Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 2, 2004
BLOG: Link Roundup 7/2/04
*Via Baseball Primer, comes word that the Twins have bowed to political pressure to take the guns away from a G.I. Joe figure they are giving out at the Humpdome on a night honoring local military personnel:
The Twins say Joe isn't glorifying war, but celebrating the efforts of servicemen and women. As part of that mission, the team asked Duke's maker, Hasbro Inc., to remove the customary gun from his side, bringing him in accordance with the Metrodome's no-gun policy. Hand grenades are still visible.
"I know there are people who are adamant about opposition to the war, but this is not about politics,'' Twins marketing vice president Patrick Klinger said. "And it's not just about this war. It's about what happened 60 years ago.''
The Twins' first such day was held last year, when, on the eve of the assault on Iraq, a soldier from Minnesota threw out the first ball to a fellow soldier from the state. The throw and catch occurred in Kuwait and were broadcast to Minnesota at the beginning of the game.
"I looked around the ballpark that night and there were tears everywhere,'' Klinger said. "It was the highlight of my career.''
Still, more than one peace group believes the combat-ready G.I. Joe, measuring just a bit shorter than 4 inches, is a big mistake, and they would like the Twins to cancel the promotion.
"It's not a credible way to honor those who've suffered the inhumanity of war,'' said Phil Steger, executive director of Friends for a Non-Violent World, a St. Paul-based group with about 4,000 members in Minnesota.
"One wonders whether a desire to increase ticket sales is masquerading as good intentions. We hope not. Minnesotans' moral sense and empathy with those who have lost life, limb and loved ones in war — soldier and civilian — rejects this kind of opportunism,'' Steger said.
Mary Beaudoin, a leader of Women Against Military Madness, Minneapolis, said she's "appalled'' by the giveaway.
"This is hideous … a bad message to send kids,'' she said. "Kids need to be raised with the values of life, not killing.''
GI Joe: unarmed, defenseless and ready for his beheading! Brought to you by senseless Minnesota peaceniks.
*Wall Streeter Mindles Dreck has some thoughts on business models in the brokerage industry, which I found interesting even aside from his use of the analogy to Iraq.
*The BBC has some powerful pictures of a fetus in the womb at the end of the first trimester. Go look, and ask yourself if that's a human being; if you approach the question without political preconceptions, the answer's pretty easy.
*Via the Corner, Rush Limbaugh has some reflections on his encounters with Bill Buckley (did you know that Rush's odd way of pronouncing Jesse Jackson's name was a homage to Buckley? I didn't). Interesting piece, which in some ways says more about Rush, his influences and his insecurities than it does about Buckley.
*Chris Lawrence points us to Laura in Apartment 11D complaining about Steven den Beste mercilessly tearing apart a survey she sent him and about 70 other big bloggers. I love den Beste's writing, but he can really be unwarrantedly cruel sometimes to people who send him well-meaning stuff; in this case, he seems to have misunderstood the fact that you have to put some obvious questions in a survey sent to that many people.