Category: Politics

Posted in Politics

H.R. 1 – “For the People?”

Nancy Pelosi has this bill first on her agenda after Congress is done with their unconstitutional harassment of a private citizen by trying to remove him from an office he has already vacated. Chief Justice John Roberts is not presiding as judge – the Supreme Court would probably rule this sham trial unconstitutional 9-0, or at least 6-3.

For the People” would “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.”

The title and introduction for this 620 page law sound pretty good. However, …

The first major provision of H.R. 1 would federalize the election laws, abolish state voter ID laws, force states to use same-day voter registration and ballot drop boxes for absentee voting, and make early voting available at least 45 days before election day. All of these make voter fraud easier, as we observed this past election cycle.

Another provision expands the definition of lobbyist to include every American, including citizens who sign petitions or call their elected officials. This would have a chilling effect on free speech and increase harassment, since every donor’s name and address would be published.

This is what single party rule looks like. Last time the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, Congress rammed through Obamacare at the end of the year with a lot of arm-twisting and kickbacks.

What will happen in the next two years until the Republicans have a chance to take back the Senate? H.R. 1 is a foretaste of the bad legislation we can expect.

This is not government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Abraham Lincoln would roll over in his grave. Today is his birthday.

This is government of the Democrats, by the Democrats, and for the Democrats to keep their power.

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A classy First Lady

No, this is not about Jill Biden. She may turn out to be OK. We’ll see.

I’m talking about Melania Trump, who has brushed off abuse from the news media and been disdained by many others. She was attacked in the media for not attending today’s inauguration without her husband. Seriously? She also got criticized for her accent and modeling background. Here’s a lady (not just a woman) who speaks seven languages. Some fashion designers boycotted her because of her husband. A fashion model would be a dress designer’s dream, you’d think.

So in honor of Mrs. Melania Trump, here’s an article she wrote (well, probably a speech writer helped her with it) about the White House renovations thanking the team who worked together on these projects to restore the “people’s house.”

Like most First Ladies, she’s also worked on many projects besides this one, of course.

Here’s the link to the White House renovation:

#MelaniaTrump #FLOTUS #FirstLady

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Posted in Politics Religion

Christianity vs. Communism

This comment was written in response to a comment on the LinkedIn article posted by Gary Gatehouse, talk show host in Texas, about the Catholic Archbishop saying that Joe Biden should not be given communion.

Comment: “Was it the Catholics that burned witches at the stake? … asking for a friend.”

Here is my response:

Why, because he is afraid to ask? Yes, there were atrocities in the past (both Protestant and Catholic — not sure about Catholic witch burning) and current issues like homosexual priests abusing altar boys.

However, Christians have done far, far more good in the world than harm. Concern for orphans etc. since Roman times, more recently universities and hospitals.

Atheistic communism on the other hand, claimed the lives of 100,000,000 people in the twentieth century.

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Our Upside-Down Postelection World

This is a brilliant piece and well worth reading. Victor Davis Hanson flips the attacks on Trump into attacks on Biden and the softball coverage he will get in the media. I am getting really tired of this collusion between the media and the Democratic Party.

#HunterBiden #Corruption #MediaBias #Hypocrisy #EtcEtc.

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Posted in Politics

Governor Whitmer, are you listening?

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer should look to South Dakota for how to handle the lockdowns. Perhaps Michigan could not do everything South Dakota has done, but she could at least open up the restaurants. Many are set up for outdoor dining and are in danger of going out of business if they haven’t already.

Governor Whitmer, please open up Michigan’s economy and quit begging Congress for unemployment money to shore up the sagging economy. Let us get back to work!

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How the Michigan Supreme Court Whacked Whitmer for COVID-19 Overreach


This article first appeared in the Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation.

In two cases that were fast-tracked to the Michigan Supreme Court, justices ruled against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s overuse of executive orders on COVID-19 restrictions.

During the past several months, COVID-19 policies have stretched the limitations in the constitutions of Michigan and other states, as well as those of the U.S. Constitution.

