consultants are sandburs

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Commercial reasonableness has a place in analysis of when competition might cross over to commercial predation. Pricing below cost to injure a competitior.

What's it cost, is clearly a relevant question. As is cost/benefit, with a full spectrum of benefits and downside considered in an instance of "official newspaper" public decision making.

But offering zero pricing seems only short of a predatory tactic, i.e., if cost is zero making the deal a net wash rather than a certain loss (cost in excess of payback).

Not paying any fmv rent - Would that be possible? Some things denied public sunshine engender troublesome speculative questions. Where a contract exists, what exact terms apply, and toward what end(s)? And does it pass muster in terms of commercial reasonableness and product/service pricing norms.

I lose a bit on each unit but I make up for it in volume, is a joke because it assaults normally held concepts of commercially reasonable activity - being in business - with success the aim and having a plan and an adherence to basic fair business concepts.

Below is text of a letter obtained from City of Nowthen in reply to a Public Data Disclosure Request for Response I filed with the City. What of it raises commercial reasonableness concerns with readers:


Monday, March 23, 2015

MinnPost: "How a challenge by Martin O'Malley could move Hillary Clinton to the left - By Eric Black | 03/17/15"

You'd hope so. There's so much room she has on that side, whereas any move right, she passes Jeb with him just standing still.

This link, for the MinnPost item.

A modest prediction about 2016 election possibilities.

My betting is Jeb and Hillary, Cruz is first in, probably first out if you discount Romney's earlier testing of the waters.

Locally, my somewhat foggy and unreliable crystal ball says the County Board, Dist. 1 seat will be perhaps the most interesting contest with two distinct Republican flavors, and personalities.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A thought as Ms. Whelan works through her first term in the legislature.


It was a question, do you remember where you were when you heard Kennedy was assassinated?

And for younger people, were you, when Kennedy was assassinated?

As we age the question will be, do you remember where you were when you heard of the Trade Center?

Etc.

Thinking of Ms. Whelan as one of a generation moving into NFL, NBA, and legislative ranks caused that thought trajectory, along with a quote from a blog a friend emailed to a circle of friends, "In the '60s we took drugs, LSD, to make the world seem weird. Now the world is weird and we take drugs, Prozac, to make it seem normal."

In the '60s there were klunky underpowered centalized punch-card computers and we had dreams. Now we have good computers, on a desktop and in a phone, strangely giving us little to dream of.

How many readers remember above-ground nuclear weapons testing? Sputnik?

Harry Truman was quoted as saying he was managing a mule team, plowing a field. He thought there must be something offering a better perspective than that. And he went into politics.

One has to recall that at the turn of the nineteenth century working animals and hand tools were far more common than internal combustion and electrified homes. Today, in Ramsey, there are few "horse people" who keep working animals while not working them, but as part of a legacy of which the young can little imagine while my generation knew of it mainly by word of mouth from the elders, who experienced it. GPS based upon atomic clocks in geosynchronous orbit is now common, and the height of mountains can be reckoned from GPS, with variance due to changing snow packs, but with the numbers in impressive agreement with indirect survey methods that predate present-day field survey teams using GPS and laser equipment to gain evidence in resolving boundary disputes between adjacent property owners. Boundary disputes are eternal, while sophistication of the appropriate dispute resolution technology evolves.

I recall an apartment building owner-client of the office in urban Seattle who wanted the office to get a court redefinition of his property bounds. A series of lots had been set by metes and bounds defined from a west marker, while other lots were set from an east survey marker, with his lot and the neighboring lot sharing the "boundary" between the two series of lots. The land owners did not contest the actual boundary set by use. The client had his land's legal description changed via the west boundary set from the west marker and the east set from the east marker. The neighbor's legal description remained unchanged while the client obtained good title to what was about a fifteen foot strip of land, I believe the term is "a surveyor's hair," which had not been assigned to either property but physically existed because the original reckoned distance between the two markers was wrongly reckoned early on, in error by fifteen feet.

