Mike Eller and Steve Pierce lose their Ypsi City Council primary races

Proving the old adage – “yard signs don’t vote” – to be true, Mike Eller and Steve Pierce, in spite of the fact that their campaign signs outnumbered those of their Democratic opponents by an order of magnitude (thanks to the support of several local landlords), came up short today in their joint quest for seats on Ypsilanti’s City Council. Thank you to everyone who helped get the word out about Eller’s history as the head of the ultra right wing America First Party of Michigan, and Pierce’s willingness to campaign alongside him, in spite of his troubling views on everything from gay rights and public transit, to recycling and the role of women in modern society. My faith in my community, despite many recent setbacks, is strong tonight.

Here are the final numbers for Ward 3:

Precinct I:
Murdock 31, Eller 13, Windish 4.

Precinct 2:
Murdock 185, Eller 122, Windish 13.

Precinct 3:
Murdock 224, Eller 108, Windish 30.

Murdock 440, Eller 242, Windish 47.

Here are the final numbers for Ward 1:

Precinct I:
Richardson 131, Bridges 48, Pierce 17.

Precinct 2:
Richardson 124, Bridges 30, Pierce 67.

Precinct 3:
Richardson 37, Bridges 15, Pierce 105.

Richardson 292, Bridges 93, Pierce 189.

While I am, of course, pleased that Mike Eller… and, by extension, Steve Pierce… did not win this time out, I don’t think this is any time to celebrate. The fact that a man who has said in the past that recycling is a Communist plot, and that we should allow our gay friends and neighbors to die of AIDS, should not, in any civilized community, be receiving 33% of the popular vote. I know that many of the 242 who cast their votes for him today, were not aware of his extremist views, but, sadly, many were. Many in our community chose to turn a blind eye to his outrageous beliefs because they felt that he would be an advocate for lower taxes, and I find that absolutely shameful. I can certainly understand why someone would want to pay lower taxes, but I cannot even begin to comprehend how one could allow that desire to overtake one’s life to the point where he or she is willing to enter into an alliance with an individual known to not only harbor, bur publicly express, racist, homophobic and sexist beliefs. That is completely beyond me. And I expect more from the people of Ypsilanti.

And, as we’ve discussed before, I think it was especially despicable that Eller, with the encouragement his supporters and advisors, like Steve Pierce and Karen Maurer, chose to run as a Democrat, in hopes of luring uninformed voters to his campaign. While I don’t think that we should necessarily go after those in our community who helped to perpetuate this charade, I do think that we need to be mindful of it, and plan accordingly as we move forward. Sadly, this is not going to end tonight. This has been building since the first Stop City Income Tax campaign, and, I’m afraid, we won’t see the end of it anytime soon. I know it’s hard to believe, but there are people, even right here, in our relatively progressive community, who would like to see public education ended, social services dismantled, public transportation stopped, civil rights protections rolled back, and the wall between church and state torn down. And, what’s more, they’re willing to do anything in their power to see this happen. What we saw unfold here in Ypsilanti is just one small example of what is playing out across the post-Palin United States, and we cannot afford to let our guard down, even when it comes to seemingly-inconsequential small town races like this. These elections do matter, immensely, and we need to acknowledge that, and act accordingly.

[NOTE: It’s not up to date at the moment, but, eventually, you’ll be able to find all of the elections results on the e-Washtenaw site… Also, as I understand it, congratulations are due to our friend Chuck Warpehoski, who, it would appear, has won his Ann Arbor City Council race.]

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  1. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Nice job everyone.

  2. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    For every 1 no Eller will get 2 yes. LOL.

  3. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Aubrees will be Hopping tonight, 1 deflated Baloon hanging on a poll by the bar.
    WWaaa Waaaaaa,,,

  4. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I know we have a lot of rentals and park land in our ward, but I can’t help that feel that kind of suck over her in 3-3.

  5. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Mark, did you tell Karen Mauer yet, Eller can use your head line above for his flyers?
    Victory Flyers?

  6. Andy Cameron
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    What’s the word in ward 1?

  7. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Word is Lois took ward one with 229 or so votes.

  8. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Guess, the Eller-Pierce Victory Party should of booked Pub-13. Didn’t have to use it anyway, LOL.

  9. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m done for the night.


  10. Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I’d originally heard that Eller’s running mate, Steve Pierce, had lost to Lois Richardson, but I’m now hearing that he’s won.

