consultants are sandburs

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More about Mr. Helmsley's Neighborhood. Looters in plain sight, knowing they control the proxy machinery and that institutional investors don't reform wrongful looting but just dispose of portfolio shares.

In terms of looting in plain sight, the public sector scandal poster children of Bell, CA, are pikers.

Strib has published its top compensation CEO list, and you look at what they are taking for their greedy selves as their share of the nation's resources, and you wonder why the government is not putting out wanted posters.

This is the top-part screenshot, with a sidebar focus including Mr. Helmsley, from this link, where you can see the entire list - and you should look. Those at the list's bottom look relatively "fair" in comparison to Mr. Helmsley; but you and I would exchange places even with the lowest of the bottom five on Strib's list. The work cannot really be hard, bossing people, and the CEO suite furniture has to be comfortable wherever the boss sits. A fairer taxation approach, particularly in terms of immediate taxation of stock bonus amounts as ordinary income would make that abusive loophole disappear in an instant.

Yet, I suppose from Mr. Helmsley's perspective, guessing what it's like in his shoes, he likely would tell you of the difference between what he draws as compensation and what, in his mind, he knows he is really worth - his compensation being only this part of his real value:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Strib reported yesterday that marriages are down, income disparity is at its greatest ever, but the rich still are prospering while the rest of us are tanking since the long lasting 2008 Bush economic depression was precipitated late that year, and took hold.

The GOP did not even want Bush at Norm's GOP convention, telling him to take a hike. Those with a memory and non-miniscule attention span will recall that.

Regarding the latest bad news; this link. Strib carries the AP feed, which bases the report on Census info.

Now we know. Michele Bachmann raged about the census because she did not want people to report census information. Her GOP people poisoned the economy and the less known about how badly it had been poisoned, what ensued, the better for her GOP people.

It's no privacy thing. It's burying the hardship skeletons so they don't rattle too much against the GOP going into the general election.

Why Obama kept Bernanke, after he was Bush's anointed "bailout Wall Street and throw everyone else under the bus" Fed Chairman, is something I still cannot understand.

And if the GOP had been less the Party of NO, in impeding all reasonable effort to ameliorate the situation, we might not be in as deep a hole. But they locked their entire focus upon the politics of not letting Obama improve things so they could recast blame and get into a finger-pointing Tea Party frenzy. The GOP put naked politics ahead of serving the nation and ahead of meeting fiscal priorities and needs that would have lessened hardship. They were awful. They caused the fall, clearly on their watch, and then deliberately did all they could to make things worse for citizens after that. They were awful and remain awful.

Latest news from Albert Lea about former Ramsey City Administrator James Norman. A "just go away" deal was cut.

This link:

Albert Lea's former city manager is set to appear in Freeborn County court Wednesday. He says he's confident criminal charges against him will be dismissed.

James Norman faces two felonies and one gross misdemeanor, accused of misusing a city-issued credit card.

City Hall is recommending criminal charges be dropped. That's up to the prosecutor though, who tells ABC 6 News she has not been contacted by the city, and at this point, does not plan to drop charges.

This Sept. 27, 2010, Albert Lea Tribune link - an interesting twist, are there closet skeletons around the town, around City of Albert Lea, to be rattled and might that be why Norman and the city council cut a deal? Inferences from between the lines are permitted, readers, so infer.

See further info, here and here. reported online, here, including reproducing an interesting item of communication from James Norman [italics added, not in original]:

In a special meeting Monday night, the two agreed to end Norman's contract. Norman will receive 3 months of severance pay as part of that agreement.

Norman was placed on paid leave, as he still faces charges for misusing public funds.

The city will ask for all criminal charges to be dropped as part of this agreement.

Norman released the following statement to the City Council.

"I hearby irrevocably resign my employment as City Manager with the City of Albert Lea effective September 27, 2010.

Please allow me to thank you; the City Council for hiring me in the first place, no matter what the outcome of the issues that lead up to my administrative leave. I think the Council has acted honorably and professionally during this very difficult time.

First let me address a small controversy about the executive search firm. The City did spend money--good money--on a search firm. After controversy erupted over hiring the firm, it turns out that the work the firm did was "spot on." The firm vetted me properly and it found precisely what was detailed by follow-up media investigations. That I am a professional and a good fit for the city. The Council's investment was wise and appropriate!

Second, while you continue to face many challenges, I would urge you, City Council, to continue operating in the honorable and professional manner in which you have already shown you can do."

Best regards,

James E. Norman

Were I making an Albert Lea decision on whether to sue the search firm for malfeasance in duty under the contract, and hence breach and restitution, the first person I would talk to is Todd Cook, former City of Ramsey council member, about his feelings of differing factors preceding his election loss in 2006, the year Norman resigned from his position with City of Ramsey with it reported he did so without any job transitioning arranged at the time. I would talk to Cook, if he proves willing, about his recollections of his trip with Norman to China as city representatives (in a since moribund sister city effort). My understanding is there may also have been a complaint letter to City of Ramsey officials by an official of another metro governmental unit, which I regard as public data due to its communication aspects but to which I was denied access by City Attorney Goodrich under a claim it was an exempt personnel matter and not public data to be released per a citizen's request. I expect Cook's contact info remains as archived online, here.

Things in Albert Lea appear to be as much a soap opera as in Ramsey. This report of information gleaned from court papers indicates a Rhonda Moen is Albert Lea's finance manager, and she instigated or precipitated the Norman credit card inquiry. A Victoria Simonson was the Albert Lea city manager, she left, and Norman was hired as the replacement. I don't have the link but a first choice candidate took himself out of the running and Norman was hired as second on the short list. A search firm was hired to return a list of prospective candidates.

Sometimes a community bulletin board is an interesting place to get information not reported by the press, although a lot of opinion must be taken with a grain of salt. There is such an outlet online for Albert Lea and/or Freeborn County; this link.

Norman may have been stepping into a minefield on taking the job, but somehow he apparently got crosswise with Ms. Moen, who along with her husband Greg, a real estate agent and promoter apparently, were pushing a Tiger Hills subdivision development; with many bulletin board posts alleging it was a "conflict of interest" and that Vicky and Rhonda were together monitoring their own city credit card usage; with some kind of auditor report having criticized city practices. Detail is unclear. See, this and this, re Greg Moen's real estate operating address and his Tiger Hills involvement; with the Tiger Hills SoS filing indicating the promotional LLC at the same street address.

