I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Reason 2007 and 2008 Why Minnesotans Want To Dump Norm Coleman

While Kelly at the DFLers answers the question of ‘Why Do Minnesotans Want to Dump Norm Coleman?’, she left out a couple of reasons:

  • Reason 2007: ‘Because Puppets are for Children and he didn't do the job!'

  • Reason 2008: ‘Because he doesn’t represent Minnesota values’

Yes John, I'm Outraged

Hard to teach accountability to our kids when we shy away from our own.... And to answer John's question, yes I'm outraged...but not surprised:

from www.mn2020.org:

The Minnesota Department of Education announced that it will release its annual school progress report to the public at 9:45 p.m. tonight, on the eve of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. The report is a key measure of how Minnesota schools are faring, reporting which ones are and aren’t making “adequate yearly progress.”

Minnesota 2020 Education Fellow John Fitzgerald said he was shocked that the state would release such an important report so late in the evening before a holiday
weekend.“It is clear that the tactic is to release bad news on a day that Minnesotans are traveling and unlikely to read newspapers and watch TV,” Fitzgerald said. “This report is enormously important to the state of Minnesota – and parents should be outraged that the state is trying to hide these results.”

Why Continue The Failure?

General Petreus (be-tray-us) is now saying that the US troop surge is work by a reduction in sectarian killings and a drop in roadside bombings…I guess the general is confusing Iraq with some other war…

Roadside bomb attacks in Iraq reach an all-time high:

"Roadside bomb attacks on American troops in Iraq reached an all-time high last month [July 2007], accounting for more than one third of all combat deaths."

Patterns of Sectarian Violence in Baghdad: doesn’t paint a pretty picture
"The distribution of unidentified bodies found dumped in Baghdad between June 18 and July 18, 2007.'

General Petraeus is expected to recommend keeping the high US troop numbers. His interim report, published last month, acknowledged attacks were continuing and the "slow progress" of establishing Iraqi security forces.

My question is....why? Failure is to continue and not learn from our mistakes. Iraq War = Failure.

We Are All One

Even in Iowa some get that equal protection and due-process is for everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting For The Truth

I'm not holding my breath waiting for the General David Petraeus’s much-anticipated September report regarding Iraq. Do we really need to wait two more weeks to know what his report will say? Especially if the White House is going to write it!

Recently, the media revealed — and the White House confirmed — that Gen. David Petraeus’s much-anticipated September report on Iraq will “actually be written by the White House.” But this week, Petraeus assured lawmakers that he won’t let the White House interfere with his analysis...

100% Feminist

You Are 100% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).

You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

No Cost Goodness

Sometimes doing good cost nothing in the way of time and money....One of my virtual WOW friends decided to start up an Allakhazam folding@home team, and I thought it was so good an idea that I am posting it here for everyone who wants to download the program.

What is folding@home? It is a distributed computing program sponsored by Stanford University designed to help the scientific community understand the development of many diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, BSE (mad cow disease), cancer, Huntington's Disease, Cystic Fibrosis and many others.

It runs in the background on your computer using your excess CPU power to join with millions of other computers to compute at speeds which otherwise could not be reached individually. It costs you nothing to run and may help to save lives, including perhaps your own or those of your loved ones. If you want to help, simply download http://folding.stanford.edu/download.html and fill in team ID 85020 after you install it. Also, you can read more about it here and here.

If you need the brownie points toward heaven, this should provide a few for a minimal amount of work.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Minnesota Dreaming

I have a dream…or spotty did…or Amy and Walz or somebody…

"Tim, you went to Camp Wellstone. You even had my friend Rick Kahn speak at your election party. And Amy, you were one of the people over at DFL headquarters after my plane went down asking to be the replacement candidate, right?"

Amy and Tim reply, "Yes."

"And both of you have invoked my memory in your campaigns, haven't you?"

Again the reply is "Yes."

Tim says, "But, Paul, we have to try to keep everybody happy now. I have an election in just another year."

"That's true. But you'll never please everyone, and you need to remember the tide of public opinion that brought you into office. The people you pleased with those votes won't support you anyway."

They represent us…don’t they? Are am I just dreaming...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Franken Vells

From the Franken camp on Bu$h visit yesterday:

This week, President Bush is coming to Minnesota. But there won't be any cheering, because he won't be appearing in public. He won't be speaking to middle-class families who can't afford to send their kids to college. He won't be meeting with sugar beet farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by CAFTA. And you can bet he's steering clear of any Minnesotans who want him to finally face up to the mistakes he's made in Iraq

No, George W. Bush is here to raise money for Senator Norm Coleman at a private party in Eden Prairie - and you're probably not invited. It costs at least $1,000 to attend, and if you want to be a "host," it'll run you nearly $15,000. In 2005, Bush came to town for Mark Kennedy and raised almost a million bucks in one night.


