consultants are sandburs

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Veteran preference in contractor hiring for federally funded projects - are quotas really unfair, or only when ethnic/linguistic minorities are favored?

The headline question is for each reader to consider and answer for him/herself.

This MinnPost link, "Contractors contest new rules for employing veterans - By Adam Wahlberg - 08/30/13." This opening excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Labor said this week that it has updated a federal rule designed to promote the hiring and employment of veterans—and while veterans appear to welcome the change, contractors say it is unnecessary and will increase costs.

The new rule updates the requirements set forth by the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) of 1974, which told federal contractors and subcontractors to recruit, hire, train, and promote veterans but that didn’t contain any benchmarks for companies.

The rule requires contractors to adopt either an 8 percent benchmark (which reflects the percentage of veterans in the national workforce) or create their own benchmark based on “the best available data.” For example, if an employer is based in a geographic area with very few veterans who are applying for these jobs, the metric may be adjusted.

Quota time, folks. Later in the item:

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said that the new rule would create an Everest of new paperwork with a steep price tag for compliance. [...]

In addition to the changes to rules pertaining to veterans, the Obama administration also announced this week an update to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 concerning the hiring of people with disabilities by federal contractors. Under the new rule, contractors and subcontractors are asked to set a goal of staffing 7 percent of their workforces with people with disabilities. [Brian Turmail, executive director of public affairs for a contractors' trade organization] notes that the cost nationally to comply with the two rules could rise to $6 billion a year for contractors.

The Labor Department disputes this.

Doubling up on quotas, folks.

Good news? Bad news? Is there a small business exemption, i.e., do the rules only kick in on a project funding size basis, or project workforce size basis?

Are wholly private sector contractors free to do as they please? Recall, when Ramsey's rail stop and Flaherty's adventure were being built, the rail stop contractor was constrained by state law [Minnesota's little Davis-Bacon Act] to pay prevailing wage, and keep records for verification, whereas Flaherty could pay as little as he cared to offer, constrained only by what the market would bear.

Again, the full report as written is online here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What to say? Strib reports Hillary Clinton will be in St. Louis Park in October. So?

Should I get so excited I wet my pants in anticipation over Hillary's jaunt to raise money at $100-500 per seat, with the split of the take between the venue and Clinton's campaign not reported?

If the Dems run her because "it's time for a woman" she will lose and hurt Minnesota DFL candidates down ticket.

If it is time for a woman, I have no problem with Maria Cantwell, junior Senator from Washington as a sound and solid candidate.

Cantwell is as smart as Hillary, but without all that baggage.

Cantwell is as baggage free as Klobuchar, but smarter.

Cantwell does not grate on people. As with Klobuchar on that score. Just a brighter light bulb than Amy.

The only way a Hillary candidacy could succeed is if the Republicans run Paul Ryan. I do not think they are that stupid.

Hillary against Rand Paul, hard to handicap, but Rand would make a very strong showing. Possibly winning, although it now is too early to guess it on a more likely than not basis. Between Hillary and Rand Paul, I am unsure now how I would vote.

Hillary would be a disaster. Nobody at second spot would rescue things to any great measure.

Biden? He would have an equal effect on down ticket DFL'ers. Biden is as tired a DC insider as Clinton. Dayton was speaking soundly when he called DC a cesspool.

Oh -- worth saying. Hillary or Biden over Jindal, but again the statist Republicans are not so stupid as to run Jindal, nor the Texas governor.

Readers are invited to state a preference in a comment, for who they believe their favored party should run, and who the other party should run, and why. So far, in terms of quality and winability, I think it is time for a woman on one of the major tickets, and regardless of gender, Cantwell is one I can now think of and envision as a most impressive choice. (That being said with no notion of whether she'd want a run, or, per inside party politics and how the money trees may shake, whether a Cantwell candidacy would advance.) But - who else? Russ Feingold? The Republicans? Jeb, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio? Who knows?

Another good question, next cycle, will MichelePAC spend much of anything on actually backing candidates, and if not, what are Bachmann's plans for money that her long supportig special fools might give her, still?

A point deserving clarification. Amy Klobuchar could be president and likely would do a better job than Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Bill Clinton, either Bush, and so far, Obama. And Obama and Clinton each is undeniably bright. Klobuchar has character intangibles that would trenscend that batch in quality, which is likely why she will never get a shot at the brass ring. Hillary is more a fit within that batch. And a rabid bat would be a better president than Nixon. Less time in office being one plus for the bat. Or are they rabies carriers only, without suffering terminal termination? In any event, the bat over Nixon, in an eyeblink.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
A reader has suggested Klobuchar has substantial baggage, but it's baggage others carry too.

Klobuchar was instrumental in the new Stillwater bridge boondoggle being perpetrated on taxpayers and on the environment. Klobuchar has supported sulfide mining up north, despite great environmental worry and uncertainty.

Klobuchar has been favorable to economic pressure interests that way, and unfriendly to the notion that the earth and waters and asthetics of Minnesota need representation too.

Opinions may differ, with the Iron Rangers' "Jobs, jobs, jobs," theme song coming to mind. "We owe, we owe, so off to work we [want to] go," the dwarfs sing. To one another. Who else cares besides big extraction polluters wanting to maximize profits by spending as little as they can get away with, in meeting environmental protection concerns?

___________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Part 2, of the saga of Amy and the Big Pit Sulfide Miners -- those of the "Jobs, jobs, jobs," theme song might well have little to sing about; MinnPost, in an interesting item, stating:

So promises of good times and plentiful jobs need to be treated with circumspection. PolyMet has repeatedly scaled back its job predictions for its huge, open-pit sulfide mining project near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., and the company’s own figures suggest that only 90 of the promised 360 jobs just 25 percent — will go to local communities.

Local is, moreover, a relative term. Mine workers today tend not to live in mining towns; they will commute an hour or more to work. And hiring will always be subject to swings in metals prices, which are now dependent on two new factors: continued Chinese growth (and urbanization) and the entry of big financial firms into metals warehousing and trading.

A piddle in a puddle? Job-wise it is looking that way.

That is from the middle of a much longer online item, again here, to read it all (including the two hot links in the above quoted part of MinnPost's item, links that are omitted here).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If Minnesota is building the stadium, and the team is putting up some cash, it seems Minnesota should take a security interest in team ownership, in case the team [aka Wilf] fails to perform contract obligations.

Rather than all this audit posturing, having a chance to see Wilf finances, take that security interest, and perfect it properly while seeing who has a senior security interest and in what amount. If Wilf papers up ownership, that's bad faith, and put the stadium on ice until he conforms to decent dealing. However, despite the New Jersey court decision and the judge's castigating language toward the Wilf clan, the expectation should be good faith arms length dealing. Only if that fails to be the case would a drastic negotiation posture be merited.

Who knows? If the New Jersey judge really hammers the Wilfs on damages [including punitive damages for being bad actors] and the Wilf wealth is actually too thin or illiquid, Minnesota could end up being the next Green Bay; in terms of public ownership of the team. Remote as a possibly, yes, but intriguing as a thought experiment.

Minnesota getting all those revenue streams that go with ownership, the sweets Zygi has been allowed and the extra benefits he wants to negotiate, seat license obscenities and all, if that were State revenue, nobody would need to pay taxes. Well, that perhaps exagerates things.

Yet -- All the purple profit might end up flowing to public coffers - as with Green Bay. And there would be an end finally to all BS threats an innuendo about possibly "having to" move the team.

Many overlook the population bomb and its incessant ticking. Every so often we should think about it and, in our nation, Michele and Marcus Bachmann having five kids, in this day and age.

Asia Times Online republishes an editorial from here. That bearish oriented website is worth reader review.

Andy at Residual Forces posts an email from some guy who says he is a Conservative, and beats his chest Tarzan-wise as disliking the DFL and wishing them ill. These are stellar GOP qualities, and he should serve as he wishes, his email having said eighteen times he wants to whomp the DFL next election, if not sooner.

This link.

Also, this guy went to college. He says that too. Only three times. And while there, he formed like-minded friendships.

Syrian "use" of chemical weapons of mass destruction. Do you care? Will Colin Powell be taken out of mothballs and stuck in front of the UN to give a repeat speech, scriped already, to be known as Colin's Iraq Speech, redux?

Pepe Escobar, here. R2P and R2A? Responsibility to protect, responsibility to attack.

