Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Wisdom of Batman

From the Batman TV show  in 1966, some words to live by:

General Wisdom:

Batman: “An older head can’t be put on younger shoulders.”

Batman: “That’s one trouble with dual identities, Robin. Dual responsibilities.”

Health:

Robin: “Gosh, Batman, this camel grass juice is great.”
Batman: “Beware of strong stimulants, Robin.”

Robin: “Holy molars! Am I ever glad I take good care of my teeth!”
Batman: “True. You owe your life to dental hygiene.”

Education:

Dick: “Awww, heck! What’s the use of learning French anyway?”
Bruce: “Dick, I’m surprised at you! Language is the key to world peace. If we all spoke each other’s tongues, perhaps the scourge of war would be ended forever.”

Batman: “The green button will turn the car a la escarda o a la drecia.”
Robin: “To the left or right. Threw in a little Spanish on me, huh, Batman?”
Batman: “One should always keep abreast of foreign tongues, Robin.”

Dick: “Wow! The rings of Saturn! This is sure some fun, Bruce.”
Bruce: “Astronomy is more than mere fun, Dick.”
Dick: “It is?”
Bruce: “Yes, it helps give us a sense of proportion. Reminds us how little we are, really. People tend to forget that sometimes.”

Dick : “What’s so important about Chopin?”
Bruce : “All music is important, Dick. It’s the universal language. One of our best hopes for the eventual realization of the brotherhood of man.”

Dick: “Sorry, I’m not interested in dance lessons.”
Bruce: “Wait a minute, Dick. The junior prom’s coming up, isn’t it?”
Dick: “Yes, but…”
Bruce: “Well, we don’t want you to be a wallflower, do we? Dancing is an integral part of every young man’s education.”

Robin: “You can’t get away from Batman that easy!”
Batman: “Easily.”
Robin: “Easily.”
Batman: “Good grammar is essential, Robin.”

Women:

Robin: “I guess you can never trust a woman.”
Batman: “You’ve made a hasty generalization, Robin. It’s a bad habit to get into.”

Batman to Robin: “When you get a little older, you’ll see how easy it is to become lured by the female of the species.”

Politics:

Batman: “Better put 5 cents in the meter.”
Robin: “No policeman’s going to give the Batmobile a ticket.”
Batman: “This money goes to building better roads. We all must do our part.”

Dick: “Gosh, Economics is sure a dull subject.”
Bruce: “Oh, you must be jesting, Dick. Economics dull? The glamour, the romance of commerce… Hmm. It’s the very lifeblood of our country’s society

Robin: “Gosh, there could be diplomatic repercussions if we fail this time, Batman.”
Batman: “That’s not the point, Robin. What’s important is that the world know that all visitors to these teeming shores are safe, be they peasant or king.”
Robin: “Gee, Batman, I never thought of that. You’re right.”
Batman: “It’s the very essence of our democracy.”

Batman: “Nobody wants war.”
Robin: “Gee, Batman. Belgravia’s such a small country. We’d beat them in a few hours.”
Batman: “Yes, and then we’d have to support them for years.”
Who knew Batman was so full of wisdom?

(source http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/search/author/garden-of-eden)

Talking Minnesotan – 5/21/10

1 of the 10,000 lakes
Image =”1 of the 10,000 lakes” Uploaded on May 18, 2010 by Venkat Raja

It’s been a fun week in Minnesota. People have been talking about the weather and that’s how Minnesotans know everything is right with the world. It just so happens that the weather this week was nice and sunny. Yup the talk was all nice, unless of course you happen to follow politics. Mn political conversations were … well… politics as usual. The Right hates the left and the left hates the Right and the newspaper commentors hate teachers and nurses hate hospital administration and hospital administration hates unions and the unions hate politicians and the politicians just keep smiling and talking about the wonderful progress they’ve made.

