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Veterans Voices Awards will be presented at the second annual Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony being held at the Humanities Center on the east side of St. Paul on Sept. 11. The Veterans’ Voices Award recognizes military service members that make exceptional, positive contributions which improve the lives of people across Minnesota.


Previous Eagan State Senator Ted Daley is the co-chair of Veterans Voices Awards.


Ted Daley Co Chair Veterans Voices


Now here is where it gets strange. Ted Daley is also one of the awardeesVeterans Voices Awards.


Ted Daley Veterans Voice List


Normally, someone in charge does not give awards to oneself. Although that could be considered the epitome of self encouragement. One could imagine many possibilities. I, Ted Daley, CEO do award Ted Daley as Employee of the Month. I, Ted Daley, King of all this land do proclaim Ted Daley as knight of the realm. It is a good thing that Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV reporter and veteran, will emcee this ceremony otherwise Ted Daley would have to say, “I, Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices do hereby award the Legacy award to Ted Daley. Then maybe he could move the award from one hand to another. Or may Ted Daley could jump on the platform to announce, jump off and then jump on again to accept. Or maybe Ted Daley could use a mirror and pretend that there were two Ted Daleys. Any way you look at it, it is very strange to head up an organization giving an award to one self.


Ted Daley Double


One could just imagine the awards interview.


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Hello, Ted, can you tell me something about your military background.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Why, Ted, sure I can. Although I am sure that you know all about it, so I will make short and sweet. I graduated from West Point. I served more than 20 years and more than I wish to count. I finished in a second tour of duty in Iraq in 2008.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Very good, Ted.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Of course, Ted, you know you can’t top my record”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “That is because I am you.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voice: “Well there is that.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “What community do you serve?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Eagan”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “And where is that?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “You know where it is.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “No, I don’t”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “OK, be that way.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “What is your significant and exceptional positive contribution to the community?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “My mere presence.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Seriously”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: ” I served as commissioner for the Eagan Advisory Planning Commission.”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “You mean you slept through Advisory Planning Commission.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Someone had to sleep through it.”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “And a darned good sleep it was. Anything else?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Cub master for the Deerwood Elementary pack and I didn’t sleep through that.”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Really, why not”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “The kids would have painted a mustache on my face with permanent magic marker.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Oh good reason. You must have more. I know because it is right here in my mind as well.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: ” Well yes, my most significant accomplishment was state senator. Until that Jim Carlson defeated me”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “I would have won”.
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Win next time”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “I will”.
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices:”How?”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Well yes that is what this is all about. I have to collect enough awards and beef up my resume.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: Yes, revenge is sweet.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “We need something more. What else do you do?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “I order people around.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Like who? Give me someone important”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Chamber of Commerce”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “That works.” Ted writes for awhile.


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: What do you tell the Chamber of Commerce to do?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices:[bleeped]
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Give me something that I can write down – something to do with Veterans.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “I could order them to sing? I could even lead.”
Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “You can’t sing.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “I can pretend.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “Give me something serious – how about hiring Veterans?”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Hey, who is answering the questions, here?”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: “I am”.
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “Yes, I am.”


Ted Daley, Co-chair of Veterans Voices: Well then who is giving the awards.”
Ted Daley, Nominee for Award of Veterans Voices: “I guess I will find someone else to do that.”


FYI, the actual published reason for the award is:


Ted Daley is an Army Veteran who, after graduating from West Point and serving 20+ years, completed a second tour of duty in Iraq in 2008. Daley brought back his leadership skills to his Eagan community and beyond where he served as commissioner for the Eagan Advisory Planning Commission, volunteered as Cub master for the Deerwood Elementary pack, and represented Eagan and Burnsville in the Minnesota Senate until January 2013. Through his current role with the Chamber of Commerce, Daley assists Minnesota companies seeking to hire Veterans.


Maybe Ted Daley will send a thank you note to Ted Daley. Maybe Ted Daley will even get a promotion from Ted Daley, with new titles and responsibilities. Why stop at a mere award?