Then there is this and this posted online the same day, indicating two key soap opera players are on exit mode from Albert Lea. Apparently the saga will make the Sept. 29, local 5 p.m. TV broadcast news; per this link.

You wonder whether Albert Lea has a sister city and whether Norman was there long enough to find out. Also, and with a willful woman in city government whose husband was promoting with her help a family real estate deal and with conflict of interest allegations arising, you might wonder whether James Norman is feeling he walked into experiencing that Yogi Berra thing, "Deja vu, all over again."

Last, this screenshot item from p.5 of the local community bulletin board thread. Seventeen grand allegedly paid a head hunting firm and Albert Lea appears to have spent it on a contract in order to come up with James Norman:

Ironies abound. I believe the search firm name is spelled with one "m" not two; this Google. But we in Ramsey cannot laugh. At an amount capped at seventeen grand the Brimeyer Groupies are pikers in comparison to Landform.

Landform's latest latest gimmick as I saw it being approved on TV by the planning board, is to be an oversized sign on Highway 10 hawking the CORpse. For the benefit of drivers. Also, it probably will be visible from the Northstar commuter trains as they wisk nonstop through Ramsey.

The city's cash flows and flows.

This link.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What do Bill Gates the lawyer, Bill Gates the Microsoftie, and Mark Dayton have in common - besides money in the family?

Read about it. This link.

I have that sentiment in common with the three of them, but without anything near to that kind of money in the family.

Good for Bill.

Further detail, LA Times reporting, this link.

An interesting book title, fairly recent; a few snippet pages at this Google Books link, the below screensot.

See book review, this link.

Those Eisenhower years were fiscal golden years - then Reagan and the Bushco folks killed the goose laying the golden eggs of nationwide prosperity and its been downhill ever since "the communicator" communicated his pro-wealthy brand of BS. It sold well to the gullible, with help from lobbyists, Congress, and the press.

David Stockman's term, "voodoo economics" aptly explained Reagan's junk, and Stockman admitted it was nothing really beyond warmed-over and repackaged trickle down. Which never has been good except for the ones at the apex of the pyramid standing atop everyone else.

The economist James K. Galbraith. I presume he is the son of John Kenneth Galbraith. He has some interesting titles.

The Anoka County Library has two items, which I believe are recognized as being of general interst for anyone concerned about wealth and income distribution inequalities. I have them on reserve and shall have a look.

Google Books is a helpful online resource. For the flavor of both books, see here and here.

I expect these books will present insights that Rupert Murdoch and Michele Bachmann and John Kline and whats-his-name Paulsen would rather you not delve into; each being more a KISS person, with simple and stupid being their formula for us, whatever their own limitations are. Regardless of the other three, Rupert is not simple or stupid. It's the hate against folks asking "wrong" questions that is the glue holding them together.

The other three enjoy having Bachmann and her always open mouth at play because each can be as egregious as Bachmann but she serves as their lightning rod when they are each being as awful in action as her, but lower key and behind the curtain.

Bachmann and Beck are the barkers. The fronts. I expect the Blue Dog Dems appreciate having Bachmann and Beck at high decibles as well.

Monday, September 27, 2010

One candidate I did not mention previously - Dan Kane, State House Dist. 48B, DFL, who strongly endorses The Minnesota Health Plan.

Read the healthcare position on the website, this link, and the jobs position, this link. Explore the entire site, starting from the homepage:

This excerpt:

To keep things simple, I propose that any reform should do two essential things:

1- Reduce costs for most Minnesota families and the economy on the whole, and
2- Provide better and more accessible service to all.

Any legislation that does not clearly support both goals will not have my support. The federal health reform program certainly does provide more accessibility, but does nothing to reduce costs.

If you have not yet heard about the Minnesota Health Plan, do yourself a favor and check it out. In the state legislature, I will fight to continue the progress of this important piece of legislation.

I believe the strengths of this plan far outweigh its limitations.

--- Covers medical needs for all Minnesotans. The MN Health Plan campaign estimates there are 400,000 uninsured Minnesotans. There is both a moral obligation and fiscal pragmatism in universal coverage. We simply cannot allow our neighbors to go without health care. Add to that the rising cost of health care for all of us. When the uninsured do seek medical care, those of us with insurance coverage end up paying the bill anyway, usually at full “retail” prices. Would you rather pay into a system where you help cover the full billed cost of services, or would you rather pay into a system where you help cover a discounted negotiated cost?

--- Reduces the overall cost of health care in our state through prevention, efficiency and the elimination of paperwork, in addition to the above.

--- Allows patients to see any licensed care provider they choose.

By excerpting I have omitted very much of Dan's thinking -- so go to the website for the entire range of his issues presentations.

FINALLY: Follow these links, to volunteer or contribute. To vote for Dan, you already know that without any further advice from me.

SEARCH ENGINES - WOLFRAM ALPHA --- A specialized search engine - you decide, is it ready for the big leagues.

Wikipedia explains it. Lifehacker gave it pre-release praise. Try it, this link.

Is it ready to play major league - and never mind hitting a curve ball, try it on a fastball down the middle of the plate - these screenshot thumbnails - click one to enlarge and read it; first, the opening question:

Okay, not quite there, so goose it along a little with a hint - add SCOTUS to search line:

Hmm. Be yet more explicit, and see:

Not impressive. Among commercial search engines, Google, Bing and Ask, each got it right.

That is Google, in a Chrome browser, with the Search Cloudlet extension enabled for doing a focused search. Bing and Ask, next:

Appropriate to a Scalia question, Dogpile, (a meta-search engine [compilation of results returned by primary search engines]), identified Scalia-related things correctly:

Giving Wolfram Alpha a batting practice pitch or two indicates it might preform interesting and unique things such as giving a network graph structure to explore, in the event a question within its knowledge base is presented. I would not use it as a primary search engine, but for closing our search efforts, it might present something worthwhile. I am not entirely dismissive.

Wolfram Alpha did not return anything helpful on my searches of "Christian Legal Society" and "Federalist Society," so I gave up on it for that task; with the note that it will provide some information in some ways that other serach engines may not, depending on type of query.

