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Stories written by Jack Lessenberry

880 stories found. Showing page 1 of 30.

Shaming our state: Instead of making hard decisions, our pols just kick it down the road

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 10/6/2010

Types: News, Politics

When the wimps running the British government sold out Czechoslovakia to Hitler, Winston Churchill, not yet in power, reportedly growled that they had been faced with a choice between war and shame. "They've chosen shame. They'll get war later." Last week, the Michigan Legislature did mu...[MORE]

Making real change: Why we could use a constitutional convention

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 9/29/2010

Types: News, Politics

Here's what puzzles me most about the Tea Party movement, as well as everyone else who says they want serious change in this state. This fall, they've got a tremendous opportunity to do so — right there for the taking. And yet, they show no interest. Maybe that's because they — and mayb...[MORE]

Bought and paid for: Moroun's millions and Mike Bishop's flip-flop

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 9/22/2010

Types: News, Politics

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop would have been regarded as an honest politician by at least one member of Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. Secretary of War Simon Cameron is now mostly remembered for saying, "an honest politician is one who, when he is bought, stays bought." Cameron him...[MORE]

Obama's image crisis : Why the president should ramp up his PR — and his populism

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 9/15/2010

Types: News, Politics

More than a half-century ago, the Democrats had a candidate who in some ways was sort of a white Barack Obama. His name was Adlai Stevenson. He was a brilliant speechmaker, also from Illinois, smart, sane and witty. Once, an adoring woman told him that all the thinking people in the country were be...[MORE]

The numbers game: New population statistics coming, but do we need more than stats?

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 9/8/2010

Types: News, Politics

So how many people does Detroit really have? The U.S. Census bureau counted us all on April 1, except for the millions they had to spend time and money hunting down afterward. We'll learn how many people each state has around Christmas. But it will be next April before we get detailed population da...[MORE]

Let's make a deal: When it comes to Michigan's supreme court, justice isn't blind

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 9/1/2010

Types: News, Politics

Imagine your little boy or girl gets interested in the legal system and decides he or she would like to be a judge someday. Wouldn't that just be a parent's dream? What, after all, could be a better or more important job than applying the laws and helping people understand them? It's also ever so m...[MORE]

Arts, Beats and Ammo: How pistol-packers got Royal Oak to let them come in locked and loaded

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 8/25/2010

Types: News, Law

"... It is important to recognize that ... the right to keep and bear arms is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for any purpose." —Guess who OK, now — which American-hating creep would write something as anti-Second Amendment as t...[MORE]

One cheer for Obama: When GM and Chrysler were on the ropes, he helped ensure their survival

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 8/18/2010

Types: News, Politics

"I believe that the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." —President Barack Obama, 2009 Last week was a good one for General Motors. Think about that sentence. As recently as December 2008, it seemed very possible that nobody would ever be able to write t...[MORE]

Bernero vs. Snyder: Charting possible outcomes in what should be a damn exciting campaign

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 8/11/2010

Types: News, Politics, Election

To my surprise, I was happy with the way the primary election turned out, even though one of the candidates I recommended didn't win.  Speaker of the House Andy Dillon had the better credentials. He was the only one of all the candidates to take a firm position supporting the Detroit International ...[MORE]

After voting, what?: Politics today: Important, ugly and too often ignored

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 8/4/2010

Types: News, Politics, Election

By the time you are reading this, you'll know who the major party nominees for governor are in our battered state of Michigan. But the question is — do you care? Sadly, for far too many of us, the answer seems to be ... not much. That's sort of bizarre, given that unemployment has been abysm...[MORE]

Who for governor?: Our candidates, from the worst to the not-so-worst

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 7/28/2010

Types: News, Politics, Election

COPPER HARBOR — Go vote on Tuesday, damn it. There may be no more important election in Michigan history than this year's. We — those of us who bother to vote, that is — will choose a new governor and a mostly new Legislature. That's the case every few years. But this one comes at...[MORE]

Fighting the power: Hansen Clarke vs. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 7/21/2010

Types: News, Politics

Thirty years ago, there was hope Detroit was poised for a comeback. The population had fallen, but at 1,203,339 people, we were still the nation's sixth largest city. Times were tough, but there was hope. Chrysler had loan guarantees from the government and was about to introduce the K-car, the vehi...[MORE]

Give vets their park: They have the plan, but the city won't give them the time of day

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 7/14/2010

Types: News, Government

You can, and should, hate war with a passion. The Vietnam War, in my opinion, did more to ruin this nation than any single event in history. The war in Iraq, which we were lied into, not ready for, and then badly botched, is now widely acknowledged to have been a criminal mess from start to a finis...[MORE]

State of corruption: State legislator moves to embalm new span before it can be born

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 7/7/2010

Types: News, Business

Kurt Hesse is about as purebred a Detroiter as you can find these days. He was born here, grew up here, and still works for the company his granddad founded in 1888 — Detroit Cornice and Slate. He's a 47-year-old businessman who for years has been trying to help his community and make a livin...[MORE]

