Friday, December 31, 2010
You can call me at 651-280-7720 to reserve a ride to wherever you are going to do your celebrating, up until 10pm. I will take reservations on a first call, first serve basis. If you want to reserve a ride back home, let me know at that time.
I do charge $25 in addition to the meter, payable in advance, if you want a guaranteed ride home. This will also be done on a first come first served basis. Sorry if that seems steep, but you understand, I will be non stop all night, after midnight.
Due to licencing restrictions, I will not attempt return rides from downtown or the Uptown area of Minneapolis.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
It's been widely reported that former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister thinks that the price of a gallon of gas will go up to $5.00 per gallon by 2012. Hmmm... Just in time for the next presidential election.
This report will surely effect the January consumer confidence report, which already took a 1.8 hit for the month December, dropping to 52.5.
I remember the last time gas prices were nearly 4 bucks per gallon, and how they remarkably rolled back just before the 2008 election. Too late for most Americans, as the economy had already began to spiral downward.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Do you know that tonight with nearly 3 feet of snow on the ground and an expected low of 4 degrees, on the day after Christmas, an estimated 13,000 plus Minnesotans will not have a home to go to. Many of these people are children.
Oh sure, there are shelters in the Metro area, and churches are attempting to help out where they can. But this is still no type of life for a child.
Minnesota taxpayers are asked to do a lot when it comes to contributing to the social safety net in this state. I hate to say it, but more needs to be done. No child should have to worry about what church basement might be available on any given night. These children are our future, they deserve better.
Speaking like the true socialist I've seemed to become, I believe that affordable housing is every bit as much of a right as food and healthcare.
So next time you have the urge to gripe about how high taxes are in this state, just remember this image...
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Roger will be back next week, and hopefully we can put together a meaningful show. Thanks to those who listened.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
This story only serves to bring to light a much bigger problem, when it comes to the taxi situation at MSP International Airport.
Under ideal conditions, the holding lot you see in this story is full of cabs. On most days, they'll sit in this holding area for upwards of 4 hours before getting a fare. In so many words, Hogan blames the drivers that flock to MAC landside offices to obtain a permit. But it is clearly the commission's shortsightedness that keeps handing out these permits, in which the fees paid by the drivers are outrageous, even though it is within their right to put a cap on the the number of licensed taxis, and or drivers.
This is a situation that needs to be addressed, before this little protest you saw turns into outright rioting.
BTW... The city of Minneapolis plans to take the cap off the number of taxi permits in that city, as I understand it, sometime in January. Unless the city clears more parking spaces for staging, what you see here at the airport will be a walk in the park by comparison.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I don't need to see numbers or statistics to back up that statement. All I have to use is the "exit ramp quotient." I've seen more people standing at the end of exit ramps, begging for help, than I ever saw 10 years ago.
This is the type of shit you see in Texas or Nevada, but not in Minnesota. What Pawlenty calls cutting government excess is what most sane people call kicking the poor to the curb, literally.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Proponents of a stadium project tout the number of much needed construction jobs that would be created in building a new stadium, while some of us on the left say that these would only be temporary jobs. While that is a valid point, if you think about it, aren't all construction jobs, whether it's a new home or a road, temporary in nature? A job is a job. And those who are in the construction industry desperately need these jobs, regardless where they come from.
So the next time you shake your fist at those who want to build a playground for millionaires, try to remember, there are some folks that would give up a certain appendage to get one of those construction jobs.
I've never quite understood this. It just seems illogical that someone would buy a used home as an investment. You wouldn't buy a '97 Caravan for $5k, and expect to sell it a year later for $7k, would you?
Like a car, homes suffer a certain degree of wear and tear. And like a car, keeping a home in good repair would slow down the depreciation factor, but it just doesn't make sense to me that a home owner should expect to turn a profit.
What most people are calling a housing crisis, to me, seems to be the logical effect of depreciation.
Hopefully, someone smarter than me can do some 'splainin'...
Saturday, December 18, 2010
While I feel that a fair and equitable taxation system is essential, I felt we really dropped the ball by not carrying the Senate's vote on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This is an issue of true equality in this country, and in my opinion, there is nothing that is more important.
Roger Shaver is my co-host, but I am the one that makes the final decision on show content. For this show to move forward, I am going to have to become more flexible in covering breaking events.
I am truly sorry that we missed covering this historic event. I hope you will continue listening to the show with the knowledge that I am going to be making changes, as so this type of thing does not happen again.
A classic example would be in today's show. Roger and I interviewed Corry Merrifield, from SaveTheVikes.org. The interview lasted for over 45 minutes, with one 2 minute break. There is no other platform, including public radio, that would allow for such an extensive interview.
Last week, our sister show on the MNptn.org network, ON POINT!, conducted a half hour long interview with Chris Doleman, former linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings. Do you think any form of celestial radio could have afforded that much time to a single interview or topic?
My point is that what we do is true citizen broadcasting. Some of the shows that air on BlogTalkRadio.com have a little advertising, but not near the same amount as on the AM-FM dial. If you want content driven programing, I feel our format is the place to turn.
I invite you to give this show, as well as ON POINT! and other internet radio shows a listen. I think you'll see that as the technology improves, your listening choices will be clear.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Also, it's a little known fact that Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann is a quiet (if you can believe that) proponent of the so called "Fair Tax." We'll hammer out our opinion, which may surprise you.
Click here to listen live, Saturday at noon CT, or to the archive.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Even if the roof never would have collapsed, the Metrodome still has outlived it's usefulness of being able to host major league sporting events. Anybody who has attended a game in the facility, when there were over 50,000 people in attendance, could not argue that point.
