This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Great Lazy Weekend

It’s been a busy but laid back type of summer weekend with all the minutia of “bottom up politics” . My friends parking concession for Summer Celebration is working well. See my side bar top in blue.

I marched in the parade with a lot of supporters of Karen Buie, I’m going to call them the “Buie Bunch” The parade was pretty short and some of the “Bunch” met afterward to unwind. Next parade is in Whitehall, if you want to join the "Bunch" see my side bar under “Calendar” and get hold of me. Bring good shoes as it is a long parade. I’ve been helping on Karen’s new web site too. Hope we can get it up before that parade. "Incolor" is building it.

Hope to be seeing all the candidates in Whitehall. Give me a call to get in touch with any of them. I’ll do my best. BTW we didn’t run out of candy this time. The kids were happy.

Well I’m getting used to no one showing up for my Sunday Morning Conservative Coffee for Ward 2 Muskegon at the McDonalds downtown at 8am. So in keeping with my mantra of Make Do, Make It Now, Make It Work. I’m doing the Make Do part and catching up on my reading. I’m reading Paul Drucker’s “ The Effective Executive” A classic how to of common sense about running an organization, but more importantly from my perspective how better to interact with people. It is great so far and I can relate to it in my own quest to relate to other people better. Not as a leadership guide. Kind of a get me out of my shell thing. As to politics the sub title says it all. “The definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done” Remember this was written in the late 1960’s so the “Right” does not me Republican or Conservative. Just right. Well come to think of it. lol This book so far is stressing the bottom up part of leadership. The necessary listening part of the process. Letting your agenda if you will fit the real needs. Learning what is really important. The necessity of making changes, without which you will surely become outmoded, as new opportunities arise. I’m seeing some McCain type things in this even.

Overall just a pleasantly busy weekend. Gave me a chance to recharge my batteries.

I might add that my daughter got her picture on the front page of the Detroit Free Press to highlight a full article about her chosen sport of “Disc Golf” in the Twist section. Below I have a link to the article.
------Proud Daddy Link-------
What can I say. She loves this as I love politics, I’m truly happy.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

PSS Just got an email about a fund raiser to help elect David Schultz as our Muskegon County Drain Commissioner. I’ve posted the details on my side bar under “Calendar of Events”.

Friday, June 27, 2008

David L Schultz

Nick at Right Michigan, wrote the article below . “Beggars Can’t Be Choosers etc. etc, etc.
The Article highlights the problem Conservatives have in the State of Michigan as far as getting their agenda implemented. Nick further defined the problem by stating the slim majority Republicans have in the Senate against the Democratic control of the House and Governor’s Mansion: makes it hard to put a conservative stamp on the legislation enacted. He also alluded to some dissention within the Republican party.

His article helped clarify for me the problems the state Conservatives were facing. It was in the comment section that I found my solace and some inspiration.
-----Nick’s reply to comment------
That's up to each and every one of US... (none / 0) (#4)
by Nick on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:25:13 PM EST
We need to identify, encourage and support genuine conservatives at the grassroots level starting yesterday!
Would encourage everyone to pick a race, Congressional, State House, County Commission... whatever... find the true conservative in the primary and put your money where your mouth is by backing them on nights and weekends.
It'll take that kind of effort to turn this state red. But it can happen.
Well the truth is always simple. But just as in quitting smoking for example, the change is very hard in the doing. Constant effort is required until it becomes second nature to not smoke, or in our case be on the phone, or going to a Republican meeting etc., march in a parade, or “Putting your money where your mouth is”. Nick urges us to support “genuine conservatives at the grassroots level starting yesterday!” Well I finally found one and am starting to support him. My support is mainly as a volunteer and hopefully spreading the word to someone else who might be reading this blog. My finances are slim. He will get some, but mainly I’ll offer all the hands on support I can give him. He is running for Muskegon County Drain Commissioner. His name is David L. Schultz. Below is a link to his web site. It is also on my side bar.
David Schultz states in the web site which doubles as his business web site, that he is a conservative. That alone seems a bit like “Live Dangerously Be A Conservative“. In conversations with me in the past he has intimated that stating his conservative beliefs may well have some negative effects on his business. They could also have positive ones. At least he is proud enough and firm enough in his basic principles to put them out there for all to see. From looking through his website, I was amazed at the concrete and specific knowledge he would bring to the job. On a technical level he is definitely qualified.

So what’s the problem? Well the local leadership seems to be backing Dave Fisher who is Dave Schultz’s main opponent in the Republican Primary. Let me tell you what is my problem with Dave Fisher?

Some background to help understand this race. Below is a snippet from a Muskegon Chronicle Article about the race for Drain Commissioner.
Hulka, an eight-term Democrat, has been battling the county board over his job performance for the past year, and is facing accusations that he forced his office staff to do illegal political work on county time.
Squaring off against Hulka in the Democratic primary are Kenny Erdman, Jeffrey Hepler, Bill Larson and Adam Rosema. Larson is a former Muskegon city commissioner. Republican candidates for drain commissioner are David Fisher, David Schultz and Mike Smith.
Then the main reason I’m not supporting Dave Fisher is the next snippet.
------Snippet same article-----
Fisher, the longtime community development and utilities director for Muskegon Township, originally planned to run as a Democrat. But he said the crowded Democratic field gives Hulka the edge, and he believes he would have a better shot at the incumbent in November.
"I want to win, and I don't believe that's possible with five people fighting in the Democratic primary," Fisher said. "The advantage goes to the incumbent”
Let’s just say my money or my mouth isn’t going to Fisher in the primary. Winning may be everything most of the time. But at what point do I draw the line and say the party stands for something. Where is it written in stone that certain people are the ones who know best. I hear people in the party saying we are being hijacked by liberals. I hear the public saying both parties are the same. At what point do I stand up and say this is where I draw my line on principle? Well to paraphrase Newt. “Right Here, Right Now, Vote for Principle” not who has the better political connections.

Fisher’s logic is good. A candidate has to get elected in the first place to be able to do anything. While Fisher may have better bureaucratic/political connection in the county, Schultz also has them through his business. If anything Schultz may bring a wider variety of connections from all his work with other counties and serving as an expert witness on drain related projects throughout the state. Both would be a welcome change from Hulka. The department will work better under either of the Daves. I make note of the fact that Dave Schultz has the experience of what it’s like to be on the other side of the government. As a conservative I think that is important. As a business owner he brings that to the table. Schultz has the definite lead in the expertise and science, which would help him create new innovations needed. I guess the question becomes whether Schultz can bring enough to the table on the political side to show he can get the base fired up for him. I just talked with him, his campaign staff is in place, his campaign is getting in gear, he just filmed a channel MCC tv thing. He’s lining print and radio spots, signage etc. He’s making connections that he should with political leaders. I see that Karen Buie endorsed him. Being a big Buie fan, I’m happy to see that. The Primary will decide. The Party and the county is lucky to have such able candidates. Dave Schultz needs to give them reasons to vote for him outside of his obvious ability to do the job and fix it where it needs it. His job qualifications are what people will fall back on when asked why they want to vote for him. His political skills determine for the most part whether someone actually votes for him in the first place.

My efforts for David Schultz will be to get the word out as best I can and help him in any other way I can. His qualifications for Drain Commissioner speak for themselves. In his website he has already suggested concrete specific changes he plans to make. Not save the world Miss America answers, but specific “Make Do, Make it Now, Make it Work” kind of changes. But he is starting from scratch, Schultz has a campaign staff in place and off and running. I didn’t know that. His job is to start letting people know he can get elected. And why people should vote for him. For this to work he needs people, and ideas.

So anyone out there please check out his website. If you like what you see, contact him directly or get hold of me. My contact me info. Is on my side bar under “Contact me info” lol. I’ll get you hooked up. We will need bodies to fill t-shirts. Good exercise and fun. See my sidebar for the list of parades in my section called “Calendar of Events” Want a sign in your yard give me or any of the candidates a call.

This is all my way of trying to do what I can for a grass roots Conservative, help get the message out there, and help my Republican Party in the process.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS I talked with David Farhat for the first time on the phone. Not at all about the Drain
Commissioner thing. He was really behind the idea though of getting as many people involved in any way with the election in general, Republican in Specific. He is truly talking from experience. I look forward to meeting more with him. Picking his brain if he let’s me.

PSS The Thursday Conservative Coffee (1st ever) was attended by 3 people. Boy did we talk and argue. It was at Carmen’s on Jefferson and Clay. Ate well too.

PSSSSSSSSSSSSS See side bar Calendar for the summer celebration parade with Karen Buie.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Was snooping around in my neighborhood when I happened across an old friend from back in the day working with a couple of kids from the neighborhood. They were fencing off a small field on the corner of Beidler and Southern just a little north on Beidler. His name is Marion. He was fencing off the field as he does every year in order to have a place to park cars during the Summer Shoreline Celebration as a fund raiser for his Nelson Community Association. I stopped and spent an hour and we finished the job. We needed an extra large post so I took Marion down to the city maintenance building and he sweet talked them into loaning him one. I got roped into helping him tomorrow to put it up so his sign or banner will be secure. What the heck. You gotta love this guy.

