consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two TPM quickie items, interrelated.

Here. Then, here.

Bozos are bringing you your electricity.

This Strib report. Great River Energy builds an uneconomical coal-fired power plant where the least-cost strategy for the ultra-new thing is to shut it down. And then there is my good friend Gary Gross at his blog site bemoaning all Minnesota's jobs going to North Dakota.

Jobs to North Dakota? Not to this hummer, although $30 million annually will be required to keep the mothballed half-billion thing maintained while it produces zero killowatt-hours of energy to sell. Including of course debt service as part of the annual hit. What genius is behind this?

Connect the dots as you will on your own.

I only note that Great River is a cooperative, owned and run by other cooperatives, the biggest of which is Connexus.

Cooperatives in Minnesota are a law unto themselves. They can get away with what they impose because they go unregulated by the Minnesota's Public Utility Commission. It's the law. They are exempt. So - the unbridled free market, and no shareholders to answer to since rate-payers nominally "own" their cooperatives - and things are horsed up beyond belief.

Tell that to "free market" Republicans. I even know a "free market" Republican (a Rushbobooster even) who wanted to be on the Connexus board but was stymied by an insider game of hoke-up the rules; specifically, if you've litigated against your user-owned cooperative, you are a different user than the rest - you cannot serve on the board for five years after end of litigation - and that is the way it is even if the cooperative, Connexus, wrongly and baselessly sues you. The bylaws Connexus insiders wrote, with the help of retained lawyers, makes no distinction - you can be right, you can be wrong, but you cannot be a reform candidate for the board.

If Connexus stepped on your rights, and you defended them in court, Sorry Charlie you are insufficently qualified tuna.

So go figure. Is it any wonder this SNAFU in North Dakota happened?

Remember the Alamo.

This item reports the immigration boogey-man scare might be ephemeral.

But it might also be an intermediate lull before a storm. The reporter says that too.

All I know is that history, (allegedly a Gingrich speciality), has shown that illegal immigration across the US-Mexican border has happened, with consequences.

Remember the Alamo, since it was stolen from the Mexicans by illegal immigrants who took all that part of Mexico now known as "Texas."

Given the Bush family and Rick Perry, Mexicans, please, please, please, please take it back.

Same outlet, LA Times, here has set me to a thought experiment.

My bank, the honest and upstanding Bank of Elk River, would, I know in my heart, never involve itself in anything so shabby and low class as money laundering Mexican drug cartel billions. But it gets me to thinking.

If readers would provide me billions of Mexican drug cartel money I would be willing to do the experiment. To test the moral fiber of my beloved Bank of Elk River, where I am confident that all temptation would be avoided because these are people of unquestioned rectitude. If you doubt that, give me the drug billions and I will prove my beliefs correct.

STRONG, LOYAL, INNOVATIVE --- those running the Bank of Elk River need no special handshakes that failed to save a drowing banking neighbor, because unlike those running that other thing, they are smart.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why are the news corporations happy to report REPEATEDLY that the GOP race is now, now, and for the foreseeable future looking to be a Romney vs. Gingrich love-fest? Ron Paul still marginalized.

This link. Or have you a better answer?

Are they fooling who they think they are fooling? I bet a tea bag they are.

When Ron Paul says there are things wrong with the FED, in your heart you know he is right.

This link. 7.7 trillion things wrong. Hidden under a hat. And the bankers with their hands outstretched never gave any shareholder disclosure. Keep them in the dark, mushroom them? It seems that securities law requires material disclosure to avoid fraud. In theory at least, while the bankers are laughing.

When will the 99% suggest that instead of "Too Big To Fail" the motto should be "Too Failed to be Big"? And then break up the oligopoly?

It has to happen just that way if ours is a fair and just nation.

Don't hold your breath waiting on that CHANGE, however.

Gingrich characterizes Romney as from "Rockefeller wing" of the GOP. Reporting was he intended it as a pejorative comment. Was it at all indicative more of who Gingrich is, than Romney?

This Google, yielding this report among other returned items -

Newt Gingrich is calling Republican presidential campaign rival Mitt Romney "a Nelson Rockefeller Republican" who will have a hard time appealing to the GOP's base.
Gingrich also calls himself "a very complicated candidate," telling CNN's "State of the Union" he has to get people to embrace his "campaign of substance."

Seattle Times carrying AP feed; this link.

Politico reports:

Mitt Gingrich, Newt Romney
One of the criticisms Newt Gingrich has faced over the years is a lack of consistency, and a reader flagged this 1989 interview Newt Gingrich did with the Ripon Society, which underscores that fact.

The whole thing is worth a read, but the highlights include Gingrich describing himself as a member of the Rockefeller/moderate wing of the GOP - a true fact (he served as a Southern chair for the former New York governor whose name is now something of an epithet for a moderate GOPer within Republican circles). But it's ironic, since Gingrich recently twisted the knife a bit into Romney as someone in the mold of the Rockefeller wing of the party.

The exact quote:

There is almost a new synthesis evolving with the classic moderate wing of the party, where, as a former Rockefeller state chairman, I've spent most of my life, and the conservative/activist right wing. You have work being done by the Heritage Foundation as well as by such moderates as Tom Petri. Petri has extraordinarily broad support for his living wage concept, which represents an empowerment/citizen choice replacement for the bureaucratic/corrupt, liberal welfare state. [... Moreover,] Let me say first that one of the gravest mistakes the Reagan administration made was its failure to lead aggressively in civil rights. It cost the Republican Party. [...]

Reagan faced memory lapses in his last years, that's been reported, but this Gingrich fellow has his memory lapses before thinking himself fit to be President. Or is it that the man changes convictions as readily as he's changed spouses, each fitting needs at the time?

Some say Romney flip-flops. So - He and Gingrich - are they twin sons separated at birth?

Said a different way, precisely how many wings did Rockefeller have?

Here's a video online of the Newtster looking as sincere as he can feign, and throwing stones never mind his glass house.

Would you buy Newt's used car? He'd tout all its great features. He'd explain how the other guy's used car has problems - while it in fact is the same make as his.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________

But wait, Newt, then I said, "Corporations are people."  (photo credit)
UPDATE LINK:  You did support the mandate, then "didn't" - both sides,
one street. Nobody walks both sides of the street like the ol' Newt.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is this guy for real?

This link.

same link

Ain't it the truth. (Which is why there's a paid firestorm of right-wing propaganda to hide and deny it.)

As Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to demonstrate across the country, congress’ fiscal super committee failed to craft a deficit reduction package due to Republican refusal to consider tax increases on the super wealthy. In fact, the only package that the GOP officially submitted to the committee included lowering the top tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, even as new research shows that the optimal top tax rate is closer to 70 percent.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who co-chaired the super committee, explained that the major sticking point during negotiations with the GOP was what to do with the Bush tax cuts. With that in mind, the National Priorities Project points out that those tax cuts this year will give the richest 1 percent of Americans a bigger tax cut than the other 99 percent will receive in average income:

The average Bush tax cut in 2011 for a taxpayer in the richest one percent is greater than the average income of the other 99 percent ($66,384 compared to $58,506).

“The super committee failed to grapple with the extraordinarily costly Bush tax cuts for the richest—tax policies that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, cost more in added federal debt than they add in additional economic activity,” explained Jo Comerford, NPP’s Executive Director. Frank Knapp, vice chairman of the American Sustainable Business Council, added in a statement yesterday, “the high-end Bush tax cuts are a big part of the problem – not the solution…It’s obscene to keep slashing infrastructure and services for everybody on Main Street to keep up tax giveaways for millionaires and multinational corporations.”

Pat Garofalo on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm; Think Progress, this link. (And I'd have guessed Pat Buchanan, FOX).

Read the original. I omitted links and the item's wrap-up paragraph.

Teach the children well.

Here. Kansas can be krazy. Speech as a treasured thing in our nation says, "Ouch."

An appropriate apology? "I am sorry I tweeted 'mean' when I should have tweeted 'appropriate.' It's just that Twitter's 140 character limit favors single syllables."

UPDATE: A standoff, this link. Student and parent agree, she can say to friends on Twitter what she wants. Gov. Brownback speaks via a spokeswoman - he was dissed. School principal does not return AP phone calls. How do some get to be high school principals, in Kansas? Don't they have standards?

FINAL UPDATE: Student Sullivan tweets about no apology - from her. Brownback apologizes, staff overreacted (and the dog ate the office copy of the Bill of Rights).

Now if that high school principal does the decent thing and apologizes, and eats a copy of the Bill of Rights to show true penance, ...

The school district handled its PR disaster, by saying, not us as noted at end of reporting about guv-staff, ...

Last link has this quote proving something, I am sure

Before the incident last week, Sullivan had 65 followers on Twitter. The number of followers swelled to more than 9,000, more than doubling the number of people who signed up to follow tweets from the governor.

Should the principal be fired for trying to be a real suck-up to the guv, and setting such a sorry example for young people? Is that within the purview of GOP education reform policy? Doubtful.

Link to an image, for as long as the link stays alive online.

Here., the website that published the image.

Revolving door dirtbags produce a memo.

This link.

According to reporting here, by Politico, these genius cash solicitors are former Boehner aides.

Crossroads GPS has dropped a more than $500,000 on a buy for an ad attacking Warren for her support of OWS, suggesting that it means she endorses drugs, violence and the radical redistribution of wealth. And last week, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes got hold of a memo written in part by two former aides to House Speaker John Boehner now working for a Washington lobbying firm offering the firm’s services to the American Bankers Association to conduct “opposition research” and craft “negative narratives” about Occupy Wall Street.

Pelosi raised money off the memo, trying to harness the potential attack to energize Democrats, but as David Weigel noted, pointedly did not mention Occupy Wall Street in her appeal.

Did I say, "dirtbags?" I meant to.

NOTE: I did not say cheap dirtbags. $850,000 is not a chump change solicitation.

This Google.

As to the Crossroads GPS junkyard-dog viciousness, I will say "Karl Rove" so that saying "dirtbags" there is redundant.

Rove is a throwback on the evolutionary ladder. And that's talking kindly of him.

When it's about dirtbags, Herman Cain has his share. But with bipartisanship history. Dirtbagging both sides of the street?

New York, New York, a wonderful town ...

Guardian. Politico. Each offers an interesting perspective and in Ramsey, Anoka County, Minnesota, have we any cause to doubt?

Money talks, but not loud enough for the 99%. By circulating dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics, Occupy George informs the public of America's daunting economic disparity one bill at a time. Because money knowledge is power.

And then some. Check out the site. The robber barons keep robbing, unless stopped.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Flaherty mentioned in Orland Park reporting. Nothing major, but there is an, "“In my mind, the worst that could happen is [...] We’re going to be in a world of hurt,” comment by one Orland official.

This link. It's hard to know what to make of it, as the reporting assumes local knowledge of things in Orland Park that we in Ramsey lack.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A half-month old, not news, but vintage Bachmann instead.

This link. This quote, photo from item.

I am not my brother's keeper.
I am not Marcus' keeper.
I am not keeper of our clinic's staff.
They earn us a profit is all.
Let them eat death? 
Many conservatives argue that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment, which says powers not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution should be left to the states. It's less common for critics to argue that the health care law violates the Tenth Commandment, but that's exactly what GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) did today.

Speaking at the Family Research Council, Bachmann declared that President Obama's policies — and especially the Affordable Care Act — amount to "the most ambitious social engineering project in the history of the United States" and "a leap beyond the New Deal and the Great Society." According to Bachmann, "The Tenth Commandment, which teaches that we should not covet what belongs to our neighbor" is a better "principle for good government that's worked historically in the United States."

Has anyone asked? Are the workers at Bachmann & Associates still without healthcare insurance, as in the past, or have the Bachmann spouses finally had conscience pangs about that?

Hey, these guys seem special - beyond being the spousal cash-cow profit center. From here:


“Truth in advertising, You really should be more upfront of how incredible you guys really are. I loved my experience from the first phone call I made, to the awesome counseling I received and how professional and helpful your billing staff were. Now would you start a clinic in Rochester?!!!”

“I have been to several counselors for my “issues” not until I saw one of your counselors did I receive direct and insightful information to why I kept hitting a stone wall. The counseling I received gave me the courage and the steps to really change my life.”

So, covered or not? Beloved and valued, or pray you don't get sick? It cannot be both. It is one or the other.

For any who would question the headlining -- "Vintage Bachmann" there is this blast from the past.

And this. The simple question still begs Mainstream Media attention.

Sakry of ABC Newspapers has posted an extended and helpful report on the Falls Cafe's opening in Ramsey.

Please have a look. This link. The screen capture is from the dead middle of the report, and there is much, much more to read via the link. The capture was chosen in part for the grey-box info on hours, where it is, and phone number. Wish them well and give them your business. It is a positive step for Ramsey, of and by itself, and its success would be a boost for other restaurants to consider business within the town.

I have been there only once. I will go again. It is quiet. There is no "Noise is great" mentality to this place.

I like that.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

RAMSEY -- Follow the money. It is your money, so don't be a dope. Subscribe to follow it. At some point Landform will have to answer cost benefit questions. Hopefully after our next election.

Subscribe - from this link.

And, any reader who can provide an answer, please do - who is the purported owner of the trademark purportedly owned per the footer of the linked page?

