Tag Archives: minnesota

Minnesota Recount Shenanigans

FiveThirtyEight.com, which is a site dedicated to statistical analysis of ongoing political disputes, has an interesting thread on the “lost” ballots that would have helped Al Franken (of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) against Senator Norm Coleman (of the Republican Party of Minnesota). This comes after news that some other ballots that will now help Norm Coleman have been “found” in the backseat of a car.

FiveThirtyEight.com: Politics Done Right: Missing Ballots in Minneapolis?
The latest drama in the Minnesota recount is taking place in the 1st Precinct of the 3rd Ward of the city of Minneapolis, where officials identified 133 fewer ballots in their re-count today than had been recorded on election day. As this particular precinct voted heavily for Franken, who nearly doubled Norm Coleman’s vote total there on November 4, a reduction in the ballot count there would be a significant detriment to him, which the St. Paul Pioneer Press estimates as a net loss of 36 ballots.

No one knows what is an honest mistake, and what is a political trick.

Update: The tit-for-tat shenanigans continue. First some ballots are “found,” then others are “lost,” now more are “found.”

Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidate: Impale Terrorists on State-House Lawn

Vampire Candidate ‘Won’t Hide Evil Side’,” Associated Press, 12 January 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181501,00.html (hat-tip to Brendan of I Hate Linux).

While some political scientists argue that terrorists should be covered under the Geneva Conventions, a far wiser suggestion comes from the state that asked child abusers to kill their victims:

One gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota is giving a whole new meaning to the “dark side” of politics. A man who calls himself a satanic priest plans to run for governor on a 13-point platform that includes the public impaling of terrorists at the state Capitol building.

Jonathon Sharkey, also known as “The Impaler”, plans to launch his gubernatorial campaign on — when else? — Friday the 13th. He’ll make the announcement in Princeton.

“I’m going to be totally open and honest,” said the 41-year-old leader of the “Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party.”

Unlike other candidates, I’m not going to hide my evil side,” he said.

In Minnesota, anyone who pays the $300 filing fee can get on the gubernatorial ballot and it seems that every year a few eccentric candidates make the rounds.

Sharkey raises the bar. For one thing, he told the Star Tribune in an e-mail that he drinks blood.

Including the impaling of terrorists, rapists, drug dealers and other criminals, Sharkey’s platform includes emphasis on education, tax breaks for farmers and better benefits for veterans.

No to Terrorism
No to God
YES! to Sharkey the Impaler

Sharkey said he worships Lucifer and, while he says he has nothing against Christians, he calls the “Christian God the Father” his “mortal enemy.”

While I oppose his destroy-God-ism, I do support his impaling-bin-Laden-ism.

Certainly Sharkey is as sensisble as this nut.

Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey for Governor of Minnesota – 2006

Update: Arrested. Hat-tip Kos.

Minnesota’s Habit of Strange Pedophilia Laws

Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption,” by Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com, 24 May 2005, http://news.com.com/Minnesota+court+takes+dim+view+of+encryption/2100-1030_3-5718978.html (from Slashot).

Minnesota, South Dakota’s neighbor to the east, is regionally known for quirkiness. Swedish-style leftism, prairie populism, and Great Lakes industry trade makes the state, which means Sky-Reflecting Water in Sioux, a mirror into the least practical fads of the moment. I early blogged of the Minnesota Legislature encouraging pedophiles to kill their victims. Now, a common privacy tool is evidence of criminal intent

A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent.

Ari David Levie, who was convicted of taking illegal photographs of a nude 9-year-old girl, argued on appeal that the PGP encryption utility on his computer was irrelevant and should not have been admitted as evidence during his trial. PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy and is sold by PGP Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif.

But the Minnesota appeals court ruled 3-0 that the trial judge was correct to let that information be used when handing down a guilty verdict.

“We find that evidence of appellant’s Internet use and the existence of an encryption program on his computer was at least somewhat relevant to the state’s case against him,” Judge R.A. Randall wrote in an opinion dated May 3.

