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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Creationist Behe at the University of Minnesota

PZ Myers of Pharyngula gives an excellent account of Michael Behe's talk. This was the first time I've heard Behe speak, so I wasn't aware of his self serving story about Russell Doolittle's "blunder" in reviewing Behe's book. Behe has been called on this lie before, but continues to repeat it.

Get this ....

Today, the New York Times reported on a GAO report that said the administration violated the law when it paid a newscaster to say favorable things about one of its programs. There is no penalty for this but the wrong doing has to be reported to the White House and the Congress.

Does this strike anyone else as close to the fox guarding the hen house?

Fundamentalism Gone Amok

Former education Secretary got himself in deep waters with his remark about abortion,black babies and crime reduction. What was he thinking? Apparently nothing.

Although he did try to qualify his remark by saying that aborting every black baby to reduce the crime rate was "impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible".

What is morally reprehensible is that he thought of it at all and assumed it was okay to say it. Actually, it is dumb too. This is a person so morally righteous that it would not occur to him to think that being black has nothing to do with crime, but that maybe poverty does - and that there is more of a connection between being black and in poverty than between blacks and crime.

But then, thinking might be a huge stretch for this man who was once Secretary of Education. Scary isn't it.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Excellent Lavender Letter to the Editor

Party Line Dancing

In Michael Krause's writing ["The Gay Agenda," Lavender, Sept. 16] about Governor Ah-nold's likely veto of marriage rights in California, he lamented the fact that support for GLBT rights seems to split on party lines, and I largely agree with him. That being said, I'd ask my friends who typically vote DFL to remember that it isn’t a 100 percent guarantee.

In the Minnesota House's annual vote on a constitutional amendment, Minority Leader Matt Entenza has been unwilling or unable to hold his caucus to the platform. Yes, the (now small) Republican majority in that chamber is dominating that issue, but there were three Republicans who voted no in 2005.

Many rural and surburban Democrats voted with the Republican majority. If the Democrats had voted in a block, joined by three Republican votes, the measure would have failed.

In the Sixth Congressional District, announced DFL candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg stated his support for a federal marriage amendment the first time he found a live microphone.

Let's hold everybody accountable, no matter the party designation.

Mark Hanson

Well said Mark. Mark is the Political Action Committee Chair for Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Former Log Cabin Republicans Field Director Jeff Cook running for Congress in New York

He is running in the Republican Primary against Sue Kelly. Kelly had told people she was planning on voting against the FMA, but ended up voting for the amendment.

The Hill has an article about the race.

I'd like to see some Stonewall Democrat members do something similar with FMA supporting Democrats.

Frank Weir's Response

I talked with Frank Weir, Co-Chair of SD 43 who wrote the letter calling for a hearing to oust the other SD 43 Republican Co-Chair John Knight. Weir told me that "David Gaither had nothing to do with this." He wrote the infamous letter on his own. He also said that this SD 43 Republican executive committee meeting was a private, rather than a public meeting.

The District 43 Republican Endorsing Convention is scheduled for October 8th, if they can get a venue for the convention.

Rep. Kathy Tinglestad (R) Drinks the Stadium Koolaid

At Minnesota Public Radio:

Rep. Kathy Tingelstad doesn't support a referendum on the tax. The Andover Republican says voters can vote her and other stadium supporters out of office if they don't like the stadium plan.

"We haven't had referendums on any other major projects like the Mall of America, the Xcel Energy Center. I just don't think it's fair for a local community to vote on something which has statewide significance," she said.

Tingelstad wants Gov. Pawlenty to call a special session this fall so lawmakers can deal with all of the stadium issues. The Vikings, the Twins and the University of Minnesota Gopher football team all want new stadiums. A new Twins ballpark in downtown Minneapolis would require a sales tax increase in Hennepin County. A new on-campus Gopher stadium would require $99 million in state money.

This is for a .75 cent increase in the Anoka Sales Tax. Anoka County is voting on - and voting down school bonding referendums. Why should pro-sports stadiums be exempt of these referendums.

Tinglestad doesn't get it. Why shouldn't Anoka and Hennepin County residents have a say in increasing the sales tax in their county? Why should the legislature grant an exemption on the referendum requirement on these deals?

