Thursday, November 29, 2012

Union Member Writes to His State Representative

Dear Representative,

I'm sure you are being bombarded with calls from "forced-union members" re: Right-to-Work. The union bosses are telling their members to call their Representatives and voice their opposition to RTW because "their job and collective bargaining depends on it ...." This is a lie, but this is what the union bosses do; lie, threaten, and intimidate.

The union bosses want 2 things: money and power. And the money they get from forced-dues is what gives them their power. They use that forced dues money to fund and control the Democrat party, and they are scared to death that their free ride in Michigan is about to end!
Representative, please do the right thing: Vote for Freedom to Work and allow workers the freedom to decide if they want to join and financially support a union. RTW WILL NOT end collective bargaining, it will simply force unions to earn ther support from their members ...

I am a UAW member, please vote to give me the choice, so I am not forced to pay dues to a union that is funding the Democrats and controlling them.

Brian Pannebecker
Ford Motor Co. worker/ UAW Local 228

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Melanie Kurdys Urges Calls to Legislature Opposing Health Insurance Exchanges

Here is the text of an email Melanie Kurdys sent to lawmakers today. She invites you to use the information herein for your own email letter to lawmakers.

I spoke with a number of you yesterday, Tuesday, about not approving any health exchanges in Michigan.  The common theme among representatives was that a state run exchange would give us more control than leaving it to the Federal government. I believe this assumption is debatable, but let's assume it is true. Is the Added cost burden to the State of Michigan worth the budget strain for the additional control we retain?

No representative or legislative assistant I spoke to seemed confident that we have any idea how much the state run exchange might cost us.  As you might expect, estimates vary significantly for the same reason we are having trouble making this decision.There are so many unknowns. So I found what appears to be among the most reasonable estimates based on Actual implementations where they exist and in comparison to other state estimates.

Please consider the impact of this cost to the state, especially in light of the fact that Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana have all decided not to implement state exchanges. Although they may not retain full flexibility for their citizens in terms of health care, they will not have the financial burden. This financial burden will impact our citizens and our businesses in terms of higher taxes (or health care costs), which, unless we reduce costs elsewhere, will negatively impact our progress toward creating a friendlier business environment.

This is a terribly difficult decision you have to make. Think of the other states and their decision. As of November 19, 19 states have declined state run exchanges, 17 have approved and 5 are considering the partnership idea, the balance (8) are yet undecided. Potentially more than half could end up declining to implementing state exchanges. The reference for this status information is here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Protect Your Parental Rights From UN Control

A five-year old boy comes home from kindergarten class with a new book bag from his teacher. Included in the bag is a book entitled "My Two Dads", a book about "diversity and alternative lifestyles". The parents do not want their five-year-old exposed to this material. They meet with the principal who first tells them they may not opt their child out of the class. After further discussion with the superintendent, the father is held in the office, the police are called, and he is put in cuffs and taken to the station to be booked.
This story is true. You can watch it and others on the website Click here to view the short, 7-minute trailer.
Your fundamental rights to raise and nurture your children as you see fit is under threat. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) would empower children to virtually do whatever they please without interference from their parents. Its effect would be binding on American families, courts, and policy-makers.
Under the provisions of the UNCRC:
  • Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
  • The government could override every parental decision if a government worker disagreed with the parent's decision.
  • Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent. 
What is needed to stop this insidious international law from taking effect in the United States? We believe the Constitution needs to be amended to include fundamental parental rights.
The first step in that process is passage of a resolution in the Michigan Legislature. Rep. Dave Agema introduced HCR 11 last year. It has since passed the House and is now sitting in the Senate Government Operations Committee.
If this resolution is not passed by the end of the year, it will die and need to be re-introduced next year. Please help us get the resolution passed n the Senate. here is what you can do:
  • Write a short, respectful letter to Senator Randy Richardville, Chairman of Government Operations Committee. Ask him to take this resolution up in his committee before the end of the year.
  • Sign our online petition, expressing your support for the Resolution.

The Last Stand Against Obamacare: Nullification

In 2009, Congress signed the "Affordable Care Act", which the President likes to call "Obamacare." In 2012, the Supreme Court let the law stand. There is but one hurdle left that could stop Obamacare from implementation: Nullification by the state legislatures.

From the Tenth Amendment Center:
"Nullification is any act or set of acts, which has as its end result, a particular federal law being rendered null and void, or just plain unenforceable in your area.

Nullification often begins with members of your state legislature declaring a federal act unconstitutional and then committing to resist its implementation. It usually involves a bill, passed by both houses and signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law, or it might even amend your state constitution. In this case, it is quite simply a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce a particular federal law it deems unconstitutional."