I recall once purchasing a map from the county surveyor's office, and an employee then serving the desk talking about how inexact some survey markers can be, his recollection being about one legal description citing something as a marker such as "the Buick axle planted at the edge of the woods, marking the corner between fields" or such.

And then there are questions of easements, what to make of them as land uses change, whether there was neglect to record easement documents allowing dispute involving good faith purchasers without notice, things of that sort, rights of entry for ditch or utility line maintenance, especially easements at property boundaries or access easements from roadways to lake front, a host of ways neighbors can fight one another over land issues, or owners can fight outsiders' claims of specific entry and use rights.

Ms. Whelan now is in the legislature and Mr. Jungbauer no longer is there, and if I recall things correctly that were published on the web, at one point Ms. Whelan while at the U. worked extensively on a Jungbauer campaign.

Without looking it up, how many readers know what "GPS" stands for? I was close, with "Global Positioning Satellites" being my recollection.

__________UPDATE__________
A pair of nostalgia questions. What is William Westmoreland's place in history, and what federal agency did he head that was scorned by many in the nation (hint, not NSA, CIA, nor IRS)? What Warren Commission member's highest elective achievement was being reelected often to Congress from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and what was the highest public office he held?

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
I was wrong. GPS satallites are not geosynchronous. This link. Next launch countdown clock - same link.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

MN Progressive Project, "Checking up on the odious TPP - by Dan Burns - March 19, 2015."

Read the original, online here.

It gives a hat-tip for attentiveness and America-first fairness to Ellison and Nolan. For catching buried problematic text - like a needle in a haystack - within TPP proposal verbosity.

"The number of people using metro area park and ride facilities in the seven-county metro area dropped slightly in 2014 and just over half of the available parking spaces were being used, according to a presentation Metro Transit officials gave last week to the Metropolitan Council's Transportation Committee. But that does not mean that the system is overbuilt and demand is waning, said Stephen Hannon, an associate planner with Metro Transit. 'Facilities are long-term investments and put in places to attract new customers,' he said, noting that usage was up substantially at three facilities that had recently been expanded or added to the system."

The headline quote consolidates opening text online at Strib, here. The entirety of the report follows that highlighted material.

Andover creating an open space legacy area.

The news is put online, at this link.

A FOIA loophole you can drive a truck through.

USA Today reports:

Meantime, the Justice Department said this week that it shouldn't be required under the Freedom of Information Act to provide e-mails from Clinton that were sent from or received by her private account. Government lawyers said in a filing to a federal appeals court late Thursday that the FOIA law "creates no obligation for an agency to search for and produce records that it does not possess and control."

The Justice Department acted on the State Department's behalf in a lawsuit by Freedom Watch, a conservative group led by Larry Klayman, who has filed dozens of lawsuits against the Clintons in the past. Klayman asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to hold the former secretary and top aide Cheryl Mills in criminal contempt in relation to its request for documents.

Klayman says the court also should issue a subpoena for the seizure and production of the computer file server that was used to store and process Clinton's emails. The Justice Department said the requests should be denied.

From The Hill, there is parallel reporting of the argument that the Justice Department, in representing the State Department, argues the FOIA is specific in its terms of surrender of what is in an agency's custody and control:

The Justice Department describes Klayman’s call for a subpoena as “speculation” in its brief.

“Plaintiff provides no basis, beyond sheer speculation, to believe that former Secretary Clinton withheld any work-related emails from those provided to the Department of State,” the agency says.

The filing, first reported by Politico, is the first time that the Justice Department has addressed the government’s role in accounting for Clinton’s private emails.

The agency says that the Freedom of Information Act “creates no obligation for an agency to search for and produce records that it does not possess and control.”

Justice also criticized Klayman’s motion to hold Clinton and her former State Department aide Cheryl Mills in contempt.

Klayman initially filed the suit challenging the State Department, which he claims did not adequately respond to his FOIA request for documents relating to Iran sanctions.

A district court ruled against Klayman in January, but he filed an updated appeal Clinton's use of the private email account and server surfaced. Klayman claims that by keeping her emails off of public servers, Clinton and the State Department obstructed justice.

