27 December 2011

Sanctity Schmanktity

Minnesota voters will be asked in November 2012 whether the Minnesota Constitution should be amended to say
"only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage."
Leave it to the politically-motivated Ninnicans of the Minnesota Legislature to introduce an amendment that is unapologetically anti-people. 

A nearly life-long affinity to fairness and communal pragmatism will inform my vote on this proposed constitutional amendment.

The most egregious breaches of fairness and communal pragmatism are perpetrated by individuals and organizations adhering to hate-filled dogma of this ilk.

Such a small-minded proclamation strikes me as gratuitously corrosive to society. It is also personally offensive because it cheapens the near 30-year union I have enjoyed with my spouse.

I defend the right for others to recognize the sanctity of marriage within the confines of their house of worship, but it has no place in civil law. When it comes to the State's gender-preference-based recognition of marriage, I call
Sanctity Schmanktity. 
The god these Minnesota legislators worship, if a benevolent god, would surely shit pants at such hate-filled, exclusionary drivel.

13 December 2011

Right-Wing Hand-Basket

About 27,000 people (or 1/100th of one percent of the US population) spent more than $10,000 to influence elections during the 2010 election cycle.

I invite you to peruse the ten most influential Daddy Warbucks in 2010 and consider their political axes (from The Who's Who of Top Political Donors):
  1. Bob Perry. CEO of Perry Homes. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  2. Wayne Hughes. Owner and chairman of Public Storage, Inc. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  3. Fred Eshelman. CEO of Pharmaceutical Product Development. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  4. Robert Rowling. CEO and Chairman of TRT Holdings. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  5. Donald Sussman. Chairman of the holding company Paloma Partners. Moderate. Tax dodger.
  6. John Ricketts. Founder and board member of TD Ameritrade. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  7. Jerry Perenchio. CEO of the investment firm Chartwell Partners. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  8. Trevor Rees-Jones. President of Chief Oil & Gas. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
  9. Rachel Hunter. Treasurer for the organization Media Matters and an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune. Democrat. Moderate.
  10. John Childs. Board of Directors for Club for Growth. Hater. Right-wing ninny.
Is it any wonder that the US is going to hell in a right-wing hand-basket?
Kudos to the Sunlight Foundation for shining light on the special interest machinery turning the US into a people-hating Corporatocracy of haves and have-nots.

01 December 2011

Chickens Shouldn't Trust The Colonel

The clutch of candidates vying for the Republican Presidential nomination consists of an unprecedented collection of ninnies, halfwits, clowns, and ethically-challenged blowhards.

Since my post GOP Carved Like Sunday Roast, there has been an eye-popping number of gaffs, misstatements, consensual and non-consensual sexual allegations, demonstrations of laughably feeble grasp of public policy, and economic plans bereft of wisdom or logic.

Are all the Republican Presidential hopefuls vying for a Fox News gig? Seems like it.

Are all the Republican Presidential hopefuls enriching themselves via crass self-promotion and the free media coverage of reality-TV-show debates? Seems like it.

Newt-Mentum

After stumbling out of the gate like a shiftless plow horse, The Prince of Puffery Newt Gingrich finds himself, incredibly, neck and neck with the leaders of the lesser of the evils in the Evangelical Exacta.

That Newt Gingrich is relevant in 2012 shows Republicans summarily ignore inconvenient history just as readily as they ignore inconvenient science (see climate change).

Newt-Sanction

Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Newt Gingrich during his term as Speaker of the House in the 90s. In 1997 the House voted overwhelmingly to sanction Speaker Gingrich.

The House ordered the ethically-challenged Newtster to pony up an unprecedented $300,000 penalty -- the first time in the House's 208-year history it disciplined a speaker for ethical violations. The House Ethics Committee said false information given in Gingrich's defense displayed "intentional or... reckless" disregard for House rules.

Newt-Po-Crite (The Pompous Gas-Bag)

Newt Gingrich is a serial hypocrite. A cursory study of his record shows he's a flip-flopper, consummate beltway insider, corrupt Washington lobbyist, and a profoundly self-absorbed blow-hard.

Gingrich is not a politician with an overbearing super-sized ego, rather he's an overbearing super-sized ego -- disguised as a politician.
I saw Newt today talking about how -- "Well, I didn`t lobby because I get 60,000 dollars a speech." And it`s like, boy, you are a pompous gas-bag.
~ Joan Walsh
The Prince of Puffery's sense of majestic grandiosity often passes for deep thinking particularly when side-by-side compared to:
  • a dim bulb like Mitt Romney, or
  • a scurrilous reality-TV show adonis like Herman Cain, or
  • a dogmatic, hate-filled ninny like Michele Bachmann, or
  • a non-inquisitive, Texas pretty-boy like Rick Perry.
It's impossible to lower the bar.

Laughable GOP

In Skewering Republican Insanity Oh So “Nicely”, the humorist who tweets under the pseudonym Pete Nicely, was asked what makes the GOP so damn laughable? He said, succinctly:
They think with their Kochs and lead with their Boehner.
It is incomprehensible that any of the Republican Presidential hopefuls have a measurable following.
I’m trying to tell the chickens not to trust the Colonel. But the Colonel has lots of guys who spread chicken feed and tell the chickens how they’ll be the Colonel one day—if they just give up their Medicare and step into the extra-crispy batter.
~ Pete Nicely, a.k.a. @LOLGOP
How do well-meaning people consistently buy into the fact-challenged drivel of politicians who support people-unfriendly policies?

11 November 2011

Gradual Descent

I keep returning to a notion about some comprehensive metaphor for what I'll call the repository of humanness – whether passing thoughts, or all the aggregated knowledge, or all of the DNA on earth – being a nighttime landscape dotted with campfires.

I don't know why it is nighttime, or why I envision a landscape, or why the landscape is dotted with fires, but I see this in my mind. My point of view is as if perched in a fire tower. From that perspective, I imagine I see the curvature of the earth, not unlike the sensation of flying on a clear night.

I suppose the metaphor is that we stoke the fires of humanness while we're here, and in return, the fires give us light and warmth.

It's not easy to reconcile this vision with the immediacy of day-to-day living except perhaps by nibbling at it with poetry.
Gradual Descent
Saint Paul, 11 November 2011
We see the curvature of the earth
a moonless midnight dotted with fire
not knowing the origin of warmth
or why the fires disappear at dawn
But we begin our gradual descent
with our tray tables locked
in the upright position

This notion about humanness might have been born from a dream. It has been with me so long, it's difficult to remember the origin.

05 November 2011

Understanding a River

A river is a handy metaphor for many things. Time and progress map succinctly to the rhythms of a river. I have lived by flowing water all my life.