A Great Guy But A Wrong Vote

Listen, shh, do you hear that? It’s the sound of your civil rights being eroded….

Walz was certainly right that there is a need for surveillance of potential terrorists, that the United States continues to face serious threats, and that it should not be necessary to have to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to intercept communications between two foreign parties simply because they pass through the United States.

But that wasn't the real issue. The Democratic majority's original proposal fixed that problem without expanding warrantless wiretapping to Americans and without giving carte blanche to the Bush administration to vacuum up and sift through millions of our e-mails, telephone calls and other communications.

Sen. Russell Feingold had it right: "The bill the president signed yesterday gives free rein to the government to wiretap all the communications of anyone who happens to be outside the United States, for whatever reason, without court oversight."

He could have added that the bill, according to the Washington Post, allows warrantless wiretaps of any conversation between a foreigner and an American as long as the conversation could reasonably be interepreted as "concerning" someone outside the country. This is a loophole the administration could drive a truck through. The new bill even provides the administration a cudgel to force telecom companies to comply with virtually any request the government makes of them.

I’m glad that Rep. Tim Walz is in office, and I think he’s committed to doing a good job. He’s been a straight shooter who is running an open and transparent Congressional office unlike my Congressman John Kline who won’t even hold public forums. But Tim Walz made a seriously wrong vote in regards to FISA. Hopefully his numerous public meetings with constituents will help drive home to him the levity this bill has on civil rights and the need to revisit and change it. Our civil rights should'nt be left to the whims of Bu$h’s advisors.

Talking about civil rights, looks like SOP for the GOP with a pre-emptive approach to Minnesotans wanting to use their freedom of speech during the RNC. It use to be I could hear a steady drip of our rights being eroded...but it's turning into a gusher.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Minnesotan Honors the Earth

XcelEnergy has posted up on their home page: "Reducing our impact on the enviroment". But is that really so or have they just moved the impact to other locations?

Excel had been ordered by the Minnesota state legislature in 1994 to find an alternative site away from Prairie Island, home to the Prairie Island Mdewakanton Community, for storing its radioactive garbage. In response, Xcel forged an alliance with other utilities to create a ‘private’ dump on one of the poorest and most isolated reservations in the country – Skull Valley.

A protracted and pitched battle around the Skull Valley dump ensued, and last September, grassroots reservation-based groups and their national allies celebrated a precedent-setting victory when two agencies within the Department of Interior rejected plans for the private dump on tribal land.

Now Skull Valley reservation is going solar. Honor the Earth, a national Native environmental advocacy group and foundation that focuses on energy issues, has developed a pilot project in conjunction with OGD and Solar Energy International (SEI) that will present a viable community alternative to destructive energy policies in general, and nuclear waste in particular.

“This is the chance to demonstrate what is right,” said Honor the Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke. “It’s time to look to a sustainable energy future that is built on developing the abundant and safe renewable resources that exist on Native lands. Native America should have wind and solar power, not coal mines and nuclear waste.”

Winona Duke resides on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg , and is the mother of three children.

Friday, August 17, 2007

One More Nail

Another reason to elect a Democratic Prez: so that the pretender can be brought to justice.

I can't tell you how many times growing up my mom told me that not writing legible will come back to bite me...I guess the times have changed:
DoJ released new documents today to the House Judiciary Committee. The hand written notes indicate the White House and President were fully aware of the Gonzalez decision, and approved the retaliation against the US Attorneys.7 of 76
Goodling's hand written notes indicate that "WH [White House] cleared".

It would be hard to make a believable case that the "White House clearing" something does not include the President who supposedly is "the decider"...I'm just saying...

Funny Friday

This letter to the editor in Friday's Mpls. StarTribune:

Soliciting Republicans

Convention shortage?
As a gay man whose marriage is responsible for the deterioration of the American family, I am confused and worried by the recent spate of arrests of Republicans -- elected officials, their press secretaries and their family members -- being arrested on prostitution-related charges. Will the Twin Cities will be able to attract enough prostitutes for the convention next year?

