Land O Links

LOL featured pic 7-11*A perennial problem in Michigan elections will reach its yearly peak soon. August primary elections sneak up on voters who quickly find they might not have ready access to independent information about candidates and issues.

Vote411 is an attempt to help. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, the site offers ballot language, candidate comparisons and other tools to make you a better voter.

*Matthew Davis at Mlive makes a key point about the degeneration of Michigan’s open documents law:

“What has happened, though, is that governments -- state and local -- have routinely asserted the exemptions and forced the person requesting information to sue for it. Or, alternatively, the government agency will respond to the request by saying the documents are available for some astronomically high cost -- a de facto denial of the request.”

Remember, public documents are, by definition, owned by the public. Yet it is commonplace now for government officials to wage sustained campaigns to keep the public away from their own property.

*Want to understand health insurance costs a bit better? The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has a short and excellent description of what we pay in Michigan these days.

For a family plan, the average employee is out about $3,500 in premium alone, with his or her employer kicking in another $11,000.  So, more than $1,000 a month in insurance premiums before any actual health care is consumed.

*A ongoing blog about the … odd aspects of living in Florida? LOL is more than intrigued since, for years, your editor has maintained an unofficial ranking of reasons to NOT live in Florida.

land-o-linksLightning carnage. Snakes, both venomous and huge. Heat and humidity that confine you to sealed homes or make rest elusive. Sinkholes. You get the picture.

*Sorry, can’t let this one go by: Florida also is under attack from disease-carrying giant snails.

"Not just any snail, though. GALS grow to 8 inches long, and their reproductive potential is stunning. Each snail contains both female and male reproductive organs, and every mated adult lays about 1,200 eggs each year. As of June 22, state officials say they have captured and killed more than 124,000 of the GALS from around Miami. And the snails are about as destructive as a Looney Tunes Tasmanian devil set on super slow-mo."

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