“…And That Is Why You Fail.”

Tracy Claeys was fired from his job as the head football coach for the University of Minnesota. Honestly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone (including Claeys himself who noted that he told his family that he likely would be fired Tuesday morning), but in interviews he’s been doing, he keeps hitting on a few points that clearly illustrate how he doesn’t understand the situation he was in, and didn’t understand the backlash for the tweet that he keeps insisting was the sole cause for his firing. First,...

Consequences and the Right Things

Brock Turner is a victim of his own belief, obviously perpetuated by his father at the very least, that actions have absolutely no consequence. He can ponder that one while staring at the walls of his cell for six months....

An Uncivilized Discourse

Whatever happened to respectful disagreements? Apparently, when it comes to political rallies, policy discussions, or even within the walls of our political institutions, respectfully disagreeing with someone has gone the way of the dodo. Eggs are getting tossed by protesters outside political rallies. Journalists are being roughed up at rallies. Names are being called. Insults are being hurled. In short, humans are doing something they’re very good at, but like to think is an exception to the rule: they’re being assholes. Let’s face it: historically, people have gone out of...

Pardon Me, But I’ve Seen This Election Before

I hope that there are many of us in Minnesota who are watching the “Trump Train” and are shaking our heads. Except that we aren’t entirely shaking them in disgust–we’ve seen this show before, and we know how it reads from beginning to end. We’ve seen this before because way back in 1998, we Minnesotans elected Jesse Ventura–political outsider and former pro wrestler using his stage name on the ballot–to be governor of Minnesota. And in the interest of full disclosure and hoping for some absolution, I must admit that...

Be Careful What You Wish For

Long ago, practically in a previous life, we lived in North Dakota. We lived for a while, in fact, on the eastern edge of the Bakken oil field, and then later, further east off of its eastern edge. But that first year, we lived in Plaza, ND, a town–if it could indeed be called that–that was no more than about seven blocks wide and maybe five deep (though the Google Maps view seems to charitably assign road indices to what pass for alleys in town). The stated population was...

Option ‘C’

A month or so ago, there was a story, actually released by the North Korean government, that leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle and close advisor, Jang Song Thaek was executed for “attempting to overthrow the state.” Then this week, a report came out of North Korea (known by some as the crazy Korea) that Jang and five of his aides were actually fed to 120 hunting hounds that had been starved for almost a week. No matter whether it’s true or not, it begs the question: how does someone...

It’s Dead, Jim

Let us all take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of something that has been near and dear to us for a long time. The Metrodome is now, officially, dead. After today’s Vikings game, the process of dismantling it is beginning. Like doctors harvesting organs from the freshly deceased, construction workers–or are they really deconstruction workers?–will remove seats, signage, artificial turf, and, I’m certain, anything with value that can be sold for other uses. The roof will be deflated soon, and the demolition process of what’s left...

Is “I Told You So” Wrong?

I recall feeling this same way about leadership I’d supported all the way back in 1979 and 1980. Jimmy Carter’s presidency, so hopeful at the outset because we were communally digging out from the morass that was Nixon/Ford, had become a mess. Unable to move forward in any substantial fashion in key areas of the economy, the energy crisis, and the hostage crisis in Iran, things just felt sad. These days, Obama’s presidency is marked with similar problems that feel insurmountable: the economy, spying scandals, the rollout of the...

Looking the Right Way

The news over the last couple of days has been filled with information from the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., where a man apparently opened fire and ended up killing 13 people including himself. As our society and news media has been trained to do by these now all too frequent events, we’re asking the basic question: why did this happen? The world is learning more about this man, and once you start to piece things together, you find information pointing to a glaring problem that seems common to...

When a Stadium Isn’t a Stadium

The Vikings showed off renderings of their new stadium Monday night. It is our $1 billion temple purpose-built to the football gods, a place to stand for 30 years or so as our monument to our perpetually mediocre professional football team. And it’s just butt ugly. I’m not even sure that it looks like a stadium. From this angle it looks like some ultra-modern museum or greenhouse or glacier which dwarfs everything in the immediate vicinity. It’s grey and glassy and somehow heavy and light-looking all at the same...

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