A Winter Interlude

Oh. I guess Kirk Steudle wasn’t the first propagandist within the roads department.  Apparently some of his predecessors also made…

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A Party?

This popped up a couple days ago.

Thoughts?

condom-celebration

H/T Izzy.

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First Do No Harm…..

First Do No Harm ImageThe most disturbing aspect of the Flint water quality fiasco was the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Genesee County and its concealment from the public. Eighty-seven people fell ill and ten died, nine if you want to be fussy about one victim lingering more than a month after diagnosis. By MDHHS’ definition, it isn’t Legionnaires’ Disease if you linger longer than 30 days after your hospital stay. So one of the ten Legionnaires’ Disease deaths got scrubbed from the statistics.

Harvey Hollins III

Harvey Hollins III

AP is reporting that Governor Snyder’s immediate subordinates were discussing whether the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak was related to Flint water quality by March 13, 2015   Harvey Hollins III, Governor Snyder’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives Director, received an eMail from former MDEQ Communications Director Brad Wurfel referring to the Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster.

Far earlier, in 2014, Jim Henry in the Genesee County Health Department was emailing Flint city leaders, the Flint emergency financial managers, MDEQ, and MDHHS. MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden V. Wells said the June 2015 [Bohm] report on the first outbreak was shared with officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well. No one in this vast chain of communications felt compelled to inform the public.

Dr. Eden Wells

Dr. Eden Wells

Dr. Eden Wells replaced Dr. Matthew Davis as MDHHS’ Chief Medical Executive at the end of March, 2015. One has to wonder why Dr. Davis suddenly returned to U of M after only two years as the MDHHS Chief Medical Executive, in the midst of the first Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak. Did he jump, or was he pushed?  Perhaps MDHHS Director Nick Lyon found the career MDHHS bureaucrat Dr. Wells more accommodating than Dr. Davis? It was four months after Governor Snyder consolidated MDCH into the new MDHHS.  However, nothing in the U of M faculty manual suggests that Dr. Davis would have had to return to U of M to maintain his status there.

Dr. Matthew Davis

Dr. Matthew Davis

The public was not informed until Governor Snyder’s startling statement on January 13, 2016. Snyder said he himself was not informed of the Legionnaires’ Disease cluster in Genesee County until “days before” his public announcement. Michigan’s lefties have pounced on this 10 month delay, insinuating that Governor Snyder knew well before his announcement. This may or may not be true, and people will draw conclusions according to their political predilections.  Facts no longer matter on this question, even if you could penetrate the wall of obfuscation.

Director Hollins now says there was not enough information to take the issue to the Governor. Essentially, he is saying that no one could prove the source of the Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster, so there was no reason to disclose it to his superior. The other bureaucrats in this chain of communications also stayed mum, apparently following the same line of reasoning as Director Hollins.

There is a much bigger story here. One without any ‘he said, she said’ doubt.

It is now indisputable that a lot of CDC, MDEQ, MDHHS, and Genesee County Health Department bureaucrats knew of the first Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster by March 2015 and concealed it from the Michigan public for over 10 months.  Throughout the entire second Genesee County Legionnaires’ Disease cluster .

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Battle Cry – Ted Patterson

If like me you were not able to attend this year, here is the first of a few highlights from the Battle Cry event this last weekend.

Ted Patterson serves as the Executive Director for the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, and is a national consultant who has used the confrontational model to grow grassroots organizations and lead successful political projects around the country.

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Status Report-Recall

previewBeen a little busy circling the wagons here…

We are now in the process of organizing volunteer circulators, have at least some in 6 of the 8 counties involved in the Schmidt recall. The good news…

“The minimum number of valid signatures required on a recall petition is equal to 25% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the relevant Senate district in the most recent gubernatorial election. MCL 168.955. There is no requirement that a certain percentage of signatures come from each county that comprises the Senate district.

For the 37th State Senate District, the minimum number of valid signatures required is 23,384. For the 35th Senate District, the minimum number of valid signatures required is 22,491.”

The above quote is from the Bureau of Elections response to our e-mail concerning minimum requirements, this means that we could theoretically collect ALL 23,384 signatures from ONE county. Any one county come to mind? This alters our approach only slightly though, as circulators within and without Senate District 37 are hell bent on putting Wayne on an August recall ballot. So we will attempt to collect throughout the district.