  11. Mike Shecket
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ve got W3 precincts 1 and 3 swapped there. W3P1 must have a ton of students who are away for the summer, much like W2P4. Check out the map here:


  12. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Ward 1 precint 1 is very slow, hasn’t reported with the other 2 as only seperated by a few votes.

  13. Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    As of right now, it looks as though Pierce is leading by 11 votes.

  14. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes, precinct 1 is still out.

  15. Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Ward 3’s final results are here. And you’re right, Mike. I had the numbers right, but the precincts switched around.

  16. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    It depends on the precinct map you look at. The one linked above said the west side of precinct is ward one, the other I looked at said ward 3. I am pretty sure it is really 3. So, we still suck.

  17. Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I should have noted that, while Steve is up by 11, that’s without the votes from Ward 1, Precinct 1. They’ve yet to come in.

  18. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    AA.com is running a story that says Lois won.


  19. Redleg
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    AA.com has updated their results– Giving Lois the win…

  20. Rick Cronn
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    If anyone has liberated any political yard signs and wishes to contribute them to a higher cause, art, please contact me. Same name on Facebook

  21. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, yes, precinct 1 for Lois was a big Haul.
    Pierce only got maybe 20 votes in precinct 1.

    Okay, That’s it for me.


  22. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Ok, so we voted for honesty and integrity. Now can we get some concentration on economic development to help offset budget cuts? This is not the easiest place to do business. Just say’n.

  23. Posted August 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Lois got 292 votes. Tyrone got 93. Steve got 189.

  24. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Remember this post from not too long ago????

    Posted August 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink
    While you people are whining on the internet, we are going to have more than 40 people knocking on doors for Mike this weekend.

    Call us whatever names you can think of. We are going to kick your buts.

  25. Sandy Ego
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    “If the Ann Arbor News would have taken just two minutes to call me and confirm the facts, none of this would have happened.” —Steve Pierce

    “It is too bad that Mr. Maynard did not bother to even call or email to find out what is going on before making his accusations.” —Steve Pierce

    “Pierce could not be reached for comment.” —annarbor.com


  26. MK
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I feel kind of bad for Steve. It didn’t have to go this way for him. He could have been a real asset to our community. Instead, he thought that he could outplay everyone around him, and manipulate his way into power. The thing is, if he just hadn’t been such a deceitful, vengeful ass, people would have elected him to be Mayor in an instant. It’s not like a ton of people have the time and interest, and he has both in excess. Let this be a lesson to other small men with big dreams of being power brokers in Ypsilanti politics.

  27. josh
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    In less contentious news, Susan Moeller won uncontested Ward 2. She’s professor of finance and AAUP president so she should be an asset on council. Not sure why she would want the job though.

  28. buzz
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    The big lesson for me in all of is came when the News Director of AnnArbor.com pretty much said, it’s not our job to report that your candidate for Council is a white supremacists. That was a big wake up call for me. It told me that we couldn’t continue to sit back and assume that these things would come to light. In a world without a free press, we need to make out own.

  29. Lance
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Pierce is really the only true scumbag I know. Sure you meet a lot of shady people going about your day, but they don’t really get down to the very bottom level of scumbagedness like Pierce does routinely.

  30. Knox
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I like that Pierce was tarred with the Eller brush. It serves him right. Lois Richardson may have won otherwise, but I’d like to think that it cost him the election. Pierce cannot feign ignorance as to what Eller is. He himself put up a website several years ago, sharing the 2008 platform of the American First Party of Michigan. He know then that it was well beyond the realm of what people in this community would find acceptable, and yet in 2012 he joined forces with the man. That tells me everything I need to know about Steve Pierce. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him heading out of town this morning on his Segway, never to return. This was the last gambit of a desperate man.

  31. Mr. X
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    According to AnnArbor.com, in Ward 1, only “12 percent of the 5,355 voters” cast ballots. (I’m assuming that by “voters” they mean registered voters and not potential voters.) In Ward 3, they report, “20 percent of the 4,261 registered voters” voted. That seems incredibly low to me, even for a primary race, and I was wondering if anyone might know how that stacks up historically, and relative to our communities in Michigan. Are Ypsi citizens more apathetic than most, or are we about average?