That footer is sort of a shell game, guessing game. Given that the city has been paying massive amounts of money to Lanform, to buy something of presumed value, one expects in the normal course of things the city would own intellectual property. But this is not the normal course of things, This is Ramsey.

Who to contact, 
for use authorization? 

And for the Town of Ramsey chumps who paid good money thinking they were buying a very unique styled trade name, there is this from the USPTO, (first 100 returns for a TESS search of  the term "COR") showing  it's a trademark for everything from furniture, facial soap, musical entertainment services, and medical scrubs (pants and tops). And that's only within the first 100 returned items - coincidentally NOT including any City of Ramsey real estate promotion/huckstering trade use, in the first 100.

Hence, the question.

Mayor Bob, you read Crabgrass, so who owns?

fyi - I took screenshots of the four other "COR" trademarks with trade usage info, but chose not to post the extra images, and I could not link because TESS sessions expire on logout or a timeout, with linking to specific data records impossible. Any reader should be able to search and retrieve them easily, as I did. Doubtlessly one more experienced than I am might have been able to quickly find a registered real estate promotion/huckstering trademark with the brown color and "melanoma-O" -- but after the first hundred, I decided to post - as a challenge game - sort of, to get somebody to respond.

I suppose the local genius who said "passion, patience and persistence" pay off had it in mind that if you try hard enough to find something, it turns up - to the passionate, patient and persistent. This screenshot:

____________FURTHER UPDATE______________
I failed to find further detail, in color, on the USPTO site, but for those who might care, once that page with the ID numbers is found, this page can be used to get details, such as this USPTO "specimen" screen capture:

Now all of that begs the question - Do I need to seek a city resolution being passed by the council to allow me to mock and belittle the stupidity of the effort by using the symbology, colors and all, with the added "...pse" after the trademarked thingy - i.e., the CORpse? Or is it fair use commentary, for a citizen and resident and voter of an owning city, to use drawings, etc., as I have of the COR thing, the Ben Dover statue, the blue cattail city logo, etc.? I say it's fair use what I've done and they can sue me if they don't like it. That would be very thin-skinned and my defense would be Harry Truman's adage, "If you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen." And, now that I have proven that the city owns the trademark I can belittle the process of its being bought for obscenely high amounts of money, such as it is, the "rebranding" as lipstick on a pig.


Don't overindulge on Thanksgiving Day fodder. End of post.


Whose ego needed the trip?

This link.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I hope ABC Newspapers looks at this hummer, Strib reporting, and sees if there's any message behind the message.

Anoka County is seeking $2 million in compensation for a package it created to try to land a Vikings stadium in Blaine five years ago — a playbook the County Board’s chairwoman says Ramsey County used to lure the team to Arden Hills.

The proposal by Rhonda Sivarajah drew a response of “huh?” in Ramsey County.

Sivarajah at first suggested that Ramsey County pay the $2 million — which she called a “conservative estimate” — for using an Anoka County plan the Vikings publicly sacked in 2006. After a vigorous discussion, she said the money should instead come from the state and only if racino proceeds help to fund a stadium in Arden Hills.

“If the state decides their priority is to use proceeds from racino to fund a Vikings stadium in Ramsey County, then Anoka County should be reimbursed $2 million, which was utilized to develop the financial package that Ramsey County is essentially using,” Sivarajah said later.

When Anoka County devised its plan five years ago, racino wasn’t part of the picture. It was that plan, again without racino , that Sivarajah said Ramsey County used.

“I know Ramsey County has requested information from us,” she said. “It’s only appropriate that the citizens of Anoka County be reimbursed.”

That was a dumb endangerment proposed to sensitive wetlands, for Zygi, who is Crabgrass and an invasive species of it, from New Jersey. I am so glad it collapsed as the very bad idea it was. Not for lack of publicly elected officials willing to prostitute Anoka County land, but I guess from Zygi hiking for wanting greener pastures [vs. wetlands].

Zygi can live with brownfield, as long as somebody besides Zygi pays for the remediation to bring it to a level where he can land speculate and feel important even with such a crappy team as he's fielding without spending much in free agency over the last few years. Except for the old burned-out quarterback from Mississippi. Zygi's idea of -- what? You tell me.

I understand that Anoka County has legislators, and that the legislature must allocate money according to schemes and dreams zygi [I am going to quit capitalizing his name, since he won't capitalize jack] wants where the State gives him tons of free money. I expect that if the Anoka County board is unhappy without getting two million from Ramsey County that Republicans talk to one another and Ramsey County might have more difficulty getting free state money for zygi, by a few votes without paying the two million, but then again, such things might not be actual factors at all.

BOTTOM LINE: Rhonda, I want two million out of Ramsey County's fisc too. I will accept cash, check, or wire transfer. I, like Anoka County, have not done any single real thing to deserve such a payment, but nonetheless I want it.

I want the money because I wanted a stadium referendum back when the Anoka County Board was trying to do its sales tax cramdown. Neither of us will get Ramsey County cash.

Best argument Rhonda -- Anoka County's plan was to at all costs dodge letting citizens vote. No referendum, nohow.

And now , clearly, that is the same strategy Ramsey County is taking so they clearly lifted the Anoka County blueprint.

Give me a break. Rhonda, please, please, please. Give up the nonsense.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some things capture the imagination - as new thinking to solve a problem.

This link, containing the following screenshot. If interested, there's a ton of stuff on the web about game use for solving protein folding. Consider - could the same social networking approach, a game to collectively produce a productive algorithm work for beating the point spreads every NFL Sunday? It's a less structured problem, with greater noise, more stochastic, but it has a social value payoff if successful. Beating the Vegas bookies is a challenge, they are professionals, but those propagating the folding experiment are also skilled professionals.

If you want to look around, the lead author of the PNAS item is David Baker, at U. Washington, and some search return lists to consider are: here, here, here and here. Then one hit leads to another, etc.

A brief general interest introductory review, from Europe, and mentioning Foldit, is here in html, here as a pdf.

FURTHER: Baker lab, here.

P3 -- passion, patience and persistence.

Sakry of ABC Newspapers posts a detailed report on the Ramsey Rail Revery.

Here. This quote [italics added]:

Just hours before the celebratory ride, the Ramsey rail station was a proposed project and now, with the kick-off event, “we move into the construction phase,” Look said.

Hours prior to the ride, the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) approved the final $2 million for the project.

CTIB will provide $3 million and the Metropolitan Council $1.3 million for the project. State legislators included $4 million for the station in the 2011 state bonding bill.

The project is also receiving $3 million from ACRRA and the city will be contributing $4.75 million for the station and the walkway to the station to the parking ramp.

When the station is built and service begins by the end of 2012, Ramsey will add 200 rides a day to the line and over one year there will be approximately 51,00 [sic]more rides, a 10 percent increase, Look said.

