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Jason Gillman For Michigan http://jasongillman.com Limited Constitutional Government That Serves The People Sat, 13 Aug 2016 18:40:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.7
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Inside Job http://jasongillman.com/2016/08/13/inside-job/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/08/13/inside-job/#respond Sat, 13 Aug 2016 18:39:54 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=162 Read more about Inside Job[…]]]> Many visitors here are contacting me about a recent political resolution by the GT GOP county convention.

While I understand that the biggest injury to people now-a-days seems to be feelings hurt and not how real policy is enacted, it was still important to note that politics is a product.   The former Michigan Governor Milliken is a big boy, and has had 76 years of adulthood to figure out how best to influence people through politics.

He has served the country honorably, as a veteran and public servant, and I for one do not doubt intentions that he might have had in office or afterward for the betterment of the state and its people.  We disagree on many things however, and he has expertly used his position as a former Republican masthead to advance causes and goals that are not a part of the Republican product.

Honest Republicans would argue that he has no business selling Hillary, John Kerry, Jennifer Granholm, Gary Peters, or other Democrats off of Republican store shelves.  Its as simple as that.

Modified from a post at RightMi.com

Customer:     A Whopper with cheese please

BK Guy:    I think you would like the Big Mac better.

Customer:     Big Mac? Isn’t that McD’s?

BK Guy:    Yes.  They are quite good too.

Customer:     Is this BK selling Big Macs now for the McD’s next door?

BK Guy:    Oh.. Not really, but I am.  I just think that is a better choice.

Customer:     But you work here at BK?

BK Guy:    For about 60 years. Yessiree.

Customer:     Doesn’t it bother management, that you are trying to sell McD’s product at this counter?

BK Guy:    Been doing it for years.  No one seems to care.

Customer:     ..I would like to speak to the manager, please?

Manager:   Can I help you?

Customer:     Do you know that your employee is selling McD product from your counter

Manager:   Oh, BK Bill?  Yeah..  He does that.  He is a heck of a nice guy.

Customer:     It doesn’t bother you that your associate is selling the competition’s product across your counter?

Manager:   I completely understand your concern, but he HAS been working here for decades.  I would say he knows better than any of us what to sell.

Customer:     But ..

Manager:    AND he is a true servant.  He even goes next door occasionally to help the McD’s folks mop their floor, AND clean their toilets!

Customer:     And you let him?

Manager:    Its how we get them to smile at us, {whispering – we really don’t like when they get mad}

Customer:     I see.   OK..  but.. oh never mind.   I really wanted the Whopper with cheese but, how about the Chicken Fries?

BK Guy:      I think you would prefer the Hamburgler Happy meal.Hamburgler

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Life http://jasongillman.com/2016/07/14/life/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/07/14/life/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:20:56 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=151 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
Life begins at conception. I have no problem making that statement.  It is hardly “above my pay grade” or doubtful in my mind.  The miracle of life is something that cannot be considered for even a moment to be inconvenient or even trivial.  It is a gift from God, that we should cherish. As we Read more about Life[…]]]>
baby-21249_640Life begins at conception.

I have no problem making that statement.  It is hardly “above my pay grade” or doubtful in my mind.  The miracle of life is something that cannot be considered for even a moment to be inconvenient or even trivial.  It is a gift from God, that we should cherish.

As we look to communities which sponsor high numbers of abortions, we also see correspondingly high violence and blatant disregard for life in or outside of the womb. There is no coincidence here. Children who see their brothers and sisters murdered before they are born and learn to devalue life in the womb, cannot be expected to value it outside as well.

Early in the campaign, a voter asked:

Hello Jason, I am a voter in Northern Michigan, I would like to get to know your views better on a few key subjects: -Planned Parenthood funding -Comprehensive, statewide sex education in public schools -Anti-discrimination laws for LGBTIAQ individuals -Birth control access and affordability -Abortion access and affordability Thank you so much for your time, XXXXX

I responded with this:

Hi Xxxx, been a busy weekend so it took a while to get to this. You asked for quite a bit as well.

