Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sequester: Death Nail or Savior

Over the past few weeks we have seen the rhetoric of the Sequester ramp up and the blame game go into high gear. Sadly, the Sequester conversation could have been non-existent if Congress and President Obama enacted the results of Simpson-Bowles committee over two years ago. Trouble with Simpson-Bowles outcome is it was a true compromise; a compromise though that President Obama wasn't willing to extend. Unfortunately far to many Americans will believe the hype, the spin and the outright lies when it comes to Sequester.

Earlier in the year Congress put forth a tax bill that raised taxes on those making over $450,000 and did away with the payroll tax holiday. Granted President Obama wanted the top nominal rate to hit those making over $250,000 and the Republicans in Congress wanted it to be on those making over $1M, but a compromise was reached. Part of the compromise was that Congress and the White House work to bring spending under control.

To give enough time for Congress and the White House to cobble a plan, the Sequester was kicked down the road a bit and reset to go into effect March 1st. As Bob Woodward, probably one of the last true investigative journalists, points out in his Op-Ed from yesterday ( the brain child of Sequester falls squarely on the shoulders of the White House.

Woodward even points to an exact time and place that President Obama approved Sequester that White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew cobbled. Also pointed out is that Sequester was not to contain any revenue increases either. The agreement on Sequester was to kick the debate into 2013 as to not be an issue during the 2012 Presidential Election. The looming cuts that President Obama warned the American public about just a few days ago while flanked with men and women in uniform existed prior to the 2012 election as Sequester already hung in the balance.

Why do we give President Obama a pass? Why do people allow President Obama to blatantly lie to the American public?

So what really takes place on March 1st if nothing else is done? First off the $1.2 trillion in cuts takes place immediately and will be spread over the years til 2021. The spread will be evenly over those nine years which means that the cuts made in 2013 will be only $109 billion. The cuts will not touch existing war spending nor SSN or Medicaid. Think about that for a second $109 billion! We are running a deficit in this country of $1 Trillion a year for the past four years. How can President Obama be honest with himself as he stands before the American public claiming job loss when we will still roughly $800 billion more dollars this year than we take in?

Again take a look at the numbers. We spend over $1 trillion more today than we take in and Sequester will cut that by $109 billion dollars. Is the budget of the United States to the point that it cannot take a 10% haircut? If we cannot see a 10% reduction in the increases of debt then how are we ever going to be able to balance the budget and cut the deficit any let alone in half as President Obama promised he would have done by now?

Wake up America. Learn the truth of the spin that our Political Elite attempt to spin on us and realize that the media is not doing their jobs anymore.The Sequester will not put America back into a depression; rather $1 Trillion yearly deficit spending will!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner: Hero or Villain?

I will admit that when former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner uploaded his manifesto and decided the only means to clear his "good" name was to take to the streets of Los Angeles and enact revenge, I really didn't care to follow. People snap for various reasons and take vengeance out in any manner they see fit; unfortunately. As I read the various websites I routinely look at this morning, I saw on ( that about 200 protesters went to LAPD headquarters yesterday to show support for former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.

The protest raised my curiosity as to why might a pocket of our population take time of their day to advocate for a man that just terrorized and killed people in California. The NBC news article quoted one protester:

"We're protesting some of the police brutality -- not just LAPD, but all over the nation," said protester and Lomita resident Vincent Namm, a former Marine. "With Chris Dorner, habeas corpus just got thrown out the window.''

The article prompted me to search and see what else may be said in support of former LAPD officer Chris Dorner. In a CNN article a professor of English at Columbia University is quoted as ( :

"But when you read his manifesto, when you read the message he left, he wasn't entirely crazy. He had a plan and mission here, and many people aren't rooting for him to kill innocent people, they're rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system." Hill added. "It is almost like watching 'Django Unchained' in real life."

Django Unchained! Before I continue here is a link to the manifesto in the event you haven't read it: . Okay, former LAPD officer Chris Dorner is being compared to Jamie Foxx's character in Django Unchained? Now I have not seen the movie, yet it is on a long list of ones to see, but my understanding of the movie is a freed slave seeks to rescue his wife from a slave owner. How does this equate?

Not to digress to far, but what makes a manifesto sane or crazy? I mean if one reads the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels one will see that both men had a plan and mission. That being said does it wash away the tyranny and death that Marxist thought brought to Russia all okay? Dorner reflects, in his manifesto, of an altercation with Jim Armstrong on the playground at the Norwalk Christain elementary school as his first encounter with racism:

My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school in Norwalk, CA. A fellow student, Jim Armstrong if I can recall, called me a nigger on the playground. My response was swift and non-lethal. I struck him fast and hard with a punch an kick. He cried and reported it to a teacher. The teacher reported it to the principal. The principal swatted Jim for using a derogatory word toward me. He then for some unknown reason swatted me for striking Jim in response to him calling me a nigger. He stated as good Christians we are to turn the other cheek as Jesus did. Problem is, I’m not a fucking Christian and that old book, made of fiction and limited non-fiction, called the bible, never once stated Jesus was called a nigger.