Mr.Veto likes to fill up prisons so he vetoed sensible bipartisan legislation that would change current laws to keep bongwater from being counted as drug weight. Citypages covers the story with Bong water bill dries up with Tim Pawlenty’s veto. You have to read the comments.

Pioneer press puts it all into perspective Time to face it, Minnesota: Tim Pawlenty is seeing someone else

He goes on long trips without explanation. He comes home and criticizes my appearance, even as he pays greater attention to his own image. Where there once was fondness and love, now all I get is, ‘Your taxes are too high! You’re spending too much! You have to cut back!’

As if the RNC convention wasn’t a big enough bust Minneapolis now wants to get itself a convention.
Bob Collins has a poll going and so far people seem to think it’s a good thing. Huh.

Speaking of Bob, he has this to say “I’m not sure what creeps me out more, that a 40 yr old was pretending to be a gay hockey teen. Or that ppl folo a blog by a gay hockey teen” about this story Minnesota gay teen hockey blogger outed as 40-year-old man.

I couldn’t agree more.

Did you see this? Last-minute lake rule looks fishy I almost gave the story it’s own post just to use a headline about “bait and switch”.

Anyway, what’s going on this weekend? Here is a nice music roundup. I’ll probably update the post with some happenings links as the day progresses, but for now I’m out of time. So let’s wrap it up with a little bit of Dessa. She released her new video today “Alibi”.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2_aY9gYTF0[/youtube]

Boom! Goes the Neighborhood: Spring means unexplained explosions return to South Minneapolis

For at least four Spring/Summers a series of unexplained explosions have rocked the Longfellow/Seward neighborhoods of Minneapolis.  911 Operators have been inundated with phone calls from concerned residents whose homes are shaken from these loud earth-shaking sonic booms.

These explosion noises began four years ago during  very hot summer and I shrugged them off as transformer explosions as they seemed to correspond to power failures as well.  But they have continued every season since.  A discussion with the Minneapolis Police Department reveals that there has been an ongoing investigation into the source of the explosion noises and while they have been able to rule out certain causes such as a natural source (river/sewer, etc) they have been unable to find a reason, person, cause responsible for them.

The explosions got much more attention when St. Paul was host to the Republican National Convention with Homeland Security very much involved in the investigation, setting up nighttime surveillance by the river.  Obviously neither they, nor the Minneapolis Police Department are willing to divulge specific details regarding the ongoing investigation but the explosions continue so they have been unable to “solve” the case.

While this is disturbing for someone like me, who lives two blocks from the Mississippi River which is the location from which these explosions are originating, between Lake Street & Ford Bridges, I am reassured by who is working on the case. The attention the Bomb Squad and MPD Third Precinct investigators are giving to this matter is the best for which Minneapolis and St. Paul residents (they are just across the river after all) can hope.  They have been thorough and Inspector Lucy Gerold & Sergeant Wally Krueger have been extremely responsive to my inquiries, living in one of the neighborhoods most affected.

Frustrating investigators is that the explosions can only be heard and they have been unable to discover much evidence, which is why they have asked for cooperation from anyone who may be able to help. If you see anything suspicious by the West River or East River Parkways at night you are asked to call police and if you hear the explosions you are also asked to first check  if you can see anything (a light flash, smoke, etc) then call 911 to report from where you think the explosions originated. Pinpointing the location will help investigators and responders.

Saturday, May 15th, the response to the explosions (there were two, one at 10:15pm and another at 11:30) was swift and this time the State Patrol helicopter was sent to the riverfront to circle to determine whether they could see any activity or evidence.

As Twitter expands you will see greater buzz there in response to these noises.  If you search my historical stream (@quick13) you will see a history of how often they have occurred with tweets like “another explosion tonight” dating back over two years.  Last night someone even created a hashtag for them: #bignoisempls.

The explosions follow a pattern, usually beginning at a specific time, like 10pm and if there is a second one, following at a specific time after, like 11pm or midnight. If the first explosion is at midnight then the second explosion is at 1am or 2am. There is always a regular interval pattern, and there are almost always two or three explosions. One explosion is usually louder than the other.  Rarely there are three explosions in one evening.