In additional to the March 8th Presidential primary, in the first week of March, at least two of the candidates have scheduled visits to Traverse City. Donald Trump is one of them, and if previous crowds at his rallies are any indication, a few well placed circulators should have a field day roaming throughout the crowds. I would assume these same politicos will stop in Grand Rapids, aiding the folks running the Meekhof recall.

We have also scheduled an rVotes training session for our group(s) in mid-March to identify and contact likely signers and voters for reduction into highly ;localized walking lists. This system will allow us to contact and canvass the most likely signers of the petition, and these will be the most likely to vote to replace Schmidt.

We have reserved a domain name for the recall, which will be announced after the website has been established, along with a DBA, committee, and bank account for State and Federal (if necessary) accounting/reporting purposes. The site will also have a “Donate” button/page for contributions. Other campaign ‘goodies’ are in the works, but first we must establish a cohesive organization and business model.

2,000 petitions have been printed, and will be distributed shortly after Valentine’s Day (this one’s for you, Wayne)…Some basic training for new circulators will be accomplished at the same time, and signs/handouts distributed at these meetings. We have established County Captains (coordinators) in 4 counties to facilitate and monitor the petition process. We have 3 weeks to prepare for the signature launch, any volunteers may contact me at my e-mail: retvet242@yahoo.com, which has survived several hack attacks last month, or by phone: 231-709-0474.

Also of note, we have been warned to stay away from Charlevoix County by one John Haggard, which we take as a direct challenge of course.

Wish us good luck here in the second phase of this process. This is our chance to conduct a referendum on Wayne Schmidt’s performance as not only a State Senator, but a Rep in the 103rd and 104th. His record in the House is now also ”fair game”.

In pursuit of freedom,

Tom Backers

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A Winter Interlude

Oh.

I guess Kirk Steudle wasn’t the first propagandist within the roads department.  Apparently some of his predecessors also made films to let us know what a grand job the highways departments are doing. From “gay holiday crowds where everyone is having a good time” to the storm blasted snow drifting over our roads, this film teaches us what Michigan is all about.

How could we possibly know otherwise?

Enjoy.

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Time to Light These Clowns Up

Roughly nine months ago, We the People of Michigan, by a record-breaking 4-to-1 statewide margin, told our elected nobility in Lansing “HELL NO” on a proposed tax increase, which they’d tried to sell as a road proposal, but which the voting public saw clearly as a political sausage job that produced a cronyist’s grab bag of goodies. Thus, every single county in this state, without exception and in no uncertain terms, clearly delivered a mandate-level message that we are no longer interested in extending the legislature a taxpayer-funded line of credit, until such time as they get their spending priorities in order. You would think that a statewide vox populi shellacking, with a turnout rate typical of the biennial congressional primaries, would clue in the GoverNerd, and the rest of the MRP/MIGOPe professional political establishment, that We the People are done being their ATM.

You would think that . . . but you would be wrong. Six months after that ballot box rejection, while most of us were tucking our children into bed (or monitoring local election results), the lords and barons in the Michigan Legislature essentially told we the proletariat that our opinion is irrelevant, and that “no” really means “don’t ask again” – which, of course, they didn’t – by passing a “road funding” tax package that was nearly identical to the core of Proposal 15-1, less the elements required to force it onto the ballot. In doing this, they flatly rejected the clear will of the people, imposed through legislative fiat that which they couldn’t persuade the electorate to publicly ratify, and took yet another step toward government by aristocracy.

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Emergency Managers, Emergency Management

Darnell Early

Darnell Early

La victoria trova cento padri, a nessuno vuole riconoscere l’insuccesso
A victory finds 100 fathers, nobody claims credit for a failure.
Galezzo Ciano, 2o Conte di Cortellazzo e Buccari, Diary (1942)

The left wing meme on the Flint Water fiasco is that Governor Snyder seized absolute control of Flint and installed doctrinaire Republican viceroys who ruthlessly slashed Flint’s payroll and expenditures without any regard for the residents.