-Planned Parenthood funding
As a private organization, it should seek private funding. As an elected official, I could not in good conscience vote to provide funding to this private agency. If there is an urgent public health need for the services it provides, then that is another discussion that might better be handled under the existing health and human services functions.
-Comprehensive, statewide sex education in public schools
Parents should be capable of providing guidance, but I understand that some parents ARE parents because they are less than informed on how babies are made. Sex ed in school should be limited to the biological facts, including pregnancy, health, physiological, and psychological aspects, as well as the possibility of dissemination of disease. Emphasis on youth abstinence from sexual experimentation in such a program should be a good part of the curriculum.
-Anti-discrimination laws for LGBTIAQ individuals
We are born with inherent rights; life, liberty, and property. Everyone shares those rights, and they are not dispensed by government, but rather derived from our creator as a natural state. Protected classes of individuals given special protections or dispensations is destructive to true equal protection under the law. Some people can be rude, intolerant, and possibly disposed to dislike others for a number of reasons including skin color, religious, or behavioral preference. Preservation of natural rights however, is imperative. When government creates a new class of citizens and grants it special permissions that conflict with natural rights, there is a problem. A full understanding of what rights truly are is important here.
-Birth control access and affordability
The government forces no one to have sex. There are no taxpayer guns put to our heads telling us to engage in intercourse, thus it is hardly the responsibility of the taxpayer to provide for something outside the scope of their responsibility.
-Abortion access and affordability
I am, and have been, a defender of life. Xxxx, I believe in life from conception, and unless the life of the mother is in grave peril that can only be protected [as a defensive measure], I would not ever support the killing of the unborn. Sara, respect for life has been minimized to the point that it carries into the behavior of our youth, with some of them unable to even see value of those already outside the womb.

I pray for those who have to wrestle with decisions based on circumstances they feel are too overwhelming. My hope is that they are able to see the potential for the blessing that some might never know. ‘Affordability’ in terms of money, pales in contrast with the cost to one’s soul, or at the very least psychological damage done by destroying the child inside. Providing broader access to such tragedy is something I could not condone.

I hope this helps you.

And I hope it also helps others who will decide what voice will speak for them in Lansing.

Please note Michigan Right to Life has endorsed the incumbent.  NOT because he is a better defender of life, but because he is the incumbent, and that is their policy.

If there could be any clearer message in how I would handle the issue of life as a legislator it would be to look here.

Commissioner Jason Gillman rallied other commissioners against the grant application. Gillman said he couldn’t support providing any type of aid to Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, regardless of the program.

“The organization is designed to kill babies,” Gillman said. “The nicer side of it is only there to mask its evil intent. That is to kill babies.”

My opinion was quite clear.  The incumbent, who also supported my motion to deny the grant to Planned Parenthood then suggested an alternate path for their efforts by going through the CITY commission.

Please feel free to pass this on.

Thank you.

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NRA Endorsed http://jasongillman.com/2016/07/10/nra-endorsed/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/07/10/nra-endorsed/#respond Sun, 10 Jul 2016 12:16:39 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=147 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
The NRA has endorsed my candidacy for the 104th State House seat. I am honored to receive the endorsement as a defender of second amendment rights.]]>
The NRA has endorsed my candidacy for the 104th State House seat.

I am honored to receive the endorsement as a defender of second amendment rights.
Endorsed

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Save The Children. http://jasongillman.com/2016/05/12/save-the-children/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/05/12/save-the-children/#respond Thu, 12 May 2016 15:00:50 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=125 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
Are Bailouts The Right Answer for DPS? The Michigan House just voted to give the Detroit Public Schools a $500 million bailout and the State Senate wants to give $800 million. 104th State Representative and incumbent Larry Inman explains it away as a necessary evil.  He suggested on the Ron Jolly radio program Wednesday morning, Read more about Save The Children.[…]]]>
school-926213Are Bailouts The Right Answer for DPS?

The Michigan House just voted to give the Detroit Public Schools a $500 million bailout and the State Senate wants to give $800 million.

