Category : Minnesota

Darkfold’s video for Echelon

I’m in a band. We make rock music. We occasionally make videos for our songs. This one is for a song called “Echelon.” For those of you who are aware of the ECHELON program, you might find greater resonance in the song and its meaning. As it’s our first real attempt at a ($0 budget) music video we’d love to hear what you think!

More info on Darkfold:

I see a lot of common ground between liberals (i.e. leftist Democrats and independents) and libertarians (big L and small L). It’s unfortunate that a few fundamental issues divide them because there’s so much room for collaboration, especially when it comes to the calamitous policies of the Federal Reserve.

A Solution: First Steps
First, people need to chill out on both sides of this debate. Second, realize that what I’m proposing is not new, just misunderstood. I’ve jokingly called myself a libertarian socialist before, but today I found that there really is such a thing.

Now, what I’m about to do will piss off both liberals and libertarians, but I need to criticize both approaches before we can find a happy medium. This might be painful for you if you fall on one side or the other, but please bear with me; each side will get its fair share of abuse. And praise.

Neither Side is Perfect
The libertarians, especially social conservatives, need to realize that they do try to protect rich too much even though it’s the rich who created the Fed and many of our current economic problems. It’s the rich, after all, who can afford to thrive during times of moderate to high inflation because they can hire a team of accountants, investment bankers and so on to ride the rough waters of fiat capitalism.

Some well-meaning libertarians, being perpetually out of power, are gradually seduced into supporting right-wing bombthrowers like Glenn Beck, which only makes them look stupid, racist, backwards and irrational to a liberal. The tea parties have not succeeded because they are partisan and co-opted by mainstream Republican politicians like Minnesota’s own Michele Bachmann, tapping into anger and doing nothing to really change things. If they were non-partisan End the Fed rallies that might be a step in the right direction. But many libertarians hate liberals because the Democrats who get elected tend to be corrupt establishment figures — just like Republican politicians.

Conversely, the leftist populists need to realize that Obama is not the savior they want him to be. He’s a politican like any other and he’s just playing the game. Note how little has changed since he took office. He’s made lots of noise about change, but our Empire is still killing peasants in Afghanistan, our privacy is still nonextistent as warrantless wiretapping continues, and our economy is still in the thrall of the rich as Bernanke gets re-upped for another term and the idiots who supported deregulation (like Summers) get cushy jobs in the administration. Meanwhile, Obama’s tackling (and losing) the health care fight when he should be focused on the economy first and foremost. I support universal healthcare, but the conservatives are right to question how we’re gonna pay for it. Shouldn’t we get our economic house in order before we make massive commitments to future spending?

The Health Care Riddle
The health care conundrum is a medium-sized part of our economic problems. The bigger problem is exactly what the Libertarians are talking about (and what progressive left-wing publications like the HuffPo are finally starting to realize): The secretive Fed’s embrace of fiat currency and fractional reserve banking will make peasants of us all.

This government, and everything in it (including Obama) is controlled by the banking apparatus. Look at how quickly the bailout and stimulus packages were passed in comparison to health care reform. And yet we could’ve easily paid for health care for every single American with the money we threw at the bankers so they could erase the red ink from their bottom lines and then refuse to give loans to regular people. Bonuses to executives are already back to pre-crash levels.

My point is that unless we fix the underlying issue we’ll be back at square one again. Unless a new amendment is added to the Bill of Rights guaranteeing free health care for all (not bloody likely) the bankers will find a way to put us back in the poor house again. Congress will bankrupt whatever public option we create unless it is rock-fucking-solid. Because of the inflationary and demographic bubbles we face, Social Security and Medicare will likely go bankrupt within a few decades. How will adding more financial obligations to the pile help us solve this mess?

Sometimes Society is to Blame
The typical libertarian response is to say “Get government off my back!” I think libertarians are susceptible to Republican messaging because the Republican politicians pretend to be in favor of limited government. And both libertarians and Republicans see poor people as failed and lazy.

Here’s something libertarians can learn from liberals: Sometimes the main forces that cause poverty really are society’s fault. More specifically to blame: government and corporate interests from banking to health care who are in favor of fiscally incapacitated citizens who thus become dependent on the state and the state’s favored corporations. Fiat currency and fractional reserve lending have created the underlying conditions that make this economic incapacitation possible.

