Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The one label which does apply to me is "Voter". George Carlin used to say that he didn't vote, therefore he couldn't take the blame for the outcome. I always took the stance that if you don't vote, you can't complain about the outcome. (And as you know, Hannabelle has a talent for complaining.) I can take credit for the Clinton years. The last eight years are other people's fault. I voted, but lost. Actually, with Bush we all lost.
So yes, I am a Voter. But, I have to admit that I haven't done my job well in the past. I've never had a problem making up my mind about candidates running for top offices. I've paid attention. I know who I want for my president. But, after you get done with the meat and potatoEs, there is a long list of names at the end of the ballot. Names you never heard of. People running for justices and judges. Unknowns running for jobs at the bottom of the food chain. And those Unopposed guys. This is where I've failed. I always checked the box for the single, unopposed candidates. But that was B.N.
This election, I voted early. With the Internet, I researched the candidates and chose my judges wisely. (I might end up in front of them!) Those unopposed? I left the ballot blank. Those nebulous candidates I couldn't find information about? I left the ballot blank. If they wanted my vote, they should have provided me with a reason. For school board I did NOT vote for the son of the councilman who thought that his OPINION that 94 sex offenders in MY neighborhood shouldn't bother me because it didn't bother him OVERRULED my opinion that yes, they bother me. I guess that's why he changed the ordinances to remove any obstacles - i.e. me. The pine nut doesn't fall far from the tree...
Because of what happened to me - being denied a vote in a situation which would personally most affect my life, having my own Constitutional rights blown right out of the book of city ordinances, and being unable to have a say in my own fate - I've changed. I am now a Realist. I am acutely aware of the importance of elections. I'm sick of greedy corporatists who put their own interests before those of the American people. I want sane, rational, smart, qualified people to run the country. Don't you? And if you are lucky enough to have voting privilege, you would be dumb not to vote. Right?
Not so fast. Perhaps you shouldn't vote. For starters, since this election is the first one in the New Age of After Nexus - (N.A. of A.N.), I really paid attention. I mean REALLY paid attention. I got informed. I sifted through the propaganda and hoopla. After diligently educating myself, the choice was ever so clear - Barack Obama and Joe Biden. No question. Al Franken for U.S. Senate. Jim Oberstar for U.S. Representative. Gail Kulick-Jackson for State Representative. Easy decisions. I didn't choose to vote for them because they all happen to be Democrats. They are just the best choice. Period.
Some of my neighbors (yes, the same ones on whose behalf I tried so hard to fight Nexus and the Onamia council) are loyal, die-hard Republicans. Remember, I told you about the Sondra Erickson and McCain/Palin signs in their yards. One of these neighbors told me that he didn't read the newspaper, not even the local Mille Lacs Messenger. He didn't even read the Mille Lacs News or the Bradbury Buzzz during the Nexus Invasion! Wow! Talk about head in the sand. He also disclosed that he doesn't follow the television news - like CNN or MSNBC, or even (gag) Fox. His family likes to watch "American Idol", he said. Naturally, being uninformed, he would choose to vote for Palin/McCain.
(Many similarly ignorant supporters - like my neighbor - voted for George Bush TWICE!!!) But Sondra Erickson? She is partly responsible for sticking the sex offenders next to day care, elderly widows, children and vulnerable adults! I can see not biting the hand that feeds you. But she didn't lift a finger to "feed" us. Just excuses and denials of culpability. Why vote for a politician who supported the removal of your own Constitutional rights? There's that Nexusville "Epidemic of Stupid" again.
Now, I'm not saying that if you don't agree with my politics that you shouldn't vote. But if you are uninformed, stop everything you're doing and get informed now! Before its too late. Pay attention. It IS important. Don't just go with the flow and vote for McCain/Palin because you are a joiner, a social-climber, a fitter-inner, a Joe-Six-Pack or Joe-The-Plumber wannabe, like Sarah Palin's new outfit, or are a loyal member of the Bamboozlement Party. Don't believe the negative emails and robo-calls. Check it out. Educate yourself. Chances are that if you can dig through all of the crap being flung at you, you'll discover that what's "trickling down" on you isn't wealth.... To be blunt, we've all been pissed on for the past 8 years.
