Monday, February 28, 2011

Joke of the Day!*

A Teabagger, a CEO and a Union Member are sitting at a table with a dozen cookies.

The CEO immediately takes 11 cookies for himself.

The CEO then turns to the teabagger and says, "Watch out for that union guy he wants part of your cookie."

* DISCLAIMER: Jokes will not be daily. :)

My final thoughts on the Dean interview that did not happen

With all the other important things that are happening, I apologize for dwelling on this.

Bradlee Dean was scheduled to come on the show last Saturday. The Dean camp had over a week to prepare to come on the show. I got the cancellation e-mail last Thursday. I was a little puzzled as to why, until I took the time to listen to his show later that Saturday.

About 20 minutes into his second hour, Dean mentioned the ditched interview. In keeping with the usual bullshit he spreads, Dean cited a picture that I posted of his cohort, Jake-wagon with former governor, Tim Pawlenty. Somehow, he thought I said that was him that was posing with T-Paw. Also, I had to laugh my ass off when he said that our site and show were being financed by George Soros. All I can say is that I only wish he'd toss a couple bucks our way.

Roger and I need to move on from this. I do strongly suggest you visit for the latest in the Bradlee Dean hypocrisy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Want a We Are Wisconsin T-Shirt?

I can arrange that too...

Contact me for details...

Open letter to Uncle George (Soros)

Dear Uncle George,

The gig is up...

That astute young lad, Bradlee Dean finally figured out that you have been funding our website and radio show.

So now that he knows, could you please send a few more bucks, so I can use a program better than Microsoft Paint to create our next banner?


Your loving nephew,


PS... I think I know now what side of the family I got the unibrow from. Thanks...

Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot"

Home Depot Founder: Retailers Who Don't Support GOP "Should Be Shot"

From the The Oxdown Gazette, via the Huffington Post...
This is what Home Depot's founder Bernie Marcus said on a conference call yesterday: "If a retailer has not gotten involved with this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to Norm Coleman and these other guys," Mr. Marcus said, apparently referring to Republican senators facing tough re-election fights, then those retailers "should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs." It's nice to know Home Depot supports the death penalty for not supporting their politics. The coming EFCA fight is going to be bloody.

Some of the Koch Brothers Holdings...

Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins
Georgia-Pa­­cific paper products and envelopes
All Georgia-Pa­­cific lumber and building products
Stainmaste­­r Carpet

Any that knows of more outside the petroleum field, feel free to post them in the comments section.

Who needs Bradlee Dean? We still had a busy 2 hour show...

From the Twin Cities, John Shannon and Roger Shaver discuss news and events of local, statewide, and national interest.

Bradlee Dean was no show, but we still talked a bit behind his back. Sorry dude, ya should have been there.

Also, extended coverage or nationwide rallies, supporting the state employees unions of Wisconsin.

We also briefly touched on Lady Gaga's deal with Target, and how that corporation will handle political donations going forward.

Click here to listen to the archive.

Giving you the shirt off my back... Or one just like it...

Follow @TheShannonFiles on Twitter, or Like The Shannon Files on Facebook, and in the status bar type,
@TheShannonFiles: I'm a proud liberal... You have a problem with that?
We'll draw a winner on next Saturday's show.

Looks like Twitter's "Fail Whale" is on steroids...

For the first time since I began actively "tweeting," Twitter's service is completely down.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Walker tossed from a Madison restaurant...

A blogger with the pen name of "Mind Stain," reported that staff from Madison restaurant, asked Governor Scott Walker to leave, after his presence was beginning to cause a disturbance.

A revised story, sans the establishment's name, is now back up on the site, after being deleted earlier.

Apparently, the restaurant received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I love a man that can stand by his convictions...


More on the Dean cancellation...

Yes, I'm pissed off... I spent a shitload of (wasted) time researching this guy, and his ministry. His camp implied in the e-mail that they came to the decision after researching me, and reading posts on this site about the interview. Translated, they don't think Mr. Dean can get a fair shake with Roger and I.

I promised the Dean camp a polite discourse. Despite the fact that there was no chance of us having much mutual ground. Obviously, he must not believe in his own message very much. Otherwise, you'd think he would have been happy to put us in our place.

We'll cover this briefly on Saturday. But there are many of important issues I feel Roger and I should be covering.

