Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dayton Considers Executive Order to Unionize Children

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is considering issuing an Executive Order to create a union for all of Minnesota's children.

Citing concern that children have an under-represented voice in the labor force, Dayton has promised that unionizing Minnesota's children will give them the protection they need as they navigate the difficult journey of growing up to become taxpayers.

Pro-union groups have described their perceived advantages to unionizing children.  "Children need a voice, and the union will be that voice.  They are often given low wages for work, forced to wear clothing they don't like, eat food they don't like, and they are disciplined without representation.  They need protection against these egregious examples of how children are taken advantage of in our society," said an unidentified union representative.

"Our goal is that through the unionization of Minnesota children, they will now receive minimum wage for their chores and work done for neighbors and friends.  They will no longer be at the mercy of the dictator parent who has the last word. They will have representation in all disputes. They will go unprotected no longer."

Dayton administration insiders say the unionization will be good for the economy.  "Children already hold a large chunk of the disposable income in America.  Paying them higher wages will only put more disposable income into their hands, allowing them to stimulate the economy by spending that money at malls and movie theaters."

When asked if the children's wages would be taxed, an administration official answered, "Only if they're rich."

A Republican insider disagreed with the plan, saying, "One of the big reasons they're doing this is to change the unemployment numbers.  A kid gets a job mowing lawns--one job created.  A teenager babysits for several families--each babysitting event would be counted as a new job created. This is ridiculous."

When asked if this action would even be legal, since minor children are unable to enter into contracts under current law, Dayton just stared blankly into space.

(For those with a sprained or absent sense of humor, the above article is a parody, or Al Franken's favorite word, "satire.")

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Obama team launches group to eliminate news against Obama before it airs

I know a lot of conservatives receive these e-mails, but then again, I know a lot of you don't. (These people think my name is Loretta.) So, I sometimes like to share the more interesting ones with the FNR readers.  Here's the latest one:

If you're someone who cares about seeing a campaign focused on substance between now and November 2012, I need you to become a part of one of our most important teams.
It's called, and it launches today.
Here's the deal: We all remember the birth certificate smear, the GOP's barrage of lies about the Affordable Care Act, and the string of other phony attacks on President Obama that we've seen over the past few years.
There are a lot of folks on the other side who are chomping at the bit to distort the President's record. It's not a question of if the next big lie will come, just when -- and what we're prepared to do about it. is exactly what it sounds like: a resource that allows us to nip these attacks in the bud before they show up on the airwaves and in emails -- and then fight back with the truth.
By signing up, you'll be on the front lines -- you'll hear about false claims as soon as they come up, and we'll count on you to spread the truth to your friends and personal networks and let us know about new smears whenever you hear them.
Will you sign up now to be a part of
I remember the smears from 2008 well, and I'm sure you do, too.
They didn't just attack Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They went after everything this movement is built on, and everyone who supports it.
This time, they're not just out to personally attack the President -- they're also out to mislead Americans about the record of accomplishments that he's compiled. Just the other day, a Republican financier actually quoted Saddam Hussein in telling a group of millionaire donors that defeating President Obama will be "the mother of all wars."
We're launching today to make sure we're ready for the attacks we know are coming -- and armed with the ability to fight back quickly.
Sign up for now, and let's get the facts out:
Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

I have eliminated all the links because I don't want trollers to visit them through my blog.  There were also links to donate to the "cause," which I don't want to promote.  I just found it interesting that this movement assumes everything coming from "folks on the other side" or "them" will be a lie that civilian Obama supporters must be on the "front lines" to extinguish lest it sully the image of the anointed one.

Watch out for this group.  I have a feeling they'll be vicious.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Three Small Words: Remembering September 11

I posted this article a year ago, on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.  I have rewritten it to reflect what is going on today. Please read my updated article for this special year.

Ten years ago, I wrote this letter to the editor, which was published in the Eden Prairie News shortly after September 11, 2001:

On September 11, among the many lessons to be learned, I learned that three small words can be used to convey something fearful and despondent, while at the same time convey a message of reassurance and hope .

When my nine-year-old son came home from school that afternoon, he didn't seem to know much about what had happened. I sat him down and explained to him the terrible events of the day. He looked at me, his round blue eyes searching mine for reassurance. "Will we have a war, Mama?" he asked. "Yes, we will," I said, wanting to bite back my words, but at the same time knowing I was doing the right thing. I had to be honest with my son. Thanks to the evil of terrorism, my answer was true.

Later, my 13-year-old daughter quickly began to understand the gravity of the situation. In typical teenage fashion, avoiding my eyes and trying not to sound too serious, she asked, "Will America make it through this, Mom?"

I told her about the deprivation of the Great Depression, the civil war that pitted brother against brother, and two world wars that tested the strength of every American. "Yes, we will," I answered. I had to be honest with my daughter. Thanks to the indelible American spirit, my answer was true.
Three small words. "Yes, we will." They can mean so many things. That day they meant a promise of war and the promise of victory. Other days, they mean something else.

Life does go on, as it has, since September 11, 2001. We started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where our troops remain today. We've elected a president who has barely spoken of keeping us safe.

Worse, we've witnessed another terrorist attack in America:  the shootings at Fort Hood.

Our president and most presidential candidates talk about jobs and our economy. Many Americans want our government to give them more, more, more money, programs; you know, free stuff. There is little discussion about how those things won't matter at all if we are the victims of another massive attack by our enemy, which still exists as brutally as it did 10 years ago. Which wants us, and our way of life, gone, dead, buried.

But we also wonder who will be on this season of Dancing With the Stars.  We've become obsessed with vampires. Big news equals Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony's divorce and Kim Kardashian's wedding.

We've forgotten.

Before you say, "Oh no we haven't," I say to you, "Look around. The unity we found that day is lost. We are a country divided. We have stood on opposite sides arguing about whether a Mosque should be built near the Ground Zero site. Do you think this argument would have even found a voice on September 12, 2001?"

Then there are things like this:

NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The human rights organization American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) will be hosting its second annual 9/11 Freedom Rally on September 11 at 3pm at Park Place and West Broadway.
While clergy, 9/11 first responders, and 9/11 family members are barred and/or not invited to the official ceremonies, all are welcome at the 9/11 Freedom Rally. And while White House guidelines forbid official 9/11 ceremonies from mentioning who attacked the U.S. on that day or why, the 9/11 Freedom Rally features more honest speakers.

