The biggest surprise about the big win by the terrorist organization Hamas in last week's Palestinian legislative elections is that so many people were surprised. Worse than denial, is denying you have been in denial. Despite the Hamas and Palestinian Authority charters calling for Israel's destruction; despite unilateral concessions and actions by Israel; despite negotiated "land for peace" deals, which only Israel has kept; despite massive amounts of U.S.
"Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are 'ready' for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress." -- George W. Bush Nov. 6, 2003 "The beginnings of reform and democracy in the Palestinian territories are now showing the power of freedom to break old patterns of violence and failure." -- George W.
It concerns me when our own school board even considers selling one of its schools so that a business can demolish it and use the space for more parking. Affiliated Community Medical Centers has gotten so much influence in this city that they have been able to do many things that other businesses would not, such as the building so close to First Street -- what happened to the setbacks? Now we are considering selling a school that serves many of our younger children with disabilities and many other community services. Where would these 3- and 4-year-olds go?
Some politicians take the high road by appealing to the desire for a fair, just and unified community. Others take the low road by appealing to the dark side of our nature, to racial and ethnic prejudice and hatred. There is political gold for a politician who can figure out how to mine the underground vein of prejudice within the present norms of political correctness, while appearing to be quite virtuous. The key is to package an appeal to prejudice inside of what appears to be a serious policy debate. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has obviously decided to take the low-road strategy.
SAN DIEGO -- I've had Mexicans tell me that they really don't understand Mexican-Americans. For one thing, they can't figure out how it is that a group of people who think and behave like any other group of Americans still consider themselves Mexican. Well, we're even. As a Mexican-American, I don't understand Mexicans -- especially about la politica (politics). I mean, if you're going to create political reform then, by all means, go ahead and create political reform. More power to you.
I'm afraid -- not of terrorists, nor as President Bush calls them, brutal enemies, Saddamists, murderers, and the like. I'm afraid that we the people have abdicated our control of our government. External threats exist, but they pale in comparison to the real threat -- that of losing a form of government that has withstood abuses and even a civil war, but which is being irrevocably eroded. A common tactic of governments wanting to solidify their power has been to invoke fear by painting an enemy as more powerful than the reality.
The latest poll is not good for the Democrats. I am not talking here of the one showing George Bush's approval rating inching up nor the one showing immense if dangerously ignorant support for domestic spying. I'm talking about the recently released Harris Poll showing John Wayne one of the most popular movie stars of 2005. The one thing he and the Democratic Party have in common is that they are both dead. Wayne was the quintessential anti-Democrat. Never mind if he was a Republican, which he was.
Have you ever tried to find a parking space in downtown Willmar? It's a joke, isn't it? The city of Willmar had better pay attention if they want the downtown to prosper. I know of three or four buildings downtown that are vacant, or will become vacant soon. I say we bulldoze them and put in parking ramps. Why not? There are more businesses in downtown Willmar than there are at the Kandi Mall. The only reason the malls are full is because they have adequate parking.
The Minnesota Timberwolves pulled the trigger Thursday night on a major trade sending forward Wally Szcerbiak to the Boston Celtics. The trade was a desperate effort to change the team's slumping performance by becoming more athletic and aggressively defensive. In addition to Szcerbiak, the Wolves' trade included center Michael Olowokandi, center Dwayne Jones and a future first-round draft choice.
Almost everyone agrees that crude oil is a finite resource that will some day run out. Lately I have learned that a number of independent oil geologists believe that oil production will soon peak, and then go into a slow decline, bringing shortages long before that final day. Increased drilling and exploration will help a little, but not much. The catch phrase for this is "peak oil." I've also read a number of articles describing how our modern life is heavily dependent on petroleum. When oil production goes into decline, so will our standard of living.