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Ron Schalow

Ron Schalow is the owner of Iceberg Publishing, president of The Coalition for Bakken Crude Oil Stabilization and an amatuer agitator. Among Schalow's writings are two books: a nonfiction book about 9/11 and the movements of George W. Bush on that tragic day called "Bull$#!* Artist”; and a novel about an unlikely group of American suicide bombers who have been dropped into the tribal regions of Pakistan. It is named "Perfect Whackjobs." Schalow lives in Fargo.

RON SCHALOW: From Adultery To Zinke

Holy moly, where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday, Ryan Zinke was on North Dakota soil. Yes, THE Ryan Zinke. I still shiver at the thought. The ethically challenged secretary of the Interior — most in the Cabinet are corrupt, so it’s no big deal — was smack dab in Grand Forks, to fire up the Republican elite at the gun-free Alerus Center.

There were still bullet holes all over. Just a small gun event, I heard. “Well, we THOUGHT he was a bad guy!” The target was one of the bartenders who did look a little not white.

Rep. Luke Simons produced a video to show how easy it was to beat the security of the gun-free zone. Actually, he just didn’t want to give up the free hotel coffee for he and his wife, but his point was made. The cups could have just as easily been Uzis— or .50-caliber American Eagles.

As for the speech, no one, except for conventiongoers who were evidently unaware of the boredom to come, knows how Zinke performed. Since his chiseled presence was so exciting, the pundits all took a premium length break. Anonymous sources tell me that they took a Lyft to downtown and wandered around looking for food — or alcohol. Mostly alcohol.

Rob “fake news” Port, of the Kevin Cramer campaign, Forum branch, stayed behind at the Alerus, though, to type words, in some order, about Heidi Heitkamp. He’s under a lot of pressure to meet his quota of 63 gripping Heidi posts per week for his adorable little blog, where the alt-right gathers to kibbitz.

For the actual reporters, it was also an opportunity to light up a Pall Mall and strap on the Beretta for the mean streets of downtown Grand Forks.

Several writers jumped off the DeMers Avenue bridge into the mighty Red River. If you climb the rail under significant influence and stare down at the flowing brown water, it’s crazy mesmerizing. Maybe they fell. Accounts differ, but either way, they didn’t have to go back to the rally. One — or two — will wash up in Canada in due time and be charged the proper tariff.

Of course, as far as a keynote speaker, Republicans in red hats were hoping for the big tuna, the ginormous bluefin, the serial adulterer, the compulsive liar, the con artist, the tax cheat, the racist, the sociopath, the draft dodger, the philandering wanker and the most objectionable soulless carcass in the United States who isn’t incarcerated. Who wouldn’t want to watch the loosely constructed jamoke yap at random?

But, as it turns out, the gelatinous grabber was busy fending off pornographic actresses, Playboy bunnies, corruption charges and factual information. He was also up to his armpits in people to throw under the bus. It’s the only exercise the lifelike cartoon character gets. Lots of problems for the weeble. Who could see this mess coming?

As the bad news bled out about the great white, men wailed in the streets, teeth gnashed, stomach contents were vomited, hands were wrung and sobbing echoed through the coulees. One poor mook jumped off our big cow in despair. He just rolled to the bottom of the hill and came to a stop before hitting Interstate 94. Nominal blood loss. No biggie. He might still be laying there.

Of course, these things also happen every day wherever Trump is, so it’s an emotional wash. What’s left of his staff wishes they had a big cow.

The bowling pin shaped golfer’s presence would have made the most pious Kevin Cramer giddy. He dreams of standing beside the abject failure of morality and holding his moist, callous-free, hand high in the victory stance. Religious indeed.

But the a$$hole likely had already zoned out Kevin’s name — and any promises made. Had the congressman done several moments of due diligence, on what has become his host organism, he would have known that the leathery reptile doesn’t honor commitments, lived a me-first life and has been a well known sleaze for decades. A slimeball, as New Yorkers know.

And the entire North Dakota GOP has DJT slime in every nook and cranny, and it doesn’t wash off. Stubby fingers also grabs nooks, so it’s best to wear metal drawers, if you smell him in the vicinity.

Cramer is so enamored with his spray tanned idol, that he compares a difference in opinion with the unofficial “orange is the new black” mascot, to committing adultery.

“Here’s the good news about Donald Trump: Most of the time, he’s for North Dakota, and that’s my point where I’ve heard her say, ‘Gee, I voted with him 55 percent of the time,'” Cramer said.

“Can you imagine going home and telling your wife, ‘I’ve been faithful to you 55 percent of the time?’ Are you kidding me? Being wrong half the time is not a good answer.”

Aside from the obvious fact, that golden boy has adulterated as fast as his beady eyes could covet, the analogy is classic Cramer. Uninformed and confusing. Kevin is the kind of guy who will go nuts if women aren’t dressed in a manner, inoffensive to his God on Earth. White pantsuits send the “perfectly stable” Cramer into a lather, for some reason. But he always stands by his man.

From Roll Call

The congressman tweeted last week that he “will always stand up for farmers,” which “includes opposition to tariffs” that could harm the state’s agricultural sector. That tweet was deleted and replaced with one that also praised Trump for standing up for China. Cramer stressed that he was in contact with the White House, but he “would like to see the president take a more measured approach as the impulse of position has created unnecessary turmoil for our markets.”

Cramer then tweeted Friday that he was in contact with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and urged him to protect producers from retaliation, saying, “Farmers must know the Admin has their back and I urge them to act swiftly.” —Roll Call.

Most of Cramer’s Twitter wordplay is bull$#!*, since everyone knows that Trump doesn’t listen to anyone and could give a rip about North Dakota farmers, but it was nice of Kevin to tone down his message and praise dear leader. Backs are not being covered.

Blame Democrats for a situation caused by Donnie.

“GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, said Monday that part of the uproar over tariffs was fueled by Democrats.

“There are people, particularly Democrats, who want to pour fuel on the fire of hysteria,” he told Prairie Public Radio.

Moving down the list of endorsed Republican candidates.

  • From the Kelly Armstrong for Congress website:

“Kelly supported new rules to crack down on extremist protesters.  The DAPL protests exposed some serious flaws in our century code and Kelly supported legislation that strengthened our laws and provided our law enforcement the tools they need to defend us against people who have no respect for our laws or our citizens.  No longer will out-of-state environmental extremists get away with causing destruction and chaos in North Dakota.”

  • From NDXplains:

In his first advertisement, Kelly Armstrong touts his policy stances. One claim, in particular, has caught the attention of viewers. Using imagery that depicts protesters in masks as a clear call back to the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, a female narrator says, “Kelly made sure law enforcement has the tools they need to crack down on out-of-state protesters.”

Armstrong didn’t just blow the racial dog whistle. He yelled directly into a bullhorn. His TV advertisement was clearly aimed at Native Americans, a group that North Dakota racists love to stereotype and hate.

And why just out-of-state protesters? How is that going to work? You can pretty much drive, fly or walk into the state without incident. When the Mayor Del Rae of Moorhead travels over the river to join a protest, what happens? Do we rough her up a bit and exile her back to Minnesota? Such stupidity.

Armstrong selected the founder of the Bastiat cult, Rep. Rick Becker, to make his introduction, so that was an interesting choice. Becker and his small band of ideologues are so far out on the right-wing fringe the majority leader, Rep. Al Carlson, looks like Fidel Castro in comparison.

Anyway, Becker spent 90 percent of his speaking time scolding the Republican audience for not being more rabidly conservative. Basically, like him. Evidently, Armstrong fits the bill for Becker, although his voting record doesn’t.

The most memorable statement, to my mind, spouted by Becker on the stage.

“We recognize that it is not only impossible, but immoral to force equal economic outcome. It is an inevitable and undeniable part of the human experience.” — Rick Becker.

I don’t know who is trying to force equal economic outcome, so that is a fallacy. Liberals would like to see people receiving equal opportunity, but we’re so far past equality in the economy, I don’t know why he bothered to bring it up.

Rick appears to believe in the survival of the fittest, which he claims is the most humane type of society, but it’s not. Maybe for wildebeests.

Then, there is Will Gardner, the nominee for secretary of state, who also got his share of hoots from the Bastiat cult. Anyway, I guess he can build a website. Big deal. He also has an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Prior to the convention, Gardner wrote an op-ed titled “We Must Eliminate Unverified Ballots in North Dakota”

Gardner begins:

“When you hear of election fraud, do you think of Russian cyber interference or do you think of the thousands of unverified ballots in our last statewide election?

Oh, wait — you don’t know about the 16,000-plus ballots in N.D. that were cast in the 2016 election without an ID?”

Yes, and your problem, Mr. Gardner?

“Last year the Legislature modified the law again, but if the courts continue to rule in favor of allowing unverified affidavit votes, our state will eventually be faced with either accepting the potential for mass voter fraud …”

Except that the votes aren’t unverified. Either Gardner doesn’t know this, or he lied by omission. It sounds very scary, though. The office of the secretary of state verifies the affidavits. Those that don’t pass scrutiny are trashed. If he isn’t up to the task, now would be the time to say, I don’t want to do that.

As for mass voter fraud:

I call bull$#!*and adultery.

 

 

RON SCHALOW — In Defense Of The Mythical Burger Flipper

Mop a mile in my skilled shoes.

I’ve wet mopped (soaked and soapy) a distance equal to the miles between Regina, Sask., and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, 14 miles wide, and then went back over it with a dry mop to remove the soapy dirty water and leave the floor free of footprints. It could take two passes. Craftsmanship and attention to detail. Close to cross-training for the core.

That was way it was done in the last century, during the age of Aquarius. Research tells me that the mopping process has changed little in the information age. Mop buckets haven’t evolved. Mop heads were always pretty advanced.

That’s just an example of the labor involved, when working in a restaurant, fast-food or otherwise. And mopping isn’t the half of it.

The stereotype used by those who don’t like the riff-raff making poverty level money is that of the easy living “burger flipper,” which is malarkey.

Perhaps there is a person somewhere, flipping hamburgers for eight hours straight, which would be boring and tedious, and then just clocking out, but I doubt it. Maybe, but that wouldn’t apply to the other near 100 percent who work hard, performing many tasks.

And to those who say, “Minimum wage jobs aren’t meant to be a career. They are there to give teens work experience.” That was never true, and even less so, now. Adults were always needed to fill daytime shifts during the school year. Currently with the tight labor market, some folks no longer in schoolNEED to take the work they can find.

Work is work. It’s worth what it’s worth. Age is irrelevant

“Then, they should just get educated and better their situation.” Sure. It’s that simple. Grown-ups have obligations, and not everyone has the resources.

As for providing experience, restaurant owners don’t give a rip about the future. They function to make money. That was always the case, so knock it off with the false talking point. There is no preparing the youngun, for the advancement of society. An employee is lucky to get trained properly. It’s a “next shift” orientated environment.

HOLD IT! TIME OUT!

I intend to rebut the “burger flipper” canard, which follows any call for a raise in minimum wage, but we have new developments. There’s a petition out there for a $15 per hour minimum. That number is another story.

