Thursday, February 28, 2013

MN Gay Marriage Bill

Well I am going snowmobiling for a couple of days, however I thought I would leave you with this interesting topic.

It looks like the DFL is taking the narrow defeat of the marriage amendment as permission to legalize gay marriage in the state.  Personally I am ok either way, however I don't think the majority of Minnesotans are quite that progressive yet.  So what do you think?
  • Will the bill pass?
  • Will the DFL pay for this "over reach" later?
  • What are the benefits of it passing?
  • What are the detriments of it passing?
MPP Gay Marriage Bill
Star Tribune Gay Marriage Push

Monday, February 25, 2013

MN: Buy a Drink on Sunday

Now, we have discussed the separation of Church and State in many important areas.  I mean we have covered the pro-life/pro-choice issue, the gay marriage topic, physician assisted suicide legality, and many other relevant / contentious issues.

Well now here is the really important issue:
Why in the world can't I buy a six pack of beer on a Sunday in Minnesota?
Does anyone here support this silly law?  If so, why?

The reality is that it won't make much difference in my life since I am a planner with a separate beer fridge.  So I don't think you will ever find me short on beer on a Sunday.

However the point is still valid, why is this intrusive religious based law preventing the free market from operating on Sunday. Do we really want the religious right preventing capitalism and stifling our state's economy?

MinnPost Don't Count on Sunday Sales
MN Daily MN's Want Sunday Sales
MN Beer Activists
Star Tribune Sales on Sunday

A few words from one of my favorite bands.
ACDC Have a Drink on Me

Sunday, February 24, 2013

MN & RAS Education Updates

The politicians in St Paul appear to be busy working hard to do something about the K-12 education in Minnesota...  For better or worse...  Thoughts?

Parents United 22Feb13
RDALE Meeting Records

While Superintendent Sicoli seems to be leading the cheer squad.  I agree with being positive, however don't you think at least one slide should have covered the challenges we still face in the district?  I mean he was presenting to the School Board...

RDALE State of Schools Presentation
MDE Analytics

Here are some pictures from the MDE site that I would think should warrant a slide or two, and maybe some discussion.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Supporting Families in Need (ALS, Cancer, Syndromes, Other)

A note from my sister who helped organize a volunteer group, and then published a book to help others do the same.  I am very proud of her and would appreciate your support in getting the word out to those that could make use of this valuable information.  Thanks  John
Do you know someone who is experiencing hard times - such as an accident or illness - that are preventing them from caring for their family? You know they need help, but you don't know how to help them? You are not alone! It’s a question many people ask ... and will help you find the answer. Whether your friend needs help for a few weeks or a few years, will equip you to help your friend, fast!
I developed the first Carry Crew to help my friend, Jim, who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Together with about two dozen amazing volunteers, our Carry Crew provided support services for the family -- such as house cleaning, meal delivery, grocery shopping, and yard work -- throughout the last five years of Jim’s devastating illness. Thanks to Team Jim, the family felt hands-on love amidst a terrifying storm.
At, you'll find:
  • Online resources for building your crew of volunteers, fast!
  • Carry Crew Commandments for building a successful crew.
  • Sample chapters and links to purchase the guide, "The Carry Crew Concept: How to Build Crews to Carry People in Hard Times." This book is available as an e-book and printed book from
  • Blog with regular updates and ideas to build your Carry Crew
  • Ideas for helping coordinate volunteer efforts for any purpose
With and "The Carry Crew Concept," by Elizabeth A. Billups, people worldwide can learn the simple steps of building their own Carry Crew so they can provide the practical help their friends desperately need. Imagine it: No more feelings of wanting to help, but not knowing how. No more people needing help, but not getting it. It may sound like a dream, but it could be reality.

About the Author
Elizabeth A. Billups is the founder and author of The Carry Crew Concept. She also developed and captained the very first Carry Crew, called Team Jim, to help her friend who had ALS. Elizabeth is primarily a stay-at-home mom of three daughters, but she also enjoys freelance writing and numerous volunteer activities. She lives with her husband and family in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Like CarryCrew at Facebook!
Thank you for your time! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It Was Your Idea, Now Fix it

And the argument goes on and on and on...  I must say that Obama seems to be pretty aggressive in his attempted bullying.  Though I like Boehner's simple answer.

I was your idea to implement the necessary cuts in this manner.  Now if you do not like these cuts, please propose different ones.

Of course, Obama's answer is that we should raise taxes instead, even though we already did that earlier this year.  No surprise there.