As a boy I lived by a brook. The brook had eddies and pools and channels. It had exposed roots and small sand bars. The brook gave me the sneaker-soakers I needed to begin to understand life. It also provided an ever-changing living-stage for all the characters in my imaginary world.

Now I live a brisk walk from Big Muddy - The Mississippi River. Water is as constant as anything I have known. Flowing water connects me with the past. Brooks, streams, and western creeks have allowed me to dream the future like the current carries an autumn leaf out of view. I am a temporary observer, but I prefer it that way.

I used to run a Mississippi River loop crossing two bridges high above the water. One November night I jogged past a unclothed man perched on the top guardrail on the old Lake Street - Marshall Avenue bridge (right). The man's hands were joined as if to pray, but he was poised on the railing like a swimmer on a starting block.

My instinct was to ignore him --to ignore the unfolding tragedy. Who was I to interrupt an intensely personal decision? Sometimes death is the only answer that makes sense. The river is a dispassionate conveyance to another place.  










The man was incensed that I failed to notice him. He ran after me.

Sensing him closing in, I hurdled the short railing onto the pavement of the bridge deck as did he. He broke into a sprint, then jumped on my back. We hit the deck -- a strange slow-motion ballet. I reversed him, then pinned him to the pavement. He was frozen and naked, affixed to the white center-line curled like a fetus. I got up then back-peddled across the bridge. His mouth was stuck open like the horrified subject in Edvard Munch's The Scream.

A car slowed down and stopped by him. The driver picked the man up, and guided him into the back seat of the car, then drove forward, and rolled down the window to ask me if I was okay.

That the river is a dispassionate conveyance to another place comes as stark recognition in Bruce Springsteen's Matamoros Banks. In this tune, a dead man floats a border river after having tried to cross into a better life.

A river is a suitable metaphor for progress. There are processes steeped in potential energy that determine the course of a river. So it is for social justice.
Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A river is an alluring metaphor for time. Looking at a river is like looking at time. I suspect time, like a river, would be better understood at a different scale. Perhaps if we could see the long-view of time, we would see its path wasn't constant. Perhaps time would carve great canyons.

We will never understand a river, but that won't stop me from writing a poem about it.
Understanding a River
Saint Paul, 6 November 2011 

It's no more possible to understand a river
than to comprehend the channels love will carve
or to predict what size sand grains will drop
from suspension on its leeward banks

If creeks are smaller than streams
and streams are smaller than rivers
why do we love so much like water?

Water taxis and gondolas full of autumn's leaves
drift from our attention like defiant indifference
Yet we implore the gondolier to paddle faster
on the off chance of reliving past infatuations

In this poem, a river becomes a little like love.

03 November 2011

Midnight in Harlem

We don't feel alive when we are not passionate about something. Sometimes passion is a firecracker. Other times it's something we carry with us for life. Sometimes it feels like it's a thin thread that holds fast our resolve. Whether it's a grand cause, or the self-centered resolve to be happy and to be loved. Whatever the end state is, the journey is rarely easy and it's rarely over.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep.
We may not get there in one year or even one term.

~ President-Elect Barack Obama, election eve speech 2008, Grant Park, Chicago.
I am buoyed by the notion that our future unfolds like the stylus picks up the phonograph of our lives. I know empirically that the flip-side of despair is hope.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band rendition of Midnight in Harlem is beautifully poetic. If not the character and strength of Susan's voice delivering hope from despair, it's Derek's plaintive licks on slide guitar.



I have been thinking about the lyrics in this tune. There is much to resonate to. As vocalist and lyricist Mike Mattison writes in the refrain:
Spend your whole life trying
Ride that train, free your heart
It's midnight up in Harlem
Midnight in Harlem
lyrics by Mike Mattison

Well, I came to the city
I was running from the past
My heart was bleeding
And it hurt my bones to laugh
Stayed in the city
No exception to the rule
He was born to love me
I was raised to be his fool

Walk that line, torn apart
Spend your whole life trying
Ride that train, free your heart
It's midnight up in Harlem

I went down to the river
And I took a look around
There were old man's shoes
There were needles on the ground
No more mysteries, baby
No more secrets, no more clues
The stars are out there
You can almost see the moon
The streets are windy
And the subway's closing down
Gonna carry this dream
To the other side of town
My daughter and I both love this tune. She is in Colorado studying for an exam to identify the pickled parts of cadavers.

If she was here, I would ask here what this song means to her. I would listen carefully. Then, if she wondered what I thought, I would tell her
The stars are out there. I can almost see the moon.
And I would tell her that I love her 8-sideways because 8-sideways is how we think of infinity.

28 October 2011

Let Zygi Pay

The hayseeds here in Minnesota are poised to give up the farm to New Jersey shopping mall mogul and real estate baron Zygi Wilf.

Wilf, who owns the Minnesota Vikings, is holding Minnesota hostage for a new football stadium. Zygi's apologists in Minnesota's sports press warn failure to build a new stadium will force to Zygi moving the team to Los Angeles.

I reject the notion of some shyster, his minions, and his apologists, taking Minnesotans for a bunch of hayseeds.

Some state leaders are open to using the state's Legacy funds to finance a new football stadium. One source would be Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund which is generated by a sales tax that voters approved in 2008. The program will distribute some $6.75 million in 2010 and 2011 to presumably culturally significant causes. Minnesota legislation directed that grants were to be given statewide:
to programs and projects conducted by local, county, or state historical organizations or activities that preserve significant historic and cultural resources
Minnesota’s professional sports teams do indeed become part Minnesota’s cultural heritage and do unquestionably comprise a portion of Minnesota’s cultural identity to the rest of the world. When outsiders mention Minnesota, they typically enumerate over our lakes, our winters, and The Vikings.

However there are many more culturally meaningful ways to use the resources of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund than to dole out corporate welfare to some wheeler-dealer with a grip full of his own cheddar.

It would be a mistake. It is not in Minnesota's best interest to set the culturally degrading precedent of dipping into that fund to help finance a new Vikings stadium.
Americans build stadia as a monument to sloth-like desire for entertainment at the expense of essential institutions like public schools.
Professional sports teams have made an unseemly practice of holding communities hostage to curry favors, and to extract hand-outs and tax incentives. As long as jobs and living wages are under siege by our do-nothing US Congress, we must focus on essentials.

Minnesotans must evaluate priorities, then try to distinguish wants from needs.

26 October 2011

Antidote to Despair

Perhaps in waning daylight of October we find ourselves approaching the nadir of darkness. And so it is on the political landscape too. We are witnessing a burgeoning Global Corporatocracy.

But the pendulum swings. There is reason hope.