104th State Representative and incumbent Larry Inman explains it away as a necessary evil.  He suggested on the Ron Jolly radio program Wednesday morning, that lawyers warned house leadership  that if they didn’t do something, the courts would take over, and it could be far worse.  He referenced the Michigan constitution, and its requirement on the legislature to provide funding for the schools.

My guess is that he did not ask the question of the attorneys advising the house “what might happen if every school district subjected the taxpayers to the same challenge?”

YES, the state is supposed to provide an education. The  legislature is supposed to “maintain and support a system of elementary and secondary schools.. ” In fact, From the state constitution:

§ 2 Free public elementary and secondary schools; discrimination.

Sec. 2.

The legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for the education of its pupils without discrimination as to religion, creed, race, color or national origin.

No public monies or property shall be appropriated or paid or any public credit utilized, by the legislature or any other political subdivision or agency of the state directly or indirectly to aid or maintain any private, denominational or other nonpublic, pre-elementary, elementary, or secondary school. No payment, credit, tax benefit, exemption or deductions, tuition voucher, subsidy, grant or loan of public monies or property shall be provided, directly or indirectly, to support the attendance of any student or the employment of any person at any such nonpublic school or at any location or institution where instruction is offered in whole or in part to such nonpublic school students. The legislature may provide for the transportation of students to and from any school.

History: Const. 1963, Art. VIII, § 2, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964 ;– Am. Initiated Law, approved Nov. 3, 1970, Eff. Dec. 19, 1970
Constitutionality: That portion of second sentence of second paragraph of this section, prohibiting use of public money to support attendance of any student or employment of any person at any location or institution where instruction is offered in whole or in part to nonpublic students, was held unconstitutional, void, and unenforceable because it contravened free exercise of religion guaranteed by the United States Constitution and was violative of equal protection of laws provisions of United States Constitution. Traverse City School District v Attorney General, 384 Mich 390; 185 NW2d 9 (1971).
Former Constitution: See Const. 1908, Art. XI, § 9.

But should the state be responsible for the aggregate of poor decisions, graft, and straight out mismanagement?

And is asking the question: “can there be logic in perpetually providing cover for mismanaged taxpayer institutions?” too much?  Does anyone think that DPS is the only poorly managed school system in the state?  What then happens after this payoff, and the next district says, “Gosh, we need help too.”?

And frankly, if anyone thinks the threat of new oversight rules will prevent the same in the future, they are not paying attention to what happens when government grows.  Oversight is in the hands of those legislators here and now. Will creating a new bureaucracy or adding new rules that require more administrative attention actually provide better schools, and an efficient education system for our students under the same general management?

Read the constitutionality entry above.  The supreme court has ruled that the dollars can follow the students.  Charter schools are still public anyhow, yet have market principles guiding them.

In this case, instead of offering the foundation money to follow the students for better options, the house voted to forgive the malfeasance of DPS and allow them ‘another chance.’  This is trapping those students in a system that is ineffective at best, and now sets the stage for further costly bailouts throughout the state.

The solution:

  • 1. Compel DPS to liquidate its assets through bankruptcy and the ongoing emergency manager.
  • 2. Compel Charter authorization for enough schools to handle the 48 thousand students in the DPS.
  • 3. Provide for random audits from Auditor General with stiff penalties for fraud
  • 4 Provide minimal funding for the wind down of school related activities and set a yearly budget for the DPS as a charter authorizing agency.
  • 5. Provide pennies on the dollar relief from the state for metered dissolution of the school system debt and obligations.

Larry Inman responded like so many legislators respond.  He trusted the lawyers and bureaucrats on the issue of courts coming in to resolve it.  This is the same thing that happened in Grand Traverse County.  The administrators said “trust us, this will make it better; it will work,” and the commissioners bought it.  And now Grand Traverse County is paying for such blind trust, and thoughtless capitulation.

Leadership is needed more than ever on this issue.

Detroit school children will be caught in the cross hairs of the political power posturing.  They will not see a better education with this plan any more than if the schools were closed.

In fact, moving the management of the system to a series of chartered environments would likely be the best alternative available.  Pressure from interests embedded in the existing school system will fight nearly any reform the legislature attempts anyhow, and this would set a course where success is rewarded, along with zero taxpayer liability for fiscal mismanagement into the future.