Now the word "nigger" is a very powerful word. As with any word the definition of the word is dependent on the use of it. I agree with Dorner that Armstrong should not be using derogatory language and that Dorner should let it be known that usage of such language ought not to be tolerated. Equally intolerant to the derogatory language is the use of violence to illustrates one objection to intolerant language. Regardless of ones religious dogma to resort to violence as a primary mode of defense or objection is not acceptable in a free society.

Personally, I do hope that journalists take note of items within Dorner's Manifesto for if he is telling the truth of events that took place as far back as 2009 then it should be known. Everyone understands that the LAPD does not have a stellar track record in relations with the public regardless of ones race, sex or other cultural divisions. Was this a cover up? Time will tell.

Although I am not one for conspiracy theories, I do find it a bit odd that Dorner would take his own life when he wrote:

If possible, I want my brain preserved for science/research to study the effects of severe depression on an individual’s brain. Since 6/26/08 when I was relieved of duty and 1/2/09 when I was terminated I have been afflicted with severe depression. I’ve had two CT scans during my lifetime that are in my medical record at Kaiser Permanente. Both are from concussions resulting from playing football. The first one was in high school, 10/96. The second was in college and occurred in 10/99. Both were conducted at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in LA/Orange county. These two CT scans should give a good baseline for my brain activity before severe depression began in late 2008.

If Dorner hoped for his brain to be studied then why shot yourself in the head? At the end of the day, society needs to address the lack of accountability, respect and candor that exists in our society today. There are numerous angles and topics of discussion to be had from this, but let's not make this guy a hero or a martyr just yet. Nor do we make the LAPD the bogey man just yet either regardless of the track record. For if we solely go on track record then to Dorner's own admission "Unfortunately I was swatted multiple times for the same exact reason up until junior high" then Dorner is a bully.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hamburg City Council Minutes - January 22, 2013

Public Hearing and Hamburg City Council Meeting
January 22, 2013

Mayor Richard Malz called the Hamburg Public Hearing to order at 7:00 p.m. Councilmember Steve Trebesch, Councilmember Chris Lund, Councilmember Richard Odoms, City Clerk Jeremy Gruenhagen, Deputy Clerk Susan Block, and Maintenance Worker Dennis Byerly were in attendance. Others in attendance were Richard (Bob) Gregonis, John Barnes and Larry Mueller.

Ordinance Number 144 (2013 City Fee Schedule)

  • No comments were received from the public
    •  Councilmember Lund moved to adjourn the Public Hearing on Ordinance Number 144 at 7:05 p.m., seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

Mayor Richard Malz called the Hamburg City Council Meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. Councilmember Steve
Trebesch, Councilmember Chris Lund, Councilmember Richard Odoms, City Clerk Jeremy Gruenhagen,
Deputy Clerk Susan Block, and Maintenance Worker Dennis Byerly were in attendance. Others in attendance were Richard (Bob) Gregonis, John Barnes and Larry Mueller. Fire Chief Brad Droege arrived at 7:15 p.m.

Public Comment

  • Retiring Councilmember John Barnes encouraged the two new Council members to attend the Newly Elected Officials Conference. This conference is very informative for first time elective officials.

Recognition for Retiring Council Members

  • Mayor Malz presented an award of recognition plaque to Larry Mueller for his ten years of service as a City Council member and an award of recognition plaque to John Barnes for his four years service as a City Council member.

Agenda Review (Added Items) and Adoption

  • Added – Hand out showing what sanitary sewer lines need to be jetted and televised.
  • Added – Information for attending the Leadership Conference for Newly Elected Officials.
  • Added – Local Board of Appeal and Equalization/Open Book Meeting
  • Updated – January 2012 Claims List
    • Councilmember Odoms moved to approve the Agenda with the added items, Councilmember Lund seconded and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

Approve Consent Agenda

  • Approve Resolution Number 2013-03
    • With approving the Consent Agenda and Resolution Number 2013-03 City Council will here by appoint Robert (Bob) Gregonis to fill the vacant position on the Hamburg City Council. As a Council member he would serve from January 22, 2013 to the end of December 2014. The remainder of the four year Council term would then be determined at the next General

Election by Special Election.

