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Grace Kelly


Wow, deputies endorse the new candidate for Hennepin Sheriff, Eddie Frizell, not the incumbent Rich Stanek, by a vote of 170 to 14 votes. There must be some serious reasons because I am sure that endorsing against one’s current boss is a risk. An announcement is expected out soon.


Today, Eddie did his kick off announcement for Hennepin’s County Sheriff. Eddie Frizell is currently Deputy Chief of the Patrol Bureau in Minneapolis, with 25 years experience. He is also a Colonel in the Minnesota Army National Guard for 25 years. He commanded the Red Bull Cavalry Squadron in Iraq. His medals and citations include the Medal of Valor for his heroic efforts during the I-35W bridge collapse. He has a long list of accomplishments.


Frizell suggested three ways that he would be a better sheriff. In contrast to Sheriff Stanek’s “70% increase in administrative costs”, Frizell would shift those expenditures to “boots on the ground” meaning deputies, training, and equipment. Frizell said that he would recruit more diversity in candidates (including veterans) so that Hennepin county staffing reflects the community that it serves. Frizell said that he would be a better leader because he is a “straight shooter” not a “career politician”.


In contrast, based on google searches, Stanek has a history of racism issues, budget issues, and privilege issues. Stanek is better known for being more politician than professional. Having not had a challenger for awhile, now Stanek will now have to defend how he runs the Sheriff’s office.

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Looking under Rocks in the Catholic Church

by Grace Kelly on July 15, 2014 · 2 comments

archbishop 3Jennifer Haselberger was told to “stop looking under rocks” when she was employed as archdiocese canon lawyer for the local Catholic church. She resigned. Our legislature changed the statues of limitations to allow for older abuse cases to be heard. Haselberger’s whistle-blowing testimony is essential to building the case that Catholic archdiocese is a “public nuisance” because the archdiocese has practices that systematically and continually endanger children.


Hat tip to the Star Tribune to its coverage and making the entire testimony available. I find Haselberger’s own words to be the most compelling testimony. Here are important excerpts that tell the story:


Unlike our ordinary justice system, the internal Catholic Church structure has absolute power to act quickly and decisively.


The Church is not a democracy and had there been any serious desire to implement change, it could have been done quickly and easily with the stroke of a single pen. Canon law requires consultation in only a few, well defined circumstances, otherwise the Archbishop’s administrative authority in his diocese is basically unlimited. Assembling a task force or a working group in such a situation is akin to Nicholas II convening the duma. It is a way of appearing to be open to change, without the risk of having to implement any changes that may be unpalatable.



Zellers Brags About Failure in Leadership

by Grace Kelly on July 14, 2014 · 2 comments

zellars failure

Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Kurt Zellers is bragging about his failed leadership in shutting down the state government in a press release:


“Democrats, political pundits, special interest groups, and even many Republicans predicted that we wouldn’t hold to our principles and that the Republican-controlled legislature would cave to the intense political and media pressure during the shutdown,” said Zellers. “But I did not surrender and the GOP legislative majorities did not cave. Instead, it was Governor Dayton who surrendered to us after two weeks.”


In the legislative races in the year after the shutdown, it was clear that Minnesotans thought the shutdown was the worst possible choice, They rightly blamed the Republicans because the Republicans are still bragging about it. I knew in the Jim Carlson race that I had a winning argument with Business Republicans. I would ask Business Republicans: Would they run a business this way? Would they run a negotiation this way? Would they trust a supplying business that ran this way? The answers are resoundingly “no”. As an MBA, I knew this. There is even a class in negotiating in the MBA curriculum, that Minnesota Republicans would have failed. Obviously, the improved winning margins in a non-presidential year meant that many voters saw the shutdown as wrong.



Valuing the Contrary Opinion

by Grace Kelly on July 8, 2014 · 2 comments

People have a great need to believe in groups. A single lone dissident voice can change the group pack behavior. That is why leaving the right wing extremists all alone is dangerous.


That is why our current “targeting” of voters may hurt us in the long run while it helps in the short run.


The tolerance and cultivating of that contrary voice is a difficult organization feat. Is it worth it?


I have frequently been the voice going against the flow of opinion. Indeed being a contrarian is an interesting feat in itself. It takes great courage to go against the flow of opinion. Also, one has to back off at just the right time. Also, there are no “I told you so” moments, for people are even more vicious when they are wrong. Then why do it? Because there are decisions that are that important.