The Justice Department said that the State Department plans to review the records Clinton turned over and will give Klayman any emails related to his request.

Bolding and link as posted are from the original Hill text.

"Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is attempting to do a "Carter" in 2016. Yes, I am fully aware that there is one very enormous name in the game: Hillary Clinton. O'Malley is positioning himself to be there if Clinton decides not to run, or to just pick up the pieces if she fails. O'Malley is 52 years old but looks much younger. He's lost only one election (for state Senate). It was his first try. (So did, by the way, Presidents Obama, Clinton and George W. Bush.)"

The headline is from mid-item, here. The item notes that the year was 1976, and:

I had the privilege of working at the time for Mo Udall. Mo was called the "gentle giant." He was a 6-foot-5, proudly liberal congressman from the Cactus State of Arizona. He had one eye and a wickedly playful sense of humor.

Accomplished and hugely popular, this respected legislator had scores of his colleagues from then-Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.) to then-Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) to then-Rep. Herman Badillo (D-N.Y.) campaigning for him. He was by far the class of the field. The other contenders that year were no slouches: the dashing Sargent Shriver, the former Peace Corps director and 1972 Democratic vice presidential nominee; the steady and solid Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.), the author of more constitutional amendments than anyone in Senate history; Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.); the irrepressible, maverick populist Sen. Fred Harris (D-Okla.), who declined a Senate reelection bid to run for president in 1972 as well; and later on, the young Gov. Jerry Brown (D) of California and the very smart and gutsy Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho).

But with all this weighty competition, Carter beat them all and was nominated in New York on the first ballot. Carter won because he was a presidential candidate, full-time.

Hillary cannot be a full-time candidate, as busy as she is sorting through email.

Another item from The Hill, here, notes:

Clinton has turned over 55,000 pages of emails that she believed could be considered official government communications, but she deleted 30,000 emails that she considered to be personal.

If you go by a normal email load, at most it would be 100 per day, so that the deleted amount would be 300 days worth of stuff.

Have you ever gone back and culled through your old email?

It is a royal pain.

To have sorted 55,000 from 30,000 is a Herculean task, especially for a little old lady.

Chuck Bednarik, last two-way NFL player I can remember, has died at age 89.

Strib carrying an AP feed, online here.

Among other coverage of the current legislative session, pending bills and activity, the LWV - Minnesota has an online "Capitol Letter."

Latest publishing online, March 13, this link. It notes an LWV Action Alert service readers can sign up for; this screen capture:


Published by ABC Newspapers, online about a month ago, "Nowthen sticks with UnionHerald for public notices -- By Mandy Moran Froemming February 19, 2015 at 6:00 am"

This link. This excerpt:

The City Council was slated to designate its legal publication in January, but tabled the decision after members wanted more information about the bids and services provided by the Anoka County UnionHerald and the Anoka County Record.

Nowthen’s council discussed the issue at a Feb. 5 work session followed by the vote at its Feb. 10 regular meeting where the UnionHerald was approved as the legal newspaper on a 3-2 vote. An earlier motion made by Council Member Mary Rainville to make the Record Nowthen’s legal newspaper failed.

[...] Mayor Jeff Pilon and Rainville voted against the motion to go with the UnionHerald, which was supported by Council Members Randy Bettinger, Jim Scheffler and Paul Reighard.

Both Rainville and Pilon favored the Record’s bid because it was the cheaper option.

[...] Rainville said she separated the issue of the “news worthiness” of the paper from the issue of legal notice publication.


[...] Rainville said she made her decision based on the estimated printing costs of $3,500 for the UnionHerald compared to $350 in the Record.

Bettinger supported keeping the notices in the UnionHerald for a few reasons.

“Legal notices have always been there and people know where to find them,” Bettinger said.

He also believes the UnionHerald reaches more Nowthen residents than the Record.

Following the work session, Record publisher John Kysylyczyn offered to run Nowthen’s public notices free of charge.

In a letter to the council, Kysylyczn said he was doing this, “because my business places principal [sic] over profit.”

