On the gay marriage question, Sasha Aslanian of MPR solicited listener comments: “Many respondents who favor marriage for same-sex couples feel strongly that the state has had more than enough conversation on the topic, while opponents tend to think there hasn’t been enough discussion of what it would mean. … Barbara Crow of Duluth agreed with Bloom that the 18-month debate over marriage that led up to the constitutional amendment vote last November was plenty. ‘We’ve been talking about it non-stop for two years,’ said Crow. ‘Those who are vehemently opposed at this point will not change. Those that are ‘uncomfortable’ will adjust.’ Supporters said ‘more discussion’ was code for delaying a vote.” Very perceptive …
Baird Helgeson’s latest Strib piece on the bill says: “Several Republican legislators who have spent years trying to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman said they are coming to believe that gay marriage could soon be legal under DFL legislative control. ‘Is it inevitable? I’d say probably,’ said Rep. Michael Beard, R-Shakopee. ‘I mean, marriage is what it is, but they are redefining words and redefining meanings that have been in use for centuries because it is the cause of the week, the flavor of the month’. … Minnesota for Marriage on Monday afternoon brought a couple of town officials from New York state, where same-sex marriage is legal, to talk about how they had to resign before they would have been forced to process marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples even though doing so went against their religious beliefs. ‘In New York, we were promised that the religious freedom amendment to our same-sex marriage legislation would do the job,’ said the Rev. Jason McGuire … ‘Our legislators bought the lie and today every New Yorker is living the lie.’ ” Uh-huh. And what if “my faith” prohibited me from stopping for red lights?
If they charged, oh I don’t know, $1.5 million per ticket they might cover the e-pulltab gap and the “public share.” Tim Nelson of MPR says: “The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says it’s already invited neighbors and fans and a host of others to attend the unveiling of the Vikings stadium design at the Guthrie Theater on Monday. ‘It is definitely open to the public,’ says MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. ‘The only thing we want to make sure is that folks know that they will need a ticket to attend. We have given away, already, hundreds of tickets to local residents, neighborhood associations, business groups, local businesses in the area, as well as many other stakeholders.’ But there will be about 200 seats left for the public, the MSFA says.”
“Nanny State Alert!” Someone call Bob Davis. The AP reports: “The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on a bill that would limit the amount of food stamp benefits that could be spent on junk food. The proposal up for a vote Tuesday would require people enrolled in the state’s food stamps program to spend at least two-thirds of their monthly benefits on items such as milk, bread and vegetables. They could spend their remaining benefits on any authorized food. The measure passed out of a committee last week despite opponents representing food companies, grocery stores and food banks.”
Now ex-Viking punter Chris Kluwe talked with MPR’s Tom Weber this morning about his outspoken ways in a game where winning is everything: “If his opinions did contribute to the decision, he said, he had no regrets. ‘I wouldn’t change anything for the world,’ he said. ‘We’re talking about something that causes young children and adults to commit suicide, the fact that they have to hide their sexuality or they get bullied or they get teased. To me, if there’s any way I can help with that, that’s worth far more than kicking a small leather football around.’ ” A classy guy. The towns are better for having him around.
On the topic of Kluwe, who last time I checked had no problem attaching his name to everything he said, “First Ringer” on the conservative blog site “True North” says: “Kluwe’s tactics are the epitome of his generation — foul-mouthed personal attacks against anyone who disagrees. … In truth, the media needs Chris Kluwe’s release to be about his vocal and abusive activism. Because admitting to solidarity with Kluwe’s political views, and his ability to deliver good copy to sportswriters and sports radio networks, is harder than portraying the SoCal punter as a victim of a 1st Amendment NFL crackdown. Does anyone seriously believe that if Kluwe had come out passionately against gay marriage (ala Matt Birk), and saw his production dive, that those arguing against Kluwe’s release today would be defending his penchant to ‘hanging 10 on any issue that stirs his emotion?’ … Here’s hoping that Chris Kluwe finds the time to focus on realizing that being a public relations bully to those who don’t share his worldview isn’t the best way to advance what’s left of his career.” So help me out here. What comes first? “First Ringer’s” bravery to speak out? Or his anonymity?
We have moose stability … Doug Smith of the Strib says: “The moose population at Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota remains stable, according to a recently-completed aerial survey. The 2013 population was estimated to be 46 moose, similar to estimates from 2009-2011. No survey was conducted in 2012. The margin of error is plus or minus 7 percent. The National Park Service said the calf-cow ratio and the percent of calves in the population were relatively high in 2013, also similar to estimates from 2010-2011.”
And did anyone tally up the cost in staff time for this one? Kelly Smith of the Strib tells us: “From now on, the Westonka School District won’t punish students for incidents until after an investigation is done — unlike the controversial “Harlem Shake” suspensions more than two months ago. The announcement Monday to revise district policies follows the Feb. 22 incident in which several Mound Westonka High School students who did the then-viral ‘Harlem Shake’ dance in the school cafeteria were suspended, causing six hockey players to miss a playoff game. It spurred backlash from parents and students claiming the district rushed to judgment with the suspensions.”
Aaron Rupar of City Pages has a good read on the “Montevideo terrorist”: “Bucky Rogers, the 24-year-old Montevideo resident accused of plotting a terrorist attack by the FBI, really hates the federal government. On the other hand, he loves the Insane Clown Posse. Rogers’s Facebook profile reveals a young man who is murderously fed up with the feds for incoherent reasons. Indeed, neighbors say he flew the U.S. flag upside-down outside his mobile home, and one neighbor told the Star Tribune that Bucky ‘talked about white supremacist stuff.’ … Though Bucky has been mostly inactive on Facebook for two years, he posted a string of threatening and barely coherent statuses in 2010 and 2011.” The rants are almost beyond parody of a certain all-too-familiar sub-culture.
There’s an “ugly” at Target Field? Chris Schad at Yahoo Sports writes: “As a follower of the Twins, I’ve been to Target Field several times. With every visit, my appreciation for the venue grows. In short, it’s a must-see for any baseball fan. Of course, it has its flaws. But I can safely say that Target Field has grown to become one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball. … The one thing that causes eyes to bleed in Target Field is not the pitching rotation, but the giant, black batters’ eye in center field. When the ballpark opened, it originally featured five spruce trees in front of the wall to give the park a northern feel. However, Twins players soon complained about the trees interfering with their ability to pick up the ball, and the trees were chopped down prior to the 2011 season and planted throughout the state. It may have benefited the players, but this decision left a dead spot in an otherwise beautiful ballpark.”