Posts Tagged ‘Ann Arbor’


Ann Arbor Connection to Nadal Malik Hasan

November 10, 2009

We have just learned from a creditable source that Nadal  Malik Hasan, the gunman at Ft. Hood, has ties to our local Islamic Center (Plymouth Rd.) in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Check back for further updates.


Car and Driver: David E. Davis (Ann Arbor)

July 16, 2009

David E. Davis Jr. is an automotive icon – a genius – an old friend – and a long time tenant of Hogback Officenter.  I loved the many times that I had the opportunity to talk with him.

He and his staff were our first tenants at Hogback Officenter ( our little office park here in Ann Arbor – shown below.


David came to Ann Arbor from New York City – and he loved the ‘Hogback’ name – originally a road only a quarter of a mile long – (from the name of it’s one time shape) .  He got a kick out of moving Car and Driver’s magazine from it’s New York City address on Broadway to Car and Driver’s Ann Arbor address on Hogback Road.

[After 30+ years the new parent company (Hachette Filipacchi) of the magazine moved the local offices to Eisenhower Parkway, Ann Arbor.  David would have said no ‘class’ at all.]

David founded Automobile Magazine and moved the staff and operation to another building we owned in downtown Ann Arbor – which had been for many years the famous Pretzel Bell (often called The P Bell).

I still make a point to read everything that David writes.  So we are including one of his latest articles.






City Officials Spoof Council Meetings

June 9, 2009

Ann Arbor News   7 June 09

emails between council members-

8:14 – Hohnke to the group: “Hey! Don’t forget the Earth Hour … the nonbinding resolution to dim your lights to help global warming.”

8:15 – Taylor to the group: “Dim lights are a natural constituency for some of us.”

8:16 – Greden to the group: “Mostly the 5th Ward.”

8:21 – Taylor to the group:

“Yep ; -)”

Editorial: Ann Arbor City Council’s e-mailing shows disrespect

by The Ann Arbor News      7 June 09

Photo illustration: Tammie Graves | The Ann Arbor NewsLeigh Greden, from left, Christopher Taylor, Carsten Hohnke, Margie Teall are members of the Ann Arbor City Council.

There’s a lot that’s wrong with the practice of Ann Arbor City Council members e-mailing each other during council meetings.

It prevents the public from fully understanding the workings of the council, and from knowing council members’ opinions on certain matters. It calls into question the council members’ focus on the job at hand. It at least skirts violations of the Open Meetings Act. And it’s just plain rude.

As detailed in Judy McGovern’s story on Page A1 today, this comes up now as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request from an environmental group. The filing yielded some e-mail exchanges among members of the City Council that took place during council meetings, using the laptops and e-mail accounts council members are provided as part of their positions.

Not everyone on the council engaged in the hijinks. At least in this batch of e-mails, Mayor John Hieftje and Council Members Mike Anglin and Sabra Briere did not participate at all, while Sandi Smith and Stephen Rapundalo kept it to a minimum. Leigh Greden, Margie Teall, Christopher Taylor and Carsten Hohnke were the most active; Marcia Higgins and Tony Derezinski fell in the middle.

The content of the e-mails isn’t particularly nefarious. At least in the snapshot this batch gives us, there are no secret deals being made. The bulk of it is high spirits - council members teasing each other for “pandering” and so on. At one point Greden takes a playful shot at the residents of another city ward.

However, there are times when the discussions get much too close to conducting public business out of the public eye - for example, Teall asking Greden, “Will you actually vote for this?” about a resolution before the council. Or an exchange about postponing a particular vote.

With no court decision or attorney general’s opinion directly on point, smart people can disagree about whether things like that violate the letter of the Open Meetings Act. But they certainly violate its spirit.
The law exists for a reason: The public’s business is supposed to be done in public. This practice evades that principle. And for that reason alone, it’s inappropriate.

But there are other reasons too:

• Some of the exchanges show disrespect for people and issues before the council. On one of the nights in question, the council passed a resolution backing the dimming of lights in tall buildings as a protection for migrating birds. Yet it undercuts the sincerity of that action to discover it touched off a tongue-in-cheek email exchange about how surely there must be something else that needs protection.

• It’s just not the right way to treat people. This is an electronic version of whispering behind someone’s back. Whether the real target of the humor is the public or the council members themselves - as those who do it maintain - is beside the point. The whole practice is exclusionary, unprofessional and downright childish.

