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October 12, 2006 | 19 Comments

Dear Mr. Keillor,
It's that time of year in the fifth grade to begin fractions and decimals. I didn't understand either in fifth grade; however, I'm quite adept at both now that I teach them. My question is: Do I drag all 27 of my fifth graders through least commom denominators, greatest common factors, and so on; or do I merely wait for them to get a job teaching fifth grade, letting them teach themselves?

While I'm leaning toward the latter, George Bush and his No Child Left Behind act seem to propose the former. (P.S. Do you think he knows a LCD from a GCF?)


I think GWB knows a lot about LCDs, Kathryn, but I'd rather he accepted that torture is against our American values and that habeas corpus is a foundation stone of a civil society. You can hire people to work out GCFs but a president running amok with the Constitution can do damage it will take decades to repair.


Subspending "habeas corpus" didn't bother Abraham Lincoln, that sacred individual. Ol Abe also jailed numerous journalist that didn't support his position. Had Ol Garrison been around back then, he'd probably be jailed with all his tasteless and stupid ideas.

Oh, please, your Bushophobia for the op-ed pages of your willing co-conspirator left-wing newspapers and leave the APHC pages to what you do best, which is down-home humor. I've loved you for a long time, but you seem to be turning into some sort of angry old man in your senior years. I'm the same age as you, Garrison, and I don't harbor that sort of venom toward my president. And remember, he is YOUR president, too, like it or not.


Now, now, Garrison,

Perhaps you are being too discouraged when you say, "a president running amok with the Constitution can do damage it will take decades to repair."
Only if the checks and balances fall apart completely and if we continue electing nincompoops would that brokenness happen. I still hold out hope that the next two elections will turn thr tide. My greatest concern is that Bush still has over a year to continue pulling off more of his degenerative surprises. Can the Republic hold out? Stay tuned.

Oh, no! Here we have someone setting Garrison up for some light-hearted humor. A free shot, if you will, to have some fun with fractions and decimals, even at the expense of GWB. And he shoots this free shot like Shaq. Not pretty.

Garrison, we're all aware of your stance on our president, and his shenanigans. Seriously, if we want political commentary, we've got plenty of outlets for that. We look to you for things other than that. In your book "Love Me", you declare that it is our job, as Americans, to be happy. True, we don't currently have the best situation right now, but it could be a lot worse. Please. Enough.

The list of Dems, just like the list of GOP'ers, who have performed subpar is long and distinguished.

I am a huge fan of yours. I'm also a Christian (Baptist) an American, a Texan, and a conservative. I'm proud of most of those. I'm also somewhat hopeful that in a few short years, there will be a Democrat in the White House, so you can get back to what people love about you.

You obviously have a right to say whatever you want to say, and I'm not going to stop listening to or reading your stuff. I'm not that shallow. But, I honestly can't wait until that Democrat is in the White House, so you can take goofy shots at him (or her) as well. It's the "in thing", especially in Hollywood, to bash Bush. Yeah, he gives us plenty of reasons, but I thought you'd separate yourself from those Hollywood types. You're better than that. I know.

Thank you. Love your stuff.
John Followill
Granbury Texas

I've been a fan for many, many years. Please don't lose me by making snippy comments about politics. Leave that to Streisand.

Oh yeah, Garrison, you tell 'em!

Right on, Garrison!!!

The stupidity of the American people never fails to amaze me........they actually elected him, after having had him elected for us the first term!!! They can't say they weren't warned!

GWB is running amok with more than the constitution - he has put us into a position in which we make another person hate us every minute of every day..........and now N Korea? An idiot and a flaming mad man having at each other - not a pretty picture!

Seriously, if we want political commentary, we've got plenty of outlets for that

Ah, but we don't have much balance to the commentary... it's all Rush's bloviations and Hannity's pinhead rantings. It's refreshing to hear something from the other side for a change, and I, too, am a contemporary of Mr. Keillor, and am happily liberal with a few conservative leanings I generally keep to myself, lest my children lose faith...