The ability to see differently, speak well to describe what one sees and then to back off and join the group decision is very rare. Contrarians eventually burn out without positive support.


Science has now gotten to the point that we can see that brains of contrarians act measurably different. A contrarian is most valuable in trading where “Buy low, sell high” is the way to make money. Very cool chart after the fold.



Gun Loaded and Aimed at ????

by Grace Kelly on July 7, 2014 · 1 comment

Normally, I expect guys to be unusually careful of male members and the jewels. Unlike people who come from farms, military or policing, the current gun-carry crowd believes that chambered bullets are safe. They say things like “Without one in the chamber, I consider it empty. You really think the BG[bad guy] will give you time to jack one into the chamber when you need it?”. Well, actually, yes. Most people need to rev themselves up before getting into violence. A cold blooded killer is going to shoot from a distance, and a hand gun won’t matter at all.


Apparently what we need is social lessons in how guys rev themselves up to actually do violence instead of lessons on how to shoot a gun. Because there is plenty of warning. Knowing the right moment to actually reveal a gun, chamber a bullet and click the safety off can be a dramatic stopper to an argument. Of course, this requires social awareness.


In the meanwhile, apparently we still get gun owners shooting their own male members. Unfortunately, the guns can go off in many directions hitting many innocent people not just male members.


Guns in the home increase risk: Rather than being used for self-defense, guns in the home are 22 times more likely to be involved in accidental shootings, homicides, or suicide attempts. For every one time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were 4 unintentional shootings, 7 criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides


Maybe we could just have all the people who believe in chambered bullets also look down the barrel of the gun to check if the gun is safe. Maybe we could talk all of them into thunderwear (see picture) or those nifty pocket holsters are aimed at the male member. Perfectly safe, just ignore the rule of never aim at something that you don’t want to shoot.


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Republicans Ask For Purge of Voters

by Grace Kelly on July 4, 2014 · 1 comment

The Star Tribune headline writer got the story seriously wrongRepublicans have found found many addresses where more than 100 people are listed at the same address. Claiming fraud, Republicans have requested that all of these addresses be pulled from the voter databases. Republicans have now found what they believe to be the cause of Democratic wins. Their analysis shows that if the precincts where these over 100 voters at an address were pulled then the Republicans would win every election.


Our Secretary of State has tried to explain that it is natural for more than 100 people to live at the same address. Those dwellings are called apartments. However, Republicans are still claiming that even the idea of multiple families living in the same dwelling is unnatural. Republicans point to an earlier claim where the same mailbox address was used as the permanent mailing address for people whose housing is uncertain. WCCO will probably cover this on late night news as a legitimate concern. Then Star Tribune will probably report WCCO coverage out of context the next day.
Other Republicans claim that there is fraud because over 100% of people registered before election day voted in many precincts. This deceiving number leaves out same day voter registration! But said out of context, it sounds real alarming.

Republicans are training their poll watchers to challenge anyone from the addresses that have over a 100 people. They are planning to do a vote challenge that all voters must own property in order to vote, going back to that requirement from when our country started. They are confident that this supreme court will rule in their favor.


This is satire, a spoof of current Republican claims and news coverage. However it is just one small stretch from what is already happening. Soon there will be no way to spoof the actual news reporting because it is already that bad.

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Sincerely Held Beliefs

by Grace Kelly on July 3, 2014 · 1 comment

rule of religionBut officer, I sincerely believe that it is my god-given right to drive as fast as I want on the freeway.


But officer, it is my sincerely held beliefs and part of my religious rituals to take mind altering drugs.


But teacher, it is my sincerely held belief that we should no longer have tests. You should just have faith and give us all “A”s.


Billionaire speaking: it is my sincerely held belief that I should have all the money in the world and not be held accountable by law


Any extremist religious fanatic: it is my sincerely held belief that my religion is the correct religion, therefore any violence is justified to get people to follow my religion.


Any cheater: I could have that result the hard way, it is just easier to cheat.


Any racist: It is my sincerely held belief that my race is superior, therefore I may do anything as the superior race.
Provide your own sincerely held belief to triumph law.
The Supreme Court just put religion above the law and corporations above people again. While respect for religion ought to be part of the law, allowing religion to trump law about the way other people live their lives is just very wrong.

