Sunday, January 25, 2009

A long week.

Well I have been working with a tree service out of Stillwater.
However I have been able to follow the doings in Saint Paul from the web, the "news" papers and the ch 17 feed sometimes.

Last week the expected appears to become the actual... and staying with the theme outlined in their discussions earlier this month, the Minnesota legislature expects the Obama administration [Federal Government] to Dispense trainloads of cash to the States, especially the "democratic" ones.

Minnesota has a budget deficit of 5 to 7 billion dollars, depending on who you ask.

Minnesota's budget has a growth curve that makes Al Gores "hockey stick" look like a crooked line scratched in the sand. (which is what it really is)

Our Constitution requires a balanced budget.

{When I left the service in the 80's, and began my "education", Minnesota's Biennial budget was in the neighborhood of 8 billion dollars.}

It will be interesting to see if real dollars actually follow these promises and how many are on that train from D.C. and who's name is on the individual packets.

The Minnesota Budget really should balance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Govenor Proposes Business Tax Cuts / Education Reform....

I am watching the State of the State address by the Governor.

He is proposing reducing business tax rate from 9 to 4.8% over six years. (immediately would be better but still....)

25% tax credit for small business.
100% sales tax exemption instead of tax credits.

He is still talking green jobs.
He suggests a green tax zone like a jobz zone.

He is also talking education...
Job performance...

Education increases in funding, but with major overhauls.
Parent reviews.

Minimum entrance standards for teachers, like pharmacists for example.
Increase pay for effective teachers for results (Q-comp.) as opposed to seniority.

The increase he proposes amounts to a 5% increase for education.
He suggests a 2% increase for each result meeting student.

Also he wants to redo the way we settle school negotiating, like in 40 other states.
Management should also be changed, more bulk purchasing rather that district purchasing.

College and University should go more to online teaching and less on "brick and mortar".

25% of credits delivered on line by 20??. (I missed the deadline date)
Firm cap on tuition increases...
and lots of other things, this should get interesting.

Then he went to "Human Services" programs due to increase by 19% and must be changed.

Government employees, like business will experience lay offs, but to reduce them we should have a pay freeze for 2 years.

Most County functions are duplicated, they should work together more.

We should reduce or eliminate as many State mandates as possible and allow local Governments be able to vote to "opt out" of mandates.

I think much is good in here, it will be interesting to see how the Legislature deals with it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The line starts here for the new "Legacy Amendment" tax dollars.

I also went to this meeting on Monday.
Very busy and packed with groups looking for the new largess from the legacy amendment.

MONDAY, January 12, 2009
4:30 PM
Committee: Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mary Murphy
*** Note: *** Change in Agenda

Overview of committee procedures
90-second introduction and statement of goals
for the committee by every member, staff,
account agency, group and individual
in attendance at this meeting.

The Chair; Rep. Mary Murphy 6B (D), started by saying
how they, unlike other committees, have money.

She said it was clear that this was good and asked rhetorically
why would 56% of Minnesotans vote for it and why
would over 80 groups back it?.

I watched as the representatives of these groups go forward
singing the praises of their particular organization...

The Science Museum...over a million a year visit...could use the funds.

The Outdoor Alliance...we love the outdoors...our lobbyist couldn't make it....

Some other outdoor group....we spent over 4 million dollars to
help get this passed...

Then Minnesota Public Radio... Some people in the area not receiving
their quality broadcasts...

Then I went up for my 90 seconds.

I spoke for myself as a member of the River Warren Research Committee,
(I had handouts - the famous "Green Sheet".)

I informed the committee that I had voted against it,
but that(RWRC) is not a government agency or subsidized
non-profit organization and did not have four million dollars
to inform the people that they were being misled
with a fear based message concerning their drinking water.

I did say we accept the results and hoped that the water based
expenditures would be spent with Human Health as the priority
like the "Green Guardians" at the Freshwater Society suggested.

I also made clear that I nor RWRC was here to receive any funding.
That we would hope that, in these difficult economic times
these hard earned tax dollars be spent responsibly.

I also made the point that Minnesota is now
the six largest property owner in
the nation behind the Feds, and the State of Alaska.

I said that we don't need to be purchasing any
more property, thereby placing the property tax burden
on an ever decreasing group of Minnesota citizens.

I also found it interesting that MPR wanted money, but not light rail
- at least not in their back yard.

Then the "bell" rang and I got the hook.

Many, many, many, speakers were in line behind me.
It was late and snowing so I went home.

Complaint to MN News Council from last years tax cut rally

I found this in my files from last years tax cut rally and thought I would share it with you all...

My name is Forrest Chad Wilkinson. I was born in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Our family of ten moved to Savage, then Collegeville before settling into Sartell where I graduated high school in 1981.

