Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Kato Kaelin, Howard Borden, and Dupree

I am still guesting at SCSU Scholars. Check it out!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Vituperative, Radioactive, and Demonized

I am still guest-blogging at SCSU Scholars. I don't want to get into too much of a rut on a couple of subjects, so here is an update to this post (and this one) concerning judicial campaign speech. I was quoted in the Minnesota Lawyer. Here are some excerpts from the story:

St. Paul attorney Gail Chang Bohr remarked that elections have given several people of color and women the opportunity to take the bench. Some judges who made inappropriate remarks about women lawyers have been challenged by women and defeated, she stated. “That gave me a lot of faith in the system because it did not suffer [such] behavior from judges,” she said.

* * *

I am glad she brought this up. When I was in high school, a certain judge would refer to women attorneys as "lawyerettes." A lot of attorneys refer to it as though it happened yesterday. I was going to use it in my own speech as a reason to say that not all judges deserve to be reelected, but ran out of time. It was more powerful coming from Bohr, anyway. More from the article:

St. Paul City Council Member Jay Benanav, who is running for judge in Ramsey County, said there is no perfect system and the public has to be trusted to make the right decisions. He also recommended public financing of judicial campaigns and pledged not to seek a partisan endorsement in his race against incumbent Ramsey County District Court Judge Elena Ostby. (Attorney Paul Godfrey is also running in that race.)

Lipman asked Benanav if he had become “radioactive” among lawyers since his decision to challenge an incumbent.

Benanav responded that he had been told not to run and that there is a “special vituperative response” sometimes directed from lawyers to lawyers who challenge incumbent judges.

* * *

Golden Valley attorney Peter Swanson said that he supported a retention system in which voters would decide if a judge should retain his or her seat rather than have to choose between the judge and an opponent. Such a system is known as a “Missouri Plan” because the state of Missouri has implemented retention elections.

“The Missouri Plan will not fix all the problems, but it’s the right way to go,” Swanson said. The absence of a challenger would ameliorate some of the concerns about excessive spending on judicial campaigns, he added.

Swanson made several pointed remarks about the legal community’s response to the White case. “The bar association would have more credibility if it were part of the solution,” he said. Clearly referring to Wersal, he added, “People who take on constitutional issues should be honored, not demonized.”

Last post on this for awhile. I promise (fingers crossed behind back, just in case).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tom, Becky, and Yuri

My guest blogging begins this week with a post at SCSU Scholars.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Josh, Mike, and Peter

It is down to the wire in this poll. Please visit SCSU Scholars and vote for me (prior to 7:30 am (central) Thursday).

UPDATE (11:15 Thursday): The poll is still live. You can vote once per day, per computer.

UPDATE (noon Thursday): I got the gig! Thanks to all who voted for me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Runs, Hits, and Errors

Regarding this post, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has a three-part series on opportunities for black American kids to play baseball. Read it here, here, and here.

Also, you should vote every day in this poll for me to guest blog at SCSU Scholars!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kindest, Bravest, and Warmest

Hey Cygnets (new term I coined for my fans), you need to vote for me in the guest blogging contest at SCSU Scholars. Include in your comments the following:

Peter Swanson is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. He should get the guest blogging gig.
(from the Manchurian Candidate)

UPDATE: It looks like there is an online poll here on the top of the page of SCSU Scholars (scroll down for Firefox users). You can still do the Manchurian Candidate thing.

All ten of you Cygnets need to vote!
Left, Right, and Left

New recruit doesn't want to ship off to basic training:

When Valle saw a video about the rigors of basic training, he decided he had made the wrong decision. "I didn't want to do it anymore," he said recently. "They yell in your face and you take orders."

No kidding, Sherlock. This reminds me of a guy in my neighborhood who came home from the first day of first grade complaining that you had to raise your hand if you wanted to talk.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (7-7-06)

Open thread Friday. As always, your thoughts belong in the comment section.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Dave, Jay, and Joan

I am working on getting a guest blogging gig on a well-known site. I am saving all my good posts for the audition. Stay tuned.
Offense, Defense, and History

A prominent Minnesotan recently (June 23) advocated a preemptive strike against a North Korean missle that could reach the U.S.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale said Friday in Minneapolis that he supports a preemptive U.S. strike against a North Korean missile, saying the United States should tell North Korea to dismantle the missile or "we are going to take it out."

"I think it would end the nuclear long-range dreams of this dangerous country," said Mondale, who was the 1984 Democratic presidential nominee and a former U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Hmm. How did the former vice president feel about missle defense when he ran for president in 1984? Here was the second presidential debate:

... Defense Department said to get there we would have to solve eight problems, each of which are more difficult than the atomic bomb and the Manhattan Project. It would cost something like a trillion dollars to test and deploy weapons. The second thing is this all assumes that the Soviets wouldn't respond in kind, and they always do. We don't get behind, they won't get behind and that's been the tragic story of the arms race. We have more at stake in space satellites than they do. If we could stop right now the testing and the deployment of these space weapons and the President's proposals go clear beyond research. If it was just research, we wouldn't have any argument, because maybe some day somebody will think of something. But to commit this nation to a buildup of anti-satellite and space weapons at this time in their crude state would bring about an arms race that's very dangerous indeed. One final point: The most dangerous aspect of this proposal is for the first time we would delegate to computers the decision as to whether to start a war. That's dead wrong. There wouldn't be time for a President to decide. It would be decided by these remote computers. It might be an oil fire, it might be a jet exhaust, the computer might decide it's a missile and off we go. Why don't we stop this madness now and draw a line and keep the heavens free from war?

... Now, why do I support the freeze? Because this ever-rising arms race madness makes both nations less secure, it's more difficult to defend this nation, it is putting a hair trigger on nuclear war. This Administration, by going into the Star Wars system, is going to add a dangerous new escalation. We have to be tough on the Soviet Union, but I think the American people and the people of the Soviet Union want it to stop.

OK. The debate was over space-based weapons, right? So it didn't concern our current missle defense, did it? Here was President Reagan's response in the debate:

...but when you keep star-warring it - I never suggested where the weapons should be or what kind. I'm not a scientist. I said, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed with me, that it was time for us to turn our research ability to seeing if we could not find this kind of a defensive weapon. And suddenly somebody says, oh, it's got to be up there - star wars - and so forth. I don't know what it would be, but if we can come up with one, I think the world will be better off.

And Mondale's dismissive rebuttal:

Well, that's what a President's supposed to know - where those weapons are going to be. If they're space weapons, I assume they'll be in space. If they're antisatellite weapons, I assume they're going to be armed against any satellite. Now, this is the most dangerous technology that we possess. The Soviets try to spy on us - steal this stuff - and to give them technology of this kind, I disagree with. You haven't just accepted research, Mr. President, you've set up a strategic defense initiative and agency. You're beginning to test. You're talking about deploying. You're asking for a budget of some $30 billion for this purpose. This is an arms escalation, and we will be better off - far better off - if we stop right now, because we have more to lose in space than they do. If someday somebody comes along with an answer, that's something else, but that there would be an answer in our lifetime is unimaginable. Why do we start things that we know the Soviets will match and make us all less secure? That's what a President is for.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe

In the past, I have talked about good death scenes in movies. How come this has never been made into a movie?