Escobar explores this war's version of Bandar's and Obama's pastiche Coalition of the Willing. With Saudis and Israelis uber-willing, to hold Anglo-American coats during a fight; France rumbling.

That last link, from here. I recall a wisdom of Barry Weintraub from when I was in law school. He regarded international events and problems as less important to him than the man who fixed his car.

More evidence of wretched excess from our ever-overvigilent NSA.

USA Today, here, carrying an AP feed, reports:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations said Monday that it will contact the United States about reports that the National Security Agency hacked its internal communications, and the world body emphasized that international treaties protect its offices and all diplomatic missions from interference, spying and eavesdropping.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday that the United Nations will "reach out" to U.S. officials about the reports of eavesdropping, as it has in the past when such allegations have been raised.

Haq added that "the inviolability of diplomatic missions, including the United Nations and other international organizations, whose functions are protected by the relevant international conventions like the Vienna Convention, has been well-established international law."

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday that documents it obtained from American leaker Edward Snowden show the NSA secretly monitored the U.N.'s internal video conferencing system by decrypting it last year.

Der Spiegel also reported that the NSA installed bugs in the European Union's office building in Washington and infiltrated the EU's computer network.

The 1961 Vienna Convention regulates diplomatic issues and status among nations and international organizations. Among other things, it says a host country cannot search diplomatic premises or seize its documents or property. It also says the host government must permit and protect free communication between the diplomats of the mission and their home country.

That extended excerpt captures almost all of the USA Today/AP item, with the caveat that the media, like me, apparently were not walked through details of whatever underlying base evidence there is. Or if more evidence was presented to the media, they choose to report largely hearsay of one statesman and of Snowden.

However, that alone should suffice to have the evidence dug up and reviewed by a panel of objective and independent security experts, in an unfortunately lengthy but thorough fashion. With all reported, none redacted for "national security" reasons.

And next a grain-of-salt caveat - some allege that blue-ribbon panels can occasionally be convened to cover up more than to discover and disclose.

Yet on the basis of best evidence now reported to the public, how much is too much?

And, why are heads as yet not rolling? The time seems ripe for it. Even overripe.

USA Today/AP coverage did not give Spiegel links. For Crabgrass readers, online English language Spiegel links of interest related to the AP feed are here, here, here, and here. That makes up a starting assist to any reader wanting to read more.

Readers are encouraged to bookmark Spiegel's English language online outlet:

The Crabgrass Klayman watch; with a focus on Larry's latest.

Klayman, here, legitimately links to an Aug. 21, 2013, N.Y. Times item critical of NSA, headlined, "Secret Court Rebuked N.S.A. on Surveillance;" and Klayman legitimately writes:

This revelation, that Obama's NSA, obviously at his explicit or tacit direction, had violated the Constitution three times and engaged in a pattern of misrepresentation to even the court, much more the American people, underscores why Edward Snowden, now holed up in Russia, is not the real villain here. Instead, it is the president himself, who bears responsibility for the NSA and who surely must have been informed, at least as early as the first admonition by Judge Bates, that the privacy rights of American citizens were being systematically violated. But where were the Republican senators and congressmen? Republican Peter King, who has been rabid toward Snowden, to protect his own derriere since he supports these illegal intercepts by the NSA, must also have been privy to the court's rulings. Even anti-establishment, Republican "heavyweight" Sen. Rand Paul has let the matter essentially drop after he complained early on and promised his own legal action to address this scandal.

It is thus more than obvious that official Washington – that is the government establishment – sat on the knowledge that the NSA was spying on Americans without cause, and covered it up to suit their own ends. The real question now is how many Americans have had their private information misused for coercive government purposes; in Watergate parlance, "What did the government know about ordinary citizens and when did they know it?" Adding one other necessary question, how was the information then used?

Surely the Obama administration and the NSA have to be held legally accountable and so too do those Republicans and other Democrats who have gone along with this outrage. A thorough investigation needs to be undertaken into this gross abuse of the rights of privacy of We the People.

Lots of blame to go around, among the usual suspects.

You decide, whether Larry later goes off the deep end:

The nation is now in the hands of despots of all political stripes and, as I have said many times before in these columns, our current state of affairs, while regrettably not yet apparent to the majority of citizens, is much worse than it was in the years leading up to the first American revolution. King George III did not have the technological capability to spy on all who inhabited the colonies. Today, we live in a world where our Founding Fathers would have had their communications intercepted and then been rounded up and imprisoned and executed, before they even had a chance to debate and sign the Declaration of Independence at Constitution Hall in Philadelphia. Couple this with the Obama administration's access to drones, its stockpiling of guns and ammunition and its obvious plans to one day confiscate our guns and thus our means of self defense, and you have a totalitarian state on the present or near horizon.

Yes, the time has come for the American people to rise up and legally rid the nation of Obama and his Democrat and Republican collaborators. As a prelude to this, perhaps we need a government in exile, much like Charles de Gaulle implemented when the Nazis seized control of his country during World War II. Like Vichy France, our nation in 2013 has indeed been seized by modern-day Nazis, whose methods of enslaving us are far less transparent and potentially equally effective as those of Adolf Hitler.

Let us appreciate that Judge Bates ruled that our constitutional rights have been violated, but let us also be aware that he kept his rulings secret as the NSA and the government establishment continued to invade our privacy for likely coercive and totalitarian purposes. Indeed, this will make proving our class-action cases that much easier. However in this context, the citizenry must still ask the question why the political elite seek to burn Edward Snowden at the stake, and whether the legal guillotine should instead be reserved for this establishment, many of whom not only furthered Obama's evil actions, but also failed to sound the clarion call that the NSA was systematically abusing our constitutional rights.

Last, if you read anything among the two links of the opening paragraph, I advise you to read the Times. It is more a report there than an editorial. More objective, less judgmental, less rhetorical.

Also, excerpting above largely covers the gist of the Klayman item.

Center of the American [Money Bags] Experiment. Five grand to enter and listen to an idiot. Figure that one out.

Scott Honour's roots are in the Center of the American [Money Bags] Experiment. Along with Kent Kaiser's roots. And Pete Hegseth's. Like a troika of rooted potted palms.

NOW -- How much, election-wise, can big money infusions buy?

That is those folks' American experiment.

Strib, here, this excerpt:

MINNEAPOLIS — Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will speak at a [...] $5,000-per-person private roundtable at 11:15 a.m. on Sept. 26, followed by a $100-per-person luncheon from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. [... as] a fundraiser for the Twin Cities-based Center of the American Experiment.

With as many board members as that thing has, at five grand a pop if every board member shows up and nobody else, there still will be a sizable pot of cash for staff salaries. Hob nob there if you wish, it's your money.

Next, let me double check. Did I headline this "listen to an idiot?" I meant to.

Experiment this: Could that bunch have picked a more representative key-noter?

THREE CLOSING THOUGHTS: My bet, Harold Hamilton is better with his money than to conclave with these people. (Will any reader of Crabgrass who attends please post a comment on whether or not there was a spike-collared bulldog there watching.)

Opinions may differ, but I would not pay three cents to listen to Paul Ryan. Pay me enough, and I might sit through ten, fifteen minutes of his brand.

Last, do you suppose former Roseville Mayor and former CD4 MNGOP head honcho, John Kysylyczyn, will be able to attain press credentials and cover the roundtable and luncheon gratis, for Harold?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eric Hagen reports in ABC Newspapers about Jim Deal's reappointment to the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

This link, for detail.

Others might have been confused as I was by it being a "reappointment."

Hagen explains that Deal previously was appointed to fill the balance of Andy Westerberg's term, making this full four year appointment Deal's first full term on the MAC.

Hagen reports more, with regard to the Anoka County - Blaine Airport, and otherwise.

Among the workforce, free market functioning, as it should be? Rewarding the fit, not rewarding ones unfit, or is it more? Actually, it seems FAR MORE, and pernicious.

Strib, this link. Physical fitness as a semi-barometer of likely healthcare costs. If an employer keeps a workforce fit, group coverage rates go down with the health insurer, and the employer promotes workeplace goodwill, via giving fitness bonuses to reward those employees whose maintaining or achieving new levels of fitness were [or will be] instrumental in a downward coverage rate adjustment.

Not a mandatory attendance thing, not a reward for voluntary attendance at fitness advisory lectures, but a biometric based thing. Scientific measurement, not guesswork.

Fine. First, eating disorders are categorized as a disease, not a lifestyle choice. Yet those with eating disorders, or a thyroid or other endocrine imbalance problem might as a group show a lower mean "fitness" measure than some generic control group standard.

