You don’t get through winters with an average temperature of 12.8° without being a certain kind of tough — the cracked-skin-dried-blood kind of tough.
That toughness comes in handy in a place like North Dakota. You see, up there, jamming your numb fingers against someone’s ice-cold helmet happens every practice. Getting decked on the cement-like dirt is just how a play ends.
And here’s the thing: I love it.
Because in North Dakota, we don’t care for flash or dazzle. That’s not our game. We don’t do things the fanciest way. We do them the right way.
Going through the draft process, you find yourself answering a lot of the same questions over and over. I get it. This is basically a very long, very public job interview. But the question that seems to come up the most is one that almost makes me laugh at this point:
“Carson, coming from North Dakota, are you worried about playing against tougher competition in the NFL?”
There’s this belief that I’m at some sort of disadvantage coming into the league because of where I’m from. But if you get to know me, you’ll understand that being from North Dakota isn’t a disadvantage. Not even close. In fact, having been raised in North Dakota is probably one of my greatest strengths.
After much sturm und drang, Rep. Schoen brought “Rep. Norton’s” gun-grab “bills” (the “Exes are Guilty ’til Proven Innocent” and “Register All Law-Abiding Gun Owners” bills were copied and pasted from the Bloomberg; they were no more “Norton’s” “bills” than they were mine) – to the House floor as amendments (the only way they had a shot at getting voted on, since the committee deadline for standalone bills passed weeks ago).
Speaker Daudt ruled it out of order.
The DFL moved to try to override the ruling.
This is what happened (reps votes are to the right of their names):
Photo courtesy Bryan Strawser, MNGOC/MNGOPAC, Green means voting to uphold Speaker Daudt’s ruling that the amendment was out of order – in other words, to support killing the amendments.
As Andrew Rothman at GOCRA put it:
In a routine and overwhelming vote, Rep. Schoen’s universal gun registration amendment was ruled out of order late last night.
And poof – the bills went away. That’s it. Done (except for “Protect” MN’s inevitable upcoming whining and posturing).
So there was a letter to the Villager editor, which I thought made quite a bit of sense regarding paid family leave. Then, I happened to see a discussion on Twitter about that letter. The responses on Twitter seem to be what is wrong with the entitlement generation/class. (I suspect the discussion is by mostly millennials.)
The most striking comment from the person who assumes that she pays twice as much in student loan debt as the money the editorial writer set aside to raise a family. This from a person who, per her Twitter account, is a lawyer and who apparently owns a house not just in St Paul, but also in Mexico.
But, all of the comments assume we have no choice in how we spend our money. The entitled confuse needs with wants, lack control in their own lives. It is where they decide the rest of us need to be in the cycle of debt in which they find themselves.
It was said about “Protect” MN’s former “executive director” (and pretty much sole member) Heather Martens  that “she never once made a single subsantial, original, true statement about the Second Amendment, gun facts or gun rights”.
When The Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence took over at “Protect” MN a few weeks back, we had hope that things might change at Minnesota’s “leading” criminal-safety group .
Good news: The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was a great success!
And by the standards of”Protect” MN, it probably was. Their all-out effort turned out about as many people as the Human Rights community’s casual call for supporters with spare time did. None of their people were ejected from the building for trying to pick a fight with Human Rights supporters. None of their paid lobbyists appeared in the place of an elected official, to immense ridicule.
By their standards, it was a red-letter day.
But now we get into the out-and-out lying. Emphasis added:
On Tuesday, April 26, hundreds of Minnesotans who have had ENOUGH gathered at the Senate Office Building in St. Paul for an informational hearing on legislation that will go a long way towards protecting Minnesotans from gun violence: Senator Latz’ universal background check bill (S.F. 2493) and gun violence protective order bill (S.F. 2980).
Let’s go through the lies in order.
“Protect” MN is apparenetly taking counting lessons from the Strib: there were not “Hundreds of supporters. As people were let into the hearing, there were roughly 150 all together – about equally divided between criminal-safety advocates and Human Rights supporters.