Afterwards I entered the submarine service. I was aggressively trained in Illinois, Groton Connecticut, San Diego and Charleston South Carolina before going to sea for years. The training was influential and very much no nonsense and science based. Schooling related to nuclear propulsion and weapons, sonar technology and submarine tactics is classified and cannot transfer to civilian college credits.

Since then I have worked in the agricultural, mineral and wood industries. I also have worked in large bakeries, horse barns, hotels and beachfronts.

I can debate the “environmental” from many points of view. I can debate the Sierra Club argument better than most Sierra Club members; even the ones in the so-called news departments of highly respected and licensed television stations. In order to make rational judgments you need to understand the arguments of all sides.

I can also argue against the Sierra Club with credibility. My brother is a military trained professional journalist. He has taught me much. One thing he stressed was to leave my bias, as best as possible, behind when reading data. Do not immediately question the source. Skepticism does not require cynicism. I think this is a valuable lesson.

Often, when debating against the Sierra Club/WCCO agenda, the reply is usually to question the integrity and bias of the source of the data. Rarely do I get a reasonable discussion of the data and conclusions based on it.
This happens often when I, or my friends get interviewed by journalists.

They have preconceived notions and have little regard for anyone with data that might support another viewpoint. They use statements like…Oh that’s just information from big ‘-fill in the blank-‘

It’s very lazy, but it works these days. Face it, WCCO is a highly respected news source and are believed by millions of television viewers.

Oh, that’s just big oil talking. Oh, that’s just big tobacco talking. Oh, that’s just the big developers talking. Oh, that’s just multi-national corporations talking. Oh, that’s just big agriculture talking. Oh, that’s just the timber industry talking. Oh, that’s just what the big box stores would have you believe….Typical Sierra Club methodology. Shoot the messenger. Nothing but ad-homonym attacks. No need to investigate the data, it must be bad. Consider the source, just a bunch of greedy selfish business people.

And WCCO is not alone. Almanac, the Minnesota Government “News” program, features WCCOs’ Paul Douglas and his global warming point of view, but never Dave Dahl for example, a local metrologist with a very different and credible view of Global Warming.

Some people say “Talk Radio” is running the country. Balderdash. The country seems to be run by a huge environmental / government complex; forwarding its fear mongering collectivist and in-humane agenda.

Heck, Virginia Yingling was still issuing press releases for the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club even after she was hired by the Minnesota Department of Health. (It is interesting to note how well the concerns of MN.D.O.H. now lead to the Sierra Club agenda)

The parent company, CBS, does not recognize this News Council nor does the local affiliate. This is the broadcast station of Dan Rather who, in his desire to broadcast a viewpoint, ignored what he called “NUMEROUS RED FLAGS” related to the source of his data.

These are the actions of a reliable gatekeeper of news and journalistic integrity?

This self-serving use of the public airwaves to promote a political agenda has trickled down to the local CBS television “News” department. But this case before us today is a little different, and I think worse.

I compare WCCOs’ activities to that of Representative Phyllis Kahn, DFL dist.59 (b); and a proud Sierra Club member. She was found guilty of removing campaign literature from people’s front doors. It wasn’t enough for her to place her literature next to it, to debate the issues she disagreed with. Oh, no… the first amendment isn’t good enough for her, nor is her faith in the correctness of her argument. Instead…She stole that literature. And in so doing, stole the time and effort, as well as future growth potential for the distributor, just like WCCO did to me.

It’s like the farmer toiling and sweating down the row, doing stooped labor to plant seeds. Only later to realize a crow has been following, eating the seeds. All that effort for naught. No harvest can be expected from all that hard work. Looks like another cold hungry winter for the farmer.

It is the Sierra Club (and WCCO) way to speak in euphemism and analogy.
Rarely are things clearly quantified, put in context or perspective. They are kings of the Cliché, loaded with impactfull and frightening catch phrases like “Acid Rain”, “Urban Sprawls”, “Franken-food”,” Habitat destruction”, ”forest fragmentation” and of course the panic De Jour…”Global Warming”.

Empty of data but loaded with emotion. Just like Prime Minister Tony Blair was speaking about last week.

The Sierra Club used to be a not-profit organization, but that was revoked when even they could no longer hide the very political agenda they demand.

It has also been proven they lie. Be it planting fake fur in a fraudulent attempt to justify habitat designation, to mischaracterization of miners, anglers, loggers, and farmers. Many of their studies have been proven to be grossly flawed scientifically. But you wouldn’t know that from WCCO.

As journalist Thomas L. Friedman said last week, “When you stop reporting news, people can smell it at a hundred paces. When you stop reporting, that’s when you make mistakes.”

