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.


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.


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?”


“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: 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: The Usual Suspects

“How did you find me?” hollers Orville, and grumbles, “You skinny, long-haired, libturd. You just can’t leave me in peace, can you?”

Stanley looks around. “This was the only bar in town with a yacht in the parking lot, with plates that said BIG ORV on them. Stealthy. This joint is much nicer than your last haunt. I see they’ve arranged the drunks by height. Classy. I’ll have a Coke, bartender, and give the grouchy lad another shot of personality.”

“Oh, shut up!”

“Did you happen to see the paper, the other day, Orv?”

“I’ve seen lots of papers. What day was it for, you loon?”

“Not sure. Anyway, I lean down, look at the front page, and I think, how cute, a panda wearing a checkered shirt. Then I put my glasses on, the ones I use for looking at things, and I wonder why the panda is wearing spectacles. Anyway, the panda turned out to be Rob Port, which was odd because a panda would be mildly interesting — and cute. I didn’t dare look at the centerfold.

Evidently, Port has influence. When he lies, several people are influenced, by gawd. He worked at Home of Economy in Minot and then became a blogger. I’ve had more jobs in an afternoon than that amateur phony.”

Orv turns his head and looks at Stan quizzically. “You’ve had lot’s of jobs, because you have the attention span of a Labrador puppy.”

“If that,” agrees Stan.

“What do you care if Port, who actually writes the truth, unlike the fake news, is on the cover of the Fargo Forum, anyway?”

“Because it’s so much bull$#!*. Port isn’t interesting. I’d be interested in rolling him down the Sixth Dtreet hill, or Hiawatha in Minot, but how long would that thrill last? Robbie will eventually hit something solid. He’s a lying hack. He lies about a guy, and they’re the hater, if they don’t like it. He’s just misunderstood, claims the Forum boss. Oh, I understand the young twerp. If his BS blog is circling the drain, run an ad — not pretend that this mook is news, or fascinating in any way. He’s a shill.”

“So you’re still miffed that he lied about you,” sniffs Orv. “How long are you going to carry on that feud?”

“Hey, I didn’t put his mug on the front page of the paper, which almost gave me a heart attack. And until the day I die, to answer your question. Longer, depending on the situation after my demise. I’ll need to find out the rules regarding haunting.”

Orv grunts.

“How about this, Orv. Have you seen this video going around of some fat guy in a suit, with asbestos on his head, beating the hell out of a CNN logo? It’s a big deal for some reason. What’s your take?”

“It’s the president.”

“The president of what?”

“The president of the country,” grouses Orv.

“This country?”

“Yes, and the logo had it coming,” snarls Orville.

Stan appears to be pondering. “I’ll be darned. I guess that’s normal these days. Making money while jerking everyone around. The WWE McNuggets have gifted Trump with millions of bucks. The missus got some fancy government job, and lint for brains has been in cahoots with those rasslin’ body slammers for years.”

“Then, some bigot racist used his green olive — with pimento — sized-brain to concoct the masterpiece. Trumpette conveniently retweeted the tweet of the huckster playing fake tough in his natural mythological habitat. Now, with a zillion views, the tills are vibrating anew for the McMahon’s and the usual suspects, that use the expensive golf balls, when driving over water.”

“None of that is true,” barks Orville. “Besides, it’s old news.”

“If people would quit writing down what lard butt says, or record it, he could run out the clock on the back nine at Mara-a-Lago lying to the reptiles and giant insects. The crocs wouldn’t care. I think they expect it, considering their past relationships with golfers. I heard that five of his caddies went missing looking for balls. Trump hits green balls, to keep the searchers on their toes, while wading through the tall grass.”


“I saw Chris Christie sunning himself on the beach the other day. At first, I thought it was a beached manatee. I didn’t deserve that. Nobody did. Holy cow. Where do you suppose he gets his lawn chairs? Bobcat? International Harvester? It would take some top-notch engineers and specialized steel to keep his ass off the ground. And the width. Good lord. It’s like the backseat of a Ford Fairlane 500. That chair could easily seat an entire kids soccer team. You might have to bungee them in, but the little buggers shouldn’t be wandering around when the game is going anyway.”

“I’m not listening,” yells Orville.

“And I guess Chris closed down the public beaches in New Jersey for everyone else. Personally, I don’t get the pleasure of sitting in the sand, but I guess it’s a big deal to some people, especially if the sand abuts a body of water. Generally, if you see a patch of sand, somebody is sitting on it. Anyhow, Jersian’s are ticked.

Have you ever shared a side of beef with Chris, at one of your secret meetings, or the convention, Orv? How many gallons of ketchup are involved?”


“Sidebar, your honor. Remember when George W. said that he thought we were protected from terrorists by the “vast” oceans. Like they had to swim here or something. It’s not any less stupid than thinking that a wall will keep out the dark people south of the Rio. Of course, the pervert wasn’t going after the vote of any deep thinkers.”


“And Kevin Cramer would whip out a rationalization for Trump, if the joker strangled a young otter on stage. That’s how deeply he’s up the bum. Kevin called Mika one of those elitists, after the fuss caused by Trump’s crudest, most misogynist tweet. And a snob. Ouch. What does Kev think Donnie and his cronies are, if not elitist blue blood snobs? If Cramer had been richer, he might have beat out the Texas moron for Energy secretary, but Trump doesn’t trust any nonelitists.”

“The president is going fight back against critics,” shouts Orv.

“So, Mika was bleeding from the face?”

“I don’t know, you loonie yutz.”

“You don’t care, do you, Orville?”


“Or want to know anything that isn’t twit tweeted, in Breitbart, or slobbered by Alex Jones?”

“No. The lamestream media is in the anti-Trump tank.”

“Well, that explains the 37 percent who still approve of orange Julius Caesar. They just stick Armour hot dogs in their ears and chant gibberish like their child king. You’ve got a little mustard on your right earlobe, Orv. Be sure not use recently cooked ones. And if you can still hear bits of truth, use a croquet mallet to pound the wiener further into the auditory canal. It’s a culinary art, to get it just right.”

“Shut up, or go away, you socialist cuck. I can still hear you!”

“Jones is getting to the bottom of the child slave situation on Mars. I sleep better knowing one of Donnie’s pals is on that disturbing case. But the alt-right guys, like Jones, have a seat at the table now, so white men will finally have a chance in America. The big wall will keep some of the brownies out, and the travel bans will help, but it’ll never be white enough for some people. And most of the all white safe places are too cold for these white nationalist sissies.”

“Are you calling me a racist, Stan!” screams Orv.

“You, Orv? Never. Who wants to get buried in a — what do you grow again, Orv?”

“Shut up!”

“Well, any field. No point in being particular about the crop.”

“Well, I’ll agree with you there. Dirt is dirt.”

“That’s true isn’t it, Orv? There’s been a lot of dirt blowing around in your world.”

“Is that so?”

Stan stares at a guy, sitting at the table behind them, who looks like he died, then says, “Kevin is getting pushed out of the 2018 Senate race. The sane guy in the party wants go with someone less kooky, who doesn’t get spooked by pantsuits, and can shut up. His vote for a law that will actually kill people wouldn’t help either. You know. The small things. Of course, Cramer will do what he pleases, even if it means another primary. I hope this guy behind us isn’t an organ donor.”

