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Category Archives: Principles

Ideas versus people

Remember the cliche about stopped clocks? When it comes to public policy–or anything involving some thought, for that matter–we ought to keep that in mind. Three recent incidents illustrate some unhealthy habits, in which we focus on people and not the ideas they express. The first incident involves the Common Core States Initiative. There are […]

Search warrants required for cell phones: SCOTUS ruling

The Supreme Court has ruled a ruling with some significant implications for policing and personal privacy. To quote from a review from the Washington Post, “In a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court holds that searching a cell phone incident to arrest requires a warrant.” A few comments on the ruling: First, the […]

Should business efficiency trump political principles?

Here’s my belated comment on the deal that Gov. Snyder struck with Canada. Some politicians talk; others get things done. To put it another way, some are show horses, some are work horses. It’s easy to dismiss the show horse, the politician who is often on the losing end of a 440-1 vote in the […]

What Gov. Snyder should learn from a long-dead Dutch politician

I’ve always been a bit leery of the idea that what government needs is a successful business executive. Henry Payne’s recent column comparing Gov. Snyder and Gov. Daniels prompted me to wonder why. I came up with a few more ideas. He wrote, “Contrary to popular wisdom, the Daniels role model — followed to a ‘T’ by […]

The Nerd is Governing as He Campaigned — Muddling Through

So Gov. Snyder wants to take $500 million in money to burn on Government Rail. Why am I not surprised? Perhaps the history so far of the Tough Nerd proves that O’Sullivan’s law applies to individuals as well as organizations. Here it is: All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing. As I […]

Is a good CEO a good guv?

Rick Snyder, the Republican candidate for governor in Michigan, is touting his record as a CEO who oversaw the growth of Gateway computers. Will that make him a good governor?