Category Archives: Reader Columns

From hundred’s to thousands of readers

My eight loyal readers no doubt enjoyed my cheeky riposte to the School District’s attorneys as they attempted to silence me. One of my readers pointed out my blog post to the Reader Weekly which much to my surprise posted both the letter from attorney Torgerson to me and my reply to her.

The poor old School Board doesn’t have a microphone they can cut off before I post something critical about them. They do, however, have lawyers. My taxes help pay for them.

A dialogue

Jason wrote back in defense of Ford Bell to say:

“Except it’s not a ‘cold heart’ (as you imply that Bell has) for calling for a Vietnam-style hasty retreat“ it’s cold reality. The civil war there is going to get only worse, our very presence there is making it worse, and even the most grateful Iraqis will inevitably grow weary of us.

You ask if it’s just American soldiers’ lives Bell wants to save. I’d reckon not, but those are the lives we CAN save.”

If, as you believe, the war will get worse the longer we stay then you are right that we should leave.

If, as I believe, our short-term presence might help prevent (and that’s the best I can hope for) a civil war then we should stay.

Perhaps it was unfair of me to say that Ford Bell has a cold heart. However, to suggest that the only lives that we can save at this point are American lives is. I hope you are wrong.

Million Dollar Man

The Million Dollar Man  Published May 11, 2006  “Last November I had great fun writing about the dirty business which may have helped launch Jim Obertstar’s career as one of Washington DC’s preeminent pork chasers. My column casually mentioned, Don Boyd, a man who was endlessly described by the press during the scandal as the principal suspect behind the embezzlement of a million Federal dollars…”My latest Reader Column.

Will Democratic Demons sabotage Democratic Hopes?

Thomas Lifson editor of “The American Thinker” writes this short piece on the anger of the Democratic Party’s “secularist fundamentalists.”

Over the weekend I met a former State GOP Poobah at my brother’s home. I told her husband that I had changed parties; that I had once been a bad Republican and was now a bad Democrat. Lifson’s article helps explain why I’ll be a bad Democrat.

I’ve always narrowed my eyes and looked with suspicion on usism and fringe politics. (of course that was before moderates and centrists were pushed to the fringe of American politics) Here’s an old column of mine which tries to get that point across: “Limbaugh’s Bastard Child.”

Blood on our hands

As America was winding down in Vietman and “peace” activists demanded we withdraw I was very troubled about what would happen to our South Vietnamese allies who remained. I don’t recall any of the peace activists ever expressing remorse for the consequences of our departure so eager were they to “give peace a chance.”

I can say the same thing now about the peace activists who demand our withdrawl from Iraq. Oh yes, as in the case of Vietnam the peace activists were quick to point out how the war had done terrible things to the Iraqies just as the former war did terrible things to the Vietnamese. My recollection is that almost three million Vietmanese died in the war while we were engaged there. I can only conclude that today’s peace activists are so eager to have peace at any price that they have simply written off the Iraqies.

Anyone who thinks that we should abandon Iraq should read this article which is as horrible as the preceeding one about the Congo.

Even before George Bush did a switch and bait on Iraq from finding WMD’s to saving benighted Iraqies from Saddam I would have agreed that saving them was a worthy cause. In fact I was making the same argument before George’s bait and switch. Saddly we started something we were not prepared to deal with Iraq in the way that might have assured the Iraqies peace.

Breakfast with a convict

Last year I wrote a column about an ancient local political scandal involving Jim Oberstar’s questionable funding sources for his 1974 campaign. I mentioned Don Boyd, a fellow who was accused of, but never found guilty of, embezzling a million dollars from the government. A few days after my column hit the stands I got an email from Don suggesting that we meet over a cup of coffee. He’d written a book. He did spend time in prison but not for stealing a million bucks. (There’s always something a fellow can be found guilty if you’ve got the help of a willing perjurer)

Sitting in prison and having his family’s honor tarred gave Don a lot to reflect on. If Don was innocent, as I rather suspect he was there could be a good book in it.

Unfortunately, Don hasn’t written it. His head is too full of details and at six or seven hundred pages no one but a crank like me would ever read or publish it. So I’ve decided to give him a hand. I’ll have more to say about this in my next Northland Reader column. Let the chips fall where they may.

The Aborted Girl

My Reader column for this week begins:

“In 1990 I was ecstatic when the popular Republican, State Auditor, Arne Carlson replaced the opportunistic, “pro-life,” political hack who had defeated him in the gubernatorial primary with the help of naive religious conservatives. When John Grunseth was outed for having chased his daughter’s friend around the family pool in a drunken attempt to rip off her bikini top he became instant poison. The pro-life Republicans had no face-saving choice other than to relinquish their death grip on the nomination in favor of Carlson. It would not be the last time that a false friend of religious conservatives would betray them. . .”

Reading the Story of El Salvador’s draconian pro-life ideal spurred me to get this off my chest.

Preparations prior to departure

This is a post I attempted to send yesterday as it the next. When the battery died on the flight to texas so did the post.I’ve emailed principals, trustees, school board members and PTA leaders. Now while I’m in San Antonio I’ll wait for replies and hopefully some reservation requests. One principal emailed back promising to make substitute teachers available for any of his teachers who want to attend. Cool.

I gave Michele Wallerstein, our President, an option to suggest changes but got nervous and sent my column in to the editor/publisher before she replied. Being a diplomat she changed my dyspeptic references to “greedy” legislators covering their “fiscal mismanagement.” It did her no good as I had already sent it in. I told her our legislators were all Democrats and unlikely to take offense since they’d just blame Republics who controlled 2/3rds of the state government.