Busted? (5×8 – 6/18/12)

A union struggle begins to fizzle, the answer to Rodney King, find yourself in the Rock the Garden crowd, the birdman of the U.S. Open, and what’s underneath the water you spent all weekend on top of?

The Monday Morning Rouser:

“Alone” – Trampled by Turtles from Trampled by Turtles on Vimeo.


It’s been a long time since a labor union took a stand and won in these parts, at least convincingly. For example, the 2005 mechanics strike at Northwest Airlines ended with lots of mechanics out of work. There were other people willing to do their jobs and keep the airline flying.

Strikes usually start the same way, with enthusiasm, determination, and an intent to be sure the company realizes it can’t get along without the workers. These days, they seem to end the same way, too. Others are able to keep the company afloat and the company waits out the starving workers.

In Moorhead, a familiar scene is playing out asstrikers workers who were locked out of American Crystal Sugar consider whether to revisit a deal they rejected 10 months ago by an overwhelming margin. Seven-thousand people applied to take the jobs of 900 strikers workers.

On Saturday, they’ll vote on the old deal.

Greg Cant, dean of Concordia College’s Offutt School of Business and a labor relations expert, tells the Fargo Forum that the longer disputes last, the harder it is to accept reality. “It’s hard to get your head around, ‘We really lost this,’ ” he said. “That’s a hard pill to swallow.”


“Can we all just get along?” Rodney King’s famous question following his beating at the hands of police in Los Angeles in 1991 will live forever. But it’s the answer that should be getting more attention. It’s “no.”

That much is clear in the 24 hours following the discovery of King’s body in a swimming pool at his home.

The barometer for the answer comes from the nation’s comments sections today.

The Los Angeles Times:

amazing, Equating Mr. James Meredith and Ms. Rosa Parks to a drug addict and a drunk is beyond me….The FOOL got what he deserved , Don’t try out run a Police Car,,All the money he got from the city of L.A. went up his big NOSTRILS.Had the people seen the whole video ,they would have a differant view of this FOOL.

“What happened on that cool March night over two decades ago forever changed me and the organization I love. His legacy should not be the struggles and troubles of his personal life but the immensely positive change his existence wrought on this city and its Police Department,” Los AngelesPolice Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement.

Fat chance.

From the Chicago Tribune

Only the black community could possibly make this drug-addicted career criminal into some kind of hero. I actually did see on Twitter that numerous black people were reminscing about all the things they stole during the L.A. Riots after the Rodney King verdict.

And the Pioneer Press:

My heart still goes out to the innocent white truck driver.


50+ people died in the LA riots because of this one trouble maker…

Can we all just get along? No.


Find yourself in the crowd at Rock the Garden.

Who had a great seat? Zoom all the way to the back. These people.


Over the next several days, the excellent Local Current Blog will be posting videos of Saturday’s event, which — by the way — provided a perfect example of why there’s no value in fretting about the things you can’t control.

We all saw the forecast for Saturday from mid-week on and it wasn’t very good. Saturday morning dawned and the prospect of standing in the rain was accompanied by disappointment that so many people would have to. Then, a funny — if occasionally common — thing happened. The weatherpeople got it wrong.

While there was a descent sized storm to the south just as things were getting underway, it turned out to be nice in Minneapolis and, indeed, there’s a claim to be made that the weather was perfect.

Minnesota is like that. Perfect.


It enlivened an otherwise typical Bob Costas interview.


What’s going on under that water you spent all weekend on top of? The answer is in this latest video from Curtis Lahr.

Bonus I: A man in England tripped and fell as he exited a bank. He was holding about $1,500 in cash, but it went flying as he hit the ground. Then the wind whipped up. He went back to his car with only about $100 after he saw (mostly) teenagers grabbing all the money. The young people recovered the money for him.

Bonus II: Let me suggest that the hardest working person in the world was the photographer who was able to capture this picture in a way that allowed its publication in stories about the Naked Bike Ride. Meanwhile, in Madison, the ride was something of a bust.


Last week, President Obama announced a relaxed enforcement policy toward young illegal immigrants who arrived as children with their parents. Some Republicans accused the president of trying to go around Congress. Today’s Question: What do you think of President Obama’s new immigration policy?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Greece, Egypt, and the G-20 summit in Mexico.

Second hour: Joy Reidenberg of PBS’ “Inside Nature’s Giants.”

Third hour: Author Alexander McCall Smith .

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Gov. Dayton issued a proclamation making this “Minnesota Women Veterans Day.” We’ll rebroadcast Gary Eichten’s Midday show with Vietnam War Army and Navy nurses and the author of a book about Minnesota Vietnam War nurses.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The future of Greece and the European Union.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – We hear a lot about how baby boomers will put a strain on everything from the state budget to social services in the coming decades. But for the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota’s largest private employer, more old, sick people means growth. In fact, Mayo is currently pouring millions of dollars into several expansion projects in downtown Rochester. New hotels and short-term rental apartment are also under construction around town, and that makes the business-development types quite happy at the growth projections for Minnesota’s third-largest city and Mayo’s growth sends ripples to other businesses. MPR’s Elizabeth Baier will have the story.

  • Robert Moffitt

    #2 I, for one, do not judge the character of our nation from the mean-spirited comments posted by anonymous cowards. That’s my answer.

    Today’s Question: Obama’s announcement left Romney gasping like a carp out of water. Watch in the week to come if he can answer “yes” or “no” on this question, something he has not been able to do all weekend. The are perils for Mitt either answer he gives, and Obama knows it. Brilliant tactical move.

  • Bob Collins

    And bad news for Tim Pawlenty’s VP hopes, since it probably puts Marco Rubio on the ticket.

  • Robert Moffitt

    It seems to me that T-Paw’s star has been fading for some time, and Rubio is “the Great Cuban-American Hope” for the GOP. However, I’m not sure that Hispanic voters would flock to the Party of Lincoln just because Gov. Rubio was on the ticket. Case in point: did women overwelmingly vote for McCain because he tapped a female VP?

  • Minnwhaler

    The Monday Morning rouser is great background music for the #5 what’s happening underwater in MN… thanks for the Monday morning brain boost!

  • bsimon

    ” The are perils for Mitt either answer he gives, and Obama knows it. Brilliant tactical move.”

    Axelrod’s job is to plan the release schedule for a summer long series of policy positions that remind voters of WMR’s wishy-washiness.

  • Mark Gisleson

    As one who grew up on a farm and then spent a decade in an industrial union, I think I can speak to the American Crystal Sugar strike with some authority.

    American Crystal Sugar is a growers cooperative comprised of sugar beet farmers in the Red River Valley. Like all U.S. sugar producers, they are very heavily subsidized.

    My family farms but I have great respect for labor. In this head to head confrontation labor’s back is to the wall, but pound for pound American farmers are the STUBBORNEST people on planet earth.

    Absent any meaningful government intervention, I suspect both sides will lose however the strike is resolved. But since we really don’t need more sugar, there’s no government incentive to intervene. If labor fails, unemployment goes up in the Red River Valley. If the farmers fail, there will be more prime farm land available for the Mennonites who are selling PA land at record prices, and then increasing their landholdings by buying Midwestern farms.

    This is the beauty of capitalism: it lets all sides fail and the lets others come in to pick up the pieces at fire sale prices, letting the few prosper at the expense of the many.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Mark – You hit that one on all cylinders. A pleasure to read.

    The only thing that you left out was the misguided US foreign policy of attempting to strangle Cuba, which leads to the subsidies.

    But I’m a Latin American policy guy, so I’m honored to pick up the assist. 🙂