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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who Needs Sex Education?

The latest legislation passed by the Democrats in St. Paul is a real corker. Our Democrat friends are now requiring MORE sex education in our schools, the one thing our kids seem to know about BEFORE the classroom. The legislation requires that there be an EMPHASIS on abstinence, whatever that means.

What appalls me most is NOT the fact that our kids are being fed information by teachers who may or may not share my values (although that concerns me). It’s NOT even that once again the legislature is making decisions that are better made by parents and the local school boards (although this concerns me). What really pops my cork the most is that the legislature used their valuable time to discuss this, AT ALL!!! I am also galled by the knowledge that once again, they are requiring one more non-academic class where no reading, writing, or arithmetic is being taught! If there are many more of these non-academic classes, we will soon be faced with two alternatives: 1) Shall we require 14 years to finish what is now K – 12? 2) Shall we require year-round school? Somehow we are going to have to squeeze in a little learning.

Now, let’s talk about cost. Our representatives continue to promise us “property tax relief.” How are they going to accomplish this promise if they continue to heap mandates on the local schools? Who pays? Property taxpayers, that’s who!

The legislature’s idea of property tax relief is to raise income tax, raise gas tax and raise sales tax and give some of it back to the local governments. That’s like giving a dying man a transfusion from one arm to the other with a leaky hose!!!

Please, Mr. Kalin and Mr. Olseen, come to your senses!! Stop playing politics and get to work on the real issues facing Minnesota and Chisago County.

Start talking about real education. Start taking about real health care reform. Start talking about wasteful spending. Start talking about really CUTTING taxes. And Jeremy, start paying property taxes, yourself!

OK, I’m going to take a deep breath now!

Carbon Dioxide: Part 17

Kill the beetles. Plant a tree—no, many trees.

The forests of British Columbia are being attacked by the mountain pine beetle. This catastrophe creates a double whammy. The trees that die can no longer extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the decaying trees release CO2. The release over a 21 year period is so large, the Canadian Forest Service estimates it is equivalent to 5 years of emissions from all forms of Canadian transportation.

The annual production of CO2 by the beetles is almost as much as that caused by Canadian forest fires each year.

So now we have something more to worry about. The kids in school back in the ’50s and ’60s had only a nuclear attack to fret about. Now they have the BEETLES that affect CO2. That puts things in perspective!

Expect some massive government program to help, all in the name of CO2. Assuredly, this and similar problems have been attacking the forests since time began and we have somehow survived. Even Gaia survived! Amazing! Back then, no one cared about the impact of carbon dioxide, but now it is cast in terms of CO2 and sounds so much worse.

Previously, such devastation would have been measured in terms of lost lumber and logs and its effect on construction costs. The new fad is carbon dioxide and nothing is said about the lost lumber and logs. Under this new rubric, government will intervene to stop this non-human cause of CO2, the production of which is probably inconsequential.

One gets the impression these global warming adherents are like kindergartners making new discoveries and letting their minds run wild. True science demands much more sober observation and much less alarmist speculation.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rep. Jeremy Kalin, Al Franken, Sen. Olseen & DFLers

Rep. JEREMY KALIN was all smiles as he enjoyed the warm embrace of AL FRANKEN & other DFLers at a house party hosted by the Senator RICK OLSEENS at the January 13, 2008 event showing on the Chisago County DFL website.

AL FRANKEN is a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Minnesota's senior Senator Norm Coleman.



Representative JEREMY KALIN is shown on the Chisago County DFL website beaming with happiness as he enjoyed the friendly embrace of none other than AL FRANKEN at a recent DFL house party at the Olseens hosted by the Senator Rick Olseens.

Senator Norman Coleman, senior senator from Minnesota, holds the seat for which Franken is a candidate. You may recall that Franken is currently in the news from New York to California for certain tax related failures to pay - 17 states included now according to the Saint Paul Paper on April 30, 2008. Nice buddy for Kalin & Olseen to chum around with!

The Four Horsemen

Burning our food to redistribute energy has caused food shortages, at least in part, around the world (for a few of many articles click here, here, here, here, and here).

The global warming that was supposed to be lessened by the burning of ethanol has been absent this winter and spring so that planting of crops has been delayed according to this Strib article. An abnormally late spring means delayed planting which equals a reduced crop which will affect food shortages.

It should be obvious to anyone with intelligence that there is something seriously wrong with burning food to create fuel. Yet our political leaders have compulsively lit the matches, by requiring a certain percentage of ethanol in gasoline. Knowing full well that the ethanol complex would not begin or survive on its own, they approved subsidies to support it and import taxes on foreign ethanol.

In doing so, our political leaders have demonstrated a great lack of wisdom. Economic foolishness governs the day when they cannot understand that subsidies for ethanol will increase the price of corn which increases the price of food. Tax based subsidies create market place price increases which are taxes in the final analysis.

Environmental foolishness reigns when they cannot understand that there is an energy loss and pollutant gain when creating ethanol from food stocks.

Nutrient foolishness abounds when these politicians cannot recognize that burning food is not good public policy.

This foolishness is just the tip of the iceberg of stupidity found in government that determines to control every aspect of our lives. Ronald Reagan astutely observed, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Sadly, foolishness does not avoid Chisago County. Rep. Jeremy Kalin (D-17B) wrote a year ago:

"Senator Rick Olseen and I worked with landowners, farmers, and our County Board to secure a $200,000 state grant to study building a prairie-grass cellulosic ethanol plant in Chisago County. This could bring dozens or even hundreds of new jobs to our community and provide economic opportunity for local farmers, without sacrificing our food sources."
Cellulosic ethanol is untested and undeveloped, but our Representative and Senator itch to spend our tax dollars on it. Kalin thinks it can be developed ". . . without sacrificing our food sources." I doubt Kalin thought that one through. Prairie grass can grow on more marginal acres than corn or soybeans, but that percentage of increase is small.

