- All the money owed by the company;
- All the money paid out by the company;
- All the money received by the company.
News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com
Posted by David Newquist at 9:48 AM
This post has been revised to correct the mangling of some copy when a word processor document was transferred to the blog.
Posted by David Newquist at 1:01 PM
Only someone with a severe mental impairment could not realize that when Ted Nugent, the right wing's leading intellectual, called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel," he was reverting to Ku Klux Klan racism. He later apologized for his particular words, but doubled-down on reasserting all the old racial stereotypes about black people that the KKK held so dear and many, many people still do.
Like many people, I made the fatuous assumption that the election of a black president meant that the nation had finally matured out of its racial and class bigotry and that such factors no longer shaped the character of the country. Ted Nugent, many GOP leaders in Congress, and numerous people on the Internet, in saloons, and in church sanctuaries proved us all wrong. The election of Barack Obama inspired a resurgence of racism, and with the likes of Nugent, it is there to stand as part of the American legacy.
The service that Nugent and his kind perform is to disabuse us of the notion that the nation leads the world within matters of equality, freedom, and justice. Jim Crow has us by the short ones. If Congress had any, it would have them by the cajones. But they have demonstrated to those of us who struggled with civil rights that the struggle is far from over, and we need to renew our resolve, recognize that some of our neighbors are enemies, and deal with them more realistically.
In a recent news report on the chances of Mary Landrieu to get re-elected to the U.S. Senate in Louisiana, NPR recorded the reasoning of a man named Beau Broussard. Landrieu faces stiff opposition because she voted for the Affordable Care Act. Broussard reveals the real reason for his hatred of this act in the NPR report:
Broussard has all kinds of problems with the law itself — that it's wrong to force people to buy insurance, that it will make businesses hire less. But there's something else that bothers him: The law is the signature achievement of a man Broussard never wanted to see become president.To the NPR reporter, he explained:
"I don't vote for black people, lady," he says. "No, ma'am. I don't vote for black people. They got their place, I got my place. That's the way I was raised."The right wing has taken to equating its hatred, its lust for discrimination, exclusion, and defamation with patriotism and Christianity. The latest ploy is to exercise bigotry and hatred as part of their religious faith, which they claim the right to do. There are people who define themselves by who they hate and wish to exclude from any claims to liberty. Madville Times took on a South Dakota blogger who insists that the exercise of his KKK hatred is a matter of religious devotion and Constitutional right.
Posted by David Newquist at 9:38 AM
It is carried by Joop Bollen who as director of the South Dakota Regional Center is a major figure in the disaster of Northern Beef Packers, EB-5 loans, and the alleged suicide of Richard Bender. As a state employee and then a contractor for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Bollen obtained and administered the EB-5 loans which lost millions of dollars for foreign investors.
The city of Aberdeen has a housing authority that oversees subsidized housing for low income people. (More on that later.) The housing authority has initiated a proposal to add 40 units, so it needs a resolution of necessity from the city council to proceed with the plans. To support the request for a resolution, the housing authority presented the council with the results of a study conducted in January on housing needs in Aberdeen. The study concluded that there was a need for low income housing, but Aberdeen landlords don't think so. The city council story in the Aberdeen newspaper carried the headline:
Joop Bollen who owns various properties in Aberdeen, including the Fifth Avenue Apartments, said he is concerned with the validity of the study.
“I’m very concerned that the study is skewed,” Bollen said questioning whether the study takes into account recently constructed apartments in Aberdeen and the recent closure of the beef plant.
“You should review the study and make sure it’s accurate,” Bollen said. “If you sign off on that letter, you state you’ve seen the study and feel there’s a need. My concern is whether or not there’s a real demand.”
In addition to concerns about the study, Bollen also questioned whether it’s the city’s role to subsidize public housing.The mayor pointed out that Aberdeen has been involved in public housing for 50 years.
Posted by David Newquist at 12:34 PM
The state legislature has voted down any measures that could provide a comprehensive view of the nature of state government's role in economic development, the way government and private businesses and organizations intersect, and the degree of influence and control that business interests exercise over state government. After the bankruptcy of Northern Beef Packers and the subsequent revelations of the state's efforts at economic development and the handling of EB-5 loans along with state money, an abundecance of evidence that indicates conspiratorial corruption exists, but the forces in place carefully word their findings and conclusions to evade any serious confrontation with malfeasance and misfeasance and they make any insidious findings sound like minor accounting errors.
