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Rent Money and other 2021 Leftovers

November 26, 2021


Music Association: Diana Ross - Reflections

Election Day-After
Twin Cities Results
November 3, 2021

Minneapolis voted down the move to restructure police under public safety.

Minneapolis and St. Paul both approved rent stability measures and solidly re-elected mayors Frey and Carter.

The question restructuring Minneapolis police had 62,813 yes votes (43.83%) and 80,506 no votes (56.17%).

The question of Minneapolis rent stability had 75,598 yes votes (53.21%) and 66,468 no votes (46.79%).

And the question of St. Paul rent stability had 30,965 yes votes (52.89%) and 27,581 no votes (47.11%).

Voter turnout was higher than usual for an odd-numbered year.
I Voted

Music Association: Jefferson Airplane - Count On Me

Hopes and Dreams voters

Election Day
New Laws Are Do-Overs
November 2, 2021

Minneapolis takes a next step in policing with today's election.

The question before Minneapolis voters is whether or not to change the governmental structure of the Minneapolis police, in the wake of George Floyd's murder by police officers last year.

If the majority of voters say yes, the office of the police will be moved under a new office of Public Safety. It neither defunds nor abolishes the Minneapolis police. It is a step in the direction of police reform and civil equity.

Whether the voters say yes or no, the issue of police reform will not end with a single vote or a single election. That's not how law making works in a democracy.

Law making is doing over the existing laws. The new laws strike out old language and add new language to the (old) laws in the Constitution, state statutes, city charters, or city ordinances. The Minneapolis police question (Question 2) would rewrite sections 7.3, 7.4, and 8.2 of the Minneapolis city charter.

Law making is an incremental process -- sometimes one step forward, two steps back. Laws evolve.

Sometimes people laud the founding fathers of the United States in the creation of the Constitution, failing to recognize that it was the second try -- a do over.

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first governing document of the United States, with ten presidents under the ACPU (1781-1788) starting with Samuel Huntington, although they were all presidents of congress. The states held more powers (raising money, coining money, raising armies) than the federal government. The federal government was broke and broken. In 1789, the United States Constitution replaced the ACPU. It was amended 27 times, do overs of the do over.

The November 2, 2021 ballot question - Department of Public Safety

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove the Police Department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions by the Department of Public Safety, with those specific functions to be determined by the Mayor and City Council by ordinance; which will not be subject to exclusive mayoral power over its establishment, maintenance, and command; and which could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?

Music Association: Jewel - Again and Again

Where The Renters Live
Rent Money
November 1, 2021

Tomorrow, St. Paul and Minneapolis will vote (or not vote) on rent money issues.

The St. Paul question is the hot topic because it limits rent increases to 3% without any automatic exceptions for inflation or new construction. Mailers, texts, door tags, ads, and phone calls
have saturated St. Paul, coming from a Minneapolis-based organization of rental property owners and out-of-state Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with nearly $4 million.

They claim builders like Ryan Companies (that builds skyscrapers and subdivisions) will go out of business because of the 3% limit on rent increases. If there is so much new construction in St. Paul, why is there a housing shortage in St. Paul?

The median year of apartment construction in St. Paul was 1963.

In the Twin Cities metro area (Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, and other suburbs), the home ownership rate in 2020 was 73%St. Paul has more rental units (57,271) than owner-occupied units (55,717).
The White population of St. Paul is 39% renters, compared to 82% of Black, 64% of Native, 62% of Latin and 58% of Asian households, according to a 2019 American Community survey. The population of St. Paul is 311,527 and 18.9 % live in poverty.

Yet the mailers have the audacity to say the rent stability will threaten builders and “the entrepreneur who is trying to increase their generational wealth by acquiring and renting properties.

Weep for the real estate investor who needs wealth to pass on to children and grandchildren. How will wealth accumulate with only 3% annual increases?

From a Spokesman-Recorder article by Carolyn Szczepanski:
During an October 13 press conference, some local landlords showed their support for the rent stabilization policy, rejecting the claims of the opposition with their personal experience as property owners. “I have been getting flyers in the mail about this initiative, and they say that small mom-and-pop landlords would go out of business if this passes,” said Katheryn Schneider, who owns and rents property in the North End of St Paul.

“Well, they haven’t spoken to me, and it’s just not true. This initiative would change nothing for us. We take pride in our buildings and feel it is a privilege to be able to provide housing. The rent stabilization measure won’t have any impact on responsible property owners, but will protect our community against price gouging and predatory landlords who want to use housing to extract as much profit as possible.

