Aug 31, 2012

2012 Minnesota Vikings Final Roster Predictions

The Minnesota Vikings finished the pre-season 1-3 and so a bit disappointed, but Coach Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman feel the team is headed in the right direction and with good reason. As roster cuts loom, here, based on analysis of the three games, is a prediction list of who will make it and who will not.


In: Christian Ponder; Joe Webb; Sage Rosenfels;

PS(Practice Squad): McLeod Bethel-Thompson;

Out: None

Analysis: Ponder, barring a catastrophic break-down, was always going to be the guy. Webb may still be learning as a passer, but his supreme talent and slow but steady improvement guaranteed him the backup spot. Rosenfels is needed as a veteran mentor to both and his salary made cutting him an unattractive option. Bethel-Thompson, however, was impressive and, provided he clears waivers, is clearly destined for the practice squad. How could he not? He seems destined to eventually earn a spot as the No. 3 on the Vikings squad in the very near-future.


In: Adrian Peterson; Toby Gerhart; Jordan Todman;

PS: None

Out: Lex Hilliard;

Analysis: Peterson is the face of the team and Gerhart has proven his value and will likely open as the starter until Peterson is fully back up to speed. Todman thinks he may not have done enough, but in fact he just may have. His 76 yard TD run against Houston may have landed him a spot. Hilliard, to be blunt, was awful all pre-season and is clearly on his way out.


In: Jerome Felton; Matt Asiata;

PS: Ryan D’Imperio;

Out: None

Analysis: Felton was very unspectacular all pre-season and has had run-ins with the law, but considering the Vikings have bent over backwards the last one to two years trying to acquire him, he probably will remain until he becomes a liability. Asiata was impressive all pre-season and is virtually guaranteed a spot. D’Imperio is such a solid special teams player and is showing flashes as a developing fullback so the team, if they waive him, will probably bring him back to the practice squad as the backup plan for promotion when Felton gets let go.


In: Percy Harvin; Jerome Simpson; Michael Jenkins; Jarius Wright; Stephen Burton; Devin Aromashodu;

PS: Emmaneuel Arceneaux;

Out: None

Analysis: Harvin is the star of the receiving corps and fans will get real excited when Simpson takes the field in Week Four. Jenkins, by taking a pay cut and showing just enough veteran savvy, may have earned himself one more season on the squad. Wright finally broke out big time in the Houston game and the Vikings have to feel good about him serving as Harvin’s backup and substitute. Burton was a bit inconsistent but he is a solid player and may have landed himself a role as a future No. 3 possession receiver. Aromashodu finally showed up against Houston and may have landed himself a spot as Simpson’s replacement, but he will be let go once Simpson comes back. Arceneaux was not given much in the way of opportunity with the first string so he probably gets another practice squad stint with a promotion coming if anyone in the receiving corps gets hurt.


In: Kyle Rudolph; John Carlson; Rhett Ellison; Allen Reisner; Mickey Shuler Jr.;

PS: None

Out: None

Analysis: Far-fetched? Not as much as you think. Rudolph and Carlson have injury histories and Ellison had an injury scare during the pre-season. Reisner and Shuler have really flashed and the guess here is that the Vikings will not risk losing either of them. It will be a bit of a strain on the roster, but considering how important the tight end is in Bill Musgrave’s offense, this seems to be the safest route for the Vikings to go, and all five guys are young.


In: Matt Kalil; Charlie Johnson; John Sullivan; Brandon Fusco; Phil Loadholt; DeMarcus Love; Joe Berger; Geoff Schwartz;

PS: Quentin Saulsberry;

Out: Patrick Brown; Chris DeGeare; Tyler Holmes; Kevin Murphy; Austin Pasztor;

Analysis: The starting five seems set. Love is a solid backup tackle but needs to get over his injury issues. It looked like Love might be relegated to injured reserve with Patrick Brown filling in for him, but Brown was hideous against Houston and may have cost himself a potential spot. Berger and Schwartz are good because of their versatility in filling in all along the line. Saulsberry was a pleasant surprise in camp and may have earned himself a practice squad spot with his hard work and talent.


In: Jared Allen; Kevin Williams; Brian Robison; Letroy Guion; Everson Griffen; Christian Ballard; D’Aundre Reed; Fred Evans; Trevor Guyton;

PS: Nick Reed;

Out: Chase Baker; Jeff Charleston;

Analysis: Tough to part with anyone here. The Vikings have one of the best eyes in the league for defensive line talent. Allen and Williams are All-Pros, Robison, Griffen, Ballard and D’Aundre Reed have Pro-Bowl and All-Pro written into their future, Guion looks like he might indeed be the answer at nose tackle and Evans and Guyton provide depth. Nick Reed is a definite candidate for the practice squad. Charleston played well, but was simply stuck behind a bunch of very good defensive linemen and is too old for the practice squad.


