Land O Links

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom" -- Isaac Asimov, American science fiction novelist.

* Here's a thorny one: Some Great Lakes shoreline property owners want to be able to groom the section of beach between the water's edge and the ordinary high water mark without first getting state AND federal approval. Advocates argue that this would help combat invasive species. The state DEQ and environmental groups fear that a change in the approval process would limit public access. The Michigan Senate is considering legislation:

http://record-eagle.com/statenews/x610438375/Group-pushes-beach-grooming-law

* A lesson in reading beyond the headlines. The Detroit Free Press reports on a state audit of the Bureau of Elections that more than 1,000 dead people have been voting in Michigan, not to mention 100 prisoners. Republicans have been pushing for tighter rules on getting a ballot in Michigan. Please note, though, "A total of 1,236 of the recorded votes, or 90%, were by absentee ballots, while 145, or 10%, were cast in person, according to the audited records." So, assuming the audit is correct, is the problem a matter of Election Day plotting? And is anyone really going to get tough on absentee ballots -- the ones routinely used by grandma and grandpa? Believe it when you see it:

http://www.freep.com/article/20120515/NEWS06/120515017/-1/7daysarchives/Dead-people-prisoners-casting-ballots-Michigan

* Michigan's marriage rate of 5.5 per 1,000 people in 2010 places the state on the low end of the marriage spectrum. Michigan's marriage rate was 8.2 per 1,000 back in 1990. The decline mirrors a national trend. Michigan's divorce rate in 2010 was 3.5 for every 1,000 people, putting it in the bottom 20 for divorces, as well:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/map_of_the_week/2012/05/marriage_rates_nevada_and_hawaii_have_the_highest_marriage_rates_in_the_u_s_.html

* Bridge Magazine's recent coverage of how high schools prepare teens for college has prompted a great deal of commentary over the responsibilities of schools, students and parents. For those who argue that students might not be stepping up, the following link may put your teeth on edge:

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Case-for-Breaking-Up-With/131760/

* The summer driving season approach-eth, and gas prices already have flirted with the $4 mark in Michigan this spring. But, in pursuit of a more robust, honest debate about energy policy, it's important to consider the economics behind gas prices and oil exploration. The major point in this link: A surge in domestic U.S. oil production will not turn the tide on gasoline prices. Why? Well, everyone wants -- and uses -- oil:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/05/10/domestic_oil_production_is_irrelevant_to_oil_prices.html

* We in the media know we have a bit of an image problem with the public. But there's a reason that freedom of the press  and a healthy press are so essentially to the maintenance of a democratic republic. Ask yourself: If a media outlet (in this case, the Chicago Tribune) had not put in this effort to tell us about the rather grim truth behind the "science" and the politics of flame retardants, who would have?:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/flames/ct-met-flame-retardants-20120506,0,3214816,full.story

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