Friday, October 23, 2020

The Friday Link for 10/23/20

Good news everyone!  I started a blog entry this week, even got four paragraphs done!  Then my week swallowed me up.  Seriously, I've had no time to write since Tuesday.  Tonight I'm playing nursemaid to my dog who just had surgery.

Short and Sweet!  Pod People from MST3K! Actually this might be my all time favorite movie riff. The movie is atrocious and the jokes are non stop.  "It Stinks!"


Have a great weekend everyone.

Remember to VOTE!  For more information about voting in Minnesota:

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Friday Link for 10/16/20

Another week and once again, this is the only new post.  Maybe after November 3rd...

I love October.  I feel it's the prettiest month, starting with changing leaves and ending with pumpkins. Not only is it my birth month (Libras rule!), it's also the month of Halloween, so let's get scary.

I don't think I've ever featured Monstrum before.  This series from PBS puts forward the myths and urban legends behind the monsters we all know and love. Hosted by the enjoyable Dr. Emily Zarka, the series dives deep in to all time classic monsters, urban legends and even modern monsters. 

Zarka's love of the subject matter, and her intelligent and well researched notes, make this show addictive. I highly recommend going through her entire series on You Tube. 

Tonight, behold the origin of the zombie, which interestingly enough is not so much monster, but more religion based. 

To finish out this evening, Cinema Sins small screen cousins, TV Sins, went after 'It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown' and it is hilarious.  A little adult, so viewer be warned (Probably not for the little kiddos!). 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Friday Link for 10/9/20

Sorry.  Lately there aren't more posts here, outside of the Friday Link.  That's because this news cycle is going to blow up my mind.

In his coverage of the Vice Presidential debate, Stephen Colbert made a comment which I had forgotten.  Politics is supposed to be relatively boring.  It really is.  I remember when Obama was President and there would be days I didn't hear a thing from the White House. Today, the news cycles during a single day can have 6 to 7 massive substantial stories which upend your sense of comprehension.  There are days when I'll be reminded of a story which broke at 8 AM that morning and I'll ask myself "was that today?" 

This environment was designed by Trump and Republicans.  You drive people away from the news cycle by overwhelming them with stories, while at the same time you get away with undeniable crimes you're committing right in front of everyone's face, because an act which would've gotten a President thrown out of office in the past is just lost in a never ending steam of insanity.

The good news is this time around enough people have had enough of the constant noise and are demanding it get turned off on November 3rd.

One of the reasons I think the GOP ramped up this insanity starting about 2010 (even before Trump.  Remember how they screamed about Ebola?), was Jon Stewart, the former host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central.  One of the most intelligent men in media was a comedian hosting what was supposed to be a fake news show mocking the current headlines.  His ability to succinctly pierce through the bull that was being thrown at America was refreshing, but also infuriating for the Right. It was impossible to get away with what the Conservatives were trying while Stewart was pointing it out. 

I honestly think if Jon Stewart would've been on the air in 2016, Clinton would've won.  I'm not saying that to begrudge Stewart.  It's just no one else was doing what he was able to do.  His (deserved) retirement created a vacuum Trump took advantage of.

First up tonight Stewart's masterful takedown of former New York Times reporter Judith Miller for helping to deceive the US into war.  It's in two parts.

And then the interview with Chris Wallace where he tells off Fox News to their face. 

That is gutsy, factual and just awesome.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Remember all the information you need to vote early in Minnesota is on the Minnesota Secretary of State's webpage,!

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Friday Link for 10/2/20

I'm feeling emotionally unstable right now.  I can't stand Trump.  He's a horrible person, a nightmare of a leader, and a man who's undeniably guilty of committing crimes while in office.  I don't want him to win re-election, period.

That being said, I don't want the guy dead.  I don't!  You can dislike a person for their politics, and hope they live a long life.  I can say the same thing about the litany of Minnesota Republican officials who were exposed to COVID-19 by Trump and his campaign staff.  I dislike your wealth worshipping at the expense of 95% of this country, but here's to your health!  I'm consistent.  I've wanted people to be healthy and safe from Corona Virus; ALL people. 

With Trump's worsening condition, there has been a question of what would happen if a candidate for the Presidency died a few weeks before the election. The answer is unless both the House of Representatives and the US Senate vote to delay the election (something very unlikely), the election will go on as scheduled. The Constitution is pretty clear that only the Congress can delay a Presidential election.  The party who lost the candidate could name a replacement, but there's a nightmare of how exactly you vote for that person, especially when early voting has already begun. You can't assume just because someone votes for one political candidate from a party, the same vote would go for a replacement candidate. So if it becomes a write in campaign, the odds they'd be able to pull that off are astronomical.

It boils down to this.  There will be an election on November 3rd in the United States, and at the end of the day, either Joe Biden or Donald Trump will win.  No one else has a chance. 

The other time in American History we had a Constitutional Crisis like this was with the 9th President, William Henry Harrison, better know as the guy who died a month after talking office.  A lot of the rules were unwritten then, so we ended up having to create standards about line of succession.

For all your William Henry Harrison knowledge, let's start with the election of 1840 itself, courtesy of Hip Hughes. 

From The History Channel's exceptional series on The Presidents, Harrison was the shortest entry, 3 and a half minutes:

Finally, let's look at the life and death of Harrison. Like a lot of Presidents from back then, he made a name for himself killing and dominating Native Americans, including leading US forces as they ran Native tribes off their lands in Ohio and Indiana. Like all history, William Henry Harrison's should be complete, with both the good and the bad.  

There's also a lot of question about what exactly killed him.  The original story goes that due to his age (he was the oldest man to take the Presidency until Reagan took office in 1981) he decided to have a long and hearty Inauguration Address, going two hours.  It was a cool day, leading to people insisting he died of a cold he'd gotten from giving the Address.  The problem with that story is that for the first three weeks he was in office, he actually felt fine. 

After reviewing the doctor's notes of the illness, the determination was he actually died of Typhoid Fever brought on by drinking contaminated water, a common death culprit from those days.

'Today I Found Out' has the complete story. 

There you go, more than you ever wanted to know about William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States, for five weeks.

Stay safe everyone.  Have a nice weekend.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Friday Link for 9/25/20

Last week, I had just come off of a great radio show where I was trying to inspire people on the first day of early voting.  Then at 6 PM, the world turned upside down again.

I can't believe it's only been a week.  I'm really starting to wonder if we can make it to November 3rd.  

Vote Minnesota!  Make sure everyone you know is registered to vote!  Make sure everyone you know knows about early voting!  Make sure everyone you know knows they can early vote by absentee ballot in the mail, and for them to make sure the ballot is mailed back by October 25th!  Make sure everyone you know knows they can early vote in person at various locations; all they have to do is check the Secretary of State's page ( for more information.  Make sure people who are going to vote in person on November 3rd know where they're supposed to vote.  For people not in Minnesota, visit your Secretary of State's webpage for information on how you can vote, or just visit Stephen Colbert's "Better Know a Ballot" series on Your Tube (  Make sure you tell everyone who is thinking of voting for Trump they're fools!  Seriously, scream at them "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?"

Tonight, the all time Mystery Science Theater 3000 classic "Manos" The Hands of Fate. I'm going to bed until Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Sacrificing your Faith

Christian Conservatives are shouting out with glee.  They're happy because someone died.  For a group of people who insist they're the most pro-life people who've ever lived, that might seem like a massive contradiction.  It is.  They don't care.  They've been contradicting their faith for decades as they've whittled Christianity down to one major issue; stopping legal abortion.

The person who died was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most prominent liberals the Supreme Court ever had.  Her death is giving pure joy to Republican Christians as they feel now, with a Conservative judge to replace her, they'll be able to finally overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which made abortion legal in the 1970's. 

You can point out overturning Roe v. Wade won't make abortion illegal in the US, just stop the national standard which made it legal.  Plenty of states will still have legal abortion, and there are more options for ending an unwanted pregnancy which don't include the act of an abortion.  There will be a lot of murkiness on what is and is not legal in a post Roe v. Wade world.

