Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Let’s run government like a business

For many decades, there have government critics who think government would be better if it were run like a business.  Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.

If government were run like a business, then the president (or governor) would be approved every year by the Senate.  This approval would be almost automatic every three years. The President would hold his position until he retires, quits, or is fired by the Senate.  If  the Senate fires him, there would be few if any hearings

The President would appoint new members to the board as previous members quit or die.

Every year, the voters would get to approve a third of the current members of the board.   They would have two choices: for or abstain.

Rather than have a variety of public services available to all citizens, there would be fees for every service.

You want to get mail, you would have to pay an annual fee or by piece each day.

You want to drive somewhere, you would have to pay an annual fee to each jurisdiction you drive in or pay a toll each time you drive in a certain jurisdiction.

You want to have a quick response if you have a medical emergency, a fire, or a robbery, you would have to pay an annual fee to each entity or pay before you get the help.

And on and on it goes to where we might have to put coins in our refrigerator to open it.

None of us really likes to pay taxes, but without taxes our lives would be chaos.  Supposedly, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “I like taxes, they buy me civilization.”  And he was a Republican!!

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Quote of the day: Populists can't look forward

“Populissts can’t talk about the future, only the past”
- Timothy Snyder
Heard on

Sorry, I can't make the link work properly.

He speaks in English.  Interviewer's comments are in Swedish.

Some of his books are:
On tyranny : twenty lessons from the twentieth century 
The road to unfreedom : Russia, Europe, America.  This book was the subject of his interview (he spoke English).
Bloodlands : Europe between Hitler and Stalin

These are available in the Duluth Public Library.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Letter to Rep. Pete Stauber - MN-8

What would Republicans like Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and even Ronald Reagan think of Donald Trump and how he has taken over the Republican Party?  I can just hear Ronald Reagan saying, “There you go again.”

I would think they would be appalled.  Instead of Res Publica (public things) he has turned the party into Rex Donald.  It’s all about him, the public be damned.

I was a Republican precinct finance chair when Reagan was nominated, I voted for John Anderson.  I kept my party position next year (coming in third again in money collected).  But I haven’t voted for a Republican since except Arne Carlson twice.

I really don’t care to vote for Democrats, but the current Republican Party doesn’t give me much choice.  Staying away is not an option.

Friday, March 29, 2019

How to tell “liberal” from a “conservative”

A conservative now seems to be anyone who calls anyone who disagrees with him or her a “liberal”.

How to tell who is a “liberal”?  I don’t know.  There are so ,many varieties.

In the current political climate. Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower would be considered “liberals”.  Probably even Mr. Republican, Robert Taft!!

It also seems that the “conservatives” are being very “liberal” with their interpretation of the Constitution: corporations are people and the Second Amendment means the people have no right to regulate a militia of one person.  I would imagine that the conservatives that wrote these documents would be appalled at these interpretations.

Trump: Instincts or impulses?

Newspaper writers often refer to Trump’s instincts; but should they refer (as some do) to his impulses?

An instinct would be to draw your hand from a hot stove.  To many it seems that he has the impulses to put his hand on hot stoves.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Hello to my Duluth readers.

Every so often somebody in a store or coffee shop will recognize my face and ask if if i am still writing.

And sometimes a person will ask me if I’m still writing for the Duluth Reader.  I answer this question with “Are you still not reading the Reader?”

I gave up on writing for the Reader when the editor/publisher bumped me too many times.  I had started writing again when he asked me at a public event to write again.  I don’t remember how long it was before he didn’t publish my articles again.  After he published none of my articles for four issues, I gave up writing for him at all.

I also have given up on writing letters to the Duluth News Tribune.  Chuck Frederik often rewrites any he publishes, sometime changing the meaning of what I wrote.

I also have given up writing letters to the Star Tribune.  Changing the meaning has happened with the Strib also, but not very often.

In the case of both papers, it is a gamble if any letter will be published, and so why should I bother.

I do get most of my sidebar comments to New York Times articles published.

I get all of my sidebar comments to the Washington Post because they have “instant gratification”: only the most egregious comments are pulled.

Both of these national papers allow comments to comments.  One does put oneself out there to other writers who take a complete different views.

Also, I should note that I am not “popular”.  I generally get less than ten likes, compared to 20 to 50 likes or even more.

Of course, I should also admit that I get almost no comments to articles I write here by anybody who knows me.  Most of my readership is trolls from Russia or Italy (Russian trolls masquerading as Italians).

So, if you know me and like anything I write here, please tell me the next time you see me.  Better yet, tell a friend.

Even if you don’t tell me that you read anything I write, I will see a blip in readership from the U.S. and a few other countries.

And of course, a big thank you to anyone who reads this blog regularly.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

My inattentiveness or corporate inefficiency?

A message to Park State Bank in Duluth MN

Park State asks for resetting passwords too frequently.  I don’t remember ever having to do it with Pioneer National Bank (which was bought by Park State).

I messed up on making one of these required updates this week and was locked out of my account.  I went to the Mt. Royal branch and Therese helped me get my iPhone and iPad accessing  my account.

When I returned home, I successfully accessed my account.  However, I could not access my account with a Mac Book Pro (10.9.5) or a MacBook Air (10.14), both of which I have been using for some time to access my account.

I called the Lincoln Park office and was reminded that my password was the last four digits of my Social Security number.

I made the update on all four devices, but I still cannot access my accounts with the laptops.  I obviously can access my account my iPad.

Has Jack Henry made some errors in its latest update to Park State Bank?  If so, it is  ironic!  I  moved my account several years ago from Republic Bank to Pioneer National Bank because Jack Henry did not work properly with my Consumer Cellular phone.  In fact, Jack Henry did not even list Consumer Cellular in its list of providers.  Consumer Cellular has full page ads in the AARP magazine!  That phone worked fine with Pioneer’s provider.

P.S. the characters on this page are very tiny and I found no way to enlarge them.   4pt is very hard on senior eyes!

End of edited message to Park Bank.  I corrected all my typos that I didn’t spot because of the tiny print.  I also found that Park Bank doesn’t want recognize my iPad as it did yesterday.

So, we’ll have to go to the main office sometime in the coming week to walk through this will all of our devices.