“Please drink a beer for me” – Molly Seidel, Hartland, WI, to her family – upon winning an Olympic Bronze Medal for the U.S.A. in the Women’s Marathon, August 7, 2021
“One way we could describe the task ahead of us is by saying that we need to enlarge the consciousness and the conscience of the economy. Our economy needs to know—and care—what it is doing. This is revolutionary, of course, if you have a taste for revolution, but it is also a matter of common sense.” – Wendell Berry, In the Presence of Fear, 2001
“Small Businesses Need to Play a role in Fixing Government.” Kirk Bangstad, Minocqua Brewing Co., April, 25, 2021
“Neither the wisest constitution nor wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man’s haranguing upon liberty, …that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves.” – Samuel Adams
“The slavery of fear…made men afraid to think…Our greatest enemies, the ones we must fight most often, are within…Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine “Average goodness is no longer enough.” – Nicholas Berdyaev
“My name is Kirk Bangstad. I’m running for State Assembly-D-34-as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Rob Swearingen. I currently own the Minocqua Brewing Co., a large brewpub in Minocqua, WI. I decided to run after observing an absolute failure of leadership during the trying Spring of 2020, when Rob Swearingen and his republican colleagues failed to listen to health experts and forced Wisconsinites to vote in person during a global pandemic…Any legislator who would put partisan politics and special interest priorities over safety doesn’t deserve to hold elected office. Representative Swearingen supported this move to suppress the vote in a time of pandemic to help his preferred candidate win an election. After that, he and his conservative colleagues in the State Supreme Court overturned Governor Evers’ Safer-At-Home order, which had kept our state’s level of infection relatively low compared to neighboring states. A true leader for the Northwoods would have listened to health care experts and supported the science that clearly showed we needed to re-open in phases, after appropriate criteria were met. Rob Swearingen has blood on his hands, and is unfit for public office. We need a leader who cares more about the health of folks in the Northwoods than partisan politics.” – (from the Candidate website, Fall, 2020) “#PROGRESSIVE BEER started when we closed our brewpub because Donald Trump played politics with Covid-19 and Mitch McConnell let restaurants twist in the wind…We hung a Biden sign in the reddest part of Wisconsin in defiance of our Republican county board’s threat to fine us…We won the battle and are now focused on brewing awesome beer for people who care about lifting up those that are less fortunate and making politics in Northern Wisconsin as clean as our lakes and streams.” – Minocqua Brewing Company “Manifesto” on its beer products.
“Summer is over, and it’s time to get back to work. I promise to keep doing the best I can to be (a) good steward of the money you’re donating, and to spend it as wisely as I can to affect progressive change in Northern Wisconsin. Happy Labor Day everyone, and cheers to Making Wisconsin Great Again, One Beer at a Time.” – Kirk Bangstad, (email@example.com) September 6, 2021
The progressive movement is alive and well in Wisconsin and drowning malefactors of the American Taliban, and their treasonous allies in the Republican Party in oceans of “Biden Beer” and “Kamala Stout,” amidst blue waves of patriotism and common sense. The intrepid genius behind this movement, Kirk Bangstad, is encouraging progressive, beer drinking “Cheese Heads” to make liberalism fun again in the upper Midwest. As a result, the Republican Party Lie Machine no longer “owns the libs” in Badger-land. Although my KGB animal friends, like the Beach Boys, “Get Around,” they’d been slow to get hip to this 2020 revival of hard-hitting liberalism against hard hearted reactionary selfishness of over 50 years.
Wisconsin, once a leader in progressivism, slipped to the “dark side” under hate mongers Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI, 1947-1957), Governor George Wallace (D-AL, 1968) and Donald Trump (2017-2021). When Trump’s “acolytes of anarchy,” stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, his “kleptocratic knight,” Senator Ron Johnson, an initial supporter of all out revolt, faltered, but Republican Congressman (WI-7) Tom Tiffany backed treason all the way, along with Republicans who sought to overthrow the U.S. Constitution in favor of dictatorship.
I visit this beautiful land of lakes in the Northwoods almost every year, a spiritual home since 1946. Returning from the blue oasis of the Lac du Flambeau Nation (Ojibwé) within one of the reddest parts of our Northern tier, with my SUV trunk filled with Biden Beer for my Democratic/NPL friends in North Dakota, and my head filled with glorious tales of progressive renewal, I could hardly wait to share my impressions with my all-knowing informants.
High Plains Reader: Hello friends! One of your own has followed me back from Wisconsin to North Dakota to help me share my pleasant surprise at what is happening over there.
