counter statistics

Saturday, April 30, 2005

No Endorsement in 8th Ward

From David Brauer's post on Minneapolis Issues:

Time of convention death: 3:30 p.m.

Depending on whether any DFLers drop out, it's at least a 10-candidate race
to the primary (Sandra Miller showed up to throw her hat in the primary
election ring...)


From SouthWest Journal's recent article about the race.

Publically Funded Stadium Proponent Misses the Point

Either way, we'll pay

To all the people who wrote letters against the stadium, chill a bit. So you're going to be taxed a lousy 3 cents for every $20 spent in Hennepin County toward a new Twins stadium.

If Carl Pohlad were to fund this stadium all by himself, he would want to charge you the money needed to make back a nice return on his investment. Would fans go to a Twins game if the ticket prices were $40 or $50? I highly doubt it. It would be too expensive for a single person, let alone an entire family.

We need to put public money toward a stadium, as well as Pohlad's.

Scott Strohkirch, Apple Valley.


What's wrong with that? It means that those who go to the games pay the price for them.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Bush Bravely Runs Away from Perkins and Dobson

From the April 28 Scarlborough Country:

SCARBOROUGH: Now, tonight the president also jumped into the angry battle over his judicial nominations and the politics of religion. Here‘s a part of that exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I don't ascribe a person‘s opposing my nominations to an issue of faith.

QUESTION: Do you think that's an inappropriate statement? And what I ask is...

BUSH: No, I just don't agree with it.

QUESTION: You don't agree with it?

BUSH: No. I think people oppose my nominees because of judicial philosophy.

QUESTION: Sir, I asked you about what you think of...

BUSH: No, I know what you asked me.

QUESTION: ... the way faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society generally.

BUSH: Well, I can only speak to myself. And I am mindful that people in political office should say to somebody, "You're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion."

As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH: Here to talk about that issue is Tony Perkins. He's, of course, the president of Family Research Council.

Tony, I guess you can take credit for that question-and-answer exchange in a prime-time presidential press conference. Some people are already saying that the president is distancing himself from you, from James Dobson, and other remarks that were made at that conference, the justice conference, over this past weekend. How do you respond?

TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, Joe, I don't see it that way.

I mean, I think what's happened here, it's not us, it's not the president that has interjected religion into this debate. It's a handful of Democrats that have been leading this filibuster. And it's senators like Charles Schumer who have questioned the ability of certain candidates to be judges, like William Pryor and Leon Holmes based upon their—quote "deep personal beliefs."

And that goes back to their faith as Catholics, in Bill Pryor's case, that, because of his position in his religion, is subscribing to tenants of that faith, that he would be opposed to abortion. And that's wrong. Shouldn't be that way. These candidates should get an up-or-down vote. And if that were taking place in the United States Senate, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

SCARBOROUGH: You know, I thought the president just on that part—there was other parts of this press conference where I think he struck out, but on the part where he talked about the up-or-down vote, when he talked about fairness, when he said it wasn't about religion, it was about fairness, I think the president scored big.

But let me ask you this. Obviously, the White House and Republican leaders like Bill Frist have been taking a lot of heat because of what you all put in your pamphlet, advertising that conference. Given all of the things that happened over the past week, do you regret some of the words that you all said leading up to the conference?

PERKINS: Oh, absolutely not.

SCARBOROUGH: And on the stage of that conference?

PERKINS: Absolutely not.

SCARBOROUGH: Not at all?

PERKINS: Not at all.

In fact, we said very specifically as we began that conference that we never said or would we say the people that oppose us are not people of faith. We didn‘t say that. What we said is there is a pattern that is emerging through a handful of these candidates, candidates that have been filibustered. And it's because—and, again, I quote Charles Schumer, because of their deeply held personal beliefs. That‘s wrong. It shouldn‘t be that way.

These candidates deserve an up-or-down vote. They can vote against them, but they should vote. And the president deserves that, and the American people deserve that.

SCARBOROUGH: But, Tony, some people in your organization have said that Pat Leahy, of course, a Democratic senator who is leading the fight against a lot of the president‘s nominees, Pat Leahy may not hate religion, may not hate faith, but he certainly hates people of faith. Do you agree with that?

