Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ken Lost

Ken Jennings lost
, finally! In his 74th title defense, Ken stumbled on a cream puff question in Final Jeopardy after bagging both Double Jeopardy questions. He was still in the lead, $14,400 to $10,000, going into Final Jeopardy. (The third contestant, a local boy from MN, finished in the red, so was ineligible). The query:
Business and Industry

Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.

I grew up in the home of an accountant, so it was easy to know what season lasts 4 months, tax season. She got it right, Ken said Fed Ex.

75 Games, 74 wins, 2.5+ million dollars. He says he won't quit his job, but may cut down on the hours. We'll see.

Ken will be making the talk show rounds this week, so his 15 minutes aren't over yet.

His complete statistical breakdown is here.

Doin' the Ginger dance

Chad, the Elder over at Fraters has a great screed today. It started out as an immigration post, but then went on to state:
If you ever wonder why people are cynical about politics, consider the way that the two major parties gingerly step around issues that many Americans would like to see addressed. Immigration has become the new "third rail" of American politics, but it's not the only one that Democrats and Republicans prefer to avoid:
Be sure to read the whole thing. He mentions several different 'touchy subjects' that he believes neither side should run away from. I don't agree with them Frater's boys too often, but I do respect their ability to be on the outside looking in from time to time.

When it all began

I stumbled across a USAToday article about the "long-simmering battle over how evolution is taught in high school"

Personally, I find just as many flaws in an evolutional theory as I do in a theory that purports everything just poofed here about 6,000 years ago. In fact, I have always said that there isn't an real inconsistency between evolution and creation if one is a realist. What is to say that the 'intelligent design' was an evolutionary process. The tools from which the higher power worked to hone the creations. The article raises the following question:
How should evolution be taught in schools?
Teaching Charles Darwin's findings as fact
Teaching Darwin's findings as theory
Promote 'intelligent design'
Do not teach evolution or creationism
In an educational environment, especially High School, all popular theories should be presented in an equal way, supported by the information presented. In fact, we should even encourage the students to come up with other options or alternative, modifications, and theories of their own. Isn’t the whole idea of education to stimulate interest, creativity, and open minds. I thought so.

Going around the horn, we see where some of the battles will be fought on this front.:
• In western Wisconsin, the small Grantsburg School District now requires that alternative theories of evolution be taught.

• In Ohio, the state school board passed a measure that encourages the teaching of evolution and "intelligent design," a hypothesis that says life is so complex that some intelligent force was responsible.

• In Kansas, the defeat this month of a "pro-science" incumbent on the state school board by a candidate who had questioned evolution has shifted the balance of power on the 10-member board and ensures that the issue will come up again. The board ended the teaching of evolution in 1999, then reversed that decision after a subsequent election. It has been deadlocked since.

• The Dover, Pa., school district recently became the first in the nation to require teaching intelligent design. Two school board members, Jeffrey Brown and his wife, Carol, resigned in protest.

• A lawsuit in Georgia was filed on behalf of six parents who objected to a disclaimer sticker the Cobb County school board placed on ninth-grade biology textbooks. The case was tried earlier this month in federal court in Atlanta. The judge's ruling is expected soon. The disclaimer sticker states: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."
A recent Poll concluded that 48% said religion has too much political influence in American life, and 40% said it has too little influence. Seven percent said religion has about the right amount of political influence. An interesting finding since the GOP meme post election was that it was a moralistic, religious movement that made the difference this year.

So teach it al, and teach it fairly, and encourage thinking and creativity. Skill and drill may make students good test takers, but in the broader picture, there isn’t a whole lot of jobs out there for good test takers. Of course, there isn't a whole lot of jobs out there anyway, but that is a different post!


Sunday, November 28, 2004

My Son, the Marine!

I met Tom when he was 11 months old. His bottle was second only to his blanky as his best friend. He wasn't walking or talking, but he sure had energy. For the next 10 + years I would play an integral role in his life. The only stable father figure he would have. I was there for his first step, the bottle weaning, potty training, bike riding, ball games, parades, carnivals, fairs and festivals. We did all the things dads do with their sons.

When his mother and I split about eight year ago, Tommy stayed with me to finish that year of school. In the Spring of 1997, Tom would leave to spend the Summer with his father, and I knew that would probably be the last time he lived under my roof. I had no strong legal grounds to keep him, and as long as his father was in the picture, I didn't stand a chance at custody. His father was (is) a good man, and I knew Tom would be fine.