That it what passion, patience and persistence can accomplish,” he said.

Wow, passion, patience and persistence - that's P3.

And Landform's slides said P3 was Public Private Partnership.

Ramsey payes regular money, Landform accepts, so I suppose it's a partnership.

I tried a thought experiment. P-words all in a bag, shook up, three pulled out:

Payments procure pork.

Pure chance, those words, that order.

Try it yourself, see what you get.

Tried it again.


Same word. Three times. You know - It makes as much sense, more sense, than any of the other P3 carnival barking going on.

Reporting out of Indiana is Flaherty's got a fish on the line for buying into the Cosmopolitan. Reporting is that might enable a second Cosmo phase. Hey Joe, put some more sincerity [aka cash] into the Ramsey ramp rental wrap, instead of opening up yet another dice game.

This link.

The headline's enough to show my sentiment and analysis.

Why does the Indiana guy still have the council here charmed like a basket cobra, into carrying more risk than the Indiana promoter firm? It's like Zygi would want his affairs, others carrying his investment risk.

Flaherty's got that, so you sort of do not blame him for taking it for granted.

The point is, it's his profit-making intent, so let it be his risk. Simple. Market dynamics. But not what the wizzzzzzzzard advises. I suppose the wiz is smarter than the market, at least among a pack of "conservative Republicans."

Davey Boy, too many baskets going at once, you get snaked.

Do you figure he baited it leading up to season, with corn around the porch so he could shoot from a rocking chair or porch swing?

Can skin griz, too.
STRIB: Kline bags buck with .357, urges gun reciprocity
Posted by: Kevin Diaz under 2nd District, Minnesota congressional
Updated: November 16, 2011 - 2:24 PM

Minnesota Republican John Kline, fresh from bagging a 10-point buck with a Smith and Wesson .357 handgun last week, took to the floor of the U.S. House Wednesday to urge passage of the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act, which requires that states honor each others’ licenses to carry guns.

Actually, it was a small buck ...
“I hold a concealed-carry permit in the state of Minnesota and I believe individuals should have the right to keep and bear arms for the protection of their home, property, family and person,” he said.

[...] Kline’s deer kill occurred on his five-generation family farm in southeastern Minnesota. His office said he used the pistol for the added challenge.

Hat tip to AAA, here, for the Strib link.

And all the while, Klink keeping the monocle in place.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Preferential Pork - and the Sherlock Holmes mystery of the Watchdog that didn't bark.

Triple A, "Preferential Pork Or Pohlad Express – Update."

Nary a bark, here. Neither photo showed Dan Erhart disembarking, only a pack of Republicans, see for yourself here and here, and -- surprisingly -- no woofing. What's up? Perhaps Andy's only half the story - Preferential Pork

Preferential Bark.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mark of the Beast.

The Anti-Mitt

Red Spotted Newt. Toxic. Toxic!
Yet -- the New Hampshire state amphibian.

And who is the latest seeker of the Holy GOP Grail, the title of "Anti-Mitt?"

Oh no! Not that Newt retread. Oh, dear, oh dear. Anything but that.

New Hampshire --- Make a better pick.

UPDATE: See, also, Crabgrass here; this Google; plus, the party chooses, here and here. One voice missing, publicly, John McCain. It seems strange nobody in the press has asked and published, "Senator, have you any thoughts?" He is as missing in inaction from the stage just as George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush have made themselves - the public stage - with any activity at other stages being such that I was not invited and am left to speculate.

And ... Where's Cheney? With his oil barons?

Romney has gotten the likes of Pawlenty, Vin Weber, and Coleman casting a public vote of confidence, i.e., publicly so far only GOP table scraps. Are the power handlers simply letting the TV series go on before any anointing moment?

Does anyone really watch that staged stuff? Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann getting scant questions, both marginalized, with that dope Santorum always on the wings never center stage? From all signs Romney has the most money behind him. Make what you choose of that.

And by comparison he and Huntsman, likely a foil in things, a stalking horse, are the only two besides Ron Paul radiating any appearance of credibility. Absent a party or press drift or alteration, it surely looks as if it will be Obama-Romney with others waiting until 2016 where there will be no incumbent seeking reelection.

A People's Budget - including a People-Friendly taxation approach. And corporations are not people. Inhuman is what corporations are. Inhumane, that is what many of the wealthy are. Tax them, fairly. Why let them skate?

Read all about it. Check the links there. View the video. Learn what makes sense, for the 99% of us getting screwed right now. It makes sense to end the screwing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Read this. It is crystal clear. And tightly written.

Strib, republishing an item attributed to "Progressive Media Project" as initial publisher:

It's no wonder the total amount of money Americans owe for higher education is now more than what we owe on credit cards.

We need our colleges to thrive.

An affordable college education has been a key to the rising standard of living that our country enjoyed for many decades. It provided us with educated workers who made our industries successful.

Access to college in the future would buffer our country from many of the shocks in the coming decades. We would be better prepared to support the new growth industries, and we would have voters better able to hold our public officials accountable.

[...] To pay for this, Congress should eliminate the outrageous tax breaks that President Bush gave to the millionaires and billionaires. Educating the next generation is much more important than continually padding the bank accounts of the wealthy.

One last thing: Congress shouldn't focus on providing just glorified job training.

Every American deserves access to real higher education so as to learn how to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship and appreciate the cultural treasures that our ancestors have left to us.

Making college affordable is the best investment in our country's economic and political future. And it's the honorable thing to do for strapped students and families.

Again - This link. Too many mental midgets want only glorified job training - for your children. That is not at all what the game's about. Without educated voters, look what it has allowed. And look at who wants the status quo.

Look at: Who wants the glorified job training? Who wants a giant debt load on each young person entering into the national economy? Who does that benefit? What are their motives? Are they being decent or indecent people creating such a questionable status quo?

They cannot be reformed, until we awaken to the need to reform them. To teach them decent manners, in the economic-fiscal world that each of us must live within. They have enough.

Why do they want to hang a big anchor around the necks of the children of others? Go figure. It's the first step. Then get active, to fix things, to bring the excessive to reasonableness.

Not easy. But necessary.

That or let them continue exploiting you and your children. They are not my children. They are yours. What do you owe them?

Young people. They are as diverse and complicated as their elders, but not as experienced. How can we use our experience to make their growth easier and to bring out the best in them?

Readers are encouraed to jump in and say what they'd think helpful, via comments. All serious thinking on the question is helpful. More so, I'd expect, than organizing seminars and discussions bringing in politicians to say, "How we need to fix education, and steps that have to be taken." Where that is the start and then the politicians split, pro-union or union-busting, depending on party affiliation bias. That gets us zippo progress and understanding - and is all heat and no light if the pow-wow is organized to only include one party's minions.