PERKINS: Well, there is a pattern, again, that is emerging that somehow—well, let me be real clear, Joe. I mean, you have seen the hatred and the anger that has been generated because we dare raised the issue that they were—that this pattern was emerging, as if people, evangelical Christians and pro-life Catholics, did not have a voice in this process.

I mean, the fact that we had that event Sunday night, which was viewed by millions of people around this country, that somehow we are less of citizens and shouldn‘t be involved in the process. We have every right to be involved in the process. We have every right to speak to these issues, and we are, we will, and we will continue to do that.


Lloydletta readers should email President Bush to thank him for publically distancing himself from the Tony Perkins-James Dobson-Bill Donahue political poison.

Daily Show on Justice Sunday

Crooks and Liars has the video.

Bush Nominee Bill Pryor

I wrote yesterday about Bill Pryor. Log Cabin Republicans has opposed this nomination, but they have not promoted this in their recent Inclusion Wins newsletter. If you are a Log Cabin Republicans member, please write to Log Cabin Republicans Political Director, Chris Barron, at cbarron@logcabin.org and encourage Log Cabin Republicans to put out an action alert urging opposition to this nomination.

Log Cabin Republicans Oppose Nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to U.S. Court of Appeals

Log Cabin Republicans, June 9, 2003
For immediate release
Contact: Public Affairs Mark Mead

WASHINGTON - The Log Cabin Republicans announced today that they oppose the nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th circuit. Pryor will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

"An analysis of Mr. Pryor's work finds compelling evidence that he would be a jurist incapable of fair-minded review of matters of concern to gay and lesbian Americans," said Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.

Of particular concern are Pryor's legal arguments offered in an amicus brief on behalf of the state of Alabama in the Texas sodomy case that is currently before the United States Supreme Court . Pryor forcefully defended the laws that allow for the government to invade the homes of Americans and arrest law-abiding citizens for private and consensual acts of intimacy.

Log Cabin, and its sister organization the Liberty Education Forum, authored an opposing amicus brief that called for an overturn of these laws. "These laws are un-American and strike a blow to the basic right of privacy for American citizens, gays and lesbians in particular," added Guerrieo.

"We call on members of the Senate Judiciary, Democrats and Republicans, to address Mr. Pryor's record on civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans. And we continue to urge the Bush Administration to select open minded and fair jurists to be placed on the federal bench. We believe that Mr. Pryor does not meet that criteria," concluded Guerriero.

###

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Wacko Bush Judge Nominee

Senators ought to be encouraged to oppose anti-gay activist William Pryor. Bush appointed him to be a judge.

He's too much even for Dan Blatt over at GayPatriot.

while generally supporting the president's nominees to the federal bench, do believe that he has nominated one or two who may be a tad too far to the right for my taste. A gay conservative lawyer friend alerted me to the Pryor's anti-gay record. (Please note, unlike some gay bloggers, I do not use the term, "anti-gay" loosely.) I think the president made a mistake in nominating him and would prefer that he not be confirmed. He appears to be the most extreme of the bunch.

If this compromise does not go through and the Senate votes on the "nuclear option," amending its rules to prevent filibusters of judicial nominees, I fear that the Senate will confirm Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

North Dallas Thirty has some good posts that describes recent legislative shenagans in Texas.

The GayWatch segment of the Daily Show covers the efforts in Texas to ban gays from being foster parents. Crooks and Liars has the video.

CBS Covers Alabama's Gerald Allen's Book Burying Bill

Here. View the video. You can't make these things up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hindrocket Wins City Pages Best Meltdown Award

Here.

As Hinderaker basked in the glow of this beatification from the mainstream media, he attracted considerable attention from critics on the left. Some of said critics were quick to poke holes in Powerline's Fox-like zeal to promote the Bush agenda. Others had the gall to riff comically on the homoerotic connotations of the Powerline boys' chosen handles. (Hinderaker likes to be called "Hind Rocket;" his collaborator and fellow Dartmouth alum, Scott Johnson, is "the Big Trunk.") As the name-calling and spam assaults escalated, the Powerliners were filled with shock and disgust. Why can't those liberals make their point in a thoughtful, gentlemanly manner? Rude, crude invective is their stock in trade. Leave the high-minded analysis to the Ivy League boys. It turns out, of course, there is an exception to this principle: if you are named John Hinderaker and you are interacting with people you regard as moonbats. Then you can feel free to let 'er rip. The Hind Rocket's great meltdown occurred this past February, after he received a fairly mild critique of Powerline's posts on a scandal involving the White House's use of fake reporters. If you are a connoisseur of the meltdown, Hinderaker's frothing, sputtered, red-faced response was a thing of beauty: "You dumb shit, he didn't get access using a fake name, he used his real name," he huffed in his e-mail. "You lefties' concern for White House security is really touching, but you know what, you stupid asshole, I think the Secret Service has it covered. Go crawl back into your hole, you stupid left-wing shithead. And don't bother us anymore. You have to have an IQ over 50 to correspond with us. You don't qualify, you stupid shit." Way to go, Blog of the Year!