I can't help notice how easy it is to take cheap shots at the Prez. I remember when the Dixie Chicks did their schtick and so many were outraged. When asked, I simply said that I was accustomed to entertainers saying and doing foolish things. Although, I was rather put out that they did it in a very public forum, out of the blue, and with no immediate context. Still, entertainers saying and doing the absurd can be seen daily, and that is exactly why they are entertainers and not public servants. Interestingly though, when it comes down to matters of issue and policy, all the left has to offer is finger-pointing and name-calling and Folley, who wisely resigned and should be prosecuted - let loose the hounds of the FBI. But even when poles say that Americans are unhappy about the war in Iraq, digging shows that most are unhappy that we are not doing more to WIN IT. Personally, I would love to see a big push on to drive the Iranian insurgents back to Iran to help protect the fledgling Iraqi government - I like the idea of a new high-tech wall on the border to Mexico - gas is at two dollars here and falling - the nation has a 95+ percent employment rate, so stop whining.

From here in Australia it is nice to learn that there are Americans with a healthy contempt and fear for GWB. There are people with the fear all over the world.

With regard to the first comment, earlier this evening I listened to a talk show host chide the Republicans for bringing up the 36 or something year-old Chappaquiddick incident in defense of Foley's follies. "Why not bring up something from the civil war?"

Who would have guessed they are actually doing it?

I'm not saying we've sunk that low yet, but these last few years do make one understand how something like the holocaust, one compromise after another as long as "other people" are affected, could happen in a supposedly civilized country.

It would be easier not to care. I have always admired your political outspokenness in the face of the taunts to just shut up and sing.

p.s. In defense of Mr. Lincoln, our constitution does explicitly allow for the suspension of habeaus corpus in times of rebellion or invasion, neither of which could be said to have occurred in this century.

"I can't help notice how easy it is to take cheap shots at the Prez. ..."

hehehe -- yes it is. I wonder why? ;-)

Some of the damage is irreparable, unfortunately.

In this free country with plentiful radio fare, it's a shame that people who don't like what you have to say don't just turn the radio off. Why give you grief? I am sorry for that, please don't let it get you down.

It's important first to understand what habeus means and to whom it applies, recognizing its historic context, including the actions of such luminaries as Lincoln and Roosevelt. I suggest that you volunteer your accomodations for holding those whom you believe are deserving. I'll provide the body bags.

Those fifth grades learning fractions really could benefit from trying to teach each other, making illustrations and problems that make sense to them. One of my friends had her eighth graders write their own math texts with marvelous results!
As for the son of a Bush . . .I'll resist the many "fraction" jokes one could make.

I am blogging this post, as much for the content of it, as to allow my readers to boggle at the wrongheadedness of calling your comments "snippy" and "cheap shots".

To those who think Garrison sounds angry, I say that if we're not angry, we're not paying attention. Yes, he's our president, and so we get to hold him accountable when he does things we find abhorrent. This is not supposed to be a dictatorship -- this is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Matt, historically, habeas has applied to everyone, citizen and non-citizen alike -- and in cases where it has not, the President responsible has come in for much criticism as a result. You mentioned Roosevelt: it should be noted that we as a nation had to apologize formally for his little suspension of habeas corpus. Lincoln is the only president who has suspended habeas in circumstances that warranted it.

It should also be noted that the provisions of the Military Commissions Bill are worded such that they would enable the government to lable U.S. citizens "enemy combatants," and thereby with no right to habeas corpus. As far as whether habeas corpus should ever be suspended for citizens, to quote that bastion of liberalism Justice Scalia, "The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive. " (dissent in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004) ).

Your comment about where people seeking habeas should be housed is disingeuous at best; surely you are intelligent enough to realize that all habeas means is that a court, not the administration, gets to decide is someone deserves to continue to be behind bars. And if we stopped placing nonviolent drug offenders behinds bars we would have enough rooom in current prisons. Sheesh.

I'm astounded by the number of comments that boil down to, "I like you, but if you don't like Bush, then you should just shut up." One of the hallmarks of America used to be that people who liked each other could nonetheless disagree, especially about politics. What's next, accusations of treason and "supporting terrorism"?

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