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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Janet Robert v Nick Coleman Update

The CP Blotter entry is getting comments.

Nick's claims in the Blotter:

In a telephone conversation with City Pages, Nick Coleman cited "ongoing management interference" as his main reason for leaving the left-leaning talk station after only six months. Coleman describes a work environment where Robert regularly imposed content restrictions. "Gays, guns, and abortion" were off-limits, Coleman says. And he says he was expected to minimize the airtime he devoted to the war in Iraq, which he claims Robert supports. Coleman claims he was also chided for criticizing Democrats, including Sen. Mark Dayton and tycoon Vance Opperman, instead of reciting the prepared Democratic talking points.

One poster Ann disputes Nick's claims (spelling/grammar in original maintained)

Lots of Gossip going on here, including the article. Guess some of you don't listen to Wendy's show.. there was a lot of Suppport and attention given to the GLBT community. Who was the only person who kept busting Sen Michelle Backman? The Station has always been supportive of the Anti-War, Peace that article is a lot of whoo-ee. There can only be so many shows.. and listeners were asking for More of Wendy.. she is able to get great guests and does a great job interviewing them. I thought Nick was good but really didn't seem up to speed with the progressive movement and issue.. and who people where and what was going on. I was a couple steps behind. He even mention this lady Cindy Sheehan during the Down Street Memo hearing.. and the at was the first time he heard fo her.... what? she has been a Speaker at many Peace rallys and Anti-War events.. Oh, well,
He does a great job with the articles.
Also,, I did find some of his, and Cubby's comments a bit sexist/and ignorant racial at times.. but just a little so don't get crazy in your response to this.

Posted by: Ann at August 13, 2005 01:20 PM

Nick's story makes sense on the Guns, Gays and Abortion gag order. Ann might be right to be skeptical of the part of Nick's story that suggests he was encouraged to downplay the war. Ann also might be right that Nick Coleman doesn't pay all that much attention to the Peace movement. Ann has a spelling of Michele Bachmann's name I have not seen before.

I listen to Wendy Wilde's show occasionally when I'm driving home from work. I've appreciated Wendy's Michele Bachmann Morality Minutes which I think are a hoot.

Robert Halfhill is a Green Party Candidate in 7th Ward in Minneapolis

I am a candidate for City Council in Minneapolis' 7th Ward. I am running as a Green Party member although I did not receive Green Party endorsement.

Robert W. Halfhill
125 Oak Grove, Apt 41
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55403-4308
Phone: 612-870-8026

Bob's blog is here.
He also writes here and here.

Blithering IDiocy at Anti-Strib

Anti-Strib isn't a blog I read regularly. This was posted a few days ago about Equal Time for Intelligent Design "theory".

OK, I'm not a very religious person and I think that evolution explains a lot of what we see today. I not a huge proponent of Intelligent Design, but I have seen a huge disconnect with liberals and this issue.

Huh? Good science education isn't a liberal/conservative issue.

These are the people that want our children to be skeptical of the motives of our Founding Fathers. They teach kids that they should not hold Lincoln, Washington or Jefferson in too high esteem. They also want to question the dropping of the Atom Bomb, as well as our conduct leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I can understand the justification for the atom bomb on Hiroshima - which was a military city - but Nakasaki? Why? That's rather off the topic of what should be taught in Science classes however.

As far as the founding fathers goes, it's Leviticus Crowd types (David Barton, Michele Bachmann et al) who are trying to get fabricated quotes from the founding fathers about this country being a "christian nation" taught in the schools. An excellent book that covers this subject is Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers.

Yet, one question about Evolution is too insane to even introduce into the classroom? Give me a break! If they think that kids should know all of the bad things the US may have ever done, they should also expose kids to the arguments still raging in the science world.

These "debates" aren't raging in the science world. Evolution is a well established theory. Intelligent Design isn't a theory, it's just stating, I can't explain this so God must have done it. It's not science.

Darwin himself noted that the first signs of life were gifts from our creator.

I'd be interested in a specific citation for Darwin on this one.

He had no illusions about combining the right amounts of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen in a test tube to create a living cell. Nor do I expect to see this experiment successfully completed in my lifetime.