I don't know how any thinking, compassionate American cannot feel ill after reading the paragraph above. People jumped out of those buildings rather than be burned to death. Firefighters rushed into the buildings to save others while knowing they would lose their own lives. Women lost their husbands, men lost their wives, children lost their mothers, and some lost their fathers before they were even born.

And whether we like to admit it or not, the atrocities of that day were carried out by Muslim extremists in the name of Allah. Even if the current regime in charge of the White House doesn't want to admit it, it's still the truth.

Do you remember? Do you remember the photos on the front pages of your newspapers of people, your fellow Americans, on American soil, covered in ashes to the point of being unrecognizable as they stumbled through the streets of New York desperate for safety, shelter, a sip of water, a breath of air? In America? Our America?

I remember that night here in suburban Minneapolis. The sky was clear and dark and salted with a few stars. My neighbor and I were standing in her backyard talking when a military helicopter roared over her house. We knew the skies had been shut down and cleared of all traffic. The helicopter was flying low, and even though it was one of ours--there to keep us safe--for a moment we were terrified. We stopped talking and just sort of hung there in frozen time, as if our hearts had stopped from fear and needed to be jump started before we asked, "What the hell was that?"

Earlier that evening my church held a special service. I'll never forget the image of my daughter, dressed in black, hugging a fellow Sunday School friend as they sat on the steps outside. They stayed in each other's arms for a long time, her head resting on his shoulder. Then they held hands, as if not wanting to let go of one another for fear of losing the other before our next church service. I watched from the top of the steps with tears rolling freely down my face as I realized my children's generation had just become a generation at war. They had become a generation in which the sanctity of the American bubble that had always protected them was shattered by airplanes filled with hate and bound for death. They changed that day--the children. Forever.

That night my children slept in bed with me. Their father couldn't sleep and stayed up all night. My daughter held my hand as she slept, something she hadn't done since she was very small. When she was little, she always wanted to hold my hand as she slept if she was scared. I lay awake and heard another plane fly over the house. I gripped my sleeping child's hand a little tighter.

As I write this on the eve of the tenth anniversary of this terrorist attack on America, I am saddened by how far apart we've come. The weight of this horrible atrocity seems to have slipped from our shoulders, and we've become the frivolous, politically-correct society we were before this ever happened.

Of course we can't be a society hobbled by the hatred lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to kill us. We must move on.  But all I ask is that for tomorrow, please take a moment to remember. Really remember. Wherever you were in America, it hit you. It touched you.

It changed you.

Before this, you were safe. You are safe no more. You know it. You accept it. You scoff at it when you have to board a plane. It inconveniences you, but it does not effect you, not anymore.

I'm asking you, if only for one day, to let it effect you. Let in the fear of knowing you are never safe. Let in the knowledge that there are people on earth who hate you and what you stand for so much that they will kill you and your babies in the name of their cause without blinking an eye.

I understand the pull toward political correctness that is threaded through our country. But without a healthy dose of fear, wariness and protectiveness, I believe that pull will become so strong we'll all be taken along for the ride whether we like it or not, consequences be damned.

So, will you say three small words for me? If I ask you, "Will you remember?" will you answer,

"Yes, we will."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Obama turning tonight's speech into a campaign fundraiser before he utters one word

I just received the following e-mail from Barack Obama's campaign.  It speaks for itself, really, but I felt the need to point out a few things.

First of all, what a classless, ham-handed thing to do:  turning what should be a very sober address to the American people into a campaign fundraiser.  I wish this president had a modicum of the respect Reagan had for the office he holds.

Here's the e-mail:

Loretta (they think my name is Loretta) --
I'm about to head to the Capitol to ask Congress to act on my plan to put Americans back to work.
Before I do, I wanted to write you directly to remind you that the fight to create jobs -- and provide the kind of economic security for middle-class families that's been slipping away over the last decade -- won't begin or end with the speech I give tonight.
What happens will be up to you. In the coming days and weeks, it will be up to you to pressure Congress to act -- or hold them accountable if they do not.
If you're with me, let me know. And the campaign will make sure you are looped into our efforts to support this plan.
Talk to you soon,
This campaign isn't funded by Washington lobbyists or corporate interests. It relies on donations from people like you. You should donate today.

I didn't add the two links included in the e-mail that direct you to pages where you can donate to Obama's re-election campaign.  But they were in the original e-mail. 

I am really surprised to find out that I'm on a first-name basis with the President of the United States.  But maybe it's fitting to address him by his first name because, in my opinion, he doesn't deserve the above-mentioned title.

I wonder if he'll tell the American people to "pressure" Congress, or is that kind of talk reserved for those of us lucky enough to be e-mail buddies with him?  I also wonder if he'll mention that in order to be kept in the "loop" about his job creation ideas, you must first donate to his campaign?

So, it will be interesting to watch Barack's speech tonight.  Do you think they'll have a crawl at the bottom of the screen directing you to places to make campaign donations?  Or maybe he'll just ask for money at the end of his speech.  

Even if he doesn't go that far, I think this incredibly tacky e-mail crossed the line between his being President Obama and Candidate "Barack."  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pageant tot dressed as hooker--A word in defense of pageants

The video below shows a tiny tot, probably no more than five years old, dressed up in a costume created as a replica of Julia Roberts' costume in the film, "Pretty Woman."  Before she was rescued by her man.  In the thigh-high boots, platinum wig and midriff-baring shirt/mini skirt combo she wore as a street hooker. Watch and cringe:

I have been involved in pageantry for more years than I can count.  I was in a few teen pageants in my day, and I saw it as a way for a young woman to realize her potential and grow her self esteem.

Years later, at age 15, my daughter started competing.  There are several different pageants out there; not so many in the north as there are in the south.  Some are better than others.  I'm bit wary of Donald Trump's Miss Universe Organization, which owns Miss USA and Miss Teen USA.  I'm partial to the Miss America system, in which my daughter was a titleholder.

I have been involved in the Miss Minnesota Organization as a sponsor, judge and committee member.  I think this caliber of pageantry is excellent for young women.  There is a big focus on education (each winner receives a scholarship), and there is a huge emphasis on personal platform work, which is an issue of concern the contestant has chosen to do charity work and community service to enhance, enlighten or just raise funds for to help, for instance, find a cure for breast cancer or autism.

