My State Fair photoblog

Unlike today, Day 1 of the The Great Minnesota Get-Together occurred under perfect weather conditions. Here is how Scholar's PDA cam saw the day:

The AM 1280 The Patriot booth, H18 Judson Avenue, with merchandise table and remote studio:

© edreformnews.info

Look for national remote broadcasts next week, and weekend remote broadcasts from the Northern Alliance Radio Network and Taxpayers League Live. Stay tuned to The Patriot for details.

My camera was malfunctioning, otherwise here would be a photo of the Air America booth, south side of the fairgrounds, which consisted of a table under a tent.

Princess Kay of the Milky Way 2005, the lovely tiara'ed Rebekah Dammann of Lester Prairie, poses for her traditional butter head sculpture by sculptor Linda Christensen in the 38 degrees F cooler of the Empire Commons Building (the "dairy building"):

© edreformnews.info

Sen. Mark Dayton conducted a non-political photo-op with a half-dozen representatives of Operation Minnesota Nice. Bravo, Sen. Dayton:

© edreformnews.info

Other brushes with fame: Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Alice Seagren, in her department's booth in the Education Building; K-102 disk jockey John Hines; TPT political reporter Eric Escola, at the Dayton appearance.

As 3:00 pm approached, I reported for volunteer duty at The Taxpayers League of Minnesota booth. That's Bill, a Taxpayers League staffer, and a fellow volunteer:

© edreformnews.info

The booth is located on the first floor of the Grandstand, next to the United States Postal Service booth, and across the isle from a watches/dog tags/trinkets booth, staffed by a jovial guy with a huge plastic insulated coffee mug. The Grandstand is truly a showcase for free market enterprise and the marketplace of ideas.

© edreformnews.info

The highlight of my three-hour shift was an encounter with a self-described professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was apparently in his 60s age-wise, and in the 1960s, ideologically. He had long white hair, scraggly beard, and two-inch fingernails that curled into claws. He wore a stained wide-brimmed hat, and had a faint scent of Berkeley about him. The professor strode up to the booth, and began by stating that The Taxpayers League was responsible for the last two years of the decline of the state of Minnesota, and thank goodness Tim Pawlenty had the courage to break his No New Taxes pledge this legislative session. He continued for five or ten minutes. At first I began preparing a response to his opening salvo, but soon I realized that this was not a debate, it was a lecture.

The professor ranted nonstop on a wide-ranging litany of liberal talking points, passionate but not hostile toward me personally, that included these topics:

  • No New Taxes Pledge (he was agin' it)
  • Ever-increasing "investment" in higher education (he was for it)
  • The decline of the once mighty research institutions at Big Ten universities like Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin due to a lack of "investment" by the states
  • The looming engineer shortage
  • The purchase of American automobile and home appliance companies by China
  • The recruiting of PhD graduates by the Chinese
  • Near envy of the "efficiency" of the Chinese totalitarian regime
  • President Bush's "war for oil"
  • Blamed Enron for the California energy crisis (during which the state of California imposed retail price controls on energy, and after which Californians elected a Republican governor)
  • Global warming ("It's a fact," said the professor)
Stop by the booth and say, "hi!" You might see David Strom there this weekend. Please be nice to the volunteers!

The Libertarian Party of Minnesota and Constitution Party of Minnesota both have booths in the Grandstand. The Republican Party of Minnesota is where it has always been, on Carnes Avenue near Ye Olde Mill and WCCO Radio. They are giving away tiny buttons that say "I [heart] America, It's Taxes I Hate." But what about "fees?"

Best new food: Blueberry malts, made with a heaping spoonful of frozen blueberries on top that you stir into the plain malt yourself, at Empire Commons. Mmmmm.

Have fun at The Fair!