RON SCHALOW: Poor Paranoid Lying Port

My buddy, Rob Port, used the coveted space for his Sunday column to set up a hypothetical Festivus pole, air his grievances and sob over his keyboard. My sources say he paced in the hall for a solid 45 seconds before getting winded and falling into a heap of self-pity. The feats of strength portion of Festivus was canceled, due to a lack of strength.

It is a Festivus miracle that anyone would waste money on this rube.

The headline and copy exemplified why he isn’t taken seriously, and many people consider him an embarrassment to the newspaper industry, worldwide, and Forum Communications in particular. I’m just generally embarrassed for people with no self-awareness or shame. Ferrets also have no self-awareness or shame. They are the Ports of the animal kingdom.

It’s as if he impersonated a real journalist and a real higher education expert, in a debate at Minot State University. Oh, right. Port did that and wore his finest checkered shirt and what appeared on video to be skinny jeans. The dull-witted one argued with people who have degrees up to their knees.

It’s doubtful that Port understood most of the words, but he was pleased with himself anyway. That’s the type of person we’re dealing with\ and partly explains his column of victimhood woe.

Let’s dissect this dead carp. Port’s words are in quotations.

“COMMENTARY: CRITICS CRY SHUT UP, BUT MY CRITICISM ON SENATOR IS SOUND”

What critic said shut up? He doesn’t know. Port’s Heidi obsession cannot be summed up as sound. It’s not. If you’re into the 109 degrees of separation game, laced with venom, Rob’s your dude.

“MINOT, N.D. — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her network of operatives and supporters are out to make me Public Enemy No. 1.”

The youngster never names any of these operatives involved in this conspiracy. He usually calls these imaginary people “surrogates.” The word surrogates, appears in 7,436 Heidi hit pieces.

And he isn’t No. 1. He wishes. Port’s just a lackey.

“The problem is that the senator’s approval numbers are tanking ahead of what promises to be the most vigorously contested election of her life.”

 The Portweasel just made that up. His mediocrity is the problem.

“The solution, it seems, is to paint yours truly as a big, bad bully who just won’t leave poor Heitkamp alone.”

The Portweasel just made that up.

“Remember, this is a U.S. senator we’re talking about. As one of just 100 members of that legislative chamber, she is one of the most powerful political figures in the country. She has a war chest stuffed with millions in donations which funds, among other things, a campaign staff eager to mau-mau anyone critical of their candidate.”

Mau-mau? OK. Port is eager to mau-mau anyone critical of Kevin Cramer. Kevin can say nothing too stupid to get the mau-mau thing from his third favorite media sycophant.

“Lately, though, Heitkamp has taken the posture of a victim in the face of criticism from me. Her staffers, who never bother to respond to my requests for comment or interviews, routinely contact my bosses encouraging them to shut me up. The state’s opinion pages frequently feature letters to the editor from Democratic operatives whinging on about a supposed “obsession” with the senator.”

Heitkamp has never mentioned the blogger’s name, to my memory, but Rob can fantasize about keeping her up at night. Heidi doesn’t consider Port at all. He’s a hack who thinks he deserves some respect because JoeMN, Orville and a small cast of turkey vultures,who circle the polluted pond on his blog, are waiting to attack anyone who might leave a factual comment. These mooks hang on his every word, or at least try to sound out the headline.

“Even my colleague, Mike McFeely, is doing his part for Heitkamp under the guise of promoting professional standards. In a recent column, he was floating the scurrilous idea that I might be paid off by Republicans. He claims that a political commentator like me writing a lot about a candidate in what promises to be the biggest political brawl in state history is somehow unbecoming of someone in our profession.”

McFeely is not Jr.’s colleague (that implies some level of equality), and he wasn’t doing anything on behalf of Heitkamp. And he didn’t float anything. As McFeely stated, readers have wondered about his obviously adhesive relationship with Kevin Cramer. How many lies is that, so far?

“There’s a simple explanation for why all of this is happening: My criticism of Heitkamp is sound.”

 No it isn’t. Sorry, you little hombre.

“It’s resonating with the public.”

It’s not.

 “It’s become inconvenient to Heitkamp’s efforts to get herself re-elected.”
Wrong again. Voldeport (copyrighted by Kris Wallman), thinks a lot of himself.

