October 10, 2009
Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN

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GK: First of all, bravo to Norway for giving Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. All he had to do was say that the United States was committed to diplomacy and negotiation and that was good enough. The world is grateful.

As for Sweden and the Nobel Prize for Literature, once again the Swedes have looked for the dryest, least joyful, most humorless writer they could find and gave her a million dollars as compensation for her unhappiness. Having Swedes give a prize for literature is like having the Faeroe Islands give a prize for the culinary arts. Try to think of the last Swedish writer who gave pleasure. The words pleasure and Swedish don't sit comfortably in the same sentence.

Norway on the other hand has been named the best place in the world to live, followed by Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Switzerland, and Japan. The United States placed 13th.

Norway has the highest overall standard of living, Australia — Highest school enrollment. Iceland has the cleanest water and air due to their superior clean-energy policies. Canada is better to immigrants.

Ireland's economy is booming. Netherlands — The government will pay you to go to college. France — Has the best pension system, you can retire at age 60.

Switzerland — Pays the highest wages. Japan — The highest life expectancy: 82.7 years.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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