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The City Assessor is photographing every property in Minneapolis:

The purpose of this project is to help improve the overall quality and accuracy of property appraisals in Minneapolis and to allow the Assessor’s Office to fine tune its property data, by confirming property addresses and other information about the structure/s on a given property.

Additionally, these photographs will have a number of public safety purposes including:


Barry for Change

There’s a new Barry on the political stage, this one offering a change I can believe in:

My name is Barry Hickethier, and I am seeking to earn your support for Minnesota State Senate, District 59. I am running because, like so many people I have talked with, I have become frustrated with the current state of government. A government that is more beholden than ever to special interest, while becoming less responsive to the needs of the average citizen. A government which is inserting itself more and more into our personal lives, and which is eroding our personal freedom.


Imagineering for Central Avenue

The City of Minneapolis has an array of programs aimed at invigorating weak commercial districts. Central Avenue—mostly within the 55418—has been awarded its second subsidy under one of these initiatives, The Great Streets Program:

In 2007, the Minneapolis City Council approved the Great Streets Neighborhood Business District program, a coordinated effort to help businesses develop and succeed along commercial corridors and at commercial nodes throughout the city.

City resources are available for business loans, real estate development gap financing, and business district assistance such as façade improvement programs, market studies, and retail recruitment efforts.

The Fog of History

Any great struggle, while it remains undecided and sometimes even afterward, unfolds not in certainties but in doubts.

Quoted from: Mark Helprin

Via: Newmark’s Door

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Barry Thinks Truckers are Morons

The Failed Obama Administration™ has issued another absurdity:

President Barack Obama is getting behind a national policy to boost fuel efficiency and cut greenhouse-gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Obama said Friday he's asking the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to come up with what would be a first-ever policy for such trucks in model years 2014-2018.

Such a move, he said, will bring down the cost of transporting goods, reduce pollution and spur growth in the clean-energy sector. The government will also work with the public and private sectors to develop technology for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, Obama said.


No Ticket, No Laundry

A census worker knocking doors in NRR’s territory offered an insight into the minds of the people who are counting the people.

The doorknockers set their own schedules. Every day they work, they are expected to turn in a time sheet. Due to scheduling difficulties—for many, census work is a second job—some time sheets don’t get in every day.

If a time sheet is not in by the end of a pay period, pay for that day of work will be delayed until the next pay period. There’s no question that the pay is due, it’s just a timing issue. That’s standard practice in the non-government world.

Some census workers who can’t get their time sheets turned in when due have been upset when their paychecks are less than expected. But, instead of trying to get their sheets in on time, what are they doing? Calling their Congressperson about delayed pay.


The Discretion Factor

Americans will respect your beliefs if you just keep them private.

Quoted from: Bill O’Reilly

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Gulf Spill Birdy Count

It has been more than three weeks since the Deepwater Horizon exploded. We’ve endured twenty-four days of storytelling meant to tickle anxieties and promote panic.

Legislatively, this might become an enduring disaster. But the actual harm to nature has been minimal. Fishing areas are re-opening. And fears of oil-drenched sea birds appear to have been overblown:

An oiled brown pelican was found on the rocks along Bayou Rigaud at Grand Isle on Thursday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Wildlife and Fisheries biologists caught the bird and brought it to Fort Jackson, where veterinarians are rehabbing oiled birds.


The Scale of Evils

In the comment discussion on his post about trying to quantify the effects of racism, Cobb writes:

[T]he weight of the destruction done to the world by socialism and communism that have taken over from the demon of racism. And where modern American white supremacy's damage has been 5,000 lynchings, Stalin's victims are in the millions. And so that now terrorizes me. It set me up to be a patsy for liberty. I deal with racism of course, but I consider myself particularly robust in that regard and I don't have reasons to fear. I say of course we have a black president, I understand perfectly well where he comes from because I came from many of the same places. But does he understand Stalin out there? And the sad fact is that he didn't, and thought his blackness, his muslimness, all of that our generation knows would be sufficient. It's not.

Here’s my feeble attempt to summarize Cobb’s viewpoint. Racism used to be the biggest problem in society. It still has negative effects, but nobody can actually measure them. Without measurement, we cannot make a proper response. Nor can we assess our effectiveness.


VE Day

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing;

Quoted from: Winston Churchill

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Adoptar Una Serie

TJIC sets some immigration policy directives I can support:

[T]he current disaster is the worst of all worlds: it incents folks to cross the border illegally … and then stay underground. It incents crime. It incents growth of government. It incents corruption. It casually considers thousands of dead Mexicans a year a rounding error. It (further) creates contempt for the law.

We need to build a tall and deep wall.

We need to vastly simplify the laws.

We need to create a clear and simple pathway for folks who want to come here to work, to build the future, and to become Americans.

We need to tell foreigners, employers, and constituents one, and only one, story.

It is often difficult to do the right thing. But it is usually easy to explain what the right thing is.


Follow the Pea

GM’s repayment of Federal loans is a shell game:

You may have seen the announcement yesterday by GM’s CEO that it was paying back a portion of the money it had been loaned by the taxpayers (who borrowed it to loan it) to keep the company from going under and providing it the room for the government to own 61%.

