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Thinking out loud on Tuesday

October 18, 2011 - Steve Murch
This and that on a Tuesday afternoon …

… I have no problem with the Occupy (fill in the blank) protesters in general. Free speech, assembly, etc., are First Amendment rights. I'm tired of them comparing themselves to the protesters like those who protested during Vietnam, the Chinese students in Tiananmen Square, and those in the Arab world from earlier this year. Of course, those comparison are closer (barely) than comparing themselves to the tea party. When they become more of an influence instead of just protesting and result in change then we'll see. The jury is still out.

I'm baffled by some of the campus protests that are cropping up. Some are in places that can't make a difference nor will be seen outside of the local media, like Central Michigan University.

… Here's the thing about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan (OK, two things). The first is it goes against the general Republican belief against a national sales tax – which isn't much of a deal with me (Cain is his own man, so I don't think he cares about that). The BIG thing is that having a 9 percent national sales tax might kill any economic momentum.

Add Cain's 9 percent national tax to Michigan's 6 percent tax (there are states with higher). That's 15 percent right there. Now, what if a city has a 2 percent tax – now it's at 17 percent. Imagine buying a new car that is is $30,000. All of a sudden that $30,000 car is over $35,000. Ouch. Imagine if you lived somewhere that has 11 percent between all its various state and local taxes – you are talking 20 percent. Now tell me that it's a good idea.

… Ask any newspaper person outside of those papers that cover Texas and St. Louis baseball and they will tell you almost unanimously they'd like a sweep. And they probably don't care by which team. Waiting on championship series of any kind is a pain in the rear, compounded more when you don't have a team to root for. It seems, too, that managers MLB-wide are in love with camera time because games are getting longer all the time with managers making pitching change after pitching change after pitching change.

… I was a freshman at Ferris State College (yes, it was still a college at that point, now enough of the old jokes), when the hostages were taken in Iran. In some ways it seems like it barely happened and it was a lifetime ago. Yet, I still remember some details about it on campus.

There was a pro-Ayatollah Khomeini student who granted the college newspaper editor an interview as he went to the airport in Grand Rapids to fly back to Iran. When the story appeared in the paper with this Iranian student taking shots at our country the students were up in arms. There were students who hung the Ayatollah in effigy and those who hung American flags out of their dorm windows. The campus and city police had the local radio station and campus radio station ask students not to hang the flags out the window.

Some of it seems like it didn't happen. When I mention to some of the younger reporters when they come here they say something about studying it in high school. Just one more thing to make me feel old.


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