Spending Our Way to Prosperity
Liberals have traditionally tried to solve this problem with even more government intervention. They see government as a tool they can use to elevate the playing field and give those people a shot at crawling out of poverty and back to fiscal independence. Libertarians have largely cried foul but haven’t proposed a practical solution and have in fact fallen for Republican Party propaganda (especially on taxes) when they should have stood with the poor. It is the poor who suffer most from the Fed’s policies.

Yet liberals who think we can continue to spend our way out of this mess are sadly mistaken. In fact, we’ve already spent far too much. It is perhaps the best response to the problem within the context of an inflationary world, but the Keynesian approach will ultimately collapse because the inflation is too destabilizing and it’s also incredibly iniquitous. Who here gets a check for inflation each month? Not me, but because of fractional reserve lending practices, banks benefit disproportionately from inflation. Liberals, just like right-leaning libertarians, are inadvertantly supporting the rich elites who create the problems they decry.

The Tree of Liberty
This crisis threatens to rend our nation apart but also presents an opportunity; a chance to end the Fed and the economic inequity it has wrought. And the only way that can happen is by unifying liberals and libertarians once again. Their names come from the same root word, after all — Liberty. Both sides need to make bold changes to come together, but the only way to achieve true economic liberty is by a combination of tight regulation of banks and specie-backed currency.

As FDR said:

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

Political liberty cannot come without economic liberty.

FDR Did Better Against the Nazis Than The Bankers
A lot of Libertarians hate Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but what they don’t seem to realize is that he was fighting an all-out war against the corrupt banking and corporate interests who were colluding against the common man, and the levers of government were the only powers the president had available to him. The banker-controlled Fed, after all, caused the first Great Depression and FDR was forced to act quickly to stem the bleeding. Read this link for more insight into FDR and why he abandoned the gold standard — Europeans had already ditched gold and were buying up ours with their fiat currency, but FDR wanted to work out an international gold standard once the crisis subsided. And indeed, Bretton Woods was an attempt to do just that.

Roosevelt has been slandered as anti-business by many on the right. He was not; he was anti-Big Business. He stood up for all of America, not just the plutocrats. FDR’s Keynesian solution was imperfect but it bought time and saved the Union. If he had not acted quickly the Business Plot of 1934 may have succeeded and America may have spiraled into despotic fascism, never to return.

Corporate Power
Some libertarians have not been sufficiently suspicious of the motives of Big Business. They think that corporate rights are the same as personal liberty. They are not.

Corporations are amoral machines that must be controlled. Men should be free to do what they will, but who among us will argue that a man is free to run over people in his car because, by golly, he paid for that car and he controls it and he uses it to make money for his family, so anybody who tries to stop him is abridging his rights? Well, we shouldn’t let corporations driven by men to run amok any more than we should allow that of motor vehicle operators. It is imperative that libertarians understand that economic freedom is more fundamental and more important than corporate power.

A New Respect
Liberals, meanwhile, have long regarded libertarians a bunch of kooks; militia-joining types who are all paranoid gold-bugs who believe in anarchic and anachronistic principles. But libertarians have learned the hard way that governments can resort to tyranny whether they’re controlled by the Democrats or the Republicans. Democratic attempts to solve our basic economic problems have either been limp-wristed or misguided. Liberals need to take a look at the constitutional principles libertarians stand by and realize how closely they align with progressivism. Most importantly, liberals need to get past the false “left vs. right” dichotomy that the elites use to divide and conquer us. The marginalized, but proud Libertarian voters have defiantly supported their minor party despite no chance of winning.

Perhaps liberals will have more respect for libertarians and their journey through the political wilderness after the last 8 years of suffering their own indignity. Soured on big, invasive government (wiretapping, No Child Left Behind, literal invasions) during the Bush years, this is the ideal time for liberals to wake up and realize that they can only secure the freedom and prosperity by looking beyond the political and focusing on the very most fundamental monetary elements of our economy upon which the government and society are built. Libertarians are not greedy to focus on money; they are prudent. Unless we have a secure gold-backed money supply we will continue to have these crises, and at some point we can’t continue to solve them through social programs and endless spending. Inflation creates the poverty that we all fear. It’s time to end it.

This is my plea for liberals and libertarians to work together and remove the Federal Reserve’s charter. It’s time to take back our economic liberty. We don’t have much time to waste.