Through my exposure and work in pageantry, I have met some of the most intelligent, driven, talented, sincere, compassionate and hard-working young women in America.  I consider it an honor to have been associated with these incredible young ladies.  They are the future leaders of our country (and I have found most of them to be politically conservative. *bonus!*).  If you think this generation has gone to hell in a hand basket, just go to the Miss Minnesota Pageant, a local affiliate, or the pageant in whichever state you reside. You'll emerge a changed person.  You will have a positive view of pageantry instead of the horrible reputation portrayed on the show, "Toddlers & Tiaras," which provided the above clip.

I am a big fan of responsible pageantry, and a huge opponent of "kiddie pageants."  In my opinion, girls shouldn't be able to compete in pageants until age 15.  By then, they have something to say, something to feel, and possibly a well-developed talent.  The kinds of girls who would compete at that age possess a great deal of self worth, which is so essential in pageantry.  In most teen pageants, there is an emphasis on being age appropriate as well.

I wish reality T.V. were more interested in showing the positive sides of pageantry, instead of the horror show on "Toddlers & Tiaras" each week.

Kiddie pageants are more about the pageant moms than the girls competing.  And, yes, even in adult pageants, similar pageant moms can be found there.

But for the most part, women and teens who hold titles, represent their communities or states, or go on to Miss America, are the best of the best and have wonderful, supportive families, committees and coaches.  I'm saddened by how this sensational show about child exploitation colors people's perceptions of pageants in general.  They could not be more different.

Don't waste your time watching, "Toddlers & Tiaras."  Watch Miss America in January instead.  You may just learn something and come away knowing for certain that our world won't be in the hands of a bunch of lazy dolts many think embody the current generation.

There is excellence in young America.  You just have to seek it out.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Viable Jobs Idea From Bachmann--Outdoes Anything Obama's Proposed

I found this article today that briefly outlines one of presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's job creation plans.

I'd love to hear more about this, as it's the most substantial plan I've seen lately.  I'm interested to hear Obama's wait-until-I'm-done-with-my-vacation jobs plan, which he will announce on television. Obama's job's speech was originally scheduled to be a blatant slap in the face of Republicans, whose debate would have been running against it, until he changed the time of the speech to run the following night prior to the Saints vs. Packers football game.

Is that Republicans 1; Obama Administration 0, because the President of the United States moved his speech so it wouldn't coincide with the Republican debate at Speaker John Boehner's "request?" Or Republicans 0; Obama Administration 1, because he may pick up a lot of football fans to listen to his speech by having moved it to the pre-game slot (with the possibility of delivering the money shot after having "accidentally" run a few minutes over time)? Something to think about...

I digress.

I am not an official supporter of Michele Bachmann for president.  I haven't put my deeds or words behind any candidate yet.  I need to see more--feel more.  I need to make sure the candidate I support would support me and my beliefs.

But I will give credit where credit is due:  Bachmann's simple job stimulus idea is the best we've heard so far, especially from this administration or from Congress.  She is a business owner.  That means she has miles more experience than Obama had when he became president, which is why we are in the ditch at this point.

Because a driver who has never had a license shouldn't be the one elected to drive the family car everywhere it goes. With the family in it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What do preschoolers and sexy vampires have in common?

Burger King kids meals!

These are photos of the "toy" that was included in my three-year-old granddaughter's kids meal a few days ago.

When you open up this plastic thingy, this is what you get:

I have a couple of problems with this.  First of all, this doesn't even qualify as a "toy."  It's purely an advertising tool that doesn't even break a sweat trying to be an actual toy.

Then there's the problem of extreme age inappropriateness.  I know all kids who eat Burger King kids meals aren't three years old, like my granddaughter.  Frankly, she's too young to even understand what this toy means.

But I would estimate the proper ages for children to consume Burger King kids meals to be ages 12 and under.  Does anyone in their right mind think children in this age groups should be an advertising target for this movie?  Yes, I know there will be the few crazy parents who will bring their toddlers to this film.  (Years ago, I sat behind a toddler whose parents thought it would be a great idea to bring her to see "Alien."  She screamed that she was scared the whole time and tried to face backwards in her front row seat with her tiny, dimpled hands tightly covering her eyes. I wonder what she grew up to be?)  So there are a few crazies out there who will do this, but I don't think that covers even a slight fraction of a percentage point of American parents.  At least I hope not.

I know fast food restaurants often give toys for children under age three if asked, so there are no small parts they can choke on.  There were no small parts contained with this toy.

There was, however, a $5 coupon for any "Eclipse" merchandise I would like to buy for my child.  She could be sporting sexy vampire apparel for a bargain price.

What in the world is Burger King thinking advertising about a new addition to a saga of movies based on books about vampires.  Young sexy ones.  And I don't have any hang ups about young vampire sex, except when it comes to children.  Watching it.  Being exposed to it.  Opening their Burger King kids meals and thinking the photo inside is cool.

Gotta go.  I need to look up movie times for "Eclipse."  I think I might just bring my granddaughter to that instead of "Whinnie the Pooh." I'll make sure to buy her a T-shirt first.  I wonder if they come in a size 3T?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pawlenty goes Gaga

So, T-Paw likes Lady Gaga, particularly her songs, "Bad Romance," and her a cappella performance of her song, "Born This Way" on her HBO special.  There are more than a thousand articles on the subject available on the internet, if you'd like to read them.  The most succinct one I found was this article from USA Today.  The StarTribune article, as is typical of that publication, crossed the line between news and opinion.  It seems this breaking news had a lot of people talking.

And I say, "So what?"

I know this confession won't be big news, but I, the Friendly Neighborhood Republican, "like" Lady Gaga too.

I know, it's shocking. A Republican, mid-western grandmother thinks Lady Gaga is really talented. I know I'm not a member of her typical fan base, but that's okay.  I'm a very music-oriented person, and I have a lot of eclectic tastes.  If you were to look at my playlist, it would include sacred choir music (performed by my son's high school choir); Prince, more Prince, and still more Prince; Vince Gill; Stevie Ray Vaughn; Meshugah; all of my son's performances that my husband burned for me; Mozart piano concertos; Aerosmith; and, of course, Elvis.  And I'm leaving a lot of musicians out.

I harbor no guilt or conflict about any of my choices.  I come from a very musical family, and frankly, neither I nor my children or grandchildren would exist without a combination of 50's rock-n-roll, blues, and classical piano.  It's a very long story.

So, if my choice to appreciate the talent Lady Gaga clearly exhibits as a songwriter, singer, musician and performance artist is a problem for anyone, given my political leanings, that's just too bad.  But contrary to what you might think, I'm not advocating that the two are mutually exclusive.  They're not.