WSJ Boehner Article
FOX News Boehner to Obama
Busn Week Simpson Bowles

Amazing this bill was signed off by the President.  I am only amazed because it must have been signed in the middle of the night with no cameras.  Pretty much no one covered it...
Shark Tank Pres Signs No Budget No Pay

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Raise the Minimum Wage?

Joe Bodell over at MN Progressive Project wrote a post in support of raising the minimum wage.  MPP Minimum Wage  Check out Joe's TV views at the following link.
"Tonight on Fox9 it was the minimum wage increase proposed by President Obama in Tuesday's State of the Union address (I'll post a link to the segment video when it's available). Standard fare, really -- put more money in people's pockets to drive consumer spending, demand, and ultimately job creation vs. the tired old Republican talking points about small businesses not being able to cope with the added expense of wage increases." Joe
"And they are tired old talking points. I'm not saying it's not a prisoner's dilemma -- the selfish solution (keep my business's costs low so it can survive!) makes for a more stable bottom line in the short term, while the unselfish solution (we all pay our workers a bit more so they can afford to buy our stuff!) requires more faith in other business owners than the average Republican is used to having. But raising the minimum wage to keep up with inflation is still the right moral, economic, and political thing to do." Joe
Of course I have concerns regarding this and left 2 comments. The first to Joe.
"Joe, Who exactly do you think will pay this higher wage? Who do you think will be most injured by it? I agree that Dueber's had much bigger problems than their employee cost, and I think it is silly to raise that issue. Since this would go country wide, I am pretty sure that most companies will be able to very quickly raise their prices to cover the additional cost. Or they will automate more jobs since they can justify the additional capital costs. Or they will send some more work over seas. So let's see, by mandating a higher minimum wage than the market justifies, we will increase the expenses that are paid by many of the people you strive to help. And we encourage and cost justify the elimination of many of these very low skill entry jobs. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it." John (G2A)
And the second in response to Sue's comment.
"What I think we've discovered, over many years of trial and error, in many states, is that those are not the sort of businesses that keep a community prosperous. It isn't always that the employer is mean-spirited; often they simply fall into a business model that requires wages at a certain level, and don't have the imagination or resources to get out of that model. Regardless, moving to a higher-wage economy, in which everyone has a bit more of the pie, will always involve winners and losers. The GOP trick is to make people focus on the losers as much as possible and ignore the greater good of society." Sue
"Please elaborate regarding the "greater good". We raise wages for the least qualified, thus increasing costs for all. And since we are doing it at the Federal level, that means this will drive the same wage whether one lives in a high cost city or a low cost rural town. Also, it will compress the wages at the lower end, unless you believe that it will shift the pay scale up for everyone. Which I guess it could since the higher costs of goods may drive that reaction. I am okay either way, yet it seems like a dog chasing it's tail." John (G2A)
So what do you think, will raising the federal minimum wage help or hurt the low income folks?  Or will it do nothing except drive inflation?  Your rationale?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Government Benefits Fuel Poverty?

Fox had an interesting article regarding an economist that has shown that increased welfare is causing poverty to increase.  Of course many disagree and say that it is correlated because increased poverty actually causes an increased use of benefits, what do you think?

FOX News Benefits Fuel Poverty
Kaiser Poll Poverty in America
Fee Does Welfare Diminish Poverty?

Please study this if you are confused regarding causation and correlation.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Who Recommended Sequester?

A couple links for your amusement.  Not sure why it matters, but quite a few people seem to care.  It is ironic that Obama is working to delay the implementation of what apparently was his "bluff". Thoughts?

His video below definitely sounds like he is blaming others rather than accepting personal responsibility.  Go figure.
Fact Checker Obama Recommended It
MPP You Voted For Sequester
White House President's Video Statement
Chicago Tribune Obama's Sequester Bluff
Politico Obama on Sequester Cuts

As I asked TwoPuttTommy at MPP...  How can anyone look at this graph and say that it is not a spending problem?
Revenue vs Spend
Historical Cost of Government vs GDP
FOX News Pelosi and Obama Disagree

Guns - Too BIG?

You have to watch the videos that TwoPuttTommy linked to over at MPP
MPP Semi Automatic, Yeah Right

If you are a gun collector with a passion for things that go boom, you will think they are the coolest thing ever.  If you have a fear of guns in our society, these will scare you severely and confirm your beliefs.

Now the irrational testosterone filled gun lover in me wants to go out and buy one of these just for the fun and thrill of it.  However the rational, scared for my fellow citizens wants to ban these  and keep them only in the hands of the military and police.

Could you imagine the carnage if some insane idiot truly did open up into a crowd with a gun set up this way and say 10 high capacity clips?

