Dancing With The One That Brung Him

Steve Van Zandt – or “Miami Steve”, “Silvio Dante”, or “Little Steven”, depending on the era where you first ran into him – has had a peripatetic career; from a freelance sideman and producer, to Springsteen’s long-time guitar player, to leader of several incarnations of his own band, to small-screen consigliere, to one of America’s better disc jockeys, to Netflix’s first binge material, he’s been all over the place.

Little Steven’s Underground Garage. I know it’s only a guy playing underground rock and roll, but I like it.

Along the way he hed a solo music career that spanned five albums –  the first of which, Men WItbout Women, one of the great rock and roll records of all time, from 35 years ago.   Featuring a band of “white soul” greats – Felix Cavaliere, Dino Danelli, the Miami Horns, and various menbers of the Jersey Shore musical mafia – the record was drenched with so much raw heart and energy the needle barely stayed in the groove.

It was one of the great records of the eighties – and was followed up by an ever-drearier series of collections of garage music and worldbeat which were fairly forgettable, and featured an ever-more-strident politics that seemed to dumb down the actual music.

Flash in the pan? Or just 35 years early?

Well, we’re done with that.

“Soulfire” boasts a righteous blend of drums, back-up vocals and horns that pulse with Little Steven’s nimble guitar playing. The rocker unleashes an array of six-string tricks, from a steady disco-tinged vamp to an arena-sized solo, while his mighty vocal performance reveals tinges of Bruce Springsteen’s bombastic howl and Bob Dylan’s weary croon.

“I wrote it several years ago with one of the Breakers, a Danish band on my label Wicked Cool,” Van Zandt tells Rolling Stone of “Soulfire.” “And although this is my first album ever that is not overtly political, the lyric happens to be quite relevant. The song felt like the obvious centerpiece of an album that is conceived to not only reintroduce myself as an artist, but also serve as a summary of a lifetime of work. It’s the spiritual center philosophically on an album that contains many of my musical roots displayed for the first time like blues, jazz, and doo-wop. That combination ended up being a very accurate representation of where I’m coming from and who I am today.”

Yadda yadda yadda.  Just book a damn gig in the Twin Cities already.  And then shut up and take my money.

 

Big Lake. Big Litter-Storm.

The fastest-growing school sport in Minnesota today is trap-shooting.  All over greater Minnesota, even into the outer Metro, trap teams are popping up, and drawing all kinds of students into the shooting sports.  The growth in terms of numbers and percentage is overwhelming; we’ve got regular commenters on this blog who can go into the specifics, but it’s been pretty meteoric over the past five to ten years.

But they never promised us a rose garden, as they say.

The Big Lake school district is refusing to allow the Big Lake High School Trap Team’s official team photo into the school’s annual for this year.

Because never mind the breakdown of the nuclear farmily, or a popular culture that glorifies violence to those who are least able to process what “violence” actually  is and who have no concept of the permanence of “mortality” (teenage boys), marketed with slick cynicism by a Hollywood advertising machine that has no soul.  And never mind the fact that Big Lake is well within the part of Minnesota that has a murder rate roughly half that of Norway.  Or the fact that while trap shotguns are, technically, weapons, the sport isn’t about violence – certainly nothing compared to the martial overtones and actual pummeling of high school football.

No.  Apparently photos of guns are enough to make people violent.

“It’s policy”, says the district – not allowing “weapons” into the yearbook.

Photo courtesy MNGOPAC

But a search of district policies shows nothing about weapons.   You can’t bring a gun to school (which may be why Big Lake has never had a school shooting?  I don’t know), but there is nothing in the district’s policy about pictures of skeet guns in the hands of a school-sponsored team that is participating in a legal, school sanctioned event.  

Anyway – the students on the trap team are doing their best to whip up a litter-storm of Biblical proportion, and I’m going to do my best ton contribute to it.

Polite, measured, reasonable phone calls and emails to be Athletic Director, the Principal and the Superintendent are in order.