Orv grunts.

“Roscoe has been barking at Cramer and farmer Tom Campbell like a baby pit bull. On the twitter. It’s a adorable, when puppies think they’re big. He’s from Minot and hangs around with Port, his personal mouthpiece and food taster. He wants Kathy Neset to run for the Senate for some reason. What’s his last name, Orv.”

“Streyle,”coughs Orv.

“Right. Streyle. He twitters and writes at the same fourth-grade level as the Trumpster fire.”

“Shut up!”

“And Rick Becker is making his move. He’s been shouting freedom this, freedom that, all over the state. Hell, his little caucus couldn’t get raw milk legalized. I think bake sales are OK now, though.”

“Of course, he’ll run as a Republican, even though he’s a Libertarian ideologue. Why that is acceptable, I don’t know. The other Libertarians are getting their butts kicked at the polls because they truthfully put an L by their name. Poor Jack Seaman, writes the L down on the parchment every two years and knowingly goes down in flames.”

“Everyone, Democrats included, should run as Republicans and make the voters do their due diligence.”

“That’s stupid,” snarls Orville.

“Stupid like a fox,” says Stanley. “And speaking of stupid like a rock. Trump Jr. met with a Russian somebody looking for dirt on Hillary. It looks like the idiots were willing to collude with the Russians but couldn’t find the kind of information they were looking for. Junior looks less like a ferret than his brother Eric, so he’s got that going for him when he ends up in jail. He should change his name to Mookie Muhammad Carmelo Gomez, while there’s still time.”

“Somebody please shoot me,” screams Orv.

“Hand me your pistol. Where do you want it? In the leg, or that one area in the shoulder that everyone survives on TV. Matt Dillon took 47 bullets in that spot. I’m not sure about Festus.”

“Please go away,” pleads Orville. “Please, Stan, or I’ll have to hit you with a pool cue. Hard and repeatedly.”

Stan looks around. “There isn’t even a pool table in this joint,” he scoffs.

“They still have the sticks,” says Orv, as the bartender hands him a sturdy length of shiny cylindrical wood.

Stan pounds his Coke, grabs his cane and shuffles toward the exit. “OK, Orv, you win. Be sure to put in fresh hot dogs every few days, or they’ll turn on you. I’ll tell you about the G20 next time. I’m pretty sure the dimwit outsmarted the bald KGB guy, and it was bring your daughter to work day, for one flabby hombre.

Toodle-oo caribou,” he laughs. Out he goes.

RON SCHALOW: Kevin Cramer Must Go — Part 2

The last time we checked in with Congressman Kevin Cramer, he had recently voted for a health care bill that was so deplorably cruel, even Donald Trump called it “mean.” And old road kill cranium has skimmed charity dollars from kids with cancer, so that’s saying something. Who read the bill to the president is anybody’s guess.

On May 6, Cramer wrote an unacclaimed article titled, “100 Days of Accomplishments Under Trump,” to brag about his hero.

The congressman is particularly proud that mining companies no longer have to fret about getting coal crud mixed in with our streams and rivers. It’s one of those chocolate meets peanut butter stories, except for the poisonous aftertaste. Black lung is Trump and Cramer’s favorite part of coal. Aren’t they adorable together?

And Kevin is pleased with the president for signing a resolution that takes people receiving Social Security disability benefits due to mental impairment off the “no- buy” list. Stupid Obama. Had he no compassion? How are folks like Trump and Cramer supposed to get weaponized under such stringent standards? Or James Hodgkinson, Omar Mateen, Jason B. Dalton, Robert Lewis Dear, Noah Harpham, Chris Harper Mercer, Dylann Storm Roof, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner, and thousands more?

Also in his list of Trump achievements is an Executive Order to conjure up a plan to stop crime. Why has nobody thought of eliminating crime before? The Trump University debacle and the fat wart’s sexual assaults could have been averted, had anyone taken the time to end crime.

Then, there’s the wall, the travel ban, relieving millions of their health care and an Executive Order to protect religious liberty. Religious freedom is already in the Constitution, but lead paint face seems to enjoy signing things, so whatever. Better that, than having the walls all marked up.

Cramer had many more things on his list. There isn’t much the congressman doesn’t like about Donald Trump, including Don’s ties, that double as a blindness inducing thongs.

Kevin is like one of those little slimy carps, with suction cup lips, that will swim into the gaping mouth of an orange hippopotamus — imagine it wearing white khakis for the full-figured golfer -— and clean the teeth of any excess KFC chicken skin.

Rob Port, Forum Communication’s token arthropod, is a barnacle on the behind of the Cramer Carp, who smears Cramer critics with the subtlety of an orange hippopotamus on an espresso diet. It’s one of those symbiotic relationships between the three misogynist climate deniers. More on the Portweasel later.

Imagine if Cramer had made the cut and was at the table when Cabinet members went around the horn and gave forced words of adoration to honor the dear leader. They would all still be there, and coated with slobber.

A shooting that Cramer noticed

Then, on June 14, Rep. Steve Scalise and a number of others, including Capitol police officers, an aide and a lobbyist, were shot, while practicing for a charity baseball game.

Here’s what Cramer, who wasn’t even there, had to say about the event.

“It is a scary day. Frankly, I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my life, and I don’t say that easily. I don’t admit to vulnerability even when I do feel vulnerable. But I don’t mind telling you this has been a shaking experience for a lot of us.

“I’ve never been so shaken.”

“We’ve all been under this cloud for a while of aggressive social media and threat assessments and thinking about families and whatnot and just trying to determine … is it even worth it.”

So, now the congressman is thinking about having security at his town hall events. Cramer’s so proud of the number of town halls he holds that if a cisgendered hombre sidles up to him in the the next urinal it counts as a town hall. He even includes the radio shows he does with Port and Scott Hennen. Those love fests aren’t allowed on the ledger.

The invertebrate Rob Port explains the danger:

“Cramer (unlike North Dakota Sens. Heidi Heitkamp or John Hoeven) holds a lot of town halls in North Dakota at which there is usually little or no security. I’ve been to a few of them, and basically you just walk in and sit down. There may be a local law enforcement officer on hand, but that’s about it.”

First of all, it’s well-known that Port doesn’t leave his burrow. Second, a law enforcement officer (are nonlocal ones better?) is “about it?” What would be appropriate for a gathering in Cando? A SWAT team, maybe? Has Trump not eliminated crime, yet? “This American carnage stops right here and right now,” said Donnie on Jan. 20.

“I’ve never been so shaken.”

Most people were shaken after Sandy Hook, but approximately six months after that gut-wrenching tragedy, Kevin Cramer said, “Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned abortion on demand. And we wonder why our culture sees school shootings so often.”

Cramer blamed God.

Who does Cramer blame for the nonfatal D.C. shooting? God again? For our cultures complete indifference to the deaths of zillions of fun loving sperm cells every single day?

There have been nearly a mass shooting per day in 2017. Have any of those gun deaths shaken the congressman? Doubtful. How about any of the other thousands of deaths or woundings by bullet this year? Nope. Only the one that affected him. A bit self centered for a human.