“Thus, it must be removed. Or diminished.”

Thus, the thin-skinned one doesn’t understand the issue. Drama queen.

“Hilariously, there seems to be little concern from my critics about the senator’s brother operating a Fargo-based radio station as a de facto campaign headquarters. When Joel Heitkamp was riding herd on Heitkamp’s opponent in 2012 — former Republican Congressman Rick Berg — there were no complaints from our friends on the left.”

Port complained, and since I listened to KFGO before that election (did Robbie?), and to call the radio station as a de facto campaign headquarters, is ridiculous. Another lie. I’m sure it sounded true during a fever dream brought on by mayonnaise malaise.

“The hypocrisy is so thick you could cut it with a knife.”

I love cliches.

“You’ll notice that the bulk of the criticism of my coverage of North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race is not focused on what I’m writing. There are few rebuttals offered for the points I’m making. Rather, we are being treated to tantrums from people who are upset that I’m writing anything at all.”

Also, not true. Weasel boy is throwing the tantrum in this comedy.

“I dislike dedicating a column like this to some food fight with a bunch of politicos and campaign operatives, but I felt I owed you, the audience, a rebuttal to the smear campaign against me.”

Gosh, thanks, I did feel owed. Port knows how to smear, but not enough people care about him to call anything a campaign.

“I choose topics because they matter. My critics want me to shut up because they know those topics matter.”

Another miss. Have another bottle of cough syrup.

“One truth I’ve learned in 15 years of writing about politics is that you usually get the most flak when you’re over the target.”

Writing is a strong word.

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: 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: 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: The Scream

I’m sad. I’m tired. I’m an angry lib!@$#. And I’m hardly the only one. A serial liar is President Trump, which I find disconcerting, but it doesn’t bother smarmy Congressman Kevin Cramer, the whole of the North Dakota GOP, and 39 percent of Americans. Maybe some haven’t heard the news, and maybe some think all news is fake because the president said it was so. That’s only one reason he’s so dangerous.

They are the basket of gullibles. His marks.

Trump has worked to discredit our judicial system, our intelligence services, our election system and now our free press. Make of that what makes sense to you. Perhaps, his antics don’t need repeating, but the overweight child is still there. Let me know when he has left the building that was erected for good honest humans, patriots, and he’s tracking sleaze throughout the house.

Besides the Superfund site known as the Thursday Trump press conference, or a terrible standup routine, we learned that some Scott Pruitt guy was named the head of the EPA. He doesn’t believe in climate change, regulations or Pluto. Our Democratic senator voted for him. That was a kick in the nether regions. Luckily, I continue to be forever past my child-bearing years, which is a waste of my birth friendly hips.

Then, I see a picture of Trump signing a law, one that enables coal companies to chuck coal leavings, coal extract or dogs named Coal into the nearest creek, stream or river. Because I think we can all agree that our waterways aren’t chewy enough, most likely because they don’t have enough bituminous to thicken the soup.

And who is standing next to Trump’s desk but Heidi Heitkamp. She jumps right off the page in a color picture. Her proximity to the goo was sickening enough, but then it’s obvious that she actually voted to use our streams as coal toilets. Horseshoe to the head, with the horse still attached. A big mean horse.

Something else popped up in print about that time, suggesting that the North Dakota Legislature was going to stick a lead pipe into the spokes of the wind energy business because it was going so good, we might have too many wind jobs and not enough workers left to dump the coal crap into the Missouri, which would be tragic. Fish love coal water. Who and what doesn’t? Except for school attacking bears. They’re fussy.

Then, Trump did his schtick. It was like having an irritable lap dog barking at you at random high octaves, through the neighbor’s chain-link fence for 7,000 minutes straight, while you sit 2 inches away, duct taped to a lawn chair.

The press is dishonest, and he inherited a mess. That was the gist of the opening tirade. Well, pretty much all of it. There was a definite theme.

Grievances and more grievances, all aired with fervor. All the guy in the clown makeup needed was Frank Costanza’s Festivus aluminum pole, some feats of strength and a few Festivus miracles to make it a holiday for the ages.

At one point, Trump seemed to channel Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), Agent 86, on the 1960s TV show “Get Smart.” Some dialogue fictionalized.