Over the next several years, Tom would stay in touch, and we would get together occasionally. For reasons I am not totally aware, Tom decided to move to California last fall to do his Senior year of High School living with his mom. We exchanged a few E-Mails, but it wasn't the same with him out of state. When graduation passed, I sent him a congratulatory E-Mail, with no response. This was unusual, but a newly freed 18 year old can be a pretty busy guy.

Although I had speculated what may be up, it wasn't until I received an E-Mail from his mother, addressed to his brothers, that confirmed my suspicions.
Tom has been very very busy the last 9 weeks. On September 13th, he began a very serious journey towards becoming a Man. This was a journey that he felt he had to make and really wanted it badly. We had been planning this since February of this year, he didn't want anyone else to know about it until he was on the final leg of it. As of last week your big brother is officially a United State Marine, completed the crucible which is a 56 hour test of strength and will. The crucible is a right of passage for all who wish to earn the title of United States Marines. He will graduate from boot camp on the 10th of December.
I am not sure why they would want to keep this Hush Hush. I kind of feel cheated not being able to support him on his journey. But I do know one thing. I have never been more proud of my Son, as I was when I read that E-Mail.

My Son, the Marine!


So a seemingly responsible Dad thinks it's time to teach his daughter a lesson after she comes home intoxicated. She's all billigerent and drunk, so he decides to call the police.

What does the daughter do, she turns the tables. Tells the cops how afraid she is for her life and leads the polics to a crawl space in the ceiling. What did they find . . . four semiautomatic guns and some 600 vials of cocaine.

I guess Dad should have thought ahead first before trying to pretend to be a parent.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I'm a Pilgrim

This is my descendancy from the Mayflower.

Francis Eaton Born 1596 Bristol,Gloucester,England , Died 1633 Plymouth MA

Benjamin Eaton B 1627 Plymouth, MA; D 1711/12, Plymouth MA

Benjamin Eaton B 1664 Plymouth, MA; D 1745 Kingston, MA

Francis Eaton B 1700 Plymouth, MA; D 1748 Middleboro, MA
Married Lydia Fuller, descended from Samuel Fuller also a Mayflower Passenger

Benjamin Eaton B 1742 D 1820
In Oct 1781, Benjamin EATON was included in Capt Eli NOBLE's company of militia in Pownal in Col Ebenezer WALBRIDGE's Regiment

Fuller Eaton 1786 Vermont; 1862, Green Lake WI

Van Rensselaer Eaton B1812 Herkimer CTY, NY, D 1875 IA

Lyman Spencer Eaton B 1851 NY D 1913

John Freeman Eaton B 1877 Silver Lake MN D 1944 Spencer IA

Clinton Cleo Eaton B 1907 D 1962 St. Peter, MN

From a seat on the Mayflower, to a vote in the 2004 Electoral College, my family has much to be thankful for.

Enjoy the games tomorrow, and don't eat too much turkey.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Controlling the news Cycle

Ezra over at Pandagon nailed it yesterday:
Democrats, we all know, have the message clarity of a coed at her first kegger. But they're only partly to blame for it.
Ain't that the truth. It seems we are so intimidated by the Right Wing media machine, that we play catch-up most of the time. We need a more aggressive style. We need to be able to take command of any issue and claim our equal time. Pandagon's method:
Democrats need to pick an outrage of the week and pound on it until they win. No diverting attention, no denunciations of new and upsetting bills, no distractions. We must pick and choose among the Republican's unjust, unfair, unpopular actions and settle on one to obsessively publicize and publicly reject.
The left has been playing nice too long. It is time we put away the White gloves and chiffon dress, and slip on the boxing gloves and sweat suit. We need to confront the opposition with our own brand of delivery. And if we wait till the next election cycle, we'll lose again.


Monday, November 22, 2004

An Academia Balancing Act

It is no secret that the GOP is but a small minority amongst Academic Professors throughout the country. A recent article in the NY Times entitled Republicans Outnumbered in Academia, Studies Find, touches on this very topic.