Okay...I'm ROFLOL...too funny...too true..enjoy the weekend

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spitting In The Wind

Evil Bobby says that Tim Walz’s OpEd in the Post Bulletin yesterday reminded him of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot Sketch…While I get the analogy, at least John Cleese is funny unlike Walz’s voting to allow government measures expanding domestic spying powers in what the Washington Post calls “as reckless as it was unnecessary.” Keeping in mind that any effort to rewrite this legislation will be vetoed by Bush, Walz bringing it up as a second step is like spitting in the wind... with the constitution down wind.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

FOX News Framing Franken?

Fox news is trying to effect political changes by re-writing history through the editing of Wikipedia. Seems Fox News isn't comfortable just reporting the news, they want to make the news; this time by interfering in Minnesota politics. The tech blog O’Reilly discovered: someone at a Fox News IP modified the entry for Al Franken to delete a quote from Franken that the 2003 lawsuit against the Minnesotan by the news outlet was "literally laughed out of court" and that the judge's ruling that the suit was "wholly without merit" was "a good characterization of Fox News itself."

This is just the sort of media interference and rewrites we've seen the in past from Fox News. While this one is trying to paint themselves white, don’t forget the GOP used them to falsely paint a war veteran and hero as a weak flip/flopper while their AWOL Bu$h wasn’t reported on at all.
What does Fox News stands to gain by eliminating and cleansing comments made by U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Al Franken and others? This goes beyond reporting and being 'Fair and Balanced' and is certainly against their latest logo 'We Report. You Decide'. Apparently 'They Decide, then you get to , then they report but only what they want to'....I can't say I'm surprised. Might I suggest Fox News try a new logo more in keeping with what they really do like 'Fox News = egregiously unfair and unbalanced...'
Hat tip to Eyeteeth.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pawlenty Too Little, Too Late

The aspect of a long prison sentence makes many criminals ‘see the light’. Supposedly (or so they say) it opens them to an amazing transformation. Today I read in HometownSource.com, pretty much the same kind of amazing but unbelieveable transformation - only this time it was our own Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Pawlenty who twice vetoed comprehensive transportation bills because of gas taxes, now ‘sees the light’ or as he put it: “We have a divided government…Someone had to extend the olive branch and try to bring the sides together so we can make some progress,”

So instead of accepting any culpability with himself, his starvation policy or his appointee, MnDOT commissioner Carol Molnau, Governor Pawlenty would have us believe he now has found leadership. Too bad he couldn’t have found his leadership before the bridge fell down, and people died.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Local Hero Says 'Nope' to the Dope

Hahaha...he said nope to the dope....A Minnesota Hero and smart too!

August 7, 2007 Bridge Hero Gets Offer: Paid Tuition By ELLEN BARRY

Among the dozens of wrenching accounts to come out of the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, the actions of 20-year-old Jeremy Hernandez were a bright spot: Trapped in a tipping school bus with 50 children, he kicked open the back door and began helping them one by one to safety.Within a day, news outlets across the country were repeating the story of the school bus, along with a sad footnote — that Mr. Hernandez had recently been forced to drop out of an automotive repair program because he could not afford the $15,000 tuition. That has changed.

On Saturday, Mr. Hernandez learned that Dunwoody College of Technology had offered him a full scholarship toward a degree in applied science. He has also received offers of help from dozens of strangers across the country, said Molly Schwartz, communications director for Pillsbury United Communities, which employed him as a gym coordinator for one of its summer programs.“We’re all very emotional about this,” Ms. Schwartz said.

When she sat with Mr. Hernandez on Friday and read him e-mail messages from across the country, she said, “His eyes are just getting bigger and bigger — ‘California. You’re kidding.’ When we told him about the Dunwoody thing his eyes just got really wide.”Mr. Hernandez was not available to comment on the offer; Ms. Schwartz said he left town for northern Minnesota late on Friday, overwhelmed by the attention and concerned that his co-workers were being overlooked. He spent the weekend fishing.

When President Bush’s staff contacted him to request a photo opportunity, “He was just, like, ‘Nope,’ ” she said .

Another National Security Threat

China Threatens 'Nuclear Option' of Dollar Sales

Two officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning - for the first time - that Beijing may use its $1.33 trillion (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress. Shifts in Chinese policy are often announced through key think tanks and academies. Described as China's "nuclear option" in the state media, such action could trigger a dollar crash at a time when the US currency is already breaking down through historic support levels. It would also cause a spike in US bond yields, hammering the US housing market and perhaps tipping the economy into recession.

China currently holds an estimated $900 billion in American bonds, and a total of $1.3 trillion worldwide. The warning is apparently a response to a bill backed by the Senate's Finance Committee that would impose tariffs to penalize China for currency manipulation.