As Breitbart said, politics is downstream of culture.   It’s battles like this – where the idiots of our society try to de-normalize conservative values – that are where the war for the culture take place every day…

…and where you and me can actually affect them.

I’m off to kick up that biblical litter-storm.

UPDATE:  They’re hearing us:

Big Lake School Board Chairman Mark Hedstrom told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS via email that he wants to see the trap team included in the yearbook.
“I have made a request to the superintendent to please add this item to (Thursday) night’s school board meeting agenda so the board can look at making an exception (to) this handbook guideline,” Hedstrom wrote.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Big Lake.

Big Lake-ians (?), your mission is clear. Make sure your school board hears you.

Sometimes the voice of reason has to be louder than the voice of stupidity, ignorance and tyranny to be heard at all.

UPDATE 2:  In a statement redolent with “HOLY CRAP, MY EARS HURT”, Big Lake HIgh School has walked back its decision.  The picture will appear in the annual.

Thanks.  Good job.

Politics is downstream of culture.  The water downstream is a little more drinkable today.

Blinded By “Science”

I sort of cringed when I watched the “Science March” – because “Science” is being dragged down the same Orwellian linguistic rathole that has claimed so many other once-useful/meaningful words.

At one point, science meant “You have a theory.  You frame a hypothesis.  You come up with experiments that can disprove the hypothesis.  You publish the theory, the hypothesis, the experiments, and the results, with an aim toward allowing other scientists to check your work and see if your results could be repeated.

Today?  It’s just another word for peer pressure (from the left).

Ben Shapiro on the appearance of the loathsome Bill Nye at the marches:

But this is demonstrative of the Left’s take on science: Science is actually just the name for anything the Left likes. Worried about the humanity of an unborn child? Concerned that fetuses have their own blood types and their own DNA? Stop it! You’re quoting science, not Science™! Wondering how it is that a genetic male is actually a woman? You’re worrying about science, not Science™!

This is the dirty little secret of the Left’s sudden embrace of Science™ — it’s not science they support, but religion. They support that which they believe but cannot prove and do not care about proving. Bill Nye isn’t interested in a scientific debate about global warming — how much is occurring, the measurement techniques at issue, the sensitivity of the climate to carbon emissions, the range of factors that affect the climate. He wants you to accept his version of the truth — not just that global warming is happening, but that massive government intervention is necessary in order to avert imminent global catastrophe.

Worse?  This is just one front in the battle for something more important than science – the battle for the language itself.

And the good guys are losing that one, too.

Rebooted Morality!

Remember when questioning the provenance of immigrant voters was a baaaad thing?

Either does Alondra “The Brain” Cano, the “third world feminist” and Minneapolis City Council ward heeler:

Minneapolis City Council candidate Mohamed Farah is accusing Council Member Alondra Cano of “Jim Crow tactics” after she questioned the credentials of many of the Somali-American delegates chosen in the Ninth Ward caucus earlier this month.

Cano’s campaign filed challenges with the Minneapolis DFL saying 101 delegates elected in the near south Minneapolis caucus did not sign in to participate in the April 4 event at South High School. At least 27 delegates and alternates did not write down their addresses when they registered, Cano’s campaign said, and “we have identified at least three delegates who do not live in the precinct they were elected in.”

I love watching tyrants eating each other.

Your Obligatory Feel Good Story

Fireman catches baby dropped from third-story window:

With heavy smoke billowing from the windows of the apartment building and the size of the fire inside unknown, Knoxville Senior Firefighter Eric “Bo” Merritt said he could only see one option – the father would have to drop the baby from the window.

Merritt made the “once-in-a-lifetime” catch to save the life of the one-month-old boy, who was among dozens of residents inside the Lakewood Building at Magnolia Apartments, 2730 E. Magnolia Ave., in East Knoxville when someone set a fire in the rear stairwell Sunday morning….”So before we even got the ladders set up, I told him to drop it – and hope for the best. He thought about it for a second and I guess he realized, too, that was the best option. I didn’t know how bad it was on the inside, if the fire was growing or not, so I didn’t want to take the chance of the baby staying up there.”

