Friday, June 18, 2021

The Friday Link for 6/18/21

Howdy all.

We start today with the loss of Frank Bonner, aka Herb Tarlek the sales manager of WKRP in Cincinnati.  The actor passed away on Wednesday.

I've posted a few times about this show over the years, and I always say the same thing.  Whomever wrote WKRP in Cincinnati worked extensively in radio, because myself and pretty much every other radio person I've ever worked with knows those characters extensively.  While Venus, Johnny Fever, Jennifer, Bailey, Andy and The Big Guy all are really familiar, the two most iconic characters were Les Nessman the newsman and Bonner's Herb.

Herb Tarlek was such a great character.  The show is dated with some inappropriate language for today, but his character represented late 70's early 80's smarmy salesman so well.  A lot of great episodes featured Herb, but an underrated gem is the late first season episode Fish Story.  Basically it involves the station mascot (Herb in a WKRP Carp suit) fighting with the radio station mascot from WPIG (by the way, pay toilets!). I did have to help break up a fight between two radio station mascots in Iowa one time. Like I said, very real!

This is a quick behind the scene feature which talks about how they really didn't want to do this episode, but it became a huge hit. Enjoy. God speed Frank.

Also this week is the return of The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper as he got to interview Mike Lindell (the my pillow guy) as he was doing his...rally(?) in Wisconsin.  Klepper's point about how Lindell's claims are exactly like a Bigfoot show (There was no evidence this week, but if you turn in next week, MAYBE they'll see one then!) is so freaking perfect! 

It was so good that Lindell, a man who never met a camera he wouldn't try to hog for as long as possible stormed off. Beautiful! 

Have a great weekend everyone!

PLEASE get vaccinated! Stay healthy, stay safe!

Dear US Conference of Catholic Bishops,

Let me begin by saying HOW DARE YOU!  Seriously! As your pews empty, as your congregations shrink, you once again take a religion that's supposed to be based on peace, love, welcoming, and understanding and turn it into a weapon of hate, to help your PERSONAL political motivations over the teachings of Jesus and God.  You are heretics, you are fools, and you are wrong.

If you're wondering what this is all about, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, lured and seduced by political power waved at them from Republican politicians who want to turn Catholicism in the United States into a conservative political litmus test, have decided to personally attack Joe Biden by trying to write rules to prevent the President from receiving communion in church.  Joe Biden is a devout Catholic, and attends church regularly, more since any president since Carter, but that's moot.  The Bishops are out to persecute him.  We see right through these 'Bishops of Hate' at their true motivation for what they are doing.  It about PERSONAL political power.

My disclaimer:  I'm Catholic.  You do, or don't do, whatever it is you do or don't want to do.  

My family is Catholic.  My wife and I married in the church, going through the Catholic training, and we renewed our vows there too.  My three kids were baptized in the church, have all had their first communion, and two of the three have been confirmed.  We've gone through Sunday school and church camps.  We were regular attendees of service, going at least 40 weeks a year.  We attend a more liberal church and I love it.  I've been to fire and brimstone churches, but I'm not a big fan of leaving a service with a list of people I'm supposed to hate in the name of Jesus.  I've served on church committees and have volunteered. 

For the record, I'm against abortion.  That's a personal decision and one every individual should make for themselves. My faith tells me we are all judged by our own actions on this planet, so I can't point to someone else and say "they told me to do that."  Make your own decision, as that is your choice to make.  I wrote about my personal feelings almost 5 years ago right here: Abortion

It's been a rough few decades for the Catholic Church.  The child sex abuse scandal which reached across the globe was deplorable, evil, unacceptable and heart breaking.  I saw the church attendance cut in half.  No one can blame the parishioners who left.  Slowly a few came back, but the numbers still have not recovered from that disgrace, and nor should they.  If you're wanting to praise the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for attacking Joe Biden, you are also praising many of the same people who were in leadership positions within the church when the child sex scandal occurred, and some of them likely knew.  Many leaders within the church enabled the abusers FOR DECADES.  You want to make them heroes, that's on you.

What the USCCB is saying is that since Catholic teachings state abortion is wrong, that Joe Biden, as a Catholic President, MUST be the most anti-abortion President ever.  If he doesn't force his Catholic views on all people, including all non-Catholics and non-Christians, then he's enabling abortion and should not receive the communion.  

Anti-abortion policy is a Catholic teaching, and depending on the zealot's interpretation, even goes as far to say, 'what a blessing babies conceived from rape and incest are.'  The reality is the Bible is a mixed bag when it comes to abortion.  Sure, there are a lot of passages that back up life, undeniably, BUT there are passages which seem to go the other way too.  (quick side note: There are a lot of Catholic leaders who will say "you need to follow this passage verbatim" when a passage backs up their point of view, but when it's a passage which doesn't, the next lines are "let me tell you what they meant."  FYI).  Number 5:11-31 outlines a conversation between the Lord and Moses which gives 'how to' instructions on having an abortion. Exodus 21:22-23 originally only referred to the health of the pregnant woman, not the baby/fetus at all, only having been reinterpreted in recent years by political opportunists, and Psalm 137:9 is pretty straight forward.  The Bible is also chock full of stores where pregnant women, babies and kids are violently killed!  When you think about Noah, you always think of a boat with animals, not all the pregnant women, fetuses, babies and kids God killed with the flood (It's true!).  But there's also one other slight problem with anti-abortion teachings in the church...

Jesus never once condemned abortion. Not once.

I know these Catholic Bishops will say the entire Bible and all Biblical teachings are sacred (well the ones the church allowed to be taught) but the reality is what makes Christians and Catholics 'Christians and Catholics' is the story of Jesus.  The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell the story of Jesus, from birth to resurrection, and at no point in the four Gospels does Jesus ever state "Abortion is wrong never do it!'  It's not like abortion wasn't a practice back then.  It was.  It's not like Jesus doesn't give a lot of other direct commands.  He did. He never condemned it. That's a fact.

The USCCB has decided to boil the Catholic faith down to one sin, and use that as a condemnation stick.  Once again, my church is telling me who to hate, who to shun, who to dismiss, who to marginalize, who to segregate, who to demonize and, by proxy, who to vote for in political elections.  No thank you.

And let's just cut through your fake veil of righteousness.  The USCCB have snuggled up to the most loathsome of people, including Trump, a man who is straight out of Biblical villainy.  Whenever anyone in the Catholic Church embraces a far-right conservative politician, they are GLEEFULLY snuggling up to people who have ripped the Gospel of Matthew from their Bible.  You remember Matthew 25: 35-45:

You tell me what is a bigger sin USCCB, realizing your political office goes beyond your own personal religious beliefs and allowing individuals to make their own choices in life, or a group of self-serving Bishops who have allowed major teaching of Jesus himself to be thrown out, eagerly bastardizing their own faith, because they want to be welcomed into the far-right political club for personal power?

When was the last time you said "If a politician doesn't do everything within their own power to feed the hungry, they cannot receive communion"?  Jesus told us to do so, directly.  When was the last time you said "If a politician doesn't do everything within their own power to give water to the thirsty, they cannot receive communion"?  Jesus told us to do so, directly.  When was the last time you said "If a politician doesn't do everything within their own power to clothe the needy, they cannot receive communion"?  Jesus told us to do so, directly.  When was the last time you said "If a politician doesn't do everything within their own power to help the sick or visit prisoners, they cannot receive communion"?  Jesus told us to do so, directly.  When was the last time you said "If a politician doesn't do everything within their own power to WELCOME IN STRANGERS, they cannot receive communion"?  Jesus told us to do so, directly.

