/* */

Friday, January 30, 2009

Just the recount facts, please

The lawyers for Franken and Coleman are spending a lot of time pointing out how each candidate has switched positions on which ballots should be counted. While this should be important to voters, it should be irrelevant to the three-judge panel hearing the case. The panel should just be focused on what is legal, fair, and consistent. Here’s how I feel about it: The earlier ruling on the absentee ballots giving the campaigns veto power was stupid. If they won’t to overrule that, so be it. (Unless both campaigns agreed to it, which also would have been stupid.) Just make sure it’s consistent in all counties. On the missing ballots, stick with the machine count. It’s the best we’ve got. On the duplicate ballots, if the Coleman campaign can show a statistically compelling pattern, I would say use common sense and take your best guess. Otherwise stick with the certified numbers and make sure you fix it for next time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

RETRACTION (Was “MNDFL Chair poo-poo's Gaza slaughter”)

On my blog Jan. 22, I posted a link to a letter allegedly written from Brian Melendez to Alan Maki. I received a denial from the DFL, and was unable to verify the authenticity of the letter. If I learn otherwise I will let you know.

I still have a problem with DFL policies and actions; I just don’t have a "smoking gun" confession from the Chair of the MNDFL. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Send Hillary to Gitmo

Interview the prisoners. Put it on TV.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

MNDFL Chair poo-poo's Gaza slaughter


Independent Judiciary

At this point in our nation’s history, it is critical that opposing political parties come to agreement to empower individuals whose first loyalty is to the law. The Attorney General is supposed to be impartial, but he is still appointed by the President. I like the idea of an independent investigator like Kenneth Starr, provided there are limits on scope creep and cost overruns.

This prosecutor/investigator needs to have the authority and the means to even-handedly research all administrations, past and present. The new President can help assure the public by allowing a representative from the investigator’s office to shadow him at all times. The investigator rep needs a national security clearance, and needs a way to confirm that there is no business communication occurring during the president’s private family time.

Bill Press is reporting that Arlen Spector intends to block the Eric Holder AG confirmation unless he agrees not to prosecute those who conducted waterboarding. Unless our lives are at stake, we all have a patriotic duty to disobey orders to commit war crimes, and to blow the whistle on those war crimes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My cousin on Norwegian television

My cousin George Helmke hosted an inauguration party and got on the news in his home country of Norway. I'll be surprised if the excitement persists, but ya gotta let them enjoy the moment...

I think the first big test will be the stimulus package. They didn't have it ready by today, but they're aiming for early February. Will it result in more debt to private bankers? Geithner is the man to watch.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Green Party Shadow Government

The First 100 Days
What would a Green Administration Look Like?

Happy MLK!

What is Dignity?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Israel drew first blood

While Palestinians took part in skirmishes preceding it, a raid by the Israelis November 4 apparently caused the first post-cease-fire fatalities. Also, it seems that Israel never lifted the blockade as agreed to in the cease-fire. And the Israelis killed Palestinians at checkpoints throughout the cease-fire, according to an organizer I spoke with at a Gaza protest today. However it started, it sounds like both sides were planning all along to resume fighting. Sadly a lot of innocent people have been killed in the process. Note that November 4 was Election Day in the U.S., and that Israel is talking about ending the operation before the U.S. inauguration. The authorities may have decided that the transition period was an opportune time for them to get away with it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Congressman Ellison booed by Palestinians

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hamas false flag?

Gilad Atzmon of Dissident Voice is comparing the recent massacre in Gaza to the first genocidal invasion of Israel by the Jews in the Old Testament. And yet the rocket attacks by Hamas persist. The body count is something like 900 to 15. My mom said that both sides do it because they love it. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a Palestinian right now. You’re trapped, attacked. If you don’t fight, you’re still vulnerable. If you do fight, it just makes it worse. Would food supplied by the enemy win your heart and mind? Would you reveal the locations or identities of the rocket launchers? Amira Hass of Ha’aretz reports that Hamas has stepped up executions of “collaborators” and political opponents. The paranoia has to be intense. Who would choose such a situation?

Is it possible that the Hamas rocket attacks are a false flag operation? We know that the Zionists are excellent infiltrators. They always seem to have information about where the enemy is. What if the rocket attacks are just being used as an excuse to kill Palestinians? David Icke would have us believe that the Illuminati are behind both sides of every conflict.

I doubt that’s the case. If the Zionists had saboteurs and provocateurs at that level, they would be vulnerable to the blunt weapon of their own air strikes, right? Satellite technology is advanced, but not that precise, especially, we’re told, over cloud cover. And if the Israelis were missing certain targets completely, wouldn’t that raise eyebrows? No, I think the people launching the rockets are real Palestinians, who are doing it either because they love it or because they are oppressed and desperate.

