/* */

Sunday, December 19, 2004

2004 Christmas Blog Post

This Christmas season, we attended Spencer’s holiday concert, where he introduced a song again this year. They did some excellent renditions of "Sleigh Ride" and "America the Beautiful." His band will be traveling to Chicago April 22-24 for the Heritage Music Festival. I also attended a service at Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, where Spencer was serving as an acolyte, and took communion from him.

We enjoyed seeing my cousin Susan, her husband Bob, son Liam, and daughter Olivia in a performance of the Nutcracker ballet, also in Stillwater. They recently moved here from Germany where they had a dance school.

I recently had a chance to take Spencer and a friend of his shopping for snowboarding equipment, and so far I’ve seen a couple of his hockey games. This summer he was on a baseball team, playing second base and outfield. I also had a chance this fall to see my nieces play tennis for Cooper High School.

About a month ago, after picking up Spencer at a local indoor skate park, we took the new light rail line from Fort Snelling to downtown Minneapolis, where we ate at a restaurant and saw the Mary Tyler Moore statue. I also took the LRT to the Mall of America when that leg opened up.

Had a great time at the May Day Parade at Powderhorn Park, with its larger-than-life puppets and non-commercialized atmosphere. Also had a great time at the State Fair with friends James and Dawn and with Spence.

I drove my car in a parade in Robbinsdale this summer, along with another hybrid (a Prius) and fellow members of the Green Party. I convened my Green Party caucus in March, and served as a delegate to the state convention in Bemidji in June, where we advanced two Nader delegates to the national convention.

Other than that, a New Year’s trip to friend Phil’s in Owattona, and an Easter trip to sister Janet’s in Saint Cloud, I didn’t travel much, but my cousin Scott from Michigan came to visit in September while my mom and brother Scott were in England. Scott H. and I went to the Mall of America, the Sculpture Garden (with it’s famed "Cherry on a Spoon") and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Also, my cousin Shelley’s daughter Julie from Madison, who is going to college here, joined us for dinner one Monday.

I am now in my second year as letter carrier, and second in line to get my own route. As the new local union steward, I have finally realized my ambition of holding elected office. The Hatch Act precludes me from running for partisan office, however!

May this be a joyous holiday season for you all,

Past Christmas Letters

Friday, December 10, 2004

Professional election losers

Today Ed Schultz spent most of his show criticizing MoveOn.org for its recent email calling for new leadership in the Democratic Party. Here’s an excerpt:

"For years, the Party has been lead by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base. But we can't afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers."

For the record, Schultz himself was critical of how the Kerry campaign was run, as I documented in my Sept. 13 blog post:

"Ed Schultz, the widely syndicated liberal talk show host, has been a staunch supporter of John Kerry. That’s why I was shocked today to hear him say that the Kerry campaign’s radio and media strategy is so poor, it’s as if they don’t want to win."

And from my Nov. 4 blog post:

"I think the Kerry campaign could have done more to respond to the following issues:
Global test
Cheney’s daughter
Kerry’s Vietnam record
Vietnam war crimes"

Bill Hillsman, the innovative mastermind of the 1990 Wellstone and 1998 Ventura ads, had this to say:

"Let's put the blame where it belongs. There's plenty to choose among: weathervane party Chairman Terry McAuliffe. The legions of soulless and grossly incompetent Democratic pollsters. The free-spending, formulaic and uninspired communications of wealthy media consultant (and perennial loser) Bob Shrum & Co."

Truth-based bias?

A caller to CSPAN this morning asked Tavis Smiley, NPR Talk Show Host, if the radio network has a liberal bias. I think it just appears biased to conservatives because it has more of an emphasis on the truth. If NPR spent half the time covering the conservative arguments, it would run the risk of misinforming its audience.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Hindu 5000

I think it’s great that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is having a 5000-mile (8000 km) car rally from India to Indonesia, but I worry about the additional burning of precious fossil fuels. Western SUV usage, air travel, and traditions like the Indy 500 are already contributing to the problem, bit by bit. Of course, the U.S. can’t expect other countries to conserve until we set a good example ourselves.

One small, good example is the recently opened light rail line in Minneapolis, which I enjoyed taking downtown and to the Mall of America. The crowds at the mall were so big that they offered buses, but almost everybody still wanted to take the train. It makes me excited about the prospect of more lines and about PRT (Personal Rapid Transit), which is a network of elevated, automated, taxicabs.

P.S. The title above may be of questionable political correctness, but I just couldn’t resist the clever play on words!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Kooko's Kudos?

Looks like Kerry won in Edina, MN. Hey, District 41 is where I ran for state senate two years ago. Could I claim some of the credit?! :)

The Master Demagoguer at work

US Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) said that Kofi Anand should resign as UN Secretary General, even if he had no knowledge of abuse within the UN Oil for Food program. If that reasoning holds, then Bush should resign for the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a diversionary tactic, considering the possible US and Halliburton complicity in the abuse. As I understand it, Coleman isn’t even in charge of the investigation, former Fed chair Paul Volker is.

I heartily dislike Coleman and I hope Franken kicks his ass in 2008.