  32. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I think in large part to Mark’s initiatve, annarbor.com (with a new Ypsi reporter) did come around a little in their reporting with the story about the election results…

    Some Ward 3 residents raised concerns in the days before the election about Eller, who ran as a Democrat but has published ties to the far-right America First Party. Eller said he no longer has any ties to the party. Eller said there’s no way to be sure if the concerns brought up before the election factored into the results. Eller said he posted a position statement regarding the concerns on his Facebook page Saturday morning. “Maybe? I don’t know,” Eller said. “But I don’t think anyone would want to be judged on any other basis aside from what they ran on.”

    On Eller’s statement at the end, oh really Mike? We should completely discount all your America First/Democratic Populist positions? Geez, thats like being in Argentina in 1946 and saying ‘all those Germans who just moved in, well they are nice people, I shouldn’t care what they did before they moved here.”

  33. josh
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    @Mr. X
    I wouldn’t think too hard on those numbers. Washtenaw County says there are 14,256 registered voters in a city of only about 20,000 residents. Seems turnout is comparable to 2010: http://electionresults.ewashtenaw.org/aug2010/canvassreport56.html

    I am not a big fan of these August primaries. The student precincts have abysmal turnout. In a few Ann Arbor precincts turnout was well below 1%.

  34. Murf
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    As someone with Susan Moeller experience, I eagerly look forward to her joining the City Council and perhaps banging heads with Pete. This just might bring me to their meetings…with popcorn in hand.

  35. Murf
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Mr. X – If the reason for the low turnout was due to people like me who just didn’t want to pick the worse of two evils, that may have been something to do with it…or the fact this is the second time voting on something in 3 months…or just the normal low turnout that a primary brings.

  36. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Bob K,
    it’s so insulting that Eller would even try to pull this off, running as Democrat.
    He’s saying, oh I don’t belong to that America First Party, nah. Move on, nothing to see here. The amazing thing is he still claims, you shouldn’t look at views other than the Ypsi City Council situation. Really? Come on Eller, what Planet are you on?
    Take a picture of the back of his truck and it’s plastered with Far Right Wing Stickers and a new Repeal Obama Care. Come on, Eller, it’s not like you have some old beat up faded half scraped off Bush/Cheney Sticker from years ago. PLEASSSEEEEEE.

  37. Eel
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Speaking of trusted local news sources, I notice that YpsiNews.com hasn’t covered the election results yet.

  38. Eel
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Are we supposed to congratulate AnnArbor.com for outing Eller as John Bircher after the election?

  39. Knox
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    “But I don’t think anyone would want to be judged on any other basis aside from what they ran on.”

    Is this really happening? Is he really whining about how it’s unfair because he didn’t officially run on a platform of bigotry, as he has int he past?

  40. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I have a long time Ypsi Building owner; who never saw eye to eye with Murdock.
    He is a good Democrat; but never liked him, don’t know why?
    He told me, he had no other alternative; but to pull the lever(vote) for Murdock.
    Just said, Eller running as a Democrat was just to much to stomach.
    He would of just not voted for either.
    But pulled it for Murdock.

  41. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    building owner friend that is.

  42. Lynne
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I am quite happy with the results.

    When I think about the people in our town with very different political views, I have to admit that I wonder how we can make everyone feel welcome even while rejecting them or the candidates they support at the polling place. I don’t think we should tolerate bigotry in any way but when it comes to things like a different political vision about taxation, I strongly feel that our diversity in thought is an asset to our community.

  43. Mr. Y
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, I don’t think anyone was suggesting that the anti-tax folks shouldn’t have run a candidate. What people are saying is that they shouldn’t have rallied behind a man with extremist views, just because they agreed with him on taxation. They should have found a better candidate, and they should have approached the election honestly. That’s all that people are asking. Of course, I suppose it’s possible that these people agreed with him on more than just taxation, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  44. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Well now you’ve done it Mr. Maynard, with the grandstanding attention-seeking demonization from your disreputable weblog, you’ve managed to thwart the electoral chances of two of the finest, most upstanding, morally rightous leaders our area would have ever known. Thanks to your single-mindedly egomanical pursuit to ignore the issues, I guess we won’t have anyone with balls enough to step into the breach to take on the homosexual environmentalist AIDS infested antichrists with ponytails blasting their subwoofers in their subversive carpools. Its a sad day for America when a self-centered glory-hog can derail such honest, freindly, “no nonsense” patriots, with only your personal gain in mind. For shame Mr. Maynard.

