JATBlog
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
 
Read about the modern history of the Holy Land here.
 
Travis Weber left the team. This is the best story on it, so far. Most likely its due to the health of his brother. Fair enough. JJ performed pretty good during the final five. I guess that since we had only one graduating senior, we had lose players other ways.
Although check out this part of the article:
He is the second non-senior to leave the Gophers, who tied for second place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and finished 28-8-9 overall last season.

The article mentions the frozen four any number of times, but when it comes down to describing the season, it describes the gophers as the team that tied for second place the WCHA?? Huh? How about the team that frickin' won the NCAA Div I championship? Perhaps? Geez.
 
DAVE BEAL: Don't take rail lightly. A column touting the "benefits" of rail travel. Amazingly, it relies on evidence like Dave's claim that traffic sucks and quotes from the mayor of Rugby, ND, who says that all his community requires is a van that goes from Minot to Grand Forks for his public transportation. Somehow that means his community also needs a railroad. And also that is support for a light rail system here and one between Minneapolis and St. Cloud. Cuz, you know, everyone I talk to here in the cities is constantly complaining that they'd love to move to St. Cloud, but the commute is just too darn long.
At any rate, this yahoo irritated me so I, of course, wrote him a letter:
Dave,
You're column today was an odd combination of anecdotes about light rail and long-distance train travel. Your arguments lack facts to back them up and rely on "observations" such as "Rush-hour gridlock on the highways has become a bad dream and promises to only get worse. The public subsidies being poured into both the air and road systems are encountering more resistance." I've lived in the twin cities for many years and have commuted from Lakeville to north Bloomington, Northfield to Minneapolis, Eagan to Eden Prairie, and Osseo to Bloomington. I have not noticed traffic getting significantly worse (my commute has been 20-45min. as long as I can remember). Of course, it certainly seemed worse on 35W after they built the HOV lane. Nothing like being stopped in traffic looking at a completely empty lane right next to you (except for the occasional nearly-empty bus and cheater).
I would really appreciate seeing an article that summarizes the benefits and setbacks of light rail projects in major metropolitan areas in the USA. Not personal observations or interviews from mayors of towns on the prairie, but fiscal and statistical data. For instance, I've also lived in St. Louis and spent considerable time in San Jose. I'd be interested to know how much those light rail systems cost and how much the government pumps into them each year. I'd like to see an analysis of the number of cars driving before and after the light rails began service and a report on the number of people who use the light rail systems daily compared with the projected numbers reported to the legislature during fund-raising. Does the bus system lose riders once light rail systems are up? Does the cost of the bus system drop once light rail systems are up? And, as I recall, road construction did not halt once the light rail systems were in place. Instead, taxpayers money was spent on both systems.


And its true, too. Nobody in St. Louis uses that damn monorail thing (well, OK, some people do, but not the type I'd feel comfortable starting up a conversation on a monorail with). What a waste of money. It sure spreads crime, though. You should see the neighborhoods by all the stops. Scary, even in daylight. Stupid light rail. Of course, the light rail fiasco here did have the amusing side effect of pitting bleeding heart against bleeding heart. The tree-huggers and indians were chaining themselves to sacred trees in the path of the light rail while the environmentalists supporting the light rail called the cops on them! Divide and conquer!
Monday, August 25, 2003
 
Did you ever hear that humans only use 10% of their brain? I do, but I don't remember when or where (my 10% is maybe full). But at any rate, here's the truth (courtesy of urbanlegends.com):
In other words, the "humans only use 10% of their brains" canard would more correctly be phrased "humans only use 10% of their brains for walking around and smelling things"-- the implication being humans, for their size, have an unusually large brain mass available for higher-level functions. (In contrast, elephants and certain whales have LARGER brains than we do, but they must devote a great percentage of brain mass just to moving their massive bodies around-- to say nothing of the mumble-thousand muscles in the elephant's trunk alone, or the sophisticated sonar abilities of toothed whales. That leaves them with less brain mass potentially available for reasoning and language.)

A neat factoid. Impress chicks. (A side note; plush carpet also evidently impresses them)
 
From the comment section of lgf, I saw this:

I don't have a dog in the fight per se, but as long as Israel is on the frontlines of fighting the forces of evil ( as a Christian I sometimes wonder if Mohammad was the False Prophet Jesus warned against) I wish them success and God speed. To the IAF and IDF, good hunting.

There was a time when the Christian church promoted murder and war, and even oversaw her own armies. At the same time, it was a promoter of learning and monastaries were isolated sanctuaries of education in a world recovering from a paradigm shift. The Islamic faith, by and large, appears to still promote murder and war (after 2000 years or so) and education and learning actually seem stunted wherever it prevails. Was Christianity able to overcome humanities inherent weaknesses (lust for power, fear of all who oppose them) while Islam is not because Christianity is the one, true religion guided by the hand of God, while Mohammad was a false prophet and Islam is guided by the hand of man?
Friday, August 22, 2003
 
There's an article in the New York Post today (courtesy of Merde in France) that discusses some difference between US and EUro. I mention it not to emphasize the differences (I've done that before here) but because the differences cited emphasize my interpretation of the principles on which this country was founded.

For Europeans - excluding the Brits, who are more like us than they sometimes find comfortable - "freedom" means freedom from things: from social and economic risk, from workplace insecurity and personal responsibility, from too much competition in the marketplace or too much scrutiny of governing elites.
...
"Equality" doesn't mean equal opportunities, but equal limitations.


Many people have different ideas about what "equal" and "freedom" mean. This article discusses the prevailing interpretations in europe and here. The thing is, the interpretations the article attributes to Americans are the interpretations provided in the constitution. Therefore when one in this country thinks of equality and freedom and the government's responsibilities, there is only one interpretation of equality and freedom they can be thinking of. And its not equality of pay, equality of education, equality of housing, freedom from responsibility, etc. Its equality of opportunity. No money for college? Parents live in a ghetto? Join the National Guard! Join ROTC! Get an education - anyone can! Get a job - I here they're hiring at a new facility in Ashley - go answer phones and do data entry in the prairie. [/rant]
 
Nick Coleman of the Pioneer Press has a "Top Story" today. He gives a glum headline and tries, throughout, to force his viewpoints to the reader, despite the facts he's forced to cite and quotes from interviewees. I hate to think how long he hung around the guard booth waiting for some 16 year old kids with crappy attittudes to interview. I'm glad he didn't find any.
Here's the email I sent to the guy:

Nick,
I found your column this morning interesting (I read it on-line, http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/6589028.htm). The headline implies a glum article describing overwhelming concern about the war as perceived by someone visting the Guard booth at the fair. However, the article does not live up to this implication. Rather, almost all the facts and interviews cited in the article are extremely positive concerning the war, the attitute of the interviewees about the war, and the Guard:

"The Minnesota National Guard is seeing a lot of action these days. Maybe too much. Instead of sandbags, the unspoken undercurrent, in wartime, is about body bags."
This quote certainly supports your headline, but is not supported by interviews or cited references. Did you get this impression from visiting national guard stations, or from Sgt. First Class Dave Cullen? It doesn't sound like the sort of thing Sgt. First Class Dave Cullen would say, based on your quotes of him. Further, as I mentioned above, this part of the article is in stark contrast to the facts cited and quotes of interviewees, most of which are positive.