For taxpayer relief, and for better education, Its time to set the children free.

 

 

 

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Where’s Your Rep? http://jasongillman.com/2016/04/07/wheres-your-rep/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/04/07/wheres-your-rep/#respond Thu, 07 Apr 2016 17:03:30 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=111 Read more about Where’s Your Rep?[…]]]>

I have had the ability to reach the current representative for the 104th district a little more than the average Joe.

But more than a few folks have said they cannot get him to respond.  Leaving messages that are never returned, and expecting some kind of reporting on what is happening in Lansing or what he has been up to, to no avail.

One email I received says Representative Inman has “disappeared,” and that “I have no clue what he stands for, accomplished, or even heard from him in any local media.” and that he does not “bother to respond to my very infrequent input on certain issues which tells me they could care less.”

From others in the area, I had heard similar concerns.  The “disappeared” description being repeated.

This video might not be the most professional high dollar production, but it provides the perspective that many share about their current representation.

Please be assured that I have always been, and will always be accessible, and listen to ALL perspectives.  I’ll keep you informed, and I will sometimes even tell you the things you might not want to hear, but I will always make the best effort to be responsive and truly representative.

Thank you

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DPS Down Payment A Mistake. http://jasongillman.com/2016/03/29/dps-down-payment-a-mistake/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/03/29/dps-down-payment-a-mistake/#respond Tue, 29 Mar 2016 21:15:57 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=100 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
Operation ‘Can Kick’ In Full Swing. Its for the children, right? HB5296, a $48.7 Million bill to get DPS through the school year, met little resistance from our state legislature, with seven senate, and only four house members opposing the final package.  How could anyone vote to essentially close the doors?  Its a valid question, Read more about DPS Down Payment A Mistake.[…]]]>
shackles copyOperation ‘Can Kick’ In Full Swing.

Its for the children, right? HB5296, a $48.7 Million bill to get DPS through the school year, met little resistance from our state legislature, with seven senate, and only four house members opposing the final package.  How could anyone vote to essentially close the doors?  Its a valid question, and the intent should be considered honorable.  However, an honest assessment of the overall situation can only remind us that it is with the best intent that we fail our children once again.

If the vote to hand over the money eradicated all debt, and set the course for district solvency, it would be hard to argue against such logic.  However, the greater debt and liability still exists, and the precedent is set for the remaining $700,000,000 bailout that is next to come for DPS.  Even that number is of questionable sufficiency, and is likely to be higher.  Even with a bailout of this magnitude, it would be foolish to think it would be the end of hands out from a district that has produced 25% graduation rates, all the while receiving the highest per capita foundation payments.

And then there is the question of mismanagement being simply benign, or instead as a purposeful quest, evidenced by new indictments of a dozen prominent administrators within the district. Surely this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Let us not forget also, that Detroit Schools represent only a part of the state’s public education apparatus. To be sure, it is not the only school district in Michigan that is facing obligations that seem insurmountable. What are we to do next when Grand Rapids Schools, Lansing, or even Traverse City Area Public Schools cry “No Mas!” throwing up their hands in futility?

In fairness, how could the same legislative body that rewards the graft, corruption, and malfeasance of DPS be expected to deny other communities their share of the bailout stew; leaving taxpayers with an even greater burden to overcome? How could one not expect every other irresponsible act by local governments to be forgiven by the stroke of a pen, and grace of the taxpayers?

Or their progeny?

If one understands that short of an immediate ability to pay for such relief (with budgetary surpluses), there must be a burden placed on the very children who would be ‘saved’ by such short sighted acts.  The fiscal obligations will simply pile on to the already hard won bucket of bad parenting these kids have been getting for some time.  Our children, if they remain in Michigan will forever be shackled to the poor choices and fiscal gluttony of today’s leaders.

Gosh, what a legacy.

We should be so proud.