Second, it discriminates against the elderly, who have a harder time exercising without risk, and may have developed dietary restrictions over time that affect "fitness;" unless a "fair" adjusted age related scale is used.

What's "fair?" Easy, whatever maximizes the rate reduction can be defined as "fair," hence cull out the old and already sick. What could be simpler?

Diabetics, gone.

Auto-immune sufferers, whose exercise capacity is affected? Gone.

Those on expensive plan-paid medications to stay alive, or functionally healthy, what of them? Easy - A variable cost to an employer, one which can be biometrically measured and "adjusted" down.

Wheel-chair bound workers, again "fair" adjustment is the bogus answer.

And any sane biometric measure would include mandatory drug testing, right?

It is one of the biggest red herrings dragged across the path of workforce and worker rights.

It sucks. Or if you are a widget maker in Fridley, you want your rates down and nobody screwing up in the widget manufacturing unit or lazy in sales, because of, well, you know, smoking whatever during the job. And while it is postured as a bonus system for workforce members to achieve more income, having an incentive and hence an expectation of benefit, they will conform. Right. It is not a culling thing, working toward "objective" cause to terminate certain employees who do not make the grade. Nor could it ever degrade to that. Right. It is safe that way because of the universal benevolence of employers towards those who are a cost of production.

God is in Heaven, all is right and in sane repose - once we institute this, ideally nationwide, as rational cost containment within the private sector. A purely functioning market. A capitalist ideal. And why not give intelligence tests, personality screening, at work and at the ballot box?

The thing seems fraught with potential "euphimistically nice" but actually nasty likelihoods. Or not?

Pernicious opportunity for great resultant mischief? Or just the good old invisible hand of the market, seeking a fine equilibrium, a helped-along hand. Like it or love it, it will happen? After all, who'd object? You decide.

And - In collective bargaining situations, a different "fair" measure might be negotiated then in that more lovely situation, where every worker is free to bargain individually his/her compensation and terms and conditions of employment with his/her employer. At arms length, the market better equilibrating that way - without the interference of collective bargaining where other things than merit and freedom between individuals applies. Damn those unions. They could mess up such an otherwise wonderful scenario. Yes/no?

If developers are crabgrass, and consultants sandburs, insurers are toxic lawn chemicals; and this wonderful idea seems to me to have that genesis and advocacy locale. That or ALEC.

Insurers or ALEC; which, in the extended metaphor, is Roundup? The weeds perish while the good crop can better flourish and prosper while growing toward the reaper's ultimate harvest, and it's all done by genetic engineering. Monsantoize the workforce? I love this new world order. It is so -- orderly.

With the right biometrics, the "fairest" possible under some articulated measure, might it turn out that English speaking Aryans, as a group, show a highest mean or median "fitness" level, to then be rewarded for who they are, fitness-wise? Things over time might come to what now appear as remote and speculative possibility. Or not? You decide.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A site using Blogger called, "Antifascist Calling... Exploring the shadowlands of the corporate police state," sounds more tinfoil-hat conspiracy oriented than one called, "Developers are Crabgrass," however, ...

Both sites are legitimate, well tempered, intelligently written, and worthwhile.

Antifascist Calling... Exploring the shadowlands of the corporate police state, is at this link:

It is a site with a right sidebar blog roll, and I recognized and respect some of the links given. The most recent post, here, on, is one I found from that listing.

Following links, James Bamford published on WIRED, here, writing of the jolly General we should all know and love.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Their best and brightest.

This link.

"A.L.E.C. Morphs Into Educators 4 Excellence"

The headline is a direct quote from the headline at MN Progressive Project's reporting here.

No excerpting or summarization in this Crabgrass post. Go to the original, have a look, follow the links, and see how it strikes you - valid or not. But be informed when seeing "Educators 4 Excellence" that astroturf is not grassroots. Not even crabgrassroots.

Friday, August 23, 2013

If the business of America is business (not that it is but accept it as so for sake of argument); if that is so, than NSA spying is bad for business; NSA spying is bad for America.

This link. It's a worldwide respected news outlet, with some English language content. We have Thomas Frank frankly speaking.

And from what I've seen he speaks pure truth. To the choir it's old news, but to the uninitiated it might be educational.


Here. Even if you'd rather be ignorant of the argument, you should not be.

I think they should make the Zygi Wilf Story into a movie.

Call it "Breaking Greed." Better, "Breaking Crabgrass."

Indeed, movie-wise, is this our well beloved Zygi Wilf? Movie mogul as well as jockstrap profiteer?

A producer.

A Mel Brooksian - Zero Mostelian Producer?

Is there a reader with the answer who will leave it in a comment?

More on the two helpful Minnesota election pages on Wikipedia. You can find useful information helping you understand things about a candidate.

An earlier post noted the two items, one for the Franken Senate seat, the other for Governor, respectively, here and here. Unfortunately there appears to be no comparable CD6 page, nor such pages for other Congressional Districts.

As an example of how those pages can be helpful, candidate McFadden is one I know nothing about beyond his coming from a business background rather than being a career politician. As in never previously having held any elective public office. That is my understanding about McFadden.

I can read here the gentleman has been endorsed by - are you ready - Norm Coleman and Rod Grams.

While I generally discount endorsements as a "who cares" kind of thing, in this instance one might figure the quality of the unknown gentleman is reflected in the quality and gravitas of those who offer endorsements. I can think of McFadden as a Norm Coleman type. As a Rod Grams type. Judge a man by the company he keeps, all that.

If I crossover and vote the Republican ballot in the primary I will weigh that in deciding who besides McFadden I might regard as the better choice, the one-eyed man among the blind, probably Jim Abeler, who is known to me and not endorsed by Grams, nor Coleman. I wonder if Brodkorb will endorse a candidate. Or Laura Brod. With Brod still apparently active with the Coleman PAC, she probably will not be independently endorsing anyone in conflict with Norm's decisions.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are geezers wising up on sleazers?

If so, finally and better late than never. Reporting, here and here.

At some point they may even notice the AARP seems little but an insurance promo conduit.

Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie has posted some good recent stuff.

Have a look. Austin MN hempfest. Republicans advertising for an opponent to Collin Peterson.

Perhaps the ad will turn up another Dick Nixon.

Do you think the NSA was tracking emails of the Occupy movement, its leaders, its supporters, its people in the streets?

The headline is the post. We will never know. My guess is it happened and we will never be told it happened. There surely was a coordinated strong suppression effort against the Occupy Movement. We all know why. What we can only guess at, is "how" in detail.

Dan Burns provided this Mother Jones link. That item, because of the presently speculative nature of still secrete surveillance which might have been at play, has a main focus upon the use of agent provocateurs.

In that sense, remember the RNC 8.

They have a Wikipedia entry, and in the course of RNC ramp-up by Sheriff Fletcher and other low-lifes, a provocateur surfaced. All that stuff Fletcher and crew ginned up stunk so badly, and Susan Gaertner disgraced herself (and her profession) by not handing it back to Fletcher and telling him to go away.

The Lawyers Guild disliked that saga, with mainstream MinnPost even wondering.

An effort arose, Friends of the RNC 8, to publicize the stupidity and venality of officials (and to assist defense against the whole bogus thing).

It was tawdry how officials handled things then, a low point in Minnesota history, but it was Norm Coleman's convention, in his venue, so how could it not have been tawdry?

Now, the NSA routinely spies on us, that fact is surfacing, a continuity running from Cheney/Bush and company to Obama - yes, the soft spoken guy who promised change - him. Is there any cause to suspect they were not up to that, email intercepts, during the RNC 8's persecution? I see none.

Scott Honour. He wants to be governor of our state. He's got a big staff of mainstream Republican operatives.

screen capture from this link

The lake, the boat, the Twins cap, the kid with the LA-oriented "SURF" t-shirt. Only one kid with a life preserver. Posed to a fault. The boat probably moored to the dock, but with the dock not showing, implying the good family enjoying a great boating day. Neither dog a hunting dog, as best as I can determine, one an Australian Shepherd, a herding dog.

The campaign hangers-on, listed at Politics in Minnesota (open-access, not behind a subscription wall). He rounded up the usual suspects.

Deep pocket.

Andy at Residual Forces posts an empty suit and/or hedging bets and/or Mitt Romney strategy/persona analysis, here. It is worth reading.

Along those lines, this link.

