Sunday, August 30, 2015

So I settled for a burger and a grape sno-cone.....

Yes, it's Minnesota State Fair time!! With all due respect to late great crooner Andy Williams, this is the most wonderful time of the year, particularly in my role as talk radio host. Yes, I will be live from the Fair for this afternoon's edition of The Closer, which will be in the usual time slot of 1:00 until 3:00 Central Time.

A couple of long standing traditions of our State Fair broadcasts are visits on location by the newly crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way as well as Congressman John Kline. Today both will be appearing!

Right at 1:00 I''ll be joined by the newest Princess Kay, a young lady by the name of Kyla Mauk.


Photo courtesy of TwinCities.com


Kyla, who was crowned just this past Wednesday evening, is the 62nd Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Then at 2:00, Congressman Kline will stop by to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, the prospects of Planned Parenthood de-funding and immigration.

In the non-guest segments, I'll likely discuss the latest in presidential political news, the Roanoke, VA shootings, more media double standards, etc.


If you happen to be out at the fair today, feel free to stop by and say hello. We're located on Machinery Hill, which is at the north end of the fairgrounds, specifically near the corner of Underwood Street & Murphy Avenue (next door to the Home Depot building; see map here). 

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

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

Until then.....

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Victim of its own creation

The ever popular sports network ESPN has been attempting to broaden its franchise by branching out into social commentary over the past decade or two. Its award winning show Outside the Lines has done a terrific job exploring the lives of sports affiliated personalities away from their respective competition. As such, this has spawned many other programs which have allowed sports guys and gals the opportunity to stray from pontificating merely on athletics.

But such an expansion of programming has had its downside as the likes of Stephen A. Smith, Colin Cowherd and Bill Simmons have each endured suspensions for variations of objectionable commentary.

This past week, yet another commentator has faced ESPN management's wrath

Curt Schilling, a star pitcher who was in the Major Leagues for 20 years and a baseball analyst for ESPN, was suspended from his Little League World Series duty after sending a controversial tweet Tuesday.

The tweet re-posted a meme that reads: "It's said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?"

The text was superimposed of a red-tinted photo of Adolf Hitler.

Schilling added, "The math is staggering when you get to true #'s."





"Curt's tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company's perspective," ESPN said in a written statement. "We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration."

Schilling deleted the tweet after individually replying to his some of his critics and supporters.

In one he wrote, "needed to actually think a bit before acting on that one, or not acting. On me though."

A couple of issues I have:

First, the story was widely reported as Schilling tweeting something offensive about Muslims. That's quite misleading as you can see from the meme posted. It referenced 5-10% of Muslims, a small minority. But Schilling's point seemed to be that, despite the small percentage, fanatical types can overshadow the more moderate and passive factions of its movement.

Second, it's been pretty well established that terror organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIL are extremist groups who commit their horrific acts in the name of its Muslim religion. However, a vast majority of Muslim leaders contend that ISIL's actions are extreme and that they have wildly strayed from the true path of Islam. So what exactly did ESPN find "unacceptable?"

In the end, ESPN wanted to be a "progressive" channel by offering more than the mere highlights of sporting events taking place. As such, they brought on guys like Smith, Simmons and Schilling, all of whom carried a well established reputation for "no holds barred" commentary. I guess I'm rather surprised that they would express such dismay when these guys lived up to that well-earned rep.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Unscripted reality TV

I couldn't bring myself to watch the horrific video of Roanoke, VA TV reporter Alison Parker (she of station WDBJ) being assassinated on air while conducting a live interview. She and cameraman Adam Ward were shot dead by former WDBJ colleague Vester Flanagan, who apparently left the station on bad terms. Flanagan himself later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Interviewee Vicki Gardner was also shot but is alive and recovering.

Given that this was a flat out ambush by Flanagan and in the state of Virginia, common sense would dictate that the usual demagoguery over guns should not have entered into the equation. After all, a military marksmen couldn't have reacted quickly enough to thwart such an ambush. And given the fact that Virginia has some stringent gun control laws, the outcry for more legislation would be just silly, right?