And yet Don, Kev and Rob are for those with a mental impairment packing a pistol.

Alex Jones, of InfoWars, a good pal of Trump, claims that Sandy Hook was a hoax. Is the acorn, who is the friend of the king walnut, also the friend of a North Dakota sunflower seed?

It’s this kind of kooky Cramer talk — complaining about pantsuits, while he’s wearing a suit, with pants, or trying to make excuses for Sean Spicer’s Hitler comparison, even after the poor, battered press secretary apologized — that make the bosses in D.C. wonder if Kevin isn’t too squirrely to run against Heidi Heitkamp for the Senate in 2018.

Maybe Rick Becker will run for the Senate or Congress. He’s not a Republican, but that hasn’t stopped him before. Becker is a full-blown Libertarian. He even formed the Bastiat Caucus in the Legislature. Look up Bastiat Institute on Facebook for a jolt. These other poor Libertarian bastages are running as Libertarians and getting smoked. Next, you’ll see Democrats running as Republicans in this state. Most people don’t know the difference, anyhow.

Not that my friend, Kev, should be holding any office, that affects other people. He can sit in an office and look out the window, but that’s it.

Cramer on Social Security; from Oliver Willis:

“In a radio interview, Cramer argued in favor of “making adjustments” to Social Security for people who are 30, 35, and 40 years old. He later explained in another interview that he disagreed with Trump’s proposed budget, despite its massive cuts to social services, and embraced doing more than “just cutting” the program.

Summing up his Social Security approach, Cramer said, “Some people are going to have to sacrifice.”

In 1998, he had a similar position. The Bismarck Tribune reported that October that Cramer had “called for allowing individuals to invest some money they contribute into private accounts, instead of all the money being put into the same pot.”

Social Security privatization takes what is a guaranteed pension and lets it ride on the volatile stock market,  generating billions in fees for many of the investment firms that inflated the market leading to the last recession.”

I wonder who the “some” who will have to sacrifice are. And why we can’t just raise the cap on the amount of money one has to make before Social Security taxes aren’t deducted? Because it’s more fun effing with poor people.

Flip-flopping on the Paris climate agreement

“But in a May 7 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he (Cramer) urged Trump to remain in the agreement. He said China could “fill the leadership vacuum” that the U.S. would leave behind, pointing out the agreement is nonbinding and thus the American carbon-emission goals could be lowered without a departure.” — Fargo Forum

If you’re trying to “hide” your opinion from Trump, have it published in a newspaper, or printed on any type of paper.

“But on Thursday, after Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement, Cramer released a statement that acknowledged his and the president’s stances, arguing “it’s clear (Trump) thoughtfully weighed all his options.” — Fargo Forum

If Cramer thinks that Trump thoughtfully weighs anything, he’s delusional — or simply not paying attention. Either is a red flag.

“The Paris climate agreement, in current form, would be terrible for America, and I’m glad we have a president who values Americans more than the interests of the rest of the world.” — Fargo Forum

Are we no longer part of the world?

James Comey

The intellectually superior to the lame stream media, Portweasel, in his own humble mind, wrote, “The Comey testimony, slated for later this morning, is the shiny object the national press is obsessing over of late. Cramer said he wasn’t expecting much to come of the highly-touted testimony.”

“We seem to be always waiting for the something that isn’t there to be revealed,” Cramer said.

Both of these chimps were as wrong as a hippo claiming that millions of nonexistent people attended his inauguration. Or his boast about coining the phrase, “priming the pump.” So many lies to choose from.

Cramer is ticked about the leaks coming out of White House

“Regardless of whether it’s contrived, fake news, some truth, somewhere in the middle, whatever the case may be, it is becoming a distraction to our work here. Consequently, the administration’s work as well and important policy things from trade to taxes to health care and everything else. So that is a problem, but at the same time, I don’t think we should let bullies dictate those things either. So to find that balance requires the type of discipline I’m talking about. ”

I agree. The president shouldn’t share classified information with the Russians, especially right in the Oval Office — and on camera. But as Speaker of the House Eddie Munster has noted, the mop headed manatee is too stupid to know such things.

Of course, propagandist Port — the self acclaimed Libertarian, who doesn’t believe in government — was recently caught accepting prespun information from the government. Turning to the Portweasel makes sense, because he’ll publish every claim, without checking the veracity. Minutes later, the words show up on InForum.

Cramer on trackers attending his events

“That means running some risk, that means occasionally stumbling, maybe stating the wrong fact every now and then. It might even mean saying something stupid.”

I guarantee it, so look forward to Kevin Cramer Must Go — Part 3.

We’ll end with 3 Cramer quotes

  • “We’ve normalized perversion and perverted God’s natural law.”
  • “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
  • “I know how North Dakotans think.”

RON SCHALOW: Oley’s Naked Gun Pander

Just in case the few hombres who feel the need — some have legitimate reasons — to carry a concealed pistol underneath their cardigan while walking the street of Pisek were thinking that the Republicans in the Legislature hadn’t gone the full mile, to fulfill their every whim, they need not worry.

Minot Sen. Oley Larsen stepped up his game.

Oley is an interesting dude, among other adjectives. We’ll come back to that, but first the Senator’s Bill.

SB 2139 will change the law, so that if you’re armed and a policeman asks to to see your concealed carry permit but you left it on the dresser because it’s just too darn thick to put in your wallet and your pockets are full of green olives, you have 10 days to run home and get it.

Or you can fly to Aruba — those Dutch know how to run a colony — for a week of snorkeling, white sand beach play and deep sea fishing, then come back tan and rested and produce the permit, to avoid incarceration under the heavy boot of the state.

I don’t know if Larsen is a member of the Bastiat Caucus, the cluster of lawmakers — who really hate the government — in the Legislature, but they love this legislation. “An extremely common sense, yet important pro-Second Amendment Bill,” the Bastiat’s called it, but they idolize a Frenchman who died 15 years before Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, so they’re completely normal and should be trusted on all matters.

The Second Amendment didn’t include a permit requirement. Muskets were pushed into the hands of any male tall enough to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl, so the Constitutional remark is a pile of horse$#!*. And maybe common sense can be extreme, but I think it either is or it ain’t.

The Bastiat’s continue opining on Oley’s Bill: “Current law creates criminals out of law-abiding gun owners who are found in “violation” of an officer’s demands for paperwork. This is absurd in a free society that such demands be made regarding a God-given component of the Bill of Rights.”

I don’t recall God mentioning handguns in the Bible, but perhaps a reference can be found in the Charlton Heston Version. I think we’re working with human law here, boys.

Rep. Rick Becker founded the Bastiat Caucus so that the Libertarians, who ran as Republicans in order to win, would have someone to talk to about freedom and raw milk.

Becker also got his “Constitutional Carry” law passed, which has nothing to do with the Constitution, but it’s a fine name, and it saves several hours for those looking to pack some iron in public, which is way different than packing a seven iron — or a clothes iron. Something to keep in mind, before sticking a hot iron down your shorts.