The November 2, 2021 ballot question - Whether to adopt a Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance

Should the City adopt the proposed Ordinance limiting rent increases? The Ordinance limits residential rent increases to no more than 3% in a 12-month period, regardless of whether there is a change of occupancy. The Ordinance also directs the City to create a process for landlords to request an exception to the 3% limit based on the right to a reasonable return on investment. A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of limiting rent increases. A "no" vote is a vote against limiting rent increases.

For more information, Jackson Long works through the arguments about rent stability and the details of how it would work.

rent stability mailer (October 2021) in St. Paul, MN

Music Association: Supertramp - Long Way Home

Cool It
Leaves Fall
October 11, 2021

Right now in Minnesota, the leaves are changing from greens to yellows, oranges, and reds. A cool wind blows.

Trees with less water turn colors sooner and drop their leaves faster.

Thud. (That's all the leaves dropping all at once.) Thud. (There goes another tree.)

It was an exceptionally dry summer. Climate change is about extremes, and in Minnesota, the effect is wetter weather, mostly. This year, the pendulum swung to dry. I learned that tumbleweeds are mostly Russian thistle. It was a dry summer.

It didn't rain. It spritzed. Too dry for drips. Too quick for mist.

Maybe climate change is effecting people too.

Music Association: Little River Band - Cool Change


Bang On The Drum All Day
Repercussions Of The Pandemic
September 22, 2021

Percussion instruments can be as simple as a pan, a barrel, or a table. They aren't instruments until they meet up with hands.

I will lend you a hand.

(This is me on the drums.)

If you think you shouldn't have a Covid-19 vaccine, you are thinking too much. If you aren't vaccinated, get vaccinated.

As of the end of August, four and a half million people worldwide have died directly from Covid-19 (4,518,351). Covid-19 has directly killed 634,415 in the United States. The availability of Covid-19 vaccinations has meant that those dying alone of Covid-19 are anti-vaxers (Covidiots). Many other people are dying from serious but treatable illnesses due to either fear of going into hospitals or the health resources not being available during the pandemic. The decline of health and dental maintenance will have consequences.

Every American president alive today has been vaccinated, from President Carter to President Biden.

This is the Afghanistan War (2001-2021) of pandemics. It will not end quickly. Slowly, the Covidiots will suffer long, painful solitary* deaths while those vaccinated will get periodic booster shots and live on.

I drove past a funeral yesterday, with few people seeing the casket into a hearse. They all seemed to be looking at me like I should stop and do something or say something. Maybe they just wanted more people and less traffic.

So many people are not properly mourning -- having stalled or complicated grief responses -- not getting closure.

Anecdotal evidence indicates a rise in domestic and child abuse, a rise in drug and alcohol addiction and relapse, a rise in depression and isolation, and accentuated political and social divisions.

Covid-fog will be a long-term problem for many adults.

Economically, Covid-19 is killing the hospitality industry, the wider service industry, and global manufacturing. Supply chain shortages will kill Just-In-Time delivery, increasing inventory overhead, and increasing prices.

(I'm still drumming my table.)

Music Association: Dire Straits - Industrial Disease
* Death is usually solitary.

Hopes and Dreams

Ida Evacuated
August 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida landed just before noon yesterday, as a Category 4* hurricane with wind speeds of 150 mph.

Over a million (1,036,201) power company customers
in Louisiana are without power today, according to the number-crunchers at poweroutage.us.

Pictures and videos show roofs peeled off of some buildings, but no word of breached levies like what happened 16 years ago with Hurricane Katrina.

pink inflatable unicorn llamas have been spotted in flooded streets (see July 15, 2021).

One death has been reported so far, and Ida has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Music Association: Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
* On the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Hopes and Dreams

Saigon 2.0
Leaving Afghanistan
August 15, 2021

The American troop evacuation of Afghanistan was a deal between President Trump and the Taliban from September 2020 to occur by May 1, 2021. Trump freed 5,000 Taliban prisoners to make the evacuation agreement. What a deal for ... you know ... the Taliban.

President Biden is going through with the troop evacuation from Afghanistan. It is being compared to the “Fall of Saigon
when U.S. troops left Vietnam in 1975.

Damn right. The war in Vietnam was another long war the United States had no business being in.

President Trump never had the guts to end the longest American war (2001-2021) while he served as president.