It's been a delicate mix, but as the Conservative movement amongst students may be picking up a little steam, the growth of GOP professors are stagnant at best :
Conservatism is becoming more visible at the University of California here, where students put out a feisty magazine called The California Patriot and have made the Berkeley Republicans one of the largest groups on campus. But here, as at schools nationwide, the professors seem to be moving in the other direction, as evidenced by their campaign contributions and two studies being published on Nov. 18.
What have the studies found:

* Democratic professors outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and social sciences
* This ratio is more than twice as lopsided as it was three decades ago, and increasing.
* a nine-to-one ratio of Democrats to Republicans on the faculties of Berkeley and Stanford.
* the ratio is especially lopsided among the younger professors of assistant or associate rank:
183 Democrats versus 6 Republicans.

So now 'they' want a form of desegregation of their own.
The political imbalance on faculties has inspired a campaign to have state legislatures and Congress approve an "academic bill of rights" protecting students and faculty members from discrimination for their political beliefs. The campaign is being led by Students for Academic Freedom, a group with chapters at Berkeley and more than 135 other campuses. It was founded last year by the leftist-turned-conservative David Horowitz, who helped start the 1960's antiwar movement while a graduate student at Berkeley.
The article is a very informative read, so be sure to visit the link up above.

What was the LTE fallout from this perspective:

Here are a couple "Letters to the Editor
Re "Republicans Outnumbered in Academia, Studies Find" (news article, Nov. 18):

Would it be surprising to find mostly Republicans among oil company executives? Simply ask what the population in question is trained and paid to do.

Academics are trained to reason using logic, to question evidence and to consider and evaluate several possible interpretations of events. All these activities are discouraged and indeed ridiculed by the present Republican leadership.

Academic Republicans must indeed suffer from this cognitive dissonance.

Markus Meister
Pasadena, Calif., Nov. 18, 2004
The writer is a professor of biology at Harvard.


To the Editor:

The view that campus collegiality leads to tyranny of the majority has some plausibility in explaining the absence of Republicans from academia, but the main causes clearly lie elsewhere.

A successful career in academia, after all, requires willingness to be critical of yourself and to learn from experience, along with a lack of interest in material incentives. All these are antithetical to Republicanism as it has recently come to be.

John McCumber
Los Angeles, Nov. 18, 2004
The writer is a professor of Germanic languages at U.C.L.A.

RIP, Dr. Farrell

I always give the Obits a once over every day, and yesterday AM I was startled to see the face of my former Finance Professor at St. Cloud State.

Dr. Crumpton Farrell, died after a battle with Cancer.

Dr. Farrell was a genuine individual who was able to balance his academic commitments with that brand of student support you don't see too often these days. He was more then a professor, he was there to assist all who asked, in the transition to their future. He helped me greatly, and he will be missed.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

For Ron

Coffee with KARE directed us to the story of Ron, who after defeating an occurrence of Esophageal cancer, is now dealing with a recurrence of the disease in multiple areas of his body. Since going to Parker Hughes, improvement has been seen, but his prognosis is still not very good.

I don't believe I have promoted benefits like this before, but Ron has some ties to my family, and I wanted anyone who was in a position to help, to at least be aware of his struggles.

A full description of Ron's journey to this point, can be found at Ron Rice's Page. Below is the details of the benefit to be held this Friday.

Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction/Bake Sale
Friday, November 19th
4:00 - 9:00 pm.
Chanhassen Legion Post 580
290 Lake Drive East
Chanhassen, MN

For more information you can contact Ron's twin sister, Rhonda at 952-934-2089. Or donations can be sent to Ron and Kathy Rice at 26224 150th St. Zimmerman, MN 55398.


UPDATE: Thanks Mitch, Captain Ed, King and the Elder for helping spread the word!
Secession Diaries

I posted a ponder last week, enouraging people to think of what would happen if the Blue States and Red States split up. Mitch took the idea all the way to full succession in a tongue and cheek look at what would happen in his right leaning world.

It is actually some pretty good stuff, as long as you keep telling yourself it is fiction. Everyone should read it since Mitch has a nack for this kind of stuff. That is why I stomach most of the other RNC talking points he tries to force down the bandwidth pipe.