Also understand that the senator’s bill doesn’t include fishing licenses, deer tags, driver’s licenses, proof of insurance or anything else you should have the sense to carry —  or not forget to do. Will Village Inn give you the senior discount without proof? Doubtful. Maybe if you’re carrying a Beretta.

This is only for concealed carriers. Nobody else because pistol people are obviously more important to Republicans and rarely shoot up the neighborhood in fits of rage.

All other types of credentials must be carried around in a wallet, purse, pocket, or shoe in their super heavy paper form.

You can try to be special, though

Sorry officer, I forgot my drivers license on the coffee table — it might have a little cocaine on it — but I’m armed, and I also neglected to bring my permit, so can I bring you both of those in 10 days?

I’m not over the limit, ranger. I just forgot to release that extra walleye.

Sorry occifer. I forgot not to drive, but I can get back to you in 10 days.

Oley’s Law, which doesn’t mean a senator is lost, also allows all elected officials to take training, which would grant them the right to carry a gun wherever the hell they please, including sporting events.

If you are Muslim or gay — really any minority, including liberals, to be one the safe side — don’t sit in the sightline of Rep. Dwight Kiefert at a Bison game or anywhere else. He doesn’t have mixed feelings about certain groups of people.

Oley Larsen once sent me an email complaining that I was picking on oil. Actually, I was picking on the gases, which weren’t oil, that the producers leave in the crude and make the Bakken oil trains explode. He didn’t see the distinction.

Larsen also told me that they — whoever owned the tanker cars, I guess — were going to coat the oil tankers with a substance that would keep the trains from exploding. I believe he was thinking of something along the lines of rubber. Did I mention he’s a senator and possibly is carrying a gun.

And Oley passes out Dilly Bars at election time. It doesn’t sound legal, but they are good.

I can see the old time ward boss growling, “Hey Lefty, get over here. Here’s a few walking around Dilly Bars, for youse and the boys. Hit the pier, dish out a little dilly and make sure those mooks know who to vote for. And let them know that there’s more soft-serve where that came from.”

I’ve explained the concept of plagiarism to Larsen after one of his heists, but either he didn’t comprehend the meaning, or he doesn’t care. My guess is both.

Did I mention he’s a senator?

RON SCHALOW: The Fake Language Of Hate

I’ve been called many things in the last half-century. I suppose “shallow’ has gone on the longest, since it’s so clever. Adults still jab me with that mortal Italian dagger wit — I can barely feel the blade filet my … spleen?

I went by “crash” for a time, which was neither derogatory or complimentary. Simply fact that need not be discussed,

“Weird Al!!!  “ as in Yankovic, yelled a few, directly into my face back before perms met a dignified death, or I came to my senses -— actually, just one sense — back in the ’80s. Plus, I favor the singer, I guess, but some didn’t stop to wonder why the real Al was tending bar in North Dakota.

Some big kids called me a greaser while I was watching a Legion baseball game at my usual spot by the fence. It was the early ’60s, and I guess that wearing white socks was cause for ridicule — at least the way they said it. I dress pretty much the same nowadays but in larger sizes.

I always liked Obi Ron Kenobi.

A doctor in Grand Forks called me a “borderline diabetic.” Thankfully not borderline deceased — or pregnant. That would have gotten me one of the good doctors.

Down the hall I was labeled an alcoholic — everybody knew that — by a chain smoking doctor with an office and everything, who gave me an unceremonious diagnosis of death, prontolike, if I didn’t quit drinking. Those options took some heavy thought.

Back in 1969 or ’70, the Fargo Forum described me as “diminutive.” This was before their sports section went all-Bison. Others just called me “short,” and “skinny” before I became tall and a little chubby.

I’ve been referred to as a jerk, a pain in the @ss, angry, compulsive, a pompous @sshole, arrogant, smug, loud, a problem and cocky. You get the drift. Lots of a$$-related stuff.

There was a few good things, too.

Then, the Internet happened, and it was easy to ignore the archaic social sites and use this wonderful new research tool for many projects.

Skip forward to Facebook and the simplicity that allowed anyone with opposable thumbs to publish a blog. It was hard to not at least sign up. Then, I had to shoot off my mouth. Lots of places. It is said that a person should read opinions that are contrary to one’s own, and I did.

Not that I was any angel, but I restrained my language. Mostly. It’s soooo hard. But for every “I do believe you are mistaken, sir, and may need assistance driving your Google machine,” a bombardment of aggressive retorts flew back. At first, the words, if not the message, were recognizable, even the swear words. I’ve been around.

I was a Marxist and a commie, a socialist, a fascist, a lib%@&#, evil and was called stupid in more ways than I thought were possible, but I didn’t need to look anything up.

The English language is a hoot. I have no I idea how it became normal in my head. There. their, they’re — it’s maniacal — and two years of college English in 1974, and 1975 — when Dr. Gresham taught his classes the finer points — have globulated (Urban Dictionary) from hard-fought “A” knowledge into trepidatious instinct.

An incorrect process, I’m well aware, but I do most everything on the fly, so I’m past saving. My participles are hanging like a Trump tie, and I haven’t diagramed a sentence since Nixon was randomly dropping bombs like gum balls.

But I don’t lie. I won’t even lol, unless I actually laugh out loud, which is rare. Not in my nature.

Little anonymous people spit the lie accusation out all of the time, and I barely twitch. But all of the sudden, my name spurred a Google Alert, several weeks after (thanks Google) Rob Port invented a story about me, and my brain went to another level of obsessive brooding and deliberation.

Besides telling me that he knew the substance of a book I spent three years writing better than I, Port called me a crank, questioned my mental health, lied his Chris Christie butt off and stuck to the false story. He’s a phony, and his days are numbered at the Forum. Old man Marcil will eventually step away. Anyway, the coward blocked me from commenting on Sayanythingblog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and probably on platforms that have yet to be invented.

That sidebar story is here, if your curiosity bone is tickled. Port is my archenemy and nemesis. My white whale. That’s why his name adds so much to the word count. Depending on the after-death rules, I plan on messing with him after I’m deceased, if possible. Https://

But those series of Port lies aren’t my point. Just context. I didn’t even know who Port was before the libel, but that incident led me to watching his lie-blog, and the cesspool of a comment section, with only academic curiosity in my heart. I swear.

Now, I was seeing words and phrases, on Port’s blog, Facebook and other places that were unfamiliar. Not as complicated as Klingon but built for a purpose. Some people were getting a newsletter, and I wasn’t on the subscription list. All of the silverbacks, picking lice off each others pelts that patrol Port’s Disqus section to scare off anyone to the left of Kublai Khan, were in on the new jargon, and they hate the lernin’ places and all of the edumacated uppity types.

“Hey snowflake, you better run to your save space.” Huh? “Are you having a microaggression or a trigger point, you SJW cuck?” Ich verstehe es nicht sprüche, you wanker!

At first, I would respond like it would matter. A) I don’t run anywhere. B) Wherever I’m standing, sitting or not running is my safe space. C) I only have MACRO-aggressions, and the one thing that ever triggered a “point” was 300 shanks off the tee into the river that gurgled 3 yards from my feet. It happened every time. No. 14 at soul-killing Souris Valley Golf course in Minot.

