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The last post is mistaken…

…in saying the DNT did not carry the story about the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling against the St. Louis County Schools.

I was in town for a short time when I quickly perused two day’s worth of Tribs. I already knew the story was out there because it had been on MPR (public radio). I found it when I googled but missed the small story on an inside page in the DNT.

If only my general observation about the DNT’s coverage of the Red Plan were as inaccurate.

The dark arts of Johnson Controls

I’ll write about these revelations from the Timberjay tomorrow or later tonight.

p. 10: Zelda Bruns: ” We’re worse off now than we were operating seven school”.

page 10: Zelda says she is “sympathetic to those who believe the district was “taken to the cleaners by JCI “.

page 10: Chet Larson: wants a comparison of operating costs compared to prior the restructuring. He noted that several schools had been using coal for heat and switched to propane to increase costs.

p. 10: According to Kim Johnson, business manager: the district saw a 34% increase in heating and fuel for 2011-2012 . Board members questioned the increase when we had a mild winter.

Why Obamacare won

“Let’s talk about [US Supreme Court Chief Justice John] Roberts. I’m going to tell you something that you’re not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to. It’s well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts’ writings you can see the cognitive disassociation in what he is saying,” – radio host Michael Savage.

A newspaper in JCI’s pocket…

…get’s pulled out with the lint.

Apparently after cheering on JCI and the closing of the Orr School the Cook News-Herald is finding ad revenue hard to come by. That at least is what this letter sent to the rival Timberjay suggests:

Publisher should consider his positions
I read with some amusement that Gary Albertson, editor and publisher of the Cook News-Herald was upset that the Orr City Council decided to award the bid to print the council’s minutes and other official business to the competitor Timberjay. I’ve had a good relationship with Mr. Albertson, but what in the world did he expect?

He supported the closing of the Orr School. The Orr retail community is realizing the fallout from the closing now and the future in my mind doesn’t look bright. Orr has a mayor that supported the closing of the Orr School and sided with the school board and Johnson Controls because they had an exclusive contract with his employer, the 49ers Union. Between the two of them, and board member Zelda Bruns, Orr is struggling. There is no advertising money available to buy ads in Mr. Albertson’s newspapers and shopper. He should have given this more thought and reserved his fervor for the new JCI/Albertson school in the hayfield north of Cook. But no, instead of keeping his thoughts on the editorial page, he chose to editorialize his news coverage of the issue. Orr apparently voted their pocketbooks and decided Mr. Albertson was no longer a booster of the community and denied him the advertising revenue he could have enjoyed by continuing to print the Orr public information.

But don’t worry, Gary still has the St. Louis County School Board in his back pocket and they will continue to pay him monthly to print their newsletter that goes to the mailboxes in the district. I wonder how he might feel if the school board pulled the plug on this revenue source? Would he then think the new, needless, useless new teacher’s union school was worth his effort?

And Cook, don’t think you are immune from this economic disaster. Wait until your school closes this spring and watch how dead your downtown will become.

Jim Saranpaa

Orr, Minn.

It happened in Minnesota first

Democrats are contemplating voting en masse for the weaker candidate, Rick Santorum, in Michigan’s “open” Republican primary election.

Minnesota Republicans did much the same thing to Hubert Humphrey in 1956 in the newly established Minnesota open Presidential primary. HHH was angling to become Aldali Stephenson’s VP and was heading up his Minnesota campaign. A victory for Humphrey’s Adali delegates would have given him a seat at the convention and made the popular Humphrey the odds on favorite to be the vice presidential nominee. Because no one expected Adali to beat the popular Eisenhower the then youthful Hubert felt a vice presidential nomination would make him the odds on favorite to be the Democratic nominatee for the open Presidential seat in 1960.

I’ve got a lovely insider story I’d like to include in my book about how the Republicans helped thwart Adali’s Minnesota campaign and embarrassed Humphrey in the bargain. It helped close up the 1960 window of opportunity for the ambitious Humphrey.

Mitt Romney no longer looks that formidable. A loss in his “home” state of Michigan on Tuesday would only add to his and the Republican Party’s woes.