As in any stadium issue, the main sticking point is who is going to pay for it. Cost estimates to build a new stadium are pretty close to a billion dollars. Many people feel that's way too much money to build a playground for millionaires. On the surface, they're right. If spent at all, that money would be better used on roads and bridges, or helping feed or shelter the now 10% of the state's population that is at or below the poverty level.
But I'm telling you folks this needs to be done. Part of the reason the state can afford to help the needy as well as it does is the tax revenue that having major league sports, especially the NFL, brings to the community. As many as 12 times per year, 60,000 plus converge on downtown Minneapolis, and spend upwards of $150 each, on an average. Between that and what the Twins, Wild, and Woofies bring in far exceeds the money generated by concerts or stage shows. Bottom line is major league sports brings millions of dollars, yearly, to the state's economy.
I'm not suggesting that the state try to cough up money out of the general fund to build a new stadium for the Vikings. But between a user tax and maybe an expansion of gaming revenue (God knows Minnesotans love to gamble) the new legislature and Governor Dayton should be able to find a way to get this done.
If we don't, you think this winter's gonna be a long one? Just wait...
Sunday, December 12, 2010
But there's something about the arrogance of Conservative Republicans that lately has made me act a little different. In the last couple of weeks, I've butted into conversations on Twitter where some right wing hack was trying to belittle one of my "Tweeps." Only today, I was a lot nastier.
The girl I engaged was someone named Kimberly Morin, a neo-con blogger from the Boston area. After monitoring the back and forth with the lady I follow on my feed, I couldn't help myself. I made a nasty word play on her last name, that I felt reflected her stupid opinion.
Yes, it was pretty low. But lately, it seems Conservatives have gotten a little cocky since the results last election, and the president's unwillingness to stand up to them. I felt the need to knock her down a couple of pegs.
Fact is, nothing I did helped our cause in any way. It did offer me a little cheap satisfaction, but that soon went away.
We have to understand that there is nothing we'll ever do that will change the way Conservatives think. I'm a rare case, it doesn't happen very often. We we need to do is light a fire under our base. I truly feel there are many more liberals in this country. We can never take another election for granted again.
So Kimberly, while I'll never be sorry for my beliefs, I am sorry for the cheap shot. While I won't be expecting a Christmas card from you, maybe we all try to focus more on making this country great again, instead of engaging in a pissing match through social networking sites.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I'll spend a couple of hours talking about what could be the biggest Twin Cities snowstorm in recent history.
Click here to listen...
Friday, December 10, 2010
Click here to listen live, at noon CT, or to the archive...
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Does that make me a socialist? Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what kind of tag you want to put on me.
It kills me to think there are people, right now, in sub-freezing weather, who are on the streets. I'm not just talking about the drunks, I'm talking about families.
Even with our economic problems, we are still the richest nation in the world. There is no reason that Americans should not have a warm shelter to go to when they are down on their luck. It doesn't need to be the Taj Mahal. Hell, most homeless people would be happy with a heated 200 sq. ft. room with a bed and a chair.
What really gets to me, is that there are people that call themselves Christians, that don't believe in this basic right. To them I say, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:34-35...
Then the King will say to those at His right, 'Come, my Father's blessed ones, receive your inheritance of the Kingdom which has been divinely intended for you ever since the creation of the world. For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was homeless, you gave me a welcome.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
|Click to enlarge|
That is not his Birth Certificate. It is a substitute. Also, in 1961 they would have described the father's race as "African?" We have to produce our Birth Certs. for school, driver's licenses and passports, but Barack does not have to produce it to run for President?Has anybody requested a copy of their birth certificate lately? This is what you get.
Sorry about the tangent, it's not the reason I started this post.
Apparently, Luke Scott, a slightly better than mediocre first baseman/right fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, is the latest to spout off about the president's place of birth. In a story published by the LA Times, Scott is quoted as saying, "He was not born here."
That's my belief. I was born here. If someone accuses me of not being born here, I can go — within 10 minutes — to my filing cabinet and I can pick up my real birth certificate and I can go, "See? Look! Here it is. Here it is." The man has dodged everything. He dodges questions, he doesn't answer anything. And why? Because he's hiding something.I guess once you have a career year, (.284 BA with 27 HRs and 72 RBI) you can focus less on your game and more on being another jackass right wing pundit.
You know what? People who have bad intentions, people that are deceivers or are not of honor and integrity — that's how they act. I've seen it in every — it doesn't matter what level. It can be in politics, it can be in business, it can be in sports, it can be in the construction field. Doesn't matter. It's all the same attitude. It's the same thing.
Scott's comments were quickly dismissed by the Orioles' organization, saying that he was not speaking for the team.
I got 10 bucks that says he takes a fast ball between the shoulder blades, sometime during spring training. Personally, I'd give that pitcher a $500k bonus.
We'll try to make sense of it all, and talk about what we might expect now that Mark Dayton is officially the governor-elect of the state of Minnesota.
As always, your calls are welcome. We go live, Saturday, noon CT.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
When I heard that Elizabeth Edwards had succumbed to cancer today, I got a bit misty eyed. Ms. Edwards was a true inspiration to many Americans, especially when she shared her diagnosis during the 2004 election. Many of us felt extremely sympathetic when it was learned that John Edwards was engaged in an affair with a campaign staffer.
Elizabeth Edwards is in a better place now. But it will never be lost on me the true fighting spirit she possessed.
Rest in peace, dear soul...
Every year, we go through this war of words. "Christmas is for Christians, so I'm insulted when someone says Merry Christmas to me." Get the fuck over yourself already!
I don't care how someone extends a greeting during this time of year. Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays, it's all the same as Merry Christmas. All someone is doing is extending their best wishes to you within the realm if their religious (or non) beliefs. What could possibly be wrong with that?
We live in a very diverse society, in order for this great experiment known as America to survive, we have to be able accept other religions, cultures, and traditions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with mixing all of these great traditions, including Christmas, in the public arena.
Go back to to the 2008 primary. We chose this rising star Senator, with the fresh face and bold ideas, over a savvy, well established, and connected politician. I'm not throwing stones, my liberal friends, I was right there with you.
Since day one, this president has had to back away from every principle that got him elected. Whether it was health care, or denial of tax breaks for the rich and famous. I just don't think Hillary Clinton would have folded that easy.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the Democratic Party is in disarray. I hope for President Obama's sake that this latest compromise not come back to bite him in 2012. A primary challenge to this president would only serve to further weaken the party. Just what the Republicans want.
What a difference two years can make...
Had the liberal base that put President Obama in office got off thier asses and gave him the same or better majority than he has to work with now, maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Anyway, I get a feeling this might have touched a nerve with one of my Twitter friends. She seemed to think that the symbolic Facebook act was just that, a pointless symbol.
I don't know, maybe she's right. But isn't something better than nothing? I mean, is it wrong that professional sports teams don a nice titty pink once a year, in support of breast cancer research?
I don't know who started the Facebook initiative, but can't we give it credit for what it was?
Today, we talk about the ramifications of WikiLeaks, the latest on the Minnesota gubernatorial recount, the FBI's involvement in the Christmas bomber plot, and A Texas talk show host that thinks gun holders should be able bring their guns inside a school building.
Roger and I will also talk about what being a Progressive means to us.
If you can't listen live, at noon, check out the archive.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Also, a Texas talk show host thinks if conceal carry permitted gun owners were allowed to bring their guns on campus, the incident at the NE Wisconsin high school would not have happened.
Finally, Roger and I discuss what it means to us to be a progressive.
Click here to join us live, Saturday (12/4) at noon CT, or catch the archived show.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Every time a community gets devastated by a flood, or some other natural disaster, this country, rightfully so, rushes to their aid. My question is, how is 2 million people out of work, through no fault of their own, with no means to pay their bills, any less of a disaster?
To me, this is a no brainer. If this lame duck session of Congress does nothing else, they need to get a year long extension of unemployment benefits passed, and on the president's desk.
As an American, if you aren't totally disgusted by what's going on in Washington, you simply don't have a pulse.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Of course this is all because city budgets have been drastically cut. A direct effect of the state's, specifically Governor Pawteny's, unwillingness to raise revenues that are needed to deal with the increasing costs of city funded programs.
The direct result is more teens and pre teens wandering the streets looking for something to do. On many instances, this leads to mischievous behavior, or even gang activity.
I understand that the problem is deeper than just more taxes. While the costs of providing city services, such as rec centers goes up with inflation, wages, thus net tax revenue, has not increased. Yet corporate profits have skyrocketed. These are the entities that seem to shelter themselves the most from federal and state taxes.
Meanwhile, communities struggle with the loss of services. Rec centers, which provide a vital role in keeping youth off these streets, are one of the first items to face the budgetary axe.
In short, the next time your half a million dollar home gets broken into, it may be by some misguided youth that just didn't have anything better to do, like shoot some hoops at his neighborhood rec center.
Oh well, you'll just write off your losses anyway...
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Please use the comments section below, to share your thoughts.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Click here, to listen to the achieved show.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
To me, this is a glaring point of what is wrong with America's passenger rail system. First off, if I bought a ticket to ride Amtrak, I would be livid about being herded on to a motor coach. If I wanted to take a bus, I could have gone Greyhound or MegaBus for a lot less money.
The problem as I see it is that Amtrak tries to run these cross country trains through the Continental Divide. More times than not, this becomes problematic any time a winter storm hits the Rockies.
In my opinion, the best way to operate would be to split the existing "Empire Builder" line, possibly at Cheyenne or Denver. As well, I would split the line that runs across the southern U.S. from Los Angeles to Orlando. This train is notorious for running late, because any little hiccup along the line has a ripple effect for the rest of the scheduled stops.
In my Utopian world, our nation's passenger rail system would resemble dual wheel spokes, with hubs in Chicago and Kansas City. Rail lines would then finger out in shorter spurs that would run no more than three to four hundred miles apart. This would make for more frequent and reliable service along these lines. It would also eliminate the need for a much bastardized idea of a high speed alternative for rail travel.
I think that rail has a very important role in America's transportation future. That said, it's not practical for most people to take a thousand mile train ride. Most rail trips are usually no more than a few hundred miles. The route between Chicago and the Twin Cities is often sold out, and could support as many as three trips each way, as opposed to the current one trip daily.
I summary, more trains + shorter routes = a more efficient passenger rail service.
Now if only Ray LaHood would get off his anti cell phone campaign long enough to look at a practical solution for rail travel.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The interview will air on the blogcast, this Saturday, as part of a look at the limited help that is available to needy families.
Click here for the MPR story...
So the question I have is what you would do differently? Should we relax airport security to pre-911 levels, and pray nothing else happens?
Use the comments form below to air your opinion.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This will be my third season of winter driving since moving back up here in 2008. In that time I've dealt with a few good dumpings of snow, but nothing that slowed me down like last night's ice storm.
Was it really a storm? Not really... I think we only got .02 of an inch of precipitation. But when that precip comes out of the sky as ice, all bets are off.
It took me damn near sliding through the light rail crossing on 11th Avenue to convince me that my night was over, damn the lost revenue. But when weather gets like this, I stay off the freeway, because good old boy, Joe Skoalring, with his 4x4 pickup, will surely come blazing by everyone else, until he realizes his monster truck won't stop, and at best case scenario, he winds up in a ditch.
Not me folks... I took Marshall-East River Road all the way up to Coon Rapids Boulevard, to get myself into Anoka. Never once did I top 25mph. Even at that speed, stopping was a challenge.
I stayed up until after 4am, to make sure Lori got home from work ok. Poor girl's nerves were rattled, to say the least.
What amazes me, is the number of people up here that don't understand if there is ice forming on your car, chances are pretty good it's forming on the roads. In other words, slow your ass down.
This is a lesson I hope we don't have to learn again, any time soon.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Click here to read the story...
Then it dawned on me, I can't be the only talker that faces this issue. I believe that there are many individuals in this state, that have the same views I do, and would like to get their message out to the masses. As much as I would love to have one progressive love fest on The Shannon Files, I know this is not practical.
So my idea is to start a network of Progressive blogcasters and podcasters. Thus the name, Minnesota Progressive Talkers Network. Members of this network would post links to upcoming live shows and/or archived podcasts.
For more information, please go to the network's homepage.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Also, we discuss whether the new TSA security measures have gone too far. We'll find out the answer to the pressing question, if TSA officers felt Roger's junk before he was able to get on board the plane.
Click here to listen to the archive.
I have to remind myself that I'm not easily star struck. I've had dozens of celebs and ball players in the back seat of my cab over the years. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. So when a busy guy like Ed Schultz takes a minute out of his busy schedule to pose for a picture, I should accept it for what it is worth.
I am still a loyal listener of the Ed Schultz show. I still think he is the only one on the airwaves that is really telling it like it is, when it comes to the struggles of the working poor. It was just seeing him with that SUV car service waiting on him in the parking lot somehow smacked of elitism. I don't care if MSNBC paid for it. Take a friggin cab and get a receipt!
I want to thank AM 950, here in the Twin Cities, for setting up the meeting. Don't hold my little tantrum against me, I still am working to be a part of the station.
I'm so pissed off about the failure to extend unemployment benefits, I forgot to mention that the Senate didn't even vote on equal pay for women...
One has to remember that while the GOP will be in charge of the Minnesota Legislature for the next couple of years, chances are still good that Mark Dayton will be our next governor. I have a hard time believing he'd let the existing work that has already been done go to waste. Also, if my recollection is correct, commuter rail is still a high priority of the Obama administration.
Dave is right though. This is not a home run just yet. Congresswoman Betty McCollum will have to get involved to be sure the funding for this project does not dry up.
The strongest case I feel will be to point at all the work that has already been done in the downtown St. Paul area. Parts of Lowertown look like a war zone with all the streets that have been ripped up in moving utility lines, in preparation. Who is going to be the one to step up and say all of that work was for naught?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Media Matters: While suggesting he will be set up, Beck assures his listeners "I'm not into child pornography"
Click here to listen to the archive.
There already is a stereotypical view of welfare recipients, that portrays them as them as lazy people, who are unmotivated to get off the government tit. It will be interesting to see if any part of these stories do anything to dispel that myth.
As the story unfolded last night, it became clear that the real targets were state legislators that have been champions of the state's relatively generous welfare system, such as Senator John Marty.
When I started my series on social engineering on Monday, I had no clue that channel 5 was going to run this piece. The report will be part of the conversation Roger and I have, on the blogcast, this Saturday.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
In the initial post, I speculated that the station would unfairly group all welfare recipients with the abusers, this was not the case. However, as the station looks to run a series on welfare fraud, it's bound to cause a backlash on the state's welfare system.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
In the last two segments, I spoke of personal responsibility, and education. Here, I will talk about accountability to the taxpayers who are helping the poor.
First, let me differentiate between those receiving public assistance with those receiving unemployment benefits. Those on unemployment have shown the ability to obtain work, and are normally unemployed due to no fault of their own. Instead this is more toward those that receive such benefits as AFDC, Food Stamps, housing, and medical assistance for an extended time.
As I wrote Monday, anyone spending government assistance cash should not be using that money to buy booze or illegal drugs, maybe even tobacco products. Different states handle welfare benefits in different ways, but in no way should it be a cashable check. Furthermore, benefits payed through a EBT card should not be allowed to withdraw from an ATM, Nor should they resemble a typical credit card. I also feel that assistance should include a rent and utilities vouchers, as opposed to giving the recipient X amount of dollars to spend at their discretion. Welfare recipients should be accountable for every dime of taxpayer money allotted to them. I also feel mothers receiving AFDC should be required to participate in what I call day care cooperatives, in order to assist other low income families.
Food Stamps should not be used to buy an over abundance of junk food, ie... chips, soda, candy, or cupcakes. We have a major epidemic of obese children in this country, a majority of which come from low income families that receive Food Stamps. That said, Food Stamp benefits should be increased, to allow for the higher price of healthier foods.
Finally, health care... Those receiving medical assistance should show some responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That would include smoking cessation, and realistic effort to lose weight.
Here's the bottom line... I am all for helping the needy. But simply cutting a monthly check without some degree of accountability is a blatant waste of taxpayer money. The short term cost of of this so called social engineering will be high. But if done properly, the long term result would bring less money spent on caring for the chronically poor.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
As I eluded to yesterday, poverty is a vicious cycle. If you're poor, chances are really good your kids, and even your grandkids will be as well.
Problem is that many people don't have the social skills to pull themselves out of poverty. At the risk of sounding harsh, some people think it's perfectly ok to squeeze out 2 or 3 kids, with no idea how they are going to support them. I'm not talking about the people who have been working, and who have lost their jobs, and are now having trouble supporting their families. I'm talking about the 18 and 19 year old girls that already have 2 kids from 2 different fathers.
To my knowledge, schools are not currently allowed to teach about any more than basic anatomy in a sex ed class, if it's even offered at all. To me, this would be the perfect setting to teach young, impressionable minds that in the words of a bumper sticker I saw, "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."
This may be a hard lesson to a 12 year old girl who is the oldest child of a 29 year old mom, but it's a lesson that needs to be taught.
Other lessons would include, despite your level of education, walking into a job interview with gang tattoos will all but certainly disqualify you from getting hired.
This is the biggest part of social engineering, in my opinion. I understand that our schools are hard pressed in teaching the basics to our kids. I feel it's just as important to teach them how to be good citizens.
Monday, November 8, 2010
One of those areas I know of first hand is health care. I currently am helped by Minnesota Care. The program allows me to afford the medications I need to keep my type-II diabetes, and high blood pressure under control. In return, I feel it's my responsibility not to be woofing down Quarter Pounders like I did a few years ago. The result is I've dropped 20 pounds in the last month. Another 40, and maybe I can get off a majority of these meds. I'm nobody special, if I can do this, anybody can.
I still believe as a society, we should help those that are in need. But I do join the chorus of those that say that welfare money should not be spend on booze, drugs, or gambling. Nor should food stamps be used for junk or convenience food.
All of this comes with education, point I will go into next.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Sometimes poverty is a result of bad circumstances, but most of the time it's due to bad decisions. Bad decisions, most of the time, come from a lack of education. While book smarts are important, I'm talking about an education in life skills.
It's easy to blame parents for not giving their children the proper tools needed to function in life, but in today's economy, it's nearly impossible to have a stay at home parent, that can provide the proper guidance that a growing child needs.
Leading up to to Saturday's show, I am going to put out some ideas in order to help reverse this trend. As always, your input is welcome.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I have been using this service for almost a year straight. Alone, and with various co-hosts, I have attempted to bring the Progressive message to an audience I would have never been able to reach otherwise. BlogTalkRadio.com allows me to do something that I have wanted to do for many years, host my own talk show.
Because of the limitations celestial radio has, the average guy couldn't get a break like what's afforded on this medium. A potential listener doesn't even need a computer to hear our show. BlogTalkRadio is accessible on any smart phone, a technology that is increasingly more available, and more affordable. In the next 10 years, nearly everybody will be able to listen to internet broadcasts, just like we listened to our transistor radios back in the 60s.
Like all broadcasters, internet or celestial, Roger and I have do more to increase our share of listeners. We have chose to focus for the most part on events that events that effect us up here in Minnesota. I understand that given the potential worldwide audience, that may be a bit short sighted. But I feel that even on internet radio, one has to start small, and build a following.
In the weeks and months to come, we hope you can find the time to join us, either live or on the show's archive.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Unfortunately, these are not logical times. How else do you explain the voters of this nation handing back power to the political party that, as President Obama so correctly stated, "ran our country into the ditch."
MSNBC has been the one bastion of hope, in a media market that has been clouded by corporate or Conservative interests. Olbermann has been the standard barer for the Progressive cause. Pulling the plug on his "Countdown" show will surely have a negative ripple effect.
We all look at the way money is thrown around at political campaigns with great disdain. God knows, FOX News, and others have shelled out plenty of cash to Conservative candidates. In my opinion, Olbermann was just fighting fire with fire.
Just a word of advice to you neo-cons who are dancing in the street over this, hopefully temporary, suspension. Us on the left aint in a real good mood right now. Losing control of the House of Representatives, as well a losses in other key statewide elections, will only serve to strengthen our resolve. I promise, you won't catch us napping again.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The real problem at the Mexican border.
A realistic look at the "Fair Tax."
The high cost of attending a professional sporting event.
Will President Obama face a Democratic challenger in 2012?
A comprehensive (and expensive) way to end welfare dependency.
If you like to offer some feedback on any of these topics, or have something you'd like us to cover, send me an e-mail, or jot a comment to this posting.
I keep hearing that personal tax increases hurt small businesses, and prohibits job growth. I don't quite get that. It would seem to me that employees are a business expense, thus making them tax deductible.
I think the confusion here is business tax, as opposed to personal income tax. In other words, if Minnesota's favorite multi-millionaire, Joe Mauer wanted to invest a few million in a job creating venture, it would stand to reason that that business would be taxed at a much smaller rate than if he kept that money in his pocket, wouldn't it?
I think the biggest frustration in this country is that the wealthy find ways to pay less of a percentage of their income in taxes than the guy who flips burgers for a living. This is where I think consumption taxes, as opposed to personal income taxes may be a better idea.
Either way, I think any of us in the 22.5 club want is for those in the 22.5 million club to pay the same percentage of tax as we do, without the loopholes.
This will end this edition of Simple Man's Economics-101.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
For no matter your view of President Obama, he effectively saved capitalism. And for that, he paid a terrible political price.
Read the rest of the story here...
Despite how I feel about the overall election results, I want to congratulate Hussein Samatar, who was the first Somali-American (I'll make an exception to my hyphenated American rule here) to be elected to public office in Minnesota, possibly in the country, according to reports.
Samatar was elected to the Minneapolis School Board.
We have a large Somali presence in Minnesota. I hope to see their community gain more representation in future elections.
When Lori and I arrived at the Minneapolis Hilton, around 9pm, Mark Dayton had a fairly comfortable lead over Tom Emmer. That lead dwindled faster than the Twins' hopes of advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
We had to throw in the towel around 12:30. I stayed up for about another hour, watching the results from home. When I woke up this morning, at 5:30 Dayton's lead was less than 10,000 votes, setting the stage for an inevitable recount.
Going into this election, I thought going to the polls and using this blog and our show would be enough to, at the very least, ensure that Mark Dayton would be the next resident of the Governor's Mansion. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Many of the individuals at DFL election party had spent countless hours knocking on doors and making phone calls. In the end, it just wasn't enough. Even if Dayton wins the gubernatorial election, the overwhelming wins by Republicans in the state Senate and House elections will spell certain doom for any statewide progressive agenda.
While I'm a little discouraged, this morning, possibly because I'm operating on less than 3 hours sleep, I will not give up on the Democratic cause. We have to remember the good that has come to to this state over the years under primarily Democratic leadership, despite not having the governor's seat for nearly 12 years.
Yes, my back and knees are killing me after standing for nearly 4 hours straight, and I'm horribly disappointed by the results of last night's election, but this will only serve to strengthen my resolve.
I that ask all Minnesota Democrats to remember this moment, and how we got here. We can never take another election for granted again.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Yes, I'm beginning to get in with both feet. My work schedule makes it prohibitive to do much campaigning, but I've tried to use this blog and the blogcast to get my political feelings out to as many as possible. I hope it's paid off.
This Saturday, Roger and I will cover the ramifications of today's election, both on a state and national level. Let's hope we can talk about good news.
I look forward to meeting a few of the folks that I know read this blog.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Ok... It's a little after 1am Saturday night, on the eve of Halloween. Arguably the biggest drunk fest outside of New Years Eve. Fortunately, a good majority of revelers have decided to be smart, and not drive after their celebrating.
That's where my industry comes in. My wife, who works in the dispatch room for the company I drive for, says she was slammed all night. On a night like this, it's usually a free for all for cab drivers who on most nights struggle to pay their cab fees.
I won't bore you with too much background here, but cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington, as well as the Airport all require both cab and driver to licenced in order to operate it their jurisdictions. This last year, Minneapolis licence inspectors have been out like storm troopers, enforcing their city's policy, going as far a impounding improperly licenced taxis.
On a normal night, I don't have a problem with this. The city councils of both Minneapolis and St. Paul have opened the flood gates on taxi permits, to accommodate the thousands of East African immigrants who think there's some untapped gold mine in this industry. The enforcement by Minneapolis inspectors is welcomed by most drivers who have gone through the process and expense to work there.
But on a night like last night, when there were literally hundreds of people in certain areas trying to flag down taxis, all bets are off. There is no conceivable way even a thousand licenced cabs could have kept up with the demand.
Our company has over 400 taxis that work the entire metro area, the largest fleet, by far. Our dispatch system is set up to honor the territorial boundaries of each restricted community. In short, Minneapolis licenced cabs in our company are the only ones that get dispatched to calls in that city.
Last night was one of those rare occasions when if a customer has been waiting too long for service, we will take the city restriction off and offer the call to any cab that might be in that particular area.
Now understand that a majority of our cabs and drivers, not licensed in Minneapolis, hold permits in the other aforementioned areas. These areas are just as stringent as Minneapolis when it comes to screening vehicles and drivers. Even more yet are permitted by the state to operate as a class III school bus. What I'm saying is our cabs and drivers are pretty God damned safe.
Last night, one of our non-Minneapolis fleet was asked to pick up a call in the Dinkytown neighborhood. He didn't ask for the call, our system sent it to him, because he was available in the area. The driver was stopped by MINNEAPOLIS POLICE, and the cab was impounded. Now here we are in Dinkytown, where there are thousands of drunk college kids roaming the streets, and a friggin cop decides then and there that he is going to enforce taxi ordinance, what a joke! I'd be willing to bet if someone were in that same crowd, selling trinkets without a peddler's licence, not a damn thing would have been done. And don't get me started on some to the out in the open drug deals that were going on in some neighborhoods.
It would stand to reason to me, as this is the same police department who has prided itself on ridding it's streets of crack whores, while drive by shootings are at an alarming increase.
Mayor Rybak, I know you've been on the campaign trail for fellow Democrats this last few weeks, and for all of our sakes, I hope it works. But could you please get your police chief to take his head out of his ass, and go after the real criminals, and leave taxi licence enforcement to the folks who are paid to do so.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Click here to listen to the archive...
Earlier this week, Strom was commenting on the flack over a DFL mailer, that depicted what looked to be a priest wearing a lapel button that said something like forget the poor.
I jumped into the fray, pointing out that the general platform of the GOP is anti-poor. Strom replied, asking for an example, to which I retorted, "one phrase, personal responsibility."
Don't get me wrong, I think personal responsibility is a good thing. But for some folks, through no fault of their own, sometimes just have no other choice then to ask for help. Not all, but a good number of those on the right, would like to abolish programs that help the needy, including cash assistance, food, shelter, and medical care.
Again, I don't know the man, but I get the impression that David Strom has no clue what it's like to be dirt poor. Does he think those using the social safety net do so because it's so much fun to hang out in a crowded welfare office? Or maybe he thinks it's a hoot filling out a mountain of paperwork to determine eligibility.
Are there some that abuse the system? Of course. I would guess it's about the same number of those who squandered millions of other people's money on risky investments. I don't see near the outcry from the right about that, as I do about someone who may be hiding a couple hundred dollars of monthly income, in order to receive a hundred bucks in food stamps, to help feed his family.
I rely on the slim earnings of driving a cab, a job that a guy like Strom might have done during his college days, to earn a little drinkin' money, to pay my household bills. My income is low enough to qualify to get health coverage through Minnesota Care, a program that has allowed me to afford the medications I need for my type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The program has also helped me obtain help from a dietitian, in order to get my weight down, so I don't need the state's help paying for medications. If the GOP makes too great of political inroads this election, programs like Minnesota Care would be greatly cut, or eliminated all together.
It's too late for this election cycle, but somehow the poor need to find a way to become more politically involved. Many of the people I've spoken to couldn't tell me who was running for governor or for the Congressional seat in their district. Some of them didn't know there was an election coming up.
Guys like David Strom, and other neo-cons rely on the ignorance of the poor, when it comes to involvement in the political process. It's what keeps the GOP alive. Do you think that if every eligible person with an income level of less than $20k were to get involved politically, there that the Republican party as we know it would even exist? I don't. Further more, groups like the Tea Party would be run out of town.
I'm not a history major, but I seem to remember just about every revolution this world has known, to have been started by those on the lowest wrung of the fiscal ladder. As the divide deepens between the haves and have nots in this country, and the middle class all but vanishes, watch out, as the now classic anthem of Twisted Sister, "We're Not Gonna Take It," will be the rallying cry against the profit before people crowd. You know, guys like my new buddy, David.
***Since initially writing this, I've discovered that Mr. Strom works on the Emmer for Governor campaign. Go figure...
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Of course, her spin machine is working overtime, but is this any different than if a male candidate engages in "immoral" behavior? Sounds a little hypocritical to me.
I remember how grossed out I was, back in my younger days, at the thought of two men having sex. Of course, when you're in your 20s, a guy spends quite a bit of time thinking with the little head. So naturally, the sexual aspect of a gay relationship was the only thing considered.
Now as I have the big five-o well within my sight line, I've come to understand the companionship aspect of both straight and gay relationships.
I think as us heterosexuals try to come to grips with advances that gays and lesbians have made in mainstream life, we have to understand that most of these relationships go far beyond the bedroom. Once you open your mind a bit, it's easy to understand how a person could be in love with someone of the same sex.
I would suggest that if more of us uptight Americans opened their minds, the struggles that remain for gays in gaining mainstream acceptance would disappear, once and for all.
But when a high school girl can't bring her girlfriend to her senior prom, it goes to show we have a long way to go.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The assistant principal of a Minneapolis based Somali-populated charter school, Banadir Academy, recently condemned a group of Somali Imams who joined hands with leaders of other faiths in a multi-faith service prayer. The ceremony was a show of solidarity with Muslims following the recent anti-Islamic sentiments in New York and Florida. The assistant principle, Abdighani Ali, who is also an Imam at a local mosque in Minneapolis, labeled the Imams apostates simply because they joined in prayer for unity with “infidels” in a church. Both MPR and the StarTribune carried some versions of the story.
Abdighani’s religious bigotry manifested itself when, during a live call-in Somali show that airs on Minneapolis community channel, he was asked whether it is in accordance with Islamic principles for Somali refugees, as Muslims, to settle in the States through Christian church groups. (see the video below; go to minute 36:22). The mainstream media didn’t carry this part of the story. “It is a grave mistake and unislamic”, he said. He quoted a verse from the Holy Koran to explain the church groups’ motive: [2.120] “And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion.” “Therefore, their purpose is to convert Muslims into their religions”, he added. Abdighani didn’t stop there but continued his religious bigotry. He pronounced, “There can be no friendship between Muslims and the infidels” and cited a couple of other verses from the Holy Koran to substantiate his fatwa: [60.1] “O you who believe! do not take My enemy and your enemy [Christians and Jews] for friends;” [5.51] “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends.” He makes no effort to interpret the Holy Scripture or to put it into perspective. He urges literal and raw enforcement of the verses. Can we afford to teach our children to see their neighbors’ children and their classmates as enemies? Such dogmatic and literalist Imams are a threat to our democracy and to peaceful coexistence.
The most frightening thing is that Abdighani has plenty of platforms to disseminate his radical views. In addition to leading a charter school and a mosque, he is a frequent guest on local Twin Cities Somali television shows, which are widely watched by Somali parents. Almost all of the callers during the live call-in shows where Abdighani chastised the multi-faith participants cried indignantly and applauded Abdighani for telling the truth to power. He said the purpose of the event was to amalgamate the different faiths into one. Not true. His was commanding and wielding influence. They were already falling for his rhetoric without any critical examination.
Minnesota Somalis have often protested against negative publicity. It is not enough and probably disingenuous to say “we are against extremism”, or issue halfhearted condemnations and stand at the sidelines. Somalis or Muslims, in general, have to learn how to come out at full throttle to denounce and disavow their fringe elements. The vast majority of Muslims are moderates and deserve a better representation. The likes of Abdighani must pay the price or else they’d continue to preach the crowds with impunity. Nor can we afford to allow a person who espouses such radical religious views to educate our children and therefore I call on Banadir Academy to cut ties with Abdighani.
With all this said, I think it's also important for us not to judge the Somali community, other Muslims by the actions of the few.
The idea behind the nationwide rally is to ratchet down the rhetoric that has been so prevalent in this election. Even I have been a little vulgar in my amateur commentary. Nationally known talkers like Limbaugh, Beck, Schultz, and Olbermann have really gotten nasty at times. Trash talk like that is great for whipping up the base, but serves as a real turn off for independents and moderates.
No matter who goes on to win these mid-term elections, we still need to be able to function as a state, and as a nation.
I find it somewhat fitting that the wife of WWE chairman, Vince McMahon has gotten into politics. The trash talking is beginning to resemble that seen on Monday Night Raw.
It's my hope that we take a serious look at the rhetoric of this election, and maybe find ways to tone it down a bit.
We look forward to seeing you Saturday.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Editorial: Clark would serve Sixth District voters, not herself | StarTribune.com
Thanks for the heads up, dumpbachmann.com.
Now, I by no means, am pulling for Linda McMahon in this election, but I think the old huckster has a very valid point here.
WWE's fanbase spans across various ages and political ideology. I own no WWE branded clothing, but consider this. If someone told me I couldn't wear a Hulk Hogan t-shirt (not that I would) when voting in 1998, the year Ventura was elected governor, I would have told them to kiss my ass.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Click here for the show archive...
Friday, October 22, 2010
Yesterday, a political reporter for WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth asked Broden to explain whether he was actually calling for violence against the federal government. After a “prolonged back-and-forth,” Broden said a violent overthrow is “on the table”:
The whole setting made me feel a little out of place. Not that anybody in attendance was over dressed. It's just that I felt a little slovenly in my jeans and t-shirt, which I'm sure had at least one coffee stain.
Yes, my progressive friends, I still have a little bit of a redneck side. No, there's no Skoal ring branded on my ass, and I don't own a ball cap with the number 88 on it. (That's Dale Jr's number, if you didn't know) But my lack of education and 29 years doing a job that college kids used to do to make a few extra bucks back in the good old days, means my life borders on that of trailer trash.
What is the point of all this drivel?
Good question... As the Bachumanntary pointed out, with such hilarity, most guys like me are firmly in the Bachmann camp. As I've left the darkside, for the life of me, I can't figure out why.
There is no logical reason why any guy that busts his ass for a living, or someone that works 80 hours per week just to support a family, would want anything to do with Michele Bachmann and her likes. They have absolutely nothing to offer the working class of America.
The right have supported policies that allow corporations to ship jobs overseas. First it was manufacturing, now you can't even call AT&T without talking to someone from India. and like the hypocrites they are, they want to hunt down all the Mexicans crossing the border illegally, but turn a blind eye to the companies that hire them.
I have a running buddy in Las Vegas. He works as a labor advocate out there, yet he supports the teabaggers, just because they advocate sealing the border. My friend, the number of Mexicans coming here looking for work has not cost us nearly as many jobs as GM has by buying Chinese steel.
The sad truth of this is that what drives the right is this twisted desire to return back to the good old days. When blacks and other minorities just kept to themselves, and gays stayed in the closet.
Remember, I've been there, I know...
Thursday, October 21, 2010
This Saturday, we talk to James Detmar, director of the irreverent musical, Michele, the Musical Bachumanntary. The show runs through next Saturday, and is playing at the Minneapolis Theatre Garage, 711 W. Franklin, in Minneapolis.
Tonight, Roger and I are taking in the show.
After the interview, we will discuss the Bachmann leagacy, as we hope this will be the final few months of her term.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I saw on my Twitter feed that another teenager, who was gay, commited suicide. I would ask that anyone viewing this, please spread the word.
We've seen depictions of our president as a chimpanzee, and the Lord of Death. We've seen more than one drawing of him being lynched. When are his supporters, or even the general public going to say, "enough is enough?"
God knows those on the right would be pissed off if a picture with the likeness Jan Brewer being gang raped by a bunch of Mexicans turned up. What if there was a depiction of Sarah Palin being sodomized? I'm sure there may some of that floating around the internet, but nothing that anybody with any credibility, or someone looking for cred, would have as a Twitter avitar.
So I ask you, when are we going to hold these people accountable for their abuse of free speech? Or will it take us dropping to their level just to prove a point?
Monday, October 18, 2010
Pro wrestling has changed immensely from the days of my youth. The show I enjoyed as a kid has evolved into a muli-million dollar empire, ruled by billionaire, Vince McMahon.
Vince's wife Linda, is the former CEO of what's now known as World Wrestling Entertainment. Mrs. McMahon is running for a US Senate seat, currently held by Connecticut incumbent, Richard Blumenthal. As I have enough on my plate watching the races here in Minnesota, I haven't had much time to spend paying attention to the New England area contest. What I have read is that some Blumenthal supporters may be tying McMahon to her husband's (the true mastermind behind WWE) somewhat shady business dealings.
While the Democrat in me cannot support another Senator that will surly rubber stamp any Republican/Tea Party effort to turn back what little progress that was made over the last 2 years, I feel any similarities between Mrs. McMahon and the WWE patriarch would be a bit of a stretch made by the Blumenthal campaign.
I still find the WWE product entertaining, but any long time wrestling fan cannot deny the negative impact the globalization WWE enterprises has had on the independent wrestling scene. This makes Mrs. McMahon an easy target for those who feel that she would be a strong advocate for the current trend that has seen multi-national companies ship American jobs overseas. I have no idea if she supports this effort by corporate interests, or not. I'm just saying that it's only fair to judge either McMahon or Blumenthal on their records, or in Linda's case, what she would bring to the table as a US Senator, not as the wife of wrestling promoter, that was given a title by her husband, who is the Chairman-of the-Board and Supreme Dawah of WWE.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
There are plenty of ideas on the table on how to keep the team in Minnesota. Whoever winds up winning in November will have to deal with this dilemma, at some point. But it's my impression that Dayton doesn't see it as a top priority, as he shouldn't.
I see Horner and Emmer's appearance at today's game as a cheap political stunt by both candidates that are lagging behind in the polls.
Look, I want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota as much as the next guy, but anybody that votes for our next governor solely for his position on the stadium issue has no clue about the challenges that this state faces, in the years to come.
BTW... I predict the Vikings will beat the Cowboys, 17-13. Randy Moss will catch 2 touchdown passes.