I imagine that snowflake means someone effeminate and helpless. To those who toss that word in my direction, I say that every woman in my family is far from helpless. The females I’m familiar with are the fierce type.

Maybe you 16th-century royals will get breakfast in bed, as one silly legislator in North Dakota left over from the Spanish American War suggested, or maybe you’ll be cleaning egg yolk and a fork out of your left ear for the remainder of the month. Or if the tone of the request crosses a line, perhaps an oxen-style yoke will knock your brain juice into this century. And yes, I’m advocating violence. Quit being such a snowflake — or get triggered. Whatever.

As for me, I’m slower than a Port and as agile as a Port. Basically, I’m stationery, and my arms can no longer pull of a functional head lock, or and if you need someone to perform a body slam from the top rope, don’t even text. The “very capable” Kenny Jay might still be around, but he took some good beatings, like the Washington Nationals versus the Harlem Globetrotters, so the poor man is ultrastiff. That’s the best scenario for Kenny.

However, I do have an adrenal gland, as far as I know. And if necessary, I would be happy to embed a Ping putter in your a$$, or kneecap a Neanderthal snowflake with my cane. I’m not the one who needs a Glock at the ready while perusing the fruit selection at Hornbachers for Honeycrisp apples. (I’m not the first to paraphrase that sentiment.)
SJW means social justice warrior. OK. So now that’s a bad thing? These people, who peddle that string of letters are the alt-righters, the Steve Bannon’s, the white nationalists and the other types that are tired out, to the point of exhaustion, of hearing about nonwhite people and forever whine about white males not having a parade, although the St. Patrick’s Day parades throughout the country comes pretty damn close, and I’m thrilled for the Irish. I don’t care who has a parade.

If you want a safe space with all white males in the group, pledge to a Young Republicans fraternity, or join one of the thousands of so-called Patriots organizations, the White Nationalists, the Sovereigns, the Oath Keepers, the preppers and the like. Talk about safe spaces. Who are the ones constructing cement-lined holes with sanitation, food, water and guns?

I’ll just watch the end of days from a lib%@#$ lawn chair in my yard. Maybe I’ll have cigarette for the first time in 25 years.

Gated communities must be safe spaces, but I doubt if they will keep the zombies out.

North Dakota just banned “safe spaces,” on college campuses, although I didn’t know we had any. Can’t you talk to a counselor, of any level, without some privacy? The alt-right abhors diversity, but if like-minded people form a club or live as roommates, they go into a state of panic. Every anecdote about something suspicious going on at an elementary school in Alabama, which might be slightly lib&#$@ish, is magnified into a crisis. That’s what scandal producer Rob Port does, but a law to address airy nothingness is going a bit too far.

The Capitol building is the safest of all safe spaces, but I don’t see Becker or Port fussing about it. The gatekeeper, Al Carlson, locks the place down every time he spies someone wearing a mask — or a non-Norwegian, advancing from a mile away.

Rep. Rick Becker thinks free speech is in danger on campuses, I guess. Who knows? Everything he does is a pandering plan. If he really believes the alt-right speech meme, he’s an idiot. Of course, Becker also wants to limit the number of out-of-state students who can attend a North Dakota college. As the originator of the Bastiat Caucus, he really should read more Bastiat.

Ask any of my former college instructors if I had my First Amendment rights violated, which I often applied in their office. Mano a profo. Teachers rule the classroom, unless students are told to open their yap — or a debate was encouraged. Becker went to UND. He should know there aren’t ever hundreds of students locked in padded room with warm pastel colors, listening to Michael Bolton. But the phony right-wing meme lives on.

College hater Port, is so worried about the students Tuesday. But the next day, he calls them snowflakes. He lasted about 10 minutes at North Dakota State University, so who is the weak-minded and frail one? Donald Trump has the shell of an armadillo compared to Port. Robbie has fallen to the point of arguing the merits of each negative letter to the editor, which are piling up, that hurts his feelings. Except mine. In at least three of my letters, I’ve gleefully called him a liar. He had no witty retorts.

It wasn’t that long ago when the Westboro Baptist Church set up shop in front the FargoDome prior to a football game. I didn’t see anyone running off screaming.

Students aren’t sealed in Saran Wrap (suffocation issues) when they show up for college initiation. They are free to leave the campus and experience the outside world. Read. Talk. Observe. Most are carrying devices that can tell them most anything. Information invades each space. They aren’t being indoctrinated, forced to bake pies or enroll in women’s studies or black studies or Native studies, the wicked trinity of right-wing hate of higher education.

Political correctness, and microaggressions. Think before you talk, consider the other person, and don’t be a dick. But the terms were purposely appropriated by Bannon types and then seized on by nitwits like Rob Port. The Ports spread the words to their gullible anonymous readers. Do any of them even know that snowflake has no meaning other than the pile of them in your yard?

I nearly forgot cuck. Supposedly, if I’m white and don’t see everything from the point of my race race and point out that white people have done great harm in this world, you’ve been cuckolded, by the people of different shades. I’m a cuck and a race traitor. Did I mention that flat-out racists mingle with the silverbacks on Port’s blog. If he cares, you wouldn’t notice.

Snowflakes, safe spaces, social justice warrior and the rest, are just the mangling of word meanings by someone like Frank Luntz, to create a short simple fake language of hate, perfect for dim bulb flashcards, that the gullibles could derisively use to attack thinking people.

RON SCHALOW: Liberty Loving Legislators

It’s hard to keep up with the North Dakota Legislature, since the idiotic bills shoot out faster than Donald Trump running from a Syrian toddler. The kid was “yuge.” Believe me.

Then, you add in the daily hijinks and lies of our new administration in D.C., and you have a bottomless stockpot of rancid confusing soup and a small slotted spoon.

We’ll start here

North Dakota State Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, wants people to stop wearing masks, especially the Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access pipeline because with goggles over the eyes and bandanas covering mouths, it mitigates the effect the mace and tear gas. That stuff isn’t free!

In response, many citizens have requested that Carlson wear a mask whenever he leaves the house. Preferably a neon yellow ski mask, so he won’t get lost in the Wal-mart parking lot.

Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, is ticked at Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access, too. His mother-in-law was just driving along and got caught up in a mass of pipeline protesters marching down the road and blocking her path. Irritated, Kempenich wrote the “I dropped a cigarette in my lap and accidentally ran down some protesters with my Lincoln MKS” bill. Oops. Sorry about your friends. Better luck walking in my way next time.

Nothing else seems to kill them. In the meantime, drivers are encouraged to duct tape several emotionally disturbed Dobermans to the hood of their Buicks. St. Bernards will work, but you’ll end up with the windshield wipers constantly on high, due to the slobber, and you’ll probably need 7 extra gallons of washer fluid.

Several rolls of the tape will be needed, since dogs don’t like being adhered to things, but the crowd will part, if only to retreat to an advantageous spot for videotaping.

SB 2246: Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, wants to write into law the ability to fine people (Indians) an unspecified amount for not vacating certain parcels of dirt when ordered. It’s for their own safety. Cough.

Dever was the one smiling like a hyena in the group picture with Trump, when the braggart of sexual assault came to Bismarck, promising to save coal from competition, and Obama.

Can’t these Native people see? They are upsetting the oil barons.