Dogpile did give the scoop on both organizations. Among return list items; this and this, from a source I believe reliable; see, e.g., here, here and here.

For those wanting the question answered, The Gipper inflicted both Scalia and Thomas upon the nation. Another Reagan appointment, at the intermediate federal court level, Eighth Circuit, Roger Leland Wollman.

I note that because of interest in clerkships under Wollman, and in the course of a search thread; this Google, led to this Yahoo item; which led to this link on a former Wollman clerk; and then this tight and well written analysis of the Skilling decision; noting that a particular statute was limited to bribery and kickback situations, in terms of requiring the "honest services" of say a public office holder. Here is a link to an online copy of the Skilling opinion, where at p.49 it gets into a lengthy analysis of how the "honest services" statute should be read, in a narrowed but not overly narrow sense - sufficiently narrow to preserve constitutionality. The Skilling opinion reads the statute to apply in bribery and kickback conspiracy situations - with Justice Ginsberg's majority opinion reviewing the applicable "pre-McNally" line of law. With the opinion 114 pages long, I encourage interested readers to study it. I will not, and will only be left wondering about whether that particular statute might reach a state legislator putting a bill in the hopper for state money to be spent in a way either ultimately intended to inure to the legislator's personal benefit in whole or in part; and/or to his employer's pecuniary benefit; i.e., are citizens being denied fully "honest services" in such a hypothetical circumstance. I suppose a full analysis of possible bribery and/or kickback dimensions of the hypothetical would need to be fleshed out before the possible reach of the statute might be applied to reach a host of persons arguably involved in such a hypothetical conspiracy. I suppose a practiced legal mind such as County Attorney candidate Brad Johnson (or his official election opponent Tony Palumbo) might be better able to sort things out in any actual factual situation than I could, in a hypothetical.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Signs - bipartisan, as the household is inclined to see things, going into the general election.

Other names I will be voting for but not shown in the signage: Reelect Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Reelect Attorney General Lori Swanson. Elect Peter Perovich for State Senate SD48. Elect for Ramsey Council At Large, Terri Cleveland. Reelect for Ramsey Ward 1, David Elvig.

The first three on that list are easy choices based on merit and especially Perovich's case, opposition merit. Cleveland is a luke-warm "the better choice" preference; Elvig is my selection in the "lesser evil" category.

Brad Johnson, for the soon to be vacant Anoka County Attorney seat is favored among two sound choices; Johnson having family ties to the area and the office, but his having the background of work out of state in the private sector and as a presently active trial vs. office-only lawyer, prosecuting white collar crime for Mike Freeman's Hennepin County Attorney's office vs. years in the present office, civil side where "the board is the client" and where Tony Palumbo seems to have become placed within the existing old boy network to which Brad Johnson owes nothing - that juxtaposition tips the scales for me, as well as favoring the younger new face in County affairs when all other things are close to equal. I would hope that Johnson, if elected, would not be turning a blind eye to white collar crime either in the private sector or by officials, when/if it is uncovered on his watch and in need of prosecution. In that sense, I hold the same hope regarding whichever of the two is elected.

Natalie Steffen has represented the Met Council in ways I disagree with which overlap to an extent the things about Elvig that trouble me. However, I clearly see Steffen as a person fundamentally possessed of a sound social conscience and an entirely valid and realistic demeanor, belief set, and understanding toward public fiscal truth and needs, as well as having a fair sensitivity for the hardships endured by the less fortunate in our society and by those currently suffering joblessness and/or foreclosure fallout from the Bush-Cheney precipitated depression.

Steffen, although a Republican, nonetheless is the clearly better choice for Anoka County Board District 1. Elvig, although a Republican with a track record in Ramsey that I find troublesome and out of line with my own preferences, is the better choice from my perspective, for Ramsey's Ward 1. It's how I read future likelihoods, in a broad sense, so you read your own tea leaves or crystal ball however you want to.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
This paragraph about Brad Johnson, from here, caught my attention:

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman brought Brad back to Minnesota to tackle some of the toughest financial-crime cases in the Twin Cities, such as identity theft, mortgage fraud, organized crime, public corruption and the exploitation of the elderly. His results in those cases speak for themselves.

[emphasis added]. A candidate who expressly makes attentiveness to public corruption a key goal of a county attorney's duties is one I can place faith in, with the hope that the aim will be met and is not gratuitous rhetoric for the election. I had an opportunity to speak with Johnson and he appears entirely trustworthy and dedicated when he talks about white collar crime and a need for statewide attention to it. I think his record in Freeman's office backs up his word. I like the prospect of a prosecutor who might believe as I do that cronyism can become criminal in public service and that it should not be tolerated even when it stands as an evil falling somewhat short of being indictable crime. The discretionary decision of what to pursue as crime in the community, when it comes to white collar marginal behavior, is one I would trust Brad Johnson making. In saying that I should note I have no basis in fact to believe Tony Palumbo would be as aggressive, or less aggressive, in that decision-making role. He is favored by the old boys.

I checked the Emmer campaign website, events scheduled. Nothing I could find booked, at Lookers.

I was curious, after City pages reported more Emmer alcohol-related clan and paid campaign staff news, this link, source of this opening screenshot:

After seeing that as the latest on Tom Emmer III, I wondered about Tom Emmer, Jr., and whether Emmer III was scouting the venue for a possible campaign event; but I saw no Lookers engagement on the online calendar, here. Perhaps he might consider Newt, for booking into a Lookers fundraising situation. Make it something like a Hob-Nob with Newt during your lap dance kind of event. Unless Wright County GOP stronghold feelings do not actually fit that kind of juxtaposition.

Ramsey council candidate Harry Niska's spouse, Jennifer Niska, is an Emmer staffer, as is young Tripp:

Jennifer Niska, Office Director
Jennifer brings to the campaign experience in non-profit management and fundraising for organizations like the North American Baptist Conference, the University of Chicago and an Evangelical Free Church. Jennifer is managing the office, scheduling and overseeing volunteer recruitment.

Somehow, I do not see North American Baptist Conference, University of Chicago, or Evangelical Free Church as too compatible with the boozing and nude dance club dimension shown within the Emmer clan, so that it looks as if the campaign suffers a multiple personality disorder - either that or it is attempting to be all things to all people.