Then, the Fargo Forum felt the need to chime in with some nonsense, and I am forced to swerve a bit.

“Many low-skill service jobs, including motel workers and fast-food employees, earn around $10 an hour, for instance. As Flippy shows, unskilled workers are the most likely to be hurt by a minimum wage. If the proposal makes it to the November ballot, North Dakota voters should reject the nicely named but poorly conceived Fair Wage Act.” —  Forum management and the Editorial Board

Then, a couple of North Dakota Republican lawmakers shared the editorial on their Facebook pages. Rep. Shannon Roers Jones was first and then Rick Becker (he’s a representative) from Bismarck joined in. The free market solves all, you know. I wrote about Becker’s Bastiat Caucus several weeks ago, which makes the regular Republicans look like the Che Guevara Caucus.

Becker did not find the column amusing, or funny, in the least. He fancies himself an intellectual, so his rejoinder was scathing, in his mind. I found it bland. I have found that many conservatives don’t have a well-oiled sense of humor, but Rick could be right. I’ll live. My grandkids don’t think I’m funny, either.

I made the following comment on both pages. I thought it was fairly innocuous.

“Restaurant workers are quite skilled,” I typed. I was quite sincere.

Then, the dustup began. Below is an annotated rendition.

I moved the melee to my page, and others jumped in

“Having worked in numerous restaurants in Bismarck and Grand Forks, I know exactly how hard it is. It is extremely hard. I also own a restaurant now, and know how hard it is. I never said, nor implied, that there is no skill involved. Ron is intentionally misrepresenting things, as usual, in order to bolster interest in his posts,” said Becker.

My retort: “No, sir, you said a degree was the decider. If that’s your attitude, I sure don’t care, but I’m allowed to disagree. Nobody will ever be as smart as you …”

“BTW — stop with the douchery. You know full well that “unskilled” is most commonly used (connotation compared to denotation) to indicate that a person does not have extensive advanced education such as a technical school or college. Clearly a culinary-trained chef is an exception to this.

Formulate a big-boy argument against the opinion, rather than intentionally misapply your offense at a specific word.” —  Rick Becker for North Dakota

So, he doesn’t like me, and doesn’t have any respect for his elder. As to all of the accusations, he is wrong on every count. He’s a politician.

And one of the points of the editorial, besides the “unskilled” crack which could be applied to tons of professions, according to Becker, was the threat of automation. Don’t ask for a raise, or the boss might bring in Flippy. Such BS. Computers and advances in technology have touched all sectors, but Flippy won’t be flipping anything for a long time, if ever, at your local burger joint.

The doctor from Bismarck is not discouraged from making more money by the Fargo Forum, due to many technological advancements in medicine, and more to come.

Furthermore; an organization like Burger King doesn’t flip burgers. Never have. No one ever panicked, or asked for a reduction in pay because of a conveyor moving over fire.

BACK TO REGULAR PROGRAMMING

When Williston, N.D., was full of oil workers, the McDonald’s, due to necessity, was paying $15 per hour to start. The price of the Big Mac remained the same. I know because I called. This notion some folks have that a nickel raise for the lowest paid in our society, means that all prices will jump is simply wrong. It doesn’t work that way. Some places have a sales volume great enough to make labor costs look nominal compared to other expenses. Nobody is hurting themselves by making more money. That’s silly.

Nobody else in this country, in any other income stratus, is expected to be responsible for possible inflation.

Adults had careers that supported a family. In retail, at stores like Sears, Kinney’s Shoes and other stores that made up the first indoor mall in Minot. That was 1964. The starting wage at Sears, as of five years ago, was $8 an hour. That amount doesn’t accomplish much. Times change.

Back in the day, an assistant manager at many restaurants could make a good living. Unfortunately, in this age, owners often put an employee on a salary, slap a title on them and then work them into the dirt, since there is no overtime pay, when a person is paid set wages. Seventy to 80 hours a week aren’t uncommon.

It’s a harder job now, since most restaurants insist on having a menu with 800 items. Memorize it. You start tomorrow.

In 1973, we had nine options. Steaks, a burger, a chicken dinner, a fish option and a child’s portion. Every weekday lunch, and all day Tuesday, a diner could get a 6-ounce ribeye, with a baked Red River Valley red, a salad and Texas toast, for 99 cents.

I started out as a busboy. We carried tubs, with three slots for silverware containers, and were under a lot of pressure, to keep up with traffic. Since trays were used, we would use those to backstop all of the dishware and pile the works up to the eyeballs. At least my eyeballs. I hadn’t grown that last foot, yet.

A busboy needed to be strong and fast. Fill a tub, get it back to the dishwasher, grab a clean tub and get the hell back out there. Tabletops, booths and chairs had to be clean and dry. No garbage on the floor. I was skilled.

Working in kitchen requires a quick mind. fast hands and endurance. The same could be said for the waitstaff. Hollering is going happen between these two groups, and the word unflappable is used for those who can stay calm during these exchanges and the strain of memorization, organization and a mind being torn in 12 directions. Many are very skilled. The others leave and wait for their check in the mail.

Perkins, Village Inn, Doolittles and the rest of the sit-downs. Subway, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen and the others with a drive-through, and inside customers stand in a line. Skilled. The whole lot. Some may have degrees. I don’t know.

A good dishwasher has to be very skilled. A dishwasher working at peak times, a minute from disaster, is a ballet. I could do it. I was skilled.

I bussed and washed for $1.60 per hour. I’m not bragging or complaining. Gasoline was cheap, which was helpful, since I owned a German car made by Panzer. It was stout but thirsty. I could afford college — and some beer. When I was moved up to fry cook, my pay was raised to $1.65, and I moved on up to the east side. Skillfully so.

Clean a grease trap. Yes, it’s a thing.

Imagine the worst for a bathroom. Clean it.

Anyone who can work with the public without being sedated is very talented and should receive combat pay. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might be one of the spirit breakers.

Carry out a 50-gallon garbage container full of wet sloppy plate scrapings and lift it high enough to get the contents into the dumpster when you’re 90 pounds. Pick up any crud that ended up on the ground. Repeat.

Get on your hands and knees to sweep under EVERYTHING before mopping. There is a lot of “under” in food places. These chores have to be done multiple times per day.

There is a lot of grease collected by filters before the smoke from fryers, grills, ovens, broasters, rotisseries, toasters and broilers is sucked outside. These must be cleaned every day. Everything does.

I could on, but there’s no need. These people have been labeled unskilled to keep wages down. Why else? Anyone who has been there knows that food service is hard work, that takes skill.

And the same goes for all of the jobs that have been labeled as “unskilled” by a pompous someone who knows nothing of reality.

RON SCHALOW — Meet The Bastiats

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” ― Frédéric Bastiat, aka “Monsieur le soleil”

OK. He seems nice.

Until recently, the North Dakota Legislature had two major caucuses. The Republican and the Democratic, as far as I know. Caucus watching was never a hobby of mine.

There are a few intramural caucuses, no doubt. Like the “I Just Wanted The Insurance Caucus,” or the “This Title On My Business Card Looks Great Caucus.” I believe there is a “Prayer Caucus.” I imagine it involves quite a bit of praying. The meetings get pretty wild after school shootings.

Now, there is the Bastiat Caucus because, of course there is. It’s not a secret. They have a Facebook page and a website, and a “bring a Bastiat for boilermakers” day at Peacock Alley Grill & Bar. I think it’s Tuesdays, but no one who drinks boilermakers is fussy about the day.

Anyway, I’m sure that most of our citizens couldn’t give a hoot about the B-Boys because nobody knows what the hell I’m talking about, when I say, Bastiat Caucus.

If you jump out of a closet near an unsuspecting soul, and yell, Bastiat Caucus, you’ll need an orthodontist and an eye patch. Just saying.

The “Kill Lib#$!% Cucks Caucus” name was already taken, so the “Bastiat Caucus” was the obvious second choice. Obscure French 19th century thinkers are all the rage, I imagine, somewhere. Not here, I wouldn’t have thought, in “freedom fry” territory. All living thinkers are obscure, except for the  rare stable geniuses.

Bastiat holds the title of “Father of Libertarianismismism” — an ideology with many fathers and mothers (Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand are a couple of the celebs). It has never worked in any practical governmental application, but evidently, that fact isn’t a deal breaker, for the true believers.

In 1825, Bastiat inherited his grandfather’s estate and quit working. This made it easier to live selfishly, bitch about taxes, and walk around looking dapper. Frédéric lorded his 6-foot-high stovepipe hat over the other sporty types. Rumor has it, he kept live chickens in the headwear, which put off the expected odor, and angered the chickens. When not tending to head wounds, he did a lot of serious pondering and brooding. Bastiat contracted tuberculosis and died young in 1850, because it was 1850.

Anyway, Frédéric Bastiat, who developed the economic concept of opportunity cost and introduced the parable of the broken window became the namesake of the caucus. I’m not going to explain either of those concepts, and you don’t want me to.

N.D. legislator Rick Becker, R–District 7, formed the Bastiat Caucus a few years ago, during a blood moon. On his Twitter account, the representative says he is a constitutionalist, a classical liberal, a paleoconservative, a laissez faire capitalist and a libertarian.

Luckily for Becker, most people have no idea what those words mean, which ooze superiority, and impresses the rabble. I used to fish, golf, and monkey around with cars, but nothing paleo. And I thought what I thought. Now I feel bad that I never micro-analyzed every rumination and categorized each of them.

Becker performed strongly at the last republican convention, as a candidate for governor, which gave him a ton of street cred. Delegates are more conservative, than humans anywhere, which is their frightening prerogative. It worked to the representative’s advantage.

Becker is, by far, the brains of the outfit. It’s really not that close. I wasn’t able to ascertain the intellectual level of every Bastiat, since most of them never post, or say anything, but I’ll stand by my statement.

The Bastiats are libertarians, and some of them identify with the alt-right (See the article “Dislike” in the High Plains Reader). Torches are optional. The Bastiats hang around tensely with the regulation genre of republicans, since they ran for office as republicans, which makes the old Elks Club republicans a little prickly.

Basically, the legislature is currently infested with libertarians, who have won seats with the (R) by their name on the ballot.

Had these Bastiats been truthful, they would have run as libertarians, like Jack Seaman, Martin Riske and a few others do every cycle, they would lose. Bigly. Instead, these folks appropriated a known brand, and then tinkered with the innards to suit their tribe. This is how we got “new Coke.”

Moving the NDGOP to the right is the goal, as if that’s necessary. It’s like throwing darts at the already intolerant family Tasmanian Devil to really get it irritated. Legislate angry, my friends.

Why have regulation issue republicans allowed this infiltration? Who knows?

Al Carlson, barely awake, shouts, “What the hell is going on down there, with all that racket? Who is there?

B-Boys. “Nobody! It’s just us Bastiats, sir.”

Al. “WHO?”

“BASTIATS!”

“Screw you, too,” hollers Al. “And stay out of the fridge! Try to keep the gunfire to a minimum, you stupid bastages.”

And that was that.

The Bastiats want an unfettered free market, which we have tried, or gotten pretty close to, and it sucked. One guy named Bud did pretty well, but that’s about it. It’s currently getting pretty unfettered around here.