Then again, if the crazies did not have guns will they just resort back to arson, bombs, serial killing, etc to fulfill their twisted fantasies?

So what do you think, how big of guns should citizens be allowed to own?  I'd love to fire off some rocket propelled grenades, would that be okay?  Or maybe a minigun...  Thoughts?

One more strange question... Why did the silly politicians want to limit clips to 10 bullets when many normal hand guns hold up to 13?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rob From Rich, Give To Poor?

Laurie raised some good points, how much does an American citizen deserve to own or earn?  Who should decide?  How much personal property should be removed from their wallet and redistributed to the masses?
"Does anyone really deserve an an annual income of $30 million? I think half of that should be shared for the benefit of society and those much less fortunate." Laurie
"I don't agree completely with this writer as choices, including working hard do matter. I just don't see how one accepts that the super rich are 500 times smarter and harder working than someone like me." Laurie
Now Laurie is a Progressive, and thus a big fan of Robinhood and a very progressive tax system which is "fair".  However there are a whole bunch of Conservatives like me who are against a very Progressive tax system, and prefer a flat tax system because it is "fair".

I am curious why there are so many of us that are against the very progressive system that Laurie thinks is fair. I mean if:
"As of 2011, the average household income of the top 10 percent of households in the United States was $164,647. For the bottom 90 percent, it was $31,244. The top 1 percent averaged $3,238,386, and the top 0.1 percent $27,342,212. The wealthiest 1 percent of households in the United States possessed 32.7 percent of the wealth, while the bottom 50 percent held between 1 and 2 percent."  Laurie
Why are we resistant to raising the taxes on the 1%?  Is it fear that some day we would have to pay the bill, a sense of fairness, fear that taxing these people would damage the USA or other?


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Business, Government or Citizen Control

Grace Kelly created an interesting post on MPP regarding what businesses see as the top risks.  Being a good progressive, she then started to blame business for our woes and noted how powerless us citizens are to face these goliaths... Below is just one of our exchanges, see the link for others.

MPP Business Risks

"I always find it amusing when Progressives imply that big business is in charge. It is kind of like saying that politicians are totally at fault for our problems." G2A

"In other words, no political entity has the power to control Big Business or the increasing accumulation of money and power by the richest 1%. The fossil fuel industry will continue to dominate, collecting huge government subsidies and profits." Grace Kelly

"So where does the individual citizen or consumer fit into your perceived power struggle?

Companies and politicians can not succeed without the full support of these folks? If one wants more American jobs, start buying product from American companies... If folks think we are too reliant on oil, pay more and buy that electric car... If Walmart takes advantage of employees, stop shopping there... If the poor need more food, healthcare, etc., give more money and time to charity... 

It does seem easier to blame the politicians and businesses rather than take responsibility for our own personal/societal contribution to the challenges we face.

However to me it seems like an avoidance of personal responsibility." G2A

Since I am much more of a fan of citizens accepting responsibility, I liked the following article better.
CNN It's Your Fault

So what do you think?  Are we powerless pawns or the decision makers?  Should we keep pointing at others or should we accept responsibility?

Monday, February 4, 2013

No Budget No Pay Moves Slowly Forward

The CNN article notes that the Senate has finally passed the No Budget No Pay act...  And that President Obama is late with his budget for the 4th time in 5 years...

And FOX News article notes that it will be hard for the Democrats to raise taxes and spending higher unless the economy gets moving.

The third link explains how the poor GDP news in January may be a good thing.  Less government and more private!!!


CNN President Misses Budget Deadline
FOX News Shrinking Economy
CNN GDP: Economic Contraction

Friday, February 1, 2013

ProChoice Rationale or Rationalization

So as you know, I am anti-abortion and pro-choice.  A very strange combination to say the least, yet I am comfortable with this position.  I am not in any hurry to legislate morality in this area and force mothers to have kids they do not want. (more in my comments at MPP)  I don't see that being good for the child, mother or society.

Bill Prendercast at MN Progressive has some different rationale regarding his pro-choice position.  "Ditto the fertilized egg/embryo in the first trimester--in my opinion (for the reasons I gave), those things are not yet human beings. Therefore it's the pregnant woman's business as to whether or not to terminate."  MPP Pro-Choice

So what do you think?  Is he using logical rationale or rationalizing his beliefs?

His comments reminded me of fellow deer hunters who say they hunt to get meat, make the roads safer, prevent over population, etc.  While these are true statements, most hunters I go with just enjoy the time outside and the thrill of hunting. Yet for some it is hard to just say I enjoy the thrill of stalking and killing Bambi.