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Archive for October, 2006

MSA passes endorsement of affirmative action

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

         Tonight, by a 19-7-1 vote.
         I was one of the constituent/community speakers in favor of the resolution, mentioning that Rosa Parks was opposed to MCRI-type measures, while the KKK has endorsed MCRI; that MSU passed an endorsement of affirmative action and condemnation of MCRI; that I posted “It’s the End of Affirmative Action, Charlie Brown” previously this Halloween; etc.
         Thank you MSA!

Gov and others visit Sweetwaters

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

 

         Due to road construction etc., the Governor showed up about 2:45 instead of 2; no worries, the raft of Democratic stars including John Dingell and others (Liz Brater, Pam Byrnes, Chris Kolb, Julia Darlow, etc.) kept people entertained.

         She gave a very animated performance once she got there, including lots of “body language” such as arm gesticulations (see photo). I was able to ask her afterwards if maybe commercials could be made (if it weren’t too late) with a strong female presence to counter Dick DeVos’ commercials portraying women as opposing Granholm; she noted that perhaps it was a little late, but that her recent pro-choice ad helped in dealing with the problem.

         Prop. 2 also took a beating, with one of the Governor’s civil rights spokespersons noting how MCRI could hurt the economy if it hurts diversity, etc.

          Sweetwaters was very crowded but it was well worth it, not even counting the free coffee.

          Remember to vote on November 7! (or before)

It’s the End of Affirmative Action, Charlie Brown

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

         Here’s a scary specter for Halloween; not-so-great MCRI pumpkins threatening the legacy of Rosa Parks. (I took a fragment of a message going the rounds, but there’s enough there to say what needs to be said.) Vote on November 7! (or before)

Governor J. Grho visiting Sweetwaters tomorrow 2 p.m.

Monday, October 30th, 2006

         Scuttlebutt sez:

“URGENT REMINDER!
*****************************************************
We would like to invite you to:
PUTTING MICHIGAN FIRST Express
THE GOVERNOR’S ROLLIN’ INTO TOWN
Tuesday, October 31st — 2:00 PM
Sweetwater Cafe
123 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor
517.485.5100
Bring your friends and family!  Governor Granholm is coming to Ann Arbor and she is fighting for you.”

         Sounds good to me!
         “Go J. Grho!! !”

UM Regents’ candidate forum today

Monday, October 30th, 2006

  No shockers, maybe, but some points worth noting, below:

1) Virtually everyone, including Repubs David Brandon (incumbent) and Susan Brown, except the Libertarian candidate Erik Larson, opposed Proposal 2 (MCRI). However, note carefully: opposing MCRI does not mean you support affirmative action; there was no microphone where I could ask questions, but I’d have asked if everyone supported the UM aff. action program. …See, e.g., Brandon in the 11/5/98 Freep article Incumbents lose, but state school board remains split, which mentions his opposition to aff. action. He may have converted, though; judge for yourself, in this recent article excerpt by the great Dave Gershman of the AA News.

  (Brandon literally phoned in his performance today, by the way. Interesting. Like something from an off-Broadway comedy…)

2) As for the “choosing a UM president” question, they talked about consulting with the faculty, which is good (Mary Sue is infamous in some quarters for ignoring faculty input); what I’d have liked to hear more about is, first, soliciting student input, and second, making sure that the president reflected diversity in some way.

  (See, e.g., the 5/20/02 MDaily on my advocacy for diversity in UM presidents, Promotions, lawsuit outcome discussed at Regents meeting.)

3) The “luxury box” question was asked, with the Repubs supporting lux-box (”surprise”), but the Dems being a little more restrained, Kathy White (incumbent) saying, I believe, that she didn’t see much reason to support the boxes (and to give her credit, she had previously complained that the process of approving the boxes was too rushed; I’m not sure why she hasn’t campaigned on this issue much, since she has credibility here), and Julia Darlow saying she needed more info (such as only sitting Regents might have), but she wanted more transparency on the issue.
  (I would have liked the Dems to really sock it to the Repubs on this issue, as you may guess.)

