From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Let's talk about ... values.

December 21, 2004 12:52 PM

Will pointed me to Jim Wallis' latest op-ed in USA Today:

Yes, let's discuss moral values. It might be the best way for people in the red and blue states to start talking to each other. Religion and moral values don't fall neatly into right and left political categories. Personal and social responsibility are both at the heart of religion and define what we call "the common good." The two together could make a very powerful and compelling political vision for the future of our nation.

"USA TODAY would like to know what you think about the state of values in this country. Where are we, and where are we headed?" Email 250 words to [email protected].

More from the archive in Politics, Religion.

Let's talk about ... values. (12.21.2004)

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Read the 50 comments.


Just read a great new report today by the Commonweal Institute, a new progressive San Francisco think-tank, called “Responding to the Attack on Public Education and Teacher Unions”. It shows how a well funded conservative movement is on the verge of creating a major shift toward privatization of the U.S. public schools. It ought to serve as a wake-up call to progressives, and offers a plan of action for those who care about protecting and improving America’s public education system from its adversaries, including Heritage, Cato, not to mention Bush and Cheney themselves.

The report shows that the attack on public education is part of a broader Radical Right antipathy for many “liberal” institutions and policies, such as organized labor, progressive taxation, regulation of business, reproductive choice, and the environment. The Commonweal report exposes the anti-public education perspectives being marketed daily to the American public by a virtually fascist movement led by Grover Norquist and others. It lays out how Americans now hear incessant hard-right messaging from such sources as Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the countless gas-bags from conservative think tanks appearing on cable TV nightly. It’s time to fight back before they eliminate public education in America – as preposterous as that may sound, it’s happening.

Check out the report online at:

Tue Dec 21 2004 4:32 PM


The public education system in this country is pathetic, can we at least all agree on that?

At least conservatives are talking about solutions (offering alternatives) to this problem other than throwing more money at it!

Check out the stats on $/pupil in Washington D.C. and you'll see why that doesn't work....

Tue Dec 21 2004 8:15 PM


"The public education system in this country is pathetic, can we at least all agree on that?"

I'll drink to that.

Wed Dec 22 2004 1:10 AM


Exhibit "A" of how throwing money at the education problem works - or fails to work:

In 1985 a federal district judge took partial control over the troubled Kansas City, Missouri, School District (KCMSD) on the grounds that it was an unconstitutionally segregated district with dilapidated facilities and students who performed poorly. In an effort to bring the district into compliance with his liberal interpretation of federal law, the judge ordered the state and district to spend nearly $2 billion over the next 12 years to build new schools, integrate classrooms, and bring student test scores up to national norms.

Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil--more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers' salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.

The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration. The district is also the only one in the state to lose accreditation in over 20 years.

At the peak of spending in 1991-92, Kansas City was shelling out over $11,700 per student per year
For the 1996-97 school year, the district's cost per student was $9,407, Missouri's average cost per pupil, in contrast, was about $5,132 (excluding transportation and construction), and the per pupil cost in the Kansas City parochial system was a mere $2,884.(125)

Thu Dec 23 2004 7:29 AM


You mean spending more $ doesn't necessarily impove education? Brilliant!!!

Privatization is too often thrown around as a panacea. My major concern is accountablity. Public schools are accountable to the public via an elected board. Privately funded schools are not. What will happen when entire towns rely on privately funded schools and these schools go out of business?

Thu Dec 23 2004 9:59 AM


"What will happen when entire towns rely on privately funded schools and these schools go out of business?"

Whoever you are, since you left no name, you have obviously have no business sense...

If a school was "going out of business", and it was the only one left in town, it would sipmly raise it's prices to reflect it's costs and thus save the business! Ha ha!

Thu Dec 23 2004 9:48 PM



What happens when a school goes out of business due to fraud? What happens when it does so in the middle of the school year?

Why do you believe that corporations, which have short-term earnings goals, can do a good job at the long-term education of individual students?

What country has successfully privatized its primary and high school systems on a national level? If there are none, why should the U.S. be the first to experiment with this?