USCCB, don't you dare call anyone else a 'cafeteria Catholic' when you are the ones, AS SUPPOSED LEADERS IN THE CHURCH, pick and choose what teachings of Jesus to ignore or downplay.  You're the ones with the compromised morality. And let's also admit the truth. Joe Biden could cave to every one of your demands and you still wouldn't embrace him.  You'd find some other made up outrage to lean upon because this has nothing to do with religion, only politics, and the political power you individually crave.

With all apologies to the more reasonable and educated leaders within the Catholic Church who I've enjoyed guidance from, including Pope Francis, I can no longer take this constant betrayal.  Consider this my official resignation from the Catholic Church.  I'm taking my monthly donation too!  I will not be part of this organization if this is what EVIL people are determined to turn it into.  There are too many other churches who are not looking to weaponize Jesus. 

And what should scare the USCCB is this reality.  I'm not going to be the only person saying this today.  I guarantee the Catholic Church just lost a lot of parishioners. And another truth, it's not like your actions are going to even register a blip on new attendance to your 'masses of persecution.'  But you don't care, USCCB.  This was always only about you.


Friday, June 11, 2021

The Friday Link for 6/11/21

Slow and steady wins the race!  This week my health is slowly starting to recover, but because I'm taking it slow, and recovering, my focus is mainly on that.  I'll get back to the blog soon.  I promise.

This weeks Friday Link has three very different clips. We'll start with the US verses Mexico final of the CONCACAF Championship, and epic game which was a nail biter until the end.  This is a Spanish language broadcast.  Go to 12:10 in the video. The US, up by 3-2, had a handball in the box late in the 2nd overtime.  The pure joy the Mexican broadcast team had at the delivery of the ensuing penalty kick was crushed when the US goalie blocked the tying goal, eventually leading the US winning the game. 

USA! USA! USA!  Epic game.

The next two clips are full of rough language, so YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!!

Last Week Tonight has another sensational segment where John Oliver specifically focuses on the unique way the US treats Asian Americans, and the way racism in America is delivered in a variety of methods depending on the cultural group that is being targeted. 

Finally tonight, ZeFrank has a delightful look at the tick! Considering this is a REALLY bad year for ticks, this is not only naughty, raunchy and hilarious, it's full of fun facts! 

Have a safe weekend!

Please get vaccinated!  I don't want you sick, and I don't want you to die.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Friday Link for 6/4/21

Howdy! I'm back from a fairly serious health crisis.  I'm feeling better, and thanks to all the nurses, doctors, support staff and volunteers at Methodist Hospital who took care of me.  It will take a few months but I should be back to normal before long.

This week's list of videos are just some of the ones I found over the last two weeks that made me laugh.  Seriously, this was tough at times, so you appreciate a good sincere laugh. 

First up might be the best video I've seen in awhile.  I think that dog and cat are regretting a lot.

Perfect.  By the way, the parrot's dog bark is so convincing, my dog started going crazy when she heard it. 

Next up a Warning - ***Language***!

John Oliver's takedown of cereal is beyond brilliant.  

By the way, there has been some back and forth between Cheerios and Oliver in regards to his offer.  Look at his Twitter feed for some 'family' images enjoying Cheerios.

Next up a brilliant bit of Fox News contradicting themselves, courtesy of The Daily Show.  My favorite part is the never ending whining over how Democrats need to be nice to Trump and his supporters after they lost, the same people who four years ago couldn't stop spiking the ball for a year and were screaming "F- Your Feelings" 8 months ago.  Do you need a juice box and a therapy dog? 

Finally tonight, you know you are on a restrictive diet due to health reasons when you start watching food and cooking videos like they are porn.  I am not sure why this one made me stare drooling at the screen, but mission accomplished. A Caribbean pepper pot from the 1700's, and it looks sensational.  I will try this when the dietary restrictions are over.  

Be healthy and be safe.  Try to stay cool this weekend!

Get vaccinated!  I don't want you sick and we're all in this together!

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Friday Link for 5/21/21

Hi all! I hope you are well.  I'm still trying to recover from a health issue.  I have a bad feeling this will take awhile.

Let's start the Friday Link with a story which I'm shocked is not a FAR larger story.  UFO's are real!  I'm not talking about a wild rant from the weird haired dude from the History Channel who thinks everything that ever happened was 'Aliens!'  I'm talking credible witnesses and copious evidence.

60 Minutes did a great story on this.  To be fair, this might not be aliens, but rather technology from another country which far exceeds ours (which is terrifying on a different level) but the way these pilots talk about it, they're clearly saying what we are saying; Aliens! 

Next up I dive into two cooking videos, specifically focused on cooking with the Dutch oven.

Dutch ovens are a long used cooking staple of the American frontier.  My first exposure to the diversity and mastery of using them was watching the recent chuckwagon cookout competitions which demanded the chuckwagon cooks use Dutch ovens to cook in a wide variety of ranges. 

Then a usually favorite of mine on the Friday Link, Townsends, did a series on Dutch Oven Cooking.  I highly recommend watching the entire series from them, but this 1796 Beef Steak Pie recipe they did looks amazing! 

No only are history buffs embracing the Dutch oven.  A lot of modern country cooks are posting videos of using them too.  The main difference is as opposed to a campfire setting, these modern cooks use charcoal briquets, and seem to have a fairly good science behind it.

The Backwoods Gourmet has a charcoal Dutch oven recipe for biscuits and gravy and it looks absolutely amazing.  Mind you the constant sound of gun fire going off in this video (because he is recording this at a hunting club) is a little odd, but it does show how portable cooking in a Dutch oven can be.  And the food looks great. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Get vaccinated!

Stay healthy and stay safe.

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Friday Link for 5/14/21

We start off the Friday Link this week with a fond memory.  

On the radio show today I recalled the old Poodle Club in south Minneapolis.  It was where we would go hang out when I went to Brown Radio School, which at that time was down on Lake Street.  Although much more of an adult establishment, it got me recollecting on other lost places from my past.

I remember (vaguely) going to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor as a kid to celebrate my birthday.  I'm pretty sure it was over by Southdale, but I couldn't find any franchise information about the location over there.  It was a throwback ice cream parlor which featured the Mount Everest of ice cream treats for a kid, The Zoo.  It had a bunch of cool plastic animals and pretty much every ice cream and topping they had. 

When I saw this piece on You Tube from Life in America, I distinctly remember being in the restaurant at some point.  I also remember the piano playing ragtime music.  Fond memories of the history we've lost.

Also this week, I've enjoyed watching GenZ and the Millennials go to war. The two distinct cultural groups decided to tear into each other, and myself being in Generation X, it's delicious. Millennials have gotten a shot or two in, but the hard truth is they will always be older than GenZ, and GenZ will really enjoy telling them that.

This is a bash on Millennials, but I thought it was good fun.  And sadly (from my personal experience), not too far from he truth.

Finally a great bit from Late Night with Seth Meyers.  A look into the Chauvin Trial Jury deliberations.  I would have definitely been in the 'Super Guilty' camp.

Get vaccinated, stay healthy and stay safe.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Friday Link for 5/7/21

I've had a bad week.

It started with my hip surgery getting cancelled at the last second, to having to figure out a diagnosis for the serious health problem which was VERY serious.  

Today I'm exhausted.  Nothing wakes you up from your complacent slumber faster than a serious health problem.

That being said, I'm glad it's Friday and I have a lot to look forward to this weekend. 

Tonight my videos come in two varieties.  Informercials and Korean Street Food!

I love informercials! The way they can convince you to buy a crap product you do not need is amazing. I had the chance to watch a lot of them while I was in the hospital this week. Late night TV is plastered with them.

But some of the products actually work and are REALLY good products.  Watch Mojo has a list of the 10 best Informercial products ever made, and I'll admit, I have two of them.  Also look for my friend Nancy Nelson show up hosting in the #1 Informercial!  I love her so! 

