Land O Links

"Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it" -- Thomas Fuller, 17th century British author.

* There's probably a great deal of math behind this which, as a liberal-arts grad, I will take on a certain amount of faith. The cool map, though, shows Michigan as one of just eight "green" states with "economic mobility" above the national average. With the exception of Utah, they all are in the Great Lakes region or Northeast. The nine "red" states with below-national mobility are either former Confederate or border states:

* A package of bills to change Michigan law on lawsuits claiming medical malpractice was filed recently. Advocates say it's about "extreme" cases and protecting doctors. What's odd about the idea of pushing medical tort changes in Michigan is the state adopted wide-ranging reforms back when John Engler was governor. In fact, according to the Pacific Research Institute -- hardly a mouthpiece for trial attorneys -- Michigan rated in 2010 as the third best state for medical tort rules. Are Sens. John Molenaar, R-Midland, Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, and Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, saying that PRI doesn't know what it's talking about?:

* Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is sounding the alarm about the echoes of the Citizens United ruling on campaign contributions. He says his state's laws against corruption and corporate influence are being jeopardized by the federal financial free-for-all:

* Prisons from space! Well, at least from way up. A New York Universitystudent has compiled images of the nearly 6,000 lock-ups in the U.S. of A. In Michigan prison news, the Legislature has finally set aside a bid by the House to close the reformatory in Ionia and shift prisoners housed there to a privately owned lock-up inBaldwin.

* This is a bit long, but well worth the read. Learn what the "Council of Education Facility Planners" is and how it's helping wreck the concept of neighborhood schools. Learn also why a New York public school tried to seize the bicycle of a parent who had the temerity to ride to school with her son. Planning and zoning rules and decisions have huge consequences, people:

* You probably heard something on the radio or TV about a fight over the Census. You may even have heard the term "American Community Survey." This is a key document by which a treasure trove of data is collected on who we are and what we do. Such census documents used to be non-controversial. But in today's Washington, how you take your coffee is a matter for partisan jockeying.

At any rate, the House voted 232-190 to stop the Census Bureau from doing the survey. The following members of Michigan's congressional delegation voted FOR the amendment: Justin Amash (3rd District, West Michigan); Dan Benishek (1st District, Northern Michigan); Dave Camp (4th District, Northern/Central Michigan); Bill Huizenga (2nd District, West Michigan); Thad McCotter, (11th District, Metro Detroit); Candice Miller (10th District, Metro Detroit); Mike Rogers, (8th District, Mid-Michigan); Fred Upton (6th District, West Michigan); and Tim Walberg (7th District, Mid-Michigan).

When you look at the map (link below) that shows general census response rates, a fascinating division opens up. Midwest states such as Michigan are quite diligent in responding. Southern and Western states are not:


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