“Oh, you’d like to just dump your clean coal mining trash in the rivers, huh? Well, hell, we can’t see any reason why not. Enjoy.”

They like freedom, liberty, fewer refugees, homeschooling, property rights, and raw milk, just for starters.

They hate government and want it small. Real small. Bite size. Small enough to drown in the bathtub, paraphrasing Grover Norquist, who is going to need a much larger tub.

Common Core really ticks them off. Government shouldn’t be involved in education, at all. Dig this.

“You say: “There are persons who lack education” and you turn to the law. But the law is not, in itself, a torch of learning which shines its light abroad. The law extends over a society where some persons have knowledge and others do not; where some citizens need to learn, and others can teach. In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this transaction of teaching-and-learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge. But in the second case, the law commits legal plunder by violating liberty and property.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

“What do think, should parents be able to direct their child’s education in a manner that they feel is best? If that choice means private education, should that parent be forced to fund the public school monopoly, essentially being double dipped?” — Rep. Daniel Johnston

“The most urgent necessity is, not that the State should teach, but that it should allow education. All monopolies are detestable, but the worst of all is the monopoly of education.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

Taxes are theft. If you go by the words of the Bastiat Institute, they aren’t crazy about cops, or anyone getting in their business. Also, no food stamps, or any other helping of the poor. God is with them, but the poor aren’t. Did I mention that?

They really love guns. Immensely. No infringement, and all that. They interpret the Second Amendment improperly, but don’t even bother challenging their rendition. Futile would be the word for it. It’s part of their ideology, and there is no room for pragmatism.

I haven’t heard of any plans to build more, or any, bell towers to let the owners of 50-caliber sniper rifles blow off some steam, but Rep. Luke Simons, from Dickinson, almost blew a gasket, when he got wind of our attorney general even thinking about talking about the bump stock.

“North Dakota state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, along with 32 fellow state attorneys general, recently signed a petition urging Congress to outlaw bump stocks for firearms. Even though the NRA is in to direct opposition to this action. Now is the time to let your voice be heard and contact Stenehjem’s office with your concerns.” — Rep. Luke Simons

Of course, the bump stock and other devices utilized to turn a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic have no useful purpose, except to spray bullets in a general direction. Say you want to kill a lot of people, that are packed tightly together, maybe to watch a concert, and you’re not fussy about which people are hit, get yourself a bump stock. Otherwise, as Simons has said, they are fun to use. Not a good enough reason.

Luke also speaks with the accent of a Confederate general, for some reason, wears a cowboy hat, and has a fine looking set of teeth. Luckily, they aren’t ivory.

Dr. Becker succeeded in passing “constitutional carry” — the way the founders intended, the Bastiats said, which isn’t true, but this is North Dakota.

“The legislation means North Dakota will become one of about a dozen so-called “constitutional carry” states Aug. 1. The bill would allow law-abiding people 18 and older to forgo background checks and classes that are now required. The legislation only requires someone carrying a concealed weapon to have a valid ID and notify law enforcement of the weapon during instances such as a traffic stop.

The bill was among a package of gun-rights measures being considered this session, including allowing people with concealed carry permits to have guns in churches, schools and other public places.” — The Associated Press

Simons and Bastiat buddies forwarded House Bill No. 1391 to circumvent federal laws and regulation, to get our neighborhood bullet and gun garage manufacturing some cover. It’s not constitutional, but hey. They ran a lot of pro-gun Bills, through the legislature last session. Some passed. This one didn’t.

House Bill No. 1381

(Sponsors) Reps. Simons, Rick C. Becker, Ertelt, Johnston, Jones, B. Koppelman, McWilliams, Olson, Toman, Sen, Kannianen

“A personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured commercially or privately in the state and which remains within the state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration as those items are not subject to regulations related to interstate commerce. This section applies to a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in the state from basic materials and which can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state.”

It runs afoul of Frédéric, though.

“When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will.” — Frédéric Bastiat

The Bastiats were successful with their Food Freedom Bill, though. No one had ever been arrested for any of the things they got codified. Baked goods from home are the keystone of our healthcare system up here, for crissakes. Food has been exchanged for money, or not, since forever, without any dustups over black market muffins. Eggs for bread. But now, ears perked up at the Health Department, where they hate freedom, which I believe is the opposite of what the B-boys intended.

Frédéric was right, when he said, “There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”

Whoops. Bitten by an easily foreseen effect. My feelings of freedom are waning.

Simons has cows, but he had to drop raw milk from the Food Freedom Bill. Raw milk is sold at premium, and is trendy, I guess, just to tick off the smartass dead scientists, who conned the lot of us, with their unholy homogenization and pasteurization.

Only the criminals will have raw milk now. Or anyone else who wants it, because no one cares.

“Should duck eggs and ostrich eggs be illegal in North Dakota? We don’t think so. It’s time to pass the ND Food Freedom Act, HB 1433!”

I don’t know for certain who all of the members are, although I’ve asked. Membership seems to be fluid. Becker once suggested 24, or so. Maybe they serve delicious homemade pastries and mason jars of cold raw milk, to either encourage, or discourage, attendance at the genial meetings they hold. No bare knuckle stuff.

These are my guesses. Either Gold card members, or just occasionally in cahoots.

  • Rep. Rick Becker (R-District 7)
  • Rep. Luke Simons (R-District 36)
  • Rep. Chris Olson (R-District 13)
  • Rep. Sebastian Ertelt (R-District 26)
  • Rep. Tom Kading (R-District 45)
  • Rep. Daniel Johnston (R-District 24)
  • Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-District 16)
  • Rep. Robin Weisz (R-District 14)
  • Rep. Nathan Toman (R-District 34)
  • Rep. Dwight Kiefert (R-District 24)
  • Rep. Jeffery J. Magrum (R-District 28)
  • Rep. Todd Porter (R-District 34)
  • Rep. Mike Schatz (R-District 36)
  • Rep. Bill Oliver (R-District 4)
  • Rep. Matthew Ruby (R-District 40)
  • Rep. Gary Paur (R-District 19)
  • Sen. Larry Luick (R-District 25)
  • Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-District 10)
  • Sen. Shawn Vedaa (R-District 6)
  • Sen. Kelly Armstrong (R-District 36)
  • Sen. Oley Larsen (R-District 3)
  • Sen. Dwight Cook (R-District 34)
  • Sen. Jordan Kannianen (R-District 4)
  • Sen. Lonnie J. Laffen (R-District 43)
  • Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-District 17)

Rep. Chris Olson is the current president of the caucus, but he’s chosen not to run in 2018. He tried to run an anti-immigrant Bill through the House, but failed. It was barely obvious what the intent of the legislation was.

“My original Refugee Capacity Bill (HB 1427) was intended to determine the absorptive capacity of our communities and state for the federal refugee resettlement program.” — Rep. Chris Olson. We’re a barely inhabited large space on the map. Even the moose are confused, by the emptiness, when they inadvertently wander into the flat lands.

“Another huge victory for liberty here in North Dakota. Thank you Gov. Doug Burgum for signing into law Rep. Chris Olson’s Homeschool Testing Freedom Act, HB 1428!” — Bastiat Caucus

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

I’ve had a number of communications with Senator Oley in the past few years and he’s told me some weird $#it. My favorite  hobnobbing with the SENATOR involved me explaining how plagiarism worked, since that’s what he had done. What he posted was too well written. It didn’t take a word detective to figure it out.

“Just read that Trump Donated all of his Salary to the park service and the funds will go to the veteran’s cemeteries. I don’t care who you are, even High five Heidi, pilosie and whoppi have to respect that.” ― Sen. Oley Larsen. Can you spot anything a little off?

Oley also plans to introduce a Bill in the next session, that would allow Bible study in public schools, so there’s that.

“Life, faculties, production-in other words, individuality, liberty, property-this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

They put forth a bill to eliminate “safe spaces” from our colleges, based on some harrowing anecdote. It’s just a right-wing attempt to tar students with a label, when they don’t comport to some silly standard.

Is there a safe space at a North Dakota college? Nobody seems know. Is the counselor’s office a safe space? It should be. The nursing offices? Personally, anywhere I walk is a safe space, as far as I’m concerned. Home is. My favorite chair is. Another big deal made, where there is no problem.

“When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

Rep. Dwight Kiefert, likes to post his disdain for Muslims, and anyone with a different sexual orientation, than whatever he claims to be. The bigotry isn’t even alarming anymore. Otherwise, Kiefert has been trying to get guns into the schools for years. Nothing new there. I asked him about the explosive oil trains passing close to mostly rural schools, and he ignored me. We don’t mess with the oil guys in this state.

Wayne LaPierre speaking at the NRA Convention in 1999, stating the organization’s position on guns in schools. “We believe in absolutely, gun free, zero tolerance, totally safe schools.”

Our congressman, Kevin Cramer, is one of those alt-righters, since his hero in Mar-a-Lago slopes at a sharp angle in that direction, and he votes 98.5 percent with the president. Cramer probably wouldn’t be conservative enough to join the B Caucus, if put to the same test.

“Make North Dakota conservative again! get your hat. I will never apologize for being conservative.” — Rep. Luke Simons. The hat is a replica of the Make America Great Again red hat, worn by Trump and his supporters. Did someone ask Luke to apologize? It wasn’t me.

“We must ensure that Gov. Burgum hears from Second Amendment-loving North Dakotans, and not just the radical, anti-gun fringe.” — Rep. Luke Simons

“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

They keep score by what The American Conservative Union Foundation rates them at the end of the session, based on their votes on a couple of dozen bills chosen by the ACUF.

Becker and Simons scored 100. Johnston and Ertelt came in at 91. Way out there on the fringe. Oley was the highest rated senator. I don’t know if they had the correct answers beforehand. The people formerly known as Republicans were lucky to get to 50 on this test.

“Legal plunder has two roots: One of them, as I have said before, is in human greed; the other is in false philanthropy.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

RON SCHALOW: Cramer Can’t Worship Trump And God

Well, he has been, so I guess it’s possible, but it doesn’t seem proper to a hyena-fearing person like me. Maybe “shouldn’t” is a better word.

Kevin Cramer’s intoxicating “piousness cologne” doesn’t quite overwhelm the stench of the $#itholes that Donald Sr. dug here and there and has been filling with “Trump Tators™” for most of his life.

From the best-selling Decalogue, found in the Ark of the Covenant: “You shall have no other gods but Me.” Also: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.”

Those are the FIRST two!

“I really see the vocation of politics like I see every vocation — whether it’s being a reporter or serving in public life or being a plumber — as an extension of ministry.” — Kevin Cramer

But that’s not how it works. Mixing religion with government, and whatever the depraved Trump is, sounds good to some people, but the citizens of North Dakota, and the country, come first. It’s not optional.

If Cramer wants to minister, he can build a fire and brimstone proof church and go to town.

And the word “hypocrite” is being stretched like Trump’s golf khakis. Golly. St. Cramer might be a fraud — and a willing participant in the unholy shenanigans of the unvirtuous Trump. Collusion! Collusion!

