Tag Archives: Minneapolis

Minnesota’s Media Dance with Childcare Fraud; How it doesn’t fit Their Narrative or the Local Taxpayer’s Interests

By the time you are finished reading this article you will have a better understanding of where your hard-earned tax dollars go in the state of Minnesota and beyond.  You will also wonder what is the importance of news media anyway, if you can’t get the entire story, or if you can’t yourself do an investigation or comparison using other media sources to find the answer you are searching for.  You will know bias.

The curious case of Minnesota childcare fraud has found me wondering, how anyone could watch one media source and be satisfied or even moderately fulfilled/enlightened. The glaring differences in narrative and how that narrative is presented, with a bias makes me question any and all local news entirely. We live in an age of somewhat objective fact being presented always in a subjective slant for people to shout at or down other people.  But do we know?  NO.

I ask you to read this page from the viewpoint that your tax dollars–Minnesota’s tax dollars, which are progressive and the third highest in the nation, are going towards something that they are not intended to go to. They are potentially going overseas and out of our country to benefit anything other than Minnesota. 

Think about that from a fiscal budgetary angle.  Our school teachers need money, our roads and bridges are destroyed and depleted, they need money, our homeless are on the streets and hungry, they need money, parents like me have no money for themselves and their family, even when working to the bone, they need money, and yet our high taxes allegedly leave the country by means of fraud to benefit people who commit those frauds, and very few in the local media take this allegation seriously.

If this childcare fraud report were true or untrue, I think it would be a good idea to find out, and have a good idea about its status, since everyone who works in Minnesota is legally obligated to pay state taxes, mostly. And if that supposition were true, essentially, this story impacts everyone who works and lives in Minnesota. That’s maybe you!  And to brush it under the rug. Very frustrating.

Let’s discuss scientific method for a moment, as I am an amateur scientist: if you want an answer via science, you search and do experiments, studies and tests to find an objective answer or result. You do not just say something is wrong or right and then share that opinion as factual evidence, that’s a blog or an OpEd. I think the media could learn a lot from science. Could learn a lot from looking into something instead of painting it wrong because of whom it is associated with or not associated with.

These reports are frustrating overall. One report suggesting fraud.  Others are suggesting nothing to see here.  I have a child in daycare and I pay taxes in Minnesota, that means that this fraud takes from me. I think fraud is a bad thing and should be investigated properly.  I don’t think that a nothing to see here initiative is a good stance to take on fraud.  I consider it serious business when individuals who commit fraud possibly take advantage of a system that puts me and my fellow Minnesotans, and fellow parents, at a disadvantage, on our dime no less!

I believe thorough reporting on this story is owed to the parents of Minnesota who struggle daily with or without welfare/childcare assistance. It is also owed to the taxpayers who pay huge sums of their paycheck to exist and work within our state.  These suggested frauds, if true, are an assault on families and taxpayers locally.

To conclude, all media involved in this, especially the ones not doing work and digging deeper into this story make the problem bigger, make the problem acceptable.  They do not fairly share an open-minded issue that impacts a majority of people in the state of Minnesota, if not all of the people in Minnesota.

This childcare fraud needs to be investigated further by many different sources, media, and experts without bias.  There is no benefit for attacking the person or people but for dissecting the idea, the potential fraud, looking at it objectively.  That would be  great news story, something with less bias and more objectivity, something that involves all.

But nowadays I do not expect it from the news, nor will I wait for said report. 

 

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How spontaneously getting involved in a Grassroots Political Campaign helped me discover the most important thing in the world, let me explain

I am going to tell you what the most important thing in the world is in this post, are you ready?  Accordingly, by the time you are done reading this post you will have learned one of the most important concepts that there is to learn in life, it will feel good.  You will be improved and feel positive.  Let me start with by saying, I found this valuable idea by volunteering for a political party, doing grassroots campaign calls and giving surveys in my spare time.  That is where I found this important idea and why I want to share it with you.

I have never been more excited to share something that wasn’t a sales pitch.  Do you ever get this line from people?  I digress…  That is not what this essay is about, it’s about talking with random strangers on the phone about random strangers who may in a sense rule them and getting something actually human out of it.  Our country is divided into how many parties and there are people out there talking on the phone and reading scripts and sharing ideas.  (And people listen!)  Voice interaction, the old calling someone up and saying “Hello, is (person’s name) there?…  Mind answering a few questions???”