Why is privatization necessary in order to improve education in the U.S. when so many other countries around the world have much better primary and high school educational systems, and they are not run by private businesses? Shouldn't we try to emulate their successes, rather than being the first to try a grand experiment, which has the potential to break the social contract that every child will have the same opportunity to learn and be able to achieve the American dream?

Fri Dec 24 2004 3:04 AM


Instead of "grand experiment", I should have said "risky experiment".

I don't believe we should experiment with our kids on a national scale. If free market cultists want to experiment, let them do it on a small scale first and prove that it works, and preferably not in my state of California. We have enough corruption in the LAUSD without injecting this nuttiness into the equation.

If there are a few success stories in different cities over a period of 5-10 years, then we can talk about changing the whole system. Right now, it's pie in the sky and just as likely to leave an entire generation behind as it is to bring them forward.

Fri Dec 24 2004 3:11 AM


Look, I was being silly and joking before...

Anyway, I don't see what's so "risky", as Paul has said, about private schooling America'a children. Millions of children are educated in private schools all across the country and vasty outperform publicly educated students, although not nearly as much as homeschooled children.

No one is talking about abolishing the public education system next year. School vouchers or a similar system would result in a gradual change in the way we educate America's youth and if it begins to work much better, it will catch on quickly. If not, the system will go down in flames.

Just for the record, I was a privately educated child and I am OPPOSED to school vouchers... The sooner the gov't starts giving me money to send my child to a private school, the sooner they will be able to tell that school what it can/can't say and can/can't teach...

Fri Dec 24 2004 3:49 PM


"If not, the system will go down in flames."

That is what I'm concerned about.

If someone wants to improve public education, I would humbly suggest the following ideas:

1) Increase spending on high school campus security.

2) Increase teacher pay. They should earn at least as much as firemen and policemen.

3) Give teachers veto power over their students. If they feel that a particular student is not there to learn, they should be able to call security and have that student permanently removed from the class.

4) Students should be given a form to confidentially review teachers at the end of each semester. Student reviews should form a part of the teacher's overall performance review.

5) There should be no tenure for primary and secondary school educators.

6) If a student fails to meet standard, he must be given the opportunity to catch up in summer school. If he is unable to catch up, he must be held back.

7) Make it easier to expel students from public high school, if they are clearly just causing trouble and not there to learn. Assign the Department of Education to set consistent rules and standards which will ensure fairness and also protect teachers and school administration who choose to expel students. For instance, probably the judgement of 3 teachers, or 2 teachers and the principal should be enough to expel a student.

8) Create a vocational training track in the 11th and 12th grades, which allows non-college-bound students to intern with companies as part of their education, provided that they stay in school.

9) Require teachers to monitor the halls during breaks, instead of going to the teacher's room for a smoke.

10) Create a society which values work, rather than wealth, so that students can envision the possibility of achieving the American dream. Raise the minimum wage. Make sure that (at a minimum) every person who is willing to work can obtain health insurance coverage.

11) Break up the L.A. Unified School District and other school systems which have a sorry track record of mismanagement. LAUSD is a gimongous ball of crud. Split it up into manageable parts and hopefully some of them will thrive.

Sat Dec 25 2004 2:18 AM


Here's the point... you're trying to patch up a broken down system instead of investigating alternatives. There is greate evidence that alternatives to the current public education system will be a vast improvement from what we have now, and closer to the standards the rest of the world enjoys...

Why must be so conservative on this issue? Change is what libearlism is all about!

Sat Dec 25 2004 7:51 AM


I would be open to privatization if it were tested on a small scale first and proven to be successful. It rarely makes sense to make sweeping changes in a major system, without prelimary viability testing. It's not good business sense.

Sun Dec 26 2004 5:34 PM


Private schooling has been tested on a small scale for a couple hundred years, seems to be working.

In my area Catholic schools are notorious for their low teacher pay (about 2/3s or less then public schools) but every position is filled. Parents line up and pull every string and call in every favor they have to try and get their kids out of the public school system. Its funny watching these religous bashers scramble to find a "friend" with some pull, in the mean time Catholic children are now the minority in Topeka Catholic schools.