On the one hand, I love a good “saving the baby” story.

On the other – everyone else got out – right?

In The Not Too Distant Future

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Grocery checkout clerk:  I’m sorry, sir, your sale has been declined.
Liberal:  What?  My card is declined? Fine, I’ll pay cash.
Clerk:  No sir, the card is fine.  But the manufacturer won’t allow us to sell certain items to you.  I’ll have to remove them from the conveyor and you can buy the remaining items.
Liberal:  That’s ridiculous.  How can the manufacturer refuse to sell to me?  I demand to see a manager.
Manager:  Sorry sir, you’re the latest in a long line of customers who are having this problem.  You see, the manufacturer is engaging in a reverse boycott against certain people.  We’re prohibited from selling their products to the people being boycotted.
Liberal:  They can’t do that! They can’t refuse to do business with me.  I have rights!
Manager: Actually, they can.  The law says they can’t refuse to do business with people for discriminatory reasons like not baking a cake for gays, but they can refuse to do business with Liberals the same way the Liberals are boycotting Trump hotels.   Discrimination against people in the opposite political party is perfectly legal and since Liberals started the trend, it’s catching on everywhere.  They probably got your name from a mailing list of Democrat contributors or MPR members.
Liberal:   But I didn’t donate to any of those things.
Manager:  No?  Maybe you signed an on-line petition?  Or maybe one of your family members or Facebook friends did so you’ve been flagged because of that?  It could be a secondary boycott, same as when Liberals refuse to buy from Ivanka’s business because of her Dad’s politics.
Liberal:  This is bull.  I demand you sell me my items.
Manager:  I can sell you everything that’s not on the boycott list.  Let’s see, you can have, well, actually, sir, I’m afraid everything on this conveyor is on one list or another.
Liberal:  How is that possible?  How many boycotts are there?
Manager:  Only a few, but companies like Nestle own many brands and those are the brands you’ve chosen, like, for instance, Coffee Mate, Kit-Kat, Perrier, Honey Nut Cheerios, Friskies cat food.  You’ve also got Land O Lakes milk and butter, those are on another list.  Oh, here, you can have the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, they aren’t boycotting people like you.
Liberal:  People like me!!  Fine, if that’s the way you feel, I’ll take my business elsewhere.
Half an hour later . . .
Whole Foods Clerk:  I’m sorry, sir, your sale has been declined.
Joe Doakes

There are companies I’d be happy to have boycott me.

Very, very publicly.

Pounding A Square Peg Into A Round Hole – On Your Dime

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County tore down the old jail and West publishing buildings on Kellogg Boulevard, now the county is ready to negotiate with a developer for new buildings on that site.  When government “negotiates” with developers, I fear the only question will be “how much are Joe Doakes’ taxes going up to pay this developer to take this white elephant off our hands?”

The part that kills me is this: “One of Saint Paul’s greatest assets is the Mississippi River,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Saint Paul. “Redevelopment on this site will play an important role in further enhancing downtown vibrancy and embracing our position as a river city. This site allows us to connect our downtown community to one of Saint Paul’s most incredible natural landmarks, and I applaud Ramsey County for entering negotiations with a developer who shares that vision.”

No, Jonathan, you’re dead wrong and your council knows it, which is why the City isn’t jumping into this briar patch, they’re letting the County do it.  The river is nothing in St. Paul as presently situated – that’s why the initial colony was located to the East of the present downtown and was called Pig’s Eye – because that’s where the land slopes down to the river so you can get out of your canoe.

San Antonio has a riverfront development.  Tours, shops, restaurants, a wonderful natural resource to exploit.

 

Here is a photo of the West building, nearly demolished.  This is the view from Kellogg Boulevard, the major street that runs past the Xcel Center where the Wild play hockey.

 

 

 

 

Fine, an ugly three story building gone, right?  Not quite.   Here’s the view of the building from the bridge over the river.

