Eric's Daily Weblog

In the news...

The backing of torture––indeed, the relishing of it––is not a Christian trait. However, one prominent "Christian" continues to spout off glibly about the joys of committing war crimes. Finally, and thankfully, some within her corner of the universe are calling her out. Torture of another human in your control is not a joking matter. 

Neither is executing another human, for that matter. Given that 1 in 25 people on death row in this country are likely innocent, and given the barbarity of the actual executions, can a civilized society justify continuing the practice of capital punishment? The value of the practice, both in preventing crime and in making its victims feel better, is suspect

Fortunately, Minnesota isn't likely to execute people any time soon. 

On another matter, there is a correlation between brain injury and homelessness. Of course, the prevailing talk-radio ideology loves to blame all people in unfortunate situations for their own situation by claiming they lack character. I think the more we understand about brain injuries and chemistry, the more sympathetic we may become to people who suffer. 

 

 

 

 

Profile...

The Crookston Times published this profile this weekend.

 

Weekend

One of the many highlights of this busy past weekend was attending the Minnpost fundraiser, MinnRoast. Well, actually I attended the reception and then ducked out when the show started and walked over to Target field to get a cheap seat for the Twins game. My truancy was not rewarded; the Twins immediately gave up ten runs. I left. 

Back at the reception was a who's who of Minnesota politics. It was a particular thrill to run into for Judge Jack Davies, now in his eighties. What a delightful and accomplished man, one of Minnesota's greats. And I'll bet half the people there didn't know who he was. 

Until I read the biography in the link, I didn't realize he coined the phrase, "The world is run by those who show up." 

What I know is that he wrote the classic text on how to be a legislator. I have been reading it lately. As one who has read books myself, I know that one great way to connect with somebody is to tell them, "I am just now reading your book!" 

So, we had a great conversation. 

I also met Don and Arvonne Fraser, two giants in Minnesota politics during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Arvonne is still very active. 

The next morning, it was into training, or "boot camp." I can say after the two day experience that "boot camp" is an apt description. We candidates wrote and gave our stump speeches and criticized each other. We practiced fundraising. We planned out our campaign timelines. The presenters were experienced and excellent. I think most of you would be heartened by the authentic interest these politicos have in improving things. It was not a cynical bunch. 

 

 

Later...

stdieun.jpg

 

Interview

Earlier this week, I was interviewed by KROX radio on my decision to run for the MN House. It is humbling to read the literal transcript of what I said. I swear I have better command of noun-verb agreement and sentence structure than this clip indicates! I hope the message got through...

Upgrade

 twinspht.jpg

Just arrived in Minneapolis for a weekend of candidate training. I got a room at the Marriot on Priceline. When I arrived, I was told I was upgraded to a two-story suite on 31st floor. That was fun enough, but when I got up to the room, this was the view! Twins play tonight. Unfortunately, I am otherwise occupied. But if my other event gets boring, I'll probably be up in my room watching the game. 

Notice in the foreground they're trying to raise hay on the top of the Target Center. 

Gomez

My favorite player in the big leagues today, Carlos Gomez, got in trouble again for playing the game with a Latin flair. After stroking a pitch deep to center, he hung around home plate a little while to enjoy the flight of the ball. After he finally took off running, he made it to third on a triple. If he hadn't lingered in the batter's box, he may have had an inside-the-park home run.

But no matter. In today's hyper-sensitive baseball culture, the pitcher, some Pirate named Cole, was more offended that Gomez enjoyed himself than he was relieved that he didn't score. He swore at Gomez as Carlos slid into third. You can hear it on the tape. And Gomez went after him. As well he should have. 

Gomez plays baseball with elan. More power to him. Baseball is a game.  Baseball players are entertainers. Babe Ruth understood it. Mark Fidrych understood it. Kirby Puckett understood it. Players today, however, are, oddly, etiquette fundamentalists. If you break some sort of unwritten rule, usually by playing with a bit of panache, the ultra-sensitive have to get their revenge. 

What players should realize is that the more who play like Gomez, the more everybody profits by baseball becoming more entertaining, more flashy, more bigger-than-life. Fans are sick of watching a four-hour chess match. They want action. They want personality. They want drama. 

Gomez gives them all three. All hail Carlos Gomez, who the Twins should never have traded. 

Corrupting a generation, cont.

More on the Fox effect...

Moving

Spent this beautiful Easter Sunday moving. The idea was to move a minimum of stuff to the duplex in town, as we don't know for how long we will be there. But once you start evaluating, you end up hauling a lot more than you anticipated. 

After eight years--plus! --in the swamp castle, we're getting ready to rent it out. At that point, you notice things you have been putting off. The living room carpet needs stretching, for example. And you notice eccentricities which might not be appreciated by a renter. Some of the art, for example. Or the Christmas ornaments hanging above the fireplace for no particular reason. 

Moving is a pain, but when there is a purpose, it it is kind of fun. For the next six months, I have one job: working hard to get elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 1-B.

 

 

Grandpa's shadow...

grandpashadow.jpg 

Grandpa has a new shadow, and the language barrier is collapsing as Champoo is picking up English in a hurry. Of course, she is lonely for her friends in Thailand. I can't imagine what is going through the poor girl's head! But she and Grandpa are on the same page. She loves to sneak on the back seat of the golf cart without Grandpa noticing. 

Grandpa plays checkers with Champoo, but is perplexed at her rules, which have so far resulted in her winning every game. 

Such is Grandpahood.