Darwin didn't know about the biochemistry of life. Tracy is making the common creationist mistake of confusing abiogenesis with evolution. Abiogenesis is the origin of life. Darwin never attempted to answer the question about how life originated from non-life. There is facinating material in this area. Did proteins for RNA come first is a very intriguing question to me? There are RNA enzymes (Ribosymes) which supports the case that RNA came first. There are still many unanswered questions in this fascinating area.

I'm not saying that teachers have to even have to give this proposal equal weight. But if our kids have to learn more about the slaves that Thomas Jefferson owned than the accomplishments of his life, then they can stand to hear that some people have a few questions about evolution.

Should we have a "debate" in science classes about whether the earth is round or flat? What about debating in math classes about whether 2+2 = 4 or 5?

Liberalism has become an insular religion that allows no dissidents. The result of such fanaticism is some pretty stupid arguments.

Pot, Kettle, Black. This is exhibit A that science education isn't up to speed in Minnesota.

Lloydletta's Nooz Welcomes Mary Tambornino to the Blog

I just got back from Mary Tambornino's house. She is the first contributor to Lloydletta's Nooz, and I am honored to have her join the blog.

I know Mary from the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus and also by reading about her work on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. Mary was a leader on Mental Health Issues on the Hennepin County Board. She will be balancing out the topics posted here. I tend to post about Gay issues, Creationism and outbreaks of the Stupidity Virus in the various elected bodies in the great state of Minnesota and Nationally.

I am looking for other guest bloggers for Lloydletta. Drop me a line at with subject line: Guest Blogger for Lloydletta, or drop a line in the comments.

Mary Tambornino Joins Lloydletta's Nooz

I used to serve on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. I am well read. I am articulate. I'm a risk taker. I'm joining Lloydletta's Nooz because I have things to say that I want others to hear and respond to. I look forward to reading your comments about my posts.

More on Janet Robert's Air America Minnesota "No Gays, Guns or Abortion" Gag Rule

I also emailed a slightly revised version of this to the MN Politics National List, and cced Janet Robert and Nick Coleman.

If people want to contact the station here's the number:

Janet Robert 952-946-8885 ext.14

I've just tried to call the station and leave a message in Janet Robert's mailbox, extension 14 - and keep getting routed back to the general mailbox. Nick Coleman is still listed at extension 28.

Congratulations to Flash at Centrisity blog for digging into this story:

Flash states he's been trying, without success to get comment from Station Management.

Of course, if station management would respond to my E-Mails, we could clear all this up in a more timely manner. Here is the pertinent information from the attachment.....

I'd urge Station Management - and am ccing station management, so they respond to Flash's emails.

The Gag Rule:

6. Certain Subjects Prohibited

JR Broadcasting will not permit discussion of the issues of gun control, abortion, or gay marriage. It is the policy of JR Broadcasting that discussion around these issues tend to be more sensationalistic than substantial. In order to provide for reasoned, substantial discussion of other issues, JR Broadcasting prohibits discussion of gun control, abortion, or gay marriage. Exceptions to this policy can be obtained prior to broadcast by request in writing to the station Manager.

Twin Cities Gay Pride was a major sponsor of Air America Minnesota - if this is station policy, and it doesn't get changed, TC Gay Pride should decline to sponsor the station.

UPDATE: Mitch Berg, after prodding from yours truly, finally mentions Flash's scoop.

Developing. . .

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging

Via Powerliberal, great site for Kinky Cat Photos.

This isn't Kiddleewink. Speaking of Kiddleewink, she was hiding in one of my closets tonight when I got home from work. I had to go get her out to give her the 75 ml of fluids. I checked to see if she was dehydrated and she wasn't. After getting the fluids she seemed to perk up.

Nick Coleman Talks

Congratulations to Flash at Centrisity for getting the Nick Coleman's side as to why he left Air America.

Flash covers the story, and follows up here, here and here.

The City Pages Blotter picks it up, and calls Janet Roberts for comment.

Mitch Berg trolls for work at Air America.

An inside source familiar with both Janet Roberts' management style and the departure of producer Joe "Cubby" Palan told me that Palan was not only fired, but that Janet Roberts apparently reads this blog; things I'd written in this space apparently turned up in various conversations around the station. Note to Ms. Robert: I'm happy to work as a consultant for your station, and in fact could probably do you people a lot of good. I charge $200 an hour. Have your people call my people.

