The normally bone chilling Minnesota was really “Feeling the Bern” on Tuesday, January 26th as Bernie Sanders rode into Minnesota to speak in front of thousands of Minnesotans in Duluth and St. Paul. Excited attendees braved turbulent masses of people and the cruel Minnesota gusts outside the RiverCentre in Downtown St. Paul to catch a glimpse or hear a word from the Vermont Senator.
On Monday, Donald Trump proposed blocking all Muslims from entering the U.S. for an indefinite period of time.
This proposal was almost universally criticized or condemned by every imaginable figure spanning the entire U.S. political spectrum from Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton to Paul Ryan to Dick Cheney. The White House said Trump’s statement “disqualifies” him from being President. Representatives from all over the world also weighed in to chastise the leading Republican Presidential candidate for what many view as dangerous and provocative rhetoric.
Minnesota’s DFL stood strong against a storm of GOP victories that swept the country Tuesday. There will be no change in the levels of blue and red that our state will send to Washington D.C., with only a personnel shift: Tom Emmer rather than Michelle Bachmann; but as the proverb goes, the devil is in the details: and this election had plenty of details.
Some Minnesotans might be surprised to hear that we’re at the brink of a major political storm. A slow stream of articles have touched on some of the races sprouting from the August primaries, but a full-scale clash (annoying TV ads, smear campaigns, debates, etc.) between the parties is still on hold. The building pressure will likely result in short but sharply negative contests.
Tuesday had its share of winners and losers in the world of Minnesota politics. The big story was the sub 10% turnout of eligible voters (which is low for our state); but for me the excitement was found in the genesis of full-fledged autumn campaigns. A notable few are actually quite interesting.
President Obama is making a two day trip to Minneapolis and Bloomington at the end of this week. The trip’s plan previously comprised of only a fundraiser but it has ballooned out into a Minnehaha Park town hall-style event on Thursday and a public speech at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on Friday morning.
Winston Smith is plagued with a need. A need for freedom. Individuality, however, is illegal. Everyone must conform to the government or perish. All around him he is aware that “Big Brother is watching.” Cameras are everywhere recording everything, making sure he shows no sign of desiring freedom or individuality. In a moment of defiance Smith decides to begin journaling his thoughts against the government, which is also illegal. Thought Police will arrest and execute anyone who thinks for themselves — especially thoughts against the government. The Thought Police’s job was simple: monitor everyone and deal with those who show signs of free will. Free thinkers are seen as a problem to the government and are to be blotted out. Winston must be careful not to let Big Brother know of his thoughts, or he will face a certain death.
Above is a brief summary of George Orwell’s novel, 1984. The story is incredible, but what turns it from thrilling fantasy and terrifying reality is the story is not too far removed from truth — at least for those who are looking.
Choo Choo Bob might have his foundations on the St. Paul side of things, but he certainly knows how to explain a Minneapolis problem. I couldn’t fully understand all the proposals regarding the Southwest Light-Rail project until I reviewed a stack of maps, charts, graphs and local complaints; but for anyone looking to learn about the issue at this late juncture, it’s extremely easy thanks to our train-fanatic friend across the river!
To grow or not to grow, that is the question — whether ’tis profitable in the purse to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous construction, or to withhold permits from a sea of business.
Something is rotten in southwest Minneapolis as a moratorium (created by Council Member Linea Palmisano and approved by the rest of the City Council) regarding the tearing down of houses goes into its second week. The ordinance dropped suddenly on March 7th causing agitation for homeowners caught midstream, builders looking forward to summer contracts and real estate agents stuck with properties that are now harder to sell.
English, arguably, contains more words than any other language; it can craft fresh words as readily as it steals foreign words. Yet we often discard this quality for the sake of vague simplicity. In the realm of political ideas, which offers up a rich jargon for our use, we have chosen to stifle accuracy and undermine complexity in order to lump and label groups. Now, with so many shifts and turns in the narrative of national governance, our terms have grown as outdated and counterintuitive as our spelling (in which George Bernard Shaw rightly proved “ghoti” as a perfectly acceptable way to spell “fish”).