4) Ed Morin, the Green candidate, mentioned that it’s horrible that UM hasn’t been audited by the state Auditor General in 22 years; after the forum, I talked to him, and he said he got the idea from me, and my posting on Michigan Liberal!
  Now that’s flattering!

  …Well, that’s it. Don’t forget to look at previous post re David Brandon for some additional context…

David Brandon and the Domino’s Theory

Monday, October 30th, 2006

(Cross-posted and slightly edited from Michigan Liberal…and note also the UM Regent candidate forum at Rackham later today, 4:30 p.m., see this link.)

         Of course the “domino theory” was the false idea that once Vietnam fell, every Southeast Asian country would turn commie and swim the Pacific to invade USA. Hmm.
         But with our ol’ friend David Brandon, CEO of Domino’s Pizza, currently running as a Republican candidate for U. of Michigan Regent and also being Dick DeVos’ campaign manager, we can theorize from some Domino’s experiences…

1) Domino’s unionization issue

         See, e.g., the Detroit Free Press, Domino’s Pizza driver makes union history (and my own earlier Mich Lib post),

       “Domino’s Pizza delivery driver Jim Pohle could have quit when he saw a competitor offering an extra 25 cents an hour in wages and his bosses wouldn’t match it. But he decided instead to stand up and form the nation’s only pizza drivers union to successfully organize workers. …
         Tim McIntyre, a spokesman for Ann Arbor-based Domino’s Pizza Inc., said that while the Pensacola franchise was independently owned and operated, the company was disappointed by the union vote.
         “We do not believe it is necessary in our industry, and are surprised that the individual employees in that store voted to turn over their ability to represent themselves to their supervisor to someone else,” he said in a statement. …”

         “Do not believe it is necessary in our industry”? Goodness gracious!

2) Anti-gay-rights issue

         See, e.g., Gay marriage factors in Senate race in Michigan,

         “…Unlike Coors’s more liberal policy, Domino’s does not extend health benefits to partners of gay employees.

         Dana Harville, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail message that the pizza giant “offers benefits coverage to our full-time members, their children and to their opposite-sex spouses.”

         Harville added that Domino’s, with 150,000 “corporate and franchise team members worldwide,” conducts “diversity education programs throughout the U.S. that incorporate sexual orientation equally with race differences in our program. Our Legal Guide for Team Members (first distributed company-wide on May 6, 2003) specifies that harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited and will not be tolerated.”

         Brandon, in an interview yesterday with The Hill, declined to discuss his company’s personnel policies. “I’m not here to represent Domino’s Pizza on this or any other issue,” Brandon said. “I’d just as soon not branch off into the pizza business.” …”

         Well, DB, you ARE in the pizza business, and also the discrimination business too, apparently.

3) Bizarre stance on non-discrimination issues

         See the Michigan Daily interview of Brandon, The Daily Dish: Regent sells pizzas and helps children: David Brandon, CEO of Domino’s Pizza and University Regent,

         “TMD: The addition of the phrase “gender identity and expression” to the nondiscrimination clause of the University’s bylaws has been a major issue with the LGBT community on campus. The University has argued that these identities are encompassed in the word “sex.” Why not just add the phrase?

         DB: I would favor a statement that says the University will not discriminate against anybody. I don’t understand why we continually have to have discussions about who should and who shouldn’t be included, in terms of our nondiscrimination policy, because I think identifying specific special-interest groups or specific entities within the institution almost implies that unless you’re on that list, then somehow we think you should be treated differently than people who are on that list. It should not be about lists.”

         Well. First: why isn’t there such a statement in place at Domino’s (an effective one, not the fake one Domino’s cites above), so that health benefits for same-sex partners would exist at Domino’s?
         And second: isn’t “I would favor a statement that says the University will not discriminate against anybody” a little vague? Hasn’t this guy ever heard of civil rights laws? …Would Brandon not discriminate against child abusers or something? Wow!
         This guy has no idea of how the law works, or anything. It’s sad.