Secession Diaries

Part I: Push Comes to Shove
Part II: Irrational Exuberance
Part III: Death and Taxes
Part IV: World of Hurt
Part V - Snack At Midnight
Part VI: Postcards From The Ledge
Part VII - Atlas Fled

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Sears -vs- KMart

Back in the day, I worked at Sears. I spent 10 years at the then #1 retailer. Sears was all but untouchable back then, until KMart began to grab market share with their no frills low prices marketing scheme. By the end of my tenure in the late 80's, KMart had surpassed Sears on the retailer list, and it didn't look like they were looking back at anyone.

Sears wandered haplessly, trying various formulas to regain market share and recapture a stingy consumer base. Low prices replaced great service as a deciding factor in the average consumer's mind. Sears was all but helpless in trying to elevate itself back to the elite in the retail market.

And then came Wal*Mart. Sears at least had a well defined niche, in strong brand identification (Craftsman, Kenmore, etc.) and customer service, which allowed it to survive the growth of KMart and the onslaught of WallyWord. KameApart was a sitting duck. Wal*Mart was able to create a shoppers' city with the low prices they craved, and the customer service they missed. It was the beginning of the and for KMart. . . . . or was it?

Sears trudged along over the last few years, while KMart threw up the white flag. KMart filed for bankruptcy protection while closing a large chunk of their stores. I was confident KMart would dig themselves out of the whole, all but starting from scratch, but I never expected what would happen next.

Kmart buying Sears

I had thought maybe Sears would have made a move for KMart, since KMart's value was languishing in penny stock range for awhile, but they kept their strategy to grow from within, and never made a move that could have returned it to the stature they once enjoyed.

So now it is KMart that is going for the jugular. They survived bankruptcy and are looking ahead to create a strong, stable, and vibrant retailer. They'll be smart and keep the stores separate, but what I suspect to see is the brand strength of both to be cross marketed. Craftsmen tools in KMart with Martha Stewart in the Linen department at Sears.

The new corporation is called Sears Holdings, but the management will be all KMart.

It will be interesting to see how this merger evolves, as in most cases, one store pushes it;s name across the awnings of the claimed stores. We'll see how this works out soon enough.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Who's the Smartest

Ever since the elections, blue staters are claiming intelligence over ignorance, and the red staters have been claiming real estate in the sea of red in the electoral maps.

Another ranking was released using a variety of criteria to rank the states' public school system and therefore the smarts of each state.

The Top 10 'Smartest:

1. Massachusetts
2. Connecticut
3. Vermont
4. New Jersey
5. Wisconsin
6. New York
7. Minnesota
8. Iowa
9. Pennsylvania
10. Montana

and the Bottom 10:

41. Tennessee
42. Hawaii
43. California
44. Alabama
45. Alaska
46. Louisiana
47. Mississippi
48. Arizona
49. Nevada
50. New Mexico

Just another perspective.


I have always been frustrated with the MSM and GOP portrayal of the resistance in Iraq as being foreign insurgents. I do not deny the fact that there is a level of insurgency within Iraq that can't go ignored. But this LA Times article points out the 'enemy' we now battle is more resurgents then insurgents. Only a small percentage of the 1000 catpured Iraqis are foreign fighters:
Of the more than 1,000 men between the ages of 15 and 55 who were captured in intense fighting in the center of the insurgency over the last week, just 15 are confirmed foreign fighters, Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. ground commander in Iraq, said Monday.
So do you think the major arm of the Right Wing Media Machine, The MSM, will start using the term Resurgents, since it is a more accurate description of the fighters we are up against. Don't hold your breath!


Monday, November 15, 2004

Mass Exodus

The grocery list keeps getting longer for the President. Several more cabinet members are high tailing it from the second term of the administration. CNN reports Powell (State), Paige (Education), Abraham (Energy) and Veneman (Agriculture) are resigning. Add that to Ashcroft (Justice) and Evans (Commerce) from last week, and you don't have much of a cabinet left.

It is not unusual for a shake up to take place leading into a second term for a President, but this seems like a wholesale make-over.

If Conodleza Rice (National Security Advisor) grabs the State post, as expected, then there will be her postion that will transition as well.

I wonder if this is part and parcel to the marching orders received at the CIA. New Director Porter Gross is reported to be under a White House directive to eliminate officers who were disloyal to Bush.

So much for an open mind and a desire to consider all possible options.

Atlantis Found

Once a year or so we get a report that some great myth of human history has been proven, We found Noah's ark, Big Foot is real, Troy is discovered, only to have the report fizzle. So yesterday I found on the CNN site "Lost city of Atlantis found?"