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”― Frédéric Bastiat

They like guns

There are approximately 39,000 permits out there that allow the holder to carry a concealed handgun in North Dakota. The number was about 14,000 in 2011, before the Bakken got humming — and more dangerous (we didn’t extreme vet the characters who followed the oil money) — so it’s safe to assume that some of those pistols are no longer in the state.

But let’s leave the number at 39,000. The population is 740,000. A lot of attention is being paid to 5 percent of our citizens, many who will admit to leaving their pistol in the glove box, or under the seat, when they are out dragging Main. And how many just leave the gun in a lockbox? They don’t see the point of taking their Glock to the movies — or church. Most are satisfied with a rifle and/or shotgun for hunting. Do more than 2 percent even give a rip?

So, why is so much attention paid to guns, and with so much reverence?

Guns had their own day

Jan. 26 was “Gun Lobby Day,” at the North Dakota State Capitol. Oh, please. Don’t be so modest. Every day is “Gun Lobby Day” in North Dakota, and they are all splendid. Pass the potato salad and a pound of bullets, please.

Even though most don’t care, because it’s unnecessary, Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, and numerous other lawmakers, really — I mean really — want North Dakotas to be able to carry a concealable gun anywhere they damn well please. Evidently, those poor people aren’t truly free, otherwise.

HB 1169: This is Becker’s so-called “Constitutional Carry” Bill, which would allow people, meeting several requirements, to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. “This critically important bill reaffirms the true intent of the Second Amendment,” wrote an avid proponent of the bill.

Malarkey, I say. Even if the true intentions behind the Second Amendment were known, this bill doesn’t reaffirm anything. As written, the “shall not be infringed” part is being infringed like crazy. Even ignoring the “a well-regulated militia” bit, the Constitution doesn’t set age limits, or exclude ex-cons, or the mentally unfit, or those who can’t afford a gun, this right. No problem is solved, except to exempt a few from paying the usual fee. I’m all tingly.

Becker loves liberty. Who doesn’t? But Dr. Becker loves it more, and he is a defender of liberty, and he founded the North Dakota Bastiat cult, er Caucus to prove it. The elite club is named for French writer, economist and legislator Frederic Bastiat, who died 1850. Bastiat hated most parts of government, taxes and regulations and proposed free markets without restraint. I see the attraction for a Bastiat ideologue, but the United States had a total of 17 million citizens in 1850. A few things have changed in the past 166 years. Indoor plumbing is my favorite.

Becker has plans, and he wants to make sure that everyone knows that in this red state, he is blood red. And most patriotic, too. Do YOU have one of those football field-size flags? And his guns are nicer than yours, too.

I gather that Rep. Chris Olson, R-West Fargo. is also in the cult caucus because he is listed as the email contact. He also loves liberty. Olson is worried about refugees and other things, but not their liberty. It’s a personal type of love, I guess. No worries, though. Trump is keeping dangerous refugee families away.

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

They believe this poppycock.

HB 1273: Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, wants churches to have the right to allow Smith and Wessons on their premises. Churches are off limits for guns according current law. “This bill corrects an egregious violation of property rights,”  wrote an anonymous backer of this Bill.

Egregious, eh. In every movie or TV show I’ve ever seen, where someone brings a firearm into a church, the padre, priest or minister, yells, “How dare you bring a gun into the house of God?” Father O’Brien gets a rifle butt to the head shortly thereafter. It’s predictable. Has Hollywood been lying to me?

There are some advantages. If it’s raining, 21-gun salutes, for military funerals, can be done indoors, and for regular services, the candles can be extinguished much faster than with the traditional bell snuffer.

HB 1278: Koppelman again.  If you have a concealed weapons license, you will be able to be packing in any public building that doesn’t have a metal detector and an armed guard. If that wasn’t clear, Koppelman, or one one of his co-sponsors wrote; “In other words, if they (meaning the building staff/security) aren’t protecting you, you should be able to protect yourself.”

Of course, teens, tweens and subtweens, aren’t allowed to walk around with Rugers, so I guess this bill wasn’t meant for them. Sorry kids. I guess you’re doomed at McDonald’s. Throw McNuggets with extra salt, and aim for the eyes.

Personally, I’ve never been anywhere, at any age. where I felt I was in danger, and never did I ever feel threatened. These jokers evidently think a person is supposed to fear everything — EVERYWHERE! Such silliness.

Decades ago, I managed places that served liquor. Firearms weren’t allowed in any of them because that would have been stupid.

In the last place, I had unarmed large men placed throughout the establishment, to card, stop fights and keep people, especially the women, from getting hassled. One of them was the world heavyweight military wrestling champ, and one was a former UND offensive guard. That pair weighed in at a svelte 660 pounds. Plus, I employed a number of (unarmed) military police, a former Bison D-back and a few bikers. Special offenders were tossed out the backdoor into a chain link fence. Some were diced. Some weren’t.

Everyone was protected. A shot was never fired.

HB: 1310 Rep. Dwight Kiefert, R-Valley City, can’t stand gay people, Muslims or the fact that guns aren’t allowed in schools. He has put this bill up for vote the past two sessions, and he’s getting close. The kids must be protected, evidently by a teacher who volunteers, or another adult that works at the school.

I asked him a couple of years ago if he was concerned about the Bakken oil trains that roll by numerous schools in North Dakota, a nonimaginary scenario, Because the tanker cars contain stuff that isn’t crude oil, and exploding, as they do, a whole school could be incinerated. Didn’t phase him. Bringing that up would put him going the wrong way in the oil stream.

Recently, I asked if there were plans to put bulletproof glass in the schools — it stands to reason if you’re so concerned about a school attacking gunman. No response. If we really need guns in schools, we need to go full out. Body armor, stone tunnels to the buses, which don’t even have seat belts, and 48 other things.

I’ve sent a lot of messages to my representative in District 41, Al Carlson. One response: He said he would get back to me on the exploding train thing. That was over two years ago. There’s still hope, though.

SB 2315: Sen. David Clemens, R-West Fargo, who cares anymore, wants citizens to be able to take pot shots at other humans, whether they are threatening your safety — or not. Running away, even. If the neighbor kid drills you in the head with a really hard snowball, throw a few bullets his way. You won’t have time to run him over.

Co-sponsor of 2315, Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, who lives in District 3, as does Rep. Roscoe Streyle, R-Minot, once told me that BNSF or Sunoco, it doesn’t matter, was going to put a layer of a rubbery concoction on the Bakken oil tankers cars, like paint, so they wouldn’t explode. I think they were going to order the stuff from ACME. He’s one of our leaders.

To his credit, or blabbermouth nature, Oley did admit that the oil companies were leaving the butane, propane, methane, ethane and ect. in with the crude — even though the gases made the whole works explode in a derailment — because they didn’t want to lose the income from the valuable gases. I knew that, but politicians in these parts are reticent when it comes to talking about the oil guys with gold cards.

HB 1391: Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson, has an issue with the feds regulating firearms and munitions manufactured in North Dakota because the interstate commerce and supremacy clauses of the U.S. Constitution do not specifically identify such authority, so he wrote a bill to put an end to such nonsense.