Tue Dec 28 2004 5:46 AM


by David Burge

I sometimes hear the question, "Why are you a Democrat?" and frankly, I have to laugh. Laugh and laugh, because perhaps this person may tire of my laughing, and he will eventually wander off. Sometimes I ponder seriously when I hear this question, because I'll look around and around and there's nobody there asking the question. Why am I a Democrat?

I am a Democrat because I believe everyone deserves a chance. And if necessary, a second chance. And if, by the eighth or ninth chance, this guy needs another chance, I mean, come on. This guy is due.

I am a Democrat because I believe in helping those in need. All of us, you and I, have an obligation to those less fortunate. You go first, okay? I'm a little short this week.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the equality of all people, regardless of their race. That is why I think we should give free medical degrees to minorities because, well, duh. Like any of those types are going to make it through medical school.

I am a Democrat because I fervently believe in tolerance. Tolerance is critical in our diverse society, and if you have a problem with that, mister, then I will inform the authorities and I bet that after a few hours in their "special room" you too will agree that tolerance is critical.

I am a Democrat because I believe that we should take our noses out of other people's bedrooms. I say we move the noses to their banks and storage sheds and scout troops, and so forth.

I am a Democrat because I hold sacred freedom of the press, as well as freedom of the TV and freedom of the movie. Where I draw the line is freedom of the talk radio, and don't even get me started about that damn Internet business.

I am a Democrat because I recognize that education is important. Very, very, extremely very important. We must increase spending on education and enact important education reforms, such as eliminating standardized tests. Because we can never hope to measure this beautiful, elusive, important thing we call education.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the separation of church and state. We must stop the religious extremists who want school-sanctioned prayers. Now, you tell me - with all that chanting and praying and incense-burning going on, how can our kids concentrate on the big condom-and-banana midterm?

I am a Democrat because I believe in the rights of women, be they lawyers or housewives or skanky interns. For too long women have been the victims of discrimination, and we must target programs to help these women, and also the various people who have descended from women.

I am a Democrat because I believe in women's right to choose. I mean, not a church school or a tax shelter, or something like that, obviously. Let's be reasonable.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the rule of law. Or, at least, lawyers. Because hey, according to my attorney, I could have been on the Number 7 bus when it crashed yesterday. As far as you know.

I am a Democrat because I believe a healthy economy depends on good jobs at good wages. So fork 'em over, you fat b@stard boss man.

I am a Democrat because I believe the government should step in to create good jobs when that fat b@stard boss man moves my good job to Mexico. Hey, I know! Maybe we can take all the money that boss man spends on non-job-creating stuff, like solid gold yachts and mink spats, and use that money to create jobs.

I am a Democrat because I fear the power of giant unrestrained monopolies, such as Microsoft, Nike, Parker Brothers, Univac and the Erie Canal Company. The government must wage an unrelenting, all-out war to crush these scary monopolies to a pulp before they get too powerful.

I am a Democrat because I believe in a strong military. Strong, yes, but caring and thoughtful too, and ready to face new challenges. A military that enjoys long strolls on the beach, cuddling in front of a warm fire, unafraid to show its vulnerable side. Must be NS/DDF.

I am a Democrat because I believe there is too much violence in society, especially in our schools. To avoid another Columbine tragedy, we should have mellow "rap" sessions with at-risk teens, such as the Goths. The violence will only end after the teen Goths see that we adults really care, and are "hip" to their groovy teen Goth scene.

I am a Democrat because I believe in campaign finance reform. Sadly, our politics are dominated by advertisements, paid for by the contributions of giant corporations. All too often, these drown out legitimate grassroots opinions, like the kind heard on TimeWarner-AOL-CNN, TimesCorp, or Disney-ABC.

I am a Democrat because I believe in public support of the arts. By "the arts," I of course mean those things made by, or excreted by, an artist of some sort. It is especially important that art be provocative and take controversial stances, like opposing Jesse Helms, and so on.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the environment and conservation. For instance, we must raise the price of gasoline, like they do in Europe, to increase conservation. If we don't, there will soon be a big gas shortage, and this will mean higher gasoline prices for you and me.

I am a Democrat because I detest greed. Especially the sickening greed of those who struck it rich in the 1980s, and greedily refuse to give me any of their stuff.

I am a Democrat because I... hey look! A new episode of Survivor! Geez, I hope they don't vote off Jenna, she's my favorite.