I don't, it makes a great headline, but it will be difficult to prove to most skeptics. We'll see.


Friday, November 12, 2004

They Have Reached a Verdict

A verdict in the Scott Peterson murder trial has been reached. It will be announced at 3:00 PM Central time. It will probably be at this link.

I can't imagine him being found guilty, without any solid evidence, but jurors are strange creatures. I was a juror in an assault case several years back, and I had the guy walking all the way up until jury instructions were given. Once the judge layed down the rule of law, and the criteria we were swarn to use to reach a decision, a guilty verdict was the only option.

I guess we'll find out Scott's fate in about an hour.


First degree murder with special Circumstances for Lacie
2nd degree murder for Connor.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's Unanimous

Johan's the one

Dominant in second half, Twins' Santana tops Schilling for AL Cy Young

Johan Santana led the AL in ERA (2.61) and strikeouts (265).

NEW YORK (AP) -- Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins was a unanimous choice for the American League Cy Young Award on Thursday, rewarded for a stellar second half that helped his team win its third straight division title.

Santana went 20-6 and led the AL with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts, going 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star break.
FANTASTIC!! I can't wait till Spring Training.

Thank You!

In Honor of Veterans' Day

To all those who are serving and have served in the protection of our freedoms I say Thank You.

Here are a few of my relatives who have served along the way:

Seth Trowbridge (4G Grampa), Revolutionary War

Ansel Eaton (GG Uncle), Civil War

GrandPa Otto WWI and WW II

Bob Dummer (Uncle), WWII

Uncle Stan Dummer Navy WWII

Uncle Lamoyne Dummer Navy WWII, Army, Viet Nam

Uncle Emery Vane Dummer Navy WWII

Uncle Jim Eaton Navy WWII

my Father, Robert Schiebel, Korea

and My Nephew, Dustin Lee Imholte.

Thanks to all those who served for your honor and courage in defense of this great nation. It is individuals like you, that allow individuals like me, to prosper in this great land!


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Name Calling

As we make the transition into a Second term for President Bush, I suspect the normal political invocations to begin. I have been called a commie so many times, that I turn my head now, thinking someone is calling me by name. But the GOP is looking at another name change by the far left of the Dem party. It looks like NeoCon was too Minnesota Nice, and the Fascism term is gaining more prominence.

Truthout has reminded us of a screed penned by then Vice President Henry A Wallace in the Spring of 1944. The New York Times asked him to answer the following three questions: What is a Fascist, How many Fascist have we, and how dangerous are they. OK, I'll cull the snippets that caught my eye, but you should read his take for the full context.

Keep in mind, this is 1944, pre D-Day, at the height of WWII
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.
The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.
The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power.
This one jumped right into my lap and sat there awhile:
The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
I'm not calling anyone names, and don't plan to. It is easy to generalize any person or group of people and lump them into a title of your choosing. The problem the left has, is that the Right is way to good at this. I am recognzing more and more every day why, because I am bound by the truth, and the Right is confused as to what the truth really is.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hung out to dry

It looks like the Scott Peterson jury is having some struggles in their deliberation. I am convinced Scott was directly involved in the disappearance of his wife, Lacey. But the prosecution spent five months dancing in circles and the jury is probably as confused as anyone as to how this case made it to trial without all the 'W's and the 'H' answered.

Watch the jury throw up their hands by weeks end, and Scott still in custody awaiting a retrial.


Monday, November 08, 2004

Operation Phantom Fury

The battle for Falluja begins. My heart and prayers go out to the brave men and women of our armed forces as they carry out their missions.



Sunday, November 07, 2004

Stimulating the Economy

I'm doing my part. The old Grand Am was getting tired, and change was needed. We were looking at a variety of lightly used vehicles but when we considered the GMS Pricing (Family discount for GM employees and their dependents on new vehicles) it seemed silly to buy used.

So here is my effort to help the economy along. A 2005 Grand Prix. What a beaut!

Click on pic for larger image.

I needed something to sooth the soul.


Friday, November 05, 2004

Pondering out loud . . .

I am not proposing to do this literally, I just went everyone to think about this long and hard. I want you to put on your objectivity caps, and process the following scenario.

Let's have all the people who voted red, move to the Red states, and those that voted Blue, move to the Blue states.