Discovering this picture of crocuses stored on my phone since last spring reminds me that following 3-4 snow-covered months in Minnesota, there are few spectacles more hope-filled than the fiercely blue petals and gold stamen of crocuses piercing the furry gray snow-fungus in the yard.

A few rays of sunlight on the political landscape are:
  1. Decades of corporate profit-wringing and corporate outsourcing to the cheapest bidder has made it impossible for young people to get an economic foothold. From that springs the Occupy Wall Street movement which is the new, vigorous left-of-center demonstrating for economic fairness and accountability.
  2. Decades of assault on standards in journalism have made it difficult for citizens to find non-didactic news sources. From that springs WikiLeaks shedding light on state secrets.
  3. Decades of autocratic rule, marked by dictatorship, human rights violations, and government corruption, stripped millions of people of their hope for the future. From that came a wave of revolutionary demonstrations and protests known as the Arab Spring.
Spring is a yearly revolution in many parts of the world.
Action is the antidote to despair
~Joan Baez
Political and social activist Abbie Hoffman said,
Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.

23 October 2011

I Believe - October

This is the first of a series of I Believe posts. Each month I will post five things I have come to believe.
  1. I believe public policy should, as a matter of fairness, smooth the jagged edges of fate. 
  2. I believe a top-down hierarchy is inherently unstable - it assumes the ethical & operational infallibility of those at the top.
  3. I believe the myth of individual exceptionalism undermines our society. American exceptionalism romanticizes the notion that we are a nation of individuals.
  4. I believe when journalism is weakened, democracy is threatened. WikiLeaks just might counter the trend toward lapdog journalism.
  5. I believe the roots of comedy are centered about human-kind’s collective fallibility (which explains why the best comics are not politically conservative).

21 October 2011

What Have We Learned?

Qaddafi is toast. bin Laden is toast. Saddam is toast. What have we learned?

The editors of Today's Question on the Minnesota Public Radio News website point out
Some critics of the U.S.-led war in Iraq are pointing out that regime change in Libya was accomplished at lower cost and with no loss of American lives.
Then they ask us
Does a comparison of Iraq and Libya offer any valid lessons for U.S. policy?
There are valid lessons aplenty! But I am doubtful we learned them.

As of 5 minutes ago, US elective wars have cost US taxpayers $1,266,570,700,000 over the past decade. Killing bad guys serves to feed the insatiable beast that Gen. Colin Powell fittingly dubbed The Terror Industrial Complex, but provides dubious value to US taxpayers.

It is near impossible to assess how much the US has spent in Libya because of black ops and other unreported covert forays and NATO sorties.

Two questions voters should be asking:
  1. Is the US commitment to Libya over after removing Qaddafi? (By comparison, removing Saddam did little to slow budget-busting nation-building in Iraq); and
  2. Should the US be involved in elective, extra-curricular regime changing and nation building in the first place?
Here's a quote from Abbie Hoffman to consider:
I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.

18 October 2011

Transient Pictographs

Is it a sail boat? Is it snow man?

I didn't see anyone executing this road-grime graffiti on my car, but I suspect my son drew these images before he left home for his last semester as an Architecture student.

When my children were young, one of their bedtime rituals was for me to draw on their backs with the tip of my index finger, then have them guess what object I had drawn. I often drew sailboats. And I often drew snowmen. Sometimes to spark a giggle fit, I would have the snowman captain the sailboat.

I first noticed these pictographs a few weeks ago. Yesterday I remembered to record them before the car was washed or a driving rain washed them away.

Love is transient and often reveals itself in unexpected places.

02 October 2011

Observations of Truth, Love and Memory

Truth is a potent but licit drug that none of us seem likely to imbibe.

Some "find" truth, but closer examination reveals - through dogma or faith - these folks have a death-grip on a chunk of fool's gold.

For the rest of us, the game is to walk toward truth. To walk toward truth even though the destination is just beyond our stride. Walking toward truth is a labor of love. It's a slog requiring discipline. And except in our progeny, the journey vanishes when we die. The walk ends as innocently as it began in our earliest winks of consciousness.

Seeking big truths differs from discovering little truths (e.g., What goes up, must come down). There are countless observable phenomena that, to the best of our knowledge, hold true. There is truth that science overwhelmingly agrees on. One is free to disagree with scientific truth, but be forewarned it carries the risk of navigating one's ship off the edge of a flat earth.

Absolutes, like truth, are like gossamer in straight-line winds. There is conventional wisdom which is about as good as it gets. Conventional wisdom is stable but mutable. Except for the incontrovertible part, Churchill had it right
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
~Winston Churchill
Love is the most splendid phenomenon life has to offer. Love is irresistibly irrational. In The Female Brain, brain doc Louann Brizendine says
...falling in love is one of the most irrational behaviors or brain states imaginable for both men and women. The brain becomes illogical in the throes of new romance...
On infatuation she points out,
It shares brain circuits with states of obsession, mania, intoxication, thirst, and hunger.
I love all stages, facets and phases of love.

Truth be told, I wouldn't give up love for truth, but I'm a sucker for altered states.

Memory is perhaps the most perplexing. In an ode to senility poem called Compos Mentis I wrote,
The mind is a big-hearted tyrant
To get incrementally closer to truth, it's inefficient folly to rely exclusively on memory.

I once believed I had accurate if not vivid memory of the people and places I cared about. Admittedly I am stuck on a Big Sky college town where I first set eyes my spouse in the late 70s. My mind is full of technicolor clips of that expansive time (cf. my short story Recollections of Edible Gingerbread).

When I first returned to the magical Big Sky down after a 15-year absence, I was amused at how my accurate memory played tricks. Things had changed. But it was the things that hadn't changed that surprised me. Things that hadn't changed were sometimes subtly but stunningly different than I had remembered.

I've since learned something about how our brains work. Our brains are not serving up digitally true film clips from a file server. Rather each time we remember an event, our nerve pathways are firing anew to reconstruct the memory. In short,
We have revisionist memories.
Memory is useful when it leads to level-headed analysis. Left to its own devices, memory is a self-serving dictator. Nothing is as good or as bad as we remember it -- maybe it's better or worse than we remember it.

We are continually scripting and revising our narratives to buttress brittle egos.

30 September 2011

The Heroin of Praise

If improv stand-up comedy was my schtick, I'd want to be the warm up act. I'd want to be the warm up act because the laughs are real. By the time the featured act appears on stage, the audience is so liquored up they'd laugh at a knock-knock joke featuring an orange.

Imagine a scenario where, whatever your profession is, the only strokes you get for exquisite craftsmanship are a smattering of guffawing clowns predisposed to heap praise on you in a flurry of incoherent, slurred speech. What if after praising you, the admirer fell backwards because of the micro-gusts generated by a moth flapping it's wings two continents away...apparently with enough momentum to bust out some hairline cracks in a glass pane window?

