Saturday, April 30, 2005
Iggers uses these events to opine that there is too much hateful speech in today's public discourse using statements from Coulter to illustrate - her infamous quotes about the Oklahoma bomber "My only regret is he did not go to the New York Times building" and a statement after 9/11, "Whe should invade their courntries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity". I don't have too much of a problem with this, since I think she went over the line with those. I do have a problem with Mr. Iggers using Garrison Keillor as an example of those who make polite, witty fun of their political enemies. Why? Just read these three items from Salon (subscription or day pass required, alas) where he personally attacks Senator Norm Coleman and denigrates the people of Minnesota for electing him, rather than a member of Keillor's DFL party. The polite, gentle wit seems to be missing... .
If what Coulter says is hate speech, Keillor is right up there with her. As is Howard "I Hate Republicans" Dean and that maker of liberal hate film, Michael Moore. Those personages did not rate an ethics column, but Ann Coulter (a professional provacatuer) did? Iggers should also consider some of the speech published in the newspaper he works for. The Star Tribune has likend the GOP to the Taliban, has Nick Coleman, a columnist who is prone to making personal attacks via his column on those he dislikes (i.e., the gents at Power Line) , and regularly prints articles personally disrespectful of the current president of the United States (we're not talking disagreements here, we're talking about stuff attacking his intelligence, honesty, and family), and regularly accuses its political opponents of working against our democracy (the latest being its editorial against the concealed carry bill). Am I agitating against disagreement and or dissent? No! Those are a necessary part of our public discourse, and should be welcome and encouraged. But if Mr. Iggers wants to reduce hate speech in the public discourse, he should start with the editors of his own newspaper.
Friday, April 29, 2005
First, if the Clinton policy that resulted in the "Agreed Framework" of 1994 was so effective, why did the North Korean government announce it had built nuclear weapons early in the Bush (43) administration? Since one doesn't build the infrastructure for these sorts of projects in a day (or even in a year), the most logical conclusion to me is the North Koreans did not (and probably never intended to) abide by the agreement. If so, what did the Clinton policy actually achieve?
Second, since the North Korean government cheated on the previous agreement, what reasonable expectation can we have that they will abide by another one? Precedent, to say the least, is not comforting here.
It seems to me the Bush policy of getting China, South Korea, and Japan involved in the talks has a better chance of creating a better, more likely to be enforceable deal. If nothing else, the North Koreans have to pay attention to what China wants, since that's where much of their food and fuel is coming from these days. It is also reasonable that the other Korea and Japan be involved, since if the NKs start another war, those nations will be the most affected by a Korean attack (and the inevitable response from the United States). Ignoring these questions definitely lowers my opinion of Kristof's critique.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
At least I have an excuse for the rotten shooting.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
The conservative pundit on spiked heels came to town last week, and they are still picking up the pieces at two citadels of saintly scholarship in Minnesota -- St. Olaf College in Northfield and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. I have already written about the miniskirted screechfest at St. Thomas, and I'd be glad to never mention it again. Except for the fact that left behind her, amid the wreckage of civil discourse, is that useful flotsam often found in the wake of a disaster: A teachable moment.First, as a guy who doesn't like writing about Ms. Coulter, why write two columns about her? Personally, I find her annoying, hyperbolic and unnecessarily mean. However, she does have two things in her favor: she's a better fact checker than Michael Moore (and Nasty Nick for that matter), and much easier on the eyes than both aforementioned gents.
I have difficulty understanding where Coleman gets the standing to complain about incivility. He's the gent who wrote a vitrolic, personal, fact-challanged attack on the gents at Power Line last year, after all. (The column is no longer online, so the link goes to a post I wrote about it.) He didn't have anything to say about liberal hate speech when Howard Dean, the little-known Democrat who occupies the insignificant little post of Democratic National Committee chairman, was busy telling all who would listen how he hates Republicans and how the Republican party and all its works are evil. Or when Michael Moore was making specious accusations about how President Bush may have been responsible for the events of September 11, 2001. Any word from Nick? (crickets chirping... and chirping.... ) In short, before Nick Coleman starts judging others on their civility, he should try practicing some himself first.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Setting aside my opinion about whether we actually need any more gambling establishments here (that opinion is no, especially when the state is running it), why build a damn casino right next to one already operating? To compete for the same customers that are going to Mystic Lake? Why not place the thing somewhere else in the metro, say, Plymouth or Maple Grove? That way gamblers in the northwest metro don't have to go all the way to Shakopee to indulge.
