If life were a football game, we'd be commending Muslims for an artful fake. While half the Muslim world was rioting in reaction to a few unremarkable cartoons -- thanks to the fancy footwork of the anti-West Muslim Brotherhood -- nuclear-minded Iran was making new kissy sounds with head cheerleader Fidel Castro. In a little-noticed news item the same week as the riots, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accepted an invitation to visit Cuba in September to show gratitude for Castro's support of Iran's nuclear program.
After reading the Jan. 24 letter to the editor, "The dangers of intolerance," I cannot help but wonder at what this man's definition of "Christian" is; perhaps he could tell us in this forum. He states that another "brand" of Christianity may not find the picture of Lindsay Lohan pornographic. However, pictures like Lohan's back 40-50 years ago were only found in porn magazines. Porn magazines are designed to incite lust.
SAN DIEGO -- No sooner had I written recently that I was frustrated with President Bush's hardheadedness, muddled messages, and refusal to learn from mistakes than I got a letter from a reader who asked whether -- with the benefit of hindsight -- I would change my support for Bush. No, absolutely not. Not until Democrats stop sending forth as their presidential nominees mediocre professional politicians who are so craven for power and so unencumbered by core beliefs that they'll say and do anything to win.
DETROIT -- Michigan has a problem: Its prosperity is withering as America's automobile industry withers. So Gov. Jennifer Granholm has a problem: She is seeking re-election in this cold economic climate. Her likely Republican opponent, Dick DeVos, has a problem: People are appalled by the state's condition, but they like Granholm. As does DeVos: "She's a really nice person." The result may be a rarity -- an outbreak of gentility in politics. Debates about economic policies involve splittable differences, so civility might actually be served by the seriousness of Michigan's crisis.
The time has come for a return to bipartisan partnership in this state, rather than the us-vs.-enemy attitude that has invaded Minnesota's Legislature and politics in recent years. The "our way or the wrong way" approach to politics in recent years has only resulted in a government shutdown in Minnesota and a polarization of the state's political process. It has not been a good development for Minnesota or its citizens. All too often citizens following the lead of politicians are taking the politics to a personal and uncivil level.
Kandiyohi County's Board of Commissioners is once again considering broadcasting its meetings on the local cable access channel, WRAC 8. The board has declined all previous attempts to televise their meetings. We commend County Board Chairman Dean Shuck for bringing the question up for consideration. The county has lagged far behind the city of Willmar and Willmar Public Schools, as both have broadcast their meetings for years. It is time the county catch up with the city and school district.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of political cartoonists. Not this time for the ones losing newspaper jobs, but those whose lives are literally on the line thanks to outraged Islamists offering a bounty for their heads. The cartoonists in question are a dozen Danish artists who drew Muhammad-themed cartoons last September for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten during an exercise to test the limits of free speech. The cartoon-a-thon was conceived in response to complaints from a Danish author who couldn't find anyone to illustrate her Muhammad children's book.
An odd thing happened in Washington this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on whether the president has the authority to intercept international phone calls without first seeking a warrant. Very few people believe that the president has that authority -- which is different than asking whether he should have that authority -- but Gonzales, who is almost entirely a creation of George W. Bush, insisted the president does. He presented, by way of proving his point, this overwhelming piece of evidence: Bush has done it.
BOSTON -- This is what I remembered when the news of Betty Friedan's death on her 85th birthday came over the Internet. I remembered Aug. 26, 1970, the Women's Strike for Equality. I remembered Betty Friedan parading down New York's Fifth Avenue, in the front row, with tens of thousands of exhilarated women behind her. I also remembered the afternoon edition of my paper illustrating that march with two front-page photos. On the left was the pretty, blonde, smiling figurehead of some unknown group of Happy Homemakers.
SAN DIEGO -- A few weeks ago, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff stopped by the editorial department of The San Diego Union-Tribune to provide an update on what his department is doing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. No surprises there. Politicians and public officials always run to the border for chest-thumping and photo-ops. Yet the story line down there never changes.