 

 

 

There were three stories ABOVE Kellogg Boulevard and six stories BELOW Kellogg Boulevard, then a railroad track that cannot be relocated, and then a four-lane road (Shepherd Road) before you get to the riverbank.  You won’t be sipping your latte on the bank of the river or strolling along the waterway, you’ll be looking at it from 200 yards away, right about where the yellow crane is sitting in this photo.

Minnesota doesn’t have riverfront developments, mostly because the river bank is a flood zone.  Even St. Anthony Main isn’t on the river – it’s separated by a road.  It’s not a “riverfront” development, it’s a “river view” development, and if you’ve ever priced homes you know that distinction is incredibly important.

This whole thing is idiotic.  Which means nobody would build it on their own, they’ll build it only if they can get a big enough bribe.  I’m already paying for a better Minnesota; I’m not looking forward to paying for a nicer riverfront.

Joe Doakes

But pay you shall.

The Twin Cities are  noted as two river cities whose downtowns turned their backs on their riverfronts, literally and symbolically.   And in Saint Paul’s case, it’s happened in ways that’ll take a generation or two and an exquisite amount of money to fix.

Verdict

Kevin Williamson’s conclusion on the Democrats’ seeming compulsion to inflict more Clintons on us, and themsellves, via Chelsea:

…for Pete’s sake, stop it. Have a little self-respect, Democrats. Build Bill Clinton a statue or . . . whatever. Send him your daughters like a bunch of bone-in-the-nose primitives paying tribute to the tribal chieftain. But stop trying to inflict this empty-headed, grasping, sanctimonious, risible, simpering, saccharine little twerp on American public life. It’s stupid enough out there.

What led to the conclusion?

Oh, just read the whole thing.

Good Guys 3. Criminals 0. “ELCA Engage” Bummed.

Three armed men tried to rob a Nashville store the week before last, guns blazing, robbery in mind.

An armed citizen changed their plans:

An unnamed person inside a Nashville (TN) sneaker shop went John Wick on three armed robbers last after they made the mistake of charging into the store with guns blazing.

A man died after he was injured during a shootout at a Bordeaux shop late Thursday night.

It happened inside retailer Hot Kicks, located in a strip mall at 3101 Clarksville Pike, around 11 p.m.

Metro police told News 2 a group of people were inside the store when at least three armed suspects came in through an unlocked back door and began firing.

One of the people in the store returned fire, while others took off running, according to police.

Metro police said officers found one man near the back door with several gunshot wounds.

None of the customers or staff of the store were injured in the exchange of gunfire. One of the three robbers was found critically injured outside the back door of the shop by police, and died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The other two suspects arrived at TriStar Centennial Medical Center leaking from fresh holes, and one of those two robbers is now in critical condition.

I love a happy ending.

 

No Facts Were Used In Writing This Column: Des Moines Register Edition

Iowa passed a self-defense reform law in its most recent session, mere weeks ago. Commonly called “Stand your Ground”, what it does is removes the “duty to retreat” – which is really a “duty to remember a lot of state statutes about attempting to disengage” – from the affirmative legal defense for self-defense.

Now, if you’ve followed this blog, you know the continuum of events:

  1. “Stand your Ground” law is proposed.
  2. Newspaper columnists write alarmed, “sky is falling”, uninformed stories about the subject.
  3. A bunch of other stuff happens.

The Des Moines Register and Daniel Finney are no exception.

And I’d like to try to do something about that.  Ignorance is a tragedy.  Let’s stop the tragedy.

It Wouldn’t Be An MSM Article about Guns…:   Finney starts off with some history.

In this case, history of newspaper people’s myopia:

 

About 20 years ago, when there was an outbreak of shootings in the metro, The Des Moines Register ran a list of tips suggesting what people should do if they were caught in the crossfire.

This was the photo that the Des Moines Register ran with the online version of this piece. No, no scaremongering here.

One of the tips was duck and find cover.

This list generated a lot of laughter, both in and out of the newsroom, because the advice was seemingly so obvious that it engendered a, “No, duh” response.

But for those who remember Nick Coleman as a columnist, that’s not quite a low enough standard.