I’ve got two Darkfold shows coming up in October (plus two more in November). Sorry for the short notice on the first one, but it’s on Thursday October 16th at the legendary 400 Bar in Minneapolis!

Then the next gig is on Friday October 24th at Station-4 in St. Paul at 10pm. Both shows are with Foresight for Sore Eyes and Human Bean.
Check out a quick review on PerfectPorridge and find our tunes on MySpace or Last.fm. Be sure to check out PerfectPorridge for a chance to win the album just by saying you deserve it!

I went downtown to St. Paul in order to get some pictures and observe the situation (I already protested on Monday), but John Ireland Bridge was blocked by the police with dump trucks when I got there. The cops said there was a bomb threat to the Minnesota Historical Society, but that was quite clearly a lie since they were standing so close to it and they’d already closed the other bridges as I found out later.

cops in front of historical

So I went over to the capitol on foot using the Marion Street Bridge instead. I saw more cops than protesters.

protester at John Ireland Blvd bridge

The cops had the city in a headlock. All the other bridges were closed by the police; cops, BCA agents and national guardsman were everywhere. St. Paul was on fucking lockdown.

A shitload of cops

By the time I found out how totally heavy-handed the police presence was I was getting tired and decided to split. I was trying to get back to my car on the other side of the Marion street bridge when I saw a group about 200 protesters approaching the bridge. That’s why I’m walking against the flow at the beginning of the video. Unfortunately I was too busy trying to get good footage and didn’t notice the cops had surrounded us on all sides.

Soon the police started firing flash grenades, smoke bombs and generally scaring the shit out of me and all these peaceful protesters. We were corraled onto the bridge where they told us we were all under arrest, but not before all of us were shellshocked by the overwhelming police response. Watch the video, but beware that it’s intense, chaotic and there’s swearing and explosions.

Notice how none of the protesters resisted or attacked the cops in any way. This is ironic because we were charged with “resisting a lawful order” along with the 1st amendment-killing crime of “presence at an unlawful assembly.” Whatever happened to the right of people to peaceably assemble?

We are not free; The Bill of Rights is no longer operative.

If you aren’t reading this from jail that simply means the cops haven’t bothered to arrest you on trumped up charges yet. They can clearly do exactly that whenever they want, with no repercussions. I wasn’t even part of the protest and I was charged with being part of an “unlawful assembly.”

The whole arrest process took hours. We were told to sit and put our hands on our heads, which many people had to do for several hours (your arms get sore). I was cuffed after an hour or so and stood around for another hour waiting to get my mug shot (on the bridge; this was all very ad hoc). Since we were on the bridge for so long they eventually hauled at least 3 porta-potties onto the bridge itself, for both police and protester usage (under heavy guard, of course).

Eventually I was led onto a city bus with 40 other arrestees and brought to the Ramsey County jail for booking. They searched me about 5 times, confiscated all my stuff, and gave me a paper bag with a peanutbutter and jelly sandwitch and two apples. See, even oppressive police tactics have a Minnesota Nice aspect. Of course we didn’t get knives so we had to spread the jelly and PB with our fingers.

Hours dragged by as we waded our way through the bureaucracy and were eventually cited and loaded onto a paddywagon and driven out of the jail. They let us out just outside the fences and we were free and on our own far from where we were arrested, but at least the incredibly awesome Coldsnap Legal Collective were there to offer us hugs and access to free legal advice.

outside the jailhouse

People without rides or places to go were able to sleep on the grass outside the jailhouse thanks to sleeping bags the Coldsnap folks brought. Somebody sent the angels last night; they’re doing great work and need your support!

The problem with good things is that the police like to infiltrate and ruin them from the inside. That might’ve been the case with the protest last night. I heard several people talking about police plants agent provocateurs pretending to be protesters, inciting violence and keeping their superiors informed about where they are headed.

Unfortunately, this is standard practice for police departments these days, including Denver during the DNC. How many acts of vandalism and violence that you read about in the mainstream media were actually committed by undercover cops in order to incite and defame activists?

Imagine the embarrassment of the police and governments if they held a convention with massive protests and no one was arrested! They’d have spent millions upon millions of dollars for nothing! They’ve got to earn their outrageous security budgets, which is why they were so keen to arrest anybody who happened to be near Marion St. Bridge last night, including media folks and medics (at least 5 were arrested, along with a dozen credentialed photographers).

