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Forfeiting Football

So far this season, NFL football has about off-field misconduct instead of on-field performance. Where we used to speculate on Xs and Os, now the chatter is about how team PR can response to waves of social media outcry.

In a Vox Popoli thread about the Vikings’ decision to reverse their decision and re-suspend Adrian Peterson for doing a bad job at trying to be a good dad, commenter Cash vents:

I just remind myself that being a football fan is about what America used to be. It's about watching the game with your dad and cheering for your team no matter how bad they are and hating your rival. It's about a house in order where the man can be a man while still being with his family. He can raise his son while mom is in the kitchen making snacks and smiling about how much they are like each other. It's about knowing exactly what you are going to do after church on Sunday and that all the other men and their sons are going to be doing the exact same thing; watching the game.

Where we were once unified in a common American cultural ritual, the sport now divided us into angry factions. We replaced ritual combat on the gridiron with social justice logrolling. Those not displaying the proper outrage at the proper time, and for the proper reasons, are shunned. Hysteria careens from headline to headline, in an effort to remake the world.

I want my country back.

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Middle-Class Advocates

I’ve been learning party politics with the Republican Party in Minnesota. I spend almost as much time needling them for their shortcomings—as I see them, of course—as I spend on party work and cheerleading.

In one of those wonderful moments where the internet confirms you are not totally alone, I just came across a comment at Vox Popoli that could have come right off my fingertips:

The Democrats have become the party of the Truly Rich and the Welfare Class. They have totally abandoned the middle class, which the Republicans could sweep up if they weren't so addicted to being the Business Party.

At every convention I attend, I like to Tweet something like: “The first candidate to mention seniors, veterans and workers gets my support.” Few manage it.

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I Hope God is Laughing

The State of Minnesota has passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Still just between two partners, and between people who are not already related.

There is a massive emotional outpouring of joy. The law is not a surprise, so there is really only perfunctory statements of grief from opponents of SSM and opponents of any kind of government involvement in marriage.

A few comments on Facebook have coalesced into a recognition.

For all the happiness and love I see from and for homosexuals today, they are still a shadow. A same-sex couple will never get to experience the joy produced by the birth of a child conceived in a loving union between bodies and souls.

No earthly power can overrule God’s design.

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Sean Hannity is Not the Future

[Obligations and opportunities in meatspace have been taking all my time. I have much to point at, but no free fingers to do it here.]

A few months ago a finished a book called The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny. Written in 1997, the authors predicted a major change in the socio-cultural-political order sometime near 2010. The twenty-somethings of today are in the same cyclic position as the boomers were in the 1960s.

Since I have been predicting a collapse and Brief Period of Violent Upheaval for a few years, I find the theories in The Fourth Turning to be brilliant. I may have joined the Liberty Movement and made friends with the Paulbots just in time to be on the right side of history:

This past Sunday night I was watching Madmen which this season takes place in 1966 New York City. One of the key ongoing themes of the show is how the World War II and Korean War generations dealt with the massive influx of new ideas which were born from the baby boomers. There was a good bit of fear, but for many of the characters there’s even more a sense of just plain confusion. What the hell is going on?

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Ron Paul Wins Minnesota

For a guy who is so roundly dimissed, it is easy to find anti-Paul snark around the intertracks. One of the standard barbs is to point out that Ron Paul hasn’t won any States during primary season.

That changed yesterday:

All the CD conventions have conclude and Paul has won 20 out of the 24 delegate slots at stake and nearly all of the alternates. Given that the composition of the delegations to the state convention, which is set for May 4-5 [May 18-19] in St. Cloud, is similar to that of the CD conventions, there is a very good chance Rep. Paul will come away with the lion's share of delegates from Minnesota.

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RP Sweeps MN CD5

I was a part of this:

In Minnesota, Ron Paul supporters swept the three district conventions that occurred today, winning nine of nine delegates to the national convention. Minnesota is set to hold more such conventions next week.

The RP local delegates seem to understand that their cause is bigger than one election. They have learned the rules and built a movement, taking over most of the offices in the precinct- and district-level Republican Party.

The Minneapolis and Metro-area GOP is no longer your father’s Republican Party. It is the Founding Fathers’ Republican Party.