The point is, as a craftsman, you'd never know if you're shit was good because your critics are pathetic, sloppy drunks.

I write poems that are mostly unread. I am an unashamed poetry hack. As ego-centric and self-absorbed as my poems tend to be, two or three times in the past 30 years, thoughtful people have praised my efforts. Something in the poems resonated -- which is enough to sustain me. I wouldn't last 2 weeks as a featured stand-up comic let alone 30 years like Emo Philips. If I delivered two hours of zany, off-the-charts creative comic energy only to be praised after my show by a pathetically drunken douche bag, then unless rock-bottom has a secret trap door, I'd off myself with hemlock tea.

I understand the heroin that praise is. I seek it. I yearn for it. I am irreversibly addicted to it. And it makes me feel weak to know that. Few experiences in life provide more of a head buzz than making people laugh. I understand the courtesy laugh. I understand the belly laugh. Now I understand immensely hollow and dissatisfying nature of drunken laughter.

17 September 2011

On The Backs of Others

The US is the only country whose institutions of higher learning host high-revenue sporting events. Major NCAA sports in the US comprise a cesspool of unseemly capitalism.

An archaic rationalization for these unseemly collegiate enterprises is the delusional sentimentality of Roman poet Juvenal's classical ideal of
Mens sana in corpore sano—a sound mind in a sound body.
In Atlantic article The Shame of College Sports, Taylor Branch writes,
Corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as “student-athletes” deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution—is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation.
Student-athletes are given lottery tickets with a chance to make millions. NCAA athletes at major universities are not slaves. If collegiate athletes don't find donating their time to the university sports enterprise to their liking, they are free to leave their sport and leave their studies behind — albeit to join the long lines of the unemployed.

Branch also writes,
The tragedy at the heart of college sports is not that some college athletes are getting paid, but that more of them are not.
Mens sana in corpore sano is a noble ideal, but let's cut the shit. Corporations enrich themselves using free labor. Student-athletes should be paid a suitably proportional wage via a collective bargaining agreement between the university and the athlete.

13 September 2011

Milkshake God


Yesterday September 12 was
National Chocolate Milkshake Day 
Today September 13 is
Defy Superstition Day
I hereby resolve to stop diefying chocolate milkshakes.

11 September 2011

Holy Shit on a Ski-doo


The first and perhaps only sign of intelligence from Republicans came not from Romney, not from Hunstman, but from bat-shit crazy Sarah Palin.

The New York Times headline Some of Sarah Palin's Ideas Cross the Political Divide made me think another fair-and-balanced journalist was trying to chap my hide with progressive-baiting.

But I was wrong.

My Palin Epiphany

She's dumb as a box of sled parts. She disgusts you with her self-righteous animosity toward intelligent life. But...
Sarah Palin makes three important points that comprise the most cogent analysis of the US political climate I have read since Bill Bradley retired from the Senate:
  1. The US is governed by a permanent political class cut off from the concerns of regular people.
  2. Both parties have allied with big business to mutual advantage.
  3. The political divide in the US are the friends and foes of unaccountable public and private institutions.
There isn't a progressive, centrist, or right wing ninny who could credibly argue against those three points.

Holy shit on a ski-doo. Palin for Cub Scout Den Mother!

Crawling Back to Even

For much of my professional life I have been leery of the so-called global economy.

The phrase global economy sounds hopeful, but is worthy of your skepticism.

The global economy has become a red flag. In recent years many of us have fretted about the sacrifices required by a global economy.

When someones says global economy, what I hear is:
I want to give away your living wage job to someone willing to do it for less, so that I can make more money for myself on the back of some poor schmuck.
I am cynical when it comes to the global economy mantras I hear. Many of these mantras are spoken from the exclusive clubs of concentrated wealth. For the US, NAFTA started the floodgates.

It is time to reverse the outpouring of living wage jobs from the US. Some legislation protecting living wage and decent salaried jobs makes sense -- if your concern is for quality of life for you and your neighbor.  One place to start is with high-tech advanced manufacturing.
The prospect of good manufacturing jobs in the United States is not a fantasy. Germany and Japan enjoy high wages and run major surpluses in manufactured goods; so can we. Our economy will thrive only when we make what we invent.
~Susan Hockfield, MIT President
How does the US crawl back to an economic system that makes sense for people? In the industrial age, the mantra was to increase productivity. Technological advances have given us so much leverage on productivity, it has become irrelevant. Many living wage jobs have disappeared because of technological changes (e.g., email replaced the need for most mail delivery).

How does the US manufacture a recovery? How does a nation of people brought to its knees by anti-people, pro-corporation policies crawl back to even?

05 September 2011

The Ruse of Change

Waiting impatiently for Canadian air - the drier, fresher air periodically predicted to replace the Gulf air that hijacks Minnesota in the summer - has become a bit of a red string for me.

But I don't believe in fate. I'm from the dumb luck school. I listen to weather reports. I hope for the best, then I bet my happiness on the false promises that pass for credible forecasts.

Breaking a sweat while walking to the Grandview to see the movie The Help, I griped to my spouse
So much for the Canadian air. I'll believe it when I see it...I mean, FEEL it.
The Canadian air, if it arrives at all, arrives 24-48 hours after its predicted arrival. This time, the much anticipated Canadian air finally arrived while we were cooling ourselves inside the Grandview watching The Help.
Empiricism is inadequate because scientific theories explain the seen in terms of the unseen and the unseen, you have to admit, doesn’t come to us through the senses.
David Deutsch
The Help was a flick that made me blubber, not because of the prospect of returning to the sweat box outside, but for all the injustice and the hate-laced ignorance humans are accustomed to enduring and dishing out.

Change happens. Change is inevitable. But it's also fickle and slow. It's one thing to believe it when you see it. It's another thing to rest assured change will arrive in due time.

The ruse of Canadian air was contrived to keep the Minnesota's knowledge workers from picking up stakes, moving their tents, and working remotely from the Canadian Rockies.

The ruse of cultural change is that it just arrives like fresh air without putting in the endless work to change people's minds.

04 September 2011

Nincompoop Nation

I can't recall a time when I thought beauty pageants were normal.
Gary Collins asked one Miss America finalist:
"What's your favorite part of the pageant?"
"Lunch," she replied.
At least this contestant was honest, rather than a bold-faced, audience-appeasing liar.

This video documents the repulsive Kool-Aid of appalling ignorance and ambition.



We're to blame. The US has devolved to a society so detached from the truth, so divorced from critical thinking, so mired in inane religiosity, and so fearful of loud-mouthed, violence-prone right wing ninnies that our beauty pageants ask the wrong fucking question.