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Sexually Offending Priests Not Just Local

by Grace Kelly on June 29, 2014 · 1 comment

archbishop holding signLocally, attorney Jeff Anderson is fighting the entrenched Catholic Church traditions that allow Catholic priests to abuse children with very little accountability, especially no jail time. While the Catholic Church quickly condemn others, the priestly offenders are given counseling and forgiveness. While the Catholic Church would have us believe that this is a rare phenomenon, this email story (reprinted with permission) shows differently.


Two years ago, Larry was one of my guides on Lac Lacroix. He was always joking and acting silly. Half the time you didn’t know whether he was joking or telling the truth. However, I do remember him saying that he quit school when he was in about 5th grade or so. I have to think that he really did, in which case you realize just how awful his experience in the residential schools must have been. BTW, Larry is probably in his late 50s or early 60s….


One day in the boat, we were making conversation and I happened to ask my guide Jason about his cousin Larry who I hired as a guide two years ago.  At that point, Jason began to tell me about the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada that is making restitution payments to First Nations people who were forced to endure the residential school system.  It turns out that my old guide Larry received a payment of $150K last year from TRC.  He quit guiding, bought a new truck and now has a small plumbing business on the reservation. According to Jason, the most that has been paid out to any single person under the TRC has been $250K; the amount of compensation depends on the number of years spent in residential schools and the extent of physical/mental/sexual abuse that occurred to a particular individual.


The residential schools were operated as a joint venture by the Canadian government and the churches.  At one point in our conversation, I asked Jason if his parents had attended residential schools.  His mother had but not his father.  Jason explained, “When the priest came to get my father, my grandparents hid him in the woods.”  What a poignant comment–I think there’s a novel or memoir somewhere in there with the title “Hiding from God.”


The problem of abuse that Jeff Anderson and others are addressing is apparently a world-wide phenomenon. It’s a sad chapter in history.



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Unbelievable and yet still true! There are many reasons why the Minnesota Republican endorsement of Michelle MacDonald, Minnesota Supreme Court justice is just very wrong.


1) Minnesota Supreme Court justices should fairly enforce the Minnesota constitution and Minnesota laws not make the law.


Republicans have taken to endorsing for judges based on stands on legislative issues. Apparently Republicans have entirely given up on just enforcing the law fairly and leaving legislative fights to the legislature and governor. The Republican endorsing speech listed MacDonald’s pro-life stance, opposition to judicial activism, and small government views as the reasons to vote for her, which they did almost unanimously. Apparently they must expect that judges can change how they act in court based on what the laws should be instead what the laws actually are.


2) Minnesota Supreme Court justices should fairly enforce the Minnesota constitution and Minnesota laws not take a religious text as law.


Forget the law and the constitution, her campaign slogan is “God bless America, again”. Apparently Republican rants about Sharia law were not fears about mixing religion and law, the Republican fears were about picking the right religious law. Michelle MacDonald said in her speech before the Republican convention:


In the words of George Washington, it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.


Now MacDonald did have references to “liberty rights” which I fear may mean the liberty to follow what MacDonald’s interpretation of what her bible says to do.



Epitaph for the Bush Wars

by Grace Kelly on June 23, 2014 · 1 comment

cliff falling2Remember when then President Bush promised any easy quick war that would provide freedom to the Middle East. Remember the weapons of mass destruction that never existed. Remember the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the wrong country. Remember how this was not going to be another Vietnam. As the war hawks again try to peddle their lies, then perhaps we should review what a famous blogger from within the war said. Here is Riverbend on the 10th anniversary. We all rejoice that she is still alive somewhere.


Ten Years On…
April 9, 2013 marks ten years since the fall of Baghdad. Ten years since the invasion. Since the lives of millions of Iraqis changed forever. It’s difficult to believe. It feels like only yesterday I was sharing day to day activities with the world. I feel obliged today to put my thoughts down on the blog once again, probably for the last time.


In 2003, we were counting our lives in days and weeks. Would we make it to next month? Would we make it through the summer? Some of us did and many of us didn’t.


Back in 2003, one year seemed like a lifetime ahead. The idiots said, “Things will improve immediately.” The optimists were giving our occupiers a year, or two… The realists said, “Things won’t improve for at least five years.” And the pessimists? The pessimists said, “It will take ten years. It will take a decade.”


Looking back at the last ten years, what have our occupiers and their Iraqi governments given us in ten years? What have our puppets achieved in this last decade? What have we learned?



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