"Eleven National Guard soldiers — none from Minnesota — have been killed in Iraq, the first National Guard combat casualties since the Korean War."
This is absolutely amazing. Our brave men and women of the national guard in MN have not incurred a casualty for 50 years. This is a headline unto itself! A wonderful thing! Further, not a single guard member from MN has been killed out of 12,000 in the ranks in MN alone! Again, very amazing, positive, and upbeat! Why cloud these amazing statistics, themselves a tribute to the nations ability to protect its citizens and troops, with a glum headline and passages like "the unspoken undercurrent, in wartime, is about body bags."?

"Cullen says his best recruits are 20-year-olds who, after a year or so in college, have begun to understand the high cost of college and are looking for help. With tuition reimbursement of up to 80 percent, plus pay for part-time duty and federal GI Bill benefits, a college student in the Guard can receive almost $10,000 a year. He or she, of course, might also receive orders to ship out. Life lessons can come before school lessons."
What an amazing country this is, where our young are not required to serve (common in many foreign countries), but volunteer and get well reimbursed! Well reimbursed not for joining the armed forces and the front lines, but the guard! Bless this system that gives our youth a chance to earn life experience and a college education, regardless of their background or income of their parents.

"For some members of the Air Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing who are being redeployed to the Persian Gulf, it will be their third overseas assignment in less than two years.

Although morale is strong in general, it has begun to suffer in the 133rd Airlift Wing."
It is, I'm sure, very difficult to be separated from family and friends for 3 deployments in less than two years. But why emphasize that? Do you honestly think most guard members did not consider the possibility of being sent oversees? Do you really think most people join the guard for the money? Why not emphasize that moral is strong in general? Something like "although some members of the 133rd Airlift Wing are disheartened at the prospect of their third depolyment in under two years, moral in general remains strong in the United States armed forces."

And to answer the questions I myself raised in the previous paragraph, I turn to your interviewed 16-year olds:
"It's kind of cool to do something for your country, and I have a lot of respect for people in the service," said Wolfe.
"If you go into a war and fight in a war and die, I'd just call it timing," Jechorek said. "If God wants you, he wants you, and that's it."

"Plus, you'd have something to be proud of," said Wolfe. "If you die fighting for your country, that's one of the highest honors you can have."

I am very proud of those young men you found. The headline could have been "Young Minnesotans Swell With Pride and Courage at State Fair Guard Booth." Even at 16, these boys know the prospects for deployment on joining the guard, and consider it an honor.

I'm not sure why you chose your headline nor the final statement of your article. My take on your experience, as you presented it, is obviously very different; a positive story.

I look forward to your response,

Thursday, August 21, 2003
 
So I was sitting here eating lunch and reading Bill's latest essay and a follow-up comment to it:

Posted by Clint on August 20, 2003 08:57 AM:
Bill,
Excellent essay! You are a writer of unique vision with a profundity of thought!
Could it be that Personal Responsibility has escaped you?
It would seem to me that Pro-Choice is the pinnacle of irresponsible behavior.
The time for choice is just before the act. If conception is not the desired out come then birth control should be used. This is when Choice should be made. Not after conception has taken place. To abort a child is not talking responsibility for ones actions!
Clint


Earlier in the comments, pro-choice had come up as a concept embraced by those un-afraid of responsibility. Then this person comments on the pre-pro-choice decision-time responsibility of keeping your fargan' zipper zipped. I think this deserves some serious thought. Imagine you're 18 (16 these days?), at a party, scantily clad opposite sex, and been drinking a bit. As a young man/woman, have you committed yourself so fully to abstinence that you will do nothing about your probably surging desires? Will you leave the party rather than accept the offer? Making the choice not to need to make an abortion choice is not; I'll use a condom. Condoms break (I've got a cousin by that circumstance, actually!). All techniques to prevent fertilization fail, except two. Abortion (which sometimes has other bad side effects) and abstinence (OK, so abortion doesn't prevent fertilization, but you get my drift...). So this commenter is suggesting that abstinence is merely a personal responsibility; you know, like fiscal responsibility or the responsibility to be informed about the people you're voting for.
So the line of logic is something like this: before having sex, one should make the conscious decision whether one wants to dedicate the rest of their lives to the fine art of child rearing. I suppose this decision should include decisions regarding future fiscal state, future relationship(s), as well as retirement. It is therefore expected that everyone thinks of all this (and presumably has it all planned out and taken care, of, too) before having sex. Further, nothing that was decided or thought before having sex can change afterword. Ever. You cannot change your mind, new circumstances cannot arise. That is, based on the above comment, the stance of a pro-lifer. (At best, you give the kid up for adoption. That is, you commit yourself or person of the fairer sex to 9 months of pure hell and subsequently abdicate all responsibility whatsoever to an unknown family - not that adoption is bad, but from a purely "responsibility of those having sex" point of view...)
Lets take this logic and apply it to something else. How about... divorce. Ugly word. When one finds oneself in a terribly serious relationship, often (though certainly not always) the next step is to move in together. See how it goes. Then marriage. Now, most people give marriage an awful lot of thought (including counseling, these days, which is awesome). I'm assuming most people are secure in their decision to get married and have considered children, fiscal future, relationship future (obviously), family (extended), jobs, location, even up to retirement prior to the marriage (or even prior to engagement). Seriously considered. Why, then, does anyone get divorced? They've done everything they're supposed to. They've been responsible in making their decision! Pro-lifers should (evidently) also be seeking to outlaw divorce. Since responsible people are (evidently) capable of maintaining a decision regardless of circumstances for the rest of their lives.
My belief is abortion and divorce should be legal. Because we're responsible enought to deal with both. To pull some current events into this post, I also believe gay marriages should be legal. I understand that much of the resistance to this has to do with gay couples getting fiscal benefits due to married status. That can be fixed. I think the government has no place giving benefits to married people (straight or gay). Marriage is a sacred convenant with God, not a way to get tax benefits. People who are legal guardians of children should get tax benefits. Whether these people are gay, straight, married, or single is none of the governments business. Marriage does not qualify one to rear children. Unmarried people are not unqualified to rear children. Keep religion seperate from the state. Keep people who think a religious ceremony entitles people to tax benefits out of school boards, out of city councils, out of friggin' office.
Monday, August 18, 2003
 