Then too, if prairie grass is successful, farmers would try to increase production by adding fertilizer, which is an addition of energy. And who is to say that acreage for food crops will not be diminished by prairie grass production? If the straw and stalks of wheat, oats, barley, etc. are used to produce ethanol, then that eliminates the vegetation that is returned to the soil for the next harvest of food crops. That requires more fertilizer (and energy) to replace the waste vegetation.

While the state’s cellulosic ethanol program is young, it won’t be long before it too will be subsidized just like corn ethanol is.

Instead of locking us into looking for the elusive perpetual motion machine, legislators need to encourage nuclear generation (which is illegal in Minnesota) and drilling in known American oil reserves. Government needs to get out of the way, let the generous supply of known energy resources be used and let the private sector develop new energy sources. The "help" of politicians is rarely help. It usually creates drastic unintended consequences and costs billions of dollars.

The Dems


“Sixteen months after it started in glory, the Dem fight has fallen to Snob-ama vs. the Obliterator, the Unelectable vs. the Unlikable. Yuck.” Read more....


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Olseen/Kalin/and the DFL use a stock Cover-up Speech & Explanation

Senator Rick Olseen (DFL) & Representative Jeremy Kalin (DFL) have a stock "explanation" and "excuse" that they regularly use to attempt to cover up their own failures and incompetence in representing us in the Minnesota legislature.

In one way or another Rick and Jeremy, and the other DFLers in the legislature, use that stock "explanation and excuse" every time they meet the public or write their columns for the hometown media. They say "the Governor failed . . . ." Or they say that they are "disappointed that the Governor . . . . "

Hey, Rick and Jeremy, your pointing out the other person's shortcomings is just an old worn-out political trick that has been used as a convenient way to cover up your own failures.

After all, your DFL currently has the majority in both Houses of the legislature and so for the DFL it can't get any better than that!

And so it is inexcusable, Rick and Jeremy, that you simply aren't getting the job done for us back here at home.

Local Legislators Failed The Grade

"THE NEWS FROM THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT GOOD." (capitolized for emphasis)

(The above comment is a direct quote from the North Branch Independent School District No. 138, Minutes of Working School Board Meeting - April 23, 2008 issue, page 16, ECM Post Review newspaper)

Long-time former North Branch school board member Senator Rick Olseen and Representative Jeremy Kalin who claims several years high school teaching experience have flunked the course as legislators representing the educational interests of this area's schools.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

T Bill to be Adjusted

The $6.6 billion Transportation bill (HF 2800, 4th Engrossment) had the following language regarding an increase in the vehicle license tab fees:

15.19 EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective the day following final enactment,
15.20 and applies to any annual additional tax for a registration period that starts on or after
15.21 September 1, 2008, through August 31, 2009.

The language of the bill could be interpreted to limit the increased license tab fees to be applicable for one year. The DFL failed to recognize this limitation when they passed the bill, but is now setting about to make sure this increase in license tab fees is permanent. They have inserted the following language in HF 3800, 1st Engrossment:

58.25 Sec. 6. Laws 2008, chapter 152, article 3, section 1, the effective date, is amended to
58.26 read:
58.27 EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective the day following final enactment,
58.28 and applies to any annual additional tax for a registration period that starts on or after
58.29 September 1, 2008, through August 31, 2009.
58.30 EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

You can find this information at Minnesota Democrats Exposed. This change must be passed to collect the higher vehicle license tab fees after August 1, 2009.

Senator Olseen had contended with Commentator Pat Tepoorten that the T bill would cost taxpayers a small $37 per year for the increased gas tax as if that is the only tax increase. A whole bunch of DFL supporters lined up behind him.

Most everyone will also pay more for their license tabs. Of course that was already in the bill that was passed, but Olseen didn’t own up to it. Well, now Olseen will own up to it in a round about way when he supports this change. Of course he won’t acknowledge it publicly.

The T bill will cost the average person a whole lot more than $37 per year. It has been estimated that the increase for license tabs will cost Minnesota drivers $1.979 billion over the next ten years.

Most of us knew Olseen was blowing smoke in Tepoorten's face and ours. Olseen gets his comeuppance now. Sometimes things have a way of sneaking up on a politician and biting him in the behind!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Drunk Driving

FLASH!! News reports just declared that "Minnesota has one of the worst drunk driving records in the nation." Of course there is a rational explanation: the DFL tax burden is driving people to drink!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dems on the Defensive

It all started with the Post Review’s Pat Tepoorten’s well-written, easy-to-comprehend opinion piece on the Transportation bill. There was some lively interaction with his commentary and each others’ comments, but no one answered Tepoorten. Among other points, Tepoorten said the annual cost of the T bill for a family of four is $500.

Senator Rick Olseen retorted to Tepoorten, saying he should report the facts, but Olseen failed to show that Tepoorten did not have the facts. Olseen asserted the cost for the average driver is $37.

Then R. J. Proulx took Tepoorten to task for making ". . . it sound like the measure calls for a one-year tax hike of $6.6 billion." Proulx failed to read Tepoorten’s clear presentation that he was writing about a $500 yearly cost. Tepoorten broke it down to an understandable amount for a family of four.