There is concern there is something dastardly behind these explosions, but after four summers of enduring them, I am beginning to believe there is a more innocuous explanation.  But then again, in today’s world we have too many reasons for doubt, especially when it comes to things being blown up.  Whatever happens, after four years of having disturbed sleep makes me hope that the investigation can be resolved, if not for my own personal health, but that of the foundation of my home, and perhaps the foundation of the fine City of Minneapolis.

Talking Minnesota – 4/27/10


Photo “into every life some rain must fall” Uploaded on April 26, 2010 by JustACoolCat

Minnesotans have been talking, but I haven’t been listening. Spring has arrived early in the Land of 10,000 lakes and with an early spring comes early allergy symptoms. For me this has included a fever, chills, burning eyes, and plugged up ears to name a couple symptoms. Weeeeeeeeeeeee. Luckily rained all weekend temporarily knocking the pollen out of the air.

In a bit of sad news Gordy, 400-pound gorilla, dies suddenly at Como Zoo, we just saw Gordy a few weekends ago and he was in rare form guarding his territory and chucking clumps of dirt at the onlookers and other goriallas. It’s a shame to see him pass.

Over the last week there’s been much hoopla about how much we trust the government, apparently not very much is the answer.

MPR ran a show and liveblogged Live-blogging Midmorning: The people and their government

A new study by the Pew Center sparks a debate on the role of trust and mistrust in American political life. Less than a quarter of Americans polled say they trust their government. Some experts say people in this country rarely express confidence in Congress and the executive branch. Others note a disturbing trend of increased polarization in government and among voters.

I found this comment interesting and it makes me want to meet the author.

While a doctoral student (management and psychometrics) in the mid-1970’s, I had the opportunity to read many of the management, sociological and behavioural theorists from 1870 on. Much of what I read has come too-much true.

Max Weber: the longer an organization exists, the larger and more complicated it becomes. TRUE! Example: existence of several competing intelligence agencies.

Max Weber: over time, a “bifurcation of interest” develops between an organization and its clients. The organization considers itself more important than its clients, AND what’s good for the organization differs from what’s good for its clients. TRUE! Example: campaign contributors versus voters.

C. Northcote Parkinson: every year, it costs more to perform the same amount of work. TRUE! Example: how much the Federal budget grows (removing natural and financial disasters) every year while income doesn’t.

Lorimer and Lorsch: organizations must maintain the optimal balance of differentiation (territory of task and professional discipline) and integration (pull together as a team). Hyper-differentiation turned territory into fiefdom while hypo-integration never pulls everyone together to work toward a common goal (consistent with Weber). TRUE! Example: Republicans versus Democrats on any topic. Intelligence agencies AGAIN.

We need the wisdom of the past to inform our vision of the future.

Bill J
Posted by Bill Jolitz | April 22, 2010 10:53 AM

Speaking of government, our own Minnesota brings a little bit of the crazy Republicans push for Minnesota sovereignty

Senate Republicans introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would make Minnesota the first state to require a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature to approve federal laws affecting the state. “Minnesotans enjoy inherent, natural, God-given rights,” the bill states, and “Citizens of Minnesota are sovereign individuals, subject to Minnesota law and immune from any federal laws that exceed the federal government’s enumerated constitutional powers.”

Read it. You’ll be shocked to discover that the comments quickly turned to racist undertones.

In a story that could easily have turned totally racist (has it been published somewhere else) Minnpost points us to a new ruling Duluth wins round in lawsuit over casino money

A federal judge has sided with the city of Duluth in a high-stakes legal battle over sharing revenue from slots machine in a downtown casino.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa stopped sharing the money last year and was demanding that the city return $75 million it had shared over the past 25 years.