Mark_with_LaraMark Schneider is a farmer that cares for land. He uses smart no-till farming practices, planting corn, soybeans and hay in rotation to control insects. (pdf) “Smart” is the way that Schneider likes to do things. In government, Schneider talks about building roads to endure Minnesota weather for lowest long-term costs instead of the cheapest one-time road-resurfacing cost (pdf). Schneider says that by doing government smarter we can save money in many ways. Mark Schneider is running as the representative in the Minnesota House for Dodge, Goodhue, Wabasha and Winona counties (21B).




Mark Schneider is advocating for a rural community that can live independently off the grid and also produce profitable crops. Schneider would like to have every rural location have its own solar/wind generation because 90% of electricity is lost by the time it reaches the rural areas. That 90% loss gets charged back to the customer. In trying to verify the 90% number, I found out that this 90% number is a factor of maintenance, distance and usage. No one wants to admit to poor maintenance. What is easily verifiable, is that there is an expectation that as batteries become better and cheaper, the rural areas will find it cheaper to totally switch to off grid. This could be happening as soon as 2018, just 4 years away.


Global investment bank UBS has highlighted the challenges facing Australian energy utilities by suggesting that the falling cost of solar and battery storage means that the average Australian household could find it cost-competitive to go off-grid by 2018.


Mark Schneider is a strong advocate for his community. Schneider talks to Dayton and other top Democratic officials advocating for higher levels of ethanol. Ethanol really helps local farmers. Ethanol is also a better environment choice. Schneider says that one acre of corn produces 500 gallons ethanol (pdf) and still feeds 500 chickens. It takes 3 gallons of water to make a gallon of ethanol and the water is reusable. Contrast that with over 1800 gallons of water to distill a barrel of oil, yielding 20 gallons of gasoline from tar sands. Since ethanol is a new industry, the efficiency of all parts to the industry have been rapidly improving.

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DSCN6270The newest candidate for Hennepin Sheriff is Eddie Frizell, a Deputy Chief of the Patrol Bureau with the City of Minneapolis Police Department with 21 years of experience. He is also a Colonel in the National Guard with tours in Iraq and Kuwait. Frizell is challenging the current Sheriff Rick Stanek.


Just yesterday, Eddie Frizell was endorsed by the Hennepin County DFL after months of consideration. During the endorsement process, Frizell faced tough questions. One person asked Frizell, how would he ensure more probable cause and less profiling. The answer was that when officers better reflect the community, they make better decisions on probable cause. The vote of support was unanimous and enthusiastic.


Impressively, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association have also endorsed Frizell saying:


“It is clear to us that you understand creating a livable, safer community and that this requires a multi-faceted approach involving partnerships at all levels of the community and government. As a result, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association supports your candidacy for Sheriff of Hennepin County!”


As a writer, I wanted to contrast the endorsements of both candidates for Sheriff. However I ran into difficulties on the Stanek endorsements.


MNGOP’s False Equivalence is Demeaning to Women

by Invenium Viam on August 27, 2014 · 0 comments

demeaning to women

Demeaning to women?

“God … God … why did you put so many a**holes in the world at the same time?” Major Santini, The Great Santini


The latest cornerstore hoo-hah to issue from the Hivemind of the Glifnards is that Senator Franken somehow demeaned women by briefly holding two traffic cones to his chest as if they were female breasts. This was in apparent response to DFL Chair Ken Martin’s call for congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn to apologize for his very real, repeated, caustic demeaning of women, minorities, and every other non-male, non-WASP group that happened to come to mind.


In a 12-second iPhone video, Franken appeared to be clowning for someone off-camera.


While it may be Humor Unbecoming of a Comedian of Franken’s stature as a local stand-up (of fond memory) and former comedy writer and skit-player for SNL — humor at about the same comedic level of sophistication as Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin — it hardly descends to the level of demeaning women.


That is, unless you think that breasts as reproductive organs are dirty and shameful and that that dirtyshamefulness somehow devolves upon their owners and therefore ought not be used for jokes. If that’s the case, it explains a lot, since pointing out that women have breasts and men don’t is almost as clever a revelation as pointing out that human beings like to have sex … noisy, clumsy, sweaty, messy, wet sex … which seems to be a continuing bugaboo for a good many conservative types who need to be in control, man.


