Tag Archives: Minnesota

Militia Commander Does Me Proud

Not only my home state but my adopted home state are involved in this crazy man’s story:

MINNEAPOLIS — A member of the Minnesota National Guard and self-described commander of a militia group was charged Wednesday with stealing names, Social Security numbers and security clearance levels of roughly 400 members of his former Army unit in Fort Bragg, N.C., so he could make fake IDs for his militia members.

According to a federal complaint and affidavit obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Keith Michael Novak, 25, of Maplewood, threatened to use violence if authorities came to arrest him.

“I’ve my AK in my bed. If I hear that door kick, it’s going boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I’m just going to start putting them through the (expletive) wall,” he told an undercover FBI employee in July, according to the affidavit unsealed Wednesday.

Novak was charged with committing fraud in connection with identification documents. He was in federal custody Wednesday and unavailable for comment. His father has an unlisted number, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. The federal defender’s office has the case, but an attorney had not been selected to represent him by Wednesday evening.

Such a tortured life this man must lead.

There Goes The Neigborhood: Literally

As if we haven’t learned by now that unions are corrosive and abusive organizations that provide no productive benefit, there are states that continue to pass legislation that helps them grow*.

Ahh, Minnesota, why you?

A bitter debate results in opportunity for providers to unionize. However, Republicans say unionization would drive up daycare costs.

The bill will allow the approximately 12,700 registered in-home care providers a chance to decide whether to form a union.

If a union were to form, providers would have to pay union dues if they accept state child care subsidies, or they would be required to pay what are called “fair share dues” if they choose not to join.

Those who would rather not participate at all say they will have to turn away children whose parents pay with subsidies.

Unions backing the bill stand to collect millions of dollars in union dues, according to various estimates.

Luckily for the unions, you can’t open day care facilities in South Carolina for Minnesota families.

* 10 bonus points if you guess what political party is in power in Minnesota right now.

Tornado In Minnesota

We just survived some pretty heavy weather here in Raleigh – Glad to say all are okay.  However, I saw this report on the tornado that hit Tracy, MN – a small town just 3 water towers from Walnut Grove of Laura Engels fame.  And, I might add, just a short 45 minutes from my own home.

An amazing storm to say the least.

There Is No End To Political Correctness

Chris Kluwe

For the record, Kluwe and I share the same position on gay marriage.  We both feel that folks of any sexual preference ought to enter into marriage as far as the state is concerned.  Further, Kluwe and I advocate our positions in social media; me on Facebook, this blog and sometimes Twitter.  Kluwe too.

Our primary difference, aside form the fact that his influence is significantly higher than mine, is that he is engaged in a profession that has a fantastically low career life-span and one that is over the top performance based.  To further tip the scales in my favor, my company faces no arbitrary salary cap or limit to “active employees”.

This week, Chris Kluwe was released from the Minnesota Vikings.  And the PC world is going nuts, including the governor of Minnesota:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gov. Mark Dayton thinks sports teams, like politicians, should be honest about decisions that are being made.

“Yeah, I don’t feel good about it,” said Dayton when asked about the Minnesota Vikings decision to release outspoken punter Chris Kluwe on Monday.

“I’m not in a position to evaluate the relative punting abilities, but it seems to me the general manager said, right after the draft, they were going to have competition,” Dayton recalled. “Well, they bring the one guy in, he kicks for a weekend and that’s competition?”


The governor feels the need to weigh in on the personal moves of a professional sports team.  I can’t imagine many things less concerning to a governor than that.  However, in true liberal form, he makes his point and then “covers himself” at the same time:

“That’s their decision to make,” Dayton concluded. “They don’t give political advice. I don’t give them coaching advice.”

Yeah, perhaps you should have taken your own advice before you opened your mouth.

Where Are All The Doctors Going?


There’s going to be some problems in Minnesota in the next 10 years:

Doctors are getting older in Minnesota.

In the next 10 years one in three will retire, and there aren’t enough future physicians to replace them. That could threaten your access to health care.

Combine this with a demand problem:

The Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange will give access to health care to an estimated 300,000 currently un-insured Minnesotans, meaning more patients, more overtime, and fewer doctors to treat them.

Now, I happen to think that as we increase our demand for doctors, the market should correct and supply us with more.  However, this can only happen if the market is free enough to allow corrections in price.

It’ll be interesting to watch as this unfolds across the country.


Shocking Headline

Gopher Basketball

I saw this in my [soon to be extinct] Reader Feed:

Gophers Win First Official NCAA Tournament Game Since 1990

Now, I’m from Minnesota so I’m accustomed to shameful defeat, but 23 years…?

No way.

Then I realized that we cheated and were stripped of our wins.

It’s hard being from Minnesota.