This link.
I use Strib as a lead-in. First, this relatively young person looks perplexed in considering behaviors of some, younger than her. She is identified by Strib as Principal at Coon Rapids High School, in a report of suspensions and cyber-bullying, here.

My high school principal was an old guy with the back office and had zippo interaction with students that I can recall. The assistant principal, Mr. Kenny, dealt with disciplinary issues. He had one glass eye, and it was disconcerting when he stared at you and without his telling you to you looked him in the eye and felt he saw right through you. He was a good pick for the job.

In starting grade school I remember my first three grades were taught by middle aged women who had nothing memorable about them, but I very quickly learned the layout of the principal's office and found it more interesting than the classrooms - the probable reason I ended up there frequently. The school was made a historical landmark in the last ten or fifteen years, and I vividly recall a to me massive  grandfather-clock that apparently was wired into all the classroom bells, there being no clock to watch in the classrooms. I also recall starting first grade mid-year and being held from recess so the teacher could go through the Dick-and-Jane-and-Spot big book to assure I "caught up" and it was hard because I was distressed with all the rest of the class outside running off energy and I was stuck there having my reading skills screwed up by a well-intentioned idiot who wanted to assure I went one word at a time and not sentence by sentence and page by page, quickly. I do recall that. It must have been the style then, and thought to be good teaching. I don't think the woman was a Sadist wanting to screw up the way people read. Just wrong-headed.

I also recall the Masonic Temple was next-door to the school and when we left the play yard during recess to scout it out we ended up seeing that big clock, and being scolded to not do that again without being told a thing about who the Masons were, what was wrong with scouting them out when we could, etc. Who knows, without that education, I might be thirty-third degree by now. But I digress. I wonder if the Temple's still there, and if so, whether it too has been designated a historic landmark. Both buildings probably deserved it.

Anyway, that is Strib item one - about the young and restless. Then there's this prize youngster. Can you say entrenched bozo, already, at age 20. He needs the encouragement the court system gave some during my time, to try the military to have a chance to be hammered into shape. I do not think courts do that enough any more, or the military is more selective - probably both. Who knows - with the right mentoring he might be channeled into being a successful businessman. He does appear to know what he wants and to act directly toward fulfilling a goal, and those seem to be skills in the businessmen's community.

Last, the prize - how do we get more like this young man and keep this kid on track so he might become the next Steve Jobs instead of an assistant professor at a branch college or deadended in some Silicon Valley or NSA desk job? We do need the best and brightest to prosper and reach the positions of actual and not false responsibility. We need that because otherwise the less best, less brightest end up there and it's a pain for the rest of us to have to tolerate their holding posiitons of responsibility instead of being able to ignore them. We need the Das guy to go to Congress because otherwise we suffer the Joe Liebermans and Michele Bachmanns, and at his age, In an eyeblink I would swap in the Das kid to take Bachmann's job there, and expect him to do it well better than Bachmann has faced responsibilities.

My guess is parenting is a big factor. And genetics. Nurture and nature.

Any reader thoughts?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The guy in front must have left part of his uniform at home, failing to keep up the matching shirt-tie combination.

This link. Please ignore the headline's snarkiness, and read the item since they don't stay online very long, at Strib.

Sakry of ABC Newspapers reports the dog-pony event, here. What a yawner. Not Sakry's report. The event. The report accords it due attention. Indeed, too much attention.

Ben Dover, the Ramsey taxpayer
How much did it cost? Who exactly are fiscal conservatives against wasteful practices and activities by public officials? I see two photos, Strib and ABC, and both show politicians acting huffy and as if important people. The train stops, disembarking happens because somebody puts a ramp in place, it looks as if a Ramsey cop was detailed to stand around, the entire thing stinks of waste of time and unneeded expense. A dog-pony show, bought by you. "For you," some might tell you.

My question, don't these people have real things to do with their time? Instead of organizing a parade, or the functional equivalent. What will the next tax bills say? More to pay, for dog-pony stuff? You have to wonder.

____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Excuse me, but I just realized I neglected to use the words "pompous" and "theatrical," by being so cognizant of the word "waste."

A pompous dog, a theatrical pony.

THE BIG QUESTION: Which governmental entity paid how much for this sad and sorry piece of bad theater?

What was the bill for all that? Who paid it?

Indirectly or directly, Ben Dover paid a big share I expect. But who else? How much? How many taxing authorities was this sad dog-pony show distributed over - given how many you see each taking a bite when tax bills arrive, bet on it being an aggregate get-together and not any one's special event.

This bothers me greatly. It was wholly unnecessary, but a bunch of pompous politicians wanted to put on their suits and toot their own horns. Give me a break, please.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
An image. Not entirely certain why I put it here - more gut feeling than thought.

Healthcare - Digby analyzes.

image credit - this link

Centrist Nuggets

by digby

Via Greg Sargent, I see this Matt Miller op-ed beseeching the Supreme Court to validate the individual mandate. Greg cites this "nugget":

If the GOP succeeds in invalidating the one way to use private health plans to achieve universal coverage, frustrated Americans will eventually say, “Just give us single-payer and be done with it.” I can’t say whether that tipping point comes at 60 million uninsured or 70 million. But it will happen.

Oh No!

I this this is the card carrying centrist's way of demagogueing an issue. I find it mildly hilarious myself. If he's trying to pry away liberal support for the mandate there isn't a better way to do it.

And needless to say conservatives don't want the mandate or single payer and they'll be happy to wait until there are 70 million people uninsured to have the fight again. They want people to barter with their doctors with chickens and shop around for cut-rate angioplasties. Basically, they think that people who can't afford expensive health care don't deserve health care.

My blog troll deserves fitting medical attention. As a distant cousin to being a part of humanity. Only [s]he deserves BENWAY.

Wholly unrealted, but more Digby, here, on euro-crisis theater of the day, and austerity.

Italy can sell its gold to avert evil consequences. German gold is different. Off limits. Suppose for a moment that Merkel has a Mother Hubbard experience, were German gold to be shown to be a phantom, or all in New York. Call the suggestion extreme? But I further suggest I'm not the only one to be curious about guarded vaults ordianary mortals never get to see inside of.

Can you imagine incredulity, if we had Morgan or Goldman in Mother Hubbard outfits having to say, "Well, there was some - we recall - but it was in the Trade Center, which in hindsight suggests the debris should not have been so hastily all hauled away to New Jersey."

I guess they can sling all the mud they want at each other, but it's still Mitt Romney and the Seven Dwarfs.

This link.

In your heart you know he's right. Barney Frank speaking frankly.

____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
The current "Bum of the Month," judged through the eyss of his peer. I have little respect for Dornan, he was coarse and loud and took pride in that, but I have more respect after reading that. He can spot and call out somebody trying to hand him a three-dollar bill.