Of course they also wanted to show who’s boss. Clearly they are, and clearly they are not going to allow us to change the system peacefully or otherwise. We are not free. We are only permitted to do what they let us; truly free expression is verboten. Believe it or not, America used to be a pretty anything-goes society as long as it wasn’t overtly violent (think of the Old West). Nowadays we cling to our police state as if that makes us safer. But what have we lost in the process?

The Republicans are coming to town!!

No more running away. It’s time to stand up and fight back the only way we know how — peaceful protest. So that’s what we did.

The protest drew over 40,000 people to St. Paul according to organizers. Being one of the 40,000 that’s a very believable number — in fact it could be much higher. I’ve rarely seen so many people all in one place, but everybody was really peaceful in our march. There were so many good vibes and peaceful cops that I was almost bored! It’s great that the cops were restrained for our march. Many anarchist groups were not so lucky. Here’s a story told in photos:

Police form a line as anarchists try to march away

Police form a line against the anarchist group trying to take an authorized route.

Fred Phelps, cops and protesters

Fred Phelps (of the supposed Westboro Baptist Church) thinks god hates fags…and you and me and everyone else. What an asshole. He sent his family out to protest…everybody. They managed to piss people off pretty rapidly. In fact there may have been some sort of confrontation…

Injured guy after confrontation with Fred Phelps' family

This guy may have been injured after a confrontation with Fred Phelps’ family. He was being helped away by his friends.

Cheney, Bush, Condi, and Rummy face capture

Luckily Bush, Cheney, Condi and Rumsfeld were captured before they could do any more damage. … Wait, are those puppets? Dammit, they’ve eluded us again!

Young boy looks at puppet Bush in jail for war crimes

Hopefully Bush will be in jail before this kid grows up.

Rude Mechanical Orchestra 1

These guys were pretty cool. Apparently they are called The Rude Mechanical Orchestra.

crowd massing  at capitol

The crowd masses before the march begins.

crowd marches away from capitol

The crowd begins marching away from the capitol.

a river of protesters going towards the Xcel

Meanwhile the river of people flowing towards the Xcel Center appeared endless. I think the first people reached the Xcel before the end of the march managed to leave the Capitol. That’s how many people there were.

"No You Can't!" Lobbyists for McCain

Lobbyists For McCain! These guys have a message for Obama supporters — “No You Can’t!” These guys were hilarious. Yes, they were kidding.

Counter-protesters

These guys weren’t kidding. They were part of a small group of counter-protesters who were there to support the war while implying the troops would rather achieve victory than come home now. Umm… maybe you should ask them why they donate so much money to Obama and Ron Paul then, dudes.

There were approximately 30 to 40 of these hardcore pro-war Republicans there to greet the 40,000 of us who respectfully disagree. The 1,000 to 1 ratio makes me wonder if the few war supporters left are able to openly support the war only because of the Media’s cheerleading. If they knew they were so outnumbered they might start to question some of their assumptions.

cops on horseback block road

The police mostly stayed out of the way. Many of them were just there to block off roads and keep the marchers on track. By staying out of the way they made sure tensions stayed low and nobody felt threatened.

cop looking concerned

Some of them looked at bit concerned at times. The crowd could’ve easily torn these guys limb from limb if we were so inclined. We weren’t.

cop looking really hot and sweaty

The biggest worry the cops had was keeping cool. This guy looks like he’d rather not be wearing his dark, hot, heavy uniform. Can’t say I blame him.

cops marching away

Every now and then the cops would interrupt the protesters so they could march through and do…. what? I dunno. Seemed like they just liked making sure they were still in charge.

Freedom Cage

They herded us into the Freedom Cage, as we called it. It was a corridor of steel fences designed to give us the impression we were near the Xcel Center when were in fact a long distance away, especially considering how many obstacles you’d have to scale in order to get there.

Freedom Cage outside Xcel

This is as close as we ever got to the Xcel Center. Close enough to shake our fists but not much else. Not like they give a damn what we think anyway.

Freedom Cage 2

The Freedom Cage steered us back towards the state capitol. Boy did we ever feel safe and secure inside that Freedom Cage.

Free Speech Pen

This guy was his own personal free speech zone. He was the safest guy at the whole protest. The wires protect him from excessive liberty and independent thought.

