consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A machine learning view of human decision making. On the eve of yet another juncture re whether Flaherty builds next to the enlarged ramp or Ramsey ends up with the world's largest billboard space, as it now appears, etc. Do humans have an appropriate long-term perspective, under machine learning norms of delayed reward-regret?

This link. If unfamiliar with specific jargon from machine learning literature, read the thing anyway passing over the jargon, and see that our council's myopia is not a unique human trait to them alone. That won't buy you a cup of coffee to know it, but knowledge for its own sake is not verboten.

There is talking the talk, and walking the walk. So far David Flaherty has talked the talk. But will he only walk the walk on his terms or none at all? The deal has been in flux around the edges, and now with risk multiplied to the tune of an $85 million new thing in Indiana, where Flaherty's from, and dwarfing even the firm's Orland Park public financed $63 million thing, we should notice Strib showing, indeed highlighting, "the talk"

Big Lake officials feel the down economy even helped them, because they were able to go slowly in forming a development strategy.

"If not for that, we wouldn't have had a plan in place by the time the train rolled out of our station in 2009," Larsen said.

By contrast, Ramsey's more aggressive approach -- seeking funding for projects years before being guaranteed a rail station -- did not pay off. The city between Elk River and Anoka was considered a sure bet for a station in 1997, when plans for the commuter line originated.

Then budget concerns cut the route in half and eliminated, at least temporarily, a station in Ramsey.

It was a tremendous blow to the $1.3 billion Ramsey Town Center project. Other troubles included mismanagement, a defaulted loan and a federal investigation that resulted in a fraud conviction and prison term for one Forest Lake banker.

The development area, renamed "COR of Ramsey," is starting to rebound with last year's additions of a Veterans Affairs clinic, the Falls Cafe and an Allina Health Clinic.

But the basis for the project has always been transit-oriented development, said City Administrator Kurt Ulrich, and Ramsey now is assured of funding for a $13.2 million Northstar station to open this fall.

Flaherty & Collins Properties will begin building another 230-unit complex in Ramsey in March, Flaherty said.

"There are only 100 of these commuter lines in the whole country," Flaherty said. "It's a great opportunity."

[emphasis added].

"Great opportunity," if not disingenuously said, has to be "great" even if you do not get your way at every turn in sweetening the deal, your way, each time. For instance, the City should keep a tight reversionary string tied to the parking spaces unless and until any and all city money at risk in the advenduring is fully paid off - with the right to repossess the parking rights in the expanded thing upon specific protective things written into the contract.

A parking right concession that is a 99 year easement, permit, license, call it whatever, that is alienable to some third party or that is appurtenant to the real estate in case the bank's first lien position gets foreclosed is not what's needed, and absent that not being the contract "detail in case of default," that the deal is written with the City having inadequate protective rights, then the deal is bad because the risk is bad.

There should, regarding the parking built to subsidize the entire thing, be real repossession/security teeth for Ramsey, should it ever need to bite.

Flaherty cannot object, since his intent is to make payments to Ramsey as and when due and such contingencies would only apply if he fails in that promise. If he keeps his payment promises then security is moot, and he's not said he intends to do less than perform all obligations. So securing Ramsey should not be any deal killer. If it is a deal killer, watch out, it might not be the deal it looked to be.

Otherwise city savants are gambling too much with too little assurances that Ramsey really is thought a special "great opportunity."

The city has built the extra ramp spaces. The city is going on the hook for a rail stop. Lkie only a hundred or so such situations nationwide. It's time to not be held over a barrel.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Reflecting back to that online psychology study, "The Nature of Belief-Directed Exploratory Choice in Human Decision-Making," one exploratory choice, if Flaherty's terms are too overreaching, involves the fact that his firm is not the only developer in the US of A, and if he flips the deal by overreaching, he or his bank, then there is the ready ramp and the rail stop, and the deal can be shopped to the development community. If it goes there, and there are no takers on reasonable terms, then that surely is a market defined proof the city officials did an unwise thing. But it would be retracing steps without any situation of a half built thing, and a "Now what?"

Who will be the big winner from redistricting? One guess ...

First, not any particular realty firm or outlet, but this site had the best online generic photo, so it gets a mention.

Conflicted situations outside of the Anoka County part of the north metro are still being reported, e.g., Strib, here.

The "hit" has been bipartisan. Strib reports of John Marty, DFL, and Matt Dean, GOP, each having another incumbent of his own party to now contest things, to move, or to work out horse trading. I know little to nothing about Dean and his opponent, I know John Marty is first rate and I am credibly told that Mary Jo McGuire who now is placed in the same district as Marty is equally a first rate person.

As to the photo, Strib has reported:

The map released by a judicial panel last week also held a nasty surprise for first-term Sen. Al DeKruif. The Madison Lake Republican finds himself in a district that includes his home -- and 96 percent of a district that Fairmont Republican Sen. Julie Rosen has represented for a decade. Only two of the townships he represented are in the new district that pits him against a Senate powerhouse.

DeKruif said he has talked to Rosen. "She feels that this is her district ... and I understand that," he said. Taking the weekend to mull his prospects, DeKruif has concluded he will not wage a fight against Rosen and is thinking of moving to a nearby Senate district that lacks an incumbent.

It might not be a stampede that revitalizes the housing market, but at least there is talk of moving to better a chance to remain in the legislature.

Legislators who are realtors may do best. I can envision them handing out business cards to colleagues. Across the aisle, in a true bipartisan spirit.

Changed circumstances, executory contracts, and such.

Roughly speaking an executory contract is a promise to make a more detailed promise, often with the devil in the details when step two happens.

In reliance upon Flaherty and Collins the City of Ramsey built a ramp extension, including the facing wall for what Flaherty and Collins promised to build.

Rule 10b-5 of the SEC is good because it is the most succinct statement of how there can be misstatement [negligent or if intentional then fraudulent misstatement, leading to wrongly induce another to enter into a contract -- AND that the wrongful inducement can be by either an affirmative misstatement, or a failure to disclose a material fact that might be an influencing fact, if known by the counterparty. Wikipedia explains:

"Rule 10b-5: Employment of Manipulative and Deceptive Practices":

It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails or of any facility of any national securities exchange,

(a) To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,
(b) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or
(c) To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person,

in connection with the purchase or sale of any security."

In the case of TSC Industries, Inc. v. Northway, Inc.,[2] the word "material" was defined by the U.S. Supreme Court - "an omitted fact is material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable shareholder would consider it important in deciding how to vote."

As many if not most of us know, opinions about what the law is or should be are only that - opinions - and if opinions did not differ, if law were science, there would never be litigation since each side would know "the law."

To me, it was a material omission by Flaherty and Collins to not have disclosed an intent in looking to gain an equity partner in its Indianapolis adventure, (the "Cosmopolitan by the Canal"), with the intent to not gain capital to make themselves more credit-worthy in Ramsey, but instead

to start a previously undisclosed further adventure,

to be yet another domino in their line which might fall and take other dominoes of risk with it, to wit expanding the Cosmopolitan property; something only recently disclosed publicly via the press in Indiana. Were I on council that situation would have been material to me on whether my city should take risks with the private-sector risk taker. "What are your other risks out there that could fail," is material, were I thinking of lending that Flaherty firm money - or going into any city credit-extension with them.

