FeeltheBern!Be it Sanders or Clinton, there is no Democratic nominee yet, and that nomination will not occur for some time.  There are many primaries, and compared with 2008, MANY that have not occurred yet that were held much earlier in 2008.

There are “some” saying that Clinton now is ahead of where Obama was at this point in 2008, using that to argue that she is the presumed nominee.  Ummmmm, NO!


Look at the schedule, we’re more than a month behind now in primary and caucus scheduling:

2008 Democratic Caucus and Primary Schedule

As of this time in 2008, the following states had had primaries but as of this time in 2016, they have not, they’re yet to occur (in 2008 date order, with 2016 date written in):

Alaska – March 27

Arizona – March 22

California – June 7 (2008 2/5!)

Connecticut – April 26

Delaware – April 26

Idaho – March 22

New Jersey – June 7 (also 2/5 in 2008)

New Mexico – June 7 (ditto)

New York – April 19

North Dakota – June 7 (ditto)

Utah – March 22

U.S. Virgin Islands – June 4

District of Columbia – June 14

Maryland – April 26

Hawaii – March 26

Wisconsin – April 5

Rhode Island – April 26

Wyoming – April 9

Sooooooo… see what nonsense it is to state that there is a presumptive nominee at this point in time?  But I’ll wager this perspective is promoted by a certain candidate who doesn’t want to be bothered with the facts.

Just stop it, folks, and let’s keep moving forward with this contested nomination campaign.

Before, Onalaska’s scenic overlook, gazebo, and “Sunny” the famous Onalaska fish:



After Xcel Energy’s chain saw workout:



What do you think of this clearcutting  for Xcel’s 69 kV line along Hwy. 35 as it goes through the heart of Onalaska, at the Mississippi overlook and “Sunny,” the Onalaska Fish?  Is that butt ugly, or what?


Xcel Energy’s Nancy Dotson and ___________, their engineer (where are my notes?) said the line would be moved to down below Sunny and the observation deck/gazebo, and that they would not clear cut the area.  I was skeptical because if they run the line through, trees come down, that’s the story of transmission.  When trees come down for transmission, it’s permanent impact, because you can’t grow trees under or near transmission lines.  Oh, but no, they said, it’s not going to be that bad.

Well, it is that bad.  It looks like shit.

And Joe Chilsen, the Mayor of Onalaska, knew this would be the result when he went before the La Crosse Board of Zoning Appeal to allow an exemption to the airport height restriction to get this project through.  He signed off on Xcel Energy’s application on January 21, 2016, a month before it went to the La Crosse Board of Zoning Appeal, and about two months before Xcel Energy took their chain saws to the trees.


A quick read before going further, in today’s STrib, Geography of Trumism: Where support is strongest:

When the U.S. Census Bureau asks Americans about their ancestors, some respondents do not give a standard answer like “English” or “German.” Instead, they simply answer “American.”

Places with high concentrations of these self-described Americans turn out to be the places Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has performed the best.

Hadn’t read that yet when I wrote this post, but it makes perfect sense.  Which brings us to…

Omkring Faedrearven, by O.E. Rolvaag, known in English as “Concerning Our Heritage.”  It’s floating around the house lately, because I figured that since Alan’s working on becoming a Minnesotan, he should read Rolvaag!  He’s most of the way through Giants in the Earth, and Peder Victorius is waiting on the shelf.

Here’s one Rolvaag reader’s view:

Why Did My Teacher Make Me Read Giants In The Earth?

We’re going to head west later this year, through Rolvaag’s South Dakota, well, also through Rolvaag’s Northfield on the way.  What I remember most about trips through the Dakotas as a kid were the meadowlarks, and I wonder if they’re still there, because back in 2007 when we went from Denver through the Black Hills and South Dakota, I don’t remember hearing them, and I’ve been wondering ever since.


Anyway, back to Rolvaag.  As Alan slogs through Giants, I’ve been reading Rolvaag’s thoughts about immigration, particularly relevant today.  Rolvaag thought it was crucial to retain ones heritage, to know where we came from, and to bring our characteristics grown from our heritage to our new country.  He thought that someone couldn’t “be all that you can be” without having that solid background knowing who we are.  In his case, he was particularly concerned with keeping traits he identified as Norwegian, not in isolation, but to bring them to the larger culture.  In the extensive introduction, it’s noted that:

Rolvaag felt very strongly that maintaining their ethnic identity was important for their self-respect and for their ability to function positively in the greater American society.

… Rolvaag was what we might today call a “cultural pluralist.”  His vision of America was of a mosaic of ethnic communities, each preserving and promoting its own language, culture, and traditions, which could be united around American political ideals.  … He rejected both assimilation and amalgamation and advocated the right and duty of each immigrant group to preserve its own language, institutions, and cultural heritage.  Members of minority groups would of course learn English and participate in American institutions, but his vision of the United States was of a “cooperation of diversities.”

Something to think about in this day of mudslinging and innuendo and outrageous resistance to immigration.  We need to remember where we came from, how it was when our grandparents or parents came to this country.  Norwegians had a system of churches and schools, even colleges for those Norwegian farmers and then Norwegian women too!  Norwegian newspapers and arts flourished in the Midwest.  The Norwegian culture was kept alive through these efforts, and to this day, we regard ourselves as “Norwegian.”  Or whatever nationality we are, that’s something we descendants of immigrants hold as a significant part of our identity, even us “mutts” who are a little of this and a little of that.