Pawlenty, when asked whether the lyrics of Gaga's song, "Born This Way," might be contrary to his belief system about whether or not gay people are born gay, he said, "The science isn't clear either way on that." Even the liberal publications had to admit he was right. It was a round-about way of saying he doesn't disagree with the song's message.

Pawlenty, like most Republicans, has never said he hates gays and everything they stand for.  So why is it news that he appreciates the talent of a woman who has become a contemporary gay icon?  He even argued for gay marriage rights as a Minnesota legislator.

He now says he regrets his support when he was legislator. Sadly, Pawlenty, like Michele Bachmann, has aligned himself with the religious right segment of the Republican party for his presidential campaign. That's where we differ.

I'm coming out to say that being Republican doesn't automatically mean you are against gay rights. My gay, Republican nephew would agree with that statement.  I plan to write much more about gay rights as it relates to Republican politics in the near future.

But for now, let's just say, stop being shocked that a mid-western Republican would be a Lady Gaga fan. If you are the least bit scandalized or feel Republicans are somehow hypocritical for being fans, I say you're very closed minded, something liberals accuse conservatives of all the time.

I also say, as a preface to a series of upcoming writings, that the cobwebs needing to be swept from the hinges of the doors slammed to new ideas and anti-stereotyping don't exist in the minds of all Republicans.  They just may belong to members of the "tolerance party" who can't seem to accept something as trivial as Tim Pawlenty's musical tastes, just because he happens to be a Republican.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Letter to Eden Prairie News reveals truth about Dayton's extreme vetoes

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Eden Prairie News, which was published on Thursday, June 9, 2011.  I would have liked to post a link to it here, but it's not online yet.  I really want to share the facts included in the letter with readers who may not subscribe to the Eden Prairie News.  If you saw the letter, you know I had the dubious honor of being published on the same page as Senator Al Franken.

Here's the letter:

Questions Dayton's vetoes
Mark Dayton issued a flurry of vetoes last week, making it the biggest snowstorm of 2011. Among the things he vetoed:  Tax relief for Minnesota's 506,000 married joint filers who now have to pay the marriage penalty tax, tax relief for military veterans, property tax relief for disabled veterans and surviving spouses, property tax refunds for homeowners and property tax relief for businesses statewide.
Republicans gave him a $34.2 billion budget - much larger than I would have liked. After subtracting the one-time stimulus money Minnesota received last year, this budget actually represents an increase of $3.5 billion. It raises spending without raising taxes. Why isn't it enough for Dayton - a 9 percent spending increase when so many people are getting little to no increase in income?
Dayton also vetoed Senator Daley's bill to require basic skills testing for teachers.  This bill was not controversial.  It passed 87-41 in the House and 52-0 in Senate. Dayton is revealing himself to be even more radical than his own party.
Finally, Dayton vetoed the voter ID bill.  He said it was because the bill "lacks broad bipartisan support."  But, according to two recent polls (Minneapolis Star Tribune and Survey USA), Minnesotans overwhelmingly support voter ID. For example, according to the Star Tribune poll, 80 percent of Minnesotans support voter ID (including 64 percent of Democrats) and only 18 percent are opposed.  That sounds pretty bipartisan to me.
Unlike Dayton, my three legislators all support our right to free and honest elections, and they support a government that lives within its means. Thank you to David Hann, Jenifer Loon and Kirk Stensrud. Please keep fighting for Minnesota.

I'm not publishing this on my blog so I can blow my own horn, but because I have had comments from several people who, after reading the letter, said, "I didn't know he vetoed all of those things."  I think people should be as informed as possible.  If this letter can help that happen, then I want to spread it to a wider audience.

So, if you think the information here is important, please pass it on to your friends. Thank you for your readership.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Who is really holding Minnesota hostage: Republicans, Dayton, or left-wing media scare tactics?

The front-page article in today's StarTribune, "Shutdown would be a leap into unkown," is typical in many ways.  First, it showcases the Strib's well-known penchant for uni-partisanship by deliberately slanting the article to make Republicans look like the bad guys.  Second, it uses the handy dandy scare tactics the left likes to pull out when things get rough.

(Click this link for mood music to read the article's excerpts by.  Right click on this link to open it in another tab or window so you can play it while you read.)

The article begins:
Minnesota's state parks: Closed.
The state lottery? Frozen.
Minnesota's most violent prisoners? Held back by a skeleton crew.
Taxes? Not so fast. Minnesotans would still be paying those.
In 19 days, Minnesotans could endure the most wide-reaching government shutdown in state history, with little sense of when it might end.
The music is appropriate here, don't you think?  The smell of fear, the bait dangled for dangers lying ahead--you get the drift.

The last paragraph on the front page before the jump to page A16 reads:
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton's administration has rushed to piece together a shutdown plan largely in secret, even as he slogs through inch-by-inch budget negotiations with Republicans to avert closure. Dayton's...
Poor Governor Dayton, slogging his way through inch-by-inch budget negotiations with Republicans.  It gives one mental pictures of Dayton struggling through quicksand toward those stubborn Republicans, standing with arms folded, refusing to move at all, while his administration rushes to piece together a plan in secret. (More about that important word later.)

Then comes the jump, which most editors hope readers won't bother to turn to to continue reading the article. Many won't. They just read what's on the front page and don't bother to continue.  That's why liberal journalists are masters at setting up headlines and front-page teaser articles that blame the right while waiting until after the jump to the inside page to add a point of view from the opposition.  You know, to give a balanced news story, not an opinion piece, to help preserve their journalistic integrity.  Did I just write, "journalistic integrity?"  You may all pause for a short belly laugh at my naive use of those words when referring to the StarTribune.  For just one of many examples, even after this article's second jump, it doesn't give the Republican viewpoint at all.

But it does begin to describe what's going on with the budget negotiations and what Dayton is doing about it. It seems Dayton's top staffers are "cobbling together" information to determine which government workers would be deemed essential in the event of a government shut down.   (Non-essential workers would be temporarily laid off and wouldn't be paid during the shut-down period.) Then there is what I consider to be the most important piece of the article:

Dayton's administration has refused to release many details, in part because final decisions will be made not by them but by a court.

So Dayton is "piecing together" the shutdown plan in secret and refuses to release many details.  They say the reason is because decisions will ultimately be made in court, but I think there is another, simpler reason.