Randall favorably cited testimony given by retired police officer Brooke Schaub, who prepared a computer forensics report–called an EnCase Report–for the prosecution. Schaub testified that PGP “can basically encrypt any file” and “other than the National Security Agency,” nobody could break it.

Shaub either perjured himself or is dangerously ignorant for his position.

So do you have criminal intent? Yes, if you use a Mac

The court didn’t say that police had unearthed any encrypted files or how it would view the use of standard software like [Apple Macintosh] OS X’s FileVault. Rather, Levie’s conviction was based on the in-person testimony of the girl who said she was paid to pose nude, coupled with the history of searches for “Lolitas” in Levie’s Web browser

Other programs that use encryption are some file compressors, the web browser you are reading this page with, some media players — basically, anything involving credit cards, online business, or electronic personal security. As dahnmich writes, under a rule that ‘personal security equals criminal intent,’ even possession a gun would be evidence of criminal intent.

Minnesota House to Pedophiles: Dead Boys Tell no Tells

House passes sex offender penalties,” by Don Davis, The Forum, 29 April 2005, http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=90202§ion=News.

No comment on the law itself. Just a post on Minnesota’s soon-to-be-bloody encounter with the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Pedophiles should be castrated, the Minnesota House decided Thursday.

Representatives also voted to place labels identifying sex offenders on their driver’s licenses and vehicle license plates and to send the worst sex offenders to prison for life.

The House bill doubles most sex offender sentences. Those who do not get mandatory life sentences would be released only when a new parole board feels they no longer present a threat to society.

Sex offenders would be sentenced to life if they commit the crime with torture, with kidnapping with a victim younger than 13 or older than 70 or with more than one victim.

It will lead to less sexually abused children. This law will lead to more murdered children. It is up to Minnesotans whether that is a good deal or not.

If the Minnesota House gets it way, the punishment for sexual abuse will in many cases be greater than the punishment for murder. (There is no chemical castration for murderers, in spite of the fact that testosterone is postively correlated to violence.) This both strongly discourages pedophilia while strongly encouraging pedophiles to murder their victims. (Dead boys cannot testify.) Additionally, it will decreasing reporting of family members, as the law would cause much more family trauma than already exists.

If Tradesports had a “young children raped and murdered” futures market for Minnesota, I’d buy as many shares as I could and become a rich man. And if they had a “young children raped” in Minnesota futures market, I’d sell that short. But pedophilia seems to be a compulsion, so I wouldn’t short by as much.

Again, no comment on the law itself. The legislators clearly aren’t thinking it out, but the law’s wisdom is independent from theirs.

Personal note: In my small town where I grew up, we later discovered that my doctor was a pedophile. This issue involves real problems which should have real solutions. Few are offering any.

Update: Riehl World ponders a similar proposal in New Jersey.

Dayton: John Kerry Will Run in 2008

Kerry’s Minnesota visit may have wider purpose,” by Rob Hotakainen, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 22 April 2005, http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/5362878.html (from Democratic Underground).

Senator Mark Dayton, a man who tired 8-time loser Bob Shrum as a campaign advisor before bailing out of a reelection race, says John Kerry will run again for President in 2008

As Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and his wife prepare to visit Minneapolis on May 3, Sen. Mark Dayton said he has little doubt that Kerry is planning to run for president again in 2008.

When New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton attended the DFL Humphrey Day Dinner in Minneapolis less than two weeks ago, Dayton, D-Minn., told the crowd he hoped he was introducing “the next great president of the United States of America.”

Two days later on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Dayton said Kerry approached him “with daggers in his eyes and said, ‘What are you doing endorsing my 2008 presidential opponent?‘… He was very serious.”

Of course, Dayton may not be reliable. The “quote” seems clunky. And as he’s also busy attacking Kerry

Asked about his support for Kerry last year, Dayton laughed and replied: “As Winston Churchill once said, I’d rather be right than consistent.”

