Hearty congratulations go to the governor of Minnesota this week. Results are in. His approval ratings are UP. Gov. Pawlenty is poised to rise even further as the darling of Bush-era Republikans. What an accomplishment. For years our governor has been underfunding the highway department which has responded for years by steadily lowering its expectations for road and bridge maintenance. In the paper today a legislator reports hearing from highway officials quietly voicing their deep concern for this practice. Most recently, Gov. Pawlenty vetoes a 5 cent gasoline tax riduculing the very idea of it and rejecting DFL efforts to include bridge inspections. What one may consider is the inevitable happening in this post-industrial Republikan controlled era of “government” and a very big, important, bridge comes tumbling down. Now we see the governor on TV looking very concerned and wanting to salve the pain of those awaiting word on loved ones among the disappeared. And the people of Minnesota EAT IT UP. New approval ratings through the roof! What kind of idiots have we become?
Back in the day … our kids were babies … we had a drought, the railroad was laying off people and the local economy in Havre, Montana, was not good. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) owned 600 houses and was selling them cheap. Property values were dropping fast. Businesses were retrenching and folks were selling out and leaving town. That’s how I remember what a drought looks like. At least up in Montana.
In Minnesota, here in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, we are some distance from the agricultural economy. We know from lawns and gardens. I have very little of the former. A lot more of the latter. And we have a lot of trees on our property. The sun rises and gives us a cloudless day every day. The temperature rises to the 90s and then cools off in the evening. It is beginning to feel like Havre, Montana.
What doesn’t get watered, dies. Continue reading “Drought – Minnesota Style” »
The hegemony of motorized travel knows no bounds. Sever one of its vital lifelines and it moves blithely to an alternative. Block the alternative and the alternative to the alternative is found. Does anyone ever imagine the possibility that maybe the trip didn’t have to occur in the first place? Continue reading “I-35W comes to the Midway” »
The standard Republican game plan is definitely fraying around the edges. For the national government, endless war, no end to earmarks, tax cuts, no new taxes, and no government investment in the country and people that pay for it. A modified version has been working very well in Minnesota as well. Gov. Pawlenty made “the pledge.” No new taxes. And gleefully vetoed the first gasoline tax increase since the 1980s. That same bill included stepped up bridge inspections. Every time the DFL controlled legislature has offered any legislation that includes government investment in the work of government, Pawlenty had his veto pen at the ready. Continue reading “Republican bankruptcy” »
We took a different way home from the movie this evening. We went over and got on the Highway 36 freeway westbound that would end at I-35 as it snaked down toward downtown Minneapolis. We knew what would happen. Continue reading “Diversion” »
Since this is front page news in the London Times and the New York Times there isn’t a lot I can say to illuminate. Here is a ink to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s slide show. One of their photographers,Jeff Wheeler, is part of our block club. We’ve been watching TV for about four hours now and we’re drained.
Tribune day one photo gallery | Username: lafondblog | Password: lafond
IN FEWER THAN 30 MINUTES from the time of this post, the latest in highly creative imagineering will, ironically, prevent us from seeing The West Wing. My one evening a week of blissful fantasy is invaded by the very people I am seeking to blot out of my mind, at least for one hour. Now even that refuge is denied us. I thought about stopping at NWA headquarters in Eagan to request a complimentary bushel of those little plastic lined bags one finds in the seat pocket in front of you. But I had to rush home. No time for such things. Now it is exactly 15 minutes until the English Language begins its brutalization and truth parked somewhere in the odd spot (was that P2 or P9?).