This close to election day I would not expect Ms. Niska to be quitting, but I wonder if she's at all having second thoughts. I guess it's like the military, if you sign on, you sign on for the duration and you do not pick all the cohorts taken on board. Like a hockey team where you are not the coach. Yet it is not too late for the "head coach" of the Emmer team to fire Tripp, if not done already. That's the very least sort of step you look for and expect.

Does any reader know, is Tripp Emmer still taking payment from out of contributed Emmer campaign funds?

A reminder - the right person at the right time for the job.

The screenshot is from the homepage of the campaign website:

You get the gist of the homepage from the screenshot -- Laurie is a quality person, and every reader, in that district or not, is encouraged to explore more on the site itself.

In particular, have a look at the events and news page - the "calendar" of things for September, and soon to be October; this link:

I don't live there. I don't vote there. Yet I have met and had a chance to talk with both Laurie and Phil, and if any reader checks the calendar and make an opportunity to meet either of the Olmons, (Laurie the candidate and Phil, who as often as possible is with Laurie at events), the reader will be positively impressed.

I recommend voting for Laurie; 100% - without any reservations. She'd add quality to district representation in St. Paul.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mr. Helmsley's Neighborhood.

This screenshot, the gist of this NY TIMES story.

[click image to enlarge and read]. This, same NYT item, p.2

This of course would never happen in Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood. There would be no publicly raucous arrests, of anyone "arrogant" who had "illegally gamed the system to receive ridiculous salaries for doing no work." And neighbors know neighbors in Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood, so that cordiality and decorum prevail. Nobody in Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood would think to say, were there any untoward police activity, the targets "are so arrogant, all of them. I'm just glad they're all locked up, and they stay in there forever." They simply must not be arrogant, in Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood.

And they do not look like this.

In Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood, they all look little different from Mr. Helmsley

Nice suit.

About Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood, expect no DA speaking of "corruption on steroids." The DA might live there. Just the wrong neighborhood. Different example making around there.

Does anybody have any questions?

Terry Hendriksen emailed a question, basically, "What's the point?"

A fair question, perhaps there are multiple points intertwined - municipal corruption, dynamics of scale, and directed attention of authorities vs. exempted "good" and "sound" neighborhoods having discretely diverted attention, or private vs publicized attention, if any attention at all. (Aside from Tiger Woods news, his gated private neighborhood has enjoyed a low profile.) Possible intent to show: Private sector capability to exploit juxtaposed with public sector; standards for local government - many things at play.

For more on Bell, CA, this Google.

Perhaps a Buddhist view might be one of a post having a glimpse into one or a few of a multitude of dimensions of the human condition, with the concept of "purpose" being inappropriate and "story" being all that is proposed. Another way to say that, perhaps the post is pointless. You decide. Was reading the post and/or this update worth your time?

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Having the Google tab open, there is the Bell, CA, city website with its aims and values, e.g., here and here, the latter being the City Clerk's separate website where the newswortiness and pride in reducing taxes for residents is proudly featured.

Can a city both reduce taxes and be "corruption on steroids" in our US of A? It is troublesome as a thought, but it appears possible.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Getting further from Mr. Helmsley's neighborhood, to my own, Ramsey, Anoka County, where I live, it would be a public service if the city website were to prominently post data on department head and senior administrative salary trending, say from 2005 onward through the housing collapse and the Bush depression's start (in late to mid-2008 or so), including benefit package increases, if any; as well as compensation of mayor and council trends over that same period. I am aware that the council gave themselves more money for their HRA meetings. My criticism of HRA meetings is non-transparency, lack of broadcasting, etc. Regarding compensation, I continue to regard the mayor and council compensation as out of line with the job demands - the time taken in meetings and plowing through those lengthy full agendas, hearing those many, many minor and bothersome things, etc. I know burnout was a factor in a few decisions to cease running for the office, and the imbalance between the time commitment and the meager compensation is a disincentive for many good people to seek office. Add to that the costs of running, a hurdle to those only wanting to serve vs. a cost of doing business for those wanting a better seat to promote family land dealings, and there are disincentives for having the best government citizens deserve, vs the best money can buy, as the cliche goes. With such impediments to getting all the best and brightest interested in public service, the potential for abuse multiplies. Also worthwhile, would be the city prominently posting on its website the 2005 to present trending in consulting contract expenditures, especially including but not limited to the expenditures to resuscitate the Ramsey Town Center (aka the CORpse). I expect those latter numbers, prominently displayed, would be a sobering revelation to Ramsey residents, (who do not get such helpful information, in the Ramsey Resident).

In California there is "damage control" awareness of reprecussions from the Bell disclosures, as Wikipedia notes here [see text around the fn.42 location, see also here for more general Wikipedia coverage], and the news outlet reporting linked to, here. As the story percolates nationwide, during these financially troubled times, there will be more attention paid to local public servant pay, and Ramsey has the opportunity to be ahead of the curve rather than trailing edge.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Full and total Vegas junketing costs, for both times, together with breakout numbers, also would be an interesting addition to the city's website main pages. Illuminating information, sunshine on it, would be a public benefit - something citizens should want to read, and should read, if posted. In cost-benefit balancing terms, benefits, if any, from the junketing should also be prominently featured - with the costs so that the balance is presented Ramsey voters.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
"Calculated greed" is what the LA DA reportedly says while charging Bell CA officials. Calculated greed by public office holders always is a threat, and always should be accorded severe disapprobation even if it falls short of criminal conduct. Curbing and criminalizing some extreme forms of public official calculated greed is the reason underlying Minnesota having a gross misdemeanor conflict of interest statute, and felony bribery laws. Opponents charge political motive, a past blind eye to Bell and crony connections, then timing for near-election publicity, as reported, here. Nonetheless, politics aside, it is a public service to ferret out wrongful officeholder conduct - of the calculated greed kind - and while timing can be debated, outcome - criminal complaints - most likely is beyond reproach.

Not living in that town I am more remote from facts than I am in my town, where I try to stay more informed than most [it is what the public data laws are intended to allow, citizen inquiry and meaningful responses - and where I feel I have to say that City of Ramsey responses to me have been diligent and reasonably prompt, given a host of other time demands such as city clerk responsibility for election matters overlapping some recent requests I have made].