It's much, much scarier to leave things dangling in the unknown, isn't it?  Much of the rest of the article speculates which jobs or services could be cut (but might not be because no one knows what the plans are), such as schools, nursing homes (which may have to kick residents out), home health care aides, etc.  They even trotted out the possibility of a dangerous epidemic and pointed out the "deadly E.coli outbreak in Germany as a ghoulish example of the need to be prepared."

When presented with the scenario of the possible shut down lasting into September, Charlie Kyte, the executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators was quoted as saying, "It could be hugely problematic."  Hugely?  Okay, it's a word, but it's not a good one.

Anyway, the article points out that Dayton faces pressure from state workers living paycheck to paycheck (who are a large part of his voting base) and his desire to get what he wants politically, which the Strib simply boils down to raising taxes on high earners with no mention of Dayton's proposed 15 percent spending increase.  It also points out that much of the outcome is in his hands:

An expansive shutdown would apply maximum public pressure on Republicans to agree on a budget deal. Or Dayton could argue that most services are essential, which would minimize disruptions, but also give Republicans less incentive to cut a deal.
So far, Dayton has been silent on strategy. "We are still in the process of developing what we believe the law requires," he said.

So Dayton could give in and balance the budget with the Republican's version, which proposes a 6 percent increase in spending without increasing taxes, or he could lay off thousands of people who really need those paychecks to keep coming in for their very survival.

Given Dayton's past as a trust-fund baby turned aimless adult, I wonder which he'll choose?  Surely he hasn't stood in the shoes of those whose fate he holds in the palm of his hands.  If he has, I'd love to hear the story (a true one, of course).

The second-to-last paragraph in the article reads:

Meanwhile, the state's 40,000 workers watch the days tick away while they worry about lost paychecks and whether they'll be able to maintain their health insurance, which could run roughly $1,500 a month.
To answer the question posed in my headline, "Who is really holding Minnesota hostage: Republicans, Dayton, or left-wing media scare tactics?" my answer is: the latter two.  The Republicans found a way to balance the budget without raising taxes in a recession.  By not giving up on his ill advised, silly economic ideals, Dayton has the power to throw Minnesota into a much deeper hole by putting government workers out of work.

The media are contributing to the problem by printing articles like this to try to scare people into putting pressure on Republicans to back down or on Democrats to hold fast.  What I propose is that Republicans begin calling and e-mailing their legislators, both Republican and Democrat, and let them know you want them to accept the Republican budget and keep the government running.

The potential for government shutdown is in Dayton's hands.  Let's hope he drops it like a hot potato and moves on, instead of making a politicized move to shut down the government and spending the upcoming years blaming Republicans for what is truly his decision.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Now it's easy to "follow" Friendly Neighborhood Republican

I want my readers to know it's now easier to follow this blog than ever before.  At the top of the-right hand margin above my photo is a "Friendly Neighborhood Republican Followers" box.  In that box there is a button marked "follow."  All you have to do is click and you will become a Friendly Neighborhood Republican Follower and be alerted when new blog posts are up.  This is a great way to follow the blog if you are not a member of Networked Blogs, which has a follower box at the bottom of the right-hand margin on the page.

Thank you to all my loyal readers who come to this blog regularly to check for new posts.  Becoming a Follower will take some of the work out of that.  Thanks to all new visitors for checking it out.

If you like it, "follow" it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weiner "victim" of poor lying skills

While strolling through the blogosphere, I'm finding a lot of media items that seem to be expressing empathy, sadness, and even notes on the bleak, spiritless decor of the room in which Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y) admitted he sent illicit photos and e-mails to young women.  The photo in particular question has been one of him in a pair of grey shorts that was sent to a college student via Weiner's Twitter account.

Weiner gave a series of embarrassing news conferences and interviews in which he tried to pull a Clinton ("it depends on what the definition of 'is' is," etc.) and instead wound up pulling a mix between a bad imitation of George W. Bush's SNL version of bungling the English language (dignitude), and a kid with chocolate smeared all over his mouth telling you he didn't eat the candy.  He actually said in an interview with NBC when asked if the photo was or was not of his body below the waist,  "I can't say with certitude that it's not me."

And so today the Congressman has now confessed it was his doing all along (gasp!).  In predictable fashion, the liberal media began bestowing victim status upon Representative Weiner, though he already trotted out the "V-word" himself last week.  "I was the victim of a prank," he said.

Eric Dezenhall, author of Damage Control, speaking of today's news conference during which Weiner confessed to lying, said, ..."Unless you're a sociopath, watching someone endure that is a very, very distressing thing."  Call me a sociopath, but I don't think watching someone squirm out of the ropes with which they bound themselves is "very, very distressing."  It feels a little more like...justice.

Didn't we all--and I mean all--know this guy did the deed in question and was lying about it?  Why the headlines and dismay?  Reports are Weiner won't resign (he should) and so, at least for now, the Dems will hold onto their seat.  So that's probably not it.  Why such sympathy and column space for a guy we knew was a lying sack and a story from which we should just move on?

Because I'm writing about a dweeby little guy with a funny name who happens to be a United States Congressman using his official Twitter account for ill and blaming it on hackers instead of how Obama's great economic recovery is a failure and an even bigger lie than the tale of the Little Man Who Tweeted.

Monday, May 30, 2011


This is a repost of the article I wrote last July 4 about my father-in-law's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. I thought it an even more appropriate post for today. Remember a Vet; or better yet, thank one today.

It's been exactly one month to the day since our family traveled to Arlington, Virginia, to inter the ashes of my father-in-law, John Kelley, at Arlington National Cemetery.

John was Captain of all the Marines on the U.S.S Missouri in the Pacific Theater of WWII. He was in Tokyo Harbor when the peace treaty was signed by the Japanese on the deck of the Missouri, though he was on land that day securing the harbor and missed the ceremony. After the war, he moved his wife and daughter to Minnesota and began working in the family insurance business.

John and his wife had the awful, horrible misfortune of losing three of their daughters, all at separate times. The first daughter died while John was serving active duty, and she was buried at Arlington. The other two are buried there as well. We went to bring John's remains to rest next to his three daughters.

I'm writing about this on the Fourth of July because a funeral with full military honors conducted at Arlington National Cemetery is truly a thing to behold, a true testament to love of our country and the honor it is to serve her. This is the day we celebrate our Independence, and without people like John Kelley, we might not be celebrating at all. When one is at Arlington and beholds the vista of grave after grave covering rolling green hills as far as the eye can see, it drives home the enormity of the sacrifice our service men and women have given and the insoluble link between what they gave and the freedom we enjoy today in the United States of America.