The question is NOT
Should evolution be taught in schools?
rather it's
Should creationism be taught in schools?
We are a society that is being destroyed by decades of popular anti-intellectualism.

27 August 2011

Tagging RVs

Driving cross-country with Tyler we discuss how satisfying it would be to be able to tag each RV we approach and pass.

If we were able to hatch this plan, we would replace idyllic but inappropriate RV descriptors like Voyager or Bounder with a more fitting moniker like Aluminum Shit Box.

In this way graffiti is more of a public service than a crime.

As I transition into irrelevance, it seems increasingly imperative I pass on this wisdom.

26 August 2011

GOP Carved Like Sunday Roast

Richard Dawkins carves up Rick Perry and his ilk like a Sunday roast. In Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact, Dawkins adeptly peels back the under-cooked meat of the Republican party with this razor-sharp indictment:
Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

Personal Historic Perspective

The first Republican President of my political consciousness in the 1970s was Richard Nixon. By all accounts this President was sinister and corrupt. I still have a mint condition Impeach Nixon bumper sticker inter-leafed in my high school yearbook.
But Nixon, deceitful political animal that he was, wasn't an intellectual featherweight like today's unseemly brand of Republican hucksters (e.g., Palin, Perry, Bachmann). Nixon graduated from Duke Law, served in the House and the Senate, served as Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower -- all prior to a semi-successful presidency.

May the gods of reason and progress taze me with thunderbolts, but Republicans used to be capable of a modicum of people-friendly policies.

How how far right has the Republican party drifted since Tricky Dickey? Nixon did two things that would make him un-electable in a 2012 Republican primary:
  1. He enforced desegregation of Southern schools and 
  2. He established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Civil rights and environmental protection are a two-headed demon to today's Republican lap dog. Richard Nixon would have to be a Democrat to have a shot at the 2012 Presidency.

14 August 2011

Drift Boat

My grandpa built a 13' wooden outboard with my uncle. It had a 10 hp Johnson motor. At full throttle, the Johnson had just enough giddyap to plane the boat.

On my bucket list is to build a McKenzie River Drift Boat in my Saint Paul garage, tow it to Montana, then float the Madison in early fall when the cottonwood leaves are brilliant yellow.


13 August 2011

Dear President Tone Deaf

Dear President Obama,

Sorry to get hopey/changey on you, but please reconsider your vacation plans.

That summer blue blood bastion of beach reading - Martha's Vineyard - ain't gonna resonate with middle-class schlubs like me who, if they're lucky enough to still have gainful employment, ain't had a real vacation in years.
It's the jobs, stupid
Sincerely,
The Rest of Us

Producing Art

Producing simply clever art, or producing simply provocative art, or producing simply self-obsessed art seems finitely insignificant.
Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.
~ Banksy
Producing art that connects you to a community, while also finite, seems meaningful -- if not significant.

29 July 2011

The Tao of The Little Rascals

Tao is a Chinese word meaning way or path.

Hal Roach's Our Gang, or The Little Rascals, was a series of short films made during America's 1930s depression era.

The films are about a diverse group of poor neighborhood children and their misadventures.

Most television-rapt children of the 60s like me, grew up watching The Little Rascals on morning television.

The Little Rascals did much to shape my political philosophy. Our Gang characters like Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Darla and Waldo reminded me with humor how people solve problems (often of their own making), and ultimately, how people get along.

Ground Breaking

The Little Rascals was full of cultural stereotypes, but it broke ground in American film. Hal Roach's Our Gang series was ground-breaking, and culturally progressive because:
  • It put boys, girls, whites and blacks in a group as equals;
  • Its lead characters included African Americans and females when discrimination against both was commonplace; and
  • Most of the characters were poor. Oft-times they were at odds with spoiled rich kids or meddlesome, small-minded adults
The child actors were filmed in a way that portrayed the unaffected and raw nuances of childhood, rather than a regurgitation of adult acting styles. The actors, some too young to read, rarely saw scripts before filming a scene. The scenes were explained to the actors, then they were encouraged to improvise.

Adversaries

The Little Rascals teach us that life is full of adversarial jerks.

Butch the bully and Waldo the rich kid represent the dastardly villains of conservatism, laissez-faire capitalism, and their closeted evil uncle, fascism.

Every Man

Spanky & Alfalfa were every man - humble schlubs who, while flawed, were street-wise and pragmatic.

I fancy myself having Alfalfa's sense of impending doom, combined with the pocket-fuzz of Spanky's street smarts. Spanky was a benevolent leader who treated his gang with democratic fairness and equanimity - like I have raised my children.

Tao

Tao is difficult to define or to express in words. Taoists say Tao can be discerned by observing nature -- and by extension, human nature.

If the Tao of The Little Rascals is discernible, it is woven from the constituent parts of
fairness, humor and humility.







25 July 2011

Rejection

The standard literary rejection letter goes like this:
Thank you for giving us the chance to consider your poem "A Lifetime of Navel Gazing" for publication in The Buckwheat Review. Though it does not fit our current needs, we appreciate your interest in our journal and your commitment to quality writing. We wish you the best of luck publishing your work and hope you’ll consider sending us more in the future.
Sincerely,
The Editors
If it is 1971, and the editor reviewing your work is the egomaniacal windbag Hunter S. Thompson, then the rejection letter looks like this:


Catch-22, the iconic 1960s novel by Joseph Heller, was famously panned by a publisher:
I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say. Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level.
Resolve

The flip-side of rejection is resolve.

Where do you mine your resolve? From the well of rejection.
Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody's going down.
~Lance Armstrong
I never allow myself to assume the reviewer is dead wrong. Rather I allow myself a ray of hope that the reviewer might be just wrong enough.

18 July 2011

Commonwealth, Common Good

Americans have lost the notion of commonwealth. Americans are wary of the notion of the common good.

Americans fancy themselves rugged individualists. It's bunk.

Americans have been conned by a concentrated but very loud anti-collectivist thread. Americans delude themselves by thinking they, and they alone, live off the grid while everyone else is a parasite. It's bunk.

A review of the last half-century of facts indicates we subsist and thrive on mutual aid and cooperative policies.


Many Americans participate in government programs, but don't realize it. We risk losing these government programs at our peril.

None of these programs are anti-American. All of these programs aim to improve the quality of life for Americans.

Some government programs are corporate welfare paid for by corporate interests, but most government programs -- the programs people rely on every day -- are resoundingly pro-American.