Hat Tip: Norwegianity.

Urban Vultures and Yours Truly in the Nooz

In the Spokesman here.

Money quote:

In January, Urban Ventures (UV) President and cofounder Art Erickson announced his bid for $6.35 million in bonding from the state legislature, in order to fund the construction of UV’s most recent project — the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center (CPYLC). Total construction of the center is estimated at $12.7 million, so Erickson hoped that the legislature would foot half, or at least part of the bill, since the structure, to be erected in Minneapolis' Phillips and Central neighborhoods, would be dedicated to helping children – especially those who are struggling academically — graduate and go on to post-secondary school.

Last week, after fairly contentious discussions on various e-democracy lists, media outlets, and in community organizations, capital investment conference committee members chose not to fund Governor Pawlenty’s $4.2 million bonding proposal for the center, nor the House and Senate’s corresponding $2 million proposals.

In an email sent yesterday, State Representative and bill supporter Neva Walker said, "The deal between the house and senate (and Governor) as of today has broke down. The bonding committee will be meeting again tomorrow. As of last Friday, the Colin Powell funding was not in the bill. However, since the committee is back at it, who knows what will happen. The Colin Powell was one of Hennepin County’s requests. I don’t know if any of the Hennepin County bonding requests were funded. I do know the only Minneapolis priority that was funded was the Planetarium."

"This is the third time that we have attempted bonding-bill support," Erickson wrote in a recent email message. "The first two we initiated, this one was initiated by the Governor himself. This leaves us deeply feeling the inequities of our culture," wrote Erickson. "When we began we carefully chose our values: the city, the vulnerable, empowerment, leadership, diversity, reconciliation, opportunity, reciprocity, collaboration, and risk. We continue to work in and for this framework. We continually call people to reach the hearts, the hurts and the minds of our urban youth."

Even though the measure was defeated this time around, it inspired an intense and entrenched debate in political and community circles, on an issue that is not going to go away anytime soon — public funding of faith-based initiatives.


The article goes on to quote yours truly:

But some community members argue that you cannot pick and choose which programs in an organization are faith-based and which are not. “I’m opposed to it, faith-based funding,” says Near North resident and Minneapolis Issues List member Eva Young. “Number one, I don’t think Urban Ventures can be trusted not to be a ministry. And I think this is a diverse neighborhood religiously. Somalis live here, Jews, people who are Christian but who do not believe in the theological perspective.”

Young is also concerned about the separation of church and state and our Constitutional First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

“There are many alternatives to the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center,” says Young. “Mary Jo Copeland always does very faith-based programs, and they are for kids, but she does not apply for public funding. I think when you’re talking about government funding, the First Amendment is very clear. We can’t have proselytizing of kids. If they want to participate in sports, they should be able to do it without someone talking to them about religion.”

State Representative Neva Walker, who supported Erickson’s bill, takes a more pragmatic view of the discussion. "This is a bonding bill, this isn’t a faith-based initiative," she says. "I don’t know if I would agree or disagree that faith-based programs should get public funding — that’s an issue that each person has to decide on their own. But we have to be realistic in the African American community; we have some core issues in the inner city that we can’t just shut our eyes to."

Walker continues, "There was a group of individuals that came with a proposal when no one else came forward. I’m just looking at the programs that will be at the Colin Powell Youth Center, and the amount of children it could benefit. I just don’t want all the bonding funding to go to suburban initiatives that benefit suburban kids and leave inner city kids out."

Indeed, of over 300 capital project proposals, the CPYLC was the only one that would be oriented specifically toward poor, inner-city kids.