There was a very large turnout for John's interment. Many of us came from Minnesota, and there was a large contingent of east-coast relatives. A granddaughter and her boyfriend came from Thailand for the service. A grandson came from Colorado with his wife and new daughter, born two days before John passed away.

On the day of the interment, we all gathered in a meeting room in a large marble-floored building to mingle with one another and talk about John. His widow was taken to another room to meet with the officiant for the service. On the tables peppered throughout the family reception room were photo albums of the cemetery--a view of things that would take hours to see in person.

Then we gathered for the procession to the grave site. We were in ours cars and drove up behind a horse-drawn caisson carrying a coffin draped in the U.S. flag with with a number of Honor Guard servicemen. Two of the Honor Guard, with precision and care that one would use if he were carrying a box containing the most important substance on earth, transferred the box of John's ashes to the larger flag-draped coffin being carried by the caisson. There was a small door in the back of the coffin, which they opened to place John's ashes inside.

This was when one of the most moving things occurred, at least in my opinion. From our car, we could see that as we drove through the winding roads to the grave site, there were people obviously dressed as tourists who stopped, stood at attention, took off their hats if they had them, and put their hands over their hearts. They had no idea who John Kelley was, but they gave him the respect he deserved because they knew by the trappings of the service that John had served his country. In what capacity these tourists didn't know, but they honored him anyway. I found that touching beyond words, and I'll always remember looking out of my backseat window and seeing these people stopped and standing at attention in respect for John. It gave me hope for America's future to see these civilians being so respectful. To be honest, the entire service gave me hope.

The grave site is also the grave site of John's three daughters. Their headstones were there. I had never seen them before; my son, on a choir trip to D.C., had very kindly been allowed to find his aunts' graves, on which he placed a guitar pick to let them know he had been there.

We gathered around the grave site, and there were about 15 chairs in three rows. The widow, John's brother and some of John's children sat in the front row, and I sat in the second row because of my walking and standing difficulties. Everyone else stood behind and around the chairs.

The service was officiated by a military pastor dressed in white. He was perfect in content and tone, and made us all feel proud of the man we called father, husband, grandfather, brother, and great-grandfather. We prayed and sang "Amazing Grace." Then came the military rituals.

I don't recall in which order they were done, but I do recall every one of them very well. The 21-gun salute, with gun shots so loud it was kind of startling. I've never been around guns much in my life, and I was surprised at how loud they are in person. The servicemen with the guns were somewhat away from us, on a gradually sloping hill. Then there was "Taps." If you can go to a military funeral without crying, you will only make it until "Taps." The trumpet, played by a serviceman on another hill, was so haunting and quiet and alone. It is the military equivalent of bagpipes at an Irish funeral. It's impossible to have a dry eye.

Then came two parts I will never forget. The folding of the flag, during which six Honor Guard officers meticulously, with every move practiced to a science, folded the flag that had draped John's casket, into a perfect triangle. I cannot explain how regimented and controlled their movements were as they folded the flag with the utmost care. A neighbor sent me an e-mail the other day containing the meaning behind the 13 traditional folds made in the American flag. I think it is important for us to know that every fold can have deep meaning. I urge you to take a moment to look at this link to help you understand that, though there are no "official" flag-folding symbols, everything done at this kind of military funeral has meaning behind it.

Then, one of the Honor Guard took the flag, got down on one knee in front of John's widow, and presented it to her. He removed his pristine white glove and shook her hand, and told her how it represents the country's thanks for his service. Another Honor Guard member approached her, got down on one knee and presented her with a pouch containing the spent shells from the gun salute. He removed his white glove and shook her hand. Then came the last Honor Guard member, who got down on his knee, removed his glove, and took her hand while he thanked her for her service to our country, by being a military wife and raising children alone for a while (John didn't see his daughter, Tina, until she was six months old) and all the other sacrifices a military wife makes.

What struck me most about these three young men--beautiful in their military dress uniforms, with rows of medals across their chests--was their eyes. I was sitting directly behind John's widow, so I saw how each man looked into her eyes as he spoke to her. Sincerity and reverence were just glowing from their eyes as they spoke to her, and I truly believed that it was an honor for them to be participating in the interment of the remains of a WWII Marine Captain. Sadly, we are losing our WWII heroes at a very fast pace now. The "greatest generation" is dwindling.

I came away from the service with this thought: Sometimes it seems, especially as a conservative blogger and columnist, that the country is extremely divided, and it is in danger of being lost. While those things still exist and are absolutely true, being at the service made me also believe we are still a great country, and there is still respect, honor and sacrifice going on for her sake. We are still steeped in tradition, ritual and reverence in honor of those who fought for liberty.

My daughter commented that it was awe inspiring to see all the people who were lost fighting for our liberty. I told her this: They were not lost. Their lives were given. For the most part, these fighting men and women give their lives--they don't lose them--for freedom. It is a gift they have given to our country, the ultimate sacrifice.

And they are not lost today. We carry these individuals in our hearts and our memories, and they will live on forever; in John's case, as a member of America's greatest generation. He will never be forgotten.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dayton Vetoes Voter I.D. Bill

Okay, here we go. I'm about to embark on a blog post about a subject nearly every conservative Minnesota blogger has undertaken. Mark Dayton has vetoed the bill that was delivered to his desk (located in a closet), commonly known as the Voter ID Bill.

This bill would have required Minnesota voters to show identification at the polls before voting. Republicans wanted this because of the massive voter fraud alleged in the Coleman/Franken race (including felonious and dead voters) and in the election that put Dayton himself in the governor's closet.

The dems repeat the example that only a "handful of convicted felons were caught voting illegally." That handful was in the low hundreds--about enough to turn around an election such as Coleman/Franken. They also state the Voter ID law wouldn't identify felons because their ID doesn't show their status as a felon or non felon. But they are missing the point. It would catch the huge amounts of other fraudulent acts perpetrated at Minnesota polls during every election due to our ridiculous, 19th-century "vouching" system, in which a "neighbor" can "vouch" for up to 15 people, and the polls have to let them vote based on that reliable information.

Dayton has laughably given an executive order to appoint a task force to look into voter fraud in Minnesota. The fraud the dems have repeatedly said doesn't exist. Does any thinking person believe this task force is going to uncover anything?

I'm not surprised by this at all. Well, just a little bit. This veto is probably the first time I've seen a democrat decline to bite the hand that feeds him, as they advocate Americans do all the time by being anti capitalist and regulating and taxing businesses to the point where they leave the state/country. But I digress.

