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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Kersten Column: She Made It Up

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/09/07 13:57

by Dave Mindeman

Just a couple of comments about Katherine Kersten's column in the Star Tribune today. Her column is entitled:


She identifies a serious problem. Northfield does have a high crime rate as the city's youth subsidize an increasing drug problem. So, I was curious about the "greater ill" this is linked to. I thought she might have a study that had been done by one of the local colleges.... or maybe some first person accounts of families affected by the drug issue and how it has affected them in other ways.... or possibly interviews with city and law enforcement officials about what they perceive as additional issues.

Nope. She made something up.

She tells us about a recent plane flight she had, where she saw a young person watching videos with "scantily clad, tatooed women" which could have been "filmed in a brothel".

As Kersten puts it, the underlying problem is a "philosophy of hedonism and radical individualism".

Now, Katherine can go into her moralistic diatribes anytime she wants....its her column. But at least be honest about what you are saying. She has no verifiable connection between Northfield's issues and the "excessive pleasure seeking" causes she outlines. No data, no study...not even conversations with anyone in Northfield.

She just used her imagination.

We certainly have problems to deal with.... but let's look for real verifiable causes to those problems. It is only then that we can find real solutions. In Katherine's world, those disgusting videos may be distasteful, but linking them to all the world's ills is not a solution.

Note to Kersten: If you want to write a column that has value, you first have to make it honest.
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On the Food Trail with Tommy Thompson

Category: US Politics
Posted: 07/07/07 15:58

by Dave Mindeman

Noticed this tidbit about the Tommy Thompson campaign from the Washington Post blog, the Sleuth.

From glancing at his schedule, Thompson will be spending most of his days between now and the Aug. 11 Ames Straw Poll chowing down on hot dogs, brats, pie, donuts, pizza, ice cream, and much (munch) more.

On Friday, he kicks off his "Common Sense Solutions" tour through the state at the Prairie Moon winery in Ames. Then it's up-and-at-'em the next morning for coffee and rolls in two different cities, followed by a noontime pizza party in Pocahontas County, an ice cream social at 4 p.m. in Rockwell City, Lord knows what at 5 p.m. (the schedule just says "an afternoon with Tommy Thompson";), capped off by a cookout -- a "grillin' with the governor" party -- at 6 p.m.

And the next day, and next four days after that? More of his fattening faves (with very little free time to exercise).

Thompson's schedule for Saturday lists an ice cream social and a picnic. Then, over the next four days, he'll be doing coffee, breakfast, picnics, drinks, ice cream and pie, coffee and rolls, coffee and donuts, hot dogs and brats, lunch at Flapjacks Restaurant and even a house party at the home of Gary and Mary Leopold. (And the mouth just waters thinking of what great chow Gary and Mary will serve up!)

And that's just the public schedule.

Between events, Thompson's spokesman, Rennick Remley, tells us the ex-governor "loves the caramel frappuccinos from Starbucks" and vanilla ice cream cones at Dairy Queen.

"And he rather enjoys...pulled pork sandwiches," Remly added. "And raspberry pie is his favorite."

Interesting menu for the former Health and Human Services Commissioner, don't you think?

We're gonna miss the "other" Thompson....but we can't be sure what will come first... he drops out of the campaign or he goes in for a coronary artery bypass.
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Immigration Through a Corporate Prism

Category: US Politics
Posted: 07/07/07 11:26, Edited: 07/07/07 11:29

by Paul Bartlett

The immigration issue is like a prism. It all depends how you view it: border security, law breakers, uniting families, breaking up families, livable wages, or keeping those Spanish speakers out because God gave this country to us and English is God's official language (after all, the Bible is printed in English, right?).

None of the above. The immigration issue is really about internal
out-sourcing. Wilier than the "Wily Coyote," corporate America has figured out how to dodge all of the costs associated with out-sourcing.

Bring the out-sourced workers here. Lure and cajole those Spanish
speakers into sneaking into the good old USA, pay them indentured servant wages, and then proclaim, "what, me?" when caught. Rather than sending the widgets to Mexico to be assembled, bring the Mexicans here.

Same difference.

What's next, Indian call-centers moved to Indianapolis, Indiana?

I know this adds a new twist to the debate, but so be it. You see,
it's not about immigration at all, it's about corporate America's
inalienable right to export exploitation -- or would that be import?
The side benefit, of course, is avoiding those pesky unions and their silly notion that all workers should receive a livable wage.
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