Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

School policy not anti-gay but anti-learning

So here's the story: A teacher is suspended for playing a song that is supportive of gay marriage to her class. It's in South Lyon.

What is most interesting to me is the policy the school is using to suspend her. Basically, anything shown to the class needs forms filled out, explaining what and why, and needs to be reviewed. Wonder how long it takes to get approval.

The quoted policy sounds like a way to ensure nothing is shown to a class. Too much bureaucracy, yes, but a great way to make sure you have a way to discipline someone to creates the slightest controversy, or get people thinking? Of course.

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Google pays enough?

Google certainly draws a lot of interest with its high stock price, huge profits, and massive influence on everything related to the online world.

But that success seems to be driving a lot of people to target the innovative company, first for its alleged invasion of privacy for its street mapping/photography and then for its relationship with newspapers.

Then there was China and that country's insistence that it control what people can look at.

Now it is in Europe, where Germany is proposing laws to restrict what Google can let people see on their searches when it comes to news articles, by requiring payments to the newspapers. Big mistake, I think. Sure, Google is succeeding where newspapers failed, but if they make Google pay, then the search engine will not direct people to articles, and the openness of the web is its success. Plus, limits against Google can be turned into limits against others.

Then there is the issue of money, and officials in Italy are saying the company should pay more taxes, not be taxed higher, but they believe the company is not paying what the law requires. Same goes for the mayor of London, who says that Google and other technology companies need to pay more taxes.

Yes, it would be best if everyone who is successful pays more taxes, better for governments and elected leaders who like to promise things for voters, or rather citizens. But it's also natural for everyone, especially successful companies and individuals, to resist paying more taxes, as we all know here in America.

But these attacks on Google, one of the world's premiere companies, will keep company. It's just the price of success.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Levin retirement?

Say it isn't so.

The Detroit News has an interesting piece that looks at what may happen if longtime Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, would retire before his 2014 re-election. Yes, he would win if he ran.

Oh no, I say, because that would be one nasty and non-stop campaign to replace him with both Republicans and Democrats stumbling over one another for what usually is a lifetime job once elected.

For that reason alone, I hope Levin runs for re-election and wins, giving us at least one area where we're not bombarded with duplicate mailers, non-stop phone call harassment, and obnoxious tv commercials.

Come Mr. Levin, you'll be 80 in two years. You can do it.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

What I'm thankful for

Here is what I am most thankful for this week:

I am not on the jury hearing the Kwame Kilpatrick case. First, I have a life to live and taking 3 months off is not an option. Second, to hear about all the dirty deeds and see all the dirty players would be too depressing.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another reason to love soccer

Oh, the crazy goals.

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Obamacare and cheap food

It seems like some business leaders are publicly appealing to government leaders about Obamacare - or affordable but mandated health care - by making their low-wage employees pay.
This is quite the gamble, as there are so many options with how to spend your food dollars, options that include not going out and eating cheaper and healthier at home (which would drive down national health care costs!). But we Americans love our pizza; some even like or at least tolerate Denny's.
So the Papa John's CEO promises to cut hours to avoid health care.  Guess what, buddy, there's lots of pizza places. It'll be easy for some so inclined to avoid that chain.
Same goes for Denny's, which now has a franchise owner in Florida promising to cut hours and, more importantly, putting a surcharge on the bill so patrons know the price hike is for health care.
I love his quote. He says if they, the customers, want to give a smaller tip due to the surcharge, that's fine. So now, he says, his employees will have to find a second job.
His good employees will find better paying jobs. He will be stuck with the less talented employees and customers will notice.
Again, there are lots of places to eat. And though right-leaning customers will like what he's done, they won't want to pay more. Remember, they hate even paying taxes.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ever drive in Russia?

Well, according to this video posted on YouTube, a 13-minute compilation of bizarre and, yes, funny, crashes or examples of outrageous driving and unfortunate timing, you are lucky if you haven't. Some highlights include livestock and wildlife, trees falling, insane passing, out of control speeding, and even a horse. Oh, and only one clip involves snow.
While some may say this is bad driving, what's amazing are the number of dashboard cameras. Perhaps they should be mandated on American cars.
Buckle up and check it out:

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States seceding? Wait a minute

I keep seeing headlines, tweets and FB posts about states, even every state, wanting to secede from the union that makes up the United States.

No, that is not the case.

It is people within the states signing a petition to secede.

It is a very small percentage of the states' populations asking to secede from the union. It's less than a million people so far.

That makes it about one third of one percentage point. Not a big story. Yes, it is different, so that makes it a story, but it's not a big story.

Funnier yet, though, is the follow up petitions asking that cities like Austin be allowed to secede from their state, Texas, or the others asking to strip the signers of their citizenships.

Goodness, the dumb keep getting dumber. Oh, and the US Supreme Court already approved Obamacare, so it's here to stay. Now, if only they could fix it....

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A general's fall; a journalist's fail?

He's actually an entertainer, but Jon Stewart admits he is "the worst journalist in the world."

Stewart interviewed the woman behind the biography of Gen. David Petraeus, who was, it turns out, sleeping with the biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Stewart didn't shy away from his interview of Broadwell; instead, he highlighted it, pointing out that perhaps he should have known something was going on.

The fake news being real news commentary has expanded so much that it is now a part of the story as for many Americans, many who don't watch C-SPAN, first saw and heard from her on his "The Daily Show."

And this Broadwell-Petraeus story is getting better and better, with one of the initial FBI agents investigating being pulled from the case due to his sending shirtless photos of himself to a witness (before this was a case.)


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An idiot's punishment

I love this.

In short, she drove like an idiot. We don't know if she is an idiot but at least one judge wonders, prompting a sentence of wearing a sign.

Turns out it took video evidence to show how bad her driving was, going over a sidewalk to get past a school bus. One bad to make another bad, doubly troubling.

Reminds me of former 52-4 District Judge Michael Martone, who once made a young man listen to classical or opera music loudly after he was ticketed for playing his car music too loudly and disturbing the peace.

I'm trying to recall any other odd sentences by that gem of a judge.


Oh grandma

Not again.

Another grandmother, another killing.

As we await the West Bloomfield grandmother accused of killing her grandson, Sandra Layne, to return to court for trial. It's pretty clear, I think, that he shot her, but the question for the jury is what her intention was. Was she afraid of a troubled teenager? It promises to be a well-watched trial.

She returns to court for a pretrial, possibly scheduling, hearing. They've been waiting for forensic testing, which could check her mental health.

But now in Toledo, a grandmother appears to be the one blamed for the tragedy of a family killed, including three kids.

Oh, and just learned that Layne's hearing has again been adjourned. We will keep you up to date.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My pick

I'm guessing it will be less close than people think. We'll know tonight. I'm expecting that the FIVE THREE EIGHT writer, Nate Silver, is right and the swing states will give Obama another four years, just as voters did in 2004, when so many hated W.

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