  45. Eel
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    If feels different here without all the Republicans. How long do you reckon they’ll stay away?

  46. anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s like after the last presidential election. When Obama won, they all scurried away for a while. They’ll come back, though.

  47. Oliva
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    In a good piece in the 30 July New Yorker, “Bankers Gone Wild,” there’s a quote near the top (ironically) from Alan Greenspan from 1999: “In virtually all transactions we rely on the word of those with whom we do business.” The idea that Eller wanted votes based on his platform rather than on his publicly stated views is bewildering. And that some people feel sure that it’s fine to put their single issue (city income tax, bus service, etc.) ahead of a candidate’s character or the welfare of the community as a whole is really disheartening. Integrity and good works deserve to matter way more than that someone is a “successful businessman.”

    Also bewildering was the guy who went to our polling place to vote in his well-worn Tea Party Express t-shirt and actually harassed the people working there. I’ve read that “passive electioneering” rules vary by state, maybe by county, so I don’t know if his shirt was acceptable at our polling place–I asked, but the people working there said they were too upset by his tirade to notice his shirt. Really–in our little town of great promise and many good neighbors–this is how a person wants to be?

    The Elizabeth Warren t-shirt Mark linked to the other day is superb for its embodiment of integrity and goodwill. We need EW for so many reasons. May she win handily this November.

  48. Lynne
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!

  49. Oliva
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, your comment makes me smile way deep down–thank you! Beautiful prospect.

    Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!

  50. anonymouse
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    It took me a double take and looking up other comments by Thom Elliott to be able to tell if it was sarcasm. So, that’s sort of sad in a number of ways.
    Anyway, I’m relatively happy with how the elections concluded, though the turnout was deeply disappointing and a cause for concern. It wouldn’t have taken a lot of money for someone to buy their primary with numbers like that.

  51. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Anybody happen to venture over to Aubrees lastnight after the election?

  52. Sandy Ego
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    As far as professional bureaucrats go, Elizabeth Warren isn’t the worst.

    But if that’s all you’re hoping for, I’d love to be your Santa Claus.

  53. Good Neighbor
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I just heard that Steve Pierce will be running for Ward 1 Council Seat again in the next election, but he’ll be switching it up. Instead of running as a stupid rich white man, he’ll be running as an intelligent working black woman. On a Segway.

  54. Posted August 9, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I was once a black female Jewish lawyer–though my bald white noggin caused my credibility to be a little shaky at times

  55. Eel
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    They tried Eller as a Democrat. Maybe next time they’ll up the ante and incorporate blackface.

  56. Oliva
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Loosely re. Warren, hope, and the Santa spirit–the one that stands for being jolly and round and not going around with (even somewhat) poky things–cynicism, misleading ads, such things–trying to jab at the dear bubbles of hope that are essential and manage to stay aloft in spite of it all.

    I love getting lectures about the triviality of fiction, the triviality of making things up. As if that wasn’t what all of us do, all day long, all life long. Fiction gives us everything. It gives us our memories, our understanding, our insight, our lives. We use it to invent ourselves and others. We use it to feel change and sadness and hope and love and to tell each other about ourselves.


  57. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    On Warren; why anyone would suggest someone with at least appearent integrity and intellect to become the gigantic image attempting to conceal the dark technological leviathan’s occult operations is utterly beyond me. That you would will Warren to become the reptillian interface apperatus of the machine mind, where she would have to defend things like indefinate detention without representation in shadowy former Soviet facilities, or order the extrajudicial murder of US citizens by sky-robot is probably the last thing you should wish for her, or anyone. You really want to see Beth Warren become a coldblooded murderer? I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  58. Bick Vaspor
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Mike Eller should go all in next election and legally change his name to Pete Murdock. If he’s impatient, he could change his name to Brian Robb.

    Either way, it would squarely align with his ethics.

  59. Oliva
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I thought Warren used “Elizabeth,” though I did hear a colleague of hers call her “Liz”–not sure she chose that nickname. “Beth” stuck out in Thom Elliott’s comment–has she ever gone by that name? (I so didn’t love it when people would disparage Granholm by calling her “Jenny,” though I sense Thom admires Warren.)

