Shirvell taint extends to Cox

Last night, I posted something here about the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan and his anonymous online harassment of an openly gay student at the University of Michigan. The student, I’m told, has since taken out a restraining order against the man, whose name is Andrew Shirvell. To my knowledge, however, no action has yet been taken against Shrivell by Attorney General Mike Cox, whose job it is to enforce the laws of Michigan equally, without bias.

Coincidentally, this wasn’t the only such case of anonymous online gay harassment by a government employee recently. Last week, when the comment, “all faggots must die,” was left on a gay political site by the name of Joe My God, it was tracked back to a computer in the office of Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss. Apparently, it was the work of a staffer. But, here’s where the two stories diverge. According to Joe Jervis, the man behind the Joe My God site, Senator Chambliss called him today, offering a personal apology and promising to fire the individual responsible, which he’s said to have done soon after. To my knowledge, our Attorney General has not responded in a similar fashion. But, public pressure is building… Now, just a few hours since its launch, the Fire Andrew Shirvell Facebook page has almost 7,500 fans. And, Michigan’s Governor, Jennifer Granholm, had the following to say via Twitter – “If I was still Attorney General and Andrew Shirvell worked for me, he would have already been fired.” We’ll see if it has any affect of Cox.

All I can say is that I’m thankful that Mike Cox did not win the Republican primary for Governor a few weeks ago. The more I hear about Shirvell, and his history, the more it sounds as though Cox hired him not in spite of his radical anti-gay ideas, but because of them. Shirvell, it seems, had a history of anti-gay activism in the Ann Arbor area, having gone to the extent of leading a boycott against, of all places, the New York Pizza Depot. Their offense? They had a rainbow sticker on their front door. And, it would seem, his hateful preoccupation with gay sex would only intensify as a law student at Tom Monaghan’s Ave Maria anti-abortion college.

Tom Monaghan, if you’ll recall, also shared a strangely intense interest in what other men did with their wieners… I don’t want to go off on a conspiratorial tangent, but I do find it interesting that, of all the businesses with rainbow stickers that Shirvell could have gone after in Ann Arbor, he chose to focus on a pizza place with aspirations of franchising. (For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Monaghan is the man who founded Domino’s Pizza. He did so here in Ypsilanti, and it made him rich, allowing him to do things like start a thoroughly creepy, far-right Dominionist college here in my back yard.)

So, one wonders if maybe Monaghan had a role in all of this. As Cox is a conservative Catholic who attended U-M as both an undergrad and a Law student, one wonders if Monaghan, who still spent much of the year here at the time, was ever exposed to Cox. And, one wonders if maybe he helped fund Cox’s political career. Or, did he, perhaps, make it a practice of introducing fresh, young students to Cox? (Cox is a charismatic character. I can certainly see men like Monaghan and Shirvell drooling over Cox.) I wish we still had journalists who could look into this kind of thing.

Posted in Ann Arbor, Other, Politics, Religious Extremism, Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Can anyone be the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan?

For those of you not in the great state of Michigan, it looks as though our Assistant Attorney General, a guy by the name of Andrew Shirvell, has been caught in the act of cyber bullying. It would seem that Shirvell, under the pseudonym, “Concerned Michigan Alumnus,” has spent these past several months lashing out online against a University of Michigan undergraduate by the name of Chris Armstrong, who is presently serving as the first openly gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly. Going to the extent of calling Armstrong “Satan’s representative on the student council,” Shirvell has launched a site to keep tabs on Armstrong and his “radical gay agenda.” The site, called Chris Armstrong Watch, demonstrates, if nothing else, that Shirvell is clearly unhinged. Shrivell even goes so far as to stand outside Armstrong’s Ann Arbor home at 1:30 in the morning with a camera, after calling the cops to report a “gay orgy” in progress. The photos of bored cops standing on a porch, I guess, are meant to somehow convince us that radical gay indoctrination program has been taking place inside. Instead, however, it just makes me think back to 1978 and Harvey Milk’s assassination at the hands of a clearly obsessed Dan White. Maybe it’s just this interview with Anderson Coper, but something doesn’t seem right with this fellow, and I hope, for Armstrong’s sake, he gets the help he so clearly needs… Which brings me to the point of this post, which is, what does it take to become the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan? Having watched the interview of Shirvell with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, I think it’s safe to say that the bar is set pretty damned low. And I’m wondering if perhaps James O’Keefe or one of those recently let go Chrysler workers might be able to fill his role once it becomes available. Seriously, though, is the role of Assistant Attorney General typically filled by a political operative?