Mitch ofcourse doesn't disclose his "inside source."

UPDATE: Flash at Centrisity obtains an Air America Memo that says no Guns, Gays or Abortion talk on Air America shows:

6. Certain Subjects Prohibited

JR Broadcasting will not permit discussion of the issues of gun control, abortion, or gay marriage. It is the policy of JR Broadcasting that discussion around these issues tend to be more sensationalistic than substantial. In order to provide for reasoned, substantial discussion of other issues, JR Broadcasting prohibits discussion of gun control, abortion, or gay marriage. Exceptions to this policy can be obtained prior to broadcast by request in writing to the station Manager.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mellow Cats

North Dallas Thirty asked:

Is there such a thing as a "mellow cat"?

There most certainly is. My cat Lloyd (now diseased) was very mellow. When he had an echocardiogram, he was purring, and rubbed his head on the machine. This is NOT typical cat behavior when getting an echocardiogram.

Kiddleewink is different. She's very high strung. Some of this is because she was abandoned in an apartment for several weeks. Her owner had some problems. I got her from a friend of mine who knew the owner, and rescued Kiddleewink.

Kiddleewink Update

I came home from work tonight before going to the Dump Michele Bachmann meetup. I was worried that it would be really hard to give Kiddleewink the subq fluids - but she stayed still while I gave them to her.

She seems much perkier, and she's not yapping so much.

Americablog Action Alert That I agree with - mostly

From Americablog:

As you've been reading here, the National Council on Family Relations has decided to ignore its own anti-discrimination policy in order to take almost $5 million in taxpayer funds from the Bushies to build a straights-only Web site on "marriage resources."

The Bushies told NCFR that they'd better dare not mention the homos on this Web site or the Bushies wouldn't give NCFR a dime. To that NCFR said, ok - show me the money!

When several non-bigoted NCFR members (and more than a few AMERICAblog readers) told them they shouldn't throw gay families under the bus, the NCFR executive director and Board sent out a pathetic memo trying to justify their hatred. In part, it says,

Being supporting of diversity does not mean that we cannot choose as an organization from time to time to devote our attention to a specific area of study. Many of us as social science researchers and practitioners concentrate in very specific areas of study. What it means, however, is that where there is a variety of views regarding the social and cultural constructions of family forms, NCFR acknowledges (and in so doing, supports) that reality by providing information to the public that recognizes a broad definition of family forms.

So just because they engage in anti-gay activity from time to time, they're really not bigots. But here's the real problem -- NCFR has already admitted the National Healthy Marriages Resource Center is NOT research or an "area of study." It's a clearinghouse of public information designed to help people have healthy marriages -- because they say married people have healthier lives. So in effect, it's a public health Web site that specifically excludes certain people. So by their own admission, "academic freedom" is not a valid argument.

Imagine putting together a federally-funded clearinghouse on cancer prevention but specifically excluding information that helps, say, Jews. And the reason you exclude Jews is because the guy footing the bill is a Jew-hater. But you say, what the hell, I'll take the cash and do the Jew-hater's bidding - after all, isn't this all just academic?

That's EXACTLY what NCFR is doing.

The sadly spineless man in charge at NCFR is Michael Benjamin. Let him know what you think at or (763) 231-2891. His Washington DC office number is (202) 659-1190.

This is a local number. I plan on giving Michael Benjamin a call tomorrow to get comment from him about this.

A commenter chastises Americablog for straying off the talking points:

Cindy Sheehan and Karl Rove.

They matter.


Please pick winners and stick with them, y'all . . .

Americablog used to be a much better blog than it is now. It seems that the blog has just become recycled spin for the Democrats, in much the same way Powerline is recycled Bush administration talking points. It used to be more than that.

After getting this action alert, it's been all Rove and Sheehan, all the time over at Americablog.

Thursday Well Cat Blogging

Kiddleewink is back home - and I have a substancial charge on my visa. She is on a maintenance level of fluids.

They put her on IV fluids - and in the morning, she was growling and hissing at the staff - which they took as a good sign - she is back to feeling better.

