Sunday, October 31, 2010

A shocking display of Minneapolis police priorities.

For those who follow my political rants, please allow me a moment to steer off course for something I really need to get off my chest.

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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

This Saturday, Live from the State Capitol

Roger and I do the show live, from the Minnesota State Capitol, where a rally to coincide with Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" will take place. We will discuss what's happened to "Minnesota Nice," when it comes to politics.

Click here to listen to the archive...

I remember...

A wake up call for the David Stroms of Minnesota...

Just to keep up, I follow a handful of Conservative types, on my Twitter account. Not too many, as I don't want my head to explode. One in particular is David Strom. I don't know much about him, other than he seems to have some financial expertize.

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

From I Had a One-Night Stand With Christine O'Donnell

Sounds way too good to be true, but follow the link anyway...

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.

Bachmann, Clark Spar on MPR

My dog is such a diva...

For gays and lesbians, the road is still long.

Funny, the things one thinks about on a long distance drive...

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

Somalis Must Speak More Forcefully Against the Radicals within Their Ranks

The following was written by Abdiweli Aliby Fartun Ahmed, a Facebook friend of whom I've never met, but have shared a couple of on-line conversations with.

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.

Maybe it's time for a little sanity...

Unlike nationally syndicated, progressive talk host, Bill Press, I think Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" is a wonderful idea. As a matter of fact, Roger and I are attending a similar rally, this Saturday, at the State Capitol.

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

Video: Clinton stumps for Clark...

Strib Editorial: Clark would serve Sixth District voters, not herself |

This pretty much sums up what Roger and I were talking about yesterday.

Editorial: Clark would serve Sixth District voters, not herself |

Thanks for the heads up,

Is it right to ban WWE apparel at Connecticut polling places?

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

Replay of Obama's speech at the U of M

Detmar no show a non factor...

Roger and I were disappointed that James Detmar, writer/director of Michele, The Musical Bachumanntary, did not join us as planned. None the less, we carried on without him. We still highly recommend this hilarious production that runs through October 30th, at the Minneapolis Theatre Garage.

Click here for the show archive...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Republican House Candidate Calls For Violent Government Overthrow If GOP Loses Election

Stephen Broden, a “constitutionalist pastor” from Texas who won the Republican nomination for Texas’ 30th Congressional District, made a vaguely threatening statement at a Tea Party event last year. He described the federal government as “tyrannical” and said that “we have a constitutional remedy. And the Framers say if that don’t work, revolution.”

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”:

Read more

Define Irony...

Just another recycled internet pic, but still funny as hell...

A little soul searching, after last night...

So I'm sitting in the lobby of the Minneapolis Theatre Garage, waiting for Roger to join me. I had this strange feeling. At the table where they were selling soda, water, and cookies, they were also giving away wine. Cute little plastic cups with a choice of red or white. They couldn't sell the wine, but the amount of money I saw in the collection plate surely covered the cost.

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

Bachmann parody director on Saturday's blogcast...

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

Gay teen suicide... It's the least I can do to help...

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.


Where's the outrage?

By now, a few of you have seen the image I posted here of someone's Twitter avitar that depicted President Obama, presumably dead, with a noose around his neck. By the number of followers to this Twitter account, one can assume there have been quite a few people that have seen this disgusting image. What I don't understand is, where's the outrage?

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

Not really fair to compare Linda McMahon with WWE

Let me start this by saying I have been a wrestling fan since ladies mat star, Betty Niccoli bought me a hot dog and a Coke in 1969. While any dope can understand that professional wrestling is scripted entertainment, the performers put their bodies on the line every time they enter the ring to put on an entertaining show for their millions of fans.

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

The face of the Tea Party movement...

This, my friends, is what the teabaggers are all about. Do you think it's about time for our side to get a little angry?

Emmer and Horner to pander to Vikings' fans...

Yes, I want to see a solution to the Vikings' stadium issue. No, it's not the top priority facing this state. That's why I'm not losing any sleep over the fact that Mark Dayton isn't planning on joining Tom Emmer and Tom Horner at the Dome, tomorrow, to talk stadium plans.

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.

Skoal Vikings!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

John and I will be at the Minnesota Rally to Restore Sanity!

When: Saturday, October 30, 2010 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Where: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. Saint Paul, MN

Check out their Facebook page as well as their website for more info!

This looks like it will be a great time. Come out and show your support.