He also wrote that he would “cut the city a check for $250” to place ads in the city’s newsletters.

The prospect of free notices wasn’t enough for Bettinger to change his mind. He has concerns about the quality of the news content in the Anoka County Record.

Well, confusing the words "principle" and "principal" is not a sign of total ignorance, while it is guessed the quote published by ABC Newspapers was accurate - i.e., the mistake in wording was within the letter being quoted.

In any event, readers are requested to defend, if they can, the newswortiness of this, as actual and true journalism of any merit or quality, and not a sham or nearly so. Some things are subjective, while others might be held to some measure of minimal community standards and expectations - even when subjective.

If it were me as "editor," I would be ashamed to call that a "newspaper" edition. I would not set the bar so low.

____________UPDATE___________
If John K. is handing out freebs, our County Board sure screwed up BIG TIME by not bargining hard enough with the camp John K. represents.

I bet the County Board ignored the possibility of freebs, of "principal [sic] over profits," in deciding what they did. It surely appears they might have gotten us citizens a better deal if they were intent on not going with the true, actual, ink-and-newsprint newspaper.

They've 'splaining to do. BIG TIME 'splaining.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Links of interest, the FTC on, "Predatory or Below-Cost Pricing," here; Wikipedia on "Predatory pricing," here.

Is predatory pricing "principal [sic] over profits?" Is newspaper publishing an Alice in Wonderland business, or not a business at all but a political thrust? What's a newspaper if it is not a true business, and what business would give its cash flow away?

There are very troubling dimensions about Harold Hamilton pulling or suspending his "PAID ADVERTISEMENT" and John K. getting toward predation in suggesting zero pricing - not to benefit himself, but to harm a competitor.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
On the "if it was me as editor, I'd be ashamed" front, this and this (the last link reporting county board action of Mar. 10), are not news for Mar. 13, and/or Mar. 20 publishing? 

They are newsworthy events for the ink and newsprint people, but what, troublesome developments to Taxpayeer League thinkers? Or is it mere neglect and not editorial prerogative being exercised, of Record?

Curious stuff.

The "Minnesota Watchdog" most recently has posted:

In the private sector, there is no "right to work." In fact, the whole concept is rather collectivist when you think about it.

Nobody has a "right" to work, either in a legal or a philosophical sense.

Show us in the Constitution where it says a man has a right to work.

No self-respecting conservative would claim there is a "right" to work at a certain place.

To state otherwise is to claim that one man, by force of government, has a claim to another man's resources simply because one owns a business entity and one man wants to work there.

Nonsense.

No one has a right to work at a particular place of business.

The owner has a right to decide who will work at his business and under what terms.

How ironic that the same conservatives who decry the minimum wage support a "right" to work.

A man only has a right to sell his labor and another man only has the right to purchase that labor through an employment contract to which they mutually agree, free from force and fraud.

[italics added]

The place - the physical address and not the P.O. Box location - where John K. ostensibly "works" in Anoka County is where Harold Hamilton's Micro Control firm is headquartered (and has been headquartered for many if not all of its forty years of registered corporate existence); per Secretary of State online records here and here.

SoS filings are a place where misrepresentation, if any, can have consequences so that we presume each filing is truthful:


A rawhide chew toy for the woofer: Square that with the quoted commentary, please?

I sent Harold Hamilton an email. I encourage readers to do the same. [see UPDATE]

Captioned in the SUBJECT line,

A question that many in the public might care to see answered.


Alert readers will note that the image previously posted of Harold's last "Watchdog" publishing at the Anoka County Record website listed at its end a contact email address.

That's the one I used. It's the one I encourage readers to use, in anticipation of an answer of some sort.

Here's the text of my email

Harold -

Why did you cease publishing as "PAID ADVERTISMENT" the "Watchdog" stuff at the Anoka County Record website?

What was the rationale?

Thank you for the anticipated prompt reply.

Now, to be fully candid, I actually am uncertain whether I will get a prompt reply, or not. I expect not. That is because previously Harold indicated he'd ignore email from me. Hence, it is most imperative that inquisitive readers show their own initive in seeking an answer. We wait. We see. But it truly is a valid question to be asking the gentleman.