I'm going to have to start having the person who takes care of Kiddleewink when I'm gone over to watch movies or whatever - so Kiddleewink gets to know her better. I think that's part of the reason she gets so stressed when it's someone she doesn't know taking care of her.

I'm giving her subq fluids to wean her off getting rehydrated. 100 ml today, 75 ml tomorrow, 50 ml the next day, 25 ml the next day, to nothing.

I've also got a prescription for lactate ringers if she needs it again.

I've had to give my other cat Lloyd fluids before. Lloyd was a friendly and mellow cat, and it was easy. Kiddleewink will not be friendly and mellow about this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Intelligent Design Propaganda

Nature has some excellent articles covering Bush's recent statements in support of the pseudoscience otherwise known as Intelligent Design "Theory". PZ Myers has the full text of the articles available on his blog. One of PZ's commenters makes an excellent point on how to address this issue from a PR standpoint.

"Scientists have to be evangelical about explaining what science is, as well as its limitations," says Krauss.

An annoyingly poor choice of words by Dr. Krauss.

Rather than lecture other scientists, why can't people like Dr. Krauss learn to simply state the plain truth when they are interviewed by the press? i.e., "Intelligent design is nothing but propaganda. From a scientific perspective, it's complete garbage and what the charlatans at the Discovery Institute are doing should disgust all Americans, the religious and non-religious alike."

That is what the public needs to hear. The public doesn't need a lecture about what science is and what it isn't. They need to know that the Discovery Institute consists of jerks who habitually and intentionally misrepresent the truth to serve their fundamentalist religious purposes (and their fundamentalist donors).

Roberts Loses Leviticus Crowd Support

Subj: PA: "Join Me 11 A.M."
Date: 8/9/2005 8:15:58 PM Central Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Conservative Pro-Family Group to Withdraw Support for Roberts
Contact: Eugene Delgaudio of Public Advocate, 703-845-1808

News Advisory:

Public Advocate President Eugene Delgaudio will announce on Wednesday morning, Aug. 10, at 11 a.m. in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that Public Advocate of the United States, a Virginia based national pro-family group is withdrawing its support for Judge John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court.

The move comes as a result of Roberts' support for the radical homosexual lobby in the 1996 Supreme Court case Romer v. Evans, which overturned a pro-family law passed by the citizens of Colorado in an appalling act of judicial activism.

Delgaudio will give a short statement and will then be available to the media for questions. The group has supported nominee Robert Bork and Judge Clarence Thomas and other judicial nominees in the past.

The Supreme Court is located at First Street and Maryland Avenue,
Northeast in Washington, D.C.

The Associated Press has distributed a story on this and other publications are reporting online including the Drudge Report.

This statement is posted here.

Public Advocate has been fighting for the American family for over 25 years, and is exempt from federal taxation under IRC section 501(c)4. Contributions for gifts to Public Advocate are not tax-deductible. For more information contact Eugene Delgaudio at 703-845-1808 or 703-421-4599.

They are neither conservative, nor pro-family. This is clearly an anti-gay group.

More Fallout from Al Oertwig Works the Graveyard Shift Hit Piece

Over at the St Paul Issues Forum here and here.

Reporter Steve Brandt and Readers Rep Kate Parry have responded.

Posted 10 Aug 2005 18:41 by Kate Parry

Dear Eva, Mary and other St. Paul Issues readers,

My sincerest apologies if you feel I have not be responsive enough to you. Everyone is welcome to contact me with your concerns about the Star Tribune anytime at readerrep ( at ) or by calling the reader rep phone line at 612-673-4450.

Because of the number of calls and emails, I'm unable to answer each individually. I do read and listen to them all and talk about them each day with the editors at the afternoon news meeting. I try to get back to as many readers as possible.

There is some misinformation in your post about the best way to contact someone in the newsroom. First, D.J. Tice is not a copy editor -- they generally work at night and, among other things, write headlines. D.J. is a team leader for state government and politics coverage. On those topics, a direct email or phone call to him makes a lot of sense.

Directly contacting the reporter is always a good way to start talking with the Star Tribune. If it's not clear who you should call, please feel free to ask me and I'll try to direct you to the right person.

