Back in April, we featured Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain), representative for Michigan’s 108th state House district, in an article entitled “The Weirdest Guy In The House.” We expected the article to reach our normal audience of bored James Madison students at MSU. Instead, it reached LaFave himself, who posted about itseveraltimes to prove that he was not mad and even selectively quoted it in his Twitter bio as if it was not an article making fun of him.
This sort of childish behavior is something you expect from say, a student blog, not an elected official. Fortunately, voters in District 108 have a much better choice. We had the honor to sit down over Zoom with Dr. Renee Richer (D-Gladstone), the candidate running against him this November, and we’re proud to say that we came away with a better understanding of what a good representative for the district sounds like.
“This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s,” wrote Sen. Tom Cotton. He’s right. These gangs have terrorized our citizens with violence, suppression of free speech, and have radicalized an entire generation against the police. The perpetrators? The police themselves.
In the weeks following the tragic police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other African Americans this year, the police had one final chance to take a stand against racism and rampant abuse of power. I shouldn’t have been surprised with what happened next.
If you, like me, have been trying to find a timesink as COVID-19 strips you of most worldly pleasures, you’ve probably come across discussions of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. After years as something of a cult favorite, New Horizons has burst into the zeitgeist as it became the most popular Animal Crossing title to date. That’s not saying that any previous title could be considered “indie” in any sense, but rather that New Horizons has become virtually unavoidable across game communities and social media. With that, the community has revved up into full force, with a surprisingly intricate online network that tried to meet the community’s material and social needs. Across Reddit and elsewhere, the game has formed its own online economy, down to a literal credit rating as a form of digital citizenship.
If you spend enough time in this space, and have your brain rot just enough where things start to fit together, some phenomena become visible. Namely, that it essentially crashed and rebuilt itself on two separate occasions since March.
Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the long-awaited new Title IX rule. The two thousand page rule, broadly speaking, offers more protections for the accused party in sexual assault and harassment cases and allows universities to take as little responsibility for these cases as possible. Before delving into the latest garbage from DeVos’ Department of Education, let’s take a moment to reflect on her tenure so far.
4:20 AM. Easter Sunday. I awoke in a cold sweat in my childhood bedroom, suddenly haunted by the uncertainty that surrounds us. What do I really know? Am I even real? Well, I am thinking, I thought, and according to Descartes, that means that I am. But what else do I know? I jumped out of bed and fired up my laptop to find some answers. Any answer.
I opened Google and searched for “three undeniable facts”.
My heart was racing. I clicked on the first link. It was a video featuring a fellow named Rob Smith from Turning Point USA. The three undeniable facts are as follows: America is the greatest country on the planet, Donald Trump is saving America, and America will never be a socialist country.
No figure in American politics combines weirdness and consequential power like the state legislator. Just in the past decade, examples include the Georgia senator who was tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen into biting the head off a dildo and screaming the N-word to deter terrorists, the New Hampshire state representative who founded /r/TheRedPill, one of the most misogynist areas of Reddit, and the Tennessee state representative who drank out of a chocolate syrup bottle on the House floor (a privilege that I would ABSOLUTELY take advantage of).
Many of these civil servants reside and work in other states outside of Michigan. Here, we usually have legislators who don’t stray too far into personal weirdness no matter how strange their beliefs. However, there always seems to be an exception to the rule, and Michigan’s exception truly embodies this spirit of deep weirdness to go along with his munted conservatism — Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain).
You may wonder why this publication, which usually writes about campus issues, is writing about a guy who represents a remote part of Michigan over 400 miles north of East Lansing. Well, about two months ago (ten years in COVID-19 time) we came into the possession of meeting minutes from a joint meeting between the MSU College Republicans and MSU Turning Point USA. The slides were filled with useful information about upcoming conservative events along with some cursed boomer memes. These organizations wanted to bring LaFave to the university in some capacity, which brings us to the man himself (a recent graduate of this very university).
Here are many things that Rep. LaFave has done that would be bizarre to any sane human, but are selling points for MSU’s College Republicans.
Due to mysterious IT issues, voting in the ASMSU elections was delayed until this morning, March 31, and extended to April 6. Our guess is that Russian bots finally realized how important this election is to the balance of power in this country. No doubt that many of you read our election guide yesterday and were confused why you couldn’t vote. Well, we were too.
The good news is that during the delay, two more fantastic candidates saw our article and contacted us. We’re proud to include Aaron Iturralde (Education) and Jordan Kovach (James Madison) in our first-ever group of endorsements.
Iturralde is running on a broad platform that includes making himself available to his constituents through phone and email, holding office hours, advocating to make fifth-year internships in the College of Education more affordable, increasing teacher wages, greater transparency, increased diversity in the College of Education, and much more.
Kovach’s platform includes greater accountability for racial bias incidents on campus, advocating for MSU to divest from fossil fuels, putting feminine hygiene products in all campus bathrooms, increasing sustainability in dining halls, and greater support for immigrant students, regardless of documentation. She has also served as the secretary for the ASMSU Freshman Class Council this year.
We hope to see both of these students in the General Assembly next year, and we hope that those of you reading this vote.
It’s that time of year again, folks — the flowers are in bloom, short sleeves are acceptable outside clothing, and the 5% of students who pay attention to this stuff choose who ascends to the hallowed halls of the Associated Students of Michigan State University, our student government. Those committed 5% (which hopefully includes you, reader) vote for their college’s representative in the ASMSU General Assembly from today, March 30, to April 5.
Last year, our publication was most concerned with the antics of Agriculture and Natural Resources representative Sergei Kelley, editor-in-chief of The Morning Watch, and the General Assembly’s attempt to boot him from the body. After Kelley’s defeat at the hands of his fellow students last spring, we turn our attention to the body as a whole.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned East Lansing into a ghost town. The Grand River strip is dotted with restaurants that no longer have bustling dining areas. People have retreated indoors to self-quarantine, shutting down most club activities. Even MSU’s museum has closed, depriving students of hours of fun on mandatory class field trips. What is left in a college town with no college?
Until the Democratic debate in Nevada, I did not know much about Michael Bloomberg. I knew he was the billionaire ex-mayor of New York City who once tried to ban the sale of sugary drinks above the size of 16 oz. Alas, Mike has reemerged in the form of an underwhelming and potently uncomfortable candidate for the presidency. Bloomberg, apparently unaware of how many skeletons are in his diamond-encrusted closet, has dragged his mayoral record back into our faces just to launch a doomed presidential bid.