Friday, December 31, 2010

Christine O'Donnell stars in...

Season of Witch - The Prequel...

New Year's Eve - My taxi service...

Like I said on Twitter and Facebook earlier, I will be out from 7pm until 3am. Here's how I work...

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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Five dollar per gallon gas? There went that recovery...

I'm no expert, but I think if gas price keep going up, any gains in this economic recovery will go right down the ol' crapper.

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

This round goes to the snow...

Homelessness in Minnesota...

When my mother died on Christmas Eve of 1974, I found out the hard way that there was no Santa Claus. But at least I had a place to live. Even through some real tough moments of my life, I've never had to worry about sleeping out in the cold.

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...

Sleep well...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Show attempt aborted...

I was trying to do a show this week without Roger that further proved my inability to do a monologue. So after an hour of complete crap, I threw in the towel.

Roger will be back next week, and hopefully we can put together a meaningful show. Thanks to those who listened.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MSP Airport Commission shortsightedness biting cabbies in the ass...

Check out this FOX 9 story...

MSP Airport Snow Has Taxi Drivers Furious:

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

Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back, T-Paw

Reflecting on his last 8 years as governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty is gloating on how he kept excessive government in check. In reality, the real Pawlenty legacy will be more impoverished Minnesotans than in anytime since the Great Depression.

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

Simply put, new stadium = jobs...

I want to start this by reaffirming that I am in favor of building a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings I think it would be disastrous for the quality of life in this area if the team would wind up moving. And make no mistake, Los Angelenos are licking their chops at the prospect of acquiring an NFL franchise.

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 understood the housing market...

I have a question, why is it that anything else you buy used depreciates in value, yet people have the expectation that a home is to appreciate?

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

A major regret today...

Have you ever heard the saying, "When my ship comes in, I'll be at the airport?" Kinda how I felt about today's blogcast. While I enjoyed the interview with Cory Merrifield of during the first hour, the second hour was an uninformed babblefest about the "Fair Tax."

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.

Thank you...

How is our show different?

I was going through some of the archives from the last year, in order to put up a "best of" for next week. While doing so, I had a revelation. Besides the fact that Roger and I aren't broadcast professionals, it's clear that The Shannon Files is different than most any other talk show you'll hear on the radio.

A classic example would be in today's show. Roger and I interviewed Corry Merrifield, from 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 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 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

This Saturday, Vikings stadium and the "Fair Tax."

Now nobody thinks ol' Zigi had someone sabotage the Metrodome roof, last Sunday. None the less, it does put talk of a new stadium for his Vikings back on the front burner. Roger and I will probably disagree on this one.

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

Dome collape is a wake up call...

When the Metrodome roof collapsed last Sunday, I knew it was only going to be a matter of time (about 30 seconds) before just about every sports writer in Minnesota was saying that it was time for the Vikings to get a new stadium. Unlike many of my liberal friends, I agree.

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

Conservatives leading me to unchartered territory...

I'm really not a mean person. I still escort the elderly to and from my cab. I can't tell you the last time I engaged in an act of road rage. I even congratulate the winning bowling team when they kick our ass. All in all, I think I'm a pretty nice guy.

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.

Metrodome collapse...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter storm coverage at 5:30pm

I can't go drive cab, so I might as well talk about the storm. We are expecting up to 20" of blowing and drifting snow.

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

Saturday at noon, join us to talk about the Obama tax deal...

Roger and I are going to be spending the majority of tomorrow's show talking about Obama's deal with the devil. This is a hot button issue, and we invite you to join us by calling (347) 633-9614.

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

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So, what is a basic human right?

I was listening to an ad for Hunger Free Minnesota, which said that food is a basic human right. I would agree with that statement, but I would take it further. I also think that shelter and medical care are also basic human rights.

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

Half assed ball player makes all assed remarks on Obama's birth.

Click to enlarge
What you see is a certified copy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate. Back in 2008, when all the crap started swirling about Obama's eligibility to run for president, some dumb ass commented...
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."

Scott continued...
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. 

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. 
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.

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.

This Saturday, we talk about "The Deal."

I wish it could be something like the "New Deal" (aka FDR), but no, Roger and I will discuss the so called compromise the president made with the Republicans. Is there any good that can come of this? Are there lessons to be learned? Are liberals pissed off enough to look for a new candidate in 2012?

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

Elizabeth Edwards (July 3, 1949 – December 7, 2010)

I don't often find myself taking pause when someone I don't know passes away.  Let's face it, people die every day. It's just part of life. Today was a little different.

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...  

Viene la revolucion??

Lots of discussion out there today on "The Deal" that was struck. On the surface, and maybe from everywhere, it looks like President Obama is a horrible negotiator. The two "big" items do not in any way compare, evenly. However, there are several other parts to this: a two percent payroll tax holiday extension, business investment credits meant to stimulate the economy further, and more. From the center (and of course, what IS the "center" in this country anymore, other than the old moderate right of only a short time ago....) it is even suggested by Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic to be a shrewd move on Obama's part to make his re-election two years from now more likely. From the "quite-a-bit-left-of-center" spot that I come from, and from the poverty in the midst of which I live here in North Mpls, the center does not seem safe - it feels like more affront and attack on our ability to survive. Is it anything more than a slow, "methodical and cynical process of increasing the pain threshold" at which we just barely survive but still don't revolt? (as friend Dan Brown put it). Things are desperate in this country and getting worse, fast. I would not be surprised at all to see rioting and worse by the poor and underclass, soon.... What choice to they/we have? I would hope there would BE a better answer...but the center seems to only throw an occasional scrap under the table for the poor, and in the meantime it does try to keep the middle class happy. Trouble is, there isn't much middle class left, and shrinking daily, statistically. Perhaps I am over dramatizing. Quite likely I am too hopeful that there is real chutzpah left within the poor and underclass....

I still say Merry Christmas...

It seems like every year at this time, I have to talk a little common sense when it comes to the holiday season.

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.

A healthy dish of political hindsight...

I've had to think long and hard about the deal President Obama made with House Republicans, that extended the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including the uber-rich, in exchange extending unemployment benefits for 13 months. My analysis, us Democrats got what we asked for.

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's Dessert Course on the Recount Menu

I also watched, with great interest, the Saturday Field Trip to the Hennepin County Government Center by the Emmer legal team, on The Uptake. Most of the volunteers had spent up to 35? of 40-45 hours during the week in exactly such a position, sitting at a table observing the flipping of ballot after ballot, so it was somewhat gratifying to see slimy-smooth Tony Trimble in shirtsleeves, looking quite small and unimportant, having to undo all the frivolous challenges that he and others had directed their volunteers to create, only a few days earlier. I noticed the groans they all made as they stood up, with sore necks and aching backs, after only one or two hours of looking at ballots - most of the volunteers had spent much, much longer shifts in such a position. Poor lawyers!! Now, keep in mind, everyone, that the 2604 ballots ruled to be frivolously challenged by the Emmer team were only the tip of the iceberg. At each table throughout the week, many more were pulled aside by the Emmer observers, who then, after wasting everyone's time, reversed their OWN calls at the end of each precinct's counting, for about half of their own challenges. The true measure of the idiocy is about double what we saw being dealt with on Saturday. It was a particularly good moment of schadenfreude to watch Tiny Tony Trimble trembling with humiliation, as he saw the fruits of his labors and the cause of his complaints pass before him. Earlier in the week he lit into a very professional Sandy Engdahl (Plymouth City Clerk), who was trying her best all week to bite her lip and NOT say the word everyone was thinking ("ludicrous") as she patiently went through hundreds of idiotic non-challenges by Tony's Troops. He decided to try to blame her, and humiliate her in the press, for "mistreatment" of his peeps (which was never the case). Well here he was, on camera for all to see, looking small and getting the true just desserts of his own mistreatment of others. Yes indeed, the Saturday Field Trip was just what was needed: a supreme bit of justice (pun intended) for the very people who like to humiliate others. It was their turn to be brought low. It was truly delectable "just desserts." Sweet!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Facebook child abuse awareness push seemed like a good idea...

I saw something on Facebook last night that seemed a nice thought. Apparently, there is a push to have everyone change their profile picture to that of their favorite cartoon character, when they were a kid. This was done to bring attention to child abuse. Seemed like a pretty good idea, so like a good little sheep, I changed my pic. My choice, none other than Batman. Not scowling Gothic avenger that he has been portrayed as of late, but the campy Batman of the Super Friends era.

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?

Internet talk radio at it's finest...

At least that's what we shoot for...

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

An early look at Saturday's blogcast...

Some of the things we'll cover this week, WikiLeaks, the Christmas bomber, and the Minnesota governor's election recount.

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

A not so natural disaster...

As 2 million Americans are about to lose their unemployment benefits, I wonder why this is not more of an urgent matter than it is.

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.