Were I on Ramsey's council, I would want to pin things down better, given this new factor, before going further, and if Flaherty and the Pittsburgh bank balk, particularly if the Pittsburgh bank had advanced notice of the greater risk factor and co-participates in it, which may or may not be the case, but if they balk, the City should assure its position is adjusted favorably given the enhanced but undisclosed risk, or consider suing for reliance damages (cost of the ramp extension) and refuse to proceed.

Apparently now a signed contract is being offered by the other side, and earlier executory promises of Ramsey were induced without disclosure that Flaherty intended to spread itself thinner - Orland Park and another Flaherty local adventure were disclosed - beyond what had been said. This added Indianapolis risk, with the City's security being an issue, makes reliance upon a personal guarantee of Flaherty (and spouse) and Collins (and spoouse) as security less a good idea if personal guarnatees are being given for this new Indiana adventure of the two gentlemen.

That's my opinion, but not being on council I have no vote. But my additional opinion is that those on council owe me and all other Ramsey citizens the duty of fully exploring this question of enhanced riskiness with Goodrich and Bray, before voting to approve a written contract offered as the other side's wish for wording in furtherance of previous executory understandings and commitments.

Opinions can differ, and those on council may, as previously, be as headstrong as they wish. Or not.

Interesting intra-party GOP viewpoints in end-of-month posting by Andy A. at Residual Forces, re Jungbauer-Benson - Minn. SD 31.

The blog's home address is

As to the headline: see, e.g., this link, with Andy's link-back to his earlier comments on a special Northstar trip. (Somebody's ego trip, several somebodies.) A quote within that post:

I heard it right out of the horses mouth on the Late Debate. Sorry Tim, but the honest answer happened already.

Senator Jungbauer doesn’t trust the Republican process. I’m far more than just a blogger, I have been very involved in politics so the little shot at us just being bloggers just proves the disconnect with the grassroots… You have no idea how involved the bloggers who caught Jungbauer trashing the endorsement process are and it will come back to bite you. We are VERY involved. Like so involved that when politicians take the endorsement for granted but then run off and support all sorts of liberal policies and projects….

Preferential Pork Or Pohlad Express – Update

There is only one conservative in this race. There is only one candidate who believes in the endorsement process and trusts their fellow Republicans to pick the best person to represent the Republican grassroots on the ballot. There is only one candidate who is a servant. Jungbauer is not that candidate.

[link in original]

So, what's in a name? This "endorsement process" thing, it's name doesn't suggest it has piranha teeth to bite and hold. Andy defines it as not a benign thing, but rather one with passions attached.

It might just be some people favor some people over other people. It might not. I favored Perovich over Jungbauer. Before that Starr over Jungbauer. There seems a consistency of some sort.

What struck me, "There is only one candidate who is a servant. Jungbauer is not that candidate." That's not the DFL outside the tent. It's all within. Back and forth, perhaps.

Things are interesting in new SD 31, we live in interesting times. I expect there may be more on that GOP endorsement situation posted before long, at Residual Forces, and I, for one. have bookmarked Andy's site well before this because he is someone who speaks his mind whether you agree or not.

I wonder who will run DFL, in SD 31 (as endorsed DFL candidate, presumably, i.e., without a primary).

Monday, February 27, 2012

This one I missed. It leaves me guessing what the keynote speaker might have had to say. But I would not have paid their tax anyway.

Grover Norquist. In town, Feb. 21. A missed opportunity.

My beef, they charged a twenty-five buck tax, to get in to see the savant. Taxing you at the door.

I know. They'd say it was "a fee." But that's just splitting hairs dishonestly. It's an entry tax, to me. Just like having to pay a poll tax to vote.

Tax crazy idiots. When will they show restraint? Taxing you, just to enter a lecture hall.

Deja vu all over again. A lesson in catalysis. Ramsey's version of a "Zygi stadium" without a citizens' referendum.

YASM - in all its unique and captivating beauty

Start with the laudatory stance some (an apparent majority) on the city council of Minneapolis are taking on the question of having a referendum as part of an orderly large scale public works investment. Strib reporting here (having a referendum); also, here (legislative reciprocity on sops for the uber-rich).

Now this, Ramsey wise, summer of 2005:

I recall our current mayor belly-aching recently over how debt service on that Norman Castle [it was a James Norman pet project] costs one and a half million dollars a year in debt service and it's a fixed budget cost getting in the way of his honor's Grover Norquisting all over us these days. That thing, the Norman Castle, was trumpeted to be the "catalyst" of the entire Town Center, build it and the tax base will stupendously grow as if manna were to be falling from heaven. An anchor and a catalyst, called by one present council member the thing that would kickstart the momentum of Town Center prosperity (that from the perspective of having chaired a thing called the "Town Center Task Force").

Yes, those in the groundbreaking photo can be roundly criticized for having done such an inadvisable thing, on hope alone but with the market not yet having tanked back then in 2005 - with the sharpest criticism being for the hubris of plunging on without putting the massive public works investment - proportional for a small town such as Ramsey to the billion dollar Zygi boondoggle - without any thought of having a citizen referendum.

It was hubris, it was stupid and it failed. Now we have the same strategy - throw money at it - in a punked-out market, i.e., tout again the "catalyst" story, but this time without that figleaf of a booming maket as before, to cover for current City push-on-a-string decision making.

If decisons were bad back then, Town Center being a cash sink, they are as bad or worse now. Same cash sink. But a rebranded CORpse, tarted up some and then touted catalytically, in a largely different market.

With a new "catalyst" catalysis will flow as if manna were to be falling from heavan, we are now told, from the new catalyst, that being Flaherty-Collins' resplendent rental by the rails. So, what's the real likelihood that the FC subsidized-parking "public-private partnership" (P3) thing will kickstart the momentum of anything now, despite the reassurance song we are again hearing sung from the council dias? Also -

Why get into all this?  YASM is why.

If wondering, YASM is an acronym for yet-another-strip-mall, the concept the current folks have inserted as a new vision in place of the vision of a unique planned walkable community. Fact is, with Maple Grove near we don't need a plastic clone-YASM clone-Maple Grove thing,  in Ramsey, and we've little to no basis for an assurance it will happen, or if happening, it will boom Our Town into Nirvana, as some think - or at least publicly allege.

That said, in November's election the question may be whether waiting and working on the older vision is better than YASM; with YASM being in its most offensive form via staff and council members, along with Darren, trundling regularly to Las Vegas to be part of a convention of YASM folks, from their nationwide haunts, so that the locals can court the YASM professional deal-makers the way a fat river fish courts an eagle.

How it was, is, and will be. The Norman Castle, what it is and how it was enacted will be used to bias the discussion of what's the best future course for Ramsey and its unfortunately failed Town Center - money sinkhole. It will be that way in ramping up to the November vote.