Robert G. Walz next minimized the cost by supporting the few pennies gas tax increase in the Transportation bill while attacking some Republicans who did not support it.

Joe Johnson argued for paying that measly $40 extra per year.

Carl Hasselquist just loves more taxes.

Meanwhile, Wade Vitalis, Kalin’s campaign manager, kept after Tepoorten in the comments section without ever coming close to engaging his commentary on the $500 annual cost.

Recognizing that the Democrat letter writers were stuck on the $40 figure as the annual cost of the Transportation bill, Bob Barrett pointed out there is a much higher cost than $40 for a family. His letter generated considerable interaction in the form of comments appended to his letter. However, no one answered Barrett’s or Tepoorten’s contention.

Then Mic Dahlberg, a retired Chisago County engineer and director on the Chisago County DFL executive board, contended his two-car family will pay about $71 per year. He debunked Tepoorten and Barrett’s estimate of a much higher figure with a whole lot of party line obfuscation.

And now once again, Bob Barrett tries to get these Democrats to acknowledge they are misrepresenting reality by grossly understating the true cost of the T bill to a family of four.

Kudos to Tepoorten and Barrett. For too long, the Dems have owned Chisago County and the press. Now that truth is being written and published, the Dems come out in full force to line up behind their Senator. Neither Olseen nor his defenders can admit the T bill will cost a whole lot more than his declared $37 per year. They just don’t want us to know how much it will actually cost taxpayers. It’s obvious Tepoorten and Barrett struck a nerve when all these Dems get in defensive mode!

Tepoorten and Barrett are clearly the hands-down winners in this debate. Thanks guys. And thanks to these Dems for the rants. It makes great reading to see how Dems avoid reality! In their haste to defend one of their own, they forgot to do some simple math. If every one of Minnesota's 5.2 million people paid $37 annually for 10 years, that would provide just $1.924 billion against the $6.6 billion. That's a measly $4.676 billion short of making payment.

The Dems compulsion to use fuzzy math leads them to be dishonest with numbers. It also makes them fiscally irresponsible.

That Kalin/Olseen Kouple in the Legislature

Kalin and Olseen went to Saint Paul - sent to Saint Paul by the voters of this District with (we must add) the massive financial and other assistance from "outside" forces (take a look at the funding sources for their campaigns and you will see who really elected them!) - big money always votes in any campaign.

Kalin and Olseen went to Saint Paul promising the "folks back home" that they would bring home the bacon so to speak - they were going to bring back the "goodies." But what have they brought back so far? They have brought back mostly the "baddies" - bad things like the massive gas tax increase and all the other garbage attached to the vaunted "transportation" bill - watch out in the future if you buy a new vehicle or when you renew your next license plates and a whole bunch of other undesirable increased costs.

Kalin and Olseen went to Saint Paul and brought home the stalled North Branch bridge project (remember how they crucified former State Representative Peter Nelson for allegedly "doing nothing" about the bridge!) Well, the bridge is still not replaced.

In addition to the largest legislative salaries in State history Kalin and Olseen are also pulling down the largest per diems in the history of this State - ($96 bucks a day for Olseen as a Senator and $77 bucks a day for Kalin as a Representative - essentially just for "showing up for work!"

They say that the Republican elephant has a long memory - we wonder if the DFL jackass is similarly endowed?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Carbon Dioxide: Part 16, Olympic Torch Emissions

In a previous post, we observed a fact of burning propane. When a molecule of propane is burned, the hydrogen atoms are replaced with oxygen atoms which are 16 times heavier than a hydrogen atom. When the C3H8 propane molecule is burned, it becomes 3 molecules of CO2. The new product weight jumps from 44 units to 132 units, an increase of 3 times because oxygen is 16 times heavier than hydrogen. The extra weight comes from the oxygen.

The ABC and Slate articles cited before are preoccupied with the large weight of carbon dioxide that is produced from burning jet fuel and propane in the torch. On the other hand, they totally ignore another byproduct of that combustion.

Burning propane produces water as well as CO2. What is the weight of water produced? Besides the 3 atoms of carbon being combined with oxygen, the 8 atoms of hydrogen also are combined with oxygen. These 8 atoms of hydrogen are combined with 4 atoms of oxygen to produce 4 molecules of water (H2O). Here is the math:

3x12 + 8x1 = 44 units of weight for C3H8 source

3x12 + 6x16 = 132 units of weight for CO2 byproduct

8x1 + 4x16 = 72 units of weight for H2O byproduct

132 + 72 = 204 units of total weight of the byproducts

So the 44 units of weight of propane become 204 units of weight when burned, forming carbon dioxide and water. All hydrocarbons, when burned, produce CO2 and H2O. Al Gore and Company are hollering about the carbon dioxide and its greenhouse effect that increases global warming. The two articles cited above are typical. They do not say anything about the water that is produced when hydrocarbons are burned.

It’s hard to condemn water. How can anyone classify it as a poison which they do for CO2? It just wouldn’t fly, would it? So they ignore it, but water vapor has a greenhouse effect just as carbon dioxide does. Both molecules trap heat, restricting its flow into space. An equal amount of CO2 is more effective in trapping heat than H2O is.

When propane (C3H8) is burned, there are 4 molecules of H2O that are produced and 3 molecules of CO2. However, this situation immediately after burning propane does not stay that way for very long. The balance in the atmosphere comes to an average ratio of 60 times more water than carbon dioxide. So water has far more influence on trapping heat around the globe than carbon dioxide does. In fact, water vapor accounts for at least 90% of the earth’s greenhouse effect.

