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Ramblings: From taxes to corked bats to ardent citizenship


Thu, Jul 3rd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

•All of those Pawlenty taxes went into effect on Tuesday, July 1. “No Taxes Tim” cut funding to local government, slashed human services, took money from the tobacco endowment, and borrowed money to build roads to balance the state budget. But he didn’t raise taxes. Instead, Pawlenty increased the state surcharge on fines as well as the cost of doing business with the courts. The Minnesota Department of Finance estimates the state will collect an additional $89 million in fiscal year 2004 and $116 million in 2005 this way. •“Pawlentical Correct” wordspeak: cuts, shifts, loans, surcharges and user fees are okay to use. Gee, sounds almost like, ah, should I say it - taxes.•Is this the new Minnesota theme song? “I’ve got Pawlenty of nothing and nothing’s Pawlenty for me.”•It was appropriate that President Bush visited Friendly Fridley during his visit to Minnesota a few weeks ago. After all, only suburbanites with their McMansions, McChurches and McSUV’s are able to understand his tax cuts. They all have to do with McDividends. •Author John Updike on Hillary Clinton’s new book: “Senator Clinton is an excellent and thorough-going politician and not a novelist; her description of “the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience” of her life is nowhere near as moving or human as the legalistic vignettes of furtive partial pleasures in the Starr Report. Her surprise at her husband’s belated confession is indeed surprising, as if they had never quite met before. But I loved the sentence: ‘I hadn’t decided whether to fight for my husband and my marriage, but I was resolved to fight for my President.’ Her citizenship is ardent.”•How come we don’t hear Republicans using the term “Compassionate Conservatism” anymore? Compassion fatigue?•Poor Sammy Sosa was suspended seven days for using a corked bat in a baseball game a few weeks ago. Now, the administration is being accused of “corking” their intelligence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that country’s potential threat. Even conservative columnist George Will says that there are questions to be answered if they (administration) don’t find WMDs in Iraq.•When asked by a reporter “what the greatest health threat to Americans was - SARS, Monkeypox, AIDS or terrorism?” the Surgeon General was reported to have answered (correctly) OBESITY.•Membership in the Ameri .....
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Township Roads: The Train to Minot

Fri, Jun 27th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

My wife, Deb, and I took the train from Red Wing, Minnesota to Minot, North Dakota for a recent conference. Flying was expensive, as apparently only one airline wants to take an airplane out of service every day to fly it to Minot. Driving was practi ..... 
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Another One from Flaherty: The Dormant News

Fri, Jun 27th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

We have in Flabbergast County a very fine County newspaper in The Dormant News who’s slogan is all the news that’s fit to print and even some that ain’t. I thoroughly enjoy reading it and what I find especially interesting are the social items that a ..... 
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Are you Game?: Pitching wins championships

Fri, Jun 20th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

At last the NBA Finals are over. Now begins the NBA second season where trades are made, players are drafted and veterans a little too long in the tooth call it quits.

There are many questions to be answered: Where will Jason Ki ..... 
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At Home in the Woods:My favorite places

Fri, Jun 20th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It's the third time I've been here this year, but the first time alone. The trail through the narrow valley of Shattuck Creek leads me deep into the woods. I look up at the big oak, maple, basswood and walnut trees and down at the green forest floor ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Jun 13th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

What if God had voice mail?

I have learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of modern life, but I have often wondered what if God had voice mail?

I imagine praying and hearing this: "Thank you fo ..... 
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Township Roads: It's Eleanor's Fault, Part II

Fri, Jun 13th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I seem to recall mentioning how Eleanor Roosevelt set the standard for lawn care when she chased the sheep off the White House lawn, thereby turning a nice pasture into a no-man’s land of neatly trimmed grass. This was the beginning of the end for gu ..... 
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