Below is the pertinent part from a blog I previously wrote about Marion and the respect I have for the man. Below that is the link to the blog I took it from.
-----part of the link dealing with Marion-----
Also I’d like to give a 2 thumb “bottom up” award to Marion who runs the (other) Nelson Neighborhood association. He does this all by himself mostly, some others help out when we can, when he asks, which is seldom. Definitely a different approach from Morning’s above. He runs a small food pantry in a building he bought. I spent last Sat. from 8;30am to 6:30pm going all over Muskegon County to the different Green Houses that donate flower and vegetable plant to him every year. Three round trips to Weises in Montague, Twin Lake nursery on Holton Rd, Pavolowski on Airline , Barry’s on Whitehall Rd. ect. He charges his members and whoever else shows up, a dollar a person. Probably about 4 flats @ person. We get about 60 - 80 people. He gave me $60 to help cover gas. I had a volunteer name of Tim a sharp 17 year guy. Eager to help. I worked him hard. Lol no complaints from either of us. Marion is always beating the bushes for food donations and volunteers to help get the donations. He has a major fund raiser selling parking spaces for Summer Celebration. Again volunteers stand and help run it. Also another fund raiser happens every Christmas eve when he puts out, cut out milk gallons with a candle, to outline the sidewalk or curb at places that donate to him. I drink a lot of milk, I donate to him probably around 200 clean and delabled milk jugs. Now that’s what I call recycling. That’s green conservatism. A lot of places downtown and other areas in the neighborhood are lit up Christmas Eve, it is a pretty site. All driving past benefit, Marion can buy more food for his pantry. He doesn’t get government money. He also doesn’t drive a car. Never did. When I feel I don’t have enough whatever to be able to do something, I think of Marion. BTW he has to be at least 80 years old and he just recently had a hole drilled in his head to remove blood. But he was there handing out the plants to everyone and quieting things down. Doing what he’ll tell you is right to do. This guy is what I would call an FDR democrat. ----- Before you start thinking those thoughts, remember so was Ronald Reagan. From successful solutions, a successful party will follow.
---------end of snippet----------
-----link to the actual blog------

I just added in BLUE at the top of my side bar a blurb about Marion’s fund raiser for the Nelson Neighborhood Community Association Food Pantry.

Don’t know what else to say other than enjoy the Summer Shoreline Celebration.

Regards. Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Relationships, Another Conservative Morning Coffee


Politics is personal. How many times in my short political life have I said that? I know probably too many. Politics is personal. There it needed saying again. When politics become ideological it becomes impersonal. I’m sure a lot of people when they read this blog think of me as some right wing whack job. Like everyone else I find it hard sometimes not to try to let everyone know what I believe in. Lash back at seeming personal attacks or at anything that threatens my beliefs. Thank God for a government that keeps me secure in my person so I can feel secure enough to state my views without fear of retaliation. So far anyway. oops there I go again. lol

Surprisingly the best way I’ve found so far to battle that ideologue trap is simply to get personal. When I go out and talk, interact with normal people, not wacko political junkies like myself, I find my rhetorical ideology slipping. I think that is probably a good thing. I tend to learn a lot more from people who don’t share my zeal, my political persuasion. Granted I need my morning fix of Right Wing Propoganda so I can fight the Left’s Leaping Loonies, but I really do better when I try to go outside my box and talk with people, Normal people. Do Things. Leaven my philosophy with deeds.

The purpose of this blog is to do just that. To try to find some people out there who lean to the right ideologically and get together with them and just talk to start with. Figure each other out then plan and scheme to create something good for the neighborhood. Get some things going. A BBQ on Morrall Ave. or a food giveaway or collection. Anything just doing what it takes to connect with other people. Spreading through deeds what we try to spread in the blogosphere. Put a face to what we believe. Instill a little trust back into how people look at Republicans. I have thought of a few things that incorporate both. Blogging and the personal. I thought that maybe whenever I see someone out in their garden or yard doing the tedious work that makes their yard look nicer (our neighborhood nicer) to simply thank them and ask if I could take a picture of what they’ve done and put it on my blog. Maybe come up with a gift or prize, for the best yard improvement. Not who spends the most money or hires the most help, but those that spent the most time, paid the most personal attention. In the winter, maybe do the same with the neatest shoveled sidewalk or a block long shoveled sidewalk that kids can safely walk on, out of the street. Highlight those things people do out of pride not what the government does. Maybe give them a free gift of a meal for two at a local restaurant I’ve blogged. Hopefully get it donated. Have it be a yearly thing. Have lots of honorable mentions. Get people coming to our Conservative Coffees to come up with ideas. Take pictures, plan a small fund raiser maybe, then plan what to do with the money. Maybe just a party. I would like to keep it political somewhat but only somewhat. The main thing is to help the neighborhood, keep it personal, and do it in a conservative friendly way. I’ll hope the people who show up guide the agenda.

There will be another Conservative Coffee starting this Thursday morning at Carmens on third and Clay downtown at 8:00 am. Good Coffee, Great Chow, Buy your own, free conversation and ideas. Don’t be shy, look for the red RedWings cap on the table as always. There will be two of us I know of for sure this Thursday. Look at this coffee as a way to get your Thursday mornings of to the Right start. Lol There is already talk of a larger biweekly perhaps Conservative Morning Coffee. At some one’s office. I don’t know any details yet. Come to the Thursday coffee and help us figure it out. The Thursday coffee isn’t just for Ward 2, all conservatives are welcome.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Monday, June 23, 2008

Re Writing History, Local Style

Below is article about the shock of Muskegon Area First and their PTAC. Remember the word Shock and the date of the article June 21, 2008
I quote from the article to help explain the confusion.
Maj. Gen. Bradley Mark Lott, USMC retired, is head of the new Michigan Defense Contract Coordination Center. He is unhappy with the management and direction of the Muskegon Area First-hosted West Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
Please read the article above. My summary is that The General had a job to do and he is doing it. That job was to get as much Federal money into the hands of as many small business’s as possible and in an efficient way. He ran up against local bureaucracies that were more interested in the bottom line of their little corner instead of the main purpose of the money. General Lott seems a man of action and not used to dealing with the rationalizations of bureaucracy. He probably thought it was like talking to a stone fence. Two different languages. Muskegon PTAC just didn’t grasp the idea of why the money was there in the first place. They seemed to think it was their money to do with as they wished and especially in that characteristic bureaucratic manner to take care of their own first then principles later. The General forgot to bring his translation book.
Another quote clearly shows what the General was after.
"I wish their (Muskegon officials) response would have been better," Lott said in a telephone interview. "We need to embrace small businesses across the entire 14-county area. I am a little concerned that we have not satisfied the businesses in Kent and Ottawa counties."
If you’ll notice the General didn’t once mention a dollar amount or that the total amount gathered by the PTAC was the main thing, it seemed to me that the main goal was how it was used which always seems to take a back seat in a governmental setting. I read the above and understand he is after a fair and equitable spreading around of the money not only in the 14county area but within the local PTAC s themselves. The Chronicle article seems to miss that entirely. Muskegon’s PTAC is quoted in the article by saying in the next paragraph the following
But state statistics show the Muskegon procurement office has been one of the top two PTACs among the 11 across the state the past two federal fiscal years in terms of total dollar value of federal contracts that received the office's assistance. The Muskegon office also is on course to meet Lott's goal of doubling federal contracts for this year.
What’s wrong with the General, can’t he see?
The crux of the article is to throw doubt on the decision that General Lott is making. It seems like this article is slanted way in favor of Muskegon Area First. That may be the loyal thing to do by the local paper but I had expected better as it claims to be a “News” paper.
The crux of the General’s reasoning is that the main goal of the PTAC is to help facilitate the spreading around of the grant monies to as varied a group of small business as possible, and to increase that money. Not to be in competition to see how much grant money can be raised within each PTAC. All the talk of the competing PTACs in the following article from Mlive seems to me to be counter productive to the stated goals of General Lott. This original article seems to put an entirely different slant on situation. A little kinder to the General. And more factual. Oh facts don’t seem to stand a chance when they interfere with sensationalizing a story. Later Edit from me. 6/24/08. I talked with Lee Loupo at the Chronicle, who told me that the "Origingal" below was not printed by the Chronicle. But by another publication under the Booth umbrella. Later I called Dave Alexander who let me know that the General instigated the story by calling him. Dave made the assumption the General had called Lynn Stevens author of the article below. Dave further said that his article wasn't printed for a number of days, so the two articles may have been written relatively close to the same time. Dave did say however that he had not read the other story, and that he's sicking to his. Thought I should let you know what I found out.----link-----
This earlier article clearly shows that General Lott tried to give fair warning. The region he is talking about is the region the Muskegon PTAC is responsible for.
"We have three manufacturing-population areas in the region: Muskegon County has 300 businesses, Kent County has 1,000 and Ottawa County has 400," Lott said. "I was finding I wasn't getting enough reach out of Muskegon County."
That PTAC's own report show it helped companies win more than $139 million in federal product and service contracts last year -- but 92 percent of the awards went to only four clients.
He further noted the problems he was facing with the Muskegon PTAC
-----quote from article-----
His efforts to establish a satellite office subordinate to Muskegon in Grand Rapids met with what he called "defiance compliance" from the Muskegon office director. He did not name the director.
Don’t you just hate it when someone comes along and tells the truth and disrupts that alternate universe you’ve so carefully constructed?