Trump: “We got 306 (electoral college votes) because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before so that’s the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” And they have surrounded the building — ready to attack, and free me from you stupid poor people, at any moment. Would you believe it?

His captor: (Usually Bernie Kopell, as Siegfried; made up with a facial scar, eyepatch, and using a German accent) “I find that very hard to believe.”

Trump, getting a little nervous: “Not buying that one, huh? How about the biggest win of Republican presidents since Reagan, which is what I meant to say? Would you believe that?”

Captor: “Also, very hard to believe. George Bush is a Republican, is he NOT?!”

Trump, near tears: “OK, how about this? Would you believe Chris Christie is out there with 700 Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, just for you, and is ready to shut down the bridge of your choice? And, I’m pretty sure that I had the most electoral college votes since 2016 — that’s a year, right?”

Captor: “I believe the Chris Christie part — since he’s such a butt-kissing tool, but you’re a lying weasel about to be deported to the motherland.”

It’s about this time that Max would use some spy thing and get rescued by Agent 99 and the Chief.

So, while he’s chewing out the press for lying, he tells a lie and blows it off as something he just heard around the water cooler.

Then it got weird (Trump’s words in quotes)

“We have made incredible progress. I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period …” Nope can’t do it. I thought I could comment on all of the stupid, nonsensical and false comments made by ol’ pelt-head,  one by one, but I wasn’t counting on writing a book.

If the video of a crazy man screaming at a fire plug didn’t render a full picture of Edvard Munch’s masterpieces, then try reading the transcript. Dozens of doors. Not one with hinges.

Remember the college professor who might ask the most obscure test question, from the book, or your notes? Maybe the walls. Memorize everything is the idea. So, every word in the textbook and the notebook gets the green highlighter, including the copyright and a few of the spots that start to appear in front of your eyes.

You may as well take a roller brush of orange paint to the whole friggin’ transcript to match the raving lunatic who thought this was a good idea. Besides, he’s already taken the act on the road, evidently to kick off his 2020 reelection campaign. Totally normal.

Luckily, things are less moronic in North Dakota.

I didn’t know it, but my freedom was being impeded because I couldn’t buy raw milk. Legally anyway (wink). That situation may have changed, or may still be tied up in milk committee. I don’t really care, but the sponsors got me worried, when they inferred that it was illegal to buy fresh vegetables from the grower without those jack-booted thugs from the Food and Drug Administration demanding that my sweet corn be confiscated and held at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., until I could raise bail or said to hell with it and went to Hornbachers — or home.

It wasn’t like that. Somebody just wants to sell raw milk.

Gun laws have gotten looser, cuz freedom, just in case a milk dispute breaks out. Schools may be allowed to have the music teacher packing, too. “You’re FLAT, Chad!” Hopefully, deranged rifle-wielding spree killers won’t discover the transparent thin glass windows.

Legislators aren’t worried about the explosive Bakken oil trains that pass close to schools, though. I asked. They aren’t. Such a carefree bunch. Incineration of an entire school, and the guns, not an issue.

The penalty for selling alcohol to minors stays the same, unless you’re wearing a mask while doing it or get pulled into a passing riot because the sentence could be making you drink raw milk. I used to know what a riot was. Now, I have no clue. I think you can have one by yourself, if you want. Stand out on the boulevard and see what transpires, I guess. It helps if you’re Native.

In fact, the First People have really got the likes of Al Carlson all worked up. Jack up the penalties for everything Rob Port says anyone did anywhere in southern North Dakota. He can actually see Cannon Ball from his perch in Minot. Several times, the Port wrote that some of the water protectors had taken to walking on the frozen water to get here and there. Ice to novices. I found his observation insightful. He also noticed that everything bad that happened within 150 miles, happened near “Cannon Ball.” It really makes you wonder.

Port is fanning the flames  — or something  — with his fanny in the Sunday paper of the Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald and Dickinson Tribune. He wants Shailene Woodley to come back and clean up the mess at the protest camp. Except there is no mess, and his readership doesn’t extend to wherever this Woodley woman hangs out. He pulled that information out of his butt. It’s been cleaned. Photos and video make him a liar. Those aren’t the only things, but the ledger isn’t in pork pie’s favor.