Cheney and Bush drag Lady Liberty

Here Bush and Cheney have tied up, Lady Liberty, ripped her shirt off while strangling her and then proceeded to drag her through the street. I’d say this protest was pretty sick except that it’s a dead-on metaphor for what Bush/Cheney has done to our country and our civil liberties. This last 8 years has been like a slow-motion snuff film.

Red, White & Blue Puppy 2

Puppy abuse? Maybe, but he seemed pretty happy to be there. This red, white and blue pup was one of many patriotic ensembles. The protesters were not ready to cede patriotism to the Republicans; that’s for sure.

We The People

The Constitution of the United States of America: Rememeber this thing? We need to bring it back online.

crowd with a lot of signs 1

There were a lot of people there! I was never able to get the majority in one shot. I guess we’ll never know how many people were there, but I bet there could’ve been more. I’m guessing only 1 person showed up for every 10 people who hate the Bush regime and the idea of 4 more years of this crap. What can we do to change things?

Peace Begins with a Smile

“Peace Begins with a Smile”. Man, I hope she’s right.

Well, that’s it!. Have any other good pictures? Post them in the comments below. I have a couple more; you can check them out on my photostream on Flickr. Peace!

It sure seems that way. This is some freaky shit:

Because of extensive investigation by Duarte and Gannon, Jan Jenkins now says she knows exactly what happened to her son on the night he disappeared, Oct. 31, 2002.

“Chris was abducted in a cargo van,” she said. “He was driven around Minneapolis for hours and tortured. He was taken down to the Mississippi River and he was murdered. And after that, his body was positioned and taken to a different spot and then to a different point in the Mississippi River.”

Gannon and Duarte say they’ve discovered a link between Jenkins’ death and the drownings of at least 40 other men in 25 cities in 11 different states.

Read the whole article.

I remember reading about these mysterious drownings/murders when they happened. I was suspicious then and I’m even more suspicious now. Something’s just not right. Drunk people do stupid shit, but usually they make so much commotion about it that there’s 50 witnesses. These young men went quietly. Too quietly.

At least 40 young men have died in similar circumstances. We need the media to make some noise about this. I know these aren’t good-looking white women, but we’ve got to spread the word so people know what to look for: Cargo vans cruising for drunk college boys.

The local police don’t seem to be doing jack shit:

In the next two months, from South Bend to Sheboygan, three other college-aged men disappeared under similar circumstances. All eventually turned up in nearby lakes or rivers, all but Guimond, who’s still missing a year later.

In each case, police ruled out foul play. They called the deaths accidents or suicide.

Until we shine a light on this the cops will continue to act like it’s no big deal. People commit suicide all the time… but how many of those were faked to cover up the evidence? You think murderers don’t watch CSI?

Props to Detectives Duarte and Gannon for sticking with the case — even past retirement. These are true detectives and an inspiration. Somebody needs to make this into a movie starring Bruce Willis and Al Pacino before people pay attention, unfortunately. Help spread the word!

UPDATE 4/30/08 – Another young college-aged male has disappeared mysteriously and then been found in a body of water. This poor guy was from St. Paul, but he died in New York. No word yet if the death will be ruled a homicide, but I certainly hope police are seriously considering the possibility after the recent revelations described above.

Super Tuesday in Minnesota

Today’s the day, Minnesota.

The Freedom-Train is leaving the station. Hop on board before it’s too late.

Go out and vote!!

The intellectual cowards over at the head office of the St. Thomas University adminstration should be ashamed. They have shown themselves to be contemptible weaklings without the guts or the will to hear viewpoints they may disagree with. And this institution is supposed to be a vanguard of academic freedom? For shame.

What am I talking about? I’m referring to St. Thomas’ recent decision to withhold an invitation to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

St. Thomas never invited Tutu to speak, but declined to approve an invitation as part of the PeaceJam, an event the school has hosted for the past four years. PeaceJam officials have now arranged to have the South African archbishop and activist speak at its April event, which will be held at Metropolitan State University.