4) Michigan Stadium luXXXury boxes

         See, e.g., the Thursday DetNews, College race winners will face challenges: Issues such as tuition rates, stadium fixes await new members of WSU, MSU, U-M boards.,

         “…The Board of Regents at U-M will vote next year on bidding out $226 million in renovations to Michigan Stadium.
         The plan has drawn the ire of some fans because it calls for the construction of 83 luxury suites, which would undermine the stadium’s spirit, they say. …
         David Brandon, a former U-M football player, said he believes the plan is the best decision for coaches, athletes and fans. …”

         , and my own Mich Lib posts on the stadium/UM regental issue at http://michiganliberal.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6639 , http://michiganliberal.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6625 , http://michiganliberal.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6304 , with the last post having a comment by the mighty Jon Koller on the importance of the stadium issue.

         So, if Brandon wants to be a point man on:

anti-unionization;

anti-gay stuff both at Domino’s and at UM;

and pro-luxury boxes

       (not to mention previous lack of support for affirmative action, though like DeVos he presently claims to be against Prop 2, and now says that UM is following the Supreme Court on aff. action! …last-minute conversion?),

         what kind of Regental candidate is that?

         NOT to mention the skinny I got from one of the Democratic UM Regents (I shan’t say who it is), that Brandon isn’t doing that good a job on DeVos’ campaign, because he wants to leave the way clear for himself to run for Governor!! (Wow!)
         But don’t rely on Brandon to sabotage DeVos; I’m sure many people want to fight hard against both DeVos and Brandon, and maybe the information in this diary will be helpful in that effort.

         Have a great day, and avoid falling Dominoes!!! !

         (Comments appreciated too, I appreciate your wisdom.)

“Gold Digger (Dick DeVos Mix)”–listen now

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

           I recorded the rap song “Gold Digger (Dick DeVos Mix)” on Friday. My voice may need some lowering of the volume (when I visit the recording studio again), but it seems to work for now.      

         Feel free to spread it around to whatever media. They actually might be interested in Kanye West vis-a-vis Dickie D, and a “rap” take on the vicious Michigan gubernatorial campaign…

        Here’s the URL for my website page (music and lyrics) for the song, http://d-bo.com/golddiggerdickdevosmix.html , and here’s a sub-URL, for just the song itself, http://d-bo.com/golddiggerdickdevosmix.mp3 .

         (”Gold Digger (Dick DeVos Mix)” is already mentioned on the front page of Michigan Liberal, by the way, see http://www.michiganliberal.com/frontPage.do , entry
http://www.michiganliberal.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7279 in particular.)

         Here da lyrics, as from the page linked above:

- - -
Lyrics to “Gold Digger (Dick DeVos Mix)”:

[Jamie Foxx]
Dick’s a gold digger (He take my money), He’s gonna pull the trigger (when I’m in need)
On the brothers (Yeah he’s a triflin’) and the sisters (friend indeed)
Oh DeVos is a gold digger way over time, that digs on me

[Chorus:]
(He steal me money)
Now I ain’t sayin’ he a gold digger (when I’m in need)
But he ain’t messin wit’ no broke, broke sistas (he steal me money)
Dick a gold digger (when I’m in need)
and he mess with us and make us broke, broke (all y’all need)
Get down Dick go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down DeVos go head get down (all y’all need)
Yo baby, get down girl go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down Dickie go head