Without stating what, exactly, is demeaning to women about Franken’s juvenile behavior, several Republican women in the Minnesota legislature — including State Senator Michelle Fischbach and Representatives Marion O’Neill, Joyce Peppin, Cindy Pugh and Peggy Scott — demanded an apology from Franken in a letter drafted by Party Boss Keith Downey to DFL Chair Ken Martin. “I am so offended,” avowed Representative O’Neill, who joined Downey at a news conference, ”not only this, but his pattern of behavior to degrade women and to put women down. We are in 2014. I think it’s time to apologize and it’s time to move forward and it’s time to stop this terrible behavior.”


Sound genuine to you? Me neither. Putting the shoe on the other foot, if any of those women stuffed a cucumber down the front of their jeans and proceeded to dick-swagger bow-legged around the room like they had testicles the size of hen’s eggs suspended in their scrotal sac, would I feel demeaned? U-m-m-m-m-m …. Nope!  I’d just feel mildly amused …



LegacyWebHorizontalI’ve long held forth to anyone I could buttonhole, whom I thought I had a reasonable chance of educating, that Minnesota and the Twin Cities are not some frozen hinterland of the continental upper Midwest, but instead offer some of the best arts, dance, theater and music in the country.


Usually I’ve had these conversations in airport bars or at trade shows and business seminars. Few people have been inclined to listen much, but that hasn’t dampened my spiritual calling to civic boosterism. I love Minnesota and the Twin Cities, always have, and if you love something you want to let others know.


Minnesota is known for a lot of things — our lakes, our sports teams, our universities, our liberal politics — but it’s not generally known as a center of the arts and a major supporter of the arts community. It should be.


While not generally known even to native Minnesotans, our state is home to more than 1,500 arts and cultural organizations. Each year, these organizations pump more than $830 million into the local economy. Of that, the creative sector produces some $700 million in revenues with $430 million in consumer retail sales — equal to about 70% of all sports sector revenues combined. The creative sector employs some 20,000 residents in Minneapolis alone, amounting to about 5% of all jobs in the city. The Playwrights’ Center is recognized across the country as unrivaled in the cultivation of new playwrights and their works. There are nearly 100 theater companies in the state with more theater seats per capita than anywhere in the country except New York City. Per capita revenues for theater companies and dinner theaters is 14 times the national average. Overall, the Twin Cities metro area is rated 6th highest in the Creative Vitality Index nationwide.


A lot of that artistic energy, innovation and economic vitality is the legacy of the Legacy Amendment, which I consider one of the greatest collective acts of civic philanthropy in our nation’s history and one which will serve as a model to other states once they begin to realize the astounding social, cultural and economic benefits it produces.


For those who need some background, in 2008 Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Act (Legacy Act) to the Minnesota State Constitution. The objectives of that legislation were to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater; to preserve clean drinking water sources; to protect, enhance and restore wetlands, prairies and forests and renew wildlife habitat; to support parks and trails; and to preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage. To accomplish those objectives, the Legacy Act called for an increase to the state sales tax of three-eighths of one percent (0.00375%) beginning on July 1, 2009 and continuing through 2034, to be divided into four funds: 33% for a Clean Water Fund; 33% for an Outdoor Heritage Fund; 19.75% for an Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund; and 14.25% for a Parks and Trails Fund. Note that this self-imposed tax was in addition to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) established in 1988. The Legacy Act passed with a 56% majority, even though a blank ballot counted as a “No” vote, proving to the many doubters that Minnesotan’s ongoing love affair with our state’s astonishing natural beauty and priceless water resources meant far more to them than a handful of pocket change.


To date, here’s how the Legacy Act funding breaks down (diagram includes ENRTF funding):


Legacy Act Funding


Looking just at the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, you can see why Minnesota enjoys such a lively, thriving arts community and creative sector economy: by this year’s end, for just the first five years of the Act, Minnesotans will have invested more than a quarter-billion dollars in our arts community. An investment of that kind of capital in any area of human endeavor is bound to have an enormous impact. In fact, that’s just what we are seeing.