People care about being treated fairly. People don't want to be cheated. They want a fair share, a fair shake, or a fair opportunity.
Fair doesn't mean Equal.
Most people are willing to let others have a larger share of common gains -- if warranted. Most people will let others have proportionally more if warranted by sharper skills, proportionally more effort, or even dumb luck.
  • It is good for people to collectively bargain with employers. 
  • It makes sense to pool resources for collective community services. 
  • It makes sense to pool resources to provide free or subsidized public services like education, healthcare, transportation, insurance, and retirement.
Lets revive the notion of commonwealth and the common good.
Commonwealth is an English term for a political community founded for the common good (dates from the 15th century)
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia were founded as commonwealths. Common-wealth is derived from the common weal which comes from the old meaning of wealth which is well-being.

Commonwealth expanded in meaning in the 17th century from public welfare (or commonweal) to signify a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people.



10 July 2011

Ouzels, Honey Bees and Purpose

I'm re-reading Painting Water, a yet-unpublished novel by Greg Keeler.

My head is 10 inches beneath the flight path of a very purposeful swath of honey bees.



Since this swarm arrived from Boulder two weekends ago, I have been mesmerized. Common interest rules the hive. Bees have a genetically hard-wired purpose. They work for the common good, then die. It'd brutally unceremonious.

In Trash Fish: A Life, Greg Keeler longs for the clarity of purpose a water ouzel has as as it dips it head and dives into a chilly Montana river.
"If I knew my life like an ouzel knows a river, instead of longing for rehearsals, I might wander in and out of surfaces and alien environments, at home with water, air and earth. Love would be as easy as diving off a rock, and death would be as familiar as the moon seen from underwater. Yes, in ouzel mode, I might shoulder the pain and wreckage I've inflicted on myself and those I love as an ouzel shoulders the current - not so much as a burden but as a way of staying in place where everything else is moving."
While Greg is shouldering pain and wreckage in ouzel mode, I am in bee mode – more specifically, drone mode -- hoping to find purpose beyond the male end of procreation.

I am taking my time re-reading Painting Water – savoring it like I let dark chocolate melt in my mouth, or like I sip my way through the layers of a Speyside scotch. I savor the occasional scotch, like I savor an emotionally raw memoir like Trash Fish, or a melancholically lyrical and brilliant novel like Painting Water.

If I had to choose an excerpt from Painting Water that encapsulates my profound connection to Greg Keeler's work, it would be from the preface of the book. In the preface, the novel's protagonist Clinton asks for the reader's indulgence saying,
...I have never been successful in the charting of my intentions and the life that eluded them, either in theory or in practice.


01 July 2011

Shared Sacrifice Sounds About Right

Bernie Sanders is a mensch. And he's dead-on bringing Shared Sacrifice into our national consciousness.
At least 50 percent of any deficit reduction package must come from revenue raised by ending tax breaks for the wealthy and eliminating tax loopholes that benefit large, profitable corporations and Wall Street financial institutions. A sensible deficit reduction package must also include significant cuts to unnecessary and wasteful Pentagon spending.
~ Bernie Sanders, US Senate

What's Fair is Fair

This week more than 80,000 Americans, signed Senator Sander's Shared Sacrifice Letter to President Obama.

Senator Sanders urges President Obama to stand with the tens of millions of Americans struggling to survive economically.

It is time for the privileged and moneyed - comfortable millionaires and billionaires - to pitch in their fair share.

Cutting taxes while engaging in two elective wars is unprecedented. The under- and middle- classes have shouldered the burden of two unnecessary wars and beared the brunt of budget-busting, misguided nation-building. For two decades the middle class faced stagnant wages and declining economic opportunity. Sorely needed public institutions and programs are crumbling and are chronically underfunded.

Habitual focus on tax cutting has DONE NOTHING to create economic opportunity. The benefit of whatever economic growth the US has seen in the past decade has been skewed to the wealthy.
There is a war going on in this country...I am talking about a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country against the working families of the United States of America, against the disappearing and shrinking middle class of our country.
~ Bernie Sanders
More Tax Revenue

We are done with tax cutting. The tax cut mantra is destroying us.

It is time to increase tax revenue. Closing corporate tax loopholes is NOT too much to ask. Fair-minded legislation requiring the top 1-2% to pay some extra tax cheddar at tax time is NOT too much to ask.
He can have no right to the benefits of society who will not pay his club towards the support of it.
~Benjamin Franklin
Lets demand shared and equitable contributions from the economically privileged.

Shared sacrifice will prove to be a seminal slogan. Shared sacrifice sounds about right.

25 June 2011

Summer Madness - The Face of America

James Verone is the face of America in the summer of 2011.

James Verone at Gaston county jail: the North Carolina man attempted a robbery of one dollar at a bank in order to be given medical treatment. Photograph: Ben Goff/The Gaston Gazette

Unemployed without health insurance, James had himself arrested so he could get a prison doctor to see him for back pain, arthritis and a dodgy foot (US man stages $1 bank robbery to get state healthcare).

It actually could get worse. Some politicians favor privatizing prisons. An unregulated, for-profit prison isn't likely to provide inmate healthcare. Just saying. It's Summer Madness.

It's the kind of madness that even Kool & The Gang could not have anticipated when they wrote their classic instrumental tune Summer Madness in 1974.

Watch Kool & The Gang's Rusty Hamilton slap a keyboard & synthesizer like it owes him money (below), then think about how fucked up public policy has been since the Reagan revolution in 1980.



The Bottom Line

The politics of The Rugged Individualist DO NOT WORK for people. Humans are a social community. We are interdependent, compassion-seeking creatures. I'd say BANK ON IT, but an unregulated banker might extract a hidden fee from you.

450 Economists Were Right

 
What happened in February 2003?

450 economists including 10 of the 25 American Nobel Prize laureates, having examined facts and the long arc of historical record, urged President Bush NOT to enact the 2003 tax cuts in a landmark public statement.

The statement in the 2003 Economist's Statement Opposing the Bush Tax Cuts is quite revealing. All of the gravest concerns & objections expressed by our best & brightest economists from Berkeley to MIT have been proven out over the past 8 years.

Resoundingly opposed to the politically expedient Bush tax cuts, these economists were proven intellectually honest, prescient and wise.

250 Dead-Wrong Economists

On the flip side, 250 economists said the Bush tax cuts would, create more employment, economic growth, and opportunities for all Americans.
Dead Wrong:

Bush tax cuts DID NOT create more employment, economic growth, and opportunities for all Americans.
Those in support of the Bush tax cuts were proven to be either unabashed special-interest shills, ignorant of the historical record, or casual with the facts.

In Retrospect

The 2003 Bush tax cuts have:
  • Worsened the long-term budget outlook;
  • Added to the nation’s near decade-long deficit;
  • Reduced the federal government's capacity to finance Social Security and Medicare benefits;
  • Gutted investments in public schools, health, infrastructure, and basic research; and
  • Exacerbated inequities in after-tax income for the country's life blood - middle income workers like you and me.
 

