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  • April 2006
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Marty’s Almanac links

Sophomore steals parts of her book
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/04/24/D8H6LMKOI.html

Want to screw up a male? Time him on something, maybe that’s why we love golf and baseball so much
http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060425/sc_space/girlsmuchquickerthanboysattimedtasks

Vitamin C cigarette
http://sympaticomsn.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060421/vitacig_060421
Cell phones effect your brain
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/04/27/060427110534.coym1bs2.html

Ocean glow size of connectict confirmed
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/051004_sea_glow.html

Toxic sludge under Gophers stadium
http://psycmeistr.blogspot.com/2006/04/bend-over-little-more-to-da-left-will.html

Mexico decriminalizes pot
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/oukoe_uk_mexico_drugs;_ylt=AhAN_q6ZjjhAtESum2iHaALtiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA

Walmart using wikipedia as propaganda?
http://www.whitedust.net/article/55/Wal-marts_Wikipedia_War

Personal Update

One of the things I helped do at the Leadership Institute was create conservative college newspapers. I actually didn’t go a long way in “creating” these papers. I basically presented the idea to interested students and they’re the ones who worked and created the papers. I helped give them a few tools and some experience when they needed it (I also threatened violence, whatever it took), anything to make sure these papers published. And they did:

Maverick Underground

Minnesota Republic

The Minnesota Republic had an interesting interview with Jonah Goldberg, but it appears they’ve taken the pdf of their paper off line. However, the Maverick Underground has all of their issues online, and there’s some good stuff dealing with the shutdown of the first amendment at Mankato State. I have two other papers that are publishing, but they’re not online.

One of the better papers I’ve worked with is at Morris, the Counterweight, which has its new edition for April out on their website. The Morris crew are good people at an impossibly liberal college. It might be worth the time to see what they’ve produced (and maybe even contact some of them to give them donations).

Open Thread!

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/


Julio Franco, Jack Quinn and Tobacco

Julio Franco broke a long standing major league record when he broke Jack Quinn’s 1930 mark for being the oldest player to hit a homerun in the Major Leagues. Jack Quinn is one of my all time favorite ballplayers. I’ve never seen video of him, none exists. He died before my dad was born, he’s not in the Hall of Fame, but he’s one of the most interesting players to read about.

Jack Quinn got into baseball in his mid-twenties completely by chance (a manager of a baseball team saw the young coal miner return a foul ball by throwing it so hard and accurately that he immediately offered Quinn a start in their next game for five dollars [only 2.50 if he lost]). He played baseball until he was fifty years old. He was the former record holder for being the oldest person to hit a Major League homerun (again, he was a pitcher) until last week. He was teamates with 31 Hall of Famers (of course, there was no Hall of Fame then). He held the season save record for a while (before anyone cared about saves). He played baseball for 24 years, half in the deadball era and half in the “Ruth” era.

Heh, he also gave up the 26th homerun of Babe Ruth’s 1919 season; that homerun broke the single season record (Ruth would later break his own record a few times over). Why am I such a fan of this guy? My grandmother took me to a collectibles shop in Alberquerque when I was 9 or 10 years old. It was a scary looking store with a lot of military stuff like Nazi helmets and uniforms. It also had a modest selection of tobacco cards. As a way of spoiling her grandchild, she was going to buy me one card, my choice. Eventually I decided on the one card, the one you see with this post, a t209 of Jack Quinn from the nineteen-teens.

I felt bad when Julio Franco broke his record. I was hoping maybe with the news of the record there would be some interest in profiling the man who held the record for 75 years, but there hasn’t been any reporting as such. Well, Quinn is still the oldest player ever to pitch in a World Series…maybe someone will notice Quinn when someone breaks that record.

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://www.t206.com/index.cfm

Feeling, Thinking and Knowing

Thoughts on the Twins Stadium proposal.

Captain Capitalism once wrote a column for the Minnesota Republic, it was unfortunately not published (I’m told it’s going to get published in a later edition of the paper), which talked about the various levels of political argument. There was “feeling,” “thinking” and “knowing.” The Captain made a strong case to drop the “feeling” and the “thinking” forms of political argument and shoot for “knowing.”

I would like to go through my “feelings,” “thoughts” and “knows” regarding the Stadium proposal.

Feeling

Obviously, I’m an obsessed enough fan to set up a podcast about the Twins. I go to a lot of games, I watch a lot of games, I like the Twins. I want them to stay in Minnesota, and if they left I feel Minnesota would be the worse for it. If I left it up to my feelings, I’d tax the people of Minnesota for a Twins Stadium.

This is an indefensible position, as are most political positions built on emotion.