In any case if the people of the state of Minnesota want more money spent on government that what the current tax system brings in, the proper solution is to suck it up and raise taxes to cover the spending. Better yet, don't spend the extra money in the first place.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I don't want to disappoint the fellows who picked the theme, but I would guess the debate between supporters of evolution and supporters of the theory of intelligent design ranks well below the the top 10 issues of most importance to the average Minnesotan. Moreover, if this is just an attempt to alert the gullible Minnesota public to the Evil Plan TM of the NeoconRethuglicans to establish a theocracy, not to worry. The chances of the teaching of evolution being banned in our schools in favor of intelligent design is about the same as our Timberwolves winning this season's NBA championship.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
- One bottle of Lagavullin
- One bottle of Glenmorangie 15 year old
- One bottle of Talisker
- One bottle of Absolut
- One bottle of Booker's
- One bottle of Basil Hayden's
- One six pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- One six pack of Newcastle Brown Ale
- One six pack of Kingfisher lager
- One six pack of Harp
- One bottle of Jameson Gold
- One bottle of the Tyrconnell Irish single malt
- One bottle of Bailey's Irish Creme
- One gallon Chippewa Springs bottled water
I wonder how much I could have stiffed the state for?
Senate Democrats, resorting to the filibuster that requires a 60-vote majority, have balked at only 10 Bush picks, all for appellate benches -- and all for cause, as either too thinly qualified or as bearing records that fix their jurisprudence far outside the mainstream.
What he doesn't tell us is the Democrats have adopted the up to now-unheard of tactic of filibustering judicial nominations to prevent a floor vote, and he never explains how these nominees are "too thinly qualified or as bearing records that fix their jurisprudence far outside the mainstream".
Since Mr. Teepen neglected to do this, let me point you to an article from a liberal law professor who has looked at the President"s nominees. He comes to a rather different conclusion about their qualifications.
(Link courtesy of Jewish World Review)
Update: I removed a reference to the number of appellate nominations made by President Bush because I may have used the wrong number. Since I don't have the right number handy, I changed the post rather than leave the error in place.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Saturday, April 16, 2005
The blue color is water ice. I don't know much about the rest of them yet.
Update: Here's a link to a NASA archive of Cassini-Huygens pictures.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Why not just argue the merits? If her concerns about the federal judiciary and academic freedom on campuses are unfounded, show us why. Don't just use cheap debater's tricks.
Note: I don't know much about Sen. Bachmann nor do I have much of an opinion on the merits of same sex marriage, other than the issue should be decided by the legislature or the people directly rather than the courts, an argument that I made here a while back.
The thing about the article that bugs me is the way he makes a lot of the usual leftist accusations about the right and the Republican party without anything to back them up. The ones about the right and it's henchmen being only about greed, fear, religious fanaticism, only about ideology while the left is pragmatic, yada yada yada. It's dull, boring, and insulting, and I'm not even a Republican (not conservative enough). What is it about the lefties that causes them to view those who disagree with them to be not just wrong, but bad people? I mean, what is it that prevents many lefties from at least conceding the other side also wants to make America better, but disagree on the methods? Yes, some on the right do the same thing, but in my humble opinion it is more common on the left.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Saturday, April 09, 2005
After a long investigation,Apparently convenience justified stealing documents and then deliberately lying about it when he got caught in the Journal's view, as long as he didn't "deny any documents to history". Note that it doesn't bother them that lesser officials committing lesser offenses are treated more harshly. Why? Here's the Journal again:
however, Justice says the picture that emerged is of a man who knowingly and
recklessly violated the law in handling classified documents, but who was not
trying to hide any evidence. Prosecutors believe Mr. Berger genuinely wanted to
prepare for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission but felt he was somehow
above having to spend numerous hours in the Archives as the rules required, and
that he didn't exactly know how to return the documents once he'd taken them
More than a few conservatives have been crying foul, or whitewash, in
part because Mr. Berger's plea means he'll likely avoid jail and lose his
security clearance for only three years. So we called Justice Department Public