Cain campaign. Follow the money. CREW did exactly that and has an FEC complaint filed from the effort.

This link, to view a synopsis of the FEC complaint filed by CREW against Cain and "Prosperity USA," and against Mark Block personally and as treasurer of "Friends of Herman Cain." Both the complaint and supporting documents are downloadable from the CREW link.

I wish they'd have bought me one of those spiffy iPads.

Not that I'd buy one per se, but if some slush fund's handing them out like Cracker Jacks prizes I would not turn one down.

This quote:

The complaint also alleges Mr. Block personally violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by authorizing the illegal corporate contributions as president of Prosperity USA, and then by accepting the illegal contributions as treasurer of Friends of Herman Cain. This makes Mr. Block the first person in the history of the Act to have both given and received the same illegal contributions. The complaint also alleges Mr. Block violated the Act by failing to disclose the Prosperity USA expenditures.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “As hard as Mr. Cain is trying to prove himself a different kind of candidate, he still has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It is not sufficient for the Cain campaign to investigate itself. Rather, the FEC – the federal agency charged with enforcing campaign finance laws – must look into the matter.”

[emphasis added] Block has a history, if you Google, or check this Wikipedia page, stating:

In 1974, Block became the first 18-year-old ever elected to office in Wisconsin, when he won a position on the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors.[4][5] In the late 1970s, he worked for Republican Congressman William A. Steiger until Steiger's death in 1978, and then took a job with NCR Corporation from 1979 to 1991.[6]
Block has run and consulted on numerous campaigns in Wisconsin since the 1980s. Among others, he ran Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson's first re-election campaign in 1990.[7] Following the 1997 campaign of Jon P. Wilcox for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, allegations were made by the Wisconsin Elections Board of election law violations. These were settled in 2001 when Block agreed to pay a $15,000 fine (though, without admitting any wrongdoing) and not to work on any campaigns until 2004.[4][8]
By 2007, Block was serving as the Wisconsin director of the "pro-business" political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.[9]

(Go there to follow footnotes.) Every slush fund has its slush, Block surely being slush.

Using a slush fund and doctoring the books? You decide. Two complaint page screenshots stating the gist of the complaint.

CREW wants to flush the slush. Good for CREW.

Now, as a prelude to a wrap-up, from Politico here:

So, Citizen Cain, what flavor of ice cream is


If any reader needs further proof that Mark Block is an extreme and absolute low life, something you'd expect to see lifting a rock in moist soil, birds of a feather flock together.

This one's extremely good. It comes with reader comments.

Michele Bachmann's Book's page at (You can buy it Kindle, or kindling version).

This link, for eager purchasers, or those only wanting to browse. Amazon's editorial review begins in noncommittal wording:

Michele Bachmann is one of the most compelling leaders in America. But despite all the magazine covers and cable television stories, most people don't know who she really is, where she comes from, or what she believes. So she decided to tell her own story and let the reader decide.

While I have not yet seen published reviews by the savants at The Nation, New York Review of Books or National Review, it appears that there's some evidence Amazon's general-public critics hold split judgments - She told her story so have readers decided? Explore the Amazon pages, and you decide.

For Anoka County libraries users, it appears copies were purchased but are in demand to where no copies are on shelf, available.

This I find very distressing. As noted, I pulled up the Anoka County Library catalog search result for "Michele Bachmann" and did the screenshot of the "1 of 1 items" the search yielded. Self-promotion, published by some vanity house, "Sentinel" out of somewhere in New York. Not an established mainstream publisher of longstanding repute.

Wiley, on the other hand is among the "gold standard" of reputable publishers. And yet my library, the one I depend upon for maintaining a fair and balanced collection, has NO LISTING for this Wiley item:

Am I correct in detecting a whiff of bias? I surely would like to see the collection made more fair and balanced. As all should wish and want. It is only proper.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Well, we all make mistakes. Reading carelessly is one I just made. The Wiley book is not in the Anoka County Library collection because it has not been released by its publisher. I missed the "December 2011" wording on the above Wiley page. The self-serving item is now hot off the press, the debunking response is eagerly awaited.

This screenshot, and any readers who are frequent county library users are urged most strongly to do the same --

Feeding the Beasts.

This link. This excerpt:

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

The one Beast worse because the smarter of the two; the other failed to disclose wife's massive income levels from conservative cash cow position(s). Among hits returned by that linked Google search, this (as always, click to enlarge and read - see original for full report and working links):

Taking Liberties. Excessively so. Offensively so. If that screenshot was not enough for you -- There's more. There's this, from the same Bradblog report (where you go for the active links):


Yes, and we know Brad Friedman is "a leftist." So what has mainstream media said?

this NYTimes link

Less judgmental, in the wording. But the stink is the same. And in the photo, that's lighting in the background. Not a halo over the lady's head.

If you've nothing to hide, why hide it? Mrs. Thomas and her minions have totally scrubbed the latest venture's website. It is blank, and there's no source code to review if you try the domain:

The WayBack Machine has only one capture online, from after the scrubbing.

Whois and other info from DomainTools, here, here and here. The latter two, beyond a whois search, are paid-for and/or subscription services.

If any reader has purchased access to the items, and wants to send a screenshot, it would be most appreciated. What that site touted, before scrubbed, might be quite interesting to know. How it cast a light on Mr. Thomas, from what Mrs. Thomas was huckstering is something we all deserve to know.

______________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
A two page screenshot of the scrubbed homepage, only that, was found online here. All you need to consider is apparent from the first page. Click it. Read it and respect your nation and government for what it's become vs what it might have become:

The screenshot is linked to, from here. Add to that, Raw Story, here. It makes you proud - Such upward mobility exists in America. If pliantly useful, you get yours. And then there are kill-joys who want to do this to such an able jurist. Reported here. Some cannot feel that pride, e.g., here and here. It is almost as if they'd have expected a different kind of man, and mind, and sense of justice and perspective, to inherit the seat on the Court that was held by Thurgood Marshall. Why in our times would they ever have expected that? Thomas fits the times and we have John Danfort to be grateful to for the insight. Marshall was a giant. One's enough, for those championing the Thomas spouses.

And after all, Ginni Thomas' intent was to help clients reach "principled statesmen and candidates." Her website berfore the scrubbing said so. It's in the image above. How can naysayers find fault with helping to reach principled individuals, for those eager to pay the lady's fee? I'd even guess she could help with "principled statesmen" in the judiciary. Doing so, as your hired "ambassador." What puzzles me, is with such high motives, why exactly did she scrub the page?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where is your place on the Nolan Chart?

The star on the screencapture, on the chart, shows my "place in things."

click image to enlarge and read

So what's it about? Take the survey, find your place. See how the responses are graded as to your place on the chart, etc.

