Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday


 
With today being Good Friday, I’m even more reflective on what my Lord and Savior did for me.

Each day I pray, I give thanks to my Heavenly Father for laying down the life of His only son, Jesus Christ, so that I have an opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven. I realize that had the Lord not done one single solitary thing for me my entire life on Earth, He had already put upon me I debt I can never repay. But even more good news is I’ve blessed “exceedingly, abundantly above what I could ever think or ask.” He asks for nothing in return, other than putting no other god before Him. In my opinion, that’s an infinitesimal price to pay.

As a human being, I possess a finite mind that renders me unable to comprehend the depths of the Lord’s love for me. I just know that accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior has transformed me in a way I never thought possible. It’s helped me to have compassion for those who smite me. It’s given me peace in the wake of tragic circumstances. It’s enhanced my joy know that this chaotic and tumultuous world is not my home. It’s allowed me to love others unconditionally as He loved us the same way.

I wish you all a blessed and joyful Easter weekend.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The importance of introspection

If you live in the state of Minnesota, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the horrible incident involving University of Minnesota-Duluth sophomore Alyssa Jo Lommel. It was last December when Lommel was found unconscious on the front porch of a home next door to where she lived with roommates. After an evening of doing tequila shots, a disoriented Lommel passed out, thus enduring temperatures in the double digits below zero for approximately nine hours before she was discovered.

After suffering severe hypothermia and significant tissue damage, Lommel, if she survived, face a long recovery process that in all likelihood would result in amputation of limbs.

Thankfully, Ms. Lommel did survive and, as reported last week, is recovering at her parents’ home in St. Cloud. The unfortunate aspect of this story is she did indeed have to succumb to amputation.

Despite amputations up to the knuckles of fingers on both hands and parts of both her feet, the college sophomore plans to return to the Duluth campus in the fall to continue her studies in psychology and sociology.

"Obviously, there is going to be a lot of work that needs to be done, but my goal is to be up in Duluth in the fall," Lommel said.

While I admire Ms. Lommel’s positive outlook in what has likely been the most tumultuous period in her young life, I was rather disappointed in what appeared to be a flippant dismissal of the incident that led to her dire situation.

"People can say that I was underage drinking in college and that's what caused it, but in reality had it been a sunny day, I would've woken up and been like, 'Oh my gosh, what am I doing here,' " Lommel said. "I just want people to be aware that this happens to people all the time, unfortunately. Beware of the cold."

Lommel said that before this experience, she thought she wanted to be an addictions counselor. Now she wants to be a social worker.

"I've always wanted to help other people," Lommel said. "Now I am in a position where I have been through a lot and I can help other people realize that they can come through, too."

I may be reading this totally incorrectly, but I get the impression that she is absolving herself of any responsibility for this incident. After all, she enthusiastically mentioned on her Twitter feed the afternoon of Friday, December 6 that she was planning on doing tequila shots that evening. As such, one could argue the intention was to be quite inebriated by evening’s end. With that in mind, did Alyssa give her friends/roommates a “heads up” that she may need some assistance that evening? Did she arrange for a ride home knowing full well she would be in no condition to drive? In reading accounts of this incident, she was given a ride home by a truck full of guys who dropped her off at her house and then drove away without ensuring she was safely inside. Given the frigid weather, I can’t comprehend that kind of thoughtlessness (unless the driver and fellow passengers were also drunk, thus impairing their common sense). Obviously that wasn’t Alyssa’s fault, but it does beg the question if she even knew the guys who drove her home.

I hope I’m not coming off as heartless, as that is not my intent here. I simply believe Alyssa’s traumatic incident can serve as an effective deterrent to young people being put in potentially vulnerable positions. No, I’m not naïve enough to believe that Ms. Lommel’s testimony would in any significant way curb underage drinking on college campuses. However, I am confident that her story can absolutely be a cautionary tale on what happens when there’s a lack of accountability. I understand this may be lofty expectations to heap upon a 19-year old young lady. That said, it appears she has a indomitable spirit as well as a strong support system in terms of dealing with her physical and emotional scars. With that in mind, I believe she will ultimately achieve her goal of helping others cope in the aftermath of their own horrific experiences.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Move over Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly.....

When l last saw my friend Katie Kieffer, it was on a Thursday evening this past August.




On that particular night, there was a farewell soiree for Katie, as she would be relocating to a super secret bunker somewhere in the Midwest to begin writing her very first book.

This past week Katie was pleased to announce that said book, entitled Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama's War on Millennials, and One Woman's Case for Hopeis scheduled to be released this summer!




As a Public Service Announcement, I, on behalf of Katie, would like to let you all know that LMBC is now available for pre-order via Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon. And if indeed you do pre-order, you'll receive 25% off the hardcover edition and 50% off E-book! If you're at all familiar with Katie's work on her personal site or at Townhall.com, you know full well that her first book will be a must read.

One final thing: be sure and catch Katie's appearance this Sunday at 1:00 PM Central Time on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, AM 1280 The Patriot.

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Box Score of the Week

The Texas Rangers traveled to the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees - August 27, 1977.

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An inside-the-park home run is rare enough. For a team to hit two in one game is obviously even more uncommon. But what Toby Harrah and Bump Wills of the Texas Rangers did in the seventh inning of this game was only the second time in MLB history that such an event occurred. Harrah and Wills hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs on consecutive pitches, something that hadn't happened since 1946. 

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind......

Many of you procrastinators may be finishing up your income tax returns since the IRS deadline is in two days. That being the case, be sure you build in a break from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time to tune in to The Closer. 

I'll look back at the week in local politics, including more DFL government expansion. I'll also give my own recap of the MN CD6 GOP convention where current representative Michele Bachmann passed the baton on to newly endorsed Tom Emmer.

At 1:30, Miss Minneapolis 2014 Julia Schliesing will check in for her weekly appearance to talk about whatever is on her mind and heart (Don't forget to check out her Go Fund Me page).

Then at 1:45, Salem Communications guy Ross Brendel will call in to promote a pastors appreciation luncheon sponsored by our sister station AM 980 KKMS.

Finally at 2:15, my friend and the NARN's official basketball wonk Mike McCollow will be on to review another lost Timberwolves season. We may also look back at March Madness.


So please give me call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Live from Monticello....

....it's Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District GOP convention!

And we're starting....right about....NOW!

I plan on live tweeting the festivities, so feel free to follow me on Twitter at @Brad_Carlson or check out the convention's official hash tag, which is #MN06.

Even though the highlight of the meeting will be endorsing a candidate to replace Michele Bachmann in the US House, Twitter users have an uncanny knack for making anything seem interesting.

So please follow along. Or don't. Whatever. I'm not your mother.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Hammerin' Hank hammers Republicans

As someone who appreciates the history of a great game like baseball, I most definitely admire the career of one Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron. Not only did he surpass the all time home run record of perhaps baseball's ultimate legend in Babe Ruth, he did so in a tumultuous era of America's history.

Aaron made his debut in Major League Baseball at the age of 20 in 1954, a mere seven years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. As such, Aaron's stellar play on the field was not well received by white America, many of whom were bitter that a black man was in a position to usurp the revered Ruth. But it was 40 years ago this past week (April 8, 1974 to be exact) that Aaron hit his 715th career home run, thus becoming the all time home run king (and in the minds of many, he still maintains that title in light of the Barry Bonds-PEDs allegations). Even though the Civil Rights Act had been passed a decade earlier, Aaron still received a lot of hateful correspondence and even death threats for daring to approach what was considered a sacred milestone.

Sadly, Aaron still has trouble embracing his accomplishment even today. In fact, he hung on to those awful letters that were sent to him back in his playing days.

"To remind myself," Aaron tells USA TODAY Sports, "that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There's not a whole lot that has changed.

The implication here is that blacks are still oppressed similar to what he endured in his baseball career. Aaron went on to speak in generalities about baseball today and our society in general. He also went on to cherry pick certain incidents without providing any nuance (i.e. the Trayvon Martin shooting). Eventually Aaron broached the subject of the first black President this country has ever had (emphasis mine).

"We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated.

"We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country.

"The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."


Of course Aaron is referring to the "hoods" of the Ku Klux Klan and goes on to imply that Republicans are using KKK type tactics to marginalize the President. It's an utterly asinine assertion to be sure but I believe I can ascertain where Aaron is coming from.

Having grown up in the segregated south, Aaron was all too familiar with the KKK. As he ascended in his successful baseball career, he was roundly criticized and reviled for achieving something that only whites had been able to accomplish. In regards to President Obama, Aaron sees sharp criticism levied towards him after accomplishing something that only whites had achieved in all of American history: being elected President of the United States. On that level, Aaron most definitely empathizes with Obama. But where Aaron's logic is flawed regarding the political realm is that if, say, John Edwards (a white man) were President, he would have likely put forth just as radically left (if not more so) of an agenda as Obama. As such, there's absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Republicans would have been just as critical of an Edwards (or Biden, or Gore) administration as they are the White House's current occupant.

Scott Ott, founder of the parody news outlet Scrappleface, summed up Aaron's viewpoint better than I ever could.

My white, ultra-conservative, Republican grandfather sat with me and my white little brothers in rapt attention awaiting the moment when Hank Aaron would break the home-run record — and rejoicing at that majestic swat.

On a November evening in 2008, I sat transfixed before the screen, tears on my pale cheeks as I watched Barack Obama receive the accolades of the cheering throng upon word that he had won the presidency. (Though I voted for his opponent, and vigorously disagree with virtually everything he has done since, I still think that was a great and important moment for our country.)

Now both men diminish themselves and their legacies by using the bigotry of a few to paint their political opponents--dismissing half of the country with a word, rather than engaging in a legitimate contest of ideas.

I will still treasure those peak moments, and attribute the rest to the fallen nature of man.

Perhaps one of the more outstanding excerpts of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is his hope that his own children may one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. President Obama is most criticized for his usurping the separation of powers by ignoring laws he doesn't like or flippantly issuing executive orders. Obama is also slammed for a law that's made the health insurance industry more of a quagmire than ever as well as America no longer being viewed a superpower by the likes of Russia, Syria, Iran, etc. Seems to me issues such as those are reflective of a man's character (or lack thereof) as opposed to his skin color.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

This weekend in local politics...

....will feature the MN Congressional District Six GOP convention. As delegates to CD6, the fetching Mrs. Carlson and myself will be attending the festivities at Monticello High School on Saturday. Perhaps the most high profile order of business is endorsing a Republican candidate to replace current US House member Michele Bachmann, who is not seeking reelection this year.

If fundraising and caucus night straw poll results are any indication, former MN House member and 2010 GOP candidate for governor Tom Emmer will be endorsed handily. As such, the two remaining opponents for the Republican nod are looking to the primary election this fall.

Anoka County Board Chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah will take her congressional campaign to a primary election, she announced Wednesday in an interview with the Times.

The other GOP candidate in the 6th District, former state Rep. Phil Krinkie, said Wednesday that he won't attend Saturday's convention or seek the endorsement. Krinkie also said for the first time that he's mulling a third-party run but said a Republican primary remains his most likely path.

Both Sivarajah and Krinkie long have left open the possibility of running in a primary. Only Emmer has said he'll abide by the GOP endorsement.

Sivarajah still intends to seek the endorsement Saturday, but said she expects Republican delegates to endorse Emmer on the first ballot.
In comparison to Emmer, fundraising numbers have appeared pretty feeble for both Sivarajah and Krinkie. I fail to see how opting for a primary election will change that (Krinkie may have the resources to self fund, so that may be an option). But even if Emmer's two opponents somehow conjure up even respectable financial resources to make a viable run in the primary campaign, they still have to contend with an incredibly popular candidate (one who also has significant name recognition) who won CD6 by 18 points in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Combine that with the fact that redistricting in 2012 resulted in the Sixth becoming even more red, Emmer appears to be the inevitable nominee.

Many activists are concerned that forcing an endorsed candidate to run in a primary will waste valuable time and money that the candidate could otherwise spend gearing up for the November general election. But in CD6, that's not as salient an issue since anyone with an "R" next to their name should win going away (provided the candidate doesn't have a last name of "Bachmann"). As such, the 12 weeks of campaigning between the August primary election and the November general is ample time for a Republican in the Sixth.

Outside of all that, this weekend's convention should be rather routine.

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