UPDATE: Please note the correction to the post immediately below this one.

ANOKA COUNTY - Reader help needed. Will somebody explain to me why Harold Hamilton ceased posting his Anoka County Watchdog stuff at the Record website - listed there as "PAID ADVERTISMENT?" Was it in order to have himself a bigger fig leaf about that entire situation, or did he have another explanation such as the incremental exposure beyond his own website that he got via the Record did not justify the cost of posting it as "PAID ADVERTISEMENT?" [CORRECTED, SEE END OF POST].

Record watchers can note that Harold's last official bark on the Record website was per the Feb. 27, 2015 posting on the Record website. Since then there have been only a few further postings there at that website - each sans dog woofs; one dated March 6, another dated March 13, and a latest March 20 - the latter having what appears to be a front-page unpaid advertisement about GOP affairs, and mention of Amtrak.

Below is the last Record dog woof - (preserved for posterity) - before Harold's deciding to cease (or interrupt) his own personal publication there:

click to read

Enlarge that thumbnail. See at the bottom. It does say "PAID ADVERTISEMENT."

Really it does. Strangely so.

I expect Harold's pants have a right pocket and a left pocket, and as a free American, he can freely move his money from one pocket to the other any time he wants to. As a thought experiment, moving a Ben Franklin bill from left pocket to right pocket, would the phrase be the left pocket "paid" the Ben Frank to the right? Or just "shifted" it?

Now it should be noted, I am not privy to contract terms between Hamilton and John K., although I did ask. Each declined to provide me any information.

DEPARTING QUESTION: How would you phrase that Ben Frank hypothetical?

____________UPDATE_____________
Interestingly, that last Feb. 27 woof, on the top caption it says something about "on the lookout for fraud in Anoka County." Good to know, the dog says so.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
CORRECTION: I was flat-out wrong. The Captain was still aboard ship, Friday the 13th.

This link, p.3 [confusing as being for a change the second page of PAID ADVERTISEMENT. Perhaps Mar. 20 was an anomaly, an interlude with the dog not having any woof to pay to publish for that web post, and I simply misinterpreted a mere momentary roiling in a Tea Pot, as if it were a tempest. My apologies to readers, to Harold Hamilton, and to John K. I erred. This led to my checking again the Mar. 20 website posting, and indeed, there is no Harold Hamilton content identified as such within that item.]

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why does self-appointed Watchdog-of-the-blind-Right-eye ignore an Abeler opinion? Because he is more Oz lion than bulldog?

Dog, you really do pick and choose your trees, ...

The fact is, others do write to the editor, and get published. Pay heed.

Now, I normally try to excerpt items published by ABC Newspapers (i.e., real newspapers, buying ink by the drum and newprint by the hundred-weight or ton - more than a website with an electronics supply house as its ostensible Anoka County business address). I do so to encourage readers to go to the original for complete detail. This time, why be different? For this excerpt, read the full item here.

It made sense at the time. That’s the only reason I can fathom for the Anoka County Board of Commissioners to choose to publish its important County notices in the Anoka County Record, a newspaper that reaches almost nobody.

[...] For most, the County Board is nearly invisible anyway, with a role understood far less than city councils or the state legislature. Adding another layer of fog will only serve to increase their lack of accountability to the 340,000 souls they are sworn to serve.

[...] Bad things can happen in the dark when it comes to politics, and the sunshine of public exposure serves to prevent that. It is time to undo a poor decision and put the Anoka County people first, and open the door of county government a bit wider for all to see.

It’s time to send the Anoka County Record packing, [...]

Jim Abeler
Former member of the MN House

Well Jim, the District 1 seat where you live is up for election in 2016. With the properly accountable people in place on the Board, sound decisions can follow, and back to full-time fair sunshine on things also can follow.

Somebody has to contest the seat, Jim, since the incumbent is a favorite of the Oz lion. Perhaps they foresee a challenger, in a letter writer?