If Israel restored human rights to the Palestinians, would the rocket attacks end?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Alan Page

Alan Page is now on the critical path in the election recount. He needs to appoint three judges before Coleman’s case can be resolved. I agreed with Page when he dissented on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision to require the Franken and Coleman campaigns to agree on which of the improperly rejected absentee ballots to count. While I don’t like the idea of giving the campaigns the power over who can vote, I do like the idea of asking them if there are three judges they can agree on. In 1962, this is what the judge in Page’s position did for the gubernatorial recount between Karl Rolvaag and Elmer Andersen. It would go a long way to helping the eventual loser to accept the outcome. Of course, Page should also be comfortable with all three judges. The most important thing is that the process is fair. A close second is an expeditious outcome.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Burrbuster

Here’s an amusing scenario: Roland Burris is used as an excuse to invoke the nuclear option. They have him filibuster everything. At first, the Republicans line up with the Democrats to approve cloture. Then Burris starts lining up with the Republicans, only he gets so carried away that all legislation comes to a grinding halt. The Republicans are obliged to line up with Burris, for fear of alienating their own base. The Democrats then claim that the only way to get things moving again is to change Senate rules to return to a simple majority for the passage of legislation, also known as the nuclear option.

By the way, I do believe that Burris should be seated. The next step appears to be for Burris to take the Illinois Secretary of State to court for not performing his ministerial duty.

Also by the way, If Democratic leaders can’t get the stimuhlus package ready for signature by inauguration, then Obama’s team better write it themselves, and prepare to publicly crack some Democratic skulls, you know, retaliate from within the party when the incumbents run for re-election. That’s right, turn on their own, whatever it takes, no excuses.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

About the rocket attacks

My understanding is that it's because their water is cut off, good jobs are scarce, they can't emigrate, and they have to spend long hours at checkpoints day after day. I don't condone the rocket attacks but they might feel they have no other choice.

Here is the text of the press release on Gaza issued by the MN Green Party:

Green Party of Minnesota

For Immediate Release December 28, 2008

Dave Bicking, Spokesperson Rhoda Gilman, Spokesperson


The Green Party of Minnesota condemns the ongoing bombing of the Palestinian territory of Gaza by the Israeli military. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, and many more are seriously wounded. There can be no justification for this violence.

The situation is compounded by the ongoing humanitarian disaster caused by the 18 month long siege imposed by Israel as an illegal act of collective punishment. The 1.5 million residents of Gaza were already facing malnutrition and shortages of medical supplies, water, and electricity. Hospitals that were already barely functioning are now overwhelmed with the wounded.

We call upon our representatives and our government to condemn these attacks and to work for an immediate ceasefire. This must be backed up by a cessation of all aid to Israel as long as it persists in these crimes against humanity and against international law. The silence of our leaders has allowed the siege to continue, and it has encouraged this escalation.

We support our 2008 Presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, as she courageously takes part in a shipment of medical aid that will break through the siege of Gaza. She is onboard a ship leaving from Cyprus on a mission organized by Free Gaza, a group that has successfully defied the siege several times in the last five months.

This crisis is urgent, and it is likely to be ongoing. Israel has threatened to continue and to escalate its violence until it achieves its goals. Our response must be immediate and ongoing as well. In that spirit, we endorse the following actions sponsored by WAMM (Women Against Military Madness):

Protest the Israeli Actions in Gaza and U.S. Unconditional Support of Israel Tuesday, December 30th, 10am to 5pm or office closing 1) Minneapolis office of Senator Amy Klobuchar: 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250 2) Office of Congressperson Keith Ellison: 2100 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis

We also encourage our members and the public to contact their representatives.

Friday, January 02, 2009

McKinney lives to tell the story

I agree with Norm Coleman

It’s not too often that I agree with Norm Coleman on anything, but I am uncomfortable with the ruling by the Minnesota State Supreme Court that says that both campaigns must agree on which absentee ballots were improperly rejected. Like Governor Tim Pawlenty said, and I rarely agree with him either, it doesn’t seem right that either campaign should have veto power over who can vote. I think it should be like the recount. Challenged ballots should go to the state canvassing board.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like Norm Coleman. I think he used his wife as a human shield in the last days of the campaign. I think people who voted for him are stupid. But the recount still needs to be fair.

If I were the Franken campaign, I would concur with Coleman on this one. It would reduce doubts and criticisms surrounding the process, serving to disarm the opposition, and giving Franken more of a mandate if he wins.

No matter which set of absentee ballots is counted, I expect that they will break for Franken. While historically Republicans have pushed for people to vote absentee, in 2008 Obama was the one who was aggressively promoting it, perhaps because he was ahead in the polls and statistically the odds were on his side.

Sunspots cause global warming?

This video contains a lot of crazy-sounding ideas, but it got me thinking about global warming.

It shows a graph that correlates temperature to sunspots. This reminded me of the NOVA graphs that correlated temperature to CO2. Could all three things be related?

I campaigned on the issue of global warming in 2002, so this issue is important to me. I still think we need to reduce consumption to address peak oil, as I’m not convinced ethanol is the answer. I’ll be surprised if both peak oil and global warming are ever refuted, but I’ll keep an open mind.