The 2006 session is set to begin on March 1, with an end date of May 22. Since Minnesota has two-year state budgets, the Legislature won't be crafting a budget this year. Instead, this shorter session will primarily focus on putting together a bonding bill to make investments in Minnesota's infrastructure, including some key area projects such as the Grass Lake restoration project, the New London dam and the Glacial Lakes Trail. We will also be discussing a variety of key policy issues.
WASHINGTON -- Americans owe a debt to Dubai Ports World for the storm the company has created with its pending takeover of operations at six U.S. seaports. Let us count the hypocrisies and the inconsistencies, the blind spots and the oversights that this controversy has revealed. Until this fight broke out about a week ago, it was impossible to get anyone but the experts to pay attention to the huge holes in the security of our ports. Suddenly, everyone cares.
In his letter in the Feb. 16 Public Forum, Norman Onstad cited several myths and truths about the world's supply of crude oil. While I cannot dispute the truths he sets forth, I think they aren't necessarily the whole truth. For example, it is true that "there is oil in... coastal areas." However, my understanding is that the amount to be found there is not enough to affect the world situation very much. As I understand it, one of the biggest finds in the past decade is the Thunderhorse field in the Gulf of Mexico. One Web site states that they hope to pump 250,000 barrels per day.
A concern I have is that the hunting in Minnesota is not very good compared to South Dakota. I know how the hunting is in South Dakota because I used to live there. One of the reasons the hunting isn't as good is because most of the prairie has been plowed and wetlands have been drained. Wildlife needs habitat to live and it has been destroyed. I hope some day we will be able to restore the habitat in Minnesota so the hunting can get better. Matt Glup Willmar
It was shocking to hear ex-President Bill Clinton at the Coretta Scott King funeral. He noted that there is a "woman" in that casket, once again treating women simply as sex objects. Earlier, when he saw a Peruvian mummy, he famously thought of her as merely a sex object. He spoke of Coretta and her "beauty" and then oddly said that "this would fill the bill." "Fill the bill"! One wonders if anything could satisfy the lust of Bill Clinton (could Hillary?). Yet the media did not seem to mention this odd performance. "Fill the bill"? At a funeral? Has he no decency?
WASHINGTON -- In some recess of David Irving's reptile brain, he knows that his indefensible imprisonment is helping his side. His side consists of all the enemies of open societies. Irving, born in England in 1938, was a prodigy of perversity, asking for a copy of "Mein Kampf" as a school prize.
SAN DIEGO -- The imbroglio over allowing a firm owned by the United Arab Emirates to control six U.S. ports -- in Miami, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, Newark and New York -- has brought to light one of President Bush's shortcomings. Although he holds the most important job in the world, Bush hates having to explain himself to the American people, members of his own political party, Congress, the federal judiciary, you name it. That's a problem. To be a good president, you have to know how to take criticism and admit mistakes and not simply hunker down and threaten to crush dissent.
As the Minnesota Legislature opens shortly, the senators and representatives will face many issues. Certainly, one of the hot issues will be the future of eminent domain in the state. The issue of eminent domain has become a political hot potato following last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Connecticut case.
The explosive and divisive words of state Sen. Dean Johnson concerning the supporters of the marriage amendment have troubled me to the point that I must respond. In the West Central Tribune on Feb. 22, Johnson was quoted as saying, "I do not wish to have this state capital become downtown Baghdad on the gay marriage issue." What he was implying in that statement is clear: Supporters of the marriage amendment are out-of-control radicals who have the potential to cause harm to others for the sake of their cause. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I debated a long time whether or not to reply to the recent editorial which referred to anyone who didn't share the same opinion as the writer as an ignorant racist. I asked myself, "Is it worth it, or should I just sit back and let what happens happen?" Well, obviously, I decided to respond. Now, the way I look at it, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But please, let's remember, it is only an opinion even when the opinion is espoused by someone as brilliant and open-minded as an editor of what passes for a newspaper in our community.