Next month we find out if the Ron Paul R3voltion can complete an overthrow of the Minnesota GOP.

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Ron Paul Sweeps SD 60

Minnesota is a caucus state. That means it selects its delegates to a national political convention through a cascade of smaller elections. Last month I went to the lowest, grassroots caucus of the Republican party. I was elected a delegate and had a right to vote in the next tier of the election cascade.

That election was held yesterday. Since this is a redistricting year and political unit boundaries are redrawn, the first order of business was to establish rules and adopt a constitution for what is now the Minnesota Senate District 60 Republican Party (SD 60).

I enjoy rules and rulemaking, so this was not tedious. Parliamentary procedure was a bigger factor in this convention than in most neighborhood meetings, but less strict than the government meetings I watch on public-access TV.

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Caucus Day Debrief

The caucus for my hunk of the 55418 was held in an elementary school building. Both big parties were having their caucus there. Fitting to party stereotypes, the DFL (Democrats) were assigned to ther library media center, while the Republicans got the lunchroom.

Nobody checked my ID. I just went to the table for my Ward and Precinct and signed in. There was little formality and just enough order to make the proceedings legitimate. When we finally got started on business, about fifteen minutes late, the Convener was amazed by the turnout. He said that in 2010 there were 9 people. This time we had 47.

Of the 47, I recognized a small handful from my time as a community organizer. It's no wonder that the NRP served as a farm system to develop DFL candidates. The Republicans evidently didn't try to take over the system that funneled millions of dollars from the City to neighborhoods.

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Newt Romney Passes on Minnesota

It’s caucus day in Minnesota. Not a big deal to the frontrunners:

Romney, for his part, made just one visit to Minnesota and canceled a visit on Monday.

He said in an interview on the Scott Hennen Show that  Minnesota's contest wasn't his focus.

"We have not participated in the straws polls and beauty contests as much as some of the other guys have, but we’re working very hard to get support and put those delegates together," Romney said.

Gingrich has the newest and least organized presence in Minnesota. He made a last minute stop in the state on Monday, telling several hundred supporters that he would bring "real change on a large scale" to the country.

Who would have thought Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were in a “beauty contest”. The field has already conceded “Most Handsome” to Mitt and his executive hair.

And maybe Gingrich is still mad about Michele Bachmann’s “Newt Romney” barb. Or maybe he’s just not as competent as he thinks he is.

The northern tier of flyover country might just vote for real change anyway, against the Bi-factional Bankster Party:

If Paul manages to capture a first place win in Minnesota, it will be his first state win. Even though the Tuesday night vote is non-binding, that could give national observers pause as he continues on.

Santorum is ahead in the local polls going in. It’s anybody’s game.

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Caucus for the Constitution

I don’t like political parties. I understand why they exist in the United States, but they ultimately serve themselves more than serving the people. But I may attend my first party caucus next week.

I want to support the Constitution and it quirky proponent, Ron Paul. He can’t win, he’s crazy, he will get us all blown up by Iranians, blah, blah blah. But if I have integrity to my belief in our Founding Principles, and if this really is The Most Important Election Ever! I must go support the candidate who best represents my view. There are no bystanders.

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Six Veeks of Vinter

If I cross Groundhog Day with railroading and view the result through a fuzzy Minneapolis filter, I see this:

For Minnesota kids, Casey Jones was a friendly TV host, named after a legendary railroad engineer.

One of the most beloved figures in local television was a man who portrayed a railroad engineer, dressed in a pin-striped jacket, cap and overalls, with a red 'kerchief around his neck, and called himself "your old buddy, Casey Jones."

The Hipsterization of Marriage

Vanderleun glances at something interesting:

Ironically, a young generation that considers the struggle for same-sex marriage the civil rights struggle of its day is choosing to avoid the marital estate.

Minnesota voters will have an opportunity to define marriage this fall:

The question would be presented to voters as follows:

"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?"

If passed, the Minnesota Constitution will be Amended:

Article XIII; Section 13.