But if you think that we won't make parody of this chicken shit move, think again...

Bradlee Dean cancels...

I'm disappointed to announce that Mr. Dean has opted out of coming on our show, this Saturday. Does this mean we won't talk about him, hell no!

Stephanie, the lady I've been in contact with from Dean's staff, says I should encourage our listeners to listen to his show, if they want to learn more about him. So, I encourage you to do so. Go to, to listen live at 3pm. I plan to do so as well. I also plan on calling the show, to find out why he backed out. I hope many of you do the same.

To paraphrase a biblical verse I heard somewhere, the righteous shall fear not. If Bradlee Dean believes half the crap he serves out, he would have had no problem schooling us heathens.

Actual e-mail...

From: Heather <>
Date: February 24, 2011 11:36:11 AM CST
To: John Shannon <>
Subject: Re: Interview...

After reading up about you and your posts regarding the interview, we could both agree that the point of the interview would come to no fruitful conclusion.  If you would like your listeners to know about Bradlee Dean, have them tune in to our show. That way, your listeners can come up with their own conclusions.

Thank you,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pump pain returns | News Cut | Minnesota Public Radio

Pump pain returns | News Cut | Minnesota Public Radio

MPR News -
Democracy comes at a price. Today it's about $3.29. That's the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the Twin Cities today, a 16 cent jump in the last 48 hours and it's going to go higher. Today, oil prices raced past the $100 a barrel, the highest price for oil in two years. At the heart of it is fear that the democratic wave spreading throughout the Middle East will increasingly affect oil supplies. In other words, everyone's quietly wondering if Saudi Arabia is next.
This will choke the life out of any recovery...

Another FALSE Fox News report!

Jed Lewison for the Daily Kos is reporting Fox News broadcast another false report by showing that 61% of Americans polled are for taking away collective bargaining rights while 33% are in favor of collective bargaining rights. THIS IS NOT CORRECT! In fact, it is just the opposite.

Honest mistake? That would be hard to believe. Fox constantly puts out false reports and then they quickly apologize for the error. Fox did take a couple of seconds at the end of the show to state they did get it wrong, but it was very quickly done. The alleged mistake was already out there.

This flipping of the facts will become the defacto truth among their viewers because they know that their viewers never fact check. They hear the sound bite and run with it, never hearing the glossed over correction. I really do not know how the people who work at Fox can sleep at night. They are selling the American public down the river. I would say that FOX News will go down in history as one of the worst news organizations and one of the best propaganda machines, but they would just rewrite history in their favor.

Christian hyporcrisy at it's finest.

Marcel Gelmi of Queens, NY showed off his tattoo with the passage from Leviticus 18:22 which states, “Thou shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination.”

This is after Gelmi's friend, Daniel Rodriguez, beat an openly gay man unconscious. The victim suffered a ruptured spleen, broken jaw, and has two collapsed lungs.

What this braintrust fails to realize is that Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattooing! You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.

I do not profess to be a scholar of the bible, that is for sure, but it would seem to me that if you are going to follow the bible to this degree, you should follow it all. Not just pick and choose what passages you want.

Thought for the Day (TFTD)!

What sort of person does not think there is anything wrong with asking the folks that are tasked with teaching our children to take a 20% cut on a $50,000 annual salary, but think it’s a terrible idea to asked millionaires to pay an additional 3% more in taxes? - River98 on

Deputy Attorney General of Indiana calls for the use of live ammunition on Wisconsin Protesters!

Adam Weinstein reports on Mother Jones that Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox sent out on Twitter to urge the Wisconsin police department to use live ammunition when dealing with the protesters at the State Capitol.

This kind of rhetoric has NO PLACE in a civilized society. Jeff Cox has no place to be the Deputy Attorney General.

To voice your opinion against such an egregious transgression from a government official against their own citizenry, call the Office of the Attorney General at 317-232-6201.

The importance of the Dean interview...

I've spent a ton of time promoting our show that airs live, this Saturday. Our guest is going to be evangelist and weekend talk show host, Bradlee Dean. I would be willing to bet that most of you have no idea who this guy is. Truth be told, up until a couple of weeks ago, neither did I.

From the limited research I've done so far, it seems that Dean could be broad brushed as a born again Christian. His bio on would suggest that he has had somewhat of a checkered past.