And the PUSH DIGITAL web designing is downright awful, per the screen capture, here too:

Kurt Bills is onboard the Scott Honour boat (though not in the photo). The Wikipedia "Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2014" page was quick to pick that up, see it in the footnotes if you word search, "Kurt Bills."

That might be an interesting page to bookmark, and to check from time to time. Ditto for the Wikipedia "United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2014," page. It has been updated to indicate Dahlberg's hat in the ring.

So many, so many. You need somebody keeping score.

Comment spammers with embedded "fishing" links raise yet another reason to have to moderate comments, besides the illmannered hateful (always anonymous) drivel mongers.

I get a Google email for every comment submitted, to either post it, discard it as stupid, or discard it as possibly malicious.

The ones that are possibly malicious have embedded links, which may be to malware laden sites.

A previous post, not too recent, shows up with "Chase" saying, "This is terrific."

First, it is not specific to a post, which is a generic thing that can be automated to hit random semi-recent posts - blog, after blog, after blog - tens of thousands in a second.

Second, it is pandering to ego, which, in line with most comments I get, raises suspicion.

Third this individual, in whatever nation, with whatever motives, for his "identity" embeds this specific hot link to "Chase" - where I deliberately have not made a hot link - don't try it - I show it for illustrative purposes only -

Another variation of comment spamming I have seen looks something like this: "I am happy you wrote that, and said it as you did. You should read my post at [inserted link]."

Comment spamming that way with the baited (possibly malicious) link within the comment itself is easier to see immediately, which is why comment spammers seem to recently have shifted to loading the link into the commenter's identity field on a comment.

People who do that are a nuisance at best. They are fishing for blog readers to innocently step into a situation that might prove harmful to a reader's best interests.

Less malicious but still a nuisance, there are people wanting to get site hits via ginning up false popularity, perhaps where the site has been monetized to get some miniscule fraction of a penny in advertiser paid royalty per hit accumulated to a greater bounty by link spamming.

Whatever the motive, link spamming is bad behavior.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The police chief's recent wedding.

A widely reported thing, e.g., here and here.

These are two people who have maintained integrity of a household and relationship over 25 years, while each was employed in what is a higher stress job than things such as consulting on "The COR" or running a day care center in Roseville. They held it together and from photos still seem affectionate toward one another after 25 years. Sensibly, we can only wish them another 25 years of good health and successful togetherness.

Is it the government's job to subsidize businesses? To pick those gaining largesse vs those ignored? If shrinking the beast is contemplated, DEED is ripe for reform/downsizing.

Here is where there is a Republican divide, the business of America is business bloc, Chamber of Commerce, Weaver family in Anoka County, traditional corporatists. Then there are the Rand/Ron "Liberty" Republicans, to the extent I understand them, saying the market is the best barometer if left alone of government biasing interference, countercyclical spending and Keynesian management of government debt is unhealthy, central banking is questionable at best and in need of audit scrutiny, and, importantly, saying liberty includes freedom from the notion of America as world policeman, with the need to greatly deflate the humongo military budget entailed for "defense" when our troops are stationed all over the world and not fighting any defense on our soil (NSA does that presumably, not a bargain basement purchase in doing so, either, while putting aside the question of the healthiness of spying on Americans, by Americans).

If readers believe that draws some valid distinctions even where every individual has his/her own brand of political preference, there is DEED with grant money aplenty, standing as an example of pick and choose "small business" opportunity ehnancement. What would Sivarajah do? Matt Look? Ms. Stebbins? Charley Weaver? Tim Pawlenty? Ron/Rand?

Remember how Pawlenty shuffled portfolios between Governor's Chief of Staff, and head of DEED.

Harold Hamilton never to my knowledge had an unkind word to say about Pawlenty, so readers, correct me if I am unaware of a what-and-when situation where this generalization held untrue.

If only those Ron/Rand folks would incorporate redistribution and regulation into their mix, protecting the elderly and poor from the rich and the rich from one another.

They'd then have traction. Even if continuing to ignore reproductive liberty, aka "choice" into melding a "Liberty" politics where this remains a big-time glaring discrepancy. Liberty to abort. Why not, we should ask Ron/Rand/Stebbins.

Strib: Online snippets.

Is there a lack of will to regulate - if not when will they regulate? Here and here. Of course the entire exercise is insufficient. If they were too failed to be big in 2008, (yes that's not the usual wording, but better), and bigger now and making record money amounts, where's the reform? Band-aid effort, grade it D-.

In terms of big splat town bootstrap dreams, like Ramsey Town Center, we are not alone. At least Ramsey's folly was not as dumb, nor yet leading to any bond default. Vadnais Heights takes first place. Also in thinking of Town Center, all Jim Deal or anyone else needs to do is discover massive oil reserves under our town, and then frac it, or so this link suggests. Frac Town Center? It has a ring to it, better than "The COR," a rebranding remnant of Darren times.

Zuck's minions really care to have a secure system, an A-1 operation and one users can trust as secure, which is why no notice of security vulnerabilities is ever given insufficient attention. And they will not acknowledge the guy is a white-hat hacker and give him his bug finding bounty because he had to whack them over the head with a 2 x 4 simply to get their attention. Haughty folks, but then it IS Facebook.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

More Watchdog watching.

Latest email woof Harold Hamilton posted is here, dated August 16.

In it, among other things, he states, roughly the way I read it, delegates can be zealous ideologically which can conflict with what the mood of the electorate at a general election might prove to be - and winning is not an important thing, it is the only thing.

That is how I hear the barking, but decide for yourselves, this extended quote:

Not long after winning the endorsement for governor, Tom Emmer was rejected in the race for a seat to the Republican National Committee from Minnesota.

Yes, we know the two pools of delegates who endorsed and rejected Emmer aren't the same, they are comprised of many of the same people. The Venn diagram has much overlap.

On the other hand, a primary can play a beneficial role in producing a candidate who is seasoned and tested for a general election contest.

If the delegates have truly selected the best candidate via the endorsement, then that candidate should have no problem trouncing his or her primary opponents.

The hard truth is that the primary electorate and environment more closely matches the general election environment than the endorsement environment.

Put another way, winning the endorsement does little to prepare a candidate for the environment of the general election.

A primary can also keep a candidate and their campaign staff on their toes and force them to hone and refine the campaign plan.

It is also true that sometimes the delegates get it wrong. Sometimes they endorse a candidate who isn't the best in the field.

"Hone and refine the campaign plan," might mean different things to different people, and I leave it at that.

Now wisdom of the Gipper, from March 1, 1975,

A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.

I know the Gipper said so, since Aplikowski sidebars that on his blog.

"Hone and refine the campaign plan," and "certain fundamental beliefs" form an interesting juxtaposition. The truth is, the Gipper blew smoke and knew he was blowing smoke for those who would go, "Wow, smoke," while Hamilton is being honest. And, as to certain fundamental beliefs, can anyone say Harold Hamilton would waffle over a raise in taxes? He did not break ranks and castigate Pawlenty over the "cigarette fee" tax the way Bachmann did, but then Hamilton's not the idiot Bachmann is, and party loyalty is one of his fundamental beliefs.

His crystal ball says the GOP will have a primary, and I think it's correct.

"Neither Pederson nor Sivarajah are up for re-election next year in their current offices." Each takes a free roll of the GOP dice.

The headline quote is from Politics in Minnesota, here.

Also, in stating Michelle Benson is a Sivarajah friend, it quotes her,

In pursuing the endorsement, all of these candidates face the challenge of overcoming Emmer’s name recognition as a former statewide candidate and his strength in Wright County, which boasts the largest concentration of GOP delegates of any area in the state. State Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, stood with Sivarajah when she announced her candidacy on June 12 and supports her bid for Congress. Benson, who is also a friend of Emmer’s and hasn’t officially endorsed Sivarajah, said catching up with Emmer’s position in the campaign is a central challenge for Sivarajah.

“She has to make that extra effort so that people know her, trust her, support her,” Benson said. “People already know Tom, so he’s way ahead on that. A lot of delegates have supported him in the past, so it’s just overcoming that momentum.”

My perspective is that people knowing Emmer cuts in Sivarajah's favor. But that quote is caucus-speak, and among bats in a cave, top bat, they decide. I am no bat. I lack that vote.

More -

Though Sivarajah is seeking the 6th CD GOP endorsement, she has said she’s undecided about whether she will run in a primary if she loses. “I certainly plan to seek the endorsement and be successful in that process, but beyond that I have not made a decision,” Sivarajah said.