In: Chad Greenway; Erin Henderson; Jasper Brinkley; Audie Cole; Marvin Mitchell;

PS: Larry Dean

Out: Tyrone McKenzie; Corey Paredes;

Analysis: Starting spots seem set with Greenway, Henderson and Brinkley, but if Cole plays like he did in the pre-season and Brinkley struggles, do not be surprised to see the rookie thrown into the mix. Mitchell has proven to be a solid pickup and provided he stays healthy could challenge for playing time. Dean, a great special teamer, is a candidate for the practice squad only because the Vikings have more pressing needs at the moment. McKenzie played well, but the numbers just do not seem to be working out in his favor.


In: Antoine Winfield; Chris Cook; Chris Carr; Josh Robinson; Zackary Bowman; Marcus Sherels;

PS: Brandon Burton;

Out: Bobby Felder; Reggie Jones;

Analysis: Winfield and Cook are the starters though Robinson could challenge for Winfield’s spot if he can stay healthy. Carr and Bowman did not look spectacular in the pre-season, but they provide a veteran presence in the secondary which is something the Vikings did not have last season. Sherels is only good in the slot, but his return abilities are what help him stick around. Burton goes to the practice squad because he is a large corner with developmental skills and with Winfield’s injury history, may be looking at a promotion sometime during the season. Jones ruined his chances of sticking with a costly fumble on a punt and Felder simply did not show enough to stick around this year though he may get invited back to training camp next year.


In: Harrison Smith; Mistral Raymond; Jamarca Sanford; Robert Blanton;

PS: Andrew Sendejo;

Out: Eric Frampton;

Analysis: Smith has begun showing John Lynch-type abilities which should excite Vikings fans. Raymond has worked his way to success all his life so why doubt his ability at free safety now? Sanford is mainly a special teamer but he does have starting experience and a knack for recovering fumbles and recording interceptions. Blanton suffered setbacks with his injuries during the pre-season but he has better abilities then all the other safeties besides Smith and Raymond. Sendejo was a surprise with his trong play and may have earned a practice squad spot and a potential promotion if anybody in the top four gets hurt. Frampton was good with special teams, but getting burned on a deep pass against Buffalo was a killer blow to his roster hopes.


In: Cullen Loeffler; Chris Kluwe; Blair Walsh;

PS: None

Out: Ryan Longwell;

Analysis: Yes Longwell is not and was never on the roster during the pre-season, but his ghost always stalked the special teams talk. He remained on the free agent market always as a looming spectrum watching to see if Blair Walsh would produce or not. Walsh was spectacular on kickoffs, pretty solid on field goals and perfect on extra points. He gets the nod going into the season but he has to do what Doug Brien and Aaron Elling never did for the Vikings of the last decade and actually make it all the way through the season without struggling spectacularly and then being replaced. Kluwe is still good as punter but needs to improve his holds on field goals and extra points for the rookie Walsh. By the same token, Loeffler needs to shake off the rust coming from finishing last year on injured reserve and improve his snaps so he does not shake Walsh’s confidence either. If they can all do well then the Vikings special teams group will no longer be just solid, but also young and so destined to remain around for a while.


What can we take out of the 2012 pre-season? Hard to say; The first team looked like it was finally coming around but depth still seems like an issue in some spots. The Vikings will probably use this year to get the young players experience while looking forward to next year and another potentially good draft class to help turn this team around more quickly and so help the Detroit Lions displace the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers as the class of the NFC North division in the very near-future.

© 2012 The Subsidiarity Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be re-published, re-broadcast, re-written or re-distributed without written permission from blog author.

Aug 21, 2012

The Professor's New Vlog Section: The Rural Doctrine

Professor Wall has published his first vlog. In the inaugural August 21, 2012 episode, he addresses Congressman Paul Ryan's selection as Mitt Romney's running mate for vice-president of the United States, what Senator Rand Paul really said when speaking about the selection of Ryan, the rumors surrounding a possible removal of Vice-President Joe Biden from the Democratic national ticket and what all of this means for the upcoming general election.

To view, go here

© 2012 The Subsidiarity Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be re-published, re-broadcast, re-written or re-distributed without written permission from blog author.

Aug 2, 2012

2012 Candidate Profiles: David Gerson of Minnesota Congressional District Two

Professor Wall interviews congressional candidate David Gerson (R-MN)

Incumbent Republican U.S. representative John Kline (R-MN) has been looked upon as a hero in the Minnesota GOP for his stunning upset of popular Democratic congressman Bill Luther (DFL-MN) in 2002, but times have dramatically changed since then. Ten years after his historic victory, Kline has a number of constituents unhappy with him and as a result he is now facing his first severe election test since 2002. This time, however, the challenge is within his own party; coming from engineer and economic author David Gerson (R-MN) of Eagan, Minnesota.