Although state officials are careful to withhold from the public any substantive information for which the citizens have the right to demand an accounting, the reports issued on the Governor's Office of Economic Development contain an abundance of evidence of corruption and graft. A frequent explanation bouncing around is that some acts which have been uncovered may seem unethical, but they aren't illegal. They were conducted within the law. There are two major aspects of the South Dakota Legal Code that promote and protect malfeasance and misfeasance as a way of doing business:
However, we considered responsibilities the SDRC, Inc. had to individual EB-5 investors, contractors, related limited partnerships and the projects receiving loans outside the scope of our audit.
Posted by David Newquist at 8:11 AM
Many years ago, I was a newspaper farm editor. The matter of farm subsidies was a perennial problem that dominated the news coverage. During World War II, United States farmers were encouraged to ramp up production as their contribution to the war effort. They did so. The U.S. produced enough food to keep our troops well fed and to help our allies. When the war ended, farmers were still producing but the market for what they produced had shrunk as allies became more self-sufficient in producing food for their people. The crop surpluses piling up in America revived depression-era fears that farmers once again would plow their production under and leave the farms looking for other work.
The stability of an economy returning to peace-time production and the security of the nation quickly sliding into a cold war required that the farm economy be kept efficient and stable. So, the government began programs of price supports and farm subsidies through which it bought agricultural surpluses. Then the problem for the government was what to do with the growing surpluses it held in storage. A partial answer was to distribute the surpluses to the poor, the hungry, the needy. Semi-trailer loads of the surpluses, initially consisting of flour, corn meal, butter, cheese, dried beans, and dry milk, would be hauled to distribution points where people who qualified could come and pick it up. As farm editor, I was provided notice of such distributions so that the newspaper could publish the times and places well in advance. And the government agents liked coverage of these events to convince the taxpayers that the products the government was buying with their money were being put to good use to keep the farm economy humming and nutrition flowing to those who needed it.
Who qualified for the commodity programs was largely a matter of self-selection. Anybody who showed up and said they could use the help qualified. Of course, there were those few who obtained commodities who were not in need, but that wasn't a big concern, because the people in charge of the distribution often had rather immense quantities of left-overs. One of the workers talked me into loading up the back of my station wagon with leftovers to be distributed by my church. That led to a program in our community through which a number of denominational social service agencies cooperated in a distribution. Many people in need were too shamed and embarrassed to come to the distribution points and beg for handouts, but the social workers knew who was in need and where the food would provide much-needed nutrition. There was paper work to be done to attest to auditors that the surplus was being appropriately distributed. The main objective, however, was to give farmers a guaranteed income through price supports, soil banks, and conservation programs that attempted to balance production and demand.
Over the years, the surplus food distribution program evolved into food stamps which made it possible for clients of the program to have more variety and nutritional balance in what they obtained. Two things have led to a curtailment of the food stamp program. One is ethanol. With more cropland being diverted to the production of corn for ethanol from the growing of food for human consumption, the problem of what to do with commodity surpluses is not much of a consideration. The rise in food prices is evidence of that. The second factor is the declaration of war on the poor. The conservatives in America have adopted an attitude that militates against anyone who is having trouble with meeting basic expenses. They ignore the working poor, which is a growing segment of the American population. They do this by fabricating falsehods and practicing systematic defamation of those who are in dire financial straits. In their own frenzy of greed and hatred, they are incapable of understanding the impossible circumstances in which many must try to live. And they refuse to acknowledge the fact that huge corporations with an insatiable lust for money and power are the biggest factor in pushing Americans into poverty,
Recently, the right wing has rediscovered the account of Plymouth Colony by its governor, William Bradford, in 1623 when the colonists had experienced short rations and needed to increase food production. All agricultural production was put into common storage and distributed by the leaders to members of the colony. The young and able-bodied resented that they were toiling hard while some people could not make an equal contribution to the labor and that the benefits of their labor did not accrue to them. Bradford writes:
For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labours and victuals, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them.
Posted by David Newquist at 8:21 AM