St. Thomas officials said that local Jewish leaders they consulted felt that Tutu had made remarks offensive to the Jewish people in a 2002 speech about Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

Columbia University just made St. Thomas look like a bunch of backwater bush-league pussies. Nobody likes Ahmadinejad; that’s not the point. The point is the free exchange of ideas. If you don’t like what somebody says you don’t try to censor them, you use your freedom of speech to elucidate your opposition to said ideas. The president of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, may have been a dick to Ahmadinejad, but at least he let the motherfucker speak. St. Thomas’ president, the Rev. Dennis Dease, won’t even let a fellow man of the cloth on campus. What a fucking pussy.

His lame-ass excuse “Teh Joos don’t like one speech he made dis one time!” is full of shit. What he means is “Some extreme-rightwing Zionist oppressor Jews don’t want nobody talking shit about the way they fuck over A-rabs in Palestine.” There, fixed it for you, Dease. (You can suck dees nuts)

In fact, Dease has been getting a lot of mail from Jewish groups saying, “Let this guy speak! We’re not anti-free speech! Why’d you listen to those assholes?!” [[ I'm paraphrasing in case you haven't noticed ]]

So, you might be wondering what crazy-ass shit this Tutu guy was spewing that pissed off the hard-right fascist/zionist types. Well, he said the most offensive thing you can possibly say to a warmonger: “Peace is possible.”

Israeli Jew, Palestinian Arab can live amicably side by side in a secure peace. And, as Cannon Ateek kept underscoring, a secure peace built on justice and equity. These two peoples are God’s chosen and beloved, looking in their face back to a common ancestor Abraham and confessing belief in the one creator God of salaam and shalom.

Oh man, that is some whack shit! Who let this guy in here?

Then he reveals his true hatred for teh Joos:

I give thanks for all that I have received as a Christian from the teachings of God’s people the Jews. When we were opposing the vicious system of apartheid, which claimed that what invested people with worth was a biological irrelevance – skin color – we turned to the Jewish Torah, which asserted that what gave people their infinite worth was the fact that they were created in the image of God.

He calls teh Joos “God’s people.” We’re clearly dealing with a loose cannon here, folks.

Seriously, that’s what the whole speech is like. He criticizes the occupation of Palestinian lands, but he clearly has problems with the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.

I with many other Nobel Peace Laureates. I, after taking counsel with the then Bishop of Jerusalem, am a member of the Board of the Shimon Peres peace center in Tel Aviv. I am a patron of the Holocaust center in Capetown. I believe that Israel has a right to secure borders, internationally recognized, in a land assured of territorial integrity and with acknowledged sovereignty as an independent country. That the Arab nations made a bad mistake in refusing to recognize the existence of sovereign and in pledging to work for her destruction. It was a short sighted policy that led to Israel’s nervousness, her high state of alert and military preparedness to guarantee her continued existence. This was understandable. What was no so understandable, what was not justifiable was what Israel did to another people to guarantee her existence. I have been very deeply distressed in all my visits to the Holy Land, how so much of what was taking place there reminded me so much of what used to happen to us Blacks in Apartheid South Africa.

This guy sees echoes of Apartheid in Israel. He was there. He expresses viewpoints not too far from middle-of-the-road Democrats in America. When did expressing disagreement with a foreign government become a censorable offense? Oh that’s right; when you’re a boot-licking fascist who wants to kiss the ass of future dictator George Bush. I guess Dease thinks he can become the Tsar of Education under a future King George. (Or whatever. Maybe he’s just a fucking idiot, I don’t know.)

The scary thing here is not the shoddy treatment of a Nobel laureate. He’ll speak on another campus, one not controlled by Nazis. He’ll be fine. No, the scary thing here is how incredibly fucking normal, sane and mainstream his ideas are. If this is how a Nobel laureate is treated by The Powers That Be, how are the rest of the us going to be treated when the other jackboot falls and we’re under martial law? Tutu’s beliefs are almost exactly in line with mainstream Democrats, Independents and even many Republicans. The main difference is that he’s an archbishop, an Apatheid survivor and a international icon.

Where the fuck does that leave the rest of us?

Somebody stole my gas!

I know gas prices are high, but this is just ridiculous.

Lemme break it down for you, in the hope that I will understand it myself. Here’s what happened: I filled up my car’s tank on Thursday. Like always, I tripped the mileage counter so it was back to zero. I like to keep track of my miles per gallon just to see if the car’s doing okay and all that.

So skip forward to Saturday. I drive to the disc golf course to hook up with some friends and throw 18 holes. Afterwards we drive to the bar and run into some friends. After drinking and playing some pool we move decide to play another 18 holes. At this point I look at my gas gauge. It reads 1/4 full.

