seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

State Fair Photos

Visiting the 2012 Minnesota State Fair with Mom, Michelle, Autumn, and James - full gallery here.

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Hanging at the Harders

A June weekend with Michelle's parents and Pokey - full gallery.

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More Boating

Another gallery of some boating, tubing, and wakeboarding on the St Croix.

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Feeding the Birds

While in Pennsylvania last year for Andrea's wedding, we had some fun at Club Ruch - full gallery.

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Marathon Michelle

First she ran the Get Lucky Half Marathon and then she ran Grandma's Full Marathon.

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Andrea and John Wedding - Mitchell Highlights

Last summer, we converged on Pennsylvania to see Andrea and John get married... and we goofed off a bit. Full gallery here.

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Me on the Freedom to Connect

I gave this presentation nearly a month ago... it starts off roughly 1 minute in, but I think you can get the gist. If you so choose...

A Failure of Our Republic

This video is worth watching through the end. It describes a problem that is all but ignored but nearly everyone, most especially policymakers.

This is a failure of our republic, which has been captured by massive corporations and shapes policies to further enrich a few at the expense of many.

Two books that address aspects of this that I recommend are Republic, Lost, and The Fine Print. Please buy them from a local bookstore if you can - supporting massive companies like Amazon or Walmart are a big part of the reason our economy is in the state it is.

An interview with David Kay Johnston about his book, The Fine Print, is below:

We can fix this, but first we have to recognize the source of the problem -- our government is not working for us, it is working for those who can cut it checks with 5, 6, 7, or more zeros at then end of them.

A Different Perspective on Schools and Education

If nothing else, the anecdote that starts this article in Mother Jones is fascinating. The article is "Everything you've heard about Failing Schools is Wrong."

Education and teaching is very complicated and for years I have wondered if we are getting better or worse at evaluating teachers.

Our Dumb Selves and Letting Wall Street Off Without Even a Warning

In a few years ... maybe even 10 or more if we are lucky, the economy will crater again. Wall Street will have screwed us again, but we can only blame ourselves.

We are supposed to be in charge of this country but we are not. We're too busy watching "unscripted" television and ignoring very real threats to our well-being because that is inconvenient. Michael Lewis reviewing a supposed exposé of Goldman Sachs:

Stop and think once more about what has just happened on Wall Street: its most admired firm conspired to flood the financial system with worthless securities, then set itself up to profit from betting against those very same securities, and in the bargain helped to precipitate a world historic financial crisis that cost millions of people their jobs and convulsed our political system. In other places, or at other times, the firm would be put out of business, and its leaders shamed and jailed and strung from lampposts. (I am not advocating the latter.) Instead Goldman Sachs, like the other too-big-to-fail firms, has been handed tens of billions in government subsidies, on the theory that we cannot live without them. They were then permitted to pay politicians to prevent laws being passed to change their business, and bribe public officials (with the implicit promise of future employment) to neuter the laws that were passed—so that they might continue to behave in more or less the same way that brought ruin on us all.

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