Tag Archives: inquiry

MPR News Reports: “One Rough Month in No Way Proves or Disproves Climate Science”

FROGTOWN, USA–Minnesota received a record amount of snowfall last month, that’s a fact. Let’s look at a direct quote from an MPR article discussing climate change related to that fact:

Yes, it’s been cold. And snowy. But remember: One rough month in no way proves or disproves climate science.

Now, think about that quote in relation to the headline of the article wherein that quote is found, referencing how Minnesota snowfall records “might” be aided by climate change.

Those details considered, how might our snowfall records be aided by climate change, as the headline suggests, when this one record snowfall event in no way proves or disproves climate science, as the article suggests?

Source: MPR article

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TS_

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Thoughts on – Eyes Wide Shut

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Eyes Wide Shut – Film Poster

What line of dialogue epitomizes the film?

“She may not even be coming back… (of Domino – the prostitute)” Dr. Harford’s sarcastic response to Domino’s flat-mate before she divulges him with the information that Domino is HIV positive, epitomizes Eyes Wide Shut because it shows the danger of the situation.  Plus, fuck, he really dodged a bullet.

Also, the end line, “Fuck…” as stated by Alice to Bill, about what they need to do as soon as possible.

What shot epitomizes the film?

The shots with the weird Christmas tree epitomize Eyes Wide Shut—because it seems as though the director is trying to evoke the emotionality of the season.

Also the shots where people are masked at the secret party, because Jesus, the low-light shots are done so well.

What did you like about the film?

I like the jealousy of which the dialogue evokes; Alice is uber crazy.  Moreover, I really enjoy the interesting factoid tidbits on this film’s Wiki-page, it’s like Today I Learned about Eyes Wide Shut (and I love(d) it).

The film has been growing on me.   That soundtrack tho…  dun dun dun dun dun.

What did you dislike about the film?

I dislike the way the film focuses on the bourgeoisie of society, it’s as though the lower class are only there for the pleasure of the rich, and this makes the film somewhat one-dimensional.  It may be just and attitude or a critique, but, the direction seems stiff and narrow at times.

Question about the film?

There is much ado about what Kubrick thought of the film, so I ask, what did he think of the film actually?  I know this can never be answered, but I figured I would ask…

How America Medicates Gun Violence

What if it’s not guns causing these senseless acts of violence, but rather the prescription medications that the offenders are on to combat a “mental illness”?

Few media outlets focus on this aspect in a thorough respect–or some do, but only in passing. This is most likely because of sponsorship money in ads and programming from manufacturers of pharmaceuticals themselves.

Take a deeper look before you step on that soapbox, or swallow that solution. Read the ads, read the stories, look into those paying for the message… Do this when you grab a magazine or newspaper or turn on the television or scroll a page. You can see what they are really all about, it’s hidden in plain sight.

You have a problem, we have the solution: best marketing scheme ever. Or this violence is unrelated, truly.

Have you ever thought of that?

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(inspired by) See: www.noagendashow.com

Crime Alerts at the University of Minnesota: Enabling Crime?

At times I wonder why the University of Minnesota even tells us anything at all about crimes. Is it a scare-tactic to be vague with details, not giving crucial information to the general public/student body, while allowing those to speculate, while criminals run at large? Is it to show they (campus police and administration) are on it… they have an idea of what is going on—control, perhaps? How useful are these “crime alert” emails? What purpose do they serve?

Recently, because of issues with defining distinct aspects of an individual’s appearance, make-up, within crime reports: assumed generalizations, problematic language, suggested stereotypes, and the political correctness of the University etc., the student body no longer has access to pertinent and informative accounts/descriptions of suspects who commit crimes on victims at gunpoint, near or around campus.

Not only is the act of ambiguity within these emails confusing, it, perhaps, enables more crime. Perchance, if a criminal were under the impression that said criminal’s description were forbidden from being released to the general public/student body, then why would that criminal be apprehensive about committing the same crime again? It appears to me that if there are no repercussions to committing a crime, why would a criminal not do it again? Sharing the identity, description, appearance of a suspect is imperative to creating a safe community, and particularly a safe and informed campus.