And that retention of cultural identity is exactly what some inflamed “Americans” are demanding not happen with the current round of immigrants, that they not even be let into the country, but for those who are, that they reject their identity, their customs, their religion if not Christian, their character at its core.  How arrogant, and how misguided.  That’s not how our parents and grandparents were as immigrants, they held onto their culture while learning what it is to be an American in this melting pot.  Don’t for a minute forget that unless we’re native, that’s our background.  We’re immigrants, that’s where we came from, that’s why we’re here, and that’s what we all did.

Consider what immigrants bring when they come to the U.S.  Look in the mirror!  Look at your family!  Look at all immigrants have accomplished!


Super highwys, coast to coast, easy to get anywhere
On the transcontinental overload, just slide behind the wheel
How does it feel

When theres no destination-that’s too far
And somewhere on the way, you might find out who you are

Livin’ in America-eye to eye, station to station
Livin’ in America-hand to hand,across the nation
Livin in America-got to have a celebration

Rock my soul

Smokestack, fatback, many miles of railroad track
All night radio, keep on runnin’ through, your rock ‘n’ roll soul
All night diners, keep you ‘wake, on black coffee, and a hard roll

You might have to walk the fine line,
you might take the hard line
But everybody’s workin’ overtime

Livin’ in America-eye to eye, station to station
Livin’ in America-hand to hand,across the nation
Livin in America-got to have a celebration

I live in America, help me out,
but I live in America,
wait a minute
You may not be looking for the promise land,
but you might find it anyway
Under one of those old familiar names
Like New Orleans (New Orleans), Detroit City (Detroit City), Dallas (Dallas), Pittsburg P.A. (Pittsburg P.A.), New York City (New York City), Kansas City (Kansas City), Atlanta (Atlanta) CHICAGO & L.A.!

Livin in America-hit me
Livin in America-yeah,
I walk in and out
Livin’ in America

I live in America-state lines,
gonna make the prime, that
I live in America-hey
I know what it means, I

Livin’ in America…
Livin’ in America- hit me now, eye to eye, station to station
Livin’ in America
Livin’ in America-I feel good!

And last night in Rochester, more of the MPCA “Clean Power Plan” listening sessions.  This one was less well attended that Monday’s in Minneapolis, but packed into a much smaller, almost claustrophobic sized room.  Many concerns were raised, in large part because the “Clean Power Plan” remains a mystery — there is no MPCA plan for us to check out and comment on, and the federal Supreme Court put the EPA’s plan on hold.


The MPCA has been meeting with “stakeholders” which is primarily utilities, with a few energy wonks also attending — see this link, and scroll down for meetings and materials:

Clean Power Plan – Rulemaking (and meetings)

A turnout of this size, both last night and the night before, means that yes, people are interested and concerned, and I hope everyone stays in the loop and participates.


Last night at the Urban League, the MPCA held a meeting, a “listening session” about the proposed Clean Power Plan as a prelude to its rulemaking.


MPCA Clean Power Plan Listening Session

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

5:30 p.m. – ?  At least 8 p.m.

Cornerstone Plaza Hotel

401 6th Street S.W.

Rochester, MN

The MPCA has been holding ‘listening sessions,” a/k/a meetings, and has info on its site:

Here’s the federal plan, now on hold at order of the court:

Clean Power Plan (U.S. EPA)

I very much do like that they’re going forward, despite the federal stay, because it is going to take some time to ramp up efforts.

Here’s the handout I brought to that meeting.  I ran out, only about 1/4 of the room covered, so that means there were at least 80 people there.

Handout-MPCA Public Meeting_Clean Power Plan

On the other hand, there are a lot of things I take issue with.

One thing that’s discouraging to me is that this is called the “Clean Power Plan” but they have not made any attempt to separate out and prohibit burning of garbage and biomass, both very dirty by any definition.  Incineration must be removed from the definition of “renewable.”

Another issue is that they’re NOT going to put together a rulemaking Advisory Committee, as provided by statute.  I asked about this last night and they verified it.

Minn. Stat. §14.101, Subd. 2.  Advisory committees.

Each agency may also appoint committees to comment, before publication of a notice of intent to adopt or a notice of hearing, on the subject matter of a possible rulemaking under active consideration within the agency.

Instead, what they’re doing is gathering the same ol’ same ol’ folks in an informal process, and they’re not going over a proposed rule prior to its being sent to the MPCA head (remember, there is no Citizens Board thanks to certain MN legislators) for release, and when it’s released, it’s too late for substantive changes.  The MPCA was part of the crew, with DNR and EQB, that so badly mangled that silica sand rulemaking (ummmm, whatever became of that, anyway?).  This does not bode well.

So now, on to tonight’s meeting, gotta do some prep.

CCPMtgMPCA 3-8-2016

And yes, that’s Frank “Coal Ash” Kolasch presenting.  What a moniker!

Tonight’s gathering starts at 5:30 p.m. or so with an open house (coffee & cookies), and the presentation and “listening” starts at 6:30 p.m.

MPCA Clean Power Plan Listening Session

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

5:30 p.m. – ?  At least 8 p.m.

Cornerstone Plaza Hotel

401 6th Street S.W.

Rochester, MN

Be there or be square!