Dag Hammarskjöld Talk

September 27 | Dag Hammarskjöld speaker series

In recognition of the 100th birthday of the late Dag Hammarskjöld, peace advocate and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the American Swedish Institute has organized several events throughout the year including the Dag Hammarskjöld speaker series.

In this lecture, Professor Emeritus Crawford Young of the University of Wisconsin, Madison will speak on "Hammarskjöld, Ralph Bunche, and the Congo" at 7 p.m. in Freeman Commons (205 HHH). He will discuss the "tragic triangle" involving Hammarskjöld, Ralph Bunche, and Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba. The Congo crisis of 1960 and the strains experienced that summer led directly to the untimely deaths of all three men, the effects of which are still felt in the Congo today.

Co-sponsored by the Humphrey Institute, the lecture is free and open to the public. An additional lecture will be held at the Institute on October 27 (see below for more information).

Crawford Young is my father. He gave an excellent talk. There will be another talk in this series on October 27.

October 27 | Dag Hammarskjöld speaker series

In recognition of the 100th birthday of the late Dag Hammarskjöld, peace advocate and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the American Swedish Institute has organized several events throughout the year. As part of the series, Peter Wallensteen, the Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict at Uppsala University in Sweden, will address Hammarskjöld's significance in the 21st century in a speech at the Westminster Town Hall Forum at noon Thursday, October 27. Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 1200 Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis. Co-sponsored by the Humphrey Institute, Wallensteen's lecture is free and open to the public.

This talk was sponsored by the American Swedish Institute.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Interesting Article about the Stadium Session

Lori Sturdevant at the Strib has an interesting commentary about the dynamics of the stadium session at the legislature. (Strib)

STAPLES, MINN. -- "Who wants to have a special session for sports stadiums?" the moderator (that would be me) chirped at the Region Five Development Commission meeting on Sept. 15.

Six legislators slouched into their chairs. Eyes that moments before pleaded for recognition were suddenly averted.

"Hmmm. Nobody? Why not? ... Rep. Blaine?" I asked the three-term Republican from Little Falls who had the misfortune to sit nearest my podium.

Greg Blaine could have taken the anti-public-subsidy tack of the audience member who raised the topic on a pose-a-question card. It read: "Money spent on stadiums could go to schools, roads and public safety. Where do you stand on this issue?"

Instead, Blaine bravely allowed that he wasn't necessarily against a modicum of public assistance for the Twins or Gophers. He just didn't see why, having waited this long to build new facilities, they couldn't wait a few months more. If it were up to him, there would be no special session.

The DFLer beside him, Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba of Long Prairie, added: "If the governor calls us back, I think those of us in Greater Minnesota should refuse to come, and deny him a quorum!"

The moderator took her no-quorum threat to be more rhetorical than real. Surely after five terms, Otremba knows that her election certificate does not oblige her attendance only when the business before the Legislature is to her liking.

Still, among these central Minnesota legislators, misgivings about a stadium session run strong. That's not just because a slice of their constituents resents using tax money -- even somebody else's tax money -- to benefit billionaire owners and millionaire athletes.

That's refreshing. That's what has torked me off the most about this - the thought of rural legislators voting to increase the taxes on Hennepin County for this boondoggle.

The article continues:

The resistance also springs from recent sour experience. The "shutdown session" from May 24 to July 13 left rank-and-filers like them feeling powerless and politically abused. They aren't eager for a reprise.

Neither, it seems, is Gov. Tim Pawlenty. In July, he sounded quite interested in getting the Twins and Gophers off the Legislature's agenda this fall, before the 2006 election-year rush.

But last week, when the Vikings and Anoka County told the state that they want in on any special session deal, the governor's spokesman issued a tepid response. "We've been putting first things first," said Brian McClung, referring to the governor's focus on Katrina evacuee resettlement and National Guard deployments. Translation: We'll see.

Perhaps the calls to his office are doing some good. Keep them up. Call the Governor at 651-296-3391 and tell him to "just say no to the Stadium Session".

Pawlenty might be gagging on the size of the bite the Vikings want from the state -- $230 million, counting road improvements. But my guess is that he's also bothered by the same worry I detected in Staples: Even when every legislative leader vows to keep the agenda short, tempers sweet and partisan mischief in check, things can go awry.