Just to prove it? Here are some photos. Here’s the front half of the line gathered to get into the hearing – which, as you can see, is about 3/4 maroon-clad Human Rights supporters:
Here’s the back half of the line; probably 2/3 Criminal Safety advocates, with their ELCA hairdos and that air of unearned self-righteousness, unblemished by actual knowledge, roiling off them like Axe off of teenage boys:
A count as the doors opened showed roughly 70-80 on each side. A few more streamed in on both sides – but the chamber, which held 250, was never close to full.
Fact: “Protect” MN has never turned out “hundreds” of people in a given session, much less at a single event.
Second lie? It wasn’t an “informational hearing”. It was a sham; a Potemkin hearing, trying to create the illusion that these two bills aren’t utterly dead issues this session. It was, in other words, a campaign event, held at taxpayer expense.
Third? Neither bill will ever save a single life. Ever! Universal registration will only burden the law-abiding. And the “Take Your Soon-To-Be-Estranged Sig-Other’s Guns Without Due Process!” bill is nothing but a make-work program for lawyers.
Scheduled to coincide with the Moms Demand Action lobby day, the room was packed with enthusiastic Moms as well as Protect Minnesota members. The gun lobby was also out in force.
I’m just going to let the word “packed” lie there, like the magnificant rhetorical turd it is.
Although no action will be taken on these bills this session, this informational hearing was important and very successful. It captured the attention of the media, disputed the gun lobby’s false claims, “set the table” for the debate that will ensue in months to come, and fired up the masses of gun safety supporters in attendance.
Fourth lie: The media coverage was sparse and perfunctory.
Fifth Lie: “Disputing” doesn’t make anything “false”; you can “dispute” gravity, but if you don’t float away afterward, you’ve falsified nothing.
Sixth Lie: Masses? Masses?
We commend Senator Ron Latz for his bold leadership on this issue, and commit the whole resources of Protect Minnesota to assisting in the passage of these bills in 2017.
It may not be a “lie” to say Latz is a “leader” on the issue. He’s doing what Michael Bloomberg told him to do.
Meet the new “Protect”MN. Same as the old “Protect”MN.
 Said by me, of course – but known by everyone who actually paid attention to the issue. At all. Ever.
 In the same sense that Timberwolves fans “hope” that this will be the big year they’ve been waiting for.
The things Bernie Sanders – and, to be fair, every single one of his American supporters – miss about Scandinavian socialism today (as opposed to the seventies-era variety that Sanders seems to think still applies), via Johan Norberg:
“Sanders is right: America would benefit hugely from modeling her economic and social policies after her Scandinavian sisters. But Sanders should be careful what he wishes for. When he asks for ‘trade policies that work for the working families of our nation and not just the CEOs of large, multi-national corporations,’ Social Democrats in Sweden would take this to mean trade liberalization — which would have the benefit of exposing monopolist fat cats to competition — not the protectionism that Sanders favors. … Being more like modern Sweden actually means deregulation, free trade, a national school voucher system, partially privatized pensions, no property tax, no inheritance tax, and much lower corporate taxes. Sorry to burst your bubble, Bernie.”
If there’s one thing the American left can build, it’s shatterproof intellectual bubbles.
In 2013, the St. Paul YMCA instituted separate swim hours for Muslim girls so they could change into swimsuits and swim in the pool without breaking Sharia law by revealing too much skin to men.
On April 19, 2016, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Title IX requires high schools which receive federal money to allow students to use the high school bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity instead of their biological sex. Males can use the Female’s bathroom if they claim to be transgender – no proof required.
Responding instantly to the shift in societal wind, Target changed its bathroom policy: shoppers can use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity instead of their biological sex. Target receives no federal money, it’s simply adapting to the shuffle in Liberal Victim Hierarchy: Trans trumps Woman.
What I want to know is: how come the Y still offers separate swim hours for girls? When will they change their policy so perverts can lurk in the locker room to watch the girls change into their swimsuits?
How come the Y is such a bunch of haters? Shouldn’t we organize a boycott? No, wait, a girl-cott? A perv-cott? Or maybe a trans-cott?