Donald Trump, America’s Silvio Berlusconi, is not a good man. He is not a mediocre man. His claim to religion is fake. It’s more likely that a cross-eyed badger, with a drinking problem, has read the Bible than has ol’ collagen lips.

He’s deceitful, mean-spirited, small, vane, racist and a misogynist, just to name few of his better qualities. 45 is of such low quality in so many ways that thesauruses have been scraped clean of fitting synonyms for doofus nimrod.

A number of normal humans and other bipeds have accused the odious Trump of species appropriation. They think the painted pansy might be of the superfamily Muroidea, which would explain the missing Cheddar from the White House rodent traps.

Do you think Trump ever killed or had anyone killed? Had to think about that for a second, didn’t you? I don’t know the answer. Is there anyone encased in the cement of a Trump building? It almost seems probable. We know he never killed anyone in war, though, since he avoided Vietnam like it was exercise or a blister.

“We have in the person of Donald Trump a very Lincolnesque president,” Congressman Kevin Cramer said, just Feb. 23, after a year corrupt presidential hijinks.

Hasn’t Cramer been reading the papers? Is he literate? Is he void of perception? Is he talking about Orville Lincoln from Maxbass? Or is he just a tool who votes 98.5 percent with the Trumpskunk?

Regarding the biggest of stuff, our jumbo lump of clean-coal president refuses to engage an old enemy waging a war against our country. Helloooo? Bungling Commander-in-Chief. Wake the eff up! There are foreigners messing with our stuff, and some fine brains, on both sides. High crime.

Remember Don’s pal, Vladimir Putin, who has accepted being hairless on top. Well, the Russians have been waging a cyber war against us, and Einstein didn’t want to believe it. Having a walk-in closet full of pasty-faced guys just chattering away in an Eastern Slavic tongue would make Trump look stupid(er), and he doesn’t like being teased. So, it’s Obama’s fault.

Hell, we usually blow up an extra country, just for good measure, when provoked. But Trump is more worried about covering his own prodigious ass than his country, so he tweets, as the fire rages.

Possibly, excessively painted clown face is getting shook down by Putin. Or duffle-bag-of-spuds butt could be cleaning money for some other crooks or getting money funneled to Trump University from Russia through the NRA. Or perhaps something serious.

This punchline of a president is juggling more scandals than he has hairs on his head. 45 might be looking at jail time, if Robert Mueller keeps digging and finds a few slight peculiarities in the books, like a missing skyscraper, not on the balance sheet. They don’t serve KFC and McDonald’s in the klink. It’s tough being a criminal when president. People watch, listen, film, write and tell everyone, the blabbermouths. The stable genius must not have thought of that.

Obama didn’t bug the Trump Tower, he’s not from Kenya, and there were way more people at president Obama’s Inauguration.

Donald Trump’s hijinks go back decades. Most of it was documented or recorded, since the dip couldn’t stand to stand, or sit down, without a cameraman in attendance. He has been breaking Commandments, and laws, at a clip that would make Charles Manson blush.

He’s adulted, stolen and coveted like crazy. Donnie doesn’t pay his bills, cons whoever he’s looking at and counts the alt-right as most of his base. The Tiki tykes warm one of his internal organs. Hookers, porn stars, assaultin, and looking quite oily.

Envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. Which one doesn’t fit?

Then, 17 people are executed in Florida, and he rails against his own FBI and gives the big grin and thumbs up at the hospital.

Blah, blah, blah. Everybody knows this stuff. There are documentaries about the sleazeball, for crissakes. He’s left an endless trail of disgruntled workers and violated women.

Yet, most of state and federal lawmakers from North Dakota still support this pimple, and they’re never going to admit that lancing the orange cyst would be the healthy thing to do for the lot of us.

If 3M orders a new mop handle, some legislator will attribute the transaction to the tax scam. See? See? Oh, shut up. Most of the 1.5 trillion in borrowed dollars has probably ended up in warm climate hidey holes. Trump has earmarked his winnings for slippery lawyers.

In North Dakota, legislators are most excited by Trump’s racist xenophobic efforts to stymie the inflow of refugees, Muslims and legal immigrants. They’ll deny it, but one of the representatives offered legislation to determine what he called the “absorptive capacity” of refugees coming to Fargo. Uh, huh. We’re talking hundreds trying to escape dangerous places. We can spare a potato field.

When thousands descended on the west, to poke holes in the earth so the oil could be siphoned out, nobody asked about the absorptive capacity of Williston. Nor did they fret about price gouging, real North Dakotans being priced out of their homes or homeless job seekers sleeping in their pickups in minus 20 weather.

Free market, dude. Personal responsibility. Alabamians should have put on a few pounds, and added a layer of insulating blubber, before being lured north of the Mason-Dixon line. It will take five more minutes to freeze solid, if a Southerner can get up to Trump’s fighting weight of 239.

Now, we have the alt-right Cramer stepping up because he’s a patriot, doggonit, to run against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who did something the Cramer surrogates in the media were able to spin into maybe a high five after an anti-abortion vote. Then, she slam-dunked a basketball and made aggressive gestures towards the Republican bench. Pure evil. Rumor is, Heitkamp once knelt during the Beer Barrel Polka.

Heidi offends Cramer. Alt-right Trump doesn’t.

Everyone can see that the poor orange man cannot ride the bike. And he falls, falls and falls. And not necessarily accidentally. And lies, lies and lies. He obviously can’t help it, or doesn’t care.

Cramer claims to serve God. Donnie is the least moral man who ever bragged about assaulting women without suffering any repercussions. Kevin can’t credibly worship two Gods, when one of them would gut you like bluefin tuna for a Big Mac.

Yet, Cramer glommed onto the billionaire early in the process, when a child could plainly see that the man was crooked and shouldn’t be left alone to watch your plants or trusted with a guy’s wife. It was obvious.

“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are,” said someone. Trust me.

Kevin hangs around with a bad hombre, and another billionaire, Continental Oil CEO Harold Hamm, who volunteered to handle the finances for Cramer’s faceoff with Heidi. He’s no angel, either. Our boy will be a senator, or a board member of a huge oil company. His patriotic flip-flop is a lie. Cramer is a blatant opportunist, but Trump won’t remember his name — he may not, now — should he lose. He’ll just be another Eric.

Cramer is also a first-out-of the-gate Trump apologist and pantsuit critic. When he felt the networks were being too tough on his guy, Kevin sent questionnaires to the broadcasters, to put them on notice, I guess. Reporting accurately about old obese Don is going to be harsh because he’s incompetent — and proud of it. You just have to face it.

Cramer hoots during State of the Union speeches, tries to sanitize stupid Nazi remarks by the administration and lies about whatever is on the menu for the day. Kevin has denigrated the FBI, which has been successfully ferreting out Russians and their pawns. Why? Simply to protect the president.

National security versus Trump. Cramer chooses Trump.

A guy could go on forever about Trump, so a summary is futile. He has dug a copious number of $#itholes over the decades and sunned his belly in scores of swamps. It is all on Google. But Kevin looked down into the seven circles of greasy putrid Trumpiness and did a belly flop fully pantsuited, pulled himself onto the back of a croc and smirked. Infowars was on the big screen.

Now, I understand that some people say he is a nice person as a friend. And Cramer may do good things in the neighborhood and have a tremendous family. Someone else can write about that.

Politician Kevin can be mean, nasty and deceitful. He will lie. He has to me. Cramer has put big oil and the NRA over public safety. Everybody knows it. He isn’t as smart, or as hard working, as Heidi Heitkamp, if it mattered in this state. Our smarmy congressman does as he’s told. It’s a good pastime, if you can get it.

“In three years (maybe seven), Donald Trump will no longer be president,” Richard Brookhiser, a conservative scholar, wrote in National Review a few days before the (CPAC) conference began. “But conservatives who bent the knee will still be writing and thinking. How will it be possible to take them seriously? The short answer is, it won’t.”

And Congressman Cramer is no Trump. No one comes close. But he has his own kook going on.

“But by the way, did you notice how poorly several of them were dressed as well?” he asked. “It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird.” — Kevin Cramer (Silly and inaccurate).

“(Trump is) a president who values communicating directly with people,” Cramer continued. “It confounds many people in ‘the swamp,’ particularly the elite media, who just don’t understand why he doesn’t filter his message through them.” — Kevin Cramer (Prime $#ithole bull$#it)

President Trump, Cramer added, is a political and communications genius. (Sixty-five percent disagree.)

“Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned abortion on demand. And we wonder why our culture sees school shootings so often.” —Kevin Cramer (Oh, my)

“As a non-Native man, I do not feel secure stepping onto the reservation now.” — Kevin Cramer (He’s not popular with the Natives, but the statement is pure prime $#ithole bull$#it.)

Asked if he was scared by Trump’s recent comment that ozone-depleting compounds don’t hurt the environment, Cramer responded, “No, it doesn’t scare me, because frankly, it gets back to his blunt talk. He speaks so plainly, and yes, it may not seem sophisticated, it may not seem hyper-intellectual, but it’s plain enough for everybody to understand. The problem, of course, is that plain enough for everybody to understand should not be a synonym for patently false. — Kevin Cramer (Speaking plainly is not the same thing as lying.)

“These mandates and these wind farms are all based on this fraudulent science from the EPA, meaning their claim that CO2 is a pollutant and is causing global warming.” — Kevin Cramer (Big lie.)

“Yes!” the third-term lawmaker shouted from the House floor when Trump noted his administration had cleared the way for construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. “That was me, yes it was,” Cramer, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and a backer of both pipelines that will carry oil through his state, told E&E News after the speech. He called Trump’s speech the best before Congress since President Reagan’s addresses three decades ago. (He’s stable, though. Really.)

“I Love the NRA” — Kevin Cramer

“They should be greatly relieved,” Congressman Kevin Cramer told me of Democrats reacting to his decision not to run for the U.S. Senate. (Boastful, like his bud.)

“If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” — Kevin Cramer (Empathy-free.)

RON SCHALOW: Don’t Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor Or Anyone Huddled

I don’t like to brag, but I’m not a white supremacist.

I’m a pale pinkish beige, touch of gray, slight kale-green hue supremacist. Gray geese, they call the two of us in the press, although, honestly, they don’t pay any attention. Effing chromos, otherwise.

Me, or I, except after c, and the other bloke in the mookie genus, Roy, are part of this microscopic first cousin tendril of the standard Caucasian, like you see wandering around looking up at the sun during an eclipse.

No offense to nitwits. I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist Kodachrome who ever existed, except maybe for Roy. Tough call. He hollered obscenities at a White Snowy owl once, but the bird probably had it coming, considering it latched onto Roy’s head. It dug in pretty deep, so it must have planned on staying for a while. Roy looks a lot like a fence post.

Some of our earlier relatives were pretty rabid racists, though. For instance, Brita. “Filter,” they called her, used to shout, “you effing sapiens. Go back to your “shithole.” But she could pass for white in the sunlight, so she doesn’t count. Some garish cosmetic-laden, pumpkin-headed lard a$$ grabbed Brita’s p**** one time, and she made him eat the Russian wife catalogue in his coat pocket, with no condiments. Also a coffee table.