Calling, communicating, asking questions, these things leave an impression.  Impressions are called impressions because they they are pressed on the brain, indelibly hard to forget.  (When someone thinks their ideas matter that makes them feel good.)  I give them a name, tell them more names–familiar recognition, and even if they don’t want to speak to me or take the survey, they hear kindness and associate that kindness with me, with that party.  They hear my voice, some moniker that is a very familiar one–like John or Dan, and they remember that encounter at the voting booth.

For starters, I believe that is what this nameless grassroots campaign wants to happen.  I have read a few books on persuasion, and I realize that unforgettable first impression is exactly what they want to happen.  Blank canvas, hello, think, names, ok, yes, goodbye.  However, it can be difficult; cold callers have the hardest jobs out there because voices give away everything.  Nervousness, confidence, snark.  It’s not a Facebook post, it’s an interaction, in real-time.  The campaign manager wants to be blurt out the names as fast as I can, new names, old names, take a survey, etc.  Think on those memorable names.  And after that, I am surprised people say “yes” because I often say “no” to such surveys.

Remember, this is important.  Doing things in your free time for what you believe in is important, whether that be getting your candidate elected or helping to mentor someone in literacy.  Doing a social experiment for science is important, getting into politics or marketing with persuasion is important.  Going above and beyond a Facebook post or an ad-hoc spectacle or holding a sign proves that you realistically want to do something to make change, like, perhaps writing legislature.  (We’ve all been there.)

Sure, we can all make waves in a group, that is impressive as well, yet we can get carried away from what is deep within our hearts as individuals.

I thought about my little social experiment and it doesn’t matter the party, it doesn’t matter the ideas because they are all for political effect; insomuch as Thomas Sowell said about “rent control”, in Basic Economics:  I paraphrase, it’s all hot button issues, that’s it.  But aside from the hot button political issues, in the end the underdog is the ultimate American.  The one that believes in their values when the popular majority throws them out and calls them dogs, doubts them infinitely.  That is the time when believing in yourself and doing what other people call “stupid”, “idiotic” or “wrong” on social media is the most important.

In conclusion, the most important thing is to do what is most important to you, not what’s important to everyone else and what they think about it.  Don’t worry about a sea of vehement passionists screaming accolades so you fall in line, or shaming you so you steer off course.  Stick to your plan.  Believe in your goals.  Believe in yourself.  If you can change the political color of a state, or someone’s mind, and not need to feel endorsed by everyone with their Twitter likes or their Insta-approval then it means that you are doing something right and that is important.  Even hearing “No, I would not like to take your survey…” is important because that person is telling you how they feel and making a point for what matters to them.  That is the most important thing in the world.

More information:  https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota_elections,_2018

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We cancelled our #Netflix because you can get most things for free at the #library

I wonder if people know they can get most things for free at the library, even an original series on Netflix… I told my colleague this just before lunch hour yesterday. He seemed surprised. Was I lying, was I crazy, could a person really do this? Ah, yes. To the latter that is. Here’s how I know. Before mentoring last week I was at the public library and saw on the hold shelf: Stranger Things (both seasons). SO, that was what did it for me. Yeah, I could be sad about not getting Netflix exclusives any more, but now I know I can get them at the public library for the cost of having a library card: free. This should be no surprise society, and it was a surprise to me. Again, you can get most things at the library for free if you know what you are looking for, how to ask for it, and who to ask. Everyone wants to help you. Do you want to save money and help yourself? Get it at the library.

Protesters shut down Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ press conference, demanding new leadership now, continued unrest

In an odd turn of events, the protesters attempted to oust Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges calling for her and her entire staff to resign.

This action come in lieu of the recent tragic shooting of Justine Damond, chief of police Harteau was asked to resign yesterday in relation to this event.

At the press conference, a group of protesters from a Justine rally appear to take over the meeting and demand that Hodges also resign.

Hodges made no remarks to signify if she were or were not to resign, simply leaving the conference abruptly.

Minnesota man to consider $5 donation during next MPR membership drive if he reads one positive unbiased article about Trump, published by the mainstream news organization

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President of the United States of America pointing across a room at an unknown person, one positive article to garner $5 donation to MPR from local man. Photo by Getty

Reports broke Tuesday that local Minnesota man, who happens to be a millennial, a college grad, and a recent republican voter–although no party affiliation at this time could be confirmed, to consider donating $5 to next MPR membership drive if they write one positive unbiased article about president Donald Trump.

This incredible news came to a slough of jeers, guffaws, and mumbles from friends, colleagues, and family who happened to be unflinching MPR supporters.  Their reaction was to vehemently detest the idea that MPR as an organization could be biased in anyway towards anyone with differing ideas always–those not of the Progressive-Democratic ilk.