A response from Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton concerning DIII schools, athletic scholarships, and play-ing up in DI sports:

Thanks for writing to us. I have followed Mr. Schael's reponses.....this
is an interesting issue. As you know, we do not have an institutional
stake in this. Frankly, I regret that Johns Hopkins, in particular, has
the Div I sport...I think that was a factor in their dropping out of the
UAA. Their decision is adverse to us, other members of the UAA, and, most
important, to their students. Further, it is my view that athletic
scholarships are not a wise an investment of precious financial aid
resources needed to support aspiring students.

Sincerely,

Mark S. Wrighton

___________________________________
Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D.
Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1192
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
314-935-5100
314-935-4744 (Fax)
wrighton@wustl.edu


Sounds alot not like the response of Mark's AD. In fact, sounds down right ignorant and childish. If this is the mindset of most DIII presidents, then an amendment to allow DIII schools to offer athletic scholarhips has a snowball's chance, if you catch my drift.
Its not like hockey at CC is like basketball at, well, anywhere. The athletes can read, write, and have high graduation rates. Where does one get off saying "athletic
scholarships are not a wise an investment of precious financial aid
resources needed to support aspiring students."??? Student-athletes aren't aspiring students?? Where does one draw the line between the student who gets a scholarship in English History and subsequently takes a job at the DMV filling out forms for tabs and the student who gets a hockey scholarship and subsequently takes a job entering data for Citibank? How is one student superior to another? How is one scholarship a waste of precious resources?
I think, once again, it comes down to precious bodily fluids and their purity. Nuke Em!!
Friday, August 15, 2003
 
I like the AD at Wash U! Here's the letter of clarification I sent earlier today:

"Dear John,
Thank you for your quick response and obvious concern. However, judging from the context of your reply, it appears as though I was not clear in describing the proposed legislation. The proposal being recommended for the annual January NCAA Convention 2004 is not to eliminate the Division I option for institutions whose overall athletics programs are classified in Division III. Rather, the proposal is to eliminate the awarding of athletics aid by Division III member institutions in sports classified in Division I. Clearly this is not as severe as elimination of the "play up" option for Division III schools, but it would effectively eliminate their ability to compete at the Division I level.
I hope this clears up my earlier email, and I also hope that you continue to support pursuing an amendment that would allow the twelve affected institutions to continue to award athletics aid in sports classified in Division I.
I also believe you're right; Colorado College is already discussing drafting an amendment (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/6514563.htm).
Thanks again for your concern,
Jeremy"

And here's his reply:

Jeremey,

Simply stated...if you can't provide the athletic scholarships you can't
compete at the Division I level...and if you don't have the athletic
scholarships to attract the highly talented athletes why have a Division I
sport within an otherwise Division III setting?

I believe taking away the athletic scholarship opportunity is as severe as
eliminating the "play-up/Division I option" for those classified in D3
...can you imagine Johns Hopkins maintaining a Division I schedule in
lacrosse, much less competing for a national championship year after year?

It's a small group of institutions that are involved...so it's not an issue
that impacts all of Division III...therefore I hope the majority of the
Division III voters will not take the "athletic scholarship" option away.

The Presidents Council is a very influential group and many votes are in the
"pocket" of the voting delegates prior to their arrival at the NCAA
Convention....hopefully the 12 institutions with multiclassification status
will be able to generate support for their cause.

John


Mr. Schael sees right to the heart of the matter! Rock on. I'll even forgive his mis-spelling of my name.
 
I got a response from my letter to Wash U about the Div III/Div I scholarship thing. The AD misunderstood the issue to mean Div III schools won't be able to play up. I'm going to send a clarification email. But the rapid response suggests that there's now at least 13 schools supporting an amendment (i.e. the 12 affected schools and Wash U).

Dear Jeremy,

Thanks for the cc on your email to Chancellor Wrighton.

The NCAA Presidents Council proposal to eliminate the Division I option for
institutions whose overall athletics programs are classified in Division III
for legislative and competitive purposes is interesting.

Although I have not talked with Chancellor Wrighton about legislation that
will be on the NCAA's agenda for January, 04... my personal feeling is that
the 12 institutions having Division I programs within their Division III
setting should be "grandfathered" in and be able to maintain their
multidivision classification.

I am confident that the institutions being impacted will develop an
amendment to the Presidents Council
proposal. Perhaps, we will be able to vote on the amendment to the
Presidents proposal first, but their is no guarantee. I am not sure how
other colleges and universities feel about the Council's proposal but
hopefully they will be sensitive to the traditions and programs that are in
place...programs that were created within allowable legislation.

Final language for legislative proposals as well as amendments to the
proposals that will be voted on by the Division III membership will be out
in September or October. Naturally, I will discuss matters of importance
with Chancellor Wrighton so Washington University's institutional position
can be determined.

It's a pleasure to serve as Director of Athletics at your alma mater.

Sincerely,
John Schael


The power of the pen (or keyboard, as it were).
 
This is even better. Discusses error propagation through the solving of a set of linear equations. Errors in measured variables transformed into errors in the 'unknowns' of the set of linear equations. Wonderful.
 
Dude! Finally an explanation of error propagation in terms everyone can understand! Its just too bad all the examples are from fields I'm not in.
 