In two cases that were fast-tracked to the state’s highest court, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer and several other governors across the country have used executive orders extensively, instead of working with their legislatures or county health departments on solutions.

That distorts the separation of powers in our constitutions, both state and federal. The orders have devastated innumerable businesses by keeping them closed longer than necessary.

Here in Michigan, Whitmer, a Democrat, has issued 192 executive orders, many of which were struck down recently by the state Supreme Court.

The governor got spanked unanimously by the court for flouting a 1976 law, the Emergency Management Act. She extended the state of emergency without the Legislature’s permission. Lawmakers must renew their consent every 28 days. They did that once, through April 30. Whitmer has been in violation of the law ever since.

The court’s unanimous ruling was not widely reported. It went unmentioned by the governor as she criticized the “narrow majority of Republican justices” in a second ruling, which, by a 4-3 decision, struck down as unconstitutional a 1945 law that gave governors expansive authority without a time limit.

A recent Heritage Foundation analysis of the ruling described some of the orders the governor made under the emergency management laws.   

The court ruled that Whitmer unlawfully used her power to “reorder social life and to limit, if not altogether displace, the livelihoods of residents across the state and throughout wide-ranging industries.”

Instead of being chastened by the judicial branch or embarrassed by her unconstitutional actions since May 1, Whitmer doubled down:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling, handed down by a narrow majority of Republican justices, is deeply disappointing, and I vehemently disagree with the court’s interpretation of the Michigan Constitution.”

Then she vowed to accomplish her purposes by other means. Some existing regulations by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services could be legally expanded. County health departments have also stepped in with mask-wearing and other regulations.

Those are appropriate and lawful means, unlike the governor’s use of a perpetual state of emergency to shutter businesses without the Legislature’s approval.

The judiciary’s job, beyond ruling on civil or criminal cases, is to rein in rogue legislatures and other lawbreakers.

Despite the COVID-19 virus making collecting signatures more difficult, Unlock Michigan, a coalition of residents concerned about Whitmer’s lockdown orders, turned in 500,000 signatures on Oct. 2 for its ballot proposal to repeal the 1945 law. The Supreme Court ruling rendered the ballot proposal moot.

The spin from Democrats, echoed by many in the news media, has been that we need to maintain mask-wearing indoors and social distancing everywhere. However, most people don’t have a problem with that.

Not mentioned are the numerous orders restricting businesses. Gyms reopened Sept. 9, while other businesses remained closed. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, performance venues, and stadiums reopened on Oct. 9.

How will all this affect the Nov. 3 elections in this battleground state? Whitmer is not on the ballot for another two years, but her policies are. Conservatives are more fired up than liberals about all this, so it will be interesting to see what effect it will have.

In this major battleground state, former Gov. John Engler, a Republican, was dubbed “King John” by his critics for what they viewed as his heavy-handed leadership. Whitmer has been labeled “Queen Gretchen” and worse.

Government works best with a diversity of opinions working toward the same goal; in this case, safety from a deadly virus, but without crippling businesses, and without the collateral damage of clinical depression and even suicides. (A June survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 31% of Americans had anxiety or depression symptoms and 11% had seriously considered suicide.)

Of the coronavirus crisis, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, said it well: “Now is the time for bipartisan action to transition from government operating in fear of the virus to government managing life in the presence of the virus.” 

Other states would do well to follow Shirkey’s advice.

Dale Murrish is a 36-year resident of Michigan, an engineer who has worked his entire career in the transportation industry, and a member of SAE. His opinions are his own, not those of General Motors, his employer.

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Michigan’s Coronavirus Response Stretches Constitution

This article first appeared in the Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation.

During the past several months, COVID-19 policies have stretched the constitutions of Michigan and other states, as well as the U.S. Constitution.

Governors across the country have governed by executive order instead of working with their legislatures or county health departments on solutions. This distorts the separation of powers in our constitutions, both state and national.

In my home state of Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued more than 160 executive orders, which cover such issues as training requirements for pharmacists, establishing a food security council, and setting safety requirements for grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies.