Grading Teachers

Teacher Evaluations

Compensation comes in many forms.  For example, I enjoy a matching 401k.  Additionally, I enjoy paid vacation.  Others, I’m sure, enjoy discounted airline tickets, free soda or “beer Fridays”.  There’s all kinds of way to compensate people.

One particularly attractive form of compensation would be freedom from evaluation.  Which, of course, leads to freedom from being fired.  This is part of the compensation package typically enjoyed by teachers compliments of the teacher’s unions backed by democrats.  See, unions have a natural organization, forced enrollment and mandatory dues which are then funneled to the election of said democrats.

None of this is a secret or disputed.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this piece of legislation proposed by the democrats in Minnesota:

Minnesota’s Senate Education Committee is considering a bill to prohibit schools from placing a student in a classroom led by a teacher deemed unsatisfactory under state standards, if that student had one the previous year.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Supporters argue that students in classes led by ineffective teachers are at greater risk of falling behind their peers. It’s the latest in a series of bills at the Capitol focused on teacher effectiveness.

Democrats are sponsoring the bill in both the Senate and House. That could improve its chances with Democrats in the majority, although bills that make big changes to policies affecting teachers often face heavy opposition.

Not perfect, to be sure.  If I had my druthers, we’d fire poor performing teachers, hire more good ones and pay the best of them six figures.


My home state doing my not proud:

Thousands of teachers across Minnesota take the Basic Skills Test every year. They are required to pass it before they receive their license to teach. One lawmaker says about 20-percent of those teachers fail the exam. And now there’s a bill in the House that would repeal the Basic Skills Test as a requirement for a teaching license. Some critics of the exam say it unfairly keeps highly qualified teachers out of the classroom.

Seriously.  How can an occupation that subjects people to routine tests to demonstrate mastery also claim that such tests on themselves are onerous?  It’s as bad as when teachers, people who claim to be able to adjudicate mastery of such things as understanding of Shakespeare, claim that teachers can not be measured.

One of the best things I ever did was to decide to be a teacher.  Additionally, one of the best things I ever did was leave teaching.

Pond Hockey

Okay, so not really pond hockey, but close.  There were two games played outside on Sunday in Chicago.  Minnesota got the late game with Wisconsin, Minnesota losing 2-3.

I’m pretty sure the hype of the game is better than the game itself.  Two things immediately jumped out at me; the crowd and the ice.  With the crowd being relegated to the stands at Soldier Field, there was no fan element on the boards.  And that surprisingly made a difference to the flavor of the game.   I’ve always said that there is no better game in pro sports that play-off NHL hockey.  A close second is college hockey.  And to lose the fan element is not worth the game.

Second, the ice made a remarkable difference; that may have been the point.  It was messy and slushy and in the first game, almost unplayable.  I joke when the weather gets down to 25 here in Carolina that it’s “too hot to play hockey.”  And it is.  The ice is simply too soft, turns into a snow cone mess and turns the game from hockey into something else.

I was annoyed that we lost but was even more annoyed that a great rivalry game was taken away from the fans and a gimmick game took away from normal quality conditions.

One last thing, they kept talking about the cold.  The players had extra gear on, the Badgers had Packer’s cold weather jackets and even the benches had warm air blowing on ’em with feet heaters on the floor boards.

It was 26-28 freakin’ degrees!

Back when I played hockey we were in sleeves, no coats, at 10 and some of us took off our sweaters at 15.  Zero was cold but not painfully.  Not until negative numbers did we need the warming house.  I was gonna crack on the players for not knowing this, but then I realized that these kids have probably been playing advanced organized hockey all their lives.  Which means regulated indoor rinks with glass ice.  I’m not sure how many of them ever played night hockey on a frozen sheet of water subject to wind, snow and the cycle of afternoon melt and night freeze.

Anyway, fun to watch college hockey for a change.




We’ve Got Spirit Yes We Do! We’ve Got Spirit How ‘Bout You?

Minnesota has seen a democrat resurgence of late.  What once was a red governor and house and senate is now blue through and through; fitting for the state that had voted for the democrat presidential candidate for the most consecutive elections.

And Wisconsin isn’t that.  We all know the battles that have been waged in the badger state.

But this is awesome:

A Wisconsin legislator is using Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal to try to lure business across the state border.

Republican Rep. Erik Severson, of Osceola, has sent a letter to hundreds of Minnesota businesses, including Best Buy, 3M and UnitedHealth Group.  Severson urges the businesses to relocate to Wisconsin and avoid higher taxes.

Dayton’s proposal raises about $2 billion in additional tax revenue by lowering the state sales tax, but expanding it to more items and to services. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Dayton’s office has responded to Severson’s letter by saying job growth is not dictated by taxes and that Severson should focus on his own state. The statement from the governor’s office also says Minnesota’s economy has fared far better than Wisconsin’s in recent years.

For what it’s worth, the Minnesota Wisconsin football rivalry is the single longest consecutive years played match-up in college football.