Yeah, I doubt anyone would notice a few dozen oil rigs. Our Favorite Congresswoman was campaigning in Sarasota, Fla., over the weekend. The AP reports: “Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Sunday that she would consider oil and natural gas drilling in the Everglades if it can be done without harming the environment. Bachman said the United States needs to tap into all of its energy resources no matter where they exist if it can be done responsibly. … Bachmann, who wants to get rid of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, said she would rely on experts to determine whether drilling can be done without harming the environment.”
News flash: No Child Left Behind hasn’t really worked the way it was supposed to work. Corey Mitchell of the Strib writes: “Nearly a decade after Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act, a sweeping mandate to ramp up standards and accountability in the nation’s public schools, more than a third of black, Latino and Native American students in Minneapolis public schools don’t graduate, records show. On state test scores, the district hasn’t budged the needle on No Child Left Behind’s central goals, which target the achievement gap that separates white and nonwhite students and disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers. In fact, the chasm on state test scores has widened as Minneapolis’ white students continue to outperform their peers around the state.”
After surviving 37 winters, she deserves better than a radio collar and the hope some doofus doesn’t gun her down. Sam Cook of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “She’s 37 years old now, the oldest known wild bear anywhere in North America, ever. Known as No. 56 to Minnesota bear researchers, she’s living up near Marcell, says Dave Garshelis, leader of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ bear project. “We hope nobody shoots her,” Garshelis said. … No. 56 was first collared in 1981 at age 7, Garshelis said. She was part of a population study that is now mostly complete, but the DNR still is learning things about her. She had her last cubs at age 26. A bear’s female offspring, over the years, usually will set up their own territories surrounding their mother’s territory. In a sense, an old female such as No. 56 is buffered by her descendants, who are likely to be friendly toward her.”
Somehow you knew the folks running a reality show called “Finding Bigfoot” would book themselves a trip to Minnesota after our recent “sightings.” Jana Peterson of the Forum papers reports: “The show’s cast and crew traveled to Carlton County last week to attempt — once again — to prove the creature’s existence. Scores of local residents crowded a town hall-style meeting Aug. 22 at the Lakeview Community Center southwest of Wright to give their accounts or hear about them. It was standing-room only inside the old, white, wooden building. All 100 seats were full within minutes, with more people standing and sitting along the walls and floors and in the hallway outside the big meeting room. Ages ranged from under 5 to over 80. While not everyone in the room was a bigfoot believer, most were at least bigfoot enthusiasts, and/or fans of the ‘Finding Bigfoot’ show. When the program’s host, Cliff Barackman, asked folks to raise their hands if they’d actually seen Sasquatch – another name for bigfoot – about eight hands went up.” Hey, I saw Gary Busey in a Malibu bar one time. Does that count?
Come on, you’ve always wanted one of those ratchet pruners. John Ewoldt, the Strib’s consumer guy, shakes down State Fair gadgets and says: “KEY TO A PIANO DEAL: Showing up on the first day of the fair has advantages. Some vendors start with limited supplies of closeout specials. At Schmitt Music on the main floor of the grandstand, a Kawai CP139 digital piano was $2,988, regularly $6,160 in the store. It was a special price that Schmitt got from Kawai after missing shipments due to the tsunami, said Edina store manager Mark Mueller. Only 15 were available, and 10 were sold the first day. Online reviews for the piano are positive, and Web prices are about $6,000 plus shipping. Verdict: A great deal for early birds.
“SOAK OR BE SOAKED: Can a big purchase net big savings at the fair? Maybe, but not at Twin City Jacuzzi on the second floor of the grandstand. The price quoted on the Jacuzzi 345 hot tub was $8,685 (regularly $11,640), which included the cover, lift, steps, delivery and setup. But shop or call around for any major purchase. The State Fair special at the Jacuzzi dealer in Des Moines, for example, is $8,400. Verdict: Haggle for an even better price after shopping other dealers.”
As for Fair food … the Strib runs a commentary from “food activist and animal nutrionist” Will Winter saying: “A trend I’d call a food deevolution has caused our great fair to slowly morph from a local agricultural event to the current inundation of cheaply made, sugary globs of body-destroying, antifarmer corporate food. The original purpose of the State Fair was to demonstrate the good fertility of the soil in our territory (the fair started before Minnesota was a state), and the bounty of delicious food it’s possible to grow here. … I think our fair should be the most creative place in the state, where we can discover local food and see it prepared by hand and produced with intelligence, creativity and, yes, even love. Food from Minnesota grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, rich local organic cream, butter and milk, and fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Fact is, not all foods need to be fried in toxic, hydrogenated oils.” But when you’re deep fried, no one knows you’re a corporate sausage.
Apparently you don’t mess with North St. Paul’s streets. Sarah Horner of the PiPress files a story saying: “In addition to putting in a sidewalk for pedestrians, the [“Living Streets”] project also would limit parking to a single side of 15th Avenue between Margaret Street and McKnight Road and place rain gardens in yards to help absorb storm water runoff. Narrowing the street 10 feet should also slow motorists. The city would replace the street and utility lines. The design concept is a twist on a national initiative called ‘Complete Streets.’ In Minnesota, 19 cities and two counties have adopted versions of it, though none look quite like North St. Paul’s, said Ethan Fawley, coordinator of the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition. Opposition is not uncommon, but it mostly quiets after residents see the changes, he added. With the North St. Paul City Council expected to vote on the project this fall, some residents are stepping up efforts to stop it. Rosanne McCann, a fixture on 15th Avenue for more than 50 years, is going door to door. Of the 46 households she’s surveyed so far, 30 said they were against it or had concerns, McCann said.”
Power Line’s Scott Johnson is all over both Keith Ellison and the Strib for: A. not being honest about his
relationship with the Nation of Islam and B. believing what Ellison said, respectively. “Instead of undertaking any investigation of these assertions [by Ellison], the Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported the assertions and repeated them as facts ever since. Yet each of these assertions is demonstrably false. Their falsehood is easily established by newspaper accounts documenting Ellison’s activities, speeches and beliefs over the relevant period of time. Moreover, Ellison’s long commitment to and advocacy of the Nation of Islam is reflected in the various aliases he used over a period of ten years: Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad. The Star Tribune has not only failed to connect these aliases to Ellison’s involvement with the Nation of Islam, it has erroneously reported that Ellison used these aliases during his student days at the University of Minnesota Law School. Ellison’s involvement with the Nation of Islam includes his support of ‘the truth’ of Joanne Jackson’s condemnation of Jews in 1997 as ‘the most racist white people.’ ” I always love it when they call it the “Minneapolis” Star Tribune. It sounds so provincial. Like “the Democrat” party.
“Spot” at The Cucking Stool blog lays out a thoughtful exegesis of Katharine Kersten’s column lamenting the “moral vacuum” created by … well, ‘60s hippies, I think. Says Spot: “Deciding what is right and wrong is called ‘ethics’; you can’t dodge making ethical decisions. If you try, it’s called the Nuremberg Defense. Many ethical decisions are inherently subjective. Ethics requires judgment; in our heart of hearts, we all know that. It’s just silly to claim that Western religion — especially since you’ll get different answers from different clerics — knows it all. Ethics is not, as Kersten frets, ‘purely subjective,’ but it’s not purely objective, either. That is why, for example, that even people people who are opposed to abortion because they believe it is ‘killing babies’ would make exceptions in the case of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. And while they would cheerfully charge an abortion doctor with murder for performing an abortion, they wouldn’t charge the mother. These, boys and girls, are judgment calls. But they’re just a couple of several possible judgment calls on the issue of abortion.”