The constitutional overreach of a few of the orders caused the Republican Legislature to sue the Democratic governor over two executive orders declaring an emergency.

One executive order was upheld by a lower court and the other was struck down. The Legislature is appealing the first and the governor is appealing the second. Because of the urgent nature of these lawsuits, a judge recently sent them directly to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Unlock Michigan, a coalition of citizens concerned about Whitmer’s lockdown orders, has started a petition drive for November to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act, which has no time limit. The petition would keep the 1976 Emergency Management Act, which requires the Legislature to approve the state of emergency every 28 days.

Governors across the nation have executed some controversial executive orders during the pandemic. In the process, the U.S. Constitution is being stretched.

For example, although the First Amendment ensures freedom of the press, Whitmer changed the traditional pool-based system of press conferences to a Zoom system that required reporters to submit questions ahead of time.

After several journalists complained, Whitmer said that she was requesting questions in advance so there would be a backup if the system went down, not for screening purposes. Then the governor said that since the system worked, there wouldn’t be a need to pre-submit questions in the future.

The First Amendment right that allows churches to gather has been a national issue throughout the lockdowns.

In defiance of their governor’s order in late May, a few Illinois churches exceeded a 10-person limit for in-person worship. They filed a lawsuit challenging her policy, pointing out that liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, and superstores were open.

Across the nation, churches have been divided about following the mandates. Some are obeying them by meeting outdoors, wearing masks, and keeping social distance. Services are livestreamed for those who choose not to attend in person.

Others have ignored indoor mandates on numbers by wearing masks and keeping social distance. A few have held large outdoor services, mostly without masks.

Americans’ rights under the Second, Fifth, and 14th Amendments also have been stretched.

On April 15, more than 3,000 people gathered in Lansing, Michigan, mostly in cars, for Operation Gridlock, defying Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders—which have been among the most restrictive in the nation. Some left their cars to protest, most without masks.

Four Michigan residents filed a lawsuit against the governor, alleging that the stay-at-home orders violated their Fifth Amendment and 14th Amendment rights to due process. One plaintiff owns a landscape company and had to lay off 15 workers.

Between 800 and 1,000 protesters returned April 30. A few were carrying weapons and tried to enter the Capitol. Michigan has no law prohibiting guns in the Capitol, but the protesters were stopped by state police.

Legislators debated the policy afterward. Perhaps a simple solution is to not allow loaded guns inside the Capitol.

Unfortunately, this is an election year, so more money has been spent on the federal, state, and local levels than otherwise would have been the case.

We are piling up debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.

The governor’s emergency and disaster orders expired April 30 after 28 days, under the 1976 law (the Legislature needs to approve any extensions).

This didn’t stop Whitmer from again declaring a state of emergency and disaster under the 1945 and 1976 laws. Her action prompted the lawsuits.

We should assume our leaders have good intentions about what to do during this pandemic. However, we ought to have a robust policy debate within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution.

Dale Murrish is a 36-year resident of Michigan, an engineer who has worked his entire career in the transportation industry, and a member of SAE. His opinions are his own, not those of General Motors, his employer.

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Posted in Politics

In Michigan, Governor’s COVID-19 Orders Crush Businesses

This article first appeared in the Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation.

Probably no topic since World War II has dominated the news as long as COVID-19 has. Many articles have focused on the policy differences between states and countries.

When focusing on the policies of my home state of Michigan, one should ask: Are these policies keeping people safe? Are these policies helping people to flourish?

Unfortunately, under the leadership of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s policies are failing on both accounts.

Metro Detroit was one of the hardest-hit areas in the nation, probably due to travel related to the auto industry. Whitmer, a Democrat, has allowed businesses to reopen slowly. Many think too slowly.  

For example, after the first few weeks, when all Michigan businesses were developing plans to safely reopen, landscape companies, outdoor painters, carryout restaurants, and most construction companies could have reopened. The “essential” businesses should have quickly shifted to “safe to reopen” businesses.

