Minnesota’s pet wacko

What do you do with a local politician who claims that public education is her #1 issue, while accepting money from supporters of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State? That’s our Michele Bachmann, claiming to be a supporter of education while endorsed by people who say this:

I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education.

Take a look at the people who favor completely gutting public school education at the Separation of School and State site, too: D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, Tom Monaghan—it’s like a chorus line of the freaky religious right. And our little Michele fits right in with them.

Fair time!


This is the week of the Stevens County Fair, right here in bucolic Morris, Minnesota. It starts on Wednesday, 9 August and runs through Sunday the 13th, so you all still have time to start heading out this way. It’s your classic rural fair: there will be accordions, deep-fried anything on a stick, pig-judging, carnies, a demolition derby, country-western music, lawn mower races, 4H kids, and tractors, snowmobiles, and ice houses for sale. You have not lived until you have experience a midwestern county fair.

(Oh, and don’t eat the food if you want to continue living. It’s like jabbing your aorta with a turkey baster clogged full of pure cholesterol.)

I think we’re planning on having our weekly Drinking Liberally session at the beer garden at the fair, so there’s another reason for coming on Thursday evening.

I’m going to be there just about every day. I volunteered to man booths at various hours for UMM, our local humane society, and the Stevens County DFL. Come on down—the fair is free, parking is free, it is the thing to do in August.

Signs of the Cephalopod Underground

A reader discovered this fascinating graffiti in downtown Minneapolis, near the transit center on Hennepin Avenue.


In Minneapolis! So far from the sea, but I’m not alone in pining for it.

I may have to look this up. This is a travel week for me, as I have to run around taking care of some essential pre-school year duties—I’m actually sitting in the St Cloud mall right now, watching the senior citizens do their laps, while waiting for our car to get some minor repairs and maintenance—and tomorrow I have to run in to the university to attend a meeting and to the airport to dispose of one of my kids for a few weeks. I might have some time to cruise the squid-haunted streets of the Big City for a while.

The Rapture Index just went up a point…

…because Pam Spaulding at Pandagon had a kind word to say about James Lileks. Not his Bleat or Screed blog, fortunately, or for his regular column in the Strib which I find tediously twee, but for his masterful book, Interior Desecrations. You have to have lived through the 1970s to be able to understand how tacky things got for a while there—someday I’m going to have to dig up that old photo of myself in a polyester paisley print shirt and bell bottoms just to put the younger generation of readers here into shock.

While I’m in a “what were they thinking?” mood, I’ll mention one shock we had in this otherwise nice 1950s era house we own. The upstairs is carpeted bright red…no, scarlet, a flaming crimson color, which was discombobulating enough. In addition, though, one of the upstairs bedrooms was wallpapered in bright ♣ green shamrocks ♣ .

It was one of the selling points, actually. I figured if we ever had trouble making the mortgage payments, I already had the decor to open a bordello for leprechauns.

Camp Quest

The Strib has an article on Camp Quest of Minnesota, the secular summer camp that is starting up this week. It’s a fairly good story, although it’s unfortunate to see it overwhelmed by the gigantic rah-rah story on crazy Pentacostalism spread over the next two pages of the paper, by the same reporter.

By the way, I’ll be volunteering at Camp Quest on Friday, to show the kids how to deal with creationists.