Supporters of a marriage amendment to our state constitution rallied to win support for their cause in Willmar recently. I hope they fail, and here's why: First, the marriage amendment is nothing but a distraction from the real issues, and it represents a waste of our legislators' valuable time and attention. Last year we lived through an unnecessary government shutdown, and the Legislature has yet to deliver on issues that actually affect the lives of Minnesotans, like rising health care costs and property taxes for hard-working citizens and families.
How can Sen. Dean Johnson dismiss the marriage rally on Feb.11 as the divisive work of Republicans and fundamentalists? Is it because he is playing politics with the definition of marriage? Almost 300 people came to support the definition of marriage-- people from almost every denomination including Lutheran and Catholic churches. There were also many in the audience identifying themselves as Democrats. The polls show that 78 percent of District 13 voters are in support of the marriage amendment and want the right to vote. What part of a majority of Minnesotans does Johnson not understand?
Everybody seems to know the mind of God these days. Lately, we are being endlessly subjected to various interpretations of his words on who can marry whom. Plus, God supposedly delivers messages to presidents, preachers and poll takers about war, sexuality and the next election. But, to tell the truth, I suspect these people are listening to the inside of their own heads, where echoes of what they want to hear tumble freely. It seems to me that you would get to know the mind of God by reading the New Testament to see what Jesus says.
The Muslim-Danish cartoon controversy has provided an excellent teaching opportunity in which the West demonstrates to the Arab world how even insulting/silly/opportunistic/sycophantic speech is allowed expression in our world in the belief that Truth ultimately will prevail. Exhibit A: Al Gore. The former vice president spoke in Saudi Arabia earlier this month at the 2006 Jeddah (not to be confused with Jihadist, though we're not sure why) Economic Forum, where he bashed the U.S. and made Kumbaya noises about all just-getting-along. Which is fine.
Who is he? Does he rue the day when he picked up the phone, dialed the number, waited a ring or two -- and then quickly hung up. He called later that same day, this time getting a voice, and in panic hung up again. He had stuff to tell a reporter about how the Bush administration was distorting intelligence about Iraq, but he worried: Could the reporter protect his identity? This person of my fervid imagination surely exists.
As I sat watching President George Bush make his State of the Union speech the other night, I kept wishing he would say what he should have said from the start: We've got this catastrophe on our hands because of the hurricanes that have been hitting our shores and whether the Iraqi people are ready or not, we are ending our three-year stay in their country. We are bringing our troops home to help in recovery from these disasters.
The West Central Tribune seems to have nothing but praise for the Willmar Public Schools for holding public forums regarding increased funding for operation and bonding for a new building. I wonder why the paper has not asked more questions? Since 2001-2002, when the district went from severe debt to a fund balance, enrollment has decreased over 250 students (6 percent), revenue has increased a projected $4.5 million (13 percent) and expenditures have increased a projected $8.5 million (26 percent increase).
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maryland borders Pennsylvania, which borders Ohio, which borders Michigan. In that swath of America, extending 950 miles from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the shores of Lake Superior, this year's politics could produce a remarkable quartet of Republican victories -- black U.S.
BOSTON -- My professional tribe has long followed the motto best expressed by a former editor of mine: "If you have a fish in a barrel, shoot it." Of course this time, the target wasn't a fish, it was a quail -- or, to be more precise, a person behind a quail. It also wasn't in a barrel. It was on a Texas ranch. But you get the idea. After the vice president of the United States shot a hunting companion, it was open season on Dead-Eye Dick.
In a recent article in the West Central Tribune, Marie Failinger, professor of constitutional law at Hamline University, tries to convince us the Minnesota marriage amendment is inappropriate. She states the constitution is intended to protect people's rights rather than restrict them. The fact is the proposed amendment neither limits nor expands anyone's rights. It simply elevates our current definition of marriage, as now defined within our laws, to the level of a constitutional amendment.