Where the issue should be simply one vision against the other, (and debate over waiting vs. costs of proactivism in the present realty market),  the looming mistake of how the Norman Castle was politically engineered into being by James Norman, in his unparalleled secretive and closed manner ought not to distract from the question of what's best as a future course - the "where we go from here" issue (which clearly must include debate over the Landform-Ramsey alliance and whether it remains an ongoing thing).

We will see one mistake set being less market-justifiable than the other, but more egregious; the non-referendum imposition of the ever draining Norman Castle debt service cost being the egregious one (made in apparent boom times without any benefit of hindsight); vs the successor "strategy" of trend-fighting hubris by pushing on a rope when the trend clearly is not your friend when taking that approach.

Remember, you read of it first in Crabgrass. How the election will play out locally. And a hint of past players probably reactivating an interest in how things currently are, and how in a bad situation things might best be managed next year and next decade.

There will be discussion: Whose past bad judgments have been worse. Whose plan, hope and vision for the future might be best.

YASM - Shazam!

(photo from here)

As a rhetorical question, what at Town Center since Summer 2005 has been built absent spending large amounts of public money? There are Deal's deals, the VA, Allina. And --- six million spent to buy still vacant land.

With digital cameras having taken the market, and Kodak in bankruptcy court reorganizing, a waste-recycling dilemma of my generation is solved.

How might people have used these things, beyond trash-canning?

They were actually credibly made, free of many toxic additives found in other plastic products.

If any readers had uses for these things, instead of adding to the landfill load, please leave an explaining comment. This was online:

The things were made to protect film from sunlight fogging, that is why opaque plastic was used, and with no light getting in the converse was anything inside was not in plain view.

Does Kodak still even sell film retail anymore, is there any market remaining? Kodak news, here.

A final image online, doubtlessly mirroring the main recycling use people found for these things: condiments.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rick Santorum, all things to all people and willing to praise an opponent.

photo credit

First, flexibility of viewpoint, not dogmatic but willing to tailor a message to a mood and audience.

Next, praise of Romney for efforts to see a women's health clinic being built in Massachusetts - doing for women in that State what our City of Ramsey Republicans did here, for veterans. Veterans and Women both deserve to see their healthcare needs met and advanced by government action. And the VA stands as best proof that the federal government can run effective healthcare provision at all levels from funding and policy, to delivery between patient and doctor.

Also, in the VA they do use bargaining power of the provider to attain favorable drug prices down to the individual patient level. So, Santorum's praise of Romney reflects well on Santorum, himself, and reflects even better on Romney. This screen capture:

click to enlarge and read
or go to the original here

So, veterans' health federal policy and programs being given an attaboy and boosted in Ramsey by Ramsey's governing Republican council majority; and womens' health federal policy and programs similarly boosted by Romney in Massachusetts - with Santorum praising the latter on his website. All that goes to show the Republicans are not as hidebound and backward thinking as many might believe. They are supportive of public healthcare needs. They are not always the troglodytes they sometimes paint themselves to be.

I wonder if the media is being fair. Strib, for example, paints Santorum as a culture warrior. I never have seen a single cultural thing to the man, but they write as they do. Actually it is not Strib itself doing that directly, it is Strib carrying a WaPo news feed, saying in part:

Asked on ABC's "This Week" how his faith fits in with his ideas about governing, Santorum said he disagreed with the "absolute separation" between church and state outlined by Kennedy in a 1960 speech. "I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," he said. "The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country."

Santorum and his aides insist it is the media that focuses on social issues, but the candidate spent an hour Saturday lecturing to a group of about 1,000 people in a church auditorium in Hixon, Tenn., about the dangers of a feel-good culture.

"True happiness comes from doing God's will," he said as the audience at Central Baptist Church cheered and gave him a nearly minute-long standing ovation. "It comes from not doing what you want to do, but doing what you ought to do."

That's not culture, that's belief, that's opinion where others believing church and state might meld doubtlessly share other opinions with candidate Santorum. Some shared ideas, maybe not all, regarding proper thoughts within a theocracy. Opinions can differ.

Among culture warriors Santorum fights in the lightweight division. Or has he intentions if successful, to fight heavyweight? Finally, pros and cons to any job.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
This from Seattle Times:

Also drawing attention is a 2008 speech to Ave Maria University in Florida, a private Catholic school established by the Domino's Pizza founder. In it, Santorum warned that Satan has been waging a spiritual war against the United States and has infiltrated academia, liberal Protestant churches and politics.

"Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of these strong plants that have so deeply rooted in the American tradition," Santorum said, in a video posted by Right Wing Watch, a project of the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way.

"We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."

Romney, Santorum's main rival for the nomination, struggles with conservatives not only because he once supported legalized abortion, which he now condemns, but also from distrust of Mormon teaching among some Christians.

Well, Santorum was not quoted saying a thing against Mormons (or Utah in general). He is against mainline Protestantism, when gone astray, and he disrespects Satan. He has yet to go on record about Moroni, Book of Mormon. And he opposes "absolutist doctrine." A real open and tolerant guy that way. And if you doubt that last nugget, do a word search of the Seattle Times item, for "absolutist doctrine."

It's there, big as life. He said it.

Santorum has to be understood, before you can fully appreciate him for what he is.

A reminder - please vote in the sidebar poll if you have not done so already.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deja vu, all over again. This time, City of Ramsey, franchise fee. Complete with talking point cues for the less creative on council who cannot independently invent their own. Circa a decade ago.

I apologize for the quality of the scans. By the time the doc is scanned in a low end scanning unit, then the scan is reduced to page size, it gets a bit hard to read. Sakry reports of frachise fee proposal recycling, this link. Recycling is genarally a good thing.

However -

It was a failed idea then ...

Read the Ramsey Resident scans, from summer, 2003. There may be an additional Deja vu all over again post, as I have another scan or two done today, for posting later.

Don't you like how the Resident publishes canned talking points, for recycling, these days?

Remember, that 2003 time frame reflects the Ramsey days of James Norman, his ways and means, and hence should be viewed askance by discerning folks having an active sense of history.

The Crabgrass word of the day - in recognition of Michele Bachmann, is ---

Carpetbagger. In further recognition of Bachmann, this parallel search for the "carpetbagger" word.

This link:

A Tea Party carpetbagger, proud, she has said, of her Iowa heritage - and now paying tardy recognition to a District that has been her basis for glomming onto a quite comfortable ongoing federal paycheck, in which she does not reside, and which she has largely ignored and done nothing for over multiple terms in Congress. We, the rest of us, are stuck with her because they, those who voted for her, are getting exactly what they deserve.

And now for something completely different and unrelated to Michele Bachmann and how she might be perceived by thinking people in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District, you can get a gold brick mouse for your workstation. Cordless. And, for more spent cash, you can get a gold brick USB hub.

Finally, in the spirit of not closing a post without a screen capture or other image, this screen capture:

In closing this brief look at a few words and terms, I should be the first to confess I have never known of anyone contending that Michele Bachmann can sing.