Though, these reports are wholly unconfirmed and unverified, the local male will be watching reports and reading articles ever closely looking for any indication that objective reporting exists in the state of Minnesota, and as he suggested, if he finds this to be the case he will consider contributing his $5 donation and become a highly member.  We all wait with bated breath.

New Study: Global warming to cause devastating measurable harm in America locally in 2017, spring rummage sales in the midwest to take an incredibly massive hit

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Steam pipes spraying off a bunch of steam into the blue skies at an undisclosed location at an undisclosed time soon to change midwestern rummage sales forever (Photo by Walter/flickr CC2.0)

 

So far this year, we have seen polar ice caps melting more swiftly into the see, extreme weather spawning tornadoes across the central United States wreaking havoc, and now there is more tangible proof that the laws of global warming are taking a real grip globally and locally, midwestern rummage sales are slated to take a dramatic fiscal hit this year.

“Sure, the snow is gone, the ice piles is melting, and the flowers are popping up everywhere, but this change will touch us all, it will cause rummage salers to be absolutely confused about when to go rummagesaling… when to buy or sell.  What’s even more, executives holding rummage sales will be just as confused as when to have a rummage sale as a tomato plant that tries to bloom in march in Duluth!”  One disgruntled anonymous self-proclaimed community representative said last week.

All of this nice, tempered weather in what should be a winter weather wonderland this season will have an eventual, inevitable, severe, insane, incredible, unbelievable, amazing, awesome, terrible, ridiculous, measurable cost.  Rummage sales sales for 2017 are forecasted to be down, way down.  Down so much so that $25 worth of things-you-no-longer-wanted-cluttering-up-your-house will be worth only $15.  

This year’s global warming inevitability is bad, real bad.  (And that’s been fact-checked) When you think about the local effect that global warming has on the world, it is hard to comprehend.  If each neighborhood is unable to make money off of rummage sales then the GDP for that neighborhood will be perish, changing tax values, raising the crime rate, adding to growing poverty, and this obviously leads to more socio-economical matters of grave concern, of course more protests.

And with all this bad, there is a silverling.  Although, global warming will be felt locally–by law, immensely this year, there is still hope.  A band of vigilante activists called “NCF” (which stands for No Carbohydrate Footprint) is out spreading the message to reduce their carbohydrate footprint drastically.  Their actions are simple and easy and anyone can make change for the better.  They advise the masses to simply eat less bread, noodles, and pop tarts.  We can all make positive change in these dire times by stepping it up and reducing out carbohydrate footprint.

In lieu of all of this new information from this new study, now that there is visible measurable proof, all naysayers can switch their ideologies and start fixing the problem here and now, on this planet.  Further, to help reduce one’s carbohydrate footprint one must avoid all grains, all food products that have carbohydrates in them.  The world truly depends on those with higher enlightenment, those with the ability to make change in the present for the better of the future.

US Bank Protesters did security detail a favor in preventing future protests, and perhaps something worse

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Photo Credit: Star Tribune

The #NODAPL Pipeline protests aside, the dangers of scaling a building notwithstanding, the planning, the disruptive behavior, all put in the peripherals; what the US Bank Pipeline really did was point out the glaring holes in security at US Bank Stadium, which is a good thing in protecting the venue from a potential future demonstrations with more devious intentions.

Perhaps, for creating this latent effect in infrastructure knowledge, a lesson of procedure, we can thank the protesters for offering an establishment something beneficial, aside from protesting the Pipeline and its alleged devastating affects to the surrounding environment. Perhaps these protesters did the beloved US Bank stadium a favor in a lesson of protection.

Now, to learn something, US Bank security team must perform more drastic, more mindful, and more aggressive searches and seizures of those entering the facility. Those who visit the stadium must be subjected to more rigorous and thorough searches in light of this event. And these are all good thing when looked at it from the point of view of making citizens safe.

Really, not only did the protesters protest. Not only did they enact a daring spectacle for the cameras and media, which of course went viral, these activists also pointed out the Achille’s Heel of a $975 M facility. Moreover, those in charge of the detail should take note, serious note. Because this time, it was a benign protest to protect the environment, and not much else.

In conclusion, I am no mountain climber—I have little understanding of the equipment need to pull off such a stunt, and I am no current protester. But in reflection of this innocuous deed of sneaking gear and signs and ideologies in could have been something far worse, something more nefarious than a message of local protest, and US Bank Stadium should take this minor feat seriously.