This is one of those 10th Amendment arguments. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Plenty of things fit this definition, since several centuries have passed, and some changes have taken place, but Simons has decided to focus on the manufacturing of guns and bullets.

An unnamed blogger compared Simon to the “The Virginian,” a character in an old western by the same name. I don’t know James Drury, but Luke Simons is no James Drury.

Nongun things

Sen. Tom Campbell, R-Grafton, thinks it’s a good idea to drug test welfare recipients. It’s not. Other states have tried this stupid idea and found very few abusers, so the program just costs money. Of course, as a well-heeled farmer, Campbell knows all about receiving subsidies. Has anyone asked him to pee in a cup for the money?

Republicans are trying to do away with BreatheND, which has significantly reduced the number of smokers in the state, which saves us money, not costs. Republican mascot, and Fargo Forum blogger, Robbie Port, says that everyone knows about the risks of tobacco already, so why spend more money on advertising? Everyone knows about Coca-Cola and Budweiser, too. Anyone who has been in business, been educated or left their house, knows that advertising works.

Port has also been in cahoots with efforts to smear everyone at the pipeline protests. He couldn’t hold Chase Iron Eyes’ shoes. Shoes that do actual work.

Port buddy Streyle got his bill to water down reporting requirements for spills of any type on an oil pad. Even the old ones. He was just sitting there one night when it came to him. Or an envelope pushed under the door. Only the Port knows.

Busy beaver Becker also has a bill to restrict the number of out-of-state students who will be allowed in North Dakota colleges. Is the state suddenly too crowded that we can afford to turn people away that were willing to come here on purpose, fill our apartments and buy crap? Is the free market only applicable sometimes? This is dumber than usual.

He’s also worried about “safe spaces” on college campuses. Do we even have any? What’s the concern? Does he mean the consulting services offered year-round to all students? Is his doctor’s office a safe space? Everywhere I go is a safe space. Maybe he should quit trying to make mostly imaginary right-wing memes into law and try to accomplish something that will help people. Leave the education to experts.

Becker also wants to be able to order liquor straight from the manufacturer, if his distributor can’t get what he wants for his very special, bars. Boo hoo.

“Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.” —Bastiat, “The Law”

Would the Libertarians please stand up?

How many Libertarian ideologues have passed themselves off as Republicans to get elected into power? ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) was bad enough. Now, we have this Bastiat fellow to lead some of our deep thinkers in Bismarck by the nose.

Ron Schalow — Don’t Feed the Legislators

Stan shuffles up to the bar and bellows, “Merry Christmas, Orv?” No answer. Stan looks closer at the man sitting on the stool. “Wait a goddam minute, here. You’re not Orville. Who the hell are you, and why are you sitting in Orv’s spot?”

“Mark. I don’t know any Orv.”

Stanley is flummoxed, until Orv barks, “I’m over her, you liberal nitwit. It’s like 4 feet away. Gawd.”

Stan shuffles over. “That Mark guy sure is an @$$hole, huh? He doesn’t even know you. You want me to throttle him, Orv? He’s asking for it.”

“You couldn’t throttle a tiny Nun, you yutz.”

“Could, too. I filled my aluminum cane with cement, just for seating mishaps like this. As you know, I prefer a seven iron, but it looks suspicious, especially if it’s obvious you need a longer club to make the green. I like those collapsible metal whippy rods the coppers in the UK use to whack a guy in the thighs. Brings the wanker right to his knees. I suppose American cops have those implements, too, but they have way more options than your average bobby in London. I think a bobby carries a small spray can of pepper spray or mace. I don’t know the difference. Heck, we’ve got cops in North Dakota toting these big canisters of mace that can blind a whole crop of malcontents, with gallons to spare. Of course, putting the whole bunch into a state of hypothermia is a lot cheaper because pumping cold water from the river is easy on the budget. You’ve seen video from Cannonball. I love seeing razor wire finally being used in the state, although they probably have some on the prison fences. It’s a good thing that #&*$@# Al Carlson put the kibosh on the regular Native speech to the Legislature because the dark-skinned people scare him — that was a dick move, huh. And boy, that bridge on 1806 must be important; not River Kwai special, but enough to bring in the heavy art …”

“Stop!” shouts Orville.

“I never figured you as somebody who had been to Yutz. Communes aren’t for everyone.”

Orv wrinkles his nose and he puts on his disgusted face. “Commune? I’ve never set foot in a commune!”

“You have, if you’ve been to Yutz.”

“I’ve never BEEN to Yutz. YOU are a yutz.”

“That makes more sense,” admits Stan. “You should go before you kick, though. Northern France is quite beautiful. Of course, you could see any part of France without visiting Yutz, I guess. Is Mark still behind me? Do you still want me to throttle him, Orv? One whack and he’ll have an inoperable subdural hematoma. Or I could just throw a bucket of water on him when he steps outside. I hope he’s paid his bar bill.”

“You leave that Mark guy alone, you stupid loon. I’m fine right here. What the hell do you want, anyway?”

Stanley turns enough to his left to give Mark one stink-eye, then says, “I saw your truck outside, which was a real shock, and decided to stop in and wish you a Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Orv!”

“Look, Stan, we did the Merry Christmas thing last week. We’ve moved on to Happy New Year.”

“What for?”

Orville’s face reddens. “Why do you think, doofus boy? We’ve just started a new year. Sheesh.”

“Not me. My physical year ends sometime in September. The 17th rings a bell. Most small numbers ring a bell, though, so it’s iffy. Don’t plan on it.”

“Fiscal year.”

“Not according to my doctor.”


“My year-end parties have been substantially less well-attended, which is fine by me. Screw them all. Solitude doesn’t bother me. Everyone just drinks all of my booze, anyway.”

“You don’t have any booze, you lib@#&*!”

“Well, not anymore. Haven’t you been paying attention? Were you there the time some jerk drank all of my Scope. The good kind. Like there wasn’t plenty of alcohol on the premises. I found that @$$hole and threw him off the second floor porch, which is odd because I don’t recall an outdoor launching pad on the second floor. He was the only one in the house with fresh minty breath. It took some time to find him. The first few party people I kissed put up quite a tussle, so I changed my approach. I acted like I was just squeezing by, then turn quick and smack. Right on the lips. Finally, I found the ugly spud and latched onto his tongue with a needle-nosed pliers. Green as a John Deere, Orv. I beat most of the assault charges on the grounds of stupidity. Whew, right? His mouth was full of grass and dirt when he wandered off, though, and I can tell you from experience, that dirt does not taste like Scope. You probably knew that being in the dirt business. How is your crop of something doing, Orv, or is it bad luck to ask?”

“Well, Stan. It’s January and 13 below zero, so how do you think my crop is doing? Have you started drinking again?”

“Naw. Did you ever expect to live to whatever the year is on YOUR planet, Orv? Not that I’m privy to any plans written in stone, but I figured that a fancy combine would have spit parts of you out of its back end long ago.”