  • Approve Minutes for January 8, 2013
  • Cash Flow Statements for December 2012
  • Time-Off Requests for Jeremy Gruenhagen
  • Delinquent Utility Bills Report
    • Councilmember Trebesch moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Councilmember Lund and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

Adopt City Fee Schedule for 2013

  • Ordinance Number 144 (2013 City Fee Schedule)
    • Councilmember Lund moved to adopt the 2013 City Fee Schedule (Ordinance Number 144), seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

Old City Business (Memo)

  • NIMS Training Program (Requirements)
    • Members of Council and Maintenance Worker Byerly will set a meeting date to go through the NIMS training.
    • City Clerk Gruenhagen will gather the information on how long each session would take to complete the training.

Fire Department Report – Chief Brad Droege

  • The Fire Department Banquet/Dance on January 12, 2013 had a low turn out. Next year the Fire Department may consider changing the event to something other than a Banquet/Dance.

Public Works & Utilities Department Report
Electric Panel for Liftstation

  • Northstar Pump was contacted to order the panel for the Liftstation.
      • The best time to install the panel is before the spring thaw.
      •  Bob Bossert from Floyd Total Security will be attending the February 12, 2013 Council meeting to discuss monitoring options for the Liftstation.

Estimates to Clean/Jet and Televise Sanitary Sewer Lines in 2013

  • Pipe Services in Shakopee and Empire Pipe Services from Mankato will be contacted and asked to submit quotes for Jetting and Televising three to five thousand feet of sewer lines this spring.
  • There is approximately 18,000 feet of sanitary sewer line pipe in Hamburg.

City Clerk/Treasurer Report
Zoning Ordinance Amendment to allow Apartments within a Single Family Home (R-1 District)

  • City Planner Ann Perry will be asked to draw up a public hearing notice and the zoning ordinance amendment, Ordinance Number 145, to amend the cities zoning ordinance to allow one or two apartment rentals within a zoned R-1 Single Family home district. Currently, the City Zoning Ordinance does not allow apartments within a single family home.
  • Councilmember Lund moved to set the Public Hearing for Zoning Ordinance 145 on February 12, 2013 at 6:45 p.m., Seconded by Councilmember Trebesch and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

Storm Water Drainage/Tile Line (Ditch North of City Limits)

  • Council will take no further action concerning the Storm Water Drainage Tile line unless Larry Dreier requests further discussion on his drainage issue.

Approve Payment of Added January 2013 Claims

  • Approve Payment of added January 2013 Claims with the addition of claim number 16096 to Carmen Mueller for reimbursement of canceled Hall rental.
  • Councilmember Odoms moved to approve the seven ACH payments and claim number 16078 to claim number 16096 for a total of $22,298.50, Councilmember Lund seconded and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.

City Council Reports

  •  Councilmember Lund Report (Parks)
    • The Lions Club talked to a representative from LCIF about a matching grant to add a Handicap Bathroom at the Bi-Centennial Park. A fund raiser may also be held to help raise funds for the Handicap Bathroom once a building plan is decided on and the cost.
  • Mayor Malz
      • Mayor Malz asked members of Council to help support town organizations when they are holding fund raisers.
  • Councilmember Gregonis (Water & Sewer) 
    • The Hall downstairs men’s bathroom floor has an open hole that should be fixed for it is a liability risk to the City.

Adjourn City Council Meeting
Councilmember Trebesch moved to adjourn the Hamburg City Council meeting at 7:56 p.m.,
Councilmember Odoms seconded and motion unanimously carried. All Council members were present.
Submitted by:
Susan Block
Deputy Clerk

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hamburg City Council Agenda - February 12, 2013

FEBRUARY 12, 2013
1. Call Public Hearing to Order at 6:45 PM

  • Ordinance Number 145 (Accessory Apts. in R-1 Single Family District)

2. Close Public Hearing for Ordinance Number 145

3. Call City Council Meeting to Order

  •  Pledge of Allegiance

4. 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.)

