Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Real story on Humane Society of U.S.

We have all seen the ads on television. Usually, they come from some celeb like Sheryl Crowe or Alex Baldwin etc. Watch this and get the real story about where those donations are used.  The money is also being used to lobby state legislatures to get referendums placed on ballots to outlaw certain animal husbandry practices like gestation crates, etc. 
We have not used them on this farm, however recently a veterinarian was here that was very familiar with their use was here on another matter. She said that sows do better in gestation crates. They have everything they need and are not hassled by other nosy sows. Less fighting and more contented mothers to be. That means better end products which is the desired outcome.

The Humane Society of the United States is not affiliated with your local pet shelter, but ads imply that they do.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Krauthammer Lecture

This rural Nicollet County couple attended the Lindau symposium last evening at Gustavus Adolphus College and heard the Pulitzer Prize winning conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer give his observations of the Washington scene. We enjoyed it very much.

We are very appreciative of being able to live in an area where we can take advantage of these enrichment opportunities at little or no cost. It is part of the quality of life we hold so dear to this great state. And Dr. Krauthammer reiterated that last night. He again, commented that, "it is true, you people in Minnesota are - nice. Every time I come here, I experience it."

As the Free Press article this morning noted, Dr. Krauthammer is no fan of the President. That is okay. His message was that in a democracy we need debate and discussion and that "it is a blessing for us to be able to be living through a time when we are having the basic discussion of 'what is the role of government?'"

He mentioned that this discussion has been held before in our history, most recently in the early 1980's. Some changes were made, but not significant. He indicated that the next election will help to answer this basic question.

Dr. Krauthammer talked a lot about President Obama and what makes him tick. It seems to me talking about past speeches and actions of people is only touching the tip of the iceberg. History, culture, heritage, and upbringing play very important roles in who we are. Most of us have not walked in the other person's shoes.

 It might be important to note that there was an overflow crowd in Alumni Hall, however I did not notice a person of color in the crowd.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unintended Consequences?

Grover Norquist requests politicians sign "no new taxes" pledge.

Many candidates and elected officials sign the pledge.

Many elected officials abide by the "no new taxes" pledge.

Many cities, counties, states, and other units of government are short of funds to run basic governmental services.

Citizens resort to their own methods to fill in the gaps - because of loss of funding for basic governmental services.

Well meaning, but unqualified and inadequately trained citizens take the role of law enforcement and tragic unintended consequences occur. end

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Voter I.D.

It looks like we may have the opportunity to vote on an amendment to our state Constitution which would require voters to show a photo identification before voting. Of course, this bill which passed both the Minnesota House and Senate will have to meet the test of the Courts first. That may take awhile. There will be much arguing on both sides for sure!

I wonder if the folks who are supporting this idea have ever worked as election judges. I have not had the opportunity. But I know folks who are judges and have had discussions with several civic minded people who do this worthwhile job. If this amendment passes, it will demand that these good hearted people must tell some folks that they are not able to vote like everyone else because they do not have a photo I.D.

"You do not have a photo I.D., so you can vote using this different kind of ballot. It is called a 'provisional ballot'. And then when you come back with your I.D. to the Court House (whenever) (and the voter could be as much as 40 or more miles away from the Court House) then your 'provisional ballot' will be counted."

This puts these election judges(who are many times neighbors) in the uncomfortable position of denying citizens of their right to vote which is almost a sacred thing. They will be in the position of real judges and juries.

This is only one scenario. In Nicollet County we have one precinct that votes by mail, how does one present a photo I.D. when voting by mail? The same could be said for absentee ballots. And the list goes on. No wonder some have called it the Chaos Amendment.

Then the biggest question of all is WHO PAYS? In all of the debate about this proposed amendment there has been no mention of the cost. And do not let anyone tell you that there will be no cost or the cost will be minimal. There will be cost and if this amendment passes, the local precincts will be stuck with paying for administering a system that was never needed in the first place. end

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

To My Readers

I have now duplicated myself as the author of my blog. I have a new e-mail address and was not able to remove the old e-mail from Judy D. Hanson, the original author of this blog. So now I have added another author, Judy D. Hanson, who has a new e-mail address. Technology is so much fun! end.

Economic Rebound?

From this small corner of the world, it seems there might be an economic rebound. I recently posted a couple of items 'for sale' on Craig's List and got immediate responses. Sold the next day.

Blame it on the Media

In the news today is the message that President Obama has/will? sign the "insider trader" bill. Way to go Representative Walz!

I am proud to say he is my representative in Congress. Evidently he was sponsoring this "no brainer" law ever since he heard that it was needed. (I.E. one of the perks of being in Congress is that when they are sitting in committee hearings and they are privy to information about big company doings - like mergers, purchases, expansions into other markets or other countries. These Congressmen and women were privy to this information that could affect stock prices, then they could make purchases and benefit from that information.) Congressman Walz felt this was wrong and felt it needed to stop, but somehow he could not get any others to go along with him UNTIL........

Until the big, bad MEDIA brought it to the light of day. Yes, blame it on the MEDIA. I think it was 60 minutes that put egg on the face of Nancy Pelosi and then the Congressmen and women  flocked to the door to line up to put their name on Walz's bill.

Walz deseves most of the credit. However the media deserves credit also. But, as usual, they will probably not get any good words for the good results of their work on this. end