Generally, officials shut down entire states instead of simply targeting hard-hit counties. Surely, Douglas County, Nebraska, which includes Omaha and has a population density of 1,680 per square mile, has different needs than Cherry County, Nebraska, which is larger in size than Connecticut with a population density of less than one person per square mile.

Compare that to Manhattan, which has a population density of 71,000 per square mile, plus many commuters.

Whitmer could have left open Northern Lower Michigan and the entire Upper Peninsula—more than half the state’s area.

She could have said, “Please don’t travel to Northern Michigan if you’re from Metro Detroit,” and announced “customs checks” by  state police at the I-75 Zilwaukee Bridge.

 “Are you from Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb County? Headed to your cottage? Do you have enough food to avoid going to grocery stores? OK, enjoy your trip.”

It seems disingenuous for Whitmer to close many businesses unnecessarily and then beg Congress for help. We are piling up debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back, either by higher taxes or inflating the money supply.

Some of the “essential” businesses that were open throughout the pandemic suffered large losses in gross income during March and April while people “sheltered in place.” Business picked up in May, allowing landscapers to operate as well as the sale of garden supplies and plants. But even essential businesses are unlikely to recover the lost income.

Other stores and restaurants fared worse, remaining closed until recently. Some of the smaller businesses will not survive. Many are highly leveraged, with expensive rent.

However, owning the building is no guarantee if your business folds. The owners of Kim’s Restaurant in Troy retired after 44 years last August, but the building is still for sale.

Whitmer has issued more than 150 executive orders this year, the highest in the nation. The latest order is about the training of pharmacists. Many orders have been rescinded, but the governor is bypassing the Legislature with orders that look a lot like laws.

On June 1, Whitmer lifted the stay-at-home order for residents and allowed retailers, restaurants, and bars to reopen, but she kept gyms, hair salons, indoor theaters, and casinos closed.

In contrast, President Donald Trump has issued 35 executive orders so far this year.

It’s not right for the governor to pick winners and losers.

The big box stores and large businesses and companies will survive. Stores that sell groceries and paper products have thrived. For a while, Home Depot was not allowed to sell paint or other “nonessential” supplies. At least that kept the playing field level with smaller hardware stores, which remained closed. DoorDash, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service have increased their business.

The state prohibited orthopedic surgeons from doing surgeries until around July 1. If my broken fibula had happened during the COVID-19 crisis, I probably could not have had “elective” surgery to close the 5-millimeter gap in my ankle joint and install a pair of plates on the broken bone.

People in pain waiting for joint replacements got an early taste of what single-payer socialized medicine (which has been relabeled “Medicare for All”) would be like.

Meanwhile, abortion clinics were open.

“A woman’s health care, her whole future, her ability to decide if and when she starts a family is not an election,” Whitmer said. “It is a fundamental to her life. It is life-sustaining, and it’s something that government should not be getting in the middle of.”

I recently stopped at a new subdivision filled with construction vehicles, from landscaping to exterior and interior carpenters to window, drywall, and painting companies. Most of the 2,400-square-foot ranch houses have been sold. The construction manager said he was off work for six weeks. He was fortunate to have kept working for MI Homes. Many others in the construction industry were laid off, collecting unemployment.

Fortunately, houses are still selling well. MI Homes’ supply chain is still disrupted, though. Many suppliers had shut down to conserve cash, wary of a recurrence of the economic pain of 2000-2010 (which included the high-tech auto industry recession and the 2008 mortgage crash).

One of the more tragic ways in which individuals have been affected by Whitmer’s inconsistency is increased depression from being unemployed. Past data indicates more suicides occur during times of extended unemployment. Work is life-sustaining, even if no income is lost.

Many senior citizens in Michigan have been in solitary confinement for four months, with the only visitors appearing through closed windows and talking on cellphones. The fortunate ones live on the first floor.

Surely there can be a safe alternative to this.

Whitmer needs to be reminded that the right way to lead a state during a pandemic is to keep people safe and flourishing. All people.

Dale Murrish is a 36-year resident of Michigan, an engineer who has worked his entire career in the transportation industry, and a member of SAE. His opinions are his own, not those of General Motors, his employer.

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