Thinking

In the back of my mind are thousands of facts. A surprising number of them involve stadiums. Stadiums have been part of public expenditures since the Greeks. Rome was famous for it. The Twins are a business that supports hundreds of workers. The Twins produce a lot of tax revenue, and having a professional sports team makes Minnesota look more attractive to migrant yuppies.

I remember how Coors Field and Camden Yards completely changed their respective areas for the better. In fact, Camden Yards has completely reinvigorated that portion on Baltimore which had been in shambles ever since the railroad business fell apart. Looking at what happened in those areas, I think the same could be possible in Minnesota. A Twins stadium will bring in jobs and tax revenue and migrant yuppies and their dotcom businesses.

And the price is so cheap. I mean, a tax in a single county of what, a penny of every dollar spent? That’s nothing compared to the self respect of the great State of Minnesota, right?

You could “think” about this issue for hours and not come to any conclusions. You could think about how it is morally wrong to take from others to give to others, you could think about how important the Twins are to Minnesota history, you could think about the ’87 World Series and Kirby Puckett. You could “think” about how important it is for the state to build infrastructure and how a stadium almost qualifies.

Knowing

Is a Twins Stadium going to provide a real, net benefit to Minnesota and the Taxpayers? Sure, a stadium might improve a neighborhood, but will it be a net improvement?

The answer is an undeniable no.

I looked at a bunch of sources, about.com had a lot of good articles, The Taxpayers League had an extensive collection of references on the subject, and even Ralph Nader had done good research on the subject (Ralphie, while a crazy lefty, still has a degree in economics).

We know:

–Publicly subsidized stadiums never bring in enough tax revenue to cover the investment by taxpayers.

–Publicly subsidized stadiums have never been shown to provide a net economic gain.

–Publicly subsidized stadiums could be responsible for a drop in wages and benefits to workers in the cities in which they were built.

–Publicly subsidized stadiums do not increase attendance and do not increase the ability for a team to win.

I don’t want to feel or think; I want to know. I know the Twins Stadium is a bad idea. (Same goes for the Vikings stadium deal and the Gophers).

I also know it doesn’t matter. The stadium deal is going to happen. The reason? There are very few single issue voters who vote only on the “anti-stadium subsidy” issue. Of those that do vote only on this issue, they probably already vote 3rd party (thus removing them from significance). Plus, those who aren’t third party crazies aren’t going to allow tax raising Democrats to win because of this issue. It wouldn’t make sense, trading a 1% sales tax increase in one county for an across the board income tax increase of several percentage points across the entire state. But there are some people who will vote only on the stadium issue in the opposite direction. Thousands of Twins fans, many of whom are not political nor politically savvy nor belong to a political party, who desperately want the Twins to stay in Minnesota will go out and vote for candidates who run on the issue of getting a new Twins Stadium.

I’m not a cynic, I believe there is still some actions that could be taken, but it would require a lot of grassroots work. Fiscal conservatives are notoriously bad at doing grassroots work. This is understandable, people can see a stadium. It’s real to them. They don’t see what is lost getting that stadium. The 1% tax I have to pay to get a stadium could have gone towards me buying more DVDs or spending an extra night or two eating dinner at a restaurant in the timespan of a year. We don’t see the loss, we only see the gain.

I hope the Twins stay in Minnesota. I hope they do it the right way, by paying for their own stadium and not putting any burdens on taxpayers.

I’d even be willing to put my own money into a Twins stadium voluntarily. (This could easily be done by selling non-voting stock in the Twins for, say, 50 dollars a share. You could frame the stock and show your true colors as “fan enough” to own a piece of the team). But I can’t support the Twins deal, because I know it’s a bad idea.

I also know, when I’m voting this November, stadiums just won’t be anywhere on my radar.

That’s just the nature of the beast that is politics.

Sports sources

These are the websites I’m starting to frequent to assist me in doing the Twins Podcast:

http://sportspages.com/
http://benmaller.com/
http://sportsbybrooks.com/
http://badjocks.com/
http://ballparks.com/
http://sportsjournalists.com/
http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/
http://aarongleeman.com/
http://www.battersbox.ca/
http://www.ballbug.com/
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/stats
http://www.baseballdigestdaily.com/tracker/index.php
http://www.baseballreference.com/
http://www.wyoung.net/twins/

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://bad-candy.com/

Week 3 Podcast

The Twins look good, then they look bad. It’s going to be a roller coaster of a season, worse than normal. The good news is the Twins pitching has to get better (opposing batters are hitting .320 against the Twins) since there’s nowhere else for it to go. Luckily, we have three games against the craptacular Kansas City Royals to get our heads together.

Podcast here.

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