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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Obsession



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August 10, 2011 - The tractor situation in Independence Township reminds me of "Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan."

In the movie, Khan stole a machine called the Genesis Device and in the process stranded Admiral Kirk and crew in the middle of an asteroid. In response, Kirk tries to goad his mortal enemy (Khan) into beaming down so they could have a fistfight, or something.

"You've managed to kill everyone else, but like a poor marksman, you keep ... missing ... the target," Kirk says, with typical William Shatner overacting.

The Genesis Device wasn't what Khan was all worked up about. What he wanted was to get Kirk, his nemesis.

Likewise, in Independence Township, it's not about the tractor. It's about some trustees versus Supervisor Dave Wagner, to expose corruption they see in his administration. Back in April, the township board launched an investigation into the location of the parks and rec vehicle. The supervisor reportedly took it without permission and gave it back to the to the person who originally donated it.

The investigation continues. Last week's story "Tractor digs up trouble for resident" describes how employees at least checked out a resident's tractor on his property without permission, at most moved it off the property for investigation, then moved it back (it wasn't the right tractor).

They're figuratively shooting at Wagner, and hitting other people. It's not disintegrating phaser fire, but it still needs to stop.

***

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration found 30,000 college students getting food stamps, and cut them off, saving about $75 million.

These students are young, no disabilities, no children, some had plenty of assets – just going to school full time so money's tight.

Lots of dire predictions about the cut. There are no jobs! They can't study while they're hungry! But most will probably take the change in stride, in a well-it-was-good-while-it-lasted sort of way.

Others might learn how to solve their own problems, and wean themselves from government dependency while they're still young and able. That might do them some good. Won't do us any harm either.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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