Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 3, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 16

LEFT TURN/RIGHT TURN/OPINION Mountain Views News Saturday, August 3, 2013 16 LEFT TURN/RIGHT TURN/OPINION Mountain Views News Saturday, August 3, 2013 16 
Susan Henderson 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Pat Birdsall 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterStuart Tolchin 
Kim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Hail Hamilton 
Rich Johnson 
Chris Bertrand 
Ron Carter 
Rev. James SnyderBobby EldridgeMary CarneyKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanGreg WellbornDr. John Talevich 
Ben Show 
Sean KaydenJasmine Kelsey Williams 
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HOWARD Hays As I See It 

describes government pensions as a 

 “Detroit’s not going contractual obligation that “shall not be 

into bankruptcy . . . 
diminished or impaired.”

bankruptcy shouldn’t be Ingham County Judge Rosemary 

on the table.” 
Aquilina told the state’s attorney general, 

- Gov. Rick Snyder (R- 
“I have some serious concerns because 
MI) – June 2011 
there was this rush to bankruptcy court 
that didn’t have to occur and shouldn’t 
have occurred. Plaintiffs shouldn’t have 

Fifteen years ago, 

been blindsided.” Judge Aquilina ruled, 

the cure for Detroit’s 

“It’s cheating, sir, and it’s cheating good 

economic ills was obvious: the city, and 

people who work.”

the State of Michigan, simply needed 

 EM Kevyn Orr is not unsympathetic 

to commit hundreds of millions of 

to those who, after a lifetime of hard 

dollars in public funds to finance new 

work, face having their retirements 

professional sports facilities. First was 

wiped out at his sole discretion; “This 

$300 million for a new home for the AL 

is very personal to me . . . My mother is 

Tigers. They got $66 million back by 

a pensioner.” He promised all retirees 

selling naming rights to Comerica Bank, 

would continue receiving full payments 

and Comerica Park opened in 2000. The 

– for another six months.
Tigers are owned by Mike Ilitch, founder 

 The target always seems to be 

of Little Caesar’s Pizza – with a family 

the pensions – especially public 

net worth of $2.7 billion.

ones (lest workers in the private 

 Next, taxpayers were committed to 

sector get subversive ideas of being 

shelling out $430 million for a new 

somehow equally deserving of a secure 

home for the NFL Lions. The team is 

retirement). In Detroit, there’s $3.5 

owned by William Ford (son of Edsel, 

billion in unfunded pension liabilities. 

grandson of Henry – whose business 

(In L.A., the figure’s $30 billion.) It’s 

model was based on the principle that 

only 18% of Detroit’s total $19 billion of 

those who built his Model T’s should be 

indebtedness, but for Gov. Snyder and 

paid enough to be able to afford one) – 

those bankrolling his political career, the 

net worth $1.25 billion. $40 million was 

discrediting and destruction of pensions 

paid for naming rights, and Ford Field 

(along with privatizing however much of 

opened in 2002.

government they can get away with) is 

 A decade later, it was clear that the 

what this opportunity is all about.

promised economic benefits of providing 

 There’s the talk of bloated pensions 

affluent suburbanites new places to 

and greedy pensioners. The average 

watch millionaires play ball would never 

pension for a retired Detroit municipal 

materialize. All it amounted to was 

worker is $19,000 a year. For a retired 

billionaires getting taxpayers to commit 

cop or firefighter, it’s $30,000 – and they 

hundreds of millions to subsidize their 

don’t collect Social Security.


 William Shine, 76, a retired Detroit 

 Four months ago, Michigan Gov. 

police sergeant, was quoted in the NY 

Rick Snyder (R) turned Detroit over to 

Times; “Does Detroit have a problem? 

Washington D.C. bankruptcy attorney 

Absolutely. Did I create it? I don’t think 

Kevyn Orr under Michigan’s Emergency 

so. They made me some promises, and 

Financial Manager Law – which allows 

I made them some promises. I kept my 

the appointee to take over all financial 

promises. They’re not going to keep 

affairs from a city’s elected officials.


 (At the time of his appointment, Orr 

 No money for pensions. No money for 

was reminded he owed $15,800 from 

schools, hospitals, public safety, or to put 

four liens placed on his $1 million Chevy 

people to work helping revitalize their 

Chase, MD home by the Maryland Office 

communities. Priceless works are to be 

of Unemployment Insurance for unpaid 

sold off the walls of Detroit museums.

taxes on childcare for his two kids. Orr 

 Less than a week after he announced 

called the oversight “embarrassing”.) 

