Jottings and Questions V

Catholic & Lutheran Bishops have urged Governor Dayton and the Legislature to preserve access to basic needs for the state’s poor.  It’s funny how GOP wants the poor, disabled, elderly, mentally ill, public school districts, colleges and universities and middle class workers to sacrifice for this 5 billion dollar deficit, but they don’t think the wealthiest Minnesotans should sacrifice a little with a small tax increase?  …no, I guess it isn’t funny.

If free-market or trickledown economics work, why are there 50 million people living under the poverty line?

When I was asked as a candidate about nuclear power, and the nuclear power moratorium, I stated I was not a fan of nuclear power, nor would I support lifting the moratorium.  My reasoning was that in the first place, we still don’t have a way to recycle or store the used nuclear waste, but my main reason was that it just takes one disaster, one terrorism action or poor design to harm innocent people.  I was told how many good union jobs it would create, how much the technology has improved, how many safety backups there were, and that it was possibly the safest energy America can produce.  The problem is that we cannot predict everything that can happen.  We can keep learning and improving, but a single disaster every 20-30 years impacts communities, including children and families around it.  It isn’t just worker’s taking a risk, neighborhoods are at risk.  Maybe instead of spending so much on nuclear power, the government should stop subsidizing nuclear power and begin investing more money in new, clean and safe energy technologies.

Farmington and Lakeville both have senior centers.  In fact, in Farmington the Rambling River Center was moved and updated recently, and in Lakeville the Senior Center is at capacity and the council has discussed moves.  Senior centers are a good thing, but why don’t we have teen or rec centers in Farmington or Lakeville?

When I was a kid growing up in South Minneapolis, the Foshay Tower and the IDS were the two buildings that poked up over the trees.  The IDS and the Foshay were the Minneapolis skyline.  The other day I was sitting by a window looking at the Foshay Tower in the not too far distance.  It is a great building, and worth noting a little of its history and a couple facts.  It was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi and was finished just before the start of the Great Depression in 1929.  It stood as Minnesota’s tallest building until the IDS passed it during construction in 1972.  It is still the second tallest concrete skyscraper, second only to the Empire State Building in NY.  When I was working on the senior paper for my history degree, I and one other student did concentrations on Minnesota history.  My senior paper was on the history and disappearance of local breweries in Minnesota, hers was on Wilbur Foshay and the lawsuits that followed his financial ruin due to the Great Depression and Ponzi schemes.  It is an interesting story, worth learning more about, and it is a great looking building.

Pollution billionaire David Koch sees the heating up of the planet as good news. From a New York Magazine interview: “The Earth will be able to support enormously more people because a far greater land area will be available to produce food.” Yeah, that’s the ticket…

As tax season winds down, I want to remind people to fill in the box on your Minnesota income tax forms for the State Elections Campaign Fund.  It doesn’t reduce your tax refund or increase your tax payment if you owe, it simply is used to determine how much public funding goes to state candidates in your district.  In district 36, more Republicans checked the box than DFLers, resulting in the Republican candidate receiving $2087 more dollars to use for the 2010 election.  $2000 is a mailer!  The southern Senate districts of 33, 34, 35 and 36 have the largest ratio of Republican checkoffs.  It is hard for progressives to win if they can’t compete from a money standpoint.  Fill in the box, the DFL code is 13!

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3 thoughts on “Jottings and Questions V”

  1. I’m not sure why there’s a notion that the U.S. is dumping tons of money into nuclear power and nothing into alternative energies. Ground was broken in 1974 or earlier on each of the 104 nuclear plans operating in the U.S. But maybe there are ongoing expenses I’m not aware of? Regardless, we dump a ton of money into alternative energies, much of it in the form of subsidies or tax breaks.

    I love that skyline picture. I used to work a couple of blocks from the Foshay and had a great view of it from my cube window.

    1. Thanks Joey, didn’t mean to imply that notion, I’m saying why invest so much in nuclear, move investment it to other options. Likewise, why do we continue to invest in trying to make gas engines more efficient, instead of putting even more money into battery technology? There are industries like nuclear and oil that dictate direction because of politics, not because of long-term thinking.

      1. Yeah, I’m not happy with where we’re at for alternative energies but there’s so much disagreement about the right approach. Even if we go to battery-powered cars, for instance, we still need to power those batteries somehow. Is that through wind? Solar? Hydro? Nuclear? Coal?

        I think we need to prioritize our electricity sources and get our nation’s grid in order first and foremost. I think the elimination of oil as our primary transportation method for vehicles will come next.

        But what do I know? I’m just a history major working in software with absolutely zero expertise on this issue. That’s part of why I’m not sure I’d ever want to run for office. The notion that one person can be an expert on all of this stuff is ridiculous, but that’s what the public expects.

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