All this but Bu$h has kept us save from terrorism here at home....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday's Wackers

Be It
Went to the YearlyKos Convention? Yeah, me neither but The UpTake has some great video and reporting ...check it out.

Overstating 30 years of the same ole...
While we fell short of winning in 28B with the great DFL candidate Linda Pfeilsticker, saying it 'signals growing Republican momentum', is overstating it...Centrisity has the math on it:

"Only Republican logic would take a 13 - 20% DROP in Republican candidate support and imply it signals GROWING momentum.

Comical, actually."

Is it time to leave yet?
I don't know if this will ever happen, but I've dreamed and plotted to retire to the coast of Spain. My husband who like most engineers doesn't take to change easily, hasn't quite been convinced of the benefits. Now this, Beaches have indeed been closed, and more than 20,000 people have received medical treatment for jellyfish stings they received in Spanish waters. The Spanish government has collected 8 tons of jellyfish so far, and recruited hundreds of volunteers into a Campaign for the Study and Detection of Groupings of Jellyfish to keep information on the jellyfish crisis current...maybe it's just a pipe dream.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday's Truths

Quote of Note: A country that can't keep its bridges from collapsing is not going to be running the world very much longer.- Rick Perlstein

Passing Basic Social Studies
If Norm Coleman isn’t sloppy then he’s either stupid or arrogantly thinks he's above the law. Which leave me wondering, after being elected to office shouldn’t Norm know what our constitution says? He can’t be that stupid can he?…or has Norm decided to ‘rewrite’ the laws to suit him just like Bu$h?

Look- It's Twins!
The ‘Time’s’ whitehouse blog shows a great picture of Karl Rove and Josh Bolton helping to advise the President on his recent visit to Minnesota's collapsed I-35W bridge. And now we’re a little closer to knowing why it was more important to fund a Twins ballpark over a falling down bridge!

Now this is special

….it’s election day in 28B....Joe at MCR is saying that although the seat has been held since the dawn of time by the republicans that ‘the DFL has made significant inroads in rural areas of Minnesota’. While I don’t disagree, I also think that the Republican’s promises have fallen through and for many it’s more a case of what they don’t want verses what they want.

Pretty words like ‘no taxes’ just don’t square with the safety of their families crossing bridges that fall down…at least not any more. Also DFLer Linda Pfeilsticker is a great candidate with wonderful qualities. Her positive and fresh attitude has to factor into the race. I think we might see a change is course with rural Minnesotans.

Mission Failed

If Iraq was a patient, we would be calling in family members and sending for the rabbi. It's just that bad. Chris Hedges, former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times , has a must read on Iraq...Iraq is about to become a lot worse.

"The occupation of Iraq, along with the Afghanistan occupation, has only furthered the spread of failed states and increased authoritarianism, savage violence, instability and anarchy. It has swelled the ranks of our real enemies -- the Islamic terrorists -- and opened up voids of lawlessness where they can operate and plot against us. It has scuttled the art of diplomacy. It has left us an outlaw state intent on creating more outlaw states. It has empowered Iran, as well as Russia and China, which sit on the sidelines gleefully watching our self-immolation. This is what George W. Bush and all those "reluctant hawks" who supported him have bequeathed us.

What is terrifying is not that the architects and numerous apologists of the Iraq war have learned nothing, but that they may not yet be finished."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Kline Votes to Halt Bridge Funding

Ouch! Congressman John Kline (MN-2) is still (sigh) voting for the Bu$h administration over the Minnesotans that elected him to office. This time he sides with the Bush administrations over consideration for the I35W Bridge funding...does he have no shame?

"Not only did Congressman John Kline vote to adjourn right before the bill was considered, but he then voted against a resolution to suspend the rules so the emergency aid could be considered."

No Longer Minnesotan Nice

Minnesotans greet the prez on Saturday... We're no longer going to be 'Minnesota Nice'! Not with lives in the balance.

Giving Cosmo Peace

One of the countries that I spend several years growing up in was Japan. To this day one of my fondest memories is cherry blossom (sakura) time at Kyoto's Hirano Shrine. Japan is one of the most beautiful places on earth. But like most countries, Japan has a past checked by military actions including war with the United States. Today Japan marks the 62nd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima with a solemn ceremony.

For me, having lived there and personally knowing survivors of that period, it's anything but a happy reminder of the imperialist mentality that comes from war. During a ceremony of thousands of elderly survivors, as well as children and dignitaries at the Peace Memorial Park where the bomb was dropped, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to the survivors for comments made by former Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma, who said "the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could not be helped because they brought an end to the second World War".