Detroit’s bankruptcy, Gov. Rick Snyder 

Last November, Michigan voters 

had another announcement – one 

rejected a tougher version of the law 

enthusiastically embraced by EM Kevyn 

pushed by Gov. Snyder – which would’ve 

Orr - that taxpayers would be providing 

allowed the appointee to take over 

$400 million to once again subsidize 

virtually all civic authority; leaving 

the hobbies of Little Caesar’s billionaire 

the mayor, city council, and all elected 

Mike Ilitch – this time to share the $650 

officials with only whatever powers 

million cost of a new arena for his NHL 

the Emergency Manager decided to 

Red Wings.

grant them. It would’ve allowed the 

 As once our nation’s fourth-largest 

appointee to personally shape curricula 

city and one of the industrial hubs of 

in financially troubled school districts.

the world, over most of the past century 

 After that rejection, Gov. Snyder 

Motown was a place where, thanks to 

pushed through an even more draconian 

strong unions, with a good blue-collar 

measure that took effect last March - one 

job you could afford a home, send your 

that allows his appointees to summarily 

kids to college, take your family on 

dismiss elected officials, cancel labor 

vacation a couple weeks a year and be 

contracts, sell public assets and 

assured of a secure pension providing a 

unilaterally impose taxes on residents. 

comfortable retirement.

(I wonder if the tea-baggers who 

 Thanks to a government purchased 

helped Snyder get elected were paying 

by the one-percenters, there will now 


be taxation without representation to 

 Two weeks ago, Detroit became the 

raise hundreds of millions for a project 

largest U.S. municipality to file for 

providing, as described by Dave Zirin 

bankruptcy. Gov. Snyder and Emergency 

in The Nation, “No living wages. No 

Manager Orr are now appealing a circuit 

job security. No tax base. Just spanking 

court’s ruling issued the day after the 

new stadiums for suburban sports fans, 

filing, following actions brought by 

which Detroit residents will be able to 

municipal pensioners and pension 

enter only if they’re selling foam novelty 

funds, that the bankruptcy violates the 


Michigan State Constitution – which 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


According to my cal-Although I may not be good at a wide variculations, 
summer is ety of things, I have mastered the art of doing 
half over. I am not nothing. I can do nothing better than I can do 
quite sure how this anything. Of course, I do not have too many 
came about but the opportunities to do anything; I have more op-

calendar has never lied to me before. It has portunities to do nothing. If I had my choice, 
confused me and taunted me but it has never I would rather do nothing than anything. 
lied to me. My philosophy is simply this, why be good at 

 Looking at my calendar I can see no lazy nothing and not put it to good use? 

days of summer noted anywhere in the fore- I have invested a lot of time and energy into 

seeable future. I am not sure if this is an over-doing nothing and I am concerned that not 

sight on my part and that I should have at having an opportunity to do nothing I might 

least penciled in one lazy day of summer or if forget the finesse associated with that art. 

those lazy days of summer are a thing of the I do not get a chance very often to do noth

past. I sure hope it is not the latter. ing so I am anxious to practice the skills as

 I can hardly imagine a world without any sociated with nothing. In this regard, my cal-

lazy days of summer. It just would not be endar has not been very cooperative. Where 

summer in my opinion. 
are those lazy days of summer where I can do 

 This probably is the price people pay for get-nothing? 

ting old. When I was young most of my sum- Not only has my calendar not been coopera

mer was filled with lazy days where I prac-tive but also my wife has been the epitome of 

ticed the fine art of doing nothing. Oh how obstruction in this pursuit of mine. Just when 

I yearn for the return of those good old days I think a lazy day is looming on the horizon, 

of yesteryear. 
she comes up with something for me to do. 

 Someone once told me, ''Sonny, don't ever Even though all I wanted to do was nothing, 

grow old.'' At the time, I did not know what she insists that I do her something. Either I 

he meant. I assumed he was referring to his do her something or else. I do not want to do 

loss of hair or arthritis in his joints or forget-her or else for nothing. 

ting things. I thought that was what it meant Those lazy days of summer were the perfect 

to grow old. He meant nothing of the sort. opportunity to perfect the fine art of doing 

Now that I am old, I understand exactly what nothing. Regretfully I have to honestly face 

he was warning. There is no doubt in my the fact that those times are far behind me. 