    Also, if we don’t seek a potentially excellent candidate, with integrity and intelligence, to help move us away from heinous policies and politics and toward something better, what do we do? Stew in our own juices, venting and grumbling to stay partially afloat?

  60. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Mark.

  61. anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Sterling Heights apparently didn’t get so lucky. They actually elected a local right wing nut to Council, and now the Secret Service is involved.

    From the Examiner:

    Republican Councilman Paul Smith, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, has found himself at the center of controversy after video of him holding a sign that depicted President Obama’s head on a spike surfaced after being recorded at a Tea Party rally more than three years ago in April 2009. He also had other signs that included Nancy Pelosi with bullet holes in her head, and a noose around the neck of former Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm.

    The sign that depicted a decapitated President Obama with blood dripping from his neck contained the statements, “Shit on a stick”, and “One more day is too many!” and “He changed American into Uganda.” which was scrawled out in large letters.

    While that sign was repugnant, Smith’s signs towards female politicians were notably harsher. Democratic Minority Leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi ,was depicted with 6 blood dripping bullet holes in her face. The ugly phrases included “Pelosi hates America. Loves bribes and wetbacks.” The sign also said “Extreme Left Bitch.” Indeed, because nothing says civility like holding a sign calling another person an extreme bitch. Right?

    The revelation of this information came from Sterling Heights Mayor Pro Tem, Michael Taylor, who inadvertently found the damning footage while watching YouTube videos. Because of this discovery the city council voted, with Smith participating, to publicly call for the resignation of Paul Smith. The vote was tallied at 6 to 1 in favor, with Smith being the only member who didn’t vote for his own resignation.

    Because of the public nature of this discovery, a Secret Service investigation was triggered.

    The Oakland Press locally reported on August 9, that Smith has no plans to resign. He claims, “They (the Secret Service) told me that their policy is they respond to every complaint and that’s exactly what they did. They asked me a lot of questions dating back to when I was a kid. I answered them honestly and I guess they believe I’m not a threat or some kook.”

    Smith went on to say that the city council is like a “fraternity”, and that “I’m not welcome to the club.”

    That matter is not disputed between other council members. At the latest council meeting Michael Taylor said directly to Smith that he was “completely unfit to hold public office.”

    Other council members have taken a similar line including Councilmen Joeseph Romano who says Smith’s “usefulness as a Councilman is nil.”

    You can see images of the signs here-

  62. Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    More than anything/anyone else, Smith really has insulted the beautiful country of Uganda.

    I challenge him to go there.

  63. Dan
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink


    “Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 37.7 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 a day.[36] Despite making enormous progress in reducing the countrywide poverty incidence from 56 percent of the population in 1992 to 31 per cent in 2005,[37] poverty remains deep-rooted in the country’s rural areas, which are home to more than 85 per cent of Ugandans.”

    It was obviously hyperbole, but you’re probably the only american citizen envious of the Ugandans

  64. Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink


    Have you been to Uganda? I’ve still not made it in Uganda, but I’ve been close enough to see it (from Kenya) and have lots of experience with Ugandans, who have all been wonderful people.

    Sure, it’s poor. There’s tons of problems. But you know what? There’s lots to be envious of.

    Im going to go out on a limb and assume that Uganda is alot like Kenya, Tamzania, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, all countries i have been to.

    Despite all the problems, people are really, really happy very much unlike the United States. People value other people, they value their relationships with them. African countries are filled with problems that are unimaginable here, but still everyone finds the time to smile and say hello, which is far more than I can say about anywhere in Michigan.

    One thing ive learned after working in developing countries is that moneyisn’t everything. In fact, its nothing. Some of the happiest places I’ve been to in the world have no power, no money, no gourmet restaraunts, and a life expectancy of about 45 (or even less). Do I feel envious? Absolutely. You would too.

  65. Dan
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Simple question then. It must be unbelievably cheap to take your American Dollars and move there.

    Why havent you?

  66. Dan
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    and just to be clear, I don’t equate money with happiness. I equate happiness with happiness. Some people are happy eating fried chicken every day. Some people are happy caring for disabled people. Some people are happy to drink clean water and breath fresh air. And yes, of course, some people are happy to wipe their ass with gold plated thousand dollar bills. That happiness is all equal in my book. Whatever makes you happy, DO IT!

    I’m probably my most happiest when I’m with my family and friends and my pets and we are all sitting around a table eating and laughing and drinking and having fun. So I try to do that as much as possible.