Yet we do not read much in global warming articles about the much larger greenhouse effect of water. But it’s coming. Here is a headline: EPA Seeks To Have Water Vapor Classified As A Pollutant. There will be a tax on water produced by combustion.

We are doomed. Every tree that we plant to aid carbon credits and lock up CO2 for a few decades through photosynthesis will eventually rot naturally. As the wood decays, it slowly gives off CO2 and H2O. So we will need to plant more. And then there will be more to rot!

It’s rotten to be on the Goracle’s treadmill. I can’t wait for that to be verboten.

The Peter Principle and Kalin/Olseen

The Peter Principle is a description of people who "rise to their level of incompetence." That is what has happened in the case of Representative Kalin and Senator Olseen. In short, they are way over their heads in the Minnesota legislature - they have risen to their level of incompetence. Oh, they were good candidates all right. They smiled "purty." They attended all kinds of events. They got their pictures "took" in all kinds of situations. They campaigned hard. Kalin boasts that he knocked on some 10,000 or so doors. He supposedly wore out several pairs of shoes doing so - the number of pairs worn out varies by which story you read. And, yes, they got themselves elected.

But then the Peter Principle took over. Kalin and Olseen simply can't do the job for the District. They seek to cover their incompetence by being "disappointed with the Governor" for almost everything that comes along. They don't comprehend the fact that a Governor doesn't pass any bills. Only the legislature passes bills.

Meanwhile "back in North Branch" the bridge is still not built. "Back in North Branch" the Post Review headline for the April 16 issue reads ominously "NB schools: 3 phases of cuts = ouch." "Back in Chisago County" the roads are busting up." And on and on the litany of "incompetent" representation in the legislature continues.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carbon Dioxide: Part 15, Olympic Torch Emissions

Slate reports that a gallon of Olympic torch fuel, propane, produces 12.669 pounds of CO2. National Geographic News confirms the fuel is propane.

If you are an intelligent and inquisitive reader, you probably realize propane is lighter than water which weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. How then can a gallon of liquified propane, which weighs 4.2 pounds, produce 12.669 pounds of CO2? You can find the explanation in chemistry term here, but I will explain it in more layman terms.

Look at the two dimensional and three dimensional structure of a propane molecule here. Each molecule of propane (C3H8) has 3 atoms of carbon and 8 atoms of hydrogen. A carbon atom is 12 times heavier than a hydrogen atom, which has a weight of 1. The carbon in a molecule of propane has the weight of 36 units and the hydrogen has the weight of 8 units for a total of 44 units for the entire molecule.

When this molecule of propane is burned, the hydrogen atoms are replaced with oxygen atoms which are 16 times heavier than a hydrogen atom. When the C3H8 propane molecule is burned, it becomes 3 molecules of CO2. The new product weight jumps from 44 units to 132 units, an increase of 3 times because oxygen is 16 times heavier than hydrogen. The extra weight comes from the oxygen. Here is the math:

3x12 + 8x1 = 44 units of weight for C3H8

3x12 + 6x16 = 132 units of weight for CO2

So a 4.2 pound gallon of propane becomes 12.6 pounds of CO2 when it is burned. The 12.669 pounds mentioned above in the article is correct. So yes the reports are accurate. That is how much CO2 is produced when a gallon of propane is burned.

The same thing happens when you burn gasoline on your drive to work. The carbon dioxide produced weighs more than the gasoline. Your jet ride on vacation does the same thing. Heating your home with propane, natural gas, fuel oil, coal, wood, or corn does it. Burning a candle does it. Any hydrocarbon used as a source of heat will produce more weight of carbon dioxide than the weight of the hydrocarbon that is burned. It is a law of the physical world that cannot be changed. Without this production of the heavier amount of CO2, we will not have heat. The global warming nuts might not like it, but it’s a fact of life that cannot be changed.

Carbon Dioxide: Part 14, Olympic Torch Emissions

True to form, the global warming activists are aghast over the enormous amount of CO2 that is produced by the Olympic torch and the plane that transports it around the world. ABC news reports:

"So when the torch isn't being marched through city streets and/or extinguished by protesters, how is it getting around? You guessed it, by plane -- an Air China A330 custom painted with the Olympic logo and color scheme. The A330 burns 5.4 gallons of fuel per mile. That translates into 462,400 gallons for the entire trip. With Earthlab estimating that every gallon of jet fuel burned produces 23.88 pounds of CO2, the Olympic Torch Relay is adding about 11 million pounds of carbon to the atmosphere. That's 5,500 tons."
Oh those are big numbers! The headline of the article "Olympic Torch Emits 5,500 Tons of CO2" leads one to believe this amount is emitted by the torch. But that is not the case. The article never quantifies the carbon dioxide emission of the torch, but just of the jet that transports it around the world.

The headline is misleading, but the author clarifies in the body of the article that ". . . the Olympic Torch Relay is adding about 11 million pounds of carbon to the atmosphere."

According to Slate, the amount of propane burned in the torch has not been revealed.

The 11 million pounds of CO2 produced to transport the torch will be very small compared to that created by all the world's athletes, coaches, broadcasters, sports writers and observers who fly to Beijing. The amount of CO2 produced by all those traveling people will be huge. In comparison, the jet flight to transport the Olympic torch is insignificant even though it is a large number.

Dear Al Gore, the Deer Need Your Help

I received this picture via e-mail so I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the location. This picture was taken on Trout Lake near Bovey, Minnesota on April 7, 2008. There had been 2 feet of new snow at that time on top of old snow.