Within a mere few hours after the murders, Virginia Gov. Terry McAwful McAuliffe was decrying how Flanagan was able to obtain a gun sans background check without even verifying the fact the gunman actually did pass one. Seems to me a rather tedious exercise to enact more legislation when current laws are neither being followed nor enforced.

When it was revealed that the shooter was a "disgruntled former employee" of WDBJ, Deray McKesson (whom I understand is a civil rights activist; I'd never heard of him) dismissed that description.




Yeah, whoops. Not that race matters in this instance (though Flanagan himself was the one who inserted it into the discussion by declaring a "race war"), but the shooter was a black guy. Not surprisingly, Mr. McKesson deleted that embarrassing blunder.

What really has me thinking is would Flanagan have been charged with a "hate crime" had he not taken his own life? Remember last month when the indictment against Charleston, SC shooter Dylann Roof took place (a white guy who killed multiple black people)? Attorney General Loretta Lynch commended the 33-count indictment against Roof, specifically where he was charged with a "hate crime."

From AG Lynch herself:

“The federal indictment returned today charges Roof with nine murders and three attempted murders under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This federal hate crimes law prohibits using a dangerous weapon to cause bodily injury, or attempting to do so, on the basis of race or color. The Shepard Byrd Act was enacted specifically to vindicate the unique harms caused by racially motivated violence."

Emphasis was mine.

Read Flanagan's "manifesto" and judge for yourself. Could you imagine the veritable crap storm from Black Lives Matter et al had such a charge been levied?

Alas, this is what our society has become. We spend the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy discussing the political aspect of such senseless violence while the victims and their loved ones almost become an afterthought. Heck, I'm guilty of it too given everything I've just penned here. But I am committed to praying for peace and comfort for the loved ones of all the deceased while resisting the attempts by those who look to impose their legislative will by infringing upon our rights. It seems like a never-ending battle.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dump Trump

If you ask anyone currently supporting Donald Trump for President (for the record, I do not support him) why he's their guy, you'll get the same general sentiments. Answers will range from how he's "not the typical droning politician" to "he tells it like it is" to "he's the only candidate to seriously address the immigration problem." (bull pucky, but that's what's being said)

It has been my experience that when most people exude bravado to the extent Trump has, there's a good chance it is done in an attempt to bury deep rooted insecurities. I won't speculate what Trump is attempting to shield but it's clear that this so-called "fighter" has been rattled by Fox News personality Megyn Kelly.




During and after the initial GOP presidential debate which occurred on August 6, Trump took umbrage with Kelly's line of questioning to him, specifically regarding his derogatory statements about certain women. In the aftermath of the debate, Trump supporters posted insulting tweets towards Kelly, some of which Trump himself retweeted.

Upon returning from a near two week vacation, Kelly was once again being slammed via Twitter.







Now, does this strike you as being "Presidential?" Continuing to personally go after a media figure who asked you tough questions three friggin' weeks ago?!?!?! Yeah, that fills me with the utmost confidence that Trump could maintain a sense of decorum when in difficult negotiations with someone like Vladimir Putin.

Fox News chief Roger Ailes finally had enough, releasing a statement on Tuesday.

"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise," Ailes' statement reads. "I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer," Ailes said. "Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

Some of Kelly's on air colleagues also came to her defense.

"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday morning that Trump is "totally out of control" and that his attacks on Kelly are "totally unwarranted."

Host Bret Baier, who moderated the GOP debate with Kelly and Chris Wallace, tweeted "It's been 19 days since the debate — @realDonaldTrump has made his feelings clear. But THIS needs to stop," adding the hashtag "#letitgo."

Sean Hannity, who had one of the first interviews with Trump on Fox after the debate and initial Kelly flare-up, also tweeted his support of Kelly, though he called Trump a "friend."

"My friend @realDonaldTrump has captured the imagination of many. Focus on Hillary, Putin, border, jobs, Iran China & leave @megynkelly alone," he wrote.

