Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome Guardian Angels, we’re thankful for community activism that goes beyond the collecting of signatures

Yesterday, we celebrated the inauguration of the local chapter of the Guardian Angels. Locally, there have been many detractors to this community patrol initiative -- one, for example, BLOGed from the safety of his ivory tower that a basketball court would do more to reduce crime in the area (talk about the subtle racism of low expectations).

The fact is, there are higher amounts of crime in parts of the SE and NW. The police know it. Apartment managers know it. Mike LaPlante’s neighborhood association knows it and so do the residents of these pockets of problems. If you’re not convinced, sign up for a police ride-along and stop pretending every block is as safe as yours.

We’re thankful for community activism that goes beyond the collecting of signatures.

Welcome Guardian Angels. God speed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some day we’ll also honor the first Pole at the pole: Stashu Praski

It seems like every progressive-thinking town has a Martin Luther King Boulevard. Rochester has chosen to make its obligatory token gesture in the form of Gibbs Elementary. George Gibbs, some of you may know, accompanied Admiral Byrd on one of Byrd’s later Antarctic expeditions becoming the first African-American to reach the South Pole.

The naming of the school, though, was not without controversy and one has to wonder how honored Gibbs would feel if he knew that white guilt and not community input was the deciding factor in the name choice.

Worse, the school’s name is merely a gesture that slights the bigger issue, as do the MLK Blvds across the nation. If we really wanted to honor Gibbs’ commitment and accomplishments, wouldn’t we want the person leading the school, i.e., its principal, to be a person of color? And wouldn’t we want more than just 10% of the teachers to be men, especially when the presence of a positive male role model in children’s lives keeps them from being “at risk?”

That would honor Gibbs’ legacy. That would be progressive.

Dallemand's protectors

Rochester school Superintendent Romain Dallemand, whose contract is currently up for renewal, has some powerful friends. Stories about him in the Post-Bulletin, for instance, routinely have their comments section disabled. Others use the Obama defense, “if you have anything against Dallemand,” they opine, “you are a racist.” One told critics to “take off their hoods.” Such drama is hardly helpful for the students.

Here’s the hard truth. Dallemand must go (and so should his unapologetic enablers). He’s surrounded himself with expensive (and controversial) cronies and squandered not just $5000 on a desk, but a great deal of his political capital, as well. When the next levy request comes down, taxpayers will remember how the last bag of loot intended “for the kids” was spent.

“Give him props,” the Post-Bulletin’s editor said on his BLOG, for answering critics’ salvo by “waiving” an $8,200 raise. In fact, this clever maneuver was not as much a measured response as it was a nose-thumbing. Dallemand only *symbolically* waived the raise. He was never actually offered one. His magnanimous gesture merely staved-off the (potentially scathing) performance review that was scheduled. Now it’s time for the board to make a clever maneuver of their own.

What does Dallemand know about closing the so-called “opportunity gap” that no one else seems to know? Probably nothing. But let’s find out by looking at other candidates. Candidates that are less divisive.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh! Stop breakin’ Walz!

8/13 update: Under pressure from critics of his healthcare reform plan, Democratic House Representative Tim Walz finally agreed to host a townhall meeting to hear from his constituents. Unfortunately, he’s holding it not in the district’s largest city (Rochester) but in Mankato, presumably so he and his handlers can blame GOP “mobs” “bussed-in” from Rochester for any opposition or outrage.

Give our Democratic House Representative Tim Walz a break. Of course, he doesn’t want to face opposing views from the golden age “mobs” on his health care plan. If you were a Democrat, would you? After all, the Left’s idea of “free speech” and “constructive public discourse” is the “RNC Welcoming Committee” so you can understand that they see as intimidating weapons of mass destruction: loose dentures (one sneeze and they’re deadly projectiles) and tennis ball-equipped walkers (very painful to the shins).

Fine to be irrationally afraid, Rep. Walz, but understand that what your octogenarian domestic terrorist constituents are hearing is, “shut up and go back to watching ‘Matlock,’ we know what we’re doing. And never you mind that pain-in-the-ass constitutional prerogative to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, either. This is too important for discussion and certainly too important for dissention.”

Indeed. And a settled matter, to boot!

Democrats already have the pre$cription for what ail$ you and have been over-prescribing it for years. Now bend over and drop your drawers.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The DNC mobs are calling the kettle black and all I can say is, “Don’t taz me, bro!”

“Free speech for me but not for thee.”

The latest whines coming from the left suggest that Democrats don’t find imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery – recent conservative “dissidence,” for instance, apparently knotting their shorts.

Perhaps all that medical marijuana has “cured” the left’s ability to remember last year’s RNC convention here in Minnesota. Recall how the radical Democrats, who were plotting a lot worse than the Republicans' shout-downs, found hoards of civil liberties groups to support their disruptive, violent, and in one case, anarchist plans.

Now that a few conservatives have learned the finer points of “organization” and “free speech” we're suddenly “a mob?”

Well, if that's the case, then all I can say is, “Don’t taz me, bro!”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Then they came for my potato chips

“First they came for the motorcyclers riding helmetless,
but I said nothing because I didn't ride.

Then they came for the smokers who smoked in public,
but I didn't say anything because I didn't smoke.

Then they came for my Ruffles.”

If health care is a right, then with it comes responsibility -- responsibility to not burden our communal health care resources. That means banning bungee-jumping, sunbathing, a sedentary lifestyle and other dangerous activities, as well as mandating exercise and a healthy diet.

What is it they say, “be careful what you wish for.”