______________UPDATE_______________
A suggestion to bring light and reason to the "Anoka County Record Question."

Mr. Abeler, and Mr. Look or his designate might visit the ostensible Anoka County Record office in Fridley, and each independently in an ABC Newspapers letter to the editor report - nothing but the facts and honestly stated - what they found and saw there. It might enlighten the situation. After all, the purported editor of the ostensible operation encourages contact via a P.O. Box, and newspapers in general do not do that. They have plant and equipment and buy ink and paper.


Such a visit just might also give the pair an opportunity to converse with Harold Hamilton, while onsite.

Battle lines being drawn. Federal budget reporting by Strib's carrying an AP feed.

This link:

Obama: Republican spending plan offers 'path to prosperity for those who've already prospered'
Article by: DARLENE SUPERVILLE , AP - Updated: March 18, 2015 - 6:13 PM


"It's a budget that doesn't just fail to embrace middle-class economics," he said. "It's the opposite of middle-class economics."

[...] The House GOP budget also drew criticism from likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Hours after the plan was released, Obama's former secretary of state blasted it on social media as one that "fails Americans" on investments in jobs and economic growth, on aid for college students and on access to health care.

"Budgets reflect our priorities. They should help families get ahead, educate our kids, and spark small business growth," Clinton said on Twitter. She said the "nation's future — jobs & economic growth — depends on investments made today. The GOP budget fails Americans on these principles."

Latest Israeli election news - Bibi's fourth term.


New York Times (source of opening image), more NYT, Haaretz (opening only, main reporting behind a paywall) here and here, Reuters, and USA Today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Flaherty project. Surprisingly having a TIF component in the brew. At Wherever, USA.

Actually, at New Albany.

Old Albany presumably not willing to TIF, etc.

This link, noting:

[...] a step closer to fruition as the Indiana Economic Development Corp. awarded $3.3 million for the project this week.

The IEDC awarded the money through the Industrial Recovery Tax Credit Program, designed to assist communities in developing large vacant structures.

Flaherty & Collins Properties, an Indianapolis-based development firm, received the credit in partnership with the city to convert the property, at 411 E. Spring St., into a 157-unit apartment complex.

It appears New Albay is a 'burb of Louisville. And for appreciation of deja vu, and its reassurance dimensions:

"Flaherty & Collins Properties is thrilled to partner with the city of New Albany and the IEDC to make this development a reality," said Austin Carmony, lead developer of the project with Flaherty & Collins Properties. "This public/private partnership brings a luxury residential mixed-use development to downtown New Albany that will add approximately 200 residents with disposable incomes to the area that will further support local businesses. The project will build on the strong economic development that is already occurring downtown, making the area vibrant, walkable and full of activity."

The project will likely require the city to issue a Tax Increment Financing bond to be paid back with TIF revenue generated by the project. The New Albany City Council and Redevelopment Commission will need to vote before a bond can be issued.

City Council President Pat McLaughlin told other media outlets the project could be a key component in future development downtown, attracting residents who would bolster commerce for existing businesses and encouraging more service-oriented establishments to open.

Wow, public private partnership. I wonder how Heidi is doing in Wayzata. I wonder if Wayzata has any Landform consultancy work in its mix.

___________UPDATE____________
Efficiency would dictate there being a Flaherty Fluff-Form:

Flaherty & Collins Properties is thrilled to partner with the city of _______________ and _______________ to make this development a reality," said ____________________, lead developer of the project with Flaherty & Collins Properties. "This public/private partnership brings a luxury residential mixed-use development to downtown __________________ that will add approximately ___________ residents with disposable incomes to the area that will further support local businesses. The project will build on the strong economic development that is already occurring downtown, making the area vibrant, walkable and full of activity.

And it shall redouble to the lasting legacy of every town official embracing Flaherty adventuring; its shepherding and fostering and shearing being as innovative as sliced Wonder Bread.

Special project press release forms could be preprinted, "... said Ryan Cronk, lead developer ..." since Cronk apparently is the Flaherty honcho who gets the slam-dunk stuff from the office.

