking with Ron Paul’s [poor Ron Paul].  It’s probably more of a publicity stunt.  To call attention to himself is standard protocol for Jack when he doesn’t have the limelight focused on him.  I would not consider his candidacy to be a legitimate one.”
  • Gary Peter’s spokeswoman Julie Petrick: “Everybody has the right to run.  Right now, Gary is focused on bringing real change to Oakland County.  Knollenberg has heaped mountains of debt on our children, disastrous trade policies that have destroyed our manufacturing sector, and gotten us into a protracted war with no end in sight.  It’s time for real change in Oakland County and that’s what we’re focused on.”
  • Representative Knollenberg has not yet commented.

I’ve gotta disagree with Gorcyca here.  The Democrats saw an opportunity to take Knollenberg’s seat when he only won with 51.5% in 2006, but now that there’s 2 liberals running, I think Knollenberg is safe.  Let me explain:

In 1998, Proposal B, “To Legalize Prescription of Lethal Medication to Terminally Ill,” was proposed and failed pretty badly.  Specifically in Oakland County, 129,649 voted for it, and 265,888 voted against it – so 67.22% voted against it.  I then looked at all of the 9th District (adding in some extra areas of Orion and Waterford, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts weren’t in the 9th District and excluding the villages of Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills, since I couldn’t figure out which precincts of the cities that they lie inside of were their precincts).  I came out with 77,776 voting for the proposal and 158,095 voting against it, so 67.03% opposed it.  So, let’s assume that Knollenberg can only pull 45% of his districts support, which is a low estimate.  That means that 55% will be split between Peters and Kevorkian.  32.97% of the district voted for Proposal B, and let’s assume that only 80% were Democrats (again, an extremely low estimate).  So, 26.38% of the 9th District are Democrats who support assisted suicide.  Now, let’s assume that Kevorkian only gets 40% of that group and nobody else.  He winds up with 10.55%, leaving Peters with 44.45%.  Knollenberg wins (and I actually didn’t mean for the calculations to turn out that close - I was just estimating numbers as I went).  So, 1) I underestimated Knollenberg, 2) I supposed that a high 20% of Prop B supporters were Republicans and thus won’t cross over from Peters to Kevorkian, and 3) I assumed that Kevorkian won’t even get half of the Prop B supporters.  I honestly think the election will fall more like:

  1. Knollenberg 53%
  2. Peters 28%
  3. Kevorkian 19%

It’ll be an interesting race, but this definitely helps Knollenberg.

Oh, and Kevorkian’s possible campaign slogan: “We slaughter the opponents” – wouldn’t that make a great slogan!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Central Michigan University Dean Accused of Assaulting Student

October 17, 2007

Dennis Lennox, CMU Young Americans for Freedom President and the subject of some criticism in one of my previous posts (which I did later apologize for) has been in the news again.  Here’s a link to his blog, where he has links to a news report talking about a CMU Dean assaulting him as he tried to videotape the release of information through the Freedom of Information Act: http://petersreport.blogspot.com/2007/10/media-covering-cmu-dean-assault.html

I am not going to discuss the background of the Peter’s Report, or Dennis’s actions, because I do not have enough background information at this point; however, it is CLEAR that he has been violated here.

  1. A public official simply cannot refuse a Freedom of Information Act request such as the one Dennis submitted.
  2. No matter WHAT (I don’t care if Dennis provoked her – which there is no proof of in any of the videos or news coverage), a public official has no right to swat at a student.  Those offices are public property, and thus are open to the public.

In a recent development, CMU has banned the filming of Professor Gary Peters, an action which I find controversial at best.  I know that cameramen and reporters can get annoying and intrusive (again, I am not saying that Dennis is guilty of either of these), but you cannot violate the freedom of press.

Although I don’t know enough about Dennis’s cause to chose a side, it is clear to me that his rights have been violated.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican


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