You can point out applying a Christian standard to abortion not only violates separation of church and state, it's also forces a person's religion onto someone else, something Christian Conservatives would never tolerate if it was being done to them.

You can point out Jesus never once condemned abortion.  Never did.  If you're Christian, you take Jesus' teachings as your standard, as Jesus is what makes Christians Christian.  If this was such an important issue, you'd think he would've mentioned it.  There are passages in the Bible which are undoubtedly anti-abortion but Psalm 137:9 is pro-abortion.  The Bible is also chock full of baby killing stories.  Do you think Noah's flood didn't kill thousands if unborn babies?  There are Biblical passages which make it clear only specific clothes should be worn, that you shouldn't eat delicious bratwursts (Leviticus 3:17), rules for when you have to marry a brother's wife, orders for us to murder a person if they cheat on their spouse (who wants to tell Trump?), and how women should wear head coverings in church (plus 1 Corinthians 11:4-7 has misogyny too!).  If you're not following all those rules, you're admitting you're already cherry picking the Bible.  I know Rightos: "But Matt, those are lesser issues! Thou shall not murder is a Commandment!" So is the whole adultery issue, and you guys are perfectly fine with that Commandment being violated, so...

They don't care. They don't understand Roe v. Wade, they sure as heck want to force Christianity on people, and they themselves ignore most of the Bible when it's inconvenient to their political argument.

Let me take the rest of this post to highlight how much of their faith Evangelicals and Christians Conservatives have sacrificed to be in bed with the Republican party; in order to make abortion the 'One Christian sin to Rule them all!'

1) Feeding the hungry! Jesus ordered us to do so, and the Republican Party has consitently cut food aid to the needy, creating shame hoops for the hungry to jump through just to eat.  Before you argue "Well I donate to food agencies and causes!"  Great, but you're also a proud supporter of a political party who works against a basic teaching of Jesus (feeding the hungry), and you've never condemn their anti-Chrisitan, pro-hunger behavior!  NEVER!

2) Sheltering the homeless! Once again, the Bible, both Old and New Testament, ordered us to get people shelter, and the Republican party's official stance is to scream "Get a job you moocher." Once again, you NEVER condemn their official policy.  'Well I do in the silence of my own heart!'  Forgive me if I don't believe you, and even if you did, that's a cowards validation.

3) Taking care of the sick! How many Jesus stories are directly related to giving people better health?  TONS!  Lazarus was definitely a preexisting condition. You applaud a political party who's not only trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, not only are they trying to make preexisting conditions a reason to deny people medical treatment, not only are they trying to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid, not only are they encouraging a 'healthcare for the wealthy only' standard, but they've mismanaged Corona Virus, BADLY!  The US is the worst place for the illness on the planet, yet you NEVER condemn the Republican Party's for violating the command to 'take care of the sick.'

4) Drinkable water! "I was thirsty and you gave me drink." When was the Evangelical/Christian Right's protest of the Republican Party of Flint Michigan?  Oh that's right, NEVER!

5) Welcoming in strangers from strange lands! The Christian Right and the Evangelicals have spectacularly violated this command.  We're supposed to welcome people, and the Republican Party is only about walls and concentration camps.  There is NO WAY you can claim to be a good Christian and support the Republican's immigration policies.  Heck, most of you are at the Trump rallies screaming 'lock them up!'  You've NEVER condemned this.  Even if you were against it, you didn't want to upset the party, so you silently forsake your faith.

I know there are Righto Christians furious at me so far (wait! It gets better!).  All I'm doing is holding YOU to the faith you claim to embody, a faith you willfully ignore to follow Republican politics.  That's on you, not me. Go get angry at the mirror.

Back to the countdown!

6) Jailed prisoners and the death penalty! Part of Matthew 25:36 calls for people to care about prisoners, a far cry from the corporate prison business the Republican Party, and in turn Evangelicals/Conservative Christians, endorse.  You scream for mandatory minimums and three strike policies for lesser crimes.  You applaud locking people up for life and praise the police even when police violence is the undeniable cause of the problem.  On the Death Penalty, let me cut off your usually defense; it's only in the last 200 years people changed the Commandment from 'Thou shalt not kill' to 'Thou shalt not murder.'  The original Hebrew word outlawed far more than just murder, a command to not kill other humans. Modern Christians (who love their revenge narratives) embraced 'murder' because it allowed them to say nothing when people are executed, something Republicans LOVE to do.  As Christians, we're NEVER supposed to kill anyone, but I guess that commandment can be followed when convenient.  When it comes to life, you guys are "Baby's yes, prisoners no." By the way, Romans 12:19 calls out revenge and vengeance.

7) Guns! Jesus was against weapons, PERIOD!  It goes WAY beyond Jesus' direct command to throw down your weapons as 'if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.'  The Old and New Testament have dozens of passages which say weapons are bad. But here you clowns are, speaking like Jesus founded Guns and Ammo Magazine himself.  I might give you guys the out if you said "hey, I'm only for hunting weapons," but many of you, and the official party platform of the Republicans, enforce the idea that everyone should have a machine gun.  Jesus would never want you to carry, or romanticize, a gun.  NEVER!

8) Wealth worshipping!  Wealth worshipping is a tent pole of the modern Republican Party.  Their entire economic policy is worshipping the wealthy just because they're wealthy. Evangelicals and Conservative Christians, if you want violations of the Ten Commandments, wealth worshipping is your pound for pound winner: You place money above all else, so that violates the first Commandment about false gods.  One could make an argument putting 'God' on currency would be taking his name in vain (false validation of wealth), so there's the 2nd.  Many people, in their quest to accumulate wealth, applaud stealing in some capacity, whether not paying taxes or defrauding employees (7th). Keeping up with the Jones' by buying more things just to brag is definitely violating the 10th, and what was that about not working on Sunday (the 3rd)?  You praise Chick Fil-A for being closed, but do you demand businesses shut down on Sunday?  Of course not!  For Republicans, Capitalism is king, not Jesus (once again the first).  If you want New Testament reference, Luke is great at shaming the money obsessed (something about camels, needle eyes and rich people.)  And as far as Prosperity Gospel, don't run to Timothy or Peter to overrule a major teaching of the Christian faith.  Sure those books were included in the Bible, but it was only in the late 1800's did wealthy people start twisting the Bible to validate their greed with the fraudulent Prosperity Gospel.  Stop it.  Jesus would NEVER be for wealth worshipping.

9) Babies in cages, concentration camps on the border, and forced hysterectomies on women! You Evangelicals and Conservative Christians are quiet on this things because A) You know they're horrible and there's no Christian defense of them, and B) since you desperately want to defend the Republicans over your religion, and since there's no way to make these things Christianity compatible, you say nothing.  NEVER! That's how often you should stay quiet about these crimes against humanity.

10) Sex scandals! You worship a man who's a walking sex scandal, BY HIS OWN ADMISSION!  He has admitted to having multiple affairs, he's been married multiple times and we even have him on tape talking about sexually assaulting a married woman.  And that doesn't include the 40 plus accusations of sexual misconduct against him, something you accuse the accusers of lying about, even though you have ZERO evidence they're lying.  Republicans love him for his sex scandals, but you shouldn't.  Most Evangelicals and Christian Conservatives NEVER once have criticized his ways, even though he's repeatedly violated the 6th and 9th Commandments. And we haven't even gotten to his good friend Epstein (who definitely did not commit suicide).

11) Racism!  Trump is racist.  As we get further into this campaign cycle, he's becoming more and more racist.  The Republicans love him for being openly racist.  Evangelicals and Christian Conservatives say nothing about his undeniable bigotry.  Your best case scenario is you're enabling racism with your silence.  At worst, you agree with Trump's racist ideals.  Regardless, there has NEVER been a place for racism in Christianity.

