I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Those who speak the truth are heroes, anything less is a lie.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kersten's Pretty-Pink Promises Of Romance

While I have no problem with including abstinence in sex education, only the flat-earth society and Katherine Kersten could continue to support 'abstinence only' in place of a comprehensive sexual education program for Minnesota's schools.

Also the citing of an Heritage Foundation report shows that Katherine seriously lacks the mentality of a gnat...Duh?! using a social conservative think tank from WA, DC to determine policy is much better than...facts? Get real girl, your outdated values regarding sex is deadly in the age of AIDS.

I love being a women, having sex, being in a committed relationship for over 30 years...and I want the same for my daughters... but I'm realistic enough that they need to know all the facts not just the stylized pretty-pink promises of romance. Teach your Harlequin romance 'fluff' but don't forget to include reality.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Now She Really Is A Hero

I see Jessica Lynch as a true hero... It would have been easier for her to go along with the spins and pretend the hype being fed to the media by the military was true...but she's her own person with honest values and had to sing out the truth, setting the record straight...
"The bottom line is the American people are capable of determining their own ideals of heroes and they don't need to be told elaborate lies"

"...I had to get the truth out there..."

WingDing Wednesday

Darn, I knew I should have let my damn dog blog...oh well, congrats and bark, bark to 'the best local blog' in Minnesota: the clucking stool.

Rudy is warning you: Vote Democrat and the terrorists will kill you...
Ya right, are they taking names? And just when do they include RG in their planning? Don't get me wrong, the terrorist will attack us again, but rethug or demo won't be the deciding factor. Besides - his rhetoric is terroristic of nature...the old 'do as I say or else' threat. Works great on two years old, but we've grown up...or hasn't he noticed.

Kucinich has introduced H.Res 333 articles of impeachment against Cheney. You go guy!

3333 Tell me, why are we in Iraq again?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Will Ciresi Put In An Appearance?

I see that Ciresi is running for office again. Well thats good because he'll be looking for support, so maybe this year he'll actually show up at his own caucus! No seriously, I don't run with the millionaire attorney club and Ciresi is too busy to mingle with the 'potluck and hotdish' crowd so our paths don't cross very often. The only time I've seen him is when there's something in it for him (never a positive to a grassroots activist with a memory) or...when the DFL is handing awards for his generous support ( I'll let you decide what that means).

There are people that I respect supporting Ciresi but when I ask them why they are never very specific just the usually 'He's a good guy' or 'You would like him, he's really fun and has done alot for Democrats'. In fact if your one of my regular two visitors, and you know more about him...post it up. I'm interested in finding out more but really this guy has already pretty much gotten my vote by this tirelessly helping out all last year to fund raise for smaller DFL units..and of course, the twinkle in his eye!

I suppose Franken could just whip out the checkbook like Ciresi rather than spending his time and energy with the grassroots, but he made the choice to actually work with those at the bottom of the political chain. I'll have to remember to ask him if he participated in his local caucus last year. lol.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

War Is Not Funny!

I wanted to address the painful moment at the State DFL Central Meeting on Saturday that really brought home to all of us, War is not funny.

I am strongly opposed to the Iraq war and committed to peace. I share a lot of frustration and emotions regarding how the media and our representatives haven't dealt with the Iraq war. There have been plenty of times when I want to stand up and scream (and maybe I should have). So what happened is more than understandable. The longer this war drags on, expect to see more outburst because it's insane to do otherwise.

I want peace. Most Democrats want peace as do many, many others. So the goal is the same...but the road each of us may travel to reach peace will vary. Unfortunately, as this war drags on, as the death toll mounts, many in the peace movement are losing patience and hope. The outburst during Ellison's speech was a result of the shear frustration of knowing the war continues and wanting it to end.

Should MN Rep. Keith Ellison have voted the way he did or not? While I see both sides of the same peace coin, I can also say, Keith comes closer to representing the peace movement in his one vote than any of the GOPers and Democrats that voted for the war and it's funding in the last four years! Peace is closer now due to his vote than it's been before. Hopefully it is the start of the end.

