Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a special holiday, and not just because it honors those who gave their lives for our nation.  It was a spontaneous holiday that came about because it seemed necessary more than politically expedient.  There was little official about it until long after it was part of our national calendar.

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Be Happy, Be Gay

Minnesota will vote in November 2012 on constitutional amendment that will forever ban same-sex marriage in this state.  If approved, it will join a few other seemingly random scribblings at the end of our constitution such as the authorization to pay a bonus to Persian Gulf War veterans and a fundamental right to hunt and fish.

The nature of these odd things that don’t appear to belong in a constitution make the intention clear. They also make it obvious how we have to campaign against the amendment – by having a lot of fun with it.

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In the Box

Stop for a moment and look around you.  In front of your nose might be the aroma of coffee from Sumatra steaming inside a mug made in China.  The table  you are sitting at may be from South America or Canada.  Your clothes could be made of Egyptian cotton.  What do all of these things have in common, other than your life?  Nearly all of them spent some time in a metal box, 20 feet by 8 feet by 9 and a half feet tall.

Containerized cargo has changed the world more than any other technology over the last 30 years, maybe or maybe not excluding the internet.  Yet few people stop to consider this phenom and what it means

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Playground Rules

The show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” was never a big hit, but it was entertaining.  It was all improv, driven by the audience and (in the US) host Drew Carey (who turns 50 today).  The fun was set up like a contest where Carey would award “points” to each performance – but no one ever added them up at the end of the show.

These are the rules of the playground, a place where points don’t have to be added up because everyone is too busy having a lot of fun.  That is, until the bullies show up and worry a lot more about the points even though they still aren’t added up at the end.

That’s what “politics” has become, sadly.  It’s an improv show without entertainment, the playground without the fun, all the rules without even a squishy red rubber ball.  But, like a bunch of kids on a lazy summer’s green field, no one has to get anything done.

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Dirty Jobs

“I have this nagging suspicion that our manufacturing problems are not really problems at all, but rather a symptom of a dysfunctional relationship with dirt.”

That may not seem like something worthy of testimony before Congress, especially coming from a professional teevee show host.  But these are no ordinary times, and an ordinary (if really good looking) guy like Mike Rowe is extraordinary for stating what might be the most stunning statement of the obvious:

“…The bulk of our output (is) tied to clean jobs. What do we have to show for it? Record unemployment, a looming skills gap, a crumbling infrastructure, and a dearth of manufacturing.

The conclusion?  America needs to get dirty again.  Simple – yet brilliant.

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