If only this were so.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

The Flint emergency managers had only one common thread in their backgrounds, long records of administration in government and the nonprofit sectors. No productive experience. Experts at spending other people’s money. Well paid experts.  Outright Democrats or chameleons politically; typical politics of the bureaucratic class. Look at the backgrounds of the Flint emergency managers:

Edward Kurtz

Michael K. Brown

Edward Kurtz, again

Michael K. Brown, again

Darnell Early

Gerald (Jerry) Ambrose

Emergency managers are not viceroys with absolute powers. The evolution of emergency management in Michigan was frustrated by public union opposition. Five successive laws, one repealed by referendum. The law in force during the critical Flint water fiasco decisions is PA 436 of 2012. The powers it confers upon emergency managers are:

MCL 141.1549, Section 9

(2) Upon appointment, an emergency manager shall act for and in the place and stead of the governing body and the office of chief administrative officer of the local government. The emergency manager shall have broad powers in receivership to rectify the financial emergency and to assure the fiscal accountability of the local government and the local government’s capacity to provide or cause to be provided necessary governmental services essential to the public health, safety, and welfare. Following appointment of an emergency manager and during the pendency of receivership, the governing body and the chief administrative officer of the local government shall not exercise any of the powers of those offices except as may be specifically authorized in writing by the emergency manager or as otherwise provided by this act and are subject to any conditions required by the emergency manager.

The emergency managers replace the mayors, council, and chief administrative officers of the municipal governments. While this does indeed give them extraordinary powers of control, their control is anything but absolute. The municipal charter continues in effect and continues to protect the prerogatives of lesser bureaucrats. The vague statutory powers of emergency managers beyond replacing the mayor, council, and chief administrative officer poses unremitting legal jeopardy to emergency managers. Encourages timidity and bureaucratic subterfuge. Not absolute control.

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Speaking Of Headlee

pig-collieOne might question the way in which money can be transferred to ‘cover’ other expenses.

We know that pensions are untouchable, but in times of financial distress, some governmental entities are finding out that health care is NOT off the table.  However, others are developing more abusive ways to maintain the ‘status-quo.’  From Bloomfield TWP:

Bloomfield Township taxpayers have been receiving higher and higher bills for water and sewer each year.  Yet in a controversial 5-2 vote in late 2015, Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees transferred  $2.76 million of the fees collected from the citizens water/sewer bills and deposited those millions into a Retired Employees Health Care Trust.

Can you say “turning a fee into a tax?”

Is there any wonder why some might say that creativity in government can be a bad thing?

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No Chemists!

Snyder Flint Press Conference 27 January 2016Governor Snyder announced the remaining members of the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee today. No chemists. Not one person with a chemistry degree. Undoubtedly, a fine collection of worthy government officials. Four ‘field experts’, none of whom are chemists. Medical doctors are not chemists. Public health administrators are not chemists. Civil engineers are not chemists. Materials scientists are not chemists. Chemists are chemists. Chemists know things:

Thermodynamics
Kinetics
pH
Equilibrium
Redox

The lead in Flint drinking water is, at its core, an issue of water chemistry. Water chemistry was allowed to go completely berserk at the Flint Water Treatment Plant for 18 months. Flint’s distribution system has been severely damaged. Fixing that damaged distribution piping is a venture into uncharted territory. Only an inorganic chemist with a command of thermodynamics, kinetics, pH, ICP-OES analysis, and the equilibrium of redox reactions will successfully navigate this uncharted territory. Not another lying MDEQ clown, either. They had their shot and blew it. Why the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee is necessary in the first place.

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev Дми́трий Ива́нович Менделе́ев 1834 – 1907

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev
Дми́трий Ива́нович Менделе́ев
1834 – 1907

No one will trust Flint water until its chemistry is brought under control and that will require adult supervision – a genuine chemist. Detroit Water & Sewerage water is not a magic bullet. Detroit’s water works in Detroit’s distribution system. Detroit’s distribution system has not been damaged by 18 months of reckless water chemistry.

Flint’s water chemistry needs to be fixed, yesterday. New lawsuits against the State of Michigan are being filed every day. The latest filed this morning by the ACLU and a host of liberal pressure groups takes a new tack, alleging violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Suffice it to say, Michigan has no viable legal defense against this suit.

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