I hope that's helpful.

Kate Parry
Reader's Representative
Star Tribune

It's a good sign that Parry has joined the St Paul Issues forum. It seems that you get a pretty quick response posting something publically to the issues forum.

Nick Coleman No Longer at Air America

I for one, will miss Nick. He was over the top and outrageous - but that's what makes talk radio work. Mitch Berg comments.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Science vs Pseudo Science: Reprise

There are excellent comments reacting to my post about the Efforts to Teach IDiocy in Science Classrooms.

Blog ally, North Dallas Thirty repeats several common Creationist Claims:

The scientific method includes forming a hypothesis, making predictions, then testing those predictions experimentally or by observation.

Unfortunately, every attempt to experimentally duplicate how life first developed -- that is, how random chemicals suddenly became orderly life -- has utterly and completely failed. No one's been able to construct even a simple bacterium in a tube. You can make DNA fragments, but the ability to replicate and reproduce -- the very requirement to qualify as life -- has never been managed.

On what basis are you then telling me that life was produced? Merely the theory that it happened, even though you can't explain or duplicate how or why.

That IS an article of faith.
North Dallas Thirty

There are many gaps in knowledge - and facinating questions about how life came from non-life. There's active debate over whether proteins or RNA evolved first.

"No one's been able to construct even a simple bacterium in a tube."

It took nature a billion years to create the first bacterium. The fact that we haven't succeeded after just a few years is not an argument.

Your reasoning requires a fundamental ignorance of either biology or arithmetic -- take your pick.
KipEsquire 08.08.05 - 11:54 pm | #

Or simply a willingness to confine evolution to what it is, rather than twisting and perverting it as a means of bashing religion and Christianity.

Quit using "geologic time" as an excuse for why you can't back up your bets, Kip. It's no different than using God -- but far more dishonest.
North Dallas Thirty Edit comment Delete comment | Email | Homepage | 08.09.05 - 12:53 am | #

Abiogenesis theory is not a means for bashing religion and Christianity.

LOL....actually, ITM, you're absolutely right. It doesn't matter whether it's Cookie Monster, God, Allah, Vishnu, or anyone else, just as long as it WAS someone. That's the whole point of intelligent design.

As for "hard fact", using "geologic time" would only be relevant if Kip could prove that, over time, bacteria turn into human beings. Right now, he's trying to argue that his ability to selectively breed -- which changes expression of genes, not the genetic makeup itself -- "proves" that, using "geologic time", he can turn bacteria into people.
North Dallas Thirty 08.09.05 - 4:40 pm | #

NDT, not having enough information to explain step by step how life came from non-life doesn't prove Intelligent Design. Your argument is the God of the Gaps argument.

Here's some good books that address this issue:

Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller

Tower of Babel by Robert Pennock

Both of these books are written in a way that should be accessible to non-scientists.

North Dallas Thirty has another post that addresses the primordial swamp.

UPDATE: Mitch Berg also has a post on the topic - which is worth fisking in a future post.

Tuesday Sick Cat Blogging

I took my cat, Kiddleewink to the emergency room at the University of Minnesota. Kiddleewink has chronic renal failure. She is getting re-hydrated - and a blood test. I might have to start giving her subq fluids. If any Lloydletta readers in the twin cities area also have a cat that needs subq fluids regularly, please contact me. I'd be interesting in finding people I can trade cat sitting with. It's hard to find cat sitters for a renal failure cat who needs fluids.

The U of MN is excellent for veterinary care.

Star Tribune Hits a New Low

From the St Paul Issues Forum:

Tim Erickson:

I'm not really sure what to think about this article. While Al Oertwig's hours might be a little unusual, it would seem to me that this issue could easily be addressed by fellow board members and district administration, if there is any real concern.

I'd just like to mention, that Al Oertwig was the first elected official to actively participate in this forum after I began as the forum manager. He showed up at several St. Paul E-Democracy meetings and for a time was a frequent poster to the forum. His participation has dropped off in recent years. But, I know that he stills pays attention to what is happening in this forum and has replied to me privately, when I've posted on school district policy.

I've also noticed that he is fairly good at turning out for public events about school district issues. He and Anne Carroll are definitely the two school board members that I've seen the most at public meetings (although I see other members of the board quite frequently as well).