Hubert Humphrey saw to it that the DFL killed Minnesota’s open presidential primary after 1956 and its never been held since.

“The Rich are different from you and me …

…they have more money.”

They don’t mind defaulting on their obligations when their McMansions become a drain.

“But with a recovery in the housing market still years away, foreclosure has turned out to be a worthwhile option after all. Saddled with bloated mortgages after a long run up in property values, many high-end homeowners have chosen to pursue a “strategic default.” Even though they can afford the monthly mortgage payments, they still decide to walk away from their home because they owe more on the property than it is worth.”

Perhaps this is because the rich have become conditioned to think differently from the rest of us.

[A] number of new studies suggest that, in certain key ways, people with that much money are not like the rest of us at all. As a mounting body of research is showing, wealth can actually change how we think and behave, and not for the better. Rich people have a harder time connecting with others, showing less empathy to the extent of dehumanizing those who are different from them. They are less charitable and generous. They are less likely to help someone in trouble. And they are more likely to defend an unfair status quo. If you think you’d behave differently in their place, meanwhile, you’re probably wrong: These aren’t just inherited traits, but developed ones. Money, in other words, changes who you are.

About that quote in this Post’s title.

Groupthink Storming

Is that what Brainstorming really is?

But that’s how they came up with the Red Plan and watched it grow and grow and grow:

Keith Sawyer, a psychologist at Washington University, has summarized the science: “Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas.

Chalk one up for us lone wolves.

Maybe I cut the Trib too much slack…

…for their honeymoon editorial.

Here’s an email a friend sent me regarding it:

So now the DNT believes the focus should be on students, class size and education. I wish they would have gotten on board long ago with everyone else. According to them without mentioning “his” [Dixon’s] name, Foster needs to clean up the mess he left behind.

Meanwhile JCI building costs are . . .

. . . exceeding forecasts by half a million at the Cherry School site:

Although the district as a whole remains under budget, the Cherry School exceeded its construction budget. Costs for that project are expected to total $10.479 million. The school’s original budget was $9.9 million, but was later supplemented with an additional $400,000 from the district’s contingency fund. Even with the additional money, Anderson said the project is expected to be $179,178 over budget.

Just because it was from the April 1st…

Reader Weekly doesn’t mean its not true. (Sent to me by a friend)

Proctor Schools:The Green Plan Johnson Controls Recommends Improvements.

Breaking News! The Proctor school board has authorized a program of school modernization to the tune $437 million dollars After an impassioned presentation by JCI this Proctor school district realize that if they don’t modernize, they will lose students to adjacent and surrounding school districts. JCI guaranteed the school district that by updating their schools they will not only retain their student base, but they may well draw students from communities such as Duluth of the St. Louis Co. school district. JCI further indicated that for the $437 mil “Green Plan” investment, Proctor is guaranteed to have air conditioning in every classroom.
After careful analysis, JCI’s study of the demographics led them to the conclusion that Proctor needs all new schools, but located very near to their existing locations. For example the new high school will be just across the street from the current outdated facility.
JCI further calculates that it will only take 5000 more students for the Proctor School District to recover the expense of updating the delapitated structures.

(There’s more)

In related news, JCI is pleased to announce they have promoted Dr. Keith Dixon to position of superintendent of Proctor School District. Dixon has a long track record of working within the community to maximize the initiatives benefitting JCI to the maxam his previous employment reading in Fairmont MN, Duluth MN have also worked to achieve great income returns for JCI charts control spokesman Fred Flinstone is positive that Dr. Dixon will make a similar contribution to the benefits of JCI and his new position as head of schools in prox

(There appears to be some typos in this but you get the gist.)


The apparent answer to the Duluth School District’s enrollment difficulties is advertising. If all of our district’s employees just did a little happy talking for a month we could just about solve our problems.

I have heard little from our teachers for a couple years as resignation and fatalism seem to have overcome them. Indeed as they teach to increasingly large classrooms I imagine that old saw: “Its hard to remember you came to drain the swamp when you’re up to your neck in alligators,” might apply. Asking them to smile for the camera may not have much affect.