The biggest impediment to a special session this fall might not be a lack of support for new stadiums, but a lack of trust among the state's top lawmakers.

On Sept. 14, Senate DFL Majority Leader Dean Johnson seemed to be saying to Pawlenty, "Trust me." He volunteered his support for a short-and-sweet special session, right before Thanksgiving.

But last week Johnson described a strain of thought in his caucus that the governor won't find reassuring.

"The issue gets to be how these facilities are paid for," he said. "Some might say, 'We don't have to have this debt service (for the Gophers proposal) out of the general fund. We don't need this sales tax (for the Twins project) in Hennepin County. The corporate loopholes are still there.' "

He was referring to a proposal to collect higher taxes from some Minnesota companies that do business overseas -- a flag Senate DFLers have been waving and Republicans have been blasting for two years. Drag that tattered thing onto the table, and watch the GOP stadium supporters scatter.

I like this idea. Now we'll see how much that the business community wants this stadium. They seem fine with sticking it to the Hennepin County Taxpayers, but will be less happy about picking up the tab themselves with higher taxes.

A quick, productive stadium session would give this Legislature and governor a chance to redeem themselves with a public that's sick of gridlock, and set themselves on course for a functional 2006 session. A renewal of partisan hostilities over stadium financing would do just the opposite.

Actually the public has been saying very clearly that we don't want a stadium session but politicians and the media continue to think that the public doesn't know what's good for us.

Excellent Account of Yecke's Efforts to Put Creationism in Science Standards

Over at the Florida Citizens for Science.

This article was by two members of the Science Standards committee in Minnesota. It's very informative.

Hat Tip: Pharyngula.

Speaking of PZ Myers, I went to hear him speak at the Minnesota Athiests on Saturday. It's been a good 20 years since I graduated with my degree in zoology. So I learned a few things from his talk.

I posted a comment over on the Kool Aid Report - and other commenters posted comments impersonating me. It's pretty clear which comments are posted by me, and which are by people using my name.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

SD 43 Candidate Roster

Who's In:

Judy Johnson, Mayor of Plymouth (Republican)

Terri Bonoff, Minnetonka Planning Commissioner (DFL)

Tony Wagner, Minnetonka City Councilmember (DFL)

Who's Out:

Buck Humphrey (DFL)

Bruce Lambrecht (Republican)

I heard Bruce Lambrecht didn't show for the SD Republican Golf Event. Possibly he was embarrassed.

Is Michael Brodkorb the Elusive MDE?

See also: Michael Brodkorb, Michael Nelson, MDE and Mitch Berg on E-Democracy's St Paul Issues list.

A few days ago I asked whether Mitch Berg was the person who posted as "Globber Berg" over on my blog. I posted this question on the St Paul Issues list and Mitch rather angrily responded:

At 11:25 AM 9/24/2005, Mitch Berg wrote:
I'm sure everyone is fascinated by your little blog tantrum, here, Eva.

(Note to management: I'll TRY to turn this back toward Saint Paul. Bear with me here...)

It's in my best interest for MDE to remain anonymous because he's giving the DFL an aneurism. I like it when the DFL gets an aneurism.

I responded:

I think Mitch is saying he was "Globber Berg" who posted on Lloydletta's
Nooz. Mitch found it outrageous when the Daily Kos posted the work phone numbers of John Hinderaker (Hindrocket) of Powerline. Kos readers took the phone number from the contact information posted on the Powerline blog. These calls were taken by Hindrocket's personal secretary at Faegre and Benson.

This is a St Paul issue if Michael Brodkorb - who has been posting press releases from the Citizens for St Paul Future here and who still hasn't answered my direct question. Michael - are you the Michael Nelson who posted on the St Paul Issues list in April and May of this year? Are you Minnesota Democrats Exposed?

Speaking of MDE, I believe that Michael Brodkorb, the person running the group Citizens for St Paul's future is Minnesota Democrats Exposer (MDE). I also suspect Michael Brodkorb was behind this political subterfuge.

The MDE question is also fair enough because I've posted here about the Entenza - Hatch rumor. Unlike Tom Swift - who posted an item from MDE without sourcing it to the blog, I sourced the post to the blog.