See my edit above in italic. While the actual published dates I use are correct, the actual writing dates are not. They may have been written close to the same time. Also note the two articles were published by diferent publications both completely different only owned by Booth. My mistake was thinking they were from the Chronicle because they were both on Mlive. I was sloppy. Again unless proven different I stand on the facts as presented other than the timing. Let the reader judge which article is correct.
I wonder why 10 days later this second article came out. Sounds like some ruffled feathers needed smoothing. The headline had a little different slant. “Retired general attacks area's federal contract efforts”. Not exactly killing babies but I think you get the drift. Not very understanding in tone or substance as a headline. Especially compared to the previous article. The lack of the facts stated in the earlier article about 92% of the awards going to only four clients was missing. Also the numbers of business’s in the surrounding area which showed the disproportionate amount of help being obtained by Muskegon PTAC which showed the General’s true intent was absent . Well they seemed to have been deleted, and replaced with less specific numbers. Less facts to help the reader decide.

Those new “facts” while less factual changed the emphasis of the article to make one think that the Muskegon PTAC was doing great and setting records. Now it will all be for naught because a retired General has attacked them for no apparent reason. You know how the military can be. This kind of logic is understandable if one is trying to protect and enhance an individual bureaucracy or PTAC and not further the overall goals of the Michigan Defense Contract Coordination Center, the General heads. In plain words, it looks like the General was after help in accomplishing his goals, but instead found a local PTAC more interested in feathering their own nest and padding their bottom line in defiance of General Lott’s stated purpose. To bad the article also had to buy into all that bureaucratic double speak.

The bureaucratic mentality is a hard nut to crack. An ever increasingly accepted alternative universe. Want another example of a bureaucracy thinking it is doing a good job in this other alternative universe ??? Look at the Detroit Public School system. It’s teachers and leaders keep getting raises and paychecks and they think they are doing fine. They change curriculum and everybody’s happy. Their main goal is to keep all the kids in school they can to keep getting the per student funding. What ever happened to the stated purpose of actually teaching the children. The Detroit Schools for one have seemed to have misplaced that notion. What priority number has that notion slipped too? It obviously isn’t number one and hasn’t been for awhile.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Muskegon Heights Parade. Wow what a lot of people. What a great turnout of people in the parade. I was walking with Karen Buie. She was a real crowd pleaser. She was walking not riding. She was crossing back and forward giving hugs and shaking hands. People were calling out her name and she theirs, I was amazed at the number of people that knew her by name. When she walked over and hugged them or shook their hand you could just see the power of the personnal touch. Her opponent was in a float. Her float was quite far behind us. After we finished with people clapping and having a good time, I waited and when the float came by there was a silence. However much that float cost it was a waste of money. The rest of us had a good time and were giving out candy and carrying signs which mostly said hurray for our side. Lol. I had a ball. Being the political nut I am, the lineup before the parade was great. I got to meet and greet friend and foe alike. I had a chance to talk with Annette Smedley who is running for county prosecutor. We set up a time that I could call and interview her, which I’ll blog about later. I wanted a little more information from her, show her personal side. I cannot see the downside to having her instead of Tony Tague as Prosecutor. Annette would bring a more personal approach to the office. Her prevention programs would be the face of that.

Everybody ran out of candy, not just us.. Broadway was packed, near the end they were 6-8 deep and crowded, over flowing into the streets on both sides. The Fruitport parade was big but we didn’t run out of candy. If anyone wants to volunteer for a parade see my sidebar for the dates and times, which I’ll update as I get the information. If you’d rather, my Phone and email are listed on the side bar, give me a call and we’ll get you hooked up with whoever you want. I look at the parades as a chance to meet the candidates without the cost of a fund raiser. In fact I’ve gotten two free t-shirts and a whole lot of free candy. Lol Next Sat. is Summer Celebration’s Parade. That is always good I hear, I‘ll be with Karen Buie‘s group. Annette Smedley, and Holley Hughes I know for sure are going too. We all need more volunteers. Never too many. That would be like saying there are too many voters. Politicians love volunteers.


As always the Weekly Sunday Morning Conservative Coffee Ward 2 Muskegon. That’s anybody in what you might call the downtown area. If Clara Shepard is your Commissioner you’re in Ward 2. It’s at McDonalds downtown at 8am. I’ll be at the table with the red Red Wings, hockey cap at the table. I’ll have a book on the table or I’ll be reading it.

Dave Fisher has a fund raiser the 24th see my side bar - calendar.

I talked with Kay Punter who will be running the Republican tent at the Muskegon County Youth Fair and told her I would like to volunteer to watch the booth and hand out literature. She is just starting to get it set up. The Fair isn’t till the 22-26 of July a full month away, but volunteers will be welcomed to help man or woman the tent. Karen Buie is going to come one of the evenings at least. I’m sure the other candidates will come also. The tent will be there the whole time and the more people volunteering the better. The personal thing again. And again the side bar get my number and let me know. As I get info. I’ll put it up.

Mia & Grace, Bakery & Bistro I have a feeling is getting ready to open. I noticed they had some nice local sculptors in their front window. After I did the window peeping at Mia & Grace I walked a couple doors down and stopped at Aguilar’s Family Mexican Restaurant and had a beef tongue Mexican style taco for 1.75. Then I walked next door to AA (I’m an alcoholic BTW) and found out that they are moving. This will be the 4th move since I started going to Port City AA. Some 25 years ago. I think the new place will be around the corner of Apple and Getty. Rolled by Morning Bear’s place she wasn’t out, and the garden spot looked well tended and the flowers and veggies were getting taller. Then home to blog this.

Forgot to mention, I went to the Taste Of Muskegon outdoor tented food fest. I counted 26 different restaurants with a tent serving the best of their wares. Two blocks of downtown were blocked off to hold them all. Location was by the Fraunthal. They had a band at one end and a Beer tasting at the other. Tables set up all over. A lot of people were there, It was crowded. I’m hoping Mia & Grace will be there next year and maybe Aguilar’s too if I can talk them into it.

Well the whole thing, from Parade lineup at 10am to sitting at my computer now, only used up 6 hours of my time. I spent a total of $2 and change, for that I had a great time in Muskegon. I call that a “two thumb bottom up” kind of day.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Drain Commissioner

The Selection of the Muskegon County Drain Commissioner this year starts with the Primary. I am a Republican and will focus on the Republican Primary. David Schultz, Dave Fisher, and Mike Smith are all running in the Republican Primary. While Dave Fisher has a lot of experience working in the halls of government with all of his service for Muskegon Township. I am siding with David L. Shultz. The first reason are his qualifications. The list is truly astounding for a civil servant. He brings years of on hand experience to the job. Plus a wealth of other engineering related knowledge, both hands on and academic. Take a look at the introductory page of his webpage.
I liked that he stated he has conservative ideals, in the same breath as he proudly states he is a conservationist. This is a balance individual. His true passion seems to lie in Environmental issues and doing what needs to be done. He also states that the post is not political. From talking with him he is not an ideologue as a conservative or as an Environmentalist. If you can take the time to look through his site I think you will be impressed with his “common sense” conservative approach to the job at hand, make government work better to solve problems better. He already seems to know the situation at the Drain Commission. He not only knows it’s shortcomings, he already has concrete plans to correct them. See his Issues section I linked below from his web site.
Again this guy seems eminently qualified by any metric I know to measure with. The part I like is the get things done attitude coupled with the brains and experience necessary to carry it off. This guy is not just looking for another political job. He has passion and a desire to get the job done. He even has the ability to work in a bureaucracy and make it run smoothly. (This guy has a little Bobby Jindal in him. IMO)

If you’ve read any of my blogs you know my mantra of “Make Do, Make it Now, Make It Work”, David L. Schultz seems to fit the profile pretty good so far. As I find out more I’ll let you know. This guy definitely has my support. I’m sure if after doing your own digging he would appreciate your support if you so choose.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be a Conservative

PS Try to make the Muskegon Hts Parade today. Line up at Temple And Broadway at 10:00 Watch or March either way it should be fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

An Informative Day

Had an informative day yesterday. I left home at 9:30 to meet a fellow Muskegon Blogger at the park and car pool place on Hile Rd. by 10:00am. We then drove to Lansing to attend a talk about merit pay for teachers based upon the progress of the students. The talk was from noon to 1:00. Within that one hour I ate lunch and learned a lot. The talk was put on by the Mackinac Center, a conservative think tank if you will that I have linked on my side bar under “Old Stand by Links”. These people are the best science based in depth resource I have found for facts and figures, (logical arguments) to back up common sense conservative solutions. I can not give them enough praise for their tireless efforts. They have seemingly unlimited studies on any conservative cause you want to find out about. No yelling or ranting there, “Just the facts mam”. A real gem of a resource tool. I will be relying on them in the future especially for ammunition in the education reform debate. The talk given was concise easy to understand, and to the point. When I can I will post a link to it if possible. If you go to the Mackinac Center link on the side bar you may find it also.

