Tag Archives: Vote

A Vote for Democrats as a Public-Sector Union Member may be a Misguided Vote

On the ballot in Minnesota are two items that public-sector union members should consider very closely when/if voting straight Democrat in the 2018 Midterms: 1) Single-Payer Healthcare and 2) $15 Minimum Wage. These items are directly contradictory of the hard work that has been done to fight for your benefits and your living wage as a public-sector union member, let me explain my thoughts on these two items and how they could be undoing recent accomplishments of public-sector unions.

  • $15 minimum wage for all does not increase your living wage as a public-sector union member, in fact, it may make your wage less livable, more futile. It may also reduce the number of employees in the local workforce, triggering more unemployment, in order to make up for increased wages paid without increased profits earned. This does not benefit you as a public-sector union member and it does not benefit your community. Many Democrat candidates champion $15 minimum wage as a good thing with little evidence to prove their point, it is already being implemented in St Paul, MN (one example of concern about Minimum Wage locally); recently, perhaps, jobs have gone, businesses have and will close and move elsewhere in lieu of this policy change. These items impact us all. Here is a resource on Minimum Wage.
  • A Single-Payer Healthcare System implementation is an item of considerable speculation, ambiguity, and concern. If you have good healthcare/insurance now, one your union fought hard for to attain, perhaps you can kiss that benefit goodbye under Democrats who want a Single-Payer Health Care System. What’s more, not only could a Single-Payer Healthcare System give you theoretical universal healthcare and take away your unique healthcare plan, one based on your individual needs, one that fits you, but it could increase the taxes for you and your community–keep in mind Minnesota has the fifth highest tax burden in the nation, currently. Could you afford to go on a plan that isn’t built for you precisely and that may cost you more? I don’t think I could, and we are all different with special and unique healthcare needs. And what is the quality of Single-Payer Healthcare and is making it mandatory for all even constitutional? I have just a few questions on this topic, you should as well. I am open-minded. Here is a resource on Medicare for All.

These items, and the policies related to them, concern me as a public-sector union member, as a taxpayer, as a dad, as a husband and as a voter, especially when the rhetoric is at a fever pitch and the focus is on what President Trump does personally on Twitter or how bad he is or was as a person or ubiquitous smear campaigns against both political parties and not on actual government policy that change things for you and I and ours.

These policies are paramount to all. But do we all understand them entirely? Do we understand he Bill of Rights or the Constitution? I am not sure I do. Further, do we vote because we hate something or someone, or because we love something or someone, or their ideas are good? Do we vote for what was benign in the past, what might have worked out OK for that moment, or do we move forward and vote for ideas that work for the future, our future?

The items mentioned above, even though mere rhetoric, could have grave impacts on wages and benefits and communities actually. Think about that when you vote, it does matter.

Moreover, when you vote in the upcoming midterm election, don’t think about the party or something far away or some big ideas or some boilerplate talking point, think about your pocketbook, think about the Constitution, think about the law, the Bill of Rights, small changes for positive, and think about your local situation, good or bad, and how you can improve on it. You have the opportunity to say you want better, your voice is your vote. That thought and decision and voice on who you vote for will impact you most. That and recall, maybe the party that claims to represent your public-sector union vociferously is not the party that represents you personally.

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A Vote for Jeff Johnson is a Vote for Lower Taxes for All Minnesotans

If you are a Minnesotan, you pay the 5th highest tax burden in the nation, that is a fact. That means your taxes are very progressive, which, means your taxes are extremely costly to you.

Acknowledging this fact, Minnesotans cannot afford a candidate who supports additional and more aggressive state and local taxes (like the gas tax and others) especially when we are already paying more than our fair share for all.

That is why in November I, and many others, those who are fed up with high taxes with limited gains, will vote for Jeff Johnson for governor. Minnesota cannot afford another tax-and-spend politician like Tim Walz, or his Democrat cohorts.

Taking from citizens will not solve the problems of the government. Vote for your dollar, vote for your freedoms, vote for Jeff Johnson.

Don’t fall into hand-wringing hot-button topics politics.  We don’t need big government with its heavy price tag. We need accountability and efficiency, a better deal for Minnesotans.

Vote for less government, less taxes, vote for Jeff Johnson.

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TS_

 

The Media Loves Trump

The new midlife crisis is professing your hatred for the president like a five-year old via social media for his assumed hatred as explained to you by a news media narrated and directed by advertisers. 