Governors have until December 14 to decide whether to set up a state-run health care exchange. We need to let our legislators know that we do not favor Obamacare and the enormous tax burden that comes with it. We, the People, can stop the implementation of Obamacare, but we need to make our voices heard over the next two weeks. Come to Lansing on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Those are the days the legislature is in session. Let your lawmakers know your personal feelings.
Call. Email. Visit. Here is where you can find contact information for your state senator and state representative.

American Laws for American Courts. Makes Perfect Sense

"A court...shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States."

Everyone would agree with that, right? Who would think a U.S. court would ever consider foreign laws in its deliberation? Think again. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have both stated that it is appropriate to consider foreign laws when forming legal opinions. According to the Public Policy Alliance, "...increasingly, foreign laws and legal doctrines, including Shariah law principles, are finding their way into US court cases. Reviews of state laws provide extensive evidence that foreign laws and legal doctrines are introduced into US state court cases, including, notably, Islamic law known as Shariah, which is used in family courts and other courts in dozens of foreign Muslim-majority nations."

It is fully appropriate for State Legislatures to pass laws that protect our American system of laws and prohibit courts from using foreign laws to form their legal opinions. Rep. Dave Agema has introduced HB 4769, "American laws for American Courts" to provide this protection. The quote from the top of this article is taken from the language of his bill.

While this seems like a legislative "slam dunk" it has been languishing in the House since its introduction in June of 2011. The bill is on the calendar for session November 27, 2012. If it does not pass by the end of the year, it will die.

Now is the time to swing into action:
  1. Contact Speaker Jase Bolger's office now, or anytime until Tuesday afternoon. Ask him to take this bill up.
  2. Contact your state rep. and ask him/her to support this bill.
  3. Come to Lansing Tuesday, November 27, to visit your state rep's office and stay for session at 1:30 p.m. so you can be in the gallery supporting Rep. Agema. Remember what Thomas Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." We can not let our guard down. And when we have a chance to affirm our American way of life, we must do so.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Election 2012: Closer Than The Media Would Have You Beleive

The MSM is telling disheartened conservatives to pack it in. "You got trounced, give in on immigration, national health care, deficits, increased taxes, more spending, social's over."

No, it isn't. Consider this: Romney won 20 red states by 55% or greater. Those states are getting redder. He lost 17 states and DC with 45% or less of the vote. Most of those states are blue and getting bluer, although a case could be made for a state like Michigan, where the margin was closer than its been in several cycles.

The remaining 13 states, of which Romney won four and Obama won 9, were decided in total by less than 160,000 votes. The margin was 50.2% to 49.8%, razor thin. That translates to 2.9 votes per precinct across those 13 states.

We lost the White House, in my opinion for two key reasons. 1) Our candidate did not want to engage or energetically defend conservative principles. He was painting more in soft pastels than in bold colors. 2) We were out-organized on the ground. The GOP/Romney "Orca" GOTV program crashed. We started too late. We simply did not deliver the votes the way the Democrats did. Oh, yes, they cheated, but I don't think it would have changed the final outcome.

We can win in 2014 and in 2016, but only if we have true conservative candidates who remember what we as conservatives (true Republicans) stand for, know why we believe it, and articulate it to the masses in a way that convinces them to agree with us and vote conservative.

All may be lost, but regardless, we are still here, and we must fight on. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Soldier on!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Will Right-to-Work Get a Fair Hearing in Lansing?

It is time for Michigan to become a right-to-work state. If the conditions were ever perfect for this to happen, they are right now. Consider:
  • We have a Speaker of the House who has publicly expressed support for RTW.
  • A solid majority of House members and, I believe, Senate members have expressed a willingness to vote for a RTW law, if it comes to a vote on the floor.
  • The Majority Leader of the House has expressed a willingness to consider the bill if a majority of his caucus members want to bring it to the floor.
  • We have a Governor who has pledged to sign a RTW bill if it gets to his desk.
  • Three unabashedly pro-union ballot proposals were soundly defeated at the polls.
  • Indiana became the 23rd RTW state this year.
  • Polling data has shown that a solid majority of Michigan residents support RTW for Michigan.
  • We are entering the “lame-duck” session, a time when anything can happen, and usually does.
  • There is a wealth of data to give evidence that right-to-work states create more jobs, more wealth, fewer residents on welfare, higher per-capita disposable income, and much more. Find the data here and here.
Will right-to-work get a fair hearing and an up or down vote? You can help determine that answer. There will be pressure from both sides, for and against labor freedom. You need to encourage your state senator and state representative to support right-to-work. Give them factual data or tell your own story. They want to see Michigan's economy move forward. They want to do the right thing. Go to Lansing, or contact them by phone, email, fax, or letter. You can be part of making Michigan once again, the most competitive manufacturing environment in North America!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preparing for the Fiscal Cliff