Open letter to Ithaca on uscho.com

Good idea. So I copied and did it myself. The letter (email) I sent to the Chancellor and Athletic Director of Washington University:

Dear Dr. Wrighton,
As a Washington University and School of Engineering and Applied Science alumnus, I know that maintaining a proud Div III athletic tradition is important to you. A number of reform proposals have recently been unanimously recommended by the NCAA President's Council for ratification at the annual January NCAA Convention. The reform proposals concern Div. III athletic reforms.
One aspect of these reforms concerns Div. III schools that "play up" to Div. I in two sports (one women's, one men's). The proposed reform would eliminate the ability of these schools to offer athletic scholarships for their Div. I sport. While this legislation would not affect Washington University, it would affect twelve programs, many with an athletic tradition as storied as Washington University's, including Johns Hopkins (Div. I lacrosse) and Clarkson (Div. I hockey). Eliminating scholarships in a Div. I sport would likely make it extremely difficult for these programs to continue to compete at their present level. Washington University, as a Div. III school, has an opportunity and responsibility to respond to the proposed legislation.
On a personal level, I have been fortunate enough to apply the education I received at Washington University (B.S. Chemical Engineering '98) at a graduate school level at the University of Minnesota (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering '02). While at the University of Minnesota, I enjoyed watching the Golden Gopher men's and women's hockey teams compete with many Div. II and Div. III teams. I am confident that the Div. III teams would suffer an enormous recruiting handicap without athletic scholarships, thus eliminating them from competitive play.
I urge you to vote against this legislation at the annual January NCAA Convention and preserve the tradition of a Div. III presence in Div. I sports (a tradition formalized by the NCAA in 1982).
For more information on this topic and the college hockey community's response, I refer you to two on-line sources: www.uscho.com and www.petitiononline.com/NCAAD3/petition.html.
Thank you for your time,

Dr. Jeremy A. Thurn
Class of 1998

 
Passing game is back, Tice says
BY BILL WILLIAMSON

To the delight of the Metrodome crowd, Culpepper opened last week's 16-14 loss to Jacksonville by trying to hit star receiver Randy Moss for an 80-yard touchdown. The pair just missed on a connection. Culpepper went for it again on the next play, but his attempt to D'Wayne Bates also was off the mark.

Ha ha ha! That's just good humor. The "metrodome crowd" can kiss my as$. A "boring" running attack is the Norris Division way. The North Division way. The Central Division way. The Blue and Black. Get them guys outdoors, on grass, and running. Culpepper missing long passes does NOT, I repeat, does NOT win football games, even if the corpies at the dome like it.

 
Unions balk at state stance
BY BILL SALISBURY

The spending cuts that Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Legislature made in June to plug a $4.2 billion hole in the state budget are gumming up contract nego-tiations with Minnesota's big-gest public employees' unions.

State workers are being asked to take wage freezes, pay more for health insurance and absorb other cuts to help agencies cope with shrunken budgets. But union leaders are balking at what they call balancing budgets on the backs of their members.


As a gross, unfair generalization, unions have too much power in this state and protect the worker like an umbrella in a hailstorm (i.e. not much). So everyone that's silly enough to let some high-ranking union official decide how much they deserve to earn (as opposed to letting, oh, say, the market and their own job skills decide that) deserves pay cuts. Suckers!

(I should qualify this for those who either have to join a union or get fired or don't get the job - they are getting screwed and are not suckers. Just one of many reasons why many unions need to go.)
 
Families get a home and a goal
by CYNTHIA BOYD

Some years ago, Maggi Chalkline, a divorced mom with three young kids, was struggling to work her way out of poverty. She was a community college student, living in subsidized housing and trying to be a good mom, too. But she was losing ground.

Money from welfare and education grants was tight. She sometimes had to choose her classes by the price of the books.


Oh the HORROR!! I used to decide which textbooks to sell based on whether that would allow me to afford gas to drive home for the summer.

And these are the 'good ones' using my tax money. The 'bad ones' don't even try to go to school or do anything productive. Jerks. Cynthia Boyd oughta do something useful and, instead've interviewing one welfare mom, interview a whole $hitload and see what % are actually 'good ones'. I bet its less than 1.
 
Road Report
Drive: Commute to work
Time: 23 minutes
Average Speed: 60mph
comment: no traffic, everyone else gets fridays off
time spent behind someone slow in the fast lane: 4 minutes (they moved over after I exited - they can tell, I tell you!)
number of people passed with hands at '10' and '2' position: 2
percent of said people who were of the fairer sex: 100 %
appropriateness of drawing blanket generalizations based on above observation: highly
number of times I said "that's negative, ghostrider" even though I was driving alone: 1
tunes: STP - Purple
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
 
Read Den Beste's essays on exportation of American cultural ideals (the very Jacksonian middle-class culture referred to earlier). Essay 1. Essay 2. The comments of porphyrogenitus are interesting. The other comments don't get what Beste's saying and make confusing arguments that aren't interesting.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
 
Assumed this would happend, but its official: CC will fight for Div I hockey scholarships.

Nielsen said some of the eight schools will probably have discussions with the Division III Presidents Council and Management Council before their meetings in October. Those groups could alter or withdraw the proposal, he said.

We can only hope.
Monday, August 11, 2003
 
Whoops. Hennipen County had the ordinance on their website all along! Reading it might actually make your head explode, though. Some highlights:

All persons who are owners, lessees, and occupants of any building, commercial or residential, within Hennepin County, which generates mixed municipal solid waste, shall separate from all solid waste the designated recyclable material before disposal, removal or collection

Defines the ordinance, I guess.

Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this ordinance may be charged with a violation not exceeding a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished as provided by law. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.

It is a crime not to recycle. Literally. You know, like rape or murder or endangering society or other individuals. Amazing.
So I sent the following letter to the Hennipen County Recycling whatever:

"I recently sent an email to your office regarding curbside recycling collection fees. Since that time I found the link to Ordinance 13 on your website. Thank you for making the ordinance easily accessible.
I noticed that the ordinance reinforces the right of people to sell their recyclables, but it does not spell out the special charges that are applied to all homeowners for curbside pickup. In fact, fees and charges are only mentioned with regard to violations. Doesn't a mandatory charge made it kind of silly for an ordinance to reinforce the right to sell recycling? There are few people, indeed, who generate enough recyclables to get back the amount they are involuntarily charged for curbside pickup by selling their recyclables for cash.
Further, I find it repulsive that the county deemed it necessary to make failure to recycle a misdemeaner offense. While moral arguments may be made concerning recycling, making it a criminal offense to not recycle is implying intent of wrongdoing on something as simple as throwing away a pop can. Does failure to recycle truly inhibit the "natural rights" of Americans (i.e. those rights the constitution seeks to preserve), or does it merely lessen the "damage" done to the planet Earth (a vague statement at best, and surely not one that lends itself easily to proof of improvements or benefits)? By extrapolation, are paper plate and "swifter sweeper" manufacturers guilty of midemeaner offenses? After all, ceramic dishes and old-fashioned floor mops generate no garbage, while disposable dishes and pre-saturated disposable alcohol pads for cleaning floors certainly do."