I assumed that something was wrong with the gauge. It’s electronic and only reads accurately when you turn the key. So I figure maybe there was a glitch and it will read correctly when I turn it off and turn it back on again. So we throw a round and I check the gas level again. It still reads a quarter tank.

Now I know I didn’t drive that far. I check the trip mileage and it reads less than a hundred miles (normally I can expect well over 300 miles per tank). I forget about it for awhile, thinking that maybe the gauge is stuck for some reason and I’ll be able to drive on it for 300 miles. I checked for a pool of gas on my driveway that might indicate a leaky gas tank and found nothing.

But on the way home from work yesterday the gas light came on, signalling the tank was almost empty. Not wanting to risk it I swing back into a gas station and put the pump in. The gallons start adding up. 2…. 3….. 4…. WTF?!

I fully expected it to stop before 3 gallons. My tank was empty. The mileage counter read almost exactly 100 miles since my last fill up.

The thought hit me like a flung portion of pudding — Somebody stole my gas!!

I can’t think of any other explanation. I checked this morning and the gas is still there. My tank is not leaking. I know I hit the mileage counter at the last fillup; I remember doing it and it was only a few days ago.

There’s only one possibility: Somebody siphoned my gas out of the tank while I was playing disc golf! Now, I’ve heard of some fucked up shit in my time, but who the hell goes around siphoning gas out of peoples’ tanks? I don’t want to unfairly smear the good names of my fellow disc golfers, but I don’t think there was time at the bar. And it was very busy around there.

I know there were a lot of kids hanging around the disc golf course. I don’t know why anyone would decide to fill up their tank at the expense of mine, but selfishness is certainly not unheard of on this planet. Still, it’s disappointing from a group that’s usually above such pettiness. I thought the only people who stole gas were in the Bush Administration!

Has this happened to anyone else? I know gas prices are getting out of hand, but I hadn’t foreseen this. Bastards got me for like 25 bucks worth of gas!

I need to put a padlock on my gas tank cover.

Without power…. again

Once again I am without power. I’m writing this from work, just to update the blog, ’cause it might be awhile. This time I can see what the problem is: My neighbor’s telephone/power pole was snapped in half and fell on one of his trees. The whole thing is just fucked. The powerlines going to my house are sagging so low I could almost jump rope with them.

So, for the second time this month I am trying to survice without power. It was the same thing as last time; a powerful storm came through at 3 am and the first thing it did was knock out my juice. My sweet, sweet electricity. Oh how I miss it.

I guess I’m lucky I didn’t have more wind damage since there were 70 mph winds reported (it was 80 last time I think). Lots of my neighbors lost trees or at least huge branches. The whole ‘hood looks like a warzone, with leaves and branches scattered everywhere. I half-expected to see radioactive zombies wandering the street in search of brains.

So I guess Mother Nature hates me or something. I’d better buy a generator before the next storm. That, and a shotgun for the zombies.

Darkfold show — Tuesday night at Big V's


Hey everybody. I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to post about my band’s show tomorrow night!!

As you may know, I’m in a band called Darkfold. We’re playing Big V’s Saloon Tuesday night at 9pm. Cover is $5. Also playing are A Life Without and Post Mortem Grinner. It’s gonna be an insane show! More metal than you can swallow. Hope you can make it!

Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis


Part of 35W in Minneapolis collapsed today, around 6 pm. I was just getting home from work and heading over to a friend’s house. I could’ve taken 35W. I took 35E instead. Yikes.

At least 50 cars were on the bridge during rush hour traffic when it collapsed.

Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis said that at least six people were killed in the bridge collapse. Local officials warned that the number of fatalities was likely to increase through the night. One witness told CNN that a policeman said he had seen seven bodies. Dozens of injured drivers and passengers were taken to area hospitals.

The eight-lane Interstate 35 bridge, a major link between Minneapolis and St. Paul, was being repaired at the time, and an eyewitness told MSNBC that he had heard a jackhammer being used on the roadway just before the collapse at about 6 p.m. local time. Witnesses said the bridge, which was built in 1967, collapsed in three sections, sending a plume of smoke 100 feet into the sky.

I hope the death toll doesn’t rise any higher. What a disaster.