Before I begin on the intended subject, let me take a line or two to express almost complete agreement with the Abler column of last week. I never thought I would see the day. With all our divergent pathways in getting to where we are; and with tolerance for other faiths, and their differing important dates; may Sunday for most in Echoland be a joyful celebration of the birth of Christ.
Hello out there. This is another insignificant cry from our wilderness, our ever lessening wild, as our Minnesota is passing steadily from rural to urban. Our Earth is getting warmer. The ones who know the most about our warming are warning that it is dangerously so, that with our melting arctics, our sea levels are rising toward a point that will threaten coastal areas in the not too distant future.
I guess I became a National Convention "junkie" rather early in life, which is quite a few years ago. During the summer of age 8 I remember, in our Roosevelt Democrat household, my Dad talking of FDR's failing health and Dad's leaning toward Henry Wallace for President, and later for Vice President rather than Truman. I guess I inherited mostly leftward leanings early on.
Monday is Memorial Day. We tend to say it's that time of the year again; but, it is, and it should be a lot more than that. Sure, this is the week or weekend that we buy the poppies from the Legion Auxiliary sellers. Many will watch and applaud veterans marching in parades and may accompany those veterans who lay wreaths or toss them on the waters at the Cross Lake dam or Sibley Lake. More may attend ceremonies and programs at area venues. There will be meaningful marching and saluting and firing and the haunting playing of taps.
A fact is an actual thing. It is an object that can be seen and heard and felt and usually can be measured. An event that actually occurred is fact. An action that was actually accomplished is fact. Fact can usually be verified in our present world. Fact is elusive. In the legal trial world we had the standard quip that every driver in an intersection accident contended that he had the green light in his favor. What was, in fact, a fact for one driver became factoid, or believable or not so believable, fiction for another.
Some say this is the year for radical change. We have contending candidates running for the presidency of our country, proposing and promising radical change. One would wall off Mexico, and send Mexico the bill. Another makes a proposal (and promise) so radical that every other developed country in the world has it - single payer health care. How radical can you get, say the entrenched insurance companies. Let me make another, less bold, suggestion for change. Only women would be allowed to vote.
Every few years, attempts are made to change our party selection process in Minnesota from the caucus/convention system we have to a primary system we discarded because it was deemed unsatisfactory back in the 1950s. The arguments bounce back and forth depending upon who and how many are dissatisfied over the current or most recent run through.
Our local gas prices just jumped 50 cents over the last week or so with no discernable cause. You don't know and I don't know whether it will jump back up over $2 a gallon, sit still or drop lower in the coming weeks, months or years. What happened to competition? In our " old days," there was considerable "free market" competition for gas sales in our area. That was back when we had "real" service stations.
In 2015, a few caring Republican and DFL legislators co-sponsored a bill to minimally raise payments under the existing Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) by $100 a month for the 28,000 covered Minnesota families. Before we get too caught up in the big issues down to the trivial of the political campaigns of the year, I hope we can commit to correcting an urgent problem in our midst. If, over the past 30 years, you have been among those actively working and raising a family, you know how much more intake you need and how much more money you have to spend.
A guest editorial by a recently retired professor in a recent Minneapolis StarTribune sparked this column. I believe I've seen some writing of Chuck Chalberg in past years but never knew or picked up on the fact that he is a product of our lake country. He writes of his lifetime as a student and then professor in our two-year college "movement in Minnesota."