I can't believe Trump will be able to continue this nonsense and still emerge the GOP nominee. My prediction is once the conversation pivots to issues other than immigration (not to say that isn't an important one), Trump will be exposed. His speech in Alabama was filled with nothing more than platitudes. I just don't see how he can perpetually cover for his woeful lack of policy ideas while still coming off as a buffoon.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Quick Hits: Volume CXVI

- Dunno if this approaches "The Collapse" that economic doomsdayers have predicted for some time, but Monday was a harrowing day nonetheless.

U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping to an 18-month closing low in a tumultuous trading session that saw the blue-chip benchmark briefly plummet more than 1,000 points.

The Dow plunged as much as 1,089 points in the first six minutes of trading before paring losses as traders said mutual funds and other investors began stepping in to buy up beaten down stocks. More than 13.9 billion shares changed hands, making Monday the largest volume day since August 2011.

Traders attributed the early morning drop in part to big investors scrambling for ways to protect themselves against losses outside the U.S., as well as to a cascade of automatic selling by retail investors. Traders said the sharp morning declines triggered so-called stop-loss orders, which are designed to protect investors by instigating a sale once a stock falls to a certain level. They are typically used by brokers who manage money for retail investors.

The Dow’s tumble marked its largest one-day point decline ever on an intraday basis, as intensifying growth fears sparked steep stock-market losses world-wide. Large retail brokerages hosted calls with their legions of financial advisers, encouraging them to stay calm and possibly buy beaten down companies. Mutual funds and hedge funds also began scooping up stocks, traders said.

Despite us being a little more than a year away from electing the next President of the United States, the current crop of candidates are going to use this latest financial saga to demonstrate why he/she should be elected. Who's best positioned to make that case? Check out Noah Rothman's intriguing piece at Commentary.


- Tough break for the Green Bay Packers as their top Wide Receiver, Jordy Nelson, will be lost for the 2015 season due to a severe knee injury.

Going into this season, the Packers were a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And while the loss of Nelson is a significant blow, Green Bay is probably one of few teams who are equipped to handle such an occurrence given they have on their roster one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the NFL.

While I still believe the Pack will win the NFC North division, this definitely closes the gap between them and my Minnesota Vikings. And though I am grateful that my favorite team may be a more formidable foe in the North, I certainly am not like some Vikings fans who ghoulishly cackle over Nelson's livelihood being in peril.


- You may have noticed the Obama Justice Dept. has not exactly treated the Hillary Clinton email scandal with proverbial kid gloves. It's a sad commentary when we're surprised that departments within the Executive Branch of government actually do their job. If I were a conspiracy theorist (which I am not), it wouldn't be a giant leap to say the DOJ investigations are in part an orchestrated attempt to clear the way for a certain VP to run for President in 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden received President Barack Obama's "blessing" to make a 2016 bid for the White House, according to a senior Democrat.

But that's if Biden chooses to run -- the decision is his. While he doesn't need the President's permission, of course, a potential presidential candidacy was among the topics of their lunch Monday at the White House. The President made clear he would not stand in his way or counsel him against a run, the senior Democrat said.

Biden is leaning toward running, several people involved in discussions tell CNN, but they stress that he has not yet firmly made up his mind to launch a candidacy.

The meeting on Monday night, along with his private session on Saturday with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, underscores the length he is going to explore a run.

While many top Democrats have already signed onto Hillary Clinton's candidacy, several former Obama advisers tell CNN they would work for Biden if he jumps into the race.




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Monday, August 24, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays - August 5, 2006.

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Last month, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz (almost exclusively a designated hitter) played in the field. It was the first time he had done so against an American League opponent since that August 2006 game vs. Tampa Bay.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Two worlds collide, rival nations.......

This afternoon will be my final broadcast in the Patriot bunker as I will be live at the MN State Fair over the next two weeks. Be sure to tune in to The Closer today from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

In the first hour I'll briefly discuss the fluid situation regarding Hillary Clinton's possible breach of national security while Secretary of State during the first Obama term. I will also discuss the disturbing sagas involving "Reality TV" star Josh Duggar and Subway pitchman Jared Fogle.

Then in the 2:00 hour, my friend and fellow NFL rube Mark Heuring will stop by for our annual NFC North preview. Since I am a Vikings fan and Mark a Packers enthusiast, it's the only division which matters to us.


So please give me a 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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