War is not funny. It's horrible... worse than last week's school mass murder . Compare those 30 students and teachers to over 3,500 and then the hundred of thousand of civilians that nobody seems to count. War is full of countless stories of death and lost. Anyone touched by war will never be the same. It leaves scars and pains that never heal. It rips apart countries, states, communities, families, individuals and all that is good in life. No, War is not funny.

But regardless of the situation, the time or the conditions, people do need to laugh...to find comfort where they can..not to laugh at, but find humor in everyday occurrences. I would never laugh at war, but without daily laughter I would lose my humanity and peace in the process. Such is the scale of the horror of war and our inability to make the public aware of it.

If I had one message it would be, don't lose your passion, don't put aside your beliefs, don't walk away from the rest of us trying to travel our roads to peace even if it's not as fast a route as yours. Understand that we sometimes laugh because the alternative can be so painful for us to bear emotionally...and remember we love you as our sister. It's okay to lose your temper, to rail against the daily acceptance of this war. But remember not to judge us so harshly if we laugh once in awhile trying as best we can to cope with all the daily nuisances of living while this war grinds away at our souls. Forgive us our momentary lapses, and yes you are correct, War is not funny.

This is just my take...remember Democrats so there's plenty of opinions, like Charlie Underwood or Fred Marcus, both at mnblue.

Peace,
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? -Gandhi

Friday, April 20, 2007

Welcome To 1984 And The Supreme Idiocy

In a major ruling dealing with abortion rights in America, the US Supreme Court has upheld a federal law banning certain late-term abortions. Our 'free' society just took away the liberty and rights of women to make a health decision with their doctor and gave it to the government. Apparently congress can make medical decisions better than the doctors. Now the Federal Government has a right to dictate that women must face additional medical risks or even death if it avoids a medical procedure that they think is too messy...

Justice Kennedy and his other colleagues responsible for the atrocious decision are not doctors. Yet these five male justices felt free to override the weight of medical evidence presented during the several trials that preceded the Supreme Court showdown. They ratified the politically based and dangerously dubious Congressional claim that criminalizing the intact dilation and extraction method of abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy — the so-called partial-birth method — would never pose a significant health risk to a woman. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has found the procedure to be medically necessary. In other words, the Supreme Court has decided what's best for women medically as opposed to qualified doctor...how insane is that...Next time your daughters get sick, just take them into court for the male judges to make a diagnoses...yah right.

The truly sad part is that the Court is doing exactly what President Bush chose his nominees to do... sway the court of so-called “moral” issues that are critical energizing issues for the conservative base’s religious, evangelical, and socially fascist elements - those people who believe that the government has every right to tell American citizens not only what they can and cannot do with their bodies in a medical situation (a la Terri Schaivo), but those who believe that your body does and should belong to the State, that the government and the church should have every right to enforce and choose when, how, and with what method a woman or a family has a child but cares little about the future rearing of that child.

Justice Kennedy actually reasoned that banning the procedure was good for women in that it would protect them from a procedure they might not fully understand in advance and would probably come to regret. This way of thinking, he poses women as flighty creatures who must be protected by men, (which reflects the current legal system). It also gives weight to the notion that a woman’s place is where men decide.

For anti-abortion activists, this case has never been about just one controversial procedure. They have correctly seen it as a wedge that could ultimately be used to undermine and perhaps eliminate abortion rights eventually. The court has handed the Bush administration and other opponents of women’s reproductive rights the big political victory they were hoping to get from the conservative judges Mr. Bush has added to the bench. It comes at a real cost to the court’s credibility, its integrity and the rule of law.

From Justice Kennedy's opinion in yesterday's Carhart decision
"The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman. See, e.g., 505 U. S., at 873. The Act’s ban on abortions involving partial delivery of a living fetus furthers the Government’s objectives. Congress determined that such abortions are similar to the killing of a newborn infant. This Court has confirmed the validity of drawing boundaries to prevent practices that extinguish life and are close to actions that are condemned."
So, if Congress decides that one type of abortion is similar to killing a newborn infant, even though that method is in reality no more cruel or disturbing than other methods still available to her under the law (at least as the law currently stands), a woman's health may be put at risk. That is now the law of the land. Welcome to 1984.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Kill 'Em All, Let The NRA Sort 'Em Out

Before Bush spoke about the mass murders at Virginia Tech this week, I heard his spokesperson make a comment about how Bush still supports the right to own a gun (even before a statement regarding the lost of life!)...Then numerous blogs and Wisconsin state Rep. Frank Lasee and the NRA come out and say that if only everyone (especially the teachers) had guns, then this could have been prevented...

