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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Original Version of Science Fiction, Double Feature

I think I like this one better than the Lips they finally used. I like all the footage of the movies referenced.

Rich Stanek's $30k Vanity Project

Great story in this morning's Star Tribune

http://www.startribune.com/local/12523221.html

Here's an excerpt:

Stanek, who gained national attention with his news conferences about the rescue and body recovery efforts, has found a new way to broadcast his role in the bridge collapse response: a 26-minute DVD, titled "Twenty Days in August," paid for with $30,000 in sheriff's forfeiture funds.

Stanek describes it as a "training" video, and has shown it to groups to illustrate how his office responded to the Aug. 1 tragedy.

One of those groups was the men's club at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, where Stanek made a presentation last month. "The guys who were there were just really enthralled," said associate pastor Eric Youngdahl.

But others have questions about whether politics are a factor in Stanek's attention to Aug. 1. Stanek, who was elected in 2006 and does not face re-election for three more years, last month had a political fundraiser in which Gov. Tim Pawlenty served as an honorary co-host.

"Why would Stanek need a fundraiser?" asked Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein. He was a guest speaker in September when Stanek helped host a dinner to thank law enforcement officials and rescuers who responded to the tragedy.

Stanek declined to be interviewed for this article.

Kathryn Janicek, his chief spokesperson, said Stanek had been "strongly encouraged" to produce the video by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is overseeing the formal investigation into the collapse.

Janicek added that the fundraiser was a private event, and "the sheriff's office does not comment on private events."

"I'm sort of struggling to find the purpose of the video," Hennepin County Commissioner Penny Steele said after watching it.



Of course, it could be worse.....

I'd rather see a recap of the Sheriff's response to the 35W bridge disaster than Sonia Pitt's. Hers would be more like a sleazy, government funded episode of 'Desparate Housewives'.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Indiana Wants Me

Des Moines Register Republican Debate

Watch it here (Courtesy of CSPAN).

Tom Tancredo Press Release Condemns Theocrats

Here. It shows the real agenda of the Theocrats.

Tancredo Condemns “Bigoted” Group in Iowa
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Alan Moore
December 10, 2007
Alan.Moore@TeamTancredo.org
F. 703-255-9875
O.703.255.9898
C.303-332-8279


Tancredo Condemns “Bigoted” Group in Iowa


(Des Moines, IA) – Presidential candidate Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) today released a statement in response to the remarks released by a group calling themselves “GodVoter.org”.

“The attached "questionnaire" purports to be intended to help voters in Iowa determine the Christian qualifications of those seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States,” Tancredo said. “I believe it is anything but Christian in its tone and intent and I call on every candidate to repudiate it.”

Among the numerous prejudiced responses, Godvoter.org refers to “Mormonism as a Christ-dishonoring cult” while bashing Governor Mitt Romney and calling for him to renounce his religion.

Tancredo concluded, “God and God alone will judge the hearts of us all.”

####

Transcript of email released by GodVoter.org:

Dear Presidential Candidates, Churches and the Media,

Firstly, we would like to thank and congratulate the Presidential candidates who replied to our 30 questions, both in full and in part. None of you had all 30 answers with which we agreed completely, but everyone had at least some answers with which we agreed. We were actually quite impressed with some of the answers as they demonstrated courage and/or serious introspection amidst what must be an extremely demanding campaign schedule.

Also of intrigue were the varying styles of communication. The responses from some campaigns were quick and streamlined, while those from others indicated bottlenecks and/or dissent within the campaign.

There were also a few campaigns that never replied to our invitation. Notable among those leading in the polls was Governor Mitt Romney, who instead announced a major speech about his faith to be given on Thursday, and told WBZ-AM, "I can tell you I'm not going to be talking so much about my faith as I am talking about the religious heritage of our country and the role in which it played in the founding of the nation and the role which I think religion should generally play today in our society."

Given that (1) Governor Romney has missed our response deadline despite reminders; (2) Governor Romney is setting up what could be the defining moment of his candidacy as a history lesson; (3) the media appears ready to let him get away with it instead of making him address the core problem with his Mormonism; (4) our objective is to help America elect a President who is right with God; and (5) we still wish to hear Governor Romney's words on Thursday before conclusively rating his candidacy, we will wait until his speech on Thursday to post online the candidates' responses to our questions and our recommendations.

