We've just been scammed. The people with the money told us to give them our money and they would make us rich, or at least secure. They lied. They told us we shouldn't watch or check up on them or the magic wouldn't work. They partied and laughed and we treated them with great respect. They took our houses, our college funds, and our retirement, lowered our wages, increased our hours and made us pay for our own health insurance.
They resold our money many times over, devaluing it in the process. They protected their own wealth with corporations. The used tax loopholes, off-shore accounts and legislation they bought so that eventually the top 1 percent had more than the lower 90 percent and they still were allowed to call it democracy.
Then it all came crashing down. Their money was safe. We were told - Sorry, you now have less than you would have if you had put it under your mattress, but that's just the risks of a free market. They had gotten out a long time ago, but told us to stay in the market.
Then they told us that only they could possibly find a way out of the mess. All we needed to do was to give them even more money so that they and their friends could recover all their losses before they started working on the problems.
Oh, and by the way, we should make sacrifices and be willing to tighten our belts to resolve the situation. But, never -no never - should we ever ask them to put any of their money (what used to be our money) at risk in any way since that would threaten free enterprise.
Oh, come on folks. Scam me once shame on you - scam me twice, shame on me.
Toward an economic recovery
Last week the Minnesota House passed a jobs-focused bonding bill (H.F. 855) that invests $200 million in Minnesota's critical infrastructure. The bill is designed to create thousands of Minnesota jobs as quickly as possible and leverage additional federal dollars to aid our state's economic recovery efforts.
Specifically, the bill invests in the following areas:
• $2.1 million for veteran's homes asset preservation.
• $12.7 million for flood mitigation efforts.
• $39 million for transportation and transit infrastructure.
• $11 million for local bridge replacement and rehabilitation.
• $20 million the University of Minnesota asset preservation.
• $30 million for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities asset preservation.
• $20 million to expand the state's sex offender facility at Moose Lake.
My main priority this session is putting Minnesota back to work as quickly as possible - and I'll use every available resource to help bring us out of these challenging times. But the task ahead is difficult. With limited resources our efforts toward rebuilding Minnesota's economy have to be smart and efficient in order to be effective. With fiscal discipline and careful policymaking, I will continue devoting every effort to protecting your jobs, your farms, and our way of life.
Your input will be incredibly important throughout the remaining weeks of the session. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 18. Until then, I need to keep hearing from you to ensure my decisions at the state Capitol reflect the priorities of people in our communities. I look forward to hearing from you.
Obama is no hero
Obama should learn a lesson from the bravery of Captain Richard Phillips who was rescued from Somali pirates on Easter Sunday. Nearly a week ago, we learned that Capt. Phillips had traded his life for the lives of his crew. When reporters turned to President Obama for his leadership in this crisis, he replied, No comment. Without waiting for the government to act, Capt. Phillips dove into the water and under gunfire, he was recaptured. The country anxiously awaited news. Still no comment from our president. On Easter Sunday skilled Navy Seals did what they were trained to do - and our nation rejoiced. Finally, we had a hero and the American spirit was reborn - even if for a moment.
Compare and contrast the bravery and American spirit of this captain to our president who, while overseas made empty threats against North Korea, apologized to the Europeans for our American arrogance, bowed to Moslem royalty, and made many Americans feel ashamed. Perhaps Obama could learn a lesson from this captain and the American spirit. We have our faults, to be sure, but until this point in history, we have been the only nation to stand up for what's right and do so with that indomitable American spirit that has made us the nation we are. Capt. Phillips is a true American hero. President Obama is not. As for me and my family - we choose the hero.
Steven D. Lastovich
A welcome happy ending
Hats off to the moms of Alayna and Kaitlyn, the two young girls who were involved in the April Fools' Day ordeal. It sounds like they allowed their daughters the freedom to explore the outdoors, taught them how to find help when needed, were available to assist in an emergency, and taught Alayna how to swim at an early age. The world is full of hazards and accidents waiting to happen. It sounds like these parents did well in encouraging their children to play in pairs and look out for each other. I am very glad to hear it was a happy ending for the families.
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