The report quotes Sivarajah as discounting the notion some of her recent participation in county board activity was politically motivated,

“There are some people that want to say she’s running for Congress and that’s why she’s doing this. That’s not how I operate,” Sivarajah said.

Benson was quoted

Benson said that as Sivarajah meets with GOP activists, she can tout her record on the County Board as “strong evidence that she doesn’t just talk a good game.”

Not politically motivated, but politically useful? Politicians. They are who they are.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mike McFadden. Whatever your politics, you have to respect a man who says exactly what he thinks in direct and pertinent response to a simply worded question.

This link.

Who is John Galt?

You may elect a fibber, but then expect fibs.

MinnPost, here; plus the real kicker reported there, Andy Parrish is Ortman's campaign manager.

Enough, eh?

UPDATE: "High profile" cases, that contention, debunked here.

What's the difference between a "Think Tank," and a propaganda mill?

 I posted earlier on Center for the American Experiment.

There are a lot of people involved, and who's funding the paychecks is a mighty big question, to me. But they will not even say how close they are to ALEC, the protest being something of a telling thing.

Protesting, protesting - it is our business what our ties to ALEC are, we are offended, make that shocked, SHOCKED that a Democratic Senator would "bully" us; go away; so there.

They can be idiots on their own, with no need to tie them to ALEC, and if it is your flavor of Koolaid they present, well, "think tank" is as fine euphemism as "pro-life" so use either, as you choose.

Strib, here. Same topic.

Scott Honour is involved, and he's richer than Daddy Warbucks [Pete Hegseth is an American Experimenter too].

But I digress. Cutting commentary short, links related to CAE; here; curiously despite not wanting to be tied to ALEC their media master public policy chief can't help himself, here; here; here (at least AFSCME declines "think tank" posing and parades publicly for what it is, a union); and here (bylined, Scott Honour - did I say richer than Daddy Warbucks, money made over the years, in LA). They believe in Right to Work (for Less).

But while flaking out all that press op-ed stuff, I betcha that CAE did not do the last edit of their Wikipedia Page, make that the last edit before I did the below screen capture for this post and for posterity:

So, who exactly funds those CAE paychecks? Tell me that and you've provided me legitimate information, not fluff and puff.

Are all those folks unpaid volunteered; the public policy chief, others? Or is there piper paying, with consequent tune calling? I would not think otherwise than that, absent compelling evidence to the contrary.

I cannot envision writers of all those reports and books doing it gratis, or for that matter relying of royalties generated from sales of their work product. Think Tanks produce thought; propaganda mills produce propaganda. You decide.

Watchdog editorial woofing over NSA. And - Michele Bachmann shows up for a cameo appearance.

This Watchdog link:

Washington sources tell the Dog that Bachmann has been tapped as a lawyer for the NSA, reviewing all manner of spying activities.

[...] NSA was particularly impressed with Bachmann's own willingness and skill in engaging in her own version of domestic spying.

The agency reviewed footage of Bachmann hiding in the bushes at a gay rights rally in 2005 when she was a state senator and marveled at her stealthy tactics, techniques, and procedures.

[...] Of course, we're only kidding on the NSA job.

But the point remains. Bachmann is flat out wrong on this issue, as are Reps. Kline and Paulsen.

The domestic spying program is a serious breach of our Fourth Amendment rights.

True at the end, and we all know Hamilton could have ducked the issue entirely, but he did not.

And he is correct, as correct as Larry Klayman is in suing over it, but without any Watchdog expectation of a possible payday at the end of the rainbow.

Hamilton is just saying something he believes, and in this instance I agree.

However, Hamilton should stick to straight-up stuff. Satire and irony are not his strong suit.

Leave the Watchdog there, barking at the right tree, something that can happen. Best late than never.

Bachmann is another story, not for here, but leave it at - She has a PAC, so how has she been spending that PAC money, and once out of office, what then? My guess at likelihoods is Michele PAC will continue. A money sink which shall continue receiving. For as long as idiots send her their money.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It must be true, because I read it on the Internet. Jason Tossey seeks the legislative seat covering most (all?) of Ramsey and more of Anoka County.

Jim Abeler for years and through multiple redistricting has been my rep. Years and years.

With Abeler having decided to run against Franken for the Senate seat, it was unclear who might run, either GOP or DFL, and Tossey appears first to enter the race, if not last.

ABC Newspapers reports, this link.

Tossey is in his first term as a member of the Ramsey City Council and also serves as chairperson of the Personnel Committee.

He is in his 14th year of law enforcement and is currently a police investigator. He is a graduate of St. Cloud State University, and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Tossey and his wife, Kristin, have a daughter, Taylor, and reside in Ramsey.

He is a past president of Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police No. 26, (a philanthropic organization) and has also served as steward to his police local. Tossey is a supporter of Pheasants Forever, Minnesota, Special Olympics – Law Enforcement Torch Run, and Youth First (Community of Promise), on which he currently serves on the board of directors.

[...] “Over the past few years I have represented Ramsey citizens by voting that their tax dollars are not wasted on risky business subsidies when they often come at the expense of the basic roles of government, such as roads,” Tossey said.

According to Tossey, a priority for him is his concern that the state’s road and highway infrastructure is reaching critical mass as well and that has never been more evident than the current situation on Highway 10 in Anoka and Ramsey.

“As a 13-year law enforcement veteran, I know the importance of supporting basic roles of government, but I feel elected officials have forgotten those basic pillars by venturing into areas that were meant for the private sector,” Tossey said.

“This comes at a cost to services and your wallets.”

Tossey strongly believes that the problem is not revenue, but misguided spending, he said.

“Over the last legislative session we saw a state government that raised taxes for everyone,” Tossey said. “The taxes imposed on the state’s middle class and small businesses will, no doubt, hurt the economy and kill jobs.

[...] “I am concerned that we are lowering the bar for our students, educators and parents that will hurt our future economy and our first class work force,” he said.

“I will work for innovative solutions to ensure Minnesota remains a top notch place to educate our children.”

On natural resources, Tossey said that those who know him, know that he cherishes the state’s parks, lakes and woods.

“I believe that our state is blessed with tremendous natural resources and conservation efforts are vitally important to our citizens and our economy,” he said. “I look forward to continuing Minnesota’s support of our outdoor traditions.”

Read the entire item, again, here.

Now, since it is in my nature and I do not fight it, at least one detail to pick on. First paragraph of the item seems to leave something out, in stating:

Ramsey City Councilmember Jason Tossey has announced the formation of a start-up committee to represent the citizens of Minnesota House District 35A (Anoka and Ramsey).

For one unhappy with any unneeded expansion of government, I do not believe Tossey proposes that a committee should represent us in House District 35A, and the sentence should read, " ... Jason Tossey has announced the formation of a start-up committee to support his candidacy to represent ...". I would bet cash on it.

Another unclear thing -- With "GOP" and "Republican" being words absent from the report, one nonetheless expects Jason is not running DFL or IP. Again I would bet cash against anyone willing to bet he is running DFL.

This likely is the first of several filings with DFL and IP candidacies wholly open, and with other Republicans now knowing of at least one contender from within their ranks.

All bets are off.

Per this campaign website link, (under the photo it says "Republican").

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
I try to keep up with Harold Hamilton's woofing, but I do not slavishly hit the site every day. Some may, not me. So I missed one. On Friday, Hamilton was already noting Tossey's candidacy; and correctly saying it was serious and one worth watching. No "greater than sliced bread" barking, but not tepid either.

We await seeing who runs besides Tossey. For now, to my knowledge, his is the only declared and active candidacy for House District 35A.

Zygi Stardust, or Zygi Crabgrass - a protypical developer or exceptional, and if exceptional, in what ways?

I only know what I read in online news reporting, but some people, you shake hands and you may need to check rings after to see all are there. Not that I can say that about Zygi, but it seems about what the Judge said: New Jersey coverage, here, here and here; PiPress, here and here. Favored quote, from here, and sure to put Zygi into the Developers Hall of Fame, first ballot, unanimous choice:

Discussing the Wilfs’ misdeeds, [Judge Deanne] Wilson said they failed to meet the “barest minimum” of their responsibilities as business partners.

“I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate,” Wilson said, adding that annual statements were not given to Halpern and Reichmann after 1989.

What, you want numbers your Honor? I can give you numbers. How many, how little, how big, how accurate? It will involve a "giving numbers fee" of at least six figures, however. It's how it is. Corzine would appreciate Wilfare, and might even want some.