Hat tip to Ken Avidor, at Dump Bachmann, for first emphasizing Steve Sack's artistic in-depth analysis of the persona of the real Michele Bachmann.

More about Bachmann and her wanting to both run Sixth District and meddle into internal affairs of Betty McCullom's Fourth District; for satisfying her continuing pork-prize "Boondoggle Bridge" desires. And a primary opponent.

Here, here, here and here.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Birds of a feather. Per Residual Forces, here. Ron Seiford, in my book is a step ahead of the parade, because he does not have those endorsements. Boat anchor baggage is how I see that list, all for the Queen B.

Some even, unlike Bachmann, actually live in the new Sixth Congressional District.

Huzzah. And, woo woo.

Friday, February 24, 2012

RAMSEY NEWS -- ABC Newspapers reporting. Mayor Bob Ramsey no longer needs to commute. The Wise liquor store, with road realignment, will be publicly acquired.

The mayor, this link.

The liquor store, this link.

Sakry in reporting about the liquor store notes Elvig questioning any sense of urgency. It seems there is no real urgency, but for the November election coming soon, and the chance that the council make-up might change, possibly in ways less amenable to accommodating Jeff's interests. The City Attorney was noted in Sakry's report, as opining:

Were the city to acquire the Wise property, known as M&W Holdings, LLS, the city would be responsible for finding the business a new, comparable location and getting it set up again for operation, said City Attorney Bill Goodrich.

With a councilmember involved, a seemly thing to do would be to obtain a League of Minnesota Cities memorandum on that question. One laying out any such duties in detail, backed by legal authority. If Goodrich quoted any law behind his opinion, Sakry did not report of it.

The vote was unanimous, despite Elvig's mentioned concerns.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
To be totally clear, the last sentence should read: With Wise abstaining, the vote among the six other council members was unanimous, despite Elvig's mentioned concerns.

Precedent concerning business impact via changes in roadway have generally involved median barrier strips cutting off partial access to a commercial site and Minnesota law seems settled that this alone is not a compensable taking. Implementing a limited highway access plan with a service road access remaining, although perhaps more circuitous and less convenient, is generally not compensable. Changes of road grade and taking of property for road improvements complicate things. See, e.g., online cases here, here and here for nuances.

In general, disputes are better settled than not - negotiation being better than litigation when private parties are in dispute. When a municipality is a party with the adversarial landowner a municipal official things can look indecorous; as has been past history in Ramsey concerning town center land. Prior owners had the economic value of their land substantially increased by Highway 116 being extended from Ramsey Blvd to Armstrong, yet in settlement were given by City of Ramsey an amount roughly twice what the condemnation commission had decided was fair value. With that as history, dealing consistently with Wise is not outlandish, and clearly not unprecedented.

As to urgency, Wise in non-public negotiation with city staff, (as the private property landowner has all right to do), may have indicated a concern that optimal locations within the town center might be preempted if there is undue delay. What would be "undue" delay, and the realism of there currently not being any booming demand for Town Center land cuts against any such thoughts of urgency. Yet Wise is entitled to think and argue as he may, in his own best private land ownership interests.

Bottom line, to me, the City and Wise can avoid litigation if an amenable compromise is made, Wise selling at a price he and the City regard as fair, in negotiations, and his being accorded further consideration in relocation accommodation - a compensation in kind vs a compensation by payment - alone.

Whether Goodrich is fully correct on the nuances of a relocation being "owed" Wise, as was reported by ABC Newspapers as the Goodrich position in advising the city; nobody can contend that the City cannot negotiate land dealings which it believes beneficial, including land swaps, for any reason at all justifiable as rational.

If the City through its officials as decision makers decides to do a land swap with Wise, an in kind compensation, and one that even perhaps includes building a new structure for a continuation of the liquor retailing business done at the impacted site; the power is there and officials are presumed to act in the public interest absent exceptionally clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. An arrangement of a swap of like kind property might be more amenable to Wise and family rather than one that forces a recognition of capital gains tax consequences to the family, and if that is incentive to Wise to not hold out for more cash or for other terms more onerous to the City, then that is all for the good of the public and private interests at stake in negotiation.

The public interest is to improve community safety by fixing the Armstrong intersection while also expanding the road to handle higher future expected traffic demand. A further argued justification has been advanced, to make the Clown Center land more marketable since the council - previously - in its "wisdom" decided to purchase that land, as and when it was done, for the price paid. Past dumb decisions concerning Clown Center abound. I expect few would argue against that truth, in light of history. And continuation of dumb decision making by dumping more and more cash down an apparently bottomless rat hole will be judged at the ballot box this November. But, again, bottom line, if the City through its duly authorized officials, with Wise abstaining, decides to do whatever is needed to make officials and Wise satisfied and willing to settle in advance of possible litigation - go for it.

Citizens who might dislike the situation, or want to second guess things, have until this summer's filing deadline to run for council if believing they have better ways of running things and better minds for decision making.

Details of any particular land-related decision making, or other decisions of officials might be upsetting, as the settlement of the Highway 116 compensation without trial was to me back before Nedegaard's LLC bought the land, but personal opinion cannot trump the certainty that the city has powers that reasonably fit its need to serve a resident population. We can judge the wisdom of decisions, but should be cautious in inferring any wrongfulness absent very clear circumstances suggesting it; and we cannot dispute the powers that municipalities hold to govern in the public interest.

So, City of Ramsey officials - if you and Council member Wise can negotiate things in a mutually satisfactory way regarding his private property interests and the public's interests, and reach settlement, then do so, and if settlement is more easily reached by promptness, then that chance alone is urgency enough for acting now.

A reminder - only two days remaining to vote on the new 5-question sidebar poll.

Results thus far are interesting, but turnout is dismal. It is not as if having to go out in the rain to a polling place to vote - or having to produce a photo ID. It is simply sitting on your chair at your online station, sucking on a cup of coffee or whatever, and taking two minutes or less to participate. DO IT.

Abiding faith - in the party endorsement process - Republican flavor, New SD31. Michelle Benson is on record, "It is with my strength as a campaigner and my record of service in the legislature that I seek the endorsement for the senate for District 31. In the course of re-districting, my colleague Senator Jungbauer and I were paired in District 31. We have a respectful working relationship and I expect this campaign to be respectful as well. I will focus on my strengths as I reach out to delegates [...] I will earn their endorsement. Out of respect for the endorsing process, I will abide by the endorsement [...]"

RESPECT -- Not a big word nor a difficult concept, and a promising promise, in beginning an intra-party endorsement contest.

Sen. Benson certainly favors the word "respect," by repeated usage. Hat tip to Andy at Residual Forces, for publishing Benson's letter of abiding faith in the endorsement process.

Read the entire letter there - the headline only excerpts a brief part.

Expressing a hope for positive campaigning reciprocity is also sound campaigning at the time Benson is promising to accentuate her own positive aspects. She is familiar with her situation. She claims she ran a positive campaign in winning her last election.