More than their fair share if we had a fair national policy on distribution of wealth in the nation.

This link.

Global profitability, this link.

Forbes does publish data. How should you read it?

Pay your mortgage, manage your credit card, put food on the table, don't ask questions that Rupert Murdoch does not sufficiently answer for you. Others have a conscience, so why should you? Have you the time for one? Time for an inquiring mind? Let Michele Bachmann, Tom Emmer explain the fairness of everything to you. Listen and agree. Those on the Forbes lists want you to be "happy" that way. If you feel any resentment, ask any questions - quickly realize, blame the government because if it were smaller, doing less, things would be more equitably distributed, warm and cozy, all that, wouldn't they?

It must be Tarryl Clark's fault. All this maldistribution going on.

I have seen second tier stuff - blowing smoke - about taxing rates, spending priorities; and yet how the pie is sliced is somehow not a big question on the Bachmann or Emmer agenda. It's one Strib never asks. One Strib fails to consider, here. The people setting the policy don't even bother signing the paychecks. They delegate it.

There is room for this bigger question on the Obama agenda. Side-stepped? Would he be where he is voicing such legitimate American concerns? Or side-tracked?.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Michele Bachmann is as good as her word.

This link.

Tom Emmer and booze - the odd couple. I expect in rural Wright County there are things to do besides drink. Tom, offspring, and cronies might find one or two, sometime. Meanwhile, I would hope the Bronfman family contributes to the Emmer campaign.

The facts pile up, and City Pages has been responsible to all of us in Minnesota; in covering them. Strib and PiPress also report the latest link in the chain of the Emmer clan's alcohol tie-ins.

City pages, here and here.

Strib, here.

PiPress, here and here.

Bronfman reference, here.

The Minnesota Health Plan is a statewide effort to institute single payer healthcare for us all, at the state level because, so far, at the federal level too few have the character and goodwill to do it.

Below is a screenshot from an email notice received from Joel -  who can answer questions better than I can.

He is a better informed person than I am and contacting him will avoid my giving incomplete or incorrect answers.

Note - Blogger allows cutting and pasting hypertext into a post. However, the template width is preset, and the email hypertext was preset, so that cutting the hypertext with all of its links directly into blogger would only display the left 3/4 of the message with truncation at the right. Not sufficient; hence the screenshot is used.

However, (second "however"), screenshot images note where the hypertext links [in blue] were in the message, but there's no way to preserve active links in an image.

Hence the links are listed, in order, below the screenshot. (When tools are limited, we adapt.)

[click on the image to enlarge and read]:

In order, the message hotlinks are:

 Donate for Ted Winter here.

 Donate for David Bly here.

Facebook announcement

 [...] in between the Lunds and Haskell's at 98th & Normandale in Bloomington 

 Donate for Paul Rosenthal here.

Obviously, the message was aimed at already highly involved people. Don't be discouraged by that from contributing to any of the campaigns, and if you read this and wish to become involved and to meet several of the people active in the effort, please do a follow-up email to Joel, whose coordinating email was given at the start of the post. He would welcome any further support and participation, beyond contributions, which are always helpful and welcome. It would be best to give email notice of interest, rather than showing up without notice for something such as a doorknocking, but readers are smart enough to figure out nuances.

Last, two informative links where readers can seek background info on healthcare effort:

The Minnesota Health Plan.

The Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition.

Please post a comment if any of the links do not work for you, or if you've something helpful to add.

Comments are moderated, and improper items will not be posted.

Joel Clemmer sent one further link, it's been an active site for some time:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Censorship? Is this as troubling to your First Amendment sensibilities as it is to mine? AT THE U - THE ABSOLUTELY LAST PLACE CENSORSHIP SHOULD ARISE. That should not be. Reinstituting loyalty-patriotism oaths is a next logical step.

UPDATE: online image from reporting, here

Universities are supposed to be the bastions of free, even if heated, academic discourse. Questions of agri-business practices against the environment should not be squelched, nor even hindered. An open opportunity for rebuttal is available, once something to rebut has seen legitimate broadcasting. That was forestalled. It is out of line what happened.

It is so unacceptable that a top level decision-making head should roll on this one.

Factually, Strib reports online, this link, as the source of this opening and near to ending wrap-up excerpting:

Move to cancel U film's airing draws backlash - documentary on farming and river pollution was criticized as unfair, but backers disagree.

By TOM MEERSMAN, Star Tribune Sept. 20, 2010 - 9:22 PM

The executive producer of a documentary about farming, pollution and the Mississippi River said Monday that the University of Minnesota made a rash mistake in canceling its broadcast on public television.

Barbara Coffin, head of the film unit at the U's Bell Museum of Natural History, spoke for the first time about what she called "our messy internal confusion."

"Unfortunately, an impulsive late-hour decision to pull the film from broadcast was made without wide internal discussion," she said.

The documentary, "Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story," was scheduled for broadcast Oct. 5 on Twin Cities public television.

University vice president of relations Karen Himle canceled the airing two weeks ago without informing any of its nonprofit and public funders beforehand. The McKnight Foundation, the Mississippi River Fund and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), which together spent $500,000 on the film, said Monday that they still have not received any explanation for the decision.

Through a spokesman, Himle has said she decided to cancel the broadcast after hearing faculty and administrative concerns that the film was not fair and balanced in how it portrayed conventional farming as one of the main causes of river pollution as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. The U has not explained who voiced the concerns or when.

[...] Wolter and other U officials have provided varied reasons for the cancellation. One was that the film may not have been "factually accurate, objective and balanced in its presentation." Another was that it may not have met the specifications of the legislative appropriation that helped to fund it. [...]

What a crock. (There's more to the article, have a look, give it a "smell test" reading.)

Karen Himle and crew, let's hear a regret-confessional sing along with Paul Robeson:

Ol' man river,
Dat ol' man river
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes'keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.

He don' plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants'em
is soon forgotten,

Soon forgotten. Indeed. Whisked away from public scrutiny before anyone's even had a chance for seeing the argument that some prevalent agri-practices may be very problematic, an argument that once made can be "soon forgotten." The river "don't say nuthin'" so someone else has spoken on its behalf, to at least be heard, even if ignored and forgotten by the public.