Port has been having the vapors, along with state propagandists, about the 200 to 300 abandoned cars and environmental disaster at hand for months, but he pulled a Trump. All we have are oil-related environmental disasters, but those are for our own good.

I’m going to go sit outside, wearing a mask, unarmed and protest something. So many choices.

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — An Alternative Political Universe

It has become obvious to me that Donald J. Trump is not the actual president of these United States. The resident Nazi, Steve Bannon, is. As Trump’s so-called “chief strategist,” Bannon has authored all of the executive orders relating to barring immigrants from coming into this country.

Even Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels didn’t have the powers Bannon has in the White House. To name him to the Security Council and remove the military from it suggests the kind of dictatorship not seen since Hitler.

What other administration in the history of this country has named an official propaganda news outlet, Fox News, its official voice? Never mind facts; they aren’t important to Fox.

It’s hard to keep up with this alternative universe! The administration’s story is that we’re banning people from countries who pose the most danger to us. They list the seven bad old countries (all of which just happen to be Muslim, but it’s “not a Muslim ban”). Other Muslim countries aren’t mentioned in the ban. Using administration logic, that means the ban isn’t against Muslims, but terrorists.

In their alternative political universe, however, they apparently forgot that citizens of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon were all responsible for murdering large numbers of American citizens. I wonder why they were excluded from the ban? Could it possibly be because dishonest Donnie has financial interests in those countries — but none in the seven he named?

What has happened to Congress when it comes to enforcing our laws … including those prohibiting a president from receiving income from foreign powers? In fairness, I do think the GOP was blindsided by the dictator who they elected. I also think voters were conned by his countless lies and confused by his reversals of position.

What has El Duce Trump done to help the middle class or the so-called low-income class? Not a damn thing. What is he doing to aid the top 1 percent? Oh, tax breaks will go to those, while nothing is done to help those in need.

President Bannon (in this alternative universe) has Trump goose-stepping to his wishes, and that does not include working people. Even though the auto industry has made it clear that its recent actions in building in this country were decided long before Trump was elected, he and Bannon have no difficulty boasting the jobs were created because of them.

It’s still pretty hard to call Trump the liar he is … because he flips-flops so often that no matter what you call him on, he and his defenders can point to a different quote that says otherwise.

Kellyanne Conway, administration propaganda minister and proof that witches do exist, calls for the firing of journalists who disagree with the president (not sure which one she means, Bannon or Trump). She echoes Bannon’s pronouncement that the press should just “shut up.”

That Conway has already compared Trump to Jesus Christ puts her lockstep with the top two in this administration.

And I watch Vice President Pence, rubber-stamping his Fuhrer and joining in the crusade against those most in need.

France may well ask for the return of the Statute of Liberty, with its message to all seeking a home. But the uprising in this country will sooner or later bring matters back into balance.

The march to correct the immigrant wrong has begun. Two federal judges have ruled to halt it, and 15 different state attorneys general are preparing to litigate the unlawful presidential decree. Thousands of lawyers are joining them, as is the American Civil Liberties Union.

* * *

Speaking of balance — the North Dakota Legislature still has its fill of dictator wannabes. The most recent is Rep. Jeffrey Magrum, R-Hazelton, who introduced HB 1313 to give the military the right to investigate North Dakota judges. He has obviously had a hard time removing his head from his donkey hole and does not understand there is a process in place relating to judges — one that has worked very well.

Where do these people come from? Do their constituents know what they stand for? Or are they elected because no one else wants the job?

As I write, Gov. Doug Burgum has said nothing about refugees. The gold dust twins, John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, are marching in lockstep with Trump-Bannon. Only Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has stood up for the Constitution and called for a halt to the refugee ban.

I’ve not always liked Heitkamp’s votes, but I do like and respect her as a human being, as a mother and wife and as a politician. I think she really does what she thinks is best for North Dakota. She has worked very hard for Native American citizens; her unfortunate support of the Dakota Access Pipeline should not cancel out all the good she has done for the tribes.

According to The Guardian, the American online voice of the respected London Guardian newspaper: “A spokesman for Angela Merkel said the German chancellor regretted Trump’s decision to ban citizens of certain countries from entering the U.S., adding that she had ‘explained’ the obligations of the Refugee Convention to the new president in a phone call on Saturday.”