I no longer face having Michael Jungbauer representing me in the Minnesota Senate, a fact of redistricting:

The MPR interactive map, for a generic "Ramsey 55303" address shows I no longer am lumped into a district reaching into East Bethel - Jungbauer's home town, and ABC Newspapers reports this new SD 35 including Ramsey has no incumbent Senator (Abeler continuing in new HD 35A - Hackbarth moving from HD 48A to 31B).

I am presuming (readers please email or post a comment if wrong) that a new HD 35B is created which, unlike Ableler's 35A situation, has no incumbent.

For those wanting to explore the interactive map in higher resolution or lower, and to move the maps in parallel to explore changed boundaries; or those wanting to do the same for the new SD 31 pairing the two Republicans, Benson and Jungbauer; the link for the interactive map is here.

Wikipedia reports, "Benson [ a CPA] graduated from St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, receiving her B.A. in Chemistry. She later attended the University of St. Thomas, earning her M.B.A. She worked as an auditor and consultant at Deloitte & Touche, and currently works as the executive director of the Upper Midwest Security Alliance." (The last link was not in the Wikipedia entry but was added, see also here, and this generic web search.)

Jungbauer's academic credentials have been reported; and I am informed that roughly as of last summer he no longer works for Landform, having his own consultancy, Infinite Hydrologic Solutions, Inc., registered with the Secretary of State as officed in Excelsior Minnesota ( as reported previously in Crabgrass).

Aside from the Residual Forces blog's publishing the Benson letter, the Benson-Jungbauer situation in the new SD 31 has been reported here (the ABC report linked earlier, where abiding by the endorsement process was not part of reporting), and as part of a larger picture, here (indicating Jungbauer was remaining equivocal about a primary contest, while discounting it as a likelihood but declining to state a Sherman statement definiteness); this being MPR reporting:

Jungbauer initially said on The Late Debate radio that he would run in a primary if he didn't win the endorsement. But he backed off of those comments on Thursday.

"There is no way on this earth that I will walk out of a normal, fair endorsement convention where somebody says to me 'Jungbauer, you're not our guy' and I would go ahead."

[italics added]

Benson's legislative page including contact info is here. Jungbauer's here.

Additional info on Benson, here, here, and here. I believe it is fair to say that Benson is younger and less well known than Jungbauer, for whom readers can find comparable Project VoteSmart links. The Benson letter published on the Residual Forces blog gives a contact phone number: 763-443-5690

Eric Hagen of ABC Newspapers reports on a GOP resolution of another redistricting outcome - two GOP house Reps. put into a single new HD 35B. They worked it out, one running for HD 35B, the other running for SD 35. It is unlike the Benson-Jungbauer battle of the Senators. For those not wanting to check the MPR map; HD 35B is the other half of the SD 35 including Ramsey; the Andover half, again with Abeler in the Ramsey half, since he's in the corner of Anoka that was included in SD 35.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
The most complete catalog listing of incumbents pitted against one another I have seen is here. Living in Ramsey, my focus has been upon the new Senate District without an incumbent, and the Jungbauer situation as being of interest for those who have faced having him as their Minneosta State Senator presently and in the past.

Readers are asked to post a comment on who the GOP may run in SD 31. Previously the DFL candidates opposing Jungbauer were Mike Starr and Peter Perovich. Perovich lives in Ramsey, in the new SD 31, while I am uncertain whether Starr's residence is in the new SD 31, or in SD 35. Reader help on that, via an email or comment would be appreciated. I know of at least one obviously ambitious young Republican in Ramsey who might think to run, but I have no idea of what base of support he might have if deciding to again seek office.

We will wait and see.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My brother-in-law and I discussed getting to the individual's identity in terms of Murder on the Orient Express.

As with my anonymous blog troll, there is now a City passion to not name names:

And now for something entirely different.

Let A Smile Be My Umbrella
(because I rust in the rain)

Something wholly unrelated to Ramsey, or to its remaining employees, this video

And if you don't like Python, then Disney.

But keep smiling.

Monday, February 20, 2012

FIVE QUESTIONS (New Sidebar Poll - Please vote - It will only take a moment)

It speaks for itself. Have a look. If you read the blog, please let others know how you'd vote. It is entirely anonymous. The sample is better the more votes entered. Poll closes, Feb 27.

Where do Mr. Flaherty and Mr. Collins spend their own money and bank credit, while City of Ramsey Builds them a Free Ramp and extends credit to them?


believe - it goes with their being apartment guys, there, the Cosmopolitan
All in one piece, one place. And, "Thank You, Ramsey." -- click to enlarge and read

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It has been a while since I read his work, but I recall Sinclair Lewis may at least once have written about the feigned sincerity of an academic mind. With the Megaupload shutdown having played out in part in neighboring New Zeland, Lewis might have noted that Australia after all was first Europeanized by forced convict deportation, from Britain.

The screenshot relates to the headline, but also, being at this link, it allows you into easy access to Lewis' work online.

Let's see. Out of copyright if dead before 1955. Marx, Shakespeare, Woodrow Wilson, J.P. Morgan. Whatever they wrote would be in public domain in Australia. The lifetime writings of Prescott Bush, no, he died in 1972, so it's not clear cut what copyright status might attach. Were you to want to consider reading the lifetime writings of Prescott Bush, you might need to meet your responsibility to check applicable copyright law. Stalin's writings, in Australia, are public domain but without access to both sets, you cannot tell where the ideas of Prescott Bush and Stalin coincided and where they diverged. As to government activity, procedurally vs ideologically, there may have been similarities and differences. I can only guess.

Property tax issues here and abroad - the question of special breaks for those in commerce.

Each excerpt below captures the beginning of a report, with the balance of each giving detail. After looking at the screen captures, consider reading all of each original report; per the caption links.


online here, per Strib


this link, per BBC

It is interesting Italy taxes real property nationally. It is something absolutely tangible, and impossible to hide. Real estate is not as easily hidden as income, which can go unreported or managed and kept offshore in Romneynian-style tax havens, where those with the means can visit their money in Caribbean island comfort or scenic Swiss canton locales. Enjoy the tour. Enjoy the cuisine. If you can buy into the lifestyle, you only live so long anyway, so enjoy ...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Andy, an Anoka County GOP barometer blogger, at his Residual Forces blog has twice touted GOP precinct caucus turnout, slighting DFL that way, and he would tell the other party how to operate. The DFL had no top-ticket contest nor any host of misguided zealots aiming to champion an Elmer Gantry in vest-sweaters.

First the GOP frothing-at-the-mouth rabid regulars, need to be put in a perspective regarding their good judgment, with this reprint from Feb 6, 2010 (between the dotted lines). Not that progressives dislike their being who they are - or how they run their party. The reprint was titled: 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.

They choose as they do, when caucusing.