Posted in Michigan, Other, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

An ad for the Mark Maynard Manhug shirt

Remember how I told you that a local band here in Ypsi called Manhug had appropriated my image for a t-shirt? Well, I know I shouldn’t be helping them out, and giving them ideas as to how they might be able to sell more, but I’ve had this idea that I think is terrific.

12230-21Do you remember the Russian stand-up comedian who was popular the 1980’s, Yakov Smirnoff? Well, he used to have this bit where he’d say something like:

In America, you watch television.

And then follow it up with:

In Soviet Russia, the television watches YOU!!

Well, given the way the men from Manhug have made these t-shirts featuring my face, my eyes kind of line up with the breasts of whomever it is wearing it. So, I was thinking that the band could approach Mr. Smirnoff, and ask him to record the following voice-over.

In Ypsilnati, the breasts watch YOU!!

Here’s a mock-up, minus the voice-over. And all apologies to the unsuspecting model. I just grabbed the image off of Facebook.

Posted in Mark's Life, Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

This just in from Austin

According to a consortium of Libertarian groups on the campus of UT Austin, tonight’s speech by “More Guns, Less Crime” author John Lott, has been cancelled on account of the masked gunman with the AK-47 who closed down the school this morning.

Posted in Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Byrne on Detroit and Taibbi on the Tea Party

Once you’re done reading what David Byrne thinks of Detroit, I’d like for you to check out Matt Taibbi’s new piece in Rolling Stone. Here’s a clip from the beginning of the article, at which point Taibbi is talking about being at a Palin rally in Kentucky, surrounded by hefty middle-aged folks on motor scooters.

…After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.

“I’m anti-spending and anti-government,” crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. “The welfare state is out of control.”

“OK,” I say. “And what do you do for a living?”

“Me?” he says proudly. “Oh, I’m a property appraiser. Have been my whole life.”

I frown. “Are either of you on Medicare?”

Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!

“Let me get this straight,” I say to David. “You’ve been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?”

“Well,” he says, “there’s a lot of people on welfare who don’t deserve it. Too many people are living off the government.”

“But,” I protest, “you live off the government. And have been your whole life!”

“Yeah,” he says, “but I don’t make very much.” Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry’s medals and Barack Obama’s Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about — and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as here in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.

Early in his campaign, Dr. Paul, the son of the uncompromising libertarian hero Ron Paul, denounced Medicare as “socialized medicine.” But this spring, when confronted with the idea of reducing Medicare payments to doctors like himself — half of his patients are on Medicare — he balked. This candidate, a man ostensibly so against government power in all its forms that he wants to gut the Americans With Disabilities Act and abolish the departments of Education and Energy, was unwilling to reduce his own government compensation, for a very logical reason. “Physicians,” he said, “should be allowed to make a comfortable living.”

Those of us who might have expected Paul’s purist followers to abandon him in droves have been disappointed; Paul is now the clear favorite to win in November. Ha, ha, you thought we actually gave a shit about spending, joke’s on you. That’s because the Tea Party doesn’t really care about issues — it’s about something deep down and psychological, something that can’t be answered by political compromise or fundamental changes in policy. At root, the Tea Party is nothing more than a them-versus-us thing. They know who they are, and they know who we are (“radical leftists” is the term they prefer), and they’re coming for us on Election Day, no matter what we do — and, it would seem, no matter what their own leaders like Rand Paul do…

Posted in Other, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


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