    So if smiling at 3rd world strangers makes you happy, why don’t you do it?

  67. Pickle Tree
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Dan, heard you just got a new home. Congrats! Hope it makes you more happy, less angry

  68. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Olivia, anyone you would elect to that job becomes sullied beyond belief, look at what has become of Obama (for the record I still ‘prefer’ to the degenerate cult member and his nazi boy wonder). He has done deplorable things, because that’s what being the face of the machine mind requires, calculating cold bloodedness and industrial brutality, because that’s what we are. If Warren were to become the President, she would have to become a machine who authorizes things unthinkable (like mind control expiramentation with drugs on soldiers, or indefinately detaining whistleblowers) who would have to mendatiously manuver the shadowy sociopathic forms which people our govt. When you peer into the void, it peers back.

  69. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    No Dan, you equate material possesions (which includes money) with happiness, because you are a puddle-deep nonthinker. That you equate stuffing yourself with the fried mechanically-seperated flesh of murdered animals and caring for the disabled as somehow similar illustrates just how depthless your conception of the good life is. Your belief could only come from a person with a profoundly unexamined life, someone who blithely sleepwalks through existence. Dan, please, instead of your daily 50 piece chicken nuggets and half gallon of Mtn Dew, buy some Plato, think about your life, consider what real meaning your life is lacking, before its too late.

  70. Oliva
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Thom E.,

    Some thoughts . . . that all of us are sullied, being Americans, so there’s not much escaping that–even if we’re living not in a democracy but in a very dastardly plutocracy at this time. But let’s keep trying.

    Also, your dispirited take keeps bringing me back to pre-election 2000 . . . with all the “what does it even matter?” talk, which brought us Bush and Cheney and in time the current awfulness that is a flailing and wicked GOP and fortified Fox and angrier people.

    I get a sliver of your point but resist much of it because to me it’s like looking at the debilitating effects of old age followed by death and deciding that life just isn’t worth it. Anything that says “It’s useless” despite everything is just a prescription for misery and sure-fire failure.

    But I do get that whoever is president gets sullied, gets blamed for more than he or she does, doesn’t do, can do, etc. But also that hope is essential in any worthwhile endeavor. May we find ours and do the hard work necessary to fortify it and help it produce some real good. And keep on keeping on, not fearing quite so much . . . even while things sure can look scary and too big to counter.

  71. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Don’t get the impression that I don’t think it matters who it is, obviously archcriminal fratboys like the GWB admin have devistated our country with their nefarious ideology, with two unfunded and lost wars of choice, the unprecedented spying on the citizens of the US, the use of Soviet blackspots to torture brown people, sky-robot murderers we send wherever we want etc. Nihilism is here to stay, you cant unwind the ink from the glass of water. There is a reason we spend such gargantuan amounts of money on private jails and munitions ordinance while teachers have to buy their students school supplies themselves.

  72. kjc
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    “So if smiling at 3rd world strangers makes you happy, why don’t you do it?”

    yeah if he likes Uganda so much he should marry it.

  73. Posted August 17, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink


    You may not realize it, but Uganda is a country. I don’t have Ugandan citizenship nor a permanent residence visa.

    Life in Uganda for you and me is not cheap. It requires a job. If I had a job that paid enough to get by, I would happily move there.

    Most important, you, like the idiot with the sign, were dissing on Uganda, simply because its a poor nation. To me, that’s not cool.

    Did you pick on kids at your school because they had $2 shoes? I suspect that you did.

    If you want to dis on specifics constructively, like critizing governmental corruption, bizarre anti-sodomy laws, or misplaced budgetary appropriations and waste, you are free to do it.

    In the mean time, until you have gone to Uganda, or any other troubled Sub-Saharan African country (which I highly recommend), please, along with the idiot with the sign, kindly shut the fuck up.

    In the meantime, why not explore what Uganda has to offer? Did you know that Uganda was named as the #1 Best travel destination in 2012 by Lonely Planet?
    Uganda, though small, has everything that Africa has to offer in one place. Plus, the people are wonderful and will warmly welcome you to their small, though beautiful country.





  74. SparkleMotion
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Governmental corruption? Bizarre anti-sodomy laws? Misplaced budgetary appropriations and waste? Good sir, I do believe I have been to Uganda, but for some reason we called it “The South”.

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