Duh, you don't think this kid is the only mentally off-balanced person on the planet, do you? Isn't it possible there are people barely functioning that could be just a 'gun away' from flipping out and also shooting up the place? And that some of those folks might be teachers?
Arming everyone would turn our society into the wild west (or maybe closer to Iraq). Personally I don't want my kid going to a school where ANYONE has a gun and I seriously wonder about a parent that would advocate all the adults at his kid's school carry guns. Do you really trust all those school officials? Reminds me of the saying, kill 'em all, let g*d sort them out"...unfortunately this jerk-kneed saying that doesn't resolve, change, improve, or show any moral responsibility for problems...kinda like calling for janitors in schools to be armed.

And before you start writing that I'm against a constitutional right, let me state...I'm not. I just think you shouldn't be allowed to sell guns to people with a history of crime, or mental health issues, or underage, or with known violence ties. And a 24 hour background check would allow for that...simple...easy...SAFE for all of us. There will still be incidences where guns can be stolen or gotten illegally, but they will be fewer than arming every adult.
Beside Bush has ignored and broken so many of our constitutional rights, what's one more...

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Sign That John Kline Is Worried?

Congressman John Kline, Second Congressional District Republican't, must be nervous and worrying about his re-election. How else do you explain that with 19 months before another election- his campaign signs are already going up...say isn't that illegal? This one was on McAndrews- can't miss it- it's the only election sign up! And say, doesn't it have to be on the other side of the sidewalk.

Ah well, I didn't expect better of from Kline, Kline's staff or his supporters. Typically they don't see the laws applying to them. And truth be told, they have reason to be worried. Kline has become the poster child for the Bush Administration and the failed Iraq War. The 'stay the course' with a sinking ship really isn't reasonating with the voters. There have been too many lies ("failures of intellegence' as Kline calls them) and too many mis-steps. Leadership is either successful, or it needs to be replaced. So far this year John Kline has been on the losing side of almost every congressional issue, his views are radical and closely aligned with the neo-con nuts...so yes Kline has reasons to be worried.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shopping at the Mall?

So I went to the Burnsville Center this afternoon around 4:30 pm to do a little walking and a little shopping. Guess what, I wasn't the only one there interested in shopping...


media1-2


I know the pictures aren't the greatest, but yes it's two army recruiters. I first noticed them talking with one teen who was all by himself, then I decided to just follow the two recruiters around the mall as they approached various teens.

media1-3
a close up

The two recruiters got into a little trouble prior to talking with the teen pictured. One of the kiosk's owners contacted security when he saw the recruiters bugging one teen on the lower level. The security guard caught up with the two on the upper level right off of the escalators.

media1

I call this photo "the Uniformed".

Latter they decided to try their luck on the lower level again... that's where they met the teen pictured above (after their little discussion with security).

As they talked to the teen pictured another security guard caught them in the act of solicitation...

and off they went, with the now interested teen...

media1-1

So now parents have to worry about having their kids sign up for the army while on a shopping trip to the mall. Go figure!

Maybe He'll Do Better Next Time

If at first you don't succeed...time to try, and try again.
Bush Almost Blows Himself Up

You Can't Call Yourself A Patriot If You're Not Outraged!

Ah yes the ship is sinking and even some of the former GOP shipmates like Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca are jumping for the life boats. In his new book, Iacocca seems to be saying that like the majority of Americans, he's had it with the Bu$h Administration. Only he says it some much more clearly:
Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course." Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.

While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you? I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged.. Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them - or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

Hat tip to Minnesota's A Liberal Pastor

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fallen Heroes, Treated Like Luggage

Wonder why the administration didn't want photos taken of our fallen heroes and their homecomings? It was because they were being treated like luggage. Loaded onto commercial flights where the luggage is stored. Handled by baggage handlers and forklifts. Enough to make your blood boil?