St. Paul school board member's night owl hours ruffle feathers

James Walsh, Star Tribune
August 7, 2005

Al Oertwig might be the only elected public official in Minnesota to work the graveyard shift.

In fact, most nights for the past several years, the longest-serving member of the St. Paul school board has been the lone nocturnal occupant of the fifth-floor offices at school district headquarters.

The school board lists Oertwig's address as 360 Colborne, the district headquarters, but he says he's not homeless and isn't living there. He says he lives at one of two duplexes he owns on the city's East Side.

But night after night -- even on weekends -- Oertwig's odd schedule mystifies colleagues and longtime friends and neighbors."

Others on the list support Oertwig:

Posted 07 Aug 2005 17:00 by Charlie Swope

It must be discouraging to devote yourself to public education only to discover that the media cares only about some meaningless eccentricity. Wouldn't the time spent on reviewing building and e-mail logs and on interviewing neighbors about Al's sleeping habits been better spent on investigating what's going on in the schools?

Posted 07 Aug 2005 18:40 by Renee Jenson

I read the article and I am appalled. I can't believe this reporter, James Walsh, did not find out when Mr. Oertwig showers, when he eats, and how often he goes to the bathroom. That certainly would make a difference to this discerning reader.

Exactly what is the point of this story? What is Mr. Walsh trying to say? That Mr. Oertwig is incompetent to be on the Board? I'm pretty sure his record shows otherwise.

That Mr. Oertwig is up to no good or is doing something devious in the late night hours at the District offices? Huh? Like what? Where is his proof and what exactly could he be doing?

That Mr. Oertwig may be struggling with some personal issues that are nobody's concern and certainly not newsworthy since he doesn't seem to be breaking any laws and is doing what he was elected to do? Maybe Mr. Walsh should look for real news instead of try to create it.

Posted 07 Aug 2005 20:55 by Chuck Repke

I like fellow list member Andy D was interviewed by Mr. Walsh. During the interview it was hard to tell what the point was. When Walsh told me Al was hanging out at the School District at night, I asked him if this was something new and something that a friend should be concerned about. Walsh assured me that it had been going on for years and that he could not find anything that would indicate this was some current crisis in Al's life. I told him that as I thought about it I had been getting emails from Al in the middle of the night for a long time, also that it wasn't unusual for Al to reply to calls I had left for him later in the evening. So, maybe he was just a night owl. We talked about knowing other people who by their own choice or sleeping patterns work through the night. By the end of the discussion I thought Walsh might do an interesting story about people who worked strange hours. Instead what we got was a story that anyone reading it could see was an effort to find something wrong with Al and when the story can't find anything wrong just embarrassed him. No point to the embarrassment only proving that Walsh has a pen so he can injure someone if he choses. I have known a lot of reporters in the last twenty years to have handled the City Hall or School Board beat and I'd say this was an embarrassment to all of those journalists who have covered the people who serve our City.

Having been involved in politics and community service for a long time in Saint Paul I have been asked many times if I would be interested in running for public office. I have always said I don't have a thick enough skin for it. After reading this kind of trash, I think you can add strong enough stomach to the response.

Chuck Repke
Ward 2

Andy Dricoll disagrees:

Posted 07 Aug 2005 22:13 by Andy Driscoll

Whether this was an important story to publish at this time or not may be debatable, perhaps, but Al's frequency of occupation of the district office in wee hours is certainly a curiosity and, as such, definitely newsworthy. Jim Walsh might have gotten a better handle on just what he is actually doing up there before going to press. But that news plus information about his owning two houses, homesteading both of them when only one would qualify, assuming he's its occupant, but rarely spending any time in either of them and the environmental conditions therein certainly
begs some questions, both legal and ethical.

Al Oertwig is as hard a worker in a thankless job as anyone I've ever known and he's had some very unfair things thrown at him. His willingness to challenge the administration when other board members cave to superintendents' intimidating demands, especially those that insist that all criticism leveled at the administration be kept behind closed doors and not heard at board meetings is something I've always admired in Al, and, conversely disenchanted me in others with the potential for remembering just who the hell they're supposed to represent.

