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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

OMG!??..It?s a Hot Dog Emergency!

Category: Society
Posted: 08/18/08 21:55

by Roxanne Mindeman

It?s official; in Burnsville Minnesota hot dog vendors have more constitutional protection than peace protestors. Well, maybe not ?official? ? yet, but ? if local law enforcement gets its way, it will be.
http://www.mnpact.org/sblog/upload/Hot%20Dogs.jpg

By my best count, 3 proactive citizens who chose to ?Honk for Peace? have been ticked in Burnsville for honking their horn outside the office of Congressman John ?never available to meet with dissenting constituents? Kline. As I understand it, the first person ticketed quietly paid the $120 fine for ?Unlawful use of Horn?? and more likely than not, has never dared to honk again. The 2nd citizen intended to do the same ? until she received support from the Minnesota?s ACLU. The 3rd, we don?t know yet, but we?ll find out.

Word has it that the ?education? being delivered to passing motorists, stopped by local law enforcement, is that ?Horn honking is for emergencies only?. The unquestionable reality is that, having had no success at shutting down the protestors, local law enforcement is attempting to stop the protest by intimidating passing drivers who dare to share and acknowledge the ?End the War? or ?Honk for Peace? sentiments.

Preliminary research seems to be suggesting that this restriction of horn usage to ?emergency situations?, applies only to peace protesters. So far, we can find no record of anyone else ever being charged. One might ask, ?Are there others who could be charged?? Well???.. sometimes, not often, but perhaps when it?s most needed, the stars align, and the universe intervenes to support the righteous. (Ok, maybe that?s a little over the top, but not much.) Just this past weekend, 3 of our most faithful activists came across this ?.. (Insert Picture)

?? 2 girl scouts, with a hotdog stand on a public street, holding up signs that said ?Honk for Hot Dogs?. No squad cars. No state highway patrol. No threats of arrest. No $120 tickets. I?m guessing, no citizen complaints. In fact, lots of smiles, waves ? and more than just a few ?Honks for Hot Dogs?.

Now, I understand that girl scouts selling hot dogs are a lot cuter than adults drawing our attention to the glaring and growing deficiencies, dishonor, and deceptions, being perpetrated upon America and our entire world, by the Bush Administration. But, you know what? That?s totally beside the point.

Last time I checked, despite the tireless efforts of the Bush Administration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are still (relatively) intact, and the law of the land.

So may I suggest that the next time you encounter an activist expressing their opinion with a sign on a public street corner, ask yourself, regardless of you political affiliation, ?Do I really want to live in a country where hot dog vendors have more constitutional protection than citizens protesting the actions of government?? Then, if you just can?t find it in you to ?Honk for Peace?, ?Honk for the Constitution?.
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Norm Coleman Can't Go to the RNC Because...

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 08/18/08 18:17, Edited: 08/18/08 18:43

by Dave Mindeman

Hmmmm...Norm Coleman feels "obligated" to attend the RNC Convention because it is in his home state.....

"So I think those who come here will have an extraordinary time. But the colleagues who don't come are staying at home only because they have tough races. If the convention wasn't in St. Paul, I wouldn't be at the convention," Coleman said. -- MPR

Sounds like Norm is in need of some good excuses. Hey Norm, need some suggestions?

Top Ten Excuses that Norm Coleman Can't Go to the RNC Convention in St. Paul...

10. Rep. Mark Olson might show up.

9. Laurie's in town and its that time again...you know.

8. David Vitter invited me down to New Orleans. Party!

7. I've developed an allergy to Pres. Bush's cologne.

6. I volunteered as the tour guide for the MSP Airport bathroom.

5. My Washington apartment needs new drapes.

4. Dang! I have a bowling tournament that same week.

3. Sorry, I ate something really funky on a stick at the fair

2. Oops..sorry. Everybody told me it was in Minneapolis!

1. Two words. DICK CHENEY!!!

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US Infrastructure: Wake Up Call or Snooze Button

Category: I-35 Bridge
Posted: 08/18/08 15:20

by Dave Mindeman

MPR had an article on its website about Sen. Klobuchar discussing the I-35 Bridge.....

Klobuchar said the collapse of the 35W bridge was a wake-up call that it is time for the country to invest in its infrastructure.

Yes, we had a wake-up call, but we have been hitting the "snooze" button ever since.

When that I-35 Bridge went down the political forces on both sides of the aisle were motivated to action. In response, that bridge got unprecedented attention. We had funding...we had a design-build project...and we had immediate construction....all in record time. Both Democrats and Republicans marvel at the new, wondrous bridge.

But, it is ONE bridge.

Rep. Jim Oberstar, who does understand our infrastructure problems, has been battling a reluctant Congress, a stonewalling President, and a politically sensitive NTSB to get someone...anyone... to pay attention to our short term and long term needs regarding the nation's transportation system. In July, they finally got something passed -- a $1 billion bill for roads and bridges.

$1 billion? Its like giving crumbs to feed the hungry.

I know Rep. Oberstar was doing the best he could. Bigger funding is not just in the cards with a contentious election year going on, and the constant accusations regarding "pork" laden bills.

But this "snooze" control button pushing has got to stop. We can't keep waiting for bridges to fall down to really fix them. We shouldn't have larger budgets involved with classifying structures as "deficient", rather than budgets devoted to fixing them.

The outcry about the recent transportation bill that passed over the "cold dead pen" of Pawlenty's veto was pure hypocrisy. That bill provides $600 million a year in new funding -- to a budget that needs over $1.7 billion to keep up. It's insane!

While Marty Seifert examines that $2800 in "excessive welfare spending" in Hawaii, we still have MnDOT scrambling to prioritize its funds -- still projecting needed projects years into the future.

So, as Sen. Klobuchar says, we have our wake up call. And we will have more hearings. And we will look for "pork". And we will argue about priorities. And we will discuss token funding.

And then we will push the "snooze" button again.
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