Here is an excellent article about how to plan for the "fiscal cliff."
Anything Taxes 
November  2012
Chris Micklatcher, P.C.  
835 Golden Avenue
Battle Creek, Michigan 49014 

Specializing in Resolving

Tax Controversies

  - IRS Tax Problems
  - Michigan Tax Problems
  - Business Taxes
  - Individual Taxes
  - Tax Audits
  - Tax Collections 
  - Unfiled Tax Returns
  - Tax Liens & Levies
  - IRS Notices

Have you ever put a lot of money into fixing a problem, like buying a used car to replace the old one, only to find out the "new" used car has the same problems (or worse) as the old one?  It's frustrating.  All that time and money, and nothing has changed.  Well, that is how I feel about the elections.  It's not the results of the elections that bother me, but rather the fact we have a long-standing fiscal crisis in the country and the leaders of both political parties are kicking the can down the road.   
We did not hear much about the "fiscal cliff" before the elections but now its exploding on the airwaves.  Do I fault the politicians or the media?  Does it matter?  All I know is that the political leaders have failed me, and it's time to take matters into my own hands.
So, how are our political leaders responding to the "new" fiscal crisis?  Both sides have called for bi-partisanship, but I just don't believe it based on past behavior.  The day after the election the political bickering started, and lines are already drawn in the sand.
I heard a joke recently where the Democratic leadership is fiscal cliffheading towards the fiscal cliff at 100 miles per hour, but the Republican leadership is heading there at 50 miles per hour.  In either case we are still going over.  So, it seems like the average taxpayer just cannot win.   
It's time for all of us to educate ourselves and act!  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider the next four years.
First, there is an immediate problem facing you.  The politicians must deal with the pending tax increases and spending cuts due to be implemented in early January 2013.  If not, the US economy could be sent into a tailspin. What's this mean to you?  Well, it means heading into a recession and higher taxes.  But, the politicians know how to kick the can down the us a "new" used car.  The politicians will probably raise the national debt again, and print more money.  This short term fix will result in even a bigger US debt that we will have to deal with in a few years.
Second, there is a long term problem facing you.  The huge US debt will not be fixed anytime soon and every family needs to prepare for the looming "winter" season the US economy will go through.  Right now, every child eighteen years old and younger owes $218,000 to the US Treasury.  That's a huge burden to put on the next generation to finance our generation's wants.  Without dealing with it, expect higher prices and inflation for years to come until we eventually fall off the cliff.  How do you do prepare?  You need to watch your pocketbook, and evaluate your household budget.  You need to control your money rather than it controlling you.  A good place to start is  Both of these websites offer budgeting tools.
Third, there are opportunities.  If you have extra cash and are looking for investment opportunities check out this article for sectors to invest in.  There will be winners...always are.

Don't play the blame game...except for maybe politicians and used car salesmen.  Just prepare and you'll be fine.    

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts From a Happy Warrior

Ronald Reagan
The original "Happy Warrior"
It has been 48 hours since the polls closed and I am still processing, going through a range of emotions from frustration to despair to anger to hope.

I have been trying to sort out what happened and why. The pollsters, pundits and analysts will figure it all out for us, eventually.

Rather than spend too much energy trying to figure out how this all happened, I prefer to reflect on what we believe and how we should apply those beliefs to the battles ahead.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” It’s true, our liberty has been slipping away little by little over the last 100 years. We have had periods of respite from that creeping socialism, (Ronald Reagan), and there have been times when socialism was advancing at a full gallop. Today is one of those times.

But, I refuse to write off the United States or give up on the future. It looks pretty grim, but we must not lose heart. We must “cling” to those timeless truths, the eternal values, the core principles that we know are right. Truth never changes. The principles of limited government, rule of law, individual liberty, don’t change; they don’t come and go based on current circumstances.

What will it take for America to see conservative leadership again?

First, we need to remember that the things we believe are true and should not be compromised or given up on. Second, we need to not only know and believe these truths, but we need to understand why they are right. Third, we need to learn how to articulate these truths to others so as to convince them that what we believe is right and what they believe is wrong. Fourth, we need leaders who can convey these messages without compromise and in a positive, winning manner.

Sounds a lot like Ronald Reagan, doesn’t it? Reagan was successful because he knew what he believed, never changed or compromised on his beliefs, knew why he believed them and was able to articulate them in a convincing, positive, and often, humorous way.