Another event was being held in Lansing that day and was perhaps the biggest reason we decided to go. Jack McHugh from the Mackinac Center was having a BBQ around 6:00 for the conservative bloggers in Michigan. I was dying to put a face to some of the bloggers that I have been linking and commenting on. I was reallylooking forward to it. But I digress.

After the noon meeting, my blogger buddy and I went on a tour of the capital building to kill sometime before the BBQ. I must admit to you all that this was the first time I actually set foot in the Capital building. Pretty impressive place. After that we went to the history Museum. Great place. Had a lot of retro 50’s style stuff. Resonated with me as that was my growing up period. The Museum of course covered the whole span of Michigan History. For killing time it was well worth it.

By then it was going on 6:00. We took off for McHugh’s blogger BBQ. The fellow who gave the noon talk was there. But so were some other bloggers. A LOT of bloggers. Easily 20 or so. For me the highlights were meeting Nick from Right Michigan, and Akindele Akinyemi from Akindele Unleashed. I wasn’t let down by meeting them. Nick was as knowledgeable about Mi Politics in person as he is in blog. Akindele was also as energetic and resourceful in person as in blog. Actually meeting Akindele reinforced my opinion that he is a man of action, a doer. Although he writes and talks well, it is only done to further his actions. I try to keep doers like him in mind to get me off my computer butt and actually venture into the community and talk with people then do something. I mention only those two because they are my favorites in relation to what I blog about. There were a lot others there. Everyone seems to have a special cause they are working on and it covers the whole spectrum of conservative causes. From Right to Work, to Education Reform, through the whole assortment of conservative ideas. All the heavy weights. I got a lot of web addresses. Did a lot of talking. For me the wallflower type that was impressive by itself. One person I’d like to highlight was William Freeland, a student a UofM and working as an intern at the Mackinac Center. Talking with him I found out he was originally from Montague. He has a webasite.
This guy I hope is the face of the future Republican party. My blogger friend was pretty enthused about setting up some sort of Student debate with him on campus to help rally student support for the conservative cause. I wish them luck.

I must admit that there was an information overload for my poor brain. I am struggling to figure out what to do with all this new material. Reams of information about a single subject. All I can do is let it simmer in my head, keep looking at it and let it find it’s own place in my scheme of things. This type of information is most helpful in stiffening my resolve that the principles I believe in are right. Please don’t get me wrong. This information can be a great weapon. But using the military analogy, if some one gave me a stealth bomber as a war broke out. It wouldn’t do me much good, and if I spent my time learning to fly it, the war would be over before I left the ground. I will use what I can in the literature that fits my needs in my corner of the world. I’ll grab the rifle and ammunition, maybe an RPG, but I’ll let the Education Experts argue with the Education Experts. The pilots I’ll let fly the jets. As I’m defending myself with their smaller arms I’ll thank them and I’ll gladly give what cover I can.

Wow I forgot to mention that Jack Hoegendyk happened to show up. What a genuine treat that was. It was really great to be sitting eating hamburgers in the backyard with him. Being able to talk with him as just another guy. I mean, I’m a flea on the ass of the Donkey (annoying if even noticed) , while Jack is the Tusk of the Elephant that the Donkey is definitely getting worried about being gored by.

Hopefully I can use this information in my main task which is to get the Republicans locally elected, further the message when I can. A little ammunition to use as I talk with people in my neighborhood. For example, at the county fair for example that is coming up. There will be a Muskegon County Republican tent set up and I will try to volunteer for some of the time. Hand out flyers ect for the local candidates, maybe get a couple candidates to be there with me to meet the 4 H’ers.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Politics is Personal

This site, while I hope it will serve as a gathering point for people who want to make a difference in local issues, has also become a type of journal for me and my efforts to do the same. A record as it were of my growth in the knowledge of the issues in my neighborhood. Of my journey back into my neighborhood. I’m trying to base most of what I blog on positive things in my surroundings. I’m finding that my attitude is changing toward the positive as well. I look at that as a good thing. In the current atmosphere almost revolutionary. There is plenty of the negative around. Plenty of hate.

In looking for the positive and the good, I’m finding it. I’m meeting neighbors, actually talking with neighbors about stuff. Not just political stuff, but our problems. I’m trying to figure out ways that I can have an input into those problems. When I find something that I do that works I blog about it. That is what politics is to me. Listening to myself and neighbors, finding out what the problems are then formulating a plan to help make a difference in my life and the life of my neighbors. This to me is the essence of politics. Thomas “Tip” O’Neal said “All Politics Is Personal”. All the decisions made by politicians at all levels affect people on a personal basis. To think otherwise leads to elitism and condescension. To earn a person’s vote, a politician has to earn their trust first. The voter has to know the politician will try to actually do something. Once elected that politician has to keep earning that trust by actually doing things, constantly trying to make things better.

This blog “Bottom Up Politics” is meant to stress this idea. For me it is helping me clarify my common sense. It is helping me use that common sense in solving or helping to lessen problems on a local level. I find that as with most things there is not a magic pill cure for problems. My common sense tells me that. What I see is that I and my neighbors are plenty capable of helping ourselves when we have an attitude that is positive. When we see a pathway through a problem. Hope is that key ingredient that is usually missing. Actually trying to figure out one small problem I realize that this requires time and investment. That investment is best when it is of time, personal effort, and then money. In that order the solutions seem to hold up longer.

One problem in my Neighborhood I see is the lack of caring for what is in it. Lack of pride if you will. Pride starts in the small things. I compliment people on things I see them doing that I would like somebody to compliment me on. Kind of a do onto others thing. I see someone cleaning their yard, I tell them the truth. “Hey your yard looks nice”. I just invested a little time and effort and was repaid by the person’s reaction or mine. No grant money was exchanged, not grant proposals were written or meetings held. I’m trying to also highlight small business in the area and the people who are risking much of their investment of time and effort not to mention money. I do this not so much as the publicity angle but to let my neighbors look at these businesses in a more personal way. As something good and needed in the Neighborhood. As members of the community. Their neighbors. Also to give a pat on the back to the people running that particular business. Let them know that they are doing a good thing. This to me is the essence of Conservatism. Rewarding people who provide good things for other people. That reward is based upon how well they fill that need. It is voted on every day by people with their pocket books. Democracy in action every second of everyday. A lot of these efforts will fail, I just try to highlight the good I see. In the big picture, I see the essence of Conservatism as a way to facilitate these people. Not just facilitating business by keeping the bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through to a minimum: but to also facilitate any one or group that is trying to help through the bureaucratic method. Using grant money ect. Make that work better too. I call it the social side of things. I believe in better more efficient government then when possible smaller government. We have government, we always will, let us find ways to “facilitate” or make the access to it more flexible and easy. Let’s make it work. Let us try to figure ways to get the free enterprise thing involved when that serves the purpose.

Well before I get too sappy I’ll close. I have a meeting to go to in Lansing with a fellow blogger (we’re splitting the gas) (plus free lunch then a BBQ later all free) to talk with some people I’ve only seen and read from afar whom I admire. This will deal with education and different ways to help facilitate actually helping the students. There is some dead time in between things in which I would love to see some “big shot” legislators.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



That saying is my new way of saying get things done, don’t just talk about it. If you’re old enough to remember the MacGyver show. You’ll know what I mean. You could sum the above saying up by just saying “MacGyver It”. lol This saying to me epitomizes the whole concept of free really free enterprise and how it can be applied to social concerns.

Bringing this concept down to the very local level, now that I’m looking I see it all over. The small business’ that I highlight like Bolt Hardware, Mia & Grace, Aguilar’s, US 31 BBQ, Logan’s Print shop, Carmen’s are all concrete examples of some individuals trying to start up a business by “Making Do” with what they have, “Making It Now” because they have limited funds and time is of the essence, and “Making It Work“, or it will fail and they will lose their money. The key to this is that these entrepreneurs are invested in a successful outcome with time and money. They all, however approach creating their business with what they bring to the table. They are all different in how they approach the problem. All or most of these approaches will probably work. The effort and motivation seems nearly as important as the idea. The typical government solution usually is a one size fits all type of thing. On top of that it takes away the personal investment that makes free enterprise work. Like politics, business is also personal. Well you get the idea. When a solution is success based and run by people invested in that success it usually works.