What a waste of time and money. (Although that's sort of a definition of government, I guess, since defending free speech and protecting us from murder doesn't really employ that many people.)
 
I just got my bill from Waste Management. They collect my garbage. There was a $10 charge for collecting my recycling. So I called them up and asked if I could cancel recycling. They said no. So I'm actually paying for them to collect my 2 pop cans a week, when I could be saving my pop cans and selling them to a recycling place. I used to do that as a kid, easy way to make a few bucks. Now I'm involuntarily paying for that? What crap! Score one for the tree-huggers; they pushed this one through and got everyone to think its a good thing. And of course, its horribly expensive - you go from getting friggin' paid for something to paying $40/year for it. Now take that times a few million households in the twin cities and calculate its impact on the economy. Oh wait, we only do that if we're calculating the impact of smoking or drugs. Good things like recycling could never affect the economy in a bad way. At any rate, the lady I talked to at Waste Management couldn't tell me if this is a city, county, federal, whatever law that requires all garbage collectors to be "recycling certified" or some crap (which is why they charge you whether you choose to recycle or not).
So I vented by sending the following email to the good people at Hennipen County. They've got an entire wing of their website devoted to the joys of recycling.

"I am a new homeowner in Osseo, MN. I recently received my first invoice from Waste Management, the garbage collection company that has a contract with Osseo to collect waste and recycling. I was quoted a quarterly charge of $18, but my bill was actually for $30. A quick glance at the invoice cleared up the difference as being due to taxes and a $10 recycling charge. As a single homeowner, I generate about 2 bags of garbage and no recycling each week. I realize I'm probably in the minority; I don't drink pop, subscribe to newspapers, nor find myself using cardboard on a regular basis. Consequently I called Waste Management to inquire about canceling recycling collection services (after all, if I did have recycling, I can drop it off for free, as advertized on your website, http://www.co.hennepin.mn.us/environmental/household/recycle.html, or even get paid for it at any number of recycling facilities).
Waste Management informed me that to maintain a contract with the city of Osseo, they were required to be a certified recycling collection company. And that meant charging every homeowner of Osseo for curbside recycling services. The operator did not know if this was a city, county, state, or federal requirement. (The operator was very kind and also noted that recycling itself was not mandatory, only paying the fee was.)
With regard to this experience I have two independent questions:
Is the requirement that every homeowner pay a curbside recycling collection fee a county requirement?
What is Hennipen County's official stance on curbside recycling? Does Hennipen County believe it should be mandatory for every homeowner to pay for curbside recycling, even if they do not recycle or choose to get paid for their recyclables?
I hope you are able to provide me with Hennipen County's point of view regarding recycling fees and philosophy. Obviously, I am not in support of being required to pay for services that do not affect me, or worse, actually charge me for something I could earn money for!"

Then I said thanks for your time and signed it "Dr. Jeremy Thurn". Ha! As mentioned earlier, its sometimes fun to throw Dr. that around.
 
A new petition, this one focusing on the effect of the idiotic legislation on non-hockey DIII schools that play-up in a DI sport (la crosse, volleball, etc.). While I'm inclined to have no sympathy for Johns Hopkins, for instance, I think getting both petitions to have lots of signatures can only help.
I was smart enough to add that I went to Washington University, a DIII school, on the second petition. Dumb of me to not include it on the hockey one (as many have pointed out on various discussion boards, signatures by DIII alumni are probably more significant than DI alumni signatures). Plus I put that I got a PhD at the U which makes people think I'm smaaat! See how much fun a petition can be?
 
Check out this article on the impending DIII/DI crisis. It talks about the MAAC with more intelligence than I did earlier (evidently the MAAC exists due to another NCAA idiot regulation that forced all school with "mostly" DI sports to play all DI sports - so hockey at Iona and Fairfield was suddenly forced to be DI and dilute the DI hockey field. And I know that the NCAA member schools make these regulations up, not the NCAA itself, but I'm going to blame the NCAA for not providing oversight or perspective to these proposals.)
 
PMart has left the Gophs. We are returning without our two best defensemen from last year (both of whom signed with the Devils, oddly enough). It'll be up to Ballard and, I think, the other Martin, to step up. And I here good things about Vannelli ("poetry on ice" but meant as a compliment with no homosexual connotations).

Although we will miss him, we are extremely happy for Paul," Lucia said. "I know it is a dream come true for him to have an opportunity to play in the NHL. He's been a great hockey player during his three years here, but is an even better person off the ice. He will be a great representative of the University of Minnesota and we thank him for his contributions to this program."
 
NCAA Div III schools with Div I hockey will not be allowed to offer scholarships in Div I hockey if the NCAA has its way. Sign a petition against this idiocy and read this, its good stuff.
Friday, August 08, 2003
 
Beautiful
 
Crap, crap, crap. The NCAA DIII committee, commission or whatever has made a real stupid move.

NCAA rules allow for a Division III school to "play up" to Division I in one men's and one women's sport. Currently, five such schools play up in men's hockey: Colorado College, St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Rensselaer and Union.
...
Eliminating the awarding of athletics aid by Division III member institutions in sports classified in Division I;
...
The proposal faces just one more step for passage, the vote of the full membership of Division III at the next NCAA Convention in January. If passed, it would take effect beginning in the 2008-09 academic year. In the interim, schools will have a chance to comment and recommend amendments.
...
Should the legislation pass, the options for the four schools would be to continue playing in Division I without scholarships, move to Division III, or move the entire athletic program to Division II or I.


What idiots. So a DIII school is actually good at a sport, giving the students, faculty, and surrounding community something to cheer for and enjoy, so lets kill it by not allowing them to give scholarships for that DI sport. Brilliant. If this passes, the NCAA can effectively eliminate historically competitive hockey teams (CC, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence). Great idea. Then they can expand to stupid crappy places like Merrimack, Huntsville, Quinnipiac, etc. and dilute and ruin the entire friggin' sport of hockey. OK, so that's probably a little pessimistic, but jeez!

Eliminating financial aid funds or endowments that benefit athletics. Such athletics funds or endowments had been permitted under an exemption if the funds had been received by the institution prior to 1979;

Because giving students aid to attend college is just silly. The more ways we can reduce the number of people who can go to college, the better? Retards.
The whole purpose is to make DIII follow its "philosophy" in a pure way. I guess allowing DI scholarships might contaminate their precious bodily fluids. And we all know that is an evil commie plot!!! Nuke 'em!!