And of course if I give you the best products from informercials, I need to give you Watch Mojo's list of the ten worst products from informercials too!  The bed gun rack is disturbing...

The other thing that happened during my hospital stay was I was put on a fairly restrictive diet while I was there (while they tried to figure out what was going on). As I ate a lot of seasoning free veggies, I started to watch videos of Korean street food, which looks amazing! 

Here are three of the videos I found, and they all look so good. 

Have a good weekend everyone.  PLEASE get vaccinated! 

Stay healthy.  Stay safe.

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Friday Link for 4/30/21

Short and sweet today as I have a meeting I can't miss.

Absolutely one of the best Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes ever produced, featuring the Canadian Steve Rogers, Zap Rowsdower (Is that a make up-less clown?)! 

Enjoy 'The Final Sacrifice!' 

Be healthy, and be safe! 

Please wear a mask, social distant and wash your hands.  Thanks.

Hip Check

Something I can't deny; I'm older.  I try to do some things from when I was in my 20's and I'm in pain for a week.  I try to eat like I did at 19 and I'm doubled over in pain.  It's normal, but as this new reality settles in, you do get a much better prospective of the elderly family and friends who went before you. 

Today I'm getting hip replacement surgery.  In 2018, I started noticing what I thought was a pulled muscle or ligament in my leg.  It gradually got worse and worse. I got it checked out in 2019.  I was shocked to find out I have arthritis in my hip, pretty bad too.  Eventually it would need to be replaced.

For a temporary measure, I opted for a steroid injection into my hip joint and it worked great!  For about five months into 2020 I felt fine.  I got another shot in June of last year and that seemed to hold out through the summer.  All this time I was very active, hiking like a fool 4-5 times a week through parks and trails in Minnesota.  I also got back into biking, something the insane amount of bike trails around the Twin Cities makes incredibly enjoyable.

But then came December.  The bike went into the garage and the walks were less frequent.  Finally, when we started getting really cold, I took a few weeks off.  It was then I noticed the pain in my hip and leg was getting pretty unbearable. I went back into the doctor and got a third steroid shot into my hip, but three weeks later I was starting to feel the pain again.

When the weather started to turn warmer, I was convinced I could just get back out onto the paths and the pain would start to fade away.  Not so much.  Two to three mile walks I did with ease last summer had become shockingly painful.  I got the bike back out and after some initial success, it too starting hurting far more than I was comfortable with.

It's time. I need to get this done, and so I'm off to have what is a pretty amazing procedure done, supposedly outpatient (there is a slight chance I might be in the hospital for a night. We'll see).

It does present an interesting psychological problem:  Has my hip been hurting really bad for awhile now and I just pushed it aside, but now with surgery coming I'm no longer having to be the 'brave soldier,' OR is the hip pain really not that bad but as I approach the surgery my mind is convincing myself it's much worse than it really is?  Interesting...

Everyone who has this procedure tells me the same thing; it's a life saver.  One listener, a teacher in St. Paul, wrote to tell me you won't realize how much you're compensating for the bad hip until it's fixed.  He added there is an undeniable dark cloud over the head of anyone who is dealing with long term pain, a cloud that manifests itself over time.  When that starts to clear, it's glorious.

I'll watch a lot of TV, and I'll get shuffling around as quickly as possible. I'm grateful to be in the position when I can have this surgery. 

One of the things I've thought about: what would my life would be like 100 years ago with this same problem?  My life as I know it would've been over.  I'd be in a wheelchair or hobbling for my remaining days, most of them in constant pain.  Modern medicine is truly amazing.  Now if we can only make sure everyone can get affordable access to it.  People in America shouldn't have to make due with 100 year old medicine.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Friday Link for 4/23/21

A busy week here, with the biggest news being the three guilty verdicts handed down by the jury on former Minneapolis police officer, and murderer, Derek Chauvin.  Finding some justice for George Floyd felt nice but the truth is we have a long way to go to really be able to say real change is happening in America.  As we celebrated the Chauvin verdict, we also saw the funeral for Daunte Wright, the black man tragically killed after being pulled over in Brooklyn Center on a racially profiled police stop.

One step forward, and another step back... 

The Friday Link this week is about a few more lesser stories which made this week shockingly busy.  Let's start off with the Oscars, which air of Sunday.  Delayed due to COVID, it's pretty competitive this year.  Looking past the Oscar nominees, WatchMojo put together a great list of movies which were complete snubs from the Academy Awards. All of these movies were released with the intention of trying to get some nominations, but they all failed.  I remember many of these films being marketed as slam dunk Oscar contenders.  Not so much...

Next up was the 5th Anniversary of the loss of Prince. Still shocked by that one. As usual, I will post what I think is the greatest guitar solo I've ever seen. The Tribute to George Harrison show and Prince showed why he is one of the all time greats.

Another clip as we remember Prince. This is a great story from Foo Fighter's and Nirvana's Dave Grohl about him jamming with Prince in an empty area. 

And finally, it was 4/20 this week, so dope heads unite! Screen Junkies does an Honest Trailer for Reefer Madness and The Big Lebowski! 

Have a nice weekend.

Stay Healthy and Stay Safe. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Test

In 2019, after former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was convicted of 3rd degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Justine Damond, a very deserved conviction, I said on my radio show "Now we see what it takes for a Minneapolis cop to be convicted of clearly murdering a citizen of the city.  They have to be black."

Noor was Somali-American and while I don't necessarily want to get into the detail of his case, I made the comment back then "what happens from this point forward when a white cop is found to have done a comparable crime, or even worse, and we have undeniable evidence of the white cop's guilt?  If that white cop get's convicted of their crime, then (although it can clearly be labeled 'minor incremental change') it would show all cops can be held accountable for their crimes.  If the white cop gets found not guilty, then we know the only way the public will get justice is if the officer involved in the crime wasn't white."

A little more than a year later, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin (who is very white and looks like a villain in a Spielberg film) was filmed crushing George Floyd to death on Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis.  He drove his knee into the neck of Floyd, who was handcuffed and displayed minimal resistance, FOR THE 9 MINUTES AND 29 SECONDS CHAUVIN HAD HIM PINNED.  Most of the time the Minneapolis cops were piled on top of Floyd, he was already dead. 

As the jury now begins to determine Chauvin's guilt as it takes over the case from the court, the test I alluded to in 2019 begins. 

Let's just cut the crap. Chauvin is guilty.  He's guilty of all three charges against him, 2nd degree murder (unintentional), 3rd degree murder, and 2nd degree manslaughter.  The prosecution in the case MORE THAN proved their case.  They showed the video, they brought in the eyewitnesses who pleaded with the officers to stop killing Floyd, they talked to the emergency responders who realized they were called to a murder scene, they presented the senior members of the Minneapolis PD who all called Chauvin's actions out of line and inexcusable, they talked to Chauvin's trainers who all insisted Chauvin was trained to never do what he did, and they brought in medical experts who (using the video itself and science) proved the cause of George Floyd's death was the officers killing him, mainly Chauvin.

Meanwhile the defense sounded incompetent at times. They so wanted to character assassinate Floyd, vilify the witnesses, and dismiss the experts, but every time they tried they sounded ill prepared and desperate. Their own witnesses not only didn't display any evidence which contradicted reality, they were picked apart  by a far better prosecution team who even had the defense witnesses backing up their version of what happened. 

And then there is the video, all 9 minutes and 29 seconds of it.

Yet the outcome of this trial is far from galvanized.  I find it next to impossible to think the jury would vote not guilty on the manslaughter charge, but a lot of legal experts have said the convictions on 2nd and 3rd degree murder are not guaranteed. 

Police in Minnesota benefit from two things.  The first is police accountability rules written by Republicans which basically create a zero accountability standard for police (unless you're a black officer).  All any police officer has to do is scream "I was SCARED(!)" and it becomes near impossible to convict them in Minnesota. 

