Monday, September 25, 2006

Some Still Do Care About Freedom

This past weekend, the Libertarian Party of West Michigan gave a Guardian of Liberty Award to Mark London, owner of Showgirls Galleria in downtown Grand Rapids. London has been in a fight with City Hall over opening his strip club because they passed an ordinance prohibiting nudity (where it had been legal for years) and the strippers must stay six feet away from the patrons (no more putting dollar bills in thongs).

The reason the City passed the ordinance is that someone put up $100,000 to pay the City's legal bills. The last time the City tried this, they were sued and lost, costing us (the taxpayers) several hundred thousand dollars in legal bills.

The City's old rules, which allowed nudity, worked just fine. The City has been unable to show any adverse consequences of strip clubs. The prudes, however, think that they have the right to tell people they can't enjoy going to a strip club because it offends their sensibilities.

The quote at the end of the article is telling:

"I don't believe Mr. London is involved in any esoteric fight for personal
liberty," said Dar VanderArk, director of the Michigan Decency Action Council.
"I think he's trying to maximize his profits by selling nudity."

And what's wrong with selling nudity? Just because Mr. VanderArk doesn't like it, does that give him the right to impose his vision of the world on everyone else? Mr. VanderArk is using the force of government to attempt to put a man out of business - a business that has been completely legal up until now - but the busybodies can't have something in their back yard they don't like. I don't see Mr. VanderArk complaining about selling food or booze or lawnmowers. Those are all sold for a profit. It's only nudity that Mr. VanderArk doesn't like. Perhaps if he doesn't like it, he shouldn't go to strip clubs.

Ah, but in the current mentality of government these days, we shouldn't treat each other as adults who can make their own mature decisions, we need Mr. VanderArk and the government nannies to slap our hands and tell us what we can and cannot do.

Kudos to the Libertarian Party of West Michigan. They appear to be the only ones who stand up for the small business man and the mature world view that we can make our own decisions without the heavy hand of puritanical government to make our decisions for us.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Detroit Schools Disaster

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (the Detroit teachers' union) is reaping what they sewed. Their nearly two-week strike has apparently resulted in a loss of about 25,000 students, according to the Detroit News.

If the numbers hold next week Wednesday, which is the official state student count day, the district is set to lose about $230 million in funding, out of last year's $1.5 billion budget. That's a reduction of about 19% in students and 15% in funding.

The teachers' union was upset over the district's request for across the board pay cuts of about 5% to balance the budget, and they decided to engage in an illegal strike. The district capitulated, but now it looks like the district will be laying off hundreds more teachers and closing more buildings. It's clear the union would rather have teachers out of work than getting a pay cut. Those teachers that will soon be out of a job have their own union to thank.

It's time to lift the cap on charter schools. The Detroit School system is a disaster and it should be abolished. The children of Detroit are getting screwed in life because bureaucrats and unions can't put the status-quo aside. The adults that run the system are acting like children, while the real kids are going to be doomed to a lifetime of continued poverty due to an utterly failed school system.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

DeVos: Intelligent Design is a "viable alternative theory."

The pandering has begun in the Michigan gubernatorial race. Dick DeVos, as reported in the Detroit News, has stated that he thinks schools should have the choice of teaching Intelligent Design (creationism) as an alternative to evolution.

Simply giving schools the choice, it could be argued, isn't a bad thing. After all, 99.999% of science teachers would ignore Intelligent Design for what it is, a mess of ludicrous "theories," with no scientific backing whatsoever. However, he divulges his personal view, one based on ignorance.

From the article:
"I would like to see the ideas of intelligent design that many scientists are now suggesting is a very viable alternative theory," DeVos told the Associated Press during a taped telephone interview on education. "That theory and others that would be considered credible would expose our students to more ideas, not
Oh boy. The fact that no serious scientist with any credibility considers ID as "very viable" or even slightly viable not withstanding, advocating the teaching of anything non-scientific in science class is reckless and ignorant.

May we suggest to the possible Governor DeVos, in addition to Intelligent Design, that the theory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster also be taught in the classrooms? After all, who determines what is credible when it comes to pure conjecture?