To be straightforward, if a person commits a crime, the gender, sex, attire, and physical appearance witnessed, of that person, comes into play as that person’s identity. That unique identity, make-up, appearance, description, and those characteristics of a person, do not have the right to be protected or withheld from the general public by the administration, specifically for the safety of the law abiding citizen. If I walk outside, my identity is visible—I am visibly unique as an individual, as most. A victim should have the right to be able to use and share that information to help identify a suspect, while informing others of this information.

These aimless emails, “crime alerts”, do nothing to create community awareness, they only act as vague warnings to those who venture out into society, while shielding actual criminals. Perhaps “crime alerts” should say: be afraid, stay inside, and fear the unknown. Have people not seen No Country for Old Men? In the film protagonists are searching for a suspect, an amateur sheriff suggest they radio a description of the suspect, the wise sheriff counters by suggesting, “Well, what are we searching at… looking for a man who has recently drunk milk?” The wise sheriff does this as he takes a sip from a glass of milk. At least give some form of description, or these emails serve no purpose whatsoever.

One thing I have learned at the University of Minnesota is that if you want to write something, anything, have a purpose for writing, declare an idea/concept, and make an attempt to prove that idea/concept. My idea/concept is that these alerts/reports are essentially useless, unless they give detailed descriptions of the perpetrator.

Moreover, the student body receives emails of this type evermore frequently (especially in the warm months), with little to no detail of the culprit. I say, let someone else write these emails, someone with more imagination, if you want to keep them vague. Perhaps have a sketch artist come in, draw a cartoon, I don’t know. I say, give me the opportunity to write the email. Every email would be the same, non-descriptive and useless, and go something like this: A human being robbed another human being. I thought you should know. Try to be safe out there.

Here is an example, unedited, of the emails the University of Minnesota student body receives when a crime occurs:

Crime Alert: Twin Cities Campus
“On Wednesday, April 15 at approximately 12:25 a.m., a robbery occurred off campus near the intersection of 27th Avenue SE and Talmage Avenue SE. The incident occurred in close proximity to the Como Student Community Cooperative. One of the two victims is a University of Minnesota student. The second victim is not affiliated with the University.

The victims were talking outside one of their vehicles when two suspects approached, threatened them with a gun, and demanded their valuables. The suspects took the victims’ wallet, cell phone and purse. The cell phone was later recovered after the suspects threw it into a nearby yard. Neither victim was injured.

The suspects fled to a car waiting on Talmage Avenue with a third suspect in the driver’s seat and the vehicle drove away westbound on Como Avenue. Detailed suspect descriptions are not available at this time.

Minneapolis Police are investigating this off-campus crime. Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Tip Line at 612-692-8477 and reference case number MP-15-132388.”

What do we “know” about Adrian Peterson?

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ABC News: Minnesota Vikings Reverse Course, Suspend Adrian Peterson

In the early hours of the morning there was a surprise which took place in Viking’s Territory, or possibly New Jersey- wherever Zygi Wilf claimed as his at the time. Part of that surprise was Adrian Peterson, not surprisingly, being taken off of the Viking’s roster for Sunday’s game. The more surprising bit of information came from a mega organization making quick decisions, reversing said decision, on account of fiscal security, and what seems nothing more.

I wonder, is the child okay? Where is the child now? I hear AP is off the team, sponsors are dropping like flies, but little mention of anything else, except… there is more to come.

We sit here today, with our fantasy teams in disarray. My fantasy lifeblood has run out. This musical chairs game (with players) has me scrolling webpages for something more, for something better. Why do I do this? Because money makes me, even though I have little (well, all Minnesota taxpayer’s have stake in the new Viking’s stadium) invested in the actual game. This is a story about child abuse, due process, and motives of discussion, not a star player or his situation, mostly.

What has become apparent is we “know” what we believe we “know”, not what is objectively true. This is called interpretation. See: Post-Structuralism; and the Modern Episteme. We interpret from “reliable media sources” what we think we “know”. What we really “know” to be true about this matter is: child abuse is unacceptable and wrong, we are not judge or jury or executioner, American citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and we personally don’t “know” Adrian Peterson as a person at all. Sure, we cheer for him on Sundays to win for our “favorite” team (which every partially-sane politician in Minnesota seeking office has regurgitated in the last week, to ad nauseam), but we don’t “know” him know him.