And do you really want somebody like YOURSELF determining the fate of the country? I don't. Uh... Foot in mouth.... I mean, I don't want the average person in high office. I want the best and the brightest, the one who I might not want to have a beer or shoot moose with. I want someone so competent that I might not HAVE to pay so much attention and can relax and enjoy my life, knowing that the country is in good hands. I want the best choice. And the best choice this election is clear.
Vote smart, or don't vote at all. Pay attention. It's too important not to.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
There was a distinct point when I, too, made a decision to "go negative". I created this blog solely for this purpose. It was part of an overall strategy that should have worked - but didn't.
Why did I choose to go negative? Well... my "campaign" wasn't about winning votes and making friends. My job was to try to make the prospect of moving 94 sex offenders into my neighborhood as unpleasant as possible - to suggest that just about any place else would be preferable to building next to that nasty Hannabelle. That's right. Hannabelle was nothing more than a big BEWARE OF DOG sign. At least, that's what she was at first.
Before Hannabelle arrived on the scene, I'd spent months working within the system, i.e. the Bradbury township board, the Onamia city council, the Mille Lacs county board of commissioners, the county assessor, the state senator and representative from my district, the attorney general, the state auditor - all the way up to the governor's office. (I even hired a lawyer. KACHING!) I took a very positive approach, especially - contrary to accusations - with the sellers of the 38.81 acres. I even offered to buy the land myself to keep Nexus away. What I discovered is - the system is faulty. It doesn't honor individual rights. And it also doesn't want to be bothered with our small problems... And nobody cares.
Cities are given power without consequences. They basically have immunity. The theory is that the council has it's own checks and balances built into the system. That might work, assuming the council is honest and doing the work of the people for the people. If you have a bad city council, watch out! Those five men can do anything they want without any restraints, restrictions, without any confines. Open meeting violations? No problem! Conflict of interest? No sweat! Majority rules? Hah! Which majority? They can ignore petitions and protests and invade a neighboring township at their whim. How about the LAW? Shucks. Not a problem. They can change laws any old time - even laws which prohibit sex offenders in a residential area. They can grant conditional use permits for corporations while removing the rights of citizens. With tax payer money, they can hire a slick, unethical city attorney to manipulate the law to suit their personal agenda. City governments are omnipotent. So screw you, USA.
So what's a girl to do? How do you fight against all that power? We're talking about the power that the guy who runs the grocery store has been given to determine YOUR fate, YOUR life, YOUR property values.... (sigh). It's like having FIVE Sarah Palins making bad decisions about your life which will affect you FOREVER and you have absolutely no control over. Its a Done Deal, there's nothing you can do about it. Your rights? HAH! You don't have any rights. At least I can vote against Palin. I have no right to vote in Onamia. And what made things even worse was that the people of Mille Lacs county were buying the propaganda spewed by the self-serving government. The citizenry, even the local newspaper, was totally bamboozled.
So I went negative. It was easy. There was a lot to be negative about.
A whole lot of debunking. The Mille Lacs Academy is not an academy. They are not "poor troubled boys". They are convicted sex offenders. Nexus is not a local, small business in our community. It is a multi-million dollar private corporation with its fancy corporate headquarters in Golden Valley. It doesn't serve our community, but brings unwanted sex offenders in from other counties to live among us, go to school with Onamia kids. Nexus lied about safety risk statistics. We were told that they don't escape and that they are not dangerous. (That isn't true.) Nexus is a private corporation, but is funded through our tax dollars. Jobs? Over 60% of employees live outside of Mille Lacs County. Where do they shop? Outside of Mille Lacs County.... Although the former CEO said he spent some of his $267,015 (2005) annual salary at the Cedarwood restaurant in town, (in between trips to Palm Springs and Italy?), in 18 months of hardcore research, we couldn't uncover any benefits to the community that outweighed the detriments.