"Never allowed to be duly postulated in a public forum and analyzed" is worse than "soon forgotten."

It is worth thinking, "dem dat plants 'em" might just be more inclined to follow Monsanto and Cargill yield maximization and labor minimization industrialized farming norms, than being attentive to social costs that just quietly go down river without due notice, and hence, without such venture costs being made a part of the venturing, etc., and all that.

It's a proper topic for debate and opinion. But not a proper item for censorship by senior nanny-people in a premier world-class university setting.

Suppressed, hidden from sunshine, however you say it, "censorship sucks."

There is no excuse for killing such a showing at the state's leading center of learning and unimpeded thought; and, as said before, a senior head should roll over this situation. It is very, very, very shameful. It requires corrective steps that are firm and definitive. Anything less is a whitewash.

Bruininks likes whitewash? He's backed Himle, with a statement from overseas, but it might just be a wait-and-see thing. Strib's latest, excerpted:

University of Minnesota vice president Karen Himle is under fire for canceling the broadcast of a university-produced documentary about farming, pollution and the Mississippi River.

The Land Stewardship Project has called for Himle's resignation, and questioned whether she may have a conflict of interest in the dispute.

Himle is married to John Himle, CEO of Himle Horner Inc., a public relations firm that represents the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council, a trade association that lobbies for agribusiness.

University President Robert Bruininks is in Morocco, where he issued a statement supporting Karen Himle.

"I have every confidence in Vice President Himle and her integrity," Bruininks said, adding that she "continues to be an outstanding part of my leadership team."

Himle decided to pull the film, "Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story," after previewing the program on Labor Day weekend. On Sept. 7 she called Twin Cities Public Television to cancel the Oct. 5 broadcast.

Through university spokesman Daniel Wolter, Himle said she made the decision after hearing concerns from faculty members. But Himle told the University of Minnesota Daily newspaper that she initiated the action by calling Allen Levine on Labor Day to discuss her own concerns.

Levine is dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences. He oversees the Bell Museum of Natural History, which produced the film. Levine has not been available for interviews for two days.

Himle has not responded to interview requests since last Friday.

Wolter has issued statements attributed to Himle, which first said that the film was not fair and balanced, and then that it may not have met the goals of legislative funders.

Wolter seems to have chosen to dig the hole deeper.

He, Himle, were appointed as Michele Bachmann was, called, to determine such things as what a majority of the legislature thought in a funding bill that like all funding bills had everything for everybody and was passed in the wee hours at the very end of session?

Get real. BS I'd say, is part of the pollution puzzle for dat ol' man river.

Probably the U is best served in this thing if two heads roll. Himle and Wolter seem intent in dissembling, and are not doing a credible or convincing job of it. If dissembling is part of the job description, go figure job performance.

However, I doubt "dissembler" and "censor" were listed in the recruitment and search list of character requirements for either of the hirings.

The role of the Horner firm in things only muddies the water - today's ongoing metaphor for the issue.

My bet, Himle's remaining time on the job is short; the documentary gets broadcasting and will have a greater viewership by virtue of the Himle bass-akward "promotion" of its virtues and value. Wolter keeps his job, why, I cannot say but that's my guesswork of the ending status of things a month to a month and a half from now. Things like this happen only because the wrong people get appointed to the wrong jobs, and lack even the limited judgment needed to not misstep badly.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Any connection, this link?

____________Further Links-All from MPR_____________

MPR coverage of the general news story: This link.

Commentary from the producer/director of the film: This link.

Earlier story the day after the first news of the cancelling of the film: This link.

An earlier article, after a viewing of the film: This link.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The privilege of the privileged, roundtabling with the amphibian.

Strib reports:

Presidential hopefuls are flocking to the North Star state -- one fundraiser at a time.

Former House speaker and possible presidential contender Newt Gingrich will be coming to Minneapolis next month for a fundraiser at a downtown hotel benefiting Minnesota Republicans.

That comes on the heels of a similar fundraiser this Monday featuring fellow rumored presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana. Gov. Tim Pawlenty (whose eyes are also set squarely on 2012) is a co-host of both events -- though he missed Jindal's visit because of a trade mission overseas.

The Oct. 6 Gingrich event is billed as an "exclusive roundtable discussion" at the Minneapolis Marriott. The minimum donation is $5,000 per couple.

Reps. John Kline, Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen are also listed as co-hosts, in addition to former Best Buy and Target CEOs Brad Anderson and Bob Ulrich.

That's Bobby "Shrink the Government to fit into a hatbox then bail out my state with billions when the capitalists' oil hits the sand" Jindal for those not knowing the man and his mantra. Wanting it both ways, here is a Jindal photo, at the Vatican:

I neglected to put a link to my post, here, about Jindal with its link over to the Brad Delong original noting how extremely two-faced Jindal has shown himself to be when he bitches over the federal government doing its duties including governing and taxing while singing the private sector as faultless; and when he later seems indignant that BP [can you say, "private sector"] messes up things in his backyard, screaming that the federal government he would beggar and has voted to beggar should somehow treat him and his state as special with billions of bailout dollars when a corporate-precipitated disaster strikes. I expect Pawlenty would be no different in whining for a federal bailout were Polymet non-ferrous mining now a reality and if it were to have precipitated some major environmental ruin via its activities during his watch. Whining certainly seems to be a big part of Pawlenty's style, more so than Emmer even.

photo from the one trick pony report, here

YAWR -- Yet another Washington rally. Will, Glen, Sarah and Bullhorn Bachmann be there, or will they be square?

This link:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An update on James Norman - events in Albert Lea have a reaction from the Afton City Council, while in Albert Lea, "interim" management is the issue.

This excerpt from reporting in the Pierce County Herald:

Former Afton interim city administrator Jim Norman has found himself in some hot water at his current job as the city manager in Albert Lea.

Norman has been charged with a felony count of permitting false claims against government by a public officer, a felony count of theft and a gross misdemeanor charge of misconduct by a public officer.

[...] The city [of Albert Lea] accuses Norman of allegedly charging $2,741 of city money on personal items such as a refrigerator, groceries and a pair of women’s shoes.

[...] Norman claims that his expenses were related to moving expenses that were allowed under his employment agreement with the city.