I think we need to bring that ( 3M ) approach to social things, I give here a “ 2 thumb “bottom up” award to Morning Bear. She has been the driving force behind setting up a community garden spot in my precinct on the property located next to the Love Fellowship Baptist Church on the corner of 8th and Monroe. We rotor tilled it. Then she brought the neighbors together to help straighten it up and plant it. This last Sunday at noon there was a work bee. People mowed the area, and worked in the garden weeding and digging. Morning had gotten some large forms to help raise and separate the beds. About 10 of them. She had old sheet plastic and we put that down. The used forms were donated by the people that own the new shop, Clay Avenue Station. Located at 611 Clay. Hours are Tuesday - Friday 11:00 - 5:30, and Sat 12:00 - 5:00. They are a wine cellar and an art studio. With local talent showcased. They also said that they could bring a load of wood chips to fill in between the forms. I drove my Daughter Liz and her friend Bill past it later and I saw Pastor Phillips with some of his flock admiring the work that was done.

This all was done without government money. Started by one person (Morning), it was a good idea, it filled a need, others who will directly benefit volunteered to help. Plants are growing. The neighbor across the street volunteered the water. He isn’t planting anything. He just liked the idea of helping. I see it as Morning facilitating the process. If the need isn’t there anymore the garden will return to grass. How easy is that. The thing I like about Morning is that her approach is opposite from mine. I would have been organizing things better, (taking over, taking the freedom away from the gardeners, doing what I tell others not to do.) She just rented the rotor tiller bought some hay started doing the work but made sure that the others did the lions share of that work. She instinctively knew how to make sure the others became invested in the project.

Also I’d like to give a 2 thumb “bottom up” award to Marion who runs the (other) Nelson Neighborhood association. He does this all by himself mostly, some others help out when we can, when he asks, which is seldom. Definitely a different approach from Morning’s above. He runs a small food pantry in a building he bought. I spent last Sat. from 8;30am to 6:30pm going all over Muskegon County to the different Green Houses that donate flower and vegetable plant to him every year. Three round trips to Weises in Montague, Twin Lake nursery on Holton Rd, Pavolowski on Airline , Barry’s on Whitehall Rd. ect. He charges his members and whoever else shows up, a dollar a person. Probably about 4 flats @ person. We get about 60 - 80 people. He gave me $60 to help cover gas. I had a volunteer name of Tim a sharp 17 year guy. Eager to help. I worked him hard. Lol no complaints from either of us. Marion is always beating the bushes for food donations and volunteers to help get the donations. He has a major fund raiser selling parking spaces for Summer Celebration. Again volunteers stand and help run it. Also another fund raiser happens every Christmas eve when he puts out, cut out milk gallons with a candle, to outline the sidewalk or curb at places that donate to him. I drink a lot of milk, I donate to him probably around 200 clean and delabled milk jugs. Now that’s what I call recycling. That’s green conservatism. A lot of places downtown and other areas in the neighborhood are lit up Christmas Eve, it is a pretty site. All driving past benefit, Marion can buy more food for his pantry. He doesn’t get government money. He also doesn’t drive a car. Never did. When I feel I don’t have enough whatever to be able to do something, I think of Marion. BTW he has to be at least 80 years old and he just recently had a hole drilled in his head to remove blood. But he was there handing out the plants to everyone and quieting things down. Doing what he’ll tell you is right to do. This guy is what I would call an FDR democrat. ----- Before you start thinking those thoughts, remember so was Ronald Reagan. From successful solutions, a successful party will follow.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Monday, June 16, 2008

Taqueria Aguilar

Taqueria Aguilar

Pretty soon it will be hard to walk past the 1100 block of Third St. on an empty stomach. lol
Sunday I took my daughter and her boyfriend out to lunch, as they were in town from Detroit for father’s Day, at 1141 Third St. It’s a new Mexican Restaurant called Taqueria Aguilar. The meal was good and the portion ample. Looked like a family run affair. A proud and happy family. The tables were small but serviceable and the waitress’s were fine. This is good down home authentic Mexican Food. I had a Burrito. The price was recently raised to $8.00 which I thought was steep until I got the meal. Probably had to do with the gas crunch. The Burrito was huge and really stuffed with goodies. The meats available for it were either Steak, beef tongue, or Marinated Pork. Had sour cream, cheese, lettuce and all the fixings. I was pretty full after a half hour of hard eating.

The other main selections were Tacos, Tortas, Gorditas, and Tostadas they also came with the choice of meats mentioned above for the Burritos. Except added to the list for the Tacos was Biria of which I don’t have a clue. The Tortas also had Breaded Steak as an extra choice for meat.

I admit to buying a single taco Mexican style with beef tongue to see what it tasted like. I was really surprised. It really tasted good I was reminded of the burnt taste of fat off of a juicy steak.

Also on the menu was Pollo Asado (Arroz y Frijoles/rice and beans)
Menudo-Tripe Soup and they had Tamales
There was a long list of extras like Frijoles, Papas Gdes, rice, beans, Grilled Onions, Fries and more.

I asked the owners name and Maricela my waitress told me it was Luis Aguilar. I believe he came in later but as I was too busy eating we only nodded to each other. Just one more thing I noticed while I was there. A couple of young families came in and ate dinner, with about four other customers. I felt right at home in a family environment. I was happy I decided to try Aguilar’s out. I’ll be back.

Store Hours.
Monday - Thursday 10am - 10pm
Friday and Saturday 10am - 2am
Sunday 10am - 10pm

Phone 231-727-7000

I wish I was getting paid in food to do this.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be a Conservative

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yesterday I picked up my mail and saw a “lapsed notice” stamped in bold letters across an envelope. I got that sinking feeling that in my past I would get quite often as my insurance or electric bill was going to be shut off or cancelled. I couldn’t remember anything I forgot to pay. Well there was. My membership in the National Republican Congressional Conference. The last communication I had with them was an email I sent them, stating what I thought about their high minded not to mention condescending efforts to get me to contribute. I told them that I was going to make whatever contributions from then on to individual candidates. I guess this was their way to let me know that they don’t want me as a member anymore. I guess that is fair as I had let them know I didn’t want to be a member. Nice to know that they got the last word in on Party Money. Nice to know that they haven’t learned a thing about people skills, at least they didn’t send a “vital national survey” needing my urgent attention, and oh by the way could I contribute to help at least enough to cover the cost of the postage.

Well I guess I shouldn’t feel bad, my lights aren’t going to be shut off. And my insurance is still in force. In fact I should be glad, maybe they won’t send me any more stuff about how important I am to the Republican cause and how generous I’ve been. I think I donated $25 a couple years ago. Maybe they can keep doing what ever it is that they do without my $12.50 @ yr. I’ll save the postage and not send them a “LAPSED NOTICE” as to my trust in their leadership. They probably would send me another survey/donation form. I’m going to try to resurrect this party from my end, as the other end has ruined it. With that $12.50, I Think I will buy a ton of candy that I can throw out to the crowd during the parade I’ve volunteered for, to show my support for our Republican Muskegon County Clerk, Karen Buie. She’s too busy to send out “lapsed Notices”. Come to think of it she has more common sense.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Update on the 4th ever Sunday Morning Conservative Coffee Ward 2 Muskegon. Again I got a lot of uninterrupted reading done at McDonalds. See my sidebar under "Calender" for the next one next Sunday at 8-9:00am. At McDonalds downtown.

Nice quote from a poem from Dan Burton’s web site. The quote is from the tail end of the video Dan’s Story.

“So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.”

Saturday, June 14, 2008

State Budget Crisis. What Can I Do ??

I received this from Bob Scolnik about the price of gas and it’s effect on the state budjet. Bob is a Muskegon County Commissioner and leader of the Muskegon County Republican Party. If you call up the Muskegon Party Headquarters on Henry St. you will get Bob. He is the person to talk with to help funnel our efforts in the right directions. Here I’ll repeat my mantra. NEVER EVER be worried to call a candidate to just say hi, or to ask a question. They really do like that. Especially if you want to help them. Again the personal thing.
TO ALL: I receive a daily update on news from Lansing and this story was reported today. Since the gas tax is a per gallon amount and not based on the price of fuel, the very high prices are causing...finally...a reduction in the amount of gas sold. That is normally good news, but the amount collected for road construction is falling. That is not so good. Have you driven on Scenic Drive lately?
This is echoing what Nick at Right Michigan has been saying recently about Michigan’s looming budget crisis. He recently had an interview with Mike Bishop that pointed out the upcoming shortages in the budget. Our governor had counted on a level of income that is simply not there. The largest tax hike in Michigan history was passed and now it is understood through the interview that the governor will try to raise new taxes any way she can. Part of that shortfall comes from what Bob posted above. how.
Visit the site. Nick is a gem as far as getting inside info about state politics. Really good stuff that is not available at any other site.

The feelings I get from the interview by Nick of Mike Bishop is that the Republicans in the Senate are finally getting the support and leverage they feel they need from the voters due to the high cost of gas and everything else including food , that will allow them to hold the governor’s feet to the fire and start cutting off what till now had seemed like an endless flow of money. We mismanaged the budget, we need more money, gee let’s raise taxes. Michigan is a perfect example of how when you keep raising taxes on business the business start to leave or go broke so the tax base gets less so there is less coming in to make the budget work so more taxes are sought thus shrinking the tax base more. Michigan has gone from one of the most powerful states to a laughing stock or poster child for the bureaucratic nanny state. It is not hard for people to see the results of tax and spend anymore.

