Protests aplenty as Northern MN unravels

Everything’s coming up Moses.

There’s a whole bunch of unwanted snow on the ground in northern Minnesota today. If you’re one of those cats who likes to talk about how great it is to ski this late in the season you best move along, son, because we don’t have much in common. In fact, let me warn you that such talk could get you killed up here these days and no one will cry at your funeral; they will spit. Sure, the rule of law would be invoked, but it would crumble.

These are tenuous times.

People are edgy and there’s no better evidence of that then the number of protests that made the news this weekend.

First, there was a sternly written letter by the Virginia City Council about the effects of moving Highway 53 on that Range city’s economy. The news centered around the council’s decision to change the word “detrimental” to “devastating.” Gov. Mark Dayton is in Virginia on Tuesday and I’m sure that he’ll get the full Angry People Wearing Sweatshirts with Unrelated Messages treatment. So, stay tuned on that.

A group opposing gay marriage equality made the rounds Saturday, with stops in Duluth and Grand Rapids, among other places. From the Duluth News Tribune:

“I believe in the Judeo-Christian moral standards,” explained Elness, 81. “What they’re doing is challenging the Judeo-Christian heritage and the laws of Moses, and they’re putting themselves up above Moses.”

Fun fact: My mother named me for Moses’s older brother Aaron. Aaron was known as the “details man” behind the “I have spoken to God and possess his Staff of Unlimited Powers and Will Be Gone Maybe a Few Weeks to Sort Some Stuff Out” charisma of Moses.

Finally, perhaps you’ve followed the endless drama of the legal actions against The Last Place on Earth in Duluth. There, owner Jim Carlson has been in and out of jail on charges related to selling synthetic marijuana and other products that are technically legal but banned in Duluth.

Well, the drama now moves north with blow-back at two so-called “head shops” here on the Iron Range. A newer place called “Dick’s Head Shop” in Aurora was subject of a full protest on Friday, as many parents and school officials joined in to discourage people from buying or using synthetic drugs.

The attention was all right with Renee Paget, the owner of Dick’s Headshop. She said the store normally got only a few customers daily, and the media brought in more.

Protesters have a right to say what they think, Paget explained. “They can do what they want. I’ve already increased my business today.”

On WDIO, the protesters were shown chanting “Don’t be a Dick Head” over and over while Paget appeared to be calm, accepting and reasonable. I should spray paint something here in the office gold, call it a PR award and mail it to her. Because she won a news cycle designed to destroy her business.

On a side note, come on now, folks. Let’s not ingest weird chemicals. Make good choices.

Snow. There is more snow coming.


  1. Mr. Brown . . . You write a very good blog. I’ve been stopping in for a year or two. Spent a few youthful years on a farm near Grand Rapids – and never forgot it. Especially remember good weather for a month or two and the other months not so good. This year the late snow is really late. Cabin fever time. It’s a rare occasion. I’m glad to be in California (sunny 72 degrees today) and not trying to fish on Splithand Lake.

  2. Many thanks for the kind words! Life here is actually good nine months of the year, spring being the worst of it. Even winter is tolerable in an adventurous sort of way until February. Then a warm day makes you think of spring too early and you get a bonus extra winter after that.

    Splithand is still here waiting for you. Believe me, it’s not going anywhere in this weather. 🙂

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