Integrity chief prosecutor Noel Hillman, who assured us that Mr. Berger did not
deny any documents to history. "There is no evidence that he intended to destroy
originals," said Mr. Hillman. "There is no evidence that he did destroy
originals. We have objectively and affirmatively confirmed that the contents of
all the five documents at issue exist today and were made available to the 9/11
It's worth noting that Mr. Berger will
still have to explain his actions to a judge at sentencing--a judge who could
reject Justice's recommendation and give him to up a year in jail. We hope the
judge does insist on a full explanation of motive. Lesser officials have
received harsher penalties for more minor transgressions, so a complete airing
of the facts will show the public that justice is being done. But given the
minimal damage from the crime, this looks to be a case where prosecutors have
shown some commendable restraint against a high-powered political
If the offender is a "high powered political figure", they should get more lenient treatment, according to the Journal. I argue that since Mr. Berger was indeed a high-ranking government official experienced in handling classified material who chose to unlawfully remove them from the Archives, he should be held to a higher standard of responsibility for his actions and should actually be punished more harshly. Permanently revoking his security clearances, and sending him to jail for awhile seem to me penalties more appropriate to his offenses.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
1. You reboot. A lot.
2. If you're not rebooting it, it is rebooting itself
3. Windows 98 does not like being installed over a damaged copy of itself.
4. format c: fixes that problem.
5. It's a good thing I didn't have any important data on that partition.
6. Partition Magic is a very useful tool to have around.
7. So is Boot Magic.
8. It's gonna take a long time to download and reinstall all the security patches from the past seven years.
9. See #1 above.
Monday, April 04, 2005
In more useful news, today is Opening Day for the Minnesota Twins and most of Major League Baseball. More proof for the existence of God. Also that He has a sense of humor.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Land of the free?Name withheld to spare the author - ed.
People used to come to America to escape persecution. Boy, have times changed.
Disagree with the administration? Not here. Want to marry your same-sex partner? Not here. Want to decide end-of-life issues for yourself? Not here. Want to allow smoking in the business you own? Not here. Want control of your own body? Not here. Want freedom from religion or freedom of religion? Not here. Want freedom of speech? Not here.
This country is becoming a frightening place to live. People are forcing their beliefs on others and stomping on the Bill of Rights.
I have one word to describe the content of this letter: nonsense. I don't normally reference letters to the Strib, but this one just annoys me to no end. Look at the almost complete stream of nonsense in this letter:
People used to come to America to escape persecution. Boy, have times changed.
They still do. About 703,000 in fiscal year 2003, not counting the illegal immigrants. Source link:
Disagree with the administration? Not here.
You felt free to get this published in a pretty good sized regional newspaper, so I guess that you are not expecting jack-booted Republican thugs to bash in your door and haul you off to a Bush re-education camp. Now if this a particular fantasy of yours I'm sure it can be arranged to send some faux-Nazi types to your home to give you a thrill, however.
Want to marry your same-sex partner? Not here.
How is this a change? Same-sex partners have never been allowed to marry here, until some arrogant judges on the MA Supreme Judicial Court decreed otherwise. Whether it is a good idea or not is open to question, but same-sex marriage is a departure from the norm in this country, and if it became the norm would be a good example of how the country has changed.
Want to decide end-of-life issues for yourself? Not here.
A reference to the Terri Schiavo case, I expect. Let me point out one thing here. The crux of the matter was that Ms. Schiavo was unable to decide the issue for herself. The issue was who would decide, which in this country has always been contentious. Not a good example to make the point.
Want control of your own body? Not here.
No doubt a reference to abortion. Unless it was done in secret, I am unaware that Roe v. Wade had been overturned. Unfortunately.
Want freedom from religion or freedom of religion? Not here.
This is probably another reference to the Schiavo case. In what has it affected freedom of religion? I would argue none, unless one counts panicked editorials from the Star Tribune proclaiming religious people have taken over the government.
Want to allow smoking in the business you own? Not here.
Yes. An actual point.
Want freedom of speech? Not here.
The fact this letter was printed contradicts this one. The writer's examples in every case except one actually contradict his/her case. Enough said.