Thank God for a father and the Congress. Read what happened after a father's campaign and the Congress passing a law: Respecting Their Ultimate Sacrifice

A Special Comment:

Dear Commander in Chief, aka: the President,

How DARE YOU! Have you no decency. YOU send our brave men and women into war. YOU are quick to use them as YOUR OWN PERSONAL political pawns. YOU do not make sure they have the proper training, nor armor, nor equipment. YOU are "in charge". How DARE YOU!!

One has to ask:
When you go and visit the troops, do you look into their eyes? Do you see the hell you've sent them to? Do you see the love these sons and daughters have for life and family? Do you see human beings that deserve the greatest respect in life and death that a country should give? Do you see hope?

Or do you see political pawns, a photo opportunity?

Your actions, sir, speak louder than your words.

Our soldiers are human beings. They breathe, they love, they cry, they hurt, they laugh. They have families and friends. They are more than just an Army of one. They are part of a precious network delicately weaved as a beautiful spider's web. They are parts of our communities, our churches, our country’s identity.

For YOU to disrespect their ultimate sacrifice, as your administration has done, is beyond comprehension and is not forgivable.

I don’t know what else to say. Those poor families that had to witness their loved one being removed from commercial airlines with fork lifts and by baggage handlers.

Those poor families.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thursday Random Thoughts On Rep. John Kline

I attended the Kline townhall-like meeting Tuesday night at Lakeville High School. My overall thoughts were, "this must be what it's like in other congressional district where their representative actually meets with constituents in open venues several times a year." It was great even if Kline and his staff have control issues...here's some initial thoughts:

The Format (AKA:Kline’s staff lack of information and helpfulness):
Could they have been more arrogant or rude about keeping both the format and denying information to people...in a word...NO! Kline and his staff tried to control everything with the often quoted phase “It’s our meeting and if you don’t like it - tough”. That phase was used often regarding where and what media could do, what could be handed out and where, even regarding the tightly held secret of what the format was to be for the evening…Funny…I thought Kline was elected to office and not ‘crowned’. Kline and his staff should have been responsive to those that elected him by at least letting them know what the format was in advance or aat least answering question regarding it…One speaker asked for Kline to answer question not realizing what the format was...she wasn't alone as most of us were in the dark. Apparently you had to be a 'Kline insider' to know what was going on...

Once Inside:
I just randomly picked out a seat near the exit on the end of an isle (just in case I needed to make a quick exit). As destiny would have it, I was in the far-right GOP wingnut section so I knew it was just a matter of time before they gave me something to write about....

Kline’s way or the Highway:
Two supporters sat near me. They were reading the rules (one set from Kline’s camp and one set from the peace camp). One read out-loud, “Please state your name and what town you’re from when speaking at the mic”. He then said that was a good idea before noticing it didn’t come from Kline. His friend immediately said, “that’s from the crazies.” I found it funny that an idea can be good up until they decided it's source. Nor did it surprise me that attendees at an open forum would be so polarizing. This is the standard typical red shirt behavior that has surrounded Kline for the last four years. So the real question is why Kline would allow such polarization? (if you're paying any kind of attention this question answers itself...)

Shut up or I’ll show you the door:
The group of far right knuckle-dragging constituents in front of me kept waving a large flag and making rude comments about speakers and doing a thumps down sign when they disapproved of questions or answers (picture it every time anyone but a righto republican wingnut spoke!)…It was rude, mean, distracting to those around them and gave us a good look at who supports Kline. (it wasn't attractive!) At one point a speaker tried to go back to the mic after Kline misquoted what she said. She had called Kline’s voting record despicable, but Kline quoted her as calling him despicable. When she called out a clarification the group in front of me started calling her names, yelling for her to ‘shut up and sit down’ and generally being the asses they had been all along only louder. It was the only major disruptive behavior from attendees within the auditorium during the event. When several people behind them asked them to be quiet, they became even more enraged, shouting at them also. Almost immediately a state trooper walked over in front of them, pointed his finger and said “I’ve had enough of your behavior- either shut up, or go to the mic and wait your turn to ask a question, or I can escort you out”. They stopped after the clearly angered officer’s warning directed to them. The Ann Coulter school of etiquette by Kline supporters doesn't help Kline's public image.