The wisdom of giving everybody and anybody a choice? There is no other viable option, and the GOP rabid regulars, when caucusing, are entitled to prevail by numbers in their rabid bent to lose a statewide or nationwide general election by selecting a candidate at precinct levels who is most like themselves. (By sheer numbers, they prevail in Sixth Congressional District contests, despite their candidates' quality issues, with that overpowering strength in numbers vexing the thinking folks - there are some - in the District.)

Andy, here, first noted a disparity between GOP and DFL caucus attendance; then here suggested he knew more about how the DFL should run and handle its affairs than the DFL knows, promptness being to him next to godliness. I do not belittle Andy's general post quality, e.g., this as one of his better more recent presentations - more objective than subjective, and focused upon a real issue and choice of a "best" statistic to be looking at to judge the severity of the depression now facing us nationally and worldwide.

An easy answer to a disparity in numbers: Numbers en masse, are not an equal to quality in fewer numbers, at a caucus situation early on where this month the GOP turned out in roughly twice the numbers as DFL caucus-mavens. Probably such a belief in relative numbers not reflecting relative quality served as a rationale and balm of an excuse for and among the Emmerites upon statewide reason prevailing as shown by final general election returns favoring Dayton in the most recent governor race, (by a margin great enough that no Tony-crony recount expense ever was needed).

From my DFL precinct experience, the evidence I have without speculation, the presidential straw vote was a last thought formality, almost forgotten when the precinct attendees were ready to adjourn; with the focus being platform resolution voting and with the only strong party focus seeming to be upon showing a strong unanimity for defeat of the photo ID thing (something shown unreliable in the next post below when/if photo ID processes, particularly among the vain, would show a voter's photo as the voter wanted to be, not as the voter is per a current voting-day appearance in person, being eyeballed by precinct election judges).

My approach to discrediting voter ID suggestions uses a disproof by counterexample, of the contention that a voter ID (with photo) would eliminate all chance of confusion over a person being who he/she claims via being able to do a visual matching of a person at the poll with a photo on a plastic thingy the person presents in saying, "That's me."

Disproof by counterexample is well respected, among logicians, and if it is the logic of the sham that is at question, it stands disproved (while the real GOP motives, to quell as much as possible the other side's general election voter turnout, has nothing to do with matching an image on a plastic thing to a real face looking at an election judge - the ostensible argument the GOP disingenuously advances - to make it easier for election judges to spot "fraud" despite obvious "fraud" possibilities in photo retouching and despite the potential for fraud in any photo ID issuing process - where presumably you do not present a photo ID to obtain one - else there be a Catch 22 to the GOP stance).

GOP rabid regulars, used to caucus packing from way back in the days when Gary Laidig was waylaid by a mad woman's bloc, are fundamentally unlike the more educated and laid-back DFLers; and they did their thing. They were "incentivized" by rampant emotion over the Romney and anti-Romney choice, something they doubtlessly emoted over well in advance of caucus day while pitching tea into the Mississippi as part of working up to what for them was a suitable caucus attendance frenzy.

I expect a few pulpits resounded in that ramp up, noting the characteristics of the man in sweater vests re what we believe, done because perchance those sitting below and facing the pulpit lacked sufficient "independent" judgment to make a good choice absent the advertisement. But that's only a guess, since I don't view that sort of thing as a participatory predicate to my life and my moral judgments, which I make on non-mythological bases (i.e., including a rejection of the mythology that Reagan was spiritually or communicationally special, indeed worthwhile, rather than highly destructive to things long-term, with Reagan appearing banal and insensitive to any long-term dangers of his whims, propaganda and biases, something clearly obvious to me when I objectively considered the man and his surrounding people - what he did - what he said - and who he, as an ostensibly great delegator, delegated to). Reagan was second rate and Santorum is several cuts below that.

Not that Obama has lived up to promises of "change." Not that Obama has been disappointing to progressives and progressive hopes. Just, it is not judging Obama in the abstract, how he turned out in comparison to how he might have been, it is Obama in comparison to Santorum, or compared to an ethically challenged Newt Gringrich or to a corporate raider aptly described by Colbert's observation, "If corporations are people, then Mitt Romney's been a serial killer."

That is the conundrum our GOP friends face, among their choices. And they will not run Ron Paul. That leaves them only their three stooges. Obama should win easily, and can continue to not have to be as great as many had hoped and been led to believe he would be. With the Republicans indulging in waste management the bar is set low for Obama's reelection.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The question of the photo ID.

Surely we all should be attentive to possible fraud.

The Republicans, thinking requiring a voter ID would discourage a segment of voting population more likely to vote Democrat, are huffing and puffing about requiring a photo ID to vote.

Well, I see a potential for fraud in obtaining photo IDs.

I would want to require having a photo ID, before you would be able to obtain a photo ID.

That would not prevent fraud. But it would lessen the likelihood, which is how I understand the Republican argument. I think the Republicans are missing half of the anti-fraud argument. If there can be fraud in obtaining photo ID, then how are you protecting the election process, from fraud, by requiring a photo ID.

Give me a good old fashioned poll tax and literacy test any day, over this photo ID thing, if the aim is to lessen the voting turnout of undesirables. But then the Repubicans, they want no new taxes, so the one's out. And a literacy test, that would be "nanny state" and that's verboten too. But photo ID, that's not "nanny state" at all, it's pure GOP, left behind by the marching, crusading elephant.

photo from MinnPost, here
MOREOVER - Another part of the conundrum. Is this a valid photo ID?

Really, would a woman that old really, really have all her hair that blond, still? Wrinkle free? It looks bogus to me. It looks somehow - falsified. Inaccurate. Open to dispute. Contrived.
If you were an election judge, and the person below showed up with the photo on the left, on an ID, how would you handle it?

Same person? Or not? MPR photo, here
(note - this from 2004 report, other from 2012)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gabriela Guillen said that student research into the UW budget had found more than 150 non-faculty positions in which the salary is more than $165,000 a year — about what Gov. Chris Gregoire makes. "This is a public university, not a business," Guillen, a sociology major, said to a burst of applause.

This link. Also, see here.

Hanging public-university students out to dry is not a unique legislative sport to Minnesota. This link,

Do you suppose that scrutiny of the Minnesota higher education budget would find as many as 150 non-faculty positions that earn about the same pay as our governor? More than 150?

Any student out there getting hammered on tuition costs at the U.Minn TC campus, please look at the budget and post a comment for Crabgrass readers. Worse than Washington state, about the same, or better?

What about an Occupy the Regency, where the Board of Regents facilities are occupied by students leaving behind Ramen soup packages as a sign of the lifestyle our legislature imposes? Sviggum on the board, at what pay, while a GOP legislative functionary as his primary occupation and passion?

Monday, February 13, 2012

"The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues, a primary reason for the government's annual deficits and mushrooming debt." Read of that thought, in detail.

This NY Times link.

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It

Published: February 11, 2012

LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.

He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region’s long-serving Democratic congressman.

Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice.

There is little poverty here in Chisago County, northeast of Minneapolis, where cheap housing for commuters is gradually replacing farmland. But Mr. Gulbranson and many other residents who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class and as opponents of government largess are drawing more deeply on that government with each passing year.