5. Agenda Review (Added Items) and Adoption

6. 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 January 22, 2013
  • Approve Exempt Permit for Lawful Gambling for Hamburg Lions Club
    • March 22, 2013 (Spring Bingo)
  • Adopt Ordinance Number 145 (Accessory Apartment Use)
  • HFDRA 2012 Donation Summary
  • Cash Flow Statement for January 2013
  • Time-Off Requests for Sue Block
  • Water Usage Report for 2013
  • Delinquent Utility Bills Report

7. Hamburg Baseball Club

  • State Bid to Co-Host State Amateur Baseball Tournament in 2016, 2017,or 2018
    • Approve Resolution Number 2013-04
  • Baseball Park Lights (Electrical Improvements)

8. Floyd Total Security – Bob Bossert

  • Monitoring Options for Cities Liftstation

9. Old City Business (Memo)

  • City Clean Up Day (Spring 2013)
  • 2010 Census Count/Met Council Population Estimates (June 1, 2013)
  • Revised NIMS Training Program (Requirements)
  • Tax Forfeited Lot on Brad Street
    • Assessments on Parcel 45.2000010
  • City Shirts/Fleece Jackets

10. Public Works & Utilities Department Report

  •  Estimates for Cleaning/Televising Sanitary Lines
  • Electrical Control Panel for Liftstation

11. City Clerk/Treasurer Report

  • 2012 Financial Audit (Abdo, Eick & Meyers)
  • Assessment Policy

12. Approve Payment of Added January 2013 Claims ($2,677.80)

  • Approve Payment of February 2013 Claims

13. City Council Reports

  • Councilmember Odoms Report (Streets)
  • Councilmember Bob Gregonis (Water/Sewer)
  • Councilmember Lund Report (Parks)
  • Councilmember Trebesch Report (Buildings)
  • Mayor Malz Report

14. Adjourn City Council Meeting

JANUARY 12 – HFDRA Banquet/Dance
19 – Pheasants Forever
20 – Lions Pancake Brunch
26 – Green Isle CPA Banquet
MARCH 22 – Hamburg Lions Club Spring Bingo
JANUARY 21 – Holiday – MLK Jr. Day – City Office’s Closed
21 – Hamburg Lions Club
22 – Public Hearing – Ordinance #144 – 7:00 PM
22 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM
26 – Hamburg Baseball Club (CC)
28 – Hamburg Fire Dept. (Relief Association) Meeting
30 – Hamburg Fire Department Training
FEBRUARY 4 – Hamburg Lions Club (Lions/YA Twp. Room)
4 – Hamburg Fire Department Training
11 – Hamburg Fire Department Training – 7:00 PM
12 – Public Hearing (Ordinance Number 145) – 6:45 PM
12 – Hamburg City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM
18 – Hamburg Lions Club
18 – Holiday – Presidents’ Day – City Office’s Closed
26 – Hamburg Fire Dept. (Relief Association) Meeting

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Role of Guns in our society

Nearly every legislative body is discussing the top of gun violence or gun control. For the past few days and including today hearings are being held at the Minnesota state capital on all aspects of guns. Today they will be holding a hearing on ammunition clip size. I know I have blogged prior on the issue of gun control and violence but we still need to keep the focus on the ball.

Just this week the Department of Justice released an argument for the use of Drones to monitor and kill American citizens abroad as well as here in the United States. Mind you that this is the same Department of Justice that felt our brave men and women fighting around the world should issue the Miranda Warning to those that are trying to kill them. People have made the argument that average citizens do not need "assault" or military style weapons in there homes and that our police force should never be out gunned. The fallacy to that point is the Police have nothing to fear from the law abiding citizen and the criminal will find a means to obtain those weapons regardless of what ever law is placed on the books.

It is true that as a hunter I do not need more than four or five bullets in my clip at any one time. Yet to go down that road is a distraction from the conversation. Our Fore Fathers, despite their short comings, understood what it meant to live under tyranny. Those that seek our shores for a better life have a firm grasp on tyranny as well. That understanding and first hand experience of our Fore Fathers is the foundation for implementing the Second Amendment.

Through the ratification of the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution is was forged that every citizen have the capability to fight back tyranny in what ever form it takes. While in my lifetime I may never witness such decay in our ruling class to the point that a King or Queen or Dictator is substituted for the Republic, there does exist that possibility at some point in the future. One step to enact that transformation is to ensure the citizenry has no means of protecting the Republic.

Some reading this will dismiss that last paragraph but look at recent legislation passed through Congress and signed into law. A few examples are NAFTA, Patriot Act, Healthcare Mandate, and now a legal argument for the use of Drones to assassinate Americans here and abroad. Individually these acts and resolutions by our Federal government has eroded our freedom and liberty of a free society. With the Supreme Court ruling that the Healthcare Mandate is Constitutional based on it is a tax opens Pandora's Box to more tax mandates.

Don't be surprised that if a Representative or Senator puts forth a bill to implement a steep tax on the number of bullets one has or on the number and types of guns one owns. Why do you think they are pushing so hard for this national database for background checks and gun registry? It is not to keep criminals from obtaining weapons it is to help them identify where the weapons are so at some point in the future they can levy a tax in hopes of disarming America. Demand your freedom before your ability to do so is taken away!