In an ironic way, Michigan has a chance to be a leader for the rest of the country to show how Republican ideas can work to balance the budget and keep this kind of runaway government in check. The irony and sad part is that Michigan had to fall so far into the hole before the public is taking note. Now is the time for the Republicans to become aggressive and seize the moment.

Locally what can we do? Holly Hughes immediately jumps to mind. She is running against Mary Valentine for the State House in the 91st district. She is linked on my side bar. This district is going to be a very tight race. Republicans have a real chance to pick up a seat in the State House here. The Senate could use all the help they can get to hold back the tax hikes that are coming and formulate conservative ways to balance the budget. We in the Muskegon Proper area are in the 92nd district, (city of Musk. and Musk. Hts and Whitehall). Holly’s district surrounds us on the North, East and South. Montague, Cedar Creek, over to Casnovia to Ravenna, Fruitport and Norton Shores. She will need whatever help you can offer.
Below is a link to the actual map of district 91 in yellow as you can see the 91st surrounds the Muskegon area in white which is our district the 92nd.
The 92nd is considered a safe Democrat district. Doug Bennett is the incumbent. I’ll see what I can do about that but it is an uphill battle. The 91st is a toss up and any effort we make might make a real difference.

Remember at the local level especially, the candidates are just happy to hear from you whether you donate or not. Again the personal thing. I’m pretty poor, so when I call candidates, I let them know up front. When I called Holly for example I said I couldn’t donate any money but if there was anything I could do to help in any other way, I could tell she was happy just to hear from me. Again the personal thing. She immediately signed me up for to march and give out candy in the Fruitport parade, it was fun. She also asked me to go door to door and just hand out flyers. It also was interesting. Only took a couple hours total on a nice summer day. Local politics I was happy to see was just like going to visit a friend, almost. Lol. I’m not a people person but I felt at home.

Jerry Van Woerkom who is already fighting the tax hikes in the Senate with Mike Bishop, will also need what help we can give. Money is always needed, but it doesn’t by itself translate into votes. At least legally. LOL Remember what I always say, “politics is personal”, talk with friends, go to events held by the candidates, volunteer to put signs together at party headquarters, volunteer to make phone calls reminding people to voter. Most of all show others by your actions that you are sincere and be willing to answer their questions. Something as easy as putting a sign in your yard is a good thing. The important thing is that a voter actually votes, and how they vote in the privacy of the voting booth. I wonder how many die hard union Democrats during the Reagan landslide actually voted Reagan inside the booth while professing otherwise in public. We’ll never know and that is the secret to the inalienable freedom that we have.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Common Sense Conservative Approach.

M live link to school bill.
I like the way this bill is working out. A good short study of the direction in which I would like to see the Republicans headed.

I called up Jeff at Senator Van Workom’s office, and he filled me in on the particulars of the bill. I had to rewrite my post as I assumed way too much. I’m glad I called, as the Mlive account was sketchy at best and perhaps misleading.

The original bill was to give a solution to help fix the poor reading level of some elementary students, by using a consistent metric to judge performance. The metric was in place already. The bill (S 842) by DeKuypers, proposed a solution which was to hold 3rd graders who lacked proficiency back so they could learn. Before advancing them. This was not a good solution. We have to know what the problem is in order to fix it. But the solution wasn’t workable as it has repeatedly been shown that holding a child back does a lot more harm than good. The bill was in need of a better solution. The children were in need of a solution. The bill through the efforts of several people including Senator Van Workhom helped come up with a better solution through working with the Education people. The new bill calls for using funds to set up a model program that involves the educating of teachers and principles ect to locate the students that need help. To set up a system that during the school year that measures the progress of those students and lastly for those students still not keeping up to set up summer school classes to help solve that problem directly.

Jeff also pointed out a companion piece of legislation in the Senate. (S 1275). Whereas the previous bill required a model to be made, (S 1275) requires that the local schools use the model or other ideas to solve that problem. Flexibility at the local level is what the bill is after. Solution is # 1 but flexibility is recognized as a necessary component to be successful. This is a more bottom up approach. This is my idea of the new modern Conservative model. Offering direct remedies to our problems. Let the Conservatives be the facilitators of making the bureaucracy work better. Not just feed the bureaucracy but make it work more efficiently through metrics and solutions coming out of the use of that metric. Basing that solution on the outcome of actual students, not the effect it has on the bureaucracy. Judging the results on the actual students. Common sense, outside of Washington, or in this case Lansing, is what is badly needed.

The plan is sound, as far as it went. There was an obvious problem with the solution. It was corrected. Not by scrapping the plan, but by accounting for and taking care of the results. The bureaucracy was used for input to help solve the problem. This is an attempt to come up with a true bi-partisan solution. The opposition claimed the results were unfair we agreed, we corrected it. Now the ball is in their court to vote against it, as they probably will. But the coverage of the bill, it’s short comings, the complaints from the Dems which has been corrected, and the subsequent vote will all have a cumulative effect in the minds of the voters. This kind of common sense approach to problem solving if constantly and frequently applied as in the US House through the recent and upcoming “Discharge Petitions” will have an effect.

For now we’ll hope for the best on this bill which is an example of a good people orientated Conservative common sense solution.

For further research please see my side bar on the right, scroll down to “Research Links” click on “Michigan House & Senate Bill Look Up” Then type in each senate bill (S 842 and or S 1275). A word of caution. When typing in the bill number just type the number not the S.

The real meat and the nuts and bolts of the program is in bill S 1275. Another word, the new parts are highlighted or are in bold face. Read those and you will get a feel for what this bill is trying to do. The new Republican approach, if you will. Trying to allow parents and individual teachers, then the schools themselves to determine the best course for the students in need. Again a bottom up approach, vs. the one size fits all from the top down approach. The model is top down (S842), but the bottom gets to choose whether to use it or part of it or not at all (S1275). The top in this bill is just trying to help come up with a solution. Trying to facilitate a solution. This gets a “bottom up award” from me. After studying this let your state legislators know what you think.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Carmen's Is Open

Carmen’s Is Open !!
Carmen’s opened with minimal notice. At least by me. I have been following the progress in the remodeling of the building on the NE corner of Clay and Jefferson for awhile now. I had yet to find someone to talk with so my knowledge was limited to what I could see looking through the glass. Well yesterday, 6/10/08 I noticed people inside so I stopped and went to see if I could talk with anyone. To my surprise they were open. I walked in and sat at the counter. A lovely young counter attendant greeted me, her name was Keia, I ordered coffee. I may have been the only customer in the place.

While sipping it I looked around. The building was fresh clean and new looking. There was ample space filled with tables, plus the counter where I was sitting had a lot of stools. I noticed a lot of the staff, I counted about 6 kind of wandering around, doing a little of this and a little of that. I noticed a fella with an apron eating a huge plate full of I don’t know what but it looked good. I asked Keia who was in charge and she pointed to a lady in blue who was talking to a couple of staff all huddled around the cash register. I walked over and introduced myself, she seemed to be trying to figure out how to make the register do what she wanted it to do. Lol I could empathize as my computer can be just as stubborn. She asked if I could wait a few minutes. She shortly came over having won that battle, her name was Carmen, so was the name of the restaurant. Being the sleuth I am I figured she was the owner.

I started asking questions. Carmen’s has been open for a day or two before now. They didn’t advertise the fact. She called it a soft opening. Just a time for the staff to get things working well. Get a routine and the inter relationships smoothed out I assumed. One discussion I over heard was about where and in what the straws should go behind the counter. How many little cups of syrup should be put in a basket. That sort of thing. This time was meant for the staff not so much the customer. It may seem odd but I felt like I was getting my hair cut at one of those Barber College places. I was there to help the staff get better organized. I mean absolutely no offense by this. In fact it seems like a perfect way to fine tune what was obviously a pretty tight ship to start with.

Then I noticed an old friend from way back in the day, I’m talking over twenty years ago. Sharon Haas. I first met her as a waitress/bartender in a bar. Since then she has had a lot of similar jobs, mainly in the food end of it all. She at one point opened her own store downtown called Sharon’s then later kind of ran Captain Hook’s restaurant. Untill she ended up working at the old Carmen’s. After hugs and stuff, she said everyone was in a bit of a hurry to make sure things were set up for the big rush they were planning on for Bike Time. She told me that last year the lines were streaming down the street to get in. They wanted to be ready, all the kinks worked out.

Anyway I digress about old friends. Back to the interview. Carmen was obviously busy and caught up in the excitement, but still kind enough to briefly sketch out the business and answer a few of my questions.

Carmen’s is open 7:00 -3:00 Mon. - Sat. Closed Sundays.
Breakfast & Lunch , with breakfast served all day. Homemade soups and baked goods along with salads and sandwiches, along with specials such as hot beef, I believe the specials will be weekly. All geared up for quick friendly and efficient service.