I recall Al Mugel teaching agency and future interests in law school, but I do not recall the exact context of his advising, "[...] It can affect minority interests in a closely held corporation. [dramatic/emphatic pause, two/three puffs on his ever present pipe] I don't know who the hell would ever want a minority interest in a closely held corporation, but it happens." Something like that, it was years ago but memorable, with that surely being the gist of the quote if not verbatim.

Moreover, would you want a minority interest in a Zygi venture? Believing what is reported about New Jersey dealings? Being a skeptic, I would not even want a minority interest in a Flaherty venture, much less a second lender position behind about $25 million in the first position held by a Pittsburg bank - with a mortgage, no less. And no Judge Wilson has, to my knowledge, ever said any such things about Flaherty; or Collins.

Another trenchant quote from the New Jersey reporting:

Wilson found that Zygmunt Wilf, along with his brother, Mark, and their cousin, Leonard, committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and also violated the state’s civil racketeering statute, or RICO.

The partners, Ada Reichmann of Toronto and her brother, Josef Halpern of Brooklyn, the longtime former on-site manager at Rachel Gardens, are entitled to compensatory damages, punitive damages, triple damages under the RICO statute, a redistribution of revenues dating to 1992 and reimbursement for their attorneys’ fees, Wilson said.

Ouch. Mark Knopfler explains.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
For a detailed analysis of Zygi and weighing options, as of 2007, G.R. Anderson's City Pages "Eye of the Beholder" item speculates about speculative hopes resonating from the get-go between Zygi's ears upon coming to town, and thereafter.

Has the reporting of how Zygi operated in New Jersey rained on his parade as to speculative promotional opportunity in our state? We can only hope so. These screen captures are from Zygi's Gardens, here and here, where he cultivates dollars and dollars - and Crabgrass:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Explain to me exactly why Ramsey consumers should pay inflated electricity rates to subsidize an ethanol plant in North Dakota? Is this what Ein Rand and crew mean by leaving things to the private sector, the invisible hand of the markets? It seems a thought carrying questionable wisdom in many situations, this being one.

Yes, in terms of an energy balance, using excess thermal energy at the power plant to efficient ends makes sense. But the problem is venture cost is not being kept with venture profit chasing investors. It is being socialized to us in Ramsey. And that, friends, is a big part of how a free market will equilibrate, if left to its own ends without supervision and regulation.

Read about it, this Strib link, and see if you disagree.

Connexus can make this imposition upon us in Ramsey, because it is NOT answerable to the PUC.

How to fix that is a fairly clear thing, if you think about it for twenty seconds, or five minutes. Read the item. THINK. Then, each Ramsey consumer has town-wide mayor and two council members, plus one ward rep., so voice your choice. And we have legislators, who, one hopes, are not too slavishly aligned with Ayn Rand's bad side (remember, she did criticize those playing at the corporatist card table without seeing it as the real and natural result of her "philosophy" called, by her, "objectivism").

Love that labeling. It's branding, not unlike rebranding Ramsey Town Center, and we all know how much that cost. Despite Cronk/Flaherty loving it, "the COR" has us who ponied up higher risk capital amounts for that developers' love, than the developers' invested dollar amounts of risk capital. Flaherty will collect rents, bless his soul.

Their backyard. Putting growth where growth and maintainance of vitality makes sense, Flaherty and Northstar notwithstanding.

From a Strib op-ed, here, this extended excerpt stating common sense thinking, (an anathema to would-be Ramsey land profiteers):

Hofstede likened the project to “the canary in the coal mine,” meaning that if the city allowed the destruction of Dinkytown’s village atmosphere, then no place in the city would be safe from the tower crane.

But that’s grossly misleading. In this case, the village atmosphere to be destroyed is an ugly, one-story convenience store and a shabby surface parking lot. The Opus project will add to the district’s college-town character, not detract from it. In an urban setting, the village is defined not by parking lots but by sidewalk activity — and 140 new apartments should enhance the pedestrian buzz.

As for the rest of the city, Council Member Elizabeth Glidden was right to declare: “If we’re not able to say yes to this project … how and when are we going to be able to say yes to density?”

Indeed, Minneapolis appears to be turning an important corner on the population growth question. As Mayor R.T. Rybak has often stated, the city won’t be able to afford the reinvestments in infrastructure and services that all older cities require unless it accepts greater density, especially in commercial nodes and along transit corridors. For far too long, city leaders have been timid on that question, as these numbers suggest.

The metro population tripled to 3.4 million over a span of six decades (1950-2010), while St. Paul and especially Minneapolis shrunk. Minneapolis lost nearly a third of its population between 1950 and 1990, and since then has achieved only modest gains.

Meanwhile, peer cities such as Seattle, Denver and Portland have grown impressively, each grabbing a significant share of metro growth. Each has added between 140,000 and 166,000 residents since 1990, mainly by retrofitting industrial areas for housing, encouraging density in commercial districts and emphasizing transit to ease traffic congestion. By sad comparison, Minneapolis and St. Paul combined to add slightly more than 43,000.

How it is. Which is the point of sensible and well-grounded criticism of Northstar, something independent from Watchdog purile Taxpayer League reflex barking.

Northstar attracted Flaherty, so watch how that plays out long-term. Ten or fifteen years from now, ask Matt Look, why did you intentionally undermine the community; or praise him as a visionary, but Ramsey's Northstar stop was advocated by him and Jim Deal, among others, and that is as intriguing a pairing as I can imagine. A spear with twin tips. Or put Dan Erhart there too, and make it a trident. Boosterism as its own reward, wisdom being a separate question.

The HPV vaccine is an opportunity to prevent cancer. Failing to use it irresponsibly puts the health of future generations at risk.

Headline is from the ending paragraph of a Strib, op-ed, online here.

It is irresponsible of people such as Michele Bachmann to spread fear and falsehoods. Parents should have good sense, many do not, but science should trump mythologies of the ignorant. Bachmann being, as a conscious strategy, in the camp of the ignorant. She has no excuse whatsoever. Old wives deal in old wives tales, so figure what that makes Michele Bachmann, despite her desperate will to physically not appear to be that.

Friday, August 09, 2013

RAMSEY: It is unclear to me. Is the policy to buy out each one as it pops up? Or to use land use regulation and zoning in a way offensive to First Amendment rights?

Eric Hagen of ABC Newspapers reports the green former book outlet in Ramsey got backhoed.

This link. With a backhoe photo, building part up, part down.

One down, in the future how many to go until the money runs out, for buying HRAs, for Ben Dover?

It seems there is judicial precedent on town efforts at censoring the community, and how that squares with the First Amendment (of the Constitution some profess to love), while any town can be as obstreperous as its officials please until/unless a judge tells them to stop.

But, is this the end of things, or the start of things - the start of a policy of buy-and-destroy, buy-and-destroy, and if that's policy, how will pricing be set? By negotiation, presumably, since eminent domain is taking for a public purpose ...

Now, Ramsey could get creative, and "specially" tax "adult" outlets - it having been said the power to tax is the power to destroy - and it has recently been held the power to tax is apart from the power to regulate commerce, on the federal level, individual mandate at issue, Roberts opining.

We wait. We see.

Reuters reports. It's the same as it ever was. Or not entirely?

Here, here, here, and here.

However, here. Things to which Ratzinger gave less attention.

Is it devisive socially, and counterproductive politically by leading to a polarized less efficient and decent government, to characterize voter sentiment by age?

Latest of that, this link.

Ein Rand, not Ayn Rand.

Ein Rand, a Rand in English, this brief interview published online by BusinessWeek.

Ein Rand, he gave tightly stated answers, or at least the editing job makes it appear so.

Ayn Rand, she'd have taken 468 pages for the same content delivery, with a bothersome sprinkling too often of, "Who is John Galt?" Bless brevity, even if you dislike flat tax musings:

You’re a big reader of Austrian economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who don’t believe in stimulus and say the economy can return to health only through austerity.
You can stimulate prosperity by leaving more money in the hands of those who earn it. If you want to stimulate the economy in Louisville, leave more money in Louisville and send less to Washington. My plan has a 17 percent flat tax with very few deductions, and it would leave $600 billion in the economy. But it would work better than a government stimulus because of the Milton Friedman proposition that nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as they spend their own. I think you’d have a boom like you’ve never seen in this country.

Who would your ideal Fed chairman be?
Hayek would be good, but he’s deceased.