What really is the problem with Governor Romney's Mormonism?

At the core of Mormonism is the belief that Jesus and Satan used to be human blood brothers in a distant planet - Jesus behaved well according to Mormonism and became a deity in our planet system, while Satan behaved badly and became the devil. Moreover, Mormonism teaches that good conduct as Mormons in this life will enable Mormons to become God in a different planet system someday, just like Jesus a generation ago.

A religion which teaches that Jesus - our perfectly pure and holy God and Lord - is the blood brother of Satan - the perfectly evil and sinful creature - is an abomination, and the idea that a creature can become the Creator is precisely what turned Lucifer, the angel of light, into Satan, and is therefore Satanic by nature.

Christians are not interested in a history lesson from Governor Romney on Thursday. Neither are we interested in a sound bite commercial on Mormonism. What we want to hear and what will put our votes into play in his favor is a sincere, unequivocal and genuine repudiation of Mormonism. Governor Romney needs to identify Mormonism as a Christ-dishonoring cult, publicly sever all ties to it, and ask God and Christians for help. The chance of that happening, of course, is extremely small, but the media still needs to confront him with the following three questions on national television during the Q&A session after his speech on Thursday:

1. "Do you believe that Jesus and Satan once were human brothers as Mormonism teaches?"
2. "Do you hope to become God someday as Mormonism teaches that you can become?"
3. "If not, will you at this time renounce Mormonism and sever all ties to it?"

The extension to Thursday also gives the candidates who have answered some but not all of our 30 questions a chance to complete their answers, which will be accepted until Governor Romney's speech on Thursday. Please be advised that your answers will be ordered from top to bottom online and in the emails in the order the last of the 30 questions was answered. If you really wish to skip any of the remaining questions, please indicate as such, and that indication will count as your response. Also, if you agree with some but not all elements of any of the remaining questions, please discuss it in the body of your reply. Please do not change the question and then agree with the modified question. While that may be a common tactic during the debates, it is glaringly obvious in written format.

Church leaders, thank you for your patience. As promised, we look forward to emailing you the candidates' answers first after Governor Romney's speech on Thursday.

Sincerely,

GodVoter(s).org

1. Are you a Christian?

2. When and how did you become a Christian?

3. How has becoming Christian changed you?

4. How would you define and describe your relationship with Jesus today?

5. In the past 12 months, how many hours have you read the bible per week?

6. Which gift has the Holy Spirit given you, and what fruits has it borne?

7. What has been your greatest failure as a Christian?

8. What is the greatest challenge you face today as a Christian?

9. If you had to choose between God and country, which would you choose?

10. Whom do you think Jesus wants as our next President, and why?

11. Do you believe Jesus to be God or the Son of God?

12. Do you believe Jesus was born to a virgin, died and rose from the dead?

13. Do you believe Jesus ascended to the Father and will return riding on clouds?

14. Do you believe the bread & wine turn into Jesus' flesh & blood when blessed?

15. Do you believe that Jesus and Satan were once brothers?

16. Do you believe heaven and hell are places that really exist?

17. Do you believe only those who obey Jesus as their master will go to heaven?

18. Which books do you believe to have been inspired by God and without error?

19. Which passage from those books troubles you, and how do you deal with it?

20. The beliefs of which Christian leader alive today resembles your beliefs?

21. What is your position on a Constitutional ban on same sex marriage, and why?

22. What is your position on a Constitutional ban on abortion, and why?

23. What is your position on embryonic stem cell research, and why?

24. What is your position on prayers and bible studies in schools, and why?

25. What is your position on capital punishment, and why?

26. If elected, the ban on what type of guns, if any, would you support, and why?

27. If elected, what will you do about (Internet) pornography, and how?

28. If elected, what will you do about the health care system, and how?

29. If elected, what will you seek to achieve in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how?

30. If elected, what will you seek to achieve in Iran and North Korea, and how?

####

Good Account of the 3rd District Debate Over at MN Blue

Check it out here.

Commenters were highly critical of Terri Bonoff. Most appeared to favor Madia. Some of this may be because Madia draws younger supporters who are more likely to be net savy.

On paper and considered separately, they all look pretty equal and pretty good. They each have their strenghths and weaknesses. So I really wanted to see them in a debate. I got my chance on Tuesday night at the Hennepin County Library just south of Ridgedale Mall. You can read Joe Bodell's coverage and analysis, he was on the other side of the room from me.