 

 

 

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Immortality, Physics, And The Automatic Sunset. http://jasongillman.com/2016/03/16/immortality-physics-and-the-automatic-sunset/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/03/16/immortality-physics-and-the-automatic-sunset/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2016 15:41:55 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=78 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
Ronald Reagan once noted that “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!”  The Gipper understood all too well what happens when an agency is created for any reason. Whether through the Read more about Immortality, Physics, And The Automatic Sunset.[…]]]>
Ronald Reagan once noted that

“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” 

The Gipper understood all too well what happens when an agency is created for any reason.

Whether through the best intent, a promise to certain constituencies or straight up corruption, new entitlement programs, regulatory regimes, and paper shuffling bureaucracies grow like weeds.  The reasoning behind their seeding and growth is often exhibited and touted as the most innovative  production of legislative group think.  However such creativity is most often absent when trying to prune such things from our budgets; they usually exist well beyond any deserved trial period, as perennial and everlasting.

Immortality and eternal life notwithstanding, “inertia’ might also be an apt description of bureaucracy and government programs. Once in motion, the programs will stay in motion until met by an equal and opposing force.

What this means, is that to end a program or bureaucratic construct, there must first be opposition to the program.  The opposition must then overcome the desire of the operators within the specific bureaucracy, the people it serves, and those who profit from it.  The self defense mechanism and self preservation of embedded interest can be formidable

There can be no doubt, Reagan was on target.

The manifestation of self preservation does not at all connote value however.

 

redundancy

And we will find that only when absolutely required, will any attempt be made to reduce the size, or eliminate those programs deemed to be of insignificant benefit for monies spent. No-one voluntarily recommends their own particular agency be done away with, and unless policy makers are looking to disassemble specific parts of the bureaucracy, it will not happen automatically.

Therefore directors of most governmental departments don’t worry, unless they know a target has been painted on their agency.  Most business-as-usual requires a minor budget dance, and a rubber stamp in the budget process.  Surely enough, as we have seen each year, there is never a reduction in the overall cost of state business. It continues to grow.

So inertia comes at an ever increasing cost.

There is a way however to fix this.  What happens when a state agency faces planned obsolescence?  What happens if that everlasting gobstopper known as a government program has an expiration date that must be rewritten every so often? How does this change the way in which budgeting is done if the end is guaranteed sans an absolute need for the program being demonstrated?

The roles are changed.  Instead of a legislator fighting an uphill battle to seek out the end of a wasteful bureaucracy, it becomes automatic.  The agency itself must then be proactive and demonstrate efficiency, and efficacy. It must continually prove its worth, and would have to earn a champion who will sponsor its ongoing renewal and ultimate existence.

The expenses in government that are wasteful, or have no practical worth, would no longer have to be cut out through intensive investigation and searches for economies in the budget, but would find a graceful and expected end. ‘Ephemeral,’ or transitory agencies would not transform into full blown money pits, and the necessary functions of government would still have to demonstrate efficiency and worth.

Would not such a default promote accountability?  Accountability in the form of expected performance vs actual?  If Program “A” is expected to have result “B,” and result “B” is the valued effect, the failure of attaining that result would forfeit any renewal, right?

It ought to, yes?

However such metrics can easily be ignored if there is no skin in the game.  How many legislators are willing to upend a bureaucracy and be a taxpayer’s hero, if it means they will be attacked and vilified by the interests with a stake in the continued operation of that bureaucracy?  If tax revenues are sufficient, even a poorly performing or useless agency is really of no concern, so why bother?

Conversely, who would like to return to their constituents and tell them that they wrote the renewal bill for an agency that has lived well beyond its purpose?  What legislator could proudly proclaim that a new lease on life was given to a program that is wasteful and bloated because of their sponsorship?  That is what we pay taxes for, right?

All programs have a stated purpose.

On their face, the expressed goals of a new program or bureaucracy ought to be sufficient for them to be created.  What might appear as lack of value for money spent will usually guarantee the opposite.

Ultimately, making the recipients/beneficiaries/participants of any program accountable to the expected results would reduce mission creep, lower cost of government, and eliminate legacy waste.

I would propose the automatic sunset of ALL government programs, requiring legislative sponsorship staggered over a set amount of years. It would require legislative approval one year before the natural termination of the program to assure a proper and orderly dissolution if necessary, and allow for maximum transference of state employees to other continuing departments.