[Verse 1:]
[Ray Charles lyrics repeated across verse]
Dickie’s the bomb
Saw him at a beauty salon
With a baby Louis Vuitton
Under his underarm
He said, “Michigan you rock
I can tell by ya’ charm
Far as votes you got a flock
I’ll buy some, don’t be alarmed”
but I’m lookin’ for the one
Dick’s not too brainy
My psychic told me he’s an ass like Dick Cheney
He ain’t no Jennifer Granholm but he got money
He think he can pay us to be his honey
Dick went to the country club and got all his friends
He pulled up in the Benz, they all got up in
After he’s elected then we’ll all have to pay
If you foolin’ with this man then you betta be paid
You vote for dis sucka,
You be a sucka
From what I heard he got a baby by Busta
He’s no Christian, he use to fool wit’ Usher
I don’t care what none of ya’ll say I still don’t love her

[Chorus:]
(He steal me money)
Now I’m sayin’ he a gold digger (when I’m in need)
And he ain’t messin wit no broke brothers and sisters (he steal me money)
Dick’s a gold digger, HUH (when I’m in need)
he’s gonna pull the trigger on the brothers and the sisters (all y’all need)
Get down DeVos go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down “Intelligent Design” get down (all y’all need)
Get down Dick go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down Amway Boy go head

[Verse 2:]
[Ray Charles lyrics repeated]
18 years, 18 years
He voucher your education for 18 years
He resigned the State Board of Education
Cos he got tired of servin’ the nation
You will see him in his yacht any given Sunday
Bought the Superbowl and then bought him a Hyundai
He is gonna take all of your money
The Single Business Tax made lotsa money
Now the rich folks won’t have to pay that money
Now y’all y’all gonna pay that moneeey (your money)
If you ain’t no punk holla We want prenupt
WE WANT PRENUPT!, yeaaaah
It’s something that you need to have
Cause when Dick leave yo’ a** he gon’ leave with half
18 years, 18 years
And on the 18th birthday your kids get drafted

[Chorus:]
(he steal me money)
Dick’s a gold digger (when I’m in need)
And he treats the poor people like they chiggers (he steal me money)
Yo baby, Dick’s a gold digger (when I’m in need)
he’s gonna pull the trigger on the brothers and the sisters, HUH (all y’all need)
Get down Betsy go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down Devo go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down anti-choice go head get down (all y’all need)
Get down home slice go head

[Verse 3:]
[Ray Charles lyrics repeated]
Now I ain’t sayin’ you a gold digger, you got needs?
You fooled us with Amway and all of your greed
You go out to eat and Dick can’t pay; y’all cant leave
He ain’t got no plan, he act like a sleaze
But while y’all votin’ watch him
He gon’ make it into a Benz don’t need no Datsun
He got that ambition baby look in his eyes, shout
This week Governor, later the White House
So, don’t stick by his side
He sent your jobs to China and that ain’t nice
His own daddy said he’s lyin’
He didn’t much help Grand Rapids, girl
Now if you elect him, he’ll wreck the whole world

Get down DeBush go head get down
Get down DeDick go head get down
Get down girl go head get down
Get down billionaire get down
[he take my money]
Let me throw you back

- - -

“Copyright 2006 All rights reserved”

Is Israel a working model of race-based affirmative action?

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

         (Cross-posted from Michigan Liberal)

         Provocative question? Not necessarily. 

         While it could be deemed edgy by some to note that 

         *if someone claims that all racial preference is evil, s/he cannot logically then support a Jewish state like Israel*

         ; it is a functional argument. (Cf. Rabbi Michael Lerner on “Israel as justified affirmative action for Jews”, an argument I have heard from others, too.) 

         I think Lerner’s idea has merit, and it fits with my own strong support of Israel’s existence and support of their use of race preferences to provide haven and succor to endangered worldwide Jewry. 

         So next time you hear MCRI types say, “Oh, I OPPOSE ALL RACIAL PREFERENCES THEY’RE SO EEEVIL”, you may not only want to bring up alumni/legacy kid preferences (mostly for rich white folks), but you may also want to sagely nod your head and reply, “Oh, so you’re against the Jewish state of Israel?”