Dozens of benefits programs provided an average of $6,583 for each man, woman and child in the county in 2009, a 69 percent increase from 2000 after adjusting for inflation. In Chisago, and across the nation, the government now provides almost $1 in benefits for every $4 in other income.

Older people get most of the benefits, primarily through Social Security and Medicare, but aid for the rest of the population has increased about as quickly through programs for the disabled, the unemployed, veterans and children.

The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.

And as more middle-class families like the Gulbransons land in the safety net in Chisago and similar communities, anger at the government has increased alongside. Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it. But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age.

The expansion of government benefits has become an issue in the presidential campaign. Rick Santorum, who won 57 percent of the vote in Chisago County in the Republican presidential caucuses last week, has warned of “the narcotic of government dependency.” Newt Gingrich has compared the safety net to a spider web. Mitt Romney has said the nation must choose between an “entitlement society” and an “opportunity society.” All the candidates, including Ron Paul, have promised to cut spending and further reduce taxes.

The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues, a primary reason for the government’s annual deficits and mushrooming debt.


Read the full item. Again, here. It is longer than many online items, but try for an expanded attention span because reading the full item is worth your time. (It is not as if I suggest you read all 1311 comments too, although you might want to scan a bit of the comment thread, to see how the item resonated with readers - those caring to take the time to add a thought of their own or two.)

So, either become an irrational tax-rebel Tea Partier, ranting against all government handouts except the ones to you, or become an advocate of better sharing of the wealth, and of the income from it.

Capitalism, as a system is premised upon capital being the key factor of production, more important than labor, more important than raw materials, with its efficient use being key to economic efficiency and prosperity, of the whole. However, nothing in that standard scenario says the fat plutocrats have to take it all, and give table scraps to the 99%. That - taking the lion's share because the system is set up so you can - that is merely a politics of greed, not any economic theory of factors of production being efficiently utilized.

There simply is no proof that allowing the bulk of wealth, income and power to be concentrated at the top is at all decent or efficient. Stories such as the New York Times item show that the government is not aimed at evll looting of everyone, to benefit nobody.

Proof seems to be that it's most fine for the plutocrats, and it can be something like jail time for a major part of the remainder of our society.

What the student-loan setup, and the rising cost of gaining a post-secondary school education, and bankruptcy law is putting on the younger non-wealthy but college educated generation, that is simply obscene. That is where government fails most. It is probably one of the first things that needs to be fixed - to again allow a chance of social and economic mobility for those not born into wealth. As it was in the 1950's and 1960's.

Without decency toward the young, they will be too vulnerable to propaganda making them resent the bulk of older generations, instead of rightly seeing it is only a small top fraction of those older folks that are screwing them royally and need to be, one way or another, stopped.

The Helmsleys of our world need to be hammered down. Now is not soon enough. Tomorrow will only be later. So do it now. All the people with grievances over how things are happening in our nation need to have the good sense to ignore Rupert Murdoch, a one-percenter for sure with his heart exactly where his pocketbook is, and they need to ignore his paid barking dog pound, and try something entirely new in their lives, thinking for themselves about how wealthy a nation is, how hard things can be for themselves, their family, or for folks they know well, and why that gap between wealth of a nation and the personal well being of many exists. Then, what should be done about it?

Yesterday, Feb. 16, Brauer at MinnPost reports the story behind the story, "How the New York Times got the Chisago County entitlements story." Brauer's analysis reaches the "editorial" choices - picking Chisago County, Minnesots, vs Nebraska or Arizona, making it a story reporting an extent of dependence upon government entitlements along with attitudes against the government, and entitlement programs being challenged. From the perspective that government exists, in a proper world, to protect the poor from the wealthy and the wealthy from each other, i.e., not only to level the playing field, but to redistribute the score after the game's run; then the irony of the story is how could anyone think such a basic distributive decency within government is wrong and that law of the jungle is how our nation and people should strive to be both moral and great. Law of the jungle is fine for predators. Not so hot for the prey except as with the Wildebeest, where the prey reproduces at such a rate that the predators have a sufficient pool to exploit without a total deprivation of the prey population. If the prey do not reproduce sufficiently, then the predators either face extinction or eating one another. It is a kind of law of the jungle slant to the contraception question, reflecting on those who most vocally oppose contraception. They need a sufficient prey pool to prosper and thrive, in their way of staying alive and comfortable. What can be outsourced is being outsourced, but where the prey function is local and cannot be outsourced, that prey pool has to be local. The lion cannot outsource its direct lunch needs. That also helps illimunate law of the jungle views of the immigration question.

The Dems and money. The nastiness and sub-mediocre range of GOP offerings is why it's bite your lip and vote for four more years. But there are things that offend when taxing the rich fairly is what will fix the mess, but what may not be a priority of either player in the two party system.

Here. And here. Both items speak for themselves. If there is sucking up to the rich, do not expect the same politicians to really intend to tax them, despite what rhetoric may be fashionable. Yet it is what we need to rebalance the machine and make the "American Dream" a reality for the young and disillusioned.

Money is what is corrupting the system - has corrupted it - will continue to corrupt it.

The Tea Party bleating is disappointing, in ignoring the need to control the power of money in politics, the need to clean up the Washington DC for-sale mentality, which Mark Dayton correctly called a "cesspool."

With Tea Party folks listening to the likes of Michele Bachmann, reform is not going to be on their radar. While Bachmann is far from being one of the 1%, at a guess I would say top 3-5 percent, and not at all charmed with the idea of her own fiscal ox being at risk of being gored. How it is. Not how it should be.

The Tea Party needs to listen to the Occupy movement, to learn, to understand.

Hat tip, for wanting to see the other side's house be in order, here. It needed to be said. Some on that side recognize that a for-sale sign on either party's headquarters is counterproductive.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

With Rick Santorum now a presidential candidate who some Republicans, against all reason, believe to be presidential; it is time to look again at the "Santorum Amendment" and "Santorum language."

Start with Wikipedia, here.

Then look to that infernal mischief house in Seattle/Washington State, the Discovery Institute; here and here.

NCSE, here.

Prof. Miller, outraged, here.

Now, would anybody be dumb enough to introduce or even attempt to introduce such creationist evolution-denial language into Minnesota law - to attempt to force schools to teach the "Intelligent Design" flavor of creationism in our schools as if it were "science?" To put us that much further behind the Europeans, Chinese and Indian governments each bent on assuring the best and brightest of their next generations are scientifically literate, and beyond that, adept?

Who would be that stupid and troublesome to want to mess up education in Minnesota?


Jungbauer ; Nienow ; Bachmann ; Reiter ; Hahn

This link. Read the text, here. And remember it was not language invented by those five.

Indeed, aside from that local connection, always remember as the GOP picks a challenger to Obama, for now, in the 21st Century in our treasured nation -- that the instigator of this creationism mischief was:

Rick Santorum

Please do not forget that for a moment.

The man is a clear and present danger to anyone who thinks.

A clear and present danger to anyone who values science.

It appears the Intelligent Design hoaxters have retreated.