Jamie Dupree brings us the rest of the story:

The issue came up yesterday at a hearing with the special watchdog on the Wall Street Bailout, Neil Barofsky, who was asked several times about the GM repayment by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who was looking for answers on how much money the feds might make from the controversial Wall Street Bailout.


Welcome to the Fatherland

Back in late 2008, when Congress passed the TARP bank bailout, I posted about the proper term to describe the developing relationship between government and industry:

Pundits speaking for the huge popular majority opposed to the plan seem to have decided to call it socialism, or a nationalization of banking and real estate. There is a political philosophy which combines those terms. National Socialism. Or, in a word, fascism.

Now that Barry has been elected and enjoyed a kindred Congress, I am more convinced that his vision for society is not properly called socialism. An article at The Freeman takes up the question, “Is Obama a socialist?


Consumer Surplus

In essential terms, consumer surplus is getting more than you paid for. Or, in more rigorous terms:

Consumer surplus is a measure of the welfare that people gain from the consumption of goods and services, or a measure of the benefits they derive from the exchange of goods.

Consumer surplus is the difference between the total amount that consumers are willing and able to pay for a good or service (indicated by the demand curve) and the total amount that they actually do pay (i.e. the market price for the product).

The surplus may be in the form of additional goods, like the beer snit that usually comes with a bloody mary. Or it might be in additional utility, like napkins that come in handy dispenser packaging.

Your Government Gassed Babies

We heard a lot about evil Republicans and their willingness to use torture to protect Americans against terrorism. It seems many have forgotten that the same government, under Democrat leadership, used terrorism and tortured American children near Waco in 1993:

CS gas was used at the compound, in order, as senior White House adviser George Stephanopoulos said, echoing senior Justice Department statements, to “try and pressure” those in the compound. It was hoped, he said, that as this “pressure was increased, the maternal instincts of the mothers might take over and they might try to leave with their kids” (Washington Times, April 23, 1995).



The current President has decided his government can kill U.S. Citizens without trial:

The Obama administration has authorized operations to capture or kill a U.S.-born Muslim cleric based in Yemen, who is described by a key lawmaker as America's top terrorist threat, officials said on Tuesday.

The decision to add Anwar al-Awlaki, of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to the target list followed a National Security Council review prompted by his status as a U.S. citizen.

Officials said Awlaki directly threatened the United States. "Awlaki is a proven threat," said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He's being targeted."

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates:


Understanding Everything, Knowing Nothing

The current President seems to have a flexible relationship with truth. And in that statement, I display a kinship with his philosophy.

The word at the crux is “seem”. I have made it a habit to qualify many of my perceptions with words like “seem” or “appear”. This habit was cultivated, in part, to recognize that as only one mind, I cannot embrace all that is true. I can only know what I know, which is not necessarily all that exists.

But I diverge from the President in my conclusion that there is an absolute truth. What seems true to me, or to him, or to anyone, is rooted in fixed concepts. Barry denies (appears to deny?) there is any fixed truth underlying each person’s perception. Everything is relative.

And nothing is real without someone to perceive it, and put that perception into linguistic terms. There are no absolutes. This is what is called “post-modernism”:


Pharaoh -> Caesar -> Obama -> Pawlenty -> Rybak

Arnold Kling goes Old Testament:

Pharoah created jobs for us. Moses led us away from those jobs. Even though those jobs helped to complete public infrastructure. Even though they were green jobs, where we used our muscles and our backs instead of fossil fuels.

Moses could have been part of the ruling class in Egypt. He chose freedom instead. Those of us who followed Moses also chose freedom. Freedom brings risks. But we preferred the risks of freedom to the security of bondage.

Do not confuse government with G-d. Government cannot miraculously provide us with manna--or health care. When we look at government, we should not see G-d. We should see Pharoah. Government-worship is Pharoah-worship.


Where Interest Lies Honor Dies

I have engaged in several conversations with opponents who are not yet my enemies. They deserve the honor of being heard before commencing battle. And I am within my integrity to listen for my own arrogance.

These conversations, of course about Unicorn Care, begin with some statement of support for the ideal. “Getting sick should not lead to bankruptcy.” “Freedom is not having to worry about affording health care.”

I join not with my best argument, but with the economics. It is Unicorn Care because the numbers cannot work. Nothing is free. Hiding the cost of care does not remove the cost of care.

Here some opponents first show their selfishness. They do not care that someone else must pay. They want to be free from worry, but shirk the responsibility that is inseparable from such a liberty.


Dogs Returning to Their Own Vomit

The Senate has taken up debate of changes to Unicorn Care. The righties may have an ability to stop some of it through the filibuster. But, since the bill law is so defective, they’re in a tough spot. Nearly any change is a genuine improvement for the people.

If, for example, the Republicans block actually including full coverage for sick kids—lefties forgot to put it in the bill—the righties look real bad in the minds of the non-critical-thinking majority of voters. People are mad now, but in November, the vast middle will have accepted this puke sandwich as the new normal. And they’ll want their slice.



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