Thursday, September 27, 2012

NFL - Referee Experiment is Over!!!

Fans, coaches, players and anyone else can stop their dribble and light their heads out of their Cheerios this morning as the NFL and striking referees have agreed on a deal. While the referee union won't ratify the agreement til Friday the regular referees will be back on the field this evening for the Browns/Ravens game.

For the past two days all we heard about was the blown calls made in the final drive of the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers game. Did the replacement referees blow three critical calls in the final drive? Sure. Just because we will be getting back the regular referees doesn't mean calls will be blown as well. Maybe not as blatant but I will argue, as will others, that the referees blew the call when Charles Woodsen lit up Tom Brady in the playoffs and forced a fumble that later became known as the "Tuck" rule. Even our favorite referee Ed Hochuli blew the call that cost the Denver Broncos a win a few years back. Or not to mention the botched coin flip in the Dallas Cowboy game.

Remember folks there is a reason why we have instant reply and the regular referees were no quick users of this process either. I just wonder if this now will result in more penalties called on the Oakland Raiders. While it is good to see the regular referees back in action don't be fooled that they are immune to blown calls.

As an the rest of the NFL knows how Raider fans felt with the "tuck" rule!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Marriage Amendment - a Rite or a Right?

Again this week I had a conversation on the pending constitutional amendment before the citizens of Minnesota in defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. Words like bigot and intolerant were thrown around by those that oppose the Marriage Amendment. I know that I have blogged on this topic prior and my point is pretty clear; unfortunately I struggle still because people don't see the real problem facing marriage.

The real problem isn't that same sex couples want to "marry" each other, the real problem is government is being used as the final arbiter of the conversation. Marriage is a concept, a spirit concept, rooted in religious dogma that combines the female and male soul as one. In the Garden of Eden, Adam wondered alone for a while and God realized that he needed a partner; someone to balance Adam out. After a deep sleep Adam was less a rib and Eve was created. The notion is that Adam and Eve (man and a woman) are to come together.

Now some religions have expanded the notion of the Adam and Eve to include same-sex couples and that is perfectly fine as everyone has the right to their religious beliefs in America. Unfortunately, our elected officials and many Americans have allowed marriage to seep into aspects of our government - i.e. the tax code.

I have purposed on more than one occasion that we remove Government from the equation. To many that seems like a daunting task but it really isn't. People on both sides of the aisle have wanted to alter the tax code to varying degrees. Why not start with removing married filing jointly and separately while leaving in single and head of house hold. Everything else that "married" people enjoy as a benefit can be handled through contract law. Marriage is not a basic human right nor is it something that is protected by the State or Federal Constitution. Marriage is a rite and it is a decision that one makes on a personal level with no intervention from the government.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Leadership Vacuum

The old saying goes, " As Rome burns, Nero dances" or something like that. Don't be mistaken I am not comparing President Obama to Nero; rather I am comparing the entire leadership of the United States to Nero. For over two decades our elected officials have failed us. The trouble is that we Americans have enabled this failure through our apathy and lack of demand to vetting our leaders.

One has to go back to President Truman to get our last true leader that actually meant it when saying, "The buck stops here." In the White House we have the American version of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. But our King Louis is years in the coming so no one should be surprised. We haven't voted for Statesmen for decades; rather our politicians have been able to skate by without addressing the tough issues and being properly vetted. Minnesotans saw that last year when the Legislature, again, kicked the can down the road instead of dealing with the tough realities that face the State.

Thankfully the small town I live in and the Council I am apart of understands that we cannot rely on handouts to fund our government and that if we want to grow we all must share in the pain. Here we all sit watching United States embassies burn and KYC restaurants being attacked. What did KYC ever do? Don't they employ people in the country they are in?

Instead of sending a stern message, words are not stern in my book, the current administration first apologized for the film that apparently started it all. The attacks on our embassies and bomb threats on US campuses are not a response to some YouTube video that has been on YouTube for several months. It is a result of the Arab Spring that our current leadership thought was a great Democracy movement. The Arab Spring was a guise to put in power those factions in the world that want to see the destruction of the West.

We need leadership. We need a Statesman. Are we capable in America anymore to vote for a person that is capable of making the tough decision even if it's unpopular and may not get re-elected for that or will we stay in our camps and blindly vote D or R?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Middle East

Last year the United States assisted the Libyans and Egyptians in disposing of their dictators in an effort to bring Democracy to the region. Yesterday the citizens of those two countries showed us thanks by storming our embassies and killing an ambassador and three others. The mob also tore down the United States flag and burned it in protest. In Libya they replaced the burnt American flag with a Islamic banner too.

For over a decade we have been dealing with the tragic 9/11 events and we used that as a rally cry to take the fight to those responsible. We still have troops in Afghanistan - which are being killed nearly every day by "friendly" Afghans - and a presence in Iraq as well. We currently are using predator drones to assist those fighting for "freedom" in Syria with the stark possibility that US military troops are on the ground as well.