"Anybody that would oppose helping Black kids and Hispanic kids graduate from high school, we just have major issues," says Coleman. About those who opposed CPYLC funding, he says, "Anytime someone takes shots at poor kids, who don't have anyone to stand on their behalf, that's the bigger issue. We just tell our story, and just go forward."


That is such a straw man argument by Duane Coleman. Noone took "shots at poor kids". I was opposed to funding an anti-gay group that has a history of proseletizing kids against the wishes of their parents.

The article continues:

Which begs the question, “Can you be committed to working with disadvantaged youths and not support faith-based programs that work with them?” Young says yes, and points to the public schools, parks and recreation programs, and libraries as areas that the public should be funding in order to help youths. “It’s really pretty appalling that [all of these] are getting cut, but the legislature and Governor Pawlenty want to waste over $6 million on bonding funds for Urban Ventures,” Young wrote on the Minneapolis Issues List.

"Those are different budgets," Copeland counters. "The CPYLC is part of the bonding bill. Bonding is based on construction. There are budgets that are set aside for education, and those monies go down a completely different path. They're higher education projects, but they’re not capital projects. What goes towards funding of programming and schools, those things aren’t included in what we're talking about right now." [I believe this quote might be Duane Coleman, the UV lobbyist and not Mary Jo Copeland]

Still, Minneapolis resident Gary Hoover is not convinced. "I support increased efforts and funding to provide safety, education and nurture for the children of Minneapolis. I do not support expending tax dollars for the Colin Powell Center as planned and named. It is not inclusive of our community in terms of religion, race, creed, or sexual orientation," Hoover wrote on the Minneapolis Issues List. "The current effort is dominated by one religious sect with a definite, divisive religious-political agenda."

Hoover, who attended Park Avenue United Methodist Church while Erickson was there, said that the church and its leaders at the time (which included Erickson) "believed that homosexuals should be converted to heterosexuals." Adding fuel to the assertions that UV is an anti-gay organization is the fact that the Midwest Chaplains added UV's and the CPYLC's name to a list of supporters for the Bachmann Amendment, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman, and would essentially ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.


Good quotes by Gary Hoover.

"That [UV and the CPYLC’s endorsement] was not supposed to be on there. We did not give them our approval to put that on their website," says Copeland, who adds that the Midwest Chaplains have since issued a retraction saying as much.


I checked the Midwest Chaplains website, and the retraction is not posted on their site. Erasing the evidence from the flyer posted on their site is NOT a retraction.

Furthermore, Copeland argues that, as a 501c3, UV and the CPYLC are nonpolitical in nature. He says, "We have no position one way or another as far as the Bachmann Amendment. We’re about trying to get bonding for the kids, for the Colin Powell Center."


I still think it bears further investigation exactly how this "mistake" happened. I encourage Lloydletta readers to follow the rest of this series in the Spokesman.

Good Civil Debate Over the Bachmann Amendment on Dump Bachmann

My post asking whether Senator Michele Bachmann was a hate monger drew lots of comments. Dunner and Patrick play the lead roles.

Bachmann, paraphrased from Residual Forces' interview:

"But if marriage is redefined, it will impact 100% of us. It will harm our children and the family."

Michele isn't saying that she hates gay people, and I don't believe that she does. But what she and many other anti-gay marriage politicians are doing are implying that gays and lesbians aren't capable parents. They're implying that there is something abnormal, and thus deviant about being gay.

They're implying that families that don't have a mother and a father aren't as strong and thus less deserving of recognition. All while wrapping it up with a "let the people decide" shtick to enable them to wash their hands of enshrining discrimination into the constitution.

How are we, as gays and lesbians, supposed to interpret these statements? She obviously doesn't support us. Forgive us if we confuse "think what you do in private is disgusting" with "hate."

To many of us, it's difficult to divorce our sexuality from our person. It would be akin to someone stating they didn't like Christianity but didn't mind Christians. How would Christians true to their faith interpret a statement like that?
Dunner

Dunner,

Very good comments. I appreciate some of the points you bring up, even if I don't agree with all of them. I think that you are directing this discussion the direction it SHOULD go.

Many supporters of the amendment, myself included, do believe that a mother and father are the best situation for children. However, there certainly are exceptions. Some gay parents can/would be better parents than some straight parents. And, I believe that steps need to be taken to address the deficiencies in opposite sex marriage. And I believe that the net effect would be negative to children and families.