Flaherty and archetectural excellence, one typical one atypical, surprising at first, but there is an explanation.

First, Kansas City, here, the lead rendering says "Flaherty" all over it. Busy, busy, busy. Schlock, schlock, schlock.

As in, typical.


But wow, something restrained, senior housing, in Vincennes, Indiana. A restrained hand. Atypical.


And for a reason:

The Vincennes Education Fondation and Vision Communities collaborated to make Clark’s Crossing a reality.

The project re-uses the old Clark Middle School and Adams Coliseum buildings. The development relied on the sale of historic tax credits and rental housing tax credits to turn the two buildings into a senior living facility in the middle of downtown Vincennes.

Flaherty & Collins will manage the property.

Yes. An old middle school. Redone. No wonder it looks less ugly than that thing in Ramsey Town Center.

They did not start with a clean slate.

Libraries are basically about books. People can borrow them, or not, and they help educate the population. Where exactly in such basics, is the place for dog-and-pony shows eating up cash arguably better spent, for of all things, books?

This link. Readers wanting to defend some of the stuff that author criticizes are urged to submit comments.

If you total the numbers there, how many books might it purchase?

Recent Met Council quota setting. As always, numbers given without justification or rationale presented. With no real presentation of underlying data as cause to set numbers, as set.

This link.

Is that imperious, or what? The tone of the header paragraph offends greatly -

The Allocation of Affordable Housing Need presented in this table is based on forecasts completed for the 2030 Regional Development Framework adopted in January 2004. As communities submitted formal changes to their comprehensive plan in the past decade, the number of affordable units was updated with any changes to 2010 or 2020 forecasts. However, with the adoption of the new regional development guide, Thrive MSP 2040 (May 2014), no further revisions to these numbers will be made. New information on the Allocation of Affordable Housing Need for 2021-2030 will be released in 2015.

"... based on forecasts completed for the 2030 Regional Development Framework ..." is pure imposition.

"We invent these numbers and impose them" would be a more honest way for Met Council's planners to explain themselves. Further explanation, " ... we pull our numbers out of thin air."

It is, after all, what they do. Yes, affordable housing is needed. Yes, people should not suffer housing depredation because of lack of wealth. Yes, we are the wealthiest nation on the face of the earth, and yes, our poor are given short shrift while our rich are allowed to avoid paying a fair share via governmental policies that are nothing but a nod and a wink. Yes, lobbyists buy favors.

But the heavy hand approach of Met Council sure does gall.

On the bright side, looking at the table, they got Bethel right.

UPDATE: Cutting slack, do these links reassure you much if at all that Met Council knows what it is doing; here and here?

Here's a paragraph from that latter item, having a truth in it, one you can take to Mr. Flaherty -

To further explain this point, some of the new affordable housing need that arises between 2011 and 2020 will be satisfied by units that exist in the private market today. As academic research has shown, the amount of low-income housing in the private market expands from decade-to-decade as older units depreciate in price to maintain occupancy, a process known as “filtering.” This movement between market-rate and affordable pricing does not generally occur among subsidized units, which generally are never “priced up” into the market-rate category. New, low-income households that find housing in older, market-rate units that have “filtered down” in price have their housing needs satisfied without directly consuming land.

And by the time of such filtering down to housing bottom feeders in Ramsey Town Center, where will Darren Lazan and Emily McGlone be and what will each be doing?

Israeli election - things remain uncertain but it appears Netanyahu and denial of a two-state solution may have carried the day.

It may remind some of Gore v. Bush, and Florida, and all. Herzog might end up with fewer seats but able to put together a coalition where Netanyahu might prove unable, but for now it remains uncertain even after votes have been counted.

If denial of a two-state solution is the official policy, Bibi's last move being to embrace a single state reach to all of the lands conquored in 1967, then imposition of sanctions might be a fit international response.

It worked in South Africa.

Sanctions against Iran have Iran at the negotiation table.

The suffering of the Palestinians has near worldwide sympathy with only US ongoing exercise of veto power in the security council of the UN between Israel and its critics.

Should we change course?