The Minnesota Grizzly Bear

Roaring about life since 2009

Leave of absence

I’ve mentioned it before, but since this is my last semester at MSUM I’m taking a brief leave of absence from this blog to really focus on my last semester and all the graduation issues that go with it.  And job hunting.  Oh boy.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back!

Have it good,



February 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Opinion: ‘Defend to the Death,’ 2/14

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

This was the sentiment the French philosopher Voltaire expressed over 200 years ago in a political climate arguably much more divisive and volatile than today’s.

I’ve been thinking about that quote for the past few days for several reasons.  It’s a popular quote (which Voltaire technically didn’t say, it’s more a conglomerate of several quotes) that gets thrown around in editorials, academia, and political science term papers, but how many people really stop and reflect on the weight behind it or its implications?

I mean, sure I would lay down my life for family, friends and my god-given rights to life and property, but what about the one in between?  What about Liberty? 

Would you give your life to defend a Hollywood liberal’s right to express his views on single-payer healthcare even though it grates on your nerves?  A former radical-turned-tenured professor advocating higher taxes as a matter of “civic duty?”  And just so the liberals don’t feel left out, how about giving your life to defend the right of a pro-lifer or a neoconservative to express their opinions?  Or an advocate of 2nd Amendment rights to express theirs?  (C’mon, you’re going to need to protect your rights with something and I’d rather not use a big stick and some snowballs).

Does liberty mean enough to you that it would drive you to defend opinions and speech that are abhorrent to your own views?  Or would you only go so far as to only defend your own beliefs?  Think about that.  Give it some time to roll around up there.

The reason I started thinking about this issue is because of a few comments left on one of my posts from a new blogger.  This is a small blog, I know, and not too many outside my circle of like-minded friends are likely to read it so it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of self-perpetuating groupthink.  But how often do we listen to, and I mean really listen to our fellow Americans whose opinions differ from our own?  Without condescension or scoffing or name-calling?  It’s definitely hard and I’m guilty of ridiculing those to the left of me mercilessly, I admit it.  Yet I always try my best to avoid ad hominem and only go for the jugular of the issues themselves.  Is there enough respect and goodwill left in society to treat people decently even though they disagree? 

Unless you question your own beliefs, you can never truly believe in them.  So let others help you.  A civil argument once and awhile feels pretty good.

Have it good,


p.s. – But don’t think for a minute that I support that misguided “fairness doctrine.”  It’s painfully unconstitutional.

 p.p.s – This post from mnDem is exactly what I wanted to read after drafting my opinion for today.

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Late Friday News


Few Want Members of Congress Re-Elected, Poll Finds – They needed a poll to figure this one out?

North Dakota House: Pomeroy (D) At Risk? – See above comment.

North Dakota Senate: Hoeven By A Mile At This Point


Iceland aims to become an offshore haven for journalists and leakers – My dear Iceland hits the news again, this time for something more positive than massive debt obligations.  Score!

In Europe, Time for Tea

MN/ND Politics:

Minn. mayors: State aid cuts mean fewer services

Emmer on Seifert and his own campaign for governor

Rally by ND GOP, conservative groups draws 900


The Schools are Doing a Wonderful job!

Pawlenty wants mayors to manage St. Paul, Mpls. schools


It’s You, Not Me: Liberals and libertarians finally break up.

Have it good,


February 13, 2010 Posted by | Education, Minnesota, North Dakota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday Roundup, 2/11

I dutifully apologize for my lack of insight and commentary on these important state and national stories.  Too many pressing demands on my time.  :0(


Support for Gays in the Military Depends on the Question

Poll: Obama, Economy Doubts Boost GOP

Global Perceptions of U.S. Leadership Improve in 2009 

MN Politics:

Gov. Pawlenty delivers his final State of the State address


Larry Summers: Almost All Economists Believe More Taxes Fuels Job Growth


After Getting Nearly 40% Budget Increase, North Dakota Higher Education Still Raising Tuition Prices

Zero Tolerance for Charter Schools report

Minnesota’s deficit is forcing school cuts


The Government Can Monitor Your Location All Day Every Day Without Implicating Your Fourth Amendment Rights


Noemie Emery: Democrats inflicting themselves with wedge issues

Slobs and the American Civilization

Doug Wilder: Obama needs a staff shakeup

The Bubble and Rahm

Have it good,


February 11, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, Economics, Education, Minnesota, North Dakota, Politics, Republicans, Surveillance | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Roundup, 2/10/10

Wednesday Roundup for 2/10/10


Republican Voters Often Have Ignorant and Irrational Views — And so do Democrats – Okay, so I might have to retract my previous post headline of “more knowledgble.”  Sometimes people are just weird.

MN Politics:

MN credit rating could slip which would cost taxpayers

Minnesota Senate approves bonding bill; next stop House

Pawlenty defends unallotment power in court filing


The Tea Party Primer – Good post on reaction to neoconservatives taking over the Tea Party

Billboard mystery partly revealed – I originally read this story and thought it was in Wyoming.  Who the hell names a city after a state.  Seriously.  This story ties in with the next link below.

Things I don’t miss about George W. Bush – Looking at the trainwreck that is President Obama’s first year I do feel some pangs of nostalgia every so often for Bush, but thank the gods for Michelle Malkin.

Uncovering the Youth Vote – What keeps young people out of the GOP?  Maybe I’ll post later on what kept me out personally, and why I got sucked in.  Oh, the suspense builds…

Jane Hamsher on HuffPo: Ron Paul vs. Sarah Palin for the Soul of the Tea Parties – Guess who I want to win?  No really, guess, it’ll be fun.