MDE Reports on Entenza-Hatch Rumor and is exposed:

Here and here.

This quotes Shawn Towles from Checks and Balances, who states that Jerry Plagge who runs the SD 63 weblog is MDE. Plagge responds here.

David Weinlick, DFL SD 63 chair doubts that Plagge is MDE.

Follow up on MDE and Mitch Berg's "Interview" with MDE:

From Checks and Balances:

As to the identity of MDE we will go on record as saying anyone not willing to stand behind their words by putting their name to their work is merely a spineless coward. This is like the situation where Chris Gunhus, now Grams used the alias Katie Stevens to toss grenades at DFL U.S Senate candidate Mike Ciresi in 2000. This resulted in her pleading no contest to the charges against her.

We also received an interesting bit of information that might lay this whole matter to rest. The Minnesota Democrat Exposer decided to squat on a number of domain names for Democratic candidates and has in turn put forward unsubstantiated information about a number of them. If the information set to use is correct this would violate the tenets of the Domain Name Proxy Agreement that a person registering domain names anonymously is required to adhere to.

More on Lloydletta's Nooz here.

Mitch continues:
And I didn't "have a cow", I explained exactly what an ethically-challenged little person you are, especially for the benefit of the people in the press that seem to take the output of your obsession with Michele Bachmann at face value (hi, Mark, Conrad, Bill and Craig!), and how very, very convenient and low-impact your sense of ethics is.

Read the "Melt-down" (in English: I take Eva to school) - you can be the judge.

This is all old news. For anyone who doesn't know what's behind this, you can read about it on Lloydletta's Nooz here, here, here and here.

Michael Brodkorb responds:

X-Apparently-To: via; Sun, 25 Sep 2005 11:31:28 -0700
X-Originating-IP: []
Authentication-Results:; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
From: "Michael Brodkorb" []
To: "'Eva Young'" [],
"'Mitch Berg'" [email address removed],
Cc: mbrunswick at,
bsalisbury at,
cdefiebre at,
sjanacek at,
rewatpowerliberal at,
norwegianity at,
"'comments'" [comments at],
westover4 at
Subject: RE: [SPIF] Micheal Brodkorb, MDE, Michael Nelson and Mitch Berg
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 13:31:24 -0500
X-Mailer: Microsoft Office Outlook, Build 11.0.5510
Thread-Index: AcXB7DcNhEL5QVSrQBiIQa4BjR+nXgAAlbJg

Dear SPIF:

When I have posted on the SPIF, I have posted as Michael Brodkorb. This week the Campaign for St. Paul's Future issued three press releases and it should be clear to anyone who read the releases that I have no concern being the public contact for this group's activities. I respected and appreciated the interaction and discussion our press releases generated and I look forward to further discussions as we get closer to Election Day.

My hope is the Campaign for St. Paul's Future will be a long-term contributor to St. Paul politics regardless of who wins on Election Day '05.

I have no idea who sent emails from to the SPIF as
Michael Nelson.

If the dates of the emails from Michael Nelson cited by Ms. Young are accurate, I was in the employment of the Republican Party of Minnesota and not the Campaign for St. Paul's Future.

As the former communications and opposition research director for the Republican Party of Minnesota, Ms. Young's public speculation that I am behind Minnesota Democrats Exposed is neither original or new. The individual or individuals behind Minnesota Democrats Exposed have made it abundantly clear that the true identity of Minnesota Democrats Exposed will never be revealed or confirmed.

I and others can deny being Minnesota Democrats Exposed, as has been done, until we are blue in the face. But until the real person or people behind Minnesota Democrats Exposed comes forward, something which they claim they will never do, the denials will be questioned.

To my knowledge, I have never met or spoken with Ms. Young, but for some reason I have become the latest target du jour. I chose a career in politics to engage in a public debate and I encourage anyone, including Ms. Young to contact me directly at (612) 618-1168 or via email, or indirectly on the complete SPIF if they have any questions or comments about the Campaign for St. Paul's Future.

My emails posted on the SPIF have been and will continue to be proudly signed by Michael Brodkorb.

Michael Brodkorb
Campaign for St. Paul's Future

Interesting that Michael talked about individual or individuals behind MDE.