As far as "let the people decide", that is how we amend the constitution. Poll after poll shows that their is overwhelming support for the amendment. What I don't like is the idea that this will be decided by judges. By preventing the vote in the Senate, the politicians are washing their hands of it. They don't have to go on record in support or opposed to it.

As far as your statement about "not liking Christianity but don't mind Christians", a Christian true to their faith would understand that their validation does not come in the acceptance of others, but from their relationship with God. Christians associate, interact, have friendships with non-Christians all of the time. As do homosexuals with heterosexuals. But that doesn't mean that one condones, or should condone, the sins of the other.
Patrick

I'll leave the "family" argument alone here, because it will boil down into a silly fight with statistics or anecdotes. But I don't understand denying the right to marry to single lesbian mothers in stable relationships who already have kids. How does this help children or families?

Forgive me for being blunt, but what exactly do gay people do to children that is so negative? And what would denying me the right to marry do to improve the life of your children, or any children?

Patrick, no one is threatening to pass legislation that would ban Christians from getting married. Or ban Christians from adopting kids. That's the difference.

I don't need validation from Christians to be a strong gay man, just as you don't need validation from me to be Christian. But what I do deserve is equal treatment from my government, something you already have.

I'm not sure what the will of the people has to do with this argument. "Activist judges" of another time voted to end school segregation, in the face of massive public outcry. It was simply the right thing to do, even if "the people" disagreed.
Dunner

It's not what the "gay people" will do, it's the acceptance in society of gay marriage.

I want my children to learn right and wrong. My wife and I believe that homosexual acts are sinful. We believe that homosexual relationships are not what God intended. We teach that to our children.

However, if same-sex marriage is allowed, our teachings to our children are undermined by a society that accepts it as normal.

That, in a nutshell, is how I view the dangers of allowing same-sex marriage.

Now, I understand that you can't accept that as a reason. You bring up a point in your last paragraph. You say that judges, in ending segregation, did it because it was "simply the right thing to do". You are correct. And, certainly, sometimes judges do the right thing, in spite of opposition of the people. However, we have reached the crux of this issue. Your assertion, forgive me for assuming, is that same-sex marriage should be allowed because its "simply the right thing to do". I believe that it is "simply the wrong thing to do." All arguments for and against probably cannot convince the other (but it doesn't mean we should stop trying).

My original point in commenting on this post is trying to get past the "hate barrier". If our side, and your side, simply dismisses the other as "hate-mongers", this debate will never go anywhere constructive.
Patrick

I commend you for taking an active role in shaping the moral values of your children. I have no doubt that they grow up to be respectful citizens.

But I have to ask, do you think homosexuality is a choice? Is sexual attraction something you can instill in your children? I certainly don't. From my personal experience and in my discussions with hundreds of gays and lesbians I know, it's simply not something any of us decided to do. Why would we, in today's vitriolic anti-gay environment?

How would you respond to your child, if he or she would ever confront you with his or her homosexual feelings, regardless of if gay marriage is allowed? Would you, as a parent of a gay child, fight for their happiness and equality?
Dunner


There's lots more. Swiftee waxes eloquent about "buggery" as can be expected. Others there are ignoring Swiftee. However Patrick and Dunner are having an honest discussion - and both seem to be listening. We need more discussions like this on this issue.

The Jihadis of Penzance - or the Slave of Democracy

Hilarious.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Stadium Boondoggle Postponed by Hennepin County

The Stadium boondoggle was postponed for a week by the Hennepin County board. It's time for people to call and email their county commissioners.

My post about the stadium boodoggle drew a fair amount of comment. I asked the question about where the Taxpayer's League was on this. The Taxpayer's League does oppose taxpayer funded/financed stadiums, but they've been relatively quiet about the issue. "No new taxes" Pawlenty has said he doesn't think this one needs a referendum (perhaps because it socks it to Hennepin County residents), while threatening to veto a gas tax increase without a referendum attached.

Steve has a good question:

When is a referendum a good idea, and when is it not? It's a puzzle. Perhaps it's a good idea if the issue is a piddling little tax that most of us won’t notice, but it's a bad idea if the issue is amending the Minnesota Constitution to ban gay marriage or civil unions, as proposed by that moral cipher Michele Bachmann. So, the more important the issue, the less desirable it is to submit it to the public for a vote. That seems unsatisfactory, somehow.