Obviously, it is a subjective exercise - little science to it.

I encountered the website by chance, considering the cliche of the four boxes of politics, and finding Nolan Chart listing five, not four "boxes of liberty." The version I had always heard just listed the four and allowed you to put your meanings into it.

The Nolan Chart site adds the "moving box" as a fifth, and sensible addition; and gives discourse; here. (Along with nice clip-art images.)

Homepage - here.

Scorpions. We have the best healthcare in the world here in the US of A, ya betcha. But -- best, for whom??

This link - bookmark it.

A repost from Digby - Hullabaloo (set a bookmark, visit and revisit the site).


by David Atkins

This is a priceless encapsulation of everything wrong with what America calls a healthcare system:
PHOENIX — An antivenom recently approved for fast treatment of severe reactions to scorpion stings comes with a high price tag.

Metro Phoenix hospitals are billing as much as $12,467 per vial of the antivenom, The Arizona Republic reported. Since the typical dose is three to five vials, bills for patients and their insurance companies can exceed $62,000.

The drug is made in Mexico and was clinically tested through the University of Arizona.

The cost inflates when the serum is sold in the United States. Each link in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain from the Mexican factory to Arizona patients raises the price.

A Mexican biotechnology company produces more than 250,000 vials for Mexican residents, who are charged about $100 per vial.

Anyway, it's good to know that America isn't a third world country like, say, Mexico. In Mexico, if you're uninsured and you get stung by a deadly scorpion, you have to pay $100 at the hospital to get treatment. In America, you get the privilege of paying $62,000 for the same exact treatment. That helps ensure that hospital and health insurance companies reap huge profits, which in turn distributes out to shareholders, which in turn trickles down throughout the economy, which in turn generates the sort of economic growth that allows you to get a minimum-wage job you should really be grateful for, because it will help you pay off your $61,900 hospital bill that you would have avoided by getting treatment in a third world nation like Mexico.

Makes sense. Also, the OWS protesters are just lazy hippies who should get a job already. This is the greatest country on earth, and I have no idea what they could possibly be complaining about.

h/t Rob Levine

A READER HELP REQUEST: Tell me, folks in Minnesota, if you are one of the fifty million Americans without health coverage, where do you go - in Minnesota - to get a tetanus booster shot, for a Ben Franklin or less?

Do you go to that guy's neighborhood? Don't think so? I don't either.


And while we are at it, folks in Minnesota, let's build Zygi a stadium, a big billion for it, because - why else - because he's Zygi and New Jersey is a great state.

Team stinks? Doesn't matter. Build the new venue, and get a performance boost in return, as with the football Gophers, the Twins. Check team records. Prove it is true.

IN OUR NATION, THE BEST ON THE EARTH, we have priorities. One priority is to see that those setting the priorities are the right people. The Helmsleys. The Zygis.

No riff-raff. Those with the right stuff.

So, what might that "right stuff" be?

Cleared of irrelevancies, the cowardly [anonymous] blog troll said, "Good God Man! These people are clueless idiots! Grow up! Inequity is what america is all about. A lazy worthless one like you will never have what I have. That is social justice!" Aside from the fact most respect the nation enough to capitalize "America" any thoughts? How does this attitude sit with you? A patriot and savant? A selfish person, mistaking a desire for justice for envy?

What [s]he "has" is irrelevant to the question. My impression - this is clearly NOT a 1%'er but instead a one-percent wannabe, unwilling to pay a fair share of the freight and willing to impolitely rail, without courage enough to show an identity I can challenge to a duel at sunrise. But readers, form your own impressions, please.

Cutting to the quick -- The Bottom Line -- Is Inequality what America is all about? To you? Your America, as you'd like it to be so you could have maximum respect for the nation?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FLAHERTY & COLLINS: Latest news item my Google Alert flagged on the firm.

Since I have been critical and skeptical about the firm, this item is very positive; and in fairness I should post this link to it. Muncie, IN, item dated Nov. 14.

Please have a look. It is about a building rehab effort, reportedly one of several FC is doing in Muncie, with private money involved.

I was happy to read such a positive item, given that we've been locked in by the council to their rental thing in Town Center. I am not saying let's all sing Kumbaya, locking hands with Flaherty, Collins, and each of our esteemed council members. But it's better news than some, especially about the condo project that was reported as having gone sour in the Chicago area.

Again, this link - and I have no idea of how long that news outlet keeps reporting online so that if you miss it now you might find only a dead link later.

Flaherty & Collins does put "news" pages on its website, and might post this one since it is so favorable.

Again, in fairness, if you've read the link (as suggested - after all you either read it or have only my take on things), a lot of the attraction in low-income housing renewal has to do with tax credit gaming, something Flaherty's PNC bank in Pittsburgh is skilled at manipulating (or at least they tout themselves as so skilled, on the corporate website). Not that provision of low income housing is a bad goal, and that incentives offered to beguile moneyed interests into spending that way are unhelpful, but where are the "free-marketeers" when there's tax credit money to be made? Where are they and their complaining about government intrusions biasing things?

New sidebar poll.

As always, this post will stay atop until the poll closes. The post date/time indicates when the poll closes.

It is understood that there is simplification to any single question, and to mixing ways and means, and goals.

So, vote.

The poll closed. I did not participate in it since my feelings are clear from the upper right corner notice bar.

With the question, "Do you support the Occupy movement, how people are acting and the goal of holding Wall Street and the 1% accountable?"

Results were; 6, 11, 2, and 2 as the vote counts for, respectively: yes, no, ambivalent, and don't care. [As percentages: 28, 52, 9 and 9, respectively]

With more and more cities shutting down the effort, and doing so with a handful of arrests but little to no violence, a question will be what if any lasting imapct will ensue?

In part that depends upon what follow-up steps happen. I admit to having no reliable guess on that matter. I know I would like ongoing solidarity and a grassroots groundswell, but that has not happened yet and the likelihood decreases with time.

I also had hoped to see a stronger response in favor of the Occupy movement. But it was not there, among readers, for whatever reason(s).

Soon I will remove the poll itself, and consolidate it lower on the sidebar with earlier poll result summary info.

City of Ramsey passed an interesting resolution at its Nov. 7, 2011, meeting [on a Monday because of the school elections being that Tuesday]. It fits the property rights orientation of some on council, as well as the habitat concerns of at least one on council.

I channel-hopped onto a meeting rebroadcast, catching a minute or two of discussion and the vote [my recollection was it was not unanimous], just before the mayor-council input at the end of the meeting. Elvig as best as I recall said just before the vote, that "Several people in my ward [Ward 1] have complained to me about this." McGlone said as best as I recall, "My experience was fine with this." (A McGlone amendment proposal intended to draw a public-private distinction was rejected, again, as best as I recall.)