The proposal would require the same legislative consideration  as any new spending plan or program creation.  It would be the same process to passage with the main difference of an ongoing history, but it’s true value would be more easily identified.

In this way, the trend of increasing budgets would be reduced, and a more efficient ‘right sized’ Michigan government could emerge.

And it would be about time.

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Office Hours http://jasongillman.com/2016/03/01/office-hours/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/03/01/office-hours/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2016 02:43:24 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=71 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
Its one thing to accept visits in Lansing “by appointment only,” and yet another to make yourself available to those whom you represent. The current representative for Michigan’s 104th house district will likely meet up with you if you give him a call beforehand.  You might even run into him in random spots about town Read more about Office Hours[…]]]>
104th-Office-hoursIts one thing to accept visits in Lansing “by appointment only,” and yet another to make yourself available to those whom you represent.

The current representative for Michigan’s 104th house district will likely meet up with you if you give him a call beforehand.  You might even run into him in random spots about town on the weekends, but he has hardly been widely available on a regular schedule to hear your concerns about what is going on in Lansing, and around the state in General.

I have been available and listening to Grand Traverse County residents for years without even holding office.  Hardly a week goes by without folks from the community stopping in to the family store to talk ‘shop’ in ways that have nothing to do with our security business. People know that their words find a receptive ear when talking about local political and governmental issues.

Why stop that now?

Show up (no appointment necessary)  Fridays from 8AM til 12 noon.

Come on by, and I will buy you the first cup of coffee.  And don’t worry, the conversation will go on well beyond the election.

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Unintended Consequences http://jasongillman.com/2016/02/23/unintended-consequences/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/02/23/unintended-consequences/#respond Tue, 23 Feb 2016 18:12:30 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=60 Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1712): Index wp_postmeta is corrupted in /home/recallp1/public_html/JasonGillman.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1942
Part of being in leadership, is to have a bigger picture of what might happen when certain decisions are made. Legislative authority carries with it great responsibility.  A large part of it is to have an understanding of human nature, and the effect that some rules will have on people’s actions.  So it is important Read more about Unintended Consequences[…]]]>
Part of being in leadership, is to have a bigger picture of what might happen when certain decisions are made.

Legislative authority carries with it great responsibility.  A large part of it is to have an understanding of human nature, and the effect that some rules will have on people’s actions.  So it is important to be able to step back and logically follow through on what might happen when a vote is cast for any particular issue.

Rules made with the intention of limiting bad behavior often cross the line into the limiting of good behavior as well. Certain regulations and laws sometimes must necessarily encroach on the absolute freedom of the individual to do whatever is desired at the moment.  Examples of this might be anti abortion measures,  rules limiting the ability to marry (even those with consent) minors, drug and pornography laws, and poaching.

Our social fabric depends on certain limits and boundaries to ensure that ALL are equally protected under the law, in ways that promote life, healthy families, safe communities and vibrant resources.  If all of the people in our communities behaved perfectly, had good hygiene, and gratuitously respected boundaries, such laws and rules might not be necessary.

So its no surprise that when more stories of inhumane treatment of animals appear, the natural reaction of so many is to call for more laws to protect our animal friends from being at the hands of those who are disposed to cruelty and abuse.  Why wouldn’t we want to promote such legislation?

Dog-poundPerhaps because the consequence of such legislation can be far more cruel than the problem being addressed?

The current representative for Michigan’s 104th House (Larry Inman)  may have considered House Bill 4353 to be a good measure that protects animals from falling into the hands of those who might abuse them.  The bill mandates a criminal background check for those who wish to adopt a pet from a shelter. The beginning legislation of the Animal Protection Adoption act passed through the house February 10, 2016.  The passed through the house version amends an existing PA 269 of 1969 with the following section:

Sec. 8c. (1) An animal control shelter or animal protection shelter may consider an individual’s criminal history when deciding whether to allow that individual to adopt an animal. An animal control shelter or animal protection shelter shall not allow an individual who has been convicted of an animal abuse offense to adopt an animal unless a period of at least 5 years has elapsed since the date of his or her conviction. An animal control shelter or animal protection shelter may choose not to allow an individual who is charged with committing an animal abuse offense and enters a plea to any other crime in exchange for dismissal of that charge to adopt an animal.

