Archive for January, 2007

Granholm Is, Like, Being Totally Unfair!…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 15, 2007

When people say, “That’s not fair” what they generally mean is that “Things didn’t go my way, and I’m not happy about it.” The natural response, then, is to invoke a convenient rule or regulation that seems vaguely objective in hopes of turning things back around their way. When this happens successfully, the first thing out of the mouths of people on the other side of the issue is, you guessed it, “That’s not fair.” And repeat. Just like the final step of shampoo bottle instructions. (Not that I’m terribly familiar with shampoo bottles.)

That’s the theme of this week’s comic. The particulars are kind of esoteric (and, frankly, not very interesting), but in general what happened was that Michigan Governor Granholm vetoed a bill that would have allowed Grand Rapids to do what it wanted to do (fund a sports authority to attract sporting events, like college basketball tournaments, high school state hockey finals, etc.). She did this mostly because Lansing complained that this was unfair. So, veto. Which caused Grand Rapids to complain that this was unfair. And repeat…


Gerald R. Ford…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 8, 2007

It’s so nice when things line up. You know, when stuff happens the way you would like it to happen even though the truth is that you had absolutely no influence over it happening the way it happened. Know what I mean? No?

All right then, I’ll put it to you this way: Out of any modern American president (and by modern, I mean one who was in office during my life), who would you pick to represent you? Who would you pick as the type of person you would like to be? The type of person you would like your neighbors to be? The type of person who other would say, “There goes a terrific example of what is all about.”?

Who said Nixon? Who said Nixon and wasn’t trying to be funny? Nobody, that’s who. The obvious answer here is Ford, Gerald R. Ford. Okay, sure, there are some isolated reasons to pick somebody else: If Jimmy Carter were your neighbor, he might come over and help you build a deck. That’d be nice. And if you were George W Bush, you’d never have to be bothered with understanding facts ever again. (Of course, if you were Bill Clinton you’d get to understand facts perfectly well, but then convince everybody else that they don’t.)

But on the whole, you’ve got to go with Ford. Decent, bright, honest, athletic, practical, self-depreciating, hard-working, curious, a good husband, a good parent, a good friend. So when the world came to Grand Rapids earlier this month, it was either our good fortune or a blessing (or both) that we got to celebrate his life as one of ours. It was a point of pride to let everybody know he was from West Michigan. One of the good guys was on our team. It’s so nice when things line up.

As for the comic, it’s just my favorite Ford quote. Ford had a particular appreciation for editorial cartoons. Go visit the Ford Museum; you’ll see them all over the exhibits. How can you not love a guy like that?

Comments (4)

I Never Liked the Little Drummer Boy….


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Family magazine, December 2006