The Fix:
As stated earlier Kline left nothing to chance including having his staffer Mike Osskopp dragged a young Iraqi man to the mic to make sure his ‘comments’ supporting the U.S. military involvement in Iraq was heard before others waiting to speak. This was toward the end of the evening and they probably feared that time would run out before they could get him to speak…oh well, as they say “It’s our meeting and if you don’t like it…tough”! I was impressed with the Iraqi's story, especially with his comment about how meeting with the 'gold star' mom was a highlight for him ....but I'm sure it also was just a coincidence and in no way staged by Kline's people....

King Kline:
I thought overall Kline handled himself well except for licking his lower lips 28 times (no I didn't count but my younger sister did!). Naturally in most cases Kline didn’t really give specifics but keep it in general terms like “we’ve made mistakes, Bush made mistakes” but then wouldn’t elaborate on what those mistake were…still you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know what those mistakes have been...I’m guessing he still hasn’t figured out one of the biggest is the continuation of this war and it’s now ‘new’ improved escalation! (Iraq Part II). Three things really showed:

Kline often referred to the Iraqi Study Group (bipartisan commission) and it’s findings to support his blanket type statements and assertions, yet he recently voted against implement their recommendations. Makes you wonder what’s up with that? Kline continues to support Bush’s failed war strategies but tries to use recommendations that he doesn’t support to help explain those failed strategies? Too strange...

Kline often didn't answer questions instead falling back on general feel good terms and jokes with his military brotherhood. I dare say not everyone is military and a good military man isn't necessarily a good congressional leader. Taking orders is a lot different from leading.

Kline did not mix with the group before or after. Again, Kline keeps himself separate and apart...choosing only those he knows that support him blindly (much like Bush). I've attended several congressional town hall meetings in several different districts. Without exception the representatives were available to walk up to and talk to before or after the meeting...not so our own Mr. Kline. That alone sends a message...(I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to why)...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Be Careful of What You Ask For...

A nice question from the audience in last night's [forced] public appearance by the US House Representative [/sure not acting like one when he did not want to even have this meeting, and his staff tried to stop all media coverage] John Kline. Well, at least now we know why he did not want to talk with anyone. Can we say unprepared [let alone out of touch]?


The Kline Event

Six weeks and 700+ signatures later, Rep. John Kline finally held his much awaited town meeting. While very tightly controlled by the Kline camp down to not allowing anyone in advance outside the 'Kline secret cabal' to know or have input into the forum's format or the tight hampering of media coverage(media on a short chain!), it was at the very least a start in opening dialog between Kline and his constituents.

Sure it would be easy to compare Kline's ONE town meeting to his peers...like Rep. Jim Ramstad who routinely holds them several times a year (three this week alone!) or newly elected Rep. Keith Ellison or Tim Walz, hosting a dozen or more between them within the next two weeks...but hey you have to start somewhere...and ONE, while a baby step, is a start.

As an FYI to Kline and his staff the 'Tele-Town Meetings' aren't really Town Meetings and don't count...(Just what is this thing you have with trying to control everything?!). We want you in a room with your constituents, answering to them...like the rest of the Minnesota Congressional folks...please!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Greatest Anti-War Album, EVER!

Music has a profound power to stir emotion. It has the power to bring people together. Help you remember a loved one lost. Fill your heart with joy and peace. Or thrust you into action.

During wartime, music can cut through the fog of war and hit the point, the collective feeling. Just wars bring patriotic songs. Music to rally the troops and those on the home front as it did in WWI and WWII. When a war isn’t just and goes badly, music can become one of the only outlets to get the public’s voice heard…

So that brings us today. I want your help in making the GREATEST Anti-War Album, EVER!!

It’s simple; there are 15 spots open. To nominate a song, just create a comment on this post and include the following information:

1. Song Title
2. Name of album that the song is on
3. Name of artist
4. And why it should be included in the GREATEST Anti-War Album, EVER!!

Please only do one song per comment.

In a week I’ll post the entire list and then voting will begin.

By the end of two weeks we’ll have the GREATEST anti-war album, EVER!!