“I was asked to come down to CD2 and run in the primary against John Kline and the issue is that his constituents felt that he was not representing their interests and that his voting over the last ten years has not equaled or been in line with the Republican platform” said Gerson in an interview with New Agora. He also added: “The reason why I am taking on the incumbent Republican versus running against a Democrat is because I believe that both parties’ leaders have failed us, including the Republican Party. We are looking to reform the Republican Party to ensure that when we send people to Washington D.C. that they uphold our values and our ideals and we feel there is a need to hold our current leadership responsible for their transgressions in not doing so.”

Gerson, born in Boston and raised in both Boston and North Carolina, received bachelors and masters degrees in the engineering field from North Carolina State University and is currently an executive at a global engineering company where he is responsible for executive engineering transformation.

He also has begun dabbling in writing books on economics and recently just published his first book on economics labeled ‘How Crony Capitalism Crushed the Middle Class and Killed the Economy: Revealing the Economics of Legal Plunder’. When asked how he was inspired to write the book, Gerson said:

“I’ve been always a little bit interested in Macroeconomics and since the financial crisis I have had a much deeper concern like most Americans and I’m a pretty analytical guy so I dive into things pretty deeply.” Gerson then related how, having never taken a college-level economics course, he was forced to do much of his own research, but looked upon that as an advantage as he entered his study of economics with an open mind. He then directed his studies to every part that he did not know so that he would have more fully rounded knowledge. As he studied, he began to have some ideas that were different from what was being presented and started to put those ideas into a book which forced him to do a lot of research to validate his points. It helped to shape some of the thoughts that he had and to confirm a lot of the thoughts that he had and he attempted to bring across the economic message in a way which would be digestible in the book, though he admitted that the book is ‘slightly wonkish’. He also stated that he hoped more people would build on his work and that the ideas he had put forward in it would influence him in his congressional votes on economic policy if he were to be elected to Congress.

Gerson, who references and criticizes the Federal Reserve in his book, states that he supports Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill and the drive to end the Federal Reserve, while also emphasizing that it will not be a simple task and there will have to be a long transition period and transition plan put in place where the setting of interest rates and other such things are systematically removed from bureaucratic control and given back to the free market before the end of the Federal Reserve can finally come about.

“The number one thing is transparency. People need to see transparency and that will obviously affect the behaviors of the people that operate inside the Fed” Gerson added, referring to the Audit the Fed bill.

In reference to Ron and Rand Paul’s new crusade for internet freedom, Gerson emphasized that he supports the crusade as a fight for freedom of speech.

“I don’t want to see government controls over the internet. We have a right to free speech and I don’t want to give control to some bureaucrat that is going to determine what is proper and what isn’t” said Gerson.

When asked about the ‘indefinite detention of Americans’ clause in the NDAA law, Gerson stated that he was surprised more Americans were not outraged at the loss of their right to due process of the law. He then reiterated a pledge to work with congressmen such as Justin Amash and Rand Paul to repeal laws such as the NDAA indefinite detention clause, H.R. 347 (which limits the rights to free speech in and around federal buildings and grounds) and the PATRIOT Act (which allows government to access individuals’ private records along with other invasive capabilities). He also stated that he supported efforts to eliminate the use of drones on American soil.

“I hate to oversimplify it, but we cannot sacrifice our rights in the name of safety period” stressed Gerson.

With regards to issues such as abortion and marriage, Gerson stated that he is pro-life and supports pro-life causes but that he would rather see the pro-life issue resolved at the state level first. He added that he would support pro-life legislation such as Ron Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act which would overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision by removing the issue from federal jurisdiction and returning it to the states where most criminal law is already handled. He also supports efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Concerning marriage, Gerson stated that he believes marriage is not a federal issue.

Gerson also pledged that he would work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“I would work to repeal (Obamacare). It is that simple. I don’t think it’s the right thing for America. It makes bigger government, bigger government controls; with bigger government comes inefficiencies and market distortions which is unhealthy for America.”

With his positions on the issues laid out, Gerson was asked about his campaign to unseat John Kline as the Republican nominee for Congress in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, with the first reference being to what he feels needs to happen in order for him to successfully defeat Kline in the primary.

“I think it is this simple. People need to know John Kline’s voting record” said Gerson “John Kline does a great job messaging against the Democrats, but he has been part of the Republican leadership and part of leadership period on both sides of the (aisle) that has failed us over the last ten years. He has voted in line with (Speaker of the House) John Boehner on every major issue. No one votes with John Boehner more than John Kline. If you are happy with the leadership in Congress, and we know that nobody is, they have the lowest approval rating in history, you will love John Kline. We need to expose his record, which is un-defendable.”