 
Just read an excellent essay by J. R. Mead called "The Jacksonian Tradition." (Note that I couldn't use this link in Explorer, it tried to make me download something, but in Netscape it worked fine)
Some excerpts:
Those who prefer to believe that the present global hegemony of the United
States emerged through a process of immaculate conception avert their eyes
from many distressing moments in the American ascension. Yet students of
American power cannot ignore one of the chief elements in American
success. The United States over its history has consistently summoned the
will and the means to compel its enemies to yield to its demands.

...
Why is it that U.S. public opinion is often so quick—though sometimes so
slow—to support armed intervention abroad? What are the provocations
that energize public opinion (at least some of it) for war—and how, if at all,
is this "war lobby" related to the other elements of that opinion? The key to
this warlike disposition, and to other important features of American foreign
policy, is to be found in what I shall call its Jacksonian tradition, in honor of
the sixth president of the United States.
...
Suspicious of untrammeled federal power (Waco), skeptical about the
prospects for domestic and foreign do-gooding (welfare at home, foreign aid
abroad), opposed to federal taxes but obstinately fond of federal programs
seen as primarily helping the middle class (Social Security and Medicare,
mortgage interest subsidies), Jacksonians constitute a large political interest.

Sounds reasonable.

For foreigners and for some Americans, the Jacksonian tradition is the least
impressive in American politics. It is the most deplored abroad, the most
denounced at home. Jacksonian chairs of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee are the despair of high-minded people everywhere, as they hold
up adhesion to the Kyoto Protocol, starve the UN and the IMF, cut foreign
aid, and ban the use of U.S. funds for population control programs abroad.

Ha! Go get 'em!
A principal explanation of why Jacksonian politics are so poorly understood
is that Jacksonianism is less an intellectual or political movement than an
expression of the social, cultural and religious values of a large portion of the
American public. And it is doubly obscure because it happens to be rooted
in one of the portions of the public least represented in the media and the
professoriat.
...
Most progressive, right thinking intellectuals in mid-century America believed
that the future of American populism lay in a social democratic movement
based on urban immigrants.

People are still trying to make that social democratic movement happen, I think (as long as said 'people' are in charge of the movement, that is).
What came next surprised almost everyone. The tables turned, and Evans’
Americans "americanized" the immigrants rather than the other way around.
In what is still a largely unheralded triumph of the melting pot, Northern
immigrants gradually assimilated the values of Jacksonian individualism. Each
generation of new Americans was less "social" and more individualistic than
the preceding one. American Catholics, once among the world’s most
orthodox, remained Catholic in religious allegiance but were increasingly
individualistic in terms of psychology and behavior ("I respect the Pope, but
I have to follow my own conscience"). Ties to the countries of emigration
steadily weakened, and the tendency to marry outside the group
strengthened.
...
Urban, immigrant America may have softened some of the rough edges of
Jacksonian America, but the descendants of the great wave of European
immigration sound more like Andrew Jackson from decade to decade.
Rugged frontier individualism has proven to be contagious; each successive
generation has been more Jacksonian than its predecessor. The social and
economic solidarity rooted in European peasant communities has been
overmastered by the individualism of the frontier. The descendants of
European working-class Marxists now quote Adam Smith; Joe Six-pack
thinks of the welfare state as an expensive burden, not part of the natural
moral order.
...
The unacknowledged code of honor that shapes so
much of American behavior and aspiration today is a recognizable
descendent of the frontier codes of honor of early Jacksonian America. The
appeal of this code is one of the reasons that Jacksonian values have spread
to so many people outside the original ethnic and social nexus in which
Jacksonian America was formed.

The first principle of this code is self-reliance. Real Americans, many
Americans feel, are people who make their own way in the world. They may
get a helping hand from friends and family, but they hold their places in the
world through honest work. They don’t slide by on welfare, and they don’t
rely on inherited wealth or connections. Those who won’t work and are
therefore poor, or those who don’t need to work due to family money, are
viewed with suspicion. Those who meet the economic and moral tests
belong to the broad Middle Class, the folk community of working people
that Jacksonians believe to be the heart, soul and spine of the American
nation. Earning and keeping a place in this community on the basis of honest
work is the first principle of Jacksonian honor, and it remains a serious insult
even to imply that a member of the American middle class is not pulling his
or her weight in the world.

...
The second principle of the code is equality. Among those members of the
folk community who do pull their weight, there is an absolute equality of
dignity and right. No one has a right to tell the self-reliant Jacksonian what to
say, do or think. Any infringement on equality will be met with defiance and
resistance.
...
Despite this individualism, the Jacksonian code also mandates acceptance of
certain social mores and principles. Loyalty to family, raising children "right",
sexual decency (heterosexual monogamy—which can be serial) and honesty
within the community are virtues that commend themselves to the Jacksonian
spirit. Children of both sexes can be wild, but both women and men must be
strong. Corporal punishment is customary and common; Jacksonians find
objections to this time-honored and (they feel) effective method of discipline
outlandish and absurd.
...
In one war after another, Jacksonians have flocked to
the colors. Independent and difficult to discipline, they have nevertheless
demonstrated magnificent fighting qualities in every corner of the world.
Jacksonian America views military service as a sacred duty. When
Hamiltonians, Wilsonians and Jeffersonians dodged the draft in Vietnam or
purchased exemptions and substitutes in earlier wars, Jacksonians soldiered
on, if sometimes bitterly and resentfully. An honorable person is ready to kill
or to die for family and flag.
...
Jacksonian foreign policy is related to Jacksonian values and goals in
domestic policy. For Jacksonians, the prime goal of the American people is
not the commercial and industrial policy sought by Hamiltonians, nor the
administrative excellence in support of moral values that Wilsonians seek,
nor Jeffersonian liberty. Jacksonians believe that the government should do
everything in its power to promote the well-being—political, moral,
economic—of the folk community. Any means are permissible in the service
of this end, as long as they do not violate the moral feelings or infringe on the
freedoms that Jacksonians believe are essential in their daily lives.