U.N. blogger chased out of Sudan

Friday, October 27th, 2006

         See, e.g., the Guardian, Sudan Orders U.N. Diplomat to Leave,

         “The Sudanese government on Sunday ordered the chief U.N. envoy to leave the country within three days after he wrote that the Sudanese army had suffered serious losses in fighting with rebels in northern Darfur.

         The official Sudan News Agency said the order was issued against the envoy, Jan Pronk of the Netherlands, because he had demonstrated “enmity to the Sudanese government and the armed forces” and was involved in unspecified activities “that are incompatible with his mission.”

         …Marie Heuze, chief spokeswoman for the U.N. in Geneva, said she could not comment on the order but noted that Pronk’s comments were on his private blog and reflect “only his personal views.”

         …Tension between the government and Pronk escalated after he wrote in his personal Web blog this month that Sudanese army losses in recent fighting in northern Darfur “seem to have been very high.”

         “Reports speak about hundreds of casualties in each of the two battles, many wounded soldiers and many taken as prisoner,” he said, adding that morale was low among Sudanese troops in northern Darfur and “some generals have been sacked; soldiers have refused fighting.”

         On Thursday, the Sudanese armed forces said those remarks amounted to “psychological war against the Sudanese army” and declared that Pronk was “persona non-grata.” One day later the military demanded an official apology. …”

         Just can’t trust those bloggers. 

Harold Ford subjected to racist muck

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

         Harold Ford in Tennessee, a Congressman and son of a former Congressman, is a U. of Michigan Law School graduate running as Democrat for U.S. Senator, He has been subjected to a lot of abuse, and perhaps just because he is black. See, e.g., G.O.P. Yanks Ford Mudslide Ad,

         “Ken Mehlman, still asserting that he does not see racial overtones or racism in a national Republican ad against Representative Harold Ford Jr. in the Tennessee Senate race, announced late this afternoon on CNN’s SitRoom that the ad had been taken off the airwaves.
         …this ad….includes a lot of to-and-fro about Mr. Ford receiving money from the pornography industry (which he returned) and ends with a blond (white) woman coyly urging him to call her. …”

         It gets worse: TN-SEN: Corker Radio Ad Has “Jungle Drums” During Mentions Of Ford,

         “Okay, so Election Central has just obtained a radio ad which you’ve got to hear: It actually has what sounds like tom-tom drums playing in the background every time the ad talks about Dem Harold Ford, Jr. The ad — which says it was paid for by the campaign of GOP Senate candidate Bob Corker — can be heard right here. When the ad mentions Corker, the music soars and no tom-toms are audible. Throughout the entire minute-long ad, you hear the rumble of tom-toms every time Ford is mentioned. This ad, keep in mind, quotes Bob Corker himself as having “approved” the message — meaning it wasn’t the work of the Republican National Committee, as in the case of the recent “bimbo” TV ad which drew charges of racism. …
         We got a copy of the ad from a producer from WGOW radio in Chatanooga. Bill Lockhart, the program director for WGOW, confirmed the authenticity of the ad and that it’s running on the station. “They’re freaking jungle-drums,” Lockhart tells us. “It’s racist — it tries to conjure up deep, dark African moods. Yeah, it’s overtly racial.”
         It’s pretty interesting that this ad is running, wouldn’t you say? After all, Corker disavowed the similar tactics in the recent “bimbo” ad which stirred controversy and charges of racism. The bimbo ad, which featured an actress playing what used to be called a “floozy.” As you surely know by now, she claimed to she’d met Ford at a “Playboy” party and asked Ford to “call me.” For some reason, people got the idea that it was supposed to be playing on fears of interracial sex, and they got very upset about it. Corker himself has called on local stations not to run the bimbo TV spot, saying that it “went too far.” …”

         Ford is not my favorite, for reasons such as his opposition to gay rights. Still, he is a Democrat, an apparent victim of racism, and even a “schoolmate” too, so I hope he overcomes and wins. Go H. Fo!