Ashwin Madia won the debate hands down. Bonoff and Hovland stumbled throughout though Hovland did get stronger as the debate went on. Madia articulated clear points that showed his comprehensive understanding of every issue he talked about. He gave precise answers on all the topics. It's not that Bonoff and Hovland gave poor answers except for a couple of occasions, but they sounded vague in comparison.


This article also includes a table that compares the candidates on a number of issues. All three candidates said they support gay marriage and want to scrap Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Joe Bodell also assess the forum over at Minnesota Monitor.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mitt Romney Parody Ad



Well worth watching.

Huckabee Signs On to 1998 Ad Saying Wives Should Submit to Husbands

Baptist Press:

A full-page ad in USA Today Aug. 26 voiced the affirmation of 131 evangelicals to the Southern Baptist Convention that "you are right!" in holding forth the Bible's teachings on marriage.
"At a time when divorce is destroying the fabric of our society, you have taken a bold stand for the biblical principles of marriage and family life. We thank you for your courage," the ad stated. The ad also appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of WORLD, an evangelical magazine based in Asheville, N.C.
The ad was initiated by Dennis Rainey, executive director and co-founder of the FamilyLife ministry division of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Among those signing the USA Today affirmation are Franklin Graham, of Samaritan's Purse ministry, and Anne Graham Lotz, of AnGeL Ministries, two of evangelist Billy Graham's children; Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet; Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson and his wife, Patty; Campus Crusade founders Bill and Vonette Bright; Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney and his wife, Lyndi; Dallas-area African American pastors and popular speakers Tony Evans and T.D. Jakes, along with Evans' wife, Lois; and Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, and his wife, Marti.
The ad notes an expanded list of names of evangelicals supportive of the SBC family stance is posted at the Internet site, www.youareright.org.
SBC President Paige Patterson said he is "profoundly grateful" to Rainey and the other signatories, who described themselves in the USA Today ad as "pastors and lay leaders, civic and business leaders, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers representing a variety of denominations."
Said Patterson, "It does exhibit, in the light of a good deal of contrary criticism, the extent to which the evangelical community does still understand clearly what the Bible says about the family." Patterson is president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

***snip****

The SBC article describes marriage as "the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime." It also notes, "The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. … A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. … A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."


Hat Tip: Minnesota Monitor.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

LaBarbera Supports Huckabee's Comments Calling for the Quarentine of AIDS Patients

Republicans for Family Values:

Peter LaBarbera, founder of the Republicans For Family Values website (www.rffv.org), said GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is right not to back down on past statements that homosexuality is sinful and that AIDS research gets disproportionate taxpayer funding compared to other deadly diseases.

LaBarbera said the thrust of what Huckabee told the Associated Press in 1992 is true: homosexual behavior is aberrant and wrong, it poses a ‘dangerous public health risk,’ government AIDS spending is disproportionately high compared to maladies like heart disease, and HIV/AIDS prevention is not a civil rights issue.

“Mike Huckabee is right to reject the liberal media’s talking points on homosexuality. We need more — not less — debate on why HIV/AIDS has been singled out as a politically protected disease, and why it gets such a huge percentage of taxpayer funding vis-à-vis other diseases, as documented by the Fair Foundation (www.fairfoundation.org).”

Huckabee told AP in 1992, “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.”

LaBarbera contrasted Huckabee’s remarks with those by Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who defied the Bible and thousands of years of human history by proclaiming that homosexuality is not “immoral.”

Said LaBarbera: “Of course homosexual behavior is a dangerous public health risk, as evidenced by the fact that men who have sex with men (MSM) – or women who have had sex with such men – are banned from giving blood. The CDC reports: ‘MSM accounted for 71% of all HIV infections among male adults and adolescents in 2005 … even though only about 5% to 7% of male adults and adolescents in the United States identify themselves as MSM.’” (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/resources/factsheets/msm.htm)

“Despite the obvious link between male homosexual behavior and AIDS, gay bathhouses where men go for anonymous sodomitic encounters with other men are flourishing in cities like Cleveland and Chicago. If homosexual and AIDS activists – and public officials — would work to close these disease-spreading centers down, it would protect the lives of homosexual men and also women who unknowingly get infected by male spouses who secretly engage in homosexual perversions.”


