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An immediate cease fire is needed in Lebanon


Wed, Aug 2nd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

"You see the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s--t and it's all over."

George Bush to Tony Blair at the St. Petersburg G8 Summit, referring to the conflict in Lebanon.

According to President George Bush the fighting in Lebanon is linked to the War on Terrorism. Hezbollah provoked Israel when it captured two Israeli soldiers; Israel responded, as it usually does, with force.

From the U.S. standpoint, Israel is justified in protecting itself against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hammas in Palestine; the U.S identifies both as terrorist groups. And so, the logic goes, the U.S. is right in letting Israel have its way in Lebanon and in the West Bank.

It wasn't that long ago that Bush was pushing for democracy in the Middle East as a means to bring about a political chemical reaction of sorts, the so-called Roadmap for Peace. The thinking was that the ballot box would enable moderate voices to rise to the top. But, alas, Hammas was voted into power in Palestine and Hezbollah got a share of the Lebanese parliament. The only ones who seemed surprised by this democratic conundrum was Bush and the neo-conservatives.

As Forrest Gump says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get." So it is with ballot boxes and democracies.

It appears that the Bush administration's goal is to shore up Lebanon's democracy sans Hezbollah. So, consider the Israel initiative as a surgical maneuver, a proxy war if you will, to remove the radical elements from what would otherwise be a new colony. The only problem is that the further Israel pushes into Lebanon, and the more innocent lives are lost (there are also 700,000 refugees), the more world opinion turns against Israel, and in turn the United States. Too big a surgical knife and you risk losing the patient.

There is also the risk that moderate Arab states, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, will be forced to keep their distance as more radical leaders are made credible. Remember that during extreme times, moderate voices often give way to radical leadership.

Rather than seeking an immediate cease fire in Lebanon, the Bush adminstration sees the present conflict as a rare opportunity to change the balance of power in the Middle East. Given their lack of success in Iraq and elsewhere, and given the difficult prospects for peace the Middle East presents, that's pretty scary stuff, as foreign affair .....
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Why not offer a smoke-free night?

Fri, Jul 28th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

"Just try it. You might find that you like it."

I really don't know how many times I've utilized that sage line of thinking when trying to encourage our daughter to give a healthy entrée a try. Usually, the eatable item is a vegetable. I'm s ..... 
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Administrative Law Judge will decide Spring Valley Ponds case

Fri, Jul 21st, 2006
Posted in Commentary

The July 17 article by John Bondhus in the Fillmore County Journal, "Misinformation threatens Spring Valley Ponds" hardly is worth the effort to respond to. But a few points where he has committed slander against Jeff Broberg and me need to be corre ..... 
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Misinformation threatens Spring Valley Ponds

Fri, Jul 14th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A front-page story in the June 12th edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press addressed my efforts to “turn an old hatchery into a world-class fish farm and park” and detailed many of the state permitting issues that have put the project on hold. In the ..... 
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Open enrollment and athletic eligibility

Fri, Jul 14th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

An Associated Press story that ran in quite a few Minnesota dailies last week caught my attention. According to the article, the Minnesota State High School League has reacted to complaints of abuses of the state’s open enrollment rules by appointin ..... 
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A chicken in every pot

Fri, Jul 7th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Governor Tim Pawlenty, fresh from his Republican endorsement as a candidate for a second term to lead the state, proposed back in June to offer free tuition for the first two years to the top 25 percent of Minnesota’s high school graduating class at ..... 
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Friendship is fading

Fri, Jun 30th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A “friend,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “a person whom one knows, likes and trusts; a favored companion; one with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade; one who supports, sympathizes with or patronizes.”

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The World Cup is the real Super Bowl of fútbol

Fri, Jun 23rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Every four years the countries of the world get together to see which nation has the best soccer team. They call it the World Cup. Brazil won in 1994 and again in 2002. France won it in 1998. This year, Brazil is picked to lead the pack, but I have m ..... 
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“Necessity” is the argument of tyrants

Fri, Jun 16th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King: and there ought to be no other.  Thomas Paine     This Congress has been missing ..... 
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