I've often made this analogy: A Minnesota cop could be off duty, drunk as a skunk in a bar.  They could go up to someone and say "I hate you and I'm going to go get my gun and shoot you!" They then, drunk, drive home, get their weapon, drive back to the bar and raise their gun at the person they threatened.  At that point the soon to be victim raises his hands to attempt to surrender but is shot and killed by the off duty drunk cop.  It doesn't matter the intent, recklessness or premeditation of the situation, all the officer has to do is scream "I was SCARED when the victim raised their hands, and I feared for my life."  Under that specific scenario, there's a 50/50 chance the Minnesota cop walks free.


Chauvin's lawyers have tried to modify the "I was SCARED(!)" argument. They have insisted the crowd begging the officers to get off of Floyd were scaring them (even though they never threatened the officers and there were five officers on the scene, including one specifically doing crowd control). They also implied Floyd had to be subdued like he was because at any moment he could become bequest with super strength and throw the officers off of him like he was the Hulk.  Neither of those defenses seemed to work on the jury.

The other benefit to white Minnesota cops (and all white cops for that matter) is there's a substantial portion of the population who'll never convict a white police officer of a crime. No matter the evidence, they just won't do it.  For some it has to do with a family member who is/were an officer, but for most it's a more evil internal decision.  Cops keep bad guys in line, and for most of these people 'bad guys' can be defined as Black, Latino, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Liberal, LGBTQ and any other group they dislike.  They might not like the tactics they use, but they tolerate them because of who is being abused by the police's heavy handed approach.

The defense also tried their hardest to tap into any juror who might share these thoughts.  Not only did they focus on George Floyd's drug use (even though there wasn't enough drugs in his system to warrant any concern), but the entire closing argument was a buffet of excuses for a pro-cop juror to lean their wrongful non-guilty assertions against.

For goodness sake!  The defense's argument is Floyd didn't die of being crushed into the pavement, but rather of an enlarged heart, CO emissions from a car, non-existent drugs in his system and paramedics who should've gotten to the scene faster.  Only a cop apologist would find such a ludicrous argument feasible.  It'd be like saying "sure the shark ate him, but in reality he died of cancer seconds before being eaten. THAT was the real cause of death." 


But yet here we are, wondering what the jury will find Chauvin guilty of, if anything.  If 'not guilty' is read repeatedly when it comes to the verdict, I feel this city (and this country) will explode with anger.  If 'guilty' is read three times, I think this city will become the sight of the largest dance party in history.

Either way we'll have a definitive answer to the test.

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Friday Link for 4/16/21

This has been a tough week in Minneapolis/St. Paul. We were heading into the third full week of testimony in the trail of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, and then on Sunday another tragedy struck the city.  Daunte Wright was murdered by Brooklyn Center police on what can only be described as a racial profiling traffic stop which ended in horror as the officer seems to have confused her service weapon for her taser, a mistake which is frankly hard to believe. 

And we are in the middle of other wave of the CoronaVirus, this time mostly caused by people going on reckless Spring Break trips and kid's sports, which have become super spreader events in the state of Minnesota. 

...(deep breath in, deep breath out)...

We start tonight with Julie Nolke, a Canadian (she says "eh" a lot!).  She's a very funny actress and comedian with her own You Tube channel.  She came across gold with her 'Explaining to Her Past Self' series, little vignettes on how her future self is trying to educate her past self.  I really liked her explaining the pandemic to herself, one year later.

This was a smile I needed this week.

Saturday Night Live featured Minneapolis/St. Paul in their opening bit, and it was spot on.

And the weather forecast was fairly accurate!  Finally tonight, it's The Daily Show's Michael Kosta and his amazing version of Mike Lindell, the MyVaccine Guy!

Have a great weekend everyone...(deep breath in, deep breath out)...

Be safe, be healthy.  Wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

The Friday Link for 4/9/21

This week we delve back into history.

First up is a British version of the Townsends You Tube Channel.  Townsends does a lot with historic cooking in America, and Modern History TV has a similar series of videos, only dealing with the foods of ancient Britain. 

We're getting a look at commoner food which is being prepared and presented as it would've been in Medieval times.  On top of that, the food actually looks really good!  Seriously, I'd gladly become a peasant if I can eat a meal like that every night! 

Speaking of Townsends, we have another video from them tonight too, but this time they are not talking about food, but rather one of the oldest houses still standing in the United States. 

And finally tonight, because I am off to go watch Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+, here is a loop of Baron Zemo dancing in the club. You didn't think you needed this, but you need this! 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Stay safe, stay healthy.  Wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands. Thanks! 

The Death of Jesus

As many of you know I'm a Catholic.  When I bring up religion it's not about trying to covert anyone.  That's why I often say this disclaimer: You do, or don't do, whatever it is you do or don't want to do.

Nor do I talk about being Catholic to give anyone an insight into my life, although I've been very straight forward.  I'm a Progressive because of my Catholic faith.  Frankly I'm stunned anyone can read the Bible's New Testament, especially Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the four books of the Bible which relay the story of Jesus, THE REASON WHY ANY CHRISTIAN IS CHRISTIAN, and be anything but a Liberal.  Feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, taking care of the sick, welcoming in strangers from strange's all pretty clear.

I primarily talk about my religion for one reason.  The Conservative Right has taken Christianity, a faith built on love, compassion, peace, welcoming and caring, and turned it into a weapon of hate. They use Christianity to push a very narrow political agenda.  What's amazing to me is how the Conservative Right has gotten so many "Christians" to ignore the teachings of Jesus himself, and boiled down Christianity to a handful of angry tropes, primarily 1) Anti-LGBTQ, 2) Anti-Abortion, 3) Pro-death Penalty, 4) Pro-guns.

I bring up my religion to try to stop far right loon balls from mutilating Jesus, his teachings and the Bible itself.

For the record, nowhere in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John does Jesus, THE MAN WHO MAKES CHRISTIANS CHRISTIAN, condemn the LGBTQ community (he doesn't), or demand women should have no choice in their own healthcare (he doesn't say squat about abortion, and by the way the Bible is FULL of questionable treatment of babies and the unborn!).  And it's frankly laughable a man who was publicly executed in a horrific manner would be pro-death penalty.  As far as weapons, Matthew 26:52 pretty much makes any Christian pro-gun argument moot (and just silly).

The Far Right work around on Jesus is to downplay his direct teachings (or outright ignore them), hype up other books of the Bible to promote their point of view (primarily Paul's letter to the Romans, which was Paul not Jesus, and Leviticus, a barn burner of a book from the Old Testament which is a really a double edged sword.  You might want to read that book completely before calling it "gospel."), try to take passages out of context, or outright making up religious passages which have nothing to do with Jesus. 

The reason for this is simple.  The Far Right's politics is far more important that their Christian Faith.  They also know their politics, for the most part, is incredibly anti-Christian, so they eagerly distort the teachings of Jesus to make their politics seem righteous.

This is why I'm writing today.  I can't tell you how many times I've tried to talk to a Far Right Chrisitan about Jesus' teachings, especially in regards to feeding the hungry, healing the sick and welcoming in strangers from strange lands, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM says something to the effect of "Oh I'm for doing all of that, but..."  They always have some political excuse which suddenly overrides the religion they say is the most importing steering principle in their lives.

Didn't used to be this way.  This bastardizing of Christianity as a political weapon began in the 1970's in the aftermath of Nixon's resignation, and became a much more prominent movement in the Reagan 80's.  Since then, this Far Right version of Christianity has become more and more focused, forcing many of their followers to abandon large swaths of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and only focusing all of their attention on one or two political issues.

I remember when churches rarely said anything which could be construed as political.  Now it seems politics is constantly being preached in some churches, even occasionally mine!  I remember when former Arch Bishop Nienstedt demanded all priests in the Diocese take an anti-gay marriage stand in the 2012 election. My church's priest, Father Kennedy, came out and said [paraphrasing] "The diocese has given me a list of political things I'm supposed to tell you, but I won't. You're intelligent people, you can make up your own minds about things."  He got a standing ovation for about two minutes.

Considering this deformed version of Christianity has been around for 40 years, you have an entire generation who have grown up around it.  Have the 'hate über alles' Christians been able to resonate with the average person?  Gallup just released a poll which shows not only has this new version of 'hate Jesus' not resonated, but people are abandoning religion as an institution at a stunning rate. 

Starting in the 1930's, when Gallup first asked "do you belong to a house of worship," the results show 70+% of Americans did. It stayed above 70% all the way up until 1999.  Then a change started to happen.  People started leaving organized religion in droves.  By 2018 people who said they belonged to a house of worship was down to 50%, and this year, for the first time ever, we actually have less than 50% of Americans who have a regular place of religious worship, 47%.

I'm convinced this is a direct result of taking the love, compassion, peace, welcoming and caring out Jesus' teachings.  Why would anyone be part of the church when the first thing they tell you is who you have to hate. The church leaders have no one to blame but themselves.  In their strive for political power, they themselves allowed their religion to be mangled beyond recognition. When the people who were supposed to be the keepers of the faith were the ones who were forsaking it, they pushed parishioners out the door, firmly. 

To be fair, the Gallup poll does refer to all religions, but in the US, the only way you are getting this level of decline is if people are walking away from Christianity.  There are many other reasons for some people not belonging to church.  The sex scandal in the Catholic faith was a big reason, but most of that attrition happened before 2015, and these numbers hare still dropping, and fast.  I don't know too many football fans who go to church any more unless their team plays a night game.  But to be fair to sports fans, the question is not how often you attend church, but rather "do you belong to a house of worship?"

Maybe this is why some of the more extreme Far Right Christians are trying to find ways to force Christianity onto others.  Until they stop with the politically butchered version of Christianity, the number of people walking away from church will continue to rise.

I don't see the Far Right stopping anytime soon.

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Friday Link for 4/2/21

Apologies!  I'm in the middle of Spring Break week with my kids so this is the only post I have for you this week.

I've really enjoyed the Marvel Series on Disney+.  WandaVision was exceptional and did not shy away from the idea that the hero can become the villain in a blink of an eye.  

The second series Marvel has released is Falcon and The Winter Soldier.  This series takes two of the lesser characters from the Captain America comic book universe and gives them their own series, and as enjoyable as Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are in the title roles, it's Wyatt Russell who is stealing the show.

The replacement for Captain America in the Marvel world is actually a character in comics more known as the US Agent John Walker, and he's quite the jerk. Seriously as kind and righteous as Chris Evans character was, Walker is a hollow shell of the original Cap. I was very concerned they would try to soften the character, but so far Wyatt Russell is absolutely crushing it.

Wyatt is the son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell and before he got into acting was quite a good hockey goalie, even playing college level. The Friday Link this week starts off with a few cuts from Off Camera with Sam Jones.  The first cut is how Wyatt, as the son of two very famous Hollywood actors, had to find his own path through hockey. 

Next Wyatt talks about the end of his playing days, due to injuries. 

The final Off Camera cut talks about his trying out for Falcon and The Winter Soldier and the reality is he appears to have unintentionally nailed his tryout. 

Finally tonight, while I can't post an episode of the show, I can post New Rockstars exceptional episode Breakdown of the 2nd episode of Falcon and The Winter Soldier.  I know these things can get really geeky, but if you are going to watch something like this, you might as well watch the people who are doing it best. Erik Voss does a great job with these videos. 

Have a great weekend.  Happy Easter if you celebrate that sort of thing!

Stay healthy and stay safe! 

Friday, March 26, 2021

The Friday Link for 3/26/21

Howdy everyone!

Let me start with a plea. Take the pandemic seriously until it's over.  Right now across Minnesota we have outbreaks being fueled by these new variants which are threatening to move Minnesota back into a shut down pattern.  Wash hands, wear a mask, social distance and try to limit contact with large groups.

The good news is if we all do that now, soon we should be able to return to a pre-pandemic life.  Governor Walz has opened up vaccinations for everyone 16 and older in Minnesota starting on Tuesday.  Get vaccinated and stay safe and this will be over a lot faster.

This week, short and sweet with Mystery Science Theater and their classic riff on The Unearthly ("Ladies and Gentlemen the Edgar Allen Poe Marching Band!").  It also includes the classic shorts Posture Pals and Appreciating Our Parents!

Be healthy and be safe!

Have a great weekend!


Sometime you get a perfect storm; an absolute idiot proposes and absolutely idiotic idea.  When it happens, magic occurs.

The latest example of this involves the idiotic Minnesota Representative Jeremy Munson.  There have been a lot of dumbs things this clown has done, but prior to this, probably the stupidest was when he started dishing out medical advice to diabetics.  Munson does not have (to my knowledge) diabetes, nor is he a licensed medical professional, but neither stopped him from handing out insulin advice in a WalMart parking lot.  

Wow! That's stupid!

Munson has outdone himself with his latest suggestion, that basically the western 2/3rds of Minnesota should secede from the state of Minnesota and join South Dakota. 

Munson is likely proposing this for two reasons.  One, this is one of those red meat Righto talking points which Republicans use to try to fire up their base, something which on the outside looks like a tough guy stance, sticking it to the Libs!  

The other seems to be an attempt at trying to get South Dakota Kristi Noem's attention.  Noem, who has gleefully sickened and killed tens of thousands of her own citizens through her atrocious Corona Virus response, is getting some talk in circles regarding a Presidential run in 2024. Munson seems to be trying to get her to pay attention to him.  Mission Accomplished!  Noem did respond, although it's not clear if this was a full throated endorsement of the idea.  If this wasn't partially about sucking up to Noem, then why not try to secede to North Dakota, or split the purged MN counties, with parts going North and parts going South?

For the record, I FULLY ENDORSE THIS IDEA!  Seriously I do.  Don't get me wrong, I love all of Minnesota, and have spent a lot of time in the southwestern part of the state, Brainerd area and in Bemidji.  Those places all have some wonderful elements to them, and would be a loss for Minnesota, but we'd still be able to access them, so it's not like they would no longer exist.  

I LOVE this idea for the comedic potential of watching Munson and his allies faces when they realize what they have really done.  I also love it for how the Twin Cities metro would benefit GREATLY from getting rid of these rural western Minnesota moocher counties who drain our tax payer dollars.

Munson doesn't suggest the western part of Minnesota becoming a brand new state, only that they'd get folded into South Dakota.  Like I said earlier, it feels like there's a suck up to Noem strategy here, but I'm going to guess Munson already has done the math on what the costs would be to start the 51st state.  The region he's suggesting jettison itself from Minnesota wouldn't have the financial where with all to start a state from scratch. 

You need to build a Capitol, Departments of Health and Human Services, Transportation, Natural Resources, Agriculture and quite a few more.  Those will all be pricey.  Just the launching of license plates and new signage will cost tens of millions.  

A western Minnesota new state wouldn't be able to afford itself, as these counties DESPERATELY need the Twin Cities tax dollars to pay their bills.  By trying to join South Dakota instead of starting their own state, they're admitting that.  But the real ugly truth is even with Munson's SD plan, South Dakota won't fund you guys like the Twin Cities does, and frankly, my guess is South Dakota wouldn't take you. 

From an Axios Twin Cities story from earlier this year, the city of Minneapolis alone pays more than 1.9 billion in state taxes per year, but only gets back 543 million in state aide.  The seven county metro area (all of which is omitted from Munson's run for the border) pays 3.46 billion more in state taxes than they get back in return.  Where does this extra money go?  Right into the moocher counties in the western part of the state, counties who spend FAR more than they take in in local state tax payer dollars. 

Take Munson's district, which includes Waseca, Wantonwan and Blue Earth (but NOT including Makato proper) Counties.  Waseca and Wantonwan both receive far more in state aid than they pay into the system.  Although the reports I found don't break down counties even further, my suspicion is that Blue Earth County minus Mankato is also dependent on metro area tax dollars to pay their bills.

Many of the counties Munson is wanting to peel off from the state spend FAR more in tax dollars than they pay into the system. My guess is Munson thinks South Dakota would pick up the slack and cover their over the top spending habits.

Probably not! According to Ballotpedia (and to be fair these numbers are a little old [2015/2017]) South Dakota spends about 1/10th Minnesota does on state aid to counties.  They don't have a personal income tax, and their property taxes are a set rate, so most of the money comes from sales tax.  According to what they pay currently, South Dakota will immediately cut your K-12 education, public assistance and Medicare budgets (dramatically too!), but good news; they pay more than Minnesota does for prisons.  Overall a former Minnesota county is going to get a double whammy.  First they lose the Twin Cities tax dollar gravy train, and then they get more cuts to their county's budgets. 

And frankly, South Dakota won't want you! Not only will they see a whole bunch of moocher counties they have to try to prop up, but the threats to current SD businesses and industries would be a non-starter.  Let's look at a lesser category like tourism.  You think South Dakota hunting and fishing tourism wants to see their dollars and resources go to help promote hunting and fishing hundreds of miles away from them?  No way, and that's a lesser issue.  Go to Rapid City or western South Dakota and tell them they're either going to have to raise their taxes or take massive cuts to the limited services the state provides so South Dakota can subsidize a bunch of Minnesota counties who are foolishly ungrateful for all the tax payer dollars the Twin Cities gives them.

But say South Dakota did take you, and you are foolish enough to think the massive cuts to your county's budgets are worth it.  Then you have to watch as the state plays favorites.  Your ex-Minnesota counties will always be the last served, and you'll have to give up your resources without complaining.  When your lakes become fracking water dumping grounds, or your state and county park land is sold off to South Dakota Republican donors for cents on the dollar, you'll find it harder and harder to convince yourselves you're still 'owning the the Libs!'

Meanwhile the remaining part of the state which will still be Minnesota will be a freaking utopia! Look at Musons's map again: 

Minnesota would consist of the Minneapolis/St. Paul seven county area, Duluth, Rochester, the Iron Range and all parts in between.  Maybe not all of the the 1.4 billion in Minneapolis tax dollars, or the 3.46 billion in the seven county metro area tax dollars, will come back, but a MASSIVE influx of tax dollars will come back to the Cities.  The Twin Cities will be the best funded metro are in the country, with immediate infusions of 100's of millions of dollars into roads, schools, parks and other programs.  The still loyal state counties will also see a massive increase in dollars coming into their folds.  The quality of life in the new Minnesota will be on par with that of Europe, while the new South Dakota struggles to get by.

I hope Jeremy Munson goes through with this.  I seriously do!  Nothing will be funnier than watching the County boards of each of these counties having to look at the real catastrophic financial consequences of leaving Minnesota and vote yeah or nay.  My guess is they'd all suddenly adopt a "while we disagree with the out of control Liberals in the Twin Cities, the truth is we appreciate Minnesota and would rather stay than leave."  Sure, one or two counties might vote to go, and let them!  One less moocher county means more money for the Twin Cities. 

I can't wait for the mass exodus of moving vans leaving the traitor counties and driving back to Minnesota in shame, while we all laugh at belligerent anti-Minnesotans screaming about "how much better their lives are now."  Sure it is buttercup! 

Please, do the Twin Cities a MASSIVE favor and secede western Minnesota to South Dakota.  It'll be the dumbest thing you'll ever do!

By the way, if Jeremey Munson hates Minnesota as much as he seems to, maybe it'd be best for him to pack up a truck and move to South Dakota.  It'll save you a lot of time and headache, and we won't miss you!


Friday, March 19, 2021

The Friday Link for 3/19/21

Sorry (again) the blog has been light, but I've been busy.

For this week's Friday Link we start with one of the funniest TV shows ever, Police Squad!  I was living in Georgia, right before moving back to Minnesota, and I remember watching this show.  Basically it's the Airplane movie, only on TV and instead of the Airport movies, they lampooned cop shows. 

The brilliant Leslie Nielsen started at Frank Drebin.  It's just freaking hilarious.  This TV show was only 6 shows, SIX, but yet they had more great jokes in those six episodes than most shows have in three full seasons.  And of course the show was the in inspiration for the Naked Gun movies. 

The shows occasionally get posted so watch them if you can. Here is the first episode. 

Also tonight, I give you Cinema Sins and Everything Wrong with Office Space. Warning language!

Have a great weekend everyone.  Be healthy and be safe.

Friday, March 12, 2021

The Friday Link for 3/12/21

This week I shall bask in the brilliance of The Daily Show, both current and past incarnations.

I will warn you now, A LOT of bad language!

One of the things I love which current host Trevor Noah does is the ease at how he explains complex issues no one else is talking about.  I featured him a few months back with his brilliant story on the farmer's strike in India, but last week he took on a more underreported story; how in the heck did an absolute slime ball like Madison Cawthorn win a Congressional seat?

The Daily Show is also continuing with the track record of exceptional correspondents.  Roy Wood Jr. so deserves his own show.  Here he is giving us a geography lesson in exactly "who hates who?" By the way, his points about the US and Canada are spot on.

They also have Jordan Klepper.  Who better to dismantle the insanity of crypto currency than the guy who absolutely dismantled Trump supporters for the last four years.

Finally this week, a revisiting of one of my favorite all time Jon Stewart segments, How I Meteored Your Motherland. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Stay healthy and stay safe! 

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Friday Link for 3/5/21

I hope you've enjoyed the week.  Here in Minnesota it's warm (relative) and melting.  Delightful!

First up this week is the return of The Hood Internet.  This is the dude who does the insanely good dance remixes with the songs from any given year.  Check out all of his years, but he just released 1995, and it was an excellent year for music.  This is great.  

Switching directions, I'm going to follow up on the Golden Globe win for Nomadland, the exceptional movie starring Frances McDormand: 

That movie feels like a documentary. It really is a massive accomplishment for a film.

Speaking of documentaries, I'm not sure if I ever posted one of the greatest documentaries ever made, Grey Gardens.  If I did, please let me know, and apologies for repeating, but it's so good.  It's weird, but by the end you are craving for more answers which will never come. 

Have a great weekend!

Get vaccinated, stay safe, stay diligent and stay healthy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Pat Gets Schooled

I'm hesitant to go down this rabbit hole as the people who REALLY need to read the following post will outright refuse to do so, like a petulant 2 year old refusing to eat their veggies.  But after I posted on a friend's social media post, a post which celebrated the Texas Governor Greg Abbott's insanely stupid idea to re-open Texas completely, a decision he announced on Tuesday, I felt as if we needed yet ANOTHER reminder of the dangers of going down this path.  My response to the original post:

"I am tired of death. I don't want anyone else to die. All the health experts say this will cause more people to die. Sorry if I don't stand up and applaud the likely unnecessary deaths."

My friend who posted the original praising of this Texas foolishness took his usual stance, one where he completely understands the sadness of the deaths, but reopening is somehow (in his opinion) a better option. I completely disagree.

But then Pat decided to chime in.  For the record, she made this comment on a social media post available for the world to see, but I'll hide her identity outside of her first name.  For the record, I don't hide mine.

Yes I have an Instagram page, but so far no TikTok. And look for an OnlyFans coming soon!

I have a lot to unpack here, but I'm going to start off by pointing out the obvious.  You guys are praising Greg Abbott, a man who two weeks ago couldn't keep the power on in his state, leaving millions to freeze, killing dozens.  Many places are still without running water, likely to be without running water FOR MONTHS.  And Abbott has endorsed the bankrupting of hundreds of thousands of his own people by his endorsement of the failed free market Texas electrical grid, a power grid that gleefully price gouged Texans.  Greg Abbott took the side of a handful of wealthy executives over the BASIC care and well being of his people.  And you want to praise him?  That's on you.

Also, he's reopening Texas because Spring Break Season is coming and, thanks to the Democrats and Joe Biden, most Americans will have a much needed stimulus check.  It's a cash grab by Abbott.  He's no different than the Mayor in Amity demanding the beaches be re-opened in the movie Jaws.  

If you do get a stimulus check, shop local.  For me, that means Minnesota.

Many health experts are indeed saying Abbott's approach is the wrong path, and while I'll get to the questioning of their credentials in a bit, we should point out the health expert's track record is batting a thousand.  

In July, when the fool Kristi Noem, the Governor of South Dakota, decided to allow the Sturgis motorcycle rally to happen, the same health experts begged her not to do so. They warned the consequences of a major gathering like Sturgis would be catastrophic.  Noem and many Republicans screamed back 'Who are these health experts? Why are we trusting them?'  They went ahead with the rally.  Contract tracing has shown Sturgis, like 2020 Mardi Gras (when we really didn't know better) WAS a massive super-spreader event.  Sturgis likely sickened 250,000 people, and that's a low ball estimate.  It killed thousands of people. It even caused an outbreak in Minnesota.  And for all those people who scream "if those people wanted to take the risk, then that's on them," THAT'S NOT HOW CORONA VIRUS WORKS!  Many of the people who got sick and died didn't go to Sturgis or live in South Dakota!  The event sent sick people back across the country, back to innocent loved ones who got sick and died due to stupidity!  And many of the people who praised Noem ended up championing her all the way to the ICU.  The health experts, were sadly, correct.

Last fall Republicans across the country, and in Minnesota, as part of the political campaign season, started demanding everything reopen in Minnesota. Health experts, who had been warning of a Fall/Winter surge since April, begged the Republicans to stop and think of the damage reopening would do, how many lives would be lost.  Republicans kept calling for a complete reopening of Minnesota, insisting the health experts 'didn't have Minnesota's best interests at heart.' 

(Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt in October thinking they can scream CoronaVirus into submission.)

What happened?  The nightmare scenario the health experts had warned about came true. Corona Virus cases skyrocketed with 5000 deaths being reported nationally, per day. The Minnesota GOP had their own super spreader event, sickening many of their leaders and likely killing one of their own Senators.  By the end of November, when it became clear the reopen strategy the GOP and their supporters had championed had  backfired, even they suddenly got quiet and got out of the way of the health experts.  It also did not help the US that Trump was doing NOTHING on the national level to deal with this crisis, only plotting an overthrow of Democracy.  When Biden's team took over, there were no vaccines, there was no distribution plan, nor was there any infrastructure in place to distribute the vaccines. 

Once again health expert's dire predictions came true.

A lot of this "Thank God for Greg Abbott" bravado is really just political.  Most people on the right filter EVERYTHING through politics so no matter what Greg Abbott does, it's wonderful, while everything DFL Minnesota Governor Tim Walz does is TYRANNY!  But you guys are really missing out at how well Governor Walz has managed this crisis when compared to the train wreck states surrounding us. 

Cases per million, North Dakota and South Dakota are the two worst states in the country, and two of the worst places on the planet, for COVID-19 (States 1 and 2 respectively).  Iowa is 5th worst, Wisconsin is 16th.  Minnesota is 32nd, even though it's surrounded by these knucklehead states.  Deaths per million, Minnesota is 35th, FAR better than the Dakotas (numbers for both from  According to this morning's (Wednesday 3/3) update from Johns Hopkins Medical (health experts), Iowa is once again the worst state in the country for new CoronaVirus cases.  Less than a month ago, their Governor, without any input from health experts, lifted the face mask requirements and limits on gathering sizes in the state, while fools applauded her, like she had done something smart.  Of course, just like Abbott did in Texas, she insisted that people should be careful, but then negated her acquiescing with her 'PARTY TIME' celebratory announcement.  Now Iowa is a mess, AGAIN!  People in Iowa are getting sick and will die because of her decision.

Another anti-health expert regulation argument you hear is 'I want to be careful but I'm pro small business.'  It's a garbage argument.  Outside of corporate executives EVERYONE IS PRO SMALL BUSINESS!  This is the lie the Right has convinced themselves it true to portray their 'profits and convenience over human lives' stance is something noble.  Everyone wants everything to go back to normal.  I wish I could behave like it was before 2020, but I can't and I won't!  For the betterment of all people it's best we limit our exposure to each other.  The vast majority of small business owners understand this, and begrudgingly have gone along with this (thank you).  It's one of the reasons Minnesota has been better than most other states.

Side note:  I'm Catholic.  Disclaimer: you do, or don't do, whatever it is you want to, or don't want to, do.  I'm gobsmacked by the idea any Christian would think Jesus would ever side with the business in the 'save human lives v. small business' debate.  Jesus doesn't come across to me as the type of guy who would ever make the argument "sure life is sacred, but I got a 2 for 1 coupon for Applebee's!  Feeling good in the neighborhood!"

There's also the contrived patriotic arguments you hear to reopen, packaged as "liberty" and "freedom." Mind you, the people screaming liberty and freedom DO NOT CARE about the liberty and freedom of those who might die.  When you expose their liberty and freedom arguments for what they really are (selfishness), that's when you see the ugliness of their cause.  They argue their 'liberty and freedom' to get a platter of chicken wings and a pitcher of beer in a sports bar is more important than a human life.  They argue their 'liberty and freedom' to go watch a Marvel Movie in a theater is more important than a human life.  They argue their 'liberty and freedom' to go to an amusement park, to a beach, or to a nightclub is more important than a human life.  NONE of those things are more important than a human life; at least no decent human being and/or Christian should think so.

Let's go back to Pat's post.  She clearly implies she wants to reopen everything, but health experts (correctly) point out the danger of doing so.  Prior to last year, the only people who dismissed educated professionals and their seasoned advice were considered to be tin foil hat kooks.  Then came Trump.  I could list the number of times Trump downplayed the virus, but this post is already pretty long.  He promoted quack cures and implied ingesting bleach was a good idea. He had super spreader events throughout the fall which indeed did sicken his supporters and their families, and as I pointed out earlier, he was DOING NOTHING to save Americans from the worst health crisis in over 100 years, and the 3rd worst US death count in history. 

But Trump knew all he had to do was imply the health experts don't know what they are talking about, only he did, and the lemmings would follow him off the cliff.  The Right no longer cares about facts and the truth (this post is chock full of both and it infuriates them FAR MORE than it will educate them).  They only want their opinion validated, and in this case it's this: 'Trump and Republican politicians know more about CoronaVirus than the health experts.'

When Pat goes to the doctor, and they put a tongue depressor in her mouth and they ask her to go 'Ahhh,' does Pat start screaming at them?  Does she insist the Doctor is really trying to insert a tracking micro chip in her throat, so she runs screaming from the examination room?  A regular Doctor is a health expert too, but my guess is Pat has no problem with THAT health expert, only the ones who call out Republican bullcrap on Corona Virus.  To become a health expert, not only are they getting their doctorate in medicine, but they likely have another doctorate in a speciality, YEARS of research experience, and YEARS of real world experience.  They're competent and qualified; the only people you should call in a crisis like this.  But because they dare disagree with Trump and Republican doctrine, people on the Right dismiss them as some sort of cult of disinformation.  The ignorance displayed by anyone universally dismissing the health experts at this point is astounding!

Does Pat do this with every expert she comes across?  When a plumber comes to fix her pipes, does she dismiss them too?  How about architects?  Firemen?  Military professionals?  All of these people go through the same exact process as the health expert does.  They get an education, they then get real world experience, and then they become experts in their field.  I'm not in any place to discredit a person's professional expertise  just because I believe, or I've been told, something that contradicts their amassed extensive knowledge, especially when it is a massive group of professionals all pointing in the same direction.

Now comes the part where the open everything crew will scream "CANCEL CULTURE" because I dared point out the ludicrous nature of their flawed arguments.  NOPE!  No one is cancelling you.  As a matter of fact, I posted Pat's response on this post to make sure her 1st Amendment rights are fulling intact!  What the first Amendment does not guarantee is freedom from ridicule, and frankly I've had it with people who dismiss health professionals, especially after the health experts have been proven right over and over and over again.

One of the saddest things I read last year was how South Dakota nurses were pleading with dying COVID patients, begging them to call their loved ones so they could say goodbye, only to have the sick scream back at them through coughing fits "Corona Virus is a MYTH!!!"  The United States of America has 4% of the worlds population but has been responsible for 25% of the world's deaths.  The reason it's so high is collective stupid from the political Right.  I have no tolerance left for people who question health experts.  Not anymore.

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Friday Link for 2/26/21

For this week's Link, we start with what likely was the worst Minnesota winter on record, the "Long Winter" of 1880/1881.

When it comes to winter events in the 1800's, the first one you usually hear about is the Blizzard of 1888.  Don't get me wrong, the 1888 blizzard was brutal, but it mainly effected the mid Atlantic and Northeast coast.  It killed a lot of people, but that was because it hit where most of the people in the US were living.  For sheer size and scope, the Long Winter was much worst. 

The Winter started with an October blizzard, still the earliest on record in Minnesota, and it just never let up!  It impacted from Minnesota to Kansas, from Ohio to Denver. I'll let The History Guy take it from here: 

Makes what we went through this winter seem quaint! 

And if you really want to be grateful, be thankful you weren't in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 6th, 1917.  Most of the city was wiped out by an astronomical explosion.  The images from the catastrophe are hard to comprehend.   This from Fascinating Horror!

A little bleak, but definitely interesting. 

Have a great weekend everyone.  Stay healthy, stay safe! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Bucket of Rush Limbaugh

As many people who visit the blog know, I host a radio show which features regular guests with specific specialities, who occasionally come on and share their wisdom.  One of them is my food expert and wonderful chef, Terry John Zila.

A few years back I asked him, "why are shows like 'Man Vs. Food' so popular?"  Man Vs. Food is a cable show where the host (originally Adam Richman) would go tackle major food challenges at restaurants; like the ten pound hamburger, or the El Diablo chicken wings, or the 5 pound steak with all the sides.  Some of these food items would have a time constraint for consumption to completed by, others would require you just finish everything on the plate.  The show was popular.  A lot of people liked seeing these challenges which appeared on various menus across the country, challenges they themselves would never try.

Without skipping a beat, Terry said "because shows like that allow people to live unhealthy, while not actually engaging in the unhealthy behavior."  He went on to add how many people might look at a ten pound hamburger and say that looks delicious, but they're smart enough to avoid ordering one themselves. Adam Richman could do it for them, subjecting himself to a massive meal.  By the time Richman got halfway through his challenges, it became more of a public service announcement: "here is the professional eater being brought to his knees by this. Don't be dumb enough to try this yourself!"  People lived vicariously through the show, without having to endure the digestive nightmare.

I'd seen this play out every Minnesota State Fair.  When I broadcast at KSTP, we were right down the street from the Sweet Martha's Cookie booth, probably the most popular Fair food booth. People would order the bucket of cookies, a heaping large pail of cookies; easily more cookies than person should eat in an entire year, given to them in one 'serving', a serving which could feed forty people.  I'll never forget the faces of the people as they began their walk from Sweet Martha's to our booth.  Their faces went from pure joy to 'what was I thinking' in a matter of 20 steps.  We'd always have abandoned buckets left on the broadcast stage (and bees), left behind by fools whose internal desires overrode their common sense.

Rush Limbaugh passed away from cancer on February 17th. He was undeniably a racist, sexist, homophobe, bigot, fear mongering jackass.  He was!  That was his brand!  Just some of the things he said:  "Barack the Magic Negro," (towards Latinos) "You're a foreigner...You shut your mouth and get out," he attacked Katrina victims, constantly attacked the black members of the NBA, NFL and the NAACP, "women shouldn't be allowed on juries where the accused is a stud," his insanely racist anti-Asian rant against Chinese President Hu Jintao, he attacked people dying of Parkinson's, called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for advocating for universal contraception coverage, referred to LGBTQ+ politicians as "the tranny community," constantly said white people should be proud of their record on slavery, he was the driving force behind the completely made up Seth Rich conspiracy and in turn tortured Rich's family, a career of targeting the homeless, he attacked the dead CONSTANTLY including Robin Williams, George Steinbrenner, Trayvon Martin, and Kurt Cobain (among MANY others), he attacked Joe Biden and Joe Biden's family when he went after Biden's dead wife and child, as well his Beau Biden who died of brain cancer, and he openly mocked and laughed at the victims of AIDS.

Image from Paul Hoppe at Gen.Medium

In case you are missing my point, speaking as a Catholic, Rush Limbaugh is BURNING IN HELL for eternity.  That's not even debatable.

What's stunning is how all the sudden the Evangelicals are now trying to portray Limbaugh as some sort of über-Christian divine being, an angel who had visited earth, taken from us too soon.  These people listened to Rush for years, many of them laughing at his daily unforgivable comments.  For his entire career, Rush's fans never condemned any of Rush's CLEARLY anti-Christian hate speech.  They all heard it, AND THEY LOVED HIM FOR IT...AS CHRISTIANS!

You see, Rush was like a far right extremist political version of Man Vs. Food.  Down deep inside Rush's Evangelical and 'Republican party over Jesus' Christian fans, they wanted to say the racist, misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, anti-Democratic, anti-Immigrant, anti-poor comments Rush was willing to say, but they knew if it came from their mouths, they'd be called out immediately for their anti-Christian behavior.  That's why they adored Rush.  They could embrace the anti-Christian rhetoric/comments without having to say them themselves, just chuckle along with the bigot!  They could eat their 10 pound hamburger, or in this case the 1000 pound crap sandwich, without ever having to chew for themselves. 

And now that he died, the Evangelicals and far right Christians are now looking at his true legacy; the hate and division he sowed, the legacy of anti-Jesus comments he spewed. That's why they are frantically trying to portray him as something Rush Limbaugh NEVER was, a good Christian. They are trying desperately to paint him as something misunderstood, noble and righteous.  He was NEVER that.

Rush fans are walking away from the Rush Limbaugh booth with a bucket of his hate.  They eagerly bought the bucket of venom and loathing, giddy with delight as Rush filled it with more and more anti-Christian dictum.  Now that they're walking away from Rush, they're realizing they've become gluttons, freely gobbling up super size servings of bombastic, evil sermons.  Out of desperation to change their foolish loyalty to 'something the other side just doesn't understand,' they now insist they never embraced what Rush said, but rather they only bought into Rush for the bucket the hate came in.  

Stop lying to yourselves and to everyone else.  You loved Rush for the hate he belched every day.  Evangelicals and far right Christians, just be honest:

"We will miss Rush because he said all the non-Christian things we wanted to scream.  Instead, we never had to say it directly.  All we had to say was, 'I love Rush Limbaugh.'"