But I digress:

These days, though, “duck and cover” is out of fashion.

Earlier this month, Gov. Terry Branstad signed sweeping changes to Iowa gun laws that include expanding the so-called “stand your ground” laws.

That part is true.

I point it out because it’s just about the last part of this column rooted in objective fact.

Out Standing In The Field::  Finney isn’t the only one on the Register’s staff that doesn’t really get the law:

As standout Register Statehouse reporter Brianne Pfannenstiel writes, the new law says you don’t have to duck and cover or run away.

Instead, if a person is “any place where the person is lawfully present,” they may defend themselves with deadly force.

Further, the law says “a person may be wrong in their estimation of danger or about how much force is necessary ‘as long as there is a reasonable basis for the belief … and the person acts reasonably in response to that belief,'” Pfannenstiel reported.

real “standout” reporter would have asked a few more questions, and found out that that’s pretty much how the “Reasonable Person” standard works.    If a complete stranger revs up a chainsaw and charges toward you yelling “I’m going to kill you, you sonafabitch”, and you shoot her, and deep in her heart she actually intended to stop at the last second and tell you it’s an elaborate practical joke?   The law doesn’t expect you to be a mind-reader – and no reasonable person would ever convict you for it.   –

At any rate, when Mr. Finney says…:

I wish Polk County Attorney John Sarcone and his colleagues the best of luck figuring out how to interpret what a “reasonable basis for belief” of someone feeling they’re in danger.

…you can tell he needs to talk with an even stand-outier capitol reporter, because they have to do it with every single self-defense case today.  

Let’s Take A Break From The Column For Some Actual Facts:  Mr. Finney:   there are some subjective but firm factors that everyone has to meet to claim self-defense; I wind up citing them on this blog so often, I made a separate page for them.

  • Don’t be the aggressor
  • A jury would believe you legitimately feared being killed, maimed or raped
  • You use only the force needed to stop the threat
  • A jury would believe you tried hard enough to disengage before resorting to lethal force.  What’s “hard enough?”  In Minnesota, that’s the subject of a dozen pieces of case law; I’d imagine Iowa is – or was – the same.   “Castle Doctrine” laws eliminate this in your home.  “Stand your Ground” eliiminates this, and only this, anyplace else where you have a legal right to be.    And that is all.  You still have to convince the cops, the prosecutor or the jury of the other three criteria!

Situational Awareness:  Back to Mr. Finney:

I’ll use an example from my own life. I used to walk a 3-mile loop in my parents’ east Des Moines neighborhood. Periodically, I crossed paths with a woman who was also out walking.

Every time the woman saw me, she crossed to the other side of the street. I understand that. She didn’t know me.

I’m 6-foot-4. I’m heavy. And, especially in the fall, it was getting dark out.

While most violence, including rape and homicide, is committed between people who already know each other, the woman was being cautious. I was a large man she didn’t know at twilight.

Better safe than sorry.

Well, yeah – that’s common sense.

But common sense doesn’t trump ignorance.  As we’ll see with Mr. Finney’s next bit:

I tried to keep an eye out for people around me, but I was also listening to my workout mix cassette tapes (yeah, I’m that old). On hills, sometimes I put my head down and gritted through the climb.

What if I was walking at a fast clip and happened to come up behind this woman or bump into her?

It seems to me the way that law is written, she could shoot me dead, and the law, as written, would say she was free to go.

This is far-fetched, of course.

No, it’s not far-fetched.

It’s ignorant.

Mr. Finney:  If she shot you, would a jury believe you posed a threat of death, mutilation or rape?  A real jury, not a fantasy nightmare jury?

Not sure how you behave around strange women in the dark, Mr. Finney, but as a 6’5 guy with an air of calculated menace living in a neighborhood full of college-age women, I go out of my way to appear innocuous and unthreatening when out and about after dark.

