Tag Archives: Jottings and Questions

The “Red Shirts” send an intern to crash the DFL58 Picnic In the Park Fundraiser

In my last post I wrote about a young man creeping around the DFL58 Picnic in the Park Fundraiser.  I assumed he was a tracker for Klobuchar or Obermueller, but I was upset when he walked around videotaping each person in attendance at the event.

I became even more disturbed when I wondered if he videotaped the kids at the event. I think that could actually be illegal, but either way, whether kids or adults, people should be free to enjoy a picnic without their privacy being intruded on by Republicans who express a desire for more freedom.

I guess freedom is limited to Republican events, opinions and ideals, because the mystery is solved.  Drew Christensen was an intern for John Kline.  He wasn’t wearing his red shirt at our picnic, but that’s him on the far right in the picture. No, that “far right” comment was not intended to be a pun.  The Drew identified in the picture popped up on my screen when I opened Facebook a few minutes ago.

Drew must have been sent by the other red shirts to videotape Mike Obermueller. Maybe John Kline should show a little courage and show up himself for an impromptu debate with Mike at events like this, instead of hoping for a racist comment to post on Youtube – oh wait! It is always Republicans that say that stuff isn’t it?

Hosting a house party for a candidate

What’s better than getting together with a few people you know, along with a few more people you just met, and talking about interesting subjects, learning about new topics and ideas, and doing it all with a little good food?

Last night we had a group of people over to our house to host a small fundraiser for Mike Obermueller.  Along with Mike and a member of his staff and a volunteer, there were 4 other candidates who came, three current legislative candidates and one local candidate, one former state legislative candidate, and one other former state Representative besides Mike.  It was fun.

The donation basket was full, and I hope Mike is able to make a decent bank deposit.  As great as it was to add cash to his campaign, the conversations were what was really great.  I appreciate everybody who came, and enjoyed learning new things.

Most candidates for any office would be happy to attend a little house party like ours.  I encourage you to call up a candidate you like, and volunteer to host a party.  The topics, ideas, and quality of discussion among a small group of politically involved and committed people is great, I learned a lot.

If you want to host a house party for Mike Obermueller, contact his campaign or contact me and I will give you some contact info.  But as much as we need to support Mike, our local candidates need house parties like this too, find your local candidate and ask if you can host one.

Frustration Is My Middle Name

Frustration is my middle name right now. 

I know people who hate the world.  In some cases things have not worked out the way they expected in life, circumstances threw then a curve, decisions were made by somebody else that impacted their lives.  And I sit and watch them and think just a little change in attitude would make life so much happier.

The problem is I think my frustrations are leading me in that “I hate the world” direction.

So I am going to vent for a little bit hoping to make myself feel better:

  • If Lindsey Graham thinks it is so important that US citizen who are accused of being terrorists lose their rights as citizens, lose their right to a lawyer, and lose their right to their freedom, why doesn’t he propose doing away with the Bill of Rights all together?
  • A new Vikings stadium is a good thing, especially if it is part of a larger development concept.  Income tax alone amounts to about $20 million dollars per year, and that doesn’t count everything else associated with the NFL that brings in state revenue, private business revenue and individual income.
  • I’m frustrated that it seems like one generation to the next generation is becoming less respectful, including my own kids much to my dismay.
  • The fact that many of the same people who want to amend our State Constitution with a Marriage Amendment telling us who we can’t marry, say it is absurd when somebody says “well then what’s next, are we going to say blacks and whites can’t marry, or people with IQs under 85 can’t marry” use that same type of logic when somebody says we should ban assault weapons and armor piercing (cop killing) bullets.  Then they say “well what’s next, are they going to ban my Remington semi-automatic deer rifle?” 

Here is a short 3 minute video that is from the son of a lesbian couple in Iowa that I think is great:
 

  • Hypocrisy always frustrates me…
  • If a Catholic Organization doesn’t want to provide prescription birth control as a part of medical benefits to its employees, why should they be forced to?  It is a religious belief they have, right?
  • It frustrates me that so many people in our outer suburban area want changes but don’t want to participate in the process.  Yes, that can mean politics, but I also see it at church, in the schools and in sports associations.  Sometimes I feel like people subconsciously move to these outer suburbs to get away from needing to worry about being a part of something, and can use things like time constraints to convince themselves that it is OK not to participate. 
  • Why is it that it is so hard for somebody to give $5 to a good cause?  Why is it that people refuse to give money to a good cause because they don’t want to be on an email list, a calling list or a mailing list.  Is it is more important to you to not be bothered than to help a family eat a meal, to help a village recover from a flood, or even to a help a politician who you think can make a difference in the world?  Would you ignore an injured person because you don’t want to be inconvenienced… Oh wait, that happens all the time doesn’t it.  Frustrating…

This video is a 16 minute video about a generosity experiment.  So worth watching:

http://content.bitsontherun.com/players/v1XzCam6-E6iRurJJ.swf

     
  • Pat Garafalo.  It isn’t what he says, or what his politically ideology is.  It is that stupid, smug half smile and the tone of his voice when he speaks that make me wonder how people can trust him.
  • I am frustrated by people at 4 way stop signs.  From the most current version of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual:

Right of Way and Yielding

  1. Right-of-way and yielding laws help traffic flow smoothly and safely. They are based on courtesy and common sense. Violation of these laws is a leading cause of traffic crashes.
  2. When two vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, and there is no traffic light or signal, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. 
  3. When two vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, and all-way stop signs or flashing red traffic lights control the intersection, the driver on the left must yield right of way to the driver on the right.
  4. A driver who wishes to make a left turn must yield to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction when these vehicles are in the intersection or are near enough to pose the risk of a crash.
  • Key phrases: “reach the intersection at the same time” – if we both are at an intersection, and you are on the left, but stopped there first, GO!!!
  • “A driver who wishes to make a left turn must yield to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction” – if we are at a stop sign and you are turning in front of me, it does not mean just because there are traffic light turn signals that allow you to go first at controlled intersections, that you go in front of me at a 4 way stop sign.
  • No, I am not related to Allen Quist, but if I were, big deal.  It isn’t like my father couldn’t give him a run when it comes to Republican values.
  • It frustrates me that we allow redistricting to be done by politicians.
  • And finally, waffles are not better than breakfast burritos!