Tax abatement for them. Higher property taxes for us. You don't need to worry about Fanny and Freddy.... We have Larry and Frank! And the people bought it all - hook, line, and sinker. And I should emphasize - the people PAID for it all.
And so did I. I paid dearly for trying to keep the sex offenders from moving in - next to my 85 year old mother. Former Nexus CEO Jim D'Angelo and Nexus Chairman of the Board Peter Freeman made a decision to "go negative". Apparently it wasn't enough to force themselves upon Hannabelle and her family. It wasn't enough to ruin the neighborhood. They had to punish me AFTER THE FACT. Put a muzzle on that barking, snarling dog... So they sued me for defamation. Yes. I called D'Angelo "Poopsie". Yes. I questioned their ethics and honesty. I still do. I have documents to back my case.
You know, I realize one of my problems with going negative was that people thought I was the liar when I told the Truth. I've seen this in reverse with the Palin/McCain campaign. Some people believe they're truth-tellers when they tell lies. All that nonsense about Barack Obama - ooooh he's a Muslim! - ooooh he's palling around with terrorists! - oooh he's teaching sex education to kindergartners! - oooh he'll raise your taxes! - oooh he's a socialist! - oooh oooh oooh..... All debunked, yet the people cling to believing the lies Palin and McCain have been spreading. Just like they cling to the lies of Nexus. Maybe what they really believe is - oooh he's black. And that IS, of course, well... a half-truth. And maybe they really want to believe that Nexus is good for the community. Maybe they just want to believe in SOMETHING. Sometimes the Truth hurts. Like the Truth about Palin and McCain would hurt.
Here's the funny part about my going negative. Although that was indeed my job - while trying to procure favorable government action through public participation - it was up to the other neighbors to lead a POSITIVE campaign, to gain public support, to spread the word, to.... oh well. What's the point. They didn't do their job. Period.
Two of the abutters to the new Nexus sex offender treatment facility have McCain/Palin signs in their yards - along with their Sondra Erickson signs. Sondra was instrumental in keeping Nexus in Onamia. Can you believe it? They would vote for the Republicans - those who, by direct or indirect means put 94 sex offenders literally next door to them and made them cry! They should have included signs which said: YES! WE ARE BRADBURY IDIOTS AFTER ALL!
But there I go. I sound negative. Personal attacks... (sigh). It's so easy.
In the end, going negative didn't work for me. You'd think it wouldn't work for Palin and McCain either. But then, Bradbury Idiots are everywhere.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
"As to the question of “Why are my Mille Lacs County taxes so high in the first place?” Stotz had another nugget of information to share.“We don’t have any big tax paying businesses in the county,” she said. Because of this lack the taxes get dispersed to the property owners instead of big business."
Notice that Pat Stotz, the County Assessor didn't say that we don't have any big businesses in the county, she said we don't have any big "tax paying" businesses in the county.... That's because most of the businesses in the area don't have to pay taxes. They are on TIF programs or have tax abatement. For example, NEXUS was given 7 years of free tax abatement by the Mille Lacs County board of commissioners AND 15 years by the Onamia city council. That's hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax revenue that could have been used to help out our community and ease the burden of high property taxes placed on average citizens. You can see that these "incentive" plans don't work by looking at what happened at Izaty's. After years and years of tax abatement, the resort went bankrupt anyway.
Free taxes for big business does not work! This is just a little idea, but perhaps if they had to budget to pay taxes, they would have been a bit more careful, a little bit more responsible with their money. Seems to me that these businesses get so many special favors that they act like 10 year old children set loose on the carnival midway with a roll of free tickets, rushing mindlessly to beat the line, to jump on every ride, giggling with their chums right up until the time the cotton candy, soda pop, and one too many spins on the Scrambler make them puke all over themselves. (And on us...)