According to reports, Albert Lea agreed to reimburse Norman up to $5,000 for costs incurred during his move from St. Paul to Albert Lea. The contract detailed moving expenses to include packing, moving, storage, unpacking, insurance, lodging, meals and mileage costs.

During the Afton City Council meeting last week, council members agreed to direct the city accountant to perform a review of accounting records to see if Norman misused any city funds during his two years in Afton.

Afton does not present its employees with a city-issued credit card. The city reimburses its employees.

[...] Even though the [Afton] city council did not have any concerns over Norman’s use of city money during his tenure, the council said they would feel more comfortable looking into it.

“It’s just being responsible managers of public money,” council member Joe Richter said.

Years have passed since Norman's departure from Ramsey effective year end, 2006.

Yet should Ramsey follow Afton's lead? Did James Norman have use of a City of Ramsey credit card, and if so, were his charges all valid, say things he might have put on the card while in China? Or while making his effort to install a Port Authority in Ramsey, which, we all know, has no port? I always wondered about what else Norman might have done besides the high-handed way he operated in the face of open meeting law; his last minute "hurry up it is immediately necessary" way of bulling through last minute things where the council and public did not all know what the full scope of issues and needs were, due to Norman's ways and means of handling duty related to notice. Others in Ramsey might have felt Norman's actions were excusible. I recall, although not online, the ABC Newspapers - Anoka County Union reported at the time Norman's resignation in Ramsey was reported, that Tom Gamec, David Elvig, and David Jeffrey each issued favorable comments to the local press. I would not have said a thing in his favor, but opinions differ.

BOTTOM LINE: Should Ramsey follow Afton's lead, and look back into past records? Or has too much water flowed under the bridge by now? Would it be more costly a step to take than beneficial, in any reasonable cost-benefit balance? Is reassurance to people that the City will be beyond reproach in fiscal dealings worth the retrospective look now, or would City fiscal policing best be directed to more current situations?

Any reader with an opinion is encouraged to leave a reply.

The latest Albert Lea news reported here and here, is the city council now seeks an "interim" manager while Norman is on leave. It appears possible that the skids in Albert Lea are being greased in a case of possible buyer's remorse. The screenshot is from the first linked report, which also noted the Albert Lea city council is changing procedures regarding city manager fiscal permissions, and, "Any expense of more than $500 will need approval from the city’s Finance Director." The possibility of an internal interim appointment as well as outside recruitment options are reported as under consideration. [as always click on the image to enlarge and read]

An email from Mayor Ramsey indicated the City of Ramsey had already checked records and found no evidence of wrongdoing. At the time city credit cards were not used. Expenses were reported and reimbursed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Info surfaces. Beau, the paid actor guy.

While paid as an actor to huckster the lore of Michele Bachmann as "Jim the election guy," would Beau Peregino actually vote for her even if she were the last politician on earth? Even if he might have ever set foot in Minnesota? A fair question pair, and we await answers.

We can learn from the web that Peregino played a handyman role ("Carl Lawson") in an episode of a TV series, "A Haunting," that episode being entitled "A Gateway to Hell," where obvious tie-ins to huckstering for the likes of Bachmann can be projected.

Identification of the actor playing the "Jim" guy role (while Michele Bachmann plays the lead role of the unlikely politician and daffy theocratic-theatric chosen one in the comedy), is reported online here, here, here and here. Speculation of a possible irony, that homophobe Michele Bachmann's crowd might have hired a gay actor to huckster her war stories, here and here.

Quickly, Jims and Jim-lore abound. E.g., there is this. And this.

I guess Beau must be content settling for now being viewed as an angry Tea Partier, after not making it as a mad man.

Ho, hum. Did new Brietbart-big-time Bachmann press honcho Sergio Gor do casting?

And has anyone ever seen Michele Bachmann drinking, showing a true liking for, tea?

Does Bachmannistani fantesy land ever have to touch the world of actual truth?

It seems it has not had to yet.


Rip her up, Tarryl - it's deserved.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Percentage wise a jump from $4.4 to $6.4 million is a massive tax increase in hard times.

If we don't start taxing the rich for their fair share, look who's getting stuck - every property owner facing a property tax hike of 50% for Danny's train. (The Yantos headed "Anoka County Regional Rail Authority.")

This link.

Would you feel better if the article also stated something about increasing rider fees? Something akin to sharing the boost?

We don't want slums or slum lords in Ramsey.

This link.

The situation of overbuilt shared-wall housing is ripe for decay. It is a matter of government concern, and policing the quality of rental housing whenever tenancies change is a matter of public interest. In shared wall living situations, policing quality is a matter of fairness to the neighbors. They deserve having adjacent rental quality maintained to not depreciate their ownership equity.

Whether on or off council, any rental owner objecting to having inspections of premises upon changes of tenancies is suspect. What's there to hide? It's being kept up, isn't it?

Read the article. Try to figure out who's trying to lessen community standards of protection of housing stock. If anyone. But it is a government responsibility to not let rental slum growth have even a chance to happen in Ramsey.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Robert Reich, NY Times - Fixing the economy requires a will to revise how the pie gets sliced. Tax the Rich is a start.

This link, for the full source article yielding this extended excerpt:

No booster rocket can work unless consumers are able, at some point, to keep the economy moving on their own. But consumers no longer have the purchasing power to buy the goods and services they produce as workers; for some time now, their means haven’t kept up with what the growing economy could and should have been able to provide them.

This crisis began decades ago when a new wave of technology — things like satellite communications, container ships, computers and eventually the Internet — made it cheaper for American employers to use low-wage labor abroad or labor-replacing software here at home than to continue paying the typical worker a middle-class wage. Even though the American economy kept growing, hourly wages flattened. The median male worker earns less today, adjusted for inflation, than he did 30 years ago.

But for years American families kept spending as if their incomes were keeping pace with overall economic growth. And their spending fueled continued growth. How did families manage this trick? First, women streamed into the paid work force. By the late 1990s, more than 60 percent of mothers with young children worked outside the home (in 1966, only 24 percent did).

Second, everyone put in more hours. What families didn’t receive in wage increases they made up for in work increases. By the mid-2000s, the typical male worker was putting in roughly 100 hours more each year than two decades before, and the typical female worker about 200 hours more.

