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Replacing Leviathan

This is the first in a 3-part series to outline the importance of programs funded by the OAA –such as Meals On Wheels –to the dignity of seniors across America. Please read, share and tell Congress to take action and not play political games with seniors’ health and well-being.

This FedGov law funds local Meals on Wheels programs. By the political structure I wish we lived under, it would have never been under Federal jurisdiction. But we can’t act on the world as we wish it was.


Doping in Minneapolis

Posted by a Facebook pally:

Regarding Lance Armstrong: If I wanted to listen to the opinions of smug assholes who ride bikes and do way too many drugs, I'd move to Northeast Minneapolis.


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Bluberry Miles

The local food co-op had blueberries on discount. Organic, of course. But they were grown in Chile.

“Eat local” isn’t a strong commandment, just a nagging slogan. When hipsters want organic blueberries, the market will find a way to satisfy them, climate be damned!

I bought some. Have not tried them yet; hope they were worth the trip.

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Powder Keg High

My daily business quite often takes me past Edison High School at “closing time” (3pm). There are always at least three cop cars stationed within a block or two.

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The Planning Tax

Northeast Minneapolis is not a rich part of town. It is, however, a haven for upwardly-mobile Progressive hipsters and University of Minnesota employees who do all they can to hide their six-figure incomes. Those demographics hate chain stores. Shopping local is part of their identity and a point of civic pride.

Any development proposal that might include an anchor tenant like Starbucks faces organic opposition. Similarly, any business required by zoning codes to receive a conditional use permit had better be some kind of cutesy shop and not a convenience store that would attract poor people. Never mind that lower-income households are in the numeric majority.


Caucus Day Debrief

The caucus for my hunk of the 55418 was held in an elementary school building. Both big parties were having their caucus there. Fitting to party stereotypes, the DFL (Democrats) were assigned to ther library media center, while the Republicans got the lunchroom.

Nobody checked my ID. I just went to the table for my Ward and Precinct and signed in. There was little formality and just enough order to make the proceedings legitimate. When we finally got started on business, about fifteen minutes late, the Convener was amazed by the turnout. He said that in 2010 there were 9 people. This time we had 47.

Of the 47, I recognized a small handful from my time as a community organizer. It's no wonder that the NRP served as a farm system to develop DFL candidates. The Republicans evidently didn't try to take over the system that funneled millions of dollars from the City to neighborhoods.


Caucus for the Constitution

I don’t like political parties. I understand why they exist in the United States, but they ultimately serve themselves more than serving the people. But I may attend my first party caucus next week.

I want to support the Constitution and it quirky proponent, Ron Paul. He can’t win, he’s crazy, he will get us all blown up by Iranians, blah, blah blah. But if I have integrity to my belief in our Founding Principles, and if this really is The Most Important Election Ever! I must go support the candidate who best represents my view. There are no bystanders.


Minneapolis GOP Sleeps Through Election

On January 10th there was a special election to fill vacant seat in the Minnesota Senate. Nobody noticed:

Kari Dziedzic easily won a special election on Jan. 10 to become the next state senator to represent Northeast and parts of Southeast Minneapolis.

Dziedzic (DFL) took 79 percent of the vote while Republican Ben Schwanke collected 19 percent.

In total, only 4,273 votes were cast on an unseasonably warm January day. That’s less than 10 percent of the 45,000 registered voters in Senate District 59.


Nuts on Nets

The Internet’s full of small, vindictive, unbalanced, and ugly people who don’t have the slightest qualms about using any and every tactic imaginable to go after people who irritate them.

Quoted from: John Hawkins


Nuclear Disaster in Marhsall Terrace

A couple of years ago, the Riverside Power Plant in the 55418 was converted from coal fuel to natural gas. It had burned coal and coated the Marshall Terrace neighborhood with ash and dust for the previous eight decades.

It never made headlines as a radiation hazard. But it was:

In a 1978 paper for Science, J. P. McBride at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and his colleagues looked at the uranium and thorium content of fly ash from coal-fired power plants in Tennessee and Alabama. To answer the question of just how harmful leaching could be, the scientists estimated radiation exposure around the coal plants and compared it with exposure levels around boiling-water reactor and pressurized-water nuclear power plants.


Ellison’s on Their Side

Keith Ellison represents the 55418 in Congress. He’s the first Muslim to serve there. Ellison made some headlines recently for crying—really, he shed tears on camera—in a Congressional hearing over the perceived demonization of Muslims in the United States. He feels that Islam is mis-characterized and Muslims can be American heroes just like anyone else.

Ellison is outspoken about the rights of not only Muslims, but of women and many minority categories. Including homosexuals. He believes that gays deserve the whole raft of privileges granted to non-gay people. Like the right to marry.

Mr Ellison is a proud Progressive. But the Prog agenda is at odds with the Holy Koran. Under Islam, not even “radical” Islam, homosexuality is a crime against G-d. Gayness is punishable by death. So the matter of their right to marry is moot.

It is not possible to serve two masters. Is Ellison a Muslim? Or is he a Progressive?

It’s not just a matter of overlooking some aspects of politics in favor of a greater good. There is no compromise with death. And Ellison actively, aggressively (and tearfully) advocates for the rights of both factions.

The 55418 is lucky to have such a morally and philosophically flexible Representative.

SWPL Radio

Public radio annoys me. It is a bastion of the kind of self-satisfied smugness that I see in most of my lefty neighbors. It is a church of superficial diversity that excommunicates anyone (see Juan Williams) for the sin of Differing Opinion.

Thus, I enjoyed this take-down of NPR:

“NPR doesn’t get a lot of public money.” This endlessly repeated assertion is apparently so important that it appears on NPR’s own website, where it features prominently in the ombudsman’s frequently asked questions page. “NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government,” the network states. This begs the question, of course, of why — if the public money it receives is so minor — NPR and its defenders fight so ferociously to retain it.


Who Hates the Lebanese?

Something else you’re not being reminded in arguments about the Hamasque (and in the broader non-dialog concerning the people of Antijudea):

According to the Arab American Institute, the breakdown of religious affiliation among Arab Americans is as follows:


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.

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.


261 Will Stay in the 55413

After a winter of rumours and uncertainty, an historic steam locomotive has been purchased by a metro-area railfan group:

Earlier this month the [Friends of the 261] Board of Directors approved the purchase of Milwaukee Road No. 261 from the National Railroad Museum of Green Bay, Wis.

The locomotive, which operated from 1993 to 2008, was owned by NRM and leased to the Friends for operation. For the past several years the two organizations have been negotiating for a new lease, but were unable to agree on terms. At one point NRM offered to sell the engine to the Friends for $800,000 or lease it for $70,000 per year. Things finally came to a head in November 2009 when negotiations ended and it was agreed that No. 261 would return to NRM for display - the engine had been on exhibit in Green Bay from 1958 to 1992.


Poor Choices

At a mega-drugstore on Central Avenue, the patron ahead of me was chatting on her mobile phone as the cashier rang up her merchandise. She bought two frozen pizzas (Red Baron brand), a few cans of soda-pop and a couple of bags of candy. And she paid by EBT card.

The politics of generosity and inclusion are a fraud. Taxes should not pay for candy in the name of charity. And if you can chatter freely on a cell phone, you’re not poor.

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Will Work for Airtime

Just observed a “homeless” person camped out at a freeway exit (I-35W & New Brighton Boulevard). He was too busy with his iPhone to hold up his sign.

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Sin and Yang

From a Good Friday reflection by a committed Catholic:

The question has come my way several times in the past week: "How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?"

When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.



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