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October 2006

In last month’s column I said that the first five books of the Old Testament are myth. That is clearly untrue and I regret making that statement. All I needed to say, and more to thepoint, is that the story of creation in the first chapter of Genesis is myth. A myth is a story told to convey a message, in this case, a religious truth. It is not scientific nor historical.

            Now for today’s column. While all elections are important, I believe the one coming up on November 7 is critical to the future of our country and our state.

            While this election is not for president, mid-term elections are traditionally  a kind of referendum on the president. President George Bush pledged to be a uniter, not a divider when he campaigned in 2000. The country is more polarized now than it has ever been in recent history.

            The President has reduced the taxes of the wealthiest citizens at the expense of the middle class. He has started and engineered a war in Iraq that has cost over 23,000 wounded and dead Americans, not to mention the untold tense of thousands of Iraqis.  This war has spawned a live terrorist training ground.

 Bush also tried to privatize social security, one of the most successful government programs ever established.

            President Bush has been the darling of the religious right – those who would like to make our country a Christian theocracy.  Oh, they don’t use that word, but that is certainly what their policies would initiate.

            President Bush has had the pleasure of a Republican Congress during his six years in office. This Congress has convinced me that there is value in having different parties in the White House and in Congress.  Instead of being a separate voice in policy making, this Congress has fallen lock-step into President Bush’s plans.


Dave Camp has been a strong supporter of President Bush, so I believe it is time for  Camp to be retired.  I know Dave Camp personally and I know him to be an honorable and personable fellow, so it is difficult to say that it is time for change in our Congressional district, but  Mike Huckleberry will give us a fresh approach.

            We need to keep Sen. Debbie Stabenow, as she has een a vocal opponent of some of the President’s most egregious policies. We can’t afford to have another Republican in the U.S. Senate during these last  two years of President Bush’s term.

            At the state level, we have a choice between Governor Jennifer Granholm and Republican contender Dick  DeVos. Granholm has led the state during difficult times over the last four years. She hasmanaged the fovernment well, considering the state of  Michigan when she started.

            Dick  DeVos is  from the  religious right and is a strong supporter of President Bush. We don’t need to have another Bush spokesman in an influential government position, even if it is at the state level.

            Clearly DeVos has been a successful businessman as a son of the co-founder of Amway, now Alticor, and we do need fiscal responsibility at the state government level, but government is not a business and should not be run on the basis of the “bottom line”.

            Also on the Michigan ballot are five proposals. Proposal 1 requires conservation fees to be spent for conservation purposes. This makes sense to me.

Proposal 2, euphemistically called the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, would end affirmative action in Michigan. If you want to keep affirmative action, as I do, then you need to vote “no” on this proposal.

            Proposal 3  would allow a hunting season for mourning doves. I don’t have a strong position on this one.

            Proposal 4 would prohibit the use of eminent domain for private purposes. Vote “yes” on this one.

            Proposal 5 would tie the support of k-12 education to inflation rate as a constitutional amendement. As much as I like teachers (I was one many years ago), I cannot support this proposal. It is risky business to tie up the state government with constitutional mandates for funding anything, including the top priority of education.

            Whether you agree with my views today or not, I urge you to examine the proposals, study the candidates at all levels, and be sure to vote! Voting is not only a right, but a civic duty.