Laying aside the fact that the gay marriage/civil unions ban involves a serious, fundamental issue of equal protection of all citizens—which of course is why it is different than a tax of three cents on a twenty dollar purchase—how do we decide how and when to restrain majoritarian impulses for the benefit of a minority interest, business interests, or just baseball fans?

As I said, it's a puzzle; there has to be a rule out there somewhere between representative government only with resort to the ballot box in the case of citizen grievance on the one hand, and a California initiative and referendum regime where the voters can decide everything including the school lunch menu on the other. California in general and it educational system in particular have not profited from the state’s periodic initiative and referendum melees.

Perhaps Lloydletta can rescue us from the conundrum.
Steve


Craig Westover states more articulately than I can about why it is that it's not a good idea to put the Bachmann amendment on the ballot:

One final point: The notion that the question of "gay marriage" is subject to majority rule is wrong. A basic American premise is that the majority cannot deny unalienable rights to minorities, and choosing a life partner is indeed an unalienable right. Banning gay marriage is the same level of government intrusion as the state legislating the number of children a couple may have based on government's judgment of the couple's ability to support them.

Liberty involves risk. One's ability to live life as he or she chooses is best served by ensuring that government cannot interfere in private decisions — even if that means enabling others to live their lives in a manner that one may or may not agree with or even regard as morally correct.

I would urge those with moral objections to "civil unions" to step back for a moment and separate the properly private and properly legal aspects of the debate. The proper question is not, "Do gay couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples?" The proper question is, "Does government have the legitimate authority to deny gay couples the legal rights granted to heterosexual couples?" To the proper question I say that although a tyrannical majority may usurp government power to deny such rights, it certainly does not have legitimate moral authority to do so.


There is precident for doing referendums on school bonding and library bonding projects in Minneapolis. There a much stronger case for public schools and libraries being a legitimate role of government than public subsidy for professional sports.

At the same time, I also think the Hennepin County board should put this plan out of it's misery rather than pushing it to the voters. I really resent politicians who don't live in Hennepin County being the loudest cheerleaders for raising the taxes of those who do. I work near downtown Minneapolis, and taxes on restaurants in the area are already way out of line. We don't need any more - especially for this purpose. If we are going to pay that tax, I'd much rather have it go towards transit projects.

Reaction to Westover's post on Carpenter's article

Craig Westover's post mentioned here earlier drew lots of comment.

As I suspected, this person has a bias in favor of gay marriage. And while this may make his argument suspect, it also fails on pure logical grounds. It is fairly easy to see that his argument depends on a number of faulty premeses. More later, if necessary.
J. Ewing

Gravatar Necessary.
Craig Westover

Gravatar I don't think this is complicated. If "love" can trump one section or requirement of current marriage laws, it can trump any other. Only the Legislative branch can truly apply the criteria proposed by Carpenter.
R-Five

Gravatar Very interesting argument and a much needed one. It'd be nice if this was the standard that was used for arguing gay marriage. I can't help but wonder if R-Five is right, that the legislature would have to be involved to make that kind of judgement.
Peder

Gravatar Yes, indeed, R-Five is right on target.

The legislature is the proper place to determine "compelling state interest" not morality. The court's authority extends to determining if the legislation that addresses a "compelling state interest" violates fundamental rights.

In other words, the court does not pass judgment on the "interest," only on the method of implementation.
Craig Westover

Gravatar I followed the link. Here's an example of one of his arguments:

"While we have some evidence that children do well when raised by same-sex couples, we have no evidence they do well when raised in communal living arrangements."

You know, the USA isn't the only place where people raise children. We might consider talking to the other 5 billion people on the planet, many of whom have millenia of experience with this.

Not a persuasive argument, in my opinion. The others were similarly lame.
.
nathan bissonette

Gravatar I don't know if communal living in other cultures makes his argument "lame," Nathan. Other cultures have arranged marriages and I don't fancy much support for requiring parental consent of marriage at any age.

The essense of Carpenter's argument is not that people couldn't rear children in a communal relationship if they chose to (nor that a person couldn't live polygamously). His argument is there is no obligation, legal or ethical, for the state to recognize that arrangement in the same way it recognizes two-person arrangements.