Examining the Fed, what it does, how it does it, who benefits most, who benefits least - we are overdue for that kind of examination, overdue since 1913 some think.

Bankers run it. Not the public. But the alternative, putting money supply management in the hands of the Treasury, suggest we should trust politicians more than bankers.

Equal greed, lower skill sets, it is hard to say eliminate the Fed entirely, but the suggestion of an audit, a thorough one even rather than a dog-pony audit for show, that is difficult to contest - as is apparent by the Fed insiders doing all they can to ignore and silence the proposal.

"These efforts pre-date Snowden's leaks, the agency has said, but have since been accelerated." Was there a little of Ned Ludd to Snowden's choice to blow the whistle?

Whistleblowing is needed to keep the minions honest, and Snowden did blow the whistle, despite administration/NSA attempts to tar him as a traitor to his nation.

However, Yahoo News carried an arguably pertinent Reuters feed, "NSA to cut system administrators by 90 percent to limit data access." Snowden, in Hawaii - a nice place to be - in the article is characterized as having had system administrator duties. He worked for Booze, Allen, Hamilton; not NSA directly, but there are distinctions without any real differences. Who signed the check, and its amount in the outside contractor feeding trough may have differed, but it was ultimately taxpayer money going to spying on taxpayers. Go figure that.

So, in among the palm and coconut trees, was there disturbing office rumor, or memos handed down about human skill sets being phased out in favor of machines? In Britain in the early 1800's the breaking of looms had a period in fashion, with it even having been made a capital offense against the state. Ned Ludd, all that. Snowden? It is only a guess. The headline quote is from the online item, midway through it.

UPDATE: Register, here.

More, a secure email provider folds, Register reporting here.

Dayton getting his ticket punched, as shocked SHOCKED! Ditto, Rbyak - as "surprised."

Surprised? Get real. The man, Rybak, is a politician - yet, surprised?

Dayton, per MPR, here. Rybak, as an end of story tack-on, here.

Since it's ticket punching time, I am flabbergasted, disturbed, disgruntled, and fraught with fear and loathing over the brass of Zygi Wilf and brother Mark.

I.e., nothing's changed even with the new Jersey story. Wilfare was already, and enough.

Why feign things? To be like Dayton and Rybak?

I'm not holding office nor will I be running. Nor wanting to be a FOX talking head. I am no natural-born poseur or BS-monger, like Bachmann or Rushbo.

I just find Dayton and Rybak ticket-punching to be the day's top amusement.

"McConnell aide says 'holding my nose' in job"

Wouldn't you?

If working to get Mitch McConnell reelected the stench could be overpowering.

The headline is Yahoo's, its online report - an AP feed carry - here.

There are Randy details, according to the report.

Randish, if not Randy. Ein Rand, if not Ayn Rand.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Did Katherine Kersten really write this? Her name's on the byline, but where is that super-annoying signature moralizing polemical choice of wording we have seen and can expect from her? This thing is cleanly written. There is a saying about leopards and spots.

A Strib op-ed, here. Kersten's landmark tendency toward moral pontification that has afflicted most of her online body of work is notably absent, on this item.

Hat tip to Gary Gross, for drawing attention to what otherwise would have been ignored by busy, cogent readers, based on bylining.

Item footer: "Katherine Kersten is a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment. The views expressed here are her own. She is at"

Natural curiosity running its course, Center of the American Experiment has a web presence, with some names not known to me, but besides Kersten, there is: Mitchell B. Pearlstein, Ph.D., [sic], Ronald E. Eibensteiner, Scott M. Honour, King Banaian, Peter Bell (who we may guess did not ghostwrite any of this Kersten screed), Ted Daley and Pete Hegseth, and the Grover Norquist clone and Emmer speech writer, David Strom

Among the organization's pages readers may spot names I did not identify for whose party flag they salute. It looks like a place to park voted-out GOP politicians, former staff, and fellow travelers, each being equipped with a title and paycheck.

Lawyers, and opinion shapers (actual or would-be).

One gets yet more of a flavor of the operation/organization from, e.g:

Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Kim Crockett, J.D.

Kim Crockett is Center of American Experiment’s Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. She is the Executive Director of Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment. Prior to joining the Minnesota Free Market Institute and the Center, Kim served as corporate counsel to a national bank and had a long legal career in commercial real estate law.

Kim, who is an enthusiastic student of the American Revolution and the written U.S. Constitution, has been a member of the Federalist Society since 1984 when she founded the student chapter at Penn Law in Philadelphia. She is currently Chairman of the Minneapolis Lawyers Chapter. She has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from Penn Law (1987). Kim also started a small business in 2004 where she serves on the board. Kim is a retired member of the Deephaven City Council and chairman of the five-city Excelsior Fire District. She has served Governor Tim Pawlenty as an appointee to Minnesota Compensation Council and the Minnesota Supreme Court as member of the Committee on Minnesota’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

and -

Bill Glahn served as Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top energy official—for 2½ years until January 2011—as Director of the Minnesota Office of Energy Security and a Deputy Commissioner in the state's Department of Commerce. He has since returned to Piedmont Consulting, the firm he founded in 2006. Prior to founding Piedmont, Mr. Glahn served as Vice President and Controller of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency—an electric utility serving 11 cities across Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in Economics and an MBA from the University of Virginia.


Kent Kaiser is a full-time member of the faculty in the Department of Communication at Northwestern College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and an adjunct instructor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. He previously served as communications and voter outreach director at the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State under Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican, and Mark Ritchie, a Democrat. He has won multiple awards from the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators, and advises a communications honor society at Northwestern. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Carleton College, a master of arts in teaching (history) from Smith College, a master of liberal studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

[links added in updating this post; not in original] and-

Scott M. Honour


Scott M. Honour is chairman of FirstCNG, a comprehensive natural gas vehicle solutions provider. Prior he was [...] an investment banker with a focus on private equity related transactions. From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Honour served as a Managing Director at UBS Warburg, [...] Prior to joining UBS Warburg, Mr. Honour was an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette ('DLJ'), [...] Mr. Honour earned a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Pepperdine University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sheila C. Kihne

Business Owner & Author

Sheila C. Kihne is a former corporate sales executive. She volunteers her time in support of conservative candidates for office and served as a Vice Chair in charge of GOTV operations for the 3rd Congressional district Republicans. As an author and entrepreneur, she's been featured on The Today Show, Fox News Channel, and over 50 radio programs across the country. She's a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a Phi Beta Kappa member.


Tom Mason

Mason Public Affairs

Tom Mason combines 35 years’ professional experience at the intersection of media, public policy and marketing.

He worked 13 years in and around the United States Senate, beginning as communications director for Senator Rudy Boschwitz, and subsequently serving as chief of staff in the Washington, D.C. offices of Senators Jim Abdnor (R-SD) and Norm Coleman (R-MN). He also worked as director of communications at research at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the political arm of the U.S. Senate GOP leadership.

For five years Tom was president of Gannon McCarthy Mason, a public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City. He has managed or consulted to 17 statewide political campaigns in 9 states. [...]

Venturing a guess, can you say "Excelsior Pipeline?" Liking it, on Facebook?

Center for the American Experiment does not seem Tea Partyish, nor does it seem Liberty Republicanish; those, apparently, being differing American experiments. CAE rings the bell as less insurgency than counterinsurgency. Our struggle, taking back our thing.

There is mainstream Republican American experimenting, usually accompanied by or accompanying established wealth, Peperdine, Federalist Society, etc., yet there can be other degrees of thought.

We need a score sheet to know who is RINO these days, which ways, who says.

Last, is Mark Larson any kin to Jeff Larson; if any readers know?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

At Westminster Kennel Club you show your dog, others show theirs.

This link, and here.

Or do I presume too much too soon?

After 21 years, Zygi's cred as a true developer is proven in court.

This link. True blue, through and through - a developer's developer. Proven in a court of law.

Strib's coverage indicates the trial judge

said Wilf’s own testimony in the long-running civil trial had shown that the Vikings’ principal owner had exhibited “bad faith and evil motive” in defrauding business partners in a large apartment complex project.

That's one step to entry into the Developer's Hall of Fame. But induction to such an elite status is based on an entire career, not one good year, or one exceptional project.

___________FINAL UPDATE__________
Strib's report details:

The judge said that Wilf, by his own “candid and credible” testimony, told the court that he felt business partner Ada Reichmann got “too good a deal” and that he “reneged” on an agreement made by his uncle Harry Wilf when Rachel Gardens was built in the 1980s.