Peter LaBarbera's major obsession is the Homos. He's got a whole website dedicated to this.

If you fear that the Minnesota Family Council has lost its sparkle....

Today I received an unsolicited e-mail from former non-partisan Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, who is now the Executive Director of something called the Minnesota Majority.

Oh my.

The e-mail was flogging for signatures on a petition re: free market health care, I guess because it worked out so well for William McGuire.

The website makes for fascinating reading.

http://www.minnesotamajority.org/

Wasn't the Minnesota Family Council enough?

I'm curious about the rest of the staff, and who might be on the board. I couldn't find that information on the website.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Triple A Rips Pawlenty Again

On Residual Forces:

We all know that Governor Tim Pawlenty is unreliable at best when it comes to defending conservative issues across the board. He is good on some, terrible on others. The great global warming and energy swindle underway is one issue where the Governor gets a big old FAIL from those of us with principles.


I'm sure Jason Lewis ripped on the Governor for the same thing.

A rich Motherload of Material

Michele Bachmann has appointed Julie Quist to replace Sean Nienow as District Director. This will provide a rich motherload of material for Dump Bachmann.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Theocrats Not Convinced by Romney's Speech

Star Parker:

The purported purpose of the address was for the Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor to dispel festering doubts about himself because of his Mormon faith.

Unfortunately, I believe it was a failed performance.

I think Romney and his team overestimated the extent to which his Mormonism has been what is troubling his candidacy and underestimated the extent to which his credibility has been the real problem.

Despite outspending all the other candidates, the Romney candidacy hasn't ignited.

By contrast, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has maintained his lead in national polls, despite a background of three marriages, estranged children, pictures of himself in drag, open support for gays, open support for abortion, having endorsed a Democratic candidate for governor of New York and support for gun control.

But Giuliani has not been running as a traditional conservative candidate. Romney has.

What dogs Romney is a sense that he is not being honest about who he is.


Greg Laden talks about Romney's Big Tent being open only to Christians.

Personally I think Giuliani has been getting a pass on these issues, because he is certainly changing his position (most recently on the Federal Marriage Amendment) to pander to the Leviticus Crowd. That being said, Romney has a bit of a John Kerry problem - he is often clearly pretending to be something he is not, and doesn't come across as genuine. Huckabee does quite well in debates because he comes across as genuine.

Maureen Dowd Channels Mark H

Maureen Dowd has a similar take to Mark H's post here with her column today.

Now in addition to asking candidates about boxers or briefs, we have reporters asking Mitt Romney if he wears The Garment, the sacred one-piece, knee-length underwear with Mormon markings and strict disposal rules.

“I’ll just say those sorts of things I’ll keep private,” he told The Atlantic.

***snip***

I called Mr. Krakauer — who also wrote the best sellers “Into Thin Air” and “Into the Wild” — to get his opinion of Mitt’s religion speech.

Mormons see themselves as the one true religion, and don’t buy all of the New Testament, he said, “which makes it curious why Mitt thinks evangelical Christians are his allies.”

Asked Thursday by Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America” if he thought Mormons were Christians, Richard Land, an official of the Southern Baptist Convention, replied, “No, I do not.”

Mr. Krakauer can envision a Mormon making an “excellent president.”

“The Mormon approach to family life is amazing, and there are a lot of good things about the faith,” he said. But he worries that “the Mormon Church, while more welcoming, is still not a place that grants women and blacks equal status, and it’s a terrible place to be gay. The leadership is authoritarian, male, white and absolutely intolerant of dissent.”

The problem with Mitt is not his religion; it is his overeager policy shape-shifting. He did not give a brave speech, but a pandering one. Disguised as a courageous, Kennedyesque statement of principle, the talk was really just an attempt to compete with the evolution-disdaining, religion-baiting Huckabee and get Baptists to concede that Mormons are Christians.

“J.F.K.’s speech was to reassure Americans that he wasn’t a religious fanatic,” Mr. Krakauer agreed. “Mitt’s was to tell evangelical Christians, ‘I’m a religious fanatic just like you.’”

The backdrop, he said, is “the wickedly fierce competition between Mormons and Southern evangelicals to convert people.”

The world is globalizing, nuclear weapons are proliferating, the Middle East is seething, but Republicans are still arguing the Scopes trial.

Mitt was right when he said that “Americans do not respect believers of convenience.” Now if he would only admit he’s describing himself.