Tue Dec 28 2004 11:21 AM

Tom from Madison:

Democrats need to make a case for moral values based on the facts. Here are some salient ones:

The divorce rate is generally higher in red states than in blue states. [ ] Non-born again Christians [e.g. Catholics and Lutherans (some might call themselves born again)] seem to have lower divorce rates than born agains [e.g. Evangelicals, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc.].

The suicide rate is generally higher in red states than in blue states. [ ]
Here's a quote from the above source:
"The five states with the most lopsided Bush vote (Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, with a margin of 25 percent or more) were all among the top eight for suicide." Note: This refers to the 2000 election, but the pattern seems to be holding.

There are similar stats out there for murder rate and sales of pornography per capita. All are higher in red states. It seems that a lot of church-going people aren't practicing what they're preaching.

Tue Dec 28 2004 1:08 PM


Need to apply a few common facts to your stats. Divorce rate is higher, but the MARRIAGE RATE is also higher in red states, the population is also younger. As for the suicide rate, I can live with that, its the murder rate that would concern me:

1) California
2) Texas
3) New York
4) Florida
5) Illinois
6) Michigan
7) Louisiana
8) North Carolina
9) Pennsylvania
10) Georgia

Wow, the moralist blue states hold their own pretty well.

Tue Dec 28 2004 1:21 PM


I kinda get tired of all this "blue state" - "red state" terminology...

I live in CA, one of the bluer of blue states, but the area (and I don't mean my city block, I mean my countie and all the counties around where I live) are very red. It's too much of a broad stroke to break it down by state. Stats mean much more to be when broken down by group affiliation (religious, sex(ual orientation), education, etc...) or somethign similar to that, not the state of residency...

Tue Dec 28 2004 9:14 PM


*is very red

Tue Dec 28 2004 9:16 PM

Tom from Madison:


Do you have a source four your murder rate stats? I do & it doesn't agree with yours:

For 2003 the rates were actually:

Louisiana 13
Maryland 9.5
Mississippi 9.3
Nevada 8.8
Arizona 7.9
Georgia 7.6
South Carolina 7.2
Illinois 7.1
California 6.8
Tennessee 6.8
Alabama 6.6
Arkansas 6.4
Texas 6.4
Michigan 6.1
North Carolina 6.1
Alaska 6
New Mexico 6
Oklahoma 5.9
Virginia 5.6
Indiana 5.5
Florida 5.4
Pennsylvania 5.3
Missouri 5
New York 4.9
New Jersey 4.7
Kentucky 4.6
Ohio 4.6
Kansas 4.5
Colorado 3.9
West Virginia 3.5
Montana 3.3
Wisconsin 3.3
Nebraska 3.2
Connecticut 3
Washington 3
Delaware 2.9
Wyoming 2.8
Minnesota 2.5
Utah 2.5
Rhode Island 2.3
Vermont 2.3
Massachusetts 2.2
North Dakota 1.9
Oregon 1.9
Idaho 1.8
Hawaii 1.7
Iowa 1.6
New Hampshire 1.4
South Dakota 1.3
Maine 1.2

Look at the bottom, look at the top. Then draw your own conclusions

Wed Dec 29 2004 7:02 AM

Tom from Madison:

Here's another source that combines several categories.

METHODOLOGY: The Most Dangerous State 2003 rankings are determined by a four step process. First, rates for six crime categories — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft — are plugged into a formula that measures how a state compares to the national average for a given crime category.

The results are similar.

By the way, the Canadian murder rate is 1.73--the lowest its been since 1967. I seem to recall Bill O'Reilly making a big deal about how Canada is becoming a secularist state to the detriment of its people.

Personally, I'd like to see our national murder rate that low!

Wed Dec 29 2004 7:15 AM


The murder rate stat I posted was not accurate (or accurately introduced), it ranks the murder rates of population centers of 100,000+ within a state. Much like the murder rate of Rural Red Missouri is dragged up with Blue Urban St Louis.

As for Canada's murder rate who cares? In Canada, suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 25 to 29 and 40 to 44, and for women aged 30 to 34. It is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15 to 24. For each completed suicide there are 100 attempts, and over 23,000 Canadians are hospitalized each year for a suicide attempt.