When American families couldn’t squeeze any more income out of these two coping mechanisms, they embarked on a third: going ever deeper into debt. This seemed painless — as long as home prices were soaring. From 2002 to 2007, American households extracted $2.3 trillion from their homes.

Eventually, of course, the debt bubble burst — and with it, the last coping mechanism. Now we’re left to deal with the underlying problem that we’ve avoided for decades. Even if nearly everyone was employed, the vast middle class still wouldn’t have enough money to buy what the economy is capable of producing.

Where have all the economic gains gone? Mostly to the top. The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty examined tax returns from 1913 to 2008. They discovered an interesting pattern. In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of American families took in about 9 percent of the nation’s total income; by 2007, the top 1 percent took in 23.5 percent of total income.

It’s no coincidence that the last time income was this concentrated was in 1928. I do not mean to suggest that such astonishing consolidations of income at the top directly cause sharp economic declines. The connection is more subtle.

The rich spend a much smaller proportion of their incomes than the rest of us. So when they get a disproportionate share of total income, the economy is robbed of the demand it needs to keep growing and creating jobs.

What’s more, the rich don’t necessarily invest their earnings and savings in the American economy; they send them anywhere around the globe where they’ll summon the highest returns — sometimes that’s here, but often it’s the Cayman Islands, China or elsewhere. The rich also put their money into assets most likely to attract other big investors (commodities, stocks, dot-coms or real estate), which can become wildly inflated as a result

And that concisely is why trickle down is a fiction that does not work but that bought and paid for politicians are always in abundance to huckster about to gullible voters - voters without a clue. That is why Reagan sold the story, and sold the bulk of us down the river to appease the wealthy who loved the old Gipper.

And that is why Dayton's sensible "Tax the Rich" policy will work.

I have to qualify that. It will work but only if voters are not deluded by the likes of the economic charletan, "Trickle-Down Tom," aka Mr. Emmer. Dayton needs to win the election first before he can demonstrate how simple, really, the solution to things really is.

Besides being effective policy, taxing the rich is fairer than the BS we have today; things like the Helmsleys of UnitedHealth, the Lord looting of Sallie Mae before it was folded and buried.

Since the 1980's the rich have prospered greatly in our nation, and as such, they have earned the responsibility to pay their fair share to keep things going, to restore the prosperity they, (through their politicians and the MSM coverage lies), stole from the rest of us. They owe it. They should be made to pay.

Making the looters pay is not rocket science. It simply requires a will to not be decieved when being lied to ineptly about what will be helpful to the economy vs. what will only maintain a status quo the rich find comfortable.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Tom Emmer flies his version of the Confederate secessionist flag.

And what, we will print our own money and write our own treaties with China?

I recall Orval Faubus at the schoolhouse door.

I recall reading that Lee surrendered his sword to Grant, also.

Secessionism did not fare too well.

Not to belabor a point, but the man is Elmer Gantry on rollerblades.

Read all about it.

A sleuthing hat-tip to Phoenix Woman and the Awl.

Share YOUR social values story. I shared mine. The campaign can use it.

This link, for you too to share.

GOP donors. Target Corp. Is this what you cut checks to Tom Emmer for? Putting his inexcusably profane and mean spirited son on the campaign payroll, in effect your hard earned cash funnelled to the little creep when instead his allowance should have been cut off?

Yet more about Tom Emmer, III. He was sucking money out of cash paid in by campaign donors, instead of the Emmer family paying him an allowance out of pocket, or in addition to one.

Or did the kid hold a real paying job besides having the campaign cut checks for him for whatever it was he did to "earn" the cash?

Screenshot from here [City Pages again, where the links are active, etc.]:

I see no conclusion other than that it was nasty and mean-spirited to have put such an item on Facebook, humiliating an apparently helpless young woman intentionally displayed in a compromising and mocking way, and thereby intentionally subjecting her to ridicule in the community.

It was defamatory, and an assault. She and/or her parents should sue the Emmer family.


And I am outraged at MSM, Strib et al., deciding for us that this in a family using its members as campaign props is not newsworthy.

What does it say about that family? About child-rearing and upbringing skills and values? About hypocrisy? About cause to vote for or against a particular politician?

It seems there's been past campaigns aimed to lead us to think child-rearing skills were something Republicans routinely go about justifiably patting themselves on the back over.

Good job, Tom, Jr. Ya sure, ya betcha.

Chip off the old block? That's a consideration.

Decide whether that's worth a thought when you've a ballot in your hands.


And whether it actually matters to you or not, you should be quite thankful that City Pages declined to spike the story (as if it had no news value as other outlets appear to have concluded, for us, as if we should be thankful for their senior editorial censor-scissors).

For more coverage, fleshing out some of the statements in the above paragraphs after the City Pages screenshot, see an excellent Firedog Lake post, here, and the links given, including this Cuckingstool blog item.

What's Minn Post coverage so far? Is it MSM vanilla? This link. That appears MSM for sure. However, this link shows Minn Post and City Pages are not your self-imposed censors of "news that's fit to print."

Hit the links.

Read comments readers left on the reporting sites. Get informed.

See if any of the damage control, kids will be kids stuff some commentators left passes your own smell test as a valid excuse for the sort of thing young Emmer did - in publishing such a photo of a comatose defenseless young woman who showed bad judgment in choosing associates with whom she would party and in whom she held trust.

And remember, in all this, the protection usually proper under the adage that a candidate's family is off limits to attack is forfeited once the candidate deliberately decides to use and focus upon family members as advertising props.

If you play a card, you deserve to have other cards turned face-up.

Minn Independent, here, recalls how the Hatch daughters were accorded attention, (when neither had been used as advertising props and where, instead, Mike Hatch at all times was duly protective of his family's right to privacy). I do not believe there was any coarse Hatch family Facebook dimension at all back then, as, apparently, some people bring children up with differing standards of good conduct or bad, acceptable or otherwise. Also, Hatch had the decency to not put his daughters onto a campaign payroll.

This screenshot, from Cuckingstool:

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Cuckingstool calls it an assault. I mentioned defamation. Invasion of privacy probably is more the offense; similar wrongly photographed and circulated conduct was at issue in Lake v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 582 NW 2d 231 (Minn. 1998) (online here).