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Comments cover politics, tattoos, archbishops and ethanol

Politics, tattoos and ethanol were some of the topics that prompted readers to comment on MinnPost stories and posts in recent days. Here’s a sampling of what they were saying:

Dan H. Hoxworth seconded Joe Kimball’s Monday post, “Archbishop Flynn lightens situations with a little levity”:

We in the East Metro have been blessed by Archbishop Flynn and his leadership. He has set a sterling example in personally living his faith’s values of social justice and empathy for the poor and in calling upon others, both Catholics and not, to fulfill Christ’s teachings in their lives. He has been a vocal supporter of comprehensive immigration reform and the dignity and worth of every human being, regardless of their race, creed or color. …

I hope that his leadership and example on these issues and the humanity he has brought to his position will serve as a guide to Archbishop Nienstedt and other faith leaders. He truly is one of God’s children, and we are blessed to have his uplifting presence with us for so many years.

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Barbara Miller had this reaction to Doug Grow’s Wednesday story, “New Hampshire victories for Clinton and McCain dramatically change the moods of Minnesota activists”:

So here’s a question. Have we always been this shallow? “We” being “we, the people.” Or is this a product of our all-media, all-the-time society? Sometimes I truly despair for us because just when substance should trump all else, so many are so easily distracted by bright, shiny objects. If the answer is yes, where, really, is the now overused concept of hope? Just askin’.

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Brian D. Maginnis commented on Steve Berg’s Wednesday Cityscape post, “Seeing juvenile violence as a threat to public health”:

Of course the culture of violence in the black community is deplorable, and public health is at risk (just ask the families of the innocents slain in the past several years by run-amok shooters). But no amount of school and park “programs” will ever take the place of effective parenting, the lack of which is the unspoken crux of this matter.

The obvious reason for the epidemic of youth violence is the diseased culture that has taken hold in the wake of the welfare policies of the past three decades, during which the black family was torn asunder. The main result of the disastrous liberal social experiment that is/was welfare has been the eradication, figuratively, if not literally, of the black father.

Three generations of single parent households have been fostered by welfare, with 69 percent of black children now born out of wedlock. As Lenin said, “Destroy the family and you destroy the society.”

Liberal political policy has always been to keep the black community separated and disadvantaged, and therefore dependent on the promises of the liberal political machine to “solve” their problems, ensuring that power remains the primary focus of the Democrat. Of course, those “solutions” now emerge in the foolhardy need to produce 34 “recommendations” (read: more tax money to fund) for “programs”, that will be nothing more than a feel-good salve on a flaming cauldron of a culture at once destroyed and then pathologically mutated by welfare.

You wonder why the jig is up on the Democratic Party? Why conservative talk radio rules the airwaves? Why good and decent families move out of Minneapolis? Why the black “community leaders” like Randy Staten and Spike Moss are anti-police instead of pro-family?

Your old paper was complicit in all of it, is paying the price now, and as you write from the new world of the blogosphere, you still won’t tell the truth.

Shame.

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Tom Poe weighed in on Eric Black’s Wednesday post, “Spin patrol: Pundits were wrong, but didn’t say it”:

I suspect the pundits are more interested in keeping their press cards than informing the public. The RNC and DNC have invested a lot in their present position of power, and don’t intend to give it up to the people easily.

Put that together with the fact that our country utilizes proprietary electronic voting machines that guarantee some the ability to manipulate the vote count without detection (yes, secret vote count), and pundits now have to either raise the issue of vote manipulation (election fraud) or come up with an utter nonsensical rationale for the mismatch.

We have, among other things, been sold a bill of goods on the Help America Vote Act. We, the public, have to prove that the vote count was wrong due to undetectable vote count manipulation. That’s right. If we can prove undetectable vote manipulation took place, we can demand a recount.

In Australia, they realized that proprietary electronic voting systems literally take away the voters’ right to vote. They use nonproprietary electronic voting systems that enable public scrutiny of their elections, and can detect most, if not all, “undetectable” vote count manipulation. They even make their election software available free to the rest of the world to modify and use.

Now, I wonder why the U.S. won’t permit such systems to be used in our election? The cost would be a fraction of what we’re spending, and the systems would let us make sure we don’t have some jerk manipulating the vote count, and reporting someone won, when they didn’t. But, hey, pundits need to keep their jobs, right?

John Olson also commented on Eric’s post:

A large bloc of voters in New Hampshire were identifying themselves as “independents.” Both the Republicans and the Democrats need to pry their eyes away from their polling data and their latest blog entries long enough to realize that there is dissatisfaction among a large chunk of voters — on both sides of the political street. Many of these voters are “independent.”

Caucus states like Iowa (and Minnesota) are designed to cater to the party faithful. The average Joe and Jane are not as likely to go to a caucus, as opposed to voting in a primary. As long as the talking heads continue to get their stream of spoon-fed nuggets and tidbits from both parties and their affiliated minions, we can expect a long campaign season ahead of us.

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Blaine Fridley had this lament on Christina Capecchi’s Jan. 2 post, “Expert longs for the time when tattoos really meant something”:

Oy, tattoo snobbery (and I guess snobbery in general), I can’t take it. If a soccer mom sees her Tinkerbell tattoo as a little act of impulse in a dull, structured life — so be it.