Hell they don't need murder, they're killing themselves. I would also expect the murder rate to be lower in a homogenous society like Canada.

Wed Dec 29 2004 9:53 AM

Tom from Madison:

There is only a small difference between US and Canadian suicide rates.

2000 Canadian Suicide rate per 100,000: 11.4
2000 US Suicide rate per 100,000: 10.7
source: [World Health Organization]

However the murder rate in the US is over 3 times that in Canada. [see 2003 stats previously cited]. It seems very unlikely that all of that can be explained away by lack of diversity in Canada.

Who cares? Anyone who would like to see the murder rate lower in the US! Since we just had an election that was supposedly about "moral values", I thought Bushies and those promoting a "culture of life" would care.

Wed Dec 29 2004 11:12 AM


"I live in CA, one of the bluer of blue states, but the area (and I don't mean my city block, I mean my county and all the counties around where I live) is very red. It's too much of a broad stroke to break it down by state. Stats mean much more to be when broken down by group affiliation (religious, sex(ual orientation), education, etc...) or something similar to that, not the state of residency..."

Made those corrections for you, hope you don't mind.

I agree. I've actually noticed that CA only remains "blue" because of the highly urbanized cities (LA, SF, etc.), but much of it is really conservative. I don't think states should be grouped as a whole, which is why I don't like the electoral college system.

Speaking of Canada, I was recently looking at a video from FOX that had Anne Coulter (I think is her name) and Tucker Carlson talking about how we're so "generous" to allow Canada to basically exist on its own, saying how we could've taken Canada over at any time. I found this to be rather disgusting. Talk about being ethnocentric on an enormous scale.

Wed Dec 29 2004 11:58 AM

Tom from Madison:

Ann Coulter has made her career out of saying stupid things. By staking out the far right fringe she serves some useful purposes for the righties:
1) O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity and the conservative media elite could be perceived by some as the common-sense center compared to her. Of course in reality they are THE FAR RIGHT and she's just a loony.
2) Progressives waste a lot of time arguing with her and don't get around to making their own points. Those on the left need to stay focused and not get de-railed by the deliberate distractors.

Wed Dec 29 2004 12:37 PM


Ann Coulter is to the right what Al Franken is to the left: They're both nuts but are funny to listen to...

Wed Dec 29 2004 5:03 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Hell thats a stat even I didn't know (or cared about), but if you consider 671 Canadians out of 25+ million commiting suicide on par with 'killing themselves' well, I guess those insurgents are just completely overrunning your armed forces, with 1,200 dead out of 150,000. Damn you might as well surrender.

Homogenous society... whatever. I'll take that as a complement.

Wed Dec 29 2004 7:46 PM

Tom from Madison:

I have to disagree with the idea that Ann Coulter and Al Franken are somehow equivalent. Al Franken is sincere in his beliefs and he's definitely a much more accomplished satirist than Ann Coulter could ever hope to be.

Whether you agree or disagree with him, Franken has much more objective research to back-up his positions. He is also a long-time backer of progressive populist causes. He was a very close friend of late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone and may even be a candidate for the Senate in 2008. Ann Coulter is not likely to be elected to anything.

Thu Dec 30 2004 6:54 AM


Al Franken may run for senate, just like Ralph Nader may run for president. Don't mean shit other then its a free country.

Wed Jan 5 2005 12:40 PM


Personally I'd rather see Al remain on the radio or maybe move into TV. He is doing a fine job of energizing progressives and challenging the likes of O'Reilly and the conservative media elite.

He seems to bother and provoke thought in people who need it the most.

Wed Jan 5 2005 12:58 PM

Tom from Madison:

The last post is mine. The one before is DEFINITELY NOT!

Wed Jan 5 2005 12:59 PM


Of course you want Al stay on the radio. A public vote for his “populist positions” would only reveal how weak the support is for a truly overt liberal. Nothing like 4% or 5% polling to smack one back into reality. Arianna Huffington learned that lesson; I’d think Al would have learned from her how dabbling in the big pool can be embarrassing. Of course “Air America” needs to stay on the air for him to keep his job. As for TV, Al could always go back to playing Pat, the sexually ambiguous character on SNL.