The state is not required to recognize "preference" of lifestyle. It is only prohibited from discrimination on a fundamental basis within the context of recognition it has extended for whatever reason.
Craig Westover

Gravatar As I suspected, this person has a bias in favor of gay marriage. And while this may make his argument suspect, it also fails on pure logical grounds. It is fairly easy to see that his argument depends on a number of faulty premeses. More later, if necessary.
J. Ewing

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

More, please
instafaggot

Gravatar Couple of points that I would have expected the Cap'n to flesh out:

Carpenter says: "But it is not a call to open marriage to anyone and everyone, any more than the fight against anti-miscegenation laws was a call to open marriage to anyone and everyone."

Sigh..

1. It may be that Carpenter isn't inviting the "polyamorous marriage" crew to jump on board his ship, but they are doing it none-the-less and unfortunately for Carpenter, he's failed to back up his declaration with any tools for backing it up.

and most glaringly obvious..

2. Are we to believe that Carpenter hasn't seen anti-miscegenation laws used, however erroneously, as direct evidence for why we should now expand the concept of marriage to include same-sex couples?

He's stepping all over his own toes here.

And I'll gladly take Carpenters challenge.

"Perhaps none of these considerations is a decisive argument against polygamous marriages."

"But at the very least they suggest that gay marriage and polygamous marriage present very different issues."

"Each should be evaluated on its own merits, not treated as if one is a necessary extension of the other."

The evaluation of the "merits" of these two desires depend on the same criteria whether evaluated singly or together.

Civilizations have toyed with both homosexual and polyamorus "couplings" throughout the milleniums, and have rejected both as being counter productive to a healthy, stable population.

Taken singly, most people know intuitively whether they care to admit it or not, that homosexual behavior is aberrant. It's not something that the vast, overwhelming majority of the planet's population cares to "embrace" as normative.

And I wonder just how many polyamorus groups last beyond five years as a cohesive unit?

In the secular version, these arrangements are made to the order of people who put their lust and lack of self-discipline above all else.

Even within the strict boundries that defined the Morman version, jealousies have caused great harm to the children that are born into communal families.

So this too, fails the "best practice" test.
Swiftee |


Swiftee is missing the whole point of Carpenter's piece.

Gravatar Swiftee, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
You provide no basis beyond boilerplate bigotry to back up your claims. XXXXXXXXXX.

*************

It's my site, and there's no gratuitous name calling. Take thae talk somewhere else.

Edited By Siteowner
instafaggot

Gravatar Holy cow!

Was I just unsulted by the "instafaggot"?

Imagine that
Swiftee

Gravatar Civilizations have toyed with both homosexual and polyamorus "couplings" throughout the milleniums, and have rejected both as being counter productive to a healthy, stable population.

There's proof of this or what? I'd say it was standard speculation. Beside that, who cares? The real question is what you are going to do with homosexuals. We're not going away. And you can't make us.
instafaggot


That's a good question for Sen. Michele Bachmann - but that's the subject of another blog.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Pawlenty Drops Ball Big Time on CyberSecurity

Hard hitting oped in the Minnesota Daily on this here.

Since taking office in 2002, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has made "holding the line on spending" his virtual mantra. Critics have responded that shortchanging the state’s budget is likely to leave government services in a sorry condition.

Last week, Minnesotans saw the logical result of the Pawlenty approach to budgeting when the state legislative auditor concluded in a report that Minnesota's Web-based license tab renewal system was vulnerable to hackers. Calling the system vulnerable is an understatement. State auditors were able to access the Department of Public Safety's private internal network — and credit card information for thousands of Minnesotans — through two wireless connections outside the department's offices in downtown St. Paul. Neither connection was protected by even the most rudimentary security.

To be fair, problems with the license tab site stretch back to former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who led the state into the online service business without taking adequate security precautions. An initial legislative auditor's report in 2001 made 17 separate recommendations to fix the already flawed system. Implementing those recommendations should have been a high priority for the Pawlenty administration. Instead, budget cuts imposed by the governor left the department’s information security unit with only one employee — hardly enough serve Minnesota.

