Gunplay and violence at DFL Fundraiser. Second Amendment rights supporters, Rep. Colin Peterson shot...
It could have been worse. Any number of crazed-liberals** could have shown up and shot Representative Peterson, who has long been accused of being a Democrat-in-Name-Only by party activists who think that Colin Peterson is far to the right of much of the Democratic Party statewide, and perhaps further right than many Republicans in this huge, sparsely populated congressional district that spans a huge north-south span of the western half of the state of Minnesota, a district that has sent too many of its sons and daughters to be maimed or killed in Iraq, as reservists in the National Guard, which in peacetime was mostly known for filling sandbags during the regular floods that plague the Red River and Minnesota River Valley communities that farm these fertile floodplains and glacial tills.
Colin Peterson, as a private pilot and owner of a small plane, is perhaps the only person who has time, interest, and appropriate personal transportation to campaign effectively across the whole district. His supporters in the party misrepresent this area's Democratic constituency as too conservative to vote for anything other than a gun-slinger who is pro-war, anti-immigrant and anti-reproductive rights. The NW Minnesota democratic machine cogs there hold on to their tiny piece of dewindling political power simply by failing to do outreach about the mechanics of the party process, by not running volunteer driven campaigns, and not advocating progressive ideals or tactics of traditional organizing and grassroots campaigning. Instead, they keep it in the family.
Thankfully, Peterson seemingly knows something about agriculture, and some people in his district still depend on agriculture for a living. But these Democrats are living, in many cases, a life dominated by political fear and not political aspirations for creating a more inhabitible and sustainable district. And most of the young Democrats leave, creating a brain drain that leaves the area lacking new ideas, new talent, and any engine for growth in the knowledge economy that dominates nearly all other parts of the state. If climate changes leaves this district suffering perennial droughts alongside the perennial floods that characterize this district, and agricultural profits and opportunities continue to decline, where will the center-right Democratic leadership have lead its people?
Into a desert... into a figurative desert of genetically modified native plants and introduced super-weeds, and climactically, as global warming sets in. A desert engineered not in the least in part by triangulating DFL strategists and 'ag-experts' like State Sen. Rod Skoe, who emphatically told me earlier this year, 'there is no such thing as a Bt-potato. Perhaps they'll build the worlds largest hockey stadium on these future wastelands, once home to real live birds, that the once living sodbusters and originally 'noble' 'savages' which shot them and ate for food with bows and muskets, in a living tradition now only pantomimed as sport, with clay pigeons, not booming prairie chickens.
No photos of the birdless, clay gore are available as this report goes to the presses.
(** another unhappy Beltrami Co. DFLer joked (as Ann Coulter jokes about Justice Stevens) he couldn't attend the fundraiser with Colin Peterson, because he'd end up shooting the war monger, but I was prepared to attend and behave myself, and just shoot the clay pigeons, until I realized that I could spend four hours on the road, racing to hear a more typical democrat, Sen. Barack Obama, speak for and also gently scold, another centrist (yet not quite center-right like Peterson) Minnesota Democrat at a high buck fundraiser in the Twin Cities - but that also cost 10-20x more... Anyway, I can't tell jokes like that, or I'd be sent to Gitmo. I have beard. I fit a 'profile').
(I also ended up hearing Garrison Keillor speak, and warn, about travelling to Indonesia in the age of post-Habeus Corpus, pro-torture, crusading America, under Bush and his cat-strangling crew, at an evening event at the U of MN. When the Keillor address (reading?) gets podcasted, I'll put a link to the file. He mourned the loss of the constitution as we once knew it, and refused to publically recant his joke-song refrain, "We are all Republicans now")
(The Second Amendment is cool. The First and Fourth are even cooler...)
(I used to shoot a lot of clay pigeons, in a real desert, as a lonely and fatherless Northwoods pre-teen transplant in the real desert of Arizona. My mother and sister got pretty good at launching the things with a hand thrower. I also enjoyed shooting and eating the odd Gambel's Quail, but not nearly as much as the ruffed grouse I used to shoot, and eat when I wandered the less crowded woods of the Beltrami Co. of my more intact, earlier youth. I've got no problem with real guns put to real purposes, to fill bellies and defend against real aggression from violent foes).
(Since I have grown up around guns, and seen a tiny bit of gun violence, and know something of the world (languages, culture, religions, technologies, economies, survival) in which "America" contests with 'terrorists" and "insurgents" in "Iraq", etc. I am occasionally tempted to go make big money being a contractor or consulatnt in that fight, but the truth is the real battle is at here home, at the ballot box on Nov 7th., and if that fail, non-violent organizing along the lines of issue advocacy,protests, maybe general strikes?:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places
I am not sure if such evil knows partisan boundaries, but outside of the 7th CD, and in several statewide races, the Democratic Party (DFL) offers slightly less evil, more feeling and free thinking candidates.)
(No, its all for the best that I am for peace... and against sporting clays. In the west, where there is a surplus of food and attractive, chubby & busty coeds, there is a better way to go about shooting birds, with a camera)
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