We can all rest easy “knowing” that we won’t actually be embarrassed for what another person does, even if they are from Minnesota i.e. Michelle Bachmann. We can rest easy because we actually don’t “know” what happened, and WE won’t be guilty of said crimes- if it actually occurred in the first place; which it may or may not have: it’s 50/50 so far, in fairness.

Furthermore, I am moderately embarrassed about the latter person, who says the most hateful things of the president and his organization. I guess I am sort of not embarrassed; she doesn’t owe me anything, and if I hear something stupid coming from her I can change the channel, same as with the former, likewise the actions of both parties. I can ignore those. I am not an escapist, just a selective-perceptionist.

What we “know” is that we all have choices. We can choose to label Peterson whatever we want, and Michelle Bachmann whatever we want, and more. Adrian Peterson can choose to make poor decisions. The beauty of being a human being is we have the power to choose, like professional athletes and politicians, everyone makes mistakes (I am not an Adrian Peterson apologist either). We can make up our minds. Unlike other cases that are ongoing now, Ray Rice, we have no video proof (we do have photos; photo-shop pending), we have no agency over the matter, and we have no lot in what becomes of him or her. We have nothing to choose on. We can all agree that abuse is wrong. But we can’t really do anything else until we “know” more. Perhaps events transpire. Child abuse is wrong, but so is labeling a person as guilty when they may or may not be.
I mean, who actually decides that, passes down the conviction, and does the sentencing? Does this media attention skew the fairness of the trial?

I was watching the Crucible last night and realized that if a crazy person, or crazy organizations, or massively crazy corporations, or insane groups of people says anything about anyone, and agrees on it, it is dangerous. We all “know” what happened to Winona Ryder at the end of that movie. Damn…

What this actually boils down to is my fantasy football team. This whole ordeal with Adrian Peterson was the Providence of God (I use this in the John Winthrop-esque way). I had never played fantasy football before, while Adrian had been a spotless star, with a promising career. This all changed after I drafted him onto my fantasy team, everything changed. The first Sunday he would play for me, he would move up the field with tepid charisma, something had affected his ability. I watched myself sink into last place in standings, everyone laughed. I thought what could this be? And then, mid-week, it came to me via one of my ten-thousand checks of the ESPN fantasy page, it was all over my cellphone, and had become the hot button topic on Facebook: Adrian was indicted on these alleged abuses. I rest my case. Does anyone know what alleged means? It means: “(of an incident or a person) said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.”

The aspect of football that proves scary in this case is the amount of money the owners and commissioners are willing to move and secure at any time, in any event; if shit goes bad for them personally. It’s not about the fans, but the money, the face value. They will forget their favorite players to save their financial situation; last week’s hero is today’s forgotten and exiled. Has anyone thought of the external cost of the NFL as a whole? Can we point fingers to how many concussed veteran athletes assaulted their loved ones due to trauma caused in career related injuries? I am not sure, I don’t know-

What I hear more about than anything in this case is lost sponsorships, not the kids, but the money. I think of Lance Armstrong finally admitting, well- not really, that he was doping… Gatorade dropped him, Livestrong dropped him. This is not unlike AP losing sponsors such as Nike (sort of), and the Viking’s losing Radisson Hotels, seriously. Pundits are asking- wondering, who will pay for naming rights to the new Viking’s stadium (besides the taxpayers that is), I am wondering are the kids all right? That is the highlight of this conversation: money. Who will pay the money? They want this person, labeled now a “child abuser” as far away from the Vikings franchise as possible. When we look back a month or so, or even a few days, where do we stand? How fickle are we to believe everything we hear?

What we do “know” is that we don’t “know” anything. These allegations could be frivolous and without warrant, they could be fact with proof positive. They could be fabricated by an ex-lover, put forth to ruin the goals and aspirations of certain people. The allegations could be true, AP could have abused his child(ren), and for that he deserves what is just; to be tried and sentenced. His children should have the right to a safe and secure living situation. However, if the charges are false, is it right that a person pay for a crime before he receives a sentence? If that be the case are his children worse off when their father loses his livelihood, and how firm will the NFL stand behind their star players after the fact?