Thank God the Republicans have in their back pocket a Constitutional amendment to require voter ID, which would not require Dayton's approval. Go with that, Republicans. Please.

There isn't much more to say about Dayton's veto except that he may as well wear a T-shirt that reads, "I Heart Voter Fraud."

I'm too disgusted to write more about this predictable move by an illegally elected governor.

I think I need a Kombucha.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Reality Show About Young Veterans Using Their Skills in the Private Sector

This is worth supporting, I think, because it's important for Americans to see what life can be like for young vets coming home from our current wars, and to see them using what they learned in our military to protect and serve individuals in the homeland.

This is a sample video of the reality show. Reality TV gets a lot of flack, but if we support more quality programming, that's what we'll get. (And for the love of God, if you are a fan of The Jersey Shore, just stop. Stop it. Now. You are a drain on America's collective IQ.)

Support our young vets and support reality TV that uplifts, not downgrades, the United States of America.

Here's the show's description, ripped from YouTube:

Premise: "Dog the Bounty Hunter" meets "Jersey Shore," "Miami Ink" and "Real World." The lives of Blue Diamond's "A" team (comprised of former combat Marines and Special Operations veterans, and a former Navy Seaman, political and business minded recent college grads, and even a few single parents) are showcased in their professional lives starting and running a premier executive protection company, Blue Diamond Strategies, along with a glimpse into their personal lives. See these characters during their journey starting a business, seeking celebrities and other high-profile clients from the entertainment, political and business world, training (gun range, gym, board meetings, etc.,), their development as a team, trying to become the best in the industry, and going out on their off time because these characters work hard and play harder. Since many of Blue Diamonds principal players are emigrating from outside Minnesota, we will get a group house for a handful of the guys to showcase the camaraderie, drama and everyday lives of some of America's highest trained warriors... It's the Real World—only with a bunch of guns, black SUV's and testosterone... Blue Diamond already has the ability to work outside Minnesota in California, and Baja California, so the action is fresh and fast paced.

Background: While serving in Iraq in the Marine Corps, David thought of taking what he did in Iraq (Personal Security Detail) and doing the same in back stateside. While thinking about how he would run the business, he decided on the name Blue Diamond Strategies. The concept was simple, instead of having run of the mill old bodyguards in a 1 man security detail, why not put a highly trained team detail (2-4 agents +) who have millions of dollars of US Military training, coupled with needy clients, to provide them high end, elite team security. Through David's three tours of duty he become close friends—brothers, with his fellow Marines and decided to bring these same friends who had fought side by side with David in the Battles of Fallujah and Ramadi-- as well as gun fights in Al Asad, Hit and Baghdad..

Monday, May 16, 2011

Voting Rights Issue Minnesotans Should Act on NOW

I found a very important article from Sheila Kihne at The Activist Next Door. Her article is titled, '"Look that Way!" While the Republicans pass National Popular Vote.'

It concerns the bill HF495, which was passed in committee but has yet to reach the House floor. It is considered likely to pass. The bill will give all of Minnesota's electoral votes in presidential elections to the candidate who got the most popular votes nationwide.

I believe this bill seeks to take away the power of Minnesotan's votes by giving them to whomever the rest of the country voted for, no matter how Minnesotan's really voted. It's a sneaky way to circumvent the true intent of the electoral college.

Anyway, Sheila writes it much more thoroughly on her blog, so visit the article, and contact your legislators immediately to tell them to vote against this bill. The legislative session is about to end, so don't wait!

Raising the Debt Ceiling: It Just Makes Sense...

Lazy blog. Fun video.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Obama shows true colors--turns his back on 9/11 family member

note: I had originally posted most of this on facebook, but I felt it was important enough for a blog post.

I have been supporting Obama throughout the entire bin Laden incident, but this made me sick. I just can't believe he did this. He can't intelligently defend his own actions to a 9/11 family member? He is the President of the United States. He should be able to speak "off the cuff" to a 9/11 family member who is questioning his administration's policies. If anyone has the right to question his policies about this, it's someone who lost a loved one on 9/11.

I am really saddened by this. I thought we would be able to uplift this man for once, but it was apparently very fleeting. I'm so sad for those of us who disagree with our president about many things but want so badly to agree with him about the issues surrounding the historic capture of bin Laden. I would bet everything I own that President Bush wouldn't have turned his back on this woman:

Debra Burlingame, the sister of Charles "Chic" Burlingame (pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon) met with President Obama today, along with other families who were victims of 9/11. Burlingame said she confronted Obama about Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuting the men who interrogated KSM, which may have produced intelligence leading us to bin Laden.

Burlingame describes the encounter with Obama: "As a former attorney I know you can't tell the Attorney General what to do, he said, 'No, I can't.' But I said 'we -- that shouldn't stop you from giving your opinion. We wouldn't be here today if they hadn't done their jobs. Can't you at least give them your opinion.' And he said 'no I won't,' and he turned around and walked away."

I had hoped to put my faith in our Commander-In-Chief, even if I don't agree with him on most things, but it's not to be. Why am I surprised? I shouldn't be.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Joy Behar proposes U.S. "pay off" terrorists for information

On Tuesday's episode of The View, Joy Behar, who rivals Rosie O'Donnell for liberal idiocy, proposed that instead of using enhanced interrogation techniques to get information out of terrorists, the United States should, "offer them a six million dollar book deal, or just pay them off."

That's right. Pay terrorists for information. What an idea! I'm sure we'd get extremely accurate and helpful information out of them that way. And, we'd be killing two birds with one stone by getting our "information," while simultaneously funding the very terrorist organizations who have put a target on the back of every American man, woman and child anywhere in the world. It takes a great mind to think up ideas like this.

Here's the clip:

At minute 1:14 in the video is where she spouts her innovative idea. The entire discussion is worth watching, because Elizabeth Hasselback has some good points and Sherri Shephard does as well.

But their common-sense arguments, to me, were overshadowed by Behar's comments that revealed her stupidity so well that she might as well go around with a blinking neon sign over her her head that says, "I'm stupid."