Change? Maybe if there’s an intellectual shift among the overtly selfish. — Hiatus.

It’s funny, I’ve reestablished the number of daily hits I’m getting on this website to a respectable number, and now I’ve decided to take another hiatus from it.  My desire to continue paying attention to politics, which has been dwindling for some time, is now rapidly dwindling.  That might be an oxymoron, but my interest is at possibly an all-time low.  

I’m not geared to being involved in politics.  I’m in a leadership position right now, but I don’t have the ego or the drive that is needed for it.  Plus, I don’t like that I have annoyed people without even knowing how or why I’ve annoyed them.  Was it an email or a comment I made?  No clue.  I actually don’t like that people don’t like me in general.  I try to be very nice, am very open-minded, and even if there is a problem, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when I meet them.  Why wouldn’t I expect the same?  Of course that doesn’t mean I will just sit back and accept your idea without confrontation if I think a confrontation is required…

Some people would say not being liked by people is all part of the political landscape — and believe me, I have no desire, nor do I attempt to get everybody to like me.  But, when I first started a blog, really it was a website, it was for my own entertainment.  And in many ways, my blog is still for my entertainment.  I don’t follow some agenda based on what I hear from the DFL, or from other progressive bloggers.  I blog about what I want to blog about and what I care about.  It was the same when I started getting active in politics, it was because others weren’t doing what I thought needed to be done and I thought it was kind of fun to do it.  Now, despite the feeling that there may be a little momentum building toward success, or at least improvement here, I don’t really think it is fun anymore.  Politics itself has digressed so rapidly into… well, politics!  I have little desire to contribute to the “politics.”

Of course, “hiatus” might not be the right word, because I doubt I will stop completely.  I will still blowup sometimes.  I am really pissed at the direction this country is heading when it comes to respect for seniors, education of children, care for those that need a little care, freedom to live your own life, and maintaining a healthy and safe community today and for future generations.  Unless a giant intellectual change occurs within an overtly selfish majority of the voting public (**Note: I said voting public because I think a majority of people do care) I don’t see much hope for change.

Should it really be a hard choice for Republicans to play nice?

I have some real problems with the political leadership in my area.  It isn’t specifically that they are Republicans.  If that were the reason I wouldn’t like most of my family or many of our friends.  It is the political demeanor so many of the political leaders seem to possess.

The overriding character to be politically successful in the area seems to include a bit of disdain for opposition or at least disrespect for opposition, a little snobbishness, a touch of nastiness, smart alecky, globally uncaring and maybe even a bit hypocritical.  In my opinion, at least some of those traits fit each of our legislative representatives in Senate District 36. 

What got me thinking about this was a recent Bible study discussion about the end of Matthew 5.  At the forefront of my thought has been the idea that I am to live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward me.  Do any politicians do that?  I read an article in Politics in Minnesota about Rep. Mary Liz Holberg.  In the article Briana Bierschbach quotes former Republican State Representative Neil Peterson describing Mary Liz Holberg as:

“She can really be nasty. I know we didn’t agree on some things, but she dealt with things in her own, specific way.”

The article was not about Holberg’s nastiness, but that quote really struck me.  Should a person directly representing 40,000 Minnesotans, and indirectly the entire state, be nasty and vengeful?  Or should that person be generous and gracious?  I guess it is just my opinion, but I think a person we elect to represent us should be kind, circumspect, empathetic and maybe even a little chivalrous.  I know that is asking a lot and maybe the nature of politics preclude that, but am I wrong to say that should be the ideal? 

Is it kind for Dave Thompson or Pat Garofalo to lob insults at a leader elected to represent a large group of people simply because they disagree?  Is it considerate to say in “Dave’s perfect world” you don’t exist to a Labor leader?  Is it good-mannered for Pat to go on MPR and demand a personal thank you from education leaders for funding education, something I think he is elected to do and required by law to do? What does it say about Mary Liz Holberg when she got so upset that the Override 6 were not punished enough by Speaker Seifert, that she quit attending caucus meetings and joined Tom Emmer in trying to embarrass him and the rest of Republican Leadership? 

The political negativity goes on at every level in the district.  There is a popular school board member in Farmington who admits he is not nice to the administration or the rest of the board.  In Lakeville the Mayor wouldn’t accept a generous gift from a council member because of politics.  And in our district, Republican leaders worked to unseat Pat Garofalo in 2006, attempting to replace him because he wasn’t Republican enough.  Pat learned his lesson and has been loyal ever since, but what have the rest of us learned? Is that what we want?

Whether Republican or DFL, shouldn’t we hold the political leaders we nominate and elect to a higher standard?  When we consider a leader shouldn’t they be both effective and respectful?  I hope we can all agree that insults, egocentric actions and revenge are not the best ways to be respectful or to be leaders.

A current Republican legislator, who wished to remain anonymous in the Politics in Minnesota article said of Holberg’s decision to lead the Ways and Means Committee and to be effective:

“She would have to play nice a bit more, I’m sure the choice wasn’t easy, but she made it.”

Should it really be a hard choice to make to play nice?

Matthew 5: 46-48 – The Message
“If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”