Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Red Letter Day In Minnesota!

Yesterday was truly a Red Letter Day in Minnesota on two fronts! Let me talk about the weather first, which is what people usually talk about when they refer to Minnesota as being so cold and having winters that last eight months!

Let me preface my statement by saying we have had an unusually cold spring with many of the Northern lakes still covered in ice. As of last weekend one of our larger lakes, Mille Lacs, still had as much as twenty inches of ice covering it! As far as I know, much of that ice is still there.  Often times our governor will go to Mille Lacs for the fishing opener, which was last weekend.

Since the lake was covered with ice which much of it ended up in backyards and even destroyed buildings and damaged houses when the ice shifted onto the shore last week, the governor's fishing opener was held on another lake. 

Many of our resorts, boat rentals, bait shops and other fishing-related businesses are hurting because of the extremely cold weather and lack of fishing-related revenue. The fishing opener in Minnesota is a big deal for many people in this state, and a tremendous amount of money changes hands. It gets the economy moving in many parts of the state after our famous long winters.

Even up to a week ago we had snowfall here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Now, here is where it starts to get weird. Yesterday, the temperature in Minneapolis was 98°! That set a record for the hottest May fourteenth on record! Today it is only supposed to get up into the 80s. Now, they are telling us we could see more snow again by the end of the week or early next week. There is really something going on with climate change!

Minnesota is not the only area of the country seeing extreme weather patterns that are hard to explain. I am not looking forward to what the summer will bring weather-wise throughout the country. From last year's drought through the Plains states to record rainfalls in the East, with hurricanes is far north as Maine to severe drought through the Central Valley of California, we could be in for another strange summer.

Now, for the other exciting event from yesterday, let me spend a little time addressing groundbreaking, civil rights legislation that was signed into law by our Governor, Mark Dayton.  If you have not already heard, Minnesota became the twelfth state to legalize and put into law same-sex marriage!

I am very excited to see our legislature and governor make it legal for two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together as a couple, and just happen to be of the same gender to know they can be legally married as of August first! This is a huge step forward for the civil rights of the LGBT community! 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination on the basis of racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, as well as women. It ended unequal application for voter registration, racial segregation in schools, the workplace and public accommodations.

It was the first legislation of its kind and opened the door for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law July 26, 1990.

Granted, the last two laws I mentioned were national laws, and Minnesota's same-sex marriage law is just a state law, but they are all steppingstones to get where we are today and hopefully where we are going in the future.

The Constitution begins with, "We the people ... " which I believe means everyone. It is an ever-changing document as testimony to all of the amendments written since the original document. Remember, it was only 1920 when women were given the right to vote. All of these types of issues take time for acceptance by the entire population. But can anyone imagine today women not having the right to vote?

The Constitution also reads, "All men are created equal ... " First of all, we are not all men. Secondly, as we all know, we are not all equal. That is true on many levels, and is material for another post.

I know I have written another long post. However, I believe it is warranted since yesterday was a very eventful day.

As always, I encourage your comments.




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Karla said...

Love, love, love it! Thanks for another great post, Mike. I hope you’re well and enjoying the days.

Jane said...

Good stuff, Mike. Hooray for moving toward respect for equality! Climate change IS a fact of our lives — the planet and the Universe are fighting back for the abuse we’ve caused it — hopefully our respect for IT will grow too!

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