If we truly believe in limited government, low taxes, individual liberty, the rule of law, private property and the right to protect it, then we also believe it is what’s best for all Americans, rich and poor.

Can we convince the 47% that they are better off in a free America where the individual is sovereign and where government is not the provider of their next meal, their college education, the roof over their heads and their Obama phone?
If we cannot convince them, we are doomed to an America that will become further divided, increasingly socialistic and ultimately bankrupt, financially and spiritually. Let’s not allow that to happen.

Let us, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, mutually pledge” to each other our resolve to hold firmly to the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and the rule of law. After all, we’re conservatives, aren’t we?

A Perspective on Election 2012 from Lutherans for Life

Thanks to Carolyn B. for sending this along.

I am actually writing this “response” the morning of Election Day. We just finished staff devotions based on Psalm 118:8-9. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

Regardless who the president might be, LFL will continue to trust and take refuge in the Lord of Life, not our elected officials.

On November 7 and beyond, we will continue to do what we were doing preceding November 7. We will apply the heart-and-life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ to the life issues. We will equip other Lutherans to do the same. For until we have more Gospel-motivated voices For Life speaking boldly in our churches seeking to change hearts and minds, elections will not change a thing.

If Barack Obama is our president, at least 3,200 babies will be murdered every single day for the next four years.

If Mitt Romney is our president, at least 3,200 babies will be murdered every single day for the next four years. Mitt Romney may sign an executive order or two that would restrict funding abortions in various ways—and we would be thankful for that—but, generally speaking, the slaughter will continue.

The slaughter will continue until the American people shout, “Enough is enough!” so loudly and consistently that it cannot be ignored. But this will never happen until the American people stop ignoring the shed blood of our children for the sake of their pocketbooks and 401K’s. And this will never happen until the Church stops ignoring the shed blood of our children for the sake of avoiding “politics” or controversy.

I once asked this rhetorical question in a sermon, “If we as God’s people will not stand up and call this wrong thing wrong, who will? If we as God’s people will not stand up and bring the healing Gospel of Jesus to those wounded by this wrong thing, who will?” A little girl in the front row who obviously did not know or care anything about “rhetorical,” raised her hand and shouted for all to hear, “I will! I will!”

At LFL we are very grateful for those of you who took your Christian values and convictions with you and voted in this election. But now we ask that you trust in the Lord and not in princes. Now we ask that you vote again by a show of hands and a proclamation of the lips, “I will! I will!” That will be the beginning of real and lasting change.

Your servant For Life,
Jim Lamb Executive Director of Lutherans For Life

Monday, November 5, 2012

Proposal 5: YES

Proposal 5 simply states that the legislature cannot raise your taxes without a 2/3 majority vote, rather than a simple majority.

My support for this proposal comes from my personal experience as a lawmaker. Democrats and Republicans alike find it too easy to raise taxes rather than apply conservative values of limited government and fiscal restraint.

There are literally hundreds of lobbyists representing virtually every special interest and government supported agency in the state. They all have a common mantra: "Mo' money!" But, who is representing the taxpayer who says, "Stop the spending!" The answer is, nobody.

When lawmakers come out of the chamber and into the hall, they are swamped by the lobbyists who say, "Representative, we need your vote for this new appropriation, this new law, that provides funding for" ...whatever. But, there are no lobbyists asking the lawmakers to stop spending more of the taxpayers money.

Proposal 5 is the taxpayers best friend. Vote YES.

Proposal 6: YES

One argument the opponents of proposal 6 use is that "Matty Moroun is a greedy capitalist." I reject that assertion. Is Matty Moroun a capitalist? Yes. Is he rich? Yes. Is he funding the battle to pass proposal 6? For the most part, yes.

But did you know that the Moroun family has been operating the Ambassador bridge efficiently for decades? Did you know that because the Ambassador bridge is privately owned, the Morouns pay millions in taxes on their bridge? Did you know that they have already completed construction of the approaches and on-ramps for a second span, next to the current bridge which will eventually need to be replaced, but they cannot finish the bridge because of government interference?

The Morouns are free-market capitalists who are providing a great product at a fair price. And they are making a tidy profit for their efforts. If you want to call that greed, so be it.

On the question of whether we even need another bridge to Canada, the answer seems to be a resounding NO. Traffic crossing from the US to Canada and back is down 40% from its peak over ten years ago. There is nothing to suggest it will increase substantially anytime soon.