 

I’ve been told that in order to understand how a person is truly feeling in a photograph, cover up  their mouth and look at their eyes. The eyes don’t lie. What do you see? The same may be true with the press and  their relationship with Donald Trump; cover up the mouth, the headline, and what do you see? Forget the bad click-bait leads and negative coverage, who’s there: Donald Trump.

Perhaps, if Trump wasn’t in the news people would be bored, many papers wouldn’t be read, journalists wouldn’t get paid, and advertisements wouldn’t get seen. This would change the industry greatly.  Every newspaper and network every day would have to fill that Trump spot with something else, something more catchy. Social Media too.  In relation to that, I don’t think it would be possible.

Now, think back, has any other President of the United States of America ever had the press set a day nationwide to respond to an idea he may have had on any ordinary day, has that happened? What other president had millions out in the streets passionate, screaming about their opinions, beliefs, holding signs wearing hats or tearing down statues, just because they were the president?  I don’t think any other president… Not like this.

It’s amazing what our hatred blinds us to. Perhaps, Trump is making people more political, making people stand up and out for what they truly believe, and making people better because they are doing for themselves. Perhaps he is making each of us greater again.

Mundane, mediocre, and meek leaders would not have people taking such action, would not have us so motivated to make change. That is bold, that is planned. And that is no accident.

Trump is not asking anyone to write these stories or voice their opinion or protest… They are doing it for him, they are doing it in his name, oddly.

Read The Art of the Deal and you will understand your president better.  You will have insight that has been in our universe for the last twenty years. I will share some of that knowledge right now.  Trump says you can pay for good press. You can pay for mediocre press. But bad press is free. And still good.  How much bad press is out there today, for free?  Just Google the name Trump.  What do you find?

Further, the news media and journalists should thank Trump for making writing articles easy again, selling news easy again. Most Trump articles are basically saying Trump did something outrageous, hateful, or both, feel disgusted. They are usually the same format:  click-bait title, something bad about Trump, how you should feel, or what it actually means, etc… There is a cycle. Watch closely. Trump made journalists not try or think again.

We are getting standard boilerplate interpretations from the news media and social media about how we should think and feel about an individual, Trump.  They are not asking us to use our own better judgement, to think deeper on a subject, they are telling us, same.  We must obey and believe he is what they say.  The topic: him, Trump.  We are asked to believe in this idea about this person.

Now I am wondering how do you brainwash people, news media? Repition? Exaggeration? Groupthink? Herd mentality? Say bad things about someone? Who’s the Shepard?  Who’s the sheep?

As unfortunate as it sounds to his critics, the news media, social media, and the world love Trump–they subconsciously seek him out, he makes them money. People buy what people are selling when Trump is in it.  Look at the paper, who is in every paper?  Look at the TV, who is on every channel?  Trump.

He is the ultimate spectacle. People write endless op eds about Trump signaling and professing their obsession, no matter the bias. (This essay is about Trump.)  There are college courses based on him, no matter the persuasion. There are entire talk shows, news segments, and caucuses solely  dedicated to him, no matter the slant. And still he is the main character. That is a HUGE presence created for someone by those who despise him, unaware that visibility, in our great time and great nation is most powerful.

This Trump obsession is apparent, visibly, tangibly, and deeply disturbing. The news story and Trump are interchangeable, and have been for the last two years. We do not go a day without. Now, talk about how I’m wrong about who, you guessed it: Trump. More ubiquity, you can see it right there.

So, don’t be mad at Donald Trump if you don’t like him, be mad at yourself for looking for him, be mad at your news source for pushing his product 24/7. That’s what free will is all about; this is a free market, we live in it.

Don’t go looking for snakes, as someone once said. Ah, but snakes get people’s attention and sell papers, sell stories.

The Trump obsession may simply be supply and demand of the greatest spectacle in human history, Donald Trump. Any conscious media will not miss out on such a payday. Prepare for four more years of it, money talks; networks want to be paid. If you want something different, contact your media and ask for better, sit down and talk to that Letter to the Editor person and let them know they are furthering the problem by discussing it exclusively.  If they don’t change, then you might know what is true and what is not true.

If you want something you have to ask for it, or write for it.  I believe Donald Trump wants it.  He wants America to be great.  He wants to be talked about nonstop.  He wants to be in our minds and in print every day.  He tweets constantly, ad nauseam.  Do you want to help him get it, or do you want to help yourself?  I believe the media knows what they want and what they love to report on, even if their mouths don’t match their eyes.  They want more of Trump, they know he is money.  And he knows it too.
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TS_

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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Why I am not Voting

Henry_David_Thoreau

Recently, surprisingly (in lieu of what I’ve learned from American Literature 1, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson), I have decided to take the opportunity (Nov. 4th , 2014) to not vote. I won’t be out on that blistery Tuesday eve checking boxes and rallying support, and wasting my fucking time. I will be sitting at home and reading books, or out-and-about gathering experience; smoking cigarettes, mindful of where I ash, in light of the fallen leaves, while enjoying an ice cold locally micro-brewed bier.