The judge said she found that the Wilf family committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and had also violated New Jersey’s civil racketeering statute.

“I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate,” the judge said in court. The plaintiffs, Reichmann and her brother Josef Halpern, claimed in court that they were owed $51 million. The plaintiffs had earlier argued that the Wilfs had used “organized crime-type activities” in their bookkeeping practices.

Newspaper coverage of the judge’s comments by the Star-Ledger of Newark on Monday showed Zygi Wilf and his brother, Mark, the president of the Vikings, sitting in the courtroom as the judge made her remarks. Wilson, who delayed her retirement to finish the case, said in court that “to my knowledge, there has never been a case like this in New Jersey jurisprudence.”

No comment from Wilfs

Shep Guryan, an attorney for the Wilfs, said the family would have no comment. “The Wilf family has been in business for 58 years and has earned a well-deserved reputation for integrity and honest dealings,” he said in a statement.

Fodder for the nomination and acceptance speeches at induction ceremonies, not just a developer, but an impresario pushing the envelope. Can you perform like that without long tiring practice sessions? Hall of Famers have an inate gift, but talent must show game time.

Blood in the water, sharks circling? There is a Sportswriters Hall of Fame too, but it is also career based. No single column one-hit-wonder qualifies. Sid will tell you it is hard to make the Hall without real experience, two tables beyond the bar, the elevated dias, the black robed presider - if you don't feel the pain you don't cherish the gain.

Watch out for the doorknob, guys.

This link. Perhaps Bradlee Dean can rescue the cause, holding a benefit concert. Tickets starting at $400 a head, and with an expected turnout in the tens of thousands there'd be no cash shortfall.

Not in the reporting, but prayer may help that gentleman, McGrath. I would have thought they'd tried that already. Maybe they can pray that Bradlee shows up to rescue. Then there is BachmannPAC money ...

Does anyone else have practical, helpful suggestions.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Huffing and puffing. But has even a sloppy straw house been blown down? Larry tries ...

Hilary is target of yet-one-more-really-honestly-another Larry Klayman lawsuit. The guy may grow broke paying filing fee after filing fee, dismissal after dismissal.

Bless Larry. Bless his willingness to draft complaints; to file complaints.

When Cheney fired a shotgun, he hit somebody. Larry does aim for hits. How good's the aim is the issue.

Monday, August 05, 2013


Rupert's Fox headline here, "GOP leader threatens to cut CNN, NBC from primary debates over Clinton specials."

After Katherine Graham, another Amazon at WaPo.

Bezos buys. Strib reports. Strib at that link posts links to four key insider memos, to the outside.

Bezos before moving to Seattle to start his online retailing empire worked on Wall Street, including at the prestigious D. E. SHAW & CO. Presumably there are no insider trading fingerprints to the deal; Bezos knowing better from that background.

Indications are Bezos and the Graham/Weymouth transaction plans were duly filed with the SEC. Presuming no regulatory impediment arises, and while Bezos is transacting a personal acquisition independent of; readers may wonder whether Bezos owning the Big Paper in town will relate in any way to how taxing internet sales fares as an issue, in Congresses to come. Bezos states he has no particular agenda and intends to not involve himself in day-to-day publishing decisions. However, taxing of internet sales is not really a day-to-day issue in Congress either.

Barter on the Charter? Our Minnesota teachers' union should be happy we are not like Indiana, where grade inflation has been reported to be a problem. A "how to" problem. To do it, not to curb it. Help from/for friends?

This link. And here. A simpler mind would simply have put in a grade coefficient based on campaign contributions - or two - amounts in total, and recency.

Hackademics? In Flaherty land? Oh my.

Driving through Town Center, headed for Coborns, it brought a question to mind.

Do you think that big ultra-ugly Flaherty thing, its design, had any involvement of a real architect?

I think it was NOT designed by Flaherty, himself. I think he had help from Ryan Cronk.

Somebody had to have put a licensed-professional stamp to the plans, to his/her ultimate shame and derision.

If YOU like the looks of it, please say so in a comment and put your name to it. That's an "I dare you," ya betcha.

He starts by describing Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District, but then segues to his main theme.

It makes sense that people around the world can enjoy occasional America-bashing; god knows we make it easy for them. We export the worst parts of our culture – fast food, corn syrup beverages, idiotic entertainment, Jerry Lewis – around the globe, we still have a strict policy of American Exceptionalism in global affairs, we have an unpleasant tendency to start wars, and (worst of all, in my opinion) a large number of Americans know absolutely nothing about the world outside our borders. Many people around the world no doubt conceive of Americans as the stereotypes that some of us work so hard to deserve: as anti-intellectual, violent, proudly ignorant slobs who eat KFC every day and drive pickup trucks.

Then the segue, this link. With a healthy comment thread.

"Exploitative student loan bill will become law"

The headline is that from Dan Burns' writing at MN Progressive Project, posted here. Read it. Many fail to understand the sound aim and great benefit of our Republican friends in Congress, Rep. Kline in particular, which is to get those who are funneled through the artificially created education bottleneck onto payments from the get-go, which, along with ginning up big-time employment Angst in parallel, serves to keep quietude and docility ruling in the right places. They reflect back on the '60s. That time of untidy disorder among the young. Doing it Kline's way you can bypass Kent State, Jackson State, things which also were untidy.

It was an editorial decision to put this link with this post since it deals with manipulation of "the young," but it also could have updated the immediately following link, since it explores understandings of the political process.

Bodley at ABC Newspapers online writes, "[Anoka] County looking for highway funding."

Item dated August 5, 2013, this link.

Admitting my limited ability to understand the political process, wasn't the wheelage tax at least conceptually related to highway funding? What am I missing?

Surely repealing the wheelage tax in the County fit well with Sivarajah's ambitions, but not that well with needing highway funding, which now, Bodley reports, is sought by reaching into another tax honey pot while proclaiming the greatness of the wheelage decision.

Sivarajah's ambitions trump things, and her candidacy holds for us all the hope and added benefit that Matt Look can become county king, (should Rhonda go to Washington, and at least until the next Board District 1 election).

As I noted, my limited ability to understand the political process is an impediment, but also, the loud barking was just too distracting to let me calmly reason on my own,


Trivia: When the last time a tax was actually repealed? Answer: Just last week. Of course, Barack Obama didn't do it. Governor Mark Dayton didn't do it.

But Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah did. So did Commissioner Look. And Commissioner West. And Commissioner Schulte. And Commissioner Braastad.

Last week, the Anoka County Board voted 5-2 to repeal the county "wheelage tax" that taxed county citizens who own a vehicle in the county.

The tax was repealed. It wasn't replaced with another tax or fee. There was no smoke and mirrors or bait and switch. [...]

[empahsis added]

Did I say, reaching into another tax honey pot while proclaiming the greatness of the wheelage decision? What do you figure that dog's been smoking? Smoke from the smoke and mirrors?

As I said, unlike many of our friends, I am confounded by politics, especially as usual.

Kelly Saks. Fluent in Fashion. “The option to share on Google+ helps keep my fans up-to-date whenever I post something new,” says Kelly.

Google touts Google+ with a simply astounding story, this link.

No wonder there is such a groundswell of interest in using Google+.

I could use it. And be like Kelly Miss Earth Florida 2010. But, hey, I am stubborn, resistant, and I'd rather just be vapid by appealing to bimbos.

What happens in an Internet minute? Possibly of marginal interest to some readers, or of interest to some marginal readers.

This link. Check it out.

My critique, where's the slice of the pie chart for eighty gazillion NSA intercepts in each Internet minute?

Let's see, that's 80/60 = 1.333 gazillion intercepts per second. No wonder taxes are so high. (This link, count number of usages of words, "tax" or "taxes" for the one-trick pony watchdog).

So, Watchdog, answer this: How many tax dollars are required to pay for each gazillion intercepts by NSA?

A fair question? Yes, but ...

That information is classified.

So, we find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma. At least the courts will protect us:

As Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote at the time, “Privacy is not a discrete commodity, possessed absolutely or not at all.” In other words, you shouldn’t lose every last shred of privacy simply because you share information with your bank or your phone company.

[link is in original]

Perhaps that nice Mr. Krinkie will post something about cost per gazillion NSA intercepts in his regular Taxpayer League column at the Anoka County Record blog site. Republicans, hold your breath and wait. (Liberty Republicans exempted.)