WCCO, the station of my youth, has unfortunately become the tame mouthpiece for the Sierra Club. They refuse to accept, or oftentimes even acknowledge, the existence of any viewpoints or data contrary to them. This is a disservice to the people of Minnesota.

I think that I, and others, have shown in this one incident, clear and provable evidence of what is plain to any honest impartial observer. WCCO is biased to the point of loss of credibility.

WCCOs’ reporting on TV and on their website that I was with the Sierra Club on their Global Day of Action is Slander….or liable. (One or the other …I’m not a lawyer, but I will be talking to one.)

They would have you believe this is just a small error made by some technicians. I believe not. Others I know have pointed out the same type of biased reporting on their subject of knowledge. I think it is intentional and systemic.

I can no longer trust the data coming from the WCCO news department.

Like what is said of those caught driving while drunk, for every time they are caught they have probably gotten away with it fifty times.

Sadly, the CBS news department of Eric Sevareid, over time, has degenerated into a culture of collectivism. They are no longer a news department, they are distributors of propaganda. They are not educating the people they are indoctrinating them.

I want the FCC to revoke their license.
I will settle for a broadcasted apology to me, RWRC and the people of Minnesota.
Forrest C. Wilkinson
Editor of The Warren Report.
Go read the newsletters

Monday, January 12, 2009

Review of my Capitol jaunt.

First I went to the...

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
Chair: Sen. Satveer S. Chaudhary
12:30 p.m. Room 107 Capitol

It was already in session when I arrived.

Gene Merriam (past Senator) now lobbying for the "Freshwater Society" was in center ring. They, the Freshwater Society and its "Green Guardians", were very vocal during the last election that the "Legacy Amendment" pass, as it did. They were suggesting that our drinking/tap water was in jeopardy and possibly hazardous.

(PS: the concept that 40% of Minnesota's lakes and streams are "un-swimmable and or un-fishable because those tested are, is laughable. Especially when you review the "criteria" to meet such a label. None-the-less the populace was frightened into voting for the taxing Amendment to the constitution. By the way, the MN Dept of Health -also full of eco-freaks- talked about methomoglobenemia threats to our children from high nitrate levels in the groundwater, however my research shows two cases reported in the 1980's in the extreme and arid south west corner of the State. Yet they still allowed the fear mongers to peddle their nonsense.)

Anyway "green guardian" Gene Merrium was there to tell us we need to make a dramatic cultural shift. He wants more regulation of "hard surfaces". Roads and parking lots should be made more pervious to water.

He also suggested we leave water where it falls with "rain gardens" and "rain barrels". Now that's a new idea.

He thinks Minnesota, especially its farmers, need to change. We are responsible for a "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. Right, Minnesota is polluting Louisiana. Ha!

(note: Hypoxic zones are a natural phenomena present around the globe, especially in relatively shallow areas in warm climates with minimal current. Like along the Gulf Coast shoreline. Any SONARMAN knows this.)

Gene Merrium says we need a cultural shift in "what we grow, and where we grow it."

I find it interesting that he, and others who testified suggested that the "Ethanol Plants" are using too much water. Funny, he as a seated Senator pushed for the Ethanol Subsidies to combat Global Warming. Now they are using too much ground water.

He also says with "Global Warming" we should expect more frequent and intense storm events.

He was also suggesting a "Clean Water Legacy Law" which would include a new pricing structure for water. Yep, you heard right, we need to make your well and its water cost more to protect the groundwater.

In short Gene Merrium says to attain this "Cultural Shift" we need more Education, Regulation and Enforcement to protect the ground water.

After Ringmaster Merrium came the clowns from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency [MPCA].

The representative from this bloated, intrusive and redundant agency spoke of the citizen monitoring program and the groups (read environmentalists) that supported it. Also the money provided these groups was well spent and should be continued/increased to allow for continued monitoring State-Wide via the "Surface Water Assessment Grants".

She was followed by the woman, shot from the cannon, by the Environmental Quality Board [EQB]. The regular couldn't make it.

She said they will soon be able to tell us "how much ground water is available" and what the "sustainable use rate is". But not yet, there is lots of data holes to be filled.

Note: Minnesota has 87 counties, is the 12th largest State by area and is sparsely populated. The air is clean and the water pure.

She said we should have a ten year state ground water plan by 2010. This will be a "road map" to get us where we "want to be".

She echoed ringmaster Merrium in that we need to link land use decisions to ground water quality. She took this opportunity to mention the expected population growth (a bad assumption considering our growing tax burden), and also pointed to golf courses and the ethanol industry as examples of possibly "unsustainable" users of ground water.