Al has not endeared himself to his colleagues, especially outspoken members with whom he's long been at loggerheads over policy and power. They know who they are. Anyone who believes the DFL contingent there is one big happy family hasn't been listening.

That all means that any number of people could have dropped a dime on his night owl behavior, and it should be known here and now that I knew nothing about his nocturnal occupation of the district office and still know nothing of precise activities up there during those hours. But many friends and people who have known and respected elected officials have often been embarrassed by disclosures later on that secretive doings and transactions have been adjudged illegal or unethical or both, sometime to a dangerous degree.

Eric Mitchell disagrees:

Posted 08 Aug 2005 07:10 by Eric Mitchell

Andy's post is a great example of someone putting the screws to you in a Minnesota Nice way. With good friends like this, you wonder why Al is hushed-up about his business?

It makes you wonder if the political colleague who put this story out there, knew of the 'close' friendship between Driscoll and Al and encouraged the journalist, Walsh, to make a call.

I mention that because Andy continues to try to make the case that this should be of some concern (until the end of his post where he scolds Al for being secretive), not because of Al, but because its our duty to know the whereabouts and going ons of our elected officials at all times.

The was a non-story that I wouldn't have read if I didn't get a heads up on Friday. Walsh was put on a wild goose chase by somebody who has enough credibility to get him to risk his own reputation as a reliable journalist.

Who was it and why did they do it? That's real the story.

2:10am and I'm signing out and the rest is none of your business.

Eric Mitchell

That's my question. It wasn't failed school board candidate and embarrassment to the Republican Party, Tom Swift, aka "Swiftee" according to Tim OBrien at the Strib.

Over at the litterbox otherwise known as "Pair O Dice", Swiftee gloats.

He gets sidetracked with a long rant about the Out for Equity Program. It's very clear that Swift's issue with Oertwig is Oertwig being openly gay.

I hope the Republican Party in St Paul avoids making the mistake they made several years ago when they endorsed Tom Swift for St Paul School Board. Tom Swift on the ticket will drag down Tom Conlon, who is a legitimate and mainstream republican candidate who regularly wins election to the St Paul School Board.

But I digress.

I asked Tim OBrien at the Strib is Swift was the source - and OBrien said no.

The Star Tribune has a real problem with the responsiveness of the Readers Representative. A while back, I and others wrote the Readers Representative to
complain about the lack of fact checking on a story about the American Heritage bill (one of many looney pieces of legislation Bachmann introduced). The reporter, Norm Draper took at face value Bachmann's claim that a school district in california had banned the declaration of independance. A simple google search on "California school district declaration of independence banned" retrieved among other things, the
statement by the parents in that school district calling on the Alliance Defence Fund to correct their press release which slandered the school district.

So I guess I would suggest people write the readers representative, but copy other strib reporters, plus copy editor DJ Tice on the correspondance. And I think it's worth posting copies of the correspondance here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

North Dallas Thirty Defends Bush's Support of Intelligent Design Creationism

North Dallas Thirty - who I consider a friend, who has a blog I read regularly, is wrong about creationism.

If you want to guarantee an argument in the blogosphere, especially in the gay blogosphere, the best thing to do is to bring up the subject of evolution vs. creationism. However, what it also does is bring up the dark, scary underbelly of how science, and especially science as applied by many gays, has turned into some sort of intolerant religion even worse than the ones they use it against.

This is nonsense. Many blogs are covering this one. Gay blogs are included in this. This argument that science is a religion has also been used by Michele Bachmann. A while back I fisked her interview with the Stillwater Gazette on the topic of creationism.

"I have no problem with teaching the various theories ... of origins of life. ..." She said. "But, I think there’s one ... philosophy ... that says only one could be taught — and that one would be evolution. And because the scientific community has found that there are flaws in abiding by that dogma, I think it’s important to teach that controversy."

Lawmakers and educators should not "censor information out of discussion because it doesn't meet within someone's dogmatic beliefs," Bachmann said further. "Something that I think sometimes people don't like to hear is that secular people can be sometimes even more dogmatic in beliefs than people who are not secular. ... In some ways, to believe in evolution is almost like a following; a cult following — if you don't believe in evolution, you're considered completely backward. That seems to me very indicative of bias as well."