Wed Jan 5 2005 1:14 PM

Tom from Madison:

Progessive Paul Wellstone would likely have been re-elected Senator in 2002 if his plane hadn't gone down. If you recall, Republicans used his funeral to their advantage to beat an old retired Walter Mondale who became the last minute Democratic candidate in that race.

Minnesota has a long, strong progressive tradition. Al Franken has deep Minnesota roots. 4% or 5% is a neo-con wet dream. He would do much better.

Franken could do more damage to right-wing power as a broadcaster--especially if Bill O'Reilly ever dares to debate him in a forum where he doesn't control the mike. The un-edited C-SPAN Book Expo exchange remains on my favorite political TV viewing list. O'Reilly is too much of a coward to ever take on Franken that way again!

Wed Jan 5 2005 1:45 PM


"Progessive Paul Wellstone would likely have been re-elected Senator in 2002 if his plane hadn't gone down."

At that point your departure from reality became complete.

"If you recall, Republicans used his funeral to their advantage to beat an old retired Walter Mondale who became the last minute Democratic candidate in that race.

The Wellstone Memorial Service, became the democrat rave of 2002 and the foreshadowing of the 2004 elections. The democrats were hoping for another Mel Carnahan victory, but the voters of Minnesota where so disgusted by the showing that the backlash went nationwide.

"A backlash against the politically charged service almost certainly helped Norm Coleman beat Walter Mondale for Wellstone's Minnesota Senate seat. And a private poll by Bill Clinton's former pollster, Mark Penn, suggests the service backfired on Democrats nationally as well.

One Democrat who quickly sensed that the service was a political disaster was Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, a possible 2004 presidential contender.",8599,388903,00.html

When John Kerry smells disaster you are FUCKED!

Wed Jan 5 2005 2:05 PM


I deeply regret if anyone took offense or was taken by surprise by some of the content of one of the addresses last night," Wellstone campaign manager Jeff Blodgett said. "It certainly was not an orchestrated or scripted event as some have suggested." Neither the campaign staff nor memorial organizers had any idea what would be said by Rick Kahn, one of Wellstone's closest friends and the campaign treasurer, Blodgett said.

Ventura said, "I feel used. I feel violated and duped over the fact that that turned into a political rally." In interviews on CNN and WCCO Radio, Ventura noted that he left midway through Kahn's speech. "I think the Democrats should hang their head in shame," said the governor, who also called the event "despicable."

When a PROWRESTLER's sensibilities are so offended he has to leave you are REALLY FUCKED.

Tom, I do feel the need to thank you for bringing up the Wellstone event in this "values thread". Nothing else I can think would be a better example of how far the democrats have fallen on the values issue and how out of touch they are with "normal people".

Wed Jan 5 2005 2:21 PM


What's up with the profanity?

As usual, critical facts need to be brought in to bring the neo-con grandstanders out of their spin-zone.

1) Wellstone died 1 month before the election. Voters couldn't vote for a powerful well-respected incumbent.
2) Before he died, Wellstone had a small lead.
3) Coleman himself was a moderate, former Democrat. He changed parties in 1996.
4) Minnesota voted for Gore in 2000, Kerry in 2004

Bottom line; Minnesota is a Blue State that didn't re-elect a powerful popular Senator because they couldn't--he died in a plane crash.

Wed Jan 5 2005 2:38 PM

Tom from Madison:

You're welcome,

by the way the last post is mine!

Wed Jan 5 2005 2:39 PM


There were a lot of smiling faces and plenty of back slapping at that memorial. It was a somber occasion that turned into a political circus.

I took a lot of flack for "whining" and for begrudging 25,000 people their 3-hour cathartic outpouring.

Unfortunately, for Mondale, many voters in Minnesota saw it like I saw it.

A cheap and tasteless stunt. Using a deadman and his family for political gain. It was low even for the DNC.

The voters in that state have spoken. Let's hope the Democrats heard what they've said...and maybe learn something.