She said they expect to bring in a "work plan" by February.

Then came the Lion Tamer from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources [DNR] Division of Waters. He said they would be working with the "Freshwater Society" i.e. Gene Merrium and the gang, to develop management areas, also with the aid of the EQB and the Board of Water and Soil [BWSR].

Also discussed was protecting our water from other areas that may want some, like the south west. Yep, they will make damn sure no water from Minnesota is siphoned off and over the Rockie Mountains to California. Whew, that was close, we could just be a dry gulch if not for these brave agencies.

The base assumptions are bad, and the solutions wouldn't work if there WAS a problem.
But it doesn't matter, they know better than you or me.

Then they adjourned and I went to the Committee on Energy Finance Policy.

Capitol Report

I attended the following committee meetings....

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
Chair: Sen. Satveer S. Chaudhary
12:30 p.m. Room 107 Capitol

Brief Discussion on session process & committee member priorities.

Freshwater Society "Water is Life: Protecting A Critical Resource for
Future Generations"

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency "Citizen Monitoring of Surface
Water Quality"

Environmental Quality Board "Managing for Water Sustainability:
Report of the EQB Water Availability Project"


MONDAY, January 12, 2009
2:45 PM
Committee: Energy Finance and Policy
Room: Basement State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Bill Hilty
Agenda: Continued discussion of Committee scope and energy issues


MONDAY, January 12, 2009
4:30 PM
Committee: Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Mary Murphy

*** Note: *** Change in Agenda
Overview of committee procedures
90-second introduction and statement of goals for the committee by every member, staff, account agency, group and individual in attendance at this meeting.

Monday Senate Schedule

I'm headed to the Capitol.

Gonna check out some stuff. I will clock in at the Committee and Environment & Natural Resources. Room 107 Capitol
Monday, January 12, 2009

The Senate will be in Session at 11 a.m.

Monday, January 12, 2009
Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs
Chair: Sen. James P. Metzen
12:30 p.m. Room 123 Capitol
S.F. 4-Metzen: Unemployment compensation base period modification; special state emergency unemployment compensation program development.
Presentation by DEED, Office of Science and Technology.
Presentation by Defense Alliance of Minnesota.

Monday, January 12, 2009
Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
Chair: Sen. Satveer S. Chaudhary
12:30 p.m. Room 107 Capitol
Brief discussion on session process and committee member priorities.
Freshwater Society "Water is Life: Protecting A Critical Resource for Future Generations."
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency "Citizen Monitoring of Surface Water Quality."
Environmental Quality Board "Managing for Water Sustainabliity: Report of the EQB Water Availability Project."

Monday, January 12, 2009
State Government Budget Division
Chair: Sen. Don Betzold
12:30 p.m. Room 112 Capitol
Office of Enterprise Technology's non-general fund budget.

Monday, January 12, 2009
Charter School Working Group
Chair: Sen. Kathy L. Saltzman
3 p.m. Room 15 Capitol
Charter school lease aid.

Monday, January 12, 2009
Economic Development and Housing Budget Division
Chair: Sen. David J. Tomassoni
3 p.m. Room 107 Capitol
S.F. 4-Metzen: Unemployment compensation base period modification; special state emergency unemployment compensation program development.

Monday, January 12, 2009
Public Safety Budget Division
Chair: Sen. Linda Higgins
3 p.m. Room 112 Capitol
Update on crime victim, youth and law enforcement grants.

Monday, January 12, 2009
Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight
Chair: Sen. Ann H. Rest
3 p.m. Room 123 Capitol
To be announced.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hg. Mercury is natural and all around us.

Myth: The amount of mercury in our environment (and in the fish we eat) is dangerously increasing.

The truth: There's considerable evidence that the amount of mercury in fish has remained the same (or even decreased) during the past 100 years.

One team of researchers from Duke University and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum compared 21 specimens of Atlantic Ocean blue hake preserved during the 1880s with 66 similar fish caught in the 1970s. They found no change at all in the concentration of mercury.

In another study, Princeton scientists compared samples of yellowfin tuna from 1971 with samples caught in 1998. They expected to find a mercury increase of between 9 and 26 percent, but they found a small decline instead.

And in a unique experiment, curators of the Smithsonian Institution tested tuna samples that were archived between 1878 and 1909, and compared them with similar fish tissue from 1971 and 1993. They found significantly less mercury in the more recently caught fish. In some cases, the difference was more than 50 percent.

There's even some evidence that human beings are exposed to less mercury today than in the past. Alaska's Public Health Department, for example, reports that when the hair of eight 550-year-old Alaskan mummies was tested for mercury, the results showed levels averaging twice the blood-mercury concentration of

Tuesday, January 6, 2009