Forget peak oil. We can live without that if we have to. But water? That’s pretty important.
And the Twin Cities is using up its supply according to this article in the Pioneer Press.
The best part is that the MN Dept. Natural Resources (DNR) is really acting to counter the problem. “… the agency sent out letters to every city in the metro telling them to conserve water.”
Oh, that should solve the problem! Or not. Apparently the DNR has been too busy managing wolf hunting to solve this whole “where’s the water” problem.
One begins to wonder what the hidden water cost of things we use everyday is… and how we’re going to turn this trend around.
Let them drink beer?
According to Surly Brewing Co. founder Omar Ansari, “The Malcolm Midway site has everything we need to build a world-class brewery. We’re excited to be moving to a central location that will be a destination for everyone in the Twin Cities.”
A former food processing plant contributed to an abundance of environmental hazards for which Surly has acquired over $2 million in grants to help clean up.
So taxpayer get to pay 10% of the cost of building a “destination brewery”?
How about, like any other investor, we get a return on our investment… say 10% of all profits?
Or, how about if whoever owned that food processing plant gets to pay to clean up their mess? Or how about whoever bought the land from the food processing company?
Why on earth are the taxpayers cleaning up this site when we know exactly who caused the problem?
No. Not the Vikings stadium or Mayo… the police.
Pioneer Press has an article about a lawyer who found that her “private driver’s license information [was accessed] more than 700 times” by law enforcement agencies (aka “cops”).
According to the article:
In one letter to Cottage Grove, one of the cities whose officers are accused
of accessing her data, Fukuda wrote, “we believe she is entitled to at least $10,000 for each occurrence.”
The city, like dozens of others under scrutiny for data violations, is being represented in the matter through the League of Minnesota Cities.
The league already has taken 110 claims against 82 jurisdictions with more coming in daily, said Doug Gronli, its claims manager.
The League of Minnesota Cities is not an official government agency. It is a “membership organization”. As part of their mission they provide “risk management” services. The members are cities (through their councils). So cities pay membership fees and apparently this investigation is being to done to help manage risk?
Why? Because when police commit a violation like this, they don’t get personally held responsible… the taxpayer picks up the bill. And the officers in question may or may not lose their job!
They get to commit acts that benefit them personally (even if the benefit is largely intangible and worthless), but for them has no downside… they bill the public for their misdeeds.
I have edited several of my past posts here. No one asked me to do this. No one is forcing me to change my rhetorical style.
So why? Because I want to engage in a discussion. Really. Not parallel ranting, not berating those who disagree with me. I don’t want to push away potential allies by being overly inflammatory and I don’t want to prevent my ideological opponents from engaging with me here. I want to make sure that even if we disagree that people can know that I will do my best to stick to the issues and present my case without name-calling or insults. I want to produce a blog that those who agree with me will be eager to share with others and that those who oppose me respect as being honest, forthright, well-done, and constructive.
Crystal City Council Member Julie Deshler said to me in a recent email:
“I’m thinking Ward 4 is a great group of residents. Please remove us from further email communications. Really, I don’t want to see it, don’t want to read it, and on behalf of Ward 4, if life sucks so bad for you anarchists, move to a different community, or better yet, for both you and me…move to another country.”
First of all, I’ve never said anything against Ward 4 or its residents. In terms of politics, I see that Ward 4 was relatively sane in the last election. At best the area can be designated 35% Republican based on how they voted in 2012. That’s awesome, once again we can see that Crystal is a fairly sensible, liberal place instead of a Republican stronghold. Certainly better than average for the state. Sadly, the last election did not include an opponent for Julie Deshler so that Ward 4 could be represented at City Hall by someone who more closely reflects the general political will of that part of Crystal.
Before I posted about Crystal City Council Member Julie Deshler sending me an email rant in which she told me to move out of the country for daring to ask that the City update its procedures for making the City Code available, I sent her and the entire council an email saying:
Dear Crystal City Council,
Recently I sent an email to the entire council requesting updates to how the city code is published.