These deer are hoping that Al Gore gets around to bringing on the global warming he has promised. Imagine all the carbon dioxide these critters exhaled in their long, difficult struggle to wade through this snow! Then they had to eat more to replace all that lost energy and thus produced more of the noxious, poisonous pollutant. But if the world would ever warm up, these deer wouldn't have to work so hard at living. Come on Al, have some compassion! Bring it on!

Disclaimer: No animals were hurt by humans while filming this scene. I just thought we'd better cover ourselves and put the animal rights activists' minds at ease.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Roads and the T Bill: Part 3

Conservatives are much in favor of a system of roads for reasons noted previously. However, we do have some more gripes which we shall continue to itemize.

Something is seriously wrong when lobbyists are allowed to line up their own transportation projects with the House and Senate. Engineering and surveying firms such as Bonestroo, Short Elliot Hendrickson, TKDA, bridge construction companies such as Lunda, road contractors such as Hardrives and Midwest Asphalt, and cities such as Minneapolis, St. Michael, and Ramsey County and Beltrami County all lobbied for the T bill.

The taxpayers do not stand a chance when all these special interests stand in the bread line to lobby for projects to ensure their bread basket is filled. These are hungry, greedy porkers, making sure the public trough gets filled to overflowing to serve their own ends. They have figured out the system and the taxpayers get fleeced. Who lobbies for the taxpayers?

How many legislators can resist pleasing these lobbyists in their district? Each time a legislator agrees, it is easier the next time until that person can be depended upon to keep filling the trough. And then the voters reelect those legislators because they "bring home the bacon," while failing to recognize they are working to keep other people making big bucks. Strip the pork out of this mess and we will have more transportation projects for the same money. Or we will have more money left over.

The I-35 bridge that collapsed cost $5,269,002 back in 1967. The replacement bridge will cost $234,000,000 plus a potential bonus. Recognizing that the new bridge is larger than the old bridge, yet it is 45 times more money in a mere 41 years. The cost of anything publicly funded far outpaces the cost of goods and services that working stiffs buy in the private sector. Government and many companies in the private sector that do projects for the government have hijacked the system and hold the little people hostage. We have become serfs.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Aussie Compliment

Here is a morale booster. An Aussie serving in the military in Iraq wrote some complimentary words about the US military personnel in Iraq.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Drilling Until November

A First Grader came home all excited about the minor fire that had broken out at school.
“I knew it was going to happen,” he told his mother. “We’ve been practicing for it all year long.”

Friday, April 11, 2008

Roads and the T Bill: Part 2

Correction and Update. Read below.

A system of roads must be funded. To buy a vehicle, we must pay a sales tax. To drive that vehicle legally on the road, we must pay a vehicle license tab fee. The driver of the vehicle must also be licensed. And the fuel that propels the vehicle is taxed, some of which goes to the state and some to the federal government. There are added fees for rental vehicles. The concept of a reasonable user fee is at home with Republicans.

These user fees fund our roads. The more we use the road, the more we pay. The more expensive a vehicle is, the higher is the sales tax and license tab cost. This does not necessarily translate into more use of the highway, so the progressive taxation idea is built into these taxes to hit the higher income earners more. The recently passed T bill increased all these fees.

The money collected is distributed by law. Phil Krinkie describes the arrangement in Minnesota. Krinkie says, "It started in 1920 with a Constitutional amendment to establish the state trunk highway system." (See MN Constitution, Article XIV, Section 2.)

Krinkie continues, ". . . in 1924 there was a Constitutional amendment passed to dedicate the excise tax on motor fuel (gas tax) to the trunk highway fund." (See MN Constitution, Article XIV, Section 10.)

"As the years passed," says Krinkie, "cities and counties wanted more state money for roads and bridges, so in 1954 another constitutional amendment was forwarded to guarantee cities and counties would receive a share of the state gas tax revenue with a defined split of 62% for the state, 29% for the counties and 9% for the cites." (See MN Constitution, Article XIV, Section 5.)

"Lastly, after a 20 year tug of war in the Legislature over whether the sales tax on vehicles should be spent on roads verses [sic] general state needs, yet another constitutional amendment was passed in 2006 to spend at least 40% of the sales tax on vehicles for transit and not more than 60% on roads." (See MN Constitution, Article XIV, Sections 12 & 13.)

These constitutional amendments govern how the collected taxes are distributed. After 55 years, is the set-in-stone split of the gas tax fair? Cities under a population of 5,000 do not receive a share (See MN Constitution, Article XIV, Section 4). Neither do townships benefit. These local roads are funded through property taxes and not gas taxes even though we small town locals pay the gas tax to drive on them. How is this fair?

Now that hybrid cars are traveling our roads, another adjustment must be made. While using the highways, the hybrid car does not pay its fair share because it is not paying as much gas tax.

Correction and update on April 16, 2008: A person added a comment to this post, indicating I had my facts wrong. In the following paragraphs, what I said about the gas tax, I should have said about the vehicle sales tax. I have corrected this by striking out the word gas and adding "vehicle sales" in blue. The point of my comments is still valid.

But the most aggravation has been caused by the legislature using collected gas vehicle sales taxes to support the general fund. Not all gas vehicle sales taxes went into roads and bridges. Funding for roads and bridges was more than adequate for years with the excess monies funding other projects in the general fund. The state did not need to raise the gas tax because there was excess. However, there was agitation to dedicate gas vehicle sales money to roads and bridges, which was not being done.