As written by none other then HOWARD DEAN. Thanks again Tom

Wed Jan 5 2005 3:21 PM


"Lets hope the Democrats heard what they said.... and maybe learned something"

Thanks to Tom I am convinced that the democrats never learn from their mistakes. Perhaps Zell Miller was on to to something with his book "National Party No More". Will it be replaced by the Green Party?

Wed Jan 5 2005 3:25 PM

Tom from Madison:

Republicans succeeded in turning Paul Wellstone's funeral into a big victory for their side.

I think it proves that the neo-cons and the Republican noise machine themselves have no shame.

I can sense the joy that neo-cons still take in Wellstone's demise. If you're still feeling good about that, you are truly a sick one.

Wellstone was a great Senator and public servant. If it was wrong for Democrats to politicize his funeral, it must also be wrong for Republicans to do the same! If you're still laughing, you really ought to go back to Sunday school!

In my experience, good Christians and people of character in general don't resort to hypocracy for political gain.

Wed Jan 5 2005 4:45 PM


This may be off-topic, but, in the interests of preserving the Sanctity of Comedy, I must point out that Julia Sweeney, not Al Franken, played the sexually ambiguous Pat. If that was an attempt at emasculating Mr. Franken, you failed miserably. If you just don't know the difference, then may God have mercy on your soul.

Wed Jan 5 2005 9:13 PM

Dave E.:

Glad somebody pointed that out.

It's truly embarassing when instigators can't even get their instigations accurate - truly a keystone cop operation. That's comedy. Thank you for preserving its Sanctity.

Wed Jan 5 2005 11:00 PM

Dave E.:

And in the interest of full disclosure, Al Franken's character on SNL was actually Stuart Smalley, the daily affirmation dude. You know, because people like him.

And by the way, if it were up to me, I'd bring back the Hammurabi Code. Set these young liberal snots straight and learn the roots of real, old school conservatism moral values and what a true, ordered and disciplined society is all about. I'll get the stones.

Wed Jan 5 2005 11:27 PM

Tom from Madison:


You're correct. W doesn't seem to even believe in due process. [Has he heard of the Magna Carta?] Lifetime detention of terrorist SUSPECTS is being seriously considered and torture is now AOK.

The US Constitution, Bill or Rights and Declaration of Independence are becoming meaningless. Real Patriots need to refuse to go along with Bush's fear-mongering. The threat of terror can not be used to suspend civil rights. To do so is downright un-American.

Thu Jan 6 2005 7:58 AM


Only the liberal left thinks al franken matters. His radio station is a bomb despite the spin you read.

Secondly its nice to see the liberals out in force defending terrorists with one hand, while tossing another dead baby in the garbage with the other.

Defend the guilty, kill the innocent. You lefties are good at that. Just cut out the life is precious arguements you parade around in regardes to iraq right now. Life inst precious to you, you kill it everday. What are we up to, 43 million dead people?


Thu Jan 6 2005 8:49 AM

Tom from Madison:

The vast majority of progressives want fewer abortions. I am one. A majority, but not all, want abortion to be legal for various reasons. This is my position. There aren't a lot of graveyards for miscarried embryos and fetuses. If you want to consider these to be equivalent to babies, that is your religious right. This position should not be imposed on everyone in society.

Liberals AND conservatives believe that killling innocent post-gestation life is wrong. Therefore it must be wrong to sacrifice thousands of innocent civilians to kill far fewer terrorists, especially when there are other ways available to protect innocent civilians.

Suspicion of being a terrorist is not the same as being a terrorist. Due process is a basic element of civilization and it works against real terrorist if lazy ass attorneys general will actually do their jobs.

Torture is a morally wrong. It is not a deterrent to terror. Witness the worsening situation in Iraq.

Franken's show is very successful--ask his advertisers! It matters and is growing in momentum. If you don't like, don't listen. I bet it makes a lot of conservatives nervous. The vitriol and hatred unleashed here tells me Al is doing a LOT OF GOOD!

Thu Jan 6 2005 9:45 AM

Mike of the Great White North:

Ahhhh seee, it's *&^7 like this that really pisses me off... broad generalizing presumptious little bitches like this cowardly prick who wont even put in an alias to respond to.