Roy and I come from a long line of off-brand genetic northern heavyweights, including Ragnar Lodbrok and Eddard Stark, as far as anyone knows. Roy brags a bit, and gets downright militant at times, but we usually just do a little bleaching and blend in with the white people. Our meetings suck. Point of order! Point of order! Shut the eff up, Roy! Give me that gavel, you effing mook!

Roy’s prickly personality has led to a good stoning on several occasions. It’s never seemed to bother him, though. Tough skull genes. He’s lost a few eyebrows.

We held a rally once, followed by a walk for Kodo justice, but we barely got a block before Roy spots some bad hombre down on one knee, and loses it. “You ungrateful SOB,” screams Roy before he coldcocks the poor sap. It turns out the dude was in the midst of a major heart attack. Who knew it could be so complicated to spot a myocardial infarction from 50 yards? Anyway, the drama got thick. Roy grabbed a flight and is currently selling LED light bulbs in Puerto Rico. Better than being deported to Mitchell, S.D.

But Fargo resident, Pete Tefft IS a white supremacist. He’ll argue otherwise. But he’s aggressively white supremacist. Trust me. Any brown people introduced into the country, by birth or immigration, is just another excuse to scream “white genocide” for this dangerous nut. It’s a bright red flag at the least. He lurks around Chris Berg’s POV page, waiting for the tossing of the red chum.

Not that it makes any difference to him, but sepia-toned, and other shades of brown humans, have been on this dirt for over 10,000 years, and many more nonwhite, non-Christian types have showed up and settled, long before this space was a country. And many came on one of the delightfully torturous and mandatory death cruises. This hemisphere never met Pete’s expectations.

Tefft calls himself a “pro-white activist,” which in Fargo doesn’t even merit a torch lit 5K — or a pancake feed. Only the altos feel like they’ve been trodden on for their skin color. The others are tailgating.

People in Fargo, including me, have referred to Tefft as our resident white supremacist. If only that were true. Pete is just tip of the iceberg with a defective haircut. Do you just goose-step into the nearest Cheap Cuts and ask for a Herr Himmler?

Alt-right dolts have permeated the country. But few altos show up at a women’s march looking for attention like Tefft. The misogyny runs strong in the cult. Ninety-nine percent of the yokels stay dormant, like devious cancer cells, until summoned. I’ve heard a tremendous tuning fork is involved. There’s always a humming in my head anyway. The dog whistles are less subtle, and the beast has risen. Then, there is the president, who just flat out spits the racism right at the camera lens. For some, this a feature not a bug.

In Fargo, the severe right flock to the usual online places, for a shot at feeling superior. KVLY and POV-something are always good for some race baiting headlines, as are Scott Hennen’s Facebook page and Rob Port’s Fargo Forum- owned blog, where they outwardly cheer the Tiki tots of Charlottesville and continue to bitch about Obumble. Port is a peach, except for his dishonest pit. Port and KVLY have banned me from their sites. Probably a good move.

  • Acceptable comment on Port’s blog: “Speaking of fun, i am trying to decide what to do with my first month of my tax cut. Maybe a new drone or a neon sign for my bar room. I need those things more than some 400lb ghetto whore needs her food stamps.” Warning: Not all of the comments are this classy.

Anyway, the first thing to establish for racists is when commenting on any topic, is that you’re not a bigoted racist and whine about probably being called a bigoted racist by some cuck officially with the “intolerant left,” then proceed to act like a bigoted racist. There’s a manual on 4Chan.

Thankfully, like everyone else, all alt-righters are not alike. It’s a buffet. Some believe there are people who identify as transgender because it is trendy. Others don’t know what those words mean. It’s a cornucopia.

Having an attitude problem with refugees, dreamers and natives, in particular? Those are the big three in North Dakota. A red-faced disdain for any type of immigration — and indigenous people — is all you need. You’re set. It’s like a starter kit for racists. The professional race experts who have never been south of Oakes, N.D., like to toss in Chicago, Baltimore, Ferguson and the words “inner city” to show off their memorization skills.

Oh, and the wall. It will make us safe from something, maybe Mexican bears, even though humans have been outsmarting tall barriers for a few thousand years. Outwitting a fear exploiting Trump wall should take a minute. The chain migration whining is BS. Even the few lottery recipients get vetted for years.

We’ve managed to keep tourism down, though. Less stolen hotel ashtrays, I guess. “Marge, let’s go visit that place where the creepy racist lunatic liar runs the show. Whatta you say?” “Shut up, Marvin. You’re an idiot. At least we’ll be safe in Mexico.”

White nationalists, neo-Nazis, Donald Trump supporters and the KKK. Think of the picnics. Swastika tattoos for the kids, crotch grabbing and zero for the cucks. Porn stars. Hankies for the incels who claim  “involuntary celibacy” because of SOCIETY, man. Sob. Alex Jones might be there. Maybe Steve Bannon. BYOT — Bring Your Own Torch.

“White identity” is under attack by multicultural forces, you know. Altos hate “political correctness” and “social justice.” Lib%$&#’s, dem@—!^%’s, and progs are frowned upon with a white hot passion. Boo to “establishment” conservatism. “Jews won’t replace us.” Some also vilify women, especially those pushy feminists. “Femoids” refers to women these rubes consider nonhuman. Deep undercover. Muslims, and anyone who isn’t as straight, as the alt-righters believe themselves to be. There are only two genders because they say so, and saying otherwise confuses them, more than it should.

They have their own language. Like Trump.

  • Fun fact: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump’s Igor, does cameos on cop shows, as the sheet-covered body. Lifting the linen, revealing his dead empty shark eyes, scares the dogs, and they butt their heads into the TV, so they stopped uncovering Steph’s face. Especially troubled were Mexican Chihuahuas. They waited 1,400 years to bite the first European to wade ashore, and they are genetically predisposed to clamp onto the tibia of racist humans.

For all of my years in North Dakota, we’ve been trying get people into this state. Bribing them, if necessary. Now, it depends. Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn and Rep. Chris Olson, and whole pack of others with at least one good opposable thumb, want to know, as Olson claims, what is the “absorptive capacity” of a town as it applies to legal refugees with a darker tint than Edgar Winter. Or Olaf, for younger readers. Rob Port discovered, through one of his anonymous sources, that Olaf is actually a fake fictional character and is frankly animated, and professionally so. Damn California leftists.

Piepkorn just wants to know how much these people with pigmentation cost the city. He never says, “if anything.” Breitbartism is alive and well in Fargo.

Whoa, let’s just do a cost-benefit analysis on everyone. Send Port a bill for the wear and tear he’s been putting on the sidewalks in Minot. Unreliable sources tell me he walks the town in a disoriented state nightly. He could be smoking too many bowls in a sitting.

Unvetted people are driving into Fargo every day. Some fly. We need to stop every moving van headed our way before the interlopers put in an arugula garden and start brewing deliciously hoppy — with a lemony tang — craft beer. Our city borders are leaking like the Trump White House. Roy was as lazy as 45 easy. But he split without a debriefing. He made good money, so despite his relaxed state of being, his tax contributions put him the plus column.

Such bull$#!*. Nobody wanted to know the “absorptive capacity,” of anything, when the oil patch was teeming with thousands of workers, many who drove their old pickup, all the way from Kentucky, only to find they didn’t have a job waiting. Lot’s of them ended up broke and homeless. Did anyone ask how much these poor people cost Williston?

Did we “absorb” the pimps, drug dealers, thieves, and other crooks who always follow the money, without a hitch?

C.S. Hagen did a research piece, published  in the High Plains Reader, called “DISLIKE” (available online), which identified nine North Dakota politicians who identify with the alt-right.

All of the state representatives listed are also “coincidentally” in the “Bastiat Caucus.” The “Whitesnake Caucus” was already taken, or so many people might say. The next step, obviously, was to look for names in 19th century France.

  • Congressman Kevin Cramer; aka “the barnacle on Trump’s racist ass.”
  • Rep. Rick Becker.
  • Rep. Luke Simons.
  • Rep. Chris Olson.
  • Rep. Daniel Johnston.
  • Rep. Dwight Kiefert.
  • Rep. Sebastian “Seabass” Ertelt.
  • Fargo City Commissioner and Fargo Deputy Mayor Dave Piepkorn.
  • Burleigh County Commissioner Jim Peluso.

I have no doubt that more altos have weaseled their way into our Legislature and other offices, but nobody is bragging about it. Some will rail against the leftist scum, cuckservatives, government lib%$^*s, snowflakes and, of course, the feminists involved in the “New World Order.” They also abhor pedophilia rackets in pizza shops and Hillary’s emails.

I don’t think those in Al Carlson’s “Angry Dinosaur Caucus,” even know what’s transpiring. Al is my representative, and he even answered one of my emails. I was flattered. He wrote, “I’ll get back to you.” Of course that was four years ago, so Carlson might be having trouble working his email machine. Fingers crossed.

Anyone who thinks that allowing less people into our country — Judy Estenson, chairwoman of District 23 of the North Dakota Republican Party wants that. She said so in the Forum. I’ll wager most the North Dakota GOP feels the same. — is going to help anything, is full of liverwurst.

Besides being a plus to our economy, it’s the right thing to do. Save lives, reunite families and provide opportunity to deserving people. It’s not like we’re short on space.

# # #

“An April 2017 analysis by the Government Accountability Office found that in recent years, 73 percent of terrorism fatalities were caused by “far right wing extremists.” — Washington Post.

RON SCHALOW: Partners in Slime

I’m all a flutter waiting on Kevin Cramer’s big decision. Actually, my heart does have a slight flutter. I should have that looked at. Anyway, our lone congressman needs to decide whether to run against Heidi Heitkamp for her Senate seat, or shoot for another two years in Congress. Anyway, the Cong …

Whoa. Wait. Cramer just decided he wants to have a job in 2019. He likes the income — and the benefits — no matter how much he pleads poverty on $175,000. And the work is easy. He just votes as he’s told, which a relatively intelligent parrot, a cockatoo perhaps, could probably handle. But the Constitution insists on human representation. Plus, the birds will fly off in a blur of colorful feathers, given a crack of daylight, and drown themselves in the Potomac. Parrots have shame.

President Trump invited Cramer and his wife to the White House to sell Kevin on running against Heidi. As far as we know anyway. Our congressman has only mentioned it 412 times.

Evidently, the stable genius wasn’t his coherent fourth-grade best, and it was hard to tell exactly what the fat old man really wanted, through the vulgar cursing, and repetition of the story, the one when he invented chunky soup with Millard Fillmore and that one porn star. The best soup ever. Trust him. No $#!**& beet or lima bean soup. That’s what I heard from some guy yelling at a fire plug.

Let this be a lesson to all of the kids out there. The dishwasher gel packs aren’t edible, and don’t inhale the hairspray. Thankfully, 45 kept the grabbing to a minimum during the visit. His digits were cramping up from his most recent Tweet bomb cyclone.

Evidently, the world’s best salesman couldn’t make the sale, even to his most ardent apologist. And Sammy, that’s what Trump calls everyone he can’t remember, decided to play it safe. Or so Kev thinks. I predict that North Dakota state Rep. Rick Becker will change his mind about not running for statewide office, and primary the smirker, and win the Republican nomination. Or Becker will make a run for the Senate. He’s for freedom, you know. It’s a popular stance.