The legislature set out to correct this, to dedicate all the collected gas vehicle sales tax so none of it would be dumped into the general fund. That was a noble thought. However, with the latest amendment, roads and bridges came out on the short end. Instead of all gas vehicle sales tax revenue being dedicated to roads and bridges, a new category, mass transit, was invented. Now, by constitutional amendment, at least 40% of the gas vehicle sales tax revenue must be spent annually on mass transit. Roads and bridges receive not more than 60% and it could be less. There is not a shortage of gas vehicle sales tax revenue to pay for our roads and bridges. We did not need to raise the gas tax. There was plenty of money.

But, instead of dedicating it all to maintaining roads and bridges, we added a whole new category of consumption. Now mass transit consumes almost half of the revenue. How is it fair for the bulk of our state gas vehicle sales tax payers to fund a train they will never use? How is it fair that cities under 5,000 and townships do not receive gas tax revenue for their roads, but they must pay for a train?

Meanwhile, the Dems have been howling that they must have more money to repair and replace dangerous bridges. What a joke! There has been adequate money all along, even excess to use in the general fund. And then the Dems set out to divert gas vehicle sales tax revenue for a boondoggle called mass transit. Of the 5¢ per gallon gas tax increase scheduled for 2008, 2¢ of it must go into mass transit. Only 3¢ goes into roads and bridges. Of the sales tax we pay for a vehicle, 40% funds mass transit. And yes that amendment was passed by the voters under a Republican administration. There also was great confusion among voters about the wording of that proposed amendment on the ballot and I have heard many people who voted for it state their regrets. Here is a link about the constitutional amendment. A mere 7 point vote swing and the amendment would not have passed.

These are the issues that disgust conservatives. If the Dems must have a train or two or three, let the users pay for it, just like we users pay for roads and bridges. Transit riders will never pay for the cost of transit. The annual transit deficit must be funded from the general fund to cover costs. Thus vehicle drivers end up paying twice for transit–once through gas vehicle sales taxes and then through the general fund.

Is the gas tax solely dedicated to roads and bridges? Not according to this web site. Look here for their complaints.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Roads and the T Bill

Here is a reaction to Republican complaints about the $6.6 billion Transportation Bill as if Republicans are opposed to roads and want the transportation system in disrepair. Such a view is a gross misrepresentation of the conservative position.

Conservatives have solid reasons to support roads. Chief among them is our belief in private property rights which is foundational to the Bill of Rights. Consider the connection between private property and roads.

Imagine each of us owning ten acres of land without any roads. None of us could move off our property without trespassing on another’s. To visit a friend on a piece ten estates over, we would need to receive permission from each of those ten property owners. This state of affairs would require considerable negotiation to move about as well as enforcement to keep violators from crossing our property.

Public roads are the means by which we can move from our private property to another private property without trespassing or asking permission. Along with the legal concept of private property, we have developed the legal concept of a public corporation, whether that of township, city, county, state or federal entity.

All citizens of a public corporation can use the roads which are owned by that corporation. Because all townships and cities are political subdivisions of a state and all states are members of the United States of America, all citizens have the privilege of traveling on roads throughout the nation.

Generally speaking, humans are not hermits, but gregarious. Public roads give private property owners the means by which we can exercise our right of free assembly economically, socially, politically and religiously, which is acknowledged in the Bill of Rights. This alone is sufficient cause for us to have an adequate system of roads.

Roads enable each of us to engage in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, our unalienable rights given to us by our Creator, not government. Roads enable us to exercise our freedom, keeping us from being a prisoner on our own private property. Our unalienable right to freedom implies the need for roads that all citizens can use. That implies the need for us corporately to design a system of public roads that serves our unalienable rights.

Many of us blissfully traverse the highways each day with nary a thought about these fundamental concepts, concepts that should be common to Democrats and Republicans.

Conservatives have no intention of disrupting this time-honored interplay between private property and public ways. No Republican desires to go back to the township mud ruts of the 1950s. Any Republican would admit major sections of highway 95 in the county need rebuilding. County Road 20 has seen its useful life. Republicans are not interested in unsafe bridges that jeopardize life. Republicans do not take a back seat to anyone on these issues. It’s an insult to read a Democrat implying such and such a Dem has lost the argument before he gets started.

Wade Vitalis is correct when he ". . . argue[s] that public investments in . . . transportation . . . have helped create . . . wealth" (see Post Review comment section here). Roads give us access to free markets to engage in commerce. However, roads in the USA are not the king’s highways, nor the roads of a communist state, a socialist state or a democracy. They are the roads of a republic.

Democrats have forgotten this. Liberals have adopted an ever-increasing socialist attitude toward all of life, including roads. They revel in a top down nanny state imposition on the serfs of all things transportation. We Republicans aim to conserve the connection between private property rights and public roads in the context of a republic, in the context of competition in free enterprise. This implies we conservatives aim to have functional and safe roads.

Senator Norm Coleman

ABC News recently covered a GAO report that was requested by Senator Coleman. The investigation uncovered abusive and fraudulent spending by government workers who used government issued purchase cards. Besides the article, there is an ABC video clip at the above address.

This report is another example of Senator Coleman's commitment to uncovering government waste, fraud and abuse - a commitment that has already uncovered over $14 billion in waste, fraud and abuse.

Thank you Senator Coleman for initiating this investigation.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Jason Lewis Tax Cut Rally

This Saturday, April 12, at noon, meet at the Capitol. Check out all the details here.

An Important Read

Minnesota tax dollars fund a Muslim school.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Kalin’s High Speed Ride

Rep. Jeremy Kalin is co-author of Rep. Hausman’s bill to appropriate $4,000,000 to study the feasibility of a high speed rail line between St. Paul and Chicago. This waste was passed in the bonding bill.