...
Jacksonians believe
that the political and moral instincts of the American people are sound and
can be trusted, and that the simpler and more direct the process of
government is, the better will be the results. In general, while the other
schools welcome the representative character of our democracy,
Jacksonians tend to see representative rather than direct institutions as
necessary evils, and to believe that governments breed corruption and
inefficiency the way picnics breed ants. Every administration will be corrupt;
every Congress and legislature will be, to some extent, the plaything of
lobbyists. Career politicians are inherently untrustworthy; if it spends its life
buzzing around the outhouse, it’s probably a fly.
Jacksonians see corruption
as human nature and, within certain ill-defined boundaries of reason and
moderation, an inevitable by-product of government.
...
When it comes to Big Government, Jeffersonians worry more about the
military than about anything else. But for Jacksonians, spending money on
the military is one of the best things government can do. Yes, the Pentagon is
inefficient and contractors are stealing the government blind. But by definition
the work that the Defense Department does—defending the nation—is a
service to the Jacksonian middle class. Yes, the Pentagon should spend its
money more carefully, but let us not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Stories about welfare abusers in limousines and foreign aid swindles generate
more anger among Jacksonians than do stories of $600 hammers at the
Pentagon.

...
Those who like to cast American foreign policy as an unhealthy mix of
ignorance, isolationism and trigger-happy cowboy diplomacy are often
thinking about the Jacksonian populist tradition. That tradition is stronger
among the mass of ordinary people than it is among the elite. It is more
strongly entrenched in the heartland than on either of the two coasts. It has
been historically associated with white Protestant males of the lower and
middle classes—today the least fashionable element in the American political
mix.
...
So influential is Jacksonian opinion in the formation of American foreign
policy that anyone lacking a feel for it will find much of American foreign
policy baffling and opaque. Foreigners in particular have alternately
overestimated and underestimated American determination because they
failed to grasp the structure of Jacksonian opinion and influence. Yet
Jacksonian views on foreign affairs are relatively straightforward, and once
they are understood, American foreign policy becomes much less
mysterious.


The amazing thing is that the media and press in our own country often acts as though they don't understand this attittude towards wars, foreign policy, welfare, health care, etc.

For
Jacksonians, the world community Wilsonians want to build is not merely a
moral impossibility but a monstrosity. An American foreign policy that, for
example, takes tax money from middle-class Americans to give to a corrupt
and incompetent dictatorship overseas is nonsense; it hurts Americans and
does little for Borrioboola-Gha. Countries, like families, should take care of
their own; if everybody did that we would all be better off.
Charity,
meanwhile, should be left to private initiatives and private funds; Jacksonian
America is not ungenerous but it lacks all confidence in the government’s
ability to administer charity, either at home or abroad.
...
Jacksonians believe that
international life is and will remain both anarchic and violent. The United
States must be vigilant and strongly armed. Our diplomacy must be cunning,
forceful and no more scrupulous than anybody else’s. At times, we must
fight pre-emptive wars. There is absolutely nothing wrong with subverting
foreign governments or assassinating foreign leaders whose bad intentions
are clear.


Note that this was written during Clinton's terms in office - before Gulf War II. Ever seen "The Patriot." Not the Steven Segal one, the Mel Gibson one. On reflection, its pretty clear that the whole movie was casting the Revolution as a Jacksonian war. Shrewd way to sell movie tickets in the midwest I guess.

Jacksonians do not
believe that the United States must have an unambiguously moral reason for
fighting.
In fact, they tend to separate the issues of morality and war more
clearly than many members of the foreign policy establishment.


They might, however, end up using moral reasons for fighting to justify it to the loud-mouthed folks who don't believe in pre-emptive strikes. Again, this was written before 2003. Its like telling the future.

The Gulf War was a popular war in Jacksonian circles because the defense
of the nation’s oil supply struck a chord with Jacksonian opinion. That
opinion—which has not forgotten the oil shortages and price hikes of the
1970s—clearly considers stability of the oil supply a vital national interest
and is prepared to fight to defend it. The atrocity propaganda about alleged
Iraqi barbarisms in Kuwait did not inspire Jacksonians to war, and neither
did legalistic arguments about U.S. obligations under the UN Charter to
defend a member state from aggression. Those are useful arguments to
screw Wilsonian courage to the sticking place, but they mean little for
Jacksonians. Had there been no UN Charter and had Kuwait been even
more corrupt and repressive that it is, Jacksonian opinion would still have
supported the Gulf War. It would have supported a full-scale war with Iran
over the 1980 hostage crisis, and it will take an equally hawkish stance
toward any future threat to perceived U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf
region.

...
In the absence of a clearly defined threat to the national interest, Jacksonian
opinion is much less aggressive. It has not, for example, been enthusiastic
about the U.S. intervention in the case of Bosnia. There the evidence of
unspeakable atrocities was much greater than in Kuwait, and the legal case
for intervention was as strong. Yet Jacksonian opinion saw no threat to the
interests, as it understood them, of the United States, and Wilsonians were
the only segment of the population that was actively eager for war.

In World War I it took the Zimmermann Telegram and the repeated sinking
of American ships to convince Jacksonian opinion that war was necessary.
In World War II, neither the Rape of Nanking nor the atrocities of Nazi rule
in Europe drew the United States into the war. The attack on Pearl Harbor
did.


The threat of Saddam to national security has always been the reason the war is supported. All the other stuff was for the benefit of the international community and yahoos here.

This mass popular patriotism, and the martial spirit behind it, gives the United
States immense advantages in international affairs. After two world wars, no
European nation has shown the same willingness to pay the price in blood
and treasure for a global presence. Most of the "developed" nations find it
difficult to maintain large, high-quality fighting forces. Not all of the martial
patriotism in the United States comes out of the world of Jacksonian
populism, but without that tradition, the United States would be hard
pressed to maintain the kind of international military presence it now has.
...
Jacksonians believe that neither
Wilsonians nor Hamiltonians nor anybody else will ever succeed in building a
peaceful world order, and that the only world order we are likely to get will
be a bad one. No matter how much money we ship overseas, and no matter
how cleverly the development bureaucrats spend it, it will not create peace
on earth. Plans for universal disarmament and world courts of justice founder
on the same rock of historical skepticism. Jacksonians just tend not to
believe that any of these things will do much good.

In fact, they think they may do harm. Linked to the skepticism about
man-made imitations of the Kingdom of God is a deep apprehension about
the rise of an evil world order. In theological terms, this is a reference to the
fear of the anti-Christ, who, many commentators affirm, is predicted in
Scripture to come with the appearance of an angel of light—a charismatic
political figure who offers what looks like a plan for world peace and order,
but which is actually a Satanic snare intended to deceive.


That is currently how a large part of the population views the UN. See, we're really so predictable! How can people miss that?

During
this year’s war in Kosovo, Jacksonian opinion was resolutely against it to
begin with. However, once U.S. honor was engaged, Jacksonians began to
urge a stronger warfighting strategy including the use of ground troops.
...
In the same way, soon
after the shooting stopped in World War II, American public opinion simply
assumed that the ultimate goal was for Germany and Japan to resume their
places in the community of nations.