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Alberto Monserrate reacted to David Brauer’s Jan. 4 story, “Immigration: How big of an election issue?”:

It really seems that immigration is an overblown issue that doesn’t seem to be doing much to help Republicans. Just like Republicans went to attack gays when they were in trouble before, they are now attacking immigrants, or “illegal aliens,” when in trouble. The truth is they used this issue during the 2006 congressional elections and it didn’t do anything for them.

Out- anti-immigranting (new word) everybody hasn’t done anything for Mitt Romney in Iowa or New Hampshire. Quite the opposite. McCain was written off mainly because of his support of comprehensive immigration reform last summer and won [Tuesday]. Obama supported licenses for undocumented immigrants in New York after Hillary flip-flopped on the issue, and he won Iowa.

Mike Hatch tried to out-anti-immigrant Tim Pawlenty during the campaign for governor and it didn’t do anything for him.

Democrats need to lose their fear of this issue. As long as they talk tough on the border, support some sort of legalization with penalties for the 15 million undocumented in the U.S, for immigrants that have paid their taxes, haven’t broken any other laws and learned English, they are with the majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

There is a very, very loud minority that will make us believe with the help of Lou Dobbs that the American peeople are anti-immigrant and that this is a winning issue for Republicans. The facts prove them wrong. The anti-immigrant rhetoric will only ensure that Republicans lose the Latino vote and therefore the White House for the next generation.

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Here’s a selection of comments on MinnPost’s four-part ethanol series:

Bernice Vetsch on Ron Way’s Monday installment, “Minnesota’s corn ethanol industry blends subsidies, politics and lobbying”:

When Mexico signed on to NAFTA and opened its borders to our goods, American agribusiness flooded its market with low-priced corn and beans until 1.5 million Mexican farmers were driven out of business. Many of these farmers are among the desperately poor “illegals” who are blamed by fear-mongering politicians and right-wing talk radio hosts for everything from terrorism to taking jobs that Americans need (but probably do not want).

Since we now obviously have a home market for all the corn our farmers can grow, we could perhaps (as Mexico’s president asked that we do last year) help Mexico re-start its agricultural industry. We could thereby do much more to help both our countries than building that wall along the border.

Andrea Jackley added:

Yes, this is a very good start to understanding the complexities of the ethanol industry. Just one tidbit I noticed missing: the production of ethanol (which is very pricey) as it is now, using the ‘dry grind’ process, requires an enormous amount of water and energy. In 2006, Minnesota’s production facilities used an average of 4.2 gallons of water to crank out one gallon of ethanol. Apparently cellulosic ethanol can be produced using far less water. By the way, VERY good point Bernice!

State Rep. Al Juhnke commented on Mark Neuzil’s Tuesday installment, “Despite the hype, experts question corn ethanol’s environmentally friendly image”:

I am extremely disappointed in the one-sided nature of this article. It is not even close to being a balanced overview of this industry. For every “study” or comment cited, I can assure that there are just as many contrary views. Yet, nary a one of these is reported or given column space. Personally, I was interviewed by MinnPost a couple of weeks ago and certainly gave another side to most of the rhetoric contained herein. It is too bad they have chosen to filter this information.

Up to today, I have enjoyed reading the professionally written pieces on MinnPost. After today, I will continue to read but will do so with a more discerning eye.

On Mark’s Wednesday installment, “Ethanol reduces need for imported oil, but its energy savings are costly,” Jeff Arent added:

It seems to me that every acre that a farmer uses to grow corn for ethanol is one less that should have been used to grow corn for food. And yes, the price at the pump for ethanol is cheaper than a gallon of gas, but once the subsidies are included, the less energy output per gallon, the higher costs of corn-based food.

It’s more like a bad joke. As I have read, researchers are finding more and more oil and natural gas deposits within our own borders and within our territorial water. They say there is enough natural gas deposits off the Carolina coast to supply every home in the U.S. for 73 years. In the Gulf of Mexico, the new deep-water drilling practices are yielding new supplies of crude that just a few years ago were thought to be dry.

What this country needs is more aggressive extraction and refining of petroleum products and nuclear power plants. In due time, private companies will come up with better and better alternative energies … that can compete head to head with good old-fashioned gasoline. Until then, keep the corn for our dinners and out of our cars.

Michael McGregor added this to Ron Way’s Thursday story, “Beyond corn ethanol: Minnesota’s rural economy positioned for enormous gains”:

“Next-generation” ethanol could be a major player in the alternative fuel race. While President Bush has single-handedly thrown the corn industry the proverbial bone, ecologists are still displeased with ethanol, especially in terms of greenhouse emissions, as it produces carbon dioxide, the main culprit in global warming. Some suggest that the greenhouse emissions are offset by the fact that corn absorbs carbon dioxide. I can’t help but wonder how next-generation ethanol will affect global warming.

One huge positive that your article pointed out is that energy produced from next generation ethanol (i.e., cellulosic ethanol) is more than 8 times that of corn ethanol. The lack of energy produced by corn ethanol has always been one of the big worries. It’ll be interesting to see how this all goes down as the present Republican administration seems set on making huge strides in corn ethanol production.

And David White had this to add on Ron’s Thursday story:

The Dec. 6 edition of The Economist contained a great article on the worldwide rise in food prices, and touched upon a number of the issues addressed in this wonderful series of articles here at MinnPost. I’ve included a link to the article in the economist. The statistic I found most telling: “According to the World Bank, the grain needed to fill up an SUV would feed a person for a year.”

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