She was, of course, referring to the Geneva Convention accord, which the U.S. signed more than 65 years ago, requiring acceptance of refugees from war-torn countries. As my friend Eddy Walstad says, she spoke v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, but it meant nothing to him.

This comes straight off Facebook, and I agree — “If the pope, Michael Moore and Dick Cheney are all on one side of an issue, and you disagree … you are probably a [donkey hole].”

I previously commented positively on the Women’s March on Washington, Fargo version. But I am really concerned about another march, the so-called “March for Life” that recently took place in our nation’s capital. This comment may anger some, and that’s too damned bad: How can these religious groups promoting the life of a fetus, say nothing about the children already here … children who need help and are victims of oppression, discrimination and murder. Where was the “Right to Life” crowd on that issue?

There’s hypocrisy in a movement that promotes birth, prohibits birth control and then says nothing about children already born.

God bless Canada and Scotland, which have opened their doors to those whom Trump-Bannon wish to exclude. May God continue to bless America in spite of the mistake the nation has made in electing Donald J. Trump. Amen.

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Proud Of Minnesota’s Senators … But Not So Much Of North Dakota’s

In light of recent events, I am extremely proud of Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. I cannot express strongly enough how disgusted and disappointed I am with North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp. When it came time to vote on the filibuster issue, the only Democrat who opposed basic legislation was Heidi Heitkamp!

At a time in our history where gun violence is rampant, and when massacres have become just about routine, Minnesota senators go on the warpath in support of reasonable weapons regulation and laws to address mental health concerns … while North Dakota’s senators hide under a political rock.

It’s a known fact that since the assault weapons ban passed in 1994 was allowed to expire in 2004, mass shootings have increased dramatically.

What did the 1994 ban actually do? For the 10 years that the ban was in effect, it was illegal to manufacture specified assault weapons for use by private citizens. The law also set a limit on high-capacity magazines — these could now carry no more than 10 bullets.

There was, however, an important exception. Any assault weapon or magazine that was manufactured before the law went into effect in 1994 remained perfectly legal to own or resell. That was a huge exception: At the time, there were roughly 1.5 million assault weapons and more than 24 million high-capacity magazines in private hands.

Many types of weapons were banned — the same ones that are now proposed to be banned again -— and I will make no attempt to list all of them here.

There is a vast difference between “automatic weapons” and “semiautomatic weapons.” I’ve seen so many definitions that it’s hard to categorize them, so I will generalize. An assault weapon is fully automatic. Pull the trigger, and it keeps firing until it runs out of ammunition. The semiautomatic type weapon is one where you have to pull the trigger to fire each shell, i.e., like pistols and like some rifle types.

Whether fully automatic or semiautomatic, multicartridge clips for these weapons — both rifles and pistols — should not be available to the general public.

Both former President Ronald Reagan and Chief Justice Warren Burger of the U.S. Supreme Court viewed the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in the same light. They argued that the sale, purchase and use of guns should and could be regulated, just as cars and boats are regulated, without violating the amendment. But today, there is so much emphasis on the “right to bear arms” that common sense has gone out the window.

The amendment states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

We now have what some would call well-regulated militias at the local level: The state National Guard units, local police and sheriffs departments and state highway patrols, among others, who have been established “To Serve and Protect.”

Today, every time someone suggests that gun sales be controlled, the boogeymen claim that the “Government” — which is “we the people” — is coming after your guns. Does anyone remember the call to arms issued by the National Rifle Association when President Obama was elected? It proclaimed that “he was coming for your guns!” Has anyone heard the government knocking on your door asking you to surrender your weapons? The answer is no. In these United States, that will never happen.

But there is a syndrome out there known as “theheaduptheirasses.” Thank God, it has a cure! It is called “common-sense regulation” including registration. This sensible approach includes regulating the sale of automatic and semiautomatic type weapons, limiting the size of magazines for all weapons, requiring a background check for anyone purchasing the enumerated weapons and the banning of fully automatic assault weapons, among other things.

Most importantly, however, would be a required change in the law. If someone is determined by professionals (mental health and other medical experts or law enforcement) to be a danger to himself or others, or otherwise mentally dangerous, that fact could be reported to the appropriate agency without violating HIPPA regulations to see that they do not have access to guns.