Looking forward to tasting their menu.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mia & Grace Update

-----email from Jamie-----
Hi Bob.
Sorry we haven’t been able to get back to you. We’ve been keeping busy trying to get the bakery open. Heavy duty cleaning has kept me from my email a bit the past couple of weeks.
Just wanted to give you a little information. Jeremy and I are the chefs, owners, and general managers of Mia & Grace. Jeremy’s parents are our principle investors and like us, they have really put the last two years of their lives on hold for our project as well. We feel it is very important to stress the fact that we are a chef-driven, family owned and operated business.
We are still working on the menu, it’s coming together nicely. We are lining up some great local farmers and purveyors. The breakfast and pastry menus are pretty much finished. It’s all very exciting. Jeremy and I are ready to retire our hardhats and paintbrushes and get cooking again.(Giant Cinnamon Rolls, Kolaches, Quiche, Key Lime Pie, Carrot Cake, Eclairs, just to name a few things you can look forward to…) To start, the business hours will be 7am – 5pm, mon-fri; 9am-5pm, sat; and closed on sun. We’ll see what business dictates in the first few weeks before we set anything in stone. And we’re not sure yet if we’ll change to winter hours or just keep the same schedule year-round.
We still have a couple of inspections yet and some odds and ends construction tasks. But most of the art is here and hung and the tables are in place. So we’re moving forward. As soon as I know a better estimate for the opening, I’ll let you know. I’ll try to keep you posted on any milestones until then.
Talk to you soon,
Still sounds like a couple of weeks due to inspections ect. Just working through the bumps as they come up. They seem used to it and it hasn’t dulled their enthusiasm any.
She stressed that she and Jeremy do not want to open until they are both completely comfortable with all aspects of the operation. That they have all the parts in order and running smoothly. They seem to be quite sure of what they want to build and are willing to sacrifice to make it happen. Jamie stressed that they have been working for two years on this and a question of a week is not an issue. They do not plan a grand opening per say. Rather a slow or soft opening as they and their staff work out the final kinks. The store by the way is looking nicer and nicer. There are pictures from local artists hanging on the wall to admire as you eat the fresh local produce mentioned in the email, and cooked by two Chefs that have your happiness in mind. Well I was hooked on the large Cinnamon Rolls.

I will keep posting as she let’s me know any dates, ect.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crunch Time

Below is a link about the choices facing the Muskegon School Board.
Colin Armstrong the superintendent of the Muskegon Public School System was hired to not draw down reserves.
------quote-from article -----
The board must adopt a balanced budget for 2008-09 by July 1, when the next fiscal year begins. Concerned about large draws from the district's fund reserves, Armstrong pledged to hold the line on them when he became superintendent in 2006
He is making the recommendations because he has to but with tongue in cheek.
"We're identifying cuts because we have to, but it's not the right thing to do”
Then he lays the decision on the board. At least I don’t know how else to interpret the last sentence of the article.
“"I don't believe I can break that commitment (to reduce fund balance withdrawals) to them," Armstrong said. "But I believe they can override it.”
I realize that the board has the final say, but Mr. Armstrong was hired with his agreement to keep within budget. I would say that this is not what the school board had in mind. If I was on the board that is not what I would of expected.

The budget is nearly 65 million. The amount is 1/5th of a million less than 1/3rd of a percent. (.0030). If we cannot find the ability to cut that little. What are we to do? If the media is to be believed, and the economy is falling apart, what will we do when faced with another doubling of the gas price and rising inflation, and less state and federal funds coming in? Raise taxes on a shrinking tax base? ??? Detroit has learned what comes with that strategy. Bankruptcy. No tax base. The state of Michigan is learning too. Job creators are leaving as fast as they can. The nation I hope will wake up in time. Maybe all of Michigan’s pain then will not of been in vain. If the rest of the country can point to Michigan ( and many already are on a national scale) and say see what happens when you keep taking from those doing the making.
Speaking of Takers and Makers. Lol. I knew I’d get a plug in someplace for this book.
Short piece about that classic book.
“A recent book which I strongly recommend for its readable style and wealth of concrete examples on the difference between those who create wealth and those who merely want to take it is Makers and Takers by Edmund Contoski. It takes aim at all sorts of government interference including environmentalism, taxation, safety regulations and so on and shows how they spring from an "invader" mentality which sees wealth as a static quantity to be seized - and which are at best inferior to the actions of free people, and at worst (and usually) actually counterproductive to their own stated aims.”
The part that says, “… worst (and usually) actually counterproductive to their own stated aims.”; seems to be on point about the whole idea of our form of bureaucratic compulsory education and its stated aims.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Some Stuff.

Well, the 3rd Weekly Sunday Conservative Coffee of Ward 2 Muskegon was again quiet and I got a lot of reading catch up done! In other words no one showed. I'm starting to check around as to a church to attend in my area. Any ideas?
Conservatives vs. Republicans.
Looks like Alaskan governor is catching it from her own party for cutting taxes. Shame on them. Wish we had that governor.
Some top Republican lawmakers including Senate President Lyda Green of Wasilla are frustrated with the popular Republican governor’s second straight year of cuts and today are trying to mount the difficult veto override.

Here is a striking admission. I give WHO some credit, they will probably catch hell from the left.

Baby survives abortion is healthy, parents chose to abort due to fear of kidney problems.
Quote from FDR.
"Our modern democratic way of life has its deepest roots in our great common religious tradition, which for ages past has taught to civilized mankind the dignity of the human being, his equality before God, and his responsibility in the making of a better and fairer world."
Speaking of legal prcedent and old laws vs the obvious, a quote from Alexander Hamilton.
"The sacred rights of mankind, are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun-beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
Speaking of unalienable rights, a quote from Sam Adams.
"The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift."
The quotes were out of Real Change by Newt Gingrich which I was reading while at the 3rd Weekly Sunday Conservative Coffee.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A hat tip to GordoM I found this first at his site. AGAIN. Lol
-----link to Muskegon Pundit-----
This looked to me as if it was a great thing. The emphasis on what I will call a more business like model. The emphasis on measuring actual outcomes so the patients (you and me) might be able to go online and see the fatality rates for quadruple by-pass and how much it costs at the various hospitals. This not only helps the patient make informed decisions, but allows those in charge to have a metric to better base their decisions on. I give this a two “bottom up” salute.
(A “bottom up” salute is something I give to a concept thought or deed I come across that will enhance governing from the bottom up, not from the top down as we have now.“)
This looks like a step in the right direction. This fits into my ideas of transparency in government, allowing citizens to see what is happening and allowing them to make better informed decisions thus driving change in favor of the citizen not the system.

The link below is where I get the quotes found after the link.
Look near the bottom for a bunch of highlighted links. That is where the quotes next come from.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is working with targeted communities and national organizations to help patients and consumers better understand, demand and choose quality health care. This principle—that care needs to improve in ways that truly matter to patients and consumers—has become a central part of all of RWJF's work to address quality
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recognizes that there is wide variation in the quality of health care available to Americans, and that this variation in care has significant costs in lives and dollars. To bridge the gap between the care people receive and the care our health system is capable of providing, the Foundation is working to increase public awareness of the performance of health care providers. Under the Quality/Equality portfolio, many RWJF grantees are working to measure and report physicians' performance to help doctors improve the care they deliver and to help consumers and patients make informed choices
Another aspect I like is the emphasis on doing the work. Not just studying it but putting resources immediately to work and see what happens and judge from that.
-----quote from same source-----
A number of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation programs and research efforts have focused on improving the care provided to patients in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Establishing safer and more effective care will require better teamwork, communication and coordination among those who give care, get care and pay for care. The communities that are involved in the Aligning Forces for Quality Initiative are bringing together these stakeholders to turn promising practices into real results and improve the overall quality of U.S. health care.
In outpatient and inpatient settings, nurses are central to the quality of care delivered to patients. To capitalize on this profound impact, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and others have sponsored initiatives to engage nurses to become active leaders and participants in improving health care. RWJF created such a program in partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Boston and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), called Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB). The program worked intensively with 10 hospitals to pioneer nurse-led innovations in hospital medical surgical units, and is now sharing lessons learned and results with other hospitals across the country. The Foundation will continue to emphasize the importance of engaging nurses to lead quality improvement initiatives in all of our Quality/Equality investments.

The beauty of this is the lack of government money. While government has spent billions upon the problem and many good results have arisen. There usually is no “driving force” to collect the success’s and integrate them into the whole. It is instructive that a private organization is leading the charge. This is a good start. We need to see the problem, and the reporting and compilation of results will help define the problems. The publishing of those results for the public to easily see will help the patients drive change in procedure based on outcome.

Newt’s ideas on it in a short video clip/
I especially like the ideas I’ve been blogging about here as to hands on things such as good inner city stores, physical education. This is stuff anyone can help out in, check your local church or other churches, call up organizations like Little league or whatever you can think of. There is a need for volunteers, the work sometimes is finding one that fits you and your time frame. It doesn’t have to be with government help. Start a softball team, Take one morning a week to set up any thing with kids, one day a month to help sell hotdogs at the concession of game. Set up a concession at the game. It doesn’t have to be physical. The mental health of the community is equally important. If the idea is good the bottom up thing might happen. It may get funding. I’m beginning to notice that there is money out there looking for a worthy place, that the dispensers of that money like to see real faces vs. the local money seeking non profits ect. In suits. With all their charts and graphs. For example Jill Montgomery seemed to be such a dispenser. She didn’t mind putting the charts and graphs together that were necessary to get the funding for some of our needs. That’s her job.