20 June 2011

War. What is it Good For?

Fact-bereft conservatives and intellectually dishonest libertarians consistently hammer on Federally funded programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and so on, as the root causes of the deficit in the US government.

Name a program that helps people, and you'll find fact-bereft conservatives relentlessly bashing it. It is rare to hear an honest Republican (or Democrat) point to 3 elective wars as the biggest budget buster.

To his credit libertarian Ron Paul has called out the costs of 3 elective wars, so give the dude credit even though he flips the ninny bit with most of his free-market drivel.

I blame the deficit squarely on elective wars and nation-building:



President Obama could have ended two failed elective wars and costly nation building on day 1 of his presidency, but has failed miserably by pandering to failed conservative doctrine (e.g., Bush-Lite foreign policy) in a feeble attempt to reach consensus with stubborn conservative ideologues.

19 June 2011

Root of Dignity

Ergun Çoruh asks
What does it take
to live a dignified life?
I dunno. Do you?

I don’t know how to live life with dignity. I have imagined a dignified death.

I have thought of death as a culmination of a backpacking trip -- a trip where I have been packing the molecules my mind has convinced me is my body.

There's comfort in the notion that whatever was carried into the world by me and my antecedents would be recycled, or carried out, in a stubbornly efficient mass balance. Carried out not by me, rather carried out by co-dependent opportunistic species -- like carrion beetles.

I don’t know how to live life with dignity.

I wrote a poem called Kicking Horse that is ostensibly about a dignified death in the wilderness. My poem celebrates the great unknown -- where I treat the great unknown, perhaps naively, as something more than the stark finality of decomposition.

Kicking Horse
Saint Paul, 24 May 2005
Remembering Richard Hugo's poems


I rest my pikestaff
Against a granite colossus
In defiance, a toast
I tip a metal flask of Jack
To the wilderness

Now reclined
On the cobbled banks
Of the Kicking Horse Reservoir
Sun morsels desert my pupils
I cook until dusk

In the mackinaw of nightfall
Conferences of carrion beetles
Prepare their nurseries
Opening my eye sockets
To some star-lit destiny

Notes:
The title Kicking Horse is borrowed from poet Richard Hugo. Nominated for a National Book Award, The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir contains many of Richard Hugo's most loved and anthologized poems.


-.-


Learning to live a life with dignity would seem to require the experience of living. Learning to live a life with dignity also seems to require introspective thinking.

Introspective thinking is not idle navel gazing. Rather it is the requisite time to reconcile heady stuff like what is the nature of reality?
Becoming a witness to yourself gives you the lens of objectivity with which to test the comfort of your own reality.
~John Maeda
Part of living life with dignity is having a sense of what's fair.
I have come to think of fairness as a sort of social mass balance.
John Maeda says in his post Father as Leader
...what I believe is important in a leader -- being someone that consistently gives, instead of just takes...
I don’t know how to live life with dignity, but fairness seems to be at the root of dignity.

22 May 2011

Pawlenty-O'-Nuttin

Nothing in Tim Pawlenty's political record suggests he's Presidential timber.

As 39th Governor of Minnesota, 2012 Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty left office with Minnesota down in every measurable category except one: Vetoes.

Pawlenty Vetoes*


Veto Date

Bill Title


2010-05-27

HF 2227 Relating to Government Innovation

Veto

2010-05-27

HF 3729 Relating to the Financing
and Operation of State and Local Government

Item Veto

2010-05-27

SF 560 Relating to Public Safety

Veto

2010-05-25

SF 2900 Relating to Game and Fish,
Natural Resource Policy, and State Lands

Veto

2010-05-25

SF 2469 Relating to Transportation

Veto

2010-05-25

SF 251 Relating to Commerce

Veto

2010-05-18

SF 3145 Relating to Public Safety

Veto

2010-05-17

SF 3275 Environmental and Natural
Resources Omnibus Bill

Item Veto

2010-05-15

HF 2624 Relating to State Government

Item Veto

2010-05-15

SF 341

Veto

2010-05-15

SF 3019 Relating to Human Services

Veto

2010-05-15

SF 2510 Relating to Economic Development

Item Veto

2010-05-15

SF 271 Relating to State Government

Veto

2010-05-13

HF 2614 Omnibus Health and Human
Services Bill

Veto

2010-05-13

HF 2634 Relating to Natural Resources

Veto

2010-05-13

SF 2790 Relating to Public Safety

Veto

2010-05-11

HF 2037 Appropriations and Taxation
Bill

Veto

2010-05-11

HF 3327 Relating to City and County
Employees

Veto

2010-05-10

SF 2226 Relating to Elections

Veto

2010-05-10

SF 915 Relating to Insurance

Veto

2010-04-30

HF 3164 Relating to the Minnesota
State College and University System

Veto

2010-03-14

HF 2700 Omnibus Bonding and Budget
Amendments

Item Veto

2010-02-18

SF 2168 General Assistance Medical
Care Program Modifications

Veto

2009-05-23

SF 971 School Anti-Bullying Policy
Requirements

Veto

2009-05-22

SF 1331 Changing Early Vetooting
and Special Election Requirements

Veto

2009-05-22

HF 925 Requiring "U6"
Employment Measure

Veto

2009-05-22

SF 1012 Environment and Natural
Resources Appropriations

Item Veto

2009-05-22

HF 928 Omnibus Transportation Policy
Bill

Veto

2009-05-22

HF 354 Pre-Foreclosure Mediation

Veto

2009-05-22

SF 97 Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Veto

2009-05-22

HF 1231 Omnibus Outdoor Resources
Appropriations

Item Veto

2009-05-21

SF 477 Paint Fee

Veto

2009-05-21

SF 489 Relating to Reverse Mortgage
Loans

Veto

2009-05-21

HF 1053 Election Law Amendments

Veto

2009-05-21

HF 362 Homeowner Warranty Claim
Notification Amendments

Veto

2009-05-21

HF 211 Legal Fee Liability in Homeowner
Lawsuits Against Contractors

Veto

2009-05-21

HF 2323 Tax Law Amendments

Veto

2009-05-20

HF 330 Extended Construction Defect
Notification Deadlines

Veto

2009-05-20

SF 763 Civil Rights Restoration
Notice Requirements

Veto

2009-05-19

HF 239 Faulty Construction Damages

Veto

2009-05-19

HF 412 Home Owner Warranty Claims
Statute of Repose Adjusted Bill

Veto

2009-05-16

HF 855 Omnibus Bonding Bill

Item Veto

2009-05-16

HF 1122 Omnibus Agriculture and
Veterans Affairs Bill

Item Veto

2009-05-16

SF 2083

Item Veto

2009-05-16

SF 284 First Class Cities Major
Political Party Caucuses Privileges Application Bill