Gov. Pawlenty used his line item veto power to strike this squandering of tax dollars. Look here on page 1, item # 287. Thank you Governor. I hope this veto is sustained.

If there is a need for such a line that can turn a profit, private enterprise will pursue it. If government does it, it will be another black hole for more of our hard-earned money. Kalin loves to create black holes for our dollars. It is time to make this legislative session his last. It will be none too soon.


Little Suzy had a box of very small kittens that she was trying to give away. So she had them out on the street corner with a sign "FREE KITTENS" next to them.

Suddenly a long line of big black cars drove up, lead by a policeman on a motorcycle. The cars stopped and a tall man stepped out from the biggest car.

"Hi, little girl, what do you have there in the box?" he asked. "Kittens," little Suzy says. "They're so small, their eyes are not even open yet. "What kind of kittens are they?" he asked. "Democrats," says Little Suzy.

The tall man smiled, returned to his car and drove away. Sensing a good photo opportunity, Sen. Obama called his campaign manager and told him about the little girl and the kittens. It was planned that they would return the next day, have all the media there and tell everyone about these great kittens.

The next day, Little Suzy is standing out on the corner with her box of kittens with the "FREE KITTENS" sign and the motorcade of black cars pulled up with all the vans and trucks from ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN. Everyone had their cameras ready. Sen. Obama got out of his limo and walked up to Little Suzy.

"Now, don't be frightened," he said, "I just want you to tell all these nice news people just what kind of kittens you're giving away today. "Yes sir," Suzy said, "The are all REPUBLICAN kittens."

Taken by surprise, Sen. Obama said, "But yesterday, you told me that they were DEMOCRATS." Little Suzy says, "Yes, I know. But today, they have their eyes open."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

More on the Banter at the Post Review

Wade Vitalis reacted in the comment section at the Post Review to Bob Barrett’s letter on the T bill by stating on March 26:

"My experience has been Republicans love to aggregate taxes. It seems that by using big numbers and you make it look scary and ugly which feeds peoples emotion's [sic] and fears which feeds into people's anger about taxes.

It's a stragegy [sic] that works - so you might as well keep doing it. Right?

But aggregating the $6.6 billion transportation bill and dividing it up among Minnesota families like you have simply makes fuzzy math. And is neither accurate or helpful for anyone."
So Vitalis doesn’t like aggregating taxes which leads to "fuzzy math." To aggregate taxes is to collect several types of taxes into a one category called taxes. Barrett wasn’t supposed to do that according to Vitalis.

Observe that Vitalis did exactly what he claimed Barrett was doing. Vitalis didn’t answer Barrett, but turned to writing about tax percentages: "The average person like you and I pay 11.9% and people making $350,000 pay 8.3%." Another person asked Vitalis for the source of his tax percentage information which he provided on March 29.

That source can be found here. What does that Minnesota tax document do? It aggregates taxes. Look on page 2 in columns 1-4. A couple of dozen types of taxes are aggregated into a category known as "State and local revenue." The whole document that Vitalis used to decry Barrett for aggregating taxes, aggregates taxes!

In reality, Barrett did not aggregate any numbers. He simply used the $6.6 billion total cost of the Transportation package, which figure has been commonly used in the media. Barrett attempted to show the cost to a family for their portion of that total package. Barrett even stated this cost would be paid over a ten year period. So Barrett was not trying to make any number appear larger than reality, but show the cost to an individual family. Barrett was breaking down the cost to a family level, not aggregating (summing) costs to make it appear larger than is true.

If Vitalis still wants to make his point that "The average person like you and I pay 11.9% and people making $350,000 pay 8.3%," he will have to base it on aggregated taxes because that is the cornerstone of the document to which he alludes.

With this kind of thinking, it’s no wonder that Vitalis cannot understand Barrett. Vitalis' aggregating is Barrett's and our aggravation!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Congratulations Don Taylor

The Republicans in House District 17B have selected their candidate. Today we voted to endorse Don Taylor as our candidate to take back the House seat from Rep. Kalin (DFL) who does not represent our interests.

Four men vied for the nod of the party. Campaigning was spirited. The contest was vigorous. The speeches were rousing. And for some strange reason, all aimed to unseat Rep. Kalin! I can’t imagine why anyone would set out to remove that staunchly conservative, tax-cutting nonresident! But all four vigorously rallied us to do just that.

At the end of the day, they convinced the entire convention of Republicans to do just that and we endorsed Don Taylor as our man to tackle that welcomed task.

Congratulations Don Taylor and team! The elephants are on the move!

Endorsing Convention Organization

If people say Republicans cannot respond quickly to change, the wonderful organization of the endorsing convention proves how fast a group can re-group! Kudos to Loren Caneday and crew for getting enough volunteers together to turn this into a smoothly flowing event. Kick that man up to state level organization will you! Our condolences to Barb Grams and Pete Nelson on the loss of a parent. We thank them for the gift they have left us, both of you. May God be with you in this time of sorrow.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The T Bill Continued

There has been a lively discussion over at the Post Review. Bob Barrett responded to Senator Rick Olseen’s earlier justification of his vote on the Transportation Bill and that stimulated numerous comments.

As usual, Barrett states things quite clearly and accurately and then Wade Vitalis mucks it up.

Barrett showed how costly the Transportation Bill is for taxpayers compared to how cheap Senator Olseen characterized it.

The T Bill will cost $6,600,000,000 over ten years. That is the real cost to taxpayers. The $41/year gas tax is just one of the revenue streams that will pay for the total package.