• Finally: For crying out loud, the council members should simply pay attention to what’s happening during the meeting. If what’s being said while these e-mails are providing background entertainment is so unimportant, then why bother saying it at all? Expecting council members to actually listen to whoever’s speaking is setting the bar pretty darn low. But even that seems to be too high for some.

Council work involves some drudgery and meetings can be dull. It’s easy to see how something like this could develop. But this is the job these folks signed up for. There’s just no defense for this. It ought to stop, and an apology is in order, too.


Bailing Out Shariah Law

December 31, 2008

Bailing Out Shariah Law


Islamofascism: In bailing out AIG, Uncle Sam may have taken on more than he bargained for, including a constitutional fight over the promotion of religion.

Earlier this month, as the New York-based insurance giant benefited from $153 billion in tax-supported bailout funds, it launched a business unit offering Shariah-compliant insurance products in the U.S.

For the first time, homeowners’ insurance policies “compliant with key Islamic finance tenets” will be marketed to Muslims in America.

We are pleased to offer socially responsible solutions to this segment of the domestic market,” the near-bankrupt AIG announced in a press release, explaining that the Islamic market represents “an important and emerging growth opportunity for AIG.”

But there’s little that is “socially responsible” about Shariah law, which regulates the “takaful” insurance AIG is selling, along with other Islamic finance.

Shariah law authorizes horrific human-rights abuses, including the kind of violence and oppression against women, homosexuals, apostates and non-Muslims seen in Saudi Arabia and earlier under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

To fully comply with Shariah code, AIG has hired a “Shariah Supervisory Board” composed of “Shariah scholars.” Who are these so-called scholars?

One, according to its press release, is Muhammad Imran Usmani, who happens to be the son of Sheik Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, who supports violent jihad against Westerners. The elder Usmani is so radical that Dow Jones & Co. recently removed him from the board of its Islamic market index.

At a minimum, AIG has to do better due diligence if it’s going to use taxpayer money for such a controversial enterprise. But what’s the responsibility of the U.S. government here?

The Thomas More Law Center, a public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., argues the U.S. is promoting a religious legal code at odds with democratic values and capitalism. And that makes the bailout unconstitutional. So it’s suing Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the Federal Reserve to stop all bailout funds from going to AIG.

According to the suit, use of taxpayer funds to acquire ownership of a business that intentionally promotes, endorses, supports and funds Shariah-based Islamic religious practices violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“The U.S. government, through its ownership of AIG, is not only violating the Constitution,” the suits claims, “but also promoting and financing the destruction of America using American tax dollars.”

While that sounds over-the-top, a sizeable share of the profit and any interest earned by AIG’s Islamic subsidiary must be “purified” by investing in Islamic charities. Such transfers will be controlled by Usmani and other Shariah advisers.

Since 9/11, dozens of major Muslim charities around the world, including several based in the U.S., have been tied to terrorism and shut down. So AIG — along with American taxpayers — could unwittingly finance terrorism against the U.S. and its allies.

The potential for terror money laundering deeply concerns two Republican leaders on the Hill, who on the heels of the Thomas More lawsuit fired off a letter to AIG CEO Ed Liddy warning him that the FBI could come knocking.

“We hope you can verify what hands your money passes through, because we would hate to see the FBI visit you one day, look into your books and tell you that money from AIG found its way into terrorist hands,” wrote Reps. Frank Wolf, congressional Human Rights Caucus co-chairman, and Sue Myrick, co-chairwoman of the congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.

What’s odd is that the Treasury Department is the agency charged with cracking down on terror financing, yet it’s encouraging firms like AIG to go into Islamic finance. In fact, Treasury co-sponsored a seminar in November titled “Islamic Financing 101” to promote Shariah financing to corporate America. [HOLY LAND FOUNDATION]

The seminar was jointly sponsored by Harvard University, which is heavily supported by Saudi petrodollars.

So it’s not just AIG that’s actively helping Shariah gain a foothold in America. It’s also Washington.

Financial crisis or not, it’s hardly in the economic interest of taxpayers or the U.S. to own part of a business that supports a Stone Age legal code championed by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

AIG should divest itself from Shariah business practices if it wants to keep its public bailout money.