Veto

2009-05-16

SF 2141 Continuing Appropriations
for State Agencies

Veto

2009-05-15

SF 1033 Amendments Relating to Private
Property and Public Assistance

Veto

2009-05-14

HF 2088 Omnibus Economic Development
Bill

Item Veto

2009-05-14

HF 1362 Health Budget

Item Veto

2009-05-09

HF 885

Veto

2009-05-08

SF 122 Warning on Effects of Certain
Cocoas on Pets

Veto

2009-05-07

SF 2081 Employment and Economic
Development Amendments

Veto

2009-05-07

HF 2123 Environment, Natural Resources,
and Energy Appropriations

Item Veto

2008-05-29

HF 1812 Omnibus Supplemental Budget

Item Veto

2008-05-29

HF 995 Peak Oil Preparation

Veto

2008-05-27

SF 3363 State Budget Disclosure

Veto

2008-05-23

SF 100 Public Funding for Stem Cell
Research

Veto

2008-05-23

SF 2368 Enterprise Activity Relocation
or Closure

Veto

2008-05-23

HF 2748 Rural Health Cooperative
and County-Based Health Care Purchasing

Veto

2008-05-19

SF 3138 Genetic Screening

Veto

2008-05-19

SF 3396 Subprime Borrower Relief
Act of 2008

Veto

2008-05-18

SF 2605 Metropolitan Council Member
Staggered Terms

Veto

2008-05-18

SF 960 Modification of Dependents
Definition for State Benefits

Veto

2008-05-18

HF 1875 School Employees Insurance
Pool

Veto

2008-05-16

SF 2965 Surrogate Mother Regulations

Veto

2008-05-16

SF 3193 Access to Adoption Records
and Original Birth Certificates

Veto

2008-05-16

HF 6 K-12 Education Funding Bill

Veto

2008-05-16

HF 3807 Real ID Prohibition

Veto

2008-05-15

SF 3775 Paint Stewardship Pilot
Program

Veto

2008-05-15

SF 875 Minimum Wage Increase

Veto

2008-05-15

SF 3166 Child Welfare and Licensing
Provisions

Veto

2008-05-15

SF 1128 Personal Sick Leave Benefits

Veto

2008-05-13

SF 3001 Education Mandatory Attendance
and Report Card Modification

Veto

2008-05-13

HF 3391 Health Care Reform Bill

Veto

2008-05-12

SF 651 Public Health Provisions

Veto

2008-05-08

SF 3132 Medical Debt Information
Regulation

Veto

2008-05-08

SF 543 Supporting the Employee Free
Choice Act

Veto

2008-05-05

SF 3564 Natural Gas Tax Rate

Veto

2008-05-01

SF 2919 Time Requirements of Civil
Commitments Hearings

Veto

2008-04-25

SF 599 A resolution urging the President
and Congress to end trade, financial, and travel restrictions to Cuba

Veto

2008-04-25

HF 1351 Transportation Omnibus

Veto

2008-04-25

HF 3220 Nonprofit Organization Grants

Veto

2008-04-17

HF 3114 Park Districts and Acquisition
of Property

Veto

2008-04-07

HF 380

Item Veto

2008-04-04

SF 2688 Trucking industry employers
unemployment compensation audits; independent contractor status general rule exception
elimination

Veto

2008-03-27

SF 457 Independent school district
#271, Bloomington; single member election districts

Veto

2008-02-22

HF 2800 2009-2010 Transportation
Budget

Veto

2007-05-30

HF 562 Transportation, Metropolitan
Council, and public safety funding bill.

Item Veto

2007-05-30

HF 1063 Omnibus higher education
finance bill.

Item Veto

2007-05-30

HF 2245 Omnibus E-12 education finance
bill.

Item Veto

2007-05-30

HF 2268 Omnibus tax bill.

Veto

2007-05-25

SF 463 Notaries public maximum fees
modification.

Veto

2007-05-25

HF 122 Omnibus jobs, economic development,
and housing finance bill establishing and modifying programs; and appropriating
money.

Item Veto

2007-05-25

HF 1078 Omnibus health and human
services finance bill.

Item Veto

2007-05-25

HF 548 Omnibus state government
finance bill appropriating money for general legislative and administrative expenses
of state government, regulating state and local government, and abolishing the Department
of Employee Relations.

Item Veto

2007-05-25

HF 464 School District Health Insurance
Pool

Veto

2007-05-15

HF 2294 Omnibus tax bill modifying
property tax provisions, providing a homestead credit state refund, increasing property
tax refunds, providing a school bond agricultural credit, and adding an income tax
bracket and rate.

Veto

2007-05-15

HF 946 Transportation Funding and
Gas Tax

Veto

2007-05-08

SF 2096 Omnibus environment, natural
resources, and energy appropriations.

Item Veto

2007-05-08

SF 2171 Omnibus Health and Human
Services Bill

Veto

2007-05-07

SF 2089 Omnibus jobs and economic
development appropriations.

Veto

2007-05-07

SF 1997 General Legislative and
Administrative Budget

Veto

2007-05-04

HF 2227 Omnibus agricultural and
veterans affairs.

Item Veto

2007-05-03

HF 881 Metropolitan Land Planning
act and related statutes modified, and erroneous and obsolete references corrected.

Veto

2007-05-01

HF 886 Capital Improvement Appropriations

Veto

2007-04-30

SF 1017 Charter commission expense
limitations increased for specified cities.

Veto
*Pawlenty had more vetoes than any of the 38 previous Minnesota governors.

Governor from 2003 to 2011, Pawlenty dragged his no-tax pledge around with him like a ball and chain for two terms.

His inability to reach outside the ideological corner he painted himself into, is largely to blame for a 2010 Budget Deficit Among Top 10 Largest In Nation.

Buy Ya Some Snake Oil?

Pawlenty, who is from South St. Paul, morphs into a good ol' boy when it suits him. Can you say politically expedient? Get an 'earwaggin of Pawlenty's South St. Paul drawl in this March campaign speech:

.

Dude is phonier than a ground-rule double in the Metrodome.  There might be exciting things about Tim Pawlenty, but scratching my head, none come to mind.

Incapable of Problem-Solving

Not a broad or a deep thinker, Pawlenty's record suggests a vindictive, politically ambitious man, whose stubbornly ideological approach rendered him incapable of problem-solving.

You needn't bother looking up the the word intransigent... simply Google the phrase "Tim Pawlenty Vetoes".