12) Trump is a mean, disgusting, lying disgrace of a human!  You can't candy coat this Christians.  Trump mocked a disabled man, AND YOU STILL VOTED FOR HIM!  Trump constantly lies; CONSTANTLY, so much so even Fox News acknowledges it by insisting 'this is what Trump meant to say.'  He's disparaged victims of natural disasters, military families, soldiers; pretty much anyone who does not place him as their number one deity.  Not exactly 'loving your fellow man.'  Not exactly 'turning the other cheek.'  And let's just be honest.  Down deep beneath the thin layer of your so called Christianity, you LOVE how he treats people you disagree with.  LOVE IT!  Jesus would NEVER condone any of his behavior.

There are many more examples I could point out, and then start an equally long list of Trump's anti-Patriotic violations too!  Look at how the Christian Right has mutilated such a wonderful and peaceful religion as Christianity by turning it into a one sin faith, used to validate Republican political positions. 

And once again Roe v. Wade was only about a national standard.  When they do overturn it, it will lead to some states still having legal abortion.  And pro-lifers, it's time for you to face the truth.  Even in harsh anti-abortion states, after they make abortion illegal for the masses, new specialty clinics will open in the high end strip malls and gallerias in wealthy white suburbs.  They'll offer a special medical procedure, an 'anti-baby-oscomy,' at a cost of $5000.  It will be legal abortion, but under a different name.  Wealthy Republican donors won't take THEIR kids to a different state for an abortion.  Of course not.  Abortion will still be legal everywhere, as long as you're wealthy.  Considering how easily you fools are manipulated, you'll probably rally to make sure 'anti-baby-oscomy's are never made illegal. 

This new Conservative Supreme Court will wipe out the Affordable Care Act, so tragically, there will be a case where Evangelicals and Christian Conservatives will force a woman to have a rapist's baby, and then watch as medical bills bankrupt the victim, crippling a family's finances for a generation.  CHRISTIAN!!!

You're also never going to crack down on deadbeat dads like you should.  Women shouldn't have to go to court for years to get their baby's father to pay their rightful share.  All you far right Christians will do is shrug your shoulders at best; or at worst you'll find more Biblical passages which allude to women being property (like the aforementioned 1 Corinthians 11:4-7) further shaming women.

Increased demand on social services will cripple them.  People will starve.  People will freeze to death.  People will die of treatable illnesses.  But you don't care, as the second the baby is out of the womb you cease caring at all.  You'll pat yourselves on the back, insist you did a good thing, and ignore their plight.

I can hear your outcries of "that's not fair, MATT! Of Course we would step up to help the needy."  Sure you give a few bucks in the collection plate, but we'll still have tens of millions of people suffering in the wealthiest country on the planet.  Your donations are more about absolving your responsibility as opposed to stopping suffering.  "People are starving?  Here's five dollars.  See I feel better!"

Let me give you an even more stark example of why I have ZERO faith in Evangelicals and Christian Conservatives.  Currently there are somewhere between 115,000 and 125,000 kids waiting to be adopted in America today, mostly male, mostly 6 years old and older, and many of them from minority groups.  There are somewhere around 300,000 Christian churches in the United states today. All it would take is one family per every two to three congregations adopting one child, and the US wouldn't have any children waiting to be adopted.  One family out of every two to three congregations, yet here we are. 


Once again, this is not about my faith or my standards.  This is not about my choices.  This is about your faith, or rather lack of it.  For the record, I'm personally against abortion, but that's the CHOICE I've made for myself.  Everyone else can make their own choices, since we all will be judged by our own actions on earth.

I'm not too fond of people taking my religion and destroying it for political purposes wrapped in the thinnest layer of morality.  Once again, if you're mad, go scream at the mirror.  That's who you're really mad with.

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Friday Link for 9/18/20

I love the two Blade Runner movies.  Watching the first one today, it's remarkable how well the movie holds up, a futuristic pulp noir masterpiece, with vision and style.

The second movie is equally as beautiful, taking place a few decades after the first movie.  The cinematography alone in the second movie is unbelievable, on par with the best of all time.

One thing they did as a bridge between the two movies is create three little short films which connect the two movies.

The first one explains the supposed 2022 black out, a recurring plot point from the 2nd movie.  It's anime, because it would cost a ton to make a real world version of this. 

The next short is an explanation film.  After the blackout, replicants were made illegal.  Enter Jared Leto's Niander Wallace in 2036, a man who has invented a new version of replicant.  His job is to convince the leaders of Earth to allow replicants to go back into production.

Finally, we fast forward to 2048. A replicant on the run named Sapper Morton (who happens to play a substantial early role in Blade Runner 2049) shows up on the streets.  This short sets up the 2nd movie. Dave Bautista, who most people know as Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy films, is one heck of a good actor.

I highly encourage you to watch the first movie, then these three shorts, and then the 2nd film in order, but most people don't have 6 hours of spare time. Watch when it's convenient.

Have a great weekend everyone, except for those who are happy Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. The hell with all of you sick twisted people.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Talking Points

I've been amazed at the talking points the Republicans have been pushing to try to justify another term for Trump.  Let's review!

Anitfa: This one has been swirling around for awhile, but it's sure become Boogieman #1 for the right.  This so called loosely knit group of leftist protestors are both described as blood thirsty killers and anti-democracy foes who dare to want to see a fair tax rate imposed on the wealthy.  Much like 'Tea Baggers,' the right didn't think this name through as Antifa' is short for Anti-fascist. When you point this out, Republicans stammer, trying to explain why they are seemingly pro fascism.  By the way, you'd be fooling yourself if the labeling of their enemies as 'anti-fascist' is not an attempt to make the idea of fascism see palatable to the right.

Black People: This is one prong in the Rights attempt to get the suburbs back on Trump's side.  Unlike rural America, where Republicans often campaign openly with 'our lily white purity was violated by THOSE people' dog whistle racism, this time Republicans are trying to wrap their racism behind deflection. "If Biden wins, they will get rid of all zoning laws and do you know what that means? Antifa, gangs, and Black Lives Matter moving into your neighborhood, ruining the value of YOUR property!"  It's not hiding the racism; it's just packaged differently. 

Biden's America:  This is the wildest defense of Trump yet.  They post images of rioting and violence occurring in US streets and insisting "THIS is what you will get in Biden's America!"  The problem is it skips past the fact Trump is currently president.  All of the ugliness you see on the streets today is due, either partially or completely, to Trump and his embracing of racism as a mainstream virtue.  We don't have to fear America becoming like that, as America is already there!  It'd be easy to label this oversight as just fear mongering, but there are Republicans who are acting as if Biden is the actual President right now, responsible for Trump's failures, trying to package Trump as the plucky outsider.  The current RNC Chair Ronna Romney actually implied Biden was responsible for CoronaVirus(!), and Trump himself on Tuesday blamed Biden for not instituting a national mask mandate.  Many Republicans are justifying their 2nd Trump vote by simply pushing Trump's failures onto Biden's plate.

Public Safety: The other prong in the Trump team's attempt to win back the suburbs is to imply there is an actual war going on in the inner cities, and the brave men and women fighting in the trenches are the police.  Once again, they're not trying to hide the racism here, just taking a longer path.  The one meme I see lot of involves the recent shooting in Compton. Most police officers are great, and what happened out in Compton with the shooting of the sheriff deputies is disgusting.  That incident, with its blood soaked photos, is being used to demand blind allegiance to the police, with the unspoken undertone being black people, latinos, minorities, the LGBTQ community,  liberals and protestors are ALL guilty of shooting those sheriff deputies.  To stumble the Right up in their argument, I suggest two options.  The first is to point out the near daily shooting of black people and minorities by police officers, a point which forces Republicans to angrily admit there are also bad cops.  Doesn't excuse shooting police officers but it removes their attempt to make all police angels.  The other counterpoint is more subtle but very effective. I've had multiple white Republicans in the suburbs tell me the story of how they went downtown for a simple dinner but insist they were lucky to escape with their lives, as the 'criminal element' was everywhere!  Respond by saying "gee, sorry you were scared."  That's all you have to say.  Testosterone fueled Republican arguments come crashing to a halt when the have to admit they were scared.

Violence: There is a palatable threat of violence being pushed by the Right which almost reads like 'instructions' to right wing loon balls. "If Biden wins, THERE WILL BE VIOLENCE!!!  People will be shot in the head! Everybody will be on their own! It will be kill or be killed! Are you going to just sit on by while your family is massacred by...THEM!"  When these right wing trolls are called out for their liberal/minority murder fantasies, they put on their earnest faces and play it off.  "Gee Wilikers, I abhor violence.  I'd never encourage it.  I was only pointing out what could happen if Trump loses.  I think the best way to avoid the bloodshed is just to allow Trump a second term." Call them out when they spew their murder fantasies, and if violence occurs after the election by Right Wing Terrorists, tie their comments to the criminal behavior.

The right is desperate.  Not only have they lost ground in most battleground states in the last month, states like Arizona and Florida are looking like sure fire Democratic wins, while  NC, OH, GA, and even Texas are neck and neck. This leads me to my greatest fear.

When it becomes clear none of the talking points listed above have worked and Trump is looking like he'll be wiped out, I expect there to be an assassination attempt on Biden.  The Russians, the Saudis, US based racists and military groups; there are a lot of suspects out there who would LOVE a second Trump term.  I wouldn't be shocked if there are people in the Trump campaign who have researched such a contingency.  Trump himself has praised summary executions and we now have reports of forced hysterectomies in Trump's immigrant detention centers.  How far of a step would it really be for Trump and his Administration?

If we get to Election Day and Biden is not executed, I will gladly admit I was wrong.  But desperate people always turn to desperate measures to stay in power, and there is no more group of desperate people on the planet that the Trump White House.  They're desperate to prevent the world from seeing the truth.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Friday Link for 9/11/20

I know the blog has not had a lot of content but behold!

That would be pickle gold! It took an entire day and like my life for the last 18 years, anytime I take a day to do a project, the next week is pure chaos until I catch up.  

No excuses. I'll try to get something written this weekend.

First up this week is Funny or Die's new series, 'Was Kid Nation the Worst Reality Show Ever Made?'  It's kind of self explanatory.  For the record, it probably is the worst reality show ever made.  It's hard to comprehend a network green lit this show, but here we are!

Enjoy the first two episodes:

Finally something very cool from The Nerdist.  If you have not seen the new trailer for the movie Dune, it is pretty spectacular.  They seem to have taken the Lord of the Rings commitment level to Dune and made a movie which looks like it religiously followed the source material.

Stephen Colbert, who is also a huge fan of Dune, got to sit down with the cast and the interview is amazing.  And I have a secret crush on Rebecca Ferguson...SHHHH!

I can't wait for the movie.

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Friday Link for 9/4/20

First off I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

After taking last year off, I'm making pickles again this year.  Should take most of the day on Sunday.  Surprisingly, my pickle making is a lot like this clip form Rick and Morty, when Rick turns himself into Pickle Rick.

LOTS of bad words, but if you want to make pickles... 

Also this week, something which will get you through the long weekend.  Jelle's Marble Run just finished up its 2020 games, and they were spectacular!  In case you don't know what Jelle's is, it's a complete Olympic type of sporting event, done with marbles.  The production value and the excellent play by play work make this an incredibly enjoyable watch. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was the sponsor for the full season and this season the winner was decided in the final few events.  This, as opposed to Rick and Morty, is very much family friendly. 

Have a great weekend everyone.  Remember to wear a face mask, social distance, wash hands and avoid crowds! 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

When Trouble Comes Knocking

I work in an industry (media) which garners you attention.  Most of the time the attention is very positive and welcoming.  Sometimes the attention is not so nice, a criticism or a critique from someone who clearly isn't a fan.  A handful of times, that attention is scary.

My first experience with a 'fan' who was crossing the line was when I was at KDAO in Iowa.  Every summer  the station would appear in every major parade in the area.  Pretty much every weekend, the station vehicle, an old classic convertible with magnetic banners on the side of the car emblazoned with the station logos, would roll into a community, get in line and we'd wave as we drove past the locals. 

That one summer, by the third parade, I noticed a woman who seemed to be at every parade, usually screaming my name until I waved.  She was middle aged, a little homely, but she sure seemed to love the station.  I initially thought 'oh cute, a fan,' but as it became evident she would be at every parade (over a 50 mile broadcast area) I started to get concerned.  She only showed up at the parades I was driving the car.  She then started to show up at my other live station events.  I rationalized to myself as long as she's only showing up at events that's fine.  

One day I saw her standing on the street across from my apartment in Eldora.  I confronted her and asked what she was doing.  She said she happened to be in the neighborhood.  I firmly told her that's fine if you were in my neighborhood for legit reasons, but if she was only there to see me, I made it clear she was crossing some lines. She got the message.  The only time I saw her afterwards was at station events.  When I left Eldora to move back to the Twin Cities, someone left a rose on the windshield of my car.  For about three weeks afterwards, I was convinced she had followed me to Minnesota.  She hadn't but I was still freaked out.

About 5 years ago, I was doing a show when I noticed my producer had disappeared.  This wasn't unusual, as they had to open the door for people upstairs in the afternoon after the rest of the staff had left.  Suddenly, there was a guy standing outside of the studio window, watching me.  I went into the producer's room and asked who he was, and my producer, who was very new at the time, said "he's a big fan and he just wanted to see you do the show."

This is a big no no.  If he wants to do this, he can call and ask.  You don't just open up the door and allow people to see me like it's the Como Zoo.  During the next commercial break, I talked to the guy, who was REALLY intense, and told him I was  glad he stopped by, but he had to go.  The look he gave me scared the crap out of me.  I half expected a gun to come out.  Looking wounded, he turned and left.  I had to have a long conversation with the producer about who we let into the building.

I've had my share of death threats.  These are usually people extremely wound up because they're not taken seriously, so they lash out, usually at the person who they feel is their 'enemy.'  They just arrested a guy for doing the same thing to Minnesota Governor Walz.  We confronted one guy who threatened me and he insisted it was a misunderstanding.  When we played him the audio of his threat, he apologized and said sometimes he gets worked up.  We got a restraining order against him.

I even once had my own predator who entered my life under the guise of friendship but was really looking for me to become her sugar daddy (hilarious on a lot of levels).  

I won't lie; today I'm scared.  We have Trump out encouraging the unhinged to commit violence against people who don't agree with them politically.  He's labeling protestors 'terrorists' and encouraging vigilantes.  The next two months leading up to the election will only get worse.  When you have 17 year old kids murdering people in the streets of Wisconsin, the next step in the evolution of right wing terrorists threatening and assaulting people in the street, you're getting to a point of no return.

When you unleash extremism, encouraging it to go into these dark places, extremism will not easily go back.

I'm concerned one day I'll be attacked.  Everyday I ask 'if this is the day I walk out of the station and see some 17 year old indoctrinated kid, with eyes full of hate, holding a gun on me?'  Regardless of the threat, I've never once thought of quitting.  People need to hear differing voices.  If I quit, the bullies win, and if it is not clear to you yet, I don't like bullies.  

On Election Night 2016, we had a guy call the station and threaten my wife and kids. I didn't storm off the air and run home.  I called my wife, the station called the police and I did my show.  The goal was to get me off the air that evening.  I wasn't about to oblige.  

Stand up to the bullies. If they're at the point where they have to threaten us to try to win, they know their world is collapsing.  Their threats are the last grasps of their control falling apart.  

I pray we all get through the next 60 days safely.

Friday, August 28, 2020

The Friday Link for 8/28/20

No I did not write anything this week.  I had to wade through the "fun" of the RNC while at the same time having my air conditioner go out in the house.  I got sweaty, and my temperament was less than fresh.

Let me tell you a story.  My family cabin in northern Minnesota is old, 110 years to be exact.  Initially the first industry of northern Minnesota was lumber.  When you see images of western towns built of wood, that wood came from Minnesota.  They would come into an area and lumber all the trees for miles, float the logs down rivers when applicable, but most of the time they had to build a train line out to get the logs and bring them to the mills.

After they cut down all the trees, they had a bit of a problem.  They had a ton of land which was relatively useless; treeless land in what was the middle of no where.  Anything which might have had mining potential was sold off, but they still had copious amounts of treeless land. 

What the lumber companies did was to go to the nearest local town and offer large swaths of treeless lakeside property to anyone who had any money.  You could buy a huge chunk of lakeside property for nearly nothing.  My great grandfather was a foreman for one of the mines in Virginia, MN and was offered the entire north side of a lake for near nothing.  He jumped at the opportunity.  

The piece of land he had included the old logging camp, the site where he built the cabin.  It was relatively level, with a little height over the lake.  The lumber company's train line ran through the property for about the first ten years he owned the place (something my great aunt used to tell my father about) as they were still logging further up the line. On a side note, my other great grandfather was (initially) the lumber company's doctor, before becoming the town doctor in Virigina.  He had a self powered medical train car which drove the tracks up to the individual camps.  My father told me that he had taken that car through my other great grandfather's property numerous times.

To get to the cabin initially it took a horse and wagon.  There was a service road cut through the wilderness which made the land accessible.  Starting with what is now the garage, they eventually built other buildings on the site, including a fairly nice cabin for the time.  They even had a tennis court, which was located in the area where the crane lifted logs onto the train cars.  You had to have had a flattened area to do that, and so after the lumber company had taken off, they cemented it over and had one of the first tennis courts in northern Minnesota.

A few years back, a kindly older gentleman stopped by to talk.  He asked if he could look at our property.  He was the local historian and was trying to track down the location of the old train lines.  I welcomed him and a friend to come visit.  He smiled as he walked the property, thrilled to have found the final piece of the train's path.  They knew where the old line had ended east of our place, and they knew which current county road took over the train's line just to the north of our place, but they had never seen where those two lines connected.  

It was an emotional moment when he finally found the train line's location, located on what is now the back road that loops around on our driveway.  He was the one who told us the tennis court had to have been where the log loader was, and even found the trail line spur which went to the tennis court area.  For this old guy, finding this final piece of the train line was the fulfillment of a lifetime of searching. 

Maybe that's why I instantly fell in love with the Australian Beau Miles' video on tracing an old trail line which had been abandoned years ago.  The line used to be a main connector of Australian towns but it eventually was shut down when cars and buses became the norm.  He illegally crosses A LOT of people's property, but the search is fun.  He runs what is basically a marathon in full clothes with a back pack and a shovel. WOW!

Explore your history. Fulfill your quests.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Friday Link for 8/21/20

Usually around the Super Bowl I'll post commercials as part of the Friday Link, but this week I stumbled upon a couple of long form ads which are quite good.

Yes these are ads for Apple computer things, but this is by no means an endorsement.  The ads are good though, so don't be surprised if you end up starting to yearn.

Both of these ads have been cut down into more presentable :30 second ads for traditional advertising, but to appreciate them, you need to look at them in their complete form, because they do tell a great (and relatable) story.

The first of the two ads is from last year.  It's about a plucky team in some nameless company who gets an opportunity to pitch an idea to the big boss.  It plays out well; with recognizable moments from the business world. Here is 'Apple at Work':

But the better of the two ads is the follow up ad, 'Work From Home,' and it seriously deserves an award.  Our same plucky team is back, and now they have an even bigger challenge...with boxes.  Same people, but more engaging because it captures the modern work from home world many of us have to navigate.  Twice as long, but better than the first one. 

That's a good ad.

Finally tonight is the shocking demise of the Bon Appetit You Tube Channel.  It was only a few months back I was featuring these guys regularly on the Friday Link.  Currently they are on "hiatus."  When a media outlet is getting 10 million hits on videos and they suddenly go dark, something bad happened.  

It was systemic racism in the test kitchens, exposed after an executive had displayed unGodly bad judgment and was caught having done brown face a few years back.  That horrible action aside, the test kitchen clearly wasn't a happy place to work for many of the chefs and minority staff (including one of my favorites Priya). The dam finally burst a few weeks back. Six of the channel's chefs have resigned and there doesn't seem to be any new videos in the works with the remaining staff.  

The You Tube channel Jack Saint has a good breakdown of what exactly happened. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Be safe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

One More Time, With Feeling!

I want to repeat something about this upcoming election I feel is being overlooked:  EVERY Republican will once again vote for Trump in 2020. 

There's this feeling with groups like the Lincoln Project, and voices like Governor Kasich, a large portion of the Republican Party is ready to abandon Trump and vote for Joe Biden in 2020.  I've no doubt a few will.  A few.  Some might vote straight Republican ticket and just leave the Presidential race empty, but those handful will be the exception not the rule.

Back after Trump won in 2016, I made the comment 'there were three groups of people who voted for Trump:

1) The Wealthy,

2) The Racists,

and 3) The Idiots.'

I stand by this assessment.  As a matter of fact, I'm more convinced of this being the truth today.

The Wealthy are easy to understand.  It seems every few months Trump and the Republicans pull a Brinks truck up to the wealthy people's front door, open it up, proceed to shovel a few million dollars in taxpayer money into their house, tip their cap and promise to be back in a dozen weeks.  The Right obscenely rewards wealthy people just because they're wealthy.  They do so to ensure they get campaign donations while they run for office, and the cushy lobbying gig when they decide to return to the private sector.  It's a vicious cycle of economic malfeasance.

The Racists are easy to understand.  These people used to scatter when the lights showed their racist ways, but Trump embraced them. 'Hey little racist cockroaches!  There's no more need to scramble for the darkness with me in charge.  As a matter fo fact, I'll validate your ignorance and hatred like no politician has done in 60 years!'  Trump has made bigotry a political point of view, and for that, the Racists will ALWAYS love him.

Then there are the Idiots.  I've taken a lot of grief from Democrats who feel my labeling these people Idiots is out of line; Exhibit A for why Trump voters embraced Trump.  I'm not calling Trump voters Idiots because they're rural, Christian, pro-gun or even against abortion.  This isn't Democratic arrogance screaming 'Idiots.'  I'm calling Trump voters Idiots for the same reason Trump himself thinks they're Idiots.  Trump voters are EASILY manipulated.

To understand the Idiot Trump voter, you have to understand their one true guiding principle; the only thing that matters to them.  The primary goal of Republicans today is emotionally hurting Democrats and Progressives by rubbing Trump's victory, as well as his dangerous and incompetent policies, in their faces, otherwise known as "Owning the Libs."

This one Republican Principle to Rule them All is the product of 25 years of Republicans turning off the real news and only focusing on opinion validation.  You could see this cab coming when they all downplayed W. Bush's unjustified Iraq War (4,487 dead US Soldiers) as "sour grapes," or a "nothing burger."  But when four people died at Benghazi, Republicans voters instead THAT was the greatest injustice of all time.  When I confronted Republican callers to my radio show about those numbers, they immediately insisted the Iraq War numbers were far less than actually reported (!), and the ONLY thing that mattered were the four dead Americans at Benghazi.

Trump saw this Republican need for option validation as an opportunity.  As a manipulator and a showman he was able to hide his complete lack of credentials for the job by offering Republican voters the buffet of their dreams.  "You were always right!  Democrats and Liberals were always wrong!  I will insult them and demean them to their faces, while you cackle and chortle with approval.  And we'll force them to accept our victories by jamming it down their throats while tears stream down their faces.  I am here to validate you!"

Seriously, THIS is the guiding beacon for Republicans today.  It's such an aggressive desire to hurt the Left they've gotten to the point where nothing matters to them outside of the suffering of the Democrats.  They hear us saying "sweet Jesus he's putting babies into cages," or "look how many people have died due to Trump's mismanagement of Corona Virus," and all they hear is 'Boy those Liberals are angry! Trump must be doing something right!'

They'll even cheer on policy which outright hurts them directly as long as they can hear one Democrat say "Wow, that's horrible." Trump runs up the deficit giving tax payer dollars to the wealthy, and they cheer. Trump starts taking away healthcare from them, and they cheer. Trump wipes out farmer's trade markets, and they cheer.  Trump double crosses them and allows their jobs to be wiped out, and they cheer.  The Trump Republican will destroy themselves as long as they feel Democrats are suffering worse.  They'll gladly sink on the Titanic as long as they feel they're ten feet higher up on the deck than the Left.

Republican Trump voters will do everything to prevent from having to admit they were wrong.  That's not an easy thing to avoid when the Master Class of incompetence is your hero. This is why the Right has embraced fanatical conspiracy theories.  They're so desperate to keep the Wizard behind the curtain, they've come up with insanely stupid excuses for everything:

  • Every time negative news comes out about him, it's just more proof every major media outlet is biased against him, including all the international ones
  • The FBI and all US intelligence community are working to undermine him
  • There is an international child sex ring run by Democrats in the basements of pizza places...which don't have basements
  • Any evidence of Russian interference, even admissions from the Trump team themselves, are all lies!
  • Corona Virus is being spread by Democrats just to make Trump look bad, and the dead are just crisis actors REALLY committed to their role
  • You can treat a disease with medications not designed to treat said disease, or by directly ingesting toxic chemicals.  No matter what, don't do what the rest of the world is doing successfully
These would be the more sane conspiracy theories.  The ones which read like crappy fan fiction in a tornado are something to behold: "Anti-Trump hysteria is just a byproduct of chem trail, 5-G spray being disturbed by Antifa, combined with Hillary's emails, and MS-13 lozenges distributed by minorities, Canadians and New Zealanders.  You know SCIENCE!"

When the conspiracies become so outrageous that even most Republicans know it makes zero sense, that's when Republican Trump voters get quiet and ignore the problem.  They have to maintain the idea Trump is always right, so they'll ignore the bad, even if it's hurting themselves, because the option of admitting Trump is wrong means (at least in their warped minds) the Democrats win.

THIS is why I'm expecting the vote total for Trump in 2020 to be pretty close to 62,984,828, the same number he got in 2016.  This is the Trump Republican id; their fragile psyche.  If they turn away from Trump, then they'll start asking if the other problems they've had in their lives might be their fault too. They never want to look into the mirror and accept they're to blame for their problems, so Trump gets their vote!

2020 is not about convincing Republicans to vote for Joe Biden.  2020 is about the 110 million registered voters who sat out 2016.  Most of those voters are Democrats, or lean Democrat in their ideologies.  If the Democrats can get 30 million of them to the polls, it'll be the greatest political thrashing in this country's history.  

Vote.  Get everyone you know registered to vote.  Make sure they turn up in some capacity in November.  Know the playing field and be prepared to fight! 


Friday, August 14, 2020

The Friday Link for 8/14/20

Two of my favorite posters this week, and with both of them : warning! Some more adult content and context.

First up Ze Frank and his animal videos!  This week the strange truth about hummingbirds.  Seriously, Humming-beuurds are weird!  You'll get the reference fairly quickly...

And the other video this week comes from Cinema Sins and 'Everything Wrong With...' 

I miss summer movies.  I think they'll be back, but by the time they do you're going to have a lot of people who prefer to watch streaming services at home or on their phones.  Will people return to the theaters if there is still the obscene cost?  I think the family of five $100+ price for tickets and snacks will get old really fast when compared to the comfort of your own couch.

With summer movies, lets talk about some blockbuster franchises.  There's an observation about the Original Cast Star Trek movies.  The even numbered ones are the best (The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and The Undiscovered Country), while The Motion Picture, The Search for Spock, and The Final Frontier are weak, especially the 5th one. 

Die Hard was copying this trend.  The first Die Hard was fantastic, one of the best action movies ever.  The second one wasn't bad, but has a fatal flaw.  So the planes can't land at Dulles in DC.  Why can't they land in Baltimore, or in Virginia.  There are seriously about 20 commercial and 10 military landing strips quick distance from Dulles and they're all reachable via the radio.  Salt Lake City or Boise would have been the place to stage that movie.  That flaw makes Die Hard 2 unwatchable for me.

Die Hard with A Vengeance was a shockingly good (and unexpected) movie.  But then came Live Free or Die Hard.  I initially liked it, but the longer the movie ages, the worse the movie gets.  It got caught in the techno-babble plot lines which ruined many movies from 1997-2010.  It's like drinking a Zima; it's a cultural reference to a certain time which doesn't hold up today.  Live Free or Die Hard is now unwatchable, but don't take it from me.  Cinema Sins Will give you their breakdown.

By the way, Die Hard did break out of that pattern of alternating good/bad movies with their 5th unGodly bad movie A Good Day to Die Hard.  There is talk of maybe making a 6th...(yikes!).

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Last Game

On Tuesday night, I headed out to watch my son, Charlie, play in his last baseball game of the summer, and likely the last game of his youth.

Number 45.

When my kids were really young, we had the same idea many other parents had.  We were gong to have well rounded kids.  Along with limited screen time, and embracing the arts, all of our kids would be participating in a sport throughout their entire time in our house.  

My son, my oldest child, initially went back and forth between soccer and baseball, but he eventually fell in love with baseball.  He loved playing it, going over stats, and flipping though his baseball cards.  His favorite player was former Boston great David Ortiz.  He's currently a big fan of Minnesota Twin Miguel Sano.

He started at t-ball.  I remember trying to help the coaches, all father's of players, as we realized how hard it is to explain baseball to a 5 year old. You realize you have to strip the game down to the bare; hit the ball and run to the right, over to first base.  If you're in the field, once the ball is hit, run to it, and throw it to the first baseman.  I couldn't help but laugh when after the first hit, every player, from the catcher to the outfielders, all ran for the ball, leading to a 5 year old Battle Royale, all wanting to throw the ball to the first baseman (who was also fighting for the ball).

My son got better, learned the basics, and went into Little League.  Coaches were touch and go.  One year  he was on the worst team in the league.  Most of the kids looked up to my son, as he was the only one on that team who knew how to play.  That was a hard year.  The next year, he had really good coaches and they won the title, something he still cherishes.  

In his final year of Little League, he had a coach, Brian Zimmer, who saw real potential in Charlie.  He saw a power hitter, a kid who with a little work could play to high school and beyond.  Charlie hit his first home run that year, and made the All Star team.

Thirteen years old was the time where the ugliness of kids sports became undeniable.  Some kids, whether they deserved it or not, were predetermined to always make the best teams; either the kids with undeniable talent who were going to play in college and beyond, or the kids of the parents who were a) wealthy or b) volunteering for the sports organization their kids played in.  Their kids didn't have to try out.  Their names were written into the rosters with sharpie.  It was at 13 where money and connections decided on who got the opportunity to go to the next level, and who was labeled an also ran.

With his Grandfather at the old MetroDome for a game.

Not surprisingly, it was also where many kids walked away from the sport.  These leagues would cost up to a thousand dollars, a major sacrifice for 95% of American families today.  You can't convince families to pay a ton of money to never have their kid make the top squad.  The attrition rate of kids away from the sport was a consequence of the select few being put on a specific course.  The team, and the league overall, existed to make sure a handful of kids got their college scholarships, at the expense of the sport itself.

Charlie, undeservedly, was always on the level below, but he loved to play so we made sacrifices.

Charlie always deserved to be playing on the top teams.  His disappointment eventually turned to an understanding his 'demotions' had nothing to do with his ability.  EVERY season, we'd have 3/4ths of the upper echelon team's parents scratching their heads, asking why Charlie wasn't up playing with them.  Regardless of the non ability reason my son was kept down, it was a jerk move on behalf of the parents who made those decisions.  The only person they really hurt was Charlie, a kid who only wanted to play baseball.  Like I said, he eventually accepted this had nothing to do with his abilities, but I'll never respect any of those clowns and their self serving machinations.

Still, we got to watch him play, and boy did he love baseball.  He would cheer on the other players from the dugout, get frustrated when he struck out and celebrate when he got a big hit or made a big play.  His mom and I would always smile when we catch him looking over towards us with a 'did you see that' in his eye.

He hit a lot of homers, pitched a three pitch inning, had three games with two homers (but never a grand slam), made a lot of great plays, primarily at 3rd and 1st.  He gunned out five runners from the outfield as they tried to advance.  He picked off at least 25 runners at 1st and 3rd over his career.  And man did he hit the ball a mile.

He played Junior Legion one year, but that's when he himself no longer wanted to be part of these heavily competitive teams.  He tried out for a second year of Legion.  He was the only kid to hit the ball out of the park on the tryout days, but knew at least 8 kids who were guaranteed to be on the roster who weren't even at the "mandatory" tryouts.  He knew at best he'd be bench player.  He made the decision to play High School ball in the Spring and a far more relaxed, less expensive, and fun City Ball in the Summer.  

He was so proud of being the first kid on any team to officially homer at the new Hopkins High School field. He hit that ball a mile, somewhere around 390 feet.  He had a huge smile on his face as he rounded the bases.

He played Fall Ball last year for the final time, and at the post season banquet, the coach told him Charlie could easily play college ball, Division III.  Charlie informed him he was going to the U of M.  He might do the walk on day (if they have one) but likely this is the end.  He's happy with it.  He's choosing to not play anymore, and choosing your path is always far more satisfying than having life's choices thrust upon you.

Tuesday's game was a loss, with him striking out twice.  For the season, he hit .289, on base percentage was .460, slugging percentage was .657, with an OPS of 1.117.  He also hit three home runs and finished with an 1.355 ERA from when he pitched.  He ended the game with a smile.

That's baseball.

Courtesy of Nick Gardener Photography


Friday, August 7, 2020

The Friday Link for 8/7/20

You know I love history.  I spend a lot of time on Minneapolis/St. Paul history, Minnesota history and Civil War history, but one of the things I enjoy is lost history, stories which make you sit back and ask "how did we ever forget this happened?"

Let me introduce you to The History Guy!  His tag line is 'History Deserves to be Remembered' and he does not disappoint.  Here's a guy who is incredibly smart, a very polished presenter and willing to talk about lost history with passion and urgency.  Watch this and see how good this guy is, but also watch because you'll ask how did we ever forget this stuff!

First up, the case which pretty much ended the idea of frontier justice in America, a gun battle which lead to a lot of local officials dead.  It happened in 1912, little more than 100 years ago!  The History Guy takes on the Hillsville Massacre.

Next up is the somewhat gruesome story of the cadaver trade in America in the 1800's, and the case which pretty much created laws to end such barbaric behavior. The History Guy tells of the grave robbery of the only man who was the son of one President and father of another, the Harrison Horror.  YES!  They stole that guy's body!  It's easy to understand why some people did not trust science and medicine back then when you realize what the doctors were up to.

Finally, a lost piece of World War II history.  The first major amphibious landing of Allied forces in the war was the attempt to take French Vichy Madagascar.  It didn't go as planned, but lessons were learned which aided in future assaults by Allied forces. 

Enjoy browsing this guys videos.  They are addictive.  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

All Republicans Will Vote For Trump

Right now there's an optimism in America.  After three plus years of the biggest mistake ever made as President, the feeling is our long national nightmare will finally be over.  Not only are Democrats truly united for the cause of a Vice President Joe Biden victory, but many independents are shifting dramatically towards Biden.  Even moderate Republicans are signaling they too are leaning to vote for the Democratic challenger.

Don't believe that last sentence for a second.

Let's face facts.  Republicans knew Trump was Trump, and they still voted for him.  They knew there were questionable business practices at best with Trump's record, and they all still voted for him.  They knew he'd paid a porn star and a playmate to keep quiet about something, and they all still voted for Trump.  They saw him openly mock a disabled man, something he initially bragged about doing, and they all still voted for him.  They heard Trump's own words, bragging about sexually assaulting a married woman, talking about how if you move on them quick they'll do whatever you want, sounding shockingly like a serial sex abuser (something else there was copious evidence of) AND THEY ALL STILL VOTED FOR HIM, EVEN THE EVANGELICALS!

They will all vote for Trump again in November of 2020.

This election was never about getting Republicans to vote with Democrats.  It wasn't!  It's always been about getting a large portion of the 110 million registered voters who sat out 2016 to the polls on November 3rd.  You can not trust Republicans.  They're desperate to never have to admit they were wrong, even though history will undeniably show they turned to an openly racist jackass AFTER the first black president.  They still try to excuse their 2016 vote by saying "Democrats shouldn't have made Hillary Clinton the nominee."  This was never about the Democrats.  This was always about Republican voters.  They voted Trump!  They created this catastrophe, with a smile on their faces.

Sometime around mid October, the White House and Fox News will accuse Biden of...something, beginning three weeks of non stop coverage of the "Biden Scandal."  The goal of this smear campaign won't be about stopping Democrats from voting for Biden.  This will be about giving Republican voters culpability.  The argument will be "sure Trump hasn't been the best President (160K dead - "It is what it is."), but Biden has THIS scandal too.  Even though he's a disaster, you can vote for Trump with a clear conscious!"

And most of them will.  Of course, on November 4th the truth will come out; the made up Biden scandal was completely fabricated (although if Biden wins, Congressional Republicans will keep insisting there are unanswered questions, with calls for 8 or 9 investigations).  Regardless of who wins, Republicans will insist they were right to vote for Trump again because of "uncertainty."  Remember, Republicans love the mantra "never ask for permission; ask for forgiveness."  

You might be saying "Fine, but if all Democrats show up, we're good!"  The Left as a whole is HORRIBLE at voting.  THEY ARE.  There are Democrats screaming for change today, who on November 3rd will suddenly be "wait a sec?  That's TODAY?!?  I was going to  hang out with friends all day.  What the big deal if I miss it?  The rest of the country will cover for me."  

NO THEY WON'T!!!  Most of the 110 million who couldn't be bothered to vote with Trump on the ticket in 2016 were Democrats!  They were hanging with friends, or sleeping in, or too tired, or binge watching a TV show in 2016.  The good news is there should be early voting and voting by mail which really does remove any excuses, but still...HOUND YOUR DEMOCRATIC FRIENDS TO VOTE!  Tell everyone "if you didn't vote in 2016, let's look at early voting options to make sure you don't leave this until the end."
My biggest fear right now is a Blackwater/Russian/Saudi hit squad killing Biden in the days before the election.  The chaos which ensues will lead to Trump bragging how even though he was 20 points behind in the polls, he knew he would beat Biden, dead or not.  If this country has another four years of Trump, it'll take a century to undo all the damage he'll have caused.  THEN Republican voters will insist they never supported Trump...whom they voted for twice.  They'll probably come up with a conspiracy of how the Democrats were the actual voters for Trump.  "Wasn't me! They bused in Muslims, black people, and Antifa from the cities and they all voted for Trump!" 

Like I said, they'll never freely admit they were wrong.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Friday Link for 7/31/20

This week, I hand it over to Sam Jones and his sensational interview show, 'off Camera.'

Sam might be the best interviewer in years, possibly since Carson, but I was always a fan of Oprah, Dick Cavett, and Terry Gross too.  His ability to convert the interview into a conversation is exceptional, and is incredibly natural.  This requires a ton of preparation before sitting down.  

But it's more than that.  His style opens up the guest, creating an ambiance more akin to two friends having a chat.  The star is the focus, but Sam controls the conversation, an ever present guide to get to the end of the story. 

I've quickly become a fan.

First up two cuts from Sam's Bill Hader interview:

Here is a cut from his interview with Daniel Radcliffe.

A great clip of Elijah Wood talking about shooting Lord of The Rings.

And finally Bob Odenkirk talks about the lessons he learned from Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad which he then applied to his show Better Call Saul.

Have a great beginning of August everyone! 

Thank You Journalists

How did we get to the point where a no brainer common sense idea (wearing a face mask during a pandemic) became something debated?  I blame the news media, and the way they've allowed the Conservative Right and big business to push them around since the 1990's.

Journalism used to be far fiercer than it is today.  I remember as a kid the persistence they had.  I was too young to remember the Nixon resignation, but I saw them go after major companies and industries.  They helped break up the Bell Telephone company by exposing the true costs of making calls (something the company had insisted was much higher).  I remember them taking on big tobacco, armed with copious evidence tobacco caused cancer.  The Industry denied it for years but eventually had to admit the truth when whistleblowers started coming out, at the encouragement of journlists.

I do understand the news media has been consolidated down due to costs, and indeed the failure of modern journalism can be directly linked to the shrinking of news room staff, the elimination of investigative journalism and the ever creeping tentacles of the sales department working their way into the editorial process.

I was working in rural Iowa in the mid 90's and we had a massive car accident which shut down two roads.  It was caused by the son of the local auto dealership owner driving drunk.  Obviously this was a major story, but after the 6:30 AM news update, the story was completely dropped from the airwaves.  The car dealership owner called the station and bluntly said they would not spend another dime on the station if the story ran again.  Money trumped the truth.

But even with these restrictions, journalism still had the ability to NOT make a really sucky product.  They instead made the decision to copy the new trend in news media, blatantly pro Republican news.  This how we got to the place we're at today.

Pro Republican news did report some news, but its goal was opinion validation.  They knew there were plenty of people who hated when the truth about the Right came to light, and so it was not a surprise they got good ratings by burying the bad news.  I've talked on the blog in the past about how these news outlets had great ratings (Fox News had 15 million viewers at times) but that it was still a small portion of the population (15 Million is only about 5% of the entire population).  Because those viewer numbers were big (in relation to normal ratings of the time), and with them came big sponsorship deals, right wing media was mimicked within most major news organizations.  A lot of news media was gearing their product to only 20 to 30 Million Americans.

Conservatives started taking advantage of that.  The Big Tobacco story earlier will help you understand the change.  Sure there were tobacco industry doctors and research which insisted smoking was safe, but no legitimate journalist would allow such a lie to effectively become a counterpoint to the anti-smoking science, especially in the 80's and 90's. But when we got to similar debate in climate change, Conservatives started a new tactic.  They demanded oil/coal/natural gas scientists be allowed on the air as counterpoint to the climate change scientists.  If the news media didn't allow industry stooges to scream talking points, they were accused of denying "a fair argument over unproven science" strictly on a political level.  They threatened to label the news outlets 'liberal.'  With money in news media being tied to a conservative leaning, news outlets cowered in fear, forever sacrificing their journalistic integrity.

Not only did this insanity give credence to 'fringe at best' arguments (if as many scientists who believed climate change was real in the 1990's also believed Twinkies staved off cancer, Hostess would've been the biggest company on the planet) but it also was the beginning of screaming psychopaths being given a stage they did not deserve.

From the turn of the century we've watched journalism slide further and further into the abyss:  they didn't investigate 9/11, they sure didn't investigate the justifications of the Iraq War, they didn't investigate Katrina effectively, they didn't catch the clear warning signs the economy was in trouble in 2007, they allowed a grossly unqualified Palin to go unchecked on a major ticket, they encouraged psychopaths screaming about birth certificates, they constantly followed Fox News around as Fox made up scandals on Obama, they turned two Ebola cases in the US into round the clock coverage until they mysteriously stop talking about Ebola completely on election day 2014, they turned a narcissistic, petulant man child into a legit presidential candidate by constantly giving him free air time, and they constantly allowed Trump to get away with impeachable offense after impeachable offense by simply shrugging their shoulders.

At this point, the Conservatives, because the news media does such a horrific job, thinks they can make up science and facts whenever they don't like what's being told to them. This is how we get to a point where face masks are vilified during a pandemic.

So thank you journalists! Your crap work has irreparably damaged this country. It's great to see you start to wake up now that we have a pandemic, economic crisis, humanitarian crisis, and a threat of a totalitarian regime, but I have complete faith you'll fail horribly in doing anything to stop this country crumbling around us, while immediately returning to your "doing what the Conservatives tell us to do" crap work the minute a Democrat is back in charge.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Give Me My Fish Fry!!!

When Corona Virus struck, I was scared, concerned and asking what as going to happen next.  My family knew our lives were going to change dramatically.  Even before the state 'shut down' my family had pulled my kids out of sports and other weekend activities (acting, 4H).  My wife started to work from home and I started to make sure essentials were on hand.

One thing I didn't demand is for the various Catholic churches to continue the Lenten fish fry's during the pandemic.  If you listen to my radio show, you know one of my favorite elements of the Catholic faith is the Friday fish fry's which occur pretty much every Friday during the lead up to Easter.  This year we had gone to two, on February 28th and March 6th.  Then they were gone, shut down with the rest of the state as anxiety and worry kicked up.

I never once even entertained the idea of screaming for the churches to reopen so I could get my fish fry on.  I never once vilified Governor Walz, or any Republican for that matter, blaming them for violating my religion by restricting my access to either fried, baked, or broiled fish.  I never got red faced screaming about how I needed a fish taco.  Nope, I understood my minor inconvenience on this issue was just that, a mild inconvenience and that the betterment of the community took precedent over my small petty desires.

Where we are today as a country is disturbing.  Our selfishness is on full display now the we had to (GASP) wait 6 weeks between haircuts, or (SHOCK) couldn't eat my Arby's Beef N' Cheddar in the Arby's dining room.  People demanding minor sacrifices for the greater good shouldn't have to be made saddens me to the core.  I almost had a mental breakdown towards the end of June as I was overwhelmed by America's selfishness drowning out the common good.  "Sure I love grandma, but I also love beer in a bar too.  Sorry Grandma!"

Masks are a particular flashpoint for the selfish today.  Trump has equivocated wearing a mask to bowing down to Liberal Overlords, so idiot Republicans vow to never wear them.  They insist wearing a mask, and in turn keeping Americans safe from their potential COVID19, is violating their rights to...make people sick?  I really have no idea.  The same people who would sue a hospital if they found out their doctor jeopardized their life by preforming surgery on them without a mask insist the same mask is a token of Democratic oppression.  

Selfishness is not only coming from the Republicans.  There seems to be quite a few Liberals demanding businesses open, not for any other reason but convenience.  "Get the stores open, I want to shop!" "Get the restaurants open, I want to eat and I don't want to make my own food." "I want to get my drink on.  Get those bars open!" " I want to work out in my gym, even though it's incredibly dangerous to do so." " I need everyone to work, and in turn jeopardize their own lives, so my inconveniences are kept to a minimum!"

Doing the responsible thing (not dining in restaurants, not working out in the gym, not getting drunk in a bar) doesn't get you a lot of accolades, but it's the best way to ensure your unnecessary trips don't end up killing people.  Yes it's nice to go out, but just because you want your life to return to normal (by the way, WE ALL DO!) doesn't mean we can ignore the terrifying reality required to fulfill pettiness.

The other day a woman started to complain about not being able to do her back to school shopping for her kids...ON JULY 19TH!  That'd be early during a normal year.  It was mainly being pushed as a way to complain about Walz not having revealed his Back to School plan yet.  It was one of the most selfish things I'd ever heard, and of course she was a Republican.  Now that we've heard a game plan to get the kids back to school in fall, you have SEVEN WEEKS to get all your kid's things!  Stop your complaining!  Veruca Salt cosplay (I WANT IT NOW!) is just stupid.

I just had a Liberal friend get mad.  She stated she doesn't care if it isn't safe to send the kids back, she just wants to send them back to school, particularity her kid.  Her main argument was younger kids (kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade) need specialized teacher interaction which is impossible on a Zoom call and young kids need to have the interaction with other kids their age.  I think both points are valid, but when I mentioned to her this could end up killing teachers and kids, she bluntly said, "I don't care. I want my kid back in school and that's that." 

Why is it so many people need a loved one die for them to take Corona Virus seriously?  I want my Lenten fish dinners, but the cost today is too high.  If there's even a slight chance my selfish desires could end up making a person sick for three months, or worse, I'm fine without it!  The Lenten season is supposed to be about sacrifice, but I sure don't need an elderly parishioner (or anyone) sacrificing themselves for some petty selfish reason, Lenten season or not.