We’ll have to wait until someone “identifies” as a transgendered orthodox Muslim, I suppose.
Remember way back, when the left wanted the government out of people’s bedrooms?
Either does the Left. A liberal legal conclave is debating moving “affirmative consent” laws off of campus and to the general population:
The American Law Institute will vote in May on whether to adopt a model penal code that would make “affirmative consent” the official position of the organization. Affirmative consent — or “yes means yes” — policies have already been adopted by many colleges and universities, and have been passed as law in California and New York.
In my dreams, Hillary Clinton appoints Melissa Click as Attorney General…
Last time around, Hillary was the Democrat heir presumptive until Barack showed up out of nowhere and blew her away. In the Hierarchy of Liberal Victimology, Black beats Woman and all the Democrat delegates knew it. She never had a chance.
This time around, Hillary is the heir presumptive and Bernie is just a Socialist. In the Hierarchy of Liberal Victimology, Woman beats Commie any day. She’s got the nomination locked up.
But wait! Bernie could suddenly decide to become Transgender! Transgender is the new hotness. Liberals insist transgender men must have the right to use the women’s bathroom regardless whether the women like it or not; therefore, in the hierarchy, Trans beats Woman.
Bernie is running to the left of Hillary economically; he ought to be running to her left socially. The best Hillary could do in response is admit to a Lesbian affair with Huma, which everyone has long suspected and would be boring old news.
Bernie could condemn anybody who didn’t support him as a Hater, as old-fashioned, as not Progressive, as Not a True Democrat. Trans versus Lesbian – that’s a much better matchup than Woman versus Commie. Delegates looking for an excuse to dump Hillary would have a perfect out.
I made it down to the Senate Legislative Office Building – AKA the Tom Bakk Mahal – at 7AM this morning for the big Michael Bloomberg pep rally.
As usual, the Real Americans were out on the street at 7AM on the button.
As of 7:11AM – twenty minutes before the doors opened – there were five criminal-protection advocates, and over two dozen Human Rights supporters.
The Human Rights groups were there, showing a little Minnesota hospitality, distributing coffee and donuts to the assembled crowd, outside and (when the doors opened) in:
Setting up the coffee stand at 7AM. The criminal-safety advocates liked the coffee and donuts as much as the Human Rights supporters.
Soon, the doors opened, and the lines formed inside to get the 250 tickets.
Of the first 50 or so people in the line, probably 3/4 were maroon-shirt-wearing Human Rights advocates. The criminal-safety advocates came dribbling in after 8AM, presumably after their sustainable yoga classes.
And it was kinda funny.
As we noted yesterday, this whole event – “hearings” called by Senator Ron “I Went To Harvard, You Know…” Latz in “support” of bills that can not go forward, because the committee deadline was several weeks ago – is a sham. It’s a fake hearing. It’s a pep rally for the Bloombergs, held up until late April because Bloomberg had to focus their money and time on states where they have a chance of affecting policy, few as they may be. Minnesota is waaaaay down the list.
And I had a few observations.
“Turnout”: As I noted the other day, Senator Latz scheduled this meaningless hearing at 8:30 AM on a Tuesday for a reason; he knows that Minnesota’s gun owners have jobs, kids, families and lives, and all of them need attention at 8:30 on Tuesday morning.
And that’s who turned out; about 80 working, middle-class Minnesotans – blue-collar, white collar, technical people, businesspeople, men, women. Regular folks.
On the other hand, the gun-grabbers who showed up this morning fit two basic descriptions:
Non-profit employees and other people being paid to be there
Retired or semi-retired upper-middle-class white liberals with that “Volvo-driving Saint Olaf alumni ELCA church member from Crocus Hill / Kenwood / Linden Hills” vibe about them.
Why bring it up? Because the battle over guns is a battle between classes; between the “let me take care of myself and my family” class and the “you will take the rights we grant you and you will like it” class.
The criminal-safety supporters were handing out little “Moms Want Action” stickers. By the way – just try to buy a “Moms Want Action” T-Shirt, anywhere. While GOCRA hands out the maroon shirts to anyone for any kind of donation, or even no donation at all, the Moms pretty much vet applications for their t-shirts. They literally keep a database of Human Rights activists to not sell to. These two ladies, by the way, are right about the middle of the Moms’ demographic.
And the “Crowds?” That was the interesting part.
This is the criminal-safety crowd’s “Lobbying Day” – the day they try to turn out their full force to descend on the Capitol. By my count, they managed maybe 70-80.
Now – even though today’s bills don’t matter, and it wasn’t the Human Rights community’s lobbying day (we wrote about that about six weeks ago – GOCRA turned out two hundred for Gun Owners Lobbying Day last March) – which is kind of hilarious, “lobbying” when the committee deadline has passed – and it was a work day, the good guys, the Human Rights advocates, turned out about the same number of people.
On a workday.
For a meaningless hearing and a ridiculous farce of a Bloomberg-paid event.
Of course, had it mattered – like Michael Paymar’s gun grab bills three years ago – the good guys would have had 600 maroon shirts on the scene from 8AM ’til midnight. Every time.
Who’s got the momentum?
Postshriek: I had to leave before the hearings started; unlike most of the criminal-safety advocates, I have a day job with some actual non-political demands.
As I was walking out the door, I was on the cell phone with a friend who was asking about the event. I saw a woman – sixty-ish, with a face that had not a single laugh-line in evidence, but plenty of frown lines and scowl lines, if you catch my drift. She was carrying an anti-gun protest sign.
I held the door for her, as I described the crowd in my private phone conversatoin, in terms that expressed a little disbelief that this was the best the criminal-safety groups could manage.
The woman turned to me and said, uncomfortably loudly, “thanks for laughing at us!”
Somewhat non-plussed (and trying to multitask), I responded “you’re welcome”.
…and, in the process, indulges in some journalism, popping a few myths about Churchill’s drinking. His celebrated whiskey-and-sodas before noon included just enough whiskey to wet the bottom of the tumbler; his two bottles of champagne a day were pint-sized, not the liter or larger sized bottles common today.
The internet is full of Liberals saying “I’m not afraid to let my little daughter go to the bathroom alone because transgender men are not rapists or child molesters.” Yes, agreed; this is not about Bad Trans. But straight people CLAIMING to be transgender men so they can camp out in women’s bathrooms, those pretenders might be rapists and child molesters. That’s a possible problem Liberals aren’t acknowledging.
The response is “That’s dumb, who would pretend to be trans?”
If a wealth philanthropist (a member of the Rockefeller family, for example) were to offer $50,000 cash on the spot to everyone who would pretend to be transgender and use the ladies’ room at Target one time, would you reject it out of hand? How about $100,000?
So yes, at least some straight people would pretend to be transgender in order to use the ladies room, if the motivation was sufficient. The question is what would those pretenders consider sufficient motivation? Cash in hand? Access to little girls?
I note these are the same Liberals who vilify the Boy scouts for allowing pedophilia, but then attack them for excluding the largest group of identifiable individuals most likely to be pedophiles. It’s as if Liberals can’t wrap their heads around the notion that not everybody plays by their unicorn-and-rainbow rules. I’m not certain if that’s plain stupidity or willful obliviousness. I’m leaning toward willful obliviousness but it wouldn’t take much to persuade me to change my mind.
That’s become the latest addition to the left’s toolbox of noxious debate tactics; right out of the gate, disagreeing with their proposal is based on “fear”.
The Strib ran on op-ed by a Mickey Cook, of North Minneapolis.
The whole thing ably reflects the elephant in the Metro DFL’s collective room; the CIty of Minneapolis has, for decades, left North Minneapolis to other people to fix. While the City has invested endless money, time and care in the South side, Northeast and Dinkytown, the Northside is the hot potato in a perennial game between the City, the State and the Feds, with everyone going “Not It”.
This community is falling apart, and Minneapolis is investing in an overpriced football stadium downtown and green ways and bike lanes that go largely unused in “NoMi.” The City Council is voting to ban plastic bags, while investors shoehorn complex after complex of “affordable housing” into north Minneapolis neighborhoods. Yet we can’t even maintain the mainstays of a decent retail chain store or a reliable grocery store that isn’t constantly threatening to pull out. We can’t get take-out without getting taken out. We have no peace with all of the boom cars.
Mr. (?) Cook has got the problems figured out cold.
The solution? Let’s talk (emphasis added):
We can see you, Minneapolis. We can see the lack of attention from the police chief and the mayor, failing to enforce what few laws we do have.
There is no shortage of laws in North Minneapolis, or anywhere else in the state. Everything that goes wrong in NoMi breaks some kind of law or another.
We can see the rats’ nest of bureaucratic yarn tangle. These two officials have wholeheartedly turned their backs on this neighborhood. Their predecessors, as far back as I can remember in my four decades of living in Minnesota, have never summoned enough gusto to get things truly under control.
One wonders what sort of effort, or gusto, it would take – and whether Minneapolis’s Social Justice caste (based more in Kenwood and Crocus Hill than in NoMi, and sodden with political clout in both city halls and the state capitol) would tolerate it.
But least of all would the Social Justice caste tolerate the one thing the citizens of North Minneapolis could do that would give them a genuine voice; break their ties with the DFL and vote for an alternative to the failed one-party system that’s gotten them where they are.
“Long airport-security lines are a symptom of Congress’ budget-cutting mantra” 
Hmm. Doesn’t look right.
“Long airport-security lines are a symptom of Arabs hijacking aircraft and blowing them up”
Terrorist attack led to concern for security, which led to government seeing a new opportunity for graft, which led to a permanent bureaucracy which does little to secure air travel but very much does want to get paid, and paid well.
The halls of the Irish General Post Office in Dublin, An Post, were quiet at noon on April 24th, 1916. The day, Easter Monday, was a holiday in Ireland, leaving the gigantic Georgian building practically empty save perhaps for a few support staff who weren’t taking Easter Week off.
As such, there was no resistance as 400 armed men stormed past the An Post‘s pillars and burst through the front doors. The men, members of the armed Socialist trade union the Irish Citizen Army (ICA), raised two Irish Republican flags and began reading from the prepared pamphlets they had printed in secret – a proclamation of an Irish Republic.
Across Dublin, 1,200 Irish volunteers representing a cross-section of the various rebellious groups constituting the Irish Resistance spread out, occupying most of the significant buildings of the city. Despite ample intelligence forewarning of Irish intentions, the British were taken completely by surprise. For the next week, one of the hottest battlefields in the Great War would be in the heart of the Entente.
“Ireland is too great to be unconnected with us, and too near us to be dependent on a foreign state, and too little to be independent.” Future Prime Minister William Grenville to the Duke of Rutland, December 3, 1784
Monday, Bloody Monday – a British barricade in Dublin during the Easter Rising
If one is to talk of the seeds of the Irish Easter Rising of 1916, there are no shortage of dates that can be chosen from which to start. Did it begin with the Norman Invasion of the 12th Century? The Tudor conquest in the 16th? The overthrow of the Catholic parliamentary majority in 1614? The Acts of Union of 1800, which ended semi-Irish independence as the country was politically absorbed into the British Parliament? Continue reading →
Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on live from 1-3PM today. We’ll be talking conventions, Harriet Tubman, Prince, and so much more!
Christina Norman will join us to talk about the movie “Climate Hustle”
Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.
So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:
“Prince is like your generation’s version of Elvis dying”.
That’s what my daughter said as I was eating dinner last night. And she’s got a great point.
We’ll come back to that.
Everyone in the Twin Cities, it seems, has a “when I met Prince” story. Mine’s pretty mundane; it was a First Avenue, not long after I moved to town. I probably noticed the people Prince was with long, long before I noticed Prince himself – he was, like, 15 inches shorter than me.
My better “Prince” story was more of a one-degree-of-separation tale:
The other guitar player in my band worked at a coffee shop located by where all the Twin Cities record labels were based, and where groups like Husker Du and the Replacements were based. He did it for the music networking. One day I was having a cup of coffee, and my guitar player introduced me to a new waitress, a dizzyingly attractive latin-american woman. She was a musician. I started trying to work whatever magic I had at that time of my life.
