Tag Archives: MN

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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A Vikings’ Win when it counts turns Minnesotans into Captain Ahab, hunting his Moby Dick for all Eternity

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.” -T.S. Eliot

Last night, after the Minnesota Vikings got DESTROYED by the Philadelphia Eagles, I was flipping through channels on my rabbit ears and found the Gregory Peck film version of the classic American novel Moby-Dick. I found this story to be an apropos metaphor for all die-hard Vikings’ fans at the moment, and for eternity. We are all perpetually Captain Ahab looking for the majestic white whale (a Vikings’ Win when it counts), becoming dangerously obsessed, eventual that idea becomes our mental and physical downfall, to the point of mortal apathy. The game last night ended like the Pequod and it’s ill-fated crew: figuratively eviscerated in a vast ocean of literal Eagles fans and defeatist nostalgia. We, us Ahabs, may never get our Moby Dick–that one win to take our Purple Pride to the Superbowl, especially in our hometown (fuck). Ah, but we will all yell at our TVs, clench our fists, ask the whys and hows, and hope every season, as we scream, THAR SHE BLOWS! that this year will be the one in which we the Vikings will win!

I washed my car yesterday in 40 degree Minnesota cold and then I ate some Ramen Noodles, it cost me nothing and saved me a lot more

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Even notice how a boat with a few holes in it sinks over time and it becomes more worrisome the farther you are from land? I do. Now place this image of a boat sinking on your financial situation. You lose a dollar here, ten over there, $2.50 on that one thing; the boat is your bank account. That boat is sinking slowly and you are out to see, sharks, such as creditors, banks, and lenders are following in the murky deep. We almost sank again, but this time I told my wife instead of paying for a car wash I would do it myself. Watch.

Yesterday day came and went with a car wash in the 40 degree Fahrenheit warm of St Paul, Minnesota. I think people looked at me as though I were crazy, carrying buckets from my basement to splash and lather a car I cannot afford on a side street. Yeah, I feel pretty dumb leasing it, though the lease is up in less than 20 months and we will be on to something new. The whole time I polished this machine I thought of how stupid it made me feel, to live beyond my means. People watched that spectacle, another Subaru driver waved, my neighbor sold a beater and asked me how my day was. Great! Beautiful day!

And that is why I eat Maruchan ramen noodles and rice. (With a price tag of under $5 for a number of meals I can consider myself winning.) SO, imagine now your boat sinking, money floating away, those sharks behind, empty fridge at home, wife wondering what is going to happen, and then $10 is about to go away for a car wash that leaves you wanting better. Yeah, and that car is parked in the garage losing value, begging for insurance to be paid–the expensive kind. I can get a bit cold and wet outside on such a nice day, save us money, buy us time. My debt snowball is about to be rolling, debt avalanche.

After all this, I learned something. If you can’t get creative and do it yourself, it ain’t worth doing. And if your food restrictions do not work with your frugality or goals towards financial fitness, you may need to think about your goals. Because, how I see it, you can either be gluten free or debt free, I know the gluten is asking me to buy their beach house on credit, but that’s just my opinion.  That beach house is where those debt institutions are watching your boat sink slowly from afar, thinking about monetizing your financial death on YouTube (which is another story), so they can earn more.

New species of ancient shark discovered in Minnesota’s Driftless region of the upper Mississippi River, scientist said to have found via sonar technology imagery, possibly

megalodon-589dd3b93df78c4758898af9.jpgHouston County, Minn.–This week, in a shocking turn of events, in relation to subjective suggestive southern Minnesota marine biology, archaeologists have discovered a never-before-seen, nor described, fresh-water shark in the Driftless region of the upper Mississippi River valley call.

This so-called Mississippi Bluff Shark–cousin to the infamous megalodon super shark, is said to grow to up to 100-200 feet long, or more, and weigh an incredible 20 tons. It was found in the depths below lock and dam no. 7 near Dresbach, via sonar only, in its clandestine cavern, it’s natural habitat.000880a3-642

These elusive sharks have been thought to have lived in the area for the past 10 zillion years, undiscovered and undisturbed. They have never been discovered, disturbed, or discussed before this time, ever, until relatively recently, well… right now. Dr B. Lion explained.

Dr. B. Lion, the lead riverologist and archeologist for the Driftless Regions Upper Mississippi Environmental River Sect, or (DRUMERS), has absolutely concluded, from one single gray and black 2-D digital image, which lasted for about 3 seconds, that these sharks have existed here for long before humans, as this detailed image is proof. These sharks are probably real, and really old, perhaps!

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The DRUMERS’ latest discover rocks the Driftless region and marine biology of the upper Mississippi. The Mississippi Bluff Shark is considered prevalent and incredibly evasive and elusive, which makes them nearly impossible to see, ever, and no danger at all to river frequenters. Boaters, fisherpeoples, waterskiers and inner-tubers can rest assured they are in limited to almost zero danger, maybe.

The sequel: Controversial art exhibit at Walker Art Center found to be controversial again, MPR reports

Photo of “controversial art” by MPR News

For the second time in less than a month The Walker Art Center is perhaps again exhibiting controversial art as per an MPR News interpretative report suggests.

This suspiciously odd and seemingly obvious revelation came early yesterday afternoon as more publicity of Walker Art exhit generated local ire and honed activists’ interest–related to said controversial art, and as real news stories slowed down and the weekend came closer. 

A fortnight ago, the infamous “Scaffolds” art instillation dominated the local news cycle, adorned with underwritten ads and emotional subjective language, which prompted a protest and a public deconstruction of the artwork– which essentially became performance art itself, as covered by the media. 

This new “controversy” over controversial art has spurred more invaluable press coverage of The Walker Art Center in local news circles, ostensibly generating more interest in this perhaps controversial art exhibit for weekend visitors. 

In a time when any publicity is good publicity–visibility has value–the idea of controversial art seems completely redudnant yet especially breaking news worthy to this local news media, apparently art has never been controversial before now, ever.  

Theoretically, at any other network, publicity like this would potentially cost considerable weight in advertisement revenues.  However, this controversial art seems to be getting much attention on its own through certain respective media.

Perhaps now we are living in a world where we have to be told our exact feelings or interpretations of art, and what is right and wrong and loved and loathed about said art, as clarified by local news media.

The next question is when will we make art museums and art institutions safe spaces, as to protect posterity from that art which might painfully offend art viewers. The art world needs more uniform standards as to avoid further controversy.

BREAKING: Russian operatives hack Easter Sunday, little sister wins Easter egg hunt two years in a row

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A bunch of Easter eggs scattered on the ground, an American tradition Photo: Megan Spicer

In what has turned into worldwide contention, anonymous sources have confirmed for America mainstream news organizations that Russian operatives have officially hacked the results of the 2017 La Crescent, Minnesota family Easter egg hunt, siding the last born child.

The youngest of four siblings won a second year in a row, prompting an immediate recount, massive protests around the nation, and cries that she turn over the highly-demanded $20 from the golden egg–which this years was secretly hidden in a red plastic egg, by Russian operatives, rather than in the shining golden egg.

There has been no confirmation or dis-confirmation of these damning allegations by Russian sources, merely they responded by not responding because no questions were asked, per usual–which means theses assertions hold clout, obviously.  There is no legal reason why the youngest sibling should win 2 years in a row, the outcome is suspect.