But the ruling by U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery says the band must resume sharing its slot-machine revenue with the city of Duluth and provide back payments to the city

Word on the Rez is that this unpopular lawsuit could cost RBC head Karen Diver in the next election.

Citypages has a fascinating report on the behind-the-scenes happenings of the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority
Dave Bicking: How politics ousted the Civilian Review Authority’s loudest member

Let’s wrap it up with some music, Minnesota’s own Spaghetti Western String Co. Live at Orchestra Hall .

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NoT-OHlj44[/youtube]

Saint Paul to lose Bicycle Advisory Board

In a story by the East Side review , Bon voyage, BAB? , it’s reported that Saint Paul’s Bicycle Advisory Board wants to disband and form a new transportation board.

St. Paul Ward 4 City Council member Russ Stark – also a bicycling enthusiast, as well as another onetime board chair of the BAB – presented such a resolution to the full council two weeks ago.

While he desires to dissolve the BAB, Stark’s hope is simply to start fresh with a similar citywide body, one devoted to deliberating and championing not just cycling but all manner of individual and mass transportation. And it appears the rest of the council has backed his move to approve a new transportation committee of the St. Paul Planning Commission, one that can consider transportation issues from the absolute beginning when the city takes a look at zoning, neighborhood issues, or major infrastructure investments.

Stark’s proposal calls for a new committee with eight St. Paulites interested in:

• transit, including bicycle and passenger rail

• pedestrian/walkability issues

• freight and logistics industries, including trucking, rail, and airports

• accessibility representatives or people with disabilities

• commercial corridor representatives, such as business owners

• downtown building or business representatives

When asked about disbanding the board, current head Rob Barbosa stated

“Some of the board members are extremists,” Barbosa says, “and they don’t understand there’s a grass roots process” to getting stuff done.
“I told Russ that I’m all for moving BAB into another organization that has more teeth. I would say that BAB is dysfunctional,”

I’m not certain how a new board with a broader objective would have any more power than the BAB or be more effective in representing bike transportation, but I suppose the devil is in the details.

Yes, but how will it matter?

In the latest federal funding flap Governor Tim Pawlenty is calling for a change in how teachers become certified.

Strib reports

Pawlenty said he will ask the Legislature to act on a bill that would make it easier for people to find “alternative pathways” into teaching, something he said would give the state “the ability to get the most highly effective teachers” in the classroom.

There’s been much talk about letting the “experts” do the teaching meaning allow people with knowledge in a particular field enter into teaching without having to go through the normal process of a college degree and state certification. I admit this has it’s appeal. One example would be my soon to be brother-in-law whom has a PHD in Physics and wants to give up corporate life to teach science, but is put off by the additional schooling. I can see not wanting to go back to college once you already have a PHD. On the other hand teachers are taught skills beyond their subject area and the licensure process requires extensive knowledge related to teaching that extends far beyond the subject.

That said, is this really the problem?
I have to wonder if perhaps our governor is not seeing the forest for the trees. From what I hear for every open teaching position in Mn there are hundreds of applicants. Would adding more teachers to that mix really help?

I can’t help but wonder, how exactly does this give Minnesota “the ability to get the most highly effective teachers” in the classroom?

My understanding of the job search process for Mn teacher’s makes me think this will simply add more teachers to the mix that either A) won’t get jobs for years or B) will be shuffled from place to place as more tenured teachers take positions due to funding/position cuts.

Thoughts?

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Talking Minnesotan – 03/19/10

FLOODS!!! BRACKETS!!!! WCHA!!! SXSW!!!

Minnesotans have been crazy talking up the recent goings on, much to the dismay of… well … other Minnesotans. We’re a fickle lot, we like to talk a lot, sometimes. Other times we don’t want any talking. Most of the time we don’t want to hear or read about things we aren’t talking about. Of course, maybe I get too much of my information from Twitter.