“I have a demo tape I’m going to give to Prince”, she said.
You and me and every other musician in town I thought; “I’d love to hear it sometime”, I said. She played me something on her Walkman. I resolved to come back and talk more.
A few weeks later, news made the rounds that she was dating Prince; they lived together for a bit, and he produced at least one album for her.
So close, but yet so far.
I Was Working Part-Time At The Five And Dime; More seriously?
If I had a nickel for every blog post I’ve begun over the years with “They didn’t have much “black” music in North Dakota when I was a kid”, I could skip a year’s worth of pledge drives.
But the confluence of MTV, Top40 radio making it to Fargo, and kids from out of state moving to North Dakota when I got to college, introduced me to the radical notion of someone who was:
A black guy
Who played funk that rocked,
and rock that was intensely funky
that was completely marinated in S
And so I listened.
And as I got into my early twenties, and started to ponder where it was that I wanted to start my adult life, and thought “a music scene that can spawn the likes of not only the Replacements, the Hüskers, but this…:
(Unfortunately, not the version shot at First Avenue – the idea that there was a club like that place looked in the movie was a part of the draw, too)
…and I was sold. If that was a city that could keep that kind of a polyglot scene happening, it was the place for me.
So while my “when I met Prince” stories may be among the Twin Cities’ most underwhelming, I can at least say that he affected my life that much.
Has Anybody Heard About The Quake?: First things first – Prince was an astounding musician.
Let’s start with the fact that he was the most criminally underrated guitar player of all time.
Prince was scandalously underrated as a guitarist.
And as a bassist.
And…well, he was generally recognized as an excellent singer. Although in fact he was really several singers; a crooner, a Little-Richard-style rocker, a James Brown-style R&B raver.
He was, in fact, not just a one-man band (he recorded all the instruments and vocals on his first several albums, up through 1999, and many of his recent albums, and many more of the thousands of songs reputed to be “in the can” out at Paisley Park),but a one-man-band composed of some of the best musicians in the business on their respective instruments.
And he played over 20 of them. In addition to writing all his own music, producing something like 60 studio albums (and, legend has it, enough backlog to release an album a year for several decades – as of the early 90s)
White, Black, Puerto Rican, Everybody Just a-Freakin’: Back to my daughter’s remark that started the whole thing; the idea that Prince was my generation’s Elvis.
In his prime, Elvis (and the rest of the Sun Records lineup) did something that the best genres in American music before – folk, jazz – did; wantonly mix “black” and “white” music into an all-new form. Ditto the Beatles, at least early on.
And after the Beatles drifted into psychedelia and Hendrix died, black and white music seceded from each other in the early seventies. They stayed in their neutral corners…
…until Prince, touring with a band that was two black guys, two white guys and two white women, became simultaneously the best R&B band on the planet and, pound for pound, one of the best rock and roll bands, too.
In a half-decade that saw some of the most glorious genre-bending that we’d seen since the Rascals were passing for “black” on the radio, Prince and the Revolution were the bleeding edge of the fashion curve.
No, really; check out his halftime performance at the 2007 Super Bowl; he invoke and mixes and eventually purees Queen, James Brown, Hendrix, Ike and Tina, Creedence Clearwater, Clapton, the Foo Fighters, and his own catalog into an explosion that had to have had James Brown dancing in his grave:
Forget the building in Cleveland; this is what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be.
Purple Reign: I made it downtown for some of the party yesterday (it’s where most of this post’s photography comes from). For all I know, the block party may still be going on in Minneapolis. Part of me wishes I could have been there.
In a sense, I was – from 1985 through the late eighties. It was an amazing time. Ask anyone who was there; we’ll tell you about it ’til your ears bleed.
But in a way, the party came to everyone; it was a big night for purple around the world:
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome
San Francisco City Hall
The Melbourne, Australia Arts Center (or Centre)
The Prince George’s County (Maryland) Hospital
The Mississippi River in Minneapolis
As my friend Erik “The Transit Geek” Hare put it, he’s so huge, he owns an entire color.