Neither did President Obama.

And worse, President Bush should have never started the war in Afghanistan or the war in Iraq.
Bush explained U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan as nation building. If that were possible, it would have been built by now, after 20 years, $4 trillion to $6.5 trillion*, and 2,448+ U.S. troops.** 

Likewise, President Kennedy should have never sent 'advisers' to South Vietnam. President Johnson never should have escalated the war. And President Nixon never had the guts to end the war.

The war in Afghanistan has been a tug of war in Afghanistan, with the United States stepping into an already crowded list of countries (Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia,...) pushing or pulling Afghans in extreme directions.
Russia also lost a war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a land, not a country.

South Vietnamese civilians try to escape Saigon on April 29, 1975
South Vietnamese civilians try to escape Saigon on April 29, 1975 via an Air America Huey Helicopter on the roof of the Pittman Apartments (22 Gia Long Street / 22 Ly Tu Trong Street). The Pittman Apartments were the headquarters of the CIA deputy chief of station and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The picture was taken by Dutch photographer Hubert van Es using a 300mm camera lens. Van Es would later cover the failed Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
(photo nearly-colorized by Hopes-and-Dreams.net)

Music Association: Temptations - Build Me Up

* The U.S. Afghanistan War was paid in credit, not cash. President Harry Truman temporarily raised top tax rates to 
92% to pay for the Korean War. President Lyndon Johnson temporarily raised top tax rates to 77% to pay for the Vietnam War. President George W. Bush cut tax rates for the wealthiest down to 8% rather than raise taxes, at the outset of Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The direct costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was $2 trillion in 2020. The estimated interest costs by 2050 will be $6.5 trillion. (source: Ellen Knickmeyer | AP)

** The U.S. Afghanistan War claimed the lives of 2,448 U.S. troops, 3,846 U.S. contractors, 66,000 Afghan military and police, 1,144 NATO and allied troops, 47,245 Afghan civilians, 51,191 Taliban and other opposition fighters, 444 aid workers, and 72 journalists. (source: Ellen Knickmeyer | AP)

Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and Dreams

Climate Change
Wildfires - Out Of Control
July 21, 2021

Wildfires (by definition) are out of control. The United States has 83 large wildfires in 13 states, currently burning 1,293,636 acres. Montana has 20 large wildfires. Idaho has 18. Oregon has 8, including the country's largest, the Bootleg fire, which has burned over 364,000 acres. California has 7 large wildfires and 5,267 wildfires of all sizes. Washington state has 7. Alaska and Arizona have 6. Wyoming has 5. Nevada has 2. New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Minnesota each have one large wildfire. Canada's British Columbia province has 741,316 acres of wildfires. Smoke from these western wildfires have filled the air as far away as New Jersey and New York.

In Russia's Yakutia, wildfires are burning approximately 3,700,000 acres of forests and tundra.

The scale of these fires are unprecedented. Day is night, and night is aglow.

To give some idea of the size of 1.2 million acres and 3.7 million acres, Delaware is 1,593,153 acres, and Connecticut is 3,547,731 acres.

Central China and Germany are experiencing unprecedented flooding.

And Japan has only vaccinated 8% of its population.

Covid-19 olympics
So... the world should ignore Climate Change and the Covid-19 pandemic and begin the Olympics?!?

Music Association: Prince - Let's Go Crazy

Hopes and Dreams

German Rain
Pink Unicorn Llama
July 15, 2021

pink unicorn in Hagen, Germany (July 2021)

In the flooded town-lake of Hagen, a man rode a pink inflatable unicorn llama, which I would argue has more practical value than a billionaire riding into space on the USS Vanity.

Music Association: Coldplay - Trouble


Russia-Ukraine War of 2022
Russia - Ukraine War

end Israeli apartheid
end Israeli apartheid

China in 1989 (T a n k M a n)
China in 1989

George Floyd, murdered by police, May 25, 2021
George Floyd

Covid-19 disease - the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Presidential Timeline of Donald Trump
Trump Timeline (PDF)

voter suppression
Voter Suppression

music videos
Music Videos
October 2018 Twin Cities Calendar
Landmine Hopscotch


Impact Investing
Impact Investing

Gifs of Kittens (part 1)
Holiday Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

Climate Solutions

Hennepin County Library at Southdale (Edina, MN)
Southdale Hennepin Library  Edina Library  

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman

food fraud
Food Fraud

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