Kathy Griffin's heartfelt video against gay teen suicide.

Hello everyone! Getting ready for my second show with John today. I want to thank John for giving me this opportunity to work with him on his fantastic show. Here is to a long and preposterous, I mean PROSPEROUS, partnership.

In keeping with one of today's topics on bullying (gay or straight), I wanted to post this video from Kathy Griffin from the "It Gets Better" project. She does a great job and you can tell it is from the heart. This project was started by writer Dan Savage. You can read an interview he gave here concerning the project. You can see more videos here on YouTube. For teens, gay or straight, contemplating suicide please call The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Can words really do this any justice?

Is expanded gaming in Minnesota's future?

A KSTP poll says most Minnesotans favor an expansion of gaming of some sort. Sore loser that I am, I'd still like to see something other than the the handful of reservation casinos we have now.

By the number of Minnesotans that flock to Las Vegas, it's clear we like to gamble. Most of us do so responsibly.

Personally, I find pull tabs boring. Then again, I don't care much for slot machines either, so the idea of a few slots at the racetracks doesn't do much for me. I would like to see a couple of state sponsored casinos pop up in places like the Mall of America, downtown Minneapolis, and/or St. Paul. I also wouldn't mind seeing so called bar top, multi-game machines. For some reason, my gubernatorial choice, Mark Dayton, does not like the idea of bar tops. I'd love to get a chance to ask him why some time.

Gaming revenues have been a Godsend for some state's cash strapped budgets. Take Nevada; If that state hadn't been a gambling mecca, it would pretty much be a wasteland. And one only has to look as far as Prior Lake to see what Mystic Lake Casino has done for that community. Why not have that benefit state wide?

Who is in charge of leading this state into the next decade has to realize that we can leave no stone unturned to find a solution to a omnipresent budget crisis. Why not have a little fun in doing so.

This Saturday, it's all things gay...

This Saturday, Roger and I cover an array of topics pertaining to basic human rights for the GLBT community. From teen bullying, to marriage, to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, we will dedicate the entire hour to this subject of great importance to our society.

The blogcast airs live at noon, Central.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Assault on taxi passenger leaves me scratching my head...

Hi Gary, hi Fred...

What the hell, every time there is a news report about Suburban Taxi, someone from that company visits this blog, to see what I have to say about it.

There's a blip on KSTP's website about a driver with Suburban that allegedly stabbed a passenger in the back over a fare dispute. As usual, Channel 5 did a horseshit job of reporting the incident. The last time they did a story about Suburban,(the driver that allegedly robbed and assaulted a passenger) they couldn't even get the owner's name right. And they still haven't done a follow up on that story.

Again, the half assed reporting leaves me wondering, was the driver defending himself? Was he chasing down a run-out? Or did the passenger make some wise ass remark about Islam? None of the above would surprise me.

Unfortunately, other than self defense, there is no excuse for this attack. A potential runner is the exact reason I don't carry a weapon, simply because I'd use the asshole as target practice. And as a cab driver, you better have more of a thick skin than to jump someone over a religious slur. Problem is, this driver, according to the report, drove off after the attack. Had he stayed in the general area and called the cops himself, he might not have been arrested. Of course, we don't know if he did, because KSTP didn't report it one way or another.

It would be easy for me to rail on Suburban for not vetting potential drivers better, in order to avoid situations like this. Fact is though, I know first hand that more than a few cab drivers, from all companies, carry some form of weaponry, especially those that work primarily at night. Remember cabbies, unlike bus drivers, don't have the benefit of their own police department to protect themselves.

So until more of the facts surface, I will resist the temptation go too hard on this company that channel 5 has suddenly made their whipping boy.

Almost makes me feel sorry for them.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cell phones... What is the LaHood agenda?

I'm not one who buys into conspiracy theories, but I'm beginning to smell a rat. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, is proposing the complete ban on cell phone use while driving, even with a hands free device.

Now, I fully understand the dangers of texting while driving. I even think holding a phone presents some issues, as well. But let's get real here, talking to someone on the phone, while using a hands free device is no more dangerous than talking to one of your passengers.

I don't want to believe this, but could it be that LaHood, who is a former Republican Congressman, may be trying to sabotage this president's push to maintain the legislative majority needed to move his agenda forward? Why else would he make this announcement 3 weeks before the mid-term election?

If there is something most people agree on, regardless of their political ideology, it's the convenience and productivity afforded to us by this one little electronic device. It can be argued that the cell phone may be the single biggest invention in the last 50 years. This transportation secretary wants to set us back to the dark ages of productivity.

I promise you, Republicans are already licking their chops, ready to present their case to voters on how we have become a huge nanny state, and how the LaHood initiative only cements the legacy.

I would hope President Obama will rein in his transportation chief on this issue until after the election. Then LaHood needs to do a ride along with someone that relies on their cell phone as an integral part of their work, to make him understand that his plan is just too outreaching.

That is if safety is his real agenda...

Monday, October 11, 2010

A possible solution to gay teen suicide...

Yesterday, I saw another news report about a young man committing suicide. The 19 year-old, from Norman, Oklahoma, took his life after attending a city council meeting, in which October was recognized, by proclamation as GLBT month. The proclamation passed by a 7-1 vote, but not before going through heated debate, in public commentary.

As a man with a gay son, I have come to understand a little more about people in the GLBT community go through. What I've yet to understand is why anyone's (gay or straight) sexual preference needs to be out in the open.

I, by no means, am suggesting that gays just "go back to the closet." I just don't think that one's sexual preference should be their defining trait.

Unfortunately, until gays have the legal right to marry, in all 50 states, you will see more of this type of tragedy, as young gay males struggle with their own sexuality.

I can only offer one suggestion, until that day of national acceptance is upon us. Don't let your sexuality define who you are as a person. You won't see me attending any "straight pride" celebrations, next summer. I would suggest not drawing the ire of all the haters of the world, practice a little discretion, like most of us breeders do.

Life is hard enough being a teenager. Let the people with a little more life experience handle the tough work of getting closed minded people to understand basic human rights.

It's perfectly fine to be gay. Just turn the flame down a little, for now. Just ask civil rights leaders how long it took for blacks to achieve equality.

And in the end, remember, suicide is permanent. There is not a single thing in this world that's worth killing yourself over.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This is the kind of shit we're up against! Dead liberal = Good liberal

I hate to sink to their levels, but we have to start having an answer to this bullshit. I, for one, am one mean dog that is getting tired of being poked with a stick.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Have you seen the dolls?

I can't take credit for this classic. Thanks,

The man who originally published this, Don Millard, is from Oklahoma. This only goes to show the nationwide embarassment that Michelle Bachmann has brought to Minnesota.

Archive available for the October 9th show...

I have a feeling this may be the start of good things to come. Roger and I discussed, at length, the importance of One Nation March, and the necessity to energize the Democratic base.

We also talked about the Tennessee fire department that refused to put out a fire that destroyed a man's house, all because he did not pay the $75 service fee.

Click here, to listen...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Ed Show: Should government be involved in education?

This Saturday's show...

This week, I introduce you to my new co-host, Roger Shaver. Among the topics, more thoughts on last Saturday's One Nation March; Was it right for firefighters to let a house burn to the ground because a fee wasn't paid? And has Tarryl Clark finally grown a set?

Living in Anoka, I would tend to agree...

Not to's standards?

I guess I'm just not qualified...

Over the last couple of months, this blog has been linked to by Recently, I've noticed my postings have not made their blogroll.

I'm sure it's not because of my ideology. If anything, the current election cycle has only strengthened my progressive resolve.

Maybe I'm just not a very eloquent writer. After all, my education stopped half way through 11th grade. If it weren't for spellchecker, I'd be screwed.

Please remember that 90% of this blog is composed from my iPhone, between taxi fares. Most of my observations come from these very streets I work. Not all of what I write about is political, but I feel it's important none the less.

So if I'm dropped from blogroll, I guess I'll just have to deal with it. But remember, the progressive cause is very broad. I'd hate to think we're getting a little snobbish.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Real America...

Photo from the One Nation March...

One Nation March, a significant moment in history.

It the most exhausted I've been in recent memory, yet it was one inspirational times I've ever experienced. I'm talking about the One Nation March, Saturday,at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC.

I arrived at the Smithsonian Metrorail station at about 12:40, local time. The station was packed with people donned with t-shirts representing various labor organizations. As a group, we proceeded towards the site of the rally. During the trek, the group chanted, "What do we want? Jobs! When do we need them? Now!"

Some of this group proceeded closer to the the Memorial. I hung out about a quarter of the way along the south end of the Reflection Pool. We weren't shoulder to shoulder by any means, but the area I was at was still fairly crowded. Looking to the west, I sew a sea of humanity. Across the pool, there seemed to be about the same amount of people as was on my side.

It will be hard to get an accurate count of the number of people attending the rally. Large groups of people were coming and going throughout the duration.

The area along the mall was dotted by large screen TVs and sound systems, for those of us away from the stage area. The most notable speakers during the time I was there were Al Sharpton and Harry Belafonte. Ed Schultz was serving as emcee.

To me, the speakers were not as important as the group of people that gathered for the event. Blacks joined with whites, gays and lesbians joined with heterosexuals. All in one united voice for peace, social and economic justice. We laughed together, and at one point, even cried together. Even though I traveled alone, it was clear that I was part of one big family, with one common goal.

I left the area about 20 minutes before the scheduled end of the rally, to avoid the crunch that would occur on the transit system. I hated to go, but I knew that my slower pace would only hinder the group trying to exit at the very end of the show. I left knowing that I was part of something historic.

I'm sure there will be arguments as to the actual number of people in attendance, but that is not important to me. What inspired me was the diversity crowd that seemed to speak in one voice, as one nation.

I want to take the time to thank Lois Quam, a regular client of my taxi service, whose deposit for future service made it possible to make this journey.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Full acount of my One Nation March on Monday...

Sorry, I'm a little out of it, after being up for 28 straight hours. I wouldn't have missed it for the world, however.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No wonder nobody takes cabs from MSP

These estimated fares are off by as much as ten bucks...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Special show Saturday...

This week's show originates from Washington, DC, as I cover the One Nation March, at the Lincoln Memorial.

Click here to listen live at noon, CT, or to the archived show.

Getting on the Dayton train...

Well, I survived my very first campaign fundraiser, last night. One of my most loyal taxi customers, Lois Quam, invited me to her home, where her and her husband, former DFL gubernatorial candidate, Matt Entenza, hosted the get together, in support of nominee, Mark Dayton. I felt kinda bad, as I didn't have any cash to contribute, and I don't carry a checkbook. That said, I do plan on making small contributions to both the Dayton camp and Tarryl Clark's Congressional bid.

This was a great opportunity for me to network some, and get the word out about this blog and my cab service. I passed out about a dozen cards, and collected a few, as well.

I don't hide behind the fact that Mark Dayton was not my first choice to lead the Dems going into this election. It's not that I disliked him, I just liked Matt Entenza that much more. But that's what a primary election is all about. Going forward, I will do everything within my scope of power to see that Dayton is our next governor.

I will admit that I was a little out my comfort level attending this function. Don't get me wrong, everybody was very nice, but it was nothing like the circle of friends I hang with. That said, I'd like to be able to get to know a few of those folks. One in particular is Jay Benanav, an attorney that is representing cab drivers that operate out of the airport, about their working conditions. I see one glaring problem in that area. The Post Rd. holding area is way too small for the number of licenced cabs. The Superamerica station that is on the property is not large enough for the number of drivers that use the facility. Come on MAC, you're making a killing off these drivers. Get off your ass, and build a suitable area for these guys.

Anyway, being able to talk to Mark for the time that I did told me that he gets it. Although he is of great wealth, he seems to empathize with the little guy. I will get a better take when he comes on the blogcast, later this month.

I can't stress this enough, Minnesotans are hurting in a way I haven't seen in many years. The effects are having a trickle down effect on my income. Very few people are taking taxis these days unless a third party is footing the bill. Seven years of a Pawlenty administration have done more to harm the Minnesota economy than that former wrestler's four years in office. Tom Emmer's plan to cut spending is like T-Paw's on steroids. Despite what he says, schools and property tax payers will bear the brunt of those costs.

We've all enjoyed a standard of living in Minnesota like nowhere else in the country. Part of of the reason is the services provided by state and local government. Those services cost money. Emmer would eliminate the budget shortfall on cuts alone. Yes, we do have to examine how some of these services are delivered, but these cuts should not be on the backs of the people that need the help the most.

Nobody likes paying more in taxes, I get that. But the individuals Dayton is talking about paying their fair share are the ones that can weather these times the most. When this country and our state get back on track, go ahead and lower these taxes. I see no need in carrying a surplus, just for the sake of having more money to spend.

Voters of Minnesota, the choice is pretty simple.