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Friday, May 06, 2005

Kansas makes itself a Laughing Stock Again

You'd think they'd have learned from making the mistake of removing evolution from their science classes several years ago. Pharyngula comments. Josh Rosenau blogs from the ground in Kansas.

You can weigh in with Kansas Board of Education members:

martinkathy@yahoo.com, JWaugh1052@aol.com, MSGamble@swbell.net, krw@ourtownusa.net, jwmsbacon@aol.com, carolrupe@hotmail.com, bill.wagnon@washburn.edu, vanmeter@terraworld.net, Send an Instant Message conniemorris2010@yahoo.com, sabrams@hit.net


Here's what one Lloydletta reader sent them:

Dear Board of Education members:

I'm a writer, but I cannot even find the words to describe what complete jackasses you people are making of your entire state. To think that a Board of Education in the year 2005 is debating the validity of evolution and whether Bible fantasies should be substituted for scientific fact in school classrooms is simply mind-boggling.

If I ever am in the position of hiring people, I can assure you that an applicant's resume indicating "educated in Kansas" would guarantee rejection. Period. Because I wouldn't want to have to embarrass an applicant by asking him or her whether they believed the earth was round or flat.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pioneer Press Editorial Page Associate Editor Attacks State Employees

Here.

In the process of attacking AFSCME's suit against the state for trying to use Convict labor to clean the highways, Yost attacks all government employees with a broad brush.

If you've driven Minnesota's highways during the summer, you're familiar with the hard-working, altruistic public servants the union is defending. There's usually five or six of them standing around drinking coffee, ogling the buxom flag girl in short shorts, while the one college kid on the crew works his tail off and you inch your way through the egregiously misnamed "work zone." It's ironic, but true, that state employees are probably the one group that make prisoners look sympathetic.

State offices — particularly licensing bureaus — seem to attract people who do little work, are slow about it when they do, nasty about it when you don't kiss their pinky ring, and seem to never go away. They're there year after year, and when your number is called — "Now serving number 153" — you know that something as simple as registering your 12-foot rowboat will turn into an ordeal that would try the patience of Job.


Eliot Seide from AFSCME Council 6 responds:

Council Responds to Pioneer Press Attack

May 4, 2005

TO: St. Paul Pioneer Press

FROM: Eliot Seide,
Executive Director – AFSCME Minnesota Council 5, AFL-CIO

Dear Pioneer Press :

Mr. Yost's raging rant against state employees, airline mechanics, teachers, and unions is one of the most repulsive, inaccurate, and disgusting diatribes that I have ever seen. His personal and stereotypical attack meant to dehumanize and demean Minnesota 's hard-working state employees, airline mechanics, and teachers is beneath contempt.

Perhaps Mr.Yost should have joined me at the Workers' Memorial Day event that was held at DOT offices in Roseville last week to commemorate those Department of Transportation employees who have died on the job maintaining Minnesota 's roads and bridges. There have been 29 DOT employees killed doing Minnesota 's work. Twenty of those everyday heroes were AFSCME members. Maybe Mr. Yost should have talked to the widow of our latest casualty, a Transportation Specialist who, last year, died in the line of duty, as she recounted his life, a life worth living in the service of others, something that neither Mr. Yost or the Taxpayers' League understands or respects.

For at least twenty years, the Department of Transportation and the Union have cooperated on various efforts to appropriately and responsibly use Sentence-to-Serve crews. This cooperation has been non–partisan and survived through Democratic, Republican, and Independent administrations. The two main criteria have always been to make sure that no permanent, law abiding, taxpaying full-time breadwinners were displaced or replaced by prison labor, and that the safety and security of the driving public were not compromised. But this administration has deliberately chosen not to meet and confer with the Union and instead chose to act arrogantly and arbitrarily to ignore the professionals who deliver services and to sacrifice public safety for their own public relations needs.

We, the people of Minnesota and the United States, are concerned that prison labor in China undermines trade agreements and makes American manufacturing non-competitive. With Minnesota prisoners doing not only garbage pick-up but commercial printing, light textile industrial production, and production of mylar party balloons (with Mickey and Minnie logos), work that could be done by Minnesotans in our ever diminishing manufacturing sector, shouldn't every Minnesotan want a little light on this growing convict industry? After all, the job you save may be your own.

Minnesota's state workforce (the 13th leanest in the nation) is your neighbors, your friends, your family. They plow and maintain your roads, keep your lakes stocked, protect you from fraud at the gas pump, help your kids get registered for higher education and keep your higher education buildings clean and safe, take care of those with developmental disabilities and mental illness, protect the public from the states most violent criminals and predators, and make sure you have fair and free elections - to name just a few things they do. They deserve your respect and your thanks.

Maybe you should call Mr. Yost, your state representative, and the Governor and tell them that. Or better yet, since Mr. Yost is so fond of prison labor, he should know that prisoners love to write and have plenty of time to do so. Maybe a prisoner could replace him as Associate Editor of the Pioneer Press. Just a thought...


I'd urge people to call Governor Pawlenty at: 651-296-3391 to ask himself to publically distance himself from Mark Yost's over the top attack on all state employees.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Aggressive Begging

From the strib letters to the editor:

Billion-dollar beggars

Minneapolis Police Chief William McManus' idea to license panhandlers (Star Tribune, April 28) might have some effect on controlling aggressive beggars like Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad and Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs, but I doubt it.

Don Johnson, Minneapolis

Monday, May 02, 2005

Family Values from a Federal Marriage Amendment Supporter

Hat Tip: John Aravosis.

Police responded to the Washington, D.C., apartment of U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood seven months ago after a woman who was visiting called 911 and reported he choked her.

Sherwood, R-Tunkhannock, says he was falsely accused. He pointed to a police report that stated the woman backed off the claim. He also said he’s the victim of a political smear.

No one has been charged in what the police termed a domestic incident.

“Both parties have left out significant information or are not willing to discuss in detail what actually happened,” Washington Metropolitan Police stated in the incident report.

Cynthia Ore, 29, of Rockville, Md. locked herself in a bathroom and called 911 from her cell phone on the afternoon of Sept. 15, saying Sherwood “choked her for no apparent reason” while giving her a backrub in his apartment on D Street, according to a police report.

Sherwood, 64, told police he was giving Ore a backrub when she “jumped up” and ran to the bathroom, the report stated.


Tony Perkins, James Dobson - any comments?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Annette Meeks supports tax increase: "It's not a tax - it's a user fee" for Stadium Boondoggle

Big nonsense from Annette Meeks on At Issue today.

When they were talking about the Stadium Boondoggle, she said when asked wasn't this a tax increase, she said "it's not a tax, it's a user fee". That's the biggest bunch of nonsense I've ever heard. Hauser let her get by with this without correction.

I wonder if she'd say the same for a metro-wide sales tax increase of the same amount to pay for transit.

At the 8th ward convention, Frank Hornstein told me that a number of DFL legislators probably supported this tax increase for a stadium - Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Linda Higgins and Keith Ellison were three in Minneapolis who were mentioned as probably supportive of this nonsense.

Hornstein said that if Hennepin County were to raise sales taxes - a much better use for that money would be for transit. I agree.