Forget the gas tax increase, it is extremely easy to calculate a per capita cost for the entire package. The population of Minnesota is currently 5,200,000. In the next ten years, the population will increase and thus lessen the per capita tax burden somewhat, but let’s use the current figures. The total transportation bill will cost $1,269 per person in the next ten years.

That is $127 per person per year which is more than the $41 gas tax increase which will help pay for the $127. To fund the total package each year, each of us must pay $86 more in taxes on top of the $41.

A family of four will kick out $508 in various forms of taxes in each of the next ten years to cover the cost of the transportation package. This figure is exactly what Patrick Tepoorten stated in his article that Olseen disliked, which Barrett addressed. Tepoorten also gave the income range of taxpayers who would pay the $500. That is the average cost per family in the middle income bracket. Others will pay less and some more.

Tepoorten is justified by these figures. Barrett is justified. Barrett’s calculated cost is actually too low, so the err is in his favor.

Vitalis (in his comments on Barrett’s letter) never could figure out what Barrett was talking about and then got sidetracked, talking about tax rates.

Tax rates might be unfair, but Vitalis uses that to obfuscate his failure to answer Barrett. Inequitable tax rates are simply a red herring dragged in to divert attention from a failed answer.

We have a couple of conclusions we may draw from this. Some Democrats will do about anything to keep a person from doing simple mathematical division so the true cost will never be realized by the general public. Or we may conclude that Vitalis doesn’t even realize how much the T bill will cost his family.

Vitalis complained to Barrett, "For some reason you took 10 years of gas tax and made it one number. No one pays for all their gas all at once - so why calculate it that way?" Well, whether Vitalis pays out $500 per year or $5,000 in the next ten years to cover his family’s share of the T bill, either way he will have $5,000 less in his 401K or Roth IRA. And so will the rest of us, because too many Dems can’t be honest with numbers.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Random Observation

Have you noticed that Rep. Jeremy Kalin and Senator Rick Olseen do not engage their critics? They assert and expect us to believe their political-write. Then they are on to the next unsubstantiated assertion. It’s a bother for them to evaluate their critic’s response.

When criticism comes, Wade Vitalis falls on the sword for them. He is their apologist, their defender. Vitalis loves it. Kalin loves it. Olseen loves it.

At the rate Kalin and Olseen are going, Vitalis will shortly run out of lives to sacrifice for them. Then maybe the duo will actually have to engage the criticism from their electorate. Yet Vitalis’ uncontrollable urge to defend his pals is telling. He knows they need it!

A Random Observation

Looking back on the political columns and press releases from Senator Rick Olseen and Rep. Jeremy Kalin, I have an observation to make. Neither politician fully writes his own material. They tap into a party line database of talking points in written blubs, string a few pre-worded thoughts together and drop it on us.

When challenged, they do not step forward with clarification and certainly not any admission of error. Even worse, they do not learn from the critiques to sharpen their next press release. The next press release has just as many holes in it as the previous ones and comes from the same St. Paul liberal well.

They rely on DFL party writers to create the drivel on various topics and then string it together with some of their own words. This is how their written work reads. It’s not their own writing. It’s patchwork. They don’t realize all the pieces do not fit into a whole cloth. A piece snatched from database 3, combined with a paragraph from pigeonhole 7 just does not fit.

The result is political hash. Neither of these men would write this way if they were writing about a non-political topic. Take Olseen’s piece for example. He communicates in a fresh way a non-political message that is important to him. All the pieces in that story are part of him. He assembled them together in an understandable way because they are part of him. For that, I give him an "A."

Our Senator and Representative have left real-speak and adopted political-speak. They are not their normal selves. They have quickly learned the alien language of DFL political-speak and political-write and thus they can no longer communicate with Chisago County residents. For that, I give them an "F."

All the canned hash of DFL political-write is long on assertions and short on evidence. They speak ex cathedra in political-speak and expect us to be impressed. When their unsubstantiated assertions are challenged, there is silence. Political-write is one-way communication, which is neither understandable nor communication.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008







Defining DFL


This is a free, equal-opportunity, non-partisan, non-gambling, open-ended, strictly-fun recreational game designed to mentally challenge you! There are no sponsors, nothing to buy, no closing dates, no prizes to be awarded. It is a game that should be right up the alley for DFLers because you make up your own rules. Just the fun of playing. But you are free to penalize yourself by paying additional taxes if you are among those who think that the Democrat controlled legislature is not already taxing you enough. The liberal legislators would be glad to get your added revenue.

Shucks, you might even be so bold as to consider switching political affiliation if you see through it all. But even that is up to you!

Some possible examples are shown below but try your own skills by exercising your creativity.

Let the fun begin!


Democrat-Farmer-Labor (Not likely any more because the "D" and the "F" have been crowded out by the "L" element)
Dangerous Far Left (This has possibilities when you consider some of the radical legislators
under the DFL label)
Dependent For Life (Now this has possibilities considering the dependency that is
fostered by welfare and other programs without end)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool Day & Gas Tax Increase

This is no April Fool's day joke - this deal is for real! Effective April 1st and thereafter, thanks to our two local legislators Jeremy Kalin and Rick Olseen you will be pumping forty cents more into your empty twenty gallon tank every time you fill up. And that is if you drive a typical car. But if you drive a pickup or a truck think what this added tax will cost you. But listen up, there is even more to come at later dates. And sadly instead of fixing our roads and bridges this is just another bump in the road for you as a lowly taxpayer. Tell Jeremy and Rick "thank you" next time you see them!