Now, I know a few in our audience are Atheist, and that's your choice. I am a believer in a higher being. That said, I have not taken the time to attempt to discover who this higher being may be. Nor, do I think it would do me any good if I did. Call it blind faith, I guess.

You may be able to argue that the Christian religion frowns on homosexuality. That said, many other of daily routines also fly in the face of literally taken bible passages. What seems to be the common belief in most all Christian faiths, is that God will be final judge of mankind. Not me, sure as hell, not Bradlee Dean.

Now I'm sure Bradlee would not have come on this show without doing his homework. I fully expect he will attempt to minister to me, and our audience. I wish him luck with that venture.

In my opinion, Dean's brand of hate is worse than the guy that screams a bunch of homophobic slurs. This man will thump the Bible, which is universally known as a book of love and salvation, to promote human scorn on a group of people in which he looks at with disdain.

So you ask, why is it important that we give this guy any more notoriety than he already has? Arguably, there are more important topics that Roger and I could cover. But are there? Bradlee Dean routinely brings his message of intolerance to schools, and enjoys a chummy relationship with the likes of Tim Pawlenty, and Michele Bachmann.

I promised the Dean camp a fair, but pointed discussion on his beliefs. I am told that he is willing to take calls from our listeners. I am under no delusion that I'll be able to reach him, any more than he'll be able to reach me. I just feel that it is important in this day and age, to point out that intolerance is alive and well in the mainstream.

We invite you to be a part of what we feel will be the most important show we've done to date.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poll: Expansion of oil drilling in U.S.

Ariz. border vigilante sentenced to death

Ariz. border vigilante sentenced to death -

The way this state runs, I'm surprised they didn't give her a medal.

Arizona border vigilante Shawna Forde has been sentenced to death for the 2009 murders of a 9-year-old girl and her father during a robbery to fund her militia.

What the Constitution would mean for us today...

Pay special attention to about the 1:48 mark...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Must Hear" Internet Radio...

I know I do a lot to promote this show, but if you've never listened to any of them, this is where you want to start. Dylan Brogan, with WTDY Radio in Madison, joins us for an over 40 minute long discussion about the labor protests in Wisconsin.

Also, The disconnect between the Minnesota GOP legislators and their constituency (namely me), Minneapolis named as one of America's most dangerous cities, a Fox news report that suggests that Minnesota may be the next Somalia, and Target's decision to reevaluate it's policy on campaign donations.

Click here for the show archive.

Also, I can't overstate the importance of next week's show, as Bradlee Dean will join us in the first hour. Mr. Dean has agreed to take calls from our listeners.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Schultz Calls Out Conservative Media For Attacking Wisconsin Protesters

Kudos to Ed Schultz for going to Madison to cover this monumental event live...

Beck Sees "The Beginning Of The American Insurrection" In Wisconsin Protests

Well Glenny... I think it's clear that these folks in Wisconsin aint there for beer and brats...

"Shoot this mutt" a little over the top.

If you come to this site looking for the post I put up, just before midnight, of an image of some troglodyte looking creature, with Michele Bachmann's face photoshopped on it, nursing some baby trogs, it's gone.

No, I haven't suddenly grown a bit of compassion for the wing nut Congresswoman from Minnesota. It's just I don't ever want to be confused with anyone from the shoot first, Second Amendment crowd.

In short, the photo was ugly, and the tag was uglier.

So yes, I can sleep better now...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Remember, no show this Saturday...

In case you set your alarm to listen to the live show at noon on Saturdays, remember, we won't be there. Roger and I are attending a "Breakfast with Bloggers" get together at the Minnesota DFL headquarters in St. Paul.

The show will air live Sunday at noon. While nothing's concrete, we will more than likely talk some about the labor unrest in Wisconsin, amongst other topics.

Remember to mark February 26th on your calender. Bradlee Dean joins us for what is sure to be an interesting conversation.

Target Changes Political Donation Policies?

Chris Johnson from The Washington Blade spoke to Jessica Carlson, a Target representative, about recent changes to their political contributions and the backlash that ensued. She states that Target is looking to "evolve" their political giving policy because of the "perspective" they gained in the 2010 election cycle.

Target was the focus of a nationwide boycott after it was found out the company had contributed $150,000 to the Minnesota Forward PAC, an extreme right, anti-gay organization in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

The new policy, which can be viewed here, establishes a policy committee that, along with the CEO, "is responsible for balancing our business interests with any other considerations that may be important to our team members, guests or other stakeholders."