These two new socioeconomic environments would be limited to the geography, infrastructure, and the skills sets of their individual constituencies, that are within their borders.

Think about the top 3 or 4 base demographics of each groups, and how many of them could contribute to the respective efforts. Consider how many of them there would be, and what they could do to contribute.

Recognize the full realm of possibilities within each new geo/econo/ecological dome.

See what happens when a guy get's home from work, goes out to the garage, and has a couple beers? Now i'll be thinking about this all weekend.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Propaganda War

Much analysis is going on around both sides of the Blog World. Why who won, how could they have lost, etc. It is an interesting, yet crucial debrief of the events over the last year or so.

Chris Dykstra, over at New Patriot, has a GREAT screed (longish, but well worth) on the propaganda machine of the Right, and how the left can take note, and learn from those who we lost to again. Here's a snippet:
America means freedom, by God. But that's just my idea of America. The day after the election of George W. Bush to his second term, that idea seems quaint. America the idea might mean freedom to me, but it is perfectly obvious to me that 51% of America has a substantially different view of America. Why is that? When the vision for America is laid out so clearly in our founding documents, has been developed over 224 years of history prior to the Bush Presidency, has been codified in 224 years of judicial decisions, why have an electoral majority of people in this country suddenly veered to the right and up the authoritarian scale? Two words:

Propaganda Machine.

In order to re-define America as a tax-free, liberal hating, Christian-Capitalist theme park in which it is perfectly acceptable to use biblical arguments in support of public policy, arrest suspects and hold them indefinitely without charging them, limit speech, control the media through the FCC, wage indefinite war (badly) against undetermined enemies, attempt to constitutionally limit the rights of millions of citizens, disenfranchise a growing class of have-nots, re-write legislative processes to favor the controlling party with the idea that the controlling party will not relinquish power, alienate nearly all of the world and generally shield the activities of the government from the scrutiny of the press and the people - in order for this agenda to be approved by the people these ideas had to be sold.

Now, that represents a real challenge. In their raw form, these ideas are generally unattractive to most Americans. So they have to be gussied up. The dress of thought, so to speak, comes in the form of packaging. Radical Legislation is gilded with emotional titles, such as "Patriot Act" for example, or "Clear Skies." The justification for war is simplified and reduced to words a child would understand and repeat. Why do they hate us? "They hate us for our freedom."

A common, tested vocabulary is established and relentlessly used by everyone on the team. Positive, sunny words related to the lives of voters are used to communicate vision when speaking about initiatives. All negative consequences are stripped from all conversation when referring to yourself, your initiatives and your party. Can you say, "Tax Relief?" Just feel the stress ease out of your body. Go ahead, say it again, "Tax Relief." There you go. Now say, "Culture of Life." Ahhhh. "Culture of Life." On the other hand, all positive references to your opponent, his initiatives, his party are removed. How about "flip-flopper" or "Liberals in Congress" or "Tax and spend Liberal" Or Big Government Program" or "Pro-Abortion" or "Activist Judges." Newt Gingrich first codified this concept (at least in US politics) in his 1994 Magnum Opus: "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control"
He missed one, which I witness the failure of many times over, The No Child Left Behind Act. That flawed piece of legislation is doing nothing but leaving children behind, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't realize that.

Read the whole thing, it is worth it.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

2008 Presidential Nominee Prediction

Since my predictions are horrid, this should scare away any hopes of this happening.

Senator Elizabeth Dole -vs- Senator Hillary Clinton

Wouldn't that be a historical redux, the spouses of the 1996 campaign go at it! And you know what, I don't think it is all that far fetched.

For me, I'll go on the record. I can't think of a single scenerio where I would vote for Hillary Clinton. Sorry, Mom, I just don't think I could do it!

President George W. Bush, Two Termer

With blogger locking me out all day, most of what I have scribbled in comment files either here or there are mute.

I did not expect Sen. Kerry to concede today, although I did expect him to acknowledge certain realities the electoral trends were showing. I did expect him to make some sort of unity speech, so I was at least half right, after being wrong on just about every other prognostication.

I'm certainly confused with the results, but have excepted them and will give the President an opportunity to finish what he started. In fact, I am still waiting on him to start working on his very first campaign promise from 2000, to unite and not divide. I hope he get's it, the country has been splintered long enough!

Congratulations to my collegues on the Right, although things didn't go well for you in Minnesota, you have plenty to gloat about!

For me, I plan on blogging still, and as often as practicle. But the next few days I will be getting back to those HoneyDo items I have neglected over the last week or so during the final flurry. Sometimes changing a radiator hose or cleaning the garage puts life into an appropriate perspective.


PS: The Doctor and I had made a bet long ago on the election. If the President one re-election, I would have to include Two Termer after his name, if he lost, he would have had to call him One Termer. Thus, the title of the post!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Quadrennial Event

The Doctor and I will be venturing out to the Victory Celebrations this evening. Our revelry may be more biannual, then quad, but two years ago was more of an exception, and not the rule.

The best time, was when both the Dems and Reps were in St. Paul, just a few blocks from each other. Made it easy to bop back and forth throughout the evening.

This year will be different. We will be starting our evening at our favorite watering hole, Rock Bottom and fueling up on some good eats and freshly brewed beverages. We have to make sure we are properly tuned for the night.

Sometime before 9:00 we'll venture a few blocks to the Minneapolis Downtown Hilton, where the DFL is gathering this year. Generally they have been in St. Paul, so I am wondering if the defection of GOP DFL Mayor Randy Kelly may have played a role in them switching to Rybak land.

We'll watch the early calls on the East coast states, including key battlegrounds of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Several of the early closings will favor GW, so I am prepared for a little early ribbing, knowing that when the big boys come in, things will tilt back in the correct direction.

While the Doctor still has hope, we'll take a drive over to Cake Eater land where the GOP is having their regalia at the Marriott Southwest in Minnetonka. It will probably be all over by then, but we try to make it to both gatherings when logistically possible.

We have agreed to end our evening at the Party of the Victor. This works out well, as even if your side loses, you would rather be amongst positive energy then the angst of negativity. I have no doubt I will be back in Minneapolis by Midnight, to revel with my peers and enjoy the sweet nectar of victory.

No matter what, it will be a good time, and I hope to be home by 1:00, as I have a 7:00 conference and it will be hard enough getting up as it is!

I Voted for my Mom

I gave up my AM blogging time to get to the polling location first thing in the AM. I have NEVER had to stand in line before in my life. Today, it was about an hour wait. I gladly stood in line as I watched what will be the largest voter turnout in Minnesota history.

I feel those butterflies and anxiety I do at every election, but still can't fathom how the results will be anything but a Kerry Victory.

I have confidence in the intellect of the electorate, but will respect the decision of the masses.

I did write in Scott 'Big Trunk' Johnson for one of the unopposed Supreme Court seats. An impromptu write in campaign began yesterday over at Fraters yesterday, so I figured what the hey!

So I'm off to work. More later regarding my plans for this evening.


UPDATE: Welcome Frater's Folks. I'll be here tomorrow to gloat on the Kerry victory, or offer my congratulations on the re-election of George. Either way, you'll find I am more open minded then the average Lefty. I mean, I did vote for Scott, didn't I *grin*

Monday, November 01, 2004

2004 Election Prognostication

I believe this is a conservative estimate. I actually rolled back my electoral and popular number from where I believe they may be. I sincerely expect this will not be as close as the race has been. Bottom line, Kerry wins handily in the elctoral college, with a possibility of Bush squeaking by in the popular vote. But if the turnout is anywhere near as high as they expect, GW won't have a chance!

Here goes!

Popular Vote

48.9 Bush
48.8 Kerry

Electoral Vote

295 Kerry
243 Bush


Ohio AND Florida go Kerry
Hawaii Goes Bush

When will we know

By Midnight Central we'll have a pretty good handle on our new reality. Although the race is tight going in, I really believe this will be a more traditional Election night, with most of us being able to go to bed at a reasonable hour, knowing the outcome.

New Senate

49 R
50 D
1 I

New House of Representatives

219 R
216 D
001 I


Kerry will win Minnesota by 5-7 point, surpassing Gore's performance. The Congressional makeup will remain the same, with the closest of the bunch being the Kline/Daly race in the 2nd district. Kline will still will by 5-7 points.

The Washington Post listed predictions from 13 popular political strategists/pundits that you may find interesting. Most are homer picks, but Tucker Carlson shows his growing unease by predicting a Kerry Victory. Take a peak if you haven't seen it yet.