Monday, December 21, 2009

The Insularity of Hope College

in⋅su⋅lar /ˈɪnsələr, ˈɪnsyə-/
1.     of or pertaining to an island or islands: insular possessions.
2.     dwelling or situated on an island.
3.     forming an island: insular rocks.
4.     detached; standing alone; isolated.
5.     of, pertaining to, or characteristic of islanders.
6.     narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial: insular attitudes toward foreigners.

How can "Hope" "College" be called an institution of higher learning? If I were a student or faculty member there, this would be embarrassing.
What struck me [Film Director Dustin lance Black] immediately was his [Dean of Students at Hope College Richard Frost] referring to me as “you people.” I asked him to clarify, and he hesitantly said, “gay people.” He claimed it was “my people” who had been attacking him since the news broke, though all of the complaints I’d read in the papers had come from straight people in his own community. But I didn’t argue that. Instead, I asked that he get to know gay and lesbian people individually instead of lumping us together, stereotyping. He agreed, but again used that phrase: “You people.” When I asked him to clarify again, he said, “You Hollywood people.” I assured him that, like gay people, Hollywood folks are also a diverse bunch. But it popped out again: “You people.” This time he wasn’t talking about Hollywood or gay people—this time it was “California people.”

Very Christ-like.

More here. Just ponder the difference in reactions and mentality of both sides of this issue. Who's offering the real hope?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

School Funding Smoke and Mirrors - and Lies

Why doesn't the media do any investigating any more? Among today's headlines is the story that Governor Granholm is delaying the school funding cut of $127 per pupil because the state's November property tax revenues were $150 million higher than expected. Property taxes are among the most stable forms of government revenue, so such a large jump didn't make much sense. You wouldn't get any understanding of the reasons for this by reading any of the newspapers. I checked out the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, and the Grand Rapids Press. All three simply parroted each other - probably just printing what was on a press release.

Here's one quote from the Free Press:
Granholm said one reason for the additional money is that commercial property values have unexpectedly risen in some areas, particularly Southeast Michigan. That's resulted in an additional $100 million for the School Aid Fund.


According to the just-released state revenue report for November, that isn't the case at all.
State Education Property Tax revenue was up 14.4% from November 2008, but with October 2009 receipts below the year-ago level, the increase reflects differences in the timing of payments. If October and November State Education Property Tax receipts are combined, 2009 collections are down 7.3% from the year-ago level.

In other words, Granholm is full of it.