That video clip by Newt had lots of good thoughts in a short space. If you want more, go to you tube, in the search box type in (gingrich health care).

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Friday, June 6, 2008

Here is something else about what someone with a little clout can do locally one on one with future voters, It’s called planting the seed that it is possible to do better; that yes two parents can be better than one parent families. It’s also called caring or as I surmise in his own words, “giving a damn“. I took out the following guts of the article.
“Beating poverty in America nowadays is largely a matter of personal behavior. Get a high school diploma, don’t have kids until you’re married, don’t get married until you’re 21, and you probably won’t be poor. It also helps if you work hard, show up on time, act courteously, and avoid anything felonious.

But where are these kids going to learn such things? It’s the stuff you just sort of absorb in a healthy, traditional, two-parent home, and that’s exactly what they’re missing. If they learn what they’ve lived, they’re done for—the girls too likely to “come out pregnant” like their mothers, the boys to be underemployed and maybe even do time.
You can’t legislate responsibility, either. Personal behavior in a free society has to be a matter of choice—choice without which there is no virtue—virtue without which a society can’t be free.

It seems to me that leaves these kids only one recourse: the culture. Where the institution of family is broken, only the surrounding culture can teach people the inner structures required for a life of liberty.

Many conservatives often seem to have given up on culture or not to care. There’s a strong strain of philistinism on the right. When we talk about “culture wars,” we usually mean preventing the courts from redefining marriage or promoting abstinence instead of birth control: culture, in other words, as the behavioral branch of politics.”
The link to the article is here
Mr. Klavan as an author was able to get his foot in the door. As a story teller he instinctively knows that a picture is worth a thousand words. He paints pictures with his words, and he seemed to make the most of it. He simply talks of real change and that it can only come from changing the environment the kids grow up in. The values of success need to be available for our kids to choose from. In the areas that need help the most those values are lacking the most. How do we do that? This is not something that bureaucracy can fix. They’ve been trying for a long time and it is getting worse. People like Mr. Klavan can. You and I can. I don’t know how exactly, neither did Mr. Klavan I presume until he actually started to do something. Neither will I, nor you. That's where the courage comes in. That's where the excitement is. Mr. Klavan also did not write a long piece as I would of. Perhaps it is because he knows that the imagination of the reader can fill in the gaps better as to how they can relate to the story. Perhaps he instinctively knew that teaching through parables allows more freedom to the student to not only learn what was said but how to think their own thoughts. Sort of reminds me of the different approaches to the personal computer between IBM and Microsoft. Interaction is good more interaction is better.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Somewhere Inbetween.

Here is a youtube of Newt Gingrich talking a little turkey to young Rebpublican leaders. He is bringing it down to the more local level. That is why I'm posting it here. The last three minutes are instructive.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mia & Grace getting closer.

I haven't heard back from Jamie or Jeremy about their progress, and being the world renown investigative journalist I am, I swung by on the way to mail some letters. lol. I was happy I did. They weren't there, but Andy Maxwell a friend of theirs from Texas was, and he seemed to think that they would be opening next week. That is not written in stone by the way. Andy will be the face of the bakery/bistro. He will be in charge of the "front of the store" while Jamie and Jeremy will be in charge of the back. He will be there to insure that our experiance at Mia & Grace will be a memorable one.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

8-12 yr. old Fishing Derby

Something Else from Jill Montgomery

Name of Youth to be entered: ______________________________
(please print)
Age of youth being entered: _______________ (Must be 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 ***)
I ___________________________________________, do hereby attest that I am the
(printed name of parent/guardian)
parent or legal adult guardian of the above named youth. I give permission for this youth to participate in the
Annual Public Safety Youth Fishing Derby on June 12, 2008.
I will insure that the above youth is accompanied by a responsible adult. I hereby release the City of
Muskegon, Muskegon Township and N. Muskegon and/or the Muskegon, Muskegon Township and N.
Muskegon Police and Fire Departments and personnel of any liability in reference to my child's attendance at
this event. I understand that this waiver must be one of the first 200 returned by June 6, 2008 in order for my
child to be eligible to attend. Note that this year the youth must use the bait that is provided so everyone has
an equal chance.
__________________________________ _____________________
Signature of Parent/Legal Guardian Date
Address: _________________________ Phone # _____________
(note: only the first 200 forms received will be entered - signature on this form indicates that
you have read, understand and agree to the contents of the flyer and entry/waiver forms)
You must check one of the following:
__________ This youth did not participate in a previous derby and does not have his/her
own fishing equipment and wishes to use the free equipment.
_________ This youth has participated in a previous derby or already has his/her
own equipment and will bring it to the derby.
**(Remember that we will be verifying participation in previous derbys)
Bring this sheet to the Muskegon or Muskegon Township Police Department

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Healthy Nelson Project

Talked with Jill Montgomery. She was the person who presented the meeting at Love Fellowship Baptist Church I attended and blogged about earlier. On the 27th a steering committee meeting was held (invitation only) and the results of which are located below. Jill was kind enough to email me them and she said I could post them. She wanted me to say that this is just a one page rough outline.of what she will put in a final and way more detailed version to get the grant. She also said that there were some things she had to verify first hand such as the actual sites for the basketball courts and their lighting and condition ect. (what really needs fixing) before she put the proposal into final form. She does seem to be making a real effort to get input from the neighborhood. Above the normal vested interests. For that I applaud her. She also seems to be very forthcoming with any details I've asked. I appreciate the transparancy. I give her a "bottom up"...

She also said to give her email in case anyone had any questions. She wanted to hear from the neighborhood.
Jill's phone. 724-1293, she said the email was the better way.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

Outcomes from May 27, 2008 meeting
Healthy Nelson Steering Committee
In attendance:
· Delphine Hogston Muskegon Area Cooperating Churches
· Sarah Risema Sybenga Community Encompass
· Dan Rinsema Sybenga - Muskegon Area First, Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association
· Chip VanderWier Neighborhood Investment Corporation
· Reverend Phillips Love Fellowship Baptist Church
· Mike Miller Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association President, Community Mental Health
· Morning Bear and Guest Residents Nelson Neighborhood
· Mary Robb MSU Extension Executive Director
· Lowell Kirksey City of Muskegon Parks and Recreation
· Margaret Plichta Health Educator, Muskegon County Health Department
· Jill Montgomery PH QIS, Muskegon County Health Department
Not Available: Clara Shepherd, Mary McDonald, Jim Koens
Targeted Projects:
· Parks benches, improved lighting, and trash cans
· Community Gardens
Existing gardens (2) hoop houses, access to water supply, other tools
Funding for 1 more garden in community
Access to discounted flats of vegetables, etc.
· Basketball courts
Improve existing courts with lighting, more hoops, etc.
Look at building new court or improving one that is currently not in use (Nelson elementary?)
Provide program for age specific kids young adults
Night basketball?
Have discount or free for those kids that volunteer in program
· Neighborhood Picnic/potluck
Improve conversations between sides get to know each-other
Have specific events at these picnics
Sporting events such as basketball tournament, softball game, volleyball, dancing contest,
· Provide grants for small community activities to neighborhood groups
Along with “Healthy Community” Goals, all projects must...
· Must be sustainable
· Must be primarily available to Nelson Neighborhood residents
· Should include some sort of job training aspect
· Mentoring of Youth and Train the Trainer should be used in all projects
· Should include character building skills
Information that needs to be provided to residents:
Hackley Library Activities
Parks and Recreation Schedules
List of things to do in Nelson, how to get there, etc.
Get together a networking list of available gathering places for activities and events
List of nonprofit, university, and governmental resources

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Ego and Missed Opportunities

2nd Weekly “Sunday Conservative Coffee for Ward 2 Muskegon” came and went. I had my coffee and sausage biscuit without company to distract me from my reading. Two events though were different. One I had a second sausage biscuit. Second there was a nice young lady who came and sat at the next table and smiled at me. I thought she was just being nice. Later I realized I should of acted. But just in case she was there for the “Sunday Coffee” and didn’t know if she should approach me. I’ll say again look for the red, “Red Wings” baseball style cap on my table, not on my head. I understand the hesitation, I should of said something. Oh well I’ll never know. If I see her next week I’ll say hello. Remember anyone interested in coming to the Sunday Conservative Coffee feel free to make a comment on any of my posts or look at the section “About Me” at the bottom of the side bar to contact me through email.

I’ve been feeling bad for not getting more into my neighborhood stuff, the last few days, but I’ve been busy lately taking care of a backlog of my business and personal stuff. Trying to retire is a lot of work. Lol

Anyway I’m still here and trying to build it so they’ll come.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative