Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CXLVHer

- A lot of leftists in my Twitter timeline were tweeting out excerpts of former president George W. Bush's Monday morning appearance on the Today show.

A couple of items they seemed fixated upon:

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush said in a “Today” show interview Monday morning. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”

When asked about his thoughts on Trump’s executive order banning entry to the United States from seven majority Muslim countries, Bush said, “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law.”

I paid rapt attention to the President George W. Bush years and I can tell you that the beliefs he expressed Monday are consistent with what he conveyed during his presidency. In fact, I recall a lady asking Bush at a 2005 town hall meeting how he endures the media's seemingly unfair characterization of him in the aftermath of the Iraq war. Bush, dignified as always, pretty much said word for word what he conveyed Monday regarding a free press. And his immigration policy has always been one which was openly questioned by the "Build a wall" crowd.

I would love to see one of those Venn diagrams showing leftists using Bush's words to validate their disdain of President Trump and leftists who pretty much savaged the President Bush at every turn, including the occasions he expressed his views on media and immigration.

- By now you've heard about the epic screw-up where actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway incorrectly cited La La Land as Best Picture at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. After much chaos, it was revealed that Moonlight was the rightful winner.

My two favorite reactions to that blunder had to be these:

Given I'm a pageant emcee and the fact Goodfellas is in my personal top 5 of greatest all-time films, these two tweets summed it up perfectly for me.

- Booze on, Minnesota!

The Minnesota Senate voted 38-28 Monday to end the prohibition on Sunday liquor store sales, following in the footsteps of the House, which passed a similar repeal last week with an 85-45 vote. Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would sign a repeal if it made it to his desk.

The easy victory in both chambers is a dramatic change from past years when Sunday sales bills couldn’t make it to the floor for a vote and efforts to tack the repeal onto other legislation as amendments was met with resounding rejections. But this year, repealing the Sunday sales ban seems to have an unstoppable momentum.

“I was confident we had the votes to pass the bill,” said Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, chief sponsor of the Senate measure. “This was a strong effort for the people by the people.”

In the Senate, eleven freshmen senators voted "yes" on the measure and nine veterans voted "yes" for the first time in their respective legislative careers. It's clear the will of the people won out as this was a key issue during the 2016 campaign.

Perhaps one of the best parts of this issue finally being resolved? That chanting point of "Aren't there more important issues to address?" can be retired. That always grated on my nerves, especially when it was uttered by conservatives. Government should never be a barrier to legitimate businesses conducting commerce whenever they choose. As such, removing such antiquated prohibition laws to strengthen free markets and give consumers more options seems quite important in a capitalistic society, no?


Monday, February 27, 2017

Not as noble as you think you are

Seriously, does anyone outside of Washington, D.C. give two squats about this?

The president of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) said Saturday that the organization looks forward to hosting its annual dinner despite President Trump's decision not to attend.

“The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump's announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic," WHCA president Jeff Mason said in a statement.

"Independent?" Sorry, but that ship has sailed. A good number of aspiring journalists over the past two decades have indicated their main reasons for entering the profession are to "speak truth to power" or "change the world." Since when did the criteria for a journalist shift from fact-based reporting to activism?

"We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession," (Mason) added of the April 29 dinner.

In other words, it's no different than these Hollywood award shows where smug, self-important individuals gather together to stroke each others' egos.

What's most pathetic is that these media types are so needy that they showed up to the 2014 event despite revelations of their colleagues at the Associated Press being spied on by the Obama White House the previous year. Yet some of these same people threatened to pull out of this year's dinner due to President Trump being a big meanie.

I've said many times that I'm not a fan of how Trump is interacting with the news media. However, the fact he's been the most effective President in revealing what frauds they are is definitely a serendipity.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Another rare and well-deserved break

On a quick weekend getaway with the fetching Mrs. Carlson, so I will be taking the day off from my weekly Northern Alliance Radio Network gig today. Nevertheless. be sure to tune to hear my friend and NARN colleague Mitch Berg as he will assume the reins at the normal 2-3 PM time slot. 

Check out Mitch's blog for a preview of what's on tap for today's broadcast. 

Until then......


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Twinnin' in Madison

As some of you may know, the fetching Mrs. Carlson plays the harp in her spare time.

It's a hobby she began while in Middle School but gave it up after about 15 years. After a decade long break, she was bit by the harp bug in 2009 and has been playing regularly ever since. In the past 7-8 years since she's resumed playing, the FMC has been asked to play at church services, weddings, funerals, cocktail parties and various other social events

In the past 5 years or so, my wife gleefully discovered the musical phenomenon that is the Harp Twins.

From the website of harp-playing twin sisters Camille & Kennerly Kitt:

As the world’s only identical twin professional harpists, Camille and Kennerly were trained classically, but have a passion and flair for arranging and performing rock, metal, and soundtrack music for Harp Duet. The Harp Twins perform on statuesque acoustic Concert Grand Harps as well as Electric Harps. Camille and Kennerly have teamed-up with Harpsicle/Rees Harps to show what can be done with smaller, affordable harps, using their Harpsicles in videos and for work with children who have special needs. Camille and Kennerly have created a unique niche for themselves: they play rock and metal music using only their two harps. With no backtracks, no studio, no production crew, and no record label, the Harp Twins are the archetype of true independent artists.

It's a good bet that they've covered one of your favorite songs. Definitely check out the fine selection via their YouTube channel.

I bring this all up to say that my wife and I are very much looking forward to seeing the gals in concert this evening at the Stoughton Opera House near Madison, WI. As an added bonus, we'll have an opportunity to meet the gals at their post show meet-n-greet!

Should be fun!!


Friday, February 24, 2017

Standard Fare

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) recently hosted a town hall meeting for his leftist constituents to air their grievances over GOP policies. Given that leftists typically do more talking than listening, some Republican members of Congress have been hesitant to do town halls simply because they become counterproductive due to the lack of order. Nevertheless, Sen. Cassidy was willing to make a go of it.

Unfortunately, this particular town hall was overshadowed by the despicable behavior of many of the attendees. 

First was the shouting down of the invocation: 

Then there was the disruption of the Pledge of Allegiance:

Did I become angry watching these videos? Absolutely. But should I be the least bit surprised? Nah, not really. After all, people of this ilk booed God and Jerusalem at the 2012 Democrat National Convention.

I guess proggies will never cease being the scorpion to basic civility's frog.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quick Hits: Volume CXLIV

- My friend Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) has been very vocal about increasing penalties for protestors who would block freeways, entry ways to the airport, access to public transportation, etc. Keep in mind that these activities are already illegal. Also, ignore the chanting points that this is an effort to undermine first amendment rights, as such nonsense is merely a smoke screen from the larger issue of some (not all, but some) protests endangering public safety.

With that in mind, proposed legislation put forth by Zerwas and Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-Stillwater) have passed a critical first step.

Lohmer’s bill to increase penalties for highway protests and Zerwas’ bill to increase penalties for obstructing traffic to a highway or airport passed the public safety House committee Wednesday morning on 10-6 votes. The committee room was packed to overflow with attendees, who occasionally shouted during the hearing, and lawmakers heard from nearly a dozen citizens and experts who testified against the measures.

One of the more outspoken critics of this legislation has been John Thompson who was a friend of Philando Castille, the young man shot and killed by a St. Anthony police office last July.

“Stop giving us a reason to protest,” Thompson implored lawmakers.

With all due respect Mr. Thompson, MN House members are not responsible for the senseless death of your friend. The proper channels of local government (i.e. the county attorney's office) are currently working to ensure justice will be meted out. Problem is, it's rarely the "right kind of justice" to satisfy some protestors.

- Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore said this about staunch anti-Trumpers (a/k/a "The Resistance") showing up at town hall meetings hosted by GOP members of Congress.

"This makes the tea party look like preschool."

If you think about it, this is an unwitting indictment of "The Resistance" movement, given that progs like Moore often cited the Tea Party movement as racist, violent and xenophobic.

- I consider myself pro life. I have donated time and money to pro life causes. I have given a voice to the pro life movement via my radio show.

Nevertheless, whatever resources I've put into such a vital cause now seem to pale in comparison to the dedication of Royce Young and his pregnant wife Keri.

The child, a baby girl they are naming Eva, is being born without a brain and because of this, she isn't expected to live past a few days. When her parents found out about their daughter's condition, the 31-year-old mother asked if her organs could be donated if she carried her to full term.

Royce Young posted the black-and-white photo of his wife sleeping on Facebook with a moving caption about his wife's bravery and selflessness through the entire pregnancy.

"I thought back to the moment where we found out Eva wasn't perfect, and how literally 30 seconds after our doctor told us our baby doesn't have a brain, somehow through full body ugly crying, Keri looked up and asked, 'If I carry her full term, can we donate her organs?" Young writes about his wife Keri. He goes on to say how the doctor told her she didn't have to think about something like that, but his wife was serious.

And now, with her belly full and the baby close to being born, the couple looks forward to the day they meet their baby girl, even if it's only for a few days.

"Eva is alive and our daughter deserves to meet her mama and daddy, gave us a purpose to continue on," Young writes. "Donating was on Keri's mind from darn near the second we found out and while the experience of holding and kissing our daughter will be something we cherish forever, the gift(s) she's got inside that little body of hers is what really matters."

I really don't know what more I can add except to say that the Youngs embody selflessness. Wow.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tolerance a one-way street

Of all the professional sports leagues, I would venture a guess that the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is most blatant in conveying its "progressive" tendencies. I guess I don't have a major issue with that, except when it bleeds onto the court.

With that said, I'm still a taken aback by an account of what a former WNBA player endured from teammates when she didn't quite fit a certain mold.

Candice Wiggins called her experience playing in the WNBA "toxic," a major reason the former No. 3 draft pick says she abruptly retired at age 29 last year.

In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune published Monday, Wiggins called the culture in the league "very, very harmful" and said she was targeted throughout her eight-year career for being both heterosexual and popular nationally.

"I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn't lend itself to my mental state," Wiggins told the newspaper. "It was a depressing state in the WNBA. It's not watched. Our value is diminished. It can be quite hard. I didn't like the culture inside the WNBA, and without revealing too much, it was toxic for me. ... My spirit was being broken."

Wiggins said she was treated poorly by a majority of players in the league from the day she was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in 2008 after a notable career at Stanford.

"Me being heterosexual and straight and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge," Wiggins told the Union-Tribune. "I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply."

In a follow-up interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, Wiggins said she meant to use the 98 percent figure as an illustration rather than fact.

There is no published data on the number of gay players in the league.

I would highly doubt that 98% of WNBA players are gay. However, I would imagine that percentage is indicative of those players who believe the slightest moral objection to homosexuality is borderline criminal.

"People were deliberately trying to hurt me all of the time," Wiggins said. "I had never been called the B-word so many times in my life than I was in my rookie season. I'd never been thrown to the ground so much. The message was: 'We want you to know we don't like you.'"

Sadly we live in a day and age where a response to even a perceived slight is met with physical assault. What's even more disturbing is that some will justify that type of response.

Thankfully, Wiggins appears to be through the worst of it.

"I want you to understand this: There are no enemies in my life," Wiggins told the newspaper on Tuesday. "Everyone is forgiven. At the end of the day, it made me stronger. If I had not had this experience, I wouldn't be as tough as I am.

"I try to be really sensitive. I'm not trying to crush anyone's dreams or aspirations, or the dreams of the WNBA. I want things to be great, but at the same time it's important for me to be honest in my reflections."

I guess I wouldn't be shocked if other WNBA players had similar experiences to Wiggins' ordeal. But given the backlash Wiggins has received on social media, etc., don't be shocked if no one chooses to come forward with their own personal story.