Milton and his merry men handed over the maximum tax abatement to NEXUS, a private multi-million dollar corporation with an annual budget of around $38 million dollars. (That's $38 million dollars spending money each year!) So the rich corporation doesn't have to pay taxes. Who does? Us. We do. The county commissioners you will soon be voting for (or hopefully against) were just as foolish with our tax dollars, giving NEXUS 7 free years. Meanwhile, people like us - older folks on small fixed incomes saw a huge surge in our taxes. Somehow, it doesn't seem quite fair. And by the way, the surge isn't working....
What REALLY irks me, and should irk you as well, is that NEXUS got it's $38 million dollar annual budget primarily through our tax dollars in the first place. (One wonders, with the current crash of Wall Street, how NEXUS investments are doing...) It's the same kind of crap going on throughout our country which has caused our economy to fail. Anyway, for months I've been trying to light a fire, to illuminate the dark side of this NEXUS issue - so you could SEE what they don't want you to see. And to be honest, (and I always am), some of you haven't been too Minnesota Nice to me. Some of your personal attacks (including threats) on Hannabelle make Sarah Barracuda seem like Cleo the Goldfish in comparison. Yes, I wanted to protect our rights (including yours!). True, I didn't want sex offenders in MY backyard. But I also wanted my fellow citizens to stand up against the tyranny of our local government - the STUPIDITY of our local government - in order to make Onamia a better place to live. (You didn't. Some of you still have Sondra Erickson signs on your yards! And, of course, I now understand why the term "Bradbury Idiots" certainly does apply to some of my neighbors...)
Now, (in I told you so mode), not only can you see it, you will also feel the effects - in your checkbook, but thanks to George Bush, you're feeling it on a much larger scale. You're feeling it in your savings account, in your gas tanks, at the grocery store (Sorry Bill. We shop at Cashwise in St. Cloud. Better selection, NICER PEOPLE, better prices... worth the trip!) This system - Onamianomics - DOESN'T work, folks. Wealth doesn't "trickle down" to ordinary people like you and me. The only thing that trickles down is the BS that they tell us to keep us subdued. To keep us distracted... Meanwhile, rich retiring CEOs walk away with gigantic "Golden Parachutes" and are set for life while we struggle. We know why we need money - to fill the propane tank for a cold Minnesnowda winter what's a comin'. To pay our bills. What do they need so much money for? Sometimes they sue ordinary people who have the nerve to call them "Poopsie." What a way to get your jollies... Some sport, huh. (I guess I hurt his feelings by rejecting him. It's true. I do not want this kind of person in my life. But that's another discussion for another day... i.e. Psycho CEO Day)
Sondra Erickson supported NEXUS but doesn't like to talk about how keeping NEXUS from leaving the community has only helped a few while hurting everyone else. Other irresponsible "geniuses": Jack Edmonds, Phil Peterson, and Frank Courteau. All are running for re-election. In the city, Onamians can vote against Jerome Kryzer, and make sure that mayor Larry Milton does NOT retain power. Former councilman Mark Loch's position is open this election. I can't vote in Onamia, but some of you can. I'm hopeful that the increasing number of Kulick-Jackson lawn signs are an indication that many people in Mille Lacs County have indeed seen the light, and realize that its time for a change.
Change begins at home, and continues up the ladder. Its time to say "Thanks, but no thanks" to Norm Coleman and John McCain. They are truly "bridges to nowhere."
Yes indeedy I urge you to vote for Gail Kulick-Jackson for state representative, Al Franken for US senate, and of course, vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden (that's a no-brainer for people with brains). Show the world that YES WE CAN because YES WE CARE!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Now, I realize that some of you will be offended by this video... (judging from some of the nasty anonymous comments I receive, many of my readers are Republicans...) But here's the deal, folks. John McCain isn't the "hero" he has been hailed simply because he got shot down and captured in Viet Nam. That's just plain ridiculous. Get over it. And certainly, being a POW doesn't qualify him to be president. He keeps talking about the years he's been fighting greed and corruption in the Senate... Well, how's he been doing so far? He's failed. And he thinks we're too stupid to notice. (Unfortunately, too many are...) Check him out. Go beyond the bullshit. He's not the solution. He's part of the problem. He's no hero. He's no maverick. He's no president.