Don Bye, columnist
Florida teens are trying hard to get our gun laws changed in the aftermath of the terrible school shooting last week. Is it just a question again of how long it will last? Or is this the time such effort will last and bring about meaningful change? We have had all too many incidents of single or dual planned shootings of innocent young people in our land the past few decades. In most of those cases, high- powered assault rifles were used by the shooters.
Politics has strange timetables. The best-laid plans of mice and men. Early last week Rick Nolan was working his way toward re-election for one last term as our U.S. Congressional District 8 representative. He had selected his campaign manager and most of his campaign staff, accumulated a good level of funding and was on his way to November. Then he alighted from a plane in St. Paul and told the world that he is done being a Congressman.
The Trump train keeps rolling along, bringing far more damage than improvement. This column is mostly a review of Trump's inaugural speech from January 2017. On Tuesday, we were all "blessed" with Trump's version of the "greatness" of his record, how "great we all have it now" and what "great" things he is going to unravel and unroll this year. So, let's take a look at what he promised us a year ago in his inaugural speech on Jan 20, 2017.
As the new year begins, I'm tired of writing about the latest escapades of our President Trump, and you're probably tired of my writing about the lies or outrageous, inappropriate and downright hurtful statements from Mr. Trump. But this past week, he did it again. He has made this past week the s***hole saga, which could be another title for this column. In Minnesota and across the nation, the news headlines and lead stories have reported Trump's most outrageous statement yet, that from his mouth, "Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?"
As I sit in my comfortable rocker with my first cup of coffee, I think of a concluding quote from a layperson's sermon a few years ago. As she said, I can truly say, "Thank you, God, for everything." This is an easy Thanksgiving column to write because I have so much to be thankful for. My first waking thoughts this morning as I lay in a warm, warm bed. I contemplated the time and whether I had to get up and "brave the elements" any time that morning.
There is good government all around us. We are surrounded with good government, no matter how much we complain about it. I believe that our best present-day governmental units are local, starting at the township level and continuing with our city council and school board levels. We live in the midst of our best examples of government. Hopefully, this column will stay focused on the good government that surrounds us and one subject matter that is generally agreed to be within the proper role of government, i.e. transportation.
Again this year, the biggest newspaper in the state published - and headlined several times - last weekend as "MEA weekend." Radio and television did the same. That has been going on for almost 20 years all across the state. It should and could stop anytime soon. The proper name in Minnesota is - and has been since 2000 - Education Minnesota, with its over 70,000 members and more thousand retirees. It has not been MEA weekend since 1997.
Most of you in the Northland probably don't know Tim Walz. The only reason that I do a little bit is that, as a longtime partisan hack or activist (or if you want to speak flattery, "elder statesman") back in the summer of 2000 or 2004, I happened to sit next to Walz during a several hour plane ride back from the Democratic National Convention in California. He had been out there testing support for what was then his initial and seemingly unlikely quest for First District Congress.
We as a society like to waste a lot of time complaining about our government. Overall, our multi-tiered government (with notable exception) is pretty good. It has been quite stable over almost two and a half centuries. We have had a quiet, free and safe environment over the years. Really, our government is as good as we collectively make it. Remember, our government is us.
The Minneapolis Trib had a lead guest editorial a couple weeks ago on, what else? President Trump. It was entitled, "My president? Yes. My leader? No." It was about the first six months of the Trump presidency. What else?