On its face, it seems that animals are going to be better protected, yes?

That is, until one factors in the human nature part of the equation.   What is the natural response of a human being to discomfort?  What do people do when they can choose between benignly passive and intensely intrusive? (a criminal background check is quite intrusive)

Clearly, the more comprehensive answer depends on what is gained through the engagement of such a process, but there can be no question that the more difficult any process becomes, the less likely it is completed.  In other words, if the bar is higher than the desire to reach it, fewer will try.

Otherwise we might ALL be doctors, engineers, or even accomplished musicians.

But pet ownership is (or should be) fairly low on the list of important things to accomplish.  This ought not lessen the value, but most of our bucket lists probably don’t include ‘getting a cat,’ though many of us have, in our lives had pets and furry critters around us.  Casually picking up from the box of adorable best friends at the local supermarket is a thing of the past. And with such legislation as HB4353 pending, it is entirely likely that scores of those litters will be left unwanted at the shelters for good.

And if one has even the most rudimentary knowledge of what happens to unclaimed animals in most shelters, it shouldn’t be hard to realize what happens next.

Even no-kill shelters have limits on their ability to handle pets.  What happens when the money runs out, and the adoption rate from the no-kill shelter drops off?  Our legislators must do better than this.  Cruelty has many facets, and one of them is total and complete abandonment.

This bill had (and may still have) popular support, but needed the full weight of its resulting aftermath measured.  Most folks should eventually realize how this is an inhumane way to handle  situations that are still an aberration, and not commonplace.  But in the meanwhile, it could pass through and into law, cementing its adverse effects.

Lazy legislators get us bad policy.   Representative Inman might have had good intentions, but did not do the homework, and lacked the foresight and consideration of the actual consequence of the bill he voted for.

He was wrong to vote for this.  Call him and tell him so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Message Of Flint http://jasongillman.com/2016/02/09/the-message-of-flint/ http://jasongillman.com/2016/02/09/the-message-of-flint/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:05:14 +0000 http://jasongillman.com/?p=47 Read more about The Message Of Flint[…]]]> By now, any Michigan resident has heard at least a half dozen different reasons how the Flint water crisis began.

Not only the origin, but how several mistakes have been made along the way to the public realization that there was even a crisis in the first place.  Warnings were ignored, people became sick, and some agencies were somehow prepared for the problem, yet strangely without alerting the residents who also shared the same resources.

Our shared responsibility was compromised.   One of the very important operations for which government exists, has failed.  And failed not only miserably, but potentially with political fallout, and with health consequences that may continue for years..

Imagine that, we have dirty water.

To be clear, it was not the governor’s fault alone that it happened.  And it was not simply a mistake by a couple individuals within the ruling class in Flint either.  However, the events leading up to and  surrounding the fiasco have one common component; they all could not have happened without the monopoly hold that government has on such important infrastructure.

The plumbing in Flint and other older Michigan communities is a legacy that bears intense scrutiny.  Scaling in pipes has over time shielded residents from the danger from the adverse affects of lead used to hold it together.  Proper chemistry was an absolute prerequisite to mitigating the hazard, and keeping the flow of the precious fluid we take for granted all too often.

If any privately held enterprise would have allowed the same issue to arise when under contract, it is likely that heads would roll, and liability would have to be assumed at a corporate level.  As it is however, Michigan taxpayers will be paying for the mistakes made in Flint and elsewhere (new reports will show up soon enough)  until the end of the century.

The why and how we arrived here is historically and anecdotally diverse.  But all roads eventually lead to the layered bureaucracy, sought power, greed, and lack of responsibility often accompanying those components.

The how we depart from such a place however, cannot be solely launched on blame alone, but rather with an understanding that if government is still managing our infrastructure, it must do so with transparency and accountability never seen before.  Our public servants must be absolutely open and honest, and ultimately be held liable for their actions.

Without this, we are likely to find ourselves repeating this discussion ad infinitum.

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