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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Monday, July 31, 2006

Bye Bye Castro

The word is that Castro is sick. Sick enough to hand power to his brother, which is actually quite astonishing for a dictator - he must really be in trouble. In fact the last dictator to freely hand over power to another dictator was.... hmmm.... I am still thinking.... Yes.. that answer could be Diocletion in 305 AD.

Lets hope Castro is on his death bed. The unfortunate thing about Castro's demise here is that his death is going slowly, which gives other croanies like his 75 year old brother the time to consolidate power. I wonder however, if anyone but Castro will be able to retain an iron grip. Let's hope that the U.S. has a plan for what to do following Castro's demise. Let us hope that the plan includes occupation by American armed and trained cuban exiles.

It would be so nice to vacation in Cuba.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Raul Castro, Fidel's youngest brother at 75, has been the Number 2 guy in Cuba for a while now. He was the more fervent of the brothers, immersing himself into socialistic causes very early in life. I don't hold high hopes for Raul. The good news is that his health isn't the best either.

9:34 AM, August 01, 2006  

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24, Finally

I know I am late; very late indeed, but I recently started watching 24. I started with Day 1 (season 1), and I am about 2/3s the way through Day 2. Day 1 was fantastic, especially the first few episodes. It really sucks you in. The whole NM thing was a complete shocker. Day 2 started out slower, but has picked up and is near or as good as Day 1 (except for the daughter bit, which is a bad time filler).

The best way to describe 24, is a soap opera on steriods.

If you haven't seen it, I recommend you see it now. Further, start with Day 1. It makes everything more interesting.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I enjoyed the first two seasons of 24 a couple years ago when I went through a DVD viewing phase. But I purchased the 3rd season a year ago and it remains shrink-wrapped. Every couple of years I'll experience tolerance for something on tv. Otherwise, I have a hard time turning it on. The exception is that once a year I watch The Sopranos as each season makes it to DVD.

Thankfully, there are DVDs for us, the occasional, selective consumers of television programming. But there are people who will watch whatever crap is on at the moment. Revolting.

11:36 AM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Shrink wrapped. How ghastly. YOu should break it out tonight and start watching.

4:41 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

I made it 1/3 of the way through the first day.

9:07 AM, August 02, 2006  

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Key Republican

I saw this headline on CNN tonight

"Key Republican breaks with Bush on Mideast"

I thought to myself. Who could this be... this key republican? Could it be Speaker Hastert? Perhaps John Boehner. Maybe Bill Frist? Perhaps a powerful chairman such as John Warner or Duncan Hunter. The suspense was clawing at me, so I clicked on the link.

Astonishing....CNN knows how to make news.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

What is interesting here is that GWB is now playing the libertarian, Mr. Switzerland, President of It's-Not-Our-Business. The break in the party, however insignificant, is toward intervention. I'm with the President on this one, nuances aside. (Interpret: I haven't had the time to investigate the White House position beyond casual perusal. Why would we possibly get in the middle of this infinite, age-old battle reminiscent of a nightmarish, prolonged divorce complete with starts,stalls, and looming negotiations that never materialize?)

10:38 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

It was some guy named Bob who lives in Key West, Florida.

10:39 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Bob, Chuck, whomever. After how many "Cease-Fires" can any promised truce be credible, not that anyone's talking about a truce. We have enough to worry about. I do. Allocate it to the "Na-Gonna-Do-It" part of the State Department brain. I have to say, I've written off the entire skirmish/WWIII as of no more importance than how it affects my shrinking portfolio. The fact that the UN has weighed in merely reinforces my myopic, isolationist view.

11:04 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Chuck Hagel has pretty much opposed all of GWB's foreign policy in the middle east. I am not sure why CNN thought it was news to see him opposing Bush on the latest one.

11:46 PM, July 31, 2006  

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Other Big Case for the Sometime Chairmen

Following their victory before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, knocking out Minnesota's campaign disclaimer requirements (see opinion here), the Minnesota Supreme Court solidified that win last Monday when it declined to further review the lower court's decision. (AP story here.)