Individuals involved in domestic violence and or acts involving the unlawful use of any weapon would be required to be documented and prohibited from possessing firearms.

Each state should have a designated agency that would compile and maintain a list of those who should not have weapons, according to national criteria. All local governments should be required to report the named individuals to the state. The state should then notify a designated federal agency … one whose sole function is to maintain a national list of those who should have no weapons, including (but not limited to) those on the government “no fly” list.

A civil procedure should be in place so that if one is designated for any of the multiple reasons set forth to be included on the “no weapons” list, they can ask for an administrative hearing by an appointed board consisting of medical and mental health professionals, law enforcement and an ordinary citizen. It should meet outside the court setting with all the technicalities that would be involved.

Law-abiding citizens and hunters would not be affected. The process would focus only on those who should never have access to guns.

Now, someone sure as heck is going to claim I’m bonkers, suggesting the government would come and get them if this type of proposal was considered. To them, I say: You confuse the USA with Nazi Germany, and I take personal offense at that. If you have better ideas — other than doing “nothing” — go ahead and submit them.

Do not rely on North Dakota’s U.S. senators and representative. The NRA owns all three of them, Hoeven, Heitkamp and Kevin Cramer. Minnesota, however, has two courageous senators who are concerned about “we the people,” and that’s how it ought to be.

I’m not against guns. I’m for common-sense regulation. Sure, the vast majority of killings are carried out with handguns. The states with the toughest laws have the most violence because our totally unregulated market allows the SOBs from out of state to sell guns right into the tough states that are trying to control them.

I think all gun regulations also should require that when the original owner sells or gives one away, that transaction should be recorded. The sale or gift should not be completed until the purchaser has been investigated through the required background check.

Nothing I or anyone else has suggested is going to stop all killers. But they can be dramatically reduced. That’s a goal we should all strive for.

We have a loose cannon running for the presidency who maintains that in the last massacre at the gay celebration, if there were more guns in the crowd, the killer would have been stopped. This person completely ignored the fact that even when police arrived, it was hours before they could take the needed action. Authorities thought the killer was wearing a bomb, and they didn’t want to cause further death. Unfortunately, they could not know they had been wrong until it was too late.

Imagine the setting: a crowded dance hall, dim lighting, music blasting your ear drums. Somewhere in the dark, a crazed killer opens fire. Now, let’s assume that one or more partygoers were armed with semiautomatic weapons.

Now just stop and think. How could these other armed people have stopped this? They couldn’t. If they were gun-toting cowboys, they could sure open fire … and more people would be injured or die because no one could tell the good guys from the bad guys. That would also apply to the police, once they made their entrance.

When I hear lawmen talking about not wanting regulation, I ask myself where they get that crazy “Trump juice.” We ask so much of our law enforcement, and around here, they are the best of the best. But they need our help. Whether they want it or not, we should support reasonable gun regulation. We should also release some of our uninformed politicians from their duties if they can’t recognize the danger in the status quo and the need for common sense.

Note to the NRA: The good, decent members of that organization should show their horror at their leaders by demanding they change their posture … or drop your membership in protest. There are good people in that organization for the right reasons. Unfortunately, these good people aren’t the spokesman.

Last but not least, National Public Radio talked last week about how the American Medical Association considers gun violence a public health crisis. Yet existing laws limit or prohibit research on the issue. Those laws should be repealed immediately so that the Centers for Disease Control, the AMA and other professionals are permitted to finally research gun violence. We need real information to work with. Right now, the main problem is that we don’t have it. Amen.

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — The Constitution Guarantees Rights To All

It’s becoming difficult to determine whether many people are the new “normal,” bigoted, uninformed, fully informed, hateful, uncaring or just plain stupid.

I’m referring to the uproar surrounding the U.S. attorney general taking action to enforce the constitutional rights of transgender people.

Unlike the uninformed believe, being transgender is an act of birth, the same as being gay or lesbian. It is not a choice, as so many claim.

The fact is that those who are the most vicious, including some of the media types who like to stir the racial-bigotry pot, don’t have these folks as family members, neighbors or friends.