Everyone is telling me to vote, I won’t listen to their peer pressure anymore. Now I have Thoreau and Emerson on my side, let’s not forget Noam Chomsky. I will avoid being a statistic, a generalized agree-er. Example of not doing what everyone tells me to do: If everyone was telling me to jump off a bridge, likewise, I wouldn’t. So, I will do the same when it comes to voting, and I just won’t.

Reason for this change of heart, I present you with: Resistance to Civil Government (1849), Henry David Thoreau

The reason I will not be voting is simple. Because I notice things, I will not vote. Daily, while on campus, I notice people walking around. There are many people, but some stick out. They seem of a different ilk. They carry clipboards, propaganda, and they look occupied, busy (and slightly worried). They ask introductory questions with brevity, -and then they get right to the point. Their mind’s look in control, but not. They look poised, but it appears as though for someone else, besides themselves. They seem to be toiling in other people’s business. A business not so simple, a business sedimented in ideology, hope, change, and money; a façade of which the American public buys into. Tangible things, apparently; things we see on TV. Yet, we must take their word for it… Those pundits, politicians, and bi-pedal volunteers. Why study the facts when we can count on someone’s good name to guide our hand in voting… I know Al, I know the other guy; they seem nice, their ads are great; they have my vote… But what do we, as voters, understand?

Do we know where the money goes? Overseas, possibly? Do they know why the local public is withheld the opportunity to vote with its dollar? We can’t buy certain things on Sunday… I’ll give two examples:
1. Wars vs. Local Education; Al Franken, as the Senate Votes
2. Letter to the Government: Jerry Hertaus-What is your stance on Sunday Liquor Sales in Minnesota?

Has anyone discussed the importance of these minimally researched topics?
A few years back, I noticed an anomaly within my group of friends; a very close friend of mine, and confidant, chose not to vote. I’m not talking lazy-forget-to-vote, I’m talking just straight not voting. I didn’t understand. I badgered her for some time. I couldn’t believe it! I wanted her to get out and vote, as cliché as it sounds, I really did. That shit fucking counts: EVERY VOTE… I was lost and didn’t get it. Now I sort of do.

Read this: Wikipedia- Civil Disobedience (Thoreau)

Now watch this:

If one views the news, reads any local or national paper, delves into any media, one will notice a trend: people want you to vote for them. As if one person is better to lead, as if one person is actually leading, and not an organization, or worse a corporation; money. They want you to get out and tell them it is okay to do whatever they choose to do, even if those who voted for them don’t believe in what those politicians do after the vote.

Some local and national politicians just want to be talking faces, specifically noticed. They represent you, they are “good” people, probably born and breed in Minnesota, or wherever your hometown is, the similarities in locale. They want to be the next door neighbor who everyone knows, -but really doesn’t. Nothing gets changed, there is a need for necessary confusion, for necessary problems, to provide necessary solutions, with necessary money. Without these we wouldn’t need those, or them. They create a need. They need us to vote.

It is easy to vote for someone, even if you disagree with their beliefs, when everyone else does. But do you have the courage to not play their game?
Asch Conformity Test:

Locals buying Local Goods, what a concept: More Minnesotans using state assistance at Minnesota farmers markets

1176286_10151568885587051_1581732061_nStar Tribune: More Minnesotans using state assistance at Minnesota farmers markets

It is a wonderful day when consumers realize they can purchase the products they need right here in the state of Minnesota, from Minnesota.

As a former employee of a grocery chain I took note of the amount of imported trash people bought (from out of state: import), it was insane.  I never knew Minnesota’s taxpayers were paying for consumers to buy soda, cheap processed foods, and basically any manufactured garbage, with low nutritional value, that a corporate food manufacturer could place in their hands.

I had little faith in the system, and it may be still happening around the metro; however, this is a sign of change.  It gives me satisfaction to see that people are voting with their dollar, or the taxpayer’s dollar, locally.

The manifest function is acquiring food and nutrition from a local source, the latent function is promoting  local economy, enacting less external cost, and consuming goods within our living proximity.  These actions are positive for Minnesota’s agricultural, societal, environmental and economical growth.

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.