In time, Minnesota will become known for more than bone-chilling winters and sky blue waters. We’ll become known as the center of arts and culture in the center of the continent and a magnet for the best and brightest. At the rate things are going, it won’t take long …


The forgotten guns of August

by Eric Ferguson on August 25, 2014 · 2 comments

US soldiers at Ft. Shelby, Prairie du Chien, 1814August marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and certainly that deserves to be amply remarked upon (if all you know of the war is which Roman numeral it gets, here’s a quick primer). However, it reminds me of a 200th anniversary coming up for the decisive part of a war that’s been remarkably ignored. The title of this post is something of a play on words, specifically the title of the seminal book on the start of World War I, Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August. August was also the start of the decisive battles of the oft-forgotten War of 1812. I feel particularly odd at having stayed wrapped up in current events because I’m a War of 1812 reenactor, or at least was. It’s been long enough that I probably lost my present tense status. But it has bugged me for two years that the war’s bicentennial came and went with little notice outside commemorations at the places where events happened.
So I’m fixing that now. This is the anniversary of a war where the US government was run by people who were delusional about our prospects, and thereby got everything wrong. Campaigns went badly, the economy suffered, and the armed forces turned out to be unready for a badly underestimated enemy. No, I didn’t veer of into talking about Bush’s war in Iraq, though learning some history might have salutary lesson for those who led us into our recent debacle. They forgot, however, assuming they knew, which I don’t actually assume.
Maybe the War of 1812 is forgotten because of the bland name, merely the year the war started, and people at the time didn’t know what to call it. That was true of Canadians and British too. Maybe it’s forgotten because it ended in a draw, which perhaps is boring and gives the impression nothing happened or nothing changed — yet this is a very different country than it might have been. Imagine the Mississippi River is our western border. Imagine the Great Lakes are all British. Imagine the country is split in two with the split sustained by foreign force. Imagine the US, far from being the confident nation we take for granted, looked at the outside world with a strong desire to keep its head down and not be noticed, because the idea we could take on a European great power had been beaten out of us. We came close to all of that being reality. Here in August, we mark the 200th anniversary of the events that settled which future we would have.
Warning: this post gets long following the “read more” link, at least long considering it’s a blog. Get comfy.


MNGOP Commits Suicide with a Chainsaw

by Invenium Viam on August 24, 2014 · 7 comments


Ah, spite … it’s one of the world’s infinite resources.


In what may turn out to be the most dramatic act of political suicide ever attempted by a political party, the MNGOP has been caught in the moral equivalent of a clergyman dropping trou on the public thoroughfare to reveal … girly underwear.


It’s common knowledge that the party has been in a major confrontation of late with Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald, who was endorsed by the MNGOP and subsequently discovered to have a DUI conviction, or pending charges, I’m unclear which. MacDonald was thereafter “disinvited” to appear at the MNGOP’s booth at the State Fair. When she said she was going to show up anyway, they changed the rules about who among their candidates could appear to kiss babies, press the flesh, and tell shameless lies about what Democrats are like — and who couldn’t — thereby converting their disinvitation into true persona non grata status.


As threatened, Ms. MacDonald showed up anyway last Thursday, the first day of the fair, and demanded they play nice and let her hold forth on the hustings along with everybody else; instead, party officials had her escorted off the premises … for trespassing. And for not being very obedient. Theirs is the party of obedient women, by golly.


Yesterday, GOP Party Boss Keith Downey sent out an email to delegates stating: “Michelle MacDonald is our endorsed candidate. Period. Irrespective of the legitimate concerns about the Judicial Elections Committee process, barring another state convention to re-consider her endorsement, or a circumstance arising that would render her ineligible to serve in the offce, she is our endorsed candidate through the election.”


Period. So there.


But wait, we have a few caveats to consider! So maybe not so Period after all.


Boss Downey then went on to take issue with Ms. MacDonald’s character and conduct by pointing out a number of deficiencies, including that her legal and judicial philosophy sucks, as well as a list of bad behaviors such as her threat to appear at the State Fair booth when nobody there likes her very much — all of which which made her an unsuitable candidate to represent the Good People of the Great State of Minnesota as a GOP candidate for the state’s highest court. Plus which, a whole bunch of conservative lawyers don’t like her much, either, because she has some unusual ideas about law and justice and because she’s not very obedient.