Cramer will find a job quickly. The country has a severe shortage of pantsuit critics.

You have to hand it to the congressman. He glommed onto Trump prodigious bum early and excused everything the crude, incompetent. immoral, racist, sexist, lying, egomaniac, narcissist, tax-evading, xenophobe, draft dodger, mentally challenged, Russian tool and lunatic, with an unseemly large supply of Tiki torches in the oval office, did or said.

The list is much longer, but what’s the point? Seventy percent of Americans already know what a sleazy creep this president has been for many decades. Cramer never even bit his lip. He wanted a Cabinet position. Screw the country.

And the book. Every time I read one of the damning passages, I thought, yeah, I can see that happening. Not too shocking. Few people think he is qualified for the job. He’s a just huckster. OMG, the president is bald! Who would have thought it? Ike was pretty much hairless, but you didn’t see him strutting around with a Pomeranian on his dome.

Trump’s shameful behavior never bothered the holy extra pious Cramer, though. Even the ****hole ooze pile of horse$#!*. The detestable Trump is the opposite of godly. Cramer chose Trump over Christian behavior. Kev’s two-faced. The worst kind of face. Cramer equals Trump now. One in the same.

But God told Kevin to run for Congress. Uh huh. I don’t think he’s allowed to worship Trump, too. I’m positive on that one. I know the pope frowns on it.

Of course, every member of the North Dakota GOP, including the governor, remains silent, which makes them all as complicit in this grease fire as Cramer, and the nativist rhetoric and policies of the fat @$$. Good humans don’t support repugnant con artists.

Trump is an adherent of the alt-right. He’s proven it, over and over. You may have noticed Steve Bannon lurking in the Oval Office looking offensive. The alt-right is made up of white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, neo-fascists and others. They like fire on flimsy sticks, don’t care for uppity women and think that white men are under some sort of siege.

North Dakota has a good share of these “fine people” in the Legislature. How many? I don’t know. Too many. Who are they? I could make some good guesses, but voters should just ask — or figure it out — by what type of clever-coded jargon the politicians use on their Facebook pages, and websites.

Many people in North Dakota agree with these views. They believe a wall isn’t stupid and that Trump is looking out for them, “the forgotten people.” Donnie couldn’t pick out North Dakota on a map, and Mr. Gold Toilet would think every town in the state is a $#!*hole. Luckily, we’re already stocked up on Norwegians.

This old yarn was recently posted by two legislators on their Facebook pages, It may go back as far as Reagan’s fictional black welfare queen.

“Went to Yellowstone with my family, signs everywhere saying not to feed wild life. The reason for this is that the wildlife become dependent on handouts and forget how to live in the natural environment.They become lazy, and violent and the family structure is ruined. If it’s true for nature it’s true for humans Of all NATIONALITIES.”

Dog whistle alert at the end. It’s a don’t-call-me-a-racist warning. If you have to deny it, you probably have some extreme ideas about race. “They become lazy and violent, and the family structure is ruined.” Ever heard that line applied to anyone living in Belfield, N.D.?

Are people animals? Yes, but none of them live in Yellowstone, and few people have mounted a human head on the rec room wall. The poster of this simplistic offensive paragraph has cattle. Are they dependent on him, or do they all have jobs in town, at Dairy Queen? Are cows more important than people? To some folks, I guess.

And this next genius lawmaker follows Trump’s lead because like 45, he doesn’t understand the issue or is in denial that an issue even exists, as if living in North Dakota — or a penthouse — makes one an expert on race.

“Thank you, Alejandro Villanueva for doing the right thing and making your fellow veterans proud. To Coach Tomlin and the rest of the feckless Steelers, you’re ungrateful wimps that should be fired.”

This sycophant doesn’t know much about football, but he and his funky haired buddy, know that the NFL is made up of mostly of large black men. Bull$#!* like this plays well with their intellectual base. Quit kneeling, dammit!

As the classy stooge, Rep. Roscoe Streyle would say to these two gentlemen, Trump, and Cramer, if there were any chance he didn’t agree with them; go pound sand, you stupid %@&*$!’s.

RON SCHALOW: Dope For An Old Dope

It was a dark and stormy ni… d’oh. Wrong story. Actually, it was a cool and calm evening, with a cloudless sky and a full moon. Hardly the point but worth noting.

I and an associate were attending one or several parties in Bismarck. It’s not clear how many, but liquor, my favorite liquid at the time, was served. My associate, who was also my friend, was also not allergic to beer and whiskey but was an amatuer comparatively speaking.

On another date, I was at a party in Bismarck, associate-free, where they played “Love by the Dashboard Light” over and over and over. My brain was overflowing with Meat Loaf. You never truly recover.

At some point, pot was introduced into the mix. Except for a handful of times in the past, I had always declined when a lit joint was pushed in my face. I had enough problems. But I was in a weakened state of mind, and my associate was in a regular state of mind but was unphased. We both partook. Deeply inhaled, we did and took our turn on most passes.

I didn’t know if it was good pot. I didn’t know the strain. I had no clue who obtained the pot or where they got it. I had no expertise when it came to marijuana.

Then we decided to go to Mandan. Why? I don’t know. Why did anyone? I didn’t live there and neither did my associate, Maybe there was another party to attend that was too good to miss. There might have been a rumor of a large pack of girls gathered, a gender that motivated my associate to a degree of distraction. Did I get his drift? I easily got his drift. As Hawkeye Pierce once said, “I played left drift in high school.”

I always played it as cool as a fondue pot of bubbling Hot Habanero Cheddar.

Sidebar: Whenever someone mentions Mandan, I always think of an act in one of hotel lounges in Bismarck. The front man of the band referred to Mandarin, the little Chinese community to the west, which wasn’t funny, before singing, “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Loose Wheel.” That was pretty clever.

So off to Mandan we drove. By car. I don’t condone or recommend this type of behavior, but it did happen, without a thought. That was my MO for decades. My friend had a big Buick with a huge engine. Gas hadn’t reached a buck yet in 1979. And if I looked under the hood, it made sense. It was reassuring.

Since my friend was considerably shorter than me, the bench seat was set all the way forward, which forced my knees into the glove box. It didn’t hurt. He was a short, stocky cowboy who wanted to try his hand at a city job. He knew how to grow animals and plants for human consumption. I’ve never handled a live roast, but he had. He would even sit on irritated bulls for some reason.

I doubt if we buckled up — or gave it consideration. The Buick rolled off the ramp onto Interstate 94 and didn’t merge with other vehicles, since most normal people were sleeping in the middle of the night. We headed west.

The ride was as calm as any I’ve experienced. The big car moved smoothly and quietly.

I had previously owned a number of large vehicles, none that moved smoothly or quietly. One had the same gas mileage and disposition as a poorly tuned World War II-era Sherman tank. Another had self-flattening tires, which was convenient. On one occasion, the wind whipped the air and snow into a minus-50 chill. By the time I finished switching out the left rear tire, the meat on my ham bones were frozen solid to the marrow of my femur. I had to defrost my legs slowly in a walk-in cooler for a week, like a Butterball turkey fresh from the freezer section. It was unpleasant.

My associate and I tackled some deep topics on the empty highway. We coined the inane phrase “it is what it is” and promised to never repeat it. It leaked out somehow. I don’t think Trump has placed claim on the expression yet.

Was the moon at its apogee, or perigee, or neither? We didn’t have phones that connected to an Internet to get the facts. Or any phone, since they were priced in the Howard Hughes range and were as large as a salt lick. Speculation was all we had. The dark ages.

He wanted me to explain women, since I had been in the company of several females and he assumed I had garnered some useful knowledge. I learned nothing. I’m still stupid on the topic. Perhaps dumber. He was disappointed. I suggested he stand behind one of those bucking horses and wait until the feeling went away.

If most pro and college kickers can blast the football into the end zone almost every time from the current kickoff spot, why in the hell don’t they move the line back, so fans can see a runback. Way more exciting than some dude taking a knee every time. We were in strenuous agreement. Excited utterances nearly erupted.

All was well. Then my associate spotted a giant cow on a mountain to our left. I said, I know that cow. It’s Salem Sue, a superhuge Holstein. It’s dead, as far as I know, but don’t provoke it.

Anyhow, we overshot Mandan by 30 miles, and not purposely as is generally the case. So my associate took the New Salem exit and made two lefts, to get the Buick pointed east. It was acutely untraumatic.

Not much later in my life, I climbed the cow mountain, with several different associates. I used to have a large number of associates. Anyway, the cow is definitely deceased.

We did make it to Mandan, or we kept going to Bismarck, or Jamestown. It was impossibly unimportant.

As George W. Bush rationalized his substance abuse until he was 40: “When I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid.” I suspect he retained the stupidity, and perhaps I have backslid, but not to the degree of decades past.

Now nearly four decades later, I find myself a candidate for marijuana, medical or otherwise, for several chronic maladies. Nothing on my insides seems to be operating with any accuracy, and my nerve endings don’t respect their former boundaries. There is no precision to my walking.

I would like to give it a try. But I’m still ignorant about pot.

Where do I get it, without moving to another state? Do I stand in a dark alley near downtown and vigorously wave my cane? Is there a code word to shout? Is there an app? Does anyone deliver? How much does it cost?

I know there is plenty of inventory. Every other week, some poor schlub who got paid a couple hundred bucks to transport a bale of pot down the interstate, gets pulled over for some bonehead reason.

I used to have associates across the spectrum, some who could handle touchy things for me, or at least tell me what to do. Google is worthless on this topic, and I love Google. I used to be in cahoots with the Canadian mafia for crissakes. They weren’t that scary.

Opiates don’t do the trick, and I’m kind of glad. I would rather smoke a weed.

Tell the Feds if you wish. Maybe they’ll know how the hell it works.

RON SCHALOW: American Gun

Is it still too soon to talk about guns — and the slaughter in Las Vegas — or is too late? Who makes the timing rules? I think it’s Sean Hannity, who is in some unholy alliance with Bobo, aka the president of the United States, who is so short on brain juice that he’ll believe or lie about damn near anything. Sleazeball times two.

It doesn’t matter. Thoughts and prayers. There will be another large massacre soon enough. Of course, the media (yes, the liberal one, which keeps unfairly recording Bobo) and our public servants in D.C., won’t get off their fat a$$es, unless the blood is ankle deep when it’s a white shooter, or zero inches for a Muslim extremist, one of the smart ones, who couldn’t make it past the planning stage before getting J. Edgared.

And no, the mere mention of any sort of attempt to keep guns out of the wrong hands, or limit their lethality, is not a ban. Gun control does mean a ban on all guns, or the hairbrained parts to make them more lethal.

A smattering of regulation, considering the mountain of armaments floating about the country isn’t going to keep people or animals, safe. Maybe a bit. Maybe. Better than nothing, Bobo. It’ll get better, if we do something.

Try to get your hands on a stick of dynamite.

