Monday, April 23, 2007

The Newspaper as Socialist Advocate

The Minneapolis Star Tribune editorializes today that the Minnesota gas tax ought to be ten cents more than it currently is. The editorial states in very clear terms that the newspaper does not believe that gasoline should be part of the free market, but ought to be regulated.

The Trib argues that gasoline prices are, "way too low considering the grave geopolitical and environmental challenges facing this country and this planet. Note that this is not an economic study concerning whether or not the free market has over or under valued the price of gasoline, but is placing the debate within the realm of "geopolitical and environmental challenges." Clearly the StarTrib is arguing that the free market is not only not working, but should be disregarded when setting the price of gas.

Go on and read the editorial. It is amazing that a "mainline" newspaper can spout such socialist tripe and maintain any kind of credibility. Of course, many of us give the Star Tribune no credibility, but somehow the paper still holds sway in Minnesota.

The environmentalists warning us of global warming want us to change our lifestyles and way of life. They are committed to the belief that they, and the government are better suited to make decisions for us. The Trib puts it plainly when they write that raising the gas tax would, "deter excessive driving."

Evidently we Americans are driving too much. But what is too much? On what basis is this claim made? They believe it is the responsibility of the government to place an added burden upon Minnesotans to, "reduce harmful carbon emissions, encourage and hasten the market for alternative fuel technologies and remove oil as a favorite weapon of our enemies around the world."

I'm not going to attempt to tackle the politics of carbon emissions (I believe this is more of a political issue than a scientific one) but they are willing to rely upon the market for alternative fuel technologies--but only when they are the ones encouraging it--not a free market.

I also find it interesting that the Trib is making an anti-terrorist stance regarding gasoline. I believe this demonstrates their appeal to conservatives, but they also hope to demonstrate that their method of fighting terrorism is superior to that of the Bush administration. The article goes on to argue that, "raising taxes on gasoline and other carbon-based fuels may be the most effective way to fight terrorism."

Excuse me for my skepticism, but this argument is hypocritical, naive, and simplistic. I certainly don't like the fact that so much of the world's oil reserves are in the middle east, but this is no argument for raising the tax on gasoline. Let's deal with terrorists seriously and not in token gestures.

Again, the Star Tribune is pompously and self-righteously calling for the legislature to put interest of the state's socialists before the citizens of the state.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Joe Mauer Profile

I used to read NWA World Traveler magazine on a regular basis. As a NWA Platinum Elite member I put in many hours on Northwest Airlines planes. Those days are far behind me now. But I stumbled upon one of the most interesting articles I've read in the magazine--a profile of Joe Mauer.

It is an interesting read--the kind of article meant to appeal to a wide audience--not simple baseball fans. The article states that his older brother, Jake, who was drafted in 2001--the same year as Mauer, is now a coach in the Twins minor league system.

Jake even has a funny story about Joe's ability to play golf as a rightie. It sounds like Joe is the kind of guy we all envy--he's good at anything he does even if it is the first time he's done it.

I commend the article to you.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Measure of Morality and Propriety

The United States Supreme Court today upheld the 2003 law banning partial-birth abortion. Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts ruled in favor of the Constitutionality of the ban.

This is a big win for the unborn, yet the AP article states,

"Abortion opponents say the law will not reduce the number of abortions
performed because an alternate method - dismembering the fetus in the
uterus - is available and, indeed, much more common."

So our nation has a measure of shame and decency, yet it is appalling to me that it is still legal for babies to be willfully destroyed in their mother's womb--regardless of their gestation.

God help us!

What Could Have Been

Of course in the aftermath of a tragedy such as the massacre at Virginia Tech this week it is easy to look back with clarity and regret. Yet this is often a very necessary response--one that can lead to learning from mistakes and taking corrective action.

Uncorrelated link to and comment on a powerful editorial that demonstrates the need for more discussion about self defense and deterring other would-be mass-murderers.

What could have happened had someone in that building had a gun of their own? What if someone from within the building were able to respond with a handgun rather than flee for their own lives and wait for the police to arrive?

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Terry Ryan Unplugged

Shores' Baseball Blog has a great piece reporting on Terry Ryan's recent talk with a group of University of Minnesota law students. It is a fascinating piece and gives insight into Terry Ryan's role in managing the Twins organization. I highly recommend it.

HT:Seth Stohs

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Imminent Ramon Ortiz Implosion?

Stick and Ball Guy has some enlightening data concerning Twins pitcher Ramon Ortiz. He has had three great games thus far and appears to have gotten back on track. Yet there are some very strong indications that he has been lucky so far and is due for an implosion.

Here are the concerns:
  • First pitch strikes. Last year, Ortiz threw a first pitch strike 58%
    of the time. So far this year, just 50%. (League average 57%.)
  • Missing bats. Last year, hitters made contact 82% of the time they
    swung at a Ramon Ortiz offering. So far this year, they’ve made contact
    84% of the time. (League average 80%.)
  • Overall control. Last year, Ortiz threw 64% of his pitches for
    strikes. So far this year, he’s thrown 58% of his pitches for strikes.
  • He’s allowed a ton of fly balls (only 33.3% GB% so far), and he has yet to get punished with a HR.
  • Ortiz has always been hurt by home runs, and it is really luck that has kept those fly balls from becoming home runs.
Do not be surprised when the wheels start falling off.

Monday, April 16, 2007

More Mark Horne on N.T. Wright

Mark Horne is one of the more vocal critics of N.T. Wright critics. He has posted yet another blog concerning the way too many evangelicals read and criticize N.T. Wright.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another "Non-Apology"

Durham prosecutor, Mike Nifong "apologized" to the three Duke lacrosse players today--or at least that is what the media will tell us.

His words bely his true intent:

"To the extent that I made
judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the
three students that were wrongly accused.
I also understand that whenever
someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations
might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them. I
t is my sincere desire that the
actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining
injury that has resulted from these cases."

Nifong of course used the case to propel his re-election as a district attorney. He is now under review by the North Carolina board for his mis-handling of the case.

Mr. Nifong, your so-called apology will do nothing for you, I'm afraid. Your goose is cooked, and it was you that lit the match.

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Top 11 Changes, Slogans, and Signs for Saturday's National Day of Climate Action

Nihilist in Golf Pants has the top 11 again for this silly rally:



11. Regulate us back to the Stone Age!



10. Progress Kills!



9. Happy to pay more for a colder Minnesota



8. Turn out the lights, the party's over!



7. Give poverty a chance!



6. Pro-Choice (Except for anything related to the use of carbon based fuels)



5. No offsets, no heat!



4. Hey, hey, ho, ho, listen to Leonardo DiCaprio



3. We're here, with fear! Get used to it!



2. Make love, not warmth



1. Regular Bathing = Genocide





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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Eminent Domain Abuse in Minneapolis

The Hennepin County Board voted today to take possession of the land to be used for the future Twins Stadium. The Star Tribune article did not state what rationale the board used for the seizure. It does state that, "he site's purchase price will be worked out later." The article went on to state,

"To settle on a price, a three-person court panel is expected to hear
arguments next month and issue a decision in June, said developer Rich
Pogin of Landowners II, the group that owns the site. Either side can
appeal the panel's decision, and a price would then be decided after a
jury trial, he said."

So there is hope that the landowners will get a fair price, but this land seizure appears to be nothing short of a scandalous abuse of eminent domain. We can all thank the Supreme Court's decision of Kelo vs. The City of New London for strengthening the hands of those already in power and overrunning the rest of us in the name of "economic development."

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