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Exiled from the Unicorn Farm

From the OccupyMN people:

In response to the news coverage over a box of bricks found on the plaza, orchestrated by a press release from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office: We would like to reiterate that we are, and have always been, a completely non-violent group. The box was brought onto The People’s Plaza by an outsider and his individual action does not represent the  views or goals of our movement.

We will continue to make our voices heard as the 99% fighting for a better world and look forward to having all of you join us here in Minneapolis.

How many outsiders does it take to drop the 99 to a 98? Doesn’t the one who brought the bricks count as a person? It’s the People’s Plaza, not the Some of the People’s Plaza, right?

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How Many Chunks in a Gobble?

From a StarTribune report about a study on “who bears Minnesota’s biggest tax burden” and how that might inform State and local government budgets:

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman asked committee members to rethink the aid cuts.

The mayors said they'd need to look at reductions in every corner of their budgets, including public safety, which gobbles up a giant chunk of city revenue.

How does that qualify as reporting?

Did the Mayors use the language, “gobbles up a giant chunk”? It is not a direct quote, so we would assume the electeds used different words.

What we’re presented with is not fact or news, but a storyteller’s rhetoric. How many dollars are in a giant chunk? When a firefighter comes out to save a life, is he gobbling revenue?

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Unintended Confession

Only you can shut the fuck up.

Quoted from: A training session with Quorum Security.

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Style Over Substance

Minnesota lefties are quick to profess shame and outrage that Michele Bachmann represents their State in Congress. She’s our little Palin.

Both local and national lefty radio had their dander up when Bachmann gave a TEA Party response to the State of the Union. It didn’t strike me until I read this, but much of lefty radio is just pretend-smart gossip:

Howard Kurtz makes fun of MSNBC complaining about CNN airing Michele Bachmann's response to the State of the Union and then spending several days talking more about Bachmann than about Paul Ryan's official GOP response. Ridiculing Bachmann is much easier and more entertaining to the people at MSNBC than actually tackling the issues raised in Ryan's speech.

Rachel Maddow or Nancy Nelson talking about Bachmann isn’t much different in depth or import than TMZ talking about Lindsay Lohan.

Nexus of Yuk

The 2010 edition of the Minnesota Vikings have failed. Today’s debacle was pathetic. The defensive secondary might as well have been waving checkered flags at the Packer receivers.

Favre might still have enough ability to play in the NFL, but he would have to work for the full season. Coming in late meant he was never in sync with the team. The defensive line did not live up to the hype. I didn’t share the faith in the promise of Sidney Rice as a savior for the receiving corps. He had one good year, which proves nothing much. And don’t get me started on the lousy decisions of the head coach…

At least Adrian Peterson has cured his fumble problem. Watching him play is still a treat.

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Pickett’s Vote

From what I hear, the righties are giddy and frothing about their predicted victories tomorrow. I understand that this is the moment for enthusiasm to peak, riding the emotion to help carry all the voters to their polling places. But it strikes me as a perfect example of a flawed political system.

We’re rooting for teams, not ideas. And certainly not policy. Sure, there is value in doing something—anything—to inhibit the lefty steamroller. I think many of the people going to vote righty or TEA Party tomorrow genuinely believe they can stop the national collapse.

I say the battle is already lost. The righties are gearing up for their version of Pickett’s Charge:

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Michigan Cancelled Their State Fair

The failure is bigger than Detroit:

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm canceled the fair, saying debt-ridden Michigan could no longer afford to subsidize it. Granholm's decision makes Michigan the only Midwestern state and one of few nationwide without a state fair.

The Michigan State Fair had been a state tradition for 160 years and held at Eight Mile and Woodward, within Detroit city limits, since 1905. But the fair had been running deficits and needed $360,000 from the state in 2008 to cover losses. Fewer than 220,000 people passed through last year. At its peak in 1966, the fair drew 1 million.

Parks for Pensions

The Federal government is broke. Minnesota government and the City of Minneapolis can’t be broke in the same way because they lack the ability to run perpetual deficits. But I say they’re functionally broke because of their inability to set spending priorities. There’s always enough for fun projects. $30 million here, $7.7 million there, and yet there’s not enough money to keep up the roads or pay firefighters.

Anyone who works to provide a core government service is always first on the budget chopping block.

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