Dayton is cosponsoring Kerry’s bill, but he appeared to criticize Kerry when he first recounted his interaction with him on the Senate floor during a weekend interview with KTCA-TV’s “Almanac.” In the interview, Dayton said that “any politician that embraces children clearly has some motive beyond that, because otherwise they would be doing something about it rather than talking about it.”

John Kerry in 2008? Let’s hope. That’d actually give Gingrich a shot!

The Cause of the Plague

Health Department: HIV/AIDS cases up in 2004 in Minnesota,” Associated Press, 15 April 2005, http://www.in-forum.com/ap/index.cfm?page=view&id=D89G036O0.

The Associated Press – Friday, April 15, 2005

As a people-killer spreads in Minnesota

More than 300 people in Minnesota were diagnosed with HIV last year, an 11 percent increase over 2003, the state Health Department reported Friday.

The AP waits until paragraph seven to state the main vector

The department continued to find disproportionally high numbers of cases among gay and bisexual men. During the past three years, the group has accounted for 50 percent of all diagnoses although they account for only 5 percent of the population.

That rate is roughly in keeping with national trends.

What aggrevates me is that the lower something appears in a news story, the more likely it is to be cut. The AP wrote the article so the homosexualism angle would be the one most likely to be left out.

If that’s not intellectual dishonesty, it’s close.

Fiscal Imprudence

Pataki for UN?,” by Robert Novak, Townhall.com, http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20050122.shtml, 22 January 2005 (from Dayton v. Kennedy).

An advantage of living near Sioux Falls is that during elections, you get triple the fun. The “Sioux Empire” media market extends to Minnesota and Iowa We get Iowa Caucus advertising every four years; additionally, we watched Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy’s rise from the sidelines. As small-government South Dakotans naturally despite Minnesota Democrats, and thus Senator Dayton, this news was all the more interesting

First term Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota, who depleted his fortune as Dayton-Hudson department store heir by spending $25 million in four statewide political campaigns, is being targeted by Republicans as the most vulnerable Senate Democrat in 2006.

Dayton spent $12 million of his own money to provide nearly all funding for his election in 2000, and his net worth is now officially disclosed as $5 million to $15 million. Facing the need to raise money for the first time, he recently fired his top fund-raisers after he finished the third quarter of 2004 with just $271,000 cash on hand.

In addition to money problems, Dayton slumped in the polls after he alone among U.S. senators closed his Washington offices because of an alleged terrorist threat. Former Rep. Bill Luther is considering a Democratic primary challenge against Dayton. The senator’s Republican opponent is expected to be a well-funded Rep. Mark Kennedy.

Way to destroy the family fortune, Mark!

Dayton is not sitting pretty. Hopefully Mark can knock him Mark in ’06.

Dayton-Shrum 2006

Dayton shakes up campaign advisers (Send in the losers!),” by “Dickie Flatt,” Democratic Underground, http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×1145889, 12 January 2005.

Italics and emphasis all from DU

Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat, has brought in Kim Kauffman, who was a top fund-raiser for last year’s failed Senate campaign of North Carolina Democrat Erskine Bowles, to replace Yost. He has not yet hired a replacement for Dale. …

Dayton also said he was hiring Shrum, Devine & Donilon as his media adviser, the same firm he used in 2000. Dayton is a longtime friend of Bob Shrum, who was a chief strategist to John Kerry’s presidential campaign. But the firm said Wednesday that Shrum was leaving to become a senior fellow at New York University.

In 2006, Senator Dayton will fight against Representative Kennedy in what will be a close election. Kennedy easily survived a reelection against the most sympathetic challenger imaginable (a national spokeswoman for victims whose son was murdered) last year, and so will put up a good fight.

And so, in preperation, Dayton hires two-time loser Erskin Bowles’s campaign manager and Bob Shrum, whose 0-8 record is unimaginable.

I do not believe Dayton is trying to lose. I really don’t.