Put simply, Gerson believes that if people are awakened to who Kline really is, then that will be all he needs to win the primary.

“(Kline) has not been representing his constituents” continued Gerson “He has been representing special interests in Washington D.C. He says he is for lower taxes, but he continues to vote for big government programs, bigger government, bigger budgets, bigger federal deficits that increase our taxes. He has voted to take away our civil rights; he has voted for the NDAA; he voted for the PATRIOT Act and its extensions every time; he voted for H.R. 347. So he has taken away our civil rights and he has voted for bigger government; he has voted for a 2.4. trillion dollar increase in the debt ceiling; he provided the deciding vote on Medicare Part D, the largest social welfare initiative since (President Lyndon) Johnson’s Great Society programs. He overrode President (George W.) Bush’s veto which effectively repealed the Freedom to Farm Act which even President Bush labeled as lacking fiscal discipline and he liked Cash for Clunkers so much that he voted for it twice.”

When asked, in contrast to Kline’s record, why voters should pick him over Kline, Gerson issued a straight forward answer.

“Well I’m not a career politician. I’m successful in the private sector so if I get voted out of Congress I can go back to the private sector and maintain my standard of living, actually I would increase it by going back to the private sector. So I will not be swayed by the Establishment from my own agenda (into) supporting the special interest groups and playing the Washington games; so I am a private sector guy, I am not a career politician. I will represent my constituents. I am a true conservative and I will uphold the Republican platform. The problem has been that we have been electing people that have come to campaign and say that they believe in the Republican platform but then go to Washington D.C. and transgress completely away from what our ideals and our true conservative values are.”

In a follow-up question, Gerson was asked to comment on Kline’s statement in an email to potential supporters in the 2nd Congressional District where he appeared to label Gerson as an outsider from Minneapolis and the Fifth Congressional District and why he felt Kline was resorting to this tactic to disqualify Gerson in the minds of voters instead of debating the issues.

“I would love for him to meet up and debate me on the issues” said Gerson with a touch of enthusiasm, “because I would love to call him on his voting record which is just un-defendable. I have no idea why he made that statement, your characterization might be as right as any.” Gerson then explained that, while it was true that he had originally been living in Minneapolis, he was moving to the 2nd Congressional District and has been active in the Minnesota Republican Party. He also re-emphasized that he was recruited through certain networks to come down and challenge Kline.

“(I) was recruited to come down here and try to send this message, not just to John Kline, but to all incumbents and to the Republican Party that we need some catharsis, we need to be honest with who we are and we need to deal with the last elephant in the room that our leadership has been failing us and we cannot blindly vote for people because they are incumbents” said Gerson.

Gerson was also asked, if he were to become the nominee, if he would be able to change his strategy from contrasting records to educating the populace about why his stances are more correct then what Democratic nominee Mike Obermueller will be standing for.

“It is a two-fold thing, not only do they have to understand who John Kline is and what he has really voted for and the fact that he is not representing who he is and his voting record is one of the worst in Washington D.C. and we have to start holding our incumbent leaders responsible for their transgressions. They also have to know who I am and my background.” Gerson then stressed that people could learn a lot about his views through his book and through his website where he lays forth overviews to why he is running, what his beliefs are and what he is doing to get people to believe again in the system so that they can take back their government and so help re-energize the Republican Party base with candidates who are private sector-oriented and not career politicians.

When asked about his political future and whether he would consider running for either a state office or for the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Al Franken or Governor Mark Dayton in 2014, Gerson emphasized that he currently was completely focused on the task at hand, namely defeating John Kline in the Minnesota GOP primary.

“I currently have no aspirations to do anything except win on August 14th” said Gerson, then adding: “I fully expect that we will actually be in a race for the general election, come August 15th. I am not thinking beyond August 14th today, we are a machine, we are focused on winning on August 14th in this primary.”

Finally, Gerson was asked if his campaign had a campaign song to which Gerson replied that they did not but that they would love suggestions and he encouraged constituents to call in with recommendations.

Congressman Kline should be worried about this challenge. Considering Minnesota gave its nod for the Republican presidential nomination to Congressman Ron Paul and the Republican U.S. Senate endorsement to state representative Kurt Bills and that David Gerson is clearly in the same mold as those gentlemen, it is obvious that this is a serious challenge. If the trend which has been taking place in the Minnesota GOP continues, then Kline could very well find himself watching Gerson and Obermueller battle for his seat in the general election while he prepares for retirement as another victim of the Tea Party and Liberty Movement’s takeover of American and Minnesota politics.

© 2012 New Agora and The Subsidiarity Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be re-published, re-broadcast, re-written, re-transcribed or re-distributed without written permission from blog author.