The events at the two embassies and the continual attacks on our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan should be sign enough to any administration that we no longer need to have a presence of any kind in the region.Colonial times are over and our nation building of the late 70's and early 80's was a losing proposition as well. Why in the 21st Century do we continue to allow our President and Congress to act in such an Imperial manner?

The United States has a partner in the region, a reliable partner, in Israel. Leverage that partnership and the build on the rickety one with Saudi Arabia to ensure stability in the region. We no longer need to be the police of the world; especially when the reward is the death of our ambassador's and our troops.

Hamburg City Council Agenda - September 11, 2012

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
1. Call City Council Meeting to Order
 Pledge of Allegiance
2. Public Comment (Individuals may address the City Council about any non-agenda item(s) of concern.
Speakers must state their name, address, and limit their remarks to three minutes. The City Council may not
take official action on these items and may refer the matter to staff for a future report or direct that the matter be
scheduled for a future meeting agenda.)
3. Agenda Review (Added Items) and Adoption
4. Consent Agenda (NOTICE TO PUBLIC: All those items listed as part of the Consent Agenda will be
approved by a single motion, unless a request to discuss one of those items is made prior to that time. Anyone
present at the meeting may request an item to be removed from the consent agenda. Please inform the Council
when they approve the agenda for this meeting.)
 Approve Minutes for July 10, 2012
 Time-off Request for Jeremy Gruenhagen
 Time Off Request for Sue Block (Reminder)
 MNSPECT Minute for September 2012
 July Cash Flow Statement
 Water Wells Usage/Water Consumption Reports for August 2012
 Delinquent Utility Bills Report
 Employee Project Lists
5. Fire Department Report – Chief Brad Droege
 Training Grant/DNR Grant
 Box Alarms (Mutual Aid)
 Public Service Memorial Update
 Fire Department Open House – October 13, 2012
 Hamburg Fire Department Relief Association
o Purchase New Flags ($1,600)
o HFDRA Pension Increase
6. Old City Business (Memo)
 City Clean Up Day (Fall 2012/Spring 2013)
 2010 Census Count/Met Council Population Estimates (April 1, 2011)
 Community Center Closet Door (Replace)
 Sign for City Hall/Township
 Use of SHIP Monies (Handicap Access/Trails to Parks)
 Parkside Tavern
o Request to Close Part of Railroad Street for Bars 5th Anniversary
 Revised NIMS Training Program (Requirements)
SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
7. Public Works & Utilities Department Report
 Liftstation Repairs
o Dialer
o Pumps
 Estimate to Clean City Sewer Lines (Empire Pipe Services)
 Community Center (Paint)
8. City Clerk/Treasurer Report
 Insurance Claims Update
o Sewer Back-ups
o HFD Sign & Baseball Park Fence
o Baseball Park Light
 Tax Forfeited Lot on Brad Street
o Assessments on Parcel
 Property/Casualty Insurance Renewal
 Community Hall Rentals
o Liquor Liability Requirements
 City Council Meetings for 2012/2013
o One Meeting a Month
9. 2013 Proposed Tax Levy and 2013 Budget
 Council Wages for 2013 (Set by Ordinance)
 Water/Sewer/Storm Water Rates for 2013 (Utility Rate Study)
 Set Proposed Property Tax Levy for 2013
 Approve 2013 Preliminary Budget
 Set Public Comment Meeting for Final 2013 Budget
 December 11, 2012
10. Approve Payment of Added August Claims ($29,950.38)
Approve Payment of September 2012 Claims ($13,141.72)
Approve Final Payment for Storm/Sewer Imp. Project ($26,838.66)
11. City Council Reports
 Councilmember Mueller Report (Sewer & Water)
o SAFL Baffle
 Councilmember Lund Report (Streets)
o Carver County Leaders Meeting
o City Investments
 Councilmember Trebesch Report (Buildings)
 Councilmember Barnes Report (Parks)
 Mayor Malz Report
SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
12. Adjourn City Council Meeting
SEPTEMBER 1 – Wedding Reception (Eggers)
2 – Park Rental (Aguilar)
8 – Wedding Reception (Buckentin)
15 – Wedding Reception (Heldt)
22 – Wedding Reception (Keeler)
29 – Wedding Reception (Harms)
OCTOBER 6 – Wedding Reception (Schremp/Hartmann)
27 – Wedding Reception (Mackenthun/Howk)
SEPTEMBER 3 – Labor Day Holiday – City Offices Closed
4 – Lions Club/HFD Training
5 – 2013 Budget Meeting – 7:00 PM
9 – Washington Lake 4-H Club
11 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM
16 – Community Center Rental (Miller)
17 – Hamburg Lions Club
24 – Hamburg Fire Department (HFDRA)
25 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM
30 – Community Center Rental (Mackenthun)
OCTOBER 1 – Lions Club/HFD Training
9 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM
14 – Washington Lake 4-H Club
15 – Hamburg Lions Club Meeting