I know she's a comedian, but the way she delivered this, I don't think she was joking. Watch and tell me what you think.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Father of 9/11 Victim reacts to Bin Laden's death

"They say they buried this monster at sea. They could have buried him in the tears of the people that were shed over these ten years. There would have been enough--believe me. - Earnest Strada, Father of 9/11 Victim

If you watch nothing else about the death of Usama Bin Laden, please watch this. It's an interview with the father of a 9/11 victim. He speaks so eloquently about how this feels to him, the families, and to our nation. Please watch the whole thing. I was sobbing by the end--remembering.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Obama finally decides to silence Trump and "birther" movement

I thought the issues of Obama's birth certificate and proof of citizenship were gasping for their last breath. So I was really shocked--mouth-hanging-open shocked--when Donald Trump brought up the issue on The View.

So many on the left have accused the "birthers" (a group to which I have never belonged) of using the issue of Obama's birth certificate as a way to distract from the "real" issues. You hear that accusation against the right quite often from the left, by the way. Never mind their constant obsessive need to attack Sarah Palin, which has ceased to be a "real" issue because Palin is irrelevant to any important political issue in today's world. (What does Palin have to do with rising gas prices, three wars in the Middle East, etc.?)

I do really wish, though, that Obama had released his "real" birth certificate years ago (he even said today he thinks the question of his place of birth has been going on for more than two years). Why didn't he just stop it in it's tracks by releasing the original certificate? Could it be people are accusing the wrong people of trying to keep the dialog on trivial things like this instead of really important issues?

Birthers, who were considered by most to be laughable, obsessive conspiracy theorists, were clamoring for the long form of the birth certificate (short forms of birth certificates are a bit silly to me; my husband's is filled with false information because he's adopted, which is common). It's true Trump nearly resurrected the whole issue with dozens of interviews on the subject, but the question was always there, hanging, considered by birthers to be insufficiently answered.

The indisputable truth is that the power to shut up the birthers was always in Obama's hands. Now his detractors can't dispute his birth certificate because it's the original long form (unless they go down the ridiculous conspiratorial road of calling it a forgery).

One note to remember: This whole issue was started by Hillary Clinton, who asked for his birth certificate and questioned his place of birth when they were running against each other for the Democratic endorsement. He chose not to produce it then; so this begs the question, "Why now?"

I think Obama liked having the focus be on something so trivial and stupid as to distract from the real issues. Why else would he wait until now to produce the document that could have ended more than two years of din in America? He had to produce it now to shut Trump's mouth and stop the new bandwagon he was driving through the whole of America, on which loads of people were beginning to jump. He's trying to be re-elected. He's in campaign mode again, and he wants the focus to be on, well, how great he is, which he usually tries to illustrate by talking about how awful Republicans are.

The fact remains that the public was manipulated by Obama on this issue and the birthers played right into his hand. Nevertheless, I do believe it's time to move on (which I thought we had until Trump opened his big mouth), and hopefully see MUCH less of Donald Trump.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "Manufacturing Gap"

I know I've been absent for quite a while, and I'm truly sorry about that. But tonight I stumbled across something that I just had to comment on.

I had been watching a DVR episode of American Idol when, after it ended and I was busy doing dishes, a too-loud, smoothly southern voice began to emanate from my T.V. It was the voice of Erskine Bowles, Former Co-Chairman (D) of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and the former president of the University of North Carolina. He had a lot to say.

He was talking about the Democrats' proposed budget. He mentioned he thought America shouldn't be spending as much as it is on its military/national defense budget, and that we must spend more on education and research because, after all, we live in an intellectually driven global economy. Of course, I'm paraphrasing, since I had to pull my hands out of soapy water, take a few notes, and run up to my office to write this.

I beg to differ from Mr. Bowles on his take on the global economy. He stated that it's driven by intellect, based on education and research. I believe our global economy is soundly based on one thing: manufacturing.

We have outsourced too many of our manufacturing plants. For that matter, on a personal note, we have outsourced far too much of our I.T. resources as well (e.g. Dell took back it's "help desk" from India after a few years of abysmal reviews from customers who told people not to buy from Dell because of the extremely poor customer support).

Our global economy still runs on "who makes the most stuff." If we outsource "making stuff" to China, Japan, India, etc., and rarely manufacture goods in America, we are sending our economic superiority to other countries and taking an inferior role in the global economy. That's exactly what we have done.

We don't make much of anything anymore. And it is a conundrum. It's much, much cheaper to manufacture goods in other countries because those countries don't have to worry about pesky things like human rights, anti-child labor laws, and Osha regulations. But when nearly everything we buy is made in another country, it takes money out of the pockets of ordinary Americans.

Americans have been spoon fed the idea that we are inferior to other countries because their children spend more time in school than ours, or they study more difficult subjects at earlier ages. Don't get me wrong; I strongly believe in a rigorous academic curriculum for American students. But I believe the bottomless bowl of American educational and intellectual inferiority is fed to us by the teacher's unions and their supporters to garner more of our tax money for their pockets.

The education "gap" that may or may not exist between our country and others (one can argue that our summer vacations and weekends off give American children the time and opportunity for creativity and ingenuity that other countries lack) is not the problem with our economy. It's the "Manufacturing Gap."

How to solve this is the subject of a much longer post and one that wasn't written during the five minutes my husband was waiting for me to finish so we could watch "Dexter." But I had to say something in the face of this seemingly powerful man spouting the rhetoric that education is what drives the world economy.

Just my two cents.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Two Cents on the Eden Prairie Redistricting Controversy

I don't have much time to write today, so I'm sorry about not giving a back story to those of my readers who know nothing about this. But I felt the need to comment.

I must first say that I'm relieved not to have any children in the Eden Prairie school system. Secondly, I don't understand why this has gotten so out of hand. Isn't it possible that parents simply want their children to go to the schools closest to their homes? I live very close to one of the elementary schools, and if the district were to create a bubble over my home and tell me that I must bus my child across town for school, I'd be upset.

Now that the Kindergarten Center is gone, five-year-olds are being bussed to these elementary schools. I'd be livid if my little one was not in my neighborhood school. Can't it just be that simple? Why would one automatically be a racist for being against this plan?

There's plenty of evidence that bussing doesn't produce the desired academic results, thus making parents' and students' lives more logistically complicated unnecessarily. Usually, children are bussed out of lower economic areas because the schools there are sub-par and the thought is they could get a better education in a better school in a better neighborhood. So by advocating this plan, is the school board saying some of Eden Prairie's elementary schools are sub-par and others are better? I thought they were striving for excellence across the board. I had no idea they were depriving Eden Prairie's poor by sending them to "bad" neighborhood schools.

This makes no sense, and the escalating language seems as unnecessary as the redistricting plan itself.