mind; he was bemoaning the fact that his lazy No more lazy days of summer for me. At least 

days were gone. Perhaps, he was envious of not as many as there used to be. 

the fact that at the time I had loads and loads The old preacher in Ecclesiastes was right 

of lazy days on my hands. I did not know just when he said, ''To every thing there is a sea-

how rich I was. 
son, and a time to every purpose under the 

 Now I do, but it is too late. Where have all heaven:'' (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV). 
those lazy days gone? I can look back with a sense of satisfaction 

 I was whining about this to the Gracious and know that when I did have those lazy 
Mistress of the Parsonage hoping to get some days of summer I put them to good use and 
empathy at least. Instead of sympathizing developed skill in doing nothing. I know be-
with me, all she did was look at me and say fore me are some days when I will not have 
in that tone of voice that I know so well, ''You the strength or energy to do anything, then 
just want an excuse to do nothing.'' my ability to do nothing will come in good 

 To which I replied most sharply, ''I don't use.

need an excuse to do nothing, all I need is an I think it is quite important to live in the time 

at hand. The apostle Paul understood this 

 Thinking about what I said I discovered when he wrote, ''And that, knowing the time, 

there was more wisdom in that one sentence that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: 

than anything else I have ever said. I had to for now is our salvation nearer than when we 

sit in the corner for a few moments recover-believed.'' (Romans 13:11 KJV). 

ing from the shock of saying something with Now that I am older, (and who's to say how 

wisdom in it. I probably say many things with much older I will get) I can say with a good 

wisdom in it without even thinking. In fact, deal of expertise, never grow old. By that I 

I am good at saying many things without mean, never forget those lazy days of summer. 




average, 23.2 percent of Hispanics live 
Paul Ryan, U. S. Representative, below the poverty line compared to 
Chairman of the House Budget the national average of 14.3 percent. 
Committee and former vice-presidential 
candidate recently declared that the Ryan, a self-proclaimed budget-busting 
federal war on poverty “has failed Republican has curiously assumed 
miserably.” No one argues. During Senator Marco Rubio’s role as the GOP’s 
the fifty years since President Lyndon most vocal proponent of granting 
Johnson first promised to end poverty, amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants 
the United States has wasted $15 trillion; and importing millions more overseas 
46 million Americans live in poverty workers. In private meetings with Senate 
and 15 million more receive food stamps and House members, Ryan has been 
than before the 2007 recession started. trying to map out a strategy to pass 

amnesty legislation before the year’s end. 
The complete story is worse than 
Ryan indicated. For every job that According to Ryan, passing a generous 
the White House claims to have immigration reform bill is “the right thing 
created, two Americans have been to do.” But amnesty is the wrong thing, 
added to the food stamp roles. Over especially for millions of impoverished 
the weekend, the Associated Press immigrant-headed households and the 
reported that four out of five U.S. adults 20 million jobless or under-employed 
have struggled with joblessness, near-Americans. Part-time job creation 
poverty or welfare reliance for at least now exceeds the numbers of full-time 
parts of their lives, a sure sign that jobs added each month. Even Ryan, a 
the economy is deteriorating and the supposed budget guru, can’t deny the 
American dream more elusive than ever. math. Every authorized worker added 

to the labor market makes it tougher for 
Despite the obvious truth that the last unemployed Americans to find work. 
thing the nation needs when so many 
Americans are suffering is more people, Ryan is rumored to be considering 
especially more poor people like those a 2016 White House bid. Like Rubio 
who would be invited through the ill-earlier this year, Ryan may think that 
conceived Senate immigration bill, S. 744, if he takes a leadership role in passing 
advocacy for the legislation grinds on. an immigration bill, his chances will 

improve. But immigration advocacy 
Poorly written immigration bills ended poorly for Rubio. In January, 
like S. 744 translate into importing a Public Policy Polling report ranked 
poverty. Historically, immigration Rubio number one among potential 
legislation admitted only the foreign-Republican presidential candidates. 
born who would be self-sufficient. Today, after assuming a prominent 
Those who entered but became role as the Gang of Eight’s most visible 
welfare dependent were subject to immigration advocate and promoting 
deportation under the policy then S. 744 for months, Rubio ranks sixth. 
known as the public charge doctrine. 

Veteran Capitol Hill observers know 
Today, because of political correctness, that immigration is Congress’ most 
the public charge doctrine has toxic issue. Wise politicians listen to 
disappeared. Whether they are legal their constituents who strongly oppose 
or illegal immigrants, the poor, under-to rewarding illegal immigration with 
educated and unskilled are welcome, legalization and importing millions 
even though jobs are few and budgets of overseas workers to compete with 
to fund more services depleted. struggling Americans.