Of course, Finney is not merely ignorant about Iowa self-defense law; knowingly or not (I tend to think most reporters don’t know better and never get around to asking, because their editors never make them); he’s trafficking a lie about “Stand Your Ground”, one that I see, almost unaltered, from uninformed columnists all over the place; “Stand your Ground means you can shoot people who make you nervous”.

As we’ve pointed out in this space countless times in the past, it’s an ignorant myth.

I’m going to ignore the rest of the article; it’s no better-informed, but it’s off topic.

But Mitch – Why?:  You might be thinking to yourself “Mitch – you’re fisking yet another reporters’s badly-informed column about a law he or she clearly doesn’t understand.   For like the 1,000th time in the past 15 years.  Why?”

Because Don Quixote is my role model?

Well, maybe a little.  But there’s a more important reason.

I sent Mr. Finney an email, gently setting him straight on his many factual errors.

But if you know some 2nd Amendment activists in Des Moines, feel free to have them send Mr. Finney the link to this piece (his email address is at the bottom of the article).     Because newspaper columnists, for all their vaunted contact in the community, tend to live in echo chambers – especially columnists in “blue” cities like Des Moines (to say nothing of Minneapolis and Saiint Paul).

And sometimes, a little dissonance makes the chamber a little less echo-y.

Fierce

Not long after the inauguration, when Big Feminism threw their nationwide “Women’s March” in media centers around the country, I heard the usual suspects hyperventilating about all the “strong, fearless, powerful women” who were converging for the marches.

Of course, I saw episodes like t his…

…and observed that it’s always the “feminists” – male and female – who jabber the hardest about how strong, fearless, powerful and “fierce” they are that are the first do dive into ofay ad hominem babble (“your male privilege…”, “mansplaining”) if you dare dissent from their current gospel in any way.

(I was also tempted to find some of those precious little snowflakes and ask them if they though they could last twenty minutes in my grandmother’s shoes; she, who raised my dad by herself while running a photography studio, in a small town, during WW2?  I think not).

David French on feminism’s new shiny toy, the “Fierce Girl”:

We are living in the age of the fierce girl. That’s the new feminist ideal. Do you want to make online feminists furious? Just try writing a television or movie script that even implies that “damsels in distress” need any man to rescue them from danger. No indeed. The modern female action star can take down any number of burly men. Doubt me? Watch Charlize Theron destroy man after man in this trailer for Atomic Blonde.

It’s modern feminism, telling modern women what they must do and be with their newfound “choice”.

Oh, Luke, No My Dreams Did Not Come True – They Only Came a-NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

I”m in for Brad Carlson today.

I’ll be talking with Jonathan Honerbrink – candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is  on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is normally heard on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

And She’s Making Me Feel Like I’ve Never Been NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

I”m off on assignment today – Brad Carlson is filling in.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is  on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is normally heard on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

“Here’s Your Dollop Of Freedom, Peasant”

Berkeley – afraid that the generation of Orwellian “social” “jusitice” thugs they’ve raised will throw another costly tantrum at being faced with dissent – cancels speech by Ann Coulter.

Then, getting a wave of negative feedback, they rescheduled it – at a time when nobody could actually go:

Coulter had been booked for April 27, but Berkeley administrators abruptly canceled her engagement on Wednesday, citing security concerns. After massive publicity, they reversed course but reset the event for May 2, when students will be taking finals and therefore will be less likely to attend, according to lawyers representing the Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation.

Associate vice chancellor Nils Gilman “grudgingly offered to allow the event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 — during ‘dead-week,’ when students are not even in class,” wrote Harmeet Dhillon of Dhillon Law Group in a letter to Berkeley interim vice chancellor of student affairs Stephen Sutton.

“Such a bummer that we, here at UC Berkeley, have created an environment where free, dissenting speech is impossible.  No idea what we’re going to do about that.  But I guess you’re screwed!   Those crazy kids.  What’s an institution to do?”

As far as public universities go?  Legislatures need to start insisting on campuses being environments for free speech, or clearing out management (and if necessary, professors.  Tenure should not protect tyrants)

 

Today’s News, Ten Years Ago

Bill Kling, the godfather of Minnesota Public Radio as we know it today, was a radio visionary or a skilled political operative who was an expert at marshaling political clout to his ends.