If FLOODWATCH2010 is your thing Sornie is pulling together an impressive group of flood pics over and yon at Minnpics

MPR brings us a boatload of events this weekend

This weekend is burgeoning with more events than I know what to do with: book signings, dance concerts, theater, birthday celebrations, music, comedy… If you can’t find something in here to tickle your fancy, well all I can say is, you’re missing out.

Your weekend outlook: the (w)rite of spring

2and21 says forget lakes. we got bikes.

While Simplegoodandtasty points out our great Mn craft beers Locavore Beer Lovers Have Much to Like About Minnesota Brew

Bob has some helpful information @justplainbob “@BCollinsMN Perhaps 90% of people don’t know — as I didn’t until recently — that you can recycle CFL at Menards for free. Spread the word!”

Remember that Duluth Google video I posted a while back?
Now Public Knowledge asks “Will Minnesota Senate Kill Duluth’s Chances of Getting Google Gigabit Project?”

Minnpost is talking healthcare Behind-the-scenes on health care maneuvering: how Tim Walz is deciding, how lobbying pressures mount

While Cinn.mn is taking on the ever popular immigration debate Minnesota Compass: The Economic Impact of Immigrants in Minnesota

•Immigrant-owned businesses generated $331 million dollars in net income to the Minnesota in 2000.
•Hispanic-owned firms in the state have grown 350% since 1990.
•Foreign-born workers account for the majority of growth in the labor force in Minnesota.
•Nationally immigrants represent 25% of physicians and 40% of engineers holding doctoral degrees.
•The U.S. Labor Department reports that the nation has an immediate shortage of 126,000 nurses, yet the average wait for a nurse to get a “green card” is six years.
•Rural Minnesota alone faces a predicted shortage of 8,000 RNs in the next decade.

In sad news longtime Mpls.St.Paul Magazine editor Brian Anderson passed away this week. In my household Brian was viewed as a thoughtful writer and it was his stories my wife would discuss the most.

MSPMAG has the details on his services

On Saturday, March 20, he will be remembered by family, friends, colleagues, and readers at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Visitation begins at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Lakewood Cemetery. All of those Brian touched, either through his deeds or his written words, are welcome to attend

Let’s wrap this up with Mn’s own Romantica – These Things Are Too Beautiful (Live on The Local Show)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBTzJPs3h4E[/youtube]

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Speaking of Jesse The Body – CENSORED!

HuffingtonPost has put the smackdown on the The Body and pulled an article he was published.

Editor’s Note: The Huffington Post’s editorial policy, laid out in our blogger guidelines, prohibits the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories — including those about 9/11. As such, we have removed this post.

Apparently the bright bulbs at Huffpost hadn’t heard Jesse has a show called “Conspiracy Theory”

The full original post can still be read at yahoo For Some, the Search for What Really Happened on 9/11 Isn’t Over

You didn’t see anything about it in the mainstream media, but two weeks ago at a conference in San Francisco, more than one thousand architects and engineers signed a petition demanding that Congress begin a new investigation into the destruction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers on 9/11.

That’s right, these people put their reputations in potential jeopardy because they don’t buy the government’s version of events. They want to know how 200,000 tons of steel disintegrated and fell to the ground in 11 seconds. They question whether the hijacked planes were responsible — or whether it could have been a controlled demolition from inside that brought down the Twin Towers and Building 7.

Oh Jesse, will you be our governor?

Vemrion

Jesse The Body laughs at Tea Baggers.

“Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura sounds off on Republicans, Democrats and the Tea Party”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yr46X8f4ww[/youtube]

Will name children Google for fiber

Bring.mn reports Duluth woos Google, limelight, with offer of first-born naming rights

Leaders of the Duluth initiative are not taking this lying down and have posted a video response on YouTube (a Google product) which decrees all first-born males shall be named “Google Fiber” and first-born females “Googlette Fiber”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03pCyixPuws[/youtube]

Show your support at GoogleTwinPorts.com

VIA Tom Elko
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