But not for lack of effort by Mr. Santorum.

Regrouping, for who knows what. With Santorum their favored banner carrier.

"County [and City of Ramsey] redistricting, the result of population shifts noted in the most recent census, is three months away -- after a court panel releases the new congressional and legislative district lines and the April 3 deadline for cities to define new ward boundaries."

Here, for this online Anoka County Board District Map:

click either image to enlarge and read

Here, for this City of Ramsey Ward-Precinct map:

Use your imagination on each for exact boundary lines, since street names are absent in each.

The quoted Crabgrass headline is from Paul Levy's Strib report, here, stating in part:

"They've been so vindictive in how they've treated me that I'm expecting this not to be pleasant," said longtime Commissioner Dan Erhart, who wonders whether fiscal conservatives Rhonda Sivarajah, Robyn West, Matt Look and Andy Westerberg will vote for a district-line placement that could determine his opponent.

But Sivarajah, the board's chairwoman, countered by saying that the board will try to draw district lines "that make sense."

[...] "As far as being political" when defining districts, she said, "you'd have to ask Dan. He's been through this."

The county's total population is not the redistricting issue; it's how the population within the county is distributed, said Cindy Reichert, county election manager. If there's more than a 5 percent population shift within a district, new lines are drawn.

For Erhart, Sivarajah and Carol LeDoux (who won a special election in 2010 and is finishing a term started by her late husband, Scott LeDoux), this was going to be an election year anyway, with or without redistricting. West, the board's vice chair, won re-election in 2010, and Look and Westerberg were elected to their first terms on the board in 2010.

Now, all are expected to run this year. Reichert and County Administrator Jerry Soma said that only Kordiak -- whose already densely populated district represents Columbia Heights, Fridley and Hilltop -- is likely to avoid having to run this November. He won re-election handily in 2010.

[bolding and links not in original]. Strib, again this link, for Levy's full report. I expect that April 3 deadline applies to Ramsey, where population numbers suggest that the line separating Wards 1 and 2 may need to be redrawn. Wards 3 and 4 appear to be balanced, and would be if the differences in the other two wards are equalized by moving some Ward 1 population into Ward 2. My suggestion, during a break in an earlier Ramsey work session meeting, was moving the northernmost part of Ward 1 into Ward 2, to put Elvig and McGlone in the same district, for the sport of things - to liven the election a bit. The thought was not well received by either McGlone or Elvig.

Given the Apr. 3 deadline and that redistricting will be done by politicians, my hope would be to see it finalized on Apr. 1, All Fools' Day. Even if special meetings need to be called, it is an apt target date.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why an LLC and a regular business corporation?

And wow, 50,000,000 shares. Somebody anticipates booming a business, for sure, ya betcha.

I wonder if a ground floor buy-in opportunity is yet available, for when the thing goes public with an IPO, just as Facebook has recently done, (making Zuckerberg not only a wealthy billionaire, but one having liquidity - a place to sell some shares and diversify).

So, who is the innovator and entrepreneur behind this Twin Cities adventure? That is the question.

There is this about that.

I admit I don't catch all the news, but I have not heard much alleging Mike Jungbauer is a big time spender, yet he did the two filings, not a mere single incorporation. Same place in Excelsior, same general business name, but one an LLC and the other a standard business corporation. What's the plan, Dan?

But wait. There's more.

Wow. Zowie.

How can I buy some shares? What's the price? What terms and conditions? Any restrictions on resale of shares, once purchased? If any reader knows anything - anything about this adventure, please send an email [address on the sidebar] or post a comment.

That firm -- It must be one of those "job creators" that the Republicans are always yammering about. Please let me know. (An email can be sent captioned in the "subject line" as "off the record," if identity or content of communication is something the writer wants to keep private.)

For now the IHS - Infinite Hydrologic Solutions firm appears unregistered in North Dakota, where the oil boom is booming and you'd expect a foreign corporation registration to have been filed:

Also, same registered office address, a contractor:

See, e.g., here. Any info if co-owned? Or doing joint business, anywhere in the US of A, or abroad? Send an email, please.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Checking records of other neighboring states, without any oil boom, yielded no IHS, LLC, nor any Infinite Hydrologic Solutions, Inc. (Nor an LLC with that name) filings in Wisconsin or Iowa. Some partial name overlap was found, but no Minnesota firm's filings (per the Minnesota home-state filings), and the late-2011 timeframe of the Minnesota records.

There are nuances to "doing business" in another state, see, e.g., this Wisconsin page:

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Caucusing last evening was mild, on the DFL side, since we had no Santorum stuff to worry over. No flat earth resolutions. No burning of witches or warlocks. No global warming denial.

DFL Precinct Caucus Resolutions - Photo ID: At DFL precinct caucus, Ramsey Ward 1 Pecinct 1 - Congressional Dist 6, present Senate District 48, a standardized language platform resolution was approved against photo ID. I say "standardized" because the identical language was proposed, as I understand things, in each DFL precinct caucusing at Ramsey Elementary.

Taxing the Rich Fairly, Privacy and Remedy, McMansion luxury taxing, and Corporations are NOT People: The four resolutions I proposed were approved, and the gentleman acting as precinct chair, also requested to be on the resolutions committee at the senate district caucus, the next stage in things. However, one was amended to keep the spirit of the suggestion without specifying any particular "reasonable" taxation level. Here are the four as approved, if my memory of editing is correct:

So -- People favored taxing the rich fairly, a McMansion luxury taxing level, privacy and a right to a remedy, and a declaration that corporations are not people and that the DFL party should work tirelessly to overturn the mischief of Citizens United.

Partial Cannabis Decriminalization: A resolution favoring decriminalizing medicinal cannabis and industrial cannabis [for paper, hemp rope, etc., the kind George Washington grew], with "recreational use" not a part of the resolution in order to not be controversial.

Rank-Choice Voting: All of those approvals were unanimous. A split vote defeated a resolution suggesting rank-choice voting be approved as DFL party policy. I expect that such a resolution shall be passed by other precincts, and hence shall reach the resolutions committee.

Gay Rights - Marriage: Our precinct did not consider any gay rights or marriage amendment policy resolution proposals, where again the guess is other precincts will be proposing something for voting at the next level.

Family choice: Nothing. Again the guess is many other caucuses will address it.

Environmental Protection - Sulfide Mining: Environmental resolutions unanimously approved include:

It was unanimously thought that two proposed sulfide mining resolutions (the above, and a second with differing WHEREAS clauses but with the resolution part identical) should also be forwarded to the next level for decision. Presuming the precinct chair will be appointed to the resolutions committee, there will be a person who voted in caucus available in deliberations to be able to justify thinking as it was at precinct caucus; which is good for avoiding error or misconceptions. Also unanimous:

Supermajority policy:

While not scoping out goings-on in the GOP caucusing, I expect the Santorum people had a flat earth and a global warming - hoax resolution, and one declaring that contraception is Satan's work, that too, in wanting their way in things regardless of reason. You know how they can be.