There is no question abuse is wrong, child abuse, domestic abuse, etc.; abuse is wrong. Furthermore fabricating such abuse and speaking about it garrulously in the media is also wrong. Passing judgment on someone before they get their day in court is wrong. What if we are all wrong and it turns out this was just spin to get people talking about the NFL? This monster corporation, the NFL, wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t good at talking about itself, getting itself talked about, or in general talking about getting excited about itself. This idea excites me. What the players do on and off the field neither affect our daily lives (unless we let them), or change the outcome of our day. The only reason we are talking about these “professional athletes” is because they do physically extraordinary feats, the keyword in this sentence being physical. If their goal is to be physically abusive on the field, who says they aren’t more prone to become more physically abusive off? And how does one turn that aggression off? The NFL pretty much promotes that we eat, sleep, and breathe football. What is there to do?

Hands down the most compelling part of this event is the idea that child abuse is wrong, however, and it seems to be trumped by money and sponsorships in comparison. The stories I have read, with little detail, and utilization of vagaries gets me to about this point: What makes society quick to judge, and how useful is that in the end?

Letter to the Government: Jerry Hertaus-What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

aHUngnK3_400x400This week I had the idea of writing to government officials, since there are primary elections around the corner (August 12th). I sent out emails to 110- some odd number- representatives/candidates of the state of Minnesota with a list of straightforward questions. The results were a plethora of auto replies, and the seldom typed response. This week’s question has to do specifically with Sunday Liquor Sale Laws in Minnesota. The emails are not edited or adulterated in any way whatsoever, and the inquiries are real.

I dedicate this to all of the local magazines that cover trivial issues instead of topics with pertinence, ones that truly affect the citizens and the state of Minnesota. Your hit-bait gets you ads, real writing gets you thought.  Now think about that.

-Enjoy,
T.S._
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Inquiry:
Hello,
My name is Terry Scott Niebeling. I am a resident of Minnesota, a student at the University of Minnesota, and an eager voter. Recently, I have found a new passion in politics. That being said, I am writing to you in hopes that you can help me better understand a few issues that I have come to appreciate in regards to Minnesota law, if you could help me with my inquiry that would be extremely helpful. I am also asking information for an un-bias social experience*; to get clear and succinct viewpoints from candidates, in order to better cast a meaningful vote.

My first inquiries are:
What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

Do you find it a necessary law, and why?

What are your plans in the future for Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota; do you plan on keeping them the same, or do you plan on making any changes?

How does Minnesota’s current Sunday Liquor Sales law affect the state and local economy?

What is your relationship to the MMBA?

I thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Terry Scott Niebeling

*which may, or may not, be published.
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Response:
Hello Terry,

Thank you for your inquiry.

This law should be repealed. The old Blue Law prohibiting Sunday Sales is unnecessary and has a nexus to religious views of Sunday as the Sabbath. In other religions, the Sabbath is on another day of the week.

I chief authored and introduced legislation last session that would have repealed the prohibition of Sunday Sales of liquor in Minnesota. The legislation did not pass the DFL majority.

Minnesotans whom reside along the borders of our state find it easy to purchase liquor on Sundays across state lines. Minnesotans whom reside further away from the state borders find geography and distance a barrier to their exercise of free choice to purchase a legally distributed product on the day of their choice.

It is estimated that approximately 12 million dollars per year of sales tax revenue is paid to border states by Minnesota residents. Repeal of Sunday Sales restrictions does not require any liquor retailer to remain open on Sunday. Although competitive market conditions may cause some retailers to decide to remain open when they may rather not, that decision is a matter of choice.

There is no evidence that Sunday Sales would contribute to greater risk to public safety. It could be argued that many whom consume at bars and restaurants on Sundays may choose to purchase and consume safely at home without the risk of driving.

In a session that was being touted as an “Un-Session”, presumably to get rid of antiquated and unnecessary regulations, a possible repeal opportunity was lost by the DFL majority’s acquiescence to labor unions whom did not want to re-negotiate contracts (presumably they believed that they would have to distribute product on Sundays) killed the legislative possibility of several Sunday Sales repealers having been introduced, including mine, from becoming law.

I have no affiliation nor association with MMBA or the liquor industry.

In Liberty,

Best Regards,

Rep. Jerry Hertaus, 33A
Fin.

Noble Inquiry: What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

Lobbyists and the MMBA control Sunday Liquor Sales in MN