Target has historically been a large contributor to the GLBT community by donating to many charities and volunteering at many GLBT events. They also have a very high presence at the annual Twin Cities Gay Pride held in Minneapolis. Their contribution to the GLBT has, in the past, been very generous. This is why their contribution to the Emmer campaign came as a shock to everyone. It was a breach of trust. The community felt hoodwinked and Target came off looking like a wolf in sheep's clothing. It was a very disingenuous move on Target's part to give to a PAC, who viewed gay rights so negatively, while on the other hand taking money from their gay patrons. The gay community, by virtue of shopping at Target, were contributing to the very candidate who wanted to take their few existing rights away from them.

All eyes will be on Target to see how this policy committee will change who they contribute to in the future. Target has a lot of making up to do. I will tell you this, signing Lady Gaga to an exclusive is a good first step!

Wisconsin Democratic Senators Leave State to Block Quorum

This is beautiful. State Senators in Wisconsin staged a walkout to deprive State Republicans from reaching a three-fifths majority to pass Governor Scott Walker's union busting budget proposal. To top it off, they have even vacated the STATE!

The reason they have left the state? The state Senate majority leader is on record saying that the State Patrol could be used to bring the Democratic Senators in or "round them up". The article mentions a fun fact about the Senate Majority Leader. He is the brother of the Assembly Speaker. Guess the new head of the State Patrol? Give up? It is their FATHER! How did Wisconsin get into this kind of predicament? My guess is voters were not paying attention.

Read the full article from Talking Points Memo here.

Busted:Fox News CPAC Ron Paul Video Deception

Fox News, or as I like to call them, FAUX News, has deceived their viewers again. Here they applied the CPAC 2010 video and reported it as the 2011 video. This video is 6 minutes, but it does a good job at showing the deception. What FAUX is trying to convey is the audience booed the fact that Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll when in reality, which is a slippery concept at FAUX, there were unanimous cheers.

Incredible how this "news" organization continues to be allowed to deceive the public. Of course, they will get a way with it as their viewers will never question their news overlords.

Of course, Fox now states it is a mistake. Yeah, right. Just like when the audio was changed from laughter and applause to crickets when Obama gave his SOTU speech on January 26, 2011. This is yellow journalism at its best.

FAUX is the equivalent to the National Enquirer, but this is not news to our listeners.

UDATE: Fox as issued a very weak apology. They said they showed the wrong tape. What are they still using VHS?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Minnesota - Next Somalia ?

The way I look at it, if these guys don't want to take liquor or a dog, I'm sure there will be a driver willing to do so with the three to four hundred cabs that are out there at any time. As long as the drivers don't use this as as way to cherry pick runs, I see absolutely no problem with it. Shit, more money in my pocket.

As for Target, if an employee were allergic to certain materials, or say peanuts, I'm sure the store would do what ever they could to accommodate that worker. Remember, many Somalis shop at Target. These people can come in real handy in service counter type work.

This is nothing but another attempt by Fox News, to stir the pot of anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bachmann criticizes first lady for tax break on breast pumps...

Bachmann criticizes first lady for tax break on breast pumps -

God damn Bachmann, take a pill! The proposal calls for a tax break on breast pumps, not a friggin' hand out. God knows you don't have a problem giving out tax breaks to billionaires or oil companies. It's well known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that breast milk is far better than formula or cow's milk for a developing baby.

Talk about a nanny state... Why is it that Bachmann's type think it's alright to dictate whether a woman should bring a pregnancy to term, but want nothing to do with trying to give that child half a chance a healthy life.

Figures, I guess...

This week's show moved to Sunday. Bradlee Dean on the 26th...

Our show that normally airs live Saturday at noon will be moved to Sunday, this week only. Roger and I are attending a "Breakfast with Bloggers" event at the Minnesota DFL headquarters, this Saturday at 10am. We are looking forward to meeting many people who are as passionate as we are about the direction in which this state, and our country are going.

As I mentioned in a tweet last night, Bradlee Dean is tentatively scheduled to join us on the February 26th show.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bachmann not the only one in Bradlee Dean's fan club.

Ken Avidor, from, points out that our ol' buddy T-Paw also subscribes to Dean's message of hate. Pawlenty is on the record as saying he would reinstate "don't ask, don't tell."

Fortunately, he and Bachmann stand little to no chance of getting out of the 2012 primary race. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Can you believe...

This is our 6th Valentine's Day together. I love you honey...

Bradlee Dean on the Shannon Files?

So, I caught a little bit of Bradlee Dean's Sons of Liberty show, last Saturday. I'll have to give the devil his due, despite all the over the top bible thumping, it was a well produced show.

Dean claims his show is non partisan. I don't buy that for a minute. All the right wing talking points are there, including birther and anti-gay rhetoric.

After listening to as much as I could take, I sent the young man an invitation to come on our show. I want to ask him a few questions. In turn, I volunteered to come on his show. I am still waiting for a reply.

Look, I'm all for a man that's found Christ. Although, I still wonder how he got lost in the first place. I just wonder how the the Christ he found was so hateful. I don't seem to remember that one.

I will keep you informed as to whether Mr. Dean agrees to come on our show. Stay tuned.

Poll: After two years, has the Obama administration lived up to your expectations?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Summary of the February 12th show...

Instead of offering a preview of our upcoming shows, I will post a summary immediately following the conclusion. We do this so we don't paint ourselves into a corner, when it comes to show topics. Thanks for understanding.

Extreme right wing radio host Bradlee Dean and his affiliation with Michele Bachmann was our primary topic.

We also talked about Congress' plan to defund NPR and PBS, as well as the president's proposal to cut back on funding for heat subsidies for the poor.

Roger and I also discussed a possible White House bid for Donald Trump, and scandal that cost New York Congressman, Chris Lee his seat, and possibly his marriage.

Click here to listen to the archive.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poll: What is most important to you as a liberal?

Bradlee Dean Says Gays Are Criminal Predators

I sent this message to Strib reporter, Kevin Diaz about Dean's association with Michele Bachmann.

I don't make a habit of e-mailing newspaper reporters, only because I figure that once a story has hit the printer, there's not much that can be done to either edit or retract that story.

Full disclosure here, I am a resident of Anoka that did as much as possible through my blog, and Internet radio show, to get the message out that Michele Bachmann was doing absolutely nothing to serve the people of District 6. Needless to say, I was not a big Bachmann fan, even before I read about her alliance with Bradlee Dean.

I have to admit I had never heard of Bradlee Dean before last night. But the more I read about him, from his own site,, the more I worry about his hateful fundamentalist views. Dean and Bachmann are no strangers. She attended a fundraiser for Dean (can't find the date, but I heard him talk about it)

Bradlee Dean is on record as calling homosexuals predators, and saying that Rep. Keith Ellison is pushing for sharia law.

It's a well known fact that we a best known by the company we keep. I would sure appreciate it if you would start reporting on the company that Rep. Bachmann keeps.

Thank you,

John Shannon

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So, what's with the stupidity of those who want to keep the poor living in poverty? Especially when the poor who are doing everything they can to better their situations to not be there. Why make it harder for those people who are REALLY TRYING?

Most people think the poor got that way through poor life decisions. While that may be true in some cases, fact is most poverty is generational. These people know nothing other than poverty. It will take some serious social engineering to break the cycle.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wisconsin dosen't want high speed rail? I say move on...

Well... That's not what I originally said...

When I originally posted this, I hadn't known that there was already talk of a high speed line between Iowa City and Chicago. Word is that Governor Branstad and the Iowa legislature are a little shaky on the deal, but I don't think they've ruled it out, unlike WiscNOsin.

Here's something to sweeten the pot... Make Iowa City a stop between St. Paul and Chicago. Talk about putting a farm town on the map!

My crude calculations figure that a high speed line, using this altered route, would only take a half and hour longer to complete the journey, than the optimal route that went through Madison.

So Iowans, here's your chance to be a player in the big game. Or are you going to forever known as IaNO?

Abortion... WWSBAD

(Or... What would Susan B. Anthony do?)

Dee, one of my friends on Twitter posted earlier...
IMO (in my opinion) a RW Org (right wing organization) has hijacked Susan B. Anthony's name to attack Planned Parenthood...

This made me a little curious. What did Susan B. Anthony, who died in 1906, 67 years prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, feel about abortion?

Well, if you were to take what are to be presumed to be her words to heart, it would seem that she was strongly against it, as was most of American society during her lifetime. (I took out the sarcastic comparison originally planned for this paragraph.) I have a feeling however, that she might have been more opposed to a man who would somehow influence a woman into having an abortion, or God forbid, preform the act on the woman (remember the era here) himself.

I could be way off here, but it just seems that not many 19th Century women would ever desire to have an abortion. The possible exception would have been prostitutes of that era, who Anthony loathed in her writings. On the other hand, an adulterous man of the time would have would have great incentive to terminate a pregnancy conceived outside of his marriage. I still think these men were the intended target of any commentary made by the woman's rights pioneer.

My position on abortion became clear at age 12, when I was kicked out of catechism class for telling the teacher he was full of shit on the issue. To this day, I feel a decision to abort a child is a painful, personal process that should be between a woman, her family, and her God.

Forgive me if I've sent the pro-choice argument back to the stone age here. I just feel that had Susan B. Anthony been alive in my lifetime, she would have had a real problem with the government telling her what to do with her body.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big Brother... Not only can we be better...

A couple of days ago, Big Brother asked, "Can we be better?" Well, judged by my experience, I think we can.

You see, about 4 years ago, I wasn't a very nice guy. Because of how I recovered from an abusive childhood, and the struggles associated with being undereducated, and underskilled, I felt that other people should be able to do the same. My sympathy and compassion for those who had less than me was nil. I felt they had to have gotten that way by their own bad decisions, so they must deserve what ever fate lied in front of them.

As for issues concerning gay and civil rights, my position was, hey, I don't discriminate, it's not my problem.

I'm sure I've bored the regular reader of this blog, with how I came to be of the liberal persuasion. But in brief, it was the health care debate, that brought me to support and vote for President Obama, but admittedly, that was still a selfish reason, on it's own merit.

I don't think it was until I saw how nasty those on the right got in fighting the health care reform act, and how it spilled over into other aspects of their policy making, did I really realize just how heartless these people, and their supporters were. What's really sad is that I was just like them, at one time.

I jokingly call myself a "recovering conservative," but as someone is not that far removed obvious "fuck the poor" mentality that is commonplace in conservative ideology, I understand, just as it is tough for the alcoholic to resist taking that drink, it's tough sometimes to remember, that as Americans, we're all in this together, for better or worse. Simply put, we better start looking out for our neighbor, regardless of his or her race, religion, financial status, and yes, sexual orientation, or this great American experiment won't last to see it's 250th anniversary.

So in short Big Brother, I think not only that we can be better, we MUST be better.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coming up on the February 5th show...

Phil Duran, from Outfront Minnesota joins us, early in the show, to discuss marriage equality. The organization will be part of an informational rally, February 10th, at the State Capitol rotunda.

Later in the show, we will talk about two of the GOP controlled legislature's pet projects, picture IDs for voters, and drug testing for welfare recipients. 

We also expect to be joined by well known progressive blogger, Two Putt Tommy.

Can We Be Better??

I thought I had gotten over it, the foolish idealism that has always made me more likely to believe in goodness, and in the possibility of that goodness showing up in actual people. I grew up being taught that people are basically good. I thought I had gotten over it. But recently, I found myself once again surprised when it 'was. not. true.'

A good friend of mine, in fact several good friends of mine were involved in various ways in a political race. And it got nasty and low. Imagine that. They say “all's fair in love and war,” and political involvement is, for many of us, a sort of twisted combination of the two, so I really should not be surprised.

My friend is an outstanding person...who once made a mistake. His mistake was a serious one, and he knows it. He was convicted of a crime, sentenced, served his sentence, and then did what only a rare few, a VERY rare few, are able to do: he has fought his way back to respectability!

That journey is so very tough, so very much like the Greek Sisyphus pushing that rock up the hill forever. Most are stuck there, forever condemned, once there is a “mark” on a criminal record next to one's name.... His journey, as is the case for most wearing those shoes, has been costly, but also instructive. He has learned much – about himself, about how other human beings really are (not that pretty, really), about obstacles that are real and those that aren't.

I believe he is better for having lived through what he has lived through, since his debt to society was paid – better in a way that few of us should ever have to become. But better, nonetheless. He is, because of the wounds he has had to heal in himself and around him, better than any of us, now. Some people don't see it that way. In fact, a lot of people. Unfortunately, I fear it is most people. Many of them, my other friends. And in political competition as well as the competition for jobs and careers, or favor, or love, or whatever it is, we human beings are not filled with goodness. Not at all. No, in those circumstances we unfortunately show how bad we really are, not that we have goodness within us.

This happened in the public eye here in Minnesota a few months back as well. The nurses were on strike – or headed that way – here in the Twin Cities, and things were getting tense. Watch out whenever this happens. Put on your battle armor. The Nurses Union got personal. A talented and bright woman who had made a mistake in life, but had completely paid for it long ago, had managed to get a good job – again, an AMAZING feat! She was the spokesperson for the association of hospitals. But the nurses – you know, those people who are caring by nature? - exposed her mistake (for their political gain and to act out their anger in sideways fashion!!) and “re-ruined” her life!! She was fired from her job. Another “sentence” was handed down for her crime, not by the courts or a judge or a jury which is how we are supposed to do it in civilized society, but by individuals who had a lust for power and a sick need to condemn and put down and judge. Sick. Depraved. Not people being good. 

My friend recently had to go through this as well: the “re-sentencing” for a crime he had already paid fully, long ago. The informal double jeopardy of sick judgmental people who rationalize their inability to let go what is in the past!! Someone who he probably thought of as a friend, sent out communication to about 600 people naming the crime and accusing him of a lack of contrition (13 years later! How long, O Lord,How Long????). My friend's crime, as I mentioned and as he knows, is not given a pretty name – I will not use the word because it is inflammatory in any context – and now he has been “branded” with that word all over again, for another 600 people. Others then sanctimoniously pontificated about “the difficulties he faces due to his bad choices” if he hadn't already DONE that part!! (Using that “bad choices” thing on someone else, many years later like this, is merely another way to rationalize your own sick judgmentalism).

What should have been left in the past, was ungraciously and maliciously brought forward in a vicious new pain-inflicting “sentence” of societal judgment, for something that society, if we were good people at all, should be able to leave alone once it is done – which in this case it has been done for years and years. The shocking and disappointing part for me is this: I really thought the crowd in which this played out was made up of better people. The person who “re-labeled” my friend, is someone who I thought of as a “good person.”

This was in a political party/group of leaders who profess to care about the dispossessed and the least in our society. I should have known. I thought I had learned that the message about the goodness of people I was taught was a false hope. But I guess I hadn't. I guess I keep hoping, foolishly perhaps. I keep hoping....Can we be better??

Jeez... I feel so much safer at this car wash now...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Damn the drug tests for welfare recipients? Not so fast...

I can't really say that I'm all that against drug testing for welfare recipients in Minnesota. I know that might piss off a couple of my liberal friends, but remember, I see some things behind the wheel of this cab that most people have no clue is going on.

The first couple of days of the month are traditionally the busiest in my industry. Yes, most people are coming and going to Wal-Mart or Cub Foods, but a few do seem to make it to the liquor store, or that run down house that always seems to have a lot of traffic in and out.

I don't think even the most liberal hearted person wants to see their tax dollars going to support someones drug habit. Like I've said in the past, public assistance recipients do owe a certain degree of accountability to those who are footing the bill.

I feel it's only reasonable.

Governor Dayton, don't kill the casino cash cow...

Yesterday, Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton announced that a talked about casino would not be part of a plan to close the $6 billion hole in the state's budget. During the campaign, Dayton had hinted that he would support such a casino, possibly at the Mall of America.

During the five years that I drove cab in Las Vegas, nearly every day, I'd have at least one group of passengers from Minnesota. There is no getting around the fact that us Nordskis like to gamble.

So far, the benefactor to our love of gaming has been the various tribal casinos across the state. Those tribes do not contribute a penny to the state's coffers.

I'm not hating on the Native Americans for their ingenuity. The casinos have done a great deal to improve the lives of this long impoverished group of Americans. I would just like to see a little of that action for the rest of the state.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Images form 2011 Blue State Ball available...

Did you see a young lady with a fancy camera snapping a bunch of pics at this year's Blue State Ball? Those images are now available...
AM950 Blue State Ball 2011 - Rhonda Kist Photography

Better hide this pic from the wife...

Oops.. Too late...
The 'ol man with talk show hostess, Stephanie Miller

Thanks... Rhonda Kist Photography