Well, forget the “or”.  He was both.

Kling was much of the reason MPR is what it is today – in terms of creative vision and, especially, “business development” via both conventional fundraising and endowment-mongering, and use of the political system to meet his ends.  He built a huge, successful merchandising arm (based on the success of Garrison Keillor and “Prairie Home Companion”, the lighting in a bottle that made MPR not only big, but phenomenally wealthy); he also led the charge against community low-power FM radio stations – which could have cut into Big Public Radio’s funding and audience – until the Internet rendered the battle moot.  And any time any conservative got any ideas about cutting public funding for MPR, Kling called in enough favors on Capitol Hill to make a Chicago ward heeler dizzy with envy.

And to this radio geek, who spent his formative years working at dusty little small-town stations tucked in above drugstores or behind hardware stores, or places like the old KSTP-AM, wedged into an old transmitter shed, a tour through MPR’s studios on 7th and Robert in Saint Paul – even in their “old” facility – made you feel a little like Jethro Clampett walking through that Beverly Hills mansion for the first time (as did hearing what MPR people got paid; people doing the exact same job I did at KSTP-AM made 50% more than I got).  And when they upgraded it in the mid-aughts, with a huge indoor auditorium and capacious new offices and, best of all, state of the state of the art studios?  Not just exactly at the radio high-tech fashion curve – oh no.  That, plus they had not one but two state of the art on-air studios, mirror images of each other, so that the staff (!) of one show didn’t have to rush and trip over each other to get out of the way of the next show coming in; they’d just alternate studios.

The Taj Ma Kling. Or the “Kling Public Media Center”. Tomayto, Tomahto.

So opulent (to my commercial radio tastes) was it, that ten years ago this past Tuesday, I christened their facility the “Taj Ma Kling“.

And ten years and one day after I named the facility, Minnesota Public Radio in effect agreed with me:

Minnesota Public Radio will rename its St. Paul headquarters and broadcast facilities the Kling Public Media Center on April 19. The decision to do so was actually made back in 2011, the year Kling retired from his post as CEO of both MPR and American Public Media, but the actual change was held off until now so that it coincided with MPR’s 50th anniversary.

““Our 50th anniversary is the perfect time to honor what Bill created and built. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for public service continue to inspire us as we begin our next 50 years,” said Jon McTaggart, the current president and CEO of American Public Media Group. “What Bill has done – not just for Minnesota and MPR, but for public media audiences across the country – is unique and lasting. The creativity and innovation within the walls of the Kling Public Media Center will always be a living testament to what Bill began a half century ago.”

“Taj Ma Kling” / “Kling Public Media Center”.

Different words,  Same idea.

Sequestered

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m a pre-operative transgender woman.  I demand entry into this unit so I can shower with young, blonde Norwegian women.  It’s my right.

Kidding aside, it might be a smart move.  Women get to serve which shuts up the feminists.  But they’re segregated, which eliminates sexual harassment.  Plus, it’s easy to reassign an entire unit to safely guard headquarters when the shooting starts, rather than pluck individual grunts out of an integrated unit to cut down on white-knighting.

This way, the politicians can say “Yes, you are equal to men, you can do everything they can do.  Grrrrl power!”  Might be worth looking into for Army units.  You notice they’re not giving the girls any expensive equipment to operate and maintain, like their own aircraft carrier or submarine.  I suspect there’s a reason for that.

Joe Doakes

On the one hand – not so fast.  Norway’s military is already pretty gender-integrated.  Don’t be surprised if you see a female frigate commander sooner than later.

On the other?  The Norwegians’ unit – a section of the Norwegian Army’s Jegertroppen, loosely translated as “Rangers” – is a special forces unit, roughly on part with the Airborne Rangers, and hauling a lot of expensive equipment around isn’t really part of the mission.  The stated mission – having female troops to deal with female Muslim suspects – isn’t entirely daft. And for the unstated, and these days probably tertiary, part of the mission, providing a guerilla cadre if Norway is every conquered again – it makes complete sense.