Ethanol: The Real Growing Problem – I’ve never liked this ethanol garbage.  All it’s going to do is raise the cost of my beer by having farmers plant corn instead of wheat and barley (for the corn money) and make me buy gas more often because I’m 99% sure I get worse mileage off ethanol blends I buy in North Dakota than I do in MN, which for the most part does not add ethanol.  Yeah, three-cheers for ethanol.  pffh.

North Dakota Production Surprises – I guess they’re going to be able to squeeze more oil out of ND than originally thought.  Good news for ND’s budget (like they needed it with a surplus like that) and energy prices.
And in closing, I just glanced up at MSNBC and saw an interview with conservative talk show host Jerry Doyle talking about the filibuster rule in the Senate.  But he’ll always be Michael Garibaldi to me.  :0)


Well that’s it the roundup for now, have a good Wednesday!


February 10, 2010 Posted by | Energy, Minnesota, North Dakota, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7,000 Year-Old Surgery

I just love reading stories like this that totally turn history on its ass.  I’ve been saying for a while now that history isn’t a linear progression and that our ancestors weren’t as stupid as people think just because they didn’t have widescreen TVs and funny hats.

Evidence of surgery carried out nearly 7,000 year ago has emerged – suggesting our Stone Age ancestors were more medically advanced than first thought.

Stone Age surgery discovered after 7,000-year-old man found with expertly amputated arm

Are we actually smarter than those who’ve come before us?  The ancient Greeks?  The Vikings?  I really don’t think we’re that much more “developed,” but I guess it’s hard to know since someone burned down the Library at Alexandria.   :0(

Have it good,


February 10, 2010 Posted by | Miscellaneous | , , , | Leave a comment

Republicans are More Knowledgable

Check out this neat little study from the Pew Research Center regarding Republican voter knowledge of issues:

Republicans, on average, answered one more question correctly than Democrats (5.9 vs. 4.9 correct). These differences are partly a reflection of the demographics of the two groups; Republicans tend to be older, well educated and male, which are characteristics associated with political and economic knowledge. Still, even when these factors are held constant, Republicans do somewhat better than Democrats on the knowledge quiz.

Republicans Smarter than Democrats? , and the study itself at Pew Research.

So come on, keep calling us ignorant hicks when it comes to issues, I dare you.  hahaha.  pwned.

Have it good,


February 9, 2010 Posted by | Democrats, Politics, Republicans | , , , , , | 3 Comments

What are tea parties, anyway? (WARNING:rant)

I honestly can’t fully express my confusion and anger at this story.  What the hell are these Tea Parties anway?  When I was supporting Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2007-2008, we invented the concept of a “moneybomb” and one was on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, thus beginning the “tea party” imagery.  How it went beyond that and became some neoconservative pawn is well beyond me. 

These people are actually Tea Partiers running AGAINST Ron Paul.  What the hell?  The Tea Parties STARTED as an outgrowth of grassroots Ron Paul supporters!  Trust me, I know, I was there.  I was against government before it was cool among conservatives, i.e. during the Bush years.  And guess what?  We started a grassroots organization before these come-lately “Tea Partiers,” it’s called CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY.  WE HELD A CONVENTION IN MINNEAPOLIS AT THE SAME TIME AS THE FAILED REPUBLICAN CONVENTION.  TRUST ME, I KNOW, I WAS THERE.  Why was I there and not the Republican National Convention?

Because I’m a conservative.

Paul, the Gulf Coast congressman whose 2008 presidential run excited libertarians nationwide, even though he didn’t get much traction overall, is considered by many to be the “father of the Tea Parties.” But he has three opponents in the March Republican primary – more than he has faced in his past six primary campaigns combined

Newest target of tea partiers: Er, Ron Paul

According to this Rasmussen poll, 75% are angry at the current government’s policies.  So what does that mean?  Misdirected stupidity?  Congratulations to the reactionary knee-jerk morons who spew ignorant venom at those who were so excited and driven by Ron Paul’s message of conservative idealism.  These are the groups you can’t afford to lose for the future.  Young people.  The ones who can hold their own against an onslaught of college Democrats.

You think we’re all idiotic, hypocritical 9/11 truthers for supporting Congressman Paul?  Well congrats, we think you’re a crop of idiotic, hypocritical birthers for actually caring about that birth certificate garbage.

As much as I realize that party unity and conciliation is essential to future Republican victories this year, I just had to get this rant off my chest before I exploded.  The bizarrity of the universe has just been made manifest…

Have it good,


February 9, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Today’s GOP News, 2/8/10

Here’s a few interesting stories of interest to Republicans in the news today:

South Carolina Republicans unite with tea party

NRCC expands Young Guns program

GOP Lacks Female Candidates

In this story from the MN Legislature (Amendments stall vote on eminent domain bill), my first reaction is this bill is an excellent idea designed to support private property rights, but without knowing more I’m hesitant to fully agree.  But if there is such a statute that makes it easier for companies to seize private property, getting rid of it would be a step forward for liberty.  Time for some research.

Have it good,


February 8, 2010 Posted by | Economics, Minnesota, Republicans | , , , , | Leave a comment

Conan O’Who?

Aw, how can I get my Conan O’Brien fix if he’s nowhere to be found?

The GE unit has removed every episode of the show’s seven-month run from its site, as well as Hulu, the site NBC owns with News Corp.’s Fox and Disney’s ABC.

NBC throws Conan down the memory hole, deletes his online content

Reason number#256,141 to not watch NBC.  Awesome.

Have it good,


February 8, 2010 Posted by | Miscellaneous | , , , , | Leave a comment