It is the second time in as many years when the Sometime Chairmen have rocked the election law world, and with it ushering out many of the old procedures and paradigms.

My arm-chair prediction: The implications of the decision in Riley v. Jankowski will be very far reaching indeed and the legal tremors are just beginning.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

It seems to me that an anonomity law will just lead to more campaign finance laws. If the legislature can't limit speech through accountability, they will seek to limit sppech through limits on campaign financing.

9:45 AM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

This is quite libertarian of the SSC. Perhaps he should be the target of the "God Rot Ye Libertarians" toast next year. I could use a break as scapegoat of the traditional serenade.

-The Dribbler

12:54 PM, July 31, 2006  

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Another reason why "Best of the Web" is Required Reading

I believe I've mentioned before that the Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web" by James Taranto is daily reading for me. Here's another reason why. From today's installment:
Worse Yet, He Tested Negative for Cheese

"Tour de France winner Floyd Landis denied on Thursday taking performance-enhancing drugs during the race and said he would fight to clear his name after testing positive for the male sex hormone testosterone," Reuters reports.

Only the French would consider the presence of testosterone in a man's system suspicious.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Holy War against Israel

Did I miss something? I read this morning that Al Qaida just declared a holy war against Israel. I understand the benefit of repetition, but how many times do you need to declare war against someone. Who hasn’t Al Qaida declared war against? Also how do they reconcile the fact that Al Qaida believes the Shia to be apostates worthy of death, when it’s the shia who are currently fighting Israel in Lebanon. I suppose it is possible that Al Qaida is willing to overlook these doctrinal differences for short term gain… (except in the case of Saddam - they apparently refused to overlook such doctrinal differences with Saddam Hussein and did not assist Saddam in the least in his war with the West… or so the Left and Federal Farmer tells us so).

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

>>how many times do you need to declare war against someone<<

See Poverty, War on.

7:48 PM, July 28, 2006  

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Why we fight

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

So why is the little Israeli baby in the battlefield with Daddy, not home with Mommy? My guess is that Mommy works full-time and the babysitter was sick, so baby had to go to work with Daddy today. You can thank feminism for that. Oh hell, blame feminism for the Middle East squirmishes while we're at it.

3:35 PM, July 25, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Skirmishes, not squirmishes. All that gung-ho feminism and they still couldn't teach girls how to spell. But that's because they kept taking us out to the battlefield in prams when we should have been in school.

9:13 PM, July 25, 2006  

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Today's Reason to Call Senator Coleman

The Numbers are out: With 50 confirmations, the 109th Congress has confirmed the fewest judges than any Congress since 1973-1974 (which was emerging from the Watergate scandal).

Anyone willing to join me in a full-throated press for more, more, more?

Senator Coleman's District Office in St. Paul:
2550 University Ave W, Suite 100N
St. Paul, MN 55114
Main: 651-645-0323
Fax: 651-645-3110
Toll Free: 800-642-6041

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Anything to take more lawyers out of their practice is good. More judges! Hear, hear!

8:55 AM, July 22, 2006  

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What he does best

Just for the record, the sometime Chairman, Mr. Wersal, was simply brillant in his remarks today to the Minnesota Citizens Commission for Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary -- also known as the Quie Commission. The Commission was formed to discuss possible changes to Minnesota's methods of recruiting, selecting, evaluating and retaining state court judges.

Characteristically blunt, and funny, the sometime Chairman left no stone unturned today in his remarks. In fact, he was invited by Governor Quie to return the podium for a second (and longer) question and answer session -- and this second session was as lively as any competing segment on cable.

Clearly, it is what the sometime Chairman does best, and why he is so singular in our time: He speaks truth to power.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Everybody knows, nobody cares

I imagine that it is a bit like announcing that one has the heartbreak of psoriasis, or appearing in an advertisement for Cialis, but I am one of the 800,000 -- that is, the 800,000 Americans who purchased the Dixie Chicks latest album Taking the Long Way within the first 2 weeks of its release. (Globally, within 4 weeks of release, the number of folks who had joined that group had ballooned to more than a million; but in this case, there is no moral strength in numbers).

I mention this little secret out loud because I wanted to share my view about the apparent disconnect between the Dixie Chick's stratospheric album sales on the one hand, and the "reshuffling" (as the Chicks' management euphemistically refers to it) of summer concert dates in the Midwest and Southern states, due to lagging ticket sales. Perhaps not surprisingly, the calendar dates that have been reshuffled out of the South and Midwest have been claimed by smaller venues on the Coasts -- and yes, in Canada.

Memo to Natalie, Martie and Emily: I am your demographic. I am a huge country music fan, with disposable income, and not enough common sense to know that $35 for a silk screen T-shirt is frivolous waste of hard-earned money. Further, I have copies of your other works and believe that your earlier Grammy and CMA honors were very well deserved. All of this should make me a pathetically easy sell for whatever you might choose to market -- but, for reasons you might not suspect, I am not now.

In many ways, Taking the Long Way is the best of the Chicks musical triumphs to date, and no doubt the most melodically interesting and intricate of any of their works. And that is saying a lot. Yet this album is also maddeningly self-referential, to the point of being abusive to the ordinary fan. Weaved into song after song are not-so veiled references to "struggles" that followed lead singer Natalie Maine's critique of President Bush in London in 2003, the turning of Red State country music fans, and the Atlas-like burdens of being rich and famous. Please. For the sake of the music, if not the lagging T-shirt sales, get over yourself.

In what is otherwise the best track of the album, Natalie, tight-fisted, declares:

Stepping out, everyone can see my face
All the things I can't erase from my life
Everybody knows

And that is true: Everybody knows. But nobody cares. And even fewer people want to spend an evening out reliving these disputes.

Sing about something else and I will scrap with the Scalpers for a seat in the front row.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

The media constantly frames Maines as the woman who stood up to Bush, as if Bush actively ordered out the troops and tried to silence her or secretly ordered thousands of radio stations across the south to boycott her albums. How ludicrous. Maines is guilty of stupidity in pissing off her fan base. Doesn't Maines realize that the south is the heart of American Military tradition? Most of the famous generals in the 20th century are from the south.

Imagine if the Grateful dead came out against smoking pot. Their fans would go crazy.

9:27 PM, July 13, 2006  

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Augsburg College fined for Cuba trips

Augsburg College is fined for arranging travel to Cuba. The Star & Tribune article, at http://www.startribune.com/1592/story/539794.html, includes the following:

"The government tightened embargo travel rules in 2004 to limit study in Cuba to programs that lasted at least 10 weeks and included only students from the school arranging the program."

"The rule changes are being challenged nationally by a coalition involving about 450 academics, who argue that the changes are an infringement on academic freedom."

Can anyone explain why Cuba is an important travel destination for those not of Cuban heritage? Is it the people and aesthetics, or an admiration of communism?

Also, what about China's interests there? China and Cuba have an economic pact that is, basically, driving Cuba's economy nowadays. Further, because the U.S. is fueling the Chinese economy, may we assume that the U.S. is effectively providing Cuba with indirect international trade? One can only suppose such curious comparative advantage attracts the academics.

Blogger King Oliver said...

Liberal churches are also wild about Cuba. Liberals can go there and feel the thrill of being embattled revolutionaries. Their idea of Christianity is . . . Communism.

Myles Kantor notes that Israeli firms have large investments in Cuba, despite Castro's virulent anti-Semitism and his alliance with Iran.

2:09 PM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Perhaps the Israelis are trying to get in early on what could become a gold mine of tourism the moment Castro takes a dirt nap.

9:29 PM, July 13, 2006  

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Yes, there are still communists in the news department

ABC News, unable to resist a good (Limbaugh-dubbed) Gorbasm, raves:

Mikhail Gorbachev is generally regarded as the man who broke down the "iron curtain" that separated the communist world from the West and thawed the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

So, Reagan really is dead.

They continue their worship (in this piece titled Gorbachev: 'Americans Have a Severe Disease') with:

"Americans have a severe disease — worse than AIDS. It's called the winner's complex," he said. "You want an American style-democracy here. That will not work."

Shame on you winner-types. Shame!

Blogger Ex Nihilo said...

Sure ... and said winner complex psychically makes losers catch diseases. What a basis for communism -- Mikhail, your still thoroughly communist. Retire to North Korea already!

11:46 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Unreal. I can't wait to see the NY times Obituary when he dies. It will be something like "Man who saved the world from Reagan"

I like this quote:

"I want my grandchildren to live in a democratic country — in a peaceful world,"

He should have his daughters do what Krushev's son did... move to Georgia.

9:15 PM, July 13, 2006  

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Meet the Idiots Part 2

This time its the Swiss. Apparently, they are criticising the Israelis for their invasion of Gaza saying that Israel is breaking international law and endangering civilians. Israel responded:

We are disappointed that the Swiss government did not issue such statements when Israel's civilian population was constantly under attack from the Gaza Strip.

No kidding.! I don't remember the Swiss calling on the terrorists to respect Israels borders? Or to stop targeting civilians?

This is just more leftist cheese eating surrender monkey Bull Sh*#. Why the left keeps asking us to disarm and lay down our weapons in the face of obvious aggression is an eternal mystery. Yet they keep doing it.

Moreover, this time Hamas was elected by the Palestinian people with a clear majority. They are getting what they asked for. If you vote for war, then you should get war. Kidnapping an Israeli soldier is an act of war and then having the government admitting that you kidnapped him and requiring all kinds of demands is just more evidence that it is an act of war. What Hamas has done is worse than Nazi Germany. At least Nazi Germany declared war on us first. Israel has every right to use any means necessary to take down the Hamas government and anyone seen bearing arms against them.

Meet the Idiots

If you did not see Sunday's show Meet the Press, you can watch it here. The show is astounding because of the attempt by Dana Priest and others to defend the NY Times leaking of the Swift Program. They come off as total idiots.

The latest attempt by the Press in defending the program is that leaking the story does no harm because the terrorists already know that we track their money. This is like saying the "Germans knew we were coming." Sure the terrorists know we are trying to get them. They just don't know the details or as to how, why, where, etc. They may have found out from the NY Times article that we have either gone beyond their expectations or have fallen short.

I think eventually soliders will begin to wonder whether or not a bomb attack was successful because the NY Times and other MSM outlets are leaking secrets. These wonders will eventually start to leak back into the country and there will be more hell to pay in the media.

Blogger festivus said...

...and the low blow comment from Ms. Priest regarding Bill Bennett's past problems with gambling was over-the-top tacky.

12:58 PM, July 03, 2006  

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

A letter from the Jane Public

I recently came into possession the following letter. The person to whom it was addressed was going through his official mail while we were talking, and he started laughing when he got to this one. After reading it, I asked if I could have it and he agreed. I thought I'd share the contents of the letter with you. I've redacted identifying information, but left the writing so you can read it in all its glory. The writer is NOT in the elected official's district, so I suspect it may have been sent to others.

June [xx], 2006

Dear [Elected Official]:

May I ask you to review my resume for consideration for hire? Or possibly for contractor or consulting work? Could you post this resume on a local jobs network/website?

If the hoops are to [sic] cumbersome, perhaps you can simply do a favor and ask how health care coverage (and perhaps employment) in a community might be addressed – like a 401K chargeable, carryable account. I have been on unemployment and it’s difficult.

I also find rectifying problems within the medical industry very cumbersome with respect to what level the “oversight" occurs. With regards, I have spent much time in medical systems, and, as a potential patient advocate, I am interested in “revealing approvable “cures”” that might be PAC withheld - like patents in many industries; my basic instinct is to follow my nose - as I have found myself tied up within the system.

Also, could we get a do-not-mail list for solicitors-like the do-not-call list? In addition, why not a do-not-spam

I'm also thinking that higher education “is too expensive” and could be “pushed” to more productivity by licensable video with appropriate access to laboratories, tests, books and questions.

And with respect to natural resources – water and oil (are highly political commodities - and do not mix?) are extractable and not always within a short time-spam "renewable". Therefore we are constrained by our abilities to further the production possibilities frontier with our creativeness and need to be mindful of the surplus that
distinguishes itself between the cost and the supply. Do you have any addressable issues with respect to this?



[resume attached]

I have to give this person credit for covering such wide range of important topics in the span on a one page letter, although I question the letter's effectiveness.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I think the name of the author should be published. The writer is obviously not looking for a job and has broken traditional discourse by trying to pretend they are something they are not (a job seeker). As such, they should be disclosed.

8:41 AM, July 03, 2006  

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tell me why I should bother voting Republican

While other states are enjoying new tax breaks today, here are a few new laws going into effect in Minnesota, taken from the Star Tribune:

[L]aws passed by the 2006 Minnesota Legislature mean more money to help immigrants and children . . .

It will be easier for American Indians to use tribal identification cards to register for voting on election day . . . If the identification card fails to show the bearer's address, it still will be accepted . . .

Early childhood education and child care provider assistance will benefit from $15 million in allocations . . . Child care assistance for eligible families on the basic sliding-fee waiting list is increased by $3.8 million for 2006, with $4 million more coming next year.

And a couple billion dollars worth of other reasons not to vote for "It's not a tax; it's a fee" Republicans. Correct me if I'm wrong, but did we not just squander one billion in a bonding bill and another billion on sports stadiums?

Where's mine? Everyone is getting something except me. Meanwhile, property taxes continue to rise at 12% a year so high school football teams can play in heated domes. (Domed stadiums are sooooo last-century. Look for referenda for open-air high school stadiums in a year or two.)

My Representative, Barb Sykora, resigned in disgrace after voting for the stadium bill (leaving us all wonder what she was promised for her vote). Pawlenty should consider that option.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I get the feeling that something was left out. The star tribune despises conservatives, thus one would imagine that they would try to demoralize conservatives at every opportunity. For example, if you have a compromise bill, the Trib may only publish the part of the compromise that was favorable to liberals hoping to get a reaction from conservatives that you just espoused.

Of course I am just guessing here...

10:17 PM, July 01, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Perhaps. But I pondered the bonding and stadium bills all on my own. Sometimes I have that capacity. And I'm still mad.

The new laws mentioned in the Strib were peanuts, but juxtapose those laws with other states where new tax cuts are going into effect (Fox News).

7:29 AM, July 02, 2006  
Blogger Courier A said...

Scribbler, you needn't wonder too long about why Sykora was willing to support taxing her Hennepin County constituents w/o a referendum.
On June 21, she joined the ranks of careerist pols who have landed plum appointed jobs after carrying water in the legislature for a powerful special interest. (See also Leroy Koppendrayer, Harry Mares, etc.) Ms. Sykora was appointed by the Hennepin County Board to serve on the newly-created ballpark authority being entrusted to oversee the development of the new baseball stadium.
BTW, in case Sue Jeffers was having second thoughts about continuing her fight against Gov. Pawlenty, he named the head of MPAAT to serve as one of his appointees to the new ballpark authority. "Pawlenty for '02 or Pawlenty for '06?" seems a very legitimate question, at least when it comes to sending a message in a primary.
As for other Republicans, it's probably best to judge them on a case-by-case basis. The bad ones in the MN House includes Ray Cox, Pat Garofalo, Neil Peterson, and Jim Abeler. In the Senate, the shorter list is the good list, which not so coincidentally includes JAS member Le Clair and Sometime Chairman Gerlach.

10:18 PM, July 03, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:33 AM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

The plum appointment is no suprise. I knew she sold out for something, just not for what.

I would also argue that Pawlenty '02 turned out not to be such a great idea: increased fees/taxes, a growing arm of socialism, the People's Stadium, anti-smoking laws (he supports a state-wide ban), ad nauseum. I don't think Hatch do be much worse.

10:35 AM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

"Do be?" as in "Hatch do be much worse?" Ah well, one can't edit one's comments, so the "do be" must live on.

7:32 AM, July 07, 2006  

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