Put yourself in the life situation that transgender individuals face. They are born with the body of one sex and the brain of the other. That would be a living nightmare in anyone’s book, but it is what it is: an act of nature over which the individuals have no control. It becomes a nightmare only because of the actions of the clueless, judgmental people who just can’t wait to attack them … or, for that matter, any other minority group.

Transgender people must be accepted, just as we must accept gay and lesbian individuals. They deserve no more and no fewer rights, no more and no less respect, than so-called “normal” people. They are, in fact, “normal” just as they are because that is how God created them (as Christians who practice their faith believe). And because they are normal, when the state or federal governments act to protect them … who is anyone else to deny them rights and protections the rest of the population enjoys?

Some say the matter should be left to the individual states. We have seen how that has turned out in North Carolina. The federal government has had to step in. Constitutional protections are for every one of us; when a state refuses to act, it is appropriate for the federal government to do so.

In The Forum on May 13, North Dakota Republican Majority Leader Al Carlson, when quizzed on a failed gay rights bill supported by Fargo Rep. Josh Boschee (D), said, “If he introduces it again, I will not support it.”

This was a measure that, in my opinion, had the support of the majority of North Dakota citizens. But that means little to Carlson, another nut case who supports Dirty Donny Trump.

Rumor has it that Kevin Cramer has become an adviser to Trump. That makes sense, since neither one of them has the open-mindedness and common sense of a rock. On the subject of this particular rant, you can also throw Al into that mix — the Three Mouseketeers.

I’ve met very few individuals I don’t like on a one-on-one, personal basis. In the realm of politics, I’m finding many whose politics I don’t like, and I don’t waste time saying so, even though that’s not the same as to say I don’t like the person.

But Dirty Donny Trump and those who support him bring out the worst in people, including me.

I don’t like liars — and if you listen to Trump, comparing what he says one day to what he says thereafter, you realize you have no idea where in the hell he stands on any subjects.

We cannot afford to have a president who is as unhinged and unbalanced as Trump. I think Trump is the most dangerous man to run for the presidency in the history of our nation.

The Hillary & Bernie bashers who read this may be screaming by now, “This is blasphemy!” But look at the record. Trump has no political record at all, but has had more wives, affairs and bankruptcies than any candidate in history.

Sanders is as clean a candidate as has ever run for office. Clinton has had the bogeymen of the Republican Party on her case forever without their scoring a win. Their claims that she lies, isn’t trustworthy, didn’t care about what happened at Benghazi and so on and so on … are simply not true. These allegations have all been disproven, but you convince a Clinton basher. All they say is “liar, liar” — but when you ask for specifics, you are met with an empty stare.

Trump caused me to evolve from a Democratic-leaning Independent to an absolute Democrat. In the Democratic ticket running against Trump and all he stands (or doesn’t stand) for, we have a choice: capable, tested and experienced Clinton or Sanders vs. the loose cannon, lying, bigoted, racist, woman-demeaning Trump. The claims against him are all factual, documented and reported in the news.

Al Carlson and Co. would be well-advised to read both the state and federal constitutions. If he doesn’t, he’s going to become very familiar with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will be having a one-on-one with North Dakota Attorney General Stenehjem. Once again, as it did while defending unconstitutional bills passed by the last Legislature, the state will lose.

Heidi Heitkamp needs some help in representing North Dakota in Washington, D.C. Getting rid of Rep. Kevin Cramer would be a great start. Oh, for some reinforcement from Minnesota!

* * *

A couple final thoughts …

  • Speaking of Minnesota, and more specifically Moorhead, here’s something else to ponder: Moorhead has less than half the population of  Fargo, but has many more elected city officials. Maybe it’s time for both cities to begin a study to (in the case of Moorhead) reduce the size of government and (in the case of Fargo) to increase the number of elected officials … not to diminish the role of government in either city, but to make each more efficient. This is just a suggestion. Don’t ask me how to do it, that’s for people with more experience than me to determine.
  • My quote of the day comes from FMDam.org: Isn’t it time to demand a moratorium on all spending that isn’t related to Fargo’s internal flood protection? Why are Diversion Authority insiders borrowing and spending hundreds of millions of dollars on golf courses and land acquisitions for a project that might never be allowed? Wouldn’t it be prudent to stop spending state tax money on Oxbow and rural land acquisitions, at least until we know whether the dam will receive the necessary state permits?” Amen.