Below is the response I received from Ward 4 Council Member Julie Dreshler. [sic]
I think this sort of response to a Crystal resident is wholly inappropriate, no matter what the provocation. And I really don’t see how a request for the city code on the web site to match the ordinances passed by the council over the years even comes close to being “pompous” or indicating that I am an “anarchist” whose “life sucks”!
I am extremely shocked and disappointed that a member of the governing body of the city in which I live would ask not to receive communications from residents and would suggest that I move to a different community or even to another country.
I had been hoping her email was some sort of April Fool’s joke, or intended for someone else. Nope.
Recently I sent an email to the entire Crystal City Council regarding the fact that the City Code on the web site is out of date, as is the copy at the public library (full text of the email). I suggested that the Council pass an ordinance requiring the Code to be put in a machine-readable format and that the new format be used to generate updated copies online and at the library. This is not a novel idea. The Federal and State governments do this. Most cities do this. I thought the request was relatively tame.
Apparently Council Member Deshler disagreed. This is how she responded:
I’m thinking Ward 4 is a great group of residents. Please remove us from further email communications. Really, I don’t want to see it, don’t want to read it, and on behalf of Ward 4, if life sucks so bad for you anarchists, move to a different community, or better yet, for both you and me…move to another country. I about puked when I read your pompous email. Just when was it that god died and left you in charge?
I still don’t know what to think. Is she really so angry that I asked that the City Code on the web site be updated? Did she send this response to the wrong person? All the other communications I’ve had with her have been pleasant and cordial. I really hope it was a mistake that it was sent to me… but if it wasn’t me, I’m curious who this anarchist is that upset her so much and what this other person said.
What I can’t believe is that an elected official would speak to any resident of their city like this, no matter what the resident said. “Move to another country”???
I have responded to her email directly, as well as forwarding her response to the whole Council. We’ll see what she has to say for herself, if anything, and if the Council actually addresses this incident.
SunPost article says: “PRISM, NEAR receive contributions from Crystal City Council.”
But what really happened was:
“[T]he city get’s some shares of charitable gambling funds at various places in the city,” City Manager Anne Norris, said. “We are allowing use of the funds as part of our policy, to local food shelves. It’s not citizen tax dollar, but charitable gambling proceeds.”
Why? Why does the City Council get this money and get to direct it to their favorite charities? More, why would the article highlight the Council as the “donors”, when the real donors are people who play pulltabs and other games?
And while both recipient organizations are extremely fine charities, they are both marginally “faith-based”. Why is it that the places that actually host the gambling aren’t the ones who decide what charity should benefit? Why not, in fact, require that the recipient of the proceeds be named clearly at the time/place where the gambling occurs? And why should the city get a cut to direct then, after the fact?
Or why not simply remove all this whitewashing of gambling and get the government out of the business of running and participating in promoting gambling?
I don’t, personally, oppose gambling at all. If the participants are consenting adults, but can you imagine if the government decided to look the other way on other stuff that’s illegal if it’s done for charity? How about “charitable drinking and driving” or “charitable massage parlors” or “charitable opium dens”?
I have sent the following email to every member of the Crystal City Council, and I encourage you to do the same. Let them know that the City Code should not be a mystery!
Please direct city staff to create an updated, complete machine-readable version of Crystal City Code and to use that machine-readable version of the Code to produce an online version so that citizens may easily access the current Code.
On Facebook, I posted a quick “Thank you, Al Franken!” for his support of consumer choice in the cell phone market.
I have some very libertarian friends. Great guys. One of them responded: “I’m not sure more laws is a good thing.”
Another added, “I’m looking forward to Jason Lewis taking down Al.”
To which I had to respond.
I can think of many laws that are on the books that I’d be happy to delete to get this one. No need to go into the specifics, but cheering for a specific law is not the same as cheering for all laws. And cheering against law in general is not the same as supporting freedom, in my opinion.