Bachmann and North Dallas Thirty clearly don't get it. Faith and Science are separate things. If you are a religious believer in God, and Jesus, you take the leap of faith. Science is different. The scientific method includes forming a hypothesis, making predictions, then testing those predictions experimentally or by observation.

North Dallas Thirty continues:

Really, I think anyone who tries to ban creationism or intelligent design from being taught is just as ignorant as someone who tries to ban evolution. I also was rather impressed that the President took the time to say that teaching both was a good idea. However, this is a life-or-death struggle for the loony Left and the radical Right, and in the process, they're making a LOT of people ignorant.

This isn't a left/right issue. There are liberals who support creationism and conservatives who don't. Conservatives such as John Derbyshire, who Andrew Sullivan regularly castigates for his anti-gay writings, support sound science. When Bush supported Intelligent Design Creationism many high profile mainstream conservative bloggers such as Glen Reynolds from Instapundit let him have it.

It's interesting that both PZ Myers who is a strong liberal spokesman for sound science, and the conservative NorthDallas Thirty, who supports equal time for ID Creationism want to make this a liberal-conservative issue. It is not.

Drinking Moderately August 19

Get the details at Centrisity.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sullivan on John Roberts


ROBERTS AND ROMER: I don't think there's much here. Roberts helped out on a fascinating Supreme Court case for his firm. It doesn't tell us how he'd rule on, say, Lawrence vs Texas. My guess is that as an educated man of his generation, he's well aware of gay people, doesn't approve of discrimination, but has a very limited idea of what the constitution can do to protect minorities. I learned more from the reaction of people like James Dobson. For Dobson, any hint of sympathy for homosexuals is anathema. Roberts is a better man than that. And from everything I've read, is a superb choice for SCOTUS.

Justice Sunday II

Mike Tidmus has helpfully designed a nice poster to promote Justice Sunday II:

Justice Sunday II

Hat Tip: Pam Spaulding.

As Pam commented, this is much better than the original lame poster.


Follow the Money on Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage

From a reader tip:

From the State Campaign Finance Board:

2004 Contributions to MCDM (over $100)

Blue Earth County RPM


Cummins, Robert


Davis, Jeff


Frauenshuh, David


Frauenshuh, Sandra


Geyer, Stan


Kopp, Debbie


Kopp, Terrence


McMahon, Robert


Mealey, Patrick


Mealey, Sarah


Naegele, Robert


Verdoorn, Jeff


Verdoorn, Julie


Wolters, Roman



According to the expenditures on file at the FEC (page 11 of 12 of the report of receipts and disbursements), $641.88 (federal) and $249.34 (state) was paid by MCDM to Linda Groskreutz on October 13, 2004 for a voter guide for 23B (That's John Dorn ).

That's a voter guide for a house district in Mankato. The BEC RPM then gave MCDM $500 on October 25, 2004. Mankato is in Blue Earth County.

Nice pass through.

Can a group call itself non-partisan if it gets party money? Just asking.

So the MCDM put up a billboard in the A side (Ruth Johnson/Howard Swenson) and put out a voter guide in 23B (John Dorn/ Louise Dickmeyer). Hottinger's the other target there.

Good question.

Developing. . .

Peter LaBarbara's Adventures in Leatherland

Pam Spaulding has an excellent post that describes one of my favorite anti-gay activists: Peter LaBarbara. LaBarbara is the guy who interviewed me for the Concerned Women for America Hit Piece. We had a cordial discussion though obviously we disagree.

Pam pulled together a nice list of LaBarbara quotes.

I gave her a tip about LaBarbara's Action Alert urging people to write the Illinois Director of Tourism urging her to quit using tax dollars to promote the International Gay Games.

A commenter asks an good question:

The only interesting thing I want to know about this guy is where does the money from? Who pays for all these little hate organizations so that these sick little obsessives can spend their lives sticking their "christian" noses in gay people's business?

A while back I suggested that gay people apply for internships at the Culture and Family Institute. What better way to get all expense trips to various gay events - the gay games, gay days at Disney, and now the Gay Games in the Windy City.

Peter recently went to International Mr Leather and described his adventures.