You can buy a flamethrower online, for crissakes. Impress your friends by lighting the grill from across the yard. Ooh, sorry Jimmy. Walk it off, bud. Char your cranky neighbor, Orville, from your bedroom window, and torch his fancy picket fence to the ground, which is 3 inches on your land.

Cars have nothing to do with it. Yes, we know that people are killed in and by cars, you rubes. One of the fine people in Charlestown for the Tiki tot rally, sent bodies flying, and killed a woman with his car. Cars will not be banned, but some brain poor idiot, many actually, will bring it up. Every time. Duh, maybe we should ban cars, heh, heh.

Oh yeah, what about Chicago, you liberal cuck? Oh, Chicago, that island surrounded by water, horrible ocean water. There is no way to get guns into that town. Or Baltimore.

And we should blame the spoon for obesity. My sides ache. Stairs. We must ban them because of gravity. Knives, of course. Frying pans, arrows, hammers, name a tool, and giggle at your cleverness. Duh, maybe we should ban________, heh, heh. Take my wife, please.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a bazooka. Thirty-second floor and far away, dudes. You could just as well throw your 30 mm Beretta towards the a$$hole terrorist shooter.

I don’t even know why we’re arguing with this small herd of extremists that bark at the mailman and scream freedom like Mel Gibson because tyranny runs rampant in this country. Stupid laws on things.

Only 25 percent of adults (estimated) in America own a gun, and 3 percent of these gun “superowners” possess 50 percent of all firearms. (Time) A little over 10 million citizens own 50 percent of all the guns in the United States. The Las Vegas a$$hole terrorist had a lot of guns.

Among those 10 million are collectors and hunters. Or both. And among the hunters are reasonable men and women. Eighty percent of ALL Americans favor universal background checks for ALL gun purchases, but the Senate still voted it down. That leaves just 2 million citizens who won’t suffer any inconvenience of any measure.

Less than three-fourths of 1 percent of American adults own 50 percent of the guns in the country. It’s kinda like our money.

Armslist.com is just one of the websites where you can shop for guns from private sellers in your town who aren’t subject to background checks. Many gun shows are the same.

Of course the extremists deny that this loophole exists, and I go, nuh huh. I’ve contacted some of these private sellers and asked. Background check? Nope. What sense does it make to do a background check on just some gun buyers? About as much sense, but not as funny, as Rodney Dangerfield rushing past his assistant and hollering, “Ophelia, hold some of my calls.” (“Back To School,” 1986). Well, I thought it was funny.

So, less than 2 million people are holding some of our calls.

But snowflake. The Vegas a$$hole terrorist passed his background checks. I know. Everything doesn’t have to be about the last massacre. The streetlights on 13th Avenue didn’t stop the accident from happening on Fourth Street, either.

“But I’m mad now” Homer Simpson

Indeed, the a$$hole terrorist purchased dozens of guns, large capacity round drum magazines, clips, bump stocks, ammo and somehow managed to lug it all up to his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Are the metal detectors on the blink? The Oceans 11 guys didn’t have so much stuff. Usually, businesses that deal in large amounts of cash have a high security apparatus. Maybe some improvement is due?

How did the a$$hole terrorist accumulate so many long guns, in a short period, without a red flag getting vigorously waved?

From USA Today: “Gun shop owners are required under federal law to alert ATF if a client buys more than one handgun from the same store within five days, but the same rule doesn’t apply if a gun owner buys multiple semiautomatic rifles, said David Chipman, a former ATF special agent and senior policy adviser at Americans for Responsible Solutions, which advocates for tougher gun rules.

That discrepancy allows people like Paddock to stockpile arsenals such as the one used in Sunday’s shooting, he said.

“The amazing loophole here is you could buy two small pistols and ATF will be alerted to that, but you could buy 20 assault rifles and ATF won’t be alerted at all,” Chipman said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

No, it doesn’t make any sense. Will one of the D.C. trio from North Dakota introduce legislation to close this loophole? I doubt it.

And what percent of the 3 percent are gangs, patriot groups that hate the government, white supremacists, preppers, who have their bunkers all decked out and ready for Halloween and the apocalypse. Other interesting chaps buy their guns by the dozen, too.

Large capacity round drum magazines, ammo clips as long as a Bobo tie, bump stocks and any device that can turn a semiautomatic rifle essentially into a Gatling gun, have to go. There is no point to a 60 bullet clip, or a 100 shell drum magazine, except to kill a lot of people, or just eff around with for fun. Get a different hobby.

The white-tailed deer I’ve talked to, say, one shot and they’re vapor. Rattle off the other 59 shells if you want, but I’ve split, you moron, you. Tails of any color, all have a very fast beast attached to them, that are spooked by a chipmunk chewing.

Personally, I would like to ban any long gun that can be converted to machine gun removed from the stores, but that’s not going to happen. What will all of the shirtless guys pose with, for their Facebook profile pictures, if not an AR-15? Oh, the manliness.

For gawds sake, don’t call an an AR-15 an assault rifle, or 18 people on Facebook will automatically flip out. They just look like an assault rifle, which makes them cool, and they can hold the giant-sized clips and round drum magazines, in case you’re attacked by a large pack of gophers. Light them up, Louie.

But: “Under the guidance of former Marine and former Army Ordnance technician, Eugene Stoner, the AR-10 became the main focus of attention. Army officials asked Armalite to develop a smaller version of the AR-10 in 1956 as a potential replacement for the M1 Garand. The ensuing rifle was called the AR-15 and was produced with aircraft grade aluminum receivers, weighing less than seven pounds.” — Armalite

So, call it anything but an “assault rifle,” but know this particular weapon was developed for war, and it hasn’t been allowed in the hands of civilians for all that long.

Oh, buttercup. If a person wants to kill a lot of people, they’ll find a way to do it, one way or another. Not really.

Could the kid-killer in New Town have built a bomb, or found a way to illegally buy all of the weaponry he stole from his personally murdered mother? Doubtful. Did he have the wherewithal or the money? Was he to just walk downtown and ask for the grenade guy?

If a person is determined, they could take a chainsaw to my, or anyone’s, wood door. They could chuck a rock through my glass patio doors. I’ll just lock the doors, and go to bed.

Most of these dicks aren’t that bright.

Speaking of not too bright dicks, Forum Communications has one on staff. He’s a big-time blogger, and he reminds me of the statue that stood outside of Bob’s Big Boy in Minot on Fourth Street. Anyhow, I choose to refer to Voldeport as BBB, in memory of Big Boy, who always sported checkered garb, just like BBB.

First, after the Vegas bloodbath, BBB, out of some sense of loyalty to the NRA, who knows why, wrote that these mass murders would stop, if the media didn’t “rubberneck” after these killings and actually report the event. That’s pretty stupid BBB. The usual. It’s a good thing you’re allowed to publish anything.

Then, my pal, BBB, who made a case for not talking about the Vegas slaughter, decided that his advice didn’t apply to him, wrote a post, entitled, “If murder were legal, who would you kill first?” BBB’s premise is that the vast majority of us would not kill anyone. Mostly. Today. It makes for a nice fairy tale. That the good people would never kill. Until they do. Any kind of gun control is a red herring, claims BBB. He’ll say most anything, but invoking a fish is just sad..

BBB never tries to come up with any answers, though. Evidently, according to the right wing, Americans are too stupid to figure out this one out, so just don’t think about it.

Then, he wonders in print why Heidi Heitkamp isn’t talking about gun control, as if she has voted for any laws in the past. BBB loves Heidi. I truly believe she could kick BBB’s B around the block.

And lastly in this batch of rants, he tries to change the subject by pointing out that most gun deaths are due to suicide. Thanks BBB. But as a child can clearly see, a mass murder from a high floor of a hotel in Las Vegas has nothing to do with the suicide of an individual. Homicides are different. That’s why they named the two differently.

He wonders why no one is waving the flag on this epidemic, which is a silly false assertion. People are on it, spud. Typical BBB. Then he lies, by stating that a gun in the house has no effect on suicide rates. Experts across the board say that a gun in the home increases increases the risk of suicide, and bunch of other bad things, but BBB, a Minot High grad, as far as we know, pulls alternative facts out of his B. He does the same with global warming.

This final chunk was written by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who makes some sense.

  1. Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun. Four out of five Americans support this measure, to prevent criminals or terrorists from obtaining guns.
  2. Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases. This is already the law for handgun purchases in many states, and it mirrors the law on buying alcohol.
  3. Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order. This is a moment when people are upset and prone to violence against their ex-es.
  4. Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month, and tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals. Make serial numbers harder to remove.
  5. Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, useful for solving gun crimes.
  6. Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use. Such guns require a PIN or can only be fired when near a particular bracelet or other device, so that children cannot misuse them and they are less vulnerable to theft. The gun industry made a childproof gun in the 1800s but now resists smart guns.
  7. Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.
  8. Invest in research to see what interventions will be more effective in reducing gun deaths. We know, for example, that alcohol and guns don’t mix, but we don’t know precisely what laws would be most effective in reducing the resulting toll. Similar investments in reducing other kinds of accidental deaths have been very effective.

RON SCHALOW: Port Whine, Part 4 — Failing Up

Rob Port is hot, and not just because his defroster is stuck on high in the minivan, and certainly not due to any physical activity. The Forum Communications golden boy is moving on up to the east side of Minot, to the land of Oley, Roscoe and the stockyards. Or so I’ve heard. No one knows why. He’s a great guy.

Why, just a few days ago, he discovered that addicts aren’t necessarily bad people, and wrote about it, so the ignorant among us could hear the good news. It was a gutsy move, since only 11 people thought addicts were bad people in the first place. He’s a tremendous barometer of societal phenomenon already realized and an insignificant advocate for the downtrodden. He’s a great guy.

Last week, among other things, Port made the top five of writers (cough) to be considered for the honor of Fargo’s Best Columnist, as determined by the always hammered on sloe gin supermellow guy on the 18th floor, who thinks there is an 18th floor in the Forum building. Trump sees it.

Obie, as he likes people to yell when addressing him, was to pick five names out of a Fedora once owned by Harry Belafonte. Obie swiped it in the ’60s from an ancient hat check with poor security, so this wasn’t willy-nilly decision making. Harry is still the man, man. Anyway, five names adhered to Obie’s sticky fingers first dip, and that was that. Tremendous. Trust me.

Rob beat out Jack Zaleski, Jane Ahlin, Jessie Veeder, Tony Bender, Tammy Swift, Lloyd Omdahl, Jon Hauser, Steve Stark and everyone else considered a regular columnist and omitted from the list. SOB’s, the lot of them. Escort them to the nearest locker room.

Port writes at the same level that our American president, the most powerful man on Earth, speaks, thinks and Tweets, which is no small feat. It’s huge. Believe me. So, to win the title would be timely, especially since his Forum-owned blog is down 78 percent since it peaked last December, when Port was publishing the anti-Native propaganda churned out by Energy Transfer Partners hired goons, mercenaries with guns, keyboards and Port’s email address.

Racism sells, in case you were wondering. Port knows. Trump knows. Standing Rock knows. And now, Puerto Rico knows. The kid can’t understand what black people are protesting. What’s with the taking a knee thing? Port thinks the NFL players are just trying to wind up the president and have no true grievance, when they are giving Joe bone spurs draft dodger a big f*** you because they live in the real world. Maybe look things up before you write an ignorant post, Port. But why start now.