In stark contrast to European powers, who seek ruthlessly to destroy the conquered enemy's economy and will to survive with post-war debts, sanctions, etc. Having 1000 years of history to one's culture or country and an old aristocracy does strange things to one's head.

The Soviet Union lost the Cold War absolutely and
unconditionally, and Russia has suffered economic and social devastation
comparable to that sustained by any losing power in the great wars of the
century. But because it never surrendered, Jacksonian opinion never quite
shifted into magnanimity mode. Wilsonians, Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians
all favored reconstruction support and aid; but without Jacksonian
concurrence the American effort was sharply limited. Advice was doled out
with a free and generous hand, but aid was extended more grudgingly.


I remember that stink! I remember not being in favor of aid to the ruskies as well. Good times...

This is far from a complete account of Jacksonian values and beliefs as they
affect the United States. In economic as well as defense policy, for example,
Jacksonian ideas are both influential and unique. Convinced that the prime
purpose of government is to defend the living standards of the middle class,
Jacksonian opinion is instinctively protectionist, seeking trade privileges for
U.S. goods abroad and hoping to withhold those privileges from foreign
exports. Jacksonians were once farmers; today they tend to be service and
industrial workers. They see the preservation of American jobs, even at the
cost of some unspecified degree of "economic efficiency", as the natural and
obvious task of the federal government’s trade policy.


That's where I'd disagree, supporting instead an open and free economy.

Although
Wilsonians, Jeffersonians and the more delicately constructed Hamiltonians
do not like to admit it, every American school needs Jacksonians to get what
it wants. If the American people had exhibited the fighting qualities of, say,
the French in World War II, neither Hamiltonians, nor Jeffersonians nor
Wilsonians would have had the opportunity to have much to do with shaping
the postwar international order.


He he! A free hit on the frogs and the implication that the toys of the elite, the UN, NGO's, etc., all run at our sufferance (though we might not be aware of that fact). Good stuff. Except the economic bit, almost exactly corresponds to my view of the world. Beautiful.


Tuesday, August 05, 2003
 
A few notes this morning as I eat breakfast...
Checking out the national party websites. First, the Dems. Headline: "Bush Budget Disaster Puts Americans at Risk During Air Travel" Sub-headline: "Bush Meets the Press: A Man of His Word?"
hmm... Concentrating not so much on supporting democrats as not-supporting the president of the United States of America. Quite a tactic.
They allow access to their charter. While it lists amongst its purposes the support of democratic candidates, it doesn't list smearing of opposing political party members. That must be unofficial. Here's what it does list, under Section 17, Democratic Party Credo
At the heart of our party lies a fundamental conviction, that Americans must not only be free, but they must live in a fair society.
A national party trying to change the society they govern. Hmm... I remember another, failed, government that changed the society it governed to make it totally fair. It turned out to be a repressive government that limited the unalienable rights and freedoms of its citizens to promote fairness (for all but party members, that is). It also promoted fear and terror by encouraging children to report on parents misdoings and brothers on sisters, etc. BTW, have you seen that new ad on TV that says, "If you even suspect child abuse, contact [some group]," showing shots of seemingly innocent fathers that beat their kids. I wonder what political party pushed that gem through.
But the credo goes on...
A society where the elderly and the disabled can lead lives of dignity [isn't that sort of up to the elderly and disabled? I mean, they either have self-esteem and dignity or they don't, just like anyone else? In a truly free environment they wouldn't need prodding by the govt] and where Social Security remains an unshakable commitment
Holy crap its their friggin' bylaws. We'll never get rid of this unfair redistribution of wealth tax. Nuts.
A society where all people can find jobs in a growing full-employment economy;
Geez, I'd prefer a society where the skilled are more likely to find jobs than the unskilled. Because then there's a clear way to get yourself a better chance of a job; get skills. If jobs were guaranteed, wouldn't that reduce the desire to put bunches of effort into school, college, etc.? cough *communism* cough. They guaranteed jobs, too.
a society where a sound education, proper nutrition, quality medical care, affordable housing, safe streets and a healthy envrionment are possible for every citizen;
a society where the livelihoods of our family farmers are as stable as the values they instill in the America character;

Oh, for crying out loud. It just keeps getting worse. The government it going to guarantee us proper nutrition? How in the world are they going to regulate that? Why can't individual families decide what proper nutrition is? Why do we need to be told what to eat, where to live, etc.? These credos may sound like the democrats want to help everyone, but really they're attempting to control every part of our lives!! Who on earth would want that crappy job? Why would they want to do that? Ensure the livelihoods of farmers??? What the?? Why did they pick on single profession to put in their credo? Why not miners? Why not lumberjacks? They, too, instilled many values on the American character. I suppose they didn't donate enough to the party? I figure that, despite the fact that farming seems to me to be an honorable and thoroughly enjoyable profession, if its not economically viable for families to farm, then family farms should not be propped up by the government.
a society where a strong national defense is a common effort [except against terrorists or dictators supporting terror] ... and where we ensure that future by ending the nuclear arms race.
They need to update that badboy. I believe Reagan pretty much single-handedly ended the arms race. Or was it J Carter? ha ha ha

Alright, I've had enough of the democrats. Lets check out the Republicans. Headlines: "Bush Calls Medicare Historic Achievement, Says We Must Act to Improve It" Personally, I'd be hard pressed to find anything worth bragging about with medicare. Just another tax to ensure people don't have to save their own retirement money. "Ed Gillespie Outlines Positive GOP Agenda" Ed's evidently the chairman. Note a difference? The GOP website is promoting itself and its candidates and political figures. Why aren't they using the front page to smear Daschle?
The GOP oath is on the website
I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex or national origin. I believe that persons with disabilities should be afforded equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity as well.
Sounds alot like the constitution and liberal ideals of long ago. Equal opportunity. Not, "I believe everyone should be guaranteed a job."
I believe that Americans value and should preserve their feeling of national strength and pride, and at the same time share with people everywhere a desire for peace and freedom and the extension of human rights throughout the world.

Finally, I believe that the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

If the GOP stuck to this oath, their party would rock. Too bad they spend as much as the dems when they're in control of Congress.
I'm trying to get to their charter, but my internet is breaking (good thing I'm writing this in notepad or I'd've lost it as Explorer just shut down due to its crappiness)
So I guess more on that later

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