Becky Badger: Indeed. I see that North Dakota, with a spineless Governor Burgum risking health of children rather than the wrath of their misguided parents, is one of the ten worst in the U.S. in coming to its senses about Covid-19. I figured you’d need “beer and cheese cheer.”
HPR: Thanks. With nearly two thirds of California voting “No” to recalling a competent, caring Governor, and saying “Yes” to Science and sane Public Health policies; they are putting some parts of Wisconsin and virtually all of North Dakota to shame.
Madame Inspector Chen: Not to mention the relief that the California results must be causing amongst Communist China’s leadership; now that Trumpism took a thumping so few months after its namesake caused palpitations in Beijing.
Putin: Showing China, the world, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 3rd in line for Commander-in-Chief, with an insane President and cowardly Vice President for the next 14 days, that the U.S. High Command understood their oaths to the U.S. Constitution, not to any individual, was General Mark Milley. At the same time, former VP Dan Quale (under George H.W. Bush) was explaining to VP Mike Pence, that he had no power, as well as no spine.
Kim Dog Un: “Inscrutable” Americans! Military men who honor civilian control, and California winner, Gavin Newsom (D), a white guy shouting “Diversity” from the roof tops; while the losing, but front running Republican alternative, a race baiting Trump clone dedicated to reparations for the families of former slave owners, is a black guy.
HPR: Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s Northwoods, with the exception of the Rez and parts of Vilas County, of course, has highly elevated Covid-19 infections compared with the rest of the State.
Putin: What did you expect? Trump took Wisconsin in 2016.
Becky Badger: Trump lost Wisconsin in 2020. He’d won the Northwoods by 25 points in 2016, but only by 5 in 2020, when Mr. Bangstad ran against “The Donnie’s” cowardly record.
HPR: That must explain why ads attacking Senator Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) cowardice on January 6, 2021 and regarding Covid all along, appeared this August on Olympics telecasts to Minocqua out of Rhinelander, WI, home to some of Mr. Bangstad’s bitterest opponents.
Chicago Dog: Democrats are now the only major political party to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and due process of law, the fundaments of your democracy. A majority of Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate, and large numbers of Republican State leaders no longer do this. They were willing to support, or failed to publicly reject in a timely manner, Donald Trump’s treasonous Big Lie that he won, rather than lost, the Presidential Election of November 3, 2020. Only a few Republicans remain as a Constitutional Caucus, 10 in the House of Representatives, and 7 Senators — none of them from North Dakota or Wisconsin.
Schickelgruber: On January 6, 2021, 138 House Republicans and 7 Senators voted to object to Electoral College certification of the 2020 Presidential election (The Treason Caucus), a clear violation of U.S. Constitutional order. 74 House Republicans and 43 Senators voted with Democrats to certify a result produced by a functioning democracy.
Rasputin: When President Trump, Cheerleader/Perpetrator of the violent January 6th Coup attempt was impeached for those actions by the House of Representatives, only 10 House Republicans joined with all Democrats in support of a democratic constitution. At the Senate Trial, only 7 Republican Senators voted to convict Trump. Subtracting those numbers from a total of 212 House Republicans and 50 Senators as well as the numbers from the Treason Caucus in both chambers reveals a third Republican Caucus, The Cowards Caucus: 64 House members, and 36 Senators. The Republican Party “New Math” adds up to overwhelming overt and covert support for tyranny. Voting Republican now means voting to end U.S. democracy.
HPR: That means that the entire Republican Congressional and most Republican leadership in North Dakota lines up with cowardice…at best; utterly worthless for defending our freedoms.
Becky Badger: Unfortunately, yes; but not so in neighboring Minnesota or Wisconsin. Local Democrats like Kirk Bangstad, willing and able to go on offense against Trump and Trumpism are causing National Democrats to seriously considering putting money into 2022 electoral chances in places like Northern Wisconsin. The fact that local tavern “mafia” conspired with or terrorized landlords from renting to Mr. Bangsted, and browbeat area businesses away from selling Minocqua Brewing Company products hasn’t stopped him at all. Check out this printing on the back of each can of his “Fair Maps” beer: “Voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around. 55 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have voted to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin. The Fair Maps coalition (www.fairmapswi.com) is fighting to make this happen.” – FAIR MAPS (A Balanced & Un-Rigged IPA) “Don’t let Gerrymandering leave a bitter taste in your mouth.”
Chicago Dog: That’s awesome marketing; in politics as well as product. Where’d he get that?
Becky Badger: Mr. Bangstad’s background in music as a performer and promoter, in everything from Opera to Blues, is extensive. His Minocqua Brewery has supported local and Chicago blues artists for years, from Summer concerts in the North Woods, to Covid vaccination rallies in Dane County in the southern part of the State. Also, the COOP tradition in Wisconsin, dating back to Bob Lafollete’s progressivism, is more than willing to carry Mr. Bangstad’s beer.