Hardcore Libertarians don’t believe any group should get special protection, even if the need is glaring, because it means bigger government. Port claims to be a Libertarian, although I’m not sure what species he is, to be certain. Anyway, to cover for this gaping flaw in Libertarian ideology, he simply claims that no problem exists. Blacks should be happy to have it so good. If you’re going to face discrimination, this a great country to face it in. Aren’t we tremendous, with no flaws. Believe me.

The no evidence argument is used to rationalize bigotry against the LGBT community and refugees, too. It’s all purpose. If Port can’t see it from his porch, it ain’t happening.

And the North Dakota Petroleum Council knows all about Port. Why do you think it invited Robbie to speak at its annual hoedown? Because it likes the cut of his jib? Because he’s honest? They know he’s not, and that’s the part they like, especially since he’s infected the bloodstream of the expansive Forum Company. What is Port going talk about? Alternate facts? He doesn’t know anything about the oil industry. Trump just figured out that islands are surrounded by water, and he’s the one in charge.

It doesn’t matter. Port ignored all of the rules and published everything he was fed during the pipeline protests. He took big bites. Towns burn down and citizens die. Port excuses it. Exployees die at unheard of rates. Port excuses it. Spills, leaks and tax cuts. Port writes what he is told. So, the North Dakota Petroleum Council is rewarding the lad. I suggest a monstrous speaking fee, a large bar of gold and a kiss on the lips from Harold Hamm. He’s worth it. He’s terrific. He’s a great guy.

So, Rob is up for “best columnist,” and speaking gibberish to the millionaires who haven’t bolted for the hotel bar. The topper is getting another hour to spout on the Forum company owned WDAY-AM, and he doesn’t even have to leave the comfort of somebody’s home in Minot, to be the antithesis of an expert. On everything. He is the only living person to make money as a nonexpert. On everything.

Plus, now, Rob can give his buddy, Congressman Kevin Cramer, more free air time, to complain about the media. Two ideologues in a pod. Then, Kev chalks it up as a Town Hall. Thanks, but I would rather be lied to in person.

It was only a few years ago that Port was shoeing mules at the local Home of Economy. Or something. I’m not sure. He could have been in the toaster department. I recall a lot of toasters in that place. In my youth, I used to ride my bike there to buy nails. There was a lot of wood in those days that didn’t have nails in it.

At one point, Rob worked for his dad, which seems harmless enough, but when Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced on her brother’s radio show that she was running for re-election, Port called it the “stench of nepotism.” He has an unnatural fixation with Heidi. If she votes how Port wants, she’s a cold calculating politician trying to fool the good folks of North Dakota. The other way, Heitkamp is a loony leftist. He has to write about something, I suppose.

And now, the Port is branching out into giving parental advice. He suggests less parenting, which I don’t think is a problem, and letting the kids cut the grass. Who is stopping them? Big government? The free market? Eco zealots? It’s likely in the Libertarian handbook.

I don’t know where he came to deny global warming. Maybe from the Koch’s, who hired Sarah Palin, not THE Sarah Palin, to indoctrinate him as a pup. He also likes to deny obvious hate crimes, right-wing violence, radiation and outhouses. He’s quite concerned that women, especially those feminists, are out to destroy white men, by getting educated, falsifying their pay stubs and kidding around with rape allegations.

More Port to come. He’s like sludge at the bottom of the ocean. Plentiful.

I will be taking a knee out by the street, and then attempting to get up.

 

RON SCHALOW: Picky Patriotism

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We would chant this oath every morning in the first grade in 1962. I was happy to do it, not that I had a choice. Stand up, face the flag, put the right hand over the heart and recite.

Some of it made sense. A little context would have helped. Like, why was this necessary? I wasn’t going anywhere. Crossing the street was only tolerated at certain intersections. Were we being indoctrinated for future manipulation? I trusted my teacher that I wasn’t participating in anything subversive. She looked honorable.

The honorable Miss Johnson was the only teacher to ever give me an F. I was asking for it. I was born disgruntled. She gave us a coloring project, which was insulting. I knew how to color. I had been coloring for ages. Let’s get this education thing on the road, miss. So, I did the whole picture in black and I didn’t stay in the lines. It was my Goya period. Deal with that, Miss Johnson! I nonviolently demonstrated against wasting my time. As it turns out, I wasn’t the first smart@$$ 6-year-old she had run across. Hoisted by my own pencil case.

Actually, I don’t think I ever had a pencil case, or anything that took more than one Trump-sized hand to carry home. Now, grade 2 grunts are lugging around backpacks sized for Navy Seals going on a long mission. Are they secretly bivouacking on a regular basis?

Anyway, we did the pledge, practiced our cursive, got fed some fictional history, tried not to sniff the freshly mimeographed papers, sang off-key about some girl over the ocean and recessed to the playground to hone our survival instincts.

I don’t recall any fatalities, but plenty of small bodies flew off the merry-go-round and bit the dust. Technology hadn’t yet determined the relationship between speed, mass and gravel. And, luckily, we weren’t allowed to have ACL’s at the time.

We could almost make that disk fly — and tried — but we were physics ignorant. Still, had a generator been hooked up, when the pushers reached top speed, before they fell from exhaustion and vomited, we could have lit up south Minot, which was smaller at the time. Very doable.

The metal jungle gym was fun, until some jerk stole one of the highest crossbars, and my muscle memorization had my hand flailing in the air, and I face planted into the hard dirt. I think they tamped down the gravel and soil at night. Fun times.

I made no pledges to those lethal implements, though, but centrifugal forces in my brain have forced a memory drift to the dangerous side of elementary school.

I don’t recall when we stopped doing the pledge every morning. Most likely, as soon as we were old enough to understand the meaning. And what was it with the repetition? Was there a danger of some young punk changing sides in the middle of the night? They never said who was on the other side when we were at our oathing peak.

The president only has to recite his oath of office once, and he has more people in his administration who can speak Russian than can understand Trumpian. Try to find a Rosetta Stone language lesson that unravels ravings in Trumpian.

Was J. Edgar Hoover satisfied that the pledges took hold, even though one-third of grade 1 was saying invisible, and the other two-thirds were looking out the window? Evidently.

So, anyway, the pledge of allegiance faded out of my life. At least I wasn’t required to say it 200 times per year anymore. But\ if pledging and staring was the requirement for patriotism, I was patrioted up to my eyeballs.

Worth noting. That school was a fortress, so naturally it was demolished. Stupidity.

Then, decades later, some people took offense at some behavior displayed while the anthem was being played, so I figured I better watch myself a little closer.

I mostly know what to do when the National Anthem is played, although it’s not required by law. Most people do, but it’s hardly a given that the majority of people in the vicinity will do as they were taught, or mime the person next to them.

Stand up, dammit. Remove your hat, unless you’re wearing one of those giant Kentucky Derby ladies hats. Those are allowed, for some reason. Probably because they need to be stapled to the head. Fortunately, I have no hats bigger than a manhole cover.

Put your right hand over your heart. And even though you aren’t supposed to have anything in your hands during the anthem, you may hold your hat in your right hand and place it over your heart. Don’t even think about removing your hand until after the last note.

Look at the flag throughout the anthem. Don’t turn around and visit with your friend you saw an hour ago. Don’t monkey around with your phone, or whatever else that’s been invented since last week.

Watch the singer if there is no flag. No flag? Talk about no respect. Borrow one from Perkin’s for crissakes. They’ve been using the American flag improperly as a marketing tool, anyway. And they aren’t the only ones. Do you think the NFL whips out a flag the size of a wheat field every game because they’re so damn patriotic? Nope. They are working on your emotions. Hundreds of companies use the American flag as a prop. Not cool.

Shut the hell up!

No eating or drinking during the song. And do not set your bratwurst on the head of the person in front of you, even it is as flat a coffee table.

Stop chewing your gum until the anthem is over. You can leave it in your mouth, but don’t chew, if you know what’s good for you. I think you can swallow it, but not in a showy way.

Sing along if you want, but I would prefer it if you didn’t. Everyone would rather if you didn’t. You are not a good singer, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re lying.

Remove your sunglasses. This one got me. Of course, I won’t be able to see the flag, which seems counterproductive, but I don’t make the rules. And since glasses don’t cost seven times more than my first car, if you order them online, I also have pairs with 10 percent and 50 percent tint. I have no clue what the ruling is on those. I think I may lose points for vanity.

Cheering after the song is over is not allowed. No applause, please, you commie. You could claim that you’re actually clapping for the game that is about to begin, and not Beyonce, but we all know better. Clap for the fly-over, if you wish, if you can afford a seat for a game that gets the Air Force involved.

Airliners frequently fly over Fargo sports fields. Cheer if you don’t care if other people think you’re loopy.

Don’t put your hand over your heart or salute a foreign flag, you traitor. Drones could be watching.

No hiding in the bathroom, or behind a skinny tree.

Lastly, do not allow a large green parrot to sit your shoulder, their perch of preference, and certainly no type of waterfowl. No birds is a good rule of thumb.

So, it’s clear that everyone has disrespected the flag. What’s your beef? Is there something you’re protesting? Unpatriotic jerk!

Of course, there are no laws requiring a citizen to respect the flag, but don’t expect to be employed if you’re caught with a finger in your ear on the big screen while the rockets red glare.

We could discuss all of the events where the National Anthem is played and the flag is displayed, but let’s focus on football.

We’ve established that everyone in the stands is a turncoat, but what about the players, at all levels?

For starters, the anthem is rarely played before any game below the varsity level. What’s their problem? You spend your youngest years repeatedly pledging allegiance, and then you have to be talented enough to make the varsity team to rate our national song. It seems arbitrary to me. How rebellious to ignore patriotic protocol. Very cheeky.

When the anthem is played, society demands you behave in a certain way, but not playing it all is acceptable? It seems so.

When the music starts, how many players have their hands grasping the front of their shoulder pads, or have their arms to their sides, or are talking, or looking around? Are they chewing gum or continuing with their warmups. How many are so bright, they have wear shades?

Who decided that one particular violation of the rules of National Anthem etiquette is more deplorable than all of the others?

Who decided that 99.9 percent of anthem rule violations are committed scorn free, but raising a fist, or taking knee, is an unforgivable unpatriotic sin?

Several other flag offenses worth noting

  • Our flag is not a decoration, people. If you want blue, white and red stripes for your fabulous event, buy the bunting, and make sure the blue stripe is on top.
  • It is not to be used for advertising. No flag cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, paper plates or anything that will discarded after use.
  • The flag is not a costume or clothing. Duck Dynasty hillbillies shouldn’t be using the flag as a headband to absorb hillbilly sweat. Chris Christie should not be wearing a tank top with the image of the flag on it, for more reasons than one. No Spandex. No nothing for civilians. The Tea Party abused this encoded rule of flag decorum with abandon.

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

And he who thinks that this country is fair for everyone, and nobody has any justifiable grievances, continue to bark in your American flag panties.