The bottom line is that this proposed bridge will be a publicly-funded project. Some of the money is coming from Canada, but it is, in the end, a loan. Much of the money to pay for construction will come from the federal government, an entity with a $16 TRILLION debt and no way to pay for it. And, who is "the federal government" anyway? It is you and me.

There are numerous credible arguments for passage of proposal 6. Read more here and here.

I urge you to vote YES on 6. Let the people decide.

For Mattawan Schools: Winther, For KVCC Board: Kolich, For Portage: Herriman

We need fiscal restraint and fiscal responsibility at every level of government. As a former lawmaker, I can tell you, it is much too easy for government to demand more from the taxpayers.

Fiscal restraint requires hard work, creativity, and discipline. To just say, "Oh, let's just ask the taxpayers for a little bit more" is much easier to do. The problem is, too often, the taxpayers go along with it. More often than not, it comes in the form of a millage that too few voters are aware of, and the minority who benefits from a further soaking of the taxpayer, turns out the majority of the vote and taxes go up.

In the case of the Mattawan School Board Election, the KVCC Board Election, and the Portage School Board election, each has one good candidate, committed to spending restraint and fiscal discipline. I urge those who live in these three taxing distrcits to vote for these three highly qualified candidates who have pledged to run efficient operations without raising taxes or assessments:

For KVCC: Greg Kolich
For Mattawan School Board: Arlen Winther
For Portage School Board: Chelsea Herriman

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Michigan Taxpayers to Pay the Price for Canada’s NITC Power Play?

When it comes to the proposed New (government-run) International Trade Crossing (NITC) between Detroit and Windsor, it now appears rules are being skirted to get the bridge built at any cost.

On October 18, Conservatives in the Canadian Parliament introduced the “Bridge to Strengthen Trade Act.” This unprecedented legislative maneuver would exempt the NITC from securing major approvals and adhering to the Environmental Assessment Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Fisheries Act, among others.

But perhaps most importantly, the legislation asserts these exemptions would apply to the Michigan portion of the project as well.

Canada’s willingness to go to such extraordinary lengths begs the question: What are they getting in return? And, is this new bridge worth giving up our state’s sovereignty and financial security? I strongly believe it is not. 

First, according to the Crossing Agreement, Canada will control the entity that oversees the design, construction, financing and operation of the bridge. As a result, it’s likely to favor Canadian suppliers and workers. Governor Snyder further ensured Canada’s advantage on NITC-related jobs when he gave in to Canada’s demand for a waiver to “Buy America” requirements, which mandate the use of American steel on construction projects eligible for federal highway matching funds.

Second, under the Crossing Agreement, Michigan won’t collect any toll revenue from the NITC for approximately 50 years, or until the $550 million government loan from Canada to cover construction costs is repaid. Interest on the Canadian “contribution” begins to compound from day one. Meanwhile, a new analysis from O’Keefe & Associates casts serious doubt on whether Michigan will ever directly benefit, as cost overruns and traffic shortfalls could make total debt owed skyrocket to more than $8 billion. So long as Canada hasn’t recouped its initial investment, Michigan won’t see a dime.

Finally, if at any point Canada no longer has an interest in shouldering the financial burden of this enormous project, the Crossing Agreement clearly spells out that they can amend the agreement (page 40) or terminate it (pages 36-37) at any time. In a startling recent interview, even Governor Snyder admitted there is absolutely nothing in the Crossing Agreement that says Canada is obligated to cover cost overruns. If this project exceeds its budget, as large infrastructure projects often do, who pays?

The claims of a “free” bridge for Michigan taxpayers are based entirely on politicians’ promises. It’s an enormous gamble — our state’s financial future — to be taking their word for it.

The bottom line is that the proposal signed by Governor Snyder this June creates an uneven playing field for a Canadian government-subsidized business at the expense of Michigan taxpayers and private-sector competitors, both in Detroit and nationwide. It gives Canada control over most of the jobs and all of the revenue associated with the bridge for the foreseeable future. And they can walk away at any time.

It puts Michigan taxpayers in debt to a foreign government for years to come and needlessly enlarges the size of our government. In the process, some of our liberties are being taken away. I find that unacceptable.

Fortunately, by voting yes on Proposal 6 this November, Michigan citizens have an opportunity to tell the governor that it is unacceptable to cut them out of the equation when attempting to entangle their tax dollars in a shaky financing scheme with a highly uncertain outcome.

Taxpayers on both sides of the border would also be wise to question the prudence of a project that requires both countries to ignore their own laws, and the opposition of their own people, in order to push it through.

NewJersey Turns Away Relief Workers...They are Non-Union

Incredible! New Jersey says "no thanks" to Alabama relief workers because they are from a Right-to-work state. Read the amazing story here.