“Me, I thought I would be a goner a long time before now. I was like 23 when a deathly feeling came over my mind, which led me to buy a ton of life insurance. I should have had life insurance from the minute I turned 3. I wasn’t employed at the time, but I bet the premiums would have been irresistible. You know, we used to shovel snow down to the concrete — and from edge to edge — and maybe finish with a broom. Then, I would knock on the front door and thank whoever for whatever metal money they gave me. Not this rotating brush or blower stuff that leaves a quarter-inch of snow on the walk. Delivering the Sunday Minneapolis Tribune paper — they weighed 42 pounds each — was a challenge in the winter. It was like the Iditarod, only I was the beast pulling the sled. I made my fortune doing that and won several canine awards. We pulled our sleds a couple of miles into the country to find the steepest hills and then shoot straight for the trees in the coulee. Figure out a way to stop — or bail. Those were the options, provided you wanted to go home unbroken. The thorny thickets were fun.”


“Orv, do you remember the time we were driving down I-29 and I fell out?”

“Vividly. It was yesterday.”

“Weren’t you surprised?” asks Stan.

“A little, but you’ve jumped out before. It was on the off ramp, so we were only going 50,or so.”

“Fell! Inertia! Centrifugal force! Something to do with physics!”

“If you say so, death-wish Stan, but I have doors, you moonbat. It’s unusual either way, and back tracking to see if you’re alive is getting to be a pain in the @$$.”

“Then, on the news, they always have to mention that I wasn’t wearing a seat belt in that smug voice. Who are they to judge me? And I’ve sent several better head shots to all of the TV stations, but they always choose to use the one where my face looks like I just had a stroke, which is despicable. What if real stroke victims were watching? It would be totally offensive.”

Orv is losing steam. “Yup.”

“So, Orv, do you have resolutions for YOUR next year on earth? Maybe like switching from Smirnoff to Stoli? That would shake things up in the world vodka market. Or maybe you could try red or orange farm machines for kicks? Got any swamps to drain?”

“I don’t have any res …”

“But what the hell difference does it make, young Orville? I can fall out of your pickup any time of the year and not chip a tooth, which is getting harder and harder to fathom. We sit here in the middle of a continent, where the most dangerous wild critter is a pissed off Canada goose. None of the bugs are as big as that dust mop on Trump’s head, and some of us are sipping Putin’s vodka. A guy can sit outside without a crocodile sneaking up, or a hippo staring you down while you take a dip in the lake — or wrecking the dock. They’re quite surly.”

“Are we going to talk about animals? I already know about animals.”

“You’re reminiscent of a rhino, Orv. Big, grouchy, and you leave potholes wherever you walk. Only two holes, though. You’re bipedal. We established that years ago. Now we have the jackals, hyenas, vultures and other scavengers, back in Bismarck.”

“What are you yammering about, you leftist trash?”

“Al Carlson reminds of the Jeremy Irons-voiced black-maned lion in “The Lion King.” Always bossing those hyenas around. Remember that, Orv? These are your critters, Orville. The alt-righters, the ideologues, the extremists, the nutjobs — most of them cahooting with the big bidness shills. Speaking of shills, Rob Port, Forum Communication blogger and Morton County stenographer, reports that fewer lobbyists are registered for this session, which is adorable because we all know that they’ve been pre-lobbied, like a prepaid cell phone and some even self- lobby — the real go-getter hyenas. Can you beat a self-cleaning oven? Hardly. It’s the warm thingy in the kitchen, the room beside the vittles place, Orv. These clowns don’t need the North Dakota Petroleum Council, the NRA, the tobacco creeps or the “clean coal” vultures hovering because lion Al will straighten things out, if they have an original thought. Port reminds me of one of those bears on a unicycle, now that you mention it.”

“That’s all ridiculous, you liar. I’m not listening to any more of this garbage!”

“Oh, sure you will,” scoffs Stan. “What are you going to do? Storm off and stop drinking for a few minutes?”

“No,” he answers dejectedly.

“I’ll hold out some teeny hope.” Stan holds his right thumb and forefinger about a millimeter apart. “There may be a miracle, decreed by Odin, that the supermajority of jackals, dingoes and hyenas, led by Scar, aka Al, does something worthwhile.”

“Do you want a fat lip, Stanley?”

“Do you want my cement cane to put a dent in your shin, Mr. Wiseguy? Hell, you’re of the pack that hangs around Peacock Alley and assorted Bismarck hotel lounges laughing it up with the lawmakers, regulators, lobbyists and assorted corporate dingoes when the Legislature is in session because you’re of the lot who feed the jackals money and lobster tails. Otherwise, it could be a steakhouse in Crosby, a diner in Stanley or wherever else palms get greased or buttered. Whenever there is money to be divvied up, the vultures can smell it a thousand miles away.”

“Prove it!” taunts Orv. “How do you go from stupid to lucid, so fast, you @$$ pain?”

“Meds. Lots of them. You use vodka, rhino boy. You know the levels.”


“But what bills do I see on the list? Oh, my, we have way too many license plates on our cars, so we better deal with that before the EPA makes us fasten three to our vehicles, so the drones can cope. And people are paying too much to renew their vanity plates, which really stings the poor.”

“Why should I pay $25 to renew …”

“Then, there is Rick Becker, Mr. Conservative, who has his sights on higher office. Fine by me. So, he introduces a “constitutional carry” bill, so that no permit is needed to carry your pistol of choice concealed, but that’s if you’re 21. So, being a dick, I ask Becker where in the constitution I can find an age limit. His answer; “You’re cute.” I was flattered, but I doubt his sincerity. He wants to indulge his base, without actually fulfilling the true meaning behind his proposal. Is this necessary or simple minded pandering?”

“Necessary! It a right engraved …”

“You’re a Putin puppet, junior, and don’t forget the push to set the speed limit on the interstates to 80 mph. That will get you to Grand Forks seven minutes faster, about the time you wait at the first light after the exit to 32nd Avenue. Real answers for real people. Trickle down speed. Maybe they will take a hard look at all of the nicknames in all of the high schools or spend a bundle on some more unconstitutional laws. But if you’re 65, a crossbow might be allowed to get you that big buck, if one lawmaker has his way. I’d stay low if I were you, Orv. Your approval rating is pretty low in that demographic.”

“I’m plenty low. Quit confusing a drunk old man, you bastard Marxist beefsteak tomato.”

“Drunk? You haven’t been drunk since the mid ’80s, Orv, and you know it. You have the tolerance level of your rhino brethren. Quit faking it. You walk better with a snoot full, anyway, and your breath is better, too. Must be the lime. Are you eating chunks of lime?”

“Shut up. Go away, socialist doofus.”

“Explain this to me, Orv. We still have to hold bake sales and spaghetti dinners to pay the bills for neighbors who get sick — and that’s if they’re popular. In supposedly prosperous Fargo, the food banks are always busy, coat donation drives are held every year, the Fargo Marathon has donated thousands of shoes for kids. Then, school supplies and clothing need to be donated, and our next president doesn’t pay federal taxes. Citizens sleep outside in the cold. People need mental health care and assistance with addictions. Will going 80 mph solve any of that? Only if you’re in an ambulance. Is this any way to run a rodeo?”

“I’m not talking to you anymore, lib#&%@!”

“Does The Donald use Scope — or Listerine? Somebody should drop a Minneapolis Tribune on his algae riddled noggin.”