Subsequently, Strib political reporter Abby Simons sent out a tweet: “Michelle MacDonald saying she was approached by GOP to repudiate endorsement, Party spokeswoman denies that.”


However, they lied to Ms. Simons. And lying to a political reporter sorta tanks your credibility for a long time after. Because, see, then their credibility with their readers suffers and since credibility for a reporter is the sine qua non of their whole existence, career-wise, lying to them can invite some serious payback.




Mike McFadden


In his latest television ad, Mike “Nutshot” McFadden attempts to heap scorn on Senator Franken for “missing the mark.” It looks to me like yet more evidence that McFadden’s campaign is Not Ready for Prime Time.


The ad portrays a Franken look-a-like replete in suit and tie attempting to back the family boat into the water, failing repeatedly, knocking over garbage cans, while others are waiting impatiently and shaking their heads. The subtext reads contempt: Pity the Fool. Of course, Mighty Mike gets it on the first try. ‘Cuz he’s no fool.


Or.Is.He? If the ad’s intended audience is boat-owners, he may be on to something. Minnesota has more boat-owners per capita than any other state in the union. But to my knowledge boat-ownership has never been identified as a persuade-able voter demographic. Maybe I’m wrong …


No, I think he actually missed the mark himself. It appears that the ad is appealing to those viewers who dislike Coppertone®-tan Presidents, dislike Obamacare, dislike votes on higher taxes (never mind that the House GOP majority makes those votes moot), and dislike bespectacled Jews in suits trying to back boats.


If that’s the demographic he’s appealing to, I’ve got a newsflash for Team McFadden. Those guys are already voting your way. You’re wasting the old man’s money. Why not give the money to me and I’ll pass it on to a worthwhile charity — it’s better spent.


Also, I thought McFadden was supposed to be a smart business guy. The smartest move he could make right now would be to six his ad agency and find someone who knows what the hell they’re doing.


Mike, you need to widen your message, starting right now, and begin appealing to moderates, or your campaign is DOA on Election Day. Time is short: early voting begins in five weeks.


As the ad says, “Here in Min-ne-SO-ta, there’s a right way and a wrong way.” Looks to me like you picked the wrong way. Pity the fool.


DirtyDenier$ Day 9: Congressman John Kline

by afrank on August 15, 2014 · 2 comments

John Kline

Today’s featured Dirty Denier is Rep. John Kline from Minnesota. While his denialism is more mild-mannered than the brash, outspoken style of some of his #DirtyDenier$ compatriots, it’s no less dangerous.
After more than a decade in Congress, Kline has racked up an appalling 4 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters. In the previous two years (2013 and 2012), Kline voted in favor of the environment just once. At every possible opportunity, he has voted against clean energy investment and against action to address climate change. He has also supported the dirty energy agenda by trying to roll back bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
Kline’s opposition to action on climate change is particularly disappointing. Kline has been pretty silent about the causes of climate change or the costs of inaction. He doesn’t talk about the way Minnesota’s anglers and lakes will be affected by climate change. He doesn’t talk about the way homeowners’ insurance premiums are already rising in the face of more extreme weather.
Who might be happy with Kline’s votes and his silence? Well, take a look at the list of his top campaign contributors. Two of his top five are Boich Companies and Murray Energy, both coal mining companies. They are certainly thankful that Kline voted to allow both existing and new coal fired power plants to continue emitting unlimited amounts of climate-changing carbon pollution.
Kline can no longer hide behind his silence on climate change. Kline’s record speaks for itself and there’s no denying that he’s a Dirty Denier.
Our Advice: Climate change is a serious challenge and your country needs your voice and your vote, Rep. Kline. It’s time to start speaking the truth and helping your constituents in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.


Johnson, Otto, and primary thoughts

by Eric Ferguson on August 15, 2014 · 2 comments

Fresh off his win in the MNGOP gubernatorial primary, Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson has already released his first campaign video:

Oops, that was Eddie Murphy from “The Distinguished Gentleman”. Sorry, didn’t mean to compare Jeff Johnson to Eddie Murphy. That’s unfair. After all, Murphy is funny on purpose.

Here’s Johnson being funny, presumably not on purpose: