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Showing posts from May, 2013

Dole, Nixon, Obama And Memorial Day

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During World War II our leaders and soldiers did not consider failing as an option. Bob Dole served our country well as did Ronald Reagan. The Dole's and Reagan's were men who thought first what was best for the country and then thought about how they could win an election. They were politicians who recognized that compromise was not a dirty word and they could not get everything they wanted.  They knew that their party was comprised of mere mortals and if someone was a Democrat they too were capable of good ideas. If it was not for Watergate Nixon would be remembered as the President who got us out of Viet Nam and rekindled our relationship with China. Compare these men to those in the Republican primary this past election; Gingrich, Romney, Paul, Cain, Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman and Perry. No wonder we lost. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are talked about as candidates for 2016. If this is the type of candidate we have in 2016 we will lose again and we should. The Republic

Obama And The Economy

"And, to be fair, it has also been a long time since President Obama said anything forceful publicly about job creation." Japan The Model, NY Times May 23, 2013 The above excerpt is sad. It shows a lack of leadership on the part of the President. It is easy to "lead" in good times and not so easy when facing an economy and Congress like Mr. Obama is facing. However, true leaders become motivated when the challenges are huge. Historians tend to label presidents "great" more often when the person occupying the Oval Office is facing great obstacles. Roosevelt by most is labeled great because of his guiding hand  to get through the 1930 depression and World War II. Reagan is looked at as great because of turning the economy around and bringing about the downfall of the USSR. Will Obama be deemed great for overcoming the near-depression of 2007/2008 or will he be a yawn in our history books because he let a stubborn congress get in the way of reco

Michigan's Education Assistance Authority

In 2012 the state of Michigan formed the  Education Assistance Authority  to take over the operation of schools that were in the lowest 5 percentile regarding student achievement. They are presently operating 15 schools in Detroit and potentially will be operating another 40-50 schools in Michigan over the next few years. Below are some observations. It is too early to expand the EAA beyond the existing 15 schools. A track record needs to be established before doing so. For the sake of the children, time is of the essence and hopefully an informed decision can be made over the next 12 to 24 months. Some individuals are calling the EAA a failed experiment. It is an experiment in progress and the old way was not working. The status quo always resist change. It makes sense to seek a better alternative. The concept of John Covington, Chancellor of the EAA is "to implement the education platform where we use time as the variable, learning is the constant...." is a good one.

Detroit Needs Consolidation

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A long term plan for the city of Detroit must include recognizing the city has far too much housing and vacant lots to expect all will be filled by future new residents. This large of an influx will not happen for decades if ever. A good illustration of this problem is comparing Detroit to the combined areas of San Francisco, Boston and Manhattan. This graphic below was created by Mapping Solutions and is based on the population numbers for the year 2009. Detroit's population in 2009 was 845,000 with an area of 139 square miles.The population per square mile was 6,079. At its peak, Detroit had a population of approximately 14,388 per square mile. In the long term plan created during the Bing Administration called Detroit Future City they say,  "Detroit is not too big, its economy is too small." I disagree. It is going to take too long to grow the economy to the point where it will attract enough residents to double its size. The combined population in 200

Benghazi Revisited

Here are the issues related to Benghazi. Something that is not discussed enough is our election process, which effectively means every politician in Washington is given a 10 to 12 month paid sabbatical to look for another job. Their reelection, contributed to the breakdown of security in Benghazi.. This must change so our enemies don't take advantage of us again. The U.S. should have had better security for its Embassy in Libya and we need to be determined how much was caused by congressional budget cuts. The question is who is at fault and does it reasonable to put much of the blame on Clinton or Obama. This is not so clear. Per the organization chart of the Department of State the SOS has seventeen individuals reporting directly to her. These individuals must have the ability to work without much supervision. If they cannot, they do not belong in their position. The SOS is a diplomat and lacks sufficient time to manage this number of subordinates. Clinton cannot be blamed