So what is "this?"

Tree cutting - vegetation removal: As best as I can reconstruct things from that single late-in-the-process channel hop was that an item originally set for the consent agenda had been pulled from there, for discussion and debate; it being this resolution (with the accompanying staff memorandum thumbnail below the resolution thumbnails - click them to enlarge and read):

Online link - p1

Online link - p2

Online link

In our neighborhood phone service is undergrounded, the Connexus power grid shares public road right-of-way above ground, and cable is strung on the Connexus poles, well below the power lines. Phone providers do not need to cut trees, the cable company never has, and that leaves Connexus, saying online the following (with highlighting added - and, again, click to enlarge and read):

Online link

Our family experience so far has been okay. As part of trimming along road right-of-way that Connexus shares with Ramsey and other utility providers, within the past five years they rang the bell with a door hanger notice of tree trimming along the road. We got the office and CELL phone numbers of the Connexus employee supervising tree trimming, he visited the property and noted where a ten foot cylinder around the power lines would be, where branches would best be further trimmed to a branching point as best for the health of the trees, etc. He took about an hour or more, and when the crew came a few months later (working on contract for Connexus either from Otter Tail Power or doing all their contract trimming as a private contractor, I am unsure) they discussed what they'd do before doing it, and even trimmed the private service line area between adjoining properties on request, as a safety matter, gratis, upon having a homeowners' request. They did good work, and the initial doorbelling was done by a rep of the trimming people, on behalf of Connexus. In every instance somebody was home, it was not a property where owners all were at work during the day, and the Connexus rep was hard to reach. He did not return office voice mail, but the CELL number worked, and once we'd gotten through after several attempts, he was accomodating.

I am aware that others have had less satisfactory experiences with Connexus, fitting the Elvig statement noted earlier - and Connexus has the unjustified vindictive policy that they will not let anyone run to be on their board who has been in litigation with them for five years after litigation has ended. That is simply outrageous, since they are saying an owner cannot be on board and there's no reasonable basis for it. It sucks. Sue them for trashing your land, they take an ownership right away, or attempt to - I have not seen that policy litigated and I wonder if it would stand up in court if heard by a good and sensible judge.

That said, the highlighting in the Connexus item above is interesting. They must have a legitimate and enforceable "right-of-way," they cannot be trespassers, not lawfully, and that "deemed to consent" language begs two very big questions: deemed by whom, God, the Pope, the President, some pencil-headed pencil-pusher working for Connexus; and if Connexus wants to deem itself having the power to kidnap your children, that does not give them any lawful authority to take the brats, so extrapolate from that.

Some Connexus employee or worse, some hired-gun lawyer, deeming this-or-that, does not make it so, as a legitimate matter of law - not until a suit is filed and a judge makes a decision. Such language, by Connexus, falls under what I call "weasel words," where you can guess what I have in mind.

All of that is a prelude to what is or is not actually lawful. If you've a beef with Connexus, consult your lawyer and follow his/her advice, that's obvious, and I know the lawyer I'd pick for such consulting, one in practice in Anoka County for years, a top-notch litigator, and one who does not gouge or inflate the bill while being quite skilled at holding unneeded costs to a client down while still doing a quality representation.

I am not publishing any name, not advertising, but I will answer any legitimate good-faith email on the subject. We each have ways of making new choices, people we can talk to about choosing a lawyer if we've never hired one, etc.

I suggest there are two questions - first question, does Connexus have a legitimate lawful duly recorded right of entry, an easement grant, and you can look at your title policy that you should have gotten and kept from when you bought your property to see what easements of record then existed, while any you've signed off on while there should be something you remember where you hold a retained copy.

Second question, if there are easement rights, were they exercised reasonably.

Clearly, "reasonableness" and "reasonable necessity" for a power company to trim or remove trees and/or vegetation are debatable questions, and if you choose to sue Connexus you can expect to be deep-pocketed big-time. Barna, Guzy or an equivalent established firm likely will be retained, with an open account to do what is necessary to win or to force an adversary's capitulation by dint of activity and expense. That's at least my view of "deep-pocketing" the adversary in litigation -- you hold the by-far deeper pocket, and exploit it relentlessly. So, the faint-of-heart can like the City's resolution, but if it goes to court - BE READY ...

I am not a Minnesota lawyer, so I cannot give anyone legal advice; yet my opinions about what the law should be and how things should properly be arranged between a monoply service provider having power to enforce a contract of adhesion as far as judges might allow, are part of my inalienable First Amendment rights to think and speak freely.

That said, my belief is that Minnesota has one leading, definitive case on tree trespass, Miller-Lagro v. Northern States Power Co., decided in 1998 (online, here). It involved an actual right-of-way power, not a speculative one, and the Minnesota Supreme Court remanded for a determination of what degree of tree trimming [hence also other vegetation removal] was "reasonably necessary" for the utility to safely provide power within its public grid [there being no suggestion I could see in that case saying in any way that private stub lines off the service-grid and meant only to service an inland property would fall under a governmental road right-of-way assignment of utility routing rights]. The Court cited Minnesota's tree trespass statute:

Minn. Stat. Sect. 561.04 TRESPASS; TREBLE DAMAGES.

Whoever without lawful authority cuts down or carries off any wood, underwood, tree, or timber, or girdles or otherwise injures any tree, timber, or shrub, on the land of another person, or in the street or highway in front of any person's house, city lot, or cultivated grounds, or on the commons or public grounds of any city or town, or in the street or highway in front thereof, is liable in a civil action to the owner of such land, or to such city or town, for treble the amount of damages which may be assessed therefor, unless upon the trial it appears that the trespass was casual or involuntary, or that the defendant had probable cause to believe that the land on which the trespass was committed was the defendant's, or that of the person in whose service or by whose direction the act was done, in which case judgment shall be given for only the single damages assessed. This section shall not authorize the recovery of more than the just value of timber taken from uncultivated woodland for the repair of a public highway or bridge upon or adjoining the land.

(9585) RL s 4449; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1986 c 444

Again, how that case, other precedent, the statute, guessing at how vigorously one suing Connexus might be deep-pocketed, and how far (i.e., whether a will to settle to avoid a possible adverse direct precedent exists, etc.) are matters that only a most seasoned lawyer can assess and discern, and even then with no absolute degree of certainty. If you sue Connexus, the better your lawyer and the stronger your will to continue as far as needed, the better your chances of prevailing. But that is true in any litigation position you choose to enter or into which someone else chooses to plead you into. In war you'd want better firepower and armor than the adversary, etc.

If you walk from a fight at the outset, you've lost, but sometimes that's cutting your losses in a rational way. Sometimes not. It is the hold 'em - fold 'em dilemma that is part of life and the human condition.