Chicago Dog: Yes. Woodman’s Markets, employee-owned, carries his brew all over Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. They aren’t the only ones. The beers are tasty, and their politically charged labels are hilarious. For example: Biden Beer – “Inoffense and not Bitter Kolsch.”
Omar Khayyam: Hmm. President Biden “inoffensively” and “without bitterness” pulls the U.S. out of an endless war, and hammers away on Republican Governors and Attorney’s General who’d rather risk Covid deaths of their States’ children than political death by Trump voters.
Becky Badger: Beer drinkers also might like la /’ka-mala/ “A Strong, Vice Presidential, Stout”
HPR: I’ve tried it. It has a real kick to it. And I enjoy the insert on every brand of Minocqua Brewing Company brew that “5% of all of our profits go to the Minocqua Brewing Company SuperPAC: ‘dark money meant for good.’”
Prudence Possum: Kamala Harris has been an ideal Vice President for Joe Biden, having his back, and taking on every assignment with grace, humor, and dignity; just as Joe Biden did for President Barack Obama for eight years.
Becky Badger: Joe and Kamala’s strong relationship has thrown sand into the gears of the Republican hate machine, but equally impressive is the support President Biden receives for his agenda from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). She appears in a glamorous evening gown emblazoned, “Tax the Rich” within hours of Joe Biden’s press conference attacking the greed and selfishness of the wealthy. This is the Democrats bridging generation, gender, and ethnicity gaps with a unified message of social and economic justice.
Señor Perro: A.O.C. and “Sleepy Joe” are “owning” Greed Heads, Trumpistas and Fascistas.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Mr. Bangstad has noted Democratic Party unity with: Bernie Brew – “A Lovingly Irascible and Democratic Socialist Milk Stout.” While Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) may have been divisive, along with some of his overly self-righteous followers, his message of “economic and social fairness” still resonates. Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Brown (D-OH) appear giddy as they pitch taxation of rich corporations and individuals to pay for Joe Biden’s BUILD BACK BETTER legislation; a key to getting “how will you pay for it” Democrats, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA) included, on board. Populist appeals to stick it to corporate lobbyists and billionaire fat cats have resonance on the right, on the left, and in between. Republican pollsters know this. So does Mr. Bangstad, it appears.
Becky Badger: Minocqua Brewing Co. products don’t neglect Wisconsin issues, but, instead, connect them to national issues that impact every citizen. For example: (Democratic Governor) Tony Evers Ale – “Made with Science & a Steady Hand Pale Ale” shows the Governor at the helm of the Wisconsin “Ship of State,” mask on, fronting his “Badger Bounce Back Plan,” the State Capitol and buildings inscribed “Biology” and “Public Health” in the background.
HPR: It seems to me that lovers of democracy would wish to support Mr. Bangstad’s efforts in Wisconsin, against an extremely toxic Republican “Taliban” approach to government there; either by donating money, or going there as legal advisers, or ground game volunteers, as the Indivisibles, Move On, and other like-minded groups currently do. Or even to get an idea about how to use his remarkable salesmanship in their own locations around the nation. I can’t wait to see what he does if Wisconsin Republican “vote audit” loonies actually try to bring Arizona cyber ninja style “recount wrecking balls” to Dane County in support of Trump’s Big Lie.
Becky Badger: I’m sure that Kirk and his fermenters of beer and fomenters of democratic resistance welcome any assistance by contacting them through Facebook, Twitter or <firstname.lastname@example.org> He’s back from an August recess, ready to go for the political battles ahead and with yet another product: “Filibuster Ale -Must Be Quaffed by 2022”
Becky Badger: One of Kirk’s supporters in the Minocqua, Eagle River, Rhinelander area seems to have left a poem in a canoe making its way south on the Wisconsin River:
The “Kiss of the Hops” Needs That Kiss of Kindness Too…………..Beer Bellied Tap Sucker
If all it took was better beer to brew;
Then maybe folks could find a better way
T’ward common good; A brighter safer day
To dawn; instead of conflicts’ pois’nous stew.
But tasty beer was strong amongst us long
Ago; with fear, and war, and plague and hate;
We need a better message to relate;
A knack so reason can tease right from wrong.
Progressives need not falter in their fights.
With humor, grit and patient passion – New!
Yet old in its resolve for human’s weal,
Against the ancient greeds and creeds; in blights
Of Evil’s daft stupidities that grew
From lacking kindness that we need to heal.