Pawlenty has defended his record by calling the license tab snafu a "technology issue," implying additional funding would not have prevented the site’s security problems. But that logic sounds like the political hair-splitting Pawlenty has made an art form. Most Minnesotans understand technology requires money and that stretching agency budgets paper-thin has real consequences. In this case, the consequences remain limited. There is no evidence private information was stolen, and the Web site has been shut down until security can be guaranteed. But from now on, Minnesotans will likely think twice before using another state-run Web site.

The other kink in Pawlenty's tortured logic is most private companies have kept well ahead of Internet hackers, mainly because they've made Web security a budgetary priority. Companies know shoddy security costs them profits. Pawlenty might yet learn shoddy policy-making will cost him popularity.


All I can say is I'm glad I'm still renewing my liscense tabs the old fashioned way. If people want to call Governor Pawlenty and give him a piece of their mind about this, he can be reached at: 651-296-3391.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Hennepin County Pushes Increased Sales Tax to Pay for Twins Stadium

Strib here.

Where is the Taxpayer's League?

David Strom lives in Hennepin County. This is the biggest imminent danger of a tax increase in this county. This plan doesn't have any referendum.

There are many needs in Hennepin County that are much more pressing than a stadium.

Why does Peter McLaughlin want to raise the county sales tax to pay for a stadium?

There's no referendum in this one. A referendum would be a deal killer.

From the article:

The total cost of the ballpark project is projected to be $478 million, including bonding costs, site preparation and surrounding infrastructure, such as road and pedestrian improvements. No state money would be required.

The team, which has been seeking a new ballpark for a decade, would reap revenues from concessions, naming rights and luxury suites.

"It's simple. It's straightforward. You know exactly what you're voting on," said Jerry Bell, Pohlad's longtime point man on stadium matters.

One group that probably won't be voting on the tax -- which would amount to three cents on every $20 in purchases -- is Hennepin County residents: County and team officials said that requiring a public referendum would kill the deal.


The article didn't say what the votes were among Hennepin County Commissioners on this one.

From the Pie n' Ear Press:

"The county would pay the rest by levying a nominal sales tax - .15 percent, or three cents on a $20 purchase - though the charge likely would rankle
Mall of America and other county merchants. The tax revenue also would pay for land and infrastructure costs that would raise the total project price tag to about $450 million.

"The low sales-tax percentage illustrates the economic power of Hennepin County, the richest and most populous county in Minnesota. Had St. Paul tried to raise the local piece of funding, the percentage would have had to be much higher.

"Hennepin County became a necessary partner for the Twins after Minneapolis residents voted in 1997 to limit the city's ballpark contribution to $10 million.

"State Sen. Bill Belanger, R-Bloomington, said Saturday that he and some other suburban Hennepin legislators will fight even a minimal tax for a stadium.

'Basically, they are after Bloomington's tax base,' he said, referring largely to the Mall of America.


They are after Minneapolis's tax base also. This needs to be voted down. I've written both my legislators. Where is the Taxpayer's League?

Conservative St Paul Pioneer Press Columnist Craig Westover on Gay Marriage

It appears that Craig Westover opposes the Bachmann amendment. However he also has been critical of efforts by the Dump Bachmann blog (which I maintain) to discredit the demogogic and lazy state senator Michele Bachmann. Craig Westover recently asked how to respond to the argument that gay marriage is a slippery slope to polygamy. I sent Craig links to several of Dale Carpenter's columns at the Independent Gay Forum. Westover has responded by posting his response to Dale's argument about whether Gay Marriage leads to Polygamy.

I hope Craig will follow up on this issue in the Pioneer Press. I'd encourage Lloydletta readers to thank him for stating his opposition to the Bachmann amendment.

PZ Meyers Fisks Dave Eaton's Intelligent Design Creationism

Myers posts the unedited version of his strib oped.

He also makes short work of Dave Eaton's creationist drivel here.

PZ Myers points out the Strib is asking for letters to the editor on the subject of evolution.

An invitation to readers on ID/evolution.

We're interested in your thoughts on intelligent design, evolution, and their proper places in school curricula. Write us an e-mail of no more than 150 words and send it to opinion@startribune.com, with the word "evolution" in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, address and telephone number so we can contact you if we decide to publish your response. Please reply by Monday, May 2.


I'd encourage people who care about quality science education in Minnesota public schools to respond to this invitation.