“Gun Violence Prevention” And Its Inevitable Consequences

Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, banned and confiscated all civilian firearms.

And now, as the Maduro regime’s support frays under the complete collapse of the Venezuelan economy, he’s re-arming…

…well, the right Venezuelans:

“A gun for every militiaman!” Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said to uniformed militia members outside the presidential palace, Fox News reported on Tuesday. The Bolivarian militias, created by Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez, already number in the hundreds of thousands and are being used to supplement the regime’s armed forces. Maduro is boosting the number of armed supporters in hopes of keeping control over the country from what he labels “imperialist aggression.”

Yet again – the necessary precursor to dictatorship was the disarming of the law-abiding.

Just a further lesson – there can be no compromise with the tyrants – be they Nicolas Maduro or Michael Bloomberg or Nancy Nord Bence.

Ever.

Only Complete Subjugation Will Do

The City of Minneapolis has decided not to completely put Surdyk’s out of business for the “crime” of selling liquor on Sundays because Sunday liquor sales would be a catastrophic moral blow to the state even though the law hasn’t quite expired yet.    The city negotiated the fine down from a multimillion dollar one-month suspension of the liquor license to $6,000 in fines and eight Sundays of suspension…

…only to have a City Council committee reject the deal.

Why?

Reading between Lisa Goodman’s lines, it’s because the greatest crime is defying Mother Government, or even not paying instant obeisance:

“We went down and asked him not to open, the state called him and asked him not to be open, and he basically said, ‘Too bad, I’m not going to do it,’” Council Member Lisa Goodman said. “If he had shut down right after they came in and asked him to do so, I might have felt different.”

“Justice” in Minneapolis is a matter of connections, after all:

A new deal must be negotiated over the next month, the council committee said, and there may be a public hearing. Goodman said she has heard from “a lot of members of the public” about the matter, and they are not happy that Surdyk might have gotten off with a $6,000 fine and 10-day suspension.

Yeah, Goodman.  I just bet you did, and I just bet they’re not.

The worst part?  The best defense seems to be self-abasement:

His lawyer, Dennis Johnson, told council members that a $6,000 fine would wipe out any profit Surdyk made on March 12, the day he opened illegally. Johnson attempted to make no justification for his client’s actions, however.

“It’s simply that it was a boneheaded move,” Johnson said. “We need to deal with it, and accept any consequences that come from the city.”

Johnson said Surdyk just wants the problem to be resolved, and he is hoping that time and the fact that his business has been a model of regulatory compliance for 40 years, will help the city show some leniency.

“In the heat of the moment he made a horrible decision,” Johnson said, as Surdyk looked on. “He can’t justify what he did. He screwed up.”

It’s American in 2017, and striking a blow for freedom against a stupid regulation in an autocratic bureaucracy needs to be defended by pleading “I just can’t make decisions without the beneficent hand of the all-wise Council guiding me”.

This nation is doomed.

Policy Clarification

Apropos nothing and nobody in particular.

I have always run the most unregulated comment section in the Minnesota political blogosphere.

But if you are a commenter that’s made a years-long habit of dumping condescending comments, and never, ever sticking around to find out that nearly every single point you’ve made is comically in error, so that you make the same completely vacuous, factually void statements over and over and over again?  And you’ve been warned about it for a period of well over a year and a half, now, with comments going through an escalating process of suggestion, annotation,  moderation, and direct request?   (Not naming names, here).

Your comments are going straight in the spam folder until you contact me, offline, and discuss your abuse of my hospitality.

I run the most open free-for-all there is.  And I don’t care if you disagree with me, or for that matter if you’re a condescending fop about it (I always win, so it doesn’t matter).  But chanting the same hackneyed, wrong chanting points, over and over, without even the most feeble attempt at discussion, is over.

It’s not many people, or things, that can exhaust my almost-boundless Scandinavian patience.  But it happened.

Congrats.