Typical f'n trash making stupid claims like 'lefties defend terrorists and kill children'... you who show so much passion for a few cells that would inevitably become a child care nothing for the innocents that die in some foriegn land you cant pronounce and could care less about because those ay-rabs are all the same and terrorist scum that deserve to be killed because of 9-11 etc....

Christ i've had it... from now on any time hear an idiot come out and say libs are baby killers and defenders of terrorists ill simply say "F^%# OFF AND DIE YOU POSTERBOY FOR TROJANS"

Now go stroke off to Ann Coulter you human waste.

Thu Jan 6 2005 10:11 AM

Dave E.:

Anonymous seems to enjoy making sweeping categorizations. Must make their world more understandable not to have to deal with its complexities. "You lefties". I love it. He has no idea of anyone's stance on abortion here, yet seems to envision us all waiting in line, eager to toss bloody fetuses into dumpsters. This is the mind of a paranoid and is the most susceptible to said fear-mongering from the rhetoricians who currently direct this nation. The easiest to scare, because they believe that the barbarians are at their little white picket fence gate which walls off their heavily-fortified 1/4 acre. Lock your doors! The liberals are coming!!

Allow me to categorize righties are so predictable: love the fetus, hate the child. This is one of the greatest social contradictions demonstrated today. Once the kid is born, it's all about Rugged Individualism. Our infant mortality rate and poverty rates are dispicably high. Love the fetus, hate the child. And do not mistake this argument as an endorsment of abortion...I'm calling for consistency in the right wing outrage based on its value system. Abortion makes them feel icky, so they run around, wagging their fingers at those they call murderers. But poverty requires them to - gulp - "subsidize with tax money" and give "handouts" to "freeriders" who they think are just plain lazy and deserve what they get, including their undercared for, unhealthy children who will grow up to perpetuate the cyclical problem and confound another generation of morally valued, upstanding, born with privelege, white collar conservative power brokers who all curiously come from one race/gender group to continue to dominate skewed policy orchestration under the guise of "doing it for the common, working class American".

Diatribe complete. Press on with calling me a babykiller.

Thu Jan 6 2005 10:15 AM



Franken doesnt make conservatives nervous, he makes them laugh.

Why is believing killing unborn children is morally wrong a religious thing? answer me.

Thu Jan 6 2005 10:26 AM


"Why is believing killing unborn children is morally wrong a religious thing?"

Only because the majority of who believe this are religious. If you can categorize people, I think others have the right to do it once in a while. At least he's not grouping ALL right-wingers together. But I will say that yes, non-religious people can be pro-life, too.

David E.: Very well put. I raise my hat to you, if I wore one.

Tom: I'm also one who would like to see fewer abortions. I also do not think that a moral belief on an issue such as abortion should be imposed on a huge number who do not share the same beliefs.

And not all religious folk are automatically pro-life; I am pro-life and pro-choice. I believe that the developing life is important, but if there is a true need for an abortion, then so be it. And previous arguments have been that abortion is used as birth control, that it gives them this freedom over life. People who think it's easy to get an abortion are IGNORANT. A woman will forever be changed after receiving an abortion and will live with whatever results afterwards. Do you think a woman just comes in and leaves all fine and dandy? Not only is this a physical change, but it can wreak havoc on her emotionally. But obviously, some people don't seem to understand nor acknowledge this aspect because hey, it's all about saving that fetus, right? Of course the fetus is way more important than the mother (and that's sarcasm by the way).

So it's not like liberals don't care about the unborn baby, but they refuse to push a personal belief on others who don't agree. Just because people think differently doesn't mean they're cold-hearted.

Thu Jan 6 2005 10:50 AM

Tom from Madison:

The short answer to your moral question is not everyone believes that a human soul equivalent to that of a born baby exists in an embryo or a fetus. Different religions have different tenets on this subjects. Not all Christians believe that abortion is murder.

In this country, we are free to practice many religions including those that allow abortion. There are plenty of countries where this kind of religious freedom doesn't exist. However America isn't one of them.

I know plenty of conservatives who Franken makes nervous and some he makes laugh too. As far as I'm concerned, it's all good. Either way, they're listening!

...Oh yeah, he's drug free and faithful to his wife. Gotta love those moral values!

Thu Jan 6 2005 10:50 AM

Jim Gilliam
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