To atomic blast survivors, winning or losing makes no difference to the pain and suffering they've carried over the last decades. It doesn't return their health, family, friends or neighbors. It doesn't give them back their lost dreams, or salve their open wounds, or make them smile again and nothing will ever take away the memories of the mushroom and it's devastation.

Over a third of Hiroshima's population of 350,000 was melted dead by the blast. Thousands more succumbed to related illnesses and injuries over the years. All carry emotional scar from the gruesome reality of this terrible event. At today's Peace Declaration, the lists of names of 5,221 hibakusha who died during the past year were added to those stored inside the park's monument honoring atomic bomb victims. The number of deceased hibakusha now stands at 253,008.

My close friend Cosmo (Grace) Yamamoto will one day be listed on the monument. She was just a child when the bomb was dropped. Many of her family were killed or injured. Immediately afterward, Cosmo (12 yrs old) was sent to Yokohama to board a ship for Taiwan. Only before boarding she was separated from her escort, then picked up and questioned by American soldiers. Imagine her horror and fear especially when she didn't speak English and the American's didn't speak Japanese. Just wanting to survive she handed over the money meant to offer her assistance in her new life, including the ring on her finger and all her identification. And then she begged in Japanese to be allowed to live.

Years later, Cosmo has not only survived but found a new life. She married an American in 1960 and moved to the United States. She founded several businesses, been an active member of her community, and brought happiness to those around her. But privately, she still suffers from the dropping of the bomb and the events that followed. Loving her, I wish I could take away that suffering, but nothing can....but 'never again'.

The promise of 'never again' and the action of Japan's non-nuclear policy banning the possession, production and import of nuclear arms helps. Ultimately the duty of each of us is to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons...it's the only thing that makes a difference and can bring about the change of peace...

Ben at True Majority shows the insanity of the United State's policy...take a look...then work for change so that Cosmo and the other hibakusha might know some degree of peace.

Families and friends gathered along the banks of the Motoyasu river Saturday night to launch the candlelit lanterns. The river is the same one survivors fled to in an effort to escape the horrific heat of the nuclear blast. They would throw themselves in the river to try and eliminate the pain and burning from the blast.

The lanterns represent the souls of the victims.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pawlenty Left Holding the Bridge

I could tell you how there’s a chronic history of deteroriating infrastruction in Minnesota since this group of ‘no new tax’ republicans under Governor Tim Palenty have taken office. How they put more emphasis on the ‘here and now’ few then the future of all Minnesotans. How our infrastructure has been crumpling and they were warned...but…Kathlyn Stone does such a nice of job of it, I thought you should read what she writes.

"In a brazen CYA move last night, Gov. Pawlenty (Bush Republican) said 2005 and 2006 bridge studies indicated there were "no structural deficits" in the I-35 bridge.
But today the president's spokesperson said the report actually said there were structural deficits.

A 2005 federal inspection rated the bridge 50 on a scale of 120 for structural stability, and the Bush administration said it was up to state officials to take corrective action."

Thursday, August 02, 2007


A day after the horrific bridge collapse in Minnesota, officials are saying that they are now in a "recovery operation," not a "rescue operation." Another official says for now, the site is considered a "crime scene" since they to not know the cause of the collapse.

The use of the words ‘crime scene’ may potent future events. This catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesotans highlights what our elected officials determine is important. Investigators looking into the cause of the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge collapse are likely to focus on two primary causes -- vibration and fatigue cracking, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said in an interview early this morning.
But what role. if any, did lack of funding and political pressure have in this bridge collapsing? We know that for two years in a row Governor Tim Pawlenty has vetoed a comprehensive transportation bill (but hey we have a stadium!). We also are aware that over the last several sessions, money has been slowly siphoned away from MNDOT (must keep those taxes low!) Also keep in mind…the money used to fund constant wars could have been used on the chronic neglected infrastructure of the United States!

Others are also stating what they see as political issues regarding the collapse of the bridge. Blogs of note: Inside Minnesota Politics, Mercury Rising, Across the Great Divide

Pictures of note: Centrisity

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Part of the Movement

Is Al Franken a ‘Movement Candidate’? Chris Bowers seems to think so:

I always thought Franken was a smart, hard-working guy, but with a lot of money in the bank, a grassroots movement behind him, an unpopular incumbent, polls trending in his direction, lots of experience in the public eye, and an outsider, progressive attitude that should play well in 2008, he can really win this thing. If he does, it might end up being the best example of a progressive movement electoral victory, ever. At least right now, I intend to help him pull off that remarkable feat. Al Franken for Senate!.

Count me as an addition to the Al Franken movement...