Al Gore, a 'sex poodle'?: The Internet: Where you can make fishy, anonymous charges until your dreams come true

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/30/2010

Types: News, Media

Here's what's wrong with journalism in the Age of the Internet: Last week, reports surfaced that a 54-year-old masseuse claimed that Al Gore tried to rape her in a hotel room in Portland, Ore., nearly four years ago. Not last week, four years ago. What is this woman's name? Well, she doesn't want t...[MORE]

A future for the UAW?: Charting strategies to reverse union's decline

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/23/2010

Types: News, Labor

Timothy Duperron, chief operating officer for Focus: Hope, is a more-than-decent guy who worked for the Ford Motor Co. for decades, starting at the bottom and rising into management. He was still on the lower rungs and hadn't yet earned a college degree when he was given an electrician's apprentice ...[MORE]

Tax the brewskis!: Brew tariff could solve education budget woes

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/16/2010

Types: News, Government

Everyone who knows anything about economics knows that Michigan's only hope for the future is a better-educated workforce. Our old-fashioned muscle-based, assembly-line economy is gone. There will be virtually no more high-paying jobs for unskilled high school graduates, ever, and no hope for dropo...[MORE]

Thomas' bombshell: What she said this time was far worse than insensitive

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/9/2010

Types: News, Media

Helen Thomas has been a journalism legend for decades, the tiny lady in red who started covering the White House when John F. Kennedy became president, and has been there ever since, making most of us look lazy, blazing a trail for women. She's traveled the world, and asked tough questions of 10 pr...[MORE]

Michigan or Moroun?: Why Matty Moroun is one of the worst corporate citizens ever

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 6/2/2010

Types: News, Business

Michigan's economic future is at stake right now, in the state Senate. If you think times are bad, imagine what they'd be without the billions in trade that move across the Detroit River every year. The vast majority of it moves across the Ambassador Bridge, which was built in 1929, is wearing out,...[MORE]

Nature betrayed: Scoring Lansing pols on the environment

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 5/26/2010

Types: News, Environmental

Old Teddy Roosevelt oughta be angrily looking down and shaking his fist at those who run his Republican Party today. Bill Milliken is sitting up in Traverse City, presumably shaking his head. Once upon a time, Republicans like these two men were leaders in the conservation and environmental movemen...[MORE]

Kill the illegals: Crack-brained Michigan bill would inundate us with lawsuits

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 5/19/2010

Types: News, Law

That's right. Harass the bastards first, of course. Illegal immigrants have ruined this country. They took all our jobs and wrecked the auto industry and are why I have bad teeth. No doubt about it. Now, while I agree heartily with those sentiments, they aren't originally mine; they are based on so...[MORE]

Ernie's real legacy: If only our leaders were as good at bringing us all together

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 5/12/2010

Types: News, Politics

They were white and black, heavy and thin, men and women. They wore flats and heels; cordovans and cowboy boots; business suits, bomber jackets, and stained and dirty sweatshirts. All stood calmly and peacefully in a long line snaking around the stadium. Everyone knew who they were there for, and w...[MORE]

Tomorrow's lessons: Don't feel too smug about DPS: Schools statewide enter crisis mode

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 5/5/2010

Types: News, Education

Everyone knows that Detroit still has the largest public school system in Michigan, even if students have been fleeing it in droves. But what's the second-largest system? Grand Rapids? Lansing? Not even close. The answer is Macomb County's Utica Community Schools, which has an astonishing 29,283 st...[MORE]

Knowing Jack: New Kevorkian film calls the past to mind

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 4/28/2010

Types: News, Media

For Detroit, You Don't Know Jack, the Kevorkian movie that was first aired by HBO last Saturday was not just a movie. It was a major happening, one especially welcome after the city had been savaged once again by Dateline NBC just days before. Indeed, two days before the saga of Jack the Dripper h...[MORE]

Ganging up on Matty: The latest on the world's most oppressed billionaire

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 4/21/2010

Types: News, Business

Things got so bad for Matty Moroun last week that the state's oldest amphibian had to send his normally invisible wife, Nora, out to try to defend him. Looking a trifle haggard, she clearly feared she and Manuel might be down to their last billion or so. "Is this the end of the American dream?...[MORE]

Tea Bag truth: A sad collection of angry, undereducated people who are being manipulated and used

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 4/14/2010

Types: News, Politics

Late last week, hundreds of ignorant Tea Party morons were as ecstatic as pigs in a Dumpster full of stale doughnuts. Bart Stupak, the Michigan congressman who cast a difficult vote to make health care reform reality, was stepping down! "That'll show 'em!" the know-nothings cried. How dar...[MORE]

Getting off base: On linking the national pastime with the broader culture

By Jack Lessenberry

Published: 4/7/2010

Types: Culture, Sports

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball. —French-born historian Jacques Barzun  Baseball has the most intense historical consciousness and historical pretension of any sport ... yet it readily abandons tradition for commercial advantage. —Gerald Ear...[MORE]

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