The current and future beneficiaries Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for 
of lax immigration enforcement are Population Stabilization Senior Writing 
Hispanics which the Census Bureau Fellow whose columns have been 
has identified as the group with the syndicated since 1986.. or comments to 
nation’s highest poverty rate. On Joe email 

STUART Tolchin..........On LIFE 


Last week as I really want to try and look at 

my wife and I flew the news that we are allowed to hear 

home from Boston in a positive way. Life is scary enough 

the pilot made as it is and I don’t want to scare myself 

several changes in more than necessary. Sitting in the 

the flight route to back of the plane together with you 

avoid difficult weather conditions. As and everyone except for the highly 

he made his announcements I thought privileged few I feel so hopelessly 

of the Chinese air-flight that crashed powerless and dependent on those 

in San Francisco a couple of weeks that I can find no reason to trust. One 

ago. On that flight I guess there was a interesting bit of news that hit the 

pilot error and the plane approached front pages this weekend discussed the 

the landing strip too slowly and –hunger strikes taking place within the 

BAM- the tail of the plane hit the California Prison System. The reported 

ground before the landing strip was stories explain that these strikes are 

reached which eventually resulted organized by prisoners who have been 

in the loss of lives and many injuries. locked in solitary confinement often for 

After having that lovely picture in my decades. These inmates are prohibited 

mind I thought of the recent Denzel from communicating with anybody 

Washington movie in which the pilot and yet theses people, seemingly even 

kept pouring alcohol into his system more powerless than the rest of us, 

even as he addressed his passengers. have found a way to assert some power. 

These thoughts hit me again yesterday Through hunger strikes taking place 

as I watched the Sunday morning news throughout the state they have forced a 

shows that addressed the present state review of the inhuman conditions that 

of the global economy and the dangers are their daily lives. 

associated with climate change. 

How did inmates create these 

It hit me that for most of us in coalitions that reportedly go beyond 

terms of the economy it is as if we are tradition racial differences seemingly 

all passengers on a plane controlled by always present in prisons. If these 

unseen pilots hidden behind a closed seemingly powerless individuals can 

cockpit door. Think of a huge passenger force the closed doors of power to 

jet with hundred and hundreds of open perhaps there is hope for the rest 

passengers piloted by a couple of of us. The first question is whether or 

strangers hidden from us at the front of not our leaders have sufficient ability to 

the plane. Are those pilots concerned focus on problems and come up with 

about our welfare and are they properly the right solutions. There is argument 

focused on their jobs. I’m afraid that in over the causes of the ecological 

terms of the economy the small class of problems facing the world and perhaps 

people that seem to have some impact some of the ecological conditions 

on economic conditions do not seem to are manifestations of cycles that are 

have much concern for the hundreds of beyond human control. 

millions of Americans and the billions 

of people throughout the world that Certainly this is not the case 

are affected by their decisions. All as far as economic conditions are 

statistical reports reveal that the very, concerned. While half the world starves 

very rich are getting even richer while and the problems even in developed 

conditions are not improving very countries increase there really is food 

much for all the rest of us. enough and wealth enough to provide 

for the needs of everyone if the right 

The politicians that are elected policies are established. Perhaps 

in those countries that label themselves the millions of people taking to the 

as democratic and are entrusted with streets in Brazil; millions of seemingly 

the responsibility of protecting the powerless people not so dissimilar 

public welfare are almost universally from the prisoners held in Pelican Bay, 

viewed as failing in their jobs. Maybe will force the powerful pilots of the 

this failure is the inevitable result world to change course and save us all 

of systems wherein elected officials from disaster. 

are dependent upon the rich and 

powerful for contributions necessary Perhaps the sad truth is that 

to win elections. Maybe there only when the pilots behind their 

are other reasons. Probably most closed doors realize that crash is so 

elected officials, world-wide, are as imminent and so horrifying that it will 

incompetent and ignorant as the rest of reach even them then, perhaps then 

us and simply don’t have the expertise and only then will world policy change 

necessary to make the right decisions. to avoid this bad weather. Until then 

It’s probably harder to make the right maybe we should enjoy our flights and 

economic corrections and decisions trust that our pilots will make the right 

than it is to fly a large passenger jet—decisions. I wish I could follow this 

way harder.